Monday, April 30, 2012

April Foodie Penpals

I was really excited over Foodie Penpals this month!  It was my first time baking a homemade goodie for MY penpal, Jillian, over at Bites of Balance. Too see what Jillian thought of everything I sent her, go check out her blog!

This month, I was paired up to receive a package from Lisa over at The Daily RUNdown.  She sent me a cute little questionnaire to find out my food preferences, which I thought was very creative!

When I received my package on a Friday night, I was THRILLED to find THIS right on top:

Oh yeah!  That is was homemade whole wheat zucchini chocolate chip bread!!  And made with organic ingredients.  I am not ashamed to admit that this was gone within 24 hours.  It was delicious!!

Next was a handwritten letter:

Lisa included tahini & chick peas, along with a recipe, for hummus.

I still have yet to make it, but it is on my list of must try recipes.

Finally, there was a jar of sun dried tomatoes & of my favorite things!!

I was so happy with everything Lisa sent me.  It was such a variety that all my cravings were filled!

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!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Top 5 Friday - How To Help A Friend Going Through Infertility

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week {April 22-28}, I've come up with a list of 5 ways to help those you may know going through infertility.

1. LISTEN - When a friend feels comfortable enough to open up about their infertility, listening is the most important thing you can do.  Chances are your friend is not opening up to everyone about this, so really listen to what they are saying and acknowledge their feelings.  I know that we all have busy lives, so if your friend is not calling at a good time, plan a phone date where you can dedicate some time to them.

2. RESEARCH - You don't need to learn enough about infertility that you can write a book, but find out what exactly they are suffering from and gain enough knowledge to have a better understanding.  When I was first diagnosed, I did my own research and printed out info for my family and I believe I e-mailed info to my close friends.  I wanted to be the one in control of my PCOS, but others may not feel comfortable doing that.

3. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF - I know that it's easy for us women to bring things up in conversation, but this is a BIG no-no.  If your friend wants others to know about her condition, SHE should be the one sharing.  On the other hand, if she asks you to share some details with others, this is okay.  Case in point, I gave my BFF permission to give BASIC info to mutual acquaintances because at parties, etc. I did not want to keep hearing "When are you & Gary going to have a baby?"  I figured if these people knew enough about my PCOS, they would refrain from asking.

4. DON'T COMPARE - Some of you may know more than one person dealing with infertility.  Some of you may even know more than one person dealing with the same infertility condition.  Refrain from saying things like, "Oh, Jane also has PCOS, but after a few months of HCG treatments, her & Joe got pregnant."  Every case is different.

5. BE POSITIVE, BUT IN THE RIGHT WAY - From my last post, you all know how I hate when doctors told me to "just relax."  Infertility is a sucky thing that no one can predict.  There were days when I felt like absolute shit and a disgrace as a wife and a woman.  Those were normally the times I really needed to talk to my BFF.  If she would have said things like "You'll be pregnant in no time," or "Just relax," I probably would not have opened up to her so much.  Instead, she was supportive and acknowledged my feelings {she even let me have MAJOR pity parties at times} and told me that no matter what happened, I was still Mo, that my husband still loved me and that at the end of the day what will be will be.  It's all about perspective people!

I couldn't leave you without sharing this one as well.

6. DON'T STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR KIDS - Your friend knows you have them, so don't do the weird thing and suddenly act like you don't.  While Gary & I were in the middle of of fertility treatments, my BFF was blessed with becoming pregnant.  I am pretty sure there was some guilt when she called to me her good news knowing it wasn't working the same for G & I on the baby front.  Still, when she called to tell me, that was the 2nd happiest day of my life {Someday I'll have to share my story about how I knew she was pregnant before she called - it's classic}.  Hearing about her pregnancy gave me hope at times and at other times made me a little happy I wasn't pregnant {why don't they tell you in High School about the horrible side of pregnancy?}.  Once my Godson was born, I was the proudest Auntie Mo!  I LOVE hearing about the crazy stuff he does and that will never stop.

I also REALLY want to thank everyone for the support I received over my blog post on Wednesday.  Opening myself up like that was crazy scary, but so worth it in the end!  Your kind words have meant the world to me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

National Infertility Awareness Week - MY Infertility Story

Before I get to sharing my story, here are a few things I want to preface this post with:
1. This post will be LONG...I want to get it all out there.
2. This post may jump all over the place...thank you for sticking with me on it.
3. This post was written in one sitting, with no edits, so I apologize if my grammar, etc. is off.  I felt the best way to write my story was as if I was actually talking to you about it..

So, here we go.....

I've wanted to write this post for a while now, but kept putting it off.  I am not a super private person {I mean, I have a blog, come on now} but my infertility is something I have only shared in depth with a handful of people.

This week {April 22- 28} is National Infertility Awareness Week.  I stumbled up the Resolve website a few weeks ago and knew this would be the week to woman up and write this post.

I guess my infertility problems started back when I was in High School.  By 16, I had only had my period a handful of times, which was strange to me because all my friends had their periods like clockwork.  My doctor at the time looked me over, ran tests and told me I was a normal teenage girl, and the sometimes, when girls are very active {I played school soccer and league soccer from ages 6-19} they don’t menstruate normally.  That said, she did put me on birth control in order to regulate my periods.

Skip ahead 9 years.  I was a newly married 25 year old woman.  I wasn't crazy about having kids that young {yes, that was young to me}, but knew that both Gary & I DID want kids within the next year or 2, so I got off my birth control since I had read that it could take up to 6 months after that to get pregnant.  6 months passed and nothing happened.  Around that time, my mom gave me an article from one of her magazines about an endocrine condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome {PCOS}.  I read it and my gut told me that was what I had.  So I made an appt. with my doctor.  We talked, she ran tests, did an ultrasound and told me that there was nothing wrong with me, and to keep trying. "If you relax, you'll get pregnant."  Ummm....6 months after THAT I went to another doctor, who ran the same tests and told me the same thing.  Do you know how HARD it is to relax when someone tells you to just relax?!?!

It was so frustrating....I KNEW something was wrong with my body, but nobody could tell me what it exactly was.

That next January {I was 26 1/2 at the time} Gary & I had to change insurances.  It took me a few months to even make an appt. with my new doctor because I was afraid she'd tell me to "just relax."  Instead, she sat with me for 45 minutes, going over my whole history.  Within minutes of sharing my story with her, she told me that a 20-something year old woman who was NOT on birth control and sexually active on a regular basis who was not getting pregnant is not okay.  And shame on my other doctors for not looking deeper.  I kid you not, I sat there crying.  Finally there was a doctor who didn't think I was overreacting.

After some tests, she called to tell me I had PCOS {thanks Dr. Mom for that article years ago}.

Within a few weeks, she had me on Metformin and taking Clomid to up my chances of pregnancy.  Every month or so, she upped my dose.  I was charting my temperature every morning and keeping track of everything that could help us in the fertility department.  Still nothing.

This time was really stressful for Gary & I.  Infertility treatments are NOT cheap.  Even with just the Metformin & Clomid, we had to pay about $250 a month out of pocket for each round of ultrasounds {Clomid ups your chance of getting cysts on the ovaries}.  A few times, we had to not do treatments because there were cysts on my ovaries.  My doctor worked with me to make this process as inexpensive as possible, but there's only so much wiggle room.  This was also during a time when Gary & I were taking HUGE pay cuts at work and Gary's trusty Honda died, so we had to buy a used vehicle.  Money was tight to say the least. 

But we made it work...because we had to.

It was a few months later when our lives went from bad to worse. Gary's dad was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer.  Within 3 and a half months, Gary's dad passed.  It was like the ground opened up and swallowed Gary whole.  He was dealing with the grief of losing a father and not being able to have a family.  I was just trying to keep Gary functioning while feeling beyond guilty that my body wouldn't give him the child he deserved.  It was a dark, depressing place for both of us.

After a few more months, my doctor suggested I get a Hysterosalpingogram, which is an x-ray of the fallopian tubes.  What nobody tells you is that it hurts like hell.  I have NEVER been in that much pain before.  It was like someone was cutting up my insides with a machete.  Times a million.  As soon as Gary got me in the car, I told him I am never going to go through that procedure again.  The "good" news was that my tubes were clear and that it supposedly upped my chances of getting pregnant the next month.  My doctor thought since the odds may be higher, we could start HCG shots.  

So in addition to the Metformin, and Clomid {not to forget the Provera that I needed to take to START my cycle}, I was now getting HCG shots in my upper ass.  Oh joy.  Round 1 - No luck.  Round 2 - No luck.  Round 3....there was no round 3.

Between the time of Round 2 &3 Gary and I had a major talk.  We were both tired of trying.  Sex was no longer something we enjoyed because the past 2 years it could only be had on certain days at certain times, certain positions, etc.  Gary was still trying to heal from his father's passing.  We were having a hell of a time affording treatments anymore {which led to more stress}.  We had both gained weight from the stress in our lives.  We were just NOT in a good place anymore, individually or as a couple.

After 2+ years of trying, we were done.

And, secretly, I was thrilled.  I've never felt as emotional and physically drained as I did those years of trying.  I had lost my spirit, my humor, my love of life.  I had become one of those women obsessed with having a baby.

Slowly, I became the woman I had been before and Gary & I went back to being the couple we used to be, but closer, because of all the crap we'd been through.

Fast forward to today...I'm now 31 and still childless.  99% of the time I am okay with this.  1% of me still feels shame that my body can't do what it is supposed to do naturally.  But I don't dwell on it. 

We have an awesome Godson, and a few other kids in our life that we try to spoil the heck out of {then we get to give them back}!!

Gary is going back to school the next few years, so we've kept with our decision to NOT try for children.  We've had many discussions about our options over the past few years.  Some ideas have included adoption or surrogacy.  Right now the idea we've been toying with is choosing to remain childless, but it took a long time to even get to the point of talking about it.  For years I felt that maybe I wasn't enough for Gary - that we needed kids to continue growing our relationship.  I now see that this is soooo far from the truth.

I'm not sure what the future will hold for Gary & I when it comes to children.

What I do know is that no matter what happens, Gary & I will take that journey together.

****for more information about infertility, please go to this link.  Resolve is a GREAT website with a ton of information!***

And The Winner Is........


Congratulations!  You won the Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

Trust me, you'll love it!

Please e-mail me at with your mailing address.

Thank you to ALL who entered!!  Stay tuned for a different giveaway at Organically Mo within the coming weeks!  :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Roasted Eggplant

Hey there!  The recipe for Roasted Eggplant has moved to my own domain, Organically Mo.

Thanks for heading over there to get this delicious recipe!

To get to this pin directly, you can click here to repin!  :)

Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, April 20, 2012

Top 5 Friday - Special Instagram Edition

Top 5 Things I Was Excited About This Week {Illustrated with Instagram Photos}

1. Roasted Eggplant - I have a whole post ready to go about this, but wanted to share my new found love for one of my favorite vegetables.  Sadly, it is getting to hot to run the oven much longer, so I think we'll have to experiment with the BBQ.

2. Grocery Shopping - Am I the only one who loves doing this?!?  I was SUPER stoked when I got all my vegetables for the next week and a half for under $30!

3. Lemon & Lavender - I've been obsessed with using these 2 ingredients in my baking lately.  I'll have to share a recipe very soon!

4. Mogaritas - If you follow me on Twitter, you read this last night: "It's scientifically proven that I consume more mogaritas between Spring Break & the end of school than any other time of the year." I wish I was's not true either.

 5. PLAYOFF HOCKEY!!  I've been a PROUD San Jose Sharks fan since the franchise started in 1991.  My room between the ages of 13 and 20 was plastered with Sharks {and other NHL} memorabilia.  I wish I could spend as much time as I used to following hockey, but being an adult sucks sometimes and I must spend most of my time doing boring adult things like cooking dinner {not so bad}, paying bills, doing laundry, falling asleep on the couch at 8:17pm....
But once playoffs start, I revert back to the good old days and make the effort to watch every game {even if I have to go to bed before the game ends at 10:30}.

*What was one thing you were excited about this week?*

**Any good weekend plans?**

***Don't forget to enter to win some top of the line virgin coconut oil here!***

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway


I first discovered all the amazing benefits of coconut oil last summer.  It was at that time Gary & I determined we would live the healthiest life possible.  Changing from regular cooking oil to coconut oil was the first in many steps we have made to improve our lifestyle.  I tried many different brands and they all did a good job, but Tropical Traditions was one company that I kept hearing positive things about and REALLY wanted to try!

So when Tropical Traditions gave me the opportunity to try out their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, I cannot tell you how excited I was! 
I have enjoyed using this oil for a few weeks now for baking, cooking, even for moisturizing!  I smell like a freaking coconut once it's rubbed into my skin!  :)

Not only was Tropical Traditions kind enough to send me coconut oil to try, they also are giving away a quart of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to one Organically Mo reader!!

Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Win 1 quart of  Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!
Tropical Traditions is America's source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil? You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the  advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Here's how to enter {you can have multiple entries...each entry must be left in a different comment}:

1. Subscribe to the TT email Newsletter here. {let me know you did so in a comment}

2. Follow TTon Twitter @troptraditions {let me know you did so in a comment}

3. "Like" Tropical Traditions on Facebook. {let me know you did so in a comment}

4. Follow me on Twitter @OrganicallyMo {let me know you did so in a comment}

5. "Like" Organically Mo on Facebook {let me know you did so in a comment}

6. Tweet the following: "I want to win @troptraditions from @organicallymo:" 

So you have SIX ways to enter this contest!

*Open to all United States & Canada residents*

I must receive all entries by midnight (EST) on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 and the odds of winning are determined by the number of entries received. No purchase necessary to enter. I’ll randomly pick a winner on Wednesday morning.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Monday, April 16, 2012

Starting Off On The Right Foot

In my last post I mentioned the advice I received about getting fitted for proper running shoes.  I had already thought about it in the past, but after receiving this advice from avid runners, I KNEW I had to do it.  I had heard positive things about Fleet Feet, but the closest one to me is 45 minutes away and the reviews on Yelp were so-so.  When I broadened my search, I found a Fleet Feet in Pleasanton that is on the way to my brother's place...SCORE!  Gary & I had already planned to drive down and see him this weekend, so we decided to leave home an hour or so earlier than originally planned.

We got there about 2pm and were greeted as soon as we walked in the door.  They were pretty busy, but it only took a few minutes for someone to come out and help me.  I was lucky to get Eric, who seemed very knowledgeable.  He measured my feet as I sat, then when I stood. Next, he watched me walk barefoot through the store.  After this {probably 15 minutes in} he went into the backroom and brought out 2 pairs of shoes.  I tried on the first pair, then he took me outside where I ran up and down the block for him.  Not liking what he saw {I'm NOT talking about my dope running skills} he took both shoes back and brought out 2 different pairs, since I overpronate {which is interesting because I have high arches...normally overpronaters have flat feet}.  I tried on both of these pairs, ran up & down the block again {I wonder how long it took the barber shop at the end of the block to get used to crazy people running right up to their door then turning around and running back the other way}.

Once that was done, these are the shoes I chose:

Saucony ProGrid Stabil CS2 - PERFECT!

After that was done, Eric explained to me why I should not be wearing cotton socks while running, so I bought 2 specialty pairs of socks and some Superfeet inserts that he thought would help me out.  Then he answered some questions I had regarding compression sleeves and I ended up getting a pair of those as well.  That's when I asked him about sports bras and he kindly handed me over to one of the ladies working.

I never caught her name, but she is my new BFF.


Because when I told her I wore 2 sports bras to hold my girls up while exercising, she shook her head and said that I should never have to wear more than 1.  To be honest, I did not believe her.  Still, she helped me pick out a Moving Comforts bra to try on.  I got into the dressing room, put on my bra, jumped around, hoped there were no hidden cameras, jumped around some more and realized...

...wait for it...


If I wasn't worried about ruining my makeup, I would have cried.  But I had places to be, so there were no tears shed on the outside.

I added the bra to my pile of goodies and began the checkout process.  Thank goodness Gary wasn't wearing makeup because I think HE did cry when the total came up.  Just a little over $300 was my damage.  I had actually already figured {thanks to my Type A personality} that it would be be over $250, but even I was sad to part with that much money.

Here's what $300 got me...not bad!  :)

If you have a Fleet Feet near you - CRAP - even if you have to drive an hour or 2 to get there....GOOOO!!  Their customer service cannot be beat and the products I bought there were all high quality!

I've been able to use all products twice now and I am confident that I made the right decision by going to Fleet Feet to help me get started with the proper running gear.

***Has anyone out there had the "Fleet Feet" experience?***
***What shoes do you run with?***

Sunday, April 15, 2012

5k Craziness

Almost 2 months ago I signed up for my first 5k.  Since then, my training has been sporadic, to say the least.  I have weeks where I am getting out there and running on the days I am supposed to and going to the gym on the other days.  Then I have weeks like this past one...

This is how I envisioned my week of Spring Break would look ~ a 1-2 mile walk with Sasha every morning, then either the gym or running on my own later in the day and MAYBE throw in a late afternoon walk with Gary once he got home from work.

This is how my week of Spring Break ACTUALLY looked like ~                           ...

No, I did not type in invisible ink above.  My problem was, for the most part, I did nothing to help my training.

On Good Friday I took a great mile long jog, where for the first time, I jogged more than I walked!  Progress is what I call that!

So Saturday morning, I was still on that cloud, when I made a mistake.  My legs were hurting a bit, and I had told myself that while I am training to never run 2 days in a row {actually, my training schedule told me this}, but I KNEW I would be okay.  I laced up my shoes and headed out the door.  A little more than halfway through, I felt sharp pains in my shins.  So sharp that I had to stop immediately and stretch.  I tried jogging a bit more after that and it was NOT happening.  I actually sat down in the middle of the sidewalk to stretch and contemplated calling Gary to come pick me up.  Instead I got up and walked home veeeeery slowly.

As soon as I got home, I reached out to my FB and Twitter friends on how to handle shin splints...I received amazing advice {thanks to all of you who responded}!  The main thing I got was to get fitted for proper running shoes {I will blog about that experience later sometime this week}.  I also received a great idea to massage down your shin using the heel of the opposite foot.  It hurts, yet feels so good, at the same time.

No joke, my shins still hurt.  Not like the day I injured them, but more of a dull ache.  Is this what getting older feels like??

It also did not help that the weather was horrible this whole week.  Rain does not begin to describe the weather we had in the Central Valley.  I am not afraid of rain, but it hailed here at least 2 days, we had thunder & lighting quite a few times and even the "regular" rain felt like I was being shot at with a BB gun.

Trust me, I get that I still could have gone to the gym and had a good low-impact workout....I just didn't and I own that truth.  It is something that I am working on.  The way my personality works is that when something does not go at least 80% of the way I envisioned, I have a tendency to say "screw it!"

Please tell me I am not the only person out there like this!

As of today, I have 6 weeks left to train for my 5k.  The weather looks promising for the week {low to mid 70's} which gives me NO excuse not to train...even if it means just getting outside to walk or ride my bike.  If you follow me on Twitter or "like" Organically Mo on Facebook, feel free to ask me about my training....I like to be kept accountable!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Top 5 Friday

Who has seen the movie High Fidelity with John Cusack?  I originally tried watching in when it came out in 2000 and was not impressed.  Then I watched it again a few years ago and I totally got it!  What a difference a few years makes.  In the movie, the main character, Rob, is always making up Top 5 lists.  Since seeing this movie, Gary & I {in true geek fashion} always refer to things we love as "Top 5," usually shouting this out in our loudest voices, as if John Cusack can really hear us from his space in the universe!

So in honor of this great movie and my overall love of lists, I am starting a new blog segment - Top 5 Friday!  It will be random stuff that I am thinking about that week.

Here we go.....

I am a working girl.  I wake up at 4:45 every morning and do not get home until about 4:30.  I then exercise, shower, prepare dinner and do other fun things like pay bills, clean the sink, etc.  So when I get a week off from work {like right now for Spring Break}, I REALLY want to sleep in until 10 every morning & stay in my jam-jams all day, unless I feel like leaving the house for shopping, lunch, a mani/ get my drift!
Unfortunately, I cannot do that!  There are certain things I need to get done during these long times off of work.  Here's how I do it!

TOP 5 Ways I Motivate Myself To Get Housework Done

1. Make a List - I told you I love lists!  The thing that keeps me on track the most is keeping a list of the things I NEED to do and the things that I would like to get done around the house.

2. Make a Date - Once I have my lists, I look at my calendar and figure out what days I will dedicate to housework.  I try to give myself one day of getting out of the house for everyday I have housework planned {even if it just means going to the grocery store - I LOVE grocery shopping}.

3. Dress For The Occasion - My jam-jams are eerily similar to the clothes I wear while doing housework. The only difference?  I make sure to wear a bra & I put on sneakers.  All you women out there understand this one - once you have your over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder on, the relaxing is over.  By putting on sneakers, I can't just kick back on the couch and watch 5 straight hours of Dawson's Creek {like I did last Friday}.

4. Mix It Up - I throw my iPhone on our stereo dock, turn on a Pandora station, and pump up the volume!  Fast music inspires me to work faster and having my iPhone on the dock stops me from checking Twitter every other minute.  It is also a great way for me to take a dance break every so often!

5. Treat Yo Self - Maybe I don't take it as far as Tom & Donna from "Parks and Recreation," but I do reward myself for working hard.  Whether it be scheduling a spa treatment for that week or just giving myself a 2-hour window to read a book or magazine.  Seriously, a girl cannot work ALL day during her time off!
For those of you who do not know what Treat Yo Self is...shame on you!  "Parks and Recreation" is one of the funniest shows on TV right now...DVR it and watch a few episodes.  You'll thank me later.

I leave you with a clip explaining Treat Yo Self:

***How do you motivate yourself to do housework?***

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Parmesan Almond Crusted Tilapia

Per my last post, you all know about my love for Trader Joe's almond meal.  I also bought some Tilapia during my last visit, wanting to create a new recipe using my beloved almond meal.

The result was mouthwatering.

When serving dinner, I usually load my plate with more veggies than meat/fish and let Gary enjoy a larger meat portion.

Not. This. Time.

I ate my whole tilapia fillet and craved even more!

Parmesan Almond Crusted Tilapia


3-4 Tilapia Fillets {we only had 3 in our package, but they were good size}

2-3 Eggs {to help almond crust stick}

Parmesan Almond Meal Crust - 1 cup almond meal, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, Italian Spices {Parsley, Basil, Oregano} to your liking, S&P to your liking.


~Pat Tilapis Fillets dry using paper towels {set aside}
~Crack eggs on a deep plate and beat until mixed.
~Combine ingredients for crust into a small bag.  Seal bag, shake and once mixed, empty into a deep plate.
~One at a time, dip fillets into egg wash, then dredge through crust mix, making sure each side is coated evenly.
~Add each fillet to a pan preheated and coated with cooking oil of your choice {I prefer coconut oil}.
~Cook tilapia on medium heat for 5-6 minutes per side {checking for color and flakiness}

Serve with roasted broccoli and a sweet potato for a healthy, nutritious meal!

Patted dry and ready to go!

Right next to the stove for ease

1st side is cooking

Cooked perfectly!
 ***Tilapia is my favorite fish to cook.  It is versatile and does not have that "fishy" taste.***

Do you like fish?  What is your favorite way to prepare fish?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Trader Joe's Almond Meal

I want to shout it from the mountains : I LOVE Trader Joe's Almond Meal.  It's one of my favorite finds from TJ's {and trust me, I have many}!!  It only costs $3.99 for a 1 pound bag, which is a spectacular price for such an amazing and versatile product.

Trader Joe's Almond Meal
How I store it in my kitchen

Here are some of the recipes I have used almond meal in:

Bad iPhone pic, GREAT recipe!

I will be posting a new recipe using almond meal later this week {I know-the suspense is killing you}! Until then, stop by your local Trader Joe's and load your shopping cart with their Almond Meal.  Then go home and make one of the recipes will thank me {but please finish chewing your food first}.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Hunger Games - Am I Hungry For More??

First off, I know I am a few weeks late seeing The Hunger Games.  In my defense, I HATE seeing movies when they are first released {especially a "teenage" movie} due to the fact that the theater is STUFFED and the ratio of people under the age of 18 compared to those over 18 is NOT in my favor.

With Titanic 3D opening this weekend, I thought Gary & I could easily see The Hunger Games in a theater all to ourselves {or even with a few people closer to our age}.  How wrong was I?!?!  Even after being out 2 weeks, our theater was PACKED!!    Please note: Gary & I do not go to the movies very often. We rent movies like crazy, but are extremely picky about what movies to spend about $10 a person on.

It must be hard for writers to convert such an utterly wonderful, detailed book into a movie just shy of 2.5 hours.  Honestly, I don't think they could have done a better job telling the story.

Before I gush even more about my love for this book series, now movie series, I have to say one negative thing - I do NOT like how Donald Sutherland portrayed President Snow.  In the book, there were scenes between Katniss and President Snow that made my skin tingle with fear for her.  In the movie, he just seems like a classic movie political dictator who knows how to keep everyone in check.  

Here are a few of my favorite things about The Hunger Games movie:

~The Capitol - Definitely just as beautiful and over-the-top as I imagined while reading the book.  I found this laugh and had to share:

~ The way they shot the movie - In order to keep the movie PG-13 they had to make some pretty detailed death scenes NOT so detailed.  I do not like blood and gore, so this was nice for me.  

~ Cinna, Haymitch, Effie & Caesar - The casting for these characters was SPOT on!!  

Lenny Kravitz is so cool to begin with, he only needed gold eyeliner to perfect Cinna

Nobody could play the almost always drunk, but caring Haymitch like Woody Harrelson

I LOVE Elizabeth Banks and she did a great job playing the uptight Effie
and my personal favorite:

My love and obsession for Stanley Tucci is a blog post {or two} on its own, but he gave 120% playing the SUPER smarmy Caesar

~The 3-finger salute - Was I the only one in tears when after Rue died Katniss dressed her in flowers, looked at the cameras and did the District 12 3-finger salute?  Then {unknowing to Katniss} District 11 gave her the same respect before starting an uprising in their own district?  I am tearing up again just thinking about that scene!

So, in answer to my post title, YES, I AM hungry for more!  Rarely do I think a movie does its book justice, but The Hunger Games is high on that short list!

***For those of you who have seen The Hunger Games, what did you think?***

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Excitement

I cannot believe April is HERE!!  Where did March go?!?!

Looking over my calendar, here are just a handful of things I am excited about for the month of April:

~ SPRING BREAK - 10 glorious days off of work!  Am I doing anything special?  Well, if you count the appointment I just booked for my "lady" doctor special, then YES....100% YES.  I may also book a massage & facial later that week so all my body parts feel the love! {This closes the TMI portion of this post}

~ SASHA GOES TO THE DOGGY SPA - Holy crap she stinks!  Which amazes me because she is mostly an inside dog.  We couldn't afford to send her in March, so the 1st day of vacation I am taking her to be pampered.

~ SPRING CLEANING - This one I am not looking forward to so much, but it has to be done.  I usually deep clean thrice {oh yeah, I said thrice} a year, so we can do general maintenance the rest of the time.  I guess by doing it myself, I can justify using the money I would have spent on a maid to get a facial & massage.

~ TITANIC - Oh no, not JUST Titanic, but TITANIC in 3D!!  True story - this movie came out when I was in high school and I saw it at LEAST 5 times in the theater.  I cannot wait to see it 15 years later!  Bonus - I have somehow managed to talk Gary into going with me...he only agreed because he thinks seeing the boat sink in 3D will be awesome.  And you wonder why I love my husband!

**What are YOU looking forward this month??**

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Whirlwind So Cal Weekend

WOW!  We just got home from a short trip to So Cal in honor of THIS gorgeous Mommy-to-be:

It was full of:


The Ocean {Huntington Beach, to be exact}

Oohing & Aahing over baby-to-be cuteness

Clobbering our dinner

Oh, and did I mention my not-so-secret lover, the Ocean??

Now it is back to reality...laundry, grocery shopping & work.

But all I need to do is look at pictures of the ocean and my spirits lift!

***What place in nature brings you peace?***