Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fabletics workout gear

I'm sure most of you have heard of Fabletics. Or at least seen their ads online. It's a workout clothing company founded by Kate Hudson. And they have tons of cute styles!


Plus, when you sign up you get your first outfit for a discounted rate. I signed up after I learned a little more about Fabletics from Ashley at Blend last summer. I ordered my first outfit and LOVED the leggings. It took me months to even try them on but they are awesome! Wish I wouldn't have waited so long. So comfy and they stay put. They're not one of those pairs that slips down and you're constantly pulling them up.

When Fabletics reached out to me recently to pick out an outfit from the new month's collection I was super excited! I jumped on the chance to get another pair of the Solar leggings. My current sports bras are getting a little worn so this was the perfect time to try a new brand. Super comfy and supportive!



The only con I see with the Fabletics service is combating my memory for either skipping your order for the month or picking out some new gear. See, once you sign up as a member you get a chance monthly to order a new outfit. You do have the option to skip months though if you don't want to place an order. But if you don't hit the skip button on your account by the 5th of each month, you will automatically get a credit. Which works for me, then I just have an excuse to order some new duds! The cranberry pullover and some new sweats were a perfect choice and like nothing I already had in my closet!


Give Fabletics a try if you are in the market for some new workout gear or comfy clothes. So many options, great quality, and really comfortable stuff!


Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to choose an outfit for free to try out. All opinions are my own. The link provided is my referral link.


Have you tried Fabletics yet?


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pear, Blue Cheese & Honey Crostini

By now, I'm sure all of you have your Thanksgiving menus set. Although, I have just one more idea for you to add to your appetizer spread! This pear, blue cheese and honey crostini is easy, elegant, and most importantly delicious!


Pear and blue cheese is one of my favorite combinations. Those two ingredients on a salad menu plus pecans or walnut and I'm sold. Another way to get my fix of the combo is with this crostini! 



I made this for a snack a couple weekends ago when I realized I needed to use up my bounty of Trader Joe's pears that was crowding my countertop. As if there weren't already a hundred reasons to love Trader Joe's, they have bags of organic pears for cheap this time of year!

 Anyway, for me this was the perfect snack. For you, this could be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread. A no-cook, low ingredient option that your whole family will love!

 Pear, Blue Cheese and Honey Crostini

Ingredients
1 pear, sliced in small pieces
4 oz crumbled blue cheese
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
honey, for drizzling

Directions
1. Slice and toast baguette in a 400 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes or until toasted.
2. Add blue cheese and pear to baguette slices.
3. Drizzle with honey.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Creamy {No-Cream} Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Pieces

It's been really cold in Iowa the last week. Really cold. And as of this past weekend, we now have some snow to add to the mix. Little early if you ask me, but since we can't control the weather, we make meals to match it! :)



This chicken pot pie soup is the perfect meal to make while watching the snow fall in front of the fireplace. Warm, comforting soup with lots a nutritious vegetables thrown in.

I first got the idea for this soup from this post on Pinterest. We don't keep milk on hand very often (just almond milk) so I couldn't follow this exact recipe, but I loved her idea of the pie crust on top! I wanted to create a version not using milk or cream to turn it into a recipe using only items I already had in our kitchen. Turning instead to flour as a thickener, I threw some ingredients together and ended up with my own delicious no-cream version of a pot pie soup.


I pulled some homegrown veggies (plus some Trader Joe's celery) out of the fridge to chop up before sauteing them in some butter.

I didn't have the best carrot harvest this year, but these little knubs worked perfectly to throw into a simmering soup. Plus, I have some giving friends that shared their garden goodies with me this summer, too!


This soup is very forgiving in that you can add almost any veggie  you have on hand into your soup. Potatoes, parsnips, peas, green beans, chard, a couple small beets, all pair great with the staple soup veggies, carrots, onions, and celery.

Once you have your veggies chopped, throw them into a pot with some melted butter to soften. After they've had a little time to cook, add some flour to make your thickener base.


A few more ingredients, some time on the stove to thicken and come together and you have the perfect bowl of warmth and comfort with lots of good-for-you-ingredients in this mix!


Take your soup to the next level by adding some pie crust pieces! This is my favorite part of chicken pot pie so it couldn't be left out! Just roll out your dough, cut in 1-2 inch strips and brown in the oven for a few minutes.


Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Pieces

Ingredients
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped and thick stems removed
1 cup celery
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat. I like the nuttiness and texture it adds)
3 chicken thighs, cooked in small crockpot and shredded
3/4 cup drippings and broth from chicken
5 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tbsp garlic powder (or fresh chopped garlic)
few tbsp fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, oregano (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pie crust, rolled out and sliced in 1-2 inch strips

Directions
1. Cook your chicken in a small crockpot on low for 6 hours the day before. Store the chicken in the fridge and save the broth and drippings that collected.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degree. Chop all veggies.
3. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add chopped veggies and cook for about 10 minutes.
4. Add flour slowly, whisking the whole time to create a roux.
5. Slowly add the water and stir constantly. Also add the chicken, drippings, garlic powder, and bouillon cubes. Season with salt and pepper
6. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and keep at a simmer, cooking for about 30 minutes until veggies are tender and soup has thickened. Stir occasionally.
7. While the soup is simmering, roll out dough and cut into 1-2 inch strips and lay on a cookie sheet. Bake pie crust pie pieces for about 12 minutes or until golden.
8. Add herbs to the soup, if desired.
8. Ladle soup into bowls and top with pie crust pieces.

Note: Obviously, you don't have to cook your chicken in the crockpot like I did. But that helped cut down on hands-on time needed the night of. You could also poach your chicken and use that broth in place of the water and chicken bouillon.



Friday, November 14, 2014

Juicing 101

My juicer is one of my most prized appliances. It got a great deal of use the first year I had it. We juiced any and all produce I had in the fridge and on the counters!


I'd gotten out of habit though for almost the last year until Williams-Sonoma asked me to share some information about juicing and some knowledge I've gained over the years. A perfect reason for me to break out one of my favorite appliances again! And I put together a simple, yet delicious and nutrient-packed juice to share with you today. All the ingredients were in my fridge already. Another win!




Top 10 Fruits and Veggies to Juice

  1. Apples
  2. Kale
  3. Carrots
  4. Celery
  5. Pineapple
  6. Oranges
  7. Lemons
  8. Pomegranate Seeds
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Beets




Produce You Shouldn't Juice

  1. Bananas
  2. Avocado
  3. Citrus Peels




Foods to juice that you wouldn't expect
  1. Ginger
  2. Romaine lettuce
  3. Parsley
  4. Sweet potatoes
  5. Cranberries
  6. Cabbage
  7. Broccoli
  8. Bell peppers



My Top 10 Juicing Tips

  1. Add a vegetable or two to a fruit juice blend to cut down on the sugar.
  2. Make sure to remove pits from fruits like cherries and peaches.
  3. It's preferable to use organic produce because of the pesticides in conventional that will go straight into your juice.
  4. If you don't have organic product remove the peel or outer layer.
  5. Remove the peel from citrus fruits but leave a little bit of the white pith. Too much and it's bitter but a little adds some texture to feed it through the juicer and some nutrients, too.
  6. When using produce like apples or pears, there's no need to core the fruit. The Juicer will take care of the seeds.
  7. Alternate produce being fed through the juicer. This helps drier, hard produce go through the machine better when paired with softer, juicy foods like apples.
  8. Drink your juice within a few hours, 24 at the most, as the juice oxidizes and loses nutrients.
  9. When you have run all produce through the juicer, run a few ounces of water through, too. This flushes the last bit of pulp and juice through it so none goes to waste!
  10. Don't throw out the pulp! Use it in pancakes or muffins.


Questions from Williams-Sonoma

  1. What made you want to start you juicing journey? I had been interested in juicing for awhile and my boyfriend and I did lots of researching to choose the right one. I liked the idea of such a high concentration of healthy foods all in one. Plus, most all of the mixes I've made taste great! So much better than store bought juices.
  2. There are so many different combinations of juices and different textures. What types of juices do you like to make (fruity, vegetable etc.) and why? Do you like more pulp or none at all? I like sweeter juices that aren't too tart, but I add both fruits and vegetables to all the mixes I make. I actually really like the end of a glass of juice where all the pulp settles. 
  3. What is one ingredient you are dying to juice, and why? One food I really want to try is mango. I think a mix of fresh mango and pineapple juice would be delicious!


Sweet Green Juice

Ingredients
2 1/2 stalks of curly kale
4 honeycrisp apples
4-6 stalks of celery

Directions
Wash all produce and cut into smaller pieces to fit through the juicer shoot. Feed all pieces through the juicer alternating between all three.

Makes 32 ounces.

Note: I discarded this pulp. Not sure what to do with this mix besides adding it to my compost bin. 


Check out a few other juice recipes on the blog, too!


Do you like to juice?

What is your favorite mix?


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Body Vega Fish Oil {Review and Giveaway}

Hi Friends!

Do you take a fish oil supplement? I bet beyond a multi-vitamin, fish oil is one of the most popular supplements. And for good reason.


Fish oil contains essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that the body cannot produce on its own. DHA is crucial to brain and eye development and function. Omega 3's are also known to lower triglycerides to aid in heart health, help protect against Alzheimer's and dementia, and curb joint stiffness caused by arthritis. Lots of great reasons to work this supplement into your daily routine!


My favorite fish oil that I've come across is Body Vega. In the past I have tried to get in the habit of taking fish oil everyday, but the aftertaste and heartburn they caused always curbed that habit. Ever had a fishy burp after taking a fish oil capsule? Yuck! That really puts a negative spin on what is a super healthy choice.

However, with Body Vega, there is NO after taste or fishy burps. No heartburn either! These are the most pure, easy to take capsules I've ever tried! They source their capsules from deep sea fish in Norway and Chile. This helps to ensure less contaminants such as mercury make it into the supplements.


(source)

  • ★ #1 CLEANEST AND PUREST FISH OIL: Sourced From Deep Sea, Cold Water Fish In Norway and Chile, The #1 Recommended Source For Maximum Omega 3 Potency, And Tested For Over 250 Contaminants (Including Mercury), And Molecularly Distilled So That It is Free Of Pacific Toxins Caused From Nuclear Fall Out. BodyVega Omega 3 Fish Oil Is The Purest Fish Oil Available Anywhere.
  • ★ #1 TOP RATED FISH OIL ON AMAZON: Customers Give BodyVega Fish Oil 4.7 Out Of 5 Stars, Making It The Top Rated Fish Oil On Amazon. We Ensure That Every Customer Is 100% Satisfied With Their Fish Oil, Giving Us One Of The Highest Levels Of Customer Satisfaction Anywhere.

Are you ready to try Body Vega fish oil? Paul, the owner of Body Vega is offering my readers the chance to try a bottle for FREE! Just email Paul, let him you you are reaching out by way of me, Mollie @ Sprinkles of Life! He also requests you leave a review on Amazon after you've had a chance to test it out for yourself. 

Simple, right?

  • Email Paul at fish oil@body vega.com to receive your promo code
  • Tell him you learned of his great company through me, Mollie @ Sprinkles of Life
  • Try the product out for yourself
  • Leave a review on Amazon

Don't hesitate! Get your email launched! Hope you enjoy!


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Body Vega. I was provided with product, however, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014

We had a great Halloween this year and Kaydin's costume was probably my favorite she's had so far. She wanted to be a peacock so we made it happen! And it turned out awesome!!



We celebrated the holiday by revisiting a few favorites and also adding new things to our list!


We made the trip to the Blank Park Zoo for Night Eyes again this year to wander the trail, see some animals and also trick-or-treat. This event is always so popular every year and is always packed!



She's never been big into taking pics with characters, but this time she willing wanted a picture with the Cat in the Hat and his sidekick friends.



Obligatory shot by the pumpkin! :)


On the Sunday before Halloween, we headed to the Governor's mansion, Terrace Hill, for their family event Scare-Us-Hill. This was a new one to us this year but it was fun! And really cool to see the mansion all decorated in Halloween and spooky decor.  



It's not fall and Halloween without carving our pumpkins!




This year we held a pumpkin decorating contest at work. I think our research office did pretty well in creating a new researcher for our university. Even complete with his own ID card!


Our pumpkin shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's, another Halloween tradition. Although, this year the poor guy is missing an eye thanks to Kaydin Baby gobbling it up before he made it to the oven.


The annual pumpkin shaped sugar cookie made its appearance again, too. I was definitely not feeling making and rolling out dough this year, but I made it happen to keep up another one of our traditions. She's had a pumpkin shaped sugar cookie with her name and year on it since she's been born. I'm too much of a sucker for traditions and memories to let it slide off our to-do list! 




You can't go trick-or-treating in Des Moines without having a joke at the ready. This year her joke of choice was, Why DIDN'T the skeleton cross the road? He didn't have the nerves! An actual joke this year! In other years she has been out there telling more fact-like statements rather than jokes. She even got lots of laughs in return so she was pretty proud of herself.


We stayed out much longer than in years past (over an hour this year!) and gathered over a full bucket of candy! She had a great time running from house to house hearing all the compliments on her pretty costume. Every one loved it! I'd by lying if I didn't enjoy hearing all those compliments, also! ;)


I made her costume this year. And all on my own!!! No help from anyone. Usually I enlist my artistic mom or brother, or receive the crafty help of my friend, Traci. But this year I did all the creating on my own! :) Pretty proud of myself this time around.


The best part of  trick-or-treating is coming home and dumping out all the candy to see what you got, right?? That was always my favorite part!


My reward for taking her out this year was a pile of Twix bars! She knows me well! She picks up Twix for me and Reese's for her Dad. Such a generous peacock we had this year! :)


`
Read herehere, and here to see how we celebrated in previous years.


What's your favorite part of Halloween? 

Did you dress up this year?