Monday, February 11, 2013

My Favorite Things: Quotes

Lately, I've been obsessing over inspiring quotes. I love quotes for those moments when I need a pick-me-up, motivation, or just to make me want to be more. Here's my compiled list of great quotes. And, of course, because it's me, they're lovingly alphabetized and categorized. Each day this week I'll list a different category. Hope you enjoy!

God is Everywhere

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Ephesians 2:8,9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Isaiah 40:30-31
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”

Luke 16:13
No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Matthew 28:19-20
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 25:40
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart ,and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Philippians 4:6,7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Psalm 23:1-4
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pagosa Springs Vacation!

This weekend was AMAZING! My fantastic husband took me to Pagosa Springs in Colorado. It's a fantastic little hot springs. While we were there a blizzard started. We sat in a lovely little 102 degree hot springs while it snowed. My hair was covered in snow, but I didn't feel cold at all. This is what Colorado living is made for. Snow, springs, and sulfur. Yes, sulfur. The springs were amazing, but smelt so so bad. We came home and immediately showered. But is was worth it. Most relaxing weekend I've had in a long time. I highly enjoyed it, and if you can ever get away, this is totally worth it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Core Challenge!

So I did something very similar to this over the weekend and 5 days later my abs are STILL recovering. It reminded me of two things.

#1 - I need to workout more.
#2 - I'm a wuss.

You all should definitely try this! The moves are pretty self-explanatory, but alphabet abs can best be explained here.

How do you feel after this craziness?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lightened Corn Casserole

For anyone who enjoys corn casseroles, you know what they entail, the fattening C's: cream, carbs, calories. I love corn casserole, but I don't love the C's. Or the dairy. Sour cream and milk are both HUGE no-no's for me, since I'm lactose intolerant. So, I decided to lighten it up and make it dairy-free.

Let me tell you, this worked marvelously. I was a little nervous because I know the cream adds a much needed fluff, however, it was still very good without it.

The Cast of Characters
3 eggs (1 whole, 2 whites)
Whole kernel corn
Cream corn
1/3 cup of soy milk (or other dairy-free milk)
Jiffy corn muffin mix

1. Separate two egg whites from yolks. Add to whole egg. Mix.
2. In a medium-sized bowl mix all ingredients together. For me, it look like this.
3. Place in either 9x13 pan or 9x9 pan. If you prefer a thinner casserole, use 9x13. If you prefer a thicker casserole, use the 9x9.
4. Cook at 425 degrees until edges begin to brown. For 9x13 pan this will take about 20-30 minutes. For 9x9 pan this will take longer.
Look at that delicious cornbread. With hunks of corn inside. Tastes ah-mazing when topped with a smidge of honey. Corn is probably my favorite vegetable, and when baked into bread form, even better. Try it this weekend, you'll love it! I promise!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Beach Body Blast

New workout for tonight! We talked about going to California for a vacation last night and it made me think of the beach!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bangin' Broccoli

So, I've seen a variety of these going around Pinterest recently, so I decided to try a simpler version. This was SO STINKIN' EASY! And, more importantly, SO STINKIN' DELICIOUS!

Seriously, I mean, I like broccoli, but this makes it taste so so good. Salty, sweet, and oh so good.

Let's start with the ingredients:

Cooking spray
Broccoli (frozen or fresh)
The squirrrels are my salt and pepper shakers. I love them! My sister got them for me for Christmas. It's a long story, but, my friends and I send each other squirrel things every year. My family caught on to this and have now added to my squirrel collection. You should be jealous. They're pretty cool.

Instructions are also so stinkin' easy.

1. Spray cookie tray and spread broccoli out on tray.
2. Spray broccoli with a little extra spray and then coat in salt and pepper to taste. It should look similar to below.

3. Put in oven at 450 degrees for 15-30 minutes. Broccoli are done with ends start to blacken.
4. Pull out, allow to cool slightly, and add more salt and pepper to taste.

I found that it also reheats fairly well. My husband will not eat broccoli at all, so I couldn't finish it all at once. I popped some in the microwave later, and, voila! Utterly delicious and even easier to make.

Believe me when I say these are bangin'! I cannot wait to share them with my family. They'd be a perfect way to get kids to start eating their veggies, a great party tray to pass, delicious appetizer, and, even better, great with dinner!

So, go ahead, try them! You know you want to!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Treadmill Intervals

Recently I stepped on the scale and freaked out. I looked at the number and realized it was a solid 10 pounds higher than the day I got married. I thought to myself "What happened?!?" It hasn't even been a year!!

So, I panicked.

And I downloaded MyFitnessPal on my phone.

And I promised myself that I'd become friends with working out again.

And I started running again.

I have a love/hate relationship with running. I always feel really good after a run, but I never want to start one. And after months of ignoring the treadmill, I wasn't nearly in as good of shape as I thought. I tried my hardest to finish a 5k on it and nearly died making it in 43 minutes.

Needless to say, a plan needed to be developed. So, I put on my thinking cap and have been working on creating a series of Treadmill Interval plans. Intervals are easier for me because they give me a moment to catch my breath before picking up the pace. The one posted below definitely helped me start back up again. I'll be posting more of these throughout the week.

I hope you love this one as much as I do. This has kicked my butt, in a good way!

What do you do when you fall off the workout bandwagon and need to kick in in gear again?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homemade Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread

This goes right along with the Simple Spinach Tortellini Soup from the other night. I truly enjoyed this, although my husband was not a huge fan. He doesn't always like wheat breads, and this is very wheat tasting. The bonus about this bread is that it made enough to last me all week long! I literally ate this with the soup for one dinner and five (count that, five!) lunches. And, I'm not gonna lie, I definitely had this for breakfast one morning, too, just because it was so good.

Anyways, the part I enjoyed most about this bread is that it is no-knead. It's not that I'm anti-knead, it just takes a long time and gets the kitchen very messy when I knead bread. Overall, there's really nothing on this recipe that doesn't scream easy, tasty, and healthy!

Homemade Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread 

3-1/4 cups flour
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup warm (not hot) water
Italian seasoning
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese
9x13 pan
Crisco/Pam for greasing

Step-by-step guide
1. Add flour, yeast, and salt. Mix well.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the water to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
3. Grease the 9x13 pan.
4. Add the dough mixture to the pan and even it out throughout the pan. If one section is thicker or thinner than the others it will cause baking issues later.
5. Cover with a towel and put in a warm area.
6. Wait 30 minutes.
7. By now, the dough should have risen and almost doubled in size. Poke holes throughout the risen dough and drizzle olive oil over the entire dough.
8. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and cheese over dough.
9. Cover with a towel again.
10. Wait 30 minutes.
11. Dough will have risen again. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. I'm just going to disclaimer that I live at a high altitude. I actually baked at 350 degrees for more like 35 minutes and it worked for me. I'm guesstimating for a sea-level baking time.

Serve when warm. Tastes really good when paired with more olive oil and Parmesan cheese for dipping. I can't eat too much cheese, but I tried it with just a bit and it hit the spot!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Start with some soup!

I've been telling myself for a long time now that I need to start a blog so I can remember what delicious dinners my husband and I make so that we can refer back to them on the days when we can't decide what to have. I finally worked up the courage and the time to start putting this together. And, what better way to start a blog than with a soup!

I love soup. Probably more than I should. But, being lactose intolerant, my soup choices are typically fairly limited. Any time we go out to eat if I see the words "creamy" next to a soup, I know what it means. There are so few good, non-dairy soups at restaurants, so I like to create my own. This one is similar to one I found on Budget Bytes. I've adapted it a little just because we didn't have everything required.

Simple Spinach Tortellini Soup 

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1.5 cups chopped onion
2 tsps. garlic salt and/or garlic powder
1 can pasta sauce (at least 16 oz, preferably in the 20s)
1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer the no-salt added)
1-1.5 cans water (use pasta sauce after it's emptied)
1 heaping tsp. basil
1 heaping tsp. oregano
2 tsps. pepper
1 package tortellini
1 package frozen spinach  or 4 cups fresh spinach

Step-by-step instructions
1. Cut the onion into smallish pieces.
2. Put onion, olive oil, and garlic salt/powder in large pot and cook until onion lightly browns.
3. Add in pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, water, basil, oregano, and pepper. Stir together and turn heat to medium-medium/high until soup simmers (just below a full boil).
4. Add in tortellini and spinach (if frozen, no need to thaw). If using fresh spinach, you will want to cut it up into smallish pieces.
5. Cook until tortellini is tender. Add salt, if desired.

I like to top this with a bit of cheese, just enough to flavor, not enough to make my lactose-intolerance kick in. We also had a homemade whole-wheat focaccia bread with this. I'll be posting that recipe later.

Hope you all enjoy this as much as I do!