Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Fare warning this recipe calls for a family dinner or dinner party situation because it's so good you will be eating meatballs until you're sick.

Trust ME. 3 days of meatball spaghetti squash, meatball subs, a side of meatballs. This recipe cooks enough to feed your fam. or make you sick off meatballs.

It's made with all lean beef, almond meal as break crumbs & a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Topped with my MOST favorite tomato sauce and laid over a salt & pepper baked spaghetti squash. NOTHING BETTER.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1 tbsp parsley

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup almond meal or {breadcrumbs}

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

  • salt & pepper

  • Sauce:

  • 1 green pepper diced

  • 1 yellow onion diced

  • Organico bello tomato sauce

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1 spaghetti squash

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

  2. Split spaghetti squash in half length wise, scoop out the seeds

  3. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to each spaghetti squash, evenly rubbed on surface.

  4. Coat with salt & pepper to taste

  5. Add to baking pan S&P side down & bake for 30 minutes or until tender all the way through.

  6. While spaghetti squash is cooking add all ingredients for meatballs to medium sized bowl & use your hands to mix until just combined.

  7. On greased baking pan roll 1 tbsp sized meatballs in palms and place on pan {should make about 24 meatballs}.

  8. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

  9. When spaghetti squash is done with two forks shred inside of squash to form spaghetti like strings, add to seperate container.

  10. With crockpot on warm setting add tomato sauce, chopped green pepper, garlic & 1/2 white onion to crockpot. Add meatballs and warm for 2-3 hours until green peppers are soft.

  11. Top serving of spaghetti squash with meatballs & sauce. Add sprinkling of parm. cheese if desired!

  12. ENJOY!

xo,

Lauren

Burn Out, Mental Fatigue & My Story

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I have been experiencing burnout & mental fatigue since I can remember. It really took shape when my mother became a single mom when I was 12. Her empowering GO attitude was always there but took a turn for overkill once she was supporting my sister and I on her own.

Days consisted of waking up, sprinting around the house, eating breakfast with her hair still in a towel, getting ready for work, making lunches, rushing us to school on two wheels because {why would you ever get to school on time haha}, school for us, work for her, after school sports for us, waitressing at night for her, dinner late night standing up {IDK why but this is a thing in my family, we eat standing up?? HELLO RUSHING MENTALITY RIGHT THERE}, Home and in bed for her around 11pm just to do it all over again in the morning.

{Doesn’t this just give you stress reading it?}.

We lived like this all of my years from 12-18 when I moved out. THIS was the way to live. Cram your schedule, get as much done as possible & celebrate like no tomorrow to ease the pain of all the SH** happening.

At 16 I got my first job and was responsible for taking care of myself. Basic necessities were met {well sometimes…I feel like I need to write a book}, but other than that, gas, car, college, etc. was all on me.

I moved out of my moms house at 18 and started life the only way I knew. Do whatever you can to make the money to live life, go to college, support yourself and make it all happen. So what do you know…the GO attitude was the only way.

I was a full time college student working 3 jobs {nannying 4 days a week, working at a school 3 days a week & waitressing at night} just to get by. School work suffered, life was ALWAYS rushed and burn out was FRICKEN REAL. Not to mention Chris was at college 3 hours away so fitting that into the schedule as much as I could was everything!

If you guys have been following for a long time you know that BL began because of all of this, BL was my outlet to a life of stress, burnout & fatigue.

BL was the catalyst that made me look at my life & STOP the visible stress. Quit the jobs that I hated, stop running 100 miles/minute all the time, sit when I ate {LOL}, take life a little slower.

BL helped me recognize the external factors that were causing burn out at the time! For a few years it helped me recalibrate to a more calm way of living and I am SO thankful for the internet & other peoples blogs that I used as inspiration to start my own & turn BL into a business.

Where it took a turn for stress-ville was when I decided to make BL my full time job. At the beginning it was nothing but fun, inspiration & goals on goals on goals. I had mood boards & vision boards & affirmations & pinterest boards, ALL THE THINGS of what BL was going to be. Now I’ve got to say I have accomplished SO much of those things and when I look back at those early day boards I TEAR UP for the incredible things I have been able to dream and then really put into action on this journey.

The inspiration boards started turning into real life and that’s when you set the bar HIGHER. That’s when you work your little tail off to turn 5 clients into 10 & 10 into 20…You get the point. The goals got bigger and the workload left me questioning everything.

This fun & outlet of a platform that I had created to connect with women & coach them through their wellness journey to become the healthy, happy, fulfilled individuals they longed to be was becoming a machine.

Kinda like the guys on wall street {I’m just stereotyping here and guessing on what I believe wall street to be so excuse me if you actually know someone there and it isn’t like this at all} BUT it became somewhat of a mental basketcase of a space. You release a new program and TONS of women sign up {IT’S A SUCCESS, YOU’VE DONE IT, YOU’RE HELPING ALL THE PEOPLE, THEY GET IT & BUY IT AND WANT IT, HOORAY, YOU’RE CHANGING THEIR LIVES WHICH WILL CHANGE OUR WORLD}. THEN you launch another program and NO ONE buys it, not a soul comments on it, gets it, buys it. You’re left confused and a little hurt cause hey you worked SO hard on it, put your hours and inspiration and truly blood sweat and tears into it and people just aren’t on board {NO blame to anyone here, that’s just the nature of being an entrepreneur}.

So you go back to the drawing board to find THE thing that people need in their lives, THE thing that people want to help them change their lives…which in turn creates ENDLESS thinking about your current project, analyzing why it didn’t do well, giving yourself space to think up another program/project all the while doing all the other necessary things to RUN A FUNCTIONING BUSINESS. Does burn out ring a bell??

SO you try another program, hope, pray, wish, do everything in your power to make it work…nail the marketing, share all over your newsletters, add to your Instagram, Pinterest about it, post flyers, mention it to friends to share about, hire a business coach to help you hack it all {btw you guys she was incredible, shout out to Amber Lilyestrom & team, I learned so much about myself & BL to get to this point & doing what’s best for my health from investing in this course}, go to personal development to up level yourself {is this making you see the machine of it all yet?}.

And it lands with people but not as good as the first time, so the marketing starts all over again, the self doubt & WORK HARDER mentality comes creeping in & you’re left a little confused but hopeful/yearning for the goals to be met & the vision board to come to LIFE.

I lived this way year after year after year trying to turn BL my passion project into a space of coaching women to change their lives. The intentions were so pure, the programs and content and events were incredible {if I do say so myself}. But wanna know what wasn’t?

The anxiety and the constant racing mind and the burn out, insomnia, stress, the list could go on. The feeling of having to SELL instead of HELP. The feeling of having to hit THE number in order to keep BL afloat instead of craft programs & projects just because I wanted to, just because I thought they would make a difference.

This GO mentality that I thought I had run away from when I started BL, when I left my corporate job to make the scary jump and pursue it came flooding back in, created an unhealthy relationship to self & changed what I loved so deeply into a marketing, business, wall street machine that left me overworked and underpaid {a person can only take so much before they stop and evaluate} {at least guys on wall street are paid the BIG bucks haha}

You guys know I’m always real with you and I’m sharing so deeply and in depth because if there’s ONE person here that benefits from hearing this, my work in life is done.

Over the years of doing BL I have had MANY and I mean MANY break downs. Many times of “is this right”, “I want to keep going but it feels misaligned”, “I love my people but financially this just isn’t making sense”. Thank gosh for the bestest husband, partner & friend out there, also shout out to Caitlin my intern/ content manager/ friend who has heard me and worked tirelessly with me to make BL what it is. BUT I kept going because the goals were on the vision board, hard work was easy for me and I wasn’t raised to be a quitter.

The turning point came just this past week when I was standing in the grocery store in line with a cart FULL of groceries ready to pay. I had had spinning anxiety that day for the launch of The BL Community but rallied like I always did and pushed through. I inserted my card into the card reader & the women told me “sorry hun, this card was declined”. Sheer anxiety came over me “Oh whoops, it must just be the card, let me try another one” I said… “I’m sorry love but this one seems to be declined too”. Now I’m really panicking.

I hadn’t been this stranded in a grocery story counting the change in my wallet since college. Oh come on, you guys know it the pulling up your bank acct app while you’re in line to make sure you can cover it all. {monkey covering its eyes emoji}

“How about you move to the windows over there, figure this all out with your bank and I will suspend your order until you’re ready”.

I moved over to the windows, sat there fishing through my wallet so frazzled it wasn’t even funny. I finally calmed myself down enough to remember I had Chris and I’s savings card {our joint acct} in my wallet, went back up to the register & used that to purchase. I walked my way to my car in utter disbelief.

My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding, my eyes were dilated. I was beginning to have a straight up panic attack in the Hannafords parking lot.

THIS was the moment it all clicked. THIS was the moment I realized maybe the external GO habits of {working 3 jobs & running from thing to thing} was gone but the INNER GO mentality was not. The mindset & anxiety of running BL was now shoving me into burn out, mental fatigue & anxiety all over again. I calmed myself down, went home & just sat on the hammock.

After a long good cry, journaling and saying affirmations, sitting with myself, literally on the verge of praying {I’m not religious or a prayer} I realized reevaluating isn’t quitting.

Taking some space and time to evaluate what I want this to look like isn’t quitting. I took that time, some much needed beach time with with my sweetest husband to ever live and I made a decision.

….

I have decided that I yurn for the days when BL was F U N. For the days when I share what I wanted with you all, for the days when we connected on EVERYTHING, not just wellness programs or recipes, or what bulletproof latte to drink. I yurn for the days when this experience was REAL. When this was curated by what I had tried and loved or what I had seen success with, NOT what I thought you would want to buy, NOT what I thought would hook you and sell you.

I have made the decision to stop offering coaching programs through BL & pull back to SHARING genuine content to change your lives for the better. Genuine podcasts and blog posts and events and products that I feel will help you become the best version of YOU. GO BACK to creating relationships with all of you like you’re my friends {not that this ever stopped, but it felt harder to continue when selling programs was my main focus}. I have decided to turn BL back into my passion project that allows me to connect with women all over the world and help them change their lives by sharing the favorite ways I have changed mine.

No one panic, this doesn’t mean BL is shutting down or changing or becoming different. This just means all of my coaching programs are done as of October 1st, 2018. & this will give me so much more time to genuinely share and connect with all of you on a deeper level through in person events, ebooks, podcasts, blog posts, vlogs/ video’s & SO MUCH MORE.

I just want to say thank you to all of my clients past and present that have made BL what it is today. Because of all of you I have been able to do what I love {connecting with all of you and helping you shape your lives} for the last 3 years. My life would have never been the same without the hundreds of women I have coached and programs I have led. All of you are truly my real life best friends and I can’t wait to continue this journey of connecting even more on a more real and genuine way from here on out.

You all light up my life and I am so grateful for you. Here’s to an exciting new chapter & experience for all of us <3

Bringing this post to a close I want to challenge every single one of you reading this to EVALUATE your life & if you’re experiencing this type of burnout you’re not alone…& no it’s not normal {this was something I told myself for YEARS until I broke out of it}… How does it look, where do you want to be, will the current way you’re “doing life” get your there? Will the job you hate help you be a happy person, will the terrible boss help you get to a stress free life? EVALUATE IT ALL & make the necessary small changes to make your life the way you envision it being. Sometimes it just takes a good swing in the hammock and a long cry/ some time at the sea to figure it all out. TRUST yourself & your intuition. Trust that you do truly no best even when others are telling you differently & no reevaluating, changing, down right stopping is never quitting. It’s all doing what’s best for YOU.

P.S Chris and I have some exciting news coming soon so keep your eyes peeled…My palms are sweating writing this but hey new beginnings right? {pps NO I’m not preggers <3}

All my love and huge hugs,

Lauren

Spicy Chicken Bean Soup

Fall is officially here in NH, in the 60’s, sweatshirts are out & leggings are a staple so the crockpot has officially been whipped out. If you don’t have one, I love this one cause you can put it on the stove top to brown the onions/ garlic…If you’re willing to spend a bit more, this one w/ the cast iron insert is larger and could be put in the oven too!

Ok on to the recipe…whip out your blanket scarves & football attire cause this soup would be the PERFECT for football sunday or post apple picking dinner with the fam.

Share if me on Instagram if you end up making it using #blrecipes or tagging @blissfullylively

Spicy Chicken Bean Soup

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REAL LIFE: Excuse the photo, roughing it around here until I get all my beautiful cutting boards & backdrops unpacked…I give it MONTHS ;)

Ingredients:

  • 3 jalapeno peppers, diced & browned

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 whole yellow onion, browned

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 1 1/4 lb organic free range boneless skinless chicken breast

  • 1 small can roasted chilies

  • 2 cans cannelini beans, drained & rinsed

  • 2 cans corn drained & rinsed

  • 2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed

  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock

  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add cast iron crock pot to stove on medium high, add in olive oil. **Steps 1 & 2 can be skipped & if you’re feelin’ lazy just throw the garlic, jalapeno & onion in the bottom of the crockpot, no need to brown

  2. Dice onion, garlic & jalapeno, add to crock pot & cook until browned.

  3. Return insert to crockpot holder.

  4. Add in chicken breasts to bottom of crock pot.

  5. Add in Cumin & roasted red chilies

  6. Drain and rinse corn & beans and add to crock pot

  7. Top with chicken stock & salt & pepper.

  8. Enjoy!

xo,

Lauren

Fresh Blueberry Avocado Muffins

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Blueberry season is HERE! Which means i'm whipping up ALL THE THINGS in the kitchen, probably even more once we officially move to the farm. If you haven't yet take a peek at the Real foods tab for ALL THE HEALTHY RECIPES on the blog.

This recipe is so delicious, the perfect little indulgence, but not too sweet. Dense & cakey because of the avocado with hints of blueberry cause I don't like to overdo it!

Hit your local farmers market to get some fresh bluebs & get your butt in the kitchen, fresh fruit season doesn't last too long & it's so incredible!

Fresh Blueberry Avocado Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup raw sugar

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 ripe avocado peeled & mashed

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup farm fresh blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Spray coconut oil in a muffin tin.

  3. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.

  4. In separate bowl {or the same bowl if you're a simple girl/ don't need any more dishes like me} add avocado & beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

  5. Add the egg, sugar, butter & vanilla beat until well combined.

  6. Add the flour & almond milk and beat until just combined.

  7. Fill muffin tins half way with batter.

  8. Add 3-4 blueberries & the top with rest of batter.

  9. Bake for 20-25 mins or until cooked through center & golden on top.

  10. ENJOY!

xo,

Lauren

 

Anxiety & How I Overcome It

Anxiety

 I asked you ladies what you wanted more of, I felt the vibe around social lately and I KNEW this was needed. It's like I didn't even have to ask to know we all need trusted ways to cope with the ups and downs of life.

As always I'm your girl. I want to tell you like it is in hopes that my shares, my diving deep and releasing what has worked for me will in some way help you overcome and reach your true potential. Loving yourself and your life and being MORE, YOU {the best version you can be}.

I have always been open about my incredibly emotional demeanor. Commercials can make me cry at the drop of a hat, words, pictures, visuals...I'm a mess. For most of my life I chalked this up to being a super "feely" person, I chalked this up to a good thing. Not until I stepped foot in a therapists office that I trusted did I begin to look internally and realize there were parts of being emotional that are incredible & there were parts I really needed to work on.

Parts like replaying my words, my friends words, situations, experiences in my mind over and over again. Parts like not allowing to let things go or cope with situations because I was grasping them so tightly spiraling myself. Parts like internalizing, thinking I'm the problem. Parts like very real fears, thoughts of stress and worry out of nowhere.

Not until the last few months did I really feel ready to write this post, but I know in my heart that sharing my struggles with anxiety and how I have overcome will help so many. 

My anxiety would show its face in many different ways like stress over conversations had, stress over peoples safety, stress over my own safety, anxiety over being in control or out of control. Deep-rooted fears in the safety of myself and my loved ones.

I never knew these every day, sometimes multiple times per day, worries were a problem until one day I was in a convenience store in the middle of the day {Chris was waiting in the car}, I was standing in line to check out & I began to look around. I realized that I was standing in a convenience store surrounded by men most seemingly fine people but two who gave me a vibe that didn't feel right. Something about their mannerisms, their seemingly drunken mannerisms made me shudder a bit.

My mind flashed to a thing I don't even want to type here happening to me and they played out in my mind on a loop. I counted down the seconds breathing deeply until I paid and briskly walked out the door.

I made my way to the car a little flustered but not thinking much of it. I told Chris the situation and he said back to me... "That's not ok, you shouldn't be feeling this way".

I chalked it up to being a woman, in a store surrounded by men some under the influence and feeling a little uneasy.

Then a few days later I'm driving to a meeting for BL & I pass an oil truck with its flashers on pulled to the side of the road, I slow down and as my car slowed my mind again went to a fearful thought that I can't bring myself to type here. A thought that FINALLY woke me up to how not normal these thoughts truly were. To how anxious and fearful I had been living my life constantly chalking it up to it being "fine"! 

I immediately took action and brought these feelings up with my therapist. These feelings I have since learned and continue to learn more about as I learn more about myself are from a sense of feeling out of control. How many times ladies have we all felt out of control and tried to grasp anything and everything we can to bring the train back onto the rails...🙋🏼  GUILTY!

My want to try and control and my fear of not being in control aka crafting up these worrisome fearstories in my head stem so deeply from a place of wanting to be in control in a time that I couldn't. CHILDHOOD.

I feel like I could write a whole other post on childhood and all the lessons we need to take from it but I will save that! What I want to share from this is these thoughts or feelings you're having aren't coming from nowhere, they're caused by an unease somewhere in your life.

If you're having these thoughts know you aren't alone, know anxiety is a real emotion that can be coped with. Know you don't have to work through it alone feeling crazy, weird, less than.

Know that there are ways to calm it, ease it & even make it a RARE occurrence in your life...I hope you take these tools and use the ones that feel the best for you because love, you've got one life & we don't have time to waste in being anxious!!!

Anxiety & Coping

 

1. Reaffirm my fear thoughts {anxieties} are an illusion:

They're an illusion of my old stuff peaking through. They're a made-up construct that I'm giving life to, they're a loop that I consciously keep playing in my head over and over again. I always have the choice to choose a different thought & bring the dark into the light. It is when we bring the crazy thoughts out of our brain and share it with someone or ourself {see #4} that It begins to feel less real. Bring the dark into the light & the scary monster will begin to look like a mouse.

2. Remind myself I am safe

This one has been so helpful when in an anxiety spiral, truly hugging myself and reminding myself in my head, You are safe, you are loved, you are supported. Write a list of affirmations in your phone in your notes and pull it out and say your mantra over and over again breathing slowly.

3. Stop, Drop & Breathe {mini-meditation}

If you're a long time BL babe you know this one is my go to. No matter where you are, no matter who you're with, no matter what you're doin'. BABE the car is truly the best place so don't fret if you're out somewhere weird and something makes you feel off. This form of mini meditation can be done in 5 breaths. Here you go. 1. take a deep breath in through your nose, picture the situation, anxiety, etc. that's worrying you. 2. Breathe out through your mouth. 3. Keep this slow breathing going & begin to picture the person, anxiety, etc. as a warm loving light, picture their face, picture a positive thought. 3. Continue taking a few deep breaths. 4. SHAKE IT OFF & keep goin.

4.  Talk it out {outloud} to myself or another

Therapy was the best thing I ever did for my personal well-being. Allowing myself to share my fears, worries, struggles to an unbiased person was everything. Ladies not one soul here is "too good" for therapy. I thought this for a long time & I mean long. I thought that if I'm the coach I can't be being coached. W R O N G. There's nothing more wrong than this statement. If you are the coach, teacher, mother, superwomen you need someone else helping you walk through this life. Helping you navigate your emotions, feelings, at times. I say this bluntly as NEED because I think it should be a necessity. We all have things. We all have a story, whether we want to admit it or not. We all have things we're holding on to, think we've worked through or just flat out are still angry about. Therapy is the chance to talk. DO it. <3

I hope these few tools that have helped me resonate with you. I want to leave you with a quote I heard from someone dear to me recently. "Take what you want and leave all the rest"...I hope one nugget of this post lights a fire under you butt to take a peek at some of the struggles happening for you, take the first step if you are someone with anxiety & know you aren't alone.

Thank you for being kind and allowing me to share part of my story with anxiety, I hope to connect with so many more of you on this topic. 

love you lots.

xo,

Lauren

Cutting The Cord Meditation

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Hi Loves! I AM BACK & writing again. It feels sooo good to have dusted off the blog, switched a few things around, cleaned it up and am rebooted. 

This will be the first of many posts, starting slow here cause uhhh hello one woman, so many things, so little time! It's crazy though how when you set something aside or write it off all together the anxiety and nervousness that comes with treading back into those waters. Bare with me until I find my writing groove again but at least i'm here!

I wanted to share with you all a meditation that I did at the July Night of Bliss & adapted from Gabby Bernstein. I had so many of my Inner Circle ladies commenting on it and wanted an audio recording of it that I decided to make it accessible to everyone. 

Please utilize this meditation as a way to release your past blocks & tensions that are holding you back. Allow yourself to release the young girl inside of you that has encountered stress, anxiety, turmoil, angst, depression, etc. Allow yourself to "cut the cord" carry her with you in your heart & move forward fresh. 

This meditation is meant to be completed as a weekly practice, constantly freeing yourself of self-limiting beliefs, situations, reactions from the past. Refer back to it when you're feeling uneasy! We have to identify the trigger in order to move forward.

Instagram Recipes Round Up: Fav BL Treats

Hi babes! Indulgences are the spice of life, right?! We ALL need to treat ourselves from time to time! Sometimes there's just nothing better than a sweet treat or a cozy comfort food dinner. Here is a round up of some of my favorite indulgent recipes that I have featured on my Instagram {@BlissfullyLively}. Be sure to follow along on Insta because I LOVE to post in real time about my fav foods and recipes in my stories. <3

Chocolate Craving Smoothie

You all know I love my BL smoothies {stay tuned for a full post about them coming' soon!} but this one is for those days where you're craving something drool-worthy and chocolate-y but also has some staying power!

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops Primal Kitchen chocolate collagen protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • TONS of ice
  • Granola

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to the blender {except for the granola} 2. Assess if you need more almond milk or ice, you want it thick but not chunky! 3. Top with granola and enjoy!

Creamy Hot Pepper Tomato Basil Sauce

Sometimes we all just need a little warm cozy comfort food for dinner, am I right?! And you guys... this recipe is LIFE. As a bonus, the whole wheat pasta will keep you fuller than traditional pasta and provide some extra fiber & nutrients!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box whole wheat penne
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp red cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup spinach

Directions:

1. Boil whole wheat penne pasta and cook until soft, drain 2. While penne is cooking, in a large pan sauté 1 tbsp olive oil and onion & garlic until translucent, about 5 or so minutes 3. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, and salt & pepper 4. Turn the heat down to low and simmer while stirring to combine 5. Add in cream cheese and stir to combine. Add spinach and mix until wilted 6. Add penne pasta back into the skillet and mix to coat until warm, enjoy!

Chai Raspberry Cacao Latte

This is a delicious & indulgent twist on my BL bulletproof tea that I drink every morning. For those mornings where you're looking for a special sweet treat or a little chocolate boost to kick start your day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of chai tea, steeped
  • 1 dash vanilla almond milk creamer
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 square raspberry cacao chocolate {like this one}
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg

Directions:

1. Steep tea until flavor comes through 2. Add coconut oil, spices, creamer, and tea to blender, blend until smooth 3. Add in chocolate at the end and give one quick blend 4. Pour into a mug & enjoy the creamy treat!

Jingle Jangle Ice Cream Cookies

Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies?! Especially turned into an ice cream sandwich... these are so dang good you can't have just one, trust me!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375*F 2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl 3. Beat butter, both sugars & vanilla until creamy 4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well 5. Stir in nuts & chocolate chips, gradually beat in sugar 6. Drop by teaspoonful onto a baking sheet 7. Bake for 9-11 minutes until browned 8. Sandwich between your favorite ice cream {or Trader Joes Jingle Jangle Christmas flavor ice cream} and you're golden!

I hope you enjoy indulging in these recipes with me! I would LOVE to hear if you try them out and what you think! <3

xo,

Lauren

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Instagram Recipes Round Up: Part One

The Community
The Community

Hey babes! SO I realize that I've posted some recipes on my Instagram {@BlissfullyLively} that needed a special home on the blog! I want these to be available for you to reference when you're looking for drool-worthy, BL-friendly recipes {plenty of satiating protein, good fats & fiber!}. Also, these are all fantastic dishes to meal prep ahead of time for my BL babes who are short on time.

Tortellini & Chicken Bean Soup

I am kind of becoming a soup cooking professional these days. They are the easiest recipes, so hard to mess up & can be rough chopped for quick assembly!

BL Recipes: Chicken Tortellini Soup
BL Recipes: Chicken Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 5-6 carrots, chopped
  • 5-6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 92 oz. (3 cartons) organic free-range chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 organic chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
  • 1 package cheese tortellini
  • 2 cans cannelini beans, drained & rinsed
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Chop onion & garlic, add to large pot with EVOO on medium high heat. Saute for 3-5 minutes until browned. 2. Rough chop all veggies. Set kale aside. Add the rest of the veggies to the pot. 3. Stir in butter & sauté for 5-8 minutes until carrots & celery are soft. 4. Add in chicken broth & spices. Stir to combine. 5. Let simmer until boiling & turn down to low to simmer for 20 minutes. 6. While this is cooking, add chicken to pot & cover with water. Put on high heat until boiling & then turn down to low & simmer for 20 minutes. 7. Shred chicken & add to pot. 8. Add in tortellini, kale & beans. Mix well and add salt & pepper as desired!

Balsamic Caprese Chicken

One of my FAVORITE dishes that I literally never get tired of. Pair it with some green veggies and whole grains on the side {roasted brussel sprouts and quinoa pictured below} and you've got yourself the perfect BL dinner!

BL Recipes: Balsamic Caprese Chicken
BL Recipes: Balsamic Caprese Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 dash oregano
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tbsp. chopped basil
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, 4 slices
  • 1 tsp. balsamic reduction

Directions:

1. Put chicken breasts in ziplock bag with balsamic vinegar and let marinate overnight. 2. Take out and place on a plate. 3. Pre-heat grill to medium high. 4. Grill chicken breasts 5 minutes {-ish} on each side until cooked through the middle and golden. 5. Add the tomato, basil and mozzarella to the top of the chicken and turn the heat of the grill down to allow the cheese to melt. 6. Once the cheese has melted, transfer to plate & drizzle with balsamic reduction!

Chicken & Quinoa Taco Soup

My BL-twist on a classic. With quinoa and extra veggies this is sure to keep you full all the way to dinner! {Top with some avocado for a dose of healthy fat!}

BL Recipes: Chicken and Quinoa Taco Soup
BL Recipes: Chicken and Quinoa Taco Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 peppers, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 92 oz. (3 cartons) organic free-range chicken broth
  • 2 cans low-sodium corn
  • 2 cans low-sodium black beans
  • 2 cups dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can mild diced chilies
  • Chili powder, garlic salt, garlic powder & cayenne paper to taste

Directions:

1. Chop peppers, garlic & onion, add to large pot on medium high heat with olive oil. Saute for 3-5 minutes until soft. 2. Cover with chicken breasts. 3. Add in chicken broth, corn, beans, quinoa, water, tomatoes, chilies & spices. 4. Cover & bring to a boil, once boiling reduce to heat to low & simmer for 20 minutes. 5. Take out chicken & shred. 6. Add back in shredded chicken & stir to combine. 7. Simmer for another 5 minutes & serve with 1/4 avocado!

Loaded Chicken Noodle & Kale Soup

Last but not least... you guys soups are so convenient, a complete meal in one, and reheat amazingly when made ahead of time. {Not to mention my favorite way to warm up from NH winters while I anxiously await warm springtime weather!} Packed with so many more veggies than traditional chicken noodle soup to give you an antioxidant boost!

BL Recipes: Kale Chicken Noodle Soup
BL Recipes: Kale Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 32 oz. organic free-range chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 lb. cooked & shredded chicken breast
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 cup whole wheat rotini
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Chop onions & garlic, put in small bowl. 2. Chop carrots & celery, put in small bowl. 3. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to soup pot on medium high heat. Add in onions & garlic. 4. Once sautéed until brown, add in 1 tbsp. butter, carrots & celery. 5. Sauté until soft, 5-10 minutes. 6. Add in chicken broth, thyme, oregano & bay leaves. 7. Bring to a boil & then simmer for 20 minutes. 8. Add in chicken, kale & 1 cup rotini, simmer for 10 minutes. 9. Add salt & pepper to taste!

I hope you babes enjoy these recipes! I also LOVE to share recipes that I am cooking in real-time on Instagram story so make sure you're following there @BlissfullyLively. Stay tuned for part 2 where I'll be showing you some of my favorite BL indulgences!

xo,

Lauren

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3 Ways Your Hometown Shapes Who You Are

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If any of you know my life story it is truly unconventional, so unconventional I sometimes trim it down, & sum it up into a short sentence or two leaving out all the parts of "sob storiness" or "poor you" because I never want to dwell. I honestly am a person that looks at life as glass half full so trudging back into those sad or unfortunate times in my life seems to me as negativity that 's unnecessary. What I have come to realize recently is our stories good and bad make us who we are & when we start accepting them and sharing them it allows other people to accept theirs too! We all have a background a life thats lead us to the happy, thriving, successful people we have become & as much as we think others lives are perfect, theirs are this way too. NO ONE is perfect, NO ONE has it all figured out...News Flash, not even OPRAH {ugh do you guys not love her...JUST BE MY MENTOR ALREADY.} So I want to take you back to my hometown and show you bits & pieces of how it's shaped me & my story. If one person can feel less alone, different or troubled through this sharing, my job here is done.

3 Ways Your Hometown Shapes Who You Are

BL Hometown Story
BL Hometown Story
1. It's the place that "houses" your home {or 4 for me}

Our home, our sanctuary, the place you always know you can go to find comfort & chill while Mom cooks up some dinner. The same place that houses all your childhood memories of opening Christmas presents, getting your first kittens & being dragged behind a bike on roller skates requiring stitches {whoops is that not in your memories, cause it's in mine LOL}. Our hometown houses our #1 support system, the walls, floors, bedrooms & material things that shaped us. For me this wasn't as conventional. My home was the beautiful photo above for 6 years of my life, pretty kick ass if I do say so myself then a small apartment, another home & finally a condo. All within the same town, but many different places that had me feeling like a gipsy and realizing that home doesn't need to be a PLACE. As much as we associate "home" with a physical house, it doesn't need to be the stereotypical rooms where we grew up, It can & for me always will be family. Home to me is my loved ones, the sense of belonging and pure happiness I feel when spending time with my little sister, the little cutie that I dressed up & dragged around as my side kick & now get to see grow up into the funny and beautiful young women she is. Home to me is taking those memories with me but not attaching them to the four walls of your stereotypical "home".

Hometown BL
Hometown BL
2. It's where some have their first heartbreak & {forever} love

For me heartbreak here is something much less trivial than first boyfriend or fling in high school but a true family divide that has in more ways that one shaped my whole life. 12 years old & being told that your parents are divorcing is pretty tough. I can remember the clothes I was wearing, the whole bus ride to school {what parent's tell their kids they're divorcing before they head out to school?, but that's a whole other post}, the real promise that we would "stay a family". This heartbreak was one that took many years of figuring out, releasing & working through. It spiraled my mom into single mom status and an intense next few years of trying to find her footing which really never came & resulted in nights of no heat, electricity or cable oh & food stamps. Heartbreak is real & in whatever way you have experienced it {a death in the family, a divorce, a traumatic experience} it is all housed right in that little home town of yours. This heartbreak and hardship created a new life for myself that actually created some good. A few years later, a few moves later & I was finally a high schooler being introduced to a cute guy at my new house for a double date...In walks Chris & the rest is LITERALLY history. Isn't it crazy how the same place the same geographic location that could house so much heartbreak could also bring with it an intense and forever LOVE?

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3. It's where some learn independence & perseverance

The whole parents divorcing and Mom becoming a single mom really threw me into independence without a choice & looking back I am so incredibly thankful for this experience. I had to make decisions on my own, work for what I wanted, wasn't handed anything and truly began to understand the meaning of hard work the moment I turned 16. There was lots of crying, & "Why me's". Why can't I just have what they have, why can't my Mom just give me money like my friends. The life that I lived instilled a work ethic in me that I wouldn't trade for the world. SO to all your ladies out there that had it similar I see you, I hear you & I understand you! These experiences have made us who we are and don't second guess, want to change or make better for one second. Relish in the fact that you're a self made person that has gone through tough stuff to be here today & you're better off for it.

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What I want for you is to live life THIS happy knowing that your past, your hometown, your experience have shaped you NOT dictated your life. You have always been and always will be in control of you & your future is so incredibly bright if you allow yourself to see past the dark spots of the past.

I am so humbled and touched when I hear others life stories that put into perspective how good we DO & CAN have it. Please share them with me through email lauren@blissfullylively.com, Instagram DM or contact here on BL.com.

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Also I'm sure you guys are going to ask but this stunning 14k gold & diamond NH necklace makes the perfect thoughtful Holiday gift with your diamond placed in the hometown of whoever you're gifting this too. It is one of my most cherished pieces & can be found at Bellmans Jewelers or by using this link.

xo,

Lauren

What Would You Say To Five Year Old YOU?

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In the BL Virtual Book Club on FB we have been talking about "our mean girl" the little voice inside our head that makes us question and look down upon ourselves every move we make. Do these sound familiar?

I'm so fat
My hair looks so gross
UGH i wish I could just get rid of this extra skin
Omg i'm so stupid
I Can't do that, i'm not XYZ enough
*Insert looking in the mirror & pinching any skin on your body*

I'm sure most if not all we have said to ourselves in a moment of weakness, hard day, normal day even. We see it in the tabloids "get a flatter stomach with this one ab move", the perfectly curated Instagrams of the girls sucking in, holding their breath or manipulating their body via a waist trainer. Or from someone as close to you as your mother, pulling at her wrinkles in the mirror saying "UGH i'm starting to look old, botox is your best friend girls".

We have been flooded with hating out bodies, thinking we're not good enough & treating ourselves poorly since we entered the world...LITERALLY

We say these things without even thinking. When we're feeling low or defeated we resort to name calling ourselves because it's what we've been taught, but i'm here to UNTEACH that philosophy.

I'm also here to tell you, it isn't just you. I'm what some would consider "skinny", "could eat for the rest of my life and never get fat", "NEED A HAMBURGER" "have the perfect body" etc. {No i'm not saying these things to brag, i'm saying them to allow others to understand the severity of this} AND I as well resort to name calling and pinching in the mirror when i'm feeling low.

Why do we do this? BECAUSE IT"S EASY.

It's easier to put yourself down than deal with what's going on in your mind to lift yourself up. It's easier to call yourself names and sit on the couch with some PB cups after a hard day than run yourself a bath, sit there, cry a little and deal with the emotions that are coming up.

So now that we've got it all out there...WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DO?

WHAT WOULD YOU say to 5 year old you?
blissfully Lively 5 year old you
blissfully Lively 5 year old you

That's the question I want you to think about every single time you resort to picking yourself apart...

Would you call that innocent little girl fat, would you pinch at her skin and tell her she needs to lose some LBS because she's ugly, hideous etc.

I SURE AS HELL HOPE YOU WOULD NOT.

These things we do have become out norm...we say them without even thinking and the best way to stop those old habits dead in their tracks is assign them a buddy. A little something you do or say every single time those bad habits creep in.

This buddy is a question or mantra,

Would I say this to 5 year old me?
Blissfully Lively 5 year old you
Blissfully Lively 5 year old you

Whenever we're breaking habits it's the hardest thing to commit and stick to because we want to revert back to our old ways. When we stop smoking, drinking, eating poorly etc. our little mean girl pops in and says "well I could just have one"...NOPE.

We can't just have one, we can't just say one mean thing to ourselves because it allows us permission to keep doing it...even worse,

IT ALLOWS OTHERS PERMISSION TO KEEP ON DOING IT.

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Draw that line in the sand. For all the moms out there, who do you want your children to grow up to be? What habits do you want them to take with them through life. If we aren't our best selves currently what habits can we adopt to show them we're trying. We all have a starting place, we all have somewhere we come from, a back story, a sob story but how we move through that with grace and teaching lessons is what others will learn.

My most favorite thing when working with clients is asking them what is you why?

Why did you reach out to me...a good majority of them say, ' to get healthier', 'to learn how to eat cleaner' 'to lose weight' 'for my clothes to fit better' etc. in the beginning but what really drops my jaw to the floor and makes me continue doing this client after client is half way through they realize it isn't because they want to go down a jeans size, they want to eat healthier or they want to lose weight, yes those are all reasons, but after thoughts. The real reason is because they want to love themselves, become a better example for their children or best of all, find out who they are.

So now I leave you with this question...

Would you say that to 5 year old you???

xo,

Lauren

Hearty & Spicy BL Bison Chili

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Ok so I shared this recipe on Insta Story & it no joke was one of my most engaged with stories so I thought why the heck not bring it to the blog in a more permanent place that you guys can reference whenever you need a quick & healthy recipe to whip up! Fare warning I make my chili overwhelmingly spicy & thick sooo if you aren't into a burning mouth cooool it on the chili powder & jalapeño! Anyway I love all these chili/ soup recipes popping up all over Pinterest now that labor day has passed but I just keep being disappointed, I go to these recipes just to find out they only call for 1 breast of chicken or 1 can of beans...like come on people, I don't want to take the time to make this soup just to be starving an hour after I eat it!!!

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Problem solved, I added in some hearty fiber {all the beans}, some lean protein {bison meat} & some healthy fat {avocado} to make this soup one you will literally die for {& want to make a thousand times because it keeps you full & tastes like heaven}.

Make it, & thank me later!

BL Hearty AF Spicy AF Bison Chili

[amd-yrecipe-recipe:3]

If you guys are in the market for another loaded soup recipe try the chicken tortilla soup!

xo,

Lauren

Three Tips To Make Any Recipe Healthier

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We all have those recipes, Moms chicken picatta, cheese stuffed gnocchi with meat sauce or even a hand-me-down homemade oatmeal cookie peach cobbler recipe that we just can't help but make a few times a year. Well here are a few tips to help you "healthify" those recipes so they can become more of a staple & less of an "only on special occasions" meal.

3 Tips to Make Any Recipe Healthier
Blissfully Lively Recipe Substitution
Blissfully Lively Recipe Substitution
1.Cut out the carbs:
  1. Substitute quinoa for white rice
  2. Substitute zoodles {zucchini noodles} for white pasta
  3. Substitute whole wheat flour of white
2.Cut down the sugar/ fat
  1. Substitute unsweetened apple sauce for sugar: this can be a 1:1 ratio but for every cup of applesauce you use, cut down the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
  2. Substitute stevia for white sugar
  3. Substitute cocoa nibs for chocolate chips
  4. Substitute coconut oil/olive oil/ avocado oil for butter
  5. Substitute plain greek yogurt for mayo
BL recipe Substitutions
BL recipe Substitutions
3. Add some veggies/ fruit
  • Substitute lettuce wraps for corn tortillas
  • Substitute spaghetti squash for traditional pasta
  • Substitute kale chips for potato chips
  • Substitute mashed berries for syrup: 1/4 cup of berries, 1 tbsp chia seeds mash together into a delicious sweet syrupy consistency!

I hope this helped you gain some interesting new ways to remake your favorite recipes! & most if not all of these are such a small change that you won't even be able to tell the difference {honestly I know people will gasp but I kinda think I like Zoodles better than PASTA...}. Gasp away, until you try it!!!

xo,

Lauren

Farm Fresh Oatmeal Cookie Peach Cobbler

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If you guys don't know...IT'S PEACH SEASON... Honestly one of my favorite fruit seasons other than apples, oh & strawberries, but maybe blueberries too...OK I LOVE ALL THE FRUITS. I went peach picking this weekend at my aunt and uncles farm...yes the same farm where we had the wedding! Gives me all the feels... if you haven't checked out the wedding posts, go do that now and come on back here after. It's so awesome that I can head to the farm & hand pick the fruit that's going in my recipe. I got a few extra peaches and I'm going to chop, & freeze them for smoothies over the winter. If you're in the market for the perfect smoothie recipes use this one!

Anyway I saw one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers whipping up some peach cobbler a few weeks ago and I new I wanted to bring this recipe to the blog once peach season hit at the farm.

Blissfully Lively Oatmeal Cookie Peach Cobbler
Blissfully Lively Oatmeal Cookie Peach Cobbler

Is there anything better than an ooey-gooey oatmeal chocolate chip cookie topping over a sticky delicious peach mixture & a dollop of vanilla ice cream? Mouth is watering just thinking about it.

If you guys are in the market for a little sweet treat, whip this one up this weekend {but cut the recipe in half as it makes a good amount, & we both know we don't need extra cobbler tempting us for a whole week}.

[amd-yrecipe-recipe:2]

xo,

Lauren

What's All the Hype About Bulletproof Coffee?

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You guys have seen me drinking frothy AF homemade elevated Tea on Instagram day in and day out after meditation/mindfulness practice and have most definitely heard about the hype that is bulletproof, so I thought I would break it all down for you today with a little info & a recipe for you to give it a go!

What is Bulletproof Coffee?

Ok, so Bulletproof is actually a brand started by Dave Asprey basically a wellness entrepreneur who has created supplements, books & a brand off of his eating style of choice...the Bulletproof way.

He describes it as the "low inflammatory protocol, for hunger free, rapid weight loss & peak performance lifestyle".

It essentially cuts out inflammatory foods, breakfast & toxins from your body. He used this style of eating to lose 100 lbs in his 20's and feel/ look great. You can learn more about it on his website.

While I don't adopt his lifestyle or eating habits I do believe in the benefits of adding a bulletproof coffee/tea to start your day.

So now what is it?

BL Bulletproof Coffee
BL Bulletproof Coffee

The Trademarked name Bulletproof coffee is specifically Brain Octane or {MCT oil}, roasted Bulletproof Coffee Beans & Ghee Butter.

But the BL way is...

Your normal coffee or tea, elevated! Adding a scoop of grass fed butter or coconut oil & {my fav} almond milk creamer to the mix & blending it up into frothy goodness. There are many different  recipes but the BL way is a serving of coffee/tea with an added boost of healthy fats such as coconut oil, grass fed butter, MCT Oil etc.

What are the benefits?

Adding any type of good fat to your coffee boasts some serious benefits. My most favorite, it keeps your hunger hormones {such as Ghrelin the hormone your body releases when it's hungry & CCK the hormone your body releases when it's full} at bay while simultaneously slowly the release of caffeine into your system.

We all know those days where we skip breakfast grab our coffee and head out the door to work only to realize 2 hours later we haven't eaten, we're starving and shaking from the caffeine high.

This combination completely takes care of that. The good fats slow down the release of caffeine into your system never giving you that high and then crash sort of feeling. You feel much more level, energized but calm & can wait a bit longer to eat breakfast each morning.

I actually have one of my nutrition clients on a daily coconut oil coffee mix each morning as she dislikes eating super early but wants to work out in the Am. She has her bulletproof coffee, gets her workout on & then fuels with some breakfast once she feels more ready to eat.

Another benefit that has really helped me is in the digestion department. Adding these good fats to your morning coffee can increase the bodies digestion of fat-soluble vitamins and make bowel movements much easier. TMI but you guys know I want to give you all the details to make an educated decision for yourself!

BL Bulletproof Coffee
BL Bulletproof Coffee
BL Coffee/Tea Elevated
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup coffee/ 1 cup black/chai tea, steeped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil/ MCT oil
  • 1 tbsp almond milk creamer
Directions:
  1. Steep tea/ coffee until desired taste
  2. Add coffee/tea 1tbsp coconut oil & 1 tbsp almond milk creamer to blender.
  3. Blend until smooth, top w/ cinnamon if desired.
  4. Enjoy!

I hope this article helped you learn a little more about my BL Elevated Coffee & why I choose to drink it ever morning! Let me know if you have any questions babes <3

xo,

Lauren

The Best Day of Our Life Part 2 & Wedding Video

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Ok so before you do anything if you haven't read Wedding post part 1 ...DO IT!

& then come on back here for the rest of the deets. You guys as I am sitting here writing this I realized our wedding was one month ago tomorrow. CUE ALL THE FEELS. Idk if there is anything like your wedding day {well probably when you have kids, or that feeling when Tom Brady Wins the Super Bowl & then the next day is depression} because the experience was like none other.

{PS If you really want to see the wedding video, scroll to the bottom cause there are so many photos}

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{Our flowers were STUNNING, We used The Flower Room in Dover NH}

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The happiest day of our lives surrounded by all of our most favorite people. To have all of your favorite people in one place at the same time loving on and support you is such an unreal feeling.

SO as most of you know the day of the wedding was bit SCARY. We were in for some serious thunderstorms the whole day & it held off until about 2pm when we were going to do family pictures and our first look. Needless to say I was a hot mess express freaking out about our ceremony as it was completely outside!

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Luckily the universe fricken knew & stopped the rain at 3pm and cleared right on up into blue skies. Chris and I were able to do our pictures before and the ceremony was at 4pm.

Seeing Chris before anyone else, allowing us a little time to ourselves for a first look was probably my most favorite part of our whole wedding. His face when he saw me for the first time was so cute & immediately calmed me down. It was just a nervous excitement all day long so I totally recommend seeing each other and doing a first look w/ pictures before the ceremony!

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Dozens of people told us our ceremony was the best they had ever been to...SO flattering and nice as Chris's Aunt married us. She told our whole love story, how we met & struggled through 4 years of Chris being 3 hours away at school to now, where we are both living our happiest lives, loving and pursuing our passions. It was so amazing, lasted no longer than 15 minutes start to finish {long ceremony's are such a drag sometimes} & had me jumping for joy...LITERALLY, SEE BELOW

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{Chris's reaction to me walking down the aisle was the cutest thing everrrr}

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Our wedding was generously hosted by my aunt and uncle who own a fruit farm in NH {Butternut Farm} If you're ever in need of some pick your own delicious fruit! Their land is so beautiful and meant so  much to us as Chris grew up 10 minutes from the farm, always going a few times a summer to pick fruit w/ his family & it being my aunt and uncles farm who I am super close with. We knew it was the perfect place!

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We lucked out that the rain passed right on through and our cocktail hour and reception boasted a GORGEOUS double rainbow. We opted out of doing cake cutting and long speeches, leaving our reception to the fun part, dancing, mingling, playing yard games and enjoying DELICIOUS Cajan BBQ.

We substituted cake for Apple Cider Donut Sundaes {Chris's favorite dessert of all time} and everyone loved it.

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I'm so glad we went nontraditional on so many of our wedding decisions including cake cutting, my walking myself down the aisle, no mother or father dances etc. We just wanted it to be a huge party filled with love and positivity for us!

My family are huge dancers so the dance floor was packed once it got dark into the night dancing to such fun songs. Around 10pm Chris and I's college friends surprised me and all the guests with a huge fireworks show over the farm. It was so thoughtful and so much fun to experience this way of ending the night!

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{Blurry late night photos ARE MY FAV from the night}

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Chris and I left 2 days later for our mini honeymoon to Maine and we kept saying the whole time "The wedding was the best day of our lives but there was just something about it" I think that something that we realized was yes, your wedding is the best day of your life BUT when you're in a committed happy loving relationship and have such a happy life together it just feels like another day of living together, making life the best it can be.

But i've gotta say Chris having a ring on and officially being mine for life WAS PRETTY AMAZING!

Watch the whole video below of our special day!

Wedding Photos by: @Rayaonassignment

Wedding Video by: @seacoastflash

https://youtu.be/xuy85IdfwQo

P.S. Don't worry I will totally do a "what you need to know while planning a wedding", "The best wedding Hacks ETC" Post or Insta Live for all you engaged babes <3

xo,

Lauren

The Best Day Of My Life...OUR WEDDING

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I know you guys have been dyinggg to learn more about the wedding, even though I tried to share as I went, lots of amazing things got missed along the way. So I thought I would stop teasing you all with little Insta sneak peeks and give you the real deal. All wedding details in a post... or 2! {our wedding video will be live on the blog on Tuesday!}

BL Wedding Day
BL Wedding Day

Ok so right off the bat I just want to let you know you're in for a LONG ASS POST!

BUT HERE WE GO.....

Rehearsal Dinner
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Chris and I opted for a more casual rehearsal dinner because we didn't love the feel of sitting for too long. We went with a cocktail/ buffet style in a room that overlooked the water with only standing cocktail tables! We didn't want our guests stuck at a table sitting next to someone and only being able to talk to the two people right next to them and the one person across from them. We wanted lots of mingling and dancing!

We had our friend come play live music {Shout out to Matt Gelinas he is a phenomenal singer & musician in the Seacoast NH Area!}.

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Our overall goal for the Rehersal dinner was to have a fun kickoff Party with all our family and friends, my aunt and uncle hosted it and they thought of every last detail to make the night so special! We had salmon, lobster, chicken, potatoes, salad & mixed veggies which were all delicious. A very New England Affair!

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I bought those instagram worthy HUGE ASS white confetti balloons & they were a bust, so heavy they couldn't even float so we ended up tying them to the ceiling with the vines, so pretty!

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Is it just me or is my family so beautiful?! Every single person... Ok probably just me, but COME ON.

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For those that I KNOWWW are going to ask, This dress is @ShopTobi from 2 years ago...{YES I bought my rehearsal dinner dress before we were even engaged hahah} & the shoes are a Target online find

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Our little perfect flower girl niece

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The cutest little sister ever!

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The night ended w/ dancing our faces off and some seriously blurry pictures under a street lamp 🙊

The Wedding
TO BE CONTINUED.....

xo,

Lauren

Banana Cream Superfood Popsicles

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I have been on a sweets kick lately! Honestly I know I always say this but once you let you guard down and start eating all the things, you body craves alllll the things. My family came into town for the wedding and we were honestly just indulging. They were on vacation and I was stressed out so it resulted in eating all the sweets, ice cream etc. SO I decided to cut myself off to only homemade sweets. Which means I can share the recipe with you guys and create something low i ingredients, fake sugar FREE and actually delicious.

I have always loved banana popsicles and I knew I wanted to incorporate some super foods to this recipe so we've got a coconut cream based banana dark chocolate popsicle topped with toasted coconutssss. The bomb...Enjoy babes! Share on Insta using #BLmealprep <3

BL Banana Superfood Popsicles
BL Banana Superfood Popsicles

[amd-yrecipe-recipe:1]

xo,

Lauren

Avocado Peach Salsa

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This avocado peach salsa is what dreams are made of.

I seriously don't say that lightly. I was preparing it for one of my meal prep. clients last week and per usual had to give it a taste test to make sure the seasonings were good etc.

IT WAS SO BOMB.

The perfect pairing for fish tacos, grilled shrimp, lime chicken, turkey burger topping...the list could go on and on. This salsa goes with anything and everything & has the perfect amount of flavoring.

It's simply flavored by the peaches, red onion & dash of garlic salt. I love when that happens. When a recipe calls for so little ingredients but comes out being better than anything you've ever had. Simplicity is the name of the game friends, but you already know that because of the BL Guide to Simple Meal Prep Ebook that is being released this Wednesday!

This recipe is one of those that just reminds me of summer, like a refreshing pasta salad,  or homemade ice cream sandwiches. I mean this paring would be unreal sipping a corona w/ a lime & munching on some fish taco's topped with this deliciousness while basking in the setting sun on the beach...DREAMS FRIENDS.

Time to give you guys the goods...

BL Avocado Peach Salsa

BL Avocado Peach Salsa
BL Avocado Peach Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches, diced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • Juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Chop all of the veggies & peaches, add into small bowl.
  2. Add juice of limes & salt/ pepper. Mix until fully combined.
  3. Chop cilantro, add in & mix until fully combined.
  4. Top w/ a dash of cayenne pepper.
  5. Enjoy!

I would love to see the recipes you create with this delicious salsa! tag BL on Instagram @blissfullylively & #blissfullylively.

P.s. What's your most favorite recipe of the summer?

I'm thinking mine might be ice cream & if you guessed it, yes there will be a little BL series on "nice cream". Let me know your fav. flavors belowwww <3

xo,

Lauren

Your Summer Breakfast, Handled...Acai Power Smoothie Bowl

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I'm gunna make like Olivia Pope & have your summer breakfast situation...HANDLED.

LOL who ever understands this is officially my new BESTIE. But in all seriousness you guys you need this smoothie bowl in your life. It takes 5 minutes tops to prepare and is so nutrient dense it won't leave you longing for another breakfast after you eat it. {another fav. that has these bomb benefits... BL Egg Cups}

My whole thing with smoothies or smoothie bowls is I need them to have key nutrients, be dense & filling in order for them to work for me. Any of these smoothies that are filled with fruit & coconut water but are lacking protein, good fats & fiber are kind of doing you a disservice.

Breakfast Acai Power Smoothie Bowl

Because you spent time and $$$ on them but aren't getting the proper nutrients to fill you and keep you full for the morning.

So here you are, your fiber, fat, protein & greens filled smoothie bowl that will leave you feeling satisfied and wanting more.

BL Acai Power Smoothie Bowl

Blissfully Lively Acai Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 packet frozen acai
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1 carton Siggi's plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup- 1 cup almond milk

Toppings:

  • sprinkling of bee pollen
  • Unsweetened coconut shreds
  • Strawberries {berries of choice}
  • granola {check sugar content, should be lowwww}
  • chia seeds

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to blender, blend until smooth. Adjust almond milk ratio accordingly. You want the smoothie bowl thickkkkk.
  2. ENJOY!

I hope all your babes loved this recipe & will show me how you make it! Tag @blissfullylively and #blissfullylively on Instagram!

*PS! The BL Meal Guide to Meal Prep. is coming out next week! Tune in tonight 8:30pm EST on Instagram Live to learn a little more about it <3

xo,

Lauren

 

Cucumber Quinoa Salad w/ Lemon Vinaigrette

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My meal prep clients have been non stop raving about this salad, so I knew it was officially time to bring it to the blog, and the fact that its been in the 90's this last week calls for a cool refreshing dinner recipe. This quick quinoa based salad is easy to make and incredibly delicious! It takes under 20 minutes but has all the components of a salad you want. Whole grains giving a bit of a crunch from the quinoa {You guys quinoa has become my new favorite grain, i'm eating it with EVERYTHING}, refreshing cucumbers & tomatoes & a whole lot of flavor from the red onion & feta. To top it off this homemade lemon vinaigrette is the bomb!

Whip it up for a summer bbq or my most favorite meal prep day on Sunday, so you can enjoy it the whole week long!

BL Quinoa Cucumber Salad

* A quick little announcement! The BL Guide to Simple Meal Prep will be out soon! I can't wait to release my first PDF all about meal prepping and how to make eating whole & healthy SIMPLE!

BL Quinoa Cucumber Salad w/ Lemon Vinaigrette

BL Quinoa Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 2 english cucumbers, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil
  • DRESSING:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. cook quinoa according to directions on box, transfer to bowl and chill in fridge.

2. Dice cucumbers, onion & basil & set in large bowl.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook chicken breasts for 15 minutes until no longer pink in the middle, Dice into bite sized pieces and add to cucumber mixture.

4. In small mixing bowl add all dressing ingredients and mix until fully combined.

5. Add chilled quinoa to cucumber mixture & mix until combined.

6. Top with dressing & mix until combined.

7. Enjoy!

 

xo,

Lauren