Lately + Power Kale Bowl

Hello! I KNOW I’ve been away for awhile, and I am so sorry for my absence.  Life got a little crazy over the past month or two, and I decided to take a break from this space so I could focus on other (mostly awesome) things that were happening in my life.  Now that the dust has settled a bit and I can finally breathe,  I am so happy to dive back into ‘have heart’ with a renewed sense of energy.  Which brings me to a few announcements that I am SO HAPPY to share with you!

First up…I am OFFICIALLY a licensed teacher and survivor of graduate school.  I have to say, it feels damn good to see my teaching license number pop up on my education profile page, and I cannot wait to frame my diploma!

Secondly, I’ll be putting said license and diploma to good use in my very own classroom! I am so so relieved and excited to announce that I will be teaching 5th grade English Language Arts this fall.  I admit, I’m feeling a little nervous about this next step in my career, but I am already in love with my new school and cannot wait to meet all of my new students. Wish me luck!

And lastly…you might recall from this post that T and I are moving.  Well, long story short, that post was written a bit prematurely, and we ended up losing that particular apartment to another applicant (Boston real estate is a cut throat monster basically).  As disappointed as we were initially, our loss turned into luck, and we were able to find a gorgeous little condo that we absolutely fell in love with.  We’ve crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s, and this time our move is offish.  The twist?  Our new place is in Nashua, NH (read: NOT Boston).  While a part of me is a wee bit heart broken about leaving the city, I’m feeling overall really really good about the move, and I’m looking forward to exploring and settling into a new place with T. Oh, and we’re allowed to have dogs there, so stay tuned for my adoption of 1,000 puppies.

That pretty much sums up all of the big news around here.  It feels so good to be back, and I’m looking forward to getting back into my flow here at ‘have heart’ and reconnect with the blogging world.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get to the good stuff…lunch.  When summer arrives and the days grow hot, I tend to stick to cold salads for lunch.  They’re just so easy, and can be pretty refreshing on humid days.  However, they can also get a little boring, which never makes for a satisfying meal.  In the spirit of spicing up my favorite summer lunch meal, I fooled around in the kitchen a bit to come up with this little number: The Kale Power Bowl.  It does require a bit more prep work to make, so I suggest planning ahead the night before if you want to pack this bad boy for lunch.

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Power Kale Bowl

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil, 1/2- 1 TBSP
  • Yellow onion, 1/2 c. diced
  • Mushrooms, 3-4 diced
  • Broccoli, roughly 7 spears
  • Lentils, 1/2 c. dry
  • Firm tofu, 1/5 block
  • Roma tomato, diced
  • Kale, 5 leaves roughly chopped
  • Parsley, 1 small handful chopped
  • Avocado, 1/4 diced
  • Balsamic vinegar, roughly 1 TBSP
  • Olive oil, roughly 1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder

Method:

1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions. Set aside.

2. While the lentils are cooking,  warm the coconut oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add the diced onion, mushrooms, and broccoli, along with salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

3. In the meantime, dice your chunk of tofu on a cutting board.  Then, with a fork, mash the cubes of tofu flat in order to “scramble” it.  Add the scrambled tofu to the pan, and add a dash more salt, pepper, as well as garlic powder.  Sauté on medium heat until tofu is warmed through and has started to brown.

4. While your lentils and scramble are cooking, prepare the salad bed.  In a large bowl, toss the kale and parsley until mixed.  Add the diced avocado, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to the greens.  Gently massage the “dressing” into the leaves, until the avocado has mashed and the vinegar and oil are spread evenly.

5. Top your salad bed with the scramble, lentils, and raw diced veggies of your choosing.  I opted for tomatoes and marinated olives, but the beauty of this dish is that you can get playful with your veggies!

This recipe is very relaxed.  When I was assembling this salad, I didn’t really measure anything, and sort of tossed ingredients together in the hope that they tasted good.  I can personally attest that this particular combination was filling and delicious, but I encourage you to experiment with your own combinations!  And, please do share them if you try this dish out 🙂

Until next time!

Hello, May (and Way of Gray)

I might be a day late, but I still cannot believe that May is already here! I’m still waiting for Mother Nature to bestow sunny days and May flowers on Boston, but the promise of summer creeping ever closer is pulling me through!

Before I introduce my new goal for this month, I need to come clean about my April goal.  To be brief, I flopped.  I’m not entirely sure why, but I had a really hard time remembering to drink water regularly throughout the day, and I found myself often realizing around dinnertime that I’d barely drunk any all day.  Needless to say, I’m a little bummed with myself for being so flaky with my goal; however, this month did help me realize that gallon or not, I do not drink nearly enough water.  Moving forward, I aim to be better about this habit in general, and will reach for it more often then I have.

That being said, I am so excited and READY for my May goal: to work up a sweat a minimum of five days a week.  I’ve been making it a point recently to wake up early a few mornings a week to get a workout in, but this month I want to focus on upping the ante when it comes to physical fitness.  Since my current schedule leaves precious little time for me to get to the gym, I decided to find an alternative workout program that I could do at home with nothing else but myself and a yoga mat.

My mind immediately jumped to Sophie Gray, a personal trainer and nutritionist.  I currently own two of her HIIT programs (which are crazy hard and sadly no longer available on her site), but I decided to check out her page to see if she had any new offerings.  After perusing her site, I decided to purchase her new  Love Yourself* program, which is available via eBook complete with video links to each workout.  The program has a convenient schedule of 4 workouts/wk, which stretch across the span of 3 months.  While the initial week or two look to be on the easier side, the intensity of the sessions increases throughout the program, which I am so looking forward to.  I’ve been a huge fan of Sophie’s HIIT routines in the past, and I’m excited to dive into her new program to see what it has to offer!

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image here

In addition to my four mornings of HIIT, I want to incorporate running, yoga, and weight-lifting workouts into my 5th day each week, mostly to prevent myself from getting too bored.  By the end of this month, I hope to feel stronger, leaner, and more passionate about fitness.  And hey, it wouldn’t hurt to feel more confident in summer clothes, right?

What have you been doing to get your body moving? I’d love to hear 🙂

My Morning Routine

For reasons unknown, I have always loved waking up early in the morning.  There’s something so satisfying about greeting the day when most of the world is still asleep, and knowing that I have a good chunk of time to myself before I leave the apartment.  Over the past few months, I’ve been establishing a morning routine that pushes me to use that extra time to get myself ready to tackle the rest of my day. Full disclaimer:  I don’t have it down to an exact science, and it definitely doesn’t happen every day.  However, on the mornings that I do rise and grind, I’ve noticed that for the rest of the day I’m more productive, have more energy, and feel genuinely much happier.  What’s not to love about that?

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image credit

I’ve really been loving this routine, and I do think that the early wake-up call is 100% worth it.  And so, without further ado, here she is:

1) 4:00~4:15 AM: Wake up and drink a glass of water!  I’m always thirsty when I wake up, and I find a cold glass of water perks me right up first thing in the morning.  PS- I KNOW that this is incredibly early, but since I need to be out of the house by 6:30 AM to be at work on time, there’s no other way around this wakeup time if I want a couple hours to myself at the beginning of the day.

2) 4:15-4:20:  Water in hand, I like to head straight to my desk and jot down something that I’m grateful for or looking forward to in my gratitude journal.  This small act takes all of five minutes, and truly helps set a positive tone for the rest of my day.

3) 4:20-4:30: Write my to-do list in my Erin Condren planner.  Even though I often add more items to this list as the day goes on, I feel more prepared to tackle the day if I have a rough roadmap of what I need to accomplish beforehand.

4) 4:30~5:15ish: Sweat session.  Since most of my afternoons are jam packed with class, homework, or errands and chores, if I want to work out, it needs to happen in the morning.  I’ve recently been LOVING this HIIT (high intensity interval training) program from Way of Gray.  I will not lie…they’re hard, but I always feel amazing afterwards.

5) 5:15-6:15: Shower, get dressed, apply makeup, etc.  I try to squeeze in another glass or two of water during this “get ready” time.

6) 6:15-6:30: Make coffee, a green smoothie, pack my lunch, and GO!

What does your morning routine look like? Any tips to make waking up easier? I’d love to hear!

Happy Things

Hello! It’s been a little over a week since my last post (sorry!)  My school district had our April vacation last week, and to be honest I just needed the time to unplug.  I tackled no to-do lists, slept in, hosted a clothing swap with some girlfriends , and caught up on a few shows I’ve been neglecting (read: I feel bad making T watch them with me).  My staycation was relaxing and glorious, and left me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the end of my LAST SEMESTER OF GRADUATE SCHOOL!!!

I do have a couple of fun posts coming up later this week, but in the meantime, here are some things that have brought a smile to my face lately.

celtics
{nearly court-side at the Celtics game}
maddie
{maddie cat being snuggly}

Luckily, April vacation kicked off with a Red Sox game on Marathon Monday! It was so fun to be in the middle of all the excitement on one of the first truly beautiful spring days here in Boston.

fenway
{fenway!}
grading
{grading papers in the sun}
margz
{a marg for me, a marg for you}
cheese board
{cheeseboard: complete with options for vegans and vegetarians (and cheese-loving omnivores)}
clothes swap
{swappin}

I’m happy to say that the clothes swap was a success! I scored some really great pieces, made a ton of room in my closet, and was still able to donate some good quality items that no one wanted by the end of the night.  Win-win-win!

What have you been up to lately? I’d love to hear!

Daily Do’s

When it comes to doing my hair every morning, the word that comes to mind is…simple.  I’ve been growing my hair out for a little over a half a year now, and between its length, getting used to my bangs again,  and my lack of sophisticated hair styling skills, my go-to do’s are usually very low key.  And let’s be real, I’m around 6th graders all day, and they could care less what I look like anyhow.

That being said, I do want to look professional and stylish (read: look like I’m ‘adulting’) while I’m at work, going out with friends, or having a date night with T.  Here are my go-to styles for when I want to look put together, without investing too much time getting ready.

1) Low, messy pony:  Okay, I know I’m hardly break new ground here, but this hairstyle is one of my favorites for days when I know I’ll be running around.  I don’t like how my hair looks tied back in a ponytail if it’s in its natural state, so I usually whisk my straightener over the top layer of my hair before tying it back for a smoother effect.

front pony
{front; cheesin}

side pony

2) Sleek half-up half-down: I’m not entirely crazy with how my hair looks completely down after straightening it, so I usually tie half of it back to add a little volume.  This do takes about 10 minutes to throw together, which is ideal on mornings when I’m running a tad late!

straight hair

3) Top Knot: This is by far one of my favorite hairstyles.  I have some layers in my hair right now that make it difficult to wrestle it into a bun, so this look works best on me when I’m between shampoos and my hair has a bit of product in it.

bun front
{front}
bun side
{side}

4) Curly with pinned back pieces: This do requires more of a time investment, but it does the trick on days when I want to look a little more polished.  To style, I wrap small sections of my hair around the barrel of a 1″ curling iron in alternating directions around my whole head.  Then, I grab two same-ish sized pieces from the front of my hair, loosely twist them once, and pin them to the side of my head.  The curls make this look feel a little more elevated, while pinning back the front pieces keeps my hair out of my face while I’m running around my classroom all day.

curly pinned

5) Curly: This look is my overall favorite, but as its the most time consuming, I usually reserve it for date nights or dressier occasions.

curly down

What are your favorite hairstyles? I’d love to hear!

Think of Brighter Days: Girls Weekend in NoHo!!!

We all know how much I love a good girls’ weekend, and this past one was no exception!  A few months ago Barefoot Truth, a band my girlfriends and I have loved since college, announced that they were playing a one-night-only reunion show in Northampton.  Naturally, we took advantage of the show and planned a reminiscent weekend getaway in our old stomping grounds so that we could attend the concert, catch up with each other’s lives, and eat embarrassing amounts of food.  Win, win, win.

We stayed in the best air bnb, went for a morning hike, grubbed out on some tapas, and jammed out to Barefoot Truth’s show (which was incredible per usual, despite a fire alarm delay!)  I was terrible at taking pictures throughout the weekend, and some of these are stolen from my girlfriends, but they’ll just have to do!

trail
trail blazin
silly
gotta have a silly one
nice
selfie stick city
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a tamer trail
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view from the top of mt. sugarloaf
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proud hikers
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jammin

What did you do this weekend? I’d love to hear!

Feeling Myself: National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon

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Hello! If you love fighting the good fight for women’s rights, specifically for their right to make their own decisions about what to do with their bodies, then read on! If not, read on anyway, and please do so with a kind heart and an open mind.

While this blog has never been an outlet to voice my political and personal opinions about serious matters such as abortion access, I feel compelled to do so now (more on that later). As a feminist and a woman, I firmly fall on the pro-choice side of this debate.  I believe that all women should have the respect and trust of society to make decisions that are the best for themselves and their loved ones, including the legal right to safely and legally terminate an unwanted pregnancy.  Abortion access is a medical necessity, and legally restricting this procedure takes control of a woman’s body away from her, and places it into the hands of the lawmakers (read: politicians who, for the most part, are older white men).  In short, it is nothing short of critical for us as a generation to ensure that our women have access to abortion if they so choose, for no one should be able to decide what happens to a woman’s body except for HER.

Why am I ranting about a women’s health/feminist issue? Well…

A single click on Facebook recently got me back in touch with Tiffany T, a bad ass career woman and activist whom I met wayyyyy back in freshman year of college (go Butterfield dorm!).  Tiffany works at the National Network of Abortion Funds, and is currently involved with their annual Bowl-a-Thon for abortion access.  Here’s what she has to say about her work and this important fund raiser:

Hi! I’m the Member Support Coordinator, so I provide support to our members (abortion funds!) to have strong, sustainable, and effective organizations. I’ve participated in the Bowl-a-Thon every year since 2013, and I’ve already beat my personal best this year! There are over 2000 people raising money for the fund; some are raising money for our national work, like I am, but most people are raising money for their local abortion funds. We’re trying to raise $800,000 in total, and the average donation is under $40. So it really shows how powerful we can be when we get every day people aware of an issue.

 When I ‘liked’ a link she’d posted about the event, she sent me a personal message thanking me for the love and giving me more information about how to donate to the cause.  Needless to say, this is an issue I care deeply about, and I happily donated my own hard-earned money.  For anyone interested in learning more about the Bowl-a-Thon, or for anyone who would like to make a donation, visit Tiffany’s page here.

Again, I know this is a “hot button” topic, and I am fully aware that not everyone out there will have the same opinions as I do.  That being said, I am open to any discussion at all on this topic, as long as it’s respectful, kind, open-minded, and positive (myself included).