Hey friends! Happy Friday to YOU! I hope you’re checking in today after a great week. It was a relatively normal week around here as we got back into the groove after our short vacation last weekend.
Chase started soccer on Monday (it’s not a real league or anything but just a way to introduce young kids to soccer) and he was all about it! Ryan and Chase play soccer in our kitchen and yard ALL the time, so Chase was beyond pumped to be able to put his skills to the test and actually kick a ball into a real goal. It was adorable and his enthusiasm for soccer was the best part!
As for the weekend ahead, we’ll be kicking off the fun with a birthday party today and then the rest of the weekend is up in the air. I’m hoping for fun activities during the day and early bed times at night. (<– This is motherhood, my friends.)
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I hope to see ya around here again next week!
Things I’m Loving
A while back, I mentioned my love for the How Not to Die Cookbook and while I initially ordered it on my Kindle, I realized last week I don’t like cookbooks on my Kindle. When it comes to cookbooks, there’s nothing like a hard copy filled with beautifully appetizing images of recipes to motivate me to spend some time cooking healthy food for my family and a Kindle version just didn’t cut it. I felt a little ridiculous paying for the cookbook again, but I wanted a hard copy and knew I’d use it a lot so I went for it and am already so happy I did! I’ve been referencing the cookbook so much more and the recipes are wonderful. They’re plant based and filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, delicious seasonings, beans and grains and we couldn’t get enough of the lentil shepherd’s pie in our house last night!
I also recently ordered another cookbook for myself after my friend Laura raved about the Whole30 Slow Cooker Cookbook since I’m a sucker for pretty much any recipe I can make in my slow cooker or pressure cooker. I’ll be diving into some of the recipes I’ve made and loved from this cookbook on the blog next week when I highlight last week’s weeknight dinners but suffice it to say they were a slam dunk!
Also, I’m just curious — When it comes to trying out new recipes, do you guys still frequently use cookbooks or are you all about finding recipes online? I do a mix and find new recipes all over the place but my favorite places to find new recipes to try in our house include food blogs, magazines (Clean Eating is my go-to!) and good old fashioned cookbooks.
During our quick trip to Gatlinburg last weekend, we popped into Savannah Bee Company to pick up some honey and a sample of their hand cream lured me into buying some to bring back home. I instantly loved the way the thick cream hydrated my dry hands and one of the women in the store told me the hand cream is particularly popular with nurses and doctors who wash their hands all the time because of the way it moisturizes and leaves hands feeling nourished. I’ve been keeping it on my desk in our home office and using it twice a day or so to give my dry wintery hands a little extra love and it feels wonderful.
Burn Boot Camp Arm Workout
It’s been a while since a Burn Boot Camp arm workout has really put me through the ringer but this one did just that yesterday morning! Arm days are my absolute favorite and when I leave the gym with that tingly arm feeling it makes me oddly giddy. I knew I had to immediately write down this workout to share with you guys because it is a great one to keep in mind if you’re looking to hit your biceps, triceps, shoulders and chest in one workout. I also wanted to have it on hand to reference for myself in the future because I loved it so much!
The above graphic does not include the finisher which was smokin’ and looked like two rounds of the following: 40 second alternating bicep curls + 20 second bicep curl hold + 40 second alternating bicep hammer curls + 20 second bicep curl hold. Yes, it was just as killer as it sounds! (Note: You can easily find demos of all of the above exercises on YouTube!)
Peppermint Flavor + Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothies
Anyone else a huge fan of McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes? The thick, sweet mint flavor gets me every time! Inspired by the seasonal treat, I’ve been making a healthified version of the shamrock shake at home but it’s more or less a mint chocolate chip version because it’s both chocolaty and minty. A winning combination in my book! The key to the smoothies Shamrock Shake-like flavor is a teeny (and I mean teeny) splash of Frontier Co-Ops’s peppermint flavor. (I bought mine at Whole Foods.) It’s made with only two ingredients — peppermint oil and sunflower oil — and a little bit goes a long way! It transforms an otherwise basic smoothie into a peppermint paradise!
My favorite combination for a healthy mint chocolate chip smoothie includes a base of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, frozen cauliflower, frozen banana, a scoop and a half of chocolate protein powder, two handfuls of fresh spinach, a spoonful of cashew butter, a splash of peppermint flavor and a small spoonful of cacao nibs. So darn tasty!
My love for Beatriz Williams’ books continues on with A Certain Age! I finished reading this novel earlier this week and it was another winner. Though probably my least favorite of her novels (but still 100 percent enjoyable!), the book sticks with Williams’ usual format and follows the lives of two different women simultaneously, Theresa Marshall, a wealthy, married, high-society woman and Sophie Fortescue, the bright-eyed young daughter of a wealthy inventor, recently engaged to Theresa’s brother, Ox.
Set in the 1920’s, Theresa and Sophie’s lives become intertwined not only because of Ox, but also because of Theresa’s lover, Octavian, who serves as Ox’s cavalier and presents Sophie with the engagement ring, only to become captivated by the young woman. A love triangle unfolds and with it comes the potential destruction of two families, twists, turns and even a murder mystery.
Total Body Pyramid Workout (I love a quality pyramid workout and working my way up the pyramid in this workout = A serious sweat fest!)
Chocolate Superfood Energy Bites (Sneak some superfoods into your snack time! You’d never know these fudgy bites contain superfoods like spirulina, wheatgrass and spinach!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you’re loving this week?
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