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Archive for March, 2012

I saw a post or two about this thing called Foodie Penpals. It piqued my interest so I decided to join for the month of March. Best decision ever! I go an AWESOME box from my penpal – Malia at Self Professed Product Obsessed. She is a sweetheart who is on a mission to find the perfect product that does it all. If she finds it I definitely want to know! She’s funny and has tons of product reviews to help you find some great products. Check Malia out!

The box!

All the goods.

With the difficult month I’ve had Malia’s  box definitely brought a smile to my face. First of all I think she must have got in my head somehow because she included two of my favorite things ever – chocolate and almond butter. Girl is a genius! She also included some delicious looking Raspberry Mustard that I haven’t got to try yet, some licorice which will be nice for my multiple visits to the theater to see The Hunger Games and some onion garlic pistachios that I devoured in 2.5 seconds flat (HOLY YUM).

This stuff is SOOO good - perfect on my apple for an afternoon snack.

These bad boys had a kick but that didn't stop me from opening them up right away.

Can't wait to try this.

Two of my favorite things. Yum!

I’m so happy with my great things I wouldn’t normally get for myself and a few new to me things I’m stoked about trying and/or buying more of. I can’t wait to see what shows up at my doorstep next month and what I put together for my penpal match. Lindsey from the Lean Green Bean is the mastermind behind it all and does a great job organizing and keeping everything running smoothly. Major props to her!

Here is a little information about how it works.You don’t have to be a blogger to participate! For more in depth information please visit here.

  • On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  • The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats
  • The spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
  • You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
  • Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
  • Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only.

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

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Only a Day Early

Is it weird that someone found my blog by searching lazy headphones cat or is that just me? Anyone have any fun plans this weekend? I have plans to kick my butt into gear with my running. I have 2 weeks before a race and have ran a total of like 4 times in the past month. My plan is to run this next two weeks till my legs fall off. Not really but I definitely will need to push myself a little to make sure I’m ready for the 15th.

This week I’ll be doing the Friday Five a day early because there is a reveal of sorts tomorrow for my first month as a Foodie Penpals. Get excited! Here are my 5 things I’ve been thinking about this week and/or am obsessed with.

The Ringer

Since I was home off and on the past month I have quite the DVR collection of shows to catch up on. The Ringer had like 5 episodes of catching up. Deciding not to neglect it any further I caught and boy oh boy is this getting good. I don’t know if anyone else thinks this show is good but I’m a huge Sarah Michelle Gellar fan and she can do no wrong in my eyes. I mean come on, she was Buff the freaking Vampire Slayer (one of my all time favorite shows).

The Mega Millions Lotto

Source
Me walking away with all my money.

Hello I’m prepping for my road trip to Sacramento to collect my half a billion dollars this weekend. Duh. I know I’m not the only one hoping and praying those little balls display my numbers so I can cash in on the big bucks.

Tea

I have always liked tea but this week I have found myself having at least one cup a day. I really like Stash’s Moroccan Mint Tea and Barry’s Irish Tea. Yum.

Bunny Cookie Bark

Umm I need this in my life and plan on getting the ingredients this weekend. Am I the only one that thinks this looks DELISH?

Pink Nails

My nails from last night. A little blurry - oops.

I use to only wear clear or dark colors on my nails and have found a love of pinks and lighter colors on my nails. I painted them last night because I felt a little naked with no color the past few weeks. Often times I find myself frustrated and just stop and take it all off because I don’t get it perfect. I’m a perfectionist sometimes and a messy nail (even if I’m the only one who can tell) irritates the crap out of me. So when I win that lotto up there I will get a manicure once a week so I don’t have to freak out about it. Some things you must leave to the professionals folks.

Well that’s it for the Friday Five even though it’s only Thursday. I did wake up thinking it was Friday this morning and was sad when I realized it was Thursday. I hate those days! I’m off to finish up the work day and then head home for a much needed run. Rain or shine I’ll be sweating it out on the streets of San Francisco this evening. Wish me luck!

 

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It’s been a busy week and it’s only Wednesday. I’m trying to get back into a routine because I hate when I’m all thrown off.

This past weekend I got to host a Benefit “Laughter is the Best Cosmetic” party through House Party. Myself and a group of friends got to try a variety of make up including their new foundation. I’m not a huge make up person and generally stick to the things I’ve tested and have been good to me. I did really like their mascara as did all my friends. If you are interested in trying new products and throwing parties to introduce product to your friends, this is a great site. I signed up a few months ago and had the opportunity to throw two parties. It’s fun and a great excuse to get friends together.

Can anyone else tell a difference in my before and after picture of the Mascara? If not then just ignore me – I’m crazy.

Before putting the mascara on.

After the mascara application.

But the make up wasn’t the star of this party. I made black bean brownies and those stole the show. I have made these numerous times but these bad boys won hands down for the best ones. I think I have found my black bean brownie go to mix. If you are looking for a tasty and easy dessert that is low in calories and fat that will please the crowd then look no further. This recipe is perfection of chocolatey goodness. I can’t take credit for this recipe but have seen numerous ones floating all over the place. Enjoy!

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 Can Whole Black Beans drained
  • 1 Box Pillsbury Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix

Directions

  1. Preheat oven. Spray cooking spray on baking pan.
  2. Drain the brown goo from the black beans.
  3. Fill the can (with beans inside) with water.
  4. Pour the contents in a blender or food processor and mix till smooth.
  5. Pour the brownie mix in a bowl and add the blended black bean mixture. Stir until mixed together well. Should have the same consistency as any other brownie mix you’ve made.
  6. Pour into baking pan and place in oven for 15-25 minutes depending on your oven and how big of a pan you choose.
  7. Take out when a toothpick comes out clean and let cool for 20 minutes.
  8. Cut and eat!

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Circuit Craze

Yesterday and today I did some circuit workouts at the gym. I’ve been focusing a lot on running the past few months and feel like I’ve been neglecting strength training. I know how important it is so I’m making an effort to do more of it.

Boy oh boy was I a sweaty mess after both circuit workouts. Even though I was a dripping mess I’m so glad I did them because I felt great afterwards. I roughly based these off the model of Julie’s 100 Circuit but made some modifications. I didn’t think I could do 100 of anything at one time because I’d get bored. Instead I split them in half and repeated the circuit twice. I started each workout with a 20 minute warm up. You can choose anything you want but I choose a 20 minute elliptical warm up one day and then a 20 minute incline speed walking on the treadmill the other day. I like to mix it up because if I do too much of the same cardio at the gym I get really bored and my workouts aren’t as good.

For the record me and leg lifts are not friends. Those suckers were hard!

Leg Circuit (Monday) – Repeat this list twice

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 45 Crunches
  • 40 Squats
  • 35 Leg Lifts
  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 25 Crunches
  • 20 Squats
  • 15 Leg Lifts
  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 5 Minute Run on Treadmill

Arm Circuit – Repeat this list twice

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 45 Crunches
  • 40 Bicep Curls *
  • 35 Dead lifts*
  • 30 Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension*
  • 25 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Crunches
  • 15 Bicep Curls *
  • 10 Dead lifts*
  • 5 Minutes on the Stair Climber (or stair master)

I used 10 lb dumbbells for the ones with asterisk. For the weights I would suggest you use what you normally would or go a little heavier to push yourself.

Both these workouts were awesome and have motivated me to try more circuit training. I’ve been forcing myself to wake up at 5am to go to the gym this week because I love having it done in the morning. The gym is not crowded at that time and It makes me feel better all day. I use to do it for nearly 2 years straight and fell off the morning workout bandwagon and have found its WAY harder to wake up now. But I know I can get back in the habit if I keep doing it and then it will be a piece of cake again. I mean – as easy as getting up at 5am can be. Lets hope my relationship with my alarm clock gets a little better. 🙂

 

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So there are two reasons I was a bad blogger this weekend. One because I wrote my post with my Chicken Adobo recipe and didn’t schedule it and two realized it this morning after a busy weekend. I’m terrible – I know. I’ll make it up to you.

This weekend was jam packed with belated birthday celebrations; make up parties and of course the most important thing – THE HUNGER GAMES. It was nice to have a packed weekend to keep me busy and keep my mind off things for a little while. I enjoy being around my friends and trying to have a good time. I also really enjoyed the Hunger Games. And from headlines it doesn’t look like I was the only one.

They did cut out a few things but overall I don’t think those few things affected the story that entirely. I was a little disappointed by the story of the mocking jay pin. It’s a HUGE part of the story and it was changed. You win some, you lose some I suppose. The only other thing that threw me off was Cinna. Was I the only one expecting someone a little more flamboyant and over the top? I thought Lenny did great but I feel like this relationship wasn’t developed entirely which is sad because it was such a huge part as well. But despite those few things I loved it and am excited to see it again in a few weeks with my Mom. Do we really have to wait like a year for the second one? UGH!

As promised 3 days ago. Here is my Chicken Adobo recipe. Mmmm it was good.

Chicken Adobo

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 you chicken breasts (or legs, thighs, tenderloins, etc.) – it does give it a better flavor if you use chicken with skin (I used legs)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 3 cloves)
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (whole)
  • 2 bay leaves (whole)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Heat oil in pan. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Placed browned chicken on a plate and set aside.
  2. In the same pan add garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add the remainder of the ingredients stirring to mix them all together.
  3. Put chicken in the mixture and cook covered on medium for 20 minutes.
  4. Uncover pan and let cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve with rice and/or veggies of choice. I choose brown rice and broccoli.

Enjoy!

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It’s been a long week for me. Not quite sure how that works out considering I only worked 3 days of it. Those three days felt like long torture ridden days. But like every other week, Friday comes and today had an added bonus because it was pay day and the day Hunger Games comes out. Yes I read the books five three times and I read the first one in less than 24 hours about a year ago. I’m sad I know but I embrace it. I’ve been waiting for this movie forEVER. It’s finally here and I have tickets to see it Sunday with friends. I may or may not be dragging Darren to see it tonight with me and it’s already decided I’m seeing it with my mom in the next two weeks. Is three times in the theater too much? I think not.I LOVED the books, the story, and the characters. The movie looks to be great – not a disastrous, terribly cast, mess like Twilight another popular series I enjoyed reading. So wish me luck as I take to the crowds and squealing girls for not one but three times seeing this movie. If we’re being real I’ll probably squeal, cry and see it more times than three. Not ashamed.

Onto my Five for Friday. Here are 5 things I’m currently obsessed with.

  1. Europe – I’ve never been and am in the midst of finalizing all the details of my trip in September to Ireland and Italy. SO EXCITED! I’ve been making lists and checking them 100 times and hoping my excitement will make September come faster.
  2. Chevron pattern – I don’t know why but after seeing it a few weeks ago I want to decorate my entire house in it. Literally if they had chevron patterned carpet I’d probably want it. Is that weird? Probably but I’m OK with it.

  3. Hunger games – DUH. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the 5 million articles about the movie since it did come out TODAY. I think i’ve read every article posted about Hunger Games. I can’t confirm that I may have read some twice.
  4. Bad Girl Lash mascara – I’m always looking for new make up but hate paying full price to find that I hate something. Lucky for me I’m a part of House Party and they picked me to do a party for Benefit make up. They sent me an absolutely AMAZING box of goodies to give to my friends to try at the party I’m throwing Sunday. This mascara is AMAZING so far. Once the sample is gone will I shell out 20 bucks for the real deal? It will be painful but I just might do it.

  5. Cadbury Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs – These mini eggs are the devil that somehow finds it way into my life every year around this time. Usually the regular ones I can somewhat resist probably only because after a few they make my tummy hurt. But hot damn they have dark chocolate ones and Darren’s mom gave me a bag. Holy cow they are delicious and not even the slightest bit healthy for me. Good thing I started working out again.

That’s all for Five for Friday this week. I’m off to go read more articles and reviews of the Hunger Games. I’m obsessed – I know. Have a fantastic weekend everyone and check in tomorrow for my Chicken Adobo recipe. It turned out so well and was way easier than I remembered.

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Ravioli Workout

So you know when I said yesterday I was going to kick my butt back into shape. I never imagined It would feel like I really got kicked in the butt. I did some cardio and then some strength training. Holy cow my legs act like they have never done squats or lunges before. What’s up with that? Due to my hitting the snooze button mixed with no desire to trudge to the gym at 5:30 am I skipped morning boot camp and have opted to move my run to today. It’s supposed to rain Saturday when I had it planned so this is the perfect opportunity to get it out of the way and see how awful I do.

This was me this morning.

I’m not sure if I mentioned that I LOVE Vampire Diaries but I do. Most Thursday’s I spend it on the couch with my friend Elisabeth after a few week break we will be commencing our dinner and a show dates. Good thing because I have about half a dozen cupcakes left over that have her name on them because I want them out of the house. Hope you’re bringing your appetite my friend.

A traditional Filipino dish is on the menu tonight. Not sure I mentioned I’m a quarter Filipino so clearly that makes me a culinary expert in Filipino food. Not really but a simple search for the recipe will make me a 5 star chef. Right? My mom has tried to ‘share’ the recipe with me but she’s like pour some of this and pour some of that and see if it tastes or smells right. With dishes I make all the time I can employ that method but with things like this that’s like speaking another language to me. The language of the experiment that could end very badly for Jillian. So in me fashion I’ve employed my superior Google abilities and found an easy recipe that even I don’t think I could screw up. Maybe next time I’ll get more fancy and try my mom’s method but since I’m feeding someone other than Darren I like to play it safe. I don’t want to kill the few friends I have. 😉

 

But before I skip ahead to the deliciousness you will feast your eyes on tomorrow.  I made crunchy baked raviolis last night loosely based off this recipe. I would share how I did mine but I didn’t measure anything and kind of haphazardly threw things together. It was good – but lets be real Jessica’s looked better, probably tasted better and she actually has measurements and such. You go girl! I’m no where near that organized most nights. Many times I simply look in the kitchen to see what I have and throw things together and do a dance hoping it turns out edible.

I do promise to step up my cooking game and share some recipe creations I make. I can cook and enjoy it but haven’t had the time, energy or desire to get creative or document it lately. I’ll get there.

 

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