Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Kill

There are two things guaranteed in life; change and death. Clearly Im not dead. They say everything happens for a reason but I often think that's just a bullshit line we tell ourselves to become more accepting of the crap that happens to us. I'm ok with change as long as I have some control over it, if its change Ive initiated. The other "life happens" change is another story. That kind of change drives me crazy and makes me question all my previous actions and decisions. It makes me question myself as a person, as a success, as a failure. That kind of change brings out the unknown and if I cant see it then I dont trust it. You can only go thru so much change before you reach a breaking point. We all break in different ways and Lord knows I've been chipped at enough in my short life to last 5 lifetimes over. Its made me strong but even the strongest of exteriors weaken over time.

That brings me to my current situation. Last month I found out that my office is closing on August 11th and 348 of us will lose our jobs. As an adult, I've never been unemployed before. Ever. To me this is not an option. It is not acceptable. So whats the big deal you say? Chicago unemployment sucks and wont cover my rent. I have no friends and family here. So I decided to move back to Dallas and get back on my feet, it wasn't my first option but the only one I had. Then after making that choice (and announcing it) my job offered me a great opportunity (and lucrative transfer package) to transfer to another office in Texas, a few hours away from home. After verifying my eligibility with several sources, including my manager and HR representatives, I signed up and began the process to relocate once again (announced it too). I felt great about this, it solved my employment problem and kept me from having to live with my parents again.

So I started making the necessary arrangements. I paid a very hefty sum to get out of my apartment here and placed a deposit on a new place, I was simply waiting for the relocating company to contact me for further instruction. After not hearing anything for a week and finding out other co-workers had received their packages I became concerned and reached out to HR. It was then that they informed me of an issue concerning a few days missed back in May. Yes, MAY. No one has been able to tell me why they didn't inform me of any impending issues and why I have an email from a manager telling me I'm eligible but they wont honor. Long story short, my company has deemed me ineligible to transfer. I'm appealing but I think its useless. I've been working directly with my HR manager and yes she is aware of all the steps I've already completed. I was told by a third party that right now they stand to pay $1.5 million in relocation packages, about half more than they were looking to and they are looking to "trim the fat" and looking for loopholes. Not surprising for a company who publicly announced a total of 4,000 layoffs in cost-cutting efforts.

So now after announcing to the world and making plans, everything has changed and I have to start over. But lets add a few twists in this shall we? I received a note on my door telling my apartment has been preleased and I have to vacate by the date listed. Luckily I can get part of my deposit back from the new place but that will take weeks and moving there anyways without a job is financial suicide. So now not only am I jobless, Im homeless now too. Oh, I also look like the most unstable person ever. One week its this, another week its that, now its something else. And to add insult to injury I now have to move back in with my parents. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents more than anything and it will do my heart good to see them and be around them but this deflates my ego, strips my of my independence and makes me feel like a humongous fucking failure. Its one thing when you first CHOOSE to move back home but completely different when being forced into doing so. Im 36 years old, I shouldn't be in positions like this. Im being forced into life changes that are detrimental to everything Ive worked so hard to build, to the person Ive sweat blood and tears to become.

Im SO tired of hearing how strong of a person I am. I know this. I know I will bounce back. I will find a job. I will get a new place. I will be successful once again. I KNOW THIS. Im like a cat, I always land on my feet. Im just tired of hearing about it. The anger and frustration is mounting in me and some days I feel like Im hanging on by a thread. Im running myself to the point of exhaustion, Im working out until failure. Anything to make it better and nothing is working. But I need to feel like this. I need to find my footing, find my way, reignite that spark that's quickly going out. I also need to do it alone. In my head. No interference. So Im going radio silent. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram. No social media. Not until I've got a clear path again and that may be a week, a month, or a year - at this point I don't know. I may blog from time to time depending on the level of relief writing can give me at the time. We'll see. In the meantime, thanks for hanging in there with me, thanks for reading and for listening.

Oh and for those who are wondering about the title of this post - it refers to my favorite 30 Seconds To Mars song. I cant put my feelings and emotion into a better format right now than that song.

Until next time -

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Friend Makin' Mondays (On A Wednesday): Twenty Questions

Needless to say Monday was a bad day and I didn't feel right about posting something that seemed so trivial in light of current events. So thanks to a late night puppy ER trip, I'm at home and finding myself at home for the day and able to catch up. Now for this weeks topic:  

If you've take part in FMM before then you know the routine. If you're new, simply take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at All The Weigh - encourage your readers to do the same and we can all connect.

Twenty Questions
1. Share something that you enjoy doing when you’re alone. 
Painting my nails

2. What do you plan to eat next? Chicken fajitas

3. When did you first travel on a plane?  Where did you go? I can't recall how old I was but it was a quickie flight from San Antonio to Dallas - I think I was 12 or 13 maybe.

4. Do you currently have a crush on someone?  If so, share a few of the reasons why.  I wont call it a crush but I'm intrigued by someone - mostly because I like what I've found out and when I first met this person I didn't like them at all. Due to an age gap and not knowing individual situations, its unlikely to go anywhere. However, it has made me reconsider my whole "no dating" thing.

5. List one thing that disgusts you that probably wouldn’t bother someone else.  Mushrooms.

6. If you could buy a new car tomorrow (and money was no object) what would you buy? Bugatti Veyron - just like this. Anyone have an extra $1.5 mil laying around?

Image courtesy Google

7. Who was the first person who broke your heart? Alf when he left Earth for Planet Melmac.

8. If you could spend the night with a celebrity tonight, who would it be? 50 Cent - he just looks like he can get down LOL

Image courtesy Google

9. Are you a morning person or a night person? While I’m definitely a night person, I'm trying to change that (all attempts thus far have been unsuccessful).

10. What’s your favorite board game? Monopoly!

11. Can you play an instrument? If so, what do you play?  Does my CD player count?

12. What is the last thing you ate?  Breakfast taco with refried beans, eggs, cheese and Sriracha.

13. Do you wear a watch?  No, I don't like the feel of anything on my wrists.

14. Do you go to church? I used to in Texas but I haven't found a Church home in Chicago.

15. Do you ever wish on stars? Yes. 

16.  Have you ever been on a motorcycle? Yes, sport and cruisers.

17. What is the last thing you purchased? An extension cord.

18. How big is your bed? Queen.

19. What size shoe do you wear? I used to wear a 9 but now Im between an 8 and 8.5. These awesome shoes are a 7.5 so Im still fluctuating from all the weight being gone (yay!).

20. What are you looking forward to most in the coming week?
Iron Man 3! 05.03.13

That wraps up this weeks questions. As always don't forget to link back up so we can all share!

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Friend Makin' Mondays: TV, Movies and Me

I've been down with the flu all week so I missed out on last weeks FMM. I just didn't have the strength or desire to sit in front of my computer for any length of time. Thank goodness for auto-post or the few recipes I put up wouldn't have gone out. Happy to report I'm feeling much better and ready to get this week started so I can get it finished and onto the weekend! Is it just me or does your job REALLY interfere with your life too? Note to self - buy a lotto ticket. Now onto this weeks topic:

If you've take part in FMM before then you know the routine. If you're new, simply take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at All The Weigh - encourage your readers to do the same and we can all connect.
TV, Movies and Me
1. If you could be a recurring star on a show that is currently on TV, which show would you choose?  Vampire Diaries! Two reasons, Damon and Klaus. In either order, or at the same time. And Elena needs her butt kicked. Plus I'd be a vampire and wouldn't have to go to work tomorrow. Perfect!
Image courtesy of Google

2. Name the movie that you are most embarrassed to admit that you love.  Twilight. I could watch it 100 times and never be bored. Ok maybe a little, but not by much.
3. Name one show that you’ve never seen and would love to watch.  I have no idea, I rarely watch TV, as in I turn it on maybe 4 times a month. Sad, I know. I've never seen the Tudors and I heard it was really good so we'll go with that.
4. Do you ever go to movies alone?  All the time. I actually prefer it, last time I went with someone they talked thru the whole movie. It doesn't help that I hate chick flicks so most of my friends aren't up to seeing all my action/horror/epic films.
5. If you could only watch one TV show for the next year, which show would you choose and why?  I have no idea. I only watch 3 shows: Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy. I'm going to have to cross my fingers and hope this never happens because I cant choose from all of this awesomeness!
6. If you could star in one reality show, which one would it be and why?  I wouldn't. I just don't understand the concept of taking an hour out of my life to watch someone else's - and all the staged conflict that goes along with it.
7. If someone rented a billboard for you, what would it say?  Duh =)

Image courtesy of Google

8. Who is the most famous person with whom you have been in the same room? Not the most famous but definitely my favorite - the San Antonio Spurs! I love my boys! Playoffs, baby!!!!
9. If you were chosen to be a contestant on a TV game show, which show would you want to be on?  Family Fued
10. If there was a movie being made about you, which actor would you choose to play you? Angelina Jolie. I imagine she's as awesome as I am ;)
Image courtesy of Google
Well that wraps up this weeks topic. Don't forget to link back and have a great week!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Honey Glazed Carrots

Last week Aldi had a mega-sale on baby carrots (a pound for $.49) and I may have bought 6 pounds. Carrots are my go-to for when I want something crunchy but after the first 3 pounds I was looking for new ways to consume them. I made a small ham for Easter and thought a side of glazed carrots would be great so I scoured the interwebs and I found this amazing little recipe on Cooks.com - not only is it easy but by far the best cooked carrot dish I've eaten!

Calories: 139  |  Protein: 2  |  Carbs: 21   |  Fat: 6
  Serves 4
You'll need:
  • Salt
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I used SF imitation honey)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    Then you'll:
    In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and then carrots and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the carrots and add back to pan with butter, honey and lemon juice. Cook until a glaze coats the carrots, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.
    Happy Cooking!

    Sexless in the City {mature content}

    I don't often discuss my personal life here but after a revelation I made in a previous Friend Making Mondays post and all the positive feedback I received from it I decided to open the door a bit more.

    I'm celibate.

    And have been for almost 3 years now.

    That's right. Zip, zilch, nada. (Not even solo for those wondering)

    Uncomfortable yet?

    Funny how the subject of celibacy makes many a person squirm in their seat.

    Our society is so assbackwards these days (hence the celibacy).

    So let's address the first question on everyones mind -why? It has nothing to do with religion or God or marriage (not saying there's anything wrong with that- just not the originating driving force). I'm not waiting for a husband or my soul mate. I'm waiting until I'm ready, until I meet someone who can appreciate the value I place on myself but more importantly someone who places those same values on himself.

    We all have a past. Celibacy doesn't erase that. I'm not an innocent by any and Im not judging anyone who lives a different lifestyle than my own. Sex is great, I just don't need sex to feel great about myself. Big difference and unfortunately people often confuse the two.

    That's actually how this all started.

    I was seeing someone at the time I jumped the sex ship. We weren't in a traditional relationship but we were committed bed buddies. We were about 8 months into our "relationship" when one morning I woke up and rolled over and just stared at him and everything changed. I asked myself what I was doing laying with a man I had no desire to be in a relationship with. I shouldn't feel empty after sex. I should be with someone who fulfills me emotionally and the sex becomes an extension of that.

    Anything less and I was wasting my time.

    Keep in mind dude had it going on. There was absolutely NO other reason for me to abandon this. He was kind, funny, stable and hot - think a slightly skinnier version of Tyson Beckford if you will. It could have easily turned it into a relationship, we had even tiptoed around the topic before. So I told him I needed a break, that I needed to figure out some things and I'd keep him in the loop along the way - I honestly figured I'd go back.

    I tried like hell to figure it out. I mean why all of the sudden does someone go from hot to cold without an apparent reason. I made lists and talked to friends and still couldn't figure it out. I thought like a girl and analyzed like a guy. Still nothing.

    And then it hit me. Like a ton. of. bricks.

    I was asking the wrong questions - in the wrong order. Who cared if it was something HE did, or what was wrong with HIM.

    How about why did I get with him in the first place. Why did I find him so special. What did I need from him at the time.

    All fingers pointed back at me.

    That really sucked.

    Truth is I was looking for emotional fulfillment. Before meeting him I had gotten out of a relationship that ended badly - I didn't chose him for HIM, I chose him to make ME feel better/special/pretty/worthy/wanted. In other words, all the wrong reasons.

    So I made another list. Self-respect, honor, self-love, value, cherish.

    The list was titled "Things I Need To Learn To Do For Myself"

    If I don't love, cherish, and respect myself then no one else will either. It starts with me. I needed to get myself together, spend time alone and really learn all about me. I haven't regretted it once.

    But there are other reasons for my celibacy too.

    Sex can kill you.

    Condom or no condom it takes just one broken one and that's all she wrote.

    Music and television often glorify sex taking the value from it.

    No Kim K, it is NOT ok for you to be knocked up by one man while still married to another.

    Cheating should NEVER be expected. Or allowed.

    It's sad but the truth is we live in a very disposable society.

    I just choose not to be a disposable person.

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Cake Batter Protein Shake

    I found this recipe on Pinterest (original recipe here) and wasn't expecting much when I first saw it but my curiosity was peaked at the use of cottage cheese and sugar-free jello so I gave it a shot.
    Calories: 187  |  Protein: 35  |  Carbs: 5   |  Fat: 2
      Serving size: 1 shake
    You'll need:
    1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
    1 scoop vanilla protein powder
    3-5 drops butter or almond extract
    1 tbsp. vanilla sugar free instant Jell-O pudding mix
    3-5 packets sweetener (I used Splenda)
    1/2 cup - 1 cup water (alter for desired consistency)
    5-10 ice cubes (also alter for consistency - use less for thinner shake)
    1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (I used guar gum and works just as well)
    Sprinkles for topping
    Then you'll:
    Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass, add sprinkles and serve.
    Happy Blending!


    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Friend Makin' Mondays: Ten Questions

    What a week! I celebrated my birthday (and 7 month Surgiversary) this past week and I had so much fun that I'm sorry to see it end. I'll make sure to post lots of pictures later in the week, but for now we will jump right into this weeks topic:

    If you've take part in FMM before then you know the routine. If you're new, simply take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at All The Weigh - encourage your readers to do the same and we can all connect.
     Ten Questions
    1. Describe the kind of home you would live in if money were no object.  An old English-style home with lots of history - nooks, crannies and secret passageways are a must!

    Image courtesy Google.com

    2. Are you more conservative in your actions or more rebellious? Rebellious. If you tell me I can't do something I will show you I can...twice.

    3. Would you go to Mars even if it meant you could never return to Earth?  Only if Mars didn't allow stupid people. Or the Slutdashians.

    4. Name one song that makes you want to dance every time you hear it. Shake by the Ying Yang Twins & Pitbull - booty shaking at its finest!

    5. Share one thing that you wish you could go back and do differently in your life.  I would have taken my health and weight more seriously when I was a size 16 instead of waiting until I was a size 26. Better late than never, right?

    6. Share at least one accomplishment that people wouldn’t expect you to be proud of.  I've been celibate for 3 years now. I am proud of the discipline and reserve I've shown in a society that embraces and exploits non-committal sex.

    7. Describe one delicious thing that you’ve eaten lately.  Lots of Southwest Breakfast Burritos, I'm finding I like them for snacks too! Great for protein and low-carb too.

    8. If you had a theme song that would play every time you entered a room, which song would you choose?  Now I'm That B*tch by Livvi Franc

    9. Had technology enhanced your life, or has it over complicated your life?  Both. I love my gadgets and without the technology I wouldn't be writing this post or connecting with so many great people. Downside to that is the 'anti-social' behaviors that tend to manifest, not to mention the time I spend playing Scramble With Friends. My iPhone and iPad are never more than 3 feet from me at all times - I need therapy! LOL

    10. If you could get paid to do any job, which job would you choose?  A professional shopper. I'd search far and wide for the best clearance selections! Target, anyone?

    Image courtesy Google.com

    Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments. Have a great week!!

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

    Southwest Breakfast Burritos

    I'm lazy in the mornings. I'll wake up at 9am, walk the dogs and go back to sleep until the very last minute - living less than 10 minutes from work is a plus I tell you. I have time to shower, beautify and go - making breakfast is not happening. It doesn't help that I'm not a fan of cereal or oatmeal for breakfast; too many carbs and no nutritional value. I am however, a big fan of these breakfast burritos. I make them on Sunday and have enough to last me the entire week - simply grab and go - right up my alley!!!
    Calories: 181  |  Protein: 10  |  Carbs: 7    |  Fat: 7
    Serves: 7  |  Serving size: 1 burrito
    You'll need:
    4 eggs, large (scrambled)
    1/4 cup onion, diced
    1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
    1 cup frozen southern style diced potatoes
    1 ounce Trader Joe's fat free feta cheese crumbles
    1/4 package Trader Joe's Soyrizo
    1/4 cup Trader Joe's Cowboy Caviar**
    7 Mission Carb-Balance Whole Wheat tortillas, small 
    ** any black bean/corn salsa will work
    Then you'll:
    In a large skillet, heat oil and add onions and frozen potatoes - cook until halfway done. Add Soyrizo, cook until heated and crumbled (potatoes will be orange). Push potato mixture to one side of skillet and add eggs in the other half, cooking thoroughly. Stir together and add salsa, mixing well. Scoop into tortillas, add crumbled feta, roll, and wrap in foil.
    Happy Cooking!

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Friend Makin' Mondays: Pondering Personal Thoughts

    This is my first FMM for March and I'm really going to try to keep up with this! I held a survey a while back and you guys said you wanted to me a bit more personal in my posts and this is a perfect way to do it. Hopefully I can do better with this than the #fmsphotoaday challenges on Instagram ;) Speaking of which, feel free to follow me on IG - my username is ShoeVixen - I post tons of food, progress pictures and of course nail polish.

    If you've take part in FMM before then you know the routine. If you're new, simply take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at All The Weigh - encourage your readers to do the same and we can all connect. Now for this week's topic!

    Pondering Personal Thoughts

    1. How old would you feel if you didn’t know how old you are? Given my birthday is in 2 days I'm not quite sure how to answer that. I definitely don't feel my age (trust me I'm ALOT older than you guys think lol) but I also don't feel like I do (or have done) all the things people my age are "supposed" to do. I'm a young old person in a middle age body!

    2. Are you the kind of friend you’d want to have as a friend?  I have to piggyback off Kenlie's answer on this one...I haven't always been but its something I continually work toward. We all have flaws and I am thankful for the people who have stuck around while I figure it all out =)

    3. Look back at the last year.  When did you feel most excited about something in your life? Surgery, of course. Actually I take that back - I was just ready for the surgery to be over. I've been excited every day since! I am planning a family vacation to Harry Potter World in October so that's keeping me full of excitement as well. I'll be going hang-gliding!

    4. Have you ever been with someone and not spoken a word, only to walk away thinking that was the best conversation ever?  I remember thinking I had but I cant recall with whom so maybe not lol

    5. If you won 100 million dollars Monday, would you continue doing whatever you usually do on Tuesdays? If you mean sleeping in, yes. Going to work, no. I would definitely take early retirement from corporate America but I've always wanted to start an inner city program that teaches disadvantaged youth real world skills; balancing a checkbook, credit cards/management, insurance, ect. After taking a worldly vacation with the sole purpose of buying every bottle of nail polish I could get my hands on ;)

    6. What would you do differently if you knew no one would judge you?  Dance. Once I gained all my weight I stopped going out and socializing, now that Im feeling more confident and going out more I want to dance but am too afraid I forgot how and lost my rhythm.

    7. Share something you do differently than most people.  Eat my pizza with extra sauce and no cheese, well I used to anyways.

    8. What’s one thing that you really want to do that you’ve never done?  Travel abroad. Italy, England, and Ireland are all on my list.

    9. If you had to move out of state right now, where would you move?  Texas, there's no place like home!

    10.  What is the one thing that you’d like to change most about the world?  I would make everyone in the world happy. Happy people don't kill, or bully, or judge. They smile. Make sure you smile today!

    Have a great week!

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Golden Snitches

    I love two things in this world; Harry Potter and Martha Stewart. Needless to say it made me incredibly happy to run across this recipe from Martha and they just happen to look like the Golden Snitch that's used in Harry's Quidditch matches - hence the new name, sorry Martha.

    Calories: 238  |  Protein: 12  |  Carbs: 18    |  Fat: 14
    Serves: 6  |  Serving size: 1 Snitch

    You'll need:

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 6 slices turkey bacon
  • 6 large eggs
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    Then you'll:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter 6 standard muffin cups. With a rolling pin, flatten bread slices slightly and, with a 4 1/4-inch cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds. Cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to edge of cup. Use extra bread to patch any gaps. Brush bread with remaining butter (I still had some left over and that's ok if you do too)

    2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, until almost crisp, 4 minutes, flipping once. (It will continue to cook in the oven.) Lay 1 bacon slice in each bread cup and crack an egg over each. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg whites are just set, 20 to 25 minutes (I would start checking after 18). Run a small knife around cups to loosen toasts. Serve immediately.
    Happy Cooking!

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Staycation 2013 {photo heavy}

    Today is officially the last day of Staycation 2013. It wasn't nearly long enough but it was nice to not have to do anything for 9 days. It was pretty uneventful but I had a few NSV's so I thought I'd share.

    I probably did the most on Monday (03/04) as it was Chicago's 176th birthday and to celebrate they were giving free admission to the Chicago History Museum so I took full advantage of my time in the city. I viewed every section they had open and spent quite a bit of time in the Shalom Exhibit; if you're in the Chicago area this is a great (and inexpensive) day trip! NSV #1: being able to walk/stand all day with no pain or discomfort in back/feet!

    This is the souvenir I picked out, does this REALLY surprise anyone?
    I spent the majority of Tuesday around the house doing some deep spring cleaning and organizing. I did discover my new favorite snack! Okra chips!
    Wednesday I took my pup, Pugsly, to the vet so he could get a shot for his arthritis.
    Photo property of SleevedInTheCity

    Thursday evening I went to a friend's album release party and had a TON of fun! This was the first time I've dressed up and gone out since surgery. NSV# 2: the dress (and no sleeves)!

    NSV#3: being able to stand/dance in these shoes for 4 hours with no back pain!

    NSV#4: not being afraid of group pictures anymore!
    Photo property of SleevedInTheCity
    Friday was a lazy, recoup day. Bella says hi.
    Photo property of SleevedInTheCity
    Saturday was a shopping day. I went to Nordstrom Rack to have a pair of pants altered and I picked up this awesome studded iPhone case. I found this Torani syrup at World Market and it's my favorite yet. I mix 2 tbsps. with my Pure Protein chocolate shake and add some instant coffee granules...woah! 
    My last stop was TJMaxx and I ran across a pair of NYMJ on clearance for $20! These things retail for $120 - and the best part? NSV#5....drumroll please.....
    IM OFFICIALLY A SIZE 20!! Less than 6 months ago I was a 28 (tight). Not only do I look great, I feel great and I'm getting my health back. Nothing like seeing your hard work pay off =)
    That pretty much sums up Staycation 2013. I know Im missing an entry for last weekend and today but since I didn't do anything here is a picture of this weeks polish changes, Im partial to #3 myself.
    Until next time!
    Besos xo

    Bleu Cheese Chipotle Bacon Burger

    One of my favorite places to eat pre-op was Chili's and several years ago they made a Bleu Cheese Chipotle Burger that was to die for. Unfortunately, they stopped making it and I ultimately stopped eating there - even if they brought it back the fat and calories alone would keep me from indulging (1090 calories/71g of fat). I decided to come up with my own version, it doesn't do Chili's justice but it was enough to satisfy my craving, a fraction of the calories and its mighty tasty if I say so myself!

    Calories: 286  |  Protein: 28  |  Carbs: 3   |  Fat: 18
    Serves: 6  |  Serving size: 1 burger patty
    You'll need:
    1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin (I used 90/10)
    1 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
    1/4 cup bacon pieces (I used Hormel red label)
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/2 chipotle chile pepper
    2 tbsp. coarsely ground peppercorns
    Then you'll:
    Combine everything (except peppercorns) in a medium bowl, mix well and form into 6 patties. Spread peppercorns on a plate and press one side of each patty into pepper (I like spice so I did both sides). You can choose your own method of cooking, I used my Calphalon griddle pan on the stove top and cooked until medium-well (160 degrees internally).
    Happy Cooking!

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Baked Chicken Burrito with Greek Yogurt-Poblano Sauce

    Long name, seriously good burrito. I first came across this recipe on Pinterest; the original recipe is here - I've adapted it slightly but you can't go wrong with either version.
    Calories: 315  |  Protein: 31  |  Carbs: 34   |  Fat: 16
    Serves: 8  |  Serving size: 1 burrito with sauce
    For the burritos you'll need:
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 chicken broth, fat free reduced sodium
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican Blend 2% Reduced Fat Cheese
  • 8 La Tortilla Factory - Low Carb/High Fiber Whole Wheat Tortillas (large sized)
  • Cooking spray

  • For the sauce you'll need:

  • 2 poblano peppers**
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • **you could always use canned green chilies if you need to save on time or don't want to bother with roasting the poblanos

    Then you'll:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
    2. To make the burritos: Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and then add the oil. Once hot, add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften. Place the ground chicken in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned.  (At this point, drain any excess fat if necessary/desired).  Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 30-60 seconds before adding in the beans. Add the broth, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, brown sugar and salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon). Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
    3. Place 2 tablespoons of the cheese at the end of each tortilla (depending on size) and then spoon some of the beef and bean mixture over the top. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla in, and then roll the tortilla up, from the end closest to you, to the top. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet and lightly spray the tops of the burritos with cooking spray.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until tortillas are golden brown and crispy.
    4. Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Place the poblanos directly over a gas burner. Using tongs, turn occasionally until skin is blackened on all sides. Place in a bowl and top with plastic wrap or a clean towel, until cook enough to handle. (Alternatively, you can roast the peppers under the broiler until all sides are well-charred.)  Peel the peppers, remove the stems and seeds, and dice them.
    5. Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter; stir in the flour and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and then the diced poblano; continue to simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened.  Stir in the Greek yogurt and warm through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the sauce over the baked burritos.

    Happy Cooking!

    PV Body and YOU!

    I'm very excited to share this post with you. I've recently shifted my focus away from the scale and into the gym; I'm spending up to 5 days a week doing cardio, circuit training and even venturing into some body sculpting. I've found one of the things that helps make a workout great is feeling great and that's where PV Body and their awesome Ellie Collection come into play. What better way to feel great than with comfortable, stylish workout clothes? I don't know about you guys but I don't have $100 to spend on quality workout gear and I'm going down a size about each month!


    When I was first approached by PV Body I was disappointed that they don't have a plus-size selection at this time but I know in a short time they should be able to fit so I gave them a try. Seriously glad I did. The fabrics are great, the colors vibrant and the material does have some give so I can wear some of their pieces now! For me, this is a brilliant concept since I'm able to change my size, preference and don't have to spend a fortune replacing workout clothing that has become worn out or too big.

    PV Body is a monthly subscription box; each month you will receive one top and one bottom based on your style profile. Current pricing is $49.95 a month and shipping is always free - but as an Ellie Ambassador I'm able to offer you guys 20% off! That brings your box to about $40 (shipping is still free!) and gives you a way to try some great workout gear without spending a fortune. You'll easily spend $50 or more on Target fitness apparel...so try it, it's a win-win for sure!

    Simply click on the graphic below (or to the right), fill out your style profile and wait for your box to arrive!

    I've heard there have been a few issues with using the links, if you receive an error while trying to use mine please let me know so I can address the issue and ensure you get your 20% off!
    Disclaimer: I received free clothing in exchange for this review, all opinions expressed here are my own. Due to my personal like and belief in this company I have joined their promotional team and will continue to give honest, unbiased reviews.

    Pause, Rewind

    I haven't felt like blogging. The thoughts, ideas and posts have been there but sitting down in front of the computer and writing has felt like a chore. Truth be told, I've been struggling to find a happy medium between work, home and all the other responsibilities I have. I took a week off of work just to chill out and still found myself stressing over all the things I "need" to do and started feeling anxious over everything that has been piling up (ie blog posts, meeting personal monthly goals). It was at that point I had to put my foot down and take a step back. So for now I'm not making any more monthly goals, I'm going back to the basics and making sure they're cemented before trying to add on anything else. If I feel like blogging I will blog, if not then I wont. I would much rather churn out a genuine post once a week then try and force 3 crappy ones out.

    I just wanted to touch base with you guys and acknowledge that I know I'm behind on responding to emails, blog posts, and everything in between. I've gotten all of your lovely responses and words and for that I'm grateful and so very appreciative - I just needed a moment to pause, rewind before pressing play again.

    Besos -