Chocolate Almond Post Workout Smoothie

Hey, friends! Any of my teacher friends heading back to school today?! I started back last Friday, but my kiddos come back today. So on this first day back to school, here’s a post workout smoothie recipe you can make as you’re running out the door. This post workout smoothie is easy, fast, and tastes great!

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post workout smoothie

For most of us, mornings are crazy busy. When I’m trying to head out the door and get to school, a smoothie is sometimes the easiest thing to grab. Over Christmas break, I threw this together quickly after a workout and I know I’ll be going back to it again and again. Post workout or snack time smoothies are a great way to get in your macronutrients with some micronutrients thrown in too. 🙂

8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1 tbsp. almond butter
Small handful of sliced almonds
~1/2 c. spinach
1/2 c. ice

Simply blend ingredients together until smooth and you’re ready to go!

For this PWO smoothie, I used our Nutri Ninja Auto-IQ. We received it as a wedding gift and I love it! It’s been one of our most used items.

Do you have some favorite go-to recipes after a workout?

Bi-Weekly Briefing

This blog has been running for… about two weeks now. I know we all lead ridiculously busy lives and don’t always have time to sit at the computer for hours and peruse our favorite blogs. A lot of teachers like to do an activity called “Ketchup & Pickles” when things get particularly busy. This allows students who are behind on work to catch up (get it?!) on anything they’ve missed, and students who are all caught up to pick(le) another activity they want to work on.

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So, if you’re new around here (which, you are, because I JUST started blogging again), or if you’ve missed any posts in the last couple of weeks, you can ketchup below. I’ll also include some of my favorite posts from other bloggers over the last few days, so you can pick(le) to read one of those if you’d like. 😉


You can also catch up with me in any of the following locations: Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin


Two weeks ago, I screamed “Helloooo” down an echoing canyon and introduced this blog to the world.

A few days after Christmas, I shared some tips for getting back into the swing of your fitness routine after the holidays.

five ways to bounce back after the holidays

I wrapped up my first week back to blogging by discussing my 2017 word of the year.


This week I talked about my big, lofty goals for the year 2017.

Goals for 2017

I also took a few minutes to link-up with Helene in Between to review the year 2016. You know, it gets a bad rap, but 2016 was pretty great for me.

I told you all a little more about me and introduced you to my sweet dog, Pippa. 🙂

Yesterday, I shared 5 Advantages of Morning Workouts for all you who may be struggling with that New Year’s Resolution to get your sweat in before the sun comes up. 😉

advantages of morning workouts


Also going on in blogland lately…

Danielle shared her go-to treadmill workout.

Stephanie shared some of the best ways she’s simplified her life.

Crystal share some of her family’s Elf on the Shelf Shenanigans and included a wonderful story about the Innkeeper’s Key. It’s such a great idea for those of you with kiddos!

And Helene, of course, shared her own 2016 in review. What a fantastic year she had!

5 Advantages of Morning Workouts

I am a total believer in early morning workouts. There’s something so calming to me about being able to have my workout completed before I start my day. My #TIUgirls refer to it as the #TIUBootycall. 😉 Here are some advantages I’ve found to working out before the world wakes up.

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ONE // I sleep better
I’m a very light sleeper and I’m prone to waking up a lot. Getting up earlier helps me fall asleep faster and deeper. It’s actually easier for me to get up at 4:30 and jump into the day feet first, than wait until 5:15 when my husband gets up and get a slow start. Those 45 minutes actually make a HUGE difference.


TWO // It sets my metabolism on fire
Think about it — the sooner you wake up, the sooner your body starts working. My metabolism is already working that early just because I’m awake, but I’m also working hard to burn calories which kicks it into overdrive. That keeps my metabolism working all day long in a way that it would not be if I was waiting until the evenings to do my workout.


THREE // It’s my ME time
Over the years, I’ve become very good at scheduling workouts for myself and sticking to them, but sometimes things come up. When I schedule time for myself first thing in the morning, nothing is able to get in the way later and that time to myself is invaluable. As a teacher, I have 60 kiddos coming at me all day long and it’s never quiet! I believe that I’m a much better teacher when I’ve been able to put in the time to better myself before seeing my students each day.


This is probably the biggest advantage for me and plays a part in every other advantage of morning workouts. As I mentioned above, sometimes things come up. Since we moved to a bigger town, we feel like we have less time than we did before. I can run to Target at 4:15 and suddenly I’m not home until 5:30…and Target is across the street from our house! Getting my workouts in early makes it OK for me to run errands in the evening and still have dinner ready by the time my husband comes home.


FIVE // I can go home and immediately put on sweatpants (and I frequently do)
I am a firm believer that exercise is the greatest form of stress relief, but sometimes so is going home and laying on the couch. There are so many days when I just want to go home after work and do nothing. If making a date with my couch and Vanderpump Rules is wrong, I don’t want to be right!


If you’re having trouble getting motivated for the new year, I challenge you to try morning workouts for one week. Once you start, you’ll never want to stop! If you enjoyed this post, check out Five Ways to Bounce Back After the Holidays.
I’m linking up this post for 5 on Friday with Smidge of This. I looooved link-ups when I blogged in the past. Such a fun way to meet other bloggers and share your message in the process!

Who is Jessica?

Since this space is still very new, I thought it would be nice to include a “get to know me” kind of post. I always love learning more about the people behind blogs I read, so I thought you might as well.

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I am an elementary school teacher. I got certified alternatively a few years after college. I went to school to be a journalist, but my first job out of college was as a technical writer. It’s taken me a while to find my career groove, and if I’m being honest, I still am.

My husband and I started dating my senior year of high school. He was a junior. Almost ten years later we got married. We didn’t date the WHOLE ten years, but we were always in each other’s lives. We will be celebrating one year of wedded bliss this April.

We have no kiddos (yet!), but we do have one dog. She is our sweet baby — at least she is mine. 🙂 Pippa recently celebrated her sixth birthday and is coming up on six years of being with me. She was a stray that someone found and I took in. She was about six months old at the time.

I am a chocolate fiend. Dark chocolate and Reese’s are my absolute favorite. I have a bag of dark chocolate kisses in my freezer right now — you know, for emergencies. 😉

My favorite wine is Sister Creek Vineyards Muscat Canelli. We have found it at exactly ONE store in our area, so I always buy two bottles.

As much as I enjoy wine, I LOVE coffee! I’m drinking coffee as I type this. I could drink it all day, but if I did, I’d never meet my water goal. My husband thinks I’m a weirdo because I drink it black.

I love reading and learning about health and fitness. About five years ago, I overhauled my life and lost 20 pounds. I’m proud to say that after all these years, I still love working out and I’ve been able to stay at a healthy (for me) weight.

I recently bought a new car! I traded in the first car I ever bought myself for a new Lincoln MKX. I LOVE it, but I definitely had an emotional attachment to my old car.

I love trashy reality tv! My husband haaaates it, so when he’s not home I get caught up on Ladies of London, Vanderpump Rules, and all the Real Housewives drama!

I did not read the Harry Potter series until last year. When the books first came out I was in my “I’m too cool to read,” stage and then I wanted to read all the books before watching any of the movies. It took me until I was 27 to get around to it and I’m so sad I wasted all those years! Team Gryffindor.

Ok, that’s enough for today. 🙂 Now, tell me more about you!

2016 In Review

Today, I’m linking up with one of my favorite blogs, Helene in Between, to recap the year 2016. I loved her link-up, Tell Me About It Tuesday, way back in the day when I blogged before!

I am kicking myself that I took such a long break from blogging because 2016 was a great/eventful year for us. I wish I had taken the time to sit down and write about each fantastic event. But alas, this condensed version will have to do. 🙂

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Probably the most exciting thing that happened in 2016 was that we got married! Our April wedding was very small and private. It was perfect and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Right before the wedding, my awesome teammates at my school threw me the most perfect wedding shower (we had one for family and friends a few weeks after the wedding). I was so grateful for the support of my fellow teachers last spring and I miss them all so much.
Shortly before the end of the school year, we found out my husband was being transferred within his company to a different city. In August of 2014, I moved home to start my teaching career and shortly after, moved in with my now husband. We had every intention of making our life in that house, but sometimes God has other plans. We put our house on the market and moved in July.

I cried the day we cleaned our house and left.

Before moving, we spent many hours looking for a new house and I spent a lot of time driving back and forth between home and soon-to-be-home. My husband was commuting already, so we did what we could on his extended lunch breaks. We couldn’t find the right fit before it was time to move, so we ended up in a less than desirable apartment for the short term.

All that driving wasn’t good for my butt.

In August, I started teaching a new grade in a new school in a new district — and I took on a second subject! It’s been a learning process every day, but I love my kiddos and seeing their smiling faces each day.
Near the end of September, an amazing house came on the market that was perfect for us. We put an offer in just a few hours after viewing it and it was accepted almost immediately. We closed at the end of October and I have loved getting to decorate it and put it all together.

I love the little wine/cookbook nook I created!

We ended the year (literally) with a little gift and a celebration. My birthday was December 31, and we took a short drive to trade in my 2012 Ford Escape for a new 2016 Lincoln MKX. My husband also scored a great deal on a 2009 Corvette! He’s been yearning for a sports car to play with for a while now. We decided now is the time since we don’t have kiddos of our own. 🙂

*all the heart eyes*

Helene in Between