Monday, September 2, 2013

Skinny Baked Parmesan

I love love love chicken parm. I have made the fried version and it took awhile to make it but it was still good.  Once I made the baked version I don't think I can go back. It was so quick and easy to make, a perfect workday meal.  Yet, it was healthier and just as delicious!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
I bought 2 chicken breasts and sliced them in half.  Next, I mixed 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs and one cup of Parmesan cheese.

This is the whole grain spaghetti I bought and my husband and I both love it.  I have used it in several other recipes that I will be posting later.
After mixing the Parmesan and bread crumbs.  I melted 2 tablespoons of butter and brushed them on to one side of the chicken breast.  Next, put the butter side faced down into the bread crumbs and Parmesan mix.  Make sure it is as covered as possible.  Then, brush butter on the opposite side and completely coat it.
Do this to all four chicken breasts and place them on a nonstick pan. Bake For 20 minutes then flip them for another 5 minutes.  After you first put the chicken in start to boil your spaghetti water.  Then when you flip them for the extra 5 minutes put your spaghetti into the water for 6 minutes.  I do this so everything is still warm when it is ready to be served.
When the chicken is ready place the spaghetti on your plate with some marinera sauce.  Next, top with the chicken Parmesan and more marinara sauce.  Then of course some low fat mozzarella cheese and lastly to give it that fancy look sprinkle on some parsley.
This is definitely one of my new favorite meals.  I always take my second piece for lunch the next day. My husband however, has yet to save for leftovers :) enjoy!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Egg tastic

 I have been trying and failing lately with my banana pancakes and egg white omelets.  Last week when I tried making a banana pancakes, I messed up the flip 3x.  Finally I had to rush to work and I was stuck with a slim fast bar.  After my last atempt I got online to my go-to site-Amazon.  I typed in omelet maker and found this little beauty for only $13.00.  Here is the link:

I always use a carton of egg whites and then I usually add whatever fresh produce I can find in my fridge.  This time I used onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

I just poured everything right in to the pan after praying nonstick spray.  Then you just flip it while the lid is still done and VIOLA
A perfectly beautiful egg white omelet.  Just sprinkle with a little cheese, leftover toppings, and some homeade salsa.  This is a great post-workout meal.  One cup of egg whites is 16 g of protein.  I find egg whites hard to eat on their own.  This is a great meal to do, so as not to compromise the taste. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Obsession alert

I have been in love with this J Crew necklace for a few months now.  The only problem is it is $128.
 Since it is nowhere close to my birthday (March) or Christmas (you got that one) I decided to do a little amazon shopping and I found this beauty below for only $28. Check out the link below 

I love love love it. It is still great quality and a true statement necklace.  I think I wore it three days in a row after I got it in the shame either. It's definitely my favorite piece of jewelry at the moment and I could not help but share it!!
Work day but I covered up with a black sweater.
Big bro and I before church. Don't worry it is a contemporary service.

I wore this to my mom's 50th birthday party and paired it with black shorts from target and black wedges from Payless!! 

And a cheers to statement necklaces!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

50 and Fabulous Cake

My Fabulous Mom turned 50 this past week so I knew I had to make her an amazing cake!  I made it two tier with a strawberry and cream cheese filling on the top layer and a chocolate and vanilla cake with oreo filling on the bottom.  For the fondant I use the brand satin ice.  If you dont have a lot of experience with cakes I would use a thicker fondant. Satin Ice is very thin which makes it taste better but it does tear easily.  The first time I used it I had tears everywhere that I was trying to cover up with butterfly fondant cutouts haha good times (NOT)! For the accents on this cake I added Gerber Daisies.  I like this Wilton Neon color fondant for flowers because it is really bright and gives it a nice pop. 
I use the Wilton fondant roll out but I was hating how it kept rolling back up and I was having to secure it with water bottles, crisco, and whatever else I had around me. Thats when my husband bought this board for me and we secured it with thumb tacs.  It has been so nice and I definintely recommend trying it.
I cut out two large gerber daisies for each flower

Next place it on the thin foam mat and roll the petals out with the ball tool.
Then, wet the bottom flower and stack them so they are off center from each other.
Using the gerber center in the upper left corner, place flour in it so the fondant does not stick.

Next take a small yellow piece of fondant and roll it into a ball.. Just work with it and make it as big or small as you would like your center to be and press your finger hard into the middle of it.
Next, wet down the middle and place it in the center. I put them in these flower holders to dry, they take about 3 days to dry, longer if you can.  If you look at my cake I only have one that made it because I tried taking them off to soon.  Hence the smaller flowers that are actually on the cake.
This is what my kitchen looks like during this process.. A complete and utter mess.

I cut out a "50" with the words "and fabulous," using the remainder fondant I had from the flowers.
To secure the "50" on the very top of the cake, I lathered piping gel on toothpicks then placed them onto the back of the numbers and let it dry.

 I covered the cakes in green and white fondant and stacked them.  Next I cut out this glitter fabric.  It was about $15 at a cake supply shop.  It is not edible but it really makes the cake look girly and fun.

The finished product below!!
My Beautiful mom before we cut the cake
And last a little extra pic of my friend E on the left and my cousin on the right.  We had such a fun night and the compliments I got on the cake made it even sweeter ;)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cookies and Cream Cake Filling

Cookies and Cream is one of my FAVORITE fillings.  I get many many compliments on it everytime I make it.  I usually put it in between a devils food cake mix and a vanilla cake mix.  If I am doing a 3 layer cake, then most of the time I do two vanilla with one chocolate in between.  If its a four layer then I stack one vanilla, one chocolate, one vanilla, then the last layer chocolate.  I suggest you make extras because it is addicting and I usually have to do several extra taste tests ;).

32 Tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature
8 cups of sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of whole milk
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
Dash of salt
2/3 bag of crushed double stuffed Oreos

Add the first 5 ingredients into your mixer bowl.  Put your mixer on low until the powdered sugar starts to mix, unless you liked to be covered in it.  Gradually move to medium until it is all mixed.  Then put it on the highest power for a minute and a half.  Next add the oreos and put your mixer on high for another 30 seconds.  I used two thirds of the bag of oreos because I accidently ate a whole sleeve of it.  When I say accidently it's because it was definitely not my intent.  I will being trying hard to not do it again because my stomach hurt until I went to bed that night.  Feel free to add as many as you would like, I am an oreo lover so I really don't think you can go wrong with to many!

Summer Lovin.. some clothes

  This week I am in the process of making a 50th birthday cake for my mom.  I have already started on the icing which I will be sure to post the recipes to.  For the top tier I am doing a strawberry cake with a cream cheese filling.  For the bottom layer I am doing a vanilla and chocolate mix with an oreo cream filling, I am craving sweets as the time goes on.  I always like to do my icings before hand to take the pressure off of those 2 days before cake delivery but I wont even pretend I havent been snacking on it.  I may have to make an extra batch in the future.  I'm really excited about this cake for two reasons. 1) Because it's been awhile since I ahve done a cake, I have mostly been getting cupcake orders.  2) Because her colors are pink, lime green, and zebra (Keeping it young lol).  I love using bright colors because it always makes the cake pop and look so fun!    Until that's finished I thought I would celebrate my LOVE OF SUMMMER with some of my favorite summer outfits I have worn lately.

This is a summer dress I wore to a friends wedding.  I got the dress and necklace from Francescas and the gladiator heels from Forever 21.  I love these heels because they are just the right size for work and go with everything.  My little Becksy is wearing a collar from Pet's Mart and is trying to get the attention as always.  PS Becks is the dog not the husband ;).

I wore this Leopard tank top with a black sweater to work and I paired it with some red heels I bought from Forever 21 and  red necklace I borrowed/stole from my mom

 These pants are some of my favorite cheap finds.  I got them at ross for $14.  I paired them with a baby pink tanktop from Francesca's and a floral necklace from Dustee's.
 I love love love this outfit- The top, belt, and skirt are all from Francesca's and the shoes are from Forever 21.  I felt so put together but once I got to work a member asked me if I was going to a fashion show (he was dead serious btw).  That's when I realized it may have been a tad dressy for my line of work.
I live in OKC so we don't have an H&M or an urban outfitters.  This is a good and bad thing.  My bank account tells me it's a good thing but my love of fashion says BOOO.  I got this top at an  H&M in D.C when we were their a few weeks ago for vacation.  The shoes and necklace are from forever 21.

 This is a vest I bought from Urban Outfitters while in DC.  It is definitely my favorite clothing piece at the moment. I tried to pair it with a girly dress the first time I wore it..
The second time I wore it I paired it with some skinny black pants from H&M, a gold necklace and some black wedges.  I love this look a lot more because it really gave my vest a pop. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Long Road of Coping with Infertility

I have never spoke of dealing with my issues of infertility on my blog before, but after dealing with the issue for 14 months I think it is time I spoke out on the matter.  This is by far the hardest thing I have dealt with in my lifetime.  It has caused depression, anger, mood swings, and crying spats in public places such as my work.  I have researched how to get through it on the internet and I have not really found anything that has truly helped me.  That is why I wanted to share some things I have learned in my, over a year's worth of experience.  The first thing I wish I would have done different is visited a doctor sooner.  I thought a doctor would not really help you until I had been trying for closer to a year.  We started trying for a baby in April of 2012 and I did not go to the doctor until December.  That being said when you are seeing a doctor for the first time, it can take 2-3 months just to get in so please keep that in mind as well. Once I had my first appointment with my gynocologist, she gave me a menstrual tracking calendar.  She told me to track my periods for the next 3 months and told me to make sure my husband and I are having sex on Day 12, 13, and 14.  She said usually it is because the couple is not doing it on the right ovulation days. I left there discouraged and crying.  I knew in my heart that was not the reason because my husband and I had taken our "trying" duties very seriously;) I had even been doing the ovulation strips up until then.  FYI, I used the CVS brand for about 6 months and it showed me the days I was ovulating.  When I switched to the more expensive clear blue brand, I realized I was not ovulating at all, so another tip is to spend the money on the clear blue brand.  Anyway, I tracked my periods for the next 3 months and when I showed up for my next appointment in March she said my periods were very regular and gave me a prescription for medroxyprogesterone and told me to take it for the next 3 months and on my third period to come back to her and we would do a blue dye test.  Once again I left her office in tears, I called my husband and told him I did not feel like I was getting any closer to getting pregnant.  He suggested I get a second opinion and go see a fertility specialist.  So I called my family physician, explained that we have been trying for a year and they gave me a referral.  It took about a week and a half for the fertility specialists office to call me and the next availability for a new patient was in June, 3 months away. This caused another set back for me.  I started calling these set backs because when I would try to be positive and say that it is in God's hands or it is not the right time because I am working and in school or in the process of moving.  Something would set me back such as not getting answers at the doctor's office or the worse was finding out friends or even acquaintances were pregnant.  Anytime I found out someone else I knew was pregnant I would have a breakdown, I would tell myself they didn't deserve it because they were not married or when friend's of mine would get pregnant I wouldn't even be happy for them, it just made me sad for myself.  I have always been happy for my friends and only wished good things for them which is when I started noticing how negatively this battle was effecting me.  The week before my third doctor's appointment I cried for 4 days in a row.  When I would cry over not being pregnant it would last 1-2 hours.  I was sad all of the time.  The day before my doctors appointment I text my husband and told him I thought I should seek counseling.  He had suggested it to me before but I never followed through on it.  I cried again because I could not believe that I was so out of control with my body that I needed to speak to a counselor.  I had never needed this in the past and it scared and upset me to need it now.  I got through with them on a Tuesday and they told me they could get me an appointment that Friday.  The next day was my doctor's appointment. Jeremy, my husband took off so he could come with me.  Once we got in the doctor looked at my menstrual chart again, she said she wanted to do a blue dye test.  This is a test where they fill your uturus with fluid to check that the fallopian tubes are not clogged and they take an x-ray while this is happening to show that the fluid is indeed coming out of your fallopian tubes.  She also said that if there was any blockage this would help to clear it out.  She told Jeremy he needed to get checked also or all of my testing was pointless. He explained that he had been tested back in January and the results showed that he was in the low-normal range.  Two days later I went in and had the test done.  It caused a lot of painful cramping and a little bleeding.  My doctor told me that my fallopian tubes were so small that if an egg was to attach it would most likely get stuck and that she wanted to send me on to a fertility  specialist, I was devastated by this news.  Once again I was referred to a specialist ( a different one this time).  They told me they could not see me until July 17th (2 months later).  That afternoon was my first time to talk with a counselor.  Since I hadn't seen my husband until then, I was crying telling him the results before we even made it into our counselor's office.  I have now had two appointments and I will continue to see her as long as I feel is necessary.  In my two visits with her I have already seen results.  What I am working on now and what I encourage you to try is whenever I start to cry and have a breakdown, instead of thinking to myself "just stop crying" I think to myself "why am I crying?"  I jot it down in a notebook I keep and have come to realize that my breakdowns are not just because I am not getting pregnant, they are for different reasons.  Another technique I am starting is when I start to feel that tightness in my chest to try and tell my body it does not need to respond for me and give it all to God.  I know, I know this sounds crazy, and I told my counselor that too.  But she encouraged me to work on it and I have seen results.  Please don't get me wrong I still get sad but the length of my breakdowns has shortened and sometimes I can stop my tear filled eyes into becoming a breakdown.  My counselor told me in our last session to remember to give it to God.  It occured to me that God has me on this journey for a reason.  If I can help even one person's pain be lessened then the pain I have felt will lessen as well.  When I started this journey I did not give it all to God as I do now.  I would pray but I would get mad at him when I would start my period.  It is this journey that I realize that life is not far.  The first time I went back to church it was Easter Sunday and my parents asked us to go with them.  The pastor said something I don't think I will ever forget.  "God's delays are not God's denials".  After that I started needing God and wanting to be with him.  I was not afraid to tell him I was angry, he already new.  Now I don't pray for him to give us a child, I pray for others and I pray for the strength to overcome this obstacle in my life.  I write this today not as a success story because I am still going through it, I write this to let even one person know that you do not have to feel the sorrow you have now.  If I could go back to April 2012 when we excitedly decided we were ready to have a child I would want to know these things:
1. It is going to be a long journey but thats OK
2. Put all your faith in God and not just the faith that he will do what you ask when you want it.
3. When you start to see changes in your regular behavior seek help.
4.  Do not expect your husband to feel the same emotions you are and get offended when he doesn't.
5. Get a counselor sooner rather than later, it is nothing to be ashamed of, it will only help, not hinder.
6.  See a doctor as soon as you get discouraged that you are not pregnant, if they tell you it is to soon, so what, at least they have you down that you have been trying since then.
7. Don't be afraid to talk about it.  When I first realized we were struggling, I would just tell people we were not trying and we weren't ready to have kids.  Now I can talk about it and let people know what I am going through.  Instead of people thinking I am just some friend or coworker with serious mood swings I let them in on my latest doctor's appointments and news.

What I am wanting now and will continue to strive for, is the knowing that my time will come.  I try to reassure myself it will and I believe it will for you too.  Whether it be a natural birth, IVF, or adoption.  If we want to be parent's bad enough, then our time WILL come!