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iNSPiRE | Promise Me - April Surprise Winner

Tuesday, April 30

It's the last day of April...
which means it's also time to announce the Monthly Promise Me Surprise Winner.

Before we dive into announcing who the winner is...
let's start off with drooling over what they are going to win:

Beautiful Katie Daisy Inspirational Art

Click on "Read More" to find out the winner and to see more of Katie Daisy's beautiful art work...

RECiPE RADAR | Homemade Mayo and Salad Dressings

Monday, April 29

What's on my recipe radar this week?
I'll give you some hints:

1. It's the well known secret for getting kids to eating their veggies.
2. It's something adults like just as much as kids do.
3. It's the universal dip served with vegetable trays at almost every celebration!

If you guessed Ranch Dressing then you guessed right.

The Ranch Dressing recipe I'm looking to make is HOMEMADE!!
I'm not referring to using a dry seasoning packet of Hidden Valley Ranch. (sorry).
The Homemade Ranch Dressing I'm excited to make is truly homemade in every sense of the word...
and it starts with a base of this....

Creamy Homemade Mayo

Before I break down how easy the process is...
First let me say...

STYLiNG | Pretty Party Skewers

Friday, April 26

Last week...
I announced a spontaneous giveaway on Instagram...
which linked to my Facebook Fan Page.

The giveaway was for a set of these...

{Reusable} Pretty Party Skewers
A brand-new item I've worked with my manufacturer to create and will be launching soon!

I asked for some creative feedback as to the different ways these NEW Pretty Party Skewers could be used.
I had intended on choosing 3 winners on Instagram...
but I was having so much fun with the feedback...
I decided to select 3 additional winners from my Facebook Fan Page.
And now...
I would absolutely love to send a FREE set of Party Skewers to 3 of my blog readers.

All you have to do is leave me some feedback on the different ways you would use these.
I'll randomly choose 3 people. That's it! Pretty simple.

I do ask that you be a SUBSCRIBED reader to my blog.
Haven't done that yet? CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE!

Now...take a peek at just a few ways you can use these beautiful, lucite party skewers!
(Click READ MORE below to continue reading)

SHARE | Luau Birthday Party

Thursday, April 25

Get ready to have your creative volcano erupt!!
The details from this adorable Luau themed party will have you
visualizing your toes digging into the warm sands of Hawaii…
the waves of the ocean as your background music…
the sun warming your skin...
and the smell of coconut and suntan lotion in the air.

Party Host: Steffany Lannoo
Celebration Type: Birthday Party
Party Theme: Luau
Inspiration: Floral Print (from some pre-purchased Table Cloths)
Color Palette: Hot Pink, Turquoise, & Green
Party Style: Casual

Luau Themed Birthday Party 
styled by Steffany Lannoo

Continue browing through the photos...
and be on the look out for... (Click on the "Read More" button below)

iNSPiRE | Promise Me - March Surprise Winner

Tuesday, April 23

I know...
slap me on the wrist.

I'm late on announcing the person I've selected to send the Monthly Promise Me Surprise to...
and here it is almost the end of April! Sheesh!

The winner for March is going to receive one of my most treasured things...
something I've actually mentioned and given away here on my blog before. See this post.

It's a book that I continually reference for inspiration...
It's powerful...
it's motivating...
it's empowering...
and it's simple.

As I'm picking the "Promise Me" Monthly Surprises...
I really try to find things I personally would love to receive...
Click the "Read More" button below

RECiPE RADAR | Berries and Whipped Coconut Cream

Monday, April 22

To celebrate Day 22 of the Whole30 challenge I've been participating in...
I thought I'd share a recipe from the newest cookbook I 've purchased...

It's a GREAT  book filled with tip and tricks on how to keep your meals fun, filling and with less prep work.

After 22 days of adopting the Whole30 way of eating...
I must say that I have learned quite a bit.
Not just about "how" to eat more sensibly and fuel my body in the right way...
but I've also learned a lot about myself.
I'm much stronger than I give myself credit for most of the time!

One of the excerpts from the book described perfectly what my life has been like for the past 22 days...

"For the first few weeks, [I spent a lot of time in the kitchen]. I felt like I was on an endless loop of chop, cook, eat, wash, repeat. It was tedious."

For has taken a lot of prep work to be successful on this journey.
My days consist of getting up WAY early to prepare lunch and breakfast for J before he leaves for work.
3:15 a.m. on Tuesdays...grrrrr!!

Between all of the lunches and breakfasts I prepare for everyone else and myself...
at the end of each day...I feel as though I've been in the kitchen for a good majority of it. *frown*

Well Fed has re-fueled my fire!
I love the casual approach of this cookbook...
and not only does it offer some great recipes to inspire you to cook up some wonderfully healthy meals for your family...
"it's healthy eating like you've never seen it - a collision of flavors, textures, and colors designed to impress your eyes, stimulate your taste buds, and nourish your body."

I also love all of the awesome pointers offered about how to make the prep work less tedious,  suggestions for how to shop and ideas for how to plan your meals!!

My favorite part of the book?

"...the right cookbook will inspire you to discover your own creativity and tastes and establish your own experiences and traditions. Well Fed was written to do just that, and will effortlessly allow you to cultivate your own rock star inner chef."

I love that Well Fed encourages you to get creative...
You KNOW I'm all about tapping into that source any chance I get.

with all of that said...
in addition to the plethora of delicious meals from Well Fed on my radar this week...
here's a little guilt-free treat I'm looking forward to "whipping" up...

It's simple and is oh-so-perfect for the Summer months we are heading into!
Think "4th of July celebrations"!


Let me know if you try this out!!

Here's a little bit of background on Melissa Joulwan, author of Well Fed.
"Many of the recipes in Well Fed debuted on my blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.
I started my blog in 2008 to write about my workout and fashion adventures. As my diet
evolved to focus on paleo foods, I started to casually write about the the things I was eating. 
Soon my adaptations of family recipes were some of the most popular pages on my site, and the ideas
for the cookbook started to simmer."

How's that for some inspiration??

By the way...
just in case you are wondering...
I made the "Zoodles" I mentioned last week!  using the recipe from Well Fed
The julienne peeler I bought worked perfectly...
and the Whole30 approved "Spaghetti & Meatballs" meal I made turned out awesome!
J was surprisingly satisfied! The pasta-lovin-spaghetti-connoisseur that he is...
rated the meal a 9.25 on a scale of 1-10!

Have a great week everyone!

I have to keep it real with you.
The Whole30 has been a HUGE challenge...
which is obviously why they call it a "challenge".  *wink*
I have been discouraged for the majority of it...
not really seeing a big difference in myself...
sitting back watching J reap some real, measurable benefits from it.
I told myself that no matter what...
I would keep pushing through all the way to Day 30.
I'm happy to report...
that FINALLY...
on Day 22...
I've felt the shift with my energy...
and I've noticed my clothes fitting differently.
I NEEDED that little win BIG WIN today!
I'm so grateful!!

RECiPE RADAR | Zoodles

Monday, April 15

I'm officially half way through my Whole30 journey.
So today I'm sharing with you something I've NEVER tried before...
and I want to try these right today. *wink*

 aka "noodles made from fresh zucchini"

Since one of J's biggest cravings during our last 15 days of the Whole30 eating plan has been spaghetti...
I really want to surprise him with a plate of spaghetti and meatballs - Whole30 compliant - of course.
I keep hearing how wonderful these are as a replacement for regular noodles - so why not try them?

I just ordered this Julienne Peeler which apparently allows you to whip up
some zoodles in no time flat - and is a super affordable kitchen gadget. (around $10-$15).

Once I've got my new julienne peeler, I'll be trying out this delightful dish too...

Eliminate the feta to keep it Whole30 compliant...otherwise everything else is a go.

If you've got a favorite recipe using zoodles - please share!
And if you've experienced Whole30 - let me know how you did.
What were your personal results?

I can tell you I've had some really frustrating days.
I haven't seen results like J has already been seeing.
But the one thing I HAVE noticed?
No more REAL cravings anymore.

I'm not saying I completely ignored the cookies at Jason's Deli with my mom this weekend.
I actually honed in on them and thought, "Wow! Those are big, delicious-looking cookies".
But, there wasn't my normal feeling of "I've absolutely got to devour those this instant".

And I may have even glanced longingly at the beautiful bread on the Pastrami sandwich my mom ordered.
those moments of longing were fleeting.
I got the salad bar, ordered a side of grilled chicken (whole30 approved) and felt perfectly satisfied at the end of my meal. 
I didn't feel cheated or deprived - or bloated and gross.
So I'm very proud of myself.

I was also surrounded by chips and dips and lots of other temptations at the poolside barbecue we went to yesterday.
But J and I were perfectly satisfied with the steaks we brought for grilling...
and the steamed cauliflower and fresh veggies we showed up with to accommodate our protein source.
It's getting easier...
and I take it day by day!

Thank you Cooley family for having us over yesterday - we had a great time!!

I hope you are enjoying the last two Recipe Radar posts!
They are most certainly a change from my sugary sweet desserts I typically post...
but I think the Kale Blueberry Ice Cream from last week...
and today's Zoodles are both a reFRESHing choice to add to your menu - which makes them perfect for Spring!!

I've got lots of craft ideas I've been prepping to share with you...
Hopefully the workload in the design shoppe will slow down a bit so I can actually photograph things and get them posted for you.

RECiPE RADAR | Kale Blueberry Ice Cream & Re-Fueling

Monday, April 8

I took last week off - if you didn't notice.
It wasn't planned...
it just sort of happened.

I needed to refuel...
and by that I mean in a variety of ways:
- mentally
- emotionally
- physically

We all need to do that every now and then.
A lot of times I feel guilty if I don't post here on the blog at least 3 times a week.
Although I'd love to post every day, I'm in a season of my life that doesn't really allow for that.
I used to be resentful about it.
But I'm learning to let that go.
Because ultimately...
I feel whole and complete and fulfilled...
when I'm focused on my family.
That's it.
Bottom line.
They are my world.
It's so easy to lose sight of that!
But it's also easy to regain the proper perspective when you step away for a bit.
I'm so glad I did.

since it IS Recipe Radar day...
let's begin the week off with something in line with the physical aspect of the "refueling" I mentioned:

I'm on Day 8 of the 30-day challenge from Simple Green Smoothies...
and I'm doing awesome.
This recipe for Kale Blueberry Ice Cream was in one of the emails I received from Simple Green Smoothies.
It caught my attention for a couple of reasons:
- It sounds like the strangest combination ever! Doesn't it?!
- I'm looking for different ways to incorporate a little more Kale into my eating.

GO HERE for the recipe.

Since I'm also on Day 8 of the Whole30 Challenge...and staying strong
I look forward to trying out this recipe at the end of my 30 days.

If you try it before I do, PLEASE let me know what you think!
And if you have any other interesting Ice Cream Recipes you'd like to share...
leave a comment, share a link or email me at: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com

Here's to a week filled with moments of "re-fueling"...
We have to the MAKE those moments happen, by the way.
They aren't going to magically appear before our eyes you know! *wink*

I seriously wanted to quit the Whole30 yesterday.
I was met with chocolate chip cookies and leftover pizza from the the girls having friends over on Saturday night.
I was exhausted from making Whole30 lunches for J every morning...
cooking Whole30 dinners for the family every night...
and eating eggs. Tons of eggs.
Egg omelettes in the morning...
Boiling hard-boiled eggs...
peeling hard-boiled eggs...
packing hard-boiled eggs.
But not eating hard-boiled eggs!
I don't like hard-boiled eggs.
Everyone else in my family does though!
And they are a very convenient way for J to get his protein in for his lunches during the week.
We went through SEVEN DOZEN EGGS last week! *gasp*
I just had a really bad attitude on Sunday.
I REALLY wanted to toss in the towel.
Luckily J pulled me through...encouraging me throughout the day.
just as I pulled him through the day/night before.
And here I am.
Day 8 of Whole30...
and I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing some changes to keep me motivated! Ha!
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