Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Where has the time gone?!

My last post was April 16? Life has certainly been a whirlwind the last two weeks. Where do I start?

Work: New projects have started and the old ones weren't wrapped up yet. One of them had a little bit of a hiccup because I wasn't getting the answers I needed. Then there were emergencies, one after another, on top of my regular work duties. I have a much better grasp on everything and can finally breathe...for now.

Baby: I've been having a hard time these past couple of weeks adjusting to being a new working mom. They say going back to work after baby is hard, but I didn't realize it would be this hard. She's almost six months old and I am just now getting it together; when I was at work, all I thought about was being home with her and when I was home, I couldn't help but think about all the work I had waiting for me at the office. My sister gave me some good advice - it never gets easier, but you learn to deal with it better.

No eating out in April: I have been cooking pretty much every night with the exception of left overs and when my mom brought us dinner a few times. As you know, I hit up Starbucks. Whether that counts as cheating, I don't know. Can it be partial cheating? But I did go out to lunch with my dad for his birthday, so that is definitely cheating. To sum up the month, I guess I failed, but I did a lot better then I thought. I have so many recipes from the month that I have to share with you guys, so stay tuned.  Here are a few pics to tease you a little bit.

Plus, my sister and nephew are in town visiting! Yay! I won't get to see them much because of work, but there's always the weekend!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chiffon Skirts

The high-low chiffon skirt trend is really starting to grow on me.  When I first saw them, I thought they looked a little strange, plus I'm not a hugh fan of chiffon.

I'm going to say it - I have a really big complex about my legs. I feel that they are "thick" and not as slender and feminine as I would like.  Having said that, I try to elongate them whenever possible and not draw too much attention.  For example, I find that fitted, structured pencil skirts slim down my legs and make them appear longer.  So when I tried on my first high-low dress, I gasped in horror at how they made my legs look.  So I passed on it. 

Recently I tried on a high-low chiffon skirt and absolutely fell in love.  Granted, I can't pull it off with the cute flat sandals everyone is pairing them with, but I threw on a pair of nude heels and we were in business!  Needless to say, these skirts have become a Spring must-have in my closet.  Maybe one in a neutral color like nude or black and one in a cheery spring color?

What do you think of these skirts?

Chiffon Skirts


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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tilapia & Asparagus

Happy Hump Day, everyone!
So it's only been about a week since I vowed not to eat out in April.  I've been eating home cooked meals and brown-bagging my lunch.  The ones my mom brings me counts, right?  Today, it's left overs from dinner last night - whole wheat spaghetti with grilled chicken.  Yum!
I have to say, even though it's only been about a week, I feel SO much better!  It was so bad before, just the thought of picking up something to eat made me sick to me stomach.  But now, I feel good.  Just plain good. 
The recipe I'm going to share today is one my favorites.  I love it because it's really clean, easy and delicious!

All you need is tilapia fillets, asparagus, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon!

4 tilapia fillets
1 bunch of asparagus
olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 of a lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a baking pan, lay the asparagus in the bottom of the pan.  Place the tilapia fillet on top.  Drizzle the olive oil over the fish and asparagus.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon like so...
Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until the fish is cooked through and asparagus is tender.
As a side, I made this quinoa and brown rice blend by Near East.  There are hundreds of quinoa recipes out there that are amazing, but this little box is so simple to make and compliments almost any dish.  So when you're short on time, this is a perfect option.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Denim & Stripes

T-shirt Dress (H&M old, similar here) - Denim Jacket (Marshall's, similar here, here and here) - Sandals (Target, similar here and here)

One of my Spring must-haves is denim, denim and more denim!  I actually wore this t-shirt dress during my pregnancy.  I bought it in a larger size to accommodate my growing belly.  I just shrank it a few times and took it in a little bit and it's good as new!  I threw on a denim jacket to style it up a bit and paired it with these gorgeous Target sandals.

Excuse the file boxes in the background :)  I just took a couple quick pictures on my way into the office.

What are your Spring go-to items?
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Monday, April 8, 2013

I think I cheated...

As you know, we have been packing, moving and unpacking for the last week. Unfortunately, I have had a horrible wave of allergies since Thursday last week.  I went home from work on Thursday, stayed home for most of Friday and am in no way better today.  I can't take any medications because I'm still nursing, so I just have to tough through it.  Needless to say, I didn't get as much unpacking done as I would have liked :( Oh well, life goes on...

So since I have declared April a no eating out month for me, I think I might have cheated! Sleepless nights and having everything in packed boxes that weren't labeled (oops!) means, I couldn't find my coffee grinder and maker.  So what did I do?  I went to Starbucks, which is dangerously located within a 7 minute walking distance!  Does coffee count?  Since HoneyB and I have been on this savings kick, I stopped significantly decreased by Starbucks intake and brew at home instead.  But I didn't really have a choice...or did I?  I'll let you be the judge.

To battle the temptation to eat out, I have to have prepared snacks and meals on-hand whenever HoneyB and I are hungry.  One staple of mine are kale chips, I posted about here.  I think they are the perfect alternative to potato chips or other salty snacks!

Another dish I keep on hand is whole-wheat pasta salad.  It's quick to mix up a big bowl, eat it throughout the week and take some for lunch.  Haven't gone to the grocery store, but need to whip up a quick bite?  Pasta salad!  I've literally thrown a salad together with whatever I have in my pantry and fridge.  That's a beauty of it all!
This one in particular is very easy.  I just used what we had in the pantry, which wasn't much because of the move.
1 bag of whole-wheat penne (you can use any pasta you like, I typically go with penne or rotini)
1 head of broccoli
1 can black olives
1/4 - 1/2 cup feta or goat cheese
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup low-fat ceasar dressing
olive oil & basalmic vinegar
Black pepper
Chopped salami, optional
Cook pasta according to package directions.
After pasta is cooked and drained, drizzle with 1/4 cup ceasar dressing.  This will help the pasta soak up the flavor and not stick together.  Place in fridge to cool.
Chop broccoli into bite-size pieces.
After pasta has cooled, add broccoli, olives, sundried tomatoes and cheese.  Toss to combine.
Drizzle remaining ceasar dressing.  Toss to combine.
I like to add a little bit of a tang, so I add basalmic vinegar and olive oil to taste.
Add black pepper to taste.
I don't always want meat in my salad, so I just keep the chopped salami in the fridge to add to the plates as we go. 
What are easy recipes that you use?  Do you think I cheated by going to Starbucks?

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Look at Easter and No Eating Out in April

I hope you all had an amazing Easter weekend!  Mine consisted of cleaning and packing on Saturday and some family time on Sunday.  I just had to share the sweetest pictures of my little Easter Bunny.  She actually didn't mind the ears one bit and she was so adorable, if I do say so myself.

So it's April 1st...wow does time fly!  Actually, for me, right now, it hasn't.  HoneyB and I have spent about 8 months looking for a home and we finally found one and will be moving in this week.  Words cannot even describe how excited, relieved, happy, etc. I am!  The two things I am most excited about is cooking an cleaning.  Crazy right?!?!  Maybe it's just me, but I really took for granted being able to clean my home and cook for HoneyB and myself.  Whenever I'm stressed, feeling down, bored or have had some wine ;) I clean or cook.  Since we didn't have our own place, I couldn't do any of that.  Not to mention, I've lived on my own for a VERY long time, so it was another huge adjustments for me. 

Let me tell you, not being able to cook a meal S-U-C-K-S!  We pretty much ate whatever was prepared for us (which was not bad by any means) or we ate out, which means we spent a pretty penny on food ($7 for a mediocre salad, anyone?) The food that was prepared at home was great, but it was just not what HoneyB and I are used to eating.  HoneyB and I eat very simple, clean and healthy.  Sure we have our splurge days, but a typical dinner usually consists of lean protein grilled or baked, veggies and brown rice.  This was definitely not what we have been in eating in the last 8 months.  And I can truly say, with all my heart, that I now know first hand how diet can affect your body and how you feel. 

So let me end my rambling and say that I am going to spend April soaking up the fact that I CAN cook whatever and whenever I want by not eating out in April.  HoneyB and I are going to eat a healthy home cooked meal every night in April and I will be brown-bagging it for lunch.

I've read up on blogs about meal planning, etc. so I really think I can do this.  Plus, it'll be a new challenge - new mommy, new wifey, working full-time, cooking and keeping up a home.  Easy peasy, right :P I can't wait to share all my healthy recipes with all of you!

If you have any recipes or meal planning tips, I would love to hear them!