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This is a blog about my life.... about living healthy through faith in God, exercise, good food, relationships, friendships, etc...

Friday, February 21, 2014

I Love Art

Blank canvases. Every time I sit down to write a blog post I am overcome with the excitement of a blank page to fill with the details of my life. I am so thankful for this creative outlet.  Which is a perfect lead-in... I am so appreciative of art in general- whether it is music, writing, painting, or whatever. I love seeing firsthand how people express themselves in creative ways.

This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending ArtiGras Festival.  It was a huge event, marked one of the top 20 art festivals in the nations, that invited artists from all over to display their works of wonder.
My mother-in-law, her friend, and I spent the entire afternoon browsing the art on display.  The weather was gorgeous!  High 70s and breezy sunny.

I was drawn to one particular artist who carved small fairies to hang from the ceiling.  So whimsical and cute. 
I ended up not buying one, but one day I would love to decorate a little girls room this way. 

Speaking of rooms:  We decided on a paint color I think!
What do you think?  We are going to do our living room/kitchen/dining room in the color circled above.  I am going to try to pair it with orange tones like the pillow listed above.  For a fresh and modern look.

After all the art-viewing I took part in, I decided to also buy a blank canvas and attempt to create some sort of abstract piece for our living room. I will keep you posted.

MY RUN:
So far this week, my workouts have been very sporadic due to the business of my work schedule. but I did decide to go for a few nice jogs after work.
Whenever I can I try to get outside to enjoy nature.  Even if it is in a residential area. 
 
Last but not least, here is a picture of a little bit of nature in a vase.

Bryan brought them home for me the other day. What a sweet hubby he is!  Not to mention, extremely hot stuff, especially when using tools to fix up our house :-)
I married a good one ;-)

Hope you have a great weekend!




Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day Healthy Option

Happy Valentines Day!  Today has been a busy one so I just thought I'd stop in briefly to share a few things with you!

MY WORKOUT:  Today's workout was a sweaty kick-boxing session- right from my living room! I used this workout.  I burned 450 calories on my Nike Fuel Band so I know it was a good one!

V-DAY SEXY DESSERT: Next, I wanted to share a healthy dessert option for valentines day that I whipped up for Bryan and I to enjoy later tonight.  The key ingredient may surprise you...  It's avocados!  Yup, I made a dark chocolate pudding with avocados.  It has all the flavor of a deliciously indulgent dessert without all the bad ingredients.  I tried it and it is amazingly delicious, you can't even tell there's avocados in it! ;-)

Secret Ingredient Dark Chocolate Pudding
Ingredients:
1 ripe Medium Sized Avocado
1/2c Pure Maple syrup
1/2c Cocoa Powder (I used Hershey's dark)
1/4c Almond Milk (can use any kind of milk)
1tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1tsp Pure Almond Extract
3-5oz Dark Chocolate Chips or Candy Bar Shavings (plus more for garnish)
Whipped Cream (optional garnish)
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor and refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving.
Top with whipped cream or powdered sugar (as show below) Enjoy!
 
Question:
 
Have you ever tried avocados in pudding before?
Do you like Chocolate?
 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

House Update; Paint samples

Last night I did another couple of treadmill miles after work. I was getting cloudy outside and I knew rain would be coming so I decided not to risk it. In the end I did 4 miles again.

I am excited to announce that we finally are ready to paint our place!! (HUGE GRIN) Later on, last night, while I was at bible study, Bryan and my mother-in-law did a few test walls of the paint color we are still deciding on for our main living/dining area. We decided to try out "Breath of Fresh Air" by Benjamin Moore.

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I came home and knew instantly that it seemed a little to boys bedroom-ish.  Sometimes you just have to try something to know for sure. I started looking through pinterest and came across a "Creative" inspired pallet at Lowes and think I may change the walls to a light teal. Called "Geyser," it could be pretty:
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Or there is always the pallet below:



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So basically, I have no idea what I want!  Here's to a lot more samples in the coming weeks! :-)

Question:

Do you like color on the walls or neutrals?  (I am just curious for feed-back for a re-sale standpoint)



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Coconut Pineapple Chicken

MY RUN:

I decided to get in a few slow treadmill miles last night while dinner cooked in the oven.  I ended up running 4 miles in 32 minutes while watching an episode of "Friday Night Lights" on my Kindle Fire.  I made it to season 3 and love it so far!

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It really is the perfect to show to watch during a run, it's 40 minute long. includes football inspiration talks, and high school romances, and it keeps me interested so I forget I am running...almost! ;-)

For dinner I decided to make up a recipe. I had two thawed, plump, organic grass-fed, hormone-free chicken breasts in my fridge and was in the mood for something sweet.

I ended making Pineapple Coconut Chicken served with Citrus Slaw and Quinoa. For Dessert I ended up making 4-Ingredient Protein Peanut Butter Balls modified from a few recipe ideas I saw on Pinterest.

It was so easy!!

Coconut Pineapple Chicken
Crushed Pineapple
Coconut Oil
Sweetened Coconut Flakes
Lime Slices for garnish
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Preheat Oven to 350F
Rub Coconut oil on a 8x8 glass baking dish
Place 2 thawed Chicken Breasts in baking dish
Cover with a large can of crushed Pineapple
Top with a small handful of Sweetened Coconut Flakes
Bake for 50 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through.  May add hot sauce depending on you taste for a more Polynesian-flavored dish.

Citrus Slaw
Bag of sliced Coleslaw Cabbage
1TB Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2c Light Mayo with Olive Oil
1TB Sugar
2TB Sweet Pickle Juice

Mix the last four ingredients together in a small bowl
Pour over the shredded cabbage and mix
Refrigerate until ready to serve

Protein Peanut Butter Balls
1c oats
1c peanut butter
3/4c protein powder
3/4-1c honey or maple syrup 
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Mix all ingredients together and roll into small 1inch balls
Refrigerate until ready to serve

Overall, Bryan and my mother-in-law liked the meal! :-)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wedding Recap: First Glance

V-Day is 4 days away, I thought I'd continue with my wedding recap - being featured the month of February 2014 on the blog.  Right where I left off, after getting ready, it was time for our ....
 FIRST GLANCE
All Photos Are By Robert Madrid Photography, All Rights Reserved
 
A lot of couples choose whether to do a "first glance" or not.  I always had thought I would be more traditional on my wedding day and wait to see the groom in the chapel, however when I saw the venue I changed my mind.  I am so glad I did!  We knew it would be perfect to have that intimate moment, just us two, in the garden outside the chapel before walking down the aisle. 
One of the reasons I was so happy we did a "first glance" was that it was a "ceremony" in itself. Another memory to add to the amazing moments of the day.  It was so sweet and intimate seeing each other for the first time and really did a lot to calm our nerves.
We decided to allow immediate family members and our wedding party to view the first look from a distance. It actually made the event extra special and we ended up getting tons of pictures- from every angle - from them!  It was also nice to include the people most important to us in this moment before we went into a more public setting.  Our wedding was not too large (90-120 people), however, it was nice to have something special, including those people that had invested in our lives and were a part of the wedding in some way.
It is completely up to each couple whether or not a "first look" or "first glance" is right for you.  For us, and for our venue, it was.
We laughed later on about how we were both shaking prior to the moment- out of nervous energy and excitement.  It was nice to calm our nerves before the big event.
 A few moments to just us!  :-)
There was something so unique about this moment. We both were feeling the same emotions together. We were one step closer to becoming Mr and Mrs, and adding this extra moment into the day let us have some time to let it soak in and enjoy the moment.

 It gave us time step back and rest for a moment.
To admire each other without tons of people watching us.




QUESTIONS:

For all who have been married, Did you do a "first glance/look"?

For all who are planning their wedding, Are you going traditional or doing a "first glance/look"?


Monday, February 10, 2014

This Weekend

This weekend, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and family friend were in town.  Saturday morning, I went for a quick run and then met up with them to tour a few properties near the beach.  The market is so good now, it is always enticing to see what's out there in terms of vacation beach rentals.
 
Afterwards, we went for a nice walk along the coast.
 
 

 Followed by lunch- Fresh Capris Salad and Gazpacho.
Yes, my mother-in-law is amazing!  Her cooking is delicious!
We finished the night at my relative's house for dinner.
And the star of the show: Key Lime Pie from "The Upper Crust" bakery!
On Sunday, I slept in til 10am, then started with a beach run along the coast
After a quick 30 min jog, I met my family at a beach café for brunch.
Followed by a trip to the green market and trip to a turtle aquarium.


 After a fun day of adventure, we came back to my mother-in-law's condo and relaxed for a bit.
I ended the weekend with a dinner date at Panera with Bryan followed by attending the night service at church.

It was so nice to get in some quality time with family. I am so refreshed and ready for work today!
 

 
Questions:
How was your weekend?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Whenever I get the chance, I love to bake.  I just love the way it makes the house smell.  When I have a bunch of brown bananas, I can't resist whipping up a wholesome banana bread.  This particular recipe come from a friend of mine over at www.homewithb.com  I made a few modifications- substituting maple syrup for honey and used Greek yogurt instead of applesauce for a little added protein.  Hope you enjoy! 
 
 

Whole Wheat Banana Bread (adapted from Home With B)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c whole wheat flour (I used 3/4 c whole wheat, 3/4 c oatmeal, 1/2c soy flour- for added protein)
3/4 tsp baking soda (I also added 1/2tsp baking powder for a fluffier bread)
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBS ground flax
3 ripe bananas (the browner the better for sweetness!)
1/4 c applesauce OR plain yogurt (organic Greek is best)
1/4 c honey OR agave OR coconut sugar  (OR, as mentioned, I used 100% pure organic maple syrup)
2 eggs
1/3 c coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 2tsp)
Option: 1/2 c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil. Best when applied with hands  (washed, of-course) ;-)
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and flax.
3. In a separate bowl, mix mashed bananas with applesauce (or yogurt), honey (or agave or coconut sugar), eggs, oil and vanilla.
4. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture until blended. Do not over mix. Add chocolate chips if you desire.
5. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake the loaf for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. (I baked for 50 minutes and it came out great!)
Happy baking this weekend! :-)