Friday, February 18, 2011

Frugal Friday

It has been a long, crazy week for the Johnson family.  Hunter has had parent-teacher conferences, inservice, and all kinds of fun teacher things that have kept him at school late. I've had interviews, homework, and other fun things that have kept me out late as well.  We are looking forward to a relaxing weekend to catch up on sleep and time with each other.  We don't want to go out and spend a lot of time/money on entertainment? Our solution? Netflix.  I know, everyone is screaming Netflix's praises, but I just want to throw my opinion into the mix.  We got Netflix 2-3 months ago and it has really changed the way we watch t.v.  If I didn't love sports so much, I would absolutely get rid of cable and just use Netflix. We pay $8.99 a month for the instant stream only package (in other words, we don't get the DVDs in the mail).  We stream it through our X-box and it has become our go-to entertainment recently. There are really three great things about Netflix.

1. We can catch up on movies.

Hunter hates to go the movie theatre to watch new movies. It is against his frugal nature to spend $10 a ticket. We occasionally go to the $2 theatre in our town to see movies, but with Netflix, we've really stopped doing that.  There are a lot of movies we've missed over the last 3 years that we are catching up on.  We've recently watched The Proposal and i'm trying to get him to watch The Time Traveler's Wife. The great thing about these movies is that I can sometimes convince Hunter to watch things he would otherwise never pay money to see (like the two movies I mentioned above!).

2. We can watch t.v. shows that we wouldn't normally be able to.

We don't have  HBO, Showtime, etc, but really enjoy some of the shows that come on those channels like The Tudors, Dexter, and Californication. For the most part, we can watch these shows on Netflix without paying premium cable prices. I will say that area brings up one downside of Netflix. Since we pay only for the instant streaming, the selection is more limited than if you pay for the premium plan. For example, Dexter Season 1&2 are available for instant streaming, but that's it. Fortunately we have friends with DVD plans who are willing to share :-) If we ever did completely get rid of cable, I would definitely upgrade to the DVD plan.

3. I can watch things I would never buy!

Did you know you can stream work-out videos on Netflix? I just discovered this gem last weekend when I was looking for a Yoga work-out. There is a pretty decent selection of various genres. Some of them are from the 1980s, but trust me, it just adds to the charm. Now instead of spending money on new work-out DVDs, I can just stream one through the X-box. I also watch t.v. shows that I would never buy.  I saw a few months ago that "Murder, She Wrote" (yes, with Angela Lansbury) had recently come out on DVD.  I loved that show as a kid! Seriously, it was my favorite t.v. show when I was three. I would never buy them on DVD, but I really wanted to watch them again. I did a quick search and found out the entire series on Netflix. Score for me!

If you are looking for a frugal way to access movies, t.v. shows, or even work-out DVDs, consider Netflix. I promise you'll be just as obsessed as me!

*I didn't receive anything from Netflix for this post. I promise I just love it this much! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday

I've been fighting off a cold for the last couple of days.  You know the feeling: nasal congestion, fatigue, and general grumpiness (well i'll blame my cold for the last one anyway!).  I hate feeling sick and have been pretty lucky so far this winer.  I don't like to take antibiotics, so i've been trying some less extreme measures to combat my cold. These tips aren't anything new, but I think always helpful to hear.

Hand Washing

  • This is a big one! This is a great article from the Mayo Clinic about the best times to wash your hands and how to wash them.
  • So I'm a big fan of sleeping even when I'm not sick, but a little extra sleep can go a long way in helping your immune system fight off evil germs. If you are feeling sick, go to bed an hour earlier or sleep in (if you can). 
Extra Nutrients
  • I know there is a big debate over if Vitamin C can actually help your cold or not, but I think its important when you have a cold to make sure you are eating health. Ice cream may help you feel better, but fruits and vegetables are going to provide you with the kind of nutrients your body needs. 
  • Every time I had a cold growing up, my mother would make me gargle with salt water. I hated it. I swore as an adult, I would never ever gargle with salt water. Well it turns out that gargling helps ease sore throats like nothing else. So guess what I did yesterday? It turns out my Mom was right. 
I think overall the most important thing to do when you are sick is just take care of yourself. Slow down! Give your body some time to conquer those nasty germs and you'll be back at full speed in no time. That definitely works for me!

*Disclaimer: Obviously, I am not a doctor and you shouldn't take medical advice from me. These are just tips I've found help me feel better. If you are sick, consult your person doctor for any and all medical advice!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cooking Around The World..

The two loves of my life (besides you know, Hunter, my family, Cordy, etc) are travel and food. That's why I was so excited when my friend Christina got me this awesome birthday gift:

It is a cookbook from Williams-Sonoma which features recipes from several different countries around the world. There are a gazillion recipes which was a little overwhelming at first. I decided the best idea would be to take it one country at a time instead of just trying random recipes. I couldn't decide which country to start with, so I thought why not let social media make my decisions for me? So dear blog readers, the decision is up to you. I let Hunter narrow the choices down to five (you know that whole illusion-of-control thing). So...should I start with:
  • Mexico
  • Greece
  • Middle East
  • China
  • Thailand
The decision is yours! Leave a comment with your choice and i'll feature recipes from that country each week.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Frugal Friday

One of the biggest complaints I hear about exercising is that it can be expensive-gym memberships, shoes, equipment, clothing, the list goes on and on. I'm linking up with Frugal Friday over at and sharing some tips for how to exercise for cheap. Before I start, I think its important to stress that you should invest in good shoes just to avoid injury. A good pair of shoes can save pain, expense, and time!


Gym memberships can be expensive, but you can get good deals especially around the first of the year. YMCA's often offer cheaper rates than other gyms. If you love to swim, check to see if your town has an indoor community pool. My hometown has a pool which offers water aerobics, swim lessons, and free swim. You can buy a yearly, monthly, or weekly pass for much cheaper than the usual gym membership. High schools, colleges, and universities often have indoor or outdoor tracks which are free to the public during certain hours. You can also look on craigslist, newspaper ads, or ebay for used gym equipment for your house. Yard sales are another great source of exercise equipment especially in the summer when people are trying to move.

Not feeling a gym? There are lots of ways to work-out at home without spending a lot. The first is obvious, walk or run! Most cities have greenways or running trails which are open to the public. I run on a public greenway which is great. If you live in a neighborhood, find a running or walking trail that takes you through your neighborhood. You'll meet your neighbors and stay close to home!
Bad weather? Try work-out dvds! Amazon has a ton of work-out dvds for under $10. I'm saving my swagbucks for an Amazon gift card, then I'll use that for Jillian Michael's latest dvd. It won't cost me a thing, but i'll get a great 30 minute work-out! If you don't have free weights and don't want to buy them, use soup cans or water bottles. Another great at-home tool is a jump rope. Jumping rope can burn up to 600 calories an hour! Now, I don't know about you, but I can't jump rope for an hour straight. If you jump rope during the commercials of your favorite t.v. show though, you can get a great work-out for around $3.00! If you live in an apartment building with lots of stairs, walk or run up the stairs for 10-15 minutes, 3 x a day. That's a 30 minute work-out for free.

Working-out can be as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. It is easy to spend lots of money on the gym, clothes, and equipment, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO! Don't let cost keep you from getting healthy :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday

works for me wednesday at we are that family

Last week was supposed to be Valentine's Day tips, but i'm running a week behind. I am not a huge fan of Valentine's Day to be quite honest. I think it tends to be kind of scam. I heard this morning that the average cost of a dozen red roses is $47! If you add in the cost of going to dinner, getting cards, and buying gifts, this holiday is starting to rival Christmas in cost! So, Hunter and I are planning on staying in this Valentine's and cooking dinner. Since we cook dinner almost every night, I want to make a meal that is a little more special than our average weekday meals. Here are two of my favorite meals which I hardly ever make, but which I think would make a perfect Valentine's Day Dinner.

Stuffed Alfredo Chicken (From Southern Living)
  • 4 boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 8 oz ground sausage
  • 1 (1.25) oz envelope Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 cup Mozarella Cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 10 oz Frozen Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1. Place chicken between two sheets of heavy plastic wrap. Flatten to 1/4 inch thickness with meat mallet or rolling pin.
2. Cook sausage in a skillet until no longer pink. Drain.
3. Prepare Alfredo Sauce according to package directions. Set aside.
4. Combine Mozarella and Parmesan cheese
5. Stir together sausage, spinach, ricotta cheese, and 1/2 cup mozarella cheese mixture. Spoon mixture evenly down center of each chicken breast, and roll up, jellyroll fashion. Arrange chicken rolls, seam side down, in a lightly greased pan.
5. Pour alfredo sauce sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

This recipe is great with twice-baked potatoes or steamed veggies!

Prosciutto-Pesto Chicken (from

This is actually a really easy recipe, but the ingredients make it perfect for a special occasions.
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 6 pieces prosciutto
1. Arrange chicken breasts in a greased pan.
2. Spread 2 tablespoons of pesto over chicken.
3. Wrap each chicken breast in 2 pieces of prosciutto.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

This is also good with roasted potatoes, roasted vegetables, or rice! Serve either recipe with a special dessert if you like sweets. My husband doesn't, but I might make him his favorite Velveeta Shells and Cheese as a special side.

Valentine's dinner at home works for me!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sugar Coma and Super Bowl

Yesterday was the big game! Although I was quietly mourning the fact that my beloved Colts weren't playing this year, we still had to have a party! It is the Super Bowl! I think I get my love of all things football from my parents. They didn't throw many parties when I was growing up, but they threw a big party for the Super Bowl every year. Now I can't go without at least doing something on Super Bowl Sunday even if i'm not really pulling for one team or the other. So, yesterday we had a few friends over, ate chips and pizza, and played some Balderdash. This happy day coincided with my lovely friend Angela's (or as we call her AngMo) birthday. For my friends' birthdays, I let them pick any dessert (or meal for my non-sweet loving friends) and I make it for them. Angela's choice did not disappoint. She found a Paula Deen recipe on which can only be described as decadent. It was a chocolate layer cake with cheesecake filling. It was AMAZING. Here is the recipe:

Cheesecake Filling
  • 2 8 oz pck. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp almond liqueur
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease aluminum foil. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy. Add sugar, beating until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add sour cream and almond liqueur. Pour batter in prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes is up, turn off oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove from pan. Chill and cover for 4 hours.

Chocolate Cake Recipe
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 cup almond liqueur
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.

  • Place one of the chocolate cakes on a plate. Spread a layer of frosting over the top of the cake.
  • Place cheesecake on top of chocolate cake. Spread frosting over top of cheesecake.
  • Place second chocolate cake on top of cheesecake. Spread frosting over top and sides.
Eat and die of happiness :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lentil Soup

Although we haven't gotten the massive snow that other areas around the country are dealing with, it has been cccooolllddd here! When the wind is blowing and its so frigid outside I love a nice bowl of soup! My friend Mitchell sent me a great recipe for lentil soup that I made this week and had to share. Its a great "clean-out-your-cabinets" soup. Got some diced tomatoes? Throw them in there! Green pepper? Sure! I'm not sure I'd ever make this soup the same way twice, but its very satisfying no matter what you put in. Here is what you need for the basic recipe, but again feel free to add whatever you think would be good:

  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 medium sized onion chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped and peeled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 6 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken, vegetable, or beef broth.
As you can see, I mixed the ingredients up a little bit.

I didn't have any carrots, so I added a can of diced tomatoes. I also increased the amount of cumin and oregano in addition to adding cajun seasoning. Like I said, feel free to play around with the recipe. I also added some sausage for Hunter. Ham would also be a good addition if you wanted to add meat. If not, the lentils have a great flavor all on their own and are very filling.
Put the lentils and water in a crockpot. Chop your vegetables finely and then sauté in a large frying pan until limp and glazed.

Once done, add the vegetables, spices, and cooking broth to crockpot. Top with bay leaf or leaves (I used two).

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and any additional broth (depending on your preferred soup consistency) and cook on high for 30 minutes. I topped mine with a little sour cream and it was the perfect soup for a cold wintery night. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spin Cycle

Today Amanda, Christina, and I were supposed to go to Kickboxing at our on-campus gym. We were super excited about it because we'd been planning to take a class since last semester. Before I left, I told Hunter how excited I was about kickboxing and how relieved I was that it wasn't a spin class. In fact, some of the last words I said to him were "I'll never take a spin class."

Famous last words right? We got to the gym early, but they only had two spots left for the Kickboxing class. Since there were 3 of us, that wouldn't work. The instructor told us that there was an open spin class down the hall. Unwilling to let our 20 minute drive to campus go to waste, we headed down to the open studio. I was already quietly dreading it. I've always thought of spin classes as being for "uber-athletes" only. I remember watching them at our old gym and just being super intimidated. I thought there was no way I could ever do it!

We got started with an easy warm-up and then headed into a sprint exercise. After the first fifteen minutes, I felt comfortable. The instructor took us into the standing and hovering positions pretty early on and I was surprised that I could do them without too much difficulty. I decided my goal for the work-out was to do all the exercises without having to sit down when we were supposed to be in a different position. We did two different hill exercises and several jumps (where you go from sitting to standing to hovering really quickly) as well as some other sprints. I managed to make it through the whole work-out without feeling like I was going to die. I didn't put on my resistance as high as it could go, so I know I could have made it harder. What I was happiest with though is that at the end, I didn't feel like i'd been run over by a truck! We all really liked the class and we plan to go back on Monday in addition to finally making Thursday kickboxing.

It reminded me that I've got to continually push myself outside my comfort zone. I get so used to thinking I can't run faster or that I can't do any more strength training. In order to get stronger and healthier, I've got to challenge myself because I know my body can take it. While I'm not an "uber-athlete" or anything, I am capable of a lot. I've just got to continue to believe that.

When's the last time you tried something new?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Work-out Funk

I was not feeling excited about my work-out today. It was windy with a windchill around 25 degrees, so I quickly nixed the idea of running outside...which meant I was headed to the treadmill. I'm not a huge fan of long runs on the treadmill. I typically use it for intervals only because that seems less boring. I meant to work-out after class, but I kept putting it off and off until it was almost dinner time. Finally, I knew I needed something to get me motivated. I knew just what I work-out music! I got on Itunes and bought some new music to put on my work-out playlist. I happen to listen to ridiculous pop music from the late 1990s when I work out. I start out every work-out with Britney Spears "Toxic" and end with "Eye of the Tiger." Other favorites include Kelly Clarkson, Alanis, and The Black Eyed Peas. Toady I added *NSYNC ("Bye Bye Bye"), "Sexyback" and "Hey Ya" along with some other stuff that makes me want to move. After that I was definitely ready to hit the treadmill and rock out!

What do you listen to when you work-out? Any tips for a work-out funk?

Works For Me Wednesday...

works for me wednesday at we are that family

The theme for Works for Me Wednesday is a Valentine's Tip. I don't actually have one of those today, but I'll post some good recipes for a stay-at-home special Valentine's dinner later in the week! My tip today is actually about:

We make a lot of our purchases in cash, so we tend to have a lot of change floating around the house. It used to drive me crazy to find change laying around everywhere until my husband came up with a great solution. When he was younger, he had an automatic change sorter. The machine itself is long gone, but we still had the canisters that the coins would go into. We put the corresponding coin wrapper into each canister and placed them on our dresser. Now the end of the day or whenever I find change in pockets, on the floor, in the car, or wherever, I just drop it into the canister. When the wrapper is full, I just pull it out and our coins are perfectly rolled and ready to go to the bank! Instead of the above picture, I now have this:

That works for me! Check out for more helpful tips!

Monday, January 31, 2011

January Re-cap

I can't believe its January 31st! Only 11 months left in 2011. I thought I'd do a re-cap of my month and check in on how i'm doing with my goals so far this year. 2011 started on an exciting note. I went to my first Titans-Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium. I love the Colts!! It was an amazing experience. I really couldn't have asked for a better start to my year:

After the Colts game, I headed back for my second semester of law school. New classes, new professors, and an awesome 90s party to get it all started:

I also decided 2011 was my year to really get healthy and be an overall better me. I'm going to do a goal recap at the end of each month to see how i'm doing.

Daily Goals
  • Drink more water-I'm definitely doing well here! I drink one Diet Coke every morning, but other than that its all water except for the occasional hot tea or coffee. I still miss Diet Coke, but feel sooo much better when I drink water.
  • Eat 3-4 servings of fruits or vegetables a day-I do pretty well on this one each day. Weekends are definitely harder especially if we eat out, but overall I'm doing a lot better.
  • Eat Breakfast-This one is definitely a success! The only bad thing is I may be obsessed with Kashi Go Lean and Puffins.
Weekly Goals
  • Work-out 3-4 times a week-I've done really well the last two weeks with this goal, but our weeks and weekends are about to get a lot busier. That will be the real challenge!
  • Spend more quality time with Hunter and Cordy-This one has been hard just because we've been so busy lately. We're going to start trying to actually set aside time for just the two (or three!) of us.
Monthly Goals
  • Keep in better contact with my friends-Okay, so this one turned out to be a little bit of a fail. I have e-mailed one of my really good friends in the last couple of days, but I have several phone calls to return. I'm going to hold this goal over to February and hope I do better.
  • Make my race schedule-While I don't have my full year mapped out, I am signed up to run two 5ks in the upcoming months-one in March and one in April. My dad is coming down to run the race with me in March which I'm really excited about!
So my goals are going okay, some better than others. Hopefully February will be even better!

What about you, how are your new goals going?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kitchen Fail

Something occurred last night that has never happened. EVER. I ruined dinner. Ruined as in Hunter ate at Krystal's and I sulked by eating 3 chocolate covered pretzels and french fries. EPIC FAIL.

It started out well enough. I decided that I wanted to make homemade ravioli. I had seen some posts about roasted squash lately and wanted to incorporate it into a recipe. I'm all about eating seasonally/locally and squash is a great winter ingredient. I was going to combine the squash with some spinach, ricotta cheese, and sage and create my own ravioli. Since I live with a carnivore, I figured I'd make some with sausage, spinach, and sage. I was trolling the internet for the a good homemade ravioli recipe. I've never made my own pasta before mostly because I don't have a stand mixer with a pasta attachment. Most of the recipes on the internet required that, so I figured I was stuck until I found several sites that suggested using wanton wrappers as the ravioli base. I decided to try it. Everything was going fine at first. I went to the store and got all my ingredients. I even ventured into the Asian Supermarket down the street to get the wanton wrappers. I was super excited for Hunter to get home so we could start cooking.

I started by cutting the squash in half and seasoning it with salt and pepper. I let it roast in a 375 oven for about an hour or until the inside was tender. Meanwhile I chopped up my fresh sage and cooked the sausage and spinach. Once the squash was done, I scraped out the flesh into a bowl. I added the spinach and half the ricotta cheese. Using a handmixer I mixed everything together until it was smooth. In another bowl, I combined the sausage, sage, spinach, and cheese. I was ready to make my ravioli. And that's when things started to downhill. Rapidly.

I started with one wrapper and put about a tablespoon of filling in the center. I then placed another wrapper on top of that filling and sealed the edges with an egg wash. Only, the wantons weren't sealing. They were super sticky and mostly falling apart. Hunter tried to crimp the edges with a fork, but things still weren't working very well. We decided to boil the ones we'd already done and see how it went. The good news is that they stayed together pretty well in the boiling water. The bad news was that they tasted awful. The filling was good. I really loved the taste of the squash and spinach. I will definitely be making squash more. The problem was really the wanton wrappers. They were super soggy and just had no taste whatsoever. It was gross.

So lesson of this post? Don't use wanton wrappers for ravioli even if the internet tells you its possible! I'm going to try to find a homemade ravioli recipe that doesn't need a stand mixer and try again. The filling was really good and I think this recipe can be salvaged, but I was pretty disappointed last night.

Have you ever ruined a meal?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I think the Girl Scouts Are Trying To Kill Me...

I found my husband rummaging through our spare change today. I asked him what he was doing and I heard what may be the scariest words ever "I bought some Girl Scout Cookies." Let me explain. I LOVE Girl Scout cookies. All of them. I was a girl scout for nine years and i'm pretty sure I stuck around for the last two just for the cookies. My particular weaknesses are Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties, but i'm not really that particular. I just love to eat them. So of course, I'm trying to do this whole "healthy lifestyle" thing and I'm not sure how Girl Scout cookies fit in. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for small indulgences. I'm not afraid to have a glass of wine or a couple of mini-Snickers. I'm just not sure I have enough will power to eat one or two Girl Scout cookies at a time. I'm debating if I should just skip out on the Girl Scout cookies altogether this year or if I should get one or two boxes in the supreme test of my will power. What do you think avoid the temptation or test my self-control? What are your biggest temptations?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Works For Me Wednesday...

works for me wednesday at we are that family

This is linked-up with "Works For Me Wednesday" over at Check it out for great tips on all sorts of subjects! One thing that is working for me this week is mobile fitness apps. I'm a smart phone junkie, I admit. I have all kinds of apps, but i've used two recently to keep track of what i'm eating and how much i'm working out. I've previously used "Lose It" on my husband's Ipod Touch. I really liked this app, but it wasn't available on Android (my current phone). Since I didn't want to carry an Ipod and a phone, I switched to using Spark People Diet and Food Tracker. It took me a little while to get used to it, but now its probably my favorite app on my phone. It keeps track of my calories, my work-outs, and even how much water i'm drinking.

There are a lot of advantages to keeping track of everything on my phone. First, it keeps me accountable. I can look back and see exactly how many vegetables, fruits, protein, and carbs i've eaten for the day. I can also look back and remember what meals were really filling or which ones I really enjoyed. Secondly, when i'm out and about, I can find nutritional information for a lot of restaurant meals so I can make smart choices. Through the food search, I just put in the restaurant and the meal and a list pops up with those terms. I chose my meal and view the nutritional information including calories, sodium, and other important facts.

These aren't the only two apps for sure. I've just used these two personally. Find one that works best for you! Even if you don't have a phone, there are lots of free online ways to track your calories and exercise. If all else fails, get a small notebook and write it down! There have been a lot of studies that have shown keeping a food diary greatly increases weight loss or weight maintenance. Writing down my food works for me!

P.S. I didn't receive any compensation for this post. I just really like both apps a lot :-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tilapia with Chimichurri Sauce

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day here! It was 50 degrees and sunny, so I took advantage by going for another run on my newly discovered trail. I'm glad I did because it is now cold, rainy, and supposedly going to snow tomorrow! Since I was stuck indoors for my work-out today and I was pretty tired of the treadmill. I did this:

I've had this DVD for almost a year now although it has been several months since I used it. I started out on Level One since it had been so long. I guess my working-out is paying off because it was the first time I finished this DVD and didn't feel like I got a great work-out! I don't mind though. I'll make sure to do Level 2 next time which i'm sure will pretty much kill me.

For dinner tonight, I made one of my favorite fish recipes: Tilapia with Chimichurri Sauce. I'm not sure where I first found this recipe, but it has quickly become one of our favorites! The sauce in this recipe is not as heavy as authentic chimichurri. It is a lightened version which still maintains the fresh taste of the cilantro. For this recipe you will need:

Tilapia Filets
1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro
1 Tablespoon Fresh or Dried Basil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Cajun Seasoning (optional)
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

On an interesting note, I was out of Lemon Juice. I did a quick Google search for Lemon Juice substitute and found that I could sub half the amount of White Vinegar in place of the Lemon Juice. I threw in 1/2 of Tablespoon of White Vinegar and it worked perfectly!

The first thing you want to do is chop your cilantro. If you don't have a pair of herb scissors and you like to cook, you are missing out! They are by far one of my favorite kitchen gadgets!

It even comes with an attachment that gets the little bits of herbs out from in between the shears. It saves a lot of time especially if you like to use fresh herbs.

After your cilantro is chopped, add in the Basil, Olive Oil, and Lemon Juice. Salt and Pepper to taste. Set aside. Next season your fish.

I use Cajun Seasoning because I like a little spicy kick. You can also use salt and pepper. I think crushed red pepper would be a nice addition. Once the fish is seasoned, brush the sauce on one side of the fish. Heat a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Place fish sauced side down.
Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until desire doneness. Then serve. I served ours over a bed of Basil and Herb Couscous with a Spinach Salad. This is a great weeknight recipe because it only takes around 30 minutes to prepare!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rad 90s Party!

The 90s party was fantastic! We had such a great time. I was really pleased with my costume...

Cher from Clueless! I loved this movie in middle school and I thought Alicia Silverstone was soooo pretty. It didn't hurt that I had 90% of my costume in my closet. I got Hunter a flannel shirt at Goodwill and he went as a Grunge kid. That was a pretty common costume for the guys at the party.

We spent all night dancing! The DJ had a great 90s playlist with songs like Ice, Ice Baby, Whoomp There It Is, I'll Be Missin' You, and even The Macerena. I was wearing high heels and by the end of the night my legs were killing me! It was still so much fun though. Thanks guys for a great time!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Love The 90s

One of the best things about law school? Awesome theme parties! Seriously, future lawyers know how to party. This weekend (in celebration of the start of the new semester) is our Rad 90s party. I've been reminiscing all week as I searched for my perfect costume. I had to share some of my favorite 90s things!

Alternative Rock

Seriously what's not to love about 90s music? Not the pop stuff that dominated the last half of the decade, but the whiney, melodramatic alternative rock of the early and mid-90s! I love 90s music. In fact, up until some friends of mine introduced me to new music last year (Hello Avett Brothers!) I was still listening to those mid-90s bands. Specifically the best band of the decade, Counting Crows!

I love this band! They weren't the only ones though...Matchbox Twenty, Third Eye Blind, Jane's Addiction, Better Than Ezra, Red Hot Chili Peppers...the list goes on and on.

Awesome Teen Shows/Movies

Maybe it was because I was a teenager in the 90s, but I personally think it was a pretty great decade for teen soap operas. 90210, Melrose Place, and of course, my favorite:

Seriously, what is not to love about that show? Also for the record, I'm a total Pacey fan! And of course, you can't talk about the 90s and awesome teenage love stories and not talk about:

I thought this was the most romantic movie ever made when I was 14. My 26-year old self still thinks its pretty awesome! I'm halfway tempted to go as Rose to the party tonight, but I think its too late to find a giant hat. And i'm not going naked.

Ridiculous Trends

Another reason to love the 90s? Ridiculous trends! I still laugh at some of the stuff that was popular then. I mean who really wanted to wear these:

I did, however, own at least 27 pairs of gap overalls in the 6th grade. Including yellow, pink, and green. Yes, as a matter of fact, I was awesome.

And then the mother of all ridiculous trends. This dance:

I mean really America?

That's my time warp through the 90s. We're going thrift store shopping for costumes, so i'll post pictures of the party tomorrow!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Run Lola Run

As I mentioned last post, one of my goals for this year is to run outside more. Since we moved in August, I haven't been able to find a good place to run. My neighborhood is right by a busy street and I don't want to run around campus. As I was on my city's track club websites looking for races to run in the upcoming months, I saw a link for suggested running trails. I pulled it up and the top one turned out to be in between school and our apartment! Perfect! The trail follows the river and goes through one of the nicest neighborhoods in town. I went this afternoon. It was great! The whole trail is 2.6 miles. I parked at the 1 mile mark, then ran to the end and back. I ran for 3.2 miles which is a perfect start for me! There were a ton of people running, walking, biking, etc so I felt really safe. My only problem is that I don't have a running I have no idea how fast I ran. It's okay though, I'm just glad i've found a good place to run. Here's one of the views of the river. It was really pretty when the sun was still shining, but by the end of my run clouds had moved in. Trust me though, the river and the homes make the run very pretty!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I think I can...

I suck at New Year's Resolutions. I'm definitely a Type A person which you would think would help me stick to my guns. What happens every year though is I stick with my resolutions for two weeks and then something happens. My perfectionism takes over and if I can't do it perfectly, I don't want to do it all. Makes sense right? Yeah it doesn't make sense to me either. But....this is a new year right? The year I want to do things differently! So i'm not making resolutions. I'm setting goals! But since I'm still super Type A, I've divided them into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. I'll post them now and update each month.

Daily Goals
  • Drink more water- I am a recovering Diet Coke addict ( was bad). I'm hoping to drink water 98% of the time, but i'm still reserving one Diet Coke a day.
  • Eat 3-4 servings of vegetables or fruits-I'm lucky. I love fruits and vegetables, but i'm not great at incorporating them into my every day meals.
  • Eat breakfast!
Weekly Goals
  • Work out 3-4 times a week-I really want to get serious about running this year, so I know i'm going to need to focus more on well...actually running. I've been running on the treadmill pretty consistently but I want to work more on running outside.
  • Spend more quality time with Hunter and Cordy-The two loves of my life, my husband and my dog respectively! I'm a chronic multitasker. It is not uncommon for me to be watching t.v., doing homework, and Facebook chatting all at the same time. I need to make our family time a priority and unplug sometimes!
Monthly Goals
  • My general monthly goal for the year is to try to keep in better contact with my friends. I have AMAZING (seriously amazing) friends from high school and college. I have sucked over the last few months when it comes to staying in touch! I need to get my act together, so my goal is to call these friends at least once a month.
  • For January specifically, I want to get my racing schedule figured out for the year. I'm a major planner. I know that if I have my races scheduled, I'll be much more motivated. I need to find some races in my area to run and go ahead and sign up for them if I can.
Yearly Goals
  • Run several 5Ks, at least one 10K, and a half-marathon-I ran my first two 5Ks last year and I really enjoyed it. I want to continue that this year and work up to a half-marathon. I'm thinking about the Haunted Half-Marathon which is near my hometown (lots of support!) and on Halloween. It gives me lots of time to train and I think the weather in October will be ideal.
What about you? What are your goals for this day/week/month/year?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Introducing Me...

Hi! Welcome to my blog. Here are a few random facts about me...

I'm a law student, a wife, a dog mom, and a wannabe runner. I love cooking, Colts football, and traveling.

I just turned 26 and I have big plans for my golden birthday year! I want to run a half-marathon, eat better, and all and all be a better me in 2011. I hope you'll follow me as I record my ups, downs, and everything in between.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
"All the world is made of faith, trust, and pixie dust" (J.M. Barrie)