Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Stepping Into Fall - Booties

I am so not ready for summer to be over, but I'm also starting to think about what I need to purchase for fall. One of the things that I know that I definitely need is a pair of booties - or 2 or 3 :)  I'll more than likely get a pair of black ones in case I only get one.

Below are some that I'm contemplating.  The top row is DSW, the middle row is Famous Footwear and the bottom row is

Top Row: Aerosoles Sawcurity Bootie; Indigo RD. Veraly Chelsea Boot; Dolce Vita Karsen Bootie
Middle Row: Rocket Dog Sam Lace Up Ankle Boot; Circus Vikki Bootie; indigo rd. Chanted Embroidered Bootie
Bottom Row: Guess Visen; STATE Taila; Pikolinos Rotterdam

Monday, August 28, 2017

What I'm Eating This Week - Meal Prep Taco Bowls with Roasted Veg and Chicken

This week's lunch is a great, veggie heavy meal prep bowl with a Mexican twist.

First the veggies.  These are ones that I picked up recently at the farmer's market.

There's a pepper, a zucchini, a yellow squash, two banana peppers and some carrots - including two purple ones.

Have you ever had purple carrots before?  They taste like regular carrots, they just look really cool.  Here's one cut in half.

I chopped all of the veg and then tossed with a tablespoon of olive oil and some taco seasoning.  I get my taco seasoning at Whole Foods.  And then I roasted them at 350 for 30 minutes.

The bowls come together with some cauliflower rice, the veg, some leftover chicken and some peach mango salsa.

Really easy, really quick, really yummy :)

Friday, August 25, 2017

"Come And Eat" - a review

"Come and Eat" by Bri McKoy

"What if there is more power in the simple invitation than we can even begin to fathom?"

"It's about discovering that perhaps before we invite people to meet Jesus at church or at Christian events, we should invite them to meet Him at our table."

These two quotes from the book "Come & Eat," by Bri McKoy, really sum up the book  The idea is that when we take the time to break bread with someone, we have the opportunity to not just feed their body, but to feed their soul.

Now I want to add the caveat, that we're not talking about tacking a salvation message to the end of every meal that we invite people to, or that we use a shared meal as a place to beat people with the Gospel message.  No, what Bri is encouraging and I am longing for is a place where we can share a meal and share ourselves with no pretense or expectations.  

I work in medical research, and I work on a floor with a large number of Chinese, and I have had the honor and the privilege to share meals with them, both at work and outside of work.  I consider it an honor when they include me in their meals - even when we're all just eating what we packed for the day.  We often talk about American and Chinese culture or food  and sometimes the conversations around me are in Chinese, but I am still honored to be there.

Getting to know these people, and getting to eat with them, reminds me of my childhood.  So many of my favorite childhood memories center around food.  I started making cornbread at my grandparents' house when I was still short enough that I had to stand on a stool.  I think back fondly on sitting at the "kids" table at holidays with my sister and our two cousins.

Food draws us together, to some extent it defines who we are, and when we invite people to dine with us, we have the opportunity to get to know them better than if we were doing something else.  And it is in this getting to know people that the Lord may reveal how we can minister to them.

This book has really made me think.  And it has made me so thankful for the tables that the Lord has brought me to over the years.  This book will make you laugh, and it will make you cry.  And you will never look at a simple invitation to dine the same way again.

"We sit at these tables because these are the tables Jesus sat at.  The tables holding wounded peopel with raw, breaking hearts.  God seats us at these tables to be used by Him as a healing balm, but he also seats us there to bring us into contact with our own brokenness."  ~Bri McKoy


Monday, August 21, 2017

My Current Workout Routine

The two main things that I have done to get in shape are walk and workout videos.  Right now I try and get about 12,000 steps in each day and then 5 to 6 days a week I do some sort of a workout, usually in the evenings. 

The biggest problem that I’ve had with workout videos has been boredom.  I tried finding different workouts on the web, but I stink at ones where they just give you a list of exercises and maybe a video showing one or two reps.

Fitness Blender
A few months ago while reading blogs, I came across a mention of a website called Fitness Blender.  Basically they have free workout videos that you can watch either on their website or on YouTube. 
They also have workout programs that you can purchase, that tell you which workouts to do on what day to focus on a specific area.  Some of their programs include:
  •         2 Week FB Blend to Burn Fat & Build Muscle
  •         FB Abs: 4 Week Core Program for Abs, Oblique, and Lower Back
  •         FB Reach: 4 Week Stretching, Yoga and Pilates Program for Flexibility & Total Body Toning
  •         4 Week Workout Program for People Who Get Bored Easily
  •         FB Flex: 4 Week Upper Body Program for Arms, Shoulder, Chest and Upper Back

I’ve done the Abs one twice and am doing the FB Reach one currently.  Right now I’m planning on doing FB Flex next.

What I really like about the programs is that they provide full videos.  That was important to me, as I said before, I do not like when all you get is a list of exercises and maybe a quick video of one or two repetitions.  I also like that they give you modifications if you need to make it easier.  The only thing that I don’t like is that you can’t move things around on the calendar.  Once you pick your start day it populates it and you can’t move it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Conference in DC - What I Wore

The beginning part of last week was spent in DC for a conference for work.  During the day, the attire was business, but at night, the attire was casual.  In planning my outfits, I wanted to make sure that everything that I packed was comfortable, and that for Monday and Tuesday's outfits, could easily change from business to casual.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to get a picture of what I wore for the drive down, it was  tank top dress, that is extremely comfortable.  For the opening reception, the theme was Hawaiian Luau, and was a more casual event.  I opted for a green, strapless dress that I got at Banana Republic Outlet and a black shrug.  To keep it from feeling too dressy, I wore a pair of flip flops with some faux jewel detailing to the strap.

Monday's business outfit was a pencil skirt that has a blue under-layer and then a purple lace layer on top.  I paired with a purple-ish tank and blue cardigan.  For the evening I just swapped out the skirt for a pair of distressed cropped jeans.  For shoes, I did a black wedge sandal during the day, but, since it was raining in the evening, I opted for a pair of black flats.

Tuesday's outfits were my favorites.  I work an orange short sleeve sweater and brown skirt with brown wedge sandals during the day, and then switched into a pair of distressed cropped jeans for the evening, and I was able to stay with the same shoes.

I knew that I would be tired by Wednesday, so I went with a pair of wide legged trousers, a white and black shell and a black cardigan and black wedge sandals.  For the drive back home, I actually just wore a t-shirt, yoga pants and flip flops (no picture though).

The thing that I liked about all of my outfits were that they were comfortable and for Monday and Tuesday, there wasn't much needed to switch from business to casual.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Loving Lately

Recently I ordered the new Naked Heat Palette from Urban Decay, along with two eyeliners to go along with it.   Let me just tell you that I am loving all three.  And with names like En Fuego and He Devil, they are fun to use as well.

Not the best picture, I really need to figure out the whole selfy thing :)
The eye shadow palette has some gorgeous, warm-toned hues.  What's really great is that you can do a subtle look or a bold one all with the same palette.  Which one I do depends on my mood.  Today I used more of the darker, purple hues, and the other day I did almost a neutral eye.  I'm wearing He Devil in my crease and then on my lid, starting in the corner and going out, I'm wearing Ember, En Fuego and then Ashes.  Finally, I used Ounce for along the brow.

The eyeliners that I picked up are the shades Torch, which is an orangy color, and Alkaline, which is purple.  I'm still using Oil Slick on my upper lid, but have been enjoying using these two on my lower ones, sometimes both at the same time.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quick Update

The past three weeks have been extremely hectic for us.  We did our annual trip to Northwestern PA, we were home for a week in which we had appointments just about every night, and then we were at a conference.  While I had hoped to get some posts written and prepped before we traveled last week, I'm not quite that organized.  I would love to be one of those bloggers who have all of their posts written and just about perfect a month out, but I'm not.  Heck, I'm impressed that I can manage to menu plan for the week.
Fish at the Spillway at Pymatuning Lake

At any rate, we're home for awhile, and I am going to try and get organized with blogging.  We'll see how it goes.
View from our hotel in DC

I do have some upcoming posts swirling in my head right now at least.  I have a book that I just finished that I want to review for you, some new makeup that I'm loving and a recap of what I wore at the conference.

Only on a college campus

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Green and White Salad

I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I bought the veg for this week's salad.  I'm not quite sure that I was thinking at all :)  Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to hurry.  Or maybe it was that I was exhausted since we had just gotten back from a trip and had no groceries in the house.  Regardless of the why or the how, I ended up with a green and white salad.

Usually when I make salads, I like to keep it somewhat colorful, even if it's just adding in some orange carrots.  But this week, everything is green and white - zucchini, cucumber, mushrooms, green pepper.

Maybe it was the salad dressing choice that inspired me, but I decided to do the zucchini as zoodles.  The dressing that I'm using this week is an Asian one, and I do like to eat my salads with chopsticks, so the noodles kind of make sense. At least in my mind they do :)

This salad also goes to show you that you don't need lettuce in a salad to have a fun and yummy one.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pink and Grey

I love playing with different color combinations, and lately I've been thinking about pink and grey.  The pink dress and heels gives the look a flirty, girly appeal, and the grey cardigan keeps it from looking too much like an ode to Legally Blonde.

Dress: Cutout Pocket Sheath Dress
Cardigan: Shimmer Signature 3/4 Sleeve Cardigan
Shoes: Strappy Cutout Block Heels

This post isn't sponsored, just items that I found while shopping online.

Monday, July 31, 2017

When you want to give up - remember

Do you ever have one of those days where you just want to throw in the towel?  Maybe it's something small, or maybe it's something big.  Maybe you just want to throw in the towel on the whole adulting thing.

Lately, I've really been struggle with just wanting to throw in the towel on most things.  I want nothing more than to eat what I want instead of making good choices.  I want to spend the evening being a couch potato instead of working out.  While I love my promotion at work and now I feel like I'm drowning there.  I want to turn my blog into something that people really like to read and recommend, but I alternate between lack of time to write and writer's block.  Basically, I just want to stop being an adult.

And then I remember.  I remember how much I love my life and all of it's craziness.  I vent to my husband who reminds me that he's always there to help and asks me what I need.

I remember how much fun it is to go clothes shopping now, and how healthy and strong I feel.  and then I reach for those veggies or go and do my workout.

I remember how much I love my job and that I am part of something bigger than myself and I find ways to help me focus more.  I learn to start delegating the more mundane, time-consuming tasks, and I remember the tricks in my toolbox to keep the stress from paralyzing me.

I remember that I need to schedule time to work on my blog.  I remember that insipation comes at hte oddest times, so having a notbook or a note taking app nearby at all times is critical.

I remember that I am blessed.  That this is the life that God has called me to.  I remember that when I lay it all before Him, that He will equip me to do the things that He has called me to do.

When I'm ready to throw in the towel and give up on being an adult, I give myself grace, pick myself up and dust myself off.  I thank the Lord for this life and then I go back to living it to the fullest - craziness and all.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Grey Pencil Skirt - What I'm Shopping for at #NSale

Today the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens up to those of us that are not Nordstrom card holders.  Thankfully they still have plenty of items available for purchase.

Right now I'm not doing much shopping.  I have all of the summer items that I need, and I'm just not ready to start thinking about fall and winter fashion yet.  I'm actually not sure that I need much this year, though I may pick up a few investment pieces.  The one item that I do know that I need is a grey pencil skirt, so that's what I just ordered.

Halogen Ponte Pencil Skirt in Heather Charcoal

This is the Ponte Pencil Skirt from Halogen in Heather Charcoal.  I ordered a petite, so I'm hoping that the length is good on it.  What I really like is the zipper detail on the back.  It's a very professional skirt, but the zipper gives it a little bit of an edginess.  I also really like the fact that it's under $40.

Here are some other options for grey pencil skirts.  They are at various price points.

The first one is the Ponte Midi Skirt by Vince Camuto in Dark Heather Grey.  It's currently on sale for $45.90.  It's a great looking skirt, but plain.

Vince Camuto Ponte Midi Skirt in Dark Heather Grey

The second one is the BOSS Vilea Plaid Stretch Wool Suit Skirt in Grey Check Fantasy.  It's currently on sale for $176.90.  I was looking for a skirt that could be worn year round, and I don't think that wool would work in the summer. 

Boss Vilea Plaid Stretch Wool Suite Skirt in Grey Check Fantasy

And finally, since I love pink and lace, here's a fun skirt that is both, the Diane Von Furstenberg Lace Pencil Skirt in Tulip Pink.  It's currently on sale for $178.90, which is a great price, but I still can't justify the purchase right now.  Oh well.

Diane Von Furstenberg Lace Pencil Skirt in Tulip Pink

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Preparing for Mondays

Mondays.  Some people love them, some people hate them.  Regardless of what you think of them, for most of us they signal the start of the work week.  To help with the transition from weekend to work week go smoother, I take the time on Sunday nights to prep for Mondays.

First, I look at what I have scheduled.  Do I have any meetings scheduled that are going to impact my lunch or what time I can leave work?  Do I have any evenings appointments or plans?  Taking a look at the week on Sundays helps me better plan.  I also take a look at the weather forecast for the week.  Once I've looked at the calendar and the weather, I start to plan - at least tentatively - dinners and outfits.  Things may get changed up during the week, but having that tentative plan is a help.

The other thing that I like to do on Sundays is to treat myself.  In the evening I'll have something to drink like hot chocolate or a nice tea.  Lately, I've been having a can of Diet A&W Cream Soda (don't judge).  I'll also have a piece of really good, dark chocolate.

Then after my shower, I pamper myself.  I use a different lotion than my normal weekday one, and I do a face mask.  It's also when I use my brightening shampoo.

Lately the lotion that I've been using is this Hydrating Body Lotion from Victoria's Secret.  I love the way it smells and it leaves my skin nice and soft.

 The other week I was wandering Whole Foods before getting my hair done and I ended up picking up this Acure Brightening Facial Mask.  I really like the way my skin looks after using it, but while it's on I look like I've been on a boat in a storm tossed sea for too long.  Either that, or I'm turning into a sea monster :)

How do you prepare for Mondays?  Do you have anything special that you do?

Monday, July 17, 2017

My World

Last week was a really busy week at work - though I'm not really quite sure why.  I did have to give a training and I had a number of meetings, but so much of the week I felt like I was spinning my wheels.  Here's to hoping that this week is better.

I know that the 4th was a couple of weeks ago, but we had so much fun smoking a pork shoulder - and the leftovers are becoming part of tonight's dinner.

We also saw an amazing fireworks display.

I blogged about my PB&J overnight oatmeal a couple of weeks ago, and now I've stepped it up a notch with chocolate PB2.

I have become obsessed with this infused water.  I got the idea/recipe over at Eating Bird Food.

I love taking walks at lunchtime, and one benefit of working for a university is the interesting "scenery."  Usually that means the students, but also the Cathedral of Learning is absolutely stunning.

Finally, this past weekend we painted the shed.  Here's what it looked like before

And here's the after picture

Thursday, July 13, 2017

What I'm Eating - Grilled Veggie Wrap

On the weekends I usually cook something that I can bring to lunch for the week - or at least 4 days worth.  This week I've bringing in the components to make a veggie wrap.

Sabra Honey Mustard

For me, honey and mustard is one of the most perfect savory combinations.  So when I saw a commercial recently for Sabra Spreads and saw that they had a honey mustard version, I knew that I had to try it.

Last weekend I grilled (okay my husband grilled) up some zucchini planks, some green pepper wedges and a couple of portabella mushrooms.  Once they were grilled and cooled, I divided them into four containers.  I also had some leftover sauteed onions that I added.  That, along with the hummas spread and some great wraps became a grilled veggie wrap.

I've really been loving these low carb wraps lately.  They're only 90 calories and really tasty and not super stiff.

I waited to assemble until I was at work and ready to eat - it's a texture thing - and they turned out really well.