Shake it up- Protein Smoothie!

Lazy Sundays seem to be the big rage lately, and I have to say, I am a fan myself. Today had been a moderately lazy Sunday but certainly not the lay-on-the-couch-with-a-blanket-watching-Criminal-Minds-reruns lazy like I would have liked.

I started out the Morning going to Mahoneys (jeez, I can’t get enough of that place! Or their Succulents!) and checking out all of the lovely flowers that they have to offer. There are so many and if I had my way, I would bring them all home with me!

After Mahoneys I made my way home and have been cleaning and organizing all day. Not much exciting stuff for the first day of June, but I have to say; Boy am I glad it’s June!

Now I have been sore all day. My upper back and into my shoulders have been tender since I woke up. I know why…. Yesterday I did my yoga practice for the first time in jeez…. MONTHS! Oh, it felt awesome to get back at it, but I knew I would pay for being a slacker. And I am… Big time! Since my muscles have been yelling at me all day, I decided to treat them, as well as give myself something better to do besides walk in and out of doorways hoping an activity will jump out and slap me in the face.

Shake It Up Protein Smoothie:

What you’ll need:
-1 Banana
-1 carton of Raspberries
-1 carton of Blueberries
-Almond Milk (any flavor you want, I chose to use regular because I was adding a flavored protein powder)
-Vanilla Protein Powder it’s not pictured but I am using the Vanilla Whey Protein Whole Foods brand. I am testing it out lately and I quite like it)
-Ice

Materials:
-Blender
-Knife
-Berry Bowl/Strainer

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First things first you need to wash your berries, so grab your berry bowl. I used about half of a carton of raspberries and a little less than half of a carton of blueberries. The amount you use is customize-able to your smoothie taste preferences, also the amount of smoothie you are making. I made mine pretty equal between blueberries and raspberries.

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Now head chef, WASH THOSE BERRIES!

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Once you have washed them, then get out your blender while you let them drain. You don’t want excess water in your smoothie. Once you have your blender out and all set up then pop those berries in.

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Now grab your banana. Mmmm… I love bananas. Also grab your knife. Peel your banana and cut out any brown spots. I cut off the top too just as a personal preference, but you don’t have to. Then over your blender slice the whole banana into medium size slices.

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Now add your Almond Milk. Keep adding the milk until most of the fruit is covered, and only some of the banana (since it was added last) is visible. Okay, so I have to say, I tried Almond Milk for the first time today. I decided to try it after hearing many health and fitness blogs, as well as cooking blogs, rave and rave about it. I also decided to make the jump and give a try due to its many health benefits. I was hesitant at first before purchasing it because I am a major milk lover. Ever since I was a kid I have absolutely loved milk. Despite my love of dairy products I made the jump and purchased Almond Milk from Trader Joes. Before adding it to my smoothie I poured myself a small glass…. IT BLEW MY MIND. It was love at first taste. Oh my goodness, I can tell that this was the beginning of a new long and glorious food affair.

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Since this is a smoothie we need to add the ice, burrrr! I added 6 cubes originally but found later that it wasn’t the consistency I wanted, so then added two more. This is also customize-able to your personal smoothie. In total, I added 8 ice cubes.

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Now blend, blend, blend! Blend the mixture until there is no solid chunks of fruit or ice left. You want your smoothie to smooth (haha get it, “smooth”ie?).

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After my smoothie was all nice and blended up I was just about to head out to go watch my brothers club soccer game. This meant I had to take my oh so sweet treat on the run. I pulled out my Blender Bottle and poured it all in there. I cheated since usually you blend the drink in the blender bottle, but whats the fun in that when I can use a noisy scary blender??? After pouring my smoothie into my Blender Bottle I realized I had forgotten a key ingredient…. My Protein powder *palm to face*. Now this is when it comes in handy to have a Blender Bottle! So I added a scoop to the top of my bottle and shook, shook, shook it up! Blender Bottle to the rescue!

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Then I enjoyed my lovely Protein smoothie! It was Delicious I must say, and having my Blender Bottle made it easy to take anywhere!

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Making and consuming my home-made wonder really added some flavor to my lazy Sunday (pun absolutely intended)!

Make your own, or try this one out! Let me know what you think and or if you have any suggestions for ingredients or recipes!

-Maddie 😀

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How to plant Succulents in a container!

Today I decided to plant some succulents that I have had for a while. I just recently got the dish to plant them in since I decided to make them a table topper. I bought the succulents at Mahoneys a couple of weeks back and have been so excited to plant them!

Succulents have been all the rage lately, you see them just shy of everywhere. So why not bring them to your own home?

How to plant Succulents in a container:

First things first you should collect what you’ll need.

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What you’ll need:

-A container ( I used a glass dish I found a Michaels, you can use just about any dish you have though as long as it’s deep enough)
-Newspaper, to lay down on the surface you are planting on to prevent a mess if you are planting indoors
-A 2lb bag of decorative pebbles (also found at Michaels, but you can use any small-ish rocks you have access too)
-Succulents of your choosing
-Succulent and Cactus well draining soil

First of all remove any stickers or price tags from your container. Make sure the container is dry and lay out your newspaper on your surface.

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After you have everything laid out, grab your stones. Open up the bag and grab out a handful. Spread out the pebbles at the bottom of your container in an even layer. This helps with drainage while watering your succulents. Succulents DO NOT like wet roots, drainage is key!

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Once you have a nice layer of pebbles, open up your succulents soil. add some soil to the container while still leaving room for adding the succulents to the container. It should look about half full.

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Now it’s time to actually plant your succulent plants. This part gets a little messy ( I actually cheated a bit and moved the whole activity outside from here), I would advise taking the plants out of their store-bought containers outside or over a trash can. The newspaper will catch the dirt if it falls, but that will make clean up twice as hard and twice as long. When taking the plants out of their plastic containers they should slide out quite easily. Once out of the containers shake off any excess dirt from the roots. Make a small hole in the soil in your container where you would like the particular succulent to go. Place the succulent in the soil, then gently fill in the space around the base of the plant with extra soil.

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Repeat this step until you have planted all of the succulents that you want to go in this container.

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After you have all of your plants planted you can fill in the remaining space with the left over pebbles from your 2lb bag before. This step is optional. You may not have any room left, or you may like the way the soil looks. You can also find other things to fill in the space with, for example moss (which is sold at crafts and gardening store), or other accessories you may have. I already had my left over pebbles and enjoyed the way looked so made the choice to fill in the remaining open soil with them.

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Once you have finished all of your planting and decorating, water your new container to help the roots set in to their new home. Be careful not to water too much, however. For learning how to take care of succulent plants indoors, check out About.com Houseplants or do a quick Google search.

There, voila! You now have an indoor succulent container! Succulents are some of my favorite plants. These and Cacti are just so darn cute, I can never pass them up when I am out plant shopping. I have of recently discovered that I have quite the obsession with desert plants.

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I hope your containers turn out as wonderful as mine!
-Protein Smiles 😀

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