It’s TIME…..

Hi there readers!

I am finally leaving this blog behind, and working strictly on the new and improved “Dine and Dash!

Please use the following link to get to the new blog and bookmark it for future use!

www.dine-and-dash.com

Countdown to Spring Clean!

Lately I haven’t been giving my house the attention it needs. Weekends are filled with working,  planning for Mexico, birthdays, working-out and some relaxing. Cleaning…has been put on the back burner to say the least.

In fact, my house feels like I have done a moderate job of straightening up for the last few months and I’m craving a DEEP CLEAN, however, have not felt motivated enough to start.

Since we’ve established I am a “list person” I scheduled a few organizatoinal projects for every weekend for the next 10 weekends. Leaving my house completely sanitized and freshened up by early April…just in time to enjoy spring (without the cleaning).

 

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Here’s my list:

Weekend of 2/5: Office Closet

Weekend of 2/12: Hallway Closet

Weekend of 2/19: Bedroom Closet/Bathroom Closet

Weekend of 2/26: Downstairs closet

Weekend of 3/5: Kitchen cabinets

Weekend of 3/12: Laundry Room and pantry

Weekend of 3/19: Clean all window sills, fans, base boards, replace vents & light-bulbs. Clean Fridge, microwave and oven

Weekend of 3/26: Replace all sponges, wash all hand towels, napkins, bedding, dust vigorously, wipe down leather couches, repaint trim and walls where needed

Weekend of 4/1: Out of Town-buy new ‘Welcome Mat’

Week of 4/4-4/7: Clean and get things ready for out-of-town guests, clean up front porch and back, replace shower liners. Clean grill, set up new table umbrella and outside lights and lanterns.

Last night for dinner Chris and I decided to make Tacos. These tacos would have been stellar with all the yummy vegetables we cut up and sautéed but I ended up messing up the entire dinner, by mixing the entire Trader Joe’s taco spice packet into the meat. Apparently, you are only supposed to do half, unless you want some really spicy tacos. I couldn’t even get through 2 before my nose was running and my mouth burning! It was a big disappointment because they smelled oh so good… :)

I’m proud to say I left off the cheese and sour-cream.

Next time: I’ll only use half a packet.

Lastly, I have to give a big SHOUT-OUT to my older sister and dearest friend, Betsy! It’s her birthday and as much as it kills me when can’t be together for it, I am excited we get to see each other in about 2 short months!!!!

Happy Birthday Lady! XO

Blog Update: It’s practically done! We are just switching out 2 more things and then we’ll be good to go! Expect a Saturday post!!!!!

Hope you all have great weekends! It’s finally Friday, wahooo!

Coasting

I don’t know about you guys but I feel like I have just been coasting through this week. A euphoric feeling of laziness has taken over my body and while I’m going through the motions, I haven’t been on my game as much as usual.

I didn’t get enough spinach when I went grocery shopping last week and ate the entirety of my supply by Tuesday. Spinach fail. I may or may not judge my entire day on whether or not I drink my morning smoothie (we won’t get into that) so instead of making a “green” smoothie, I’ve been opting for apple/banana.

This “coasting” smoothie contains 1 cup almond milk, 3 ice-cubes, 1 apple, 1 banana and flaxseed meal.

For those of you wondering what Flaxseed Meal is, it has a nutty taste and helps digestion. It’s also high in fiber and a powerful cholesterol controller. Just 2 Tablespoons gives you your daily supply of Omega 3 Fatty Acids too! Some people put it in their hot or cold cereal or oats, but I choose to put it in my morning smoothie.

Bottom’s UP!

Lunch has quickly become my least favorite meal of the day. Taking out meat throughout the day severely cut down on my usual lunch fixings! No half turkey sandwich, no leftovers from the night before, no Zaxby’s chicken house salad, no tuna salad, etc. My favorite go-to’s now are organic tomato soup and veggie crackers, a veggie wrap, a spicy black-bean burger with carrots or a kale salad with half an avocado. Those meals can usually tide me over till my afternoon snack, but I’m still craving meat for lunch.

Group Power really kicked my butt on Tuesday. So much so that I am trying to sike myself up for tonight’s class! We have changed our tracks and exercises and they are brutal! A lot of push-ups and the bicep track was insane, I almost had to give up. Maybe after Tuesday’s class is when things began to really coast…

I did recently stumble upon a tofu recipe that I really enjoyed and sometimes those are hard to come by. I appreciate the food and that being said, eat it quite frequently throughout the week but so far I’ve only found a few recipes that I would make again…this is one of them and it’s EASY. Score. Recipe courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame

Ingredients:

  • I block (14 oz) extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • Optional: sliced green onions

 Directions:

Cut tofu in half crosswise. Blot each piece on both sides with paper towels, pressing down to remove as much liquid as you can. (The wetter the tofu, the longer you will have to bake it).

Turn oven on and set to 350 F. Whisk together the sesame oil and soy sauce  in a small bowl, then use pastry brush to brush both sides of the tofu pieces generously with the mixture. Let tofu marinate in the soy-sesame mixture for 5-10 minutes while the oven heats.

Spray a non-stick baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray and place tofu slices on sheet. Bake about one hour, not turning, but brushing with the soy-sesame mixture several times, until the glaze is all gone. It’s done when the tofu feels firm to the touch, and looks glazed and nicely browned. I cooked my tofu about 60 minutes.

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It’s officially February. Moving right along through these winter months…am I the only one that is lusting after Spring?

Gym’n it

No new blog yet. Sorry to disappoint.

Like I said, when you are changing your domain name and updating the graphics of your blog, road blocks happen. I can only promise you that I will unveil it when I feel it will make the most impact. I could give you a sneak peek or start posting on the new and improved template, but what fun would that be?

I like a good shock to the system, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for the end of the week. :)

Moving on to today’s post-gym machine equipment! I’m always curious if those stand-alone machines are doing as good of a job as when I’m in group power-turns out, some of them are…

Fitness Magazine had an article on what to “hit” and what to “skip” regarding the best work-out machines at your gym…I found it pretty useful so I thought I would pass it along…

The next time you are roaming around in your gym, know that the above mentioned machines (and stability ball) are the best types of machines that often use your own body weight to help you get the best work-out possible.  For a detailed description on the ways these machines really work your body, click here.

Looks like I will be spending more time on these types of machines because this is what my Group Power class looks like these days:

No bueno.

We are practically on top of each other.

I will leave you with my embarrassing gym playlist. While I may look innocent, rap and other not so classy songs are my true motivation for getting my butt in gear. Feel free to judge.

What jams get you pumped up? Are your gyms still swarming with new faces that joined in January??

Hello Sunshine…

I almost forgot how good it felt.

To have the sun shine on your shoulders and let the breeze blow throughout the house.

Almost. Until yesterday.

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The weather was a beautiful 72 degrees out of nowhere and has left me with a serious case of the Monday blues. The weather has returned to a normal wintery mix of rain and overcast skies. Farewell sun, see you in a few months!

With such great weather, I was happy to do my errands yesterday. I rode to the grocery store with my windows down and had some quiet time @ Trader Joe’s browsing food and finding oh so many things my diet allows. I heart TJ’s. Nothing makes me happier than a cart of new food for the week!

Can you tell there is a healthy person living with a not-so healthy person?! I swear for every tofu meal I make Chris eat, I have to get chips, pizza and dunkers to quiet any arguments on food in our household. :)

I was really excited when I found that they just opened a Great Harvest Bread Co. right next door! What a great location!!!

(Look at those blue skies….ahhhhh)

I raced to put the groceries away and immediately threw on shorts, a t-shirt and my sneakers. I grabbed Daisy and we went for a run. Couldn’t tell ya how long or how fast. All I knew is I was happy to be out there. I can’t wait until warmer days, then maybe me and the pavement will reunite.

For dinner I was feeling something light and non-meat or dairy. :) Especially after Chris’s birthday dinner. I decided to make a robust salad and just add quinoa and orzo to the mix.

I cooked some extra corn and threw it in. It was surprisingly exactly what I wanted.

On another note, Chris’s birthday present came…a Keurig. I for one don’t drink coffee, but this little baby is almost enough to make me start.

I can however make tea, iced coffee AND hot chocolate with this thing! It’s so easy and quick, plus all the cute variety cups make preparing coffee a lot more fun!

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets or tools??

I personally lust over the avocado peeler, just because they always seem to give me so much trouble…and really I should just buy one because I think they are under $5…typical.

Fingers crossed that I can use the new blog design tomorrow! I know my friend is working diligently on it but there are always little road blocks with things like this…I really like the way it looks though and I hope you do too!

Chris Turns the BIG 3-0!

Last Friday Chris went out-of-town for the Moscone Conference in San Francisco and unfortunately we were apart for his 30th birthday.  We agreed to celebrate this past Saturday and thankfully everything I had planned, turned out great! Let’s recap…

In true Claire fashion, if it were up to me, I would have invited all his friends from all walks of life to a HUGE surprise party to help ring in his “dirty thirty.” BUT…Chris has a different take on birthdays and prefers to not make a big deal out of them…crazy! I wanted to respect his wishes by keeping it down-played and so instead I planned a fun-filled day with just the two of us…and plenty of his favorite foods.

On Friday I made him some rice krispy treats…just to get things warmed up….

I’ve really missed being in the kitchen and my all tofu/salad/semi-vegan diet has kept “cooking” to a minimum, so I really enjoyed making these.

Saturday morning was Starbucks and Belgium waffles from scratch!

After lounging around the house after breakfast, it was time to go to Victory Lanes for some extreme go-karting! We had a blast and Chris was really appreciative of our Saturday adventure plans that I had made for us.

I was kinda obsessed with the fact we got to dress up in fire-resistant suits….

The entire time we were racing around the track I was laughing inside my helmet! Seriously if you have not tried this and live in Charlotte, go!

When we got back we had built up quite the appetite so I made him a big BLT sandwich…

and a tofu wrap for me.

I tried to stay away from the waffles (I just had a green smoothie) and the heavy lunch, because I knew I was going to ditch my dietary standards for the night at the steak house that evening. It was inevitable…I don’t have the strength to order fish or vegetarian when I’m eating at a nice restaurant. It feels like such a waste.

While I can say dairy is all but out of my diet and eating animal by-products have been limited to only about 2 times a week, deep down, I’m still a meat and potatoes girl…

You can take the meat out of the diet, but you can’t take the desire out of the gal.

I had a filet and mashed potatoes for dinner and enjoyed every last bite. Knowing that I would go back to eating a mostly plant-based diet the next day, I figure what’s the point in living longer if you can’t enjoy a nice piece of meat and meltly mashed potatoes every once in a while? Everything in moderation….

I also took a few bites of Chris’ brownie sundae for dessert…

Wow how I have missed butter and ice-cream! I bought a Carvel ice-cream cake, that I will let Chris tackle himself, and leave my bad habits at our dinner table on Saturday night.

Today is a long day filled with cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and I’m hoping to get a mani/pedi in! It’s a beautiful day outside so I’m thinking a gym session will get nixed for an outdoor activity with Daisy instead!

What are your plans on this warmer than usual Sunday?? Did you all have great weekends!?

Current Conditions  updated 11:52 AM ET
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Hi 64° | Lo 42°

Intermittent Clouds

ALSO! I got a sneak peek at the new blog layout and I’m so excited to share it with you guys! I have complete faith in the graphic designer who is working on it and I’m supposed to see some final options on Monday. We are shooting to implement the new design on February 1st and I can’t wait to see what you guys think!


My Dirty Thirty Bucket List

I know I just turned 27  but I’m a “list” person and while I made my “Dirty Thirty Bucket List” a while ago, I still glance at it from time to time. I’m not moving as quickly through the list as I would like but I thought I would share it with you guys anyway…

Run a Half Marathon

See the Sistine Chapel in Italy

Stand in a red phone booth in London

Take a mother/daughter and father/daughter vacation

Get my MBA

Marry my dream man (almost there!)

Have a child with my dream man

Become a triathlete

Learn to Ski

Learn to play the guitar

Own all the Beatle albums

Sing Karaoke

Go parasailing

Ride a mechanical bull

Learn to shoot a gun

Go on a cruise

Go on a cross-country road trip

See the Grand Canyon

Go to Oktoberfest in Munich Germany

Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

See Mount Rushmore

Climb up the Stature of Liberty

Visit Disney World and Disney Land

See the Eiffel Tower

Take up photography

Take a cooking class

Learn to Garden

Watch the 10 greatest American movies of all time (as ranked by the AFI)

Build a Habitat for Humanity Home

Volunteer at a soup kitchen

Mentor someone at work

Get an article published in Glamour/Cosmopolitan or Self

Act a part in a play

Start a Blog

Learn Italian

Swim with Dolphins

Dance on a bar

Go to Spring Training in AZ

Visit Chicago with Betsy

Wine Taste in Napa

Purchase a really nice, expensive piece of furniture

Learn to change a tire

Frame and Hang my Degree

Own a home

Plant a tree

Go to Lollapalooza, Coachella and Bonnaroo

Raise money for a charity

Climb a Mountain (even if it just Crowder’s)

Some of these I plan to knock off this year but others (like the travling) I’m trying to save for. Some of you might call my list “anal” but I like to keep track of goals and how I’m choosing to live my life. It really helps to quiet the anxiety that sometimes lives in me. In a dream sceneario I would leave this earth scarred and worn down, having taken advantage of everything it has to offer-and sometimes I need a list to remind me of that.

Do any of you have lists that you have made? What do they have on them??

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