Welcome to a new year friends! Are you feeling alive and ready?! Or more like ready to stay under the covers?! I, for one, am feeling very ambitious and excited about 2018! Ever since I was a little girl, 8 was my favorite number and my son turns 8 this year! When you have a new baby, it’s easy to think, “I never want you to grow up, stay a baby forever.” But, my experience has been that each stage and each age gets better and better as your child grows and your relationship expands. It’s truly the best thing in life!
I know this is usually the time of year we get all giddy about our resolutions and goals for the new year, but I’ve learned to take it easy lest I burn out before January is even over! Slow and steady wins the race for me, but I will say after several weeks of only sporadic exercise, I NEED to get back into a fitness routine. It just makes my day and my body and my life feel better! You too? And back to that waking up early! It’s gonna hurt at first! But, then it will be so worth it!
Today, I have a new healthy recipe for you, the easy to assemble (no cooking required) Bliss Balls, and then a recap of my top food and fitness posts of 2017. If you read my intentions for 2018, it’s to make my blog content more well-rounded, including more healthy lifestyle posts. I hope you’re as excited as I am!
Rice Crispy Bliss Balls
I took the original recipe by Bren Did below and added a cup of dates and a 1/2 cup of pecans, but omitted the coconut, peanut butter and coconut oil, but that’s the beauty of a bliss ball. You can customize them to suit your own preferences!
- 1½ cups whole rolled oats (chopped lightly in food processor)
- 1½ cups crispy rice cereal
- ½ cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup flax seed (ground)
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
Stir together peanut butter, coconut oil and honey in a small mixing bowl until smooth.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour peanut butter mixture over dry ingredients and mix until evenly combined.
Form small balls with 2 tablespoons of mixture and place in a glass storage container. (If the mixture does not form ball easily refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes then shape. You can also press the mix into a greased 9″ X 13″ pan, chill, and cut into 4 rows of 8 squares.)
Chill energy balls for 30 minutes then enjoy.
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Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
I know we’re all looking for easy, healthy meals, and in this post, I shared 5 of our go-to recipes that are both tasty and good for you.
We’ve really come to appreciate Blue Apron meals when we order them. It’s easy to get into a rut and sometimes getting to the store isn’t all that convenient, so these little boxes of fresh ingredients delivered right to your door feel like a life saver!
I even got Jordan helping in the kitchen with this one!
But truthfully, prepping meals in advance is the best way to keep my diet under control and save time in the long run! I recommend grocery shopping on Saturday and meal prepping on Sunday and Wednesday.
We got hooked on these 2 Summer Salads this year and ate them on repeat- especially the chickpea salad. Even Jordan loves that one!
I’m a HUGE fan of cookbooks, and truth be told, I probably like reading the cookbooks more than I do the actual cooking, so it’s no surprise that I love to sit down with a couple of cookbooks on Saturday morning and plan our weekly menu!
My Body After Baby | One Year Later post was one of the most popular of the year. I still struggle with the lasting effects of pregnancy and wish a cream could magically make my sagging belly skin all taut again, but in the real world, it’s just a part of me that I have to accept. I do appreciate your supportive comments on this one and it definitely helps to know I’m not alone or crazy for feeling this way.
Part of the reason our post-pregnancy tummys are ‘pouchy’ is often because of diastasis recti (ab separation). You can easily test yourself to see if you have it and there are exercises to help repair it!
If you’ve fallen off of your own priority list, it’s time to get back on! These 5 Fitness Goals to Reset & Recharge are a good place to start!
I usually workout at the gym or run outside, but it you need something you can do at home, try this routine with 10 full-body exercises that you can do anywhere without equipment!
The post my husband contributed to, How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain, was one of the most popular of the year and he explained how he lost weight on a vegan diet. He’s back to incorporating meat again now, but both of us are interested in eating more plant based food this year. This is causing me to rethink the way I look at food and I’ve been researching vegan bodybuilding so that I can start putting on more muscle again. I’m super excited to share more on this soon!
But, with the holidays come some indulging and I’d by lying if I said I didn’t enjoy taking part in all the desserts! Whether your enjoy cooking from scratch or not, this Holiday Party Food Ideas : Fake it or Make it post has you covered!
via The Tough Cookie
HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE
Productivity and organization are both things I’ve been interested and good at from a young age. I definitely feel that I have a knack in these areas and I’m so pumped to bring you more of this kind of content in 2018! I know you guys love it too!
One of the best things I did for myself this year was start waking up early. It got my day started in such a good way, and now I’m itching to get back to it. Here I shared My Early Morning Routine and what I like to do before 8am!
If you want to start getting up early, but need some help, check out this post: How to Wake Up Early.
Throughout the year, I use a planner to organize my day, here are 10 of my faves.
At the start of the school year, we made a new morning and afternoon chart for James. He’s in second grade and these visual reminders help him keep on track.
If you’ve ever wondered what a typical workday in my life looks like, you can read all about it here.
I didn’t think I’d traveled that much this year, but I did get to go on a few trips and shared all the fun details with you in these posts:
photo via Angelica Marie
And last but not least, one of the things that pushed me most outside my comfort zone this year was hosting a one-woman fashion show where I changed in and out of 20 outfits on stage in front of a live audience! That ended up being a super fun experience and I’d actually do it again!