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Yep, those cupcakes were seriously good!

They were declared the winner of the cupcake wars (and you should have seen the other entries!). My husband was one of the judges and my daughter climbed right on his lap and tasted every single one. Mmmm…quite the way to end summer.

My summer was carefree and great. We cooked out, we ordered pizza on the beach and orange sherbet ice cream was declared ‘our favorite color ice cream!!‘ this year. Though I got my share of the healthy stuff in, I definitely let some other things slide into our diets this summer. You too? Continue reading

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Giveaway: Win a spot in Fulfill Your Summer e-course!

photo courtesy of Perched To Fly

I’m so excited to be hosting this contest on my blog this week. My friend Kelly over at Perched To Fly has created an amazing 3 week e-course called Fulfill Your Summer and I am beyond thrilled to be giving away a spot in her program! 

I really can relate to this program. Summer is a sacred time for me – a time that’s reserved for both relaxing and adventuring. But oh how it can so easily get eclipsed and filled with distractions and other unintentional plans. I love that Kelly has created a program that helps you claim summer for yourself!

I’m excited and grateful to have the chance to give away a spot in her program. To enter, just leave a comment below and tell me what you most wish for this summer. I’ll be choosing a winner on Friday, June 7th.

Does this happen to you? Summer arrives and you create all sorts of ambitious summer plans and lofty ideas about everything you want to do for yourself — things you want to get done around the house, exercise plans, cooking and baking ideas, maybe even something crafty. You have a pile of books you want to read. You want to learn to paint, or meditate, or write in your journal daily.

Then it is suddenly the end of August and you realize you’ve spent your summer running around like crazy, meeting the needs of your kids, and you stand there scratching your head shouting : WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SUMMER??

That’s why Kelly Dahl created the Fulfill Your Summer e-course to help you make sure that this doesn’t happen to you this year.

The Fulfill Your Summer e-course is a 3 week online experience to help you claim your summer for yourself.

Filled with journal prompts, reflections, activities, and videos Fulfill Your Summer will help you create a summer with room for your desires.

Summer is right around the corner. You deserve to create one that you will remember for years to come.

Remember, to enter, just leave a comment below on what you most wish for this summer. And, if you don’t win? The e-course is pay-what-you-can, which means there is room for every summer budget.

 

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Creating your reality: the art of visioning

“With you when your future is yet to be written”

When I was little, I taught myself how to ride a bike in my mind. I brought my new blue two-wheeler home I was determined to ride it, only I couldn’t. For hours, I practiced and I just couldn’t stay on that bike. I was frustrated and sad but also very, very determined. I went to sleep that night and I dreamed of riding that bike. I practiced in my head, over and over and felt what it would feel like to successfully ride it. Next morning, the first thing I did was run outside and jump on my bike. Just like in my dream, I got on that bike and I rode it without falling off.

Visioning. Imagineering. Manifesting. 

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Shedding layers, building strength

photo by pixelshoot

Have you ever found yourself trying so damn hard with nothing going the way you really want it to? I’m not sure there’s anything more frustrating. When something is in reach, it feels like the surest path forward is to push hard, to try harder and to wind yourself into a ball of stress while you’re doing it.

Frankly, that approach has always worked for me. When I encounter a problem, I usually push hard, even if that means depleting myself to do it.  I have this sense that when it’s accomplished, I’ll be able to finally breathe and allow myself to rest.

(That never happens, by the way.) Continue reading

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Jazz up your pasta night


I love pasta night at our house. It’s easy, delicious and it’s the rare night that everyone is pretty happy with what’s on the table.

Most of the time, I whip up a batch of my grandmother’s sauce. It was passed down to her when she got married and let’s just say this recipe is straight from Italy. It’s by far my favorite thing to eat in the world. If I add in a few straight-from-Italy meatballs, it’s the perfect night. But alas, I cannot share that recipe with you because you would love it and try to jar it and sell it and I would be cast away by my angry Italian aunts & uncles.

SO, instead I will share with you what I do when I haven’t made the effort to make a batch of sauce. Take last night for instance – I started cooking for two already very hungry kids at 5:00pm. I can’t seem to find a store-bought jarred sauce that thrills me so I created something else.

I’m not big into following dinner recipes to be honest mainly because I’m not usually that organized. On the average night, I much prefer some basic food combinations for a good dinner. Here’s what I found in my fridge to work with: Quinoa pasta, kale, sundried tomatoes & pine nuts. I ended up with a very tasty dish that I finished today for lunch. It makes pasta night a little healthier and a little more interesting.

For the purpose of posting it here, I’ll name it Quinoa Kale Pasta. Not very original at all!

  • 1 box Quinoa Pasta
  • 1 large fresh bunch of kale, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Tablespoon of olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed. In the meantime, saute kale & onion in olive oil until soft and wilted. Add in sundried tomatoes and pine nuts. Toss with cooked pasta and top with salt, pepper and parmesean cheese.

I think I would have added some garbanzo beans to this if I had any and I might have topped it with a few squeezes of fresh lemon. You can play with it until you find a combo that works for you!

 

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Real Food Breakfast – Day 5

Over at the Year of You – we’re doing a real food breakfast challenge! For 5 days, over 70 woman will be swapping out their traditional breakfast for healthier, whole food options. I’ll be blogging and logging my breakfasts along with everyone else. (Go back and read day 1day 2, day 3, day 4)

Sometimes the days flow together. Sometimes the weekends don’t feel any different than an ordinary Tuesday but even so, Friday will never lose it’s magic in my book! It still feels like a great big sigh of relief. We made it! Here we are. Now we can rest. So, TFIG and happy Friday to you!

Today, I wanted something warm and comforting like oatmeal but I have learned that oatmeal and I just aren’t friends. I find that about an hour after I eat it, I’m starving. Like the kind of hungry that you know isn’t real, but that type of hungry where you just reach for anything you can. So, I stay away from oatmeal. #Listentoyourbody That’s the theme of our Year of You month so I can hardly ignore how it affects me for the purpose of this breakfast experiement.

I’ll be using quinoa instead. I used the same batch of quinoa I made last weekend and I just can’t stress how much easier it makes my week when I take a half hour on Sunday and do a little prep work! This breakfast took me no longer than 5 minutes to make.

To make this feel more like oatmeal, I combined quinoa with whole milk, maple syrup and cinnamon into a pot and reheated it on the stove. Then, I topped it with bananas, blueberries, raspberries and almond slivers. You could top it with just about anything you want. I think it would be delicious in the summer with peaches!

If you ordered this at a fancy brunch place, you’d pay $12 for this. It looks that good!

Quinoa Oatmeal

  • Precooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup whole or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Almond slivers

Combine quinoa, milk, maple syrup and cinnamon in a pot. Cook until heated through (about 3 minutes if you’re using pre-cooked quinoa). Top with another sprinkle of cinnamon, bananas, blueberries, raspberries and almond slivers.

Enjoy!!!

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Real Food Breakfast – Day 4

Over at the Year of You – we’re doing a real food breakfast challenge! For 5 days, over 70 woman will be swapping out their traditional breakfast for healthier, whole food options. I’ll be blogging and logging my breakfasts along with everyone else. (Go back and read day 1day 2day 3)

I’m definitely a morning person. Even though I grumble when the alarm goes off, once I’m up, I’m always happy. In my ideal world, I’d have time to sit and drink coffee, catch up on some news and then eat breakfast when I’m ready. But I know you know… it never works that way.

What really happens is this: I hit snooze on my alarm and when I finally get up, Brooke is right behind me. She watches Curious George and I make breakfast and lunch on school days, pour some coffee and try to throw on a reasonable outfit if I have a few minutes to sneak upstairs. I usually spend at least 10 minutes trying to get everyone off the couch and to the kitchen. Trying to get the kids dressed is a whole other story!

Easiest possible breakfast? Think leftovers. This morning I pulled an already cooked baked sweet potato out and made a very quick hash that my husband was thrilled with. The key to making this fast is to use something that just needs a little reheating. Have leftover chicken? Make a breakfast quesadilla. Leftover veggies can go in an omelet or mixed into quinoa.

The point is, don’t be afraid to eat dinner for breakfast!

Sweet Potato Hash

  • 1 Precooked sweet potato, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 slices of bacon, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Sauté onion and bacon until crispy. Add sweet potato and salt & pepper to taste until heated through. Serve, enjoy.

I wish I caught the picture of Jaclyn eating this today – she was covered from head to toe, but had a huge grin on her face. Breakfast success!

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Real Food Breakfast – Day 3

Over at the Year of You – we’re doing a real food breakfast challenge! For 5 days, over 70 woman will be swapping out their traditional breakfast for healthier, whole food options. I’ll be blogging and logging my breakfasts along with everyone else. (Go back and read day 1, day 2)

I set the coffee maker last night to automatically brew and I was so excited to come downstairs and have my coffee already made for me. Instead, I was met with an empty pot. How frustrating! The kitchen fairies really need to do a better job than this…

We’ll be up and out the door early this morning so I needed something extra simple and quick. Luckily, on Sunday I prepared and cooked quinoa to have for the whole week. It only takes about 15 minutes to cook but it’s amazing the difference having it already done makes.

You may not have considered it, but quinoa makes a delicious breakfast. Sometimes I add some fruit and nuts to it, sometimes I add a scoop of quinoa to my scrambled eggs and then there are those days when I’ll add raisins, walnuts and a dash of maple syrup. MMM!

Today though, I kept it really simple and combined it with avocado and salsa.

Quinoa, Mexican breakfast style

  • Pre-cooked quinoa (to make this easier & faster in the morning)
  • Avocado slices
  • Salsa

Salsa tip – if you’re using jarred salsa, be sure to check out the ingredient label to make sure there’s no sugar added and that all ingredients are real foods. The ingredients should look something like this: tomato puree, tomatoes, onions, water, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, lime juice, seas salt, garlic, spices. Personally, I love Amy’s Organic Salsa!

 

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Real Food Breakfast – Day 2

Over at the Year of You – we’re doing a real food breakfast challenge! For 5 days, over 70 woman will be swapping out their traditional breakfast for healthier, whole food options. I’ll be blogging and logging my breakfasts along with everyone else. Check out day 1.

I was up nice and early this morning. I’m trying to establish a new habit and get up each day before my kids. Lately everyone has been sleeping in and the temptation is to sleep in with them. But I’m really craving a little time for myself in the morning before I’m on mom duty so I’m forcing myself out of bed each morning. I have high hopes for getting in a quick workout in the morning, but so far, I’ve just managed to make some coffee and catch a few minutes of the morning news. Either way, it’s nice to be up!

Today’s breakfast – veggie and egg scramble. It’s one of my favorites. It feels like a full and substantial option, plus it’s super easy. Even if you’re running out the door in the mornings, this hardly takes longer than throwing in a piece of toast. If you have a bit more time, you could easily turn this into an omelet, but I find the scramble so much easier and less fussy.

They key is doing a little prep work to save yourself time in the morning. Last night for dinner, I chopped extra onions and swiss chard, knowing I’d use them this morning. You could use any veggie you have on hand or are using at other points during the week. Chop a little extra and throw it in the refrigerator, then you always have a quick option for breakfast (or lunch) ready to go.

Veggie Egg Scramble

  • 2 organic eggs
  • handful of chopped swiss chard (or any vegetable you have)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • dash of dill
  • dash of salt

Start with a little coconut oil in a saute pan and add in the onions and swiss chard. Meanwhile, beat two eggs with your fork and add them to the pan when the onions appear translucent. Scramble together and top with red pepper flakes, dill and salt to taste.

And there you go – a warm and hearty breakfast ready before your coffee even finishes brewing. Enjoy!

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Real Food Breakfast – Day 1

 

Over at the Year of You – we’re doing a real food breakfast challenge! For 5 days, over 70 woman will be swapping out their traditional breakfast for healthier, whole food options. I’ll be blogging and logging my breakfasts along with everyone else. 

I was the english muffin and peanut butter queen for years. And I’m not talking about the REAL peanut butter, I’m talking loaded-with-sugar-Skippy or even-more-loaded-with- sugar-low-fat-peanut butter.

At the time, I thought I was being very healthy. After all, I read food labels and grabbed foods that were advertised as ‘low-fat’ or ‘a good source of protein’ and I was using sweet & low or non-dairy creamer instead of sugar in my medium, artificially-flavored french vanilla iced coffee. Mmmm.

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