Happy spring break! Although there is no school for the next 10 days I will still be very busy with writing, completing a few assignments, prepping for a Zumba class I was asked to teach, volunteering, and working.

Here's a couple instas from the past week:

1. Strawberry season in Louisiana is here! These were delicious.

2. We have been using the lake where we live to go for evening walks. There was a sign to tell us to "watch out for snakes" but we survived.

3. I love when Jesse Cook comes on the radio. He was amazing in concert.

4. We made cheesy polenta and egg casserole this week. B found the recipe online from Eating Well. I am obsessed. I thought I did not like polenta. I was wrong. When it is made properly it is delicious! I plan to post this recipe next week so you can make it too!


Have a great Easter weekend!

Tonight we are going to see Elton John! I am beyond excited for this concert. We do not have another big plans for the weekend, just lots to get done and hopefully time to relax too! I plan to post through spring break but my schedule may change based on other commitments. Just keep checking back!



Spring break countdown: crafts

Spring break is so close! All I have to do is mentor an undergrad in the lab, teach 1 hour of Zumba, go to class, and turn in my paper... a paper that was basically done (other than edits) 2 days ago! One of the things I am excited to do over my 10 day break is craft. I love textiles, making things (especially gifts), and producing a final product.

Spring must be here as I am really attracted to color this week. 

I first saw a rug like this in Germany. I am obsessed but they are very expensive. Maybe one day I will make a felted ball rug. - I also love this tshirt crochet rug. I feel like this would be fun in front of the kitchen sink since our kitchen is very neutral. - Dishcloths? Doable. Easy. Great to work on while watching tv to relax. - A neutral bedside rug? Yes please! Are bedside rugs appropriate when you have carpet in your home? - A felted ball wreath?!? I love this. I feel like this would be a great way to practice making felt balls since they could be different sizes and it would not be a big deal.

Who am I kidding? I should really work on my thesis, write a 1 page policy synopsis, finish my 45 minute presentation, oh and I think I will be working or volunteering everyday over the break. 

I will should you what I made to procrastinate after the break. Shhhh! 
Grad students never procrastinate.


Spring break countdown: hiking

One of the things I hope to do this spring break is see some of Louisiana. I am specifically thinking of going hiking. I have heard there are some great places to go that are not far from BTR. Also, it would be nice to get outside and get some exercise before it gets too hot.

Hopefully we do not get eaten by any alligators!


Spring break countdown: eats

We are on the countdown to spring break! Its my first one ever (we have "reading week" in Canada... aka they promote getting caught up on your reading... not other extracurricular activities). We plan to stay in Baton Rouge for the 10 day break so both B and I can get some work done (I really need to work on an article to get published and my thesis), we are expecting a visitor, and the weather is expected to be great around here.  Here are some of the things I hope to cook over the break:

See you tomorrow with the next part of my countdown... I love vacations... even staycations.


Recent BTR eats: DiGulio Brothers & The Londoner

About once a week we go for dinner. Sometimes it is more than once a week, but never less than once. 
A couple places we have been recently include DiGulio Brothers:
At DiGulio Bothers Italian cafe (for my birthday) we started with roasted garlic and Camembert cheese. For dinner, I had the 5 cheese lasagna with a meatball on the side. It was delicious and we will be back when we are craving Italian!

We went to the Londoner to watch basketball since we do not have cable and some games are not available online. We shared the salsa and chips and the hummus to start. For dinner I have 1/2 my bowl of tomato soup and some cheese bread. The food, service, and atmosphere here are amazing. Now that we live closer I imagine we will go here more frequently. We did not know about this place until friends invited us to watch hockey about a month ago. It was a great find in a town where everyone sells fried fish. They still have fish & chips but you can also get some other amazing meals too.



Or Saturday? Better late than never. I had a productive week. This means sometimes school comes before blogging. Now the countdown is on till spring break! 4 school days!

Here's some highlights of the week:

1. My parents sent me a picture of all the snow they got last weekend. I reciprocated with a picture of me at the pool. The pool is still cold and has not been cleaned but I am perfectly fine sitting in a lounge chair to do my homework.

2. A quick workout.

3. We made cheeseburger casserole this week. I found the recipe on Skinnytaste. It was amazing, delicious, and so quick for a week night.

4. B watched basketball all day on Thursday which means we did not have our usual dinner out with his colleagues. I was so excited because instead we went to Whole Foods for take out pizza for $9! We chose portobello mushrooms, prosciutto, and olives. YUM! We still agree this is the best pizza deal in town.

This weekend: relax at home, finish a paper on the actual and potential impacts of Hurricane Sandy, and the usual cleaning, cooking, and grocery shopping.



light up my life

Things are slowly coming together in our new place. I have realized we need to upgrade our lighting.  Our array of Ikea lighting from our university days is out of control. Anyone want to buy 6 different lamps? I have a feeling they will need a new home very soon. I am looking for new lamps for by the bed, by the sofa, on the desk, and maybe even an accent piece on the dresser as decor.

Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos:

 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
You can clearly see I have found my style of lamp. Round and neutral. Some of the places I have been looking at lamps include Z Gallerie, West Elm, Crate & Barrel, and World Market.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

I need 5 lamps and I have so many amazing choices. Now I just need to make a decision and some purchases. Let's be honest. I will not be buying $300 lamps and I will not be buying all the lamps at once. But once the light upgrade is complete, it will make a big difference for our decor.


more veggies please

A vegetable never made anyone fat. Okay, maybe they can depending on how they are cooked.
I love pizza. Not the crust. I like the crust. But, I love the toppings. So why not get rid of the crust and add an extra vegetable? We have made this recipe before. The crust needed some perfecting, it needed less liquid. With a few small changes, perfection occurred.

Cauliflower crust pizza:

1 head cauliflower, boiled, drained, and mashed
2 eggs
2t italian herb mix
2c mozzarella cheese

toppings of your choice: tomato sauce, caramelized onions, green pepper, mushrooms, cooked ground turkey, and more cheese is what we chose

Strain mashed cauliflower further using cheese cloth. Mix in egg, herbs, and cheese. Spread out on a rimmed cookie sheet that is lined with foil and sprayed with pam (oops, forgot this part!). Bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Add toppings. Bake until cheese is bubbly and browned. 

Yours will stick less to the pan because you will remember to spray it. Mine, well it was still amazing even thought it did not look perfect. But we do not always judge on looks. I mean, I take my photos with an iPhone in a kitchen with no natural light. Health come first, then maybe I can perfect my food presentation and photography. Keep it real.

Wait, have we had this exact conversation before? Not about real life, but about this pizza recipe?


the plan of the week

Our plan this week is different than most. Why, you may ask? Well, its march madness which means compromise. Since we do not have cable we will probably spend more time eating dinner at local establishments that have televisions... aka sports bars.  I have lots of writing to get done this week so I may skip out on some dinners out and just have Smoothie King. BTW - I am currently obsessed with the strawberry gladiator with mango and papaya. Yum!

Here's what we do plan to eat... and what we are unsure about:

Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - protein shakes
Wednesday -  cheeseburger casserole
Thursday -TBD
Friday - TBD
Saturday - TBD

Can someone please bribe me to sit at the computer and get my homework done. I need to write a 7 page paper and work on an article for my thesis/ independent study. I just have so much trouble sitting down and staying focused. Any advice? I seriously need to be bribed into getting some things done.  I prefer my bribes in Lululemon, J.Crew, and shoes. I did find some new sandals I like... while procrastinating. Yup, no focus for this grad student. On a positive note, I did finish a research proposal draft that was 10 pages. One success at a time.



Happy Friday!

This week went by very quick. It was productive but also not too stressful. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. On Friday night we went to the LSU gymnastics meet. It was lots of fun, especially when they did the wobble!

2. Cheese, grapes, and crackers for lunch. Yum!

3. I got my hair colored for the first time in over a year... it's officially ombré!

4. The pie was a huge hit at work. I got my small piece of chocolate pecan and it was all I needed.


This weekend:

homework, Zumba choreography, styling my new sofa, groceries, and sitting on my new sofa

It is supposed to be a beautiful weekend so hopefully I will be able to spend some time outside on our deck or walking around the lake.




Happy pi

March 14 = 3.14

Pi = 3.14

Happy International Pi Day!

I bought two pies to share at work. Mostly so I could have a small piece and let everyone else finish the pie. It's a great strategy... And a great way to bring some nerdyness to a not so nerdy department.
P.S. If you eat your pie today at 1:59 it will make the day even more official!



bday features

I had a great birthday. Here's why:

birthday flowers from my parents
a new birthday sofa!
birthday brunch at La Madeline
a birthday mini bundt cake
B did a great job of making my birthday special. It was filled with shopping, relaxation, and lots of laughs.



color me

Today is an exciting day! I have an appointment this morning to get my hair colored. I usually only color it once per year but it has been 15 months since my last hair color! I am definitely overdue. 
Here are some ideas, although they all look the same so I bet I will be going for an ombre look today!

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

Hopefully it turns out like I envisioned and I will be able to post a photo soon!


What are you eating?

Its another busy week in our house! Luckily, part of my birthday shopping extravaganza included grocery shopping. 

Here's what is planned for the week:
Monday - broccoli mac n cheese (we seriously just add broccoli to our KD)
Tuesday - protein shakes
Wednesday - shitake bolognese
Thursday - out (location TBD)
Friday - vegetarian flatbread pizzas

Notice a trend? Vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables! Yum! I really did not plan every meal to be vegetarian (okay, the soup has sausage) but I am very excited about our meal plan this week.

Other interesting things for the week:
a hair color - still need to decide what I want to do
a furniture delivery!
lots of reading (not so exciting or interesting)
I currently have 2 papers and a research proposal on the go right now.
oh, and I get 120 assignments at 6pm today to grade :(



Happy Friday! Today is the start to an exciting weekend, my birthday weekend! We do not have anything big planned but I still get to enjoy my weekend. My hopes include brunch, sofa shopping, and dinner at the Whole Foods hot bar. Oh, how times have changed. I would much rather have a delicious breakfast than a fancy dinner! I am not sure where we are going but I will figure it out. 

Here's some instas from the past 2 weeks since I did not post last Friday, oops!
1. Hot chocolate in a bestie cup.
2. Just a quick photo op in class. With an SB of course!
3. Our new favorite show! Duck Dynasty! We are obsessed! If you do not watch this show please start now.
4. My walk between buildings while volunteering. What a great view! Hopefully I will be employed here someday.

5. Today's outfit, as inspired by The Gap. I love this look of a floral dress over my chambray dress.
6. Kale salad and some pasta. This dinner was simple but amazing!
7. Oh Donny, I love your outfits. It's always a great night when they play HNIC on the app.
8. Straight hair! We had a few cools days so it was a nice break from the curly mop that I usually an sporting.

Have a great weekend! Tonight we are going to LSU gymnastics which I heard is a great show.


Happy V Day!

I know I am a little late with this but there is a reason. B asked me what I wanted for Valentine's Day early in February. My exact response was the pearl necklace at J.Crew. This one:

Well they happened to be sold out until this week! I patiently waited and it was worth the wait! I love pearls.
Here a some of my inspirations for my pearl wearing:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Yes, I am already wearing my pearls. Midterms week seems like a great week to dress up. My only midterm was Tuesday. The classes I teach write today and tomorrow. Staring at students so they do not cheat, seems like the perfect occasion to wear pearls!



Calamari salad

We love calamari. It's even better when its not deep fried. We like it baked or sauteed. We also like salad. Why not put two great things together and create the best salad we have had in months!
Oh, and the calamari was BOGO at Whole Foods! I love a great deal.

1 head of romaine, chopped
1/4c green onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2c mozzarella, grated 
1c carrot, shredded
1/2t ground pepper
1/2t chili pepper flakes
1 package calamari, baked according to package

1 1/2t Meyer lemon juice
1/2c plain yogurt
 1/6c mandarin evoo
pinch horseradish
garlic powder

Combine first seven ingredients and mix well. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk until fully combined. Add dressing to salad and mix. Top with baked calamari.



Somedays I am obsessed with color. Other days, I cannot decide what to wear. Those days it is just easier to wear black, white & grey. Let's be honest. I have a midterm today which means today will be a day to focus on academics... not my outfit. Today, I shall stick to black, white & grey. Here are some of my fave b&w looks:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7


What's for dinner?

What are you eating this week? We are focused on healthy food, lean protein, and veggies!
Here's whats on the meal planner this week:

Sunday -  skinnytaste sesame honey chicken with brown rice
Monday - huevos rancheros
Tuesday - protein shakes
Wednesday - baked calamari salad
Thursday - Mellow Mushroom
Friday - TBD
Saturday - Birthday Dinner!

I have no clue what we are doing for my birthday dinner! It shall be a great week.
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