Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIAW: Just Shy of a Bucket of Tea

Do you know what time it is??

It's time for:
Peas and Crayons
Yay!  So exciting.  

Ok, so I find posting pictures of food that I ate exciting.  It's the little things, folks.

Breakfast, Take 1: Cottage Cheese
I grabbed these individual cottage cheese cups at the store this week & decided to have one before this morning's 5 a.m. boot camp.  I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but I wasn't feeling it.  I ate half the cup and tossed the rest.  Maybe I just wasn't in a cottage cheese mood?

Well, after some super intense strength training (ouch) and core work (ouch, again), breakfast redeemed itself.

Breakfast, Take 2: Waffle w/ AB & Mini Smoothie 
I had one of these super yummified (What?  It's a word.) Van's lite waffles toasted, then smeared with almond butter, some coffee & a lil' smoothie.  My smoothie had half of a frozen banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 4 or 5 frozen peach slices, 1 cup almond milk and half a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

Then a few hours later it was one of my favorite times of the day!
Snack time!
Oh, fun fact for you.  I used to have a Garfield wristwatch and instead of the hours, it split the days into breakfast, snacks, lunch & dinner.  I wish I could find that thing!  I'd still rock it.
I tried to open my eyes alot in this picture to look less tired.  I'm not sure it worked.

 Mid Morning Snack: Fruit & Nuts
I had a super shiny Jazz apple (tasted nothing like jazz, though) and some almonds.  I forgot to bring my knife to work (Whoa~what a weird thing to say!  Sounds like I work in a sketchy part of town.) and had to eat my apple whole, instead of slicing it (which is my preference).

Lunch: Salad
It probably looks like I eat alot of salads for lunch.  I kind of do during the hotter months of the year.  If I had started WIAW in the fall or winter, you would have seen a bunch of soups for lunch!
Anyways, this was my lunch salad today & it contained: spring mix, raw broccoli, 2 tomato slices, leftover BBQ from the weekend, banana peppers and guacamole.  Pretty yummy and tangy ;)

No time for an afternoon snack today, but I did manage to swing by and get a black tea from the Starbucks.  I ordered the closest size to bucket-sized that I could get.
trenta unsweetened black tea with 3 Splendas (aka-perfection in a plastic cup)

Before I get to dinner stuff, have you guys heard about the Runners' World challenge?  It is a runner streak challenge where you run 1 mile everyday from Memorial Day to Independence day (which turns out to be 38 days).  I'm not a runner, so I don't know why I'm so excited about it!  I do love a challenge, though ;)
So, I did my mile on Memorial Day and today (I write this post on Tuesday, in case you didn't know) I'm ready to hit the treadmill (too hot to do it outside, today) for my mile.
It's never too late to join in!
* * * * *
Whew!  Ok, now that mile 2 is conquered:  it's dinner time!

Dinner: Chicken, Pasta & Veggies

I felt the need for some pasta tonight.  So I topped this whole wheat rotini pasta with some roasted butternut squash, roasted asparagus and leftover grilled chicken. 

A Laughing Cow Swiss cheese wedge brought it all together.

Dessert: Booze & A Cookie Bar

Well, not much of either of those things.  I did finish the night off with a cookie bar leftover from this weekend (oooh, I am big on leftovers today!) and a lite Mike's ;)
I used this Pioneer Woman recipe with a few modifications to make these bars.  Everyone seemed to like them.

Want more?  Check out some more What I Ate Wednesday posts:
WIAW #7 (last week's)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Banana Pudding Protein Milkshake

Oh, Lord have mercy.

I’m going to say something crazy, here.

This protein shake is literally better than any banana pudding I have tried in my life.  I don’t think you realize how much banana pudding I may have consumed, so let me just say: I’m from the South and I have attended many, many church potlucks.  ‘Nuff said.

Sorry, Mema, this trumps your banana pudding.  Sorry everyone else.  It’s just the truth.

I don’t even know what else to tell you.  If you make it, you will get it.

Banana Pudding Protein Milkshake
Makes 1 big shake or 2 minis

1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp sugar free, fat free banana pudding mix
1/3 cup frozen Cool Whip
8 mini Nila Wafers (or 4 regular sized ones)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 frozen banana (freeze without the peel)
Fat free Reddi Whip for topping

Blend all this stuff up.  Top with Reddi Whip, a crushed cookie, banana slices and a cherry.

One big shake is perfect post-workout!

Oh my!

This is a really thick shake.  You may have to ditch the straw and dig in with a spoon.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, May 25, 2012

10 Things I'm Loving

I get obsessed with stuff.  I'm sure you are the same way.

When things strike me and I become obsessed, I must consume them.  That sounded weird.

Let me just say as an example:  when I discover & like a TV show that is new to me, I basically do a marathon thing and watch all the episodes in a small amount of time.  That's what I mean by consume.

I might love the show forever.  I might get over it in a few weeks.

But currently, I'm obsessing over these things (not in any particular order):

1. gifs

Gifs are basically moving pictures, mostly about pop culture.  Which doesn't sound all that exciting, but most of the time they are hilarious.
I like these two sites to view gifs, or you can just Google "funny gif" and find your own:
So what's the point?  Well, they are fun to look through and giggle, but you can also insert a gif into an email or on your blog to increase its awesomeness or you can use a gif as your email signature.  Here's the gif under my email signature:

2. eos lip balm

I first saw this cute egg shaped balm on The Small Things Blog and thought it sounded cool, but moved on.  Until I was on the chapstick aisle at Walgreens and saw its egg-y cuteness.  I bought it on a whim and am so glad I did.  I got the honey dew flavor, and I love how it feels on my lips!

3. rainbow toenails

Can you see my flip flop tan line?!  I painted my toes in a rainbow of shades from my ever growing drawer of nail polishes, and I love them!  So happy and fun for summer.  I actually did a rainbow thing last year, too and someone jokingly asked, "How old are you again?"  Um, old enough to know that rainbow toes are super cool and timeless!

4. Tom Perrotta Books

I am loving every book I've read so far of his!  I got about half way through The Leftovers and went to the library and checked out every single one of his books!  He writes really well.  The stories and characters are so engaging.  If you are looking for some new reads, check out Tom Perrotta.

5. healthy living blogs

It's no secret that I love me some blogs!  I spend a good amount of my time perusing blogs of all sorts.  Lately, I am really loving healthy living blogs.  Here are some of my current faves:

Check them out, if you haven't already.  All of them provide great ideas for workouts and meals, while blogging about their daily lives.

6. my little grill

I got this little grill for free from my boss, who won it in a contest.  I thought it seemed pretty dinky and didn't think I'd get much use out of it.  I was wrong.  It is perfect, because I can use it easily myself, it cooks pretty quickly and evenly and it's a good size for two people (or up to 6 people).  I have been using it lately 2-3 times a week.  It's actually designed to be a tailgating grill, hence the coolers on the bottom.  I haven't used the coolers, but I guess I have them if I ever need them!

7. frozen yogurt

Ok, if you are not obsessed with self-service frozen yogurt places, I don't even know who you are anymore.  I mean, seriously.  A place where you can create your own art in a bowl and then eat it.  Genius, I tell you.  And they are definitely making their money by weighing it!!

8. frog toggs
Whew!  It gets hot in the south, especially if you like to exercise outside.  I got one of these cooling towels at Bed Bath and Beyond last year, and it is about time to break that bad boy out again.  It is like a bandana that when wet, it stays cool to the touch.  It's great to put on your neck during a long walk when it is hot outside.  It looks like they might be either discontinuing them (why???) or selling out quickly, so if you are into it, here's a few places that may still have them.

9. fresh flowers from my own yard

It's pretty sweet to be able to go outside and cuts some flowers for your fancy mason jars.  Definitely a perk :)

10. watermelon

This one is obvious, if you read my WIAW posts or if you noticed my new blog header!  I also cracked open The Pioneer Woman's new cookbook, and it magically opened up to a watermelon granita recipe.  I'm intrigued.  This will probably be happening in my future.

For the sake of brevity, I kept this list of my current obsessions to 10.  But I seriously could go on and on with more things I am loving!  Maybe I'll save them for another day ;)

Have a safe and super fun Memorial Day weekend, all!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WIAW: Chicken Burrito Bowl

Wednesday in the house!!!

Okay, maybe I've had too much iced coffee this morning.

I can't be held accountable for the silly things I say, because I'm clearly under the influence of caffeine.  Or maybe I'm just naturally weird.

So let's look at what this weird lady ate today:

Peas and Crayons

Oh, by the way, I totally have Instagram envy.  I feel like I need to edit my own photos taken on my normal camera to look like they were taken with Instagram (using picmonkey).  It's a new trend I'm starting.  It's called too cheap to buy a smart phone trend.

The name needs work.

Breakfast, Part #1: Luna Bar
I love this flavor of Luna bar!  It's almost a little sweet, though.  I enjoyed this bar (aside Boscoe the cat) before 5 a.m. boot camp.  Killer workout today.  I feel like I won't be able to walk tomorrow!

Breakfast, Part #2: Coffee & Oats
Usually food is my first necessity, but today it was iced coffee!  I drank two lil' mason jars of this yummy beverage.  I made it using a super strong amount of Target's iced coffee blend, some Equal (ok, off brand Equal) packets, sugar free caramel syrup and almond milk.  Oh, and ice-duh.

Then, I needed food in my belly.
I love oats in a jar!  I made some overnight oats in my almost empty almond butter jar last night, combining 2/3 cup of quick oats, 2/3 cup almond milk, sprinkle of cinnamon, drizzle of honey and frozen blueberries.  Soooo good, ya'll!

Mid Morning Snack: Watermelon
Oh, yeah, you are going to see alot of watermelon on this blog for the next few months!

Lunch: Sandwich & Veggies
I was in a sandwich mood today, so I made a sandwich using a wheat Bagel Thin, deli turkey & roast beef, provolone and pickles & banana peppers.  I had a side of carrots & cukes dipped in hummus.

The weather was so nice today!  I really enjoyed sitting on the back patio of our office area to eat lunch.
Dining al fresco makes me happy.  And yes, my pinkie is always up.  I'm fancy.

After lunch, I headed back to my desk to do tediously boring tasks.  I managed to squeeze in some dessert, though!
Dessert: Vita Cake 
I always have these little Vita Cakes stashed in my freezer for a low calorie treat.  I like the Vita Tops, too.

Afternoon Snack: Rice Cake
I never cared much for rice cakes (or so I thought), but smear a caramel flavored rice cake with peanut butter or almond butter and you got yourself an awesome snack.
I noshed on this before heading out to do some dreaded yard work.

Dinner: Chicken Burrito Bowl 
This was a super filling and nutritious dinner!  It was loosely inspired by those naked burrito bowls at Moe's.  I think my version kicks theirs to the curb.  Here's the line up:
  • brown rice
  • black beans
  • corn
  • salsa
  • grilled chicken
  • shredded cheese
  • fresh avocado
  • chipotle crema (ok, it is actually sour cream blended with some hot salsa)

So awesome.  Here's a non-fake Instagram version of the picture in case you want to pin this to Pinterest: 
Betcha can't guess what was for dessert...
Desert: Fro Yo Cone!
Yes, I am utterly predictable.  

Have a great day!

Check out my past What I Ate Wednesdays, if you want:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Corn Cakes with Blackberry Sauce

Well, Monday is here again.

But this recipe should make it bearable.

I have no other words this morning.

Corn Cakes with Blackberry Sauce
serves 3

Corn Cakes
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 egg)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter, melted (I used Smart Balance)

Blackberry Sauce
1 container of blackberries (6 oz)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch

Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients, stirring gently.
Stir in melted butter. Set batter aside. If batter is overly thick, splash in a small amount of milk.
In a saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 5 minutes on low. Stir in cornstarch, then continue cooking, using a whisk or spoon to mash the larger pieces of blackberries. Remove from heat when it's nice and thick.
Spray a skillet with non-stick spray (or use a griddle) and set to medium-low heat. When heated, drop 1/4 cup batter per pancake and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Stack pancakes, spoon blackberry sauce between each pancake. 

I love how it looks like a layer cake!

recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

If you are looking for a creative new dinner idea, go check out my Doritos Crunch Wrap at Endless Simmer!

Friday, May 18, 2012

DIY Flip Flop Makeover

Finally, I had a craft project that turned out pretty good!  Thanks so much to my awesome cousin for sending me this idea!

I've been craft-failing all over the place lately.

This one is super easy, so that even the least crafty person can do it!

Here's the step by step:

Start with an old pair of flip flops (I upgrade to new white flip flops every year, because they get so dingy.  These are last year's).
You'll also need some fabric & scissors.
Flip those flops over and clip the straps off.
I'm not proud of how dirty these look.
Cut some fabric strips.  I started with 3" in width, but soon realized it was too thick, so I cut these strips in half to be about 1 1/2" in width.
I didn't measure anything with this project, by the way.  Just eyeballed it.
So, you'll need 4 strips in total.  Cut the ends to look like this.  All pointy and stuff.
Now take two strips and face the brighter sides towards the middle (if that makes sense) and squeeze them through the top hole.
Make a knot & clip it.
Put your foot in there and tie a double knot above the parting of your big toe and second toe.
Squeeze the tails in the bottom two holes and pull them tight tight tight around your feet.
Tie 'em.
You're done!
Optional~reinforce the knots on the bottom of the flip flops with some hot glue, if you want.
This project is a great way to use an old pair of flops or even a broken pair & give them new life!
If you are wondering what I'm drinking, it is Crystal Light pink lemonade blended with some ice.  No rum today, friends!

This project came from The Mother Huddle blog