Monday, November 29, 2010

As Rachel Zoe Would Say

"I Die."

"Ba Nanas."

Seriously, I die. I  knew there was good reason for always picking out the bananas. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Free, Free, Free. Free, Free, Free....

Free for you and me! (Please sing to the tune of Jingle bells!)

Shutterfly, the internet- based personal publishing service where you can create photo albums, personalize photo cards & stationary, and then share with family and friends, is GIVING AWAY 50 free cards from their new Holiday collection!
For me the best part of Shutterfly, is the convenience! You upload your photos to your account, where they are stored...FREE of charge! From there you organize each album in its own folder, enhance photos with festive borders, crop and remove red-eyes! Your photos are now ready to be shared with family and friends through customized personal web pages or email. AND you can get professional quality prints send directly to the recipient or just stop by Target, Walgreens or CVS to pick up the prints!
Shutterfly has been a great way for me to keep in touch with all of my friends and their growing families, from Coast to Coast! And I am soooo excited to be able to send Holiday greetings from my growing family this year!

Now, the tough part is going to be actually having to choose which card to send from the Shutterfly 2010 Holiday Collection...

And to be honest, I don't think I am going to be able to stop at just Holiday cards....
Because who wouldn't be thrilled to receive a 2011 Calendar 

or a Coffee Mug 

with this guy plastered all over?!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football?!

This time of year brings along several of my favorite things:
● Winter Squash
● Pomegranates
● Bright, Crisp Mornings
● Cozy sweaters and slippers
● The Holidays!!

And of course, FOOTBALL! (Yes, there is a slight hint of sarcasm here!) Now don't get me wrong... I do enjoy football, especially college football, but you know....

**Go Dawgs!!**

Any who, this weekend was dedicated to Football! I promised A that we would just relax and watch football this weekend. So I whipped up a few Football Friendly Munchies for us to enjoy.

Pizza! Pizza!
1 Trader Joe's Pizza Dough
1 cup Pizza sauce
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 bag Daiya cheese
hand full of flour (or cornmeal)
Green chili to taste
Place Trader Joe's Pizza Dough on a lightly floured area.  Let rise for 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 450˚ (Leave pizza stone in oven to warm so the dough will not stick while cooking). 
Thinly slice peppers and any other toppings you choose. 

Gently knead pizza dough until it is evenly spread across your pizza stone. Distribute pizza sauce around the dough until it is covered. 

Top the pizza with goodies of your choice and Daiya Cheeze! We had Bell Peppers and Green Chili.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. 

And no Football spread is complete without Nachos!

1 Medium bag Tortilla Chips
1 Medium Jalapeno pepper
1 Bag Boca Ground Crumbles
1 Bag Daiya Cheeze
1 Can Pinto Beans (Black beans would be tasty too!) 
Salsa for Garnish

 Preheat oven to 350˚ and line cookie sheet with foil. Evenly distribute Tortilla chips across cookie sheet. 
Finely dice one medium size Jalapeno pepper. 

On the stove, brown "meat" over medium heat. Add Pinto beans. 

Cover chips with "meat" and bean mixture. 

Sprinkle diced jalapeno peppers and cheeze until all chips are covered. 
(oops there it is again...Green Chili! I added this to the top for an extra kick!)

Bake for 10 minutes, then Broil for 2 minutes. 

And for dessert....
Can't wait to top my oatmeal with these lovelies in the morning! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

There is Something in the Water...

Or at least there was between 12 and 9 months ago! Because everyone I know is having a baby! So in honor of those cute little Nuggets I am sharing a very simple DIY Baby Shower party favor: Mint Pacifiers.

I flew home to Georgia in September to host a shower for my Dearest friend!
Momma -to- be with Baby Bump at the Brunch
We decided to have a Baby Brunch with Baby Quiche, Baby BLT's (Turkey Bacon, of course!), Baby Bran Muffins, Baby Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese, Berries and Balsamic, and Baby Ducks.

Hostess' with the Momma-to-be: My mom, J and me

Look at that adorable red mohawk!

What you will need: 

1 bag of Candy Melts 
1 bag of Jelly Beans (the larger the will want to have enough to snack!) 
2 bags of Lifesaver Mints (If you can find the rolls of small mints with holes in the center--use those!)
Wax paper
10-20 Small Cellophane gift bags (clear)

1. On a sheet of wax paper place Candy Melts in rows flat side down.

2. Microwave 3-4 Candy Melts for 20 seconds. Continue heating in 10 second intervals until the Candy Melts are soft.

3. Take a jelly bean and dip the tip in the melted Candy Melt (the glue).

4. Press the tip of the Jelly Bean that is covered in "glue" into the center of the Candy Melt on the wax paper.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 until all Jelly Beans are glued to a Candy Melt.

6. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the "glue" to set.

7. Repeat step 2.

8. Dip one edge of a Lifesaver Mint into the glue.

9. Press glued edge of mint into the center,  bottom side of each Candy Melt with Jelly Bean.

10. Refrigerate over night.

11. Place 1-2 Mint Pacifiers into clear cellophane bag and tie closed with a ribbon.

12. Have the bags of Mint Pacifiers in a bowl or on a table by the door for guest to take on their way out! Any extra can go in a bowl on the buffet table or around the room.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Currently Craving: Lauren Conrad for Kohl's

I have always been on Team LC--ever since her Laguna Beach days! And I am loving all of these looks-all for under $50!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Comment from the Peanut Gallery

The other morning I was having a conversation with a certain someone, who shall remain unnamed, about Veganism. The conversation did not go the way I had planned but there is one blurb that keeps repeating itself in my head...

"You need to eat meat because you need protein in you diet. There is no way you can get enough Protein on a Vegan diet."

I am sure many people have this belief and/or have heard this from someone who just can not grasp the concept of Veganism. 

Lets start with the basics: 

What is Protein? 
A protein is long train of amino acids linked together. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in our body. Every living organism is composed of Protein. Proteins have many different functions. They provide structure (ligaments, fingernails, hair), help in digestion (stomach enzymes), and aid in movement (muscles). Proteins are essential for growth, repair and healing of bones, tissues and cells. 
There are 22 amino acids that are important to human health and 13 are naturally produced by our bodies. 

Where do the remaining amino acids come from? 
We must get the other 8, called Essential amino acids, from our food. 

Animal Sources vs. Plant Sources
Of course, we all know that meat and other animal products can provide us with these Essential amino acids. The amino acids from animal products are even categorized as COMPLETE because they actually contain all of the missing amino acids. BUT these sources also contain A LOT of fat. And, I am talking the artery-clogging, saturated type! Animal fat also lacks fiber, which is needed to help empty the stomach and pass through the intestines. 
**Remember Proteins should be HELPING aid with digestions not causing indigestion!**

A 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak is a great source of protein—38 grams worth. But it also delivers 44 grams of fat, 16 of them saturated. That's almost three-fourths of the recommended daily intake for saturated fat. 

The same amount of salmon gives you 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat, 4 of them saturated.

A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, but under 1 gram of fat.
New studies are also showing that animal proteins increase blood cholesterol levels, while plant proteins can actually decrease them!

If animal sources are COMPLETE, then that must mean that plan sources are INCOMPLETE? No worries! You can still get all of your essential amino acids from eating a wide variety of protein-rich vegetables, such as beans, nuts and whole grains. And these foods also provide you with healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals! 
**Bonus: These foods are also healthy for our pocketbooks! 

How much protein does my body actually need?
The recommend daily allowance suggest we take 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh. 
A diet consisting of too much protein has been associated with osteoporosis and aggravating poor or failing kidney function. 

Recommended Dietary Allowance for Protein

Grams of protein 
needed each day
Children ages 1 – 3
Children ages 4 – 8
Children ages 9 – 13
Girls ages 14 – 18
Boys ages 14 – 18
Women ages 19 – 70+
Men ages 19 – 70+

A sample menu FULL of Protein:
Breakfast: 1/4 cup steel cut oats, topped with 2 Tbsp. of Almond Butter 
Lunch: Spinach salad (2 cups) topped with Chickpeas (1 cup) and Broccoli (1/2 cup) 
Snack:  2 Whole grain flatbread chips with 4 Tbsp. of Hummus
Dinner: Quinoa Vegetable Paella 
Total Protein: Approximately 50 grams

Quinoa Vegetable Paella
Recipe and Photo From Fat Free Vegan
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
dash cayenne
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 14-ounce can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 3/4 – 3 cups vegetable broth
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and cut into quarters
Put the quinoa into a large bowl. Cover with water and stir well to wash the grain. Pour off the water and then repeat the washing process. Sauté onion and garlic in a deep non-stick skillet with a little water until soft. Add the quinoa and saffron and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, cayenne, tomatoes, peppers, beans, and 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, and cook covered for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, check to see if more broth is needed. If it looks dry, add the remaining vegetable broth. Place the zucchini on top of the quinoa and re-cover. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until quinoa is done. Remove the cover, stir in the peas, and cook uncovered until peas are warm and all liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Arrange the artichoke hearts on the top and serve. Add salt at the table, if necessary.
Makes about 6 servings.

Information compiled from:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Currently Craving: Bunting

Love, Love, Love bunting! For weddings, holidays, parties, showers or just everyday! Bunting makes me smile!

Love this Dia de Los Muertos bunting from BadBabyQuilts! Yes, I have a *crush* on all things Dia de Los Muertos!

How precious is this bunting from TopThisWedding? The greens, pinks and yellows from these sweet fabrics would be great for a wedding, spring bridal shower or even a baby shower!

And what about this laser cut bunting? I want to have this to hang in my bedroom year round!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Currently Craving: Something Different...

You might have noticed that Vegan MoFo button over to the right. And you are probably thinking...
"Umm...she's not Vegan! What gives?" 
No, I am not Vegan but I do have a natural curiosity for this lifestyle. A Vegan is someone who chooses not to use or consume animal products, for various reasons. The top three reasons would be FOR the ANIMALS, FOR the ENVIRONMENT and FOR HEALTH.

I have never been someone who consumed meat on a regular basis, especially red meat or pork! (I will share my SAVE THE PIGS story with you later this month!) However my interest in Veganism has grown  ever since I really started researching the health benefits. Primary benefits include weight loss, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, less use of medication, avoiding surgery and cancer and feeling more energized.  

Vegan MoFo, Vegan Month of Food, is a blogger celebration of all things Vegan. Folks will be blogging about all things Vegan for the entire month of November! There are tons of great recipes, kitchen gadgets, restaurants and so and so forth!
Cooking and eating Vegan does mean that all you can eat is salad and beans. There are tons of delicious options out there.... even at your favorite restaurants.
I have been exploring Veganism through books, cookbooks and blogs. Vegan at Heart and The Kind Life are two blogs that I have found to be very helpful for someone who is "flirting" with the Vegan Lifestyle.

❉ Veg-A-licious Books to check out ❉

Skinny Bitch--all of them! I will be adding to my Currently Craving Wish List the latest,  Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook

The Kind Diet--Like totally awesome! Alicia Silverstone shares recipes, beauty products, clothes and  promotes better health.

BabyCakes:Vegan,  (Mostly) Gluten-Free and (Mostly) Sugar Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked about Bakery--What Vegan's eat cupcakes? And they are actually good?!!! (Just ask my brother and A--both loved these treats when I whipped them up one evening!)

 Vegan Brunch and Veganomicon--Yum Yum and Yummier!

And you can find many more here!

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