Vermont, Dairy, Cows, Franklin Country

Vermont Favorites!

This week, we are headed to Vermont! I’m so excited to be going home and introducing Spencer to the Green Mountain State! I may be bias but its my favorite! Fresh air, food fresh out of the garden, dirt roads, a sky full of stars, those Green Mountains, the best craft beer in the world, family, life-long friends, two little nieces – it doesn’t get much better!

Living away from home, there’s certain things that I really look forward to when visiting. Obviously, first and foremost is family and friends. Then there’s certain things that I crave when away or sights that you just miss seeing.

A creemee.
This soft serve ice cream is THE BEST and my favorite. I’m not kidding, I could eat one everyday. A variety of flavors, maple, black raspberry, and orange are a few favorites. Add on rainbow sprinkles and its the best dessert in the world. Yum!

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Being in the country!
Fresh air, few people, a night sky full of stars. Country loving.

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Standing on top of a mountain.
It’s some kind of a feeling standing on top of a tall mountain with the world below.
[Below: Mt. Mansfield hike with Green Mountain Man]

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Covered bridges.
Oh Vermont, so scenic in every way. These definitely are not found everywhere!
[Learn more on the post on The Covered Bridges in Montgomery, VT]

This is not how it looks in May - don't be fooled!

This is not how it looks in May – don’t be fooled!

Cows and Subaru’s.
I’m fairly certain there’s an equal number of each in Vermont. I love them both equally!

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What are some of the images that first come to mind when you think of home?

 

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Hummus Made Easy – Quick, Fit Meals

The following post is sponsored by The Women Bloggers, LLC and the Kendal King Group. All options are my own. #ad #HummusMadeEasy @KendalKingGroup @TheWomenBloggers #SoapBoxInfluence

Over the last month, I’ve proposed an extra dedication to exercising more and eating healthier. With summer practically here, it’s now or never! It’s super hard-working a desk job, maintaining a blog as well as all of the other life and day-to-day activities that come up. To say the least, time is scarce which makes it a little more difficult to keep on top of this goal. I want to share a few tips that help keep me on track and I would love to hear some of your tips as well!

My goal is called “Project Carrie Underwood”. Do I want to look exactly like Carrie Underwood? Of course not. Do I wish I had her legs? Sure do! Am I going to get there tomorrow? Definitely not. What I can do is give myself small goals to help me get in shape, feel better about myself and keep me motivated day to day.

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Eating habits This may be the most difficult part of all of this. What’s even tougher is having a huge love for carbs and sweets. It doesn’t really go with the whole “weight loss” project does it?! SO I’ve been trying pretty hard and have come up with a few tips that help keep me on my journey.

  1. Portion control. It’s pretty amazing what looking at labels for portions and dietary concerns can do to a mindset. For instance, something that may look like one serving may actually be two (or three – gasp!). Paying attention to nutritional labels may save us that extra sweat in the gym!
  2. Meal Plan – Plan ahead and never go to the grocery store hungry. This will help you keep on track of your healthy meals (and avoid temptation).
  3. Work off the good foods you LOVE! My favorite. There’s certain foods that I LOVE that are good for me. For instance, I LOVE hummus. It’s great to include as a snack or in a meal. It’s also SUPER easy to make at home.

Bush’s (the same family that makes the beans we all love) has come out with Bush’s Hummus Made Easy which may be the easiest and most delicious appetizer I have ever made. For less than what you can buy pre-made hummus in the grocery store, we can all make hummus at home, just how we like it. What I loved even more – I knew what every ingredient was that was going into the hummus! No preservatives or ingredients that I didn’t know how to pronounce! Yes please! How many products can we say the same about?

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Current flavorsClassic, Roasted Red Pepper and Southwest Black Bean (found at Walmart next to the beans).  YUM!

As little as two ingredients: the pouch flavor of your choice, one can of beans (as suggested on the pouch).

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One step: Mix the pouch flavor and can of beans (drained and rinsed) in a food processor until the consistency desired.

At the first attempt, I was pretty excited and nervous. Honestly, now I’m hooked and will be making my own hummus from here on out. One, it’s cheaper and it makes more than the small pre-made packages in the store. It’s DELICIOUS! It’s pretty good freshly made but let it cool in the fridge for a few minutes and the flavors really blend together! Finally, I can get creative! Add extra ingredients to really kick it up a notch! Trust me, you’ll be hooked!

Eat as an Appetizer!
Use as a snack paired with your favorite veggies, crackers or chip pretzels.

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Incorporate into a Meal! 
As soon as I tasted the Southwest Black Bean Hummus, I knew I wanted to incorporate it into a burrito. Midweek, it was pretty tough for me to go to the grocery store so I made due with what I had available and voila, a healthy single-girl burrito!

 

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Ingredients:
Bush’s Southwest Black Bean Hummus
Flour Tortillas
Grilled Chicken
Optional: Any fillings of choice: veggies, cheese, guacamole, salsa, etc.

  1. Warm up a flour tortilla and spread Bush’s Southwest Black Bean Hummus.
  2. Add a layer of guacamole and salsa (and any other ingredients at hand).
  3. Add grilled chicken.
  4. Top with a little bit of cheese.
  5. Roll into a burrito or eat as a taco.

This is a super easy meal which can easily be portioned controlled. Filled with protein and whatever ingredients are easily available in the kitchen, this meal has turned into my go-to midweek dinner!

What’s your favorite way to eat hummus? What flavor do you want to try first? 

Search #HummusMadeEasy for more amazing recipes!

For more amazing product and recipes ideas: Bush’s Hummus Made Easy |Pinterest Hummus Made Easy Board

Becker Vineyards, Fredericksburg, Texas, Stonewall, Wine, Texas Hill Country, Wine Trail

Becker Vineyards

When Spencer and I first met, we had a little debate on the best wine in Texas. I was on a white wine kick and he swore up and down that it was Becker Vineyard’s Malbec. Between you and me, he may have been right as it’s been one of my favorites ever since. It was only appropriate that when we took our trip to Fredericksburg, Texas, Becker Vineyards was a must on our list.

Fredericksburg has many options for wine tastings, either at a property outside of town or in town on the Urban Wine Walk. For us, we traversed a little of both worlds but started out the day visiting a couple vineyards outside of town. About a 15 minute drive outside of town, we arrived on a rainy, rainy mid-week morning. Luckily of us – we were the first customers of the day and had the entire place to ourselves for a little bit. (Tip: To avoid the majority of tourists, visit Fredericksburg mid-week.) Although, we didn’t get to explore the grounds nearly as much as we wished due to the rain, we savored and tasted the wines like the King and Queen of Texas!

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For $15, we sampled six different wines and received a crystal wine glass as a souvenir. With over 15 different wines to choose from, picking was not the easiest thing to do. We made it a point to try as many new wines as possible. I ended up walking away with a 2014 Reserve Roussanne. Now we’re saving it for a special occasion.

Fredericksburg, Texas, VisitFredTX, Wine Trail, Hill Country, Fredericksburg To Do, Becker Vineyards, Wine Trail

It’s a completely different experience to go to a tasting when you’re the only ones there. It’s really special. You have a chance to speak with the staff and get personal and learn a little more about them and the area. The locals give the best travel advice. One thing that I consistently ran into on this trip and meeting new people was that they’re now doing what they love. For instance, the gentleman that helped us, use to be an engineer. He moved back home to Fredericksburg, now lives on the family ranch. In the morning he tends to his cattle and property and then comes in and pours (and gets to meet incredible people passing through). More so – you could tell that he really enjoyed what he did! That, to me, is hitting the sweet spot in life. On a more “visitor level”, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the vineyard itself. We learned a little more about Dr. and Mrs. Becker, the start of the vineyard and the meaning behind some of the art on the labels. To learn more about the mission of a business is fascinating and a look into the heart of the company.

Becker has everything a wine lover on the wine trail could love. Driving up, we were greeted by rows and rows of grapevines.

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Upon arrival, we noticed the elegant property.

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Walking in, we were first welcomed by a small shop filled with wine items and lavender. Come to know, lavender can be made into any kind of product and Becker Vineyards has it.

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The tasting room is grand. Obviously, there’s a magnitude of wine available and information on their wine club as well as wine accessories. There’s a small deli area where anyone can purchase meats and cheese to accompany their tasting. There’s also mementos from prestigious events where Becker Vineyards has been served. See for yourself…
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Before we left, we went and ventured outside a little. A cabin so cute and quaint immediately grabs the attention. If it wasn’t raining, we definitely would’ve stayed longer.

Becker-Vineyards_0268 Becker-Vineyards_0262 Wine tasting at the actual property is a completely different experience and unique. It provides a chance for the vineyard to show a little more of their personality and vibrancy. It’s an experience that you share with others and an opportunity to meet other people in an environment that you both enjoy.

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For us, Becker Vineyards played a part in how we met and got to know each other (and still joke about it today). It’s also one of absolute favorites which we will now add to our memory collection and cannot wait to visit again.

What is your favorite type of wine? Have you ever visited Becker Vineyards?

For more options on how to best spend your time in Fredericksburg, see
48 Hours in Fredericksburg, Texas!
Fredericksburg, Texas, VisitFredTX, Wine Trail, Hill Country, Fredericksburg To Do, Becker Vineyards