Tag Archives: Fall

A Lot of Firsts: Finding the Joy Around Me

17 Oct

Wow! That was another long stretch!

I’ve been enjoying the fall weather and time is flying by! Since I posted last, David and I have been exploring our lives finding joy in what we can and focusing on being happy with the today. Hockey season is back in full swing again, keeping us plenty busy!

We got Gizmo a bike basket for him to ride in - he's loving it!

We got Gizmo a bike basket for him to ride in – he’s loving it!

A month or so ago, there was an opportunity to try stand up paddle boarding for free from a local SUP business. I was so excited when the time ended up working for us to give it a shot and David was open to going with me. It was awesome! We went on a pond but I could just imagine how amazing it’d be if you had clear water under that board….hopefully when we go on our trip we’ll be able to get an opportunity to try it again!

Me + SUP

Me + SUP

Speaking of trying new things, I’ve attended 2 studio yoga classes now. I have been really getting into yoga at home because it’s just so good for my mind, heart, and body right now. I feel at peace afterwards as well as continuing to be challenged physically each time. There was another FREE opportunity to do a yoga+art class which was yoga in an old warehouse where they have an art studio. The instructor had us move our mats around the gallery and while in the poses, she would talk about the artwork and then we’d do a few yoga flows and move to another area. I’ve been to a lot of art galleries in the past and this was by far my favorite way to experience the artwork!

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After that yoga class, I was hooked on the studio setting – it made me try harder and push myself further but also helped me to appreciate the people in the class with me and their love for yoga; very inspiring. One Saturday morning I was planning on checking out our Farmer’s Market and decided to hit up a yoga class that was near the Market. It was in a small older building, by small I mean the studio was literally 3 by 3 yoga mats long and wide. There were about 5 of us in the class. By the end of the session, my legs were literally shaking like jello. I was pretty sore for a few days afterwards.

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In September, for our Anniversary we rented out a house for the weekend on Lake Michigan, it was kind of rainy and really foggy so most of the time we were there we could barely see the Lake but it was nice to relax and feel rested and refreshed. I’m looking forward to going back there again but in, hopefully, nicer weather!

Spiced Pumpkin Tea is my fall favorite!

Spiced Pumpkin Tea is my fall favorite!

So that’s what I’ve been up to…enjoying my yoga practice, hockey, and loving all of the nice fall walks and bike rides.

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WIAW: Golden Syrup & Turkey Trot Blues

21 Nov

Today I wanted to throw in another WIAW post inspired and created by Jenn over at Peas and Crayons.

For breakfast I had these tasty waffles. Their stats aren’t too bad either! I added a spread of peanut butter, a sliced banana, and a drizzle of syrup.

I also spent a fortune (ok, not a fortune, but it’s definitely more expensive than ‘fake’ syrup!) to try out pure maple syrup, the ingredient list is awesome and it’s so sweet you don’t need as much, if we were big waffle or pancake eaters I’m not sure we could continue buying the stuff but since we aren’t, it’ll last us for a while!!

Mid-morning snack was the best yogurt in the world – full fat Toasted Coconut Vanilla greek yogurt.

Lunch is typically leftovers, Monday night I made this very heart soup – Chunky Turkey, Vegetable and Rice soup from Skinny Ms. I doubled it and we have tons of leftovers so Tuesday was a perfect day to warm some up quick on my lunch break.

and a handfull of these grapes that we got from my Mother in Law…they are so good but very cold on my teeth!

Mid-afternoon snack, sometimes I get this in and sometimes I don’t…sometimes it’s fruit (an apple/banana/pineapple), sometimes it’s almonds (although I’ve gotten really tired of these lately and can’t seem to eat them anymore), or a granola bar. This was sent to me from a friend, it’s fudge dipped coconut…very yummy!

For dinner I made turkey bacon BLT’s, a spinach salad, and butternut squash fries. I am trying to get all squashed out before it’s all gone. These fries are really good but last night I was off a little on my cooking because not only did I get the bacon a little too done but the fries weren’t quite crispy…at all…where normally they are perfectly crunchy and salty. My multitasking skills need some work!

My plates always look wet when I take a picture of them…I swear we dry our dishes!

I am so excited for Thanksgiving this year. Although it’s been a rough year, I have so much to be thankful for and that’s really brought me through all of the struggles in the past year!

One thing I am really trying hard not to think about this year though is that I am not able to run in our local Turkey Trot. Last year it was my hardest run of the year and a large part of why I wanted to wait to try for a baby until after the holidays. Since I was no where ready to run a half marathon, the Turkey Trot’s miles of hills motivated me to run on the coldest of mornings. Sadly, this year I am injured because that’s what it is. I will run it again though and I will probably run it even better because I will be well rested and fueled!

With that in mind, I will enjoy this year’s Thanksgiving because I am surrounded by people I love, enjoying (and not feeling guilty for) all of the food and treats I will consume, and I will remember this year as being one of the most relaxing holidays yet!

Taste of Home’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

25 Oct

During the fall and winter months, David and I love having soup. I will usually make at least a double batch with intentions on freezing some of it but it never fails, we always eat it up before there’s any left to freeze. This soup I found last winter from the Taste of Home’s website.

When I was in college, one of my favorite things was their Chicken Tortilla Soup. I loved getting it and dipping tortilla chips in it. So last winter, I missed it more than ever and found a ‘healthier’ way to make it at home (and I don’t have to share it with a bunch of hungry college students!) The original recipe can be found here along with the Nutritional Information although I doubled the recipe but everything else mostly stayed the same.

Taste of Home’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 cans of Fat-Free Refried Beans
2 cans of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans of reduced-sodium Chicken Broth
A bag of frozen corn
1.5 cups of salsa (usually this is just estimated by how it looks)
A few cooked and shredded/cubed chicken breasts (this could also be from a can of chicken in water – rinsed and drained, or cooked ahead of time chicken breasts and measure to your liking)
1 cup water
4 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
Tortilla chips for dipping or crushing 🙂

*Sometimes if I have any peppers or tomatoes on hand I will dice these up and throw them in as well

In a pan, combine all of the ingredients except the cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add some cheese, stir until melted. Sprinkled remaining cheese when served. And don’t forget to get some blue chips or tortilla chips for dipping. Enjoy 🙂