Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Recap - Trying New Things

3 day weekends are the best!  Especially when you are under the's one more day to recover.  Luckily, getting lots of sleep from Friday to Saturday was all I seemed to need.

Neither Gary or I wanted to stay inside on Saturday, so we headed out to Modesto for some window shopping...well, that was the plan.  I got 2 new plates at Cost Plus World Market. I also got THIS for later that night:
I am only halfway done with good!

Then Gary dropped me off at Ulta while he went to Best Buy.  I was in there for over an hour just browsing, until I found these 2 beauties.

I have always wanted to try the crackle polish trend and figured since I had a 20% off coupon, this way a great time to try it out.  I'll let you know what I think once I actually get around to painting my nails.

Shopping makes me hungry, so we stopped off at BJ's for lunch and an Irish Root Beer.  For those of you who do not know what an Irish Root Beer is, I feel sorry for you.  It's root beer mixed with Whiskey and Bailey's Irish Cream.  I've made them at home a few times, but nothing beats one from here.

"Adult" Root Beer makes me a happy girl!

After we devoured lunch, we walked around the mall in a food coma before heading off to the new Sunflower Market for some grocery shopping.  WOW!  They had a great variety of organic produce, specialty cheeses, and overall healthy food.  I found this, which I am using in a pumpkin cake this week.

I ran into a bunch of current and former students while there, which is always nice (only because I had my hair and makeup done).

Yesterday, I decided I needed a little "me" time, so I took a few hours to do some shopping around town.  I ended using a gift card my mom & dad got me for my birthday at Dress Barn to get some pants, a sweater and a purple top.

This morning, my whole breakfast was made up of things I have never tried before.

I found the tea at Cost Plus and I think I may go back and stock up!  It felt like I was splurging on a coffee shop drink.  I seeped the tea bag for about 7-8 minutes and added a splash of milk.  The GF waffles I found at Safeway.  I rarely have waffles, so layering them with Justin's chocolate almond butter was a treat.  I love the Justin's line of nut butters.  I have tried about half of the flavors and have yet to be disappointed.  After that, I just added some chia seeds and half of a sliced banana.  I ate it while checking out all the blogs I love to read!

I'm not the only one who enjoyed their morning.  Our sweet Sasha turned 5 today!

In addition to her regular breakfast and TWO treats, I cut up 2 apples for her to enjoy.
 You can tell she is excited because she is looking right at me.  We always make her sit, shake our hand and do the "look at me" command before eating.  When she get something exciting to eat, she sits and look at us right away, trying to make the process go quicker!

The way she ate was really cute.  She would go get an apple, then take it to the grass, chomp it down, lick the juice off the grass, the go back for another.

I spent most of today prepping my meals for the week. There are some really good ones, so stay tuned.

 As a preview, here is a picture I took while prepping one of my meals.  Can you guess what veggie this is?

 What did you do this weekend?  Do any of you celebrate your animals birthday?

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Unfortunately I have been under the weather this whole week, which has meant no blogging, but lots of 8:30pm bedtimes.

Luckily, I have a 3 day weekend to recover.

Due to my A- personality (which is a blog post all in itself) there is no rest for the weary, so here ia a typical "Mo list" of things I must accomplish this weekend.
  1. Get better!  This will involve lots of soup & sleeping.
  2. Watch "Halloween."  I imaginge this happening in the middle of the day with all the lights on as I have an aversion to scary movies.
  3. Start a list of possible somewhat healthy Thanksgiving side dishes I can make.  Once again, my type A- personality in full force since Turkey day is 4 weeks away.
  4. Put away Halloween decorations that did not make it up due to a crazy week at work and being sick.
  5. Do not freak out when most of this list is not accomplished!!
On that note, I wish everyone a great weekend and a spooky Halloween!

What are your "to-do" items for the weekend?  Anyone else feeling under the weather lately?

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...WHHUUUTT??

Please take a moment and experience what I saw on my way to work this morning.

Sorry for the quality, but I had to quickly bust out my cell phone and snap a picture before getting hit by other cars.

Let me explain to you what you are seeing...Christmas lights.....and a lighted OCTOBER!!


Ummm...I think they skipped over a few holidays in between.

Before you go calling me a Scrooge, please know, I LOVE Christmas.  My Christmas playlist is ready to go by the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  In fact, I love Christmas so much that one year I had all my Fall decor down and Christmas decor up by 1am the night after Turkey Day.  We probably own about 30 Christmas movies/cartoons and watch ALL of the them within one months time.

So you all now know how much I love Christmas.  BUT- we are less than a week away from the scariest day of the year.  Let me enjoy some "Thriller" and "Purple People Eater."  We still have a month before I get to eat myself in a carb loaded food coma...don't jump ahead of the one day a year I will eat whatever I want!

I can ignore the 3 aisles of Christmas crap at Target, Wal-Mart, etc., but I cannot ignore the house that I drive by on the way to work everyday.

Maybe I will leave a carved pumpkin in their yard as a sign.  Or a brown paper bag full of.....candy!  What did you think I was going to say?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Impress Your Friends With This One

I saw this recipe last week and HAD to make it....there was no other choice!

Makes 4 Servings


2 Large Acorn Squash
2 TB coconut oil
1 Large onion, diced
1 TB minced garlic
1/2 C. sliced mushrooms
1 can (15oz) black beans
1 tsp. curry
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 TB Chia Seeds
2 Large sweet potatoes
2 TB unsweetened flaked coconut
4 TB Greek yogurt, for garnish
2 TB unsweetened flaked coconut, for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Cut off ends so each piece can stand up straight.  Place squash face down in a glass baking pan filled with just enough water to cover the bottom.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.

While squash is cooking, saute the coconut oil with the diced onion in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Once onion is soft, add garlic and let cook.

Pierce the sweet potatoes a few times over and heat up in microwave, until tender.  Should take about 7-10 minutes.

Drain and rinse beans.  Add beans, mushrooms, chia seeds, curry, coriander, cumin and cinnamon.  Mix well and continue to cook.

Get sweet potatoes out of the microwave (THEY WILL BE HOT).  Chop into 1-inch squares.

Add the sweet potatoes and 2 TB of coconut.  Mix everything together, mashing as you stir.

When squash is done, fill with mixture.  Garnish with greek yogurt and the rest of the coconut.


Good Eats

I definitely over indulged in good food this week.  Luckily, I enjoyed every last bite!

Dinner last night was homemade pizza with a Pear Gorgonzola salad.

I forgot to put the cheese on until the end .
I SWEAR there are veggies underneath that layer of cheesy goodness!

I had a great coupon from Raley's, so I bought some gluten free pizza crusts to try out from the brand Rustic Crust.  It was our first venture into gluten free pizza crust and we were pleased.  I loaded them with shredded rotisserie chicken, some bacon pieces, peppers, cheese and mushroom.

So delicious!

One of my FAVORITE dinners this week was Chicken with Sun Dried Toms.  What a plain name for such a delicious dish!

This is a great recipe that can be changed to add more veggies of your liking.

Serves 8

4 Large Chicken Breasts cut in half.
1-2 Cups Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 Large Onion, sliced
1-2 Cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar
Spices of your liking

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

If tomatoes are packed in oil, rinse ahead of time.

Season chicken breasts with a little S&P.  Brown on both sides.

While chicken is browning, slice onion...
...and layer on the bottom of a large pan.

Layer tomatoes on top of onions

Add a layer of mushrooms

Put browned chicken on top of veggies.  Pour broth and vinegar over chicken.
Cover with foil and cook in oven for about 45 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven.

Served over brown rice and Braised Kale.

This was such a filling and delicious meal.  


Friday, October 21, 2011


This is how my Friday morning began...a treat from a coworker.  :)

This is how my Friday evening began...a treat from my husband.

Diet Coke with some added goodness!

We watched Bridesmaids and we were NOT impressed.  I think there was so much hype surrounding this movie that we expected a lot more.

So we had to end it on a good note with Step Brothers, one of our go to funny movies.

"Prestige Worldwide!"

What are the movies you always go back to for a good laugh?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In The Air

Fall is ALMOST here in sunny California.  I can feel it in my bones!  We are slowly dropping from the mid 80's to the high 70's and the lower the temp goes, the happier I get!

In honor of Autumn, here is a picture of the last apple from our apple tree.

Okay, TWO pictures.  They both make me hungry!

We'll probably use it (and its 2 siblings) in a big salad this weekend.

Enjoy your Friday!  :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Masterpiece Theater

Hello, Lovelies!

Want a super simple, delicious dinner idea??

Are you all listening?  Simple AND delicious!

Seriously folks, add this to your recipe books.

Behold the slow cooker, my BFF.  I have created masterpieces in this thing and here is one of them.

(The amounts I use below are enough for Gary & I to each get dinner and lunch for the next day TWICE.  Basically, 8 servings.  So, if you're a twosome like us, make sure you have some large containers on hand to freeze half).

4 chicken breasts cut in half
2 large cans salsa
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup black beans (soaked overnight) - or you can use canned black beans
1 cup bell peppers (I used some that I chopped and froze a few weeks ago)
seasoning of your choice.

Layer 1 can of salsa and 1 can of diced tomatoes on the bottom of your slow cooker.  Add chicken.  Layer beans on top.  Add seasoning.  Add another layer of salsa and tomatoes.  Add bell pepper.

Cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve on brown rice with some shredded cheese.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Hash Browns have always been a staple in my house.  Sunday mornings are not complete without a few cups of coffee, scrambled eggs, bacon and crispy hash browns. 

In an effort to make more food from scratch, we have stopped buying frozen hash browns at the store and I decided to try my hand at homemade sweet potato hash browns, since we are not fans of regular potatoes.

First thing you need to do is wash and peel you potatoes. 

Now, you can either shred them with a hand grater OR (what I do to save time) use a food processor.  It seriously took me maybe 2 minutes to shred them this way.

Clean up is a breeze because you can wash all this stuff in the dishwasher.  

You now want to lay out a folded non-linty towel (I use lots of my own lingo).  Lay the shredded sweet potatoes on it, and, using another non-linty towel, apply pressure to remove as much moisture as possible from the potatoes.

Start warming up your pan on the stove top with the oil of your choice (I prefer coconut oil).  
Add the potatoes and seasoning of your choice.  We only use salt & pepper.

Arrange potatoes as uniform as you can on the bottom of the pan and let cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat.  Flip and cook another 10-15 minutes.

Depending on how crispy you want them, you can add a few more minutes on each side (I do).

When finished, serve with bacon & eggs.

Please don't be jealous of our Sunday "fine china."  Only the best!!