Blogger Meetup, Fitness Competition Shoes & Suit, At Home Smoothie Bar & Recipes, Close with Mom


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Hi Bloggies!  What’s shaking in your world?  I had a productive morning of cardio, lifting, and then a Blogger Meetup with Madeline at our local coffee hangout.

Woman with coffee mug and child sitting in background

Woman and child sitting and smiling

Normally we meet at this coffee shop but I suggested we take advantage of the pool since it’s been super hot.  Well, it was super hot when we discussed this a few days ago but today it was crisp, cool, and very windy so we took a pass on the pool.  Murphy’s Law of course that it was cool and windy today since the last two times, here and here, that we met, it was a scorcher out!

Child sitting at table smiling

Madeline and I chatted.  I did a lot of the talking and Madeline did a fabulous job listening and it was just what I needed.  Thank You, Madeline!  And Skylar did a lot of running around nearly breaking a glass French Press they had for sale and knocked over some other displays.  So relaxing as the mother when that happens….not! 

Child with toys sitting and smilingYoung girl standing with mouth full of food

We were sitting in an open doorway and our hair was blowing like crazy from all the wind!

Woman kneeling next to sitting child smiling with bookWoman and child smiling with book

We caught up on life and it was perfect.  Skylar thought so, too.

Young girl crouched up on couch smiling
Thanks, Madeline, can’t wait to meetup with you soon!  Did someone say skip the coffee and mosey next door for a Happy Hour Special?  Ahh, that would be nice!

From yesterday…
Thank you to everyone who told me I looked great in my dressYou all were too kind!   My inbox overflowed with amazing comments…thank you all so much!!!

Woman posing in black and white dress

Everyone had asked for pictures when I originally mentioned I was going to a Party

Woman standing in living room smiling in dress

And had I known I was going to get all kinds of Fabulous Comments and Compliments, I would have posted some pictures of myself in a dress a long time ago!  Thanks, you all made my day!  You sure know how to make a Soccer Mom feel like a Hot Mama!

I oved your chime-in’s on Evil Stares and Glances.  Women can be so catty and jealous.  I don’t get it and think women are beautiful in all shapes and sizes.  To me, Confidence is sexy.  Intelligence is even sexier.  Cockiness is a total turnoff.  Glad to know you can appreciate beauty and don’t give out any evil eyes!  I did appreciate those of you who mentioned that one reason you stare at other attractive women is not because you’re trying to give her dirty looks, but because you’re trying to pick up some pointers and tips from her.   That was really enlightening and makes a lot of sense…thanks to a few of you for sharing that!

And the Vegan Pineapple Cream Cheeze…I hope that you make it!  It’s so easy and good!

 Vegan Pineapple Cream Cheeze in bowl

And thanks to those of you who told me you enjoyed the Tropical Traditions Personal Care Products Review and for telling me in the Comments what your fave health and beauty items are.

Tropical Traditions Personal Care Products

Moving On…
I mentioned yesterday I was going to look for a Bikini for my a Fitness Competition

And you know what, I found one!!!! 

It’s absolutely gorgeous and I will not post pictures of it until after my show but suffice to say, it’s beautiful and I think I look pretty damn good in it.  A bad suit can derail all the training I’ve done so it was key to find something that brings out my best and compliments me.

I will, however, show you the Shoes for the Show that I ordered which arrived.

High heeled clear shoes

In bodybuilding shows, it’s the norm to wear 4 to 5 inch heels.  They must be clear.  I pushed the envelope a little bit and got mine with rhinestones.

Rhinestone strap on shoesClear portion with rhinestones on foot
They look perfect with my suit which has a little bit of bling on it! 
Feet in high heeled shoes

And it was just a Fitness Show kind of day because my Membership Card for the Natural Bodybuilding Organization called ABA/INBA in which I am now a member arrived!

Natural Bodybuilding Organization Membership Card

The way it works is that in the great, vast world of bodybuilding, there are different federations or organizations.  In order to compete in any show, you must be a member of that show’s federation.  You apply for membership, pay your money, and then you can compete within that organization.  

Website for the Natural Bodybuilding Organization

There are tons of different organizations!  A dizzying array!  Some of the bigger organizations include NPC, IFBB, FAME, Muscle Mania, and a half dozen more.  Here’s a nice list with links if you’re interested.

I’m now an official ABA/INBA Member!

Natural Bodybuilding Organization Membership Card

Moving Along…
As Promised, I wanted to talk about Setting up an At-Home Smoothie Bar!  The other day I posted this picture of me drinking a Peach Pina Colada in Aruba

Woman holding Pina Colada in Aruba
Close up of Pina Colada

I got to thinking that smoothie bars can get away with charging and arm and a leg for smoothies, which have very inexpensive ingredients, i.e. fresh or frozen produce, but because we don’t want the mess or hassle of it in our house, most people will pay way too much for smoothies and let someone else make them.     Solution?  Set Up An In-Home Smoothie Bar!

 Stocked barBartenders behind bar
 Pictures from This Post and my Aruba Trip
White sandy beach with ocean and boats


Set Up An In-Home Smoothie Bar!

The Steps:
Step 1: Tool Yourself Up.  Get your Blender, Vita, Bullet, etc. Ready!

Step 2: Gather Your Ingredients. Before you start let’s take a look at what you could have on hand to make your smoothies with.

* Fresh fruit (in a bowl and/or fridge)
* Fresh greens (in your fridge. e.g. spinach, watercress, lettuce, kale, chard etc.)
* Frozen fruit (in your freezer)
* Ice-cubes (in your freezer)
* Sweeteners (e.g. dates, agave nectar, maple syrup [not raw], honey, stevia etc.)
* Flavourings (e.g. mesquite meal, carob powder, cacao nibs/powder, vanilla pods/essence etc.)
* Superfoods (e.g. maca, bee pollen, green powders, hemp protein powder, etc.)
* Nuts and seeds and/or their butters (for nut milks)
* Cartons of coconut water/ milk
* Oils (not necessary, but some people like to use hemp, flax or coconut oil in their smoothies for EFAs) 
* dates for sweetening and agave nectar (light) if you want something new to try; vanilla pods or essence and/or mesquite powder for flavourings; bee pollen (for non-vegans) as an incredible superfood and coconut oil for fat if you’d like some.

Step 3: Pick Your Spot. Whether you choose to make your smoothies at home or at the office, picking the right spot is key. Why? Because if it’s somewhere awkward to get to, or not near to the sink or a million miles from your fridge, ingredients or glasses, then you’ll feel much less inclined to actually use your smoothie bar!

Step 4: Choose Your Recipes. Now that you have your blender, your ingredients and your actual “bar” all set up, what are you going to make?  find some smoothie recipes you love (or would love to try) from recipe books and photocopy them (or print the eZine recipes off) and file them in those clear files you bought and you’ll be all set to go.

Step 5: Get Smoothie-ing! I generally recommend that if you are very new to smoothie making that you start very simply, as I did, with pure water, a couple of small bananas (or one big one) and one handful of fresh fruit of your choice. Strawberries work well, as do any berries, or peach, nectarine, pineapple or mango. All of these are good and very straightforward to buy and use. From there, when you have your confidence up and are ready to try new things, you can start to get a bit more experimental and add in other more unusual ingredients such as the powders and potions and even a little bit of oil if you’d like to (ideally no more than 2 teaspoons per pint).
Adapted from Karen Knowler 

Some Fun Recipes I’ve Seen For Smoothies and Smoothie Recipes are like underwear, everyone has a lot but it’s always nice to change things up…haha! 



Choco-Maca Milkshake


1.    Blend on high until dates and nuts are liquefied.
2.    Add 1 cup of ice (or more) and blend again until frosty

Super Smooth Green Smoothie
By Martine Lussier
Yield 4 cups (2 servings)

Feel free to use any leafy greens that you have on hand.  I love to use spinach, kale, and romaine leaves.

1 large banana
1 large mango, peeled and chopped
3 dino kale leaves, stems removed
1 ½ cups raw almond milk
1 Tbsp raw almond butter
½ Tbsp maca powder
Optional:  4 drops of stevia

Blend all ingredients using a high speed blender until smooth.
Enjoy right away.

Cranberry Lemon Smoothie
By Martine Lussier
Yield 5 cups (2-3 servings)

I love this smoothie because it is both refreshing and a little tart. The goji berries and Young Living Lemon essential oil adds extra nutrition, and the zesty tingly taste of pure lemon essence!

10 ounces frozen cranberries
2 large bananas
1 orange, peeled
¼ cup goji berries, soaked in 2 cups warm water for 30 minutes
4 drops of Young Living Lemon Essential Oil

Blend all ingredients (using the goji berry soaking water) using a high speed blender until smooth.
Relax and enjoy!

Gina recently did a Reader Submission Post about Smoothies and got some great recipes!  Here are the Recipes Gina Compiled

Deb the Smoothie Queen has a million amazing recipes! 

As does Allie of Pimp my Protein Shake!

For the Hot Weather, I like my Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake

Overhead of Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake in blender bottle
Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake with ice
The  Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake is like iced coffee kicked up a notch!

Or, try a Mango Banana Vanilla Smoothie

Ingredients for Mango Banana Vanilla Smoothie in blender
Tiny splash of water
Side view of Mango Banana Vanilla Smoothie in blender
Blended Mango Banana Vanilla Smoothie
The Mango Banana Vanilla Smoothie Receip double duties as either softserve or a smoothie.  Add more water or nutmilk for a smoothie, less for softserve.

Green Food: an Edamame Salad with Romaine, Tomatoes, Cukes

Edamame Salad in white dishClose up of Edamame Salad

Dressed With Vegan Slaw Dressing using Reduced Fat Veganaise

Bowl of Edamame Salad next to jar of vegenaiseEdamame Salad dressed in Vegan Slaw Dressing
Flood Much?  I do. Often and always.

Snacks and Dessert:
Vegan Cinnamon Sugared Pecans From Chocolate Inspirations that I reviewed in This Post

Vegan Cinnamon Sugared Pecans in packageInside package of Vegan Cinnamon Sugared Pecans
Oh, these are pretty darn amazing.


Who doesn’t love Cinnamon and Sugar Coated Nuts?  Seriously good.
Hand holding a few Vegan Cinnamon Sugared Pecans
Original Chocolate Inspirations Review Post Here

And I had a few bites of some

Hand Holding Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate diced up

Yoga Today is Astavakrasana (8 Angle Pose)

Woman doing Astavakrasana yoga pose

Gym & Weights Workout Today: Day 5 – Shoulders/Triceps/Biceps

Tip of the Day:  My 2 Pounds of Chia Seeds Give Away!

Large bag of chia seeds
Have fun everyone!  Thanks Chia Seeds Direct!!!!
Click Here to Enter and Get in On Some Cha-Cha-Chia! 

Before I get to Today’s Questions, thank you to Everyone who Shared with me What you Did on Mother’s Day and I was so genuinely moved by all of you who have such loving, close, and wonderful relationships with your mother.  I am trying to build that with Skylar so that in 20 years she will feel half as loving towards me as you all seem with your moms.   I was truly tearing up over the weekend seeing the beautiful posts that so many of you wrote about your moms!  

I almost never reprint passages on my blog, but I have seen this before and it came across my inbox again yesterday.  I want to share it with all of you, and I bawl my eyes out every time I read it, so you’re forwarned:

Being With Your Mother

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie.

She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would Love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my Mother, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

“What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.

“I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.”

She thought about it for a moment and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up, I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s.

“I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son and they were impressed,” she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady.

After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half-way through the entrees, I lifted my eyes and saw Mother sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips.

“It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said.

“Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded.

During the dinner , we had an agreeable conversation nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie.

As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.”

I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home.

“Very nice, much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her.

Sometime later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place Mother and I had dined. An attached note said:

“I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but, nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: ‘I love YOU’ and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve.

Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till some “other” time.

Author Unknown

I’ll wait for you to get a tissue and wipe your eyes….

1. Do you like high heels?  Can you walk in them?  What’s the highest pair you wear out?
I love high heels, the higher the better!  I am glad that some of the taller ladies appreciated in my last post that I wear heels and embrace my height, and don’t cower or wear flats.  No way!  I am well over 6′ feet in heels and love it!  I can see better from way up high…haha!

2. Fave smoothie recipe?  Or site you love to go to for smoothie ideas? Do you like smoothies or do you like to chew?  
I admit, as cool as an at-home smoothie bar is, I do love to chew my food hence the high raw vegan crunchy thing, so I don’t do smoothies as often as some people do.  What’s your favorite smoothie?

3. Swimsuits.  How skimpy do you go?  Are you a modest less-is-more person or more of a Let it All Hang Out and Work It person?  And how many do you need to try on before you buy one?  If  you can get 1 keeper in less than 10 try-on’s, I am impressed!  Feel free to tell me if you’ve ever rocked a thong on a beach or gone topless or nude.  May as well keep the comments interesting!

It depends on where I am, i.e. a family pool vs. a Caribbean vacation with Scott, alone, before Skylar.  I don’t like evil looks so I choose my swimwear accordingly.  I plead the 5th on the second part of the question!

4. Have you always been close with your mom?  Do you have a good relationship with your parents?  Did you ever go through a phase, like high school maybe, where you weren’t as close but it’s better now?  If you are close with you mom or your parents, what is the number one or two things they do as parents that help make you feel close to them?  i.e. not flying off the handle if you were honest about underage drinking or allowing you the space to fail and not try to “protect” you from mistakes, or what have the really done “right” to foster a close relationship now that you’re an adult?  I’m all ears!

Stay Tuned For a Stellar Raw Taco Salad Recipe…

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.