Still Alive, Still Eating (Kale Chips and Coconut Shrimp Recipe in Tow)

It's been too long since my last post. Between work trips, family happenings, and of course feeling sluggish and depressed, I've been busy and neglecting the things that I care about most... and one of those things, which is to no stranger of mine, getting healthy. I'm sick. Not just sick of everything (and everybody) but I feel sick. Energy: None. Stomachaches: Tons. TMI probs: LOADS.

Some people wonder why I care so much about getting into shape. Isn't fried chicken the breast? First of all, was I ever actually "in shape" in my life?  Not too sure about that. I could never do a real push up, pull up, or climb a rope in gym class. I NEVER had abs... ever. And to this day I can't jump a rope to save my own skin. The more I think about it the more I have to wonder, what is it even like to be "in shape?" Do I ever want to experience this in my lifetime? F0$%, yeah!

I know time and time again I say, "This time it will be different." "This time I will see the light and get it done." I don't know why I say these things because they are clearly lies and full of false hope. If I really wanted to do something I would have done it by now. I spend copious amounts of money that I don't have on products (and God knows what) and it doesn't do a damn thing because I can never commit to anything. Maybe I'll lose a good 10 but then those excuses come crashing down and I'm up a grand 15.

I don't really know what the solution is here or what the point of this post even is. Bottom line - I am forever at the mercy of my low self-esteem and cluttered universe. Until I can manage to love myself for who I am and clean house... I'll just have to make due with Kale Chips and Coconut Shrimp. What's a girl to do?

Kale Chips = Super Simple Snack

Preheat oven to 350. Just break up bits of Kale into "chip" sized pieces. Massage just a little olive oil on them and place on a cookie sheet. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, anything you want. Cook for 10-15 minutes, checking here and there. I tend to burn them so I really need to remember to check. They will be super crispy when done!

Creamy Coconut Shrimp = Heaven

So easy it's not even funny. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil. Saute 1/2 cup diced red onion, and 1/2 cup diced celery until softened. Add 1 1b wild shrimp (peeled). Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and creole seasoning. Stir until everything is mixed together. Cook shrimp until seared on both sides. Add 1/2 cup LITE coconut milk. Just enough to coat everything and create a little sauce. Let simmer for 5-8 minutes until shrimp is cooked, flavors have enhanced, and sauce has thickened. And you are done. I eat this on it's own, you can eat with rice. I also added some kale and cherry tomatoes before I heated it up again for my lunch today. WOW!

And sorry, I don't measure seasonings...


Christmas Lights for Summer Decor

While I wiggle with glee when Christmas Lights begin to spring up in New York City after Thanksgiving, there is something about these festive lights in the summer time that makes me smile too- And you don't have to just adorn a bush or tree with them, there are so many creative ways to add a little sparkle to your backyard BBQ.

String Christmas Lights across from tree to tree to add extra lighting to your dinner party. It will look less like Christmas, and more like A Midsummer Night's Dream.

You don't have to live in the tropics to add a little palm tree fun to your backyard soirée. Why not decorate with lighted palm trees? Click here to check out different options for palm tree lights.

Depending on your party's theme, find cupcake tin liners that can accent it! Whether it's a spring fling with flower details or July 4th colors, you can really have fun with this DIY project. Check out this great tutorial on how to make them from Family Chic.

If you are having a big party in the summer, at some point everyone will need to use the loo. Pick a fun party theme color and use the Christmas Lights to guide your guests to the powder room and outline the bathroom door. It's fun, it's festive, and it's oh-so-functional.

Highlight your bar selection with this great DIY. Either choose empty bottles that you have lying around and take off the label, or showcase the selection you are serving.

If you are not sure of what to do with icicle lighting in the summer time... create outdoor chandeliers with hanging baskets. How simple is that?

Not matter what the occasion, there are so many ways to decorate with Christmas Lights. How do you decorate your summer time parties? Stay festive all year my friends!


Chia Seed Pudding

I am seeing Chia Seeds everywhere on food blogs and in health news. Despite the long list of benefits (omega 3s, blood sugar regulation, gluten free, etc), there are also many ways one can consume these little guys. I've put a tablespoon in smoothies and salads... and recently I made Chia Pudding. It was so good and so simple to make. Basically the little seeds create a gelatin like coating as they absorb the liquid. This creates a rice pudding like consistency.

Just mix the following together:
2/3 cup organic Chia Seeds
**2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
1 packet stevia (optional)

After you mix thoroughly just put mixture in an airtight jar or container and chill in fridge over night. It will be ready for you in the am! **Have extra almond milk handy for when you serve... you may want to loosen it up a bit. This recipe serves about 6 and can keep for the week so you'll have a nice breakfast every morning! Don't eat too much, Chia Seeds are not that low in calories.

What does it taste like?  To me, it was like vanilla cinnamon rice pudding... nothing more, nothing less. I also added fresh berries and topped with agave. The combinations are really endless here. You can add whatever you like. You can change up the spices too... try clove, all spice, pumpkin spice, etc.

I really liked this breakfast. 
How do you use Chia Seeds?