A Healthy Slice of Life http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com Delicious recipes, healthy living tips, and fun food facts Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:51:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Things I’m Loving Lately http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/things-im-loving-lately-5/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/things-im-loving-lately-5/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:02:19 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27432 Happy Friday all! With pizza night on the horizon, all things are possible. Let’s jump right into some things I’m loving lately… Mornings on the porch. I recently broke up my morning routine and have been heading outside rather than the office. North Carolina mornings are decently cool (70’s) and it’s really refreshing to feel […]

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Happy Friday all! With pizza night on the horizon, all things are possible. Let’s jump right into some things I’m loving lately…

Mornings on the porch. I recently broke up my morning routine and have been heading outside rather than the office. North Carolina mornings are decently cool (70’s) and it’s really refreshing to feel that cool air and stillness before the hustle of the day begins.

morningPeriscope. I am obsessed! I thought I needed another social media app like I needed another hole in my head, but two days in and I am hooked. It’s live streaming, so kind of like face-timing with anyone who cares to follow you at any point you want to broadcast live. I’m following bloggers, readers, friends, celebrities and even random strangers through their map function. The idea that I can see (in live time) what someone is doing across the world from me is mind blowing.

periscopeIt took me a little bit to grasp the concept, and to be honest, I still haven’t quite figured out how I want to use it myself. Some people get on and answer questions or give tips/advice, but others just get on and chat/interact with anyone who join them. Truth be told, I’m kind of terrified to broadcast live. I’ve done it once or twice then immediately deleted the replay, ha!

I could go on and on, but download it, then follow me (Ahealthyslice) and see if I get brave enough to actually broadcast…

Another Whiteboard Workout. Burn Bootcamp does it again! We started yesterday with laps of jogging, shuffles and back pedaling. Then we knocked out 50 each of these 10 exercises, did more laps and came back to do 50 of each exercise again. I’ll be honest, I didn’t make it through 1000 reps in the time allowed, but now that just leaves me determined to try this beast again.

burn bootcamp 1000 rep workoutThey also have 16 new locations in the works to open up soon!

Girls on the RunI’ve been wanting to get more involved with this organization for some time now, but having babies has pretty much filled every second of my day. I was invited to be part of the committee for our local chapter and attended my first meeting last night, focused mainly on an awesome October event we are putting together- Etsy Live!

girls on the run meeting

If you are local to Charlotte and make homemade goods/crafts/etsy-ish things, you should definitely check out being a vendor, as spaces are limited. You get to sell your goods and help out local girls!

My Grandma Betty who turns 95 tomorrow! Though I won’t be there to celebrate on the actual day, I’ll be getting to see her soon. I’m fortunate to have so many amazing women in my family and I’m blessed to still have two awesome grandmothers with me at 31 years old. How lucky am I?! Happy early birthday Grandma Betty!! (she reads here every morning and I can’t tell you how much that makes me smile!)

grandma betty

And now for some good reads from around the web…

McDonald’s Begins Closing Restaurants as the Clean Food Movement Sweeps America

I Don’t Know How You Do This Everyday (<– probably the best thing David could ever say to me)

What Would My Mom Do? (Drink Tab and Lock Us Outside)

35 Things I Wish I’d Known in High School

You Can Do Hard Things

7 Dinner Rules that Will Transform Your Family’s Mealtime

And a big congrats to Julie who had her sweet baby boy this week!!!

Read anything worth sharing recently??

 

 

 

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Easy Zucchini Bread http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/easy-zucchini-bread/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/easy-zucchini-bread/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:27:42 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27418 Yesterday I was in a funk. No real reason, I just couldn’t really get in a groove for the day. Once we got the girls to bed, I poured a (second) glass of wine and sat out on the porch with David for a solid hour of just talking. I was once again reminded that […]

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Yesterday I was in a funk. No real reason, I just couldn’t really get in a groove for the day. Once we got the girls to bed, I poured a (second) glass of wine and sat out on the porch with David for a solid hour of just talking. I was once again reminded that I married well. David and I are a really great match. He is logical where as I am overly emotional. I always joke that he steadies me out and I make him more human. Ha.

But seriously.

Relaxing and talking helped the day fade, but I still decided my mental health was asking for a morning off, so I didn’t set my alarm today and instead slept into a glorious 6:45. I brewed my half caff and sat out on the porch with Koda. It was such a welcome change of pace, as was both girls sleeping until 7:30!

I didn’t think things could get any better, but then Hailey spent the morning playing at her BFF’s house, so I just had Kaitlyn to play with and I managed a bootcamp workout too. I’m feeling a million times better now!

But… wait, what was this about? Oh yeah, zucchini bread!

easy zucchini bread

In attempt to break out of my grump bubble (<– file that word choice under signs I spend too much time with my preschooler) yesterday, I skipped out on making zoodles and instead used my last zucchini for this easy, slightly healthier version of this recipe for zucchini bread.

easy zucchini bread- 1I wasn’t planning on blogging about it, but it smelled so good, I snapped a few pictures for fun with David’s fancy camera that I don’t really have any clue how to use.

easy zucchini bread- 2As I enjoyed a second piece, I considered maybe I should share it, after all it is such an easy recipe.

easy zucchini bread- 3

Then after Hailey had eaten two piece and Kaitlyn had downed one herself, I came back to into the kitchen to find that the girls obviously could not get enough and had resorted to grabbing it by the handful.

easy zucchini bread- 4That sealed the deal. Totally worth sharing.

Easy Zucchini Bread
 
Serves: 1 loaf
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
Instructions
  1. Grease and flour a 8 x 4 inch bread pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  5. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and mix well.
  6. Stir in zucchini until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

 

Hope you are having a wonderful Thursday!

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My (Not-So) Secret Addiction http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/my-not-so-secret-addiction/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/my-not-so-secret-addiction/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:10:27 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27404 You guys, I have a problem. I know what you are thinking… just one? But stay with me here. The first step is admitting you have one, right? That’s what I’m here to do today. Hi, my name is Brittany and I’m addicted to taking pictures of my kids. One might argue I have more […]

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You guys, I have a problem. I know what you are thinking… just one? But stay with me here.

The first step is admitting you have one, right? That’s what I’m here to do today.

Hi, my name is Brittany and I’m addicted to taking pictures of my kids.

breakfast girlsOne might argue I have more pictures of my girls than anyone would ever need in a lifetime. Those people may be right.

In my archives (and archives…) of digital files, I’ve documented all important milestones like, breakfast and, oh, that’s a funny face!

silly facesWith friend, Eleanor, at the library yesterday.

I’ve focused on living more in the moment and I’ve actually gotten much better at… CLICK!

swim lessonsI can’t help it. The real sickness though? That is the feeling that still lurks deep within me that I haven’t captured enough.

I know what you’re thinking… seriously? But yes.

Right now life is too hectic for me even to go back through all the pictures I’ve taken and the family albums I’ve made, but I imagine myself one day down the road between my weekly visits to the girls’ colleges (because you KNOW that’s happening on the regular) flipping through them for hours and laughing about all the fun we had raising them.

And just how darn cute they were/are.

I’ll bet I will even forget about how messy things could get… wait, better capture that as well.

SNAP!

spaghetti nightLucky for them, they do have one break in the camera action.

And that’s when food appears.

zoodles and mom's spaghettiMaybe one day I’ll enjoy flipping back through all the dinners we’ve ever eaten as well?

Perhaps.

But for now I love these days with my girls, and though I know the camera can’t capture the true joy of our moments (and on that same note, the I-want-to-rip-my-hair-out sentiment of other moments), it does help me hold onto the memories of this busy life phase, full of the wonder of childhood. So I’ll probably keep snapping…

and ignoring the pile of socks that we’ve been sitting on top of for two solid days now.

socksAfter all, one day all the laundry will be folded and put away, the house will be clean and I’ll be packing my bag to go visit them instead of walking upstairs.

So for now, let the addiction rage on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meal Planning and Food Prep Lately http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/meal-planning-and-food-prep-lately/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/meal-planning-and-food-prep-lately/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:04:50 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27387 We had a few really fun weekends with friends and family visiting. Now that our streak has ended, I’m getting back in the meal planning groove. Adopting Fridays as my grocery shopping day has really made a difference in how much we eat at home versus out. I used to wing it through the weekend, […]

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We had a few really fun weekends with friends and family visiting. Now that our streak has ended, I’m getting back in the meal planning groove. Adopting Fridays as my grocery shopping day has really made a difference in how much we eat at home versus out. I used to wing it through the weekend, leading to going out or grabbing something out of necessity, not enjoyment.

weekly grocery list95% of the time Friday nights are pizza nights. It’s my night off and I though I do enjoy cooking, I thoroughly look forward to the reprieve each week. By Friday night our fridge is fully stocked and I’m chowing down on pizza, leaving me the rest of the weekend to prep food for the upcoming week.

grocery cartSo what did that look like this week?

Most of my prep work took place on Sunday afternoon, but it started Saturday with Hailey’s help making a loaf of bread.

kids helping with meal prepI let her choose what ingredients she adds to her bowl (down to the curry powder- ew) and when I put mine in to bake, we fry hers up as pancakes. She always gets a big kick out of this.

homemade breadI store half the loaf in airtight packaging on the counter and the other half gets vacuum sealed (another way I’m using my Foodsaver I suppose!) and frozen. We use it for my avocado and egg breakfasts, sandwiches and French toast.

Speaking of breakfast,

make ahead breakfast sandwichesAbout every two weeks I make a new batch of breakfast sandwiches for David. I freeze them on a baking sheet, then individually wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap.

I prep a few vegetables like broccoli, which the girls have been preferring simply blanched with no seasoning lately.

veggie prep

And lettuce.

salad spinner helperI’ve been trying to be more diligent about buying the whole head and washing it myself. It really doesn’t take long (here is how I do it) and is so much cheaper. I found organic green leaf lettuce for $0.99 at Target a week or two ago!

lettuce prepI’ve also been trying to remember to make a batch of boiled eggs. These are great grab options for David, but I also make really quick and simple deviled eggs for the girls for lunch and they devour them.

how to make easy peel boiled eggsI’m sure you’ve heard it before, but using older eggs works better for boiling. I try to buy two dozen at a time and hold off a week on boiling the second dozen.

I like to involve Hailey in food prep, but there is only so much she can do. Surprisingly the dry pasta has returned with renewed excitement.

dry pasta sortingIt bought me enough time to blend up frozen blackberries (Kaitlyn’s favorite) with plain whole milk yogurt to put into Little Green Resuable Pouches.

baby food prepWith the mixture that remained, I blended it again, this time with a little honey, and made popsicles.

Even just the few things I did on Sunday, it helped make for an easier week. I like having a few easy grab options for quick grabbing for the girls, but I don’t mind waiting to chop some vegetables until I’m using them either.

fajitasIt was tough to break my Sunday grocery shopping rhythm, but now that I have, I think I’m a convert!

What day do you go grocery shopping on? 

Do you prep all your food for the week or just some essentials?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Low Key and Celebratory http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/low-key-and-celebratory/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/low-key-and-celebratory/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:17:24 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27361 When Friday rolled around I was ready for one big exhale. Lucky for me, it started in just that way with a breakfast date with David. In a rare change of pace, we had our sitter come for the morning so we could grab breakfast and catch up with  each other at a time of […]

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When Friday rolled around I was ready for one big exhale. Lucky for me, it started in just that way with a breakfast date with David.

breakfast dateIn a rare change of pace, we had our sitter come for the morning so we could grab breakfast and catch up with  each other at a time of day that my brain is still fully functioning. Does anyone else mentally shut down around 7pm?

After knocking out some of the to-do list and fitting in bootcamp (shoulders and biceps), we settled onto the couch that night with a Papa Murphy’s pizza and The Imitation Game, which was a really good movie- finally.

Saturday morning was all about celebrating some GREAT news!

koda bugAfter 5 months of treatment, Koda is in complete remission!

When we got the phone call I was overcome with happiness and Koda got several spoonfuls of celebratory peanut butter, which she gobbled right up.

There was some concern last week about her liver levels, thus the shaved belly for an ultrasound, but it came back clear. Now she has a month of liver medication and then we move to monthly check ups.

Though in the back of my mind, I know it is not a cure and the vet says the lymphoma will return, it’s just a matter of when, right now we are focusing on our happy pup who is full of energy and ready to play. We love her so much!

hikingWe all went hiking at Lake Norman State Park Saturday morning and had a blast!

dixons july 2015They have a new feature of kid-specific pamphlets and Hailey had a great time with the scavenger hunt list.

kids hiking scavenger huntThat evening, we tackled something I’ve been itching to try for a while now.

octopusOctopus! We simmered it for about 45 minutes in seasonings, then tossed it on the grill for a couple minutes on each side.

octopus linguineI served it on top of a lemon garlic linguine. The verdict? The skin was a little chewy/fatty tasting, but once you got past that the middle tasted like a scallop- delicious! Oddly enough, Hailey was not freaked out by the whole process and ended up eating about 1/3 of my tentacle. She never fails to surprise me on what she chooses to be adventurous with.

David worked Sunday so I got the girls dressed and out early to enjoy the playground while the temperature was in the high 70s- gorgeous!

robbins park

I had a blast chasing them around the playground and doing the slide over… and over… and over again.

The afternoon was dedicated to some meal prep, then everyone was a little stir crazy (cranky) so we ate some homemade blackberry and yogurt pops

messy popsicles

which proved to be a messy decision. We threw our clothes in the wash and headed out for a 3 mile walk and finally everyone was smiling again.

double stroller walk

That evening the girls crashed early (both were asleep by 6:30!).

simple salad

I finished up our pesto pizza on whole wheat crust and we curled up on the couch to watch another installment of the documentary series The Story of Us.

pesto pizza

I was pretty proud that I nailed the crust. I like a crispy underside and get pretty pumped when it works out!

crispy crust

Now that early bedtime is coming back to kick me because Kaitlyn is up early, so off I go. Lather rinse repeat.

How was your weekend?

Did you get outside?

Watch anything good?

Any other history lovers out there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Didn’t Make the Cut http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/what-didnt-make-the-cut/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/what-didnt-make-the-cut/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:11:25 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27333 First of all I really want to say thank you for your comments on my (attempt at) fashion post! I’ve seriously read every single comment and can’t tell you how much I appreciate your insight. There was quite a consensus on what looked good and what didn’t do me any favors (thank you for your […]

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First of all I really want to say thank you for your comments on my (attempt at) fashion post! I’ve seriously read every single comment and can’t tell you how much I appreciate your insight. There was quite a consensus on what looked good and what didn’t do me any favors (thank you for your kind word choices!). I’m going to give more detailed feedback to my stylist and see if that helps, though a lot of Stitch Fix users seem to agree their clothes are more loose than figure flattering. Interesting!

Moving on, on a personal level this week has been full of some emotional challenges that aren’t really mine to share, but I’ve felt a little preoccupied and emotionally drained. Let’s just say I’m thrilled it’s Friday and looking forward to a low key, relaxing weekend!

Here’s a little peek into some things that happened this week that didn’t make the blog…

First up, those chia pods I mentioned! Can we first look at the best by date though?

chia podTo my knowledge September only has 30 days… right?

Anyway, the pods. Personally it’s a texture thing for me and I found them to just be ‘eh.’ Hailey pretty much agreed with me, but Kaitlyn loved it! It was tedious trying to spoon it into her mouth, so I switched it into a reusable Little Green Pouch and she devoured it.

little green pouchA lot of you mentioned how easy it is to make your own, so I am going to look into doing that for Kaitlyn.

On the workout front, I completed this killer leg workout on Wednesday…

awesome leg burner workoutand my legs are still sore this morning. If you’re looking for a good one, try it! I used 12 lb weights and whew, I feel it.

Wednesday night my Shaklee team had a health presentation event at which I had to speak to a room of about 50 people for approximately 60 seconds. Thanks for nothing college public speaking class; my heart still pounds like it’s trying to leap out of my chest when I have to speak to more than a handful of people at a time.

Fortunately my friend Andrea was up for sushi and wine afterwards, which took the edge off.

sushiYesterday afternoon the girls and I met up with Caitlin and Julie at the beach again. On our walk across the parking lot Hailey tripped on her flip flop and sprawled across the asphalt. I’ll give it to her, it looked like it hurt and her knees were scraped up but myyyyyy goodness you really would have thought she had broken both legs. When the girl gets a boo-boo, she commits fully to victim roll, complete with screams, cries and pouting for a solid 20 minutes. It’s actually quite impressive. I snapped a picture (bad mom), but can’t bring myself to post it, so let’s just say she looked about as opposite as you can get from smiley baby Claire.

baby claire

Kaitlyn had a blast though, continuously running full speed into the water as I ran after her, scooping her up each time. Beach and relaxing no longer belong in the same sentence to me and I’m just hoping I haven’t completely scared Julie off from what her life is going to look like in a few short weeks- ha!

I’m really excited to meal plan for this next week because this week has been a bit all over the place. I made the girls smoothies for dinner last night, which was a hit.

smoothie night

and so easy. Why don’t I do that more often?!

Then I grilled chicken and sauteed all remaining veggies I had for David and me.

simple dinner

My fridge is now crying for me to make it to the grocery store.

We finished up last night with my favorite show, Master Chef, and snuggles on the couch.

master chef

And now I’m thinking we need a good movie for tonight!

Any movie suggestions that are either funny/light-hearted or a good thriller/action?

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

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Quick & Simple Tuna Fish Salad http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/simple-tuna-fish-salad/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/simple-tuna-fish-salad/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:05:36 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27319 I know I’ve mentioned it a lot, but Kaitlyn (14 months) is a petite little thing. She’s growing and healthy, but I always take into consideration getting her the biggest calorie and nutrient-dense bang for each bite when I plan her meals (like I wrote about here). Recently I discovered that she loves tuna salad and […]

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I know I’ve mentioned it a lot, but Kaitlyn (14 months) is a petite little thing. She’s growing and healthy, but I always take into consideration getting her the biggest calorie and nutrient-dense bang for each bite when I plan her meals (like I wrote about here).

Recently I discovered that she loves tuna salad and I was thrilled! Full of healthy fats and protein, it’s great option to make and share with her at lunch time.

simple tuna fish salad- less than 5 minutes

I used to just mash all the ingredients together until the somewhat incorporated, but now I’ve discovered a ridiculously quick and easy way to put tuna fish salad on her plate in under three minutes.

simple tuna fish salad- 1Since I share this dish with a small mouth consisting of only 6 teeth, I stick the basic 3 ingredients- 1 can of tuna fish, mayonnaise and sweet relish.

simple tuna fish salad- 3I use the entire can of tuna plus 1 Tbsp each of mayo and relish when I’m making it for just me, but when I make it for Kaitlyn I end up making it closer to 2 Tbsp each of mayo and relish. I toss the ingredients in my mixer with the paddle attachment then switch it to medium speed.

In less than 15 seconds, the tuna salad is mixed well and at perfect consistency.

simple tuna fish salad- only 3 ingredientsIf serving exclusively for adults, I’d mix in some finely chopped celery for a good crunch, but this three ingredient version is perfect for little hands.

simple tuna fish salad- for toddlersAnd for me, I like this simplified version sandwiched between cucumber slices for a healthy, protein-packed low carb quick lunch option.

simple tuna fish salad- low carb lunchWham Bam Thank you… mixer?

Close enough.

Are you a tuna fish salad fan?

What do you put in yours?

What are some creative ways that you use your mixer?

 

 

 

 

 

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Stitch Fix Switch Up http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/stitch-fix-switch-up/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/stitch-fix-switch-up/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:05:17 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27315 I still get Stitch Fix (<- affiliate link!) deliveries on the regular in an attempt to expand my wardrobe beyond athletic shorts and tank tops. I’m a work in progress. Anyway, lately I’ve realized that things I think look flattering on me, don’t appear that way in photos, which has further confirmed my belief that I […]

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I still get Stitch Fix (<- affiliate link!) deliveries on the regular in an attempt to expand my wardrobe beyond athletic shorts and tank tops. I’m a work in progress. Anyway, lately I’ve realized that things I think look flattering on me, don’t appear that way in photos, which has further confirmed my belief that I really don’t know anything about how to dress for my body type (short and pear-shaped- and I mean that in a very kind way).

So in that light, I wanted to enlist your feedback  on my latest fix on what I should keep and return, so picture this as a little…

Ok, here we go.

Quick disclaimer: I do not have time to style my hair, much less an outfit (which perhaps I should keep in mind while choosing what to keep). So jewelry or shoe suggestions are welcome too. In the meantime I threw on my new favorite wedges and called it a day. I had limited photography time with my little people running around after all. Oh, and thanks for indulging my completely self-serving advice-searching post!

#1 Saxby Scoop Neck Top by Loveappella- $54.00

stitch fix- 1Realistically speaking, I should have flat sandals on with this top and probably a pair of fitted dark jeans. I don’t think this is considered high fashion, however it is something I can totally see myself throwing on for a regular weekday while running around with the girls. And if I’m being honest, this is pretty much my casual style- comfortable, easy, can wear a regular bra.

#2 Market & Spruce Colibri Sleeveless Top – $44

stitch fix colibri topI really wanted to like this one. The polka dots were cute and it was comfortable, but… is it a shirt? or a dress? because my gosh it is longggg. I couldn’t tuck in all that fabric so I tried a belt on but…

stitch fix  7no, just no.

#3 Loveappella Montel Dress – $78

stitch fix- 3At first glance, I thought way too baggy. But, my Achilles heel is comfort and at least it is drawn in at the waist. Kind of cute! I love the back of it too…

stitch fix- 2but since I don’t have a clue what kind of bra I’d wear with it I think it might end up hanging in my closet with the tags on?

#4 Level 99 Robbie Jogger Pant – $88

stitch fix- 4I mean…. ?! I put these on and Hailey asked why I was wearing boys pants. Ha. Totally not flattering, right? I didn’t have clue what to do with them. I wouldn’t even know how to start styling something like this.

stitch fix- 5

…and let’s be honest, $88?

#5 Skies are Blue Roe V Neck Top – $44

stitch fix- 8

This one I liked. I love the colors and the pattern. I felt good in it. I didn’t think it was too long for my frame and liked that it was a little flowy. My favorite from the bunch for sure.

So there we go. My fashion photography and model skills are impressive, I know, but try to look past that. I’m open to tips on what styles or looks would work on my body type. I love feeling pulled together but mostly need clothes that can be thrown on quickly and comfortably while I play with my kiddos.

If are interested in getting your own customized stitch fix delivery (it’s always so much fun!), I’d appreciate you using my affiliate link HERE.

Ok (deep breath)… be kind… what do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Being Grateful in the Craziness http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/being-grateful-in-the-craziness/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/being-grateful-in-the-craziness/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 10:32:03 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27287 When I went to get Hailey out of bed yesterday morning, Kaitlyn ran over to Hailey with her usual squeal of excitement and I gave her a big morning hug. As I helped her out bed I asked if she had any dreams. Suddenly her face fell as she told me she did. “I had […]

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When I went to get Hailey out of bed yesterday morning, Kaitlyn ran over to Hailey with her usual squeal of excitement and I gave her a big morning hug. As I helped her out bed I asked if she had any dreams. Suddenly her face fell as she told me she did.

“I had a dream that I was ice skating and you and daddy and baby Kaitlyn were there. Then you left me and I was all alone.”

Heart. Broken.

I immediately smothered her in another hug, told her I would never, ever, ever leave her and carried her downstairs for breakfast.

At that moment I decided to abort the plan of working out and just spend the morning with my girls.

whole foods trip

I took them to Whole Foods where Hailey was pumped about the wagon of fruit but hesitant about the idea of story time that the store was putting on. After a little coloring and a book reading by Sarah, I’ll give you one guess how she was won over…

cupcakesYes, that’s a cupcake at 10:00 am. I think Hailey found her new best friend.

From there we took off to Target, making sure we spent a solid 20 minutes just wandering and playing in the toy aisle. It wasn’t anything super special, but we were all together and having a fun time.

my girls

Well, except for my trying to navigate the double carts through the kids’ clothes aisles. There is nothing enjoyable about that.

From there, we rushed home to put Kaitlyn down for nap, then I made Hailey and myself matching lunches and we sat down together to chat.

munchkin mealAbout dinosaurs.

I love how Hailey will randomly say things like let’s talk about dinosaurs. We talked about how big some of them were. I tried to explain the word extinct and why, yes, I was certain that the zoo didn’t have dinosaurs.

A silly conversation but it made me smile because these are the little moments I sometimes forget to be grateful for.

I know being at home isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, it’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing. Still, I sometimes get so bogged down by the to do list that I forget how much I love these moments and I forget to live in them. I get sidetracked by the must-dos and forget about the get-tos. But then sometimes I look at Hailey and feel like, true to cliche, that I blinked one day while I was holding her as a baby and suddenly here she is, a funny, vivacious, walking, talking little person.

Before you think the rest of my day was spent in a fairytale land of happiness too, let me tell you that Koda went crazy barking at the washing machine, which woke Kaitlyn up early from nap, leaving her quite cranky. Due to this, Hailey missed her quiet time (I can’t call it nap time anymore with a straight face) and it led to a long afternoon to fill.

girlsAt Hailey’s swim lesson, I did my usual chasing around and corralling of Kaitlyn as I tried to stay in the one spot Hailey knew to look at and wave to between her turns swimming, because she always turns to make sure I’m watching. And you know after that dream she had that I couldn’t NOT be there when she turned to wave at me.

swim

By the time we got home, we were all pretty worn out.

Physically I was ready to kick my feet up and call it a day, but somehow mentally, my perspective was right where it should be. As I watched Hailey clean up her toys before turning in a TV token and Kaitlyn follow her around like a lost little puppy, I said a quick thank you for the opportunity to be the one to keep up with their craziness. Because for all the whining, dirty diapers, crying, scraped knees, barking dogs, meltdowns and missed naps, I wouldn’t trade where I am for anything.

And after all, there is always wine for the long days.

wine

I know, I’m a walking talking cliche.

The good news about missed naps is that the girls fell asleep quickly, leaving David and I to enjoy some downtime and dinner.

pork dinner

And charge our batteries for another full day of this crazy, wonderful life.

Is there anything in your life that you sometimes forget to be grateful for while being caught up in the business of the day to day?

 

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5 Ways I’m Using My Vacuum Sealer http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/5-ways-im-using-my-vacuum-sealer/ http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/5-ways-im-using-my-vacuum-sealer/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:24:25 +0000 http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/?p=27252 So a week or two ago I pulled into the garage and noticed an empty Foodsaver vacuum sealer box chilling by the trash can. I couldn’t help but laugh. Everyone assumes I’m the kitchen gadget junkie but the gig is up, David, it’s you. Now… with that being said… sigh, I must admit that I do […]

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So a week or two ago I pulled into the garage and noticed an empty Foodsaver vacuum sealer box chilling by the trash can. I couldn’t help but laugh. Everyone assumes I’m the kitchen gadget junkie but the gig is up, David, it’s you.

Now… with that being said… sigh, I must admit that I do usually end up loving the items. We don’t buy that many (I’m just a fan of exaggeration), but the ones David (a thorough -or should I say over?- researcher) decides on are usually pretty sweet. And go figure, the vacuum sealer is no different. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with it at first, but now with a little playing around I’ve found some really neat uses!

5 everyday uses for a vacuum sealer

1. Weekly Food Prep. It’s no secret that I love prepping food items before the week begins to make for an easier week of eating healthy. I love making things in bulk and freezing for later use, but often items get freezer burn within a couple of days. Now I can use the vacuum sealer to protect food and make it last so much longer. For example, I can make a ton of extra pancakes, flash freeze them on a baking sheet, then vacuum seal them in packs of 2-4 and use as needed with absolutely no freezer burn.

Similarly, I can buy meat in bulk (which clearly we are into… we bought half a cow) and separate into usable portion sizes, vacuum seal and freeze for later use. Perfect for when chicken goes on super sale!

2. Cooking Sous Vide. This is the real reason David wanted it. We are loving experimenting with sous vide cooking and it was getting a bit difficult to keep using water displacement to try and seal our food. So now it’s simple to vacuum seal meat, corn, etc with seasonings and marinade to create flavor-packed meals.

pork tenderloin sous vide

Don’t mind my rogue butter… I’m still learning.

3. Long Term Food Storage. I want to venture into learning more about dry canning using a vacuum attachment for jars and such, right now I am loving it for easily storing soups, stews, chili and broths. Simply freeze the liquid, then transfer to a vacuum seal bag, seal and label. I can’t wait to stock my freezer with homemade options for the fall and winter.

4. Saving an Avocado. Man, avocados are tricky. They don’t save well thanks to the rapid oxidation that happens when the green flesh meets the air. Because of this, I often use an entire avocado in one sitting, but the vacuum sealer allows me to keep it cut, yet freshly green and in the fridge for a lot longer! Simply keep the pit in the half you want to store, vacuum seal it, then store in fridge until you need it.

vacuum seal avocado

5. Bananas (or other fruit) for Smoothies. I know I can’t be the only one that freezes bananas, then tosses them in smoothies anyway. With the vacuum sealer, you can cut and freeze the slices on a baking pan, then vacuum seal them. They will stay fresh for months without freezer burn!

*BONUS* Re-sealing chip or cracker bags. You don’t want to use the vacuum function on these because you will crush the chips, but you can just use the seal button and eliminate the need for chip clips! It keeps all the air out of the bag, keeping your chips fresher for much longer. Be warned, this gets rid of the excuse for eating a whole bag in one sitting (wink!).

resealing chips with vacuum sealer

Do you know of any other uses for a vacuum sealer that you love?

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

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