roasted veggies & sausage

I love when weeknight meals are quick and delicious. This one definitely fits the criteria. I do not want to spend the whole night in the kitchen after a long day of school. Ten minutes of prep, forty minutes in the oven, then straight to my bowl. That's my style.

1 red onion, chopped

2 small sweet potatoes, cubed

1 green pepper, chopped

1 yellow squash, chopped

4 smoked sausages, sliced (we got ours at Sam's)

evoo, salt, and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Bake in a large roasting dish for 40 minutes at 400.

The leftovers from this dish were also amazing. That's another criteria for a great weeknight meal, something we can eat for lunch for the next few days. Meals like this usually happen on Wednesdays based on our schedule... but spring semester ends this week (not like I am counting) so that means our schedules will change... but our healthy eating shall not!



green & navy for spring

I am obsessed with green and navy right now. The most recent J.Crew catalogue is probably why. Here are my fave pieces that may (or may not) be on my wishlist:

The first two are my faves. I will probably wait until they go on sale... unless I come across a boatload of money... then I will buy it all! Kidding...



Happy Friday! I am so thankful it is the weekend. I need some time to relax for more than 15 minutes at a time. Only one more week of classes, 1 paper, 1 final, then semester break! Here's a couple photos I took this week:

1. The pool is my saving grace. I may read and do homework while I am there but it's a nice change of scenery. And it's quiet because all the locals still think it is cold outside. P.S. check out how dirty our pool is! I definitely have not gone in.

2. An amazing, quick weeknight meal that I need to share very soon. Maybe next week.

3. Mike the tiger! He was so close to us at the softball game last night. By the way, what an exciting game.

4. My fave outfit this week. I am obsessed with my new leopard Sperry sandals and stripes right now.


Have a great weekend. I have a final paper to work on, projects and assignments to grade, a little bit of work, maybe another softball game while catching rays on the berm, oh and a much needed massage on Sunday afternoon!



lulu wishlist

Its no secret that I love Lululemon. I live in it about 6 days per week... but I also teach in it 5 days/ week. I love it because it lasts, looks great, and is oh so comfortable. Even if you try to convince me to buy another brand it just will not happen. Here is what is currently on my wishlist:

It is rare that I buy everything (or anything) on my wishlist but its always nice too look. Hopefully a few new pieces will find a place in my closet soon if I am lucky.


mussels in tomato sauce

Does this not look amazing? We love mussels. These were so simple to make in tomato sauce... and a great way to add a vegetable to our dinner.

1 can crushed tomatoes
3 roma tomatoes
1 grated carrot
1/2 diced onion
4 cloves garlic
5-6 mushrooms
salt, pepper & oregano
2lb bag fresh mussels

Saute onion and garlic in evoo in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add all other ingredients except mussels in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. While simmering, clean mussels (I used a potato brush) and discard any that have already opened). Add mussels, simmer until all have opened (that means they are done!). Serve immediately with an extra bowl on the side for the shells.

Did you know Canadian mussels are cheaper at Whole Foods in Louisiana than buying them in Canada. Seriously.


healthy does not mean expensive

We make an conscious effort to eat healthy. Somedays, with our busy schedules, it is not an easy task. But no one ever said life was easy, right? Here are some of the things we do to eat healthy without spending too much on groceries... we all know I am fully capable of spending $450/ month on groceries for our family of 2.

Make a meal plan & a grocery list. We have been using these "what to eat" and "all out of" notepads for years. They stick on the fridge so they are easily accessible throughout the week but keep me organized at the store. If it's not on the list that means we do not plan on eating it and should not buy it. Simple as that. We always take into account work schedules and weekly activities while making the plan so we do not over purchase.

Don't go grocery shopping hungry. Simple. Eat breakfast, make a meal plan for the week (if not already done) then go to the store. We do not hesitate to go to 3-4 different stores (2 of which always have samples galore). Those samples can add up to an additional meal... especially when I go past the pimento cheese 3 times.

Always have a back-up. Life does not always go as planned, those times are usually when we eat the worst. We always have a stock of easy meals of lean protein and veggies in the freezer to make should our plan change. Our fave is salmon burgers (usually without the bun because we do not have any on hand) and steamed broccoli. Simple, fast, delicious, and healthy.

On Pinterest does not mean healthy. I will fully admit, I am obsessed with Pinterest but some of the recipes on there are out of control. I wish I could find a way to filter my screen so I do not see things with excessive amounts of cheese or chocolate. Just because someone else is eating it does not mean I need to. Some of the desserts on there are worse than going to Olive Garden and KFC in one day!

Eat green. I have to make a conscious effort to integrate green vegetables in our meals. Just because we do something often does not mean it comes naturally. Also, just because it is full of vegetables does not mean it tastes bad. Some of our favorite means are vegetarian. Our produce market has tons of produce at a great price. We also get strawberries at Sam's Club because of the great price. If I really need something special I will get it at Whole Foods. 

Whole Foods does not always mean whole paycheck.  Know your prices. In comparison to Walmart & Target, olive oil is cheaper at WF. As is anything by Bob's Red Mill and 1 gallon of milk. Recently I bought a huge bunch of organic kale at WF for $4. At the produce market a non-organic bunch of kale 1/4 of the size was $3. I got a great deal at WF. Sales and coupons also make everyday items cheaper too, you just have to have a list and know your prices.  I make my meal plan based on what seafood is on sale at WF so we can eat quality food at a good price.

Eat whole grains. We are very conscious of the carbs we eat, whether bread or pasta. I will never go carb free so I make sure I am getting some nutritional benefit. I love pizza. Did you know WF has large, freshly made, customized takeout pizza on Thursdays for $9.99. Now you know! I order mine on a whole wheat crust so I feel less guilty. Its healthy and affordable.

Avoid sweetened drinks. I only drink 5 different things: water, wine, coffee, tea, and juice. Water = no sugar. Wine is a treat. I drink my coffee with steamed milk... no syrups! My tea is clear or iced, no sweetener necessary.  My juice is homemade and usually contains vegetables. Natural sugar is not the same as added sugar! Most of these you can make at home so are very affordable too.

Write everything down. Like any other goal, weight loss takes effort. I use the My Fitness Pal app on my phone. I always have it with me so I have no excuse.  I have one rule, if it goes in my mouth I must write it down. Many restaurants have nutrition into in the app so you can check it out before you even see the menu. Once you see those numbers in front of you, you cannot deny anything. Keeping in mind one bad day does not ruin anything. Everyday you start fresh!

Prepare your own meals. I like my food fresh and from scratch. We love to go out for dinner but limit it to once (maybe twice) per week. Dining out is significantly more expensive and harder to control what goes in your mouth.

Don't buy unhealthy stuff. You can guarantee that if I am behind you in the check out aisle I am looking at everything you are buying. I hate to admit this but I may even be judging your purchases... but I do it silently as it keeps me from making bad choices. I am competitive by nature so I always try to have items as healthy or healthier than the person in front of me. In reality, I do not care what you buy but it helps me to make healthy choices in a world of unhealthy food.

Wow. I could go on forever. Maybe I will have to continue this another day. But I will say, these are mean main reasons I am down 4.31% on my new years goal #1.


inspire me

My degree is very scientific. I spend many moments thinking about methods, kinematics, and writing about research. Although I love scientific research, I love design, inspiration, and creating beautiful things. Here are some of my recent faves from Pinterest, my creative outlet even if it is just for 5 minutes when I need to take a break.

I ordered these Sperry summerlin sandals last week. I cannot wait for them to arrive. I think the leopard print will be great for summer. 
I love colorful patterned pillows, especially since we have so many neutrals in our home. These would be a great DIY for summer. 
I am obsessed with the idea of pink art in a neutral room. Conveniently, I have a neutral room and am very capable of painting something like this. 
It is strawberry season in Louisiana. They are so fresh and such a great price. After the success of last year's satsuma marmalade, strawberry jam may be next! 
I recently got a great deal on yellow pants. I am obsessed with the fit and color. I really like this look with the print cardigan.

Have a great Monday!



Good morning! Happy Friday! Lets get straight to my fave instas this week:

1. More pool time to get my class reading done. The weather has been amazing and being able to sit by the pool is my favorite part of the weekend. I bet it will be happening this weekend as well!

2. We made mussels in homemade tomato sauce this week. It was amazing. I love fresh seafood.

3. With the hot and humid weather, I have been very thirsty. On Wednesday I went through a venti green iced tea + 3 water refills! Hydration was not an issue.

4. We made cheesy polenta and sausage casserole again. My obsession with polenta continues.


This weekend, I have tons of reading, homework, and grading to do... by the pool of course! Not much else is planned but I imagine I will find enough to keep me busy.


I want to take a moment to mention the tragedy in Boston earlier this week as well as the events going on as I write this. It's so sad when tragedy happens. The first responders, volunteers, and police have done an excellent job responding in a time of need. I try to not talk politics around here but I am truly saddened by the event and thankful for those who have been working so hard to restore safety.



bin 77

When Fridays do not go as planned, sometimes you need to throw your boring dinner plans out the window and head to your favourite restaurant. That was last Friday. Really the reason for my bad Friday is now irrelevant but what made it better is not. B decided we should go to Bin 77 for some wine and yummy eats. I felt better immediately.

shrimp & grits - green beans - Paylay "Bookmaker" blend - tomato, basil, mozzarella flatbread

We shared everything... except for the wine of course! The shrimp & grits was amazing. Prior to living in Louisiana you would never convince me to eat grits or polenta. Times have changed. I am obsessed. But if you are going to feed me grits, they must be legit grits. That means not watery, full of flavor, and usually contains cheese. Does that surprise you? I love anything with cheese.

Anyone have any polenta recipes they want to share?
I have be pinning polenta recipes like crazy on Pinterest. Hopefully I will find something to add to our dinner rotation!


green juice #2

Is this only the second green juice recipe I have posted this year? I do not think it is possible considering the amount I drink. Three things I love about juicing is that it is fresh, free of processed sugar, and every since glass is different.

green juice #2
(makes 3 glasses, put some in the fridge for later or share with a friend)

8 kale leaves
1 whole pineapple
5 stalks celery
1 pear

We have the Breville juice fountain plus. We love it because it is easy to clean, easy to use, and looks great in our kitchen.


this dress

Have you seen this dress?

I am obsessed. Isn't is perfect? It has been all over my Pinterest feed. I have also seen it on multiple fashion blogs this past week. With the 30% off sale at The Gap last week, I went online to order my size only to find out that it is sold out. I called customer service who did a search and my size is sold out in the entire company! I swear this dress was released 2 weeks ago. Now I need to watch thegap.com for more stock to bee available. Until then, I will just dream out this dress and how great it would be for every occasion this summer.


outdoor office workout

I love to work from my outdoor office. Really, I just prop the door at the back of the lab open, take my chair with me, and work in the sunshine. It is prime real estate on campus as out our back door we have a huge covered "porch". With the beautiful weather here in Baton Rouge I have been know to create an outdoor office on a daily basis.

One of the undergrads who I work with in the lab requested to workout on Thursday morning. We did not have a ton of time so I made us a 22 minute Bodyrock style workout with 50s work and 10s break... we repeated the whole routine twice to get 22 minutes. The only equipment we had was a mat... and if you do this workout at home you can use a carpeted surface. No excuses. Of course, the workout was completed in my outdoor office to take advantage of the sunshine and fresh air.

We loved this full body workout. I actually got a text the next day that my workout partner could barely move. I would call that a successful workout.
Hopefully this week there will be 2 more killer workouts in the "office"... we may even have more classmates join us!




Happy Friday! The weather is beautiful here so I am very excited to sit by the pool this weekend and do my class readings. Sorry to my family and friends up north who are still under snow, ice and slush. Here's a quick recap of my week:

1. Last weekend's pool time. It was great to sit in the sun while I read. It makes the 4 chapters and 6 articles per week much more tolerable. Now I just need to find a way to work on my thesis by the pool and maybe it will get done!
2. Daffodils were on sale last weekend at Whole Foods. I bought closed ones, B put them in the sunshine, and they were open within 20 minutes. I have been loving the fresh flowers lately.
3. We made green juice to add some veggies to our day. This one had spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, and apple. Yum! This weekend I plan to make pineapple and kale juice to drink by the pool!
4. Sometimes I would rather have a simple dinner than a fancy dinner. This was toasted chia seed bread, mashed avocado, and poached eggs. Soooo good! And so healthy at the same time!
This weekend I have tons of reading and writing to do. With the nice weather it is my way of bribing myself to read during the day then write in the evening. That means I will have left to do this weekend is get groceries, do laundry, and work for a couple of hours. See you Monday!



Fly girl Zumba

One of our local sororities asked me to teach a Zumba class on Monday night for an event. The theme was fly girl hip hop. The class was a mix of new and old latin and hip hop music. The girls had a great time and we all got a in a killer workout... my third Zumba class of the day... which means I could barely move the next morning!

I get tons of Zumba inspiration from YouTube. Here's some of my current favorites:

Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Scream & Shout - Will.I.Am & Britney
En Sus Marcas, Listos, Fuera - Daddy Yankee
Conga - Gloria Estefan
Scream - Usher
Maria - Ricky Martin
Mueve Ese Eskeleto - ZIN 41
Push It - Salt N Pepa
Pony - Genuine
Love On Top - Beyonce


J.Crew wishlist

There are a couple of items on the top of my J.Crew wishlist right now.

I must be obsessed with red and white right now. I wonder if it the Canadian in me? The jeans also come in a mint polkadot pattern but they are not available online. I do not imagine any of these will go on sale soon... but if they do, you know what you will find in my closet!

P.S. I got 2 pairs of chinos this weekend (red and yellow) for an amazing deal. Success!


spicy rigatoni with broccoli & sausage

We made this for dinner last week while B's bestie was in town... you know I love to encourage the boys to eat their vegetables. It was a hit!


1 package whole wheat rigatoni

2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets

1 lb chorizo sausage

1T evoo

1t lemon juice

3cloves of garlic, minced

pepper, cumin & paprika

1/8c grated Parmesan per person


Cook rigatoni according to package. With 2 minutes left, add broccoli. Strain in a large colander. Cook sausage in the pasta pot. Once cooked, add pasta & broccoli back in and mix thoroughly. Wisk together evoo, lemon juice, garlic, and spices. Add evoo mixture to pasta and toss. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.


LSU baseball

It's not what you know, its who you know. This was definitely the case for Friday night. We went to the LSU baseball game and were provided with Champion's Club tickets 5 rows behind home plate!

It was a great game with a great view.



Happy Friday! This week has been filled with work, homework, and food. That's it! A change of schedule means less blogging, sorry! All those exciting things I wanted to do got put to the back burner... but that's okay, sometimes life does not go as planned. Here's my week... And since I do not have any photos from work or homework, there's lots of food.

1. Tulips from B since I had to work do much this week.
2. We discovered a new sandwich shop, Wich Which. I loved the customized sandwich options. I got hummus with lots of veggies on whole wheat.
3. A turkey sandwich on chia seed bread with strawberries and grapes. Yum!
4. We made Emeril's rigatoni with broccoli and sausage. This was delicious!


This weekend: more work, a LSU baseball game, homework, and more delicious but healthy food of course. Now that spring break is over we only have 4 weeks left of class. I have lots of work to do but the weather is getting better... so that means the homework location may soon transition to next to the pool.

Off to tackle my Friday to-do list! Have a good weekend.



dress code

I have been loving my volunteer position this semester. I have signed up to continue to volunteer all summer because of the great experiences I have been given. One of my biggest challenges... the dress code. Here's what I can wear:
khakis & a polo or black scrubs

I own one pair of khakis, one pair of cords in khaki colors... and no scrubs. Oh, and I only own one polo. Getting dressed to volunteer is a challenge. I am contemplating buying some khaki colored Lulus to add to my repertoire. I asked my mentor and she said they would be fine. 

I have a feeling I will be buying the studio crop. I like that it is more relaxed and will work well in the heat of the summer when I make multiple trips between buildings. 

I emailed my local Lulu and they have them in store. Hopefully I will be able to pick them up before my size sells out!


cheesy polenta & egg casserole

I love to share great recipes. This one was a must share. Why? Because it was delicious, quick, and healthy! I cannot take any credit for this one. B found it... then emailed it to me... since he does not use Pinterest. Emailing recipes seems so "old school". This recipe comes from Eating Well and we followed it exactly. Again, I get no credit, I am only here to share.

cheesy polenta & egg casserole

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
4 cups water, plus more as needed
1 cup yellow cornmeal, (see Shopping Tip)
1/2 teaspoon  salt
6 ounces  Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
1/2 cup shredded fontina, or mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
6 large eggs

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Gradually whisk cornmeal into the boiling water. Add salt and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the polenta bubbles, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking frequently, until very thick, 10 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, once the polenta comes to a boil, transfer it to the top of a double boiler, cover, and place over barely simmering water for 25 minutes. This is convenient, because you don't need to stir it as it cooks.)
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain if necessary and transfer to a cutting board; let cool. Finely chop when cool enough to handle.
Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
When the polenta is done, stir in fontina (or mozzarella) and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. If the polenta seems too stiff, add small amounts of water to thin it to a thick but not stiff consistency. Spread the polenta in the prepared pan.
Make six 2-inch-wide indentations in the polenta with the back of a tablespoon. Break eggs, one at a time, into a custard cup and slip one into each indentation. Scatter the sausage on the polenta and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly on top of the eggs.
Bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Then broil until the egg whites are set, 2 to 4 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Go make it! At only 295 calories for 1/6th of the recipe you can guarantee it will be made again at our house.

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