Monday, May 31, 2010

Once a Day

Is it really June already!?! I am beside myself that this year is almost halfway over. To be honest, earlier today I had a mild mid-year crisis, feeling as if I needed to evaluate my 2010 goals and see how well I have done thus far. How are you doing on those New Year's resolutions?

If you're feeling the need for some fresh motivation, read on!

While finishing up a cardio session with my husband tonight, the light bulb went off. For the next 30 days I will be heading up a challenge to Sweat Once a Day. After all, everybody loves a challenge! It doesn't matter how you accomplish this, as long as it is an intentional act of physical exercise such as running, cycling, yoga, weight lifting, hiking, etc.

The point is to move! Regular sweat sessions are proven to help create a healthy mind and body, relieve stress and increase your overall mood. Why is it when life gets the best of us we shrug off the most important practices, like regular exercise?

So if you are looking for fresh motivation or just need to beat some daily stress, jump on board with me and sweat once a day through the month of June!

Every time you exercise, post what you did on the "Lose Weight With Kate" Facebook page. And if you're really feeling eager, post a photo!

Happy sweating!

Merry Monday!

Hello friends! I hope you are enjoying a lovely long weekend! So far, ours has been all kinds of relaxing and wonderful. But before we head to my parents house for some tasty food, I wanted to share a little something with you.

You see, peonies might be one of my favorite little pleasures in the whole world! So I just couldn't pass up the amazing display at Whole Foods this weekend! Over the past few days they have amazed me as they continue to bloom. In fact, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say I have been starring at them for about 30 minutes this morning!

Just wanted to share some beauty with you today!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Hurrier I Go, The Behinder I Get

...that is exactly how the past few weeks have felt! Things are going at such a rapid pace and I can't seem to catch up with life. A little too much work and not enough play! But thank goodness for the sweet pleasures in life like a 3-day weekend EXACTLY when you need one!

On the agenda for the holiday weekend: sleeping in, delicious food, laying out, dinner with good friends, baking lemon bars, cooking out with family, sewing, training a few clients Monday morning, lots of yoga (though this is nothing new lately!) and possibly seeing the new SATC movie!

I can't wait to take a deep breath and enjoy the sunshine, which will be a nice change from the crazy rainy weather we've been having!

Have a lovely and festive Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cozy up This Weekend!

Since this upcoming weekend will be an extra long one, I plan to bust out my sewing machine and make some coffee cozzies! It's been on my list of "want to do's" for some time now. And I happened to stumble upon this blog that offered a quick tutorial, so now I simply have no excuse not to get started!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Hi friends! Sorry I've been away most of this week. What started out as a stomach flu last weekend turned into a super busy week of playing catch-up, and sadly, blogging had to wait a minute. But I wanted to drop in and share something fun with you.

As we often do about once in the middle of the week, Mr. Hansen and I cozzied up and watched a movie last night. And since we couldn't mutually agree on one before Chris went to pick it up, he surprised me with the animated Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Having absolutely no expectations about it, I was surprised at how entertaining it ended up being. I would definitely recommend it, for light-hearted comedic relief if nothing else!

Hope you're having a delightful week and come back soon because my little blogging break is over!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Good Good Night!

Happy Friday! Phew, are you as tired as me or am I the only one running on a pitiful four hours of sleep?! Not that I'm complaining because my lack of sleep is due to being at the Carrie Underwood concert last night! And Oh MY GOODNESS was she incredible! All I can say is that the girl has got some pipes! A true test of someones musical talent is hearing them perform live and she did not dissappoint.

I really need to give a huge thank you to Claudia for giving us the tickets! I am so sorry you weren't able to go and also so grateful for your generousity! I hope you are feeling better today!

The hubs and I had a wonderful date night! He won't admit to it, but I even caught him singing along to a few familiar songs:)

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Drink Up!

The biggest excuse I hear for skipping breakfast is not having enough time in the morning. Even after giving my long saga about how it is the most important meal of the day, there are still those who skip it! So I wanted to share a quick, portable breakfast for those of you on the run (it literally takes 3 minutes from start to finish!). Believe me, it is as simple as it is delicious and full of rib-sticking ingredients that will stay with you until your next meal.

Keep in mind, this makes two servings so you can drink half as your first meal of the day and bring the rest for an afternoon pick-me-up!

Oatmeal may seem like a strange component to a smoothie, but I promise you can't even taste it and it adds a creamy, thick texture while giving you some added fiber! Feel free to play with different fruit in this recipe.

Oatmeal Smoothie
1 cup nonfat milk
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries and blueberries
1 medium banana
1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1 T flax seed oil

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.

image via/mybodyzone

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Major Craving

For some reason I have had a major craving for a chocolate croissant! Especially when they are still warm and a little gooey on the inside. Mmm! It has taken every last drop of will power I have not to whip up a batch.

Did you know they are super easy to make? Dangerously easy, really. Take a look at this recipe from Real Simple.

Kicking My Feet Up

Take a guess at what I'm doing today? NOTHING! I can cross one thing off my list because I took today off and have absolutely nothing planned. Well, I am getting my hair done but that hardly counts as doing something:) I am relishing that I slept in past 7 and don't have a million things to get done today!

When I asked my boss for the day off he was like, "Do you have a dentist appt or something?", and then laughed when I said there was no real reason. "Who takes a Wednesday off instead of a Friday or Monday?" he said. To which I responded that Wednesdays are like a best kept secret as you get a glorious reprieve in the middle of the week. It truly is wonderful! You should try it out sometime!

Well, I should get back to my oatmeal and coffee and dream up what I would like to do (or not do) today! Though I definitely have my heart set on heading to the park and getting a good chunk through my new book!

Have a splendid day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


As of this afternoon, our anniversary getaway is booked and paid for! In just over a month we will be escaping to the lovely Sierra Nevadas to a cozy little cabin, and conveniently a Bed & Breakfast, complete with adorable claw foot tub. I am officially excited!! I can hardly believe it's been almost two years since we said, "I do"!

Great Finds

Happy Tuesday! What's up with my lack of a Monday post these past weeks? Man, oh man, I've been busy! And I don't like being one of "those people", you know, the people who are always too busy. Thankfully this is only temporary. But on to other fun...

This weekend was a blast! Garage saleing was officially a success! I really wanted to take some pics of the cool stuff we snagged, but alas, there was no time. We spent a grand total of $27 and got some things we have really been wanting such as, Eat, Pray, Love. Remember me talking about wanting to read it before seeing the movie? Well, $1 later, I can! We also bought this brand new Verm wine holder from Ikea (also $1) that we say we want everytime we shop there, but never buy. It is currently filled with Pellegrino as our Pottery Barn holder is storing all the wine we have at the moment. It looks quite lovely if I do say so myself! We also found a stemware holder for under our cabinet to hold our most used wine and champagne glasses (instead of them being stored in our laudry room!), an apparently awesome Christmas tree stand (Chris is super excited about this one), a step bench (yes like the ones in an aerobics class) because it's useful for at-home weight workouts and it stores easily under our bed, and a bunch of other goods I can barely recall at the moment.

Sadly, I was unsuccessful finding any vintage green Pyrex, but the season has only begun and I would say we more than made up for it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday Lovelies! I am full of cheer and ready for the weekend to begin! Why all the excitement you ask? Well, tomorrow is officially the beginning of garage sale season! If you have been reading for any amount of time, you know I LOVE garage sales. Tomorrow is one of three weekends of the year our surrounding neighborhood puts on a huge coordinated cluster of garage sales. There are literally several per street!

I am still on the hunt for a few vintage pyrex pieces to add to my small collection. Remember this post? Otherwise, I'm just lookin' for a good deal on hidden treasures. Can't wait!

And speaking of being on a hunt, lately I am dying to find a great chai dessert recipe. I was thinking brownies or muffins of some sort. Ever since Pinch My Salt announced she was baking up some banana chai muffins the other day, I've had a huge craving. And since she says the recipe needs some work before she posts it, I'll have to wait to try her creation.

In the meantime, have you got any outstanding chai recipe you would like to share? I would love if it could be semi-healthy... :-)

Have a positively delightful weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This Summer I'd Like to...

I always have an ongoing list of activities, trips, projects and the like I want to do, just ask my husband! I can't help it, especially with the summer getting so close! So I've been dreaming up what I would like to accomplish this season. Here are a few fun things I've got planned.

Alameda antique fair ~ The largest antique flea market in the country that takes place the first Sunday of every month in the Bay area. The Tattered house is an adorable vintage shop here and they are always talking very highly about this flea market. I so want to make it a girls day, because I'm just not sure my husband would appreciate it the same way!

Weekend trip to Monterey ~ I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE living in Northern California! There are so many amazing "destination spots" right at our fingertips, or at least a few hours away! Chris and I haven't taken a drive to Monterey in a few years and I'd say it's about time we re-visit the California coast. I am most looking forward to a lovely dinner of fresh fish! YUM!!

Lots of picnics ~ The season of picnicing has arrived! Bring on the watermelon, corn on the cob and fresh berry pie!

Cooking class at Newcastle Produce ~ You may remember the sushi making class I took with my friend Parris last summer. We had so much fun and I've been itching to get back there for another one (or two) of their technique classes!

Taking a day off ~ I am talking a REAL day off, no errands to run, no cleaning, basically no plans! Everytime I have a day off it gets filled with neccessary tasks, but I would like to take off a random Wednesday and just relax, maybe even grab a good book and head to the park!

Do you have any fun plans for the summer?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dinner Last Night: Guiltless Chicken Parmesan

I'll be the first to admit I have never actually tasted traditional chicken parmesan. So it would be less than honest of me to say this dish tastes exactly like the heavier version and you won't even miss all the fat, because I don't know. But I will say that on its own, as a healthy meal, or any meal for that matter, this recipe will knock your socks off! The light and crispy panko crust makes it seem much more sinful than it really is! And the delicious hint of spice from the Dijon is a killer combo with the herbs and sauce. Seriously, we LOVE this Clean Eating version of the Italian favorite!

The recipe calls for a homemade tomato sauce, but because we love and usually have Whole Foods brand pasta sauce on hand, I just use that. If you have time to make it yourself, by all means, do it!

Guiltless Chicken Parmesan
recipe adapted from Clean Eating
Olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1 T Parmesan cheese, grated
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 4-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1 inch thickness
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz cooked whole wheat penne (or your favorite pasta)
1/3 cup natural, low-sodium pasta sauce, plus more for pasta
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a shallow dish, combine panko, Parmesan, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork to combine. Brush both sides of the chicken breast with Dijon. Transfer each breast to panko mixture and turn to coat both sides. Arrange chicken to prepared baking sheet. Coat surface of chicken with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes.
Top each chicken breast with 2 to 3 T tomato sauce and 2 T mozzarella. Return chicken to oven and bake 10 minutes more, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Arrange pasta on a serving plate and top with remaining tomato sauce. Serve chicken with pasta on the side, garnish both with fresh basil.

image via

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch

It's amazing how much you have to catch up on when absent from blogland a couple of days...kinda pathetic! So many good blogs to read:)

I have had an incredible few days, mainly because I spent so much quality time with my amazing mom! We ran the Race for the Cure Saturday morning (and sadly got no pictures!). Despite being super late this year, we still made it for the 7:40 start time!

Saturday afternoon was occupied with brunch prep the next day. I must say, I am a total and complete sucker for brunch! Most of the food items came from Giada's new cookbook and did not disappoint!

Our menu included:

Lemoncello and Blueberry Cooler
Fresh fruit
Smoked Gouda and Spicy Sausage Frittata (A-mazing!)
Pillsbury Orange rolls (funny story about these!)

There was only one small mishap, because every good meal has one, right? Originally, I made Giada's Espresso Glazed Zeppole (or homemade doughnuts!). Aren't you impressed? I certainly was! They were delicious, except I made the mistake of making them the night before (as to save myself some stress) but by morning they were completely soggy:( So Chris ran to the store and bought orange rolls, a family favorite! Oh well, now I know!

After we were good and stuffed satisfied, Mom and I went for pedicures (naturally!), did some shoe shopping (where I somehow ended up with the cutest new zebra flats) and back home to watch It's Complicated (a gift to my mom)!

All the while the boys cooked up an amazing dinner! Only to be topped off with this incredibly moist and delicious Vanillla Bean Buttermilk Cake from Orangette!

A wonderful way to celebrate a wonderful mom!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thanks Mom!

Me and my lovely mother on her wedding day!

I am so excited about this weekend! Mother's day is such a fun opportunity to show mom just how amazing and appreciated she is! I am pretty sure I have the greatest mom in the whole world (and I'm only a bit bias;) and I love celebrating her!

Do you have any extra special plans for showing your mom how much you care?

We are continuing a tradition of running the Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure 5k on Saturday morning and then I have a few other surprises up my sleeve. I suppose I'll have to wait and share since Mom reads my blog most every morning.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy mother's day to all the awesome moms out there!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Summer Blockbusters

It's almost that time of year when the box office will be full of new releases! If you haven't already figured it out, Chris and I LOVE movies! In fact, a big thing we loved about living in Abilene was that we could justify going to the movies much more frequently because they were so much cheaper. Those were the days! Nowadays, a movie has to look really good to be deemed "theater worthy", otherwise we just wait to rent it on Redbox.

But there's something about the summertime that gets us there a bit more often. While watching previews a few weeks ago for the Back-Up Plan, it happened; that wonderful excitement that comes from wanting to see every movie previewed! In fact, being the list maker and total and complete geek that I am, I jotted them down in my little notebook, so not to forget a single one.

While I am absolutely positive more will be added to this list, here is a quick rundown of the Summer blockbusters I'm itching to see.

Sex and the City 2~yes it's true, I indulge in this guilty little pleasure! I absolutely loved the first one as it captured everything I wanted it to and tied up all the loose ends from the tv show. I can't wait to see what new adventures Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda are up to this time around! It will be fabulous!

Eat, Pray, Love~ while I didn't have much interest in reading the book, now seeing the previews for this flick, I feel it must be read before I see the movie! Not at all what I thougth it was about. A big plus, Julia Roberts, one of all time favorite actresses plays the lead!

Iron Man 2~ and not just to please my husband, I actually loved the first one! We will most likely be seeing this one in the next week or two!

Killers~while Chris will most likely not be joining me for Katherine Heigl's newest romantic comedy, I will absolutely be making my way to see it (possible girls night?)! If for nothing else, to see Katherine Heigl in all her cute outfits!

Just Wright~classic (read possibly cheesy) romantic comedy. As much as my hubby hates it, I love watching movies that are somewhat predictable. What can I say, I like knowing a happy ending is in sight!

How about you? Any new flicks you're looking forward to seeing?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dinner Last Night: Windy City Pie

Do you ever just crave a delicious slice of Chicago style pizza? What if I told you it was possible to have one (or two) and not feel so guilty? Yep, this is a certified clean eating recipe! Go ahead, jump for joy!

The first time I tried this recipe Chris went crazy for it and now, two months and four attempts later, we have near perfected it and most definitely added it to our favorites! Of course it only seemed appropriate to share it with you. So go ahead, plan a Friday night in, whip up this pizza, grab a glass of wine and a movie. You will thank me later!

And just a note, a springform pan works best with this recipe (like this one).

Windy City Pie
adapted from Clean Eating

2 links lean, all-natural, spicy chicken or turkey sausage
2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
1 each small red and green sweet bell pepper, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/8 t each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 frozen, prepared whole wheat pizza crust
6 oz low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup of your favorite all-natural, low-sodium pizza sauce

Preheat oven at 450 degrees.
Cut a slit along the length of the sausage, remove and discard the casing, place sausage meat into a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.
In a medium saute pan, heat 1 T oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes, until tender. Add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer vegetable mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Return pan to burner over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon until meat is firm, opaque and fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Pour sausage meat into a paper-towel lined bowl to drain excess fat. Mix vegetables and meat together in a bowl.
Brush inside of pizza pan with 1T remaining oil. Roll out dough to about 14 inches in diameter. Place rolled dough directly into pan. (diameter of dough should be wider than the bottom of the pan). Press dough into the bottom and sides of the pan gently, carefully stretching the dough about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan.
Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over the bottom of the crust. Pour vegetable and meat mixture over mozzarella. Pour pizza sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
Place pan into oven and bake about 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown, cheese is bubbling and filling is hot throughout.
Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes to let filling set. Cut into 8 slices and serve with pie server.
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Love Note

Because I have been working hard lately trying to strike a balance between work, more work, play and those pesky things called responsibilities, I've noticed myself become a bit more emotional and dare I say it, irrational at times. Yes it's true, I'm flawed. And during those moments I am reminded of how very lucky I am to be married to a man who not only balances me, but loves me at my worst. For that, and for so much more, I am grateful beyond words!

My dear husband, thank you for always listening when I am frustrated, encouraging me when I am discouraged, constantly finding ways to make me laugh and for bringing me countless tall soy extra hot, no-water chais when I haven't gotten enough sleep and am admittedly grouchy!

Just when I think I couldn't possibly love you more, somehow, impossibly, I do!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Project Completed and Another Milestone

Merry May friends!

How was your weekend? Ours was wonderfully productive! I was finally able to paint and recover the green chairs I've been talking about. I am absolutely delighted with how they turned out! I ended up painting them a milky white (thistle seed to be exact). And I love the color so much I'm considering painting our sweet little green console table the same shade since I've got a ton of paint left! Then I found two fun prints to recover the seats.

The pink and green chair lives in the second bedroom as my desk chair and the blue and green one resides in a little corner of our bedroom.

And Saturday morning it occurred to me that it was May 1st, the same day we signed our very first lease on our apartment together! Exciting and crazy we have lived here almost two years together (since I technically didn't move in until June 29th).

So what did we do to celebrate? Well, just like the first night we moved in, we had homemade pizza for dinner, except this time we curled up on the couch instead of picnicing on the floor (because at that time we had no furniture moved in). And then we went to Pottery Barn and bought new bedding! At least that's the excuse I used for making such a big and unplanned purchase for no reason at all! In all fairness, I have been saying I want another set of bedding to avoid ours wearing too quickly:) Anyway, we both love it!!

Here it is, though we spiced ours up with a chocolate coverlet and throw from Restoration Hardware we already owned. It looks perfect!

Hoping you have a lovely Monday!

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