Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reaction towards the Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Okay.  So I tried them this morning with Tyler.  In our opinion, WAY LESS sugar substitute is needed.  They were seriously WAY to sweet, and if I'm saying that, the rest of the world can't stand them.  I also think they need to be cooked much longer than you would think per side.  They were still really doughy when we ate them.  In all honestly, I don't know if they're worth another shot.  However, I think I will cut the ingredients in half to try everything over again for tweaking and playing purposes.  I think there's a lot of potential there, but this time, they just didn't have the taste I was hoping for. 

Notes on almond milk:  It's actually pretty good, but I feel like regular milk is just FINE.  Jamie uses almond milk in practically all of her recipes, and to be honest, I've been wanting to try a milk substitute for a while, just to see what all the buzz was about.  It tastes pretty good, and yes it has way fewer calories, BUT the protein level is so low!  I know most of the body building people are adding whey protein and branched-chain amino acids through supplementation, but I think regular dairy (skim milk, low fat yogurts, and low fat cheeses) and lean meats are wonderful protein sources!  I do find it interesting to look into their lifestyle though.  :)


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quick Picture Update

Hey friends! 

It's been a little crazy this week, but after incorporating weight training into my working out and trying to be very mindful of eating healthy, I've been in better moods about everything.  I just wanted to share some quick pictures to give some updates.

On Saturday Omega Delta hosted its annual Dodgeball tournament.  One team was short a few players, so they asked Tyler to play!  He was so excited even though he wasn't exactly dressed for the occasion in his jeans.  Here are some pictures from the day.

I think Tyler actually just got out in this picture, oops

Another team getting ready to take some people out

hurry to grab the dodge balls


Next, I'm so excited to say that on Sunday, I was able to Skype into my sister's gender reveal party.  She's having a baby girl!  I'm so, so, so happy, and cannot wait to be an aunt.  I decided to send her a card since I couldn't make it out saying congratulations.  You can see a picture of it below.  I'm loving my Silhouette machine.  I wish I had more time to really play with it though (i.e. messing around on the internet to see other tips and whatnot).  Oh well.  As for now, I'm using it to cut out shapes for me, and that's GREAT!

Finally, I ordered the COOLEST thing (subjectively in my opinion of course) from  It's a sticker for the back of my macbook pro... and get this, it's Yoshi from Mario hehe.  Here's that picture.

Tell me that's not the coolest thing you've ever seen!!!  Hahahaha
 Unfortunately, this took me way too long to put on because I didn't find the instructions until after I tackled it the hard/impossible way.   But nonetheless, my determination allowed me to succeed and Yoshi is eating the apple (te-hehe). 

Anyway... back to studying!  Later!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Delicious and Nutritious (March #1)

Hello to my followers!  So here I am attempting my first "Delicious and Nutritious" blog post!  I'm really excited to be giving it a go, and I hope you all enjoy it as well!!  Just thought I would let you know that I'm starting a new workout plan from  It's Jamie Eason's Live Fit 12 week workout.  I'm not following the diet plan because it's a little excessive for me right now, but I'm going to try to make baby steps incorporating some of her diet tips!  I'm really hoping to gain more lean muscle when it's done!  Wish me luck!  Some of my recipes on these blog posts will come for her recipes found on 

Healthy Meal Options 
Jamie Eason's [get THIS] Pumpkin Spice Pancakes!!  What??!!  I know - awesome right?  I have not gotten a chance to try them yet (need to go buy the ground oat flour), but seriously, knowing that I'm going to try them on Sunday with Tyler will certainly get me through this crazy week!  Here is a link to the video where she shows you how to make them!  Pumpkin Spice Pancakes Video 

Make a salad!  Making a salad can be fun and colorful.  You can switch things up from day to day to give yourself variety, but keep it healthy.  Try mixing greens like romaine lettuce and fresh spinach.  The deeper the colors the better.  Add in some chopped carrots and celery.  Top with a small portion of dried fruits, such as craisins or raisins or real fresh fruits like blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, apples, etc.  For some protein, add a lean meat like chicken strips.  You can cook your own chicken strips at home using boneless skinless chicken and seasoning it with a variety of flavors (so you don't get bored with your meat!).  If you want to add cheese, go with a 2% or fat free shredded cheese option.  Finally, top with a lean dressing choice such as olive oil and vinegar or a light vinaigrette.  Get creative - the sky is the limit!  Just keep track and be mindful of what you're putting into the mix.  You can pack on a ton more calories than you intended actually making the salad worse than a triple chocolate cake!  

Dinner #1.
BBQ Salmon Burgers.  Yet another recipe I have unfortunately not been able to try, but it looks delectable!  What a great way to get the feel of eating a burger while creating a unique taste and providing you with omega-3 fatty acids!  YUM

Dinner #2.
Chicken Pot Pie Soup.  The only comment I have for this one is to watch the portion size.  It's really easy to get out a big bowl from your everyday dishware and fill it to the brim with comfort food, but this soup yields 255 calories in a cup and a half.  That's actually not too bad, but true serving sizes always look WAY smaller when you go to measure them out.  If the 1.5 cups is too small, pair it with a piece of fruit (an apple or an orange) or a small side salad.

This bread is to die for!!  Give yourself a slice with a nice cup of coffee in the afternoon, and you just can't help but smile!

2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar-free applesauce
3/4 cup of honey
2 eggs beaten (I want to try this with egg whites instead.  I dunno if it will work, but FYI, 1 whole egg=2 egg whites)
 3 mashed overripe bananas

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9.5 inch loaf pan
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey.  Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.  Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until just moistened.
3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan
4. Bake for 60 - 65 minutes (I burnt the edges of my last loaf at 60 minutes, so check it out at 50 minutes because it might be ready!).  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean
5. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Work Out Challenge
Include weight training into your routine!!!  I'm starting this now too, so I am very sore!  I know it will definitely help me in the long run.  Just have one arm day and one leg day if you're just starting out.  Use body weight exercises (pushups, squats, etc) if you don't have equipment.  Oh, and get creative.  Use water bottles as light weights if you're a beginner, or find things around your house that will give some resistance!  Look up some weight lifting exercises on the internet to get the results you want.  Low weight, high rep will build lean muscle vs. high weight, low rep for mass.  Good luck!

If he can do it, you can do it!

Healthy No Matter What Your State
Diabetes is slowly becoming a very pertinent disease for me.  As a future optometrist, I will see a lot of patients with diabetes.  It's a disease where diet and exercise are crucial!  Unfortunately, some diabetics developed this terrible disease from long-term, unhealthy habits that can be a monster to break.  However, for the safety of your entire body, including your vision, keeping it under control is paramount.  Try Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers, and remember to take whatever medicine you're prescribed as directed by your physician.  Be mindful of your sugar intake - write down what you eat!  Make healthier food choices (whole great wheat products, skim or low fat milk/dairy, lots of colorful veggies, etc.), and try to do something active everyday (even if it means just taking a brisk walk during your lunch break at work).  Oh, and don't forget to give your optometrist a regular visit ;)

Healthy Lifestyle Wishlist 
 Ok - as I said in my proclamation for this blog, this is where I can dream and be so frugal because, after all, it is a wishlist! :-D.  I discovered this nifty piece of equipment through  It's called an equalizer, and I freaking want one... too bad they're like $115 or something crazy!  

Seriously, they look so simple, but you can do a million things with them!!  They're the perfect height for some unique exercises for toning up!

Fun Health Fact

Don't make an intense workout or eating one of the last things you do before going to bed.  Working out and eating increase heart rate and body temperature, which don't allow the body to feel ready for a good nights rest.  Do something for yourself to wind down (i.e. reading a book) where you don't have to use a lot of brain power.  Rest is so critical for a healthy state, so make sure you do your body a favor and help it rest well!

A Smile A Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

I love these little captioned pictures that are popular around social networking places like pinterest, facebook, and various blogs.  They always make me laugh out loud, so I'm going to post a couple here! :-D

Well thanks for reading!!!  I hope this inspired you in some way!!  :-D

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Announcement: Shaping up my blog!!

Okay.  So I've been thinking recently of adding something unique to my blog, so that it's a little more than just an online journal that my friends and family can read.  I have a vision for it to have some helpful hints along the way (which would be something to hold me accountable as well). 

So here is my proposition.  A bi-monthly post entitled, "Delicious and Nutritious" (unless I come up with something more creative before my first post).  Each post will include the following:
  1.  A recipe suggestion for one healthy breakfast option, lunch option, and snack option, and two healthy dinner options.
  2. A Work Out Challenge (i.e. Run at least a mile once a week for the whole month) or sharing a cool work out that I've found online. 
  3. Choose one disease and how nutrition helps it, including a recipe that would be good for that condition (i.e. gluten-free, diabetes, etc.) 
  4. My Healthy Lifestyle Wishlist!  Here I will post some cool product or piece of workout equipment that I really want.  And because it's a "wishlist," I can be as frivolous as I want.  :-D 
  5. Fun Health Fact - I will do my research and find out something awesome to share with everyone
  6. Something to make everyone smile.  I say that laughter everyday is what keeps the doctor away (no offense to the apple).  So in this section I will post some kind of joke, cute picture, funny story... you know, something that will give you a smile!  Stay Happy Everyone! 
I'm so excited to expand on a new facet of my creativity.  Nutrition was one of my minors at NC State, and I really am passionate about it.   The stress of school has created in me a terrible monster that is setting a bad example for anyone looking to me for nutritional advice.  Therefore, my hope is that entering a post about nutrition twice a month, I can hold myself accountable and live a healthier life!  I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I know I will enjoy making it!!! 

** Promise: It WILL be my next post! **

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fasten your seatbelts... it's a bumpy ride til May!

We got to dive right back into the swing of things after our break today with a test in Contact Lens.  I think it went pretty well for me, which is usually the case with Dr. Jackson's tests.  One of the things I've learned in optometry school is that there are teachers you jive with and teachers that you don't.  Dr. Jackson is one of those teachers who I can think like while I'm taking the test.  I feel like that's a common phrase amongst SCO students: "You just have to think like Dr. ______."  Usually, I fail epically at this skill, but for some reason I'm fine in Dr. Jackson's classes.

Overall this semester is going well!  It's hectic because there's a lot of assignments and tests.  We don't get many breaks, and the material is dense, but it's definitely more clinically relevant and slightly more interesting to study.  I'm just praying that I can keep the motivation and find the time to prepare for the most important practical of our careers as students - pre-clinic checkouts!  I practiced once over the break, but I definitely need to put more time in.  I can do all of the skills, they just take more than our allotted time for me to perform.  But you know what they say: Practice makes perfect!

I got to finish some more projects over the end of my spring break last week!  Here are some pictures.

So I realized that I forgot the cake topper, so here is the shadowbox with the cake topper... however, it will need to be redone, because the cake topper was too heavy for the Velcro.  It fell down the next day - busting out the superglue to fix it soon! 

Booklet of all our wedding cards.  Bound creatively instead of just stored in a gift bag and tucked away.  [Idea via Pinterest]

Tyler's Birthday card for his 24th birthday!  

So yes, Tyler's birthday was March 5th.  Because the majority of students went out of town for the break, we were unable to do anything like a party at our apartment.  However, we went out to Dinner at Chili's (with a gift card), and we had a nice (VERY filling) dinner.  We hadn't gone out to eat in a while, so it was a nice treat for us.  I got him a wrist watch, which will look nice and professional for him as he continues through his careers.  I also made Reece's Cup Martinis!  I found the drink recipe on Pinterest (this blog is beginning to make me sound a little obsessed, but otherwise, my life would be a rut).  Here is the link for the blog where I got the recipe: Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Martini  And here's how we improvised since we didn't have a mesh strainer for the infused vodka....

That's right.  We used the coffee pot to filter out the peanut cup infused vodka!  The finished product was delicious!!  I will definitely be trying more drink recipes with infused vodka in the future!  After this "bar tending" success, I started thinking that it would be fun to have a drink exchange night.  Kind of like a cookie exchange (the popular holiday event), or a pot luck dinner, friends would bring a drink to share and hand out the recipes for making the drink at home!  I think it would make for a really fun girls night!  [Already starting to plan this one out in my head as I type... always multi-tasking]

So that's that.  Hugs and Kisses all the way from Memphis!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Keep Calm and Love Spring Break!

So obviously, it's been a hectic semester for me judging by how much I haven't been keeping this blog up.  I've hit highs and lows throughout the semester.  With our turn to start in clinic beginning in just a few months reality is beginning to sink in.  Optometry is quickly fading out of the dream phase and emerging as a reality.  It just brings to life the saying that "everything is easier said than done."  It was easy to say that I wanted to be an optometrist when I was in college, and knowing my personality, it was easy to say that I could handle the work load.   All of this still remains true; however, I'm starting to learn more about my ability to deal with pressure and make important decisions.  It's certainly challenging for me, but I'm continuing to lean on the Lord for support through the struggles.  Overall, I can proudly say that I'm doing quite well, but there have been a few bumps in the road.  Nonetheless, I constantly remind myself that C=OD, and God called me to be an optometrist for a reason.

Amongst the stressful semester, we are given a wonderful God-sent week, called Spring Break!  I currently have 3 more days, but I'm thankful for the time away from school.  I've used this week to do crafts , get doctor's appointments, and be able to cook real meals (not lean cuisines!) for dinner.   Here are some pictures of my progress :)

This was actually done before spring break, but I finally got it hung up.  Thank God I always know where my keys are now! :)  [Project Idea via Pinterest]

Banana Bread made with apple sauce and honey instead of sugar and oil!  So good, and much better for you! :)

Shadow box of our wedding keepsakes!

Wreath made from strips of fabric.  SO CUTE!  [Project Idea via Pinterest]

Close up of the beautiful wreath.  I'm so happy with how it turned out!
 Currently, I'm working on binding all of our wedding cards in a cute way.  Unfortunately, the single hole punch I picked up at Office Max was no a hole punch, but a star punch :(.  I will need to go exchange that, but I'm kind of tired from running a million errands.  That task will need to get done tomorrow. 

Finally, I have a hair appointment on Saturday.  I'm just planning to get it cut with layers and whatnot.  I'm trying to grow my completely natural-colored hair out because it's naturally a little darker than when I usually highlight it, but if I try to dye it that way, it will fade to a reddish strawberry blonde color that I'm not a fan of on me.  When I get it cut, I will hopefully post a picture. 

I'm so happy to be on spring break and have the time to sleep, be a house wife (cook and clean), and run errands when the stores a slightly less busy.  Maybe one day in the future, I can stay at home - who knows. 

Missing everyone in NC.  XOXO