Friday favorites

It’s been a while since I posted my last Friday Favorites so here I am with another round of things that I’m loving right now.

  1. Gallery Leather Academic Planner. I was working on making my own planner from different printables that I’d found online but on a whim I went to Barnes & Noble and found this gorgeous planner in aqua on sale for half price!  I did a little squeal with delight because it’s just what I was looking for – an agenda for the day split up into am and pm and then a notes section on the other side.  I had been using a daily with the to-dos on each daily page and it just wasn’t working for me.  With this set up I can write the appointments that I have for the day on one side and all of the other stuff that I have to get done during the week and I can check it off as it’s done without having to turn a page each day or assigning it a day – because it drives me crazy to have something written down on a day and not do it.

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2. Using a backpack instead of a cute bag to carry all of my stuff in. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a bit of an obsession of trying different bags|planners|gadgets to try and find the simplest or easiest way to get something done (see #1) but I’m slowly learning that it’s more about the function of something than how cute it is – so if a backpack is going to be the best thing to corral my stuff – I’m carrying a dang backpack.  I’m just using an old one we had around the house and it’s a bit too small right now, but I’m going with it until I can find out what I really want in a bag rather than just buying something else.
3. Aldi.  These stores are just getting to us in my part of Florida and I know not everyone likes them but you just can’t beat their prices for veggies and fruits – many of which are organic!  Sure, if you buy a lot of boxed stuff and aren’t a big fan of generic brands it may not be the place for you, but the price of veggies and fruit almost make me want to take a separate trip out to go there.
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3. My Beachbody Team.  Seriously some of the best and most encouraging women I’ve ever met.  From my up-line of amazing coaches to the small team I’m a part of to the super small (literally 1 person) team that I lead, I am amazed at how everyone truly roots for one another.  And the relationships that we build to help our businesses grow is truly awesome.

4. The Chill Out Pandora Radio Station. Sometimes I just need to tune everything out and work, but I can’t listen to music with words otherwise it distracts me.  This station has the perfect mix of funky and relaxing music that gets me into my working groove.

 

What things are you loving this week?

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Easy Frittata

We eat a lot of eggs in my house.  A LOT.  I’m also always looking for new ways to make them so when I came across Danielle Walker’s frittata recipe from Against All Grain  I knew I wanted to make it.  Except that sometimes putting pans like cast oven skillets into the oven scares me.  I mean, it’s a cast iron skillet.  In the oven.  And it is heavy. But one day I got brave and just did it.  Yes, Carl was standing behind me for moral support, but I overcame my fear of a hot, heavy pan and I’m so glad that I did because this recipe is amazing.  Since making Danielle’s original recipe we’ve experimented (see, I’m a scientist by nature) with adding lots of different veggies, meats, milks and seriously almost anything you put into a frittata will taste amazing.  I say almost because I know there is someone out there thinking that if they put something crazy like crayons or peanut butter in a frittata it would be gross – and it may be but seriously guys, we aren’t in elementary school. 😉

Two weeks ago Carl and I decided to go all in and follow the meal plan and workouts for The Master’s Hammer & Chisel.  I was super excited when I saw that one of the recipes in the program guide was also a frittata.  The day that we made our frittata we didn’t have some of the ingredients listed in the original recipe so we used what we had.
Easy Frittata
Adapted from Danielle Walker’s recipe in Against All Grain and The Master’s Hammer & Chisel program guide

Total time: 47 min. | Prep Time: 20 min. | Cooking Time: 27 min.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt (or sea salt), divided
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 12 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened almond or coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
  2. Heat oil in 12-in. nonstick oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion, zucchini, and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Add spinach; cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.  Remove pan from heat. Set aside.
  5. Combine eggs almond milk and garlic powder in a large bowl; whisk to blend.  Season with salt.
  6. Pour egg mixture into skillet; return to heat and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with rubber spatula for 6-9 minutes, or until egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set on top.
  7. Place skillet in oven.  Broil for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fluffy.  NOTE: Check middle and edges of frittata with toothpick to make sure it’s cooked all the way.  Keep in oven for a few minutes longer if it’s not.
  8. Cut into 6 servings and serve immediately.

TIPS:

  • Frittata can be prepped and combined the evening before and stored in the refrigerator until cooking.
  • Frittata can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.

What is your favorite way to eat eggs?  

 

Sunday coffee chat – II

I know it’s been a week since I last posted but I really enjoyed doing the Sunday coffee chat so I wanted to keep it going for this week too.

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This week, if we sat down for a cup of coffee, I’d tell you that I have been working on my 2015 year in review post and it makes me really sad to see pictures of Gramps, knowing that he won’t be in any of my pictures this year.  I miss him so much even though we didn’t talk on the phone in the last few years because he had a difficult time hearing, I just miss knowing that he’s there.  I miss knowing that the next time that we go home I’ll see him and eat some of his amazing cooking.

I’d tell you that I am honestly enjoying my teaching position now.  I’ve waited all year to say that and while I do still wonder if I’ll go back into the classroom, or leave teaching entirely, I am so thankful to work with the amazing ladies who support me and have such a passion for the students they teach.

I’d tell you that on Saturday I had the opportunity to attend my very first Super Saturday as a Beachbody Coach and I absolutely LOVED the energy the group had.  I learned a lot of new tips and information which sparked a lot of ideas on how to grow my business into something amazing this year.

I’d tell you that today we went to church and the message was on Dreaming Ridiculous Dreams and I cried from nearly the moment we walked in until the moment we left.  It was so powerful and gave me peace and hope for the vision Carl and I have for our lives.

I’d tell you that I am absolutely loving the Hammer & Chisel program that Carl and I are doing together!  We are one week into the eight week program and are already seeing some amazing results – both physically and mentally.  We have less cravings, less mood swings, and are seeing the value in using the containers to portion out our foods to make sure that we are getting in enough veggies|fruits|protein and not too much of the carbs|fats.  I can’t wait to see what the next weeks bring!
NOTE:  This is actually my second week but because Carl decided to start I repeated the first week instead of moving on.

Tell me, how was your week?  What are you looking forward to for the week to come?

Sunday coffee chat

Good morning, friends! It’s good to see you again and welcome to 2016! I’m still going to do a 2015 recap and a post about it word and focus for the new year but I thought it would be fun to just chat about life. As though we were able to get away from our lives for a few hours and have a cup of coffee with each other.

  
I’d tell you that yesterday we drove around town trying to find an area that we want to live. We have 100% found a location, floor plan, and even a lot. And while that is super exciting we are still going to wait before we move forward. Yes, I know the interest rates are going up. Yes, I know the home prices are going up. But Carl still wants to focus on following the Dave Ramsey plan. It kills me a little on the inside to wait and follow the plan but I’m working on having faith that God’s plan is far bigger than either of ours so when it’s time to move forward we will have a huge, burning bush as a sign. 

I’d tell you that our current townhouse is more organized than it has ever been before and I love it! We still have spaces to go through but our room and closet, the living room, and Harper’s room and closet are done. Books are next and then the garage!

I’d tell you that I started working out with Hammer & Chisel on Monday and that I absolutely love it! It’s a fusion between 21 Day Fix with Autumn and CrossFit with Sagi. It brings me joy. 

I’d also tell you that I ate pizza and ice cream for dinner yesterday and missed my workout. But I did have a salad for lunch so you know, balance. 😉

I’d tell you that Carl and I found Blacklist on Netflix last night and watched SIX episodes before finally going to sleep at 1:30am. It’s that good!

What would you tell me about this morning?

Recipe: Old-fashioned sugar cookies

I know it’s Christmas Eve but this sugar cookie recipe was too good not to share.  We found it a few days ago when we were going through my grandmother’s old cookbooks and decided to make traditional sugar cookies for Santa rather than buying them from the store.

I’d love to say that these are super healthy, but they aren’t.  They are, however, delicious.  Not too sweet, not too buttery.  Just perfect.  If you like your cookies more on the sweet side I’d recommend that you add lots of sugar on the top.  Or just let your child do the decorating because tons of sugar on top will happen anyway.

For the colored sugar topping we just mixed some food coloring to regular sugar.


Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen
McCall’s Cook Book
1963

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (we left this out because we didn’t have any and don’t really care for it anyway)
  • 1 c. soft butter or margarine (we used butter)
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Toppings: 

  • 1/4 c. sugar – we added food coloring to make it different colors
  • Raisins or blanched almonds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
  2. In large bowl of electric mixer, at medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy.
  3. At low speed, beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well combined.
  5. With rubber scraper, form dough into a ball.  Wrap in waxed paper or foil; refrigerate several hours, or overnight.
    NOTE: We refrigerated the dough in a log shape overnight.  
  6. Divide dough into 4 parts. Refrigerate until ready to roll out.
    NOTE: Carl cut the log into small sections so we could work with the dough a little at a time without it getting warm.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F.  Lightly grease cookie sheets.
    NOTE: We used parchment paper
  8. On well-floured surface, roll dough, one part at a time, 1/4 in. thick.
  9. With floured, 2 1/2 in. cookie cutter, cut out cookies.  Using a spatula, place, 2 in. apart on cookie sheets.
    NOTE:  The cookies will spread so you really do want to have space between them
  10. Sprinkle tops of cookies with sugar or other toppings of your choice.  Reroll trimmings, and cut.
  11. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Remove to wire rack; cool.

Enjoy!

Transformation Tuesday – from the inside

I know a lot of people think of a traditional “Transformation Tuesday” as a physical picture of progress.  Often times it’s someone’s picture in a sports bra (for ladies) or shirtless (for guys – this is a family blog, after all!) showing off their amazing abs or doing a flex pose showing off their amazing biceps.  Those are all awesome accomplishments, and at some point I’m sure you’ll see them on here too, but today I want to share a transformation of a different kind – a transformation from the inside – a change in my mindset.

One of my favorite things about becoming a Beachbody Coach is the company-wide focus on personal development.  The belief that in order to help others be the best versions of themselves and reach their goals, we have to do the same.  This is where I’ve had the most growth in the last few months.  Really believing in myself.  Really believing that I have value.  Really believing that I can help others in reaching their goals.  Really believing that I’m enough.

Like anything, all of these beliefs take time and constant reinforcement.  I make an effort to listen to personal development every day and when too many days pass without me taking the time to do it, I feel it.  I become more negative and the negative self-talk begins again.

So today I’m celebrating “Transformation Tuesday” by celebrating the person that I’m becoming on the inside.

What is something simple you can work on to transform you today?

Mindset

 

More than a grandfather

It’s been a week since the services for Gramps were held.  A week since I saw Gramps for the last time.  One week will turn into two, then into a month, then into a year, and then into two, five, ten, twenty and beyond.  Sometimes there are no words.  Sometimes there are lots of them.  Sometimes, something so simple will happen and I’ll be brought to tears – the faint scent his aftershave as someone passes by.   A glimpse of another man with greying hair and eyes similar to his.  Seeing the kind of milk that he used to drink or crackers that he used to eat.  It will be so different going home for Christmas break on Sunday and not seeing him walk out from the TV room to embrace us and ask how the drive was.  And yet all of this is normal.  I know that, but somehow it doesn’t make the process any easier.  But Gramps was an amazing man.  So I’m sharing what I wrote and read for his memorial service on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 because I feel it’s important for everyone to see him like I did.

After 94 years on this Earth, Gramps passed away Friday, December 4, 2015 at 9:20pm.

It’s so hard to summarize an entire lifetime of memories about Gramps without leaving something important out, but I’ll try my best.  While he was biologically, grandfather he was much more like a father to me.  He taught me how to ride a bike, and bless his heart, tried to teach me how to play different sports like soccer and basketball.  Neither of which I learned how to play very well.  

When I learned to play the flute in 7th grade, he was one of my biggest supporters.  He took me to my weekly flute lessons for almost three years – sitting in the car or going up to the small, mostly empty Orange Blossom Mall.  He took me to various auditions and held me while I cried when I thought I totally botched an audition for All-State.  He never missed a concert.  

He taught me how to drive in the Northport Middle School parking lot – which I know was a highlight because it meant that he didn’t have to cart me around everywhere any more.  

He beamed proudly at my graduations – from high school at Lincoln Park Academy to my Masters in Education and the University of Florida.  

He walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.  

He cried tears of joy as he held Harper, his first great-grand child.  While I’m not sure that she’ll really remember much of him, I’m so thankful that he was able to meet and spend time with her.  His memory lives on in her spirited personality and her love for people.  

As he got older, he loved telling the family about his own childhood and time in the military.  

He always said that his greatest accomplishment was his family, and he loved us all so.

I know that each of us will keep his memory alive in all that we do, as he will never be far from our heart.

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Picture taken on 11.28.15