Guilty Pleasures: Homemade Chocolate

Men may have their dogs, some women have their diamonds, but my best friend is chocolate. Here is a quick 5 ingredient, easy, and boyfriend-approved recipe to get your chocolate fix!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (you can also use cocoa butter, vegetable shortening, or copha)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Boil a cup of water in a saucepan and place a large bowl over top of the saucepan not allowing it to touch the water.

2. Melt the coconut oil on medium in the large bowl.

3. Add powdered sugar to melted oil.

4. Add cocoa powder to the mix.

5. Add milk powder to the mix as well.

6. Add vanilla extract and mix together.

7. Mix well until it is smooth and there are no bumps.

8. Pour the mix into molds. If you don’t have molds like I did, you can use an ice cube tray to make them into smaller pieces.

9. Tap or shake the tray gently to let the air out of the chocolates.

10. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until molds are solid.

11. Serve and enjoy!! Powdered sugar sprinkled on top is optional. Refrigerated leftovers should last up to 4 months!

Let me know what you did to your chocolates. How did you make them unique? Comment pictures below!

Recipe from: https://hebbarskitchen.com/homemade-chocolate-recipe-milk-chocolate/

From the Gym to Mother Nature

Now that spring has sprung in the Midwest, it’s time to start doing workouts outside rather than having to be cooped up in the gym. Here are some tips for working out safely as well as a couple of outdoor workout options.

Running Outdoors

When running at night make sure to wear reflective gear such as a yellow safety vest or even a blinking light. This is important so that when cars are driving past they can clearly see you. Do not wear black when running or walking at night. They make lights that can attach to your shoes, or even something like a headlight would work. They are hands-free and will help keep you safe.

Another good safety tip for running at all outdoors is to have a running buddy. This not only means you will not be alone, but you will also have someone to talk to and push you through your jog.

Hiking

Hiking can be a super fun workout activity when the weather is nice. If you decide to go on a hike make sure you are well prepared, especially for weather changes. Even if it is a nice sunny day, you never know when the weather may decide to change. Make sure to pack appropriate gear such as extra socks, warmer layers of clothes, and a plastic rain poncho that can easily be packed into any size bag.

Another important hiking tip is to bring plenty of water and food. You want to make sure you stay hydrated, as well as keeping up your energy level. Granola bars are a simple and small option to pack into your bag. If you are hiking a new trail that you are not familiar with, it is especially important to bring extra food and water in case the hike takes longer than you imagined it would. A compass, paper map, and walkie talkie are also good options, especially when you are not familiar with the trail.

Outdoor Events

Finding fun outdoor events in your area are always a good change of pace. Here in Wisconsin they have the Bubble Run, Color Run, Terrain Races, and Tough Mudder. Some of these events are nationwide, and other are local only. A quick search on Google can turn up the fun runs, walks, or other exercise related events in your area. You could try them out with your friends, family, or just by yourself. It will a good substitute for your normal everyday workout routine and a good change of pace!

Yummy for the Tummy: Sushi Style!

Yesterday, I went to a sushi bar for the first time to try actually sushi. I have been to places that sell sushi before but every time I went, I ended up getting bento boxes with at most a California roll. I decided to be adventurous and try it out with one of my friends!

My Order

I ordered a Bahamas roll which had crab and mango as well as avocado with a crunchy top. This roll is on the left side in the picture below. I also ordered a Paradise roll which had shrimp tempura, lobster salad, salmon, and avocado with special sauce on top. This roll is on the right side in the picture below.

I tried to order different types of sushi with different meats to add variety and see what I would like. The textures were different for these two with the Bahamas roll being more soft and chewy while the Paradise roll had more of a crunch to it.

Health Benefits

Sushi has many different health benefits. Here are only a few to list:

  • helps manage weight loss
  • helps prevent cancer
  • sushi is rich in omega 3 and fatty acids
  • great source for calcium to build strong bones
  • source for iron in your blood
  • helps slow down the aging process of your skin
  • as well as a great source for protein

You can read more about these benefits more in depth on the article “11 Amazing Health Benefits of Sushi” at the link below.

 

Overall, my first experience with sushi was nothing that I ever imagined it to be. It was above and beyond! Researching the benefits that it gives also makes it exciting to try sushi and hopefully try more.

What were some of your experiences with sushi? Comment below!

“11 Amazing Health Benefits of Sushi”: https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-benefits-sushi/

The ‘I Can Barely Walk the Next Day’ Workout

As a new member of a gym, I was given two opportunities to have a free session with a trainer. He asked me what I was looking for in my workouts and which types of workouts I enjoy. I responded that I was hoping to slim down and be more in shape to keep up with those kiddos at school. I love cardio but the trainer showed me a way to get my cardio without touching the treadmill or bikes.

Working out on your legs is a great way to kill two birds with one stone; working on your legs as well as getting a great cardio session in. Here are a few different exercises to try to get those toned legs and heart beating fast.

Kettlebell Lunges

Lunges are a great way to combine the cardio in a leg workout. Using a kettlebell is a great way to add weight to the workout. Of course know your limit and starting small is always a great idea.

Squats

Squats are a large part of a leg workout. I use a box step to squat and “sit”. You can squat using a high bar or with nothing at all. Here, again, they used kettlebells for these squats adding a weight and he is on a few steps to allow him to squat lower.

Above and Beyond

Creating your own workout and combinations of squats, lunges, box jumps is all up to you. Here is one guys workout to try.

Even though these gym beasts have high intensity leg workouts, there are always ways to modify them to fit where you are at fitness-wise at the moment (which I will definately be doing!). The only one that knows how fast, hard, and how much weight to use is you.

Add your leg workouts below for others to try! Have fun lovelies!

Video

Drop Those Fizzy Bombs!

Bath bombs can be fun for all ages. As much as I like going to the store and picking the perfect one, it can also be fun to make the perfect one at home! Here is a how to video so you can have a DIY spa day.

Recipe

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • Food coloring-as much as you need to get the perfect color
  • Essential oil scent of your choice
  • Spray bottle
  • Molds

Stir all of the dry ingredients together. Combine the food coloring with a little bit of water in a spray bottle and spritz it into the dry mixture. Make sure to do this gradually, because if you add to much the mixture will start to fizz resulting in the bath bomb not fizzing in the water. Next add a few drops of essential oil and mix everything together until the color is consistent throughout. Place the mixture into whatever mold you decided on and let them dry overnight.

Original Recipe from Maria’s Self Blog

Music Credit: Snow Music Studio

Video

Yummy for the Tummy: DIY Shamrock Shake

Hello my lovelies!

Today is a big day! Drum roll please…

OUR VERY FIRST VLOG POST! 😀

In spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we chose to find a recipe for Shamrock Shakes. Of course, we put the word ‘skinny’ before it in the search to make ourselves feel better while drinking these. The link for the recipes is posted below so you can also try it out.

Enjoy!

Skinny Shamrock Shake – Your Cup of Cake

Music credit @ Melody Loops

Smooth Sipping – Part 3

A weeks worth of smoothies, whoo man. Some were great, others not so much. But they did make my week a bit more exciting since I was able to say I tried something new everyday. Added bonus, my picky daughter also sampled them and now some are her new favorite snack! Wooo hooo, mom goals!

Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast

Well my initial thought upon appearance is that it looked really tasty…. and thankfully it did! 😀

I was a bit concerned with that oats being mixed in because I am not a huge fan of gritty texture like what you get in the Naked Protein Smoothies. I barely tolerate it when I go to the dentist and they use that powder stuff with the little whirring machine but in food, nuh-uh no thank you. Hard pass.

Out of 10
My score: 8
5 yr old opinion: (read with a overdramatic sassy flair) Mama, it’s soooo good. I just Love. It.

Honeydew

At first I was a bit hesitant since I have never heard of honeydew being a smoothie ingredient, also my daughter was not to thrilled at her self-proclaimed snack (upon seeing it) being thrown into the blender. However, it was quite refreshing and light. It would have been better suited for a warm to hot day instead of a windy Wisconsin winter day.

Out of 10
My score: 7
5 yr old opinion: Is it supposed to be greenish?

Kiwi Strawberry

Okay, come on. We all know that the review on this one will be awesome. Kiwi and strawberry combination is one of the go to’s just like strawberry banana. So it is very safe to say that this one trumps the Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast, which I thought would not happen… but it did!

Out of 10
My score: 10
5 yr old opinion: Does it have those yucky green fuzz fruit in it? (Yup.) Then no, I don’t want it.

Watermelon Cucumber

Not my favorite. If you love cucumber water, then you’ll have no problem with this smoothie because that was All. I. Could. Taste. I’m sure it is very refreshing and would be a great summer drink but I don’t think I’ll be making this one again.

Out of 10
My score: 4
5 yr old opinion: Can I just have the cucumbers? I don’t want them in the blender.

Peach Pie

Yum, yum, yum! The name sounds good and the smoothie is as well. When I blended everything together, the peaches were still pretty frozen so there were a few peach chunks here and there but it really didn’t bother me. It made me wish I had some ice cream with me. Glad I choose this one for Friday! Ended the week on a good note.

Out of 10
My score: 10
5 yr old opinion: (didn’t try any since she was sick)

ANNOUNCEMENT

This Monday will be our first ever Wisco Girl Curves vlog post! Be sure to come back and check it out 😀 Until then my lovelies!

Smooth Sipping – Part 2

Good Morning! Today is the day. Smoothie prep!

Thank you for your input or votes that popped up in the comments. I also recieved help on choosing and narrowing down the options from my fellow Wisco Girl team members. Below is the smoothie schedule. Feel free to try them out with me. A review blog will be posted on Saturday. Until then my lovelies! 😀

Smoothie Agenda

Monday  Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast

Tuesday  Honeydew

Wednesday  Kiwi Strawberry

Thursday  Watermelon Cucumber

Friday  Peach Pie

 

Facial Fun

Face Masks are a great way to de-stress and relax. You can put one on right before bed or before you take a bubble bath. There are so many different face masks on the market from sheet masks to clay masks, and now they even have roll-on face masks. There are also many different scents and formulas that each have their own benefits.

Lavender

Lavender is known to be relaxing. I will typically use lavender scented face masks before bed, as it will help me relax and allow me to fall asleep faster. These are also a great option for when you are feeling stressed throughout the day, I tend to do a lot of these during finals week.

Oatmeal Based

Oatmeal based facemasks moisturize your skin. It is said that the oatmeal hydrates your skin and gives you a natural looking glow. It also helps to get the dirt out of your pores, making it a good option for you if you have acne.

Charcoal

Charcoal face masks have become more popular in recent years. Like the oatmeal based masks, they clean out your pores and help to treat blackheads and acne.

Sheet Mask vs. Clay Mask

Sheet masks are a really easy, convenient way to do a face mask. You simply take it out of the package, put it on your face for 10 minutes, and remove. With these, you do not have to get your hands dirty rubbing the clay ones over your face.

I personally prefer clay masks. I feel like compared to the sheet masks, they make my skin softer and it feels more “natural”. They are more inconvenient in that you have to get your hands dirty to put it on, and then go and rinse it off your face when you are done. There are benefits and cons to both, so choose whichever works for you or switch back and forth between them.

Personal Favorite

I just recently discovered my new favorite face mask of all time and it is the Olay Mask Clay Sticks. These take easy face masks to the next level by letting you roll it on while getting the effect of a regular clay mask without the messy part. They have a few different options depending on what you are using the mask for. I have tried the Glow Boost one so far and it gives my skin a natural glow while making it feel extra soft as well.