Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome to the World!

Welcome to the world Ryder William Miazga!

So stinkin cute.

Pictured above is my cute little nephew who was born on July 23rd at 2:10pm weighing in at a whopping 6 lbs. 8 oz. I visited him the day after and he is the cutest little peanut I have ever seen. I'm sure Jason and Alli think so too.

Happy Family!

I could seriously go on and on about what a beautiful baby he is. I can't wait to watch him grow up into a little man. I'm pretty positive that he will be quite the ladies man one day.

Such a little peanut1

About a month ago Alli asked me to help her out and write out a list of snack, breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas that are simple and quick to put together. Challenge accepted. I took this to heart and instantly started writing out pages upon pages of ideas. The great thing about all of these food concoctions are that they are not only easy and speedy to create, but they are also extremely inexpensive. Over the next few posts I'll talk about each different section.

Today's topic: snacks

Frozen grapes: freezing them makes you eat them slower so you will fill up quicker. Put a few of these frozen babies in your wine to keep it chilled while looking sophisticated.

Frozen grapes = versatile

Ants on a log: easy peezy to make. Once the celery is washed and cut, add some PB (the natural kind is the best since there’s no hydrogenated oils, I like JIF or Skippy natural since you don’t need to stir or refrigerate after opening), and top with raisins. The PB is a great way to fill you up due to the protein, but be careful, even though it’s good for you 2 Tbsp = ~180 calories.

Top with Craisins if your not a fan of raisins!

Yogurt: a great way to fill up on some dairy and protein. I really like Kroger brand Carbmaster, but their Lite yogurts are great also! Try to steer clear of the full fat kind.

How good? So good.

Rice cakes: I like salty/sweet stuff. So top a caramel rice cake (the bigger ones) with 1 Tbsp or less of PB. Quick, simple, and yummy snack that’s less than 200 calories!

Sweet and salty.

Veggies: I usually buy a week’s worth of veggies on the weekend and then wash and chop them all and put them each in separate containers so it’s easy to grab on the go for a nutritious and delicious snack!

So colorful!

Apples and bananas are also great for a quick grab and go snack.
Buy a box of no sugar added instant pudding, make ahead and grab on the go!
Air popped popcorn.

The most important thing to remember is to drink lots and lots of H2O. Majority of the time people feel hungry because they are dehydrated. So drink a big glass of water and wait 10 minutes. You’ll end up snacking a lot less.

Good old H20.

Don’t deprive yourself of sweets or anything that you truly crave. A piece of dark chocolate usually hits the spot for me!

Brush your teeth upon eating so you won’t eat past your limit. Chewing gum helps as well.

Here’s a great link for snacks under 50 calories.

Hope these help those who crave a quick and inexpensive snack.

Bon apetit!

Question of the Day:

What's your favorite snack?

My favorite would have to be Kroger's Carbmaster White Chocolate Raspberry yogurt. It tastes like ice cream. I usually always top with a 1/2 tsp of semi-sweet mini morsels. So good.
Aunt Aly loves nephew Ryder!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Skinny Strawberry Champagne Punch

Happy Friday everybody!

By the end of the week I know one thing for sure, I can't wait for the weekend to begin. Two days full of a little R&R. And what better way to kick off the weekend than with a yummy little cocktail? As promised here, I have just the drink for you!

 Strawberry Champagne Punch in the front!

I originally found this recipe a few months back while procrastinating on Pinterest. I saw it and instantly fell in love. The only downside was that I didn't really have an occasion to make it for. Well that is until my cousin's Bridal Shower came up.

Cousinly love

This punch is really refreshing and so simple to create! My version is lower in calories than the original and that was only due to using Diet Ginger Ale!

So whether you have a shower to attend, a party to please, or just want to kick back and relax with a cool cocktail, this punch is the ticket for you!

Beautiful Bride-to-Be!

Skinny Strawberry Champagne Punch
1 bottle Diet Ginger Ale
1 bottle champagne
1 bag frozen strawberries

-In a large container, combine all 3 ingredients.
-Stir and enjoy!

Notice my aunt in the background LOL!

Question of the Day:

What's your favorite beverage?

Mine can be summed up in one word: Wine. 

 Lavender Cosmopolitan back on my 21st birthday! So pretty!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Half Marathon Training Update: Week 2

I can't believe I'm already over halfway through Week 2 of my 1/2 marathon training! Where has the time gone? I'm still following this schedule and have kept up so far! Woohwooh!

Today's post is going to be short and sweet with a simple recap of how training has been going.

It's been warm exceptionally hot and humid here in Ohio so I've had to wake up early in the morning in order to get my runs in. However, I'm a morning bird so I don't mind one bit. This is also a safer way to train so you won't have as high of a risk of heat stroke and dehydration from the blazing sun as if you went in the afternoon. Another pro to this is that by 8 o'clock in the morning you can already be completely finished with your workout for the day! Congratulations!

So now go enjoy your day and soak in that sense of accomplishment for working out! Next blog I promise will include a recipe that will surely quench your thirst for a night out on the town :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dollar Decor

I am so sorry that I have been M.I.A. for almost a week. It's been a crazy one over here in Ohio since I have been traveling back and forth from Columbus to Cleveland constantly. My apologies. Forgive me?

Okay, glad I got that off my chest. Now on the bigger and better things!

I'm currently in the process of moving from my efficiency studio to a normal, one bedroom apartment down in Columbus. I am going to be working with Kraft Foods starting in the next week or so!

The thing is, I don't want my place to look like a college dorm room anymore so I've been scoping out awesome deals at various places.

Today's topic: decorating on a budget.

When you first realize that you're moving and need certain items for your household the initial thing you should do is ask around to friends and family and see if they have any extras lying around that they were just going to get rid of anyways! Through this I scored a dining room table with chairs, table cloths, vacuum cleaner, wine glasses, decorative baskets, floor lamp, blanket, and fun rugs!

If friends and family would not have given these to me, I would have had to buy all of those brand new and it would have cost hundreds of dollars. Money does not grow on trees unfortunately.

Now you may be wondering, "Well what if nobody has anything to give away?" I have just the answer for you!

Check out local Hospice and Thrift stores where you never know what type of hidden treasures there may be. Another great resource is garage sales. If you can't find anything at those 3 options, check out Target. I've found great deals on TV stands and coffee tables!

Now I'm going to let you in on a little secret. But you have to promise to take full advantage of it. Pinky swear?


My mom told me about this and we went. Then we found this great article which confirmed what we have been doing.

Thanks Mom!

GO TO THE DOLLAR STORE PEOPLE!!! I've bought such cute coffee mugs, kitchen utensils, place mats, and decorations all for just a buck. What makes these stores such a gem is that each one is different.

Now I urge you to check out all of the dollar stores in your area and you'll be pleasantly surprised that each one carries different items and all for an extremely inexpensive price.

I promise to post pictures of my newly decorated place once I move in!

Question of the Day

What are different ways that you try to save money?

I'm all about cutting out coupons and looking for great deals!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Raspberry Vanilla Overnight Oats in a Jar

This summer has been unusually hot and humid. But I am not complaining one bit. I'm one of those people who would rather be dripping sweat instantly upon walking out the door than chilled to the bone in cold, frigid weather. In Layman's terms: I'm a freeze baby.

One can't go wrong with a beach and palm trees!

There are some mornings that a hot bowl of oatmeal just is not going to cut it. I need something that is chilled to hit my taste buds. My cousin Julia thinks so too which is what inspired me to attempt an overnight oats in a jar recipe.

I found this great site which had multiple OOIAJ recipes. I was instantly hooked and just had to create a masterpiece of oats.

Raspberry Vanilla OOIAJ

This recipe is definitely a winner in my books. Not only is it simple to assemble, it's also very filling which is great to curb those cravings that usually hit an hour or two after breakfast. OOIAJ is also perfect if you're in a time crunch and need to get out of the door quickly! Just grab a spoon and you're off!

So thank you Julia for requesting that I make a version of cold oats. It is definitely a keeper in my books!

Raspberry Vanilla Overnight Oats in a Jar
¼ cup uncooked Old Fashioned oats
1/3 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
¼ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp raspberry preserves (I used sugar-free preserves)
¼ -1/3 cup raspberries, or enough to fill jar, cut in half
Optional: 1 tsp dried chia seeds

The ingredients!

-In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add the oats, milk, yogurt, vanilla, and preserves.
-Put lid on jar and shake until well combined.
-Remove lid, add raspberries and stir until mixed throughout.
-Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days, adding optional chia seeds right before consumption.
-Eat chilled.

Nutritious, delicious, and scrumptious.

So whether you're in a hurry or want to beat the heat eating something chilled, overnight oats may be just the ticket for you!

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite season of the year?

Every season has its pros and cons but I think Spring would have to be my favorite. I love watching everything blossom and smelling the scents of the various flowers. It's simply the best.

Raspberry Vanilla Overnight Oats in a Jar!

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Today is the Big Day!

Today is the day! I've been waiting for this glorious Sunday for months. July 8, 2012 is the day I begin training for the Presque Isle 1/2 Marathon that will be taking place on September 16 in Erie, PA.

Running =

Yes, I know. I'm pretty very weird and I love it.

And what better way to celebrate an exciting event than with a big bowl of fruit topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt!

Yum in my tum

Okay, okay. Enough about pretty parfaits. Let's get down to business: 1/2 marathon training.

I ran my first half marathon back in 2010 in Columbus and finished in 2 hours and 34 seconds.

At the finish line upon running the 2010 Columbus 1/2 Marathon

I was extremely proud of myself since all I wanted to do was finish the race. But this time I have a different goal in mind: Complete the race under 2 hours.

I feel that I can accomplish this goal if I stick to my training plan and add in strength and cross-training. So this morning I ran my first run of 4 miles and it felt great! I can't wait to continue this 10 week program and I'm excited for the strength and healthy benefits that naturally come along with it.

I truly believe that everybody is capable of running a half marathon. If you don't agree, sign up for smaller races at first. Find a local 5k or 10k and train for those. Maybe in a year you will feel confident enough to take the next step and train for a longer event.

Just do it! The benefits and sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a race is indescribable.

Question of the Day:

Do you remember your first race?

Growing up my family and I would always run the Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving morning. After finishing those 5k's I would go home and stuff myself silly with turkey, stuffing, and delicious apple pie.

1 Pecan Pie, 2 Pumpkin Pies, and 2 Apple Pies

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

This Independence Day our nation turned 236 years old.

Naturally, I couldn't think of any better way to celebrate than with yummy food!

Since I knew I would be eating quite the feast, I wanted to enjoy my food without guilt. So in the morning I had a nice workout with my mom at the YMCA where we did 1 full hour of cardio blasting moves. Let's just say we were well deserving of some scrumptious picnic food!

My mom and me at the Grand Canyon!

But before working out I knew that I had to honor America right away and have some festive Birthday Cake Oatmeal that I slightly adapted from here along with one three Cups of Joe of course.

It was superb.

Perfect for celebrating a red, white, and blue day!

Once the sweating commenced upon working out the festive foods began to appear. One picnic staple that is always at a party is coleslaw. However, coleslaw is usually saturated in high fat and caloric mayo. I never ate coleslaw before I had my mom's since I couldn't get past the fact of all that mayo. A single tablespoon of mayo has 90 calories and 10g of fat. That's only one tablespoon, a full recipe usually calls for 1 full cup! Yikes. Yet with a few simple swaps, our version is much lighter, healthier, and tastier.

Skinny Slaw

Both of these recipes are winners for sure and a great way to honor America.

Funfetti Birthday Cake Oatmeal
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup water
1 Tbsp Funfetti cake mix
Splash of pure vanilla extract
The ingredients!

-In a small pot, bring the water to a boil.
-Add the oats, give it a quick stir, and reduce the heat to low.
-After 2 minutes add the vanilla. Stir.
-Cook 3 more minutes and right before transferring the oatmeal to a bowl, stir in the cake mix.
-Top with sprinkles
Best bowl of birthday oats!
Skinny Slaw
1 bag shredded coleslaw
6 oz Poppyseed Vinaigrette
2 1/2 Tbsp Light Miracle Whip
Sprinkle of Kosher salt
Sprinkle of crushed black pepper
Sprinkle of paprika 
Optional: I like to sprinkle in garlic powder as well

The ingredients!

-In a mixing bowl, add bagged coleslaw and crunch with hands.
-Add in salt, pepper, vinaigrette, and Miracle Whip. Stir.
-Top with paprika and the optional garlic powder.

¡Muy delicioso!

Question of the Day:

How do you celebrate Independence Day?
My family and I usually go on a walk to long bike ride which is followed by a smorgasbord of food!

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Monday, July 2, 2012

10 Second Fruit Dip

Someone Something is thinking of you right now...

I'll give you a hint: it's incredibly delicious and simple to make.

Do you give up?

It's the berries begging to be doused with a dollop of fruit dip.

Eat me!

Berries are my absolute favorite fruit to feast on. It doesn't matter which type. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries...if it's a berry, it's most likely to be sitting in my belly.

Berries are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. Read: Healthy

I love dipping berries in fruit dip but a lot of the time the store bought stuff is loaded with calories. So if you want a way to impress your friends and keep your budget and waist-line in check, have I got the recipe for you that I found here.

10 Second Fruit Dip
1 container fat free Cool Whip
6 oz. flavored low-fat yogurt

 The ingredients!

Mix the two together and enjoy!

Get in my belly

The possibilities of this decadent dip are endless. You could mix any flavor of yogurt with the whipped topping. This is quite possibly the simplest recipe out there folks! So if you're ever in a bind to bring an app to a party or just want to enjoy your fruit a little differently, this is the dip for you!
Question of the Day:  

What is your favorite fruit?

As I mentioned above, I love my berries. Can't get enough of those! I also love bananas, apples, grapes...the only fruit I'm not a fan of is melon. Watermelon, cantaloupe, thank you.

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