Family Yoga… Toes!

In the last several months, part of my absence was due to life changes. I married the man God put on this Earth for me, remember I mentioned a good thing starting last summer?  It was not only the start of a good thing but the beginning of a lifetime adventure! Needless to say, I was a little busy with wedding planning, and then I moved.  Not just across town or down the road, but 600 miles from home.

Anyway, enough about my life changes.

I would have to say one of my favorite things that my husband and I do together… drum roll please: is Yoga Toes!IMG_2579  It’s a little nerdy but we both love it!

I am sure that you may be asking what are Yoga Toes?  Let me tell you about these amazing things!

These goofy looking gel things are probably one of my favorite purchases ever!

Almost every night, or day– I kick my feet up, get my little piggies situated in my yoga toes and relax.

Let me be honest, I have some seriously wonky feet.  I even spent time in physical therapy in my teens because of them. They are wide and flat with a high instep.  Don’t they sound so cute?  Starting middle of this past summer, a pain developed in my left foot in the joint under my pinky toe.  I am not one to go running to the doctors for anything, but I did break down and get x-rays done to make sure I did not break anything.  Good news– no broken bones in my foot 🙂  Bad news– because of my seriously flat feet I was stressing the joint and therefor creating the pain 🙁 My doctor showed me how to tape my foot so I would be in less pain, and my foot would be supported to eliminate some pain.

Taping my foot helped, but let’s be real, it has to be re-taped every couple of days.  It gets old fast– REALLY FAST!

Yoga ToesSo after we settled into our house, I ordered in a set of Yoga Toes.  Unfortunately for me, I ordered in a pair that was 2 sizes too big, but they were perfect for my husband!  So, back to amazon for me.  This time I made sure I ordered the right size, not based on the color of the Yoga Toes.  I might lean more towards blue when I am buying things, which is how I ended up with Yoga Toes that fit my husband.  Purple isn’t necessarily my go to color, but that’s what I ended up with.

Often after dinner we camp out on a couch with our respective Yoga Toes and enjoy a little relaxation time.  Normally just 20 minutes of wearing the Toes and my feet feel amazing and the pain in my left foot is almost nonexistent.

You might be asking yourself, what do these Yoga Toes actually do, and are they worth it?  Simple answer to question 2:  YES!

Yoga Toes and T

Okay, now for question 1:  They help realign your toes and put them back to where God intended them.  You see, shoving our feet into those super cute shoes will have ramifications to our lovely feet that we did not see coming when the shoes called to us in the store.
Do your feet hurt you?

Do they ache?

Yoga toes might be something for you to check out.

In case you have yet to figure it out, the Yoga Toes I have are pretty much amazing!  They have provided my poor feet some great relief and actually get me to slow down and relax, which is a good thing according to my doctor 😉  Oh and even better, I get some quality time with the hubby!
Here is an example of what I bought: IMG_2578

Coffee Lovers Dream!

Note to self, take the before picture.

Maybe one day I will remember that.

Let me back up… Last night I was deep cleaning our kitchen floor when, during a break, I came across a video of a woman using coffee beans to get rid of her dark circles under her eyes… DID YOU HEAR ME?!?!  COFFEE!  (which happens to be one of my favorite things in the world!)  Needless to say, I stopped cleaning my floor to watch this video.IMG_2363

It seemed so simple, I was intrigued.  So the next morning, I grabbed my coffee grinder and pulsed some coffee beans 2 times. This made the kitchen smell amazing.  Who does not like the smell of fresh ground coffee?

Next, I grabbed the black pepper and the coconut oil, the other ingredients called for in the video.

I mixed the pepper in with the coffee.  I went with a couple of twists on my pepper grinder and maybe a tablespoon of freshly ground coffee.

Then I mixed in the coconut oil.  My suggestion, use just enough coconut oil to make the coffee and the pepper bind.  I use a cold pressed, organic coconut oil.

If you use too much it melts down the side your face. I may have learned this lesson the hard way.

Finally, apply your mask and let it do its magic.

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I spread the mix under my eyes and enjoyed the wonderful aroma.  Personally, the aroma therapy was just as enjoyable as the mask working on my dark, puffy eyes.

Remember how I mentioned to only use enough coconut oil to bind the coffee and pepper?  OneWell, I think I used a little too much oil because the mask enjoyed melting and running down my face… which led me to think that one could use this mask on their entire face. Check out the oil running down my face –>

I left this on for 15 minutes.

During this time, I wondered if this mask would really get rid of even some of the wonderful dark circles that have shown up recently.

After washing away my mask, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Not only were my dark circles diminished greatly, but my eyes that had been feeling so tired were now perky! I think this was the best part of the mask—Rejuvenated eyes! SEE!

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I almost look cross-eyed in this picture. Hey, cut me some slack, taking a selfie of one’s eyes and not looking goofy is harder than one would think 😉

Let’s recap the lessons learned:

  • Take before pictures.
  • Use less coconut oil when applying to face—less streaking!

Note: all pictures are unfiltered.

Everything you own in a box to the left: Creating your hippie tool kit for work!

Okay, I started this post back in October when my team first moved our work location.  Since then, I have moved 3 times to 3 new  locations.  Every time we moved, I would hear Beyoncé’s song: Irreplaceable, play in my head.  Anyway, back to my October post with the song playing in the background ;P.

I am a little dumbfounded.

My life fits in one box.

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Okay, one partially filled box.

Well, my work life fills part of a box.  This box is actually pretty cool– I think it’s cool because it is what held my birthday present from my parents & brother.  I will share that with you soon 😉 You see at work my team is homeless (kind of). At the end of last week, we packed up our work areas to move into a temporary home.  I was a little shocked to find that after almost 2 years at my employer, all of my personal belonging fit into the box my convection oven arrived in.

What’s even better, most of the objects in my box are relate to food! I mean if you want to live a healthy, hippie lifestyle you can’t count on others to provide the essentials for you.  BUT, I can help you build your own kit healthy, hippie kit of essentials.  I really should come up with a cool name for my kit.  Maybe you can help?   I have by no means perfected the essential items that should be part of every health nut toolbox health-box and mine are always changing.   I have slowly added items that make living a hippie life at work EASY!  Yes you read that right… you can live a HEALTHY, HIPPIE Lifestyle and work in the corporate world!

I know this because I live a hippie life at work.   The best part is, I absolutely LOVE my hippie life!

What’s in my box?  Well, let me tell you.

IMG_0277Probably my favorite thing is my mini crockpot.   Winter is the perfect time to enjoy soup and is there a better way to heat it up?  All I have to do is toss the soup in the crockpot, plug it in and it does it’s thing.  I do stop by and stir my soup to make sure it heats up evenly.  I know, I know, winter is quickly disappearing, but I still love my crockpot.

 

What’s next?

How about my stash of spices and seasonings 🙂

I have 2 cute jars, one recycled from a previous purchase, that hold coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. I love having a coconut oil sitting near me.  I will toss a sweet potato into my BIRTHDAY present (my cooker!) and once it’s all cooked, I grab the coconut oil and toss a dollop on, let it melt and enjoy my treat! IMG_0278 The apple cider vinegar I keep around to make my quick salad dressing!  I will give you a hint, keep mustard in the fridge and your stevia handy.

I also keep cumin, turmeric and cinnamon in box.  They are great add-ons for almost any meal.  One of my favorite IMG_0279treats is so simple.  I cut up an apple and sprinkle cinnamon on it and enjoy! Yummy… hmmm I am getting hungry, I wonder if I have any apples handy 😉

Alright, we are getting to the end of my box.  The last thing I want to share with you today, is my duck!  It’s a slingshot that quacks! I am learning that relaxing and not taking myself too seriously is a good thing.

What’s do you keep on your desk for a stress reliever and to encourage you to have fun and enjoy your job & life?

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Do you have a stash of healthy things at work?  What’s in yours?  I would <3 to hear!

 

 

Salad minus lettuce?

Is that even possible or REAL?

Sure why not?  I mean, who really makes the rules and aren’t some meant to be bent?

Have you ever had a day when you pack a salad for lunch and the salad sounds good?  Well it sounds good when you pack it, but as the day goes on it sounds less appealing? esp the spinach part. I mean, a big pile of veggies and beans is still a salad right?

Today is one of those days for me.

Sitting in the fridge is a wonderful green smoothie.  Ingredients include: SPINACH, blueberries, strawberries and a banana.  Part of it was my breakfast and the rest will be my snack later. So when lunch rolled around, I was planning on eating a salad. (I am really working on fueling my body with the nutrients it needs.) I piled a large stack of veggies from our cafeteria on a plate and sat down at my desk and took a bite before adding the spinach.

In the words of a great co-worker, it tasted good, really, really good.

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I tore up my spinach and started to mix it in.

Took a bit.

Salad

Decided– I liked my salad without the spinach.  I did not even want dressing either.

Started picking out the lettuce.

Took another bite… better.

Removed 90% of the spinach… even better.

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My spinach sat in a pile… discarded.  I may return to it later– or maybe I will drink my smoothie and call it good!

So yes, today I ate a salad minus one key ingredient. Sometimes you just have to go with how your body is feeling and what sounds good.

Some days, a salad minus the spinach is better.  Do you ever have days that a salad minus the spinach or lettuce tastes better?

I challenge you to enjoy the day and be ready to think out of the box when it comes to your food.  Make a salad minus the lettuce.  Forget a key ingredient and see where life takes you!

Hugs From a Skillet

This last week was a week I had to just put my head down and fight through it; good thing I am a fighter!  Okay, not a boxer or someone that actually punches a co-worker in the face, but mainly because I would end up in jail.  No one wants to go to jail, not really… Anyway, by the end of the day Friday, I was out of energy & out of fight. I needed a hug. OR Warm,  yummy, comfort food. I was late getting out of work, and after driving home I was in need of getting food into me fast. What sounded good was a BIG stack of fluffy pancakes.  In my opinion, pancakes are the perfect feel better food. But there was one minor problem, I have not been eating any flour lately, and did not want to start last night. Oh, but wait for it…

This week, while visiting my sister at college my mom (Banana Bev) learned a new recipe from one of my sister’s teammates. Mom got the nickname, Banana Bev one night when she made my sister and her teammates ice cream out of a frozen banana.  She was super excited over her new find. Somehow the name has stuck.  My sister’s friends love passing her banana recipes.  So thanks to my sister’s friend: A, Banana Bev and I now have an awesome, comfy banana pancake recipe.
“Banana Bev Pancakes” Ingredients: (Her version of the 2 ingredient pancakes)
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
Add on’s:

  • Cinnamon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blue Berries
Smash your banana.  I did this on a plate.
Smashed Banana

 Crack 2 eggs & beat them.

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Mix in your banana
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Add a splash of vanilla and beat/mix it well
IMG_2249 This is your core batter.  I am sure you could add some cinnamon or mix in peanut butter to the batter, and it would be fantastic.  In fact, I may have to try that tomorrow when we get snowed in :o. If you want to make your batter a little smoother, you could toss it into a blender. Now grab your coconut oil (I used the coconut oil that had the coconut flavor still in it which gave a great tropical flavor. Once your oil and skillet are warm, drop a dollop of batter in. When I asked Banana Bev, when I should flip it, she responded with, “When it’s ready.”  That’s not super helpful!, but since this recipe is similar to a real pancake, you will know when it’s ready.
IMG_2250 My first flip was a little rough and my pancake separated, but we made it.  In fact, with each pancake I made they got a little better. By the end of the batch– I think I had it down. IMG_2251

Instead of using syrup or Agave, I grabbed a blueberry and date jam(ish) yumminess that was in the fridge and topped the pancake off.  I will have to get the recipe and post it for you.
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I am pretty sure that after my first bite I heard the angels break out in a chorus of Hallelujah– just for me 😉 This was the perfect comfort food, that gave me a hug at the end of a tough week. IMG_2253 I am sure this recipe has been around for a while and after running into it a couple of times, I am so glad I tried it.  I think my cleaned plate says it all! IMG_2254 So if you need a good, comfy food that willingly gives hugs and is healthy?  Just give this simple recipe a try! IMG_2255
Other places I found this recipe or similar versions:

http://ourbestbites.com/2014/02/2-ingredient-pancakes/
http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2013/01/2-ingredient-healthy-pancakes-gluten-free-dairy-free.html http://www.recipegirl.com/2013/01/26/2-ingredient-pancakes/

Just a few changes

It’s the beginning of the new year, which means we are surrounded by New Year’s Resolutions and fresh starts. I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions, but I am a fan of new beginnings.  Especially after last year.  You know that saying, “You want to make God laugh? Tell him about your plans…”  I did just that.  I guess a better way to say was last year, I was doing that, telling God my plans and He laughed.

Not only did He laugh, but He changed rewrote my plans in a HUGE way.

Last year, I planned to swim open water races in 5 different states; show my horse at several shows; play lots of tennis; spend lots of time at the cottage; wakeboard several times a week.

What did I do?

Well not much of that.

I spent time with God… not in ways I expected.  I am normally BEYOND BUSY… but last year, I rested. I spent lots off time at the doctor. I focused on getting my body to heal and enjoying life.

So this year, I am not making a resolution or even a plan BUT… I am making goals.

Goals like:

  1. Continue to work on improving my health.
  2. Grow in my relationship with God.
  3. Show my family I love them and support them.
  4. Give my all at work.
  5. Consistently post here.
  6. Show Louie at a couple of shows.
  7. Swim in a couple of open water races.
  8. Buy a road bike.  I rode with some of my co-workers 2 summers ago and loved it!  I was too sick this year to ride.
  9. Read more– this I miss, so I will carve out time to enjoy some quality reading time.
  10. Enjoy the year!

I like the idea of goals because you can adjust them.  If this year has the same challenges as last year, then I can adjust my goals.  So here is to a new year that is already in full swing– Let’s make it great!
Ps.  please be patient as I have moved the blog to a new platform and working on setting it up 😉

pps.  thanks to aikidoofcharlotte.com for the pic.

 

 

Blessed Beyond Belief

Tonight while out in a field on the farm, I lost one of my pearl earrings!  I was  in knee deep grass and weeds playing with Teague my 6 1/2 month old Great Dane when I realized it was gone.  My heart sunk.  My pearls were a present from my dad my senior year of college.  I am pretty sure I was in shock.  I thought to myself, “how will I ever find a single pearl in the middle of a 10 acre field that was knee high?”  I had my checkbook in my pocket, so  I dropped where I thought my earring fell out.  With a heavy heart, I went to feed the horses.   While at the horses, I called a very special guy quickly to calm me down.

After feeding the horses, I decided that I would head back to my checkbook and look for my earring until dark.  I figured that I had about 45 minutes, being generous to myself. It took me 10 mins to find my checkbook in the grass.  Only a few minutes later, dad pulled in the driveway and he came out to help look.

My dad is the earring whisperer in the family.  He has always been able to help me find a missing earing and I was hoping this times was no different.  When I first got my ears pierced he taught me a trick– one that has come in very handy!  When looking for a missing earring, take the remaining earring and place it on the same flooring.  Your eyes will see how the earing looks on the floor.  Keep scanning the floor. AND BAM!  All of the sudden– there it is!  That missing earring.

I had gently placed the remaining earring in the grass to see if dad’s trick would work.  We were both crawling around on our knees, praying, and looking for the missing earring.  I thought I caught a glimpse of the earing but it turned out to be a bug, my heart dropped a little more.  We were discussing getting a weed eater and systematically working through the area…when the earring was spotted.

I carefully dug it out of the weeds it was hiding.  Instantly, I  felt  feel completely blessed. I have a dad that is willing to come help search for a lost earring and a Heavenly Father that showed us it’s hiding spot.

earringMy earrings safely in the house tonight with one back missing!

What are some of your blessings?

Nash in the field after my earring earing, both enjoying the sunset!

field

Matcha in a Mason Jar

Mmmmmmmm…. this is soooo good you HAVE to try it!

Recently, my body decided it did not like coffee, but I was still missing my morning drink. Tea just has not been cutting it.  Then I saw this recipe on facebook from Young & Raw  and my mornings seem complete again. I have adjusted this recipe a little from the original that Young & Raw posted.  I really liked it and wanted to share with you.  I did make a small change to the recipe.  For the original recipe: click here.

Ingredients:
photo 12 tsp. Matcha-  I chose organic

8 oz. Milk – I use Organic Almond Milk, unsweetened. (it’s only 30 calories for 8 ounces!) You can use any milk.

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1 tbs. Maple Syrup (you can use more or less… my sweet tooth shows)

Stevia-  Use this after you try your drink if you need to sweeten it more

Okay, here is how you can whip up your own Matcha in a Mason Jar.

I toss all the ingredients in the blender and mix.

Once mixed, pour over ice and ENJOY!  If you need to sweeten it more, add stevia to taste.

You will have a awesome Iced Matcha in a Mason Jar!

photo 2

 

 

Life’s little bumps.

Do you ever have moments when you plan out your hour, day, month or year only to have God laugh and change them for you? Well, this morning was one of those mornings. Mac, from Mac’s Ez Lemonade’s daughter is getting married today and the family is attending the wedding. The wedding is a couple of hours from home. That’s not that a big deal. My trouble today is the dogs. My normal dog sitter is out of town today and I did not want to leave Teague (6 month old Great Dane) and Nash (11 yr old Great Dane) home overnight without a babysitter that could stay. So we decided that they could visit their buddy Riley, Mac’s Great Dane and tag along to the wedding. Well kind of tag along to the wedding, they will be hanging out at Mac’s house during the festivities.

My plans this morning were to get up, workout, make food, wash dogs and shower then leave for the wedding. Reality: woke up, no workout, went to bath dogs and I could only find Nash. Teague was MIA- for an hour and a half.

Nash got his bath… Teague? Well he was in the woods playing. We drove around the “neighborhood” for 40 mins calling his name with no luck. Finally the puppy came bounding out of the woods. After a quick bath, the puppy got tossed in the van and we are now on the way to the wedding.

I am actually proud of my family! While the puppy was MIA, we did not loose our cool or get grumpy with each other. Let’s be real, life is too short to be grumpy. So we might as well roll with the punches.

The dogs are happily camped out on the backseat of the. I think I need to go rescue Nash. IMG_0439.JPG

Have a great Sat. everyone. And remember when life hits you with little bumps just roll with it. Yes I am running later than I want to today, but everything will work out and the wedding will go on and we will be there to shuttle people in the party bus

Mac’s EZ Lemonade

Summer is quickly slipping away…  I wish it would stay a little longer.  I am going to miss it, are you?

Days are getting shorter and soon we will be bundling up in big sweaters and jeans. Temperatures are dropping and soon the leaves will be changing, this makes me pretty excited.

Don’t get me wrong, my favorite season EVER is Fall.  Normally,  I am looking forward to fall’s arrival, but this year Louiesummer seemed way too short.  I wish it would hang around a little longer.   Maybe it was because we had a record breaking winter for both temperature and snow accumulation.  Heck, we even had to plow the horse pasture!  That was a first for me, the drifts were so big that the babies could not climb over.  I was a little worried they would get stuck and we would have to launch a rescue mission. Check out a video of the horses playing in the snow on one of the coldest days last winter: Here.  It is pretty cute, but I am biased.

IMG_0199Anyway enough about last year’s monster winter, back to me not letting summer go–by sharing a favorite summer drink, “Mac’s, EZ Lemonade” with you.   This recipe is so quick and easy, you will wonder how you have been living without it! I know that I have asked myself that exact question more than once when making this lemonade recipe.

Before I share the recipe, I think I need to let you in on a secret and the secret ingredient…  as a rule, I make things from scrap, with whole ingredients and fresh, but…I am also all about quick and convenient!  So when a great family friend, Mac, showed me a bottle of squeezed organic lemons, I fell in <3.  I mean, it’s not hard to use the hand squeezer to make your own lemon juice.  It just seems to take me a few minutes that I never seem to have. I almost feel like I am cheating on life by getting my organic lemon juice from a bottle, but when life gets busy, you have to play smart.  Thanks to Mac, I can have one of my favorite drinks in no time at all now all year. Because he introduced me to the secret time saving ingredient: Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice.

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Reasons that I LOVE this juice:

1. It’s ORGANIC!

2. 1 Jar contains 80 lemons worth of juice… do you know how long it would take to hand squeeze that many lemons?  I don’t even want to imagine how long it would take or how sore my arm would get.

3. It’s a great buy.  You can find a two-pack of these at Costco for $7.00!  Do you know how many glasses of lemonade you can make with a two-pack?  MANY!  More than I could count… okay maybe I would get distracted before counting them!

4. I don’t have to clean the hand squeezer.

5. It’s stored in glass… I will tell you about my love of glass soon.

6. It’s waiting for you in the fridge.

 I think you get the picture… I really <3 this product and you should fall for it too!

Now for the recipe: Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

There are only 3! Count them 3 Ingredients!  Simple right?

1. Italian Volcano – Lemon Juice
2. Water
3.  Stevia

Alright… here is how I make Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

Grab a jar, a glass, a water bottle… something that will hold liquid and fill it 2/3 full with water.
Here is my favorite jar… it’s such a fun blue.

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Bonus:  it’s 34 ounces , which means I am not running for refills every two minutes!
Double Bonus: It has a lid with a straw (not pictured) but makes spills less likely.
Yes, I am pretty much a big kid and need a lid with a fun straw!

Fill your cup with water.

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Pour some of your Italian Volcano juice into the water. This is where you will have to experiment to see how much you like.  If you want your drink really lemony, add more.  If you don’t want it as strong, then add less. To start,  I normally add just enough juice that my water turns cloudy, taste and then adjust my lemonade from there.

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Next grab your stevia and sweeten your drink. I have a sweet tooth so I tend to use 1-2 droppers full in a 34 ounce jar.  If you are not used to Stevia, start small and add 5-10 drops until your drink is sweet enough.

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Secret tip: you can always add more lemon and stevia, but you can’t always take it back.

Now that your drink is made, add ice, and enjoy!

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If you want to spice up your lemonade, you can always add some strawberries or raspberries.

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Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice has revolutionized how I make lemonade!

What’s your favorite easy recipe or “cheat” healthy ingredient?