Spinach Blueberry Protein Muffins

Happy Friday!! Congratulations, we made it through the week! I don't know about you but this week actually flew by for me. I am very happy for the weekend though...tonight my boyfriend is having a poker night at our house so I signed up for an 8:30 PM spin class in Naperville :) No cards for me!

This week on my meal prep I had these DELICIOUS spinach blueberry protein muffins! They are seriously so good....yes, they are green, but they are healthy and sweet, I promise! 

This is me, about to devour four of them....

Spinach Blueberry Protein Muffins


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter 
  • Three large handfuls of baby spinach (sorry didn't measure this one out!)
  • ½ cup milk or non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop Vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 - 1½ cup blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix and set aside.
  3. In a blender, combine butter, spinach, milk, honey, oats, Greek yogurt and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Scoop muffin batter into muffin tins, filling ¾ full. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

These muffins are seriously the perfect snack. They are full of protein and also give you an extra veggie serving during the day! I usually take two in a bag to work and eat them in the morning with my juice. 

What are you up to this weekend? Other than spin tonight, Tommy and I are going to the city tomorrow to try out a new bar we've been dying to go to. They have a drink called The Silly Rabbit with colored ice cubes so ya....I think we will also try and get in to How At the Moon. We aren't really doing anything special Valentine's Day wise, but since it's February, here are a few links on self love :) 7 Ways to Love Yourself This February  by yours truly, and this awesome link by Sarah at Yes and Yes on how to treat yo'self (without buying anything or eating anything). 

Enjoy your weekend!!! 



Meal Prep Monday 2/8/16

Happy Monday, all! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Ours was equal parts busy and lazy. Very busy on Saturday, as we finished painting up our house! We did our guest room, the loft, and the kitchen, all in shades of light blues and grays. I am SO so happy with the way our bright little home has turned out. It's crazy how much of a difference painting can make.


On Sunday we got to lay around a lot, which isn't new for Rodney, but is always a treat for me.

On Sunday we also did our weekly meal prep! On the menu for this week is...

Breakfast- Egg and spinach burrito and coffee with cashew milk and Stevia
Snack 1- Spinach blueberry protein muffins (recipe to come soon) and two hardboiled eggs, green juice
Snack 2- Apple with cacao and coconut almond butter
Lunch- mixed greens salad with bell peppers, goat cheese, chicken, and lemon vinaigrette
Snack 3- Greek yogurt with chia seeds and hemp hearts

Our dinners this week are:
Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Turkey Burgers
Buffalo Chicken Bowl

Here are a few snaps from this weekend! I wish I was at home waiting on the Keurig right now.....

Did you meal prep this week? What's on your menu?? I am always looking for new lunch ideas :)



Weekly Meal Prepping

Happy Wednesday! Today I thought I would share my meal prep for this week.

I am a HUGE believer in structure and routine. I know not everyone is, but personally, it's how I thrive and function best, and one of the biggest components of this is meal prepping. Meal prepping is one of the structured daily events I think benefits everyone, even if you aren't someone who normally likes everything planned out. Every Sunday Tommy and I spend about an hour to two hours getting my meals ready for the week. When I know exactly what I'm going to be eating next, it takes other options off the table and I am not going to be nearly as tempted to eat something unhealthy that was brought into work. Also, I have a 1.5-2 hour one way commute to work, and so I'm gone for 13 hours a day. I don't know about you guys but when I don't eat I am extremely unpleasant to be around. So, I make it a point to corral my boyfriend and we knock out my meals so that I am prepped for every day.

I thought it might be fun to lay out what I have for this week and maybe give you some ideas. I eat the same meals pretty much weakly. So whatever we plan for my lunch, my snacks, etc. I make enough for at least one week. Some people may not be as interested in eating the same thing over and over, but for me it's helpful and comforting.

So for this week I have:

Breakfast (Not pictured): Frozen breakfast burritos with eggs, spinach, and feta in a whole wheat tortilla, and coffee with cashew milk and Stevia

Snack 1: Quest Bars and carrot apple ginger juice, pressed at home. Side note* I LOVE LOVE LOVE Quest Bars but they are a) really expensive and b) processed so I don't usually get to eat them too often. However, Tommy went to Meijer and they had MINT CHOCOLATE and he understands my obsession for all things mint chocolate. Also Meijer usually always only has the cookie dough and double fudge bars so the fact that they had this flavor was a true miracle. So he bought them for me! Lucky me. 

Snack 2: Two hard boiled eggs, OR two Greek yogurt and oatmeal blueberry muffins, depending on how many muffins I had to work with this week :) I also don't always eat a second snack; it just depends on my schedule and how I'm feeling that day

Lunch: Mixed greens salad with red bell pepper, tomato, goat cheese and salmon with a lemon vinaigrette

Snack 3 (For my commute home): Greek yogurt with blackberries, chia seeds, and hemp hearts

And that's it! Tommy physically cannot eat the same thing two nights in a row (weirdo) so we do  mostly different dinners each night. This week we made homemade Margarita pizza with ginger and soy broccoli, and a balsamic pot roast with carrots and potatoes, which he will be forced to eat multiple nights in a row because pot roast makes like 18 servings. 

Our refrigerators look like this most Sundays. I swear we could buy stock in Tupperware...we have three shelves dedicated to it. And eggs. All the eggs. All the time.

And that's it for this week! Making your meals ahead of time is so so so beneficial. It takes the thinking out of the process so that you don't end up starving and running to the fridge when you're ready to eat only to find nothing there, and then grabbing a bag of dark chocolate chips and just eating that for lunch. Which may have happened to me a time or two in the past :)

Do you like to meal prep? What are your thoughts on leftovers?



DIY Barnwood Headboard

Well, I am going to continue the DIY streak today with a glimpse at our new headboard!

I will be totally honest, I literally did none of the heavy lifting for this project. Tommy and I came up with the idea, and pitched it to my parents, who are huge DIYers/refurbishers/painters etc. They even have their own sort of side business, if you live in Illinois. They are so talented!

Anyway, Tommy and I knew we wanted a huge revamping of our bedroom. We moved in together just over a year ago, and we spent most of that year focusing on the downstairs and really transforming it to suit our style. That meant the master bedroom got pushed to the side and a year after moving in it still looked like this.....

*Please excuse the unmade bed and poor iPhone quality pictures. 

Our whole house was painted this horrible tan color in a cheap matte finish which showed every drop or scratch that touched the wall, and it was NOT pretty. We convinced my parents to come up for a weekend to paint the living room/dining room, which are now a beautiful white! We also wanted to redo the bedroom. Tommy lets me do pretty much whatever I want to the house. All he wanted was a navy bedroom. At first I was violently against it, because I love all things neutral and white and bright, but eventually went along with it because really, was it that big of a request? Plus I figured if I hated it at some point we could just repaint and it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

This post is about our new headboard, but side note....the navy bedroom is the most amazing thing ever! It is so dark at night but we have skylights and a HUGE window so still bright during the day, and it totally makes it feel almost like a fancy hotel or something. I love it and we will certainly not be painting it ever!

Anyway, we had seen a lot of wooden headboards on Pinterest and wanted to do one of our own. My grandparents live on a farm and have a barn, and also a ton of boards from an old barn that got torn down. So, we nabbed a few boards we liked and when my parents got a free weekend, constructed the most amazing headboard ever :)

While I will totally admit to not doing any of the actual labor behind this, I will say the process wasn't complicated, just took a little time. Actually, it didn't even really take that long. I would say about an hour from start to finish. 

First, we figured out where the center of the headboard needed to be. Next, we decided on a width measurement of the boards. We ended up measuring our Queen bed and adding 4 inches (2 inches of overhang on each side), which was perfect. Then my dad and Tommy measured and cut the boards. I insisted on having a few "puzzle pieced" together on the wall to achieve the look I was going for, so they split a few and then just pieces them together and measured out the pieces they needed to complete the full length. Tommy also got to use a nail gun for the first time, which was fun for everyone.

The trickiest part was once they got to the angled ceiling, but really that was more tricky for me trying to figure out how my dad was deciding to make cuts in the boards. He is a carpenter and he measured and cut each piece perfectly fitting! And the finished product...

So the master bedroom is finishing up being pieced together! I painted a chair I already had and reupholstered it with while velvet, painted a turquoise dresser white, and got three pieces of white french provincial furniture. The navy and wood contrasted with the formal pieces creates a really neat look in the room. A few pieces need new hardware and one nightstand still needs painting. We also need lamps and I am working on decor for the walls (hello empty picture frame gallery wall!) but it is in a much better spot than it was a month ago. Now I LOVE going upstairs and lounging in our room....it feels like a specialty boutique with the navy and the wooden headboard. 

Would you ever try a wooden headboard attached to the wall? 



DIY Sugar Scrub

Lately I've been addicted to making my life a little more luxurious. You know, extremely comfortable, elegant, or enjoyable, especially in a way that involves great expense (or that's how Webster's defines it). Except, I don't necessarily have a lot of expense. I'm a teacher, not a football player or something.....

So a friend of mine introduced me to this amazing podcast/blog that has completely transformed my thinking on everyday tasks (thanks Genevieve!). The podcast is called The Simple Sophisticate, and it's based off of author Shannon Ables' blog, The Simply Luxurious Life. Her blog and podcast are all about living your best life through simple, everyday luxurious, focusing on quality over quantity, and  being content with where you are in life. You should definitely check it out <--------- 

Anyhow, listening to a few of her podcasts really got me thinking about my everyday life.
I get up at 5 AM and am out the door at 5:40 to head to work. I get to school around 7 AM if I'm lucky, sometimes more like 7:30. I am at school until 4/4:30, depending on the day, and then I have a two hour commute back home. I've really been struggling with my schedule since I started at this school, and there have definitely been some difficult days. What I started realizing, though, was that I needed to make my everyday tasks something to be enjoyed so that I could be happy.

Enter: sugar scrubs. Or rather, enter: my new bed routine.
I'll confess, up until the last month or so, showering was mostly just a hassle to me. I had to fit it in the last 15 minutes before I hopped in bed at night and it was nuisance, a necessarily evil. However, I have fully dedicated myself to a nighttime routine that I truly look forward to. On my drive home, if I get frustrated in traffic, I can focus on getting to do my bed routine and it cheers me up. One day soon I'll share that routine, but for now, all you need to know is that lavender sugar scrubs are a part of it :)

Sugar scrubs are SUPER easy to make and are so delightful! They smell great and leave your skin feeling like silk afterward. They are so fun to make and put in little jars in your bathroom. Here is the recipe I have been using:


DIY Sugar Scrub
1 portion sugar
1/2 portion oil
Essential oils
Flower buds

My specific recipe:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
A few drops of lavender essential oil
Dried lavender buds

Using this in the shower feels luxurious and I love the smell of lavender anyway. This is one simple idea to make an everyday task more enjoyable, that doesn't cost anything! There are many variations; you can use any essential oil, and you can eliminate flower buds if you don't have them. You can use almond oil or coconut oil, and you can even substitute the sugar for epsom salts. You create what you would enjoy the most, and then go enjoy it :)

Have you ever made a sugar scrub? Do you have any tips on making my everyday life more enjoyable and luxurious? Please share below!





It has officially been more than a YEAR since I wrote on here! How in the world did this happen?

I MISS blogging. A LOT. I loved this little blog and most importantly I loved the people I met through it. I miss writing. I miss sharing my life. A lot of things have happened in a year and I felt it was necessary to step away, without really knowing where this would go...but I genuinely miss it so much.

I really, really want to get this little guy up and running again. I don't think the title or layout fits anymore, and I want to get a variety of posts going, but I just miss this community and I miss writing so much, that I want to revive it somehow. This is my goal for September! In the meantime, here are a few updates:

Living in Chicago, with boyfriend and Rodney. 

We have a great little house in the suburbs, and it feels like HOME. Tommy has let me have complete control of decorating which I sincerely appreciated at first, and then realized that he is just as into it as I am, so it's made it even better. We've done a lot to the house in the 8 months I have lived there.


Well, I am teaching again! I am working at a charter school in the city, teaching 8th grade ELA, so right where I belong! Unfortunately the commute really sucks but I am glad to be in a classroom again and to have health insurance once more :)


Oooooh my goodness. Yeah well. This year has been a crapshoot for fitness, and my health in general. If you follow me on social media at all, you know I moved from Asheville to Chicago in December. I can't even begin to explain how much adjusting I did.....going from AZ to NC to IL in less than a year was traumatizing, and then I went from the hot hot desert to mild, green woods and thrown directly into midwest winter. It kind of sucked. I hate winter. The days were so short and we couldn't leave the house or get outside and I seriously think that last winter confirmed my seasonal depression, so we will see how this year goes. I was unmotivated, to say the least, and I couldn't afford to join a gym or anything like that, because I was working as a sub during the day and nights and weekends at Athleta and barely scraping by. I could not get myself off the freaking couch and moving. It was really, really hard. Also, my boyfriend is a chef, and we were newly moved in together, so basically I just ate everything I could get my hands on for about three months straight and barely blinked an eye. 

Once spring started to roll around, things turned up a little. We got outside more and I felt more motivated when I could actually see the sun. We took a few trips:

We went to Starved Rock and also to the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan, which was just so cool!

I started going to a yoga studio with one of my Athleta coworkers and that really changed everything. I MISSED YOGA so so so much. I stopped doing the online challenges on Instagram because of everything in life that was going on, and I think that made a huge difference. 

Now, this summer, I have been more committed to working out and getting back into a normal eating routine. However, I still have a few pounds left over that I NEED to get rid of, so after many years of shunning Beachbody coaches, I did a turnabout and signed up to do the 21 Day Fix! I am on day four now and already the portioning is making a huge difference. I just feel so much better. So hopefully the next two weeks will continue going well, and a week from Monday my challenge group starts!

I never wanted to be a Beachbody coach but at the point I am at now, I feel like it is a really good thing for me. I desperately need the accountability, and to get myself back where I want to be I really needed to commit to a simple program that was laid out already. I know it's not for everyone, but I am really, really excited to see where this takes me. I am loving all the food and workouts so far!

Finally, I got to meet my idols this spring!!! Yes, that is me with KARENA AND KATRINA OF TONE IT UP!!! Seriously the coolest day of my life. They are so amazing and sweet in person!

So, now I am in a situation where I am leaving at 6 am every day for work, getting home at 6 pm or later, and I have very little free time. This has made me realize that I want to utilize this free time and do something good for me that I love to do, that isn't related to my career. I loved this little blog, and I want to become more invested in it. I think that as I start to recreate it, I will add more lifestyle posts in- DIY, decorating, personal development, etc. But this was, for two years, my little space to connect with like minded people, and it was my creative outlet as well. I want to recommit to that. So, have a wonderful evening, and hopefully I will be talking to you again soon!



I'm Baaaack!!

Well....it's definitely been awhile, people. I hope all of you had a fabulous summer! Between the busyness at home and my big move I had no time to put together any posts, and now that I'm at my house I found out that I can't get Internet in my area (that should tell you how far in the mountains I'm living!). But, I'm at school with some down time and am making blogging a priority again, mostly because I miss it SO much, and because I miss the people I have made relationships with through this venue :) Here's a little update on my life since June!

This summer I:

Did a ton of DIY for my house!
Developed an addiction to iced coffee
Got to spend time with friends and family that I haven't seen in a long time
Hung out with Rodney
Went out to eat (a lot)
Moved to Asheville!
Went hiking
Started dating someone :)
New boyfriend came to NC to visit this weekend, and we went to the Biltmore Estates
Got flowers
Made homemade pasta with an antique pasta maker
Went to Lake Michigan
Spent a lot of time in Chicago

And I think that's as short of an update as I can give! 

In terms of food and fitness, I have to say this wasn't my best summer, but....I kind of don't care. I had such a wonderful summer and enjoyed every second of being back in Illinois. Now that I'm in my own place and doing my own grocery shopping though I'm back on track. I have also taken a few yoga classes here in Asheville and have gone hiking twice so I'm feeling much more normal! 

So far I LOVE Asheville. The atmosphere is so cool and my school is really amazing. I really miss my boyfriend, friends and family back home but overall I think it's going to be a good year. I am so happy to be back on the blog!!

What was the highlight of your summer?