I can’t believe there are only 10 days until Christmas!!! Which means the Christmas parties, special events, and holiday gatherings are in full gear! I know personally this month has been extremely busy for me so far…I’ve stood up in my friends beautiful winter wedding, decorated for Christmas, and made Christmas cookies with my family…and that’s only the beginning of the many Christmas traditions that are to come!
No matter what holiday traditions and/or events you may be partaking in this season, i’m sure two things apply to just about everyone~ one- it’s an extremly busy time of year, and two- there’s food and treats every where you look! When you combine these two things, it’s no wonder why the holidays generally come with the wonderful gift of weight gain!
As common as this may be however, this does not have to be the case with you! I have found that I always enjoy the holiday season, without gaining weight, all by making a simple list~ and checking it twice! It really just takes a little extra ‘planning’ to keep my body fit this time of year~ all while enjoying some of my favorite holiday traditions and treats!
It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving has already came and went! I think this is the first year that I have had to work the day before Thanksgiving, which means my sister had to take over most of the food prep! I was very sad to miss the day-before cooking (haha- some would think this is crazy I know), but I made a detailed list for my sister to follow, and I was so proud to see that she pulled more than 1/2 the menu off by herself! :)
Our menu included my spinach-artichoke dip for the appetizer, which helped stave off the hungry (men) while we worked to warm up everything, along with prepping the turkey! Our main meal included sweet potato pie (recipe to come), corn casserole, apple sausage stuffing, my moms mashed potatoes, and my mashed cauliflower recipe, oh and of course- TURKEY! For dessert I made my pumpkin pie with gingersnap crust into a pumpkin-cheesecake with gingersnap crust!
One question I get asked a lot is… How do you get ‘back on track’ after you indulge’ for special occasions, holidays, parties, etc….(Or should I say over-indulge, because let’s face it…It happens to the best of us!) ;)
Well, it’s simple really…I eat the same that I normally do all day long, (I might cut out a few ‘extra’ little treats that I would typically have throughout an average day)….And I eat the same as I normally do the following day!
You see, ‘living healthy’ is truly a way of life, which means day in-day out, you balance eating healthy, exercising, and of course rest! (Which is why you want to find exercise you enjoy (read more about that here) and find ways to turn the foods you love into healthy dishes…I hope I can help with that!) :)
“Lifestyle” also means that you will have moments in life where you won’t have access to healthy options, and/or you don’t want to eat healthy…and thats OK!!! Life isn’t perfect, and a ‘healthy lifestyle’ isn’t about perfection! The most important thing is that you start fresh again the each and every day, (yes..even after over-indulging), and continue on in the journey of health for life!
This week was jam-packed full of amazing news-and-events!!! It started off with an interview, (yes interview)…Even though I JUST started a job about 5 months ago, I got offered an interview for the most amazing nursing job that I simply couldn’t turn down! The interview was for a Labor and Delivery RN position… Which (in my opinion) is such an amazing field of nursing because you literally get to experience a miracle every day at work!
A few days later I was offered (and accepted) the job, which was followed by me quitting my current job, which was tough because I know the staff invested a lot into me, and now i’m leaving! Not to mention I love all of the staff at my current job! However, they totally understood that it was an amazing opportunity being offered to me, so they were all excited for me, which is always a great way to leave a job if you have too!
This Friday was super busy as well as I orchestrated and prepped the menu for my friends bridal shower (who’s wedding I will be standing up in on December 11th!) We did a soup/salad/pie theme with hot cider in-a-jar for favors…And I must say everything turned out AMAZING!!!
Yesterday (Saturday) was my friends Bridal Shower at 1pm, so I started the day off with an early BodyPump workout came home to have a quick shake for breakfast!
This picture was actually sent to me by a reader, Laura Wendling, who is an AMAZING photographer, who happened to make my Pumpkin Pie Milkshake, and snapped a georgeous photo, and sent it on over to me! I thought i’d share her lovely talent with you all! To see more of her work head on over to her site here:
http://www.lwphotographics.com/ Thanks Laura!!! It looks like the shake turned out delicious!
This past weekend was filled with some of my favorite Fall Festivities! My friends and I carved pumpkins, I created a pumpkin loaf/muffin recipe (coming this week), celebrated my mom’s birthday…And went to the apple orchard!
I also went to my sisters classroom (3rd graders are so great) and brought along some ‘candy corn’ cupcakes! (I got the idea here). They were so easy to make and they turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself! ;)
I simply used a box cake mix..and split the batter between 3 bowls, and used food coloring to make the and yellow/orange layers!
I am LOVING the fall season so far! The leaves are changing, and it’s time for a few of my favorite things to come back into my life… pumpkin, warm blankets, and cozy sweats!
I’ve been going a little crazy with the pumpkin this week, (it was out of stock for so long at the grocery store that I bought like 6 cans when I saw it back on the shelves~haha) and have made many of my favorite fall recipes!
Anyways, I thought I would share some of my recent pumpkin dishes, along with my fall decorations I just put up in my condo! I love decorating for the different seasons, and Pottery Barn is one of my favorite stores to buy some cute little accessories, (I would get all of my decorations from there, if I weren’t so practical!)
What a wonderful week! I have been feeling SO hungry for the things of God lately, and it’s funny, because the more I seek after Him, the more hungry I get! You see, this is the awesome thing about God; The more I spend time with Him the more ‘full’ of Him I get…Yet at the same time, the more time I spend with Him, the more ‘hungry’ I am for Him! Does that make sense!?! Haha! :) It’s awesome though, and I know from experience that He is the only thing that fills!!!
One thing that I have learned as some tough circumstances have come a’knocking at my door this week is that peace doesnt reside in circumstances, it only resides in the heart. When you know god personally, you live more confidently, regardless of situations and circumstances. And when you have Christ in you, and the Armor of God on you, you have an UNBEATABLE combination that will overcome anything and everything in this world!
That’s why God said, in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” You see, God never said we wouldn’t have troubles, in fact, He said we WOULD have trouble, but He also told us to take heart, or HAVE PEACE, because with and through Him, we will overcome the circumstances of this world, because He has already made a way for us to do that! :)
Now on to the Daily Dish!
For breakfast I used a new flavor Designer Whey came out with (or new to me anyways!) It was still an all-natural flavor, but had a hint of almond! I paired it with maple extract and it was AMAZING! A Maple Almond Protein Shake was just what was in order for the beginning of the fall season!
I can’t believe it’s already September!!! It’s back to school time, which means football, and the Fall Season!!! I am looking forward to Fall…The pumpkin carving, the yummy pumpkin baked goods, the pretty leaves changing colors, and the cider mill just to name a few…However, I will SOOOO BADLY miss the summer as well!
As a final farewell to summer, my family and I went to a huge amusement park, Cedar Point during one of the last warm days of the season! We also had one last summer BBQ on Labor Day…And boy was it delicious! We enjoyed all the usual BBQ faves, and played Cranium, a fun ‘family’ game afterward! It was a wonderful day of rest and relaxation…Just as Labor Day was intended to be! :)
Sean, my brother law Phil, and my sisters and I had a blast at Cedar Point! Here Sean and I were standing in a LONG line on a HOT day…which is not a fun combo, but it was worth it in the end to ride the fun rides! :)
Well…This week was what I like to call “Back to Real Life Week” …You know what i’m talking about, that week back to work after a vacation, where it’s hard to concentrate, and ‘get down to business’ because all you want to do is go back to laying out by the pool and hanging out on the beach!?! ;) However, my husband and I had a chance to give each other our one year anniversary gifts this week, which brought a little ‘excitement’ and something to look forward to!
I wanted to surprise my husband with his gift, which was a I-Mac desktop computer, (he has always wanted one to do his graphic design work on!) So I told him I would be gone for a while grocery shopping…while all the while I was picking up his computer! I went and grabbed a few groceries, so I would have something to bring in..and send him (like I usally do) to retrieve the rest of the groceries in my car!
When he walked out to the car, he certainly didn’t found much more than groceries,when he saw his new computer sitting in my back seat! I then ran out to watch his reaction and scream ‘Happy One Year Babe!’ It was awesome, and I pulled it off without a hitch which was a relief…(because let’s just say I rarely pull off surprises!)
Little did I know that Sean had his own ‘tricks’ up his sleeve, and as I was about to get a huge surprise of my own! Moments later, as I was putting the groceries away, I turned to see Sean walking in the kitchen with a box that was beautifully wrapped by Williams and Sonoma! I lit-up inside as I opened the box, and saw something that I have always wanted, but always seemed to be just out of reach…A VitaMix Blender!!! And let me tell you..This is a true gift from God! He is so awesome, and He cares about even the simple ‘desires’ of our hearts! He is SO good when you delight yourself in HIM! :)
For my one year anniversary, my husband Sean took me to Ft.Lauderdale, Florida! It was such an amazing trip and very relaxing! We purposely spent most of the days laying out, eating out, and simply do a whole lot of ‘nothing’ except for spending time together! Our hotel was right on the beach, which was perfect for the sunny and beautiful days we were blessed with.
My ‘eats’ were definitely different considering we stayed in a hotel room. There was no fridge or means of cooking food, but I managed to find something relatively healthy, yet tasty, just about everywhere we went!