Thursday, September 27, 2012

Inspire Me Healthy Link-up and Recipe

I have some way better news to report this week: I lost 1.6 more pounds for a total of 3 lbs lost so far :)  I also decided that I needed an easier way to keep track of what I was eating and started doing Weight Watchers informally. I did it before my wedding briefly and had some success but this time I just downloaded an app on my iPhone to help calculate points. I'm going to do it casually myself and save the fees for the online access to go toward my fall wardrobe! The app I downloaded is MyScorePlus and it's great- you have to do a little work to enter in nutrition facts but worth it in my opinion!

So next up, I wanted to share with you guys another great recipe from this week! This one was not new for us- my husband and I have made this weekly for probably the past 2 months- not exaggerating! We absolutely love it! The recipe is from the Skinny Taste website- so many great recipes with points already calculated for you!

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 7/8 cup • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 210.4 • Fat: 9.2 g • Protein: 25.1 g • Carb: 7.8 g • Fiber: 3.6 g • Sugar: 0.6
Sodium without salt: 260.8 mg
  • 1 lb jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped*
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 hass avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
1. In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion

2. In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, jalapeƱo. Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

It's super easy and soo good and fresh tasting! This week, I plan on making her skinny mozzarella sticks and healthy baked chicken nuggets. I already made the beet and goat cheese salad this week which was good too! 

Have you guys made anything from the Skinny Taste website or have any other good Weight Watchers favorites? Hope you're all having a great and healthy week!
xo, Ann

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Current Obsession: Cross Body Bags

I've been on the lookout for a good Cross Body bag that can be used throughout the fall and winter when I don't want to lug my giant purse around :) The gorgeous Noelle of Beautygirl 24 posted last week about the Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac which I am certainly considering...but of course I found a few other options I'm debating:

Kate Spade New York- Cobble Hill Tenley

Kate Spade New York- Gold Coast Ginnie (ON SALE!)

Rebecca Minkoff- Mini MAC in Smoke

Rebecca Minkoff- MAC in Smoke (Larger than the mini, but of course more expensive)

What do you guys think of my picks? Which would you get and do you have any other suggestions? Thanks!
xo, Ann

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Matte Mani

Hi guys- I finally found a matte topcoat that wasn't sold out at Sephora! I used OPI for Sephora's Matte Top Coat and did this mani:

I used Seche Vite's base coat, 2 coats of OPI "Road House Blues", 1 coat of OPI for Sephora Matte Top Coat. I then applied Seche Vite Glossy Top Coat in dots with a toothpick. Are you guys digging the matte look? Can't wait to do more designs!
xo, Ann


Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Five

Things I'm loving this week:

Casual arm party from this week- watch from Target!


 Went to an Scottish inspired pub for dinner- had whiskey neat and an Oasis coverband

 Tiger at Lincoln Park Zoo- always amazes me that this guy lives in the heart of Chicago

 Favorite new drink- so good! Not a fan of the other flavors but this one is amazing.

From a "Top Chef" inspired dinner at a friend's house- secret ingredient was bacon. 
This cupcake was a bacon chocolate cupcake with Nutella bacon frosting. Not on the diet and didn't care. Was soo worth it!

Hope you all have a great weekend!
xo, Ann

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Inspire Me Healthy Link-up and Recipe

 Linking up over at Kristen's this week!

So I have some not-so-fun news to weight loss this week. I am not surprised..had a really busy week (which is not an excuse!) and only made it to the gym one time. I also didn't eat as clean as I'd like this week which I think is definitely a product of not being prepared for lunch. So, this week I'm making it a point to pack a little lunch cooler with healthy snacks and lunch food so I am not tempted to get Chipotle again....oops.

 On a brighter note, I found an awesome and clean breakfast recipe to get the day started on the right track. It's a super delicious protein pancake and couldn't be any easier to make.

Protein Pancake
245 Calories, 36 (!) grams of protein, 21 carbs, 2 grams of fat
(Recipe adapted from Tenley Mohlzan's website and the Tone It Up Plan)
2 egg whites
1/2 banana
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
dash cinnamon

-Crack egg whites into a bowl 
-Mash up 1/2 banana into the egg whites
-Add protein powder and cinnamon to the bowl
-Mix like crazy!
-Cook in pan like a pancake (allow to cook about 3 minutes each side)

Here's what it looks like when it's all finished cooking:

Sometimes I add blueberries or drizzle some honey on top for sweetness but it's definitely good enough to eat plain!

I found another awesome recipe this week that I'll post later- hope you guys did better on your weight loss journeys than me this week! 

xo, Ann

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Current Obsession: Polka Dot Jeans

How cute are these?? Jessica Alba has been rocking her some bright and printed jeans lately and I'm loving it! My concern is that they are maybe not that flattering on a girl of normal size and will definitely not be in style forever.

When I say I'm "obsessed" with these jeans, I mean I've been going back and forth about whether or not I should get these jeans! I think I'm going to pull the trigger today as I found a really awesome dupe of the ever-popular (and sold out!) Anthropologie pair seen here:

Here's the Target pair ($22.99!) I'm debating:
I think I actually like the gray color better and would look so cute with a plain black or white top. What do you guys think? Are you liking the trend? For $23, I don't know that I can resist!

xo, Ann

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mani Monday and Diet Update

Last week I decided on the popular Essie "Ballet Slippers" but felt like it was too boring for the tail end of summer. I layered Essie "Shine of the Times" on top of it and I liked the extra little something that it added: (excuse the sloppy paint job- did it out the door!)

Unfortunately, with the end of Summer comes temptation in the form of alcohol and junk food and I did not do so hot at the diet portion of my weekend :( But I am happy to report that I am back on the horse and plan on working out and eating right for the rest of the week! Wish me luck.. hah.

xo, Ann

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Five

Things I'm loving this week:

 New turquoise shoes from Target- on sale!

 Skinny Iced Salted Caramel Latte- Trust me on this one! Get it with extra salt on top!

 Finding Nemo comes out in 3D today-
 I'm definitely going without any kids and I'm OK with that.

 Love my "hot punch" color Nike Frees. I just can't let go of Summer.

My husband was out of town this week and my dog took it upon herself to crawl under the covers and sleep on his pillow. Seriously, how cute is that?
Hope you all have a great weekend-
xo, Ann

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Inspire Me Healthy Link-up and Recipe for the Most Delicious Salad in the World

I'm participating in the lovely Kristen and Raven's link-up each Thursday and have been working hard last week to improve my eating as well as did all the prescribed lifting for Jamie Eason's Livefit program (If you haven't checked this program out already, you can here!).

First and foremost, the good news! I lost 1 1/2 pounds this week! Yippee!!! But... oh my gosh, am I sore! This lifting is no joke but I know it will help get me that toned look I want and is way more fun than the treadmill (although I know that's added into the program soon). My goal is to lose 20 pounds to get back to my best shape college weight. I haven't worked up the courage yet to share with you all my before pictures or my actual weight...I promise to do so in a few weeks when I am (hopefully!) feeling like I'm making some real progress and those before pictures will be a thing of the past :). 

As far as eating goes, I've been trying to follow the guidelines from the Livefit program which is basically 5 meals a day of clean eating. Here's what a typical day has looked like for me (and I'll share all these recipes eventually):

Breakfast: protein pancake
Snack: cottage cheese or protein bar (homemade) or protein shake
Lunch: salad with chicken or tuna
Snack: cottage cheese or protein bar (homemade) or protein shake
Dinner: something involving meat and veggies or a salad or anything really that fits the meat/veggie bill

So, I figured that I'd share with you some snaps of my eating from this week and a recipe for a salad that I made up and turned out really really good! I'll share more recipes each week or more frequently as I find good ones!

So this first Peach and Basil salad recipe I found on the lovely Veronika's blog (she got it from a Health Magazine):
 I loved the dressing but like my salads to have more flavorful cheese. However, my puppy, Emma, was really into it.

The next day, I set out for Trader Joe's and created my own salad:
 Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Basil Oil
-Half bag of arugula
- 1/2 lb of chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small pieces
-12 oz container of strawberries, sliced
- 4 oz goat cheese crumbles
- 4 tbs crushed pecans
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs white vinegar
- 1 tbs white wine
- 1 cup fresh basil
- dash of salt

(Makes 4 servings)

1. Blend together (I used an immersion blender like the Cuisinart Smart Stick, as seen above) the olive oil, white vinegar, white wine, fresh basil and salt for the dressing. Set aside.
2. Combine all other ingredients in large bowl.
3. Divide salad among serving plates and drizzle with oil.
4. Enjoy!
Um, so I can't even begin to tell you how good this was. It was amazing. I think I finally found my holy grail of salads. If I were served this in a restaurant, I would be ecstatic. 

So, there you have it! Successful week of healthy eating, if you ask me! Let me know if you guys are planning on trying this salad or have any other good recipes to try-

xo, Ann


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Current Obsession: Shoes for Fall

I know I'm jumping the gun a little bit here and I'm all for extending Summer as long as possible....but it's inevitable. Soon, we will need to put away the sandals and put on some boots. It's the silver lining in fall/winter for me- who doesn't love boots/flats? So here's a few of my picks that I am debating picking up for the fall:
1. Brown boots:
- Jessica Simpson "Esteem"- $188
 I like the fading on the toe and the extra room in the calf     

 - Frye "Melissa Button"- $328
Love these, but a little pricey

 2. Black Boots
 -Enzo Angiolini "Saylem"- $159.95
I like the loose buckles and the exposed zipper

- Steve Madden "Fairmont"- $169.95
The top opening keeps them from looking too tight on the calf

3. Fun Flats

- Yosi Samra "Neon Elastic Ballet Flats"- $66

Love the bright color- picturing them with black skinny jeans

- Vince Camuto "Earnest"- $88.95
The cap toe on these is glitter. Enough said.

- MICHAEL by Michael Kors "City" - $78.95
I LOVE the the color of these. Supposed to be really comfortable

So, what do you guys think? My ultimate favorite flat ever is the popular Tory Burch "Reva"- I have them in black. Which of these should I get and do you guys have a favorite not on my lust list?
xo, Ann

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Weekend Recap

Scenes from last weekend-

OK, so this is from 2 weekends ago, but I was in my good friend's Indian wedding and seriously how gorgeous are the dresses (saris) we wore?! I was also super proud of myself because I did my hair and makeup all by myself! 

A friend and I with our summer gold Sperry's- I'm wearing these Sperry Top Siders (Angelfish in rose gold)

Hair for football Sunday- french braid up the back and sock bun- thanks Pinterest!

Gray and silver mani- Zoya "Dove" and OPI "Silver Shatter"

Bloody Marys with Cucumber vodka- wecome back football Sundays!

Hope all of you had a lovely weekend!
xo, Ann

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mani Monday

I've been wanting to try China Glaze's "For Audrey" since hearing rave reviews from other bloggers on the Tiffany Blue color. I was home sick all weekend with a cold while my husband was working so what better time for a nail project? :) Please excuse the henna that is still lingering on my hands- I was in my friend's Indian wedding last weekend and while the henna was beautiful when in tact, now just looks a bit like self-tanner gone wrong. Anyhow, here it is!

I used China Glaze "For Audrey" for 1 coat all over the nail and let it dry. Then, I used scotch tape to section off the diagonal areas and painted them in Essie "No Place Like Chrome". Then, I used a Sally Hansen nail art pen in black to draw the black diagonal line and color the tip and a Seche Vite top coat. I think they came out pretty good for the most part! 

I loved both the China Glaze and Essie polishes- they have a nice texture and dry quickly. As for the Sally Hansen nail art pen, I'm not sure if I like it or not. It turned out a little streaky but was pretty easy to use. Have any of you used these and, if not, what's your favorite tool/polish for nail art?

xo, Ann

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thursday (2 Days Late!) Inspire Me Healthy Linkup

So.. I know that this is 2 days late but I was too excited to start to wait for next week! 

Linking up at Kristen's for Thursday Inspire Me Healthy (On Saturday- oops!)

So, although I have not been blogging it, I have completed the first 2 weeks of Jamie Eason's Live Fit program. When I say "completed" I mean I've done the lifting but totally fallen off the wagon as far as eating goes. The first 2 weeks of phase 1 are for preparing your muscles for heavy lifting according to Jamie and I'm planning on going harder these next couple weeks and trying to get my eating in check. 

The entire program is 12 weeks long and focuses on lifting with some cardio added in later on along with clean eating. It's completely free and details pretty much everything for you- so easy to follow. And seriously, look at her-

Who DOESN'T want to look like that? So, that's my plan. To complete these 12 weeks the best I can and I'll update you guys every Thursday on my progress. I'm taking before and after pics and will post them after I start seeing some results :) Anyone with me? Excited for what lies ahead!

xo, Ann

I'm Back! And latest Ulta Haul/makeup look!

So I know I have been MIA for roughly half a year- I've decided to give this blogging thing another shot :) What else to dive back in with than a mini Ulta haul?

1.  Benefit Ooh La Lift : This stuff is great at brightening up the under eye area, love it so far!

2.  Essie Mirror Metallics Collection in "No Place Like Chrome" : Beautiful shiny silver polish- stay tuned for a mani look!

3. Urban Decay Naked Palette : I've actually had this for a while but finally used it to do a makeup look for a friend's wedding. I used this tutorial  that I found online from The Makeup Geek and it's so easy to follow and easy to do! Check it out!

Nice to be back! I'll post shortly on the mint/silver mani I'm about to do :)

xo, Ann