Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Strawberry and Feta Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dressing

Last night I made my very first Clean meal. I found the recipe from Clean Eating Mag and per usual I changed it around to my liking. This is 100% my new favorite salad and my new favorite salad dressing. I've never been huge on salads and I almost never make them at home. In all actuality the only time I ever eat them is if some one makes one for me or if one is automatically given at a restaurant. So for me to prepare this one and eat every last bite means that it must be really tasty.


  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Feta Cheese
  • Onions
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbs Pure Maple syrup


For the salad I chopped up some strawberries by cutting off the leaves and slicing them into quarters. I added the spinach, feta cheese, and onions. The original recipe includes walnuts and blueberries. I'm not a huge fan of blueberries so I didn't add these, I may try it with the walnuts next time, but I didn't have any.


I of course did not measure anything out and just added until it tasted right, however, the original recipe does have measurements. The original recipe also uses honey, but I didn't have any so I substituted with maple syrup. For the dressing I just added the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and maple syrup then whisked it together. It was so heavenly I was licking it right off the fork.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Clean Eating

So I've never been one to fuss about processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and junk food, until now. I used to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted thinking they wouldn't put it in grocery stores if it was bad for you, but what if they didn't know it was bad for you. The way I see it is over processed foods and artificial sweeteners haven't been around for that long and with a lack of research I feel it may be hard to determine the long term effects of these so called foods. While I'm not ready to go all out and switch to only organic and making every little thing from scratch, there are some things that I am ready to give up and other things I will welcome into my home with open arms.

First things first I'm paying much more attention to food labels and using my all time favorite food app Fooducate. I've mentioned it before and let me tell you people this app is brilliant. I used to eat those fiber one bars thinking they were so good for me, because they were packed with fiber, it turns out I was very wrong. They get a "D" on my fooducate app, because they're made with tons of sugar, refined flours, and BHA, a controversial additive. Needless to say those are in my throw out list. Spaghettios, while receiving a "B" it still contains high fructose corn syrup, and MSG like ingredients, right in the trash. Lean cuisines also receive a "B", but again contain MSG like products and are highly processed. I'm happy to give these up.

Coca Cola, this one is a doozie and I am having such a hard time giving up. Coke gets a "D" on the fooducate app because it contains phosophoric acid and industrial caramel coloring. Excuse me? I'd like to emphasize on the word industrial here for a moment, because I feel like anything that contains that word should not be entering my body. I also read an article online that the ingredients in it have been known to increase your risk of cancer if consumed daily so much so that the FDA is trying to get them to put a warning label on it similar to those on cigarettes. I used to drink one to two sodas a day now I try and limit myself to one to two a week and someday I plan on getting them out of my diet entirely.

So what have I been adding to my diet: fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of them. I've officially started making a vegetable side dish for every dinner and making sure that all my snacks are veggies or fruits. I'll be the first to admit that it's not cheap, but keep your eye out and only buy them on sale and it might not be as expensive as you think. I bought an entire bag of grapefruits the other day for $5 which gave me breakfast for a whole week. Apples are much cheaper if you buy them by the bag rather than individually. Individually they are almost $1 an apple where as a bag is $4 for 9 or 10.

I'm very new to this, but am very excited and have been learning a lot. I hope to get more educated in the near future and educate all of you on Clean eating and why I'm such a huge fan.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hittin the Gym

Yesterday a friend commented on my facebook page asking what my routine was at the gym as she saw that I burn 500-1,000 calories at a time. So I wanted to share with you guys what a typical day at the gym has been looking like for me. First off I want to say that all these years of working on my fitness I've been doing something wrong, because I've never had as good of workout as I do now. Let's just say I was pretty lazy before and would give up when things got too "tough". Well not anymore by the time I'm done I feel like I'm going to die, but t feels amazing and there's no greater feeling than driving home after knowing that I actually survived and had an incredible workout. 

So a typical day at the gym for me begins by doing an hour of cardio; I will either do 40 minutes on the elliptical and then 20 minutes on the treadmill walking at a very steep incline or I will just do 60 minutes at the elliptical. When I'm finished I do another 30 minutes at least of strength training workouts, lifting weights, doing crunches, pushups, leg lifts etc. Before I head to the gym I think about how much time I have and I will set a goal for how many calories I want to burn. If I only have an hour I will say I won't stop until I have burned 600 calories, if I have two hours I won't stop until I've burned 1200. 

Like I said on my Facebook page waking up at 4:30 in the morning is really difficult and I haven't been able to not hit snooze at least twice since I started on Friday, but the results have been amazing. I'm already noticing a difference in my body and I have so much energy for the rest of the day it's great. 

I also wanted to share with you guys the lasagna recipe I've been using. Last night we had Jack's brother and sister over so I made lasagna it turned out so unbelievably good. Listing out all the ingredients and directions would take forever so I'm just going to copy and paste the link. I don't put in the sausage and instead just use ground beef. The pasta sauce is the best sauce I've ever had and the recipe makes double what you need so I have the sauce to keep using for more recipes. Tonight I'm making baked penne with it!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Office Workouts

As a working mom finding time to workout is not very easy in fact it's close to impossible but it IS possible. If you have a desk job or work in an office where you're comfortable around your coworkers it may be easier than you think. I keep a set of 10lb weights at my desk and while working at the computer I will use them frequently. Here are some easy ways to workout while you are at the office.

  • When you are on the phone stand up instead of sitting down, pace back and forth, or march in place. You will burn double the calories than you would if you were sitting.
  • Going to the water fountain? Do lunges all the way there. If you think this will look silly just think that it will actually make you look better. Every one wishes they exercised more and people will be jealous that they don't have the guts to do the same thing.
  • Stand up and do some toe raises right at your desk.
  • Have a lunch break? Eat at your desk and go for a walk on your lunch instead.
  • For a great leg toner sit up straight in your chair and lift one leg straight out a little higher than your other knee, hold it for 15 seconds then release. Do this three times for each leg, you will absolutely feel a burn.
  • For your arms and back do pushups on your desk or on the wall.
  • Have a wall sitting contest with a coworker.
The greatest part about these workouts is not only are you getting your fitness on continuously through out the day BUT they are incredible energy boosters when you are feeling groggy and if you are a new mom that happens often.

Another thing we started at our office is a "wall of fitness" We have a whiteboard with four calendars on it we each have our names above one of the calendars and every time we work out we mark it down. Who ever has the most days marked at the end of the month gets treated to lunch by the rest of us. 

Who here likes "The Office" I for one am a huge fan. I found this "The Office" workout online and think it is awesome. Create one of these similar for your favorite TV show OR change the characters to people in your workplace and do the same things!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Homemade Hummus

Last night I finally tried making my dad's homemade hummus. It honestly turned out pretty good even though both Jack and I had a cold so we couldn't taste much. We also made delicious Quesadilla's filled with spinach, mozzarella, shredded chicken, red pepper, and feta cheese. Both were super easy to make.


  • 1 15oz can of chick peas drained liquid reserved
  • Tahini a little less than half the jar
  • lemon juice to taste (around 1/4 cup)
  • garlic powder and onion powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • sauteed garlic. We are garlic fiends here so we used a lot, but really it's however much you want.
You'll want to blend everything in a food processor, if you have one, if not you can try using your hands or maybe just a regular old blender. If the hummus is looking too thick slowly add in the reserved chick pea liquid until it's a good texture.

Spinach Quesadilla's
  • Tortilla's or pita's
  • Mozarella
  • Spinach
  • Feta Cheese
  • Shredded chicken* (1 breast makes two quesadilla's)
  • red pepper
Place one tortilla on a greased frying pan and top it with all the ingredients then throw another tortilla on top. Wait until the bottom tortilla is browned just a little then flip it over. It only takes about 5-10 minutes for them to cook and they are super delicious. We dipped them in the homemade hummus. 

I liked it with the tortilla's, but I think next time I'm going to try it with Pita bread instead.

*we marinated the chicken in a garlic marinade then baked it until white. Using a fork we tore it to shreds! and that my friends is how you get shredded chicken.

PS: Hooray for my 101st Post!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


So I didn't get around to working on any crafts this week :-(. Jack and I did make a trip to Homegoods this morning, but I was reluctant to purchase much because we're not entirely sure where we will be living in the next couple of months. We are dying to purchase our first house which means we will have to save up a lot of money in the near future. We can either A: stay where we are and buy a house in the next year or two B: move in with my parents and buy a house within the next 6 months or so or C: Rent out a slightly bigger place and buy a house within the next several years. We have a lot to consider and some big decisions to make.

 I wanted to share with you guys the photo album I made on Mixbook. When I first found out I was pregnant I really wanted to put together a photo album of every year of her life. I absolutely love the idea of scrapbooking, but frankly I've never been able to get into it, because it takes a lot of time, a lot of space, and a lot of money to get all those little pieces together. I did some research and found a website where you could really personalize your photo albums. You could either design your own or they have decorative templates already made. I fell in love with the idea and got started right away. I started the working on the album in May and finished it in January. It was a little hard getting everything organized and choosing my favorite photos from the year, but it came out amazing.

PS: I really need to get a photo shopping program I hate how my blog photos are turning out.

Front Cover

I love the back cover, I decided to take my fondest memories from the year and list them out on the back of the album.  I plan on doing this for every year on each album I make.

Here's an example of pages I designed myself along with the one below.

This one came predesigned. I am so impressed with how well the photo turned out.

This one and the one below are also examples of ones that came predesigned.

I have a ton of pages in my album and the total came out to be $65. To me I thought this was a great deal, because I know I would have spent at least that if I had done the whole scrapbooking shebang. Sometimes mixbook offers really good deals on these photobooks like a much smaller version for only $10. I plan on doing one of these for every year, I've already started my album for 2013!

Friday, March 1, 2013

2 Month check up!

Mariah is officially 2 months old today, I can not believe how quickly the time has passed. It seems like just yesterday I was in the hospital anxiously awaiting her arrival. Born at 8lbs 13 oz and 21 inches she is now 11.04lbs and 24 inches long. The doctor says she's a little thin for her size and also a little long. Her head is apparently in the 90th percentile for baby girls her age. Seems like she's got a huge brain! The nurse said she is doing very well and has met all her developmental marks. Mariah also got her first set of shots today which made neither her or I happy, I definitely teared up a little bit listening to her wails. She's not a very fussy baby so I'm not used to hearing her cry much at all.

As for me I'm doing pretty well; being back at work has had it's ups and downs. While I love getting out of the house and being productive I miss Mariah like crazy and I have a hard time focusing on work because I can't stop thinking about her. I've also been struggling with my weight loss too, it seems like I lose 2-3lbs every week then gain 5 every weekend. For some reason I have a really hard time keeping my diet and exercise going from Friday-Sunday. This weekend I am determined to change that and see if I can keep the weight I lost this week off. I am, however, extremely excited because since Jack and I have cut down our portions, the smaller amounts are finally starting to fill me up, thank God, I was really tired of being hungry.

I was hoping to post some new recipes this week, but honestly I haven't tried any that were "blogworthy" so to speak. I have a whole slew of different ones to try out during the next couple weeks so you should be seeing some soon. I'm also hoping to get some crafts done this weekend so hopefully you will see those soon too!