Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Half Crazy.

Yes, I decided to only be half crazy for my next race.  My Mom and I signed up for the OKC half marathon! WoooHooo  I am soooo pumped, and proud of my Momma {she is awesome}.  For the past 15 years she has woke up at the crack of dawn, and walked 2 miles.  I kept tell her she could run if she tried, and now she is!  She was the best cheerleader for me on my 3 marathons.  


I know she is going to do awesome.  :)  The thought of running 13.1 miles is pretty freeing.  The training for a full is quiet daunting, and time consuming.  No words can really describe how miles 19 - 26.2 feel...


...or the next day...or the next day...Another reason for me being only half crazy is for me to try for faster mile time. This is a little intimidating, because I am afraid of not reaching my goal time #dontwanttofail.  I am going to put my goal finish time out there and if I don't make it I will be sad, but at the end of the day I still ran 13.1 miles.  My goal time is 1:45...I do have a "stretch" goal {the crazy/out there goal},but will keep that time in my head.  :)  My training involves a lot of sprinting. Beware if you get on the treadmill next to me, because I will probably try to race you...I am a little overly competitive. 


I am also excited about not having to worry about eating a ton during the race {during my marathons I would eat 3-5 times}.  Also, during my past trainings I didn't feel like I was getting fitter, because all the carb loading I had to do {don't get me wrong I love carbs...just not the love handles that happen as a result}.  Having long runs of 7-11 miles will mean not a lot of carb loading! The race isn't until April 29th {2 months from TODAY} so I am just starting my training!  I am pretty pumped about it. I think it is always good to have fitness goals, but more importantly an action plan. Alright, well I am going to eat some more of my Arctic Zero Coffee Ice Cream...I feel like I can eat as much as I want, because an entire pint has 150 calories....whoa!



{leslie}

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Zucchini Bread

I love zucchini in all forms...grilled, roasted, and definitely baked.  This recipe is from Paula Deen. So, thanks Paula for never failing me!  Her recipe can be found {here}.  Tall Tan Man loves this bread, and I do too {I probably like it more than he does...like most of the sweets I make for him me}.  I made him a special heart shape loaf :)  This was waiting for him when he got back from the airport.  I am glad he is back in the U.S. of A. 



You will need:

3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup chopped pecan (optional, Tall Tan Man hates nuts) 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease two large loaf pans {I made 2 normal loaf pans and the heart shaped one}.  In a large bowl combine all your dry ingredients {flour, salt, nutmeg, soda, cinnamon, sugar}.
  

In a mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini, and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.   


Paula tells you to add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  I am a little lazy rebellious...and I add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients {the wet ingredients were already in the mixing bowl}.  Then if you want to, fold the nuts into the batter. Pour batter into the loaf pan leaving 1/4 to 1/3.  Now this is the most important part that I always add to my baked breads.  ***Sprinkle a generous amount of sugar to the top of the of the batter.  This will make a crunchy sweet top.  Bake for one hour or until your tester comes out clean. 



Serve warm with just a little bit of butter and a tall glass of milk...yummmmmm.  

I miss Tall Tan Man...he is road tripping across the country.  We had a wonderful Valentines. :) He made these skewers: 


 I love balloons...


a lot..


yummmm....


Have a great week!

{Leslie}

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Skinny Taste Minstrone Soup {crock pot}


Hello ya'll!  This winter has been so crazy warm in Dallas.  While I love the weather, it does not make me want to use my new crock pot often.  I love making soups over the weekend, because it means I don't have to eat sandwiches at work...Life is all about the small things :)  I got this recipe from Skinny Taste {I know, I am obsessed}.  You can find Gina's directions {here}. You will need:
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 oz chunk of good Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach (or frozen (defrosted))
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta elbows (al dente)
  • parmesan and mozzarella cheese to top
Directions:

1. If you are going to put this on early in the morning you can go ahead and chop up all your veggies.  I put the onion, carrots, and celery in a bowl together over night {i love making recipes easy!}.  

2.  Be sure that your rinse beans. Puree beans with 1 cup of the broth in a blender .

3.  In your crock pot combine everything except zucchini, spinach, and pasta.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

4.  About forty minutes before your soup is done add zucchini and spinach. Cook for 30 more minutes then add cooked pasta (I might of added an entire bag of pasta instead of adding 2 cups...this *might of lead to scooping out pasta with a slotted spoon), cook 10 minutes more.  

5.  Find and remove the rosemary sprig, and parmesan rind {I found this fun}.  Season soup with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top cheese.


I am thankful tomorrow is Thursday...and it is going to be 80 degrees...and dry shampoo makes my morning routine sooooo easy.  :)

{leslie}

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Organization Board


Well hello!  :)  Living in an apartment that is only 770 square feet, and 3 rooms makes organization important.  I don't have an office to put bills, recipes, coupons, and other random things in {this causes a clutter issue, yuck}.  I spotted this organizational board on House of Smiths:


I loved the idea!  You have to be creative when you live in small spaces. :) My version is a little different than hers, and to make it you will need:

  • Frame {sizes will vary based on your door}
  • Spray Paint Primer
  • Spray Paint {thanks Kelli for letting me borrow this!}
  • Quilt Batting
  • Fabric {same as my headboard}
  • Small Wooden Plaques {michaels}
  • Clothes Pins
  • Labels
  • Scissors
  • Hot and regular glue

The frame I used was one that I had from college {pretty sure it is from walmart}.  I still love this picture...


Michael's has all different sizes and shapes of wooden plaques. 


1.  Using a hot glue gun I glued the clothes pins to the plaques.  I made them off center so I could put labels on each.  

2.  My frame I used was some type of fake wood so I gave it a good coat of spray paint primer.  I also gave my plaques a good coat of primer also.  I allowed this to dry completely before applying my wonderful turquoise spray paint.  

3. I went ahead and used the insert that was already in the frame {I could of bought thin wood for this, but I am all about not spending more when I don't have to}.  This was not a 100% ideal situation.  The cardboard was not super thick, and the hooks were on the back of the cardboard.  Using a staple gun I attached the quilt batting and fabric at the same time.  My staples were too deep so I had to make sure I was working on the far edge of the board {so they would be hidden under the frame}.  I also had to make sure the hooks were still left open to keep the board secured on the frame.  

4.  Using card stock I printed off the labels I wanted, and attached them using normal glue.


5.  I then used hot glue to attach the plaques.  



YaY for no more piles!!!  :)  My desk is one of the first things you see when you walk into my apartment, and I love it being clutter-less.  This project was super easy, and only cost me about $3 {I only had to buy the wooden plaques}.  Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!    


{Leslie}

p.s.  I really wish my apartment had as much light as house of smiths...I never knew how much natural light affected pictures...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cookie Dough Hummus


Yep, you read it right.  Cookie Dough hummus, annnnd  I am addicted!!!  I used {this} recipe I found on Green Lite Bites, and just made one addition!  You will need:


  • 1 Can Chick Peas {also know as garbonzo beans}
  • 2 TSP Vanilla
  • 2 TBSP Peanut Butter
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 2 TBSP Roast Flax seed {ground}
  • 4 Truvia Packets
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk
  • 4ish {or was it 5?} TBSP Mini Chocolate Chips

1.  Drain and rinse the chick peas.  Place in the food processor {mine is one of the small kind}.



2.  Add vanilla.


 3.  Then add my favorite ingredient...PEANUT BUTTER!



4.  Honey is pretty fabulous too...


5. Add the flax seed, truvia, and salt. 


5.  Begin pulsing the peas while adding your milk through the top.  Pulse until well combined, and smooth.  Fold in chocolate chips, and serve on graham crackers. I think this would also be wonderful on apples or bananas.


Have a fabulous Thursday!  I will be doing my norm which is work, sprint workout, free birds, and VAMPIRE DIARIES {stop judging}. :)



{Leslie}

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines Wreath



Hello :)  I do love, LOVE.  :) This is my Valentines gift to myself...Making wreaths is one of my favorite craft projects.  When I began this project I knew it was going to be time consuming, and I don't even want to tell you how long it took me to make this{I sound like I am trying to convince you not to make this...}.  I do love how my wreath turned out, or I would of been a force to be reckoned with.  If you would like to make this you will need straw wreath still in the plastic wrap, about 1.5 yards of felt {don't pick the lowest quality}, scissors, lots of hot glue, hot glue gun, and lots of time.  You can use my tutorial {HERE} to make the flowers.  My suggestions:

*Make 3 different sizes of flower to help cover the wreath completely (5, 4, 3 inch square).
 
*I would cut 30 squares, then make that many flowers {and repeat}.  My hand might of started cramping, because I was cutting so many flowers out. 


Here are some of my Valentines decor.  :)  
Rosette Balls


:)



I got a Valentines printable from {HERE}.

Have a wonderful week, and Valentines day :)


{Leslie}

Thursday, February 9, 2012

FOOD {super} BOWL

Please do not get me wrong.  I love football, and I am extremely blessed to have friends that love and understand football also.  Unfortunately {silly cowboys}, this years Super Bowl teams were not ones I really cared about {I was more excited about the food}!   I was SO excited about the food that when I left Kelli's house after the game {or was it the 3rd quarter?} I considered a fast for Monday!  We all made different delicious dishes {whoa, check that alliteration}.  Kelli hosted the partay at her adorable house.  



She made zucchini fries with marinara sauce. 




You can find the recipe {here}.  She originally found the recipe on pinterest.  I am thinking about suggesting an idea for pinterest.  I would like to for them to just go ahead and pin all the food that Kelli pins.  We have very similar food taste, and I have to re-pin everything she pins. So yeah, pinterest, get on that idea please.  


My fabulous college friend Jill made crock pot turkey meat balls.


  
They were so wonderful.  All she did was simmer 18 oz of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce and 18 oz jar of grape jelly.  Combine 32 oz of frozen turkey meat balls and sauce in a crock pot!   She then cooked them on low for 6-8 hours, or you could could them on high for 3-4 hours!  Now,  I did something bad.  My friend Cathy brought wonderful homemade guacamole, and I got too excited {or I was too busy stuffing my face} to remember to get a picture.  :( Dang it.    You should be jealous of me, because I got to experience ridiculously wonderful guac.  


I made Chocolate Chip PB Cookie Dough Hummus.  Look for the recipe coming soon!  I am so obsessed with this, that I have already made it again!  






Have a FABULOUS Friday, and a WONDERFUL weekend!  


{Leslie}

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chocolate & PB Covered Bananas


I mean really, what more can a girl ask for...chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas in one dessert?!?!  Holy moly.  I love it.  I found this recipe on pinterest {again, I know}.  This lead me to the nom!nom!nom! blog, and her fabulous directions are {HERE}. Confession time...I love looking at the food and drink pins, but then I make myself go look at all the fitness pins.  haha This reminds me that eating excessive amounts of desserts wont help me get abs by summer {how fabulous would it be if sugar made us ripped}.  I am a firm believer in this:


I sometimes envy people that do not have a sweet tooth, because mine is borderline ridiculous.  This recipe is so great, because it is pretty healthy!   If I did the math correctly {I am a high school math teacher but not a nutrition expert} these little bites have about 40ish calories.    All you need is:



2 Bananas
Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Chocolate
1/2-1/3 Cup Milk

1.  Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Chop your bananas up into 1/2 inch slices.



2.  I used a 1/4 teaspoon to scoop PB onto the banana slices. 


3.  Melt chocolate and milk in the microwave {make sure you do not burn it like I did, as a result I found out that burnt chocolate still tastes good...whoops :) }.  Make sure you melt the chocolate and milk in 15 second increments, and stir thoroughly before the next increment. It is important to get the right consistency.  You want the chocolate to be thick enough to stay on the bananas. If your chocolate is too thick it wont spread at all, so you can just add more milk. 


4.  This is the trickiest part.  Place the a banana slice on a fork {using non dominant hand}, and lower into the bowl, and use your other hand to drizzle chocolate all over.  Mine looked terrible in the beginning, but I got better :)  Next time I will use a bowl with shorter sides.


Chocolate was everywhere...


5.  Freeze for 2-3 hours {do not over freeze or it they will get freezer burn}.  I was able to clean up the bites some once they were frozen.  Place your scrumptious bites in a freezer safe container. 

I am not going to lie, these were not what I expected.  They were better!  The texture is almost like ice cream.  :) Can you tell I accidentally left some extra chocolate on this one??? 


Speaking of things that make women happy...Who is seeing The Vow this weekend?!?!?!

I am pretty sure I am going to cry a lot {I might of cried in a preview}.  I need to get all my chick flicks in before Tall Tan Man comes back from Australia on Sunday!  I can't believe I ever complained about him being in California.  I mean, a 2 hour time difference is no big deal...18 hours is a little different!   

{Leslie}

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I already LOVE February

I am loving some really random things right now, and I thought I would share some of them with ya'll :)   

1.  A friend of mine just introduced me to the blog Kendi Everyday.  She has fabulous taste, and makes me want to be more adventurous with my wardrobe.  This winter I have been stuck in the cardigan, black jeggings, and brown boot rut.  Do not get me wrong, I love this outfit. It soooo comfortable, flattering, mindless, fail-proof and easy!  Kendi does combinations I would not think of, and to be honest I might be too chicken to try :)  Yesterday I went to downtown Mckinney, and went to her shop called Bloom.  The clothes are really cute, and pretty affordable.   Here is my new shirt:


Now I just need to pair it with some more wild jewelery and bright shoes.  Maybe when I re-wear this {my church outfit} to work this week I can try to do something different {I can't be the only person that does that, haha}.  

2. I am also loving my new crock pot:


I have found so many recipes I want to make!  I just need to get off my butt {and pinterest} and make them.  I have made 3 things from Skinny Taste blog, and they were all fabulous.  I love when food I cook can be tasty and healthy!

3.  Starbucks LOVE cups.  Like I need another excuse to go there more...



4.  Sprouts produce.  I go a little overboard.  


5.  Tall Tan Man comes home in 7 days!!!!!!!!!!!  

6.  I just started using instagram...Can you tell I like it?  :)  

7.  House of Smiths is doing a photo challenge, and I am participating starting this month!  It is has been fun {well, the 5 days I have done}.  I do cheat though {shhh} when I forget to take pictures, or think another day will have a better picture. You should try to do it too :)

Have a wonderful SUPER BOWL Sunday!  I do not care who wins.  All I care about is the food and commercials.  Hopefully I will be sharing a successful hummus recipe with ya'll this week!

{Leslie}
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