Sparkles of Inspiration Link Up Party {week 10}

Sparkles of Inspiration Link Up Party www.sparklesandglue.com

Bloggers showing other bloggers love makes me smile. That’s why I love the Sparkles of Inspiration Link Up Party. It’s a place for us to share our favorite posts each week and get a little attention. It’s my favorite when I stumble upon a new blog via a link up party and before you know it that blogger has become my friend and we are helping each other grow.

Let’s get to the party! Pick some of your favorite projects and get to linkin’ 

 

Your Host

Jessica Snyder

Jessica from www.sparklesandglue.com Hosting Sparkles of Inspiration Link Up Party

Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ Google+ ~ Twitter ~ Stumbleupon ~Bloglovin

 


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Paleo Chicken Scotch Eggs

Paleo Chicken Scotch Eggs www.sparklesandglue.com

Have you ever had a Scotch Egg? It’s a fantastic treat made from a boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, sometimes breaded, and always fried! Not exactly a healthy snack …until now…

Paleo Chicken Scotch eggs are healthy twist on an old favorite that combines eggs, chicken, and veggies. It’s a perfect healthy snack that you can eat on the go or add some greens and make a family meal out of them. 

 

What You Need
10 eggs {boiled & peeled}
1 pound chicken (boneless & skinless}
2 peppers {your choice green, red, yellow, orange}
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon italian seasons
Salt & Pepper to toaste
Saran Wrap

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

tear 10 small pieces of saran wrap and lay them out. 

Add the peppers, garlic, and tomato paste to a food processor and pulse about 10 times until everything is finely chopped- put it all in a large bowl. 

Add the chicken to the food processor with the salt, pepper, italian seasonings and pulse until the chicken resembles breakfast sausage constancy. 

Paleo Chicken Scotch Eggs www.sparklesandglue.com

Mix the chicken and vegetable mixture together then divid into 10 equal parts. Place 1 part of each piece of saran wrap. 

Paleo Chicken Scotch Eggs www.sparklesandglue.com

Place 1 egg on top of each pile of sausage the pick up the saran wrap and work the sausage around the egg. 

Paleo Chicken Scotch Eggs www.sparklesandglue.com

Grease a muffin pan and place each Scotch Egg in the pan.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes then flip the eggs and bake 5 more minutes. 

TIP: When you are turning your eggs you may notice the muffin tins are filled with chicken juices. You can pour that out to help your eggs get a nice brown on them. 

Paleo Chicken Scotch Eggs www.sparklesandglue.comThese are a healthy delicious snack that I love to pack when I’m on the road and serve to my family with a big pile of baby spinach. Either way they are full of protein and will fill you up!

 

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October A Month Without #AMWO

October: A Month Without: Weight Loss & Health Improvement www.sparklesandglue.com

They say it takes 21 days to break a habit or build a new one so I’m going to make some changes one month at a time. I encourage you to join me as I strive to be a healthier me. I selected each goal for my month with hopes that I can adapt a new habit based off of my month without.  For example, my diet could use more chicken, fish, and veggies so a month without red meat will help me find more options I enjoy and save a few cows too. A month without chocolate can’t hurt my waist line and who needs cookies {currently me…but I’m working on that}…

 

Here are my Month Without goals…

January- exceeding 2000 calories a day

February- red meat

March- carbonated drinks 

April- pastries & cookies 

May- ice cream 

June- alcohol

July- chocolate DID IT! Read my July update to see how it went!

August- gluten WOW this was hard. Read my August update here! 

September- sweets & candy  Doing a dance!  

October- fast food 

November- pasta

December- white bread

 

October

Ready OK! I’m really motivated for this month after how great last month has made me feel. This month I will officially give up all fast food that is crap IE: McDonalds, Burger king, Long John Silvers, etc. I do feel like a few restaurants have a few meals that are pretty safe for when I’m on the go and don;t have anything to eat. I occasionally stop at Chipotle and Panera Bread. I’m still very selective about what I order but I feel fairly safe there. 

My plan for success this month is being proactive about m meals. I have cooked and pre packed my meals for work hours and planned dinner out a week at a time. I’m going to make a huge effort to avoid getting too hungry since that’s when I’m most likely to end up eating crap food. If I’m filled with vegetable, fruit, and protein there won’t be any room for crap in my belly. 

I’m on a mission …

join me in becoming a healthier & happier me! 

What will your goal be this month?

 

 

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Places to Visit in Cleveland

Our Anniversary Trip to Cleveland…Where & Why You Should go! WWW.SparklesandGlue.comPrince Charming and I just celebrated our 5th year of wedded bliss. It’s been a roller coaster ride of happy, sad, hilarious, and exciting times {but never a dull moment!} What has made it tolerable is having his hand to hold through it all. We are pretty normal people and we don’t always see eye-to-eye but we agree this trip to Cleveland was a major success! 

To start our trip off I searched AirBnB for the perfect place. If you haven’t used that site/app yet you better get busy plus you can get $25.00 off if you click this link HERE. We found an amazing, spacious, retro apartment in Lakewod, Ohio. Brittany was our host and she has impeccable taste and helped us find some local favorite places to visit and eat! We loved her place and every one of her suggestions! 

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Melts: This place has some crazy good gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, melts, salads, and sides that are to die for! The sandwiches are as big as a house so be ready for left overs. I also recommend you try the tofu buffalo wings~delish! While to food was top notch and we enjoyed every bite we also loved soaking in the cool vibes and atmosphere. The staff was hilarious and so friendly.

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Capitol Theater: is a one of a kind vintage theater that has been updated. It plays some small films & indie films plus you can enjoy beer and wine while you watch your film! It’s a perfect place to sit, relax, take in a movie, and enjoy a drink together. 

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Lyrics to Purple Haze at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame www.sparklesandglue.com Cleveland, OH

Elvis Display at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Cleveland, OH www.sparklesndglue.com

Cleveland, OH Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame www.sparklesandglue.com

Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame: This place is huge so set aside enough time to really enjoy it. Prince Charming and I spend about 4 hours walking around and playing with all the interactive stations. We share a love for all types of music and this place hit all the high notes: The Beatles, Elivis, a huge 80′s rock section, a one hit wonders area (my favorite!), and even some newer additions you might not expect (think Katie Perry and Bruno Mars) every minute was entertaining!

Cleveland, OH Contemporary Art Museum www.sparklesandglue.com

My Prince Charming “making” art in a kids area at the Contemporary Art Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

Contemporary Art Museum: It’s FREE and that makes it a great place to hang out. The staff made us laugh and we really enjoyed the exhibit that was in the basement. It changes so who knows what will be there when you check it out but I bet whatever it is will be great. On our way out we joined some children in making art {I think we had more fun then they did!}

Botanical Gardens Cleveland, OH www.sparklesandglue.com

Botanical Gardens Cleveland, OH www.sparklesandglue.com

Botanical Gardens Cleveland, OH www.sparklesandglue.com

Botanical Gardens Cleveland, OH www.sparklesandglue.com

This Pink Pigeon was my friend as we walked around the gardens.

Botanical Gardens: is right next to the museum and so worth walking those few steps. We liked the habitat exhibits but we loved the butterfly gardens. It tickled my fancy to be surrounded by so many breath-taking butterflies. Some of them were as big as birds and you could get so close to them. It was just amazing. 

www.sparklesandglue.com

Cleveland, OH Anniversary Trip www.sparklesandglue.com

This picture was promptly followed by my Prince Charming falling and scaring the crap out of me!

Lakewood Park: its huge, clean, and full of kids and couples. We walked down to the path near the water and enjoyed the sun set as a breeze blew in off Lake Erie with some wine in our coffee cups :) Perfect night!

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Ninja City: is a weird little place that serves asian fusion food and we loved it! It was a light but feeling meal full of flavor but not too much fat! It’s a must eat in my opinion! Plus, the staff is too cool and friendly. They gave us some good places to hang out that night. If this was in my city I would probably become a frequently flier and try everything on the menu. 

Great-Lakes-Brewing-Company

Great Lakes Brewery: We got lucky and the weather was perfect {this night all and all of them really} We sat outside, enjoyed some local beers, and shared a basket of sweet potato waffle fries YUM!. The Brewery offers tours if you call in advance and it’s steps away from from a public square that had a band playing. It was a sweet combination and gave us some down time to talk and enjoy each others company. 

West SIde Market Cleveland, Ohio www.sparklesandglue.com

West SIde Market Cleveland, Ohio www.sparklesandglue.com

The West Side Market: This place is beyond mind-blowing. We stopped by and bought all sorts of fresh foods for our lunches and brought some local veggies home. The veggies taste so delicious and fresh. If it wasn’t so far from home I would buy all my produce and meats there! You can literally find anything you need or want fresh and locally grown: vegetable, fruits, meats, desserts, cheeses, raw honey, soaps, and anything else your heart desires! 

Sweet Moses Lakewood, Ohio www.sparklesandglue.com

Sweet Moses Lakewood, Ohio www.sparklesandglue.com

Sweet Moses: This place is to die for! They make ice cream, fudge, chocolate, candy, and it’s ALL so freaking good! Get a cup of coffee too! I ended up with a much worth it tummy ache after eating a cup of coconut and chocolate chip ice-cream topped with caramel, homemade whipped cream, and a cherry! mmmmm….

There’s also

Nano Brew (awesome atmosphere & good beer)

World of Beer (beer & TVs)

Campbells (sweet treats)

The Root Cafe

Liquid Planet (healthy treats & smoothies)

The Diner of Cliffton

Luxe Kitchen (way cool & trendy!)

Latitude 41

Big Fun Cleveland (funky little retro store you really need to check out)

The list could go on and on. There was so much to do we could have spent a month in Cleveland doing something different everyday. If your looking for a vacation that is fun, full of yummy food, beaches, city lights, nostalgia, and history than Cleveland and Lakewood Ohio are the place to be. The city is big enough to be a city but not so big that it’s congested like Chicago. We are making plans to return in the spring and do some hiking. If you make a trip to Cleveland let us know where you stop….

Do you have an awesome place to add to this list? Comment below! 

 

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Italian Eggplant Bake

Have you ever looked around your kitchen and thought “What the heck am I going to make?” I do that all the time! I usually start pulling items out of my refrigerator and wait for something to inspire me. Tonight’s inspiration resulted in my family’s new favorite dish! 

Easy Healthy Italian Eggplant Bake ~ a healthy inspired dish exploding with veggies! www.sparklesandglue.com

I had a huge eggplant staring me down and I knew if I didn’t use it soon it would end up spoiling. I have a go to recipe for an eggplant bake but it’s kinda boring so I jazzed up with a spicy Italian twist 

What You Need
1 lb ground beef or bison
1 large eggplant
pepperoni (I used 1/2 package)
6 sweet peppers
Peperoncinis
1 large can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon italian seasons
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
pepper to taste
Mozzarella cheese- shredded

 
Let’s get cookin’
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

In a medium sauce pan cook the meat  until there is no pink then add the diced peperoncinis, sweet peppers, large can of tomato sauce, and seasonings. Let that simmer for about 5 minutes.

Healthy Italian Eggplant Bake www.sparklesandglue.com

Slice the eggplant and cut it so you can cover the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking pan. Once the bottom of the pan is covered take the remaining eggplant and dice it up (you need it later).

Easy Healthy Italian Eggplant Bake ~ a healthy inspired dish exploding with veggies! www.sparklesandglue.comEasy Healthy Italian Eggplant Bake ~ a healthy inspired dish exploding with veggies! www.sparklesandglue.com

Cover the eggplant with some pepper, the meat sauce, a layer of pepperoni, and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese.

Easy Healthy Italian Eggplant Bake ~ a healthy inspired dish exploding with veggies! www.sparklesandglue.com

Sprinkle the diced eggplant on top, drizzle the small can of tomato sauce over everything, and top with a little more cheese. 

Easy Healthy Italian Eggplant Bake ~ a healthy inspired dish exploding with veggies! www.sparklesandglue.com

Cover in foil and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. 

Easy Healthy Italian Eggplant Bake ~ a healthy inspired dish exploding with veggies! www.sparklesandglue.com

When everything is done you have a dish filled with veggies that tastes like pizza that married an Italian beef sandwich! I ate this for lunch, dinner ,and I fully intend on taking this for lunch (for a few days!) It’s my favorite when something is good for me and it taste so good that I forget it’s vegetables. I’m seriously like a kid I need my mom in the kitchen to tell me to eat my veggies!

Typing this post has made me hungry {and I now what I’m going to eat!} 

Take a minute to comment below and tell me what you think of this recipe! 

 

 

 

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6 Tips to Get Your Husband to Help You with Housework

6 tips to get your husband help with housework www.sparklesandglue.com

I have an amazing husband who is kind, caring, funny, and supports me but he doesn’t like to clean. He honestly couldn’t care less if we live in a clean home or a pigpen. I feel embarrassed when people stop by and my home isn’t presentable. He on the other hand will swing the door open and invite them in {cue Jessica hiding her face}.

We are just very different people with different agendas. He goes to work comes home and calls it a day I go to work, come home, sweep, vacuum, load the dishwasher, wash laundry, unload the dishwasher, load the dryer, wipe off counters, scrub the stove, wash windows, mop, fold laundry, cook dinner, clean up the kitchen after dinner, and the list goes on and on and on… I know you all understand and need more help too. Here are the 6 tips I used to get my husband to help me clean {without a fight}

1. Throw out the notion that your husband will ever look at cleaning the way you do. He can be taught to clean but he will probably never obsess about the dust on the baseboards or fingerprints on the refrigerator door. Once you stop expecting him to think you like you do you have won half the battle!

2. Don’t expect him to read your mind you have to ask your husband to help you. Do I find it a little annoying that I had to ask for help yes but after a few months of tell him what I needed done he started doing it without me asking. Imagine that communicate improves your relationship…amazing. 

3. Say thank you! I know no one thanks us for cleaning the kitchen after dinner but that’s not the point. Positive reinforcement works wonders in just about any situation! When my Prince Charming sweeps the kitchen I tell him “Thank you!” A few years ago my response probably would have been to comment on only one room being swept but all that got me was an augment and less help. After saying thank you and how much I appreciate his help he now sweeps all the rooms {and sometimes I don’t even have to ask}

4. Stop correcting him. You might do a better job dusting, vacuuming, or folding clothes but who really cares he’s helping and that is what counts. I no longer point out what he doesn’t do perfect I just thank him and think to myself it’s still less work than I would have done alone.

5. Leave him to do lists. Sometimes I feel like if I ask in a note it’s a little less annoying to him or maybe it seems that way since I’m not there to see him face either way it gets done and there is no argument.

6. Make a big deal out of stuff he does and I don’t mean in a sarcastic way! Be genuine If you came home and he folded a load of laundry {even if it was on the to do list you left him} acknowledge how much time that saved you, how grateful you are, how awesome he is, give him an extra kiss, or tell him since it’s done you two can hang out and watch a show together!

The key to getting your Prince Charming to help with the housework is really more about you than him. You can change your actions much easier than you can change his. Work on the tone of your voice, how you ask for help, and how you respond to him. I have found that my actions actually made life harder. I know we all think we are perfect but we aren’t! So get over it and start working together!

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Quote of the Week: Sneaky Little Bastards!

The Quote of the week #QOTW always gets me thinking about life and the silly stuff going on in my head {reader beware your entering my head and thoughts… it can get a little crazy at times!}

I have committed to a healthy lifestyle, not a diet. I’m exercising, eating veggies, avoiding processed foods, and drinking water. It’s not rocket science it’s common sense. I’m feeling great and proud of myself everyday. These choices have made me come to the realization that the whole damn world is against me! 

Quote of the Week: Those Sneaky Little Bastards! www.sparklesandglue.com

Tonight I walked in to the grocery store to grab some apples and within 5 feet I was tempted by 10 items. Many of this items I wouldn’t even normally eat but since I’m trying not to eat them they look so damn good. Stupid brain.Stupid Cheetos. So anyway, I made it out of the grocery store without anything processed or made out off 99% sugar and ran to Walgreens for a few items {like deodorant so I don’t stink}.  

As I was walking to the check out I found myself in an isle that must have been a mile long and it was nothing but candy. {don’t make eye contact and they won’t know you are there}  I made it out of the isle {almost running} to the checkout to find an elderly lady counting out change. While I patiently waited, I could feel the 2/$2 chips and chocolates staring at me. Finally, I paid and sprinted to my car feeling like I just made it out of a war zone.

All this makes me wonder why aren’t we surrounded with health foods? It feels kinda wrong the way all the unhealthy garbage is in your face begging you to buy it and the apples are in the back section hiding between sugary drinks and ice cream. 

What do you do to keep yourself on track and avoid buying junk foods?

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A Month Without… September Update #AMWO

A Month Without: September #AMWOThey say it takes 21 days to break a habit or build a new one so I’m going to make some changes one month at a time. I encourage you to join me as I strive to be a healthier me. I selected each goal for my month with hopes that I can adapt a new habit based off of my month without.  For example, my diet could use more chicken, fish, and veggies so a month without red meat will help me find more options I enjoy and save a few cows too. A month without chocolate can’t hurt my waist line and who needs cookies {currently me…but I’m working on that}…

 

Here are my Month Without goals…

January- exceeding 2000 calories a day

February- red meat

March- carbonated drinks

April- pastries & cookies

May- ice cream

June- alcohol

July- chocolate DID IT! Read my July update to see how it went!

August- gluten WOW this was hard. Read my August update here!

September- sweets & candy  Doing a dance! 

October- fast food

November- pasta

December- white bread

 

September

I seriously thought this month was going to be the death of me. I never realize how many sweets I eat. The first few days were the hardest for me. I seriously couldn’t stop thinking about candy, chocolate, and sugar. It was absolutely ridiculous and that motivated me to stick with it even more!

I increased my portent intake, started taking a multivitamin daily, and drank tons of water. After about a week my thoughts drifted to sugar a little less and by the 2nd week I was feeling better. It’s now been a month without any obnoxiously sugary treats and I couldn’t be happier. I can actually walk past a bowl of candy without feeling like I must dive in head first. I can’t believe how much stronger I feel. I know it might sound silly but I feel like my willpower just flexed it’s muscles {and that girl is tough as hell!} I have no plans of going back to being a sugar obsessed monster! I like this Jessica better :) 

Join me won’t you? 

What is your goal for the month?

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Fat Flushing Easy Crockpot Vegetable Soup

What would you say if I told you I had a secrete recipe for an easy crockpot vegetable soup that will help you detox, feel full, and flush away nasty fat? Well I do and I want to share it with you! 

Easy Crockpot Fat Flushing Vegetable Soup www.sparklesandglue.com

When I’m feeling all icky and bloated and my weight plateaus I turn to my favorite vegetable soup to help me feel better and drop a few more pounds! It fills me up and has all the nutrients your body is craving. You can tweak the recipe to make it just right for you but this is how I like it …

What You Need
3 cups vegetable stock
6 cloves garlic, diced or pressed
4 carrots, peeled
2 zucchinis, diced
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 large sweet potato 
1 jalapeño (remove the seeds), diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of all season salt
Sea salt to taste

Prep all your veggies

Peel and dice the sweet potato

Dice the zucchini but leave the peel!

Peel and chop carrots

Remove the seeds from the jalapeño and dice it (next time I’m adding 2 jalapeños for extra spice!)

Dice or press the cloves of garlic

Drain and rinse the black beans

Easy Crockpot Fat Flushing Vegetable Soup www.sparklesandglue.com

Mix everything expect the spinach in a crock pot and cook on high for about 6 hours or on low for about 8 hours. 

You can toss the spinach in the crockpot and let it cook for the last hour or so or you can toss some in each bowl and give it a stir. I like the spinach a little more crisp so I like to add it right into my bowl when I’m getting ready to eat it but it’s good either way. 

Easy Crockpot Fat Flushing Vegetable Soup www.sparklesandglue.com

When I’m trying to lose a few pounds I eat this for a meal a day (usually dinner) it’s packed with nutrients, fiber, and isn’t loaded down with unhealthy stuff! You will start to feel refreshed within a day or two of eating this! Sometimes if I have eaten poorly for a few meals I’ll make this just to flush my system and feel good again! 

Comment Below if you try this yummy soup or make any tweaks! 

 

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I’m a Finisher { crossfit }

Today I am a FINISHER! Crossfit may kill me yet! www.sparklesandglue.com

Today I’m writing to you from my couch. My legs are aching, my knees are sore, and my arms are trembling {making it a little difficult to type.} I’m still breathing heavy and I’m covered in sweat. I just got home from my crossfit class and it was intense. I looked around the room today and realized that while some people are competing against each other to lift the most or do the most reps I’m competing against myself.

I don’t need to worry about how many pounds they are tossing around like it’s nothing I just need to worry about finishing. Today I finished {in a timely fashion too!} I pushed myself harder than last class, ran a little faster, and did a few more reps before stopping for air. I’m competing against myself and I’m winning.

The only person who is holding me back is me. I’ve moved past people talking shit and discouraging me. I have moved past people judging me and making me feel self-conscious. I have refocused my goal and it’s to finish everyday and push myself a little harder than yesterday. I want to be better today and each day is a new chance to do that. Get out of your head and get into the moment.

Today I finished.

 

7 Tips for Surviving Crossfit www.sparklesandglue.com

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