Lemon-Thyme Spaghetti

It must be in the air.  Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been in the 50s and 60s in Colorado this week…. but I’m craving summer in a bad, bad way.

Beaches, flip flops, sundresses, tanlines, pool time…. I want it all!

Last night, I made a dish that I didn’t expect to taste like summer, but I’ve since deemed “summer on a plate.”  HOLY HANNAH!  This stuff is “over the top” good.

Now, what would make this pasta even better?  Maybe pair it with some chicken cooked on the grill?  Mmmmm… a nice cold glass of pinot grigio.  AND…. eat it all on this patio??  

How about we dine al fresco here… no table?  I’d be willing to hold my plate  if I can spend time in that pool!
 
Eating outdoors in the summertime is one of my favorite things.  In Colorado, we’re fortunate to be able to do it for extended periods and without humidity.  So lovely. 
Have you ever seen the episode of Parenthood where they dine in the backyard?  I’d love to have that backyard and create that dinner party.  Seriously.  That’s my dream backyard.
Best show on television.  Hands down.

Ok, without further ado… let me introduce you to my new pasta BFF…


Lemon-Thyme Spaghetti

From Weight Watchers 101 Best Quick and Easy Recipes – Spring 2010
Serves 6 (as a side dish)

INGREDIENTS

6 oz uncooked thin spaghetti
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp (or more) capers
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. grated fresh
parmesan cheese
fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Cook pasta according to package directions.

I always break my pasta as I put it in the pot.  Just what I do…
 
2.  While pasta cooks, combine thyme and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Note:  I’m obsessed with capers, so I added extra.

How pretty and fragrant is fresh thyme – – LOVE!!
 
My VERY first zesting experience.  I think I did good!
 
Squeezing the fresh lemon juice… I think fresh is best in this case (and most cases)
 
Reminder:  I used extra capers…
 

3.  Drain pasta, and mix with lemon mixture in a bowl.  Toss well.  Top with parmesan cheese.  Garnish with thyme sprigs.


Pictured is TWO servings, as I made it my dinner
 

PER 1/2 CUP SERVING:

CAL: 128; PROTEIN: 4.3g; FAT: 2.4g; SODIUM: 153mg; CARB: 21.9g

ENJOY!

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Giveaway Winner and More “New Favorites”

I picked a winner for the Weight Watchers Cookbook giveaway, but it’s taken me a few days to let you guys know who the winner is!

 
 
There were 28 entries, and the winner is…..


Sam (From the Blog Momma on a Mission)

Sam – Click here to send me an email with your address so that I can send you your new cookbook!  Thank you to all who participated!  I’m going to try to do more of these in the future!
 
NEW FAVORITES
Since I started this blog, I’ve been talking about the importance of adding in “new favorites” into your repertoire.  For me, a new favorite is a meal/snack that replaces old favorites that may be way out of an appropriate calorie range while being equally delicious!  
 
Here’s a few of my recent faves:
 
Thomas 100 Calorie Everything Bagel Thins with a wedge of
Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Cheese
 
Jennie O – So Easy Turkey Meatloaf – – It cooks in
8 minutes in the microwave and serves 3
 
Green Beans roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes with
Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray
 
 
Subway’s Veggie Delite Toasted on Wheat with Pepper Jack
(My go-to lunch these days)
 
Craving Pepperoni Pizza?  How about a Lean Cuisine Pepperoni French Bread Pizza
(Volumized with some diced onions and crushed red pepper flakes)
I started slicing it like this and it fools me that it’s HUGE with a million pieces.  
I love a good mind game.
 
 
What new products/meals have you tried lately that you just love?  Inquiring minds want to know….

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FMM: Makeup Favorites

 
Here’s how this works.  The fabulous Kenlie blogs at www.alltheweigh.com and posts weekly questions for participating bloggers to answer.  The idea is to connect with other bloggers and share answers to a series of questions. If you’ve never done FMM, and today’s the day to try, be sure to link back up to Kenlie’s page to meet the other bloggers participating.  Here’s this week’s topic!

FMM: Makeup Favorites

1.  Do you wear makeup everyday? 
I wear it every day when I get ready for the day.  If I am just going to the gym, I slick on a little gloss and that’s it.  And, the folks at Target have seen me without makeup WAY TOO MANY a few times as well when I’m just running a fast errand. 
 
2.  Does your routine change if you’re going out with friends/on a date/to a party? 
I definitely kick it up a little bit more if I’m going out for fun than I would on an average work day. 
 
3.  Are you loyal to one brand, or do you use different brands for different things? 
I definitely mix it up.  Lancome for mascara and eyeliner, Bare Escentuals for foundation/shadow/blush/gloss, L’Oreal for lipstick. 
 
4.  Do you wear primer/concealer? If so, what’s your favorite kind?  
Not consistently.  I have Well Rested from Bare Escentuals that I’ve used a few times, but sometimes it makes me ghostly white underneath.  I need a good concealer, and with one, I would wear it every day.  Eye primer on the other hand, I love!
 
5. What’s your favorite brand of foundation? 
I’m a Bare Escentuals girl and wear Medium Beige unless I get ridiculously tan in the summer.  I wouldn’t mind taking a GREAT beach vacation that required me to go a little darker this year!!
 
6.  Do you use blush and/or bronzer?  
Both, and I use Bare Escentuals for both as well.  Touch of Sun or Warmth for Bronzer.  Blush is called Tranquil.  So pretty.
 
Tranquil blush by Bare Escentuals
 
 
7.  Do you wear eye shadow/eye liner?  
I wear an eye primer that I think is critical.  It’s by Bare Escentuals and called “Prime Time”.  I also use their Snow shadow and Moss shadow daily + Lancome’s Liquid Art Liner.
 
Prime Time Eye Primer by Bare Escentuals
 
 
8.  What’s your favorite kind of mascara?  
Lancome’s Black Carat Virtuose and Definicils – – I choose whichever I find first in my makeup bag. 
 
9.  Lipstick? Lip gloss? Both? Favorite? 
I actually wear a combination of two colors of lipstick.  The first is a discontinued color of L’Oreal lipstick + Bare Escentuals Creampuff on top.  I also use Bare Escentuals gloss on top, and throughout the day.
 
10.  Do you wear nail polish regularly?  If so, share a few of your favorite brands/colors.  
I’m obsessed with Essie colors lately:  Smokin’ Hot is a fave right now, as is Jazz for summer.  I also have a warm spot in my heart for You Don’t Know Jacques by OPI.  LOVE.
 
 
Smokin Hot by Essie
 
 
11. How do you remove your makeup at the end of the day?  
I plead the 5th. No judgment! 12.  Do you feel prettier when you’re wearing makeup?  
Yes, yes.  Have you seen me without?? 

13.  Do you have any beauty tips that you could pass along?  
Eye Primer… Seriously, try it.  It changed the way I feel about eye shadow completely.
 

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The Engagement Epidemic

Has anyone else noticed that just about EVERYONE

you know is getting engaged these days?  

There was a period of time before the holidays where it seemed that everyone I knew was going from “in a relationship” to “engaged” on Facebook. 
 
Yep, this one got engaged, too.
 

Keep in mind, this was true for most every single girl that I know aside for me.  I have one or two girlfriends out there that are sticking with the single status for now, but for the most part… it appears that the world is pairing off two-by-two. I’m so far behind.

In the past, I’ve just been too “busy”.  Busy working, busy traveling, busy living my life, busy achieving my version of success, and busy not meeting anyone that I could potentially pair up with. I asked a college friend of mine about it this week. Jokingly, I blame her for my not getting out there more (ie… Why didn’t you make me date more? So I’d have had more practice!).

Now, at 35 and single, I’ve realized I want more.  Re-phrased, I’ve decided to make room in my life and to do something to get more.  

How does a young (and fabulous) 35 year old meet a someone that’s out there that’s NORMAL and awesome.  I don’t have the answer for you quite yet, dear readers, but I can tell you that I’ve started looking and I’ll keep you posted.

While I feel it’s a little overexposing to tell you too much quite yet, I joined eHarmony right before the new year.  I’ve always been a little anti-online dating, thinking that it didn’t really work or couldn’t possibly work for me.  However, I stand corrected. I’ve been matched with a ton of folks in the Denver area who allegedly are compatible to my personality profile.  Not bad!

It’s a VERY low pressure, easy process to begin communicating.  You can move at your own pace and opt out at any point.  I find it very comfortable (surprisingly.)

Wednesday night, I went on my VERY first eHarmony date and it was REALLY great!  I mentioned my migraines I had this week had kicked my butt, but I had already set up this date prior to any of that madness setting in.  I couldn’t cancel on him, and I was so glad that I didn’t!  Between us friends:  I’d say it was the best first date I’ve ever had.  He was smart, funny, attractive, a professional, and a total gentleman (all positives in my book.) Now, we’re still in the process of getting to know each other, but what a positive experience!  

I can honestly say that I think dating is much easier now that I’ve lost the weight.  Not because of what other people think about the weight… instead what I thought about the weight.  I always worried about what he was thinking about how I looked, or what people were thinking about with the guy being out with that chubby girl (me.)  It’s not healthy to think that way and I recognize it now, but that was the way my mind used to work. 

I felt great walking into the restaurant last night with no hesitation, no major nervousness.  I did text a few people letting them know where I would be and to sound the alarms if they didn’t ever hear back from me, which is slightly crazy…. but safety first, folks!

The outfit was pretty cute... Couldn't resist snapping a pic! Thanks, iPhone!

Because I know you folks love my shopping talk, the outfit came from White House Black Market.  The jeans, bustier (yep!), and sweater were courtesy of a VERY awesome salesperson who put the look together.  The belt is a bow belt from New York and Company, but they sell one at WHBM too… I just already had it.  The iPhone case is from Verizon Wireless (of course).

I don’t know what will come next of this date that I went on this week.  What I do know is that I had a great time and that I am excited to see him again.  And, I think that’s right on track with where I should be.  It just feels good.

If you haven’t gotten out there, what’s holding you back?  Also, any good online dating tips/success stories?

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AWP-DO