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Power Toast Sammie


I’ve been a bit MIA this weekend, but it’s because I’ve been so darn busy!


I didn’t take many photos on Friday, but did want to share this fabulous breakfast – a Power Toast sandwich! It’s been awhile since I’ve had Power Toast, but I was craving it Friday morning and decided to do two slices because I had a light lunch planned. I ended up sandwiching the bread so I could eat it on my work commute.

Friday was a super long day and literally non-stop (as most of my days seem…lol).

I had an extra long commute because I was working in a different office. Busy, long day at work. Then straight to Zumba for the auditions. The auditions were fabulous but I will say I was relieved at finally being on the flipside of things. It was so fun being there, cheering on my friends already as an instructor. :) Then I headed out for a beer with friends and then back home to get ready for an early morning.


Saturday morning started out rough and early. Coffee was a major help.


I made an egg and toast, but broke a glass while I was getting ready and was thrown into a rush. I ended up letting breakfast get cold and ate it all sandwich style…in my car again. lol

I was rushing because I was meeting friends promptly at 8:45am for an hour long drive to a Zumbathon out of town.


After teaching Thursday and doing class Friday, I won’t lie…I was tired! BUT…I still had a high energy, awesome time and even got to help lead a couple songs:

  • Let Me Think About It (solo)
  • Amartes Un Problema (a fave salsa)
  • Beautiful Liar (a gorgeous low song)

I love a good Zumbathon!


I brought sustenance for my friends in the form of Larabars! I went with Coconut Cream Pie (err…I know I still owe you a recipe for my real vegan coconut cream pie!)

Too bad I forgot to take a photo of my friends to share with you guys. Fail. lol


Once we got home, I relaxed with some Yogi Calming tea.


Tea quote of the day – “The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment.”

Love this!


I also had an apple.


I decided to try to be productive instead of blogging and did laundry and wrapped hubby’s presents (which were late! doh!).



Bailey ended up helping with the unwrapping.


Then, my friend Megan came over for dinner.


We had Earthfare spinach feta turkey burgers with homemade potato wedges (slow, but SUPER easy…I should tot share a recipe for them) and steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots, and cabbage).


And then we headed out to a wine bar for a wine and chocolate party for my friend Gina’s birthday. We considered doing something like this, but ended up heading to a different wine bar and bringing our own chocolate.

And now we’re at Sunday!

I have lots of food prep planned, plus house cleaning, organizing, and I don’t know…maybe some down time would be nice! lol

What have you been up to this weekend?

Power Toast + Pompeii


Wow, my back-to-back 2 days of zumba have officially kicked my hiney! The funny thing with zumba is though I’m super tired today, I can’t wait to go back to class! I have so much fun! I was tired today…lol. Not too tired to eat, though! I may or may not have hit the snooze button 10 times too many, but I still made time for breakfast.


Power Toast and nice hot coffee.

Speaking of Power Toast, have you seen my latest poll?

Have you tried Power Toast?

View Results

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Besides the caffeine, I love the comforting feeling of hot coffee.


Power Toast toppings: Barney Butter, pepitas, flaxseed meal, and hemp seeds.

Have you tried hemp seeds yet?! They’re the new chia!


Work is extra stressful this week. Thank goodness for good food and hot teas to help calm my nerves.

I had some yerba mate this morning.


Leftover turkey chili (thanks hubby!) with some Great Harvest honey WW bread on the side for lunch.


Tulsi tea in the afternoon.


Check out this tea bag trick – just wrap the paper/string around the handle to keep the bag from falling in.


My sweet tooth hit me hard today and I satisfied it with a chocolate-walnut brownie. I haven’t had a brownie in ages, but this one, from a local bakery, really hit the spot!

Thanks again to everyone for your wise breakup recovery tips. My friend and I took up one of the tips today and got pedis after work. Ahhhh!


She went pink.


I went with a slightly more coral-pink.

So fun! I love pedicures, but haven’t had one in probably a good year! I used to get them all the time!


When I got home, hubby had all the groceries we needed to make dinner…save one.



I got the last ingredient – fresh basil from our garden (thanks Mom!).


While I was in the Garden (click here to check out my Garden page), I couldn’t help but take another look at my green bean plants. They’re really springing up! So are the beets in there. Two of the nine green bean seeds I planted are not coming up, so I may put a couple more in…and possibly some more beets. ;)


Back inside, we whipped up dinner in a jiffy.

Appetizer – tomato, basil, buffalo mozzarella, balsamic vinegar salads.



Hubby chose vegetarian for dinner – Penne Arrabiatta with mozzarella and fresh basil. I did a play on this recipe (click) but without chicken.


Dessert – Galaxy Granola in cranberry orange with extra cranberries, chia seeds, and coconut flakes.


Did any one catch the special on TV tonight – The Last Day in Pompeii (video is online!)? I’ve been fascinated with that story since I was a kid. I even got to see some of the castings when the A Day in Pompeii exhibit came to town back in 2008. I thought I blogged some photos from the exhibit, but I never did! So, two years later…here they are:





The exhibit started with pottery, jewelry and other artifacts collected from the city.

It ended with the most dramatic exhibit showcases – the statues.











This last one is the most haunting. I can’t believe I took this photo with a point and shoot camera. The exhibit did a great job with lighting. That last room with the statues was so surreal.



After the exhibit, we ventured around Discovery Place.



What stories from history fascinate you the most? Besides Pompeii, I’ve always been intrigued by The Challenger explosion and the story of the Titanic.

Power Toast + Coconut Bliss


Now that our oven is back and working, I wanted something HOT for breakfast!


I made POWER TOAST! I had some new coffee – Fresh Market Cinnamon Hazelnut – so smooth and nutty – it was deeeelish!



I made spelt toast with:

  • TJ’s organic crunch peanut butter
  • sunflower seeds
  • chia seeds
  • organic shredded coconut


I had leftover turkey chili for lunch. The chili heated up really well! Instead of more cheese bread, I brought the more nutritious spelt bread and just ate a slice plain. What can I say? I love my carbs! Sometimes there’s nothing better than a slice of fresh-baked bread (ok it was baked yesterday, but still!)


I had a dentist appointment after work today. I had a cavity they had to fix! Boo!

I wasn’t in the mood for cooking after that (plus I’m trying to not use pots or pans when possible since we have no where to store them once they’re clean-can’t use the cabinets till our contractor is done with them).

So, I picked up a chicken pot pie at Earthfare.


Round #1



More cheesy toast! A splurge to celebrate hubby’s bday week.


Round #2

I have to say, I wasn’t crazy about this chicken pot pie. I think I like the Fresh Market’s better. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE you Earthfare – you are still my fave! I just wish this had more veggies and less fatty pieces on the chicken meat.

And now for something I’ve been wanting to try for awhile…



I also picked up some Coconut Bliss from Earthfare. Thanks to my parents, I always think of ice cream after seeing the dentist (they always took me to get milkshakes after my appointments). Since I can’t eat out because of Eat in Month, I decided to get some from the grocery store. I really wanted to try this Coconut Bliss after seeing it over at Veggie Girl’s blog.

I went straight to the Coconut Bliss in the ice cream section and would you believe…it was on sale! Hooray!


I got a container of the Dark Chocolate. mmmmm….


Just a wee bit served in a fun, wide mug.

This stuff was awesome! I love the whole chocolate-coconut combo anyways (it’s a fave in my yogurt!).

Budgets 101

Still keeping your New Year’s Resolution to get better with money? Maybe you’ve just always wanted to learn more about budgets or how to manage your money best? Then…

Remember to check out Fabulously Broke in the City’s third and last installment of Budgets 101! Click to view.


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Did you see my giveaway celebrating my new blog? I’m giving away some jewelry I made and some vegan chocolate chip cookies! Enter to win by next Thursday Feb 4th, 2010! Click to view details.  

Reader question: Do you prefer regular, soy, coconut-milk, or another type of ice cream?

TCL Power Toast

Good morning!

Did I mention I think I re-hurt my leg this past week? Yea. Sucks. Big time!

I was hoping it would feel better this morning, but alas…it didn’t. So, I’m trying to rest it today…currently icing.

Though my leg hurt and I was sleepy, I woke up and did a bit of cleaning up in the kitchen. Just hand-washed some dishes in the sink and wiped down the countertops.

Then, it was breakfast time!


I cracked open a new jar of Barney Butter! Nothing better than the first scoop, no?


Sun-kissed breakfast.


1/2 Christmas Blend + 1/2 Peppermint Creme. I’m kind of over the Christmas flavors, but I want to finish them. I’m hoping for new Fresh Market flavors to arrive soon!



I decided to make some TCL Power Toast for breakfast.

What’s Power Toast? Power Toast is a powerhouse of nutrition…on toast.


I started with a slice of Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat bread, which I toasted under the broiler in the oven (yea, we still don’t have a toaster…we haven’t found one we like!)

Power Toast Toppings:

  • Barney Butter (about 2 – 2 1/2 tbsp)
  • sunflower seeds
  • flaxseeds
  • organic unsweetened coconut flakes

So so good!


I was actually STUFFED after eating that Power Toast, so I’m saving my cookie for later.

Lots to do today, but my leg is making me re-consider.

Hoping to:

  • Work on a fabric/sewing project
  • Work on business cards for work
  • Work on business cards for me
  • Catch up on emails
  • Cook out at neighbor’s house
  • Rest leg
  • Ice leg
  • Rest leg more
  • Clean

What are you up to today?

Eat in Month 2015 Meal Plan Week 1


Eat in Month Meal Plan Week 1

I always say I’ll do a meal plan for the Eat in Month Challenge, but I don’t usually do one for every week of the challenge. I’m planning to do better this year. I’m also planning to share my meal plan in advance in case anyone else wants some meal inspiration for the week ahead.

Here’s my Eat in Month Meal Plan for Week 1

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I love cooking things that take longer on Sunday since I usually can plan ahead on Saturday. Also, I’m around most of the day Sunday to watch it. I’ll probably do most of my slow cooker recipes on Sundays.

  • Breakfast: Power Toast (whole grain bread, peanut butter, and chia seeds)
  • Lunch: Fried Rice (using leftovers – I took photos and may blog this recipe)
  • Dinner: Beef and 3-Bean Slow Cooker Chili (this is probably our most re-made of the recipes here on The Chic Life) and salad

Monday, January 5, 2015

I’m expecting Monday to be a challenge since it will be my first work day back post-holidays. Not gonna lie, I’ve been staying up a little too late and sleeping in a little too much. Monday morning is going to be tough. I’m hoping to keep eats/prep simple. I also usually do class on Mondays, so dinner will need to be easy and fast, too.

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs and whole grain toast
  • Lunch: Chili leftovers and salad
  • Dinner: Soup, salad, toast

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday is a night I typically like to dedicate to getting mid-week stuff accomplished. I usually have more time to cook, too.

  • Breakfast: Stovetop Oatmeal
  • Lunch: Turkey/cheese sandwich, chips, raw veggies
  • Dinner: Chicken stir-fry and rice

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Class night. Hubby is in charge of dinner.

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs and whole grain toast
  • Lunch: Turkey/cheese sandwich, chips, raw veggies
  • Dinner: Spaghetti and steamed cabbage (anyone interested in the spaghetti recipe?)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Class night again. Hubby’s on point for dinner.

  • Breakfast: Fried eggs and whole grain toast
  • Lunch: Spaghetti and cabbage leftovers
  • Dinner: Chicken in tikka masala simmer sauce with rice and green beans

Friday, January 9, 2015

I like to take it easy on Fridays post-work. Planning to make one of hubby’s faves for dinner.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday is a good day for cooking, but I also have to balance that with wanting to be productive. Sometimes I spend more time getting stuff done and don’t want to use a lot of time for food prep or cooking. I usually do class on Saturdays, too. I prefer light breakfasts before I workout, so oatmeal will do the trick.


Eat in Month Week 0 Eats

{Above – Eat in Month Week 0 Eats – click here to check out my Week 0 Challenge Recap}

Eat in Month Meal Plan Week 1 Notes

I was hesitant to post breakfasts above because I a) have been struggling to wake up early enough to cook and eat breakfast (I usually grab a bar on the way out) and b) usually prepare something based on how much time I have and what I feel like eating. When I have the time, breakfasts aren’t usually a challenge. I like to keep things around that are easy to make, so I usually have a few options every day. We’ll see how the plan goes.

Also, the meal plan above doesn’t include snacks. I like to keep almonds and snack bars at my desk in case I get hungry during the work day. I’m not adding them to the plan, but I’ll have some available in case I get hungry. I also have lots of great teas at my desk, which I’m hoping will replace my Starbucks trips.

For “soup” referenced above, I like to make big batches of soup and freeze the leftovers into individual portions. I have a couple options in the freezer at the moment, and I’ll pick one as needed. I may also make a new batch on Monday, time and energy permitting. These re-heat really easily on the stove.

Did you post a meal plan online? Feel free to share the link in a comment. Or comment below with your meal plan ideas or questions. Thanks for reading!

Insta-Chic {11/19/2013} – Auction Update, Healthy Foods That Can Be Unsafe, and Eats Lately


Hey everyone!

I hope you’re all having a great week so far. I had some fun posts (new green monster smoothie recipe, tips for reading labels clean-eats-style for busy people, and a Parisian Wardrobe update) lined up to blog for you guys, but the Online Bake Sale and Auction supporting the Philippines has taken precedence over the last week. I’m squeezing in a quick post to say hello to you guys! Anywho, back to the auction…I remember when I did the bake sale for Haiti back in 2010 that it was so much more work than I expected it to be, and this time isn’t much different. I’ve had some late nights, and I must have sent at least a hundred emails. I think about the auction from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. It doesn’t seem like it would take a lot of effort to coordinate some auction listings and set things up, but oh is it ever. But, this is work that I’m more than happy to do. The late nights, the many emails, and all the hard work will be worth it in the end. The auction goes live Thursday night at 9pm, and I can’t wait to see how things go!

We have almost 50 items donated, so now that most of the donations are in, the next thing I’m turning my attention to is making sure we get bids for all those items! I’m hoping we can raise at least $1,000, but if we can raise more, I’ll be so ecstatic! With roughly 50 items donated so far, if each listing raised $100, we could raise $5,000!!! Think we can do it?

If you’re interested in helping out, please help spread the word or consider bidding.

How the auction works at a high level:

  • Click here to take a list of the current auction listings and take note of anything you’d like to bid on.
  • On Thursday night (9pm ET 11/21/2013), I’ll publish a link to the Main Auction Listing page, which will have links to bid on each individual item (and will take you to the respective individual item page).
  • Each item will be set up with its own page.
  • Bidding is super easy – just check the comments of the page to see the highest bid and leave a comment with one that is higher!
  • Remember to only bid as much money as you’re comfortable donating to one of the two charities supported by this auction.
  • 100% of your donation will go to one of those charities, and you’ll get a little treat for your donation! Win-win!
  • After the auction closes, I’ll email the winning bidders with additional instructions. Essentially, you’ll make a direct donation to one of the two charities and forward me your receipt as proof of donation. Once I receive your proof of donation, I’ll send your email/contact info to the baker/donator who will reach out to you regarding your winning item. The two of you will take things from there (customizing your winning item, if applicable, and deciding when shipping will work best for both of you, or arranging local pick-up for the Charlotte, NC local items, etc.)


I’m so glad Google Docs are around for this auction. I have a huge spreadsheet set up that’s helping me stay organized. I’m planning to take a half day off of work on Friday so I can monitor the auction page and update current bids in this spreadsheet so we can calculate a running total. I’d love to keep you up-to-date with live information! That’s the plan. Hope I can do it!


All this auction work has me feeling like this (above). I actually snapped this photo when I was working on the auction late one night last week. My second-in-command, Bailey, just couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer, and he fell asleep on the couch next to me while I was typing away.


On to some eats…I found a new favorite flavor of bread at Great Harvest – 9 Grain Whole Wheat. I like this one a little more than Honey Whole Wheat since it’s not quite as sweet, which I think is more versatile. And do you see what I see? It’s the return of Power Toast! This is the 9 Grain with Earth Balance coconut peanut butter spread and chia seeds. This is such a great 5 minute breakfast when you’re running late for work.


My sister wanted to meet me with some friends who were all out of town for a conference. I had a hard time picking somewhere to go till I remembered Nan and Byron’s had just opened. We had a wonderful dinner there. The food was great and the atmosphere was laid back and comfortable. I finally got to try one of their cocktails – the sparking mojito. It’s delicious! I can’t wait to try some of the others – they’re so creative.


Did you know green skin on potatoes is toxic? Click here to read more on this Cooking Light article about not only potatoes but other healthy foods that can be dangerous.


And here’s dinner from last night – grilled chicken, homemade potato wedges, and steamed cauliflower from my family’s garden. Home-grown vegetables are so good! This cauliflower was nice and sweet and delicious with a light drizzle of melted butter.


That’s all for now! Stay tuned for more details on the Online Auction and Bake Sale for the Philippines! I can use all the help I can get spreading the word and rounding up interested bidders, so please share information about the sale if you can. I appreciate all your help and support, and I’m feeling the love from the blogging community. I’m so thankful so many kind people are interested in helping out because I couldn’t do this by myself. Let’s keep this momentum going to raise as much money as possible for the Philippines!

The power of one, if fearless and focused, is formidable, but the power of many working together is better.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (14th President of the Philippines)


Thank you for stopping by!

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