Jan 31, 2011

Why I Have Issues, Round 1

Trust me when I say that there will be a round 2. And maybe a 3 and 4. I am a strange chick.

1. I get an obscene amount of magazines each month. In just one day, I received four.health magazine (2)What’s worse, when I stopped at Publix for just flour, I picked up another because I couldn’t resist the cover. bon appetit magazine (1)

2. I get wayyyyyyy too excited about new food finds. I nearly peed my pants (dress?) when I saw the four new Fage Greek yogurt flavors. If you look really closely, you can see my tongue sticking through my teeth. I am that excited.

new flavors: strawberry goji, cherry pomegranate, blueberry acai, mango guanabana00fage greek yogurt

3. Every single time I bake, I have some sort of a fail. A burn. A cut. A slice. I dropped this. I splattered that. I broke a utensil. It’s always a surprise. On Friday, I baked these swirled blondies for Amanda’s birthday. blondies In an attempt to easily cut the bars, I thought flipping them out of the pan seemed like a good idea. Okay, NO. I dropped a chunk of them on the floor. fs

4. I spend too much time at Chick-fil-A. Not that there can be such a thing…but…I went there twice today. It wasn’t my first time doing a double-drop-in either. They know me by name, they slap me five…do they worship me? I got this facebook comment from Caroline today: toomuchchickfila

OF COURSE it was me!

5. I cannot do anything without making a mess. While looking for my passport, I destroyed my bedside table drawers. Hurricane Xtina at her best. hurricane xtina

6. I actually cannot dress myself. I don’t know how to match articles of clothing to make an outfit. I seek out fashion advice from my awesome blogger friend, Holly. She was so kind and made me a collage of ideas on how to wear my peach sequin skirt. I love her for this!

7. My nicknames include Hot Mess and Messtina, No explanation necessary.

8. I find joy in hula hooping. DSC_2257

Do you hate me now?

Jan 30, 2011

Bambu Dining with the Roommates

Last night, Diana (my old roommate) and Lucy (my new roommate) and I went to Bambu for dinner. Bambu is an Asian restaurant in Mt. Pleasant off of Coleman Blvd. It’s very pretty inside and the sushi is great. They have a ton of rolls to choose from, so we each picked one and shared with each other.

Diana ordered the SCAM Roll - Crab and cream cheese roll topped with avocado and spicy shrimp and crab mix. IMAG0105
Lucy ordered the Super White Tuna Roll - White tuna and avocado atop a spicy tuna, crab and cucumber roll.IMAG0107
I ordered the Umami Roll - Tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, and mango roll topped with seared tuna, jalapeno, and sweet chili sauce.IMAG0106I loved all three rolls, but I definitely enjoyed mine the most. Mango in a roll was a first to me, and I really loved the fruity flavor against the jalapeno.
Bambu on Urbanspoon

We went straight home after dinner. No additional alcohol for us. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun. Remember when I bought my hula hoop a couple weeks ago? When I got home with it, I was thinking Lucy was going to think I was a total weirdo for buying a hula hoop. Instead of looking at me funny, she told me she actually had the same one in a different color. Moments later, she came out of her room holding a purple hula hoop.

So last night, Lucy and I had a major  hooping session. I’m talking about a solid hour of hula hooping – around our waists, wrists, elbows, and neck. Yes, neck. We are becoming pros. I can’t even lie – today’s mission is to go buy more hula hoops in different colors because it’s really fun to hoop two at at time.

We are 5-year-olds.

Videos/pictures to come.

Don’t forget to enter the Yoplait smoothie giveaway!

Jan 29, 2011

Interval Workout + a Giveaway!

A lot of people ask me what I do at the gym. My short answer is babe-watch. My long answer is…boring. I realize I need to be better about posting what I’m doing in the gym because I promise I’m not really goofing off the entire time. Interval workouts are my favorite while on the treadmill because you won’t get as bored and the recovery is just long enough to lower your heart rate to rev you for the next interval. Here is what I did this morning.

On the treadmill:

Minute: Speed (m.p.h.)  
0-5:00 4.0 warm-up
5:00-8:00 6.0 run
8:00-9:00 7.0 sprint
9:00-12:00 6.0 run
12:00-13:00 7.5 sprint
13:00-16:00 6.0 run
16:00-17:00 7.0 sprint
17:00-20:00 6.0 run
20:00-21:00 7.5 sprint
21:00-24:00 6.0 run
24:00-25:00 7.0 sprint
25:00-28:00 6.0 run
28:00-29:00 7.5 sprint
29:00-32:00 6.0 run
32:00-33:00 7.0 sprint
33:00-36:00 6.0 run
36:00-41:00 4.0 cool-down
41:00-43:00 3.5 optional cool-down

Here is my thought process throughout the 43 minutes. I have a.d.d.

Minute 0-5: Ok whennnnnn can I run? This is boring.

Minute 6: YES, go go go!

Minute 9: Ugh, there is nothing good on t.v. I’ll watch the crisis in Egypt. Holy crap, is somebody running with a computer?

Minute 13: I feel hot.

Minute 19: That would be sweat dripping down my cheek.

Minute 21: Tooooo much clothing on.

Minute 32: Where the crap is minute 36? I’m ready to walk.

Minute 39: This treadmill has FANS?

I seriously had no idea the treadmill had fans until I had only a couple minutes left. That would have been really nice…I was so freaking hot, but happy with my results.IMG00317-20110129-1213

After I got home, I made a refreshing drink using a Yoplait frozen smoothie pack. I received a free smoothie pack from Yoplait courtesy MyBlogSpark. yoplalti frozen smoothie  package ble pomThese smoothies contain a whole (1/2 cup) serving of fruit, and when made with skim milk, you get your calcium, too! I also added Greek yogurt for protein.

In the blender:

- 1 Yoplait Blueberry pomegranate smoothie pack

- 1 cup skim milk

- 8 oz. Greek yogurt

Blend for 1-1/2 minutes. Makes two servings.blueberry pomegranate smoothie

Giveaway time! MyBlogSpark and Yoplait have teamed up and offered to give one of you a prize pack. You will receive a small gym bag, a water bottle, a diet & fitness journal, and a coupon for one free smoothie pack.yoplait smoothie-1-webThe smoothie packs are available in four flavors: Blueberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Banana, Triple Berry, and Strawberry Mango Pineapple.

To enter: Please let me know which flavor you’d like most! Giveaway ends on Tuesday at 12:00 PM. Good luck!

Jan 28, 2011

What Is Your State Known For? Round 2.

My blog has really morphed into much more than a food blog and I’m very happy with it. I’ve been very hesitant to write posts that were not food-related, but ironically, these posts have been incredibly successful. Examples of posts I second-guessed writing:

I am officially declaring Friday as the day for fun posts. Of course I will continue writing about healthy living, but it’s fun to shake things up a bit!

Last week I posted about what each of the United States is known for, food-wise. The majority of you agreed with your state’s quintessential food, while some of us disagreed and could immediately think of something better. I still think South Carolina should have been grits! I found a new map this week.

This is shameful, really. South Carolina is known for the most mobile homes. AWESOME! My home state (Massachusetts) is known to be the worst drivers. That’s pretty accurate. According to this map, I belong in Ohio.

Not surprisingly, this caused quite a heated debate on the original site, and a rebuttal was made.

Click on the image to enlarge or read the list here. Yay positivity! So South Carolina is known for having the most golf holes per capita. I can’t believe how random and unexciting that is. I had to laugh at Ohio being known for nerdiest state on the other map, and most library visits on this map. Makes sense!

Do you agree or disagree with these maps?

If anyone’s looking for me, I’m in North Dakota. ;)

Jan 27, 2011

While You Are Funemployed…

The job hunt has begun. Although finding a new career can be frightening, the transition period is all in what you make it.

Things to do while Funemployed:

Indulge in an obnoxious amount of sweets. As soon as I told Tyler on Tuesday night, he said “See you soon. I’m bringing milkshakes.” 20 minutes later, I was eating a cookie dough milkshake while black mascara ran down my face. Is that normal?

Yesterday, Boding came over with 2 Lil Chiperoo cookies from Whole Foods. DSC_2170He wouldn’t leave without me trying one. These things are ridiculous. Two chocolate chip cookies filled with icing, then dipped in chocolate. Go to WF and get one right now. Thank me later. DSC_2174
Tonight, Ashley and I are going to O-ku for sushi and champagne. Her nursing school mentor is taking us out. We’re going to celebrate our future! Even though I’ve ditched the crutches, there is a 99.9% chance that I will be wearing flats.
Work out, work out, work out some more. You can’t indulge in milkshakes and Lil Chiperoos unless you’re balancing it out with exercise. Plus, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and maintain a focus on what’s important. I typically go to Eco in the afternoon, but have always preferred morning workouts. Now I can! The only issue is less babe-watching. Mornings at Eco = hanging with the Mt. Pleasant mommies. They’re my idols though! I have lots of love for moms who still make it to the gym each day. Especially Katie! :)

Get smarter. I wasn’t sure when I’d find time to attack the pile of books I rented the other day, but now I have no excuses! Last night while watching American Idol with Lucy, I started reading How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine. Did you guys know that Riesling is pronounced as “reece-ling”?

Put yourself out there. I am by no means a chatterbox, but I will talk to anyone and everyone. I just like people a lot and have found that most people are inherently good and willing to help those in need. After blogging about the layoff and posting a funemployment status on fb, I have been contacted by several people about job opportunities. I have an interview tomorrow with a publishing company, too! :)

Thank you all for your sweet comments regarding my situation. Every bit of compassion helps me stay positive.

Stay tuned for a lot of fun blog posts in the near future. You’ll be seeing a review of The Rice Market, a giveaway, and the unveiling of a best friend’s blog! Also, if there are any topics you’d like to see more of on my blog, now is the time to let me know.

Jan 26, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons…

…you make blueberry banana muffins…

at 5 am…

…because you’ve been laid off.

True story.

Who lays off a cripple? On a serious note, the company for which I was working  had been struggling financially for a while. Thankfully this was not a reflection on my performance and I will be able to use the company as a reference. As it was not entirely a shock to me, I truly see this as a hump in the road on my journey to something that I am more passionate about. I am excited for my future and will be using this as motivation to find my true calling.

On to the muffins! I may be a little bit too excited about having all this free time with which I can bake, bake, and bake some more. I might even work out. Just kidding. I will equally divide my time between baking and exercise, preventing any unnecessary weight gain. I’ll try to find a new job, too. ;)
Lea blogged about Blueberry Banana Muffins on Monday, and I knew I had to make them immediately. DSC_2162DSC_2161These muffins are perfect! They are delicately sweet but have lots of texture due to the one swap I made: rolled oats instead of oat bran. The tart blueberries balance out the mellow hint of banana for a breakfast treat that is sure to make your morning!DSC_2155And now for a chuckle…take a look at the fortune cookie I received with my pad Thai the night I hurt my foot dancing.DSC_2175
Coincidence, no?

Jan 24, 2011

A Crippled Girl’s Day Off

As I still can’t apply any pressure with/on my foot, I’m unable to drive. This = no work for the crippled girl. Lucky for me, I have awesome friends taking care of me. After breakfast, Tyler came over with pistachios, a box of crumb cake mix, and his laptop. It was clear that we would be lounging and eating just like we did all day yesterday. He worked on med school stuff and I finished watching Julie & Julia. This movie is adorable and I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. It’s a must-see for all food bloggers!

For lunch, Tyler convinced me to try out one of his favorite delis downtown, Halo. This little restaurant is located across the street from MUSC on Ashley Ave.DSC_2119DSC_2123DSC_2124Their menu contains an assortment of breakfast items, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and baked goods. We started lunch out the right way and ate our dessert first: a frosted sugar cookie that was about the size of my head. DSC_2122I ordered the Halo Green Tomato BLT - fried green tomato, apple wood smoked bacon, romaine, and goat cheese on multi-grain. Awesome choice for someone who can’t work out right? DSC_2125Tyler chose the Raspberry Chicken Sandwich – chicken, raspberry preserves, sweet potato biscuit, romaine, and tomato. Yes, there is actually a sweet potato biscuit inside of this sandwich. On the side, he got a cup of She-Crab soup.DSC_2128
Halo on Urbanspoon

My sandwich was definitely worth the trek in crutches, even if my underarms feel bruised.
DSC_2116Does this look like the face of someone who wants to be photographed walking down Rutledge in crutches? Yes, yes it does.DSC_2118After lunch, we stopped at the grocery store to buy the ingredients to make beef jerky. What I really mean is that Tyler went grocery shopping while I locked myself in the car for a dance party. An upper-body dance party, trust me.

I’m saving the beef jerky for a future post, but I did want to give you a little teaser. I’m not really sure what’s going on with my hair lately. I don’t usually look like such a ragamuffin. Or do I? DSC_2138While the beef marinated, I forced Tyler to watch an episode of Dr. Phil in which a girl can’t stop bingeing and purging. About 15 minutes into this ridiculous trash, it hit me –  picking up books from the library was essential.

Even though the Mt. Pleasant library is no mansion, I still felt like I was in heaven. I’ve always loved books. I was able to read by 4 years old, and my mom would often find me sitting on my bed surrounded by a pile of books.

Today’s book selection was very random: DSC_2148
  • How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine
  • 50 Fast Digital Camera Techniques
  • How to Photograph Absolutely Everything
  • Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, & Lebanon
  • A Baker’s Field Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Bake Wise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking.
It’s very clear what my interests are. Smile Thank you all for your well wishes, thoughts, and prayers. You are all such wonderful readers! P.S.: Tomorrow I’m having dinner at The Rice Market. Have any of my Charleston friends been yet? What should I order?

Jan 23, 2011

I Am Not Your Most Stable Friend. I Am Your Clumsiest Friend.

Before going out for Trista’s birthday on Friday night, I jokingly sent this picture message to TJ and Tyler.
“Accident waiting to happen?”IMG00297-20110121-1841
Tyler’s response: “Yes, but totally worth it.
TJ’s response: “Christastrophe.”
What I didn’t realize is that this picture message was an omen for the evening. Silas and I went to Trista’s party, then to Midtown, then to Trio to dance. Obviously I haven’t finished reading Classy.
Fast forward several hours later…I woke up in the middle of the night freaking out. I thought my foot was broken. I could not walk on it, or put any pressure on it for that matter. It was awful. I took an Aleve and tried to go back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, it felt even worse, so I texted my old roommate/nursing student Diana. She graciously offered to take me to the urgent care clinic to get an x-ray.
Right around the corner from us is Nason Medical Center. This place is awesome. The entire staff was very friendly and made sure we were comfortable and happy throughout our entire visit. After doing paperwork, Diana and I noticed a refreshment area with complimentary beverages and snacks. Cha ching! IMG00303-20110122-1500IMAG0085IMG00304-20110122-1608
Once we were called back, they took my vitals. My blood pressure was 140/70. Um, yeah, I was in pain. Just a few minutes later, Dr. Schwartzberg arrived. A Jewish doctor – everything was going to be fine. I told him I had been dancing like a tramp but spared him the details of keg beer and tequila. Then they took an x-ray to make sure no bones were broken.

No broken bones! Apparently it was just a really bad strain and I needed a fiberglass foot brace, pain meds, and crutches. Hottest I’ve ever been.trashmess

After the visit, Diana brought me to Publix to fill my prescription and get food/goodies because I wouldn’t be driving anytime soon. Wine was definitely purchased. We had a blast roaming around Publix in this hot motorized vehicle. It even made an obnoxious beeping noise while in reverse. klutz
That evening, Diana came back over for a fire, wine, m&ms, and a movie. We watched my doppelganger in Letters to Juliet – cute, but super cheesy. I am so thankful for having such a sweet friend take care of me all day. Thank you, Diana – love love love you!

I have iced my foot several times, kept it elevated, and am hobbling around in crutches. I feel like such a goof, but am so happy that I didn’t break any bones. I think I am more upset about not going to the gym! Today I am going to decorate my crutches with ribbons, stickers, and maybe even bedazzle it. Gotta make the best of life’s accidents! Smile

What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had? What did you do during recovery?

Jan 19, 2011

Oh, The Joys of Being Single.

You guys remember Ashley right? She’s my friend who I go to the gym/babe-hunting with all the time. She recently became single and our adventures thus far have been quite entertaining. And by entertaining, I mean for us…and everyone else within a 10-foot radius. A typical weekday for us involves babe hunting, inhaling food at warp speeds, and then some other unusual activity.

After tonight’s gym session, we drove over to Chick-fil-A for a protein fix. A chargrilled chicken sandwich, fruit cup, and diet lemonade is my favorite post-workout treat. Well, that, or Greek yogurt. While dining at this fine establishment, Ashley showed me the “care package” that her ex-boyfriend’s mom sent her. The package included three self-help books and pepper spray. Interesting right? We had a therapy session over dinner.jesuslovesusthirstyLike my pretty carnation? Those are on every table. Unfortunately this past Summer, I learned that you’re not supposed to steal them. I had  been committing some major sins trying to prettify my hair until Rick informed me otherwise. Don’t worry, I put the carnation back in the vase.

After we finished eating, my 5-year-old self asked for a balloon. I’m really not sure why I wanted one. I think I just like asking for stuff and hearing “yes.” That’s not healthy. What’s worse are these next two pictures.

Instead of showing off our balloons, we showed off our biceps. bicepsbiceps2

We weren’t getting much out of the books that ex-mama sent us, so we booked it over to Barnes & Noble. Pun intended. Normal girls browse the fashion magazines or the fiction section. Abnormal girls head straight to the self-help section. You’d be surprised at the books  you can find! ineedhelpI happen to think that I am a pro at dating, so I found myself much more intrigued with this book: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.photo

Over the next hour or so, Ashley and I became so empowered as single women that we’re pretty much destined to be single for the next year. Or two weeks, you just never know.

We both left Barnes & Noble with a copy of the same book: This book is going to be SO good. We barely skimmed it and were cracking up. It covers how to not dress like a tramp, technology etiquette, how to host a party, travel on the cheap, being a BFF and not a backstabber, and many other topics relevant to being a sassy yet classy lady. I can’t wait to read it and give you all a full review!

I also picked bought this:I’ve seen this book a billion times, but today it was in the bargain section for $6.98. A steal!

And while we’re discussing awesome books, I highly recommend this book for anyone who is going through a break-up. It’s a brutally honest and humorous guide to getting out of that post break-up funk and moving onto better things!

Have you read any of these three books? Do you recommend any other similar books on becoming more of a bad ass?