Five on Gettin’ My Booty Bride-Ready Friday!

1. Count down

We are in the 50s peeps! I can’t believe there is only 1 full week left of June, so that means there are only 7 weeks left until I fly to Seattle the week before the wedding! We still have lots of little things to get done, and one of them is picking our first dance song, suggestions are more than welcome!

20140620-210225-75745072.jpg2. Slim down

I’ve really been making an extra effort this year to have the reigns a little tighter on my eating and stick to clean eating as much as possible.  I don’t think I’ve ever ate so many vegetables in my life! Eating lots of veggies is the only thing that really fills me up and keeps me full.  I usually roast a ton of veggies for dinner and any leftovers I’ll throw in a big salad for my lunch the next day.  I’ve lost 14lbs so far since January 1, and am now trying a lower carb, high protein & high fat approach.  I only started this week and so far so good! I definitely feel a lot fuller for longer and don’t feel the need to eat as often as I did previously, and am eating slightly less because of this.

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tumblr_nmindy I really want to work on toning up now too, so I’m going to try and get a lot more weight lifting sessions in and stop relying so much on just cardio.  These last 5lb are gonna be the hardest, so gotta get my butt into a worthy Hawaiian bikini bod!

3. Pecan Brownie Mini Cheesecake

I usually been having a protein pancake made with oatmeal, or some cereal after dinner, but since I’m nixing the evening carbs I needed to figure out something else to get my sweet fix.  Enter pecan brownie mini cheesecakes! Not a bad trade off!

photo 1 I adapted this recipe, but only made 6 cheesecakes instead of 12 so split the recipe in half.

  •  Add 1.5 pecan halves chopped up to the bottom of each muffin cup
  • In a microwave safe bowl mix 1/4 cup any nut butter of your choice (I used Peanut Butter & Co Mighty Maple mixed with almond butter) with 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil for 30 seconds or until melted.
  • Add 1.5 TBSP of cocoa powder
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar substitute
  • Mix all together and divide between the 6 muffin cups on top of chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350F (176C)
  • Whip together: 1 package (80z, or 200 grams)  lightest cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar substitute, 1/2 cup fage 0% greek yogurt, 1 egg, 1/4 cup low fat milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pour over chocolate crusts
  • Bake until set, about 25 minutes
  • Wait till they are cooled to eat, or stick them in the fridge for a couple hours for later

For one cheesecake


               Calories
Carbs Protein Fat Fiber Sugar
166       9 10 10 2 5

These are duh.li.scious.  The pecan chocolate topping tastes exactly like a brownie.  I just wanted to eat the tops off of all of them.  I eat the cheesecake part first and save the brownie piece for last, and finish it off with a swig of milk!  I think I’ll definitely try and make some brownie concoction with those ingredients!

4. Apron from Mom 

The only veil I found that I really liked was from David’s Bridal that I saw when I was back in Seattle for Christmas.  I didn’t have any luck finding anything similar here,  so I ordered the David’s Bridal one online to my moms house.  She was definitely taking her time sending it, and it turns out because she was working on this Texas apron for me, I sure love my Momma!

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5. Dress alteration

I had my wedding dress alteration on Wednesday, and couldn’t have asked for more perfect timing because my veil came in the mail that day too.  I was worried how my veil would look with the dress since I hadn’t tried them on together, but I loved my veil and they go together perfectly!

tumblr_mp0zyr6gNB1qi9722o1_500What’s happening in your neck of the woods? 

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Five on Friday- Bonjour Paris!

So I am suuuuper late posting this, and it feels like it was forever ago already! We surprised Greg’s mom with a trip to Paris and tickets to the French Open for her 70th birthday.  We took the Eurostar Saturday morning, it’s so handy taking a train from London straight to the city center in Paris, and it only takes about an hour and a half, crazzy!

1. Site seeing 

We were staying right by the Arc de triomphe, hello Eiffel Tower!

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The sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful day.  Basilique du Sacre couer.  I love going to see old churches in European cities.

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If you walk to the top of the church, behind it you will find Montmartre.  It is where a bunch of artist sell their paintings and will also paint your portrait.  There are tons of little cute cafes up there where you can get crepes, coffee, and croque madames, yes please! Paris May 2014 008

This is favorite place to go there.  The waiters are dressed up in french outfits, and you can sit by the window and watch all the happenings and artists in the square.

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2. Schwartz’s Deli

Some friends of mine went to this restaurant and said how good it was.  It had really good reviews on Tripadvisor, and they all said there was always a wait to get in because it was so good.  Me and Greg love our Reuben’s so it was a must visit on our list.  There was about a 20 minute wait when we got there, and the burgers that were coming out were huge and looked so good.  So as usual, we decided to get a bacon cheese burger and pastrami Reuben and split them, so good!

Paris May 2014 013 pastrami

3. French filled desserts! 

My carb dependent self was most looking forward to allllll the French pastries, baguettes, and crepes.  Our first day Greg and I split a hot ham and cheese baguette.  I hadn’t had a baguette in I don’t know how long, and it was duh-li-scious!

On the walk back to the hotel, after the Deli, we stopped at restaurant advertising crepes.   Nutella and banana crepe!

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and another one as our last meal before leaving Paris. Paris May 2014 055I also had a freshly made almond croissant, but inhaled it in about 5 seconds so didn’t get a picture.

Since I have a cookie butter obsession, we walked by a Haagen-Dazs and I saw they had Speculoos ice cream.  Wouldn’t be leaving without it!

Paris May 2014 028

4. French Open

We were there on the first day of the tournament on the main court, so we got to see Federer and Serena Williams.  We were really hoping to get to see Nadal though. After one of the matches we left the stadium and were walking around and look who we almost bumped in to!

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5. Seine Boat Tour

Our last day we only had a few hours to try and site see, so we decided to take a boat cruise.  The cruise started at the Eiffel Tower, and was about an hour.  We got to see Notre Dame Cathedral, so cool!

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Five on Friday- Speculoooooooos!

1. Zombie Blitz- Last Saturday Greg and I went to our 1940s WWI Zombie Blitz, it was so much fun! When we got there some sirens went off meaning we had to get to our air raid shelter.  Bombs were dropped nearby and we were trapped in the shelter and had to crawl through a completely dark zig zagging tunnel to try and find a way out.  The first room we found, there was a zombie girl locked up in a cell that was going crazy and trying to get us, so we ran out into a room that had a dead body on an operating table.  We heard some people coming so we ran upstairs and could see everything down below in the room.  Nazi soldiers and a doctor came in to show the soldiers the experimenting he had been doing on dead bodies and brought the dead body on the table back to life.  Once they left the room, we left with the dead guy chasing after us.  We found a room to hide in,  and a few minutes later the Nazi soldiers came in yelling at us like crazy, shooting off their guns and told us to face the wall with our hands behind our backs! Luckily British soldiers came in t0 save us and we ran out and through a maze with loads of other zombies chasing us and one on stilts, so scary!  At the end they let us shoot a fake gun that actually felt, sounded and sparked like a real gun in a room full of zombies coming straight at us. Luckily we finally made it to safety and survived!

Blitz

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2. Cauliflower pizza We have been having lots of cauliflower lately and I was craving a healthier pizza.  Most of the recipes I found used tons of cheese, which I guess helps to keep it in one piece but I wanted to try and keep it lower calorie and only used a little bit of grated mozzarella. It held together pretty well until I tried to move it from the pan to my plate and then it fell apart.  I probably had too many toppings! Oh well, it was still good.

cauliflower

3. Get Hammered- Some of our friends who recently got married just moved into a brand new house and we went to stay the night with them last Sunday night.  They moved more out into the country, and it’s such a cute little quiet place.  I was looking up some housewarming gift ideas on Pinterest, and loved this “get hammered” gift idea.  They really like wine so I knew this would be a good gift for them.

housewarming

4. Run- Tomorrow is my Nike Women’s 10K run.  Unfortunately the forecast is very strong winds and rain, so I’m still debating whether to go or not.  It would take about an hour to get there on the train, it doesn’t start till 8pm, and I’d have to go by myself so not sure how I’m feeling about that one now.

nike

race

5. Speculoos coffee syrup- I recently ordered some Lotus cookie butter from Amazon, and got an email with this new cookie butter flavored syrup! I haaaaaaad to get it.  I got it in the mail a few days later, and tried it out at work.  Unfortunately, but probably fortunately, it doesn’t really taste anything like it so at least I won’t be finishing the bottle anytime soon!

syrup

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Any fun weekend plans? 

Tips on a better cauliflower pizza? 

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Five on Friday- Sweet Potato Rosemary & Garlic Biscuits

Happy Friday!!

My mom sent me this cute picture of her cat napping in the window.  This is how I felt this morning, and am thankful it’s Friday and I can sleep in tomorrow!

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1. Electric Run- Last Saturday night we ran the 5K Electric Run.  It was held atWembley Stadium, and the course was pretty much running around the stadium and back.  They had different stopping points around the course where music was playing and people could stop and dance and take pictures.  Once you finished, they had a stage with dance music playing where everyone gathered and hung out dancing there.  There was also beer, burgers, and fish and chips available for purchase after, it was funny seeing people walking around with pints of beer after a run!

wembley

 

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2. Liverpool - Tomorrow we are driving to Liverpool to watch Everton v Manchester City, it should be a good game and I hope we win!  It takes about 3 hours to get there, so it’s going to be a long day of sitting!

3. WWII Zombie Blitz-  For Greg’s birthday I got him a zombie apocalypse experience.  It is set in the 1940s during WWII and the story is Nazi Soldiers have been experimenting on people and they have turned into zombies.  We some how become apart of the story and I imagine we will be chased by a few zombies!

zom

4. May Day- Monday the 5th is May Day here, and we get the day off work! Apparently it is the time of the year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom.  I guess the government thought it would be a shame to spend the day cooped up inside when we should be outside enjoying spring.  Thanks again Queenie!

yay

5. Sweet potato rosemary & garlic biscuits-  Since I’ve been on my venison kick lately, when I was having one of the steaks, I realized it tasted a lot like breakfast sausage.  Unfortunately McDonald’s breakfast sausage sandwiches has been the only place here to get anything similar to my ‘Merican breakfast sausage. Once I realized I’ve found a very tasty, and much healthier replacement, a healthier biscuit had to follow!  I wanted something with more sweet potato, less flour, and no butter.  I loosely followed this recipe.  It said it made 7-8 biscuits, but the pictures were very deceiving and they were more like donut hole size than biscuits so I made reshaped them and made 6.

photo (5)

Sweet potato rosemary & garlic biscuits

6 biscuits

Ingredients

wet:

1/4 cup low fat milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup pre-cooked mashed sweet potato ( cook a sweet potato in the microwave for 5 minutes and mash)
1 Tablespoon  canola oil
1/3 – 1/2 tsp salt
season with as much garlic powder, onion powder, and dried rosemary to your preference
Dry:
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  In a bowl mix  milk and vinegar and let sit to curdle for 2 minutes. Add  sweet potato, salt, seasonings, oil to the milk, Mix well.
In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and soda. Add 1 cup of the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture and mix till just about combined.  Add more flour if needed to make a soft stick-ish dough. Mix only until just combined, do not over-mix or knead. (a total of 5-6 mixes or folds in total). Pat down the soft dough onto parchment to about a 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Use a little flour if needed if the dough is sticky.  I weighed my dough and evenly divided them and formed into 6 biscuits
Nutrition information
Number of servings  6
Ingredients Calories Carbs Protein Fat Fiber Sugar
Allinson – Wholemeal Self-raising Flour, 135 g 446 83 16 3 12 3 Ico_delete
Sainsbury – Sweet Potato (Loose), 105 g 101 22 1 0 3 1 Ico_delete
Sainsbury’s So Organic – Rapeseed Oil, 14 ml 116 0 0 13 0 0 Ico_delete
Meijer – 1% Lowfat Milk, 0.25 cup 25 3 2 1 0 3 Ico_delete

                                            Calories     Carbs      Protein      Fat        Fiber      Sugar

Total: 688 108 19 17 15 7
Per Serving: 115 18 3 3 3 1

biscuit

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Five on Good Friday

Happy Good Friday!!

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I thank the Queen for giving us Good Friday and Easter Monday off of work!

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1. Good Friday.

Good Friday always reminds me of my first job in high school at Barnacle Bill’s, a seafood restaurant. Every Friday during Lent, and especially Easter Weekend we were crazy busy. We were all like a little family there so the busy buzz of the restaurant actually made it really fun working weekend. Good ol’ carefree high school days!

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2. Protein pancakes

I recently found some cookies and cream protein powder and decided to throw it in to my oatmeal pancakes to give it more of a protein punch.  We have some chocolate protein powder but its nothing special, cookies and cream makes these so good! I usually top mine with some sliced bananas and cinnamon.

I use a 1/4 cup of oatmeal, 1/4 cup of 0% Fage yogurt, an egg white and about half a scoop of protein powder, delish!

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3. Easter lunch

Tomorrow we are going over to Greg’s Armenian Aunt’s house for an Easter lunch.  She is seriously the best cook AND the best baker and cooks the most delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.  She used to be a professional cake maker and is just an amazing cook as well.  Their culture is the more you eat the happier she is because it’s a compliment to her cooking, and there is always so much, so we always leave with happy bellies!

4. Four months today till the wedding!

Today is exactly four months until our wedding!! We still haven’t decided on our first dance song, so I welcome any suggestions!

Check out my child looking chalkboard art.

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5. Sunrise service

I loved going to our Church’s Easter sunrise service on Easter Sunday growing up.  Being outside as the sun is rising for the Easter sermon was always a highlight for me, I think the free glazed doughnuts helped too!  Unfortunately there is a 90% chance of rain tomorrow morning, so it looks like it is going to be rain instead of sun filled morning.

Hope you all have a great Easter weekend!

Any fun Easter weekend plans?

First dance song recommendations? 

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Five on Friday- “Backstreet’s back, alright!”

1.  Backstreet Boys! Greg got me ticket’s to see the Backstreet Boys for my birthday and we finally got to go see them.  Although I was definitely way more of an N’SYNC fan growing up, I did like me some Backstreet Boys. The concert was good, although they must have just released a new CD and I didn’t know any of their new songs, but the classics were definitely a hit!

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2.  Public Health Day  I was asked to be the nutritionist of the day at a local town’s Public Health Day.  I really enjoyed getting to talk to so many people about nutrition.  The day flew by and definitely beat my office admin day job! I met some people that were interested in having a nutritionist come to their businesses to give their staff healthy eating advice so hopefully it will bring some good experience my way.

stand1 stand

3. The original Cookie Butter!   I wasWAY late jumping on the Cookie Butter, and  since Trader Joe’s is unfortunately not in the UK, I heard about the original cookie butter that I can buy here!  I have had the Lotus cookies before and they are amazing and this spread is just as good.  It’s super rich so a little dab does the job!

lotus

4. Venison  We recently discovered venison meatballs, steaks, and sausages sold at our grocery store.  I wasn’t too sure how I felt about venison, I used to have it as a kid at my grandparents during deer hunting season and I don’t think I really cared for it then, so I was a bit wary.  The meatballs were on sale so we decided to try them.  They come with a little packet of sauce similar to spaghetti sauce, and ya’ll, they were amazzzzzzing.  So good I want to eat them every night of the week, I think the sauce really takes them to another level.  We just bought the sausages and steaks to try.  I don’t think they have any sauce with them so we shall see how they compare.

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5. Sweet potato love  I am a creature of habit and have been having roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms with so many of our dinners lately.

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Growing up in Texas, I pretty much lived off of refried bean and cheese tacos, Taco Cabana anyone?!  As much as I love tortillas, they are made with white flour and lard so I thought I would put my beloved beans and cheese on some leftover roasted sweet potatoes for some more nutritional value instead.  They are the perfect after work snack and a few bites is all I need to get my fix.  You can take the girl out of Texas…….

sweetpot

 

N’SYNC or Backstreet Boys? 

Do you like venison? 

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Five on Friday- Get yo booty movin’!

Seriously how fast is this year going by? Rah-diculous!  Can’t believe there are only a few days left of March.   Spring is definitely here and it’s so nice to see all the pretty flowers blooming on trees.

We have to change our clocks forward this weekend, we normally do it about a week later than the States, but this year has been about 3.  It’s been nice only having a 4 & 7 hour time difference to talk to my fam.  The only good thing about losing an hour of sleep is longer days and shorter nights means summer time is almost here!

Mother’s Day is on Sunday here in the UK, and Greg is an April Fool’s baby, so lot’s of celebrations goin’ on! His ‘Mum’s’ 70th birthday is in May and we are surprising her with a trip to Paris to go to the French Open.  We want to make sure she doesn’t try and make any other plans so we are going to surprise her with the gift for Mother’s Day.  He got her a cheese board that slides open to where the knives are and is going to put the ticket there, and I’m going to wrap some French cheese for her to go with it, ha!

So on to gettin my booty movin’, the only race we had considered running this year was the  Las Vegas Rock n Roll half marathon, the insane entry fee last year was $185.  In January they sent out a special for $99 if we wanted to register for this year.  We weren’t sure if it would even be possible only a few months after the wedding, but we thought we might as well enter while the prices are so much cheaper.  We were checking out flight and hotel prices a couple weeks ago, and they were so cheap that we had to jump on the opportunity.  So we’re all booked up now and we’re goin back to Vegas!

RNR

 

2. 5K Electric Run 

I’ve heard about this run, and after seeing it on The Bachelor it looked like a lot of fun!

ER

2. Nike Women’s 10K

This is also a night run in Central London, Nike have partnered with Elle for this women’s only run.  I’ve never participated in a night run before, but I’m excited to run around London with my friends at night!

NR 3. Royal Parks Half Marathon

This race takes place in the fall and is through central London and all the famous sights.  The entry is done through a ballot so it’s really hard to get into, we applied last year and didn’t get in, and applied again this year thinking the same would happen.  Well, I got a place, but Greg didn’t.  Luckily he found a way to get a spot through a charity, so we are run-ning! (Forrest Gump style)

The only worrying thing is, the race is exactly a month after we get back from our honeymoon, so that means training right up to the wedding and during our honeymoon.  I guess getting some long runs in around Maui wouldn’t be such a bad thing though!

RP

5. Spin  One of my good friends I went to school with here got her certification to teach spin, it was fun to take her class and see her teach.  I hadn’t taken a spin class in 5+ years, the saddle soreness kills me! Does that ever go away?!  

bike

Spin- love it or hate it? 

Do you have any races planned for this year? 

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