Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Nails

With Easter being this weekend I painted my nails with pretty pastels.

I used Love & Beauty Purple, NYC Cashmere Creme, Pure Ice Jack Pot, Love & Beauty Sage, Sally Hansen White On and of course my Sally Hansen No Chip Top Coat.

I picked a color, picked a nail and painted the nail with 2 coats of the color I picked. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad (Chili's Style)

One of my friends and I would meet almost every week at Chili's for lunch and I would order their Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad almost every time until I realized just how many calories it had. It was so good though and I craved it non stop so I started making it at home. For this Weight Loss Wednesday I thought I would share my healthier version of Chili's Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad.

Ingredients: Ice burg lettuce, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup corn, 1/4 of a medium chopped tomato, 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1 tablespoon turkey bacon pieces, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, 4 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce and 2 tablespoons Fat Free ranch dressing.

Chili's Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad has 1,070 calories and my Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad has 452 calories.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dinosaur Party

My son was a lucky little man this year and had 2 small birthday parties, one here with my husbands family and one in my home town with my family. The party I threw here was dinosaur themed!

Of course the birthday boy wanted to go along with the dinosaur theme of his party so he wore this dinosaur shirt. We had Ice Age Dawn Of The Dinosaurs playing in the background for the kids, I'm pretty sure most of the adults were the ones watching it though!

I used my sons toy dinosaurs as decorations around the living room and kitchen. I also hung up a Happy Birthday banner (bottom left picture.)

I wrapped green streamer paper around our railing and stuck a lighter green bow to the post.

We used light green paper plates and dark green napkins. I served Dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, chips with cream cheese salsa dip, pretzel sticks (Dinosaur bones!)

Bugles (Dinosaur claws), Egg Malt Balls (Dinosaur eggs), more Dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and Dinosaur print peanut butter cookies.

I decorated the counter top with a blow up T Rex and camouflage plastic Easter eggs (Dinosaur eggs) that I found at The Dollar Tree.

To make the Dinosaur print peanut butter cookies I used a bag of Betty Crocker's Peanut Butter Cookie Mix and one of my sons toy Dinosaurs (I ended up using a different Dinosaur toy which made better prints.)

I prepared the cookie dough using the directions on the back of the bag. I used a small ice cream scoop to drop the dough onto my cookie sheet. I did not flatten the cookies at all, I just left them in the ball shape of the scoop (they will flatten while they cook.) When the cookies were done baking I took them out of the oven and pressed the toy Dinosaur's feet, one at a time, into each cookie right away. I then placed the cookies on my cookie rack to cool.

These cookies were a huge hit! They were too cute and too good!

Friday, March 22, 2013

No Mess Pancakes

Breakfast foods have become my sons favorite type of meal, he is always asking for waffles and pancakes. The other night when I asked him what he wanted for dinner he told me "Mommy pancakes with apple." I said "you can have pancakes with an apple" and he said "no Mommy apple inside of pancakes." I have never made any type of flavored pancakes so this was a new adventure for me. I decided to go all out and add a few extra ingredients and I was amazed at how great they turned out, my son liked them so much that they are all he asks for now "Mommy pancakes with apple?"

Ingredients: Pancake Mix, Syrup, Cinnamon and an apple.
The directions on the pancake mix box said to mix 1/2 cup powder with 1/3 cup water so I used 1/2 cup powder then added 1/4 cup water and 1 ounce of syrup making 1/3 cup of liquid. I then added a couple dashes of cinnamon and mixed the batter together. I cut the apple into slices and cut off the skin. I then chopped up a couple of the apple slices into tiny pieces and mixed them into the batter as well. This made about 4 small pancakes. 

The best part of these pancakes is that they are mess free. Since there is syrup in the batter I didn't need to put syrup on the pancakes. My son ate them with his hands and I didn't have a sticky toddler to clean up afterwards!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Motivational Board

For today's Weight Loss Wednesday I wanted to share my motivational board with you. I put this board together and hung it on the wall above my make up mirror so I see it every day. It really has helped me stay motivated and I think it is a great idea for anyone who is really trying to lose weight.

 1. Rachel Bilson. I love her figure and the way she dresses, she is an inspiration to me. 

2. Two pictures of myself taken about a year ago when I weighed 208 pounds. I hate these pictures but seeing them really keeps me on the road I am on now because I NEVER want to look like that again. 

3. Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. I would always say "I'm going to start my diet tomorrow" but then the next day I would mess up and say it again.

4. How many pounds I have lost and how many pounds I have to go. I like to see how far I have come. 

5.Remember: Fat lasts longer then flavor! This something I think every time I am craving something so tasty but so bad for me. 

6. Princess Catherine. She is a huge inspiration to me. (There is another little picture with her on the right side of the board.)

7. Fighting Belly Fat. I love the way her tummy looks and my stomach is my problem area so I am fighting belly fat.

8. Me when I weighed 155 pounds. 155 pounds is my goal weight so its great motivation to see myself at that weight.  

9. Another picture of me at 155 pounds

10. Lose Weight You Can Do It! I don't think this one needs an explanation. 

11. Ashley Greene. She is another inspiration for me.
12. Turn I wish Into I will. I would always say I wish I was thinner, I wish I looked better, I wish I was healthier but saying I wish never got me any closer to what I wanted so I got motivated and now I am turning all my I wishes into I wills! 

13. The Only Way To Finish Is To Begin. Starting a healthy life style is hard and taking the that first step is the hardest but once you start to see and feel your body change its all worth it!

Monday, March 18, 2013

What's In My Carry On?

My son and I are going on a trip and since I already posted what I pack in my son's carry on, Traveling With A Toddler, I thought I would post what I pack in mine. Here is what is in my carry on bag:

 1. I have to have my iPod and my headphones. I like to download a movie or a couple TV shows to watch while my son watches movies on my iPad. I also like to listen to music while I flip through my magazines.

2. I bring my camera with me everywhere I go but I like to have it close at hand just encase I feel like documenting our flight.

3. I always buy a bunch of magazines to take with me before I leave. I get bored just sitting on the plane so its nice to have a verity of reading material. 

4. I make sure to bring a travel pack of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to wipe down everything on the plane around us. I also make sure to bring some hand sanitizer. I am a germaphobe when it comes to flying! I wrote a whole blog post about that called Fighting Germs While Flying.

5. Packs of peanuts and cheese crackers are nice but I like to bring my own snacks, especially my Fiber One 90 Calorie Snack Bar. Just because I'm going on a trip doesn't mean I need to stop thinking about my diet!

6. I always double check, sometimes triple check, to make sure I packed my glasses. They are a must with all the reading materials I bring.

7. Speaking of reading materials I always pack the book that I am reading at the time. I love getting lost in my book, it makes the time fly by!

8. My nose gets super stuffy when I fly so I always bring a travel pack of tissues.

9. Just encase I get a headache or ear ache I bring a travel tube of Advil.

10. To try and prevent an ear ache I bring a pack of gum to chew during take off and landing.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Every year for St. Patrick's Day since my husband and I started dating I have made him a corned beef and cabbage stew.

Ingredients: 2 stalks of celery halved, 4 carrots sliced, 1 medium onion cut into 4 wedges, 4-6 red potatoes quartered, corned beef brisket with spices, 12 ounce stout or dark ale and 1 medium head of cabbage sliced.
Place celery, carrots, onion and potatoes in the crock pot. Rinse the beef brisket and place it over the vegetables. Pour in the stout or dark ale, spices and enough water to fully cover the meat. Cook for 8 hours. 

 Remove the meat and vegetables and cover them with foil. Place the sliced cabbage into the liquid in the crock pot and cook on high for 30 minutes or until soft.

"May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you."
~Irish Blessing

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Drinks

 "Saint Patrick was a gentleman, Who through strategy and stealth, Drove all the snakes from Ireland, Here’s a toasting to his health. But not too many toastings, Lest you lose yourself and then, Forget the good Saint Patrick, And see all those snakes again."

St. Patrick's Day and drinking pretty much go hand in hand. Although its fun to drink Irish drinks on an Irish holiday a lot of Irish drinks are not diet friendly......Jameson Irish Whiskey - 69 calories for 1 ounce, Guinness - 210 calories for 1 pint, Killians Irish Red - 163 calories for 12 ounces, Bailey's Irish Cream - 121 calories for 1.3 ounces and my husband's favorite RedBreast Irish Whiskey - 65 calories for 1 ounce.
So this year I did some searching and found a website with 5 Low Calorie St. Patrick's Day drink recipes and now I am excited to celebrate St. Patrick's day with out being terrified of drinking away my daily calories!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lucky Nails

St. Patrick's Day is this weekend so I gave my nails a lucky, green and gold make over.

I used Love & Beauty in Sage, Elf in Golden Goddess and my Sally Hansen No Chip Top Coat.

I painted 3 coats of Sage on all my nails but my ring finger nail. I then painted 4 coats of Golden Goddess on my ring finger nail. I finished them off with one coat of my No Chip Top Coat. 

 "For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your
way -
Good health, good luck, and
For today and every day."
~Author Unknown

Friday, March 8, 2013

Alice In Wonderland Party

I had the pleasure of throwing my very best friend a baby shower a few months ago in my home town. She asked for an Alice In Wonderland Mad Hatter Tea Party so I watched the movies...old and new...and searched Pinterest and this is what I came up with:

 I ordered an Alice In Wonderland Coloring book from Barnes & Noble and this picture was in the back of the book so I made a bunch of copies, placed them into large zip lock bags (it was a cold rainy day so this kept them from getting wet) and hung them up along the drive way so her guests could follow the white rabbit to her Mad Hatter Tea Party.

 I cut arrows out of poster board I bought from The Dollar Tree and wrote Up, Wrong Way, Right Way, That Way, This Way For Real and Off With Your Head in all different types of writing. I wrapped them up in saran wrap to keep them from getting wet then I tacked them to a tree in the front yard.

 Since we couldnt have the tea party outside, again it was a rainy wet day, I had it my parents garage. I drew the door knob face on a yellow piece of construction paper then cut it out. I then cut a small round hole above the "mouth" where the door knob was going to go. I sliced a tiny slit from the left of the paper to the hole so I could place the face around the door knob. Then on the back of the paper I taped the slit together and taped the paper face to the door to keep it secure. 

I was intent on making this tea party look just like the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, I wanted my friends guests to feel like they were transported into the tea party scene of the movie as soon as they walked in. 

 I found my old copy of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland in my parents attack and thought it would make a nice decoration, I placed it on a shelf along with my moms tea pot timer. Luckily I threw my friend this party in October so I was able to find the Mad Hatter's Hat from a Halloween Costume store, I hung it from the shelf's hooks. (You can order the same hat here )

I found the stuffed mouse at the second hand store and placed him in a giant tea pot that my mom already had....don't ask! 

My mom found the white rabbit at one of her second hand stores and we sat him in a small chair, along with an old clock, next to the garage door to greet all my friends guests.

 We served a pretty large verity of finger foods which included cookies that we served on a cookie stand my mom and I made, I got the idea from Pinterest. We used a large round plastic plate, a glass taper candle holder, a round nickel-plated tray, another glass taper candle holder, a mirror candle holder (all from The Dollar Tree) and some glue. In blue icing I wrote EAT ME on one of the cookies and placed it on the top of the stand. 

The one thing that really stood out to me in both movies was all the different colors and how miss matched everything was, it was a priority for me to accomplish this look. We placed the cold drinks in a giant bright yellow bucket and tied some of my hand made Drink Me tags to the necks of all the soda bottles. 

We also served coffee and tea, it was a tea party after all, in our miss matched thermos dispensers that we found at the second hand store. We tied some Drink Me tags to the handles of the thermos's as well. We served milk and creamer out of baby bottles and sugar out of a baby food jar, we sliced holes in the lid.

 We hung white table clothes from the ceiling along the garage walls to hide all the items that were in the garage, plus it made us feel like we were in our own little world. My mom found multi colored lanterns which we hung at all different heights from the ceiling. I had hunted for a stuffed Cheshire Cat but never found one so I bought an Alice In Wonderland coloring book from The Dollar Tree and colored its picture of the Cheshire Cat. I cut it out and taped it to the corner of one of the white table clothes that was hanging from the ceiling. 

We used 3 different sized tables and covered them in different colored tables clothes, these were from The Dollar Tree as well. We collected all the chairs from around my parents house and placed them around the tables, no one same chair was next to each other. Of course I placed the biggest most comfortable chair in the middle of the head table for the guest of honor.

On the tables we placed a square paper plate then placed a round colorful plate on top of it. I searched all my second hand stores to find all different kinds of tea cups for this party....big ones, small ones, plane ones, colorful ones...pretty much whatever I could get my hands on. Everyone at the party had their own unique tea cup to use just like in the movies. For the center pieces we found 3 totally different tea pots, from the second hand store of course, and placed fake white and red roses in them. We bought a couple packs of playing cards and placed the face cards, especially the Queen Of Hearts, in with the roses. Since this was a baby shower after all we bought blue flowers, baby boy candies, blue baby blocks, mini pacifiers and pins from The Dollar Tree and spread them out on all of the tables. 

All of the guests absolutely loved everything about our Mad Hatter Tea Party and my mom and I got complemented on it for days after the shower. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Skinny Mexican Pizza

As I have previously said Taco Bell is my weakness....uh I love it...but its not the healthiest so I try to make Taco Bell meals at home when I am craving it (I have already posted my version of a Crunchwrap Surpreme) For this Weight Loss Wednesday I am posting my version of Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza...skinny style of course!
Ingredients: Salsa (I made my own), 2 wheat tortillas, fat free refried beans, fat free low sodium chicken broth, black olives, green onion, shredded cheese (low fat would be the best) and a small tomato.
Seasonings: Garlic, Onion, Oregano, Cumin, Salt and Pepper.

 And of course you will need cooked ground turkey. As you cook it add the seasonings listed above.

 To make the wheat tortillas a bit crispy I placed them into a pan which I had very lightly sprayed with some Pam. Make sure to flip them to crisp the other side.

 Once your tortillas are crispy place one on a baking sheet then pile on some salsa, seasoned ground turkey and some shredded cheese.

 Place the fat free refried beans in a bowl and add a dash of the fat free low sodium chicken broth and mix them together well. Put the bowl into the microwave until the beans are hot.

 After heating up the beans spread a nice layer onto the second crispy wheat tortilla then plop the tortilla bean side down onto the top of the first crispy tortilla that is covered in salsa, turkey and cheese.
 Now on the top of your second tortilla pile on more salsa and cheese. Top that with some sliced tomato, black olives and green onion.

Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook the pizza until all your cheese is melted. Disfrutar!

Monday, March 4, 2013

February Favorites

Its that time again, time to share some of my favorites from last month with you. February wasn't that different from January, it flew by and was full of sickness and doctors appointments (fingers crossed March will be a healthier month for my family and I!) Here are some of the things I was loving last month:

 Random: I downloaded the My Fitness App on my iPad and started tracking my calorie intake and my work outs. I use it every day, it has helped me with my diet tremendously! 

Movie/TV Show: I have totally fallen in love with the show Elementary! I have always been intrigued by Sherlock Holmes so being able to watch an hour of "Sherlock Holmes" and "Dr. Watson" figure out some pretty interesting mysteries is one of the high lights of my week. (Click here to read about the show.)

Style: I am a scarf fanatic so I am very happy that it is still cold and snowy here. This ombre lavender scarf has become one of my favorites and I have found myself reaching for it every time I'm about to walk out the door. It gives my normally dark outfits a pop of color.

Food: I have a hot cup of tea before bed almost every night and the Oregon Chai is almost always my first choice. I love how spicy it is!

Music: This was definitely my favorite song to listen to in still is! Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man

My February Disappointment: One of our friends bought us a pet rat....yes a pet rat...but sadly he passed away only a day and a half after having him. He was a feeder rat from a reptile store so I didn't expect him to live that long but I was disappointed in just how short his little life was. R.I.P. little buddy!