Monday, August 29, 2016

The Perfect Almond Milk Iced Latte

My biggest money saving secret is in a mason jar of espresso and almond milk. I kid you not. This recipe was something one of my best roommates ever taught me. (I mentioned K before here). It was at a time when we both weren't making very much money and the only thing we had was a hand-me-down espresso machine that either we bought at the goodwill or came from one of our mothers. I don't remember but after two weeks, we quickly realized it was a money saver at it's finest.

That was around 8 years ago and it's still a recipe I stick too. Every so often I'll mix it up and go hot but NOT in the summer time. It's also one one of the reasons I was able to stick to my No Spend Month budget and so I thought it would be something wonderful to share.

At this point, you must have realized that you'll need to own an espresso machine for this to work out. After moving home, and once I was able to get my own place, my mom gave me her old one and my current roommate and I use it to this day. It's ancient but it makes coffee and that's really all that matters.

Won't lie, I'm insanely fortunate to work at a company that has multiple coffee and espresso machines. Realistically, I could make a lot of things but it's "office coffee". For those of you who don't know what that means, well, it's not very good but it's a perk so you can't very well complain about it. We also always have almond milk in the fridge. SO, do the math here... yep, you're right. My coffee is free every morning. It's also something you can order from Starbucks or your favorite locally owned shop.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The "No Spend Month" Challenge Check In

Two Safeway Receipts, My Gorcery List and Meal Plan for the week and a book called "The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me for Women" by Richard Paul Evans

If you're a reader than you know from my past Summer Goals Post that I challenged myself to a "No Spend Month" for August. I thought I would give some mid point reviews and hiccups that I've had along the way and why I decided to try it out.

This month, I've given myself a strict budget for everything. 1 meal out a week with friends (1 glass of wine and a meal). Full week's worth of meal preps combined with a grocery list to stick to a food budget. No impulse purchases at the cash rep, no extra entertainment (unless it's free or pre-paid), no additional purchases throughout the week (including my guilty dark chocolate bar buy.) Example: Girls Trip last weekend was paid for 2 months ago and saved up for by the time we went. There wasn't anything purchased as for as trinkets or souvenirs go because I decided to keep my memories with photos.

My challenge is to primarily save up some extra money to feel cushioned.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Salad Trip Short

In college one of my favorite classes was photography. We never worked with video and there is a part of me that wishes we had so I'd feel more familiar behind the lens. So, please excuse the quality and quirkiness of this video. I was having a bit of fun.

This salad is something I came home and threw together. It was a meal that I didn't think much about but clearly my body was craving protein and vitamin K because I added Spinach, Asparagus and Ground Beef to this gem. It was a hearty meal for a salad but my regret isn't available today. It was what I needed.

Though this may surprise you, I'm not going to post the recipe for this salad because I don't think I've perfected it yet. I need a lot less and a lot more at the very same time. So, stay tuned but it's not happening today my friends. Today's post is simply to remind yourself to listen to what you need. Whether that be a type of food, a glass of wine or mac and cheese. It's possible your body may need that for the time being but remind yourself that quantity plays a big part in your food quest, as well as attention.

Good luck on your salad adventures today!

Friday, August 12, 2016

5 Ways to Destress on the Weekend

Hello Friends!

Happy Friday! Living with someone, anyone, can be such a fun lifestyle. There have been a lot of things that I have learned from each roommate that I've ever had. My parents had a major impact on my childhood life. My college roommates all taught me something, whether it's how to be a good friend, how to study or how to cook Hawaiian Pineapple Pork Chops. Later on when I moved to Florida, I had a roommate teach me how to make coffee drinks from an espresso machine (very valuable for saving money and life-pro tip!). When I lived with my cousin, I learned sometimes the person you're living with really needs a friend to help them get through something.

My current roommate, R, is totally different from me and it's the most interesting living situation I've ever been in. She's a morning person, I don't believe anyone should speak to me before 10am. She does all her chores before I even get up and I run the dish washer at 9pm. We differ but we make a great team. We were speaking to one another a few weeks ago and I was intrigued to learn that one of the reasons she agreed to live with me is because she knew she'd learn how to better take care of herself physically. She has a tendency to over do workouts, hit a plateau because she's over training or gets sick easily because she burns her body til the wick is gone.

She recently asked me what it is I do to make sure I don't burn out or get sick. To be clear, the reason this post is being written now is because there was a great deal of thought that had to go through my mind before I could give her a worthy answer. Once my wheels were done turning, I thought I'd share my results with you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Green with Envy Pork Salad

Won't lie, this might be the greenest salad I've ever made. I love color, I always try to incorporate some type of rainbow infested mixture into my salads but this week: I've failed. 

As my legs moved me from the office kitchen, back to my desk, there were whispers amongst my fellow colleagues and silent glazes of disappointment in the air... not really. I had one co-worker come up to me and merely say "That's the greenest salad ever. It almost looks too healthy". Which I can't decide is a slap in the face or a hand shake but either way, do not be fooled. This toss came out delightful. 

I stuck with a very simple dressing of olive oil and herbs. I also added a left over pork chop on top. Nothing like left overs to save money and mix up your plain salad! 

Next time, I'll work on my color. It's been a busy month. I know I've mentioned that in a few of my posts but it's thrown me off my game! I'll be back in no time though. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Roast Beef Sandwich with Rosemary Bread and Daiya Slices

When you have a salad blog but you make a hot sandwich instead...

That's right, I went rogue. The truth is out there, people. I don't just eat salads, sandwiches have been one of my best friends since I was a nugget. Can we talk about my undying love for a quality PB&J?

As I'm sure you've figured out, this is a dairy-free sandwich with all the fixings to make a proper meal. I bought most items from a store I love but I'm not affiliated with so I probably shouldn't say where I went. (Two words, second word is Joe)

Now, as I was saying, I love sandwiches. Ask anyone. When I was a kid my mom would ask me what I wanted for dinner and I would say grilled cheese or a salami sandwich on a baguette. I know, so french. I wasn't that posh, trust me.

As I've gotten older I've grown to love tomatoes, lettuce and avocado and I love a quality warm sandwich.

This one came to me after a super hot 90 minute yoga class. I was starving but held out for this warmed up delight. It was super simple to whip up and I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Three Summer Goals

As I laid on the couch last night, after warming up a quick dinner and streaming an episode of Gilmore Girls, I'd realized it was the first time I'd taken time out for myself in months. I forced myself to lay down because my upper back was virtually on fire from the amount of pain my muscles were in. It was a stressful week. The tightness in my shoulders and lack of activity, beside my normal yoga routine, had finally gotten to me. Feeling run down and waves of exhaustion rushing over me isn't normal for me. However, there I was falling asleep during the first 15 minutes of the episode.  It's been a tough few months, that much I simply cannot lie about. 

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