Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Currently Craving: Pesto :)

As the weather gets warmer,
so do my cravings for lighter more "summery" meals.

Vegan pesto sauce over some brown rice pasta is definitely one of them!

Okay, not completely vegan, I usually add butter to the pasta, but here is my absolute favorite (and easy) recipe for pesto sauce :)

You'll need:
2 cups of tightly packed fresh basil leaves
4 finely minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

1. Chop basil in food processor or blender
2. Add garlic, salt, pepper and about half of the pine nuts and blend again
3. In a dry pan, brown the other half of the pine nuts and add them to the blender
4. Blend, while slowly adding the olive oil, until it makes a smooth paste
5. Add more olive oil if sauce is too dry

The sauce will keep for about a week, but also freezes very well :)

As for the nutritional benefits of the ingredients
Basil has antibacterial and anti-inflamatory benefits as well as offers vitamins iron and calcium
Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains Vitamin E and EFAs, which serve as good fats, especially helping your skin
Garlic is an antioxidant, working in many different ways
Pine Nuts contain good protein and monounsaturated fats

Wonderfully fresh tasting, without all of the icky fat from piling on the cheese!

Lets get growing that basil! :)

Another Exciting Step Forward!

Hubby-to-be and I bought our first car together today... Dave Ramsey style :)

The Lord has provided abundantly once again, we have been so blessed!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Always Looking Up :)

I found the cutest cake topper ever :)

Nao The Perfect Day

Our four beautiful layers of sour cream cake,
with cream cheese and raspberry filling,
and sweet buttercream icing,
NEED this on top!

Now I am trying to find a way to justify buying it :P

46 days until THE day! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Top Five.... No, Six :)

I'm pretty sick of hearing the term "super food" especially because the essential "super foods" list seems to change depending on the sponsor.

So, here are my top five... turned six, top top "super food" choices

Now, before you read further, please forgive me for not adding dark chocolate, red wine, and all of those other justifiable goodies to this list. This is not a pretty list, but it is real, not gimmicky or go-with-the-flow-y, just my research and me :)

For starters, let me get these out of the way, real quick

1. Dark Chocolate is only good for you when its sugar content is low... think baker's chocolate, pretty bitter, and not very tasty. If it serves as your sugar fix, the benefits of the dark chocolate are far outweighed by the drawbacks of the amount of sugar it contains

2. Red wine, has health benefits when there are no sulfites added and it is made organic... Unfortunately, this is not the case with many of the wines on the market, making the nutritional benefits far inferior to the drawbacks.

No more of this doom and gloom! Moving onto some bigger and better things!

Here they are, in no particular order, my top five... turned six...

1. blueberries

- natural sugar fix - low in calories - high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants - fight free radicals in the body - have almost 40% more antioxidants than red wine - raw is best, but are delicious with almost anything -

2. avocado

- loaded with vitamins minerals and fiber - high in oleic acid which helps lower cholesterol - when added to salads, the body absorbs more nutrients from the other vegetables and fruit eaten -

3. wild salmon

wild is better than farmed, because it has a natural diet and can better develop - low in calories - high in protein - contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids - low mercury content - comes canned too (think instead of tuna fish?) -

4. pumpkin seeds

- high in fiber and protein - full of minerals like magnesium, manganese, iron, and zinc - contain phytosterols, which help cholesterol levels and immune system - convenient snack and yummy to cook with (I love to add them when I make granola) -

5. cranberry

- low calorie - high fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants especially - help prevent UTIs, lower cholesterol, and oral health/reduces tooth decay - help prevent food-borne illness in GI tract -

6. sweet potato

- satisfies sugar cravings - curbs appetite - helps stabilize blood sugar - easily substituted for regular potatoes (in pretty much any recipe) - high in antioxidants - has anti-inflammatory benefits - is also high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber -

I am sure there will be recipes to follow soon :)

What Is This Thing Called Love? :)

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16

I hope your Valentine's Day is wonderful and full of many memorable moments :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh My Goodness!

They're getting married!
Congratulations to my future sister-in-law and her new fiance! :)

I don't know if I have mentioned before, but my fiance comes from a very large family.
He has ten siblings, TEN.

I absolutely LOVE how there are so many of his siblings so close in age!

In fact, they are so close that there will be FOUR sibling weddings within 12 months :)

August 2010

April 2011 (us!)

June 2011

August 2011

Needless to say, I am VERY excited for all of these sweet couples :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oh Special Day! :)

Day 1: Success!

Lots of these

with other surprise encouragements along the way!

Due to the "drink lots of water" resolution I decided to invest in an exciting reminder of the future:

= me staying happily hydrated :)

Also, Cadi from Confessions from a Georgia Peach gave me this sweet blog award!

And as if those things are not wonderful enough, I won this adorable giveaway from
Trudie Davies Designs!

I highly suggest checking out her cute cute creations!

Only 13 more days until I get to see my sweetheart again,
and only 62 days until I get to call him husband.
I'm counting them down. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bring On The Sunshine!

Its official: my soon-to-be hubby booked our honeymoon!

Cancun it is!
And now I need all of the inspiration possible to get into wedding shape :)

1. Buy a bathing suit to hang in the bathroom as a reminder of "get in shape" goals!

Target special: an essential on my budget.

2. Scour old magazines to find inspirational pictures to stick wherever is convenient

love it!

the band-aids make me smile :P

3. Start a 3 day apple detox to kick off this pre-wedding initiative

3 days of eating just apples to help clean up my digestion, complexion, and cravings!

4. Put together a work out/diet plan to actively accomplish my goals

-mostly raw fruits and veggies
-no dairy, sugar, or meat
-minimal starchy carbs

Work out:
a combination of pilates, running, and stretching with some free weight work

Most Importantly:

5. Keep first things first!

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2

I want to be a beautiful bride, but not just on the outside. The beauty will last for a day, but what is buried deep in my heart and soul, staying focused the One who gives purpose, will last forever.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
I know I will, apple filled and all :P