Saturday, June 16, 2012

Smoothie Queen

Lately I been absolutely obsessed with smoothies. I have been purchasing lots and lots of frozen fruit and experimenting with different combinations of flavors. They hit the spot every time! My very favorite is mango chunks. They make it into the smoothie mix every single time! So delicious!

I've also used frozen peaches and frozen pineapples and have absolutely loved those as well. I woke up starving this morning but had no idea what I wanted. After mulling around the kitchen for a bit I had the fabulous revelation of a smoothie. Into the mix went: 

- 1 cup almond milk
- 5 ice cubes
- 1 Chobani Passion Fruit 
- a pinch of chia seeds 
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks 

This one was definitely one of my favorites! And yes, I eat my smoothies out of a bowl with a spoon. It makes them last longer for me. If I drink mine, they are gone in about 5 seconds and I am left feeling ridiculously full and sad that it is already gone. 

I'm kind of panicking right now because we leave this weekend for vacation and have agreed not to buy groceries. Well, I'm out of my smoothie  makings and am really gonna miss them this week. Drink or eat some smoothies for me!! 

Do you have a favorite flavor of smoothie? Do you usually make your own smoothies or buy them?

I would MUCH rather make my own smoothies. I have a hard time paying $6-$8 for smoothies when I can make them at home for next to nothing. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Meals and Projects

It's been almost two weeks since I started this staying at home thing and I have had many mixed emotions, but I'm starting to get used to it and really enjoy my time off. I found a pretty good groove the first week, but had a hard time at the beginning of this week. I have a huge list of projects that I'd like to do around the house and really just want to get our lives more organized, but every time I thought about doing a project, I then thought that I should be doing something for teaching. After lots of prayers and emails/calls, I am feeling much much better. I actually had an interview Tuesday afternoon and yesterday morning and have one on Monday morning. I am super excited to have the ball rolling and feel like I can relax a little now. 

One rainy morning I accomplished two exciting things - first, I made a calendar for our kitchen out of a picture frame and then, I went on a 6 mile run! I'm still debating whether or not to decorate the outside of the frame, right now it is a pretty gray color, but love seeing it every time I walk into the kitchen. Project #1 down, about 100 more to go! The 6 mile run was also pretty exciting because it was my second one in less than a week and my knee didn't bother me at all. My knee has been really bothering me even when I'm not running or working out, so I've been trying to play it safe, but these runs really made me happy!! 

Another thing that I am truly loving is the meals! I love being able to cook dinner when we're home and actually take my time. I don't feel rushed and I actually want to be in the kitchen again. It wasn't my favorite thing after a long day at work, but I am loving it again. Even the breakfasts and lunches are fabulous! I love being home and making whatever I want! 

I meal plan on Sundays and have been including lots of new recipes on the agenda. The first recipe that I was excited about was stuffed peppers. The recipe I used was for turkey stuffed peppers, but we have a lot of venison (deer) in our freezer, so I made great use of that. I wasn't sure whether I actually liked peppers, I always remove them from wraps and salads, but I really liked these. I wouldn't say that peppers will be making an appearance in my typical diet, but these were delicious. The stuffing was amazing!! I actually ate it in a salad the next day for lunch. 

Probably my favorite recipe so far was this Crock Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken and the Black Bean Crema I made to go alongside it. Holy smokes - black bean crema will be making a big appearance in my diet from now on! It is absolutely amazing! Ben thought that this was one of the best meals that I have ever made. 

This last recipe was also deemed "a keeper" by Ben. Broccoli grape salad has been one of my favorite recipes for a long time and this one is just kicked up a notch. I still have some in my refrigerator that I have been picking away at all week for lunches. It is so so good with tons of flavor! I added craisins and sunflower seeds to this recipe that I used. 

One of my new all-time favorite breakfasts is waffles with Greek yogurt and berries. I am obsessed! This was my first time buying Vans waffles and I have to say I don't think that I am a fan. Is it weird that I really like my Eggo waffles way way better?! I always toast my waffles, layer the yogurt and berries and throw them in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds. I just like everything to be warm instead of warm waffles and cold yogurt. 

I am so enjoying trying many of the flavors of Chobani. I used to not buy it because it was more expensive than the regular yogurt, but I'm trying hard to add more protein in my diet and greek yogurt is a great way. I am absolutely loving Chobani! I'm still dying to try the new Orange Vanilla flavor, but haven't found it yet. Anyone know where I can find it? 

Apple Cinnamon is absolutey delicious! 
It sounds kind of silly, but I love not having to pack my lunches! They are 10X better now! I used to wait until the morning when I was typically running late to throw a lunch together, so they were inevitably a little lackluster. Being able to genuinely decide what I want to eat is so fabulous! One of my new favorites it a bagel with turkey, cheese, sprouts and chive and onion cream cheese. The cream cheese makes this sandwich! I was trying to think what would make a turkey sandwich better and thought about one of my favorites from Einsteins. They always use cream cheese and are to die for! 

I could seriously eat pickles all day long!

I'm looking forward to many more good meals and finishing lots and lots of projects! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Life Update

Things have changed for me over the past couple of weeks/months and I feel like it's time I let you in on it. I graduated from Baylor in May 2010 and ever since then have had in the back of my head that one day I would really like to coach and teach. My major was in Sports, Sponsorships and Sales and I had some great internships and jobs in the sports/sports marketing world and although I enjoyed it, I can't really say it's for me. I don't really consider myself a sales person. I leave that up to my husband who could sell glasses to a blind man...but seriously! I knew growing up that I would enjoy teaching and coaching, but I didn't want me be like everyone else (my 2 older sisters also went to Baylor and are teachers) and was too stubborn to admit it to myself.

I found it frustrating for a while that I didn't listen to what I felt like I was called to do, but instead of letting it get me down, I finally did something about it. I started my classes to get my 4-8 Generalist teaching certificate back in December. I finished those up in February and passed my test at the beginning of April. I could not have been more excited the day I got my test results back! I wasn't positive how I would go about leaving my job and pursuing teaching, but at the beginning of May, Ben and I made the decision that I would leave my job starting June 1st to actively pursue teaching. With my job, our crazy lives, our involvement in our church, etc., I didn't feel like I had enough time to do what I needed to do in order to job search, make contacts, etc.

This is my first week without a job and to be quite honest I am scared to death. I am definitely not a risk-taker, again I leave that up to my husband, and this is a huge risk for me. It is the first time I feel like I am really stepping out there and completely trusting the Lord in following his plan for my life. Generally, I have to be in control. I hate not having a plan or some sort of security, but I am taking this risk and yes, I am incredibly nervous, but I am also so excited to see where it takes me.

I would love your prayers in my search for a job. I am hoping to teach and coach middle school, but am also very open to any other opportunities that are out there. It is only my second day of staying at home and I am already anxious. I am definitely being taught to seek God in these times and am enjoying my time with him every morning and throughout the day. I will keep you updated and hopefully be posting here more often!

One thing I have to say is that I am so thankful for such a supportive husband. Ben always encourages me to follow my heart and has encouraged me since the moment I mentioned this to pursue it. I have found a lot of courage through him and feel very blessed and comforted by his trust and confidence not only in me, but in the Lord as well.