Cupcakes and Sunshine: January 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Meal Planning!



It's been a looong time since I've done any form of meal planning, but this year my word of the year is INTENTION, so I've decided to put that to use and be more INTENTIONAL about the meal choices I'm making.

My job is pretty active and I spend a good amount of the time teaching and doing fitness activities. Last year, I spent many days going through the drive-thru after work because hey! I had been active all day and needed french fries. And I also ate frozen pizzas way more times than I could count.


But I was tired and sluggish all. the. time!

So I'm changing things up, prepping ahead of time, and making some healthier intentional choices!



Here's my plan for the week. +probably a lot of snacks!! :)

(also checkout those Territory Food meals!)

How are you preparing for the week ahead? 


Monday, January 22, 2018

January Favorites!


My roommate pointed out today that it has already been almost a month since Christmas. A month!? How is that even possible. Time is flying, friends.

It's been a long time since I've done a favorites post, so I thought I'd share some of the things I'm loving this January!

1. Blue Bell Ice-Cream


Does anyone know why I always crave ice-cream when its cold out!? I'll take a 1/2 gallon of each flavor please!

2. Glam Glow and Clinique Moisture Surge


Glam Glow and Clinique moisture surge masks are seriously incredible. I have really dry skin in the winter, and these two have saved me! Absolutely my top two favorite skin products ever, and I suggest them 100%.

3. JOY!


I purchased this bright copper JOY sign from Target last year during Christmas, but we've decided to keep it up year-round. It makes me happy just looking at it! 



I usually like to think about or sleep on ideas for a little bit before taking action or making purchases. And I slept on the idea of purchasing a Naked Palette for MONTHS. Just do it! They are wonderful, worth the price, and last forever!! 



I've had this devotional for a while, and I love it! "Intention" is my word of the year this year, and this devotional and journal have helped me to spend more intentional time with the Lord each morning! 



I got this diffuser for Christmas and didn't realize how much I LOVED it until I was sick this past week!! I heard that essential oils help with the stomach bug and WOW, lavender and peppermint oils worked wonders!!  

7. Talking about things I'm loving this January...


It's cold and flu season--gross! Couldn't have made it through January without some Gatorade and crackers. And also this really great text from my roomie who was also sick...

We're on the mend, and feeling much better now. 

8. Vitamin C and Charcoal! 


Vitamin C for cold and flu season. Also it has many other benefits

And activated charcoal as a teeth whitener is pretty incredible. I didn't believe it at first, but after hearing about it and trying it out, I believe it! It looks pretty gross, but hey! it works! 

And that concludes all of my January favorites. Hope your January has been great and filled with lots of favorites as well! 



Sunday, January 21, 2018

Rainy Day Tuscan Soup and a Rainy Day Playlist


Cloudy weekend days are the best for staying inside, listening to a rainy day playlist or watching a rainy day movie, and probably making this Tuscan soup....

This soup is one of my favorites ever! It's hearty and filling and perfect for rainy or wintry days. 


Soups are the best, because you really don't need a true recipe.



Simply cut your potatoes, peppers (Trader Joe's fireroasted peppers are a must, but you can roast your own if you don't have a TJs nearby), and onions. 


Brown spicy Italian chicken sausage and cook onions... 


And throw everything in a pot and simmer for about an hour (or until potatoes are cooked through)! 


If you want the full Italian soup experience, you could butter and toast some Italian bread. 

But hey, today we are having a southern Texas rainy day, and I suggest baking up some skillet cornbread on the side while your soup is simmering. 


If you're feeling really fancy, you could add a tablespoon or two of Italian seasoning to it as well. 


Serve and top with kale and maybe a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and ENJOY. Let me know if you give it a try! 

Tuscan Soup: 
Ingredients
  • 1 package spicy Italian Chicken Sausage 
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion 
  • 2 lbs. potatoes
  • 1/2 cup roasted/chopped tri-color peppers
  • 2 cans coconut milk 
  • 32 oz. chicken broth 
  • 1-2 Tbs. cornstarch 
  • 2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Kale
  • Parmesan cheese 
1. Chop onion, potatoes, red peppers, and Italian sausage
2. Brown Italian sausage, cook onions until done
3. Add all ingredients to a pot, add salt and pepper, and simmer until potatoes are cooked through
4. Top with kale and parmesan cheese. 
5. Serve with cornbread or toasted Italian bread! 

Happy weekend, friends! 




Monday, January 15, 2018

Territory Foods UNBOXED! Review


At the suggestion of a friend, I decided to try out Territory Foods this week and you guys-- I'm SO impressed.

Dallas friends, there's no turning back.


I was sent a coupon code to get $50 of free meals for my first order, which ended up being 6 whole meals for less than $10. No gimmicks. No subscription that I had to sign up for (Except now, I really think I will sign up for weekly orders). 


Just delicious, healthy meals ready to go for this crazy week ahead! 



Territory Foods focuses on creative local chefs, nutritious ingredients, and delicious meals that are ready to eat! 


And all I had to do was pick them up at a Crossfit gym one mile from my house. Seriously so easy. 


You simply log into the website, select your dietary preferences, place your order, and choose a gym location to pick up your meals. And boom. You're done. I don't have to worry about making lunch or dinners this week.


Each week, each delicious meal varies. 
In my box this week I had...


  1. Tagine Chicken with Golden Raisins and Vegetable Medley
  2. Tuscan Chicken and White Beans with Squash Noodles
  3. Spicy Taco Salad
  4. Sweet and Spicy Meatballs with Grilled Veggies and Rice Noodles
  5. Asian Chicken with Vegetable Fried Rice and Sesame Ginger Sauce
  6. Mediterranean Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash and Grilled Veggies
So good, right?


I love cooking and making healthy meals, but with all the busy of work and travel, I've made way too many trips to Chick-fil-a or have chosen the frozen pizza route. Territory Foods has changed that, and now I can have delicious healthy choices all week long. Talk about fast food. 

Friends, if you're in the Dallas area, act FAST! The $50 promotion ends January 18th, and I want you to get in on this deal too!!

If you're looking for more healthy choices to kick off 2018, I suggest...





Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 Word of the Year- INTENTION

2018 is HERE! And we're doing it, friends!

The New Year has always been my favorite. A fresh new start, new goals, a clean slate and time to rest before things kick off and going again.


For the past few years, a few of my friends and I have joined together to pray for a word of the year. A word of the year is a fun way to set your intentions and goals for the upcoming year. Last year, "COMMUNITY" was my word, and wow have I met so many new friends in Dallas that have made this city home! I'm surrounded by so many people each and every day who are pouring into me, encouraging me, and just making every day FUN. 

This year, after lots of prayer and consideration my word is "INTENTION."

2017 was a great year, but with a new city, new job, and really new everything, I lost a lot of intentionality in loving others well, making decisions, and being intentional with my time. I used the busyness of each day as an excuse, and was really just surviving.

This year, I want to work on being INTENTIONAL in the way I communicate, the people I spend time with, the conversations I have, the food I eat, the way I budget, the time I spend with the Lord, and the way I love others. I know I've slacked in this area, but I have big plans to pick it up in 2018!


But I do know that good intentions don't always lead to change. It's the ACTIONS behind them that do the doing and I know it will take work. Good intentions don't build relationships or make people better. I'm leaning into this and praying for motivation to be intentional and take ACTION.

So what does this look like? I've set a few personal goals, fitness goals, quiet time goals, financial goals, and also have some great friends that are helping me by holding me accountable to accomplish them.

I also found this really great habits chart to help me to be intentional in the goals I've set...


It is a 90-day "habit-forming" chart, and you fill in a circle for each day you complete a goal you're working towards. (like working out or saving money!) These are awesome! You can get them here for free!

I'm also going to review some financial goals (check out this post from a while back on some money-saving tips!) and work on meal planning for the week ahead, so I don't make too many stops by Chick-fil-a. (We'll just leave that habit in 2017)


Lastly, I really want to get more in the WORD this year. Honestly, I had some rough rough, spiritually dry months in 2017 where I know I was not leaning fully into the Lord, and they were some of the toughest, yuckiest (as my friend Hannah says) months I've experienced. This year, I want to make it a habit to get back into the Word, PRAY OFTEN, and continuously seek the Lord in all decisions that I make and things I do, and I think intentionality in choices will come a lot better.

2018, let's do this!!



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