Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thinking Out Loud #14

Happy Thursday!! I apologize for being MIA this week, but my dad has been in the hospital all week so things have been a little crazy with going back and forth to the hospital multiple times a day. I still wanted to get a quick thinking out loud post up this week so here goes nothing!

1. Despite everything going on I have been hitting the gym for quick lifts and runs. I have been lengthening out my runs and despite being sleep deprived with everything going on my runs have been feeling really good. The post run high has been a nice energy boost too.

2. Last Friday I finished the series finale of The Newsroom and I'm very sad it's over. The finale was definitely good but I have nothing to watch now so if you have any recommendations for good shows that are available on Amazon let me know! If you haven't watched The Newsroom definitely check it out, I know I have praised it but it is seriously so well written and shot. Aaron Sorkin is a genius🙌

3. I read this in a Christmas card and literally laughed out loud😂 even Santa gets hangry!

4. Monday I got stuck at the Apple Store getting my mom's phone repaired so I had a lot of time to kill. I walked around the mall and of course had to go into Sir La Table, which is an awesome store if you've never been to one. They had the cutest foodie ornaments ever! There were cupcakes, pancakes, chocolate covered strawberries, avocado toast with chia seeds and so many others. Of course I had to snap a pic of the avocado toast because it was so dang cute. 

5. With my dad being in the hospital I have had zero time to food prep so a lot of my meals have been on the go. Luckily there is a lot of healthy options near the hospital including a Whole Foods. I made this delicious salad at the salad bar and took it over to eat with my dad. I finally got to try some of the Whole Foods roasted sweet potatoes and they are so good😍 I am definitely going to try to recreate this recipe because it was so good! 

6. One of my friends shared this picture with me and I got a good laugh out of it. It's totally disgusting but sometimes in nasty situations you have to have a sense of humor to get through. After everything going on this week this picture provided a much needed laugh. 

I'm going to stop at six this week and keep things short and sweet. I hope to be back with some recipes next week but in the mean time have a great Thursday!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thinking Out Loud #13

Happy Thursday! I can't believe it's already been a week since Thanksgiving, time is really flying by which means I really need to get going on Christmas shopping😳 I am so not about Black Friday shopping, having worked Black Friday at a retail store I saw firsthand how horrible it is for employees, plus I'd rather stay at home and shop online anyway. Anywho I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving with family, friends, or whoever you celebrated with. On that note let's get to this weeks thinking out loud!

1. Thanksgiving did not turn out as expected in my family. Holidays rarely go according to plan, but my dad wound up in the hospital the day before Thanksgiving complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath. Come to find out he has AFIB so he was forced to spend Thanksgiving in the hospital. The day before Thanksgiving was an incredibly long day with him going to the hospital and then my boyfriend came to see me before leaving to visit his family for Thanksgiving. I got to bed around 3 and was wide awake a little after 6. I hate coffee but I was in desperate need of caffeine so the amazing nurse on my dad's floor brought me some coffee. It tasted like dirt but it got the job done. Thankfully my dad is ok and his heart went back into rhythm.

2. People always make fun of me for keeping a protein bar in my coat pocket but you never know when you're going to need a snack! Keeping an rxbar in my pocket came in handy while I was visiting my dad in the hospital. Everything in the hospital was closed for Thanksgiving so unless I left the hospital I couldn't get lunch. Luckily I had the bar with me so I munched on that and then got some more food when I got home. 

3. Despite all the craziness with my dad being in the hospital I still managed to get to the gym every morning. I took a few days off lifting over Thanksgiving weekend and just ran but my workouts have been feeling awesome! My runs are getting longer and I've been shaving time off my miles which makes me really happy🙌 even though I only took a few days off from lifting I have been feeling my lifts this week. My entire body is sore😳

4. Over the long weekend I did get some much needed downtime with my boyfriend. His phone had been having problems so we got up bright and early to get to the Apple store on Saturday to see the genius bar. He was able to get his phone replaced but his backup got corrupted somehow so he had to go with an earlier back up from September so he lost two months worth of stuff on his phone🙈 Needless to say he was not a happy camper, but at least he didn't lose everything on his phone. 

5. I'm almost done with the HBO series The Newsroom and I'm so sad! By far it is one of my favorite shows of all time👌 I only have three episodes left in the final season and I'm trying to stretch them out so I don't blow through them all at once. If you ever need a show to watch I highly recommend The Newsroom, I really can't praise it enough. It's written and shot so well. It's free if you have Amazon prime.

6. While most people were out Black Friday shopping or getting back from shopping my boyfriend and I met up with some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Red Wings hockey game. I'm not a big drinker and I don't drink often but I like to have a drink when I'm out with friends. I got the Buffalo zoo and it was so good😋 it was definitely strong but I only had one and then had plenty of water, plus I wasn't the one driving home. If you ever go to Bdubs I definitely recommend trying out the Buffalo zoo, it's delicious.

7. I have not been on social media a lot over the past week due to everything going on, but I was on instagram yesterday and got tagged in a post. The lovely @veggiefiles made my flourless chocolate peanut butter muffins. Seeing you guys make my recipes totally makes my day and I love seeing those posts! Please tag me and use the hashtag #thesimplelife so I can see your creations💜

I'll end things on seven this week. Have a great Thursday and stay warm outside (it's freezing here)☃

What did you do for Thanksgiving? Do you have any fun family traditions for the holidays?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas Puppy Chow

Christmas baking has officially begun! It may be early, but a few of my friends at college and I decided to do our Christmas gift exchange early this year. For this first time we decided this years gift would be entirely homemade. Homemade gifts, in my opinion, are the best kind of gifts because they come from the heart. My friends love sweets so I put a spin on an old time favorite, puppy chow.

You will need:
  • 9 cups any kind chex 
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces chocolate baking chips
  • 12 ounces M&M's
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup promise butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 gallon Ziploc Bag
  • 5 one quart Mason Jars

Measure out the chex cereal and put it in the Ziploc bag.

In a microwave safe mixing bowl add chocolate baking chips, promise butter, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Microwave for one minute, take out stir, then microwave for thirty seconds, take out stir again making sure all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Microwave for an additional thirty seconds.

Then take contents of mixing bowl and pour into Ziploc bag. Seal Ziploc bag, double check to make sure the bag is tightly sealed, then shake! Shake for one to two minutes until all the chex cereal is coated in the liquid mixture. 

After all the chex is coated in the liquid chocolate and peanut butter mixture, open the Ziploc bag and pour in the powdered sugar. Seal the bag back up and shake! Shake hard, not too hard to break open the bag, but hard enough to coat all the cereal with the powdered sugar. Rotating the bag around helps distribute the powdered sugar around.

Once all the chex is coated in powdered sugar pour the puppy chow onto a lined baking sheet to cool. Allow puppy chow to cool for three hours. Once the puppy chow is cool mix in the M&M's. Do not add the M&M's in while the puppy chow is warm or the M&M's will melt. The grocery store I went to was out of red and green M&M's which is why I got stuck with patriotic M&M's.

Finally fill mason jars with puppy chow. Before or after mason jars are filled decorate with tags, bows, ribbons, stickers, or anything to make the jars more festive. 

Mason jars filled with puppy chow make the perfect gift for family, friends, coworkers, or any sweet lover in your life! It's never too early to spread some Christmas cheer!