Sparkling Sangria with Cascade Ice

The kids are finally in school and it looks like summer is hanging on. For the next ten days, our temperatures, here in Michigan, are in the mid 80’s! That’s crazy! Though, being Michigan, it could totally snow tomorrow! Not even joking. Our weather is crazy here sometimes! While we are having these amazing temperatures, take advantage of it and continue grilling out (again, who am I kidding…we grill in the dead of winter too) with friends and family. This sparkling sangria recipe is perfect for any occasion. Especially while we enjoy these final moments of summer that are hanging on.

*This post may contain affiliate links. I received a few bottles of Cascade Ice for the purpose of this post. All opinions are 100% my own, as always.*

sparkling sangria

Sparkling Sangria

Ingredients

  • White Wine of choice
  • 2 cups Club Soda
  • 1-2 bottles of Pink Grapefruit Cascade Ice
  • Slices of grapefruit and strawberries

Libbey 7 Piece Sangria SetLibbey 7 Piece Sangria Set

Directions

  1. Pour the white wine and club soda into your punch bowl or glass pitcher.
  2. Start by pouring one bottle of the Pink Grapefruit Cascade ice. Taste a little and see if you need the second bottle.
  3. Add slices of grapefruit and strawberries. Save a little to garnish each glass, if you choose.
  4. Chill in the fridge for a few hours and enjoy!

If you have trouble finding the pink grapefruit Cascade Ice for your sparkling sangria, play around with the other flavors that Cascade Ice has to offer. The peach mango flavor would be really good with slices of peaches and strawberries! This sparkling sangria recipe is one of those that you can change depending on your mood, produce that is available, etc!


Having friends and family over for a brunch, serve this orange mango mimosa! I know when we have my mom over for Christmas morning, orange mango mimosa’s will be on the menu! Who doesn’t love a delicious mimosa?!?

What’s the weather like where you are? Are you getting an extended summer like we are?

HELP! Scale Not Moving on Keto Diet

One of the hardest things I had to do a year and a half ago was believe that the Keto diet (when done properly) will work. The idea of eating fat to lose weight was foreign to me. It went against everything I had ever been taught about dieting and losing weight. However, I was at my breaking point and knew I needed to do something. Having the scale not moving at all should freak me out, right? WRONG!

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scale not moving

Pre-Keto Diet

A few years prior to starting the Keto diet, I tested in the Type 2 diabetic range. I started monitoring my carb intake, like my nutritionist suggested. However, I was not committed to it and I gained everything I lost (and then some) right back. I had ballooned up to 250 pounds. My highest weight ever. I was miserable; hated shopping for clothes; and I had begun to resign myself to being fat for the rest of my life. My friend Summer (go read her blog, The Dirty Floor Diaries) started telling me about the Keto diet. To be honest, I thought she was crazy. No way you can eat cheese and bacon and still lose weight. But…I was 250 pounds. What did I have to lose?

scale not moving

At my highest weight, I wore a size 22 for pants, a 22/24 for shirts and I was absolutely miserable.

Keto Diet Success

In the year and a half that I have been following the Keto diet, I have lost 83 pounds! I am currently holding steady at 167 pounds. My pant size dropped to a 10/12 and I went a medium or large in shirts. Here is a picture of my husband and I this past weekend:

scale not moving

The three biggest things I can tell you to do to be successful on the Keto diet are:

  • Weigh everything you eat
  • Track everything on My Fitness Pal
  • Drink your water

If you hear the words “lazy keto”, don’t listen to them. There is no such thing as lazy Keto.

 

Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale, 11 lb 5 kg, Silver, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included)Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale, 11 lb 5 kg, Silver, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included)

 Scale Not Moving

I hinted at the beginning about the scale not moving. Which is true. I’ve been stuck at 167 pounds for months and months. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it upset me. We put so much stock in what the scale says. However, I’m here to tell you to stop that! If you still feel amazing; if your clothes fit great; THEN WHY CARE ABOUT THE SCALE NOT MOVING? I just told you that I am a 10/12 in pants. That JUST happened. A few months ago, I tried those same pants on and I couldn’t button them. This weekend I tried them on again and not only did they fit, but they fit well. And I don’t mean in a, “I crammed my body into them” kind of way!

I love that Facebook shows you what you posted over the years. The other day, a picture popped up from a couple years ago. It really helped to show me that I have come a long way and while the scale not moving may be annoying, it doesn’t mean I’m not still losing inches, etc.

scale not moving

If you find that the scale doesn’t seem to be moving, but you still feel that you have weight to lose, then try doing these things:

  • Recalculate your Macros
  • Read up on Ketogains (and use their macro calculator)
  • Change up or begin an exercise program

All in all, I know this plan is working for me. While I still get upset with the number on the scale, it’s definitely not the be all and end all when it comes to my success on the Keto diet. Try finding little wins elsewhere. I guarantee you, they are there!


Orange Mango Mimosa Recipe

While most of the country is already back in school, I am still waiting for my kids to start. Thankfully I don’t have to wait long. They go back the day after Labor Day. As most moms will understand, we have reached that point in summer where they are sick of being around each other and they are begging for the more structured routine that school provides. And trust me, I am begging for it too! We’ve all seen those videos of moms dancing at the bus stop on the first day of school. Me…I will be celebrating with this yummy orange mango mimosa recipe!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

orange mango mimosa

Orange Mango Mimosa

Ingredients

  • Champagne, chilled
  • Cascade Ice Orange Mango
  • Splash of Orange Juice
  • Orange Slice, for garnish

Directions

Put everything in a pretty champagne glass and enjoy!

 

Slant 10oz Stemless Champagne - MomosaSlant 10oz Stemless Champagne – MomosaCascade Ice Sparkling Water, Orange Mango, 17.2 Ounce (Pack of 12)Cascade Ice Sparkling Water, Orange Mango, 17.2 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Aren’t those momosa champagne glasses for your orange mango mimosa just the cutest? Invite some friends over and toast to the kids finally going back to school! Make a fun morning out of it. Have everyone bring some sort of breakfast food and enjoy some quality kid free time just talking about anything and everything that does NOT include the kids! We all know you love your kids, but after a long summer of bickering between siblings, an orange mango mimosa and a morning with friends is exactly what every mom needs on the first day of school (or the 10th, 15th, 45th…we aren’t judging)!

If you are inviting some friends over for a little informal “the kids are back in school” celebration, then you NEED to make this orange cream loaf. It is to die for. The nice thing is, you can make it gluten free, if need be. I really like this gluten free flour brand. My kids, who are extremely picky about things, never know when I make something gluten free!

Back to School Lunch Ideas

It feels just like yesterday that I was jumping up and down that I was done making lunches for awhile. Now, in just three weeks, my kids will be going back to school and I will need to start packing their lunches again. Yes, I realize they are in 5th and 8th grade and they are more than capable of packing their lunch, but I like knowing that they are eating something healthy each day for lunch. Since my daughter has decided that she no longer wants to eat sandwiches, I need to come up with some lunch ideas for her that don’t look like a sandwich!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

lunch ideas

As you know, since I’ve talked about it MANY times, my husband and I follow the Keto diet. While we do not have our kids follow the Keto diet with us, we have had many talks with them about eating healthy and limiting the sugar that they eat. I don’t know if it was before that conversation or after, but my daughter told me she did not want to eat sandwiches anymore. I don’t know if it’s that she doesn’t like them or what, but all summer long she has been eating meat and cheese rollups with broccoli and dip. To continue her new lunch ways, I’ve looked at the following lunch boxes for her:

Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch Box - Bento-styled Lunch Solution Offers Durable, Leak-proof, On-the-go Meal and Snack Packing (Blue)Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch Box – Bento-styled Lunch Solution Offers Durable, Leak-proof, On-the-go Meal and Snack Packing (Blue)PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box with 5 Compartments for Adults and Kids - Black Carry Bag with Sports Balls MagnetsPlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box with 5 Compartments for Adults and Kids – Black Carry Bag with Sports Balls MagnetsBentgo Fresh (Aqua) – Leak-Proof & Versatile 4-Compartment Bento-Style Lunch Box – Ideal for Portion-Control and Balanced Eating On-the-Go – BPA-Free and Food-Safe MaterialsBentgo Fresh (Aqua) – Leak-Proof & Versatile 4-Compartment Bento-Style Lunch Box – Ideal for Portion-Control and Balanced Eating On-the-Go – BPA-Free and Food-Safe Materials

What I like about the different boxes above is the wide variety of foods I can give her. She loves to eat salad and will often times ask me for it for dinner. Truth be told, I think she eats salads because she is obsessed with croutons, but hey…she’s eating vegetables so I’ll go with it!

Lunch Ideas

So what will I put in her lunch box if we go with one of the lunch boxes above, instead of one filled with plastic baggies and a bunch of stuff to throw away each day? Here are some of my lunch ideas for her:

  • Meat and cheese rollups
  • Broccoli and ranch dip
  • Applesauce
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Salad with chicken and croutons <–can’t forget those croutons!
  • Fruit
  • Leftover pizza cut up
  • Peanut butter and jelly quesadilla

I’m sure, as the year goes on, we will come up with a bunch of different ideas. These type of lunch ideas work great for my daughter. My son…he’s a different story! He eats me out of house and home and the amount of food he takes to lunch is insane. So one of these lunch box ideas will not work for him. Instead I am looking at something like this:

Everest Cooler Lunch Bag, Black, One SizeEverest Cooler Lunch Bag, Black, One Size

While I am relatively new at figuring out what to put in lunches that don’t have sandwiches (and why this seems so difficult to me, I don’t know), I will be checking out different sites (like this one) for other lunch ideas! In the mean time, please leave me a comment with your lunch ideas! Bella and I will appreciate the ideas!

Living the Keto Lifestyle Long Term

January 23, 2016. That was the day I decided to introduce my husband to the Keto lifestyle. Let me tell you, we were very nervous to start. Me more than him, but that’s normal for our relationship! I do the freaking out on things and he calms me down and says “everything will be alright”. Even when he has no clue if it will be. Oddly enough, I know all this, yet it does calm me down…some! We’ve officially reached the year and a half mark. Can we do this Keto lifestyle long term? We’re planning on it!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

keto lifestyle

Image Via Pexels

Keto Lifestyle Long Term?

So you’ve heard about the Keto diet and the first thing you think (after you get over the shock of giving up sugar) is “can I do this long term?”. The answer is that you absolutely can! My husband and I have been following the Keto lifestyle for about a year and a half now and in that year and a half, we have had several holidays, many birthdays and a TON of family get togethers. We’ve always managed to stay on our plan 99% of the time. I say 99% of the time because I don’t want to lie AT ALL! I did taste the frosting on my sons cake at his birthday. I also ate a little bit of watermelon at a family BBQ.  Are those thing part of the Keto diet? Of course not. However, that one taste did not derail me. I didn’t go on a cake frosting bender. The Keto lifestyle is so ingrained in me that I will not allow myself to go back to my old lifestyle.

 

Keto Comfort FoodsKeto Comfort Foods

Starting the Keto Diet

When I started the Keto diet, I did a lot of reading up on the subject. Remember, I told you I freaked out at first! Everything I read stated that you need to follow a high fat/moderate protein/very low carb diet plan. As I’ve evolved through this diet, I have learned even more things and thanks to the Keto Facebook group I belong to now, I learned that we really only need to eat 50g of fat because the rest of the fat in our body (that we want to burn off) makes up the high fat macro! So using this nifty macro calculator, I recalculated my macros for My Fitness Pal and I am trying this “new” way to follow the Keto lifestyle. Was the way I started out with Keto wrong? No. Absolutely not. I believe that this, life everything else, is just another way to accomplish the same thing. I mean, I did lose 83 pounds…

keto lifestyle

Keto Tips

Like anything else, it’s always best to get started with a few tips. No one likes to go in blind. If I have to give you just five tips to get started, they would be:

  1. Go in all or nothing. This diet is not one of those diets where you have cheat days. You either plan on sticking to it or don’t bother doing it. Trust me. You don’t want to experience the “Keto flu” more than once.
  2. Read this post on the Top 10 Keto Diet Must Haves. Bacon Jerky is so delicious!
  3. Purchase the premium version of My Fitness Pal. It’s worth it. Especially if you are like me and you need everything to be exact!
  4. Don’t be afraid of fat bombs. Especially this Chocolate SunButter Fat Bomb recipe!
  5. You can have gummy bears!! Not the store bought ones, but these homemade Gummy Bears are just as good and no sugar!!

The biggest thing you need to know when embarking on the Keto lifestyle journey is that YOU CAN DO THIS! If my husband and I could, then you definitely could. Actually, I should say, “if I could”…I was a sugar addict. I’m not even joking. I ate a weeks worth of sugar in one day…every day. Giving up sugar was probably the best thing I have every done. When I reach my goal weight, I will probably add in a little more carbs in order to maintain, but I will always be low carb. There is no going back for me. To me, following a Keto lifestyle is no different than me eating gluten and tree nut free due to my allergies.

If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to click the Contact Me button at the top of the screen!!