Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Burger Time

Hi there!

I hope you all had a fantastic Memorial day! :)

I'm sorry I didn't get to your Monday happiness post yesterday, but I'm just gonna go ahead and assume that I didn't need to give you a reason to be happy this Monday, because I'm hoping you all had the day off to relax in the sunshine.

Some exciting things happened around here yesterday!

1. It was 90 degrees & sunny, which meant it was time to officially break out the shorts, which made me realize how badly I need a tan SO happy!

2. I was able to do my first real BarBri reading on our porch in the sunshine with my morning cup of coffee:


3. Justin brought me home a present:

A petunia plant!

I had been dropping hints about how much I wanted to get a plant for our balcony, and he rationally reminded me that we had some more important things on our list to take care of first.

A few hints too many, and proving that whining works what a nice guy he is, he surprised me with the plant of my dreams! :) Now it's time to put that green thumb to the test.

After what turned into a long day of reading, it was time to get crackin' on our Memorial Day barbecue.

Yesterday, Justin & I were talking about how much we wanted to go to Whole Foods to get a couple of their special burgers to grill.  They have all sorts of yummy premade burgers -- including one favorite: the buffalo blue cheese burger!

Instead of making the long(ish) drive up to a Whole Foods from our new hood, and dropping a small fortune on our patio party, I suggested that I whip up some homemade buffalo blue cheese burgers.

I did some searching online, and combined the ingredients from the best recipes I could find.  Here's what I came up with:

Jessica's Buffalo Blue Cheese Burgers

Here's what ya need!: 

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey (I used ground sirloin, with only 4% fat)
2 tbsp dried parsley flakes (obvi you could use fresh!)
1 palm-full of grill seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. Frank's buffalo sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese

I also decided last minute to kick it up a notch with 1/2 tsp. of chili powder!

Step #1: Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl:

If ya don't mind getting a little duuurrrtayy, use your hands! ;) 

Step #2: Patty cake patty cake.  Time to make those patties.  

I have a top secret trick for you to get perfectly shaped patties! Use a good-sized lid to a Tupperware container or jar, covered in a piece of saran wrap, like so: 

Then, press about 1/4 of your meat mixture (to make a quarter-pounder, duh!) down into the lid, and form it to fit the lid, taking off any excess meat, or adding a little more, to fill it out. 

Step #3: Stack your patties on a plate with some wax paper to keep them separated, and place them in the refrigerator for about 30 to 45 minutes to chill & bind together. 

Step #4: Now it's time to grill! I let Justin take care of the grillin', preferably while I sip on an ice cold beverage or eat come chips & salsa! ;) I think you have to grill them for about 5 minutes on both sides. 

Sizzle sizzle!! 

Step #5: Serve up your burgers on a wheat bun or Arnold thin with your favorite condiments, and make sure to balance it all out with some tasty greens! 

I absolutely LOVE green beans.  They remind me so much of my Grandad, who used to grow them in his back yard. 

Yumm yumm in my tumm. 

So there you have it! :) Pull out this recipe to impress your main squeeze or some friends at your next barbecue.  

I immediately documented the recipe and stashed it away for more sweet summer nights in my handy dandy recipe box: 

Betty Crocker in training! :) 

I'm off to study my booty off, and get in a schweaty run with a fan-freaking-tastic new playlist, which I will share with you all tomorrow.  Woo hooo!

Have a fantastic afternoon & night, friends! 



Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Work in Progress

Hello, everyone!

Happy, happy Sunday! :)

I am SO SORRY that I missed a few days of blogging.  Things have been a moving frenzie here.

Packing felt like I procrastinated studying for a big test and spent 2 days cramming for it.  The actual move took more out of my body than I even knew I had.

We ended up doing about 75 percent of the work ourselves.  We rented a uhaul and ever so thankfully had Justin's dad in town for about 2.5 hours to pack up the truck with the heaviest items, and the rest was on the two of us.

Great news...

We did not kill each other yet!

We have been in great spirits, so excited to be in our new place, and so happy that we moved on a Friday before a long weekend, with tons of time to unpack and get settled.

Thinking back on it, I realized I've never moved on my own before.  I've always been super fortunate to have lots of people helping me out, and I haven't had to so much as lift a dresser throughout my years of moving.

This time, that was not the case.  I was doing things left and right I didn't know I could do -- lifting our flat screen t.v., couches, dresser, you name it.  It is times like these that I remember that I work out not just to look good, but also to gain the strength and stamina to take on strenuous activities like this weekend's move.

The place is finally coming together, and Justin & I are walking around with big smiles on our faces.  I told him I feel like we live in a palace now, because we have so much space and the place is so beautiful.  I get excited that I can now choose which bathroom to use, I have 2 closets all to myself, and I can say things like "oh, it's in the second bedroom."

Another thing I'm excited about:

Morning coffee on our balcony! :)

Our patio furniture fits perfectly on the balcony.  I am so excited to have our first bbq out there.

Here's a little sneak peak at the place:

Where the magic happens! ;):

And the master bedroom (still needs some pictures & such, but at least we have a bed, people!):

As far as the food situation goes, I'd give myself about C+ to a B- right now.

I took my own advice by making sure to have oatmeal, some yogurts, a little fruit, some peanut butter & jelly, and some sandwich thins on hand.  This selection was good enough for some breakfast, snacks, and a light lunch, but I must say, I've been starving the whole time we've been here.  I am really craving a big salad with some chicken, and a home cooked dinner.

On that note, we are off to brave the weather (some insane storms rolling through the area) to go to the grocery store & Costco (aka free sample heaven!) to pick up some essentials and something to make for dinner tonight.  A bbq was on the agenda, but we will see if the weather decides to cooperate.

Hope you all are having a very nice long weekend!

See ya back here tomorrow :)



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Love Handles

Good afternoon, everyone, and happy hump day to ya!

I was hoping to get this post up in the morning, but, once again, I was up a little later than I wanted, and decided to let myself sleep about a half-hour longer this morning.  

Our wonderful cable company, lets just call them "fail-cast," accidentally turned off our cable & Internet 3 days early last night, right as the Bulls were about to go into overtime w/ the heat, so needless to say -- we were on the phone for quite a while trying to sort that out {it is still not on, and someone's gonna hear it if I don't get to watch the AI finale tonight!}. 

Today, lets talk about love handles.  

{No, I am not talking about muffin tops, although they are an interesting phenomenon.}

I've had quite a few lovely ladies asking me lately how I handled moving in with a b.o.y. for the first time, with respect to maintaining my waistline while merging 2 different "eating styles." 

First, I must point out, that I certainly did not crack this conundrum on the first try.  

Justin & I actually kind of "lived together" for a couple of months following our senior year of college.  He was taking a summer class, and I was not in the mood to leave the greatest place on earth (also known as Bloomington, Indiana) quite yet. 

This summer-o-fun happened just shortly after we started dating.  

Combine trying-to-cram-in-every-last-slice-of-pizza college-style eating with what I'd call the "puppy love" phase of our relationship, and you gain about 10 pounds (or wait, was that me??).

I had not discovered the joys of cooking yet, my idea of a workout included winding my legs around on the elliptical for about 30 minutes, and almost every meal was seemingly washed down with an ice-cold brewski.

Recipe for disaster, but also one of the greatest summers of my life.  

I was truly the happiest I'd been in years, and the smile on my face made the love handles on my waist almost invisible to me. 

Fast forward about 1 year.  I had finished my first year of law school (yahooo!), was finally starting to take off those college lbs, and was dabbling in cooking thanks to my then-roommate, Lauren (thanks again missy!!).

Justin & I were also about to move into an apartment together, and I was determined not to regain my love handles. 

It certainly wasn't all green beans & chicken breasts at first (and, actually, it still isn't, because that would just plain STINK).  The getting settled-in meant tons of pizza, Chinese...you-name-it delivery, and very little nutrition.

Once the dishes were unpacked, the healthy meals did not immediately follow.

I was still pretty inexperienced with cooking, and we spent many-an-evening eating hamburger helper and sodium-packed crock pot meals.  I was also still eating most of my lunches, and many breakfasts, from a restaurant on the go.

I'd say it took me a good 6 months to really get away from the processed foods, start healthifying my recipes, and make a commitment to preparing 95% of our meals at home.  It wasn't necessarily an easy transition, but my body certainly thanked me for the effort & change.

Reflecting back on the mistakes and successes I had in combining my eating with Justin's, I have come up with some advice for you all.  Hopefully this will be helpful if you are either about to move in with your significant other, or if you are currently living with them and feel like the situation has been contributing some lingering "love handles." 

1. When you first move in, have quick, simple, meal options on hand.  Forget about running to Target to grab that shower curtain.  Get yourself to the grocery store and, at the very least, pick up some whole grain cereal or oatmeal, milk, eggs, yogurts, granola or protein bars, sandwich thins or wheat bread, natural peanut butter, lunch meat, low fat cheese, some basic sandwich-making condiments, and fresh fruit.  This will make for some quick breakfasts, lunches, and maybe even dinners as you get settled.  It might even save you a few pounds in your first week of cohabitation bliss! :) 

2. Once you are settled in, start with some very basic, simple-ingredient-packed dinner options.  As a very inexperienced cook, I started with this chicken & rice bake recipe, shared by Justin's Grandma Ted! I used whole grain rice, healthy request soup, and low fat cheese, to make it a little more waistline friendly. Also, make sure to stop off and pick up a Crock Pot, because it IS possible to make very healthy, dummie proof & delicious recipes in this wonder-invention (just watched the salt-filled soups they always want you to add!).  Try some shredded pork or chicken, and you will have meals for at least a couple of days. Another incredibly easy & healthy recipe is my Chicken Parm-a-mazing, which will surely make a beginner cook shine! ;)

Stay away from boxed meals, frozen dinners, carry out, and delivery.  These things are okay in moderation, but should not be made a habit around any household, in my opinion. 

3. Get your veggies! There are certainly nights where we have a more "manly" meal, because, you know, the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach! On nights where we are doing something like grilling burgers, or having a hearty lasagna, I always try to serve up a humungo side of vegetables, which I make sure to finish.  This usually fills me up so that I don't finish everything else on my plate -- and it certainly keeps me from running back for seconds. 

4. Baby steps.  If it's your significant other, not yourself, who is controlling the cooking, and he/she has a tendency to "fatten things up," start encouraging some healthy baby steps, like using EVOO instead of butter, low fat dairy instead of full fat, and whole grains.

If you don't feel comfortable telling him/her to make these changes, maybe you can suggest cooking together some nights, and you can take control of at least one healthy side to add into the mix. 

5. It's all about the portions.  If your meals are starting to look more like mac & cheese than salmon & veggies, your very best bet is to portion control.

Serve up your mac & cheese up in a smaller bowl (consider taking out some of the pasta & adding grilled chicken & broccoli!).  Cut yourself a small piece of lasagna. Take only 2 slices of that frozen pizza, instead of 3.  Eat a healthy snack, like some unsalted almonds or a bowl of Greek yogurt about 1 to 2 hours before dinner so that you are less likely to over-do it with the french fries.

Drink lots of water, be mindful, and save second helpings for special occasions. Lets face it, life would be NO FUN if every meal was fit for a skinny supermodel. I truly believe you can still have all of the foods you love, if you exercise some control and moderation.

I hope these suggestions can help some of you who are currently struggling with the merged "eating styles," and ease your fears if your anxious about what your upcoming move might do to your waistline.

If you have any personal questions on this subject, always feel free to email me at: brighteyesandbushytales@gmail.com, I'd love to hear from your & share stories! :)   

**Something to talk about: Your turn!! What suggestions do you have for newly-roommated couples?? What was the most difficult diet-related challenge you faced when you moved in with your significant other?? 

Have a great night, & cross your fingers for my cable!!! :) 



Stripes & Bows

Hi friends & fashionistas! :)

Bar studying has begun, and I've managed to put on jeans all 3 days so far -- 3 cheers for me!

Good thing I didn't put away my warmer clothes and shoes yet, because the weather has been all sorts of cray-zee here in chi-city lately.  Today, I woke up to a thunderstorm and 50ish degrees, and it is now 69 degrees and sunny.  Go figure!

Here's today's look:

{Sorry for not looking @ the camera! I'm going to be an attorney, not a photographer!} 

Jeans: Modern Low Rise Straight (in Demi Curve) via Levi's Curve ID
Long Black Tank Top w/ Lace Neck Detail: Target
Long Black & Tan Striped Open Cardigan: aryn K. via Macy's 
Black & White Polka Dot Bow Headband: Target
Pearl Earrings: Target (I swear I do own other earrings -- guess I need to start being more creative!) 
Black Suede Loafers: Steve Madden (verrrrry old!) 

Close up:

Close up of the headband + awkward face:

I'm a huge hair-accessory fan -- especially on days where I am throwing my hair up into a ponytail.

I'm gonna keep riding the headband train for as long as I can before I actually start feeling like a 5-year-old, kay?! ;)

This look worked out well today with the rain (hair up was a must!), except I should have opted for rain boots, because my feet were pretty well soaked all day.  No sweat, the sun is shining now, and my tootsies are drying!

Side note -- if any of you girls are in the market for a well-fitting, inexpensive pair of jeans, stop into a Levi's and check out their new(ish) Curve ID line.  The jeans I have on today are one of the best fitting pairs of jeans I've ever owned, they were only $59.50, and I needed no hemming @ all! Pretty saweeet if ya ask me! :)

**Something to talk about: Do you ride the headband train? What's your go-to rainy day outfit?

See ya'll a little laters!



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spin Love

Good morning sunshines!

How are you doing this AM?

I'm feeling a little groggy this morning, stayed up a little bit past my bedtime last night packing up a couple of boxes for our move this weekend.  I'm sure it's nothing a pretty cup of coffee can't cure!

So yesterday, I was telling you guys about how I went to spin class over the weekend, and loved it.  I've been to a few spin classes over the past several weeks, and I keep asking myself why I took such a long break from it.

Around this time last year, I used to spin about 3 times a week (spinning was to me then what Barre is to me now). I think maybe I just got burnt out on it (which tends to happen with me, I apparently have the fitness attention span of a 4-year-old).

Well, the love affair is back in full force now.

I missed you Mr. Bike.  Please kick my booty!!

My fitness philosophy as of late has been trying to incorporate some high-intensity cardio with low-to-medium intensity, fat burning, workouts. 

Spin is an incredible cardio workout.  For those of you who might not be familiar, spin is a group exercise class, led by an instructor, where everyone rides their own stationary bike to heart-pumping music.   The instructor usually changes up the pace from fast to slow, and incorporates seated and standing "climbs," with varying levels of resistance (there is a knob on the bike that changes the resistance you feel when you push the pedals -- it can get very very thick at times). 

Here are the reasons why I love spin: 

1) Great music!! Maybe it's just me, but the I think 99% of the reason I love my favorite spin instructors is because of the playlists they come up with.  I seem to never leave a spin class without a new song to add to my iPodizzle.  

2) You get to go at your own pace.  Because you control the speed at which you turn the pedals, and you also get to decide how much "resistance" to add, you can create your own level of intensity.  This is good for me on days where I'm feeling a little more tired, and also days where I want to whip my butt into gear.  The instructors always say "this is YOUR ride." 

3) Lots of goo burning. Spinning classes burn TONS of calories.  I used to wear a heart rate monitor, and I never left the studio less than 500 calories lighter.  The truth is in the sweat.

4) Focus on the booty & thighs.  I have a very pear-shaped figure, so I need all the help I can get in these areas.  Spin class targets the butt & thighs, while simultaneously working on your core.  What more could you really want?! I always leave there with my buns-a-burning! ;)  

5) The time flies. I always get bored as h-e-double-hockey sticks if I spend more than 40 minutes on the treadmill or stairmaster, no matter how much Britney flows in through my ear buds.  Spin classes seem to fly by -- maybe it's because of the interval design, or maybe it's the music, but I rarely find myself looking at the clock.  I think spin classes are one of the easiest ways to get through an hour-long sweat sesh without counting down the seconds. 

If you're interested in giving Spin a try, check out your gym's exercise class schedule, as most facilities offer Spin as an option.  If you don't belong to a gym or your gym doesn't offer it, see if you can get a daily rate @ another facility that does have it! 

We are about to move, so I will have to say goodbye to my favorite Spin teachers.  Thankfully my current gym does have a branch near our new place, so I will just have to make some new biker friends! :) 

Off to day 2 of bar prep! 

Have a happy & healthy day, guys & girls!



Monday, May 23, 2011

Recap City

Hi everyone! :)

I hope you all are having a great day!

My first day of the Bar exam prep class went well.  I got a seat (thanks to my buddies Ashley & Erica, who are so on top of things!!), and things went smoothly, although I felt a little bit like I had ants in my pants.

You'd think sitting with through 7 years of higher education, I'd be able to handle a 9AM to 3PM day of "learning" like it's my job, but let me tell you, it was no so easy.

I found myself daydreaming a lot about our upcoming move, how I wanted to schedule workouts, and how delicious my afternoon snack was going to be:

Holy memories -- this Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna bar tastes EXACTLY like a Carmel deLite (the girl scout cookie now known as the Samoa).  I enjoyed this with a Venti iced green tea, while catching up on some of my favorite blogs.

Speaking of my favorite blogs, you guys should really check out Jenny's blog today, she has a fantastic post about body image, something that's been on my mind lately as my jeans have been feeling a little less than stellar with all of the graduation celebrations I squeezed in over the last week or so.  

And...speaking of graduation celebrations, there was a lot of that going on this weekend!

Friday night, we met up with one of my best friends, Megan, and her boyfriend, Brian, for dinner out in Oak Park.  We went to Avenue Ale House and had some yummy dinner (I had a turkey burger with some caramelized onions on top...yum yum in my tum) and some drinks.  It was soooo good to catch up and I was really excited to see the area for the first time, Oak Park is verrrrry pretty.

Saturday, I revisited an old friend of mine, the Spin class.  Oh spinning, why did I I ever leave you? I went to the gym determined to sweat all the way down to my toes.  Mission accomplished.  I topped to spin class off with a lackluster "six pack attack" class.  Those classes used to rock my socks off, but now they're kinda ho hum.  I think I'm just spoiled with the ab workouts at Barre, which are pretty tough to match.

Saturday night, something REAAALLLY fun happened.  I had wine club!! I'm not sure if I have talked to you all about my wine club yet, so let me do the honors of introducing you to these lovely ladies:

Our bunch gets together about once every couple of months, usually to enjoy dinner or an activity, and, of course, VINO! :)

Saturday night, we decided to celebrate my recent graduation with a trip to Lynfred Winery.  I have been wanting to go to Lynfred for so long now, so I was pumped.  After fighting some redonkulous traffic, and getting lost (hopefully I didn't leave my brain at law school), I pulled up to enjoy a delicious tasting with my friendies.  I became a Lynfred "member" Saturday night, so there will probably be many a mention of Lynfred on here in the future.

After Lynfred, we went over to Marissa's house, for a little dinner partay.

Left to right: Christina, Marissa, Laura, & moi! 

Marissa is SO SWEET.  She decorated the table, made me a "congratulations sign," and even had little menus & place cards.  It really made me feel so special {thank you so much again Marissa, you're pretty much amazing!}

(the above picture is courtesy of Marissa -- I clearly do not have these photography talents!) 

I feel truly blessed to call my wine club girls my friends -- they are such an incredibly fun, supportive, and clearly beautiful group of ladies! :)

Marissa made a delicious dinner, starting out with homemade fondue (melted Gouda + apples + bread):

Then moving on to a fresh Caesar salad with Parmesan that I think Marissa was grating for days:

And I ate my entree way to fast to take pictures.  It was angel hair pasta (I believe...) with meat & vegetable sauce, made from scratch.  I devoured it.  You are a cooking rockstar, Marissa!

Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, this happened:


This was an incredibly moist chocolate cake with icing made by Marissa's mother that should probably be illegal.

Yep -- I had seconds, and loved every bite.

Now that I'm drooling all over my laptop, it's time to go get dressed for a schweaty barre burn class.

Have a great night, folks, and I'll cya in the morning! Tonight's gonna be fishie for us -- tilapia for dinner & River Monsters on tv, put on your goggles. ;)



The Other Bar

Good morning, friends!

I am so sorry I missed you all on fuhhh-ReAkY Friday! Turned out to be a cray-zee day wrapping things up at work, and I didn't get to the post.

I wanted to pop in really quick to say good morning! :) Today I start BarBri, which is a 2-month(ish) long prep course for the Illinois Bar Examination.  So, basically, this is how it's gonna go:

Did you just spit out your morning coffee, because I know I did!!!!! Yikity yike yike.

This week, I will be sitting in a big auditorium with a bagillion of my fellow recent graduates, from 9AM to 3PM, for all of the introductory stuff.

To prepare for my first day, I chomped down a big bowl of overnight oats, and made up a snack pack (although I didn't actually see "lunch break" on the schedule, and I'm a little worried...):

Into the snack pack went a bag of strawberries, a 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt, a turkey/swiss/dijon/rasp. jelly sandwich on a wheat Arnold thin, a dark chocolate Dove Promise, and a Luna bar (chocolate dipped coconut) for my pre-Barre burn fuel.

Quick funny story: It is hilarious how confusing it is that I love the "Barre" exercise classes, I am taking the "Bar" exam, and I will be in "BarBri" every day this summer.  Justin is having a very difficult time keeping up.  A couple of weeks ago I was telling him I was going to "Barre" and he had a confused/worried look on his face asking me, "I thought that didn't start for another couple of weeks??" I got a chuckle.

Anyway, I did just want to pop in to say "good morning," because I've gotta get a move-on to get a seat @ BarBri.  If there's one thing I learned at law school, it's that law students are the biggest eager beavers in the world, so I'll be lucky if getting there a 1/2 hour early is enough!

After class, I'm gonna go plop myself down at sbux with the gift card my amazing friends got me for graduation, so I will be back with a weekend re-cap (it was a GOOD one!), and maybe a fashion post, if you're lucky! ;)

Need a little "case of the Mondays" pick me up? Take a look, you could be just 30 seconds away from happiness!

Have a great morning, ya'll!



This week I will be sitting in a big

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day to Night

Hi again!

I'm back for another fashion(ish) post, as promised.

I had a blast @ a little happy hour with my co-workers tonight, and now we're catching up on the American Idol action here @ the casa!

While I am now in my comfy stretchy pants, here's what I was wearing from day to night today:

Green long sleeve shirt: Forever 21 (also cheapitie cheap cheap)
Black draped vest/shrug/Idunnowhatyoucallit: Free People
Grey high-waisted pencil skirt: Banana Republic Outlet {sorry it's wrinkillie...I was sittin all day!}
Grey pumps: Nine West
Long Necklace: Indigo (boutique I used to work at growing up!)
Pearl Earrings: Targ-ay :)

Close up of necklace:

This necklace probably cost me $4, and I think I've worn it 100+ times.  I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I think it might have been worth it! ;)

As you can guess, I'm thrilled about there being 2 country singers in the top 3 right now...so I'm gonna enjoy the rest of the show, and I'll see you all tomorrow for fuhhhreakie FRIDAY!



Lunchtime Leftover Lucy

Hi guys & girls! :) 

How are you all doing today?!

Things moving right along over here this Thursday!  I’m super excited because I’m headed out to the happiest of hours with some co-workers after work today.  I will definitely be missing everyone when I’m gone studying for the bar.

But before the fun, I’ve gotta plow through some more piles on my desk. 

My energy this afternoon is courtesy of this delicious little lunch I packed for myself:

Leftover sliced BBQ meatloaf (see the recipe here) + Swiss cheese + Dijon on a whole wheat Arnold thin, red pepper squared (aka red pepper slices with roasted red pepper hummus), and, last, but certainly not least, a Dove promise (never lets me down!).

Interesting lunch, huh?

I think preparing your own lunch is one of the best ways to health-i-fy your diet, and it saves so much $$ too!  I’ve been doing really well with packing lunches these past few weeks, and I think a lot of my performance can be attributed to being more creative with leftovers.

I used to give leftovers the stank eye.

I rarely got a doggie bag because I knew I’d never eat the meal outside of the restaurant, and, I am sad to admit, but we used to throw out a lot of our leftovers from homemade meals (it’s really hard to get the portions right when you’re only cooking for two).

With an open mind, and a few of the following tips, I think I have successfully become a leftover “artist” {at least when it comes to lunch}. 

1) Stock up on some sandwich thins! 

I used to shy away from sandwiches for lunch because my breakfast is so carb-y and my dinner usually involves a least one source of carbohydrates.  

"Sandwich thins" allow you to use a lot of leftover meats (think shredded Crock Pot chicken or pork, or, as I had today, things like meatloaf!) in sandwich-form for minimal carbs (just over 20 grams) and maximum satisfaction.  Our freezer is now overflowing with them because I have been stocking up on the buy one get one free deals!

You can also try things like Flat Outs for low carb wraps or even bagel thins! Whateva floats your boat.

2) Spice up that salad!

Save any leftover vegetables, like roasted broccoli or green beans, and throw them into your daily salad.  This is a great way to keep things interesting, because we all know salads get boring FAST.

I have also been taking after Julie over @ peanut butter fingers, and adding some additional pizzazz to my good greens by topping things off with leftover meat, like shredded Crock Pot chicken, sloppy joe meat, sliced up baked chicken, you name it!

The most creative salad creation I’ve come up with to date was after our Cinco de Mayo fiesta – when I made a salad with leftover BBQ chicken, salsa, and the remnants of our mock-a-mole. 

I am still dreaming about that salad.

3) Invest in some schanzzie Tupperware.

Our Tupperware cabinet has been overflowing lately because I can’t seem to get enough of the Glad. 

Tupperware can make re-using leftovers much easier, by allowing you to freshly store all of your items in separate, highly portable containers. 

I recommend getting small “bowl-like” containers for things like soup, stews, or even your morning oats!

I am also currently singing the praises of the teeny tinny little “dip sauce” cups (see the one pictured in my lunch above), which have been allowing me to bring things like hummus, salsa, peanut butter, ketchup, and even (GASP) ranch dressing to spice up my lunches. 

Last, but not least, you guys know I am OBSESSED with my salad Tupperware contraption {Fit 'n Fresh Salad Shaker from Target}, which houses lots of greens, and now many lovely leftovers, to fill me up at lunch.

Keep an open mind, be creative, and try these “tips,” and you’ll be a Lunchtime Leftover Lucy, saving those dollas and some calories, in no time!

**Something to talk about: Are you a Lunchtime Leftover Lucy?  What tips do you have for making good use of leftovers?

Stay tuned for another fashion(ish) post later today!



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Fashion(ish) Post

I’m baaaaack! ;)

Hope you all are having a great day. 

I’m eating my random lunch right now {turkey, mustard, and cheese on an Arnold thin + hummus & veg + special K chips!}, and thought it would be a great time to do my first “fashion(ish)” post.

I say “fashion(ish)” because I, by no means, consider myself to be an expert on fashion, nor someone who has a style that any other girl would necessarily even want to emulate.  I leave the real fashion to my personal and blogger friend, Kinsey, who blogs over at inkinseyscloset.com.  You should check her out sometime! :)

When it comes to my personal “style,” I’d describe it as a mix of midwestern girl meets focus on comfort meets professional-wear meets likes to try new things.  That’s a mouthful – or in my case, a very full itsy bitsy closet!

I have decided to start sharing some of my outfits (emphasis on the “some” because I am about to start studying for the bar exam and expect to be lucky if I even throw on a pair of jeans each day) because: A) I think it’s kinda fun!, and B) I often find myself saying “I wonder where she got that (insert clothing item/piece of jewelry/pair of shoes/or bag) from?!”

So, let’s get to it!

Here is my outfit for to-dizzle:

Pearl Earrings: Target, but shhhh…some people think they are real, and I’m not telling! ;)
Sweater: J.J. Basics, via Nordstrom Rack ($16.99 hollaaaa!)
White Tank Top: Forever 21 (home of best basic tanks for only $4.99 a piece)
Floral Pencil Skirt: Focus = 2000 via Marshall’s
Belt: Came with the skirt (who says I’m not a bargain shopper?!)
Grannie Pannie Hose: Nordstroms, via Chicago Forgot it was May
Black Patent Leather Pumps: BCBG MaxAzria (got them 50% from the BCBG store 2 years ago with a new year’s dress and have worn.them.to.death.)

{Yes, I am officially a bathroom-mirror-picture-taking weirdo!}

I actually got this sweater to wear over my dress for graduation last Sunday, but when I tried the 2 pieces together, I didn’t think the combo looked right, so I went with the sweater you can see pictured here.  I thought about returning this sweater, but then realized I kind of loved it, and I need any excuse for more color in my wardrobe (black clothing lovers anonymous member, over here).

There you have it – the first BEBT fashion(ish) post.  Big day, folks! I will eventually make this into a page too. 

I promise I’m gonna get to those pages some day! ;)

**Something to talk about: What do you think? Do you like the idea of fashion(ish) posts?  Or should I stick to my day job?

See ya tomorrow fo reals this time!



Get 'er Done

Good morning friends!

Happy hump day, we're half-way there (ohhhh livin on a prayerrr)! :)

I have tons of plans with friends this week -- trying to squeeze it all in before bar studying starts.  Since I've been hooked on working out at night lately, I knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle to make myself wake up before work to squeeze in a few early-morning workouts this week.

Yesterday, I rolled out of bed, a little later than I had hoped, and rushed off to the gym to get in whatever kind of sweat was possible.

I had about 40 minutes, so I was determined to get in a little cardio.  I eyed the StairMaster, immediately yawned, and made a bee-line to the treadmill to knock out this interval set:

0 to 2
2 to 4
4 to 6
6 to 8
8 to 13
13 to 15
15 to 17
17 to 19
19 to 21
21 to 26
26 to 28
28 to 30
30 to 32
32 to 34
34 to 39
39 to 40(ish)

When I'm working through these treadmill workouts, I think "tummy tense, tushie tight, BREAATHEEEE." Whatever you gotta do! ;)

Make sure to get your arms pumping, you will look like a crazy 80s powerwalker, but I swear no one is looking at you (ok...maybe just a few people!).

{And, as always, don't start any new workout routine without talking to your doc!}

Here were my results from yesterday in case you're curious:

I was definitely sweaty satisfied afterwards, and I felt great all day! It also helped me to relax when I met my friend out for a little dinner/drinks, because I knew I already had it out of the way for the day.

This workout is a little more reasonable and equally as satisfying as the intense incline interval workout I shared with you a couple of weeks back.

If you want to give it a try, download my latest playlist, which goes really well with the sets.  I timed it so that the "power songs" hit right at the 5 minute running bursts.

Here's thaaa tunes:        

1) Good Life, OneRepublic
2) Shades Off (Dirty Radio Edit), X & Hell 
3) Somebody to Love, Justin Bieber
4) Rolling in the Deep, Adele
5) Happiness (Jump Smokers Extended Mix), Alexis Jordan
6) Masquerade, Ashley Tisdale
7) Dancing With Tears in My Eyes, Ke$ha
8) It's a Girl Thing, Jesse Lee
9) Gasoline, Britney Spears
10) Take Over Control (Radio Edit), Afrojack (featuring Eva Simons)
11) Kiss Me Slowly, Parachute

{all available on iTizzle!}

You're welcome! :)

Good good stuff! They're all fun songs even if you're not using them for a workout...I won't tell! ;)

I had a really great time catching up with my friend Sam last night @ Matilda in Lakeview.  We sipped on a little wine, and shared some chips + salsa + guac (fieesstaaa!) and a little flatbread.  It was delishhh, love that place!

The wine I had was awesome -- it was a red blend, and I need to go back and look for the name so I can share it with you all in an upcoming weekend night-in recipe post!

It's starting to sink in that I only have 3 days left at work before I'm gone for 2 + months, and that pile on my desk isn't dealing with itself, so I better get to it!

We are very excited over here for daaa bulls tonight.  I'm thinking a little barre burn before sounds just about right.

**Something to talk about: What are you doing for your workout today?!?!?!

Have a fan-tizzily-tastic day, and I'll see ya back her tomorrow on Thursday.  Man this week is flying by!