Sunday, July 28, 2013

The 3 Minute "Healthy-Southern" (not and oxymoron) Breakfast

Seeing as my last blog is from oh SEVEN months ago, I'm pretty disappointed.  I haven't made my time for myself and the things I really enjoy doing! No More!

Since moving out of the city, to be with my love! The commute has really taken a toll on my free time.  I'm learning to still do what I love doing, but quicker and more efficient.  Thus, the creation of the The 3 Minute "Healthy-Southern" (not and oxymoron) Breakfast!!!!

1 packet Quaker Oats Original Instant Grits
1/2 c. Water
1 tsp of Olive Oil
6 Tbs All Whites Egg Whites
1 Laughing Cow Cheese Light Creamy Swiss Wedge
Sprinkle of Reduced Fat Cheese of Your Choice
Season to taste with your choice of Salt-Free Mrs Dash's seasonings, I like Garlic & Herb

0:00-1:00 minute:
  • Mix grits and water into a bowl, pop into the microwave for 1minute 15 seconds.
1:00-2:00 minute:
  • Cover bottom of a saucepan with the olive oil, heat at medium temperature 
  • Cook egg whites to saucepan, careful- egg whites cook very fast
2:00-3:00 minute:
  • Add egg whites & the cheeses to grits
  • Season to taste & Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Homemade Wreath- New Christmas Tradition!

Merry Christmas!

Now before I get into how to make homemade wreaths, I have to rewind to two weeks ago.  My mom and dad purchased our Real Christmas tree and you see my mother has an adversion to cutting any branches off the tree (Nobody knows why, she is just that way)!  Instead of my father arguing with her about how to fit the trunk into the stand, he simply stated the directions on it, "Cut branches five to six inches from the bottom in order to fit the tree into the stand."

Next thing we knew, the removed branches were securly saved and thriving in a bucket of water.  And little did I know that when I got home from Boston, my mom would have a project for me! So we headed off to Michael's (FYI- 70% Holiday decor on Christmas Eve!) to purchase flowers, berries, ribbon, sparkly decor, and decor wire.  Also, don't forget to have a pair of wire and branch cutters before you begin!

I'm not going to lie, I was a bit skeptical of how this whole thing would turn out once we laid the branches out to get started.  Luckily, it wasn't to difficult to cut and mold the branches into a circular shape (using two sets of hands)!  We then secured each branch together using the decor wire.  Don't worry if you can see the wire, you will cover it up later with decor.

Next, cut up the decorations into smaller, more-manageable pieces so you cant let your creative juices flow.  I'd suggest to put sparkly berry branches in the middle of the wreath to cover the inner branches, secure with ribbon! Once you have the arrangement you want, again secure with decor wire, hidden within the branches.

Hang in a place where you can showcase your beautiful decoration!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shop Online, Save & Get Cash Back!

Okay, okay, I'll admit it.... I have a slight shopping addiction.  Not your average shopping addiction, but one fueled by good deals.  And before I get into the details of saving money, I want to be very clear about two rules I hold true to in order to keep myself in check:
  1. Budget the amount of money you will spend vs. give to God bi-weekly (base this on how often you get paid!)...... This rule sparks another blog idea- stay tuned! :)
  2. Only buy things you would normally buy even without the deals offered below

Alright, now for the fun part! Below are my absolutely favorite money saving tips/websites/apps!

Amazon Prime 

Amazon Prime Membership allows me to find great deals on Amazon, get FREE Two-Day Shipping, Free instant streaming of movie and TV shows (definitely comparable to Netflix), and the ability to borrow thousands of Kindle Books for free (I just finished "The Five Love Languages")! College students luck out even more- it's free the first year & $39/year until you graduate!  For the average Joe-shomes it costs us $79/year (That's $6.60 a month! Less than Netflix only).  
 If you won't to know more, check it out here!


This is my absolute favorite website!  If you shop online, you just have to make one quick trip to ebates first, where you can find coupons and find out how much cash back you can receive.  Click-through to the website and shop like normal! Ebates tracks how much you send and sends you a big-fat-check every 3 months!
You can get 2-25% back back and coupons that either provide additional discount or free shipping! If you click the link below, it will direct you to the site.  As a disclaimer, if you sign-up and make a $25 purchase through Ebates, I receive $5! Which I will give to charity! :) So thank you!

Enjoy & Happy Shopping!

American Express "Amex" Credit Card

First of all, I do not enourage anyone to get a credit card if they have had issues paying it off in the past, or if they don't have a budget for sepnding!

But if you do, then I would have to suggest one of the American Express Credit Cards.
You an pick the card that is right for you, whether you love perks such as travel, VIP tickets, 24-7 concierge, or even cash back! I personally love my Blue Cash Everyday®.  This no annual fee cars provides me with 3% cash back on the groceries, 2% on gasoline, and 1% on all other purchases.  Additional perks include travelers insurance, available  coverage if you rent a car and is it damaged or stolen, identity protection services, and much more! 


 eBay is the place to go online when you can't find a good deal on amazon!  In particular, I love to buy my electronics here!  I mean $4 for an iphone charger! You just can't beat that!


A recent addition to my money saving weapons! SnipSnip can be downloaded on your smartphone to bring coupons with you as you shop! I like this app because you can store and share your coupons on your phone and get alerts when you enter a specific store that you have a coupon for! Additionally, you get to use other people's coupons as well! :) 


 Retail Me Not

The best website to find coupon codes to use while shopping online.  Rule of thumb: Don't buy anything online from a regular retailer without using a coupon code! It's worth searching for one here!

Enjoy! & Happy Smart Shopping!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bring the Mustache Back!

The Movember Effect: Awareness & Education, Survivorship, Research
Men everywhere are displaying their "Mo's" to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues- specifically, prostate and testicular cancer initiatives!

Movember hits close to home for me, as my father was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer a few years ago.  Luckily we caught it early and it seems to be under control! But I can't help to imagine what life would be like if we hadn't.
My favorite aspect of Movember is it is a Conversation Starter.  "Mo Bros" become walking, talking billboards for 30 days in November.  In hopes to trigger conversations about men's health that tend to be ignored! Ignored, primarily because of men's discussion not to discuss health issues openly! Additionally, some men tend to not get regular health check ups.

So what can we do?
  • Men: It's never too late to grow your own 'stach!
  • Donate Here (This is my Friend Sam!) Funds raised go directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, LIVESTRONG Foundation, & Movember's Global Action Plan
Men (especially the ones in my life I love dearly), please continue to:
  • Have an annual physical
  • Know your family Health history- You are at a higher risk if your family has a history of health issues
  • Don’t Smoke
  • Be Physically Active
  • Keep your schedule regular and consistent
  • Sleep Well
  • Know Your Body- Watch out for irregularities 
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Stay in a healthy weight
  • Manage your stress
  • Drink alcohol in moderation

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Toasted Almond, Pesto & Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken over Barley

Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 pieces of aluminum foil
1/4 c. Toasted Almonds (Slivered Almonds roasted from 8 min at 350 degrees)
1 Chicken Breasts
2 Tbs. Pesto
1 String Cheese (Mozzarella) 
1/2 c. Barley (rinsed, and soaked in water for 2 hours
1 c. Chicken Broth

How you make it....
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Spread half of the almonds onto the piece of aluminum foil
3. Slice the chicken breast in half (like you are slicing a bun), place on top of almonds and foil
4. Open chicken breast to expose the inside
5. Spread Pesto on the inside of half the chicken ("bottom bun")
6. Add remaining toasted almonds inside the chicken
7. Tear string cheese into long pieces, add to inside of the chicken
8. Close chicken ("top bun" on top of "bottom bun")
9. Wrap foil tightly and securly around chicken
10. Cook for 35-40 minutes
11. While chicken is cooking, combine barley and chicken broth in a saucepan
12. Cook until tender and there in no more chicken broth
13. Place barley on a plate, top with chicken (Make sure to dump the juices from cooking the chicken onto the barley for extra flavor)


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Man, Woman, God Triangle.

The Lord has really blessed me this year!  He gave me a job that challenges me, provided professional experience beyond typical entry-level jobs and has rewarded me.  Little did I know one year ago that when I moved to Boston for my job that I would gain even that much more!  I met an amazing man, Jeffrey, and his wonderful family and friends.  I have grown, matured, and learned that I can be independent, but I still need to rely on others and the Lord to get me through the homesickness I was plagued with for the first 6 months. (Don't worry Mom, Dad, & Kyler- I still get homesick, but it's not painful anymore!)
If the worst of my worries is when I will earn more time off to spend it with my family or Jeff, I'd say that life is pretty amazing! For that, I'm so thankful. 

The past three weeks at church have been about relationships, which are so important now, more than ever.  When it comes to relationships, it's about being humble, gentle, patient, and preserving the peace by navigating conflict.

I would like to share the the passage from today's sermon, Ephesians 4:1-6:

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Verse 2 teaches us that we can choose our attitude, as it's something that we have control over.  Choose to be kind and to bear with one another.  During conflict we must recognize that we don't know everything.  We don't know what the other is going through or what circumstances may be altering a situation.  Choose to be understanding, and to fight for oneness (verse 3). I want to take this one step farther, and you should not only fight oneness with one another, but with God as well.  Take this visual into perspective, the closer man and woman are to God, the closer they are to one another.

Aim to come together as one unit, with God at the center.  Today, we learned that we can work through conflict by  working to collaborate in order to resolve conflict.  Collaborating means to explore multiple options so that everyone's expectations are met, this includes Christ's.  It puts things in perspective to take a look at the issues and problems through another lens, His lens, and I can only imagine that two things will happen.  Either you will realize that the conflict really just doesn't matter, or that the problem has a very clear answer because of what we have learned from our Lord.

Keep Him in your heart and keep Him to mind.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blog Shoutout to 'Chocolate-Cover Katie'

I totally have a virtual crush on a blog called "Chocolate-Covered Katie!" 
I'm in love with Katie's blog for two reasons. 

One- she takes the whole "Cook-Yourself Thin" phenomenon to the next level for desserts! Imagine a world of delicious 40 calorie ice-cream, 100 calorie brownies, or 120 calorie pieces of pie! It's all possible in your very own kitchen, when you make the right & healthy ingredient substitutions (no matter how odd)!  

Two- Her blog embodies the blog I want to have some day! With 40,000 likes on Facebook, constant original content, and great take-aways most everyone can enjoy, who wouldn't want to be a full-time blogger, writing about stuff that is interesting & fun!!!!

The recipe I enjoyed today: 
Volume Ice Cream
(Makes 1 huge serving)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 2 packets of stevia sweetener
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
Mix the ingredients together in 1 or 2 shallow plastic containers. Freeze. (You could also use an ice cube tray.) Once frozen, pop the blocks out of the container (I thaw for 30 seconds in the microwave first) and blend.