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Friday Finds

Hello and happy Friday! After what has felt like a molasses paced week, we have finally made it to Friday! The only downside is that after taking an intense Pilates and yoga mix of classes this week, my arms are so sore that I can’t raise them over my head. Let’s hope this weekend doesn’t call for any high fiving, waving, or a 90’s throwback dance party where I am called to “raise the roof”. Thankfully all activities I have planned for this weekend involve very little arm movement. Tonight Jake and I are going to the opening of the Grapevine Craft Brewery that is opening in, well, Grapevine! Tonight they’ll be having live music, food trucks, and of course, beer. I’m really excited to try their selection, and watch Jake geek out over beer. I don’t know anything about beer except that there is alcohol in it, so maybe I’ll learn something tonight. Who knows?! Tomorrow and Sunday I have two different races lined up. Saturday I’ll be running the Sweat for Sangria 5k in Southlake, where after the race we’ll be treated to sangria and pizza! It’s a social run, so I’m thinking it will be a smaller group of people, which I normally prefer for 5ks (less tripping over people)! Then on Sunday I am running the Too Hot to Handle 5k  in Dallas! This will be my third year running this race and I am super pumped because this race normally gives out tank tops rather than t-shirts. A weird thing to be pumped about, but hey it doesn’t take much for me. Expect to see some race recaps on those come Monday, but in the mean time, let’s review some Friday Finds!

  • Breakfast Smoothies

smoothie edit

You may recall a couple months ago when I posted about my holy grail breakfast staple, but this week I changed things up a bit. After getting a little tired of eggs every morning, I thought I’d switch it up to a smoothie! I swap out the fruit every now and then, but here’s what I’ve been sticking to this week:

  • 1 whole banana (sliced)
  • 1 cup of strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of  unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed meal
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Don’t let the flax seed meal and chia seeds throw you off! When blended it all tastes very “breakfast-y” and delicious! I’m also crediting the flax seed meal for keep me full until lunch time. I haven’t heard a growl from my stomach from the hours of 6 am to when I normally take lunch at 11 am!

  • Cucumber Noodle Spaghetti

cucumber spaghetti edit

Wow this is a food heavy Friday Finds this week! Last night I thought I’d get a little creative with my dinner and get my fair share of vegetables in, and whipped up some cucumber noodle spaghetti! It was super simple and I was able to multi-task the cooking with preparing my lunch for today. Here’s what I used:

  • One whole cucumber, sliced thinly as possibly. If you have a mandolin slicer, use that because you are fancy and it works better.
  • Favorite pasta sauce
  • Chopped garlic
  • A sprig of arugula as a garnish to make it look like I’ve done this before.

I cooked the noodles, sauce, and garlic on a saucepan at medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. I wanted to make the cucumber noodles as a soft as possible so I could achieve the fork twirl effect I would normally get with pasta spaghetti, and it worked! I super recommend this if haven’t tried it out already. It was so much fun to make, and is a carb friendly option to regular spaghetti!

  • New hairbrush

brush new edit

Normally I don’t care much about hairbrushes, they all do the same thing for me, but good lord did I need a new one. I’ve been rocking my Wet Brush for nearly two years now, and while I love it, it is prone to getting fuzz and other junk in it (which is not coming from my hair, leading me to believe my cats use it when I’m not around), and it is near impossible to get out. That being said, I parused Amazon the other day for a new brush, and stumbled upon the Oval Wood Bristle Brush by Bass Brushes. It is made from 100% bamboo (sorry pandas), and the wooden bristles are supposed to help stimulate your scalp and promote hair growth. That last part may be a bunch of black magic nonsense, but I will say the bristles feel a lot like a head massage, so I am loving it!

  • Cold Brew Coffee

starbucks cold brew coffee

Okay this one isn’t so much a “find” as it is a “I super want to try this!” I read that Starbucks recently released cold brew coffee on their menus, and after reading up on the taste and benefits of cold brew coffee, I really want to try it! What makes cold brew different from regular coffee? Well according this article from the Washington Post:

…the cold-brew process swaps piping hot water for room-temperature water, and requires grounds to steep for up to 24 hours.

What results is a batch of coffee — which can be served iced or heated — that’s much less bitter than coffee brewed the traditional way. According to a study conducted by Intertek in 2005, cold-brewed coffee contains about 65 percent less acidity than coffee brewed in hot water, making it a viable alternative for sensitive stomachs.

I have normally had to be careful with coffee in the past due to it upsetting my stomach, so this sounds like the perfect match for me! I’m hoping to swing by Starbucks tomorrow morning and give this a go, but I also read that the brewery Jake and I are visiting tonight makes their own as well! If I can get my hands on some tonight, and try out Starbucks this weekend, I’ll be sure to fill you all in on a compare and contrast! Have any of you tried cold brew coffee? Was it good? Did it ruin your life?

That’s it for this week! Also, you may have noticed I didn’t have a book to review this week’s post. I am taking my time on Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance” because I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchmen’ this coming week! You can for sure expect a review on that one! Well, I’m off to go try some craft beer and food truck tacos. I hope you all have an awesome weekend and I’ll catch up with you Monday!

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DIY Nutrient Bowl

Hello and happy Wednesday! Last night I realized it has been well over a couple of months since I shared a meal plan recipe, and I happened upon a new dish yesterday that I prepared for lunch today and I may never go back to anything else. It’s crazy simple, and crazy filling. What is it exactly? A nutrient bowl! I drew inspiration from a post I found on the Graze Box blog, and tweaked it a little to better accommodate what I already had in the fridge. The nutrient bowl is based on six parts: a base, slow carbs, a protein, veggies, healthy fats, and a fruit. It may seem like an outrageous assortment of foods, and it is, but it does a great job of filling up on the nutrients (aha!) you need for the day, and is super quick the night or morning before work or school!

nutrient bowl

Here is what all I used in my nutrient bowl. Feel free to get creative with your own! The more colorful the better.

  • Base
    • Baby spinach (washed, and uncooked)
  • Slow carb
    • Wild rice (leftover from dinner! +10 recycle points for me)
  • Protein
    • Spicy black bean burger (cooked, and then crumbled into bowl)
  • Veggies
    • Sliced cucumber
    • Diced red and green bell peppers
  • Healthy fats
    • Drizzle of olive oil
    • Diced avocado
  • Fruit
    • Strawberries (opted for frozen so some of the juice could melt into the bowl and act as a dressing)
  • Extra
    • Juice of half a lemon

See what I said about it being super simple? Given that I already had the ingredients available, putting this together took me upwards of ten minutes. This may be my meal prep for the rest of summer, so look out for more nutrient bowl creations in the coming months! Hope you all have a great day and let me know if you give this a try!

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Memorial Day Pops

As promised from yesterday I have a popsicle recipe ready for you guys today! I had intended to post this on Memorial Day, but due to a super fun power outage, I did not have internet access, and thus could not provide a blog post. It may be silly to post a Memorial Day themed recipe two days late, but hey Fourth of July will be here before you know it, plus this recipe works for any American enthusiast, and if you look at a sideways, it looks like the French flag. I’m bringing people together! You’re welcome, world. So without further a due, let’s make some popsicles!

pops collage

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • Vanilla flavored Greek yogurt.
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Frozen blueberries
  • A blender
  • A freezer
  • Popsicle molds

Step one:

Cut a hole in a box. Just kidding. Start off my blending (seperately) your frozen strawberries and blueberries, and adding about of dollop of yogurt so you can achieve a whipped like consistency. Set each mixture aside in a small bowl or container.

ingredients

Step two:

Starting which ever way you please, add about a tablespoon or two (depending on the size of your popsicle molds) of blueberry mix, rinse off your spoon, add in your Greek yogurt, rinse off your spoon, add in your strawberry mix. Feel free to attempt a marble like consistency, or be like me and try your best to make it look as even as Rocket Pop, and then fail…miserably.

before pop

Step Three:

Put the molds into the freezer and let them sit overnight, or a few hours. I let mine freeze for about five hours.

after pop

Voila! Hours later you have yourself an American (or French flag) themed popsicle! Given that this is essentially just fruit and yogurt, these pops would also work great as part of breakfast! Again, sorry this is a late post, but feel free to recycle this recipe next month for the 4th of July. Actually who needs a reason, just make popsicles for the hell of it!

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Monday Musings ft. Chocolate Chia Banana Coin Recipe!

Hello there and happy Monday! After a brief glimpse of the sun this weekend, our weather has resumed to being cold and rainy, but thankfully it doesn’t appear that any snow or ice is on tap for this week. I hope you all had a good weekend! As I mentioned on Friday, Jake and I went to see Cold War Kids at House of Blues, and aside from me developing a raging headache 15 minutes into the show, it was overall a great show!

CWKedited

cwk2editedOne of my favorite things about attending a concert is the people watching. You tend see the usual crowds of dude bros, weird hip teens who all look like Lorde, the dad’s who are chaperoning the hip teens, and the resident drunk guy/girl who is ruining it for everybody. Jake and I had the pleasure of standing behind a couple (who might have been French??) who made out most of, if not all of the show. I guess indie rock just really does it for them. There was also one girl who might have mistaken the show for a rap video and proceeded to grind on an unwilling friend for several songs. I however was slumped in a corner with my head in my hands for minutes at a time thanks to my headache, so I’m sure some people thought I was in some sort of emotional distress. Oh well!

Saturday was beautiful and sunny all day and I was able to make it out for a short run outside, followed up by watching the ENTIRE first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (will discuss later this week in Friday Finds), and then went to my yoga workshop which ended up being a lot of fun (I was nervous given that an was an extra half hour longer than the normal classes). After returning home, Jake and I then attempted to watch an episode House of Cards, but I promptly fell asleep ten minutes into the episode like a champ.

Sunday was spent up at my Grandparent’s farm for lunch, where I spent the afternoon coloring and playing hide seek with my younger cousins. coloring

I quickly learned that my coloring game is still on point, while my hide and seek is tragically not, given that one point I resorted to hiding behind a bathroom door. How inventive, Mallory!

Sunday night I made my lunches for the week (italian baked chicken, butternut squash for veggies, and orange slices and blackberries for fruit), but after meal prepping I was craving some chocolate so invented what I can only call Chocolate Chia Banana Coins. Obviously still working on a name.

bananaedit

It was super simple to make, and ended up being super delicious as well! Here’s what I did:

  • Cut up banana into small slices.
  • Melted a handful of dark chocolate chips.
  • Dolloped melted chocolate onto banana slices.
  • Sprinkled chia seeds onto slices.
  • Placed in freezer for half an hour

I’ll definitely be making these again this week, and maybe trying other fruits as well. I made some with apple slices last night, but totally forgot about them in the freezer until this morning, so I placed them in the fridge with the hopes that later they will be less like biting into a brick by the time I get home from work. Whoops!

Well that’s all for this Monday! I hope you guys have a great day!