Posted by: Lauren | March 18, 2010

spring green

Last week I was outside in the yard, snapping some pictures of the flowers coming through (remember when I planted those bulbs in the fall?) All of this green, warmth, sunshine, and LIFE is so encouraging!



I was pruning some of the bushes and plants and such, and I started thinking about God and how he works on us just like that. He cuts back all the dead stuff in our lives, so that all the good can grow and blossom. I know usually I don’t like it, it can hurt, but it is always done because my Father loves me, wants me to be more like Christ, and to have abundant life.

Here are the hyacinths and tulips about one week later:


IMG_1464  I’m sorry if you could care less about these flowers, but they make me so happy! I’m also glad that I didn’t mess them up-it was my first time planting bulbs (thanks Mom for helping me!). I’ll be putting more pics up when they are blooming!

Anyways, about the pruning, just some food for thought.

Now, some actual food.


My friend, Christie (Hi Christie!), told me this awesome idea for mint chocolate chip smoothies. I’ve been sick (again) and since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, I knew a refreshing, green, minty smoothie would be perfect. Similar to the peanut butter banana shake, you need chunks of frozen banana (about one medium banana) and some milk. You also need a TINY drop of mint extract, and since I wanted to make it green: spinach!

Blend milk and spinach first, then add frozen bananas and mint extract. Then I topped it with mini chocolate chips.

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (or Shake)

IMG_1460 Remember guys, pure peppermint extract goes a long way, so try to use the smallest drop possible. I tried to do a really small amount, but had to add more banana and milk because it was so strong! Also, next time I might do more banana and just a small amount of milk to make it more like soft serve instead of a smoothie. Yum! This was so refreshing and really good. It would probably even work better to make multiple servings and that way a tiny drop of extract won’t be as strong.

My mom and I were also talking about how the magic bullet makes the p.b banana smoothies better than traditional blenders. I totally agree! Big blenders make it really liquidy, but the magic bullet makes it so thick!

Oh and my mom brought a McDonald’s Shamrock shake over since Joe wanted one, and I tried a few sips and was really grossed out! Weird! I used to love those things! It tasted waaaay too sweet and artificial. I asked Joe if he thought maybe it wasn’t a good one, and he said it tasted normal. Maybe my taste buds were just comparing it to the amazing mint chocolate chip smoothie I had a few hours earlier?

So one more semi-green recipe. Joe and I love taco salads and eat them quite a bit (I think I’ve had them on the blog A LOT).

Here’s one:


Or this one:IMG_1414

Sometimes tortilla chips are added, sometimes plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, sometimes sour cream, sometimes meat, sometimes not. In the above photo I do have some ground turkey that I made in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Mexican Ground Turkey

  • 1.25 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregeno
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup water

Add all the ingredients to a crock pot and cook on low maybe 6-7 hours?! Shoot, didn’t write it down and totally can’t remember. Sorry…I do remember taking off some of the fat-fyi.

Ok, one more of my favorites. No green at all. But it is kind of springy with the berries! One of the main reasons I love blogs are all the good ideas-before I started reading them I never would have guessed how amazing a bowl of oatmeal could be, especially not sweetened with sugar.

One of my favorite breakfasts: Stovetop Oatmeal


  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup 1% milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • chia seeds (maybe half a tsp)

Cook in a saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Then stir in:

  • Generous shakes of cinnamon
  • Drops of pure vanilla extract
  • Top with sliced banana (I usually use half)
  • This time I added strawberries too-yum!
  • Nut butter (I love peanut butter through and through, but this time I went with almond butter)


Ok so it looks pretty gross in the middle there, but it is so good, especially as it melts all over the oats. Mmmm….

Joe and I just got back from walking to the grocery store we never go to. Kind of a shame, but it’s just overpriced on a lot of the stuff I like to buy. But they did have buy one get two free Edy’s ice cream! Dangerous. He just made some of the best scrambled eggs and now we are going to watch Amelia. Anyone seen it? It looks good! And I just love the name. (Hi Meals!) Window is open, birds chirping, I’m reminded how much God loves me even though I’ve got some stuff that needs pruning…this is medicine for my body and my soul.

Jesus said, “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” John 15:1-2





  1. Oh my! You know I love seeing the bulbs! Sometimes I think I like them best before they even bloom, it’s all about the excitement for me 🙂
    Amazing bowl of oats!!! Even the bowl looks soo cool! I am with you on loving taco night, in fact we just had tacos last night. I hope you are feeling better. That yummy soup and chili may have done the trick, we also made chili Wed. night. We must be thinking a like… Cornbread, I need no excuse to make it.
    Have a wonderful day, Loved catching up on your posts.

    • I remember seeing your bulbs like MONTHS ago!!! Crazy lucky. Thanks for such a sweet comment, Paula!

  2. Your references to and scripture re: pruning were so meaningful to me. Man, I need some pruning, fo-sho and I’m working on it one day at a time.

    Mmmm…that mint smoothie looks fantastic. I wonder if you could do a variation of it with that cocoa power/protein mix, so it would have chocolate throughout.

    I’m glad you are feeling better and your bulbs look amazing!! It’s a picture perfect day here in NC…..72, sunny, light breeze, blue sky. Ri-Ri and I just went to an appt, then Starbuck’s and then for a looooong walk in the park. We went for sushi after that! He is working 3-11 p.m. today, so we enjoyed our morning time togethe for a change. Wish you could have gone walking with us! Love you!

    • Aunt Sharon, we all do…I’m grateful for God’s patience with me fo real. Great idea about the cocoa in the smoothie-yum! The original recipe had the chocolate chips blended throughout-so that would be good too! It sounds like you guys had an amazing day! I wish I was there too! I can’t imagine working from 3-11, would feel kind of strange, but I think those could be like my peak hours…don’t like those early mornings! 🙂 Love you guys! It’s snowing here on the first day of spring! wha?!

  3. Ahhh it’s so great seeing what you’ve planted grow!! I used to plant beans in a watery paper towel and watch them sprout. They actually grew to be quite tall plants! Ohhh life!

    About the Mickey D’s shake–isn’t it funny how we remember things to taste SO good but they really don’t!? Especially after our tastes change as we age and grow wiser or healthier.

    I love putting salsa and greek yogurt on salads…adds so much flavor and nutrition too.

    I hope you feel better soon, Lauren!

    • Allie, that’s so cool! I’ve never even heard of doing that with beans! It’s hilarious how much my tastes have changed. Thanks girl!

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