Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snow Day!!

If you are in Milwaukee right now then you know that it is a SNOW DAYYYY!!!
Most if not all of the Milwaukee schools are closed because of the crazy amount of snow that smashed this town during the last two days.

I had off today so I figured the best thing to do was romp in the snow with Mr. Caesar. He loves the snow so much so it is hilarious watching him play in it. 

Watching my hand so intensely...
shortly after I took this picture he chomped down on my whole hand. 
It was brutal.

He digs...

and then he looks like this.

Most people are upset that March begins this weekend and we are still getting snow.
We haven't had snow like this all year so I'm pretty excited about it. :)

Get out and play in it!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Glazed and Infused

Yesterday morning Meta hopped on a plane to meet up with her husband in Grenada. Crazy right? They're doing a little mission-y work there for a few weeks.

Instead of driving her down to O'Hare at 2am we stayed at a hotel for the night. If you ever need to stay down by O'Hare for a night stay at the Four Points Sheraton. It's not too expensive, but it's still really nice and the beds are extremely comfortable.

I saw Meta off at 3:30am...

so cute!

After seeing her off I jumped back in bed for a few hours.

When I woke up I forced myself to roll out of that amazing bed and I set out to accomplish the two goals I had in mind while being in Chicago. 
1. Roam around Ikea
2. Visit Glazed and Infused

Glazed and Infused is a new doughnut shop that has popped up all over Chicago. 
Of course I would post about doughnuts right after a post about healthy eating...incorrigible. ;)

The shop I stopped at was on Damen Ave in Wicker Park.

This is a doughnut shop for any foodie. Flavors like Blueberry Lemon, Vanilla Bean Glaze, and Red Velvet will satisfy any doughnut craving.

They are just so cute!

I grabbed a Maple Bacon and a Crème Brûlée. 

 The piece of bacon is so thick and the mixture of salty and sweet is unbelievable. 

The Crème Brûlée even has the brûlée sugar crust.

MAN, were they good!

 Before you judge, I only ate half of each and took the rest home to my family. 

If you are in the Chicago area you should stop by one of them for a little breakfast dough and coffee. Info here.
There are 5 locations...make sure you check the hours before you head over. They sell out quickly, I'm sure you can imagine.

Also, if you are heading to Chicago or you live in the Chi-town area check out my friend Emma's blog about exploring Chicago. She's adorable so prepare yourself.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Dinner in the Life...

Last night when I came home from the gym I started to make my dinner and I said to myself "Liser, I bet you that your friends at Making Life's Lemons would love to know what you have for dinner on your average night." 

Brilliant idea inner-Liser! I'm sure they would. ;) 

So folks, this is an example of what I like to make on an average night. It is perfect for the days when you don't have leftovers, but you're starving from a work or in my case a workout and are in desperate need of replenishment.

Tonight's theme: breakfast. 
Breakfast for dinner is my go-to din. I'm sure many of you do this (that's why we get along so well.) If you don't do breakfast for dinner, try it. It's liberating and delicious.

First I like to put together all of my cold foods. Things that can relax on the counter for a bit while I'm slaving at the stove.

This is about a cup of plain Fage yogurt with some berries. 
Greek yogurt is something that is pretty popular now, but if you haven't jumped on the band wagon yet, you should do it. This is why.
If you don't like the bitter taste add some honey. 
It's the bee's knees. Tee hee.

I really like a crunch to my yogurt so I add about 1/4 cup of cereal.
LISA!! You don't use granola?? 
I love granola, but I choose not to use it. A 1/4 cup of granola is about 140 calories compared to the 60 calories for the cereal.

Now it's time to let that little pair mingle for a bit while I make a childhood sammy masterpiece!

Grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich with honey.

My favorite bread to use for this sandwich is squishy white bread like you did when you were a kid. Village Hearth, Italian.
Now, why squishy white bread and not something a little more fancy? Artisan perhaps? 
I am using this bread because this is about making a nutritious dinner with what you have at home at the time. Really, who just has Artisan bread in their house at all times?? 

The best part!!
For the peanut butter I usually use about 2 tablespoons on each slice. That's probably about 250 calories.
This is something that I used to really freak out about: calories. I still am careful and keep track of what I eat during the day, but I do not count calories. If the number worries you, just think, that 250 calories is your protein for the dinner. It would be around the same for 4-5 ounces of chicken breast. 
Same calorie count.
Same amount of protein.
Also, remember that going a few calories over will not ruin your day.

Now the special guest arrives.

I like to cut my bananas a little thick so it helps cut the sticky mouth I am about to have.

After that I add about a Tablespoon of honey.

I spray the pan with a little cooking spray and brown that awesome sammitch on both sides.

Look at it!
So melty and sticky and wonderful.
Mr. Peanut would be so proud.

Now I know I don't count calories, but the whole meal is between 400-600 calories depending on what brands you use. 
That's if you don't count the fruit. Don't count it, trust me.

Side-note: I touched on this a little earlier, I used to be incredibly unhealthy. I was around 220 pounds at my heaviest. I hated the way that I looked. I never did anything about it because I would just eat more when I worried about it. I all of a sudden and literally with out realizing lost about 40 pounds during a summer when I was working about 80 hours a week. 

After that I became very unhealthy with my eating. I wasn't over eating; I just would not eat often. Partly was because I didn't know how to properly keep the weight off, part was because I was dating a guy a the time and I thought that he wanted me to keep the weight off...possibly true, but not that way. Not eating enough when working 80 hours a week was...well...stupid.

I didn't gain anymore weight, but I didn't lose anymore weight either. I plateaued. And I was miserable.
After that I went back to binge eating whenever I was stressed. Last school year I was student teaching all year long and I was the most stressed I have ever been. I gained back ALL of my weight. 

After college graduation I realized I needed to change something so I went on weight watchers for a couple of months. Honestly, it works. I eventually learned the points/calories to most of the foods that I ate on a regular basis. 

After a few months I quit weight watchers and now I don't count anything. I work with ideas. I have a basic idea of what I will consume during the day and what my body will use during the day. I have an idea of about how much of what I'm eating is actually going to benefit my body. Obviously I still love eating naughty and sinful yummies as you can see here, here, and here.

Honestly though guys it's not obsessing over how many calories you eat or burn. It's about a balanced eating lifestyle and being active, which I think we all know. Carrying it out is the hard part.

So where am I now? 
Well I work out 5-6 days a week. Not because I feel like I have to, but because it's like a high to joke. And I try to eat as healthy as I can. I've lost 50 pounds since my heaviest, I'm at the lightest weight I ever remember being, and I'm still losing. And best of all I am comfortable about my shape and the way I look. Am I skinny? No! But who cares? Is that really realistic? No. I never have been skinny nor will I ever be.

Take it from me. Stop looking at what you hate about yourself and look at what you do like and eat things that will give you fuel, but don't deprive yourself.

I'll step off the box now, friends. 

Make a sandwich, jeez!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Arrrr Matey!

Last weekend the twins and I took a trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum.

I have been dying to go to Real Pirates for the last couple  of months. Every year they do a different exhibition. Last year the exhibit was about Cleopatra. They turn the past into something more than just history. They make the stories feel so real. 

Let's just say that Cleo became my bestie after that.

This time around the exhibit followed the story of Captain Sam Bellamy and his ship the Whydah. They also included many different artifacts that they recovered from the deep and the only discovered pirate treasure on display.


We became very close with the captain. 
What a fox!

Technically you are not supposed to take pictures in the exhibit butttt I'm a really good friend to you so I snuck a few.

The pirates were very smooth back then.
Pickin' up the ladies...

Sole of a shoe 
This is really more for my popp...


We got to walk on a simulation of the Whydah ship.

After the exhibit we tromped around the rest of the museum to fill our noggins a little more. 

This included wandering the streets of old Milwuakee,

visiting the old time candy shoppe,

comparing ourselves to mummies,

and busting sweet dance moves.

Overall it was a very educational and entertaining visit to the good ol' MPM.

If you want to visit Real Pirates it will be on exhibition until May 27th. Make sure to let them know if you are a Milwaukee county resident and bring your school ID if you are a student and you will get a bit of a discount.

Why can't skeletons play church music?? 
They don't have any organs!

Until next time, tootsies!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aye, Aye, Captain!

Spring is coming!! 
The days are getting longer, the birds are chirping in the mornings, and the new springy clothes are on the racks.

It's so close I can smell it.
Except not you can see from the pictures, there is still lots of snow on the ground. Boooo.

Along with Spring comes my long awaited trip to Florida to see my best friend, Bethany. I'm already doing a countdown. And like with all holidays one needs to gather as many destination themed clothing pieces as possible.

Enter the dress:

I fell in love with this dress way back last summer. It was smiling at me from the taunting window at Anthropologie. I needed it, but I didn't buy it. It was just wasn't in the budget at the time. I think we say this often when it comes to Anthro.

I went to Anthro recently to do some browsing and I saw this little naughty-cal thing on the sales rack. was marked down to a big, fat $20. 
Let's just say it was meant to be.

Belt from Urban Outfitters

Nautical, springy, and white. 
Only a few more weeks until I can whip it out!!

What do you think? Is it a perfect fit for my Florida trip?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Red Arrow Iceskating

The Milwaukee Olympics 2013 are back!

If you don't remember, my friends and I decided to do one if not more fun/crazy thing every month this year. 
Remember the Polar Plunge?

This month we decided to go to Red Arrow Park on Water Street for a round of iceskating.

It's nestled just across the street from the Marcus Center and right in front of a Starbucks. The Starbucks definitely comes in handy when you need to warm up after a few laps around the rink.

The boys were whipping out sweet tricks and showing off their moves and we all "ice danced" to the groovy disco and soul music.

The boys pulling K across the ice in her cowboy boots.

We were all very excited.

As you can see.
Just like a kiddie.

It was a great time with friends and it's on of the cheaper things to do in Milwaukee. For a few hours we weaved in-between cute couples both young and old, young high schoolers passing their Saturdays away, and dudes just showing off their sweet tricks...just like us...teehee.

Head down to Red Arrow and get a good use out of the winter while it's still around. If you don't like to skate just head down to hang out. The park is beautiful and the it is in a great location to bop around to get a drink afterward; we went to Rockbottom Brewery after. A great way to warm up I'd say. ;)

I'm excited for next month's event.
Hmmm hopefully we still have some snow so we can do some tobogganing. :) 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

ValenPINK's Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day to you!! 

I hope that you are having a wonderful day with your loved ones. 

Tonight Brittney and I decided to stay in for Valentine's Day and to celebrate what I like to call our independent-ness. 
Brittney has a special someone, but he is out of town...he did send her flowers though, super cute!

We had pow-wow with the electric mixer, an episode of Vampire Diaries, and pink food coloring.

The product??



sugar cookies with white chocolate chips.
This is one of my recipes. I am very proud.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup shortening
-2 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon cream of tartar
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-3 egg yolks
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flower
-1 bag (12 oz) white chocolate chips
-pink food coloring

1. In large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until just combined scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
3. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Add coloring if using.
4. Add flower and mix until just combined.
5. Mix in white chocolate chips.
6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake at 300° F for about 14 minutes. Until edges are set (do not let edges brown).
8. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

If you over bake the cookies and let them get a little too brown they will look like this:

Sciency-time: the bottom will become very crunchy and the top will turn into a sort of crusty cover. This will make air pockets form in the middle and, well, it will make them really dry and hard pink cookie rocks. 
The worst type of rubble. 

Believe me, they're terrible.

This is what they should look like:

They will be much more chewy and sugar-cookie-like. 

And they're pink!! Perfect for a good ol' Valentines Day treat. 

That one is even a little shaped like a heart.