Currently: October

It’s that time of the month already!  Time for my monthly wrap up… I changed it up a little this month, sharing some new things I’ve never talked about in “currently.”  Enjoy!

Currently October | No Thanks to Cake
Current Netflix Binge:

I’ve broken down and joined Netflix.  Yes, the girl who barely watches any television has subscribed to Netflix, for one reason, two words:  GILMORE GIRLS.

Gilmore Girls | No Thanks to Cake

I never watched this show when it was on TV.  However, one extra wintry winter a few years back, I watched the entire series.  And, in watching it, I completely fell in love with Rory and Loralei.  My friend Erin said it well… If only we could be as witty as Loralei one day… 

Seriously, if you’ve never watched this series, it’s time… and the entire series is available on Netflix!  Let me know what you think of Stars Hollow, will ya?

Current Confession:

So, I haven’t really talked about it on social media… and I hate to talk about it with my friends because it’s a total downer, but my car accident last month kicked my arse.  I’ve been on the couch for a whole month… watching Gilmore Girls.  Rotating ice packs (aka bags of corn and edamame) with heat compresses… and planning to take over the world when this damn thing heals.

Now, I’m only sharing this with you now because I’m feeling SO MUCH BETTER four weeks later!  Finally!!!

yay | No Thanks to CakeI’m not 100% and I’m still afraid to carry much… but gosh, not being miserable when I wake up is heavenly!!!  For all of you who have chronic back pain, I am SO SORRY!  For all of those who have listened to me whine, THANK YOU!!!!  I owe you REAL wine!

Current Craft:

I’ve had my eye on a little capelet from Ravelry forever… And, during my fabulous couchtime and while watching Rory’s first days at Chilton… I made it!  I totally want to make another!  Maybe in a charcoal or mustard color.  What do you think??  I’m in love!

Capelet | No Thanks to Cake

This makes me excited to knit additional wooly fall/winter things!

Current Book:

This month, I’m not pointing out a work of fiction… instead, the most beautiful cookbook I’ve laid eyes on in YEARS!

SkinnyTaste Cookbook | No Thanks to Cake

The Skinnytaste Cookbook was released in late September, and I was BEYOND excited to receive my copies.  Gina‘s cookbook is LOADED with calories that are “light on calories, big on flavor.”  I recently made her Skinny Chicken Parmesan and it was phenomenal…

Chicken Parmesan Skinnytaste | No Thanks to Cake

I am in LOVE with all of Gina’s recipes… both those on her blog and these new creations that are part of her cookbook.  Order yours here… it’s amazing, I promise!

Current Hairstyle:

I’m still pretty obsessed with how easy it is to curl my hair everyday for work… I mentioned it last month, but wow, it’s so easy!

How to Curl Long Hair | No Thanks to Cake

And, I have yet to burn myself… {Knocking on wood.}

Current Memorable Moment:

At the beginning of the month, I got to participate in my very first engagement!  My friends Alex and Tiffany made it official… and Alex wanted to have Tiff’s closest friends involved in the action.  I was honored to be a part of it, and had trouble keeping a dry eye during the actual proposal.

The Proposal | No Thanks to Cake

And, of course, she said YES!!!  Congrats, Alex and Tiffany!

Current Outfit:

It’s not REALLY an outfit, but wow, it’s the cutest coat on the planet from New York and Company.  Half coat, half cape… yep, I BIG-PUFFY-HEART love it!

Cape New York and Company | No Thanks to Cake

Hooray for coupons!! For more detail, click here.

Current Flavor Inspiration:

As part of Tiffany’s engagement extravaganza, we had brunch at a little Denver restaurant called Jimmy’s Urban Bar & Grill.  I’m not huge on brunch,  but considering the special occasion, I decided to try something new that I had never had… and to just jump in.

Chicken and Waffles | No Thanks to Cake

Hello, Chicken and Waffles.  I can’t wait to come up with a healthier version of this.  There has to be one.  I’ll create it, and I’ll share it… I’m still having dreams about this stuff.  It was that good… must recreate.

Current Crazy Thing I’ve Done:

I been Christmas shopping all year long.  When I was in California at the wineries with Crystal, I picked up a few things.  I pre-ordered one of my favorite bloggers’ new books, and I even picked up a few fun things in Savannah during Fitbloggin!  All these items have been hanging out in my guest room, but it was time to get them on the road.

Christmas Presents | No Thanks to Cake

I’m far from done Christmas shopping… I still need things for my niece and nephew, my brother, and my stepdad, but this first box is progress.  I did feel pretty nuts wrapping packages in October though…

Current Location:

I’m here (in paradise).  And, it’s my sister-in-law Beth’s 40th birthday tomorrow… Have a fabulous weekend, y’all!

Montelucia | No Thanks to Cake

Divider

View my previous “Currently” posts here:

Currently: September

Currently: August

Currently:  July

Currently:  June

Currently: May

Currently:  April

Currently: March 

Currently: February

Related posts:

Jenny Volumizing: Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

There is something about the new Jenny Craig menu.

The new foods have been SO DELICIOUS and SO SATISFYING!  They’ve also given me an opportunity to try some new creative recipes, including this one that I’m sharing today!

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

I must say, the new quesadilla is REALLY good on its own.  It’s cheesy and spicy.. and tastes like a major indulgence.  For some reason, when I eat it… I’m missing the veggies, so I decided to load it up!  Adding not only onions and peppers, but also a little spinach just to bulk it up!

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

1 package Jenny Craig Baja Style Quesadilla

1/4 red pepper, sliced

1/4 onion, sliced

1/4 cup fresh spinach, sliced

1/8 tsp. Penzey’s Fajita Seasoning

cooking spray

salsa

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Cook quesadilla on a plate for 45 seconds.

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

2.  In a saute pan, cook your onion and pepper for about 3 minutes stirring frequently.  Add 1/8 tsp. fajita seasoning and mix well.

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Add spinach and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes until the spinach wilts.  Note:  I made a little extra veggies for two quesadillas.  If you follow the ratios above, it should be perfect for one quesadilla.

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Move the veggies to a small bowl.  Open the quesadilla, and remove the chicken and cheese mixture.  Using a small spatula, mix the cheese mixture with the veggies and combine well.

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Place the mixture back in the tortilla.

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Heat your skillet to medium high heat and spray it again with cooking spray.  Return the quesadilla to the skillet, and good for about a minute on each side until browned and the insides cook well.

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

8.  Serve with your favorite salsa.  Note:  I used Trader Joe’s Organic Tomatillo and Yellow Chile Salsa.

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

Jenny Craig Volumizing Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla | No Thanks to Cake

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Caprese Salsa

By now, you likely know I love all things that begin or end with the word “caprese.”  And, today’s salsa is a new love…

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

This weekend, I had some ladies over for a CAbi Party!  If you’ve never seen CAbi’s clothing line, you should definitely check it out.  Unique high quality pieces for the ladies… and I love the whole line!

My CAbi consultant Teri encouraged me to keep the food simple for the party, since most people don’t like to try on clothes when they are feeling full.  Well, I tried Teri, but I just can’t resist putting out delicious food for folks coming over to my place.  Of course, I put together a spread including this tasty salsa.

I have to tell you though, this salsa is INCREDIBLY easy to make and made with simple, simple ingredients.  I found the idea on Pinterest, and the recipe linked back to my blog designer Cassie over at Back to Her Roots.  I scaled down the recipe a bit, and wow… so delicious!

Caprese Salsa

Adapted from Back to Her Roots

Serves 16

INGREDIENTS

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

3 cups diced ripe tomatoes, seeded

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 cup mozzarella balls, in water

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Dice your tomatoes.  Note:  I find that removing the seeds makes for the best salsa/pico de gallo.

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Prepare your basil.  Note:  I always like to dice my basil into ribbons, chiffonade style.

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Combine tomatoes, cheese, and basil in a large bowl.  Note:  I sliced each perillini ball into quarters.

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Add olive oil and vinegar.

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Toss to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Store in the refrigerator before serving.  Note:  My suggestion is to make and serve the salsa within a few hours for the best flavor.  

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Enjoy with pita chips, 34 degrees crackers, or a healthy tortilla chip.  Note:  I served mine with Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Wholegrain Pita Chips.

Caprese Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/4 cup serving (not including chips):
CAL 43; CARB 1g; FAT 3g; PROT 3g; FIB 0g; WW Points Plus: 1

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The Blogtastic Survey Results are In…

Happy Monday, Y’all! Hope you’re having a good start to your day and to this beautiful week!

On my end, I’m counting down the days to a vacation, which I’ll tell you more about later in the week.  A vacation celebrating my fabulous (and favorite) sister-in-law Beth.  Click here to read about all of her awesomeness btw…

Do you guys remember completing a

NTTC Blogtastic Survey a few weeks back??  

NTTC Survey

Well, the results are in!  First and foremost, thank you to each of you for taking the time to complete the survey.  It was about 10 questions long… and I’m a little dumbfounded that 130 of you folks took the time to complete it!  Amazing, and THANK YOU!!!

This survey’s timing aligns with a blog redesign that I’m working on right now, and I couldn’t be happier with the results… and the feedback you guys gave me along the way.  Ok, without further ado, let’s go through the results!

NTTC Blogtastic Survey Results | No Thanks to CakeSo many of you out there have been reading for a while, and I just love that!  I feel like the true weight loss action was happening way back in the beginning and in that first year, and I love that so many of you have stuck around through the transition into maintenance.  And, in reality, the transition of NTTC to more of a healthy eating blog than a weight loss blog.

NTTC Blogtastic Survey Results | No Thanks to CakeThe verdict:  An overwhelming number of you guys read NTTC simply by typing in the URL, or clicking on your favorite link.  I spend quite a bit of time on social media, so I just assumed that social media was bringing you guys here… boy, was I wrong!

I will mention that following NTTC on Social Media is a great way to stay in touch.  Even during the weeks where work (and preferably fabulous vacations) has me too busy to blog, you can always stay close to the happenings by checking social media.

If you’re not following me today, click on these links to connect:  Facebook, Instagram (my favorite!), Pinterest, Twitter, Bloglovin, Feedly.

NTTC Blogtastic Survey Results | No Thanks to CakeThe Verdict:  A whopping 84% of you guys who enjoy reading NTTC are reading it because you are actively working to lose weight/get healthier.  WOW!  That’s a big number… but then again, I talk to so many of you guys that are really looking to fuel better with healthier, more nutritious food, at every meal.  Knowing that the goal of so many of you is to get/stay healthy!  This is something that will inspire me in upcoming months to write content that will help you get there/stay there!

NTTC Blogtastic Survey Results | No Thanks to Cake

The Verdict:  Um, can you see me smiling all the way from Colorado??  If you can’t, you should.  I love the fact that you’re choosing healthy recipes and healthy eating as your main reason for clicking on NTTC.  Cooking is a passion of mine, and it’s such a compliment to hear that you’re drooling over my creations.  Most nights, I am too…

NTTC Blogtastic Survey Results | No Thanks to Cake

The Verdict:  Not surprisingly based upon other responses, you guys want to hear more about healthy eating, exercise, and my crazy life… and the giveaways, crafts, product reviews, and shopping are on the other end of the spectrum.  You’re not telling me to STOP talking about the latter… but you’ve definitely indicated what’s your favorite. :)

NTTC Blogtastic Survey Results | No Thanks to Cake

So… I’ll call these my “curiosity questions”… I’m asking first, if you’ve ever made a NTTC recipe, and secondly, if you ever purchased something because I talked about it here on my blog.

Let’s start with the recipes:  I’m mostly just curious here.  I put a lot of time into building beautiful recipes posts.. and I love that 70% of you guys have tried something!  (Hint, hint:  Stop back after you make something and tell me what you think!  I’m always curious, after all… and only post the things I love!)

The product question was more of a toss-up.  There are brands that I work with from time to time, and if I try their product and I sincerely like it, I’ll share it with you guys… but I was wondering about how effective I am at promoting things.  53% is not so bad!

Reality Check: I absolutely promise not to promote things just to promote things.  Only things I like, would buy anyway, and use regularly are featured on NTTC.

Ok… now for the super fun questions.  The ones that were more free-form,  just asking you to leave your comments.  While I can’t post them all… I’ll give you a taste of what I got.

Q7.  I’d love to read about this specific topic:

  • how to keep motivated when all around are munching crisps and biscuits – it is so hard!
  • Healthy restaurants around town. Book recommendations.
  • healthy baking recipes! and burger recipes! I also like hearing about your ups and downs with the weight loss journey.
  • Because I’m new to Jenny Craig I would love more volumizing recipes.
  • Would love to see more truth, honesty, vulnerability! Your life can’t be all rainbows and unicorns–let us see the darker side!
  • Month in review! Always like to see this when it come around!
  • Struggles with body image (I personally struggle with this).
  • I love the inspirational stuff! No, actually, I NEED the inspirational stuff! I still tear up over your letter to your former self. I have shared this blog the most & still do.
  • Loving yourself as you’re losing weight even if you’re not comfortable in your body.
  • Products found at trader joes, new kitchen gadgets, new nail polish colors
  • more fitness updates.
  • up’s and down’s of weight loss; struggles, motivation, etc
  • Everything!!! Recipes are my favorite

This is just a snippet of what came back…  Lots of variety.  Lots of asks for new topics to be covered.  I’ll do my best to work them all in… and I really try to live in a bright shiny place, so struggles yes… dark side, probably not. :)

Q8:  I’m about to renovate my little space on the internet giving it an entirely new look and feel.  Do you have any suggestions to change the site, its look and feel, or how easy it is to find what you’re looking for?

  • Looks great! I’ve made many of your recipes maybe a section for pictures of our creations from you. Also I love seeing before and after pictures of success stories.
  • I know you had done a survey on a new tag line but I’ve never seen it implemented. I think you had a draw for the winner and announced someone too.
  • Past posts give me such a variety of posts. Sometimes I have trouble finding one I’d like to read again. I haven’t found a way to bookmark a specific post, it just takes me back to the most current one.
  • I think it’s pretty easy to navigate as is. I like that you advertise, but you don’t have those annoying pop up advertisements or the embedded advertisements.
  • More videos.
  • The pictures with the recipes are great to follow but I like to print out recipes for my hands-on recipe book. It would be helpful to be able to print the ingredients and how to without pics to keep on one page…. maybe?
  • Having two sidebars (left and right) full of a combination of ads / badges / etc is a little overwhelming.
  • As long as it’s user friendly and attractive I’m in!
  • Keep it fun!!
  • I think it is great the way it is. Excited to see it get better!

Again, this is just a small number of the many responses… and I’m GETTING SO EXCITED about the re-design!  Your comments are pretty consistent… and let me know that Cassie and I are completely on track with the redesign that we’re working on!  Think simple, yet pretty.  Well accessorized, yet modern.  Easy to navigate, yet fun.  That’s what we’re shooting for.  You’ll have to let me know if we hit the mark!  The new site should launch by end of year!

About videosThis is something I struggle with, but I keep hearing more and more that content should be consumable via video… and that readers crave video.  Trying to get myself used to the idea, but you probably know I’ve only posted one vlog (ever)… I’ll keep flexing that muscle and find the right spot for me.  One day, you’ll see videos…

Q8: Please use this space to share any other feedback you might have, including general feedback and topic-related suggestions.

  • Love the pictures. That’s half the fun reading.
  • Love your site- I could not have lost 40 lbs without you and Gina from Skinnytaste! You were my inspiration when I wanted to give up and for that I am forever grateful.
  • Love this site and your commitment to yourself and your readers! Thank you!
  • I really love hearing your stories, sharing your struggles, and being real with your audience. I have been reading after I saw mention on another blog that I would frequent- it is part of my morning ritual to check in with the blog. Keep up the great work.
  • Just started JC and I go through the archives to read about your experiences! IT would be helpful if you occasionally put more links in your posts to past blog posts (Even from 2010-11) for newbies on JC! Love the blog!
  • Keep it coming – you have a very positive outlook, it’s very inspirational!
  • I REALLY like the energy of your blog. You’re upbeat without being annoying, real without being whiny and you’re smart. Don’t lose that!
  • As someone who doesn’t do Jennie Craig, I tend to skip any post regarding it and any recipes you make with that food because it doesn’t pertain to me at all! But, I love to read about your life and other recipes you create. Thanks for your blog!
  • Like the fashion shows, so fun to hear about someone else’s crazy life, it’s like a mini vacation from your own!
  • You remind me so much of my friend Autumn, and I love reading your blog because it makes me feel like I’m hanging with her!
  • Love the pictures of the Denver area and the places you visit – makes the blog feel really intimate and fun! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us!
  • Your recipes are amazing. I’m not much of a cook, your presentation is easier than following a you tube video. You totally rock in that area!!!

And this is the question that really warmed my heart.  It’s weird, I write 3-4 posts a week, but there are weeks where I truly wonder if anyone is out there reading, if I should keep writing about this little journey I’m on or if it’s time to hang up my keyboard.  Well, you guys blew me away with the responses to this question.  I was simply expecting a little “I don’t like the font at the top of the page.” type of stuff and was instead greeted with virtual hugs from near and far.

Thank you for continuing to visit my little space on the internet.  You continue to amaze me by your kindness, your friendship, and your ability to lift up a virtual stranger when she needs a helping hand!  

It’s hard to believe that I’m about to head into my FIFTH YEAR of blogging at the beginning of November.  I can’t wait to see where we go next… xoxo

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