10 Ideas for Delicious Smoothies

So half the country probably thinks I’m crazy for posting something about smoothies in February, but in my defense, it’s 71 degrees outside right now, with next week hitting the mid-80s. Welcome to San Diego, friends! (The mid-80s thing is a little excessive, I must admit, but I don’t control the weather apparently.)

I love making smoothies. Usually, at least once a week, I’ll take all the leftover fruit from the week, or whatever frozen fruit I have handy, and throw it in the blender. My 4 year old will eat, rather drink, at least two servings. She doesn’t even realize it’s healthy!

I always use coconut milk, just because cow’s milk makes my tummy wonky, but feel free to use any kind of milk you enjoy most! You can even omit the milk and use yogurt or ice cream for a slightly thicker smoothie. If your smoothie is too thin, add a few ice cubes and blend again.

Here are some of my favorite combinations. Feel free to mix and match! Do you have a favorite smoothie combination? Share it in the comments!

1. The Hawaiian
Coconut milk, pineapple juice, pineapple, strawberries, banana, shredded coconut.

2. Banana Berry
Milk, berry juice (mixed berry or any berry), strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, (or a frozen berry mix), banana, honey.

3. Blue Green Dream
Blueberry juice, blueberry yogurt, blueberries, spinach, honey.

4. Citrus Boost
Orange sherbet, orange juice, tangerine juice, honey.

5. Peaches N Cream
Milk, peach yogurt, orange juice, peaches, banana, honey.

6. Leftover Fridge
Milk, apple juice, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, banana, blueberries.

7. Berry Delicious
Milk, strawberry yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cinnamon (just a dash)

8. Apple of my Eye
Milk, apple juice, chopped apples, blueberries, bananas.   

9. Caribbean Splash
Coconut milk, pineapple juice, orange sherbet, mango, banana, pineapple.

10. Protein Package
Almond milk, vanilla Greek yogurt, quick oats, strawberries, bananas.   

Browse all my family’s favorite recipes HERE

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Living Joyfully:Today

There are a few life lessons that we seem to learn too late. I’ve learned in recent years that my parents were usually right…staying up late was not in my best interest (or anyone else’s that would be around me the following morning), high school drama would not determine the rest of my life, and that they didn’t hate me for making me eat broccoli. (I can’t say the same about the infamous “International Night” of dinner, though, in which my mother once served French Toast, Mexican Quesadillas with American cheese, and Chinese fried rice. On the same plate. I shudder to this day and wonder if it was some passive aggressive response to my not cleaning my room.) In any case, as I’ve gotten older, the list of “If I knew then what I know now,”s has gotten increasingly longer.

One lesson I’m trying to keep in mind right now is simple yet difficult to grasp. The concept that time is fleeting and nothing from this earth lasts forever is something I remind myself of when I need a little perspective.

We need to enjoy today for today. Not for what it was, or what it will be, but for what it IS.

When I was in college, I had my sights set on one particular guy. “If he only noticed me,” I’d think, “Then I’d be happy.”

Said boy fell in love with my and proposed. “If only we were married,” I’d think, “Then I’d be happy.”

We soon got married and things were good. For a while. “If only we had a house, then I’d be happy,” is what would go through my mind. (I think you see where this is going.) 

We got the house, next on the list was a baby. After the baby was born, I would dream of the day she’d start sleeping through the night. Then the day she’d start walking. Then the birth of the next child…the never ending cycle had begun, because I didn’t know how to be grateful for the now, and was just focused the next.

If we can’t be happy right now, we will never truly be happy. Ever-changing circumstances will determine our attitude and rule our perspective. 

Today, even in the trials, find something to be grateful for. Set your sights on goals and future plans, but don’t let them get in the way of enjoying everything you can in the moment you’re in. I can never go back to the days I missed by wanting something bigger and better, but I can change the way I look at things now.

Check out all the Living Joyfully articles for some encouragement.

45 Minute Super Bowl Menu

Are you going to be watching the Super Bowl tomorrow? Have you decided on a menu yet? If not, here is an inexpensive, fast, and easy menu plan to take advantage of. This entire spread takes less than 45 minutes to complete from start to finish!

Appetizers
Jalapeno Cheese Dip
Bread for Dipping
Chips and Salsa

Main Course
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Carrot and Celery Sticks
Blue Cheese Dressing for Dipping
Chips

And the best part? If there is any Buffalo Chicken leftover, you can whip up an amazing Buffalo Chicken Pizza for dinner Monday night!

Hungry for more? 
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Weekly Menu-December 12-17, 2011

Okay, so we’re not actually having pizza this week, as is shown in this photo. I am craving pizza, and want it A LOT, but for my little tummy, dairy and pregnancy do not mix. At all. So, I am left staring at this photo, and wishing for a nice cheesy pizza.

Our menu this week will be simple. And by simple, I mean S-I-M-P-L-E. The severe morning sickness I’ve had the last few months is starting to wane a little, but now I’ve been confined to a modified activity schedule for the foreseeable future. (I have to stay off my feet as often as possible.) So, I’m making a menu just to have some goals for myself, but don’t hold me too strictly to its contents!

Monday, 12/12
30 Minute Chicken Noodle Soup
Toast

Tuesday, 12/13
Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup
Toast

Wednesday, 12/14
Spaghetti and Meatballs (from the freezer)
Green Salad

Thursday, 12/15
Dinner Out

Friday, 12/16
Meatball Sandwiches
Chips
Pickles (I’m pregnant, okay, don’t judge!)

Saturday, 12/17
Dinner Out

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Fun Learning Game!

The other day when my daughter got out my entire supply of cupcake liners (without asking, of course), I had an “aha” moment. I spend time with her during the day doing letters and numbers and glittery art projects, and all the normal preschool stuff. But, visualizing numbers concepts can be difficult for a three year old. So, I made this little game to help her understand addition in a visual sense. Add in some manual dexterity exercises, and you have a game that’s inexpensive, fun, and promotes learning.

You’ll need:

  •  Strips of paper, with numbers written on them. We only went up to 5, but you can go as high as you want. Also include any math symbols you want to incorporate. I did addition, but you could also do subtraction.
  • Muffin or cupcake liners. These are the mini liners.
  • Pasta. I was going to use beans, but figured that would get frustrating for little hands. Since your child will be picking up the pasta with tweezers, I would suggest a smaller, thinner pasta shape. I used gemelli, but penne or elbows would work well too.
  • Tweezers. These were free with a coupon at Target. I think I have about 9 of them now. Just make sure you put the tweezers away after your child is finished, and always supervise him or her while they’re using them.

Encourage your child to pick up the pasta with the tweezers, and put them in the muffin liner that corresponds to the numbered strips of paper.

Once all the pasta is in the liners, take any two liners and place them next to each other with the math symbol in the middle. Count the pasta with your child, and explain what the math symbol means.

My daughter enjoys this game, and it’s something we can spend a few minutes doing together during “class time.”

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