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Seay Stanford

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Your kids will love this!

Fruit roll ups are a fun food for the kids, but frowned upon by most clean eating moms. They are loaded with sugar, preservatives and a host of things one can't pronounce. I found a recipe that makes both moms and kids happy campers. This simple three ingredient fruit roll up is made easily in the oven. (recipe adapted from Live Eat Learn via Pinterest)

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

You will need:
2-3 cups of fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries work best)
2-3 tbsp of organic honey
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Blend the fruit, juice, and honey in a blender until smooth.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap
Pour the fruit mixture onto the pan and spread it out
Bake in the oven at 140-170 degrees for 4-6 hours, or until the center is no longer tacky.
Let it cool, and then remove the parchment paper
Cut it into strips using a knife or clean kitchen shears
Place strips of parchment paper on the fruit strips and then roll it up. Tie with a string.
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As an introvert, it’s my natural tendency to always want every interaction to be about establishing a deep connection, but that can put too much pressure on the average casual conversation.

Sometimes it’s just about staying in practice with my (albeit limited) people skills until the day when someone suddenly wants to talk about their dreams and goals and all the things that makes them tick.

It’s impossible to know where a conversation will lead unless you try.

I’m aware of just how ridiculous my socializing philosophy will sound to extroverts. To them, socializing itself is the end goal. My extroverted friends are always looking for something to do on the weekend, during the holidays, and even on work nights. They pursue socializing for the in-the-moment excitement that it brings.

For me, attempting to socialize is a long-term goal, one that I carefully craft and balance so I don’t get mentally or emotionally overwhelmed.

“Going out” is rarely exciting for me in the moment. But I always have hope when attending a party or trying a new networking event that I will make a friend who is also dying for a quiet cup of coffee while chatting about life, or who wants to take a trip to the beach just so we can lay side by side and read in complete silence.

When I socialize, I’m not looking for a way to just pass the time. I already have a full list of hobbies and interests and not enough hours in the day to enjoy them all. But I am always looking for a new person with whom I can share my passions and my world. Sometimes meeting that one new person can be worth the agony of small talk.

I like to think I’m the kind of person worth socializing for, and I know I’m not the only one of my kind...

So, my fellow introverts, please occasionally put down your books, crafts and gardening tools, go out, and search for the people who make socializing worth it — because I’m out there looking for you 😊😊😊
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Skinny Apple Spiced Martini

2 oz SKYY Vodka 1/2 oz lime juice 1/2 oz Apple Spiced Simple* 2 dashes angostura bitters Ice Garnish: apple slice

*Apple Spiced Simple Syrup

1 tsp cinnamon, ground 1 tsp ginger, ground 1 tsp allspice, ground 1 tsp nutmeg, ground (freshly ground, if possible) 1 cup granulated sugar 1 slice of a red apple, 1/4-inch thick 1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Strain into airtight container. Cool. Refrigerate. Will stay fresh for up to two weeks.

Put all ingredients in shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain through shaker into chilled coupe glass garnished with apple.

Created by Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Courtesy of SKYY.
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Pick up the Pace this Holiday!

GUESS WHAT!! A study from New Zealand showed that people who stroll along at a window shopping pace of two miles per hour burned 153 fewer calories per ten thousand steps than people who INCREASED THEIR SPEED up to just four miles per hour.

Picking up your walking pace during normal activities can increase your calorie burn---> as well as saving time on errands!! LOLOL
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Over the years, surveys have indicated Americans gain anywhere from seven to ten pounds during the holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving and topping it off with festive New Year’s parties. Those of us striving to live a healthy lifestyle would like to cruise through the season without threats to our waistlines or missing the social engagements that arise. We can enjoy a healthy holiday season and not miss all the festivities by following a few simple tips.

Eat ahead of time before heading to a party or event. If you go there hungry, you are more likely to eat more and food that you don't really have control over the calories or ingredients.

If soup is on the dinner menu as a first course, opt for a broth based one instead of a cream soup. Broth has fewer calories and less fat than a heavy cream based soup. Having the soup before the main course will also help to keep you from over eating during dinner.

In most cases, there will be crackers and cheese, or chips and dips available. Stand arm’s length away from the bowl. It will be less enticing to keep walking back to the bowl for a handful of chips or crackers, whereas if you stand right by the bowl you will be tempted to keep grabbing for chips and eating them. If you increase the effort it takes to snack, you won’t snack and can enjoy great conversations with your family.

When it comes time to do your holiday shopping, there are a couple of strategies to employ.

First, plan your trip to the mall, so you don’t pass Starbucks or Annie's multiple times. You will only be tempted to stop and treat yourself.

Second, opt for a sit down restaurant for a meal, rather than the food court. You will have healthier options to pick from and be able to enjoy your meal without being rushed. If you must eat at the food court, stay away from places that use red in their color schemes. It’s proven that red increases your appetite, enticing you to purchase more food than you need. Another option is to keep a packet of Shakeology in your purse and mix it up to stave off hunger. Not only will it fill you up, but for 180 calories it will give you energy and all your vitamins.

Keeping track of what you eat during the holidays will help keep you on track too. A food journal holds you accountable to eating clean and healthy. Writing down healthy foods looks much better than admitting to yourself that you had that extra piece of pie or six Christmas cookies, doesn’t it?

If you are a scale person, try stepping on it once a week. I personally don't love the scale- but it will advise you of any fluctuations you may need to accommodate. Another way to keep tabs is to try on your favorite jeans once a week. If they start to feel a bit tight, you know you will need to make an adjustment.

Most of these tips are fabulous for the holiday season and they can make a huge impact during the year. These little adjustments can keep you healthy, keep the weight off and let you enjoy a healthier life!!!
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Supper solution for a busy day....

This is the perfect meal to prep in the morning before a busy day of errands. (recipe adapted from the gracious pantry via Pintrest)

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

You will need:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 lb of frozen and thawed organic corn
1 can (15 oz) great northern beans
1 can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes w/ juice
1 jar of your favorite salsa
1 medium onion diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the chicken on the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the tomatoes , salsa and onion over the chicken. Layer the corn and beans on top of the tomatoes. Cook on low for 5-7 hours. The chicken should fall apart easily when stirred. Salt and Pepper to taste before serving.
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Let's talk TRUST shall we? Relationships are these funny things. We let people get closer to us based on small tests of "trust" we give the relationship. Test's are sort of a "brumbcrumb" to relationship intimacy.

Can we trust this person with our heart? ♥️
Our emotions? 😟
To have our back? 💪
With money?💵
Their intentions? 😏
To want the best for us? 🏆
To listen and empathize? 🤔
Do their actions match their words? 🙈🙉🙊

Think about all the little things as your relationship progresses between new friends and partners that move the friendship TOWARDS or AWAY from TRUST.

I actually think someone can be totally trustworthy with one person, and hardly at all with another. I think it depends on the dynamics of the relationship and the level of value and respect it holds between the two people.

My point is, evaluate a relationship based on those trust checks and balances WITH YOU. Not with how they are with others.

Trust is the #1 foundation of any relationship. The more trust, the more it will sustain. And vice versa.
Those small breaks of trust, start as little cracks and later become sinkholes. Even though those holes can be repaired, they will never ever be the same. So just don't break them to begin with....

Be the kind of person YOU'D trust and invest in the people that continue to BUILD yours ❤️❤️❤️


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Do you ever sit back and sometimes think how ridiculous is it when you watch people act dramatic, make things all about themselves, continue to whine about controllable events and promote even more negativity on social media??

Man, do Ya'll ever wonder how all thats workin' for them??? 🤔
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If you're looking for a seriously show-stopping cocktail, this is it!


1 ounce bitter orange liqueur, such as Aperol
1 ounce white rum
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon, shell reserved
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1/4 to 1/2 ounce 151-proof rum


Combine the orange liqueur, white rum, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass or large coupe.

Float the lemon shell in the glass and fill with the 151-proof rum. Using a long match or lighter, very carefully ignite the rum. To extinguish the flame, use a spoon or stirrer to press the lemon into the cocktail.

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