Return of the Crazy Bag Lady


Still feeling the glow from yesterday’s amazing Easter dinner! :mrgreen:

Someone asked recently (and I apologize for not answering in the comments – I forgot!) – I think it was Learn 2 Play – if I was still crazy bag lady (click). Actually, lately I’ve been able to downsize my stuff a bit,


but today…it was the return of the crazy bag lady!!!


Probably because I had ALL THIS in one of the bags! :lol:

Seriously, my shoulders were not happy, though.


For Starbucks Monday I got a tall vanilla soy latte. So yum!


The funny thing about all the things I brought to work today is that I didn’t eat much of the food I packed. Having recently suffered from a food-poisoning-like experience…one gets skittish when food is a wee bit old. So, I opted to get some vegan/GF chili out. I also grabbed a gatorade because I’m wondering if my electrolytes are low from last week’s lack of food/drink intake. I was feeling a little dizzy today.

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Kashi crackers with a bit of hummus leftover from hubby’s beer-brewing party.


I attempted to microwave-steam some broccoli with a ceramic bowl and a paper towel. It didn’t work. Next time I will use a plate to top my bowl. The broccoli got a little nuked. :lol:


I also had a Blueberry Almond bar and some Ginger tea.


Yogi tea quote of the day: “Every heartbeat creates a miracle.”


I tried to eat the biggest orange ever! I couldn’t quite finish the last 2 slices.

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Zumba fuel was an Odwalla Superfood bar.

Then, I had about 1 1/2 fabulous hours of ZUMBA!!! I was feeling a bit off but pushed through and had an awesome work out! :)



Then, we had a birthday dinner for Kat at a local Mexican restaurant, complete with sangrias and margaritas. Kicking myself right now for not getting any PEOPLE photos! Doh!


Table-side-made guac.


Check out Megan’s amazing dinner. I want to get this next time!!!


I split some chicken enchiladas with Alex. Thank goodness, too…this was HALF! I couldn’t even finish half of this!


I did, however, save room for cupcakes. You guys know me! ;)


Megan and I selected similarly decorated cupcakes. She said they were “boy and girl” cupcakes. heehee



Happy Birthday Kat!!!!!!!!!!!!

I came home just in time to practice some zumba songs (I know…probably not the best idea after Mexican) and watch the end of the Duke Butler game. While I’m normally a big fan of the “underdog” and I think the Butler team played great, I have to cheer for hubby’s fave team – DUKE!

Congrats to Duke on winning the National Championship tonight!

Who’s your favorite (or your SO’s favorite) basketball team (can be a college/pro/any type)?

Fabulous Easter Dinner – Vegan/GF Style


So, where did we leave off earlier?

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Ah yes, I was working on a top secret dessert involving mixed berries!


Did you figure out my dessert? Add in a homemade tart shell…


You guessed it! FRUIT TART! Not just any fruit tart – a vegan AND gluten free fruit tart.


I found the recipe in Clean Food – it’s the Mixed Berry Tart.


I definitely sampled the cider while I was baking and it was gooooo! Very, very sweet but great! I’m looking forward to drinking more of this later in the week, though I rarely drink juices.

Anywho, on to tonight!


(couldn’t pick between the pictures, so I used both! hehe…don’t the girls look fabulous in their dresses?!)


Hubby and I were invited over to Emily and Casey’s house to have Easter dinner with them and Kath and Matt!! :) So, after the dessert was ready, we headed over to meet our friends.


Kath greeted me with a yummy Pom Mocktail.



There were fresh flowers all over!


We sipped mocktails…



…cooked food…




…and snacked on yummy food!



Kath and Matt brought over handmade honey whole wheat baguette slices, toasted in the oven, with a yummy cilantro/pistachio dip.

Here’s the photo I took.


And here’s what Kath and I look like taking our food photos! :lol: Thanks for the photo Emily!


The table – all set and waiting for food and friends.





Our centerpiece – an adorable bread bunny complete with Easter eggs! The bunny is really Great Harvest bread with Virginia rolls…mmm.

We had lots of yummy vegan and gluten-free eats on the menu for our fabulous Easter dinner.


Asparagus + Chard Risotto with fresh herbs.


Millet Salad with corn and tomato.


Split pea soup.

Plus the bunny bread!!

Our friends…


Casey + Emily


Matt + Kath

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Me + Hubby (thanks for the photo Kath!)


I got a little bit of everything – the split pea soup…


…the risotto, the millet salad, and even a bread bunny leg. :lol:

Dinner was fabulous – filling but light. :) Everything was so tasty!! I’m so thankful for such talented foodie friends!

Then, it was on to dessert!




My vegan + gluten-free fruit tart.

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Photographing dessert (thanks again for the photo Kath!)

I must say, I’ve never made this recipe before, so I was really worried I may just blow the whole thing! lol I was kind of upset that the topping bubbled up so much, but I was mostly worried that the crust may crumble apart or the topping may not taste good.


Thankfully, the tart stayed together nicely. Phew!

And for the taste test….




DEE-licious! Phew again!

The crust had an almost molasses taste to it from the teff flour. The berry topping was perfection – sweet but not too sweet. I loved it and would serve this to any one – vegan or GF or not. Total yummers!

After our most-awesome Easter dinner, hubby and I came home and took Bailey for a walk.



I also decided to sample another Nicobella vegan truffle. Full review to come, but this flavor was an excellent pairing of fruit and chocolate. Yum!

Big thanks to Emily, Casey, Kath, and Matt for a wonderful evening with friends! Special thanks to Emily and Casey for hosting! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! :)

Such a fun weekend, even though I was a bit under the weather. First hubby’s beer brewing party with Matt (click), then soaking up the sun at lunch, and now tonight! Feeling very blessed right now. :D

Happy Easter Everyone!

Reader question: Did you do anything special for Easter dinner? If not, if you could pick any color for an Easter egg, what would it be?

A Tale of Two Teas


Happy Monday!

TGIM as Jenn would say. :)


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?


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.


Oatmeal + Morningstar “sausage” = perfection




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.


I celebrated Starbucks Monday with a tall vanilla soy latte.



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.


I also had some Kashi honey sesame crackers.

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


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!



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



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


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



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


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!




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.



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


Stacy – the b-day girl!


I never seen bowls bursting with so many chips!



I had a cup of white sangria.


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


I ended up sharing cheese quesadillas…


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


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


Our fabulous cupcakes, sponsored by Megan!




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.


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


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





Oh, hello there! I didn’t see you.

Want to see my latest hobby?


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

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




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!


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


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!


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.





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.



Ingredients assembled.


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.


Kombu soaking.





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


Kale and kombu going into the pot.


Such pretty colors going on in the soup!



Olive-oil drizzled over bread, broiled.


Dinner is served.


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



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!


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!


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!




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: 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: 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:

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.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup hot tea

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

How are you doing with Project Hydrate?


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!

Amber-Like Afternoon


No, not these Ambers (doo doo doo doo doo doo…this is the Aaamber Show)

Theme Song

This post best enjoyed with 311 “Amber”. Don’t some songs just feel like the theme song for your day? The easy rolling of this tune makes me think about the warm sun and cool breeze and the easy Saturday morning I had.


Hiyas! How’s the weather where you are? Today started out beautifully with bright blue skies and the gentle breath of spring whisping through the air.


Hubby woke me up to take my breakfast order: Morningstar “sausage”, local doughnut and doughnut holes, an organic orange and some Fresh Market Spring Blend coffee for BIB (breakfast in bed).

Fantabulous way to start the day, no?! :D




Bridesmaid Stuff

I headed out to run errands today. I curled my hair, too. Not sure why. Guess it must have been the weather. I don’t even curl my hair for the work week! lol I made sure to fill up my BPA-free water bottle so I could work on Project Hydrate while I was out and about.

With the magnificent weather, windows DOWN, music UP was a MUST! :mrgreen:

I went out to try on bridesmaids dresses.

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping Tip: Make an appointment.

I made an appointment for today last week and boooy was I glad! There were people waiting for rooms to open up and to get assistance in the dressing rooms. I waltzed up, they pulled my dress, the first size I tried on fit perfectly, I went up to the front and placed my order (they didn’t have my color in stock). Done and DONE! Easy-peasy. I wish all shopping trips were that easy. Thank you David’s Bridal!

Btw, my dress is in “mermaid.” Any guesses where the wedding will be??!!

Great Bread


I picked up bread for the week – Great Harvest Dakota. Plus, I got a berry oat bran muffin for hubby and I to split tomorrow.

Camera Wishlist

I stopped by a local camera shop to get an idea of how much the lens I want would be. The name brand version would be over $1000!!! But, the shop guy suggested a non-name-brand lens that was half the price at $649. Yowch! Gonna be a long time before I can afford that baby.

Plus I still want a flash!!

Photography is expensive! I need to find some photography gigs to pay for my Camera Wishlist.

Health Food Shopping

I was feeling a veggie juice and since we don’t have our own juicer yet, I swung by a local health food shop to pick on up. I also ended up getting lunch and some health food goodies.

I love shopping in health food stores – it reminds me of my chidhood. Thanks to health-freak Dad, my sis and I spent many-an-hour wandering the health food shops. They make me so curious! I want to know what everything is, what it’s good for, and what it tastes like.


Chia seeds, organic golden flaxseeds, hibiscus flower petals, kelp powder.


Lunch: curry lentil soup, a piece of fresh-baked Dakota bread – no toasting or topping required, and an “everything” juice (I can’t remember the full ingredient list but it was something like: carrots, apple, cabbage, spinach, celery, beet, ginger, garlic…and maybe some other stuff).

I picked up a veggie chili for hubby – even got the soup buy one get one free.





Such an easy lunch but sooo tasty, too!

I only finished half the soup, which I’m actually kind of excited about because it means I get to eat the other half tomorrow. Yay!

Ok, time to go. Bailey has a date with our neighbor’s doggie and I gotta go work on Project Hydrate!

If you didn’t see my question above, where do you think the wedding I’ll be in will be? Maybe you can tell from the dress color?

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