This week has me absolutely swamped in getting ready for Christmas celebrations. Last night, Garth and I attended his Christmas party for work. It was at Vinny’s here in Fredericksburg, a nice little italian place I had never tried before. I indulged (way too much!) in a spicy vodka rigatoni with chicken and one (ok two…) pieces of garlic bread. What’s Christmas without a little carbohydrate loaded treat?
Today has me finishing up my holiday cookie/candy baking extravaganza. Every year since I was a little girl, my family always made huge amounts of cookies and candy (all from scratch of course!) to give as gifts to hosts, family, and friends. Even though I’m not traveling back to KY for the holidays, I still had to keep the tradition alive. It just doesn’t seem right.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls, Snickerdoodles, and molasses cookies are at the top of my to do list, but yesterday I whipped up a quick buffalo chicken chili in the crockpot to munch on this week. I didn’t take a ton of pictures, but you can find the recipe below. Enjoy!
- Coconut oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large or 2 medium sweet onions, diced
- 4 whole carrots, chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 can white beans (your choice)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar based hot sauce (I like Louisiana)
- Buffalo sauce, for garnish
- Diced avocado, for garnish
- Chopped green onion, for garnish
- Blue Cheese, for garnish
- Extra carrots and celery. for garnish
- Add a small amount of coconut oil to large pot and sauté garlic, onion, carrot, celery, cumin, chili powder until onions start to soften.
- Add chicken and brown over medium-high heat until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes.
- When chicken is fully cooked, pour in broth, tomatoes, beans, and hot sauce, stir well.
- Cover the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings
With Christmas just around the corner, a few last minute gift ideas never hurt anybody!
I’ve been reading so many blogs the last few weeks that have been featuring gift ideas for guys and gals alike. I figured I might as well join in and share a few of my favorite items. They might just be perfect for someone on your list!
For the Runner Girl: The Headphones
Every runner knows the pain and agony of having her headphones ripped from her ears right at the most challenging point in a run. Seriously throws your game off. The JayBirds wireless earphones are all the rage right now, but a little pricey. I’m actually of fan of the Sony Active version; lots of fun colors, great sound quality, waterproof, and they stay put!
For the Yogi Girl: The Mat
A slippery mat makes for a crappy yoga class, especially hot yoga. The splurge is definitely Lulu Lemon’s “The Mat”, I have this one. It’s antimicrobial, large, double sided, and really holds up well during class. For a steal, check out the Gaiam Athletic 2Grip yoga mat. I’ve heard rave reviews. Throw in a towel as well!
For the Chef Girl: The Mixer
A Vitamix is a definite splurge item, but one you will never, ever regret. I use mine daily for smoothies, soups, making my own nut butters and some flours, and great green/red juices! It even doubles as a food processor. There is literally nothing this machine cannot do. It even cleans itself like a dream. For a “steal” alternative, try out the Ninja Professional series. My parents have one and they say it’s a great mixer!
For the Well-Dressed Girl: The Boots
I don’t spend a lot on clothes. Never have, never will (except maybe good quality workout gear, I am pretty brand loyal when I find something I like). Riding boots are all the rage. These Frye boots are considered the best of the best and would brighten up anyone’s holiday, but I have these from Target and I’m a huge fan (with quite a bit of extra cash in my wallet) I also really like Alex and Ani charm bracelets and adding on to my Pandora charms.
For the Girl Who Has Everything: The Gift Card
Some people you just can’t buy for. It’s nearly impossible. In these cases I like to do one of two things, purchase a handmade item that benefits a charity or just break down and grab an individualized gift card. I’m a huge StitchFix fan and that is a real treat for anyone. I also love TheRunnerBox. You can also check out Etsy to find fun, handmade gifts that benefit a great cause. Also consider a class pass to a local yoga or spin studio. Make it a date and enjoy lunch and class together. After all, the season is about spending time with those you love.
What’s on your Christmas list?
As we near the end of summer, the public becomes increasingly aware of children returning to school and day care facilities. One of the most neglected populations of students are those battling diabetes. Many people are unaware of the fact that federal laws; like Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, protect children with diabetes in groups receiving federal funding. All required accommodations for children with diabetes must be accompanied by a written plan developed to specifically address the needs of each individual student. Despite these legal protections, children still face discrimination from many different fronts when managing their diabetes.
Appropriate diabetes care is absolutely necessary for ensuring children’s safety and success in the academic setting. According to trials, like The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, children require the ability to check their blood sugar frequently, monitor food intake, adhere to medications, and have adequate exercise.
For parents, sending children to school can be an incredibly nerve wracking experience. It is important, as parents, that you understand the rights of your child and their legal protections while attending a public institution. I encourage you to review the Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association for Diabetes Care in the School and Day Care Setting. The next few weeks will be devoted to keeping your child “safe in school” and encouraging educators to continue to promote the rights of children living with diabetes.
My weekend was….way too short. Being in the new house has completely destroyed any sense of routine that I had somewhat established, not to mention that I am working like a mad woman (love that overtime!). After working all day on Saturday, I enjoyed a somewhat relaxing night of awesome mexican food (El Pino baby!) and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. On Sunday, I spent the entire day cleaning the house, mowing, and “attempting” to put furniture together. My list of home improvement and decorating tasks is growing just as fast as my list of work tasks, as well as, my to do list for keeping the business above water. This is really impacting my sleep habits. I thought this might be a great post to address whether or not you can actually catch up on sleep.
In a CDC survey, 35 percent of Americans said they get fewer than the 7 hours of rest every night. And that’s a HUGE DEAL considering we need sleep to rest, recharge, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy weight.
If you’re anything like me, and trying to get by on 4 to 5 hours of sleep every weeknight, chances are you’ve tried to catch up on sleep by catching a few extra hours on the weekend. But is it really doing you any good?
Just like going to the bank, our bodies require regular deposits—about 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Over time it becomes more and more difficult to catch up on sleep if these deposits don’t get made.
Acute sleep deprivation is easy to make up. Just catch an extra 3 to 4 hours through naps or over the weekend. It’s much harder to catch up on sleep if you have chronic sleep deprivation, defined as less than 5 hours over an extended period of time.
In one study, after sleeping for six hours a night for two weeks, study participants’ physical and cognitive abilities were impaired on a level similar to someone who had gone without sleep for two nights straight. The issues arises when people no longer realize they are sleep deprived and cognitive impairment becomes completely normal.
Moral of the story: shoot for that golden 8 hours a night in order to put your best food forward in all walks of life! I should probably take my own advice. What do you do to get a better night sleep?
Staying with your active lifestyle might be a challenge while on vacation. Whether you’re a gym rat, a Class Pass nerd like me, or just enjoy walking to all your errands, staying active is an excellent way to keep a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips for maintaining fitness while on vacation:
1.) Eliminate the car: Renting a car gives you an excuse to not walk to wherever your activity may be. Walk from your hotel to all the different amenities located around you. In addition, think of all the hassle removed by not worrying about parking or GPS. Most cities and popular tourist locations have bikeshare programs that are also super convenient for traveling around a new area. Biking or walking the few blocks to your destination can add a lot of value to your vacation experience.
2.) Enjoy a sport: Whether you are looking to play eighteen holes, have pickup basketball game, or heading to the local batting cages; there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favorite sports with your friends and family while on vacation. Are you traveling on business? If so, suggest a business meeting over one of these activities. This gives you an opportunity for fun as well as some great exercise.
3.) Head to the water: The beach or the lake is always a popular destination for vacation, so take advantage of it. Plan a whole day of playing in the water, games on the beach, or general exploring.
4.) Cycle in style: Rent a bicycle for a day. This gives you the power and peace of mind to do all the sightseeing you want to do without being stuck in all the traffic you would have been if you would have driven or been on a bus. In addition, bike shares are incredibly cost efficient, as opposed to cabs or other ground transportation.
5.) Enjoy the great outdoors: Hiking is one of the best exercises you can do for yourself. Its great for cardiovascular health, but also involves quite a bit of strength and muscle training. Hiking at most locations is free and requires little to know preparation. Feeling brave? Try rock climbing or bouldering!
Hello Friends! Daniel and I are finally back from our much, much needed escape to Outer Banks, North Carolina. You spend months and months planning and anticipating the trip, and then all of a sudden it’s over with and you are anticipating the next! While our trip was super fun and relaxing, we hit a few bumps in the road when of friend of ours got sick while on the trip. Kinda threw a wrench in the plans to do a lot of the super active stuff we had planned. I’ll be back later in the week with a full recap with pictures, etc. once I have had time to get my life back together
In the mean time, today I just want to leave you with a few articles that I found super interesting while I was away. Happy Reading!!
- Already planning a weekend getaway for just the hubby and I! http://greatist.com/move/affordable-fitness-vacations
- My #1 goal for July! http://greatist.com/happiness/how-be-optimistic-about-everything
- Because Sheryl Sandberg is a badass….http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sheryl-sandberg/4-wishes-for-the-class-of-2015_b_7681328.html?utm_hp_ref=Healthy+Living
Sorry this post was so short! So much laundry and “catching up” to do!!
Where do you plan to go on your next weekend adventure?