Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial + Birthday Weekend Recap

It's Wednesday and I'm back to the grind after a five day weekend! It was a long over due trip home and full of BBQs, shopping, the beach and R&R.

I've learned over the years how to time the trip south just right and you better believe we didn't hit any traffic in LA. We were on the road Friday to San Diego by 5 a.m. Here's a little how our long weekend went.


On the way down we picked up my Dad in Long Beach and headed to Fladeboe Honda in Irvine -- Where I bought myself the best birthday present ever! A new to me car --2010 Toyota Rav 4.


Saturday we went for a nice three mile run along the coast in Carlsbad, CA. I could move back home tomorrow... anyone want to hire me :)


Post run we headed to Naked Cafe for a quick breakfast.

Sibling love!

Since I wasn't too hungry post run I opted for the blackberry banana smoothie and added spinach from some greens. It was delish.


Of course we followed breakfast with some time poolside before the BBQ started. My mom and Micheal's backyard is amazing! Very resort like and it even has a salt water pool.


Sunday I took advantage of the sales a the Carlsbad Outlet Mall before heading back to my Dads. Oh and guess who now wears a size 26 jean? That's right this girl!

Roxy didn't mind relaxing on the front porch and guarding the house while we detailed my old car, Monday at my dads. It's now ready to be sold... anyone looking for a used car?


Oh I also picked up a new pair of Nike running shoes.


That's it folks -- Tuesday morning we were back on the road to Tahoe at 5 a.m. I'm looking forward to another short week and a weekend at home.

Linking up with Because Shanna Said So

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Homemade Almond Joy Cups



Yup I just went there. I love coconut and chocolate and well I have a weakness for Almond Joys so when I stumbled across this recipe months ago I pinned it with high hopes of making some Almond Joys. Well that time came Sunday evening. They may not look pretty, but they taste pretty darn good. Plus you can't feel too bad eating them because you know exactly what's in them. They would make a thoughtful gift as well -- I'm thinking a mason jar, with these little guys and a sweet note tied to it. Enjoy!

Almond Joy Cups

Ingredients
3/4 cup dried flaked coconut (unsweetened, if you can find it. If not, use the regular shredded coconut. I used the regular shredded in the picture—that’s why it’s so white.)
3-4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 bag of milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Directions
Mix the coconut with the condensed milk and the vanilla in the food processor (for best results), or by hand. It should be thick and sticky. Add more milk or coconut as necessary, to achieve Almond Joy center consistency.

Line a mini muffin tin with about ten to twelve paper liners. Melt about half of the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each. Pour about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom of each liner. Shake the tray back and forth to distribute the chocolate. Put in about a teaspoon and a half of the coconut mixture into each, and top with an almond. Pour chocolate over the top of each. Shake the tray to distribute the chocolate evenly. Melt more chocolate as necessary. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Coconut Turtle Bars

I'm working for the weekend and it's only Tuesday! 

As I mentioned yesterday over the weekend I made some tasty treats for a BBQ. You better believe I'll make these again. Last week I pinned a turtle bar recipe to my Sweet Treats board and decided to give them a try --  and well added some coconut. Who doesn't love coconut and chocolate? Next week I'll share the homemade Almond joy cups I made... still dreaming about them. Ok back to the bars -- they are extremely easy to make, but you'll need to allow a few hours for cooling. I suggest making the night before your shindig. Enjoy!


Turtle Bars with a Twist
Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee-and-chocolate baking pieces (such as Heath or Skor)
1 cup coconut flakes

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, confectioners' sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a crumbly dough is formed. Press the dough firmly into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake until just golden, about 13 minutes.

Whisk together the condensed milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour the filling over the baked crust. Sprinkle the pecans, chocolate chips, coconut, and toffee pieces evenly over the filling. Bake until the filling is set, the edges are golden brown, and the toffee is melted, about 25 minutes.

Cool completely in the refrigerator, about 2 hours. Cut into 32 bars.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Perfect Weekend at Home

Hello Party People!

It's Monday and we have a long weekend coming up! Who has two thumbs and is excited -- this girl. Maybe it's also because someone has a birthday on Friday and is going to her homeland ...San Diego!

We had a very productive weekend at home. So what did we do?

Friday I made this deliciousness of a salad... lime shrimp, avocado and fresh pico de gallo over mixed greens from my weekly veggie box. 


Saturday morning it was cold so we focused on cleaning -- I know boring, but it seriously needed to be done. Once it warmed up we headed out for a short hike, well more like walk, from our house. There are tons of these red snow plants right now.


After a two hour hike and lunch it was time to whip up a sweet treat for a BBQ later that night. I made these chocolate coconut bars. I'll be back with the recipe tomorrow. You know something is good when there's nothing left at the end of the night.


Oh and the view from the BBQ wasn't bad either!


Sunday we went for our usual hour walk with the dog then turned to housework -- outside. My herb garden is ready for the season -- basil, thyme, parsley, dill and cilantro.  I also planted lemon cucumbers (below) and rosemary (not pictured).


 We started to build another upcycled planter for our veggies. The plan is to have two 8x2 planters  run along the edge of the grass to help break up the backyard. I would also like to incorporate a bench for additional seating. So far we have four sides of one box constructed. I'm thinking I'll give them a sanding, then either a coat of poly or white paint. What do you think?


Sunday ended with a delicious veggie stir-fry and homemade almond joy cups! And yes they were a-m-a-z-i-n-g !

 

psst: Fitness update -- Since I started the new eating regimen, nine days ago, I've lost five pounds!


Linking up with Join the Gossip

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Signature Drink for Summer

It's funny I'm following a fitness update with a post about beverages, but let me tell you there is nothing better than a summer BBQ and a refreshing drink.

Here are a few of my favorites. You can find them on my Drink it up pinterest board along with a few other fun drink ideas.

Blood Orange Cilantro Mocktails // The Yellow Table



Pink Grapefruit Margaritas // There Goes the Cupcake

Melon Mint Sangria  // Martha Stewart

So who's ready to BBQ this weekend?

Linking up with Because Shanna Said So

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

90 Day Challenge -- Nine Week Update

It's time for another 90 day challenge update. I can't believe that it's already been nine weeks. Time really does fly by. Before I delve into it, I want to say even thin people struggle with losing weight. I'm a prime example.

Weight-loss
I've been doing the work  and eating relatively healthy although I did have a few fun Friday nights with the girls. I wish my results were better, but that's the journey right? So this weekend I refocused and have my eye on the prize.  But hey -- photos don't lie... I'm looking good :)

Week 1                                                      Week 9

Stats:


Height: Still 5'3"
Weight: 140 (3/1); 137 (3/28); 138 (4/18); 139 (5/10)*

BMI: 30.6% (3/1); 27.9% (3/28); 27% (4/18); 27.25% (5/10) 


* I weighed myself Monday and was 137 -- way to loss two pounds over the weekend! 

Diet:
Yup I'm human and I fell off the wagon ate some chocolate and enjoyed a few bottles of wine. Here's the kicker it's not like I over indulged so the trainer has me on a new "diet." Boy do I hate that word. When you tell me I can't eat something that's all I want to eat and all I can think about is food. I keep telling myself it's three weeks. Now that I'm refocused and on a new eating and exercise regimen I'm feeling good. So what am I eating these days -- not 100% paleo 

I'm still eating for my body type, but focusing on macronutrient  manipulation. So what does that mean? Macronutrient ratios are the percentages of protein, carbohydrates, and fat in your diet. My week looks a little like this: 3 carb days, 3 protein days and 1 fat day. 

Carb Day: (B) Green Smoothie + Sprouted Toast with a light non-sugary spread; (L) Brown Rice or Quinoa bowl with beans/peas, seeds and as many veggies as I want; (D) same at lunch

Protein Day: Green Smoothie + two hard boiled eggs one yolk, light sea salt; (L) Green Veggie Salad + Chicken (light); (D) Meat (Chicken or Fish) and Veggies

Fat Day: (B) Green Smoothie + 1/2 Avocado; (L) Nuts, Veggies, and honey; (D) Shrimp Salad and 1/2 Avocado 

Exercising in the great outdoors!

 

MY -- Green Smoothie

Kale (desired amount)
Spinach (desired amount) 
1 Celery Stalk
 1 tablespoon Flax or Chia seed
1 tablespoon Very Green from Trader Joe's
1/2 Banana
1/4 - 1/2 cup Frozen Berries, Pineapple or Mango
1 cup water

Blend until desired consistency and enjoy.

Sometimes I like to add a half pear or apple. 

Overall:
I'm feeling great and even rocked a bikini last weekend. It's the home stretch so I'm trying to stay focused, positive and healthy. 

psst...want to read more about my weight-loss? See Starting weight,Three week update and Six week update


Linking up with Northern Belle Dairies

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend in Review

Happy Monday!

It was such a gorgeous weekend in Tahoe... the way I like it!

Friday night we stayed in, cooked veggie rice bowls and relaxed.


Saturday, we loaded Roxy in the car and headed to one of my favorite spring hikes in Tahoe, Cascade Falls -- and yes every year I drag Nick out there. It's a super quick hike, at about an hour in and out including snapping a few photos.
 
Roxy checking out the views.
N + Roxy
If you really want to experience and capture the falls spring is the best time for the hike. The falls were full and flowing.


After our morning hike we headed back to the house and made a little lunch before heading to the beach. It was mid 70s this weekend, meaning perfect beach weather! Roxy swam for two hours straight!


Sunday we stuck around the house and tended to the garden -- weeding and planting.


....and I watched this little guy (Steller's Jay) from my front porch.



We also went and looked at new cars on Sunday and might have a better idea of what we want.

For those who are following my 90-day challenge I'll be back tomorrow with my nine week update.

Linking up with Join the Gossip & Sami Shenanigans

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Guess Who's turning 31!

That's right yours truly has a birthday coming up in a few weeks I'll be spending it with family & friends in San Diego. I can't wait. I haven't been home since Thanksgiving -- crazy I know, but we were in Colorado for Christmas. Well, the hubby keeps asking what I want for my birthday and I thought why not share the wishlist with you too!

For Her

1. Decorate design book
I love my Young House Love book and feel like I need a few more home design books. Maybe one will give me some backyard inspiration.

2. Carve Designs Del Ray coverup
This girl can never have too many bikinis and well beach coverups. This would be perfect for summer days at the lake or for our trip to Cabo San Lucas this fall. {size small}

3. Stella & Dot HangOn Travel Case 
I would actually use this to organize my jewelry while I travel. I really like this one as well
 
  Anyone who knows me well knows I have a slight obsession with sunglasses and watches. For the last few years I've been lusting over these Ray-Bans and well it might be time to add them to the rotation.
This little tech bracelet tracks your sleep patterns, your activity and you can even log what you eat -- all you have to do is download the app and plug in the UP and it's all there for you to review. It's available in eight fun colors. I would love it in mint green or black -- because it's practical. {size small}

6. J.Crew bikini ruffle top & hipster bottom 
See #2... Like I said you can never have enough bikinis and I'm just in love with how fun the ruffles are. {size medium}

7. TOMS wedge high heels 
I live in my TOMS and wouldn't mind adding these wedges to the mix. I'm also in love with these, these and these. {size 6 1/2} 


Linking up with Long Distance Loving