Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter from Confessions of a Former Couch Potato!

I'll be back with an Easter Weekend post soon, but for now...

...Happy Easter from Confessions of a Former Couch Potato!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Best Broccoli Ever.

Guess what, everybody? It's spring.

Can't you tell?

It's funny. Last weekend we had close to 80 degree weather and lots of sunshine. And this weekend...not so much. It rained. And it was cold. The whole time.

The nice nice thing about rainy, dreary weekends is you have an excuse to relax. I taught a fabulous Zumba class on Saturday, but the rest of the weekend has been devoted to resting. I might have watched an entire season of The Office. I can't believe this show is in its last season. Do you all watch it? I think it may have the best developed characters of any show I have ever watched!

But enough about TV. Lets talk about broccoli. I know. That was a weak transition. But this broccoli is anything but weak.

This isn't really even a recipe, it's just so easy. But I promise you it will be the best-flavored broccoli you have ever tasted.


The Best Broccoli Ever


(note: I have not specified amounts of most ingredients because it really depends on your tastes.)

  • 3-4 cups of fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
  • EVOO
  • 1 lemon
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh pepper
  • Garlic powder


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spead broccoli over a baking sheet. (Line with foil for easy cleanup.) Drizzle EVOO over the broccoli. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the broccoli. Sprinkle garlic powder over the broccoli. Zest the lemon over the broccoli and put the broccoli in the oven. Reserve half of the lemon for after cooking. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the broccoli is crisp-tender. Squeeze the lemon over the broccoli and serve hot.

We enjoyed our broccoli with Paleo Pan-fried Chicken and Apples simmered with honey and cinnamon. Nom.

Happy Sunday!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Random Things I am Loving

Sometimes it's fun to do a mish-mosh post. Sometimes this is how my brain works- lots of random thoughts floating around. Does anyone else have this problem?

Sample work scenario: get back to the office after visiting a school. On the drive back, I start thinking about an article or strategy that I know is located in one of the books on my shelf. Get back, browse the shelf. See the title Getting Smart and remember that my ipad dinged on the way here- an email. Stop and check email. It's from a coworker asking for a resource. Stop everything and look for that resource. While looking, come across a notepad where I wrote myself a reminder a week ago but then lost. Reread note and realize...

Need I go on?! Tell me I am not the only one.

So now my random brain wants to tell you some random things I am loving. If I were Oprah, this would be my "Favorite Things" Episode and you would all be getting free products. Unfortunately, I am not Oprah.


1. Tazo Wild Sweet Orange Hot Tea

This is the best hot tea I have ever had. I mean EVER. If you like oranges, get this tea. You will not need any sweetener at all. The flavor is that intense. It's orangey and tangy and perfect for a late afternoon sip.


2. Blogilates

I love this blog/site. Recipes and simple Pilates videos you can do at home. Cassey is likeable and she puts good music with her workouts. No equipment needed!


3. Trader Joe's Jalapeño-Stuffed Olives


These are the best healthy alternative I have found to a jalapeño popper. Perfect size, perfect amount of heat... Love them!


4. Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

This stuff is wonderful if you get dry hands. I have been using it for a week and my cuticles have done a whole turnaround.


5. Bath and Body Works Forever Red

I bought some products at BBW a few weeks ago and I am loving this fragrance! People are starting to look at me like I am crazy because I am going around smelling myself. Just kidding. Or maybe not. But seriously it smells really good.


This isn't one of the 5 things, but I am also loving this photo of me and the husband.


What are you loving right now?


Monday, March 18, 2013

Outdoorsy Weekend & Baked Chicken Wings

How was everyone's St. Patrick's Day? I really had a planning fail. Being Scotch-Irish, I really should have planned better and made something Irish yesterday. Oops. Being a food blogger, that kinda should've been on my radar.

Let me back up a bit and tell you about our weekend. First of all, the weather was amazing-- close to 80 degrees Saturday AND Sunday! It really gave me a case of spring fever. On Saturday, we took advantage of the warm temps and spent the afternoon riding bikes and hanging out at the park.

Then on Sunday, we hit the local St. Patrick's Day festival. You know, it is funny how things change over time. A few years back, I would have spent most of my time drinking green beer. There actually was no green beer, just regular beer. And, we spent a lot of time in the kiddie area anyway.

There were fried pickles...

and lots of opportunities for people-watching, that's for sure!

We headed home for dinner because I was making baked wings!

So simple, you really can't call it a recipe, but it turns out great every time!

Simple and Delicious Baked Hot Wings


1. Put your chicken wings in a ziplock bag.

2. Dump in a generous amount of Frank's Hot Sauce and marinate for an hour or more.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

4. Brush on extra hot sauce (if desired) after baking.

5. Enjoy with celery! (I also added jalapeño-stuffed green olives!)


Happy Monday, everyone!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Power Breakfast: Sausage and Asparagus Scramble

Happy Saturday, peeps! And happy St. Patrick's Day Weekend! Are you wearing green this weekend and drinking green beverages and eating green food? I know I have lots of friends who are. We have big plans to hit a kids' birthday party and possibly go to a baseball game today. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, so we want to take advantage of the sun and mild temperatures!

Breakfast first, though, ok?

If you are looking for breakfast ideas... You may also want to check out some of these posts!

The Ever-Popular Mimi's Christmas Breakfast

Sour Cream Coffee Cake (indulgence!)

Paleo Power Breakfast with Sweet Potatoes and Sausage

I mentioned on Facebook and Twitter last night that I had a new favorite power breakfast. This is my third time making this meal this week. It is fairly quick and very filling, and most importantly, it is delicious!

Sausage and Asparagus Scramble


  • 3 oz. ground breakfast sausage (I like Earth Fare's sausage or Neese's if I am at a regular grocery store)
  • About 6-8 thin asparagus spears, chopped into thirds or fourths
  • A few slices of thinly sliced red onion (I just use a little for flavor)
  • A few mushroom pieces (fresh)
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Then add your sausage. Break up as it cooks.
  2. When sausage is starting to brown but is still a little pink inside, add your veggies. You really don't need any additional cooking fat because the sausage has its own.
  3. Sauté the veggies and sausage until the veggies are crisp-tender. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low.
  4. Once the sausage and veggies are done, add your eggs to the skillet. Continue to cook, stirring to scramble the eggs with the veggies and sausage.
  5. Serve hot (with coffee, of course!)

I added a small grapefruit to my breakfast and it was delicious!

Here is a short picture tutorial...


Veggie mix from Trader Joe's

Browning the sausage...
Breaking up the sausage as it browns...
Add the veggies...
Add the eggs (not pictured)...


I am looking forward to seeing where the weekend takes us! I plan to do some dancing, some running/walking, and who knows what else!

You know, back in January, I thought about tracking my mileage for this year to see how many miles I walked or ran this year. Of course, I didn't do it, so now I am trying to backtrack and think about what might be a good estimate. I think that I have probably covered about 18 miles so far. I actually think that is a low estimate, but better low than high. I plan to creat some kind of ticker that I can post so that you can keep track of my progress when you visit the blog. I also thought about setting a mileage goal, but I think for now I am going to stick with just tracking. I also have been doing lots of Zumba and dance fitness, since I teach twice a week and attend other classes from time to time when I can. I wish I could track "miles danced!"


How about you? What are your fitness goals for this year? How are they going?


Sadie has started soccer and is loving it! Here are a few pictures of her in her soccer gear as she was kicking the ball around the yard.


Random thought... As I was typing up this post, Sadie was watching The Lorax.


You know what? This movie is pretty darn deep. It really makes you think!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend Recap and Recipe Reviews

Sunday... Here we are again at the start of another week. We just returned home from a busy weekend away with family. I thought I would give a quick weekend recap and also share a couple of reviews of a few recipes I have tried lately.

Yesterday, we headed down to Aiken, South Carolina for a wedding. We were looking forward to a fun (adult) evening away with my parents, sisters, and brothers-in-law. The wedding was so nice, and we had lots of fun at the reception.

I did a terrible job taking pictures... But we did take some interesting shots in the photo booth! I will have to share those soon.

I had one of the most amazing cupcakes I have ever had in my life. This red velvet cupcake was so pretty but it was so light and fluffy and sweet... Worth every calorie/fat gram/carb...

This morning, we had a quick breakfast and headed to Columbia. My brother-in-law Paul was able to score tickets to the South Carolina Baseball game today.

The weather was perfect! The Gamecocks won, 1-0! The last few seconds of the game were intense!

It was a great way to spend a Sunday!

Thanks to technology... I ordered our weekly groceries in the car as we traveled. When we got home, we swung by and picked them up in a matter of minutes!

Speaking of food, I have two recipes I have tried over the past week that I loved that I want to share with you!

First of all, I loved this one! Creamy, lemony, silky, and filling-- and it passed the husband taste-test! This is comfort food at its finest! Plus, the extra pesto makes a great veggie dip!

And now this one... I made this tonight and I ate almost an entire head of cauliflower.

It was that good, I tell ya.

Alright, let's get this week off to a great start! Happy Sunday!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Snowy Surprise

Dear Blog,

I am sorry I have neglected you.

It's not you, it's me.

Life is a little hectic.

I promise to be back and posting more regularly soon.


Confessions Girl

(My obsession with Gossip Girl continues.)


So... You have probably noticed I have been away a little. I have no real excuses except that life has just been quite busy lately. However, I wanted to take a minute and share a couple of cute pictures from a surprise snowstorm last Saturday.

We'd heard that weight have a flurry or two, so I wasn't that surprised when it started snowing around 8 a.m. Last Saturday morning. But then it kept snowing. And kept snowing.

It snowed big fat fluffy flakes for about 4 hours, and finally tapered off around noon.

Who would have thought we would even be able to have a snowball fight?

And then...just as quickly as it went away. By 3:00 p.m., every single bit of snow was completely melted and gone. Which worked out well because we had several things going on that afternoon...

But for just a few minutes, it was so nice to be able to stop and taste the snowflakes.