Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend Yummy
Mom's Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 medium onion
1 can button mushrooms, or 1 package fresh mushrooms
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 package grated mozzarella
2 packages sliced mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan
9 lasagna noodles
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to taste
1 pinch cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Dice the onion and mushrooms, set aside. Brown the ground beef in a large sauce pan. Add the onion once it is almost all the way browned. Once the beef is browned and the onions are soft, add the spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, and seasonings. Stir together, and keep on low heat.

Mix together the eggs and ricotta, set aside. Boil the lasagna noodles as directed. Strain and lay flat on a clean surface.

Take an 8x12 glass pan and layer as follows:
Sauce, noodles, sauce, ricotta, sliced mozzarella
Noodles, sauce, ricotta, sliced mozzarella
Noodles, sauce, grated mozzarella, Parmesan

Cover with foil, bake 30-40 min. Remove foil, bake 5-10 min.

I use Laura's Lean Ground Beef, reduced fat cheeses, and Ragu Chunky Garden Style Sauce. YUM!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Discussion: The Undomestic Goddess

One word for this book: Cute!

I thought this book was super cute and fun. It was definitely a light read...but at the same time it did make me reflect a little on my own life. It's funny how even a light little read like this can inspire those thoughts at times! It was reflection in a fun way though - no serious thoughts for me when it came to this book! It was all fun.

In a is about a girl who leaves her high-powered corporate lawyer job in the move out in the country and become a housekeeper! Have you ever read the Confessions of a Shopaholic books (same author)? This book follows a similar vein of crazy happenings and misunderstandings that lead to even crazier consequences. I have to say...this book and the Shopaholic books make me slightly uncomfortable during the misunderstandings and embarrassing moments. I feel the same way about watching embarrassing movies - like Meet the Parents. I get super embarrassed and they are hard for me to read/watch! That makes me laugh at myself. Ha.

As the book went on, things started developing, and the main character started reflecting on her life and finding herself, I truly began to enjoy this book. The main character was really relatable and likable (if slightly clueless...), her best friend was hilarious, the boyfriend's mother was wise (and pretty awesome). The hot boyfriend helped too...The whole story was just really cute and fun.

So, on to the self-reflection part - have you ever thought about what it would be like change your life completely? Starting with leaving your job - to do something completely different (is this a recurring idea? re: my Candy Girl post. Ha.)? I love engineering, and I love my job, but I definitely could see myself totally changing careers at some point during my life. The book also made me really think what it would be like to live in the country. How simple, quiet, and wonderful it must be! Tons of gorgeous stars at night...and tons of open space. I love living in the suburbs and near the city...but I wouldn't mind experiencing country life sometime. I guess I should plan to go stay with my sister for a few weeks soon! It'd have to be in the summer though! No more midwest winters for me! :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Home is Where the Heart Is

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about all the places I have lived and the things that I love about each one. I decided to share it with you. What are the favorite things about your home?

  1. My best friends are there – Jackie and Sara (my sister)
  2. My family is there (Sara gets counted twice because she is that awesome. Ha.)
  3. There are changing seasons. I do really like the changing seasons, but I could probably do with a shorter winter. The spring, summer and autumn in Michigan are absolutely gorgeous (winter is gorgeous on Christmas Day and that’s it. Ha.).
  4. It’s home! I grew up there….nothing will take away that feeling of home.
  5. It is so GREEN and lush there. Whenever I go home the greenery takes my breath away.
  6. Sports teams – Tigers, Red Wings, and Michigan Wolverines! People in Detroit really love their sports.
  7. There is history to be seen – most with respect to the auto industry. Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum, etc.
  8. It’s fun to do activities on the great lakes – boats, jet skis, etc.

Washington DC
  1. My best friends are there –  Jessi, Jessie, and Jade
  2. There is tons of history all around you! Want to see the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner – it’s there! I saw it.
  3. There are changing seasons – and the winters aren’t too long or harsh! The summers are ridiculously hot and humid, though. But that is actually sort of nice because it stays warm there even in the evenings during the summer.
  4. Wegmans! I am still missing my Wegmans. Why aren’t there any in California? People here would love them!
  5. There is a fun night life with lots of places to go out – and they are all really different. Fancy, hole-in-the-wall, you name it!
  6. There are multiple outdoor concert pavilions that are really beautiful and fun to go to!
  7. The public transportation there is amazing and super convenient! I didn’t realize how much I’d miss this until I moved.

Las Vegas – Well I didn’t actually “live” here but I’m there enough that it feels like I live there part time!
  1. My fiancĂ© is there! (can’t wait for him to get to California though of course!!!!!
  2. My best friends are there – Tiffany and Lindsay
  3. The pool parties are ridiculously fun!
  4. It’s hot-hot-hot there! Even at night I can go out wearing a mini and no coat!
  5. There are a lot of great restaurants with amazing food!
  6. There is a fun night life with lots of fancy clubs and lounges. The little local bars are super fun too!
  7. Nothing ever closes! This can be good and bad at times. Ha!

Los Angeles
  1. I am closer to Robbie, Lindsay, and Tiffany! And I am able to make frequent road trips to Las Vegas to see them.
  2. The laid back California attitude – I LOVE IT!
  3. The beach! The ocean! The strand!
  4. There is darn near perfect weather all year round. I think I’ve turned on my heater and my A/C one time each this year.
  5. Living a healthy lifestyle is pretty common – so there are lots of healthy food options at most restaurants.
  6. There are lots of outdoor activities that you can do almost year round – because of #4! Surfing, running, rollerblading, volleyball…the list goes on.
  7. There is a fun night life with lots of places to go out – and they are really different. Fancy, hole-in-the-wall, beach bar, you name it!
  8. You can go downtown to experience “city life” – fancy clubs, nice restaurants, etc.  You can go into the suburbs to enjoy “suburbia” – quiet, peaceful, residential family areas. You can head down to the beach area to experience a laid-back “beach atmosphere”  - no shirt, no shoes, no problem! A glorious combination all within miles!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Yummy
Philly Cheesesteak!!!!

I usually don't post recipes that I haven't tried yet but check out this healthier version of the Philly Cheesesteak! I got super excited when I saw it. I am obsessed with Philly Cheesesteaks...seriously. I love them.

Here is the recipe!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Break Break Downnnnn

I love this song. Reminds me of driving in my little Chevy Cavalier that I had in highschool. Fun times. :-)

Check out my new Halloween socks!! :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Glasses! 8-) + Leopard Nails!

I got new glasses! I never ever thought I would wear glasses in public again but I actually have started wearing them from time to time to give myself a break from my contacts (ever since I got a cute pair a few years ago). I'm pretty excited about these new ones. Am I a dork? LOL. You can't really tell in the pic, but they are red. My other pair is more rectangle and they are black.

(-8 Sexy Specs? 8-)
Also, I was inspired by my bff Jessi to try some nail art. Below is a pic of my leopard print nails! They are super fun and I love them. I used a nude/tan nailpolish as the base, white for the dots, and a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen for the black accents. The nail art pen was a little pricey but it was totally worth it! It is awesome and super easy to use!

We got the idea for the leopard nails from this article. And have you ever heard of this blog - The Daily Nail? It is super fun and cute. The girl who writes the blog is really talented and does some really fun nail art!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Need My Om's Back...Stat

Hello lovelies! Happy Tuesday. I always love Tuesdays just because that means Monday is over!!! Check out my exercise calendar below!

I have finally finally finally started to get back into running again! I am trying to slowly work it back into my program. I haven't decided yet how often I am going to try to run. I don't want to get too crazy and get burned out again. Right now the plan is to start running 2 or 3 times a week.

I can't believe that I did yoga only one time for the entire month of September. I kept being worried that I was going to injure my neck again. Now that I've been going to physical therapy regularly, I really do feel like my neck is getting better and I just need to keep up with the stretches and exercises that they've taught me to do. This month I am going to try to work some yoga back into my routine. I have noticed a complete difference in my stress level since I have stopped practicing - it has sky rocketed. I have talked to my physical therapist about yoga and he said it is fine to practice, I just need to be careful and not push myself too hard in poses that might strain my neck.

I miss my om's!!!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Everybody should believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink!

I feel so loved lately! A couple weeks ago I had another bff Jessi visited me for 6 days! We had a blast while she was here. We had a full agenda of fun things, including:
  1. Going to a taping of Rules of Engagement and Jeopardy at Sony Pictures Studios
  2. Going to a couple restaurants featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Luna Park and A.O.C.
  3. Running on the strand (and other workouts...I dragged her with me every day!)
  4. Going whale watching out of the Redondo Beach Marina 
  5. Eating lunch at Wee Man's Chronic Taco
  6. Going to the Playa Vista Farmer's Market
  7. Enjoying Happy Hour at the Whaler in Venice Beach - gorgeous sunset viewing!
  8. Eating a yummy dinner at Piknic
  9. Relaxing on the beach in Playa Del Rey
  10. Bar hopping in Hermosa Beach - Sharkeez, Chelsea, Sangria, and Union Cattle
Here are some photos!

If I wrote everything I thought about the activities above, this post would be a mile long. So, here are a few notes:
  1. That laughter you hear on sitcoms is really people laughing - they told us over and over to laugh louder! Also, we were the only people in the Jeopardy audience under 70 years old! 
  2. The best thing we ever ate was not the s'mores. It was the gnocci appetizer! Both restaurants very trendy and cute!
  3. I'm getting back into running again! Woot!
  4. It was AWESOME! We're now part of 1% of the world's population that has seen a Blue Whale!
  5. Yummy but SUPER pricey!
  6. We tried a new fruit - a pluot!!!
  7. This is my favorite place to watch the sunset over the beach!
  8. The martinis are fun and very yummy! I recommend the Piknic Lychee Cosmo.
  9. Lovely, convenient to get to, and not too crowded.
  10. These bars are some of the best places in the South Bay for shakin' your bacon!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Weekend Yummy
Peach Cobbler Oatmeal

  • 1 packet plain instant oatmeal
  • 1 cup diced peaches
  • 1/2 tbsp Benefiber
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla whey protein powder 
  • Hot water or milk (as much as you need to achieve consistency that you prefer)
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Brown sugar to taste
Sift together the oatmeal, cinnamon, protein powder and Benefiber. Mix in the hot water or milk, and finally the peaches. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top.

I eat a variation on this recipe every morning at work for breakfast – I can keep all of the ingredients in my desk drawer (re: yesterday's post). It’s so easy and also good for you! Using plain oatmeal allows you to add only the amount of sugar that you want - most of the flavored instant oatmeal contains wayyyyyy too much sugar. (Remember that article I posted about the breakfast food?) You can substitute almost any diced fruit in this recipe and it is just as good. If I don’t have any fresh fruit on hand, I use the canned fruit that I keep in my desk drawer. Thawed frozen fruit also works.

A note on canned fruit – why do they always have to add a ton of sugar to it? I usually get the No Sugar Added Del Monte Diced Peaches (they are sweetened with splenda), but seriously, unless I’m blind…I cannot find any canned fruit that doesn’t have some sort of sweetener. I always prefer fresh fruit, but sometimes it’s just not in the cards and having the canned fruit is a convenient backup.

A note on Benefiber - you may have noticed that I add it to a lot of my recipes. You can’t taste it at all and it is a really good way to get some extra fiber in your diet! Also on that note, here is an interesting article: The Truth About Fiber