Wednesday, September 26, 2012

{recipe} strawberry banana frozen yogurt

I keep going through these phases of "I WANT IT TO BE FALL SO BAD OMG" & "summer, you aren't so bad when you dip a bit below the 95 degrees temperature gauge."

Right now, I'm in the second phase. Tampa is so lovely and enjoyable when it is in the 80s. Too bad 98 degrees rings in at the high every day May-September. With no Nick Lachey to ease the pain either. Ugh.

This frozen yogurt is incredibly easy to make and is a yummy treat that you can enjoy morning, afternoon, or night. That's right... it's HEALTHY! :) I mean... froyo is obviously always the "healthier choice" compared to normal ice cream, but this stuff has no added sugar or weird ingredients that you can't pronounce. 

The secret is to use frozen bananas that were put in the freezer at their most delicious peak of ripeness. We don't necessarily want bananas that were frozen after all of the brown spots showed up to play. Save those for banana bread and muffins. Freeze your bananas just as they are beginning to ripen for frozen yogurt... while they are still mainly yellow.

My momma is an expert banana freezer. I always used to just throw cut-up bananas into tiny ziploc bags, but they always ended up turning a darker color in the freezer. My mom individually wraps each banana in saran wrap & then throws them all into a huge ziploc. (see below!) Doing so keeps the bananas fresh and ready for smoothies or frozen yogurt.

Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt:
Makes 4 servings

  • 2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
  • 3 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2/3 cup yogurt of choice (I used 2 peach Activia cups)
  1. Process in blender until mixed together thoroughly.

Enjoy every spoonful.

xo, Jen

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

{recipe} vegan peach + nectarine muffins

Oh yeah, these also are made using whole wheat flour and oatmeal, and are naturally sweetened with mashed bananas and honey. nomzzzzz.

PS. Sorry for the really awful picture! It has been raining almost non-stop all day. Of course this happens on my ONE day off for the next 6 days. Wooooo! Luckily, today met all of the requirements of my ideal rainy day. As in: wear PJs all day, read my Kindle, drink hot tea, and cook/bake.

These muffins are perfectly sweet without adding actual sugar granules. Make these ASAP before all of our delectable peaches and nectarines go out of season. 

Whole Wheat Vegan Peach & Nectarine Muffins:

  • 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat (or whole wheat or spelt) flour
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1 lb peaches & nectarines, sliced 1/4" thick & then cut into thirds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl blend together the honey, oil, and mashed bananas.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and combine. Gently fold in peaches & nectarines. Stir only until combined.
  4. Fill greased muffin tins with batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Look at alll thhhee fruuiiit. 

PPS. Sorry for the lack of an actual post. I am having blogging block (as evidenced by my disappearance for a few days.) Enjoy these muffins & I will be back before you know it!

xo, Jen

Thursday, September 13, 2012

{recipe} toasted sesame quinoa with grilled chicken

You know what really stinks about graduating from college as a sorority member? 

Graduating from college and becoming an alumnae of your sorority means early mornings spent cramming in breakfast, coffee, makeup, hair, outfit, and packing a lunch. Ugh. Growing up is so cruel. Yes, I might have complained more than a few times about the lunch options for the week at the house in my time. Fried food? AGAIN?! Well, at least there was always salad.

Now that I actually have to pack a lunch to stay alive during the days (I REFUSE to pay for mediocre food at lunchtime), I have started to get creative. This means less sandwiches and crackers, and more nutritional options. Pasta and quinoa salads are a great way to switch up the lunch grind and add in a more balanced meal. 

This quinoa salad has delicious Asian flavor without the (cough-FAKE-cough) American Chinese food that is played off as authentic in most Tampa restaurants. And probably 1/4 of the sodium. Win-win for us all!

I adapted the original recipe a bit by adding grilled chicken instead of shredded chicken. You can make this a super quick meal by shredding some rotisserie chicken too! (click here for my chicken shredding tutorial)

Toasted Sesame Quinoa with Grilled Chicken
Recipe slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

  1. Heat saucepan over and add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame and olive oil. Add in garlic and quinoa and stir to coat, then toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chicken stock and increase heat to high, bringing quinoa to a boil. 
  2. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa can be fluffed with a fork. Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.
  3. Add in chicken, green onions, dressing, and sesame seeds, tossing well to coat.

This can be eaten warm or cold. Make the night before and pack for your lunch! It is filling and delisssh.

xo, Jen

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

{life} organize with may books planners

It's here! It's here! I'm so excited. My May Books agenda is finally here!

Although I am no longer a student, my obsession with planners and school/office supplies is still going strong.

I have been drooling over these beautiful little agendas for a while because I am an obsessive list maker and date jotter-downer. May Books has a few different notebook options - lined paper, blank paper, graph, dot grid, pregnancy planner, wedding planner, meal planner, non-dated weekly agenda, monthly calendar, and an academic planner. I decided on the academic planner. I have an awful short-term memory, so having an efficient planner with a monthly view and space to write daily notes is absolutely necessary, despite the fact that I am no longer a student. I have to see my week laid out before me before I can make plans for anything else. It helps if the agenda that my week is laid out in is adorable to boot. 

Let's take a peek inside shall we?

I love that the cover is patterned on the inside of the notebook as well. Hello beautiful light pink chevron!

Here is the monthly view I was talking about. They are all in the very front of the book, making it easy to look at your schedule at a glance for an entire year (August 2012-August 2013).

The rest of the book is filled with the week to week calendars. The space given is absolutely enough for me to write my work schedule (it changes weekly) and to jot down a few appointments, birthdays, and other miscellaneous reminders. I'm not sure if I would have had enough room to write down all of my exams, assignments, readings, quizzes, and meetings I needed to write about in college, but I am very detail oriented about that kind of stuff.

The best part about May Book notebooks and planners is how customizable they are. It was so hard for me to choose a final pattern, font, and color palate. The website has an interactive program that allows you to see the color, font, and monogram on top of the pattern you chose. I also love how light my planner is. I used to have a Lilly planner (which I love too), but it was just much too bulky and heavy at the times that I had to carry around a million binders and textbooks all day.

I ended up choosing the "Delta Gamma Chevron" pattern with the fancy script in light grey with an octagon background. I am in love!

Do you have a May Books planner? What is your design?

xo, Jen

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

{life} tuesday things & jalapeno popper chicken

First & foremost, let us take a moment to think of all of the beautiful, innocent souls who were taken from us 11 years ago today. We will never forget. My sorority sister, Anna, posted this on her FB page. I shared it there and wanted to share it here. It is beautiful! Check out her blog. :)

I spent this weekend in Chicago with my wonderful boyfriend. It was a very last minute and spontaneous trip. I am also about to commit the biggest blogger faux pas ever.... re-wearing an outfit that I last posted about! Oops. Don't worry. I did laundry. I just am OBSESSED WITH THIS TOP. Okay. Now that we have that out of the way. :)

Out for drinks one night with Seth's roommate & his girlfriend.

A pretty scenic little spot on the way home from the Lincoln Park Zoo.

BTW. I cooked dinner for Seth Sunday night. I must tell you about it NOW although I didn't get any pictures of the dish with my own camera.


It. is. so. good.

Get my point yet?

Check out the recipe here on Apple A Day's blog & make it IMMEDIATELY!

In other news, I really want these sweaters.

Too bad it is still 92+ degrees in Tampa every day. I had to leave perfect 55-73* weather in Chicago today and it killed me. Let's hold a cryfest now.

In even more exciting news, I had a 3 hour layover in Charlotte today & got to step out of the terminal to meet up with my best friend / sorority sister / college roomie for a bit. It was absolutely wonderful. I missed you Amanda!

Oh, and my friends who just started pharmacy & optometry school finally got the beginning of the school year packages I sent them. Here's a picture that Kels uploaded to FB. A full post is coming soon on it. :)

Spotted: pens, sticky notes, cookies, gold fish, and homemade granola. I'm so glad my packages made it to their final destinations in one piece.

One last thing. A Kohl's representative contacted me via email on Friday asking me if I would so kindly link my OOTD listing of my Kohl's purse to their handbag page. I typically only link up my outfit pieces if I can still find them on the website. I bought that purse in February sooo I didn't. But. They sent me an exclusive 10% off code that my readers can use until Oct. 24th - UBLOGTEN. An additional 10% off of Kohl's already great savings is quite a good deal. So, there you have it! Shop away!

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend / start to your week! 

xo, Jen

Friday, September 7, 2012

{fashion} ootd - polka dots

Ugh. I know. I'm totally copping out and doing another OOTD post. Don't hate me!

I've been working 8 hours every day... aka standing / walking / running around in flats & heels for 8 hours every day... this week at Ann Taylor. I have been really enjoying working there, but man, my feet are TIRED at the end of the day.

So. Here is one more OOTD post for the week. We'll be back to normal programming soon, I promise!

I can't even describe how obsessed I am with black & white polka dots right now. Love. Love. Love.

The Details:

Top: Ann Taylor Loft - $49.50
Pants: Ann Taylor Loft - $69.50 (these are new to Loft! They are the "Zoe" fit - straightest in the hips.)
Heels: BCBG (old)
Bag: Kohls (old)

Of course, I had to pair some red lips with my all black and white outfit. The pop of color on my lips was so fun that I decided to forgo any major jewelry.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Jen

Sunday, September 2, 2012

{fashion} ootd - work attire

Remember how I was so excited for my striped white and grey dress for my retail interview the other day? Well, I was offered a position with that store... but then I interviewed with Ann Taylor & fell in love! I was offered the position on the spot and accepted.

I'm going to have to be really creative to dress up to their standard of style, as I am still 22 and completely building my business style closet. I'm going to be mixing and matching with Target & Forever 21 pieces as much as I can until I build my wardrobe with more Ann Taylor pieces. 

Now for the details.

Outfit on the left: The Interview.
Top: Forever 21 (old-ish)
Skirt: Target (on sale the other day)
Heels: Guess (old)
Necklace: Tiffany & Co. (graduation gift)
Earrings: Tiffany & Co. pearls (b-day gift, not seen)

I love this outfit because you would never guess how inexpensive it is! I am completely in love with the silk-like flowy blouses that are everywhere this season. I have been buying them up from all of the discount stores for an inexpensive and stylish addition to my closet.

Outfit on the right: The Orientation Day Outfit.
Top: Ann Taylor Loft (old)
Pants: Ann Taylor Loft (final sale $9.98. just bought the other day for future white pant seasons)
Belt: Came with a Forever 21 dress a long time ago.
Flats: Target ($14 on sale last week)
Watch: Anne Klein (gift)
Bracelet: Alex & Ani (gift)
Earrings: Tiffany & Co. pearls (b-day gift, not seen)

This outfit is COMFORT in a nutshell. I knew that I was going to be just kinda sitting in the stockroom watching training videos for a few hours, so I decided to just throw on a more casual look. Although I did have the opportunity to walk through the store and start training with the other sales associates and interacting with the customers as well! I always love animal prints done in a tasteful way, such as this blouse. I snatched these pants up in Loft the other day! First & last time wearing them for a while. Sad face. 

I'm so excited for the opportunity to work at Ann Taylor. I hope to learn the tricks of the trade for creating an affordable but quality business wardrobe. I'll probably post my currents favorites every now and then. :)

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Labor Day Weekend!

xo, Jen