Thursday, February 11, 2016

Being Lazy Sets Yourself Up For Failure

Way back I participated in a linkup, What I ate Wednesday. My meals weren't anything outstanding or spectacularly healthy or anything like that, but as I was making a late breakfast last weekmonth I decided it was something I wanted to start sharing again. I struggle with food. A lot. Whether it's eating the right things, or the right amounts, at the right times, eating healthy is hard for me.

I'm going to start using My Fitness Pal to track what I eat-- we don't have a food scale or anything like that so even though it won't always be 100% accurate, I'm doing it more as a way to keep track of what I've been eating. I'm not focusing so much on the overall calories, I'm looking at things like sugars, proteins, fats, etc. In the past I've stuck with it for a week or two and then always get lazy. I have to give it credit for literally showing me that those grande vanilla lattes I was getting were filled with over half of the amount of sugar I should be getting for the entire day.

Coffee is always first. On this day breakfast was three pieces of turkey bacon and egg whites with cheddar cheese and spinach. Fun fact: I really don't care for spinach, but I know it's good for me so I try and toss it into my eggs even if it's literally just three tiny pieces some days. I've also started eating yogurt every once in a while even though after like two bites I usually don't want anymore, but it is filling and I know the probiotics can't hurt.
I really like to put my eggs and turkey bacon on a sandwich thin or bagel thin, 
but as I'm trying to cut back on carbs I skipped that on this day. 
Lunch was a grilled cheese and tomato soup with a mini spinach salad with beets and green beans. Again with the spinach, but it was the only leafy green we had and I'm trying to eat more vegetables.
I'm really picky when it comes to frozen veggies-- especially if they have any kind of 
seasoning or sauce on them, but I am obsessed with these green beans. 
Dinner was Potbelly's-- which is not my favorite but it was a quick and inexpensive option on this day. I get the pizza sandwich with no meat-- super boring, but I love mushrooms.

Not pictured are the countless snacks and sweets I probably ate-- though this was from a month ago and I wasn't using MFP so I don't remember, but I'm sure it wasn't good.

Looking ahead I'm hoping to track (not count) my calories and food sources, and do more meal prepping (not just planning). I really want to push myself to cut back on carbs, and obviously sugar. Do you end to eat a lot of whole foods? What things seem to work for you when it comes to eating better during the week? 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Carly READS here | january 2016

Fates & Furies | I have so many feelings about this book. It was one I requested from the library based on seeing the cover pop up so much- not from a recommendation. This is a book told from two points-- with two different perspectives. It's about marriage and secrets, and things not looking how they appear on the outside.

I was torn between 3 and 4 stores. In one sense I hated it, but at the same time it amazed me. The first half, fates, tells the story of the husband, Lotto. I thought this part would never end, there were a lot of characters introduced and I had a hard time keeping track of everyone, plus the story jumps around a lot. But then you get to the furies part of the book-- which is told from the wife's perspective and everything made so much more sense. It almost (but not really) made me want to go back and read the first part over again. There was a lot more darkness then I was expecting and it left me feeling sad and not totally sure on whether or not it's something I would recommend. I think Groff is an amazing writer and I was continually amazed at how it was possible for her to keep so many things straight, especially from two different perspectives.


The Girl on the Train | I finally read The Girl on the Train. In case you're one of the few remaining people who still hasn't read it, it's one of those books where every single character is so flawed in a million ways and you have a hard time liking any of them. I thought it was just about a random girl on a train who witnesses something happening to two strangers-- it turns out (and I don't think this is a spoiler) she's actually connected to them and I think she would have possibly ended up involved even if the train wasn't in the whole equation-- but that's just my take on it. Suspense-wise it's really good though and there got to a part in the middle where I couldn't stop reading.

I'm really excited because I just got All The Light We Cannot See from the library! I can't even remember when I started to read it the first time, but basically it took me forever to get into (plus, I think it's kind of a long one?), but I got to almost the very end, but my library loan ended before I could finish it. I should have just purchased it right after, but I wasn't sure how much I liked it so I didn't want to buy a book I wasn't 100% loving. Of course I had no idea it would take months to get it from the library again, and I'll probably have to start all the way back at the beginning. What are you looking forward to reading?

Life According to Steph

Friday, January 8, 2016

CBH BEST OF (2015) beauty

Just like that we've already reached 2016! I'm looking forward to the new year ahead but wanted to start with my favorite beauty products from last year. I realized I didn't try out that many new products, but there were definitely some favorites (new and old) that stood out, and I thought linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites was the perfect time to share.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Looking back at the year, I like to try and pick my three favorite books. I actually had a few 5-star books and a lot of 4-star books, so it was hard to narrow it down. These are three books I would love to have on my physical bookshelf and would love to already read again. last year's favorite books

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Healthy Mind Cookbook: a review

I love Pinterest and I love Google for finding recipes, but sometimes it's nice to just be totally unplugged and not need the internet or a device to find a new recipe. Plus, there's just something special about flipping through the pages in a cookbook, looking at the gorgeous photos (and wishing your own food could turn out half as pretty).

For my most recent Blogging for Books read I picked another cookbook. The Healthy Mind Cookbook appealed to me right away, but I was hesitant. My first thoughts were, who is this lady and what does she really know about food and our brain? Not to mention, the last cookbook I reviewed was a bit of a flop. It was beautiful, but just not realistic for recipes I would make on an average day. After reading good reviews on this one I took a chance and requested it. As soon as it arrived I knew I was in for a treat! The book's tagline is big-flavor recipes to enhance brain function, mood, memory, and mental clarity.

The quality is amazing-- everything from the photos to the format, to the variety in the recipes. The first few chapters of the book are full of so. much. information. And it's great because it's not a bunch of stuff that is totally over my head. There's a glossary (which they call the culinary pharmacy) of different foods and the benefits they have.

I'll be honest, at first I was a little turned off by the recipes. I worried they were going to be full of obscure ingredients-- or too many ingredients. I like easy when it comes to cooking. If you see the below list for a baked falafel recipe there are 17 ingredients listed. After taking a closer look I realized that the majority of the items listed were spices I already have. Lemons, chickpeas, garlic, and a red pepper are four pretty ordinary things. The only ingredient I wasn't able to find was tahini- and that's probably the only ingredient that I would purchase and maybe only use for this recipe.

I think my favorite feature of this cookbook is the 'cooks notes' section at the end of some of the recipes (above left photo). As a total novice when it comes to the kitchen I need even the most basic tips. I haven't had a chance to make any of the recipes yet, but along with the baked falafel there were about a dozen I can't wait to try out and will probably post about as we move into the new year.

This was provided to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. Based on my first impressions, and all of the information in the book, this is definitely one I would consider buying on my own for a friend or family member. Are you a fan of cookbooks or do you prefer to use Pinterest?

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Little Christmas q&a

I can't remember the last time I did any sort of tag post on the blog, so when I saw this festive one Meg created I knew I wanted to make a post about it. How crazy is it that Christmas is less than two weeks away? Linking up with Katie for her Christmas linkup!

1. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? I've always loved decorating Christmas cookies, and breakfast on Christmas morning at my parent's house. And Christmas Eve pajamas.

2. Where do you spend Christmas? This is something that depends on the year and whether or not we'll be traveling since our families live in different states.

3. What is your favorite Christmas song? Angels we have heard on high

4. Do you decorate before or after Thanksgiving? Usually after, but I am 100% for decorating on November 1 (sorry Thanksgiving!)

5. Tinsel or garland? Either, I guess? I think my husband is more of a fan of tinsel, but I prefer garland.

6. Do you own an ugly Christmas sweater? Not really-- though I do have a red plaidish one that is probably ugly to a lot of people ;)

7. What is one Christmas food you cannot live without? Probably all of the desserts. Cookies, fudge, caramels, etc....

8. Peppermint or gingerbread? Before this year I would have easily said peppermint, but the Gingerbread loaf from Starbucks is one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted!

9. Have you ever tried a fruit cake? It's possible at some point, but I definitely had to google 'fruit cake' for some clarification.

10. What is one thing you asked for this Christmas? I would love a hard copy of The Goldfinch. 

11. If you could be any Christmas movie character, who would you be? So I kind of feel like I have to say Kathleen Kelly from You've Got Mail because I can't stop watching that movie and I love New York and I would love to own a bookstore (even if it does close...), but I'm not sure if that technically counts as a Christmas movie so I'll go with Amanda from The Holiday.

Are you ready for the holidays? What are some of your favorite holiday memories or traditions?