Five Things Friday

Happy Friday!! I don’t know about you, but this week totally flew by for me. Another gloriously relaxing weekend is upon us, or at least for me!

Let’s kick this weekend off with a five random things Friday.

1. I actually cooked up a nice vegetarian meal last night! Hint: it involved spaghetti squash. The recipe will be up on the blog next week!

spaghetti squash

 

2. I thoroughly enjoyed our little early November snowfall we had this week. It was so light that most of it melted quickly and it didn’t mess up the roads and make for crazy traffic. It was just pretty and really got me into the holiday spirit!

first snow of the season

 

3. As much as I love my smoothies, now that the weather is permanently chilly, I am no longer wanting my cold smoothies in the morning as often. I’ve been into the two ingredient pancakes and hot oatmeal this week!

smoothie

 

oatmeal

 

4. On Tuesday I got together with my girlfriend Courtney at People’s Organic in Edina for a hot beverage and some major catch-up time. I got the morning elixir which was hot water, lots of fresh lemon juice, agave nectar, and sea salt. It made my mouth pucker the slightest but it was so enjoyable! I want to try to recreate it at home. As always, it was so great to be with Courtney. She is a ray of sunshine and such a good friend.

people's organic

5. I am completely in love with scarves. This is not a new thing. When fall rolls around I am thrilled to reach for my fun scarves and use them as accessories to my wardrobe. They are so cozy yet don’t make me feel claustrophobic like a turtle neck does. I might have to add some new scarves to my birthday list! 🙂

caroline melanie dana and melanie

 

Have an amazing weekend my friends! xoxo

Questions of the day:

1. What is your main squeeze breakfast these days?

2. What are you most looking forward to this weekend?

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Yesterday the last bit of snow in our yard had finally melted. Today, I woke up to this…

april snow

Mother nature has decided to prolong our winter a bit longer around here and we are faced with some more snow. Instead of getting upset about it, I am trying my darndest to embrace it. I had forewarning that it was coming so I was at least able to “prepare” myself for it, but it still hurts a little bit to see the ground covered in white.

But, there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about it. So I’m trying not to let it ruin my day.

It’s kind of like life. Sometimes life throws you a few inches of snow in April. We are all faced with ups and downs and curveballs along the way. We can choose to sulk and get dragged down by the downfalls, or we can choose a positive attitude and make the most of the situation.

To embrace the weather we decided to make a fire in the fireplace. I honestly didn’t think we would be having any more of these this spring but last night I figured, why not, it’s cold enough outside and it would make for a cozy evening.

Yup, this is a real scene of an April evening.

fireplace fireplace

moose

What else do you think of when you think of a perfect cozy evening? Homemade soup of course! I had a package of frozen butternut squash that I roasted in the oven with onion and garlic.

butternut squash soup butternut squash soup

Once it was roasted I added it to a soup pot, added bone broth, and some spices, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. I then used my immersion blender to puree the soup. I ladled the soup into a couple of bowls, topped them with fresh cilantro, and that was it. This soup is so incredibly easy.

butternut squash soup

butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Soup
Print
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 5 small garlic cloves (or 3 large ones)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used homemade bone broth)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (you can substitute with soy sauce)
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder *optional
  • a sprinkle of nutmeg
  • fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you have a roasting option, select roast.
  2. Spray one large baking pan with olive oil. Place squash, onion, and garlic on the pan and spread into one layer. Spritz top with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer to soup pot.
  5. Turn stove top to low. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro. Stir, bring to a simmer and cover.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. Use an immersion blender to puree soup. Ladle into bowls and top with fresh cilantro.

 

An outdoor workout is not in the cards today. I’m going to continue to “embrace” the snow situation as best as I can and lace up my shoes and hit the treadmill downstairs. Spring WILL make its appearance again and it WILL stick around soon. I am not losing hope.

Life WILL have its ups and downs but I refuse to let the lows keep me low. Keep your head up, be thankful for a new day, and make the most of a less than perfect situation.

Question: How do you stay positive? 

Salmon on Sunday

Happy snowy day here from Minnesota! It is gorgeous outside. Finally, we have snow on the ground again and it feels so right. I just hope the roads are okay because I have a bunch of running around to do today.

So how was everyone’s weekend? Mine was spent working on the laundry room which is really coming along. The walls are painted, and the tile is down. Next will be to seal the cracks of the tile, finish painting a few shelves, and then begin to organize all of our storage bins in there! I’m still really excited about it if you can’t tell!

We are now on to the final week of the 30 Day Abs Challenge which means there is a new workout posted. Here is the final workout circuits. Circuit 5 is a doozy I tell ya. Yikes! I still can’t believe we are coming down to the end of January.

abs challenge

Once we were all finished with the laundry room yesterday, I cleaned myself up and got into cozies. I was sitting in the living room enjoying watching the snowfall, I decided there was one thing missing to really complete the cozy atmosphere…a fire in the fireplace.

Soon enough, Dana had the fire a-blazin’ and I was one happy girl.

dana

Poor Moose really doesn’t appreciate fires like I do. This was way too close for comfort for him.

moose

In the late afternoon I started marinading salmon with a honey, lime, ginger, and garlic powder mixture. It was salmon night again.

Remember how I mentioned that I don’t love salmon but I really wish I did because it is so gosh darn good for you? I made a deal with myself that I was going to eat it once a week in hopes that I will teach myself to like it. I’m getting closer, but still not quite there.

We cooked the salmon on a grill pan on the stove to get the feeling of grilling outside. 🙂 I took the advice from Shannon and lit two vanilla candles while cooking the salmon to try to eliminate some of the odor from the fish. We also opened up two windows and go the fan going above this stove. I think it all really worked! There was only a very faint smell lingering.

I topped the salmon with a pineapple salsa simply made from chopped pineapple, cilantro, red onion, a small pinch of salt, and garlic powder.

salmon

I still enjoyed the dinner greatly, just not as much as I typically do. I will get there! I will continue the once a week salmon challenge. 🙂

Alrighty, I am out. Have a wonderful day my friends. Catch up with you soon.

Question of the day: Is there a food that you don’t like that you wish you did?!

A Cozy Day to Make Cookies

I had every intention of making actual cooked meals this weekend but for some reason when it came time to do it, I just wasn’t in the mood. You saw Friday night’s dinner and now here you have Saturday night’s dinner…

On Saturday night we stayed in and watched “The Change Up” which was an okay movie. I did like that it was filmed in Atlanta, more specifically in Piedmont Park, which I loved so much when I visited Kate and Luke last month in Atlanta.

We were also entertained by the dog per usual…

Sunday

Minnesota got slammed with snow yesterday…12 inches of snow where I live. It is a winter wonderland around here and I LOVE IT!

What a perfect day to head to mom and dad’s and bake some cookies. Check out this little one out in the snow. She’s my little furry snowball.

Mom and I baked for about 5 hours. I’m always amazed at how long it ends up taking to make Christmas cookies.

We made peanut butter blossoms…

Spritz cookies and chocolate spritz cookies, chocolate chip M & M cookies, and homemade caramel.

We had tentative plans to make peppermint popcorn but being that is was 4:00 pm and the sun was going down, coupled with the fact that I had about 8 inches of snow to wipe off my car, we decided to wait on it.

It was the perfect cozy day to make cookies. The snow was coming down, we had the football game on for part of the time and Christmas music on for the other part, it was cozy, we were energized…it was wonderful.

I’m hoping to get back on the ball this week with making actual meals again. Wish me luck!

Question of the Day: What are your favorite holiday treats?