Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mediterranean Sandwich

A while back, I posted a Mediterranean Omelet recipe that had fresh spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese. I love to combine spinach and tomatoes and make different dishes. Today I made a sandwich but roasted the tomatoes and left the spinach uncooked. 

Mediterranean Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • Sweet cherry tomatoes, rinsed and sliced in half and drained on a paper towel
  • Fresh organic spinach-about 1/2 cup rinsed and drained on a paper towel
  • About 1 tablespoon-Fresh basil, chopped
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese or cheese of your choice
  • Prepared Pesto from a jar
  • Fresh local whole grain bread
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
*Optional- Scrambled egg whites

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you have a "roast" setting, use it to roast the tomatoes.
  • Place sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper.
  • Cook about 2-3 minutes, then flip the tomatoes on the other side. Cook for a few more minutes. Be careful, these will burn quickly. 

  • Layer spinach and tomatoes on one-half of your sandwich.

  • Add chopped basil and shaved Parmesan. Spread pesto on other slice.

  • You can also add scrambled egg whites to make a breakfast sandwich or just to add more protein.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste.










Friday, October 28, 2011

A Little Tune for Friday


I love Sean Hayes' voice. You may recognize this song from the Subaru commercial. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Old Navy Bargains

It's been a LONG time since I've been to Old Navy. It's always "hit or miss" with me. Lately, I've seen a lot of cute clothes and shoes pop up on Twitter and blogs, so I decided to take advantage of their current 25% off sale.

This is a great jacket!


(Excuse this weird ensemble with jeans and boots. I'm lazy and just slipped the skirt on over my clothes.)

Close-up
This skirt also comes in fuchsia. I ordered it online, but it appears to be sold out. 


These are a great alternative to the J Brand blue skinnies. 
Order up a size OR TWO. These run small.

This is the navy blue print in a small. It runs really large, and there wasn't an X-Small in stock.


I originally tried on this blouse in "Warm Floral", then decided that I wanted to add some fuchsia in my wardrobe. Have y'all tried wearing fuchsia with olive or army green? I LOVE that combination so much that I dressed my girls in those colors for our Christmas card pictures.   

Use code ONSAVE25 to save 25% off your purchase.

**I don't do blog posts or reviews that are sponsored. 
This post is unsolicited and isn't paid for by Old Navy. 
All purchases were made with my own casharama.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

25 Ways to Tie a Scarf



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Eatin' and Hair Teasin'

This is probably the most random blog post ever.
This week, I discovered 2 great things. 
The first was a yummy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake 
that the beautiful "Bees and Bows" posted here

My family hasn't been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance. But after reading the book "Dangerous Grains", I'm always looking for ways to cut wheat and grains out of our diet.

Our local health food grocer didn't carry the same brand gluten-free cake mix that "Bees and Bows" used, so I improvised with another brand that I love, Pamela's Products. I regularly use Pamela's Products Baking and Pancake Mix to make pancakes and it's YUMMY. 

Here's how I adjusted the recipe because of the difference in volume of the cake mix:

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
Adapted from this recipe: Namaste Food, LLC

(not sure why it looks "shiny". It doesn't look like that in person)

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of Pamela's Products Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free pumpkin pie spice
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray a bundt pan or 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and water. Add chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into pan.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes and check for the center with toothpick. Continue baking until toothpick comes out clean and top has thoroughly cooked. It took about 40 minutes with my oven. 
The second item on my list is a teasing hair brush that I bought from my hair stylist. I got my hair trimmed on Monday and asked for some shorter layers on top. I wanted needed more "poof" in my crown. (Don't we all?) 

When the stylist started my blow out, she pulled out a teasing brush and with a few flicks of the wrist, I had some SUR-E-US poofage. The poof stayed and I bought--especially since I already have a drawer full of teasing combs and 3 teasing brushes that don't work very well.

Here's this little gem. It's "The Little Wonder" by Spornette.  

I really do like this better than my other teasing brushes.  
I don't know if it's because the pink tips are more "textured" or if the design of the brush is different.
You can pick up the "Little Wonder" at Sally's or Ulta. 
Also, do a search on Youtube, there's several videos showing how to "poof" your hair using this brush.

Hope you're having a great weekend!



Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Get Physical



I'm in a serious physical rut. Prior to my surgery, I was strength training, doing cardio, and yoga 3-4 times a week. In the past few months, I haven't been doing much of anything.

I'm not sure what happened. I was so gung-ho the first few weeks post-op. I was skerting and walking like a fool around my neighborhood. I was HAWT, all hunched over in my abdominal binder. Sexxah, I tell you. Since then, I've gone to the gym a few times and barely broke a sweat with my pathetic workouts. Then I leave and bust up in Baskin-Robbins on the way home.

I think part of the reason I've been so lax in my workouts is because physically AND mentally I have felt like a poop sandwich. I went to see my surgeon last month and told him that I just wasn't feeling "right". Let me re-phrase that...I broke down crying when he walked in the room and said "How are you?"

The poor guy probably said, "Oh hawl no. Let me get out of here." But thankfully he didn't. He came over and gave me a hug while I told him that I thought I'd feel SO much better by now.

He reassured me that it takes the body quite some time to recover from a major surgery. Top that off with hormone imbalances and how they affect mood and energy levels, and you have a "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" lady in your office snottin' on your lab coat.

Long story short...saliva tests determined my hormone levels were really low, so I'm now talking bio-identical hormones. I'm also taking a plethora of supplements-Vitamin D, adrenal support, iodine, Omega-3, melatonin, and Magnesium. "Woo-hoo" for swallowing horse pills.

It's been a week, and even though my energy level is increasing, I feel like I'm experiencing PMS x 1,000. Weepy and Short-tempered would describe me. I could totally be one of the Seven Dwarfs with my mood swings.

What to do? I'm going to give it some time. My doctor said that we would probably have to tweak my hormones to find my right dosage. Kinda like a sleep number bed, I suppose.

In the meantime, I'm going to summon up some motivation to get my butt back in the gym and resume my mainly Paleo diet. I KNOW I'll feel better, and I know y'all are tired of hearing about my hormones and such.

I found a little motivation over on Pinterest. 
SO TRUE. 
This is printed and put right next to my computer. 





Any tips on what motivates you to be healthy? 
I don't want to do things like put pics of models in bikinis on my refrigerator. 
I have 2 daughters that I need a role model (me), not the impossible (Victoria Secret's models). 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Technology Rocks!

I'd like to share with you a few tech things I'm loving. 

  • PINTEREST- Yeah, I'm addicted. Pinning whenever I can. I even have the Pinterest app on my phone.  Check out my Pinterest boards here

  • TIP CHECK APP FOR IPHONE- I usually figure up gratuities in my head, but a few times when I've left a restaurant or hair salon, I realized that I miscalculated. Once by A LOT. Luckily it was a mistake in favor of the service provider. Tip Check is a free app for iphone and it is SO easy to use. You can even enter tax and if you are splitting the check with others. You can also specify the different types of services.


  • HEYTELL-I need Heytell rehab. It's basically an instant voice messaging app. I love hearing my friends' voices every day. Here's a demo
  • SEEJANEWORK.COM- The wannabe organizer in me loves this website. I like that they do office or space "vignettes" with the products. 
source: See Jane Work website

Do you have a favorite website or app that you'd like to share? 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Namaste Y'all

Here's my yoga wish list. 
I love Stella McCartney for Adidas. 
Mainly, I love this t-shirt. It is SO me. 
Namaste Y'all

Adidas by Stella McCartney long top
$150 - net-a-porter.com

Switchback Yoga Pants
$68 - anthropologie.com

Adidas by Stella McCartney ballet flat
$100 - couture.zappos.com

Adidas by Stella McCartney yoga bag
$70 - couture.zappos.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shortcut Southern Green Beans

When I was growing up, we would get fresh green beans from the farmers at the local courthouse square or from my grandparents' garden. My mom, grandmother (Nanny), and I spent lots of evenings outside in old Adirondack chairs, "breakin' and stringin' beans" and swatting off mosquitoes. To prepare, my mom would fry up minced onion and a piece of bacon in the pot, then add the green beans and water. Talking about some good green beans! Everything's better with bacon right?

I don't always have time to go through the whole stringin' and breakin' process, so through the years, I've found a pretty close substitute with canned green beans. YES. Canned whole green beans. You have to use whole. Don't get the cut green beans. Or the French-cut kind. Yuck. Those are for the soupy green bean casseroles.




Shortcut Southern Green Beans

Ingredients:
2 cans of Del Monte FreshCut Whole Green Beans (1 can drained)
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1 piece of smoked bacon, cut into 4 pieces
Salt to taste

Directions:

In a medium pot, over medium-low heat, add bacon pieces and saute for a few minutes. They don't have to be totally done. Be careful so it doesn't burn. Flip bacon pieces and add onion. Saute until onion is translucent. 

Add both cans of green beans. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until bubbling slightly. You can remove the bacon or leave it in to serve. Salt to taste.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Parenting and Such

Phewww. I had a rough Mommy day yesterday. I'm not sure what was going on with my youngest (Sassypants), but I ended up in tears on the drive to school. 


Her behavior is greatly affected by the foods she eats. If she eats the foods she allergic to, she gets really whiny and defiant. She's getting to bed at a decent time, so I feel she's not overly tired. I need to double check with her school to see if she's getting some sort of corn syrup or food dyes. 


The trouble I run into is I can be a "reactionary" parent. In other words, the more my kids try to gain control, the more aggressive I get. Not in a violent or physical way, but I raise my voice and yes, often act as childish as they do. I think we both feel so out of control at that point that nothing fixes the situation. 


I had to pull out a wonderful parenting book yesterday and re-read some chapters.



Are you a parent and have threatened, given time-outs, punished, spanked, bribed, yelled, etc. and aren't getting positive results? Do you feel defeated after an hour of struggling to keep your child in a 5 minute time-out? 

Or have you done like I did yesterday?---yelled and threatened, knowing that nothing positive came out of it. If so, I highly recommend this book. 

The author, Amy McCready is the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc. and gives incredibly empowering tips on how to regain a sense of peace between parent and child. 

The first chapter explains how our societal and family changes have caused parenting styles to change. Have you ever said, "When I was a kid, I just got "the look" and knew I better do what my mom said." It's not that easy anymore.

Here's a rundown of the chapter titles:

  1. Something’s Not Working
  2. Kids are People, Too
  3. Are You Making Your Child’s Behavior Worse?
  4. Bringing Out the Best in Your Child
  5. The Power and the Struggle (and Some Solutions)
  6. Using What You Can Control to Manage What You Can’t
  7. The Positive Side of Misbehavior (Learning Life’s Lessons)
  8. The Four Mistaken Goals of Misbehavior
  9. Sibling Rivalry
  10. Bringing Everyone Together
  11. Taking the Toolbox Home

I love that the author suggests that we treat our children with respect. So much of the behavior solutions are temporary on "Super Nanny" and similar tv shows. I remember seeing where the nanny told a misbehaving child that she was naughty and to sit in the "naughty spot". 

Is that really constructive? I tried the whole time-out thing many times and it didn't work. Instead I felt like my children believed that they were naughty and need to continue that type of behavior. After all, they had the title of "naughty" to live up to.

This morning was much better. I got the girls up in plenty of time to spend some one-on-time with each of them. Parenting......the toughest job on Earth.

Enough of the intense stuff. LOL

My girls love this sing along book and CD by Lisa Loeb. It's titled Lisa Loeb's Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs





  • Our favorite songs are "The Disappointing Pancake" and "A Co Di By Doze (A Cold in My Nose)".
  • My only complaints: On the song "Found a Peanut", she talks about choking on a peanut, dying, she went to heaven, and was turned away. She said she "went the other way". Luckily she says she wakes up from a dream. Catchy tune, but I usually skip this song.
  • "Sippin' Cider" talks about how a boy and girl where sitting cheek to cheek sipping cider. Something happens and the straw slips and then they were "lip to lip". Then she says that got her a mother-in-law and a bunch of kids that call her "Ma". I skip this song too.
Hope everyone is having a fantastic Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hearty Three-Cheese Lasagna


First off, this recipe isn't "exact". The amount of sauce you'll use depends on how big your pan is or whether you divide it into two pans. Remember to keep an eye on the amount of sauce you have while you're layering.  The first time I made this, I made it with 1/2 the sauce and ran out on the last layer. With this recipe, I sometimes will have a little left over. Put it in a freezer box and you'll have a nice spaghetti sauce for later!

Secondly, this is a time-consuming recipe. This lasagna is really a labor of love. You can make the sauce the day before ( I always do), then layer the ingredients the next morning, and bake that night. 

There's carrots and spinach in it, but don't let it throw you off. 
The carrots are in the sauce and practically unnoticeable.
Shhhhh. I'm always looking for ways to sneak in some veggies.

Hearty Three-Cheese Lasagna

Ingredients:

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 16 ounces lean ground beef
  • 12 ounces spicy Italian sausages, casings removed (i.e. squeeze the meat out of the tube. hehe)
  • (2) 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 bay leaves

Lasagna

  • Lasagna noodles (depending on pan size and if you are dividing into 2 containers-about 9-15 noodles)

(2) 15-ounce containers part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, thoroughly squeezed dry with paper towels
  • 2 large eggs

5 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:


Sauce
In a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, carrots and garlic; sauté until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Add beef and sausages to pan. Saute until thoroughly cooked, breaking up meat with back of spoon (approximately 7-10 minutes).

Add remaining sauce ingredients. Cover and simmer until flavors blend and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Cool.




Lasagna
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • Cook noodles according to package directions in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender. Drain and cover with cold water.
  • Combine ricotta and 1cup Parmesan cheese in a medium bowl. Mix in spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.
  • Drain pasta and pat dry. Spread about 1 cup sauce over bottom of glass baking dish (13x9-inch or larger). 

  • Place 3-4 noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit.

  • Spread half of ricotta-spinach mixture evenly over noodles. 

  • Sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella cheese evenly over ricotta-spinach mixture. 

  • Spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce over cheese, spreading with spatula to cover. 

  • Repeat layering with noodles, ricotta-spinach mixture (reserve some if you want to dollop it on top), mozzarella and sauce. 
  • Arrange remaining noodles over sauce.
  • Spread remaining sauce over noodles. 
  • Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese evenly over lasagna. Lightly pat down with your hand to even the mixture.
  • If desired, put a few dollops of the ricotta-spinach mixture on the top.

  • (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) 
  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, being careful to slightly "tent" foil so that melted cheese won't stick to it.
  • Bake lasagna 40 minutes; uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, about 40 -50 minutes. 
  • Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving.
**You really could divide this recipe into two pans. I usually do this because by night 2, we're sick of lasagna. This is A LOT of lasagna, especially for a small family. Just set out two pans and divide it as you go. Measurements do not have to be exact!

You can see here that I divided it up between 2 pans.
One for dinner and one to share or freeze.
Throw on more mozzarella if you like. Nobody's looking;-)



Monday, October 3, 2011

Ivanka Trump Shoes

Did y'all know that Ivanka Trump now has a shoe and handbag line? 
I was looking online at Bloomingdale's shoes, and spotted her brand. 
Who would've thunk it? Pretty cute stuff!


OBSESSED. 


These got great reviews and love this color!


Ahhh. Love the calf-hair leopard print. Perfect height.


I like that these are simple. No zippers or buckles.

I don't like the purses because she made the same mistake Jessica Simpson did. 
She put her name all over the bag. And on shiny hardware. 
Ugh. 
The styles aren't bad, but no one wants to see Jess or Ivanka's name emblazoned for the world to see.  

Have you fashionistas tried any of her shoes? 
How's the quality?