Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Goals {Check In #2}

Happy Leap Day! 

Since I will be at a conference for my school today through Saturday {yay!}, I thought I would check in a few days early!

In case you have not read about my 2012 goals, here is the link.

Here's how I feel I did for the 29 days in February:

1. Take more time for me.  I'm doing a lot better with this one.  Mostly because I have had a whole week off of work, which gave me plenty of time to do most of the things I wanted to do.

2. Get back on track health wise - eating.  MUCH better this month.  I did a 2 week detox, which I feel helped reset my body. Since then I have been good about 80% of the time.  My goal is to eat well 90% of the time, giving me a little bit of room to splurge!

3. Get back on track health wise - exercise.  Last month I said I was making better decisions, but would not be running a marathon anytime soon.  TRUE, but I DID sign up for my first 5k a last week!!  This has really helped keep me on track with working out daily.  I even made it to the gym for the first time in MONTHS this past weekend!  I will be working on a training schedule next week, which will help me out even more.

4. GO ON VACATION!!  Our goal to go on a vacation this summer is looking positive!  We're putting money aside each month, so as long as no major issues come up {knock on wood} we will be going SOMEWHERE in a few months!

My grade for February: A++!!  I have not been this proud of myself in a long time...I feel like 2012 is really the year I am going to get back to the Mo I used to be {just older & wiser}.

I won't be posting anything else this I mentioned above, I will be at a conference for school employees who are directly involved with school leadership.  Don't feel bad for me - it's in Reno and there's lots of dancing & booze.  But we will also get a lot of ideas and feel overwhelmed trying to fit them into everything else we already do.

I will be on Twitter when I can {follow me}!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Honey BBQ Meatloaf


That word sounds so....gross.  Who wants to eat a loaf of meat??

Me, obviously.

And trust me, this recipe is one loaf of meat I could eat all by myself, in one sitting, if my dear husband would let me.

Which he won't.

Honey BBQ Meatloaf

1 Pound Lean ground beef
1/2 Onion, chopped
3/4 Cup Almond meal {or 1/2 cup bread crumbs}
3 TB Coconut Aminos {or you can use Worcestershire sauce}, divided
1 TB Mustard
1 Cup BBQ Sauce
4 TB Honey, divided
1 tsp. Pepper

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a large bowl mix together beef, onions, almond meal, 2 TB aminos, mustard, 1/2 of the BBQ sauce, 2 TB honey and pepper. 
~ Place mixture in an oiled baking dish and shape evenly.
~In a small bowl mix together the remaining BBQ sauce, honey and aminos.  Spread half of this over the meatloaf prior to cooking.
~Bake for 45-60 minutes.  Slice, serve, and drizzle with remaining sauce.

You want to know what the best thing about this recipe is?


I chose to have mine in salad form, crumbled over a lettuce mixture, using just a touch of my Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing and some blue cheese.  It was TO.DIE.FOR!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Month In Pictures

Even though I'm not a great photographer, I am making a habit of taking more photos.

I love going through my iPhone and seeing all the pics I took that month.

Here are a bunch that did not make it to OM during February {if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen some of these}.

Darth Vader dropping the puck at our local hockey game:

 I was VERY proud about this cart of groceries that I bought:

My mom was cleaning up when she came across this.  Great HS memories!

I was KILLING it with Red Velvet recipes this day:

I just love this dog and her face!

"Breakfast" on my last day of vacation...I was hungry within 2 hours.

V-Day flowers from my Leadership kids:

I had a HORRIBLE day on Feb. 15th, but that changed when I came home to these:

Today I went to the gym for the first time in over 9 months and it felt GREAT!  I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, alternating between mostly walking, jogging and a few sprints.  Then I tried out these new resistance machines.  Pretty sure every muscle in my body will ache tomorrow, but it will be worth it!

Hope you have all had a relaxing weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2012

So Much To Say

These past 2 days {Wednesday & Thursday} have been so busy, so fun and so full of exciting news!

Thanks to budget cuts, I have had this whole week off of work due to furlough days.  Mostly I've been sleeping in {when I can even get to sleep}, catching up on Hulu shows and reading from my stack of magazines I have laying around.

Wednesday I had plans to drive down to the Bay Area to get together with a longtime friend who I have not seen in about 4 years {pretty sad since we live only 2 hours away}.  We got together and had a BLAST!  I love that with true friends you can go without seeing them, and the minute you're back together it's like no time has passed at all.  I had so much fun that I stayed much later than planned and didn't get home until after 8pm, giving me just enough time to watch Glee and get to bed {driving long distances really wears me out}!

Bay Area Bound!

Thursday, I did my grocery shopping for the next few days, stopped by Sbux for a treat and spent close to 2 hours at Michael's.  I can be pretty crafty when I want to be, so I found some supplies for a Pinterest project I will be working on and posting about in a few days.

I have spent a lot of time this week creating some new recipes and tweaking old ones.  I will be posting all about them soon.

The MOST exciting thing I did this week was.....SIGN UP FOR A 5K!!!!!!!!  Best part?  My BFF is doing it with me!!  We live about an hour and a half away, so most training will have to be on our own, but we did talk briefly about meeting midway and training together a few times.  I cannot tell you how proud I am of the both of us.  We have a long way to go before the 5k is here {June 3rd} so I know we will be kill it!

Here is the 5k we signed up for:

Wish me luck as I start my training!

One thing I am LOVING right now is the weather {high 60's, low 70's all week long}.  Warm weather:

~Makes my hydrangeas grow
Hello, Beautiful, I have missed you!

~Gives me a chance to wear flip flops ALL DAY!
Ignore my need for a pedicure!

Sasha, however, says that sunny {and cold} weather makes her want to cuddle in her bed.

Happy Friday!

**Any big plans this weekend?**

**Any runners who can give me advice on my 1st 5k?**

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Run, Forrest, Run

AAAHHH!!!  I ran for the first time in over a year today and I feel A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

I started my day with a good, healthy breakfast of 1/2 cup hash browns sauteed with mushrooms and 2 eggs, some strawberries and grapes.

That held me over for about 4 hours until I had a salad very similar to last night.

Today's salad had less bacon {boo!}
I MAY have also indulged in a very rare midday treat:

Leftover Nutella from a baking project

It's not every week that I can enjoy such a sweet treat on a Tuesday afternoon!

The whole morning/early afternoon I did laundry and sat on my butt watching Hart of Dixie and Biggest Loser.

I was BORED out of my mind.

So I knew what I had to do.

Get up.

Get out.


I planned on walking my normal mile route, but something inside of me wanted more.  So I went with it.  And probably freaked Sasha out...poor dog didn't know what she had gotten herself into.

Out of my mile, I probably jogged half of it total.  Yay!

Then I came home and did strength training for 15 minutes.

I cannot say loud enough how proud I am of myself!!  Not only did I feel a fire inside of me to do something active, but that fire pushed me to do something I was uncomfortable with.

Watch out world, here I come!!

Feeling good after my workout, yo!

I'll leave with pictures of Sasha pre AND post walk...I do not think she has moved in the hour we've been home!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Avocado Madness

Somehow we have had over 20 avocados in our refrigerator this weekend.  We're now down to 15.  Raley's had a weekend only sale for 50 cent avocados....obviously we had to stock up!!

I am an avocado addict.  Whether it is spread on crackers, cubed into a salad or whipped into an delectable guacamole, if it is in front of me, I will down it within 5.3 seconds{scientifically proven}.

Not only are avocados tasty, they pack a punch when it comes to health benefits.  They are good for your heart and have anti-cancer benefits.  For more health information check out the California Avocado website.

With the spring like weather we've been blessed with in the Central Valley, I have been on a HUGE salad kick {exhibits A,  B & C} and decided to create an avocado based salad dressing for dinner tonight.  I had big dreams for avocado mixed with blue cheese & bacon, when I was reminded that Gary hates blue cheese {if I had only known this before we were married}.  So I took it as a challenge to also create a spicy avocado dressing for Gary.  Double Schwing!!  <---please tell me you get this reference so I don't feel old.

Avo Blue Bacon Dressing Ingredients

Avo Blue Bacon Dressing

1 Large Avocado
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt {or sour cream}
1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 TB cooked & crumbled bacon
Dash of Pepper

Cut Avocado in half and scoop the "meat" into a bowl.
Add yogurt, milk & blue cheese
Mix everything together until smooth.
Add bacon & pepper and mix again.

Avo Blue Bacon Dressing on spinach w/ walnuts & extra bacon

Spicy Avocado Dressing Ingredients

Spicy Avocado Dressing

1 Large Avocado
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt {or sour cream}
1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Prepared Salsa
Dash of Pepper

Cut Avocado in half and scoop the "meat" into a bowl.
Add yogurt, milk, salsa and pepper
Mix everything together until smooth.

Spicy Avocado Dressing on spinach

These dressings both turned out super chunky and extremely delicious!

I'll be posting some more avocado recipes these next few weeks, so stay tuned!

***Are you an avocado fan?***

S & M

{Sunday & Monday....obviously}

My original plan was to grace this blog with a recipe today.  Unfortunately the fact that I have totaled less than 18 hours of sleep in the past 3 nights made me a bit groggy today.

The past 2 days have been filled with:

~ Cleaning

~ Salad

~ A GREAT movie

~ Dessert & Wine


There will be a sleeping pill in my future, which means there will be a recipe for you all tomorrow!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Saturday to Myself

I meant to post this early this morning, but time got away from me...better late than never!

As soon as I woke up yesterday morning, I was itching to get out and do something.  I was in desperate need of some cosmetic/beauty items, so I decided to drive to the closest Ulta {about 30 minutes away} and make a day out of it by stopping in at Pier 1, Cost Plus and Trader Joe's!  The hubz was not in tears that this meant a day at home by himself {I think he saved the tears for after I left}.

No joke, I spent over an hour in Ulta, just wandering the aisles.  What I love about Ulta is that they are a mixture between Sephora and Target...on one side of the store they have higher end brands like Philosophy and Murad, while on the other side they offer items from Neutrogena and Pantene.  This gives me a great opportunity to compare products.  I used to buy a salicylic acid body spray from Murad that cost about $25.  The first time I went to Ulta, I saw Neutrogena had their own version.  Upon comparison, I  realized that they had the exact same ingredients, but the Neutrogena spray was less than $10!  Ulta also carries a wide variety of organic and natural beauty items and they are always have sales, so if I plan it right I can get some of my favorite items really cheap!

I've never tried fake lashes before and want to see if I can do it!

Next was Pier 1, where I stocked up on some clearance items and fantasized about how I will decorate our mansion when Gary & I win the lotto one day.  I also decided that when the world comes to an end later this year, and it is Gary, myself & John Cusak against the rest of society, while they raid grocery stores so we can survive, I will raid Pier 1 so we can have the most stylish, comfortable and good smelling bunker!

Cost Plus was next....I have found that I like looking around Cost Plus, but I rarely buy anything.  Probably because I always hit Pier 1 first and hit my spending limit there!

Then it was time to hit the holy grail of grocery shopping - Trader Joe's.  Most of the time I hate that it is 30 minutes from where I live, but there are times I am thankful for that, or I might go there a few times a week and spend a small fortune!  I stocked up on some almond meal, a pack of tilapia I want to experiment with later this week, dark chocolate peanut butter cups and bought this chocolate stout for Gary & I to share later that night {it was really good, but a bit too strong, so Gary had to drink his half AND some of mine...what a guy}!

I came home, dropped off the groceries, had a quick lunch and headed back out to finish getting our groceries for the week.

By the time I got home from that, it was nearly 5 and I wanted to cook the chicken for our salads.  I was halfway done when I remembered I had Kohl's cash that was going to expire that night....damn!  So Gary took over the chicken while I headed out for one last adventure.  I ended up buying a cute V-day decoration that was 80% off and 2 cute summer cardigans.

Finally I was able to come home and RELAX!!  I made our salads {using this dressing from the other night} and we watched Midnight In Paris.  We both really liked it and I am obsessed with the music...if I closed my eyes, I could picture myself walking down the Paris streets!

Yummy dinner salad!

Getting a day to myself was something I have really needed for awhile.  I like to go out and take my time exploring shops and not feel rushed.  Perfect day!!

***How was your weekend?  Any fun stuff come up?***

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing

Food ideas come to me all the time.  It's finding the time to create them in real life that is the problem for me!  Well, last night I felt like Einstein when I created this easy, creamy, honey mustard dressing.

The FFA at my high school was hosting a tri-tip dinner, which I originally planned on not participating in...I was going to come home and make dinner.  But after a crazy Friday, I finally gave in and had them wrap up 2 meals for Gary & I to enjoy at home.

This is what the meal looked like when I brought it home:

I was super hungry though and felt like I needed more veggies, so I decided to turn my meal into a salad.  The dressing they provided had way too many ingredients that I could not pronounce, so I came up with my own dressing using these 3 ingredients.

Local raw honey, organic mustard, and natural sour cream.  I like this sour cream because it has 2 ingredients {and I can pronounce them both}.

Here's what I did {approximately, because I did not measure}:

2 to3 TB Sour Cream
2 to 3 TB Mustard
Combine both in a small bowl and mix, mix, mix.
Add a tiny bit of honey and mix, mix, mix some more.

This was the end result:

I then chopped up some salad from the fridge into a big bowl, added the salad I got with my meal, cut up and added  the tri-tip, then spooned on my dressing creation.  I think that this would also make a good marinade for chicken.

Dang, it was delicious and totally hit the spot!

Gary didn't want a huge salad, but he was kind enough to try out my dressing on his small salad and said he really liked it.  Bonus points!

We ate while we watched Contagion.  I was afraid to see the movie, because I thought it would turn me into more of a germaphobe, but thankfully it did not!  I did get this funny picture before we started the movie...Gary had placed Contagion right by the Clorox container he used all last week while he was sick!

***What is your favorite salad dressing?***

***See any good movies recently?****

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guys I Drool Over

Hello Friday!!  It's always nice to end the week with eye candy...enjoy!!

 When I was younger and much more naive, I thought that when you were married it was WRONG to look at members of the opposite sex and imagine them naked  in bed in swim trunks.  Now that I know it is perfectly normal, I feel comfortable sharing my list of celebrity guys that I am not-so-secretly in love with.  I'll stick to 5, since none of you want to be here for 3 hours.

Paul Rudd - I have been a fan of his since Clueless.  He is absolutely hilarious and I love how he pops up in cameos of some of my favorite movies.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Who ever thought that dorky kid from the TV show "3rd Rock From the Sun" would grow up to be such an amazing actor and an adorkable guy??  He is definitely my "nerd" crush!

Hugh Jackman - I do not think there is another man out there {don't tell me if I am wrong} that can star in such a variety of movie genres.  From Wolverine to Les Miserables, this guy can do it all.  He is man's man and a woman's fantasy.

Ryan Gosling & Ryan Reynolds - I can lump these 2 hotties together since they share the same first name {and the same level of hotness}!

***Who are your celebrity crushes??***

***Any plans for the weekend?***

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Red Velvet Cheese Ball

I made this yesterday for my coworkers....I think I am now everybody's favorite secretary!

It is a Red Velvet Cheese Ball. To.Die.For!!

I totally copied this recipe from Taste and Tell. Check it out...tons of great recipes! Here is the direct link to the recipe.

In a nutshell, it's RV cake mix, butter, cream cheese and brown sugar all mixed together and rolled in mini chocolate chips.  If you do NOT have a Kitchen Aid mixer, this is a BI-ATCH to make...I think my poor hand mixer almost died on me!  But it is soooo worth it in the end!

I also made one for my Funny Valentine, who has been battling a horrible cold.  Instead of kisses, I gave him a ball of cheese...I rock!

As of today, I am on an official Red Velvet strike until next February.  This next month will focus on greens...kale, brussel sprouts, beer {just to name a few}!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

5 Favorite Love Songs

I hate to lie to you on Valentine's Day, but there are more than 5 songs in this list.  A lot more.  When else do I get to go on about mushy songs?

Will you forgive me??


What if I tell you there are NO Celine songs on this list??

Thanks!  Love you, too!

Here are my Top 10ish Love Songs:

“Come Away With Me” {Norah Jones}- Such a smooth, sultry song.  Absolutely love Norah Jones and the vibe of her music.

“More Than Words” {BBMak, cover of Extreme} – Who remembers BBMak??  Early 2000’s band from England.  They had a few hits here in the U.S., but I remember ringing in 2001 with Gary, watching MTV {because we were still kool kids back then} and this was the song they played at midnight.

“Faithfully” {Journey}”I’m forever yours.  Faithfully.”  Enough said.

“With or Without You” {U2}  I bought Rattle & Hum on cassette when I was about 13 years old for this song.  Almost 20 years later, I will still listen to this song in its entirety {and the album...classic}

“Time After Time” {Cyndi Lauper} – How can an 80’s song with the lyric: “If you're lost, you can look and you will find me, time after time” NOT make my list.  Isn’t that what true love is?  Being there for each other at your best AND your worst?

“At Last” {Etta James} A true, classic love song, full of soul and passion.  This was the first song Gary & I claimed as “ours” so many years ago!

“Never Tear Us Apart” {INXS}  Michael Hutchence?  A sax solo?  You know it must be amazing.

“Glory of Love” {Peter Cetera} Yes, a totally cheesy 80’s love song, but how can you resist belting this song out every time they play it on the radio?

“Let’s Stay Together” {Al Green} If there is one song out there that makes me want to go practice baby-making, this is it!!

Anything by Nat King Cole - My dream romantic weekend includes a fireplace, blankets, wine and Nat King Cole on the stereo.

“Bless The Broken Road” {Rascal Flatts} The 1st song we danced to as husband & wife.  Interesting story as how this became “our” song.  We were already set to dance to another song, when a few weeks before the wedding Gary & I got into a major fight while driving somewhere.  Not a “why do you insist on driving 10 miles above the speed limit?” fight, but a real, angry argument.  For you married people out there, you know how stressful the few weeks before your wedding can be.  No less than 2 minutes after we stopped talking, this song came on the radio.  After a few verses, Gary reached over and held my hand.  We both knew at that moment this was the song we wanted played for us at our wedding.  Needless to say, we made up and this will forever be a special song for us.


***What are a few of your favorite love songs?***

Monday, February 13, 2012

Red Velvet Cake with Nutella Frosting

I have always been a lover of Red Velvet recipes, but never attempted to make any of them on my own.  I knew that had to change this year.

This is just one of 2 recipes I found to recreate for my family & friends.

I found this recipe on Picky Palate.  Jenny created this amazing recipe and has such beautiful pictures of the baking process and final result.  Check out this recipe and MANY other amazing ones at Picky Palate!

Red Velvet Cake with Nutella Frosting

1 box red velvet cake mix
1 3.4 oz. box vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil {I used canola}
1/2 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 cup sweetened condensed milk {I used the whole can}
1/2 cup Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 2 8x8 cake pans with nonstick spray.
3. Dump cake mix, pudding, milk, oil, sour cream and eggs into a mixing bowl and {using a hand mixer}mix until smooth {about 3 minutes}.
4. Pour mixture evenly into both cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Take out to cool & start frosting.
5. Frosting: add can of sweetened condensed milk & Nutella {use more than 1/2 cup if you would like} to a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds.  Stir.  Heat another 15 seconds and stir again.  Drizzle over cakes in an even layer.  Let cool for at least 30 minutes.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love Week 2012

I am celebrating Valentine’s Day all week long on Organically Mo! 

It’s funny – I HATE the commercialism of Valentine’s Day when it comes to making males feel like dog poop if they don’t send their significant other 20 dozen roses or a diamond necklace the size of Texas.  But I LOVE the thought of spoiling other people, mainly kids.

When I was younger, I knew that I would wake up on Valentine’s Day morning, go to the kitchen and find a card & gift from my parents at my place on the dining table.  Isn’t that awesome?  I felt so loved!  I think they did that for me until I moved out about 10 years ago! 

And who can forget exchanging Valentine’s with classmates and gifts with friends?  That was the BEST!

This year, I decided to recreate a few Red Velvet recipes I have found on other blogs, so stay tuned for those.  I will also be talking about a few of my favorite “love” related things throughout the week.

Then we can all move on and dream about the green beer we get to drink on St. Patrick’s Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mo’s Current Obsessions (#1)

Every so often {okay, ALL the time} I totally obsess over certain things.  I thought I would do you all a huge favor and share what is currently taking over my mind.

#1 The Voice – How can someone NOT like this show!?!?  The talent, the witty banter between the mentors, Xtina’s need for attention and lack of clothing….it all amazes me!  And it makes my heart happy that Carson Daily has a hit show again {I LOVED him on TRL back in the day}.

#2 Kale – I have had kale 3 times in the past week.  I cannot get enough of this leafy, green vegetable.

#3 Red Velvet ANYTHING – I have searched Pinterest and all my favorite blogs for the best RV recipes due to February 14th quickly approaching…there should be some recipes posted on here Sunday or Monday.

#4 Catching Fire – The 2nd book in the Hunger Games series.  If you have missed me posting lately, you can point the finger directly and Katniss, Peeta, Gale and the rest of the HG crew.  I finished the 1st book in record time and immediately have jumped in this one.  Any other HG fans out there??

So that is what I have been doing for almost a week instead of coming up with glorious blog posts – watching The Voice, while eating Kale, Pinning RV recipes and reading….I guess life could be worse!  :)