Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tis the season ~ Merry Christmas

I love Christmas. I love the holiday season - this truly is the most wonderful time of the year, and this year, in particular, was particularly wonderful.

As busy and hectic as life is, as stressful as the year can be, the month of December and those few days with family, friends, and food, just make it all melt away. I think the best part is the tradition part. How every year, you do it the same way. But then every year you add to those traditions and make new ones. It makes me all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. There's no place like home for the holidays - and home is where your heart is.

Christmas Eve at the castle is probably my favorite day of the year. I love spending time sitting around the family room with my family, eating and drinking and having a grand old time for ourselves, and I finally got to share it with tt. And in addition to that, I got to spend time with him and his family for their Christmas traditions.

It is now the day after Christmas, and the merriment has (sugar)plum tuckered me out. Not to mention I'm sick on top of it, but it was all worth it. This year was really special to me - it wasn't technically our "first Christmas," but it was the first Christmas we got to spend together, and hopefully there will be very many to come.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, December 15, 2012

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

Yesterday, December 14th, 2012, Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary, with the intent of causing some damage. It deeply saddens me to think that someone could take the lives of so many sweet and innocent children, someone's babies, this close to the holidays. Let alone, taking the lives of their own parents, other people's parents. It sickens me, I can't even keep from tearing up writing this. Twenty eight total deaths, twenty of them babies between 5-10 years old, make this the second largest school shooting in American history, second only to Virginia Tech with 32 fatalities. Our Governor, Dan Malloy said "Evil visited this community today." and President Obama said "Our hearts are broken today." My heart, thoughts, and prayers truly go out to those families who lost loved ones, and those families who's loved ones will forever be affected by such a tragedy.


What do you do when tragedy hits? Do you go home and hug your kids a little tighter than usual? Do you call your parents to tell them you love them? Do you go out and volunteer in your community or someone elses? I can tell you what I did- I let my dog sleep on the bed last night. I know this sounds silly, but to me, it made me feel like she would feel loved. We have been having a rough week in our house with the dog, between the ginormous hole that is now in my basement wall, to a trip to the vet, to changing her diet and spending some QT in her crate. I needed her to feel loved and part of the family again.

The events of yesterday made me realize that the day to day hum drum issues that go on in our lives are really so menial compared to the horrific things that other people have to endure. So, my dog is a little destructive...it is only because she misses me. So, sometimes my job is stressful and frustrating...at least I have a job, one that I love, and job security (I hope) for as long as I want it. So, sometimes my family drives me crazy...I'm just as crazy as they are, and I think we all love each other more for it. I have an amazing family, a boyfriend who I love more than life itself, a secure job, a little house and a little pupper girl, and the best support system in my friends. I really have little to nothing to complain about.

One of my Facebook friends put up one of the most inspirational things that I read yesterday. She said: "It is my opinion that you can never say I Love You 'too much' to those you care for. Hug and kiss your loved ones, and spread kindness to those who you don't know"

 
Recipe of the day:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review: The Melting Pot

Food: «««««
Ambiance: ««««
Price: $$$$

Let me start this by saying that if you don't have a Melting Pot in your area, I feel extremely bad for you. I recommend going online and finding the nearest one and getting yourself there. Or, go ahead and plan a vacation around this unique dining experience. Yes, it's that good.

If you are not familiar with the concept of the Melting Pot, it is a relatively upscale fondue restaurant. There are 4 courses available to diners: the appetizer course is Cheese Fondue, then Soup/Salad (comes to the table preparead, not fondue-style), the Entree course (with 4 choices for "cooking style"), and dessert... aka Chocolate Fondue.

Last night, my family and I went for dinner. There is a great atmosphere, large tables that seat 8 and more intimate booths for 2 or 4 people. Each table has a fondue burner in the center which somehow doesn't become hot to the touch outside where the fondue pot sits. Honestly, it was busy inside but you never would have known, it was not loud at all. Our server was a bit dippy, but she was very thorough and not pushy at all, which I always appreciate.

The menu is pretty extensive, considering it is all based around fondue items. There is a pretty large wine list as well. They have it set up that you can choose individual entrees, or there is the "Four Course Classic" that are essentially prix fixe options per person or per couple. This comes with all four courses, you choose your cheese, you choose the salad you want, and you choose the dessert fondue. The entree includes veggies, five different meats (shrimp, chicken, pork, and 2 beefs), and you pick which "cooking style" you want (vegetable boullion, coq au vin, batter/canola oil, and a carribean spice mixture).

While the waitress suggested we order two of the four course classics becuase there were four of us dining, we chose to order one of them plus one extra salad, and one veggie entree. This was PLENTY of food for us. While we kind of wanted a little more cheese, it is better we didn't have double the amount because it is a delicious but heavy start to a meal. And, because it was a birthday celebration, they let us split the dessert into two small pots! Here was our menu:

Course 1
Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue: Gruyère and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses come together with white wine, garlic, nutmeg, lemon and Kirschwasser
Comes with 3 different breads, some vegetables, and granny smith apples- amazing. The server "makes" the cheese fondue for you at the table by combining all the ingredients into the pot over heat.

Course 2
Spinach Mushroom Salad: Fresh spinach, baby Portobello mushrooms, red onion, chopped bacon and Roma tomatoes with a warm Burgundy Shallot Vinaigrette
The King and I got this- the dressing was seriously to die for. They actually sell a few of their dressings and I was so bummed that this wasn't on the list.

The Melting Pot House Salad: Crisp romaine and iceberg lettuce, aged cheddar cheese, Roma tomatoes, seasoned croutons and sliced egg with your choice of Peppercorn Ranch Dressing or our sweet and tangy House Dressing
The birthday girl chose the plain old house salad- but there was nothing plain old about it!

Big Night Out Salad: Enjoy the seasonal salad showcased in our Big Night Out.
Sisterfriend went with the special- it was actually a wedge salad that looked outstanding


Course 3
Four Course Classic Entree (for two): Seasoned choice Angus sirloin, Memphis-style BBQ pork tenderloin, succulent white shrimp, herb-crusted all-natural chicken breast and teriyaki-marinated sirloin - with Coq au Vin: Burgundy wine infused with fresh herbs, spices and mushrooms
 
The Vegetarian Entree: A selection of fresh vegetables including edamame or onion rings, artichoke hearts, Portobello mushrooms and asparagus served with Thai peanut-marinated tofu, spinach artichoke ravioli and our Big Night Out pasta
 
Six Sauces: Curry, Green Goddess, Teriyake Glaze, Cocktail Sauce, Gorgonzola Port, and Ginger Plum "Sweet and Sour"
All of the meats come to the table unprepared. The server brings your cooking option and it heats up on the burner. Then they will tell you the length of time each item takes to cook (everything was appx 2 mins) - and they leave you to have at it. I honestly don't know that I have words for this course. My favorite item hands down was the artichoke. Why? I have no idea but the flavor it picked up in the coq au vin was unreal. In addition, I would say the  portobella mushrooms, the shrimp (probably because it was the best cocktail sauce in life), and the teriyaki sirloin. I didn't try the asparagus but everyone said it was out of this world. Of the sauces, the curry was also delicious. It was combined with yogurt so it wasn't packing heat, but was packed with flavor! Was not a huge fan of the tofu- it kind of fell apart when cooking and wasn't overly appealing (and yes, I typically like the tofu).

Course 4
The Original: Our original milk chocolate swirled with creamy, crunchy peanut butter.
Bananas Foster: Bananas and a hint of cinnamon swirled in white chocolate create the fondue version of this favorite dessert. And, we didn’t forget the heat as we flambé it tableside.
Dippers... Enjoy fresh strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, Rice Krispies Treats®, marshmallows, pound cake and brownies with your choice of the following chocolate fondues.
So... thank God they let us split this up. The Queen B loves bananas foster, and since it was of course her birthday, we had to get that. (Delish.) And of course what is better than chocolate and peanut butter?! 

Overall... The Melting Pot gets an A+ in my book. It is a little pricey, but definitely worth it for a special occasion. This is not the type of place you would eat regularly though, I think as a treat it's perfect.
And on that note... new workout to try for the AMs this week: 10-minutes and no weights. Thanks, Fit Sugar!

 
Recipe of the day:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

'tis the season to smile- It's cold, but we'll be freezing in style

So, I had my first "random" comment on my blog today!!! (thanks @brooke) -- It made me so happy. I hope that I am as entertaining and amusing to the world wide web as I think that I am. I really would love to be a "blogger" -- although I think my recipe page is probably more of interest to the general public.

What types of blogs do you find the most interesting? Do you like the day to day? Do you like to see recipes/"how to's"? I am wondering if I should have one focus and throw myself into it, as opposed to having 2 separate pages where I have my ever-so-witty commentary about life, and then add in my favorite recipes.

((side note, I definitely update the recipe page more often than this one - make it a favorite: www.cookinginstilettosRecipes.blogspot.com)


Recipe of the day:
Chili (Cheater)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Motivation.

So, I successfully made my diet and exercise schedule, minus weekends because I gave up). I tried to be somewhat creative with meals, but let's face it: if you are dieting, there isn't much creativity to be found. Below is a little smidgen of a sampling of the menu I came up with. (Rocket science, I know).


I also came up with a little workout rotation based off of the workouts I had been doing throughout the last few months...and had somewhat slacked off of. I have Workout A, Workout B, Workout C below:


Plus, I am adding +50 Jumping Jacks if/when alcohol is "allowed" to be consumed. I thought that would be an extra added bonus for a few reasons. 1. I am not in-shape enough that 50 Jumping Jacks don't seriously get my heart rate up. 2. I hate Jumping Jacks.

Again, none of this is rocket science. Nothing is particularly hard (other than sticking with it through this very diet-un-friendly time of year) but you just have to find what is motivating you at the end of the day. For most people, it's health reasons, and looking good reasons. For me, it's both as well. What really keeps me motivated, though, is looking at the reality. In 4 short months I was able to get this kind of before and after:

 
Four months, people! I can't even fathom the fact that I let myself get like that... and now, I canNOT let it happen again. I am facing the holiday season in a good place. I am up 2.5 from my lowest point, as my birthday celebrations really got the best of me... but I am going into the holidays -14.5 overall. I guess that's not too shabby. (Not to mention, I have been horrendously sick this week so I barely even enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner!! Life fail/Diet score!).
 
If I can do it, you can do it.
 
So tell me, what motivates you?!
 
 
Recipe of the day:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The holidays are upon us. Well, almost. I have to say, that I am finding myself in the Christmas spirit a bit earlier this year, thanks to <insert any store name here>. Now, I love the holidays as much as the next girl (and probably more), but starting with the Christmas music the day after Halloween is a bit excessive. Although, what a nice birthday treat for me!
 
Either way, I am starting to minorly freak out about the holidays. Why stress, you ask? It's not like I host any holiday other than Easter. It's not like I don't love the decorations, music, cozy-feel all around, and the act of gifting. No, no, none of that. The holidays this year are a major problem in my life for no reason other than...... the food.
 
We all know that food is a big issue for me (and, while the "30 before 30" didn't exactly fall into place the way I would have liked it to, I officially lost 17 lbs before my birthday- not too shabby- but I think I have already gained probably 5 of it back because I completely forgot what it is to make dinner and/or eat healthy...) but now I am also realizing that I am faced with a bigger challenge: the next month of life will be filled with big holiday dinners, little holiday parties, and TABs galore. There will be cookies, cakes, candies to anyone's delight. Not mine!!!
 
Let's face it - everyone eats like a crazy person during the holidays, and usually people gain weight. It's the winter-time, not like it's bikini season anymore. Everyone is cooped up in the house because it's so cold out, and so we just eat. It's human nature...Someone save me.
 
As I am sitting here with a horific stomach ache after the (extra-crispy) Thai wings and Bar Bites tt and I ate for dinner last night, I am reminded of just how crappy I feel when I eat crap. I am on "staycation" this week - I have decided that the first thing on my agenda is to develop a diet and exercise plan for the next 30 days. I am going to literally plan out every meal through the holiday season (inclusive of any parties that need to be attended, by looking at the menus ahead of time). I am going to limit my alcohol consumption (ha). I am going to not. eat. dessert.! I am also going to force tt to do this with me, as we are not the best influences on each other. (I don't feel like eating grilled chicken... let's get a pizza.)
 
Once I have finished this plan, I will be more than happy to share it with the world, so check back in the next few days and I hope to have it ready.
 
Let's just hope that with this plan in hand, the holiday feast gods spare us all this year!
 
Second on my agenda... figuring out my Christmas cards... Oy.

Recipe of the day:
Diet-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes ala HG
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Get Positively Beautiful

So, if you know me at all, you know I am very fickle when it comes to my hair color, and extremely into makeup (and by "into" I simply mean I wear a lot of it). Now that it's fall, it's time for me to think about my new look for the new season. My hair color will change in a few weeks, as it does every 5-6, and this season, I have been made aware that maybe my makeup should change too?!! A good friend (who will remain anon... ::ahem:: Erin McP) told me that she actually has a makeup for when she's blonde, and a makeup for when she's brunette. Umm, helloo- why has no one ever told me this before?!
 
Maybe because it literally has been the ONLY thing I could think about for the last 9 days since Erin came into work with her gorgeous head of chocolate brown hair. Obsess much?? Nah.
 
So regardless of that fact, I have always wanted a "day time" look. I am one that wears dark eyeshadow colors and jet-black, liquid liner. I love it. (The sad part, that I won't say out loud, is that I actually use 3 separate black liners on a daily basis... liquid liner, a kohl pencil, and a gel black liner pencil. I have a problem). Shadow-wise, I typically go for a 3-shadow combo, always with one or two contour colors. Browns, Purples, Greens, Silvers, Sparkle and Shimmer. It occured to me recently that my look doesn't so much go from day to night, so much as just...go. We were attending a wedding and I was so excited to be able to get "done up" but then I realized that there was nothing to change! So I added more black eyeliner, smudged some navy blue eyeshadow under my eyes, and called it a day --er-- night. But honestly, I don't think it looked much different.
 
To add on to my weird obsession with my face in general (note: I sit in front of an eye level mirror all day, every day, that boasts "Who is the fairest of them all?") -- I am secretly crushing on Carmindy of TLC's What Not to Wear. She is gorgeous, A. And B. she is so super sweet, and finds something beautiful in everyone that she comes in contact with. (at least, this is what I imagine based on the show). I have 2 of her books, and am actually quoted in one of them...totally weird and freakish, I know. I actually don't often admit that out loud either. Good thing this is the written word.
 
Anyway, I wanted something lighter, something less dark.  I am hell bent on mastering her "5 Minute Face" look. I will admit, it is still a work in progress, but I am pretty sure that working off her tips, I totally have a great daytime look! She focuses on highlighting features, keeping everything relatively natural, and HIGHLIGHTING. I am pretty sure this is where I got this to begin with (because I have always used highlighter- my preference is High Beam by Benefit). Yesterday I tried her advice using chocolate brown liner, which is pretty universal to anyone's colors. However, brown liner always makes my eyes look red. I always thought I was crazy, but one of my other girlfriends who has similar coloring to mine says the same thing! SO, today I'm back in black, but WAY toned down. I have added in a little blush (so weird) and am making sure to have lip color/gloss on at all times. And I have to say, I'm thrilled.
 
While I think it still took me longer than 5 minutes (I blame this on my Bare Escentuals steps), I am thinking I have this almost down to a science...and once it is perfected, I will of course enlighten you with my beauty ritual (that won't necessarily have to change as often as my hair does... tee hee)
 
*BONUS RECIPE* And she called it...Squash
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, October 1, 2012

Teenage Wasteland


Do you ever feel as if you are back in high school? As if you are stuck inside (or outside) the "mean girl" clique? As if everyone around you is a 15 year old girl? It is so sad, but true, that one never actually leaves high school. You end up in a different group, sometimes with slightly different priorities (I suppose I am not quite as "boy crazy" as I was when I was 15), but the same environment nevertheless.
 
I have a few proclamations.
  1. I have 1 month until the big 3-0 and I have officially lost 15 lbs. (woo!) - will I actually make it to 30? I am not sure. But either way, I have learned a lot about myself, healthy living, and fitness, and hope that I have a life-style change ahead of me.
  2. I am SO super-dee-duper proud of my girl Stan. She is putting her big 3-0 plan into action too!!
  3. I love my boyfriend. (ok, nothing new, but had to get it out there because let's face it, he's awesome)
  4. I still hate football (but eating chili while watching football makes it somewhat tolerable)
  5. Nothing is worse than bringing work home on a Monday night, so I am blogging instead.
It's actually really unfortunate I don't have anything witty to say on a Monday night. Even my proclamations aren't all that exciting. Maybe today's recipe will suffice. Check it out~!
 
Recipe of the day:
Miss Coleen's Cheater Turkey Chili
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baby I'm ready to go

I have nothing to share today. Other than the ABSOLUTE FANTASTICNESS that was my dinner, and the fact that I am SOO close to losing pound #15.

Please see my Recipe Page for more scrumptious details, and stay tuned to see when I finally hit that halfway mark...considering I have 6 weeks to go, I bet get moving! :)

Recipe of the day:
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tell me why

......I don't like Mondays.

I have been MIA, yet again. I apparently am a really, really bad blogger.

I have been preoccupied with work. It has been draining me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Now, I love my job. Do not get me wrong for one little minute second. But it is draining. Dealing with a product that you have little-to-no control over...is hard. I sell people for a living. Wonderful, [un?]predictable, people. People who are so desperate to work, but then walk off a job; People who call (and call and call and call), but then when you call back, disappear into thin air; People who just don't get what goes into the other side of a job search. Oh well, these people also keep a roof over my head and delicious and healthy food in my tummy, so that I can share recipes with you all!!

Now, it's off to finish all of the things I didn't have time to finish before I left the office today. And yes, I realize it is 8:15 PM.

Side note...................this totally was supposed to be posted on Monday. And apparently I posted to recipes instead of the main blog. DOH!!!

Recipe of the day:
Turkey Taco Salad
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Advice Needed

To my beloved readers: I am sorry for the brief hiatus. Things have been a crazy.
 
I am sitting here thinking about what other words of wisdom I can share with you, however, I think I am looking for your words of wisdom instead.
 
So, tt and I bought a juicer. It is beautiful, a Breville Juice Fountain something or other. And I am super excited to start using it. The problem is, I have no idea where to even start. We got a free with purchase Juicing Bible, so I plan to read through that, but I am feeling overwhelmed. So, I am turning to the world for guidance. What do people juice? When? Do you replace meals? How many/day? Is this a daily thing? Should I do juice fasts?  Isn't it a huge PIA? AHH! So many questions.  Maybe the best first step is to read about it?
 
ANY advice would be appreciated....ready...set...GO!
 
 
Recipe of the day:
Tony's Tuna (only better!)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

And Fancy was her name

So, I understand that I have declared Wednesday a "dark day" but then tt went and switched his day at home with his parents on me. So today I am gracing you with my presence, and tomorrow I will have my date.

I have two very extremely wonder-iffic things to announce:
  1. I officially have lost 10 pounds!
  2. I bought a new car!
OMG- to be 100% honest, I don't know which one I am more excited about. It is exhilarating to have lost 10 pounds. I mean, I'm a third of the way there...which is almost halfway. Ten down, twenty to go. Ok, maybe that still makes this whole whirlwind sound intimidating, but either way, I'm excited.

And then...I bought a car. I will miss my Stella dearly, but I am excited to welcome Miss Fancy to the family. I don't have a real picture of her, but this is what she looks like.


I am in LOVE. Fancy, in all her sparkly shiny new glory, is a 2012 Acura TSX. She is Bellanova White Pearl with Ebony interior, has everything you could possibly want or need inside, and she comes home on Saturday. This has been dubbed the "fastest car buying decision ever" -- I made the decision on the fly, and really had no reason other than "I feel like it" to buy a new car ((I am my father's daughter, after all)).

So now, I am on my way to skinny, with my new blonde hair, and Fancy.
Perhaps I need a new pair of shoes to go along with this scenario...

Recipe of the day:
Balsamic Chicken
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Home Alone

Does this happen to you? When you're super bored and have nothing to do, you get hungry? And not just hungry. Like.. crave everything in life that's bad for you, hungry. Ravage through the fridge, freezer, and pantry, hungry. Like.. eat everything in sight (if you let yourself), hungry. Yea, that's where I am today. And for whatever reason, all I want in life is one of my grandmother's sausage "appys". They are salty and cheesy and spicy and heaven in the form of a little, lumpy biscuit. I can't get them out of my head.

You may have figured out by now, I do not do well on my own. I need to be constantly entertained, and I have been this way ever since I can remember. My mother I'm sure would agree as well. This has improved a bit as I've gotten older, but I just hate being alone. I'm not sure if this is one of the charming qualities I have inherited from the infamous Lil, but it's one I'm stuck with.



Everyone who knew my grandmother says that I am exactly like her. Passionate, feisty, worried, and stubborn. I think the B word would have been used, often, if it had been allowed. All the wonderful things that come along with being a woman, Irish, and born in the month of November. I wish that I could have known her in my adult life, because I think I could have learned a lot from her. Its amusing to me that all the fiery parts of my personality are from her. I can only assume the rest is too. I suppose that it only makes sense that I love zebra print and modern style (her fave colors were black, white and red), one of my favorite meals is a hot turkey dinner (Thanksgiving was always held at Nan's house), and that in my most bored-est state, I crave her famous sausage appys.

Even thinking about them makes me feel like I need to work out. :)

Recipe of the day:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hotter than a two dollar pistol..

Baby, I'm on fire.

Thursday has historically been one of my favorite days of the week. It typically includes something from the following list: happy hours, Jersey Shore, and... most importantly... hair day.

Now, if you know me at all you know about my hair. Ok, ok I am addicting to shoes. Maybe I have a slight problem when it comes to jewelry. But I 100% am obsessed with my hair.

I get my hair done every 5-6 weeks on the dot. I have had long hair, short hair, curly hair, straight hair. Brown hair, blonde hair, black hair, red hair. I bounce between conservative styles/colors, and funky, fierce and edgy. I have had my whole head one color, and peek-a-boos in most shades of the rainbow (never green, though..hm..). Each time I visit my homegirl Aly at Blonde Ambition (yes-I am plugging), we change it up. Drastically.

More recently, I have had a simple wedge haircut (ala Victoria Beckham), and have gradually been getting lighter, which is always an adventure. Today, we made the decision that it's time to grow. And to go BLONDE. Holy hannah, I am blonde. And I plan to have more fun. Including maybe finding myself a tan, and officially declaring Wednesday night "date night".

Wednesday will henceforth be a dark day online - and tt and I will be having a nice little evening together sans technology. No TV, no computers, no iPad, no cell phones. Last night, I made a delicious little stir fry and we sat outside. We typically eat dinner on the couch, in front of the tube, but we instead sat out on the deck, enjoyed the weather, and were forced to actually talk to each other!!! Crazy, I know. Is it weird that it gave me warm fuzzies? Probably.

With technology, busy schedules, and everyone being go go go all the time, I don't think people spend enough time together, and it was just really nice. (We did end up coming in to canoodle on the couch and watch the end of the volleyball game, though. Go USA!)

And, on that note: Blondes have more fun and I think everyone should have a dark day each week. Only good can come from either :)

Recipe of the day:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Are you motivated by watching Olympic athletes?

I don't particularly care about the Olympics, which I think makes me a bad American. I have been watching this year, because tt watches them which makes him a good American. (side note: if a bad American dates a good American, does it cancel out the badness? Hmm). Anyway. I find myself going back and forth when it comes to the motivation factor. I have clearly been trying to become a healthier version of me...and this includes working out (which on another sidenote, I think I have to kick up a notch) - so one would think that I would be super motivated by watching these amazing athletes competing to be the best at their sport. But it really doesn't.

Now don't get me wrong, I 100% appreciate what they are doing. They are the most talented athletes in the world. And as I watch them compete, I am amazed at how fast/strong/in sync/etc they truly are. But that doesn't inspire me to go out and strive to be an Olympian. Maybe it makes me wish I was as in shape as them..but really, the wish is as far as it goes (as I sit here on my couch, in sweatpants, munching on a handful of dark chocolate covered almonds. Self proclaimed "lazy by nature" - I wasn't lying).

Are you motivated by watching Olympic athletes? Why or why not?

Recipe of the day:
Lemon Caper Dijon Salmon
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, August 6, 2012

Addendum - Monday take 2

Two things:
  1. Read my friend Stan's blog ~ she is amazing and inspirational and I heart her. You should too.
  2. Tomorrow is weigh in day... and so it starts week #5 ~ what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
                                                                                                               ............dun dun dun. 
 


 

 
And that is all.
 

Death by sushi

Happy Monday lovelies!  And what a Monday it has been.
5:15 AM - Alarm goes off. "Because running is a better wake up than coffee"

5:30 AM - I am out the door. Feeling great, other than the humidity that apparently never went away from yesterday. Week 2, Workout 1 of the C25k workout plan.

6:00 AM - I literally almost pass out. I don't know if I didn't hydrate myself appropriately yesterday, or what. But it was not pretty. I had to walk back to the house. (Luckily, I still had buckets of sweat dripping off me, despite not making it through my entire workout). Rehydrated with a bottle of coconut water, had my scrambled egg rollup and continued on to start my little Monday.
Fast forward.

12:00 PM - Lunch date with Erin. We tried to go to this new restaurant, bartaco that tt and I had just discovered as a new restaurant in West Hartford Center, but alas, it was not open for lunch. We had to make a quick decision, not knowing that this decision would change the course for the rest of the day. Across the street stands Ichiro, a sushi place I have steered clear of for a few years. Not the greatest sushi, but never the worst, other than leaving the restaurant reeking, and the occasional "fishy" roll. Figuring that it's still open, it can't be all that bad still.

12:20 PM - Lunch is served. I ordered the lunch roll special, two rolls for $9.00 - Tuna Avocado and Peanut Avocado (my newest obsesh), both with brown rice. Honestly, they tasted fine. Not the greatest rolls I have ever had, but not the worst. (Of course Erin being the sushi snob that she is, reminded me that it can't even compare to Noble). She had spicy tuna and a yellowtail avocado, both of which she picked through because the taste was a little...off.

12:45 PM - Return to the office after lunch.

1:05 PM - I think I have food poisoning. For reals.

So as you can imagine, I took my olive patent leather sling-back platform stilettos, and marched myself right out of that office... and I worked from home for the remainder of the afternoon. AND, I don't think the anticipated lemon caper salmon will be happening tonight. Nor, will I be completing the 2nd round of my workouts. Tomorrow will be double or nothing. I swear.

I will, however, share a recipe that may be life changing for me that I stumbled across on Friday. I don't know if you know this about me, but I am mildly obsessed with hungry girl. I get her newsletter daily, and was intrigued by a recipe that she shared.

Recipe of the day:
Bake-Tastic Butternut Squash Fries 2.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Be Strong

Sometimes you just need someone to tell you to (thanks sf). I know, I know, my new-found life approach is all rainbows and butterflies. But you know what? Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes, it just plain sucks. And sometimes, you get upset by things that really shouldn't even upset you. Like, for example, your exhusband getting engaged.

I have found myself in a very -no, extremely- happy place in life. There was a bit of a rough patch that included losing myself in a long-term relationship that ended with a short-lived marriage (the self-proclaimed worst decision I have ever made), but through all of it, I was so very lucky to find myself again, and I was even so very luckier to have found my person (xx tt). Stress: I have no regrets, no hesitation, and would change absolutely nothing about my life. But receiving this news, I have to say, I was thrown for a bit of a loop.

No, I haven't looked at his facebook page, nor do I plan to. When I said that is a part of my life that I don't think about or care about anymore I wasn't lying. Does it make me a little happier knowing that the ring is hideous? Of course it does. (and yes, this has been confirmed by a few additional parties at this point. I won't look, but I will have my besties do it for me).

I'm feeling a run coming on. Even in this 90+ degree heat, maybe it is necessary. Let's get the house cleaned up first, and then make that decision. I'm finding that working out is really a great outlet. It used to be shoe shopping. Who knew that kind of switcheroo would ever happen?!!!

And.. I'm done ranting. Back to butterflies.

Recipe of the Day:
White Bean & Poblano Chicken Chili
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Ninety"

So, for those of you who are patiently waiting by their computer for my daily posts (ahem...Stan), I will admit, I am already skipping days. Fail.

Friday: 90 days left.
I didn't get up to run in the AM. Fail again. Work was work. Crazy stressful as always. But got to enjoy a little HH with 2 chicks that I adore. So that was an enjoyable end to the day. Then, I got to enjoy a little Friday night dinner with tt ~ Grilled chicken with a broccoli slaw dressed in wasabi vinaigrette, paired with this delicious side dish that my friend Erin told me about. OMG.

Saturday: 89 days left.
I lost another 1.2 lbs, so that's good at least. But I'm just hoping I can keep it up.

And now I have to go before tt realizes what I'm doing. Sorry so short, promise I will return with my quick wit and words later/tomorrow. Teehee ;)

Recipe of the Day:
White Bean and Escarole Side Dish
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

I love Max Burger in West Hartford CT. Like, I love it. Particularly the "Miss Daisy" with its luscious Brie or the "inside out" oozing with ooey gooey goodness. And I'm sorry, but don't get me started on their Max n Cheese.

Currently, however, in my dieting state, I cannot indulge in such pleasures. And that just plain sucks. But luckily for me (a sucker for a Thursday night out in the Center), there are yummy healthier options than a cheeseburger.

Tonight, while I most definitely stole 3 of tt's sweet potato fries, ate 4 of my Chinese fried noodles, and maybe, just maybe enjoyed some Pinot, I also had their blackened scallop salad. And oh-EM-gee, was it good. Not much to it besides lettuce, scallops and a little corn/black bean salsa, but tasty.

If you've never been to Burger, go there. That is all.

xo Coleen

PS- Don't tell my "trainer" about the wine. Kthanks. ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dear Salt...we have to talk

sodium /so·di·um/ (so´de-um) a chemical element, at. no. 11, symbol Na

Let's face it. Most people have a love/hate relationship with salt. Personally, I have a love/love relationship with it. I love it. I truly use it in so many areas of my life... from exfoliating with it, to cooking [excessively] with it. I just love salt. My body, however, not such a fan. I think it's time for "the talk."  We must go our separate ways.

It's not you, it's me.
Recipe of the Day:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Focus on the task at hand.

Let me preface this by saying that my general stream of consciousness goes from Point A to Point Q in approximately 7 seconds. If I ever knew just how life-altering this particular Thursday morning thought process would be, I probably would have stayed in bed an extra 5 minutes.

That being said, I woke up on a typical Thursday morning as usual, about an hour before I had to be to the office. I stepped on the scale before getting into the shower, and in that moment I realized two things: 1. I am not getting any younger; and 2. I am super lazy, and laziness will get me nowhere in life. Why these two thoughts attached themselves to each other in my head, I will never know. However, this realization prompted me to make a rash mental decision. "I want to lose 30 pounds."

Are you kidding me? 30 pounds? Ok, Coleen. You'll never make it. You know that you lack motivation unless faced with a deadline. Which got my brain ticking even more. A deadline.

30 pounds.. 30 pounds.. 30th birthday. Oh! My 30th birthday is coming up.
And then it hit me. I will lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday. And when I do, I will buy myself a new pair of Louboutins as a birthday present.

And so it began.

A drastic, almost overnight, life-changing event occured and I have not been the same since this thought process went through my brain. I changed my diet: cutting out sugar, processed foods, anything white, red meat, dairy, alcohol (kind of!); I started working out; I have completely changed my attitude. I went from being "Negative Nelly" day in and day out, to Pollyanna, or Pippi Longstocking, or even Punky Brewster. Either way, I have a whole new way of looking at  life, living, and the pursuit of happiness - and am the Picture of Positivity. (Ok, enough alliteration already).

I hope to share some of the tricks I am learning along the way, my love of shoes, cooking, and apparently all things healthy, and I may or may not be venting about the obstacles that the next 97 days will bring. And come November 1, I will be there. And hopefully you'll be there with me.