Thursday, August 11, 2011

Conquoring Quinoa!!

...and subsequently being told I have a huge computer label sticker on my derriere.

Thank you kind sir for taking pity on me and informing me of this matter... I can only hope that it was not there long and that the people in this office are not so cruel that they would have allowed me to wander the halls and freqent their meetings all morning without letting me know of this embarrassing sticker. 

Started out my day today per usual, with a protein shake mixed up by the BF

Made it through the morning team meeting and back to my desk and found myself with a killer headache.  Luckily there's a community coffee pot (s) in my area so I hiked on over to get myself a big cup o'joe and on the way back to my desk is when I found out about the sticker on my ba'donk.  Awesome way to start the day.

Also, I found out I have a meeting at 11am which is when I usually eat lunch and no they are not providing lunch... so I decided to snack on one of the awesome 90 cal Fiber One bars at my desk and even enjoyed dunking it into the fresh, hot coffee :)

So hopefully that will hold me over until I can eat my lunch.  Which should be amazing since it's leftovers and last night I conquored quinoa!!!!

I've tried cooking with quinoa before and made a huge mess attempting to rinse and strain the little suckers and subsequently ended up with watery gross quinoa.  Tuesday Night I made quinoa with brown rice in my rice cooker pot and all turned out well so I gained back a little cooking confidence and decided to work solely with quinoa last night. 

Back to my awesome Rice Pot cooker I went!

Recipe for Sweet Quinoa with Craisins:

I also added a bit of lemon juice - you could also add salt to taste and/or honey if you prefer a stronger flavor.  I served this with Tilapia prepared two different ways (The Split Decision!)

See, I originally went to Central Market with the idea of Lemon Pepper in my head - because I like it AND I know how to do it well so it's a sure bet.  Near the Fish Station they had a taster station with Red Fish rubbed with some sort of Texas BBQ Rub - and the flavor was quite delicious.  So we bought the rub figuring we can use it on a lot of different things and I prepared one filet this way.

Final Product:

So, as we all know, while the Rice Cooker is AWESOME because it cooks everything for you - it's also simultaneously irritating because it takes so. freaking. long.  So what did I do for the 1.5-2 hours my quinoa and veggies were cooking? 

Well, I watched a hilarious old episode of Iron Chef, nibbled on Brie with fresh French Bread, and ran the perimeter of an island several times with the average speed of 4 seconds/rotation.  {what???}

No, Not that type of Island....

THIS one!!!!!!!!!

{Very Detailed Reinactment}

The BF found this hilarious, and I told him not to blink because I was faster than the Flash.  He then offered to time me and I made it around the whole perimeter, in socks, without slipping, in UNDER 4 seconds.  Booyah.

Calories Burned waiting for Quinoa to cook:  Hopefully = the amount of Brie I ate.

Well, back to the grind (a.k.a. work).

Question of the Day:

Do you watch any cooking shows?  What are your favorites?

I love food shows. I love to watch Cake Shows while on the treadmill/eliptical and listen to music while I stare at the delicious foods.  Recently I stumbled onto Iron Chef and find the show to be hilarious!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Deal of the Day - BCBG MaxAzria on Rue La La!

One of my *all time*  favorite brands!

Deal of the Day is their Satin Locking Clutch in Pewter/Beige

Orig. $178 SALE $89.90

Featured at Rue La La

I actually own this exact purse in black leather and it's my favorite handbag!

It's dressy, chic, and holds the necessities when you go out at night - phone, camera, lipgloss, credit cards. 

The *best* part about the purse though is its super unique locking mechanism... the 'petal'-like BCBG symbol on the front rotates 45 degrees to 'unlock' the purse.

I originally saw this design over a year ago at a BCBG Outlet store and the purse was still well over $150 and I swore to wait for a sale!  Just a few months ago I was able to pick up the black leather & gold version of the bag and use it all the time. 

{My Bag}

BCBG as a brand is known for their chic designs and their timeless quality. 

Rue La La also has some cute BCBG Dresses that would transition well from Summer to Fall.  I wear a lot of their dresses to work and get tons of complements!

In fact, I'm wearing a BCBG Dress to work today:

Shoes: a Look for Less.  Resemble these BCBG heels  but I wanted them in a black color with a wedge, so I flipped when I found these shoes here.

{Close up view of dress for pattern detail}

Lunch today was a *win*.  Leftovers from last night... which means my dinner last night turned out well!

I took my second attempt at Quinoa last night.  I used my handy dandy rice cooker pot and combined 1 cup dried quinoa with 1 cup dry brown rice and the appropriate amount of water according to each bag.  I then added 1/2 a cube of Vegetable Chicken Broth for flavoring, some minced garlic, and pepper.  On the top steaming tray I added sliced mushrooms, chopped onions and chopped bell peppers to the rim.  Then clicked the 'Brown Rice' cook button and went out for a bike ride with the BF.  I love when dinner cooks itself :)

Finished Product:


I ended up adding some salt because I was in one of those moods but it was really delicious.  With my Quinoa I enjoyed a sliced red bell pepper which I love to eat raw as a snack, and since I've been starving all day after our hour long bike ride last night + my one extra mile that I ran (I wanted to go the extra mile lol!) I also have enjoyed an 80 calorie Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Granola Thin.

It's like a cookie - only it offers nutritional value haha.
The #1 Ingredient is Whole Grain Rolled Oats.  (Sure the next one is sugar, but you knew that when you saw the words 'dark chocolate' on the outside of the box!)

**EDIT**  Similar Bags found for $111.12 at!!!

Both BCBG on Sale from $278


Question of the Day:

What is the dress code at your job?  What do you wear to work?

I work at a pretty relaxed, corporate engineering office.  Some people wear polos and jeans but I'm not really a big fan of jeans unless it's cold outside and they always say "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have" so I try to keep it a bit more professional.  Unfortunately things are pretty conservative here so the only time I get to have 'fun' with fashion is on the weekends!  What about you?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Breakfast Shakes - An Update


But, if you show up in my yard with a milkshake, that's a whole other story...

Speaking of, my mornings as of lately have been started with a Protein Shake 99.9% of the time.  Okay I guess that's a lie, because that would mean out of the past 1000 days I only skipped the protein shake once... and 1000 days ago I hadn't even discovered the delicious secret incredient to making the best protein shakes ever.  But who's counting?  What are you -- a math major like me???

So to recap, important take away from My First Shake Post:

The secret ingredient to the perfect morning protein shake?  ICE CREAM!!!!!

Unfamilliar with my first post on the *basis* of making a delicious protein shake?  Read it now.

{Final Product}

So here are a few things I've learned about ways to mix up/make shakes:

1. Guar Gum is a thickener/emulsifier that you can add to make your shakes extra creamy.

2.  Frozen Bananas are a natural sweetener to your shake and also pair well with chocolate & peanut butter (even if you aren't a huge banana lover, like me)

**Tip: Just make sure to cut the banana into 1 inch slices and put into a tupperware container before you freeze them.  The first time I froze a banana I just stuck in the whole thing -- trust me, it's impossible to peel if you do it that way haha

3.  Cake is a delicious flavor.  Use vanilla and coconut oil or coconut milk to help achieve this effect.  Inspiration here

{Compliments ChocolateCoveredKatie}

4.  If you're adding PB into your shake, add a spoonful of Wheat Germ as well to pump up your folic acid, fiber, and protein!

{I'm practically a super food!!}

5. All shakes are even better when delivered to you by your adoring BF.

He's a very smart man.  I'm not much of a morning person but he's learned that handing me a deliciously cool creamy shake in the morning puts a smile back on my face and a pep in my step. 

So I have to ask, what do you add to your shakes?  Any tips/tricks/favorite recipes??


Smurf Happens

Yes, yes I did in fact see the Smurf movie this weekend with the BF and BFF.  Not only was it cute, but it also finally answered the age-old question Why is Smurfette the only girl in the entire village?  Really?  One daughter and 99 sons?!   

"Smurfette was magically created from clay by the Smurfs' enemy, Gargamel, so that she would use her charms to cause jealousy and competition among the Smurfs in order to cause their fall. The smurfs' kindness to Smurfette caused her to want nothing else than to be a real smurf. Papa Smurf took pity on her after infusing her with moonbeams, turned her into a 'real' Smurf." {Source}

So, being a girl... kinda a pain in the derriere if you know what I mean.  This post will be A-Typical in the fact that I'm about to rant, possibly use less than lady-like diction, and most likely not even proof-read before posting so with that warning in place, only read ahead if you too are in a sarcastic "say it how it is sista" kinda mood.

It all started with an Apple.

{No Smurfin' Way!!!}

As I'm pouring myself a huge glass of whine this morning (no not wine, I'm not an alcoholic people, and I do have work today) the BFF points out it all went downhill whenever Eve had to give in and eat the damn apple. 

Don't do it Eve!!! Just don't do it!!!!

So, she ate an apple and Vaginas everywhere were cursed for life.

It's 'that time'.  I hate being a woman. It's like you have all this crap with your 'monthly guest', or you're pregnant and have a whole other arsenal of crap, OR you hit menopause and have a whole DIFFERENT set of crap symptoms. There is no reprieve!!!!!!!!!!

But how can we even be mad at Eve for eating the apple when that's what we've been told to do our whole lives?

I mean, really, WHAT EVIL MOTHER EFFER WOULD MAKE AN APPLE BAD?!?! We grow up hearing 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away'.... umm apparently an apple introduced SIN.  Fu#k you apple, fu#k YOU. 

Apparently, this is what they meant by that phrase...

"Oh snap! Stand back!! We all know apples are dangerous as heeyyyyyllll!"


So I digress... there are just days when you feel like being a woman sucks.

But actually...

One of the best quotes ever.  If you haven't seen the movie "Dirty Love" you haven't lived -  it is seriously the best chick flick of all time.  Jenny McCarthy is raunchy, pathetic and hilarious as she displays exactly what it feels like to be a girl. 

So yesterday I had every intention of heading for a 10 mile bike ride with the BF after work - we are in training for our Corporate Challenge (booyah!) and I had a ton of energy built up.  The only problem was that by the time I left work I was so hungry so so hungry I couldn't even think about anything other than food. 

It's was as if my body was just screaming for

So once I got into the car, I turned into my BF and I'm pretty sure this happened:

Don't judge me.  The hormones over came me, I was not in control of my own actions.

We went to Market Street - you should never go to a grocery store hungry it is a recipe for disaster.  I jumped completely off any health wagon I had been on and dove into fresh baked chicken tenders, mashed potatoes and orzo rice (which artichoke hearts).  Heaven.

Then I sat there in a food induced coma trying to figure out how to eat such delicious meals while not turning into the size of a house boat.

Don't worry - I hate bugs.  And all things creepy crawly.  I can't imagine how people are ever productive knowing they have a living thing in them literally eating them from the inside out.  Freaky.

Word Sistas.


So I figure at the very least, since we ate relatively early, I could digest my meal and we could go for an evening bike ride - which would really be nicer anyways since it's Hotter than Hades in Texas right now.  Really, I told myself, I was an awesome planner.

The only problem was after eating I just felt like this:

And no matter what the BF did I was in a very bad mood.  Which is shocking to people and they usually don't know what to do with me when I'm in a bad mood as I am seldom in one.  I'm typically happy giggles and sunshine and far too much caffeine. 

They need to sell these.  So you can give them to people after the 'unwelcomed guest' finally leaves and things turn back to normal. 

So today the plan is to fit in that bike ride after work... and maybe a Jillian DVD... and maybe a little run on the treadmill... really just anything bc let me tell you, I could sure use some of those happy exercise endorphins right about now. 

Today's lunch will be a sampling of every left over that was in the fridge.  Lemon Pepper Salmon, Steamed Squash, Pasta Marinera a la Veggies & Italian Veggie Sausage, and a small salad. 

And let me tell you, no one at work should mess with me because


Your Questions for the Day:

Do your workout plans ever get derailed?  Does it seem to happen in cycles?

My workout plans often get overcome by 'events'.  But when this happens I take a 'no excuses tomorrow' approach where no matter what I make up for missing the day before.  I also allow myself more slips during the work week, but not on the weekend.

Do you like Apples?

I like green apples, and I hate red ones. I'm a fan of sour fruits.

Name your *favorite* comfort food:

My favorite comfort food would be Lobster Truffle Mac & Cheese from Kona Grill, or an *incredible* Chicken Fried Steak w/my mom's homemade mashed potatoes and a sweet dinner roll.  That's the country in me coming out. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Deal of the Day - BeBe Shoes!

HauteLook does it again with another amazing Feature Sale -- Bebe Shoes!! 

Bebe Angelique Pump Orig. $125 SALE $60

Autumn Heel Orig. $130 SALE $52

Nola Heel Orig. $110 SALE $49.50

Black Velvet Amuse Wedge Orig. $150 SALE $69

*Sparkles* Readers Personal Invite to the sale Here.

Which one is your fave? :)