Archive for January, 2013

Food: Holy moly cannoli cones

It wasn’t a particular goal of mine to start cooking/baking more in 2013. In fact, that’s never been a goal of mine. My food goals are usually directly related to the number that appears on the scale and are fairly simple like, ‘eat healthy’.

So, I have no idea why I’ve been on a food kick this month; but, I’ve really been enjoying it. In addition to the white bean & chicken chili of late, I’ve made a slew of healthy treats and today Hungry Girl’s holy moly cannoli cones.

I bought HG’s books last year when I thought for some reason I would love to cook more. Apparently, it’s only now kicking in. But hey, I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth, I’ll take the noms & notivation where I can get them. So without further ado, a 134-calorie speedy sweet treat.

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Only 20-30 minutes in the kitchen, no baking, and just sweet enough to satisfy a sugar craving. If you fancy it yourself, you can snag the recipe here (without having to buy the book).

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Watch: Monday peptalk

Loved this video from Kid President. We all need a little peptalk sometimes to remind ourselves that we can be awesome.

“Don’t stop believing, unless your dream is stupid.” – Journey

DIY: Studded clutch

I spotted a stud tutorial over on I Spy DIY awhile back and had it in my head that I could do that! My only problem was finding the right materials. I kept going to the craft stores thinking I’d find what I needed; when in truth, I should have just taken Jenni’s, from I Spy DIY, shopping advice. I finally did and scored everything I needed from M&J Trimming.

When I started this project, I had plans for something funky, but as it turns out I ordered the wrong color hotfix nailhead and decided that instead of fussing over a return, I’d find a way to use them as a test run for future projects.

Is my final product conservative and simple? Yes, absolutely. Do I still love it? Without a doubt!

It gave a renewed purpose to a worn out accessory that I bought for 2 euros at a neighborhood sale in the Netherlands back in 2007 – how could I not be pleased?

Pictured below:

  • 1 old loved envelope clutch
  • Black hotfix nailheads from M&J
  • E-6000 glue (with the tip for easy application)

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I also made good use of some jewelry pliers, as I discovered I do not have nimble fingers.

To get started, I laid out my clutch (flap open) and started to apply the nailheads on the back, placing them with the jewelry pliers:

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I continued all the way around the front and applied close to 100 nailheads. The project itself took me just under an hour once I found my groove. And voila, an updated studded clutch:

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*Note: Jenni recommends you let your project dry overnight. Seems logical. Plus, that means it’ll be more than ready for a night out on Saturday!

Life: Inaugural staff ball

Living in the DC metro area, I get to do a lot of cool things. There are the museums, memorials, trails, and all the cool stuff that just comes with living in a bustling city. Last night, I got to attend the staff inaugural ball!

I got to feel like a pretty princess in a fantastic dress from ModCloth:

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I got to see the President & Mrs. Obama give a speech, in person. As in, breathing the same air:

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And to end the evening, I saw Lady Gaga perform with Tony Bennett, singing ‘The lady is a tramp’:

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All in all, it was a great night and I felt really lucky to be a part of it. I also came away with a sense (and reassurance) that it’s more than ok to not fit in with the typical DC politico type. I think sometimes, especially at these sort of events, people get caught up in what they do here in DC and that it defines them. And more often times than not, if you don’t fit in with their definition you can find yourself on the outside of an awkward adult social clique.

I’m lucky in the friends and the company I keep to know that I have no problem standing on the outside. I get a better view of who I am.

Food: White bean & chicken chili

Sometimes to break up my day a bit in the afternoon, I’ll put the TV on in the background while I’m working. When I’m not picking up design tips or house hunting on HGTV, I’m usually tuning into Giada at home. Her show is definitely a guilty pleasure as I don’t really understand why I like it. Most of her food is heavily Italian and feels far too complicated; but, the other day she made white bean & chicken chili and I instantly decided I was going to make it too.

It did take me a good hour and a half to make (as estimated) and I certainly wasn’t as quick and graceful in the kitchen as Giada, but the chili was amazing and one I’m adding to my cooking repertoire. For added approval, BF loved it too!

I think the reason I’m raving about this recipe is because I’ve always been hesitant to make chili, maybe because I didn’t understand/appreciate it’s nutritional value? I know it’s meaty and all, but it still didn’t seem like a good way to use up my day’s calories. However, this chili just sits well in my own mindset of healthy eating. It’s packed with tons of healthy proteins: chicken, white beans, spinach, and corn. I did top it with Parmesan cheese as Giada suggests, but it’s a small amount and won’t throw you in to the deep end of food regret.

So here it is, my version of Giada’s white bean & chicken chili:

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You can get Giada’s recipe here & try it for yourself! I know she puts in quite a variety of spices, but I saw it as a good investment since I’ll definitely be making this again before spring rolls around!

Weekend review: puppies!

This weekend, I spent a lot of time propelling myself further into the world of dog training and animal behavior. On Saturday, I met with a well-known trainer to interview for her animal behavior course. It’s a 6-month course that will include online materials, tele-courses, as well as hands-on experience with dogs, horses, and alpacas. I couldn’t be more excited to start in March. This puts me on track to complete this goal well before 2013 ends.

On Sunday, I met up with a group of positive trainers in the mid-Atlantic region for one of their tri-annual meet-ups. It was a great networking opportunity and I met trainers who have their own businesses and also those that work at shelters. Of course, puppies were present and I was in heaven. The pups below are all available for adoption in the Baltimore, MD area.

Gypsy, 3 months, checking out the toys and seeing what’s happening at the other end.

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Charlotte & Wilbur, 8 weeks, sitting pretty and waiting for their treat. Look how fast Charlotte’s tail is wagging!

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Just a cuddle with Wilbur to make my day complete. Why yes, I am wearing a cardigan with Scotties all over it!

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Onwards and upwards – it’s all very exciting! As I told the trainer on Saturday when she asked what I wanted to do with my certification. I said I have ideas, I don’t have plans. I’m open to whatever the universe brings my way.

The happiness project

It’s Tuesday, nothing new to report except that yesterday I embarked on a 5 year journey. No big deal.

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I’m sure you’ve seen it around and maybe even beat me to reading the book, but I was strolling around B&N yesterday and stumbled across The Happiness Project journal. I snatched it up right away and began my journey on January 14, 2013.

If you haven’t heard of this project before, it’s as simple as what it says on the cover. A few lines a day and that’s that. The scope of the entries may change a bit after I do read the book, but I couldn’t wait. I had to get started. My yearly goals have always been about making me a happier and healthier person, this year I’ll just have a daily documentary.

Anyone else doing The Happiness Project?

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