Friday, April 29, 2011

And We're Off!!

Unfortunately I did not wake up this morning to watch the royal wedding. I believe this is the type of event that will be played over and over again across all stations. Instead I slept in until 9 (yes, that's sleeping in for me).

I have finished packing for me, CL and the pups...

Gave the pups a bath...

(see how much he has changed since he was a baby!)

packed stuff for breakfast (protein, strawberries, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs)...

marinated some steak to throw on the grill tonight once we get to the beach...

and am off to go running before Chris and I meet up to finalize our Mother's Day gifts ;-)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

go outside and get a tan guys!

or go for a nice dip in the pool!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIAW and Mother's Day Ideas

Ahhhh... is there anything better than a nice lukewarm shower after a long run? CL and I met up after I got off work at the B&A trail for a nice 4 mile interval session. It started raining on and off which felt amazing. I could live in this weather forever. I don't mind evening thunderstorms... as long as they don't interfere with my television!

love my CL <3

 Mother's Day is next Sunday, so I have been brainstorming things to do for the most important person in my life! I know sometimes she stops by my blog so here are MULTIPLE things you can buy/make for your momma bear! Gotta keep her on her toes!

Sending flowers are always a great way to show someone you care. Send them to her work and surprise her a few days early ;-) Shows you were thinking ahead of time!

Go to your local Paint Your Own Pottery store. Mom's love handmade gifts and usually are coffee/tea lovers. Give her something that will remind her of your love with each sip!

Make her a basket full of things she loves! My mom loves to garden. A planter filled with gloves, seeds, snacks, chocolate, tea and suntan lotion is a great gift! Does your mom love relaxation? How about filling a shower caddy with a monogrammed towel, face mask, chai tea, and nail polish (and a spa gift card if you are feeling extra nice!)

Whatever you do, your mom with love it. You could make her a homemade card and bring tears to her eyes! I already found the best recipe for a lemonade cake with blueberries I plan on making for her! YUM!

2 slices bacon, coffee and a banana

Black bean cheese burger

A spinach, pecan and strawberry salad with homemade dressing:
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey
fresh lemon zest
salt and pepper

Carrots and Guacamole

Chicken and Steamed Brocolli

Honey Greek Yogurt with Strawberry slices

Have a great night guys and start planning your mother's day gifts!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Weekend Recap

Tuesday already? I'll take it considering me and CL are headed to the beach Friday evening for the weekend. It's the last weekend in OC before the dogs are officially no longer allowed on the beach for the summer season.

Chance loves getting his tan on. Can you tell?

What a cutie. I might be biased, but I love love love my lil gremlin!
Friday night my sister came over to help me dye Easter eggs and make some treats to bring to my Grandma's on Sunday. We made chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate cake pops. The best desserts are the ones with the ingredients I don't enjoy... that way I can just take pleasure in seeing other people eat them!

Whoever thought of putting brown dye in an Easter egg kit is bonkers. What happened to primary colors people? 

Chocolate Cake Balls with Toasted Coconut:
1 bag unsweetened/sweetened coconut flakes
1 box cake mix 
1 can whipped chocolate frosting
1 pound almond bark
lollipop sticks

Spread the coconut flakes on a baking sheet (ungreased) and cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, tossing every five until they are a golden hue. Separate your dipping choices. (i chose sprinkles and toasted coconut, nuts would be good too).

Cook your cake according to the box directions. While still warm crumble in a mixing bowl.

Add  entire can of frosting to warm cake and mix well until all is covered. At this point I suggest rolling your balls (hehe) and chilling for an hour in the freezer/fridge (this way they are easier to roll, I learned the hard way). Melt your chocolate - I suggest in a glass bowl over boiling water (again, I learned the hard way and microwaved mine and it got hard faster!). Roll balls in chocolate and dip in your toppings! Stick a lollipop stick in them while hard and cool on wax paper in the fridge. Serve cold!

What to do with the left over chocolate??? Make chocolate covered strawberries!!

It's a Polish tradition to eat White Borscht on Easter. It is a horseradish soup with homemade stuffed kielbasa (made by my mom and uncle) which is smoked (by my cousin) and/or boiled, hard boiled eggs, pumpernickel bread and ham. I think the older you get the more you appreciate the traditions your family celebrates. I hope to pass this on to my kids one day! 

I come from a family who definitely knows their way around a kitchen! My uncle brews his own beer and my cousin Ryan made his own wine last year we finally got to try! Sooo good!

There were plenty of desserts!

CL worked on Easter, which was nice in a way because I got to spend the entire day with my family instead of running back and forth between our families!

Thank god I finally got new running shoes! I got fitted and treadmill tested for a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11's! I love love love them! It really does make a difference when you have the right pair of shoes!

Hope everyone had a great Easter!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter Eve

Hey Guys!
I decided to share a recipe I used in my guest post for Cait while she is on vacation this summer! Recently I have decided to branch out of my normal routine in the kitchen and try new and exciting foods!

If you are anything like me, tofu can seem weird and scary as a kitchen staple. It has been my mission to find new recipes that let's me incorporate tofu into my diet without realizing it's there. Just check out my tofu banana bread recipe. Silken tofu is great to use instead of eggs/oil and makes awesome smoothies!

While stopping by Barnes and Noble today, I saw a recipe I am dying to try. I had my friend Jenna take a snapshot of the page with her phone so I could share with you guys too! April is still bringing plenty of showers so I am still in soup mood occasionally.

Tofu Corn Chowder

24 ounces firm tofu, cubed
1 large white onion chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
10 ounces frozen/canned/fresh corn
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups vegetable stock
4 medium red potatoes, cubed
1.5 cups milk
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
.5 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a large pan, saute the onions, peppers, corn and garlic until
the onions are translucent (with oil).
2. Add the vegetable stock, thyme and potatoes and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
4. Add the milk and tofu and cook for another 15 minutes.
5. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

Not too shabby huh? Trying new things can be exciting and fun as long as you have a good recipe to back you up ;-)

Hope everyone has a fabulous Easter tomorrow! I was busy in the kitchen yesterday. Luckily my sister spoils my dogs so Chance had a fab time too!

I'll post the recipes on Monday! 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Grown Up Easter Basket

you have never really lived, until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

Hi! I am in such a great mood today! It's my Friday at work, it's gorgeous outside and I just ate the best black bean burger combo I have ever made (no joke)!

When I first started this blog I had no idea I would have so much fun cooking and finding healthy recipes and running - I was NEVER a runner growing up. So I figured I would go back to my roots and try to incorporate more fun posts involving date ideas, fashion and things I love!

Easter baskets are not just for kids! I love finding reasons to do something special for CL, especially since he takes me out and spoils me often!

Here are a few of my basket stuffers: 
starbucks gift card
yellow button up or polo
mini white zinfandel wine bottles

The possibilities are endless - but this boy loves chocolate, coffee and wine. Plus, he looks mighty handsome in yellow which happens to be a fabulous Easter color. 

Peeps aren't just for eating anymore.

What a cute idea to use peeps and jellybeans to decorate your centerpiece. I think if I took these to my grandma's she would love it!

Make Easter Bunny Smore Jars to give to your cousins/friends.

Ingredients and Directions:
1. Reduce 1 sleeve graham crackers to crumbs.
2. Layer 2/3 of the crumbs in a 1 quart jar.
3. Place 8 marshmallow bunny peeps standing up, facing out around the inside of the jar.
4. Press them up against the glass, but don't squash them.
5. Carefully spoon remaining crumbs in the center of the jar to support the bunnies, pressing down to keep it snug.
6. On top of this pour 1-1/4 cup Easter M&M's.
7. Spoon 1/3 cup brown sugar into center of M&M's, gently pressing with a spoon.

Attach a gift tag giving the following instructions:
1. Empty the jar contents into a bowl. Snip the bunnies into bits with kitchen sheers or cut up with a knife. Return the bunny bits to the mixture. Mix well.
2. Melt 1/2 cup butter; add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour this over the dry ingredients, mixing well. Pat into a greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.
(Makes 9 to 12 bars.)

Our First Easter

2008-2011 and still going strong! I can't wait to dye some Easter eggs tomorrow! Now in all seriousness I need your guys opinions. Tomorrow I am thinking of cutting my hair. I need all of your honest opinions.

Should I keep it long?

or cut it short?

I would really appreciate your guys feedback!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bootylicious WINNER

 Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

Hi Guys! First and foremost thank you to everyone who participated in my first giveaway! Hopefully I can continue the trend and gather some of my favorite things to giveaway next! I'll be like the next Oprah... only younger, louder and without millions haha!

My giveaway winner is .... ALYSSA! from Fashion Fitness Foodie! I've known Alyssa for a long time now! Almost 6 years?? She definitely was a motivation and inspiration for me to start my own blog and if you haven't checked hers out, you definitely should! Congrats girl! I'll give you your granola this weekend on our running date!

Last night I participated in my first #fitblog chat on twitter! I had so much fun hearing other bloggers personal opinions about health and "diets". I definitely don't agree with the word diet. Diet to me means short lived. It takes a strong mindset and lifestyle change in order to truly make a difference in your health. It has taken me years not to be consumed with the number on my scale... and some days I still am.

I have learned that being healthy and fit is different for every individual. For me, it's how I feel in my own skin (and clothes). It's how good I feel after I work out, even if some days it takes me sitting in my workout clothes for 30 minutes before I drag myself to the gym. Get excited about healthy eating and learn what works for you. Not everyone should cut out carbs or fats (well I definitely agree with lowering your saturated and trans fats intake). Find recipes that are healthy and taste good - that way you aren't denying your mind what it really wants without denying your body of the good nutrients it needs.

There are so many resources out there. I love browsing the whole foods website for recipes. Go to your local bookstore and pick up a few cookbooks. Make Fishy Fridays or Meatless Mondays to help spice up your week! Don't be afraid to try new things. I used to hate avocados and now incorporate them into my diet at least once a week! And brussel sprouts roasted with olive oil and garlic are soooo good!

If google kept track of everything I have searched and I showed you guys you would think I am nuts! "Are lean pockets actually healthy?" "What do beets taste like?" "Is real bacon better for you than turkey bacon?" Knowledge is empowering and can help you truly make a decision to figure out what is best for you and your lifestyle.

Last night after fitblog I was starving for dinner. I only ran 2 miles since my shoes have officially given out on me. I made roasted cauliflower and a burger that sorta went like this...

Minus the bun - I used an arnolds thin and reduced fat cheese. And I may or may not have added a slice of bacon... :-) Moderation! Eating lean meat with lean bacon and toppings in my opinion doesn't hurt once a week. Plus it was the best tasting burger I have ever made!

Here are a few of my eats for the day - I finally am linking up to join WIAW for Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

Oatmeal with Berries for Breakfast
Apple Slices for a Mid-Morning Snack
One of these for lunch!
Carrot Sticks and Ranch for a Mid-Afternoon Snack
and I'm planning on re-creating this Salmon for dinner!
Hope you guys get out there and enjoy the 80 degree weather today! Hopefully cardio kickboxing with kick my butt tonight! Sophia at Raven Waves awarded me the bootylicious award! haha PERFECT!

Here are the rules:
1. Post this award with the picture and name whoever tagged you in it
2. Do the STUFF
3. Award to 7 others and tell them you did so!

1. Name 3 things that are lying right next to you –My cell phone which is prehistoric and doesn't even have a camera. No joke. Someone stole my iphone while I was boot shopping one day and I am waiting for the iphone5 to come out! Some Love Grown granola (Sweet Cranberry Pecan - yum) and two (yes 2) cups of water. Just in case I get lazy and don't feel like walking to the kitchen for a refill. I'm truly that smart ;-)

2. Name 2 foods you cannot live without -STRAWBERRIES! I am addicted to them like you guys are to chocolate. Thank god they were buy one get one free this week! Avocados - I just can't get enough guac! Does mexican food count? My fav!

3. Name 1 thing you did today – Packed my lunch, drove to work, and made some oatmeal. Yup, it's still early.

 You ladies are next! I could only think of 4 off the top of my head!

What are some foods you can't live without?