What’s the deal with CHIA?

Not chia pets, Chia seeds!

Another newish fad super food… and it’s time to give it a try!

ChiaSeedsInWater-850x566from MindBodyGreen

I’ve started having a yogurt and salad at lunch and yesterday morning I woke up and made a Greek yogurt/frozen berry smoothie. It made my day — not only did it taste good but I felt healthier after I had consumed it as if I had just ingested a glorious superfood. I didn’t like Greek yogurt very much at first and couldn’t understand people’s obsession with it…. the consistency was just a little too chunky for my liking but once you get used to it, you don’t notice that as much!

DSC03039

Then there is this fad all over the place with Chia seeds. I scoffed at first because people around me were going nuts about it. I figured its just one of this things that’s gonna fade like acai berries…. It hasn’t really been around long enough for many scientific studies but the things I’ve read about it are enough to make me want to try. I tested it out a few weeks ago in juice and it really felt like just drinking a bunch of kiwi seeds with a little crunch. I happen to love kiwi seeds so I don’t mind the chia:)

The stuff I’ve read sounds good and listening to friends rave about them is as good of a review as any (;))…. so I thought, why not? I stopped by Trader Joe’s and picked up a bag for $5. I had a tablespoon in my leftover frozen smoothie last night. I’ll probably start slow… 1-2 Tbsp a day, but I’ve read you can have up to 4 Tbsp. and it’s good for you! I’ll put them in smoothies and sprinkle on my salads at lunch. If you have any advice for me with this, let me know! Ways to take it, how much to consume,… how you’ve seen results… I’m all ears!

chia seeds from Trader Joe's

Au jardin | A garden themed baby shower!

I’ve been looking forward to this post ever since my friend Kat (blogger @ Withywindle) and I decided to host a baby shower together for our friend Johanna! So I’m excited to finally share some pictures from the event.

Couple of things you should know:

  • We decided to make it garden themed partially because Johanna is vegetarian and super healthy…and because it was spring, and because it’s so darn cute!
  • Much of the credit for the way this shower turned out I owe to my friend. She gave up her beautiful house for the event, did most of the decorating and a great deal of the cooking!
  • Many of our ideas were from other blogs which we stumbled upon probably through Pinterest (I’ll credit them below the pics)
  • A classic children’s book can make a great guest book! Have the ladies sign the inside of the book and write a note to the baby
  • Cake Batter popcorn is really really addicting

Garden Baby shower

Credits & Links

Luscious Lemon Squares

My take on Mini Spinach Quiche

Mini Fruit Tarts

Mini Caprese Salad Bites

Inside Out Carrot Cake Muffins

 Garden Baby Shower

Credits & Links

Birthday Cake Batter Popcorn

Some garden inspiration gathered here

The best and easiest Tissue Paper Poms tutorial

Cute graphic design elements

I learned a lot throwing this little shower. It was so much fun, we had a great turn out, and the food was all delicious! We were pretty pleased, to say the least. Aside from all the baking, I really liked learning to make tissue poms! I hadn’t done any before but my green poms ended up looking like heads of lettuce, which was pretty perfect! 🙂

Check out Kat’s cute post of the same event with her beautiful pics here!

Here’s one more baby shower idea I had to share from Sea Kettle Diaries –a flowery onesie bouquet! One of the cleverest, prettiest gifts!

What’s for Dinner | Chipotle at Home

[a late Cinco de Mayo post]

A couple of nights ago we were having friends over for dinner and we were racking our brains trying to figure out what to make. One couple that was coming was vegetarian and one person we were having over was allergic to gluten, so we decided on burritos/taco salad. The guy that couldn’t have the tortillas could just make a naked burrito or have taco salad. We decided that would be the easiest, so we set off for the store. On our way we realized we had been craving Chipotle lately, so I started scouring the web for a copy-cat Chipotle rice recipe. I stumbled on this recipe from Skinny Taste that seemed simple enough, so we picked up the ingredients we needed and put everything together at home. This meal –complete with two kinds of beans, optional chicken or steak, cheese, sour cream, salsa, homemade guacamole, tomatoes, and lettuce, and sauteed peppers & onions– took around an hour and a half to prepare. The Cilantro Lime Rice really hit the spot!

cilantro lime rice

Here’s how you do it (we doubled this recipe):

  • 1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil

Add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt to a small pot and bring it all to a boil. Turn down to low and cook until the water evaporates for about 15 mins. It should look fairly dry throughout. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for an additional 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed. Then spoon the rice onto your tortilla, top with your favorite burrito toppings, and enjoy!

Drink | Peaches & Cream Daiquiri

I’m a big fan of icy cold drinks. Milkshakes, margaritas, daiquiris, smoothies… you know what I’m talking about. When I was at home, after a long day of sailing, we decided we had to have a daiquiri night. My mom was sure we had everything we needed, so I got the blender set up and looked in the freezer and fridge. I found some recipes online for peach daiquiris, but I believe when it comes to putting things in the blender, you can go off-recipe. It’s all about adding more of this or that. Because I’m always adding more of something, I end up making a crazy amount of whatever I’m blending, but that’s not usually a bad thing. 🙂

Peaches & Cream Daiquiri

For this “Daiquiri” I combined:

  • Frozen peaches since it’s not quite peach season
  • Milk
  • Ice and a little water
  • Rum
  • Vanilla ice cream (because the frozen peaches weren’t sweet enough!)

Breakfast at home in Southport, NC!

I’m home today… at my parents’ house that is, in North Carolina! Quick life update: I got a new job which won’t start until April 9 so I’ve been on “vacation” since my last day which was the 27th. I highly recommend this “break” in between jobs if you’re ever in a similar situation and if the new job can be flexible for when you start! 🙂

I got here 2 days ago and have been totally enjoying sleeping in, eating mom’s cooking, spending time with my little sister, going to the BEACH,… etc.!

Today my sister and I didn’t wake up until 10! Our parents weren’t around so Sarah and I made this Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake together (from Alexandra Cooks). This was a recipe I found on Pinterest over a month ago but I hadn’t tried it yet since blueberries have been pretty hard to come by.  My mom had a bag of frozen blueberries, so I just defrosted those and used them. Sarah and I think it turned out great!

This is the sister Sarah,… the youngest in our family, and the only one still at home (senior in high school).

Sarah and the blueberry breakfast pie

Blueberry breakfast
The buttermilk in this recipe made this cake moist and delicious 🙂 Hope you can try it sometime soon!

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

What’s for Dinner | Sometimes I just want a salad…

After a week of work, it’s hard to want to cook a healthy meal on a weekend night…. it’s so much easier to grab pizza or get take out since it saves dishes and time. That’s really nice when I can be pretty lazy on the weekend :). However, it’s nice to eat something fresh and healthy, and this salad was really easy to throw together (10-15 mins. tops!). We got the idea from a family friend.

What you’ll need:

  • Mixed lettuce
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • Chopped salami
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, as much as you want
  • Vinaigrette dressing
Combine together and enjoy!

Salami, olive, artichoke salad