Crazy Blonde Vision Board Workshop

 The first of hopefully many, Crazy Blonde Life Vision Board Workshops was held yesterday.  My friend and vision board expert, Susan Crews led the Vision Board Workshop that was held at Sara-Anne Photography in downtown Burlington.  Susan is a wellness coach as well as a certified yoga instructor.  She took us through meditations designed to help us focus on our visions for 2017.  First we focused on gratitude which is always the most important thing, and then we moved on to thinking about what we wanted to bring into our lives for the new year.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day or a better group of women.  

Susan Hearn, of Om Shanti Yoga in Burlington came and spoke how our yoga practice can help us to focus on being in the moment, letting go of our anxieties and fears and being content with what is, right now.  In yoga, we set intentions for our practice and it’s the same with life.  If you set intentions you are more likely to meet them.  You know your goal, but not necessarily the path that will lead you there.  You will be amazed at how once you set an intention, your mind will realign you or at least make you aware when you are off your path.  Making a vision board has the same effect.  It is a visual reminder of our intentions.

Susan Crews showed us several examples of vision boards that she has made over the years.  

BySuzanne Catering (that’s me and the website for BySuzanne is coming soon) made a delicious lunch for the workshop.  We started off with mimosas and the menu for lunch was Butternut Squash Soup, Hoppin John Salad and Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies.  Keep scrolling for the salad recipe.

Having mimosas before the workshop started.

Preparing for making our vision boards.

We cut words and images from magazines to put on our vision boards.

Lunch!  The Butternut Squash Soup was topped with apple chutney and chopped cashews.  The delicious salad was just right with the soup.  We stopped just long enough to have lunch and visit and then got right back to the Vision Board Workshop.

Sara-Anne (below) was so very generous to let us use her photography studio.

Our finished vision boards!

The next Vision Board Workshop will be held in early fall and I’ll let you know the exact date soon.  Susan Crews and I are also planning a Weekend Retreat in the fall so stay tuned for details about that weekend soon because you won’t want to miss it!

Hoppin John Salad
A delicious main dish salad for any time of the year.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup cooked rice
  2. 1 14 ounce can black eyed peas
  3. 2 cups baby arugula
  4. 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  5. 1 cup diced roasted sweet potato
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. Freshly ground black pepper
Vinaigrette
  1. 8 ounces bacon
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup diced scallion
  4. 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  7. 1 tablespoon best quality maple syrup
  8. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the rice, black eyed peas, arugula, red pepper, sweet potato and the salt and pepper together. Set aside.
  2. In a 10 inch skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate. Crumble and reserve. Pour off most of the bacon fat, reserving about 2 tablespoons for the dressing.
  3. Over medium heat, stir the scallions into the bacon fat and let them sizzle for about 10 seconds. Let cool slightly and transfer to a small bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, dijon and salt. Add dressing to the salad and serve with the crumbled bacon on top.
Notes
  1. This salad is great for leftovers the next day and can be easily doubled.
Adapted from Vivian Howard
Adapted from Vivian Howard
Crazy Blonde Life http://crazyblondelife.com/

There are still a few spots available for the March and April cooking classes (sign up here) so hurry and sign up before they are filled!  I’m excited about the possibilities for this week and I hope it’s a great one for you all!  I hope you’ve been inspired by our Vision Board Workshop and that you’ll make your own vision board for 2017!  Thanks so much for stopping by Crazy Blonde Life!  Follow me on Instagram @crazyblondelifeblog!

 

 

 

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup and My New Stella & Dot

The lunch menu for my Vision Board Workshop is Butternut Squash Soup and Hoppin John Salad with gluten free Peanut Butter Cookies for dessert!  The Butternut Squash soup is made by roasting butternut squash with onions and McIntosh apples until the veggies are tender.  The soup is then pureed in the Vita Mix with vegetable broth.  It is easy an easy and delicious soup for a cold winter day.  The soup recipe is below and I’ll have the other two recipes tomorrow.  You’re going to love how easy the cookies are!

The soup is added to a pot to warm with curry powder, salt and pepper and a little cayenne pepper.

I love this beautiful handmade bowl from Southern Glen Artisan Boutique in Burlington.  The colors of the bowl and the butternut squash soup are perfect together.

I’m mixing it up a little with soup and jewelry, but I wanted to share this beautiful necklace from Stella & Dot.  It’s from their new spring line and is definitely a statement piece.  It will go with so much of  your wardrobe and dresses up an everyday shirt beautifully.

 

 

Outfit details:  Citizens of Humanity jeans, Vince Blouse (mine is older but similar here) Stella & Dot necklace, Rag and Bone Booties

Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
An easy and delicious soup!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 to 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  2. 2 yellow onions
  3. 2 McIntosh apples, peeled and cored
  4. 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 2 to 4 cups vegetable broth
  7. 1 teaspoon good curry powder
  8. Scallions, sliced diagonally
  9. Salted cashews, toasted and chopped
  10. Chutney
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the butternut squash, onions, and apples into 1 inch cubes. Place them on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until very tender.
  2. Heat the vegetable broth until simmering. When the vegetables are done, place them in a high powered blender such as a Vita Mix and puree in batches with a little of the vegetable broth. When all of the vegetables are processed, place them in another pot and add enough vegetable broth to make a thick soup. Add the curry powder, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of cayenne powder. Be sure to use enough salt and pepper to bring out the flavor of the curry. Serve hot with condiments on top of each serving.
Adapted from Ina Garten
Adapted from Ina Garten
Crazy Blonde Life http://crazyblondelife.com/

I’m off to make the Hoppin John Salad and get ready for the Vision Board Workshop (learn more about creating your own vision board here).  I can’t wait to share the pictures with you!  I’m hoping to make this workshop something that I do twice a year!  Have a great Sunday everyone and follow me on Instagram at @crazyblondelifeblog!

 

Happy Weekend from Crazy Blonde Life

Good Morning and Happy Weekend!  I hope you’re weekend is off to a great start!  I’m doing some last minute organization for my Vision Board Workshop tomorrow and making a really awesome lunch to serve as well.  I’m constantly amazed at how quickly time passes…I can’t believe that January is already halfway over!  I’m doing my best to try to be present in each moment and enjoy!  Today, I’m sharing some things that I’ve discovered on the web this week that have been an inspiration to me.  I hope you enjoy!

Have you heard of hygge season?  It’s the Danish trend that’s all about nesting and getting cozy.

Image from Pinterest

I am always looking for blogs by women over 40 that enjoy!  I stumbled on a blog called Tamera Beardsley.  Tamera’s blog is inspirational in so many ways and I think you’ll love it as much as I do!

Another of my favorite blogs is Damsel in Dior and her post on 7 Trends for 2017 is definitely worth reading.

Read these 12 Stories of Kindness and Generosity That Will Change the Way You Live!  Make sure to have a tissue nearby!

If you’re planning a trip to NYC, this Guide to the West Village has great suggestions for eating, shopping and staying.

If you’ve been thinking about cutting back on sugar, this article – What Not to Eat:  The Case Against Sugar from the New York Times, will convince you that not eating sugar is a great idea!

I love this post from The Simply Luxurious Life about Self Acceptance.  It’s an oldie but goodie!

Check out Oprah Winfrey’s new cookbook, Food, Health, and Happiness.

And in case you missed my new YouTube video on How to Make a Healthy Breakfast Bowl, you can check it out here!

I’m still an advocate for wearing white shoes and jeans in winter, and evidently it’s the #1 Shoe Trend that you need to try now!

Rag and Bone Willow Bootie

Don’t forget to sign up for Crazy Blonde Life Cooking Classes!  They’re filling up quickly!

Enjoy your weekend and follow me on Instagram @crazyblondelifeblog.

 

A Special Night – Cooking With Friends

What could be better than hosting a special cooking class filled with friends!  We made a fabulous breakfast bowl (watch my how-to video here), a delicious and beautiful lunch salad and a healthy and beautiful curry that would make a great dinner for any occasion!  The best part of the evening was that I was able to spend time with some very special people and be part of a birthday celebration.  Keep scrolling for pictures of this fun evening!  I hope everyone had as much fun as I did and learned a little something also!

This was the menu for our cooking class focused on healthy eating for the new year!

 

I love these fabulous mercury glass ball that I hung for Christmas so much that I decided to leave them up until Valentine’s Day!  They are pink after all, and they make me happy!!

Blue Cheese, a creamy goat cheese and dates made this cheese board delicious.

This cheese board includes smoked gouda, creamy goat cheese, blue cheese and spiced pecans.

Two beautiful friends!

 

Serving some of my Ginger Turmeric Detox Tea

 Making the curry. This curry made the whole house smell so good!

 

Sharing the breakfast bowl.  The yogurt, chia seed and oatmeal base of this breakfast keeps well in the refrigerator for several days!  Just add fruit, granola and a drizzle of honey and you have a quick healthy breakfast!

The finished curry, topped with chopped mango, plain greek yogurt and cilantro.

My now famous beet pickled eggs are the star of this beautiful salad dressed with my homemade viniagrette.

Bags of homemade granola!

A champagne toast for the birthday girl!

If you would like to be a part of one of my cooking classes, you can sign up here!  The February class is full but there is still room in March and April.  Also, there is still room in the Vision Board Workshop that is happening on Sunday January 15th at 11:00!  Come and set your intentions for the new year!

Have a great day everyone and follow me on Instagram @crazayblondelifeblog.

 

 

 

Make This Warming and Healthy Turmeric Detox Tea

This recipe for a Turmeric Detox Tea is a warming tea that will help stave off colds and the flu!  I’m craving warm things right now, and just want to walk around with a cup of this tea in my hand all of the time.  It is a combination of water, lemon juice, turmeric, fresh ginger, honey and cayenne pepper.  I made it last night for my first cooking class…the theme for the class was healthy eating, and it was a hit.  

Turmeric has so many healthy properties (read more about turmeric here)!  It’s packed with fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin B6 and potassium just to name a few.

For the tea, you will need:

1/2 of a lemon

1 1-inch chunk of ginger root

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric (or more to taste)

honey to taste

cayenne pepper to taste

Boil enough water to fill a large mug or mason jar.   Add ginger (crushed in a garlic press, or just sliced), lemon juice, turmeric, honey and cayenne.  The cayenne pepper and honey add sweetness and spice.

Drink and Enjoy!  You’ll feel healthier with the first sip!

This picture is a sneak peak from the cooking class last night!  I can’t wait to share more with you!  We had so much fun, ate some healthy and delicious food and hopefully everyone learned something!

The February 9 cooking class is full, but there is still room in the Vision Board Workshop!  If you’re interested in signing up, just click shop above!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

 

 

 

Six Easy Outfits

I went back and found pictures of these six easy outfits that I wore last year.  These outfits combine classic pieces in different ways.  Some of are pieces I’ve been wearing for quite some time.  When I saw these pictures, I felt inspired to wear these outfits again and I hope they inspire you to be creative with what’s in your closet!  I’ve included links to similar pieces (some are on sale).

I love the double leopard in this outfit!  Really simple, but fun!  This Zara leopard coat is on sale for 79.99!

This outfit is so easy to recreate!  The red bag provides a pop of color!  Similar vest from ASOS here.

 

 

 

I love wearing my white jeans all year long!  White jeans here and boots here and less expensive here.

This cropped jacket is from Rebecca Taylor and I’ve probably had it for ten years.  The military look never really goes out of style!  I’m wearing the jacket with my black leather pants that never go out of style either.  They have been one of the best investments I’ve made.  Pinterest has hundreds of ideas for styling military style jackets.

These boots aren’t the most practical, but I do love them!  This J Crew yellow coat is such a happy color for January!

The black leather pants again, this time with brown booties, a white blouse and black belt!  So simple, but it’s one of my favorites!

Have a great day everyone!  Follow me on Instagram @crazyblondelifeblog!

 

 

 

 

 

Pink Coat and Green Smoothie

It’s only January and I’m already feeling ready for Spring.  The weather here is cold (the high today was 29) and obviously snowy (and yes, my Christmas greenery is still up), but it’s supposed to be nearly 70 degrees by Thursday!  It’s hard to know what to wear from day to day!  I feel like I need to keep my whole wardrobe out just to have options.

Since today feels and looks like full on Winter, I decided to wear this pink coat to brighten up my outfit.  I am trying to shop my closet this month so I pulled out some basics for the cold weather.  My jeans are Seven for All Mankind and they are my favorite grey jeans.  They have just a bit of stretch and are so comfortable.  The sweater (similar here) and coat (similar here) are Ann Taylor from last season.  It’s so easy to get into a rut and wear the same things over and over again, but I’m trying to pull out things that don’t get much wear and reimagine them.  I hope you’re inspired to do the same.

I’ve also included a recipe for a green smoothie in this post!  It’s a serious smoothie with spinach and kale, but also has dates, bananas and strawberries.  Very nutritious but also delicious.  Keep scrolling for the recipe and be sure to read this post to the end to find out how to be entered into a drawing to win 30 days of free yoga!

 

Super Green Smoothie
A nutritions way to start the day.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  2. 2 dried apricots or 4 pitted dates
  3. 1 ripe banana
  4. 1 cup chopped kale
  5. 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  6. 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries
Instructions
  1. Combine almond milk, apricots or dates, banana, kale, spinach and berries in a blender and blend until smooth.
Adapted from Whole Foods
Adapted from Whole Foods
Crazy Blonde Life http://crazyblondelife.com/

 

I hope you’ll add a little color to your winter wardrobe AND make this delicious green smoothie!

Just a reminder to sign up for my Vision Board Workshop that is happening on Sunday January 15th!  Om Shanti Yoga is giving away THIRTY DAYS of free yoga to one of the participants.  The drawing will be held at the workshop!  See you there!  Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Day…Fur, Vintage Pearls and Lucite Heels

I will admit that I love a snow day, for about a day, but I don’t really like to go out in it and after a day or so, I’m ready for it to melt!  This was my first adventure out after the snow fall that we had yesterday and it was so cold.  Even when I was younger, I liked to sled, but only for a short time and then I was over it!  I like the hot chocolate much better than anything else.  The best things about snow days are cooking, reading and resting!

I did use this snow day as a good excuse to wear my beautiful Elizabeth and James fur coat!  It was a Christmas gift last year and I love it so much!  I wore a black cashmere turtleneck underneath for more warmth with a necklace made from vintage pearls (it’s my favorite) and a pair of cream colored Citizens of Humanity jeans with these great Steve Madden booties (on sale!).  No one has ever called me practical when it comes to shoes and I really don’t mind! 

  

Outfit details:  Steve Madden boots (on sale for 69.98), Citizens of Humanity jeans, White and Warren sweater, Elizabeth and James coat (similar here)

I hope you have been warm and cozy this weekend!

My February cooking class is full so be sure to sign up for a class in March and/or April before the spots fill up!  We’ll have fun, make and eat good food and drink a little wine!  There are still a few spots left in the Vision Board Workshop so reserve ASAP!  Set your intentions for 2017 and enjoy the company of some inspiring women!  

 

 

 

 

Favorite Things from the First Week of January

The first week of January really flew by and today I want to share some of my favorite things (and a recipe) with you.  I can’t believe that this month is going by so quickly!  This coming week is going to be such a fun week with cooking classes and a Vision Board Workshop coming up!  I also have some exciting new products, fashion, and recipes to share on Crazy Blonde Life in the coming week, so keep checking back!

This little guy is always my favorite!

We woke up Saturday morning to the most beautiful snow!

I made this easy Quinoa Broccoli Skillet dish for dinner on Monday night!  It was so delicious and healthy.  Keep scrolling for the recipe!

I’m seeing homemade Granola for sale everywhere these days, but the one thing that I don’t like is that most of them contain vegetable oil which isn’t such a healthy thing.  I decided to make my own with coconut oil and I added my roasted pecans along with a generous amount of dried apricots, cherries and cranberries.  The result is a delicious granola that is totally healthy!  If you’re coming to my cooking class on January 12, I will be serving my granola on the breakfast parfaits that we’re making!

I made a huge batch of my salad dressing using apple cider vinegar.  Apple cider vinegar does it all and has been around for a very long time (400BC)!  It is a liquid superfood that is an amazing antibacterial and contains pectin, which can sooth stomach aches.  Apple cider vinegar creates an acidic environment, which creates a not so ideal home for bacteria (this is what we want).  It’s an ideal remedy for sore throats and stuffy noses AND it has been proven to lower bad cholesterol.  Also, it can be an aid in weight loss and help with water retention.  It doesn’t taste so great on it’s own, but it makes salad dressing taste oh so good!  To read more about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar click here.

I met my friend and Vision Board Workshop leader, Susan Crews, at the Franklin Hotel in Chapel Hill and we had a glass of Prosecco while planning the workshop!

There are still two spots left for the cooking class on January 12 and one spot for the class on February 9.  Sign up quickly if you’re interested.  Also, we have room for more at the Vision Board Workshop because it’s being held at Sara-Anne Photography, sign up for all classes here.

Baked Quinoa Skillet with Pepper Jack
Serves 4
A quick, nutritious weeknight dinner.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 8 ounces broccoli florets
  4. 4 cups baby spinach
  5. 3/4 cup sour cream
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground salt and pepper
  9. 8 ounces Pepper Jack Cheese
Instructions
  1. In a covered five quart saucepot, heat quinoa and water to boiling on high. Cook as label directs. Add broccoli florets to pot 5 minutes before end of cooking time. Cook until broccoli and quinoa are tender. Drain quinoa mixture well; toss with baby spinach, sour cream, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread in a 10 inch oven-safe skillet. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Broil on high 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Adapted from Good Housekeeping
Adapted from Good Housekeeping
Crazy Blonde Life http://crazyblondelife.com/

I hope you all have had a great weekend so far and I’m looking forward to a great week!  Follow me on Instagram @crazyblondelifeblog!

How to Create a Vision Board to Inspire

I’m creating a Vision Board as part of my plan for the New Year to inspire me to manifest the things that I want in my life.  It’s like setting an intention for the year, being clear on what I hope to accomplish and create.  A vision board can be a source of daily inspiration to remind you to stay on task mentally and physically.

This was the scene from my sunroom today!  The perfect day to 

Since one of the things that I want to share with you all is a Vision Board Workshop that is happening on January 15 (click here to sign up and see a full schedule of events), I thought it would be great to do a post on my own vision board.  It is snowy and icy here and the perfect day to have some quiet self reflection.  I am also really looking forward to the group activity and gaining inspiration from others.

You can make a vision board once a year, but also, feel free to update it as your visions change and evolve.  You could even create a vision board for each season.  Your vision board is a visual representation of what you want for your life.  How do you want to feel?  What do you want to accomplish?   The options are endless and there are no rules, so be creative and have fun!

You will need

Scissors

Tape, glue or pushpins

Magazines that you can cut images from

A Board

A Printer

 

I suggest lighting a candle and doing a quiet meditation before beginning so that you’ll be really focused.  After that, make a list of the things in your life that are most important.  Base your vision board on those areas of your life and your goals for them.  Examples of this could be, goals for your physical body, your spiritual self, and your career goals.

 You can use any kind of board, maybe start with a cork board or poster board.  Also, Etsy has pin boards with frames if you want to spend a bit more money.

Grab some magazines that you love or head to Pinterest for inspiration.  Cut out or print pictures and quotes for each area of your life that you are thinking about with your vision board so that they are visually represented.  Don’t overthink this too much, just go with what feels right and have fun.

Lay everything out before you start to glue or tape so you get an idea of how your vision board will look.  If you like space, then leave space between your items, you can always add more later.  If you want it to be really full, then cluster things so that they touch and overlap.

Put your vision board in a place that you will see it every day.  You could place it next to your bathroom mirror or in your office.  Always use your vision board as an opportunity to believe beyond what you can see!

Sign up for the Crazy Blonde Life Vision Board Workshop here!

Happy Snow Day!