Everyday Inspirations

 
 
Magic Bullet
{angie}
Dear readers,
It's not often I ask you to do anything for me. Okay, it's pretty much never, but I have a bit of a favor. I entered to win the Magic Bullet Kitchen Magician video contest. Winner gets $10,000 and I would love to at least make it to the top three so I have a chance in the final round in Hollywood. I mean, has it not been my lifelong ambition to be in an infomercial? Seriously, as kids my brother would play the "product inventor" and I be the amazed by how it worked and that is was only three easy payments of $x.99. Apparently playing house or cops and robbers just wasn't enough. 

Anyway, I truly am in love with my Magic Bullet (as I have told you here and here). That being said, I totally wasn't convinced at first because I didn't see how it was different than the blender I already had other than it came with smaller cups -- until I tried my best friend's. 

When I first tried it I was impressed by the fast blending and grinding ability. It blends really smooth in a matter of seconds, I think partially because they are designed to move the liquid up to the top and back around -- something a normal blender can't do without spraying everywhere.

I also love how convenient they are because you blend in the same container you drink from. I thought it would be annoying because you can mostly just make single servings, but I feel that actually makes it more convenient 95% of the time. No taking apart the blender or hand washing it every time I use it. I now only have to rinse the blade right away, then the cup is dishwasher safe. It's really pretty easy to make multiple servings too since you just put pieces into several cups then blend one and a time or use the larger blender top. Because you're blending in the cup you drink from, it's easy to measure quantity so you don't end up with too much smoothie, soup, etc.    

There are so many uses for them, but I use them the most for smoothies (I know, cliche). I make fresh smoothies nearly everyday now as a result (usually one part frozen fruit, one part fresh fruit, protein powder, water and a big handful of spinach) and it's a great way to get in fruits, veggies and nutrients super quick. It's also small, so doesn't take a lot of space in your cupboards and comes at a pretty low price (only one easy payment of $29.99 at Costco last time I checked).  

No, I'm not their saleswoman and this doesn't count for the competition (though it should!). I just wanted to share that I truly love them. 

Anyway, without further ado, here is my recipe submission for Magic Bullet Dog Biscuits. I made peanut butter and oat flour biscuits from scratch for little miss Daisy and she love, love, loves them. I actually had to shut them away in the freezer so she'd stop whining for more. Plus, they are healthy and I control the ingredients, which also means you can sneak in vitamins and such if you want. 

{Magic Bullet Dog Biscuits}

Ingredients
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsalted peanuts
3-4 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons honey
dash of salt
2 eggs
baking powder
water to moisten (as needed)
Dog vitamins/supplements if desired (it's a great way to sneak in the stuff they need)

Directions
In a large container, grind oats using the flat blade. In a small container, grind peanuts until large pieces are mixed. Add 1 teaspoon oil (to start), honey and salt, switch to cross blade. Add the rest of the oil and blend until smooth. Transfer peanut butter to the container of oat flour, add eggs, baking powder and a little water as needed. Pulse and shake, then transfer in a bowl. Hand mix, adding any additional water to add moisture. Roll into balls, place on a cookie sheet, and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Your dog will love these! Great for training or to sneak in those extra nutrients.


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{ash and angie}

When we have conversations about strong, inspirational women, we inevitably talk about our mothers. Both of us have been blessed with beautiful, amazing role models, and we are beyond grateful for the love we have shared with them. Today, we are expressing thanks for these women and passing on some of the most valuable lessons they have taught us over the years.

Happy Mother's Day!
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{lessons from ash's mom}

Family is the most important thing in the world.
 
Pursue your passions. Happiness is what life is all about.

Fall in love with someone who challenges you to be a better person--and return the favor.
  
Life is a gift. Be humbled and grateful for all your blessings.
 
Above all else, give and receive love.
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{lessons from angie's mom}

When you're making a big decision, make yourself wait for as long as possible before you get it. 

Don't spend money you don't have. 

Always be a good friend and the best representation of you, even to those that don't reciprocate. Karma will be kind.

Working hard is just as important as playing hard. 

Don't do your best to please anyone else but yourself. 
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~ one year of inspiration ~


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Haley (far right) with Angie and mutual skating friend, Amy.
Our next guest blogger is my ever-so-talented friend, Haley Smith. She writes two fabulous blogs, Adventures of Adulthood and My Life as a USOC Intern. We grew up ice skating together from the time she moved to Utah when she was 14. As we get older our mutual love good wine, bedazzling with rhinestones, intellectual conversation and figure skating continues to bring us closer together.

A little about her: Former USOC Intern; Current US Speedskating Intern; Utah Athletics Compliance GA; law student; figure skater; coach. She is one busy girl and definitely an inspiration to me!{angie}

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~

Ten things that inspire me:



My early morning commute to school.  Even though getting my day started at 5:30am has its draw backs {wanting a nap around 11am} it has a couple of advantages, there is less traffic, and the best is the sunrise over the Wasatch mountains.  The sky is a beautiful array of colors and you can’t help but smile.

My job(s).  I have 3, but I love each one and wouldn’t change anything!
Baking. When I feel overwhelmed or have a bad day the first thing I want to do is make a big batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Baking helps me relieve stress and I love bringing treats to my friends!
Synchronized figure skating. I’ll admit I actually never wanted to start synchronized skating.  When my family moved back to Utah my mom encouraged me to try it and at every practice I wanted to quit.  However, Synchronized skating has brought so much to my life, fantastic friends, an unforgettable college experience, and continuing fun as I skate with my old team mates on our “adult” team.  I now can’t imagine my life without this amazing sport that so many have never heard of!
The Future.  As a 3rd year law student there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what is going to happen in 83 days when I graduate.  I choose to think about the awesome things that could happen instead of worrying about the unknowns.
Traveling. I love seeing the world and experiencing new cultures.  My favorite trip to date was spending 3 weeks in Beijing, China learning about the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
The Olympic Movement. It is easy for people to say that they love the Olympic Games every 4 years.  It’s not the specific competitions during Games time that inspires me, the thing that drives me everyday is the opportunity to help people achieve something that they have worked incredibly hard and sacrificed their entire lives to accomplish.  It is really hard to explain but not only does it inspire me to work within the Olympic movement it drives me everyday to do the best I can do for the athletes.
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Friendships that last a lifetime.  My most dear friends have inspired and pushed me throughout my life and I will be forever grateful to them for making me the person I am today.
Reading.  I don’t get to read for pleasure as much as I would like to {law school gets in the way} but I love getting into a good book.  The places that your imagination can take you in a book are innumerable and rather cost effective
My students.  One of those jobs I mentioned in #2 is teaching skating and my students could not be cuter.  Their love for skating and thirst to learn more is inspiring.
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{enter to win}
Psst... don't forget we're giving away a pair of handmade earrings and a handmade apron to our readers (one prize per reader, two prizes total). There are three ways to enter:
1. Tell us what inspires you in the comments section of ANY post, starting today through Wednesday, February 23. 
AND
2. Become our fan on Facebook and write about something that inspires you on our wall.
OR
3. Follow us on Twitter and tweet something that inspires you (make sure to include @365inspirations so we see it!).

We'll be collecting names all week for both prizes, so the more times you comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter, the more chances you'll have to win! Bonus--we'll be writing a special tribute post to our readers and your comment may just appear on it (we really want to make you a big deal... because you are).

One prize per reader. Open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter.

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~ one year of inspiration ~


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{angie}
When Ash and I started this blog, we wanted our categories to really captured what inspires us everyday. We came up with the categories you see repeated week to week: how to, fashion, home, a better you, food, our world and small inspiration. I feel strongly that if we can be truly inspired by aspects of our daily lives, we can all be happier, more positive people, better friends and better mates. So as I thought of my ten things that inspire me, I will share them through these categories of everyday living.

1. {how toLearning new things. The world around me is my continuing education. I love learning and embrace the chance to try new things and push my limits. 

2. {fashionEffortless glamor. Sure, I love getting dolled up as much as anyone (perhaps more), but to me I love the look of casual, effortless, glamorous fashion. Simple and yet stunning. 
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Effortless glamor at the pool with miss Ash.
3. {homeWindows. My mood is greatly affected by my surroundings, so one of the areas of interior design I love the most? Big, light transfusing windows. Few things make a room look better than warm sunlight spilling through windows.  

4. {a better youFigure skating. The biggest contributor to my overall health has always been figure skating. I started skating when I was six and the sport has not only provided me with a solid foundation for athleticism and a desire to stay fit, but I have learned artistry through physical expression, a sense of confidence, and how to use my mental awareness to achieve goals. Plus, the best life lesson--when you fall, get back up and try again.
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5. {foodExperimenting with food. Maybe you were taught you're not supposed to play with your food, but my dad always told me I should. My dad taught me how to cook and since he's a chemist, there was a lot of experimenting in the kitchen. I love playing with different flavors and being creative with ingredients.
6. {our worldTraveling...anywhere. From a young age I learned to love traveling. I love experiencing new cultures, trying new foods and seeing a world that is so different from my everyday. 
7. {small inspirationChange. Many people fear change, but I think it's change that keeps life interesting. For instance I love autumn, but an eternal autumn would be boring. It's these transitions that continually keep me excited and in anticipation of what the future bears. Change will always be inevitable so if you embrace it, you are opening yourself to more love more areas of your life.
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Since I have three more, I'm making up the categories.

8. {smiles} The pup. My little Daisy makes me smile everyday. My husband teases me that I have 8 billion photos on my phone (which is ridiculous, it's much closer to 5 million) but it's just because she brings so much joy into my life. She is the sweetest, snuggliest, most playful little pup ever. And I wish she could play with Maizey.  
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9. {art} Pastels. This last year I rekindled my love for drawing with pastels. Everything in my life is so structured and organized but when I am creating artwork I go to a meditative state where I stop thinking and just exist. 
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10. {my inspiration} My mom. We have always been close, but the older I get, the more I realize what an true inspiration she is to me. A strong woman, she has always striven to be the best for herself so that she could be the best role model for me. Even into my mid-twenties, I don't think she has missed a single performance, continues to mentor me, and is always there to listen when I need someone to talk to. 
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{enter to win}

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Psst... don't forget we're giving away a pair of handmade earrings and a handmade apron to our readers (one prize per reader, two prizes total). There are three ways to enter:
1. Tell us what inspires you in the comments section of ANY post, starting today through Wednesday, February 23. 
AND
2. Become our fan on Facebook and write about something that inspires you on our wall.
OR
3. Follow us on Twitter and tweet something that inspires you (make sure to include @365inspirations so we see it!).

We'll be collecting names all week for both prizes, so the more times you comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter, the more chances you'll have to win! Bonus--we'll be writing a special tribute post to our readers and your comment may just appear on it (we really want to make you a big deal... because you are).

One prize per reader. Open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter.

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~ special edition ~


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{angie & ash}

Once known as a day for extended relaxation, Black Friday now kicks off holiday shopping across the globe. It's easy to get caught up in the rush, stress, and cost of buying for all your loved ones. But the holidays shouldn't be about giving out of obligation -- they are about sharing love, appreciation, and joy with the people that make your life wonderful. It's doesn't matter how much money you spend but about the spirit in which you give.

Who better to inspire holiday ideas than Everyday Inspirations? We are excited to present our 12 days of do-it-yourself holiday ideas. Make gifts as expensive as you choose, as detailed as you desire, and definitely as personal as you want for your loved ones. We hope that this holiday season we can all present gifts in the true spirit of giving from the heart.
 

~ special announcement ~


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Can we just say again how grateful we are for each and every one of our readers? You inspire us more than we could ever say.

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, and to celebrate, EI is teaming up with our friend Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit for a special holiday #mixermixer on Twitter. What could be better? Delicious (and even healthy!) holiday recipes, networking, and lots of love shared with your favorite Tweeps. And if you want to add little extra somethin' somethin' to your hot cocoa to keep you warm on a winter's night, we won't tell...

{holiday #mixermixer}
Date
: Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Time: 6-8 p.m. MST (drop in at any time, take off when you need to)
Where: Twitter -- specifically by following @365inspirations and @afoodiestaysfit. Don't forget to use the hashtag #mixermixer while participating. Don't have a Twitter account? Create one for free today. Don't know how a Twitter party works? We ask the questions, you respond with your answers, see what others' have to say and get inspired from everyone's ideas. We don't want you to miss out on the fun!

Details can be found by clicking the invite on our home page or the Events tab. You can also RSVP and pre-mingle with participants by heading over to Facebook.

We can't wait to see you there!

Lots of love,
Ash & Angie
 

~ special edition ~


Election day
{angie}
Today is Election Day. Have you voted yet? No matter who you vote for, make time to do you civil duty. Democracy only works if the people stand up and choose their leaders. Your vote will make a difference in your community and an imprint in history. What are you waiting for? Go vote!