Friday Favorites – 5/18/18

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Happy Friday! How has your week been? Ready for the weekend? It’s been a good week, but I am definitely ready for the weekend! We have some fun little events to look forward to, so it should be a good one. Before we get to the weekend though, let’s talk favorites from the week!  While it was a good one, it was also a busy one, and I took very few pictures, little bit of a fail on my part.

This week we introduced the kids to the awesomeness of the public library, which was a sweet little moment. My little girl literally walked into the children’s section, gasped, and squealed “look at all the books!” It was so adorable she didn’t even get shushed for being loud in the library. I was also pretty excited to see a new to us Pig the Pug book, as we have one and it is a favorite. Also, it’s never to early to get started on physics, right?

I also managed to sneak in a little self care time and get a manicure this week. Which was desperately needed, I think it had been 5-6 months since I had gotten one and my hands were in rough shape. It’s always so nice to have pretty (or at least prettier) nails.

I have also been enjoying some new snacks, courtesy of Shrewd Foods this week. When they offered to send me some of their snacks to try out, I was thrilled. Chips and other salty snacks are a weakness of mine and I love the idea of satisfying the craving while getting a little protein boost. The Baked Cheddar flavor tastes exactly like what you would expect from a delicious cheese puff, though the texture is a little different. I am a cheese lover in all forms, so I was expecting that the Baked Cheddar flavor would be an easy favorite, but I must say my favorite is the Brickoven Pizza. You can check them out at Shrewd Food, and of course you can find them on Amazon.

In workouts this week, I made it to two Orangetheory classes and an amazing yin yoga class, in addition to a few shorter cardio workouts sprinkled throughout the week. I don’t really view yin yoga as a workout, instead I see it as the perfect counter to higher impact workouts. It definitely helps me loosen up a bit and I always feel so relaxed after.

Around the inter webs:

I love this article on how to feel like you have more time, perception is everything sometimes.

This Citrus spring bowl looks so good!

Why am I not already making my own Cold brew? Can’t wait to check out cold brew pitchers.

What are you loving this week? Any weekend plans?

Hope you have a great one, I will see you Monday!

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Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes – Only 3 Ingredients!

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here. Thank you for your support!

Hey guys, how is your week going?  It is starting to get warm over here and I am trying to deny that summer has already arrived in the southwest.  Hopefully there are lots of pools in my future.

A couple of weeks ago I found myself with a surplus of sweet potatoes, and ended up whipping up this side dish on the fly.  It turned out so well, I knew I had to share it with you guys.   We enjoyed this dish along side Cajun spiced turkey and roasted veggies.  It makes a great side and also reheats well.

This recipe is an easy, hearty vegan dish that only has three ingredients (not including salt and pepper).  It is tasty enough to please a crowd, and may even come together with items you already have on hand!

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely diced
  • 1/4-1/3 cup vegetable broth

Directions:  Boil the diced sweet potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Once soft, drain and return to pan or place in a bowl.  Add diced chipotle peppers and vegetable broth, starting with 1/4 cup.   Mash and mix until well blended and desired consistency is reached, adding additional broth a tablespoon or so at a time, as needed.  You can also use a mixer for smoother potatoes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe can be easily customized to suit your tastes, I love it as a three ingredient recipe, but you could also a little garlic or additional spice.  If you prefer creamier potatoes (and are okay with dairy), try mixing in a little milk, cream or butter as well.

Let me know if you give it a try.

Do you have any favorite sweet potatoes recipes?  I usually roll with roasted or sauteed, but like to branch out from time to time.  One of my favorite nontraditional sweet potato options is this sweet potato breakfast bowl, which is also a great way to use up extra potatoes.

I am linking up with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands for meatless Monday, stop by to check out tons of delicious vegetarian recipes!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Weekend Recap – Feeling the Mother’s Day Love

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here. Thank you for your support!

Hey, hey! How was your weekend?

Our weekend started out on an especially fun note, we were invited to pool party/BBQ at a local community center.  It was so fun!  There was swimming, summer food and live music. After the hustle and bustle of the work week it felt like being on vacation. Most of the time I was camera free in the pool with the babes, but I did get to snag a quick picture of my little guy’s dinner. I feel like a hot dog by the pool is pretty much summer in a nutshell.

After our fun family time, I quickly got ready and headed out for a ladies night, which was also a blast! I was able to catch up with some lovely women I know, that I rarely get to see. There were also margaritas, wins all around.

Saturday morning I had every intention of going to Orangetheory, and woke up with plenty of time to, but I ended up staying home to eat breakfast with the babies and do some sticker art. It was a lovely morning, and check out that avocado toast, courtesy of chef hubs.

Later in the afternoon, we took my mom shopping and to an early dinner for Mother’s Day. We went to restaurant called Zinburger, which has delicious burgers, and is super kid friendly. I had the signature Zinburger, which has manchego cheese and braised onions. We also shared some zucchini fries. It was a great, multi-generational mom date.

The rest of the evening was spent hanging out and going to bed early. I am so glad I went to bed early, because I just could not stay asleep at all Saturday night.  I woke up around 1:00 AM and was basically awake off and on the rest of the night.

Sunday morning, while the plan was to sleep in, I ended up getting up as soon as the babes did, since I was having trouble sleeping anyways. I was greeted by beautiful homemade cards and flowers, and the hubs running out for bagels and coffee. I just love homemade cards, I think they are the sweetest thing and they always make me all misty eyed.

We then decided to make the most of the cooler morning and headed to a new to us playground. Followed by a trip to Trader Joe’s, which was mildly terrifying because we let both the kids take a try at pushing the little carts. They really enjoy it, and listen pretty well, but aren’t always super aware of where other shoppers are. Fortunately we avoided any actual run ins.

After quickly dropping off groceries, we headed to the zoo. It was a beautiful morning, and lots of animals were out. Including the otters, which are a favorite of mine.

While it was a beautiful morning, we didn’t stay too long. The kids and I were all starting to get a little hangry and we decided lunch and some chill time was needed. After lunch, I decided to take advantage of wannabe nap/rest time (my kiddos nap great at school, rarely at home) and hit up a yoga class. This class is a “karma class,” all cash donations that are donated to a local charity, which felt just right on Mother’s Day. I always love checking out the alters at yoga studios, so soothing.

The rest of the day was spent enjoying my littles. We washed cars and splashed in the baby pool while the hubs prepared us this Mediterranean kebab feast. Which included the kebabs, grilled corn, hummus and tzatzaki and grilled naan. It was such a nice way to celebrate Mother’s Day and a warm Sunday afternoon. Also, plenty of yummy leftovers for lunch mañana.

So friends, tell me about your weekend. What did you do? Any thing on the horizon for this week? Do you have summer vacation plans yet? I always gets a case of wanderlust when I start seeing graduations happening. It always seems to signal travel time to me.

Hope you have a great day!

Friday Favorites – 5/11/18

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here. Thank you for your support!

Happiest of Friday’s friends!!! How was your week? Any big weekend plans? Aside from moving at groggy turtle speed it was a pretty good week over here. We had some good fitness moments, some super sweet Mom moments, I caught up on Westworld, all good things!

Now for some favorites….

First up, early Mother’s Day love. My son’s class hosted a “Muffins with Mom” event this week, and the kids (thanks husband) sent me some chocolate covered strawberries to my office earlier this week. The strawberries were so sweet and unexpected. The Muffins with Mom event was just the best.  The card below reads “you are my sunshine.”  When I was reading it, the little dude emphatically told me that I am his sunshine, and then my heart exploded. It was just the best feeling and I can’t wait to spend some quality time with my favorite little people this weekend.

In less sentimental favorites, I picked up this new concealer a few weeks ago and am just loving it. I like that Tarte products are not full of weird ingredients and this concealer covers nicely while still feeling super light.

I had been thinking about trying out the Four Sigmatic line for a while, as I had heard that it it great for supporting the brain.  But finally decided to order some a couple of weeks ago after it took me three weeks to notice that someone I see most days had their cast removed. Obviously my brain does need a hug. I find the flavor of this elixir enjoyable (kind of a tea flavor, with some anise undertones), and am enjoying having it as a little afternoon pick me up. I am definitely looking forward to trying some of the coffee and hot cocoa varieties. I got it at Thrive Market (<- referral link), but have seen some Four Sigmatic products on Amazon and at Sprouts.

Still looking for something for Mom? This list has some great goods at affordable prices, I especially love the tea towels.

I have a little meditation corner at home that makes me happy, but this chocolate and wine filled “Lady parlor” is what dreams are made of.

I definitely feel my best somewhere in the “Grey area of eating” and appreciated Tina’s take on it.

So friends….tell me what you are loving this week. I always love hearing about your new favorites?

Do you have any big plans this weekend? Hope you have a wonderful weekend and happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mommas out there!

Tofu & Edamame Poke Bowls

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here. Thank you for your support!

Hey friends! Happy hump day, hope your week is chugging along nicely.

It’s been a pretty good one over here so far, but seems to be dragging a bit for some reason. When I woke up yesterday I could have sworn it was later in the week already.  Perhaps I am just excited for some potential downtime this weekend.

When I shared my new favorite tofu and edamame poke bowl lunches last week, I had a few requests for the recipe, so I wanted to share it today.

Truth be told, I was pretty excited to share them today because it gave me an excuse to make them again for lunch this week. They are just that tasty that I am that excited to be eating them again! I have them all packed up and ready to go for the week.

These bowls are an easy make ahead vegan meal that packs in plenty of protein. They are also super customizable (see my suggestions in the ingredients list), so feel free to make them your own! It does take a little time to prep the tofu, but it is mostly inactive work.

Tofu & Edamame Poke Bowls

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 package extra form tofu
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 bag frozen shelled edamame (12 oz)
  • 1 cup prepared brown rice (I used the 90 second microwaveable kind from Costco)
  • Salad greens of choice
  • 1 cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 cup French fried onions
  • 1 brunch green onions, diced
  • Desired add ons: technically the green onions and French fried onions are also add ons, but since I love them, I included them in my main recipe. Other fun add ons would be a scoop of crab salad, nori, a sprinkle of chili flakes, furikake, sesame seeds
  • Dressing (optional): soy sauce, ponzu, sriracha

Directions: Remove the tofu from package, pour off liquid and slice long ways into three roughly equal slices. To press, you can use a tofu press if you have one, or do what I do. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, place tofu in a single layer on top, layer some paper towels on top of the tofu. Cover with a towel, and place something heavy (I usually use a cast iron skillet) on top. Stick in the fridge for two hours to overnight depending on what kind of time you have.

After pressing, cut tofu into small cubes and toss with soy sauce and sesame oil. Spread on a lightly oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, flipping half way through. Actual cooking time will depend on how much moisture was removed from pressing and how you like your tofu. Keep an eye on it after 15-20 min and remove from oven when desired texture is reached. I like my tofu a little crispy on the outside, so I will typically bake for 25-30 min and then broil for 1-2 min before taking it out. Once done, set aside to cool.

While tofu is cooking, prepare rice and edamame according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.

Once all ingredients are prepared, assemble your poke bowls by adding a layer of greens in a bowl, and topping with a layer of rice. Then top with tofu, edamame, cucumber, French fried onions, green onions and any other toppings your heart desires. Drizzle on dressing and enjoy.

I would love to see you poke bowl creations if you give it a try, tag me on Instagram with your creations.


Friends, what are your go to make ahead meals? Do you have any lunch options that you can eat over and over again?

Hope you have a great day!

Weekend recap – All the eats and a wedding!

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Hey friends, how was your weekend? We made the most of it over here, with pretty action packed days each day.

I had planned to have a friend over for wine and snacks after the babies went to bed Friday, but she ended up needing to stay home with a sick little one, so I finished up a book I was reading, before heading to bed around 9:00 PM. Wild Friday nights happening over here, lol. It was a pretty good book though, Palisades Park, about a family who grew up and worked in the famous Palisades Park of New Jersey. It was not a book I think I would have picked on my own (it had been a Christmas gift), but I really enjoyed it. I think that’s one of the best parts of receiving books as gifts, getting to read something you never would have thought of yourself.

Saturday morning, I had every intention of starting with a workout, but it was beautiful outside, so we decided taking the babies to the park was a better idea than hitting the gym. Being outside (with a nice cup of coffee) on a spring morning really is the best. I also did do some body weight exercises at the playground, which the babies found pretty entertaining.

(Old picture, same ol iced coffee)

After morning park time, I was off to teach class and get a pedicure before we picked up lunch and headed over to my in-laws. They were watching the kiddos for us Saturday evening, so we could attend a wedding and we wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mother-in-law a bit as well. We brought over Beyond Bread. I didn’t get that delicious sandwich again though, opting for my usual salad instead, which was just as good as it always is.  The hubs got the Tito Torta though and agreed that it was delicious.

After a nice family afternoon, the hubs and I ran home, got ready and were off to a wedding of a good friends. The wedding was beautiful and we had a blast celebrating the bride and groom. It was also a bit sentimental, as it was the same venue we got married in. We were so busy catching up with old friends that we missed the actual cake cutting, but isn’t it a beautiful cake? I love the little pops of colors the flowers add and the textures in the frosting.

Sunday morning we slept in until almost 7:00 (late in our world at least), then headed out to meet the babies and my in-laws for breakfast. We introduced them to the hubs’ favorites breakfast spot, and I tried one of their breakfast taco dishes. They make their own corn tortillas, and they are so good.

A little later in the day, I headed to my book club brunch. I was still full from breakfast, but couldn’t resist getting a caramel cappuccino after seeing some of the other ladies drinking them.

The rest of Sunday was spent getting ready for the week and visiting with my aunt and cousin who were in town. It was great to see them and for them to get to see how big the babies are getting.

So friends, tell me about your weekend? Did you do anything for Cinco de Mayo or the Kentucky Derby? Do you have a favorite bunch dish?

Hope you have a great day!

Friday Favorites – 5/4/18 – Give me all the Poke Bowls

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Happy, happy Friday! How was your week? It was a pretty good one over here. We had more packed in than I had initially planned, but if we are being honest, that’s kind of my style. So while busy, I feel like it was a super productive work week.  The babies and I got some good park time and fun hangout time in, and I got some pretty good workouts in.

Being that it is Friday, I am in the mood to talk Favorites, so let’s get started!

First up, homemade poke bowls. I used tofu for these because it was convenient for my meal prep, they were so good! I had one for dinner Monday and then for lunch Tuesday and Wednesday, and was honestly pretty bummed that there wasn’t more for lunch Thursday. They will definitely be a regular in the summer rotation. Let me know if you would like me to share how I make them.

Tuesday night I had an evening meeting at the gym I teach at, and was able to squeeze in a little dinner date beforehand with a good friend and her super adorable baby. We went to Beyond Bread, which is always a favorite, though it had been a while since I had been there. Turns out they came out with some new sandwiches while I was away. This masterpiece below is Tito’s Torta and has ham, bacon, provolone, avocado and a jalapeño spread. Something totally different than the salad I usually get, but also totally delicious.

As I mentioned earlier, it was also a pretty good workout week. I managed to make it to Orangetheory twice (and resolve my heart rate monitor issues, yeah). Last night, I also hit up a yoga class, which was exactly what I needed after a couple of days of heavy strength and cardio workouts. I was also able to get in plenty of walks in the beautiful spring weather we have been having. Sadly, my allergies have not been loving the weather, but it’s just to nice out to not be outside as much as possible.

In the blog world this week:

I stumbled across a gallery photo wall post with templates and measurements that I am pretty excited about. Decorating is not a strength of mine (I tend to be pretty minimalist and will leave walls empty for ages), but I really want to figure out a nice display of baby pictures. I’m thinking this will help me a lot.

How cute are these DIY succulent soaps from Pretty Simple Ideas?

These Amish sugar cookies sound so good, and I am pretty sure I have all the ingredients on hand, so they maybe happening this weekend.

I am forever on the hunt for new workout music, so I was pretty excited to see this new playlist Gina shared.

So friends, what are you loving this week?  Poke bowls yeah or nah?  Any great workout songs to share?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Southwest Pasta Salad

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Happy hump day friends, how’s your week going?  Its been the usual blend of hustle and hangout time over here.  I got in a great workout shoulder workout in yesterday, I don’t know if it was just that hard or it had just been a while since I did that kind of strength workout, but man am I feeling it.

Anyhow, today I wanted to share a southwest pasta salad recipe that we have been having on repeat as a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Mexican food is a definite favorite of mine, but a girl should not cannot live on tacos and burritos alone.  So when I am craving my favorite Mexican flavors, but want something a little different, I reach for this delightful pasta salad.  I love it vegetarian with black beans, but you could easily dice up some steak or chicken if you wanted more protein.  You could also use a protein pasta, I have not personally tried that, but I see no reason it wouldn’t be great.

I love this salad as a main course, but it also makes a great side dish for a summer BBQ or something a little different for a Cinco de Mayo party.

Southwest Pasta Salad

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 12 oz package pasta (I use the vegetable pasta from TJs because the babies like the colors)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn, fresh, canned or frozen (I like to use the frozen roasted corn from TJs)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced with seeds removed
  • 1 can black olives, drained
  • 3/4-1 cup TJ’s cilantro salad dressing (a salsa ranch or Chipotle dressing would also be good.
  • 1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 4 green onions, diced.

Directions: cook pasta according to package instructions. Once cooked, toss with all ingredients except cotija cheese and green onions. Once thoroughly mixed, gently fold in 2/3 of cheese and green onions. Reserving the remaining 1/3 to sprinkle on top.  Serve room temperature or cold.  Store leftovers in the fridge.

Note, I used whole black olives because the hubs does not like them and it is easy to pick out the whole ones.  If that is not an issue, I think the sliced ones would be great too.

I am linking up with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands for meatless Monday, stop by to check out tons of delicious vegetarian recipes!

Let me know if you give it a try.  Hope you have a great day!

A Day in the Life: Weekend Edition

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Hey friends! How are ya? Hope you had a nice weekend. Instead of my normal weekend recap, I thought I’d share a day in the life. This was Saturday, which was a really busy day, but lots of fun.

5:45 AM Wake up. For a brief moment, I thought everyone was still sleeping, but within in a few minutes everyone was up. I snuggled on the couch with the babies while drinking my coffee. I shook up an iced coffee with almond milk, collagen and a little MCT oil.

7:00 AM Orangetheory. I knew we would be running around most of the weekend, so I wanted to make sure I got a good workout in early. It was a good one using all sort of equipment (ab dolly, bands, TRX). I love ones that use a lot of equipment, I feel like it makes the workout fly by.

8:30 AM Breakfast. After class, I made a quick breakfast of leftover sausage, Brussel sprout and potato hash with an egg on top. It was delicious. After breakfast I played with the kids a bit and took a quick shower.

10:00 AM Teach class. I teach a 30 minute seated workout class Saturday mornings. It is a fun group and was a great class. After class I rushed home for a quick wardrobe change and to collect my little family before we were off again.

11:00 AM Baby shower. We went to a friend’s sprinkle for their second baby. It was a great shower for the whole family and I loved all the decorations. They had a pineapple theme, which was super cute. They even made Ferrero Rocher chocolates into little pineapples, so clever!  There was also a Mexican food lunch, which I always love. The rice was especially good.

1:30 PM Chore time.  We got home around 1:30 and tried to get the babies to take a nap, which was pretty unsuccessful. So while they kind of rested, the hubs and I blitzed through some chores and cleaning. Before heading out for our second party of the day.

4:00 PM Birthday party time! We attended a 1st birthday at the park.  The birthday boy was so cute, and I always love watching babies dive into their first birthday cake. They had a nacho bar and it was right by the playground, which was just perfect for the babies. It was an outer space theme, which was a lot of fun. We also saw several old friends we hadn’t seen in a while, so it was great to catch up a bit. Check out this cute little smash cake the birthday boy’s grandma made.

7:30 PM.  Night out.  I met up with a friend later in the evening for drinks and catching up, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law later joined us. It was a great time, but definitely a later night than anticipated.

So there you have it friends, a jam packed Saturday. It was a busier day than usual, but so nice to get to see so many people and catch up. Also the kids were thrilled to have some many friends to play with, not to mention two events involving cake in one day.  We also got to enjoy a much more relaxed Sunday, which was much appreciated by this tired lady.

What did you do this past weekend? Do you prefer a busy weekend or a laid back, unplanned one? I like being on the go, but was grateful for some downtime yesterday, after what seems to have been a busy last few weeks.

Hope you have a great day!

Friday Favorites – 4/27/18 – Fair, Food and Fun!

This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Hey friends! How’s your week been? It has been a pretty fun one over here, though I am feeling a bit behind on life now. We have been super go, go, go recently.  Which I actually really enjoy, but part of my brain is like yo, we need to clean, get things organized and SLEEP!

In usual fashion, I wanted to share some favorites from the week. This was a particularly fun one to put together, because there were lots of things I really enjoyed from my week.

During my solo shopping experience last week, I picked up this facial scrub from TJs. I liked that it didn’t have any funky ingredients, and at only 5.99, was a super affordable skin care find. It is nice and gentle, and makes me feel just a little pampered each time I use it.

I mentioned this on Wednesday, but I ended up getting to meet a friend for dinner on Tuesday. We went to a new Poke place in town, which I was super excited to try. It just opened a week or so ago, and it took a long time for my friend’s order to come up (she ordered before me but I had my food way before), so think they are still working out the kinks. My meal was awesome though! I went with crab and spicy tuna, I’m pretty sure I could eat a poke bowl every day.

When it comes to sunglasses, I go super cheap. I tend to be rough on them, throwing them into my purse and letting the babies play with them, so they get dinged up pretty quick. Because of this, I am always almost in need of a new pair.  The hubs picked me up this pair that I just love and am doing my darnedest to keep in good shape. I love the shape and the tint of the lenses.

The new shades came in super handy when we decided to take the kids to the fair last-minute on Wednesday. The county fair is in town, and we really hadn’t planned to go as I thought the kids were too little to be interested in rides.  However, some friends had extra tickets they offered us (Thank you!), so we decided why not, and figured we could at least enjoy some fair food and check out the animals (I love the pygmy goats).  Turns out, I was way off about the babies and rides.  They LOVED them.  I was nervous at the top of that Ferris wheel, my little guy, no fear at all, he was thrilled!  It was a great time!

Online there have been so many yummy looking things floating around.  I am especially excited to try these:

Chocolate cherry espresso oatmeal bars from Confessions of a Mother Runner.  These sound like three of my favorite flavors all combined into one healthy bar.

I love lemon desserts and these Greek yogurt lemon bars from Skinny Fitalicious sound like the perfect summer time treat.

This pasta primavera from Looney for Food looks so delicious and springy!

Also a big congrats to my friend Kelli over at Hungry Hobby.  Such exciting new and a super inspiring story.

So friends, what are you loving this week?  Any big weekend plans?  Do you splurge on sunglasses?  I will rock those free pairs they give out at events forever.

Hope you have a great weekend!