3.25.2014

Mid-Week Ramblings

Welcome, welcome, welcome to new visitors sent over by my girl Holly!

(Seriously, if you are looking to grow your readership, I highly recommend finding a blog to advertise on/sponsor.) 

Anyway...

Sorry it's been a little quiet around here. Life has been super busy lately, which means internet time gets pushed to the side. I just wanted to pop in and talk about some things I've been loving lately.

-ONE-

Veronica Mars! I'm almost done watching the first season, and I l.o.v.e. it so much. I definitely have a new found love of Kristen Bell. I'm not sure if its on Netflix, but you can watch all 3 seasons for free with an Amazon Prime membership that you accidentally signed up for.

-TWO-

Puppies! Kyra and I are bringing home a new member of our family on Sunday. Shanny is getting a puppy brother! We are getting a blue/brindle American Pit Bull Terrier. We met him over the weekend, and I can already tell that he's gonna be a mama's boy. With that being said, don't get annoyed when all of my social media outlets get flooded with pictures of the cutest pup ever!

-THREE-



New hair color! I got my hair colored over the weekend, and I am absolutely in love with it. I had to rush from the appointment to work on Saturday night, so I haven't had a chance to style it really cute yet. Be on the look out for pictures. I used this picture as inspiration, and it turned out amazing!

-FOUR-

Divergent! I've mentioned my love of Shailene Woodley, so it only makes sense that I really liked the Divergent movie. She was great as Tris! The movie followed the book pretty closely, and overall, I think they did a great job translating the book to film. See it, you won't regret it!

-FIVE-

Sewing! I haven't made the time to sit at my machine and sew lately, but I have a project planned to work on that I love. I am going to sew up a makeup brush roll to use when I travel. I usually just shove them in a bag and the bristles get caught in the zipper and stuff, so it's time to do something about it. I will share pictures when I have it done!



That's all for today, but I will see you again soon :)






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3.18.2014

Cilantro Lime Rice

I have mentioned my affinity for Chipotle more than once around here, and my favorite part of the whole thing is the rice. It's just so dang good! I was determined to figure out how to make a decent replica that doesn't have a ton of butter in it.

I finally have a recipe that I enjoy eating that tastes relatively close to the real thing. It's not exact, but it still tastes really good! It also works really well with my 21 Day Fix meal plan as an option for the yellow container.

Cilantro Lime Rice
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • Boil-in-bag brown rice
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Pinch (more or less to taste) of salt
Directions:

  1. Boil brown rice according to package instructions.
  2. Add lime juice, cilantro, garlic and salt.
  3. Stir well to evenly combine ingredients.
  4. Add 1 yellow's worth to any meal as a side dish.
21 Day Fix Container Breakdown: 1 yellow per serving. Lime juice and seasonings are "free" foods.


This is an easy recipe that takes plain brown rice from boring to delicious with a few key ingredients.





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3.17.2014

Cauli Mac N' Cheese Recipe

This is such a yummy recipe and is totally 21 Day Fix approved! I originally saw the recipe here, but I made a few tweaks to better suit my taste buds.

Cauli Mac N' Cheese w/ Ground Beef and Broccoli
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 steamer bag of cauliflower
  • 1 steamer bag of broccoli
  • 4 yellow containers of cooked whole wheat pasta
  • 4 blue containers of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb of 95/5 lean ground beef
  • Dash of garlic powder, onion powder and paprika
  • Dash of worcestershire sauce (optional)
Directions:
  1. Cook ground beef in a skillet until done. About halfway through cooking, lightly season with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.
  2. While the ground beef is cooking, steam broccoli and cauliflower.
  3. After the broccoli is done cooking separate into 4 servings put in refrigerator until you're ready to eat it.
  4. Once the cauliflower is done cooking, place it all into a food processor or blender. Add spices, cheese, and a splash of water, then blend. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more water and finish blending until no longer chunky.
  5. In each of 4 separate containers, add 1 yellow of pasta, 1 red of ground beef, and 1/4 of the sauce.
  6. When you're ready to eat, add a serving of broccoli. Warm through, stir and enjoy! 
21 Day Fix Container Breakdown: 2 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 blue per serving

This is seriously delicious and doesn't taste like "diet" food at all. The key is making sure that the food still tastes really delicious, and that's where seasonings come in! You don't have to add a ton of butter, oil, etc. to make food taste good.


Let me know if you try this! I'd love to see what other variations people are using, so I can incorporate it into my repertoire. 



3.13.2014

21 Day Fix Meal Plan

So, I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I started the 21 Day Fix. Well, I didn't finish the first go around, but I am going to re-start the program on Monday. Let me say this...it was not the plan that failed, it was me that failed. I started strong, but slacked on planning and eventually just stopped trying. The past is the past, and I am ready to move forward.

Today, I'd like to share the meal plan that I created specifically for the 21 Day Fix.

Here's a quick breakdown of the color-coded craziness seen below:

  • The 21 Day Fix is a portion-controlled container system. Based on your calorie intake, you'll eat a set number of green, purple, red, yellow, blue & orange containers per day.
  • Green is vegetables, purple is fruit, red is protein, yellow are starchy carbs, blue is fats, and orange is for dressings or seeds
  • I color-coded each meal so I could visually see and confirm that I was consuming the correct amount of food from each group per day.

This meal plan falls into the 1200-1400 calorie range of the program.


Click here to download a PDF of this meal plan!


See my Cauli Mac N' Cheese recipe here.





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3.12.2014

Women's Wednesday #3

I have a couple awesome things to share in this round of Women's Wednesday. A little reminder about the idea behind this series of blog posts...

In the Women's Wednesday posts, I will share articles, movements, ideas, etc. that support and encourage women. While we have come along way in gender equality, there is still room for improvement. As a woman, I hope that you'll at least take a look at these articles. You don't have to agree with everything that I share, but I do think it's good to at least be aware of what's going on in the world around you.

Getty Images' Lean In Collection

Source
This new collection of stock images shows women in leadership positions in everyday life. The collection includes women of all races, ages, and religions featured in all types of scenarios. The images present women in different family dynamics, as well. The images are beautiful and will go a long way in breaking down barriers and leveling the gender playing field.

Take a peek at a few images in this BuzzFeed article, and see the entire collection on the Getty Images website.

Ban Bossy



From the Ban Bossy website:
"When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a 'leader.' Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead."
This initiative hits close to home; I served in leadership roles in high school, through college, and I hope to one day be a leader in the work place. I remember being referred to as bossy in high school. I didn't feel like I was being bossy, but I just thought I was doing what needed to be done as part of my leadership position. Being referred to as "bossy" didn't exactly make me feel good. It has such a negative connotation!

If you have a daughter or know someone who does, please take a minute to at least take a look at the Ban Bossy website.




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3.10.2014

Coping with Anxiety: a New Strategy

I've mentioned it here and there, but I struggle with anxiety. Like Holly, my general anxiety level sits on the higher end of the spectrum. Kyra likes to refer to me sometimes as his "anxious butterfly." Somehow, he made seem much more lovely than it actually is; I blame it on his inner-song writer :)

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with my to-do list of things I'd like to improve when it comes to my personal well-being, as well as things around the apartment. It gets to the point where I feel like there's so much to do that I just shut down and don't do any of it. Because of this, I've come up with a new strategy to help reduce my anxiety while still getting things checked off my to-do list.

Each week, I am going to pick 2 goals to work on: one personal and one apartment-related. I'm hoping that by focusing on one thing at a time, I will not get overwhelmed and will start to incorporate these positive changes on a regular basis.

This week, I am going to wear a full-face of makeup to work. Usually, I just put on foundation, blush and a little mascara. When I put on a little more makeup, I feel prettier and look less tired. For me, feeling prettier means feeling better about myself. Also, if I don't look as tired as I am, I'm hoping to trick myself into feeling more awake. Who knows, it may just work!

When I'm in the restroom, I won't see the dark circles in the mirror, I will see the whole person looking back at me. Sometimes, its the little things that can make all the difference in the world!

As far as my apartment-related goal, I am going to focus on getting the laundry caught up and put away. It's kinda piled up at the moment, and it needs some serious attention. By working on a little bit every night this week, it will get it done, and I won't have to stare at the piles of dirty laundry anymore!

Anyway, I'm trying to be honest here. Remember, there's a real person sitting on the other side of the computer screen, and what's presented on mine or any other blog for that matter isn't always the whole picture. As I share my story, I hope that if you are struggling with something that you know you aren't alone. It's not all sunshine and rainbows all the time! We're in this crazy life together :)



PS
Sorry for the lack of pictures. No one wants to see the dark circles under my eyes or piles of dirty laundry...





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3.07.2014

5 Things I'm Loving Right This Minute

For today's 5 on Friday, I'm sharing a few things that I am crazy about right now. It's a random mashup of stuff, but still fun, nonetheless!



1. "Do I Wanna Know?" by Arctic Monkeys


Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys on Grooveshark

2. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes


I completely ran out of the other under-eye concealer I had been using, like literally scraping out the container trying to get out the last drop. When I went to Sephora last Friday, they were out of what I had been using, so they recommended this. It.is.AMAZING. Under-eye circles be GONE!

3. "Pompeii" by Bastille

Pompeii by Bastille on Grooveshark

My #backthatazzup pick of the week!

4. Meeting blog friends in real life



Last Friday, I went to a blogger meet up with tons of awesome ladies. Let me tell you, they are as awesome in person as they are online. My phone was about dead and the camera flash wasn't working, so I didn't get any pictures. But, Jenn and Ashley both have posts with lots of good pics, so check those out!


5. My sweet as pie niece

A couple weeks ago, I took my niece to see Frozen. It was my first time seeing it, and her third, so needless to say, she LOVES that movie. I get an email from my sister asking if I could help her make L an Elsa dress for when they go to Disney over the summer, and of course I said yes. Well anyway, through the back-and-forth of the email, my sister mentioned that when L asked for the dress, she very confidently, said, "I bet Auntie can make one." 

OH MY GOSH, my heart melted into a puddle! She's the sweetest girl, and I am so glad that I get to be her Auntie :)

And, just because this is kinda related (and completely awesome)...

3.03.2014

Best & Worst of the Oscars

Last night was the first time in quite a few years that I was actually excited to watch the Oscars. I have probably mentioned it before, but I am a die-hard Ellen DeGeneres fan. I loved having her as the host of the event. There has been some buzz about the show being boring or "safe," but I really enjoyed it and laughed out loud at multiple different points in the show.

Now that that's out of the way, here are my picks for best & worst dressed, speeches, moments, etc.


Kate Hudson in Versace

  •  Love the whole look. She's stunning!

Lupita Nyong'o in Prada

  • She can do no wrong. Absolutely gorgeous!

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

  • I love everything about JLaw. She's hilarious and beautiful, too

Bradley Cooper in Tom Ford

  • Sleek, classic, and very handsome



Chrissy Teigen in Monique Lhuillier
  • Looks like she's headed to prom. She's a beautiful woman, but this dress has got to go!

Liza Minelli (forgot a bra and matched her electric blue hair streak)
  • She needs to lay off the plastic surgery
  • She forgot her bra...
  • AND, she matched the electric blue streak in her hair.

Veerle Baetens 
  • This dress does NOTHING for her figure, just too boxy

Best Acceptance Speech



Most Awkward Acceptance Speech



Best Moment of the Night





What did you think of the show?




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