Healthy Morning Protein Shake

Hello!!

It’s been a while since we’ve talked! The last two weeks flew by. I’ve been trying to make it up skiing a bunch and have had some fun random events to go to. One of them was the Denver Street School Evening of Stars gala that I went to with K-Love at Mile High Stadium (yes, I am going to call it by it’s REAL NAME).

Anyway, it was so fantastic because it is such a neat cause! If you are looking for an organization to get involved with by volunteering or donating to, I encourage you to look into this school. Essentially what they do is they give at-risk kids a second chance. It is a privately funded school that meets the specific needs of these kids and creates a unique environment to help them succeed. It was amazing to hear some of the stories the kids shared, from where they came from, to where they are now! Definitely takes the blinders off your eyes to hear what they went through. One boy talked about how he got his first tattoo at age 10 and joined a gang around that time too, stuff we never think happens “where I live.”

While we were there we also got shown a tour of the place. My favorite part was the frequent reminders around the visiting team locker room and entrance to the field, to all the visiting teams that they can’t breathe. haha

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It was so cold that day, that I more or less was happy with spending under 120 seconds on the field. They were reseeding the field anyway, so there was no need to be running around outside for hours (slight exaggeration!).

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And last but not least, how much do you want this fireplace in your house?!?! I was tempted to spend the whole evening by this thing. However, there was a silent auction going on so I had to continually check to see if I had been outbid. Unfortunately, I was outbid on everything. Everytime. I went home with nothing. Except the piece of mind that all the money went to supporting Denver Street School. Other people’s money. Because did I mention I didn’t win anything?

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Healthy Morning Protein Shake

I woke up this morning craving this and thought it was the perfect time to share it with you. It’s so easy to make. Excuse me a minute while I go see what my dogs are getting in to..

No need to worry, Aspen was just eating the other dogs food. She has a steady 100+ pounds of weight to maintain……….!

Anyway, I have to give credit where credit is due, and this was Tom’s idea. It is delicious, easy, healthy, and only requires 3 actual ingredients!!

What You Need:

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  • 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter (if you have never used this before, don’t be alarmed at all the oil on top when you first get it. Stir it up, then refrigerate it)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops of chocolate whey protein (the brand in the picture is my favorite)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 cup of water

Instructables:

Step 1: Combine in blender. If your blender is as old as ours is, you might want to insert a step to “plug ears.”

Step 2: Blend! omg who would have thought that was the next step??!

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Etched Dish Soap Bottle

Hope you all had a fantastic Valentine’s Day, and to those of you who hate it: Happy-Valentines-Day-Is-Over-Day! At least for those of you who hate it, you had the Olympics to preoccupy your attention this year! I’ve sort of been keeping up, but the skiing and snowboarding events are normally what capture most of my attention. Did you know that we have an Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs? It’s mostly a training center for the summer Olympic events, but I got a chance to go down there recently.

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 It was a cool experience, especially since everyone is caught up in all the buzz while they are going on in Sochi right now. On a totally random side note, has anyone noticed the awesome jacket that the USA snowboard team is wearing? I love them! Here is one in case you haven’t seen it:  

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The Olympic training center also has this amazing gym! I mostly took this picture below for Tom, but I think I actually am a little envious of this workout space too. However, with wedding planning, I have actually stuck to entertaining myself while waiting for things to open up and in between sets by drawing “center piece” layouts in my workout notebook. Is that totally pathetic? You can tell me. But you don’t actually have to, because I know the answer….

…Which is obviously, NO NOT PATHETIC AT ALL! 🙂

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I was more or less just impressed at my photographic genius by snapping the following picture and thought I should share it with you too.

Go Team USA!! woohoo!

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Etched Dish Soap Bottle

I’ve been wanting to make this for awhile, and got really excited to finally do it and give it to Tom for his new apartment!

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What You Need:

  • Vinegar/oil bottle (you can use any bottle though and find a spout for it)
  • Etching gel
  • Foam brush
  • Contact paper (or you can buy stick on stencils)
  • Scissors

Instructables:

Step 1: Cut out the words you want to inscribe on the bottle. I chose to use contact paper since it’s cheaper than buying stencils. You can draw on the letters and then cut them out. Remember to take into account the way the paper will actually stick to the bottle, otherwise you might end up cutting the letters out backward.

Step 2: When you cut out each letter, you will essentially be sticking on a square of contact paper, with the letter missing. You will have to cut out a little half moon to stick in the middle for the “D,” “O,” “A,” and “P.” You want the contact paper squares to overlap slightly so that the gap between the letters isn’t too large; and you definitely do want to make sure that there is contact paper in between each letter, otherwise it will all just blend together once you add the gel.

Step 3: Note: do not get the gel on your hands, see bottle for handling instructions. Using the foam brush, generously dab the gel on the open spots of the letters in between the pieces of the contact paper. Be sure not to get any on the bottle outside of where the letters are, otherwise it will leave etched marks that you won’t be able to remove. Let gel sit on for 1 hour. You can do it for less, but I like to do a whole hour to ensure solid, thick etching.

Step 4: After the hour has passed, put the bottle under the running faucet and gently rub the gel off and peel the contact paper off. Make sure you get all the gel off and wash your hands when you’re done.

Step 5: Depending on the spout that you have with your bottle, you may want to dilute the soap. I had never done that in the past, but I actually love it diluted. It comes out faster than squeezing the regular bottle, and you don’t have to use as much each time, since the soap is so concentrated anyway. I did equal parts soap and water.

Get cleaning! (just kidding)

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Hello lovelies!

I am so excited for today’s post for a few reasons! The first is that I get to show you this wonderful shop that one of my closest friends just opened on Etsy! It can best be described in one word: supercalifragilisticexpialidoscious (in case you were wondering, Spell Check does not recognize that as a word- I feel like it’s commonly accepted as a word nowadays- maybe I spelled it wrong..) The second is this delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup that is PERFECT for winter!

SO. The name of the shop is BEpaperie and she specializes in paper flowers and greeting cards. She has cards for all occasions and they are absolutely worth your time to check out! Who wouldn’t laugh if they got this card:

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The paper flowers she makes are perfect for any occasions, especially weddings! She made all her own flowers for her wedding, including the bouquets. I showed you guys a picture around the time of the wedding, but here is another look of her and I with our handmade bouquets. I loved having a keepsake from her special day!

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Visit BEpaperie if you like making good choices!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is the perfect winter soup! It comes from CHOW, and it only requires a minimal amount of ingredients and attention. I broke it into a lot of steps, but it’s really not much in each step, just easier to follow in my mind. I have listed the full recipe below, but I cut it in half when I made it, which made about 4 servings.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Salt, plus more as needed
  • Ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half, long ways, and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves cut-side up on tin foil on a baking sheet.

Step 2: Melt 1 tbsp of butter and brush over the butternut squash. By the way, everytime I use butter I turn into an entrepreneur and think of a better way to wrap and unwrap butter so it doesn’t get all over your hands. Still working on it.

Step 3: Season the halves with salt and pepper. Place in the oven til the centers are soft, about 50 minutes. To test, gently push on the squash with a knife

Step 4: Place a medium sized pot on medium heat and add 1 tbsp of butter.

Step 5: Peel the apple, remove the core, and cut up the apple into about 1″ sections (approx). Cut the onion in 1″ sections (approx) as well.

Step 6: Add the apple and onion slices, along with the sage (I used about 1/2 – 1 tbsp of sage powder since they were out of fresh sage at the store), to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Leave for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once it’s done, remove from heat and set aside.

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Step 7: When the squash is done, wait for it to cool, and then scrape out the insides and add them to the pot with the apples and onions. Throw away the skins.

Step 8: Turn the burner to medium high heat and add the water, broth, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring it to a boil, and then turn heat to medium. Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Try and break up any big pieces of squash as you stir.

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Step 9: After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Do you ever drink those little heavy cream cups at restaurants? They’re so good! I couldn’t resist but to have a sip from the carton. shhh.

Step 10: Get out the blender! Puree the mixture in batches, about 2 cups at a time. You WILL be tempted to skip the “batches” part and pour it all in. But don’t do it. I’ve done it before and I always want to punch myself in the face for jumping the gun. So don’t do it. Take out the middle cap on the top of the lid and place a towel there. That allows the steam to get out.

Pour and enjoy!

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Lint Roller Stamp

Hello.

So last weekend was Tom’s birthday, and I think he is enjoying having two families to share it with, because it now has turned into birth week 🙂 Anyway, it got me thinking about some of my birthday cards I used to save, well, all cards I used to save, and I started going back through them. I found Christmas cards, Easter cards, birthday cards, and even graduation cards…all the way from high school. It was fun to read through them, until I got to this one card in specific. It was a very nice card, and even after reading through it again, I hardly remember what it said, because that’s not the part that stood out to me. What stood out to me was, the check in the card that I never deposited. Are we sure I should have graduated high school?! How surprised do you think they would have been if I deposited it now, 7 1/2 yrs later? I guess this is one of those times where “better late than never” does NOT apply. I think it’s best to go with “never” on this one to avoid any awkward conversations. You know how I feel about awkward.

Lint Roller Stamp

What you need:

  • lint roller (I got some small ones at Target for $1 each)
  • A foam sheet
  • Paint or ink pad

Instructions:

Step 1: Measure how tall your lint roller is and make sure you don’t cut your shapes out too tall. Also, measure how much horizontal space you have around the whole lint roller.

Step 2: Cut out your shapes. Peel off the sticky backing on the roller and the foam sheet and stick your shapes on.

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Step 3: Roll in paint or on the ink pad, and start rolling. Easy peezy lemon squeezy!

Note: If you don’t want those little “smudge lines” make sure you don’t leave any parts of your roller (horizontally) without any shapes on them. I didn’t mind so I left mine how it was.

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I made a matching card since I used my roller on wrapping paper. You could just make cards, or decorate any amount of things.

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