Welcome back friends and happy December! I cannot believe it is December already, November completely flew by! I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I took a couple weeks off of blogging due to my busy schedule and family in town for the holiday. I have to say I absolutely loved the November weather! I am not sure how it has been where you all live but here in DE it was beautiful and the fall colors seemed to last extra long this year….falls colors always make me smile! (And smiling is my favorite 🙂 ) It was almost 70 degrees on Thanksgiving and I completely enjoyed the outdoors with lots of hiking over the long weekend! And how cool was the movement by REI to challenge people to #OptOutside on Black Friday versus standing in lines at silly stores with turkey crazed people to buy things we just do not need!! It definitely will be my new tradition!
November just really flew by for me, I think it is because my schedule was all out of whack with the kids having days off, Alex turned 18 (gulp…I am not ready to talk about that yet!!) and we had dentist appointments mid-week. I don’t know about you, but we do sooooo much better in this house with schedules. Things become pretty comical when we are off schedule, my favorite is listening to my kids try to do the math of what time they need to get up when we are leaving the house at a different time than on a normal school day. On a normal school day, everyone is out the door by 6:45am but last week, we had dentist appointments at 8:30am, so I told them we needed to leave at 8:00am. This is apparently a CRAZY concept… this change in our regularly scheduled programming causes everyone to forget basic math skills!! Here is an example of one of my conversations:
Child: ‘Mom, what time should I get up so I am ready by 8:00?’
Me: ‘How much time do you normally need to get ready?
Child: ‘An hour.’
Me: ‘So, I would say 7:00 then.’
Child: ‘Do you think that is enough time?’
Me: ‘Is it enough time on a regular school day when you give yourself an hour?’
Child: ‘Yeah, I guess. Can you wake me up at 6:45?’
And I had 2 more conversations similar to this one with the other children. It happens every time, I have chosen to enjoy it and smile about it versus being annoyed because I know someday I will miss helping my kids with basic math story problems!! In case you are wondering, everyone was up and ready….with time to spare! Haha
Here is this week’s Top Five:
1) Protein Pumpkin Muffins
As promised, I have created a pumpkin recipe worth sharing! These are super easy, no white flour or white sugar…just all delicious healthy goodness! I hope you have a chance to make them, they are perfect on a crisp morning or for an afternoon snack with a good cup of coffee (invite your friends for coffee and make these, they will think you’re a super chef and it will blow their minds when you tell them they are healthy)!!!!
Just a few notes about the recipe:
Almond meal is easy to make by just using a food processor to grind raw almonds! If you don’t have one or you just want to buy it, I recommend the Bob’s Red Mill brand.
You can replace the buckwheat with almond meal or coconut flour, I like to use buckwheat in my recipes because of the high quality proteins in buckwheat (plus saying ‘buckwheat’ makes me smile).
Not all coconut oils are created equally! Look for organic, unrefined and raw (it should smell like coconuts!) I generally use Nutiva brand that I order from Thrive Market but there are A LOT of choices at the supermarkets, just read the label!
|Protein Pumpkin Muffins
1 ¼ cup almond meal
¼ cup ground buckwheat
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup pure pumpkin puree
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
½ cup crushed raw almonds
Preheat oven to 350. Mix eggs, melted coconut oil, pumpkin, vanilla, honey. Then fold in dry ingredients. Portion out mixture into 9 muffin cups and sprinkle crushed almonds on top. Bake for 20 minutes.
2) Curls Rock by Catwalk
For all of my curly or wavy haired friends, this is a product I have been using for a long time and I just still absolutely love it. I do not have thick hair but I have a lot of fine curly hair. Several of the curling products weigh down my curls or make them ‘crunchy’. Personally, I am not a fan of crunchy curls, I prefer soft curls and this product is perfect for that. I have tried soooo many products, I am always looking for the next best thing but I always end up back on this one so if you have not tried it, I would highly recommend it!
3) Yogi Tea
DELICIOUS! If you are a fan of hot tea, Yogi brand makes some really super delicious flavors and they are on the ‘good list’ for using Non-GMO, organic ingredients, they do not add unessecary junk to their teas and they have an awesome philosophy of ‘Feel Good, Be Good, Do Good’! They have a cool little story on their website if you have time to check it out yogiproducts.com. They make teas for everything from sore throat or congestion, to relaxing at bedtime to detoxing to digestive support….really just a lot of goodness! My favorites are Egyptian Licorice, it completely curbs my sweet tooth cravings, Bedtime, it helps calm my always racing mind, and Throat Comfort, it really does some magic when you have a sore throat….and it is sore throat season so I recommend keeping it on hand! And another bonus, each bag of tea has a little inspirational message on it and I mean…who doesn’t love that?!?!
4) Relentless Jake’s YouTube Channel
It is time to talk fitness! As most of you know, I am pretty passionate about health and fitness! I just love to feel strong, healthy and energized! A friend once told me if you have time to eat, you have time to work out so don’t make an excuse, just schedule it in your ‘things to do’ every day and get it done! Ever since then, workouts have just been part of my everyday life! I have found that no matter how busy I get, I have to not make excuses regarding getting a workout in because as soon as I do, everything starts falling apart around me! Working out is definitely my source of energy to keep up with my crazy schedule, my even more crazy kids and it is my main outlet for stress relief!
A couple of months ago, I was introduced to Jake by a friend of mine (thanks Kris!) during a quick trip to Chicago. Jake is a personal trainer who has a super awesome training facility that he runs in downtown Chicago and he also has an amazing YouTube channel where he posts a workout of the day. Although I absolutely love to go to the gym or fitness center to workout, there are days in my crazy busy schedule (especially this time of the year) when I just cannot get there and have to get my workouts in at home between getting the kids off to school, work and then before starting my semi-professional, poorly paid, teenager taxi service that I run in the evenings ;). Jake’s videos are high energy, fun and seriously, you will be done with your workout before you even know it! So for all of you that prefer at home workouts or you have days you just can’t make it to the gym, you need to have a little bit of Jake in your life! He makes getting stronger fun! Here is his YouTube channel link for you to follow: RelentlessFit365
A few fun pics from my Chicago visit 🙂
If you are looking for a place to get some super awesome deals on household items…Wayfair is amazing and they have free shipping and returns! I ordered a new office desk and rug for by office in the picture below for $150 total for both…delivered to my door for free! I have also ordered kitchen items, bedding and some shelving from them and have been super happy with everything I have ordered. I did have to make a couple returns because I ordered the wrong color and it was super easy! I also had an issue with FedEx stating my desk was delivered when it wasn’t and I called their customer service and guess what….I was connected immediately to an actual PERSON!! I forgot how important and awesome it is to talk with an actual person when calling customer service and I will tell you, they sent a new desk out, that was delivered within two days and they called me to follow up that it was delivered. I have just been super happy with this company and good customer service goes a LONG way! They also offer 10% off your first order so if you have not checked them out yet…now is the time, especially as we come upon ‘shopping season’ Wayfair
That is all for this week! I am testing out some super fun new recipes to share, working on writing a new fitness class for my SD Fitness friends and trying to get this house looking ‘Christmasy’ while really trying to just enjoy every moment! Have a great rest of your week!
I challenge you to choose to live in the ‘front row’!
Enjoy Today ~ Choose Happy J