greet the day with enthusiasm

a few pictures:

this morning at our house

ready to go --  the neighbor dogs have come to visit

baking apple bran muffins -- 
jon is in california right now, so we can break out the bran

a quote:

"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

wishing you a grand and enthusiastic rest of your weekend!  


today is brought to you by the letters: b-f-f

this is my beautiful bff (best friend forever don't-cha know)

she's pretty darn cool.  she likes to meander in stores with me and look at holiday goodness -- to cook dinner with me and try new recipes -- to watch epic movies in the winter and bike ride in the summer.  she helps me to remember to take my vitamins, wash my face and eat my vegetables on a consistent basis (because she does all those things on a very consistent basis).  she allows me to be more honest with her than i'd ever really want to because she knows me well enough to understand what i'm saying and read between the lines for what i'm not.  she helps me take copious amounts of pictures of whatever we we are doing and makes appropriate "wide eyes" when i am telling her my crazy stories.  there's a lot more - i could go on and on --- and on some more -- cause we've been bff's since we were eight, which was like 20 years ago...  

this is us now

looking forward to our next twenty years

the many faces of michael

this past sunday -- which seems like forever ago -- we headed outside and took some senior pictures of my not so little, little brother.  it was super-duper cloudy all day, and we were running late -- which of course was timed perfectly with the very bright sunshine deciding to make an appearance -- now a smart thing would have been to take pictures later and avoid all the glorious and squinty brightness -- but have you tried to "schedule" with your little brother before?  so, since we were all ready the picture taking commenced.  i'd say we ended up with some lovely photos of my dear brother.  he's not really into smiling that much -- mostly smirking i think-- generally followed by some harassment directed at his big sister...gotta love him

this one might be my favorite, just because it reminds me of when he was a very little boy

jon took this one

did i mention that we share the same birthday?
last year's fun - my sweet husband made our cake from scratch -- it was yum

it's been a busy week and now it's almost over. oh dear. or is it oh good?


two for tuesday -- but on wednesday

winner winner chicken smoothie dinner...
(message me your info and i will send this fabulous book your way)

2. i found this quote the other day and it was just perfect for me:

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

lulu+i via photo booth -- last night -- too late into the night -- watching reality tv on hulu


weekend + giveaway

what a good weekend i had -- how was yours?

i went with two of my best girls to one of their timeshares at a resort in idaho -- it was beautiful -- surrounded by mountains that had some snow still clinging on and lots of trees.  we started out on friday night with a stop at my very favorite huckleberry's -- we had some great salads from the deli, pasta from the pasta bar and walked out with not one, but three desserts from the dessert case -- yes -- these girls know where it's at -- (just for the record, it wasn't my idea to get dessert, but it might have been my idea to try more than one... you know how hard it is to just choose one)  their juice bar juice of the day is one i am super excited to try -- pineapple, pear, and purple cabbage -- thinking i maybe try and make it to the grocery store and try it later this week -- speaking of juice -like substances -- i came home last night and found this fabulousness had arrived:

don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY to win this great book!  
i'll choose a winner tomorrow
p.s. this morning i had a great smoothie -- little apple, orange, grapefruit, little banana, lots of kale, some flax seed oil, hemp & pea protein

the rest of the weekend was great -- the resort completely makes me think of the movie "dirty dancing" --  big recreation center, classes, golf, meet and greets, etc.  the only thing it was missing was patrick swayze.  

i think ms. lulu cuddle-bug missed me -- this is us right now -- she's laying on my lap while i try and type on the laptop -- we have a pretty good system down 

don't forget to enter the giveaway!


sweet potatoes are my favorite -- + enter the Giveaway!

i'm so very excited about this: USDA announces new school lunch guidelines  -- so many kids eat two meals and two snacks a day outside of their home -- let's make it as nutritious as we can and teach these little ones a healthier way to eat

i'm also so very excited to try this recipe:  sweet potato and black bean enchiladas

don't they look delicious?

have i told you how completely obsessed i am with sweet potatoes and yams
i am pretty sure that if i don't have at least one every week i will go through withdrawals. 
i bake or roast them, throw them in whatever soup i am making -- today i ate one with quinoa and broccoli.  now i am excited to try them with my favorite beans and tortillas -- it might be epic.

don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for your chance to win my favorite Big Book of Juices and Smoothies

tomorrow's friday!  everyone do the chicken dance to show how excited they are :)!!


get your green on... + a GIVEAWAY

are you friends with your blender?
if you've answered "no" to this question, it might be time to reconsider -- just sayin'---

two years ago i did a lot of juicing -- it was great -- i love fresh juice  -- this last year i made a lot of fruit smoothies -- they are great -- i love fresh smoothies made from our local fruit that we froze during the summer -- this year i am in love with green smoothies -- they are really great for a variety of reasons...

1. fast breakfast
2. fiber-full
3. pretty tasty goodness-- unless you have a lot of arugula going on and then they might be just tasty goodness
4. highly nutritious
5. dark leafy greens - need i say more?  maybe -- these are powerhouses of nutrients and disease fighting goodness -- a key ingredient to a healthy energetic young body that most all of us don't eat enough of

this fall i realized that my next step to good health was increasing my veggie intake -- being the slightly lazy one that i am -- i looked for the easiest ways to do that -- sneaky little ways of boosting that don't take much time or energy.  smoothies are a great way to get all those raw nutrients in fun deliciousness.

you should try it -- i'm making it easy for you by providing 3 similar, but different green smoothie recipes to get you started.  if you need to make your smoothie a more complete meal, throw in a scoop of protein powder -- my favorites are hemp and pea, but there is a variety to choose from to suit every body.

**i have a vita mix -- which is one of the great joys of my life, but i know that a regular blender will work also -- it may just take a bit more work if you use a lot of frozen or get too thick**

i don't usually use a recipe (but i love to use recipes) -- i kind of toss whatever --usually a 3-4 of the following -- pear apple orange grapefruit banana blueberries raspberries pineapple peaches strawberries cabbage lettuce kale spinach chard spring mix --whatever is on hand, in season, or in the freezer -- i kind of like the trial and error and have only had one major yucky tasting disaster.

also -- it's good to remember that green and red make brown -- sometimes your smoothie might look like something you might not normally drink depending on your food color and combinations...  don't be worried -- it usually tastes much much better than it looks...

**if you decide to become a green smoothie maniac -- it might be good to look into some fun books:

my most favorite juicing and smoothie book ever - i have liked almost every single recipe, my pages are tattered and splattered -- i have given it as a gift to several people and it's my first and highest recommendation for a great all around juice and smoothie book -- the emphasis isn't on green, but there are a fair amount and lots of fruity goodness -- get it -- use it!

 i borrowed this one from my mom, but haven't done too many since i usually forget to use a recipe most of the time  - the author is definitely a green green green smoothie maniac :) -- she uses greens i don't think i've even seen before -- but she has a beginner and a kids smoothie section to get you started so don't be too scared...

and now the recipes

3. Bob Harper's Green Drink -- a good one for ideas on adding supplements to your smoothie

also -- to make your smoothie experience even more enjoyable (and convenient) i recommend a straw - even better a great portable container with a straw like this one:
my precious and fun "to-go" cups

i now own three -- i just bought the venti size last month -- i use them almost every day because i try to juice or make a smoothie everyday and usually am running out the door with it -- as smoothies tend to grow easily in size (and i always make too much) -- i can usually pour one for the morning and then pour the other one to take for a snack or with my lunch at work...
i don't know if they still have them at starbucks (or you can find something similar and not from starbucks), but if they don't now, they probably will this spring with the return of the iced drinks -- friendly tip:  wash them out right away so gunk doesn't stay in the straw or buy a straw cleaner -- i bought a camelbak one and use the tiny end -- it works great.

ok --  go forth and get your greens -- and let me know how it goes -- in fact -- in honor of the new year and my great desire to see the world obsessed and drinking good for you green smoothies -- i am prepared to bribe you with a GIVEAWAY:

i will send the lucky winner a copy of my favorite book:

here's what you need to do:

1. leave a comment telling me about which green smoothie recipe you are most excited about and why - or if you are just not excited about this smoothie business and why 

2. extra credit -- get someone else to get their green on :) -- pass it on  and/or  subscribe to my blog -- don't forget to confirm if you enter your email address or it won't work 

winner will be chosen in one week -- on tuesday, january 18th


two for tuesday

1 -- something i don't love love love even though i know it is good good good -- helping my body along by learning to sleep on my back and to use my laptop at a table

2 -- something i love love love and i know it is good good good - my husband and my lulu
photo taken by kimberly miner

this last week was a trifle trying -- not that i don't love looking on the bright side and smelling the roses -- but sometimes i have to work a little harder for that happy positivity -- like this last weekish... every now and again i tend to go through a few days or so where i just can't shut my mind off and it isn't a good time.  nothing like trying to control all the uncontrollable in life -- but -- no matter how i feel, i always know i can count on jon and lulu to make me smile -- along with a lot of other people too -- but today i am thankful for my little family of jon, lulu, and i -- especially as i look at this picture and know how beautiful and blessed my life is.  i could not ask for more than i already have.  

and -- as this seems to be the week of the classics -- it's seems appropriate to mention that when i'm worried (which i am too much of the time )  and i can't sleep (which happens a lot when i can't shut my brain down) i do (i really really do) count my blessings (there are many to choose from) instead of sheep (usually it's my to-do list...)  --- i highly recommend it -- here's a little music to help you along... (turn off the music in the sidebar before you press play :) )


yes -- i love glee

i do -- i cannot tell a lie. it makes me quite happy --- especially fun numbers like this one i was watching tonight --playing a little episode catch up while i pay bills (trying to make the process just a little more fun) -- i just love love the umbrellas and water---and the music too of course--enjoy! --- oh and make sure to turn off the music on the side bar before you play the video or else it won't sound so lovely...

p.s. it was a great weekend with my best girls -- we shopped, ate thai food and drank boba thai iced tea (my favorite), watched movies til 2am and ate copious amounts of frozen yogurt. now to conquer the week!


it's a blueberry muffin kind of morning...

not to brag or anything -- but i slept really good last night.  8 hours of deeps sleep goodness in my snowflake flannel sheets and my christmas pajamas with lulu next to me -- lulu --who must have been tired too because she didn't change positions the whole night, therefore eliminating a paw in my face or pushing me off the bed... it was a good night.

this morning i woke up and walked out to greet the roommates -- with my eyes barely open -- only to see through my little eye slit that my roommate and best friend forever (seriously) was making blueberry muffins for breakfast.  everyone should have roommates that wake them on the weekend to fresh blueberry muffins... aren't you jealous?  you should be.
did i mention that they are in snowman liners??

so it's chai tea and hot, fresh, buttery blueberry muffin for me this morning... oh you're wondering about lulu --well she slept in an extra 25 minutes this morning, not even rousing when bridger jumped up on the bed and gave her a little shove with his nose -- nope -- she stayed in bed til she was good and ready to get up and come out and get loves from justin for 15 minutes before finally being ready to head outside and begin the day.

speaking of beginning the day -- i better get a move on as i'm supposed to be ready to leave for early church in 23 minutes.  yikes.  i'm still in my jammies!


lulu love + the tub

she's so silly.
right before i snapped this picture she was high centered 
trying to decide if she wanted in or out. 
i guess she decided in.

hope you have a great weekend.  
mines going to be filled with some girl time 
with a few of my favorite people.



today -
--felt like monday all day -- because i didn't go to work yesterday
--jon's alarm went off at 3:30am  or was it 3:15?
--i went to the chiropractor again
--currently watching the biggest loser on hulu while surfing the net

--loving these links:

moving: transform your body 2011  -- great little workouts brought to you by women's health and a few favorite trainers -- including my ever most favorite bob and mandy  ---and tony too (much love for him after spending an hour a day with him for 90 days...bring it!)

p.s.  i have most of bob's dvd's and mandy's yogalosphy dvd and enjoy all of them immensely 

eating:  --thinking i want make this beautiful salad soon rainbow kale slaw

contemplating: vote for your thoughts  -- a great reminder on the power of our thoughts from one of my favorite sites


family time

today we picked up my family from the airport that is a few hours away --they had been out of town for two weeks-- then we met up with my sister and her husband and grandma for lunch at the olive garden.  jon and i ordered the usual eggplant parmesan with angel hair pasta.  it was delicious--but better than the food was the company.  i have missed my family a lot, and am especially missing my spunky little sister who lives away from me now...

we were quite cozy with the six of us and all the luggage

my momma and i

catching some shut eye after being up since 3:15 in the morning

jordan and ben

the only picture missing is one of grandma --- the one i took didn't turn out well...

family is good.  even better than the thai food take out that we had for dinner tonight...


in short...

we had a good holiday.

the day after christmas

we spent several days at the coeur d'alene resort with jon's parents and toodled around spokane a bit -- doing things like visiting every sporting goods/outdoor store in the area.  
we started our very own christmas tradition -- christmas eve pajamas -- i'm wearing mine right now :)
we met two new cousins and one very adorable, little second cousin as we spent some time at grandpa's with the family.
we had a party every night with the roommates.
we had some friends over for new years eve and had delicious soups and bread, yummy yummy cheesecake and played games.
we brought in the new year to the tune of blasting fireworks and chattering teeth (it was like 20 degrees or less).

i pulled a muscle in my neck on thursday and experienced the joys of not being able to move it for a couple of days -- it is on the mend now but i don't recommend the experience.  
i watched braveheart all the way through for the first time -- or maybe the second and i just really don't remember parts of it?
i am going to bed now :0)

hope your holiday was lovely too.  more to come as life should be slowing down just a tad -- or maybe i will be dusting off my time management skills