Black and White Home Decor Inspiration

Black and White Décor Inspiration

 

I want to help you conquer your decorative endeavors! This Black and White Home Décor Inspiration layout is just the ticket for anyone looking for an ultra bold yet laid-back motif.

 

For this inspiration board, I have branched out. The majority of home décor items from my last two inspirations have come from Wayfair. Today I am giving you some amazing inspirations from Rooms-to-Go, RugUSA and also Etsy!

 

Let us jump right into this Black and White Inspiration layout.

 

Isn’t this such a simple yet elegant design?

I love to see clean crisp colors used in bold and deliberate ways. In this layout, your main colors are black and white, but you must break up those striking hues with soft organic features. That is why I have incorporated a fiddle leaf fig, gold elements, and a wicker coffee table.

You see, black and white are both very cool colors. When working with these eye-popping details I encourage you to add natural components which comfort the pallet, and soothe the soul! 😉

 

Product Breakdown

All prices were collected on 10/24/2017 and subject to change

COUCH

First, let us talk about this super comfortable Cindy Crawford sectional from Rooms-to-Go. I personally know about this couch’s coziness, because I have this exact model in my living room. Let me tell you, this baby is awesome! The slate color mixes well with a plethora of designs and the suede cleans like a dream. Anytime there is any stain or spill, a wet washcloth just cleans everything right up! Right now you can grab this sectional for $1999.99 from Rooms-to-Go. Here is a link to check this baby out!

RUG

Next up, look at this gorgeous rug from RugsUSA. I think this bohemian design goes really well with the other organic elements I have placed in this layout. This handwoven rug is produced in India and an 8 x 11 is only $300.98! That is a steal for such a large area rug. Get this beauty here!

PILLOWS

Now, my favorite part of any room is the DECORATIVE PILLOWS!! They are like the accessories of a great outfit! Decorative pillows are so easily changeable and can really pull a whole room together.

These beauties are from Etsy. They are pillow covers, so you need to also purchase inserts, but those are easy to come by and I’ll add a link for great pillows from Amazon HERE.

Each Pillow Case is only $25!

Here is the Ikat! 

Here is the Chevron! 

Here is the PolkaDot!

 

 

Pillow Tips

When mixing decorative pillows there really are no rules, but I do have a few suggestions. I like to use the rule of three when it comes to pillows. You want to have one small pattern, one large pattern and then one organic or busier pattern. Stick with your color pallet and save a photo of any pillows you are considering. Layer the patterns digitally first before purchasing. Keep in mind, these are just suggestions and you can really have a lot of fun and freedom with your decorative pillows. Do not be afraid to mix up patterns, textures, shapes, and sizes!

 

Plants

You will see that I put plants in ALL of my inspiration posts. I think that the added texture, life, and vibrancy of color adds to any and every room. Also if you choose to go with live plants, you get the added benefit of air purification! Most indoor plants are pretty easy to keep alive too! If you are in the market, look for plants that require low sunlight and minimal watering. The plants I have featured in this black and white home inspiration post are faux and come from Wayfair. Wayfair really has amazing prices when it comes to lush faux pieces! This tall leafy plant is called a Fiddle Leaf Fig and don’t you just LOVE the big fan like frond! Get this cleverly named foliage HERE for only $123.99.

Okay, to be completely transparent with you, there is nothing special about this small faux piece. However, Wayfair has a great price for this luscious table piece. This bad boy is only $38.97 (it is hard to find one online for under $40) and you can get him HERE!

 

Gold Accents

Using metals in your home can really make things sparkle! The flicker gold gives off in the late afternoon as the sun is setting and the light in your home goes soft is priceless. If you already have metals in your home now, pay attention to how they really do reflect and enhance light and energy throughout your space. All three pieces I have chosen for this layout are all really attractive and could give any motif a little extra shine. The Buddha head is just priceless and adds a very zen energy while the gold floor lamp and the loops add structure and strength.  All of these accent pieces are found on Wayfair. The Buddha will run you $20.49, the Gold Loops are $18.99 and the Golden Floor Lamp is $155.99.

 

 

Wall Art

Next up are the awesome black and white art pieces you see in the layout. These caught my eye for a number of reasons but mainly for their simplicity and DIY capability. Any crafty person could find two awesome frames from their local thrift store, paint black brush strokes on a heavy cardstock and BAM, you have yourself a one of kind set! If you find yourself pressed for time or just not into that sort of thing Wayfair has you covered for around $400 for the set. You can grab these beauties from the series titled “Symbols in Black and White” by Melissa Van Hise with this link!

Coffee Table

Last but certainly not least is the wicker coffee table. This is the Dimitri Round Coffee Table by World Menagerie and it will run you $329.99 at the moment. This piece is so versatile and transitional. It ties in your natural elements while lending to a structured feel. You can check this table out with this link 🙂 

 

And there ya have it!

 

I have always thought that having a black and white home decor color scheme would be so fun and simple. I had a blast finding all these great deals and pieces for this layout. It has honestly made me re-think what the heck I will be doing with our home. I really hope you enjoyed this product and decor breakdown. If you are in the market for any home decor items, don’t hesitate to check out Wayfair and Etsy, they have so many awesome elements to offer!

Until next time, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading,

-Sally

If you love home decor inspiration, Check out my take on using Purple and Gold for your fall table!

Please feel free to leave me a comment!

Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram @SouthernLotusLiving

Have a blessed day!

30 Day Self-Care Challenge

Here on Southern Lotus Living, I strive to inspire self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance. I want to wholeheartedly encourage you to take small measures every day that will make remarkable changes in your overall health and happiness.

 

Isn’t it odd that if we break a bone, experience extreme pain or even get a hangnail, we know by the time we enter adolescence to seek help or simply grab a Band-Aid or some Tylenol? Physical wounds come with very acceptable measures and procedures to aid in recovery. While mental and psychological wounds such as fear, failure, loneliness, grief, trauma, depression and anxiety are usually brushed under the rug and left to fester.

 

I positively love psychology and find anything to do with human behavior absolutely fascinating. Over the last 10 years, I have been working through my own anxiety, depression and past traumas. That is why I am so passionate about wellness. As soon as I looked my anxiety square in the face and deliberately (little by little) took back control, there was a shift in my reality. I was no longer the sum of all the things that happened to me.

 

One of my favorite wormholes to get stuck in is a TedTalk wormhole! Recently while exploring TedTalks on health I came across Dr. Guy Winch’s talk on “Why we all need to practice emotional first aid”. Dr. Winch is a psychologist who is fascinated by the favoritism society shows toward physical health compared to psychological well-being. In his TedTalk, Dr. Winch highlights how emotional trauma can be just as life-threatening as something like a smoking habit. In fact, he mentions that if a person experiences prolonged feelings of loneliness it increases their likelihood of an early death by 14%. That is remarkable!

 

If you have a couple minutes to spare, an auxiliary cord in your car or headphones at your desk, I highly recommend giving this TedTalk a listen!

 

You will most likely experience failure, grief, loneliness, and stress throughout your life. These stressors are what connect us all. No-one goes through life without emotional ups and downs.

 

Lucky for us science is starting to see the benefit of self-care. Dr. Winch says that even a “2-minute distraction is powerful enough to help our brains refocus” (n.d.).

 

In the spirit of wellness and happiness, I have put together a little 30-day challenge for myself. I will document my self-care journey on Instagram. I encourage you to follow along either in spirit or practice! My Instagram handle is @SouthernLotusLiving

 

 

And there ya have it!

 

30 days of self-care. Even though these 30 challenges seem small, pointless or even selfish they each serve a larger purpose. That purpose is to reprogram the brain to choose peace, happiness, and joy instead of stress and fear.

 

 

The benefits of self-care are so outstanding whole communities are encouraging its practice. California State University has an initiative on campus to help students and faculty members develop individual wellness. Their mission is “to promote a community that embraces a culture of joyful productivity and provides opportunities for both the college and its people to thrive” (Auerbach, 2017). According to Susan Auerbach with CSU self-care can help with productivity, satisfaction with work, creativity, and ultimately lead to healthy living (2017).

 

 

CSU defines self-care as “taking responsibility for yourself to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle at work and in your personal world through individually determined, proactive activities”(Auerbach, 2017).

 

This definition is as encouraging as it is vague. You see, there are no rigid specifics in self-care.

The self is subjective. What makes you feel at peace may cause someone else high levels of stress.

So, if my 30-day challenge doesn’t exactly fit into your spectrum of happiness-inducing activities I challenge you my friend to take a few moments and think of a number of small things that would bring you more peace and joy.

Thankfully many activities have been known to reduce stress and create a feeling of comfort for the majority of people. Like feeling grateful, giving to others, or the sound of the ocean to name a few.

If you take a little bit of time every single day to refocus on what is important to you science is telling us that remarkable transitions can be made. It is important to be thoughtful and deliberate in the way we treat ourselves so that we can be thoughtful and deliberate in the way we treat the world.

 

Here is the kicker, and I know you must be thinking this…

 

More often than not, society has convinced you that putting yourself first for even a few moments is selfish. However, on the contrary, it takes a great deal of entitlement to consider someone else selfish for not putting the world and its problems ahead of their own happiness.  As long as you are not hurting anyone on your path towards happiness, there is no reason you should hold yourself back with shame or fear. No one else will ever have your hopes and your dreams. No one else will ever walk in your shoes, suffer your despair, feel your joys or cry your tears. EVER. So if you are happy with who you are, any judgment that may be pointed towards you should take up as much space in your brain as a song you’ve never heard or a face you’ve never seen. It shouldn’t even be considered.

We are all just a speck on a speck in an ever-expanding infinite universe. That fact alone helped me realize that my problems weren’t so big after all, and for me to fail or succeed really didn’t matter. So I simply decided strength and happiness seemed like the more fun journey!

 

It doesn’t happen over-night. The path to hearing the whispers of hope over the deafening screams of fear is an uphill battle at times, but I promise you with a little tenderness and compassion for yourself anything is possible.

 

I am not a doctor, nor do I believe I know all the answers. I am simply sharing with you information and inspiration that has changed my life for the better.

 

With a heart full of love, I once again encourage you to take the weight off your shoulders for just a few minutes every day, breath in what brings you joy, decrease the chaos in your soul, and bask in the essence of what makes you feel happy.

 

 

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings, and always

remember to count your blessings,

 

Sally

 

References

Auerbach, S. (2017, March 09). Vision, Mission, & Benefits. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from https://www.csun.edu/eisner-education/self-care/vision-mission-benefits

Winch, G. (n.d.). Retrieved October 17, 2017, from https://www.ted.com/talks/guy_winch_the_case_for_emotional_hygiene?utm_campaign=tedspread–b&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

 

 

 

Honey Lemon Pepper Chicken

Who doesn’t love an easy and delicious Honey Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe!?

 

After the small success my recipe for Spicy Miso Chicken had last week, here I am sharing with you one of my other Oh So Delicious chicken recipes.

If you missed out on the Spicy Miso Chicken Recipe here is a link 🙂 

 

This week I will be sharing with you my take on Honey Lemon Pepper Chicken.

I like to eat a pretty basic and wholesome diet during the week and how I stay on top of that is by meal prepping. For about an hour or so every 4 days I will make all my meals for the next few days. This not only keeps my meals healthy but also saves my little family some big buck-a-roonies!

For most of my meal preps I enjoy white rice with whatever protein and veggie I prepare. We love our rice cooker and use it every couple days! Here is a link to one on amazon! They are incredible and make preparing large amounts of rice a breeze. You literally “Set it and Forget it”!

Alrighty then, lets get to cookin’

Here is everything you will need for your marinade!

 

Marinade Recipe 

1/2 cup of Olive Oil

1/4 cup of vinegar

1/4 cup of honey

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp of white pepper**

1.5 tbsp McCormick’s Chicken Montreal Seasoning

S+P at your leisure

**Be sure to not over do the white pepper. The right amount adds the perfect pepper flavor, too much will make the marinade too smoky!

Next, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and cube 3 chicken breasts into small pieces (small pieces help when baking). Then coat the chicken in the marinade and set in the fridge.

After your chicken is prepped start slicing up your veggie of choice. I like to go with broccoli for this dish, just like in the Spicy Miso Recipe.

I wash, cube, and drizzle the broccoli with olive oil. Then, sprinkle with sea salt and spread it evenly on a baking sheet. On the same baking sheet lay out your marinated chicken.

Distribute your veggies and chicken like so >>

I top my chicken with a few lemon rings for added zest!

Let this yummy pan of deliciousness cook for 20 minutes and then switch to broil for 5 minutes and VOILA you have yourself lunch for the week.

Evenly disperse the chicken, broccoli and rice into bpa-free containers and remember to let your food cool before placing it in your fridge.

My favorite way to eat this is with a poached egg! If you do not have the ability to whip up an egg I would recommend having a little bit of marinade put to the side to drizzle over the top.

This recipe packs a great amount of flavor while still keeping you within your healthy eating goals!

 

Here is a more formal breakdown of my Honey Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup of Olive Oil

1/4 cup of vinegar

1/4 cup of honey

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp of white pepper**

1.5 tbsp McCormick’s Chicken Montreal Seasoning <<awesome seasoning!

S+P at your leisure

3 Chicken breast

2 Stalks of Broccoli

1.5 cups of rice

Prepare rice. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare marinade by adding oil, vinegar, honey, lemon juice and seasonings together in a small bowl. Cube the chicken breast and then coat the chicken with the marinade in either a plastic bag or a large bowl. Set the marinating chicken in the fridge. Wash and cut your vegetables. Drizzle with a little olive oil and salt. Place both the veggies and the chicken on a baking sheet making sure that nothing is over lapping. Bake for 20 minutes and then switch to broil for 5 minutes. Divide into containers and eat within 4 days.

This recipe is sooo good. I think this marinade would be delightful on chicken thighs as well! Or even tilapia! Maybe even cut back the oil a little bit and use it as a salad dressing!

 

I really hope you enjoyed this weeks recipe, next week I will have something a little more decadent and sweet to share! One can not survive off chicken and rice alone!

Until next time, be sure to count your blessings!

-Sally

Please feel free to share any comments below, and check out my Instagram and Facebook accounts for updates on my blog!

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Beige Coastal Inspiration

 

Do you love coastal accents? Do you love soft cream tones? Do you want to add metals into your décor? Well than look no further!

I have narrowed down my home decor theme for our next place and I will be striving for a “bohemian coastal chic” design. Are those things an oxymoron? Or just a genius juxtaposition??

While searching for personal inspiration I found this Beige Coastal Office and it was love at first sight. I had to dig into the elements and see how I could mix and match similar ingredients myself.

Photo Source: Coastal Office Inspiration. motherofsoutherncharm.tumblr.com/post/157318638327/costal-design-inspiration-for-an-office-space.

Here are my finds for recreating this look!

 

 

The Perfect base

This creamy beige rug is made by Bloomsbury Market and only $189.99 for a 8’ x 11’4”. Bloomsbury Market made sure this rug is easy to clean, stain resistant and shed-proof! Here is a >>link<< to take you directly to Warfair.com to check this bad boy out!

Photo Source: Jae Beige Indoor Area Rug. www.wayfair.com/Bloomsbury-Market-Jae-Beige-Indoor-Area-Rug-BLMT2532.html?piid=23394110.

 

Light things up

Next, check out these gorgeous wood orbed candle sticks. They are also found on Wayfair.com and come in a set of 3. These illumination helpers match the elements found in the inspirational photo perfectly and are such a steal at $190.99. I think these beauties mix the perfect amount of nature and industry with the subtle bronze addition. Check them out with this >>link<<.

Photo Source: 3 Piece Wood Candlestick Set. www.wayfair.com/World-Menagerie-3-Piece-Wood-Candlestick-Set-WDMG2448.html.

 

Add a touch of glam!

How awesome are these large ceramic vases! Let me tell you, I searched aggressively for the right vases to add to this spread and these bad boys stood out among the crowd. They will not cost you an arm and a leg and have the perfect opening at the top for a few faux leaves. The Crackle Bottle Table Vases come in two sizes. The small size is $52.99 and the large is $67.99. Like most of my finds they are found on Wayfair.com and you can check them out with this >>link<<.

Photo Source: Crackle Bottle Table Vase. www.wayfair.com/Bungalow-Rose-Crackle-Bottle-Table-Vase-BNRS5354.html.

 

Throw in some nature

The next item is perfect for ANY coastal inspired room. It is so simple yet makes such a grand statement on a bookshelf, mantle, or in a centerpiece. I scoured all of my go-to websites and found that amazon has the best deal for the perfect little coral piece. This little guy is only $14.21 right now on Amazon and you can scoop it up with this >>link<<.

Photo Source: Accent Plus LARGE WHITE CORAL TABLETOP DECOR. www.amazon.com/Accent-LARGE-WHITE-CORAL-TABLETOP/dp/B01M8O2W17/ref=sr_1_17?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1507698038&sr=1-17&keywords=coral accent decor.

 

Mix in nostalgia

The next piece is quite the show stopper! This is the kind of piece that you can mix into your design layout for decades to come. I could see this beauty in my husband’s office years down the road, or even in a vacation home. This is the Blue Nose II Model Ship by Old Modern Handicrafts and she is on sale right now for $232.99. She has a 5 star review on Wayfair and is recognized as a “truly remarkable representation” of the Blue Nose II Sailboat. Check her beautiful grace out >> here <<.

Photo Source: Bluenose II Model Ship. www.wayfair.com/Old-Modern-Handicrafts-Bluenose-II-Model-Ship-OMH1275.html.

 

Make your surroundings pop!

Last, but certainly not least is the art work. I truly believe that the items we put on our walls, the things that surround us day in and day out can bring us hope, joy, inspiration and peace of mind if we allow them to. What I mean to say is, if you are going to surround yourself with something, surround yourself with beauty. My oh my are these heron prints BEAUTIFUL! I just love the splash of blue! That aspect really ties in the rug I featured above. This dynamic duo is called the Heron 2 Piece Framed Painting Print Set by Propac Images. They are $183.99 and measure in at 29” x 25”. That is remarkable for a set that has a 5 star review! Check them out at Wayfair.com with this >>link<<.

Photo Source: Heron 2 Piece Framed Painting Print Set. www.wayfair.com/Propac-Images-Heron-2-Piece-Framed-Painting-Print-Set-PPI3701.html.

 

There ya have it!

After really focusing in on my intended vibe for our next place I settled in on a “Calm and Cool Bohemian Coastal” feel! Above are a few gems I found while searching for accent pieces. If you are in the market for a similar look I hope you found this post helpful!

If you noticed I absolutely love Wayfair.com. They always seem to have the best prices and a wonderful selection.

All of the prices are as of October 11th 2017 and subject to change.

 

Thank you so much for reading!

-Sally

Add Meditation and Smudging into Your Routine!

 

Have you ever been interested in meditation and wellness? Well lucky for you I have spent the last 10 years practicing mindfulness and have a lot to share on the topic.

Growing up, I was always a very emotionally invested person. Even when things didn’t require emotions, I would add a dash here, or a dollop there. On occasion, I would unintentionally throw emotional gas all over life’s fire and then wonder why I was the one burnt to a crisp.

Through many, many, many trials and tribulations I have tried to understand my emotions and their cause. Maybe soon I will share some of my embarrassing stories, but until then just know that in the process of finding myself, meditation and spirituality turned my life around.

I would highly recommend meditation to everyone. You do not have to be emotionally sensitive like me, but if you are, know that there is light at the end of the self-sabotaging tunnel. In fact, practicing meditation has a plethora of benefits!

Meditating for just a few moments a day can help with stress, anxiety, focus, sleep, eating, self-confidence, memory and much more!

 

In fact, here is an infographic showing all the benefits of meditation >>

(Inforgraphic from Giovanni at www.LiveandDare.com )

When first starting my meditation practice, I won’t lie, I fell asleep every single time! In the beginning the best options were guided meditations. They aided in finding my “flow”. Instead of concerning myself with thinking of nothing, and clearing my mind, I would focus on one thing at a time. This made completely clearing my mind, at a later time, a simpler task.

If you are just starting out with meditation, I would recommend you do the same. Find a comfortable seated position (I don’t recommend lying down because you will most likely fall asleep LOL) and listen to a guided meditation. YouTube has many amazing options.

Now go try it out!

 

Smudgin’

To add to my home’s atmosphere of wellness and spirituality I also enjoy burning sage. After a particularly annoying day or a spout of illness I will open the windows and burn sage while saying a prayer of positivity and health.

 

Sage smoke is antibacterial so it does a phenomenal job at purifying the air.

 

If you are interesting in “smudging” here is a quick video on the benefits of burning sage >>

 

I am a big believer that where we focus our attention we wander. Therefore, our thoughts become our reality. Harnessing the ability to deliberately focus your attention can help create a healthier and happier life. It is not some “cure all” and life definitely still happens. But by enjoying the ability to stay focused and positive our lens of clarity may keep us from avoidable mishaps.

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day!

If you’d like more information on meditation and wellness comment below!

 

Now you know where the “Lotus” in Southern Lotus Living comes from :0)

XOXO

-Sally

Purple and Gold Fall Table Must Haves!

Last year, my all too amazing aunt told me that purple was going to be the new “it” color. Variations of the color kept popping up in all the high end designer magazines. As trends often do, they start in the more expensive markets and then trickle down over the seasons. Well, while walking around our local military exchange (think of a department store on a military base) I spotted the new Martha Stewart Collection spread and wouldn’t ya know, she is using PURPLES!

 

Those who know me, know that purple is a near and dear color to me. It was my late mother’s (rest her beautiful soul) favorite color and it sparks a sincere sense of joy and love in my heart. So I was immediately inspired to find and create a collection of fall must have purple items!

So if you love the color purple, this fall inspiration board is just for you!

 

I found everything on Wayfair.com, which means it is all super affordable!

Aren’t these purple trimmed napkins to die for! They are the French Perles by Lenox and they come in a set of 4. These gorgeous babies are on sale for $24.79 right now! That is an amazing price for anything made by Lenox! The best part is they are machine washable! Here is a link to make scooping these beauties up a breeze!

What are gorgeous napkins with out stunning napkin rings. These are the Ginko design by Sara Lifestyle. They are also on sale for just $23.64. The gold metal will add an elegant flare to any table. The leaf design can also transfer with the seasons! Here is a link! 

Next, is this ultra Parisian pitcher. This piece makes me think of my dear friend Nikki, she loves anything “french cottage”. This is the Bouvet 96 oz. Pitcher by Lark Manor. It is made from ceramic and completely HAND DECORATED!!!! * I DIE*!!!! This belle is dishwasher safe and wouldn’t ya know also on sale for $29.99. Here is a link!

Here we have the White Wine Glass Set by Euro Ceramica. What I love about this glass set is that it is just the right hint of purple! The set of 4 is $24.85, dishwasher safe and handcrafted. Here is a link! 

How insanely delish is this appetizer plate! Gosh, is it weird that tableware literally invokes serious emotion from me!? I just love this plate! Bold lettering is very trendy right now, and having this guy on any table would make a major statement. This is the Give Thanks 8″ Appetizer Plate by Cotton Colors (adorbs company name!). It is a new item at Wayfair and retails for $14.95 per plate. This standout piece is both machine washable and microwave safe. Here is a link! 

Here we have the Cotton Plant Garland by Gracie Oaks. This is on sale right now  for $75.98. This lush fall garland comes as a set of 2 and would look stunning on your fall table, mantle or cascading down your staircase! Here is a link! 

Last, but certainly not least, to tie some of those gold accents in, we have these gold embellished Acorn Salt and Pepper Shaker’s by Kate Aspen. Kate Aspen is a renowned designer in the party favors industry. These ceramic and gold dipped shakers are on sale for $35.88. Here is a link!

Oh gosh, I had so much fun creating this Gold and Purple Fall Inspiration board! I would love to have any one of these pieces on my fall table this year! If you feel the same way, definitely head over to Wayfair.com and see what they have for this seasons best fall inspired home accents!

 

Thank you so much for reading this post all about fun fall inspirations!

Till next time, be sure to witness all the abundance that surrounds you!

-Sally

 

-All prices are as of 10.4.2017 and subject to change.

-All photos are from www.wayfair.com

Spicy Miso Chicken Meal Prep

Meal prepping is one of those trendy things, ya know? It is all over Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. All of the most popular fitness gurus have their spin on how to do it. Personally, I have tried meal prepping my fair share of times and have always found that I fell off the wagon after the first week. The food got boring and honestly my taste buds were screaming out for deviation. Then on top of ultimately throwing away the food, I would beat myself up for wasting said food. It was a vicious cycle. My heart was excited about having healthy meals regularly available, but my mouth and honestly my brain were demanding that I got my hands on something quick, salty, and with considerable amounts of msg. Yep, after just a few days my brain would always convince me to hit up the old trusty drive thru.

That was until I changed the way I thought about food. Now, for the most part for the last 5 years I have been a pretty healthy eater. Mostly cooking my meals at home, and making sure to have a plethora of colors on my plate. The only problem was I would randomly sneak off to fetch some Mickie D’s or Chick-Fil-a.

It’s the fries, the fries do me in every time. I have a love affair with potatoes. Seriously, I have never met a potato I didn’t like.

You see, I realized even though I may not be overweight or hoarding boxes of Oreos under my bed I am addicted to food and the way it can make me feel. Food was the answer to a long day, a long week, or just a way to give my brain a huge rush of endorphins. It was in a sense controlling me. I would judge food on its ability to satiate me physically and emotionally.

Now, after a few months of practice, I see food differently. Food is fuel. It wasn’t until I made this switch mentally that, as a result, meal prepping has become steady in my household. The lens in which I see food has been shifted, and as a result, having healthy meals handy is a must.

The perk of meal prepping is that it saves time and money on top of giving you healthy options. For the Spicy Miso Chicken Recipe I am sharing with you I spent less than an hour on preparation and less than $7 on the ingredients. Instead of cooking for a few hours on Sunday for 8-10 meals, I now break my meals up into 3-4 day increments. This aids in giving my taste buds some excitement as well as keeping the meals fresh. I usually only have to cook for an hour or so, and then I have “ready to go” healthy options for the next few days. The other added benefit is the amount of stress that I do not have to endure. I don’t have to even think about what I will have for lunch or sometimes even dinner because it is already prepared. The argument of “what’s for dinner” is seldom if not none existent in the DellaMonica house.

 

Spicy Miso Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers and Broccoli Over Rice

 Meal Preparation

First, I get my rice cooker going with a cup of rice. Then, I preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  While the rice is cooking I chop, season and roast the veggies and chicken breast.

The peppers and broccoli get a drizzle of olive oil with some sea salt, and I coat the chicken in the spicy miso sauce. Once the veggies and chicken are prepped they go into the oven for 20 minutes. At this point I switch the oven to broil for 5 minutes to give the veggies a little more roasted flavor. Once the rice is done, I distribute everything evenly and Voilà, I have lunch for the next 4 days. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy! Speaking of lemons, I make a killer lemon pepper chicken meal prep too! Let me know in the comments if you would like to see this recipe? Maybe I will make a video!

For all my Okinawa Friends here is a picture of the spicy miso sauce I use in this recipe. I find this at Aeon Big. For everyone else, here is a similar sauce on amazon. I highly recommend trying this stuff it is so yummy!

Here is a more formal breakdown 🙂

Spicy Miso Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers and Broccoli Over Rice

1 chopped head of broccoli

2 cubed chicken breasts

2 sliced red peppers

1 cup of rice

2 cups of water

salt and pepper to taste

3 TBSP of spicy miso sauce

Preheat oven to 375. Combine rice and water in rice cooker. If you do not have a rice cooker, bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil, add 1 cup of rice cover and lower temperature to simmer for 18 minutes. Drizzle olive oil over broccoli and peppers, and soak chicken in the spicy miso sauce. Place on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes. Then change the oven to broil and cook for another 5 minutes.

Equally proportion out rice, chicken and veggies int0 3-4 PBA free food containers like these.

 

 

Thank you so much for reading this meal prep post. I sincerely love cooking and providing healthy meals for my little family, and I hope that I can inspire you to do the same!

 

Fun Fall Cocktail and Craft

While walking Miss PenPen last night I got the greatest idea for a fall cocktail. (Miss PenPen is our island rescue, I’ll share more on her someday soon!). We live in Okinawa, Japan and at the moment the temperatures still reach about 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Last night I think we broke the heat streak and our first cool autumn breeze came through. As the cool crisp breeze was flowing through Penny’s long hair and mine as well, I just kept thinking about how everyone is obsessed with pumpkin spice. I thought what about the old faithful apple?

 

So that is how the scrumptious Maple Apple & Bourbon was born! Or the MAB for short!

 

Man Oh man is this baby GOOD! The only thing missing (in my opinion) is a little heat. My husband used all of our cayenne pepper so, sweet and refreshing is how the MAB goes down!

After I concocted this little guy I decided to also tackle one of my favorite seasonal activities. That is, changing the wreath on my door. I know thrilling! But hey, in the apartment building I live in the ladies on my floor take front door decorations really seriously. In fact, the whole inspiration for my wreath came from my neighbor Candace! See Candace has young boys, a business, a husband and two adorable dogs, she must be a busy bee right!! She has one wreath that she changes almost biweekly, and they are ALL so stinking cute! What a genius idea, one wreath and you can just mix and match ornaments and faux flowers as you wish. Its like a mister potato head for your door…but its a wreath, ya get it? Crickets?

The possibilities are endless! Candace has even gone as far as putting little school busses, notebook paper and rulers on her wreath! Go Candace with the good wreaths!

Here is a peak at my new fall wreath!

It was so simply, I just took my preexisting summer wreath and added fall accents! Why have I never thought of this before? I think I got off a little easy with this one, see obviously my wreath is still a wee bit tropical, but I do live on a tropical island. Also, I have never thought about doing a craft where I wasn’t using some kind of adhesive. For this wreath addition I only used one wire twist tie and the rest is just shimmied into place! and yes that is my cocktail over in the corner, insert wink here!

I didn’t go quit as far as Candace does, but I love my new fall wreath that only took a few minutes to whip up and is absolutely gorgeous!

To see how I created the oh so delicious Maple Apple & Bourbon recipe and the DIY Fall wreath Check out my video below!

 

 

I had so much fun making that video! Let me know if you liked it and even if you didn’t! As I build my blog I would love to incorporate videos once a week so that I can really reach out to my readers. Let me know if you have any yummy recipes or fun crafts for me to try out! I love sharing, especially recipes! yum yum yum!

 

So as fall approaches Okinawa slowly but surely I now have in toe a trusty cocktail to get me through some of the lonely nights and a beautiful wreath to welcome all my guests. I also get to stay as cool as all my awesome neighbors with their gorgeous fall door decorations!

Here is the MAB or Maple Apple & Bourbon Recipe!

2 oz. Club Soda
1 oz. Natural Apple Juice
1/2 tsp of Maple Syrup
Dash of Cinnamon
Dash of Nutmeg
1 Shot of your favorite bourbon
Mix and pour over ice 🙂

Drink Responsibly! AND NEVER EVER DRINK AND DRIVE 🙂

 

Thank you so much, I sincerely hope you enjoyed every ounce of positivity and creativity I just threw at you!