5 Favorite Books I Read in 2015

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It's a new year! A perfect time to reflect on all the ups and downs and trials and tribulations of the past year, and reset my focus for the forthcoming year. But that sounds simultaneously exhausting and boring—let's talk about books instead. ;)

2015 was a good reading year for me, so I thought it'd be fun to share some of my favorites. And to keep things quick and easy (it is Wednesday and nearly February, after all) I'm doing three-sentence reviews.

1. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

You don't have to like baseball to love this emotional journey of a star shortstop and his friends. Just be forewarned: if you're like me, you might cry in a coffee shop while reading it. As a bonus, it takes place in Wisconsin, a truly wonderful place.

2. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

I flew through this book, full of very quick scenes and intriguing facts. Ultimately, it painted a beautiful, poignant picture of a family at their near-breaking point. When I finished the last page, I wanted to experience it all over again.

3. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

An autobiographical graphic novel that's as surprising as it is powerful. I am now dying to see the Tony-award winning musical! If you've never read a graphic novel before, start with this one!

4. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This one is a must-read for aspiring authors, but her metaphors are inspirational for anyone. I felt significantly better about my writing--and my life--by reading this. My only regret is I didn't read it sooner.

5.Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

One of my favorite memoirs of all time (and I am a serial memoir-reader). Cheryl Strayed's powerful personal journey feels not only incredible, but also incredibly relatable. I now also obsessively listen to her podcast, Dear Sugar Radio.

Hope you enjoyed my recommendations!! Would love to hear your fave 2015 reads! xx

Simple Green Smoothies Recipes

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I have never been on a diet. This is solely because I am self-aware enough to realize that I do not possess the necessary willpower to diet successfully. I do not possess a quarter of the necessary willpower. Any time someone says they're gluten free or vegan or, say, don't eat cheese every single meal I don't ask why? I ask HOW?

I should mention that once I did decide to give up meat for lent. I was really, really focused on this. But then, on the bus ride after our basketball game, I accidentally ate a piece of pepperoni pizza ...on Ash Wednesday. (Sorry, God.) (Thankfully, as a Presbyterian, I always considered lent deprivations as bonus points, so to speak.)

Anyway, all that to say-- I started making Simple Green Smoothies in honor of the New Year! If you haven't heard of Simple Green Smoothies, check out their website and gorgeous Instagram account. You'll see (right away) that (thankfully) it's not a diet. Simply put, it's just a fun way to eat more dark, leafy greens, something I never seem to get enough of!

I've tried 3 recipes so far as part of their 30 day challenge and wanted to share them with you!  (All recipes from my Simple Green Smoothies Book)

Very Berry Citrus
2 cups spinach
2 oranges, peeled
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup strawberries (I used frozen)
3/4 cup blueberries (I used frozen)
1 banana

1. Blend spinach, oranges + water until smooth
2. Add strawberries, blueberries + banana and blend again!

Banana Berry Blast
2 cups spinach
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup berries (I used frozen blueberries and a few frozen blackberries)
2 bananas

1. Blend spinach + milk until smooth
2. Add berries + banana, blend again!

Simple Monkey
2 cups spinach
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
3 bananas
4 tablespoons cacao powder & 2 tbsps. almond butter {I replaced both of these things with 2 spoons peanut butter because that's what I had!}

1. Blend spinach + almond milk until smooth
2. Add bananas + Peanut butter and blend again!

I have enjoyed each recipe, but I loved the Simple Monkey (I admit probably because I added PB, but as I said, not a diet :). They also have many recipes that start with kale instead of spinach...that I'm working toward trying. What do you think? Do you drink green smoothies? Would you give it a try? If you have any great green smoothie recipes...send them my way!