The Berger Bungalow

October Favorites
Posted on:10.20.2016

Can you believe that it is almost the end of October already? I feel like I was just doing my monthly goal list, and now I’m already trying to catch up and finish out the month strong. Insane. Here are a few things I am loving this month:

Cups with lids
So, if you don’t follow me on Snapchat, you probably don’t know that I seem to spill my morning smoothie ALL. THE. TIME. I don’t know what it is, but it always ends up all over my car, SO one of my monthly favorites is cups with lids hahaha. Aren’t these options cute?! I love the gold and white ones, and of course, I had to throw in a Braves cup!

Our fire pit
Our fire pit has been amazing this fall season, so far! In our old house, we didn’t have a space to use it, so I am absolutely LOVING being able to use it here. It is so relaxing and fun at the same time. If you don’t have one, RUN to get one! I couldn’t find our exact pit online, but we have one that looks like it is a mix between the Target and Threshold one.

Vanilla Maca Latte’s
Did you see my post on my Vanilla Maca Latte? Go check it out, if not! Maca has SO many benefits for your body & it’s nice to be able to make a warm drink without all the added refined sugar.

H&F Bread Co.
I am LOVING H&F Bread Co. this month! We used to get our loaf’s in our Garnish and Gather (check out my G&G review here) bags, but we had to take a break from getting those during the moving process since they don’t deliver to our new house. I recently found their baguettes at Whole Foods and was so excited! Best find all month!

My anti-sickness routine (hahah)
But really, do you want to know what I do to (try) to prevent sickness? I am around sick little kiddos all the time and so far I haven’t been sick.... knock on wood!! Anyone want to see what I do?

Cork holders
Once again, I couldn’t find my exact cork holder online, but I purchased mine from HomeGoods and I am in love with it!!! It is so cute, but really practical at the same time. Ours looks more like a jar, but I also love this other one:

Favorite Tv Shows:

This Is Us
I LOVE this show. The writer of this show is absolutely brilliant - there are so many layers and you never know what is coming yet. It definitely brings out all the emotions - happiness, sadness, etc.

American Housewife
If you are looking for a silly and funny show, look no further! This show is SO real, but absolutely hilarious at the same time. I am not a mom yet, but I can only imagine how some of you stay at momma’s relate to this show. HILARIOUS!

Designated Survivor
This one is more serious, but I love it! Just like 24 used to be, it makes my heart race and I want to know what is going to happen next. So great.
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Vanilla Maca Latte
Posted on:10.17.2016

Lattes are my thing. I obsess over coffee shop lattes and I get one every chance I get. My dreams lately have consisted of getting the chance to travel to France, Italy, and other European cities where I can sit on a patio and drink a warm latte at a cute bistro table, seriously. 

As much as I love lattes, I know they aren’t very good for you because they have a lot of sugar and other fattening ingredients in them. I have talked about this quite a bit recently, but if you somehow missed it, Ian and I have been trying really hard to become healthier. We aren’t trying to “diet”, but we definitely both want to lose some weight and feel more energized and get healthier. 

I knew that I had to find a way to get in my latte fix without all of the calories so that I could stay on track, so I took it upon myself to create a healthy version of a latte, and I must say that it is amazing! My version contains organic Maca powder from Gaia Herbs which I love! Maca is caffein-free powder that supports your energy, stamina, and even your libido. Ian loves mixing his Maca in with protein powder to use it as a pre and/or post-workout. It is also an adaptogen, which means that it supports a healthy response to stress which we really need right now with Ian’s grad school and busy season coming up! I absolutely love Gaia Herb’s Maca because of the fact that they test every single canister to make sure it only contains Maca, plus you can ALWAYS see the test results for heavy metals, microbes and pesticides. 

Maca definitely has a taste that reminds me of Fall and fits perfectly into this recipe. I find it to be almost buttery and caramel-y. Let me be straight forward with you though - you don’t want to drink it with just water. It’s best when mixed in with a product like plant based milk, chia pudding, oatmeal, etc. and you need to find ingredients that taste good with it. A few good options would be chocolate, peanut butter, plant based milk, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla, almond extract, etc. 

Anyway, jumping into my recipe... If you are looking for a healthy alternative to a latte, try this out and let me know what you think!

This recipe made between 1/2-3/4 of a cup for me. I would add more almond milk, honey & vanilla if you want a bigger cup. All other ingredients can stay the same. :) 

1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon Gaia maca powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 dashes of cinnamon
1 dash of nutmeg
Top with another dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Step 1: Slowly heat up your almond milk on the stove. Once it is heated, it will taste like toasted almonds which makes this recipe so good!

Step 2: In a blender, add your honey, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once your almond milk is warm, add it in the blender and then add your maca powder on top.

Step 3: Blend for about 30 seconds, or until it gets foamy, just like a latte! 

Step 4: Pour into your favorite mug & add a few shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg, or any other topping you like. Enjoy! 

If you liked this post, please subscribe to my blog to get email notifications! Upcoming on the blog:
Our kitchen tour
My October Favorites
Our travel bucket list
101 in 1001 goal update
October Recap // November Goals

Gaia Herbs sent me complimentary canisters of their maca powder to try and post about, but as always, all opinions are my own & this product rocks! 
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Easy Turkey Chili Recipe
Posted on:10.12.2016

During the fall, there is nothing I love more than a good bowl of chili. It really is just comforting on a cool day. You saw in my meal plan for this week that Turkey Chili was on my list, and I wanted to share the recipe with you guys because it was THAT good (and easy)! 

Easy Turkey Chili

-1lb. ground turkey
-2 onions, diced
-14oz. rotel
-16oz. tomato sauce
-2 onions
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 jalapeƱos (or none if you have kids eating)
-14oz. kidney beans
-14oz. black beans
-12oz. frozen corn
-2tbsp. cumin
-2tbsp. chili powder 
-A few shakes of cayenne (if you are using 2 jalapeƱos, it gets spicy, so keep that in mind when adding the cayenne)
-1tsp. paprika
-Salt and pepper to taste
-3/4C water
-A dash of Avocado or olive oil (I used avocado)
-Sour cream
-Cheddar Cheese

Cook your ground turkey, peppers, onions and garlic until the meat is fully cooked.

Add your tomatoes, water, dash of oil & seasonings and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add your beans and corn, and simmer for two hours.

Serve with your sour cream, cheddar cheese and any other toppings of your choice! Enjoy!! 

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October 9-15 Meal + Fitness Plan
Posted on:10.10.2016

I have really struggled with working out and eating healthy since around the time that we first started house hunting. Now, with Ian being in grad school in the evenings, I just haven’t gotten back into the swing of being healthy because as much as I love to cook, I hate doing it for just myself. On the nights that he is in school, I will find myself tired from work and instead of cooking something healthy, I’ll just eat ice cream, chips and cheese dip, or cheese and crackers so that I don’t have to put any effort into it. Creating this “meal and fitness plan” will hopefully keep me accountable and on track to start feeling healthier. When I eat correctly and workout, I have so much more energy, my hair, skin and nails look better, and I just feel good! I also work around kids and when I eat healthier, I get sick less - that is always a plus! 

Meal Plan

This week, I decided to pre-plan most of my meals so I can’t fall off the wagon! Ian and I grilled tons of chicken for our salads, I made a few meals in advance for my dinners, and I have a bunch of vegetables to throw into the steamer, as well. My goal for this week is to eat REAL, minimally processed food that is organic and provide tons of benefits. So, here is what our meals are going to look like this week:

Brunch: Eggs with leftover organic, grass fed bison steak from Saturday night.
Dinner: Turkey chili (new recipe - will post it soon)

Breakfast: Green smoothie (new recipe - will post it soon)
Lunch: Salad w/ chicken, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, cheese
Dinner: Meatloaf with leftover Brussels from Saturday

Breakfast: Green smoothie
Lunch: Salad w/ chicken, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, cheese
Dinner: Leftover Chicken Tikka Masala

Breakfast: Green smoothie
Lunch: Salad w/ chicken, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, cheese
Dinner: Leftover chili

Breakfast: Green smoothie
Lunch: Salad w/ chicken, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, cheese
Dinner: Leftover meatloaf

Breakfast: Green smoothie
Lunch: Salad w/ chicken, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, cheese
Dinner: Chicken quesadilla

Breakfast: Green smoothie
Lunch: Salad w/ chicken, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, cheese
Dinner: Vegetable plate

With each dinner, I will have a good majority of the plate filled with the vegetables that I am going to cook this evening - I have turnip greens, brussels, cauliflower, butternut squash, carrots, and broccoli. 

For snacks, I have pears, string cheese, yogurt, pineapple and lara bars. 

For dessert (because I am a choco-holic), I am really going to try my best to limit it, but I am allowing myself s’mores on Sunday because we are having a bonfire, and for the rest of the week, I’m limiting it to just Halo Top Ice cream. YUM.

Fitness Plan

So, Ian and I have this “bet” going on. If I get in 10,000 steps at least 20 days this month and/or workout three times a week, AND if he loses 10 pounds by the end of the month, we are going to a new restaurant that I have really been wanting to try! I figured this is an awesome way to push ourselves to workout and become healthier. I delayed my Pure Barre membership while we have been getting settled in to our house because I just wasn’t able to work, do everything needed around here and go to class, but it starts back up at the end of December and I am just SO excited about that. In the mean time, this is what I’m trying to do this week:

My goal for this week is to get in three HIIT workouts (Monday, Wednesday + Saturday) AND get 10,000 steps each day Monday through Saturday. Lets hope I can do it! 

Here are a few items that I am LOVING for workouts:

Is anyone else trying to eat healthier and workout more? What are your favorite healthy recipes that I need to try?! Have a great week, everyone!
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Carving Out Time For Family
Posted on:10.05.2016

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. As always, my opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Berger Bungalow!

I have mentioned this many times on my blog in the past, but my favorite season is fall. I love the crisp air, the fun activities & the food! This fall, Ian and I don’t have a lot of time like we previously had together. Between his grad school and CPA prep classes, we have about 11 evenings/weekend days together with most of these being evenings (aka. just a few hours after work & before bed which usually consist of writing blog posts for me and studying for Ian. 

With that being said, we have had to work really hard on carving out time for each other. So far, we have succeeded by scheduling out each and every day by the hour and sticking to that schedule! So basically, my calendar looks like this each day:

6am: Wake up
6-6:30: Make smoothies, pack lunches, take care of the dogs.
6:30-6:55: Get ready.
7:00: Get everything in my car & leave for work.
7:30-?: Work related schedule.
7:00 (at latest): Get home and cook dinner.
7:30: Try to get some kind of exercise.
8:00-11pm: IF Ian doesn’t have class, we will do something together. If he does have class, I usually work on the house or watch TV or read until he gets home at 11pm.
11:15 (at latest): BED!

Each day is a little different depending on if Ian has class or not, but basically we really don’t have much time together, and if we want that little bit of time that we do have to be uninterrupted, we have to make sure that we get everything else on our list finished ON TIME! Thankfully, JORD Wood Watches was kind enough to send me this super cool watch that will help me keep track of my time and keep up with my schedule. I get so many compliments on this watch, it is crazy! I honestly do not wear a ton of jewelry and “accessories,” but I really love this unique watch. It is gorgeous, timeless and most importantly, it really does help me keep track of my time which is a major necessity right now! This is the watch that I have and I love it!

Carving out family time is so important to me, and I was so glad that Ian and I had a chance to visit this awesome pumpkin patch the other week before our housewarming party! We had so much fun having a little date day together! I want everyone to be able to have time with their family, so I partnered with JORD, and they made a giveaway just for my readers! ALL entrants receive a $20 e-gift code automatically just for entering. The winner will get a $75 e-gift code and will be selected and emailed once the contest is over. You are going to want to enter this amazing contest & my hope is that this helps some of you get a watch to manage your time more effectively, as well! The giveaway is super simple to enter. You can do so HERE! :) 

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September Recap // October Goals
Posted on:9.29.2016

Hey y’all! OCTOBER IS HERE (tomorrow) and I’m so pumped about it! I think my “goals” post from last year said about the same thing - that October is my favorite month (same with everyone else), and I am just super excited for all things fall like cool weather, pumpkin everything, and most importantly, non-stop yoga pants! HOLLA! Anyway, let’s jump into this past month’s recap, and then I will share my October goals with you guys! I did decide to combine my “Favorites” post with my goal post this month ONLY because I ran out of time and couldn’t post it (but I did write it this month wooohoooo), so yeah sorry if this post is REALLY long, but I promise to make it interesting. ;) Jumping in:

I’d say that I did really well on completing my goals for the month of September! We have not finished unpacking. We have one “Junk room” which is just all of the stuff that we are trying to figure out what to do with. Our neighborhood is having a community garage sale on the 8th, so there is a good chance that 70% of this stuff will end up there! Eating healthy and working out has been a massive struggle for me this month. I keep telling myself that I am going to get back in to it, but we have just been so busy that by the end of the day, I AM EXHAUSTED. I really need to start waking up just a little earlier each morning to get in some kind of workout. I definitely need it because I feel so much better when I am working out and eating healthy. Other than those three things, I completed all of my other goals!! 

September Goal Update
- Finish unpacking (ugh)
- Start decorating our home (we got rid of pretty much all of our fall and Christmas decorations, so we need a lot)!
- Get our TV mounted
- Get our garage doors repaired
- Scrub the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room floors
- Continue getting all of the drywall dust out of our house
- Change the air filters (This one is for Ian because I’ve asked him to do this 99 times already) ;) <3
- Read at least two new books
- Attend Bark in the Park with Les! <3
- Celebrate Ian’s birthday!
- Workout three times a week and walk as much as I can
- Eat healthy 80% of the time
- Clean the inside of my car

September Recap
We started to decorate our home this month. I found this PERFECT clock (and the cork jar) at HomeGoods. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to find both of these items - they’re perfect & so me! I also picked up a small white pumpkin for our mantle, and a few dish towels at Target which I’m really excited about, too! Then, the other day, my Grandma gifted me with these AMAZING pieces of art that have been passed down in my family for years. When decorating our home, my goal was to make each decoration special. I don’t want to fill our home with pointless decor that I will hate after a few months, or years. I really want to try to incorporate timeless, meaningful pieces that will just bring us joy for years to come, and this is exactly what these pieces of art are to me - special. I am so, so very thankful and I will cherish these for years to come! It also really sparked my interested in art, and I think I want to start collecting it in hopes of having more special items to pass on to my kids and grandkids!

We mounted our TV and it looks amazing! Shout out to Atlanta TV Install, the best company ever! We also got our garage doors fixed (YAY! Thanks, Overhead Door Atlanta), I scrubbed all of our kitchen, bathroom and laundry room floors, I have continued to clean away all of the drywall dust AND Ian did replace our air filters! I read way more than two books this month. I started a subscription with Kindle Unlimited and ended up reading about 8 books! 

Lesley and I went to Bark in The Park this year! We had so much fun, but ended up getting soaked on our way out. It was raining SO hard! I am so sad that this was our second to last game at Turner Field. I have so many great childhood memories there, and I really am going to miss it so much.

We celebrated Ian’s birthday with Pedicures and a few other things. He is finally my age for a few months, hahah! You can read my post about his birthday here! Oh, and I also had my car cleaned, but don’t have a picture of it because ya know, kids and dogs (aka. it’s already messy again hahah!).

September Favorites
I had a lot of great items and things to put in my favorites this month, but I had to narrow it down! My first two favorites are not items, which are the best kind of favorites. Before we get started, I just want to put out a reminder that my favorite posts do include affiliate links! That means that IF you click on a product below (not including Organic Burst) and purchase it, I will receive a small amount of money. This does NOT raise your price at all, so no fear there!! :) 

1. Family Time
My parents came up to see our house for the first time this past weekend, and we had a blast! Our family time has dwindled down over the past few years, and it is just always SO good to have (almost) everyone together. I can’t wait until the next time! 

2. Friend Time
I literally have the best friends in the world, y’all! We have been insanely busy, so our friendships have been lacking a bit lately, but no matter how often I do or don’t see my friends, all of them support me when I need it, and I hope I do the same for them! We have had more friend time in the past month or so than we have in a while, and I am so grateful for it! We also have our housewarming party TOMORROW and cannot wait!

3. Passion Fruit and Organic Burst Baobab
Okay, so first things first. Passion fruit is amazing! It has so many health benefits, and my favorite thing about it is that it is low in sugar, so it won’t cause you to crash later on!!! YAS YAS we all need that! I drink smoothies every morning, and sometimes it really is hard to get the taste of sweetness without adding a ton of fruit, but this solves my problems! I can load up on spinach, carrots and protein and have this to sweeten my smoothies. Now, the star of the show is the Baobab powder. This powder has so many benefits, and I really do swear by it. I work part time with kids, so I need the extra vitamin C that this powder provides. If you want more information on it check it out here. I 100% believe in this company and their products. Organic Burst has helped our family in so many ways by using their powders (and no, I am NOT getting paid for saying that - I don’t even get paid if you order from their website!). Check them out and let me know what you think! Maybe one day, I can do an Organic Burst giveaway for one of my lucky readers. Would anyone like that?! 

4. McClure’s Spicy Pickles
Ohhhh yeah! Let me tell you about these pickles. They are dangerous, in a good way! They are SO hot, but you just can’t stop eating them. I really think they add something that is addictive hahah just kidding. I found my jar at The Fresh Market, so check there if you have one in your area. I really hope they will come to other stores around my area (maybe even Costco, so I can buy it in bulk?!) ;) 

5. Fall Items & Recipes
I am loving all the fall recipes and small decorations. Target has THE cutest items in their dollar section right how, and HomeGoods is speaking to my heart with all of their fall kitchen items. My first fall dish of the season was this amazing Plum Torte! I got the recipe from the NY Times, but my Grandma also has a recipe that is very similar to this that I am going to test out, and then share with you all! The trick to this recipe is to use Italian Prune Plums, which are hard to find because they are only in season for a short time each year, but I used regular plums and it turned out just fine! 

Here are a few more things I am loving and wanting this fall (affiliate links):

October Goals
- Have our housewarming party & share it with all of you!

- Go to the last Braves game at Turner Field (so many emotions!)

- Organize our “junk room” and garage

- Design, order and receive our dining room table! SO EXCITED.

- Choose which chairs we want to go with our table.

- Buy a temporary bookshelf for our sitting room (or maybe office for now)

- Clean all of our blinds...ugh

- Start my Christmas shopping

- Eat healthier and workout and/or get 10k+ steps at least 3x a week

- Pass out Halloween candy for the first time in our new house!!!! (our neighborhood is filled with kids, so I am so excited to finally be able to do this. Unfortunately, Ian has class this night, so hopefully one of my friends will come over and help)

- HOPEFULLY celebrate Ian passing his first CPA exam (fingers crossed, y’all!).

- Keep up with the blog

- Finish all of our thank you notes & moving announcements. 

I hope everyone has a fabulous October!! What are you looking forward to most this month? What are your favorite products lately? Are any of them the same as mine? Let me know in the comments!
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House Adventures // Sitting Room
Posted on:9.28.2016

When we first started our house hunt, one of my “wants” was an extra room for a future playroom. We looked at so many houses online and it just didn’t seem like there were many affordable houses with an extra room, but then we found our which which has TWO extra rooms (not including the dining room or bedrooms). We know that once we have kids, our current office will turn into a playroom & our current sitting room will turn into an office, but until then, we had no ideas on what to do with this extra room. We finally decided that it would be a sitting room, I guess kind of like a formal living room which sounds really lame, but that’s what we are doing with it until kiddos are around!
*This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click and purchase any of the linked items below, I will make a small amount of money off of your purchase. This will NOT raise the price of the item for you. Thank you for supporting The Berger Bungalow!

Here is the sitting room when we first purchased the house:

As you can see, it has a mustard yellow wall color & it also has popcorn ceilings.
Here is what the room looks like right now after we added new paint and took off the popcorn ceilings:

Plans and Inspiration:

1. Our short term plan is to get a cover for that pull out couch & see if it works.
So, this couch is not what I pictured in the sitting room AT ALL. It’s really not my style, but my cousin gave it to me and we are going to make it work for now so that we can focus on other, more important renovations and purchases. I do want to get a new couch cover for it, though to make it more my style. I think it would look good to purchase a slip color that is similar to the one already on it in color, but just a bit higher-end. Then, we can dress it up with pillows! Here are a few ideas:

*Update since I wrote this post - we purchased the L.L. Bean cover and it came in on Monday! I will update you with a new picture, soon. :) 

2. Add a built in bookshelf
This is not in our immediate renovation “wants”, so I think we will get some temporary bookshelves from Ikea for a while, and then in the next year or so we will add in built in bookshelves. I LOVE the look of built ins, and it will add some character to the house!

3. Add more furniture and decor
This room does not have a fan or any built in lights, so we need to purchase a floor lamp for this room. I really love Ruelala for purchases like that because you can get a deal on high-end products. I would also like a side table or two, maybe a coffee table & possibly a chair (or a new sofa and a new chair if we fall in love with something), and some decor in this room! The issue with making purchases for this room is that it will eventually turn into Ian’s office once we have kids, so there is really no reason on buying a ton of expensive items for it. With that being said, we still want it to be our style...which unfortunately, I tend to want pricey items. ;)
4. Add plantation shutters. [same as Dining Room]
I am just not a fan of blinds, so the options are either to keep these and not be completely happy, or take them off and either add curtains, or plantation shutters. I love the look of plantation shutters and it adds a [small] amount of value to your home, so I think we are going in that direction!

5. Add a dimming feature to the light switch [same as Dining Room]
This isn’t a huge task. It’s pretty easy to do and not expensive, but it also isn’t a priority, so we will see if it gets done! We want to do this throughout the house. It’s a small touch that will update the home a bit.

6. Maybe think about re-doing the floors [same as Dining Room]
Let me be clear by saying that I LOVE the floors we have now. They are laminate wood floors and I never thought I would like them, but I really do. They are easy to maintain and they do not get scratched up like traditional hardwoods do. While I love them, I think that we *might* consider re-doing all of the floors downstairs and putting down traditional hardwoods throughout because it would add value to the home. So, this is still up in the air. It would be a big project to take on, so I think we would only accomplish this IF we stayed in it long enough (which hopefully we will).
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