Thursday, February 27, 2014

Booty Burner!

I fell of the wagon and I hit the ground hard! It's embarrassing to admit when you fail, but oh my goodness, I have failed! I've packed on double-digit pounds and my diet has slowly turned into a wreck since starting my job seven months ago. I'm not going to list a bunch of excuses and I'm not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Instead, I'm going to get with the program and get back to where I was last summer. It may take time and it probably won't always be fun, but I know I'll feel much better and that's what matters. 

I'm starting today with purpose and motivation. I know that I can get back on course (after all, this is a blog about my life and trying to stay on course) and I can't wait to share my journey with all of you.

If you're looking for some inspiration, here's a workout that will be sure to get your booty burning :)

Do you ever backslide when it comes to your diet or exercise? What helps you get back on track with your healthy lifestyle?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dill Smashed Potatoes

Hello, hello! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and I hope your week is off to a great start. I was able to make the eight hour trip to my grandma's after work on Friday and it was so nice to be able to spend time with her and disconnect from Blog-world for a few days.

I'm still blown away every time I see these gorgeous lilies that my sweetie got me for Valentine's Day. They've taken their time opening up, so I've really been able to enjoy them. 

A few weeks back, I was inspired by Chung-Ah over at Damn Delicious. She posted a recipe for garlicky smashed potatoes that made my mouth water. I had never heard of smashed potatoes, so I knew I had to try them. They're so soft and delicious on the inside, but crisp and crunchy on the outside; the perfect combination!

My take on smashed potatoes is just a little more low-cal than the original, as I use cooking spray in place of olive oil. In lieu of garlic I added dill, so even if these are on the lighter side they don't lack flavor!

Dill Smashed Potatoes


1 package small potatoes (2-bite size)
Cooking spray
Salt, pepper, and dill weed


Boil the potatoes according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes.

While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the oven to 350*F and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place the potatoes on the cookie sheet, spacing them evenly apart. With a drinking glass, smash each potato. Lightly spray the potatoes with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dill weed, to taste.

Cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Serve and enjoy these smashed potatoes with just about everything! These potatoes have just over 100 calories per serving (a serving is 5 small potatoes).

Have you ever heard of smashed potatoes? If so, have you ever made them?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Blueberry, Cherry & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Hello, hello. I can't believe it's Friday already. Despite what it looks like here on the blog, I've been eating healthy! It's been a big challenge, but I'm already feeling better. Eating healthy doesn't always mean depriving yourself of treats that taste great, so I definitely savored one of these Blueberry, Cherry & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies that I made for my knitting group a few weeks back. They were a big hit!

I know that dried blueberry, cherry, and cranberry may seem like a strange combination, but they really do taste great together! Give these cookies a try today; you won't be disappointed. Promise.

Blueberry, Cherry & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries (or any other dried fruit combo)


Cream together the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir this mixture into the wet mixture.

Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350* F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a Silpat).

Place rounded scoops of cookie dough onto the baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown at the edges. Cooking time will depend on how long your cookie dough was in the freezer.

Let cookies sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Recipe inspired by Smitten Kitchen.

Hope you all have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Special-K Chicken Tenders

Happy Wednesday! I hope you all are having a great week. I'm finally back to teaching all of my fitness classes and I couldn't be happier. Tearing your Plantar Fascia is no joke.

Not even exaggerating, this thing has saved my life!


Do you guys ever get bored with plain ol' baked chicken breasts? Yeah, me too! These Special-K Chicken Tenders are definitely not boring. They are full of flavor and the texture is perfect-- they have a nice crunch! They're perfect for a weeknight dinner or any night that you're looking for a quick and easy recipe.

Special-K Chicken Tenders
Serves 4-6


2 cups crushed Original Special- K cereal
1/4 teaspoon of each: black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and paprika
1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


Preheat the oven to 375* F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, combine cereal crumbs with the spices. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs and mustard until well combined. 

Coat the chicken into the egg mixture, then coat in the cereal mixture. Lay chicken strip onto baking sheet and repeat the process with the remaining chicken strips.

Cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken strips are. Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165*F. 

What's your go-to chicken recipe? 

Chicken is my main source of protein, so I'd love to hear your ideas.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Grain-Free Upside Down Blueberry Bread

Hello, hello. I hope you all had an amazing weekend! I certainly did. I enjoyed lots of birthday festivities and basked in my 23 year-old glory ;) Ha! Mondays kind of stink, so I'm here to get your day started right by sharing a delicious recipe with you-- a gluten-free recipe!

I don't have a gluten allergy, so I haven't tried too many gluten-free products or recipes. My thinking was always, "why fix it if it isn't broken?"

Well, the other day I decided to take a shot at gluten-free baking. I was inspired by Fitnessista to make a Grain-Free Upside Down Blueberry Bread. I'm so glad I did because it was full of flavor, packed with protein, and was the perfect treat at the end of the day. I may have also had a slice with my coffee the next morning :)

Grain-Free Upside Down Blueberry Bread


For the bottom layer

1 1/2 - 2 cups blueberries (mine were frozen)
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the top layer

1 1/2 cups almond meal (*make your own!)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon oil (canola, coconut, etc.)
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350* and spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the blueberries, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Spread the berry mixture on the bottom of the baking pan, in an even layer.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and add the remaining ingredients. Whisk or beat the ingredients until well incorporated. Evenly pour the batter over the berry mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.

Making your own almond meal is super easy. Just toss raw almonds into your food processor and let it go! The time it takes to transform to almond meal will depend on the power of your food processor, but please keep an eye on it so that it doesn't turn into almond butter. And if it does turn into almond butter, spread it on some toast and enjoy! Then try again :)

Do you eat gluten-free? What's your favorite GF recipe? Share the link to it below.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Breakfast Recipe Roundup + Happy V-Day

Happy Valentine's Day!!! Any big plans? Babe and I both took the day off from work, as it's also my birthday {whoop, whoop, 23}! We don't have exact plans, but we're going to hit a coffee shop, maybe see a movie, and have dinner out on the town. Days off together are precious, so I'm pretty excited.

If you happen to need a breakfast idea for that special someone (or just yourself) for Valentine's Day or the weekend ahead, I've got you covered with a few really delicious and easy breakfast recipes.

Baked French Toast for One - so good served with fresh strawberries

Homemade Granola with yogurt or milk

Hope you all have a wonderful day, spending it with those you love :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cap'n Crunch French Toast

Cap'n Crunch French Toast. I'm not gonna lie... this stuff is amazing! I remember seeing something like this on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives a few years ago, and I had been thinking about it like crazy lately. 

I made it a few weeks back and I'm hoping that the boyfriend might make me some for my b-day/v-day breakfast. It's calling my name! The cereal caramelizes when it cooks and the finished product- it melts in your mouth. Make this for your sweetie for Valentine's Day.

Cap'n Crunch French Toast

First, prepare your egg mixture. Scramble an egg. Then add a splash of milk, a pinch of salt, a dash of vanilla, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Mix until well combined.

Next, crush up a couple handfuls of Cap'n Crunch cereal until it resembles something like this...

Now you're ready to make this delicious french toast! Begin by dipping both sides of your bread (I used whole wheat sandwich bread) into the egg mixture. Transfer the bread to the cereal crumbs and coat both sides. Finally, place the bread onto a hot griddle (325*) or a frying pan.

Cook until golden brown on both sides and enjoy! For extra decadence, add maple syrup.

Did you ever eat Cap'n Crunch as a kid? What was your favorite childhood cereal?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Covered Button Earrings + Valentine Printable

Happy Sunday! I'm so excited to share a super simple DIY project with you: Covered Button Earrings. I've been meaning to share them for a while, but now they can be turned into a super cute Valentine to give out to the special ladies in your life. Depending on which type of fabric you choose, you can create a look that everyone will love-- from children to grandmas, you can't go wrong with these easy earrings! 

To make Valentine gifting a bit easier, I've included free printables.

All you need is some scrap fabric, earring posts and backs, and a button kit. Button kits can be purchased online and in craft stores and they come in all sorts of sizes, so choose whatever size you'd like to rock on your ears!

Begin by cutting a scrap of fabric about 1.5 times the size of the button. Place the fabric into the form. Next, place the button top in the form. 

Place the excess fabric scraps into the button and place the button bottom (the part with the metal loop) into the form. 

Place the button press over the button and firmly press it in until it is well secured.

Remove the button from the form. With a pair of small pliers, remove the loop from the back of the button. 

Finally, glue an earring post to the back of the button. You now have an earring! 

To make a super cute Valentine, just print your favorite printable (from below) on some card stock, cut out the heart, secure the earrings through the heart, and you're good to go!

Feel free to use my Valentine printables. Just right-click to save or copy/paste!

Hope you all have an amazing week :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Valentine Burlap Votive Holders {Inspired by Target}

When you live on an island in the middle of nowhere, going to Target is a real treat. I love browsing their seasonal decor! The last time I was at Target, they were stocked for Valentine's Day. I remember seeing small votive holders that were wrapped in burlap and pained to look "Valentine-y." I almost bought them, but I quickly remembered I had everything at home to make them myself! So, here's my Target copycat Valentine Burlap Votive Holders.

You don't need much to make these-- just a votive holder (can be found at the $ store), burlap (Wal-Mart or your favorite craft store), a hot glue gun or craft glue, and paint.

Begin by cutting a strip of burlap to wrap around your votive holder. Make sure it wraps around completely!

Next, paint the burlap as desired-- polka dots, stripes, chevron, hearts, a love message, etc. Let the paint dry. Finally, secure the burlap with a few dabs of glue. Once the burlap os secured, the votive holder is ready for a candle. Now you have a pretty, easy, and inexpensive Valentine's decoration.

What are you up to this weekend?

I'm heading to Raleigh, NC for a Pilates workshop. I'm super excited, but nervous as I'm brand-new to Pilates. Any advice?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Homemade Strawberry Bread with Glaze

Strawberries are my favorite fruit and sweet quick breads are the best. There's no better treat for your Valentine than this Homemade Strawberry Bread with glaze! My mom's been making this bread for years and it's always a hit!

I'm well aware that strawberries aren't exactly in season, but in my defense, I picked these strawberries back in the spring and froze them while they were at the peak of perfection!  So, grab some frozen strawberries if you don't have any quality fresh berries, and get baking; you won't regret this one... it's amazing.

Homemade Strawberry Bread with Glaze

Makes 2 loaves


2 cups fresh strawberries and juice
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the glaze

1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon strawberry juice


Sprinkle strawberries with sugar and freeze overnight in an airtight container. Defrost the berries, but do not drain. Reserve one tablespoon of strawberry juice for the glaze.

Preheat the oven to 350* F. Line two 9" x 5" loaf pans with aluminum foil and lightly grease the pans with cooking spray.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well. Combine the eggs and oil in a separate bowl and mix well. Stir in the flour mixture and mix well. Add the strawberries and and mix just until blended.

Pour the batter into the loaf pans and bake for one hour or until the bread is done (toothpick test!).

For the glaze

Combine the confectioners sugar and strawberry juice in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Drizzle over the warm loaves of strawberry bread.

Remove the loaves from the pans when cool.

What's your favorite strawberry dessert?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Candy Filled Flowerpot {Cheap Valentine Ideas}

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I did! My Pilates workshop was great. I learned a lot {I practically knew nothing about Pilates before Sunday}and if I can get the hang of it, I'll start teaching it next month.

 I'm back to share another Valentine project with you today.

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to tell someone how much they mean to you and to share the love! This easy craft will do just that, but will cost you very little. That's a win in my book! If you have kiddos, they will love to get involved with this project-- let them paint the mini flower pot and fill it with sweet treats for neighbors, teachers, grandparents, and more.


 All you need is a miniature flower pot, some paint, a paintbrush, candy, and a mini cellophane bag. I was able to find the flower pots and cellophane bags at the dollar store. Score!


Lay down some newspaper and paint the flower pot as desired; it couldn't be easier. Some simple hearts would be adorable and a hand-painted love note would be even sweeter. After the flower pot dries, fill it with a treat and it's ready to be gifted!

An easy and inexpensive way to show someone that you've been thinking about them!

Share a link to your Valentine projects in the comment box below. I'd love to see them :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Polymer Clay Heart Charm with Fingerprint

It's officially February. I'm thrilled! I'm not only excited to share a few Valentine crafts and recipes with you, but I'm incredibly excited for my 23rd birthday, which happens to be Valentine's Day! Ahhhh... Valentine's Day!

And the best part about today (being February 1st) is that I can now share my first Valentine Craft with you all and not feel crazy about it! For my first DIY Valentine project, I'm sharing a Polymer Clay Heart Charm.

All you need is polymer clay, a heart-shaped cookie cutter, a rolling pin, and a piece of ribbon.

The options here are really limitless. The heart is a blank slate, just waiting for your imagination!

Begin by rolling out the polymer clay with a rolling pin or drinking glass. I actually used a smooth pint glass, just because my rolling pin is wooden and very porous. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to create a heart.

If you have kids, I bet Grandma and Grandpa would love to get a heart charm with the kiddo's fingerprints! Just have your child press firmly into the clay with their finger (or thumb) to create a heart shape. If you want to hang the charm, be sure to make a hole at the top! Toothpicks and push-pins work like a charm...

To harden the charms, just bake them at 275*F for about 30 minutes. You can use a toaster oven or a regular oven - just line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. After the charms have hardened, attach a pretty ribbon and ta-da! A pretty Valentine to give :)

If you choose not to make these with a fingerprint, make your own conversation heart by painting a Valentine-themed phrase like, "love", "xoxo", etc.

Have you already started crafting for Valentine's Day?
What are you up to this weekend?

Saturday will be a day of relaxation and Sunday evening will be spent watching Super Bowl commercials. Fingers crossed for a great half-time show!