Monday, January 19, 2015

Healthy Eating

Okay, It's January which means I have come full circle with my eating choices. Let me explain, The past 4+ years I always start out January motivated to change my eating habits. Partly to shape up and partly to feel better and over all live a healthier lifestyle. So January, I'm motivated and going strong. I keep it up all winter and even through the summer. Then.... August hits and we head back to school. The working until dark, bringing loads of work home nightly, back to packing a lunch, the stress of starting a new school year hits full force. If you are an elementary school teacher I'm sure you understand. Starting a new school year is incredibly time consuming. So guess what takes a back seat? Eating healthy! All of a sudden I find myself eating quick and easy meals with no thought to nutrition. The school year starts to slow down a little by October but by then I have already slipped back into bad eating habits. That continues until January when I realize just how little energy I have and how my pants are fitting just a little bit snug..... all the motivation I need to start the circle back over with a change in my diet. Does anyone else drastically change their eating based on the time of year?

Anywho, with 2015 just beginning and three weddings this year.. MY own, and a bridesmaid and matron of honor in 2 others, I have all the motivation I need to start a diet plan..NOW. Last year I started eating clean, read here. Needless to say I slipped off that bandwagon but when I was going strong I dropped several pounds and more importantly felt amazing. I was no longer exhausted at 2:00... my energy level was just unreal. So I plan to go back to eating like that but with a few changes. I'm putting my "eating plan" into writing to try to keep myself accountable. Here is my "plan" I came up with: 

1. NO more processed foods. I know there is nothing healthy about hot pockets and frozen pizza. 

2. Drink more water. I try to walk around with a water bottle all the time. Water plays a huge roll in our bodies!! Need more convincing? Read here

3. Eat more fruits and veggies. This is where clean eating comes in. I would like the majority of my food to consist of fruits and vegetables. I've tried it and I know eating this way is good for my body in more ways that one. 

4. Eat lean meats. When I followed my clean eating plan last year it was a whole foods plant based diet. Which basically means eat your fruits and veggies but no meat. I'm not looking to go back to not eating meat however I do think there are health benefits to choosing lean cuts of meat. 

That's it! Nothing too crazy but 4 steps that I think can make a huge difference! I still plan to allow cheat meals and desserts every now and then-- just in moderation. If you have made a similar change in your diet I would love to hear about it! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five on Friday

Happy Friday friends!  I'm linking up today for Five on Friday with DARCICHRISTINALIZ, and NATASHA

Last weekend this area of the state was blessed with an amazing 70 degree and sunny day. It's January so that is rare but welcomed. I wanted to make the most of the day because let's be real.. we probably won't see another day like that until April. I broke out the shorts, took Henson on a hour long walk, Justin did some outdoor yard work and we even made a trip to the beach. Can you tell we were happy? I think Henson had the best day though. He l-o-v-e-s the beach. Not so much the waves but he is a big fan of chasing seagulls and playing catch in the sand. It was such a fun day I just had to share! 

Fun fact: Justin threw the tennis ball but every single time Henson brought it back to me. He's a mommas boy for sure (; 

With a lot of things going on right now it has been a very overwhelming and trying week. Somehow though every tough day has just worked itself out and turned out just fine. I know there is power in prayer and this quote says it all so well. 

I am hunt for a new table centerpiece. With all of our Christmas decorations down everything just seems so bare! I'm loving the idea of a tray, or wooden box with flowers or decor in it. I'm open for suggestions! Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos so far: 

American Sniper comes out this weekend and I cannot wait! I have heard such great things about this movie. I'm normally not into war movies but something about this one seems different. We have a day time movie date planned for the three day weekend!! Yay for fun times ahead! 

I have seriously been loving my NYX stick blush lately. It gives you a dewy glow and is super affordable. (Under $10) It's also a nice change to the normal powder blush I've used for years. If you are looking for a change I suggest giving this a try! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid dresses

August 8th (our wedding date) is getting closer and closer. I can hardly believe Justin and I have been engaged for a little over six months. Where has the time gone?! I have been looking at bridesmaid dresses for a while but this is the month where I'm making a final decision. Several of my friends have used a site called Weddington Way to order bridesmaid dresses from with great success. I've been browsing their site to get some ideas and may use them for the final contender. I'm not making a decision though until next weekend when two of my bridesmaids come visit me and we go look at dresses in person! So far here are some of my favorite options.. I'm 99% sure I'm going with navy blue dresses and since the wedding is in August I think short dresses will help everyone survive the heat. 

What are your favorites? Has anyone else used Weddington Way to order before? Dress shopping may be my favorite part of wedding planning. Any excuse to spend countless hours browsing dresses is okay in my book! (:   Happy Wednesday friends! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Farmhouse Dining Room Table

When Justin and I bought our house I immediately knew I wanted a Farmhouse style dining room table. Before we had even moved in and were waiting to close I had searched pinterest for hours on end looking for inspiration. I knew I had my heart set on a farm table with a bench, two wooden chairs and two fabric chairs on the end. I had all intentions of purchasing one when the time came but after sharing this idea with my future mother in law she quickly told me she thought Justin's dad could build one. What?! You mean I might could get my dream table made with love and for a fraction of the price? I was sold. Justin's oh so handy dad got busy making the table right before Christmas and gave it to us as a early Christmas present. The table turned out even better than I imagined and because it was built by family it makes it all the more special. 

He used North Carolina Charm's DIY Farmhouse Dining Table Post for directions and guidance. {That was also the place I first fell in love with a farm table!} 

Of course I had to sneak Henson into a photo..

 My future father in law who is obviously going to be the best FIL ever 

My favorite part! 

We are borrowing the chairs from Justin's aunt until we get some of our own. The plan is to have the matching bench built and buy 2 wooden chairs for the sides and then use 2 fabric chairs for the ends. I just love how the table turned out. Since then we have added a few plates to the dining room walls. We are still on the hunt for the perfect chairs!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Every now and then I get an urge to pick up a new vegetable at the grocery store that I' never tried. My latest veggie impulse buy was a butternut squash which I got home and immediately had NO idea what to do with. After a little recipe browsing I finally decided on cinnamon roasted butternut squash because it was simple and I already had all of the ingredients on hand. Win win! It turned out just delicious! I love when I find a new recipe to add to my favorites list! Does anyone else occasionally like to try something out of the ordinary? 

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Peel squash and remove the seeds. Cut your squash into small pieces. In a large bowl combine squash, olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir until all of your squash is coated with mixture. Spread out in an ungreased baking pan. I actually used 2 glass pans and a cookie tray because I didn't have a pan large enough to spread the squash out without overlapping. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Resolution

It's that time! The time where every blogger evaluates their life and shares their goals and resolutions for the new year. Ready, set, go.. 
My 2015 Resolution: 

This year I'm working hard to find balance in my life. I know I have many blessings in my life such as my family, friends, job, house, etc. I can sometimes get caught up in one area and neglect other areas of my day to day life. For example it's easy to get caught up in work and completely toss eating healthy out the window. Or maybe one morning decide keeping a clean house overrules making it to church. I am an all in type of girl.. If I'm going to teach I want to do it well, if I'm going to have a house, it needs to be clean, the list goes on. While I think all of these things are important this is the year I want to prioritize. I think if I can do some planning I can accomplish SO much more without all of the stress. So, how do I plan to do this? 

Plan, plan, plan and prioritize! Number one on the list is getting involved in our church. No more to do list topping church and less going out of town on unnecessary trips that causes us to be gone on Sunday morning. I would love to get involved with a small group this year and really make my devotional a daily part of my day! 

As far as work, I have no intention to not give my job 100%. I do plan to find some BALANCE though. When you teach it is SO easy to let work takeover your life. I am going to start working smarter, not harder. My kids need all of my attention but when it comes to after school hours so does my fiance, family and my own sanity.  

I'd like to find balance in my food choices. I want to make sure I am eating MOST of my meals healthy with more fruits and vegetables but not get so caught up in it that I don't allow treats and occasional not so healthy, but oh so good meals. I would be very happy with a 80/20 balance... 80% of meals with lean meats/fruits/veggies and the other 20% with whatever my little heart desires. (: 

Last, I really want to work on keeping a positive attitude in stressful situations. Things happen and life goes on. These words really stuck with me in this Oprah interview. Check it out here. "Either pray or worry, don't do both" That is so so so true... I need to remember that once I've prayed it's in God's hands from there. 

So that's it.. It's not the end all be all but I know if I could accomplish some of these goals a balanced life will come. What are your goals or resolutions this year?