First it was flax seeds, then chia and now hemp seeds! These seeds are the next big thing in nutrition and I have finally caught onto the seed craze. Everywhere I look throughout the grocery store these little seeds are being added to a variety of foods- breads, oatmeal, crackers even salads. I decided to give these seeds a try a couple of months back and was pleasantly surprised with how they all taste great and are all rich in fiber and healthy fats which may help reduce risk of numerous diseases. I did a little research to see which seeds pack on the most nutrient value:

All three of these seeds are very high in omega-3s, the essential fatty acid critical for heart health, brain development, reducing inflammation and joint pain, managing depression, preventing dry eyes, lowering cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure, and protecting bone health. And the list continues.

Chia Seeds:

Dietary fiber- more than flax seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids- less than flax seed
Antioxidants
Calcium
Phosphorus

Best added to: yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, fruit, stir fry, salads, baked in breads, cakes and biscuits

Health benefits include: Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, digestive health, reduce cravings, strong bones, strong muscles, antioxidants and Omega-3s

Flax Seeds:

Dietary Fiber- little less than chia seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids- a little more than chia seeds
Protein- a little more than chia seeds
Lignans- helpful in preventing cancer, contains more than chia seeds
Calcium and phosphorus, but not as much a chia seeds

Best added to: Cottage cheese, yogurt, breakfast cereals, smoothies, shakes, Oatmeal, Used as a flour in baked goods, Nutty topping for vegetable and in chili

Health Benefits: Protective effect against cancers, Omega-3s, blood pressure, cholesterol, prevent hot flashes, protect against radiation, digestive health and antioxidants

Hemp Seeds:

Protein- more than flax and chia
Dietary fiber- much less than flax and chia
Omega-3- less than flax and chia
Magnesium
Zinc
Vitamin B

Best added to: Oatmeal, yogurt, smoothie, salads, roasted and eaten

Health benefits: Skin health, heart health and multiple sclerosis

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Videos To Laugh About

1. Baby laughing hysterically at the sound of ripping paper.

2. Ice bucket challenge fail

3.  Hilarious Roller Coaster Video

Sometimes you just need a good laugh, and these quick videos do the trick in less than a few minutes,

I’d love to know – what are some of the funniest videos out there right now?

Labor Day

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Who is excited for this long three day weekend? Labor Day hints the beginning of my favorite season, but it is also an indication that summer is coming to an end.  I’m looking forward to the long weekend ahead – trip up North to my parents house, cookouts and home cooked meals plus lounging by the pool enjoying what could be our last hot weekend by the water.

 

Power of White

With labor day weekend right around the corner and the whole wearing white after Labor Day rule out the door I thought it would be appropriate to post about the power of a white shirt. I am still on the hunt for the perfect button down white shirt. You always read in magazines about the power of a white shirt and it really is an easy staple to mix and match with different outfit variations. But the truth is that buying the right shirt is actually quite a challenge. So today I thought I would share a few styling tricks to give your white shirt a more versatile feel once you purchase one.
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  • Wear it with a coat of bright lipstick like a bright orange, red or pink.
  • Wear it with denim you are instantly dressing it down rather than up or pair it with colored jeans
  • Pair it with a stylish shoe: it can be a high heeled sandal, colorful flat or a stylish pump
  • Roll up your sleeves showing off your arm glam: bracelets and a watch.
  • Layer it: add a blazer, cardigan or jacket over the top
  • Wear it with statement bag or purse

Bridesmaid Mix & Match

I personally love  the idea of selecting a color and then having your bridesmaids wear a style within that same color family. For example, take a look at the neutral bridesmaid dresses below. Notice how the shade of pink is different and so is the style? And yet they still look great together? So lovely! Am I right? With all of these weddings coming up next Summer I know one of the biggest decisions is the color scheme and what dresses to put your bridesmaids in.
imageSo I have decided to dedicate a post on how to choose your favorite bridesmaid dresses!

An earthy neutral color palette is a great way to give your wedding day a rustic theme but still keep it elegant. I love the idea of bridesmaids wearing the same color, but different styles. Which is also a great option and a fun little added touch to your wedding look. This is a great way to add a little uniqueness to each friend’s attire and let them pick a style they are comfortable in since everyone has a different shape and size!

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I can totally see myself wearing one of these dresses to a wedding as a guest even! Below are the five C’s for choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses:
imageComfort: Consider mobility and ease. And don’t forget to keep the weather in mind! You want all of your guests to enjoy themselves at your wedding, especially the ladies who have been helping you out over the past months. You want them to be able to dance and move around all night! You don’t want to put them in a long dress in the dead heat of August if it’s an outdoor wedding or vice visa for a shorter style dress in zero degree temperature.

Cost: Does it fit in the budget of all your bridesmaids? Try to gauge each personal budget by asking how much each friend is looking to spend, or at least decide on a dress that you can see the ladies wearing again so they are able to get multiple uses out of it.

Complexion: Have you considered color? You wouldn’t put a redhead in an orange dress. Try choosing a color that will suit all types in your bridal party and matches all of their hair and skin tones.

Contour: Not all bodies are the same, and you shouldn’t expect your bridesmaid party to all fit nicely into the same dress. Consider choosing the color, and letting the bridesmaids pick the cut that fits their body-type best.

Contrast: Will the guests be able to tell the bridal party from the rest of the crowd?

Overnight Oats

This summer is flying by so quickly I can hardly catch my breath. I have so many photos to blog about but not enough time to actually blog. Life is just moving so fast.
Attempting to eat clean and gluten free is not only expensive but also time consuming. And wouldn’t you know that time and money aren’t things I have laying around. It seems like there is so much going on this summer what I haven’t had a chance to get in a cleaning eating routine.
It’s tough not to just grab a quick snack or a handful of chips and run out the door. The beer and wine is the kicker, I can’t always say I’m successful with that one.
I am definitely a quick fix gal. I like indulging in food and drinks when I am out with friends or sitting outside enjoying the warm weather. I was inspired to try these quick and easy overnight oats for a healthy breakfast to grab out the door on my way to work.
imageBlueberry pie overnight oats:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tsp applesauce

Mix all above ingredients into a mason jar (except the 1/4 cup blueberries) . Refrigerate covered overnight, in morning add blueberries to top. Heat in the microwave or it’s also delicious served cold.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 banana
  • Pinch cinnamon + all spice + salt

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Apple Pie Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 gala apple
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp of almonds

Mix all above ingredients into a mason jar (except the chopped up apple) . Refrigerate covered overnight, in morning add apple slices to top. Heat in the microwave or serve cold.

Peach Cobbler Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup canned peaches
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt

Mix all above ingredients into a mason jar. Refrigerate covered overnight. Heat in the microwave or serve cold.

Strawberry Explosion Overnight Oats:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Blueberries, strawberries, banana
  • Pinch salt, pinch cinnamon
  • Almond butter

This isn’t the first time I’ve made luminaries. Several weeks ago we made luminaries during girls weekend so I thought I’d try out a few fall inspired jars. I made some sunflower and candy corn luminaries inspired by some of the Halloween ones I had seen on Pinterest. It’s simple, I just used the decoupage method with strips of tissue paper and/or colorful napkins.

Greek Yogurt Chicken Parm Bake

Happy Happy Monday! Greek yogurt has become such a great substitute for tons of different healthier recipe ideas. My roommate Meredith told me about a recipe she stumbled across on Pinterest for a Yogurt Chicken Parm Bake from Adventures with Foodie Felisha blog.

What did we do before Pinterest days? How amazing, the ability to save and organize recipes, wedding ideas and home decor tips all on one convenient little website is really pretty cool and super convenient. I am so horrible about pinning items to my board and then never going back and making them. I had seen this recipe for Greek yogurt chicken pinned a number of times. So when Meredith told me she tried it and it was delicious i decided to try it out for myself.

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This chicken is not only incredibly easy to make (5 minute prep time) but it is also really delicious and healthy.  Can’t get much better than that. Give it a shot and see for yourself!

Ingredients: Makes 4 servings

  • 8 boneless tyson chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

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Preparation:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray 
  2. In a small bowl, combine next 4 ingredients (yogurt through pepper)
  3. Coat the top and bottom of each chicken breast with mixture
  4. Bake chicken at 375 for 45 minutes (drain juices at the end )
  5. Remove chicken from the oven and turn to broil on high heat
  6. Return chicken to oven and broil on high for 3-4 minutes until topping is slightly browned

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Check out other variations of chicken to prepare:

| Jalepeno Popper | | Baked Potato Chicken | | Salsa Chicken |

Parm-Herb Crusted | | Cheddar Ranch | | Boneless Wings |

Transitioning into Fall

Just because summer is almost over doesn’t mean you have to box up all of your summer attire and wipe out your entire summer wardrobe. My favorite part about the cooler weather is that I am still able to wear my favorite summer looks by just adding a few more layers and accessories. 

Shades– Although a fall wardrobe is normally darker shades you can still incorporate your bright and pastel shades throughout the Fall. All you need to do is pair your brights with a more neutral tone like brown, black or gray.

Tights– Add colored or patterned tights underneath your summer shorts, skirts and dresses. Check out how to wear colored tights!

Cardigans Keep all of those summer tanks around. Just add a matching cardigan, blazer, or a jean or leather jacket over your tank to make it fall appropriate. Don’t be afraid to layer!

Dresses: Add a long sleeve shirt underneath your sundress or add a cardigan over the top!

Sundress: Girly floral dresses look great with a leather jackets

Scarves:  Add a scarf to your summer tee! They are all fabulous and can really make wearing a basic tee or tank look chic. Let be real, who doesn’t love wearing scarves in the fall?

White: Don’t be afraid to wear your white dresses and white jeans. That labor day rule does not apply!

Breakfast Casserole

Every Holiday or weekend that I am home I wake up in the morning to the smell of my mom’s delicious breakfast casserole. It has the best of every good breakfast meal wrapped up into one easy dish. It only takes a few minutes to make and feeds a small crowd of people. You get crunchy hash browns, spicy sausage bits and eggs with cheese. I am ready to enjoy this Saturday with sleeping in, breakfast casserole and a bike ride to the farmer’s market!

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Here is the version I have started to make since my mom gave me her recipe a couple of years back.
You will need:
* 1 package frozen hash browns
* 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
* 1 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
* 1 pack uncooked spicy sausage
* 5 eggs
* Salt and pepper to taste
{feeds around 6}
  1.  In a  greased skillet cook your sausage until it is thoroughly cooked and brown.
  2. Press frozen hash browns in the bottom of your greased casserole dish, ( my mom uses crescent rolls for the crust which is always an excellent option ) sprinkle on garlic salt and cook at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or golden brown on the edges of your dish.
  3. Then take your hash browns out of the oven and layer your sausage bits, then cheese.
  4. Pour your egg mixture EVENLY over your casserole, put back into the oven for another 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown
  5. ENJOY!
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