Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday Things

We have thawed out from our wonderful and unexpected Snowcation last week and back to our regularly scheduled programming. Charlotte is known for mis-forecasting these things so the amount of snow that we got was a true surprise! 

Local schools closed on Tuesday night in preparation of the storm and it snowed pretty much all day on Wednesday, giving us three consecutive snow days. We did all of the snow day things! Snow angels, snowmen, hot chocolate, Christmas music and lots of snuggling. 

Right before our snowy week, Mark and I spent the weekend in Asheville with friends and it was just what we needed. We stayed at the most spectacular house that used to operate as an inn/bed and breakfast. Everything was decorated so ornate and quirky and it was all sorts of magical. 

A perfectly relaxing weekend with lots of good food, wonderful friends, sparkly snowy skies and THE BEST AVOCADO TOAST OF LIFE. Seriously, if you find yourself in the Asheville area, please enjoy brunch at Sunny Point Cafe. The avocado toast and Bloody Mary will change you for the better.  

We aren't doing a true January Whole 30, but we are trying to stick to it as much as we can. I've found a few new recipes that have been hits with all of us!

- Smoky Chicken Burgers from No Crumbs Left
- Marinated Onions from No Crumbs Left
- Chicken Pesto Paleo Spaghetti Squash from Paleo Running Momma
- Steak with Mixed Olive Tapenade from Cooking Light

I purchased this CC Cream from it Cosmetics a few weeks ago and I am LOVING it. This product has a cult following and it definitely lives up to the hype. Perfect for everyday but still enough coverage if you want a "full face". It's better than a tinted moisturizer but less heavy than a traditional foundation. 

I'm still not giving up on the Golden Milk Latte. This recipe from Ambitious Kitchen is next on my list and I have high hopes. 

SHISHITO PEPPERS! Where have these been all my life. We had these in Asheville and I'm obsessed. Apparently these are hard to find in grocery stores but Trader Joe's almost always has them in stock. Blistered in olive oil and sprinkled with a little sea salt- SO GOOD. I'll be adding these to our regular rotation.

And lastly, a special thank you to Justin Timberlake for this new music!!! I pre-ordered the entire album and it's like a happy little treat the past few weeks as each new song is released. I'm a number one fan for life.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Golden Milk Latte

If I have to have a vice, I feel like coffee isn't the worst of the worst. I have a cup and a half to two cups in the morning and usually a cup around 3 in the afternoon. This is partially for the caffeine and partially because my sweet tooth hits me hard around this time of day and coffee helps that! I won't give up my coffee all together, but I'm all for making "healthier" choices and cutting back where I can. 

I'm not fully on board with the golden milk lattes but I love a good health food trend and am always willing to try them out. Turmeric is what packs the big punch here. It has tons of great health benefits including having anti-inflammatory benefits and increasing the antioxidant capacity in your body. I won't be giving up my afternoon coffee all together but I will definitely be drinking these every so often as a little health boost! 

If you're looking for other ways to get your turmeric in, this detox tea is one of my very favorites in the winter. 

Golden Milk Latte

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of black pepper
2 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. pure maple syrup

In a small saucepan, heat almond milk until it's hot but not boiling. Add turmeric, ginger and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Add the coconut oil and pepper and whisk until the coconut oil melts. Add in maple syrup, plus more for added sweetness if you like. Pour into a cup and drink up! 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hello, 2018 + First Meal Plan of the New Year!

Two thumbs up for a peppermint latte but two thumbs down for no more red cups. 

If I'm being honest, the end of the holiday season always leaves me feeling a little sad. We wait and wait and wait for this time of year and then it passes us by in a blink! We soaked it all in and truly enjoyed the season but I always wish it could last a little it longer. Our twinkly tree is still thriving and glowing and we are enjoying it through the rest of this week. I need a few more snuggly nights by my tree with a Hallmark movie playing in the background. I even made a "Winter playlist" to ease me back in because I can't stop with the Christmas music abruptly. 

I do love the fresh start of a new year, though! We have been in vacation mode for awhile now and it will be nice to get back to early mornings in the gym, routine and my favorite- MEAL PLANNING! We aren't doing a true Whole 30 in January but I'm trying to keep our meals mostly Whole 30. I've found Instagram to be a huge resource for meal ideas and I have so many friends who are on board as well so I always have people to recipe swap with. 

Here's what's on our menu this week:

Chicken Picatta + Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Salad

Cajun Salmon + Green Beans + Roasted Red Potatoes

Hawaiian Chicken Burgers + Roasted Sweet Potato Fries + Salad

Sausage + Greens Roasted Veggie Bowls 

Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash

Sushi Takeout (I have been craving this for WEEKS!)

If you are looking for healthy recipe inspiration for the New Year, here are a few of my favorites to follow:

No Crumbs Left
Pretend It's a Donut
Ambitious Kitchen
The Defined Dish
Pinch of Yum

Also related to the start of the new year, I just jumped onboard with Emily Ley's 2018 Simplicity Challenge. I'm a few days behind but luckily, the past three days have been easy to catch up with. Today's challenge was to clean up your phone! It sounds a little silly, but it felt so good. I deleted apps that I don't use, turned off almost all notifications and organized everything into folders. I also deleted old contacts and moved time sucking apps to the last page of my phone. You can follow the challenge on Instagram by following @emilyley and #simplicitychallenge2018. (not sponsored- just loving the idea of incorporating this in January)

Cheers to a great 2018!