Friday, December 2, 2016

This Lifestyle Taught Me That Life Can Be So Much Better!

DIY Holiday Gifts

Give a gift that’s thoughtful, creative and affordable. Whether you’re presenting them to relatives or toting them along as hostess gifts, these homemade treats are sure to please.

Flavored Honey
Pack a beautiful jar of this natural sweetener along with some loose-leaf tea or a loaf of freshly baked bread.

Curried Lentil Soup Jar
Tuck all the necessary ingredients for a warming soup into a pretty jar and jot down the cooking instructions on a note card. Or, try a sweeter take on the jar motif with Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies.

Chocolate Truffles
Customize these perfectly portioned chocolate treats with whatever flavorings your loved ones adore. Popular suggestions include chopped nuts, crushed candy or a dusting of quality unsweetened cocoa powder.

Fig-Balsamic Vinegar
Number 15 on Food Network Magazine’s list of 50 Gift Jars is this beautifully crafted vinegar. Infuse tangy balsamic with figs, thyme and black pepper. Drizzle over fresh berries or a small piece of wonderfully stinky cheese.

Vanilla Sugar
Using vanilla beans as part of your holiday baking? Recycle the remnants into a container of granulated sugar and store in a cool, dry place. A teaspoon has only 15 calories and infuses coffee and tea with amazing vanilla flavor. For a spicier twist, toss in a cinnamon stick or some toasted cardamom pods.

Basil Salt
Make a batch of artisanal herbaceous salt to sprinkle on veggies and popcorn and to flavor sauces and marinades. Make it with basil or parsley, or try other flavors, like Rosemary-Citrus Sea Salt.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.



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Nootropics – MXEL

Friday Favs

friday-favorites

It’s time for another round of everyones favorite game show — Friday Favorites! (Imagine me doing jazz hands.) I love sharing this and that – these are some of my favorite posts to write!

Jamming out to….this song! It’s country. Are you surprised? And who is excited that Nashville is coming back on CMT?!! The two-hour premiere is on January 5. Even if you don’t love country music, it’s a great show!

dirt-on-my-boots

Coveting…this candle! I saw it in a magazine and it’s on my Christmas list. We all need candles that look pretty and smell good.

candle

Lathering…. up this shave cream! I’ve been doing Dollar Shave Club for a while (the executive blades are worth the extra cost). I don’t really need a new blade every week, but the every-other-month frequency has been great. That means a new blade every 2 weeks. I’m embarrassed to say that’s a big step up with how long I used to use razor blades! ANYways, I tried their shave butter when I first joined and didn’t love it, but THIS Shave Lather is really great! It’s thicker like a real shave cream, and the best part is the pepperminty smell 🙂

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Listening to...John from Young House Love recommended this podcast episode as his “We’re Digging” a few weeks ago. I gave it a listen, and loved the mystery. It’s about a boy in a photo taken a few decades ago that became famous on an internet message board for a bunch of random reasons. The podcast episode is kind of like Serial Season 1 over again where the journalists did some digging, and went to the scene to find out more. I’ve also been listening to the Dave Ramsey Show podcast, and enjoying his advice (although his straight-shooting ruffles my feathers at times and makes me laugh at others!)

boy-in-photo

/Sponsored/

Wearing…Tommie Copper compression sleeves.

I’ve played double soccer every Sunday throughout the fall, and by Sunday night I literally couldn’t walk – only limp – around my house. My left foot gives me tons of aches and pains if I spend a lot of time on it. I’ve been icing it first, and then using these Tommie Copper compression sleeves. The extra support has been great to have when I hobble around my house. The sleeves are made from – you guessed it – copper. The fabric, called Copper Znergy®, has copper and zinc encapsulated inside to kill odor-causing microbes while providing great support and compression to reduce pain and swelling. It’s also 4D stretching, anti-odor, and moisture wicking. I honestly need all the support I can get on that foot anytime I have spent a day on my feet, and wearing this sleeve has been a great help.

#footselfie 😉

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/end sponsored/

Laughing at….this commercial. So cute!!

Blinging…this statement bracelet I found super on sale at H&M. I would have paid 5x as much for something like this at other stores, so I was happy to have stumbled upon it at the checkout counter when I went in looking for tights.

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Reading….I finished The Nightingale. LOVED IT. Such a great, heart-wrenching book. Has anyone read any more of Kristin Hannah’s books to recommend another one for me? I just started this new book – Grand Prismatic – the debut novel of blog reader Ashlee Wetherington. It’s a new age romance, and so far I love it. It’s only $2.99 on Amazon Kindle, so show Ashlee some love and give it a read!

grand

Geeking out over…..packing videos! So one day I searched You Tube for “packing cubes” and then spent the next hour mesmerized by other people’s packing videos. I don’t know why it fascinates me so much, but I was totally enthralled by how people organize their clothes, toiletries, make up, and carry on bags. When I was in Target the following week I found a really pretty set of packing cubes in my cart. I can’t wait to test them out!

packing

Shopping for….Mazen’s new shoes! I was on the market for lace-less boat shoes and velcro running shoes, and these were the best balance of color and price. They are these and these. Cute! Zappos FTW.

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Happy December!



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