ashley avenue

a journey to healthy balance

Too Sexy for My… February 3, 2011

…sexy spice! What’s up, loves? It’s been a fun day for food around here!

Breakfast: I’m a Real Simple kind of girl, and this month they had a special section on smoothies. My goal is to make all 10 by the end of the month. Today’s breakfast…a take on their Banana-Cashew Smoothie.

In my mix:

  • 1/4 cup raw soaked pistachios
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon light agave syrup

Directions

  1. Place ½ cup water and the cashews in a blender.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until the cashews have softened, at least 6 hours (and up to overnight). (I keep soaked nuts and frozen bananas on hand for just this occasion 😉 )
  3. Add the ice, banana, and agave syrup.
  4. Blend until smooth and frothy
  5. Top with raw old-fashioned oats, 1/2 sliced nanner, and peanut flour “butter.”

It wasn’t super filling and needed some sexy spice 😉 Next time, I’ll add sexy spice.

After a lot of studying and practicing for Zumba, my rumbly tumbly was ready for some lunch! And it was a BEAST of a lunch…

… organic mixed greens, steamed Brussels sprouts, sliced baby carrots, butternut squash (cold, I know it’s weird, but I like the texture in my salad), edamame, original tahini hummus, and 3 pieces of celery. WOW!!!!

Lunch dessert: a Ball of Energy over a cup or so of grapes that I topped with sexy spice! I’ve never put sexy spice on grapes before, but I didn’t hate it!

I have been so hungry all day! Snack time brought yet another Real Simple smoothie…the Kale-Apple Smoothie and the other half of the apple I used with some almond butter.

I’ve been wanting to try this combo for a while, and it didn’t disappoint! Aren’t the colors of these smoothies so fun?! It’s like magic when you press ‘Blend.’

My Take on This One:

Directions

  1. Place the kale, celery, banana, apple juice, ice, and lemon juice in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.

I like this one!!!!!

I taught Zumba tonight to my biggest class yet! It was such a blast to feed off the crowd. Then it was cleaning out the fridge for dinner 😉

…2 chicken tenders that had been grilled with spices, the rest of my kale chips, some butternut squash (warmed), brussels sprouts and cauliflower that had been steamed and topped with nutritional yeast. I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of oil lately over all these veggies and such…I hope it’s not too much fat!

And dessert!!!! Some bedtime tea and Inside Out PB Cake that I was inspired by from Carrie

Inside Out PB Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s peanut flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash sea salt
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients and bake at 390*F for 15 minutes

ONLY 185 calories and 24g PROTEIN! (without toppings!)

Top with anything you like!! I topped mine with fudgie paste and blackberries!

Fudgie Paste (also from Carrie)

  •  1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp agave
  • splash vanilla extract
  • water to desired consistency

And of course, I topped it all with sexy spice 😉 WOW!!!!! The inside was still gooey!

It’s good to be back. Off to watch some surgery on Grey’s! Reader’s Request on the way!

I read Romans 14:13-23 this morning. Am I am stumbling block for my family as far as food goes? I try to educate them in love, but I fear I come across as judgmental and condescending. I don’t want to be a stumbling block for them, for y’all, or for me with all my crazy thoughts lately. I’ve become a lot more vulnerable on this blog than I ever imagined. Do you experience this? I’d love to hear what you think.

Romans 14:13-23 (NIV)

 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.[a]

Today’s inspiration: (from my tea bag): “Experience your own body, your own mind, and your own soul.” This was great for me as I still haven’t decided how I feel about eating meat, and I had chicken tonight.

Do y’all have a favorite spice you like to use? Anything inspiring today? Thanks for reading today’s long post 😉 You made it across the finish line!

 

4 Boos-Boos January 24, 2011

My loves! Good evening. I’m so sorry for the late post, but it’s been a manic Monday!

I guess Disney’s getting to me because the little girl in me is coming out. Let the childhood favorites keep on rollin’…

One of my favorites when I was little was a peanut butter and banana sandwich that my Mom always made me when we had soup. So, this morning I made Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Oats!…a little more grown up than the sandwich.

In the mix:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 smashed nanner
  • sprinkles of sea salt and apple pie spice
  • toppings: 1/4 cup of organic pumpkin seed – raisin cereal, drizzle of honey, blueberries and peanut flour sauce (basically this is what Mom would put between two pieces of white bread when I was little, except she made it with white sugar and mayo hehe)

I didn’t get to do my usual Monday workout, which stressed me out a little, but I had to get over it and re-prioritize as school work had to get done, and I had a doctor’s appointment. I had to get 4 vaccines for my trip (yes, that’s 4 needles!). Luckily, it’s better to use your arms after you get shots than to keep still, so I did BodyPump this afternoon and taught Zumba tonight. My arms aren’t nearly as sore as they were when I was still studying earlier! I was also suggested to start taking probiotics…do you take probiotics or have any stories associated with them?

Lunch: a mug of Amy’s Tuscan Bean and Rice soup, a pear, and a salad BEAST! My Mom was sweet to let me shop at Whole Foods today, so I got some tabouli and herb mix (I LOVE THIS!!!) to make a salad with. Other toppings included carrots, celery, cucumbers, some green beans (steamed and in the frige over night…so good for a little texture on salad!), and Greek-style hummus.

I had some water with fresh mint to drink. I have been adding either cucumber or mint to my water lately to help hydrate my body better so that all the water I drink doesn’t just rush right through me.

Some more studying til snack time! An organic Fuji apple with NATURALLY MORE! (This is a particularly good jar. You can really taste the honey 😉 ) Garnished with a purple spoon hehe

…and some leftover green juice (about 6 oz.). It was actually pretty good even after being in the refrigerator for a couple days. Take a look in the deep dark cup of green juice sweetened with some light blue agave…

I taught a lot of “arm songs” tonight at Zumba selfishly to keep my arms moving. Sorry ladies! 😉 After Zumba and a shower, I present dinner: mixed steamed veggies and a piece of my Daddy’s famous pork…plus some more veggies.

Dessert! A BIG bowl of fruit (navel orange, a few strawberries, 4 slices of kiwi, some apple pie spice (I put it on a lot lately!), mixed soaked raw almonds and pistachios, a little greek yogurt sweetened with Truvia. Plus a garnish of a little less than 2 squares of 85% cocoa. Plus some bedtime tea to drink.

After a little more studying, I’m watching Castle with my parents. I appreciate getting to be here so much tonight!

Inspiration for today: You are beautiful…share it with the world! Making others happy makes you happy 😉

Trip update: I met my $500 support goal yesterday! Praise the Lord! Thank-you SO much for all of your support and prayers.

Also, I’m wanting some TOMS for my trip. Do you have a pair? How does sizing run?

 

Is this real life? January 19, 2011

Howdy y’all! (We did an American country mix at Zumba tonight, and I have it on the brain 😉 )

WHAT. A. DAY!

Let’s begin with breakfast: a bowl of everything raw in my kitchen 😉 well, sort of.

In the polka dot bowl:

  • 1 cup of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • smashed nanner
  • a few soaked pistachios and almonds (soaking nuts adds SO much flavors and helps with enzyme breakdown)
  • 1/2 organic apple
  • a few old-fashioned oats just plain
  • sprinkle of sexy spice (no one says you can’t be sexy at breakfast!)
  • almond milk to wet everything, but definitely not soaked (I love texture and crunch)

It was so yummy!

For lunch, I met my little sister for lunch in Chapel Hill. We tried Sandwhich for the first time. We both had the GMC…Amber as a sandwich and me as a salad without the bun and without cheese. The description is “Ashley Farms chicken breast grilled to order, grilled red onions, roasted peppers, our pesto, melted provolone on handmade hoagie.” It was Ashley Farms…how could we resist? 😉 The chicken was great, but I’m still deciding how I feel about truly eating raw and the adjustments that may mean for my diet. I’m so glad that they let me do it as a salad that came dry, which was great by me. The greens were fresh and crunchy, the pesto was a treat. It was a little pricey for me for lunch at $9.16 with tax. Amber wished it had come with a bigger side. It was just a few seasoned carrots…good!

And dessert…a staple: Yogurt Pump. I rolled with a small cake cone of Tahitian vanilla (my favorite!) and Oreo.

I got a hair cut, had a quick snack, ran some errands, and then went to teach Zumba at One Heart Yoga. I had some super fun new ladies!

After a hose off aka shower hehe, dinner is served…

A grain bowl of leftover quinoa-broccoli pilaf, a veggie burger with goat cheese over mixed green and tomatoes, leftover steamed veggies (aren’t leftovers SO great?!), and a piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with 1 tsp Trader Joe’s Superfruit spread. (I’m craving carbs!) I had cucumber water to hydrate. One thing I learned from Mira is that adding something to water helps your body get more from it so it just doesn’t pass right through. I’m not a huge lemon water fan, but I do love the cucumber “flavor.”

And dessert…a little bowl of 1/2 organic apple, little but of greek yogurt, 4 soaked raw almonds, sexy spice, a few old-fashioned oats (I guess I missed my oatmeal this morning), and a square of 85% cocoa chocolate peaking up in the background.

plus an organic pear and 1 more square of 85% cocoa chocolate. Why am i so hungry?!

OK, so BIGGGGGG news!!!!!

1. I got this black beauty today…

2. We’re going to DISNEY WORLD for spring break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I the luckiest girl princess in the world or what?!

P.S. – I don’t share this to look like a selfish brat, but just to let y’all know how blessed I am and how much God has gone above and beyond to surprise me and done WAY ABOVE & BEYOND what I could EVER imagine. Once I finally surrendered all to Him, He’s been able to work both in and through me in ways I never thought possible. Be encouraged!

It’s Off the Map for me, then sweet sweet dreams. I wish y’all the same! Let me know how you are.

 

Detox Retox January 16, 2011

Evening, y’all! What in the world is up with football underdogs? WHOA!

Well, I held the hunger (and juicing) at bay until lunch time and was able to sneak some studying in. Then, this happened….

I pretty much through all the veggies I could find in the blender.

Serves 2

  • 1/2 tomato
  • a few carrots, chopped
  • a yellow pepper cap
  • a couple florets of broccoli
  • a handful of spinach
  • organic lemon with rind
  • cup of filtered water

It’s like magic! Just press blend (and dream of a VitaMix), and ta dahhhh

It’s like Mira said at yesterday’s workshop: there’s no way that I could eat this many veggies, but juicing makes it easier to get it in.

I had a glass of green juice, a fuji apple with a Ball of Energy (dessert), and a “stuffed pepper” for lunch.

For the pepper, I just capped a yellow pepper (used the cap for juice), baked it at 350* for about 12 minutes…just enough to cook it a little and heat it up so that the edges are a little brown. Then, I stuffed it with quinoa, broccoli, and Craisin pilaf inspired by Real Simple. (Yay for saving time and a dish by cooking it all in 1 pot.)

To save time, I steamed the broccoli in with the quinoa while it was cooking. For 2 servings, I did 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup of water, 3 broccoli florets in the pot, then added about 1/3 cup of Craisins at the end to plump up in the water. Garnish with scallions and soaked almonds. The quinoa smelled so nutty while it cooked…yummy! The pilaf was a great balance of flavor and texture as the Craisins added just a hint of sweetness to the crunchy broccoli and pepper….and, look at the color!

It felt nice to take a little extra time on cooking lunch instead of throwing stuff together really quick, plus, now I have LEFTOVERS! hehe 😉

To continue with the detoxing, it was off to Hot 90 for me at Open Door Yoga. I was a sweaty mess…

After detoxing, why not re-tox? 😉 hehe We went to Rockford, and they just happen to have $5 wine night. I know it isn’t eating raw or detoxing my body to have wine, but it seemed like the right decision to make to catch up with one of my best friends. Let me introduce y’all to Merlot…

 I met one of my best friends at yoga then we went to dinner and FINALLY exchanged Christmas gifts…hey sometimes you have to  stretch it out, you know? (p.s. – i LOVE you, KT!)

I was going to order just a salad, but decided that I could have that anytime at home and to try something new…blackened tilapia with Asian spices in a cilantro-jalepeno tortilla filled with coconut slaw (YUM!) with a side of ratatouille (new food for the day) and a side of Thai chili sauce.  Usually, I would not order a wrap, but this sounded amazing, and I didn’t get a lot of protein at lunch, and Rockford had “buy 1 get 1 half off” on their large plates tonight. The ratatouille was amazing…eggplant, stewed tomatoes, squash. When I asked our waiter what was in it, he said, “Well it’s peasant’s dish.” If so, I’ll be a peasant. SOOOO YUMMY! Maybe I’ll watch the movie now 😉 It was definitely worth the indulgence…even the sauce was good.

Random, but this plate at the restaurant are the same plates that my family grew up eating on when I was little. Each dish is served on a different plate, so I felt really lucky and nostalgic to get to eat on this one again.

My friend, Katie, got a turkey burger with Monterey jack and cous cous. She said it was delish as well!

Katie and I both were craving tea, so as we parted, I headed straight for the store. I bought a Bedtime Tea and a Chai. Y’all, I have NEVER liked hot tea, but my palate craves it now. It’s so funny! I didn’t even want coffee…weird! So dessert happened at home…

  • a Ball of Energy (the smallest one I made hehe)
  • a square of 85% cocoa that was yummers (Mom was sweet enough to buy it for me)
  • a frozen nanner blended with some almond milk in the blender topped with raspberries and blackberries (Is it OK to have 2 nanners in 1 day? I usually try to keep it at 1.)

And that’s a wrap…

Sweet dreams, bloggies!

 

Foods That Heal January 15, 2011

What’s up, buttercups?! (That’s what I say to my Doodle every morning, and I’m affectionately passing it on to y’all.)
I’m so sorry for not posting yesterday, but that just means that y’all are in for a doosey tonight! Here goes…got your coffee on tea?

First of all, recent eats…

Breakfast for the past two days: a yogurt bowl with greek yogurt, crumbled Rise & Shine muffin, smashed banana (New discovery: I LOVVVVVE this in yogurt.), Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter, 1Tbsp Naturally More, blackberries, blueberries (that were going bad. You know that taste they have? ugh!), and 5 raw almonds for crunch.

And a Grande Starbucks 1/2 caff because our power was out, so we went to Starbucks for coffee.

For lunch, I wasn’t very hungry, and I knew we were going out for dinner, so I had some black beans, carrots, celery, and some Greek-style hummus…plus some more coffee. Our power finally came back on, so we made a pot.

My family went to watch the UNC Women’s Basketball team play NCSU…Carolina VICTORY!!! For dinner, a UNC tradition of Carolina Brewery. I LOVE their Copperline Amber Ale, so I started with that goodness.

“This brilliant red ale, brewed with caramel and pale malts is a best seller at the Carolina Brewery. Using traditional brewing methods, the ale yeast provides a touch of fruit and works in tandem with the malt to make for a very drinkable ale. Kent Golding hops lend just enough bitterness and aroma to round out the flavor.” It’s won GOLD MEDAL-WORLD BEER CHAMPIONSHIPS.

copperline amber ale

On to the food, hehe…I had a veggie burger with sweet potato chips. The veggie burger was the BEST I’ve ever had. You can literally see the black beans and corn, and you can taste the tomato in it! YUMMERS! And their sweet potato chips come with the tiniest amount of brown sugar for garnish/flavor. I even put a little ketchup on a few chips (SPLURGE!), but didn’t touch that mayo…gross! It was a perfect meal!

That concluded with dessert at the game. Another Carolina Tradition SMITTY’S Ice Cream!!! I licked on rolled with Carolina Blue Chip (like mint chocolate chip) in a waffle cone with FREE Carolina sprinkles. It was just OK, but it’s a tradition!

Like I said, breakfast was the same today as yesterday because it’s SO fast when you’re in a hurry. It saved me so much time over oatmeal.

I did 1 hour of RPM, a 20-minute core class, and BodyPump for my workout today. I got to see my beautiful friend Lindsay! We always miss each other during the week because I workout and teach in the  morning, and she goes at night! It’s weird…I wasn’t hungry at all, but I made myself eat lunch after a staff meeting at the gym. I went to Nil’s Bakery Cafe in Varina and got a greek salad. They are so yummy. It’s one of the only places that I don’t ask for dressing on the side because they use a perfect amount of balsamic that isn’t too sweet or too tart.

Afterwards, I went to a Healing Foods Workshop at One Heart Yoga by the beautiful Mira. She as kind enough to give me a scholarship to come! It was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in a long time. Mira has so much knowledge about raw foods, which I am getting more interested in. The more I learn about food, the more I want to learn. Mira is a Christian, and the way she incorporates mind/body/soul makes sense to me. Our bodies function best when we are in balance in all these areas, I think. However, I also believe you have to do what works best for you (“intuitive nutrition”), but I want to learn more about raw foods and incorporate them more into my diet/go mostly raw. She talked for 2 hours, which FLEW by, and gave us a sample of “Herbal Energy Balls” and Hemp milk. I’m hooked!!!

Have y’all ever done a cleanse? I’m thinking about it. My body feels like it has so much acid, and after looking over past posts (especially with last night’s dinner), I understand why…too much coffee and alcohol, more meat than I’m used to, and I never juice or eat enough enzymes for my body to function properly. I’d really like to figure out what to eat for me to get my body back to regularity. I feel so fortunate to cross paths with Mira and hope to pick her brain a lot more and get some personal help. I know that cleaning and cleansing will cause withdrawal symptoms as I experienced those over the Summer as I went “clean.” I had no idea that it was normal, and I wish someone had told me, so I’m passing it along to any of you who go “clean” or raw. It’ll be OK and is absolutely worth it!

Like Mira said, “Recovery is available at nearly any point! Your life can change!” You have to do what works for you. I’m praying for grace from my family as I try to cleanse on another level. They aren’t interested right now, but I want to love and educate and pray that my withdrawal will be full of joy and grace. Plus, it’s an expensive change for my budget, but it’s worth it to me. Any advice?

When I got home, I was super pumped to start my new phase on the food journey, so I made my own Balls of Energy. Thanks for the recipe, Mira!

Balls of Energy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Sunflower Seed Butter (leave enough in the jar for OIAJ hehe)
  • 1/2 cup Light Agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Sexy Spice
  • 1/2 Twister Power Powder (hemp, cacao, maca)

Directions:

  • Mix wet ingredients in a bowl.

  • Add in dry ingredients, and stir together with a wooden spoon.
  • Form “batter” into balls.

  • Roll them in a topping if you want to. I used cacao nibs, but chopped nuts, maca, coconut, hemp seeds, etc. would be great too! You can even add other powders or chopped fresh herbs. Whatever makes you into a ball of energy!

  • FEAST! -> FOODGASM!!!

For dinner, I had a salad beast (organic greens, a few cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, black beans, celery, carrots), bread with oil, 1/2 sweet potato with cinnamon  sexy spice and steamed green beans with Garlic Gold nuggets…plus some more green beans.

And dessert…a ball of energy (finally found a use for my sunflower seed butter that I like!), a Red Delish apple (Mom bought the fruit this week and didn’t get organic, but I’m grateful for the groceries!), AND some greek yogurt with berries! I’m hungry tonight!

NO COFFEE…I tried hot tea…decaf orange pekoe. What are your favorites? I’m a tea virgin!

 

Fasting January 10, 2011

Hey y’all! Happy Monday!!!! How was your weekend? Let me know!

My tummy was growling this morning after a wonderful time in the Word. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted…some Rise & Shine oats!

In today’s mix:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, water, almond milk, greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds, peanut flour
  • sprinkles of sea salt and cinnamon
  • 1/2 smashed banana
  • toppings: Rise & Shine muffin, blackberries, blueberries, Naturally More, Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter (I think I said it was cranberry orange before, but no, it’s apple, and it’s so so so good!) 

WOW!!!! I wish you could have had some 😉

Today was the usual Monday workout of RPM, BodyPump, with a twist of Flow Yoga (with Margee…one of my favorite teachers!). Margee always challenges me, and she really brought it with core work today! WOO!

When I ran in from the cold came home for lunch, I did NOT know what I wanted. I can’t stand when I’m not craving something not :(. so I ended up with…a little mug of vegetable soup (green beans, okra, black beans, corn, lima beans, veggie broth)…

with some seasoning (crushed red pepper flakes and mixed seasoning from the Farmer’s Market.)

…the rest of my Amy’s pizza (roasted veggie with no cheese) and some carrots, cucumbers, and celery with Moroccan hummus.

Plus a Fuji apple with peanut flour banana sauce. I figured y’all were tired of that photo 😉 with some 1/2 caff to warm my bones. It’s starting to snow here, so I cancelled Zumba for tonight 😦 I will miss my ladies so much!!!

**************************************************************************************************************************

Also, I need to tell y’all about a decision I made. I am participating in Awake 21. I have felt the Lord calling me to fast for a couple weeks now. I did not think it was wise to do it with food right now, so I’ve been seeking what to fast as I want to spend extra time praying for my trip to South Africa, the country as a whole, its people, my team, and for the financial support that I still need to raise. Besides food, I thought about what I spend a lot of time doing that would mean A LOT to me to sacrifically give up for 21 days…

  • TV – it’s become the 1 family activity that my parents and I do together and talk about every week, and I don’t think it’s wise or healthy to give that up with them right now as they’ve been so sweet to me through my crazy journey these past few months.
  • Food – I need to nourish my body and didn’t see it as healthy to forgo food for 21 days.
  • Exercise – it’s my job right now, so that’s a no go
  • Reading blogs – sadly, this is what I feel is best.

I am going to continue writing my blog so that y’all can walk with me through this process and pray with me; however, I am taking a 3 week fast from each of your wonderful lives. I feel so selfish asking you to continue reading Ashley Avenue when I am not going to be reading back, but I hope that you do. Feel free to leave me comments on my blog about your lives as I’ll still be reading and responding to those. I’ll be back to reading on February 1st, but for now, that’s a HUGE chunk of time that I can be spending preparing and praying about my trip and the funds I need to get there. God’s already BLOWN MY MIND with the support that has come in, and I have NEVER before raised $3000 for anything, so it’s totally in His hands.

If y’all would like to help support me, or have a creative idea for how I can raise $, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail (ashley dot nicole dot sauls at gmail dot com). I am trying to get creative. Thank-you in advance for understanding and for always being so gracious to me. Y’all mean a lot to me!

Love,

ashley

 

A Day for the Books January 5, 2011

Evening, y’all! I HAVE to catch y’all up on yesterday. Amber (my little sister and best friend) gave me a note for Christmas that promised a sister date that included Burlesque. I’ve been counting down the days until we got to hang out. We do “sister dates” pretty often and have come to realize that making plans is useless because we always change them, so we just go for it now!

I got up and had an amazing quiet time, then made some quick breakfast….

…my last 2 pieces of Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread toasted covered in topped with peanut flour banana sauce, 1/2 sliced banana and cacao nibs for a pretty garnish. I also rolled with a teeny bowl of mixed fruit with keifer since I was going to donate platelets and needed extra calcium.

And coffee, of course!

Then it was off to teach Zumba!

Snack after Zumba in the car…

Back at home, quick shower (are y’all liking the play-by-play? hehe), off to da hospital for platelet donation…

Well, I tried to give, but my CBC revealed a platelet count that was too low, so I couldn’t donate 😦 Amber was able to, so I watched Madagascar with her while she gave, then we went for a late lunch at Johnny Carino’s (my first time!).

Lunch was a lesson in giving your body what it needs (a goal of mine this year, well, for my body 😉 ). I REALLY wanted spaghetti and meatballs, a craving that was maybe for the first time in my life. I usually don’t even like meatballs, but I went for it (even with a little fresh grated parmesan cheese) after much contemplation over healthier options on the menu. At least this was cheaper 😉 I did order it with whole wheat pasta, and all they had was penne.

Their meatballs are handmade and full of peppers and spices…exactly what my body wanted!

I am so glad I went with this instead of going with a healthier option that would not have been as satisfying. The lunch also came with a salad, and I had caesar, another splurge that I usually don’t do, but their house salad didn’t sound very good…mostly cheese and croutons on lettuce, you know what I mean? Definitely NOT a salad beast.

It was really fresh and crunchy with actually just the right amount of dressing and a little parmesean cheese. I also read recently somewhere that parmesean is good to eat in your 20s, though I don’t remember why exactly :/

The lunch also came with bread and oil. I let Amber handle that on her own…

because I was saving room for dessert…

Amber had a coupon for a free Like it, but they were out of Like it cups, so we got LOVE it size cups 😉 WOOHOO. She had dark chocolate with raspberries, and I had cinnamon  sexybun batter with chocolate chips and raspberries…again, giving my body what it wanted, and boy was it worth it! AMAZING! Maybe my best creation ever!

Happy girls! This is such a treat for us…

Demolished. Period.

Then we made a Trader Joe’s run because there’s not one by our house, and Amber the best sister ever gave me a gift card for Christmas. Y’all will see those goodies appearing in the near future 😉 I got a lot of new things that I’ve been wanting to try (and some stuff I hadn’t planned on getting) so that I can achieve my goal of something new/creative everyday with food.

Sadly, apparently, Burlesque is out of theatres now; however, Amber to the rescue found…

a small local theatre built in the 30s that has $2.50 movies that was still showing it! Isn’t it cool how stuff just works out sometimes (thanks, God!).

If these chairs could talk….

Not only did we see Burlesque, which was an AMAZINGLY beautiful dance/singing movie with a gorgeous and talented cast! I definitely recommend seeing it if you haven’t already. It was a sight to behold on the big screen. (I have a secret fantasy to do something like that once in my life. I love pretty costumes and singing and performing. As quiet as I am in real like, I LOVE to perform and be on stage. I danced all through school since age 3 and miss it.)

Inspiration for modeling and being silly…

“You can tell she’s a good dancer by the way she drinks a soda pop.” ~ Ramone from The Proposal. (There was a soda pop sign on the wall, and I couldn’t resist! hehe)

Since we were already there, we stayed for Life as We Know It too. What a cute movie! It’s hilarious, and has a great cast! Check this one out too, but it’s a little chick-flickish!

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Epic and fun day!

I love you, little sis!

Have you ever seen 2 movies in one day at the movie theatre? Do y’all do anything like this with your siblings?