Pistachio Lucky Charm Cupcakes + Skinny Shamrock Shakes + a Jumpin’ Leprechaun Workout

As you can see from the title of this post, we have a lot to cover today, so let’s just dive right in.

When it comes to holidays, I’ve never found one that I don’t enjoy. Halloween is a sweet-lovin’ bakers’ dream, Christmas is usually accompanied by the acceptance that it’s okay to gain 15 pounds of sweet treat weight and Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate bingeing.

However, for the past 9 years, St. Patrick’s Day has always been high on my list of favorite holidays. I lived in two cities (NYC and Chicago) that celebrated St. Patty’s day in a big way. Surprisingly, Chicago’s festivities actually seemed bigger than NYC’s celebrations. Any town that dyes an entire river green for one holiday clearly takes it seriously…


It is entirely possible that St. Patrick’s day seemed liked a bigger deal when I lived in Chicago, because I was in my early 20’s, and nothing made me happier than drinking green beer at 9am, eating greasy foods and running around with my tipsy friends all day.


Oh yeah – look at that festive little girl dressed in green, sporting a green tongue and getting drunk off a spiked Big Gulp without a care in the world. Ahhh, the innocence of youth. When I lived in NYC, I still celebrated St. Patty’s day, but certainly not with the reckless abandonment of my Chicago days.

Alas, I digress. From my minimal research, it doesn’t appear that Omaha is quite as enthusiastic about this institutional holiday as my former cities. The good news is that I’m now older and more mature, so I don’t need to throw back a bunch of Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.

Nope, instead I’ll just bake up green pistachio cupcakes, smother them in homemade marshmallow frosting and top them off with Lucky Charms.

Because that is clearly a more grown-up thing to do.



Continue Reading →

WIAW: Sweet, with a Touch of Veggies

Would you believe that I was so preoccupied with a project yesterday that I almost forgot to chronicle my eats for “What I Ate Wednesday” (WIAW)? Almost. Lucky for you, just as I was about to dig into breakfast, I remembered.


Anyway, welcome to a sweet edition of WIAW. It’s sweet because there is a holiday around the corner, so of course I’ve been baking! Remember to stop over to Peas and Crayons to read some more fascinating WIAW posts.

Let’s start with breakfast. I woke up craving something sweet and carby, and since eating Cupcake Goldfish for breakfast didn’t seem like the smartest choice, I went with french toast.

I feel all fancy when I tell you I whipped up french toast for breakfast, but it’s actually very easy. In fact, it’s probably faster than cooking up some stove top oatmeal.


Anyway, as you can see, I slathered the french toast in Reddi Whip, because every meal is better when it’s covered in whipped cream. Continue Reading →

A Sometimes Healthy Weekend in O-Town

I haven’t shared a post containing weekend highlights in a long time, because it’s not very easy to recap one’s life when that life is constantly in limbo.

However, I’m officially settled in Omaha, plus the weather has been gorgeous here in O-Town, so I though I’d share my top 5 moments from the weekend.

1. Cooking Dinner for Good Friends

It was a big weekend for basketball here in O-Town (more on that later), and since some of the boys were in Lincoln for the game, the ladies got together last night to enjoy some girl time and eat some good food.

I volunteered to cook dinner, and I was really excited to cook a healthy meal for my friends (and their kids). Nothing makes me happier thank making food for the people I love the most. The meal took about an hour to pull together and included a crowd favorite, Baked Buttermilk Faux Fried Chicken, sweet potato fries and a warm kale salad.


I probably could have done a better job of taking pictures, but sometimes taking pictures while cooking slows me down, and the little ones have a bedtime schedule!

I must say, cooking for 2-year-olds  is much easier thank cooking for adults. They just sort of smile, spout some gibberish, eat the food and look happy. 


I’m one of those people that always worries about whether or not everyone likes my food, so the kids make it easy because they’re too preoccupied to answer my typical repeated “Did you like it? Is the chicken too dry?” questioning. Continue Reading →

Cheesy Greek Spaghetti Squash Casserole + Cheesy Thoughts

You want to know the best part about having friends with kids?

There is always someone that is just as, if not more, excited to take a trip to the local fro yo joint!


This little guy and I have many things in common, including our love for mixing 5 different frozen yogurt flavors and adding gummy worms to the top. 

You know what else 4-year-olds are great for? Helping to add a little imagination to ordinary healthified brownies. But more on that later!

First thing is first: Speaking of adorable little children, a HUGE congratulations goes out to my brother and his wife, who welcomed their first child to the family on Wednesday night. I’m a first-time Auntie, my parents are first-time grandparents, and we are all madly in love with her. She is quite simply – perfect. I’ll be headed to NY to meet her next month, and I am counting the days!

Hope she is ready to hear the first reading of “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”


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WIAW: Just Food

I’m not feeling very wordy today (for a change), so this “What I Ate Wednesday” (WIAW) will be all about the food. I thought it would be a little fun to use three descriptive words to describe everything I ate yesterday. Remember to hop on over to Jen’s blog to read more WIAW’s.

Let’s see how this goes…

Breakfast: It’s been a couple weeks since that first yoga adventure, so I decided to try it again yesterday. Before yoga, I quickly filled up on a simple breakfast of Cinnamon Puffins in Almond Milk and topped the bowl with some fruit.


Breakfast Description = Colorful. Crunchy. Sweet.

As I chowed down on breakfast, I baked some brownies. My friend had mentioned a craving for chocolate, and that was all the encouragement I needed to bake up this No-Guilt Brownie Mix from Trader Joe’s that I’ve had in the house for weeks. Continue Reading →

Things I’m Loving: Baby It’s STILL Cold Outside

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Things I’m Loving” post, and though I know you’ve all enjoyed the recent Monday posts about my fascinating breakup, I thought it was time for another post about all of the things I’m lusting over in the Pinterest-sphere. 

We’ve reached the point in the winter where all anyone can do is complain about how cold it is outside. However, this year, it’s just bitterly cold. I read one weather report for Omaha that went something like this: Friday – cold, snow; Saturday – much colder, more snow: Sunday – Frigid. Yep, it sure has been one hell of a winter! For those of you in warmer climates, I am absolutely jealous of you right now.


But, for the rest of the country, we could all use a few a little extra warmth in our life right now. Let’s start with these things…

Currently dreaming of warming up with…

These Cake Batter Oreo Cookies. I almost always lead these posts with Sally’s mouthwatering creations. All of her recipes are remarkably delicious and unique, yet very approachable. Doesn’t this picture make you want to curl up by the fire with a tray of these moist, flavorful cookies? 


I plan on doing just that at some point in the week, along with Sally’s first cookbook, which was just released on Saturday!


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Cookie Butter Stuffed French Toast + One Song Kickboxing Workout

Remember that jar of cookie butter that I was so proud of myself for not eating all in one sitting?

Well, the bad news is that it’s all gone.

The good news? I sandwiched it in between some pieces of thick white bread and caramelized bananas, drenched it in a sweet egg wash, threw it on the griddle and created your new favorite breakfast. You’re welcome. 


No, seriously, if you make this Cookie Butter Stuffed French Toast, you may find that every other breakfast food all of the sudden seems a bit boring.

I suppose that french toast slathered in Cookie Butter isn’t necessarily the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s cold and snowy outside, and you need a sweet, filling breakfast to keep you warm. If you’re not in the mood to brave the cold/snow to head to the gym, never fear. After seeing the popularity of my “Countrifed One Song Workouts” on Pinterest, I decided to create a kickboxing workout in a similar style: 4 fast-paced rap songs matched with high intensity, heart-pumping kickboxing moves. You’ll definitely break a sweat.

You may want to eat this french toast after the workout, but if you cannot wait until then, I won’t judge… Continue Reading →

WIAW: Good Luck Charms

Good morning, and happy “What I Ate Wednesday” (WIAW) to all. For those new to the blog, WIAW is a healthy living blogger “party” where we all share our snacks/meals from the day and then link up at this blog “Peas and Crayons.” After you finish reading my fascinating eats, I highly suggest you hop on over to Peas and Crayons to take a look at some of the other posts.

My day started out bright and early again for another job interview. As I did some last-minute studying, I scarfed down this little breakfast right here.


Healthified Homemade Egg McMuffin with egg whites, lowfat cheese and 2 tons of ketchup + an apple/banana fruit salad. Continue Reading →

Breaking Up (with Social Media) is Hard to Do

In one of the multitude of brilliant episodes of that timeless show, Sex and the City, entitled “Ex and the City,” Carrie and the ladies grapple with one of the many awkward issues that arise post-breakup: How to proceed with your “relationship” with your ex after the relationship ends.


Carrie, ever the romantic, has sincere hopes of forming a friendship with Mr. Big (of course, that’s before she finds out he’s engaged to a 20-something model after dating her for 6 months). But Miranda’s words always stuck with me:

“I would love to be one of those people who’s all ‘We loved, thank you. You enriched my life. Now, go prosper.’ But, I’m much more, “We didn’t work out. You need to not exist.”


Through the serious relationships in my life, I’ve learned that one’s opinion on this conundrum is generally situational. I had those cheesy “We loved, go prosper” movie-style breakups with some. Others, not so much. However, what I do know is that that, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, etc., we don’t necessarily have a choice in the matter.

Sure, you can choose whether or not to be “friends” with your ex. You can even choose whether or not you want to be “Facebook Friends” or follow them on Twitter and Instagram. But, inevitably, whether you make the conscious decision to take these actions, you’ll always make the sub-conscious decision to cyberstalk him. Seriously, you will. Don’t deny it.

We all know you can still see a lot even when you “defriend” him. And, thankfully, most Twitter accounts and Instagram accounts aren’t private. Oh, and even better, there’s always his new girlfriend’s Twitter account… But, you would never do that right?



So,I decided that this time around I was going to be above all this cyberstalking nonsense. As I started piecing my life together post-breakup in my little hotel room, instead of making plans with UPS to ship all my stuff, the very first thing I did was grab my little computer and deactivate my Facebook account.


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Skinny Buffalo Chicken Pizza + 15 Minute Full Body Burn

I don’t know about you, but the moment that clock hits around 5:30 on Friday, I have one thing on my mind: indulgence.

This indulgence can mean everything from a few happy hour drinks and appetizers at the bar to 3 gigantic bowls of ice cream or a nice cozy night indoors with pizza and some vino. Alas, pizza has always been one of those foods that I cannot control myself around.

You see, I tell people that I’m “not a fan of pizza,” but the truth is, I’m just afraid of eating an entire large pizza by myself! Really, how can one not enjoy pizza? It’s a piece of buttery/oily bread, cloaked in tomato sauce and a bunch of cheese. You can’t really go wrong, and once I eat just one piece, I find myself going back for seconds and thirds in a matter of minutes. 


(I could totally house this entire snowman myself…)

Personally, I’m very happy with a quality piece of cheese pizza, no toppings required. If it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it, right? But…what if there was a way I could eat half of the pizza by myself without inhaling 5000 calories?

Enter cauliflower crust pizza. I’ve seen it many times over the year, but for some reason, I always assumed it was out of my league! Well, on Wednesday night, with a giant kitchen to myself and the freedom to blast the country music to my heart’s content, I set to work on creating a Skinny Buffalo Chicken Pizza featuring a cauliflower pizza crust.

I was certain I was setting myself up for yet another kitchen disaster, but to my surprise I concocted, dare I say, a masterpiece! The crust was crispy and reminiscent of the actual buttery pizza crust that I know and love, and there was the familiar taste of buffalo chicken in every.single.bite. Even better, this little pie is gluten free! Continue Reading →