Archive for the ‘ Hump Day ’ Category
Good afternoon ladies ‘n’ gents, and Happy Hump Day. I’m having one of those “happy days,” where I just simply can’t stop smiling. Most of that has to do with the fact that I’m going to the Red Sox game this evening with The Boy and his fam. Can you believe this will only be my second Sox game? And to think, I’ve lived in Boston for two years. I should be ashamed of myself.
Anyway, time for my weekly Hump Day Lesson. This week’s topic? The perfect, refreshing summery drink.
Stuck with leftover grapefruit from breakfast, and a lemon wedge sitting in your fridge untouched? Make the most of your leftover citrus fruits and make fruit-infused water. It’s pure. It’s natural. It’s calorie free. And it’s the perfect refresher on a 90-degree day. Enjoy!
What Ya Need:
-Pitcher filled with cold water
-1/2 large lemon, juiced
-1/2 large grapefruit, juiced
-5 mint leaves
~Simply squeeze the lemon & grapefruit juice into the pitcher with the water. Add fresh mint leaves for extra flavor & decoration. Chill & serve in pretty cups with umbrella straws!
Feel free to have fun with this recipe & make up your own combos. It’s such a great way to spruce up your everyday boring water, while refreshing & energizing your soul!
Good afternoon all! Sorry I have been MIA for the past few days. As I mentioned in Friday’s blog post, I was off to Bumpkin Island, one of Boston’s Harbor Islands, for the long weekend. Despite the hundreds of ticks, poison-ivy coated pathways, composting toilets and ZERO running water, I truly did have a blast. I lucked out with just a few little mosquito bites and a pretty sweet tan.
And as bad as I’m making it sound, I miss the camping trip way. Sure, it felt good to take a real shower and go out for calamari and Merlot for my birthday last night, but there’s just something inexplainable about getting away. Not only did I get to see seven different sets of fireworks right on the ocean, eat homemade turkey burgers with feta over the fire and spend time with some amazing people (The Boy included), but it also gave me a chance to disconnect…from everything.
I never thought it’d be so refreshing to simply unplug and enjoy. No smart phones, no TV, no Mac, no blogging, no Starbuck’s iced coffee and limited makeup. What at first sounded like a nightmare ended up being a pretty phenomenal experience. It helped me let go and escape, something I’m sure many of us can appreciate from time to time.
I hope you all have a brilliant day and can muster up a little time to unplug yourself. I’m not suggesting you go as far as camping in the middle of the woods sans showering for four days, but hey, it can’t hurt.
[if this isn't unplugging, I don't know what is]
What do you do when you need to “unplug” from life?
Good morning ladies! Congrats; it’s Wednesday and you are half way through the week. Lately, I’ve been trying to remind myself of the importance in breathing. Whether that’s taking a deep breath to put yourself back into place when your mind takes over, practicing yoga for peace of mind, or controlling your breathing during a long, sweaty run, it’s no lie that breathing is important in our day to day life. It keeps us sane. It keeps us in tact. Heck, it keeps us alive.
My favorite artist of the month – Ingird Michaelson – says it perfectly. And how could you not feel a little more relaxed after listening to that voice?
Go ahead, take a long deep breath right now. Ahhh…now doesn’t that feel better? And if Ingrid doesn’t help, there is nothing so relaxing to me than lavender. Take a peak at this Lavender Blossom Bath & Body Oil from Naturopathica, blended with Lavandin to soothe the mind, body and spirit. Talk about an at-home Aromatherapy sesh.
Is this week going by slowwwww for you? Do you need a little pick-me-up?
Don’t worry; I’ve got a song for you.
Seriously. Simply press play. Not only does this lil ditty remind me of the scene in one of my favorite movies, “My Girl”, but it also never fails to put a smile on my face.
Oh, and if you want another excuse to smile, check out my giveaway on yesterday’s post if you’re a Boston gal. I’m giving away a pair of FREE tickets to Boston Event Guide’s ladies’ day out event this weekend: Shop & Talk. Cheers!
What helps you make it through the week? Any tricks of the trade to share with the group?
Happy Wednesday ladies, and congrats on making it half way through the day. Now time for our weekly Hump Day Lesson of the day! This week we’re going to talk makeup. I know, I know, makeup on a healthy living website? Get outta’ here! You know nothing about fashion! Well that may be true, but hold up just one second there; shopping for the right makeup has a lot more to do with your health than you may first think.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I’m a firm believer in reading labels. No, not the labels on designer jeans, but labels on your food. Well lately, I’ve been almost just as serious as reading labels on my cosmetics.
It all started last week when I began breaking out like whoa. Seriously, my face is a disaster right now. I’m blaming it partially on stress, because as we know stressful times can cause for beauty disasters, but I’m blaming the other portion on my makeup.
When was the last time you read the labels of your perfume, concealer or powder? Until the other day, I never had; I just never thought of it I guess. But once I took a look at my concealer, I was shocked at the number of ingredients in it, not to mention many of which I couldn’t even pronounce. Scary. I also noticed the constant reappearance of the word paraben, and I knew it wasn’t a good thing.
Not only are parabens linked to cancer and hormone disruption, but they also can lead to skin irritation. Right then, a lightbulb went off for me. Since I am Ms. Sensitive Skin, I really don’t think I should be using products containing toxins and irritants, especially those that could be detrimental to my health. No thank you.
Luckily, Skin Deep has put together a cosmetic database so you can easily browse safe, chemical-free cosmetics like Burt’s Bees and Body Organic. Think of it as the Whole Foods of makeup and cosmetics: all healthy things in one spot.
Needless to say, after a little research, my makeup bag got a makeover. (I also washed my brushes – can’t hurt!) I figure if I feed my body with clean, good-for-you food, why not do the same for my skin?
When was the last time you checked your makeup labels? Are the ingredients in your cosmetics important to you? What are some of your favorite products?
Sure, I love cooking as much as the next girl. But sometimes I’d rather spend an hour catching up with last night’s Bachelorette while organizing my closet for summer clothes than slaving away in the kitchen. When you live in a teeny tiny apartment with no AC, the last thing you want to do is preheat the oven to 400, as you (wo)man five pots at once. No thank you.
But what if you’re hungry? What if you don’t want to order out, but cold cereal and boxed mac ‘n’ cheese just aint cutting it?
Luckily for you (and for me) I’ve simplified the classic Chicken Parmesan recipe so you can be in and out of the kitchen in about 15 minutes tops. This dish is healthy, wholesome, and most importantly: easy as pie. It tastes like the real thing too, so you’ll still get your home-cooked fixing.
Lazy Lady’s Chicken Parm with Brown Rice Penne
*Makes 1 serving
What Ya Need:
-2 to 3 small boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
-1 TB cornflake or panko crumbs
-1/4 c. of your favorite marinara sauce (I prefer low-sodium, all natural varieties and LOVE Trader Joe’s Recipe #99 Traditional Marinara Sauce)
-1/4 c. light mozzarella cheese, shredded
-1/4 tsp. basil (or a few shakes to taste)
-1/2 c. baby spinach, fresh
-1/2 c. brown rice pasta
-1 TB olive oil for cooking
-Parmesan cheese for pasta (optional)
1. Boil water and cook brown rice pasta according to directions.
2. In the meantime, coat medium-sized skillet with olive oil and sauté chicken tenderloins on medium heat. Once chicken is partially cooked, shake breadcrumbs on top, coating both sides.
3. Add in marinara sauce, basil and fresh spinach. Stir. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, cover and let simmer on low heat until spinach is cooked through and cheese is melted. Serve over pasta with optional parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Also, for all you fellow Healthy Chicks out there, I’ve got the deal for you! I’m totally loving this deal over on EverSave today: $8 for a year subscription to Women’s Health magazine. Now that’s a bargain!
What’s your favorite 15-minute meal on days you simply aren’t in the mood for cooking, yet want that homemade dish fix?
I get inquiries from friends and family all of the time, asking how I overcome writer’s block. “Don’t you ever run out of things to write about?” “How do you even think of a topic?” Well, fortunately for me, writer’s block doesn’t seem to affect me (most of the time.) But I’d be lying if I said I always had something to write about. Although it’s true that I do always have something to say (I am a chatter), but that doesn’t mean it’s something you all will find of interest.
Here’s four little steps I take whenever I catch the writer’s block bug. Step away from the pen & paper and simply read on…
1. Step away from the situation: Speaking of stepping away, that so happens to be step 1. If you sit staring at your computer or blank notebook, your creative juices will be extremely limited. What’s so inspiring about a screen saver and dotted blue lines? I don’t know about you, but no way in hell is that going to get me writing.
I usually take a mini field trip with my thoughts. I’ll go to the gym for a bit, hit the road for a long run, or even do a little shopping. Believe it or not, I got the idea for my college admission essay while running on the elliptical machine.
Once you’re mind is off the topic of writing, ironically enough writing ideas will come to you. It’s kind of like when you lose something. Once you stop looking for it, it usually pops up. Do the same with your writing.
2. Keep your eyes and ears wide open: I take my notebook or Mac with me everywhere I go just in case. And sure enough, I usually end up with a few pages of ideas every time I leave the house. It’s so interesting what you can learn from gossiping (ahem, people watching).
Many of my ideas come from observing other women, families, and situations. I once got a fabulous idea for a piece on body image, while listening to two women discuss their current diets on the train. So be sure to always keep your people-watching headlights on. You never know what you’ll come across.
3. Get list-ing: I’m a huge fan of lists! I think they are a great way to sort your thoughts and ensure things get done. Take a note pad with you wherever you go so you can jot down ideas when you are on the go. Just try the most amazing risotto of your life that you absolutely have to blog about? Hear about a new gala opening that you think will make a great feature article? List away, my friend!
That way when you’re having a “I have nothing to write about” crisis, you can refer to this handy list for last-minute ideas.
4. Give yourself a break: Last but not least, if all else fails sometimes you just need to give yourself a break. STOP. Pause. Just let it go. The world will not end if you take a day off from writing to sort your thoughts. Sure, you will be missed but your absolutely bangin’ inspiring article the next day will make up for it!
How do you manage writer’s blog? I’d love to hear your tips!
For someone who eats salad on the daily, it’s nice to know making your own dressing is much easier than it seems. Why buy expensive, store-bought varieties (packed with weird, mysterious ingredients) when you can make your own salad dressing that’s just as tasty, if not more? Add this fresh ‘n’ crisp red wine vinaigrette to all your salads throughout the week! Remember: a little bit goes a long way!
Rachel’s Ruby Red Wine Vinaigrette
-3 TB red wine vinegar
-1 clove garlic, crushed
-3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 TB each dried oregano, parsley and basil
-splash of red grapefruit juice or cranberry juice for extra flavor & zing (optional)
-salt & pepper to taste
~Mix ingredients together well, until oil is mixed in thoroughly. Add to fresh salads, sliced cucumbers, tomato wedges or even use as a dip for bread!
Last night I wanted to say “Thanks for Being You” to The Boy, without the usual “thank you” card or email I usually send. After all, he puts up with his (sometimes) crazy girlfriend day after day and deserved a lil thanks.
Indeed, I had to think outside the box. Well, what better way to thank someone than to cook for them?
This sweet ‘n’ spicy baked salmon I crafted says thanks in so many ways, in fact you won’t even have to say it yourself. When that someone “mmms” the entire time, licks their lips, and then clears their plate, that should be just the “You’re Welcome” you need. And then when they end up thanking you, telling you how fantastic it was and that they could get used to this kinda thing, well that’s just fabulous.
Here’s the Recipe:
*makes two servings
-8 to 10 oz. salmon, fresh
-2 TB low sodium soy sauce
-1 TB balsamic vinegar
-1/2 TB agave syrup
-1 TB cajun seasoning for spice
-1 clove garlic, diced
-salt & pepper (as much as you’d like)
1. Preheat oven to 350, and then lay the salmon on a sheet of tin foil. Spread the agave, vinegar, and soy sauce over the salmon, coating all of the sides.
2. Rub on spices, and then top with the diced garlic.
3. Wrap it up in the tin foil, leaving a small opening on the top. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes.
~Serve with roasted herbed carrots, baked sweet potatoes, & a mixed green salad! Enjoy.
The other day when I was at work, I got a text from my boyfriend saying, “Feel like trying to cut my hair this week sometime? If you screw up, we can just buzz it.”
Cut his hair? First of all, how is he trusting me with that kind of thing? Second of all, me cutting hair? HA. Just because my mom owns a hair salon does not mean I have the special skills.
I thought about it for a second, then responded, “Suuureee, with a scissor or a buzzer?” “Both,” he threw right back at me. A few minutes and a few texts later I was signed up to cut my man’s hair. This could go really good, or really bad I thought. Plus, if I screw up it’s me who would have to deal with the heinous mess I had the ability to create. That’s the difference between guys and girls. I would NEVER, NEVER trust the boyfriend (nor anyone but my mom & a few others for that matter) with my precious locks.
Fast forward a few days and I was standing in his apartment bathroom with a clipper, scissors and a few combs. I was about to take on something I had never taken on before: cutting the boy’s hair. I have to admit, I was a little nervous at first, but as I got more accustomed to the clippers, it only got easier. The hardest part was most definitely cutting the top with the scissors. I was so worried I’d ruin his hair, create a bald spot, or cut too much and be forced to buzz it all off. No thank you.
A good 45 minutes, a few mishaps and lots of hair later, I was done. Here is the finished product:
It’s a tid-bit uneven (sorry, J!) but not too shabby, huh? He was so proud of me that we celebrated with a little Jamaican Rum (tastes just like Bailey’s…YUM) on the rocks. Next time your man asks you to cut his hair, I suggest you take on the challenge. I have to admit: I most definitely had fun. Maybe it runs in the genes, after all?