The Daily Dish ~ My Sister’s Wedding Shower & Bachelorette Party!

June 25th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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The countdown is officially on…My sister is getting married on June 29th, which is now in four days! We are all getting so excited {busy, but excited!} I can’t wait to share pictures with all of you of the wedding, but until then I thought I would share the wonderful moments leading up to the big day!

We celebrated my sisters Personal Shower and Bachelorette Party on the same day a few weeks ago, and it was simply wonderful! The gathering took place at my sister Sarah’s house, which made for a beautiful party on a beautiful day!

I had the honor of making the food, so I decided to make a Salad Bar and Dessert Bar with healthy toppings such as Greek yogurt! My sister Sarah and I had a blast decorating with all of em’s wedding colors and cute little details that reflect on her style!

The weather was just beautiful that day, which is always a blessing in Michigan! :)

The salad bar was as much fun to put together as it was to enjoy!

Although, I think the dessert bar was everyone’s favorite {including my own!}

Sarah did all the decorating, and she truly did a fabulous job!

After enjoying all of the yummy food, Emily opened her gifts…and we played games…Needless to say there was tons of laughter!

We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends to celebrate with!

We spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool and enjoying time relaxing!

That night the bridesmaids went out to celebrate Emily’s Bachlorette Party! I love that we had such an amazing time, and the Lord was glorified through our silliness! Who says you need alcohol to have a good time!?! :)

We went to a sushi restaurant and of course followed it with frozen yogurt!

 

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The Daily Dish~ My 28th Birthday Celebration!

June 20th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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Hey everyone!!! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to summer!I know I sure am…Of course i’m staying busy with the double move my husband and I are going through, and with all the preparation for my sisters wedding (it’s coming up…June 29th!!!)

I always love summer for SO many reasons, but I also love it because I have a summer birthday! :) June 17th was my 28th Birthday…But this year I had the honor of sharing the celebration with my dad, as we celebrated Father’s Day and my birthday on the same day! Talk about double the Fun!!! ;)

I started of the day with what else but a DD Cake Batter Protein Shake topped with whipped cream of course!

We had our traditional birthday meal, which is always Shish Kabob and a large Greek Salad with Baked Pita Chips! For Dessert I made my DD Ice Cream Cake!

After eating, my dad and I opened gifts and we all spent time around the table laughing and talking…One of my favorite times in life!

It was a wonderful day shared with my family, enjoying all the things I loved! I feel truly blessed for the 28 years of life God has given me so far, and the amazing husband and family He has given me to share it with!

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing by my parents lake! The weather was just perfect, and it was a much needed relaxing time after the big move! :)

I truly do treasure moments like this! :) Thank you all for the Birthday Wishes and love! I feel blessed beyond belief, and am so thankful for how God has taken the ashes of my life and turned it into beauty! I’ve learned time and time again that restoration is what He does best!

I hope you all enjoyed this little peak into my birthday celebration! Have a wonderfully blessed day!

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Daily Dish ~ My Sister’s Bridal Shower!

May 2nd, 2013 - Daily Dish

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This past weekend was my sister Emily’s bridal shower! Her wedding is June 29th, so it will be here before we know it! :) It was a beautiful shower, put on by her future mother in-law & sister in law, who happen to have their own cake decorating business’…So get ready to witness some incredible desserts! ;)

It turned out to be one of the most beautiful days we’ve had in Michigan so far…(it has been in the 40′s almost all of April!) But this past Saturday was 70 degrees and sunny…God sure did shine His sunshine down on Emily’s celebration day! I hope you enjoy the pictures of this magnificent day!

Here Emily (the future bride) is with my family…

and Emily with her future in-law’s (including the 2 wonder women who put on the amazing shower!)

For brunch we had fruit to start…

Followed by a strawberry spinach salad (which I had the pleasure of preparing), a scone, and an english muffin, which was later topped with an egg, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce.

After eating we opened gifts.

It was so fun to see her open everything, especially her new kitchen gadgets! ;)

I made her a towel cake! :)

I also made her a basket of ‘my favorite kitchen things’ which was an assortment of my favorite kitchen gadgets, etc. Talk about a fun gift to shop for and give! :)

One of the most creative gifts she received was from our good friend Dayna, who made her a box of ‘date nights’…One for every month after they were married, (they were in envelopes, and she was told not to open them until the date night for each month!) How sweet is that!?!

After opening gifts we had dessert. My Aunt Lorrie made the most adorable wedding cake sugar cookies! I told her she could have her own cookie making business! How cute are they!?!

Brett’s mom, Gerri made everything on the dessert table, including these adorable cake pops…

Beautiful macaroons….

And a wide assortment of cupcakes!

Everything came together beautifully, and we had a great time celebrating Emily and Brett! I hope you enjoyed the preview of this special day! :)

The wedding will be here before we know it! I can’t wait to share pictures of that amazing day with all of you!

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The Daily Dish~ Meal Prepping 101!

April 17th, 2013 - Daily Dish, How-To, Inspiration

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Does the thought of preparing food for your family during the week overwhelm you, or seem like it is just one more thing that you ‘have to do‘, but barely have time for?!?

I remember feeling this way when I was in nursing school, (and that was when I was only cooking for myself!) It wasn’t long after I got married that I realized that cooking every meal on the spot was not easy, especially if I was going to stay on track with healthy eating.  (Let’s face it… sometimes when you  are overly hungry or busy it’s easy to grab anything in sight, regardless of how healthy it is!) If that sounds familiar in any way, don’t worry… there is a solution!

I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.

There are so many benefits to having one (or two) meal prep days during the week, but some of the best things about it is that it saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay on track with eating healthy.

Sound intriguing?!? Well… Let me show you how it’s done in just a few simple steps!

STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP 

I begin meal planning by making a list of recipes on my “Favorites Board”. (This can be found under the membership section of Dashing Dish.) I create a ‘favorites’ list each week based on what I want to have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners.  

From there I write down the ingredient list for each recipe. (I generally divide the ingredient list by 2 if I plan to prepare it for my husband and I and it is a recipe that calls for four servings or more). After writing out my grocery list I double check that I don’t already have something in my fridge or pantry. Then… I’m off to the grocery store!

If this step alone overwhelms you, this is where my meal plans come in! I have done all the work for you! They are broken down into the recipes, shopping lists, and even meal prep ideas for each week, based on the servings you need!

STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD

When I get home from the grocery store I generally don’t put any of the groceries away, (unless of course they are frozen and will melt quickly)…I simply take everything out of the grocery bag and set it out on the counter, putting things in organized piles according to each recipe. I then pull up my favorites list and get to cooking! I generally start with the breakfasts and move on from there.

Throughout the week I typically have a protein shake for breakfast, but I find that many of my breakfast recipes are great for mid-morning snacks, and/or if I am in need of a breakfast on-the-go. If I don’t end up eating them I simply freeze them for a time that I am in need of a quick and healthy snack!

This week I made my PB & J Protein Pancakes.

Some hard boiled eggs, (my husband loves these as a breakfast side and snack!)

Strawberry Baked Protein Oatmeal, (recipe to come!)

And for a snack I made my Protein Blueberry Muffins (recipe to come!)

For lunches and dinners I generally prepare big batches of veggies and lean meats to use in my recipes.

I like to cook my veggies in big batches either in a sauté pan or on a big roasting pan. That way they are ready as sides, snacks, or to add to a recipe.  I use this method of cooking in my Zucchini Chip recipe and Parmesan Green Bean recipe, but you can do this with any veggie.

One of my favorite ways to prepare chicken is in the crockpot! I make big batches and use the shredded chicken in my recipes for the week! If I am making Crockpot Shredded Chicken to prepare my recipes, I generally pop some frozen chicken in the crockpot and set it to high heat the morning of my meal prepping day. (That way it is all ready when I am ready to start meal prepping!)

If the recipes call for sautéed chicken or lean ground meat, I will cook it in big batches in my biggest pan! That way I am only prepping chicken and/or lean ground meat once for all the recipes!

STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES

For lunches I typically make something really simple such as a couple big salads and wrap sandwiches and put them in Tupperware containers or wrap them in foil individually. (Leftovers from dinner are also a great option!)

For dinners I typically make a few different main dishes and a couple of side dishes. 

This week I made my Three Cheese Stuffed Peppers

My Baked Mac & Cheese

and my BBQ Chicken Sweet Potatoes!

STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY! 

After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in Tupperware containers and place it in the fridge! That way I have something to throw in a cooler if I am heading out for the day or to pop in the microwave and/or oven to heat up and have a delicious dinner on the table in minutes!

This whole process from start to finish takes anywhere from 2-3 hours. I typically pick a block of time on the weekend to get it done. I hope this post helps show you how easy it can be to prepare meals for the week in just one day. If you are still scratching your head, don’t let it discourage you!!! It can take time to learn and get in the swing of things. And if that’s you, a great place to start may be my meal plans…But before you know it, it will become a part of your routine and you may even find yourself loving it!!!

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The Daily Dish ~ Royal Caribbean Cruise!

March 13th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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So this may come as a surprise to most of you, but I just returned from a 5 day cruise this past week! I don’t like to announce when I am leaving for a trip or out of town for obvious reasons, but I had an awesome time and thought I would share some photos and highlights from my trip now that i’m back home!

This cruise was actually a Christmas present from my amazing in-laws to my husband and I, (well, actually to the whole family…My husband and I, his 2 brothers, and my mother in law. My father in law couldn’t come unfortunately  due to work, so my husbands aunt came along instead!) I feel so blessed to have married into such a loving family! They are truly a blessing in my life!

My husband is the middle of three boys, just as I am the middle of three girls! :) They are all really close just as I am with my sisters, which makes it a ton of fun to hang out with them!

We ported the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Ship out of Florida…Just when Michigan was having a huge snow storm!

The ship was simply beautiful inside!

We spent the first day exploring the ship and all the different shops, researching the entertainment and dining options, and of course checking out the pool deck! My first stop was the cupcake decorating shop!!! How fun is that!?

The ship had a beautiful fitness area! I didn’t spend much time there, as our excursions were very early (and pretty active), and it was pretty rocky when we were out to sea, making it hard to run on a treadmill, do weights, or much of anything without getting sea sick. Not all cruise ships I’ve been on were this way, but the seas were particularly rough this trip.

The main deck was gorgeous! It had lots to do, and had everything from shopping to a theatre and even a Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks!

We checked out the events for the week, and I almost convinced my husband to participate in the ‘sexiest man competition’ ;) Although, this was as close as he got to participating! :)

My husband was pretty adventurous this trip, and tried yoga with his brothers! I knew I would of been too sea sick to hold a pose for any period of time, but he did great! I was pretty proud of him! :)

I did manage to walk the track a few times on the top deck really early in the morning. It was so peaceful as I listened to worship music and watched the sunrise! There is nothing more powerful that seeing God’s artwork take place in the sky~ So beautiful!

Eating healthy can be challenging on any vacation, (especially on a cruise)…But healthy options are always around if you go looking for them! I allow myself to enjoy treats and meals I wouldn’t normally try back home when I am on vacation, but I always like to start my day with a healthy breakfast, or else I feel funky the rest of the day! For more tips on eating healthy on vacation check out this post! 

We spent the days either laying out by the pool….

Going on an excursion (we went hiking and kayaking!)

Or visiting a beach!

The weather was beautiful!

And lunch was either authentic Mexican type food or a big salad from the salad bar!

For dinner we had a nice three course sit down meal with the family, and I always ordered something different~ which was fun to try new things!

My favorite dessert on the trip was by far the ice cream sundae bar! I am most certainly an ice cream girl! They even had sugar free peanut butter cookies to go on the side! Yum!

The evenings were spent enjoying the ships many entertainment options! We went ice skating…

Watched shows…

And witnessed some of the most beautiful sunsets!

I hope you enjoyed some of the highlights of the cruise! Thank you Farrell Family for the most amazing trip! Cruises are an awesome way to see the world and travel in my opinion, because you really don’t have to think too much about entertainment, food, or much of anything! You truly do get to enjoy time with family and make awesome memories!

It was a great time, but I sure am glad to be back home and chatting with all of you!!! xo

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Daily Dish ~ A Dish On My Daily Life!

February 8th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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Good Morning Everyone!!! I actually receive a lot of emails about what my daily life is like after taking on Dashing Dish full time, so I thought what better way than to do a Daily Dish on my daily life!

Now, keep in mind, every day is a little bit different…For example, some days I go grocery shopping for DD, some days I spend almost entirely on meal plans, or recipe trials…Or even different ‘projects’ I’m working on for the future of DD! However, in this is what a typical day is like for me!

I always start my day in the Word…There is nothing better to me! It renews my mind, encourages me, and shows me the way to go! I’m telling you, the Word is alive and active…God is SO faithful to point me to scripture that is applicable to what I need for each day! I guess that’s why it is called our “Daily Bread”~ It truly does nourish and satisfy like nothing else! I also love to journal what the Lord spoke to me that day, it’s great when you look back and see His promises fulfilled!

I also love my “Power of a Praying Wife” book! I got it shortly after getting married, and it has some seriously powerful prayers that have honestly been such a blessing to my marriage! The prayers are based on the Word of God, so they are POWERFUL!

I also work out most days of the week …Either doing an exercise video, doing my own workout at the gym, or going to a group class! (I always make sure to take at least one to two days of rest…which is just as important!) I also love to take walks, but Michigan isn’t exactly the ideal ‘outdoor’ workout weather these days! :)

After working out, I get ready and have breakfast, (while watching Andrew Wommack or Joyce Meyer on TV…Again such an encouraging way to start the day!) For breakfast I have to say, there is nothing better than a Dashing Dish Protein Shake in my opinion! I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of them! :)

(Please note…I DID NOT post ALL of the food I ate in one day…Please do not use this as a guide of how much/little to eat in one day! I just wanted to share a few pics of some of my favorite meals!)

I then get to work on my post for the day! If I know I’m having a super busy day, I try to do this the night before, as it takes about 30-60 minutes to edit everything, figure out the nutritional values, and plug everything in.

Then, once the post for the day is up, I get to work in the kitchen! I either start a recipe from scratch, and type it out as I go, or re-do a recipe that I may have made the day before that isn’t quite perfected yet. I try to do two recipes at a time, but there have been times where I have done 4-5 in one day…and phew..those are busy days to say the least! :)

Because I post around 10-12 membership recipes a month, and 4-8 free a month, I try to develop at least 5-6 recipes a week, or more if I am developing recipes for a company.

And of course I always have my little ‘helpers’ in the kitchen! :)

After getting everything in the oven, I generally take a moment to eat lunch! Lunch is generally something quick and easy, such as soup, a wrap sandwich, or salad with a side such as fruit, veggies, or almonds…Or leftovers!

After lunch, I typically start to set up the recipes I’ve created for that day to be photographed! This is the fun part for me, but also a lot of work, as I generally go through lots of different ‘set ups’ trying to get it just right! (Can you tell this was a Christmas set-up!?) :)

After getting the set-up the way I want it, I generally have my husband come take the pictures, or if he’s really busy, I will take them myself and get his final approval! ;) I have learned a lot when it comes to taking the pictures, but I have to say, he is much quicker at getting the picture ‘just right’ than I am! :) I think it’s the designer in him!

And then to tackle the huge mess I always make! :)

And let’s not even talk about the dishes I go through! :) Let’s just say I generally do 2 full loads a day. I try to listen to worship while doing them to keep my joy flowing through them! ;)

After cleaning I generally sit and have a much needed snack!

I then sit down at my desk next to this amazing man! (He is a freelance graphic designer, so he keeps very busy at his computer all day every day!)

Our desks are side by side…Which helps, as we can discuss future Dashing Dish workings if we have time that day!

The first thing I do when I sit at my desk is answer e-mails for the day, which is honestly one of my greatest joys! I consider it the greatest part of my ministry, and it is such a blessing to be in contact with so many amazing women each day! I generally spend about 1-2 hours a day on emails, then I start to work on health coaching materials, writing them up for each individual. Once that is completed, I start to revise, edit and clean up the recipes I jot down while doing recipe prep.

Some days I also do different things such as conference calls, speaking engagements, or teach classes! I love this part of my ‘job’ as I get to meet so many amazing people, (and hopefully teach them how fun & easy healthy living can be!)

And then before I know it…It’s dinner time! Isn’t it funny how quickly some days go by!?! I generally make one of the dinners off of my site or eat one of the recipes I made that day! {Oh, and in case your wondering what I do with all of those recipes I create…I end up giving a lot of food away to my family and friends! It is a bit much for just my husband and I sometimes!} :)

Because my husband and I work from home, many people may imagine that we spend ‘so’ much time together, but we quickly learned that just because we are home together, it doesn’t mean in any way that we actually spend time with each other…So, we have learned that we need to set a ‘cut off’ time where we make time for each other. We aren’t perfect at this, and at times we have more work than others, but I truly do feel that it is important to keep everything in balance, so we always try to make time to do something together. Sometimes this is attending a small group, doing a devotional together (love and respect has the most amazing couples devotional), or just watch a movie!

Like I said, each day is different, for example I always have daily household chores to keep up with, and some days I work with like minded-ministries, and every Tuesday night I have a girls bible study which is AMAZING…But this is what a typical day/night would look like! Reguardless of the day though, I feel BLESSED and excited to be a part of what God is doing through DD! I look forward to each and every day, and am beyond thankful for the ways that God is using DD to impact women’s lives and set them free!

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Daily Dish~ Happy Holidays!

January 7th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! I personally made it a point to spend much needed time with family! I thought I’d share some of my favorite moments with all of you!

We kicked off the Christmas season doing one of my favorite things…Making Christmas cookies! We gathered in my mom’s kitchen and made Dashing Dish Skinny Sugar Cookies!

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The Daily Dish ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

November 29th, 2012 - Daily Dish

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I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday! I personally spent a lot of time with my family which is always my favorite thing in the world! We started off the holiday festivities by decorating for Christmas, which began by decorating my mom and dad’s 14 foot tree! :)

Then my sisters, mom and I  got in the kitchen and started preparing the food while the guys watched the football game!

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The Daily Dish ~ I Love Fall!

October 30th, 2012 - Daily Dish

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Hey everyone! I pray you are all doing well and enjoying the fall season so far!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the fall! Michigan is just beautiful this time of year, with the trees all shades of reds, yellows, and orange! It is also a very busy time of year for me, as there are so many family birthdays and celebrations! But, it’s certainly a good kind of busy as these… I’m convinced, are the highlights of life! :)

Here we are celebrating my sister’s new fiance’s birthday, (yes she just got engaged…more on that in a minute!) We went to one of our all time favorite places, Mongolian BBQ~ So fun and yummy!

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The Daily Dish~ Moving Time & A BIG Announcement!

August 9th, 2012 - Announcements, Daily Dish

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Hey everyone! I pray everyone is having a blessed week so far! I am finally feeling ‘settled’ in after our big move, so I thought I’d share some of the photos of our rental home, and tell you the crazy story behind this move!

I also want to share an awesome opportunity that God brought my way… So, here we go!

Here is a picture of our one bedroom apartment that we have lived in for the past three years! It was hard to say goodbye, as it was our very first place as a married couple, but I knew it would be so nice to have more space! (It was getting to the point where I was running out of places to ‘hide’ things. I even had food stored in my laundry room!)

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