Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WIAW: Fitness Motivation & A Veggie Wrap

Peas and Crayons

Guys, working out is hard.  If it is not hard, you are not doing it right.

I love fitness.  Well, I love talking about it and how it affects my life, but I really do not like working out.  You get all sweaty and feel like you're going to die.  So, you definitely have to weigh the positives to get the motivation to keep it up.

So, here are my top 5 motivators for fitness.  I'm by no means an expert at all.  Just a normal gal telling you what works for me ;)

1. Think Big Picture Stuff
Obviously the whole reason you are working out is for health, to feel good and possibly just to look hot.  Don't forget the end result of all your hard work.

2.  Get Your Cute On
One way I like to make fitness a little more fun is to jazz up my outfits.  If you have a cute workout outfit that makes you feel good, it makes things a little more awesome.
So, get some good looking shorts/capris, a cute, flattering tank and some rockin' neon shoes and you are on your way.

3.  Have a Buddy
Having a buddy for fitness is a great plan, because it's harder to back out of stuff because they make you feel guilty ;)  Plus, it makes things a little easier to handle having someone fun around.
It's my Mom, y'all ;)

4.  Bump Your Jams
Music is a huge motivator to get moving (even if you are just dancing in the kitchen).  Here's some fun, upbeat songs you might want to add to your playlist to keep things fresh:
Fitness Top 100 Workout Songs

5.  Challenge to Change or Just Fake It Til You Make It
Setting mini goals works for my brain because I'm a goal oriented kind of lady.  I try to push myself and it is the coolest feeling for your brain to be like, "I can't do this" and for your body to prove it wrong.
By faking it, I mean put on a happy face & pretend you are really excited about working out.  It will eventually change your attitude ;)
This is my most fake smile before heading out in the 100 degree heat.


Ok, sorry for the long post on fitness.  It's the last What I Ate Wednesday with this topic, so I wanted to fully exhaust it.  Now, to the food!

Breakfast, Part I: Zucchini Bread
Yep, I recycled this picture from Monday's recipe post.  It was great to not take a picture in the dark at 5 a.m.!  I ate a piece of this yummy bread before heading out to boot camp.

Breakfast, Part II: Green Monster Smoothie

Today's smoothie was cold and delicious!  In the mix: 1/2 cup frozen spinach, 1 frozen banana,  strawberries, frozen mango chunks, vanilla protein powder and almond milk.  I also took an iced coffee on the road with me.

Morning Snack: Wasa & Cheese

I've been missing cheese and crackers, so this snack was a welcome one.

Lunch: Super Veggie Wrap

A whole grain (high fiber) tortilla stuffed with spring mix, some leftover fajita veggies, cucumbers, broccoli slaw, feta cheese , tomato slices and red pepper hummus.  Enjoyed with a side of carrots and cherries.

Whoops!  This happened.  There may or may not be frozen yogurt under all those toppings.


My niece got to choose the place for dinner to celebrate her 11th birthday, and she chose this country kitchen type fast food restaurant.  I chose baked fish, turnip greens and black eyed peas and this is what they brought out.  I ate the fish and nibbled on the veggies (didn't touch the rice or dry cornbread), but I was not too impressed.  Oh well.  At least she enjoyed her chicken fried steak.

Alright, that about wraps it up.  Have a super fantastic week & I'll hopefully find some craft motivation for Friday ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Healthy & Delicious Zucchini Bread

Is your garden overflowing with zucchini?  I hear that's a thing.  I don't actually have any edible stuff growing in my yard, except for rosemary.  

But, I love reading summer blog posts, because fresh, homegrown zucchini tends to steal the show.  I love zucchini!  Which I'm sure you have noticed (maybe) from these posts:

So, even though I can't walk out the back door and pick some zucchini, I stocked up at the grocery this week to make a few zucchini themed recipes.

This one is very, very good.  It's a flavorful and hearty quick bread that will rock your socks.  If there are any zucchini haters in the house, I assure you that the flavor is undetectable. 

Zucchini Oatmeal Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 3 medium zucchini)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Combine the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla in a bowl and mix until blended. Stir in the zucchini.
Slowly add the dry ingredients just until moistened.
Pour the batter into loaf pan.
Bake for about 1 hour. Cool in pan for 10-20 minutes before removing from pan. 

I'm sure you will see this bread again on Wednesday ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baby Shower Fun!

I don't usually feature parties on the blog.  But, I'll make an exception for my sweet, little (alright, she's grown now) cousin.  The aunts, cousins & grandmamas came together last weekend to throw an impromptu baby shower and they had some great ideas!
So, let's get into it.
We sort of had a tie dye theme, because lil momma is not that into all things frilly and pink.  I totally feel her on that!  So here's the tie dye table.  My cutie cuz, Chelsea made some rainbow cupcakes & my aunts made some cool things, too.

 Diaper Motorcycle!
I'm sure you have all heard of diaper cakes, but diaper motorcycles are where it's at.  Didn't my Aunt Norm do a lovely job? There is a cute little tutorial here if you are into it.

Money Tree!
Money on a tree is alright with me.  My Aunt Amy put together a darling money tree with baby socks to hold the money.  So cool!

I can't think of a prettier food than these fruit kabobs.  Holy moly!  Great job, Aunt Jean ;)

 To continue the tie-dye theme, we actually tie dyed some onesies for little baby Aurora and hung them on a string.

 There's that cute, lil' momma now.  Congratulations, Sarah!
 Last, but not least, here's an awesome quilt my Aunt Norm made using fabric from other members of the family.
Such a fun shower!  I like that it didn't get too frilly and that there was no gross diaper game where you try to guess what candy is in the diaper.  Ick.  Nobody do that.  Ever.  Ok?

Have a nice weekend!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WIAW: Breakfast Fruit Wrap

Peas and Crayons

Ok, so fitness is dominating my week, in case you wanted to know.  Sunday I ran.  This is unheard of, seeing that I usually don't usually exert myself on this day.  Just out of laziness, mostly.

But I took my formerly lazy self to the park and busted out 3 miles.  Followed by another 3 miles on Monday (Who am I??).  Of course, I had a super intense boot camp workout today.

I tell ya, summer clothes are motivation for my fitness.

On to more pressing matters-Food!
Pre-Breakfast Breakfast: Cereal
You know I gotta put something in mah belly before 5 a.m. boot camp.  Quaker Oatmeal Squares have been doing the trick lately.  The brown sugar flavor is my favorite cereal on the planet Earth.  I ate a handful or so of these lil' squares before heading out.

 Breakfast Time: Fruit Wrap & Coffee
I got this idea from Pinterest a while back, but had yet to actually try it until this week.  It was so good that this was my second time eating it for breakfast this week (I also had it on Saturday).  Here's what it looks like on the inside:
To make the wrap, just smear your tortilla (I use Ole's Xtreme Wellness High Fiber Tortilla) with some peanut butter (or almond butter is really good, too), sprinkle some granola and top with strawberry and banana slices.  Roll it up.  Holy yum!  So healthy and filling ;)

Morning Snack: Yogurt that is Greek
I've been hitting the Greek yogurt pretty hard for the past few weeks.  It fills me up and is usually pretty awesome tasting.  I threw the last of my banana nut granola in the carton after the pic.

Lunch: Sandwich, Veggies & Fruit 
It's the return of bento box lunches!  Today's box included turkey, provolone & spinach on a bagel thin with a side of cucumber and roasted red pepper hummus & Rainier cherries.  Well rounded & tasty!

 Afternoon Snack: Nuts
Snacked on some pecans in the p.m. to stave off hunger.  Yay, healthy fats!

Things were going pretty good, nutritionally speaking, then this happened.
I don't even care that my legs look ginormous on the internet.  It's all about the beer, y'all.

After my super fun dip in the pool, it was time for a birthday celebration (not mine).

Dinner: Genghis Grill Bowl 
I scored a free appetizer coupon from my last visit, so I suggested we try it for my Ma's birthday.  I had a yummy bowl full of veggies, steak, chicken and shrimp and some brown rice.  Yum yum!

Then I embarrassed my family by taking lots of photos.  Here are a few:
 Home just in time to get my bum back in the pool and shove a cookie bar in my face.  We ate early, because we are old people.
Why, yes, my brother wrote "nanna-nanna boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo" on my chalkboard.  Because he's 12.  Well, he's physically 28, but 12 at heart ;)

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Check out my McD's Cherry Berry Chiller Copycat on Endless Simmer blog!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Roasted Poblano, Corn & Chicken Quesadilla

Well, I was trying to think of something witty to say today, but I kind of want to talk about my cats.  That's weird, huh?

It's okay.  I embrace my cat lady-ness.
Oh, Baby & Boscoe.  My little stinkers.

So, my cats are super picky eaters.  They do not like "people food" and will only tolerate chicken flavored soft treats.  I got a sample in their cat food for these Krave crunchy treats, and they actually ate them, which is not like them.  So they must have a new kraving for them (ha!).

Anywho, these treats have turned them into dogs, apparently.  I found the sample treat bag empty and ripped to shreds in the hallway.  Um....really?  So, now treats are under lock & key in our house.

Their love of playing with food is what brought this subject to life.  These silly cats go nuts for corn husks.  They floss their teeth with them and bat them around in a super amusing way.

That's how corn made its way into this super summery quesadilla.  Just for my own amusement.

You should make this dish.  It comes together in a flash and has a great roasted flavor.  If you have never had poblanos before, they are not spicy once the seeds are gone and have a mild taste.  Go for it!

Here's the cast of characters:

Roasted Poblano, Corn & Chicken Quesadilla
Serves 2

4 tortillas (I used Ole's Xtreme Wellness high fiber tortillas)
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese (shredded)
1 grilled chicken breast (or you could use rotisserie chicken), sliced
1 ear of corn
1 poblano pepper
butter or spray oil for your pan

Roast your poblano over an open flame.  If you have a gas stove, you could use that.  I used a gas grill.    Char it until it is nice and black-ish.  Then go put it in a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for a few minutes (to steam).
Partially cook your corn in the microwave (in the husk) for about 3 minutes.  Peel back the husk and put it on the open flame, turning until nice and charred.
Using your hands or a paper towel, peel the char off the pepper, de-seed and slice.  Cut the corn off the cob.
Assemble your quesadillas with corn, pepper, chicken and cheese.  Butter or oil your pan and cook each side until browned.


Friday, July 13, 2012

DIY: Beaded Safety Pin Bracelets

I used to live at the mall.  No, not literally.  But as a teenager, we had a new mall in our city, and it was the place to be.  So, I pretty much went everyday.

Now that I realize that the mall is just super crowded and mostly overpriced, I don't really go.

I did happen to be there last week and moseyed into an accessory store.  Seriously.  A giant store crammed full of every accessory you could ever want or need.  Hmm.  I wasn't that impressed.

Until I saw this.  And thought I can totally make this.  That's what rings my bell, folks.
It is just safety pins, beads and elastic.  Guess who went to the craft store the next day?  Craft stores are the new malls in my world.

You need safety pins, seed beads (tiny beads) and elastic string.

Here's the steps:

1. Put some beads on your safety pins.  I probably used 60 safety pins (for a normal adult lady's wrist).
2. Cut some elastic a little bigger than your wrist and string the safety pins on with the beads going in the same direction, alternating the direction of the safety pins.
3. String the bottom of the pins on the second string.
4. Continue until bracelet is filled and tie in a double knot.

This bracelet is so easy, it would be a great craft for kids to do on those long, boring summer days!

Why is it that I never realized how awkward it is to take pictures of a bracelet while you are wearing it?
Well, weird pictures aside, this is my new favorite thing to make!  So simple and not messy.

Happy Weekend, all!