Category Archives: Challenge

Friday Favorites: 10/10/14

Whew. Friday. Thank goodness. Right?

Looking forward to a weekend with a short to-do list and time to recover from the week!

Here are my favs from this week:

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**Trying new recipes – Hummus crusted chicken and butternut squash soup – both delicious and super easy and challenge friendly. win. Smile

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**My immersion blender.

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Bonus points because it’s pink and my sister, Jenny, gave it to me (thanks Jen!). The butternut squash soup recipe called for me to put it from the crockpot into the blender. Ummm heck no, I just put my immersion blender right in the crockpot and woosh = soup. <love>

**Fun tags on Instagram. Danielle tagged me for a #widn (What I’m Doing Now) and so I snapped this picture.

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Dinnertime in our house. Luke “helping”, pants optional. Winking smile

**Making protein balls. And trying a new to me protein powder from Protein Milk Shake Bar (<– how cute is that name?).

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I love mixing up protein balls for a quick snack before my workouts. Usually, I use AdvoCare’s post-workout recovery (in chocolate!), but they were nice enough to send me a sample to check out and try their chocolate mousse flavor.

I just mix drippy almond butter, protein powder and unsweetened shredded coconut together.

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You want them to seem a little dry, the more you mix, the softer they will become until you are able to shape them into balls.

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I often use my hands to combine all the ingredients and that tends to be easier and faster. Add in a little more almond butter if you need more “liquid” and more protein powder if you need more dry ingredients.

I’ll admit that I am partial to the AdvoCare post workout recovery – their chocolate flavor is super delicious, but I liked the Protein Milk Shake Bars chocolate mousse flavor too, it was a bit more protein powder-y. . .but I really want to try their cupcake batter, that would be right up my alley!

**This package from Fabletics.

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Don’t worry, I’ll share pics and my thoughts as soon as I have a chance to check them out!! Smile

With the assistance of my husband – aka the random number generator –> the winner of the Krusteaz giveaway is ..  . lucky #2 – Becky!

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And don’t forget to enter my Rese Activewear giveaway for a pair of awesome capris!!

What are you up to this weekend? What made you smile this week??

Linking up with Heather and Claire this week!

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Filed under advocare, Challenge, Friday, Recap, Recipes

Eating Out Challenge

After taking a closer look at our grocery budget and doing pretty well with making changes at the grocery store and reducing our monthly total, we have decided to take a look at our “dining” budget. I know that some people lump groceries and eating out into one category, but we have it separated out to help track and keep tabs on how much we are eating out versus eating in.

So, with the grocery challenge I was able to reduce spending from $425-$450 per month to $300 per month during the challenge, and now after the challenge, we are still right around $300 per month but our budget is $350 to account for additional items that we will eventually have to start buying again once our pantry and freezer stash is depleted. i.e. meat, pantry staples like flour, sugar, etc.

Our current eating out budget is $275.

Whoa.

When I heard that number, my exact response, was “seriously, we spend that much money on eating out each month?”

Scott’s response was “if I’m lying, I’m dying.” <—back off ladies, he’s mine. Winking smile 

And then, I asked, why is it so high?

And he said, Caribou.

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uh oh. that is trouble. And the end. No challenge. Coffee is #necessary.

Ok, maybe we can at least look at the budget. . . but I have already told Scott, no promises on success for this one! Smile 

I think our numbers add up because while we don’t go out to eat that much, we do order pizza, eat on the road while traveling to the Lake, get ice cream, cupcakes etc. And it all adds up.

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So, I am going to attempt another 3 month challenge for September, October, and November to take a closer look and keep tabs on our eating out budget. My goal will be to spend less than our current $275 budget. We have been actually going over that number fairly routinely for the past few months, anywhere from a few dollars to $50 or more. So, I don’t want to go over our budget number o f$275, and then I want to try to spend less. .. all while keeping our grocery budget at it’s current level. 

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I obviously need lots of help for this challenge, so if you have any tips, please please please send them my way. #savethecoffee

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Filed under Challenge, Goals

August Pinterest Challenge

Happy August!! Anybody else super surprised that it is August already? Seriously, where is this summer going?? Instead of being sad that summer is over half over, I thought I would use the month of August to do a super fun challenge. . .

I love Pinterest.

However, I tend to pin a lot of different things but never actually make or do most of them.

And so for the month of August, I am challenging myself to make 8 things from my Pinterest Boards. I plan on doing mostly main meal and side dish pins, but I am leaving the challenge open to anything – workouts, crafts, good ideas, breakfast, desserts, or drinks.

Anybody else interested? Use #AugustPinterestChallenge to join in!!

Here are a few ideas from my Pinterest boards that I am thinking would be perfect for this month. . .

easy summer quinoa
Easy Summer Quinoa using Farmers Market finds! | iowagirleats.com

Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes, and BasilSpicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes, and Basil

Key West Lime Grilled Chicken Key West Grilled Chicken

Easy margarita fruit dip Easy Margarita Fruit Dip Recipe

Grilled Corn Orzo Salad with Chili-Lime VinaigretteGrilled Corn Orzo Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette. The best! (via @IowaGirlEats)

Strawberry balsamic dressing
Strawberry-Balsamic Dressing (Whole Foods)

Jargaritas
Jargaritas

Yogurt covered strawberries
Dip Strawberries in Yogurt & Freeze, and You Get This Amazing Snack

no-bake chocolate peanut butter cake
No-bake chocolate peanut butter cake...I will be making this VERY soon!

peach cobbler scones
peach cobbler scones

Raspberry lemonade crumb muffins Raspberry Lemonade Crumb Muffins | iowagirleats.com

Jumping Jacks Circuit workout Jumping Jacks Circuit Workout

Farm handprint animals
Cow  Farm Animals

And there are so many more drool worthy recipes, cute craft ideas and sweaty workouts. . . check out my Pinterest Boards for more. . .

Are you going to join in? Any Pinterest recommendations for me??

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Filed under Challenge, Goals, Recap, Recipes