Monday, May 25, 2015

With a Grateful Heart, We Remember

Thank you to all those who fought for our country, to those who serve today, and for their families who love them. 

Today, we remember those who were lost. May we never forget their sacrifice. 

Blessings to you all on this Memorial Day, today and always. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How Would You Describe Yourself In Three Words?

What a fun idea! How would you describe yourself in three words? 

Thank you, Tarafor sharing the popular Twitter hashtag

Here are my ideas for the #DescribeYourselfIn3Words project.

  • Love to love...No doubt, anyone who knows me knows I love to love. Love them's what I do. Life's too short to hold it back. 
  • I pack light...I am ready, whether it's to go on a weekend road trip or a round-the-world journey. Travel feeds my soul and my minimalist nature helps me pack light. When do we leave?
  • Eager to learn...I love personal development. You can find me reading it, listening to it, or trying it through different experiences. I love to learn and expand my world and I am inspired by others who do the same. 
  • Thrives in light...I need light and I need sunshine. I am a happier me when I have my vitamin D. 
  • Striving for balance...I am a student of balance in all aspects of my life. Finding the sweet spot in which everything is in harmony is not always easy to find, but when I do, like a car with well inflated and properly balanced tires, life is a smoother ride. 

How would you describe yourself in three words? Share and inspire me. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy 3rd Anniversary to Us!

Today is our anniversary...eight years together, three years married. We are blessed.

We love this album...categorized under swoon-worthy.

Here's to another year of love and laughter...of holding hands and stealing kisses...of travel and adventure...and of mixing up the foreign currency, the reading glasses, and the toothbrushes.

Happy Anniversary to my love. Happy Anniversary to us! Te quiero, cariƱo. Amor para siempre.

You can read more about how we planned our bilingual, bicultural wedding here

Monday, May 18, 2015

From Kelly's Kitchen: Easy Black Bean Salad Side

If you're looking for an easy, refreshing, no-mayo salad side dish, this salad side dish is for you. And, like any salad, it's customizable for you to add your own personal favorites. 

Here's what I did. 

Black Bean Salad
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of niblet corn, drained
1 tomato, diced (or 2 plum tomatoes)
1/4 chopped red or vidalia onion
2 baby cucumbers, diced
Balsamic vinaigrette to taste
Salt and pepper to taste. 

My add-ins
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese or sliced hard boiled eggs
Fresh lemon juice

That's it. Mix it all up, and eat it as is, or chilled. 

It's so easy and it's refreshing as a side to grilled protein. 


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Inspiration

Indeed! And it keeps getting better all the time! 

How about you? Were you an early bloomer, on time, or a late bloomer like me? What is something you have you learned about yourself as you age? 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Grow Old with Me...A Field Day Video on Aging

Have you seen this? 

This is Kristie and Tavis, and they're getting married. 

Through the magic of makeup, they are given a preview of themselves as they age, and their response is lovely. Both Kristie and Tavis are moved. 

"What an incredible thing to see," she says.  


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Italian Inspired Noodleless Side Dish

My husband has been doing a great job on the 21 Day Fix; he's making a great effort to clean up his diet and he is working out with a trainer as well. 

Getting to our healthiest selves is important to us, so I want to do whatever it takes to make the journey more fun. 

One way I am pushing outside the box is in finding ways to make comfort food more 21-Day friendly. We like Italian flavors, so I wanted to find a way to bring that comfort food flavor into a "cleaner" side dish. 

Here's what I did. 

Italian Inspired Cabbage Slaw Saute

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Olive oil for sauteing
1 bag of cole slaw mix
Spaghetti sauce to coat
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: feta cheese, chopped bacon or pancetta

Saute the garlic (and bacon or pancetta) in the olive oil. Add the onion, pepper, and cook until softened. 

Add the slaw mix and cook down until it is tender. 

Finally, add the spaghetti sauce to coat and add another level of flavor. 

Make pockets in the mixture to add the sauce. It makes a full skillet easy to mix. 

Before serving, add feta cheese, if desired. You may also add Parmesan cheese. 

That's it. It's super easy and surprisingly flavorful. And, if you're avoiding rice or pasta, you can find the Italian comfort food sweet spot with this convenient substitution. 

Buon appetito!

Do you use vegetable substitutions in comfort food favorites? Please share. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thoughts on Mother's Day

I am so blessed to have the most amazing mother. I have been wrapped in her love from the beginning and I still am today. 

And, I am doubly blessed to have a mother-in-law, who I love and adore.

I am surrounded by strong, loving, amazing women, who happen to be mothers.  And I am surrounded by strong, loving, amazing women, who, by choice or circumstance, are not mothers.

For those for whom Mother's Day is a day filled with joy, I wish you more of the same. 

And for those who struggle with this day, because of circumstances of loss or biology, or unfulfilled expectations, I wish you peace. 

Today is a day I will celebrate the mothers in my world and the amazing people who "mother" in their own way.  

Today I choose to be present in the blessings I have in my life today. I wish the same for you. 

Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ahora 12: May

May is such a great month for me. It means warmer temperatures, flowers in full bloom, celebrating the amazing women in my life, opening up the pool, a long weekend away, and celebrating our anniversary. 

Here is what is on my radar this month. 


And re-reading...
  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. This book is a keeper and a must-read for anyone you care about in your life. 

  • Salads of all kinds, including this delicious Southwest style salad...recipe coming soon.  

I added the avocado later. Fabulous!

  • Iced coffee and iced tea. I've been making it at home and saving a bit of money. Winning!

Traveling to...
  • Chicago! I am so grateful to my new friend, Mona, and her husband, Michael, who are hosting me next weekend for my first trip to Chi-Town. 

  • I met Mona when I volunteered for and attended the Women in Travel Summit, and I am so excited and so grateful for the opportunity to explore this iconic American city. Have you been? What is one non-negotiable cannot miss thing to see or food to try?

  • PiYo. This pilates/yoga hybrid is exactly what I am looking for in terms of a program to add to my current strength training and cardio. I found myself an accountability group and I am ready to get started. 

Pining for...
  • New sandals. I love my flip flops, but it's time for some "grown-up" sandals, especially for when we're in Europe. 
  • New spring recipes to try. 
  • Blue hydrangeas
  • A new summer dress
  • Outdoor grilling 

April Goals...How did I do?
  • Getting in all of my water ounces every day. BETTER THAN BEFORE. Not done every day, but hitting it more often than not. 
  • Getting a free ticket to Beachbody Summit with my team in Nashville in July. DONE...I will be celebrating and kicking it up in Nashville this summer, courtesy of Beachbody. 

  • Finishing my graduate classes. DONE. I am now at a Masters, plus 15 credits. 
  • Planning our 3-day Patriots Day weekend getaway. My husband has the holiday off too, so we're hoping to get out of town. NOPE. We stayed in town and had a low key weekend. 

May Goals and Celebrations

  • Celebrate our anniversary. 
  • Help plan our Memorial Day getaway weekend. 
  • Help 3 people who want to commit to their own health goals. 
  • Find at least one person who would like to earn extra income while they work on their own health and wellness goals. 
  • Draft an editorial calendar for the summer. 
  • Plan my birthday weekend in June. 
  • Find a 5K to do in the fall. 

That's about it. 
What's happening ahora in your world these days?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Third Anniversary Gift Guide: 6 Leather Ideas

May is our anniversary month, and this year marks our third year married and our eighth together. We went traditional with anniversary gifts for the last two years, and I predict that whenever possible, we will continue that theme. 

When searching for leather gift ideas, I went to the mother-ship of all things gifty...Etsy. I also looked on Pinterest and Amazon for some ideas, and here's what I found. 

I wish I could say I am using affiliate links, but monetization is on my list of things to figure out, so these items are simply a result of my own search. 

1. Personalized leather luggage tags

2. Personalized passport cover

3. A leather beer carrier for parties on the go

4. A leather briefcase for him

5. A leather tote for her

6. A new leather sofa for snuggling up at night

It is not difficult to cull ideas for leather gifts for him or her. Leather gifts for a couple get a bit dicey, as you might imagine. What are your ideas for leather gift ideas? 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fitness Photo Challenge

Happy May!

The beginning of the month is a great time to start a new challenge, and if health and fitness are among your monthly goals, I have just the challenge for you. 

Just snap a picture and post in a secret Facebook group. Friend me on Facebook and I will add you to the group. Remember to send me a message letting me know that you found the challenge through A Lovely Life, Indeed. 

Are you in? Join us for a month of fun and accountability.