Friday, March 8, 2013

High Five for Friday... and Spring Break!

Not only is it Friday, but it's the start of my spring break!!!... as soon as I can get my online quiz out of the way...

Since I've started my New Morning Routine, the week has been pretty great, plus a little furry kiddo lovin' and spending time with my "Little Sis D" that I mentor!

1. Bowling (her AND my favorite!) with my "Little Sis D"
I picked up my Little Sis D from school on Monday (that was a HUGE deal too, she LOVED being able to tell her friends she was a "car rider" that day and didn't have to take the bus (oh the days of riding the school bus, can't blame her for being excited...)

Then we headed over to the bowling alley for an afternoon special of an hour of unlimited bowling, some snacks and a tokens for her to play in the arcade and she had a BLAST.  Her smile lights up the entire building, and I just love being able to spend time with her and realizing, even if in miniscule ways, that I'm helping encourage and mentor the life and future of a beautiful and bright 10 year old girl :)
When she was on, she was really on, but after an hour, both of our arms were sore!

Blast from the past picture... Felt like I was 10 years old since this has been my favorite sport since before I can remember!
   Find out how to be a Big Brother, Sis or even Big Couple in your area and change the life of a child (and your own!) 

2. My two favorite men spending some quality cuddle time together... Makes my  heart smile!
Our only boy... he needs some "guy" time with his Papa!
  ... and did I mention he's just so stinkin' cute.....
Good morning mom, I got a little chilly...

 3. We had a mini-winter wonderland come through on Tuesday, so my husband and I made made the best of it while the snow lasts 
.... but yes we are very ready to welcome some spring weather!
Sweet potato corn cakes with a garlic dipping sauce thanks to the AMAZING Budget Bytes blog and a side of green beans next to the warm fire :) Heavenly!
4. My Biostastics class and I have actually started to become sort of friends lately... Very weird...

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Morning Routine

Loving my new morning routine... It really has made a world of difference in so many ways. 

I've spent the past 2 weeks really looking into different ways to help minimize my stress level, better prioritize my time, get my sleep patterns on track and get cookin' again since I LOVE it and get some very needed exercise back into my routine....

For a long time, I always thought of exercise as needing to block of a good hour, get ready, go to the gym, spend X amount of time on cardio before doing so many reps of lifting weights that when my schedule became what it is now... Exercise has been pushed so far back on my list of things to do in the little spare time I have that I forget that I even used to exercise... (Pitiful, I know)....

After some research and fantastic resources, I come across a morning routine through the lovely world of Pinterest (duh!) that has brought me to several blogs with exercise tips, health tips and stress management with deep breathing and meditation and I have noticed an immense difference.  

My (Weekend) Morning Routine:
I'm trying to cut back on coffee and stick to de-caffinated green tea for mornings, but I've found that a replacing my mug of coffee with warm water with a good amount of lemon juice is a perfect start to my day.  It's refreshing, it has loads of health benefits from helping boost your immune system, aiding in digesting, flushing vital organs (liver and kidney) of toxins, hydrates, helps aiding in weight loss and even more. 

I usually have a cup either before or with a light breakfast since it's unusually filling in itself!  Since my digestive system is horribly slow, I also add some benefiber to make sure I'm getting enough fiber everyday. 

After a cup of lemon water and something in my stomach, whether oatmeal, cereal, yogurt with some toast, etc., I found a wonderful short and sweet workout routine to try and get as much as I can (physically and time wise) done before I need to get ready or start working from home thanks to A La Corinne's blog.  
  • 25 push-ups
  • 30 crunches
  • 50 second wall sit
  • 10 tricep dips
  • 45 second plank
  • 30 lungs on each leg
  • 15 squats
If I can manage to get through all of this and have extra time, I try to see how much of a second time around I can do (I'm constantly sore, but it's an oddly nice reminder of my productivity in this new routine!)

Last on my list is trying to make it to yoga class on Monday nights (or more if I can swing it) at a nearby fitness center that I really love and have incredible prices and wonderful classes..... Very excited about this new phase and adventure of my life staying healthy and happy!

I found this through Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life and it's what I make sure to follow and remind myself of each and every day.  I hope it helps bring you some peace in a world that become so hectic so quickly...
Do you prefer low key weekends or busy weekends spent with friends/errands/things you didn't get done during the week?

I usually prefer low key weekends so they don't slip by too quickly, but when the weather's right, I love some good outdoor time with Alex and our pups (and it doesn't hurt to get s-o-m-e things done before the next week rolls around)....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Sunday night, rummaging through our pantry, fridge and freezer....

I have various reasons for becoming and staying a vegetarian, but I can't say I don't crave some of my old, favorite meat-eating foods: steak, BLT's, hamburgers, BBQ ribs, chili cheese dogs or just hot dogs in general, meatloaf, pot roast, Thanksgiving turkey and.....

Sloppy joes!

In our sparse freezer, Alex found we had a few too many packages of "beef" grounds that is a perfect substitute for ground beef (except that it can't form into a hamburger patty, but serves many other delicious meaty, savory, flavorful dishes), and we (mostly Alex) which is why this is sans pictures (except an oldie) whipped up some homemade sloppy joe sauce (TOTALLY KEY!), mixed with meatless beef grounds for a perfect Sunday night comfort food dinner!

The best part of being a vegetarian is that 90% of my favorite foods have fantastic substitutes that had me fooled even before I became a vegetarian! 

I still remember my brother-in-law who has been a LONG TIME vegetarian coming home with veggie hot dogs and thinking to myself... WHAT IN THE WORLD?! so I dared myself to try a bite and was like.... HOLY GUACAMOLE, that is so insanely good....

Which then when I became a vegetarian, prepared veggie style "Pigs in a Blanket" to which were devoured to the point I had to save my mother-in-law, also a vegetarian, a couple.... and once the bowl was completely empty and various people shouting, WHO BROUGHT THESE?!... decided to tell everyone they very veggie "hot dogs" (which some people were, to my surprise, very upset about it)... but it just shows, even you non-vegetarians can be fooled!

Anyhow... here's another one to try a veggie version of a classic!

Slightly Adapted from Rachel Ray Sloppy Joe's
Serves 2-3

   In the line up folks:
1 package Quorn beef grounds 
(found in the freezer section of most grocery stores; Kroger, Publix, etc.) 
Extra virgin olive oil 
1 small onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14-ounce can) tomato sauce
1 Tabelspoon low sodium soy sauce or meatless Worcestershire
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  Several dashes of steak seasoning
3 Tablespoons brown sugar

Coach's Orders:
1. In a medium/large, non-stick pan, sautee diced onion and red pepper in heated olive oil over medium heat until tender.  Defrost beef crumbles in the microwave and add to the peppers and onions with the steak seasoning and brown sugar to brown for a couple minutes.  Add soy sauce or Worcestershire and red wine vinegar and let cook or "marinate" for a minute or two. 

2. Lastly, add tomato sauce to cover ingredients and tomato paste to thicken the sauce.  Make sure to stir consistently until sauce thickens to your liking.  If you like the sauce less thick, don't add as much tomato paste.  If you like extra thick sauce, add an extra Tablespoon of tomato paste (it's your preference!).

Poor photo quality taken a year ago when I first thought of this!
We personally like ours on an un-toasted whole wheat bun with a veggie side of some kind.. in this case some carrots and dinner is serve quickly and boy did it not only satisfy our bellies on Sunday, but even better for leftovers during our Monday lunch hours.  YUMM!

Quick, easy, healthy and even non-vegetarian's go back for seconds (.... even my step dad gave these a go!)

If you're looking for a meatless option for dinner one day of the week, give this a try and it won't even feel like a "Meatless Monday".... or whatever day of the week it is! 


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