Tag Archive | coffee

Lately & A Protein shake for coffee lovers

Hello, hello! Here we are on the last day of July…can you believe it? I sure can’t! Just 5 more weeks and I move back to Massachusetts with Brandon…eeeek! Where has summer gone? It is FLYING by. Since my schedule has pretty much been all over the place the past few months, it seems like time is going by faster than ever. Some nights I’m in Maine, others I’m in New Hampshire, now-and-then I head to Boston, and I try to get to Cape Cod when I can. On-top of that, there’s been weddings, work every weekend, and apartment searching. Needless to say, life lately has been very busy, but fun too! Lately in the last few weeks I:
…attended a beautiful wedding:
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Our friends Anna and Matt said ‘I do’ in a beautiful outdoor ceremony, filled with heart-felt vows, readings, wonderful people, and so.much.love. I adored every second of it!
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…have spent my days off with my Mom:
Sadly, my time of living back at home with my parents is quickly coming to an end, so I’m trying to soak in as much time with them as possible. My Mom and I have planned an outing each week where we do something together that we both love. Last week, we shopped and had lunch on the water. This week, we worked out together, shopped again, and went blueberry picking.  I couldn’t love this lady more. 
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…have been addicted to making the same breakfast, every day:
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Truthfully, I get into breakfast ruts quite often, meaning I eat the same thing over and over again every day. However, when I decided to do a gluten-free, dairy-free cleanse a few months ago, I began starting my day with a homemade protein shake for breakfast (along with a bowl of fruit) and to this day I am still hooked on this combo, even post-cleanse!  This recipe is just too good not to share. For the coffee lovers out there, I think you’ll love this shake. To me, it tastes just like a Starbuck’s Frappuccino, without the added calories and extra guilt. I literally eat/drink this 6 days a week before work in the morning. It’s delicious, satisfying, gluten-free, dairy-free, gives me the coffee taste I crave AND keeps me full for hours.

Double Coffee Lover’s Protein Shake
Ingredients
1/2 cup reduced sugar Almond Milk (I use Original or Vanilla Almond Breeze brand)
5-6 frozen strawberries (mostly de-thawed)
1 handful of fresh spinach (washed and dried)
2 scoops Arbonne Vanilla Protein powder
1 packet instant coffee (I use Nescafe Taster’s Choice hazelnut flavor)
1 TBSP decaf instant coffee
1/2 cup crushed ice (to start)
2 TBSP cold water
Shake of cinnamon

Directions
1) Add almond milk, thawed strawberries, protein powder, and spinach to blender.
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2) Using a coffee mug, mix instant coffees together with a splash of water and stir for a few seconds until it’s mixed together. Then add this liquid to the blender.
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3)Top with crushed ice, water, and cinnamon.
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4) Blend until mixed well. If the shake is too thin, add more ice. If it’s too thick for your liking, add more water and/ or Almond Milk if desired. Enjoy with a spoon or a straw!
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I can’t get enough of this protein shake. I make mine thick enough to eat with a spoon, but it’s delicious through a straw, too. If you try it, I hope you love it.

What have you been up to lately?
Do you make shakes for breakfast? If so, what’s your go-to recipe?
Do you “eat” your shakes, or am I the only one?  Winking smile

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When the little things become the big things

Hello hello! How has it been a over week since I last posted? Seriously, where does the time go? One will never know, and I for one can not believe that this past weekend marked one month that I’ve been back from Australia. I wouldn’t exactly say I feel “settled-in” due to the fact that I’ve barely been home between working and classes, but I will say that since I’ve been back, I’ve realized that it’s little things that are making the biggest differences in my day-to-day life and helping me adjust into life at home again.  You know, little things like a compliment from a stranger, a pat-on-the-back from your boss, or a good grade on an exam. I used to think I needed monetary things to lift my spirits, like buying a new suit or the latest handbag, but now it’s just the opposite. Thank you, home, for bringing me back to reality and to my roots.
Some of the little things helping me lately have been:

-Random acts of kindness:
Can I just say that my Mom rules?  I don’t know how she does it, but somehow, someway, she spreads kindness everyday and truly makes me feel special. 
Things like: Saving me homemade macaroni cheese in the fridge(Meredith label, might-I-add):
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And leaving me the best coupon ever in my purse. $.99 cent iced coffee? Seriously this made my week.
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-Out-of-the-blue motivation
I happened to see this license plate on my way to class the other day (‘enjoy life’ shortened). I wasn’t in the best mind-frame to begin with since I was on my way to take a Chemistry exam followed by two hours of lab (I was actually VERY grumpy), so seeing this instantly helped me snap-out of it.
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-A girls night out
I haven’t been able to leave the state of Maine since I’ve been back, and I can’t describe how much I miss my girlfriends. So this past Friday, I bit the bullet, went to work super-early to get my Friday jobs accomplished by 1:00 pm, and hopped on a 3:00 bus to Boston to spend the evening with my Boston besties. There is nothing a little bit of girl time can’t cure, that’s for sure. Love you girls!
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-A refreshing workout
Sometimes, a good run is just what the doctor ordered. I ran with a windbreaker on for the first time in over a year last week and I smiled the ENTIRE 4 miles. That crisp, cool, fall air was just what I needed.
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-A visit with a loved one
My Mem is one of the most important parts of my life.I’m so grateful I’m back so that I can spend time with her, hold her hand, visit, and hug her again. It was the best hour of my week.
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-Personalized notes
Since I was a little girl I have always loved receiving mail and writing mail. I think it’s the honesty and personal touch of handwritten notes that’s so special, and whenever I receive them I literally get teary. (I know Brittany likes handwritten notes! I am totally checking out that website, by the way!)   This week, I received two special cards in the mail and I was so touched. Thank you Michelle and Sue xoxo.
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-Flowers just because
I am truly blessed to work for people that are like a second family to me. Last night, they handed me this beautiful bouquet from their garden and I was so touched!

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Even though I may not have won the megabucks, gone on a shopping spree or bought the newest Apple product, all of these little things have meant so much more to me than those things would, and they are truly the big things helping me smile today.

What is helping you smile today?

Anyone else love coupons as much as me?

Who else is loving fall running weather?

A Marvelous Monday

Hi there and happy Monday! Monday’s are usually rough, especially after a holiday weekend… right? Well, this year was very different for me, because we actually had today off in Australia! I always remember absolutely DREADING heading back to work after Easter weekend, so today was pretty marvelous. 4 day weekends are something I could definitely get used to! Anyway, besides just having today off, it was marvelous for other reasons, too.

Reason 1) Brandon’s back! We celebrated with an “Easter Monday” brunch on the water at C Bar, and this was his iced coffee, complete with whipped cream and ice-cream..Oh.my.gosh. it was good.
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Reason 2) Picture perfect weather: Just look at that water!

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Reason 3) Pretty coffee: I’ll never get tired of coffee art!
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Reason 4) Taking a “Sunday Drive” on a Monday: We took a drive to the top of Mt. Stuart which overlooks all of Townsville, and it was breathtaking.
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Reason 5) Going for a sunset run: I usually have class until 6p.m. on Monday’s, so running outside tends to be out of the question by then since it’s pitch black outside by the time I get home. That wasn’t the case last night, and I loved it!
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Reason 6) Finding “Skinnygirl” Margaritas in the liquor store here: I am OBSESSED with this low-calorie cocktail, and the last place on Earth I thought I’d find it was Australia, so I was pumped! (To my girl Michelle back home: I am thinking of you when I drink this! : – ) )
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Reason 7) Reminiscing about my childhood: We went to Toy ‘R Us to buy a few board games yesterday,and we found this Barbie car. It’s what my twin sister and I always wanted as little girls, and it was so fun to see it as an adult!
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Reason 8)  The countdown begins for my parents arrival: In exactly 1 week, my Mom and Dad arrive in Australia, and we are ECSTATIC! I am so excited to hug them, words can’t even explain.
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How was your Monday? Did you have today off?

Australia Loving…2013

I have to admit, I am not used to saying “2013” yet. Maybe once the semester starts and I’m writing the date down everyday, but until then, it just sounds funny.  Anyway, given that we’ve been back from the states for over three weeks now, I wanted to share some new things I’m loving so far “down under” this year.  All my friends and family back home, please don’t hate me for the beach pictures…I know how cold it is back there. I am thinking of you and hopefully sending warm weather your way!! Here’s some things I’m loving in Australia so far in 2013:

1) Beautiful sunsets. The pink sunset on this night in particular was extraordinary to look at. Check out the view from our balcony!
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2) Street markets on Sunday’s. There was a giant bouncy house in the middle of the street, and a refrigerator full of meat being sold on the sidewalk. Random, but funny!
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3) Freshly brewed American iced coffee. This my friends, is what two iced-coffee obsessed Americans brought back in our suitcases. Our freezer has room for only this, and we don’t mind at all. Thank you Dunkin’ Donuts!
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4)New work-out clothes. I swear, new clothing makes any workout better!
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5) Australian marketing. I am learning more and more Australian English each week, and some of the names, labels and/or packaging of particular products crack me up! Chocolate chips are “cooking buttons”, ketchup is “tomato or red sauce” , the paper towels are patriotic and well, the Nutri-Grain box is the star of the show in my opinion!
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6) A new favorite of mine: champagne-for-one bottles. I tried this on the flight back and fell in love.  I know my girls back home would love this, and at $5 a bottle, it’s quite affordable too!
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7)Healthy homemade meals. Crockpot chicken cacciatore, chicken noodle soup, stuffed peppers and zucchini fries are some dinner highlights from the last few weeks!
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8)Overnight oats. These are my new favorite breakfast. I mix 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup skim milk, 2 tbsp vanilla yogurt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and then stir and refrigerate it overnight. In the morning, I add my desired toppings, such as blueberries, a scoop of peanut butter, raisins, and almonds. This keeps me full for hours and I genuinely look forward to it every day. This will be my go-to breakfast before classes each day!
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9)Summer (in my  normal winter). I can’t get enough of summer in January. Still loving the palm trees and the beach!
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10) My health, friends, and family. After taking quite a fall at bootcamp and suffering an over-eye cut and black eye, I am grateful to be on the mend! Thanks to all my caretakers!
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What are you loving this week?