Friday Favorites <333

30 Nov

Happy Friday! I was actually gifted the laptop I’m posting on today by my amazing boyfriend – yes, you should be super jealous and no you can’t have him 😉 I haven’t done a Friday Favorites post in a few weeks… so I hope you enjoy this weeks post as much as I do!

Here’s what I’m loving this week…

I really want to gift myself THIS Cutout Monogram Necklace… is that wrong?

Ok, yes. I’m girly. Sorry but THIS is adorable:

EVERYTHING LOVE

Eeeep… I want one!!

I’ve always wanted a pink Christmas Tree…

peppermi-ntt:AW OMG

Can I just get lost in THIS photo, please? (it reminds me of a snow globe village!)

I’m excited to see THIS movie on Saturday:

I can’t believe next week is December! I’m loving THIS holiday gift guide based around my favorite holiday movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!

If you like Christmas Music, Hey, It’s Christmas! has released their 3rd volume! This is a free compilation from various artists and it’s really helped me get into the spirit this year.

THIS tumblr has me hooked – I’m a sucker for anything cute and romantic!

Also, THIS tumblr is an amazing find and I’ve been obsessing over it all week! It’s the ultimate all-things-girly mecca, in my opinion.

What are you loving this week?

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Holiday Cookbook: Southern Pecan Pie

29 Nov

Today, let’s talk about something dangerous: Southern Pecan Pie. Mmmmm… my favorite!

Southern Pecan Pie

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (chopped if you like, but I keep mine whole)
  • 1 unbaked deep dish pie shell

What You’ll Do:

  1. In saucepan boil sugar and corn syrup together for 2 to 3 minutes; set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In large bowl beat eggs lightly and very slowly pour the syrup mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in butter, vanilla, and pecans and pour into crust.
  4. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 45 to 60 minutes or until set.
  5. Enjoy the best Pecan Pie that you’ve ever tasted!

Holiday Cookbook: The Very Best Pumpkin Pie

28 Nov

I’ve been MIA lately, but in my opinion a little break from technology is actually a good thing every now and then. I always spend the holidays baking, and thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you! Today let’s talk about my favorite holiday food, Pumpkin Pie. Once you try this recipe, you won’t want to use canned pumpkin ever again – I promise!

The Very Best Pumpkin Pie

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 pie pumpkin (or use a jack-o-lantern like I always do – it makes enough for 3 full pies!)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 cans evaporated milk

What You’ll Do:

  1. Prepare your pumpkin: scoop out all of the goop and seeds (I save the seeds and roast them!), cut the pumpkin into pieces, and place in a large microwavable dish. Add a few inches of water (no need to fully submerge!), cover with a towel, and cook for 20 minutes – or until it separates from the outer skin super easily and is mushy. (If you use a large pumpkin, you will need to microwave several parts at a time. If you hate microwaves for some reason, here are some other ways to prep the pumpkin along with pictures and the original recipe)
  2. Scoop out 3 cups of the pumpkin and place into a large bowl (per pie). Mash into a smooth consistency.
  3. Mix all of the other ingredients listed above and pour into a pie crust.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and a half (keep an eye on it, and you’ll know it’s ready when you place a knife in the center and it comes out pretty clean)
  5. Enjoy! Every time I make this, family & friends tell me it’s the best pie they’ve ever eaten… it’s simple and classic!

Crock Pot Veggie & Bean Soup

14 Nov

Did you know that it’s suuuuuper easy to make almost any kind of soup in your crock pot? One thing that I love about the cooler months is that meals in the crock pot are always incredibly delicious and incredibly easy. I really like to make a huge pot of soup and then divide it up into individual servings and freeze it – really great to bring to work, because it’s de-thawed and ready for the microwave by lunchtime! It’s also pretty cheap…

Crock Pot Veggie & Bean Soup

(today’s lunch! sorry for the poor quality!)

What You’ll Need:

  • Mixed veggies of any kind. For this particular batch, I used 2 potatoes (diced), 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup mushrooms, 1 cup peas, 1 cup onion (chopped), 1 cup corn, 1 cup peppers (chopped). Really, just use whatever you have on hand!
  • Beans of any kind… I had a random can of garbonzo beans that had been sitting in our cabinet for far too long, so I threw that in there.
  • Chicken broth, Chicken Boullion Cubes, or a mixture of both. Also, spices sich as salt and pepper, chili powder, etc.
  • Things to add that I didn’t: small shell noodles, lentils, cut up chicken or beef, whatever looks good!

What You’ll Do:

  1. Chop up all veggies and throw into your crock pot. Don’t fill it too full or it won’t be “soupy” enough… I usually fill mine about 1/3 of the way with veggies and beans.
  2. Add beans (and other things of your choosing)
  3. Add the broth. I use 1 cup water for every can of broth. If you don’t have broth, use the boullion cubes (I kind of prefer this or a mixture of the two). Just add 3 cubes per 1 cup water. Fill it up to the top…. for this particular batch I used 2 cups broth, 4 boullion cubes, and about 4 cups of water.
  4. Season with spices. I usually keep tasting and adding throughout the day… I keep it simple with salt, pepper, and chili powder but you can pretty much add whatever smells like it would be good! I honestly don’t measure spices I just toss them in…. I probably used around 1 tbs of each.
  5. Finally, turn your crock pot onto it’s lowest setting and let everything cook for about 5 hours! Enjoy!

Scary Movies.

13 Nov

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This weekend lasted 3 whole days, and that extra day was very much needed! On Friday, me and my best friend had the great idea to watch Paranormal Activity 3 over dinner, and then see Paranormal Activity 4 in the theatre. Terrible decision, because I was so afraid that I slept with all the lights on in the apartment for two whole nights. Actually, I was checking over my shoulders during the day too. Yes, I am that girl.

Saturday I spent the evening with this girl and her adorable pup, and Sunday I cleaned up a little and had dinner with my boyfriends mom – which was a really nice surprise! We ate here and I got crispy noodles with squid, scallops, and shrimp. Really, really good if you’re ever in the area!

Yesterday was my favorite day though, because we spent the entire day on the couch. So lazy.. but honestly, everyone needs a day like that every once in a while! We’ve become obsessed with the original Munsters… remember that show?

I hope your weekend was just as relaxing and just as fun. I can’t even believe that next week is Thanksgiving… this month is moving quick! Get ready for a ton of yummy recipes, because when in comes to the holidays I tend to cook enough for a small army.

Side note, did you know that I like to write? I’ve set up a little side blog HERE that I’m dedicating to my writing… so feel free to check it out 😉

Friday Favorites <333

9 Nov

Happy Friday, lovebugs! Hope everyone had a fantastic week. Mine was just ok, but we made it to the weekend so I’m all smiles.

I’m all alone this weekend (my boyfriend is currently on his way to Florida, luckyyy), so I hope to get some work done on the coffee table I’m re-doing and of course a little cleaning. I’m also planning a scary movie marathon with my best friend… so things should be relaxing and fun. Oh! And I have Monday off! Score!

Anyway…

What I’m Loving This Week:

Diamonds, a girls best friend:

How cute is THIS little girl football player? Her teammates call her “Sweet Feet” and she can moooove…

I just wanna cuddle up with THIS GUY. Adorable.

THIS song is on repeate. So sad, but so good.

THIS Hip Handmade Holiday. I hate wasting a ton of money on gifts, creating them is so much better in my opinion.

THIS post is the cutest thing I’ve ever read.

THIS is Perfect.

Also, really really cool camera APPS.

What are you loving this week?

Workout Diaries: IV

8 Nov

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Hello, hello. Let’s all just pretend to not notice that it’s been almost a month since I’ve done anything physical whatsoever. Also, did anyone notice that I chose to use VIII for Roman Numeral 3 on my last diary postwow. Instead, let’s focus on why I decided to go back to the gym this week, and why I’m more motivated to work out now than ever.

Two things I’ve learned about myself:

1. When I don’t work out, my skin isn’t as soft. I don’t really know why, maybe it’s because I eat really poorly, but I’ve noticed that when I don’t work out my face starts to break out. I generally have really great skin and I’m very lucky, but yeah… I noticed that over the past few weeks my skin was starting to feel less smooth and I was even starting to get a pimple or two, which was instantly fixed the moment I went to the gym. Coincidence? Possibly, but if it gets me off my ass… I’m taking it.

2. I get really bloated when I don’t work out, and it’s not cute. This is probably because when I work out I drink substantially more water, and also because I eat a ton of salty foods (I could literally eat chips for every meal, and snacks, and dessert. Whoops.) Anyway, I also noticed a change with this when I started working out again. Not that I’ve lost a ton of weight in only a week…. but things aren’t as “puffy” if that makes sense?

So, I am back in the gym. I am very, very lucky to have a gym at my work… and I like working out during the day better than at night. I have been getting on the elliptical for 40 minutes and doing intervals, and hopefully I can stay motivated because I feel much better than I did the days I chose to eat chips and nap at my desk. Also, I walk home from work everyday because I don’t have a car… so that counts as an additional 30 minutes, right? Right.

Weightloss Goal & Pounds Lost To Date:

My goal is still to lose 40 lbs by March. So basically, I need to get it together and quickly because I’ve already wasted a month. Good news – I’ve lost 3 pounds this week! Bad news……………… these are 3 pounds that I gained over the last month. Whatever. 3 pounds is 3 pounds.

What’s Keeping Me Motivated:

I’ll be the first to tell you that working out sucks and it’s my absolute least favorite thing to do. I’d rather wash dishes, take a math test, or pull my toe nails out than go to a gym. (ok… maybe not that last one. gross.) But, I’m motivated to keep at it because I feel better when I work out, I drink more water, and I feel better about myself. Confidence is a big one for me, and I feel more confident when I’m healthy.

Favorite Workout This Week:

Well, does it count as a favorite if all I’m doing is getting on the elliptical? Eventually I want to incorporate weight training and even jogging outside, but for now this is where I’m at. And this week has been bearable.

Least Favorite Workout This Week:

Did I mention how much I hate working out?

Healthy Foods I’ve Tried:

Plain and simple, my diet sucks. I’ve eaten 2 snickers bars this week and if I could afford eating pizza every night, I would. But it’s a process and I’ve been brining my lunch this week, which does help me stay on track. Also, I made this really good dinner the other night which was pasta, chicken, onions, and spinach all mixed together. I need to find more recipes for foods like that!

Goals For The Upcoming Week:

I really want to improve my diet and to just stick with working out 5 days a week. This week wasn’t so bad and I’m sure next week won’t be either, but finding ways to continue working out is something that I need to do in order to see a change. The biggest thing I keep telling myself is that I didn’t gain all of my weight over night, and I’m not going to lose it overnight either. Puts things in to perspective, doesn’t it?

*Workout Diaries is a weekly post that will track and monitor the progress that I am making as I attempt to lose 40 pounds. Please feel free to follow along and post your success stories or struggles in the comments section!