Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday

I had good news; now, I don't have good news. Quite frankly, my weight loss journey is trying to bring me down. However, I am not letting it! Instead, I am grabbing it roughly by its muffin top and saying, You're going down!

So instead of sharing what I've done to improve my weight loss lately, I am going to say what I am GOING to do.
I'm a planner. I love planning my weekends, my workday, family vacations, vacations I may never take, vacations random people want to take. When it comes to planning my meals, I try. I really do. But it never works out for me. I get lazy; I forget to do this or buy that - it just never happens. So starting today, I am changing that! Planning all day, every day.

Here are a few healthy recipes I've found on Pinterest lately.... Starting with what I am making for the rest of the week!

Flourless Manicotti with Zucchini
Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Chicken Enchiladas in the Crockpot
I'm going to ease up on the cheese :)
Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Bacon and Spinach Stuffed Chicken via PaleOMG
While I am not following paleo, all of Juli's recipes look amazing. I can't wait to try this one out!
Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Santa Fe Chicken in the crockpot
Can you tell I really love my crockpot?

And I am going to get better about updating this blog. I'm thinking a post documenting me cooking one of these dishes!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Favorite Things Friday

Favorite Things Friday is taking you to the most magical place on Earth today: Disney World!

As a Floridian who lives an hour away, Disney World has always been a staple vacation destination. It was a quick weekend away with my family, as a child, or with my friends the older I got. Sometimes, my parents would really spoil us and take us for a whole week. :-)

Now, as an adult, I am annual pass holder who tries to get over there once a month. Like I said on my earlier post this week, whether I'm riding rides or simply relaxing in the World Showcase, I always enjoy my Disney weekends. So this week, I'll be sharing all of my favorite things Disney!

Favorite Park
My sister and I in front of the castle
It's really hard to pick just one, as I seem to love each of the park's unique aspects. However, there's something so special and wonderful about Magic Kingdom! From the castle to Main Street to the various lands, everything is so perfectly detailed to make you feel like you've gone to the future or the wild West.

Favorite Event
Hands down, Food & Wine Festival. Epcot holds a six week event where they put up booths for the various countries where visitors can get traditional food and drink items. I am a foodie, maybe not as extreme as others, so I love trying new cuisine that I might not normally order out. This past year, I tried Coq au Vin sur Gratin de Macaroni, a delicious braised chicken and pasta with cheese dish, from France and a seared filet with smashed sweet potatoes and braai sauce from South Africa, as well my usual, go-to Food & Wine Festival dishes.
The weather is also starting to cool down (just in the 70s and 80s, if you're lucky, so don't get too excited), so if you're planning a Disney trip, definitely consider Food & Wine Festival.

Favorite Time of the Year
Christmas. Duh. It's my favorite time of the year, regardless of Disney World, but the parks definitely make it all the most special. From the lights on Cinderella's Castle to the Christmas storytelling in Epcot to the Osborne Family's Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios, there is no shortage of Christmas spirit in the parks.

Favorite Restaurant
My favorite restaurant at Disney World has got to be Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort. And there's really only two reasons why: sticky wings and bread.
We always end up at Kona on our trips that last longer than one night. There are a lot of wonderful options on property (Le Cellier Steakhouse at Canada in Epcot is great for special occasions), but there's nothing like eating a whole plate of sticky wings by yourself and finishing it up with some warm sweet bread and honey macadamia nut butter. Oh my. I'm ready for some now!
The most delicious wings on the face of the Earth.
Favorite Reason to Go
The best part is you don't need one! But celebrating birthdays in the park is always fun for me and my friends. I celebrated my 25th birthday there last year, and I plan on celebrating my 26th as well! Whether I've been celebrating a birthday, my wonderful relationship with Steve, or simply the blessing of friendship, there's always enough good times to last me till my next trip.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fast Cars

Nothing to report for Weight Loss Wednesday, so I'm going to switch it up a little!

I have been going to Disney World for as long as I can remember. Living around an hour away, my family made it a staple trip for me and my sister when we were younger. The older I got, the less cool I thought it was. Until college! Then, I started going with my friends, and of course, I was able to drink around the world. :-)

When I started dating my boyfriend, he was confused about the whole thing. He thought it was for little kids. Now, he's definitely changed his mind.

We started off our weekend with a little champagne toast!
For his 30th birthday, we decided to head to Disney for the weekend with my sister and her boyfriend. We stayed at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. If you are torn between staying at an on-property hotel versus a slightly cheaper one off property, spring for the on-property one. Not only are the hotels extremely well taken care of and close to parks, but the staff does whatever they can to make your stay that much more special. 

My sister and I (waiting for a bus!)

Steve and the just-rolled-off-a-truck, brand new Ferrari F30
Saturday brought on the big day.... the Exotic Driving Experience. For his birthday and Christmas presents, I decided to get Steve behind the wheel of a Ferrari F30. I'm a really awesome girlfriend. It was definitely an amazing experience, and once I heard those engines and saw those shiny, fast cars, I wanted to do it myself! The staff was wonderful (as expected), and the whole experience was very cool, even if you weren't driving.

My vehicle design

To continue with the fast car theme of the weekend, we headed over to Epcot bright and early on Sunday morning to try out the new Test Track! The coolest new feature has to be designing your own vehicle. You pick the lines, shape, the colors, any special add-ons as well as what you want it to excel in whether it be fast, high performing, environmentally friendly, etc. After you ride Test Track (which is completely redone on the inside...I'm still undecided as to whether or not I like the upgrade), all of the vehicles designed by the people in your car are graded from best to worst. I thought mine was going to win... it is in an awesome burnt orange color (GO CANES!).

Bottom line, whether you're 9 or 109, there's definitely something for you to do at Disney. Some trips are constantly go-go-go for my friends and I (We were known for visiting all four parks in one day), but there have been trips where we like to grab a margarita or glass of wine and just people watch.

Since I'm starting to look at hotels for my drinking around the world for St. Patty's Day in Disney, I think Favorite Things Friday  may also be Disney themed.
Do you have a favorite thing to do in Disney World that you must do every visit?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Favorite Things Friday

I decided to forgo my Weight Loss Wednesday blog post this week. It wasn't a good week for weight loss (things decided to go up slightly), so we're adjusting my numbers. Hopefully, I will have better results to share next Wednesday.

Despite having a love-hate relationship with food this week (on top of being emotional - Thanks, PMS!), I'm going to go ahead and share my favorite recipes! None of these recipes were created by me, but you can find the sources in the description and on my Pinterest page.

Favorite Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip via Dashing Dish.
When I say this is one of the most delicious Buffalo chicken dips you will ever taste, I mean it. There are never any leftovers that go to waste with this dip. Even the pickiest eaters that I know devour it. I wish I had an excuse to make it right now... 

Favorite Healthy Asian Dish
My boyfriend and I made this sesame chicken, the lightened up version, a few months ago. It was a little difficult to make, as they were a lot of steps. However, the final product was delicious!

Favorite VegetableOne of my favorite websites for healthy cooking, Skinnytaste, has the EASIEST recipe for acorn squash. I buttered them, put a little bit of brown sugar on them, and baked them (while I was working out) a few weeks ago, and the acorn squash was delicious.  I was always a little weary of squash, but I am so glad I have recently gotten into and given it a try.

Favorite Cookie
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a red velvet nut. Cupcakes, pancakes, rice krispie treats, cookies - if it comes in red velvet with cream cheese frosting, I'll eat it. I found this recipe on Pinterest (of course) last Christmas, and my sister and I made them. We overcooked them a little bit, but otherwise, they were delicious.

And now this food post has me wanting to eat again!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Favorite Things Friday

Unlike most of the country, Florida is experiencing some awesome weather! Sunshine, great temps in the 70s and a wonderful breeze... not much more to ask for, really! With that being said, great things are in store, and I simply cannot wait.

So Favorite Things Friday will be dedicated to the things I am most looking forward to...

Favorite Recipe to Try Out
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies. So basically, anything and everything I love (minus pumpkin). I found them on one of my new favorite recipe sites, Budget Gourmet Mom.

They look like heaven, right? I'll let you know how they turn out.

Favorite Late Winter Event
The Florida State Fair, of course! A nearly two week fair dedicated to all things Florida... it's a little country, but hey, it's a lot of fun! They've got a lot of neat different exhibits, crazy rides and of course, all of the fried food you could ask for (which I will be steering clear of).

Favorite Upcoming Trip
It's a tie!
At the end of the month, my boyfriend and I will head up to D.C. for a quick 36-hour visit with his parents (and to get the rest of us stuff!), before we road trip back. I am so excited for a two-day road trip with Steve through the South. I'm really wanting to stop at Savannah or Charleston on our way home, but I think we may wait till we have more time to explore (and without a Uhaul!). If you have a good suggestion of somewhere to stop 6 or 7 hours south of D.C. and north of Tampa, do share!

Secondly, Steve and I will be drinking around the world at Epcot for St. Patty's Day with my lovely friend Cheryl and her boyfriend Stevie. Since she lives in Boston, I don't get to see her as often as I'd like, but I am so glad she is coming down to Florida for a few days to play in the sun :-)
Me & Cheryl in college, before a Ying-Yang Twins concert on campus

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesdays

Drum roll, please.... I am down another 1.1 lbs! Which means I've got just over 8 lbs to lose in the next three weeks. I am insanely determined at this point, and I hope that the next few weeks produce bigger numbers.

In order to hit those numbers, I'm taking drastic measures. I have completely cut out alcohol until St. Patrick's Day. Granted, I'm not a huge drinker. I have maybe a glass of wine during the week, maybe a drink or two over the weekend.
I am extremely interested to see what kind of effect this will have on my body and my weight loss efforts.
I am also going to get back to yoga (not that this is a huge, drastic measure). I really enjoyed yoga. I loved the peace of mind it gave me, the relaxing I feeling I carried with me for days after my yoga sessions, and of course, the improved posture and strengthening of my muscles.

I would also like to feature my newest fitness motivation.... Beyonce at the 2013 Super Bowl.

I think I will just play "Bootylicious" over and over in my head tonight while I'm working out!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Favorite Things Friday

We have made it through another week! Some of us better than others (I think I fall into the "others" category.)

I'm dedicating today's Favorite Things Friday post to all of my favorite Pinterest finds!

Favorite Craft
Valentine's Day is coming up soon. I think it's a great holiday to show your loved ones how much they really mean to you - even though, you should do it all of the time! I feel that my apartment needs some girlie, pink and heartfelt touches for the upcoming day for lovers. Thanks to this awesome DIY Valentine's Day decoration I found on CraftGawker (via StuffStephDoes), I now have the perfect craft!

Favorite Recipe to Try
One of my favorite blogs to read, HelloHue by Lindsay, posted her recipe and tips for making homemade sushi this week. I died. Anyone who knows me knows I live for sushi. I cannot wait to give it a whirl!

Favorite Outfit Inspiration
This outfit is so simple, yet it blew my mind. I really enjoyed the pop of color in the pants (I have some capris in this same color), and the extra touch of sophistication the blazer throws in. I think I will try an outfit like this next week!

Favorite Inspiration
This one is so simple, however, I seem to need a reminder every once in awhile. Life only happens once, so I need to make it better and better every day.

My goal this week... to make it to the movies solo (because I clearly didn't accomplish that last week!! HAHA) and to get three whole blog posts out! One of the blog posts will be all about Steve's birthday weekend!