Salmon & Rice Bowls with Tomato-Cucumber Salsa

Salmon is topped with a fresh tomato-cucumber citrus salsa, sautéed zucchini, and brown rice for a healthy bowl meal.

Happy Tuesday friends! How was your weekend? Ours was b-u-s-y! Well, mine was. I have a sick fella at home so his weekend was filled with lots of DayQuil, NyQuil and couch time. I, on the other hand, went the opposite direction.

Trying to get the house updated is a lot. I feel as though I’ve been to Menards and Home Depot more times than I can count, and that’s only to update the bathroom. Which I still need to touch up the paint on but I keep putting it off because, well, it’s painting.

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Caesar Salmon & Brussel Sprouts Bowls

Caesar salmon bowls with croutons and cheese breading, and a side of sautéed brussel sprouts and brown rice

I don’t know about you, but the last 2-3 weeks have been a blur for me. There is so much emotion going around right now and it’s been particularly difficult to open social media with the intensity of emotions that are happening. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not here to talk politics on this post. Despite the political climate at the moment, I also have my best friend moving to Portland at the end of the week and another very close friend moving to Denver the week of Thanksgiving, and my 8 1/2 year old lab gave me a bit of a health scare recently. To say that November 2016 has been a time of change is perhaps the biggest understatement I could make.

But, I woke up on Monday excited to start this week fresh. While there are still many emotions to sift through, I needed to get back on a regular schedule, needed to eat healthy, needed to be intentional and thoughtful and positive. While I cannot control everything going on around me, I can control myself and how I react, respond, and behave. So this week, even though it’s only a few days in, is about taking care of me.

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Garlic Zucchini Salmon Cake Bowls with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Garlic zucchini salmon cake bowl meals with asparagus, potatoes and cilantro cream sauce

Happy Sunday, friends! Can you believe we’re only a few weeks from Thanksgiving?! I’ve been exercising my willpower for the  better part of the week over here because I found roundtrip flights out of Chicago to Italy for $300-$400 dollars. That is a STEAL! And I love Italy. And travel. And Italian food. And the people. I fell in love the country the first time I was there and have been itching to go back.

But, we have been vacationing like crazy and have to build our vacation time back up, plus we’re going to Ireland in May (I’m going to my first food and wine conference!) and we’ve been toying with the idea of making a life change that may require some travel in the winter months, so, unless Santa wants to buy me an all-expenses paid trip to Italy (are you listening Santa?!?) I think we have to table this crazy good deal.

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Salmon BLT Bowls

Bacon, lettuce and tomato are stirred with a light mayo and topped with salmon

It’s officially November and we’re heading into my favorite holiday season! I should just admit that yes, I am one of those people that loves the Christmas season. And ugh I hate saying ‘Christmas’ because everyone celebrates the holidays differently which I think it awesome, but I didn’t want to confuse it with the Thanksgiving holiday, so forgive me.

But here’s my deal. I completely and utterly (and proudly!) nerd out on Thanksgiving day. First of all it’s the superbowl of eating. Hello foodie paradise! Then, there’s football on all afternoon, and fun fact about me – I love sports! I’m actually in a fantasy football league for the third year in a row, and doing quite well I might add.

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Easy Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Broccoli Bowls

Easy Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Broccoli bowls with brown rice.

You’ve almost made it to the weekend, friends! Whether your plans include watching football, picking apples or playing in leaves I hope you have lots of fun things in store. We’ve been taking it easy since returning from vacation. It feels like we’ve been on-the-go for the last 3 months and it’s nice to just take some time to relax and enjoy being at home.

I’ve started work on my new mini recipe e-book I’m so excited to move from the writing phase to the cooking phase. Believe me, these recipes are going to be delicious! I’m aiming for a late November/early December release, and this recipe book will be available for FREE, and only to subscribers, so if you haven’t subscribed to Creative Life Explored yet, then I’d love for you to enter your email at the top (or in the right-hand menu) of this page and make sure that you have access to this awesome e-book, as well as to each new bowl meal recipe as it comes out!

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