Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Jump Start: Lightened Up Quiche





I play around in the kitchen a lot, but coming up with a good recipe is always exciting for me (especially when it's healthy too). I love quiche for it's ease, versatility, and square meal all in one. What's more comforting than pastry, cheese, and ham? This recipe was created by modifying a recipe Natalie posted about. By modifying amounts of full fat and calorie ingredients with lower fat ingredients my quiche came out wonderfully without the guilt! In no way does this quiche taste figure friendly. You still get all the lovely cheesey, decadent satisfaction that comes from quiche with a lot less fat. This makes a really easy dinner, brunch dish, or quick lunch when reheated. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!




Skinny Ham & Cheddar Quiche

  • 1 deep dish pie shell
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar (I grate mine myself for a finer shred)
  • 2 slices good quality lean deli ham, chopped
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 (oven temperature vary I usually heat mine 10-15 degrees higher)

Take your pie shell out of the freezer and allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes

In a bowl, whisk together whole eggs and egg whites. In a separate bowl mix together flour and baking powder. Once mixed, add some of the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and incorporate. Add egg and dry mixture to the rest of the eggs and add in the milk. When everything is mixed together add pepper and salt (go easy on the salt as the ham and cheddar have salt in them). Set aside.

When the oven has reached the proper temperature, I like to pop the pie crust in for a few minutes to get it going and reduce the risk of soggy crust (3-5 minutes should do). Remove the partially baked crust and add the ham, cheese, and scallions directly into the pie shell. Pour the egg and milk mixture over top the ingredients in the pie shell. If you are compelled, you can give everything a quick stir with a spoon. Transfer the quiche to a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until the quiche puffs up some* and is golden brown on the top.

Let the quiche cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers will last a few days when kept covered and in the refrigerator. 

Recipe is 7 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving, 6 servings per quiche.

*Quiche may fall some during the cooling process because of the egg whites, this is totally normal.



Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekend Links: Food + Wine Edition




I have to point out that this DIY bruschetta bar is the best entertaining idea ever and looks insane!


This week's links are all going to be food and beverage related. You're welcome. I get really excited about food in the summer. The variation and selection is so much better, there's grilling involved, and everything is better with the addition of fruits and veggies. So let me share with you some of my favorite food and drink related links this week.

My fave fabby lady Mrs. Lilien shared her favorite flank steak recipe and it sounds awesome (also a great inexpensive cut to entertain with, win win people!).

Gina once again kills it with zucchini tots. These look positively scrumptious. 

The Barefoot Contessa knows her booze. Her pink grapefruit margaritas sound killer and so refreshing for pool lounging or a BBQ!

Wrap your head around this: Raspberry Limoncello Prosecco. BOOM!

I live for summer peaches, the only thing better than a peach is most likely peach berry crumble.

Do you like to drink your dessert? How about a strawberry riesling slushie to cover all the bases of fruity, sweet, and boozey?

Fried chicken, while delicious, is awful for you. Try a lightened up oven fried version that looks like it doesn't suck (most of those recipes out there are just dry bread crumb crusts, bleh).

Homemade pizza is awesome. Grilled or in the oven it's always a winner. I stepped up my game a notch and made dough from scratch with this recipe. It was so easy and fast, I will never buy dough again!


Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xx

Thursday, June 26, 2014

So You Want to Workout At Home





yogalosophy // xtend barre // 5 factor
shred-it with weights // core fusion body sculpt // tracy anderson perfect design series


I've been pretty open with my general dislike of the gym as of late. And when I think about the times in my life when I was an avid gym goer, I remember all the time I wasted and the inefficiency that went on too. I don't have time nor do I want to devote much time to long, extensive workouts. On a good day I can give an hour (for example a studio class), but typically, 20-30 minutes is what I actually feel like doing.

This where DVDs play a huge role in efficient home workouts. I need instruction, I like instruction. I enjoy someone keeping me on pace and using my time wisely. We are insanely lucky to have access to some pretty incredible fitness resources with just the push of a few buttons. Like yoga and pilates? There are great DVDs for that. Maybe you are really into body weight excercise or hand weights. There are lots of great options for those too. The point is if you want to workout at home and really put in the work, you can find something you like that can be really effective.

At home I have done previous Jillian Michaels dvds (she shames you into keeping up), a yoga series, and several of Tracy Anderson's workouts (no joke she kills you and makes it look so effortless I have never swore so much during a workout as I have with TA). I also will pull up things I find on youtube and try them out too. With internet and streaming options, there are so many options out there.

I am no expert, but I am very familiar with the struggle to find something you can and want to commit to. So go out there find what you like if you don't like it, try something else. It's all about you, keep it that way!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Steal Her Style






cardigan (similar) // tank // jeans // watch // sandals // bag



Has anyone else noticed that Kristin Cavallari has really great style lately? She was always a trendsetter with her short layered hair and signature choker on Laguna Beach, but lately she has got it going on. Kristin always looks effortlessly put together and chic, dare I say almost Lauren Conrad status. I love this simple, neutral look she wore while traveling. It's comfortable without being sloppy, and really functional for air travel. I tend to stay away from white pants during travel, but that's just my experience of spilling and being spilled on talking. I like this look for a casual night out, running errands, or even hopping over to brunch. A versatile look like this with a few closet staples will take a gal far!



SHOP THE POST



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Loving Lately: Leopard


Honestly who doesn't love a little bit of leopard? From leopard shoes to accessories, a little bit of leopard goes a long way in making a classic statement. Of all the animal prints out there, it is by far the most elegant. Although I love this pattern, it can be tricky to incorporate in your home without achieving that tween look (ala Limited Too circa 1996 anyone?). I scoured Pinterest to find my favorite uses of leopard in the home. From rugs and throw pillows, to chairs and stair runners this print gives each space that little something extra. 


















all images via Pinterest


Monday, June 23, 2014

Let's Get Real for a Moment




Something I have been thinking about for a while is the idea of the "blogger mold." What I mean by that is I often feel very different from other bloggers, don't always like the popular trends/styles, or don't partake in some of the typical blogger activities. While I know that most bloggers don't have perfect lives and it's just something they put out there, my best impression of perfect is nothing close to what you find on well known Instagram accounts. The fact is I am different as a blogger, and that is something I sometimes struggle with.

Personally, I hate selfies. I also don't love being in pictures. I wonder if the lack of "face" time affects my blog, but hopefully my personal touches makeup for that. I hardly shop. I once loved to shopped, but now it feels like a total chore/I have developed a phobia of spending. I still only post about products I use or would use, but most of the time my collages are about wish listed items. I am awful at self promotion. A handful of people know I blog and while I know that I have to be my biggest advocate, I do myself a huge disservice by being mum about my endeavor. I've got 99 problems and self confidence is one.

I am not thin. This is something I constantly struggle with because the majority of my life I have been tiny (I am 5'1 on a good day so even at heavier times I have always appeared relatively small) I don't think I need to be a stick to be a good blogger, but man is it tough feeling "chubby." I would love to not compare myself but I'm female and that is pretty much impossible. I am slowly getting on track with starting to live a healthier lifestyle and I have to be patient. I have a job, a relationship, and other obligations that I have put before my physical health and I am trying to make myself a priority but it's difficult at times. I wish I could be the early rising, yogi/studio class rat, living on green juice and salad type of girl, but I'm not her. Now that doesn't mean I can't be some variation of that because I think part of her does reside in me, but again comparison is the thief of joy and I need to be the healthiest version of me.

I don't have a crazy social calendar nor am I the busiest person I know. Truth be told, I am somewhat of a selective homebody. We do go out on weekends, but it's fairly low key and we try to do one night in. I like coming home after work and de-stressing by cooking dinner. I realized I need to decompress on a semi regular basis. I'd like to get more physical activity in, but I won't be rejoining the aggressive happy hour scene in DC again. Been there, done that.

I know that none of these things define a good blogger, nor should they define me. I just thought it was high time I explain myself, or at least fess up to some things. You won't be seeing picture perfect home shots from me, my pile of clothes is too large to relocate. You probably won't see full on selfies, sorry kids not my thing. And more than likely, you're not going to see me in tons of new outfits all the time. But all of that stuff is ok with me, and hopefully you can come to appreciate that about me too. Being different is a good thing, I just need to keep that in mind.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekend + Links



How sweet is that pineapple door knocker? I'm a sucker for whimsical details!


The best part of the week is finally upon us! The DC humidity is in full force and I have been avoiding the outdoors most of the week. I am excited for a break from it Sunday, but until then I'm planning a laid back weekend with a date night thrown in there. Let's get to the links!


Loving these summer cocktails, they all sound amazing especially the White Peach Cooler!

One of my faves Erin gave an in depth view of the monetization of her blog. If you ever wanted to know how top bloggers make money from blogging this is chock full of information.

Thinking of throwing a party or having friends over for dinner this summer? Well you're in luck! Emily shared her 8 Tips for Entertaining to keep your stress levels down and make sure you enjoy your own event!

The Tory Burch sale happening right now is so good! I'd love to pick up some classic cap toe flats, the perfect gold neutral clutch for weddings, and a great cosmetic bag since mine has seen better days!

Garden & Gun's guide to Summer in the South has me wanting to plan long weekends and getaways to discover some hidden gems.

Try something new on the grill with grilled pizza. This grilled barbecue chicken pizza is sure to please any skeptic! **I like making my grilled pizzas "white" and top with crispy prosciutto and arugula, divine!

My friend recommended this book. If you're looking for a psychological thriller this one's for you!


Hope you have an amazing weekend, friends! xx

{image via}

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fit Day





Eat // One of the best things about summer is the seasonal produce. There are a million ways to get your recommended veggie intake, but this tian recipe has to be one the easiest and tastiest. Mix up the veggies to your liking and make this dish all summer long.

Sip// No one likes feeling left out when it comes to drinking, but alcohol is literally dead calories and if you are adding mixers you may end up with a total calorie bomb. Try a "skinny" mojito for a big flavor punch with fewer calories (if it's a little too strong ease up on the rum and/or add some stevia).

Wear// I'm not a flaunter when it comes to workout gear, but some classes require more fitted clothing. Get there and leave in comfort and style with the Sharkbite Top from Athleta that you could literally live in.

Do// Tis the season of jorts and what better way to accessorize them with a toned pair of gams and tight butt? The Tone It Up ladies have created a great circuit to hit all the right spots that could do pretty much anywhere. Jessica Simpson's legs from Dukes of Hazard were not created in a day, but you can get there with a little work.  

What are your Eat/Sip/Wear/Do recs? Always love hearing what you're doing and eating!

       

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Let Me Upgrade You




sunnies // curling wand // painting // night cream  
lip balm // wine glass // bag // face brush


I have been in a shopping rut and thus have not made many purchases at all in months. I'm at a transitioning point in my life where I want quality over quantity, and I want my purchases to be an investment in myself and my home. So today's picks are all about upgrading some basics that most of us all already have in some capacity.

First, find the right pair of sunglasses that flatter your face in a classic color and style, you'll thank me. A curling wand may seem a tad frivolous, but your hair is one of the first things people will notice (and who hasn't had awful hair days that ruin everything?). If you're like me you want pretty big loose curls and a crappy cheap curling iron just never quite gets it right. You should feel good about your hair. Real art. Just do it already. Find what you like, buy some, frame it, and enjoy it for years to come. Really good night cream. You don't have to break the bank for this one, but make sure you get a thick cream with anti-aging and moisturizing benefits because let's be honest loves, we're no longer spring chickens. While we are on the topic of skincare, go ahead and purchase that Clarisonic you've been thinking about for 2+ years. Exfoliation is crucial to your skin's appearance not mention it makes your cleanser more efficient. Bite the bullet, add to shopping cart, click checkout, et voila!

Lip balm that actually repairs and treats your lips. Did you know most lip products have ingredients that actually dry your lips out and make you use more of said product? I know it's total crap. Use a good balm and take care of your lips they are one of the first indicators of aging. I wouldn't dare tell you what to drink or how much you should spend on wine, but there comes a point when it's time get yourself a few decent wine glasses. Some for reds, a few for whites, and use them accordingly. Boom, instant civility! Last, but certainly not least. Get yourself a "big girl bag" at least for work/travel. Instantly polish your look with a good quality, sturdy bag that you can proudly take from the office to the nicest restaurant. 

What types of things do you upgrade in your life? Would love to hear how other people "invest" in themselves!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Weekend + Links





Hallelujah it's Friday! This is the first weekend in so many where there are virtually no plans! You don't even know how excited I am. I just need some sleep, pool, and grub in my life... oh and of course some links!

Hashtag haters this is for you!

A delicious boozy nod to the World Cup's host country.

Summer to me means barbecues, but not having a grill can be tough. I'm dying to try this slow cooker recipe to fake my way to bbq.

Many girls pine over their dream closets. I, however, pine over these.

Freshen up while you get your DIY on with one or all three of these!

One of my summer goals is working on my flexibility (the former cheerleader inside harshly judges current day Ali). Hoping these moves will help get me back on track!

Oh how I love this print. Seriously, take note people. It's a powerful message.


Have an amazing weekend! xx


{image via}


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fit Talk: Skinnytaste

In the spirit of keeping Thursday posts aligned with health (typically Eat, Sip, Wear, Do but on a litttle break to come back with great conent) I wanted to share with you all my favorite website and soon-to-be cookbook Skinnytaste. I'm sure you've all heard that abs are made in the kitchen and/or that weight loss is 80% what you put in your body. However, in doing some more digging, it seems like 90% of weight loss and maintenance has to do with diet. When I say diet I don't mean a course of restriction, but rather your overall eating pattern.



If you have ever tried to lose weight, or struggled with your weight you know how hard it can be to find nutritious filling meals that you want to eat. We all have the best intentions, but those steamed veggies and lean pieces of fish can get monotonous. This is where Skinnytaste comes to slay the diet food dragon. Gina Homolka started Skinnytaste to share her passion for creating delicious, nutritious meals that you can feel good about serving to yourself, and feel even better about eating. Often, our favorite foods are loaded with not so figure friendly ingredients. Gina is a master at recipe recreation so we can still enjoy our favorites with minor tweaking. Another reason I love Skinnytaste recipes is that they are all compatible with Weight Watchers and their all things in moderation approach.

Some of my favorites from Skinnytaste are:
Lavash Flatbread Pizza
Spicy Shrimp with Chilies and Garlic
Skinny Overnight Oats

Gina's cookbook is currently available for pre-order, and will ship September 30th. I am pre-ordering my copy ASAP, and cannot wait to have it as a kitchen staple. While the recipes are great for those looking to lighten up their meals, I have to also stress that those who couldn't care less about their physique (like freak of nature boyfriends who lose weight by blinking) love them too. You won't be disappointed!

Do you have any other go-to sites or cookbooks for healthy, delicious eats? I would love to hear about them!


Friday, June 6, 2014

Links & My Blogiversary





Hooray it's Friday! It is also my one year blog anniversary! The time has literally flown by. It's pretty amazing to see how far this little blog of mine has come in 12 short months. I looked back at some older posts and some made me cringe, some I still love, but what I've really taken from looking back is that just like my blog I have grown. Everything I have wanted out of starting a blog has happened. I finally have a creative outlet, made some really great blog friends, learned a heck of a lot, and found a little space that is all mine. 

So to my readers, new and old, from the bottom of my heart thank you for making this a real passion project for me. I have received nothing but kind words and encouragement, and it fuels me to create better content for you. So cheers to another year of blogging I can't wait to see what's in store!

Now, on to the links!

We all are on the move this summer so getting workouts in can be hard. Can't wait to try this body weight pyramid workout that you could do virtually anywhere!

Loving the idea of being able to grow my own veggies and herbs, but sadly apartments aren't well equipped for that. I am however going to try my hand at a container herb garden for our balcony.

Shout out to all the new bloggers, the empire builders, the moguls, and mavens out there.

Gracey gave some great advice on basic social media for bloggers. She is so young, but has killer style and really knows her stuff. I see big things for this young lady!

Whoever invented this is a genius!

Get in my belly, NOW!

Day drinking it not a friend of weight loss, but you can still have your drinks and keep on track with these wine spritzer recipes (no longer just for old ladies!).

And in case you needed a dose of cute: let me tell you 'bout my best friend!


Have an amazing weekend! xx


{ image via}


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fit Transformation


I am skipping this week's ESWD because I just HAD to talk about one Ms. Miranda Lambert. If you aren't familiar, this country  singer has had a long history of doing what she likes, saying what she likes, drinking what she likes, and eating whatever she wanted. While I would have never considered her heavy, she was by no means in shape and at time looked a little plumper. I think that's what so many of us liked about her. She was still gorgeous and bad ass as hell, but she gave a big middle finger to being a typical svelte woman in the spotlight.




Fast forward to now and she is looking amazing! Whatever she did worked wonders. Her claim is that she just started making better choices (buh bye cheetos and fried chicken whenever she wanted) and started working out with a trainer on the road. Now, I am not an expert and I have no clue what she actually did but whatever it is sign me up!



The interview in women's health really hit home with me. I, like Miranda am a petite woman, but some parts of me (ahem, huge hips) are not as tiny. I wouldn't say I'm fat either, but I am definitely not in shape...for a number of reasons but that can be saved for another post. I liked her approach of making choices. Some days your choices will be great and spot on, other days may be not so much. But everyday, every meal, every time we drink we make choices. I am trying to redirect my thinking as I work on getting healthier to one similar to Miranda's: small choices, day by day. It's great to have goals and know what you want overall, but to me this all seems so much more manageable taking it meal by meal, snack by snack, hunger pang by hunger pang.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you approach a healthy lifestyle and healthy choices. Suggestions are more than welcome!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Design Obsession: Statement Doors

A lot of people don't know this about me, but I am a closeted design freak. I could spend hours looking at pictures of gorgeous spaces, design books/catalogs, and perusing the internet just taking it all in. I definitely attribute my love of design to growing up in a DC suburb surrounded by gorgeous homes that were impeccably decorated, living in New Orleans for two years, and most recently my trips to Charleston. Personally, I think it's pretty cool to be able to appreciate a sconce or trim when for most of your life you wouldn't have given them a second look. With appreciation for design comes an awareness to detail, and man are there some gorgeous details out there.

Unless you live under a rock, you have heard the term "statement jewelry" or more commonly "statement" necklace. But what I am obsessed with lately are statement doors. While my taste is fairly traditional, I love the idea of a pop of color that makes a home stand out among the rest. As a child, I always wanted a house with a red door (no clue why) thinking that was as bold as I could go. Now, the possibilities are literally endless!



The coral door on a classic Cape Cod style home is so sweet and really brightens up the darker wood. This is probably the first time I have ever liked anything in orange. I am so in love with this bright orange door, the hardware, the central location of door knob, ugh just everything!


A turquoise door with gold hardware (a personal style favorite) pops in all the right ways against this white home. I love the matching shutters too! This home is straight up elegant, and I love the updated twist with the bright, cheerful yellow door.


Ah, there's the red door from my childhood dreams! It looks great against the gray and the white trim is perfect. I am usually not a pink fan, but this magenta door is gorgeous. The contrast and greenery are so right.



The green door may be my favorite of the roundup. It's so (sorry for doing this) chic. Kelly green is one of those colors that's timeless and works so well as an accent color. I die, I swoon, I everything for this door. Provence, well you don't have to say much about its beauty, but the cobalt door is magnificent. I love the rustic exterior and the rounded door frame. Blue and white, can you really go wrong?


How about you? What do you think of statement doors?

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