Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Munchies: Oz-Approved Lasagna

This week's Monday Munchies is somewhat of a fail, because I'm at home this week and my chances to cook are minimal with all the chaos of Thanksgiving. 

But this morning I was putting up some Christmas decorations with my mom (kill me now) and saw something on Dr. Oz that looked delicious. 

He took a family's original lasagna recipe and made it healthier. And I wanted to eat the whole dish of it. The original recipe can be found here.

When I get back to Athens, or over Christmas break, I will definitely be making this skinny version though. 

I love me some veggie substitutes to make me fuller with less carbs and fat. And calories-- duh.

So cook up! And enjoy!

xoxo, jgp

P.S. If you don't watch the Dr. Oz show often, you really should. He's awesome and entertaining and so enlightening and full of information. Just do it.

The Closet Sale is LIVE!

After some serious struggles in my attempts to find the best way to do this online, I think I found the best option. Fingers crossed.

The access the sale-- find the button the right side bar and it will take you directly to it. 

I'm still int he process of getting everything up online. So keep checking back in! Everything should be posted by Wednesday night.

Instructions on how to buy things is on the Closet Sale page, so check there for more info.

Happy shopping!

xoxo, jgp

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Munchies: Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa

The fact that this post is going up before 10PM is quite possibly a miracle. But I guess this is what happens when I don't have a million things going on with school on top of everything else. And I don't hate it. 

I found this recipe earlier today on Pinterest as I was trying to figure out what to eat this week to avoid being as fat as I was last week. And I stumbled across this and figured it would be a great lunch and solid side dish for some dinners.

And I had all of the ingredients already in my fridge and pantry. Yes
And it's simple. I can deal.

Stuff you need:
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups chicken/veggie broth or water (I used half and half)
1 medium zucchini
1 cup of cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa (based on the boxes instructions) in whatever liquid you choose for about 15 minutes (until it absorbs it all). While that's cooking, grate your zucchini. 

When your quinoa is done cooking (make sure there isn't any liquid left- it will make it runny), toss in the zucchini and cheese, and mix it all up. 

I ate this for lunch today and it was so tasty. And better for you than mac & cheese-- my weakness. It's also much more filling. Currently stuffed.

What is your favorite way to eat quinoa?

xoxo, jgp

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Currently Reading: An Abundance of Katherines

This is kind of a lie. I finished this book this morning. But I thought it was so good I needed to share. 

An Abundance of Katherines is by John Green, the guy who wrote The Fault in Our Stars (one of my favorites) so when I was stumbling around B&N a couple weeks ago- I had to pick it up. I also picked up another John Green book that day too... Whoops. 

This books is about a guy who has dated 19 girls named Katherine and his search to discover why every single one of them has dumped him. Because he's a genius- Colin tries to find a theorem that will explain this phenomenon through math. During his journey, he realizes that there may be more to life than he thinks. 

This book came at the perfect time for me. Colin is stuck in this rut of feeling like he isn't good enough and stressing over it. And I'm essentially doing the same thing with my career path right now. I'm stuck constantly thinking about what I want to do, and where I want to go, and how I'm going to get there. When I should just enjoy the life I'm living now and think about all those things as they come. 

Not that I shouldn't plan-- I definitely should-- but I shouldn't spend my life planning rather than living. And I find myself doing that often. 

So thanks, John Green, for always making my realize that taking life for granted isn't worth it. 

I think I'm gonna go live a little. 

Have you read any John Green books? What's your favorite?

xoxo, jgp

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Best {Country} Songs You've Never Heard

There are few things that everyone can agree on, but one of them is music. Not taste in music- but that music is important to just about everyone in some way.

My taste in music is pretty much all over the place, so my iTunes on shuffle is relatively startling sometimes. But it also produces some quality stuff. 

I also buy albums a lot-- which leads to finding some of the greatest songs that the radio will never see. So, I thought I'd dig through my iTunes library and share with you some of the greatest songs you've never heard. I tried to avoid any really recent albums that may have more singles released, but I did put a section at the bottom for those albums!

For today, here's my collection of the best country songs you've never heard:

And you should just go ahead and buy these albums... AH-MAY-ZING.

Wheelhouse- Brad Paisley

Songs to check out: 
Outstanding In Our Field, Karate, The Mona Lisa

A.M.- Chris Young
Songs to check out: 
A.M., Text Me Texas, Lighters In the Air <--My favorite!

True Believers- Darius Rucker
Songs to check out: 
Take Me Home, Only Wanna Be With You <--Yes, Hootie remake... That is all.

It Goes Like This- Thomas Rhett
Songs to check out: 
Whatcha Got In That Cup, Make Me Wanna, Take You Home

There will be more of these lists to come with other types of music. I just got all carried away with the amazing country music out there right now.

What is your favorite secret song?

xoxo, jgp

Thursday, November 14, 2013

You May Have a Shopping Problem When...

Every tab other than Facebook and Blogger open on your browser is a shopping cart on a website. 

And this is not a drill. I blew way too much money at Sephora earlier this week. I had a coupon, I couldn't help it. I've had a J.Crew Factory shopping cart worth over $1,000 for a few weeks now. Tuckernuck-- give me all of it. I need a navy and black pair of Lilly Pulitzer travel pants right this second. And don't even get me started on the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale... BAD BAD BAD.

Here's a look at what I'm wishing I could pull the trigger on:

I would like them all please. As usual, J.Crew Factory is having a pretty good sale right now. I may finally get the guts to get some of the stuff I've been eyeing for months now. 

What are you wanting right now?

xoxo, jgp

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Munchies: Crockpot Chicken Chili

It's that time of year again! Chili time! And to kick that off- I've been cooking up some crockpot chicken chili all day. I love regular chili- but you get so much of that during the fall and winter- so I thought I'd mix things up a bit and try something new. I also made it healthier than the original as well! Win-Win!

And crockpot meals are seriously my favorite. So simple and you can come home to a meal? Count me in!

This recipe was relatively simple and pretty cheap for a chicken chili recipe. I had all the spices except one (shockingly), so that made the process that much easier. I also don't like white beans... So I adapted as needed. And as usual, I took the easy way out and got pre-chopped onions and garlic. Because college. 

So here's what you need:
2 chicken breasts
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 cans of garbanzo beans
5 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans of chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup whipping cream

Drain the cans of garbanzo beans, dump 'em in. And do the same with all of the other ingredients except the greek yogurt and whipping cream-- that's for later. 

Let that sit for 7-10 hours on low. Mine sat for about 9 hours. 

Then shred up the chicken and you'll have something that looks like this:

Now mix in the greek yogurt (which I substituted for sour cream) then mix in the whipping cream (new ingredient for me, woah.) Then let that sit for another 15 minutes to warm all the way through. 

Then boom. Yumminess. 

Mine turned out a little less creamy than I intended for it to be... It's more like a soup. I think I actually should have used sour cream instead of greek yogurt. This may not have been the best time to substitute. But, ya know, we're learning here.

The original recipe can be found here.

What is your favorite fall dinner recipe?

xoxo, jgp

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

GA/FL Weekend 2013

This past weekend is hands-down, without-a-doubt, forever-and-always my favorite weekend of the year. It's up there with the first weekend of football season and Christmas morning. But better. 

For those of you that don't know-- every year, UGA plays Florida in Jacksonville and all of the UGA student's use our "Fall Break" to take off to St. Simons Island for the weekend. Which involves a very large party Friday- all day- on the beach. Followed by the craziest rivalry game of the year on Saturday.

So yes- it's clearly the greatest weekend ever. And I turn into a completely different person as well. I don't care what anyone thinks, how many emails I have in my inbox, or what's going in the world for a solid 72 hours. And quite honestly- that's exactly what I needed this weekend. 

I feel like a new person this week and I love it. That is probably somewhat rooted in the relief that I'm feeling now that October is over-- even though it was one of the best months of my life. I finally feel like my life has calmed down a bit and I can finally catch up on everything I've been neglecting. 

So despite the crazy party that was this weekend- I feel so refreshed this week. How that happens, I don't know- but I don't hate it. Weird. 

Now for some pictures from this absolutely insane weekend:
Yes, that is a tall boy Lime-a-Rita in my PFG pocket. No judging. 

One of my favorite moments of the weekend- running into a friend I haven't seen in over a year. One of the many reasons this weekend is so great.

Parking deck tailgating... The only way to go on a rainy day. 

And a Dawgs win to make it all that more amazing!


Have you ever felt refreshed after a completely exhausting weekend? Or is that just me being weird?

Happy Tuesday-- I'm happy to be back again finally!

xoxo, jgp

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Munchies: White Pizza

It's been well-established here that I have a carb problem. And a cheese problem. So, as you may guess- pizza is one of my biggest weaknesses. (Other than nachos.) 

This weekend, which I'll post about tomorrow, I ate an entire pizza in one sitting. Whoops. And for some reason- I was craving it again today... Mainly because I have minimal food in my fridge currently. 

So, I did what I do a lot and went with my version of a less-guilt version of some pizza. And tonight-- it was white (one of my faves.)

Things I always have in my fridge: pita bread and cheese. I normally make this with tomato sauce and turkey pepperoni, but decided to go with something new tonight!

I used multigrain pita bread, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, and parmesan. Yeah, I like cheese. Judge me.

I used ricotta as the base, then you know the drill.

Pop it in the oven on 425 for 10-15 minutes and you have yourself a lovely little meal.

Om nom nom. I love pizza. That is all.

What cheats do you use to avoid cravings?

xoxo, jgp