Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Recap

On Friday night, our friend celebrated his 30th birthday. He played a show in Santa Monica so after work, we headed out to help him celebrate! He did such a great job...go Eric!

Before the show, C and I went to eat dinner at Umami Burger. I know we're supposed to be being good, but this was a treat for both of us. We definitely made up for it in the gym the entire weekend, but it was worth it!

On Saturday C and I slept in big time, and didn't get our hike started until after 2:30 pm. The hike is about 1.5 hours one way so by the time we were coming down the mountain, the sun was setting and it was FREEZING! After our hike, we went to the gym to do a little bit of additional cardio and weights.

Speaking of working out, I found the most fabulous pair of workout pants. Here's the link...I highly recommend them. They are capri length and fit like a dream. They don't sag or stretch out, they're really flattering (i.e., takes the jiggly out of the butt), and they're affordable. I'm not sure why Target models always look so bad, but don't let the picture fool you as they really do look great on.

We watched The King's Speech and I thought it was good. Colin Firth played a very convincing King George VI, and the movie was funny, sad, thought-provoking, and inspiring. I don't think it's Best Picture material, and I can think of at least a couple of other movies more worthy of that title.

Sunday was another sleeping in kind of day. It was rainy and dreary out so after the gym, I stayed on the couch and caught up on some tv and movies while C went over to a friend's house for dinner. I watched Leap Year, which I thought was kind of lame. But Matthew Goode is pretty cute and he had an accent :)

I also watched the SAG Awards (well, I recorded it and fast forwarded through all of the bs), and thought that Nicole Kidman, Tina Fey, Natalie Portman, Hailee Steinfeld, and January Jones looked beautiful. I was scratching my head about Sofia Vergara, Amy Adams, and Angie Harmon.

That sums up my weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts

I feel bad for Thursdays because it seems like everyone is always rushing through them in order to get to Fridays. In my opinion, one of the best days of the week is Thursday because it's Jersey Shore night! Yes, it's trash. But it's amazing trash. I'm not ashamed to admit that I love the show (with the exception of Ronnie and Sammi...barf) and I look forward to the always entertaining antics of Snooki and the girls and of course, MVP.

Another reason Thursday is great? Nikita is back after a very long holiday break! The last episode was such a cliffhanger, and I'm really looking forward to what is going to happen now that Alex is out in the real world.

Today's Groupon is for Bath and Body Works! You can get $20 worth of product for only $10 or $30 worth of product for $15. I purchased mine already! I love to stock up on bath products during the great sales that B&BW has. These deals are like getting free shopping money, and who doesn't love that?! If you would like to get yours, feel free to use my referral link.

That's it, friends! I hope you are having a fabulous THURSDAY!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jumping on the Fit Train - Week 4

Biggest Loser
I was pretty bored by this week's episode. It seemed to drag by, and nothing really happened. I also was really annoyed that the green team was so upset to be sent over to work with "The Unknowns" because honestly, it's obvious that those trainers are equally as good as Bob and Jillian. Quit your whining and be grateful for the opportunity you have to work with any kind of trainer at all.

I have been working very hard to get to the gym every night, including this past weekend. I have been pushing myself to make better choices, and I'm feeling so much better for it! Recently, I picked up some Luna Bars from the grocery store. I am always hesitant to try "nutrition bars" because in the past, I've found that they taste gritty and dense.

Taken from their website:

LUNA was the first nutrition bar made especially with women’s needs in mind. In addition to being made with entirely natural and 70% organic ingredients, LUNA bar provides women the specific vitamins and minerals in which they tend to be most deficient, such as calcium, folic acid, iron, vitamin D and antioxidants (vitamins A, C & E).

The first one I tried was the Caramel Nut Brownie bar, and it was good! Like their other bars, this one is high in calcium and folic acid, rich in antioxidants A, C, and E, and has 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. This is definitely a much better snacking option than a bag of potato chips!

My favorite bar is the S'mores and I also like the Lemon Zest. My least favorites so far are the White Chocolate M academia and the Peanut Butter Cookie.

Luna has a very informative website full of nutritional information and tips. I'd highly recommend visiting and checking out some of their articles (this one is a personal favorite). This article is also full of helpful tips related to snacking and making the right choices.

And just because I have to include this, Luna did not ask me to write this review nor did they pay me to buy their products.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Easy (and Healthy!) Weeknight Meal

Today I'm sharing a new recipe with you! I found this one in the latest edition of Woman's Day and knew I had to give it a try. I'm so glad I did because we loved this dinner! Not only was it full of flavor, but it was also very healthy, wallet-friendly, and easy to put together. It took only 5 minutes of prep and about 30 minutes to cook.

The recipe is called roasted sausage, apples, leeks, and potatoes, but in our house it will forever be referred to as Roasted Apple Crapple because let's face it, that just sounds way more fun!

You want to cut up the apples, potatoes, and leeks into large chunks and place them on your sheet tray. Add olive oil, fresh thyme, kosher salt, and pepper and mix together. I also added chunks of fresh garlic (about 3 cloves). Roast in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, stir the vegetables and add the chicken sausages to the tray, nestling them among the vegetables. I used fully cooked chicken and apple sausages instead of the small chicken sausage links the recipe called for. Return to the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes (I left it in for the full 20 minutes and the sausages were heated through and all of the vegetables were tender).

And just like that, you are ready to eat dinner! I'm serious, this is a very simple meal but really full of flavor. The sweetness from the apples really comes out once they've been roasted and it adds a nice touch to this savory dish.

Let me know if you try this, and as always, please share with me any of your healthy dinner recipes! I'm always on the hunt for something new!! Have a good day :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekend Recap

C and I have both reached the point where getting in shape is our number one priority. Our weekends used to be about eating out, going to the movies, being lazy, etc. but we have had such a total change in attitude recently. Now we spend our weekends in the gym and cooking healthy meals. I'm so happy for this recent change and we both are starting to feel really great too!

I know I usually talk about fitness stuff on Wednesday, but wanted to share about the iPhone app called Lose It! I'm sure many of you may already use it, but I just discovered it on Friday and so far, it has really helped me keep track of my calorie intake. If you use the app, and want to be friends, I'd love to have the added encouragement (and be an encouragement to you as well). Use to find me!!

It has been a beautiful weekend so we knew we wanted to get outside for some activity. C found a great hiking trail that is really close to us so it worked out perfectly! It was one of the more intense hikes we've done together (4 out of 5 on difficulty) and was 7 miles roundtrip!

We spent Sunday morning in the gym as well and then made a "healthy" flatbread with tomato sauce, a sprinkling of mozzarella, goat cheese, sliced tomato and basil. Delish!

I have to warn you now that my weekend recaps are probably going to be pretty boring for a few weeks since we've pledged to get healthy. I hope you weren't too bored!

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday!

Gotta love a short work week!

I'm reading a book called A Total Waste of Makeup by Kim Gruenenfelder. It's pretty funny and really easy to read while doing cardio at the gym. I love having my iPhone because time in the gym goes so much faster with the help of apps like Pandora and Kindle.

Anyway, there was a point to telling you the above information. The book is set in Los Angeles, and it's narrated by a movie star's assistant, Charlie. She has to do all of this ridiculous stuff for her boss, all while trying to understand men's behavior and dissecting her love life (which is mostly non-existent). Throughout the book, Charlie gives tips and advice she'd want her granddaughter to know...things like:

When you get really depressed at how unfair the world is, remember: half the planet didn't get a clean drink of water today.


Don't be jealous of anyone. I guarantee you, if everyone walked into a room, and dumped their problems onto the floor, when they saw what everyone else's problems were, they'd be scrambling to get their own problems back before someone else got them first.


There is nothing more painful in life than to be invisible. Try never to make anyone in your life feel that way.


You should never have a job that you hate so much you think "Thank God it's Friday" every week of your life.


I can especially relate to the last one :)

TGIF! Have a fun and fabulous weekend, friends!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

thursday's thoughts are all about...


I made a dish with quinoa for the first time last night!

It was very easy to make, and I think quinoa will make a great addition to our regular dinner rotation. It's high in protein, a great source of dietary fiber, and gluten-free!

The original recipe can be found here for actual measurements! A big thank you to the very hungry grad student for posting this!

Toasting the quinoa will give it a nice, nutty flavor. After you've toasted it for a few minutes, add the liquid (I used chicken stock instead of water) and bring to a boil. Once this has come to a boil, cover and turn down the heat. It will take 10-15 minutes to cook.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the additions - a quarter cup of sun-dried tomatoes and about 4 oz. of crumbled goat cheese.

Also while the quinoa is cooking, add about 1.5 T olive oil to another skillet and saute the broccoli until it reaches the desired texture.

Once the quinoa is cooked and all of the liquid is absorbed, transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and goat cheese. Season with sea salt and red pepper flakes. Lastly, add about 2 T of balsamic vinegar and mix it all together.

Once you've plated your dinner, add a few more crumbles of goat cheese! Enjoy!!

Let me know if you guys try this recipe or if you have any quinoa recipes that you think I should try next!

ps - I want to give a shout out to Mama's Messages because I actually went on the hunt for this recipe when I saw a picture she submitted to Kitchen Belleicious' blog yesterday. From first glance, I knew I had to try it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

50% off Amazon gift card today!

I know I already posted this morning, but this deal is too good not to share with all of you. Living Social is a website that is similar to sites like Groupon and Plum District. They offer one day deals that are usually pretty awesome.

Today's deal is a $20 Amazon gift card for $10!

I bought mine already and can think of about 168,235,741 things to buy at!

If you'd like to get in on the deal, please feel free to use my referral link :)

Jumping on the Fit Train - Week 3

I'm going to try to catch up on the last two weeks' of Biggest Loser today. But first, I have to profess my love for Trainer Bob! He is so cute :)

I think that Bob looks just like South African model, Janez Vermeiren. I only know of this guy because of the show Top Travel on the Wealth Channel (yes, there is a channel for wealthy people) that I started watching recently, partly because of the utter ridiculousness of it and partly because of the travel aspect.

Okay, moving on...

Biggest Loser
I have to be honest and say that I'm not liking the format of the show this season. They have added two additional trainers ("The Unknowns"), and the teams had the choice of going with them or sticking with Bob and Jillian (I'm going to call them "The Originals"). I know it's a competition, but it seems like the show has only been focused on pitting the two teams against each other. Just last week, Allison said that "The Unknowns" DESTROYED "The Originals" and Bob actually called her out on it. It's these types of comments that make contestants feel as if they're not good enough, even though they are losing significant amounts of weight and should be praised, not torn apart!

Another aspect I don't like is that up until last night, they hadn't revealed the new trainers. The show had solely been focused on the teams that were training with Bob and Jillian so we were completely in the dark about who the other teams were, how they were training, what they're like, etc. It felt like we were missing half of a show, like it wasn't complete.

The new trainers were [finally] introduced on last night's episode - Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova. They both seem really qualified and dedicated to changing the contestant's lives for the better. I think they're a good addition to the show, but I could have done without all the mystery.


Admittedly, it is difficult to get in the right mindset to make significant changes to your diet and exercise routine. I struggled the first couple of weeks because I'm very good at making excuses to get out of going to the gym or putting together a healthy dinner. However, I feel like I'm finally in the right mindset and I'm no longer going to allow myself to make excuses. The bottom line is that if I want to feel and look better I have to do the work, it doesn't happen overnight!

I have been to the gym four out of the last five nights and I'm really proud of myself [even if I can't lift my arms above my head]. There is a sign hanging up near the weight machines that really motivates me. It says "You always feel better leaving the gym than you did when you walked in." This is so true and I remind myself to remember that amazing feeling I have after a good workout. I feel stronger, better, and healthier so there's no reason to deny myself those feelings, which is essentially what I'm doing every time I make an excuse.

C and I are in "detox" mode so our dinners will be solely chicken and vegetables for at least the next week. Breakfast is oatmeal or yogurt and lunch is going to be light - salad from the grocery store or soup from Subway. I love my afternoon snacks - apple slices or an orange!

How are you doing in your "get healthy and exercise" journey? Please let me know! Every comment I get from all of you really helps to motivate me. It's nice to know I have friends going through the same thing and working toward similar goals.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekend Recap

Last week, C and I rode the motorcycle downtown to explore Little Tokyo! I took these pictures from the rooftop garden of Kyoto Grand right at sunset.

On Saturday, we watched football and went to the gym. I think that was about it...seriously.

On Sunday, we started out at the gym and then our world almost ended when the Pats lost. We spent the majority of the afternoon drowning our sorrows by moping around and avoiding the world. But then, everything was made better by the Golden Globes, and you can see my favorite and least favorite dresses here.

Monday was a beautiful day so we decided to get out and enjoy it. We rode the motorcycle to Alpine Village in Torrance, CA. It took about 2.5 seconds before we decided that it was totally lame.

So we did a quick internet search and found Johnny Rebs' in Long Beach. It was awesome! I felt like I stepped into any place in Georgia, it was kinda like Cracker Barrel :)

Now it's back to the real world!

Tell me, what did you do on your weekend off?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globes 2011 {lots of pretties}

After the devastating loss the Patriots suffered on Sunday afternoon, I wasn't sure I could continue on with my life! It was so terrible! But luckily, the Golden Globes were on and there were lots of pretty actresses in pretty dresses and I felt better.

Some of my favorites:
Dianna Agron in Mendel

Natalie Portman in Viktor & Rolf

Olivia Wilde in Marchesa

Mila Kunis in Vera Wang

Amy Adams in Marchesa

Hailee Steinfield in Prabal Gurung

Some of my least favorites:

Jayma Mays in Alberta Ferretti

January Jones in Versace

Julianne Moore in Lanvin

Anne Hathaway in Giorgio Armani Privé

Jennifer Lopez in ??

And, in addition to being the absolute worst dressed actress at the Golden Globes, Tilda Swinton was also the strangest presenter of the weird!

Tilda Swinton in Jil Sander

I thought Ricky Gervais was absolutely hilarious as host! The Social Network seemed to be the biggest winner of the night, winning best picture, best director, best screenplay, and best original score. All of the winners can be found here.

{pictures via here, here, and here}

Friday, January 14, 2011

Product Review

I'm very excited to have been offered the opportunity to do a product review for CSN Stores. I'm sure that everyone knows by now that CSN has an excellent selection of everything from home bar furniture, to kitchen necessities and holiday decor. I find myself visiting their site often, and am always amazed by how many different products they have. Now the hard part will be deciding what I want to review...knowing me, it will be something kitchen related! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

so tired!

This week's installment of Jumping on the Fit Train will not be happening today. I'll pick back up next week. I was in a training meeting for work ALL day yesterday, and had an evening commitment as well so I wasn't able to watch last night's episode of Biggest Loser on time for this post. And my visits to the gym have been pretty much...umm, not happening this week.

In other news, I am so extremely tired today that I'm on the verge of not functioning at all. I can barely form a complete sentence and I must look like a total zombie sitting at my desk. So forgive me for this completely ridiculous post that has just wasted 30 seconds of your time.

Hoping tomorrow is a better day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekend Recap

This past weekend, I had a cupcake order for a luau party!

I spent Saturday preparing, baking, and decorating, and delivered the cupcakes to the party that night. It was such a fun project, and I had a great time adding that aloha flair to everything.

These are pineapple cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting. I topped them with toasted coconut and put luau cupcake toppers on them.

The chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting had hula girl toppers and cupcake liners from this kit. They turned out really cute.

As a side note, Paper Style (the company I ordered the kit from) offers free ground shipping, and it is so fast. I ordered on a Friday, and received it on Monday. From GA. To CA. That's fast!

These key lime cupcakes were rolled in crushed graham crackers and I stuck drink umbrellas in them to make it look like a beach! I think these were my favorite decorations!

The party set up was a big deal! They had a bartender station, the catered food section, a Hawaiian band set up, and a place for my cupcakes. In addition to the regular size cupcakes, I also made each of the flavors in miniatures. Here is the final look of my table! C is to thank for making it look so awesome!

Needless to say, Saturday was a busy day. After we delivered the cupcakes, C and I went to a local brewery to watch the final quarter of the Jets/Colts game. I can't stand the Jets! But, hopefully next weekend the Patriots wipe that smirk right off Rex Ryan's face!

On Sunday, C and I watched the rest of Wild Card Weekend, and I made a yummy chili with turkey!

Other than that, it was a very lazy day and the perfect way to end a busy weekend.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts...on a Friday :)

*Thanks for all the great comments and encouragement on my last post! I'm so glad that I have all of you to hold me accountable in my fitness goals. It makes me not want to let you down!!*

*I also have to thank those of you that suggested I read The Hunger Games trilogy...I am ADDICTED! I've finished the first two and am halfway through the last book. I keep telling myself to slow down, but I am so into the story that I can't stop. Leslie Ann recommended these first, and I can't thank her enough (I tried to e-mail you Leslie, but you don't have an e-mail attached to your blog)!!*

*I've been seeing advertisements for McDonald's new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal so I thought I'd give it a try...big mistake! It is not very good. I'm very particular about my oatmeal, I like it on the drier side, and this was like mushy soup.*

*I have a big cupcake order for Saturday. It's a luau-themed birthday party and I'm really excited about what I'm doing with the cupcakes. I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures and hopefully get them posted on the next weekend recap.*

*I can't believe that Hugh Hefner proposed to his girlfriend! What about poor Holly? I admit that I loved Girls Next Door when it was Holly, Bridget, and Kendra...they were the best! I did watch a few episodes with Crystal and thought she seemed really sweet and much better than those twins he was dating.*

Happy Weekend, Lovelies!