Monday, October 31, 2011

National Oatmeal Day

This past Saturday, October 29 was National Oatmeal Day so I thought I would do a post on oatmeal.  Oatmeal is something that I have so many mornings that I actually keep a canister of it at work in case I am running late. It is easy to use and so many fun and delicious items can be added to it.

One thing I want to discuss is make sure you are using the Old Fashion oats or steel cut oats. You will find on the ingredients list, just oats.  This way you are not getting added sugar or other chemicals.  Below is a picture of instant oatmeal compared to plain old fashion oats. Do you see a difference?

They are made by the same company but the instant oatmeal has lots more ingredients in it. I will grab these in a pinch but not really often anymore. I actually grabbed this one when I was staying at a hotel in Miami recently and added it to my luggage in case I needed something quick to eat. However if you have time, I recommend using the old fashioned oats. I actually will measure out a cup of these and add it to a snack ziplock. Then add some slivered almonds, stevia, cran-raisins or other ingredients and just grab these when I am walking out the door. You really do not need to cook the old fashion oats, just pour boiling water on top of the oats in a cup or bowl, stir, and then cover for 2 minutes. They will be wonderful. Then you can add apples, or other fruit.

I also like to make mine in the crockpot overnight. Here is a great recipe for Slow Cooked Pumpkin Oatmeal.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 2011 Birchbox & BlissmoBox

This is the second month that I have received a Birchbox and I was so excited when I opened this one.  I am thrilled about all five products.  Below is a brief description of each one.

1.  AHAVA cleansing cream.  This says that it will wash away dirt, oil and makeup.  It is also for all skins types.  I like this product.  It does not have a smell and made my skin feel good.

2.  BEFINE Lip Serum. This serum heals and smoothes cracked or dry lips.  It states it has Chamomile and Beets in it on the label.  I used it one time before I noticed the Chamomile in the product.  See I am allergic to Chamomile but did not have any problems the one time I used it.  I will say it makes your lips really moist.

3. LAURA GELLER Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer in Bronze.  This primer gives you a flawless foundation and a subtle glow.  This has a very light feel on the skin and it seems to warm up my skin color.

4.  OROFLUIDO Beauty Elixir.  This is a hair treatment that has everyone's favorite oils, argan, linseed, and cyperus).  Plus has a heavenly vanilla amber scent.  The smell alone makes me want to use this product all the time.  I also have very long, think hair and it seems to help with my dry ends.

5.  THE LAUNDRESS Delicate Wash.  I was really excited to get this product.  I have read about it on Pinterest.  I have not used it yet but look forward to trying it out.  Our delicates need to be treated with loving care since they are the closest thing to our body.

Overall this box has great products in it.  I have been very pleased with all of them. If you are interested in a Birchbox, check out this link.

Also if you would like to check out this month's Blissmo Box.  See the video below.  This was my first box by Blissmo and it was ok.  Was expecting a little more from the box but we will see how next month's box is before really making a final decision on keeping this box.

What did you think of this month's boxes?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10 Things I Love About Fall

Working on a campus really makes you think about fall each year.  New students, new friends, new supplies, new clothes, and many more new things.  When most people think about the fall season, they think about harvesting the land and storing ripe foods, which brings me to the first thing that I love about fall.

1.  Pumpkins.  I love pumpkins for decorating, eating, or drinking. A couple of items I love with pumpkin is Pumpkin Spice Latte, here is my recipe. I also tried a new recipe for Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal that is delicious. One other thing I enjoy snacking on is Toasted Pumpkin Seeds.

2.  Decorations.  I usually never decorate my house but do in the fall. The pumpkins and mums immediately are purchased and placed in my front yard. I love the fabrics of fall, the Halloween Decorations, plus the colors of fall. So beautiful.

3.  Parents Visiting. Once a year my parents drive out and spend about a week and a half with me.  They live on the east coast and I do not get to see them much so this is a great chance for me to enjoy them and enjoy lots of activities with each one of them. I smile because we always stand in front of the house the morning that they are leaving to take pictures. Here are a couple.

4. Football. As I stated above I work for The University of Oklahoma.  If you know anything about college football, you have heard of the Sooners.  Living in a football town, you really MUST love football.  It is all around you with cars, people, and the noises.  I love it.  I was lucky this year and went to a game with my dad where we sat on the 50 yard line.  Such great memories.  Also this year I am in a Fantasy Football league with my dad and brothers.  It is so much fun calling them and talking football.  

5.  Fashion.  I love the boots, the bags, the layers, and getting to wear jeans.  I love wrapping up in a warm comfortable sweater.  I love the colors and In Style magazine September Issue feels like it could weigh you down with all the fashion.  Check it out.

6.  Activities. There are a million activities to attend.  Fall Festivals, Football, Golf Tournaments, Apple Picking, Haunted Houses, Homecoming, National Weather Center Open House, and many more.  

7.  Walks.  I walk about 360 out of 365 days in a year.  Walks are wonderful this time of year because the mornings are cooler and so are the nights.  The sky is amazing with lots and lots of stars and I just could gaze for hours. I feel this chill in the air and get to wrap up in gloves and a warm hat.  Plus my dog that is covered in fur, bounces down the street.

8.  New TV.  I really do not watch TV because I do not have cable but there are so many new shows and old favorites that I eventually try to catch up on in the fall on Netflix or Hulu because I end up staying indoors more.  

9.  Books.  I love reading this time of year.  Since it is getting colder I do stay inside more than usual and I love to sit on the couch and read.  Also reading outside by a fire on the weekends.  I set up a challenge this year to read 100 books and so far I have read 54.  Fall is a time for me to catch up because I am 25 books behind for this time of the year.  Follow me on  

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Kristi has

read 54 books toward her goal of 100 books.


10. Cooking.  My mind starts racing on food this time of year.  I want to bake apple pies and cook everything in the Crockpot.  I want to try new recipes and eventually try canning vegetables and maybe make some jam.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pina Colada Protein Shake

Like Pina Coladas, this is a great likeness without the alcohol.  

I fixed this today for the first time and loved it. My stomach has been giving me fits and I think it is because when my parents were visiting recently and we ate out a lot. I am not used to eating out much at all, so I have had to treat my body with some extra care this week.  

In order to do this, I eat a lot of fruit in the morning and then this for my mid-morning snack.  

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 banana
4 oz of pineapple juice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp of chia seeds
2 Tbs of granola
4 - 5 ice cubes
pinch of unsweetened coconut on top

Mix everything together in blender and then pour into your favorite glass. This has a great taste and I love that the granola and chia seeds are at the bottom of the glass. It is like a cherry on top for me to eat last. Yum!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bacon, Bacon Is that Real Bacon?

Every once in awhile I like to treat myself to bacon, so I want to show you the best way to cook bacon.  You will fall in love with this method that my brother, Michael taught me several years ago.

You need to line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and then lay your slices of bacon on the pan.

I enjoy center cut because I have read that it is leaner and has less sodium than turkey bacon or regular bacon.

Next, put the bacon in a cold oven at 350 degrees for 18 - 20 minutes.  Ovens may vary so you will just need to watch the first time you cook the bacon.  After the bacon comes out of the oven, you will need to drain the grease and pat the bacon with paper towels to get rid of the grease on the strips.  Then help yourself to perfectly cooked bacon.  It is crisp and delicious.


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