Long Work Day = Short, Quick, + Easy (Ravioli) Dinner

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Happy Tuesday to you!

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I stayed up late (per the usual) and rushed about this morning getting ready for work. Breakfast = Spring Blend coffee and Power Toast. with chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds all over Barney Butter. Boy did that coffee taste good with the toast today!

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I started work with Tulsi tea in Indian Breakfast with some sugar. Sometimes I’m good with one cup of coffee and sometimes I need a little more caffeine. I prefer my second cup come from tea.

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My one co-worker and I have been trying to plan a lunch for a few months now, but we’re always busy or out of town. Today, we actually had some time not in meetings at the same time and decided to go for a late lunch. I had a snack around noon to tide me over – Kashi crackers in honey sesame and Laughing Cow cheese (from my work stash). I made my co-worker a serving, too. That workaholic never eats! So many people I work with skip lunch all the time. I may not have time to eat lunch away from my desk, but I NEED to eat something. It’s so much healthier for you, too.

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For our lunch out, I had a breakfast wrap – egg white, provolone cheese, tomato.

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I was actually really excited to finish lunch back in the office because I had my marinated kale with me ready to taste test.

It was a WINNER! I can’t wait to share my recipe. :) Update – the recipe has been posted! Click here to view my marinated kale recipe!

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I caught a craving for chocolate when I got stuck late at work. Around 6pm, I dug into my desk stash – dark chocolate and a PB Ghiradelli square. I find myself liking mainstream (Snickers, etc) candy and milk chocolate less and less. I really want to get some nice, quality dark chocolate to keep at my desk for my chocolate emergencies.

I ended up staying at work till 7 pm and left feeling totally drained of energy. :( Cooking (or doing anything that took any amount of effort) was sounding less and less attractive. Take-out was sounding better and better.

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I got home and hubby suggested I de-stress with a quick walk with Bailey. Normally when I get home so late, I think about all the things I need to cram into the night in less time and try to not do “frivolous” things. Tonight, I decided a walk sounded like a good idea.

It was. The fresh air helped clear my mind a little.

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On top of that – I had a PACKAGE waiting to be opened!!

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Inside – neatly, carefully, and chicly wrapped Galaxy Granola!! I’ve been wanting to try this stuff forever!

This stuff is really cool because they bake their granola in applesauce instead of oil!

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Galaxy Granola was kind enough to send me 3 granolas to sample * – yes, for free FTC. :)

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Flavors I get to try: Vanilla Almond, Cranberry Orange, Not Sweet Vanilla. They all sound so fabulous – I can’t wait to dig in! In fact, I’m kicking myself that we don’t have yogurt on hand because I reeeally want to try some Galaxy Granola out tomorrow morning! Gah! I just love opening new things. As soon as I get them I want to test them out. :mrgreen:

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For dinner, I was so exhausted that I wanted to cook something that was both quick and easy.

I dug into one of my Foodbuzz samples, which I’ve been hoarding (but talked myself into finally using tonight) – the new Bertolli Arrabbiata sauce (f). I received these sauces for free as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.

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The sauce has a pretty good ingredient list – all pronounceable words.

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Nutrition info.

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Other ingredients: onion, sun-dried tomato (leftover from that yummy veggie lasagna), baby spinach…

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…local cheese raviolini (waiting for me in the freezer – plus some white wine to enjoy whilst cooking.

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Love my Wusthof knife.

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I think the smell of sauteed onions is intoxicating…yuuuuum!

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Chewy sun-dried tomatoes.

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Add sauce.

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Add chopped baby spinach.

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Niiice. This sauce couldn’t come together easier. I love it when you have something you can just toss this and that in and it comes together in snap. Who wants to think hard after an extra-long day of work.

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Cook pasta.

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Ravioli to sauce.

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Stir. Done! Piece of cake!

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Top with cheese and we’re ready to enjoy.

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Dinner is served with bread and wine.

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Seconds.

The sauce was lovely. I really appreciated the read-able ingredient list and the flavor was nice and slightly spicy with a sweet bite thanks to the sun-dried tomatoes I added. I really tasted the red pepper in the sauce, too, which was a nice change of pace from your average tomato-only-sauce. I would definitely purchase this sauce if I saw it in the grocery store. I think my add-ins upped the nutrition with extra veggies.

Quick + Easy Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomato, Arrabiatta Ravioli

This is a great meal for when you want to eat in but don’t have the energy to do a big meal This dinner whips up quickly and requires little to no measuring.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package frozen ravioli (I used cheese)
  • 1 jar arrabiatta sauce (I used Bertolli’s new flavor)
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (however much you want – I used about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add EVOO. Add onion, saute 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 60 seconds. Add sun-dried tomatoes, saute 60 seconds. Add sauce. Add spinach. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Meanwhile, boil water in a large pot. Once boiling, add salt. Add ravioli. Cook to lowest cook time (pasta will continue cooking in sauce later).
  3. Use a strainer to remove pasta directly from water and into the sauce. Add about 1/4 cup pasta water to the ravioli/sauce. Cook till ingredients combined, about 1-3 minutes.
  4. Serve with fresh-grated parmesan.

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A couple bites of dark chocolate for dessert. :)

I must say, I was feeling pretty drained and lazy after work today…I mean I didn’t get home till about 7:30pm. But, tapping into my Eat in Month skills, I avoided the urge to order take-out and threw together a super simple but satisfying ravioli dinner. I mean, Rachael Ray is right….sometimes it is easier and faster to just cook at home than get take-out!

Project Hydrate Day #23

I did about average today for Project Hydrate.

Consumed:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups hot tea

I missed my first-thing-in-the-morning water, which usually helps me get another glass of water in.

Randomness

I’m working on getting some really cool things in my OpenSky shop. Unfortunately, not everything I’m requesting is making it in, but we’ll get there. On the one hand, I feel like it’s taking forever to populate my OpenSky shop. On the other I know it’s because I’m all about quality over quantity & trying to be choosey about what I select to add. Only the best for you guys!! :)

I’m 3 fans away from 100 on my Facebook page. Who will be lucky #100?! ;)

One year ago today I was blogging about my fabulous stops at two more California wineries – Trentadue and Rosenblum. Can I go back there this weekend? Pleeeease?

Who’s ready for a Fitness challenge? Details April 1st. In the meantime, get your strength training gear ready – simple weights (these are really affordable at places like WalMart/Target) and strength bands.

Reader question: After a long day or work/school/whatever, do you prefer to eat out or stay in and cook?

Veggie Lasagna Encore + Cookie Fail

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First off, Marie guessed my sister’s oatmeal design from yesterday – nice work!

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I love my brunches dearly, but they totally throw off my eating. I rarely show photos of my snacks but that’s mainly because I rarely snack. I like to have 3 solid meals every day with snacks thrown in on occasion to make up for light meals or for work-out fuel.

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Today, at around 4pm, I started getting the munchies, so I grabbed a couple handfuls of pretzels, a couple pickles, a handful of almonds, and a couple Hi-Chews. So random…I know!

Anywho, snacks or not, I still plan to enjoy many more brunches – they are simply too wonderful to miss. :) I’ll have to plan out better snacks next time. I just really wanted something salty, something tangy, and something sweet.

Sis and I did MASSIVE cleaning in the house. We:

  • scrubbed the guest bathroom floor
  • cleaned the toilets
  • wiped the bathroom countertops
  • scrubbed the tile shower – floors, walls, doors, cracks, crevices, you name it
  • hung a new shower curtain
  • cleaned the sinks
  • organized the living room
  • reviewed a couple “junk” boxes

I love being so productive.

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Random Bailey shot.

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He told us when it was dinner time for him.

Feeeeed me Seymore!

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After all the cleaning, we worked up an appetite. (I put the lasagna back in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes while we worked away – it’s so much better re-heated in the oven IMO than in the microwave).

I started with a local lettuce salad with sunflower seeds and rosemary balsamic dressing.

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Sis requested olive oil with fresh cracked pepper for dipping our bread. I added balsamic vinegar b/c it’s a must in my dipping bowl.

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The lasagna was still delicious Day #2. Especially topped with some fresh-grated parmesan and served with some rosemary bread (drizzled with EVOO, sprinkled with salt, re-heated in the oven at 200 degrees F – tastes fresh-baked! Mmm….

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The local TV stations reported severe weather, so Sis decided to stay one more night. We decided to bake in our PJ’s.

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The cookies looked promising.

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But they totally spread out together to be a big cookie blog. The texture wasn’t quite right either. Gotta work on this one some more. Practice makes perfect, right?! You’ll never learn if you don’t make mistakes.

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I mean, the cookie was still edible and tasted darn good, too! I just wasn’t 100% satisfied with the texture (or flavor).

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I made bedtime tea for me and Sis. I’ve been letting her pick her mugs and bowls all weekend and tonight she chose a mug to match mine.

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We had the tea just in time to catch a wild ride – a scary hail storm! Luckily, the storm was over quickly, but it was so LOUD!

Gave myself another mini facial tonight. My skin feels so soft! I hope this new routine works out and doesn’t irritate my skin. Time will tell and then I’ll be telling you. ;)

Do you ever look back at a weekend and wonder how you fit everything in that you did? This weekend was so much FUN! I love my lazy weekends, but jam-packed ones are pretty awesome, too. Now, if I could just squeeze in some much-needed yard work! :lol:

I’m actually looking forward to Monday and not just because of Starbucks Monday. Mondays are like a chance to start fresh and I’m planning to go into mine with a positive attitude. Here we gooooo!

Prep Day Sunday

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I prepped a couple things for Prep Day Sunday. I started with some marinated kale. I’m still perfecting the recipe, but I think I’m almost there! A taste test tomorrow will tell me for sure.

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I also cooked some hard-boiled, cage-free eggs. I’m hoping to work on that egg salad recipe I promised you guys! I want to make sure it’s a goodie before I pass it on. Nothing less than the best for you guys!

We actually have more veggie lasagna leftover still, so I may pack some of that up for tomorrow’s lunch. Either way, I won’t have time to prep food Monday night (busy-busy night!), so Sunday was the day!

Project Hydrate Day #21

I did a pretty crappy job with Project Hydrate this weekend.

Consumed:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup hot tea

I’m wondering if maybe I should I continue with Project Hydrate longer than I originally intended? Long enough to really get into the habit of drinking water, ya know?

Randomness

BIG Announcement tomorrow! So glad I’m finally going to get to share one of my latest secret projects with you guys!

Remember to check out my Facebook page and get involved with the discussions. Any topics you want to start? Let me know. :) Oh, and that big announcement I just mentioned? Facebook friends will find out fiiiiirst! Be there or be square!

One year (minus 1 day) ago today, I was blogging about a life-changing meal – click here to check it out!

Would any readers be interested in emailing your picture to be featured here on The Chic Life? Let me know (click).

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know here or here.

Have a great week everyone!

Sister’s First Visit to the House

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After a looong work week, I was looking forward to a nice hour of dancing my a$$ off and dancing my stress away.

After fueling up with a great day of eats (homemade blueberry muffins, Asian-inspired tofu/collard greens), I headed out for class and had a fantastic hour long workout.

I was planning to make Kath’s yummy-looking vegetarian lasagna after class, but ended up having a girls’ dinner out. I will be making the lasagna probably Saturday night now. ;)

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Megan and I headed out to a local Mediterranean restaurant, Kabob Grill. I started with a glass of Front Porch Chardonnay. I got it because I liked the name. Silly no? :lol:

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I got my usual – the vegetarian combo – aka party on a plate: tabbouleh, yalanji, hummus, foul mudammas, potatoes harra, spinach pie, and pickled veggies…plus pita bread on the side.

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Can’t resist a little piece of baklava!

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I also couldn’t resist one of my vegan chocolate chip cookies with some organic milk either.

I enjoyed my cookie while prepping…

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…a welcome tray for my sister! She is visiting us for the first time since we got our house, so this will be the first time she’s seeing it (besides the blog photos).

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Teas, soap/lotion…

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…towels, PJs, and a vegan cookie (because she likes sweets too).

What a great Friday evening! Though I was feeling a little drained earlier thanks to my workout, fun dinner with Megan, and visit from my sister I’m feeling re-charged and re-vitalized! I’m ready for the weekend…here we gooooo!

Real Food Closing

Sad news…one of my favorite restaurants in town, Real Food Charlotte, suddenly closed just earlier today. I actually had been planning a group get together there this weekend, so I’m extra bummed. I’ve really enjoyed my experiences there and am sad to see it go.

When I look at the pictures of the staff online, I can envision them all carefully working as always behind the colorful little bar of the restaurant baking vegan breads and making other fabulous foods. I loved how much attention they put in their foods and ingredients. They will be missed by many.

I’m thankful I had the chance to enjoy some of their eats before they closed. Click here to check out a quinoa burger I enjoyed there just last Saturday.

Q+A with The Chic Life

More fabulous Formspring questions. I just love answering these! Have a question? Ask me here (click).

When did you get Bailey? Did you know about Corgi’s before? (I you have posted this before sorry I am a new reader!)

We got Bailey from a pet shop. Eek! I know! I heard you’re supposed to get pets from breeders, but we didn’t and I’m so glad we found Bailey. He has been such a blessing in our lives.

I first learned about corgis over at Posie Gets Cozy (http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com) and thought they were adorable. After researching them, I discovered that a corgi would be a good fit for our lives based on their size and temperament primarily.

I’m planning to do a page for Bailey, so hopefully I’ll be able to share more info there. :)

Any chance we’ll get to see more pictures of your house soon?

Yes! We haven’t really done too much with the house lately so I don’t have a lot of updates. But we do have one update I need to share, I just keep forgetting! lol

I want to start blogging? How would you suggest I learn how to and how to add good photos too? XO

1. Immerse yourself in the environment. Read lots of blogs with styles you like and photos you enjoy looking at. 2. Choose a style/niche for your blog 3. Research. There are lots of good articles written by other bloggers and authors about how to start blogging. Carrots N Cake wrote a good one: http://carrotsncake.com/2009/09/so-you-want-to-start-a-blog.html but a google search will probably provide some other options. 4. Get a good camera. Talent is one thing but a great camera really helps. Try to get one with an image stabilizer or maybe get a small tripod. 5. Research photography tips. Depending on your style of blogging, you’ll have a different set of tips. Here are some for food bloggers by BlogHer: http://www.blogher.com/helpful-food-photography-tips-fellow-bloggers 6. Practice. You’ll learn a lot just by starting and maintaining your blog. Keep an open mind and a lookout for useful tips. Hope this helps!

What is you ethnicity/ family background?

My mom is from the Philippines and my dad is American.

Do you think that you want to have kids now or in the future??

On the one hand, I’d like to be a young mom so I can play with my kids and have lots of energy. On the other, things are pretty crazy right now with the house and everything so I’d like things to settle down first at least. Hubby and I haven’t really planned the timing for children yet, so I’m not exactly sure.

Do you have plans of having a baby?

Yes, but we haven’t really planned out the timing of this yet.

Will you ever go back to posting outfits of the day on your Shopaholic blog?

I’ve been having a hard time with the outfit posts now that I’m trying to not shop so I can save money for the house. But, I would like to post now and again. Things have just been so busy! I find I have a lot more content for TCL since it’s mainly about food and I have food every day. :)

Project Hydrate Day #19

Consumed:

  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups hot tea

I should have had more considering my workout! Oopsie. :oops:

Randomness

Check out the fun discussions I’ve got going on on my Facebook page. I’ve added several new ones that are getting some good info. I’d really love to hear from you!

Big announcement Monday! Can’t wait to share some exciting news!

Tuesday Goodies

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I woke up to a nice surprise…

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…hubby prepped the coffee maker last night so instead of waking up and having to brew coffee, it was waiting for me! How nice?

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i whipped up some chocolate-date oatmeal (the dates were my only sweetener) with ground flaxseed meal and sliced almonds.

Lunch was pretty basic – leftovers from Sunday’s Prep Day soup, plus a freshly cracked box of Kashi crackers and some almonds later.

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A surprise from hubby was the highlight of my workday – a Great Harvest mini cinnamon roll. Yum! I always love seeing hubby in the middle of the day…and a sweet treat isn’t bad either.

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I came home to find hubby had purchased a new goodie – a new vacuum cleaner! We had a mini one we thought would be enough (since we don’t have any carpet, just rugs), but turns out we need a full size one.

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Hubby also picked up some Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat bread.

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While I was home, we even got a package…

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My TofuXpress Tofu Press!! I won this from @Nasoya on Twitter. Thank you Nasoya!!

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I even got some recipes, recipe cards, and coupons!

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Here’s a better shot of the press. I can’t wait to use this! I feel like I have a new toy. :lol:

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I prepped tonight’s veggies – organic broccoli. I had enough to pack up for tomorrow, plus some to steam for tonight.

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Annie’s Mac and Cheese.

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I have a lot to do tonight, so I kept dinner quick and simple: Trader Joe’s breaded halibut (just toss it in the oven and let it cook away), steamed broccoli (with a light drizzle of melted organic butter), and Annie’s Mac and cheese.

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Hubby picked up some two-bite cinnamon rolls from Earthfare. They weren’t much when I first opened them – cold, hard little rolls.

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I freshened them up by warming them in the microwave where they were transformed into sweet little bites of heaven! I managed to only eat one of these and hubby had the other 2.

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I think I was able to restrain myself since I had an Earthfare whole wheat vegan chocolate chip cookie waiting for me.

I had/have a whole other work day after my real work day tonight:

  • a jewelry order (have to make the necklace, package, and prepare for shipment)
  • helping a friend with their web site (it’s a toughie! they used real graphic designers and they put all kinds of really cool looking things that are really difficult to program. lol)
  • blog
  • email

Project Hydrate Day #16

Check out yesterday’s recap for some more Project Hydrate tips.

My cup first thing is really improving my water intake. Otherwise, I’m consuming about the same amount while I’m at work.

Consumed today:

  • 1 cup water in the morning
  • pink bottle ~4 cups
  • 1/2 turquoise bottle ~1.5 cups
  • 2 cups hot tea

Not too shabby.

Musings

One year ago today, I was blogging about the fabulous dinner in San Fran, including San Francisco’s best hot chocolate (and yes, it was pretty awesome! you should see the pictures!)

Did I mention I have some big announcements and giveaways in the works? I think I did…I can’t help it…I’m just so excited! :mrgreen:

Also, you guys are really starting to get talkative on The Chic Life blog Facebook page and I love it! I love to hear from you guys! Remember, you can contact me any time at thechiclife at gmail dot com, via my Contact page, by asking me something anonymously on my Formspring page, or by dropping me some comments here on the blog of my Facebook page. Need some advice? Want my opinion? Just ask. I don’t bite. ;)

Have a great week everyone!

A Tale of Two Teas

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Happy Monday!

TGIM as Jenn would say. :)

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Today’s breakfast was outstanding!

You know, I used to rush rush rush all the time on my way to work and would often skip breakfast or eat something crappy and fast. Over time, I started making time for breakfast and I haven’t looked back. A great breakfast puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Do you make time for breakfast or do you skip it or maybe do something fast?

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Fresh Market Spring Blend. I did have a cup of water while I was cooking breakfast to get Project Hydrate started as soon as possible.

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Oatmeal + Morningstar “sausage” = perfection

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The oats mixture was really diverse in ingredients: milk, water, oatmeal, chia seed, dates, flaxseed meal, dates, pepitas, and a wee bit of jelly. The dates were my sweetener. I used about 4 of them chopped up. Oats cooked stovetop.

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I celebrated Starbucks Monday with a tall vanilla soy latte.

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Lunch = leftovers of last night’s Clean Food soup. It re-heated so well! I especially love the texture of the kale in the soup, tender but not overly soft.

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I also had some Kashi honey sesame crackers.

I had some Tulsi tea around 11am, but forgot to take a photo. Oops.

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I broke into my wedding favor from that fabulous wedding last year for one of my dear skating friends.

They did a mixture of Asian and Irish teas to celebrate their two families ancestries. So cute!

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I broke into the Organic Spring Jasmine tea (Mighty Leaf).

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The tea bags were really nice and almost-fabric like. Great tea! Loved the flavor…and the fact that it was organic.

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To fuel up for a workout later, I scrounged around my cubicle and finally decided to finish the last of my crackers.

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I also had a Raw Organic Food Bar in Chocolate Coconut (won on twitter). I love these things!

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PS I wore my new top today…but no makeup. I haven’t been feeling much like wearing make up lately.

Kat was my fabulous photographer!

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She also took these photos of me and Megan doing a new song I choreographed (with a little help from a couple friends) – Meet Me Halfway by the Black Eyed Peas!

Thanks Kat! :D

I had water and an Aria protein shake between and after a double header of 2 zumba classes.

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Post dinner we headed out for a b-day celebration.

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Stacy – the b-day girl!

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I never seen bowls bursting with so many chips!

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I had a cup of white sangria.

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Some chips and salsa…I didn’t count, I just grazed.

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I ended up sharing cheese quesadillas…

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…and black beans and rice with the b-day girl. Thanks Stacy!

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My portion – I only managed to finish half of this. Hubby is already looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

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Our fabulous cupcakes, sponsored by Megan!

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I had one of the pink frosted cupcakes – delicious!

Happy Birthday Stacy!!!!!!!!!!!

Project Hydrate Day #15

I guess Day#15 marks roughly the half way point. I think I could spend a year perfecting the art of hydration, but so far the following tips seem to be helping the most.

Project Hydrate tips:

  1. Prepare – If you know you’re stepping away from your main water source (i.e. going out to run errands) take a water bottle with you…or two
  2. Be Aware – Remind yourself to hydrate. Keep a glass of water or water bottle in eye sight so you remember it.
  3. Don’t let business be your excuse – It takes about 10 seconds to open a water bottle and take a sip or two and put the top back on. While I’m guilty of using this excuse, I try to remind myself that taking a couple “breaks” to drink water won’t put me in the weeds.
  4. Start early – I normally don’t start drinking water until 10:30 or 11am because I normally am drinking coffee first thing and then I’m busy commuting to work or settling in at my desk, checking email, working on deliverables, etc. By having a glass of water first thing when I wake up or while I’m getting ready, I add another cup of water to my daily intake.

Consumed:

  • pink water bottle ~4 cups
  • turquoise water bottle ~3 cups
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups hot tea
  • 1 sangria – that sounds right? ;)

Randomness

I’ve started some discussions on my Facebook page. Tell me what you want to see on The Chic Life, tell me your Project Hydrate tips, tell me anything on my wall. I’d love to hear from you!

You can also ask me more questions on my Formspring page. I have a STACK of hand-written notes for some most-awesome posts to answer your questions (and you guys have some great ones!), but in the meantime please feel free to ask me more.

A year ago today, I was blogging about some of the best crab cakes I’ve ever had in my life EVER in San Francisco. Mmm…

Also, I have SO MUCH COOL STUFF in the works, I am bursting at the seams! I can’t wait to tell you guys! Really…I’m so excited. You can tell, right? ;) Facebook friends and Twitter followers will get tips and be first to hear, so join up if you haven’t already.

Clean Food: Tuscan Bean Soup

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Laa-dee-daaaaaahhhh

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Oh, hello there! I didn’t see you.

Want to see my latest hobby?

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Bet you’ve never seen a dog do Zumba before, huh?

Ok, Ima go dance and let mommy take it away…

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I snacked on mini banana nut muffins all afternoon and sort of missed lunch. I also didn’t hydrate up quite like I should. Doh!

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To help my hydration efforts, I prepped a yerba mate latte to take with me when I went out to run errands.

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Bridesmaid dress…check!

I got some clothes shopping done, too. You can read about my clothes shopping over at my fashion blog – Shopaholics Anonymous. I don’t talk about it much, and I don’t update it as often as I used to, but it’s there. Some of you guys even already knew about it!

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After shopping, it was time to get groceries. Since I basically missed lunch, I decided to get a snack before shopping. Since I was already at a grocery store with food, Earthfare, I decided to hit up their food bars: mac and cheese, okra and tomatoes, a bite of pecan pie.

It was just enough to give me a boost to get my shopping done and keep me satisfied till I could get dinner cooked.

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As soon as I got home, I was ready to pick up another Prep Day Sunday. Hubby picked our recipe: Clean Food’s Tuscan Bean Soup.

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Ingredients assembled.

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Have you ever cooked with Kombu before?

According to The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Kombu is good for bean cooking because it can speed up the process and make the beans more easy to digest. Also, Kombu “contains potassium, calcium, vitamins A and C, and between 100 and 500 times the iodine of shellfish. According to natural-foods expert Rebecca Wood, kombu should not be eaten excessively during pregnancy.

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Kombu soaking.

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Basil

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I think I’ll use a bigger pot next time. :lol:

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Kale and kombu going into the pot.

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Such pretty colors going on in the soup!

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Olive-oil drizzled over bread, broiled.

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Dinner is served.

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Plenty of toasty, crusty bread. Carbs are the best, aren’t they?

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As for the soup, it was AWESOME! Hubby said it was one of the best soups he’s ever had, EVER! If you don’t have Clean Food yet, you should definitely get it. There are no meat recipes in there, but just try some of them – you won’t miss the meat!

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Hubby and I had our dinner portions and we had plenty leftover for the week. I think I may even pop one of these into the freezer for a rainy day. I actually prefer making enough so I can freeze some, but we’ve been eating our soups too fast!

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Oh and I also prepped some nuts and seeds for the freezer. I like to buy these in the bulk bins in small amounts and store them in the freezer. I feel like the large pre-packaged bags go bad on me too fast, plus buying in the bulk bin saves money on packaging and the packaging itself. Less packaging = less waste. Go Green!

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Q&A with The Chic Life

I’ve answered some more Formspring questions:

I love the turquoise you use in decorating. Any tips on how to add turquoise to a neutral (Beige) room?

Ooh, I think turquoise would look fab in a beige room! Beige is so neutral, it should be easy to add some turquoise accents. I would try to add turquoise via 3-4 accent items, for example pillows, curtains, vases, artwork, throw blanket, or lamps. You could get items that are patterned with turquoise in them or solid turquoise items. The latter will be stronger in effect, but a mix of patterned and non-patterned stuff would look great, too. Plus, by using a pattern, you can get another accent color by using one of the other colors from the pattern. Of course, if you want turquoise to be dominant, be sure to use more of that color.

If you really wanted to go all out, you could try painting one wall as a focal wall in turquoise.

How often do you work out each week and for how long??

I try to do cardio about 1-3 times a week, depending on my schedule. I don’t give myself a hard time for skipping a workout here or there. I also try to give my body a rest day after a workout day.

I’d like to add strength training to my workouts, but I haven’t put enough focus there yet. I’m hoping to do a fitness challenge in April to give myself an extra push. :)

PS I forgot to add to my Formspring answer – my cardio workouts are typically one hour long and I usually do about 5 minutes of warm up moves before hand and 5-10 minutes of stretching afterwards.

Being a Zumba teacher – Do you get offended if one of your students lets you know they don’t love a certain section of the class?

Not really b/c I know there are songs other instructors do that are not my favorites. There are so many different personalities and styles out there, I don’t think everyone will love everything you do. You just hope they like most of it enough to not mind the parts they don’t love.

Another Zumba question for you….I saw that you received your instructor certification. I am looking into doing the same thing, but have no other fitness related certifications. Was it worth it? Do you currently teach classes in your area?? Thanks!!

You don’t have to have any other certifications to get zumba certified, however a lot of gyms/facilities will ask you to get other certifications (certs. required will vary from gym to gym). I totally think it was worth it! Especially if you actually want to teach, though I think some people do the certification to improve their zumba skills. I’m not currently teaching. :( But, I hope to soon! :)

Where do you buy all your Tupperware containers? I don’t know anyone who sells it so I’ve been looking on Ebay.

Ah, someone else asked about Tupperware. Here’s what I said:

I like to buy them at craft shows or vendor events where there are lots of different people with tables set up with goodies. A lot of times they run specials at these shows and you can get the Tupperware at a discount. I’d also look into hosting a Tupperware party if you’re interested so you can get some of your Tupperware for FREE! :) You can use the Tupperware web site to locate a consultant near you: http://www.tupperware.com/coe/app/tup_party.consultant_finder. As far as I know, they are sort of like Mary Kay in that they run the business from their home and go to various events to sell their goods, but they also do in-home parties if you’re interested in hosting something.

Where do you buy the Tupperware containers you show often on your blog?

I like to buy them at craft shows or vendor events where there are lots of different people with tables set up with goodies. A lot of times they run specials at these shows and you can get the Tupperware at a discount. I’d also look into hosting a Tupperware party if you’re interested so you can get some of your Tupperware for FREE! :) You can use the Tupperware web site to locate a consultant near you: http://www.tupperware.com/coe/app/tup_party.consultant_finder. As far as I know, they are sort of like Mary Kay in that they run the business from their home and go to various events to sell their goods, but they also do in-home parties if you’re interested in hosting something.

As summer approaches and the weather is getting warmer, I’m craving a peach dessert, or perhaps a peach variation on your morning oats. Could you recommend and try out some new peach recipes?? :)

omg peach oatmeal is SUCH a good idea! It reminds me of one of those old-school Quaker packages but BETTER! I am a big fan of peaches myself (though hubby is not). I would LOVE to work up a peach recipe or two for you. I’ll be looking for the peaches at the farmers markets!

When you shop at a farmers market, do you have to pay cash?

At most farmers markets I’ve been to, yes, you have to pay cash. Some of the larger ones will accept other forms (checks, credit cards), but I highly recommend paying cash. Besides making the transaction easier, it will save the farmers money. Credit card processing companies charge fees to the farmers (typically monthly and per transaction), which are easier for a large corporation to pay than for a small farmer. :)

You are fabulous. Okay, that’s not a question. Just had to put it out there. LOVE YOU!!! xoxo Megan :)

Aww, thanks sweetie! You’re pretty awesome yourself! ;) love you too!! *hugs* Diana

you’re beautiful! What is your skincare regime?

Thank you! I’m so flattered! :) I made a post to answer your question: http://thechiclife.com/2010/03/my-fave-beauty-products-skincare-regime.html

Project Hydrate Day #14

Oops, I skipped Day #13. I didn’t do very well with Day #13.

Day #14 – I was so distracted baking mini muffins and blogging about my beauty products and skin regime that I forgot to drink water. Doh!

I drank 2 cups of water quickly in the afternoon to try to make-up for time. Then, I brewed up some hot tea to take with me to run errands – this helped me get another 1-2 cups easily.

Consumed:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup hot tea

Meh, not so hot today. Must be the weekends!

How are you doing with Project Hydrate?

Tidbits

Weigh in on restaurant portions on this post (click).

Take a look at some of the discussions going on on my Facebook page and be my friend while you’re there. If you have a Facebook page, would you consider making my page a favorite? :)

Check out my favorite beauty products and let me know what yours are.

Can you believe one year ago today I was blogging about my trip to Lombard St? I wanna go back to San Fran so badly!

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