Oct 22, 2014

Simple and Healthy Butternut Squash Bowl

I usually stick to a basic sandwich for lunch but sometimes I crave something fancier.  This week, even though it is still in the 80s here, I am in total fall mode.  Fall flavors, fall scents, fall activities....I'm obsessed.  I wanted something special for lunch that was filled with fall flavors and colors but still healthy.  This butternut squash bowl did the trick!  The best part?  I made a big batch on Sunday and portioned it out for the week so lunchtime prep is minimal!
21 Day Fix approved butternut Squash bowl
The directions are pretty loose because you can't really mess this up.  Just add as much of each as desired.
Butternut Squash Bowl
Butternut squash, roasted
Kale, sautéed
Dried Cranberries
Italian Sausage, cut into coins

Roast your butternut squash, cook your quinoa, sauté your kale, and cook your sausage.  Mix everything together.  Top with cranberries and feta cheese.

Since I am following the 21 Day Fix, I used the containers to measure my portions.  I used 1 green for squash and kale, 1/2 yellow for quinoa, 1 red for sausage, and 1/2 purple for cranberries.

What are your favorite fall flavors?

Linking up with WIAW

Oct 15, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday 10.15

Last month I completed my first round of the 21 Day Fix.  I had a couple of slip ups (I mean, life is too short to go to Texas and NOT have tacos and margaritas!  I'm all about balance) but overall, I really loved it.  I lost six pounds but more importantly found myself building real, sustainable, healthy habits and getting back into the routine of working out daily.  Last week I took a week off before starting another round on Monday and I thought I was going to binge and eat everything.  Instead I found myself craving the structure of the Fix.  I found that I couldn't eat as much as I used to and my energy levels were dragging.  My body was craving whole, healthy foods.  Needless to say by the time Monday rolled around, I was more than ready for another round.
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// Pumpkin butter toast, greek yogurt, pumpkin spice coffee
// Fruit and nut salad with citrus vinegarette
// Chocolate peanut butter Shakeology
// Pulled pork bowl with grilled corn, brown rice, lettuce, grilled onions, and cheese
// Persimmon

Linking up with WIAW

Oct 13, 2014

Saturdays Down South

Does it ever get better than long weekends spent at a slow pace?  I feel like we finally had a chance this weekend to slow down and catch our breath.  Instead of running around and traveling, we spent a weekend at home, making plans as we went along.  The change of pace was just what we needed.
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Rob was off on Friday for Columbus Day weekend so of course I took the day off too.  We slept in, worked out, grabbed lunch at The Daily Grind, and walked around Bonita Lakes.
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We woke up on Saturday and decided it was the day to go to skeet shooting.  I have been wanting to learn to shot a shotgun for a while now (Hey, a girl's got to be prepared for anything!) and heard there was a beautiful range in Meridian.  We drove out to Binachi Shooting Sports to try our hand at it.  Even though I've shot guns before, I am always a bundle of nerves when it comes to shooting a new gun.  Luckily, we came on the perfect day.
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David is the owner of Binachi Shooting Sports and he is awesome!  We were the only people (besides a boy scout camp) there so David was more than happy to explain everything to us.  He came out to the range with us and gave us pointers and really helped me with my form.   The first time I shot the gun, I cried just from sheer nerves about the kickback (not so proud moment!) but my third shot, I hit the clay straight on and it exploded in midair (proud moment!)  After we shot through a box of ammo, David asked us if we wanted to ride around and see a tour of the property and shoot some clays back in the woods.  The 400 acre property is gorgeous, and much cooler back in the shaded woods.  Rob really started getting the hang of shooting the shotgun, but old habits die hard and he still has to close one eye like he is shooting a rifle.  Either way, we had an awesome day shooting.  We grabbed burgers at Mugshots before heading home for a long nap.  Rob got scheduled for duty Saturday night so he went to work and I snuggled in with some wine and Netflix ;)
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We finally had brunch on Sunday at Weidmann's.  If you look up Meridian on Pinterest or google, Weidmann's is the one restaurant that everyone recommends.  (Maybe the only restaurant but that's another story!)  Weidmann's is gorgeous, with it's exposed brick walls and hard wood floors, and it is full of tradition.  Minus a small hiccup in 2010, it has been open since 1870!  Instead of getting bread and butter before your meal, you are brought out a crock of peanut butter and crackers, a tradition dating back to butter shortages during WWII.  After stuffed french toast and a round of ramos gin fizzes, we headed to the grocery store and then home to watch some football.

Oct 10, 2014

Friday Favorites

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// I never turn down free activities so I dragged my friend Cara to the new restaurant opening at the golf course on base this week.  They were having a food tasting of their new menu so we had to check it out.  I surprised myself and actually loved the veggie sandwich!

// Last fall, I burned my way through the Apple Pumpkin Yankee candle and was completely obsessed with it. But those Yankee candles are so stinkin' expensive! Good news is the Farm Apple Pumpkin candle at Wal-Mart is 1/6 the price and honestly smells exactly the same, if not better. Seriously, at $3.97, those Better Homes and Garden candles cannot be beat!!

// We had this honey sriracha pizza for dinner last night and it was OMG good! (I used 2 tablespoons of sriracha instead of 4 and it was PLENTY of heat.  Just FYI!)  Starting another round of the 21 Day Fix on Monday so we had to squeeze in this guilty pleasure before then!

// This article made me cry.  No shock there but it was a nice reminder to watch how you "see" people.

// My new favorite of all time flavor kombucha.  I need to try blood orange next time we are at Whole Foods!

// No matter which side you fall on, I think we can all agree that Brittany's situation is heartbreaking and a reminder of how precious this life really is.  This has made for some really deep conversations in our house this week.  (two good reads here and here)

Rob started ground school again this week after a nice month long transition period.   I love that we live close enough that he can pop home for lunch though!  He has a long holiday weekend so I'm planning for a good mix of relaxation and fall activities (it's still in the 80's+ here but we can pretend, right?!)  Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Oct 9, 2014

On Wednesdays, we drink wine!

I knew I was going to be just fine in Meridian when I realized the wives have a Facebook page completely dedicated to "Wine Wednesday".  Not only is there an organized Wine Wednesday, but they have one every single week!  I have always heard that small towns end up being some of the best places to be stationed because it's a tight-knit community on base and I'm realizing this is tru.
fall theme wine wednesday
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The way Wine Wednesday works here in someone volunteers to host each week.  No rules about who, where, or how often, you can just pick a Wednesday that works for you and host.  The host provides snacks, everyone brings wine, and it's a low key way to get together and hang out.  One of the best parts about living on base is being able to walk down the street to Wine Wednesday when the host also lives on base!
maple bacon cupcakes
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diy cheese ball
I decided to go with a fall theme for my Wine Wednesday.  I made pumpkin cookies (I used to beg my mom to make these every fall!), a cheese ball with sweet potato chips, maple bacon cupcakes, and spiked caramel apple cider.   The cheese ball was such a hit, and everyone kept saying it was too cute to cut.  If you are looking for a cute and easy fall appetizer, this is it.  (Recipe taken from my mom)  Shred a block of Cracker Barrel sharp white cheddar cheese and mix it with a block of cream cheese, a couple shakes of garlic powder, and a shake of red pepper flakes and mix until smooth.  Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Roll into a ball and roll in paprika until fully covered.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.  Stick a cinnamon stick and a bay leave in the top and take out 10 minutes before serving.
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We had a great turn out and Rob (who was studying in the back room office) said all he could hear all night was constant giggling. Typical! We even brought out the apple pie moonshine for tasting...but clearly we need to just stick to wine...and maybe take pictures before everything gets a little blurry ;)
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