28.2.13

my birthday

I am taking the day off from blogging since it is my birthday. 

I told the Hubs exactly what I wanted to do for my birthday today. After I get home from traveling, we are going to go to CrossFit together, order in food, and then watch tonight's episode of Scandal. I am taking off tomorrow but the Hubs is leaving early for a weekend trip so it will be nice to spend the evening with him. 

Also, don't forget to enter the MyMemories giveaway! It ends tonight. 

27.2.13

wednesday randoms, part 1

traveling

I left for travel for work on Monday after CrossFit. The Hubs had just gotten back from a week-long business trip on Sunday. I get back on Thursday and he leaves on Friday. So I will see him two days in two weeks. But I am making the most of it...

Last night, I had an early birthday dinner with my dad, stepmom, brother, and sister. I suggested a salad place. They told me I was crazy so we drove to Columbia to go to PF Changs. I was happy with turning a year older (unlike my freak-out last year) until I opened up a fortune cookie with no fortune inside. What does that mean for twenty-six?

Tonight I am going to CrossFit with Chrissy (at her box) and then we have a dinner date at Whole Foods since she is doing the Whole30 and I love Whole Foods. Then we may do a little shopping in downtown Silver Spring. 

video

I am debating on whether or not to download Vine, the video-sharing app. Instagram is one of my favorite social media outlets but I am not quite sure how much I would really use video. But I did download a cool video filter app that would be fun to share. Do you have Vine? 

presidential

Maybe it is my new obsession with the show Scandal (and my withdrawal between episodes) but I can't get enough of White House based shows and movies. I think it is time for a viewing of The American President

I also want to buy the complete DVD set of the West Wing. I watched it a decent amount growing up but I never watched it with any regularity (maybe because it started when I was in middle school.) I want to go through it start to finish. 

How is your week going so far?

26.2.13

paleo cheddar bacon biscuits

I freaking love biscuits! I could eat ten of them and still want more. But really, since started Paleo, I haven't really craved them and it is easier to say no. 

A few weekends ago, however, I just didn't feel like eggs and that was all I seemed to have on hand for breakfast. I dug through my fridge and my kitchen cabinets and decided to try my hand at Paleo biscuits. 

These don't have the light, flaky texture of a normal biscuit but they quenched my craving and I really like them for breakfast or as a snack. 

PALEO CHEDDAR BACON BISCUITS
makes 8 biscuits

2 1/2 c. almond flour
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
1 scallion, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. butter 

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Line baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. 

In a bowl, stir together flour, cheese, bacon, scallions, and salt. Cut in the butter until very crumbly. Add eggs and combine to form a dough. 

Divide into 8 balls and place on baking sheet. 

Bake for about 15 minutes, testing with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. 

Melt butter and brush over biscuits. 
Enjoy with a cup of tea!

25.2.13

monday giveaway: mymemories suite

MyMemories is digital scrapbooking software. You can create albums with multiple pages and share your albums digitally or even have photo books printed so you can show off your pictures anytime. I used to create scrapbooks all the time in high school and college but it is very time consuming and expensive. It took me no time at all to create one page.

You can also use it to create inspiration boards which I think is great for bloggers. And you could use it to make calendars and cards which would would make great gifts.

I thought, to show off a bit of MyMemories, I would share some pictures of Peyton's first month home with us. Everyone can appreciate some puppy cuteness, right?
I am obviously still new to this but I love the versatility of the program. I have access to hundreds of backgrounds, embellishments, shapes, and fonts with just the suite. Plus, I can always purchase scrapbooking kits to add a little variety.

MyMemories is giving away a copy of the MyMemories suite to one lucky reader. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. (Entries left in the comments section of this post are not valid to win.) One winner will be chosen at random.

Also, MyMemories is offering ALL of my readers a $10 discount off the purchase of the MyMemories Suite v4 software plus and an additional $10 gift certificate towards other digital designs in the MyMemories Marketplace. Just use the code: STMMMS65433.

24.2.13

weekend: harlem shake

lunch at high spot in cambridge . . . one of my favorite paleo breakfast meals
~~~~
Friday, after getting home from traveling, I headed to CrossFit for a WOD and then we made our own version of a harlem shake video (see below.) After that, I came home, made dinner, and then caught up on a few shows. 
{You can see me on the left hand side in sunglasses and a sparkly jacket. I jump around and then I am blocked by a few people and you can see my head every so often.}

Saturday, I got up, went to CrossFit, and then met Tanya in Cambridge. Her boyfriend was there for a few hours on business so we went to High Spot for lunch and then walked around for a bit. After that, I came back, ran some errands, and watched a little bit of TV. 

This morning, I woke up, made breakfast, and did a bit of cleaning. Then the Hubs came home after being gone for the week. After lunch, I did a bit of blog stuff and then headed to sewing class. I skipped yoga to spend some time with the Hubs since I am leaving tomorrow for work for a few days. Now we are catching up on Banshee and then we are going to watch Shameless.

How was your weekend?

21.2.13

my birthday wish list

The Hubs and I decided not to exchange gifts for our birthday this year (or do the whole flowers date night thing on Valentine's Day.) Instead, we are going to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic at the end of April after a lot of my work stuff dies down a bit. So this is really a things-I-have-had-my-eye on wish list even though my birthday is next week. 

1. I have really been wanting a pair of bright workout pants. I have a bunch of legging and capri style ones that I like but that are all black. I am loving these from lululemon. I have heard a lot of great things about the brand and I think these would be great for CrossFit or yoga. And really, I just want a bunch of new workout clothes. 
2. I got a pair of shoes for CrossFit a few months ago but I still really want a pair of the Reebok CrossFit shoes. I have had my eye on this pair for awhile now but, if I had unlimited funds, I would probably design my own. A lot of people who now own the CrossFit shoes say that they wish they would have never waited to buy them.
3. I came across UPPERCASE magazine a few months ago and now I really want a subscription. I think it would be one of those fun collectible type magazines that are great for a coffee table or shelf once you are finished reading. 
4. My current tan Sperry's are so beat up and gross. I really can only wear them on a day when I am not going to see anyone. I saw these in DSW a few months ago and now I kind of want a fancy pair of gold ones. I wonder if I could even pull them off at work.

What is on your wish list?

20.2.13

march ad space

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Please email me at morgan.designblanc{at}gmail{dot}com for more information.

19.2.13

warm bacon and spinach salad

A few weeks ago, while at my grandfather's, I had a delicious spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette. I thought about how awesome this was as a paleo-friendly lunch and vowed to recreate it.

I actually had meant to peel hard-boiled eggs for this as well but I am the worst egg peeler ever. Or maybe I am the worst hard-boiled egg cook ever? I don't know. Something I do is just terribly wrong and the eggs come apart and the peel comes off in teeny tiny pieces. Needless to say, after just one egg, I quit. But if you are en expert in the field of egg-peeling and you want a salad that is a bit heartier, add some eggs. 

The original salad also had the raw mushrooms but I love them cooked. However, if you want this to be a bit quicker you can skip sauteeing them. You could even keep the shallots raw for that matter. Make it your own!

WARM BACON AND SPINACH SALAD
serves 2

for the salad:
6 slices of bacon
8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 Tbsp. EVOO
2 shallots, sliced
5 oz. baby spinach

for the vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp. reserved bacon fat
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. raw honey
1/2 tsp. Dijion mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

In a skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Set aside to cool a bit. While bacon is cooking, heat EVOO in seperate pan. Cook mushrooms until soft for about 5 minutes. 

In bacon fat, saute shallots for about a minute. Use a slotted spoon and set aside. 

Crumble bacon onto spinach. Add mushrooms and shallots. 

Combine all ingredients for vinaigrette. Toss with salad. 

Enjoy!

17.2.13

weekend: harvey's here

at market after the maryland game . . . at mojo's . . . playtime . . . puppies
~~~~
a little inspiration for the coming week:

i really enjoyed this documentary

drinking the crossfit kook-aid

why are we so angry?

i love goats
~~~~
On Friday, I went to dinner with my mom, brother, and stepfather. Then came home and cleaned a bit. I was exhausted so I went to bed really early.

On Saturday, I was up early to go to work for an event. After that, I came home, ate a late lunch, and then Alissa and her boyfriend, Scott, got here from Arlington with their new puppy, Harvey. We watched a little bit of television and then headed to Market Street to have dinner and watch the Maryland game. Then we went to Mojo's to have a drink.

Today, we went to a local diner for breakfast. After they left, the Hubs and I took a nap and then had lunch. This afternoon, I went to my sewing class and then to yoga.

How was your weekend?

12.2.13

spinach and hearts of palm dip

I used to make this dip with cannellini beans. It was a super simple recipe that was easy to bring along with me to parties with some pita chips. Everyone would rave about it and ask for the recipe.
I no longer eat beans now that I am eating Paleo so, the other day when I had a friend coming over, I decided to try this dip and substitute the beans with hearts of palm. It didn't have as creamy of a consistency and the hearts of palm gave it a tangier taste but it was delicious and we devoured the entire thing. And since plantain chips are my new obsession, I find them the perfect accompaniment.
SPINACH AND HEARTS OF PALM DIP

1/4 c. olive oil
2 gloves garlic
15 oz. can hearts of palm
2 1/2 c. baby spinach
juice from 1/2 lemon

Heat olive oil in a pan with garlic for about three minutes or until fragrant. Let cool.

In a food processor, puree hearts of palm, spinach, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Dip away and enjoy!

10.2.13

weekend: cooking, sewing, and yoga

having a cup of tea at enza's . . . snuggling with the pup . . . my first sewing class . . . yoga by candlelight
~~~~
Friday, after work, I came home, ate dinner, did a little cleaning, and snuggled with the pup in bed. The Hubs had gone out of town for a business meeting so the pup and I watched The Bourne Identity and went to sleep.

Saturday morning, after I went to the grocery store, I came home and did a little bit of cooking. Then I headed to Enza's to get a dimineralization and a haircut. Then my friend, Ledesa, came over and started to teach me how to quilt. She is helping me make a big quilted pillow for our guest room. For dinner, I headed to Brew River with my MIL and SIL. 

Today, I got up, did a little paleo cooking, and then waited for the Hubs to get home from his trip. Mid-afternoon, I headed to Ocean City for a beginner sewing class at the Red Door Community Center. Today, we just did the basics (threading your machine, etc) but there were definitely a few things that I learned. Next week, we are making a pillow. After the sewing class, there was a free yoga class so I stayed for that. It was a great relaxing end to my weekend. Now, the Hubs and I are going to catch up on Scandal

How was your weekend?

6.2.13

save or splurge: bar cart

The Hubs and I are in the market for a bar cart. We need a little bit more storage space for our wine and spirits and we thought a bar cart would be a fun and stylish way to store. (I think we may also just watch way too much Mad Men and think of one as necessary.) We don't want to spend a lot of money (under $300) since this is not our forever home but if I had unlimited funds, I know there are a few bar carts that I would scoop up in an instant.

{1, 2, 3, 4}
{1, 2, 3, 4}
The Hubs and I are pretty much set on number three from the "save" category but it is no longer available online and it is really hard to find on in stores. (Plus, World Market won't let you pay for it in advance. You have a limited amount of time to come pick it up once the store orders it and the closest one to me is two hours away.) So if you see a pretty, affordable bar cart in your travels, let me know. I have been looking at thrift shops too but haven't really come across anything. 

Which bar cart would you choose?

5.2.13

paleo berry parfait

I created this one night a few months ago after two glasses of wine. I thought it was genius. I even told the Hubs that I would have to make this again, take a picture and blog about it.

And then I opened up my Well Fed cookbook a few weeks ago and realized there was pretty much the same recipe in there. And then I went online and twenty other people had posted this recipe in one way or another. Whatever, you are still seeing it here. 

The genius of this recipe is not that it is earth shattering or complex - it is the fact that it is simple, you can make it in less than five minutes and you probably have the items on hand. 

I recommend using coconut cream for this. Coconut milk will not get that great whipped texture. I love stocking up on Trader Joes coconut cream. Do not shake the can before you open it. You want just the cream and none of the liquid.

Also, after doing the Whole30, fruit it plenty sweet for me. But if you need to add a little bit of sweetness, you can always use sweetened shredded coconut. I have even seen some people add coconut sugar to the cream when they whip it but I don't need it. 

Enjoy this after dinner or for an afternoon snack or even for breakfast.

Also, before I share the recipe, I just want to note that the Hubs doesn't eat raspberries because he doesn't trust them since they are hairy. This is my husband.

PALEO BERRY PARFAIT

1 14 oz. can coconut cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
choice of berries
unsweetened shredded coconut

Scrape just cream out of can into a medium bowl. Discard other liquid. Add vanilla extract and whip using a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Layer berries, cream, and shredded coconut to create parfait. 

Enjoy!

3.2.13

weekend: a birthday and some football

saturday casual . . . out to dinner for the hubs' birthday . . . a little birthday treat . . . watching the puppy bowl
~~~~
a little inspiration for the coming week: 

if you can help

megan wrote a great open letter to rihanna

loving these gold stripes

this is silly
~~~~
On Friday, I came home from traveling one night for work exhausted. There is nothing like barely getting over the flu and then having to leave home. I pretty much just got in bed. 

Saturday, I slept in, we went to the grocery store, then to lunch, and then I spent the afternoon sleeping. I am definitely not 100% yet. Then the Hubs and I headed to Ruth Chris for dinner to celebrate his birthday. After a drink at the bar, we stopped at The Globe on our way home to check it out. 

Today, I stayed in bed until 11 am. After doing the Whole30, I really should have watched the amount of wine I consumed last night (which wasn't much but my body just wasn't used to it.) Now, the pup and I are watching the Puppy Bowl. The Hubs and I are going to order some wings tonight and watch the Super Bowl. 

How was your weekend? Any Super Bowl plans?