Sep 15, 2014

Currently...


Reading: Ok, I'm totally obsessed with Outlander. I just finished book one, and just started the second book Dragonfly in Amber. My best friend, Kris, recommended these to me forever ago, but with the series I finally started reading them. They are long, but I'm so hooked. Never thought I'd lust after a redhead, but then he is in a kilt!

Watching: Outlander, obviously! I can't believe the first half of season 1 is about to end. But at least the new TV season is about to start, so finally, my shows will be back.

Thinking about: All the races I have coming up in the fall and winter. As of now, it's 1 5k, 3 10ks, and 3 half marathons. I can't believe that the girl that never ever thought she could run, is running 13.1 miles!

Looking forward to: Going to Florida Blog Con this weekend. I had such a great time last year, I can't wait to go and learn and meet tons of new friends!

Wishing: That the sun came out later, so I could sleep in more on my long run days. But in the end, it's all worth it to see that I can do it. I never thought I'd be running 10 miles on the weekend (like I did on Saturday!), but I did it! If I can do it, anyone can.

Making me happy: My FitBit buzzing to tell me I reached my 10,000 step goal for the day, new makeup, jumping in the pool on a hot afternoon, talking to friends til all hours of the night, crazy ideas, piling all my hair on top of my head and being told it looks nice.

Sep 12, 2014

Friday five

Hope everyone had a great week out there. I feel like I've been working out like crazy with the half marathon training and I also started T25 a couple of weeks ago. But in the end, I know it'll all be worth it. Here are some of my faves I found between work and working out this week:


picture from girl. Inspred
1. Fave craft
I love pouches, I could make pouches to hold and keep together everything. I can't wait to make another boxy pouch, maybe in a chevron, like this one.


2. Fave recipe
Honey Mustard Fried Chicken Sliders. I don't need to say anything else!


via Etsy
3. Fave fitness
My best friend and I totally got these shirts to rock at our next race. We're always saying how crazy we are, why not tell the world! LOL

picture from A Beautiful Mess
4. Fave accessory
This head wrap is such a great idea. It would do a great job hiding nasty runner's hair.



5. Fave bit of redheaded awesomeness
Check out these 11 facts about redheads.


I hope everyone has an awesome weekend in store!

Sep 10, 2014

Friendship bracelets tutorial

Those new "friendship"-style bracelets that are all over are so easy to make, there's no need to shell out the big bucks for them.


I'm gonna show you how to make the super easy braided bracelets. All you need is some cotton braiding cord, or really any cording that you like, and some scissors.

Take 6 pieces of cord about 16 inches long each. You can vary the colors however you want. Take all of the cords together and loosely knot one end about 2 inches from the ends of the cord. Then just start braiding like you would with your hair. Don't pull the braid too tight. You want to keep it kind of loose, so it will lay flat. Once your braid goes almost around your whole wrist, loosely knot the other end.

We kept the knots on the ends loose, so you can even out the braid. Make sure you have about an equal amount of loose cord after the knots. I always end up making my braid too long for my wrist, so I will undo a little of the braid in order to get it to be short enough to go around my wrist, but not all the way. Once you have your braid the length you want it, tighten the knots. After the knots are tightened, you'll need to cut some of the extra cords (only keep 2 or 3 per side). Cut the other cords as close as you can to the knot.

Now, gather all the long ends and tie a knot at the end to keep those together. Now, you can stop here and just tie the bracelet around your wrist. But I'm on my own and don't have anyone to tie my bracelets, so I make a slide close.

To make the slide, first cross the ends of the bracelet over each other. Then, take a piece of cording about 6 inches long. Make a loop near one end and hold across both of the ends of the bracelet. You should have one short cut end and the loop at the other.

With the long part of the cording, wrap around the bracelet ends 4-5 times (start wrapping from the cut end, and finish near the loop. When you are done wrapping, put the long end through the loop and pull on both ends. Check to make sure you can open and close your bracelet. You can cut the extra ends of the slide cord, but I like to make a knot very close to the wrapped cord and then cut.

Now, just slide on your bracelet and rock your new creation.

Did you ever make friendship bracelets back in the day?
*Affiliate links used in this post.

Sep 8, 2014

Baked plantains

Plantains seem to be the hot new food trend in the healthy circles these days, but for me it's been a staple of my diet since before I can even remember. Plantains were almost a daily staple on my dinner table. Since plantains are so available now, I figure I'd share some of the ways to cook plantains with you.

Plantains may look like bananas on steroids, but they aren't just big bananas. They are starchier and you have to cook them. You can cook them when they are green and unripe or yellow and ripe. (TIP: The more black spots on your ripe plantains, the sweeter they will be.)

Though the usual recipes call for you to fry the plantains, I was looking for something healthier, baked plantains. You can easily make this in the oven, but it's so easy to make in the microwave. This works with ripe plantains. These were a little under ripe for my taste (I like them sweeter), but still worked really well.


Ingredients
~ 1 ripe plantain
~ Oil or cooking spray
Yields 2 servings

1. Peel the ripe plantain. (Use a knife to cut off the ends and score the skin, then peel with your fingers.)
2. Coat lightly with oil or cooking spray and wrap in paper towel.
3. Microwave for 2 minutes (or until soft). (Alternately, you can bake the plantains until tender and caramelized.)
4. Eat as part of your favorite meal.

The plantains are sweet on their own and there is no need to add any sweeteners. This recipe is so easy and so yummy. It makes a perfect side dish for any meal. I really love having sweet plantains with pork or chicken.

Have you tried plantains before?

Sep 5, 2014

Friday five

I'm gonna change up my friday posts and instead I'm just gonna showcase five of my faves from the week. I'm gonna try to span a few different topics, so here goes...


picture from Sew Can She
1. Fave craft
These ribbon and vinyl zipper pouches are cute and would be perfect to hold your TSA liquids when flying.


via YouTube
2. Fave food
I must make baby groot cupcakes! They are too cute for words.


picture from Eating Bird Food
3. Fave fitness
This list of 80 reasons to exercise is sure to have a reason in there for everyone. I like numbers 19, 25, and 31.


4. Fave funny
This is just too true, "If Guy Best Friends Acted Like Girl Best Friends"!


via Urban Decay
5. Fave makeup
My new Perversion mascara is totally rocking my lashes!


I hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll be heading to the beach to get in some more summer!

Sep 4, 2014

My trip to New Orleans

Last week I went to New Orleans with my best friend Kris. I had gotten a great deal on a hotel on Living Social, and we decided to make a girls weekend of it.

We drove from Orlando to New Orleans. It was about 9 hours, we started out in the early morning, but thanks to the time change from Eastern to Central, we arrived in the afternoon. We checked in to the hotel and went to explore the French Quarter. We even got to hear some local musicians jamming in the street as we walked around. We got our bearings pretty quick, and then came back to the hotel to freshen up for the night.

Now, I really go on vacation to eat, and eat good we did. One of Kris's coworkers lived in New Orleans for a while, so she gave us her recommendations for all of the good places to eat and drink in the French Quarter.
 
Our first night in New Orleans, we headed to Pat O'Brien's to try one of the original hurricanes.

We each only had one, but it was more than enough! Those sure packed a punch.


On our way back to the hotel, we saw a pizza place and stopped in for a slice. It was so yummy, but that could have been the lack of pizza or the hurricane talking.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped in this little voodoo shop. They had some cool things, but asked for no pictures inside. I followed the rules! We walked back to the hotel and called it a night after a very long day. Luckily though, even with being in the car for 9 hours, we managed to get our 10,000 steps in for the day (thanks FitBit!).

The next morning, after sleeping in (well sleeping in for us!), we headed out to get breakfast. We went to The Camelia Grill. This little diner was in the corner of an old building.

We walked into this little pink gem and were greeted so warmly. The place is just a big double u-shaped counter. The waiters were amazing and even recommended a Cajun restaurant owned by a New Orleans native in Orlando for us.

We ordered omelettes and they were HUGE! The omelettes and hash browns hit the spot.

Kris also got a side of grits, which I tried. They were so creamy and delicious.

After a filling breakfast, we walked down to Jackson Square. I loved this part of the French Quarter. We checked out the cathedral, St. Louis Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in the U.S.


As I went to buy Mom a card of the parton Virgin of New Orleans, the lady at the counter in the gift shop told us the story of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

She mentioned to us that there was a historic convent a little down the street, so we headed that way looking for it and checking out all of the gorgeous French Quarter homes. They really do have that European feel to them.


We then made our way to Cafe Du Monde for beignets! We couldn't pass this place up. All you can order is drinks and beignets, so just be ready to get just that.

We had one order and some cold drinks. It was really, really hot.

Kris's dad told us we had to go to the grave of the voodoo queen, Marie Leveau. So we headed to St. Louis Cementary #1.

The cementary was so awesome. It was so old that you couldn't even read some of the grave markers. The place was really breathtaking, especially knowing it had been there since the 1700s.


We finally found the grave of Marie Leveau, but alas, it was under refurbishment. We did take some pics though. After we left I had to look up what the three Xs meant, and it is to make a wish to the voodoo queen. We didn't bring an offering for her, so we couldn't have made a wish anyways.

After checking out the market and walking around the streets in Jackson Square, we headed back to the hotel for lunch. We ate at one of the restaurants in the hotel Desire Oyster House. We had traditional cajun food, gumbo, red beans and rice and jambalaya. It was all so good. We split this plate and it was plenty for both of us.

Since we were on vacation, we also split bread pudding with whiskey sauce. It was sooo good!

We chilled at the hotel pool for a bit, then got ready for the night.

We headed around the corner to the Royal House Oyster Bar. (I had no idea oysters were such a New Orleans thing until I got there. And I'm not an oyster fan.) This restaurant totally reminded me of some of the places in Paris. It had a little downstairs are with some seating, and a bigger dining room on the second floor. We started off with a strawberry gin cocktail.

I ordered fried fresh gulf shrimp, which came with some delicious hush puppies.

Kris couldn't get enough jambalaya, and ordered that. The food was delicious.

After dinner, we went down Bourbon Street to have some more drinks. Since it was a Monday night, it was a little empty, but we stumbled into a bar with a good band. They were playing some Jackson 5 that brought us in. We listened to them jam for a while. They were playing some good music, old 70s funk and really had the crowd going.

A friend of ours insisted that we needed to get hand grenades, so we did. These drinks were neon green, and I have no idea what was in them, but they were so strong. We got our grenades and walked around with them.

Cause while in New Orleans, we had to walk in the streets with our drinks.

We were gonna head into the jazz club in our hotel, but felt weird walking in with our huge neon drinks. We listened to the jazz in the lobby and finally when we were done, it seemed so was the band. We called it a night (being the lightweights we are the grenades had taken affect).

The next morning we lazily walked to the downstairs coffee bar to have some cafe au laits made with local New Orleans chicory coffee.


We knew we wanted to get a po' boy and a muffaletta before we headed home, so we wanted to save room for lunch. We headed back to Jackson Square and checked out all of the shops we didn't see the day before.

It was much hotter that day (the day before was overcast, so the sun didn't have such an effect), so we grabbed a muffaletta for Kris at the Central Grocery and then went off to find my shrimp po' boy. We sat in the hotel courtyard and enjoyed our last bit of New Orleans food before we left.


Then it was in the car for a long ride back to Orlando, and the next day I drove back from Orlando to Miami.

The food was amazing and the people were great, but did all I think I could in New Orleans. Bourbon Street was kinda seedy, and the streets and things were really unkempt. It was a great place to spend a few days eating delicious food, and now I can say I've been to Louisiana!

Did you go anywhere this summer?