Life Lately

Life lately has been busy. Lots of work, lots of working out, planning a move in three weeks, friends in town, and all of the day to day stuff in between. It’s all good stuff, but even the good stuff can be exhausting. Chad and I are trying to fit in time to relax together and just regroup, but easier said than done! So, after I’m done traveling for work this week, we have some fun relaxing plans planned for next weekend. In the meantime, here are the last few weeks in photos, because pictures capture the chaos better than words ever would.

I hope you all are having an amazing start to the fall season! Stay tuned for some fun fall recipes coming soon!

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Care/of Vitamins

Stress, energy levels and sleep are things I struggle with regularly. They are all a part of a vicious cycle. I don’t sleep well, so I don’t have any energy. I don’t have any energy, so I don’t process or prioritize things going on in life the way I normally would. I don’t process the same, I get stressed out. I’m stressed out, so I don’t sleep. Like I said, vicious cycle.

I’ve been trying to find the right solutions to all these things for a while now, and I was pretty sure that vitamins was my answer, but I couldn’t find one that covered all of my needs, or ones that weren’t super expensive. Then I stumbled upon Care/of, which was both personalized and inexpensive. I took a quiz about my lifestyle and all of the things I wanted my vitamins to focus on, and then the website reccomended the handful of vitamins they thought I should take daily based on my quiz results. Even better, all of their vitamins are 100% organically sourced, so I knew I was getting something genuinely good for my body, a natural solution to feeling less stressed, sleeping better, having more energy and just having overall good health.

Care/of was awesome enough to give us a discount code to share with y’all, so be sure to enter ‘TASTEBUDS50″ at checkout, and you’ll get 50% off your first month of vitamins! That will make your total probably less than $10, it’s amazing.

The vitamins come in these perfect little daily packs that you can easily take with you to work or just rip open at home. Convenience is key when it comes to having to add something into your daily routine, so having my vitamins easily accessible and portable has been a life saver. I can honestly say after taking my personalized vitamins for a few weeks, I can actually tell a difference. And now Chad is taking them too, for different things like muscle recovery and long lasting energy. We actually find it fun to take our vitamins together in the morning and see what our fun fact of the day is.

Mental and physical health are super important to me, so these vitamins have helped me in both departments. Especially while training for a half marathon (see post here), I need all the energy and rest I can get! If you give them a shot, absolutely let me know what vitamins you try! You can customize your pack with any of there many available vitamins, so I’m always open to trying any of the different ones you get recommended!

Go take your quiz now and get started!

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Scone Recipe

A few months ago I was becoming obsessed with the Starbucks blueberry scones. It would be my Friday treat to go get a scone and a cup of coffee from the drive through before work. Then I made the mistake of looking up the nutritional information and as expected, it wasn’t super great. I decided I should probably stop my weekly habit and figure out how to make homemade scones on my own for when I wanted to fulfill my craving.

So, I bought some King Arthur whole wheat flour, and went to work making scones. I have been trying to use whole wheat everything these days as a healthier and more natural option, and to my surprise, you can’t even tell the difference! If anything, baked goods have even better flavor.

The scones were super easy to make and actually turned out really tasty. I may or may not have heated one up for breakfast the following two days after making them.


Print Recipe
Whole Wheat Blueberry Scones
Whole wheat blueberry scones using King Arthur whole wheat flour.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
scones
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
scones
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Cut butter into small pieces and pour into flour mixture. Mix together with hands until the mixture becomes lumpy from the butter.
  4. In another bowl combine milk/cream, honey and egg. Slowly pour into flour mixture and combine everything until you have a moist dough.
  5. Form the dough into a ball with your hands. Put the dough ball on a cookie sheet and flatten dough into an 8-10 inch wide disk. Cut disk into 8 even slices
  6. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. They are amazing right out of the oven, so make sure you enjoy them while they're warm!
Recipe Notes

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Seattle: Where to Eat in Seattle!

I’ve always heard that Seattle has great food and craft beer. So, when I found out I was going to Seattle for a week, my foodie excitement kicked in. Unfortunately, through my first few days in the city, I was disappointed. I was there for work, and eating catered sandwiches and hotel breakfasts just wasn’t cutting it for me. When my work time came to a close and my vacation time with Chad started, I vowed to only eat exceptionally good food all day long. Not just three meals a day. Three meals and at least two snacks in between. I can very strongly say that after our day and a half of vacation ended, I was no longer disappointed in the food in Seattle. I put together a list of where to eat in Seattle, so if you ever find yourself there, you can make sure you’re only eating the good stuff!

Where to Eat in Seattle

  • The Purple Cafe: This is the first place we went once I was done with work. It may have been my excitement for vacation or the fact that I was drinking champagne at lunch, but the atmosphere of this place and the really good french fries made it one of my top favorites. I also got a grilled chicken sandwich with super organic chicken that was so tasty and fresh. I was also having serious food envy of the people sitting next to me who had ordered lobster mac and cheese….PLEASE ORDER THAT IF YOU EVER GO!
  • Biscuit Bitch: Yes, that’s actually the name. We got the “Basic Bitch” which was a biscuit sandwich with egg, cheese and bacon. The biscuit was amazing, which you would expect considering the word is in the name of the restaurant, but it was really amazing. The perfect amount of crunch, while still being so soft and fluffy on the inside. You should definitely go. You can also pick up a biscuit to go if you’re in a hurry!
  • The Pike Pub: This place was right near the Pike Place Market, so we went in here to get a quick snack. We ended up sitting in this place for two and a half hours, trying 12 different beers and eating huge soft pretzels with amazing beer cheese and mustard. The beers were amazing and the pretzels were delicious, but it was one of those places that really facilities social eating/drinking. We loved just sitting there with nowhere to be, drinking really good beer.
  • Yardhouse: Chad and I actually went here for a super late night dinner after one of my days of work, and we really enjoyed it. Best moscow mule of my life. Also, the queso was delicious. It was not your Tex-Mex queso, it was real, thick, melted cheese in a cast iron skillet. Yes please.
  • Serious Pie: We ended our trip on a freaking high note. This brick oven pizza was so delicious that we almost ordered a second pizza after we had already finished our first one. The ingredients were so fresh, and the pizza was cooked absolutely perfectly. I don’t really know how to express how good it was, except to say that I barely spoke to Chad the entire time we were eating.

We ate at several other delicious places while we were in Seattle, I just can’t remember the names of all of them. These few were absolutely the best of the best. If you’re ever in Seattle, make sure to add a few of these to your list of places to go. I love food so much that it’s always a highlight of anywhere we travel. I love trying new places, new things, and just enjoying my time with Chad while also really enjoying a tasty meal or a tasty drink.

If you’re going to be in Austin soon, be sure to check out my where to eat post from there as well!

 

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Running: Training for a Half Marathon

Part of my mission to stay healthy includes working out (obviously). Lately it’s been really hard for me to keep any sort of workout routine since Chad and I have been traveling pretty constantly. I was in a really consistent routine of working out over my lunch break, but when several of my work weeks were spent in other states, that routine kind of went out the window. So, when I knew I was going to have three weeks free of travel, I promised myself I was going to create a strong workout regimen that I could easily maintain.

What that led me to was training for a half marathon. I’ve always loved to run, and I’ve always been relatively good at running long distances. I’ve even thought about half marathons or marathons before, but the goal seemed unreasonable for my lifestyle. This time I decided to stop making excuses and just do it. If I don’t do it perfectly, it’s not a failure. If I miss one day, it’s not a lost cause. But, if I’m able to stay healthy and have something to work toward, then it was a success.

I found this half marathon training program on halfmarathon.net, and it is super reasonable. I’m already halfway through the first week and feeling like I can actually accomplish the end result.

It’s all about believing you can do what you set out to accomplish, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. So, here are my 5 tips for sticking with a workout plan:

  1. Set reasonable goals every day : a 3 mile run takes less than 30 minutes, so it’s not a big time commitment
  2. Plan your workouts for a time of day when you know you’ll have energy : I never have energy after work, so I always shoot for the morning or at lunch time
  3. Have comfortable shoes/clothes : It is so easy to use painful feet, shin splints or discomfort as an excuse to not workout, so don’t make it a possibility! (the shorts below have holes in them, but I still wear them all the time because they are my most comfortable! Here are some similar ones)
  4. Reward yourself: Have a glass of red wine after you reach a goal. It’s all about balance!
  5. Write your workout schedule down : If you write it down in a planner or add a time slot in your schedule, it’s much easier to make sure it actually happens.

Sometimes you just have to make a decision to stop coming up with all of the reasons why it may not be a good idea, and make it happen. Who wants to join me?!

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Seattle: What to see in Seattle!

I went to Seattle for work, but extended the trip so I could actually explore the city that I have been wanting to see for so long! Chad luckily got to come with me, so we had two whole days to explore, wander around, see the views and soak it all in.

There were more than enough activities to fill our days, but here are some of my favorite things.

What to see in Seattle:

  • Pike’s Place Market (duh.) – My grocery shopping will never be the same. The amount of fresh produce was stunning. Chad tasted a peach and couldn’t stop talking about it for the next 24 hours.
  • The Great Gum Wall – When you get past the gross factor of that much chewed gum, it’s pretty awesome to think how many people have stood in that exact spot, all contributing to the same thing. Even if that thing is just a wall full of chewed gum.
  • The Very First Starbucks – It’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s worth seeing. Merely for the fact that while you’re there you realize that someone just opened a coffee shop. They opened a coffee shop that now has managed to be a household name across the world. It’s pretty cool to see where that all started.
  • A view of the city – I got a few amazing views of the Seattle skyline from afar, and between the buildings, the space needle, and Mt Rainer, it was one of my favorite cityscapes. We went on a sailboat, road the ferris wheel, and went to Kerry Park for our views. I recommend any and all of the above.
  • Get out on the water – We went whale watching, and although we only saw one whale, it was worth getting to see Seattle and the state from the water. The nature is so beautiful that I could have stayed on a boat all day long, but there was too much else to do. If you have time, definitely hop on your boat of choice.
  • Eat good food – The good food is in abundance. So much so that it warrants its’ own blog post, so stay tuned for all of the mouth watering foodie photos.

We could have done so much more if we had more time, but if you ever find yourself in Seattle, these are the things I recommend seeing. If you’re planning a trip, let me know if you have any questions on what to see in Seattle!

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Healthy Recipes: Mexican Pizza



As I’ve mentioned before (in my homemade salsa blog), Mexican food is my favorite cuisine. For my birthday dinner, I choose Mexican food. For nights when we don’t want to cook and we order out, I choose Mexican food. When I want to splurge and not care about calories, I choose Mexican food (aka all the chips and queso I can eat). So, it’s not surprising that one of the meals I make the most at home is….MEXICAN FOOD.

I bought this Southern Living cookbook just to get some idea for new things to cook for dinner. Naturally, the first thing that inspired me were these Chicken and Blackbean tostadas. I decided to take my own spin on it, but this cookbook has already given me so many amazing ideas for healthy recipes! First up, these tostadas aka Mexican pizzas:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 can black beans
  • shredded cheese
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup spinach
  • salsa
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1/2 tbs oregano
  • 1/2 tbs black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil
  2. Boil chicken breasts on medium high for 30 minutes
  3. Drain chicken and shred with a fork
  4. Mix in cumin, chili powder, oregano and black pepper
  5. Put tortillas in oven directly on rack under high broil
  6. Take out once crisp
  7. Spread black beans onto tortillas
  8. Add chicken, cheese, onion, spinach, rice and salsa
  9. Eat two and don’t feel guilty

Chad doesn’t like black beans, so we added a little extra cheese and salsa to his. The fun thing with this healthy recipe is that you can switch it up and personalize your Mexican pizza! I know there’s no queso, but I’m determined to find a healthy queso recipe for next time!

What is your go to meal?

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Kansas City: What We Ate!

A lot of our friends live in Kansas City, so Chad and I decided to make a weekend trip there to spend time with them and eat some good food. We succeeded at both of those things. We ate too much and laughed a lot, which was so refreshing since we live so far away from some of our best friends. You honestly can’t beat sitting on a patio on a perfect summer day with good company. Except when you add delicious soft pretzel bites with beer cheese, then it made for the most perfect afternoon.

Friday night, at Cooper’s Hawk, was one of the best meals we’ve had in a while. We had wine flights (major win), the best brussel sprouts I’ve ever tasted in my life, lettuce wraps, an amazing flatbread, the BEST pretzel bread, and some dark chocolate truffles (with another glass of wine) for dessert. If you’re ever in Kansas City, I would highly recommend paying Cooper’s Hawk a visit. It was the full dining experience which facilitated such high quality friend time that we ended up staying there for four hours. Not only did we lose track of time, but we also were so consumed in the conversation and food that I didn’t take a single photo of the delicious goodness…

Saturday we visited the Boulevard Brewing Company’s brewhouse and went on their tour. We ate all the pretzel bites with beer cheese, drank all of the samples, and got some of the best views of Kansas City. After that signature Kansas City experience, we had to continue the trend and go for BBQ. When we showed up at Joe’s Kansas City BBQ, the line was to the door. We winded our way around the restaurant until we finally go our big plates of BBQ, and it was absolutely worth the wait. The brisket was delicious, but I could have eaten two more orders of their french fries.

Food and friends make for really great weekends, and we are so glad we got to combine the two on our weekend in Kansas City!

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Snack Attack! Target Haul

I am a HUGE snacker. At least three or four times throughout my work day I am on the hunt for something to snack on. I typically keep my snacks healthy, but healthy snacking can be a struggle. The processed world we live in has taught us to crave candy, chips and who knows what else, but all of the fake ingredients on those packages is enough to scare me off.

Because of that, I am always on the lookout for healthy, organic, snacks with ingredients I can pronounce. One place I have found that carries some cool and tasty organic snacks (for an affordable price), is the happiest place on Earth. Target.

At least once a week I find myself strolling the aisles of Target on my lunch break. This week was no different, and I stocked up on some of the best snacks. For you fellow snackers, these are worth a try to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings without fake ingredients and a million calories.

Somersaults Sunflower Seed Crunchy Bites

These things are addicting. They taste like the Cookie Crisp cereal you ate if you were a 90’s kid who got away with eating chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. They are sweet (but only 3g sugar) and chocolatey, with the perfect crunch and poppable size. Always reminding myself that healthy doesn’t mean eat three times the serving size with these.

Naturebox Sweet and Smoky BBQ Twists

If you’ve ever had those little Frito BBQ twist chips and loved them, then buy these. They taste as close as you could get to the unhealthy version. I could snack on a handful of these bad boys to satisfy my need for a bag of chips and never know the difference. I haven’t had a ton of luck finding salty healthy snacks (other than my obsession with popcorn), so finding these was a minor jackpot moment. Plus the twists are bigger, so that’s a bonus!

Nourish Crunchy Coconut Vanilla Granola Bites

I usually highly dislike coconut, but I caught myself popping a few of these in my mouth and loving it. They are the perfect level of sweetness, but can also easily be substituted for part of your breakfast. I love granola, so healthy and tasty versions of it get me overly excited. Now I am on a mission to try Nourish’s other flavors!

Like I said, I’m a huge snacker, so this probably won’t be the last time I share my favorite snacks with you. But, I want to hear some of your favorite snacks so I can try out your go to munchies too!

If you missed one of my favorite low calorie ice-cream options, read my post about Yasso ice-cream!

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Tulum: What We Ate

I was envisioning tacos weeks before we left for Tulum. I knew they would be in abundance and I knew they would be authentic and delicious.

Unfortunately, Chad and I were a little under the weather the first few days of our trip, so I didn’t get to eat as many tacos as I had envisioned, but the ones I did eat were phenomenal. We ate tacos right after we snorkeled with sea turtles. We ate tacos right after the best day of beach lounging. And we ate tacos the second we arrived in Tulum.

Although the tacos were amazing, I think my favorite dishes in Tulum were all of the fresh breakfasts we ate on the beach. All the fruit. All the fresh juices. All the eggs. And ALL the pastries. I’ve been to Italy, and I can honestly say I ate the best chocolate croissant at Ziggy’s Beach Club in Tulum, Mexico.

We drank fruity drinks, a few cervezas, ate some pizza and even found some pasta. We ate Lay’s Stax like they were going out of style, and indulged in quite a few popsicles. Honestly, some of the memories I remember the most from vacations are the meals I eat. The atmosphere of the restaurants we visit always playback in my mind later on, and I always want to go back to visit a place so I can get that amazing dish I got the last time I was there. This trip was no different. Can’t wait to go back for another chocolate croissant. (Also notice that I lack a photo of the chocolate croissant because it didn’t last five seconds).

For another foodie trip, don’t forget to read my Austin, TX Blog!

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