Friday, 31 January 2014

I'm a Pin Whore



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Pinterest makes me feel like a creative, skinny, beautiful, hobby photographer and master chef... or at least everything I pin makes me feel like I could be all those things.  But how many people actually do all these things they pin?  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only slacker out there.  

In my mind, I am going to master a super easy DIY craft, realize I'm an artist, open up an etsy shop and sell tons of said craft.  In real life I'm a dreamer.

Here are a few projects I really want to make:

I like this project mainly because it looks like something I could actually pull off.  I even have fabric and I know hubby has a staple gun, all I need are some hooks and a piece of wood.


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These frames would be perfect for a skinny wall and because photos are clipped on they could be changed easily.  I might do a different stain on the frames though.


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From the description these jars look pretty easy (famous last words) so I think I could pull these off and they would be perfect for the organized chaos on my makeup table!


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This is by far the hardest DIY project I have pinned but I think these are beautiful.  I want to try doing something in a deep purple.  But I might have to work up to something this complex.


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I am feeling crafty and planning to stay close to home this weekend so I might actually make an attempt on one of these.  Or I might just lay on the couch, drink wine and eat super bowl treats.  Stay tuned.
 
Is there anyone out there who won't be somehow celebrating/watching/eating their weight in super bowl (food)?
 
Happy Friday Friends!
 





Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Save Time: Salad in a Jar

The ratio of my pins and things I have actually tried is like 387,486 to 3 and every few weeks I think, I should really try some of these things.  My favorite things to pin though are cupcakes, cookies, pastas, cheesy dips - basically anything that packs on the pounds - and I am trying to stay away from those things.  I also look for healthy recipes but every time I try one for dinner the hubby is practically calling dominoes as I'm walking over with our plates.  So I am hesitant to try them too often.

What I have seen lately that has intrigued me are salads in a jar, and seeing as lunch is the easiest time for me to run out and scarf down the Taco Bell $5 box without anyone knowing (seriously, can someone pin a recipe for willpower??) I thought these might be a great way to have a healthy, filling lunch ready to go every day.  So this weekend I 'borrowed' five jars from my mom and decided to try it out.

I wanted to include a lot of protein so the salad would fill me up and I also knew I needed something crunchy, plus I made my own vinaigrette dressing because three cheese ranch isn't really the healthiest option.

So this is my first attempt at salad in a jar...

Dressing (made in food processor)
- chop 2 Roma tomatoes then add:
- 1 piece of crushed garlic 
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- salt and pepper to taste

Salad Build (in the following order):
- 2 tbsp dressing at the bottom
- 1/4 cup black beans (out of a can, rinsed thoroughly)
- 2 oz chicken breast
- 1 tbsp sliced almonds (for a nice crunch)
- 1.5 cups lettuc packed in on top

So easy to make!

 
I made five salads in quart size jars, one for each work day.  I had my first one today and if was delicious! Because there wasn't that much lettuce I wasn't sure if it was going to be enough but I was full.  The chicken and black beans did their job.

I like to eat mine in a bowl but out of the jar works too!


There are still four days to get through and if the salad on Friday tastes as good today's then I will... Well maybe I'll stick with it and lose a couple pounds?  Do you have any idea how great it feels to have my breakfasts AND lunches all ready to go for the entire week??  I love it!

Has anyone else tried these salads? Any tips and other mixtures? 

UPDATE: I have had my third salad and still good with crunchy lettuce!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Alcohol, Food, Spa = Best Book Club Ever!

You know those super fun girls weekends where you laugh non-stop, eat delicious food and drink copious amounts of wine (and mimosas and baileys) and they are always over way too quick? I love those weekends!  FYI I am in the best book club ever (BBCE).

BBCE members from left: CoCo, Slim, Me, Tpain, KMo
We all ditched out of work a teeny bit early and headed out of town. Upon arrival at Slim's (we obvi have BBCE nicknames) place, we quickly popped the cork on a bottle of wine and settled in to discuss our latest book, Gone Girl.  Then we scrambled to get ready and make our dinner reservation.  We went to this amazing Italian restaurant and even though they were out of angel hair pasta (that was a tense moment) we had the BEST tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad - the mozzarella literally melted in your mouth and we inhaled it so fast I forgot to take pictures! - followed by yummy pasta entrees.

Yummy wine and yummy pasta
We got back to the condo just after 11pm, changed into pjs, poured some wine and cuddled under the bountiful stock of comfy blankets to chat some more.  This is actually where we laughed our assess off because we were treated to the latest round of 'kid stories'.  Kids are hilarious and this is one of my favorite things about book club because Slim has a daughter and CoCo has two step kids.  Oh the things kiddies do...

The next morning we feasted on lemon poppyseed muffins, sausages, scrambled eggs and bacon.  I supplied the baileys and mimosas.  Breakfast + booze = perfect Saturday morning. But it got even better.  

Morning booze :)
At 10am we arrived at the Scandinavian spa for our massages and walked into paradise.  We checked in, got our robes and towels and were giddy with excitement.  Oh little did I know...

I love massages.  Like I LOVE massages and my masseuse did actually give me a damn good massage.  But during my massage her phone dinged twice, like two text messages coming in, and then at the end she walked over to the sink to wash her hands, came back to dismiss me and left to wait outside.  As she walked out of the room an overwhelming stench filled my nostrils.  MY MASSEUSE FARTED!! IN THE ROOM!!  

I'm still wrapping my head around it but I did complain at the front desk and I will be filing a formal complaint.  Everyone else had a great experience. 

This spa is actually famous for its silent Scandinavian baths. The idea is to alternate between warmth (hot tub, sauna, steam room), cold baths (cold as in 60 degrees) and relaxation... this is supposed to be therapeutic.  Oh and you're not supposed to talk, just imagine how well that went over with 5 girls.

This was our bath routine:
     Hot tub 15 min
     Cold shower 15sec
     Hot tub 15 min
     Cold pool 15 sec
     Sauna 10 min
     Indoor Relaxation area 15 min (we read magazines on thick padded benches)
     Cold pool 15 sec
     Hot tub 10 min
     Cold pool 15 sec
     Hot tub 10 min
     Relax by firepit 15 min (more magazine reading)
     Hot tub 10 min

I didn't have a camera with me but here is a picture from the website:

The Scandinavian baths
I imagined not even being able to get into the cold pools but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was, until the last time, but I did it.  It was a fun experience and I want to do it again but I'm not really expecting any actual therapeutic outcomes.  And I would get another massage there but I would make damn sure it wasn't the same person!

Linking up with Showered With Design and Dateless in Dallas for Weekend Recap.


Showered With Design

Also linking up with Alyssa!






Monday, 27 January 2014

Meal Plans Are Working!

We had such a great weekend but boy was it busy!  I was away Friday night and most of Saturday and then Sunday was a scramble to get all my weekend chores done before we went to my parents' house for dinner.  It was one of those weekends that went by way too fast and my 'to do' list was barely touched.  Oh well, at least we have food and clean clothes for the next week!
 
We did great with our meal plan last week!  I like that it keeps us fairly organized and on track with trying to eat a bit healthier.
 
This is what we have planned for dinners this week:
 
 
The chicken and mushroom pasta is my mother-in-law's recipes and it's so simple but so tasty, I will post the recipe at some point.
 
Here's hoping this week flies by and Friday is here before we know it!  I am also hoping to get my weekend recap up tomorrow :)
 
Happy Monday friends!
 
 
 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Five Chicks Walk Into a Spa...

The weekend I have been waiting for is finally here - right after work four other beauties and I are hitting the road for a nearby resort town to eat delicious food, drink chilled wine and get our pamper on!  All I have to do is get through the rest of the work day and then I'm off :)

So I'm linking up with Darci at the good life and friends for 5 on Friday, girls weekend style.

1. Dinner Out: we're going Italian and apparently the angel hair pasta is to die for - I will be going light on the pasta and heavy on the wine... unless it's really good, then I'm all in.  Who am I kidding, I'm obviously going all in.

2. Gone Girl: I can say I read it but I can't really say I like it. Looking forward to our discussion and hearing everyone's thoughts.
 

3. Spa: the joy of extended benefits and the second reason for the trip... Show me a registered massage therapist and I'll show you a very happy Sarah!  


4. Shopping in the Village: a late lunch post-spa, cocktails and wandering through all the stores.  


5. Friends: Feeling so lucky to have met and become friends with these amazing women.  
~

 
We have to pick a new book - please send suggestions!!

Cheers to a great weekend everyone!


 
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG  



Thursday, 23 January 2014

Drumroll Please... Dinner of the Year!

Well, best dinner of 2014!  I scored so many points with my first new recipe this week! Hubby was blown away, called it one if the too 3 meals I have EVER made.

I can in no way take credit for this recipe; I have been dying to try it ever since I saw the cheesy goodness on
Megan’s blog and loved how the recipe looked so simple (i.e. “Sarah-proof”).  I was so excited to have it on our
dinner plan and mentally checked off (or so I thought) everything we would need to make it.


Meghan’s Ingredient List:
11 lasagna noodles
1 jar of Vodka Sauce
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 cups of shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup ricotta
1 egg

 
We had everything – even the jar of vodka sauce that I picked up from Trader Joe’s in November when I
first wanted to make it, can you say procrastinate much? – EXCEPT THE RICOTTA.  How could I have forgotten
this pivotal lasagna ingredient??  I knew I needed to figure something out and quickly googled replacement for
ricotta but found link after link telling me how to make ricotta and that definitely wasn’t happening so I looked
in the fridge.

 
 I used 2 tbsp of cottage cheese (all we had left) and 3 tbsp of plain non-fat greek yogurt.  DELISH!
 
 

So Megan I apologize for not properly follow your amazing recipe but I am freaking proud of myself for winging it and blowing my husband’s mind!  He has requested this again ASAP and I’m pretty sure I will become a regular in our house – I think I’m even going to freeze a few portions!  This is the type of meal that I can prepare the regular version for my hubby and try to lighten it up for me.  Oh and I have put ricotta on the grocery list to try it the other way next time.
 
Seriously people, if you like pasta and cheese (who doesn’t??) then you need to try this recipe!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Bought My First Maternity Top

But I'm not pregnant. We were making the rounds at Target and found ourselves in the midst of women's, maternity and clearance clothes all grouped together.  K spotted the top first, right after I picked up a 3/4 sleeve gray cardigan (that she would likely describe as blah) and only briefly hesitated to tell me it was a maternity top.  It took a bit of convincing (not much, K has great taste and always finds great things for me) but once I touched it, I was sold.  So soft and the perfect color.  
I rocked my new top today in the exact outfit K told me would work (except for jewelry, I need to get her to work on my non-existent collection).  So ignoring my inability to take bathroom selfies and bad hair, isn't it great??  I love it!  

I am now wondering if this has opened up a whole new world of clothing... I saw those jeans with the stretchy band on top, you would barely see it on a black pair.  Imagine eating Christmas dinner with those puppies on? I'm kidding... kind of...

This top would look great with leggings and boots!
 
 


This is the perfect dress for a nice dinner on the patio in summer:


And I bet these pants are super comfy:
 

There are some very cute preggo outfits that I've seen and I'm hoping to need them one day so why not start collecting them now 
so I won't have to shell out a ton of money all at once.  Is there any rational way to make a case here?  Does anyone else 
do this?

Well that's about it for me, if you need me I'll be in Target's maternity section (kidding, maybe).  


Monday, 20 January 2014

Weekend Recap: Tequila Makes Me Happy

Like usual, the husband and I had a great weekend!  I do really like my job and the people I work with but I always get a little down on Sunday evening because I enjoy our weekends so much.  But I'm not retiring any time soon and my lottery tickets aren't paying off so I kind of need it.  Time does go by at warp speed now though so at least Friday will be here again faster than it takes me to drink a bottle of wine. For the record that's pretty quick.
 
And now onto my weekend... 

Shopping Fun 

 
1. I found this card while we were grocery shopping Friday night.  It's one of those over-the-top big cards that plays a cheesy song when you press it, but even better is the dog who looks exactly like Milo did when he was a puppy! I was with hubby but this card will be mine (and then his).

2. I have a thing with chapsticks.  As in I have way too many.  Currently I'm obsessed with the eos 'eggs' (hubby totally scored points by putting two new flavors I've never tried in my stocking!) but I also  love it when I can get a little color with the moisturizer.  Enter Maybeline's Baby Lips - it adds just a hint of pink color and goes on silky smooth.  They have a bunch of couloirs, check them out and let me know what you think.

3. Stuck at a light with sun shining in and my newish sunglasses on = selfie. Enough said.

4. Our friends are expecting their first bundle of joy any day (today is the actual due date) and I couldn't resist picking up this Valentine's Day onesie.  That baby already has daddy wrapped around her finger!
 

Vodka vs. Tequila

  
On Saturday K and I discovered Brisk's Arnold Palmer mix (well it's a 'fusion' of iced tea and lemonade, we're not entirely sure that Brisk knows they made an Arnold Palmer in a can) and at only 40 calories a serving, it was necessary to then add vodka.  Tasted great.  Then I decided to try it with tequila. Also great.  Tequila makes me happy though so might stick with that.

Oh and Brisk, K came up with a great campaign for you: slap Just Add Vodka on the can and sales will likely double.  Or triple.  And she deserves half.  And I hooked it up so I'll need a cut too.  We can discuss the details later.
 

Lazy Sunday

 
  Woke up without any hint of a hangover and was out of bed before 10am!  

It was the perfect lazy morning... we had breakfast, baileys coffee and watched a movie.  I checked out some blogs and had another coffee.  Then I did some meal prep (above left photo shows my veggie prep station... I may or may not totally set it up in front of the TV and watched the wedding and honeymoon episodes of Bones).  
 
Kick-off called for Caesars and sausage rolls (we were out of rimmer and celery so I tried a pickle, it worked ok, but I really wish I had pepperoni) and then hubby made us a tasty dinner.  

Next weekend will be a bit different; my book club is heading out of town Friday night and we are going to an amazing (so I hear) spa on Saturday.  It is a no talking spa which might be tough.  Or amazing?  All I know is I'm super excited, I always have a blast with these girls :)

I hope you all have a great start to the week!
 
 Linking up with Showered With Design and Dateless in Dallas for Weekend Recap.
 
Showered With Design
 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Weekly Dinner Plan (Take 2)


After a busy Saturday, hubby and I are looking forward to a lazy Sunday.  The sun is out, we have no real plans besides watching football and eating tasty appies (I will try to focus on the veggies!) and getting ready for the week.

Baileys coffee and blogging on a lazy Sunday


We had the best intentions to follow our dinner plan last week but due to a combination of after dinner appointments and PMS cravings, we took the easy way out a couple times.  The only good thing to come out of this was less thinking about dinners for the coming week as we just shifted a couple things.

Here is what we have planned for dinners:




Sunday: Baked Cod with Broccoli-Cheese Rice
Monday: Chicken Lasagna Rollups - Megan's recipe, so sad I missed this one last week! 
Tuesday: Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies 
Wednesday: Breakfast: Ham & Goat Cheese Hashbrown Frittata (found on Pinterest)
Thursday: Pork Leftovers (we're hoping to do some sort of stroganoff... should be interesting!)
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Sushi (Takeout)

I am going to try and prep some of the steps for the chicken lasagna rollups and hashbrowns frittata today - wish me luck!
 
Does anyone have any tips for meal prepping on Sundays? I have my breakfast shakes down to an art and it makes mornings a breeze, imagine if I could do that for healthy dinners all week too?!!

Enjoy the last of the weekend!

Friday, 17 January 2014

5 on Friday: booze, food,sun and shopping!

Happy Friday all!  Actually, Happy Friday Ya'll sounds SO much better.  I am pretty sure I was either meant to be a southern belle (right down to the dresses and hair) or I for sure was one in a previous life.  I watch Hart of Dixie religiously and I really identify with the Bluebells.  Anyway, I like to speak like one in my head. 

I am excited to be linking up with the lovely ladies for 5 on Friday today!  Here are 5 things currently on mind.

1. Wine. My wine choice for this weekend was newly introduced to me by my sister-in-law:

 


2. Food.  Specifically BAD food.  I must have a wicked case of PMS because all I want to do is stuff my face with burgers, fried food, chocolate and diet Dr. Pepper.  If I didn't know better I would think I'm knocked up (I'm not). 

3. Exercise. I am going to check out Curves' new program with Jillian Michaels, starting at 12:30pm today.  Because of things like #1 I have to get some sort of exercise routine in place.  Curves is a 30 minute program I can do on my lunch hour and JM gives a crazy workout on her DVDs so I'm hoping to get my sweat on.

4. Palm Springs!  Hubby and I finally decided on a week in Palm Springs at the end of February.  We haven't actually booked our flights yet but we will by next Friday.  His family has a place down there so I wish we went more often but that darn thing "life" always seems to get in the way!  In fact he and I have never been together!

5. Shopping.  I haven't gotten new shoes in a while! My feet are tiny so finding shoes that fit can be a problem, but thankfully Michael Kors has my back.  The Palm Springs Macy's is my haven for MK shoes, haven't missed yet!  I am  also planning a major Target excursion tomorrow, I need to pick up some basics and maybe (definitely) non-basics just because they're cute. 
~
 
As always I am beyond excited for the weekend - dinner date with the hubby tonight, Saturday shopping followed by a lazy Sunday.  Oh and reading!  My next book club "meeting" is next Friday (we're heading out of town for a spa day, beyond excited) and I haven't even started the book, Gone Girl, so cross your fingers for me!

What are you up to this weekend?

Linking up with Darci at the good life and friends!


 
 
 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

My Blog Crushes

I'm not completely sure what the first blog I ever read was but my first blog crush hit me fast and hard. My addiction grew and my eyes wandered but I really feel like there is enough love for them all.


Whitney (known to friends as Whit, maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to be one!) is funny, witty, open and honest.  IWYP was the first blog that sucked me in harder than The O.C. (pretty sure I just aged myself) and having no clue what Bloglovin was, I constantly refreshed her website daily until I got my fix.  Oh and I too have worn yoga pants to work - best days ever!


http://www.twothirdshazel.com/
  

I stumbled on Erin's blog through Whitney's posts about all their fun times in NYC and Orlando (I was actually a bit jealous of these two adorable chicks drinking and just being awesome, which kind of scared me because I'm a complete stranger!).  I'm not sure what drew me to TTH, could be the job envy (she's a nanny and loves it) but am pretty sure it's because she's just all around awesome.


 


Another Erin and another slice of internet escape.  I have been following this woman for like three months and it seems like every couple weeks she has another (fun) business idea!  Her adorable outfits have caused me to seriously rethink my wardrobe and although my wallet may hate her, I love her.  Oh and her family – I follow her dad on Instagram and he’s hilarious. 


 

Megan is my newest blog crush.  She has the most adorable little girl on the planet (seriously, check out her bed head on Instagram), works full time and posts a weekly meal plan along with deliciously simple recipes.  Oh and she also makes heart shaped cookies with sprinkles with hot chocolate and marshmallows for snack time (again, Instagram).  Megan has her shit together.  And I love being along for her ride!

There you have it, some of my favorite reads (but not all, I have a long list!).  If you have been living in a hole and aren't a stalker of any of these blogs, please check them out.  You will love them too.

What are some of your favourite blogs?

Oh and above bloggers? Please be my blog friend. Pretty please with a giant glass of wine (or Bud Lite) and a shot of Fireball on the side!