Eight Twenty Eight Fifteen

Today is the final Friday of summer vacation for the kids. I have mixed emotions about them going back to school. While I really love the lazy mornings and the fun afternoons, I’m over their fighting and getting at each other for every little thing. So, I’m welcoming their return to school next week. But, with that I’m also crossing my fingers that mother nature is kind and keeps the warm temps around for a while so that it at least feels more like summer than fall.

Do you remember these?! Growing up we didn’t drink much soda at all, but I have fond memories of enjoying an Original New York Seltzer every now and then. Yum! Brookelyn & I found these at World Market, so we grabbed a couple as a treat for the kids. They loved them!

#TBT to the time I took Brookelyn to her first “concert” (in quotations because it was at a fair, so not a full blown concert) to see The Beach Boys. We had a blast and she still remembers it. This week she went to her first real, big concert to see One Direction with a friend. She loved every minute of it!

Yesterday was possibly our last day at the pool this summer. We will miss warm afternoons under the sun, playing with friends. I will miss my quiet time under the sun with a good book while the kids swim. 

And for this week, that’s it. We had a few really chilly days where we spent lots of time inside, hanging out and relaxing (per the kids’ suggestions). So, there aren’t many photos. We’re looking forward to a fun filled weekend of celebrating Brookelyn’s upcoming birthday, a gathering with friends, etc! 

What are your weekend plans?

5 Protein Packed Snacks, perfect for when you’re on the go!

I’ve got myself some goals for fall. One of those goals is a big one and that’s to lose more weight and make use of the tool that my surgery gave me (the sleeve). In order to achieve my goals I’ll be working out 5 times a week, while the kids are at school and fueling my body with protein packed snacks & food. Lots and lots of protein, because my body needs it! The biggest rules after surgery are protein first and lots of water. I can only eat about 4 oz per meal right now, so my food choices must be protein packed.

If you’re anything like me, you want to have healthy protein packed snacks and foods at your fingertips. When these #FeelGooder foods are in your home, your fridge and your cupboards it makes it easier to snack healthy. And it’s even more important that I have these foods ready for days when I’m on the go all day. I’m not willing to sacrifice and stop for fast food, when I can easily pack myself a healthy, protein filled snack like a ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple bar. So often I find myself out and about during the day, during the school year and I need to stick to my protein goals and continue with eating healthy.

Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite high protein packed snacks. If you’re going to grab a snack, why not grab something that’s healthy, going to fuel your body and satisfy you?

5 Protein Packed Snacks5 PROTEIN PACKED SNACKS

1 || Protein Bars

Lately I’ve been enjoying the ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple bars. They’re packed with good ingredients like protein, fruits and oats. Most of the bars are right at or under 200 calories, 10g of protein and they taste amazing! And, all of the ingredients are sourced from the USA and the bars are made here as well. There are flavors like Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk, Almond Toffee, Bing Cherry & Almond and Roasted Cashew & Dark Chocolate. My favorite so far is the Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk, though the Almond Toffee is delicious too. I can’t wait to try the Bing Cherry and Brookelyn & Matt asked for me to buy a box of the Roasted Cashew & Dark Chocolate next time. The ingredients are simple, good for you and will help fill you up and #FeelGooder
PERFECTLYSIMPLEPROTEINSNACK
2 || Cheese

Typically I grab a mozzarella cheese stick or a couple of slices of sharp cheddar. Cheese is packed with protein and is filling, so it’s great to grab when you need protein packed snacks. Mozzarella has 8g of protein per 1oz, that’s a lot of protein! 

3 || Almonds

Almonds are one of my favorite snacks when I want something with some crunch and saltiness. Marcona almonds are my favorite, but really, any will do. And at 10g of protein per 1/2 cup, I know that this snack is more than worth while. Easy & tasty protein packed snacks.

4 || Hard Boiled Eggs

There are 6g of protein in one hard boiled egg. And, they’re so easy to make and take. Typically on a Sunday evening I’ll boil some eggs to have around the house for the week. This way the kids can snack on them, have them in their lunch, etc. Sometimes I’ll even make deviled eggs using plain greek yogurt instead of mayonaise, amping up the protein content!

5 || Cottage Cheese & Fruit

Cottage cheese and fruit is a long time favorite snack for me. I might add a bit of granola to it for crunch. Either way, with 25g of protein per 1 cup serving you really can’t go wrong. Something I love about cottage cheese is that if you add some seasoning and veggies it can be a savory snack and if you add fruit (with or without granola) and a bit of honey you’ve got a sweet treat. Cottage Cheese SnackWhat protein packed snacks do you reach for when you’re hungry? Do you grab something healthy like a snack bar or cheese? I’m always up for hearing more healthy ideas that are packed with protein!

Grab a coupon for $1 off ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple bars by clicking the image below!

$1 Off ZonePerfect Bars

 

 

Farm to Table Dinner: Chicken, Sausage & Veggie Stir Fry

When meal planning and writing out my grocery list, something I’m always thinking about is local food. Whether it’s meats, produce, or dairy I always look for local food first. Lucky for us, Milwaukee has some really amazing sources for local food. One of them being our favorite, Door to Door Organics home delivery service. How can you not love a company that delivers local food to your door step? I teamed up with Door to Door Organics to share a recipe, some decor and ideas for a Farm to Table dinner party!
CHICKEN, SAUSAGE, VEGGIE STIR FRY

Door to Door Farm to Table Meal

This Chicken, Sausage & Veggie Stir Fry became a fast favorite in our home. With all fresh and local ingredients this dish is not only simple and quick but it tastes amazing, and is loaded with protein and nutrients. Read on for the recipe & more about planning your own Farm to Table dinner party.

Chicken, Sausage & Veggie Stir Fry

Ingredients:

Turkey Sausage

1 Chicken Breast

Cauliflower (shopped fine, or pulsed in a processor to make cauliflower rice)

Zucchini

Bell Peppers

Fresh Goat Cheese (sliced thin & small)

Rosemary Asiago Cheese (sliced thin & small)

1 tbsp Harvest Butter

Fresh Garlic (2 cloves minced)

Ciabatta Olio Bread

Balsamic Vinegar 

Fall Food Door to Door Organics
Slice veggies and garlic while cooking the sausages in a skillet. Cook the chicken breast in the same skillet or in a crock pot earlier in the day. When the sausage and chicken are fully cooked, slice the sausage and shred the chicken. Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, melt the butter and stir in the minced garlic. Careful not to let the butter burn. After 3-5 minutes add the cauliflower, zucchini and green peppers, saute for 6 – 8 minutes. While the vegetables sautee, slice small and thin pieces of both kinds of cheese and set aside. Finally, gently mix in the sausage and chicken. Top with cheese slices and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately, with a slice of fresh bread.

Door to Door Cheese

Healthy Delicious Meal Farm to Table

Farm to Table Dinner Party Decor & Playlist Ideas

A delicious meal isn’t the only necessary key to a successful dinner party. The atmosphere and decor also play into it. I’m a huge fan of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, so when I think of music for a dinner party, they’re my first choices. I put together a little Dinner Party Playlist of some of my favorite tunes. 
Dinner Party Playlist

Table & room decor is important in making guests comfortable in your home. I’m itching for fall (though I’ll be sad for the warm temps to leave us) and so I added some purple elements into our dining room right now. A good transitional color from the bright pinks & yellows of summer to the burnt oranges, browns and reds of fall. Purple lies right in the middle and I’m loving the way it looks in the room. Rather than purchasing expensive floral arrangements, I chose to go with good ol’ mason jars (albeit, purple!), some greenery from our yard and some weeds. Yes, weeds.. because Queen Anne’s Lace, though a beautiful “flower” is considered a weed. Doesn’t it look beautiful on the table though?FARM TO TABLE DIY DECOR

FARM TO TABLE DINNER PARTY

Entertaining is something that I really enjoy and especially when I can be proud of the food that I’m serving my guests. There’s nothing quite like knowing the farm your meat came from and where the vegetables were grown and picked. My Farm to Table is the way to go if you want a healthy, clean meal. You can find info about your local farms that provide food via Door to Door Organics here. There is even a new option to purchase a Local Farm Box for your area. Is there truly anything better than shopping online for an entire meal, having that food delivered to your day and knowing that it’s fresh and local? I think not!
Sausage Chicken Veggies Door to Door Organics

Are you ready to create your own local, farm to table meal with Door to Door Organics? #MyFarm2Table

Use the code “Farm2Alyson” for 40% a produce box! That’s a great deal for food delivered right to your door. 

 

Eight Twenty One Fifteen

We are trying to enjoy the last two weeks of summer. Soaking in all of the free time and relishing in the warmth and the sunshine, the days outside without layers upon layers of clothing on. My wish is that the kids will always look back on summer and remember a fun time, that they’ll think of long, warm summer days at the pool, hours upon hours spent at our local parks, lots of time with family and with their closest friends.

The kids and I all have favorite parks and we tend to hit the same ones up time after time. Sometimes Brookelyn will head off and play with her brother and sometimes she’ll sit with me and read a book. Or, we’ll end up chatting more than reading. I especially like those days. And, I especially like her. 

The summer nights in Milwaukee will be missed. Matt and I haven’t had many dates out since my surgery and we finally went out last week. We had a nice dinner at a local place in our ‘hood and then drove down to a park on the lakefront where we took a nice long walk along the lake. It was beautiful out and we could hear the music from Irish Fest across the little bay. I love this city!

Since having surgery I’ve found that I want extra flavor in all of my food! Maybe it’s because I’m eating such a tiny amount and I want to enjoy every bite? Frank’s Red Hot sauce is my favorite. I’ve been putting this stuff on everything. Yum! Have you tried it? If not, grab some at Target. It’s delicious and it’s not full of crappy ingredients either.

If you’re a fan of Serial and/or Undisclosed, you should be listening to the Serial Dynasty. This is another podcast that has captured my attention. Bob has a fantastic “radio” voice and does a great job of discussing past episodes of Undisclosed. The content almost reminds me of the Cliff’s Notes that we used back in high school. Definitely check it out if you have a chance! #FreeAdnan

Nothing like having 4 days to read a book for book club when you’re the host that month! I could NOT find this book anywhere. Every library near us had a LONG wait time and I really didn’t want to spend the money to buy it. So, last minute it is. So far, so good!

This happened this week! The 18th was my 2 month anniversary of having surgery and I officially hit the 50 pounds lost mark! Talk about exciting. I am so thankful for the surgery and that everything has gone well so far. I feel great, have loads more energy and can’t wait to lose another 50. I’ve had quite a few people ask via messages and emails, so look for a post very soon about the surgery, my recovery and what life is like day to day after the surgery.

Yay for Friday, right? Are you excited for the weekend? I know that I am. Hope you have a fabulous time. What are you up to this weekend?

Also, before you go… my friend and neighbor Megan is challenging herself to #30littlethings for the next 30 days. To be present and spend little moments with her son and in her life. I love the idea, because I often notice that a day or a few will go by when I haven’t really taken some time out to unplug, listen and really be present with the kids (or Matt). So, for the next 30 days, I’m in. Along with Megan, I’m going to focus on the little things. 
Will you join us?