3.31.2011

Thoughts on Thursday


It's been a while since I've linked up with Carolyn for her Thoughts on Thursday link up so I decided to give it a go!

#1. It's like a whole new feeling when you finally start feeling better after being sick. Being sick...sucks. I woke up feeling much better today than the past 4 super long days and can't wait to get back to the gym. It's like a whole new me! Anyone else feel this way?

#2. true life...I want to be Kate Middleton.

 so pretty...such class.


Don't act like you don't want to order these stamps...

sigh.

#3. Ever since I got my iphone, which I love by the way, I've been perfecting it's layout (like rearranging all the apps so each screen is colorful..) and making sure I have the best apps {mainly free ones}. Why have the iphone without using the free apps?! So since in the past I have asked you guys for suggetions on what apps to get - it's my turn to share what apps I like and what are on my celly.

My favorite iPHONE apps-

~Camera +, this is the only app I've paid for..it's only .99 and totally worth it. It gives you better zoom, scenes, borders, color adjustments, etc.
~Urbanspoon, I have already used this a ton for when we travel. Easy access to restaurant's around you, menu's, and directions.
~Flixster, most of you know what this is already. great movie app.
~Kik messanger, it's basically Blackberry's version of BBM but not as good.
~AroundMe, this one might be my favorite so far. Based on your location, it will show you the closest coffee shops, banks/ATM's, bars, gas stations, movie theatres, parking, etc. Very nice to have when traveling.
~Whole Foods, recipe app and gives you whole foods locations
~Spark Recipes (thank you Sarah), has a great list of recipes that you can save as favorites but also goes one step farther and gives you the ingredients list, directions, and nutrition info. I've found a bunch of vegetarian options on this.
~Jillian Michael's Slim Down, features work out exercises, recipes, and tips.
~Instagram, fun photography app
~myFitnessPal, calorie counter and diet tracker


#4. Has anyone ever done Habitat for Humanity? If you or anyone you know have, PLEASE speak up and tell me about your experience! I'd really appreciate it.


#5. I couldn't be more excited to have a weekend full of NOTHING. I have so many house projects (crafts & decorating) I want to do that I've put off. I can't wait to actually have the time to do them and relax, too :)

#6. Real World Las Vegas...thoughts, anyone?


At first I thought Dustin was super cool/cute, but now I would rather just look at him and not have to listen to him (harsh but true). Nany..what are you doing? Adam is not a good catch.

#7. You had to know this was coming. Where the HECK are you, Spring?! Just because I'm allergic to you and got sick doesn't mean I wanted you to go away. You can come back anytime now...like, now-now.



xo. katie



3.29.2011

The Dirty Dozen + a Recipe

This is just one of the 1,983 reasons why I love google. I literally look up everyythingg on google. When I first started shopping for more organic produce, I wasn't sure which fruits and veggies have the highest pesticide residues until I found the Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group. I now know what is worth the extra money to buy organic and what isn't.

I saved this list as a "note" on my iphone so when I'm at the grocery store I can check it easily to remember everything {until I get them memorized}. Now I will share the list with you :)


Here's what they call the Dirty Dozen...

12 Most Contaminated:

Fruit:
-Peaches
-Pears
-Apples
-Cherries
-Strawberries
-Raspberries
-Nectarines
-Grapes

Veggies:

-Celery
-Spinach
-Potatoes
-Bell peppers

12 Least Contaminated:
-Onions
-Avocado
-Sweet Corn (Frozen)
-Pineapples
-Mango
-Asparagus
-Sweet Peas (Frozen)
-Kiwi
-Bananas
-Cabbage
-Broccoli
-Papaya


I promised you all that I would share some vegetarian recipes I've been cooking. Here is one of my favorites. My husband and I love stuffed peppers (posted a recipe before) so I knew I had to find a vegetarian way to make them. I found this recipe through Vegetarian Times and then realized Krysta @ My Life In Food makes this recipe too!

It's super flavorful and is packed with protein from the quinoa and black beans. I love me some quinoa. If you haven't tried it before, you should! It's pretty simple to cook and goes with many different foods.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers:



Ingredients:

-1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
-2 tbs. olive oil
-2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
-1 Tbs. ground cumin
-2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
-1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
-2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
-1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
-3/4 cup quinoa
-3 large carrots, grated (1 1/2 cups)
-1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese
-4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise

 
Directions:

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes.

ENJOY :)

This serves 8 and freezes well for future meals. If you want to speed up the cooking time~ I cook the peppers in boiling water first until soft (not limpy) so that I don't need to cook them in the oven as long. Mine took about 30 minutes. Also, I used a can of tomatoes with green chilies for an extra kick.

xo.katie

3.28.2011

Coupons -Yes or No?

So, while we had a great weekend in Cleveland, I don't have that much to share today and unfortunately I brought back a nasty cold with me so I don't feel all that good. I had the ultimate test thus far since becoming a vegetarian - weekend food, fast food, and late night food. Since we weren't at home, we ate out a lot and I had to be extra careful about what I snacked on after a late night at the bar. However, I passed with flying colors! I'm still feeling great and am excited to have another week behind me.

I'm sporting this new lavendar color nail polish that my cousin-in-law's girlfriend, Cara, got me...

it's Essie - Lilacism and I love it.

While visiting with Billy's family at home, his brother's girlfriend told us all that she is now an avid COUPON clipper and has gotten a ton of things for FREE from the grocery store. Whaaa? Her total recently at Giant Eagle was $85.00 but with her coupons she only paid $12.00!!! How amazing is that? Coming from someone who throws away our weekly Giant Eagle ads to clear space off our counter and has never {maybe once?} used a coupon in her life, I wanted her to teach me how to be a kick ass coupon clipper.

Now don't get scared, I don't plan to be featured on the upcoming documentary Extreme Couponing on TLC or anything.



I was interested though, especially because of making the switch to eating more organic foods..we all know how EXPENSIVE it can get. It takes a lot of work but she did give me some tips on how I can save a lot of money by using them.

So now I want to ask you all..do you use coupons when you go to the grocery store? Have you seen that it's worth it or too much work?


and just because no post is ever complete without a picture of our little man...

{I be lovin' roadtrips momma...}

PS-Yes, I did lose a bet this weekend to Jess {and an email war with Allison} but I will NOT be blogging about it. I don't need their heads getting any bigger from their win over my beloved Buckeyes. Losing means I have to wear a UK shirt for one whole day that will probably be freakishly long but a bet is a bet and I will live up to it. Even if it means secluding myself in my office/house all day & night so no Buckeye fans here in Ohio see me in it.

3.25.2011

Skinny Biatch - READ!


I mentioned after we got back from Florida that I finished reading Skinny Bitch but I never got a chance to share my thoughts on it. Until now. I also wanted to have some time after reading the book to implement some of their strategies into my daily life before I reviewed it. I don't have time to go into major details and thoughts on it - I'll let you all be the judge after you read it! But I will say a couple things. This is my kind of book. I really enjoyed how Rory and Kim wrote this book...it kept my attention and had me laughing on almost every page. You really have to have a sense of humor while reading this and hopefully you don't mind a few cuss words every other paragraph.

This book stresses the importance of being a vegetarian and eating organically as much as possible to become a 'skinny bitch' and live a healthy life. I do agree with many of the chapters in this book, but I don't however obviously believe that you HAVE to be a vegetarian to be skinny. What I really took away from this book and often found myself shocked at (WITH the mouth open saying "OMG! Billy, I can't believe this!") were the parts about how the animals are killed (that was extremely difficult to read), what chemicals actually go into the meat you eat, what information the FDA hides from you, artificial sweetners, and the chapter on pooping. Yes, pooping. dropping the kids off at the pool. Billy even read a few chapters in this book after I kept reading certain lines to him and he too was shocked. It's an eye opening book that's for sure.

I knew right after I finished this book that I wanted to make some MAJOR changes. I already do eat pretty healthy and buy a lot of organic produce, but I wanted to make more of a change...

I decided that I'm going to try and become a vegetarian. I'm not saying I will forever be a vegetarian, or that I'm giving up meat completely, but I haven't ate it since and I feel wonderful. The only thing I am going to eat is fish..but I am going to limit it to maybe once a week since I am just starting off. I have noticed a significant difference in how much more energy I have and even how much better I'm sleeping at night.

My first step to this change was to CLEAN out our pantry and refrigerator. CLEAN HOUSE you could say. I threw away all baking items that aren't good for you (white flour, sugar, etc) and organized our pantry by putting the healthy things in front on eye-level shelves and the not-so-good foods (I threw out most though..sorry Billy) on the higher shelves. I absolutely love that I did this and would recommend this to anyone. We then went to Whole Foods and stocked up on all organic items..fruits, veggies, hummus, yogurt, beans, quinoa, agave nectar (to replace sugar), and the list goes on. We pretty much bought out a lot of Whole Foods. One of the small lessons I took away from the book is that spending the extra money to buy organic foods is worth it...you are what you eat. I spend tons of money on clothes, shoes, makeup, etc but I can't go the extra mile for my health?!

So let's fast forward to now. I haven't ate meat and I've only had fish (shrimp) once. Billy is still eating meat occasionally but he has actually been enjoying the vegetarian dishes I have made for dinner. I'm proud of him for cutting back a bit on meat. What am I making for dinner you ask? I will post some recipes next week, but I have been making a lot of veggie stir frys, black bean quesadillas (yumm!), and quinoa stuffed peppers. I never realized before how many options there are but there is.

I hope to continue with this vegetarian & eating natural/organic foods journey for a while so if you all are interested, I can continue updating you all. Hopefully this wasn't too boring to read, but I felt it was important to share as health is the #1 thing in my life and I wanted to document when I started this!

I would LOVE to hear from those of you who have read this book or those of you who are vegetarians now. And for those who arent..maybe this will inspire you to read the book! :)

and because no one likes a post without pictures...


have I mentioned how much I loveee avocado's? I could eat them by the spoonful. and I do.


have a great weekend!

xo. katie.

3.24.2011

I Be Guest Bloggin'




Hey hey ladies! Happy Thursday!

Tonight is the season finale of the Jersey Shore...who's going to watch it? I know I will be. Can I get a cabs ahh hereee?


Today I'm guest blogging for the lovely Lauren @ Tickled so make sure you hop on over to her blog to see a list of my spring must-haves.

xo katie.

3.23.2011

Wednesday Lovin'

I almost didn't have time to blog today but here I am...

a short version of WILW for you all!


Make sure to go to Jamie's blog and link up, too.
ALL the cool kids are doing it.


I'm {loving}: the dream Billy told me he had last night. It was this: We were in Ireland and Billy was cutting the grass somewhere but I was yelling at him telling him I need to go get some beer (burr) to get our drink on!!
Then, via text this morning he told me, "the funny thing is I can picture you doing that.."
I swear, I'm not an alcoholic.

I'm {loving}: how GREAT I feel not eating meat!! 5th day people, 5th day. I'm not completely giving it up forever, but am majorly cutting back.
I will update more on this later.




Speaking {eh, typing?} of that...

I'm {loving}: the vegetarian Tex Mex quesadillas and cucumber salad I made for dinner last night from Krysta! Billy gave me the stamp of approval..big deal.

I'm {loving}: that we are headed to Cleveland this weekend to Billy's home-home to see his family and friends!

I'm {loving}: Olivia Palermo's hair, skin, clothes..ok, everything...



I'm {loving}: that we (yes, Billy too) COMPLETELY reorganized our master closet the other day. It's now free of random clothes, shopping bags, etc on the floor and is sorted by colors & type of clothing! I just love it!



What? you don't believe this is my closet?

::tear:: it's not. A girl can



I'm {loving}: this mascara. Very, very, good...me likey.



I'm {loving}: our precious fur baby!

Just wanna squeeezee him...

(taken during closet cleaning)

Last but not least, I'm {loving}: my other half :)



xo katie.

3.22.2011

That's What Blog Girlfriends Are For...

Yesterday I talked about how over the weekend the husband and I went to the Lil' Wayne concert. I wanted to share today about what else I did over the weekend...you know, the thing that all most girls love to do...

SHOP! (duh)

But this shopping experience was a little different...Jess {from Polka Dots, Pearls, and Pink OH MY!} and I have became such great friends after meeting through our blogs that we decided to 'virtually shop' together! Why not?! We both loveeee to shop and since we couldn't be together we decided to call eachother while we were both at our locals malls and chat while we were shopping around!

Then, when we tried things on that we were unsure about buying we sent pictures to eachother to get the others opinion! Haha it was SO much fun & felt like we actually got to shop together!

Here's a look into our virtual shopping day...

Now ladies, no judging our apperances in these pictures..unwashed hair, minimal makeup, etc.

First up - TJ Maxx



Jess


Muah

we both ending up buying those dresses!

Now on to the mall I go...



this is a bad pic but this jumpsuit is soo cute & comfy..I had a coupon and got a great deal!
from Macy's



Jess lookin' purty in pink...

Then, I made my way to Francesca's (one of my favvvorite stores) and started wondering if this virtual shopping was a good idea since we were both working our way to being broke... ;)


{light pink polka dot top...Me: "What do you think?!"...Jess: "Get it!!!"}


a chunky silver necklace I also bought from Francesca's




Jess workin it in Ralph Lauren...
She's adding a wide belt to this!

With other various tops and dresses in between (not all shown)...our virtual shopping trip had to come to an end due to excessive spending.

But not before I made a pitstop at Yagoot
and made her jealous with my Fro-yooo!!! ;)


yum.

During my trip, I decided that it would probably be a smart idea to come home with something for the hubs so I bought him 2 shirts. The man doesn't enjoy shopping so I'm typically his personal shopper and I have no problem with that! I love picking out clothes for him :)

But it does come with one little rule..
he has to model them for me after (and subject himself to this pic on my blog hehe)


the compliant model of mine.


Soo do any of YOU ladies do this when you are shopping and you aren't with your girlfriends?! I loved having the second opinion and especially from someone who I met via blog world :)

xoxo.

3.21.2011

If You Got Money...

and you know it, take it out of your pocket and show it give it to me!
just kidding.

I could only be talking about one thing here...my man Lil' Wayne.



Billy and I went to his concert Saturday night. He is currently touring with Travis Barker (from Blink 182), Rick Ross, and Nicki Minaj. I know some of you may not be into rap concerts, but seriously, this was tied for thee best concert I've ever been to. What I mean by that is..it's tied with Lil Wayne's first concert tour I went to back in 2009. He puts on amazing shows. For reals.

We had tickets in a suite from my work that were straight back from the stage and had the perfect view of everything going on. Of course, we pigged out on all the free food and drinks {wine, beer, etc} in the suite. Loved it.

All of the opening acts were really good...however, I could have done without one of them {Travis probably even though he rocked it!} because let's be honest I was really only interested in seeing Weezy do his thang on stage. That he did. I was dancing/white girl rapping the entire time. I was pretty impressed with myself..I knew almost all the lines in all his songs. Billy wasn't surprised..he knows I got mad skills.



Nicki Minaj

Lil' Wayne & Nicki

the Young Money lovers themselves.

Direct words out of my hubby's mouth after the concert: "Best yet..AWESOME..Killed it"

Conclusion?
Never underestimate the power of white girl rapping & we heart Weezy. still.

On another note--
I'm having issues finishing the book The Girl Who Played With Fire. I'm well into it (around page 350) but CANNOT seem to get into it even being that far along. This is why I haven't updated you all on it yet. I wish I could finish it but it's not keeping my interest. Has anyone finished this book and enjoyed the middle-end? I need motivation! he he

I hope everyone had a great weekend! :)

3.17.2011

HAPPY ST. PATTY'S DAY!!

....and a Top o the Mornin' to ya!



I grew up celebrating St. Patricks Day. My Dad's side of the family are hardcore Irish people I tell ya. I have pictures from when I was 4 or 5 in a "Irish Girl" t-shirt. In college, we celebrated sometimes starting as early as 7am. Man, do I miss those days!

Today, I'm decked out in all my green apparel (light up shamrock necklace, beads, bracelet, green sweater..) in anticipation for when I'm off work and can go celebrate this holiday the right way in this beautiful weather!

If you aren't planning on celebrating today, atleast treat yourself to one of these bad boys...


the shamrock shake from McDonald's
Mmmmm...SO good.


Here are some pictures that really make me smile today.












{you didn't think I'd forget about my favorite movie filmed (some) in Ireland..did you? Gerard..so so sexy}



{this actually has nothing to do with St. Patricks Day..but I can just hear him singing this song in PS. I Love You and had to include it just because he is that good looking}

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last but not least...


What do you do to celebrate?!
I made mint brownies last night but that's pretty much the extent I go (besides some green beers!) I would love to make corned beef one day - maybe
l'll put that on the list for next year :)

I hope everyone has a great GREEN day!

3.16.2011

what i'm loving wednesday.


We're halfway through the week!
 That means it's time for WILW with Jamie!
I'm {loving}: that I ran 5 miles last night :)

I'm {loving}: my new nail polish that I mentioned yesterday!

Look familiar?



It's Essie - Fiji worn by Emily on the Bachelor.

I'm {loving}: that tomorrow is my favorite holiday of the year...ST. PATTY'S DAY! It's going to be 65 and sunny here in the OH-IO and I will be celebrating all night long at our favorite place called Flannagans! They set up a huge tent and have around 10 bands that play there throughout the day..it's pretty awesome.

I'm {loving}: my new Target finds.



I found this hot pink embellished bathing suit top that I said, I.must.have.this immediately after I saw it. I'm pairing it with black bottoms! I liked the black bottoms better instead of the hot pink. The shoes...$15.00..I call them my TOMS knockoffs...they are SO comfortable and by now you know that I love the navy stripes :)


I'm {loving}: how much energy I have from eating healthy and switching a few things up in my diet!

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I'm {loving}: that this coral blazer I bought pictured below went on sale and I bought it in black for $18.00! I really need to buy things other than stripes.

..the coral one I love so much..


the black


I'm {loving}: FEATHER earrings! I just bought this fun pair and a black pair just like them...



I'm {loving}: my husband! I feel so blessed everyday to be married to him.



I'm {loving}: as usual, my pom pup, Rocky!


I'm {loving}: all of my readers! you all are so sweet & I love chatting with you all!

xoxo.
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