April CSA Meals

I have accomplished one of my 2015 goals and officially joined a CSA!  I’m not really sure why it took me so long, but I’m happy to finally be receiving local, organic produce each week.  Everything is grown on a farm, Bell’s Best Berries, about 20 minutes from my house.  The fruits and vegetables are seasonal and grown organically.

I signed up to receive a bag of produce + 2 dozen pastured eggs every other week.  This last time I received:

  • Kale
  • Siberian Kale
  • Parsley
  • Asparagus
  • Apples
  • Turnips
  • Butternut Squash
  • Baby Lettuces
  • Arugula
  • Spring Onions

Here are the meals I made using these ingredients: (except the turnips, haven’t used those yet – oops)

CSA produce in April, North Carolina

I made wraps (taco with a corn tortilla for me (GF)) with roasted butternut squash, kale sautéed with garlic and onions, extra sharp cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, and avocado.  Our 2 year old loved this meal, too!

wraps with eggs and vegetables for dinnerbreakfast wrap with egg, vegetablesgluten free breakfast vegetable taco

I’ve had several salads using the wonderful greens that were a part of the bag. One used the apples, arugula, baby lettuces, and some leftover chicken and pecans.

CSA greens used in a salad with apples and chickenI used the Siberian kale (a little lighter taste than traditional or Tuscan kale) in a salad with strawberries, avocado, chicken, and pecans.  I tossed the kale in some balsamic vinaigrette and let it sit for a couple minutes before eating the salad.

kale strawberry salad

I had some pork chops from a local farm that need to be cooked, so I incorporated the apples and onions from the CSA bag into a pork dish.  I loosely used this recipe for Hard Cider Pork Chops with Apples and Onions.  I used thyme instead of rosemary, and just used the general method, not necessarily the exact measurements from the recipe.  I served the pork with roasted asparagus and butternut squash, both from the CSA bag.

This meal was a favorite – if you haven’t already, try getting eggs/beef/chicken/pork from a local farmer.  The taste and nutritional value from animals that have been humanely raised and free to roam in pastures is well worth skipping the grocery store butcher!

pork chops with apples and onions; local food; CSA

pork chops with apples and onions; local food; CSA butternut squash and asparagusThe only item from the CSA in the next meal is the parsley.  I tossed carrots and asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper, and finely chopped parsley and roasted them at 375.  They were delicious!

roasted carrots and zucchini with parsley; grilled chicken; CSA

I’ll pick up my next bag this coming Tuesday.  Can’t wait!

 

Fitness Challenge Update

Day 19 of our 40 Day Fitness Challenge, and honestly?  I am pretty far behind.  My post yesterday explained why – new house, etc.  But, we’re still working on it, and even though this is late, I wanted to post an update.

My goal for the 40 days:

40 Day Fitness Challenge

My progress so far:

  • Cardio: (I haven’t been able to do as much running as planned, so I’ve gotten creative) 30 min. jumping jacks (in 3 sessions); 2.3 mile hike in the mountains; 8 miles running (4 of those pushing the stroller); 5 miles walking with stroller & dog
  • Exercise Classes: 3 – Cardio Strength Extreme; PiYo (pilates + yoga); Yoga
  • Push Ups: 425
  • Squats/Lunges: 1,680
  • Plank: 16 minutes
  • Dessert: only one – a s’more on our mountain trip

I doubt I’ll be able to accomplish my original goal by Memorial Day, especially because we are moving.  But this is keeping me motivated!  And if I am not able to accomplish my exact goal, at least I am working out more than I was before this began.  I will post about it again in a week or two.

workout quote

 

Mountain Trip

NC is just the best – mountains and the beach all in one!  My parents took our family on a mountain trip a couple weekends ago, and we had a blast.  We stayed in a cabin right outside of Blowing Rock. This trip was a mix of them spoiling their train-loving two year old grandson ;) and relaxing family time.  Besides going to Tweetsie Railroad, our agenda was low-key.  We spent Friday at Tweetsie – Davis LOVED it!

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Saturday morning we hiked a trail off the of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Then while Davis and I stayed at the cabin for him to nap, the rest of the family played par 3.  We cooked dinners at the cabin, and the guys built fires at night, complete with s’mores on Saturday.

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Side note about the s’mores – my mom took the time to make gluten free graham crackers so that I could have a s’more so I absolutely cheated on my “no desserts” rule.  She’s the hostess with the mostest for sure. 

It was relaxing, restful, and truly great weekend with my people.  Thank you, Mom and Dad!!!

Oh and the trains at Tweetsie?!  Our son is now obsessed and we’ve all even had to make up songs at bedtime about the little train and the big train.  Ha!

Life Lately: House News!

Quick updates, because life has been happening at warped speed the last couple of weeks, and I really really want to get back to blogging!

  • Within a 2 week period, we found a house, bought that house.  Then we listed our house and sold our house.  It’s just been nuts!  And such a blessing. Now we’re in the middle of inspections and appraisals and we need to begin packing.
    • I’m planning (hoping) to document a lot of the upcoming projects on the new house!
  • We went to the mountains with my family (post on that coming later this week)
  • After the frantic prep of getting our house ready to show, we finally had some relaxing time at my parents’ house while our house was being shown
  • I got my first CSA produce and have loved it (another post about that coming soon)
  • I’m behind on my fitness challenge with all of the house craziness, but I’m trying (more on that soon)
  • I cut my hair shorter
  • Our little man is almost 2 1/2 and even though he’s had more of an attitude lately (he is 2!), he is hilarious and seems to learn something new each day.  A few things I can’t let myself forget… he says “aminals” instead of “animals,” he has learned to march, and attempts to do yoga with me.  Todd and I spend plenty of time cracking up!

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Our Weekend

Charlotte had some gorgeous weather this past weekend!  Todd and some of the men in my family were down at the beach house doing some repairs, and we sure missed him.  But while he was gone we spent some time with my mom, spent a lot of time outside, and accomplished a couple projects around the house.

On Friday we spent the morning running a couple errands at the mall, then ended up eating lunch outside at Cowfish!  These two are pretty obsessed with each other. ;)

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Later that afternoon Davis and I met my mom at Lowe’s, and we ended up staying for hours.  Too many projects happening in my mind at one time! 

Saturday involved repainting our pots and finally planting some flowers.  It’s a good thing my mom has a very green thumb.  I always ask her advice with anything gardening related.  This is the before picture of the pots.

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I took the boys on a walk, completed a workout, and started watching Friday Night Lights. (hello new Netflix addiction!)

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We had roasted chicken, broccoli, and avocado for dinner and Davis couldn’t get enough!  That evening Davis, Kenan, and I enjoyed some time outside admiring our new flowers.

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Todd got home and we went to church on Sunday.  This weekend was a really special weekend at Elevation – it was called Raised to Life and all focused on baptisms.  Hundreds of people made decisions for Christ and decisions to be baptized all around Charlotte.  It was incredible to witness, and we were so grateful to be there with our friends/church family.  Check out #raisedtolife on Instagram and Twitter for some amazing baptisms and stories of life change.  

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Sunday involved working on our to-do list, I took a yoga class (which I loved), and Davis finished his part of his Aunt Ginna’s birthday present!  Davis rarely sit still long enough to do much art work, but I really enjoy watching him do things like this.  I did heavily influence this color palette.  We also had simple baked tacos for dinner (recipe coming soon).

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baked tacos

I hope you all had a great start to your week!

Five on Friday

I’m going to jump right in to my five today.  Happy weekend!

I’m linking up with April, Christina, Natasha; Erika, Andrea and Narci; and Karli.

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ONE: I finally joined a CSA!  It was hard for me to pull the trigger on it, because it looks expensive at first (when you break it down and compare it to grocery costs, it isn’t more than what I’d normally spend).  But I’m so glad I joined, and I can’t wait to receive my first box.  Dana from Organic Eater was helpful in leading me in the right direction, and I’ll now be getting bi-weekly organic, local produce from Bell’s Best Berries farm, along with pastured eggs.  Woohoo!  If a huge box of produce seems overwhelming, here’s some helpful tips from The Kitchn with 3 simple ways to use any vegetable in your CSA box.  I will try to keep my blog updated with how I use my produce through the Summer.

The Kitchen, CSA article

TWO: Another thing I’ve been thinking about forever and decided to do this week was to cut my hair.  She cut 5-6 inches off in the back, and 4-5 inches off in the front.  I was so attached to my long hair, and I’m not really sure why.  I’m enjoying it shorter, but am still trying to figure out how to fix it.  The first picture is the day it was cut and dried at the salon.  I did not like my hair straight when it was long, but I can wear it straight now!  The second picture is from last night, when I used a curling iron to create some loose waves.

lob haircut; medium length; straightmedium length haircut; lob haircut; loose waves in a lob

THREE: Todd and I have started personal fitness challenges.  We each have a list of workout goals we’re aiming to achieve between now and Memorial Day, and my muscles already hurt!  All the details are on yesterday’s blog post.  Here is my challenge:

40 Day Fitness Challenge

FOUR: In other health news, I tried kombucha for the first time this week.  Any recommendations for other great brands or flavors?  The ginger flavor was great.  I don’t know why it took me so long to try.  It was interesting at first, but I really liked it and have been craving another.

ginger kombucha

FIVE: I read this quote a couple weeks ago, right after Todd had brought me coffee in the morning.  I completely agree!  It’s just the best.

coffee quote

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you for stopping by!

40 Day Fitness Challenge

It’s almost bikini season – ahhh!!  Because of that, and simply because we value fitness, taking care of our bodies, and being in shape, Todd and I have each started our own 40 Day Fitness Challenge.  We each have a list of workout goals that we’re aiming to accomplish before Memorial Day.

This is the kind of motivation that works for us.  We work well with a list of goals and a deadline.  Some people find the FitBit or a fitness app helpful. Do whatever works best for you! If you’d like to join in, try coming up with your own list and let me know!

workout quote

We started yesterday, April 8th, and will go through Memorial Day, taking into account 1 off day each week.  That totals 40 days of workouts.

Another thing we’re doing is skipping dessert.  I gave up desserts for Lent, and truly felt better.  I did not miss them after a couple of days.  I know that reducing sugar and chocolate is good for my skin, too!

Here is my personal fitness challenge:

40 Day Fitness Challenge

 

It’s only Day 2, and my muscles are already sore!

 

Here is Todd’s fitness challenge:

Men's 40 Day Fitness Challenge

 

Time to get strong!

workout motivational quote