Friday, June 28, 2013

Double Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie

I love milkshakes – they are just so delicious.  Drinking a milkshake for breakfast just feels wrong … in the best possible way.

I also love chocolate – the only thing better than chocolate is double chocolate.  Oddly enough I am not a fan of chocolate cake – weird I know!

Before I show you the pictures and give you the recipe ~ I just want to warn you that you are probably going to drool.  I also don’t want you to be jealous of my awesome blue counters – they don’t make them like this anymore.  Now that you have been warned, here it is:  

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It is super easy to make too!  It takes less than 3 minutes!  Seriously – time yourself!

Double Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie:

1 cup milk (I use 1%)

2 scoops chocolate Shaklee 180 Protein powder (or one packet)

1 tablespoon Hershey’s chocolate syrup

1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

handful of ice

Put it all in your blender, blend and enjoy! 

I told you it was easy … don’t drink it too fast, you’ll get a brain freeze!   

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So creamy and delicious!  LOTS of protein to keep you full until lunch too!

calories – 350, fat – 5.5g, protein – 26g, fiber – 7g

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So good!  I took this picture then noticed there was a tiny bit left and slurped that right up!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cleaning my Stovetop … the natural way

I have a confession to made – I enjoy cooking but I hate the clean up.  No matter how simple a recipe the dishes seems to multiply and the kitchen becomes a disaster.  Maybe this is a talent I have and nobody else has that problem, but it is annoying.  This is what my stove looked like for a week or three – oops. When we had our mothers over for Mothers Day lunch, I put the box the croissants came in over the burner that way they couldn’t see it.  Didn’t work … but I tried. 

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Caked on nastiness is all I can think of to describe what is there.  Those grates (or whatever they are called) have always been just plain gross.  I’ve tried many different thinks to get them clean – bleach, ammonia, 409, comet, soaking then scrubbing – nothing seemed to work. 

I decided to make the switch to natural cleaners (can’t stand the smell of other cleaners) and ordered a Get Clean Kit.  This stove would be the ultimate test … 

I mixed up some degreaser from the Basic H and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

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Wiped it off with a sponge and this is what it looked like – much better!

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But, there was still some built on grime so I brought out the Scour Off and a scrubbing brush. 

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Even in this bad lighting it looks good!  It looked so good that I pulled out an old toothbrush and used the Scour Off to get the nooks and crannies. 

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Doesn’t it look great?

Meanwhile, I filled the sink with water and a drop or two of Basic H and let the grates sit while I was cleaning.  Then I scrubbed them and they look like new!

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The best part … my mom was over for dinner a week or so after and she asked me when we got a new stove!!

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Now that I have something that works so well and smells so good (seriously the Scour Off smells like cherry candy) I will not be putting off cleaning for weeks at a time.

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Here they are – my cleaning champions!  Basic H and Scour Off – love them both!

Do you have any cleaning secrets?  I’d LOVE to hear them!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June is Dairy Month

Did you know that June is dairy month?

To celebrate, I would like to introduce you to Ellen and her blog Life on a Real California Dairy Farm

Ellen and her husband farm in Modesto, CA.  They are 4th and 5th generation dairy farmers and love to share their agriculture story!  Ellen is awesome!  She is a mom with two young kids just like many of you and she helps families all over the country develop a strong connection with their dairy.  She is very open about life on the dairy and will answer any questions you may have!   

My all time favorite post has to be this post where her son Clayton talks about the soakers in their dairy barn.  Pay close attention for her other son Cole repeating some of the phrases – he is hilarious! 

Also check out her virtual dairy tour – she took my class on an amazing virtual tour with Flat Aggie last year.  One of these days, I am going to head down there and go on a real life tour of the dairy!

She is also very talented with her pancake creations.  I love these patriotic pancakes but you can check them all out here

Be sure to also like her on facebook where you will find lots of dairy pictures and links!

For all sorts of dairy links visit the Progressive Dairyman’s pinterest board!

Happy Dairy Month!  How are you celebrating?

Monday, June 17, 2013

BLT Salad

While figuring out what to serve for Fathers Day yesterday (we had my father in law over) I looked at all the tomatoes on my counter and decided to make a BLT salad.  It turned out really good!  But the best part is that is only requires 5 ingredients and takes only a few minutes to throw together (once you have the bacon cooked).

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Here’s the recipe for this super simple salad:

Romaine lettuce (my lettuce of choice is usually red leaf but I decided to switch it up a little) cut up into strips then again into chunks

Bacon (cut into chunks then baked at 400 for about 12 minutes)

Tomatoes (chunked or use grape tomatoes)

Croutons

Throw everything together, and top with your dressing of choice – mine is ranch. 

Enjoy!

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If you want to make it even better – add avocado to make it a BLTA Salad.  YUM!

I had to put the avocado on the side since my hubby doesn’t like avocado.

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Look at those big chunks of bacon and tomato – Yum!

Hope you had a great Fathers Day!

What is your favorite salad? 

Leave links in the comments if you have one!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Simply Strawberry Protein Smoothie

I love breakfast and rarely go without it, let’s be honest I rarely skip a meal, but I was getting tired of my oatmeal every morning.  As the weather heats up the last thing I want is something hot for breakfast.  I love smoothies but they take usually so much time to put together in the morning.  Plus, I am practically starving half way to recess! Now that I’m on Summer Break I can eat whenever I want, but I still want something that will fill me up.

Here is a smoothie that fits my requirements for a quick & health breakfast: 
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Simply Strawberry Protein Smoothie
1 cup milk (I use 1%)
2 scoops Shaklee 180 Smoothee Mix vanilla (strawberry would be extra tasty) 
or try the whey version
2/3 cup frozen strawberries (I usually don’t measure I just fill it to the fill line on my personal sized blender)

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

It literally takes less than 3 minutes from start to finish to make!  This is my kind of quick and healthy breakfast!

 calories - 350, fat – 5.5g, protein – 26g, and fiber – 8g
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Ready for the best part?  I’ve been drinking one of these almost every morning for the past month.  I don’t get hungry until after 10:15 (recess time) when I usually have a snack.  Some days I don’t need a snack and this puppy fills me up until lunch!  This smoothie packs a whopping 26 grams of protein!  That is what keeps me feeling full for so long.  I also feel like I have more energy and am less crabby in the morning – a win-win for everyone!  And I’ve lost some weight! 

Pair a protein smoothie with exercise and of course a healthy lunch and dinner and that’s a recipe for healthy weight loss.  Now that it is summer I will be having one for breakfast and one for lunch.  Yum yum!    

What is YOUR favorite breakfast? 

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

End of School … Start of Summer

Last week was the end of school for us and this week has been the start of summer break.  This year the last day of school was especially bitter sweet.  It would have been dad’s birthday.  It is crazy to think back on the school year and see how much has happened.  This year has been the craziest school year of my life!

Here’s why:

- I accepted a new teaching position the same day I started working at my old school.  Then spent the first day of school in my old classroom and started training at my new school the next day – I’ve never had two first days of school only a week apart before!  This has been huge!  I can’t express how grateful I am to be at my current school.  They have been so supportive of this crazy year I have had.  I’ve never felt like an amazing teacher until I started working here – that alone has been worth the change and all the adjusting that comes with it!  Teaching is difficult and stressful but when you work at an amazing school it is all worth it! 

- Dad diedWe had his memorial and everything else that comes with losing a loved one … I don’t know how I got through some of the heartache that has come with this but I guess you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option. 

- Michael asked me to marry him and I finally said yes! We waited for some of the dust to settle to announce our engagement to our family and friends.  Then there were all the fun things that come with being engaged.  

- We got married! Then had our reception.  I am so thankful to be married to Michael – he is such an amazing man and I am a very lucky girl! 

- I started a business!  I am so excited to get healthier and help other live a healthy and happy life!  I’ve always loved helping people and this business will allow me to do just that.  

I’ll be honest – I’ve felt a little bipolar this year.  There have been incredible highs and horrible lows.  One day I am happy as happy can be and the next I am sad as sad can be.  But, that’s life!

What are the best and worst things that have happened to you this school year?

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