Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cinnamon Toast


When I was young, Mom had a shaker filled with cinnamon and sugar already pre-mixed for us to shake on our toast. It was one of my favorite breakfasts... the warm toast, melted butter, sweet cinnamon and sugar. Every component seemed to play perfectly against the other ; I would always make sure to finish every crumb... this makes me wonder, why did I stop eating this delicious treat after the age of 10? Maybe because it was just that.... a treat.
Yes, cinnamon toast is far from a breakfast for champions, but there is something to be said about indulging in simple, easy flavors every once in a while... I think I may just make a few slices for breakfast tomorrow...

Cinnamon Toast
  • Your favorite sliced bread
  • A little butter
  • About a pinch of cinnamon
  • A little larger pinch of organic cane sugar
Make your toast, spread the butter and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Words that describe mug


As you know, I love mugs, and this mug is just wonderful...written on it - words that describe me...

Have a happy Day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day


How was your Memorial Day weekend? It was gorgeous in Chicago and thankfully I was able to spend a lot of my time outside... John and I biked around with a friend on Friday, and sat at the boat docks chatting and taking in the view... as we sat, it reminded me of how fast-paced city life can be, and strengthened my resolve to be mindful of time.
 Biking around the city is one of my favorite things to do during downtime, and the summer is the perfect season to get out and explore! John gave me his old bike last summer (which I love) but it has always driven him a bit crazy to see me on it...his concerns: the bike is fast, a little too big for my petite frame and I do have trouble reaching the breaks...
 I loved riding it and thought I was in control... until I proved John correct on Sunday, by wiping out in the middle of a busy street...


Besides a few scrapes, a handful of bruises and a wounded ego, I came out unscathed.
 As much as I didn't think so at the time, John was right... I did need a smaller, slower bike for the type of riding I wanted to participate in. We spent the day shopping around for bikes, and found the bike of my dreams (pictured above)! 
John is happy, I am happy, and my bike is extremely happy to have a new home (don't ask how I can tell, I just can). 



The basket I have right now (to hold Ballou) is a little big, but once I find the right size, my bike will be the perfect vessel for city transit... 

While riding around Lakeshore, John and I stopped to rest, and these cute little duckies were bobbing for food... I love how their butts pop up in the air when they dive for their catch...such a silly way to eat! 

Any stories from the weekend you want to share? I would love to hear them!
Hope you enjoyed your weekend, and have a wonderful Tuesday!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Word Day


The weekend is knocking on our door, and I am ready to answer!
Claire moves this weekend to pursue the rest of her degree in Pittsburg, and we had a little going away dinner last night... Jess and I ended up drinking cosmopolitans and I can honestly say, it was my first time ordering that drink - but probably not the last time because it was delicious!

This weekend, John and I are going on a long bike ride and we plan on cooking out as well... Any fun long-weekend plans for you? I hope you all have a great Memorial day, and please come back to say hello on Tuesday!

Long Weekend To-Does:
Ok, last but not least, here is the Friday Word of the Day:

Radiance- the quality and state of being radiant; being bright

*Synonyms: glowing, gleaming, light, lustre 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Purpose for Wine Bottles


When I open a bottle of wine, I always measure up the bottle it comes in... sometimes I find, they are just as wonderful as the wine itself!

After I'm done with the wine, I rinse the bottle, remove all labels and fill them with water to have for parties, or just to put on the dinner table. If you don't drink wine or hate peeling off the labels (I don't blame you) then you could always buy some cool bottles from flee markets or stores like west elm (where I found these cool  bottles shown above).

I promise, this little touch of beauty on the dinner table, goes a long way! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thanking the Little Things

(Note: this is not my photo, but a good one!)

Taking time to celebrate the little things in life is so important! Do me a favor and take a moment to give thanks for/to something that makes your day a little better... I promise it will make you smile inside...

...Thank you coffee and banana - for tasting so delicious together... you are the perfect marriage between bitter, creamy and sweet... 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Strawberry Basil Bourbon Recipe

I could tell by 8 am, that today will be one in need of a happy hour... This is my end goal...



 Strawberry Basil Bouron Recipe (original recipe here)
  • 1 1/2 ounces Bourbon (or any whiskey you have at home)
  • about a 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • handful of basil (6 ish leaves)
  • Sparkling water
Muddle the basil and strawberries in the bottom of a large glass, and add in the whiskey. Next, fill glass with ice cubes and sparkling water. If you want, you can add a little more basil or strawberries to the top for garnish... Take your drink to a comfortable spot, sit down and ENJOY!

Monday, May 21, 2012

All You Should Eat

Hello Friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. It was a great one for me, as I was able to spend an entire day lounging with one of my best friends before she sets off to move. I also met some pretty awesome girls this weekend and cannot wait to hang out with them again! 

Last night, John and I were able to eat outside on the back porch and enjoy a really nice dinner. In the midst of cooking, I started thinking about the portions of what we should be eating, and how easy it is to over indulge if more was sitting there on the table . I decided to put half of the food away, and  keep make just enough to fill two bellies perfectly.

As John and I talked about how and what we eat, he shared a little fact I found important. Humans are predisposed to over-eat, as our ancestors never really knew when their next meal would be. In fact, those who were able to over-eat the most, were typically the ones that survived longer! Interesting right? Taking this into consideration, limiting the food offered at the get-go seems even more important in maintaining a healthy weight.    I know I will be thinking about this fact the next time I make a large meal, and hope you do too!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Word Day


Hello to all my Friday people! What will you be up to this weekend?
If you happen to find yourself in Chicago, be careful on the streets! NATO has taken over and there is protesting and activities all around the city. Hopefully, the protests will stay peaceful and positive... but we all know how easy it is for situations to go array when emotions are involved... John came home reporting incidents of flying CaCa aimed at people walking out of the Board of Trade! 
Besides avoiding the NATO extravaganza, my weekend will be filled riding my bike, hanging with John and Ballou, shopping with a girlfriend and (hopefully) planting the second half of my seeds.
Hopefully I will have time to make a nice meal as well...any new recipes you suggest I try?

 With whatever you are doing this weekend, make sure save some time for relaxation and rest!

OK, OK, enough of the wait! Here is your  Friday Word:

Ethereal- characterized by lightness and insubstantial; intangible; delicate.

*Synonyms: airy, celestial, dainty

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Go Green Stamps


Have you seen any of these awesome USPS stamps yet? 
Sometimes, even yours truly has forgotten to turn off the lights, or bring her reusable bags to shop... and every time I do something like that, I wish I would have taken the time to think about the situation before hand. When I see these stamps, they remind me of how far a little thought and compassion can go.
 Everyone needs a reminder every once in-awhile, so buy some USA Go Green stamps here, and do your part to spread the good word!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Healthy Veg Quiche

A few weeks ago, I made this quiche for John.... and all I can say is yumm!!!

 We both wanted something delicious and decadent, but still healthy...I searched for awhile and found a perfect match! This recipe really did check off all of our needs.
 The next day at work I bragged about our awesome creation to my coworkers and sent along the recipe and I am sorry it took me this long to share it with you!
Now, I made our quiche with veggies I had in my fridge, but here is the original recipe I worked from if you want to follow step-by-step.

Ingredients
  • 6 or 7 egg whites (about a cup) and 2 whole eggs
  • Fresh Veggies (I used red onion, baby heirloom tomatoes, and summer squash)
  •  2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • shredded cheese of your choice
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable broth
  • Pre-made pie shell
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Lay out pie crust in the dish you are using to make your quiche. Poke a few times with fork, and bake for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, saute your veggies and garlic with a little olive oil. Season with your salt and pepper to taste and add in the vegetable broth. This process should take about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly (to not scramble the eggs when mixed).
  3. In a bowl, whisk together egg whites and whole eggs. Add in the cheese and then the vegetable mix. Stir to incorporate and pour everything over the par-cooked pie crust. 
  4. Bake until the quiche is set, or about 20 minutes. Enjoy!
* I put a thin layer of cheese down on the pie crust after I baked it for those initial 5 minutes and a little on top when the quiche was almost ready... just to add a little extra yum! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Porch Garden Time

I have been meaning to plant the seeds I purchased months ago for my porch garden, and so far, nothing has been planted... Hopefully I am not too late to grow a healthy back-porch garden if I finish planting tonight...cross your fingers for me please and wish me lots of luck! 
Above is a picture that I am taking porch-inspiration from this summer, and I will post a picture once I have my own all together! 

For all those (like me) who are not fortunate enough to have a yard, but still want a little garden, here is an article with great advice for starting a porch garden.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Spinach + Ricotta Shells


Hello Monday friends! How was your weekend?

 A root canal on Friday and a college graduation on Sunday kept me busy to say the least. Now it is time to get back to basics, and for me, that always includes a good workout, a meditation, and a home cooked meal.

Wouldn't these stuffed shells be a perfect Monday night dinner? I still can't chew on the right side of my mouth, but these soft, cheese-filled shells would be easy, tasty and nutritious.

Thank you Real Simple for another great recipe!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Word Day


Friday is here, and lordy am I in pain! Tooth pain to be specific... isn't it amazing how one little tooth can cause so many issues? Hopefully I will be able to take care of my toothy by the end of the day (cross your fingers it's not a root canal!) and get on to enjoying a nice weekend. 

Happy Mothers Day to all those beautiful Moms out there! Thank you for your hard work and never ending love. 

Friday Word of the Day:

Enduringly- long lasting, continual, durable and patient

*Synonyms: endless, always, withstanding

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Almond Milk + Coffee


This idea is so smart and simple! All you have to do is freeze coffee in cubes, add together with almond milk, and enjoy... I think I may try to make this with chocolate milk too!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Life Quotes


If you choose to listen, I would love to share my thought for the day:

Today is a beautiful day. It is one to remember. The clouds may be covering the sun, and there may still be a chance of rain, but it is beautiful none-the-less. This too shall pass, and it's on us to decide how we spend our time passing... 

Here are 4 more thoughts from others I enjoy and hope you do as well:

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. -John Lennon

To live is the rarest thing in the World. Most people exist, that is all. -Oscar Wilde

Life is like riding a bicycle, To keep your balance, you must keep moving. - Albert Einstein

If you don't know where your going, any road will get you there. -Lewis Carroll

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Drunk Purchase Gone Right

A month or so ago, I met some of my girlfriends for wine and chit-chat. On my commute back home (on public transportation!) I decided to check my emails, where a new Groupon message was waiting. Word to the wise, do not shop online when you have alcohol in your system... 

Somehow, I ended up with a year subscription to  "O"  magazine. 
Nothing against Oprah, but her magazine seemed to be geared for an...older, more suburban audience.
When the first magazine came in, I thought I would give it a try, and I must admit, I really like it! The tips  have been super helpful, and the articles well written and interesting... 

What has been the best tip thus far? That's easy!

(A perfectly balanced cheese plate!)

 After a get-together (such as a wine and cheese party) take all the little pieces of cheese you have leftover, and place them in a ramekin or small serving bowl. Turn oven to 350 degrees and melt the cheese together for a yummy new creation. You can eat it hot like a dip, or cut it up for salads and sandwiches after it cools...Cannot wait to try this out!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey


Happy Monday! It's rainy and overcast in Chicago, and all I want to do this Monday, is curl up in my bed with John and a good book! My wonderful book-club just finished up a fun read, and a new book was chosen this Morning...
The New York Times #1 bestseller, 50 Shades of Grey has been called by some as "Mommy Porn", and that's enough to intrigue me! It has gotten quite a buzz going already and I have heard some pretty positive reviews all-round. If you are up for a different sort of book,  join along for the read! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Word Day


Hello Friday friends! In the middle of the night, I woke up to birds chirping. There was a horrible thunder storm  and I think the birds were confused with the light coming from the continuous streaks of lightening. I felt bad for them, but even worse for myself... as long as they kept their chirping, nobody was going to rest! About an hour and a half later, I finally fell back to sleep waking up this morning, mourning the lost slumber.

An iced americano and some Aruba coconut lotion has helped cheer me up this A.M., and date-night tonight will come just in time! 

Have a great weekend with whatever you are up to, and enjoy Friday's word

Exuberance- joyful enthusiasm; an overflowing amount; an emotion of great happiness

*Synonyms:  abundance, joy, vigor  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

We Do Mugs


You know I love my mugs, and ones with a positive message are even better! Aren't these mugs awesome? There is absolutely more than one way to say "we do"... 

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher was a woman to be reckoned with. Her strength, passion and drive is something to marvel over. Here are some of my favorite quotes from her that, I believe, sum up the essence of  her spirit.

  • Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem and personal satisfaction.
  • Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
  • If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.
  • It may be the Cock that crows, but it's the Hen that lays the eggs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Working Out

How's your week going? Mine feels like a bit of a roller coaster, and I am ready for the end of the ride! Working out has been on the back-burner these last few weeks, and I know this is the first thing I need to change. As you know, the balance that comes from working out is truly amazing, and I know it will help my body, mind, and soul. Here is a the workout plan I am going to use to kick start my booty... Join in on the fun!


More workout ideas are linked to this website as well if this does not sound "fun" to you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baby Love


This story has been re-blogged over and over, but I wanted to share it with you one more time. It is a story of two babies and love. 
When these twins were born, one was weaker than the other and put in critical care. A nurse convinced the Doctors to finally put the twins together in a last ditch effort to stabilize the sick newborn. Once the twins were reunited, the baby placed in critical care immediately started showing signs of improvement. Please check out the story if you would like to read more and get a good cry in! 

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