Monday, January 31, 2011

Chorizo and Grits

Happy Monday Y'all! We had an amazing weekend and I'll be back tomorrow with more on that! In the meantime, I wanted to share another delicious recipe Thomas found from Real Simple Magazine, no he doesn't read Real Simple, he just found the recipe online! I received locally made grits in my Christmas gift basket from work and we debated on what we wanted to make them with and this recipe sounded perfect since the week before we purchased chorizo at our local farmers market. Caw Caw Creek offers a variety of organic, free-range, hormone-free pork, which I am all about. If you've never had grits before, you're missing out, this is your excuse to try them and I promise you will be happy you did! Oh and before I let you go, there is nothing spicy about this recipe other then the chorizo and you know me I am the biggest wimp when it comes to spicy, this recipe just has good flavor!

Spicy Grits with Chorizo, Leeks, and Corn
Recipe by Real Simple


2 Spanish chorizo (cured sausage), sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 leeks (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup grits or polenta
2 cups corn kernels, fresh (from 4 ears) or thawed frozen
1 large bunch spinach, tough stems removed


1.Cook the chorizo over medium-high heat in a large saucepan until browned, about 3 minutes. Spoon off and discard any fat.
2.Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring until slightly soft, about 2 minutes.
3.Add the tomatoes and their liquid, 2 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.
4.Stir in the grits. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the grits are tender and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
5.Add the corn and spinach and cook, stirring, just until the spinach wilts. Divide among individual bowls.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Adult Truths

One of my Aunts sent me this e-mail yesterday titled "Adult Truths" and I thought I would share some of my favorites with you!
Adult Truths

1. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

2. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

3. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

4. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

5. Was learning cursive really necessary?

6. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

7. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

8. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

9. Bad decisions make good stories.

10. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

11. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't
want to have to restart my collection...again.

12. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

13. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

14. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

15. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

16. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

17. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

18. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to
prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

19. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

20. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

21. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey -- but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away,
in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

22. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

TGIF!!!! Cheers to a great weekend y'all!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bright & Bold

Call me crazy, but I am actually enjoying the winter weather and still enjoying wearing my winter clothes, but that's not to say I haven't started paying attention to Spring trends. Once of which I am pretty excited is bright colored lipstick.

Not ready to take the plunge? Start with a bright polish!

What trend are you looking forward to for Spring?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lastest Read

Since starting and finishing The Help in a weekend, I've since started my next read: Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World's Largest, Fastest-Growing Market by Michael J. Silverstein & Kate Sayre.

I have been interested in reading this book for some time. In 2008, the Boston Consulting Group ran a lifestyle survey of 12,000 women in 22 countries about their spending habits. In great detail, the authors describe how to reach the group which controls the spending in most categories of consumer goods, but are sometimes misunderstood by the companies that try to reach them. Using several examples of the women interviewed for the survey we see the modern woman from around the world struggling between roles of wife, mother, caregiver, pressed for time, over-concerned with expensive beauty products, frustrated with condescending financial advisors and determined to do good with their dollars (Publishers Weekly.)

So far the book has been interesting and very fun to read. The statistics, stories, and quotes in each story are very engaging. I would recommend this book to any woman who is interested in understanding how we behave as consumers and how to gear products for success in the female economy.

I know I've just begun reading this book, but I am already thinking about what I should read next, any suggestions? I love recommendations!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Smart Snacking

I'm just going to put it out there, I love candy, especially Haribo gummi bears. Thomas certainly knows the way to my heart. He stuffed my stocking full with over 100 mini packs of Haribo gummi bears, I'm one happy girl. I seriously was and still am in Haribo heaven. Admitting I have a several sugar cravings daily, I know I can make better snack choices besides sugar and pretzels, my other weakness. I eat lots of fruits and veggies but sometimes I am looking for something else.

I've tried eating more nuts, especially almonds because I know they are good for you. You might remember, this post about a coworker introducing me to cocoa coated almonds, but I quickly lost interest in those. Since then, I've been in search for a replacement and I know I've finally found what I've been looking for all this time: sprouted almonds. Although almonds are expensive, I am willing to pay the price for these. What I enjoy so much about sprouted almonds is they taste like they are lightly salted, but they aren't!

I'm addicted for now and honestly I can't see myself ever giving up these up! What is one of your favorite healthy snacks?

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Two Delicious Dinners

Friday night Thomas and I tried a sushi restaurant we had never been to before, but heard a lot of great things about it! This restaurant isn't what you would expect from its location or by the building itself, but after all these years and not knowing any better, we re-learned an age old lesson: you never judge a book by its cover. And I'm so glad we finally gave it a try, because it is without a doubt is the best sushi I've ever tasted and I think Thomas would agree.

Take a look at this...a picture says a 1000 words.

Saturday night we had dinner reservations at another restaurant in town, Garibaldi's Cafe. The restaurant is one of our favorite places and was absolutely jam packed Saturday night. It's restaurant week in SC, thanks Bess for informing me! and even though Garibaldi's wasn't participating, I think everyone had cabin fever from the snow storm that hit us earlier in the week so everyone was out and about over the weekend.

I can say our meals this weekend surely didn't disappoint and as Thomas said after dinner on Saturday night, "I wish we could eat like this every night!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spice It Up!

I'm back with another delicious recipe from Men's Health to share with y'all today! We made this for dinner on Sunday night and I really enjoyed this recipe. I was a little nervous at first because Thomas told me how spicy the sauce for the beef was the first time he made this recipe for himself and in case you didn't know, I'm a big wimp when it comes to spicy food. We used sriracha as the chili sauce and I doubled all the other sauce ingredients which calmed the heat from the sriracha and made for a delicious sauce with just enough kick. In addition to the wraps, we made rice noodles with mushrooms, bean sprouts, and carrots in the wok. If you are looking for something different to try I promise this recipe will not disappoint!

Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps

12 oz flank, skirt, or sirloin steak
1 Tbsp chili sauce (we like sriracha)
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fish sauce
½ red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Limes, cut into wedges
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 head Bibb lettuce, washed and dried, leaves separated


1. Heat the grill or grill pan over high heat for at least 5 minutes. Season the steak with salt and pepper and toss it on. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until it's firm but yielding to the touch. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

2. Combine the chili sauce, fish sauce, and juice of one lime in a small saucepan over low heat.

3. Slice the steak thinly (if it's skirt or flank steak, be sure to cut against the grain) and drizzle half of the warm sauce over it. Set out the jalapeno and onion slices, cilantro, carrot, lettuce, and remaining lime wedges and sauce. Use the leaves like tortillas to wrap up the steak slices with the other ingredients. (Save some lime and sauce to use on your wrap as you eat).


Friday, January 14, 2011

Did You Know?

I've always been bothered by the yellow stains that form in the armpits of my light colored tops and are especially noticeable in my white tops after only a few wears. I won't lie I know I sweat, that's why I wear deodorant, but I know its not sweat that is causing the stains, but rather the deodorant.

So to be honest I never gave it much thought because I knew I need to wear deodorant even though it ruins my white tops after only a few wears. So after all these years I decided to get to the bottom of this. While doing some research on this topic I found that most people, including myself, use the terms antiperspirant and deodorant interchangeably when the two are not the same.

Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts. Deodorants do not. And as you have probably noticed when shopping for the product, the majority of the products today have both attributes in their formulas.
However, is almost safe to say the majority of the products in the deodorant aisle are antiperspirants.

Antiperspirants containing aluminum, work to completely stop perspiration from occurring. Whereas, deodorants do not contain aluminum and allow perspiration. They work to kill the bacteria that causes odor when we perspire. Aluminum-free deodorants work to keep us feeling fresh and clean.

Once I understood the difference between antiperspirants and deodorant, I found information that explained what is causing the yellow stains: aluminum. I wish I would have known this sooner!

Not only is aluminum causing yellow stains on my clothing but it also harmful to our bodies and has been associated with a variety of health issues including breast cancer, kidney problems, and Alzheimer's Disease.

Are you ready to discover your inner hippie with me and switch from your regular antiperspirant to an aluminum free deodorant?

Here's one suggestion...

Tom's of Maine also has an apricot and lavender scented aluminum free deodorant if fragrance free isn't your thing. I also found that Addias makes an aluminum free deodorant for women as well.

Are you ready to make the switch? I sure am!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beauty Products in...Your Kitchen

One thing we all need to be mindful of is the chemicals in the products we put on our skin. The advice on chemicals in cosmetics can be a bit overwhelming, but it's worth it to keep up. Or a really simple rule of thumb is that if the ingredients are things you can eat, then it's safe to put on skin, which makes sense because much of what you put on your body is absorbed into your body!

Below are a few easy ways to get glam using products found in our kitchens.

Olive oil: Use a tiny bit as a moisturizer after a shower (just make sure to let it all soak in before you get dressed).

Coconut oil: For a super moisturizing hair treatment that leaves hair soft and shiny, slather coconut oil onto your hair and let it soak in for an hour (or longer -- we like to throw our oil-slicked hair into a tight bun and hit the gym while the oil is working its magic). Shampoo hair twice and then condition normally.

Baking soda: If you have product build-up in your hair, mixing just a teaspoon of baking soda with your normal shampoo before using creates a clarifying shampoo. Use it just once per week to keep build-up at bay.

Apple cider vinegar: Another hair product build-up fighter that also helps boost shine and body! Mix 1/3 cup vinegar with 4 cups water and rinse your hair with this mixture after shampooing. Follow the vinegar rinse with a cool water rinse and then condition as usual.

Brown sugar: Mix 1/4 cup of brown sugar with enough olive oil (or coconut oil) to make a paste. Store this in a jar and use as a body scrub for your body (it's too rough for your face, so stick with using only on your body). Trust us, this smells like cookie dough and leaves your skin SO SOFT.

Green tea: If you have a cup of green tea at breakfast, save a tablespoon and use it as an antioxidant-rich toner. Just soak a cotton ball in the tea and gently swipe onto your skin before moisturizing. Or, just swipe the tea bag right on your face!

Pineapple: Pineapple and papaya both contain enzymes that help to get rid of dead skin and leave your face glowing. Lightly mash up two tablespoons of either pineapple or papaya, mix with two teaspoons of honey or plain yogurt and apply to your face. Leave on for 10 minutes and then rinse off
with warm water.

Do you use any of the products in your kitchen on your body? If so, please do share!

*All the information in this post can be found here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Breaking News

We interrupt your regular scheduled program to bring you this

I hope everyone in the South is enjoying this very rare snow day!

Yay for 3 day weekends and 4 day work weeks!

About the Weekend

I can't believe were back for another Monday, you would think I would have learned by now how fast the weekend goes by.

Friday night Thomas and I had planned to go out for pizza. We decided on a place not far from my house that we had never been to before. When we arrived the wait was close to an hour and Thomas was hungry and didn't want to wait. So we were off to the next place, which ended being just as crowded and there was no hostess which made for a mad house. So we decided not to try another place right down the road. We are walking in to what I thought was our third and final place, which Thomas suggested, and can you guess what? We didn't end up staying there either! He didn't like that you had to order at the counter instead of having a waitress. I mean for crying out loud, we have been to three different pizza places and are now on to our fourth! At this point Thomas starts loosing his "cool" and when this happens he gets extremely frustrated especially since almost an hour had past and we could have just stayed at the first place! The funny part is, the fourth and I am happy to say final place he decided on because I said we aren't going anywhere else, no matter what, didn't have servers either, you had to order ahead and then sit down! Long story short, I am happy we ended up at the place we did, the pizza was delicious and the company was even better (once we ordered)!

Saturday was cold and very windy. I spent most of the morning cleaning, doing laundry, and getting the ingredients together to make chili in the crock pot for dinner. We decided we would stay in on Saturday night since Thomas has been fighting a terrible cold and sore throat. We couldn't have picked a better night to stay in, eat chili, and play cards with the weather being so windy and cold!

Sunday was some what of a lazy day for me, I finished reading, The Help, which I started in August, but ending up sitting on my bookshelf for the past four months until this weekend. I read the entire book from start to finish this weekend and absolutely loved it. I don't know why I didn't stick with it back in August, I think life was just too busy at the time. I'm excited to continue reading as my next book is arriving in the mail tomorrow!

This weekend was just what I needed to recharge. Although, I didn't take care of a big project that is looming over my head, taking down and putting away the Christmas decorations, sigh, I will be working on it this week.

I hope each of you had very enjoyable and relaxing weekend!

Friday, January 7, 2011


I received this kitchen gadget as a Christmas present and I can't wait to use it! While in college, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester and I of course had to enrolled in a cooking class. Our professor always referred to this gadget as "Buzz" because it really does just that!

Meet "Buzz!"
An immersion blender is perfect for whipping up smoothies in a glass, pureeing soups on the spot, and one of my favorites, making pesto from scratch and the list goes on. Last year, I posted on of my favorite smoothie recipes and to be honest I have gotten away from making them each morning because having the blender always sitting out on the counter was taking up to much room. Fear no more, "Buzz" has come to the rescue!

What's one of your favorite kitchen gadget's that makes your life easier?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Can't Let Go Just Yet...

Because I just can't seem to let go of the holidays this year, wait that's every year. I thought I would share a post I was planning on sharing with y'all around Christmas until....
I had my Christmas blog post all figured out ahead of time, but it fell by the waste side when I realized I forgot to bring my camera that had these photos saved. I am sorry I am just now sharing my holiday decorations as many of you may be sick of Christmas by now, but I really want to share these pictures with you! I hope you still enjoy this post as much as I do, I always feel a big let down when the holidays are over, time goes by way too fast, and these photos sure put a smile on my face and I hope they will do the same for you!

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree....

Just a few of my favorite ornaments...

Only 353 more days til Christmas, it will be here before we know it!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Drink Up!

Have you heard of this stuff? I first learned about Emergen-C about 3 years ago from one of my co-workers. I had always seen this stuff in the aisles of Target, Walmart, Walgreen's, CVS, and the list goes on, but I never paid it any attention mostly because I assumed it tasted like sh*t!

Well I finally gave it a try almost two years ago when I got off a flight home and felt like I was coming down with a cold. I had no idea what it would taste like or if it would even work, but at that point nothing could make it worse, so I gave it a shot! To this day I believe it kept me from getting sick with it's high dose of Vitamin C, but even it it's not I'm hooked and it tastes great!

Just about every morning I pour two packets of Emergen-C Super Orange into my water bottle and drink away! As I mentioned in my 2011 resolutions, drinking plenty of water has always been a struggle for me, but by adding two packets of Emergen-C and it's extra flavor I am about to drink a bottle of water in no time flat!

After being around several sick friends and family members over the holidays, I thought I would share this product with you. Anything we can do to help prevent our bodies from getting sick this time of year is a good thing. I have been making sure to get my daily dose after all the sickness that has been going around!

Besides including 1,000 mg of vitamin C, Emergen-C includes 7 B vitamins to enhance energy naturally and electrolytes to refuel and replenish post-workout. If super orange and a large dose of vitamin C isn't for you, Emergen-C offers over 20 varieties of vitamin drink mixes and flavors!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to Reality

After being away from my house and out of the office for 12 days, it's back to reality. I wish time didn't go by so fast, but I'm certainly thankful for the time I had away to spend with family and friends. I absolutely love the holidays and all that they mean and I just feel as though there is never enough time to celebrate.

I am so grateful to have my parent's house to return to at the holidays. Nothing feels better then being home. My mom always does a fabulous job decorating and making the holidays special for our family. Although today is bittersweet for me, I am looking forward to seeing what 2011 has in store!

Happy 1st day of work in 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

As I look back on 2010, many memories come to mind. In 2010, I continued to grow and progress to be successful at work, my relationships with family and friends strengthen and grew, celebrated the engagements of cousins and friends, started this blog, traveled to new places, made plans for the future, and made many more memories big and small.

If you have been following my blog from the beginning you probably remember one of my first posts about my New Year's Resolution for 2010 and philosophy if you will on resolutions. Well 2010 didn't change how I feel about making resolutions, but I have put lots of time and effort in to making my New Year's Resolutions for 2011 after successfully completing my resolution for 2010, which was a success by the way! Without further ado...

Katie's 2011 Resolutions

1. Drink MORE water. I don't drink enough water. period. I have always been that way and I want to change that about myself in 2011. It bothers me because I know its not good for my body. Water is a vital part of your body's health and I know my body is severely lacking. It's not that I am choosing other drinks over water, I actually just rarely drink anything. When I am thirsty I usually only drink milk or water with the occasional sweet tea if I go out to lunch or a glass of wine at dinner on the weekends. So here's to drinking more water to keep my body hydrated and healthy in 2011!

2. Read. In 2010 I feel like I got away from reading, wait I know its a fact, I definitely got away from reading. I wouldn't say it's because I lost interest in reading, I really feel as though I just got busy with other interests. My goal for 2011 is to not only get back in to reading, but to make a reading list and to challenge myself to read 10 books in 2011. Anyone want to join me?

3. Try something new. I don't exactly know what I want to try that is "new" to me, but I do have a few ideas. I want this resolution to force me to step outside my comfort zone with the hope that it will become a part of my life from this point forward.
4. Blogging. To continue to grow and create this blog. I have a subcategory of blogging goals for 2011, but I promise there will be some changes, all for the better I hope!

What's your "philosophy" on New Year's resolutions? Do you agree with making resolutions at the beginning of the year or not? What about spending time reflecting on the previous year?

Here's to starting 2011 on the right foot and putting my resolutions in to action!