weekend eats & ootd

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it's happening again!  i have worn a size 10 shoe since i stopped growing.  for some strange reason my feet shrink when i get preggo.  seriously!  you would expect the opposite, right!?  i walked away from a successful shoe shopping trip with these adorable, peep-toe nine's and another 9.5 pair (both reduced waaaay low, woo hoo!), which worked in my favor because 10 wasn't available in either.  luckily these skinny jeans are super stretchy and can support my expanding bump a lil' while longer.  i am loving flounce tops like this one and the off-the-shoulder look is needed for this unforgiving Texas summer heat. whew.

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calling all Greek freaks and Niko Niko lovers!!! Niko Niko's new I-10 & Beltway 8 location is now open!  did you ever catch Niko Niko's on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri on Food Network? well deserved appearance, no doubt. they were already on Houston's map though!Hubs and i didn't mind taking the drive into the city to the original Montrose location, but we're cool with them meeting us halfway :) . ironically, it's 30 seconds away from my gym. #uhohthey knew the crowd was on its way so they were well equipped with this huge, accommodating, dining room. nice. i wasn't too hungry but still wanted to enjoy an outing with my bears.  i stuck with their seafood soup + greek salad combo.  their greek salad has always been and will always be THE bomb!  also chose to go light because eating late always ends up being a terrible idea.  i wake up burping up the food i ate the night before because it hasn't finished digesting yet. ugh! all apart of the preggo process though. (remember, this helps with that!)

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everything on this plate is a fan favorite.  the seasoned, tender lamb, the soft, chewy pita bread, the crispy, non-oily fries, the buttery rice, and that one-of-a-kind tzatziki sauce. #herculesplate

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pita pizza (which i don't even think is on the menu but was customized for us)and pita chicken quesadillas for the boys.talents:  picking dessert.as i stood there dumbfounded, several people had the same idea and came up to snap pics of this massive, goodie filled dessert case. you can't help it!portion control on deck! 3 for 5 bucks. tiramisu, almond something, and chocolate something. lol. my sweet cravings are coming back unfortunately and fruit just ain't cuttin' it these days.  doing my best to lean on the 80/20 nutrition rule, move 5-6 times a week, and drink plenty of water. ya know, the usual!

Q: do you like Greek food?

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !

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chocolate festival + life goals

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i checked IG this morning and my eyes were immediately drawn to this comment:

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reading that blessed me in a major way.  even though my IG account is mostly a combo of fitness inspiration, food, relevant funny memes, and a lil bit of family, i never want to lose sight of the BIG picture, which is pointing souls toward Christ and being a light for Him via my lifestyle.  He is apart of everything i do.  and if he isn't, i want no part of it.  my account did not start out this way though.  i used to follow the big 'fitspo' pages until they became oversexualized and promoting everything but fitness.  seems like Likes and praise from man outweigh His approval more and more these days but i refuse to compromise my faith...anymore. i have deleted many a picture because it made me uneasy and didn't sit well with my spirit.  which means it didn't sit well with Him either!  at this point in my life, i simply want what He wants.  if that means letting go of those IG pages that stunt my spiritual growth, so be it. done.  IDK how in the world i found Heather Lindsey but she has been a blessing ever since that fateful day.  whew! she inspires me daily as a woman, wife, and mother and has such an inspiring testimony.  if you aren't already following her, #youremissingout!


relationship goals!!!

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i found this on Instagram somewhere and i thought it was the cutest thing ever.  it reminded me of my parents actually. my mom is a few inches taller than my dad so they'd have to switch though, hahahaha!  this could be Sonny and i, but the amount of time i spend in any grocery store annoys him (it's an experience. hello.) and i'd never come out with just 5 items. even at Sam's.

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happy sunday family funday to you! #bestpicofthebunch

speaking of grocery shopping, we took a trip to the best store eva after church today, Central Market.  the Chocolate Festival is currently going on until the 17th of this month, guys! i believe we have gone for the past 4 or 5 years now.

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we strolled right on up as these guys were being served. salty, sweet PERFECTION! i grabbed a recipe card immediately.  you bet i'm gonna make a heathified version of these puppies.

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here's the original version though.

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we grabbed lunch inside before heading out to the patio to enjoy the live band.  Chiso is unbelievably picky and wasn't interested in anything CM had to offer. well, besides candy of course, which was not happening. so, he had a banana and some plantain chips for the time being and i made him some pizza when we got home.

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i attacked the salad bar and seriously got like one scoop of everything!

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we hope you had a sweet V-Day weekend ;)

Q: what's your fave chocolate covered treat?

A: raisins!

le

let the Christmas shopping BEGIN + clean, gluten-free, dairy-free SUGAR COOKIES!

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finally started a little Christmas shopping!

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 for myself :lol: .  i found these guys yesterday at Hobby Lobby for half price and i can't wait to make healthy sugar cookies with Chiso.  here's a tip that you may or may not have known- you can just pull up the featured Hobby Lobby coupon right on your mobile device and show it to the cashier, no printer or hard copy needed.  i found that out while in line yesterday cause the lady in front of me did it.  i logged onto www.hobbylobby.com super fast before my turn and immediately clicked on Coupon; it was for 40% off one regular priced item. SCORE.

we might leave these out for Santa this year, try'em!

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clean, dairy-free, gluten-free, vanilla and chocolate sugar cookies

the stuff:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal / flour
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla OR almond extract (either works)
  • dash of sea salt

--->for the chocolate cookies, make 1/4th of the almond meal unsweetened cocoa powder (which leaves 1 1/4 cups almond meal left, right? right.)<---

do this:

  1. mix your batter well.
  2. place bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes. **i know you want to skip that step but don't!** it determines the texture of your cookies.
  3. press dough out on flat surface and use cookie cutters, or roll dough into 22 balls.
  4. bake for 7-9 minutes on 350 degrees or until golden brown.

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makes 22 cookies! per cookie: 44 cals, 3g fat, 4g carbs, 3g sugar.

Q: :shock: Christmas shopping....... have you started!?

le

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Brownies

2nd Barbell Strength class back from maternity leave under ma'  belt! i used class as my warm up and went downstairs to get a solid back workout in afterwards.  i'm taking my time, trusting the process, and sticking to my 6 Pack USA plan these days.  i want to maintain balance and not go crazy with the exercise this time around. no need!  well, as long as i'm sticking to the nutrition part of the plan too.

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 baking has been on my brain this week.  why?

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most likely cause Sonny surprised Chiso and i with this really, really, magically, delicious lemon bundt cake tuesday from Nothing Bundt Cakes, ugh.  he says they were randomly giving out free mini bundt cakes to the companies in his office building. is that not the best marketing strategy ever?? um, it worked cause now i want one and will most likely use them for a future event. that reminded me of HEB's and Whole Food's sample stations throughout the store. if you feed me while i shop, well hey, i'm coming back there again and again to spend my money. and eat. and buy things that were never on my shopping list. and blow my grocery budget. genius. ok anyway, soon as i eat white sugar i just want more, more, MORE. sugar addiction is real. real annoying.   Chiso was super happy but yall know how i am around large amounts of my trigger foods!!! womp, womp.  i couldn't let all my work from the past few weeks go to crap so i did have a small piece, cut Chiso some, and threw it out.  my very preggo sis-in-law was the first person i thought to give the leftovers to, but that's just evil lol! i would have taken a bite every single time i entered the kitchen until it was all gone, SMH. we are all for minimizing waste when possible, but this was a game time decision that had to be done. so, that's how these brownies came about. i was so excited about whipping them up regardless cause i haven't baked anything sweet since i was waiting around trying to get Dego outta this tummy. these are naturally sweetened for the most part; the chocolate PB2 does contain sugar but not a mind-blowing amount like Mr. Bundt cake up there. i used agave nectar but you can use honey as well. it's up to you!  heck you can also use full fat peanut butter if ya want.  just melt it in the microwave a little first for better mixability.

IMG_20140828_173837 Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Brownies

the stuff: (source)

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup chocolate PB2
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • *optional* 1/4 cup rolled, uncooked oats (either leave them as-is or grind them into a fine flour)
  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup water + 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

do this:

  1. combine eggs, vanilla, agave nectar and water in a small mixing bowl.
  2. combine PB2, cocoa powder, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
  3. add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.
  4. pour mixture into an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan coated with no stick cooking spray.
  5. bake for 30 minutes on 325 degrees or until an inserted coupon comes out clean.

recipe makes 12 brownies.  nutritional stats can be found on my Instagram post at the moment until i add them here!

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before i go, thank you to Rosa from Enlightened Ice Cream for the coupons!! i cannot WAIT to pick up my samples at my Sprouts Farmers Market soon.  these bars are low in calories (70), high in protein (8g) and fiber (5g), 20% of the RDA for calcium, and contains only 2g of fat and 3g of sugar.  It's made from rBST-free milk, is gluten free, and contains no added sugars or artificial sweeteners!  i like. review coming soon.

nite!

le

triple f

family, food, and fun.

 that sums up the holidays for me.  my annual company Christmas party went down last weekend at my boss's home.

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he and his wife ALWAYS throw down, always. i didn't even get a pic of the buffet table:( but just know that i made 4 trips to it.  these snacks and desserts were on the kitchen island.

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homemade chocolate and vanilla cake balls :shock:  so rich and decadent.

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posin' by the tree with Sonny.

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my lovely homie & co-worker, Monica, makes THE best vegan pumpkin pie i have ever tasted and i'll love her forever for sharing the recipe!  you should make it for Christmas- i know i am.  thank you, Monicaaaaa

Monica's Vegan Pumpkin Pie

the stuff:

  • 10 oz silken tofu
  • 1 can pure pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

do this:

MIX! then pour into your pie pan and cook for 45-50 min on 350 deg. keep an eye on it as cooking times and temps vary per oven. you can even go crustless with this- it's up to you.  and no, nobody will EVER know there's tofu in there long as you zip your lips :shock:

for 1/8 slice:

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gotta love those stats!  i added a layer of cool whip and crumbled a few sheets of graham cracker on top after the pie was done. did NOT miss the crust one bit.  i'll take pics when i make it again for Christmas.

*tip per Monica: you can switch our your sweeteners and do granulated stevia, honey, agave nectar, etc...you choose your favorite one.  just convert your amounts and adjust your nutritional stats accordingly.

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this man clearly took advantage of his off-season diet :lol: 20121207_210847

fast forward.  who had a Chiso-less date night recently? we diiiiiiid!  i had seen this mexican restaurant countless times and finally paid Diego's Cantina a visit.  why does my hand look SO BIG?

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they seated us by this big bay window and even though it was night time, the view of the lake behind us was excellent.  just across the water was the hospital where Chiso was born.  we just can't escape him. LOL.

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as if we hadn't already eaten like 3 baskets of chips and salsa, Sonny ordered nachos for our appetizer :roll:

nachos mayas: crisp corn tortillas topped with refried black beans, creamy lump crabmeat, mozzarella, jalapeños, served with guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo. mucho points for presentation!  yummy? YES.

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Sonny got the lamb chops:  grilled marinated lamb rib chops with queso oaxaca topped with tomato and chili guajillo sauce served with nopales, onions and grilled corn.

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and i got the mahi mahi.  when the waitress came over to check on us, she gave my plate a puzzled look and said 'wow, it looks so different without the sauce!'  i'm guessing it's normally submerged in it *shrugs*.  anyway, the sauce tasted like lime garlic butter and was fantastic.  however, i want to be in control of how much goes on my plate, please and thank you!  per the menu: grilled mahi filet marinated in garlic and butter on a bed of grilled vegetables and sautéed spinach, served with a pineapple papaya avocado pico-de-gallo with wine butter sauce drizzled on top.

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mine came with a side, so i got the sweet potato mash.  they added raisins to  it which was new to me.  a good new. 20121207_221922 then we ended the night at our fro-yo spot....it's only right. 20121207_222011

my usual sugar-free vanilla and chocolate fro yo with sprinkles, chocolate chips, and whipped cream.

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what, more sweets? yep! our last date of the weekend was @ Brios for  my cousin Kandice's birthday dinner. Sprinkles cupcakes were in the building. yesssssssssssssssss.

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cupcakes make me dance too :lol: HAPPY BIRTHDAY my love! 20121208_223035

red. velvet.

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family foto of the evening with my boys.

gumbo and bbq tilapia recipes are headed your way!  nite.

le