Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Homemade Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Today I am sharing my homemade chicken fried rice recipe with you. This isn't your typical recipe... you do NOT need to follow any of these directions "by the book!" In fact, I encourage you to take this and make it your own. Add your own twist!  Having never made the same fried rice twice, I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is a super flexible dish.  This is a great way to use up leftover rice, meat, and veggies at the end of a week. I've also made this as a side dish, just serve the protein on the side!

I hope you enjoy this video. Let me know if you try this recipe out, or if you have your own version!




Ingredients
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 tbs oil (something with a high smoke point)
2 cups cooked rice (day old rice works best!)
1 cup protein (cooked shrimp, beef, chicken, tofu, etc.)
1/4 cup green onions
1 egg, cracked and beat with a fork
1/4 cup frozen peas and carrots (or any veggies you have on hand!)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
pepper to taste

Directions
Prepare all ingredients ahead of time so they are close by and ready to go. In a large skillet or wok, heat oil and red pepper flakes at a medium high heat. Add onions and veggies, saute until soft. Then add egg, cook until scrambled. Add rice, soy sauce, chicken, and pepper. Stir fry together for about 3-5 minutes, until desired doneness.  Serve hot.



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Friday, October 3, 2014

Taco Pasta Bake

Today I am sharing my version of the ever popular Taco Pasta Bake! I found this recipe on Pinterest (here), and I've changed it up to make it my own. I hope you give this a try! 



Ingredients:
1 lb cooked and drained ground turkey or beef
3/4 bag dried pasta, cooked and drained
2-3 cups spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided.
1 1/2 cups water
1 block cream cheese
1/4 cup taco seasoning
Chopped green onions (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook and drain pasta. Set to the side. Cook and drain ground been or turkey. Set to the side. Add taco seasoning to the water, mix well. Add the seasoning mixture to ground beef. Add cream cheese, stir until melted and combined. Once combined, add spinach, half of the shredded cheese, and pasta. Stir until combined. Place in a baking dish, top with remaining cheese, and place uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes. Top with green onion and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!


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A new post? Whaaat?


I know. It's been awhile. Almost six months, to be exact. To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure if I would be back here again. Six months ago, this space didn't feel right for me. Constantly writing about weight loss, healthy living, and everything in between became a chore. No longer interested in writing about healthy living, made writing about eating, weight loss, and fitness something I dreaded doing. It felt like a chore.  So... I stopped, and took a breather.

Looking to my last post, one can read how I felt change coming. I had been feeling it for a year or so. I wasn't happy in my career, wasn't happy with myself, and felt stuck in almost every way. In the spring of this year, I graduated with my Master's degree.  Soon after, I got a new job. A month ago, we moved. And not soon after that,  I found a new hobby. That's a whole lot of change in just half a year.

Taking some time off helped me to dig deep and really think about what I wanted; in life, in my career, and in this space.  I feel refreshed and refocused, and I believe I now have a clear vision of what I want to accomplish in all aspects of my life. To be honest, it's completely liberating.

Youtube has become a new outlet for me. I adore it. Never would I have planned on making Youtube videos. Even now, typing that out makes me giggle. It happened gradually at first, and has picked up speed the last week or two-the way falling in love with a new project often does. After following different Youtube channels for a year or so, and after months of my husband's encouraging words, I decided to make my own channel.

Most of the YT channels I watch are women that are housewives, stay at home moms, or people that work from home and have more time to create and share. Drew thought that perhaps I could create videos from a different perspective- a women that works full time, with no children. With his confidence in me, I took a giant leap and have fallen in love with the whole process.

So, all that said, I need and want to let you all know that this space will be changing. Not all details are worked out as of yet, but I going to be cleaning this ol' blog up. I may still post healthy living topics from time to time, but that will not be my entire focus.

I would love it if you would come along with me in this new adventure. Like any worthwhile journey, it is bound to have some ups and downs. I would love to have you along for the ride!


Thanks for reading,

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

I decided to join a Homemaker linkup this week since I'm on spring break and I feel like I really am a home maker. Living the dream, guys.



As I look out my window:It's rainy and gross, but still getting warmer each day. I'll just keep in mind that "April showers bring May flowers."

Right now I am: relaxing with my husband after dinner.

Thinking and pondering: Where life is going to take me. Deep, I know. But I have a sense that something new is coming along soon.

On my bedside table: My bible, devotional, and book for grad school

On my TV tonight: Grey's Anatomy. We are very behind, and we are playing catch up. Drew is watching baseball.

Listening to: My dog Jeffrey chewing on a bone, my husband humming on the couch. 

On the menu tonight: THIS taco pasta bake made with GF noodles. It was really yummy.

On my to do list: My list for tomorrow is

  • finish painting coffee bar
  • go to the bank
  • take wood back to Lowe's
  • Trip to dollar store for shipping envelope
  • Stop by the post office 
Plans for this week: I just have lots of projects to complete and relaxing to do!

What I am creating: I am finishing up our coffee bar. Andrew made me a shelf and I am repurposing a small bookshelf we had. I'll make sure to show you the end result! 

My simple pleasure: Sleeping in. Spring break, I love you.

Homemaking tips: Clean as you go. I love to cook but I hate cleaning up the huge mess I always make. Cleaning as I go helps me to make it manageable.

Looking around the house: I see a clean space with lots of items to be sold in our garage sale this weekend.

From the camera: 

I was at a bachelorette party this weekend and Drew was with the Bachelor. The girls began at wine and canvas and ended up driving up to the casino to play a joke on the boys. It ended up being a TON of fun, we had a blast. 

fish tacos 

lovely ladies 

finished products 
Surprised the boys, only to realize almost all of them were already asleep. LAME! We had a blast with the three who were left. 


Dollar slots are where it's at 
Prayer list: Our families have lots of exciting events in the upcoming months. Two weddings, a baby on the way, reunions and trips. Pray for blessings upon all of it. 

Bible verse, Devotional: Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


This was super fun, thanks DOASAHM for hosting!


What are you all up to this Monday?
Don't forget to enter the Flourish giveaway HERE



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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flourish Boutique Grand Opening


Last Thursday evening I was invited to Flourish Boutique for their Grand Opening celebration, and wow, did they celebrate in style! Flourish has been around since 2008, but they just re-opened in their new location just a short distance down the road in Centennial Plaza. You may remember this post from a previous fashion show, and this one was just as fun!

The new store is incredible. Glitter on the floors, pink walls, giant chandeliers- the perfect place to have fun shopping with some friends. And if you aren't local, their website has all the fun wrapped into their online store!


While I waited for the show to start, I walked around and took in all the glamorous surroundings. I tried on a few pieces, admired the beautiful hors d'oeuvres,  and chatted with some other bloggers.


Soon after I arrived, the fashion show began. Instead of a typical runway, they used the huge windows in the store with live models. It was fun to watch the models come and go with different outfits on. Here are some of my favorites:

THIS dress was just so beautiful 

THIS bag.... 

I die. 


This was my favorite favorite favorite item of the night. 
If you live near the Granger area, do yourself a favor and head over to Flourish Boutique



Flourish is also giving you all the chance to win a $25 gift card! Check out the giveaway below to enter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Flourish for a super fun evening and congratulations on your new (amazing) location!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Katz Gluten Free Baked Goods


Hi everyone! I wanted to share a new resource I found for gluten free items. I wasn't paid to do this review. I simply want to share an awesome resource for any of you that are gluten free. a friend shared this website with me, and I am super impressed. Katz has some delicious gluten free items that you can have shipped to your door.

When I was first checking out the website, I discovered that you can order a free sample box, which includes many of their items. You have to pay a very small shipping fee, but for a very small fee you get many items to try. I placed my first order on Monday, and the box was waiting for me when I got home on Wednesday. My first box was damaged, and a few items inside crumbled as a result of UPS's poor handling. I contacted Katz and they sent me a replacement box immediately. That's amazing customer service! The sample pack included:

  • 1 slice of whole grain bread
  • 1 slice of white bread
  • 1 slice of challah bread
  • 1 powdered donut
  • 1 chocolate cupcake
  • 1 english muffin
  • 1 cookie
  • 1 rugelah (similar to a cinnamon roll)
  • 1 slice of marble cake 

My favorite item from the sample box was the chocolate cupcake. I've only tried one box mix for cake, but it was disgusting. This cupcake tasted amazing, and had the perfect chocolately taste I was craving.

I can see myself ordering baked goods to keep on hand for special occasions, or for holidays when I know I am going to miss out on something like pie. This definitely will not be a weekly or even monthly purchase, but stocking up on special items may be a good idea (especially because orders of $50 or more are shipped free).

I hope you or someone you know that is gluten free find this helpful! I was very grateful to find this website.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to save money when buying textbooks

Some days I feel super boggled down with grad school work. Usually during one of these times I bring it up to friends or family, and I end up finding out someone else I know is in school too. I find that grad school goes a little under the radar, and I'm always surprised at how many people I know are in school too! 

By far the biggest thing that comes up when talking about school is the incredible cost. Textbooks are always way more expensive than what we think! I wanted to let you all know some tips I have for saving some money on textbooks.

1. Share books with friends.
-pretty much self explanatory, but sometimes people forget that sharing books with other students is super helpful and can save a lot of money. A colleague of mine is in the same program as I am, but we take classes at different times so we can swap books. It has saved a lot of money!

2. Shop around

-If you want to buy your books, check out every option. One site might be cheapest for one book, but may be super expensive for another. Check out all of your options if buying is the way you want to go. 

3. RENT your textbooks

-I think campusbookrentals.com is amazing! 
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods
-they donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented
-free returns within 21 days(this one is HUGE! I've bought so many books before that I never ended up using. This way you can begin your course and figure out if you really will use the book or not!) 


4. Make money off your textbooks
-some people keep their textbooks thinking they will use them down the line. I have not used a single book since graduating with my undergrad degree. I learned my lesson and now sell back all my books. 
-RENT your books! I wish this would have been around a long time ago. RentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own - to other students... which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what you will make through buyback options!



College is SO expensive, and the additional cost of books can put budgets over the edge. I hope this can help someone along the way!
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*This post is sponsored by Campus Book Rentals. As always, all opinions are my own.