My Avo-racha Chicken Salad

d238fe21eddbc6ded5a7aae7534e8e55

I don’t know about all of you, but when the weather starts to get warmer, I like to eat lighter food with super fresh flavors.  This week I whipped up a dish with some of the things I had left over in my fridge that needed to be used.  The result?  Avo-racha Chicken Salad.  Once I tasted it, I thought it was good enough to share.  It’s a super easy, quick, one dish meal that’s perfect to take to work or on a picnic.

(Makes enough for 1 hungry person or two moderately hungry people…)

What You Need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 of a red or white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped, fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of Sriracha (this is a suggestion, do as you please)
  • 1 cold, grilled chicken breast, cubed. (I don’t have a grill so I bought my grilled chicken breast at Whole Foods.  A cold baked chicken breast would surely be fine too.)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper

What You Do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Eat the contents of the bowl.

 

If you feel so incline, this would be great on top of a piece of crust bread or even in a wrap.  Let me know what you think and happy eating!

Have a Wonderful Weekend

d776dce1f3eabcc4965be15ebd6f2b02

Hi everyone!  Sorry I’ve been gone but I decided to slip away for a weekend and take a spring break of sorts.  How’ve you been?  Any big plans for the weekend?  I plan to continue the job hunt and and get to work on a line up of some super great Monday morning posts for all of you.  Here are some links I’ve collected during some inordinately long layovers and wonderfully long coffee breaks.  Happy clicking!

Me and the boyfriend made this seriously fantastic curry dish when we got back from a weekend away.  It’s super simple and yields amazing leftovers for curried chicken salad.  Yum.

You absolutely HAVE to watch this truly hilarious skit with Christopher Walken from SNL. A friend showed it to me this past weekend and I don’t remember the last time I laughed that hard.

Speaking of googley eyes, here’s this.

I found this Always commercial the other day and couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a (some would say) completely irrational fear of the zombie apocalypse.  Needless to say, I had to take this quiz to find out whether or not I would survive.  “You would survive longer than most” isn’t a sufficient answer for me.

I plan to watch this documentary this weekend.  Can’t. Wait.

Can we talk, really quickly, about how insanely gorgeous this leather jacket is? Okay, thanks.

You can eat your way to a better night’s sleep according to this article.

If you’re going through Making a Murderer withdrawals, this podcast just might be able to get you through.  Best listened to during the day if you live alone or just live in constant fear of murderers…

Check out all of these random yet awesome beauty tools.  I love the brush mat.

Hope you enjoy all these lovely links and I’ll meet you back here Monday. Sending you kisses and hugs and tons of coffee in mugs.

Night and Day

I feel like there are endless articles about the routines of highly successful women that are already established in their careers but none about the highly motivated and really inspiring young women that are paving their own way to success.  I decided to ask some of the super inspiring and motivated young women that I know to share their evening and morning routines to get some new ideas for highly effective habits.  Let me know what you think and share your routines too!

a1730c5e5a9c7f6444102b313839e46e

Clareese, 24, Orlando, Florida, Current Job: Gallery Consultant, Dream Job: Mogul

I tend to get out of work around 7 or 8pm have gotten into the dirty little habit of going out to dinner almost every single night. Turns out that I will pay any amount to avoid having to deal with ingredients, cook times, and dishes. After dinner I go home and if it’s not too late I like to unwind even more with some Netflix. When I’ve watched my fill of home design shows or Wisconsin-based murder mysteries I brush my teeth and wash my face. I always put away any clothes I left laying out earlier in the day and tidy up my workspace and vanity. I also like to read a bit before bed to give my eyes and brain a break from all the screens I’ve been staring at all day. When I can’t keep my eyes open anymore I double-check my alarm, turn on my sound soother, and hit the lights.

Julie D., 26, New Smyrna Beach, FL Current Job: Executive Assistant, Dream Job: Entrepreneur & Writer

At least 30 minutes unplugged from tv, laptop, phone before “lights out” guarantees my best night’s sleep. I make sure to complete my skincare ritual so I feel my best and look my best the next morning then I drink hot decaf tea or hot water with lemon to relax and hydrate.  Lastly, I set my phone on silent – except alarms. You can’t be your best self if your REM is being interrupted by texts and calls. As an executive assistant I get texts from our CEO at all hours of the night. Thankfully she doesn’t expect me to answer until 7am.

Erin, 25, Orlando, Florida, Current Job: Graduate Student and Graduate Research Assistant, University of Central Florida Sports Business Management, Dream Job: Analyst for Major League Baseball Franchise

My job is in the sports industry, so regular hours are not a thing for me. Depending on game schedules, I sometimes work until 10:00 pm. On particularly long days, I like to come home and go for a run to unwind. I recently bought little lights to attach to my shoelaces so I can run in the dark and not be worried – this was by far my best purchase in a while. After unwinding, I get ready for the next day. I don’t like to feel rushed in the morning, so I prepare everything the night before. I lay out my clothes and put together my workbag. I also prepare all my food for the next day – typically a smoothie for the morning, a salad for lunch and a piece of chicken and some vegetables for dinner. I always have nuts, berries, and clif bars to bring with me since I never know how long I’ll be away from the house – these snacks are my savior! Before finally settling into bed, I stand in a hot shower to relax and ease out all the day’s tension.  

Olivia, 24, Washington, DC, Current Job: Key Leader at Lululemon Athletica, Dream Job: Special Agent

Because I’m an early riser, I pack up my duffel with my yoga and CrossFit gear, my clothes for work, my laptop and anything else I will need for the day. I typically take a bubble bath before I get in bed.  It warms me up and also helps me to unwind after a day of running around and dealing with difficult customers. Recently, my boyfriend and I have made an effort to lessen the use of laptops, phones and iPads before bedtime so we will usually read in bed (currently loving The Mulberry Bush and When Calls the Heart) for a while before turning in.

Ashley, 24, Boston, MA, Current Job: Law Student, Dream Job: Judge on the U.S. Supreme Court

I am terrible at sleeping; it is almost impossible for me to do! I usually try to get my work done at my desk and try not to do homework in bed. Since I already have a hard time sleeping, I try really hard to associate bed only with resting. One thing I can’t do is leave a mess; I have to make sure my sink is empty of dishes and my floor is empty of clothes. I like to take my showers at night because I don’t like to carry the dirt of the day into my bed. I have a very active mind and it’s hard for me to shut it off. I need my room to be completely dark (I have a sleeping mask!) and I need a fan on for white noise. I am not terribly strict about electronics in bed, sometimes I watch episodes of something familiar for background noise that I don’t feel I have to pay attention to.

Julie M., 25 (OMG when did that happen), Washington, DC, Current Job: Public Relations Specialist, Dream Job: Director of Communications/ Crisis Communications Consultant 
I try and go in my room and separate from my lovely roommates about an hour before it’s time to pass out. I like to check email one last time and flag things that I may have missed or really need to jump on the next morning.  Winter is a new thing for me so I compulsively check the weather and lay out my outfit the night before with approximately 6 “what-if” options. I also pack a change of shoes because my second biggest fear in life is tumbling down the escalator at the Pentagon Metro.
small-shop-for-a2-photo-shoot-desk-vignette-overhead-biz-cards-roses-coffee-laptop

Clareese

Disclaimer: I have a pretty cushy job situation in that I never really have to be at work earlier than 2pm. So sorry.My alarm goes off at 8am every morning and the first thing I do is turn on the Keurig before brushing my teeth, washing my face, and slathering on more eye cream. By the time that’s done with, my coffee is ready (thank goodness because I don’t have the brain power for anything more at this point). While I’m not a fan of the snooze button I am all for crawling back into bed with my coffee while I scroll through Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, and my email. And then I always, always make my bed. I feel like it really starts your day right (and solidifies your decision to get out of it) and it only takes a minute or two. After that I eat breakfast while I scan the New York Times and BuzzFeed; because while I need to know how the Iowa Caucasus went down I ALSO need to know what kind of doughnut I am. When I finally figure out that I’m a strawberry-glazed doughnut, I clean up around the house and then it’s time for a work out. I like to work out about five times a week and in the mornings and only the mornings so if I miss my 10am-11am window a work out is probably not going to happen. It’s either yoga or the Tracy Anderson Method . When all of that is said and done, I shower before figuring out what I’m wearing to work which is pretty easy since it’s almost always head to toe black. And with that and a spritz of Jo Malone, I’m out the door. 

Julie D.

I Drink 8oz of water first thing when I wake up and I don’t skimp on breakfast. I typically have a hard boiled egg, berries with yogurt, and cereal with almond milk. the next step is to get outside – ideally to workout, but on the days I simply can’t for whatever reason, a brisk walk with the dog is still a must for a good start to the day.

Erin

I have a very specific morning routine. I wake up at 5:00 am and immediately make myself a mug of hot water with lemon and honey. Part of my job requires managing my boss’ social media account, so while I drink my lemon water I search for inspirational or controversial sport stories to post throughout the day. By 6:00 am I am out the door for my run or morning workout. By the time I finish my workout, I’m ready for a big breakfast to help start my day and get down to work!

Olivia

I’m usually up at 5 am to get to CrossFit or a hot yoga class with my coworkers. I’ll fill up two bottles of ice-cold water and that will usually fuel me through my classes. On the drive over, I’ll listen to the news and after class I’ll head to my favorite juicer to get my morning Super Green smoothie. I have admin time each morning as Director of Digital Engagement, which is when I’ll check and respond to emails, read each of my favorite blogs for inspiration, and then head over to our Facebook page and try to put together at least one product post or community update before hitting the store floor!

Ashley

I am just as bad at waking up as I am at going to bed. Habitual snooze-button masher, party of one! To offset that, I usually set an alarm about 2 hours before I need to leave (But normally wait until around 1 hour to actually get out of bed!). I start my day off with making coffee in my French press  and checking my email. Sometimes I like to make bulletproof coffee, which is adding butter and coconut oil to your coffee and blending it. It sounds weird, but it’s creamy, delicious, and keeps you full and alert.

I usually wake up to around 20 emails just from over the night. I’m treasurer of the Student Bar Association at my law school, and oversee budgets for around 100 different organizations.  After I get my coffee and check my emails, I take my dog for a walk (Or as I like to call it, a “promenade”). It’s about 10-15 minutes long, but it helps wake me up and lets me bond a little bit with my dog, Ringo. Then I pack a breakfast to take to school because I’m not interested in eating right when I wake up.  If I’m staying on campus through lunch, I’ll try and pack a homemade soup.  I like to use mason jars so that the seal is tight and there’s no spillage in my bag. Once I’m all packed up with my food and my books for the day, I’m ready to go!

Julie M.

I wake up, turn on a light (I have no windows, fun fact about what the word “den” means in DC) and check the social media I manage for my job first thing, because the general public is coo-coo for cocoa puffs and likes to comment mean/explicit/political things overnight. Then personal Instagram / twitter because you need the balance of relatable memes and overnight news. 
I then drag myself to the bathroom, & turn on a podcast while I get ready. Hair, makeup, clothes on. Check weather again, brew coffee, run out the door begging my roommate to lock it because I am always late for the shuttle or can’t find my keys (because winter means quadruple the amount of pockets.) I commit the cardinal sin most mornings and skip the food because why take 10 minutes to cook eggs when you could be burrowed and warm in bed.
I can’t stand mornings, so I do a task and reward myself with the little things. Like congrats, you did it you actually got up. Here’s a podcast to keep you entertained and thinking about someone else’s life and problems. Curled your hair AND did your makeup….Kcups all around.
I hope you all enjoyed reading these as much as I did.  I definitely have picked up a few ideas to incorporate into my routines.  What do you think?  What are your morning and evening keys to successful and productive days?  Here’s a post from the past you may enjoy too!

 

Peachy Green Smoothie

FullSizeRender

I’m trying to get creative with my snacks.  I’m the worst when it comes to mindless snacking especially when I’m at home blogging, answering e-mails and doing general busy work.  I’ve decided to jump on the smoothie train and give them a go.  Here’s a recipe I came up with that tastes good, keeps you full and is 100% guilt free.  (Don’t let the grayish green color deter you, I promise it’s good.)

 

What You Need:

  • 3-4 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen peaches
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 1 Tbsp of honey
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk

 

What You Need To Do:

  • Combine them all in a blender.
  • Drink it

 

Want more ideas for satisfying snacks?  Check out this past post I did about snacking and snacking habits.

Move Over Wheaties

Image 2-8-16 at 3.21 PMThere’s a new breakfast in town.  Have you tried chia pudding?  I made some this week and I thought I would share it with all of you.  It’s so easy to make and lasts for a long long time in your fridge.  Not only is it a great breakfast, it’s also the perfect snack.  Let me know what you think.  Here’s the how-to:

You’ll Need:

  • 1 Cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen, I used fresh)
  • 1 Cup of milk (you can use any kind, I opted for almond milk)
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp of greek yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp of chia seeds
  • A food processor or blender
  • 1 medium-sized container (I just used glass tupperware but you could use any kind of container that will fit in your fridge.)

Directions:

  1. In your blender or food processor combine all ingredients EXCEPT the chia seeds and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into your chosen container and sprinkle in your chia seeds.
  3. With a spoon or rubber spatula give the mixture a good stir to make sure that the chia seeds are fully incorporated.
  4. Cover your container and place it in the fridge.  Let it sit for a minimum of an hour so that the chia seeds have time to absorb the liquid, this is what creates the pudding-like consistency.  I like to let mine sit over night so that it really gets the opportunity to set up.

I poured my pudding over a sliced banana and topped it with coconut and walnuts but you could top yours with anything your heart desires.  You can do all kinds of things to make this recipe your own, kind of like having a sundae for breakfast except with fruit so it’s more adult and nutritious (and socially acceptable).  Enjoy!

 

 

A Weekend Away

I’m making a run for it

Thursday I’m heading to San Francisco to visit my good friends and escape the Florida heat.  It’s a short trip but a long distance which means that a strategically packed carry-on bag is a must.  Here’s what I’ll be bringing on my flight:

  • At least two books.  I’m choosing between The Catcher in the Rye, Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
  • A neck pillow- I found this one but it might be a bit too ridiculous.)
  • A blanket- I bought a small fleece children’s blanket from Brookstone a few years ago and now I don’t get on a flight without it.  It’s the perfect size.
  • Cozy Socks- I don’t know about you, but my toes always freeze mid-flight.
  • This is basically like a shower in a can.  You’ll look and feel refreshed and no one will ever know that you spent five hours in a middle seat crammed between two men three times your size.
  • SNACKS- Enough said.
  • Headphones- I have the utmost sympathy for the baby experiencing airplane ear aches but four hours of crying is both heartbreaking and head splitting.

Those are my essentials that I always always bring.  I recently stumbled across these and I’m dying to try one.  I have a feeling they make excellent stocking stuffers too (for those of you that plan ahead).  What are your travel necessities?

I Made Some Soup…

Soup.

Soup.

Okay, I made a LOT of soup.  Around this time of year I always get what I call fall sick.  Living in Florida, I miss leaves, crisp air and, of course, fall flavors.  I think a really good butternut squash soup tastes like fall in a bowl so I decided to make some.  I opted to put some turkey bacon on top of it at the end but the recipe itself is vegan, gluten free and really easy meaning this is a food everyone can love.  It was so good I decided I would share.

What You Need to Make the Soup:

-1(2 1/2 to 3 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2 inch chunks.  **Check your local grocery store to see if they have pre-cut butternut squash, I found some at Trader Joe’s.

-1 Tbsp of olive oil

-1 chopped onion

-1 large leek (only the pale green and white bits) sliced

-2 garlic cloves, minced

-3 cups vegetable broth

-1 1/2 tsp dried sage, crumbled

-1/4 tsp black pepper

-a pinch of cayenne

How to Make the Soup:

1) Place your squash in a steamer basket over about an inch of boiling water in a large saucepan.  Cover it up and cook it for about 15 minutes.

2) While your squash is steaming, heat up your oil in another saucepan on medium heat.  Add your onion, leek and garlic and let it cook while your stir until it’s soft.  It should only take about five minutes.

3) Add your squash and remaining ingredients to your onion, leek and garlic and bring it to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat, cover the pot and let it simmer until the squash is very soft.

4) Puree the soup in a food processor or blender in batches if needed.

I put mine into a covered bowl so that I could eat it throughout the week but if you want to eat it immediately and feel like it cooled off a little too much you can reheat it back in your saucepan.

Hope you enjoy!

I’m Throwing a Halloween Party

https://s.yimg.com/fz/api/res/1.2/8E90vrSiUjmQdoB8feIupQ--/YXBwaWQ9c3JjaGRkO2g9MzQwO3E9OTU7dz02NTA-/http://www.tasteofcinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/universal-horror-films.jpg

I love Halloween and I kind of consider it the beginning of the holiday season.  When I was little, my mom used to go all out and decorate the entire house inside and out.  One year in particular comes to mind when she truly outdid herself; my room was so scary I couldn’t sleep in it– it was fantastic!

I decided to throw a Halloween party at the beginning of the month and I’ve gone a little overboard with my party planning.  I found some really great ones like this gruesome bathtub accent, this killer serving idea and this totally terrifying cocktail.  I can’t wait to get started!

What are your plans?  Any suggestions?  I want to know!

Snack Attack

Snacks

I’m a big time snacker. Last year my hours working as an AmeriCorps volunteer were crazy and long and I never knew when I was going to have time to actually sit and eat something – you know, with a fork and knife. I love a granola bar just as much as the next girl but I got tired of eating the same on-the-go food day in and day out, so I vowed to find more creative and satisfying munchies that were equally convenient. I’ve collected a list of some of my favorites and thought I’d share them with you.

Wallaby Organic Australian Style Yogurt

When I set out on my quest to find a better snack, yogurt was one of the first things I turned to. I would throw all kinds of fruits, nuts, cereal, cinnamon and honey into it. Then I found Wallaby Yogurt. To me, this is the Yogurt to end all yogurts—it’s amazing. They have great flavors (Raspberry and Banana Vanilla are my favorite) and they’re really satisfying. I like to top mine with walnuts and shredded coconut for some added texture.

Scrambled Eggs

I realize this probably sounds like a strange snack, and it kind of is, but I promise you won’t be disappointed. I decided to start bringing scrambled eggs as a snack to work because I wanted something that would be warm and filling and quick to eat. I’d just scramble them up along with my breakfast, put them in a glass container and throw them in the fridge when I got to my office. Sometimes I got creative and added peppers or green onions too. Just pop them in the microwave and 30 seconds later your warm mini-meal is ready!

Peanut Butter and, well, anything…

Pretzels, toast, celery, the occasional Oreo—you name it, they all go with peanut butter. Sometimes if I’m really in a rush and need an extra boost of energy that I know will last, I’ll just eat a spoonful of it all by itself. This is a snack staple that’s here to stay.

 Tea

I know exactly what you’re thinking, “Tea isn’t a snack”. Hear me out. Not everyone has this problem but I often do; sometimes you’re in the mood to snack just for the sake of snacking. This can get tricky if you’re not hungry because you end up eating more than you’d planned and throwing your eating off for the rest of the day. I look to tea when I’m in the mood to aimlessly graze. If I’ve got work I still need to get done, I go for a black tea for a little extra caffeine, Lipton has always been my favorite, with a packet of Splenda to keep the sweet tooth at bay. If it’s later in the night and I’m looking to relax, I love Teavana’s Mint Majesty (it’s great iced too).