Archive for ‘Link Love’

July 29, 2011

One Hot Mess

Happy Friday! I’m about to hit the gym for an arm and pool workout, but first I’d like to mention dinner, upcoming goals, and some foodie fun. This post is really one big hot mess of stuff!

Dinner last night was this. The gnocchi and sauce were terrific. The nutritional yeast on the broccoli? Eh. Not so much. Still a good dinner though.


Goal Time! It is less than one month until my birthday, and my feelings are torn. Part of me is really excited because it means I have survived 25 years on this earth. Not only have I survived, but I’ve made friends, learned lessons, married the man I love, adopted two (furry) children, obtained my master’s degree, and purchased a home.


On the other hand, getting older means exactly what it sounds like- getting older. I’ve been pushed into the mid-to-late twenties bracket. Ugh. I’m not so sure I’m ready for that.

In order to ease into full-blown adulthood, I have a few minor goals.

  1. Start using moisturizer/cream/serum/something: I’ve only tried it because it comes in my Clinique bonus bags. So I made my first anti-wrinkle cream purchase this week. Wish me luck!
  2. Take more calcium: I should have been doing this for years but only do so occasionally. Calcium is important, especially for those with small frames. Maybe I’ll explain why in a future post…
  3. Lose 3 or 4 lbs before my birthday: That’s what I’ve put on so far in 2011. I fully welcome support and encouragement.
Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle

When did you first start using anti-aging products? Do you use them? Can you tell a difference?

Now I’d like to share a wee bit of foodie fun. It’s time for cooking with beer!

BBQ Mini Meatloaves: I made these for Kev to bring to work a couple weeks ago. I used beer instead of milk or water. You couldn’t taste much beer flavor, but he said they were good.


Pork-and-Pumpkin Chili: Seriously – this was delicious. It has many great ingredients, such as beans, beer, pumpkin, mustard greens, and those little adobo peppers. It’s from Food Network Magazine.

Beer & Sauerkraut Fudge Cupcakes, Beer Frosting: I was intrigued by this but haven’t made it myself. Dark beer occasionally goes well with chocolate, but I’d definitely omit the sauerkraut.

Brats n’ Beer: From The Smart Kitchen – Brats and beer is kind of a no-brainer, but it’s still so smart.

Beer Sweet Potato Fries: From Edible Perspective – I haven’t tried these, but what could go wrong with sweet potatoes and beer???

Have a good weekend!

July 17, 2011

Reading the Sunday Paper… or Sunday Blogs

I know I don’t post on Sundays, but I want to share some info and a little link love.

Info: I worked hard on the house yesterday, and I made it to the lake for the afternoon.  A Paulaner Hefe came along with me.  That, in my opinion, is the epitome of wheat beer.  It is still brewed to the Reinheitsgebot, the German purity laws of 1516, and it’s good!  (Kev hates it, but no one asked him.)


Today I woke up not wanting to work out at all.  I haven’t wanted to skip a run that badly in a loooong time.  After laying in bed, wasting time, procrastinating, and trying to get some sort of motivation, I finally got up.  I got up and put on my running gear.  I ran.  It was horrible.  It was a very difficult run, even though I didn’t go far.  At mile 2, I got a cramp and needed to walk a little.  In the end, I finished exactly 3 miles in 25:35, including that walk time.  I guess that isn’t so bad after all!  As one of my favorite workout mantras goes: You never regret a workout.  Too true.  I rewarded myself with a smoothie in a bowl.  It has raspberries, spinach, banana, skim milk, and all-natural, vanilla, soy protein.  Yum!



Link Love: Here are a few posts and articles that have made me smile lately.  I hope you enjoy!

Corey at Learning Patience posted a great-looking recipe for cinnamon lentil soup.  I can’t wait to try it!  Martha Stewart recommends freezing wine you don’t finish for cooking purposes, and I have some in my freezer right now.  Yes, I’m sorry to break the news – there’s no excuse to finish the bottle every time.

Travel & Leisure posted a link to the best beer cities.  I figured Nashville and Charleston would be lower, but I also thought Boston and Chicago would be higher.  I totally see how they chose the Portlands.


Charleston 2010 - No Beer Here!

I really enjoyed Tina’s post at Faith, Fitness, and Fun about the annoying comments people make.  What are comments you hate?  I don’t particularly like it when people make comments about how I must enjoy working out.  Let’s get this straight.  Working out is no picnic for me.  I like the feeling I get afterwards, but I would much rather sleep in during the week or watch tv at night.  It’s called dedication – not joy.

I also really enjoyed Brittany’s post about extreme couponing.  I’m glad someone agrees with me.  Great – you got an amazing deal on junk food.  Good for you.  Too bad you had to buy 10 boxes.  Don’t get me wrong. I love a good deal, and I cut coupons.  But even I have my limits.  My mema had a great point: if you weren’t going to buy it when it wasn’t on sale, it’s not a deal to buy it when it is.

Lastly, enjoy this pic from Beer Runner, originally from the London Daily Telegraph

Best Beer Runner Photo Ever

I hope you enjoyed the link love.  More importantly, I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

July 14, 2011

Jalapeno Corn Muffins

I got up this morning and completed another 3 miles with my running buddy.  I’m glad I did it, but we were both huffing and puffing.  It was hot, windy, and humid.  How does this happen before the sun even rises???  Anyway, at least I did it, and I’m done!  Moving on…

Last week, I know I said that there was a jalapeno corn muffin recipe coming soon.  It didn’t come very soon, but it came.  It came just the same.  (Sorry, I totally ripped off Dr. Seuss right there.  Thanks Mr. Grinch!)

I made these for a 4th of July cookout we attended, but since I didn’t create the recipe, I wasn’t in a huge hurry to post it .  (Nothing is more American than corn these days.)  The muffins aren’t even healthy, and for once, I did not try to “healthify” them.  At least they were a hit at the cookout!

The recipe comes from Food Network’s website, so I’m not going to re-post it here.  I will just go through it with you to let you in on my baking secrets.  Okay, there’s no lie.  I have no baking secrets.  I just want to share the yum-ness.

 The Essence of Emeril’s Jalapeno Corn Muffins  (recipe yields 14, but I got 12 out of them)

First, you’ve gotta gather your goods.  Martha Stewart says it’s best to gather and pre-measure your ingredients before cooking.  I agree, but I don’t always do it.  Shame shame.


Gathering the Goods

Then, I defrosted my frozen corn.  Sorry Emeril, I like it frozen.  So easy, and so yellow.  I also fried up my onions in 1 TBS butter.  Again, sorry Emeril, 2 TBS just sounded excessive.  I also throw in a diced, fresh jalapeno after the onion cooked a bit.


Onions + Butter = Hot Love in a Pan

Now mix your dry stuff.  I added a little extra cheese, which was barely noticeable.  I also couldn’t taste the cayenne pepper, but maybe I have a cheap brand or something.  Then mix your wet stuff separately.  I used this sustainable honey came from my uncle’s property.  I guess it’s organic too, but who really puts chemicals on bees?  Steroid bees?  Antibiotic super-bees?  Odd.


Honey Bear Always Sees the Glass Half Full

You put your dry stuff in; don’t take your dry stuff out.  You put your wet stuff in, and then you mix it all about…


Honey Bear Approves of this Mixture

As you can see from the pic, I used both pickled and fresh jalapenos.  The recipe calls for red jalapenos, but I’ve never heard of such things… and I might have been too lazy to look for them.

 I spooned the goo into muffin tins and baked.  Mine took a while to bake, but my oven’s older than dirt.  I like to sarcastically call it, Old Reliable.

Here’s the finished product.  Yum!  Be sure to let them cool, and yes, it’s okay to use a roasting pan if you don’t own a cooling rack.  I’ve never been the kind of girl to sport a big rack.


Take a Chill Pill, Muffins

Notice that half are darker than the others.  I used whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour for the first batch, but I just used all-purpose flour for the second batch.  Kev and I actually preferred the muffins with whole wheat, which is very surprising since he’s a white pasta/bread/muffin kind of guy.


So Friggin Cute! (And Festive)

These were not terribly spicy, but they were good.  They had just enough kick to appeal to a crowd but not send anyone reaching for a beer glass of water.  I have to admit that I did not figure the nutrition stats on these.  I bet we don’t really want to know…

What do you think of spicy foods?  Jalapenos – yay or nay?

July 6, 2011

What I Ate Tuesday & Wednesday

It’s WIAW time again!  Yay!  These are pics of what I ate yesterday, but I’m eating the exact same thing today (except one or two very minor changes), so you get the idea.

My first breakfast was a hard boiled egg.  So nutritious, yet so yummy!  Second breakfast was fruit, nonfat Greek yogurt, and Love Grown Foods Granola.  Tuesday I had blueberries, and today I’ll be having mango.  This was my first time buying a mango; I didn’t realize how friggin awesome it is!


Parfait = Morning Bowl of Goodness

Lunch is simple yet awesome.  It’s just a turkey sandwich, and though it lacks sufficient turkey, it still hits the spot.  It’s Applegate Farms roast turkey, grain mustard, lettuce, and delicious whole wheat bread.  I packed it with a juicy pear.


A Lovely Pear (Pun Intended)

I normally don’t buy much deli meat since it’s often bad for the environment, over-processed, full of sodium, and blah blah blah.  However, when you want a sandwich, you want a sandwich.


Simple and Satisfying

Snack is another simple yet awesome concoction.  Veggies and organic hummus make a mean snack.  Tuesday I had carrots, but I will have celery today.  I’m sorry celery, but carrots kick you butt.


I measure carrots for fun. Dork.

I made up a new recipe tonight for dinner.  It was really good, if you’re into odd foods.  I was inspired by Thai Kitchen’s spicy red curry and all the junk in my fridge.  Sadly, the curry wasn’t so spicy, but luckily, it was still delish.

bowl of noms

Curry in a Semi-Hurry

Two chicken breasts, one can of beans, red quinoa, a large zucchini, carrots, a little leftover tomato, celery, some red bell pepper, and a jalapeno all came together to make this dish.  As you may know, I love chicken packets and leftovers, so I’m happy this will feed Kev and I for two nights.  Sweeeeeet.

kev bowl

I stole a pic of Kev's man-bowl.

I had a jalapeno corn muffin after dinner Tuesday (recipe to come), but I bet I’ll have some ice cream Wednesday.  Yup, I an evening muncher.  I don’t recommend or advise it, but I’m not ashamed!

As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to hop over to Peas and Crayons to check out other great eats and meal ideas!

What was the best thing you ate today?

July 3, 2011

Blogger Awards

I was lucky enough to have two lovely bloggers pass on the Amazing Blogger Award.  Kaila and Jessica passed it along to me, so I think now is as good a time as any to give it a whirl.  It’s a survey-type thing with ten fun questions.  Gracias Chicas!
Amazing Blogger Award
1. Favorite Cartoon Character: I was thinking Rainbow Bright, but Amanda reminded me it’s actually Unicorn from The Last Unicorn
The Last Unicorn
2. Favorite Thing to Photograph: My Family (Yes, that includes my cats.)
3. Favorite Thing to Cook: Meatloaf – It makes me think of home, and everyone enjoys eating it when it’s done.
4. Favorite Way to Exercise: I enjoy lifting weights.  Go big or go home.  Hiking is good too.
5. Favorite Movie: Considering my cat’s name is Leia, the Star Wars movies are high on my list.  Other favs include Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Mel Brook’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights
6. Favorite Clothing: Pajamas.  I’m also a huge fan of dresses, so I guess I’m not a total slob.

Dressing around at the Vineyards

7. Favorite Flower: Sunflowers or Hydrangeas

White Hydrangeas

8. Favorite Breakfast: A big one.  Does that count?  No?  Okay – maybe cereal.
9. Favorite Book: A Prayer for Owen Meany, Water for Elephants, The Help, The World According to Garp, East of Eden…
10. Least Favorite Food: I think asparagus is high on the list, but grilled squid takes the cake.  Generally speaking though, I like just about everything.  It’s a blessing and a curse.
I also recently received an award from It’s The Cookie Monster, but it’s similar to another award I wrote about in May.  Thanks for linking up though!  For those who are interested, click here for the link to the other link to my previous post regarding the Smile Award.
Here is just a wee bit more link love of some good stuff.
  • Link love to beer commercial: This is a pretty darn funny beer commercial I found on Beer and Whiskey Bros blog.
  • Link to comical post: “If healthy living blogs existed in…”  Thanks Marie!
June 3, 2011

A Fun-Stuff-Friday Mix

Hurray for Friday!  Today’s post is a mini recap of yesterday and a fun-stuff-Friday mix.  Yesterday did not play out as I had expected.  In the morning, my running buddy and I didn’t do our regular Three-mile Thursday.  (We decided that sounded more responsible than our “Thirsty Thursday” meet ups in college.)  My legs gave me a fit, so we only did two miles before I headed home for abdominal work.

Due to the shorter run, I planned to do yoga at night.  Instead, Kev and I met our friends at a park-like place an outdoor concert.  This was my first trip to this venue, and lemme’ tell ya, I plan on returning!  They have low and high ropes courses, mellow kayaking, a slalom rapids kayak course, rock-wall climbing, zip lines, and a bunch of trails.  Did I mention they also have beer?  Good beer?  Oh… yeah, that’s important too.

Kev's Brew

Dale's Pale: Always a good choice

An evening of jams, beer, animals, and good weather is something I couldn’t pass up.  Sorry yoga.  My evening was even better because I had a sweet potato and a spoonful of peeb (peanut butter) for dinner before the show.  ::Big Smiles!::  I didn’t get a beer at the concert (whaaaaa???), but I appreciated the great selection nonetheless.


Sunsets, Dogs, Beers, and Jams

Okay… now for that fun-stuff-Friday mix…

First up is link love:

  • CheersBeers has an interesting post.  I too use a “Tiff Cup” that looks like a pint glass but only holds about 12 oz of beer instead of 16.  I love having it on hand when we have a keg or full growler at the house.
  • Beer Runner is another great site.  See… I’m not the only one who pairs the two!  On a side note, a buddy in college completed a half marathon while moderately inebriated.  No, I’m not recommending this or planning on doing it myself, but it’s just an entertaining tidbit for ya.

 Lastly, in honor of the first football game, which is officially 3 months away (9/3/11), here is some Clemson culture:

Clemson Girls Are…

Memorial Day

Photo from Last Weekend

Classy Enough to:

  • rock a tasteful Ralph Lauren bikini
  • enjoy chilled pinot grigio
  • have a love for boating/yachting/sailing

 Country Enough to:

  • rock a cowgirl hat with their bikini
  • drink out of a plastic purple wine glass (safety first when boating!)
  • secretly enjoy cheap pinot grigio because you can’t taste the difference (I’m a beer girl. What did you expect?)

There, now you know a little more about Clemson Girls.  Check the Clemson Girl blog I found for more info if desired.  Have a great weekend!

May 31, 2011

Sleep Please!

Did anyone else have a sloooow morning?  I woke up to my 5 a.m. alarm, but I accidentally fell back asleep until Cleo’s purring woke me up again at 5:19.  Whoops!  I must admit, this is the first time I was happy one of my furry children woke me from my blissful slumber.

I headed off to the gym and began my new workout.  Well, I actually started the June workout yesterday, but I didn’t really give it 100%.  Today I pushed myself a little harder.  I did 35 min on the stairclimber and finished up with leg work.  Don’t worry, I’ll post the workout later this week.  It’s a good one; I can already tell!

I want to share a recipe with you really quickly.  No, I didn’t make it up on my own.  You can get it at A Year of Slow Cooking, and it’s called Balsamic Chicken with Spring Veg.  It’s not my favorite, but it was perfect for a slow day off from work.  While the crock pot cooked all day, I was able to prep other foods for the week, run errands, and do some laundry.  (The fun doesn’t stop.  Gag.)  Anyway, Kevin likes this one, and we ate it with brown rice.  I also substituted low-sodium soy sauce and a bit of black pepper for worcesteshire sauce due to the HFCS.  It’ll feed us 2.5 nights.  Hurray for leftovers!

Now that I’m back from vacation and life is resuming its normal routine (sad to be back, but happy to get back to the routine), I can finally accept the Smile Award given to me by Kaila at The Healthy Helper.  Thanks Sweetie!

The Rules:

  1. Smile!
  2. Write 3 Things You Like About Your Looks
  3. Write 3 Things You Appreciate About Your Personality
  4. Write Something You Find Beautiful in Other People
  5. Award As Many Other People As You Like & Let Them Know

Here it goes…

  1. Smile!
  2. I like my hair, calves, and cheekbones.
  3. I like my laid-back attitude, my sense of humor, and my smilieness (new word?).
  4. I find people’s smiles beautiful.
  5. Due to how busy I am today (always hard getting back in the swing of things), I’ll skip this for now with *hopes* of sharing additional link love at some point in the future!

Did everyone else have a good weekend?  Did you have a hard time getting back into the swing of things?

May 24, 2011

California Dreamin’

Hello from the airport!  Although sitting in traffic, getting a random pat-down in security, and paying too much for my caffeine fix is not a good time, I’m still in a pretty darn good mood.  I have a good lunch packed; I’m not at work.  Most importantly, I’m about to leave for California!  If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know why, and you’ll also know this is my first trip to the Golden Coast.

About that lunch… does anyone else pack lunches for random places?  I like to pack lunches for trips to the mall, the airport, or just about anywhere I can get away with brining my own munchies.  Today’s lunch is an apple and “peeb” quesadilla.  I hope it’s not smooshed in my bag!

Apple & Peeb Quesadilla

Apple & PB Quesadilla

I may be a little odd, but I’m not the only one who hates paying for overpriced, mediocre airport food.  Check out this post over at The Smart Kitchen for more on eating and traveling.  (By the way, I didn’t get a workout in today because I need to save my energy for the time change, and I ate Kashi GoLean cereal for breakfast.  It feels odd not having a three-part breakfast!)

I tried to take a pic for you guys, but I failed.  Can you see me?  I know you can at least see the plane, and I guess that’s cooler than I am anyway.  I wanted to ask Kev to take my picture in my cute pink dress with my bright pink rolly bag, but I think we’re both a bit too embarrassed.  Who knew airports were so crowded on Tuesdays???


Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Once we land, our room probably will not be ready, so we plan to leave our goods with the bellman and head straight for Trader Joe’s.  I want to get a cheap bottle of champagne (for celebrating tonight), and breakfast/lunch stuff for the week.  I don’t think our trendy hotel will be putting out a crappy but convenient continental breakfast!

Around 3 p.m., the FitSugar people will pick me up for my consultation with C&J Nutrition.  Due to the time change, we’ll be ready for dinner by then, but we will have to wait until our official dinner starts at 7 p.m.  I’m excited about my foodie meal, but when you usually eat at 6:30 p.m. and have a 3-hour time difference, your stomach might start eating itself.  I think I’m going to be picking up extra snacks at TJ’s!

May 21, 2011

Party Race Anthem

As you all probably already know, today was my 5k.  I didn’t reach my stretch goal of 22:45, but I can’t say I thought I would.  I did, however, get a time of 23:08!  I’m happy with that; I surpassed my main goal of beating last year’s time.  It would have been cool if I had broken 23 minutes, but I’m still happy.  As you can see below, I started today with breakfast.  I actually referred to it as b-fast.  (Get it?  Nerdy pun alert.)



Then I listened to this song to pump me up before leaving.  I don’t have a little MP3 player I take on runs, so I had to get a little pre-party excitement going.

I’m not a Corona fan, but I think my lime top would go well with one!

The Running Lime

The Running Lime

Run run run!  Kev walked over to Starbucks during the race, but he got his cappuccino in time to take my picture.  This race was so much more hilly than I expected.  It still wasn’t as hilly as the 10k I ran in November, but whew!


Approx 2.85 Miles Down!

You know you worked hard when you make sweat marks on your “dri-fit” shirt.


Is it beer-thirty yet???

In other news…

I will be attending a tasting this evening at a pizza place, so you can bet I’ll also enjoy some pizza.  Yup, my Garmin watch said I burned the caloric equivalent of two lagers, not even the higher-calorie IPAs.  Why again do I run so hard???  Ha.

Lastly, sweet Lenna over at Czech Vegan nominated me for the “7 Things About Me” Award.  It makes my day that a bloggie friend thought of me!  Here are 7 things…

Blog Award

  1. I really like dumb, inappropriate movies.  Serious, I just saw Sgt. Bilko for the first time last night and loved it!
  2. I am fascinated by the human body, but I get too grossed out to ever study it seriously.
  3. I become easily bored on beach vacations.  I love them… for about two days.
  4. I become angry when my friends get married and don’t like to party with me anymore.  Married does not have to = lame!
  5. I am happy that I never had to live alone, but I still prefer to have one night a week in the house to myself.  Only child syndrome?
  6. When people are discussing their children in social situations, I seriously have to bite my tongue to not talk about my kitties.
  7. I hate shopping.  I mean, I think I like it, but then after shopping around the mall for a while, I get frustrated and verrrrry angry.
There.  Those are seven things I betcha’ didn’t know.  Now I’m passing the nomination on to…
May 19, 2011

Muffin Madness

Today’s update is another three-part post.  Yet again, I’ll be brief.  First, I’ll mention news from this morning.  Next, I’ll jump to last night’s muffins.  Finally, I’ll wrap up with a wee bit of link love.

I ran 2.8 miles today with my running buddy.  I kept it slow so as not to injure myself before Saturday.  I also did my abdominal workout before hitting the shower.  Today I decided to wear my LND that we discussed the other day, and due to the majority vote, I went for nude pumps.

Thanks for the Style Advice!

On to the kitchen catastrophe experience…  I don’t bake for a reason.  The main reason? I eat dough.  Actually, I eat lots of dough.  I managed to keep that to a minimum this time, but I still made a mess of my kitchen and poorly followed directions.  Here is the recipe, which I adapted from Eating Bird Food.

Choco-Nana Muffins (I doubled the recipe)

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup sucanat
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 egg, and 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 425° Make sure all ingredients are cool.
  2. Line muffin tin with liners or coat well with cooking spray
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well
  4. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  6. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.

Chocolate n' Nanner

I mixed the dry ingredients, but I added too much baking soda.  Whoops!  Also, I had to try the chocolate chips before putting them in the muffins.  I say “try,” but I’ve never actually had a bad chocolate chip – especially a bad chocolate chip on the end of a banana.  Speaking of bananas, don’t send your hubby to the store the day before baking for brown bananas.  You’ll end up with bright yellow ones.  I put them in a brown paper bag overnight to help them ripen, but that did nothing.  I just had to throw them in the food processor.  I should have taken a picture of their bright yellowness (Yup, I said “yellowness”).

I then mixed the ingredients with my Dr. Weil mixer.  I am convinced everything I bake is healthy because Dr. Weil’s name is on my mixer.  The original directions say not to “over mix,” but I’m not sure how much is over mixing.  I probably over-mixed the crap out of these things.


Fill your muffin cups and bake.  At least they smelled good!

Mmm... raw goodness

They look cute too.  They even did that little crack thing on the top.  Woohoo!


Is that a roasting pan?  Yes.  This is what non-bakers who do not own cooling pans use.  Sue me.

What? You haven't had roast muffins?

The verdict?  A little dry, and a little bland.  (I love my muffins super spongey.)  Overall, edible.  Score one for Tiff!

Okay, maybe a little...

As stated, I’m ending with a little link love.  It’s about women liking beer.  Healthy women too!  Hungry Meets Healthy mentions an RJ Rockers beer.  I haven’t tried this one, but I love their brown ale.  I have to wonder though because this blogger lives in South Cackilacky, but she paid $7 for a pint of RJ Rockers, which is a SC brew.  Don’t pay that; it’s too much.  Moving on… this is a post by Eating Bird Food.  She mentions loving some lavender ale.  I’ve never tried lavender, but it’s now on my list!

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