Monday, August 24, 2009


Hola! I didn't get a chance to take a daily outfit pic, but this was something I wore last week to work. Here are the details...
Green knit sleeveless - Banana Republic Outlet
Black pencil skirt - Arden B
Black wedges - Target
I should have thrown on some accessories, but in my mad rush to get to work, I just didn't get the chance.
I thought I'd take this time to recap on a few things I've blogged about and answer some questions...
Mystery Shopping
Back in July, I posted this about going off to my first mystery shop. I've now done a couple (only restaurants so far) and I have another one coming up. Many of you were curious and had questions about it. So here's what I think about the whole process... Details, details, details... You really need to be able to pay attention to details. The first shop was a small eatery. We were in and out in 20 minutes. It was a breeze, the food was actually good, and we got our reimbursement within 2 weeks. We were pleased and looking forward to our next assignment. Our 2nd shop was a popular overly priced themed restaurant. We were required to buy a drink at the bar, an appetizer, 2 entrees, a dessert, and something from the gift shop. Wow, this shop required a lot! It took me a hour or so just to prepare for it. Our list of things to look for were so long, I had to make checklist on my phone. We had to time everything, check the cleanliness of the bathroom numerous times, and write details about every employee who we interacted with (what the looked like and everything they said). It took HOURS to fill out the survey. In the end I thought this type of shop was not worth a free meal. We should have been paid for that one. Even though I probably won't be signing up for anymore themed restaurants, I thought the experience has been interesting. Will and I will continue to be mystery shoppers.
Tex-Mex Mac n' Cheese
Last week I posted this and got a lot of requests for my Tex-Mex Mac n' Cheese. In my attempts to remake this and take pics for you to follow, we had a power outage. So the only pic I got before the outage was on the ingredients. Here is the whole recipe...
  • 2 cups of uncooked 100% whole wheat macaroni
  • 1/3 c chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 8 oz of 2% evaporated milk
  • 2 c reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese (divided)
  • 1/2 c of diced green chilies (if using fresh) or use 1/2 of a small can
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs of lean turkey or lean ground beef (optional)
Cook macaroni as instructed on the package and set aside.
In a large pan (I use a wok) add your onions and garlic on medium heat. Add meat and cook thoroughly. Set aside.
In a sauce pan on low heat, add milk and 1 1/2 c of cheese. Stir slowly until cheese melts. The sauce will seem watery, but it will thicken over time.
Add the green chilies, stir, and then mix in macaroni and meat.
Add thyme, salt, black pepper, and 1/4 c of shredded cheese. Mix.
Add remaining cheese to the top.

Mod Cloth and the Prize
On my last post, I asked you to vote for your favorite prize from Mod Cloth. So far it looks like the Peggy Pencil is winning. There is still time to cast your vote. Bianca asked if I've ever bought from Mod Cloth. No, I haven't yet. This prize will be my first purchase, but I will definitely give a full report once I get my order. If anyone else has ordered from them, please let us know what you thought.
Last weekend, I finally checked my mail and saw a package from the super fab KT! She knew I needed some extra motivation so she sent me a copy of her music selection for her incredible Swap-n-Shop. BTW, If you are ever in the Columbus OH area, you really need to check this out on October 3! You can bring your old clothes and swap them out. She also has some awesome goody bags, door prizes, and giveaways. KT, thank you so much for helping me get my butt moving. I looove the CD. I downloaded it to my shuffle and have been groovin' during my workouts. My fav on the list is this.
Oh and going back to motivation... my 24 Hour Fitness Success Story got posted up at the gym. Here is a snapshot of the flier. Sorry, it's not the best quality. I only had my phone with me at the time. In any case, I'm proud of it :)

Okay my blogger friend, this will be my last post for the week. Will and I are going out of town. Our last summer road trip to the beaches in Corpus Christi (home of Selena and Whataburger). My goals for the trip (besides have fun) is to workout and watch my diet. I always gain weight when I go out of town. My plan to to keep up with my regular workout routine for the remainder of the week...I'll just be in a hotel gym instead. Actually I found out that the hotel we are staying at has a "Get Fit" room. It comes with a workout mat, dumbbells, resistance bands, and healthy snacks. For an additional fee I can get a treadmill. I'm going to pass on the treadmill, but I am definitely going to see if I can get the other stuff. If you want to know what I'm up to while on vacation, follow me on Twitter!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Eye On The Prize...

As most of you know or have figured out, I have a thing for skirts. I love the femininity of skirts and dresses. No matter what size I am, they always make me feel pretty. I especially like skits with simple details that make them special and stand out. Someone recently asked how many I have. Honestly, I don't know. I've been to scared to count! Just imagine that the entire bottom tier of my closet are all skirts. I think I only have 4 pairs of pant/jeans.

Today's outfit details...
Black top - Anthropologie
A line skirt - Anthropologie
Lacey slingbacks - DSW
necklace - Pei-San

With my shopping ban in effect for 2 months now, I am having some serious shopping withdrawals, but hopefully that will change soon! I have decided to up the ante on hitting my next weight loss goal. When I reach my next goal, I get to buy something. Recently I fell in love with ModCloth. Seriously fab, unique, mod, retro items that I love! If you are a fan of the Mad Men style, then you must check out there looks inspired by the show. Gorgeous!!!

So I need your help. Below are 4 items that I have my eye on. If I hit my next goal, which item do you think I should get??? Vote for your fav. The item with the highest votes will be my "reward"

1) The Ariel Skirt
This is prob my 1st choice right now. I just love the style.

2) The Rizzo

Simply adorable. Great party skirt!

3) The Peggy Pencil Skirt
Great for the office. I love the high waist and the button detail

4) The Carriage Tour Dress
This can easily transition from fall to winter. I love the neckline. Love the button details

I wanted to give a huge thanks for all of the positive and sweet comments I have received. I got a big response for the Tex-Mex Mac n' Cheese recipe that I've decided to post the recipe. This weekend I will post the recipe with photos to help guide you.

I also got some e-mails about steaming. I am a huge fan of my steamer and I consider it an essential in my kitchen. I steam almost all of my fish. Sometimes I sear it and then finish it off on the steamer. It works for chicken and beef too. It's so easy to use and it's a healthy way to cook.

Thanks so much for stopping by and voting. I hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Madness: Catching Up

It's been a busy few days so I'm going to catch up on some daily outfits and meals...

Wrap top: Charotte Russe ~ white tank: Old Navy ~ pencil skirt: Old Navy ~ grey heels: Target ~ pearls: gifted from Aunt Mae
Last Friday
Sleeveless mesh top: Anthropologie ~ 3 tier skirt: Target ~ nude peep toes: DSW ~ necklace: gifted from Lynette

Last Thursday
green dress: Target ~ pink/orange/red scarf: Old Navy ~ nude peeps: DSW
My Meals
Asian Tilapia with Brown Jasmine Rice

I had a long workout today and I knew I wouldn't be in the mood to cook. My hubby took the initiative to make me a wonderful dinner tonight. This is something I grew up eating and one of my favorite dishes. When my husband and I were dating I made this for him one night. He loved it so much that he started making it every Thurs night (when I would come over for dinner). We called it Thursday Night Special (aka TNS). It's a simple tilapia fillet steamed. Then a lite soy sauce is poured on the fish. While the fish marinates, pour about a 1/4 c olive oil to a pan and add chopped green onion. Once the green onions start breaking down, pour the oil and onions onto the fish. It's best when served with jasmine rice. I found some brown jasmine rice and it is awesome. If you hate the taste of regular brown rice, try jasmine brown rice. It has the same wonderful flavor as the regular jasmine rice. Delicious! I'm sorry I didn't type out the full recipe. Most of the time I don't measure when making this. If you'd like the recipe, shoot me an e-mail. I'll get some solid measurements down.

Tex-Mex Mac n' Cheese

Who doesn't love mac n' cheese??? We had a local grocery store open up near me. They have a wonderful deli and they gave sample of a wonderful mac n' cheese made with green chilies. It was soooo good! The stuff was selling like hotcakes! I took a look at the ingredients and I knew it wasn't something I could buy. So I recreated it to a healthier version. Basics of the cheese sauce is 2% cheese and 2% evaporated milk. Of course I also added 96% lean ground beef to punch up the protein. It turned out fab! Shoot me an e-mail if you want the recipe.

Leftover Chicken thrown into a Green Salad
i threw some left over chicken with black beans, sauteed onions and bell peppers with petite green peas, spinach, asparagus, and spinach. It was a great lunch after a workout. It kept me full for most of the afternoon!
Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Before and After = MOTIVATION

For the past two years I have worked hard on getting back in shape. In 2007 I was at my absolute heaviest. I remember having to buy a wardrobe of summer clothes because nothing I had fit me. It's 2009 and I am still working hard. I look and feel so much better, but I know this is a lifestyle that I will probably always have to stay on top of. It has been a slow process, but it's been so rewarding in many ways and I have learned a lot!

The gym I workout at has seen me go through my ups and downs, but has watched me push through each challenge. They have asked me to do a little "Before and After" to help inspire others at the gym. So for the past few days I have been going through my pics for some full body "before" shots. Boy, I didn't realize how tough it would be. I either cropped a lot of myself off so all you see is my face, or I had Will take pics from a good distance so you couldn't see how much weight I gained over the year. I did manage to find some pics (most of them were in my friend's album, where I didn't have the freedom to crop my picture). In looking back at the pics, it seems so surreal. I was like, "Who is this person? It kind of looks like me, but it doesn't" I was showing Will and he said he just didn't remember me looking that big. How we forget... These pics have really motivated me to keep pushing!

BEFORE (2007)

The top from the first pic is now one of my favorite workout tops. I also kept the red tank top for working out. Everything else I wore in these pictures has been donated or sold at a garage sale.

AFTER (Today's pic)

Patience and hard work does pay off.

Even though I didn't hit my last mini goal, I am still fighting the good fight. I really want to thank everyone who has given me encouraging words and support. It means a lot. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday Outfit/Monday Dinner

Since I dressed so casually at work today, you get Friday's outfit instead. Normally I wouldn't wear "fun" shoes like these to work, but it was Friday, everyone else was very casual, and I just wanted to wear my sparkly summer shoes :-)

Here are the details:
  • Brown sleeveless cowl neck - JCP
  • White denim skirt - Gifted from Holley
  • Gold Necklace - Target
  • White flower - Clarie's
  • Beaded slide wedges - Target
So remember when I said I was about 3 lbs off from my goal? Well..umm...yeah...didn't happen. I just got too comfortable and I actually gained a few pounds. Six to be exact. Yes, I said 6! Soooo not happy about it. Darn you summertime ice cream! Even if I get the light or the fro-yo, that stuff creeps up on you if you aren't careful. I'm sure going to The Cheesecake Factory the night before weigh-in didn't help my case either. So to get myself back on track, I am wearing my Bodybugg again and tracking my food carefully. Instead of posting my screen prints of my Bodybugg stats, I will be posting my stats via BodybuggTweet which will show up on my Twitter updates. I will get to that goal!

So on to my dinner. I know a lot of people love to have breakfast for dinner. So here was my version of breakfast for dinner along with the stats...

Egg White Scrabble With Asparagus, Tomatoes, Onions, and Cheese
(Only 178 calories! Protein: 23.2 g ~ Carbs: 10 g ~ Fat: 7 g)

  • 1/3 c chopped asparagus
  • 1/4 c minced onions
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/4 c chopped tomatoes
  • 1 oz 2% shredded cheese
  • dash of salt and pepper

Whisk egg whites with a fork and season with salt and pepper and set to the side. Using a small skillet on medium heat, lightly mist your pan with olive oil. Add onions, garlic, and asparagus, stirring for 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another minute. Remove and set aside. Lightly mist your pan with olive oil and add the egg whites. Stir using a spatula to break up the whites for about 3-4 minutes, then add the asparagus mixture to the pan. Toss and serve. Sprinkle cheese on top. Enjoy!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lucky Number 7

I'm back to wearing some summer fun colors. Today I wore a cute green top, but since I forgot to take my daily outfit picture, you get to see yesterday's outfit instead. Pink it is! Here are the details...

  1. Pink cowl neck top - JCP
  2. Two tone skirt - H&M
  3. Gold necklace - Target
  4. T-strap wedges - Target

I decided to take a break Tuesday and Wednesday. No gym, no workout, just some rest. I think my body really needed it. I didn't really cook either. I got my braces tightened today so I decided that I wanted to eat something that could bite into and chew. Once the braces got tightened, it's back to soups and softer foods. So for lunch today we ran to one of my favorite local spots, Bubba's Burger Shack. They have great burgers, but are really known for their awesome buffalo burgers. For those that didn't know, buffalo is lower in fat that turkey! Of course I'm sure the jack cheese didn't really help my calorie or fat count, but boy was this burger good! Will captured the "moment" as I sunk my teeth into my first bite. YUM!!!

The other day ShopKim (she has some gorgeous rings on her site, you should check them out)gave me a fab Kreativ Blogger Award. I am suppose to give you 7 things (I guess it can be about anything). Here is goes...

  1. My sister and I are the same age for 2 weeks
  2. In high school I got to go to Hawaii to preform with my drill team at the halftime show of The ProBowl.
  3. I love karaoke even though I am terrible at it.
  4. Through FaceBook, a long lost relative in the Philippines found me. It has been an incredible experience getting to know her. I may have to share this story one day.
  5. If I open a brand new carton of ice cream, I have to make a cross on it to bless it. It's a habit I picked up from my mom. Maybe if we bless it, the fat won't stick to our thighs.
  6. When I was in kindergarten, I told my class it was my birthday many times because I liked it when they sang "Happy Birthday" to me.
  7. I love to have people over!
Okay so I am now going to pass this along to anyone who'd like to share 7 things with us. If you'd like to post your 7, let me know!

Thanks guys for stopping by. I hope you all have a great day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Classics From My Closet

Shopping is my closet has been great. I have a million skirts and sometimes they get lost in my closet, even great ones like this. I've had this skirt for about 6 years now. I bought it back in my Anthropologie days ( I worked there for about a year just to get the fab discount). I paired it with another classic in my closet, a cream short sleeve top that's about 12 years old. I love it because it's held up so well and never goes out of style. Here are the details...
Cream top - The Gap
Black/cream skirt - Anthropologie
Green belt - Off one of my dresses from Target
3 strand pearl necklace - Target
Rack Room Peeps
This past weekend, me and 13 of my girlfriends rented a house in New Braunfels for some fun in the sun. We went toobing down the Comal River and let our inner child run free at Sclitterbahn Water Park. After a day of sliding down the Master Blaster, slippery speed slides, and various toob shoots, we made a fabulous meal and enjoyed an evening in. One of the dishes I made was a great pasta dish perfect for summer. Thank you Jana for this wonderful recipe!

Pasta with leeks, peas, and Pecorino
Here is the recipe:
  • 1 lb dry orecciette or some other short pasta ( I used 100% whole wheat shells).
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 oz frozen peas thawed
  • 3/4 c heavy cream (I substituted and used 2% evaporated milk instead)
  • 1 c grated Pecorino (this is found by the Parmesan and Romano cheese)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 c fresh mint leaves torn

Cook the pasta according to the pkg directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, season with the salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the cream and 3/4 c of the Pecorino. Simmer until the sauce has thicken slightly (about 4 minutes). rain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce, lemon zest, and mint and toss. Divide the pasta into bowls and sprinkle Enjoy!
While I was gone having fun with the girls, my wonderful husband worked went to work on my car. Thank you so much for changing my oil, washing my car, cleaning the engine, cleaning the hubcaps, and even making sure the radio was on my favorite radio station. My car hasn't looked this fab in a long time. I love you Will!
Tomorrow I plan to take a break from the gym. Hopefully I'll get to sew a new skirt and catch up on some favorite blogs and check out some new ones. The fab ShopKim gave me a Kreativ Blogger Award so I'll be posting my 7 things too. Thanks ShopKim!
Have a great day everyone!