Monday, September 27, 2010

My Carry-On Necessities

Hello Mingle Monday-ers! So glad you came to visit! Since I travel all the time I have certain items that are must-haves for the plane. I thought you might care for them too so here they are in no particular order:
  • Noise-cancelling headphones-they have to be the cushioned kind that muffle your ear-not just the in-ear buds.
  • Nintendo DS-I could play for hours and this tends to be the only time I really play it. Sure, it makes me look like I'm 12, but at least I'm not bored during the flight like others.
  • Magazines-only for take off and landing. I rarely read books on the plane. I just can't seem to get into them, but magazines are great for when I can't turn on anything electronic
  • iPod-I'm still not bringing my new one with me this trip since there still aren't protective cases, but my old-school video ipod filled with TV shows always kills time.
  • Purell-do I even need to explain this one?
  • Clorox wipes-after the whole swine flu outbreak last year I actually have started wiping down my seat. I'm not a germaphobe at all, but I don't want the flu and I watched a stupid Dr. Oz episode that scared me into doing this.
  • A quart sized bag with lip balm, UNSCENTED hand lotion, and nasal spray-planes are freaking dry so I moisturize everything throughout. And seriously, don't bring your scented lotions on the plane. Just because you like that smell doesn't mean the 12 people around you will
  • My Coach Boston bag. It's a statement piece. It holds everything perfectly. And it makes anything I'm wearing look chic. They don't make it the same anymore so I'm glad I bought it when I did.

So, what can you not travel without?

Headed to Minneapolis Tomorrow

Headed to Minneapolis tomorrow. My big plans include working out at the gym and watching "Glee" in my hotel room! I'll go exploring after work the next day. There are supposed to be some great restaurants out there and I am staying downtown so I'm sure I'll find something to do. I hit the Mall of America last time I went, so that's been done. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to let me know!

Weekend Recap

Well, this was a waste of a weekend. There. I said it. I was sick Saturday so my breakfast plans had to be cancelled. Boo. Then Sunday there was church which was great and at night I had dinner with friends, then saw "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps." Well let me tell you, money may never sleep, but that movie could put me to sleep in a heartbeat. Too long, too many plot points, and too confusing. Don't waste your money!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A bleh day

I'm having an eh day. I don't feel well and am just tired. Honestly, I'd love to go home and just lay on the couch and curl up in a ball but that's not possible. The only other thing that feels like it could cheer me up is shopping. When I feel blah shopping just sounds so good! Like if I buy bath salts the whole world will be better. I'm witholding since I know it won't really make me feel better and my wallet will take a hit as well. Still, I need to do something to feel better. I think I might do some yoga when I get home. I don't think I stretched enough after my workout yesterday and that's part of the achy feeling today. But after that I will curl into a ball and watch TV. I just need one night that's really restful.

What do you do when you need a break?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Major FAIL!

So, I got home from work and was all ready to make my Tasty Tuesday recipe for the week, but when I was done, it sucked. It was supposed to be Lemon Curry Roast Chicken, but it was't curry enough and the lemon taste was too dessert-y because of the tang. It wasn't sweet. It was tangy like lemon curd with some spice at the end. Bleh. It just wasn't edible. I ended up throwing the rest away after I ate one serving for dinner (and barely getting it down.) I'm thinking of writing Tyler Florence and letting him know his chicken was nowhere near ultimate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Colorful Bowls

I love colorful bowls! I have two different sets of nesting mixing bowls that get used for so much more than mixing. Displaying fruits and veggies is pretty much the thing they do most. I'll even put hard boiled eggs in the bowl and keep it in the fridge and I honestly think it brightens up my fridge. There's just an openness to it that I enjoy for some reason.

The limes, onions, and clementines above are currently sitting in the middle of my dining room table and add a nice pop of color. Plus, since everything is open and accessible it makes me reach for fruit more and actually USE the vegetables I have in my apartment. So basically I'm suggesting you all get some colorful bowls and add some fun whimsy to your kitchen!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Goal for the Week

So, I live alone which means when I come home I just kind of drop everything in the middle of my living room floor, and when I cook, the dishes sit until the next morning when I clean them. In a few months I plan on getting a new apartment and a roommate in order to save some cash, which means I can no longer drop my clothes in the middle of the floor or leave the dishes until the next morning. So this is my goal for the week, to try and keep things neat and orderly all week long and clean up after myself. Basically, I'm going to pretend that I have a roommate so I can start the good habits now!
In all honesty, I'm a little stressed about the prospect of a roommate. I haven't had the best track record in the past, so I'm a little scared for the future. That's why I figure I should start practicing these sorts of things now. Then I'm not shell-shocked when we move in.

What about you? Do you have a roommate? Do you get along? What sort of things did you have to work out?

Weekend Recap

This weekend I...
  • saw "The Town" with friends and then had coffee after which was fun. The movie was good, but not as amazing as I thought it would be. Plus, it was great to get the whole group of friends together. It very seldom happens that a whole group of us can hang out so that was nice.
  • took naps all day and did pretty much nothing on Saturday. Tried out apps on my new iPhone including the Hipstamatic camera.(pics coming soon!)
  • I now have a major obsession with the Doodle Jump game and literally had to walk away from the iPod
  • planned my menu for the week and hope I will actually stick to it!
  • met a friend for dinner at The Counter and am now sitting at Panera
This sounds like it could be one of the most boring weekends on record, but honestly, it has been fantastic. I got to relax and chill, yet got some stuff done like sorting laundry and buying groceries. All in all, the perfect balance for starting my week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh exercise

So it's been about a month now that I've been exercising regularly, and I gotta be honest, I'm exhausted! Still I know it's good for me and I think it's starting to pay off. Plus, tomorrow I'm trying Zumba and I hear it's super-fun! Plus, it's supposed to burn a ton of calories! Yippee, 'cause I'm eating wings for dinner tomorrow night. Epitome of health here folks. Anyway, what do you do to work out? Do you work out regularly or just when you feel like it? And whoever "feels like it"?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: A Mingle Monday Crossover!

In honor of Mingle Mondays from Life of Meg, I'm giving you two recipes! The first is a recipe from one of the sites I "mingled" with! Sweet Pea Kitchen actually just posted one of my favorite recipes; Skinny Girl Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have actually made these cookies numerous times and they are one of my FAVORITES! They are dense and kind of a cross-breed between a cookie and cake texture which is fine by me! Go ahead and check out the recipe on the Sweet Pea site here!

As for my own recipe for the week I bring you Butternut Squash Tomato Gratin! This is a great recipe from the cookbook "What Can I Bring?" and I think it's a nice blend of summer and fall!

Serves 12


1 -2 medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (14 ounce) cans diced canned tomatoes (plain or with basil, oregano)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Prep Time: 30 mins Total Time: 1 1/4 hr

1 Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
2 Using a sharp knife, trim off and discard the ends of the squash, then slice it in half lengthwise.
3 Scoop out the seeds and discard them.
4 Place the squash halves, cut side up, in a microwave oven, cover them with waxed paper and cook on high until soft, yet still firm enough to cut into cubes, about 8 minutes.
5 Place the squash on a large cutting board and let cool until you can handle it, then peel and cut into 1-inch cubes.
6 Place the squash in a 13 X 9 inch dish, drizzle the olive oil on it, then scatter the tomatoes, followed by the cheese evenly on top.
7 Bake until the cheese melts and squash and tomatoes are heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

To simplify it I bought a couple bags of the already cut butternut squash that you can find over by the bagged salads in the produce section. So basically, with the exception of grating cheese (which is SO hard to do), you basically dump the squash in a baking dish, drizzle olive oil, pour tomatos on top, then sprinkle cheese. Into the oven it goes! It tastes great and makes your kitchen smell wonderful as well! Bon appetit!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Top 2 Tuesdays

Top 2 Things to Accomplish by the End of the Year

1. Lose 10 pounds and not gain it back during the holidays! Really, it's going to happen this year. I'm working out and counting calories and everything!

2. Finish the application for becoming a bone marrow donor. I started the process way back in January and then never finished it. It was a goal set out for the year and I need to do it.

No iPod photos for awhile...

unless they're shot inside my apartment. Turns out no cases have been made for my brand new iPod and after all the disaster stories I've heard of people smashing theirs by accidentally dropping it, I'm not taking ANY chances! So, unless I want to shoot something inside my place I won't be using it for blogging for a little while longer. Until then I'm just going to add apps galore!

Creative Ways to Make Money Without Working

Hi all! Since it's now fall it's time for me to start budgeting for Christmas gifts. Of course in a few months there will be plenty of deals in stores to help me get everything at a great price, but for now I'm trying to use some creative ways to score gifts! Here are my top 3!
1) Sell your clothes at Crossroads Trading Company or Buffalo Exchange
Some of you may have tried this before and it can feel like major rejection when you bring in four bags and they take two items, BUT if you start paying attention to what they are looking for you can do really well. Some main tips:
  • Only bring what's in season. Your summer dresses are not selling at the moment. Your blazer that your sick of from last fall will most likely sell.
  • Bring what you are seeing in magazines. If it's super trendy they will buy it. If it's a "classic" they probably won't unless it's a high-end designer. They wouldn't buy my J.Crew cords because they were bootcut, but if they had been skinny they would have taken them!
  • Forget your basics. Your old plain t-shirts and sweaters are not going to sell. Those are meant for Goodwill. They want items with details that are current.
  • Look at their websites or in store to see what they are looking for. They normally have poster boards with pics of what they are accepting.
  • Don't forget shoes and purses! I don't have a lot of "label clothes", but I love me a designer bag so when I'm through with them I take them to Crossroads and they always sell.
  • If it doesn't sell at one, GO TO ANOTHER! I live in L.A. where there are multiple locations of these stores. They all buy based on their individual store and they are pretty good about telling you why they won't buy your stuff. Sometimes it's simply because they have too many dresses, or coats, etc. But the one in the next town over might be very interested in the eight jackets you are trying to get rid of!

2) Coinstar

I have tons of change that I keep all year long and then turn into a Coinstar machine. If you choose the gift certificate option they don't take out that astronomical percentage. I tend to buy lots of Christmas gifts on, so why not use my change to buy those gifts? Apple is another gift certificate you can get through Coinstar.

*One note-the machine simply prints you a "gift code" with your total, so only use this option to buy other gifts. Don't think you can simply print out a gift certificate to give to someone else!

3) Using the gym at work

Okay, this is a weird one, BUT... at my gym at work you can log your cardio minutes and at so many minutes you get a $25 gift card to the company store, at another so many you get a $5o gift card, etc. etc. Now obviously it helps that my company store sells loads of DVDs and Blu-Ray movies, but look into discounts at your workplace. You never know what incentives you might find! So now I'm not only burning calories, but earning money at the same time!

My iPod Touch is here! My iPod Touch is here!

Yay! Finally I will have a camera with me at all times and this blog will get more of the pics it needs! Hurray! Now, I just have to figure out how to use it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OMG I'm in love!....

with the new MAC holiday collection!
Apparently this is all very preliminary, but it looks like it's definitely a Tartan Christmas at MAC! I love plaid so much I don't care what colors are inside! This is only half of the collection I've seen. You can view the rest here at Temptalia. The collection is supposed to be available in August!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New iTouch looks amazing!!!

Photo courtesy of
Has anyone else checked out the new iTouch? I'm running to the Apple store tonight to see which memory size I should get, but I'm definitely getting one!


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