November Cara Box Reveal {Link Up}

28 November 2012


Today is the day!

It's time to link up and reveal your November Cara Boxes!

If you want to know more about the Cara Box Exchange, click on the tab at the top of my blog (:

November's theme was "Childhood..."

It was such an amazingly fun month and brought up a ton of old memories!

My partner this month was Jena.

It was so amazing to get my box this month because it actually arrived the first day we got to our new home in Colorado!

This adorable little package was on my front porch

The first thing I saw when I opened the box was this picture frame

I love the quote and the paper flowers are really neat. The frame matches everything else in our house so it was perfect (:

Then I found an array of notebooks, Disney princess crayons, and sparkly pencils. Brought me back to elementary school and school supply shopping. (I used to look forward to that all year)

Next up: Nothing says childhood like CANDY!!!

I LOVE nerds & pop rocks.

I told Jena I loved playing with my mom's makeup when I was little, so naturally she included some beauty products. The eyeshadows are really pretty and will be perfect for the holidays.

Lastly, what girl didn't like playing dress up? She made little flower rings and sent me these gloves, necklace and wand. I especially love the lace gloves!

I loved getting to know Jena. She is hilarious, sweet and I adore her blog.
Go check out the Cara Box I sent her (:


So what did you get in your Childhood Cara Box?

Link up below!

The December Cara Box Announcement will post on December 3rd, so get excited!!!!



get the InLinkz code

Calorie Counting

27 November 2012

{via}

We are finally back and settled in after a Thanksgiving! It was so wonderful to spend time with Ryan's family.

Today I want to talk to you about Calorie Counting.
Seems like a perfect time considering 98% of us are on calorie overloads after this past week.


Now I know this can be a touchy subject, and by no means am I suggesting that I'm an expert or you should starve yourself, I'm just letting you know about Calorie Counting from my experience.


Last year, after the holidays, I was about 10-15 pounds over my normal weight.
Let's face it, I couldn't say no to my dad's famous red velvet cake or 5 pounds of mashed potatoes during the Christmas break.


So I decided to try and find a way to lose the pounds quickly, but healthy.
I started doing Jillian Michaels dvds 3-5 days a week & I began counting calories.
I really encourage everyone to write down what they are eating and the corresponding calories for a week.


It completely blew me away.


I was eating hundreds of extra calories a day in just condiments.
When I decided how many calories I wanted to eat each day and then carefully planned out how to get the most food for that number, I was shocked at how many stupid things I was wasting calories on prior to that.


I would eat an apple for a snack with peanut butter - healthy.
But then I would slather the slices with about 4 tablespoons of peanut butter - that's an extra 500 calories!!


I started realizing I could eat all of the same snacks, I just needed the right portions.
An apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter was healthy - and only 150ish calories.


So if you're wanting to drop some weight before you add on another 10 pounds for Christmas, I really encourage you to Calorie Count - even for just a day or two.
I think you will be amazed at how many "empty" calories you are consuming.


By all means, eat cheese and ice cream and pasta...
Just eat them in healthy portions.
Find out how many calories you should be eating and stick within that range.
And add some activity, even walking your dog for 20 minutes, to see increased results.


Counting Calories was an easy way that I was able to lose weight, even when I couldn't work out.
It allowed me to be aware of what I was choosing to eat and make smart decisions when it came to food.


I lost those extra 10-15 pounds in 6 weeks last year!
And trust me, I will NOT sacrifice eating delicious food this holiday season, so I'll most likely find myself following this article's advice, come January (:



Don't forget! The November Cara Box Reveal Link Up is tomorrow!!!
Get your posts ready!



Best Blate EVER

13 November 2012

Best.Blate.Ever.

I could be impartial considering this was my first blate ever...

blate (n) blog + date

me + lauren + tiffany

Anywho, these two girls were some of the first bloggers I discovered when I started Wifessionals. I became very close to them and after numerous emails, texts, laughs and tears, we decided a blate was in order.

We chose to meet Lauren (who lives in between us) at Cracker Barrel, since Lauren had never even eaten there before :: i know, SIN ::


After awkwardly circling the explosion of Christmas decorations and treats in the lobby for 10ish minutes, I finally locked eyes with Lauren. We chatted and waited for Miss Tiff (just kidding, we don't call her that). Once we all finally "met" we  got a table and ordered some food.

Biscuits and gravy all around + Tiffany's kids french toast + Tiffany's 2 cartons of chocolate milk + Tiffany's frosted mug


This girl is obviously NOT experiencing morning sickness any more...you'd never know she was preggers, though...her skinny little butt in her skinny little jeans (:

After about 4 hours of baby whispering (more on that in a later post), creepy old men, 5,000 pictures, a "trunk change" and a ton of laughs, our blate came to a close.

It was such a blessing for me to be able to meet these two in real life before I move tomorrow. Now I'm looking forward to future girl's weekends or reuniting in Colorado some time.


If you ever get the chance to have a blate DO IT! It's amazing. You become so close to these women you meet through your blog and by the time you meet in person, you feel like you're already biffles.

Seriously, we had no intros, no getting to know yous - we just jumped right in and started talking like we had just had lunch the day before.


Best part of the blate: talking about other bloggers we love by first name and us all knowing exactly who we were talking about...like these bloggers are celebs...I also loved getting each other's perspective on the blogging world and encouraging each other in our blogs' future growth (:

Lovessssss you two!


Creamy Lemon Broccoli & Chicken {Crockpot}

09 November 2012

Crockpot obsession continues!

They just make life SO much easier.

This dish is a great 'comfort food' option. It's super tasty and I liked the hint of lemon in it. Just serve it over rice or pasta!

Creamy Lemon Broccoli & Chicken (serves 3-4)
  • 2 chicken breasts, slightly defrosted or defrosted
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12oz frozen broccoli
  • 8oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, in small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. In a bowl, mix onion powder, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, tarragon and olive oil.
  2. Take each chicken breast and coat with mixture. Place chicken in the skillet and brown for 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Spray your crockpot with cooking spray. Place chicken at the bottom.
  4. In the skillet, add the chicken broth, lemon and garlic. Bring to a simmer. Pour over the chicken and cover the crockpot.
  5. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Remove chicken and cut into bite sized pieces. Return to the crockpot and add the frozen broccoli and cream cheese. Stir, switch to high, and cover for 30 minutes.
  6. Before serving, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth. Pour into the crockpot, stir and re-cover until it starts to bubble. This will thicken the sauce. Add in the parmesan and serve!

Creamy Chicken Taco Soup {Crockpot}

06 November 2012


 We're in the final countdown...

8 days until we make the big move to Colorado.

So I've been getting creative and trying to find ways to use up all the food we still have in our freezer and pantry.

THIS is the best little creation I came up with this week.

So creamy, so delicious, so perfectly seasoned. This probably could feed 4-5 people - Ryan and I only got 2.5 servings out of it.

After the first bite, I was done for.

2 bowls later, my tummy was stuffed, even though I really wanted to eat more (:

It started out with the intention of being a chili of some sort. It ended up too thin for a "chili", but thicker and creamier than typical "soup". I just decided to stick with calling it soup though.


Creamy Chicken Taco Soup {Crockpot}

Ingredients:
- 2 frozen chicken breasts
- 1 cup chopped onions (I used frozen)
- 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 can cannellini beans (undrained)
- 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 dash cayenne pepper
- 8oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions:
1// Spray crockpot with cooking spray
2// Place chicken breasts at the bottom
3// Pour in the onions, corn, tomatoes, cannellini beans, rinsed black beans, chicken broth, taco seasoning, garlic, and cayenne.
3// Stir the mixture, leaving the chicken at the bottom of the crockpot.
4// Place the cream cheese on top and cover.
5// Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 5-6.
6// One hour before serving, remove chicken breasts and shred.
7// Mix back into the soup and stir to blend in cream cheese.
8// Mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl and add to the soup. Stir well.
9// Cover and let cook/thicken for one hour.
10// Serve


This is such a great recipe because it takes absolutely NO PREP. You don't have to brown anything or thaw anything. Just basically throw everything in and Voila!

6 hours later you have heaven in a bowl.



Easy Peasy Pizza Dough - Made With Beer!

02 November 2012

Yes, you read that right.

You can make pizza dough from beer.

I was sitting at home and I wanted pizza. But doughs always want yeast.

Who the heck buys packets of yeast on the regs?!

I don't.

So I thought, "What has yeast in my house?"
Beer.

Was this possible?!

The more I researched it seemed feasible - but most recipes still called for yeast.

So, I decided, we would try it my way. And my way turned out to be AWESOME.

Grab yourself a 12oz beer.
In sticking with the Fall theme, I used this Harvest Pumpkin Ale.

In a bowl, pour 3 cups of flour. Mix in 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon onion powder. Add in your beer and stir well.

I used a silicone spatula. It worked well because the dough didn't stick to it.

Once it's mixed, sprinkle some extra flour on it, dust your hands with flour and kneed a few times to get it mixed and into a ball shape.

Now if you love a thick crust pizza (think pan pizza at Pizza Hut) leave it in one ball. If you want a thin crust pizza, split your ball into two, for two thin crusts.

We chose thick and delicious.

Coat your hands in olive oil and rub around the outside of the dough ball(s).

Place in a clean dish and cover with a dish towel for an hour.

If you don't have an hour, I'm sure you can just move on, but I wanted it to rise a bit.

Place parchment paper on your pans and press out the dough. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Bake the crust for 5 minutes.

Voila!



Slather with toppings (I made my famous Buffalo Chicken Pizza)

And bake for 10 more minutes.


 This dough was scrumptious. And so freaking easy!

It took 5 minutes to prepare and I had everything I needed in my pantry.

You're Welcome.


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