Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nail Color Trick

I've talked before how I love having my nails painted. In the last year I've actually become really good at doing my own.  Oddly, I'm better at painting my fingernails than my toenails.  Recently my friend Katrina shared a tip with me that I have to share.  I love bright colors especially for my toes.  The trick is you put white polish on first and then the bright color and it's so much brighter for the top color. This week I did a bright pink because summer is not over in Texas yet.  Warmer colors for us are still a month or so away.  Now if I could dip these toes in the ocean and sand.  

Thanks for sharing, Katrina and now the rest of you go try it.  

Scurred or scared...whichever

I drink a lot of water, try to keep it to a soda a day, coffee on a normal day. So I go to the bathroom ALOT. I remember at some point someone asking Al Roker from the Today Show how he gets up so early and doesn't over sleep. He said he drank a lot of water so he had to get up to go to the bathroom a lot during the night. A month or so ago he must of not got enough water the day before because he overslept and was late for the first time in his career. Last night it was about midnight or so and I get up to go to the bathroom. Jarad had come into the room but I didn't hear or see him (I don't use a nightlight when he's home) says something and scares...well the pee out of me. Good thing I was on the toilet. I yell "oh my god" not omg. I actually said it all out.  Who says things all they way out these days when obvi we can shorten things and move on a lot faster. I was sure I wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep because my heart was racing and Jarad was laughing hysterically but alas I did and the alarm soothingly woke me up in time to hit the streets once again. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Half Marathon Training Update - week 4

Seriously it's been 4 weeks since I agreed to this craziness!?!? Well last week was another womp womp week for training. I got out there twice, 5 mile run and a 2.5 mile bike ride. 

I was scared for the 5 miles but it wasn't bad actually. Who am I? 

I thought having Natalie to run with would insure that I finished the week's schedule.  Football, Big Brother (it's over tomorrow and I hate to say it...I'm ready to be done with it already), wine, pampered chef party, friends, etc got in the way...again.  The good thing though is I didn't make horrible food choices to go along with it.  

Last night we did go for a 5K so the week has started out on the right track. Now keep it going, Calista (yes I talk to myself....scary, but who else is going to put up with me 24 hours a day?). 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pampered Chef Party

Last Thursday I hosted a Pampered Chef party. These parties by themselves are a blast but of course I had to add a little spin on mine. As the girls arrived, Natalie and I had prepared a couple appetizers, stuffed mushrooms and an easy spanikopita of sorts. I didn't get pictures of the finished products because, well, they were quite yummy and didn't last long. 

After everyone arrived, had a glass of wine spritzer and got settled we were taught how to make the most delicious pasta and then a s'mores cake in their new RockCrok. 

This is the recipe for the pasta dish she taught us. She cooked the chicken in the large covered baker with some garlic and peppercorn seasoning as well as garlic infused canola oil. The chicken cooked in the microwave in 12-13 minutes and was so moist. 

 Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco Ingredients: 
4 garlic cloves, peeled
 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes 
 3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta 
 3 cups chicken broth 
 3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay 
 1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper 
 1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided 
 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup packed) 
 2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts 
 Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper (optional) 
 1. Spray Deep Covered Baker with olive oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Slice garlic into baker using Garlic Slicer. Add tomatoes. Cover; microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes. Crush tomatoes using Mix ‘N Chop. Add pasta, broth, wine, salt and black pepper.
 2. Return baker to microwave; cover and microwave on HIGH 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop basil with Chef's Knife. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish. Grate cheese using Rotary Grater. 
 3. Carefully remove baker from microwave and remove lid, lifting away from you. Add remaining basil, cheese and chicken to baker; mix well. Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired. 

 Yield: 8 servings 
Nutrients per serving: Light (about 1 cup): Calories 240, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 450 mg, Fiber 2 g 

 Cook’s Tips: 

An additional 3/4 cup chicken broth can be substituted for the wine, if desired. Any tube-shaped pasta requiring 9-11 minutes cook time, such as penne or rigatoni, can be substituted for the mezze penne pasta. 
To grill chicken in the Grill Pan, season 2 chicken breasts, about 6 oz each, with salt and black pepper. Heat Grill Pan over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Spray pan with oil. Cook chicken 4-6 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn chicken over; cook 4-6 minutes or until center of chicken is no longer pink and Digital Pocket Thermometer registers 170°F.

 © 2013 The Pampered Chef used under license. 

Everyone got to participate who wanted to and even those who say they don't cook got in the action.

Shawnne, my consultant, gave out tickets through out the class and had a drawing for some door prizes at the end.  Natalie won a chip clip but it's multi functional.

While everyone was checking out and of course Petey wanted to help, I had a little art project set up in the dining room. 

I purchased some very nice heavy wine glasses from the Dollar Tree and got a Martha Stewart paint kit from Michael's with a coupon of course. 

I had some inspiration pics streaming on my iPad that I had pulled from Pinterest. Everyone had a blast painting their glasses and each one turned out a little different.

Pampered Chef products are really some awesome products and their parties are fun times.  If you are invited to one or have a chance to host one I definitely recommend it. Guys can participate too.  She'll tailor the party to the group and can even do a grilling one.  Now I can't wait to get my items in that I'm going to order.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My favorite kitchen gadgets

I'm having a Pampered Chef party tomorrow. I love their products and their parties are fun times too. It's like having a Food Network cook come teach you a couple dishes and a few tricks along the way or the consultant I have is that good.  And it's all live and you get to taste the food. We don't have to wonder if it tastes as good as it looks. I was going through the catalog the other day to create my wish list and it got me thinking what my favorite must have kitchen gadgets were.

1) boat motor (As Emerril calls it) or a hand blender or whatever you call's fantastic. I use it for smoothies, milk shakes, mashed potatoes, soups, etc. Mine is Braun brand and came with all kind of attachments and it's pretty handy.


2) as a wedding gift we received a food processor. I never knew how much I needed this machine until I got one. It will slice and dice things so fast. I love making homemade salsa, pesto, etc in it.  Our's is Giada De Laurentiis from Target.  

3) santoku knife. We have a whole knife set but the knife that gets used the most is this one. I kind of want a small one too.  Oh I think pampered chef has one. Going on the list...until I looked at the price. Our knives are J.A. Henckels and again another wedding present. 

4) recent new fav is the grill pan I got for my birthday. I use it for chicken, steaks, hotdogs (even grilled my bun), hamburgers. I think it's got the most play of my pans recently. I love that you get the grill marks like I was out in front of a grill.  Ours is Calphalon from Khol's. 

I have quite a bit of other things I love but I couldn't live without these items. Can't wait to learn some new tricks and recipes tomorrow. 

What are your must have kitchen gadgets?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Half Marathon Training update - Week 3

Last week was kind of fail when it comes to running. 

My runs felt good. I did a good job of stretching. Better job eating. But life got in the way. I had agreed to host a girl's game night on Saturday after I had already started refinishing our dining room table. So I had to step it in high gear to be finished. I got it done in time to dry.

 Girl's game night (blogger fail. No pics of anything that night) was a fun night. And the apps I made were yummy. (Salsa roll ups. Homemade salsa. 3 layer hummus from Trader Joe's. meatballs.). This week I'm back at it and I even have Natalie to run with me. 

Obviously she wasn't a fan but we both agreed that it wasn't a bad run and really felt good after. I really liked having someone to run with because I have always thought I would be better as a lone runner. Now we just have to make sure and get out there. 

Here's to a great week. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Half Marathon Update - Week 2

I was going to write this post yesterday cause while everyone was out having BBQs, shopping or whatever you do on Labor Day, I was at home sanding furniture (it's a chore and I wish I was ambidextrous for the places that an electric sander can't get to and I must do manual), cleaning out the DVR and waiting for my weekly update from the app I use to track my runs.  They sent me a monthly update and that was it.

When I got the email I was like man that's a huge change from the previous 2 months. And I worked out in some fashion 2/3 of the days in the month.  Then my internal speakers cued LMFAO's song "I workout" and I smiled.

Last week was going good. Long run was faster, Tuesday's run was fastest pace for a longer run, 
Wednesday I pushed myself to an even faster pace cause Wednesday are my short run days 

and then Thursday hit.  I had said last week I was going to be better on stretching and I thought I was. Thursday I set out and my calves and ankles got so tight in the first mile that I thought about quitting.  Then I found this..

So I finished my 3 miles.  It wasn't pretty.  Wasn't fast.  Walked about half of it but I did it.  I think it was my time to learn the lesson that not all runs are going to be good ones but at least I was out there and I finished.  So I did extra good job on stretching and did some yoga on Thursday evening.  Used my foam roller and heating pad.  Friday is a rest day and I skipped Saturday cross training day.  I was scared for Sunday's 4 miler.  It was my 3rd time running this distance and in the end it wasn't that bad considering Thursday.  I was 37 seconds slower than the week before but I was happy with that.  The rest and the stretching helped.  Lesson learned.  

This week I'm going to continue focusing on stretching and strength training but I'm also going to be more conscious on what I eat.  I've read a couple articles on foods runners should eat.  I need to do a little more research but frozen blueberries in my yogurt with a glass of oj can't hurt.

What are your fitness focus goals this week?