Vanilla Yogurt with Brownie Brittle Topping Dessert // Healthy

Ok guys this will be a quick one because I just have to share this delicious, quick and easy recipe with you! 

One of the hardest things about eating healthier is not indulging myself in sweets all the time! (Definitely got my sweet tooth from my dad!) So I’ve been struggling to find some yummy chocolate desserts while still trying to keep it healthier than eating a whole pint of Phish Food Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! Lol

So I came across this snack called Brownie Brittle and it’s only 110 calories for FIVE pieces! Which isn’t bad at all and normally I don’t end up eating that much anyway. So I thought how yummy this would be over ice cream, but of course didn’t want to give in to eating ice cream. Soooo I ended up crumbling it over my Nonfat Vanilla Greek Yogurt and OMG it was sooo good! Definitely filled my sweet tooth cravings for sure! You can find the brownie brittle at Walmart and they have tons of different options to pick from!

  

So I decided to share the recipe with ya’ll! It’s sooo easy!
Vanilla Yogurt w/ Brownie Brittle Topping

  
3/4 cup of Nonfat Vanilla Greek Yogurt 

1 1/2 pieces of Brownie Brittle crumbled
That’s it! I just ended up estimating how much Greek yogurt, I pretty much just filled up a fruit bowl then crumbled up my mint brownie brittle and put it on top, and DONE. So quick, so easy and SO yummy! Enjoy!

Break/Fast

Hey Friends, so today I just wanted to share an update of what I’ve been doing to get to a healthier me and a healthier lifestyle for my family. Which includes a recipe for ya of a breakfast smoothie I’ve recently been making in the morning!

 *First off, let me say I’m no health educator/fitness instructor or one to preach health at all, I’m simply doing this because Sean and I want to start living and feeling better.

So I am first to know that mornings can be SO hectic. After hitting the snooze button twice, rushing to find an outfit, feed and let the dogs out, then packing my lunch for the day, I barely have time to eat breakfast as it is. I used to stop at McDonald’s, Sheetz, Dunkin’ Donuts or a Starbucks on my way and grab a breakfast sandwhich or a bagel and coffee because I just felt like I had absolutely no time to make breakfast myself. Some days it just felt like an accomplishment for me to just be able to finish my makeup and hair in time.

So when I made the change to start living a healthier lifestyle, I decided it was very important for me to eat breakfast every morning. After all, they say it’s the most important meal of the day! So I started on pinterest to get different recipes for breakfast smoothies. Making a smoothie is just so easy for me, wake up, throw everything in a blender and take it to go! Done. But every recipe I found was a little different and there were certain things I liked or I didn’t like so I just combined some and made my own. The nice thing about a smoothie is, it makes you feel full when you’re done. I usually wake up, drink one and I won’t need to eat anything til lunch. Keep in mind, I drink water all day so that usually helps me feel full too. Also, like I said i’m not one to preach health but one thing I learned, DON’T DRINK AWAY YOUR CALORIES! Soda was such a big thing for me, I was practically addicted to drinking coke/diet coke all the time. Once I quit that and started drinking these smoothies plus water, I feel so much better!

Anyways, here is the recipe for ya!


Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

1 cup soy milk/almond milk

1/2 cup low fat probiotic greek yogurt

1/2 cup fruit(I mix mine, so I do 1/4 cup strawberries + 1/4 cup blueberries)

Half a banana

2 tbsp. of Whey Vanilla Protein Powder (or whichever kind you use)

2 ice cubes

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Done! It’s as simple as that, also you can sneak in some spinach or kale if you’d like. I do that sometimes also so I can get my veggies in. Also a tip, buy frozen fruit and vegetables if you can. You don’t have to worry about keeping them fresh or cutting them up, it’s SO easy!

Be sure to follow along for more recipes or updates on our lifestyle change. Happy Friday, and have a good weekend! Xoxo friends!

What’s So Different About Marriage?

First off I guess I should say HELLO! It sure has been awhile since I’ve posted! (almost a whole year) Where does the time go anymore?! I swear the older I get the faster it goes. I’m sure some of you know why I’ve been absent and for those of you who don’t .. a brief recap: planning a wedding, getting married, my dad getting sick and passing away and then taking some time off for myself and now beginning a new job! Whew! Needless to say 2015 was one hell of a year for my husband and I but we made it through!

With that being said, since the holidays just recently ended, Sean and I have spent a lot of time with close family and friends over the last couple weeks. And of course since we’re still in the newlywed phase of marriage we get asked a lot of questions! “How is married life treating ya?” “Feel any different being married now?” “Since you two have been together for so long it probably doesn’t feel much different, does it?”

Usually Sean and I just answer the question and nod so we can get to the food before everyone else does. HA. We have a big family to feed! Anyhow these questions got me thinking recently..How is married life different from being in a relationship/dating/living together? First off let me say, you don’t know how many socks a man has til you live with ’em! You find them EVERYWHERE… under the bed, in the couch cushions, in your car .. I literally mean everywhere. But besides finding socks everywhere I can definitely say that being married is such a rewarding, special feeling for me.


First off I’m going to include the definition of marriage vs the defintion of a relationship so everyone can get a little reminder of what marriage vs relationship actually means:

mar·riage
[ˈmerij]

NOUN

  1. the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship
re·la·tion·ship
[rəˈlāSH(ə)nˌSHip]

NOUN

  1. the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected:

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After thinking about this a lot lately, I honestly believe that marriage is so much different then being in a relationship/dating/living together. And to name a few reasons why I find it so different.. here they are:

  • the most obvious one THE NAME

Most of you reading this know my maiden name but for those of you who don’t it was Reigel (pronounced regal) which is a name I always loved. I loved being a Reigel where I grew up..besides our immediate family, there wasn’t anyone else with our last name in the town. So that was definitely a perk.. going to school and not having to deal with ten people in my class with the last name Smith (for example) was kinda nice. After getting married I took my husbands last name, even though it’ll never be as good as Reigel 😉 (love ya babe!) it’s still a nice name to take over, especially marrying into the Livergood (pronounced just like it’s spelled, liver good) family is such an honor. I couldn’t be more proud to have it as my new last name. Honestly, I do understand why people wouldn’t want to take their husbands last name, but in my case, I’m very happy to have the same last name as my husband. Especially after we decide to have children, I love the thought have of having the same last name as my husband and children. It makes us feel as one, as a family!

  • all the love making

We’re all adults here. And those who aren’t.. I’m sorry your’re reading this. Anyways let me just say, the sex is ten times better now that I’m married. I don’t care what anyone says. Sean and I seem to be more open minded now that we’re married. Don’t go getting all worked up, I’m not talking like 50 Shades of Grey adventurous but we agree that we should try new things or when we don’t like something we feel we can talk about easier now. Also there isn’t any awkwardness between us. I’m sure when you’re dating if something happened that embarrassed you in front of your man that it would be difficult to see them again or talk about it, but when you’re married you just both laugh about it together and then it becomes a funny memory that you talk about later. IT’S OK TO LAUGH. Plus I find the hubs way sexier than he ever was. I look at him completely different than I did when he was my boyfriend, I feel so much more in love with him everyday.

  • our place in the world

I believe people perceive us differently now that we’re married. I look at it as though they take us more seriously, which I hate to say but it’s true. I feel strongly about this one, especially towards our families. Now that I have a husband I believe my family respects me on a whole new level. They look at us as our OWN family and respect our opinions and boundaries.

  • being committed

Sean and I have been together a long time. When we got married we had been together for ten years before taking the commitment to say ‘I Do’. I’ve always felt committed to him but being committed to him in the sense of having a partner for life is so much more rewarding. Let me start off by saying that I have never lost a close relative before. So loosing my Dad was my first, which was so difficult for me. I’ve always been close with my dad. My parents divorced at a young age and I lived with my dad til almost high school. He always took me to all my dance competitions, paid for my dance classes, ran me around town with friends, took us on vacations. He was the best dad I could’ve ever asked for, so when he passed it was VERY difficult for me. As for Sean, he’s never had anyone pass that’s been a close family member so he doesn’t know what it feels like. I remember shortly after my dad passing away, I was grieving and crying so hard that I thought my world was crashing down. Sean just looked at me and said “If I could take away all your pain, I would.” and in that moment I remember the feeling of our raw marriage and commitment to one another. I couldn’t help but feel thankful to have him as my husband. This commitment with him has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Knowing that this foundation we’ve created is a solid one makes me feel that we can grow within ourselves also. We both feel that we’re each others biggest fan. If he decides to pursue a new career or I pick up a new hobby, (which he would say is every other week) no matter what the case may be, he always supports me and vice versa.

  • our friendships

Prior to being married, Sean and I each had a small group of close friends. Mine however had been spread all over due to school and careers so I didn’t get to see them as much as I would like to but we always kept in touch. Which I’m so thankful for! And as for Sean, most of his friends are still pretty close to where we live so we see them more often. Before the big ‘I Do’ we each had what we thought was our innermost circle that included parents, siblings and friends. Now being married Sean and I think of our innermost circle as EACH OTHER. I am his and he is mine which is such a special feeling.

 

Marriage has definitely changed Sean and I for the best. We are new to the married life but so far, we enjoy it! We’re both still learning the ropes of this crazy thing called life but I feel lucky as ever to do life with this amazing fella by my side!

 

A Letter To Myself : What Marriage Means To Me

I look at this blog as an online journal for myself. One that I share with people who are interested in reading an insight to my life. This is me. This is real. These are things I have experienced throughout my life that I choose to share with everyone. So before you all start reading this blog post, I want you all to know that this is the real me and this is my life.

With that being said, I read a blog post recently and it was called “When Your Parents Divorce When You’re Just A Kid.” And as I’m reading this blog and all my friends on Facebook are sharing it and saying that this is how they felt and I couldn’t help but disagree.

First off, I do agree that divorce is a topic not a lot of people want to talk about. It’s something that we just push to the side most of the time. That people look at it as something that is just common nowadays. That marriage is just something we can all do and if doesn’t work, OH WELL. You’ll just get a divorce.

As a women who is engaged and will soon be married, Divorce is obviously a topic I don’t talk about a whole lot. I guess it’s something I don’t really care to talk about, not just because I’m in the midst of planning a wedding but because my parents are divorced also. But it’s also a topic that I think people should talk about it more. So I’m talking about it.

Let me start from the beginning.

My parents decided to divorce when I was in the third grade, which would’ve made me around eight or nine years old. At that age, divorce is something that is very hard for a child to understand. I never could understand why it was my family that was splitting up, and I always thought that I could fix it. That this wasn’t happening. All of my friends and their parents were happy and why couldn’t mine be happy together? Then I started blaming myself for their divorce, I remember thinking that this is all my fault. It was a hard time to get through. Not only being strong for myself but trying to stay strong for my little brother also because he didn’t quite understand what was going on.

As an adult now, I can look back and say that everything I have been through in life has made me who I am today. And that who I am today is okay. I truly believe that growing up with what people say are a “broken household” is not awful. That something good can come out of this situation. That it’s not the end of the world, and that it actually ended up being for the better. I gained a little brother and sister out of it, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

People also assume that since I grew up in a “broken household” that it is hard for me to make a commitment and that I have commitment issues. And I don’t believe that. What I went through as a child has effected me in certain ways, sure, but how I choose to live my life is up to me. I admit I probably struggled at first with some commitment issues, but I’ve been with my fiance for almost ten years now and I knew that he was the one for me. I committed to him. People also assume that we don’t believe in love the way that other people do who grew up in a household where their families were together.

Why is that?

I believed in love just like all my friends did. Sure I may have struggled a little bit at first but I believe in love, and I believe in loving one another and treating people the way you want to be treated. I believe in all these things. I believe in having a strong and honest marriage with my soon-to-be husband.

I also believe that just because I grew up in what people may call a “broken household” that, that does not define me. If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the years with divorced parents it’s that I am who I am because of what I have went through.

And that my parents divorce DOES NOT DEFINE WHO I AM.

Marriage is something that is important to me. Marriage to me is having someone I trust, someone I can confide in. Marriage is being honest with one another. Marriage is supporting one another. Marriage is committing to one another. Marriage is to have unconditional love for one another. Marriage is important to me. Marriage is taking my fiance’s last name with meaning. That I will take his last name with respect and I will honor that.

Becoming a wife has great meaning to me and if anything, I cherish that more BECAUSE of my parents getting a divorce.

quiet day, loud thoughts.

I got glasses. I’ve never had to have glasses before but now I do. And the thing of it is, it’s not even that my eyes are so bad I have to wear them all the time. My optometrist called them “relaxing glasses”. So I have to wear them when I read or watch TV, or when I’m on the computer, etc. So in my mind I basically have to wear reading glasses because I can not see up close. I’ve always thought people with reading glasses are older people. That they can’t see up close to read so they need glasses.

Well now I’m in that category. I need glasses simply because when I try to read, everything is a blur.  I guess I look at myself as an adult now. I mean I’ve always known that I’m considered an adult since I’ve been eighteen but now.. Now that I need reading glasses it’s a whole different ball game.

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Becoming an adult isn’t so bad. Except for the fact that everybody makes you feel like you have to complete so much in a certain amount of years. Like life should be a checklist of some sort.

Let me explain.

As I said in my last blog post Sean and I have been renting for the past 3 years. And renting has always worked fine for us. Most of our landlords were pretty easy-going people. They didn’t seem to mind if Sean and I wanted to decorate or paint .. Etc. and as most of you know Sean and I are getting married this summer. Sean’s parents gave us a piece of land right next to their house. So eventually we will build or put a modular on that piece of land. Which we are SO thankful for.

With Spring creeping towards us, Sean and I sat down and talked about what needs to happen to get that land ready to put a home on it. And all these factors of what we need to do just to get a house on that piece of land started to whirlwind in my mind.

Then I stopped for a second and thought, why? Why is it that I feel so rushed to get a home on that land and start living there? I mean Sean and I do just fine in our little home out in the country we’ve been renting for almost a year now. Why? Why is it I feel pressured about having kids? Everybody always asks us, ‘oh when do you think you’ll have babies?’ … ‘ you’ll be such great parents!’.

And it took me until the other day when I received an email back from someone who I met on Instagram and we’ve been starting to email back and forth. And she started to explain to me that we all think by a certain age we should be married, settled into a home, with a mortgage payment, and start having kids, and buy a mini van to haul all the kids, and run them to soccer and dance lessons.. and all the above. That that’s the “American Dream”, right?

Then I thought to myself NO. Maybe I don’t want to be settled into our permanent home by the age of 25. Maybe I don’t want to start having kids until Sean and I are 27. This sweet girl I’ve been talking back and forth with made me realize that it’s OKAY. It’s okay to not have life all figured out by the age of 22. That if Sean and I are content in our lives right now, we don’t have to change a thing. WE don’t have to settle in to a home and have a mortgage until WE feel ready. That WE don’t have to have kids until WE are ready. And that this is all okay.

So I try to tell myself to slow down Shannon, because life is a precious gift that God has given us, and that I need to cherish these days of just Sean and I with our pups. That I need to slow down because I’m only in my early twenties and there is so much of this beautiful world I want to experience before settling down.

So it’s okay. It’s okay to slow down.. Everything doesn’t need to be rushed in life. But what God needs from us is to enjoy it.

XO friends.

minimalista!

I’m not one who has a New Year’s resolution every year. There are certain things I think of that I’d like to accomplish in the new year, but I wouldn’t call them resolutions, per se. But this year instead of making a resolution I decided to come up with a word to live by. Minimal. Which at first I was hesitant about doing this but I’ve decided that it needed to be done.

Sean and I currently rent, which means we’ve done a lot of moving in the past three years, trying to find the right home for us until we’re ready to settle into our own home. The word move makes me cringe anymore. I hate to even think about having to move in the future, but I know the time will come. So with that being said, I refuse to take all the junk and unnecessary items we’ve lugged around for the past three years into our new home with us. So this year is dedicated to minimizing our lives!

To start this new journey of being a minimalist, I’ve decided to start with our wardrobes! Which I’m not sure if you’ve all heard about this trendy, new thing going around called a capsule wardrobe. If you’re not familiar with a capsule wardrobe, basically it’s living off of a number of items for each season, or three months. If you Google “capsule wardrobe” or “Project333” you’ll find lots of goodies on how to start a capsule wardrobe!

Now at first I was a little nervous to do this because limiting your wardrobe down to 30-35 items is a little scary. To be honest it doesn’t seem like much at all but I knew if I did this it lift a huge weight of my shoulders, plus it would help me be able to define my personal style. So a capsule wardrobe it is!

Sean and I both decided to do this. So our Sunday was well spent by cleaning and decluttering our home. And let me tell you, we now have over half a dozen garbage bags packed and ready to send to goodwill. I can’t believe how much STUFF I was hoarding. Why do I have a hand blender? I don’t even know what I would use a hand blender for. I mean seriously, is that even necessary. And the amount of shoes we got rid of! I had a pair of heels I wore about five years that I wore once and never wore them again because the heel got stuck in the sidewalk crack and I fell in front of just about everyone. So yeah, not sure why I’ve been hoarding them in a shoe bag under my bed for the past five years. Thank goodness they’re gone.

The idea of having about 35 items to wear sounded so refreshing to me. I decided though just to start and see where it took me, instead of giving myself a hard number. So to start out with I decided to take EVERYTHING out of my closet and I mean everything. Which I do recommend if you decided to do this because you won’t believe how much you are actually hoarding. I emptied both of our closets in our bedroom and all of our drawers. In my closet alone I had all the clothes I owned for every season. I never rotated out my clothes for seasons, which I’m not sure why. So I decided to start by packing away all my summer clothes. Shorts, maxi skirts, dresses and tank tops.

After that was all finished I decided to have different piles so it was easier to go through it all. I made a pile for items I knew I had to keep, a pile to think about, a pile to donate and then a pile for trash. I decided to also have a couple of staple pieces that I knew I could wear with a lot of different outfits, for example, white v neck, a couple black and white long sleeve shirts, some gray sweaters, and a couple of button ups that I love. After it all, I ended up with about 35 items which all include: 5 pairs of shoes, 3 jackets, 3 pairs of jeans, 4 pairs of leggings, 2 skirts, and then the remaining was short sleeves, long sleeves and sweaters.

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So far I’m loving it, and loving the idea that when I wake up in the morning it’s not a hassle searching through my closet for something to wear. I knew that I wanted a variety of items that were neutral so I could rotate them out. And I love to layer a lot of the time so having those staple pieces really help. It’s also helped me to figure out my style and what I really want to look like by choosing pieces that complement my figure.

In the end, I’m happy with the result and I’m excited for this fresh start to having fewer items around. I encourage you all to do it! Onto the next minimal project!