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Flavored Yogurt

Good morning, all!

How is the week treating you so far?  This is a pretty weird week weather-wise up here in Minnesota.  Yesterday it rained like it was April.  Today is sunny and could come close to reaching 70.  But Thursday and Friday the temps take a plunge and there’s a pretty good chance of snow.

It’s weather whiplash!  🙂

So let’s be serious.  On most days if I just threw caution to the wind and let my id take over I could pretty much sustain myself on chocolate cake.  Well, that’s not true.  I’d probably have to switch it up and have pie every once in a while.  😉

But we don’t live in a world where we can eat chocolate cake day in and day out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Bummer, right?  Our hearts just would not be thanking us.

So instead we have to find foods that are healthy (or moderately healthy) to sustain us, fuel our bodies, and keep us singing, dancing, and jiving like the awesome humans we are.  😀

So what’s your go-to healthy meal/snack?  Are you a kale queen?  Do you love nothing more than whipping up big batches of healthy soup?  Do you wear t-shirts that profess your love for lentils?

I personally eat quite a few bean-related meals.  I always have beans on my salad.  But I’m also a self-proclaimed lover of plain Greek yogurt.

Yogurt is one of those things that kind of makes me mad.  It’s a food that seems like it should healthy, then when you turn it over and look at the label you discover that your blueberry yogurt has almost as much sugar as a can of pop.  Wowza!

That’s why I always stick with plain Greek yogurt.  It just seems safer that way.  But a lot of people think Greek yogurt tastes a little funky.  I kind of did at the beginning too, probably because we’re all so used to that candy yogurt stuff.

So if you like flavored yogurt, but still want to be healthy, this is the recipe for you.  It starts out with regular plain yogurt, not Greek.  But never fear!  By the time you’re done with it, it’ll be even thicker and richer than Greek yogurt.  All you have to do is strain your yogurt, then mix in whatever healthy sweetener your heart desires.  How about squeezing in a couple oranges and giving it a stir?  How about thawing out some frozen fruit and tossing it in?  Our you could even add a little honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or…jam (that’s where the moderately healthy part comes in.  Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me).  The yogurt pictured here is sweetened up with a juiced grapefruit for a little zing!

The world is really your oyster when it comes to what you want to add.  During the summer I just mash up a bunch of fresh blueberries and stir it around.  And this is definitely the yogurt you want to have around when you’re making your epic parfait.  Mmm!

Enjoy!

(Adapted from an orange yogurt recipe on Food Network)

Flavored Yogurt
 
Ingredients
  • 1 32 oz container of plain yogurt
  • Sweetener of choice (a couple squeezed oranges, a few tablespoons of honey, jam, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Put a couple paper towels in the strainer.
  2. Empty the yogurt into the strainer and place in the fridge for a few hours, or until the yogurt has reached your desired thickness.
  3. Place the thick, strained yogurt in a bowl, add in your sweetener, and serve.

 

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Brown Sugar Scrub

Hello there, lovely people!

How was your week?  Do you have any grand weekend plans?  The weather has been crazy nice here lately.  Yesterday we flirted with the 60s!  But next week it’s all going to come crashing down.  The high one day is only going to be 28!

Talk about a rude awakening.

That’s all right.  I don’t mind a little cold.  I have a new winter coat anyway.  🙂

So I just can’t help myself.  I’m on a roll.  I love face and body scrubs lately, so I just had to share another one.

I was actually reading not that long ago about different herbs that soothe the skin.  One dermatologist was saying that at her house they boil up a bunch of fresh chamomile and rosemary, then strain it and add one cup or so of the cooled liquid to baths.  It’s supposed to be really great at getting rid of rough skin.

Brilliant, huh?  I love tips like that.  And what great timing too, because I was just starting to wonder what I want to grow this year.  I think I’m definitely going to have to grow some chamomile and rosemary now, strictly for awesome bath purposes.  😀

The scrub I bring you today is another super simple one that’s guaranteed to leave your skin feeling soft and pampered.  And it’s just brown sugar and coconut oil.  Use a tablespoon on your body in the shower, or use it as a face scrub.  All options are open to you.  And it’s so much cheaper than scrubs you buy at the store.

Have fun!

(From a brown sugar scrub recipe on Wellness Mama)

Brown Sugar Scrub
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Mix together and store in an airtight container. Use as a face scrub or body scrub.

 

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Oatmeal Scrub

Hello, hello!

Well, here we are.  It’s Valentine’s Day.  If you head out to buy a heart-shaped box of chocolates today, be warned.  Everything has probably already switched over to St. Patrick’s Day.  😉

So, Valentine’s Day is fine and everything.  But did anyone celebrate yesterday?  Yesterday being, of course, Galentine’s Day, an invention of Amy Poehler’s character on Parks and Recreation.  It’s a celebration of women friends, female empowerment, and…waffles, of course.  Sounds fabulous to me!  🙂

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, a late Galentine’s Day, or just feel like pampering yourself, today’s post is the one for you.  And it is SUPER SIMPLE.  Whoohoo!

This post is so simple, in fact, that it’s pretty ridiculous to even take pictures of it because it is, in fact, just oatmeal and water.

Now as you all know, I am a huge fan of oatmeal.  I love to have it for breakfast, I love it in cookies, I add it to my smoothies…the list goes on and on.  So really it was only inevitable that I would end up slathering it all over my face in joyful glee.

Yes, that’s right: I have another face scrub for you today.  I love homemade scrubs, and since this one is just oatmeal you know it’s all right for those people out there like me who might have sensitive skin.

Did you ever take an oatmeal bath when you were little and had the chicken pox?  I remember it well.  Oatmeal is all about soothing the skin.  I really like the way this makes my face feel calm and relaxed.  And not dried out, which is kind of a miracle for me in the winter(ish) time.

So spread some of this on your face, eat some chocolate, and as the show says, treat yo self! 😀

(From an oatmeal exfoliating mask recipe on Beauty and Tips)

Oatmeal Scrub
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. old fashioned oats
  • 3 tbsp. water
Instructions
  1. Mix the oatmeal and water together in a small bowl and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, or until oatmeal softens.
  2. Spread the mixture on your face in circular motions for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Rinse with warm, then cold water.

 

 

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Strawberry Mocha

Hello!  It was in the fifties yesterday!  In Minnesota!  Say what?

If you live in a cooler climate like me, you know what happens on the first day that it’s above 40.  The guys put on their shorts.  The gals break out their tank tops.  And EVERYONE is wearing flip flops.  😀

I’m really getting in the mood for spring now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that March will end up being really snowy and icy.  That is just the way things are in Minnesota.

As we get ever closer to Valentine’s day it’s almost a rule that we have to eat something either chocolatey or red.  And while I know you might all be craving some chocolate-dipped tomatoes 😉 how about a delicious coffee drink instead?

It’s chocolate!

It’s strawberry!

It’s caffeine!

What more could you want?

I can’t think of a person who doesn’t like chocolate-covered strawberries, so why not replicate that flavor in a mocha?  And remember you can also feel free to put mounds of whip cream over this mocha too.  I just wanted to show you the red color.

Now, if you’re not really hip on eating too much food coloring, you can totally skip it and just add the strawberry syrup.  Depending on what brand of syrup you use it might give you a little red tinge anyway.  I personally don’t care to eat too much food coloring myself, but hey, it’s a special occasion.  Let’s throw caution to the wind and get festive!

And of course since you’re concocting this drink yourself, feel free to make it as sweet and strawberryish as you want.  No rules!

Enjoy!


Strawberry Mocha
 
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces milk of your choice
  • 2-4 shots of espresso, depending on strength preference
  • 2 shots of strawberry flavoring, or to taste
  • A few drops of red food coloring
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk until it is very hot.
  2. Meanwhile, make the espresso in a small stove top espresso percolator or with your espresso machine.
  3. When the milk is hot and the espresso is ready, divide the espresso into two coffee mugs. Add in the syrup and stir.
  4. Top with an equal amount of milk in each mug, and stir until combined.
  5. Add a few drops of food coloring, stir, and serve.

 

 

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