Happy Birthday, Franklin!

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I am so excited to introduce our darling rescue pup, Franklin. Today is his first birthday! He will be spending it eating some tasty chicken, and going to play at the dog park. He is super snuggly and weighs only 3lb, 12oz as of his last weight in, and we think he might be a papillon/chihuahua mix, but we don’t know for sure. Although we’ve had him for several months now, I’ve been holding off introducing him, but expect to see a lot more of the little fuzzball in the future!

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Also a quick update: We are in the middle of a really large move, so unfortunately that has been taking up a lot of my time, but things should be settling down soon, and SP will be up and running as usual. I have a few fun things coming up, including a giveaway, so stay tuned for that! Thanks for checking in, and look for new content soon!

xo,

Petra

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Happy 12/12/12! 12 ways to celebrate the date

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Maybe I’m a huge dork, but I have been so excited for this date! It’s the last time this century that the numbers will line up so that the day, month, and ending year numbers all coincide. Last year’s 11/11/11 was a very special day as well, I was in a room with several hundred people doing this meditation exercise and, I don’t know, I think I felt some energy! Anyways, this year I don’t have anything special lined up, but here are a few ideas for some fun things you can do to celebrate.

12 things to mark 12/12/12

  1. Drink some bubbly! What does this have to do with 12? Nothing! It’s just to celebrate! Pictured above is one of my favorites, Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco.
  2. Eat some eggs! Not a whole dozen, mind you, but because they come in a set of 12, it’s kind of fun. Maybe make some Eggs and Noodles? Or do breakfast for dinner, that’s always fun.
  3. Cupcakes! Same idea here.
  4. Watch 12 Angry Men. One of my favorite movies anyway, but if you haven’t seen it in a while, now is a good time!
  5. Watch the Dirty Dozen! If you haven’t seen this, the cast is incredible, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, and more. It’s a great 60s era war movie. Dad, have you seen this one? Of course you have!
  6. Buy a new watch. If you are in need of a new watch, why not buy one today? 12 hours in a day, 12/12/12, it works, right? This one is particularly cute!
  7. Get married! Had I thought far enough ahead I would have seized the day here because I am a sucker for symmetry, and it’s a great date to mark with a really important event. Also, supposedly according to numerology, it’s a date when masculine and female energies merge. Hmmm, kind of suspect, but oh well.
  8. Go Bowling! It’s 12 strikes to a perfect game, so, you know, no pressure.
  9. DON’T play the lottery, tons more people will be trying their luck on this “lucky” day, so your chances of winning are not that good. Unless you are feeling VERY lucky, then buy a ticket for me too, we’ll split it.
  10. Buy your 2013 Calendar! I am in LOVE with THIS one from Rifle Paper Co. So cute!
  11. Meditate. Sometimes the best thing you can do is enjoy some quiet time and really appreciate the moment you are in right at this second. For extra points be meditating around 12:12pm :) Also, on a similar but different vein, today is a great time to attract things into your life that you want, and to let go of things that are holding you back. Get started on your resolutions early and really focus on your energy and intentions for this next year.
  12. Try not to freak out about the end of the world. Do something nice for someone instead.
  13. Bonus! Leave me a comment about what you will be doing today! Am I crazy for celebrating a date? Or are you excited too? Let me know in the comments!

Happy 12/12/12 everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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Radiance Green Smoothie

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Since Thanksgiving, I have decided to go on a super healthy kick from then until Christmas. As you may or may not know, I have been working very hard to get into better shape, and lose some weight, and get healthier overall, and this time of year it is especially challenging to maintain all the progress I’ve made, so in order to counter act a bit of the indulging that is bound to happen over Christmas with the family, (I can practically hear that hot chocolate and gingerbread calling my name!), I am doubling my efforts and therefore eating somewhat boring and repetitive food. Not that eating healthy is boring! Far from it! But I have been eating mostly salads and green smoothies and that does get old posting over and over again.

So, I decided I would share with you a few of the recipes I have been enjoying the most, starting first with that Super Greens Salad that I posted not too long ago, and today, my kick-butt, craving crushing, skin beautifying, all around awesome smoothie. Ok lets dive in!

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Pumpkin Coconut Curry

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One of my favorite cold-weather super easy meals is curry. Don’t ask me about all the traditional variations, I don’t know them, but I do know I love curry and I am always making it in different ways. Most of those ways involve coconut milk, because I always have that in my pantry, and chicken, because I always have that in my freezer. This time I decided to make it with pumpkin because, well, it’s fall and that means you put pumpkin in every single thing you make. I am sorry to add to the barrage of pumpkin everything out there, but this really is delicious, so maybe that will make up for it?

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Super Green Salad with Tart Cherries and Butternut Squash

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Hopefully your pants still fit and you are not lying on the couch in a pie and turkey coma! After a food-filled weekend I decided to make something nice and light, but still wintry and with some protein. The fresh greens and tart chewy-ness of the cherries are a welcome change in flavor after all the heavy holiday food. The best part about this recipe is the type of dressing you choose almost doesn’t matter. This would probably be just as good with a little squeeze of lemon and drizzle of oil.

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Icebox Pumpkin Cheesecake

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This was the easiest and best tasting pumpkin pie I have ever made. It was super crazy easy, is grain free, egg free, and best of all, you don’t have to bake it, (have I told you about my unreliable oven?)! I used this Martha Stewart recipe as a base, and made some adjustments from there. I doubled the amount of cream cheese, and used walnuts for the crust instead of graham crackers. It turned out great! I’ll definitely be making this again soon.

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Thanksgiving for two: Hazelnut Crusted Turkey Breast

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Thanksgiving is pretty much a family event, but if like us, you are saving your vacation days for Christmas, you’ll be spending it alone. Last year we just ordered Chinese food, but this year I thought I would try to keep a little of the day’s spirit by making a mini version of the meal. I thought briefly about buying a whole turkey to eat for the next year but my horrible apartment oven likes to turn off without warning, and I couldn’t risk having a half-cooked giant bird in a broken oven. But since turkey was a must, and since I could not find a turkey leg in the whole city, I grabbed a couple turkey breasts instead. I usually avoid turkey breast because it’s devastatingly dry and flavorless, but this recipe is nice and juicy thanks to a good long brine.

Crushed hazelnuts add some healthy fat, wonderful crunch, and a welcome, unexpected flavor.

Paired with my grain-free stuffing, you have a simple, delicious, guilt-free Thanksgiving meal.

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Cauliflower, Sausage, Wild Mushroom Stuffing (and not a grain in sight!)

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Since I was little, stuffing has always been my favorite side dish at the Thanksgiving table. It’s something we only had once a year, and for me it took up most of my plate. I made sure to get my fill of the gooey, stove-top boxed version that was loaded with lots of not so healthy carbs. These days, I try to avoid grains for the most part, I like to make them count in the form of crusty chewy bread or the occasional slice of pizza, so when it came time for Thanksgiving, my beloved side dish needed a little makeover.

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Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, And Wild Mushroom Crustless Quiche

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This is a great, quick weeknight meal, or a nice addition to a fall brunch. It would be perfect in a buttery delicate traditional Quiche crust, but since I try to minimize my grain intake, I did it without a crust, stove top, and it turned out really creamy and delicious. The combo of butternut squash, with the savory-ness of the mushrooms, and the sweetness of the onions is so comforting, so warming, so perfectly suited for a crisp fall morning with a cup of coffee or even a pomegranate mimosa. I like to serve it with a green salad, like arugula, spinach, or baby kale.

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