Monday, April 30, 2012

It's a challenge

I am still going strong on my 30 day clean eating plan.
It is around day 22 and I feel great but still can't stop thinking about big bowls of pasta and chinese food in my pajamas. 
I must say one of the hardest things for me in this challenge has been drinking no diet coke from Sunday-Thursday.
Only two days a week is a big challenge for me.  
I have been drinking a lot more water but also trying to get creative with some other things to break up the boring amounts of water.

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a long time, it is my breakfast about 2 times a week and I love it. Don't be afraid to try me.

Say hello the the Green Monster.
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup 0% Fage greek yogurt
1 cup of almond milk
handful of frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon flax seed
4 cups of spinach, sometimes I even add more.
Blend and enjoy!

I have also been enjoying:

I also enjoy my cup of coffee in the morning, that is what gets me out of bed on these early mornings.

I am sticking with my diet coke challenge till school gets out.  Four more weeks!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I love making banners. 
They are so fun to change out each month and make for themed parties and showers and so much more!
Someone I work with asked me to make her an anniversary banner that would go along with Spring decorations. 
Here is what I came up with:

Please ignore my neglected mantle right now. It is a work in progress.  I took down Easter stuff and have been busy working on other projects.

The fabric flowers were a package from JoAnn.  I bought all they had and wish I had more!

Burlap heart sewn onto paper.

I hope everyone has a great week. 
 I have 19 1/2 days left with my current second graders. 
Summer is SO close. 
I think I can, I think I can....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

He's here!

Remember the bird themed baby shower I threw last month? 
 That sweet little boy arrived last night at 4:55pm.
I was on pins and needles all day waiting for him to arrive. I wanted to know that mom was doing okay and could not stop thinking about the sweet family.
I was a weepy mess when I finally got to meet him. It was so special to meet him and hug sweet mom and dad.  He is perfect. 7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches long.
It's amazing what seeing a newborn baby can do to you.
He is precious and so beautiful.

Thankfully mom caught a picture once I had composed myself!
I could have held and swayed that little bundle for ever. 

Baby Asher

I teach with the mom and wanted to send her off from her last day at school with a little something to take to the hospital. I saw this adorable printable on Pinterest and headed to Target to go shopping!

I wanted to pack the bag full of things they could use while waiting around and spending time in the hospital. The dad-to-be loves Pringles so that was an essential. Nuts, chocolate, candy, gum, mints, cards, a journal, hair things, and face wipes. Oh, and a Parents magazine to get them started!

 These were the two things I left off from the baby shower posts.
Everyone at the shower filled out a card full of wishes for the baby.

 This was the game we played. Simple and not awkward for the mom-to-be.
It was a matching game that involved candy!

I made both of these on my cricut and it was so fun to personalize with her shower colors. 
It was also really fun to read everyones baby wishes after the shower, so much love for the mom and baby.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Today I was able to cross something off my bucket list...
I ran my first 10K!

I'm not sure why we didn't have someone take a picture of us before the race. We were spent, well I can only speak for myself...I had never been so happy to stop and drink a bottle of water in my life.

I am a new runner and always run on my treadmill so I was majorly a bit nervous about this race. I honestly wasn't sure I could do it! I ran it with two very sweet and encouraging friends and we ran together and talked the whole way.  It was a fun race that ran along the Chattahoochee river. 

I had a few goals for the race:
(yes these were my serious goals)

Survive the race
Don't get picked up off the ground by a medic
Finish in under an hour
Don't throw up!

Everything went well and I met all my goals! It is such a wonderful feeling to accomplish something that is a challenge and know you can do it. My new goal is to run a half marathon.  I have decided on the princess marathon in Disney.  

As much as I dread running and training I am so thankful I have found a hobby that is beneficial in so many ways.  There is nothing like a long run to clear your head.

*I did stray from my healthy eating plan the night before the race.  I enjoyed an amazing bowl of fresh pasta from Figo to get my carbs!

Tomorrow I am going to try a new recipe for healthy breakfast cookies, recipe to follow...

Monday, April 16, 2012

New recipe!

Last weekend was my first weekend on my new clean eating plan.
Normally on the weekends I go out or cook a fun new meal but this weekend I had to be extra careful.
While I wanted to shop for cheez-its, pasta, chips, and ingredients to bake I had to resist and stick to the fresh foods.
I knew I wanted to make a treat this weekend that would follow my new eating plan.
I came across these Sweet Potato Muffins on Pinterest and knew I had to give them a go!
I'm SO glad I did. 
If you notice in the pictures below I ate a muffin fresh out of the oven before I could even snap a picture.
I have now eaten most some of them after they cooled and they are still delicious, in my opinion.
Trust me- I am really picky and do not like treats that taste like the Earth, these do not.  They taste like a real muffin. The only thing I added to the recipe was orange zest. I topped each muffin with some orange zest just before baking. So glad I did!

*The muffins do have whole wheat flour and a small amount of brown sugar.  I am trying to stay away from those two ingredients but I also realized that I am not trying to lose weight or starve myself.  I wanted to challenge myself to trying new things and use self-control. 

After baking the muffins I had a relaxing Sunday at home.
I worked on some school stuff, organized my craft room, and took a nap with these pups.

They are really starting to love each other, finally.

1½ cupsWhole Wheat Pastry Flour
½ cupBrown Sugar
¼ cupFinely Ground Flax Seed
1 TbspPumpkin Pie Spice
½ tspSalt
½ tspBaking Soda
2Beaten Eggs
1 cupCooked Sweet Potatoes (I cooked them the night before and left them in the fridge)
½ cupDried Cranberries
¼ cupNonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
¼ cupSkim Milk
¼ cupUnsweetened Applesauce
¼ cupUnsweetened Coconut

In a mixing bowl, mix first 6 ingredients. In another bowl combine eggs, sweet potatoes, cranberries, yogurt, milk, applesauce and coconut; add to dry and stir gently just until the mixture is combined. Spoon the batter into a muffin pan spread with nonstick spray or a nonstick muffin tin. Sprinkle with some additional unsweetened coconut on top of the muffins. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until done.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A fresh start!

 I am one of those people that loves to eat.
I think about all three meals for the next day while I am laying in bed at night.
I love to cook big meals for people and plan a party around a food theme.
Lately I realized that I have been a bit out of control with my eating.
On Easter I decided to challenge myself to a new clean eating plan.
I set some goals for myself and am really excited about it!
Here is my plan:
1. No dessert for 30 days
2. Diet Coke only on Friday and Saturday until the end of the school year
3. No processed food for 30 days
4. No pasta for 30 days
5. Drinking a bottle of water before I drink any coffee (this is hard for me!)
6. I am keeping a food journal

Some of this is hard for me because I don't eat meat and I wish I could eat carbs at every meal. I am trying to be smart about the carbs that I do eat, making sure they are full of fiber and protein.

The husband and I try to eat really healthy. He doesn't eat any carbs or sugar.
I have been trying to cook some new meals for dinner that work with our eating plan.
This week I tried two new recipes for dinner.

Barley with brussel sprouts, onion, garlic, butternut squash, and pine nuts.
This was created because I wanted to use up the ingredients in my house!

It turned out pretty good! I did add a dash of soy sauce for some flavor.
I cooked the barley in half water and half stock to add some additional flavor.

Last night I made a salad with ingredients in my fridge.
Spinach, fresh pear, strawberries, gorgonzola cheese, hard boiled egg, dried cranberries, and pepita seeds.
It was so good!

I am now cooking some steel cut oats and getting ready to finish painting my porch furniture that I started last week.
I am also enjoying a latte made with coffee grounds that we got in Costa Rica, wish I was there now....

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Well, Spring Break is over....
Today was the first day back at school. My kids were all tan, tired, and full of vacation stories for me.
I let my kids share about their trips; many went to Atlantis, New York, Disney...I shared with mine that I had a "staycation" and they all looked at me like I was crazy.
I sure was missing my staycation this morning when I had to wake up before the sun and get to work!

This Easter I wanted to put together a little treat for my loved ones.
You are never too old for an Easter treat, although I must say the Easter Bunny missed my house this year.
Who doesn't love nail polish?
I chose some fun colors for the girls and put them in a cute little package for an Easter treat.

I just filled a clear treat bag with krinkle paper, put a nail polish in the egg and taped the egg to the bag.
The toppers were made out of cardstock, paper tape, and bunny stickers.

 I had a lovely Easter day with my family at my parent's house.
We had my dads side of the family over for lunch and softball at the park, I did not participate in the sports section of the day.

 I brought my two favorite appetizers at the moment.
Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites- a wonderful Christmas app, not so festive for Easter Sunday.
Pear Pancetta Bites

Dad was the grill master and dog entertainer.
We had my parent's cat, my brother's dog, and my two dogs all in the house!

Milo loved the sun!

It was a special day with my family.  I am so thankful for a wonderful family and the opportunity to celebrate our love for Christ together.

I hope everyone had a great Easter!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Welcome Spring!

I love this time of year.
I can finally see signs of spring in my yard.
We have had two minor snake scares this month so I have been a bit weary of working in my yard.
I plan to plant my usual sunflowers this year and maybe add some other pops of color in my yard.

 These just started blooming this week....



lambs ear


My porch furniture, a work in progress....

I found these felted eggs at Target this year, I think I bought all the bags they had in the store!

I love moss.

Happy Spring!