Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fruit Salsa

Last week my friend and fellow coach Molly had posted a pineapple salsa recipe. I had a very ripe Pineapple that one of Brian's students brought him as a thank gift. She was going to bring him a cheese cake, but since she new he was trying to eat clean she brought him two pineapples instead. I decided to change this recipe into a fruit salsa instead of just a pineapple salsa as I knew we were headed to the beach for dinner and I had purchased some really yummy chicken, Asiago cheese and spinach sausages. I also knew that it would be great for a snack with some Simply Naked Pita Chips!
1 Pineapple Peeled, Cored and Diced Finely
2 Apples Cored and Diced Finely (I used to red Galas)
5 Small Kiwi Peeled and Diced Finely
4 Mandarin Oranges Peeled and Diced Finely
1/2 Medium Red Onion Diced Finley
4 Cloves of Garlic Minced Finely
1 Yellow Sweet Pepper Diced Finley
1 Orange Sweet Pepper Diced Finely
Jalapeno Pepper Seeds Removed Diced Finely to taste. I used half of a medium sized pepper
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro Roughly Chopped

1. Mix all ingredients together in a large container
2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving

The girls absolutely loved it. They were even dipping their Ezekiel Toast in it the next morning. I will definitely make this again. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quick Chicken Snow Pea Saute

The girls wanted a special lunch one day last week so I can up with the quick and easy chicken snow pea sauté.
1/4 cup Reduce Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tsp Frank's Red Hot
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes
1 Pound Bow Tie Pasta
2 bags Frozen Sugar Snap Peas
1 Can Black Olives
2 Pounds Chicken Diced
Colby Jack Shredded Cheese to Taste
1. Cook the pasta per package directions
2. Place chicken and spices in a skillet on medium-high heat.
3. Cook until brown.
4. Add Chicken broth and Frank's red hot to the chicken and simmer until sauce like.
5. Cook Sugar Snap Peas per package directions.
If you are doing the 21 Day Fix here is one serving that will include 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 orange, and 1 green:
In your bowl place:
1 cup snow peas
3/4 cup chicken
1/2 cup pasta
10 olives
1/4 cup cheese
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did. I had one serving and the girls ate the rest. I only had a cup of noodle left and 3/4 cup of chicken. I'd say that was a big hit! Hope you all have a great day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Piyo Review 2

So this week I did the Piyo buns and Strength Interval workout. I loved both but for different reasons. I am still doing T25 as my primary workout, but loving Piyo as a supplemental.

I loved the Piyo Buns workout. It had a ton of squats and lunges in it. I was worried about my knees, but after the workout they didn't hurt at all. It was a great workout especially the last set which had you on all fours and doing leg lifts. My butt was sore after this workout. It even hurt to sit down for awhile afterwards.

I loved the Strength interval because for the first time in the program I actually had a sweat going by the end. I also loved it because it was only 21 minutes long. I blinked and it was over. I loved how the cardio was intermixed with the strength. I loved that it got my heart rate up without being high impact.

I cannot wait to keep exploring Piyo. I hope everyone has a blessed day.

Monday, July 28, 2014

T25 Beta Week 2

Week 2 was awesome! I feel like each day I am getting stronger. I also feel like I have finally am able to get through many of the workouts without feeling like I need to stop. I know I am toning up as some of my pants legs and shirt sleeves feel loser. I cannot wait to see what results the end of beta bring. I know I won't lose any weight since I'm pregnant but am expecting some great results otherwise.
11 weeks pregnant
Here is my recap from Week 2.

Monday was Dynamic Core. I think the V up is the most challenging exercise in this routine for me. I can do the side plank hips ups, the rocket man, the superman and all the other moves. The v up I just cannot quite get my legs straight. I'm hoping that week 3 may be the week that I can do this move

Tuesday was Core Cardio. I love the face paced nature of this workout. I'm usually sweating within the first five minutes of the workout. I also love how my Abs burn after this workout. I was lying in bed this evening and couldn't believe how sore my abs were and I didn't even do one sit up or crunch. It was a good sore though as I know I am working.

Wednesday was Rip't Circuit. I love that this workout uses multiple muscle groups and weights. I love how it is such a great all over workout. I upped my weights this week and got a much better workout.

Thursday was Upper Focus. I cannot believe how much my arm shape has changed in the last seven weeks of T25. I never thought my arms would look like this. No more jiggly under arm. Also I have muscles!

Friday was Rip't Circuit again. I didn't get to doubles so I didn't do Speed 2.0 this week.

Saturday was a rest day but was any thing but rest for our family. We went blueberry picking and then went to the beach. It was such a great day.

Sunday was Stretch day. I ended up doing the Yoga Fix from the 21 Day Fix instead of the Stretch workout from T25. I really needed something that was calming and tranquil after the crazy week we had. It was such a great stretch.

I'm so excited for week 3. Week 2 could not have been better. Monday was a little shaky as I was tired, but I got through the workout and this set up for a great rest of the week. I hope everyone has a great week.

T25 Beta Week 3 Meal Plan

Here is my meal plan for the week. I'm excited for week 3 of T25 Beta.

Here is what is on the schedule for week 3:
This program has been amazing so far. I cannot wait to see how much my body changes over the next three weeks. I can feel my muscles toning up and that I'm getting stronger every day. I also haven't gained any weight yet. I'm hoping that I can keep my pregnancy weight gain to a minimum so that I can be healthy! Hope everyone has a great week.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Apple Pie Imposter Snack

So I was hungry for chocolate today. I was sad a we only had vanilla Shakeology in my pantry. Usually when I get a chocolate attack I can drink the chocolate Shakeology and satisfy my chocolate craving. Plus the Shakeology makes me feel better all around with all the vitamins and nutrients and not all the sugar and caffeine of chocolate.

Here is what I made instead.

1 whole wheat tortilla
1 tsp dark chocolate chips melted
1 cup apples sliced
1 Tbsp Cinnamon.

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Place the apples in a 8x8 shallow baking dish
3. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.
4. Bake apples for 30 minutes
5. Meanwhile spread melted chocolate on the tortilla
6. Once apples are done place the apples on the chocolate covered tortilla and enjoy.

This was so yummy and was just sweet enough without going overboard to satisfy my sweet tooth for today. Thank goodness the chocolate Shakeology arrived this afternoon as I need to curb these cravings before I gain a ton of weight this pregnancy. I hope you all have a great day!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bouncy Ball Fail

I recently had saw a post about how to make bouncy balls from the site:
I tried these and they were an epic fail. I just wanted to show you that not all things we try turn out like they should. I'm only human!

1 Tbsp white glue
food coloring
2 Tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp Borax
1 Tbsp Flour

1. Mix the Borax and hot water in a cup until all the Borax is dissolved.

2. Squeeze the glue into a second cup. We wanted to make a lot of bouncy balls so I let them use the whole bottle and adjusted the ratios based on the volume in the entire glue bottle.

3. Add the food coloring to the glue

4. Mix the two cups
5. Add flour and stir
6. Once it gets hard to stir take out and mix with your hands. For use the dough was way to sticky. We had to add more flour.

 7. Roll out into balls
As you can see it made many bouncy balls, but the balls didn't actually bounce. ABC had fun playing with the dough like it was play dough and made various objects. B and C also had fun rolling the balls around. 

One thought I had is I used cheap dollar store glue. I may true this again with Elmer's glue. IT was still a fun morning with ABC!

Friday, July 25, 2014

MOPS Retreat

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend our local MOPS retreat. MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. "MOPS International exists to encourage equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother an leader in the name of Jesus Christ." (This is their mission statement). The group is open to any mom with kids from birth through kindergarten.
Since we moved from Pittsburgh this is actually the third MOPS group I have been a part of. I couldn't imagine life without being a part of MOPS. I've met some of my best friends at MOPS.

Some of my MOPS friends have actually moved out of the Pittsburgh area to. After posting a few pictures this past weekend about our retreat I received some message wanting to know a little more about our retreat. I thought I'd write a blog post describing some of the fun details.

In the past we have held our retreat as a one day affair at the church where our MOPS meeting are held. This year the coordinator really wanted to get the team better connected with one another. As the table leader coordinator I also wanted more of a team feel.

We were lucky as our coordinator used to be camp counselor at a local Christian camp. We got to go away for less than 24 hours and spend some time with some awesome women in a beautiful setting. We also didn't have to break the bank to do it. Another perk was that most only had a 30 minute drive from their homes. It felt like we were far away but we were really close.

Friday night we started in the chapel. This was such a great place to meet and perfect for our 23 person steering team.

Our coordinator kicking things off
We started the night with introductions. We have many new members on the steering team this year. I think that this in fact was the best part of going away.  I got to really know some women who I only talked to in passing.  With a large group like ours it is hard to meet everyone during meeting times. you really get to know the ladies at your table but not the others in the group.
Our only goal for Friday night was to come up with a mission/vision/goal statement for our group. We started out listing words that we felt described MOPS. Then we moved on to writing our goal statement. This was such a rich discussion. 

What one word do you feel describes MOPS?

Using those words what do you think our goal should be for the year?

The videos that MOPS international gave us this year were really well done. So we actually used three of these throughout the weekend. One was about setting goals so before we jumped into writing ours we watched the video. It was fun to hear everyone tweak the wording and then come up with a sustainable and achievable goal for the year.

Friday evening was spent relaxing in our lodge. We had the whole lodge to ourselves which meant we each had our own room and we have a great grate room to hang out in. We just chatted. It as so nice to sit and talk to someone without having to say A get off of there, Where is C, B please quit interrupting, etc. IT was a very freeing feeling to really just be ourselves and not have to be mom for a few hours.

Saturday morning started off with a grab and go breakfast and a quiet time devotional on what is bravery and courage. This year's MOPS theme is Be You Bravely. We spent some time discussing what this looks like for each of us.

We then exchanged names of steering team members to prayer for over the course of the year. The coordinator and I made 3.5x5 magnets with the Steering Team members names to put on the refrigerator. This way you can always see who you should be praying for for the year.

Our creative activities director this year is awesome. She came up with the idea to make cards. We spent about 45 minutes making 125 cards. Each Steering Team member got to take 6 home. Then they can use these cards to bless other members.

Then we did our break out sessions. I led the table leader session and we discussed our table leader handbook. The Coordinator led the rest of the Steering Team discussion.

Lastly we had lunch. It was the perfect amount of time away from the family. I cannot wait to do this again next year!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spicy Chicken Wraps

Lately I've been hungry for something spicy and since hot sauce is a free item with the 21 Day Fix I thought we could have Spicy Chicken Wraps.

I ended up making it look like a taco bar in my kitchen. The girls loved these as they got to have whole wheat tortillas and yogurt.

Spicy Sauce
Can of Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Hot Sauce
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1. Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan.
2. Bring to a boil
3. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until thick.

2 lbs. Chicken Diced
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tbsp. Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 cup Spicy Sauce

1. Add chicken and spices into a sauté pan
2. Cook over medium heat until the chicken is almost cooked
3. Add enchilada sauce and cook for a few minutes

One Green Bell Pepper
One Orange Bell Pepper
Two Green Onion Bunches
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1. Add all ingredients to a sauté pan
2. Cook until vegetables are soft.

Final Assembly:
Spicy Sauce
Greek Yogurt
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Green Leaf Lettuce
Mexican Shredded Cheese

If you are on the 21 Day Fix this counts as 1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow and 1/2 blue
1. Place one four inch tortilla on your plate
2. Put down 3/4 cup Chicken minus  2 tbsp.
3. Put down 1/8 cup cheese
4. Place 3 Tbsp. lettuce on top
5. Place 3/4 cup vegetables on top of this
6. Add 2 tbsp. Greek Yogurt
7. Add 1 tbsp. of the spicy sauce

The girls each ate two of these. They absolutely loved them. I cannot wait to make these again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kid's Breakfast

I've been asked many times to describe what my kids eat on a daily basis. One of their favorite things is eggs and smoothies for breakfast.
I usually make them 8 eggs with 1 cup of cheese and 1/4 cup almond milk. I scramble them and then portion them out into three portions for the girls.
Sometimes I'll add homemade salsa to them to give them some added vegetables.
For the smoothies I usually add 2 Cups of fruit and a banana. On this day I added 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup pineapple, and a banana. Then I add 3/4 cup yogurt, 8 ounces of vanilla almond milk, 2 tsp. Chocolate PB2, and 4-8 ounces of water. I blend in the blender and then give it to them in straw cups.
The girls absolutely love this breakfast. Most days they lick their bowls and finish all of the smoothie.
So one of the main questions I always get is what about the eggs. Aren't whole eggs bad for them? A friend who is a nutrition specialist was asked this same question at a seminar she gave to my MOMS Club last year. She said to me that the whole egg is actually the healthiest thing we can feed our kids. It is full of protein. It keeps them fuller longer.
Did you know that most of the nutrient of an egg are found in the yoke? Why would you through out the part that has most of the vitamins and nutrients that you can get from an egg? Here is a little Egg Myth Buster:
Most of the time eggs get a bad wrap because of the cholesterol in them. Usually it isn't the cholesterol in the eggs that get us it is the items we usually eat with the eggs like fried bacon and sausage.
 Here is a nutrition label for an egg:
Want to give you kids a filling breakfast that will help feed their mind and bodies for the morning? Then give them eggs.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Making Ice Cream

A received an ice cream maker for Christmas so we decided to pull it out and try it this week. Here is the recipe we used:
1.5 Cups Blueberries
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Dark Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt

Getting ready to mix all the ingredients

All the ingredients minus the blueberries went into the bowl. Stir them together.

We took a 1/2 cup of the blueberries and mushed them

Added the mushed blueberries and remaining whole blueberries to the mix. Stirred then had to try the mix.

Placed the mix in this contraption and put in the freezer while it mixed for us for 3-4 hours.
 Then it said to leave in the freezer overnight. Then we had the ice cream the next day.
They all really enjoyed it. I even made fresh whipped cream.

While the machine was cute I don't think I'd use it again. It was really hard to get the ice cream out of it. The ice cream itself turned out really hard. I think I'll stick to using our big ice cream machine when we want a special treat. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

T25 Beta Week 1

So we made it through T25 week 1 Beta. IT is a new set of workouts with higher intensity and harder moves. I'm actually enjoying Beta more than I did alpha. I don't know if it is because I am stronger or the fact that there workouts are so jammed packed that 25 minutes goes by really quickly. I loved this week.

T25 Beta round started off with Core Cardio. This workout made me sweat. All of the moves focused on strengthening your core, but you didn't stop. All the moves were designed to get your heart rate up and make the blood flow faster. Here is us being silly after Monday's Workout:

On Tuesday we did Speed 2.0. I think this is by far my favorite workout. There were three rounds. Each round had a few different exercise. You'd do the exercises in the round once to "learn" them. Then you'd do the a second time faster and a third time even faster. Then you'd move on to the next round. Near the end of the workout you put all three rounds together and sis all the exercises in the workout. It was so much fun. I don't think I have ever sweated as hard as I did while doing this workout!
On Wednesday was the Rip't Circuit. While doing this workout I didn't feel like I was working this much. I also didn't sweat as much as the previous two days. But later int he evening I was feeling it all over my body. This workout uses a combination of cardio moves and weight training to give you an all over workout. I used 10 lbs weights this week but know I'll need to bump up to 12 lbs next week as it was a little too easy.

On Thursday was Dynamic Core. This started out looking like just another cardio workout, but by the end my Abs were screaming. At the end there was even side plank holds and side plank hip drops. If you've been following me for awhile this was the one move from the 21 Day Fix that took me a long time to master. Today it seemed like second nature and was even a little easy! I'm proud of how far I've come.

Friday was Upper Focus. This work out uses weights to define your upper body. By the time it was time to travel to our MOPS retreat my arms felt like jello! The double workout on Friday was Core Cardio. I didn't;t get to the double this week with trying to prepare for a night away from my house.

Saturday is a rest day. I needed the rest day this week. I was sore but in a good way.

Sunday was the stretch video. This week I went back to the 21 Day Fix yoga video. I needed more of a stretch in my arms than the T25 Stretch video gives.

All in all we had a great first week of T25 Beta. I'm loving this workout and cannot wait to see what the next for weeks brings. If you are interested in joining me in my next challenge group Tuesday is the last day to sign up:
Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

T25 Beta week 2 Meal Plan

I cannot get myself away from the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan. It is so simple to use and easy to adjust for any situation that I am continuing to use it even though I am doing the T25 program currently. Here is my meal plan for the week:

I'm excited for week 2 of this program. Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Broccoli Chicken Salad

A few weeks ago when I was at the river my mother-in-law made this awesome Broccoli Chicken Salad. It was so yummy.
4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves
4 cups water
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) package fresh broccoli flowerets
4 green onions, chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
Chutney dressing
¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. Bring first four ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. 
2. Boil 15 minutes or until chicken is done. 
3. Drain. 
4. Cool chicken and cut into bite-size pieces.
5. Toss together chicken, broccoli and next 4 ingredients. 
6. Chill 1 hour. 
7. Sprinkle with nuts before serving.

Mango Chutney (from
2 mangoes, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon unsweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Chutney Dressing:
9 oz of Mango Chutney
½ cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Stir together all ingredients.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family did.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Few More Shakeology recipes

Here are two more of my newest favorites of Shakeology recipes. Enjoy!

These have been so yummy. We've been enjoying all the summer fruit we've been getting. I hope you enjoy these to!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Erupting Snow

So the girls wanted to do a fun activity yesterday. It was supposed to rain so I was happy to oblige with a fun science experiment. We decide to make Erupting snow.

4 Cups Baking Soda
1 Can Shaving Cream (Needs to be foam)
Blue Glitter
I got old mushroom containers and put baking soda into them:
Add Blue glitter:
At this point I decided to put bigger trays under the mushroom containers for when we exploded the snow. Then we added the shaving cream:

Now mix all together:

Then the girls played in it and had lots of fun! We made a huge mess.
Once we played for awhile we added the vinegar and exploded the snow. It was so much fun! This is a great activity for any kid.