2013 resolutions

I will lose weight... 30lbs to be exact.

I am so close to this goal! I lost 13.3% of my weight (23lbs) since January. I don't have far to go to get to my goal. I have changed my eating habits, still exercise on a consistent basis, and feel healthier. More about the continuation of this tomorrow!

I will brush my teeth 2 times per day.

Not successful. I will do better next year.

I will keep my 4.0gpa.

Success! 1 class left in my MS degree and I still have a 4.0.

I will publish 1 academic article.

Close. My thesis is done now I just need to get it published!

I will run a 5k race.

Though not complete, I feel as though I am relatively successful. I have improved my running immensely by using the couch25k app but did not run a 5k. Maybe next year!

I will become a better Zumba instructor.

Yes! I really improved in my teaching skills and have now "retired" since I am almost done my degree.

I will sell some old books.

Yes! We moved into a smaller apartment and donated a bunch of old books to the library. Maybe I should look at donating more this coming year. Maybe this year I will sell some old textbooks too.

Finally, I will improve my blog.

Should I leave this up to you? I feel like I have been blogging more consistently and on more consistent topics. I feel my blog evolves as I do so it may change this year as I transition back into working full time!



prosciutto wrapped asparagus

This recipe was delicious so I have to tell you about it. Let's be 100% honest, I did not make these... maybe that's why they were so good! My bestie made these and I have a feeling we will be making these again!

1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed

Prosciutto, sliced thin

1 container of herbed goat cheese

Line cookie sheet with parchment. Preheat oven to 425. Spread small amout of goat cheese on prosciutto, wrap around asparagus, place of cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy!




Happy Friday Christmas style! Did you have a good Christmas? We did! Here are a few photos:

1. All of the personalized Christmas cards we received this year! I love that our friends also like to send out personalized cards. I wonder if it is a generational thing.

2. We are smoothie obsessed. I feel like it is so fefreshing before and after big meals to have balance in my life.

3. The weather was beautiful in BTR before we left so we got in a power walk!

4. I finally finished Bringin Up Bebe. What a great book! You should read it.

5. I love my new Kate Spade watch! Isn't is pretty?
6. Cutest kids ever! What happened to us?!? This is my fave ornament.
7. We had a sample of our wedding cake that has been in the freezer for over 2.5 years! It still tastes amazing. The pumpkin is so flavorful, you can taste all the spices, and it is so moist! We will definitely be eating more of this over the next week.
8. My "new" china! I have known for many years that I was getting my grandma's Royal Albert china. We packed it up to store with my parents until I have space for it.
Have a great weekend! Mine will be busy visiting with friends!



adult mac n cheese

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was snowy and bright!

I really cannot remember if I have shared this recipe. We have been making it for a few years now. It is so simple, healthy and delicious. The original inspiration came from The New York Times! The link confirms we have been making this since 2008! I remember when I first saw this recipe online.

1 box whole wheat shells
1 jar tomato sauce (or homemade)
1 package goat cheese
1 package meatballs, cooked accordingly (optional)
1c whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2c grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to instructions until al dente, drain and set aside. Heat tomato sauce in a saucepan until warm, mix in goat cheese until blended. Combine pasta and sauce until mixed. Add meatballs if desired and stir until combined. Put in greased casserole dish. Combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Spread evenly over top of pasta mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.



healthy travel snacks

I have been thinking about this post for a week. We are traveling to Canada today so it will be an early morning, a long day of flights, and a delicious dinner at the end of the day. Airlines these days do not provide "food" anymore so airports can suck you in with the first thing you see during a layover... we all know we are starving the moment we step off the plane and all rational thinking goes out the window. We found out this morning we got upgraded to first class on our first flight so we will be provided breakfast on board so that changes my food plans too. Here is my plan for tomorrow:

early snack: a small smoothie at home

breakfast: on the plane (mostly likely fruit & some sort of protein in proper portion sizes)

lunch: Que Bueno salad

flight snack ideas: I will be packing cliff kids bars & picking up a Joy tea right before we board
dinner: Christmas Eve with family!

Go check out the link for healthy travel snack foods. I love the idea of a small peanut butter package with a banana. It is actually quite easy to pack snacks to eat while flying. 

P.S. If you are flying tomorrow too don't forget to pick up a bottled water! Safe travels!



strawberry basil smoothie

It's been a while since I shared a new smoothie recipe. This recipe is inspired by a smoothie in the most recent issue of Southern Living magazine!

1c frozen strawberries
1/3c Greek yogurt
1/4c basil leaves
1T honey
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in your nutribullet.
Blend until smooth. Enjoy!




Happy Friday!

I loved having a short work week this week. It's been productive as I have been wrapping up a bunch of projects I want to complete before Christmas vacation! Here are a few highlights:

1. We went to the Faculty Club Christmas party last Saturday night. The food was delicious, the company is always a good time, and the band was amazing.

2. We had the most amazing cheese plate at Grapevine in New Orleans! I love good quality cheese plates that do not cost an arm and a leg.

3. Did you know santa's sleigh is pulled by alligators in Louisiana. Seriously.

4. I have decided I need to decrease my ecological footprint in 2014. I print way to much. It took me 4 hours to get through a bunch of old class materials as well as sort through marpterials from the classes I taught a few semesters ago.

Have a great weekend! Mine will be spent doing laundry, picking up a few last Christmas gifts (okay, just one that someone requested on Wednesday... We all know I have been done Christmas shopping for over a month), and packing for Christmas vacation!



NOLA faves

Every times we head south to New Orleans we visit old faves, find some new amazing places, and fall in love with the historic city even more! Here are some highlights from our trip:

1. The Royal Omni New Orleans: we got a killer deal on our hotel during their black friday sale! The room was the perfect size, the view was beautiful, and the rooftop pool was very nice... but too cold to go in!

2. Crossant D'or: french style lunch just blocked from our hotel!

3. Orleans Grapevine: Its our new fave wine bar! We have been here before but this time the service was even more amazing and the food was delish! 

4. Tableau by Dickie Brennan: We love to sit upstairs in the bar. They have a great wine list and bar menu. The poutine was really good... think french onion soup inspired poutine!

 5. Slice on Magazine Street: We has some very unique pizza on my new fave street in New Orlenas!

Did you notice we spent 3 days in New Orleans and did not set foot on Bourbon Street? Yup, our hotel was only 2 blocks away but we always ended up going in a different direction. We did not do this on purpose but it seemed like a whole new city! 
I promise we did more than eat in NOLA. We also walked a ton, shopped, and relaxed after a busy semester!

Have a great day!

P.S. Happy birthday Grandma!


celebration in the oaks

One of the many things we did during our pre-vacation vacation to New Orleans was walk through Celebration in the Oaks. The lights and atmonphere were beautiful. As hard as it is to share photos of Christmas light, I am going to anyway.

If you are ever in New Orleans during the Christmas season I highly recommend this attraction!


quinoa stuffed squash

This recipe was so delicious we did not even notice it was vegetarian! The protein in the quinoa was filling, the pomegranate was refreshing, and the squash was cooked to perfection!

2 acorn squash, halved and seeds scooped out

1c quinoa, cooked according to instructions

1/2 yellow onion, diced

4 clover garlic, minced


1c pomegranate seeds

pepper, to taste


Place squash on sprayed cookie sheet cut side down. Roast in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cook quinoa according to instructions. Sautée garlic and onion in evoo. Mix quinoa, onion mixture, pomegranate seeds, and pepper. Fill cooked squash and serve immediately.



sweet potato crusted frittata

While we spend a few days away I thought I would share a couple recipes I made recently but have not had the chance to share.

Here is a sweet potato crusted quiche I made about a week ago. It was delish!

1 sweet potato, sliced thin

6 eggs

1/2lb sausage

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1c broccoli florets, steamed

Pepper, rosemary & oregano

1/2c sharp cheddar, grated


Preheat oven to 350. Layer sweet potato sliced in bottom of cast iron skillet. Sautée onion and pepper, set aside. Brown sausage, set aside. Whisk eggs. Combine eggs, sautéed veggies, broccoli, sausage & herbs. Pour over sweet potato, top with grated sharp cheddar, and bake in oven for about 20 minutes.




Good morning! Today is a great morning. Fall semester is officially completed for me! Exams are done, my to-do list is dwindling, and I am ready for vacation time! Although I was busy studying all week and did not have time to post, I'm back in action today. You'd rather me do good in school than blog about food, right? I did not think I had any instas for you this week but I was wrong! Here are a few snippets from my week:

1. We went to an auction at the faculty club last week. The guest auctioneer was the LSU women's basketball coach who did an amazing job. Since all the items were donated we raised over $7000 for the foodbank!

2. What's in your fridge? So many veggies, delicious eggs, and other decliciousness for food I made this week but have not told you about this week.

3. How can you tell it was finals week? I spent my time last weekend making satsuma marmalade and 15 dozen sandies to give away as gifts! I promise I am much more productive with my studying when I bake.

4. I also got our Christmas stamps sent out this week! The global stamps this year are so cute!

Have a great weeknd! I will be spending mine getting organized for Christmas vacation then we head to New Orelans for a 3 day vacation on Sunday!




Happy Friday! Today is an extra special Friday! It's the last day of class! We survived another semester. After I submit grades for my classes later today I only have my 2 finals left!

With our travels last week I did not get to post on Friday... meaning some of these photos are 2 weeks old!
1. I finally got around to getting a haircut. I had to try a new stylist who did an excellent job and curled my hair. I was all dressed up with no where to go...
2. So I went shopping! Okay, most of those are groceries but it was a busy day!
3. I am obsessed with my Christmas wrap this year. I am using up my paper grocery bags by using them as brown wrapping paper. I ordered baker's twine and custom made the tags with stamps.
4. On our trip to Illinois I made this herringbone cowl. It turned out beautiful but is a little to thick to wear in Louisiana.

5. Elevator selfie with B at the Omni in downtown St. Louis! We loved this hotel!
6. Starbucks invited me to a challenge. You know I am always up for a challenge. Collect 25 stars before Christmas and get 30 free stars! Heck yes! 
7. I received this special photo which is the real reason the Riders won the Grey Cup. Welcome to Rider Nation! You will enjoy cheering for a winning team!
8. We celebrated my successful thesis defense with this wine as recommended by Robert Parker. It was delish!

Have a great weekend! I will be studying & baking Christmas cookies!




Where was I yesterday? Well I was a bit busy defending my Master's thesis! Yes, it was successful. All I have left is some minor revisions based on recommendations from my committee! I heard back from the graduate coordinator that I received the highest grade in all areas from all members of my committee. I'd call that a success! Yes, I know I am a perfectionist too so that helps to confirm it.

They did think it was fun to question me for about 50 minutes on stats, methods, and a couple other topics. Yes, they called it fun. I did not.

I have also submitted papers for both of my classes that were due this week. All that is left is to grade 100 final exams from the classes I teach and take 2 finals!

Christmas break, I can smell you! Or I just smell my gingerbread latte from Starbucks!



maria's cantina

I forgot to say this yesterday but I cannot believe it is Decembet already! This semester has flown by!

On our way back from Illinois we like to stay at Southaven, MS as it is the halfway point in the 12 hour drive. I did some research on Urbanspoon and decided we should try Maria's Cantina. Mexican food in Mississippi, why not?

I saw some great photos on their website and the parking lot was packed when we walked up so we figured we picked a great place. We had 2 for 1 mango margaritas to drink and chips with salsa to start which were both delicious.

For dinner I decided to pick the salad that caught my eye on the website. I had the grilled mahi mahi salad with a side of guac. It was delicious!

I think we have a new favorite place to eat in this town. The service was also excellent which is an added bonus when traveling. Oh, and B liked that they were playing foodball on TVs throughout the resturant! Mexican food and football is the way to his heart.




We thought it would be fun to surprise B's family for Thanksgiving. We secretly drove to St. Louis on Wednesday where this photo was taken, we stayed at the Omni downtown then drove the last 2 hours on Thursday morning.

Instagram gave away the secret... Luckily not many people in his family have Instagram! We spent 2 fun days with his family and are now back for the last week of class... 2 papers due and a thesis defense this week!


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