What’s Up Wednesday: The easiest vegetable soup you’ll ever make!

Insanity day 2: I was sore today from the fit test but as soon as I got home from work I moved on to day two. I made it through! Shawn T somehow convinces you to stick with it and push through it! It was the fastest 45 minutes of a video workout I’ve ever done! Usually I get bored but this was great! My legs are a little sore but the hurt feels good! It’ll all be worth it in the end!

Today’s recipe is my go to soup. I make this all the time; winter, spring, summer, fall. I made it last week and it’s summer! It was what I was craving so I made it. Here’s what you do:

Throw whatever veggies you have on hand in a pot, I use beans too…carrots, celery, onion, green pepper, zucchini, frozen broccoli, frozen spinach, a can of kidney beans, a can of white kidney beans, a can of green beans, etc. (this is all that I put in mine that I had on hand).

bfdbfd bfdfdAdd one of the large bottles of V8 (The full size ones you find in the juice aisle. I used the spicy kind), one carton thing of chicken or vegetable broth, and water to fill up the rest of the pot to the topish (about 1 inch from the rim). Add hot sauce (I add a lot), parsley, celery leaves, and any other spices you want.

bdefdBring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes. You can leave it on the stove for a while too so the veggies get nice and tender. I usually take a bowl for myself after 20 minutes and then let the rest simmer for an hour or two.

When serving, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top for a little something extra. Trust me, this makes it extra great!

This makes a ton of soup so it lasts me all week for my lunch and then I have some left to freeze. Perfect for quick lunches or dinners!

YUM

bfdbdfIt’s quick, healthy, and easy! Three works I like to hear. Enjoy!

Question of the day:

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

~Amber

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Transformation Tuesday #5…Me

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Hi all,

Yup, you read the title right. This Transformation Tuesday is all about me!

I recently joined an Insanity Challenge group to try and get back in shape! I’ve never done Insanity so I’m nervous but I’m going to push onward anyways! I took my before shots and measurements and I can’t wait to show you guys the afters!

I decided to join the challenge group because I need people to hold me accountable or else I won’t follow through and finish it. If it gets too hard, I’d just quit. It’s not a great quality to have in myself but it’s the truth. This way I figured I’d have to do it.

It’s not going to be easy and I know I’m going to want to quit but hopefully this group will help me stick with it. I just want to get back into shape and tone, maybe lose 5lbs…nothing major.

Last night I did the fit test and barely made it through that so the next two months should definitely be interesting…if you don’t hear from me…yea I probably died…just kidding!

So tonight will be the first real workout…wish me luck!

Question of the day:

What have been your experiences with Insanity?

~Amber

Weekend productiveness…kind of

Mondayyyyyy…it’s here again.

Last week I mentioned I went to the fair with work and here’s my recap! I wasn’t there very long but it was still a blast! My night in pictures:

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Salt n Peppa signing autographs!

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Rain's coming!

Rain’s coming!

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When the downpour arrived, we hid out in the International building…it contains both food AND booze!

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And it’s right next to the wine slushie tent…a quick dash in the rain for pure yumminess!

wine slushieeeeeeee = best part of the fair

wine slushieeeeeeee = best part of the fair

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Betsy and Krissy 🙂

An that’s all I’ve got picture wise! It was a blast! And gyros are delicious…yes.

Now…

This past weekend I was kind of very productive… 🙂

Saturday I woke up bright and early and cleaned a lot. The place still needs work (We still have just too much stuff!) but it was so much better than before. I bought dried garbanzo beans, almonds, and wheat berries and so I had to get to soaking. I always have used canned chick peas but thought I’d give the dried ones a shot and possibly save a little money! I soaked them overnight Saturday and then Sunday, I rinsed them and the put them in a pot with water, added a little salt, boiled them for 2 minutes, then let them simmer for about an hour until they were the perfect softness…hardness? They were soft but not too soft because I planned on freezing them and read that if they are a little solid still they hold up better. I plan on making hummus with a lot of these guys!

I also soaked some almonds because I wanted to make my own almond flour! I’m trying out some gluten free recipes because Kev’s mom read that eliminating gluten from your diet can help with ADD/ADHD, which Kev has. Almond flour is so expensive! So I thought it would be at least a little bit cheaper to try and make my own!

I soaked the almonds overnight, took the skin off them on Sunday (It slides right off), ground them until they were a meal texture in the food processor, spread the crumbs on two cookie sheets and dried them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 175 degrees F until the were dry. Then I put them in my coffee grinder in small batches to grind them into a finer texture. Perfect! I made these cookies…And they are our new favorites!! Dark Chocolate and Bacon cookies…YUMM I don’t have any pictures because we ate them too fast!

I also soaked the wheat berries (which if you have never had them, shame on you, they’re chewy, nutty goodness and full of fiber!!) And cooked them up on Sunday. I made a nice little FILLING salad with them. I mixed them with some chick peas, edamame, sun dried tomatoes, and then a quick little vinaigrette. It came out so yummy and is perfect for me to take to work this week for my lunch!

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Doesn’t look too pretty but it tastes amazing!

And lastly yesterday I made chocolate donuts per Kev’s request! It also gave me a chance to try out my new donut pan! They came out a little dry but the quick chocolate glaze I made worked a little bit to add some moisture (And I followed a recipe Kev found…so I am taking no responsibility for the dryness 😉 They also weren’t very chocolately, even with chocolate chips in them (again, the glaze definitely came into play here). At least they look delicious!

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Sorry about the crappy photos…I kind of spilled a lot of water in my purse…while my phone was in it…and some of the water got in there and yeah…it wasn’t good.  I really need to invest in a camera (or borrow/steal Kev’s ;)).

Well anyways, have a great Monday!

Question of the day:

Did you try out anything new this weekend?

~Amber

What I’ve been up to lately

Happy Wednesday!

Since I haven’t had time to do any of my many projects lately, I thought it was only fair to let you know what I’ve been up to. This past weekend was my garage sale so I was super busy with that and then Sunday I was dead…I did make my favorite vegetable soup though which I will be sharing soon. (I know, soup. I had a craving so I decided to go with it because that way I wouldn’t have to worry about lunch the rest of the week.

Monday I was supposed to work on fixing up and painting a table for my mom. That project is also coming soon, but I honestly I can’t guarantee anything :/ I was planning on working on it after work but when I got home, my two friends Kate and Jesse convinced me that taking a ride out to Skaneateles would be a lot more fun. And it was. We got ice cream then went by the lake and fed the ducks. IT was such a nice night and it was great to enjoy it at the end of summer.

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ducks

Last night after work I went to the Dave & Buster’s sneak peak event at DestinyUSA. They are one of our clients at work so a bunch of us went after work. I brought my friend Kate as my plus one and we had a blast! I had never been to a Dave & Busters before and it was a great experience.

We got a free $20 game card and two free drink cards at the door as well as a bunch of food that was being passed around and was set up buffet style. They had the biggest shrimp I’d ever seen!!

Kate and I got 22oz Angry Orchard’s and they were hugeeee! KAte demonstrated their size by comparing it to her head…practically the same size!

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Kate and I

Kate and I

We also had a couple of intense games of 4 player air hockey with two of my coworkers, Betsy and Krissy.

This was our second game where I was the first to get out

This was our second game where I was the first to get out

Syracuse University’s mascot, Otto the Orange showed up too!

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He gave Betsy some love 🙂

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We got a tonnn of tickets and Kate and I decided to combine tickets and get our friend Jesse some presents since he couldn’t come. He loved them!

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Overall it was a great time and we will definitely be back!

Thursday is the opening day of the Great New York State Fair! They are also one of our clients so we will be closing the office early and we’ll be heading over there after work. I love the fair. It’s located right in Syracuse where I grew up so I’ve been going every year since I was a kid. There is so much stuff to look at from all over the state but I do have to say, my favorite part is definitely the food. And wine slushies. Mmmmmmm yum. I’ll give you a recap on it, don’t worry!

Question of the day:

Whats your favorite part of your state or local fair?

~Amber

Transformation Tuesday #4 Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt!

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So I decided to make today’s Transformation Tuesday a recipe because this recipe has seriously transformed my breakfast recently. It’s seriously so delicious and you wouldn’t even believe it’s healthy!

I was at the store a few weeks ago and saw that Chobani came out with a mint chocolate chip yogurt. I had to get it and it was so good!

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I loved the taste but one of these mini 3.5oz containers has 100 calories, 12g of sugar and 8g of protein…I thought I could beat it! I decided to make my own!

Here’s what I did. I assembled my ingredients:

1 6oz cup of plain greek yogurt

1/4-1/2 tsp mint extract

1 stevia packet

1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips

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Just mix it all together and enjoy!

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I used this to make my overnight oats mint chocolate chip too! It’s like dessert for breakfast! So cool and light too! I hope you guys enjoy!

(Not counting the chocolate chips, my version has almost double the yogurt, 4g less sugar, and 7g more protein!! Can’t beat it!!

Question of the day:

What’s you favorite kind of yogurt?

~Amber

Motivation Monday #3 Garage Sale Recap

It’s finally Sunday. And I’m still exhausted. The past two days have been exhausting but successful. I am not looking forward to work tomorrow because I would rather take another day to lay in bed and relax. Oh well…back to real life. But first, a recap of garage sale weekend!

I took Friday off from work and we had the sale Friday and Saturday, 8-2. I had everything mostly labeled in the garage Thursday night ready to move outside Friday morning. Jammed. Packed.

hui bhigiI put a lot of the furniture on Craigslist starting the Tuesday before with my advertisement for the sale and sold some prior to the sale which was awesome!

Friday morning I was up at 6am and was out putting up signs. I was so stressed about the signs, about where to put them, and then that morning I just got it done. Tip: just bring a hammer and take existing nails out of the telephone poles and reuse them to hang your sign. I also used foam board to make the signs because they don’t bend and held up a lot better to the morning dew.

I dragged everything out and just sat back and let the people come.

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People came in waves both days (we probably sold more big stuff Friday and smaller stuff Saturday) and if someone made an offer, I usually took it. I just wanted the stuff gone and the way I saw it was it’s money I didn’t have yesterday and that’s a little more room in my house.

We made about $300-$350 overall, but it was split between 4 people, me, Kev, my mom, and my stepmom, because we all had stuff that was out to sell.

So much work but so worth it in the end!!

Have a great Monday!!

Question of the Day:

What have been your experiences with garage sales? Good? Bad?

~Amber