The theme of this week was productivity! Data collected, data marked, data analyzed. I cannot wait to tell you more on Tuesday of next week. I also had some great Zumba classes and today is 2 full Pilates classes! That's right kids, no pushups, no running stairs, no plank marathons! Just some amazing pilates moves that will kick your butt.

Here's some exciting moments this week:
1. Bought the Lululemon wunder under crop in bordeaux. They are beautiful, what a great purchase. I think I am now obsessed with these crops in color (rather than the 3 black pairs I have) and want more, sorry B! 2. Watching the Rider game from the south again. I was multitasking while reading and studying. 3. We made an amazing lettuce-free taco salad this week. It had shredded carrots, green onion, beans, pork, homemade guacamole, salsa, cheese and flax chips. Yum! 4. Stats reading is so much better when accompanied by great leftovers.

This weekend: grocery shopping, cooking, data analysis, reading, and work. The weather is supposed to be beautiful so hopefully a walk to our local coffee shop will happen too!

See you Monday!


Squid & spaghetti squash pad thai

If you follow me on InstaGram, you probably saw this on Sunday night:

Last weekend in Beaumont, we had a great pad thai. Then I saw a recipe for paleo pad thai on Carrots n Cake. Spaghetti squash instead of regular noodles? Brilliant! Especially since we had a spaghetti squash that needed to be used. There are tons of recipes out there for homemade pad thai sauce but I was going for convenience and I did not want to buy 20 ingredients so we purchased a bottle at Whole Foods.

1 spaghetti squash, halved & seeds removed
1 carrot, grated
1 bag bean sprouts
8oz sliced mushrooms
1 bottle pad thai sauce
3/4lb squid tubes and tentacles
1/4c green onion tops, sliced
1/8c cilantro

Bake spaghetti squash in a 375 oven, cut side on the grates, for 40 minutes. Let cool, scrape out spaghetti insides with a fork.
In a large pot, saute vegetables with evoo, and spices of your choosing (we went with pepper, garlic, and asian essence). Add spaghetti squash and pad thai sauce, let cook for about 5 minutes. Add squid. Cook only until squid is cooked through. Makes sense, right? Serve family style topped with green onion and cilantro. 

This recipe actually made 6 servings. If I calculated correctly, all of the ingredients cost us approximately $17.50. With 2 dinners and 4 lunch portions that puts us at about $2.95/ serving. That's a great price for something full of veggies and fresh seafoood!

Oh, I also kept the spaghetti squash seeds and roasted them in the oven for an added snack:

This recipe shall be made again!


Green juice... again

I do not think we will ever get sick of green juice. 

Green juice is a great way to add a delicious drink to breakfast without all the sugar in other drinks.
Here's what we used this week:
3 leftover broccoli stalks
2 handfuls of spinach
1 cucumber
1 apple
1 pear

Next up: orange juice and more green juice. We tried some cara cara oranges at Whole Foods which would make a delicious juice, they just need to go on sale to first.


Teach me something

I read an article for class this past week that really took my interest. For research methods, students can send in articles for the class to read and critique as a group. This is a great way to find out the research interests of your classmates as well as learn something new. The article was from another student in motor behavior... my area of study, but with different research interests. 

"Self-controlled feedback facilitates motor learning in both high and low activity individuals" by Fairbrother, et al, 2012. 

What this article tells us is that no matter the skill level of an participant, performance tends to improve if the subjects has control over when they receive feedback. This article was specific to throwing skills... but it really caught my interest because of its applicability to other areas. 

As a past synchronized skater, I wonder how this would relate to coaches for this sport. What is synchronized skating? Check this out:
this video is from YouTube... but I was at this performance and still feel the excitement everytime I watch the video

On a team sport, how would a coach provide feedback knowing that self-controlled feedback shows greater performance improvement than scheduled feedback? Not everyone on the team may agree that feedback is needed after each trial. I asked the student who submitted the article this exact question... can you predict his answer? There has not been any research done in this area yet, but that's what he wants to do for his research. I cannot wait to find out what he learn through his research.

Did you learn something new?


Weekly meal plan

Hopefully this week slows down slightly... who am I kidding. I am trying to prepare for a conference presentation and midterms are coming up. Instead of doing data collection, this week I will be writing and studying. Oh grad school, you keep my to-do list growing every day... but I really do enjoy it!

To make sure being busy is no excuse for healthy eating, here is our weekly meal plan:

Sunday - squid and spaghetti squash pad thai
Monday - leftover swordfish, broccoli, and rice
Tuesday - taco salad
Wednesday - paella of summer vine vegetables
Thursday - Walk Ons
Friday - TBD
Saturday - pork tenderloin, broccoli, and tomato salad



Every week just keep getting busier, seriously. Classes, research, teaching, and trying to find time to relax has keep me busy this week.

1. My fave blush finally came in the mail. After 4 sold out locations I was finally found a department store that had it... so I ordered 3 to get free shipping and so I do not need to fret about this in the near future. It was a stressful time this last month... 2. Still learning about stats. I am official ahead by 2 assignments because of cancelled classes... hurricane Issac, labor day, and a bomb threat. Oh LSU. 3. Caught the cat again during a FaceTime session! 4. Need these Lululemon capris asap! I have them in black but fell in love with bordeaux. Saturday will be the day!

Have a wonderful weekend! We will be at home doing work and relaxing!


Orange juicing

I have never been big into orange juice. It just wasn't my thing, maybe it's the pulp. Well... I finally found an orange juice I like! Of course, it is homemade and fresh from our new juicer!

5 oranges

1 pear

Yup, the secret is in the pear. It smooths out the juice and cuts the acidity of the oranges. This batch made quite a bit of juice so we just store it in the fridge in a pitcher.

Oh, we found a huge bag of apples for $2.50 at the produce market last weekend! Next up: apple juice varieties!


J crew lovin

Just a bit of a fall wishlist from J.Crew for fall:
tissue turtlenecks - so cozy for indoor a/c yet small enough to throw in my bag when outdoors
circle scarf in navy, orange, and mint - I cannot find this online... but it does not matter because I already bought it! The weight is perfect for our weather right now... still summer.
jules dress in italian paisley - I am looking for a dress for my cousin's wedding, I love the pattern but I am not overly fond of the shape... must keep looking
keeper chambray shirt - I have been wanting this one for a while, it is finally time?
I also picked up this black tee last week.

Am I missing anything?

Making this list reminded me that we need to start our Christmas shopping. We have already made our list and only 1 thing is on it... seriously!


Zumba in Beaumont

This past weekend we made the trip to Beaumont, TX for my Zumba instructor training. Here's a recap of my weekend in instagram photos!

1. When we pass this bridge, you know we are heading west! 
2. You would be surprised/ shocked and the number of adult superstores in the I10 between Baton Rouge and Houston. I find it very creepy... but still requires a photo. 
3. Did we secretly go to Florida for the weekend? 
4. At lunch, half way though my 8 hour day of Zumba training. Looked exhausted... but having a great time. 
5. With my Zumba instructor, Julie Kelly. This woman was amazing. Has 7 kids and 2 grandchildren, abs of steel, and dance moves like a girl who did not grow up in Texas! Thanks for a great training session, Julie! 
6. Have you heard of Spec's? Its a Texas based wine shop that was huge! Everything is bigger in Texas! 
7. Did you know we moved to a city with no Dairy Queen? When we saw an old school DQ we knew we had to stop for a blizzard. 
8. Hey Marriott... get new television... your tube TV does dot work with digital cable... B tried to watch sports but could barely see the score. Cataracts anyone? 
9. We laugh every time we drive past this exit. If you are related to us you probably know why!

On Friday night we went to New York Pizza & Pasta. Italian in Texas, why not? It was delicious, cheap, and filling. My baked ziti was $7.95 and fed me for three meals! This place seemed like a Friday night meeting spot for all the locals.

On Saturday, we went to Chaba Thai Cuisine. Thai food in Texas, why not? This place was very highly rated on Urban Spoon. It was small but the service was excellent. We shared the egg rolls, fried rice kee mao and pad thai. We used to have a great Thai restaurant we would go to in Edmonton so it was nice to enjoy it again. The food was amazing and the price was even better. Our entire meal, once again, cost $30! One thing is not bigger in Texas... the prices!

We really enjoyed our trip to Beaumont minus the hotel. Listen to this: terrible internet, uncomfortable beds, the blurriest TV I have ever looked at, and they tried to charge us twice for the same room because we had two names on the reservation. Seriously? Marriott, we expected better from you. I think our boycott is back!

On a good note, here is our sunrise from Saturday morning!

P.S. Officially certified to teach Zumba!


Weekly meal planning

What's for dinner this week? We have a typical week planned... work, school, and lots of productivity. We did all of our grocery shopping on Sunday for all meals up to Friday at lunch! This allows for less distractions (excuses) from my studies and less stressing (distractions) about what to eat at the end of a busy day (and most likely for lunch the next day)!

Sunday - sausages, roasted broccoli, and wild rice with balsamic mushrooms (from current MSL)
Monday - leftovers at univeristy
Tuesday - taco salad
Wednesday - tilapia tacos
Thursday - Walk Ons (I plan to have a gator wrap with broccoli)
Friday - TBD
Saturday - most likely fresh seafood from Whole Foods (I like to buy my seafood the day we eat it!)

We are looking to have a healthy week of lean protein, lots of veggies, and Mexican inspired weekday food. Can you tell I did my Zumba certification this weekend? Latin music puts me in the food for fish tacos.

For breakfast we plan to have protein shakes, juice, or breakfast cookies. Lunches include the usual of leftovers, salads, and wraps. Snacks are veggies and hummus, protein bars, or baked oatmeal.



 The weeks just keep getting busier. I was very productive with my research this week. Know what that means? I need to do more reading this weekend... not sure when as I will be going to Texas for Zumba instructor training! I will have to find the time.

Here's a recap of some of the small things that made my week complete:
1. Pumpkin scones... we share to help with portion control but they are delicious! 2. We made homemade orange juice.  It was amazing. I am usually not into OJ but I liked this as it had no pulp. 3. Tickets to the LSU football game from last weekend. 4. A comfy outfit of lulus and a grey t. Somedays, comfort is key.

5. A date on Sunday while running errands. We had soup and salads at the bar at Red Lobster. 6. Is it sad that I get excited when B's colleagues go out of town so we can have Whole Foods pizza on Thursday? Also delish. We had portobello mushrooms, tri-colored peppers, and prosciutto. 7. We are obsessed with Bin 77. If you get there before 7pm you can get flatbreads for $7. We don't like to eat late so it is a perfect date location for us. 8. Martha Stewart Living came in the mail this week. There was a recipe for wild rice with balsamic mushrooms that I need to make next week!

Have a great weekend. After I teach, we are off to Texas! I promise to bring some reading I need to get done.


Roasted broccoli naan pizza

Part of our meal plan last week was a BBQd broccoli pizza. We decided to make it in the oven for convenience sake. I made our typical roasted broccoli, assembled the pizzas and baked them until the cheese melted. It was an amazing, healthy vegetarian option.
2 stalks broccoli, steamed for 3 minutes then roasted in the oven for 20 minutes
4 naan bread
fresh mozzarella
grated Parmesan
Roast broccoli. Brush naan with evoo, top with fresh mozzarella, add roasted broccoli, grated Parmesan, and pepper. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and enjoy!
So simple for a week day, makes enough for lunch the next day, and healthy too!


LSU football

This past weekend I attended my first college football game, LSU vs Washington. We had an afternoon of tailgating and delicious food, great weather, and a big win.

My fave parts: an appearance by Shaq (LSU alum), my strawberry lemonade, hanging out with B, and getting to cheer on our team.

Next game: Oct 13 vs South Carolina!


Teach me something

We are finally getting into the swing of things with school. I am learning more everyday. After all of my classes, B always asks me to explain something I learned. Here is my example from last night:

Did you know that people will answer problems differently depending on if the outcome is presented as a loss or a gain... even if the statistical probability is the same. Why? Because we are human and, when presented with a moral dilemma, we rely on more than probability.

Here is my exact example from class (POLI7962, Dr. C Weber):
example 1
You are a policy-maker and are reviewing a national defense initiative.The US is developing a National Missile Defense (NMD) system designed to defend against nuclear missiles (a mini-Star Wars). There are two versions of the plan and it is up to you to pick one. Experts all agree that 6 million lives are at risk. It is your groups job to decide which policy to adopt.

If program X1 is adopted, 4 million lives will be lost.

If program X2 is adopted, there is a one-third probability that no lives will be lost and a two-thirds probability that 6 million lives will be lost.

example 2
You also chair a subcommittee on public health and your vote is decisive in an upcoming decision on preventing a bird-flu epidemic. Assume that a relatively e↵ective strategy in preventing illness is with the usage of efficient respirators designed to block the inhalation of airborne viruses. Two US-based companies are bidding for a government contract, but their products slightly differ. Assume that 7 million lives can be saved by preparing for an epidemic with one of these contracts.

If company B gets the contract an estimated 4.2 million lives will automatically be saved.

If company C gets the contract, there is an estimated 40% probability that no lives will be saved and a 60% probability that all lives will be saved.

In example 1, you are more likely to pick option X2 which is presented as a risk because option X1 is presented as a loss. In example 2, you are more likely to pick the option with no risk (B) because it is presented as a gain.

What does this tell us? When you need to present two options to someone and you want that person to pick a certain outcome, you may be able to influence their decision depending on if you present the outcome as a loss or a gain.
Not only did I learn something new this week, so did you!

P.S. This is called prospect theory and a nobel proze was won by an economist for this discovery. 


Weekly meal planning

After a busy weekend of tailgating, football, work, and homework its nice to be back into the work week. This week it busy with classes, research, reading, and a trip to Texas! Here's what's for dinner this week:

Sunday - panko crusted chicken fingers & tortellini pasta salad (I really need to share my recipe)
Monday - leftovers at university
Tuesday - something with squid & shrimp! those are the only ingredients we bought... seriously! oops!
Wednesday - croque madame
Thursday - Whole Foods pizza night!
Friday - in Texas
Saturday - in Texas

We also have stuff to make juice, salad, and sandwiches. It is going to be a busy week! 
Planning = healthy eating!



It was nice to have a short week! I feel as though this week has been a productive one... which is very nice to be thinking on a Friday. Some of the best moments were, of course, captures on my instagram app.

1. Want to know what happens when you go to school on a Friday after a storm? Well this girl found $6 in the parking lot at the end of the day! 2. Did my meal planning with Martha this week. We had a great week of meals. Many times we said "we need to make this again". When life is busy with school it is so nice to be able to have a healthy and fresh meal on the table. 3. A Starbucks date on Saturday morning. Enough said. 4. Watching the Riders... they finally won a game! I am thankful for ESPN3 from the south.

5. Saw my Peter's magnet on the fridge... suddenly got a strong desire for a milkshake. 6. Went to Starbucks one morning and made a great discovery... pumpkin spice is back! We are obsessed! 7. Did you buy the living social deal for Starbucks? I sure did. Too bad I could not buy more than one. 8. Needed to go to Hobby Lobby this week and found out that Christmas trees and decorations are out. Ho Ho Ho! Is it Christmas break yet?

This weekend: work, read, meal plan/ get groceries, and relax. It's a very typical weekend. They claim there is a "cold front" coming through so we may need to go for a walk. Oh! and some LSU tailgating on Saturday too! Have a great weekend!




Our first juice

Guess what finally came in the mail! It was stuck in New Orleans during the storm but arrived safely on our doorstep this week!

I have been begging B for one of these for months! We went to stay with friends in Boston last month who happened to have this exact one... they made him one juice and he was hooked! Thanks J&M! I had read great things about the Breville Juice Fountain Plus in the past but it was nice to get a recommendation from friends and see how easy it was to use.

We all know I am obsessed with green juice... yes, the one that is $5 at Whole Foods. Now I can make it at home and my wallet will appreciate it too. Of course, our first juice was a green one!

4-5oz spinach
2 mangoes, peeled and pitted
1/2 cucumber, thickly sliced
1 red delicious apple, cored and sliced
2 broccoli stalks, leftover from dinner, thickly sliced

It was delicious. Not too sweet but not tart from the vegetables either! The juice options are now endless.

P.S. My mom is obsessed with juice. I wonder if she this will convince her to come visit.


Chicken and bread salad

I saw this recipe in Martha Stewart Living magazine and knew I needed to make my own version. We made some modifications, but we always do!



2 pieces grilled chicken

1/2 head romaine

4 slices whole grain bread, drizzled with evoo and toasted in the oven

1 red pepper, sliced

1 eggplant, sliced

salad dressing: we used a mix of evoo, balsamic, and herbs


Toss red pepper and eggplant slices in evoo, salt, and pepper. Broil in oven for approx 20 minutes, turning half way through. Chop all ingredients into bite sized pieces (we chop the romaine and chicken even smaller), toss with salad dressing, and serve on a beautiful white plate. And guess what, we did not even add cheese to this salad... which is a shock for us!

This was a great meal after a long afternoon of yard work and even made leftovers for lunches the next day. What more could a girl ask for?



Teach me something

You may or may not know, I have started teaching Zumba. Yes, I now get paid to teach America's youth to dance. I get paid to workout... I think it's a great job... So far.

So far we have learned basic steps for salsa, merengue, cumbia, and reggaeton. On the last day of class of the week we do core workout. That means, crunches, planks, and supermans. Last week we also did a Bodyrock workout for a short but killer workout. I like to throw new thing at my students to keep their bodies thinking and hearts pumping. Oh and a new fave of mine is a 7 minute song of squats at their end of their workout. They will never enjoy a Shakira song again!

This week: more review, some squats, a tango, and a killer end of week core workout!

I hope to post some Zumba playlists eventually. For now, just a quick recap for your reading pleasure.

P.S. Pumpkin spice is back! I had to have mine iced as it is still crazy hot out here



Weekly meal planning

Back to our normal routine. There are no expected hurricanes this week! With the holiday on Monday we do have some extra time to make a home cooked meal so that will be nice too.

Monday - sausages, brown rice with peas and cilantro, and tomato salad
Tuesday - trout sandwiches & mustard potatoes (yes, this is on the meal plan for the third week in a row as we still have not eaten the ingredients)
Thursday - Walk-Ons
Friday - TBD

This week I tried to focus more on green vegetables, leftovers, and healthy food choices. Again, we go out with Brian's colleagues on Thursdays and I never make plans for dinner on Fridays as we usually end up going out with friends so those nights I never buy ingredients for. If we do not go out, there is always a frozen pizza that can be baked or Whole Foods hot bar. 

Meal planning has kept us very organized with my transition back to school. Life is so much easier at the end of a long day when you do not need to plan what to makes based on what is available in the fridge. Planning is key for us!
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