Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Slaw" recipe


This was dinner the other night. And it was cray good. Bj grilled the steak and I took care of the rest. 

Pictured: Roasted asparagus, tomatoes with basil, steak, and this new "cole slaw" recipe I tried. It was so crispy and tangy and it was super easy to make. I used a version of it the day after for a mexican topping (instead of lettuce). 

Ingredients:
1) shredded red cabbage
2) shredded carrots 
3) shredded zucchini 
4) olive oil 
5) red wine vinegar 
6)sunflower seeds 
7) salt and pepper 

I bought the cabbage and carrots pre-shredded. Because I'm lazy. 

I shredded the zucchini using a grater. This was surprisingly easy. Then added all three shredded veggies into a bowl.
Next I poured in some sunflower seeds (around 1/4 cup), a couple tablespoons of both the oil and vinegar, and added some S & P until I was happy (we like lots of pepper). 

It was really fast and super easy. Husband approved.  The next day we had chipotle inspired burrito bowls and I made the same thing to use as a topping. I left out the sunflower seeds and the oil though. It was crunchy and added in some fiber! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Busy day!!

So today wasn't the usual day! I had a workshop in little rock so I got to be away from my desk :) 



I got to go to a Disaster Preparedness workshop for museums, and then I picked up my pottery piece I painted last week. It turned out awesome!!! 

I love it!! It's a wine bottle cooler/holder.  I can't wait to put it to good use! 

Then I went to ulta and got a liter of big sexy hair shampoo for $13 because they're on sale this week! Awesome. 

And now, after hella traffic--I'm waitin for BJ at the mall so we can exchange a  shirt I bought him that doesn't fit. 

Busy busy day. But a fun day :) needed that right in the middle of the week!! 





Monday, July 22, 2013

Kate Middleton Obsessed. An Essay. By Samantha Griffin.

I have a girl crush on Kate Middleton.

(I think my friend Lauryn does too.)
My husband, as you can imagine, is aware of this. And probably laughing that I did a post about it. The other day he asked me why everyone was so obsessed with Kate Middleton. “Everyone” as in America…since she has nothing to do with us. And the royal family isn’t necessary for their country to run. And their extravagant life is limited to their bloodline. He sees me watching E! news and they report on her/her pregnancy like they do the Kardashians/Kim’s pregnancy—as if Kate has something to do with America.

 I mean he’s right. The obsession with her is obvious by how media outlets from all over the world have been camped out at the hospital since early July –just waiting on her to have the royal baby--and she just now went into labor 3 weeks later. Sucks for them, waiting all this time.
How do I explain why I woke up at 4am the morning of my master’s thesis defense, not to prepare for it… but to see what Kate’s wedding dress looked like? He rolled over and mumbled something about how I was crazy and then went back to sleep.


 
It’s just like the obsession with Princess Diana, I think (kind of before my time). Even though I was young, I can kind of remember the craze over Princess Diana. I remember my mom tearing up when the news reported her death.  I didn’t really understand why my mom was upset, but I knew it was a sad situation. I think I was 8 years old. We were in the living room and she was folding laundry when the report came on. The fact I remember that so well says something.
Well now 20 years later we’ve got Kate, and I can see why my mom cared. I’m not sure if I can explain it where my husband will understand, but I can try.


I see her kind of as a character in an exciting real life fairy tale. She’s normal, pretty, dresses really well, behaves like a normal person, became royalty, and now she’s having a baby—a royal baby. How fascinating for regular girls like me to watch!

(From what I know…from the media) She met William in college, and didn’t swoon after him like he was a prince.  She didn’t need him, cling to him, beg for him (that anyone knows of—this is just how she was portrayed in the media). They broke up, she did her own thing. He came back. He needed her too! How cute is that? How normal is that?

Then they get engaged and she’s wearing Diana’s famous sapphire. Be still my beating heart, how romantic is that. She wore a pretty blue dress to match it, and in their engagement photos/interview they seemed giddy. Just like I was when I got engaged.

She went from normal (ok I guess her family has more $$ than the majority of people…but still a normal ish girl) to marrying a prince. With that, a shit ton of pressure/stress to come with it. And we have not seen her partying, any drug/alcohol abuse, no extravagant purchases…
In fact, she wears clothes I could buy. And some of those clothes wouldn’t be much of a splurge (some would). Oh and those clothes I could afford even look like something I WOULD wear. And I love to see what she’s wearing and what she’s doing. So does the rest of the world.

Just a girl crush, BJ. Just be glad its her and not Kim K ;)

All photos are from google images. In case you're wondering. 



Friday, July 19, 2013

Thursday Food/Plans

Yesterday I didn't know what I wanted for lunch, so I packed a little of everything. 


This was different from the stuff I've been bringing for lunch lately so I was pretty excited about it! Lately I've been having Ezekiel bread (original kind) with cheese and Boar's Head jerk turkey from the deli at Kroger... with spicy mustard/mayo made with olive oil. Gotta have mustard and may because the bread is so thick! ITS SO GOOD. And I am NOT a sandwich person. So yeah, that's my favorite lunch here lately. But we were out of turkey (coughHUSBANDcough hahaha) so I didn't know what I wanted to bring.

So basically, that lunch ^^ is healthy fats with some fruit/veggies. It was yummy and it kept me full for a few hours. [strawberries, blueberries and cherries, mixed nuts--almonds-cashews-sunflower seeds, yellow cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, hummus, a tiny bit of arugula, 2 green olives and a light string cheese....basically a bunch of snacks]

Thursday night I went and painted pottery with my BFF. (Again). We love to paint some pottery. 

We both did a wine bottle cooler/holder thing. 


I hope it looks okay after it's fired! I had so much fun doing this one.


The bottom

And even then you can have champagne. :) 


This G on Pinterest was my letter inspiration. I free handed it onto the pottery, so it looks a little sloppy. But I like it. This is my favorite pottery I've done so far, so I really hope it turns out just as cute when it's finished! 


The weekly local paper did an article on my grandma. She really liked getting interviewed. She's adorable. I need to go by the paper office and buy a couple extras to keep with some family history I've written down. Bill (my papaw) looks so happy in that photo (bottom right of the newspaper) that my heart wants to break. 


I'm feeling pretty good on the second half of my antibiotics (no rash anymore!! I can wear regular pants and not feel like I'm dying a slow death!! Holllla!), so I think I'm going to try the gym out on Sunday.

I'm excited! I can't believe I've actually missed working out. I've missed sweating. Cray. 

In case you're confused about the pants comment ^^, my rash was on my thighs above my knees. So jeans/skinny cotton pants/pajamas made me thrash and burn like folks in the 7th circle of hell.

The high temps in Arkansas have not helped either! It's the worst time of the year to have something like that going on. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. Not even the girl that stole my bf in 9th grade. Don't worry. I got him back.

Anyway. 

I'll be starting 10k training at the end of the month, hell... I may start that on Sunday too. I keep asking my BFF if she's going to do it with me and I can never get a straight answer out of her. Ima keep askin. 

AMY do you want to do a 10K with me????


Cleanse is tentatively scheduled for Sunday August 4. Ima stock up on produce (probably at Sam's) with my mom on Saturday and food prep that day--then start it Sunday morning. 

It's Friday, but today is not my "Friday." I teach a knitting workshop at my work tomorrow. Which is fun, but I'd rather be at home with my man. 

Trying to keep a good attitude, finish this medicine and get on with my life!!! I need to get my workouts back in gear, finish this cleanse and lose my last 15 pounds. 


Y'all have a good weekend! Don't be the people I see on the news. 






Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Protein Balls

You’ve seen it on pinterest. Maybe instagram.


I decided to try it for myself. This is one of the recipes I tried Monday after I got home from the grocery store.
I tried my hand at the protein ball craze.


It was so easy, but there is something I will do differently next time. I’ll get to that later.
First, this is the stuff I used (minus the cinnamon, I ended up not using that)


From left to right—
1.       Justin’s honey peanut butter
2.       Justin’s maple almond butter
3.       Fischer’s honey
4.       Kroger brand old fashioned rolled oats (That container was only $1.59 this week)
5.       Vanilla extract
6.       Dark chocolate chunks
7.       Milled flaxseed
8.       And the unlabeled container is my protein powder (banana flavor)

In a bowl, I dumped in:
--2 cups of oats (actually measured this)
--a glob of peanut butter/almond butter combination (around ¾ cup)
--I estimated 1/3 cup of honey—because I wasn’t about to get a measuring cup sticky with honey
--2-3 teaspoons of vanilla
--½ cup chocolate chunks
--½ cup flaxseed
--1 scoop of my protein powder. (it's banana flavored, and it's awesome.)

I started mixing all of this with a spatula, but then just went at it with my hands because it was taking too long. It got messy. I took my wedding rings off so I didn't get them gross---but it was way easier than using a spatula.

Later, when I was rolling them up, I didn’t feel they were “wet” enough. So I added more peanut butter and honey. This is what I would do differently next time: I would buy peanut butter specifically to use for this recipe, instead of skimping on dumping my pricey Justin's brand in there. I'd use the low sodium natural Jif next time. They needed to be creamier to make better balls (that just sounds funny) but I was not about to use the rest of my yummy fancy nut butters to make balling them easier on me. I like that stuff too much by itself!!
Also, I'd use mini chocolate chips instead of chunks. I just couldn't find any mini DARK chocolate chips yesterday so I went with the chunks. They're just a little too big to be in there I think!! 
All of the ingredients should be used to your liking—omit/add anything you want and keep adding stuff until you get the texture you want.  They were really easy and almost error proof. No need to measure really, just eye ball everything until you get your ideal consistency.  


Anyway.
I rolled until I was tired of rolling (made about 30 balls ...with some extra that I pressed into a tupperware to see if I could cut some squares out later, like brownies) and stuck the balls in the freezer for a few minutes to help set the shape.  
You can keep them out on the counter or in the fridge... I chose the fridge because it only seems like the right thing to do. Even though nothing I used was dairy/needed to stay cold. Whatever.
They’re yummy and portable (i.e. CONVENIENT). I divided a few of these balls into ziplocks and that’s what me and BJ took for breakfast this morning. I ate them in the car, there was no mess! 

That's always good. I also made a HUGE 20 oz soy iced coffee to go with them. So yeah it was a good morning.

Also, some of my posts are out of order...not sure why? We all know how great blogger is though. And maybe I don't know what I'm doing on top of that. It's all relative. Whatevs. haha. Laters y'all!



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week wrap up and Memphis plans

I wish I had a ton of cute 4th of July photos to show you, but I don’t. I’ve worked all week, and while we DID go to my husband’s grandmother’s house for a cookout when I got off work on the 4th, I didn’t take any photos and we only stayed a couple of hours.
BJ has a 4 day break this weekend because of the holiday, and I have a 0 day break. Which sucks. Getting up early and getting ready for work while he’s still snuggly in bed with nothing to really worry about for the day.....Ugh. It’s just jealousy. And I just miss my husband. :) Of course.
Last night we grilled turkey burgers and ate on the deck. The weather here in Arkansas has been strangely wonderful for this time of year, and we enjoyed being outside! Well, the humans did. All Jeffery wanted to do was whine about other dogs/people he could hear. Shoot me. Leave it to that dog to make a fun time stressful. We had an OFF! candle lit so the bugs weren’t really bad either. BJ picked me up some cupcake brand white wine and we had a relaxing night!  
After dinner I took a LOOOONG shower and then we watched another episode of The Game of Thrones. We’re near the end of season two. There are some episodes I don’t really care for, your grace—the more political ones. I think my favorite story line is khaleesi. I’m reading the book too, so that’s helped keep everything straight some I guess. I need to catch up though, I’m behind in the book and it’s starting to confuse me. 
I’m loving LOVING the car we got. SUV. Whatever. If I had known what a newer car would be like I probably would’ve looked for one sooner.  It starts on the first try every time, the air works, and there’s no oil leak. WINNING.
I’ve been planning our trip to Memphis next weekend, and I’m getting for real excited about it.  What makes it even more exciting is that I was gifted a Mini Spa Day at Gould’s.


I asked my dad to ask his Memphis friend where a good place would be for a massage, so that I wouldn’t end up at a ghetto place. Let's be real here, it's Memphis. Even though I lived there for 2 ½ years, I never got a massage while I was there so I don’t know of a good place.
Well, he decided he’d just get me a gift card for the place his daughter goes. Right? I almost cried. I’ve never had a “spa day” and I am so, so grateful. That man is so generous. This isn’t the first time he’s done something incredibly thoughtful like this for me. I’m getting an hour facial and an hour relaxation massage :) OMG. So. Excited.
Here's the facial description: 



And the massage description: 




Also talked BJ into getting a massage too—so he’ll be trying it out with me. We scheduled it at the Gould’s in the Peabody downtown, so we literally just have to walk down the street to it. While I’m not a “downtown/beale” person, and wasn’t when I lived there, it’ll be nice to go get a drink and not have to worry about driving/parking. And it’ll be nice to walk back to my hotel room after my insanely relaxing massage/facial happens.
Another exciting thing, I remembered I had a spray tan left on my account at Tan N Go before I moved away, and so I called to make sure. I had bought/used them pre-wedding. It had expired, but the girl is going to let me come in anyway! Jesus I miss Memphis.
Ima come back looking like a princess! Facial, massage, spray tan, hotel room. Aka heaven.
So far, here’s what we’ve got planned:
Friday night dinner at the Majestic Grille (way cute date night place, walking distance from hotel). Maybe go somewhere for a drink after.
Saturday morning spa day, lunch somewhere. Saturday night Restaurant Iris.  (Crazy excited about that—I was real lucky to get a table there –even though I called a month in advance. Never been to that kind of place!)
Sunday morning brunch at the Beauty Shop (my favorite brunch in Memphis). Sunday afternoon we’re touring the Gibson guitar factory (BJ is excited) Then I’m getting my free spray tan before we head back home.
Busy, but not cray busy.
I’m also thinking about trying out Automatic Slims, the Twilight sky terrace place, and South of Beale. Never been to any of these, so that'll be exciting!!
Yes those are all food/drink places. Whatever. I miss living in a city where there’s exciting non-chain places to go. I'll probably document everything on instagram if you're curious @samsmithgriffin.
I guess this post was kind of scattered. I’m sure you can handle that though.
Have a safe weekend and don’t be the people I see on the news. Laters.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Soy iced coffee recipe.

Today was supposed to be food prep day for my cleanse. Sad day. I'm still on antibiotics, and while I'm getting better I'm hesitant to blend antibiotics with the herbal supplements and fiber drink in the cleanse. 

Looks like I'll be doing that next month after my 30 days on this medicine is complete. 

In other news, I'm off work today so I'm going to hit the grocery store and get a spray tan. 

Breakfast today: 
Iced coffee with Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread. 



I love iced coffee. I keep leftover coffee from the mornings in a jug in the fridge. 



Here's what I do at home to make it: 

Get a glass, and pour it 1/3 ish full with milk. Top it off with room temp/cold coffee. Then, I stir in a little (1-2 teaspoons) instant espresso powder. I use more/less depending on how much I'm making. Add ice if its not cold enough for you. Then drink it. 

That's all!! How simple is that! 

The espresso powder --I got at an Italian market in Memphis (Lucheesi's for around $7) but I think I have seen it at Kroger. I treat it like gold.  It makes my iced coffee taste more like a Starbucks/coffee shop kind of coffee. 

So here's a shot of some of my groceries!! Crazy how a couple years ago I was not raiding the produce section like I do now. I made a huge grocery trip today, we really needed to stock up!! 


And I tried 3 new recipes. More on that later. 








Sunday, July 14, 2013

Memphis Recap

There are so many pictures in this post. It's kind of ridiculous. 

I've told you about Friday's doings with the yummy meal slash crappy service at the Majestic Grille. 

Then I posted at 3 am about not being able to sleep. Well, I couldn't go to sleep after that at all so Saturday was fueled by 4 ish hours of ZzzZzzz's. Somehow I managed. I was so pumped to be there that I really didn't care. 

Saturday morning we had breakfast delivered to our room. Toast, fruit, OJ, coffee. It was yummy. I love getting room service. It feels so glamorous. 


I put on a casual dress and we went downstairs, and crossed the street to the Peabody. It took maybe 4 minutes from our room. That's how far we had to go to get to Gould's spa. aka heaven. 



Love the checkered floor! 

We checked in and were brought back to the "serenity waiting area." I changed into a wrap, robe and slippers and we filled out the paperwork saying we weren't pregnant and we hadnt had surgery. 

Then we went to our separate rooms and got a 1 hour relaxation massage. After that, I met Bj in the waiting area and we talked a few minutes until my facial girl came to fetch me. 

Stop trying to make fetch happen. It's not going to happen. 

Then I went back for my 1 hr facial and Bj went to the Peabody lobby and took advantage of the bloody Mary bar. He got an extra shot in his, so he was happy to have to wait on me I'm sure :) 

I met him there and then we went to have brunch at a place he picked called The Brass Door. It's an Irish pub. Pretty cool looking. And it had a huge brass door of course. 

Bj got some weird looking poached egg thing. Of course. Hes so adventurous. I got toast that had spinach, eggs and goat cheese on it. With some taters. 


I also tried ghost river (beer). And loved it, then found out its brewed in Memphis and loved it even more. I love that about Memphis!! Places really try and use as much local products as possible. 


Here I am all fresh faced at The Brass Door. Didn't wanna put on any makeup after I had all those creams and masks on my face. 


Then we went out and about in town to a few of my favorite places.


First BJ had a romantic surprise. He brought me to the place he got his proposal flowers from and I got to make a bouquet. I don't know if anywhere in Arkansas does this--but I got to walk into the fridge room and just pick the blooms I wanted from the buckets. 

My flowers only cost $10 

Then we made a couple stops at some shops I love, and later we headed back to the hotel to relax until it was time for our reservation at restaurant iris. 

One of those shops happened to be my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BAKERY IN THE WORLD --Muddy's Bake Shop. 

My favorite cupcakes are the Capote (vanilla frosting/chocolate cake) and the Prozac (chocolate on chocolate...great name right?! Haha) and this time I tried some vegan chocolate peanut butter bars from the cooler. SOOOO GOOOOOOD. Like Reese's. only with rice Krispy treats in them. Seriously
Yum. 

Then we got ready and went to dinner. 


I tried a new thing with my hair, curling it with a straightener. It worked out pretty well, but I need some practice. 

The restaurant was so romantic. 


Had some killer Brussels sprouts. 



Then went back to the hotel and walked across the street to hang out at the Peabody bar. 



And this happened. 

Hahaha 

Then Sunday morning we got breakfast at Dunkin Donuts and went to tour the Gibson guitar factory. 


It was interesting even for me, and I'm not a guitar player. 

And then (finally) we headed home. Home sweet home. I had so much fun, and really loved having uninterrupted time with my husband. But man I was missing our house. 

I'm so glad I'm off work tomorrow. Need to grocery shop and all kindsa stuff. Gotta pick up the pup from my parents one night this week too. Busy week!!