Happy New Year!

Hey y’all!

It’s been forever!!!

I missed you.

As I sit in Starbucks with my homemade Green Island Smoothie (recipe below), I feel completely and utterly content. All mornings should start like this: Green smoothie, cup of hot coffee, writing by a sunrise-viewing window.

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Taking time off has been a bit therapeutic and was definitely necessary as we’ve started the process of selling our condo in Cali to move back to Florida this spring, but I think I’m finally ready to commit to writing again.

I watch my stats and see how much traffic this labor-of-love has gained in its short two year life. You guys are so awesome!

I want to write stuff that y’all want to read. I want to write about everything I love. In order to do that, however, I need some feedback. What do you love most? DIY projects? Pinterest posts? Printables? Recipes? Fashion focused posts?

let me know!

I am multi-tasking personality which makes me jump from topic to topic quickly, so I need your help to keep me focused. I can’t promise to post every day, but if you could leave me your top 3 fave topics in the comments below, I’d love you even more than I already do 😉

Green Island Smoothie
Ingredients
– 1 ripe banana
– Juice of 1 orange or large tangerine
– 1 handful baby spinach
– 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
-1/2 cup frozen peaches
– 1 cup filtered water or coconut water

Directions
Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend on high until silky smooth.

It looks way cuter in a mug or other container, but the impromptu urge to write in a Starbucks on a random Tuesday results in a messy, half drank shaker bottle…judge me.

Here’s to a brand New Year full of surprises, good news, and growth!

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Managing Stress

Do you ever have one of those days/weeks/months where you feel like you have no control over anything? Your fate is entirely in someone else’s hands and you just have to sit and wait to see the outcome? This happens to me a bunch. Between a change of commands (and possibly moving cross-country again), home renovations, and all the little things that build up, I find myself feeling like this.

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Do you know what’s the best thing about stress though? It’s purely your choice to feel stressed. Yep. I said it. You’re choosing to be stressed. I’m choosing to be stressed.

And you know what? I’m letting it go today.

Here’s what I’m doing to reduce my stress levels (which may or may not be in the order I plan on completing them…)

1. Crank up iTunes and Shake my money-maker
It’s not going to be pretty, but man is it fun! Here’s my song choice of the day…

2. Make a plan for my day
Something in print. Made by me to fit my lifestyle. Inspired by something like this or this. I’ll post my own printable when I get a chance to make it this week. Girl Scouts honor.

3. Go for a walk. With friends if possible
I’m going to grab a friend who will listen to my crazy ranting and not judge me. Or maybe judge me, but still love me. We all need friends of that caliber in our lives. And we are going to walk until I’m tired of talking, sweaty, and back to my sunshiny, normal self. Friends and exercise do wonders.

4. Count my blessings
The things I stress about are so far out of my league of control it’s not even funny. There’s nothing I can do but think positively and hope for the best. Put my faith in the fact that what’s meant to be, will be. I have a wonderful husband, a loving family, the best friends I could’ve ever asked for, and a roof over my head that’s almost completely tailored to our every desire. I have so much more to be thankful for than the things that stress me out.

5. Sleep it off.
Just saying, dreaming is way better than worrying…unless you get attacked by a rabid animal or something. I suggest not eating at least 2 hours before bed…I always have crazy dreams when I eat late, but that’s off topic.

6. Hug someone
Preferably not a stranger. That might not end well, but maybe it might. I’m going to hug my husband. Hug my friends. Hugs my pups. And really squeeze them. Funnel so much love into them through my hugs that they’ll feel it for days. I got a couple of these hugs yesterday at a friends birthday party and they are still making me smile today. Hugs cure.

So yeah. There is it. Choose happiness. Choose to be stress-free (or at least less-stressed). I’m here for you. I’ll be dancing to T.Swift and trying to teleport my love/hugs your way if you are stressing. Shake it Off, y’all. We’re in this together!

Back to the old format?

Hey y’all! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted since Jeff has recently had some more time at home, so we have been enjoying our newfound quality time by filling our weekends with fun adventures!

Here’s what we’ve been up to (including, but not limited to:) DIY home decor, trying new recipes, starting another blog, celebrating my 27th birthday and our 2nd Anniversary, Jeff getting promoted, and getting ready to travel to Ohio to see family after over a year of being away. All of that looks something like this:

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I have also been toying with the idea of going back to my old daily format, but wanted to get as many opinions as I could before I do anything. Before starting my health journey at the beginning of this year, I had a format that looked like this:

Monday: Fashion Feature
Tuesday: Teaching Tips/Nannying/Tuesday Tester
Wednesday: Around the House – DIY ideas or before&afters of our home
Thursday: Pinterest Post
Friday: Fitness Feature
Saturday: What’s on my mind – random thoughts/weekend fun
Sunday: Recipe of the Week

So I need a little input…
what would you like to see on The Wife Life?
Is there a type of article you love? Could you live without one of the suggestions above? Do you want daily posts or just semi-weekly?

send me your ideas in the comments below!!!

Love you guys!!

Summer Activity Bucket List + Recipe!

Hey guys! Now that all of my family is safely back in Ohio and I’ve done a deep clean of the house to prep for warmer weather, I’ve decided to make a Summer Activity Bucket List.

Now, this list is a little less lofty and morbid as a traditional bucket list, but is going to give me a constant reminder of all of the fun things I want to do to take advantage of perfect weather.

– Kayaking in the ocean – CHECK! 5/3 – pictures to come!
– Kayaking in the bay
– Paddleboarding in the bay – Going tomorrow morning! EEEK!
– Paddleboarding in the ocean
– Hike Potato Chip Rock
– Rent a bicycle and tour a boardwalk
– Ride the Aerial Tram
– Go Sailing – CHECK 4/12 – photos here
– Run a 5K
– Golf 9 holes (walking)
– Whale Watching or Harbor Cruise
– Visit a beach outside of San Diego county
– Walk/Run all of Seaport Village
– Tour Petco Park
– Run stairs at a local attaraction

I’ll add more items as I think of them, but I think that’s a pretty good start.

With all of these physically active tasks on my plate, I’ll need to nutrient-load my system to keep my energy up and my body in tip-top shape. Juicing is a fast, easy way for me to do just that. Here’s a great recipe for my current favorite juice when I get a big sweet tooth.

Watermelon Punch
Yields about 40 ounces

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Ingredients
– 1 mini watermelon, chunked and rind removed
– 1 lb. strawberries, hulled
– 1 lb. black grapes, stemmed
– 2 oranges, peeled
Optional: 2 carrots ( I was out 😦 )

Directions
1. Run all ingredients through your juicer.
2. Strain juice to remove any pulp
3. Pop in a large mason jar or wine glass and drink up!

Clean Eating Challenge

Hey guys! The past two weekends have been filled with family and fun, but mostly with food….heavy, fatty, deliciously bad for you food.

It was also filled with great memories like this…

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Between taking in a baseball game, kayaking, taking the pups for walks, and eating my favorite deconstructed sushi, my eating needs a BIG overhaul.

For the next two weeks, I will be starting a clean eating challenge.

During this time I can eat as much lean protein and produce as I want. That’s right. No. Counting. Calories. Literally as much as I want. Now obviously, the aim is to pack my tummy full of delicious produce, but the protein will help aid recovery for workouts (which I am good to start back up full force!!) and give me the energy to make it through my day.

Tack in unlimited water (hopefully 8-10 glasses per day, minimum) and just a little low-fat dairy, whole grains, and healthy fats and I should be on my way to kick starting a long-term healthy eating plan!

Simply put, less of this

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And more of this

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Want me to share my daily menu? Leave me a comment below!

Nanny Notebook Update & More!

Hey guys! This past weekend and this upcoming weekend I have family in town so you won’t hear from me, but I’ve got a few exciting updates for you all!

1. The Nanny Notebook post is blowing up on Pinterest and the Blogosphere (thank you!!!!) and I have officially gotten around to posting the PDF versions of my Printables on the post. If you check it out here, you can easily download and print them from your home computer!

2. I’ve started a side project just for funsies and hope you’ll check it out. It’s called The Dessert Project and every week I’ll be posting a new splurge-worthy easy dessert to make at home out of box mix or other convenience baked good items you can find in your local supermarket! For all of you who have missed my unhealthy delicious recipes, this is for you!

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3. We’ve got almost 11,000 views and 128 followers and I just wanted to say….YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!! Thank you so much! I know The Wife Life isn’t a well known blog like some others, but, man, do you all make me feel so loved! When I started The Wife Life, I didn’t think I’d ever hit 10 followers, let alone over 100 and views in the ten thousands?!?!!!!!!!, I’m so overwhelmed and grateful! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! Keep spreading the love and I love hearing from you all!

99 Bananas Smoothie + Updates

Hey everyone! Writing has slipped past me the past few days, but I’ve come bearing updates and a great new smoothie recipe!

Ok, so, updates:
1. Ankle is definitely still not up for running, or really any activity for that matter. I tried going on a slow 5 mile walk with a friend, but a half mile in my ankle was already hurting. I still knocked out the miles, but it wasn’t a pretty sight afterwards.

2. Jeff surprised me with a 2 hour sailing tour of San Diego and we had a blast! We also went to Temecula (wine country near us) and had an amazing time sampling local wines and cheeses.

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3. I made an amazing clean chili recipe last week and I’m still reaping its benefits for lunch this week out of the freezer. It’s pretty much a boatload of mushrooms, onions, carrots, and tomatoes with your standard ground meat, tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, and chili spices, but I let mine stew away in my slow cooker all day long so the veggies almost melted into the sauce and was meaty, making my meat-and-potatoes-loving husband happy 🙂

Ok, so there’s that. Now that that part is over, I can get down to the yummy stuff!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you’ve binge-watched YouTube and convinced yourself that all of the diet lifestyle channels are the one you’re going to convert your whole life to match? No? That’s only me? Oh well….

Anywho, I was watching a few different channels including Freelee the Banana Girl and it got me craving a banana smoothie, so I present to you….

The “99 Bananas” Smoothie
note: no alcohol involved…unfortunately 😉

Ingredients
– 3 very ripe bananas
– 1 handful frozen pineapple
– 1 handful baby spinach
– 4 large frozen strawberries
– 1 cup water or coconut water

Directions
1. Blend that bad boy up! I mean, layer ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and silky.
2. Devour. Preferably on a patio in the warm spring air. It tastes better that way. Trust me.

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Laundry Room Renovation

Happy Friday y’all!

Instead of sulking over the fact that I’m “not allowed” to do any physical activity that involves ankles (i.e. Almost everything…) I’m going to share with you our newly renovated laundry room.

Now, apologies ahead of time that I didn’t think to take “Before” pictures besides when we first moved in which resulted in photos that look like I was on some type of “take the most pictures in 2 minutes” kind of game show. They are obviously horrible the best quality photos ever!

Ha! Sarcasm! Love it.

Anywho, here’s what our “laundry room” looked like before we moved in…

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Since those pictures suck, I also used my amazing drawing skills to make you a blueprint of the layout…

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I know, I know….I excelled in art class…it’s no big deal…I mean, look at those flowers!

When we first moved in I was pretty bummed to see that our laundry was off the garage because the concrete floor was just filled with dirt that sunk into the pores of the surface. All I could see was clean laundry dropping on the floor when I was removing it from the dryer and having to rewash it. What a hassle!

So I came up with a plan for Jeff (and I) to work on. I asked for a sealed/epoxy or tiled floor, a place to fold laundry within the room, and some shelving to hang my dried clothing and laundry supplies. I also wanted the area to look like an intentional room, not just a slab above the garage.

Here’s what we did, in two days (total time), for under $300.

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We got most of the big items from Home Depot including the Paint (Behr Paint + Primer In One “Zen”), Floor Epoxy Paint (Behr Concrete Epoxy in Silver Gray – not recommended for our use though after completing…), Molding, Table Top, and Cabinet to make the “Folding” Table. We already had both wire shelving units and the large cabinet by the washer and dryer. As for the decor, I bought the clock and vase from Target, the art on the walls from Kohls, and the clothes pins and jar from WalMart.

For under $300 and not seeing very good “before” photos, what do y’all think?!

a huge “thanks!” goes out to my amazing husband for constructing my folding area and putting everything up on the walls. He really is the best guys!

GWC Day 51 – Out for the count

Well guys, I’m sorry to say that I’m taking the rest of this week off from running/walking to let my ankle heal. I’m so disappointed, but I know if I keep pushing it, I’m going to make it worse.

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I will still be BodyRocking and just replacing the cardio sections with weight training or endurance building exercises that do not use my ankle.

In the meantime though, I’m taking this bit of “down time” to share with you guys all of the exciting things going on in the VC household! Be on the lookout over the next few days for clean eating recipes I’ve made this week and some of the changes we’ve been doing around our new home.

For now, I’ll leave you in my injured current state

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You’d make that face if you were getting sloppy Atlas kisses all over your face 😉

GWC Day 50 – Confessions + Recipe

Ok guys. Confession time: I skipped my Day 12 and Day 15 workouts to let my ankle have some rest from jumping and high knees…horrible, I know!

So this morning I vowed that I would get myself all caught up (with today being Day 16) and just go for a morning walk.

That didn’t happen….

Instead I beasted out 2.5 miles at a 9:50 pace run (!!!!!!!!!!!) and then my ankle forced me to walk the rest. Side note: isn’t it so frustrating when you’re about to hit a goal, and a slight injury is stopping you?! I could’ve had my under-30-minute 5K today, but nooooooo……stupid ankle. Who needs you anyways?!

Then during the baby’s nap, I completed Day 12 and Day 15’s workout, swapping the ankle-hurting cardio parts for box squats and resistance obliques. Boy was I sweating by the end of that!

Then, on top of all of that, I took the pups on a 3.3 mile walk at a local shaded park since it was 90 degrees outside when I got home from work!

Go, me, Go!

I also watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead again last night (it’s one of my fave food documentaries!) and it inspired me to break out my juicer. This morning, after drinking 20 oz of water, I had a glass of apple, carrot, orange juice, but the real winner – and included recipe – is my new favorite juice. Try it ASAP!!

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Lisa’s Aloha Punch

Ingredients

6 small Gala apples
1/4 fresh pineapple
2 small/medium carrots or 1 large carrot

Directions
1. Juice together all ingredients with carrots being the first item to be put into the juicer.
2. Strain juice to remove any excess pulp
3. Pour over ice and serve in a wine glass if you’re feeling fancy like me 😉

This recipe makes about 3 cups of juice. Share it with family or hoard it all to yourself….not that I did that or anything….

ENJOY!