Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry

One of my go to recipes is stir fry, but I have been using the same recipe for years which has gotten a bit boring. So when I saw an article about using Broccoli Slaw as "noodles" in a stir fry I thought that it would make a great, healthy, interesting addition to my stir fry.

2 medium Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cubed
2 tablespoons Lite Soy Sauce
1 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic minced
1 tablespoon Ginger
1 package Broccoli Slaw
1/2 bag Mixed Peppers And Onion
2 tablespoons Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

I placed the cubed chicken in the soy sauce and let it sit while I started cooking.
In a large pan I sauteed the garlic and ginger in the olive oil over medium high heat for about 30 seconds.

I then poured the chicken and the soy sauce into the pan and cooked it until it was cooked through, stirring it frequently.

I then added in the broccoli slaw, mixed peppers and onions, chicken broth and sesame oil and let everything cook until all the veggies were soft.

I served it over a bit of brown rice and it was super tasty, the broccoli slaw definitely added a bit of a new flavor which was exactly what I was looking for.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Quick Earring Tip

I have super sensitive ears so when I try to wear earrings that aren't fancy smancy expensive my lobes rebel....its not pretty and it doesn't feel that great either. I could never deal with the pain, itchiness and crud so I never left the earrings in long enough for my ears to get used to them so I stopped wearing earrings. But a few months ago I realized just how much I missed those small, sparkly studs making my ears look pretty so I ventured into my jewelry box determined to stick it out this time...I also had a few trick up my sleeve.

 Meet my new friends Mr. Peroxide and Mrs. Cocoa Butter Jelly!
Before I put my earrings back into my ears I let them sit in the peroxide for a little bit. I also wiped down my lobes with a q-tip dipped in peroxide to give them a nice cleaning. I took my earrings out after a couple minutes in the peroxide and dipped the post of each earring into the jelly then put the earrings on. 

Just doing these two little extra steps changed everything. I didn't have a problem with my ears freaking out at all this time and my ears have been very happily sparkly ever since. I was amazed and so happy that I had to share.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Portland (Curious In Oregon)

Since I just spent two weeks in Oregon I thought it would be fun to share my favorite things to do in one of my favorite cities...Portland. So instead of Curious In Colorado this is Curious In Oregon.

For The Kids
The Oregon Zoo is such an amazing fun place for the whole family. This is a must do on my families list of things to do when we are in Oregon.

The Portland Children's Museum just happens to be right across the parking lot from the zoo which is super convenient when planning a day just for the kids.

For The Music Lovers
A trip to Portland just wouldn't be complete without a pop into our favorite used CD and DVD stores to do a little shopping. My dad and I love Music Millennium and both Everyday Music's. We walk in with our list of much wanted CD's and DVD's and walk out with a bag full of both and money still in our pockets, you know how much I love my used/thrifted finds!

Our favorite place to go to see live music is the Crystal Ballroom. Inside is amazingly beautiful and the floor is fantastic! The floor is a "floating" dance floor so it feels really weird but is really fun when you are walking or dancing on it.

Food & Drinks
My favorite place to chill and grab some food and a few drinks is under the Crystal Ballroom, McMenamins Ringlers Pub. This place is huge and there is so much to look at. The bar is amazing and I find myself staring at it for most of the time that I am there. Their list of beers and liquors is pretty long and the beers are made on the second floor of the building right above the restaurant and bar. There is a place to play pool, shuffleboard and pinball. Their food is also really good, I am a huge fan of the Aztec Salad....yum!

Voodoo Doughnuts is a must do at least once in your life. They sell some pretty tasty doughnuts but my favorite is the one shaped like a voodoo doll, covered in chocolate frosting, filled with raspberry jelly and topped off with a pretzel much fun! Just make sure you are not in a rush because there is almost always a pretty long line. 

If your looking for something to eat on the go I suggest one of the MANY food carts that are scattered all around the downtown Portland area.

For The Sports Lover
Oregon has two professional sports teams, the Portland Trail Blazers (basketball) and the Portland Timbers (soccer), and I definitely suggest catching a game or two...such a great time! The Timbers play at Jeld-Wen Field in downtown Portland and the Trail Blazers play in the Rose Garden which is on the east side of the Willamette River in Portland. The Rose Garden also hosts a lot of other events that are fun to go to so check out their website to see what they have going on during your visit to the City Of Roses.

For The Book Worm
If you love books, Powell's Books is heaven. This place is GIGANTIC and they sale new and used books. There is also a coffee shop inside so you can chill out in the cafe, drink some coffee and start reading your new books.

For The Shoppers
A couple places I like to go to do a tiny bit of shopping (and people watching) is Nob Hill, which is on 23rd, and the Pioneer Place Mall located in the Pioneer District.

For The Site Seers 
 The Pittock Mansion is a pretty cool place to go. The inside of the mansion is breathtaking and the view from the garden is unbeatable!

For The Grimmsters
If you watch the show Grimm then you know that it is filmed in and around Portland, so if you feel like doing a bit of Grimm site stalking while you are in town then click on the links below!

I am a huge Grimm fan so of course I had to do a bit of site stalking when my dad and I took our usual trip to Portland, it was a lot of fun!

Our first stop was Shirley's Tippy Canoe which you see in the season three opener "The Ungrateful Dead."
Not only has Shirley's Tippy Canoe been in Grimm but they were also featured on Diners, Drive-In's and Dives so as you can imagine the food is pretty darn tasty! I highly suggest the clam chowder, the turkey melt with fries, and the burger. To top it all off the staff was unbelievably nice, I want to go back now every time I am in town...its a must!

My second stop was the Ugly Mug Coffeehouse which was in the season one final "Woman In Black." This place was pretty cool and very funky. The mocha I had definitely hit the spot and all the "ugly" mugs that decorate the room were really fun to look at. One of my favorite parts of this coffeehouse was the customer punch cards that say "Frequently Ugly" on them...awesome!

Like I said Portland is one of my favorite cities, I have spent a lot of my life exploring this weird magical city and I never plan on stopping!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jason's Weight Loss Journey (February Update)

The end of January and beginning of February was a bit hard on my husbands weigh loss journey since I was in Oregon visiting my family, so he had to fend for himself. He did pretty well though and didn't eat anything that unhealthy, but he didn't lose any weight either so he still weighs 224 pounds. He has started eating a lot less and is now finding himself less hungry throughout the day and gets fuller quicker when eating breakfast, lunch and dinner which is great....he is definitely on the right path!

For this update I wanted to share my husbands new favorite healthy dessert. Every night after dinner he is searching the cabinets for something sweet to eat. So to keep him happy and on track I scrolled through Pinterest and found this dessert which is super easy, sweet and not overly unhealthy.

Cup Cake
You will need a box of Angel Food cake mix and a box of your favorite flavor cake mix, my husband chose Germen Chocolate. 
You will also need an air tight container, I used an old pickle jar that I had painted the top of. 
Pour both cake mixes in the container and shake them together super well. 
Store the container until you get a craving for something sweet. 

When that craving does hit just scoop 3 tablespoons of the cake mixture out of the container and pour them into a mug. 
Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir well. 
Place the mug into the microwave for 1 minute and that's that.

A sweet single serving cake for my sweet tooth fella!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

For My Very Special Valentines

Yesterday was Valentines Day and like always I tried to make my son and husband feel extra special. I had been plotting and planning for about a month and both surprises, one for my son and one for my hubby, turned out really well. Our Valentines Day was a lot of fun and was really tasty too!

For my son's surprise I made up a Valentines Day treasure hunt...
My Supplies:
Note Cards

Valentines Day Balloon
Chocolate Kisses
Toy Car
Maze Game
Mini Lego
Leap Pad Game

My husband took my son to the park so when they came home my son found this on our front door.
Clue: "Valentines Day is a day of love, now go to the place of the bubbling tub."

His treasure and his next clue were hanging over our hot tub. 
Clue: "We love your hugs and your kisses, now go to the thing that cleans our dishes."

His treasure and his next clue were hanging on the dish washer. 
Clue: "You wheelie are our favorite little boy, now go to the thing that holds your toys."

His treasure and his next clue were in his toy box.
Clue: "You are a-MAZE-ing that's for sure, now go to the thing that's covered in fur."

His treasure and his next clue were sitting on our dogs bed.
Clue: "We will never Lego of you...we'll never let you down, now go to the place where you climb high off the ground."

His treasure and his next clue were laying on the top bunk of his bunk bed.
Clue: "You are one Kool kid indeed, now go to the place where we read."

His treasure and his next clue were sitting in the chair in his room.
Clue: "Your #1 in or book and in our hearts, now go to the room that hangs Great Grandma's art."

His final treasure was sitting on our bed in our room.
"Your final prize: a new game to play! We love you Little Man, Happy Valentines Day!"

Our son had a blast with this treasure hunt and loved everything he got, the smile on his face made my heart melt. I will definitely be doing this again!

For my husbands surprise I made him a copy cat dish and dessert from TGI Fridays...
For dinner I made his favorite Sizzling Chicken and Cheese. 
I used this recipe from Recipe Secrets for the chicken, peppers and cheese and this recipe from What's For Dinner? for the super yummy mashed potatoes. 
Dinner was tasty...

...but dessert was amazing! 
I made a Brownie Obsession and it was melt in your mouth delicious!
I made the brownies from a box mix but I didn't let them cool like the directions on the box say to do. Right after taking the brownies out of the oven I cut out a couple slices and put them on our plates. I topped each of them with some hot chocolate fudge, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and a bit of chopped pecans.

I hope you all had a great Valentines Day filled with love, happiness and surprises... 
Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Healthier Crock Pot Potato Soup

Whenever it gets cold outside I start craving a nice hot bowl of soup, one of my favorites is potato soup. It has always been one of the easiest to make but it can also be pretty unhealthy with all the milk, cream and butter. Since I don't want to mess up my families better eating habits that we have all finally started, I had to find a different healthier potato soup recipe to make for us. So I spent the afternoon on my iPad searching for healthy potato soup ideas. Using a bit of this and that from the different recipes that I found I came up with a healthier potato soup recipe that was perfect for my family.

4 medium Potatoes sliced
5 strips Turkey Bacon chopped
2 stalks Green Onion diced
1/2 tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 1/2 cans Fat Free Vegetable Broth
1 can Fat Free Evaporated Milk
Reduced Fat Shredded Cheese

I poured the vegetable broth and the evaporated milk into my crock pot. I then added the potatoes, bacon, almost all the green onions (I left some for the toppings), garlic and some pepper. I mixed everything together and I let it cook for 6 hours.

 After the soup was done cooking I scooped out most of the liquid from the crock pot, 2 cups to be exact, and put it in a pot which I brought to a boil on my stove top. I did this so I could thicken it up using cornstarch.

I mixed two tablespoons of cornstarch into two tablespoons of cold water then poured it into the boiling pot of potato soup liquid. 
I stirred the boiling liquid until it thickened up a bit.
I then poured the thicker liquid back into the crock pot which was still full of all my potato soup goodness, I then stirred everything together really well.
This recipe made just enough to fill up 3 bowls which was perfect for us. After pouring the soup into our bowls I topped them off with the shredded cheese, left over green onion and a bit of pepper.

 My modge podge potato soup recipe turned out really well. It was very tasty and definitely hit the spot, its what we needed to warm us up on this cold cold day.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thrifted Twin Threads (Taylor Swift)

Valentines Day is right around the corner so when I saw this outfit on Taylor Swift I thought that it would be perfect for a dinner date with my hubby.

I adored everything about this outfit but I was obsessed with the red skirt that just!

If I would of bought each piece new I would of paid around $110 but since I bought everything thrifted I spent about $12.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

January Favorites

January was a pretty great month. I turned 30, my mom came out to Colorado to celebrate my birthday with me and she surprised me with plane tickets to Oregon to visit my family. Some of my favorite things from January were...

Random: I still cant believe that my parents surprised me with Plane Tickets To Oregon for my birthday! I have been missing my family so much and have been trying to figure out a way to get out there so this was amazing!

TV/Movie: Jack The Giant Slayer has been on our movie channels almost every night and my husband and I have watched it almost every night.

Style: I bought these Polo Sneakers from Ross Dress For Less awhile back and I find myself wearing them more and more now. They are so light and comfortable and I love the black and hot pink.

Food: I love black licorice and lately I have been munching on Good & Plenty's like they are going out of style. Obsessed and totally addicted!

Music: I have been hearing this song, Lorde - Royals, everywhere! It is so catchy and I find myself singing it randomly throughout the day.

January Disappointment: I was so excited to do some thrift shopping with one of my best friends while I was in Oregon but I was so not impressed by any of the thrift stores that we visited. Some of them had not enough merchandise and some had way to much. Plus almost everything was way over priced. I am very thankful for the thrift stores we have here in Colorado that's for sure!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tips To Start Running Today

I wrote in my "If I Can Do It YOU Can Too" post that I was never a runner, I was the person that would try so hard to run but would always end up walking most of the way and feeling super sick once I was done. But now after following the tips that my brother (a great runner) gave me and learning more about my body and my stamina running/jogging is one of my favorite things to do. If you are not a runner it can be very stressful and hard getting started, I know this from experience, so I wanted to share the tips that helped me.
First things first...

Side Toe Touches: loosens your back and stretches your hamstrings (5 times each side)

Squat: stretches your lower back, Achilles tendons, ankles and hips (hold for 30 seconds)

Toes On Wall: stretches calves (hold for 20 seconds each leg)

Toe Touches: stretches your hamstrings (hold 20-30 seconds)

Side Lunge: opens your hips (hold for 30 seconds on each side)

After you are lose and your muscles and joints are ready to go follow these tips to start running:
  • Do not run in new shoes...wearing new shoes that are not broken in will end up hurting you more then helping.
  • Run on a track or a dirt path...there is more cushion on these and it will be easier on your knees.
  • Start out slow....its not a race so keep a slow pace.
  • No heavy should run heal to toe not flat footed.
  • Keep your breathing deep breaths no shallow breaths. 
  • You will find your stride...and once you find it you will feel like you could run forever.
  • Music helps a lot...listening to your favorite upbeat playlist can keep you entertained, keep you motivated and may make your run feel easier. 
  • Remember there is always will not be able to run a marathon on your first day so don't feel like you have failed if you don't make it that far. You will get better and it will become easier!  

The Twelve Week Plan I Followed

I never ever thought that I would call myself a runner but now it is my go to activity. Not just because of the health benefits but for stress relief also. There is just something so calming about being outside in the fresh air, all my problems seem to disappear with every stride I take.