Thursday, March 29, 2012

March Foodie Penpals

I had to take a break from FPP in February, so I was really excited to jump back in for March!

Before I get to the goods I was sent, go check out what I sent to Carol, who blogs at Cooking For Two.

I was so lucky to be paired up with Nikki, from Life After Swimming.  This was her first time sending out a Food Penpal package, so I felt super special!  :)

Nikki's package to me ROCKED!!

One of the "Rules" from FPP is that you need to include something handwritten.  Nikki sent me a cute letter that explained everything she sent me.

I loved everything she sent, but my 2 favorite things were the homemade chocolate peanut butter {my celery jumped for joy every time I would dip them in} and the homemade peanut butter cinnamon granola.  I have never been a huge fan of granola, but I could eat this all day, everyday!   

She even included a recipe for the granola....SCORE!

I think I will start a petition to have Nikki post this recipe to her will be "pinned" by hundreds of people!

Thank you Nikki for all the wonderful treats.  I loved getting to meet you through this fun program!

Are YOU interested in joining Foodie Penpals?

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:
-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tomato Baken Bites

To see this recipe in full, please head over to my self-hosted website, Organically Mo. <---link to recipe!

Thank you so much!  :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

{Almost} Wordless Weekend #2

We spent Saturday in the Bay Area for a birthday party and got to cuddle with our Godson...

...and each other!
I am LOVING this picture of me & my handsome hubby!

Sunday we took a journey into Costco and somehow didn't cry when we saw our total on the cash register.

My big find were these 2 bags of broccoli.  There are weeks where I am so ridiculously busy that I am more than willing to pay a little extra to have my veggies pre-chopped. 

Serves 16....or 2 VERY hungry adults!

I spent the rest of Sunday doing laundry, catching up on blog work and making 2 HUGE batches of roasted broccoli.

I am as ready as I can be for the week....what about you?

Can you believe it is the last week of March?!?!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

National Puppy Day

March 23rd is National Puppy Day!!

How can I NOT celebrate a day where I can ooh and aah over sweet, cuddly puppies?!?!

There's just something about puppies that makes me smile and want to start talking in this crazy, high pitched voice that only appeals to....well....puppies...and creepy guys....but we'll stick to puppies for the sake of this post.


Let these adorable puppy pictures welcome in a great weekend for you all!

I didn't do it!

Those eyes!!!

I've got your nose

Hey you guys!!!!!!!!

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Just the 10 of us

Of course, I had to show you 3 of my favorite Sasha puppy pictures!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bailey's Whipped Cream

Gary & I rarely indulge in dessert after dinner, so when we have people over, I always try to whip something special up.

For our St. Patrick's Day meal I decided to make strawberries {healthy} with Bailey's whipped cream {not-so-healthy}!

Super easy to make....

Super Delicious.....

Super stomachache when you realize you ate the leftover whipped cream.

But it is sooo worth the ache!

Bailey's Whipped Cream

1/2 pint Organic Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

Pour cream into a mixing bowl.
Using a hand mixer {at speed 6-7 of 10} whip cream.
Right before you get your desired consistency, slowly add Bailey's.
Mix for another minute.

I used a glass and layered whipped cream and strawberries, then repeated the layers.


Monday, March 19, 2012

{A Late} St. Patrick's Day Meal

Since we spent the actual St. Patrick's Day with Gary's family, I decided to make a traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage meal for us and my parents on Sunday evening.  One thing I love more than cooking is sharing it with my family & friends.

This is only the 2nd time I have made CB&C, so I am far from being an expert.  But if there's one thing I know, it's that cooking meat in beer in a crock pot will turn out to be a success 99% of the time!

~ First, I gathered my basic ingredients:

~ Add the CB to the crock pot and slowly pour the beer over
~ Add half of an onion, cut into 2 sections and a handful of garlic cloves

~ Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours

~With about an hour left, wash red potatoes {I figured about 2 per person, including lunch leftovers}

~ Cut potatoes into smaller pieces and add to a large pot with baby carrots. 
~ Take about 2 cups of liquid from crock pot to add to veggies {make sure to get some onion and garlic for an extra flavor boost}

~ With about 30 minutes left, add cabbage that has been cut into wedges to the veggie pot
~ Cook 20-30 minutes and serve!

We were soooo full from dinner.....

But there's ALWAYS room for dessert.....


Especially when the whipped cream had Bailey's in it!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday Recap - Will This Rain Ever End & Other Shenanigans

This is what the Central Valley has looked like most of the past 5 days....RAINY!!

We really need it considering the weather has been unusually warm for this time of year, but I am starting to feel like I need to break out my flannel shirts and rock out to Nirvana.

Friday night started and ended with dinner & a movie.  I made us a quick chicken avocado salad that we enjoyed while watching "Young Adult" with Carlize Theoron.  For some reason I thought it was a comedy, but it was pretty serious.  It was by the people that did "Juno" and I feel like the main character was almost a grown up version of Juno, and that did not really appeal to me.  After that, we were beyond tired and got into bed right about 10pm.

I slept until 7:40 Saturday morning, which was a pleasant surprise.  I was able to enjoy a cup of coffee while reading blogs and spending time on all my social media sites before cooking some almond meal pancakes for my breakfast.  After that I headed to the gym for some elliptical time.

It was my first time on an elliptical in some time and I feel I did really well.  After 35 minutes I did some upper body strength and ab work.

Then it was time to some home and get ready for dinner with some of Gary's family.  One of his aunts lives in Washington State, so whenever she comes to California, we all try to get together.  We met up at Golden Corral, a buffet style restaurant.  Overall, I was not too impressed.  Since changing the way we eat, Gary & I  rarely frequent buffets.  For the 2 of us we paid almost $30 and I came home hungry.  Yes, it was my choice to not eat that much, but all I could think when I got back in the food line was "what is REALLY in this food?"

That said, it was a WONDERFUL time out with our Irish family!!  And that is what was most important to Gary & I last night...reuniting with family that is so special to us.

After we got home, Gary was a great husband and danced in the rain with me for a minute or 2...I totally felt like I was in a Taylor Swift song!  HA HA HA

We weren't too tired, so we watched the Footloose remake.  I was honestly impressed...I went into it not expecting much, so maybe that is why it surpassed my expectations!  The original is still WAAAAY better!

All in all, it was a good St. Patrick's Day and I am hoping everyone out there had a fun and SAFE night!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Roasting Broccoli

"Welcome to the OM roasting of BROCCOLI, that stinky sucker with a bad rap.  Please welcome your hostess with the mostess...MAUREEN!"



{booing - security get them out!!}

{more cheers & applause}

So I know I am late to the party with the whole roasted vegetable craze, but WOW, now I know that I was REALLY missing out!

I bought some broccoli super cheap earlier in the week and had it cut up and ready to go for a sitr fry when I started craving a rotisserie chicken from Costco.  Have you ever had a Costco rotisserie chicken?  THE BEST!  And at only $4.99 for the whole bird, I am a fan!

It was decided that I would then try my hand at roasting the broccoli.  Best decision EVER!  It only took about 20-25 minutes, which for me is perfect.  I like meals that can be done in 30 minutes or less.

Here is my way of roasting.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut up your broccoli into smaller pieces.
Put broccoli in bowl or bag and add 3 TB oil {I used macadamia} and some S&P.  Mix it up.

Lay out your broccoli on a baking sheet and place in oven.

Cook 5-6 minutes, then turn broccoli over.  Repeat 2-3 times.

Take out of oven, plate and ENJOY!

**What is your favorite way to prepare broccoli?**

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

For the Love of Ryan Gosling

Today, one of my longtime friends {I have known her for over half of my life}, who is a HUGE Ryan Gosling fan, turns 30!! Hey Julie!!  :)

A few weeks ago, one of our mutual friends {also a RG fan} had a birthday and I posted a Happy Birthday "Hey Girl" Ryan Gosling photo on her Facebook wall.  Julie kindly reminded me that her birthday was coming up, so she expected the same.  ;-)  Oh, it was on!!

So, Jules, in honor of your special day {YAY for the big 3-0!}, here are some Ryan Gosling "Hey Girl" photos for all of us to enjoy!

And my all-time personal favorite:

Happy Birthday to an amazing woman and one of the biggest Ryan Gosling fans out there!!  :)

PS - OM is now on Facebook!  Click over and "like" me!  :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

A to Z

I found this cool survey over at Janetha's blog and thought I'd give it a go.  
A is for age: 31.  Physically it is MUCH harder staying in shape than in my 20's.  Mentally though - 30+ rocks.  I am so much more confident in myself and proud of who I am {even with a few extra pounds}.
B is for breakfast today: Egg muffins.  Seriously the BEST & EASIEST weekday breakfast I have come up with!
C is for currently craving: Nothing.  I am super stuffed from dinner.  Which leads to....
D is for dinner tonight: Taco salad.  Made tacos like normal, but dumped mine on a bowl of lettuce with avocado and some greek yogurt.  Freaking amazing!
E is for favorite type of exercise: Bike riding.  It doesn't feel like a workout to me.  I'd better be saying running pretty soon, since I am training for my 1st 5k! 
F is for an irrational fear: My husband would tell me it is my fear of wasps {the bug, not the people}, but I stay it is totally rational.  Their stings hurt AND they can keep stinging.
G is for gross food: Spam. McDonald's. Jello molds with fruit {really Jello by itself}.
H is for hometown: Milpitas.  M-Town, baby!  A small CA city stuck between 2 bigger cities {Fremont & San Jose}.  Some people rag on it, but I would move back in a heartbeat...I loved growing up there.
I is for something important: The past few days it has been my Day Runner.  I have my meal plans, my training schedule until June and all my blog ideas in it.  I am back to being organized.
J is for current favorite jam: "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz.  I've only heard it twice, but I am head over heels in L-O-V-E with it!

K is for kids: None of my own {not sure if that will happen}, but I have the cutest, smartest, sweetest Godson.  
B trying out his new Cars blanket with Uncle Gary & Auntie Mo
We are also blessed with other amazing kids in our life.  We get to spoil them, then send them HOME!
And, of course, we have our 4-legged dog-ter, Sasha!

L is for current location:  My living room/den/dining room.  We live in a small town home, but it works for us at the moment.
M is for the most recent way you spent money: Groceries
N is for something you need: SLEEP!
O is for occupation: Activities Secretary at a high school.  BEST.JOB.EVER!!
P is for pet peeve: People who drive SLOW on the freeway.  My favorite George Carlin joke: "You drive like old people f*ck.  Slow and sloppy."  It gets me every time.  
Q is for a quote: "Failure IS an option. Do NOT make it yours!"
R is for random fact about you: I have 5 thumbs.  Or is it 6?  Wait, it's 2...totally random!
S is for favorite healthy snack: greek yogurt with blueberries and dried coconut
T is for favorite treat: That HUGE chocolate cake from Costco {not the whole thing}
U is for something that makes you unique: Ummm...I am drawing a blank.  My personality is VERY unique {I think}.
V is for favorite vegetable: Kale, Broccoli and Eggplant.
W is for today’s workout: Nothing.  I do not train on Monday.
X is for X-rays you’ve had: Hysterosalpingogram in 2009.  Worst.Pain.EVVVER!  Things should never go UP your fallopian tubes! I still want to cry when I think about this procedure.  Never again, I tell you.
Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Getting my training schedule and meal plan into my Day Runner.
Z is for your time zone: Pacific.  I am hating the fact that I lost an hour of will take me at least a week to get back in a normal sleep pattern.
***Pick a letter {or 2} and play along below!***

Don't Be Nervous!

I cannot lie: as excited as I am to run my first 5k, I am JUST {if not more} nervous.

Here's why:

This past April I started getting a pain in my left foot.  I pulled a typical Mo and did NOT get it checked...for 2 months.  Even then I ONLY went to the doctor because I could barely walk without extreme pain & my mom pulled out her "mom card" and kept nagging encouraging me to go.  I was told I had Plantar Fasciitis and that since I let it go on for so long without treatment {yes, Mom, you were right} I needed to stay OFF my foot for a month.


I was JUST getting back into exercise {I had already lost 20 pounds in the past 5 months} and this was NOT what I needed.

So I pulled another typical Mo and only partially listened to what the doctor had to say.

Yeah, I did not get better.  UNTIL I finally did listen and only put pressure on my foot when I had to {did I mention we were moving at the time}, and wore tennis shoes all the time.  In summer.  In the Central Valley.

***Please Note:  Shoes on my feet in the summer is my own personal hell!***

But I did it, and I started feeling better.  I went back to the doctor and was told that was a good first step {no pun intended} but until the pain was at least 80% gone, don't do exercises that put massive pressure on my foot.  Crap!

Fast forward to December.

It was a few days before Christmas when I woke up and realized "Holy crap!  I haven't had that pain in my foot for a few days now!"  IT WAS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!  ;-)

Two days after Christmas, Gary & I started taking regular walks around the neighborhood, slowly upping our time and mileage.  Every morning I would walk up pain free.

Occasionally I would wake up with a dull pain.  To me that meant taking a day off, which has so far worked.

These past few weeks I have slowly been adding jogging to my routine.  Never 2 days in a row.  Not pushing myself into an injury again.

I am soooo afraid that I will do something to mess my foot up again and be on couch-rest.

But I'm not letting that fear stop me.

I stretch my foot everyday & I massage it using this special prickly ball I bought on

I WILL cross that finish line in June, and in doing so, kick Plantar Fasciitis in the ass {with my good foot, of course}!

***Have any of you ever suffered an injury that kept you off your game for a long time?***

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Road To Reno

Sorry for the absence this week.  I got home from my school conference early Saturday morning after only 4 hours of sleep the night before and I have been fighting to catch up on sleep ever since.

Our drive to the conference in Reno was SNOWY!  Once we got there, I had a blast!  There was so much to absorb and figure out how to implement at my high school.

Here's a quick recap in pictures:

The drive was fine through Sacramento, so we stopped at this cute little diner in Auburn called MaryBelle's.  If you are ever in the area, eat there!  I had an omelette and it was so fresh and delicious.  Plus, the people working there were so friendly.

Good thing we stopped in Auburn because we went from this weather:

to THIS weather a little too quick for my liking:

And it just got worse!

Isn't it beautiful?!?!

After the long drive, we had to celebrate getting there safe with a drink!  ;-)

 View from our hotel room:

My beautiful henna tattoo {I love the design so much, I may want to get an actual one added on my back}:

 Look who I met!  hee hee

 Ready to party like it's 1969!!

All my goods ready to drive home!

Even though I had fun, I was so glad to be home!

I'll leave you with 2 more snow pictures...ENJOY and I will be back to regular blogging after this week!