Friday Favorites + Homemade Croutons

We made it to Friday only because I’ve been drinking A LOT of this lately. 😉

One.

Banana Republic earrings are a favorite and something I went shopping for this week.

Two.On Monday it was extremely cold all day so we had my Easy Tomato Soup for dinner. Except this time, I made some homemade croutons to pair with it. I debated about sharing this because it’s nothing fancy or mind-blowing. But I will tell you, it added just the perfect amount of crunch and topping to an already tasty soup.Homemade Croutons--Recipe at: Stephanie-spring.com Homemade Croutons--Recipe at: Stephanie-spring.com

Homemade Croutons


 Ingredients: 

  • One baguette
  • EVOO (enough to coat the bottom of a pan)


What to do: 

In a large pan, lightly coat the bottom with EVOO on medium to medium-low heat. Cut the baguette into one inch pieces. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Remove from heat and place desired amount on top of soup! 🙂


Three.On Wednesday, I mentioned how one of my New Years Goals is for some, “me” time and I want books as a part of that time. I need some recommendations though! I’ve talked about some of my favorite books here and here. I also mentioned a modge-podge here. Leave a comment and fill me in on your favorites! 🙂

Four.

Did someone say three day weekend? Thank you, Martin Luther King Jr. 🙂

Five.

You can find the winner of the $25 gift card to JORD watches, here!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope your weekend is relaxing and cozy!


New Years Goals

A goal that will last an entire year is not completely my style. I prefer goal-setting in small increments of time to feel the progress and success. However, this year a few ideas kept coming to the front of my mind again and again. If anything, they were more of God’s way of perhaps nudging me to focus a little more attention on these areas than I have in the past. That my friends, I just can’t ignore. My goals are more of a prayer that I hope to be more intentional about in 2017.

Time: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”  -Mother Theresa
At times I get so defeated because I have been working for hours and still feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. My goal is to start, stay focused, and finish the task at hand. I love checking things off a list. Using my time to start and finish one thing is a lot more rewarding than starting three things and finishing none. 😉


Down time: Whether it’s reading, sipping coffee, or creating, I need some more down time. Intentional relaxation to regroup and count the blessings around me one at a time. 🙂

Food: We ate a ton of real food in 2016. It wasn’t deliberate, we just kind of fell in love with it. But, post-holidays have me going through a sugar withdraw. 😉 Eating more real food is without-a-doubt on the list and a prayer of mine and something I hope to continue to share with you.

So in 2017 I hope my time is full of purpose and meaning, my inspiration from the world around me is at an all-time high, and all the sensations foods bring will remind me of the goodness and memories close to me.

Here we go, 2.0.1.7!

 

Chocolate Chai Tea Smoothie

Chocolate Chai Tea Smoothie-- Recipe at: stephanie-spring.comChocolate Chai Tea Smoothie-- Recipe at: stephanie-spring.comChocolate Chai Tea Smoothie-- Recipe at: stephanie-spring.comChocolate Chai Tea Smoothie-- Recipe at: stephanie-spring.comThe weekend consisted of temps in the twenties, and lows in the teens. Yikes!  Friday night I snuggled up with a ton of blankets, fell asleep at 8:00 and woke up to a backdrop of flurries on Saturday morning. Chai tea has been my drink of choice, my go-to, my “stress-relief” after a not-so-easy-day with the kiddos. It really is a beautiful thing. A calming drink.

I remember my senior year of college I went through a little coffee/latte craze after studying abroad. After visiting the campus coffee shop at least twice a day, I asked the barista to make whatever she thought I may like on days I couldn’t decide. She handed me a genius drink, just to my liking: A chocolate chai tea latte.


Saturday morning, all of these memories came flooding back as I sipped my morning tea and opened another box to brew some more. I felt like a smoothie would at least switch it up a little bit for my indulgence in this new favorite. Wink, wink. Low and behold, a chocolate chai tea smoothie is what was created!
Chocolate Chai Tea Smoothie-- Recipe at: stephanie-spring.comChocolate Chai Tea Smoothie-- Recipe at: stephanie-spring.com Chocolate Chai Tea Smoothie-- Recipe at: stephanie-spring.comChocolate Chai Tea Smoothie-- Recipe at: stephanie-spring.com


Ingredients:

  • 3 bags Spiced Dragon Red Chai Tea
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp local honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 frozen banana
  • about 7 ice cubes
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 pitted dates (chopped)


What to do:

Boil half a cup water and steep all three tea bags for five minutes. Remove tea bags and chill the tea in the refrigerator. Once chilled, combine all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Snuggle and sip.


 

Friday Favorites

First week back after the holidays: Done!

Riding the Friday wave into the weekend never felt so sweet. 🙂 Happy Friday everyone!

One.

The fact that I was able to sit down, drink my coffee, and just read on Monday morning was perfect before it was back to a routine.

Two.
I know I already expressed how much I loathe taking my make-up off at night. Well, this week I tried something a little different. Nothing like experimenting on my face, right? Ha! I used Aquaphor to remove my eye make-up, followed by my face cleanser. Then, I used diluted apple cider vinegar (half water, half apple cider vinegar) on one of these to get off the excess grime. The apple cider vinegar balances out your pH. I still use my Mia, just not on a daily basis. It has worked great and my face has been extremely clean and smooth all week! 🙂

Three.
My Bacon Chocolate Chip Pancakes!

Four.
Sometimes you just have to break out the shaving cream for math class. (Especially when they are calling for snow the next day and it’s the first week back from a long break)!

Five.

Remember how excited I got over Eric’s new watch? Well, THREE lucky winners will receive a $25 gift card to purchase a watch for yourself or a friend! Just enter below. The winner will be announced next Friday. Good luck! xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m linking up with Erika, NarciAndrea, Tif, April, and Karli!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Pancakes

With snow flurries constantly on the horizon, comfort food is constantly on my mind. Am I the only one? The frigid temperatures make me crave all things warm and filling. However, trying to find the balance between hearty and lean isn’t always the easiest. Therefore, this twist on pancakes is the perfect solution! They are filling but healthy and sweet with a side of savory. With the blustery chill outside, these will be sure to warm up your home in no time and may just become a staple for breakfast. 😉 


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Stonyfield Organic Greek Vanilla Bean Yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 pieces of bacon (or more if desired)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or more if desired)
  • Maple syrup (for topping)


What to do:

In a pan, cook the bacon. When it is finished, cut into bite-sized pieces. Combine yogurt, eggs, and oats into a blender. Blend until smooth. In a greased (I used butter) pan, pour batter to desired pancake size at medium heat. Immediately crumble bacon and chocolate chips onto each pancake. Flip the pancake when the edges start to bubble (about one and a half minutes). Cook for about another minute. Top with maple syrup and enjoy! 🙂