i'm no flower girl {V-Day 2016}

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v day fell on a sunday this year so our day started with heart pancakes cause clichés are SO fun, right! and don't you just love the mesmerizing sounds of the dish washer? as i made those cakes i thought to myself "i live in a house full of boys.... nobody cares about this stuff but me!" 

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a special guy deserves a special plate. tried to get fancy with my 25 cent squeeze bottle.

sooooo Sonny's plans included church, gym, sending me off to get a much needed pedi, and then dinner, but we didn't do ANY of that.  after breakfast we all (us and both boys) somehow ended up back in bed.

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now there's something we haven't done in...IDK how long.  it was great to just do absolutely nothing for once. together. k, we did make it on time our dinner appointment though. lol

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yet another place i've passed two billion times and never entered!  La Colombe d' Or was a nice, intimate look. 

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he knows how to pick'em.  oh, the restaurant was great too. hahaha

i plan my outfit based on how much food i plan on eating.  it was a flowy dress kinda night.

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my H & M dress is currently ON SALE by the way! i paid full price for it, but you definitely won't. get it here.

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on holidays and special occasions, we definitely relax, enjoy ourselves, and ease up on our maintenance meal plans.  appetizers!  lobster bisque, jumbo lump crab tower, and a house salad with mixed greens, fresh vinaigrette, roasted goat cheese & sliced tomatoes.

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Sonny ordered the chicken fried filet mignon, 

20160214_191140-01and i went waaaaay outta my comfort zone and skipped over salmon this time. #WUT!  i went with their homemade linguine and lobster dish.  i have not ordered pasta while dining out in years.  the portion sizes are almost always crazy big and usually covered in a fatty, buttery, creamy or heavy sauce.  truth be told, i ate the lobster off the top, the asparagus of course, and maybe 2 forkfuls of pasta. bravo, hubs. 

we had our final course at The Chocolate Bar about a mile away.

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so, i'll post an Instagram pic of something utterly & sinfully indulgent on my IG eeeeevery blue moon... but even then it still comes with a price.  a price in the form of one of our 6 Pack USA clients asking/requesting for that particular food item to be added to their meal plan. lol.  anyway, there are SO many delicious, lighter, dairy-free ice cream options these days that it will blow your mind!!! this lactose intolerant girl is unbelievably grateful for them.  however, we lived life on the edge that night and i ordered 3 scoops of dairy & full fat (rocky road, toffee chip, tiramisu ) ice cream. yes, it's my time of the month. LOL.  PMS hormones make me do some cray-cray stuff.  long story short, i only got through half of it and left looking 8 months preggo. worst tummy ache and bloating on the ride home, ever. you win again, dairy. *raises white flag* 

we enjoyed some kid-free time together above all else!

we haven't exchanged actual gifts on V day in a couple of years, but we did flip through this book i picked up at Urban Outfitters a while back by Lisa Currie.

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food, yes, flowers, no! i've never been a girly girl but i do love fun couples stuff like this!  15 years and i'm still learning new stuff about Sonny along this marriage journey of ours.  no matter how busy life gets, don't let your connection with your spouse slip away.  plan & prioritize some distraction-free (NO PHONES ALLOWED) time and no matter what, don't flake.  how much time you have, whether you can get the kids watched, etc., etc., depends on your specific situation, but make it happen.


 

seriously, as a home-cooking blogger, there is nothing more gratifying than someone making your recipe. the cherry on top is when they send a pic!

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your social media tags and emails mean EVERYTHANG.  thank you to my fellow fitness instructor and friend, Maria, for making my Burger King Hershey Sundae Pie recently!!

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hope ya didn't miss this dairy-free gem!

Q: do you acknowledge / celebrate Valentines Day?

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S ! subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Periscope (fitfoodiele).

 

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Susan G. Komen Pink & Treat 5k #boohoo

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waaaaaaaaaah! i was looking SO forward to running in the Komen Pink and Treat 5k this past weekend but the rain and flooding in and around the houston area saturday morning said, 'HA. no.'  safety first, i know.

nevertheless,

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BOOM!

we made eeeeet! because of the selfless donations from my friends and family, we were able to reach our fundraising goal of 150.00 in just a few days!!! i am honored to be able to gift another woman with a mammogram so that she can stay abreast of what's going on in her body, pun intended!  i could not have done this without the help of these wonderful people:

Christina Lyons

Shanna

Carlena Harris

Michelle Atanu

Nathan Atanu

Ijeoma Ikechi

thank you, thank you, thank you.

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i was so ready, yall!!  had all my stuff out the night before like i usually do before a race.  Sonny found my Polar watch a few days ago (YAY) in a corner of our bedroom that Dego likes to play in. can't believe we didn't look over there sooner. it had been missing for like 2 months.

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16 month update: *waving* hellooooo separation anxiety! actually i'm waving goodbye cause it seems to be on its way out these days. hopefully.  he knows when i leave a room, enter a room, come home, etc, etc, and let's whomever is watch him know mommy is in the building. temper tantrums are beginning to come on out, and teething is on/off which makes him extremely clingy. when i take something from his little hand he isn't supposed to have, he drops to the floor and screams his little face off for a few minutes! hmph. Chiso prepped me real good for that though, so i've been expecting it.  we have awesome days, and we have those tough, draining, restless days but hey, it's all apart of this motherhood deal!

 '(24/7). once you sign on to be a mother, that's the only shift they offer.'

                                             -Jody Picoult

 when i look over at him sleeping innocently in the most adorable pose in the universe....my heart immediately turns to complete mush. bananas. mashed potatoes. green peas. applesauce. mush. my spirit is renewed, my heart is softened, and my attitude is adjusted. thank God for His grace and new mercies every single day.

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i had to cancel my postpartum clients, my preggo fitness class, and i couldn't even go do my own thing and run out side. rain, rain, RAIN. everywhere. sooo i did something i haven't done on saturday morning in years.  i got right back in the bed with my boys and we all slept till noon!  we were extra hoongry when we woke up though so i made pancakes.

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i carmelized some bananas on my griddle and served them with Carey's sugar-free syrup, So Delicious #dairyfree Coco Whip, and some roasted, unsalted walnuts.


on halloween night, we headed over to my sis-in-laws to let the kids play, hang out, and eat a ton of pizza! i waited so last-minute to make a dish so i needed something crazy quick. this was the first easy, pinterest recipe i could find- 'dirt cake' w/ worms!  this recipe is older than dirt but it was fun and just what i needed.

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i combined an Immaculate Baking Company Scratch Chocolate Cake + 1 can of pure pumpkin and baked it as normal.  cooking times vary so keep an eye on your cake(s)!  using the pumpkin instead of the oil and eggs cuts down on the fat & calories, and adds a ton of fiber and moisture.  also, you can totally use brownies instead! let it cool then crumble it all up. that part was so fun!

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portion out some single serving cups and spoon a heaping serving of cake crumbles in the bottom.  use your creativity here! some people add chocolate pudding, cream cheese, cool whip, etc... i melted some semi-sweet chocolate and mixed it with lite cool whip.  i spooned some over the cake and added mini chocolate chips and a sour gummy worm.

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i topped that with more cake crumbles and another gummy worm. that's it! so many options to play with here though!  PhotoGrid_1446342624068-1hope you had a fun, safe, halloween, fit friends!

Q: WHAT were you for halloween this year!?

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my most used kitchen appliance + healthy, quick, flavorful, FRESH brussels sprouts

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pancaaaaaakes! this recipe is older than Chiso but it's a quick, healthy, goodie. dump the following into your blender. everythang!

  • 1/2 cup oat bran or oatmeal
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • dash sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

 Chiso (4 yrs) usually asks for homemade pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal for breakfast.  i have been throwing everything on my griddle usual! it's my staple appliance cause it's just so easy and convenient.  plus the price tag was SO worth it. our previous griddle seriously lasted like 10 + years, no lie.  that's using it at least 5 times per week too!  get you one.  30 bucks!

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last week was Red Ribbon Week and the kids got to wear different things on different days to preschool.  this guy could not WAIT for thursday cause it was pajama day!! he was the only one with pajama shorts as we walked up to school, lol. we sent this pic straight to Granny.

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immediately after school, it's lunch time. kids are just like adults; if they go a few hours without eating, attitudes and tantrums pop right on up. so once home, you guessed it, i whipped my grill right back out and threw some Applegate organic uncured turkey hotdogs on there with some Nature's Own whole wheat buns.   i add some shredded colby jack to Chiso's and he is good to go.

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i got in a workout while Chi was at school and i stopped by Sprouts Farmers Market before heading to pick him up.  fresh brussels sprouts are on sale this week so that prompted me to finally put some in my cart. i have never cooked fresh sprouts before yall, only frozen! i have definitely been missing out.....

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do you see that beautiful green!? gorgeous!  i washed the sprouts, halved them first, then chopped up one yellow onion and diced a handful of turkey pepperoni. next, i coated my pan in olive oil spray,  then threw everything into my cast iron skillet on medium high heat and let it sauté for about 12-15 minutes. didn't have turkey bacon but the pepperoni was the next best thing IMO. i added a squirt of coconut aminos, cracked black pepper, and BOOM. quick, healthy, and flavorful. 20151030_163808-1

 i'm stickin' with fresh from now on. #sold20151030_163816-1

apparently balsamic vinaigrette is the key ingredient to tasty brussels sprouts!  i got several facebook and IG comments about adding a bit to my  sauté next time. duly noted! can't wait to try!  also a bit of honey is an option as well.

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the sprouts paired perfectly with our wild chipotle paprika salmon, also on sale at Sprouts this week. i baked a 2 lb fillet for 14 minutes on 450 degrees, fyi.94251daea9bbf8edba6262d02c2b9909don't be all talk and no action!  get on your grind and handle your business. actions will always speak louder than words, fit friends.

Q: how do you cook your sprouts?  what else can i throw in my skillet with them that you've tried (and love)?

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this post contains affiliate links. you will not pay more when buying a product through my link. however, ordering via my link helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff!!! thank you in advance for your support.

WF Pancake Syrup....packets!? + Lulu STEALS!

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ok. DID YOU KNOW...... waldenfarmspackets

that these even existed!? are these packets not FAN-FLIPPIN-TASTIC for traveling instead of having to shove the entire bottle of WF Pancake Syrup into your purse?  i may be alone on that one...but it's all good!  never heard of Walden Farms?  check out one of my most popular posts about it.

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i needed a super special fit last weekend so i headed to a place i knew i'd have great luck- LULULEMON!  Dego and i visited the 1st Colony location for the first time and they took extraordinary care of us.  every single employee went the extra mile in their own special way.  i found this Wild Tank on sale for 39 bucks, what, what! it is actually sold out online... but that's why it's so much better to go in to the store and dig around for the deals.  as much as i don't like clothes shopping, i will put in the foot werk for some lulu!  the built in bra supports a B/C cup and don't you LOVE the strappy back action?!

PhotoGrid_1443905311222 honestly guys, since i'm still breastfeeding and have become a pro at manipulating my body fat, my boobs fluctuate like crazy. some days built in bras work and some days they are a joke.  these days i'm hovering around 16% body fat and i'm parking it right here for a while.  #maintenancebeastmode

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 even when they get all up IN the way....i wouldn't change a thing. is this what growing up feels like? my perspective on life continues to change... and it should the longer you live and experience life for sure.  things that used to frustrate, discourage, upset, or put me in a funk simply.....don't.  i hear having kids'll do that to ya though.

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along with that top, i snagged another pair of wunder unders.  basically these are my FAVE bottoms to work out in and live in. they are suuuuper comfy and super flattering! if you don't have much of a booty, well these do a great job of creating one.  seriously. try on a pair and tell me you don't love the way they shape your body!

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lastly, i found another tank on sale for 29 bucks in this beautiful turquoise color i could not leave without.  we hit the road just in time to pick up big brother from preschool.

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about that perspective, take a look at this list!  i found this photo via Facebook but it originated on another mommy blog, momentsaday.com.  i HAD to share this immediately!  there is always a bright side!  people pray for the things you take for granted every.single.day,  so give God thanks for those things every.single.day. your children, that noise, those crumbs, that gigantic pile of laundry... my kids are my little labors of love!  make a conscious effort to thank God for answering your prayers in His time, big and small.

Q: what are you grateful for that you sometimes take for granted?

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light, fluffy, healthy Sweet Potato Oat Bran Pancakes + Headband Giveaway!

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       halfway to friday, guys!!!  Chiso (the 4 yr old) requested pancakes for dinner last night, so i added some roasted sweet potato into my usual recipe and BAM. these were so tasty we devoured another stack his morning for breakfast!  you do need a high powered blender for this recipe for optimal cake fluffiness, fyi. 11403083_10102555765702216_6265772524055854844_n

Sweet Potato Oat Bran Pancakes

the stuff:

  • 3/4 cup dry oat bran
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk
  • 2 egg whites (from real eggs, not the carton)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup roasted, soft sweet potato
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 packets granulated stevia (optional)
  • dash sea salt

do this: 

  1. set griddle to high and coat with no stick cooking spray
  2. add egg whites into high powered blender and 'whip' them for about 30-45 seconds until super fluffy (we received a Ninja Blender from our dear friend Diamond this past Christmas and i have been using it every single week since then!)
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  4. add in everything else!
  5. blend oh high speed for at least 1 minute until super smooth
  6. let batter sit for approx. 5 minutes. oat bran is suuuuper absorbent and will need a few moments to do its thing
  7. spoon batter onto griddle (make as many cakes as you'd like; the size is your call)
  8. when you see bubbles start to form on the top of the cake (approx. 3 min), flip!  (ensure the color is golden brown and not pale)
  9. cook an additional 2-3 min on this side
  10. top with pecans and powdered sugar and your fave sugar-free syrup! we use Walden Farms.
nutritional facts for the entire stack: 363 cals, 11g fat, 71g carbs, 21g protein, 10g sugar

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neeeext, i get asked about my wide headband often and i finally answered with deets on IG recently. it's a @firstlinebrands Dri Sweat Edge and boy do i wear it often. it absorbs all my awesomeness (sweat) and keeps everything beneath it nice and dry (dem edges).

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they now have more color options on their website if you're cool enough to color coordinate your gym gear like that.

20150204_223116_1-1so, who NEEDS one!? i'm giving away a free Dri Sweat Flex (see pic above) to someone that needs help preserving their hairdo  while they get their sweat on!

how do you get in on this?

*ahem*

SHARE this post and comment below with your answer to the following question:

WHAT is your fave type of cardio and why?

no cardio hater over here!  some of my fave forms include spinning & kickboxing.

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don't forget make these cakes and tag me on Insta or Tweet me a pic!

have you tried out Periscope yet!? i'm having a ton of fun with it and posting vids daily. check us out, follow (fitfoodiele), and say haaaay!

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