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April: These Are My Jams

(This blog is brought to you by Chick Fil-A Tea/Half and Half and HGTV’s House Hunters, two of my jams.)

Happy Friday, y’all!

Last month, you heard me describe my first-world March Madness problems. I had 99 problems and a hobby wasn’t one. (Please excuse the whiteness of that sentence.)

I whined and opined and complained myself blind about not having any time. All I did in March was work, work, work, work, work. April, however, was going to be good to me.

And so far, it has been. No complaining today. I’ve found some time to remember that I like things. I like to do things. As my kids hate to hear me say, they are my jams. And here they are:

1. Hiking

If you’re feeling burnt out or stuck or down, get out in the woods. Go see some wildlife, find a waterfall, work some muscles. Breathe deep. The woods help me feel alive, as well as comfortably insignificant. Love. It.

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Warwoman Dell, Clayton, GA

2. Essential Oils

I’m totally into making concoctions and have been making some lovely roller balls, room sprays, and diffusions. They make me feel better and I’ve even gotten my teenage son into them! (Like me, he uses them for asthma and allergies.) If you’re looking into getting started with them, I’ve got a guy. Actually, it’s my cousin Lauren, who has shown me everything. Click on her name if you’re in the market. They are so much better than a scented candle and they help my moods and my breathing better than anything else. Nothing removes pet and teenage odor better than these oils diffused in the room. (Don’t tell them I said that.)

Young-Living-Essential-Oils-Everyday-Oils-Kit

3. Books

I love my book club and I’ve finally gotten to actually read some of the books we’ve picked.  I’ve finished March’s book, After You, and had already read our April choice All the Light You Cannot See so I read The Sound of Gravel. Whoa, what a story. A memoir by a woman who grew up in a dysfunctional polygamist family. And I can’t wait to start our May pick, Brooke Shields’ There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me. A bonus? Reading them all in real live book form. No iBooks. Real books are my jam.

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4. The Americans

If you’re not watching this show, you’re missing out. OMG it is so stressful, but in the best way possible. Keri Russell is also my jam, ever since Felicity and Waitress. Russian spies, 80s cold war (not to mention the amazing fashions), politics, family drama, and sooooo much more.

The_Americans

5. Getting Control-Freaky on My Dresser Drawers

Yes, I did this. Yes, it’s OCD. But who wouldn’t love their clothes looking like this? It’s inner peace, it’s a small way to control my chaos, and it’s my jam.

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This is not weird. At all.

 

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6. Drugstore Makeup

I’ve been a fan of department store makeup for many, many years. And I do still use it for some things. But I haven’t been happy lately with some of my makeup purchases, so I checked out some drugstore options and found makeup bliss. Particularly, Almay Lip Butter (Fair) and Burt’s Bees Lip Shine in Smooch have made my spring. I like the ease of running in any corner drugstore and being able to find it.

7. Van Morrison

He’s always been my jam, but this month I finally get to see him perform live! Can. Not. Wait. Love his chill vibe and always brings me back to the old college days of listening to classic rock.

So there you have it. You may not have wanted it, but you got it. These are my jams.

What are yours? Let me know so I can add to my list!

Take care of yourselves and each other,

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Yellow Daisy Chick

Diet Has The Word “Die” In It For a Reason

I hate diets. I hate listening to people talk about diets. I love food. I love listening to people talk about food.

I hate that this is the season for dieting. It’s not fun. Dieting is so boring. People everywhere depriving themselves of life’s culinary joys in order to fit in those jeans…it’s just not worth it. People are hungry, cranky, depressed. Ugh.

Now I’m not talking about those people who have serious health issues as a result of their weight. For those folks, it’s life or death. I support and applaud those who have chosen life and have become happier and healthier because of their extreme dieting.

For the rest of us, we just want to lose 10, 15, 20 lbs. Now that I’m in my 40s, I realize that my habits have to change to some extent. I start to panic when I think about giving up things. So to calm myself, I’ve come up with a list of things I refuse to give up at this point.

Foods I Will Never Give Up As Long As I Live So Help Me God:

  1. Chick Fil A- I get a kid’s meal. Please, this is not worth discussing. I go no more than once a week. Usually.
  2. Fabiano’s Pizza- Life is not worth living if I can’t have a slice of spinach/artichoke/feta or classic pepperoni. One slice, for pete’s sake.
  3. Chips and Salsa- Salsa is vegetables. I can even do baked chips if necessary. Best. Snack. Ever.
  4. White Wine- Yeah, no one wants me to give that up, now, do we??!!
  5. Tea (specifically black, green, chamomile, iced, hot)- One word: antioxidants. Good for you. No brainer.
  6. Brisket Tacos from Taqueria del Sol- They must put crack in them, but I don’t care.
  7. Cheetos- Also crack in the ingredients. Check the label! Keep bringing me the crack cheetos.
  8. Sprayberry’s Chopped Pork BBQ Sandwich with Slaw- I’m a Southern girl and we will litrally die if we don’t eat bbq.
  9. The Varsity’s Onion Rings- See #8, i.e. Southern, and I live in the ATL area.
  10. Five Guys Burgers and Fries- Y’all know you crave these burgers and fries from time to time. It’s not like I go there every day. I would if I could. Well, maybe every Tues/Thurs. I get the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. Junior! I share fries. What the hell is wrong there? Nothing.

Well, now I’m starving. And, I’m realizing that the above list would also count as my last meal. I’m oddly fascinated by that phenomenon. Why do we allow that, really? “We’re going to kill you, because you did xyz horrible things to innocent people, but hey, here’s some of your favorite foods that YOU’LL NEVER HAVE AGAIN BECAUSE YOU ARE ABOUT TO DIE. Bon appetit!” So weird. But I do like to think about what mine would be, and now I have a list in case I find myself on Death Row, which should not happen unless somebody forces me to diet and I get reeeeeeeeal cranky. Is it just me, or have you thought about it, too? What would be your hypothetical last meal?

I do care about my health, especially since an asthma diagnosis in 2009, so I choose to approach eating from a health and wellness perspective, rather than whether I can fit in $200 jeans. After being so sick for a couple of years, I really started paying attention to what I eat. Conscious eating, really. Obviously, the above list shows that I still eat treats but on a daily basis, I do try to cook at home and cook with real food. As long as health food tastes good, I’m in. Kale salad, Meatless Mondays, and a bonafide Sunday home-cooked dinner have become mainstays in my household. The other big thing I’ve been obsessed with is smoothies. They taste good, are super healthy, quick, and relatively inexpensive to make. What more could you ask of a health food?

I like to make them with Greek yogurt, frozen berries, bananas, frozen peaches, pineapple, and greens. My green smoothies often turn out brown, yuck, so I finally wised up and today, I made the prettiest, tastiest one ever. Here’s what I did:

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Pretty Green Smoothie:

This picture has everything you need. I have an individual smoothie maker, which makes it even easier.

Put frozen yellow fruit (peaches, pineapple, mango) in smoothie cup/blender.

Add frozen green grapes.

Pour in a slosh of OJ.

Add a layer of Greek yogurt (I use vanilla flavored.)

Put in a splash of vanilla extract. Oh yeah.

Squirt a lil’ honey on it. Why use honey instead of sugar?

Put a nice bunch of spinach up in there.

Blend that baby up. If it just stands still, you need more juice.

Too thin? Add ice.

When it’s done, this is what you’ll get:

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She’s purty, ain’t she?

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I promise it doesn’t taste like spinach at all. Enjoy!

For now, this has to count as dieting for me. It’s protein, calcium, vitamin C, fruits and veggies…the ideal diet food all in one glass. You can keep all of the ingredients on hand to make for breakfast, snack, lunch, or dessert. Of course, if you want to avoid the calories, you can omit the yogurt and add ice; I like the yogurt and don’t drink milk so I want that extra calcium. If you invest in the individual smoothie maker, your kids can make their own and even invent their own flavor! They may not care that it’s healthy…but they’ll know it’s delicious. In fact, it’s so delicious, I may just have to add it to my Last Meal list.

What are your favorite smoothie recipes? What are your guilty pleasures and what are your healthy food standbys? Do you eat to live, live to eat, or a little of both? What foods can you not live without? I’d love to hear from you guys.

As always, thanks for reading.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

YDC

More good reasons to drink green smoothies:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/294762-green-smoothies-weight-loss/

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/healthy-meals/green-smoothie-recipes

http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/9-slimming-smoothies

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