gallery wall

Today's post is a special one. Sometimes whens someone asks me about something, rather than email them 10 links and pictures, its easier to share here. B's aunt liked my gallery wall. She wants to make one of her own so I thought I would repost the link of my how-to plus a bunch of inspiration photos I have collected.

Here is my how-to post. The most important thing is to plan it out. I used old paper grocery bags as templates. After laying out all of the frames on the floor I taped the paper templates to the wall while measuring for consistent spacing and using a level. The paper templates had a mark for every nail hole which also made it easy to get the frame in exactly the right place. 

I wanted my gallery wall to look more uniform so I used black frames with white matting. All of the art we hung is from trips around the world. We seem to be attracted to art in consistent colors so it helped with the uniform look.

Here is a bunch of inspiration photos I have collected. Some are uniform, some are more eclectic. The look you are going for will determine the pieces you choose to group together as well as the types of frames you could use.

I have also found some layouts in case you are feel a little less creative. Sometimes its just easier to have sometime tell you what to do... you just have to hope it fits with your art.

I hope this helps! I wish I was there to help with such a fun project!


j.crew wishlist

I am obsessed with neutrals and green lately. Conveniently, J.Crew came out with their fall line last week and there are some great pieces in my favorite colors that will transition well into fall in the south... and by that I mean 4 more months of summer. By that time I will be ready to go to Mexico and will still be able to wear all of these great finds!

I also saw this amazing emerald collection bridesmaid dress that I love. Not practical... but amazing. Then again I do have 2 weddings to attend next summer?!?



We love to try new restaurants. Blend has been on our list since they opened last year and we finally made it for dinner on Saturday night. It was quiet for the first few hours, but once the live entertainment started at 9pm the crowds started to show up. While it was quiet we enjoyed the great decor, amazing food, and friendly service.

 I loved the modern rustic decor.

We shared a charcuterie platter with friends as well as the olive tapenade which were both delicious. After all that snacking we were not overly hungry so B and I shared the pea and bacon risotto. It was rich, flavorful, and exactly what we wanted. The wine menu was excellent (along with a touch screen TV with tasting notes) and very reasonably priced. I have a feeling we will be back again soon.

If you come to visit... 
we may insist on taking you here... 
along with some other great places we have found lately.



Happy Friday! Guess what! Summer semester is over! All I have left is to enter grades and a final exam on Wednesday! It was a busy 7 weeks but we survived. Now I am counting down to leave for a 2 week vacation in a week! Here is what I have been up to this week:

1. My Sperry sandals broke last weekend. I originally purchased them on onlineshoes.com so I called to see what they could do since $90 sandals should not fall apart within 3 months. The customer service was amazing. We decided the best idea would be to buy the shoes again as they were on sale. So I bout the new ones for $20 less then used a prepaid shipping label to return the old ones for a full refund. I had my new shoes by last Friday so I did not even need to survive a week without my fave sandals. Now that is customer service.

2. Fave smoothie this week: strawberry, peanut butter, vanilla. Yum!

3. Whole Foods makes the best breakfast wraps. This was a great treat on Saturday morning.

4. I just picked up two books from the library I have been dying to read. Summer vacation cannot start soon enough! The hardest decision will be which to read first.

It's supposed to be beautiful this weekend. You will find me studying by the pool! Have a great weekend.



tropical pb smoothie

Recipe # 4 for the week. Told you it would be filled with delicious food! We are still obsessed with smoothies made in our Nutribullet. On hot summer nights it fills me up and quenched my thirst. Our recipes always make 2 servings so adjust accordingly if you are using the individual cup!

2c Dole tropical frozen fruit (strawberry, pineapple, mango & peach)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
4 almonds
1T Jif natural peanut butter
1c spinach

Fill to line with water. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!


poached eggs on polenta

We love eggs on Sundays. Wild guess... we ate this for lunch on Sunday. We prefer our eggs poached with runny centers. No sauce needed! I found this recipe on marthastewart.com but made it healthier by broiling the polenta instead of frying in bacon grease and using coppa instead of bacon!

poached eggs on polenta

4 slices polenta from log, broiled until crispy on both sides
2c spinach, wilted
1 roma tomato, diced
6 slices coppa ham, fried until crispy then diced
4 eggs, lightly poached

Layer on plate from polenta to eggs. Enjoy. It is really that simple.


whole wheat banana muffins

Another recipe to add to your list of things to make! I love to make healthier versions of recipes I have known and loved for years. I found this one online and adapted slightly. The original recipe came from Company's Coming.

whole wheat banana muffins

1 3/4c whole wheat flour
1/2c sugar
1T baking powder
1/2t salt
1T Mexican cinnamon
1 eggs
1/4c vegetable oil
1/4c almond milk
4 over ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Combine last 4 ingredients with electric mixer. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fill lined muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Simple. Easy. Delicious. And does not last long around our house. We love muffins as they are easy to add to lunches for a mid morning or mid afternoon snack with some cheese. Luckily, you do not need to feel guilty about these! They only have about 120 calories... as compared to store bought which can have over 400 calories and lots of ingredients I cannot pronounce.


taco dogs

It's offically the last week of the semester. We made it! This also means I am very busy with school work: studying, writing, grading exams, reading etc. Luckily, the best way to procrastinate all of those things is to make food... since we still need to eat. You may be on recipe overload around here this week... but I can't help it. I cannot take photos in cadaver lab to show you (how unethical would that be?!?) and I really should not post my final exam incase my students find this... so instead I will post about food.

taco dogs

4 wheat tortillas
4 all beef hotdogs
8T guacamole
4T salsa
1c grated cheddar

Cook hotdogs for 5 minutes, until heated through. In skillet, crisp skin of cooked hotdogs. Add 2T guacamole and 1T salsa to the bottom of each tortilla, place cooked hotdog on top, then top with 1/4c grated cheddar. Fold in half and secure with a toothpick. Place in skillet until cheese is melted and brown on both sides. Enjoy!

This was amazing and I imagine we will be making these again. Seriously, who does not love tacos and hotdogs? The combination is my new favorite lunch!



Happy Friday! It has been a busy and productive week for us. School, school, and more school was the name of the game this week. Okay, I did have time for some fun too.

1. Friends invited us out for dim sum on Friday night. It was amazing. It was the most legit Asian food I have had in is town since we moved here.
2. On Saturday morning I went to a Pure Barre class poolside at The Renaissance Hotel... put on by Lululemon of course. It was a killer workout. I hope to try a class at the studio sometime soon.
3. My bestie sent me a photo of her charcuterie plate last weekend. Oh how I miss the Italian Centre.
4. Bribing myself to get some reading. Productivity tends to increase poolside for me. Everything is just so much more enjoyable when you can take a dip in the pool.
5. I made naked bruschetta turkey burgers on this weekend. We loved this recipe!
6. I also made avocado egg salad. This recipe will definitely be made again. So healthy and so delicious!
7. Just an impromptu weeknight meal when I did not think we had any food. I found tilapia and had it with a huge side of veggies. Yum!
8. We had a weeknight date to Whole Foods. I loved the cannoli. It may have been expensive but it was portion controlled so I did not mind.

This weekend I need to finish a paper, work on my thesis, and study for cadaver lab. I also hope to make it to the farmer's market this weekend for some groceries for next week.

Have a great weekend!



restaurant week

It's restaurant week in Baton Rouge. On Tuesday night when we did not feel like cooking we decided to go to The Londoner for the special menu.

I had the tomato soup, Shepard's pie & caramel cake. The portions were the normal sizes so I was able to bring half home for lunch too. All of my choices were delicious. I loved the cheese on the Shepard's pie but their tomato soup is amazing. I really cannot pick a fave.

Hopefully we will make it to one more location before the event is over!


30" please

I have been in the market for some new accessories. Why? Because its summer. I really do not have a reason, but that's okay. I have wanted a new necklace for a while... a long one with a turquoise stone to be exact. I finally found one I liked online and contacted the designer to make sure they could make it longer so it was exactly what I wanted. I had an answer within 10 minutes that it would not be a problem to include a longer chain. Success! I ordered the turquoise one on a 30" chain for $24!

I hope my new necklace arrives in time for our vacation in a few weeks. I really like the J.Crew tassel necklace too. I think they would look great layered together. The other one I have had my eye on is an initial necklace.


smoothie obsessed

I still love our Nutribullet. Every smoothie I have made is different and they make a great chilled breakfast for these hot summer days in Louisiana. This is definitely my kind of breakfast.

vanilla protein powder
ground flax

chocolate protein powder

frozen blueberries
fresh blueberries
chocolate protein powder

vanilla protein powder


whole wheat chocolate zucchini muffins

We loved chocolate chip zucchini cake growing up. Since zucchini is delicious right now I thought I would recreate my favorite cake in a healthier, portion controlled format. I can stop at one muffin way easier than I can stop at once slice of cake... than means muffins happen way more often than cakes in this house. It is also easier to give away muffins so we do not need to eat the whole batch.

2c zucchini, grated
1 2/3c whole wheat flour
1/3c cocoa powder
1t Mexican cinnamon
1/2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt
2 eggs
1/3c honey
1/2c brown sugar
1/2c olive oil
1t Mexican vanilla
3/4c mini dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Squeeze excess water out of zucchini with a paper towel and set aside.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Beat together eggs, honey, brown sugar, oil and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Stir in chocolate chips and zucchini. 
Bake in muffin tin lined with parchment liners for 20 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes then cook completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container... or given them away as gifts.



Happy Friday once again! This past week was busy with class, teaching, statistics, and work. I felt like this week was productive so I am happy to know Friday is here (sleep in time tomorrow!). Here's a few snippets of my week:

1. I have never been to In N Out Burger but last weekend the idea of eating a burger wrapped in lettuce seemed like an amazing idea. New I just need to go on a road trip to find one of these delicious looking creations!

2. On Thursday I dressed up for school. My students were working on group projects so I did not have to teach Zumba. It took me 20 minutes to decide what to wear... I guess that's what happens when I have options other than Lululemon.

3. Wine + Saturday night + a date

4. Are you ready for some football? The CFL is back in action and it is even easier to watch now that appleTV has an ESPN3 app. The Riders have been doing great so far thus season!

This weekend I need to finish a paper, work on my thesis, do a ton of laundry, get groceries, and work. It shall be a busy one. Only 2.5 weeks left of summer semester then off for a much needed 2 week vacation with B!



summer reading list

We are getting close to the end of summer semester. I have a few books I really want to read but I know I need to wait until I am done with studying, writing & teaching.

I really want to spend my vacation by the pool reading Revenge Wears Prada & Bringing Up Bebe. Luckily, our vacations between semesters involves going somewhere with a pool and our local public library has both of these books!

Free reading = totally my style.



berries & chocolate

We are obsessed with our Nutribullet. OBSESSED. 
On Saturday night we had dessert for dinner:

2c frozen blueberries
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
water to the fill line

This was amazing and delicious. I sent a photo to my mom who called me out for not adding any vegetables. Okay, I guess I could have added spinach and you would not have tasted it.
But it was amazing. And healthy. And we will eat it again. 

P.S. We had more than this for dinner. We also went out for hummus and a mushroom pizza. That was also delicious... but not as healthy.


banana chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

Who doesn't love cookies? I love a sweet treat but I also know it important to keep nutrition in mind. I found a recipe similar to this online but knew I could make it healthier. 

 banana chocolate chip cookies

4T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2c brown sugar, packed
1/4c granulated sugar
1t Mexican vanilla
1 egg
1 large banana, mashed
1 1/4c whole wheat flour
1t baking soda
1/2t salt
2c gluten free oats
3/4c mini dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, baking soda, salt & oats in a bowl. 
Cream together butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Add vanilla and egg. Beat until smooth. Add banana and beat well again.
Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips and mix.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop heaping spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and cook on wire rack.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.


avocado eggs

B away away last week (not like I would say anything until he got back ;)). Since I was cooking for one, I did not make anything extravagant... okay maybe just my fave brussel sprout dish. Now that he is back, I have been making a bit more in the kitchen. This dish was sent to my in-laws via text who thought it looked delish and wanted to know how I made it. Well here you go:

2 avocados
4 eggs
1oz queso fresco

Preheat oven to 425. Cut avocado in half & remove pit.  Scoop out some of the flesh so you have a space large enough for an egg. Place avocado in muffin tin so it stays balanced. Crack egg gently into space you created in avocado. Top with fresh cracked pepper. Bake in oven for 17 minutes. You can cook it longer but we like our whites cooked and yokes runny. Top with queso fresco and serve immediately.

I can see this recipe being a weekend favorite for us. It was simple, delicious, and so healthy!



Happy Friday! This summer is going by way to quick! But we are also over half way through the summer semester and only 4 weeks away from our summer trip!

1. I am obsessed with my nutribullet! This smoothie had mango, pineapple, spinach, almonds, chia seeds, coconut flakes & coconut water.

2. Just a small snipet of how I stay cool when it is close to 40C. Pool time (new suit = new tan lines)! The flowers at our pool are beautiful and full of color.

3. I wanted to see how long my hair was so I took some extra time last weekend to straighten it. Thank goodness I have a cut booked the week before we go on vacation!

4. Sometimes a girl just needs some pizza. I have said this in the past but we love Anne's Organic pizzas! The supreme one was exactly what I was looking for.

This weekend is full of studying for a big exam on Monday, getting organized for next week, working on my thesis, and more smoothies, of course!

Have a great weekend!



inspired by

Happy Independence Day! 
Personally, I am proud to be Canadian. I mean, I did sport a red & white outfit on Canada Day this year. Though I live in the USA (but am not American), I am still very inspired by the colors red, white & blue. The combo is great for summer. When going through my Pinterest page earlier this week when trying to decide what to wear, I realized I have tons of this combo pinned for inspiration.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

I will probably wear green today. Why? I love green. I also love pink, purple, white & black. Its not about what color you wear one day per year. Its about being accepting of our differences and embracing what makes us unique. If only it was that simple...

Have a great holiday!



We have some eggs that need to be used up. Thank goodness I feel like eating eggs all weekend... breakfast, lunch, dinner... anytime! Are you like that with breakfast food? We LOVE to go out for brunch but I find I can make healthier versions at home that are just as delicious. Here's a few recipes I have been eying up to use up the eggs in the fridge:

Now I just need to convince B we should eat eggs all weekend!



running check-in

Still running 3 days per week!

3 minutes at a time is very do-able at this time. But We have started a new week so I imagine I will be running for longer soon. That look: the look of death... staring down the Louisiana heat. No heat will stop me... I just have to go early in the day. I am so happy we found a route on campus that is mostly shaded! B has even been enjoying running with me. Its our 3 days per week mid morning date... no work, no students to bother us, just time to workout together.


smoothies + Canada!

Happy Canada day! Here's a cute pic of B and I when we lived in Canada. This was during a ball tournament at Sylvan Lake. We had to hit up the local ice cream shoppe... with the Canadian cow!

Ahhh! We were so cute! Oh how I miss Canada!

When I made my latest trip to Canada, I had smoothies every morning using my parent's Nutribullet. I was instantly hooked. They were smooth, delicious, and different every single day! I finally went out and bought my own (using a 20% off coupon, of course!) and have been making smoothies all weekend.

smoothie 1:
1c mixed strawberries, mango, & peaches
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1T greek yogurt

smoothie 2:
1c mixed fruit
1c spinach
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
4 almonds

smoothie 3:
1/2 mixed fruit
1c spinach
8 grapes
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
4 almonds

smoothie 4:
1/4 avocado
1/2c blueberries
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1.5c spinach
3 almonds

Notice a trend? I love my smoothies with fruit for sweetness, leafy greens to get my veggies, protein powder to fill me up, and usually a couple nuts.
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