What is in that cup?!



Every morning I drink the drink you see above. Inevitably when I go in public I get at least one weird look. I’ve had friends refuse to taste the drink because it’s green. But I’m here to tell you…Green doesn’t mean disgusting! I love my green smoothie! It’s not heavy on my stomach, but keeps me satisfied until lunchtime.

On days I work out, I eat a spoonful of almond butter on my way out the door (and lots of water before I leave too). When I get back from my workout, around 10/10:15 I usually make this smoothie. It keeps me full until lunchtime.  On non-workout days I usually have this as my breakfast and then have a small mid-morning snack of fruit (apple, berries, etc).

Here is what you need:

*Super blender (I loooooove my Blendtec-I use it for everything!)

*3-4 pitted dates

*2 cups spinach

*1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use MRM brand, I love that it has nothing artificial in it)

*1 Tbsp chia or flax seeds

*dash of cinnamon (optional)

*1 cup water


Add the ingredients, except ice, to your blender in the order listed. I hit the whole juice button on mine (another reason I love the Blendtec-it’s fool proof!). After it has gone through it’s cycle, I add the ice and hit smoothie. This turns it from liquid to smoothie consistency. If you have a regular blender, just blend all the ingredients until the spinach is as fine as you can get it, then add the ice to make it a smoothie.

The dates add sweetness, while the protein powder covers the taste of the spinach. My friends who are brave enough to try my green smoothie are actually impressed with how yummy it is. (Thank you, friends for being brave!)



Other ingredients to change it up:

-Sub half a banana for the dates

-Use green tea in place of water (I do this on most non-workout days)

-add different leafy greens

-add a drop of stevia for a hint of sweetness

-sub almond/coconut milk and add 1 tbsp coconut oil for more of a pina colada taste

-sub frozen mango for dates


So are you brave enough to try???? What’s your favorite green smoothie?







I’m what kind of dog??!!! Seriously??!!!

Can we talk guilty pleasures for one minute? Mine…endless personality quizzes. I’m not talking EFNJ, INPJ, whatever. I’m talking What kind of Dog are you? Which Disney Princess Are You? Yes, those kind of quizzes. The ones that really mean nothing, but you always wonder which answer you’ll get. Do you secretly hope for a certain answer? I totally do! Then sometimes I’m bummed that I don’t get the answer that I want.

Know what always amazes me though??? Even if my answer is unexpected..the explanation is always spot on!! Like the dog quiz. I was hoping for a lab (everyone loves them!) or an american bulldog (so tough yet loving!); know what I got?  Chihuahua!! Seriously! I was shocked, for one. Then disappointed second. And then I read the description….

So, you’re a Chihuahua! Two words to describe you: energetic and classy. You somehow always manage to show up places looking nothing short of sharp, turning heads and stealing hearts. Plus, you’ve mastered the art of ignoring haters. Haters gonna hate and you have no time in your day for that.

True words right there! And if you know me-you know I am quite energetic! I’ve been told I’m classy, Audrey Hepburn classy. I’m not sure about that one, but I would love it if I am! (wow, that’s a lot of exclamation marks!)

As for the Disney quiz (did you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE Disney movies??!!)..I totally wanted to be Rapunzel or Ariel. Rapunzel seems to brave and fun and Ariel is adventurous and my daughter’s favorite (before Frozen came along, now everyone’s favorite is Elsa!). Who did I get? Mulan! For real?! Read on…

Outgoing and vivacious, you are considered the sporty one in your group. However, athletics are not the sum total of who you are as you have a keen interest in the world around you.

How do they know me so well?! I give up! No more being disappointed in my results.

Do you love the quizzes? Which one has been your favorite??






What’s your tradition???

Tonight I hosted Passover seder, as I have done for the past few years. We started hosting seder when we were unable to fly back to Texas and celebrate with my family. Our first year hosting , the kiss were too little to fully participate and understand much of the seder.

I remember being younger and getting dressed up to go to seder and Aunt Toots and Uncle Jacob’s house. (my great aunt and uncle)  There were soooo many people!  Both brothers, their kids, and all their kids! And usually 1-2 families unrelated to us. We probably had 40-50 people each year. All the adults at one end of the table, and the kids at the other. Usually after dinner all the kids would end up in the back room, playing with toys, or falling asleep! My favorite parts of the seder were asking the Four Questions, sung in Hebrew, and singing (in Hebrew and English!) Who Knows One? My cousin and I would get up and do all the hand motions to the song. Our seders were so long, yet fun too. We sang lots of songs and all went around the table taking turns reading the Hagaddah in English and Hebrew. We sang the same songs every year and there was so much tradition.

This year, as I lead the Seder, I was able to share those traditions with my children. Though our seder was much shorter than the seders of my younger years (by about 3 hours!), I was able to include many of the traditions that we had growing up. We took turns going around the table and reading from the Hagaddah. We sang the Ballad of the Four Sons to the tune of Clementine (my second favorite Passover song). I passed out dollar bills to all the children who looked for the Afikomen-just as my grandfather used to do for us. My daughter got to sing the Four Questions in Hebrew (she even had me teach them to her so she’d be ready!). And I got to sing Who Knows One? and teach my daughter and her friend the hand motions.

As I watched her sing the four questions, I couldn’t help but feel so touched, so happy, so sentimental during that moment. I saw how proud she was to sing, to know the part of the song in Hebrew. I saw moments from when I was a little girl singing the four questions in front of our whole extended family, excited to know the words.

My daughter asks me all the time to tell her stories from when I was a little girl, from thing that happen when I was her age. When I tell her a story and it includes “just like you are”, her eyes light up and I can see the excitement. I can see the connection getting stronger between us. I am so lucky to have family traditions that I am able to share and pass on to my children. These traditions truly give them a glimpse into my childhood.






PS: Because I didn’t get a single photo from the seder (insert forehead bump) I share with you my favorite Passover dessert, my aunt Jackie’s recipe for matza bark:

Matza bark

3-6 pieces of matza

1 c unsalted butter or margarine

1 c sugar 12 oz. semisweet chocolate bits

1/2 cup crushed or slivered nuts

Heat oven to 400. Line cookie sheet w/foil. Cover with matza. Melt butter and sugar over low heat then raise heat and boil for 3 min. Pour over matza and spread. Place in oven for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and then cover with chips. Return to oven for 30 seconds. Spread evenly over matza and sprinkle nuts. Refrigerate at least one hour and then break into pieces. Scrumptious!!

PPS: (or is it PSS????)

My fellow bloggers and I have started a new hashtag encouraging everyone to be sentimental and embrace it! Check out these fellow bloggers (and friends!) who also lead sentimental lives. And make sure to use #sentimetallife when you have a sentimental moment to share! Check them out: Tori Pintar, Mandie Haberman, Katrina Meyer, Jen Snyder, Jessica Drogosz,

Muffin tops: my taste buds love them, but my jeans hate them!

I lead a workout class on Tues & Thurs mornings. So many times gals come to me asking “how can I get guns like so and so?” or “how can I lose this muffin top?” or “I work out every day, how come I’m not seeing any changes?” To this I have a one word answer:


Not as in Atkins, SouthBeach, or even low-carb. I am definitely NOT telling these women to go on a diet. I am telling them that our diet (as in what we eat) effects our body shape more than how much we work out. You can work out 6 hours a day, but if you go home and eat crap (sugar, over processed foods, etc..) then it negates all that exercise.

So how do you know what you should eat and what to avoid? How do you know where to start? What’s right for you might not be right for your best friend. There are two options that I tell the gals about:

1. Take out one bad food item at a time

For this you choose one bad item per week to take out. Some options to start with:

-sugar: refined, white sugar. Keep the fruit, keep the local, raw honey. Lose the confectioners (powdered) sugar, the granulated sugar, lose the agave nectar, and please lose the corn syrup!  These things spike your insulin, then it comes crashing down making you crave more and more. That is why they are in EVERYTHING!  So you eat them, feel satisfied, crash, eat more. You run out, you buy more, and the cycle goes on.

-white bread items: pasta, bread, muffins, bagels; lose them all. Just as sugar spikes your insulin, so do these! Did you know that you can be addicted to carbs? If you are seriously addicted, then go read this from Dr. Oz on how to kick your carb addiction. If you are not addicted, then take out one item at a time. Instead of refined white items, opt for sprouted grains, quinoa, and green veggies. These all have protein to keep you satisfied and won’t leave you tired and cranky when you don’t have them.

2. Cut out all processed foods, cold turkey.

This option is hard, I won’t lie! My husband and I tried the Paleo lifestyle a few years back. In a nutshell (pun intented!) all we would eat was meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. No dairy, no refined carbs, no legumes. About 4-5 days into it, we had horrible headaches, were exhausted, and cranky! But that only lasted a couple of days and then we started feeling great! After about 6 weeks we noticed that our bodies were craving the good stuff…protein, green veggies, fruits. Paleo is pretty extreme, and to be honest, we have decided it wasn’t the lifestyle for us. One of my dearest friends taught us about it, and she and her husband absolutely love it. It works awesome for them. This is why no one “diet” is perfect for everyone and there is no miracle diet.

A good way to start this option is to cut out any foods that come in a box. The only exception I will give you is if in that box there is one ingredient, ie: oatmeal, flax seed, etc.. If you look at a box and you can’t pronounce any ingredient, run!! Throw that box and run away!! Okay, not literally but you get the idea.

Have I overwhelmed your brain yet? Yes? That’s ok. Pick one spot and start there. Not overwhlemed? Great! Go plan your next grocery shopping list and let me know what healthy choices you are going to make!!

Need recipe ideas??  Follow me on Pinterest and check out my healthy recipe and paleo boards. They have great ideas of easy recipes your whole family will love.

I leave you with this:





Taking Care of Me!


Oh my word! I read the most wonderful blog post this evening and I must share it with you!!  This woman must be tapped into my brain, because she has written everything that I think. And truly things that I Believe! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…We must take care of ourselves first, then we can be great moms, wives, friends, sisters, daughters. We are our children’s role models. Want to know who you act? Want to know how you speak? Just watch and listen to your children…they learn everything (good and bad!). Check this article out and come back her and tell me YOUR thoughts!


Healthy and Fit and a Good Mom??!!





How I got rid of BO (and my deoderant recipe!)

“Holy Cow!” and “Oh My Word!” Those are the words that literally came out of my mouth as I watched a documentary tonight called Hungry For Change. It is all about the “food” we eat and the foods we should be eating. I’m not going to tell you everything I learned from the movie..I highly recommend you watch it yourself. But I did learn some awesome things that I will share with you in the next couple of weeks. Today’s topic….B.O.!

I’m not sure about you, but when I was younger and even into my late twenties…I had some bad b.o.! Along with that b.o. was what I felt like was gallons of sweat. I would put on t-shirts and within 15 minutes I would have sweat stains. I’m talking circles of wet shirt under my armpits. Nasty! I tried every deodorant/anti-persperant out there. Everything from Secret to dry idea, to prescription strength. They would work for about a month or so then I’d have to try something else because they’d stop working. And that whole anti-perspirant thing…yeah, that wasn’t happening!

While living in Quantico, I met Laura, who is now one of my dearest friends. She told me about this awesome deodorant she found while living in Fiji. I immediately got on amazon and ordered that bad boy! She warned me..it’s a deodorant, not an anti-perspirant. But it works awesome! She still would sweat, but it didn’t smell. Guess what!!??  It was great! For about 6 months.

We were chatting while living in 29 Palms, Ca (yup, our hubbies both got stationed here at the same time-score one for the Marines!), and she asked if the awesome deodorant was still working. I was bummed to tell her it wasn’t…but it wasn’t for her either!  So we both decided we wanted to try homemade deodorant. Cue our friend Angie! She is mother of all things holistic and healthy. Was an awesome resource!  One day Laura surprised me with a little tub of homemade deodorant that her and Angie made together. I was over the moon excited to try it!   I tried it…And…..it works! And it’s still working! I’ve been using homemade deodorant for over a year now. I even have my husband using it! I tell people this all the time and at first they think I’m crazy. When I give them the (much shorter than this version) of my story; they start to become curious. The few of them that have been brave enough to try it have loved it!

I’ve noticed that in the past few months my bo has decreased even more. I found out tonight why that was! Leafy greens! Chlorophyll is a natural deodorizer. It is actually used in hospitals for patients that smell bad. (yes, seriously!) What has chlorophyll because flower leaves, you ask? Green vegetables. Spinach, kale, broccoli, collards, cilantro, parsley. All the things that I have been incorporating into my diet the last few months. Adding two cups of spinach to my smoothie every morning has benefits I didn’t even know about. Score!


And now, here it is folks….my homemade deodorant recipe:

1/4 C coconut oil (very soft, but not quite melted)

3-4 tbsp arrowroot powder (corn starch works great too)

3-4 tbsp baking soda

5-10 drops essential oil (I like a combo of lemon&orange)

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a cute mason jar (or babyfood jar).


*Notes on the deodorant:

-If you use too much essential oi, it will irritate your skin

-This is a deodorant, NOT an anti-perspirant. You will sweat! But guess what? You’re SUPPOSED to sweat! That is how your body releases toxins. Though..after a couple of months using this, my arm pits are much much less sweaty than in my teenage/college years. Because the glands are not being blocked by something unnatural, my body can properly regulate the sweat glands and perspire properly.

-You will experience some chaffing the first week or so. Your body is not used to having that much moisture in the armpits and the rubbing from your clothes and skin are irritating. I promise, it will go away! It was less than 10 days and I was back to irritation free pits!

-This does not travel well. Coconut oil melts around 78 degrees. Once melted, it will separate from the other ingredients, rendering it useless. I noticed mine kept melting in my bathroom from the shower steam. I now keep it on my dresser in my bedroom and have no issues. I have also gotten the ingredients and made a jar when I was traveling, once I had arrived at my destination.

-Other ideas for oil scents: lavender, tea tree, lemon grass, lemon, orange; the possibilities are endless!

What do you think about homemade deodorant? Will you give it a shot? If you use it, what are your favorite oil combinations?? How are you going to add green vegetables into your diet?  I’d love to hear from you!





I’m a great mom…and so are you!

So I decided something a couple of weeks ago. I decided I was a great mom. I came to realize what makes me a great mom. It’s not the cool presents I buy, it’s not the awesome cakes I make (which I definitely do NOT…the runny elmo cake of 2009 proves it), it’s not the endless crafts I have on hand to do in a crunch. (BTW-I have none of those things)

What makes me a great mom is the time I spend with my kids. It’s taking them to the park. It’s cuddling on the couch reading books. It’s playing cards and board games and doing puzzles together. It’s baking (premade) cookies together, then making a huge mess decorating them with sprinkles and icing. Sure, it might look like the sprinkle factory exploded in our kitchen; but the pride I can see when they show me their cookie creations just makes my heart melt.

I used to think I had to make every cake (and make it look prefect), perfectly plan every birthday party, and take my kids to endless activities to be a great mom. I was so wrong. I used to think I had to be at every soccer practice and every game, at every school performance (even the repeat ones). I realized that sometimes we just have to step back. You know what’s just as cool as seeing my kids score a goal? Hearing her tell me about it-hearing the pride in her voice and seeing it in her smile as she retells how it happened.

So what if I didn’t make her Halloween costume this year? So what if I didn’t make her cake from scratch? So what if I bought the whole cake?! I was there to light the candles for her. I was there to snuggle and read her favorite book. I was there to do the puzzle with him and see the excited smile when he completed it (for the 900th time).  I was there do to the things THEY wanted me to do…not things Pinterest makes me think I should do.  That makes me a great mom….and it makes you one too!

Modern Life Can Wait

Tonight my daughter is at a sleepover, so it’s just me and the boys. The baby was cranky, so I was putting him to bed. My little man asked if we were taking a bath. Not tonight i told him (we are every other night baths for the kids…unless we have some messy days!), he replied with a sweet but sad “awwwwwwww”. When asked if he wanted a bath, his eyes lit up and said “YES!”. After the okay he ran to take his clothes off and go potty. I put the baby to bed and got the bath ready for my little man, complete with bubbles-yet another way to see those eyes light up!

As I sat watching him playing, my mind started to wonder to the things I needed/wanted to do. You see, after the kids go to bed I try to get some chores done, but usually end up  wasting my time on facebook or pinterest or amazon. I check my email about 4 times too many and read the same facebook posts, refreshing just in case anything happened that I must know about! I opened my mouth to give him the two minute warning, but paused. I watched him play with the toys, his imagination in full swing. he was completely happy….he had the bath all to himself. No sister taking up all the space, no baby kicking or splashing him. Just him and the toys. I reminded myself how special this time is. Not just for me-watching and enjoying him being a kid, but for him-having me all to himself with no rushing, no one interrupting him, and no iphone texting or notifying me. Chores can wait; facebook, pinterest, email can all wait. But that time with him can not wait. That time will be gone so soon. I just sat and smiled as I watched his imagination, watched him being just who he was…and I enjoyed every single second.

I make a promise to myself now: I promise to enjoy my kids, to be focused on them, I promise chores, facebook, email can all wait. Because when I go to bed at night, I know that I will truly have seen my kids, without the distractions of modern life. And that is what matters.

Watching the Fun, not the phone!

Last week I read a status posted by a dad. ( You may have seen it here.)  It really resonated with me. It talked about putting down our phones and really watching our kids. Watching our little girls twirl in their tutus, our boys doing a super hero move, toddlers popping bubbles! These are some of the moments I most adore of my kids. The moments where they are completely and totally in the moment, using their imagination, and truly being themselves. These are the little things they love that put them in a moment in time. SONY DSC

Now I’ll be honest, I don’t love running around the playground with my kids. I would much rather sit on the bench and watch them play (or check my phone….heaven forbid I miss a facebook update!). I’m not saying I”m on my phone aaaaallll the time, but it has been known to happen. Gosh, those times I do watch them….what I see is amazing! I see their imaginations growing and their creativity flowing. I see them for the amazing, fun, caring, friendly, helpful children they are.

So what’s my plan? Take my kids to the playground and actively watch them. Keep my phone in the stroller pocket. Only answer it if it rings (because if it was important, they’d call not text!). And take in every moment I can of my kids as they grow. I know I”ll be glad I did.