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Salad of the Week: 1-17-2017

January 17, 2017
Make this easy salad to meet your 2017 goals

The New Year is off to a good start for this mama.  Mostly because I have dedicated the next five weeks to ME!  It feels oh so good and then I feel oh so guilty at the same time.  I mean, salad prep and gym time cut into the hours of my day and leave me less time to spend sitting on the floor doing puzzles and playing Legos.  BUT, I have decided I need a jump start and it’s going to take full concentration on my health and fitness.  We work so hard year round and what do we get but a bunch of “ewww I don’t want that for dinner”, LOADS of laundry (some of which isn’t even really dirty, but our kids tried it on and were too lazy to put it back in their closets so it instead goes into the dirty basket-like we don’t know?), mess after mess to deal with whether it’s food being thrown on the floor by our littles, or this and that cluttering the counters each day and just piling up because mom hasn’t put it away. Then there is helping with homework, school projects, and being an after school taxi cab.

So when is it our time?

We can keep making excuses that are a mile long, believe me, my list is never-ending as are most moms.  But hey, let’s face it, we are never really going to catch up on that list in this lifetime.  So let’s start now, by eating healthier and focusing on ourselves just a little.  We will feel so much better about ourselves.  And our kids will also see this change and want to be part of it.  My 18 month old and 3 year old love digging into my salads, mostly because what kid doesn’t want to stab little things with a fork, but then once they try them, they can’t stop.  Full blown salad eaters in my house, spinach, carrots, artichokes, brussel sprouts…they eat them and don’t complain!  Crazy, huh?

Main ingredients for this yummy salad

all the chopped ingredients you need

Let’s—as moms—put us first, leave the guilt behind, and focus on eating healthier for the next 30 days!   After that we will have our jump start and be in the mindset to care more about ourselves.  We deserve this.  I mean, we have one body and if we neglect it to take care it, who knows what health issues will arise and if we will be around to experience years and years to come.

To make the dressing for the salad you will need these ingredients

 Cheers to another salad to kick-off 2017!

This one is actually easy to prep and makes a huge Tupperware full.  You may want to share this one and help another coworker or friend get on the salad wagon! The more you practice salad making the easier it gets. Trust me, after two years of salads weekly, I can whip these things out in no time!  And you will too!

A great salad that is easy to make and healthy

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Chickpeas, Kale, and Pearl Couscous

Prep time:  20 mins

Yield: 8 side dish servings, or 4 main course servings

Dressing:

4 Tbs apple cider vinegar

4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp honey

2 tsp Dijon mustard

½  tsp salt

¼  tsp black pepper

 

Salad:

1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed into ½-inch pieces

2 Tbs olive oil

½ tsp salt, divided

⅛ tsp black pepper

1 C cooked whole wheat pearl couscous (according to package)

1 medium sweet onion, diced

5 oz kale, washed, de-stemmed, and finely chopped

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Combine salad ingredients, mix salad dressing and enjoy!

Share your salad

Do you have any easy salads to make? Share in the comments below!

This post was written by Gordmans cooking extraordinaire, Lindsey.

Food

Salad of the Week: 1-12-2017

January 12, 2017

A new year, a new you!  Isn’t that the most popular resolution we start a new year with?! Being a better person in our relationships, more forgiving, more accepting, more kindness. Spending more quality time with our kids. Surrounding ourselves with positive people. Exercising regularly.  Eating healthy, like a salad. Too broad, too many expectations, too many things to focus on…life is constantly changing and is crazy busy.  We must pick the things we REALLY want to focus on, or else drive ourselves crazy trying to do it all!

One thing I know is that if we keep our body eating healthy, other things will fall into place.  We will have more energy to spend that extra quality time with our kids, or stay up a little later to read that book we have been wanting to.  Making healthy food choices will lead us to feel better about ourselves and create the energy we need to feel motivated and keep us on track to meet our goals for the year.

It started when I was a working mom, and encountered catered lunches at the office daily.  I knew if I ate that stuff, I would gain 30 lbs and feel like crap.  So to stay away, I made sure I had prepped my salads on Sundays so that I had all the healthy food I needed to keep me satisfied and away from these temptations throughout the week.  Two years ago I became a stay at home mom, and although the temptations had changed, (to anything I could grab from the pantry), they were still there daily.  And in the beginning I would fall for them.  After a few months I decided I had to continue to prep for my daily salads as if I had a working mom’s schedule.  Because the truth was, I didn’t know from day to day if I would have 15 minutes to make me a healthy lunch.

So my “salad of the week” started.  I would decide what salad I would eat for the week.  It couldn’t be too complicated or I would lose motivation to make it.   I would prep the veggies by having them chopped and stored in individual Tupperware, or have nuts toasted and in baggies, or my dressings were all mixed by me (trying to avoid as much processed as possible).    If this was all done before my week started, it was easy for me to grab what I needed and throw it together.  If I didn’t have this done, I constantly found myself grabbing what was convenient which was usually processed and not a healthy option.

Tools and gadgets to create salad

I found as I ate healthy, I wanted to work out, I felt motivated, and I had the energy it took to be a mom, a wife, and run the household like a boss!  If I’d fail and grab something less healthy, I’d feel sluggish, unmotivated, and on track to just keep eating bad options for the rest of the day.  I knew that the salads had to stick as a daily routine for lunch.  And I had to keep on hand the most used ingredients so I never had an excuse to not eat a salad.  On the weekends I would allow myself to eat more freely and fun.  We can’t deprive ourselves of all fun food or life is just boring, right?

Ingredients for the salad.

So for 2017, add “eat more salads” to your New Year’s resolutions!  You will get your veggies in, you will feel healthier, and will have more motivation to achieve your other goals.  Maybe eating a salad a day will lead you to losing that 10 lbs you have been trying for, and then you will feel ready to hit the gym, give it 6 months of routine and who knows what else you will feel motivated to do!  We only have one body, and we must take care of it, but let’s still have fun while doing so!  Cheers to 2017 and more yummy salads in our futures!  Here is one of the easiest to kick off your new year! (salad recipe below)

Easy Chicken Salad. Healthy salad to get you to your goals this year.

Easy Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

Spring Mix

Chopped Red Peppers

Grape Tomatoes

Artichoke Hearts

Hard boiled egg

Shredded Carrots

Sliced Chicken breast

Pepitas

 

Balsamic Dressing:

½ C olive oil

¼ C balsamic vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 shallot minced

1 clove garlic, minced or crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients salad. Mix together dressing and enjoy!

This post was written by Gordmans cooking extraordinaire, Lindsey.

Beauty

Easy Hairstyles for After Your Workout

January 10, 2017

Congratulations! You set a goal this year of getting healthy and you are actually working out! That in itself deserves claps all around. But now you face the problem of either running straight to work, errands or brunch with workout hair.  In order to help you get on with your day we have three quick and easy hairstyles that will have your friends handing out the compliments upon your arrival.

Ponytail + Side Braids

braid, ponytails

Fun side braids with ponytail

Details and texture are what make this once plain ponytail a lot more special. For this style you will need a comb, three ponytail holders and some smoothing cream. Comb out hair and section your hair off and create the braid on each side. In order for the braid to lay flat against your head you will need to braid your hair in the direction you want it to lay. Braid hair  up to where you want your ponytail to sit and secure each braid with a ponytail holder. Next, pull all your hair up to a ponytail and secure with an elastic. Use smoothing cream to tame any flyaways. You can really customize this style, if you want the braids to be a little wider, just slightly pull out sections of the braid to create a thicker braid. You can also create some volume at the crown of the head for a fuller looking hairstyle or simply pull your hair back into the ponytail.

Braided Pony

Braided ponytail

Easy braided ponytail

Even if you are not a hair guru you can make this easy braided ponytail and be on your way to brunch in no time. You will need a comb, high hold hairspray and two ponytail holders. Comb through hair, make a high ponytail and secure with elastic. Divide ponytail into three sections and braid ponytail till you reach the end, secure with second elastic. Spray hair with hairspray for extra hold. Easy peasy.

French Ponytail

French ponytail

French braid to ponytail

For this hairstyle you will need to know how to French braid. All you need is some high hold hair spray, comb and pony tail holder. Simply brush out hair with comb and flip hair over. Take sections of hair and french braid starting at the nape of the neck to where you want your ponytail to sit. Secure ponytail with elastic and spray hair for good hold. Leave wispy hairs down for a more casual look.

With these three looks you will be on your way out of the gym with a great hairstyle in no time!

Family Food Party & Event Ideas Shop

How To Host A Friendsgiving Dinner

November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition of food and gratitude shared among family. Hot on its heels, hosting Friendsgiving—a gathering for friends held before or after your family Thanksgiving—is becoming a tradition in itself.

In the spirit of “more is more,” why not double the fun and try a Friendsgiving celebration this year? Here’s how to make it happen, from invites to incorporating a charitable cause.

SEND INVITATIONS

Enlist the help of your kiddos to make invitations out of traced-hand turkeys and deliver them by snail mail or in person to guests, or go easy and electronic with a Friendsgiving-themed email invitation.

SET THE DRESS CODE

As for how fancy or laid-back your Friendsgiving is, that’s up to you. Feel free to declare an all-sweatpants dress code (perhaps you could call it “pajama chic”?) or even a cocktail party theme if you’re so inclined. It’s your party and you can dress up (or down) as much as you want to!

INCORPORATE SERVICE

Consider using your celebration to support a cause you care about. Ask guests to bring a canned good donation for a local food pantry or spend time together after dinner making care packages for an organization that serves people in need.

PLAN THE MENU

When it comes to the menu, the options are only limited to your creativity. For a day-after-Thanksgiving open house, invite your guests to bring their leftovers and set up a buffet. Make turkey sandwiches dressed with gravy and cranberry sauce, or use leftover mashed potatoes to make cheesy potato pancakes (just stir in shredded cheese and pan-fry on your stovetop over medium heat). If you’re all turkeyed out, plug in your crockpot and cook up a big batch of chili or your favorite heart-warming stew, or give everyone the day off from cooking and order pizza from your favorite local joint.

HAVE SOME FUN

After you’ve shared a meal and given thanks, plan some amusing entertainment to keep the Friendsgiving fun going. Maybe it’s watching your favorite football team or bringing out the board games. When in doubt, breaking out the blankets and snuggle up for a holiday movie marathon or a consecutive viewing of all of the “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes!

The Perfect Friendsgiving Tablescape!

Fashion Shop

Elect Your Fall Fashion Fave

November 4, 2016

With Election Day on the way, get ready for “I Voted!” stickers and polling place selfies to flood your social media feeds. There’s no debate about this, though: Fall is one of our favorite seasons when it comes to fashion. It’s hard to beat the allure of chunky knits, cute jackets, cozy tights and leather boots.

In the spirit of casting your vote this election season, we’re asking you to elect your favorite fall fashion staple. These three standbys are all valuable additions to any autumn wardrobe, but only one can be named the winner of fall fashion. Which will get your vote?

BOOTIES

Ankle-height boots, aka booties, might be the most versatile shoe out there right now, and they couldn’t be more on-trend. Stacked wooden heels can give your outfit a bit of much-needed lift, while flat-soled booties are super-walkable. Details such as perforated leather or metallic zippers add a special touch to basic styles. Truth be told, it’s hard to imagine an outfit—jeans and a tee, a girly dress, leggings and a tunic—that won’t work with your favorite pair of booties.

BLANKET SCARF

This cozy accessory made a big splash last fall and is still going strong. Whether you go with a loud and colorful plaid or an understated check, blanket scarves add a dose of fall flair. Wear them draped around the neck or worn around the shoulders, shawl-style—you really can’t go wrong!

PUFFY VEST

This sporty staple has been a cool-weather favorite for years and has recently made quite the comeback. The classic down-filled vest works in low-key neutrals or preppy brights (think red, hunter green or cornflower blue), while slimmer silhouettes with sleek quilting and menswear-inspired prints—think herringbone, plaid or houndstooth—add a layer of warmth and style to just about any fall outfit.

 

vote 3-faves

Fashion Shop

Strap Happy

October 28, 2016

The strappy back trend was all the rage this summer, with this delicate detail popping up on everything from sundresses to yoga tops. With fall in full swing, though, straps haven’t yet gone into hibernation; they’re moving to the fronts of tops and bralettes and even showing up on shoes. Here are 6 ways to put a fresh spin on the strappy trend this season.

SWEATER WEATHER

Strap-happy bralettes aren’t just for warm weather. Whether your favorite strappy-front bralette features a simple criss-cross front or an elaborate spider web of lacing, the best way to show it off during cooler weather is with a V-neck sweater, so just a bit of the detail peeks out. Or layer on a drapey, low-cut tank or tee with a leather or denim jacket.

WORK IT OUT

Sports tanks and yoga bras with strappy fronts are a super-cute way to take this trend to the gym. Layer on a sweatshirt with a wide neckline or let the straps show underneath a zip-up hoodie.

GO BOHO

In dark colors and sleek fabrics, strappy tops tend to skew toward the edgy side, but that’s not the only way to wear the trend. Look for criss-cross details on printed pieces and hippie-inspired blouses with a more free-spirited vibe, like this Eyeshadow Front Cross Straps Woven Tunic ($24.99).

KEEP IT SIMPLE

For an all-in-one-look without the fuss of layering, look for a tee, blouse or dress with built-in criss-cross detailing along the neckline, like the Criss-Cross Strappy Tee ($8.99) or Emerald Sundae Harness Front Criss Cross Ottoman Short Dress ($11).

FLIP IT AND REVERSE IT

To work this trend without buying something new, look in your closet for tops or dresses with a strappy back, and then try them on backwards. It sounds crazy, but it just might work! For example, wear the Trixxi Stripe Criss Cross Swing Dress ($14.99) turned around with the criss-cross detail in front!

TOE THE LINE

Shoes are getting in on the strappy trend, too. Try a pair of strappy heels or wedges for an upcoming formal event, like a school dance or wedding. For everyday, look for boots and booties with strappy cut-outs on the sides for a really fashion-forward look. If the temps aren’t too cool, pair them with bare legs, a flowy dress and a denim jacket. If you’re already feeling the chill, then layer them over bright socks or tights so the color shows through

Décor Fashion Shop

Everything’s Coming Up Rose Gold

October 21, 2016

Gold is classic and silver is chic, but everything from iPhones to Michelle Obama’s final state dinner gown are turning heads in rose gold and copper these days. Whether it’s gilded onto sunglasses or making an appearance in home decor, this warm metallic couldn’t be cooler.

Here’s how to infuse a little of this trendy tone into both your wardrobe and home.

  1. Make some moves in these super-shiny high-top sneakers by Baby Phat ($29.95).
  2. Flashy personalities will love the TMI Women’s Triple Chrono Roman Numeral watch, which features dazzling rose gold metal links ($14.99).
  3. If softer bands are more your style, go for the TMI Classic Dial watch with a white leather band and delicate rose gold face ($14.99)
  4. For just a touch of rose gold, slip into these ZCo boot-cut jeans with metallic embellishments on the back pockets ($29.99).
  5. Add some quirk to your kitchen with this Copper Metal Utensil Wall Clock ($12.99).
  6. Perk up a console table or armoire with this eye-catching geometric metal sculpture ($25).
  7. Throw some shade with Riviera Glam sunglasses in a timeless aviator style ($12.99).
  8.  Let there be light! This wire pendant lamp would lend a contemporary vibe to any room ($39.99).
  9. A succulent planter? A classy trash can? An ice bucket for your next shindig? The uses for this copper planter bucket are practically endless ($16.99).

Fashion Food Shop

DIY Fall Coffees

October 14, 2016

The season of Pumpkin Spice Everything is upon us, which includes your favorite fall drinks at your local coffee shop. If all those trips to see your local barista are adding up at $5 a pop, check out our tips and tricks to create your own fancy coffee drinks at home for less.

GET FROTHY

Besides the flavors, there’s one thing that makes seasonal lattes so rich and delicious: frothed milk. If you don’t have a fancy espresso machine with a milk steamer (and who does?), just put a half cup of milk in a mason jar and shake it hard for about 30 seconds. Then take off the lid, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and pour it into your cup of coffee. Ouila, instant latte!

SPICE IT UP

Look to your spice rack for autumnal inspiration! Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, or for a hit of heat, add a dash of chili powder. If you have a bottle of pumpkin pie spice—a blend of cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg and allspice—leftover from Thanksgiving, try stirring in a teaspoon to make your own pumpkin spice latte.

CANDY SHOP

Some of the sweetest seasonal coffees are inspired by candy store favorites. To make a salted caramel coffee, swirl in caramel syrup and sprinkle with sea salt. For a maple-toffee latte, add a tablespoon of maple syrup and a sprinkle of crushed toffee candy.

CHAI AGAIN

Ever heard of a dirty chai? It’s the best of the coffee and tea worlds: a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso. To make an easy copycat version at home, pick up a carton of chai tea concentrate at the grocery store (Tazo, Oregon Chai and Pacific are popular brands that make it) and mix to taste with coffee and frothed milk. The spicy flavors of the chai—cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorn—create the perfect cool-weather sipper.

coffee2 coffee1 coffee3

Family Fashion Shop

Trolls Are Back! See How to Rock ‘Trolls’-Inspired Brights

October 7, 2016

When DreamWorks’ “Trolls” debuts on Nov. 4 starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake (well, their voices, at least!) moviegoers everywhere are going to be singing along and dreaming in color. We zeroed in on four larger-than-life colors from the movie—including fuschia, the signature color of Kendrick’s character, Poppy—that will be sure to give your wardrobe a punch this fall. Mix these vibrant hues with neutrals (see our “mild” suggestions below), or go wild and pair with other brights for a double dose of color.

FUSCHIA

Mild: To keep this stunning magenta shade the focus of your outfit, try pairing it with black basics. A fuschia clutch is the perfect accent for a LBD, or wear a chiffon fuchsia blouse with a pair of classic black pants—any silhouette from cigarette to wide-legged will do!

Wild: Cobalt blue is a strong match for fuschia; even though it’s also bright, it has enough depth to ground your whole outfit. Belt a fuschia frock with a cobalt belt, or pair a pink top with a cobalt cardigan and a trusty pair of jeans.

TURQUOISE

Mild: This bright blue-green hue looks super-sharp paired with gray or white. Try turquoise heels with a crisp white eyelet dress or a bright tunic with distressed gray denim.

Wild: Turquoise really pops when paired with another bright color found in nature: coral. Match a coral necklace or scarf with a turquoise dress, or button a coral blazer over a turquoise pencil skirt.

LIME

Mild: Denim is your best friend when it comes to wearing this citrusy shade of green. Tuck a chambray shirt into a lime skirt, or toss on a denim jacket over a lime shift dress and you’re good to go.

Wild: If you’re feeling really brave, match lime with purple—either a deep shade of eggplant or a lighter-looking violet (think Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s color of the year for 2014). How cute would a lime green hat and gloves look with a violet wool coat for winter?

ORANGE

Mild: When it comes to neutrals, army green is your go-to to rock with all shades of orange, from creamy coral to in-your-face neon. A military-styled jacket or vest is just the right fit to layer over an orange tee or sweater. Don’t have anything army green? Try matching orange with chambray or navy for a nautical vibe.

Wild: Pair canary yellow with orange and heads will definitely turn! For a less eye-popping combination that still comes off quite bold, try crimson—and don’t shy away from prints. A crimson and canary floral skirt with an orange blouse would definitely be a showstopper!

Fashion Shop

5 Must-Have Jackets For Fall (all for under $30!)

September 23, 2016

JEAN JACKET

This is the classic of all classics, whether you’re a lady or a gent, a teen or an adult. When it comes to the details—length, wash, button color, distressed or not—it’s really a matter of personal preference. Try a few on for size and prepare to keep this timeless workhorse in your closet for years to come!

Try: Wallflower Basic Denim Jacket, $17

Amethyst Basic Denim Jacket, $17

Trend 1: Jean Jacket

MILITARY JACKET

Army green is the new neutral: This military-inspired piece goes with everything, and all the pockets make it practical, too. To define your waist, look for a jacket with a drawstring around the middle; for extra coziness, try one with a hood. Pull it out of your closet to dress down a little black dress or layer it with a plaid flannel shirt and jeans for football tailgating.

Try: Ashley Draw Cord Waist Military Jacket, $29.99

Ashley Hooded Military Jacket: $29.99

Trend 2: Military Jacket

MOTO JACKET

A leather (or pleather) jacket in any style is a versatile cool-weather staple, but the zippered details and prominent lapel of a classic moto jacket are especially iconic. Use it to toughen up an otherwise girly lace dress or pop it over a jumpsuit for a night out.

Try: Quilted Moto Jacket, $29.99

Stitch Detail Moto Jacket, $29.99

Trend 3: Moto Jacket

SWEATER JACKET

More a hefty cardigan than a jacket per se, this cozy layering piece can turn a plain tee and jeans into a stylish ensemble. Look for cozy cable knits, colorful stripes or eye-catching Aztec-inspired prints.

Try: Colorblock Aztec Jacket, $12

Pink Rose Variegated Stripe with Hood Cardigan, $19.99

Trend 4: Sweater Jacket

VARSITY JACKET

Whether you’re still in school or graduation is far in your rearview, there’s something that feels quintessentially fall about the varsity jacket. Look for styles that make use of the original letter emblem on the front, or opt for a more modern version that takes liberties with the inspiration by incorporating on-trend patterns such as plaid or space dye.

Try: Reflex A-Patch Fleece Hooded Varsity Jacket, $19.99

Reflex Plaid Contrast Hooded Varsity Jacket, $19.99

5 Jackets For Fall!