Tag Archives: cooking

Friday Finds

Hello and happy Friday! After what has felt like a molasses paced week, we have finally made it to Friday! The only downside is that after taking an intense Pilates and yoga mix of classes this week, my arms are so sore that I can’t raise them over my head. Let’s hope this weekend doesn’t call for any high fiving, waving, or a 90’s throwback dance party where I am called to “raise the roof”. Thankfully all activities I have planned for this weekend involve very little arm movement. Tonight Jake and I are going to the opening of the Grapevine Craft Brewery that is opening in, well, Grapevine! Tonight they’ll be having live music, food trucks, and of course, beer. I’m really excited to try their selection, and watch Jake geek out over beer. I don’t know anything about beer except that there is alcohol in it, so maybe I’ll learn something tonight. Who knows?! Tomorrow and Sunday I have two different races lined up. Saturday I’ll be running the Sweat for Sangria 5k in Southlake, where after the race we’ll be treated to sangria and pizza! It’s a social run, so I’m thinking it will be a smaller group of people, which I normally prefer for 5ks (less tripping over people)! Then on Sunday I am running the Too Hot to Handle 5k  in Dallas! This will be my third year running this race and I am super pumped because this race normally gives out tank tops rather than t-shirts. A weird thing to be pumped about, but hey it doesn’t take much for me. Expect to see some race recaps on those come Monday, but in the mean time, let’s review some Friday Finds!

  • Breakfast Smoothies

smoothie edit

You may recall a couple months ago when I posted about my holy grail breakfast staple, but this week I changed things up a bit. After getting a little tired of eggs every morning, I thought I’d switch it up to a smoothie! I swap out the fruit every now and then, but here’s what I’ve been sticking to this week:

  • 1 whole banana (sliced)
  • 1 cup of strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of  unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed meal
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Don’t let the flax seed meal and chia seeds throw you off! When blended it all tastes very “breakfast-y” and delicious! I’m also crediting the flax seed meal for keep me full until lunch time. I haven’t heard a growl from my stomach from the hours of 6 am to when I normally take lunch at 11 am!

  • Cucumber Noodle Spaghetti

cucumber spaghetti edit

Wow this is a food heavy Friday Finds this week! Last night I thought I’d get a little creative with my dinner and get my fair share of vegetables in, and whipped up some cucumber noodle spaghetti! It was super simple and I was able to multi-task the cooking with preparing my lunch for today. Here’s what I used:

  • One whole cucumber, sliced thinly as possibly. If you have a mandolin slicer, use that because you are fancy and it works better.
  • Favorite pasta sauce
  • Chopped garlic
  • A sprig of arugula as a garnish to make it look like I’ve done this before.

I cooked the noodles, sauce, and garlic on a saucepan at medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. I wanted to make the cucumber noodles as a soft as possible so I could achieve the fork twirl effect I would normally get with pasta spaghetti, and it worked! I super recommend this if haven’t tried it out already. It was so much fun to make, and is a carb friendly option to regular spaghetti!

  • New hairbrush

brush new edit

Normally I don’t care much about hairbrushes, they all do the same thing for me, but good lord did I need a new one. I’ve been rocking my Wet Brush for nearly two years now, and while I love it, it is prone to getting fuzz and other junk in it (which is not coming from my hair, leading me to believe my cats use it when I’m not around), and it is near impossible to get out. That being said, I parused Amazon the other day for a new brush, and stumbled upon the Oval Wood Bristle Brush by Bass Brushes. It is made from 100% bamboo (sorry pandas), and the wooden bristles are supposed to help stimulate your scalp and promote hair growth. That last part may be a bunch of black magic nonsense, but I will say the bristles feel a lot like a head massage, so I am loving it!

  • Cold Brew Coffee

starbucks cold brew coffee

Okay this one isn’t so much a “find” as it is a “I super want to try this!” I read that Starbucks recently released cold brew coffee on their menus, and after reading up on the taste and benefits of cold brew coffee, I really want to try it! What makes cold brew different from regular coffee? Well according this article from the Washington Post:

…the cold-brew process swaps piping hot water for room-temperature water, and requires grounds to steep for up to 24 hours.

What results is a batch of coffee — which can be served iced or heated — that’s much less bitter than coffee brewed the traditional way. According to a study conducted by Intertek in 2005, cold-brewed coffee contains about 65 percent less acidity than coffee brewed in hot water, making it a viable alternative for sensitive stomachs.

I have normally had to be careful with coffee in the past due to it upsetting my stomach, so this sounds like the perfect match for me! I’m hoping to swing by Starbucks tomorrow morning and give this a go, but I also read that the brewery Jake and I are visiting tonight makes their own as well! If I can get my hands on some tonight, and try out Starbucks this weekend, I’ll be sure to fill you all in on a compare and contrast! Have any of you tried cold brew coffee? Was it good? Did it ruin your life?

That’s it for this week! Also, you may have noticed I didn’t have a book to review this week’s post. I am taking my time on Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance” because I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchmen’ this coming week! You can for sure expect a review on that one! Well, I’m off to go try some craft beer and food truck tacos. I hope you all have an awesome weekend and I’ll catch up with you Monday!


Fried Chicken, Chris Carrabba, & America.

Hello and happy Monday! Man it is hard coming back to work after a three day weekend. I woke up this morning 100% not ready to start my day and I am already New Years Eve style counting down to Friday. I also slept terribly last night, which is strange because I stretched (stretching before I go to bed always helps me fall asleep and stay asleep) and drank my bed time tea, but I ended up tossing and turning all night. Let’s hope being extra tired today will keep me knocked out for tonight’s sleep! While I’m still awake though, let’s recap my Fourth of July weekend!

  • Friday

Shortly after posting my Friday Finds, I got to work on cooking up my first meal from Blue Apron! I opted for the Fried Chicken dinner, given that it was an ultra American holiday weekend, and it turned out great!
blue apron dinner editIt was paired with a kale-cabbage slaw, and mini biscuits! The meal proved to be very easy and fun to cook, and given that it was my first time cooking fried chicken, I was thankful that it went over smoothly! The meal took roughly about 35-40 minutes to prepare, and even after feeding three people, I still have some slaw leftover (largely due to the fact that Jake doesn’t eat anything green)!

After dinner, Jake had some work to do, so I took over Netflix duty, and much to his dismay I chose what may be the greatest documentary in the history of film, Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of. As a life long BSB fan, this documentary was everything and more. Dancing! Singing! Adult men arguing about dancing and singing! And a lot of shade thrown at (and rightfully so) Lou Pearlman! I saw BSB in concert in 2011, and it was probably the most entertaining experience of my life, and I feel like that is saying a lot because I have seen Beyoncé live. I highly recommend this movie to any BSB fan, or really anyone who has an appreciation for 90’s boy bands. It was a DELIGHT.

  • Saturday

I started off my American celebration with a hot and humid 10k early in the morning. I’m telling you, it’s getting to the point where even 7 am is too late to run in the summer. It was puddle of sweat by the time I was finished, and it was only a little after 8. Barf. After cleaning up I took my puppy Hannah (she’s 9) to meet Jake’s puppy for the first time and go swim. Unfortunately it did not go over well, and I took my puppy home after about 15 minutes of the two just staring at each and being too nervous to do anything. Dogs meeting for the first time is literally no different than a middle school dance, I swear. After dropping off Hannah back home, Jake and I grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to the pool.

4th of july

As you can see here, I really know how to celebrate. I found that donut float at Target and it has proven to probably be the best investment I have ever made. After making a fool of myself and cleaning up, Jake and I headed to the highlight of the evening, Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind at The Southside Ballroom in Dallas! What I didn’t know was that Augustana was opening, so once they came on stage I was more than certain that I had actually gone back in time to 2007.


They were absolutely amazing live and now that I know that they are still around and have other songs besides “I THINK I’LL GO TO BAWWWWSTAWWWWN” I’ll definitely be listening to more of them, and while Augustana was amazing, I was mainly there to see my boyfriend #2 (sorry Jake), Chris Carrabba.


I saw Dashboard for the first time in 2011 as part of anniversary tour celebrating the release of Swiss Army Romance, and it was mind blowing. This go around was no different, but he definitely had a more excitable energy than when I saw him last. Also, you have not lived until you have screamed the lyrics to Hands Down with a room full of strangers.

Once Dashboard had completed their set, Jake and I were contemplated staying around to see Third Eye Blind given that we had already been standing for three hours at that point, and we really only know like four of their songs. We stayed for their first three songs, and then booked it out and headed home. I feel bad for not staying the whole time, but my feet were killing me. I’m sorry Stephan Jenkins, maybe another time!

Sunday was a lazy day, so I don’t have much to recap there, sorry! I hope you all had an awesome time celebrating the 4th of July! I’m going to go sleep forever now. See ya tomorrow!


Friday Finds

Hello and happy Friday! I hope you all are enjoying a lovely day off for the Fourth of July weekend. My day has been go-go-go since I woke up! I had a doctor’s appointment at 7:30 am, walked the dog with my Dad, went to the grocery store, and then went to the gym! Whew. I’m already exhausted and it’s not even 1 pm. Given that it I am minutes from crashing, and it’s a holiday weekend, I thought I’d keep today’s Friday Finds post a little short. It also works out that I don’t have a new book to share this week because I am still reading Aziz Ansari’s ‘Modern Romance’. I think being in Austin last weekend set me back on my reading, but hopefully I can finish it in the next couple of days! Until then, let’s recap some favorites from this week!

  • Blogilates 30 Days & 30 Stretches to the Splits Challenge


Confession time. I cannot do the splits, and it’s always been a silly life goal of mine to finally be able to do them. So when I stumbled upon Cassey Ho’s latest Blogilates challenge, I took it as a sign to finally buckle down, and get down…to the floor. I’d like to think that a year and some change of consistent yoga practice would give me the leg up (pun intended) on the challenge, but after trying out some of the more difficult stretches (Hello #10!), I was brought back down to earth and realized I had some work to do. Granted I’m only three days in, but I really am going to do my best to practice every day! According to Cassey, you only need to practice a selection of stretches 10 minutes day, and by day 30 you should basically be a pair of scissors. We’ll see how this goes!

  • Blue Apron

Blue Apron

My first Blue Apron box arrived today! After months of debating whether I should try the food service or not, I got my hands on a sweet coupon deal and decided to give it a go! Blue Apron is essentially is a super convenient, and super snazzy way of bringing fresh food right to your door, already portioned and organized for three different meals – instructions and recipe included! My box included the ingredients and recipe for:

  • Black Bean and Red Quinoa Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
  • Grilled Cheeseburgers with Feta-Watermelon Salad & Pickled Watermelon Rind
  • Crispy Fried Chicken with Kale-Cabbage Slaw & Buttermilk Biscuits

I’m thinking I am going to make the fried chicken tonight, and the burgers tomorrow for 4th of July! I am so excited to try this out, and I’ll be sure to share my results with you all next week!

  • Bubba Keg Water Bottle

Bubba Keg

I don’t know what it is that water bottles have against me, but I constantly either having one warped in the dishwasher, losing a lid, or they end up cracking. After reading PBF’s post last week about her rediscovering the Bubba Keg, I thought I’d order myself one in order to A) Have an indestructible water bottle and B) Make it easier to fill my water intake for the day! My Bubba Keg (II have casually been referring to been mine as “Cali Park Bubba Sparxxx”) tops off at 32 oz, so drinking three of these at work is a breeze and a great way to make sure I’m getting enough water I need for the day. It is top heavy as hell, but thankfully fits into my car cup holder. Oh Bubba Keg, I think you are going to be my new summer favorite.

That’s it for this week! I’m off to go start cooking my first Blue Apron meal, and then tomorrow Jake and I are going to see Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind in concert! It will be a throwback for sure. I hope you all have a super fun and safe Fourth of July Weekend, and I’ll catch ya Monday!