Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quick Closet Fix

Time for my mini closet organization project.  I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but I've seemed to collect quite a bit over the years, and I think I do a pretty good job of rotating it all around so that everything gets worn somewhat often.  That being said, it usually ends up like this in a pile in my closet...

No bueno.  I also may or may not have found my nice gold chain like this...

On the floor.  Whoops.  Time for a solution. Enter an empty wall of un-utilized space near our closet entrance...

*yes, those are my shoes stuffed unceremoniously into a generic shoe rack. I'm more Liz Lemmon that Carrie Bradshaw, sorry!*

And these AMAZING feats of engineering.  Seriously, the man who invented command hooks should be worshipped.

Plop a few on the dresser...

And a few more on the wall...

And presto!  No more mess!

It's awfully difficult to get a good shot off in a closet... at night.  Annoying.  I decided to go with the command hooks instead of something cuter (stenciled wall and knobs from anthro, anyone???), to see if I can actually stick to my "hang it up right away - no really, right now!" system.  If I can, then I'll have earned a nicer makeover.  Wish me luck!

In other news, can you BELIEVE that today is the LAST day in January?!  Where has the time gone??  The year is 1/12 over!  Sheesh.  Valentine's day is upon us, and after that... Easter!  Wowie.  Anyway, regardless of the date, I hope you're having a wonderful Tuesday, friends!

Monday, January 30, 2012


I had intended this weekend to contain a little DIY project, but I was so busy trying to spend my extra time exercising that I totally forgot! (<- nerd alert!!)  I did do a lot of running up and down this butte, though...

I also did a lot of running around the lake in the foreground.  Good thing the views are great and the weather was SPECTACULAR...

A rock on this pathway took a giant piece out of my tennis shoe - new ones are in order (boo!).  I guess I should learn to run without tripping before I invest in new ones, though ;)

At least the view from the top is great.  Have I mentioned that we love living in Tempe?  I hope you all had fantastic weekends, and if all goes well, I'll have a DIY project to show you tomorrow (after I run this darned mountain another 5 times).  Happy Monday, friends!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Scale time...

Time for my weekly fitbit update!  

Weight as of this morning: 130.4   **However, I weighed myself at the gym the other day on the super legit doctors scale (the kind you can calibrate) and weighed 129.5.  Granted weight fluctuates throughout the day... It was just encouraging to see the number start with a 1-2, instead of a 1-3.  =)** 
Weight loss from last week: 1.8 lbs
Pound lost so far: 12.1
Date by which I should arrive at 115: March 19

Things are going well, right???

...But, I'm beginning to feel just a bit tired of spending my entire day working toward a calorie goal.  However, losing so much per week is helping my attitude.  And speaking of which... Since I don't update this stuff on my blog every day, what you don't know is that I spend about 5 of the 7 days in the week at the EXACT SAME WEIGHT.  Busting my chops does NOTHING.  Then, all of a sudden, I drop 1.5 lbs. While those days are awesome, it's a little hard on the other 5 or 6 days every week.  I guess this is how it's going to go from now on out, so I'll get used to it, if I have to. =)  Anyone else have a similar experience???

I've cut my calories as much as I feel is healthy.  I promised myself I wouldn't be hungry, I'd just change what I ate. Without getting too specific (I'll be keeping my calorie counts to myself =)), I make sure I have at least a 1400-1500 calorie deficit per day.  If I push much harder I won't be able to sustain this long term, so I'll have to stay at this pace.  If you've been through this before, please show me some solidarity!  Tell me it's all worth it!

I am, however, feeling the positive effects of getting in shape - today I ran 5 miles (I was going to say "without breaking a sweat," but that would be a lie) without feeling like death.  I actually did it at 5AM and felt awesome after.  This has become my new motto...

As for now, it's Friday, which means I have more time to bust my hump running, climbing mountains, and rowing.  At least the weather is nice.  =)  Have a happy and healthy Friday, friends!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Master bath is soooooo close!

Our master bathroom is almost almost almost almost done.... kind of.  Our contractor is finished (or thought he was) with everything but hanging the shower door, which he broke and is replacing.  However, upon closer inspection of the job, there are a few things I'm not quite happy with.  Commence my anal type A tendencies...  The new texture on the added wall doesn't match the existing texture, and the grout on the bottom of the shoer needs some serious buffing (it feels all gritty!), so Mr. Contractor will be coming back this week to go over my list with me, muahahaha!  All these experiences have got me thinking that I'll write a post about how to and how not to work with a contractor.  But I'll have to wait until we're actually done - hopefully soon!  Ok, enough words, here's what we're currently staring at when we open the master bath door....

Nice, eh?  I like how the new 18" travertine is jiving so well with the existing 12" porcelain tile.  My MAIN worry was that the old tile would look grey and the new business would be brown.  My bathroom would be committing the ultimate fashion foul: black and brown in the same outfit right next to each other!!!  **Some people can make this work. These people are alien fashion goddesses; do not attempt to imitate them**  But I'm so so pleased with this lot of stone, it all meshes perfectly.

I'm getting so excited for when we can finally say that we're DONE.  But before then there's still lots for me to do... like choose a paint color. *panic!*  Oh yeah - and PAINT the whole room.  One day at a time, April, one day at a time.  Hope y'all are having a great one - happy Thursday, friends!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Healthy Broccoli & Goat Cheese Souffle

Confession: I had to look up how to spell Souffle before writing this post... twice.

Until stumbling upon an amazing recipe website {Eating Well}, I never dreamed of attempting this notoriously difficult dish, but I am a goat cheese addict (anyone else with me?  I LOVE tangy cheese), and when I saw the recipe for a goat cheese and broccoli souffle that was under 300 calories per serving, I knew I had to try it.

During the process, I discovered two pleasant things:
2 - it was fairly easy

If you add "low calorie and basically nutritious" to the two requirements above, you have my full attention, and this recipe certainly did.  So, I felt like I'd share it with you.  Mine is basically the same as the one posted on their website, but I tweaked mine a bit, so the one below is the "Kitchen Table for Two" version.  =)


1.5 cups of finely shopped broccoli florets
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1.25 cups skim milk
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon rosemary (and a bit more for garnish)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup goat cheese (or more, whatevs ;))
3 large eggs, separated
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 2 quart soufflet dish (What the what?  I just used a circular casserole dish) with cooking spray

2. Microwave broccoli for 2 mins until tender crisp (seriously, NO LONGER than this.  It will cook in the oven with the souffle, and there's nothing worse than mushy veggies.  For real).

3. Melt butter and oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour and cook until it's the color of caramel.  Make sure to whisk constantly so that it doesn't burn.

4.  Add milk, mustard, rosemary, salt and cook until thickened (about 1-2 minutes).  Remove from heat and immediately whisk in goat cheese and the three egg yolks until well combined.  Transfer to a large bowl

5.  Beat the 5 egg whites in a mixer until soft peaks form.  Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form

6. Using a spatula, fold half of the egg whites into the cheesy mixture.  Fold in the remaining egg whites and the broccoli until no streaks remain.  Make sure not to crush the eggs - they need to be super fluffy!

7.  Transfer to souffle dish, sprinkle with more rosemary, and bake until puffed, firm to the touch, and an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees.  For me, this was right around 27 mins.

This was what we got...

Holy YUM!  I served it with a little bit of Italian spiced chicken and some garlic couscous.  It wasn't too bad for a weeknight meal - done in under 45 mins.  And did I mention it was tasty and you can eat 1/4 of the whole thing for 250 cals?!  Let me know how you like it if you try it.  Have a happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Target goodies

I've been needing another lamp for my living room and have been inspired by tripod lamps lately...

This gorgeous one runs over $150, and it's only the table version... wop wop =(

However, Target started advertising this pretty little thing a few months ago...

I knew I liked it, but at $50, it was more than I wanted to spend (yep - total cheapskate!).  Plus the shade looked super WHITE, and my others are linen colored, I'm already locked into tea staining one (which I'm putting off, b/c I'm chicken), and wasn't looking to make that two.

But when Target listed a special price online this weekend, I knew I had to have it, and for a grand total of $35.99 (including shipping! What?!), I had two words: "yes, please."  I ordered it and it arrived SO quickly!  And, the shade turned out to be the perfect creamy color yellow.

I LOVE it.  What do y'all think? I like the way it filles up the awkward space behind the couch.  Now all I have to do is keep the pictures in the frames behind it from slipping.  Ha!  Hope your day is great so far - happy Tuesday, friends!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Scale and bathroom update

I'm still going strong on my Fitbit weight loss regimen - it's getting harder, since I'm already inside my appropriate BMI range, but I'm committed to losing at least 10 more lbs.  Here's my stats for the week...

Weight as of yesterday morning (unable to weight myself this morning as the contractors showed up early): 132.2
Weight loss from last week: 1.2 lbs
Pounds lost so far: 9.2
Date by which I will arrive at 115 lbs: March 18.

There were two days this week that I couldn't hit my goal for mileage and activity, however, I've at least maintained my weight on those days. I'm pretty proud of an almost 10 lb loss =)  only 17 to go!!

In other news...  Our bathroom is really coming together...

This is the travertine we chose.  I know there are people out there who love them some travertine, but I really wanted white subway tile =(  Alas, travertine lasts longer and is more durable, especially for those someday renters down the road.  But, I must say, after seeing this color lot, it's growing on me.

Grout should start happening tomorrow!

See the triangle thingy in the corner??  It's going to be my new shower seat - yeehaw!  I looooooooovvvvee sitting under the hot water.  Our water bills are about to skyrocket.

My tub is still filled with tools, but not for long!  We are hearing that they will be done Monday (which means Tuesday or Wednesday - I grew up in a construction family and know how these things go ;))

Hooray for bath-taking!  How is it that I haven't thought about taking soak in a tub in months, yet the moment we rip it out, that's all I want to do.  *Sigh*  Anyway, I hope you all are well, and have a fantastic Friday, friends!    **Take a bath and enjoy it for me!!**

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Knockin' down the walls (just kidding, we put new ones up)

Our bathroom reno started today with the removal of all the offending 4" white tiles, and installation of a real-person-sized hole that will someday be a shower!  Sorry for the lack of posts, but this is why... 

The purple is a fun touch, no?  Don't worry, it's just extra waterproof drywall made just for showers - not permanent, thank goodness =)  This is definitely making the bathroom feel a little tight, but for under $3000, being done within 7 days, having all of the tile replaced and a new shower in which you can actually shave your legs without having to be a contortionist is SO SO worth it.  I'm so happy that we chose to go with a contractor.  Is it costing us an extra $1000? Yes.  Was it so nice to come home and see so much progress and not have to say I did any of it?  Yes, yes, YES!  

Love me some DIY, but when it comes to plumbing, and tile that needs to last through what will probably be 20+ years of undergraduate renters changing out every 6 months, we called in the pros. It's worth it to have the lifetime guarantee on the work.   Any one else have any experience with contractors?  We're loving ours so far!  Does it make me a bad DIY blogger to call in a pro when I really probably could have done this myself (over the next 3 decades or so)??  I hope not.  

In other bathroom related news (this could sentence sounds like it could go to any number of terrible places), do you know what lives in my bathroom and has been extra good to me this week?  I'll give you a hint - it looks like this...

I'll be back tomorrow with a wee update - hopefully by tomorrow morning I'll have even more good scale news!  Be sure to leave me your thoughts on contractors.  I want to hear all the deets people, good and bad.  Have a happy Wednesday, friends!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Somebody isn't pleased about the impending weekend...

Perhaps its because his mean humans had his winter coat shaved... Or maybe it's because they wrapped him in a blanket and took photos.

I hope you are more excited about your weekend than Ted.  Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Can anyone guess what holiday is inspiring me today??  Only one more day until Friday and a long weekend!  Happy Thursday, friends!

*All photos from Pinterest*