DIY Sports Drink

My family loves Gatorade. Like seriously. My husband has been a fan ever since I can remember. I never played organized sports, so the first time I even tasted it, I was about 20. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Fast forward about 10 years, I was pregnant with my little princess and she was giving me the blues. I had the bubble guts like crazy and lived on Gatorade-Fruit Punch flavored to be exact. I freaked out if I my fridge was running low in my office and would send a willing teacher to get me some. It was that serious. Well, guess what happened? Now my littles love Gatorade too. The problem is they shouldn’t be drinking it like water and it is TOO expensive. I had to find a solution and did a little research, combined some recipes, and tried it out on the young flag football player….SCORE! He liked it. She liked it. I love anything remotely natural. All was good. Hopefully, this version will save you a few bucks too.

DIY “Gatorade”
EASY-1 Quart-15 min

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
water
1 quart Gatorade bottle or equivalent

DIRECTIONS

  • Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1/2 cup hot water
  • Stir until completely dissolved
  • Add 1/2 cup orange juice and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the water/sugar/salt mixture
  • Add a handful of  ice cubes to the bottle
  • Pour the juice mixture into the bottle
  • Fill the remainder of the bottle with cold water
  • Shake the bottle and let the ice cubes cool the warm water

If you give it a try, come back and leave a comment letting me know how YOUR “Gatorade” turned out.

5 Simplified Tips to Start the New Year with New Goals

I am a professional goal setter. I am constantly setting goals. And every year I spend the last week of December reflecting, creating goals, and writing a plan for those goals. There is an overabundance of printables, books, and tips to help you achieve your goals. I should know because I have read or tried almost all of them. This year, I am keeping it simple and focusing on small, attainable goals that I work on and review consistently. I’m sharing the five simplified tips I’m using this year to be intentional about goal planning.

1. START Something/STOP Something
My ROD (ride or die/bestie) suggested I listen to the My Story 4-part sermon series from her church. This message was right on time and applicable to the current state of my life. I highly suggest listening to this series to prepare your mind and heart for the new year year and beyond. In this series, Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church suggested that we start one discipline and stop one action. Starting a discipline to help you lead a better life, could be as simple as drinking water with every meal if you are trying to increase your water intake. Stopping an action that is not good for your health or well being could be as obvious as quitting smoking. For this upcoming year, I have prayed and asked for guidance for my “something” and I believe God is leading me to START getting at least seven hours of sleep and to STOP yelling at the people that interact with me daily-my husband and children.

2. One Word
I love the focus of One Word for 365 days. I actually posted my word, reflected on my word, and used my word the entire year. I decided to take it a step further and match my one word with a bible verse that I recited daily. My one word for 2015 is, DO. I plan to write a post all about this word and how I plan to focus on it for 2015. For example, my plan for our home this year is to declutter and instead of planning, pinning, and preparing, I am actually going to DO the dirty work and declutter. My previous “one words” have been shared in previous posts.

Grow into who you want to be one day at a time.~Holley Gerth

3. Fifteen Minutes
According to Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, any project or goal you want to accomplish can be completed by working on it for 15 minutes a day. Consistency is key and by investing a small amount of time on a consistent basis, you can start to add noticeable progress to your goal or project. You can be intentional by setting a timer and get working before the “official” start of your day. I am devoting 15 minutes a day to two different projects. I am decluttering for 15 minutes and I am writing a memoir for my children and I spend 15 minutes a day on that project. Right now, the decluttering happens at random times throughout the day and the writing is scheduled for 10:30 pm which is helping me with my 10:45 bedtime. My mornings are reserved for prayer and reflection, but I may add more time later.

4. Set SMART Goals
I am a former public school teacher and administrator and in that world, we LIVED by setting SMART goals. It wasn’t until I left the world of education that I learned the value of SMART goals. It all makes sense to me now! If my goals aren’t “SMART” (No pun intended. Well, maybe a pun was intended.) what’s the point in setting them? SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting SMART goals gives you the power to break large goals into smaller attainable goals and have a realistic plan of action. I will share some of my own SMART goals as an example:

  • I will have a living will and advanced directives drafted and completed by November 2015 (my birthday)
  • I will publish at least one blog post a week
  • I will complete a business plan by June 2015

5. Review Your Goals
We write goals at the beginning of the year and then we forget about them. Work happens. School happens. Life happens. The key to keeping your goals relevant is to consistently review them. This has always been my issue. Looking at the big picture we should review our goals yearly, monthly, weekly, and most importantly daily. Kat Lee of Inspired to Action has a podcast series where she suggests writing goals each day, reviewing your weekly progress, and improving based on your progress.

I am taking my goal setting to a new level this year with these five tips. If you want to try something different with your goal setting and be intentional this time around, then join me. What goal setting tips can you share? Please leave a comment, I’m all eyes!

The planner pictured above is available for purchase in my online boutique, Printed Sugar.

Easy Daily Detox Water

I am not a fan of water. I never have been. Yet, I work out. Hard. I recently took up running and I know better. I need to drink water. If my water has lemon, I’m good to go. I will drink water all day. So, I decided to infuse lemon in my water and add some extra nutrients. And would you believe it worked? I have been drinking water NON STOP! This water is SO good and to think it’s detoxing my body. We all know the benefits of drinking water. No need to list them. I will say, the benefits of drinking water are very true. Soon enough, the frequent bathroom breaks will no longer be a nuisance.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 sliced cucumber
2 sliced lemons
10-12 mint leaves
1 Gallon of water

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Slice the lemons, cucumbers and mint leaves place in a gallon pitcher. I love the lemon flavor so, I squeeze the juice from the lemon slices for extra flavor.
  • Fill the pitcher with water
  • Let the mixture steep overnight in the refrigerator for ultimate flavor
  • Drink as MUCH or as little as you want

Here are a few health benefits:

  • Cucumbers rehydrate the body, aid in digestion, and act as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Lemons boost your immune system, aid in digestion, and reduce aging.
  • Mint aids in digestion, settles the stomach, and naturally provides sweetness.

Disclaimer: I am by no means a medical professional, so please verify any information with your health professional.

If you decide to make the Detox water, come back and leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Neiman Marcus Brownies

 I have found this dessert to also be called names such as Neiman Marcus Brownies or Chess Squares. I am in love with the name, Neiman Marcus Brownies, so that’s the name I’m sticking to. It sounds so…so…REGAL. This dessert is a rich, delicious treat and the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare is the icing on the cake.

This dessert is entirely too easy to make and only requires 5 ingredients. I made these for my daughter’s Thanksgiving Feast in a disposable pan. No fuss, no pan to hunt for, and the guests loved them. There was not ONE morsel left. I made an additional pan and sent some to work with husband and ended up sending more. I posted a pic on Instagram and a few asked for the recipe, so I decided to post. I love a good share!

I did not plan to post this recipe, so please excuse the lack of pictures I have to share!

NEIMAN MARCUS BROWNIES

EASY-24 SERVINGS-1 HR
INGREDIENTS
1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees and spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray
  • Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg until it forms a soft dough. Press dough into the bottom of the dish.
  • Mix powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and remaining two eggs until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Pour and spread evenly on top of the crust.
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until top is golden brown

If you give it a try, come back and leave a comment letting me know how YOUR Neiman Marcus Brownies turned out.