Will cook for sofa

If you have been to our house, you know we have no living room furniture except a TV, rocking chair, lamps, and coffee table. Yes, we really need something comfy to sit on. If you follow me on Pinterest, you will see me pinning photos of sofas all the time.

all from Pinterest

If you one either of our parents, you will know all we are asking for this year for Christmas is money to put towards a sofa! You can clearly see my style from the above photos: modern, clean lines, comfortable and grey cloth. At some point I am going to have to adjust my criteria as I feel this is just not possible with our budget. Does anyone have any ideas for me? We currently rent so we do not want something that only fits this house. Furniture stores are lacking in the town, everything is either way overpriced and ugly or poorly made. I want to invest in furniture that is versatile and does not cost the equivalent to 5 months rent. Is that too much to ask?
I love Crate & Barrel and West Elm but the closest stores are Houston and we would also have to pay shipping. By the time I paid shipping at Ikea I may as well by something of better quality.  
Help! I am very open to ideas!
For now, we are still only asking for money for a sofa until we can commit to a specific sofa at a specific store!

P.S. Did you see the Klyne chair & a half and ottoman at Crate & Barrel are on sale. I would die for this in grey! Both are on my list of things I want but B says we need a sofa first before "fun chairs".


Teach me something: the study cycle

I love to teach others about things I have learned, especially when they are tricks that have help me become successful. Before classes started this semester, I went to a seminar for graduate assistants about academic success. At this session, I learned about the study cycle. Not only was this important for me to apply to my own studies, it is also important for all professors and instructors to teach these skills to their students so they can be successful as well.

The study cycle provides a guide for effective time management skills and effective study strategies combined into one easy to read diagram. I have been following each of these strategies so far this semester:
preview: before class, skim the chapters for headings, concepts, bold words, and chapter summaries
attend: go to class & take notes (this seems to be hard for students around here, they claim its the southern culture)
review: review class notes within the next 24 hours, fill in concepts missed in class
study: complete 3-5 short study sessions per day (see above outline of time to spend) and re-read the materials covered that week on Sundays
assess: is the study cycle working for me? do I know the materials well enough to teach concepts to others?

And that kids if how I have been spending my study time this semester... and how I got 102.5% on mystats midterm without cramming the entire weekend before the exam.


Meal planning

What's for dinner this week? Well, last week we had to make some changes to our meal plan (aka not eating anything we planned to eat) so this week is going to look like a repeat of last week. That's what happens when you have ingredients that need to be used!

Sunday - sweet potato and sausage soup
Monday - leftover turkey and broccoli enchiladas
Tuesday - open-faced sandwiches with greek salad
Thursday - Walk On's
Friday - salad wraps
Saturday - out somewhere with a TV for LSU vs. Alabama

This week should be a good week. I have lots on my to-do list so I hope to be productive everyday. 2 night classes, 9 hours of teaching, a class at Body Factory, Halloween, and a big home football game!

Have a great week!



Happy Friday! My week always gets busy once it starts even when I planned a quiet week. Here's some highlights:

1. Still obsessed with green juice. I had a craving so I made some in the juicer (apple, kiwi, spinach, and broccoli) and took it to school in an old Whole Foods juice container. Craving satisfied. Thank goodness because the craving started with a desire to go to the juice bar in Printemps in Paris. My pocketbook appreciated this alternative. 2. The night before my research methods midterm I was baking cookies and muffins. We'll find out if that was a good idea when I get my grade back. 3. I lost my favourite sunglasses that I have had for 4 years. I have not been able to decide on a new pair, I am picky when I spend that much money, so I got a temporary pair at Target. 4. Speaking of grades... see that writing in red? Yes, it does say 102.5... that would be my percentage on my statistics exam. That "E" is always the start of the words excellent work. Yes friends, the girl who cannot even vote in the upcoming presidential election got 102.5% on political science statistics. This is me telling you to be impressed. I may have been called a statistical genius by B.

 Any plans for the weekend? I have class and have to teach on Saturday as it is a make-up day for missed classes during the hurricane in August. We also have an Oktoberfest party to attend then I have homework and cleaning to do. Its going to be a busy weekend around here!

Have a great weekend!


Cauliflower crust pizza

Its no secret, I am always trying to find way to integrate more veggies into our diet. Seriously, we live in an area obsessed with fried everything so we try to be very conscious of what we eat. Its also no secret that I LOVE pizza. I found a recipe on Pinterest for pizza made with a cauliflower crust. Genius? I think so! If you follow my Instagram feed I bet you were drooling over this one on Saturday afternoon like I was.

1 head cauliflower
1/2c evoo, divided
2 eggs
2c shredded mozzarella
pizza sauce
pizza toppings: cooked ground turkey with onion and red peppers, mushrooms, green onions, sliced tomatoes
grated Parmesan

Cut cauliflower into pieces, boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash until almost all the lumps are gone with a potato masher.  Mix with 1/4c evoo, 2 eggs, and 1c shredded mozzarella. Spray a rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan (the rim in very important) with cooking spray. Spread out on cookie sheet until about 1/2" thick. Bake in 350 oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add pizza sauce, toppings, drizzle with 1/4c evoo, then top with 1c mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for 20 more minutes at 350 until cheese is bubbly.

This recipe filled an entire large cookie sheet so we have lots of leftovers for weeknight meals or a healthy snack. I definitely do not feel as guilty eating a piece of late night pizza when the crust is made with veggies! I highly recommend trying this. It does not taste the same as regular pizza because it does not have a bread crust and must be eaten with a fork (which I do anyways) but it definitely satisfies a pizza craving!


J.Crew faves of winter

J.Crew came out with their new fall line today. Being my obsessed self, I already have a wish-list and have pinned everything in Pinterest. Here are some of the things on my list:

I am loving all of the greens and blues for winter. Do I need a vest when I live in the south and can only wear it one month of the year? Maybe... hopefully! I might have to wait for that one to go on sale. But I do have a feeling that chambray popover will appear in my closet very soon... and hopefully the chiffon dot top too!


Teach me something

Last week I presented my research project at Neuroscience 2012 in New Orleans.

Yes, I know it is way to small to read. What did I learn? 
Inaccuracy in upper body goal directed movement to a remembered location in the dark, such as reaching or pointing, cannot be fully attributed to gravity. We know from many previous studies that when people point to a remembered target location in the dark, they always point lower than the remembered target location. To test this, we suspended young healthy subjects upside down and completed the same task. This time we found that the exact opposite happened in the dark (now they pointed above the remembered target location). The one consistent finding is that subjects performed less absolute movement from their starting position to final pointing position in the dark condition which would make us think the results may actually be due to inaccurate muscle activation in the triphasic motor pattern of simple movements. We have started a pilot test to rule out the effect of the starting arm position and were given many ideas of future things to test from other researcher at the conference.

Now you know how I spend my free time, I hang kids upside down and make them point at things.


Weekly meal plan

This week should be more relaxed than last. It will be nice to have some weeknights at home to cook!

Sunday - zucchini pasta with turkey, mushroom, and butternut squash pasta sauce
Monday - leftover cauliflower pizza at university
Tuesday - sweet potato and sausage soup (Everyday Food, Nov, p106)
Wednesday - turkey enchiladas
Thursday - Walk Ons
Friday - date night, I am thinking Bin 77!

Other plans for the week? Get stuff done around the house that has been neglected the past few weeks and study for another midterm!

On the weekend I also went to some exercise classes, one of which was SPX at Body Factory BTR. It was a pilates and strength training class using a new type of reformer called the megaformer black... basically a regular reformer on steroids. The class and instructor were amazing. I cannot wait to go back and take B with me!



This week's InstaFriday post is brought to you by LSU football and random food I ate. Yup, those two things summarize my week outside of a statistics midterm and a conference.

 1. We went to the LSU v. South Carolina game on the weekend, it was the gold game so we made sure to dress appropriately. 2. All of the gold in Tiger Stadium looked great! 3. You know the game is getting serious when her hat was backwards and she was yelling like a maniac! In her defense, it was an intense game... 4. Yes, I am a prude, enough said about this.

5. We ate lunch at the Whole Foods hot bar, what you cannot see is that half of my bowl is filled with many different kinds of mushrooms! My obsession is out of control. 6. America, taking the pumpkin obsession to a whole new level. These were tempting to purchase but I did not think we needed all the sugar. 7. On the other hand, I do agree with feeding myself pure sugar in the form of sweedish fish. Yes, I bribe myself to study for statistics with candy. 8. A breakfast burrito from Whole Foods that amazed me. What a perfect addition to Sunday morning grocery shopping!

This weekend, grading assignments, studying, reading, working on my to-do list, some fun fitness classes and working. It will be jam packed but I like it that way!

Have a great weekend!


Zumba planning

Teaching Zumba 9 hours per week takes up quite a bit of time when you include prep time. The great thing is, I can use teaching to contribute to my workouts of the week. Since I like to change it up, I also add strength work and pilates at the end of the week. Here's the plan for my 3 classes left this week:

party rock anthem
crazy love
balada boa
pegate mas
mal amor

this week's core is inspired by these two workouts from Tone It Up:

P.S. My ZIN 41 cd and dvd came in the mail earlier this week! That means some great new songs and choreography for Zumba these next few weeks, I am loving the new music!


Packing for SFN

The day has come where I am presenting my research at SFN. Because my life is filled with school, fitness, and fashion... here's what I will be packing to wear on the big day:

polka dot top - mustard cardigan - black pencil skirt - moccasins - braided belt

I am only gone for one day so I did not need to pack very much. I wanted to be comfortable but still have layers since there will be so many people in such a small place. Once I have presented, I hope to share my poster with you!


Weekly meal planning

A new week, a new menu. I am always trying to find ways to increase our veggie content and eat healthier while still enjoying our meals. This week is a busy one but still filled with delicious food when we are home to eat.

Sunday - teriyaki salmon, tomato basil mozzarella salad & Bo's vegetables
Monday - leftover salmon and veggies to eat at the university
Tuesday - in NOLA
Wednesday - in NOLA
Thursday - TBD, maybe out, maybe something quick at home
Friday - spinach, mushroom, turkey and feta salad

I make a goal every week to attend a new fitness class.... but have been slacking in that area. This weekend I have signed up to attend classes at Purely E & Bodyfactory BTR. Hopefully I will have time to do a quick review next week!



This week was filled with studying, teaching, grading and conference prep. Here's a small recap of things outside of school:
1. Oh the southern attitude. Myself on the other hand think you should exercise and eat healthy. 2. Our first pumpkin pie sighting at Whole Foods! Yum! 3. I ordered some necklaces over a month ago and they finally came. I am not sure which color I love more!

This weekend: work, study, and the LSU football game! Hopefully next week is filled with some exciting events to share!


Newly discovered: Zinio

I was on my local public library website last night (yes, I use the public library... it does seem very uncommon these days). I discovered a new service called Zinio. My local library has a subscription to select magazines that I am able to download for free online. Zinio also has an app for the iPad! Once I choose my magazines on the library website, I could log into the app and download the magazines for reading at a later time... like not during midterms week.

Why is this amazing? Well, I love magazines. It is very hard to at grocery store not to throw any in my cart. This app will allow me to stay up to date on my favorite magazines (see above for some of my choices I have already downloaded) without spending the money and them throwing old editions in the recycling... saving money and going paperless... this is my style! This will be great for traveling too because I can just download issues before we leave and do not need to weigh down my carry-on.

P.S. Mom - I already checked is RPL has this program.... they do not. But you should request it!


Lunch paella of summer vine vegetables

Sometimes I forget to share recipes, this is one of those times. We made this recipe a few weeks ago on a Saturday for lunch. It was delicious, easy, and healthy.

Paella of summer vine vegetables

large pinch of saffrom threads
1/2c evoo, divided
7oz cherry tomatoes (we used red, orange, and yellow)
4 oz green beans
4 baby yellow squash, halved, then sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 rosemary sprigs, chopped
1 1/2c arborio rice
3c vegetable stock
1/2 c white wine

Put the saffron in 1/3c hot water and set aside. Heat half the evoo in a skillet and add the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes until tomatoes soften and start to split. use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes and set aside. Cook the beans for 2 minutes, remove and set aside. Cook the yellow squash for 10 minutes, remove, and set aside.

Add remaining evoo to the skillet with garlic and rosemery. Gently cook for 1 minute. Add the rice to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes until the rice is opaque and shiny. Add the stock, wine and saffron water to the skillet. Stir once or twice then increase the heat. When stock is rapidly boiling and little holes have formed in the rice, reduce and let simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has absorbed. 

Add cooked vegetables to the rice, stir, cover, and let cook for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Serve and enjoy! We recipe also made great leftovers for busy weekdays.


Favorites for fall

My Pinterest obsession truly follows the seasons. Right now pumpkin, sweater & scarves (I know, it is not cold here), and a cozy home.

I saw this scarf last week, it is made by a designer in Montreal. Isn't it beautiful?
We have been obsessed with enchiladas lately. Tonight we made some with turkey leftovers! What a delicious and different way to use up leftover bird. 
Friends of our announced they are expecting, due in February. Over Christmas break I will be knitting!
Lately, I have been loving basic stripes and bright colors.
Check out this cast iron skillet shaped like Louisiana! They actually exist for every state. I found this in Martha Stewart Living that came in the mail today.
Pumpkin everything. I made this pumpkin bread on the weekend in loaf and muffin form. It was simple, low-fat and disappeared very quickly.
This decor makes me want to paint all of our walls white. Oh our crazy house.

A "cold front" came through today so I had to wear a sweater.... more due to the humid cold than coldness itself. But then I looked online and it said it is snowing in Canada. Life is busy with school right now... midterms week + a conference next week. Not much else to report from the south!


Happy thankgiving!

Today is a holiday in Canada for thanksgiving. Although we are currently not in Canada and did not get a holiday today, I am still thankful for many things:

 thanksgiving dinner filled with veggies, BBQ turkey, and a mini pumpkin pie

B, my family, and friends. You mean the world to me.
A roof over my head, heat when its cold, a/c when its hot, and delicious food on my table.
Cozy blankets, a comfy bed, and pillows.
My health. Everyday I get out of bed refreshed and ready for my day. I can conquer whatever the world throws at me.
A great opportunity to further my education and learn new things everyday.
The fact that we can afford to shop, travel, and go out to eat. I know where are lots of people who do not even have a place to live.
You! Thank you for reading my blog.



Its been a great week. I was productive, learned lots, and got to spend time with B.
Here's a recap in photos:

 1. Post Zumba sweatyness. We have fun and work hard, exactly how it should be. 2. We made a salad pizza this week! Yum! 3. I also made pumpkin chocolate chunk cookies. There are 2 in the freezer waiting for B's colleague who loves my cookies. 4. Speaking of Zumba, Beto Perez will be hosting a class in NOLA as an ALS fundriaser.... and I have a night class at the same time. Shoot!

5. It's a beautiful day for saving lives... or learning. I wish my classrooms were outside with this beautiful weather. 6. A mid day, mid week date with B for some pink grapefruit frozen yogurt. 7. Our first pumpkin pie sighting at Whole Foods. 8. Because we were there waiting to pick up our pizza!

This weekend: homework, yard work, and baking some wonderful pumpkin bread. I feel like the yard work never ends... but I guess that is what happens with this much beautiful weather! 

Have a great weekend!

Happy Canadian thanksgiving on Monday!


Best burger in BTR

We have been to Bin 77 many times since moving to Baton Rouge. It's a great date night location!  I have had their bin burger many times... maybe close to every time we have been there. It is seriously the best burger in this town, in my opinion. Why ruin a good thing and get something else?

We like to go during happy hour so we can have a flat bread for an appetizer and a glass of wine. This past Friday we splurged and bough a bottle of wine The server brought us a sample and it was amazing, we could not help ourselves, I just really love a red blend.

We love the steak and gruyere flat bread (center) but we have also tried the proscuitto, fig, and cambozola which is a great runner up. Bin 77 definitely provides me with my weekly red meat fix, and an iron booster!

Come visit and we will take you to Bin 77. Remember: happy hour = great deals!


Weird looking juice

This is the weirdest looking juice we have ever made:

Okay, we have not made that may juices, but this one was orange and frothy... but not made of oranges!

4 apples
2 pears

That's it! A sweet treat for a sunday morning!


Teach me what you have learned

I am fascinated by research, projects, and learning. Even if it is not my exact area of interest, if I can learn something I bet I will enjoy what I am doing. 

Take my current research project, for example. We took a past project and some other research and made a hypothesis. We tested that hypothesis through data collection for the last 4 months. We marked data like crazy. I read tons of research and info in old anatomy and physiology textbooks. We analyzed our data... and guess what happened: the exact opposite of our hypothesis. It could have happened for muscular or reflexive reasons... we do not know yet. So we plan to collect more data doing something very similar. We have also been doing statistical analysis... multiple regression ANOVAs to be exact. Yes, my eyes get glassy just thinking about it. Somedays when I understand ANOVAs I may try to explain it. For now... know that my project continues with an accepted null hypothesis.

I hope to post my conference poster after it is presented in 2 weeks! Time to get back to work... we have lots to do!


Weekly meal planning

Happy October! This week on our menu: veggies, veggies, and more veggies. Why? Because they taste good and are good for us! Okay, we do have some non-vegetarian meals planned too. 

Sunday - chicken with mushrooms and pan sauce & cauliflower gratin
Monday - leftover paella of summer vine vegetables
Wednesday - salad pizza
Thursday - Whole Foods pizza night!
Friday - TBD
Saturday - hopefully BBQ pork t if it is not raining!

Because fitness and food go hand in hand, my fitness plan this week is teaching 6 hours of Zumba, teaching 3 hours of pilates, maybe a class at Body Factory and a trip to the gym. If I write it down it is more likely to happen, right?
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