Sunday, September 25, 2016

Favorite Reads


From romance to murder mysteries to Christian literature, here are a few of my favorite books:

1. The Story Teller by Jodi Picoult

Every.single.person that I have recommend this book to has loved it! I, personally, have read it twice. There is no way I could do justice to this book with a summary, so check it out here. Buy it today, you will thank me.

2. The Husband's Secret by Laine Moriarty

Y'all, I read this book in 28 hours. Yes it was in the summer and I wasn't working but still. Talk about a captivating read! Here's a teaser from Amazon:

"Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret." 

3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn, who is also the author of Gone Girl, knows all too well how to write a haunting murder mystery. This is a book you won't be able to put down, and when you do drag yourself away from it, the darkness lingers with you for awhile. It a great read with an interesting twist you don't see coming.


4. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

In my opinion, Nicholas Sparks movies never live up to the depth and beauty of his writing. Safe Haven is about a woman named Katie who is being abused by her alcoholic husband. She knows it is only a matter of time before his drunken violence ends in her death. This story shows the strength of a woman who desires freedom more than anything.

5. Everyday a Friday by Joel Olsteen

I read this book during a tough time in life and man, did it help me out. Olsteen challenges his reader to see life from a different perspective and live joyfully everyday. It may sound cheesy, but it is far from.
Something he wrote about that stuck with me is complaining about work. He talks about how we don't want to get up early, stay late, deal with colleagues, bosses, etc. But then he challenges you to think about what it would be like if you got fired from that job and went months unemployed. He asks you to think about how grateful and happy you would be to accept that job back. The very job you loathed would become a source of joy. It is all about perspective.
Very uplifting read!


What should I put next on my reading list? I'm always hungry for more books!

Monday, September 19, 2016

My sweet niece!

One September 3rd, 2016 my brother William and sister-in-law Pamela made me an aunt! Kathleen Gwenaelle O'Gorman is the first grandbaby on the O'Gorman side, and my goodness do we love her. 

We were all on baby watch that week, and Friday night it became official- Pam and Kathleen were ready to go! I drove up to Dallas Saturday morning, getting constant updates from my family on baby and momma. When I finally reached the hospital I was shaking with excitement. My dad came to the front and lead to the room...I walked in and saw Paul holding Kathleen and my breath was taken away! She was more beautiful than I could have imagined. She absolutely stole my heart.

Happy tears!
Paul, Grandpa, and sleepy Kathleen!


So alert!

William and Pam went home and Kathleen looked even tinier in a regular sized space! They have had plenty of visitors over to love on and adore baby K.




Uncle Paul and Kathleen snuggle time.




Auntie Pey FaceTime!



Such a big miracle in such a little girl!

Erik and I are headed back up to Dallas the first weekend of October for Kate's baptism. Will and Pam asked me to be her godmother and I can't wait to hold this precious angel while she receives her first sacrament!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sarah's Black Bean Soup

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of black beans
  • 2 cans of Rotel
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions:
1. Combine beans, Rotel, onion, and garlic in crockpot- cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2. Add cilantro 15 minutes before serving.

3. Use immersion blender to blend half of soup, then stir well.

For garnish I added 1/4 of an avocado and little feta cheese. This soup is great as a main course or side for any Mexican inspired meal. With fall weather on the way, what is better than a healthy, hearty, crockpot soup!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Caroline's Lasagna Soup

  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pasta
  • 4-6 cups fresh spinach
  • Fresh mozzarella 


Erik won't eat mushrooms so I swapped them out for zucchini and squash.
Brown sausage and add veggies.

Add broth, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil then add pasta. One cup at a time, add in spinach. 
Serve with mozzarella.

We really loved this soup! I was surprised at how hearty and filling it was. I used whole grain pasta and low fat cheese too keep it as clean as possible. It is filled with vegetables making it a guilt free meal!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

21 Day Fix


Compared to Whole 30, 21 Day Fix is a breeze! The fact that I could eat portions of wild rice, oatmeal, beans, and low-fat cheese was AMAZING. I like that it is more along the lines of "clean eating" rather than strict Paleo. Here are some pictures form my Instagram account! peyton.fitness



My first wedding present!

Sweet potato with turkey chili (two portions)

Pork chop, red potatoes, green beans

Burger minus the bun 
Salmon and berry/spinach salad
Chicken, salad, broccoli

Ricotta stuffed chicken breast

Steak salad

Salmon, wild rice, Southwestern corn

Skinny tortilla soup

Paleo Egg Bake from 21 Day Sugar Detox


Post WOD meal!

Mexican Salad

Spaghetti Squash, pork chop, roasted broccoli

Zoodles with ground beef and marinara 

Oatmeal, banana, strawberries

Beef tenderloin, salad, wild rice



This month I also joined Crossfit with Erik. I finished all the beginner classes last week and did my first official WOD with him last Friday. Needless to say, I could barely walk up and down stairs all weekend! We are going 3x a week to CF, with yoga and cardio in-between.  With only 128 days until wedding bells ring, we are getting pretty serious! 

I'm cutting out all grains from February basically until I walk down the aisle. I think I am going to keep some non-compliant items like beans, corn and the occasional crumbled cheese. 

I have heard of so many brides who crash diet or starve themselves before their weddings. How do people do that?! I can't think or be functional in my daily life if I'm hungry! Plus I don't think anyone's beautiful body deserves to be deprived or harmed in the name of vanity. Here's to a healthy, happy, and balanced wedding diet!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Acorn Squash

Fall weather still hasn't reached Houston, but my menu has definitely changed seasons! I love fall harvest foods like cinnamon apples, hearty soups and pumpkin flavored anything.

Last Friday when my mom was in Houston, we went to Pax Americana and ordered a stuffed acorn squash. It was incredible! I was inspired to try and make one myself, so I googled different recipes and made my own Paleo version.

Cut off both ends.
Cut in half.
Remove seeds with a spoon.
I melted a tablespoon of butter, stirred in some garlic salt and ground sage, then brushed it over the squash. I put them in the oven at 400 degrees for one hour.

While the acorn squash was in the oven I browned a pound of pork sausage, added peppers, onion, spinach, two apple and an egg together in a large skillet.

When the squash was done, I added the stuffing into the squash, then covered them with foil. They went back into the oven for twenty minutes.



They were flavorful, filling and fiancĂ© approved!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday

Sunday is the most important day of my week. If I don't get organized and get things done on Sunday, I feel like my whole week is thrown off! Between laundry, mass, lesson planning and sometimes traveling back home, I feel like Sunday is anything but a day of rest.

Most importantly, Sunday is my grocery shopping and meal prepping day. Having breakfast, lunch and a couple dinners ready makes Monday through Friday so much easier. I try to plan out a menu, screen shot ingredients from Pinterest and get to work! 

This week for my lunches I made pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes, oven baked broccoli and a garden salad. 



I'll throw this in my lunch box with a pear or apple and a coconut flavored LaCroix and I'm all set! Teacher life is so different from office life, I'm so envious of Erik's hour long lunch breaks. Most of the time I'm eating while standing up at the copy machine or getting ready for my kids to come back in! 

Anything fast, nutritious and ready-made is key in classroom-lunch-lifestyle!