|May 22nd, 2013||Dinner, Recipe|
I’ve made tofu stir fry a bunch of times in college, but it’s been over a year since I’ve tried it again. Bryan actually recommended that we make it! We had a block of tofu in our refrigerator that we had to eat before it went bad, so it was perfect timing.
Tofu Stir Fry – serves 2-3 people
1/3 block of super firm tofu
1 cup of chopped broccoli
10 asparagus shoots (did you know that’s what they were called?!)
2 vine tomatoes cubed
2 cups uncooked rice
Cracked black pepper
- In a large frying pan, place a tablespoon of olive oil into the middle and turn heat to medium.
- While the pan is heating, cube the tofu to your preferred thickness. I like tofu when it’s pretty thin, that way it cooks faster and actually is a bit crispy.
- Add the tofu to the hot pan.
- Cook for 5 minutes and then turn all pieces.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Tofu should be brown on both sides.
- Depending on the timing of your rice, cook for it’s appropriate time in a separate small pot.
- Add the asparagus and broccoli to the frying pan with the tofu.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, mixing the vegetables and tofu around in the pan frequently.
- Mix in the cooked rice and the tomatoes at the same time and turn off the heat.
- Drizzle with soy sauce and season with basil & black pepper.
There you go! An easy and quick dinner for two. There was probably enough left in the pan for one more person, so that’s why I mentioned that this meal could be for 2-3 people. Depends on who you’re serving.
As I mentioned in the instructions, I would only keep the tomatoes in the hot pan for minimal time. I accidentally kept them in the pan too long and they overcooked. I would add them with the rice and immediately turn off the heat.
Stir fry is a great meal option because you can truly add whatever you want. If you don’t like asparagus, don’t add it! If you would prefer squash or eggplant, add that!
Talk to Me
- Have you made/had tofu stir fry?
- What’s your favorite veggies to add to stir fry?
- What’s your least favorite veggie of all time?
|May 20th, 2013||Weekend Recap|
Since I was in bed around 9:30PM on Friday, let’s just start my Weekend Recap off with Saturday.
Saturday morning, I had a hair appointment to get my hair cut! Don’t get too excited… it was just a trim, but it feels so much healthier now. I REALLY needed that cut, badly.
After my hair cut, Bryan and I went down to Center City for the Rittenhouse Row Festival. My friend Neil’s band, Field of Play, performed until the rain started coming down pretty hard.
(source) – This photo was from a previous show, but that’s Field of Play!
After listening to the band and wandering around the festival, Bryan and I drove home and relaxed. We definitely needed it, after a very long day.
On Saturday night, I swore I would stay awake long enough to watch Saturday Night Live, but that didn’t happen of course.
On Sunday morning, I went and checked out a tanning salon in my area. I typically HATE tanning salons, and I know the bad things that can come from tanning, but I’m in a wedding on June 1st and I can’t look white with the color dress I’m wearing. So I’m making the exception for the next two weeks.
After tanning, I went to the gym.
Yes, you read that correctly. I.WENT.TO.THE.GYM.
Confession: I haven’t been to the gym since January. Ouch, that hurt to say, but it’s true.
I am super happy to be back into the swing of things. I only did a mile and a half on the treadmill and then another slow 10 minutes on the elliptical. It’s a start.
After going to the gym, I came home and plopped on the couch for the rest of the day, watched random YouTube videos, downloaded a random episode of The Spin Crowd, and painfully watched the Billboard Music Awards.
Now, it’s Monday. Have a good start to your week!
Talk to Me
- What did you do this weekend?
- Did you watch the Billboard Awards? What did you think?
- What are you working on at the gym these days? Muscle building? Cardio? Toning?
|May 17th, 2013||Friday Favorites|
Oh yes. The day has come.
Mind as well just jump right into it. These are my Friday Favorites for this week.
Bryan and I went down to the city on Wednesday for our catering tasting for the wedding. We got there a bit early so we walked around downtown for a while. Bryan needs a shirt for my friend Lauren’s wedding, so we thought we’d head over to Brooks Brothers. Unfortunately, it was closed already. LAME! But – I’m glad we found this one because it’s two-stories! Good to know for future shopping adventures.
The catering tasting we had on Wednesday was AMAZING. We are so happy with the caterer and just need to figure out the contract and everything. The building the caterer was in was gorgeous. Loved the chic-ness and rustic feel. A great blend. The doorman in the building was hilarious and kept us entertained while we waited for Bryan’s parents to get there.
On Thursday afternoon, I took a break from work and drove over to Starbucks for an iced soy chai. This is one of my favorites from Starbucks. For whatever reason, it was ever more delicious than usual.
I’ve mentioned these chips before, but I wanted to mention them again in my Friday Favorites because I finally found them again at the grocery store. I thought I’d never get them again because I swore my store stopped selling them – but FINALLY, I picked these up again when I went food shopping. This version is the pinto bean. I think they taste pretty similar to the black bean, but Bryan actually prefers these.
Other favorites (not pictured):
- Zensah compression sleeves
- Watching So You Think You Can Dance auditions
- Rain jackets!
- Happy hour at work on Thursday
Talk to Me
- What are your favorites from this week?
- How many caterers did you taste before signing the contract for your wedding?
- What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?
|May 16th, 2013||Diary|
Only one more day until Friday! This week has been so busy, and I just want a day to just sleep in with no alarm. That would be glorious.
- I’m not getting nearly enough sleep.
I’ve been sleeping in longer than usual these days, but I really need the extra half hour so I’m not beating myself up over it. Sure, I could get up earlier and go to the gym, but if that’s the case I’ll be half sleeping at my desk all day and nobody needs that!
(source) – clearly not me, but side note: who sleeps in makeup?! Thank you, stock photography.
- I am craving fruit.
So happy that last night we went food shopping, because I haven’t had fruit in the house for days – which is completely unheard of for me. I pretty much live off of fruits, veggies, fish & candy (shhh!).
- I want to take a vacation
Since we are saving for the wedding and our honeymoon, we won’t be able to take a long vacation anywhere, but I’m definitely down for a short weekend getaway. We’re going to the beach in a couple weeks for my friend’s wedding, but it will be a jam-packed weekend. Not much relaxing, although I absolutely CAN NOT wait!
Talk to Me
- What are some things you’ve been thinking lately?
- Do you take short road trips? What’s your favorite weekend getaway?
- Favorite fruit?
|May 15th, 2013||Gear, Reviews|
You all know how much I love my compression socks. They’re amazing when I’ve completed a long run (which hasn’t happened in SO long), because they help circulate the blood and assist with muscle recovery.
After my half marathon, I wore compression socks for the next few days. I even wore them to work under my pants with my winter boots.
Since we have warmer weather & I hope to start running again VERY SOON, I realized that I can’t exactly wear compression socks under my pants with open toed wedges or other summer-time shoes.
… until I was introduced to compression sleeves.
The new Reflect Compression Leg Sleeves by Zensah offer front and back visibility with 400% more reflectivity than any other compression sleeves on the market. So if you like running during early morning, evening, or dark hour runs, these sleeves will keep you visible! Additional benefits include calf support, shin splint relief, faster recovery, and reduced fatigue.
I really enjoy these sleeves because although they are have pretty tight compression, they don’t hurt if I wear them to bed. Initially, I thought that since they didn’t cover my feet and they cut off at the ankle, they would be really tight and uncomfortable… but that is not the case! Sometimes I forget that I even have them on.
Key Features & Specs
They are available in 5 colors: neon green (as shown above), black, neon pink, neon orange and neon yellow. You’ll be sure to find a color to match your favorite running skirt
If you’re interested in purchasing Zensah Reflect Compression Leg Sleeves, you can get them from their website for $39.99 a pair. They come in three sizes: XS/S, S/M, L/XL.
FTC: The compression sleeves were provided by Zensah for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Talk to Me
- Do you own compression sleeves?
- How often do you wear compression material after working out?
- If you had to pick one color to buy, which would you choose?
|May 13th, 2013||Weekend Recap|
Monday is here again, folks. Wahoo. (I hope you noted the sarcasm there)
Although I’m pretty bummed that the weekend is over, I can’t complain about the weather today. It’s bright and sunny, which is the ideal way to start a Monday. No need for any gloomy starts to my week! Sure, it’s a bit colder than the weather we’ve been having but I’ll take no rain.
Here’s a recap of my weekend.
Since nothing really too exciting happened on Friday, let’s just start with Saturday. Saturday morning we didn’t wake up until after 12PM. Bryan went out with some friends on Friday night and didn’t get home until almost 3:30, so I waited up for him before heading to bed. That being said, I wanted to get a full night’s sleep so I slept until the afternoon
After finally getting up, we drove over to our jeweler to fix my engagement ring. On Friday night, I noticed that one of my side diamonds that go around my band had fallen out and one of the prongs had broken off. I was VERY happy that they were able to fix my ring in an hour’s time! I definitely can’t complain.
While waiting for the ring to be fixed, Bry and I went to Rock Bottom Brewery for some lunch. I got the veggie burger with a side of jalapenos and black beans. It was a great choice! Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos to show you but you’ll just have to trust me on this one. If you have a Rock Bottom Brewery in your area, you must go and get the veggie burger. Here’s a list of their locations:
- Glendale, Arizona
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Campbell, California
- La Jolla, California
- Long Beach, California
- San Diego, California
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Denver, Colorado (downtown)
- Denver, Colorado (Denver International Airport)
- Loveland, Colorado
- Westminster, Colorado (Orchard Town Center)
- Centennial, Colorado
- Westminster, Colorado (Westminster Promenade)
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Chicago, Illinois
- Lombard, Illinois
- Orland Park, Illinois
- Warrenville, Illinois
- Indianapolis, Illinois (downtown)
- Indianapolis, Illinois (college park)
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Bethesda, Maryland
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- St Paul, Minnesota
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Portland, Oregon
- King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
- Homestead, Pennsylvania
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Arlington, Virginia
- Bellevue, Washington
- Seattle, Washington
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
After coming home from the mall on Saturday, I ended up using the engagement card that Leslee got us as a decoration in our bathroom! I think it looks awesome.
On Sunday afternoon, we went to Bryan’s parents’ house for Mother’s Day. I had grilled lobster and Bryan had lobster and grilled steak. Everything was so delicious! After dinner we had mini cupcakes from a bakery near their house. My favorite was the salted caramel vanilla cupcake.
Sunday night we finished up watching Dexter (not sure what season that was… but it was the one with the guy from 3rd Rock from the Sun). *Don’t spoil anything for me in the comments! I love that show. We took a few months off from watching it, but I’m glad we picked it back up again. It’s always so surprising and suspenseful!
Talk to Me
- What did you do this weekend?
- Have diamonds ever fallen out of your ring?
- What do you typically order when you eat out? I usually get a salad or veggie burger!
|May 10th, 2013||Friday Favorites|
Thank you to everyone’s kind words in yesterday’s post about remembering my mom.
Now that it’s Friday, I’m kind of bummed that today is going to be gorgeous and the rest of the weekend not so much. Instead of laying out by the pool today, I’ll be in my office.
Anyway… here are my favorite things from this past week.
What’s the Phrase! I may be late to this game, but it’s definitely been a favorite this week. If you’ve never played it, it’s an app for your phone that is very similar to Wheel of Fortune. You can add your friends and play against them, just like Words with Friends. The Apple iStore has a free version and a paid version. I only downloaded the free version to see if I liked it, but I do and I’m tired of the ads popping up, so I’ll be purchasing this one. If you want to play with me, my user name is NicoleMarie1214.
My new home office desk! Bryan’s sister was super nice to stop by our place last night and help Bryan put together our desks. Tonight I’ll be cleaning out the office room and making space to finally put our desks in there. Since we’ve moved in, that room was just a clutter room for any misc. boxes or bins. No more! It’s exciting because now I can start looking for a chair and art work. I might actually stop over at Michaels after work and pick up frames.
meeting with my sister and cousin for dinner on Wednesday
watching American Idol results show on Thursday (AHHH I can’t believe she went home!)
not doing house-work this week – but now that means I’ll be cleaning all weekend (boooo!)
painting my nails any color I want again! So I went to get my gel manicure on Thursday night after work and LITERALLY right after my shower, my thumb nail peeled RIGHT OFF. Since I was beyond annoyed, I peeled the rest of them off. I know you’re not supposed to take off gel yourself because it damages your nail… but I swear when I tell you, the polish peeled off in less than 30 seconds. Yes, all 10 nails. I am never going back to that salon again. Super annoyed because I drove a good 40 minutes to go to the salon and $30 wasted. Oh well – lesson learned.
Talk to Me
- What color are your nails painted right this minute?
- What are some of your favorites from this past week?
- Is it just me or IKEA furniture super difficult to put together?
|May 9th, 2013||Uncategorized|
Around this time, it’s hard not to think about your mom. Mothers Day is on Sunday. For me, this day every year I always think about the same thing. Mom. I think about what I’m going to write about at least a week in advance. This year was no different.
In case you’re interested, here is my post from last year– “Five Years Later”.
I’m not sure if I mentioned this is in past, but a lot of the memories from that part of my life is rather blurred. From what I do remember, my mom had cancer that eventually spread up to her brain.
Before my mom’s diagnosis, I knew a little bit about cancer but never knew anyone that close to me that had it. It seemed like such a far fetched disease until it happened to my mom. No matter what I imagined it being like, it was actually much worse. I can’t take credit for helping my mom that much during her illness, because I wasn’t there. That’s another story, but I was a raging teenager who didn’t know how to handle the situation, so I moved out and shut myself away from the whole thing.
I wasn’t there to help with Chemo & Radiation. I wasn’t there when they brought her home from the hospital. I wasn’t there to take care of her day-to-day.
I was there, however to see the side effects and I wouldn’t ever wish that on anyone. I was there when she started losing chunks of hair. I remember the smell of her radiation treatments. I was there when she was in a coma at home. Never sure if she was ever going to wake up (she eventually did for a short time). Never sure what the next day would bring. Being scared to visit her. Being scared if something terrible happened – would I know what to do? Would I know how to act?
There are so many things that I could say about this time in my family’s life 6 years ago, but it doesn’t seem right to divulge all that information here in a blog post. It just wouldn’t justify it. It would make it seem much more miniscule than it was. How can I truly express what that was like in a small blog post – I can’t. For those of you who have gone through losing a parent or anyone for that matter, to cancer, I commend you for moving forward. It sure is hard- but we have to. It’s what our loved one would have wanted.
Before I end this post, I want to mention a little bit about the National Brain Tumor Society. All of the info below has been found on the Brain Tumor Society website.
At the National Brain Tumor Society, their mission is to find better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and those who will be diagnosed in the future. Their goal is to ensure that everyone in the brain tumor community has access to helpful information. The website provides different resources for those suffering with a brain tumor as well as opportunities for those looking for online communities or an in-person support group.
Me and Bryan at the National Brain Tumor Society’s Race for Hope 5K in 2011
|May 8th, 2013||Advice|
Bryan and I send each other probably at least a few emails a day with random articles to read. Last night he sent me one titled, “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy.” I’m a huge advocate for inspirational articles and stories, so I knew I would love this article before I even opened it up.
I’m not going to recount for you all of the items on the list, but instead want to highlight some that I think are super important.
1. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion that you created. Just get rid of it. I’m afraid of so many things, but it’s nice to know that it’s just an illusion that I created. It definitely puts things into perspective.
2. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that’s not theirs to live. Just be yourself for you. I can certainly relate to this. When I was in high school and probably also in the early years in college, I acted how I thought people wanted me to act. I guess it was an underlying need to be liked all the time. Now that I’m older (and hopefully wiser) it’s nice to be in my own skin and just be me.
3. Give up your need for control. This is one I struggle with all the time, because I’m a control freak. It’s super important to give up the need to always control everything that happens to you and around you.
In other news, you may have recognized that my blog was down yesterday for about an hour and a half in the early morning.
I got an email from my host that said my blog was taking up too much room on the server because of spam comments. I immediately gave them a call and worked it out, but now I’m sifting through 200,000 comments to only get rid of the bad ones. Needless to say, I got done about 60,000 yesterday and still have much more to go through.
Now when you comment, you’ll have to do a little math problem to prove you are a human. Sorry, but it’s better than getting shut down again. If you can’t do simple math, visit google .
Short post this morning, I slept in a bit longer than usual because it’s super gloomy outside. Perfect nap day – but alas, I have to head into the office. I hope you all have an amazing Wednesday!
Talk to Me
- If you’re a blogger, have you ever had a problem with spam comments? How did you fix it?
- What’s your favorite item on the 15 Things list?
- Do you keep a paper diary? I need to do this again soon.
|May 6th, 2013||Weekend Recap|
Sometimes weekends pass me by and I’m grateful for how relaxing they were. Other weekend – like this past one, reminds me that I’m grateful for amazing weather and a busy schedule.
Friday night, Bryan and I hung out with Leslee from Her Happy Balance and her boyfriend. The night consisted of playing Clue; eating lots of grapes, pretzels and cucumbers; listening to country music and eventually falling asleep for a little bit on the couch. Yep, I can’t party too hard these days without dozing off.
On Saturday morning, Bryan surprised me by taking me out to breakfast. He found a random restaurant on Yelp called Alfredo’s and wanted to check it out. Breakfast is probably our favorite meal of the day so we’re always looking for new places to try. Alfredo’s is really a hidden gem. It’s actually a pizza place, but they are known for their breakfast all-day.
I ordered three scrambled eggs, home fries, and toast with orange marmalade (my favorite). I was very pleasantly surprised! The outside of the restaurant looks like any other pizza place, but inside it was pretty quaint.
After breakfast, we stopped at a local coffee shop and then went to the Norristown Art Festival. There were a lot of people there, probably around a few hundred. There was also a Montco Idol competition. All three contestants were very talented! Can’t wait to check back and see who wins this Friday.
Once we were done walking around the festival, we came home and relaxed! We even took a nap! It was so amazing to just come home and sleep for a few hours. Once we woke up, it was right around dinner time. After dinner I made an amazing fruit salad with honey!
(kiwi, pear, banana & honey)
On Sunday, we did SO many things. Many more things than normal Sundays, that’s for sure.
First we went to IKEA and finally bought office desks. Oh, and a watering can and a fake plant for our bathroom.
After that we stopped home, unloaded the furniture and then headed right back out the door to the Chestnut Hill Home & Garden Festival. I read about the festival online last week and knew it would be a good time and it was! The weather was absolutely perfect and there was definitely a lot to look at. I’d say there were probably over 350 vendors there. If you’re from the Philadelphia area, the festival took place on Germantown Avenue and was probably at least a mile and a half long! We walked around and Bryan bought a sandwich that had basically everything you can imagine on it, and I got us beer and a margarita. I had to have a margarita – it WAS cinco de mayo of course.
After the festival, we had a lot more errands to run. We stopped at CVS for my prescription, then over to Target to look at air purifiers. We ended up buying the air purifier from Target only to get home and have it break. So… we went back out again. This time to Target to return the old one, to Lowes, to Home Depot and then back to Target. We ended up getting a really nice one on sale at Target. It was a long day.
Just hanging out at Home Depot
Talk to Me
- What did you do this weekend?
- What’s the last home appliance you purchased?
- Do you have street festivals where you live? What’s the best one you’ve been to?