My day starts off by waking up at 5:30am. I used to dread the early mornings but these days I find myself rather enjoying peeling the covers off, sleepily grinding coffee beans and making a pot, feeding the cat and heading out the door for my workout.

The schedule keeps me motivated and encourages me to go to bed at a decent hour (most of the time anyway). I’ve also found that I enjoy having the rest of my day free to work without the anticipation of exercising later. Occasionally I do sleep in until around 7am, but it’s becoming more rare.

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How’s your fridge looking these days? Overflowing with bright berries & fresh seasonal produce? Mine is packed to the brim.I mean seriously guys, when you have an obsession with buying all the fruit on sale from Peapod, finding room in the fridge becomes a real problem. Flavors just seem to dance around in my head all day and the next thing I know, I’ve got more than just a few grocery bags to unload.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, sometimes it’s just necessary to throw everything in a blender and enjoy a refreshing smoothie. Often, the random ingredients create the most delicious flavors. Case in point: this watermelon smoothie packed with cherries, berries & creamy almond milk.

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I have to say, we had a very exciting weekend because…

We put an offer down on a house! It’s in Chicago and is what I would call a refinished vintage gem. We’re waiting to hear if our offer is accepted so please cross your fingers for us! We should find out later today or tomorrow.

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It always feels exceptional to wake up and notice banana bread sitting on the counter waiting to be devoured. You know it’s going to be even better than it was the first day, if that’s even possible. Yet you tell yourself you’ll have it later, perhaps for an afternoon treat.

Shortly after you open the pantry and peer into the fridge, you realize you’re absolutely having that banana bread for breakfast. There’s no stopping you. You’re craving it NOW.

That was my situation last week and it ended with me enjoying two thick slices with peanut butter on top. Plus a few fresh strawberries, chia seeds and huge chunks of dark chocolate. Because antioxidants, right?

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My mom filled my Easter basket to the brim with treats until I was in high school. Suddenly when I was 16, she decided that I no longer qualified to receive Easter goodies from this so called bunny. At first I thought she was kidding! This was a tradition, wasn’t it?

I suppose I figured that for the rest of my life, Mom would be there to drop off an Easter basket filled with my favorite jelly beans and chocolate eggs that no one ever eats (unless they’re Reese’s eggs of course).

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Hello from beautiful Scottsdale, AZ! Can I just say how good it feels to be in warm weather without a scarf, coat or mittens? I’ve been craving warm sunshine on my skin since early October.

Don’t worry though, I’m sure the rest of the country will catch up soon. March is nearly here, which for me means patio season, rooftop bars, farmer’s markets, biking along Lake Michigan, running outside, berries and ALL THE SMOOTHIES…

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Hello from beautiful Napa Valley! I spent the better part of the weekend on the Culinary Institute of America with the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council learning about pulses, cooking in their gorgeous kitchens, and gaining some serious skills in gluten free/grain free baking!

I’m leaving feeling inspired and so very thankful to be chosen as an ambassador for the 2016 International Year of Pulses! That’s right, this year the United Nations declared 2016 as the year of pulse and I’m thrilled to be able to create recipes using some of these powerhouse foods!

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