Date/Almond Energy Balls!

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So far in the past month, I have changed jobs, happily shopped til I dropped, and over the first quarter of 2016, I have checked off most of my 2016 New Years’ Resolutions!!! I have checked off these ones:

  1. Become better at makeup.
    • I have learned contouring, and have bought new brushes and higher quality makeup.
    • I wear sunscreen every day now!!! I have finally found one that I really love. I put my lotion on my face in the morning, slather the Revision Intellishade tinted sunscreen with SPF 40 on top, and apply my makeup!
    • Still lots to learn, but I am working on it!
  2. Get a facial.
    • Got one. Didn’t really care for it, and since my skin isn’t bad at all, the facial person couldn’t really do much with my face. Thus, I felt like it was just a massage of my face, and apparently they did a gentle mask. It was whatever.
  3. Be more solid financially and independently.
    • The hustle continues, and doesn’t stop, but I have made a very big step towards this goal by transitioning to a new job! Still on track for my ultimate goals.
  4. Understand the types of investments out there.
    • Check mark. My new job is a wealth of learning opportunities and such a sexy industry to be in. Super excited for all the things.

The second quarter will be my goal #1 this year – improve upon my blog. Once I settle into my new job, I will spend whatever free time I have to learn about this! Also, my #4 goal this year (get skinny/get abs) is still incomplete, but I have consistently gone to the gym 3-4 times a week. This will also be the other focus of the second quarter.

To kick start the quarter, I made some Date/Almond energy bites, rolled in bee pollen and hemp seeds. LOVE the sweetness of the dates, some chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla that rounds it out. Delicious and it will be my snack of choice, rather than Cheez-its I’ve eaten the past week. You can add whatever seeds, nuts, dried fruits, milks, you want. The world is your oyster.

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Homemade Almond Milk

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Growing up I really hated drinking milk. Milk that was plain, milk that had chocolate in it, etc. I hated milk in my cereal, I always preferred eating the cereal plain, straight out of the bag, straight crunchy. But I was forced to drink it every morning before school, since milk has calcium, and milk is good for strong bones. I later discovered soy milk and almond milk as alternatives, and my life dramatically became better. Hah! So I went through a period of time where I made smoothies with and drank plenty of soy milk and almond milk. I bought them from Trader Joe’s, but always felt that the almond milk there was a little lifeless. Not very creamy or full body. So I set my sights on homemaking almond milk to see if there was a difference. And there is! Homemade almond milk is creamy and delicious, and when its homemade, you can add whatever flavors to enhance it. Almonds kind of got expensive, so I don’t make it very often, but if you want to drink the difference, give it a try!

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Fiery Jalapeno Kiwi Salsa!

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For some reason I have always thought of kiwis as an all season fruit – it’s in my house all year long and they seem to be in Costco, always fresh, year round! With the summer abundance of fruit, I have been looking for ways to use them! As decoration (see Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Tart) or as more savory options, like this spicy jalapeƱo kiwi salsa!

Kiwis have a unique history – surprisingly, they are native to China, where it used to be called Chinese gooseberry. No idea where the goose came from (although there are red core kiwis according to Wiki). Then the cultivation journey of the kiwi fruit went to New Zealand, where there are birds that are called kiwi birds…LOL but New Zealanders named these bright green fuzzy fruits the kiwifruit, and it stuck!!!

This salsa only takes 4 ingredients and can be used as a chips and dip or a topping for fish!!!

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Standard Pizza Dough!

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Totally unhealthy post this time! Made this pizza awhile ago with homemade pizza dough and waited this long to share it. I figured since pizza is a warm, comforting food, it is perfect for any season. I do have to say that this is a wonderful homemade dough, that captures the dough-chewiness to normal pizza, like Round Table or Little Caesars. I sometimes like a little chew and dough to my pizza – it isn’t always about the NY Style ya know (although I do love it and will post on it later). Pizza dough is very easy to make – only 4 ingredients. I wish I did have a stone oven/stone pan where I can emulate more of the slight crunch on the outside and doughy on the inside texture. But this will do. And I have to say I loved it!

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Best Black Bean Burgers – BBBB

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After my last final, I went on a mini family vacay to Utah – Zion Canyon and Bryce Canyon!!! I will talk about Zion Canyon in this post! I was so excited to see the beautiful Zion since I have heard such great things about it. When we got there, we were in a cute lodge, Pioneer Lodge, in Springdale, UT, right outside the South entrance to the park. It was a cute country folk, western lodge with clean and comfy down comforters and pillows. Outside, the little town had other cute lodges, cafes, and shops. But the grand part was that the town was surrounded by the majestic, big, towering RED mountains of Zion. We dropped our stuff off and went into the park. The park is closed to vehicles in the Summer so there are constant shuttles that take you inside the canyon at the Visitor Center. Super convenient! It drops you off at the trail heads so you can take short or long hikes into the canyon. We went to the furthest stop first and hiked the Riverside Walk, which takes you along the Virgin River and winds through the canyons. It was so beautiful – words can’t describe. You need to see it for yourself! We also climbed onto the Weeping Rock, where water runs down the rocks and you are standing inside this cave-like thing and staring out into Zion Canyon. So beautiful! The next day, we went on a hike to the Emerald Pools, all 3 pools, Lower, Middle, and Upper. The moss/algae makes the bottom of the pool green-ish and it is pretty cool because these pools act like little oasis in the mountains. What is cool about Zion is that the canyons are formed through intense flash floods, which is crazy to me because the canyons are so tall, you can’t really imagine water running through at high, fast levels. What is beautiful though, because of the Virgin River and the water, there are tons of trees and vegetation throughout, with signs all over that tell you what certain trees/plants are. Super cool and it feels like I am at a garden or something. Here are some beautiful pictures. I hope that you can someday enjoy it! It is only about 2.5 hours away from Las Vegas!!!

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Court of the Patriarchs

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Emerald Pools

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View from Weeping Rock

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Virgin River/Riverside Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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