Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. The Wedding!

It's finally all done, and it was beautiful! My friend looked stunning in her dress. 


2. Tomato & Basil Hummus

Stop it. I've slathered this heavenly stuff on anything I could get my hands on. 

3. Mr. Cheese O's

I found these in the natural section of Kroger, and they were amazing! Crunchy little cheesy quinoa rings with 10g of protein!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Graze Box Review & Coupon Code!

Graze Box!

So, I finally took the plunge and ordered snack boxes. With a free 1st box, how could I say no? I've been receiving the nibblebox for a few weeks now! The cool thing about this box, is you can choose when it's delivered. You can also choose to delay a box if you choose! At only $6.95 a box, what's to lose?


In this past box, I received Whole Grain Banana Caramel Dippers, Jalapeño Fiesta, Tropical Daiquiri, and Herby Bread Basket. As you can see, I couldn't even handle those banana caramel dippers. They were amazing. Banana shortbread? That's a thing!? Yes, and it's amazing. I'm not a huge fan of dried fruit, so that went the tropical daiquiri went to boyfriend. The jalapeño fiesta was great! Peanuts, almonds, pepitas, and sunflower seeds in a mild smokey jalapeño flavor. Lastly, the herb bread basket was pretty good. Mini basil breadsticks, garlic crostini, and oregano rice crackers.

Are you interested? If so, I've got a coupon code that let's you get your 1st and 5th box free!
TORIO2VNB

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Quinoa Taco Bowls

As discussed (several times), I'm a Mexican food junkie. So naturally, I'm a Chipotle fan. However, they're typically super busy, and it isn't as healthy as I wish it would be. They definitely have guac going for them, though. But, why pay $8/bowl when you can make it at home for much less and make it healthier? Plus, you can add in some toppings that maybe they don't have. Black olives. I mean, come on. Black olives are a necessity.

Ingredients:

Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Quinoa
1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
2 tsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Fajita Seasoning
1 tsp. Paprika
(The fajita seasoning and paprika I got at Penzey's. You can totally omit the fajita seasoning and add in more of the others, or omit completely.)
Toppings:
Romaine lettuce
Mexican-style cheese
Plain Greek yogurt
Black olives
Any other toppings of choice

Here's the quinoa I used. It's amazing, and it added the best flavor to the bowl.

How To:

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions. If you can't find that kind, you can always use normal quinoa! In a small pan, dump the corn and diced tomatoes and green chiles in, and stir to combine well. This makes a super simple corn salsa. I don't add anything to this, I just let it heat up. In another pan, combine black beans and spices. I didn't drain my black beans. Let these sit and heat all the way through, about 10-15 minutes. Now, in your serving bowls, put about 1/2 cup of quinoa in the bottom of the bowl. Top this with the bean mixture, then the corn salsa. Then top it with lettuce, yogurt, black olives, cheese, and whatever else you desire! If you're a meat eater, it would be so easy to add in some seasoned chicken or beef.
Easy peasy and healthy!! (:

What're you going to top your burrito bowl with!? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Make It Monday

Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Smoothie

October is coming to a close already! What? But that in no way means I'm done with pumpkin. I don't think any white girl is done with pumpkin yet. I've got until the end of November to eat and drink as much pumpkin as I can. Then it's on to Christmas cookies for days. However, as we've discussed before, pumpkin-flavored love isn't alway good for you. So this yummy coffee pumpkin smoothie is perfect for those days when you can't wake up, and you need something quick and filling. Or for that afternoon pick-me-up!

Ingredients:

1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. greek yogurt
1 c. almond milk
1 packet Starbucks Caramel Iced Via
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of allspice

How to:

Pop all the above ingredients into a blender and blend away. This produces a creamy smoothie. I, personally, poured this into a cup and threw it in the freezer for the next day. By the time it had thawed out enough to drink it, it was the perfect afternoon snack!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Vegetarian Tikka Masala


I may have mentioned before that we love Indian food. I love that they have soooo many vegetarian options, no matter where you go. It's common to eat vegetarian there. Plus, anything that isn't typically vegetarian is super easy to make it veggie. Just toss in some cauliflower, potatoes, and chickpeas in place of chicken. Boyfriend loves Chicken Tikka Masala, so I made this veggie recipe!

Ingredients:

1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 can chickpeas
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
Basmati rice, cooked

How To:

In a large pot, heat up the olive oil. Toss in the chopped onion, garlic, and ginger, and sauté these until the onions are translucent. At this point, add in the crushed tomatoes, spices, and sugar. Bring this to a low boil, reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Now add in the cauliflower and chickpeas. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream, and stir this up to combine well. Bring the mixture back to a simmer, and allow this to simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
Serve this up over warm basmati rice with a nice piece of garlic naan on the side!


What's your favorite ethnic food!? Tell me about it in the comments below. (:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Make It Monday

Super Easy Pumpkin Muffins

We all know once fall hits, it's pumpkin madness. But literally, pumpkin is so delicious, and it has so many health benefits. Unless you're getting a pumpkin spice late. Then, not so much. It's no different in my home! As soon as the autumn equinox comes around, it's all over from there. I basically lose my mind! So, my little fall recipe today is pumpkin muffins. They just so happen to not be absolutely awful for you either. (: That is definitely a plus in the pumpkin madness!

Ingredients:

Muffins
1 box spiced cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1 medium banana, mashed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ginger
(I used 1/8 tsp. fresh ginger)
Glaze
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. almond milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice

How To:

Preheat the oven according to the cake mix box. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin and banana. Add in the cake mix slowly. Once that is combined well, stir in the spices. Line a muffin tin with liners and fill them 3/4 full with the pumpkin mixture. Bake these marvelous muffins according to the instructions on your cake mix. Mine ended up baking a bit longer. Make sure to check them with a toothpick! Once nothing comes out when you poke it in the center, you're good to go. If you so feel like it, in a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients and drizzle it on top of the muffins!
Now enjoy!

In case you wanna know some nutritional facts, I plugged this recipe (minus the glaze) into myfitnesspal. 158 calories, 2.6 g. fat, 31.4 g. carbs, and 1.5 g. protein per muffin.

What's your favorite fall treat!?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Deals!

I got this dress and necklace for a steal! $15 for the both! Perfect for my friend's rehearsal dinner! (:

2. Ideas

I've been rolling around the idea of getting this tattooed with a coffee stain ring under it. It's the structural symbol for caffeine! Does this mean I have a problem?
This was found on Google. I don't own it, nor can I draw to save my life.

3. Date Days

I know this is recurrent, but I just love days when we go to a favorite coffee shop and walk around together. Especially when that somewhere is The Book Loft in German Village.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Roasted Beer & Lime Cauliflower Tacos w/ Cilantro Coleslaw

Isn't that a mouthful? I got this recipe out of one of my recent Women's Health magazines. Holy yum. It has this spicy, yummy, smokey taste. Along with the vinegar from the coleslaw. So good.

Ingredients:

Cauliflower
3/4 cup beer
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 Tbsp. hot sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Corn tortillas
Coleslaw
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

How To:

Preheat the oven to 400. In a medium saucepan, combine the beer, vegetable broth, lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, hot sauce, and garlic. Bring this to a light simmer and toss in the cauliflower. Mix this around, and let it soak up the flavors for about 5 minutes. Dump this mixture in a collander, and transfer the cauliflower to a greased baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the seasonings, olive oil, and cauliflower, making sure to coat the cauliflower well. Pop the cauliflower in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
While that's going, make the coleslaw. I made mine in the same large bowl that I coated the cauliflower in for flavor cohesion. Yeah, real fancy. To do this, just combine all the ingredients listed under coleslaw, mixing well to coat everything! I tossed my corn tortilla shells in the oven for a bit to get a little cripiness. Once everything is done, toss some coleslaw in a shell with some cauliflower. Top with avocado, salsa, or whatever your favorite toppings are!
 
 
Who else has a magazine subscription with recipes!? What's your favorite you've tried?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Make It Monday!

Fall Wreath

Welcome to the new change! It's holiday season, and that means I'm a crafting, baking fool. Fall and winter crafts and treats are my favorite. Throughout the holiday months, I will be giving you some DIYs, baked goods, and ideas for the holidays!
I'm going to kick off this change with an easy, pretty fall wreath. If you follow my facebook page, you saw that I went on a little excursion at Michael's. I was pretty proud of my purchases and savings! I saved $27!! You literally can't beat that. Needless to say, you'll have a few DIYs coming at you! So, let me show you how easy this is.

Materials Needed:

1 Grapevine wreath
(I used a 12")
Fall flowers of your choosing
(I used 4 small bouquets)
Ribbon
(I'm using a 4" burlap)
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
The Fellowship of the Ring
(optional, recommended)

Directions:

Heat up your glue gun. While you're waiting for that, separate all the flowers from the stems. Once the glue gun is hot, start by swirling the glue around the base of the flowers, one at a time. Then, just start sticking them through the vines, making sure the glue is anchored onto a part of the wreath. Continue doing this until the flowers are as full as you want them. While you're letting those dry, let's work on the bow.
Cut two lengths of ribbon the same length. Mine were about 40" pieces. Also cut a small piece, about 6-7", and cut it in half. Fold the two long pieces in half and lay one diagonally across the other, as shown above. Grab the center of the two, and scrunch them up. Wrap your small piece around the center of the longer two and hot glue it, so it's closed around the two, making a big bow! Now slather on some hot glue to the back center piece of your bow, and place it on the wreath where you'd like it! Press and hold it there for a few seconds, and you're done!
Go hang that on the door, and marvel at how cute it is and how many compliments you get on it. (:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tea Tree Oil

ApothecarExtracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil

What is tea tree oil?
Guys. I love tea tree oil. It's an essential oil that serves as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, fungicide, insecticide, and stimulant. Among many other things. It's an oil that is extracted from the stems and leaves of the tea tree that is native to Australia. They've been using it forever, and now it's spread to the rest of the world!
Basically, as an antibacterial, tea tree oil is absolutely wonderful as part of your skin care regimen. It's also wonderful for your hair! If you massage it into your scalp, in diluted amounts, it helps keep your hair moisturized, reduces that amount of dandruff, and reduces the chance of premature hair loss. Who can beat that from an all natural product? If you do a simple google search, you will see the massive amounts of benefits you can get from this product.
So what's better about this one versus the plethora of others on the market? For me personally, the label. I just love the label. It's cute. But on a serious note, this bottle makes it really easy to add just the right amount of drops into the recipe of your choosing. Speaking of recipes, it comes with an ebook that features 50+ recipes for the use of tea tree oil in various situations. Hair, skin, household cleaning. Everything. As for me, I love putting this in a toner, and they have a great recipe for that! The product is high quality, and that's what you need with something you're going to be putting on your face and hair. 
Interested now?
Check it out on Amazon!
Or hit up their website:
http://www.apothecaryextracts.com/

Have you tried tea tree oil?! What's your favorite use of this essential oil!?

This post is sponsored by Brandbacker, but I wouldn't give false good reviews to my lovely readers. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Date Night

We're going to see Dracula Untold. I'm so excited!

 2. Routine

I'm finally able to get back in the gym after being sick for-ev-er. 

3. Rainbow!

There was a super bright double rainbow after an intense workout. It made me happy. (: You can juuust hardly see the second one.

Have a good weekend everyone! <3>

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

 Smokey Cauliflower, Chickpea, & Dumpling Soup

As stated, the boyfriend and I love soups. Love, love, love. I'm always looking for new, interesting soups. The smokiness of this one definitely drew me towards it. I've recently acquired an abnormal amount of paprika, and I've never used that before. So, I've been trying a ton of recipes with paprika. This soup was just so smokey and warm that it was perfect for a fall night. It has veggies and proteins and carbs. It's perfect and hearty.
We're actually eating this again tonight, since I froze half of it. I'm quite excited about it.

Ingredients:

Soup
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 can chick peas
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/4 tsp. hot curry powder
6 cups vegetable broth
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
Salt & pepper to taste
Dumplings
1 1/2 c. flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 scallions, green and white parts, sliced thinly
1/2 - 3/4 c. water




How To:

Preheat the oven to 400. Toss the cauliflower florets in 3 tablespoons of oil and some salt. Spread the florets out evenly across a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. While those are baking, heat the remaining oil in a large stock pan. Add in the onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Once translucent, add in the bay leaves, spices, broth, paste, and soy sauce/tamari. Stir to combine the ingredients well! Turn the heat up and bring it to a simmer, then reduce the heat. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. After ten minutes, add the cauliflower and chickpeas.
While that is simmering, begin your dumplings. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and scallions. Slowly add in the water, until you get a thick, sticky dough. Drop tablespoon-sized globs into the soup and continue to simmer. Make sure the dumplings are completely submerged in the soup. After about 15-20 minutes, check a dumpling with a toothpick. You want the toothpick to come up clean.
Let the soup cool for about 5 minutes, then laddle into bowls and marvel in the smokey goodness.
This was probably one of the most wonderful soups I've ever made. It was smokey and hearty and just warm. It may be absolutely perfect for fall. Plus, it just looks pretty.
This recipe makes a ton, but you can freeze it! Freeze half of it and save it for a lazy, cold day!


I'd love to hear what your favorite soup is! Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pure Raspberry Ketones Review

Raspberry Ketones!

What are Raspberry Ketones?
Raspberry ketones are a natural compound found in raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, and others. Basically, it's what gives them their scent. I read once (not that I can find it again) that a capsule is equal to eating a large number of pounds of raspberries. I want to say it said 90 pounds, but that seems excessive. Recently, they've been hugely promoted as a weight loss supplement. 
What I want you all to know, is that it has never been tested on humans. But, what do we actually test on humans? Almost nothing. In mice, it has been shown to reduce weight gain in the liver and belly area. In another study in mice, showed that it increased the breakdown of lipids (fat molecules). These studies were published in magazines like Life Sciences.

The certain ketones I received were wonderful. The claim on the bottle was that it helped with appetite suppressing. Now, it may have been a placebo effect, since I was expecting that to happen, but it seemed to work. Have I noticed weight loss? No. But I haven't been to the gym recently, and we all know that's the most effective weight burner. (;

If you're interested in trying these out, I would definitely recommend these:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BUTIELM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Have you guys tried these? What was your experience?!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Motivation Monday

New Month, New Goals!

Today is the day! It's been 2 weeks since I stepped foot in the gym, and I am so antsy to get back. I've been recovering from whatever virus has been ravaging my immune system. It's been awful, but I totally believe in letting your body heal itself. There is no "sweat the sickness out". Absolutely not. Your body needs time to heal. (:
With that being said, a new month calls for a fresh start. It takes 21 days to kick a habit, and that's what I intend to do. Who's with me? I'm going to spend the next 21 days kicking sweets. Sweets are my downfall when it comes to my diet. I could probably do really well, but like, cake. 


I've also given myself a wonderful little incentive of 4 days a week for 10 weeks equals a new tattoo!
Who's with me!? As always, you can feel free to friend me on myfitnesspal! toriiix30

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Fall Scents

I'm so excited for the fall line at B&BW. They're my favorite.

2. Soup

Spoiler Alert! This shit is amazing. Look for it soon. (;

3. DIYs

Have I mentioned fall is my favorite time? These are my favorites. You'll finally get some DIYs!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

Tater Tot Casserole


Alright guys. It's been over a week, but I'm slowly getting better! I've been a super slacker blogging, but I was more worried about getting healthy again! Sorry! (:
It's come to my attention that many people have no idea what tater tot casserole is. This is heartbreaking to me. It's something my mom used to make quite a bit, and I love it. It also only requires 3 main ingredients. You can't beat that... While I was sick, boyfriend was the one cooking and taking care of me. It was a wonderful change. (; Even though I was sick. So, this was a super easy recipe that I could give him directions to make while I died on the couch. I still got up to take the pictures, but he did all the grunt work. While he was making it, he said it smelled like beef stroganoff. If that tickles your fancy, then go for it!

Ingredients:
1 bag Morningstar crumbles
(or 1 lb ground beef)
1 can cream of mushroom
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic salt
Pepper to taste
1 c. shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
Bag o' tots

That's more ingredients, but you can leave out the spices and cheese. My mom used to... I just wanted to add some stuff.



How To:
Preheat oven to 400. In a large pan, start heating up the crumbles. If you're using ground beef, brown completely and drain. Add in the cream of mushroom and spices. Stir this until combined well. Spread evenly over a greased pan. I believe mine was an 8x11 pan. It's an odd size. On top of the meat mixture, sprinkle half of the cheese. Line the tots up on the cheese, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook according to tot package. I think mine said 20-25 minutes.
Serve immediately!

This is just an old recipe that my mom used to make for me. Tommy had never heard of it, and I was just so confused. Then I realized that not many people had heard of it... O.O

Have you had tater tot casserole? What's a family recipe you love? (: