Author Archives: Sweet and Savvy

Taking a Blog Break

Hi everyone! Hope you have enjoyed your Thanksgivings with loved ones! The holidays are my absolute favorite time of the year.

You may have noticed that I disappeared for the last week, and because of this, I have decided to stop blogging for the time being. As this is my senior year, the holiday season, and a huge time of change for me, for personal reasons, I think it is time that I sit back, relax, and focus on myself and living the best life I can. While I love  blogging, I believe this is the right decision for me at this time.

I do not have any idea when I will begin blogging again, so I will just be playing this by ear. If you still want to talk, feel free to contact me via Twitter or Email, and of course I will be Pinning away! Winking smile 

So this is a bittersweet post, and I honestly do not know what to say. I will miss blogging, but I am also excited to embrace all that life has to offer me.

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Talk to you all later… please don’t forget about Sweet and Savvy while I am gone! Smile 

Drink Up! Healthiful Balance Guest Post

Hi! My name is Shannon and I own the blog “Healthiful Balance”. I blog about my life in Germany, food, health and fitness. I’m so excited to be guest posting for Savannah today because I really enjoy reading her blog! So thank you to Savannah for giving me the opportunity to guest post! =)

When I was younger, I though water was boring, unimportant and hardly ever drunk any. I preferred juice or milk over water all the time. Now that I’m older, I realize how important it is and how even though it’s pretty much tasteless; it has many great health benefits!

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Health Benefits of Water:

· Clears your skin and makes it glow.

· It helps flush out all the toxins from your body.

· Helps you stay hydrated.

· Boosts your metabolism.

· Regulates body temperature

· Reduces the risk of cancer

· Helps your digestion

· Protects and moisturizes joints

So, as you can see, water is really important and helps keep us healthy!

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I don’t mind drinking water plain, but I know a lot of people have trouble drinking enough water because it has no flavor.

Here are some great ways to make your water taste better!

· Add a little bit of lemon juice and stevia. It’ll taste just like lemonade!

· Add some cucumbers to a bottle of water and leave it in the fridge overnight. So refreshing!

· Use water mixes (For example: Crystal Light, K2O Protein Water Mix ..)

· Drink green tea

What are your favorite ways to add some flavor to water?

Weekend Excitement

I mentioned on my post yesterday that I COULD NOT WAIT for the weekend.

I’m getting to that. Smile 

But first… I had an AMAZING discovery!

Blue Sky Free Natural Soda!! This pop is seriously better tasting than Sprite, and it has zero calories, and like, five ingredients. Go buy it… now. It is sweetened with Truvia, and tastes wonderful and is the perfect substitute for chemical  laden soda pop. I am in love, and I have only tried one flavor.

 

As for this weekend…

I am going to be MIA because I will be spending Friday through Sunday at my beloved church camp!

I am so excited I cannot think straight, even though I am depressed that it is my LAST year! Sad smile This is my seventh year, and I would not trade the memories made at this weekend for the world.

I am ecstatic that in twenty two hours, I will be worshipping God in my favorite place ever with some amazing people! <3

Don’t forget to keep checking back this weekend while I am gone for Shannon’s guest post! Smile 

Here are some throw back pictures from past camps! Smile

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Today’s Questions:

  1. Can you guess which of the above pictures is from my FIRST EVER church camp?
  2. Do you/did you attend a church camp?
  3. Do you drink pop? (Or soda) Have you tried more natural alternatives?

WIAW…I Hate Writing… for School

I find it funny that I absolutely LOVE blogging, and writing posts, yet when it comes to writing essays for school….

ummmmshootmenow.

As much as I would like to spent all night blogging, AP Lit and AP Gov are demanding my time this evening. This is unfortunate, because I really do not care too much about morally ambiguous characters in The Turn of the Screw, or the constitutionality of ObamaCare at the moment.

Okay, okay. I care about the government and our health care… but not enough to write a six to eight page paper on it.

I am too excited for this weekend, and too upset that it is ONLY Wednesday. More details on that later. Oh. Special treat for you in the form of a guest post this weekend from someone awesome.

There is one good thing about the fact that it is just Wednesday.

Thanks to Jenn, I’ll be sharing some of today’s eats!

imageThat’s a Greek yogurt bowl with cheesecake pudding mix, lots of cereal, chia seeds, umm.. I forget what else.
imageFranklin’s Veggie Burger + 2% American cheese
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Salad beast! Veggies <3 yummm.

Okay. Enough procrastinating for this chick. Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!

Today’s Questions:

1) Am I alone in the fact that I HATE, and I mean abhor writing if I am forced to, but love it otherwise?

2) What are the worst books you have ever had to read for school?

3) Best eats as of late? 

Back in the Habit

imageWell it has been a beautiful day! It hit seventy degrees, and was sunny! That is MY kind of November weather!

Today was definitely the warmest day for a while, and despite the warmer weather, I opted to get back in the habit of having a warm breakfast of Super Chocolatey Protein Oats. It was all that sounded good! :)

Even though the weather has typically been getting colder, I have been eating Greek Yogurt bowls and smoothies for breakfast recently, so the warm oats were a nice change!

For lunch today, I had a nice, homemade, freshly prepared salad brought from home. I definitely did NOT buy this hurriedly, on my way to Calc, because I, once again, forgot to take lunch.

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Yea… who would do that? ;) Even if it DOES look oddly familiar to this salad.

Since I had some things to do after school, I did not get a work out in during my usual time. I got home, ate a snack, then waited a bit and decided to wait and work out before dinner. After exercising, I was starving and was not about to wait around to cook. Yay for five minute dinners!
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A salad with lettuce, red bell peppers, black pepper, and red wine vinegar served as my side to a Caramelized Onion and Swiss Chicken Burger from Sam’s Club!

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These burgers are awesome! I did not have high hopes for them, considering the fact that they are precooked and I simply nuked in the microwave, but I was pleasantly surprised! Definitely not the best chicken I have had, but I enjoyed this burger a ton, especially since I was ravenous and I had dinner finished in under five minutes. The nutrition and ingredients on these babies aren’t bad either! They are made with all natural ingredients, gluten free, have 180 calories, and 20 grams of protein! That is MY kind of quick meal!

So wow! You guys probably do not know who this blogger is considering I have not taken pictures of my food in so long! Guess I am getting back in the habit!

Today’s Questions:

  1. Do you prefer hot or cold breakfasts? Does this change with the seasons?
  2. Is anyone else having unseasonably warm weather and loving it as much as I am?
  3. What are your favorite super fast dinners? 

Winner

It is a three day weekend. The weather has been beautiful. What could be better?

Well, I won a giveaway!

Averie hosted a Natural Energy & Protein Drinks Giveaway featuring products from CalNaturale Svelte. I have entered quite a few blogger giveaways, but I never really expect that I would be lucky enough to win one, but looks like I am having a pretty fortunate weekend! Smile Thanks, Averie! I cannot wait to try these products!

Needless to say, getting online to check my email this morning was pretty exciting. I also saw the headline of an article on Huffington Post that intrigued me.

The article was titled, “6 Simple Ways To Eat Healthier.” In this article, the six actions described to make a healthier you were as follows:

  1. Cook for yourself.
  2. Eat local foods that are in season.
  3. Buy fresh.
  4. Eat mostly vegetables.
  5. Snack healthier.
  6. Eat organic.

 

 

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I think these are great tips to living a healthier life. When I did not eat well and had no concept of nutrition, I never cooked for myself. If I did cook by myself, it included Easy Mac about 95% of the time. Cooking for yourself avoids so many unhealthy ingredients that restaurants add unnecessarily. Cooking at home also saves a lot of mulah.

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This summer was the first summer I ever took a trip to a Farmer’s Market. I never realized the wonder of shopping locally. In season foods taste so much better. Though I do not eat in season, fresh, and locally close to all the time, it would be preferential. Fresh foods taste so much better, and if it tastes better, you’re much more likely to eat it. I know I sure am. Fresh apples from the Farmer’s Market? You better hide them unless you want the entire lot devoured in about 1.5 hours days.

Speaking of apples, those delicious things make the best snacks, hands down. Smart snacking is SUCH an important factor in healthy eating. It is hard to turn down a good, homemade cookie from time to time, but honestly, an apple and yogurt is so much more filling and satisfying than half a bag of chips or handfuls of Oreos. 

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Today’s Questions:

  1. Have you ever won a giveaway?
  2. Do you think these are good tips for a healthy lifestyle?
  3. What are your favorite healthy eating tips?

I’ve Been Converted

First off.

Wow. Thank you all so much for the amazing response on my last post about my troubles with fitting blogging into my currently hectic life. I am so glad that so many people could agree, and it made me realize that there is no pressure on me to pump out a subpar post every day just so that I can “keep up” with blogging. It also really reinforced that my life must come before hobbies, like blogging. I love blogging, so I hope to be able to post as much as I can and remain a part of this growing community, sharing my story.

Today’s thankfulness: I am SO thankful for the fact that I had an early release from school today, AND have a three day weekend. Need I say more? :) 

Since I missed What I Ate Wednesday yesterday. (oh no!) I thought I would share with you a little bit of the food I have been eating.

Ever since virtually cutting out gluten from my diet, I have not eaten pasta. Growing up in an area with heavy Italian influence, pasta is a staple in everyone’s diet. Oddly enough, I have not missed pasta at all since going gluten free. It just has not sounded very appealing… but the other day, I decided it was time to get my pasta fix.

A couple weeks ago at Kroger’s, my mom found this Quinoa pasta on sale, so she picked me up a couple boxes.

I wanted to try this pasta out, and to my delight, this quinoa pasta had a great flavor and I honestly did not think it tasted different from any other pasta!

Pasta, being straight carbs, is not the most satisfying and filling meal to me. I still wanted to get my veggies in, but still have a hearty dish.

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So, since I am not Italian and do not normally have real pasta sauce laying around, I decided to crack open a jar of this stuff.

I thought it was great, and added a little Italian Seasoning and Oregano to give it an extra punch of flavor! And thus, I had a great meal of Easy Veggies and Pasta! It included:

  • 1/2 cup of Pasta Sauce
  • 2 small zucchinis
  • 1 cup of green beans roasted in black pepper, Mrs. Dash, and Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup of pasta

Easy, huge, and delicious! I made Zucchini Noodles following how they did on the a Zucchini Ribbon recipe on Food Network.

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Onto other food news in Savannahland, I told you guys a while back that I did NOT like Greek yogurt, and that I really wanted to like it.

Many of you gave great advice and said that if I kept trying different types in different ways, I would eventually like it.

You were right! I have officially jumped on the Greek yogurt train!

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My favorite ways to eat it are with some Stevia, and some pudding mix thrown in.

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These are all pictures of today’s breakfast which was a mix of

  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax
  • 1 tsp chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 tsp cheesecake pudding mix
  • splash of almond milk
  • large handful (or two) of Attune Crispy Brown Rice Cereal

<3 it was delicious.

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So thanks guys, for encouraging me to KEEP EATING GREEK YOGURT, and to keep trying different ways, because I have a new favorite snack/breakfast/food. Smile 

Today’s Questions:

  1. Do like healthifying traditional comfort foods, or do you prefer to indulge on the original versions sparingly?
  2. Have you tried pasta made of things other than traditional wheat, like this quinoa pasta? Thoughts?
  3. Do you eat Greek yogurt? What’s your favorite way to have it?

You Get Out What You Put In

You may have noticed a few changes while reading Sweet and Savvy lately.

The two major changes have happened.

1. I have not been posting my meals or food as frequently.

2. I have not been posting every day. Or on any consistent basis, actually.

There are many small reasons for this, but it all comes down to the same basic fact. I am busy. I have a lot of homework, I am trying to get a work out in regularly, I have colleges to apply for. I have scholarships to find, I have meals to microwave cook, and I’m trying to not be a recluse all the time with my fingers glued to the laptop. This last thing actually has not been working out, since I feel like I am always doing research or writing papers, but that is a different, non fun and leisurely way to spend my time online. I’d much rather be on Pinterest or blogging.

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So truth be told, I have been kind of out of the loop with the whole blogosphere. I am not tweeting as much. I am not commenting on other posts as much, and I am not even reading as many posts as I would like.

The posts that I have written have not been my best. I do not publish anything I deem to be “bad”, but these posts have often been thrown together at the last minute because I feel like something is better than nothing.

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Guess what. You get out what you put in. My blog readership has gone down, oops. Not by a lot, and not that I hang off of my site stat numbers, but this signals to me that my readers really care about what I have to say, and enjoy reading what comes from my heart. This is an amazing fact. I think it is kind of crazy that people actually like reading what I have to say. It means a lot. I write posts because I enjoy it. Blogging is cathartic for me, and I would love sharing my story with even one reader.

This has also made me realize that I want to put my all into everything I post. Even though I may not have time to do it every day, I want all of my posts to be 100% Savannah. Something of quality that I would brag about. I’m sure you all will appreciate that, right? So I am sorry, because I may not be posting as much now, but at the moment, I cannot. I must prioritize other things before blogging, as much as I hate to say it.

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Oh, and I did not forget about my Thankful Challenge! What am I thankful for today?

You! My readers, and the fact that I have been lucky enough to have been able to use my writing to bring people enjoyment!

So I have been talking about the not so positive aspects of getting out what you put in. On the other hand, my time that has not been spent blogging has been well spent. Once again, you get out what you put in.

1. I have spent a ton of time studying, but it has paid off. I currently am holding an A in all of my classes.

2. I have been accepted to one university so far, and at this university, I have also made it through the first round of its Honor’s College application process.

3. I have been spending quality time with people I love. This is what is most important.

4. I have been successful in working out on a more consistent basis, and my body is feeling it. I feel so much better, and my muscles are growing stronger. I am not tearing up the weight room or ready to train for a marathon by any means, but for me, I am making great progress. A little is better than nothing in this situation by a ton!

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I feel kind of weird talking about my successes. Is that weird? I feel like I am “bragging”, but why is bragging such a bad thing? This brings me to a few questions:

1. If you blog, how to you fit blogging in?

2. What are the best, stress free, time management tips?

3. How did you handle the college transition?

4. Do you feel weird bragging about your successes?

Healthy Snacky Snacks

Happy Saturday, pretties! Smile 

My day has been pretty fantastic and low key so far. I slept in till about 7:30, (I’m a bad teenager), and then got about an hour of strength/circuit training exercising in and was digging into this delicious smoothie by 9!

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Since then, I’ve been busy getting a few things around the house done that I have been meaning to do, reading articles online, and working on my Honor’s College application for the University I have been accepted to and will most likely attend next year.

If you guys read my last post, I am going to continue that challenge today by recognizing something I am thankful for. Today, I am thankful for my love of reading, and the fact that reading has always come easily to me. I never realized how lucky and blessed I am to have had the opportunity at such a young age to even be taught how to read. There are roughly a billion people in the world that are illiterate. Two-thirds of these people are women, which accumulates to the sad and scary fact that over thirty percent of the word’s women cannot read.

My love of reading was fostered at a young age, and I attribute this to many amazing family role models. The fact that I am a voracious reader has opened my eyes to so many different perspectives of the world, and also has caused writing to be nearly automatic, easy, and enjoyable. I believe it is sad that so many young people like me do not experience the satiety brought about by finishing a good book, or expressing their feelings in writing. And it is sure making all these college essays a heck of a lot simpler.

Now, onto something else.

Do you remember Pam from the awesome guest post not too long ago? Yea, well she just became even more awesome in my book by nominating me for the “Liebster Blog Award.”

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you. (Thanks PamSmile )
  2. Reveal your top 5 bloggers and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

This is SO hard, because I love so many bloggers, but here are five that come to mind right now! Love these ladies!

Pam also recently shared some of her favorite snack combinations, and I thought this was an awesome idea! Here are some of my favorite snacks of late!

Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of sugar free chocolate (or cheesecake!) pudding mix! Amazing. Seriously, try it!

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Air popped popcorn with stevia and cocoa powder. Also amazing.

Baby carrots dipped in salsa! Newman’s Own Pineapple and Mango varieties are the best!

Today’s Questions:

    1. Are you a reader? How did you get into reading?
    2. What are your favorite blogs of the moment?
    3. Best healthy snack combinations you’ve been loving? 

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The Thankful Challenge (WIAW)

Hallelujah for beautiful days!

 

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Since yesterday was November 1st, I am going to try and challenge myself on the blog a little bit for the entire month.

Since Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks, I would like to post something I am thankful for with every post during the month of November.

I am hoping that this challenge will help me to even further appreciate the little things in life, and encourage others to do the same. There are so many overlooked blessings, and I would love for them to stop being overlooked! I am a true believer that those who focus on the good, positive things, are, by far, the happiest, and most content people. So what am I thankful for today?

Sunshine!

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“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.”
Morris West

So will you also take this challenge, and be thankful for one, specific thing every day throughout the month of November? Be thankful, and let the sun shine!

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All this sunshine is sure making me happy! These are all welcome signs considering over the weekend, I saw scenes like this! Oh snow!

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And now… onto WIAW a la Jenn!

I have been a bad blogger, and do not have photos of half of my day’s eats… but we are going with what I have! Smile 

 

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast!

 

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I have been out of protein powder, and my shipment came in last night. I was so excited, so I obviously had to start my day off with Super Chocolatey Protein Oats! (those portions x2 Smile )

Random Meals / Snacks of the last couple days

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Sweet Potatoes, cottage cheese, green beans and almonds, fresh green beans and broccoli, spaghetti squash.. yum Smile 

Today’s Questions :

  1. What are YOU thankful for today?
  2. Will you participate in trying to be thankful every day this month? Would you post these things?
  3. What is the best thing you have eaten today/this week?
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