Happy Friday! How was your week? Mine was productive so I am ready for the weekend. Here's a few snippets from my week:

1. I wore my pedometer to work last weekend. I look over 10,500 steps in 6 hours. I would call that a busy and successful day.
2. Like my new glasses? Kidding! But I did have to buy these for cadaver lab. Would it be inappropriate to color the rims with sharpie for a tortoise effect?
3. 100F. Summer has arrived.
4. Like this view? This would be the Omni we booked in Orlando in August. I am so excited to stay at a 4 diamond resort. By the way, Omni is having a summer promotion of 25% off if you are a member of their free rewards program. We are officially members and I booked this hotel for $95/ night!
This weekend: work, relax (hopefully by the pool if it is not raining) and tackle my to-do list! Yes, the list never stops growing.
Have a great weekend!



gallery wall

It was a productive weekend, I finally completed a big task on my to-do list... the gallery wall. Based on my research this is a multi step task so it took me a while to complete. 

We have been collecting art from our trips the past few years. Most of it is from Paris as well as one from Cologne, Germany & Portland, OR. I have been waiting to hang these until we collected enough to make a gallery wall as I really like how they look. I also like that it helps the TV fit better onto an otherwise white wall. I framed everything with white matting and black frames or floating black frames from Joann Fabrics during a recent framing sale. 

 use old paper grocery bags to make templates for each photo for the wall
lay out all the photos on the floor to make your design
consult a friend for a second opinion
transfer the design to the wall using painter's tape to attach each template
measure everything to be 3" apart & level

 make an "x" on the paper where the nail goes, then you can make the hole through the paper
put nails in wall
remove paper and any pencil marks on the wall from measuring

 hang your photos
enjoy your handiwork (can you see me on the sofa next to my HBC blanket?)

The home decor tasks are never done. B does not seem to have that figured it out yet but that is okay. Next task: new bedding and some canvas prints of wedding photography.


how do you charcuterie?

I love charcuterie platters. Seriously, who does not love cheese, meat & wine?

Here is all your need to make one of your own:
3 types of cheese
2 meats
ice wine jelly
& wine


polenta pizza bites

We love polenta, but you already know that. Polenta is a new love for me since moving to Louisiana... but pizza is not! I have loved pizza all my life. Why not combine the two? To make it even easier, polenta comes in a log that you can slices and make bite size pizzas. Genious! Clearly not... I googled and this is definitely not a an original recipe. Even Oprah had it on her website! But this is my version, my way.

1 roll premade polenta
mozzarella, mushrooms, green onion, sun dried tomatoes, decided bell pepper, & goat cheese

Cut polenta into 1/2inch thick slices. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet sprayed with pam, flip after 5 minutes. Add toppings. We put the mozzarella on the polenta crust so everything would stay still then all the veggies with the goat cheese on top. Bake for 7-9 minutes & enjoy!

You really could put any topping on these. We love vegetarian toppings so this was a great combo for us. Maybe next time I will try proscuitto, basil & portobello mushrooms. I recommend trying this for your next Friday night date at home.



Happy Friday once again! Even though I work all weekend I still love Fridays! Here's the only 4 instas I took this week. Having a modified schedule with no school really throws me for a loop!

1. I am working on a gallery wall to go around our TV. We have tons of great art we have collected around the world that needs to be shown off.

2. The best salad I have made in weeks. It was amazing and full of anything we could find in the fridge or pantry.

3. Last night's quick week night meal: veggie & fresh mozzarella pizza on naan bread. I wanted scrambled eggs all day so that went on the pizza for some extra protein too!

4. Post workout in Lululemon & Lululemon. The workout I did kicked my butt... but I also think there was no air conditioning in our gym. I always feel more energized after a great workout. Now I just need to get back to hot yoga to get even more of that feeling.


This weekend: work, hopefully a dinner date, & a date to the Home Depot. I need safety goggles for cadaver lab & a level to finish my gallery wall. Have a great weekend! Hopefully this weekend I will also have time to plan next week so I can be a bit more efficient with my time!




I made a new discovery this week: chia seed pudding.
I saw the recipe on Skinnytaste and knew I had to make my own version.

1 c almond or coconut milk
2T chia seeds
1t Mexican vanilla
1/2c fruit of your choice (I used raspberries, banana, strawberries, or mango)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a mason jar and shake until combined. Let rest 15 minutes and shake again (this is easy to do while making your lunch for the next day). Store in fridge over night. Add fruit in the morning and enjoy!

This breakfast kept me full until lunch all week.

Here is why YOU should be eating chia:
Chia is gluten free.
It is super high in dietary fibre, making it great for digestion and healing digestion issues.
It contains 20% Omega 3 ALA, making it a super food for the brain and heart. Chia has eight times more Omega 3 than salmon!
It boasts 20% protein.
The protein is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids.
It is high in antioxidants (It has a four times higher ORAC value than blueberries).
Chia contains five times more calcium than milk.
Chia contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges.
It contains three times more iron than spinach.
It contains twice the potassium content of banana.
It is food for healthy skin, hair and nails.
It has a positive impact balancing blood glucose levels (making it awesome for diabetics).

Speaking of obsessed, have you read Mika Brzezinski's new book titled Obsessed? It is on the list of books of I would love to read this summer.


coconut milk poached halibut tacos with mango & salsa verde

This recipe was too good not to share. I mean who does not love tacos? 
These were taken to a whole new level with some special ingredients.

2c coconut milk
1/4c green onion, chopped
3 cloves, garlic, minced
pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, basil & nutmeg, to taste
2 medium pieces halibut, bones & skin removed
 4 carb balance tortillas (surprisingly better nutritional stats than multigrain)
1/2c grated carrot
1 mango, diced
4T guacamole
4T salsa verde
4T grated parmesan

Combine milk, onion, garlic, and herbs in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add halibut. Poach for 10 minutes, flipping half way through. Assemble remaining ingredients and halibut into tacos & enjoy!
Makes 4 tacos.


a day in NOLA

Here's a little recap of our day in New Orleans on Saturday. The first half of the day was at B's cousin's commencement. Honestly, it was the best graduation I have been to. The main ceremony lasted about 2 hours. The Dali Lama was the keynote speaker, 2 rock 'n roll hall of famers got honorary doctorates and decided to play an impromptu 15 minute concert at the end of the ceremony, and there were fireworks! The event was held in the Superdome which added to the New Orleans vibe!

After some relaxation and some photos, the 5 of us went out for dinner to Martinique Bistro. If you are ever in New Orleans I highly recommend this place for dinner. You will need reservations in order to get a table on the weekend. Here is what I had:

starter: Louisiana blueberry salad with Maine lobster
dinner: pork tenderloin medallions with asparagus and goat cheese grits
dessert: corn cake strawberry shortbread

I cannot stop raving about this place! We definitely plan to go back again... hopefully for brunch someday. It was a great day spent with family in a city we love.


dressed for NOLA

On Saturday we went to New Orleans for B's cousins's commencement and celebration dinner. A dress I have been eyeing up for a few months finally went on sale so I decided to get it for the occasion. 

A few things I have learned from our trips to NOLA: you really don't need a sweater (but I always bring one), always wear flats (for me personally it is safer), and anything goes in restaurants (but I prefer to be over dressed).

I'll tell you more about our trip tomorrow. It involves a great keynote speaker, an impromptu concert, and an amazing meal!



Happy Friday! The days have been going by really quickly... I guess that's what happens when you only get 4 weeks between semesters. Or maybe I am just getting old and this comes with age. Here's a quick recap of my week:

1. Timmy's peppermint tea... so yummy!

2. Jealous of my Croc's? Clearly I have amazing style while hanging out in my parents backyard.

3. The "puppy"ratzi was hard at work. Ahhh! I just love dogs!

4. Check out my straight hair! It did it last long when I got home but it was nice to have a break from my curly locks.

5. Roasted veggie pizza in Chicago! The broccoli was amazing.

6. I needed a quick dinner so we stopped by Zoe's for a Greek pita and slaw. Yum!

7. I made it home!

8. Lean, clean & green! I was really feeling breakfast for dinner so I had scrambled eggs, sautéed kale, and tomato slices last night. Eggs are such a great option for any meal.


This weekend we are going to NOLA for B's cousin's graduation ceremony, to watch the Dali Lama speak, and for a dinner out with family. Other than that its just the usual: going to the pool, meal planning, grocery shopping and planning my upcoming week! Next week I am back to working, volunteering, and working on my thesis!




land of leggings

Oh I love Canada. And I love Lululemon. It must not be a coincidence that Lululemon is a Canadian company. In Canada, it is very acceptable to wear leggings as pants... and I like to follow that motto no matter where I am in the world. During my 3 trips to the Regina store, I made some amazing purchases. Check this out:

reflect pullover in burning yellow - cool racerback in bold stripe zippy green - studio crop in dune - ebb & flow crop in light flare - u-turn reversible pullover in clarity yellow

3/5 items were on sale... add in my R&D discount and my mom at my side... I did not have to spend very much for all of this!

Thanks mom & Lululemon!

P.S. Going to a store with such amazing selection made me want to buy so much! Thank goodness I only had a carry-on or I would have bought way more. I may have to post my new wish list of everything I did not buy.



surprise vacay recap

By the time you read this I will be on a plane back to BTR. It was great to surprise my mom and spend a few days at home. The city has changed so much since I lived here years ago. Here is what I spent the last 5 days doing:

went for a pedicure with my mom
ate a delish burger with edamame at Brown's Socialhouse, a restaurant that is new to me
ate breakfast at Timmy's: oatmeal and peppermint tea for me
check out that line!
got groceries at our fave butcher: Butcher Boy Meats
and bread at our fave bakery: Orange Boot Bakery
I also made 3 trips to Lululemon, did lots of walking outside, played too many games of tile rummy, and relaxed with my family. It was the perfect surprise vacation. Our next trip back will be for Christmas and I will be counting the days.



multitasking walk

I am a huge believe in multi-tasking: laundry while doing homework, meal planning while watching tv, doing strength & cardio at the same time. Why? Because I am a grad student. Because I get bored easily. Because I believe in mixing business with pleasure... and by that I mean tackling my never ending to-do list while doing something enjoyable.

I know it is good to change up my workout and I like walking but I get bored easily. I don't always have time to plan my workout around a tv show I may want to watch. Why can't I combine walking in the treadmill with upper body strength exercises? All I need is a pair of 5lb weights and a theraband.

I would personally walk at 1% grade at 3.5mph but you could easily make it harder or easier by changing the grade or the speed.




InstaFriday from abroad

It's been a busy trip so far. I surprised my mom on Wednesday after work (her reaction was priceless), then we ran errands and did some shopping on Thursday, surprised more family on Thursday night, and today we have more running around to do since both my mom and dad are home today! Here's a small recap this far:

1. My not so secret love affair with Taylor Hall continues. This shirt will be making the trip home.

2. We also went to Lululemon, of course! I have never been to the new store in Regina so it was an exciting event. The staff were amazing, the sale section was out of control... as was the final bag I carried home. Luckily I got lots on sale, we found a great birthday gift for B (okay he did get 2 things), and my R&D discount brought the total down even more! I may have to make another trip... if I have enough room in my suitcase. I only brought a large purse and a carry-on. At this rate I will be wearing 4 layers on top and bottom and 2 pairs of shoes on my way home!

3. We also went to the grocery store... because that is what my mom loves to do. She claimed we were going in for slivered almonds and poppyseed dressing. Yeah right. New you see where I get my love of grocery shopping.

4. My parents have a nutribullet. My mom loves to make smoothies every single morning. Today's had baby kale, broccoli, pineapple, mango, chia seeds, and vanilla protein powder! YUM! Hey B, I think we need a nutribullet.


This weekend: more family time, baking a birthday/ Mother's Day cake with my cousins, and anything else we feel like doing!



Yesterday I posted a selfie at 5am. Why on earth was I up so early?


Well the surprise is officially complete... I am at home in Canada for Mother's Day weekend... which is also my mom's birthday weekend! She had absolutely no clue I was making the trip so it was fun to see her reaction when I walked in the door!

It's nice to be back to the land of Lululemon, Timmy's and Joe Fresh. I have got to make it quick so I can head out to my fave stores!

It's a little chilly here but the surprise is worth a little cold weather!



cheesy grits, 2 ways

I have already told you I am obsessed with cheesy grits. The obsession continues. We have perfected grits, now we just make different toppings to provide variety to our new favorite!

cheesy grits:

Cook 1/2 diced onion with 1T evoo until translucent. Add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of cornmeal. Whisk to prevent clumps, continue to cook until all water has absorbed and grits thicken. Add approx 1 cup cheese of your choice and mix until combined... lately we have been using the Walmart brand Italian mix and it has been delicious. Serve immediately or bake in a large roaster for 30 minutes at 350, slice, and serve with topping of your choice!


roasted mushroom topping:

Roast 2lbs of sliced mushrooms with garlic, onion, pepper, and evoo in a 475 oven for 40 minutes.


sausage and poached egg topping:

Add 2 chopped smoked sausages to the grits prior to baking, or just add straight to the pot. Serve with a poached egg on the side. The runny yolk is delicious with cheesy grits!


Grits are a healthy choice when cooked without excess butter or oil, delicious, filling, and very affordable. If there was a promotion for grits, clearly I would be their ambassador.



killer stairs

Sometimes I get silly ideas. This workout was one of them. Truly, it was not that silly to combine running the stairs outside the PMAC with core exercises... until your heart rate has increased so much you can barely hold yourself up with your arms. This is workout kicked my butt!

complete every exercise for 1 minute with a 10 second break between exercises... use an interval so you do not need to look at your watch as an excuse to stop

complete two rounds of the workout... you can do anything for 20 minutes, right?


I cannot wait to do this workout again soon. Crazy? Yes. But I always feel great after completing a killer workout. If you do not have access to stairs, a hill would work just as well!



peanut sauce spaghetti squash & broccoli

I have been on a roll lately with meals. B has asked for this one 3 times since I made it a week ago. We have been obsessed with vegetables lately so I wanted to try a new vegan dish. Well it was supposed to be vegan... until someone threw in a handful of cheese. It was also supposed to be gluten free until someone threw in some raw ichiban noodles. That someone was not me. Conveniently, the cheese and noodles completed the dish so it was worth the modification!


1 medium spaghetti squash, cooked & "spaghettied"

2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets & steamed

1/4 c Parmesan cheese

1 package raw ichiban noodles, without seasoning, crushed

1/2 red onion, caramelized

6 kale leaves, stems removed & steamed

1/2 t ground ginger

1/2 t powdered garlic

8 drops hot sauce (we use one from Mexico)

4 T almond butter (we did not have pb on hand)

3 T lime juice

1 T rice wine vinegar

2 t honey

2 T low sodium soy sauce

1 t sesame oil

1/4 c evoo


Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl, wisk until combined. Top spaghetti squash and broccoli mix with peanut sauce. Serve immediately. This recipe also made leftovers for lunches which were just as good the next day.



cinco de mayo

Today is the last day of class for the semester. That calls for a celebration. Conveniently tomorrow is also cinco de mayo! Here are all the things I wish I was doing to celebrate instead of studying:

Eating fajitas at Pipi's in Mexico!

Walking around in Mexico!

Eating huevos rancheros... a definitely possibility! This recipe looks amazing.

Drinking a margarita... my preference is mango. Rumor has it the faculty club will have one for me today!

Laying on the beach, enjoying the sunshine.


Instead this weekend I will be studying... possibly by the pool if the sun comes out, most likely eating Mexican food like huevos or shrimp tacos, and trying to get through the last couple days of the semester!

Happy Friday!



2 games, 2 views

Happy May! April flew by with the end of semester so it will be nice to have a little more free time this month. Although I said that about spring break and ended up working everyday day. I should also work on my thesis during the semester break too! Every time I think my list is getting shorter, I remember something else that needs to get done.

Last week we went to 2 LSU softball games. The ladies won all 3 games on the weekend but the games we went to were really close so it made for an exciting event. Thursday night we sat in reserved seating as B's student got us tickets. Saturday afternoon we sat on the berm (a grass hill just past the outfield fence).

My new Sperry sandals were perfect for both games. B's colleague joined us for both games. He loves sports... and hotdogs, so the three of us get along wonderfully.


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