Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Road to my Louboutins

I don't know why but I'm currently obsessed with Christian Louboutin's shoe collection. Well, I know why.. the shoes are absolutely fabulous but unfortunately they come with a hefty price tag. Every reality show that I secretly watch, the girls are always wearing the red soled shoes. I don't want them because all the stars have them, I want them because every time I see them I just love them more and more. Pathetic I know.. and I know that Kim Kardashian, Lauren Conrad, and Bethenny Frankel have closets full of them, but all I'm asking for is one pair that I can treasure.








But my lusting after a pair of shoes is going to have to be put on hold until after we close on our house. I can't wait until our spending freeze is over! I sincerely doubt that the first thing I'll go out and buy is a pair of Louboutins, but I've been dropping lots of hints to H that they would make a fantastic birthday gift in August.

Now back to reality.. Tonight was my night off from working out so I whipped up homemade backed mac and cheese and it was delicious.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Boil 16 oz. of elbow macaroni for 9 minutes
Heat 1 quart of milk on high in microwave for 5 minutes
In a large sauce pot melt one stick of butter over medium heat.
Add 6 tbsp. of flour and mix together
Add 1/2 tsp. of pepper
Add 1 tsp. of salt
Add 1/2 tsp. of onion powder
Add 1/4 tsp. of dry mustard
Add milk to mixture and turn heat up to high until mixture reaches a boil. Be careful not to scourge it.
As soon as it bubbles, remove from heat and add 8 oz. of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Drain macaroni and add to mixture.
Add 4 oz. of mild cheddar cheese
Pour into a greased 9x13 dish
Sprinkle 4 oz. left from 8 oz. bag of mild cheddar cheese on top
Take a little bowl and melt 1 tsp. of butter or margarine in the microwave and then mix in 2 tbsp. of parm cheese and 4 tbsp. of breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top of casserole.

Bake until it bubbles for about half an hour.

To make it lower in fat, I usually use 1% lowfat or skim milk and fat free sharp cheddar cheese and reduced fat mild cheddar cheese.

I serve it with salad and homemade italian dressing. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sunburnt in Omaha

I've been such a bad blogger, but I've been so busy! I've been away all week in Omaha for work. I have to admit I was pretty depressed when the plane landed here on Monday, but it's been going by pretty quickly and I've gotten to know some great co-workers. Definitely not a place I'd ever consider living, but it was nice to experience something new for the week. I also miss my husband and my fat doggy so much it hurts! I can't wait for him to pick me up at the airport on Friday!

We spent as much time together as we could the weekend before I had to fly up here, so we went to the beach on Saturday and had fun playing in the waves, but of course got burnt! We wore sunscreen, but still got pretty burnt and it's starting to worry me how many sunburns we've both had. It's so bad for your skin and your health. I just hope neither of us have caused any permanent damage. In the past year or so I've tried to become a lot smarter about sun protection. Skin cancer is a big fear of mine, but the quality of my skin is as well. I don't want to be wrinkly and freckly if I can prevent it at too young an age. I do my best to moisturize and I don't lay out as much as I used to and I sure as heck don't go fake-a-baking anymore. In college, my friends and I would go tanning all the time, and we even coincided it with getting our nails done together. I look back at it and it makes me sad that we were so foolish.



I do enjoy the look of a nice tan, so I will continue soaking up some good Vitamin D, I just want to limit my intake and try not to get burnt anymore. Living in Florida that may not always be possible, but I'd like to continue being smarter about protecting my skin. I've also never gotten a spray tan. I'm afraid of it making me appear orange or it getting on my clothes? Have you ever gotten a spray tan? What should I expect? Did you like it? I'd love for some feedback :0)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another Great Weekend

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the weekends go by. I feel they're super important because we should work to live not live to work and it's so refreshing to sleep in, have time for yourself, and enjoy the company of friends and loved ones.

I started off our weekend by going to happy hour and enjoying some yummy martinis. I tried an Italian Apple Martini which was delicious. One of my friends asked what makes it "Italian" and I had to explain it had Amaretto in it which is my favorite!

Saturday morning it felt great to sleep in a little, and then I got up and went to spin class. It felt so great to be at spin again, after being too late to get a pass last week (even though I showed up 10 minutes early!). Later on, H and I drove out to a local winery and were pleasantly surprised at the whole experience. First of all, Florida is known to be flat, but as we got closer to the winery we noticed we were in the hills. The views at the top of the hill where the winery was were gorgeous. It somewhat reminded us of the airport in Nadi, Fiji. They had free tours and free tastings! We got to taste 8 different wines and their champagne. Back at home on the Connecticut Wine Trail, we're used to paying $6 or $7 for a tasting and only sampling about 5 or 6 wines, then to buy a bottle it'd be anywhere from $15 on up. We bought a bottle of red and white for only $8.99 each! We'll definitely be returning in the near future!


Yum! We enjoyed the red last night while I was cooking dinner.


Best little doo-hickey ever! I'd always wanted one these wine openers, and my mom gave one to me and H for Christmas a few years ago. No more breaking the cork while struggling to open a bottle of wine or half of it dropping into the wine which always made me sad.


The time change got the best of us, and we ended up missing church on Sunday morning. So we got up and went to the gym together. I worked out hard and H said I was "shaq'd" (his slang for soaked in nasty sweat because Shaq always gets really sweaty... clever H) but I felt great getting another great workout in. It was gorgeous out afterwards and the pool was calling my name, but I also had a $25 off a $50 purchase coupon for Express that was waiting to be used and I wanted to get a new top or two for my work trip to Omaha next week. So off to the mall I went... 
I ended up getting this top, but in purple because I need more color in my wardrobe


And I also got this top, but tried it on with the stripes, and traded it back for the same shirt but in solid black.

I wrapped up my weekend by cooking a pot of sauce which is H's favorite dinner and making cookies.
My sauce recipe:

1 small can of tomato paste
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 white onion
Garlic
1 lb. of 93/7 ground beef (7% fat)
Olive oil
Turkey meatballs (sometimes I add them, sometimes I don't)

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large sauce pot.
Cut up onion and garlic and shred in food processor
Add to the olive oil and saute
Add meat
Saute until meat is no longer red/pink and is all brown
Add tomato paste
Using the tomato paste can, fill with water and add to the pot and stir.
Add crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir. Turn down the heat to medium low and simmer. Add meatballs if you choose.

I serve it with spaghetti and garlic bread.

Cake mix cookies are the easiest cookies I make.

1 box of cake mix (any flavor)
1 stick of butter
1 egg

Mix all three ingredients together and portion onto a nonstick cookie pan. Bake for 9 minutes at 350 degrees.  I made these cookies with the Funfetti cake mix, so yummy!

Hope everyone else enjoyed their weekend, at least Monday is over with. This time next week, I'll be posting from Omaha. I hope that week goes by quicker than any work week ever has and that I will be symptom free from any labyrinthititus flare ups from flying.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just say NO to fanny packs

If you're around my age you probably remember all the moms sporting fanny packs when we were in elementary school. It was nice and easy for them, they could swap out their purse that would have to be carried or swung over their shoulder for something that was effortless while out and about with their children.

Sensible and practical? --Yes
Fashionable? -- NO

Well, come to find out after more than 2 decades of it being widely known that most people sporting a fanny pack are laughed at behind their backs, the fashion industry is trying to re-inflict this horrible item on us again! Urban Outfitters is selling what looks like a bad southwestern designed fanny pack for $48 and Gucci is selling "waist packs" for over $400.


And it's not just fanny packs that the fashion industry is trying to push at the public again. Flare legged pants and platform sandals are supposedly making a comeback this spring as well. All I can picture is how I dressed in high school when I thought I looked so cool, but in reality looked awful.

I just got into the whole skinny jeans craze several months ago because it took me a while to be comfortable enough to even try them on, and I ended up loving them so much that I bought several pairs. I love the look of skinny jeans, and in my opinion flare leg pants are just sloppy looking and outdated because to me it brings back memories of middle school and high school. I can't imagine how those who grew up in the 70's feel. They've seen this trend try to come back twice now.

Remeber these chunky Steve Madden shoes? I totally rocked them in black, dark brown, and tan back in the day.
Well... Steve Madden is trying to bring the look back...

This is the new Steve Madden Slinky. Doesn't look "new" does it?

The fashion industry seems to be going the way of Hollywood and movie making. They're no longer taking new chances and just recycling old ideas that should have been left as classics.

It's time for some new fresh ideas and as for me... I never let fashion magazines dictate my style. I buy and wear items that are not only fashionable but that I actually like. The flowy floral sundresses and oversized tees with skinny jeans will be in my wardrobe this spring, along with wedges and my go-to pumps and sandals. But I promise you that you won't find a single fanny pack, flare legged pair of pants, or chunky slip on pair of sandals in my closet.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekends Should be Longer

Why do the weekends always go by so quick?! I feel like it was literally just Friday afternoon and I was so thankful that my horrendous workweek was over and it was the weekend and alas here we are on Sunday night and I'm getting ready for my OC ladies to return at 10:00 on Bravo.

The weekend was good, it felt so great to sleep in and have some "me time". Yesterday morning I left for my spin class and when I got to the gym and asked for a pass for the class the guy at the desk said he had given them all out, I was so upset and shocked that I asked "Really?" and he reassured me the class was filled up even though I showed up early as I always do. So, I decided to go over to the cardio area and give myself my own kick-butt workout. I ran for 1/2 an hour and then did some strength training. It felt good to get a great workout in even though I missed my favorite class. After showering and having some lunch, H and I went over to visit our lot and see the progress. They staked out our lot so now we know how far back our land goes, and there's more than enough room for our pool and to have plenty of grassy area leftover. We also got to meet some of our future neighbors who are closing later this week (jealous).

I decided to use a YouTube tutorial to achieve that "smoky eye" look to go out last night using my Urban Decay Naked Palette. I thought it came out great, just not as much "pizazz" as the girl in the tutorial of course. I didn't use false eyelashes, but I still feel like I should have achieved more of the look.


I liked her tutorial I'm just bummed I'm not artistic enough to fully achieve the look. Below is the tutorial I used.


Today was more relaxing, I got a bunch of housework done and made a pot of sauce for dinner and I tried a new recipe for dessert. I got a cake recipe out of my In Style magazine. Every once in a while a recipe in one of my magazines catches my eye. I tried a pasta dish last week that neither H or I were too crazy about. It came out ok, but wasn't good enough to try again. But I tried another recipe tonight called Cocoa Pebbles Crunch Cake and it was GOOD!



Cocoa Pebbles Crunch Cake

1 oz. (approximately 1 square) semisweet chocolate
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
4 tbsp, plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 8" cake pans
4 cups Cocoa Pebbles loosely packed
1 16 oz jar of Marshmallow Fluff
1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Heat chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for about 40 seconds until melted, stirring every 15 seconds
Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar
Incorporate eggs
Mix in oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate
Scrape down sides of bowl, add flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder
Mix on low speed until batter is smooth
Spray cake pans with nonstick spray
Divide batter evenly among pans and bake cakes for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
Cool cakes in pans
In a large bowl, mix Cocoa Pebbles and 1 and 1/4 cups of marshmallow fluff. 
Brush bottom layer of cake with milk, top with crunch/fluff mix
Place next layer of cake on top 
Recipe calls for more fluff/crunch mix on top, but I used a can of white frosting instead which H and I thought turned out better. 
Refrigerate any leftovers. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What a week!

Man I am just utterly fried this week. I don't know what happened, but work has been high speed and high stress this week. Each day I think it'll be better than the day before, but I just keep getting more and more behind with more and more "rushes" getting dumped on me where I have to stop what I'm doing and change gears. I'm soooo glad tomorrow's Friday. I've also been feeling cruddy this week with some bad headaches and feeling some lingering symptoms from my labyrinthititus that have flared up again today. Blah... I just hope they pass soon because I have to fly in 2 and 1/2 weeks to go to Omaha for my job and I'm already scared that the flights will be detrimental to what I've been through the past few months. I've made so much progress that I don't want to go backwards.

I'm very much looking forward to this weekend for some much needed relaxation. I can't wait to sleep in, go to spin class and spin out my work frustrations, and relax with a skinny girl margarita. Yum! H and I also plan on visiting our home lot and taking pictures of the progress since last week and maybe hitting up a local winery for a wine tasting. I'm also super excited for my OC ladies return on Sunday night. I've watched Real Housewives of New Jersey and Beverly Hills, but no one compares to my OC ladies! Looking forward to some Vicki "whoo hoos"!

* Clarisonic Update* It's been another week, and I'm still on the tail end of my "purge". My skin looks so much healthier and always feels so great after I'm done with the cycle, but I'm still breaking out just no where near as bad as 2 weeks ago.
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