Thursday, August 27, 2009

So Much Anticipation

You know what I love about Thursdays? There is so much anticipation for Friday and the weekend that I end up looking forward to them almost as much as Friday! They're great because I don't have to make coffee for the morning since I treat myself to SB's on my way to work and I don't have to do any dinner prep for Friday because it's date night!! Bottom line, Thursdays are a relief!

Even though I still have a grueling workout to get through this afternoon, somehow I can push through because Fridays are also my rest day from working out:)

Sorry for the absence of an AIGH post today! I'll get back on track next week!

I also plan on baking up some yumminess from the Babycakes NYC cookbook tomorrow afternoon and naturally, I will post the (hopefully) delicious results of that:)

Hope it comes out looking as tasty as these!

And finally, the turkey burgers from last night were pretty good, but my standby Clean Eating recipe still holds first place in my heart and my kitchen! They were tasty, but didn't have any spectacular flavor for all the time they took. Sorry Cooking Light, you can't win em' all:)

And for your cooking enjoyment, here's the Clean Eating turkey burger recipe:

Kate's Favorite Turkey Burgers
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
3 Tsp chicken bouillon
3 Tbsp chopped onion
1 cup high protein cereal (Weetabix works really well!)
1/3 cup nonfat milk
2 egg whites

In bowl, mix milk and cereal. Allow cereal to sit in milk for 5 minutes.
Add bouillon, onion, and eggwhites. Mix well, then add turkey.
With clean hands, mix it all up, and divide into 6 burgers.
They will probably be a little "wet" - I prefer to cook on my grill pan. Cook both sides evenly and enjoy!

I sometimes add a little shredded cheese and top with fresh avocado slices for some extra pizazz!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


A little blurb on the small things that have made me smile this week!

~ After cleaning out our closet a few months back, I realized it was time for some new shoes. Comfy flats to be exact. So, I have begun my collection:) In addition to the purple ones I showed you last week, I've also bought these!

~My husband would plea that I have way too many purses and bags. But most girls would agree that you typically have one that you are particularly fond of and use the most. For the last year and a half, Charlotte has been that bag for me. I should mention that "Charlotte " is what I named this particular Coach purse (a habit I got from my friend Rebecca!). Anyway, I've been searching for an alternate because it has been getting so much use and I don't want to wear it out! Alas, after my long search, I finally found a purse I was willing to substitute for Charlotte:) Let me make myself clear, she is not being "replaced", just being alternated so I have her for a long time:)

I've already grown attached to my cute new bag!

~ Finally, as I got home today I was walking past our balcony and noticed how big our "honeymoon tree" has gotten! This time last year it had about 6 big leaves, but when the weather turned cold we lost them. I was a little worried it wouldn't come back, but this summer has done wonders for our little plumeria tree!

This was our tree last summer...

And a year later...

A Little Change Never Hurt Anyone

Happy hump day!

I hope this week has treated you well! Mine started out rough with a really difficult day at work yesterday, but I'm now feeling great and back to my cheery self:) Chris cooked dinner for me last night! What a lovely treat! Don't get me wrong, I love to cook, but sometimes it's nice to sit and watch a meal be prepared for you, especially after my Tuesday!

Anyway, turkey burgers are on the menu for tonight and I'm straying from my trusted Clean Eating recipe and trying these Cooking Light Fajita Turkey Burgers. I'll let you know how they turn out.

And while I'm straying from familiar favorites, instead of my usual drinks from Starbucks, today I got a tall skinny caramel latte. Yummy! And only 90 calories:) Just goes to show you that sometimes, change is good!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

And So It Begins!

I just finished my first study session and I feel great! Although my next six weeks or so will be very full, it is so nice to look forward to this at the end of the day! Who knew someone could get so excited about the acromium process or the anterosuperior iliac spine? Well actually, I did, but it's kind of my little secret:) Wow I'm excited to re-familiarize myself with this terminology again! The first few chapters were just basic review of anatomy and physiology, but Wednesday I get to read about Biomechanics:( Not exactly my strong point, but that's why I'm studying, right?! Just wanted to share as I begin this six week journey:)

Good night and pleasant dreams!

My Inner Nerd and a Quick Recap

Hi all! Merry Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are feeling completely rejuvenated for this upcoming week:)

For a little recap on the events I attended this weekend~

Mid Life the "Crisis" musical: Absolutely hilarious! Although I should tell you I was by far the youngest person there, and the show was my idea! It was held at a really small theatre and had a very local feel to it, but all in all, well worth my Friday night!

State Fair: What can I say? The fair always seems to meet my expectations and this year was definitely no exception! I don't know what it is: the food, the exhibits, the cute little animals, the new products for sale in the expo, the general merriment and crowds of people enjoying themself? It's probably a combination of it all for me. And this year, opening weekend had gorgeous weather! Some would still call it hot, but the low 90's is pretty good for mid-August and considering we have been in the 100's lately!

So I got some new workout clothes this weekend! Nothing too exciting, just some running shorts, yoga pants and some new socks, but it's amazing how just a few new pieces can invigorate you to get your bum in gear! Chris and I worked out both Saturday and Sunday. I love getting it in on the weekends because you feel ahead of the game come Monday! It satisfies my inner over-acheiver:)

And probably the most exciting news I've got today is that my ACSM study materials came this weekend! I know I'm gonna let my inner nerd come out here, but I don't care! I am ridiculously excited to start studying!! It feels like I'm starting school again. And depending on how you view that, you're either jealous or you think I'm completely crazy:) You see, the beginning of a new school year was always very exciting to me. Peeking through my new books before my first class and embarking on an adventure of learning new things, especially when I got to college and was learning things I was particularly interested in! Although the information isn't new to me, studying for this new certification means I am taking a step forward for my career! That gets a double yay! I have even set up a study schedule to keep myself on track. And I'm going to tell you all now so I can have some accountability, I am planning on taking the test the week of October 12th. And now that you know, I have no excuse for slacking!

Some pics from the fair:

As soon as we got to the fair, Me and Mom bought these hats! Cute and practical:)

My husband or a beaver?

Getting ready to watch Splash Dogs! Abby totally could have been in this show!

A baby calf only a day old:)

And newborn pigglets! Why are they so stinkin' cute?!

Awesome dress made out of animal feed sacks. Crazy!

And of course Arnold made out of Jelly Belly's...naturally!

Oh the crazy things we see! This is a replica of San Fransisco made out of hundreds of thousands of toothpicks!! Who does that?!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

After the Fair, Can it be Fall?

We made it to Friday! I love fridays for many reasons, one being that I stop for coffee in the morning:) It's like a little reward for making it through another week in one peice!

I've got some exciting festivities I'm looking forward to this weekend! Allow me to divulge...

Tonight I am going to the musical called Mid-Life, The Crisis! I can't wait:) It started out being mostly for my Mom because since she's turned 40 she has joked, semi-seriously, about forgeting everything. I think it's funny and when I saw this musical going on in Auburn, I just had to get tickets! The soundtrack is hilarious:)

And on Saturday we are going to the California State Fair! Yippee!!! I love the fair and look forward to it every year. I just can't believe it's that time of the year already!

I don't know why, but August and September have always been "blah" months to me. Once I go to the fair, I'm ready to skip to October (my second favorite month!). I'm ready for the Fall, leaves changing colors, lots of hot tea, pumpkins, Apple hill, crock pot meals and cool weather. I'm not complaining about the warm weather, it's just that by this time of year, I'm ready for a change of pace! I'm also looking forward to...

Pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks...

Cozy scarves...

And soup! Our Vita-Mix will be getting a lot of use:)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

All in Good Health

As I was telling Chris about this post, with much enthusiasm I might add, he seemed puzzled at how baking had anything to do with health. And just as I shared with him, I shall pass on this new fabulous find to you!

It is no secret I love two seemingly contradictory things; health/fitness and desserts! No matter how hard I've tried to will myself to find a deliciously moist piece of banana bread unappetizing, I just can't do it. It goes as far back to being a little kid when my parents would put me to bed and then I'd hear my dad open a box of Ho ho's. I would then convincingly call, "Daaaad, are you eating something?". And reluctantly, one of my parents would come to my room and agree to let me get up for another 10 minutes and have a few sweet bites. While I like to believe that my taste buds are a bit more refined as an adult, I am still that little girl calling out when I smell a freshly baked pastry:) Of course, now that I have a strong understanding and conviction about eating mostly good, nutritionally dense food, I find myself with a dilemma between my head and my inherited sweet spot for treats.

Over the past few years it has occured to me that instead of trying to dispell desserts from my diet all together (and believe me, I've tried!), it may be better to seek out more healthy options. To my great success, I have accumulated many tasty and crowd pleasing alternatives to traditional recipes, such as my PB&J cookies:) Of course, before I approve a recipe, it is a must that taste is not compromised. Because afterall, if it doesn't taste good, why waste the calories?! Plus, it wouldn't make my husband too happy!

So this brings me to my recent find that has just got me in a great mood. It is a little thing known to many New Yorkers as Babycakes, a bakery where responsible baking takes place:) By that I mean that this bakery stands by a promise to prepare their cupcakes, cakes, cookies and other delightful treats with whole, natural, vegan and mostly gluten free ingredients! Their products are sweetened only with natural sweetners such as agave nectar and evaporated cane juice. Ahh, love! And the best part is, if you are not fortunate enough to live in NYC and enjoy these little treats, you can buy the cookbook and make them yourself!

This book has got me so excited! It makes my day that somebody else believes desserts don't have to be saturated with refined sweetners, white flours and unhealthy fats. For now I will be perfectly content with making my own Babycakes creations, but one day I will visit this brilliant little bakery:)Check out their blog to the right! Oh, I read last week they just started making doughnuts!!

I'll make sure to post some recipes and pictures I make from the book in the next week:)

Remember, moderation is the key;)

Wishing you good health always!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feeding the Tummy and the Mind

What happens when you combine two perfectly succulent salmon steaks with some Asian-inspired ingredients? You create a wonderfully simple and healthy meal, of course!

We were given this delicious salmon on Monday by Chris' grandpa who just got back from a fishing trip. Yep, he caught it himself!

For this oh-so-simple dinner I didn't fuss with complicated ingredients. I just used some pantry staples.

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees

In a medium bowl, combine the following ingredients~

4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
2-3 gloves chopped garlic
2 tsp sesame seeds
a dash of crushed red pepper
a dribble of chile oil (optional)

Place steaks (4 oz. each) in an oven safe dish, then pour the mixture over the fish. Cover the dish with a lid (or aluminum foil in you don't have a lid). Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Voila!

I served this with a side salad and couscous.

I tried to keep the rest of the meal simple since the main course had so much flavor and garlicky bite!

Lately, I have had so many books on my "to-read list", but I can never find the time to get them all read, let alone the concentration to finish one book before I begin another! My goal for the rest of the year is to get all of them read. We'll see:) I have currently just begun Blue Like Jazz (which I read a few years ago and really enjoyed). Also on my nightstand is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a book I started several times in college but failed to finish. A few others on my list include: Those Who Save Us, Undomestic Goddess (which I am halfway through), Julia Childs autobiography and I would like to get in Redeeming Love this year (one of my all-time favorites that I like to read at least once a year). I would also like to track down A Severe Mercy because I have heard raving reviews about it from several friends. The list may seem hefty, but I have a plan...I'm trying the whole, read before I go to bed thing and it's been pretty successful so far:)

Got any other reading suggestions I can add to my constantly growing list?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sugar 'n Spice and Everything Nice

You know how they say little girls are like sugar and spice and everything nice? I fully believe that! I have my fingers crossed that when we start having kids, we have at least one girl! I'd like to say that I think boys are equally precious, but just listen to what I witnessed last week...

Last Tuesday, I was at a stoplight and noticed a very sweet little picture. It was a father/daughter scenario that absolutely melted my heart! The girl looked about 6 or 7 years old and by the way she was dressed, looked like she had just come from cheerleading practice. I came to this conclusion because they seemed to be coming from the park about a block away. So they were waiting for the crosswalk light and picture this...the dad was wearing his daughter's little backpack, holding the cooler and they were both on those razor scooters, hers was silver and his was PINK!! Hello! How cute is it when Dad's just have no shame?! The sweetest thing is, I could totally picture my husband on that pink scooter, cruising along with our daughter:)

And then on Saturday I was hanging out with my Mom doing the usual gym, coffee and mani/pedi. As we were in the nail place, in walks a cute Mom and her adorable 3 year old daughter. The little girl instantly started chatting with the owner's 5 year old granddaughter about who was bigger:) Then the mom put her daughter in a pedicure chair and she began talking the lady's ear off about what color she wanted her toes and showing her the bag of toys that she had brought along. Of course, you could only make out every third word she was saying:) Oh, my heart jumped at the thought that one day I could take my little one to get her toes painted with mom! Some things never change, because it was like watching me and my Mom 20 years ago:)

Merry Monday!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Since I've Been Gone

Hi friends! I'm back from a much needed and well, necessary blogging break. The truth is, I've missed it!

The last several days have been packed, mostly with work, and it doesn't feel like anything will be slowing down soon! This week I will be working some overtime, which is good and bad. But enough with the boring stuff!

I do have some very exciting news to share! I just paid for my ACSM personal training certification exam!! My current certification is not one I'm really impressed with and I finally decided to just get the one I really want! I am feeling so inspired to start training again:) It will definitely be a nice distraction from my current full time job! This will hopefully be the beginning of a very nice transition to doing something I am passionate about again:) Yay!

Last week was pretty much a blur of work, workouts, errands and just trying to get to the weekend. Not a feeling I am very fond of! Chris knew I had been feeling tired and just plain worn out so he surprised me with a really fun date Friday night to dinner at Bella Bru Cafe, where they had live music on the patio! It was exactly what the doctor ordered! We listened to Blues while we enjoyed a delicious meal:)

So here we are, it's Sunday night and I'm trying to prepare myself for another hectic week. Although, I am a little more ahead of the game than I was last week. Because my Aunt was here last week and we spent a lot of time with my family, I wasn't really home to catch up on laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning, which made this week feel a bit more chaotic. Not that I'm complaining, as we has such a great time with my Aunt!! But now that I've had a whole weekend to catch up, I say "Bring it on Monday!".

Okay, my hubby just brought in my hot tea and reminded me of the time, which means we should probably decide on the movie we're going to watch before I turn into a pumpkin:)

I'll leave you with some photos of the week...

Our delicious wild mushroom bruschetta appetizer at Bella Bru!

Relaxed as can be with his 'Down Town Brown' :)

Look at that Goodness of Tiramisu!

It deserves it's own picture:)

I was out shopping this afternoon and snagged these cute plum colored flats for only $4.90!! Oh how I love good sales:)

I also made a trip to Trader Joe's and picked up some favorite goodies of ours:) This Pesto Torta is oh so good!

And so are these scrumptious treats...dark chocolate covered espresso beans and almond coconut chocolates:)

And finally, their Vodka past sauce...mmm, mmm good!

Stay tuned, I've got some good posts for the week!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tahoe and a Little Time

Merry Monday! I hope your weekend was absolutely fabulous!

As I told you last week, my Aunt is in town and I've been pretty occupied with my family the past several days. Therefore, I think I'm going to take a little break from blogging. Just for the week, I am just growing overwhelmed with the many priorities and responsibilities on my plate at the moment! Work is absolutely horrendous now that it's peak, family in town, appointments this week, preparing to take my next personal training certification, getting in the groove of training again, and of course the good ole' everyday stuff! You know, sometimes life just happens that way:) Stay tuned though, I'll be back next week! Thanks for keeping up with us!

I'll leave you with these two things:

Julie and Julia was FANTASTIC!!! I know I can be dramatic about a lot of things, but this truly was an incredible movie! Bon Appetit!!

On Saturday we went to Lake Tahoe with my Mom and Aunt and had a great time! We packed a yummy brunch and drove to a beach, where we enjoyed our picnic! The entire day was amazing and accompanied by perfectly warm weather! We ended up stopping at the lookout point where Chris proposed to me 2 1/2 years ago:)

And in true Kate fashion, I will leave you with some pictures:)

Lovely picnic brunch on the beach:)

The spot Chris asked me to be his wife!! (1/8/07)

Yay for the best decision of our lives:)

Recreating the picture we took when we got engaged:)

Have a great week and talk to ya soon:)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Favorites of the Week

Friday is finally here and I am happy as can be! The fact that it is Friday may just be my favotite thing about this week:) But, here are some others:

* I have found a guilty pleasure that I am a bit hesitant to share. It's one of those things I never ever thought I would do, but alas, I have become a fan of a certain reality tv show...

While flipping through some channels last week, I came across Tori and Dean Home Sweet Hollywood and watched a bit of an episode, only to realize it is kinda cute. So I set it to record and have now seen most of this past season. Wow, I'm shameless:)

* Power naps. Chris had a short lunch yesterday, so after I dropped him off I still had abut 25 minutes left of mine. What did I do with my time? I parked in a shaddy spot at my office, put the windows down a bit, layed my seat back and took a little nap! Talk about refreshing!! It doesn't hurt that the weather this week has been unusually tame. Yesterday's high was 78, which was a nice change of pace:)

* Remember the almond croissants I told you about? Naturally, Lael took some photos of the delicious treats and I've been wanting to see the pictures. I knew my friend was talented! Here's a link to her flickr page, see for yourself:) The croissant pics are on the bottom of the first page. Notice the cute, green picnic table we're sitting at!

* And finally, this particular favorite hasn't happened yet, but we are going to see Julie and Julia tonight. I guess I'm counting on it being a winner:) Let's be real though, I just love going to the movies since it has become a rare treat!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

All In Good Health

For today's AIGH post I've got some fantastic options for those times you are on the run and need a go-to meal in a hurry! You know those days, you forget to pack enough snacks or you are traveling and don't want to stop at the dreaded Mcd's:( Well, keep these ideas in your back pocket and save 'em for a rainy day, although, they are so good you may find yourself eating them even when you aren't in a pinch:)

Perfect Pairing from Starbucks~

No suprise that this first option would come from SB'S:) For only $3.95 you can get their perfect oatmeal and a tall latte! This is actually my go-to in a pinch! Just a few things I would recommend to make this as healthy as possible:) The oatmeal comes with a pack of nuts, dried fruit and brown sugar. The nuts and fruit are 100 calories each and the sugar is 50, so I would suggest either using the nuts OR the dried fruit or half of each, and if possible, skip the brown sugar...unless you must;) As far as the latte, go for a non-fat with a sprinkle of cinnamon...mmm! A non-fat option comes in at only 90 calories:)

Grand total:

Non-fat latte = 90
Oatmeal = 150
1/2 pack nuts = 50
1/2 pack dried fruit = 50

Which brings us to a total of 340 calories:) And an added bonus, you get a great balance of complex carbs, protein and fat! Bring on the feel-good energy!

Jamba Juice new menu items ~

It's true, Jamba has recently come out with 18 new food items! I have actually only tried the wraps and they have been quite tasty! The Chimichurri wrap was filling enough to safisfy Chris and myself, alongside a sixteen ounce Bright-eyed and Blueberry smoothie! The wraps are aroud 400 calories each, so we opted to split one since we had a smoothie as well. Each wrap comes with a dressing, which of course adds some extra calories, fyi. Jamba now also has a great variety of smoothies that have no added sugar for the dietary conscious! With my smoothie of choice and half the Chimichurri wrap, my lunch totaled 410 calories.

It just goes to show you that even when you aren't prepared with healthy snacks or meals, there are still good options out there:)

Wishing you good health always!

Sushi, Sewing and Friends

Happy Thursday guys!

I am so excited to tell you about the sushi making class Parris and I went to on Tuesday! I am always up for new, fun things so when I saw this class offered at Newcastle Produce, I immediately signed up and new exactly who to ask to be my sushi making buddy:) Normally Chris and I would do these things together, but Chris doesn't quite love sushi like I do and a good girls' night is always in order;) So Parris accompanied me and we had a blast! The class was great and suprisingly easier than we thought it would be. We ended up making about six rolls each! I've been in heaven eating my rolls for lunch as well as a snack the past two days!! Can't wait to throw a sushi making party:)

I'm looking forward to taking more of these classes! They are such good dates, with friends and my guy! Next I want to tackle the 7 course dinner!!

Some pics of our class and also one of Lael and Me last weekend:)

This my friends, is a green goddess roll:) Just asparugas and herbs, YUM!

Our dinner, made by us!

We rocked sushi making like it was child's play;)

This is why I love Parris! I'm so glad we're friends:)

Nice lady took our picture:)

And after the class we went to my house and had chocolate cake and coffee, because sometimes, girls just need chocolate;)

Cheers! Notice my new dress I bought last weekend;)I'll take any excuse to wear a sundress!

And finally, Lael and Me at Humphrey Slocumbe:) This photo curtousy of Lael.

On a totally different note, my grandma was so excited when she heard about my new found interest in sewing that she sent my Mom home with a ton of vintage fabric:) I went through it with my Mom last night and am quite excited about my new treasures! I am obsesed with aprons, so she also sent a few of my great grandma's aprons to use as a pattern! I'm pretty stoked about it! And BTW, I have asked for a sewing machine for Christmas, but am lost about what I really need. If you've got any suggestions, I would really appreciate them (Parris, Laurie, Aunt Betty??):)

And lastly, I skyped with Rebecca in GERMANY yesterday! Even though it was only for about a minute because apparently, 3G and skype aren't a great match:( Anyway, I'm just feeling so lucky to have spent such quality time with good friends the past few weeks! It has been exactly what I've needed:)

My Aunt C is flying in today to spend a week in California! Can't wait for some family time this weekend! On the agenda: Julie and Julia, Lake Tahoe and being poolside:) This is my aunt who did the flowers for our reception. She is amazing:)

I'm hoping I can make it through this morning...I only got 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night! But sometimes, yogurt with friends is just more important:)

Have a lovely day!
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