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All posts for the month November, 2011

It’s all about the labels

Published November 29, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe

Morning,

Hope you’re Tuesday is starting off to a fabulous one! So last night as I was writing today’s post I totally got ahead of myself and realized that to shop for healthy products you need to learn the basics of food labels. Yea I know it kind of sucks but you just have to do it and trust me you’ll be better off for it in the future 🙂
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Fit is not a destination…

Published November 28, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe

It’s a way of life! Earlier this morning I started off with some motivation to get you excited about this journey and I’m continuing with this momentum! Yes, exercising does play a big role into your fitness endeavors but you can’t eat big macs all day and then assume you’ll work it off later. Think of your body as a temple…it’s sacred and you should treat it like gold. Even if you aren’t taking an accurate log of your intake you body always will.

When you get home from school or work today take at least 30 minutes to walk,jog,run whatever your little heart desires! As long as you made the decision to get up and get moving you’ve made an accomplishment for today which is a great start. Maybe you need a little bit more direction for your workout routine well no worries I took care of that too!
Now that you have a workout routine for today let’s get to the food! Healthy food can taste just as good as what you’re used to or even better! Did you know that eating healthier foods is actually cheaper than take out?
Hopefully seeing this has changed your thinking. It’s obviously easier to order takeout but it’s never worth it in the end. You may be overwhelmed by the choices available at the grocery store but don’t freak out. Take a breath because I’ve found some amazing tips to help you out in general.

  1. Sugar free is your new bestie! It tastes the same most of the time and if you decide to buy something labeled “fat free” beware of the sugar content!
  2. Eat all colored fruits/veggies! I know you’ve heard this a billion times but just to make sure it’s drilled into your coconut here it is again. Most of your carbs should come from veggies and/or fruits.
  3. Pound on the protein! Sorry red meat lovers but it’s time for a new love that will work much better for you! Give chicken, turkey and Boca Burgers a try.
  4. Forget the oils, butter and salts instead, use PAM products from now on.
  5. Start drinking skim or 2% milk and if you can make it organic. There’s always almond milk as another option and it’s flavored.
  6. Pack on more protein and calcium with cottage cheese and Chobani yogurt.
  7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I can’t say this enough! Drinking water will help you stay full all day and make your skin & hair healthier! There’s always the option to add crystal light for added flavor or try some tea.
  8. When grocery shopping try to avoid the boxed frozen foods they’re never as healthy as they seem.
  9. Chew sugarless gum whenever you can because it will curb your appetite. One study at the Mayo Clinic indicates that chewing sugarless gum burns 11 calories an hour and can help a person lose weight.
  10. Keep a detailed record of your caloric intake for the day. If you have a smartphone there is a fantastic app “My Fitness Pal” which allows you to enter specifics and then gives you the right amount of calories you need daily. Another thing I love about this app is it also has cardio exercises that you can add to your food log. When you start losing weight My Fitness Pal adjusts your intake too!
  11. Keep your weight loss goals realistic and attainable. Don’t say to yourself that you’ll lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks because that could lead to disappointment and discouragement. Instead focus on 1 or 2 pounds a week and keep it simple!
  12. Don’t deprive yourself of treats because that will lead to binge eating. Instead give yourself a treat once a week of your favorite food. Your body still needs fat and if it’s not getting enough it will hold on to the supply available. Make sure your treat is allotted into your daily intake as well.
  13. Organize your schedule for the week so you can stay on track with school, friends, work and your fitness routine! Making sure that you’re organized will help you plan accordingly in case you’re running late or an emergency happens. Creating a schedule will also make you accountable for your exercises because you have to write it down.
  14. Make sure you have supportive people around you to encourage you every step of the way. Surround yourself with positive people!
Have a sweet day!

xoxo,

Morning Mod-ivation

Published November 28, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe

Morning sweeties,

Ah the holiday season is upon us and that also means all those yummy treats can set you back in your fitness goals. Well no need to worry because I have been working on making this week entirely about fitness, healthy eating and some great tips to keep you in the best shape even through the holidays!

I know this feeling all too well after Thanksgiving when you know you did  a little damage and then you promise yourself  “I’ll start my diet tomorrow or Monday”. Don’t promise yourself anything if you can’t keep it! Instead of saying you’ll start next week make a conscious effort to change your habits for the long run. I know losing/gaining weight is part of every girl’s life but don’t focus on skinny focus on healthy! Today is a brand new day, a clean slate so get off your lazy bum 😉 and get to it! Remember that this isn’t a one shot deal and mistakes will be made because you’re human hopefully:) . ALWAYS REMEMBER IT’S A LIFESTYLE CHOICE! 
Just to clarify I am not an expert at this and you should always consult your doctor before you start a new diet lifestyle. My only goal is to inspire you to be even more beautiful than you are right now and be absolutely content with yourself. Learning to live a healthy lifestyle is going to be a hard and I’m saying this from experience so take it a day at a time.You’ll have to be extremely diligent about your food choices especially but it’s all doable and totally worth the effort! Don’t stress yourself out over a few tiny mistakes because you can always fix them and learn from them. Be proud of daily accomplishments. Being healthy shouldn’t be considered as boring it should be fun! Remember this is a POSITIVE thing you’re doing by transforming into a healthy and happy lifestyle. Stay tuned later on today for some workout ideas and a healthy helpful tips.

Here’s some thin-spiration to start off your week!

Have a sweet day!

xoxo,

Gobble til you wobble

Published November 24, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy this holiday with your family and friends while your diet is forgotten (but just for today)! This year I’m thankful for friends,family and all the little things! What are you most thankful for this year?


Here are a few things I picked up on Pinterest! Enjoy!

I just couldn’t help myself

Have a sweet day!

xoxo,

Cyber Monday Craze!

Published November 23, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe

Good Afternoon!

Happy hump day! I know today is a busy day for all of you lovelies because it’s Thanksgiving eve. Don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn to shop in the madness on Friday? Well who could blame you! That’s why Cyber Monday is every lazy shoppers dream day! Two shopping holiday’s in one week I mean it doesn’t get any better than this! Just like Black Friday I would advise you to make a plan of attack to the reap the best rewards. Also since you will be shopping online make sure to check if the website is safe and secure. Here’es a few tips and tricks to make the most of your Cyber Monday!

Tips for Cyber Monday

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  1. Be thorough in your research by utilizing all of the resources the Internet provides, particularly social media networks, to compare prices and search for online-only bargains that guarantee you’ll save money.
  2. Update your home computer’s anti-virus software and security tools before you start shopping, and if using a wireless connection, make sure it’s encrypted with a password.
  3. Don’t Procrastinate! Prices and inventories change quickly online this time of year, so to ensure that you get what you’re looking for, shop and order early.
  4. Carefully review every online retailer’s terms and conditions, as well as their return policies, as they vary industry-wide.
  5. Beware of certain promotional emails requesting personal information or promising a special deal. Usually, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  6. Create or update new online passwords that are unique and difficult to steal — avoid pet names, birthdays, etc., and incorporate numbers and characters.
  7. Use credit cards instead of debit cards, as you’ll be better protected from fraud and face less liability in the event of your card number being stolen.
  8. Shop only on certifiably secure websites: look for web addresses beginning with https:// and double check that you’re on a secure connection before entering personal information.
  9. Be smart about where you disclose personal information — including phone numbers, addresses, and financial information — and avoid doing business with unverifiable entities.
  10. Look for delivery guarantees from online retailers and always keep hard copies of email confirmations of orders and delivery statuses.
  11. Seek out the freebies that some retailers include on orders of a particular size or volume; keep them for yourself or use them as stocking stuffers.

Shopping Codes

Juicy Couture $50 off $200 – GIFTED (expires Dec. 18)

Ann Taylor  40 percent off – THANKS (expires Nov. 27)

Steve Madden  25 percent off + free shipping – TURKEY (expires Nov. 24)

Benefit Cosmetics free high beam mini with $35 purchase – HLDYMINI (expires Nov. 28)

Kiehl’s $20 off $65 – HOLIDAY (expires Dec. 31)

Bliss 15 percent off $240 on Bio-Medical Research Products – THANKSBM (expires Nov. 29)

Saks Fifth Avenue free shipping on all orders – HOLIDAY (expires Nov. 29)

 Top Sites

Piperlime

Sephora  use code “SHIP4FREE” on all orders!

Free floral clutch with 8 samples inside when you purchase $25 worth of product.  Enter coupon code CLUTCH4U to receive your floral metallic clutch.  Can’t be combined w/other coupon codes.

Amazon

Overstock

Target

Macy’s

DSW  The only stipulation to this site is that you must be a DSW rewards member. You can sign up here  and enter promo code “CYBER25”

Bath and Body Works

Kohl’s

Banana Republic  use code “BRJUMP30”

Nordstrom   up to 50% off on sale items

Enjoy your thanksgiving , Black Friday! I’d love to see some of your shopping finds so feel free to comment on your fabulous finds!

Have a sweet day!

xoxo,

Everything Thanksgiving : Round two

Published November 22, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe

Today it’s all about Thanksgiving  leftovers and clever ways to work them into new dishes! I’m pretty excited for Thanksgiving (and of course Black Friday)! I’m sure by now the menu is finalized and you have a game plan for the day of because you’re just awesome right? Of course! The biggest challenge to work into other dishes is of course the  turkey, ham or prime rib. I mean I like turkey sandwiches with extra stuffing  but honestly how many turkey sandwiches can you have?

Turkey Bolognese



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This recipe is genius! How easy and smart is this?! For a lighter option use wheat pasta.

Ingredients

Directions

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the carrot and celery and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the turkey and saute 1 minute.
Add the marinara sauce.
Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, stirring often. Stir in the basil. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. (The sauce can be made 1 week ahead.
Cool the sauce completely, then transfer it to a container and freeze for future use. Bring the sauce to a simmer before using.)

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes.

Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten as needed.

Serve with the Parmesan



Potato Croquettes

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 These tasty little treats would be perfect to make in the middle of the week with your leftover mashed potatoes.

 Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped green onion
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sifted dried bread crumbs
  • Peanut oil, enough to fill pan 1/2-inch

Directions

Add milk, salt, pepper, chopped onion, beaten egg yolks and flour to mashed potatoes.
Chill and then shape using an ice cream scoop.
Dip in the beaten egg, then roll through bread crumbs.
Fry each croquette in shallow oil until brown on all sides.

**Cook’s Note**: Cook in small batches, giving each croquette at least 2 inches of space around it to not overcrowd the pan. This prevents the croquettes from crumbling while frying.

30 Minute Turkey Chili

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Anything under 30 minutes to make catches my attention and this is such a hearty meal for those cold nights.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Sliced scallions, cilantro sprigs, avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish, optional

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more.
Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes.
Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes.
Add the tomatoes–crushing them through your fingers into the skillet–along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil.
Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.

Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the garnishes of your choice.

**Cook’s Note**: A skillet’s larger surface area reduces sauces faster than simmering in a saucepan.

Extra Veggie Frittata 

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Ok I’m loving this idea for leftover veggies! It’s so simple and easy to make! Perfect snacks for anytime of the day.

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup stuffing
  • 2 cups leftover cooked veggies (broccoli or cauliflower, green beans)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grated cheddar

Directions

Beat 8 eggs, 1 cup milk and salt and pepper.
Add 1/2 cup stuffing bread cubes and 2 cups leftover cooked vegetables (such as broccoli or cauliflower).
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in an ovenproof 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add the egg mixture and cook 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, top with grated cheddar and cook 10 minutes.
Broil 3 minutes, then slice.
Cranberry Tartlets
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 One word- delish! I am definitely going to make these for a little post lunch treat! You could even freeze half of them for later and just heat them up when you need them. For a lighter option substitute the sugar for Splenda.

Ingredients

  • 12 (2 3/4-inch) squares of dough (phyllo)
  • 6 tablespoons cranberry sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Sanding sugar

Directions 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Arrange squares of dough in cups of a mini-muffin pan. 

Top each square with 1 1/2 teaspoons cranberry sauce; fold in edges. 

Freeze for 30 minutes.

Beat together egg yolk and cream. 

Brush tartlets with egg wash; sprinkle with sanding sugar. 

Bake at 400 degrees until golden, 30 to 35 minutes

Have a sweet day!
xoxo,

Beautiful Reminder

Published November 21, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe

Good Morning,

How was your weekend? Well I’m sure you’d rather be cuddled up in bed watching a movie but it is Monday and we do have places to be! I was on Pinterest the other day looking for printables and came across this beauty.

What a great daily reminder! I am so excited to share this with you! Print this out and place anywhere you want or even send this off to your friends and family for the holidays.I think I’ll be placing this  on my mirror so I can remind myself of this everyday. Each line carries so much meaning and is so poignant. It’s a daily reminder of what we should be and want to be because after all we’re human and sometimes stray away from our ideal selves.  Consider this letter while you’re busy at school, work or even at home. Along with being the most wonderful time of year it’s also the busiest which can lead to lower tolerance levels. So consider this letter today and everyday to remind yourself to have some compassion and understanding.

You can download the letter {here}

Have a sweet day!
xoxo,