Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Blogging Party!

So a few weeks back, I mentioned that I joined my first ever blogging party, hosted by CaseyDanielle and Alycia. I got paired with this lovely lady:

Is she gorgeous or what? I have had so much fun getting to know Kelly through her blog. Her and her husband are too cute:

Go visit her blog and enjoy their love story. It's not done yet, so get caught up and enjoy the rest of the posts as they come! I know I'll be reading them. Kelly was so sweet, and sent me this cooking magazine for our gift exchange:

I was SO excited when I opened my package. In case I haven't mentioned it enough lately, I am loving cooking. I can cook? What? It's true, or at least I'm working on it. I'm so excited to look through this magazine and find more healthy recipes to try. Kelly bookmarked some of her favorites for me:

It was the perfect gift, and I can gladly say that my first blogger gift exchange was a definite success. Can't wait for the next one!

Thanks, Kelly!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fit Club Update! One Month In...

It's been one month since the new resolutions kicked in, and some have definitely been easier to follow than others. Working out more? That resolution has surprisingly gone pretty well. 

I made it to the gym 6 times this week:

Monday: Core Strengthening class (30 min) and TurboKick (1 hr)
Tuesday: Lower Body Blast (1 hr)
Wednesday: TurboKick (1 hr)
Thursday: 35 minutes on the treadmill (3.6 miles)
Friday: Spin class (30 min) and Core Strengthening class (30 min)
Saturday: 35 minutes on the treadmill (3.7 miles)
Sunday: Took a day off, but did go on a 30 min bike ride!

For the first time in my life, I think I can say that I actually enjoy working out. I always go through phases of getting in a good routine, and falling out of it. I finally feel like I'm starting to actually want to go to the gym. Not like I have to. But after all, it's only been one month. Hopefully I can keep up with this for the other 11.

As for what hasn't been going as well as I would have hoped, well that out be following the 80/20 rule. I'm gonna be real and say that I sucked this past week, like real bad. I may have had cookie dough on more nights than I'd like to admit, and same with pasta. But hey, at least I have the work out routine going for me?

Something that helped me get to the gym multiple times every week was adding variety to my work out routine. I tend to get bored really easily, and I think the same goes for healthy eating. If I'm eating the same snacks/meals every day, I get bored and start craving those amazing carbs that I love oh so much. So what am I working on this week? Variety. I want to cook more, and find more recipes that are both healthy and delicious, starting with this one:

I'll be making this feta-chicken couscous salad tomorrow night for dinner. If it's as good as the other Cooking Light recipes that I've tried, I will definitely be back to share!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Facts!

Happy Friday!! It's Friday Facts time, and not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous about how I'm gonna come up with 10 interesting things right now. We'll see how it goes...

1. Bible verse of the week:

Lord, you have brought light to my life;
my God, you light up my darkness

Psalm 18: 28

So simple, and yet so true. I have been so thankful for my faith these last few weeks, it seems to make every day better. 

2. This week has been gorgeous! It rained Monday, but every day after that has just been beautiful. I guess winter doesn't exist in Santa Barbara? Hey, I'm not complaining. I went to the beach during my lunch break on Tuesday, and just had to take some pictures:

That would be my college, love it.

I feel sooo lucky to call this place home. 

3. After watching this video on Kristie Was Here (if you haven't read her blog, do yourself a favor and visit her!) I fell in love with this song:

Like Ob. Sessed. I've given disclaimers to my roommates that I'll be playing the same song over and over for a while.

Favorite Line: I lose track of time so I might be past my prime but I'm feeling oh so good.

4. Gotta love camera phones:

5. On that note, I am albino. It needs to be fixed. A sap.

6. I'm officially able to cook off book now. I made these zucchini-cheese stuffed shells last night:

And I made them with no recipe! Woo! Go me.

7. Alright blog land, you're not allowed to judge me. I don't know how you spent your Wednesday night, but this is how we spent ours:

No make up

Stuffing our faces with cookie dough
And drinking wine
That cookie dough that we're devouring? It makes the best. peanut butter cookies. ever. I might just have to share the recipe sometime. 

8. This is the best game ever:

Play it. It's awesome.

9. I love wine. That's all.

10. Happy Friday! We made it to another weekend. Hopefully I don't spend as much this weekend as I did last weekend. I'm sure my bank account would appreciate that. 

The end.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What We Had For Dinner

I bought a Cooking Light cookbook a few months back, and it has been the best investment. It has yet to fail, with making amazing, healthy, easy and fast meals every single time. What was on the menu last night?

Cheese Tortellini and Vegetable Soup


1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
I used the Trader Joes brand can of diced tomatoes with no salt added. Just as good!
1 (11.5 ounce) can condensed bean with bacon soup (such as Campbell's), undiluted
3 cups water
1 (16 ounce) package frozen Italian-style vegetables
I used the Trader Joes frozen bag of grilled zucchini and eggplant. It was delicious!
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 (9 ounce) package fresh cheese tortellini
Whoops. Used the whole thing.
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a 4-quart saucepan; cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Add pasta; reduce heat to medium. Cook, partially covered, 7 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender. 

3. Stir in cheese.

And that's it! 

Per serving (1 1/3 cups, recipe yields 6 servings):

201 Calories
4 g Fat
10.3 g Protein
31.3 g Carbohydrates
5.4 g Fiber
11 mg Cholesterol 
2.1 mg Iron
920 mg Sodium
66 mg Calcium

It was delicious! And took less than 20 minutes to make. Perfect for a quick dinner!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weekend Photos

Pizza Night

Me and the Birthday Girl!

Yeahhh Patriots!

It was a great weekend filled with great friends. There was some delicious pizza, lots of dancing, a limo bus ride and most importantly, a Patriots win!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jeans and Heels

Jeans: Love Culture, Heels: Forever 21
Do you ever just have those nights where you can't find anything to wear? Where nothing in your closet seems to look good? That happens to me far. too. often. But there's one combination that never seems to fail me, and that's jeans and high heels. 

I will usually shy away from high heels unless everyone else in the group is wearing them. I'm tall-ish as it is, so wearing high heels can make me feel like a giant. But recently I've realized that nothing makes me feel more confident than some cute heels and jeans. It's simple, and I love the look with any top. Now if I could just have the bank account to increase my shoe collection, maybe I'd have less of those nights where nothing looks good. 

And that's all for today folks. I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was busyyy, but so much fun. Pictures to come soon!

Happy Talk to us Tuesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders

Made it to another Monday, and that means it's time for another Fit Club update. As for last week's healthy snacks, I would say they were a success. I'd portion out two tablespoons of either the peanut butter or the hummus, and grab some apples or carrots to eat with it. I'm gonna be real though, and say that this weekend I seriously slacked on my healthy eating. The goal to follow the 80/20 rule is proving to be a bit more challenging than I originally thought it would be. But I'm not giving up! It's a new week, and I'm going to give it my best effort to make this one a healthier one. Considering that I spent way too much money this weekend and in turn, will not be eating out this week (or next), I'd say I've got a good chance. Ready for the good news?

I made it to the gym 5 times this week:

Monday: Boot Camp class (1 hr)
Tuesday: Lower Body Blast class (1 hr)
Wednesday: TurboKick class (1 hr)
Thursday: 25 minutes on the treadmill (2.7 miles)
Friday: Took a day off (aka was in no condition for 6am spin)
Saturday: 45 minutes on the treadmill (4.6 miles)
Sunday: Took a day off 

Getting to the gym at least 3 to 4 times a week? Check! Now time to get this healthy eating business in order. Should be a bit easier with recipes like this one:

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders


Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a large wire rack on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. 

3. Toss tenders with Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place the tenders on the prepared rack. Generously coat the top of each tender with cooking spray.

4. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and coat with cooking spray. Continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more.

And you're done!

Per serving (the recipe makes 4):

293 Calories
8 g Fat
3 g Sat. Fat
140 mg Cholesterol
22 g Carbohydrates
31 g Protein
3 g Fider
603 mg Sodium
465 mg Potassium

The recipe includes 1 cup marinara sauce for dipping, but I used mustard instead. I'm a pretty big mustard fan, weird, I know. BBQ sauce was pretty good, too. Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Facts!

1. Big news:

See that guy right there? He got his first 3 college acceptances this week. 3 for 3 baby. I'm so happy for my little brother, and I know he'll have a blast in college just like I did. 

2. I had way too much fun with this girl this week:

Tuesday, we went out to a Mexican restaurant where her friend works for some drinks. And Wednesday, we went back to Creekside for some more line dancing. Adding fun into the work week makes it wayy better. 

I had my first ever jello shot in a shot
3. You know what else makes the work week better?

For the last two Thursdays, Kristi and I have met downtown to get frozen yogurt on our lunch break. This week Carly joined us, and I think this is going to become a "yay, it's almost Friday!" tradition.

4. And on the topic of food, Monday's fit club post will include a recipe for these amazing and healthy parmesan crusted chicken tenders:

They were really good, and three tenders are less than 300 calories! Score.

5. And for the Bible verse of the week:

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.

Psalm 17: 6-7

I love starting and ending my day with prayer. I used to stress a lot when laying in bed, because my mind would just wander. Now, it's become a habit to pray first thing when I wake up and right before I go to sleep. I love it. 

6. I already have my next plan trip planned since San Francisco was such a blast. Sometime either next month or in March, I'll be flying to Sacramento to visit these two:

Amanda, Heather and I
Amanda just had herself a beautiful baby girl, and I cannot wait to meet her. It's already been 8 weeks, so I gotta get my butt up there. 

7. Goal: get my passport sometime this month. I really need to get that thing so I can take my travelling to the next level. Ireland, Italy, Spain, here I come!

8. In about 10 days, I will officially have been working full time for 10 months. 10 months! That's crazy. Maybe sometime I'll get around to doing a post about what I've learned in those ten months (Like don't wear the same skirt that you would wear downtown to your workplace. What? Is that common knowledge?).

9. Carly just posted pictures from like the last 4 months on Facebook, so I had to steal and share this picture of the gorgeous bride from the wedding we went to back in November:

It was her birthday yesterday (actually today, cause I'm totally being a good blogger and planning ahead). Happy Birthday, Justine!!

10. Whew, made it through another 10 facts. They really are hard to come up with! I just can't bring myself to shorten the list. But anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! And Go Patriots!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


As I was leaving San Francisco, I was stopped at a red light. 

A homeless man was standing on the corner, right next to my window. 

I had gotten some extra cash for the ride home, and I never carry cash. So I reached into my wallet to pull out some money to give the man. I had two $5s, and one $1. I didn't want to give him only $1, so I grabbed a $5. 

I rolled down my window to give him the money. He took it from me and said "God bless you." I said the same. He looked down to see what was in his hand. His jaw dropped. 

"Oh my gosh" is what he said. He looked completely shocked. I am assuming he was expected just $1. I watched as he put his hands together to say a prayer. 

He was so thankful. For just $5

It was the best money spent during my entire trip. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

San Francisco!

I had the best time in San Francisco this past weekend. It's amazing what just an extra day off of work will do. It turns an average weekend into a vacation. And boy, was it a good one. I'll let the pictures do the talking:

I love this girl!
Me, Kacey and her roommates
My first time riding Bart
In the taxi
The closest we've had to a 5some reunion in SO long
The bars were PACKED after the 49ers win
San Francisco hills
Lombard street: famous for being the windiest street
The Golden Gate Bridge!
The original Ghirardelli's!
Love my Boston teams
Pier 39
The Bay Bridge!
Sea Lions
Last dinner in San Fran

And for all of the delicious food/drinks:

Italian Lemonade
 I meant to take a pic of my dinner at this amazing Italian place, but I got so excited that I ate it before I could. Whoops. 

Hot chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps
Boudin Bakery

It was an amazing weekend with amazing friends.