Friday, July 31, 2009

Blogger Inspirations

Rachel at Fruit In A Box has been sporting some beautifully chic black, white, and grey outfits lately. The colors are classics and always go well for the office. Her beautiful outfits inspired me to ditch the summer colors and go for the classic black, white, and great....perfect for the office.
So once I got the outfit squared away, I was looking at myself in the mirror trying to figure out what I should do with the scarf I had on. Even though it's lightweight, the last thing I wanted to do was wrap it around me neck in 100 degree heat and humidity. Then I remember this post from Kimberly at Fab Finds Under $50. I really liked how she simply tucked her scarf under her belt. It just gives it a different look. So I did the same thing and viola! My outfit was complete.
Thanks you ladies for the inspirations! So here are the details:
Black ruffle sleeveless - Target
Bitten sailor pants - Steve & Barry (no longer around)
Grey belt - Target - Old Navy
Dangle earrings - gifted by Anna (yes I am wearing earrings!)
Well I am off for the weekend! My closest girlfriends and I plan an annual girls weekend every summer. They are just quick road trips that are always fun. It's a great time for us to get away and strengthen those bonds. This year we are going to the Texas Hill Country. We rented a fab house that sleeps all 14 of us. Since I am on the 1st car to arrive, we are toobing down the river. On Saturday we are all hitting a fun waterpark. It should be a great weekend. Of course I'll be taking lot of pics to share.
I hope everyone has a great and fun weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Adjustments and Recipes

This is the very first skirt I sewed and I really love it. It's a great color and cut, but even though I thrilled I have lost weight, I am a little sad this doesn't really fit me as nicely. You can't really tell from this picture, but the elastic bottom of my white top is basically holding my skirt up. It's one of the reasons why I chose the top. In the end it was still a bit of a nuisance. I was adjusting the skirt all day long trying to tuck it back under the top. Will and I have this little joke that we call each other whatever the subject of the day is. So all day long, he was calling me "Adjustments". He'd say, "Come on Adjustments, you're making us late for work". Yeah, we are dorky like that :-) Soooo...needless to say, this will be my last wear before I take it apart and adjust it. Here are the details of the look...
  • White sleeveless wrap top - Ann Taylor Loft
  • Green skirt - me
  • Unisa heels - Off 5th
  • Gold medallion necklace - NY & Co

For lunch today we had leftovers form last night dinner. I changed it up a tad by toasting some bread, layering fresh spinach, spooning the turkey on top the spinach, and sprinkling it with a a little cheese and a grape tomato. I had some leftover cauliflower, which was still so good.

Sherry at The Frugal Apprentice, here is my super easy roasted cauliflower...

  • Preheat you oven at 450 degrees
  • Cut the tops off of a cauliflower and put into a medium sized bowl.
  • Add about a tbsp of olive oil and toss
  • Spread the cauliflower onto a baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes.
  • The tops should get brown. Flip and brown the other side for just maybe 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle sea salt to your liking.
  • Enjoy!

It's a great french fry substitute!

For dinner, I went all out. I made chicken breast with 20 cloves of garlic (which is an adaptation of this recipe. I served it grilled asparagus, and maple butternut squash. Will really loved this entire meal.

For those interested, here is the recipe for Maple Butternut Squash

  • Preheat your oven at 450 degrees
  • Take a medium sized butternut squash and slice in half lengthwise
  • Place the the halves (with the seeds and all) faced down on a baking dish.
  • Add water to the baking dish making sure to cover about a 1/3 of the squash
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes. The squash should be soft and skin may brown slightly.
  • Remove from the oven, drain the water, and flip over the squash.
  • Scoop the seeds out and discard.
  • Scoop the meat of the squash and place into a medium bowl. Be careful because it will be very hot!
  • Whip up the squash and add a tbsp of milk and a tbsp of maple syrup.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon, garlic seasoning, and black pepper.

Great substitute for candied yams.

Since today is Wednesday, it was a rest day from the gym for me. Tomorrow I'll be back at the gym for my last workout of the week. I'll be going out of town this weekend, so Thursday is my Friday! Thank you so much for reading. Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Red Day Tuesday

Hello everyone. Here is my simple red and black outfit today...

Black sleeveless knit - Old Navy
French Connection Skirt - Lot 8
Silver dangle earrings - Red Stitch (no longer around)
Red necklace - NY & Co (I think)
Red peeps - JCP

I had a friend/reader ask why I hardly ever have earrings on. Well there are 3 reasons.

1) My ears itch. I usually have to slather Neosporin on my ear lobe and the earring post. It's a pain. I have also tried putting a coat of clear nail polish on the post. It works too, but it chips off too.
2) I am not aligned. I know that sounds funny, but I'm not. One shoulder is higher than the other so my ear lobes are off which causes my earring to dangle weird. I keep meaning to book an appt at the chiropractor.
3) I feel cluttered when I have on too much jewelry. I feel like I have too much going on if I have earrings and a necklace on. I know this is a crazy reason because I see so many of you lovely ladies accessorize without any problems. I'm trying to work on it though. That's why I have both on today (plus the Neosporin).

So lunch was a simple chicken noodle soup that came from a can. Will had a stomach virus and he couldn't eat much. For lunch I ran home and joined him for some soup. The virus seems to have passed already. He felt good enough to have a real dinner. I had some lean turkey in the fridge. I was intending to make a healthy version of stroganoff with it, but I think that meal would have been to heavy for Will. So I basically threw a bunch of veggies and seasoning in my wok and kept it simple. So it's lean ground turkey, onions, garlic, peas, yellow and orange bell peppers, and a variety of seasonings. It's not my best dish, but it wasn't bad. The main thing was that Will was able to eat it without any issues. I served the turkey with a side of roasted cauliflower (sooo good!)

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

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Blogger's World

Wow, I didn't realize I let a whole week go by without a post. Sorry about that! Between working, the gym, cooking, and blogging time just seems to slip away. Now I have added Twitter to the growing list of electronic communication. So even if I don't put a full blog post up, the mini short version on my daily ongoings get posted. Do you tweet on Twitter? Let me know, I'd love to follow you!

So let's talk about the the daily outfit. This is the last minute throw on. Last night was one of those nights where I had the perfect outfit in my head. I woke up excited to put it on and found it to be a complete disaster. What was I thinking??? I was still determined to wear this skirt, but no matter what I put on it just wasn't working for me. In the end, ave up on the skirt and opted to go a bit casual. Here is my last minute throw on outfit...

Short sleeve black jacket - Target
Dark pink tank - Old Navy
Jeans - Target
Peeps - Rack Room
Fab necklace - gifted by the lovely KT

Today's lunch was a little different. I rarely buy frozen foods unless it's veggies or ice cream. For some reason I had a hankering for some dumplings, but no time to make any from scratch. So I bought a small bag of frozen chicken and veggie potstickers. Instead of following the instructions on the package, I steamed mine and served it with a mixture of Bragg's Liquid Aminos mixed with a little olive oil. I also had a side of spinach and watermelon for dessert. It was delicious!

Tonight I raced home after an early workout and was able to catch a free sneak preview of Meryl Streep and Amy Adam's new movie, Julie & Julia. Whole Foods sponsored the sneak peek and we all got cool little shopping bags for coming. For those that don't know, the movie is about a girl who decides to blog her way through Julia Child's Mastering The Art of Cooking. I never actually read the blog, but I did hear about the book. I heard it was being made into a movie a while back. Being a cook and a blogger, this was a movie I wanted to see. Meryl Streep does a wonderful job playing Julia Child. You couldn't help but to love her personality. As for Amy Adams... there were times where I totally related to her character. The exciting, but nervous feeling about setting up your blog, wondering if anyone is really reading it, wondering why would they read it, and getting your first comment from a stranger...these were all the things I felt when setting up this blog. I think a lot of fellow bloggers would appreciate and enjoy the humor.

Thank you again to all my readers! I am still amazed there are people besides my family and friends reading. I have always enjoyed sharing my pictures and thoughts with you. I'd love to hear how you decided to get into the blogging world and how your experience has been. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cooking Things Up!

Whew! What a day! I had so much I wanted to do, gym, grocery shop, cook, bake, swim, and blog....and maybe a load of wash. Seriously it's amazing what you can cram into a day. Well I got all of it done (even the load of wash), except for swim. No worries though since I had a cardio day at the gym. Swimming was like going for extra credit. Not necessary, but beneficial if I could get to it. Oh well...

So here I am at the start of this long day. I was pretty in pink in this cute forgotten skirt. Here are the details...

Black sleeveless - NY & Co (gifted by Michelle)
Pink and black skirt - Anthropologie
Loooong necklace - gifted by my sister
peeps - Rack Room
I am trying to shop in my closet since I am putting myself on a super budget. I was so happy to find both of these items while digging through the trenches that is my closet.

So after a weekend of running around and eating out, it was time to buckle down and get cooking good food. Here are what my meals have been like:
The first pic is wild sockeye salmon with a chile lime seasoning, salad with mandarin oranges, and roasted grape tomatoes.
The second pic is the leftovers the next day. I just added the salmon to the salad and had some sweet potato mash on the side.
Dinner tonight was pasta. Will has been on a pasta kick. The whole wheat penne pasta is topped with turkey, mushrooms, onions, yellow bell pepper, Ragu Light and too much red pepper flakes. Will likes a little heat in his spaghetti sauce, but I think I over did it. It did clear my sinuses though :)

And last but not least... My bosses are having a birthday and we are having a potluck. I volunteered to make a cake. It's a Marble Toffee Cake. There isn't anything good for you in this cake. It's pure sugar!

Well before I close, I need to give a big thank you to my husband! Not only is he patient enough to take my daily outfit pics, but he ran to the store for me 3 times on Tuesday without any complaining. I really appreciate everything he does for me. I am a very lucky girl :-)

Thank you for stopping by. I hope I didn't make you too hungry :-)

Have a great day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Dress Revisited

This dress was at the start of it all... Last summer, V introduced me to Dots and many of your daily outfit blogs. The day I bought this dress was the same day I decided to start my own little blog (which is almost a year ago). When I initially tried the dress on I thought it was so cute, but because of the empire waist, I was a little self conscience of looking pregnant when I wasn't. V and Lynette convinced me that it looked great so I bought it despite my initial reservations. I guess because I've never felt truly comfortable with the way it looked on me, I have only worn it a handful of times. All that changed today. I think I finally found the right look for the dress that made me feel pretty it in it. Here are the details...

Dress - Dots
Belt - Target
Heels - Target
Necklace - Gifted by Lynette

Below are the 2 other times I wore it... The first look is from my very first post. The second picture was from a cold day in January.

This other outfit was Wednesday's outfit. I bought this blouse a while back. It was like $3 at Old Navy and even though it didn't quite fit at the time, I bought it thinking I would lose the weight and then be able to wear it... Well it took some time, but I finally fit it!!! Yay!!!

The skirt is also Old Navy. The shoes are Target and the necklace is from Francesca's.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Go-To Outfit and Mystery Shopping

It seems that every time I'm really rushing to get to work, I am throwing on this dress. It's a favorite...comfy and instant outfit. Here's the simple go-to outfit:
Dress - Ross
Standard peep toes - Room
Sorry to be a bore on the shoe thing, but they are just my most comfortable pair of heels and they are a great height. I also trying to save money, so this means no new shoes for a little while.
On the food thing...
Even though it is so hot, hot, hot outside, I made some homemade soup the other night. It's easy on the braces on the diet. I cranked up the a/c and ceiling fans and enjoyed my yummy homemade chicken soup, In it is shredded chicken breast, onions, mushrooms, and chinese cabbage. I added spinach to the soup when serving so it stays fresh and full of vitamins. For dessert, I had a small bowl of fresh cherries.
As for my workouts... My trainer has been on vacation, leaving me to push myself on my own. I have to admit, I slacked a bit last week. I should have gone to the gym 4 days, but I only ended up going 2 times. Well hopefully this week I've made up for it a bit. I pushed myself mixing my weights and cardio the past 3 days. I'll rest tomorrow, but will finish the week with my trainer on Thursday and Saturday. All in all, it looks like it'll be a 5 day workout week for me. I am 3lbs away from reaching my next goal. I have till the end of the month to get there. Thanks to all the sweet comments on my changing body. It's a constant work in progress for me. I have my good and bad days, but I really appreciate all your motivating words and tips.
Okay quick question for you guys... Has anyone every done mystery shopping? I signed up a few weeks ago after a good friend referred me to a reputable company. I've always been curious and it seems easy enough. My first assignment is this weekend. If you've done this before, do you have any tips for me? Thanks so much.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Short Weekend

For the longest time, I have been avoiding shorts like the plague. I love skirts and all that, but shorts were always a nuisance to me. Most shorts were short shorts, which would hit me above the knee. I have this pocket of fat right above my knee that I am always self conscience about. My other issue with shorts was that fact that they would ride up on my inner thigh when walking. It was annoying. I felt like I was always tugging on them or walking weird so they'd fall back down. So I just avoided them. Well it seems that this summer has been the summer of shorts for me. After losing some weight and with bermuda (long shorts) being so popular, it has renewed my love and appreciation for shorts. I now the proud owner of 5 pairs of shorts. Here are 2 of my looks from the weekend...

The 1st outfit was taken on Sunday on my way to brunch.
pink brown halter top - gifted from Anna
denim long shorts - Target
flat sandals - Target

The next look if from Friday. I ran home after work and changed into these shorts for happy hour with co-workers.

I decided that I needed a little something extra after I saw this photo, so I threw on a long necklace. Here are the details of this look :
Everything is from Target! I looooove the white linen shorts especially. They are super comfortable and they look great with everything. I will say that they do stretch out a bit so I actually went back and bought a smaller size. I think they are on sale right now. The shoes are some slide-ons that I bought a couple years ago. Here's a close up....

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

7...8...9...The Music Of The Night

Just a quick post before bed. Tonight I went to see Phantom Of The Opera with my brother and his girlfriend. I love musicals and plays. Fortunately for me, my brother is able to hook me up with some premium seats from time to time. Tonight was opening night for The Phantom.

Here's what I wore...
Black sleeveless top - NY & Co
Green beaded necklace - gifted by Lynette
Navy skirt - Ann Taylor Loft
same black peeps - Rack Room
Sorry for the bad lighting. The sun was already going down and my flash was off. My brother was waiting for me in the car so no time to take another shot. I tried to brighten it up, but it's still fuzzy...
So have you seen this musical? What were your thoughts? This was my first time seeing it. So many people told me how much they loved it or it's their favorite. I had high expectations and then was let down a bit. Not to say that it was bad, but I just didn't have that connection with the characters so I wasn't emotionally drawn in. This is one of those plays where you need to have that emotional connection. All in all, I still enjoyed it and I'm glad I saw it. I can now check this off my list.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't Stop Till You Get Enough

I think this is my absolute favorite top. I love the brightness of it. Brightness is what was needed this rainy morning. Don't get me wrong. I was so happy to see the much-needed-rain, but I still wanted a little brightness in my day. Here's the whole outfit...

Green top - Banana Republic
V pencil skirt - Anthropologie
Black peeps - Rack Room

I have been a cooking mood lately. Last night I was in the mood for Mexican food. I found a simple, yet great recipe for spinach enchiladas at All Recipes. Of course I did a little altering to the dish.
  1. I used lowfat greek yogurt instead of the sour cream.
  2. I added chicken. I boiled 2 chicken breast, shredded them, and then mixed it in the yogurt mixture.
  3. I added chopped onions and also mixed in the sauce.
  4. The spinach is rolled in each enchilada, but also added to the top.

Here is the finished product. I served it with a side of black bean mash. Yummers!
Today's workout was 30 minutes of resistance training focused on my legs (I did my upper body the day before) and cardio on the treadmill. I'm not sure what was up, but I had so much energy today. I even bounced on the Bosu Ball when I got home. Maybe it was the MJ playlist that kept me movin' and groovin'... Like he says, "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough". I felt it was only right to pay tribute in my own way.

Okay, I'll admit it... I watched the MJ memorial service via webcast today. V and my other girlfriends had e-mails flying throughout the program. I thought it was a moving service and I was brought to tears when his daughter spoke. Despite the many questions that revolved around his life, he was so talented. His music always bring me fond memories of my 80's childhood.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the web. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My New Smile

With all that went on today, I forgot to take a whole outfit pic. Since we are off for the holiday on Friday, Thursday was my "Friday". I went to work pretty casual in a bright yellow top paired with dark denim jeans. So no full pic, but you get to see my smile up close and personal. After a week of wearing spacers, I got my full braces on today. Here are the before and after shots...
9:00 am - I am about to leave for the orthodontist. Melissa quickly snaps a picture at the office. This is a normal smile for me. Notice how it's crooked. It's because my bite is off. Oh and just to clarify the office... as you can see we are on an open cubicle floor plan. This sometimes makes it difficult for me to read blogs and comment at work.

12:30 pm - Back in the office. I still have the same crooked smile, but now with a mouth full of metal.. Actually I don't think they look that bad. It kind of made me feel young. My husband thinks it makes me look younger. Maybe this is what I've needed all along... Forget the anti-aging creams, ladies. Just get some braces and you'll be instantly young again!

This weekend we are celebrating the Fourth of July with Will's family. They go all out with all kinds of festivities...singing, dancing, parade, and barbecue (of course!). The ribs and corn on the cob will be tempting, but now with the braces on, it may just help me keep my diet in check.

Happy Fourth of July to those who are celebrating! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 2nd Half of The Year!

Can you believe 1/2 of the year is over? Where does the time go??? Actually this post is a day late. This was suppose to post on July 1, so I am catching up a bot.
Here is one of my favorite summer skirts...
palm skirt - Gap
cowl-neck sleeveless - JCP
beaded long necklace - Target
brown wedge heels - Rack Room
Again, my hair is pulled back. I really need to cut it asap. I love having long hair, but it's just so hot here. All I ever do is end up putting it up in a ponytail. That's when I know my hair is too long. Hopefully I'll have a new cut by next week.
As for food, you can probably tell that I love a colorful plate. I'll cut fresh fruit or veggies just to give it a pop of color. So here is my some-what healthier version of fried rice. I just mixed some brown jasmine rice, leftover salmon, spinach, reb bell pepper, onions, garlic, and some Bragg's Liquid Amino's. Added the cucumber slices with a drizzle of balsamic vinegarette. It turned out pretty tasty!

For dinner, we had Italian night. I took a recipe for chicken parmigana from All Recipies and changed it up a bit. In stead of flour, I used course corn meal, I used egg whites, whole wheat egg noodles, 2% cheese, and Ragu Light. Will loved it.