Friday, November 30, 2012

Craft Day!

This weekend I am meeting with my friend, Kristen, for craft day! We decided to dedicate a day to making some fun holiday crafts while watching One of our favorite Christmas movies, Elf.

Below is a picture from Pinterest with a chalkboard mug I will make. The link for the Pinterest image is from

My version though will be with blue chalkboard paint. The paint states it can be used on ceramic so we shall see how this project turns out. I picked up my mug from the dollar store. It's cream on the outside and blue on the inside.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chicken & Birch Box

I made my first roasting chicken on Thanksgiving for Kelly and I. Turns out I really am starting to master culinary skills. It turned out incredibly delicious! I followed this recipe from Taste of Home:

We even gave the chicken a name as i was preparing it, Chachi the Chicken. Silly? Perhaps.

I also received my Birch Box this past week. It contained the following:
  • Kerastase Chrome Sensitive - a gentle cleansing balm, which purifies strands & locks in color
  • MCMC Fragrance - in a scent called Phoenix 
  • ModelCo - Fiber Lashxtend Lengthening Mascara. Uses lash extending fibers to give you a lengthy fringe.
  • One Love Organics - Aromatic Body Serum
  • Chuao Chocolatier - Honeycomb Bar flavor
So far I've tried the Chuao Chocolatier bar and it fantastic! I've also been using the mascara and if I have to be honest I'm not loving it. I think there are better mascaras out there. The mascara cost $24 and I've definitely used better mascaras for both cheaper and more expensive. 

As a regular consumer with no cosmetic professional background I would say I've seen better results using LancĂ´me (Defincils $26), Clinique (High Impact & High Impact Curl both $16), Blinc ($26), Maybelline (Big Lash $5), and Avon (Super Extend Extreme $6).  Don't forget the eyelash curler! My favorite is made by Shiseido and is a bit pricey. I believe it was $20 but has lasted years and curls amazing.

Here are some pictures....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Over the weekend Kelly and I had Chinese take out. I get really annoyed when I open a fortune cookie and it contains a proverb instead of a fortune. What the heck, right?!  I opened one of the fortune cookies and received that familiar annoying proverb so I tossed the cookie and proverb in the trash after reading it aloud to Kelly.

The following day I was feeling like something crunchy and saw another unopened fortune cookie on the counter. I opened it and since I know these cookies ALWAYS contain proverbs I threw the paper on the counter without reading it and happily ate my cookie.

About an hour later as I'm browsing on the couch online Kelly yells from the kitchen counter, "why didn't you read me THIS fortune that you got!" I went over to look at what he was talking about and could not contain my laughter!

Apparently this time I really did get a fortune in my cookie, but Kelly certainly did not appreciate it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Albondiga Soup

Here is a link to the website I used to make the albondiga soup recipe this past weekend. My mom makes the best albondiga soup recipe, but since I don't go home too often and she never follows a recipe I had to find an authentic one to follow.

The only modifications I made are the following:

Substituted ground turkey meat 
Used an additional tablespoon of tomato paste
Added some chili powder to taste while the stock is boiling prior to putting in the meatballs

Below are a few pictures I snapped...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tomatillo Sauce

This past weekend I made some recipes that I love.  Here is one of them:

Tomatillo Sauce

  •  1 or more serranos (this depends on how brave you are, the more serranos the spicer the sauce...I use 3)
  •  8-10 medium tomatillos 
  •  1/2 medium white onion
  •  Garlic cloves (up to you how many cloves, but I use 5 because I love garlic)
  •  1 or more limes (I use 1-2 typically)
  • Water (I don't measure, just put enough in a pot to boil the tomatillos & serranos all at once)

Cooking Equipment:
  • Large pot 
  • Blender 
  • cutting board


 Peel the membrane off the tomatillos and wash each tomatillo.  Wash the serranos.  Place all of the serranos and tomatillos in a large pot of boiling water. You will know they are done when the skin starts to peel off and they have a brownish color on the side of the skin that touched the water.

While the serranos & tomatillos are boiling finely dice the onion.  Once the serranos & tomatillos are finished boiling place them in a blender with half the diced onions, garlic cloves & lime juice.  Carefully place each tomatillo & serrano on a cutting board (careful, they're super hot!) and cut off the stem of each. It's messy and is easiest done with a fork holding the tomatillo or Serrano while you cut.  While cutting be careful because the water inside them can be extremely hot....I emphasize to be careful from experience!

Since the tomatillos and serranos contain water from boiling I add a little of the same water that they boiled in to the blender. Like I said, I don't measure so it's best to start off with a small amount to add to the blender. Should it be too thick you can always add more water. I also squeeze juice from a lime or two into the blender and blend away.

I either use this sauce to make enchiladas or just to dip tortilla chips in. Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baking, BBQ, fishing & more.....

This was a fun filled weekend. I spent it cooking recipes I found through Pinterest, attended a BBQ at a park hosted by Kelly's fly fishing club, and wrapped it up last night hanging out with friends who are hooked on new episodes of the Walking Dead.

I plan on posting the links and recipes I made throughout this weekend for the following:

The World's Best Chicken
Baked Oatmeal Cassarole
Tomatillo Sauce/Salsa

I'm really starting to feel the kitchen is a zen place for me. I feel so relaxed cooking these days. I'm always amazed that I can cook such tasty meals.

Here are a ton of pics recapping my weekend.

Friday, November 9, 2012


This week has been awesome! Below is why:

a. I'm still blogging away daily during weekdays, therefore goal #1 is continuing to be achieved.

b. I started running again so I'm back on the wagon to train for a half marathon.

c. I'm super excited to put my culinary skills to work tonight on a yummy looking recipe I found on Pinterest.

d. I get to hangout with Kelly tonight! Nothing better than cuddling on the couch with the ones we love, right!

Also, my friend Bekie, gave me some stationary that I love! I've decided I must write a random thank you note to someone at work. Not sure who yet, but hopefully it makes their day :).

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Go on girl, get your healthy on!

So I have been working on my health on all levels. Notice that I stated "working on".  I am a constant work in progress. I'd always focused on weight, diet & exercise (the obvious), however, it never occurred to me that I should look at everything in my life that could make me unhealthy. What about stress at work, unhappiness, trouble in friendships & clutter in my environment, etc. Turns out those things absolutely matter.

A friend of mine, Christina, who is a registered nurse, decided to take a different approach with medicine and received a certification from Duke University's Integrative Medicine program recently. She learned to look at an individual as a whole and assess all aspects of that person's life that could be causing illness. She accomplishes these assessments in coaching sessions. It's a holistic approach to getting healthy in all areas of your life.

I decided to take coaching sessions from Christina & it's changed my life. I have a much different approach to life since. I am the happy person again that I had always been, but had lost along the way during my "growing up" years. Those years are when I began to really feel the stress of the economy, constant fears of layoffs, loss of income, etc.

I had not only gained weight, but had become a bitter person in many ways & was incredibly unhappy. I can't say I'm 100% the picture of health now because I'm simply not, but my approach to dealing with many issues has changed for the better greatly.

I spend most days now laughing and enjoying the possibilities of all the that life has in store for me. That makes for a great foundation to tackle some of the more difficult struggles that I encounter in my road to be a healthier person.

Back in August I once again started that familiar "get healthy" goal and joined a running group training for a 1/2 marathon, but got off track when life got super hectic. Since then I've found it hard to get back on track.

Lately my excuse is that it getting dark too quick after I get home from work. This is seriously a silly excuse for me because when I was doing well with my running goal I was getting up consistently 3 days during the work week and out the door by 4:45 am (in the dark) and running outside with my dog. Then I'd happily wake up and get to the running group Saturday morning for 6am long runs.

So what exactly is my deal these days you may ask? Well, if I have to be honest I'm just giving lame excuses. I simply need to stop the excuses and get up and DO IT! Doesn't matter that it's dark out, will be getting chilly (eventually), rainy possibly here and there....bottom line is I need to simply just get up and run again.

If I find it hard to get up I need to sleep in my running clothes again & set several alarms that scream at me to get up. I need to plan out meals once a week for the entire week and a come up with alternatives for the days that someone side tracks me because life does happen & the unexpected does occur. I need to have a back up plan for the days when life gets in the way of my goal.

I'm finding motivation in many healthy living blogs I've come across. Blogging is new to me as you can see by my archives, but it seems like the perfect journal to keep record of progress. I will forever be grateful to Christina for introducing me to a way of living better; for teaching me that I can choose to live life positively and change the areas in my life that I am unhappy with.

Here's to starting at the beginning again :). Day 1 of 1/2 marathon training again; can't wait for sore limbs the next couple days! They're my reminder of the good I'm doing my body.

My ultimate goal you may think may be a set amount of weight loss, but nope. I figure if I keep up with a consistent training schedule and nourish my body with good, whole foods and limit the processed food well where else will the scale number go, but south.

I want to be able to be so confident in my snowboarding skills (I currently am a horrible snowboarder; but, love, love, love it none the less) that I can master some crazy snowboarding tricks! I have this dream to be able to learn tricks on a half pipe. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Definition of Love

Thought I'd share the image of the front of a wedding card that I bought. I loved it so much that I had to take a picture of it.

Maybe I will copy the words onto a cute pillow that I make? Must find a good 'how to' on Pinterest decorative pillow making!

I feel I should personalize this definition with the following: getting up to drive to the grocery store during half time of the Broncos game when you are a die hard fan because your whiney girlfriend has a craving for pumpkin ice cream only to come back home & find her sleeping.

Yup folks, I am guilty of being that whiney girlfriend. Bless Kelly's heart, that really happened to him. Love that boy!

Also took a picture of the letter E while at the zoo. Let's face it, it's the best letter in the alphabet :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lions, Tigers, & Bears Oh My!

This weekend was full of monkeying around. No seriously, it really was because I visited the zoo!   Hehe, I crack myself up!

always love walking around the zoo in great 80 something degrees weather. I can't wait for a few more weeks when the zoo puts on its annual Zoolights event for the holidays. Just give me hot chocolate and sneakers and I'm a happy girl while I wander around and gaze at all the pretty lights.

To top off the awesome zoo experience Kelly got pooped on by a bird & it landed on his toe which was full on exposed as he was wearing flip flops. Both an eww moment as well as one with a bit of uncontrollabe laughter!

At least it's considered good luck, or at least I was told that by my friend, Kristen. Maybe that will smooth things over once I tell Kelly that bit of info as I think he currently has a bounty on the bird's head, haha!

Here are a few residents of the zoo....

Friday, November 2, 2012


This week was great! Read below why....happy reading!

a. It was my first full week with my new hair cut. Still working on styling it cute daily, but it looks sooooo much healthier!

b. I am now writing in the blog week days. Yay, for achieving goals!

c. First year staying home & passing out candy on Halloween. The bag I bought had 160 piecees. After the trick or treaters there are 39 left & I only gave 1 piece per person!

d. Will be having dinner tonight with a friend who is having her baby soon. Last hurrah before baby's here!

Yay for the arrival of the weekend! Have plans to visit the zoo & catch up with a friend over the weekend .  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Life is good

This past weekend I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of a friend I have known since age 11. I'm now 30! Out of her of 6 bridesmaids, 4 of us can say the exact same thing. Kinda cool right!

I consider these friendships a huge blessing.  When others ask about this specific group of friends & I tell them how far we go back often they are surprised. I've found it's not as common, but perhaps that's because I now live in a large city? I grew up in a small town. Either way, old friends or new friends, life is good when you find great friendship.

Here are a couple pics of two of my friends/bridesmaids. These two I've been friends with since we were 6 years old! Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of the bride on my own. I'll have to wait until the wedding photographer pictures are available.

Also, I decided to make a very last minute Halloween costume for my dog, Molly, to match my friend's little girls tutu :) Poor Molly, the torture she endures, haha!