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How to Enhance Your Morning Smoothie

Superfood spinach and protein green smoothie.

Lately, I’ve been really interested in Dr. Josh Axe and his healthy lifestyle habits. His methods and knowledge of natural medicine and nutrition have really intrigued me, inspiring me to be even more health-conscious in my life.

I really love making smoothies—especially before or after a workout—and I’ve been making my morning smoothies based on his methods.

If you’re trying to pack in a lot of nutrients into your morning smoothie, this is the one to get the job done. By adding collagen, antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats, you get everything you need in one drink to get your day started and keep you full for a while!

Superfood spinach and collagen protein-rich green smoothie.

Here’s what I like to add to my morning smoothies—and why it’s good for the body…

Antioxidants

I add blueberries to my smoothies for antioxidants which improves your overall health and helps fight against diseases or cancers. Any berry will give you the antioxidant power punch you’re looking for, or you can try adding beetroot, apples or plums.

Collagen and/or Bone Broth Powder

Collagen is a protein in the body that strengthens the structure of your hair, skin, and nails. Adding it into smoothies is like a boost of youth, so if you ask me, the more the better! Right now I just add it to my smoothies but with all of the amazing benefits, I would love to learn more about making my own bone broth in the future.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats such as coconut milk and avocado keep you full longer and provide more energy throughout the day. Plus it’s great to keep your cholesterol levels low.

Leafy Greens

Obviously we’ve all heard from a young age to “eat our veggies”—and now we know why. Leafy greens, in particular, are packed with vitamins (A, C, K, and folate), antioxidants, minerals (iron and calcium, and fiber. It’s so easy to throw a handful of spinach into my smoothie, knowing I’m getting all of those nutrients!

Cinnamon

Because cinnamon can mimic the effects of insulin, it actually helps to keep my blood sugar levels balanced. Plus it reduces heart disease risks and is just plain good for overall health.

Fiber

I love bananas for my fiber! Fiber is essential for keeping everything moving inside our bodies for healthier digestive systems while keeping us fuller longer. Like cinnamon, fiber is also good for keeping blood sugar levels in check.

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Crock-Pot Chicken Chili

Homemade crock-pot chicken chili is the easiest on the go meal for comfort food or cold nights.

There’s nothing like a hot bowl of spicy chili this time of year.

Then again, it’s also the perfect meal for busy, on-the-go nights.

Or for football parties so everyone can dig in.


In fact, this was SUCH A HIT with our family that we finished TWO crock-pot fulls over the weekend—and I have a feeling my Crock-Pot Chicken Chili will become your new favorite recipe, too!

To get started, assemble your ingredients and grab your crockpot.

This can also be made on a stove (but then you can’t set it and forget it) or in an Instant Pot if you’re really short on time!

This is the traditional chili flavor trifecta… but for this one we’re going to add a little extra kick with the Ranch and White Chicken Chili seasoning packets!

You can use any level of heat you want with your tomatoes and green chilies. I love HOT but spice it to your family’s preferences.

First add your chicken breasts to the bottom of the crock-pot. Next add your beans, corn, and tomatoes.

This recipe is honestly so easy that it takes 10-15 minutes tops to gather everything, open and rinse your beans and corn and dump everything in.

Then your spices…

Pour in your chicken broth and add your cream cheese…

And give it a good mix to incorporate…

Then set it for 6-8 hours on LOW… or 3-4 hours on HIGH. And wait… it’ll be worth it!

When it’s done, spoon it into your bowl, add a little fresh cilantro if you want and top with the Fritos for a salty crunch!

Pin the Full Recipe Below!

Homemade crock-pot chicken chili is the easiest on the go meal for comfort food or cold nights.
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Easy Homemade Apple Pie

Friends, if you enjoyed the pumpkin cheesecake from a few weeks ago… well you’re going to love this apple pie today.

It’s easy. Like all in one bowl and pan kind of easy—which is perfect for the holidays.

Let’s get started…

First, pick your favorite pie apple. Some people love the taste of tart green apples like Granny Smith… while others (like me) love a sweet red apple. Popular reds include Pink Lady, Braeburn, and Honeycrisp.

TIP: Macintosh apples are sweet BUT tend to lose their shape too much when baked.

Next, peel, core and slice your apples before tossing them in the lemon juice and 3/4 cup of sugar.

Don’t skip this step! Two tablespoons of lemon juice may seem unnecessary but this is what helps the apples to start releasing their juices.

Toss to coat entirely while you heat up your butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. A quick tip about butter: there are measurements on the side of each stick to help you so don’t just rip off the wrapper before measuring out your butter.

Baking tips for your holiday apple pie.

Once the butter is melted, add the apples and cook until the sugar dissolves and the apples begin to soften, about two minutes.

Strain the apples and return the juice to the pan to reduce for another 5-7 minutes or until thickened.

Once the juices have thickened, add back to the apples and add the remaining spices. Toss to coat and allow the filling to cool.

Now it’s dough time. This is entirely up to you, however, I choose to keep it SIMPLE. I buy pre-made pie crust and it’s always incredible. If you want to make it yourself, then do so but make sure the dough is cold but not frozen at this point. Grab your pie dish and dough…

When your filling is cool, add the first layer of the pie crust to the pie dish and then pour in the apple filling.

Homemade apple pie recipe.

Now you have a few options with your top layer of crust. You can get as creative as you’d like. Some prefer to simply cover entirely… others like to basketweave… or you can make a design with a few cutouts. No matter what you do just make sure you pierce the dough to allow for air to escape.

If you want to find beautiful pie designs to try, check these out. When you’re ready, lay your top layer on the filling and seal with a fork along the edges.

Easy homemade apple pie recipe.

Beat one large egg and brush the top lightly, then sprinkle with sugar.

Place your pie in a preheated 375-degree oven until golden brown, approximately 45-55 minutes.

Then wait…

Easy homemade apple pie recipe.

It will be hard but try to let it cool slightly before slicing. Don’t worry, this gives you time to grab the ice cream.

Savor EVERY bite.

Down to the very last one…


Get (and pin) the full recipe below!

Easy homemade apple pie recipe.
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Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake

easy-pumpkin-cheesecake-recipe

It’s the time of year when everyone starts looking forward to the holiday meals and treats. Thanksgiving and Christmas offer opportunities to enjoy family, focus on what’s important, and yes, absolutely indulge in some of our favorite foods.

Like Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Just in case you’re looking for a holiday dessert recipe to impress your family and friends with this year, I’m sharing my easy Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe with you today.

Now let’s start baking!

Start by assembling your ingredients…

While it’s ultimately up to you, I always think quality ingredients make the biggest difference when baking.

Philadelphia-Cream-Cheese

Beat the cream cheese until soft…

homemade-pumpkin-cheesecake

Then add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, eggs, and spices and blend until smooth. Next, add the flour and vanilla, and again, beat until smooth.

Getting close…

Listen, you can make your crust if you want—and here’s a great recipe if so—but as a busy mama and wife, I’ll take a #bakinghack when I can get one.

Pour your batter into your pie crust.

Bake the pie in a preheated 350-degree oven for one hour. When the center is firm, remove and let cool for 15-20 minutes.

If you can’t wait, go ahead and grab a fork (and maybe some whipped cream!) Otherwise, refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. And then, ENJOY!

easy-pumpkin-cheesecake

Save + pin the full recipe here!

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My Go-To Post Workout Smoothie

Last week I posted in my IG stories about my post workout smoothie… and well, let’s just say a lot of you were curious! I got so many messages asking me what was in it… and since it’s too delicious to keep to myself, today I’m sharing my go-to post workout smoothie recipe.
For me I find that drinking a protein smoothie after I workout helps me to maintain the muscle that I’m working so hard to build… as well as help me recover quicker.
I love working out in the mornings, so this is great right after a workout/ for breakfast and keeps me full until it’s time for lunch! It’s also a perfect midday snack!
The best part is it’s super simple… so with a few quick ingredients I can make it and be on my way- no matter what I have going on that day!
I would love to hear if any of you try this recipe yourself… or if you have a favorite smoothie recipes you think I should try, too! Let me know in the comments below 🙂

post-workout smoothie recipe

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Our 2-Year Anniversary Trip to Paris

So if you’ve been keeping up with me, then you know we recently just went to Paris for our two year anniversary and I will say that it was absolutely the best trip I’ve ever been on in my life!

I have been so excited for this trip that I even had fun packing for it- I just couldn’t wait to get there! We left on Thursday, February 8th from Houston… but not without a minor hiccup or two. We were supposed to be on a 4 PM flight but (little did we know) the flight was actually canceled a day earlier- and we didn’t find out until we were pulling up at the airport! Thank goodness, my mom happened to be looking up the flight to try and track us!

I was DEVASTATED! I was certain that it wasn’t meant to be and, of course, this would be our luck!

Mike went to go check it out and (thankfully) it turned out they put us on a later flight that night at 10 PM and we were finally off!

We flew British Airways and WOW, the plane was amazing! It was the best first class cabin I have ever seen and the seats were perfect! They were like little pods just for you- perfect for sleeping and watching movies… which is what I did the entire way!

We finally landed in Paris and it was freezing! There was snow covering the ground and it was so pretty! Believe it or not, I’ve never in my life seen real snow before so I expected it to stay for days, but turns out the snow quickly melted within a day of us being there! But it was still freezing!

Where We Stayed

We arrived at our hotel around 5 PM the next evening. We stayed at Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet’s. It was a dream location to stay at in Paris I must say; we were in the middle of EVERYTHING: amazing food, shopping (literally right across from Louis Vuitton) and sightseeing were all within walking distance or just a 5 minute Uber ride away! We also enjoyed a couples massage at the hotel’s spa which was so relaxing after traveling for so long- safe to say, my husband definitely knows what I enjoy! All in all, everything from start to finish (including the incredible customer service) was perfect for our stay!

What We Ate

The first two meals we had were super authentic French restaurants that we thought would be a good idea to try. Turns out, not so much. I can’t even tell you the names of them because I don’t remember, but I’m a picky eater (especially when I go out of the country) and we really didn’t enjoy those meals. Thankfully, we found a Five Guys but this one was a little different. Apparently, it’s a huge tourist attraction because the lines were out the door, it was three stories tall and we had to wait for someone to get done eating to snatch a table as quickly as we could!

It tasted just like Five Guys in America though so we ate there twice! I also found a pizza spot, Pizza Vesuvio, right behind our hotel so we ate there twice and it was the best Italian food EVER! I ordered Lasagna and it was so good that we had to go again so Mike could get it the next time. We also tried another Italian restaurant, Vapiano, that Mike’s best friend (who we also visited while we were there since he’s playing basketball overseas there) told us about. This place had THE BEST PASTA I’ve ever tasted! They make it just for you, exactly how you want it, right in front of you… so that was pretty cool as well!

We also had a super romantic dinner at Le Jules Verne inside the Eiffel Tower which was quite an adventure in itself! We got to get all dressed up, making the whole night super fun.

The dinner was different than what we are used to: five small entrees and they bring them out every time you finish one with just a few bites each. For the most part, we had no clue what we were eating but we still ate it and it wasn’t THAT bad just very different. But the experience itself was just amazing getting to ride up the elevator to the restaurant, overlooking the whole city during dinner.

What We Did

Of course, we shopped till we dropped… well I did… after all, like I mentioned we were right in the middle of all the best shopping in Paris! With every shop within walking distance, I was bound to wind up in trouble there! We went to LV, Gucci, YSL, Chanel, Zara, H&M, and a few others. We had the most luck in LV and YSL where I purchased two bags: a LV Neverfull MM in the Damier Ebene material with the Rose Ballerine interior and the YSL Black Croc Nano Sac de Jour Tote which are super amazing investments in my collections that I will have for years to come!!


We visited The Louvre which is definitely something you have to see when in Paris! Even just the outside is so beautiful with the architecture of the buildings and the pyramids- it’s unbelievable! So gorgeous!

This is also where they hold the Mona Lisa and many other historic monuments in Paris! Plus, did you know it’s the largest museum in the world?

We rode The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde at a sunset which was absolutely beautiful with views of The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Champs-Elysées- it was breathtaking especially at sunset!


We attached our locks on the “Love Lock Bridge” over the Seine River.


Of course, we went to the Eiffel Tower about three times during our trip because how can you not?


It’s a sight to see and it’s the one MUST that you have to experience when visiting Paris! It was truly amazing to see especially at night during the light show when it’s lit up and sparkling! WOW- It’s STUNNING!

Champs-Elysées is one of the most popular areas in Paris, which is where we stayed. SO many great places to shop, eat, great hotels, close to all the main attractions in Paris- it’s just the best location and everyone is out and about, dressed to impressed! It’s the ideal place to stay in or near when in Paris!

We even went to go see Fifty Shades FREED at the UGC Normandie Theater right across from our hotel. They showed the movie in English but with French subtitles (which was clearly fine with us being in France after all) I just couldn’t wait any longer to go see it!

My Overall Experience….

It’s one that I will never, ever forget and honestly, the only place I can say that I would LOVE to travel back to. With the fashion, scenery and romance, it was just so ME and I loved everything about it… once we found food we liked of course!  I loved the time of year that we went because the cold weather made it perfect to wear all of my super cute jackets I’ve been dying to wear. I am so happy that I got to experience it all with the love of my life because there’s no one on this planet I would have rather witnessed all that with… easily, it was one for the books for us! We will definitely… GOD willing… go back one day! 🙂

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The BEST Chili You’ll EVER Make!

On Tuesday, we were stuck in the house all day due to the terribly freezing weather and icy roads, so I decided it was the *perfect time* to make my favorite chili!

I’m always looking for a good excuse to stay home, cozy up on a cold day and make this delicious recipe!

For a while now I’ve gotten lots of questions from friends and family members about the recipe… because everyone LOVES IT!!!

I found this chili recipe over a year ago from another blogger that I love, Pink Peonies by Rachel Parcell and she swore by it so I knew I had to try it!

She actually found the recipe on Pinterest (of course… because it’s awesome) and I quickly searched for it and ran to the grocery store to get the ingredients to make it myself! Plus, it’s a crockpot recipe so I was all about it!!

Over time I’ve made my own tweaks and have switched it up to finally get it perfect! Now I’ve made it my own go-to recipe- perfect for these chilly cold months!!

The flavor is just amazing and I hope you all enjoy it just as much as we do!

Let me know in the comments below or on my Instagram what you think… and if you’ll be making this recipe for your friends and family soon- I would love to hear about it!

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Christmas Cookie Bars For the Win!

You can practically smell Christmas in the air by now!

Between the Christmas trees, peppermint candy canes- and of course, holiday cookies- there really isn’t a better time of year!

As for those cookies…

A couple of years ago I found a recipe online that seemed too good not to try- but I had to put my own spin on it. Eventually, the cookies came out absolutely perfect… and we’ve been making them ever since.

Get out your apron and prepare to fall in love… these Christmas cookie bars look + taste amazing!

The perfect holiday treat to get the kids involved!

Is your mouth watering yet???

Baking Hack: Line the pan with extra foil that hangs over so it’s easier to pull out when it’s done!

 

These can’t cool fast enough!!!

Try it yourself!!!

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Pumpkin Bread Love

Ever since I was a little girl I can remember my family making this pumpkin bread.

It’s the kind of memory that makes your mouth water just by thinking of it.

I remember so many times in my childhood, practically begging my Nana to help her mix all of the ingredients. Now, here I am making it for my own little family + all of the amazing memories come flooding back each and every time. And of course, they love it just as much!

*On a side note, I’m obsessed with anything pumpkin or cinnamon, so baking this in my oven leaves my house smelling AMAZING all day long.*

This recipe has been in my family for many generations… + now I’m passing it on to you! From my family to yours, we hope you enjoy baking up some Pumpkin Bread goodness for everyone to love!