Friday Five: YouTube Edition

Happy Friday! Here are five favorites from the week, all YouTube!.

Favorite Hair Tutorial

I love Zoella. Love. Love. Love. As someone who used to have 3 hair styles in her arsenal (down and straight, down and curly, and a ponytail), she makes it seem so easy! I’m happy to say I’ve just about mastered this messy bun.

 

Favorite Workout

I love Pop Pilates. This video burns like nobody’s business. I felt ridiculous doing it, but it was super fun. And probably hilarious to watch.

 

Favorite Food Tutorial

I mean….Obviously. Lots of easy and great ideas here.

 

Favorite Cutie

 

Favorite Animal Cutie

 

 

 

What are your favorite YouTube videos??

 

Have a great weekend!

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Tortellini

I have another delish recipe for ya’ll! This super decadent pasta dish packs lots of flavor, creaminess, and veggies, and is definitely under 500 calories. A pasta dish under 500 calories? WITH cheese? Sign me up.

I adapted this recipe from several creamy pasta dishes I found online. Again, please excuse the terrible picture quality. We are working on getting a decent camera.

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Tortellini

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Kroger frozen cheese tortellini
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 c. fresh spinach
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp flour
  • 1 c. fat free half and half (I used Kroger brand)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Shredded parmesan cheese for topping
  • Salt, pepper, basil, red pepper flakes to taste

Method:

Cook tortellini according package directions. I added a tiny bit of olive oil to keep the tort from sticking, as well as some salt for flavor. Once cooked, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add in minced garlic and sautee until fragrant.

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Meanwhile, roll and chop the spinach. I chopped mine pretty small because, you know….braces. Spinach was the last thing I wanted stuck in my brackets lol. Add the chopped spinach to the garlic and olive oil.

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Once the spinach has wilted, add in the can of tomatoes. Do not drain! You need that juice to help make the saucy goodness.

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Allow this yumminess to bubble.

Meanwhile, whisk the half and half into the flour, very gradually. This is going to give the sauce a creamy, thick quality.

IMAG1006 IMAG1007 It should be nice and creamy, well mixed. No chunks of flour here.

Once the tomato mixture is bubbling, carefully stir in the creamy mixture. Add in salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes, all according to your preference.

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Doesn’t that look awesome?

Allow this mixture to come to a bubbling awesomeness. Make sure to stir occasionally, or the sauce will stick to the bottom of the pan, and that is gross.

Very carefully add in the drained tortellini. Stir very gently and very slowly, so you don’t tear the tort.

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Yummmm.

I shredded some parm with a potato peeler (because that’s how I roll) to top the pasta.

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It was so good. So creamy, and so decadent.

Now to totally blow you away. This recipe makes 4 hearty servings. And each serving only has…

439 calories and 13 grams of fat

(as determined by MyFitnessPal)

What are some of your favorite pasta dishes? If you try this out, be sure to post a pic so I can see!

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Quick Fix Dinner: Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

Hey, ya’ll! So I can finally (sort of) eat solid foods again. Tonight, I decided that I wanted to make something quick, easy, and super flavorful. Hubs was wanting a Mexican night, so I thought quesadillas would be good.

 

These quesadillas are super flavorful, and the chicken was soo juicy and perfectly seasoned. I loved the simplicity of using just onions and red bell pepper to “beef up” the filling. It took me less than 30 minutes to make these suckers, from start to finish.

*Please excuse the terrible photo quality. I’m operating from a cell phone!

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

Ingredients (for 2 whole quesadillas)

  • 4 whole wheat flour tortillas (I used Mission brand)
  • 2 thin boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Yellow onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Shredded cheese of your choice (I used Mexican blend)
  • Spray oil or butter for cooking quesadillas
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika

Method:

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Season both sides of the chicken breasts generously. You can use a seasoning ratio of your choice. I tend to use equal amounts of everything except the paprika. I use a little less paprika.

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I wasn’t kidding. Generously season those suckers.

Next, throw your chicken breasts into the preheated skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes each side, or until thoroughly cooked.

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Look at the gorgeous crust on these! Yum!

Look at the gorgeous crust on these! Yum!

Set chicken aside. Do not clean the pan. 

Slice your veggies. Usually, I would cut the onion and pepper into fajita strips, but since I am having issues chewing, I diced them. Throw these guys into the pan, adding more olive oil if necessary.

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While the veggies are cooking, shred or cube your chicken. I chose to shred. I think shredded chicken works a little better in a quesadilla.

Once the veggies are cooked to your liking (I prefer soft, hubs prefers slightly crunchy), remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.

This time, I very carefully took a paper towel and wiped an excess oil out of the pan.

Now it is time to assemble the quesadillas!

Melt some butter (or use cooking spray, but I like the crust butter gives) and lay one tortilla in the pan.

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Layer the filling on top of the tortilla in this order: Cheese, chicken, fajita veggies, cheese, another tortilla.

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I eyeballed the cheese. I used a little more for hubs, but probably used a little more than 1/4 c. for mine. I wasn’t necessarily trying to be hyper healthy here. I missed food, guys! We’ll call this a YOLO meal? Whatever. I’m not mad.

This is what the lovely butter can do for your tortilla.

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Yummm. I paired this with some fat free refried beans, Cholula, and salsa. Because I could.

I was so hungry, I totally forgot to take a picture of the plated quesadilla…..Sorry about that…..

What’s your favorite quick fix dinner?

Tell me in the comments below!

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Motivational Monday: Setting Yourself Up For a Great Day!

Happy Monday!

I have a love-hate relationship with Mondays. Yes, it’s the beginning of the work week… BUT, it’s the beginning of a new week. And with the beginning of a new week comes a motivational Monday post!

Today, I’m talking tips and tricks for going from sun up to sun down with plenty of energy and peace of mind. To me, starting and ending the day with good energy is the key to a good day.

 

Continue reading

Fall Bucket List

Hello!

I’m slowly but surely getting back to being 100% me again! For those of you who don’t know, I had 4 wisdom teeth cut and 4 premolars pulled this past Monday. I won’t bore you with the details, but recovery has been horrific! I’m sure most of you can relate! If you’re lucky and don’t have wisdom teeth (like my lovely, evolved little sister), BE THANKFUL!

Speaking of thankful… IT’S FALL, YA’LL! It is my favorite season! Really I love every season, but something about fall makes me extra giddy.

I have a long list of things I like to do every fall, so I thought I’d share them with ya’ll! The plan is to have everything checked off by November 30. Join me in this fun bucket list!

  1. Go to an apple orchard.
  2. Make tons of apple butter. When I make mine, I will post the recipe I use!
  3. Carve pumpkins. 
  4. Halloween movie marathon.
  5. Bake a pie. 
  6. Bake pumpkin bread. 
  7. Go to a festival. 
  8. Halloween Haunt at Kings Island. Super cheesy and so not scary, but always something fun I love to do with my sis!
  9. Crockpot chili. 
  10. Go to a football game. Obviously.

 

What’s on your fall bucket list?

A Mess of a Post

Hello!

This post is going to be a mess of everything that has been going on since Monday.

 

You’ve been warned. But you should stick around anyway! 🙂

So I got the brackets for braces this past Wednesday. This Monday, I get 8 teeth removed, so the wires aren’t in yet. I feel like I look like I’m 15 (I’m 24 and look young anyway). I will be almost 27 when I get these suckers off. BUT, I will have straight, lovely teeth. And a much healthier mouth, for sure. I don’t have extra teeth, just less space than normal. Also, those pesky wisdom teeth are coming out!

Anyway, I won’t be posting any new recipes in the next week or so, because my diet will be limited to mushy foods. I’m assuming no one needs a tutorial on how to remove the lid from a jar of unsweetened applesauce…. 😉

Here is a LOVELY picture of myself with my brackets.

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Annnd a lovely picture of how I’ve had to eat my FiberOne brownies…

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*I know that FiberOne brownies are not considered “clean.” I try to follow the 80/20 (ish) rule when it comes to clean eating!

Since I’m going to have these braces on for a pretty good chunk of time, I’ve decided to declare the next 2 years the “Katie Becomes Awesome” years. I know, I know. I’m SO modest.

Let me explain a little bit. The next two years, I’m going to focus on becoming the person I want to be. This includes physically, professionally, socially, and most importantly, spiritually. If I feel up to it, next week I will write up a post going into a little bit more detail. Yay for goals!

 

I went to the gym the other day and took a few progress pictures.

 

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Not a whole lot of progress happening right now, but as soon as I can (after the surgery) I will be getting back to it!

 

Until then, I need some help with my “braces diet.” I need some smoothie, protein shake, and soft food recipes! Leave me your favorites in the comments section below!

Leave post or recipe requests in the comment section! 

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and of course, click the follow the blog button!

 

Thank you all so much for reading. You all are appreciated!

 

 

Motivational Monday: Progress

Happy Labor Day! So this post is sort of a double whammy, if you will: Motivational Monday in the form of a progress report. I’m going to do monthly progress reports to keep myself accountable!

Normally, I’d like to post progress on the last day of each month. But, since this was a long weekend, I figured I could wait until Monday!

I’ve only recently started taking pictures to document my progress, so I have very few. However, I believe that taking photographic evidence of your hard work is one of the best ways to keep you motivated!

I don’t know if it is as obvious, but the difference between 2012 and last month is about 25 ish pounds.

Spring of 2012

Spring of 2012

Spring of 2012 Man, I miss clogging.

Spring of 2012
Man, I miss clogging.

Summer of 2012, engagement pictures.

Summer of 2012, engagement pictures.

Summer of 2012. If this isn't the perfect depiction of a weight struggle... Idk what is!

Summer of 2012. If this isn’t the perfect depiction of a weight struggle… Idk what is!

August 2014, side view

August 2014, side view

August 2014, front. Wayy too pumped about something!

August 2014, front. Wayy too pumped about something!

What keeps you motivated? Tell me in the comments below! Also, leave a link to your blog if you’ve got one! I’d love to follow your blogs!

Alsoooo, expect me to be MIA for the next 2 weeks. I am getting braces and 8 teeth cut or pulled in the next two weeks, and will be living on applesauce!!!

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and on here!!!