Currently: May

It’s that time of the month again!  Let’s catch up on what’s going on “Currently”…

Currently: May | No Thanks to Cake

Current Book:

I’ve been busy reading Cameron Diaz’s Body Book this month, while walking on the treadmill.  I’m not quite done with it, and I’ve learned a LOT from reading it.  It’s really  a “real-talk” approach to how to optimize your health.  Not a lot of gimmicky ideas and mostly just good ideas for taking good care of yourself!  If this sounds like your kind of book, I definitely recommend it!

I’m SUPER-EXCITED about the new Emily Giffin book that came out this week, and it will be the book that I’m reading next.  And, when I say that I’ll read it… I mean that I’ll devour it this holiday weekend.  It’s on!
The One and Only | No Thanks to Cake

Current Music:

I’m participating in a contest where I had to pick a song that represented me in the contest.  I know you’re shocked to hear I picked this one…

It’s a classic… my anthem… my running music… and my ringback tone when you call me.  Fitting!

Current Guilty Pleasure:

OMG… This one was EASY to answer this month.  I recently was contacted by… a cookie company, asking if I wanted to try their cookies.  And, of course, I said yes.

Klara's Gourmet Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

Klara’s Gourmet Cookies reeled me in with a promise of sending me some samples of their award-winning macaroon cookies.  I adore these coconut cookies… so I knew I wanted to try them!  What I didn’t expect was to get the motherload of cookies in the mail!  Check out all this tasty goodness!!!  Thanks, Klara’s!!

Klara's Gourmet Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

As a girl trying to keep an eye on my waistline, these cookies have been my guilty pleasure this month.  Rationing and portioning sweet treats is not my forte.  So, I have been sharing them with friends.  So far, I’ve tried the Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Shortbread (OMG!), the Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread (Delish!), and the Ginger Shortbread (Such spicy goodness!)  I’m taking the macaroons to work to share with work friends, and so I don’t eat them all!  If you’re looking to send a gift of tasty cookies or to try a new brand, I definitely recommend these delicious treats!!!

Current Nail Color:

I’m still rocking the Taupeless Beach by OPI… it is just perfect right now for me.  Loving it!

OPI Taupeless Beach | No Thanks to Cake

Current Drink: 

Most days, I only drink water.  In the interest of sharing something a little more interesting than that for you guys, I’ve found a new wine!

Savignon Blanc | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve been a red wine drinker for YEARS, but I’ve just recently started exploring more and more white wines… and I think it’s going to be my summer drink!  There’s something lovely and refreshing about a glass of Savignon Blanc on a warm Colorado day while sitting on a patio.  Yep, that’s where you’ll find me this summer!

Current Food:

Avocado… Not because I’m eating a lot of it.  But instead because I’m trying to figure out what recipe I want to use for the Fitbloggin California Avocado Cutting Edge Culinary recipe contest that’s coming up!  I have a few ideas to play with… it’s going to be a weekend of experimentation… I can feel it!  Wish me luck!!

BLT Summer Rolls with Lime Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Current Favorite Show:

Grey’s Anatomy… Oh my.  Did you guys watch this week’s episode?  We’ve all known it has been coming… the official goodbye for Dr. Cristina Yang.  Cristina and Meredith Grey represent a tremendously iconic friendship… one that I’ve watched for years.  Watching Cristina walk away from “her person” and watching them dance it out one last time was just beautiful.

I feel so lucky to have strong, inspirational, and supportive women like this in my life. Never ever underestimate the power and strength that comes with having and being a good friend.  This is what makes us human, and creates that human experience we all dream of….

Current Outfit:

I’d say this was my favorite look this month.  A cute little polka dotted fit and flare number I found at JCPenney last month.  Totally on sale and with a coupon, I’m so glad this little frock made its way home with me.  PS… It has pockets!

JCP | No Thanks to Cake

Current Bane of My Existence:

Gray hair.  Yes… you heard me.  Good news for all y’all, I have an amazing colorist… and you will rarely see my grey.  But dang, this change of hair color mess is so overrated.

My dad went salt and pepper pretty early… and fascinatingly MY OLDER BROTHER has very little grey.  It’s a cruel, cruel world, I tell ya… :)

Current Online Find:

I posted this link on my Facebook page, and have since added Andrea and her blog I’mPerfectLife.net to my personal blog reader.  I’d recommend you check it out as well!

I’ve read so many posts and comments from women that are just not happy with this or that about their body.  I look at my body, and there are things I don’t love.  Extra chubby bits or places where my skin has stretched.  While I know I can change these via surgery or even laser treatments,  I don’t.  I won’t change them.  They’re part of me.  The whole me.  They tell a story.

Andrea shared this post, speaking to why she too loves her “ugly” body.  Take a read, you won’t be sorry… here’s a sneak peek.

Amazing.   Real.  Inspiring… That’s the best type of reading, if you ask me.

Current Words of Inspiration:

I’ve been reading my friend Cameron Diaz’ book on the treadmill this week.  I’m in the final section that talks about establishing and maintaining a healthy mind.  She shared these words and they just stuck with me.

Whatever You are Consistent In is What You Will Become | No Thanks to Cake

This applies to everything I am and everything I long to be.  Consistency will get me there… I know this.  Thanks, Cam!

Current Mood:

Without a doubt and without hesitation… I am HAPPY.  I’ve been trying to think of a way to express how I’ve been feeling lately, and it’s been really hard to capture in a post.  HAPPY.  Yep, I’m happy.

And… no, there’s no change that’s causing it…. just decided to do it, and voila!  Try it!

Divider

View my previous “Currently” posts here:

Currently:  April

Currently: March 

Currently: February

Related posts:

Crockpot Beef Picadillo

Last week, I had one of those food fails that I love to laugh about on Instagram.  It’s seriously hilarious… until it happens to you.  Check out #pinterestfail if you’re ever interested in a good laugh…

I had a trip to the mountains planned for the day, and I met my co-worker at 10am to make the drive.  Before I met up with him, I had time to put my dinner in the crockpot, which made me so happy.  I’m usually gone from the house for about 10-12 hours… which is a little long for crock potting.  So, knowing that I would be gone about 6-7 hours… I went for it.

I loaded this very recipe into the crockpot and took off for the day!  When I for home, I found this.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Burnt.  Crispy.  Crunchy.  And mostly, RUINED!

During my frenzy to get ready for the day, I neglected to add the water to the crockpot.  Yes, without enough liquid, things burn:  Cooking 101.

Because I was intrigued by the recipe, I gave it another shot a few days later.  It was definitely worth the wait.  Note that in the following pictures… there is no char.  Water can be an amazingly magical thing!!!

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

This recipe comes from my friend Gina over at SkinnyTaste.  She had posted it on Instagram recently as a family favorite, and it was time for me to try it.  It’s a flavorful meaty dish to add to salads, rice bowls, and pasta.  It’s certainly something I’ll be making again… including the water in the recipe, of course.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo

From SkinnyTaste

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

1 lb 93% lean ground beef

1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 cup diced red bell peppers

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced cilantro

1/2 small tomato, diced

4 oz. tomato sauce

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. capers

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 bay leaves

Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Brown meat in a large deep sauté pan on medium-high heat; season with generously with salt and a little pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all the liquid from pan.  Grind up the meat in a food processor.  Add the meat back into your skillet.  Note:  The ingredients pic above shows a package of turkey, but I actually made it with lean ground beef.  So good, and highly recommended!

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Add the onions, garlic and bell peppers to the meat and cook an addition 3-4 minutes.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, water, capers.  Add the spices.  Note:  Gina’s original recipe calls for alcaparrado or green olives.  I just used capers in its place.

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Set slow cooker to HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8. After it’s ready, taste for salt and add more as needed.  Discard the bay leaves.  Note:  I added extra salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin to the dish at the very end.  Just sprinkled it in, to taste.

5.  Serve your picadillo with rice and veggies… or over pasta.  Note:  I really loved this as a Cuban spaghetti for some reason.  

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Crockpot Beef Picadillo | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/2 cup recipe serving of the meat:

CAL 170; CARB 5g; FAT 7g; PROT 23g; FIB 1g; WW Points Plus: 4

Related posts:

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

Um, yum…

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

This dish is on the list of new favorites.  I made it after seeing that Erin and Alan had made this dish and hearing them rave about it on Instagram… I just had to try it.

It was the perfect chili for me because it doesn’t have any beans.  In most recipes, I just leave them out… but this recipe was bean-less by design!  Perfect!  And, the idea of putting sweet potatoes in the chili… it’s GENIUS!  It makes the dish even more hearty than your average chili and more comforting on a cold day.

I loved it so much, I made a SECOND batch this weekend as part of my weekly food prep..

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

And, I’ve got FOUR MORE SERVINGS to eat this week!  So excited!  Here’s how you can make yours…

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

From Skinnytaste

Serves 5

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

20 oz 93% lean ground turkey

kosher salt, to taste

1/2 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

10 oz. can Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies

8 oz. can tomato sauce

3/4 cup water

1/2 tsp. cumin, or to taste

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. paprika

cayenne pepper (optional)

1 bay leaf

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces.

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

2.  When meat is browned and cooked, remove to a food processor and pulse until the meat is finely ground.  Return it to the skillet.

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Season meat with a sprinkle of cumin and salt.  Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat.

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and bay leaf.  Add a shake of cayenne pepper, more if desired, to kick up the heat.

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup more water if needed.  Note:  I added the water the first time I made this chili, but not the 2nd.  Do what you think… 

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Remove bay leaf and serve.

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1 cup serving:

CAL 235; CARB 14g; FAT 8g; PROT 23g; FIB 2g; WW Points Plus: 6

Related posts:

Accessory Love: Fierce Forward

I’ve had an accessory obsession for a long time.

Fall Cleaning: Accessories and Whatnot

I think I picked this up from my grandfather.  He always loved jewelry and loved to buy the ladies little pretty trinkets, including his favorite (and only) granddaughter.

AND… as the weight began to pack on.  Truthfully, accessories were my favorite things to shop for.  After all, I could walk into a store like Express with friends and still find SOMETHING that fit.  Necklaces, scarves, cute shoes, hats… these come in a one-size-fits-most type sizing that made me gravitate in that direction.

Nonetheless, it’s helped me acquire quite the collection.  And, old habits die hard… I do still adore accessories, especially since there are some ADORABLE ones out there!

The accessory I share today is one I didn’t expect to find.  After all, how often do you expect to run into fabulous jewels at a fitness blogging conference?  Well, truth be told, I didn’t find the jewelry there… but I met the artist at FitSocial.. and I’m so glad I did!

Meet Ashley – Fierce Forward

I don’t know HOW I didn’t get a picture with Ashley during FitSocial, but somehow I didn’t… so I am “borrowing” this picture from the fabulous Caroline (AKA The Trendy Trainer.)

Ashley and Caroline | No Thanks to Cake

Photo Credit: The Trendy Trainer

When you spend the weekend with bloggers, you connect quickly… and that’s how I felt with these two!  While they both live across the country, it’s so nice to keep in touch via social media and their blogs.  I totally recommend you check out Ashley and Caroline‘s blogs… amazing!!!!

When I was poking around on Ashley’s blog – Fierce Forward For Life, I was immediately impressed by her powerful and inspiring brand.  When I found out that she had a Fierce Forward Etsy store and that she was selling intention bracelets made from colorful Fair Trade beads, I was even more excited!  Especially because, her bracelets are just GORGEOUS  and are inspired by the most BEAUTIFUL MESSAGES.

Here’s a few that caught my eye…

Focus Fierce Forward | No Thanks to Cake

Photo Credit: Fierce Forward

Committed Fierce Forward | No Thanks to Cake

Photo Credit: Fierce Forward

Honestly, I loved them ALL, especially because of the words that come with them.  Whether you’re looking to have FOCUS, to stay COMMITTED, or to just BE.  These bracelets can be your inspiration and remind you just how LIMITLESS you are.

After a few minutes on the site, I knew exactly which one I wanted…  and I loved the cute packaging it arrived in.  Check out adorable Ashley on the outside of the packaging!

Passion Bracelet Fierce Forward | No Thanks to Cake

And, what I found inside was even more exciting!

Passion Bracelet Fierce Forward | No Thanks to Cake

My bracelet reads PASSION.  Passion is something I’m truly exploring these days, and something I keep at the center of my focus.  I can’t let the small stuff cloud my vision… and I have to let my passion drive my future.  This little bracelet reminds me of this every day.

The card enclosed with my bracelet screams what I’m trying to accomplish… all created by the lovely Ashley.

Passion Bracelet Fierce Forward | No Thanks to Cake

Sometimes I need to remember that this is “the stuff (my) dreams are made of” and that “Passion brings (me) full circle to what (my) heart desires, to who (I am).”  I love everything about this… 

I’ve worn my bracelet every day since it’s arrived.  Some days it matches my outfit, some days it doesn’t.  Every day though, it matches my intention and reminds me to let my passion lead me.  

So often I receive comments, tweets, or email asking me how to get started on a weight loss journey or how to stay on track and focused.  If you need a reminder of why you are doing what you are doing, maybe (just maybe) a beautiful bracelet reminder will help you too.

To buy your own Fierce Forward Intention bracelet, click here and tell Ashley NTTC sent you!

Which Fierce Forward bracelet matches your intention:  

Focus, Passion, Be, Do, Run, Faith, Fun, Purpose, Growth, Commitment, Grounded, or Strength?

Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  Instead, I’m just writing about a lovely product I’ve found that I adore.  xoxo

Related posts: