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Ratatouille + Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

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Did you know that Ratatouille is a super simple but super delicious french recipe and not just the name of the Pixar movie? If not, it’s your lucky day! This is such an easy recipe and I feel like everyone, meat or non meat eaters alike will enjoy!

I was first introduced to this recipe by my french husband (oui oui!) and it’s been one of my favorite recipes to make and eat ever since. For this recipe, I paired it with cilantro cauliflower rice but you can eat it by itself, with a baguette, with quinoa, with rice, whatever you prefer!

Without further ado, here’s the recipe!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 zucchinis, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped coarse
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro
  • 1 cup of cauliflower rice (I bought my bag from Trader Joe’s)

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Instructions:

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over low-medium heat.
  • Add the onion, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.
  • Add the peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the zucchinis and eggplant and cook for another 2-3 mins
  • Add the tomatoes, stir all the vegetables together. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the skillet and let all the ingredients marinate together for 30 minutes.
  • While the ratatouille is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat
  • Add the cauliflower rice and roughly chopped cilantro to the pan, stirring occasionally, let it cook for 5-10 mins
  • Sprinkle the ratatouille with salt and pepper. Serve with the cauliflower rice.
  • Enjoy!

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Hope you guys enjoyed this recipe! Let me know if you make it, comment or tag me!
Until next time,

xoxo, susel-6

DISC Assessment

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always loved taking quizzes. Not quizzes at school but those quizzes that you can find in teen magazines: “What is your aura’s color” or “Where will you meet your true love?”, Don’t even get me started on how much time I can spend on Buzzfeed taking their stupid quizzes now 😐

But there are actual personality tests that I’ve taken as adults like The Myers Briggs personality test that is actually so spot on that it’s scary! (I’m an ESFP!) I’ve also taken the Love Language quiz and found out that my love language is Words of Affirmation which is also spot on!

But I digress. The personality test that I want to write about today is the DISC Assessment. I took this test the first time 2 years ago at a previous job and I took it again recently and still got the same result.

So what is the DISC assessment? According to Disc Profile, “The DiSC profile, published by Wiley, is a non-judgemental tool used for discussion of people’s behavioral differences. The DiSC® model provides a common language that people can use to better understand themselves and adapt their behaviors with others – within a work team, a sales relationship, a leadership position, or other relationships.”

So what does the letters DISC mean? D is for Dominance, I is for Influence, S is for Steadiness and C is for Conscientiousness. I’ve taken this assessment twice and both times got I for Influence.

My result is this in a nutshell:
People with the i style place an emphasis on shaping the environment by influencing or persuading others.
A person with an I style

  • may be limited by being impulsive and disorganized and having lack of follow-through
  • is described as convincing, magnetic, enthusiastic, warm, trusting and optimistic
  • prioritizes taking action, collaboration, and expressing enthusiasm
  • is motivated by social recognition, group activities, and relationships
  • may fear loss of influence, disapproval and being ignored
  • values coaching and counseling, freedom of expression and democratic relationships

Goals

  • victory with flair
  • friendship and happiness
  • authority and prestige status symbols
  • popularity

Will need to expend more energy to:

  • follow-through completely
  • research all the facts
  • speak directly and candidly
  • stay focused for long periods

Some of those points are SPOT ON.  It’s also good to know what I can improve on, like being more organized! Do let me know in the comments if you’ve taken this and what your results were!

Any other personality tests out there that I haven’t taken yet? Let me know because ya know I would want to take it!

Until next time,

xoxo, susel-6

PB&J Meditation Bites ♥

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Who wants an easy peasy no fuss recipe? 🙋🏾‍♀️ Me, always! So here’s a no bake pb&j bites recipe that I concocted back in February for a quick Valentine’s Day treat. I added strawberries in the hopes that it would somehow magically turn pink but alas, that didn’t happen. But whatever color they are, THESE ARE AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dates (softened in warm water for 10 mins)
  • 3/4 cup of oats
  • 2 packets of @crazyrichardspb
  • 1/2 tbsp of @moodbeli meditation powder
  • 1/2-1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 bar of @squareorganics crisp protein bars ( I used the toasted coconut YUM!)

Directions:

  • pulse all ingredients in a food processor until it’s smooth and clump into a ball
  • use your hands and form mixture into balls
  • crumble the @squareorganics bar in a bowl and roll each ball into the crumbles
  • put in the freezer or fridge for at least 30 mins
  • ENJOY! and try to eat just one at a time 😝

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Let me know if you make these! You will not regret it! ❤︎

Until next time,

xoxo, susel-6

 

Let’s talk podcasts…

Who here likes listening to podcasts? To be honest with you, I did not get the appeal until a few years ago. I remember trying to listen to Serial since everyone and their cousin’s mothers brothers were listening to it and I just couldn’t get into it! I blame the host’s voice ::shrug::

But then slowly but surely, I started finding shows that I actually enjoyed and where the host’s voice didn’t irritate me 🙃 So I thought I would share some of the podcasts that I’ve been enjoying lately! Hope you find something that you want to listen to too!


Fictional Mystery:

The Black Tapes : The Black Tapes is a serialized docudrama about one journalist’s search for truth, her enigmatic subject’s mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.  

Limetown:Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown? This came out back in 2015 and the second season is finally being released this year. There’s some parts that actually were kinda scary! I’m excited for the new season to come out!

Rabbits When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into a ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits. Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.  


True Crime: My favorite type of podcasts 😝

True Crime GarageEach week Nic & The Captain get in the garage and talk true crime and drink beer. 

Generation WhyThe Generation Why Podcast, where two friends, Aaron and Justin, discuss theories and share their opinions on unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries, conspiracies, and true crime

My Favorite Murder:  SSDGM – Stay Sexy, Don’t Get Murdered.

Dirty John:Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.


Miscellaneous: 

Elevate The GlobeElevate the Globe is a spiritual and wellness hub where you can find the tools and guidance you need to raise the vibration of your energy. This creates a ripple effect and when we are vibrating in the higher energies of joy and love, just by being the light you raise the vibration of your families, communities, and ultimately the globe!

Terrible, Thanks for Asking:You know how every day someone asks “how are you?” And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say “fine,” so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author (It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too)) and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word.


That’s my list folks! What about you?? Please leave me a comment of any other podcasts that I need to check out!

Until then,

xoxo

xoxo, susel-6

Staycation- Charlotte, NC

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Last Friday, my husband and I had the opportunity to spend the night in Charlotte, NC. Since moving to NC, we’ve only been to Charlotte once and it was only for a couple of hours so we jumped at the chance to explore this city a bit more.

We had the pleasure of staying at The Dunhill Hotel, Charlotte’s Premier Boutique Hotel, located in the heart of Uptown (which I learned is Downtown, I know I had to get used to it too). If you ever have the chance to stay in this hotel, I highly highly recommend it 100%.

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We were fortunate enough to be upgraded to the Penthouse Suite and let me tell you, I don’t know if I can ever go back to staying in regular hotel rooms 😜

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Before dinner, we explored Uptown Charlotte and enjoyed the weather! MN will always be home but NC is trying its hardest to change that 😜

 

 

We didn’t have to go far for dinner as we dined at The Asbury, the restaurant attached to the hotel. And let me tell you, I am already counting down the days when I can go back. My meal was AHHHHMAZING! I follow a mostly vegan diet and they were able to accommodate that. I ordered the quinoa + lentil filling, mushroom ragout (I’m salivating just typing that) and it was one of the most delicious meals I have ever had. I also had a side of the grilled asparagus with roasted garlic béarnaise, preserved lemon and I give that an A++++. My husband had the Fried Chicken Sammy and the Cast Iron Mac & Cheese. I will admit, I had a bite or two of that mac and cheese and OOOHHH LALA. Plus 2 glasses of wine BECAUSE HI STAYCATION. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. To top the meal off, Chef Matthew Krenz, who is one of the top chefs in NC, stopped by our table! Thank you to the staff at The Asbury Restaurant for the top notch service!

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Cabbage Roll QUINOA + LENTIL FILLING, MUSHROOM RAGOUT
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Cast Iron Mac + Cheese
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The Asbury bar
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Chef Matthew Krenz

After dinner, we did a bit more exploring but we were just happy to stay in The Penthouse Suite! Can you blame us??

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He finally fought back hahaha

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Oh and did I mention the suite had TWO balconies??

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To summarize: The Dunhill Hotel: A MUST STAY; The Asbury Restaurant: A MUST VISIT!I cannot wait to go back! What about you? Any places that you highly recommend?? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time
xoxo,

xoxo, susel-6

Let’s be adventurers!

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I love this quote so much because you can find adventure from anywhere if you’re open to it. Right now, I am on this amazing adventure called life. It’s not the easiest to move from an established community (aka home) to a state where you barely know anyone. I needed to build a new circle, meet new people. All I can say is that thank god I’m an extrovert {introvert}!

7 months later, I am feeling home in my new state of North Carolina. I have my routine, new friends, new hangouts. I’ve been lucky that my new city has felt welcoming. Here’s some lessons I’ve learned the past several months:

  • Faceboook Events – Thanks the heavens for social media. I checked out facebook events every weekend when we first moved here (and I still do!) and that’s how I was able to find out about what was happening in my new city. It’s where I first found out about Alisha’s Wise Women Wednesday events! I went to her first one a couple of months ago, didn’t know anyone, left feeling grateful that I went as that’s where I met some new friends! I also met local female entrepreneurs who are just super inspiring to be around!
  • Explore Explore Explore! – I feel lucky that we found an apartment in downtown Greensboro (even if it’s really only one long street ha) so I am able to walk around, explore new cafes, shops, bars, etc. When we first moved here, I was able to just walk around to explore our new surroundings. Found out where the local co-op was, the library, the parks, the breweries, etc.
  • Workout! – I needed to find a new fitness routine/community stat. I was pretty involved with my gym back in MN and missed being part of a community like that. So I tried a couple crossfit gyms and several yoga studios. I ended up joining the local YMCA because a) CHEAP b) got me back into running c) it’s literally a 5-10 min walk from our apartment and then joined Radiance Yoga for my namaste fix. If  ou’re ever in Greensboro, you MUST check this yoga studio out! I love love love love the instructors there!

Moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone is never easy but I chose to look at it as a positive thing. I looked at it as a new adventure with my life partner aka husband and we get to experience it together!

What about you? Have you ever had to move to a new city? What was your experience like and do you have any lessons you want to share?

Until next time!
xoxo,

xoxo, susel-6

 

Women in Charge- Ashley

Time to resurrect my Women in Charge series! I love reading about strong women and getting to know their story. So when I decided to revive these series, I immediately started thinking of a list of women in my life that inspire me. Ashley, owner of Minny Spoons, is definitely on top of my list.

I first met Ashley where people meet friends these days: Instagram! We are both Tone it Up girls from MN and that’s how I first came upon her IG page. We attended Tone it Up meetups, events and workouts together!

Ashley is also an entrrepreneur who started her own nut butter, Minny Spoons, business last year. I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that her business will be a tremendous success across the nation. First of all, her nut butters are UNREAL. They are so delicious that I could probably eat a whole jar. Second, Ashley is just one of those women who are so sweet and so nice that you can’t help but want to support her in whatever she is doing!

Ok enough of me talking about her, let’s get to know more about Ashley in her own words!19247919_10207188867600060_6551324512114172069_n

Continue reading “Women in Charge- Ashley”

Big changes, oh my!

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Wow. This little blog of mine has been oh so neglected! So many changes since the last time I wrote!

The biggest change is that I am no longer living in the Twin Cities. We moved to Greensboro, NC! My husband accepted a job at a University here and we packed our lives  and moved down south. So far, so good. I’m pleasantly surprised how much I am liking NC. It’s beautiful down here. Oh, and it’s December and it’s 50 degrees. Not bad, NC, not bad! Not to say I don’t miss MN though, because I certainly do! In fact, we are going back home for the holidays and I cannot wait!

Another big change? A CAREER CHANGE! I am no longer in the mental health field and am now in the food/beverage marketing field. I quit my FT job back in April to take on the marketing coordinator role at WholeMe, a snack company based in MN, part time. Yes, it was a gutsy move, it was uncomfortable leaving $$$, but I knew I needed that change. I was no longer happy at my old job and it was time to make that leap. And I have never looked back!

Let’s see, what else… We adopted another dog! We adopted Artaud, 1.5 year old shiba inu, back in April. He’s adorable. It’s great watching him come out of his shell. He was so scared when we first met him. He’s still skittish around other people but he is so comfortable with us now.

Unfortunately, even though we added to our family, we also lost a furry family member, our bunny.  RIP Bun Bun.

Ok, I think that about covers it. Until next time!

Maui (aka paradise) Trip 2017!

My husband and I just got back this week from the most amazing trip ever… Maui, HI!  We went to Oahu a couple of years ago, fell in love with Hawaii, and knew right away that we had to go back and visit a different island as soon as we could.  We finally made it back to Hawaii last week and had the most amazing trip exploring Maui! If we could move there right now, we would!  It was definitely more mellow and relaxed feeling than Oahu.

Here are some of our trip’s highlights:

THE FOOD!!! If you still didn’t know, I am a big big lover of food.  I am happiest when I am eating (lol) so of course I have pictures of my favorite eats:

Haleakala Sunrise – you MUST MUST do watch the sunrise at the Haleakala Summit if you are ever in Maui.  You are above the clouds and it is the most amazing view, it’s almost unreal!  We woke up at 3 am to drive the 2 hours to get to the summit and then there was nothing else to do but wait.. or look at the stars while waiting for the sunrise.  IT IS FREEZING up there so if you ever go, make sure you bring your WINTER gear.. not even kidding!  jacket, hat, gloves, blanket, you will need it all!  For more info, check out this website: Go Hawaii.  After the sunrise, we hiked 4 miles of the Sliding Sands at Haleakala National Park.  Woof.  Major inclined hike, but I just kept telling myself “one step at a time, left right left right” lol.. it worked!

Mini adventures around West Maui including Nakalele Blowhole, Heart Shaped Rock, Dragon’s Teeth AND BEACHES!  We had to go down the side of cliffs, climb up rocks, to get to the bottom and see the blowhole and the heart shaped rock (cannot believe I did that) but definitely worth it.

 

WHALE WATCHING!!  One of the best things ever was going whale watching!  Omg I didn’t know I was obsessed with whales until this trip.. what a freakin majestic animal.  We even saw a baby whale that the guide named Dill (LOL!)  We went through Pacific Whale Foundations that our $ went back to them!  I took so many pictures but only two really turned out lol but WORTH IT.

 

Ocean Pools:  Olivine Pools off the Kahekili Hwy and my favorite, Venus Pools, off Hana Hwy.  First of all, what a view!  These pools are so beautiful.  Second, you have to climb down rocks to get to them.. again, I cannot believe I did that!  I was too scared to do the same thing to get to some pools when we were in Oahu but for some reason, Maui just brought out the fearlessness.. must be the pursue your legend ‘tude (thanks Alchemy!)  Between the two, I definitely liked the Venus Pools more AND ALSO YOU HAD TO JUMP OFF THE SIDE OF THE CLIFF TO GET INTO THE VENUS POOL!  Thank god I didn’t know that or else I don’t think I would’ve gone but I did it! .. ok , it was like the lowest point but whatever, I got into that damn pool.  I definitely recommend visiting this if you are ever in Maui!

The Road to Hana.. duh!  Of course we had to do this!  Instead of just doing the drive and going back to Lahaina, we decided to check out of our Lahaina airbnb and stay one night in Hana so that we could take our time.  Thank god for my husband who can plan things.  We stopped at so many waterfalls and views and god nature is beautiful!  I highly recommend buying the travel guide book “Maui Revealed” as it has all the tips you need.. it’s the blue book.  It tells you where to stop and how to get to a specific spot that we would have never known or seen without this guide.

Red Sands Beach & Black Sands Beach:  The way to get to the Red Sands beach is considered so dangerous that there was a warning sign right before getting on the trail and we also a sign at a local Hana cafe that they were not able to give directions on how to get there.  Naturally, we went and took pics duh 🙂 and the Black Sands beach? BEAUTIFUL!

Pipiwai Trail:  a 4 mile hike that rewards you with the most beautiful majestic waterfall ever.. wow!  And a mile of bamboo trail! LIKE WHAT?!  MUST DO!

Ho’okipa Beach Park : Our flight back home wasn’t until 9 pm so we had the whole day to just chill before having to go back to reality.  We didn’t really have a plan but thanks to Instagram, I found a tag for this beach park and so thankful that we got to see this! Beautiful views, surfers surfing big BIG huge waves, oh AND SEA TURTLES!!!

 

I am so thankful that we were able to experience Maui. What a beautiful, beautiful place and I cannot wait to go back!

How I pursue my legend

I wrote this piece for my gym, Alchemy, after going through their A101 and Masters program (not to be confused with a masters degree lol).  But I thought that I would share on my personal blog because it really explains me and my two passions in life 🙂

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(pic by Alexa Kay https://www.instagram.com/alexakay/)

“There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything.  Negative people find their walls.  So never apologize for your enthusiasm.  Never.  Ever.  Never.”- Ryan Adams

Have you ever heard of the 5 languages of love?  Well, if you haven’t, go ahead, google it.  I’ll wait.  Now that we all know about the 5 languages of love, I wanted to inform you that mine is Words of affirmation.  It’s probably why I started my PYL story with a quote.  I am all about quotes.   And that quote resonated with me as soon as I saw it.  When I love something, I REALLY love it.  I’m vocal about it.  I’m unabashedly enthusiastic about it.  And there are two things I am unabashedly passionate about: my love for animals and my health.

Let’s first talk about my love (really an obsession) for animals.  I LOVE ANIMALS.  I am that weirdo that will squeal whenever I see a dog or the one who would rather hang out with the cat at a holiday party than socialize (let’s get real, I socialize plenty but if there’s an animal in the room..).  My ultimate dream scenario would be to have my own island where I could have all my rescued animals with me.  But since that’s not happening any time soon, I pursue my legend by volunteering with local animal rescues and being on the board of a local non-profit that assist animals in need by providing resources to animal rescues.  It feels so good to give back by providing love and be the voice for our four legged friends.

My health is also extremely important to me.  Being healthy to me means eating right (that would be another topic) and exercising!  And that is where Alchemy comes in.  Alchemy is my fitness transformed.  Ever since taking my very first A10 class at Crossfit Minneapolis, before Alchemy even opened their NL space, I was hooked!  I remember the moves included pull-ups and telling the person next to me that I wasn’t going to do that because I never would be able to do a pull-up.  But the coach (I think it was Brigitte!) was not going to let me off the hook!  She showed me other ways that I could participate in class by modifying the move for me.  And that’s when I knew that NEVER would NEVER be a part of my vocabulary again when it comes to Alchemy.  Every single class is always a challenge but it’s a challenge that I meet head on, knowing that I am there to embrace that discomfort, like I did when I attended my first A10 with those pull ups.

I would like to end my PYL story the same way I started it.  With a quote.  (it’s my love language after all)

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life.  If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed.  Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all, become passionate about it.  Lukewarm is no good” – Roald Dahl

So there you go my friends, the author of THE BFG said it best, go pursue your own legend whatever that means to you!