Friday, March 30, 2012

These are my crack. I'm not sure why I thought it would be a nice little treat to grab a bag of these and "share" them with my co workers. I think I've maybe given 6 eggs away. I'm looking forward to Easter next weekend..not because I want to eat ham, but because these won't be on the shelves anymore.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Come join in and see what everyone is loving on!

First up....

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Someone recommended this to me in passing..probably because I always have my Kindle on hand in case the action in the courtroom is moving super slow or if I have some down time or wait time for an appointment. All I can say is va va va voom! The main character, Christian Grey, is a mysterious, drop dead gorgeous, billionaire who sparks an interest in an ordinary college senior named Anastasia Steele. I loved the characters in this book...and even's book 1 of a trilogy. I'm about half way through the second book and love it just as much as the first one. I will warn you ..there are some well, let's just say explicit scenes in this book When I got to one of the parts, I blushed and tried to remember who it was that recommended this to me! A quick awesome read!

Also...a staple in our house...Udi's Gluten free granola. I was a yogurt hiatus for a while. But, I've eased back into having my plain fat free Chobani once or twice a week. I hate flavored yogurt. I'm sure there are some better brands on the market that use natural flavoring, but I read an article called The Anatomy of a Flavored Yogurt and was really shocked at the amount of chemicals and additives that a tiny thing of yogurt can have! So, I stick to plain and flavor it myself. The choice of flavoring has been a couple tablespoons of Udi's Gluten Free Granola.

Up next...Frederick Fekkai Gloss Cream. I'm a huge fan of the shampoo and conditioner as well, but I will not lie..this stuff is expensive! Sometimes I'll splurge other times I feel guilty unloading that amount of money on hair products. But, I do love the glossing cream! I straighten the crap out of my hair on a daily basis. I was a huge fan of Moroccan Oil but my hair just got too used to it. I love how soft and silky Fekkai Glossing Cream leaves my hair and when I don't want to unload $50 on shampoo and conditioner, I just appease myself with a little tube of the gloss cream...a little bit of this stuff tends to go a long way too!
I've been dying for a trip to mall lately. I've been trying to be good and curtail the retail therapy as we have some home remodeling to do and Mr. Allan is slowly in a need a new set of wheels. One thing I've been absolutely longing to do is hit the LUSH store! My favorite product that I'm missing...the Buffy Bar! It feels like a bar of soap but is filled with tiny particles of rice and almond that help buff away your dead skin and it leaves my normally dry skin so soft and silky. I finished my last one off about a month ago and my showers just aren't the same..and neither are my dry arms and legs either!
Hope you enjoy your Wednesday and be sure to check out What I'm Loving Wednesday at

Monday, March 26, 2012

Good Cheap Flats

My friend, L, totally gets the award for finding these shoes. I met my friends, L & L, for brunch a couple weeks ago. It was nice to enjoy a mid morning get together and then have the afternoon free to hit my stores...the Christmas Tree Shops, Walmart, Tj Maxx and Marshalls. On the list of things I needed ASAP...another pair of flats. I splurged on a pair of Tory Burch Reva Flats and I absolutely love them, but wanted another pair to kick around in so I didn't have to wear the TB ones every single day.

The 3 of us hit the Christmas Tree Shops together and I noticed a nice pair of patent leather flats that L had on. I went off the TJ Maxx and Marshalls without much success and then emailed her later on to ask where her flats were from. She divulged the secret and I'll now share it with you...Payless!

$16.99 and if you have a AAA get an additional 10% off! They took me a day to break in, are pretty comfortable, but most absolute steal at that price!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A sign that it's almost Parade day in Newport!!

I don't think I've missed a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Newport since I met Mr. Allan. The amount of green in my wardrobe has grown quite a bit in the past years. We get so excited for the parade..from breakfast with friends, to irishing up our coffee, to standing on our friend's porch yelling at everything that passes by in the parade.

Last night the ingredients for Panettone French Toast casserole were purchased and the green garb for tomorrow is hanging in my closet in anticipation of one of our favorite days of the year! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

here it goes....another edition of What I'm Loving Wednesday with

I've been eating these all week..even one time for dinner when the husband was out and I was too lazy to cook. It's my little "treat" cereal since I'm usually eating bland sprouted wheat crap that's good for me!

Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins

Also..another great snack..Crunch Pak organic Apple Slices. I grabbed these at Whole Foods..a quick to go snack. I love apples but for some reason a lot of my local grocery stores don't carry a good stock of organic apples. They're always old looking or super mushy like they've been sitting there for a while. I have a weird thing with my apples..I only like them when they're firm and I can crunch into them. I've seen Mott's apple slice packs but was excited to find these organic slices. $5 for a big container of them.

I guess I'm hungry this morning...because I can't stop thinking about food and all the healthier snacks I've been trying to stock up on this week! Another new favorite...Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabars. I'm a huge larabar fan and this has slowly become a new favorite for me!

My favorite go to chips will round out my food edition of What I'm Loving Wednesday. I'm obsessed with these...I eat them with hummus, guacamole, name it..anything goes...Sweet potato is my ultimate favorite although we've yet to try a flavor that's been disappointing!

Have a great rest of your week and be sure to see what everyone is loving this Wednesday at

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Good Reads...

Still plugging away on my Kindle reading more books than I ever have before. Often when I'm bored and feel like I've come to the end of the internet, I like to go on to see what other people are reading and what makes their best sellers of the day or week.

A couple good books that I've really enjoyed in the past few weeks...

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This book is about a girl named Hazel Grace who is battling cancer. It's a little bit of a love story between Hazel and a boy named Augustus Waters...another cancer survivor she meets a cancer support group. Kids, cancer...sounds sad...but it was a really good story and I enjoyed a young person's point of view about two such serious issues...cancer and love!


Homefront by Kristin Hannah

I see a lot of people walking around with books in the courthouses where I work. Mostly because justice does not move to swiftly and waiting to get into family court is the game of hurry up and get everything resolved and ready to go and then you wait. I had seen quite a few people carrying around books by Kristin Hannah. Just by the pictures and the name..I thought she might be a Jodi Piccoult/Nicholas Sparks type...while I do like both of those authors, I find it hard to differentiate between what books I've read by them...because they're all kind of the same thing slightly different plot.

So, I dove into Homefront. I must say, I really enjoyed the way the book flowed. I liked how things happened pretty quickly in the story line and enjoyed all the characters as well. Definitely a good read! I will be checking out some more of her books soon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Still Loving Skinny Taste...

I seldom go into my kitchen and create stuff from absolute scratch..maybe once in a while..but I mostly get my recipes from blogs and websites. I have a huge folder on my work computer full of bookmarks of recipes I've tagged that go into the must try category. Lucky for me, my husband will eat anything I put in front of him. He never complains if it stinks, or if I become obsessed with one zucchini enchiladas..and we eat it weekly. So, most of the recipes I post on here are things that we've tried and I decide are good enough or something unique and different that I feel compelled to share. You'll also probably notice that I get really excited when I find a good site and the things I try off of it are all really good.

So, I might sound like a broken record...but I am seriously enjoying almost everything I've made on

Another thing we enjoyed this past week...Arugula Salad with Penne, Chick Peas and Sundried Tomato. A friend on a message board posted about it...I read it and got somewhat excited since I had every ingredient but one in the house. Yes, it might be sad that things like that excite me..but to each his own.

Another big plus about this dish...I used it as a side kind of has a little bit of everything..then it was lunch the next day as well. The portions were huge and I loved that it complimented some steak we grilled and then stood alone as a dish by itself the next day as well. I was a little scared that we needed to eat it all in one night and feared the arugula would get weird and wilted and I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot would be like eating salad with dressing the next day..blechh. But, the arugula stayed nice and fresh for a good 2 days after I made it.'s Skinny Taste's Arugula Salad with Penne...

getting mixed in my mixing bowl....

For slightly more appetizing pictures since I take all of mine with the handy cellphone cam...check out the original recipe here

3 cups baby arugula
6 oz Ronzoni Smart Taste penne pasta  (I used Whole Wheat Pasta from Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used a fig balsamic which was sooo good!)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained
4 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly shaved (I just used fresh grated)

Boil pasta and then rinse in cold water. Toss with all the ingredients and Enjoy! This makes 4 generous servings.

Just a note...if you have leftovers..I found the next day that the oil and vinegar absorbed into the pasta quite a bit and added an extra dash of each to freshen up the leftovers.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Postive Thinking

it's something I'm definitely not good at...but it definitely goes a long way. I guess you could say I have a bit of Chicken Little syndrome..when things are going wrong I like to bundle it all together and pretend like the sky is falling. While I'm not a total negative nelly, I do find that when I dwell on the bad, it makes everything seem like it's this terrible dead end street.

So, these past couple weeks I've tried to take a new approach because it's become quite the drag to start off the day hating my drive to work, hating what I have to do that day, hating the chores at home that await me and the endless list of errands there always seem to be. My new little spin on positivity started with a yoga class a couple weeks ago. I've been practicing yoga for the past 2-3 years..typically 2-3 times a week. At the end of the class, we sit and place our hands at our heart center. Our teacher always says something before we wrap up the class with a big Namaste. She said something to the effect of instead of saying or thinking the negative things,  force yourself to spin it in a more positive light and see how it opens your heart to positivity.

The next morning  I sat in traffic swearing at the fact that I was going to be late, thinking about the tons of cases I had on that day, including a nightmare sex offender and gripped my steering wheel in frustration. Instead of thinking my usual....this day is going to SUCK big time...I put my positive spin on it...I said to myself as I white knuckle gripped the wheel...

Today will be a productive day
Today I will help out kids who are in trouble with the law
I will be busy and want to rip my hair out, but I will feel accomplished and proud when it is over.

yup..this might sound super cheesy and you might roll your eyes, but I've continued to do this everyday during my morning commute. It's amazing how my white knuckles on the steering wheel have eased up, how I haven't absolutely dreaded going to work and walking over to court everyday just by changing my mindset. It has really amazed me how these little positive affirmations on my drive into work direct me into a different mindset for the day. I've also noticed that my normal truck driver vocabulary seems to be less littered with the F bomb when I start my day off right...another little perk!

So..challenge yourself..the next time you start the reel of negative thoughts that start off with one little I'm having a bad hair day and inevitably turn into I hate my clothes, my make up came out like crap today and so on....try to instead focus on what's good vs. what's bad.

A great little site my sister turned me onto is
When life started to throw us a couple curveballs these past few months, my sister sent me one of the inspirational quotes from this site. If you sign up, every day you receive an email with a positive inspirational thought. My latest

"Your very own inner wisdom should be valued more than any other and will always guide you in the direction you need to travel."

So, in a world where so much is wrong, the economy sucks, everyone is losing their jobs and terrible things happen everyday...rise above and take control. Think really does go a long way!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I can't believe it's only Wednesday. This is going down as one of the longest weeks in quite some time. Yesterday I tricked myself into thinking that it was Thursday and thought..thank god tomorrow is Friday...boy was I wrong! But..since it's Wednesday..that means it's time for What I'm Loving Wednesday with

Things I'm loving this Wednesday....

Mrs. Mays freeze dried fruit snacks. I grabbed these at Bj's Wholesale Club. I like that it's a snack that doesn't require that means they're in my work bag or desk drawer and also that there's one ingredient..apples!

 I'm also loving Bliss Soapy Suds...this was one of my sister's favorite things for our annual Christmas tradition this year. Last night was one of those nights where I just needed a long hot bath...I used these Bliss Soapy Suds not knowing what to expect since it was a body wash/bubble bath...but they provided bubbles that lasted and smelled so good!

I'm also loving my new Alex and Ani ring. I went to a special Alex and Ani party that Jen from A Girl in Pearls hosted a couple weeks ago! Alex and Ani are known for their bracelets..which I have about 30 of...but I loved this ring as well! I'm a fan of chunky jewelry and like having this in the mix!

But, of course I couldn't just buy a ring..a couple new bracelets were in order as well!

Hope your week is flying by and don't forget to check in at What I'm Loving Wednesday blog hop at!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crack Brownies

I saw this recipe on a blog and tucked it away in my Recipes to Try folder on my computer. How could I not with a name like Crack Brownies! This past weekend we were headed to a friend's house to see some remodeling they did and I wanted to bring along a little something...and I remembered the crack brownie recipe! I thought I could try it out since there would probably be a ton of picky if they weren't that good..I didn't necessarily have to take ownership of them!

But, these did not disappoint they are a pretty damn good brownie..nice and fudgy with a secret ingredient to bring out the chocolate...Maldon Salt Flakes. It was funny to see people eat could see them kind of look at the top wondering what was on them, take a bite, give a nod of approval and then it salt, or what am I eating?

So, overall I give the Crack Brownies a big huge thumbs up! Usually I bake and then it's operation get this stuff out of the house. However, 4 crack brownies are saved in a safe place for an evening snack for myself and the Mr.

So I pass on....Crack Brownies....

Here's the batter ready to go in the hint with brownies..go the extra mile and line your brownie pan with foil, let the edges hang over, and then grease the foil with crisco. You'll never have the fight of scraping a knife along the edges, or the edges come out and the middle is stuck there..makes for super easy clean pans and it's a cinch to get them out!

the secret ingredient..yeah it's salt flakes that cost me $8 but I rationalize that you can probably make 100 batches of crack brownies with one box.

 Fresh out of the oven
a little treat for my coworkers...

Crack Brownies
from www. (here's the link)

1.5 sticks of butter
2 oz of unsweetened chocolate
1 cup of flour
2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup (heaping) of cocoa powder
3 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp Maldon salt flakes

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan melt the butter and chocolate together. Allow it to slightly cool.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients, add eggs and vanilla and then the cooled butter and chocolate mix.

Take 1 teaspoon (mine was a heaping tsp) and evenly sprinkle the salt flakes on top of the brownies. Just make sure it's nice and even.

Bake for 35 minutes. Cool and cut into 16 brownies.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just can't drink like I used to...

my sister and I were talking about the toll that drinking takes on us now that we're in our 30's. Last Saturday night kicked our took me a whole 24 hours to recover..the sister needed 48 hours.

My sister recounted her Sunday night as follows...I'm not sure why I find this rendition of her night so funny..but from the way I was feeling on Sunday...I can TOTALLY relate...

"I put on sunglasses and got in my car. I went to the Taco Bell drive thru because I was looking too rough to get out of the car and not feeling McDonalds. I ordered a bunch of crap. I went home, scarfed it down, watched the Oscars and went to bed. I woke up the next morning, weighed myself and gained 6 lbs"

Yup...we're not invincible and 22 anymore..but looking at the big picture, I'd much rather be 33 with little tolerance than rewind back to my 20's!