Chicken + Lime Soup

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.So I’ve been trying out a new diet plan, Weight Watchers actually… and I’ve dropped 25 lbs. and counting. My diet has been largely successful because of this soup. I make it in large quantities and then freeze it for later use. I first found the recipe here on BudgetBytes.com and then modified it to meet my particular tastes.  It’s really great comfort food without the guilt and it’ll make noses turn in envy towards your direction. It’s super easy. Try it out and tell me how much you love it.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.

INGREDIENTS: (I typically double my recipe for larger quantities to freeze for later, below is the recipe without doubling the ingredients)

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 medium/large yellow onion
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 1 med jalapeno
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb of chicken breast
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of organic roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 TBSP cumin
  • 1 medium lime
  • OPTION: 1 avocado

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeno (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeno before dicing). Mince your garlic (try not to use “lazy garlic” that’s already minced in the can – too much sodium). Get out your big ole pot and cook the onion, celery, and jalapeno, with the garlic and olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until everything gets a little tender.
  2. Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, cream of chicken, canned tomatoes, oregano, and cumin to the pot. Bring the whole thing to a boil over high heat and then reduce it on down to low heat. Place the lid on top and let ‘er simmer for an hour.
  3. After simmering for an hour, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat.  Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze in the juice from one lime, get as much out of it as you can, and scrape the inside of the lime into the pot.
  4. Give it a stir and add your diced avocado to each bowl.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.

THE DIRTY DETAILS:

If you follow along with Weight Watchers, I have calculated that 1 ladle equals approximately 2 points. I divide my soup into serving sizes for freezer storage. 3 ladles = 6 points, which equals approximately 1 serving (in my book).  This is perfect for lunch when you don’t have much time to make something or can’t stand to grab another microwave lunchable. Your insides will thank you.

Something new that I learned, if you look for spices on the ethnic aisle, I have found spices in larger quantities anywhere from $1-$2 cheaper than on the spice aisle. If you’re like me and you shop on budget, this can make a world of difference. And you can get those spices you didn’t think you really wanted to splurge on.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.Alright, go on and tell me how much you love it. Oh yeah, go get a spork!

Pardon my dust…

http://vimeo.com/69450259

This is a little something that my bestie shared with me. She sweetly said that it reminded her of me – if only!!!  In other great news (and for those of you who follow me on instagram/twitter, already know)… I’m painting again. Had I really been thinking, I would have gone for a smaller canvas, but no. It’s a 5′ x 7′. It’s bigger than me. Well hell, go big or go home.

allisonachang

Portofino, Italy

Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea

Portofino, Italy

Portofino, Italy

Portofino, Italy

Portofino is such a picturesque Italian seaside city. We took a ferry boat over to Portofino from Santa Margarita. You can easily find these ferry’s and what I just found out, you can go to multiple cities – like Cinque Terre. You can also hike into Portofino from Comogli or San Fruttuoso (a must see). I hear the hiking isn’t for the light at heart BUT you can see some really cool WWII bunkers on top of the mountains. We have promised ourselves that the next time we go to Italy, we are going to hike to all of the cities. I can’t wait!

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A big shout out to my girl, Jill Rodgers. She just became a Registered Architect. I am so proud of her!!

ROMA

Hanschen Klein's ColoseumWell dang-it, it happened. My true love for Italy was reunited. I said I wouldn’t return for a while, and then, inevitably,  I always go back to that beautiful romantic-beast of a country. But what’s even better, my truest of loves – fell in love with it too.

IMG_2943 Unfortunately, my love cannot be shared with the Italian airlines, AlItalia. This was the last time we saw our bags… until 5 days later. Yep, we’re going to have to have a little chat.Hanschen Klein's ROMAOn another note, if you find yourself with 48 hours in Rome and you’re overwhelmed with all of the options of things that you can do… I have a fool proof first-timers trip to Rome. You’ll hit the high points and you won’t feel like you missed out on anything too historically significant.

DAY 1 (Full Day): Wander the town — There are a few things that (in my opinion) you absolutely have to see – along with every other tourist. Let your first day be the day that gets you acquainted with the city. Must see’s: Fontana di Trevi (throw your coin into the fountain), the Pantheon (because, shame on you if you don’t!), the Colosseum (go in if you have time, but if not – do a pass by), while your over that way, check out the Arch of Constantine and walk through the Roman Forum (or pass by it and look through the gates), and eat some gelato near the Spanish Steps.  This would definitely be a full day and also a cheap day. The only things you would have to pay to see are the Colosseum and the Roman Forum — and that’s only if you choose to go in!

Hanschen Klein's Pantheon

The Pantheon

Hanschen Klein's PantheonDay 2: Tackle the Vatican — Whether you’re catholic or not, you should check out the Vatican City. Why, you might ask? Are you kidding… you know you want to see the Sistine Chapel by means of the Vatican Museum. Don’t lie to yourself – you do. Let me help you out here — BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE. And that’s for every major museum in Europe. I had never been to Italy during the high tourist season, so I never knew how much of a necessity it really was to buy your tickets in advance. The typical wait time is between 1-2 hours. No joke. Maximize your time – buy in advance and skip the lines!!

HanschenKlein's Vatican Museum

Vatican Museum

HanschenKlein's The Vatican

IMG_3039

Interior Walls inside the Vatican

If you’re up for it, climb the stairs to the top of the inner dome and then take another set of stairs if you want to go all the way up and look over the entire city. It’s 5 Euro’s to take the stairs and 7 to take the elevator. Do it. But don’t if you are claustrophobic or afraid of heights. The walls do tend to curve and lean a little. It’s also one-way, so it’s difficult to go backwards once you start.

Hanschen Klein's Piazza NavonaAnd once you’ve exhausted yourself, get some vino and sit down at a nice restaurant at Piazza Navona.  And for all of you Dan Brown fan’s… this is the fountain where the bad guy attempts to drown the last cardinal. I love this city. Give yourself time to get lost and discover new things around you. Live it and Love it.

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Peace and Love Throughout the World

Jetplane

Hanschen KleinYou know when you’re getting ready to go on vacation and the hours at work just seem to drag on and on… yep, that’s where I am right now. I have a whirl wind weekend coming up and then I have to come back to work and then midweek of next week, I’ll be on a jetplane… for Europe!!

We are taking a little vacation and going on a European Cruise. I’m so excited. The last cruise I went on was when I was teeny-tiny and it was a Disney Cruise right before they re-did all of their ships. I think this may be a little different.  Oh, I cannot wait! Do you have any travel tips or recommendations, favorite restaurants? My one big travel tip — ALWAYS bring blister pads and drink LOTS of wine.

See where we’ll be going below…

accunet.orgRome, Italy

Krup Street::Isle of CapriCapri, Italy

www.lonelyplanet.comFlorence, Italy

beauty-places.comPortofino, Italy

kids.britannica.comTunis, Tunisia

forum.cyclingnews.comSete, France

www.historvius.comBarcelona, Spain

Oh yeah. I’m ready to get on that plane!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Healthy Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Hanschen Klein's Healthy Blueberry Muffin

A friend of mine stops by our office every now and again and she always drops off the most delicious treats and they are always healthy. Delicious and Healthy are two words that don’t often go together in my book. I wanted to make Blueberry Muffins for my office and asked if she would pass along a recipe. And this is the recipe she gave me…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  1/3 c.  whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 c.  all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp  baking power
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 c.  apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 tsp maple flavoring
  • 3/4 c.  granulated sugar
  • 2 c.  blueberries

TO BAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt (set it aside for later). In another bowl, combine apple sauce, butter, large egg, flavoring, and sugar — stir well.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.  Mix.  Pour half the batter into your muffin tins and drop in half the blueberries. Top off your muffins with the rest of the batter and place the rest of your blueberries on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes. These will be delicious. But if you think you need a little extra sugar (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a little sugar?), you can top off your muffins with a glaze.

THE GLAZE

  • 1 c.  powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring

Mix powder sugar, milk, and maple flavoring — drizzle when warm. YUM.  Enjoy.

-wishing you, peace and love throughout the world-

Guest Post: Mary Kay Spring Essentials

Have you ever used Mary Kay Cosmetics or Skincare? Did you think it was your mother’s make-up brand—old school? One of my besties, Kat, convinced me otherwise and she’s here to convince you too. Check out all the great essentials you’ll need for Spring. I’m certainly adding some of these to my Checkout Basket and getting in touch with Kat right NOW!

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Spring and summer are the best times to create a new look for you! Get out of the cold, darkness and spring into the new fun colors of Spring! Mary Kay has some amazing new products available that are a must have for any woman’s skincare routine!  Below I’ve outlined the newest products and some of my favorites. Mary Kay has done wonders for me and the perfect product is out there for you- no matter what your skincare concern or need may be!MARY KAY_spring1

1.  CREAM EYE SHADOWS  $14 each —- These eye shadows are simply amazing- there’s no better way to describe them! With four fun new colors you can play and brighten up you whole look. Wear it alone, or mix and layer the colors. This cream is light, easy to apply with just the swipe of a finger or brush, isn’t sticky, and stays put all day! NO CREASING OR WEARING OFF!!! These eye shadows can also be used as a primer under other colors. Colors available: NEW: Coastal Blue, Meadow Grass, Violet Storm, Metallic Taupe.  Original colors: Apricot twist, Beach Blonde, Pale Blush, Glacier Grey, Iced Cocoa (shown above).

2.  MARY KAY NAIL LAQUER  $9 each —- This nail polish puts ESSIE to the test! I had never used Mary Kay nail polish but I couldn’t resist these fun spring colors! I first used the PINK BAMBOO (shown above)and I was so happy. The color was bright and shiny- I didn’t even use a top coat. It stayed true through showers, hand washing, dish washing, you name it! I went 10 days before I saw even the slightest chip or sign of wear. I had so many compliments on how wonderful my nails looked- and I’ve been telling everyone since!

3.  MARY KAY LIP LAQUER (with brush)  $16 —- This little product has found a permanent new home in my purse! I take it everywhere. Both colors are fabulous alone or mixed with your favorite Mary Kay Nourishine Lip Gloss. My favorite combo is the Neutral Lip liner with the Chai Latte Lip Laquer. It gives such a natural color, with the perfect shine and finish. And did I mention moisturizing? My lips feel soft and smooth all day- never dried out and wrinkled like other lip glosses. The Pink pagoda is fun and bright when you need a little pick me up! I always mix it with my Fancy Nancy Nourishine lip gloss.

4.  LIMITED EDITION EYE PALETTE  $20 —- This eye palette has three fun colors to help you achieve the perfect look for Spring! Mix and match and blend the gold with the green and blue depending on your mood/outfit, and have them all in one place! This palette fits perfectly into the limited edition Mary Kay 50th Anniversary Compact ($16). The compact also holds 3 individual mineral eye colors and a cheek color! The compact is a must have for any woman on the go!. Small and easy to slip into a purse, clutch, or pocket!

5.  MAKE UP FINISHING SPRAY $18 each —- It’s getting warmer outside and soon you’ll be out by the pool, beach or lake, or just enjoying the warm sun in the park… Make sure your perfect new look stays put and water resistant with this new finishing spray. Just two sprays before you leave will help to keep your make up in place all day! No need to worry about sweating or getting splashed!MARY KAY_spring2

6.  FOUNDATION PRIMER  $16 each —- This is by far one of my favorite products! After your daily skincare routine, rub a little of this magic between your fingers and then lightly swipe/rub it all over your face. Its so silky smooth! The primer helps to minimize the appearance of pores and creates a more even skin tone. It smoothes out the skin and creates the perfect palette/canvas for you to put on your makeup. It also helps to minimize oil and keep your make up in place all day! Sometimes I’ll just slap some on and run out the door- its wonderful to just wear alone!  (This is a must have if you have problems with concealer creasing, flaking, or wearing off during the day. Use it under the Mineral Powder foundation for an absolutely FLAWLESS looking complexion.)

7.  TIME WISE MIRACLE SET  $90 —- It’s in the name… MIRACLE! This simple skin care routine does just as it’s named- works miracles! I’ve struggled with not so perfect skin my entire life. I’ve tried Pro-Active, Everything over the counter, Clinique, and even was on Accutane from the dermatologist for two years! NOTHING got my skin as clear as it is now.  I started using this skin care routine and with in a matter of weeks I could see a world of difference. My skin was not only clear or blemishes, but also looked brighter and more even! My friends and family all began to notice too and would ask me about what I had started to do differently. This set includes 3 in 1 Cleanser, Moisturizer, Day solution and night solution.  The 3 in 1 Cleanser has a cleanser, exfoliant, and toner all in one! One step to clean skin! Then follow with the awesome moisturizer- a happy little drink for your skin. The last easy step it the day/night solution. These two work with your skin depending on the time of day, to prevent damage from the elements and repair what may have already been done. The day solution has an SPF of 30 and fights against sun, pollution, and daily stress. The night solution is a calming soft serum that works while you sleep to repair damage from the day and prevent the signs of aging. A perfect complexion for under $100- can’t beat that!

8.  TIME WISE MICRODERMABRASION  $55 —- This is definitely a customer favorite. Tired of paying upwards to $75 + for a facial at the spa? Then don’t! Do it at home, at your own convenience for around $1 per application! This set has a MicroDermabrasion scrub and Replenishing Serum to rejuvenate and smooth your skin. After cleansing, pat face dry and then re-moisten. Using about a dime- nickel sized amount, begin rubbing the exfoliant on your face in small circles. I like to start on my cheeks and work my way up my nose and then to my forehead and chin. Focus on rough areas, blemish prone areas, oily areas, or areas where you may have blackheads. Continue rubbing in small, gentle circles until you feel like you have properly exfoliated your face. Gently wash face with warm water and make sure all scrub is removed. Pat face dry- you will already be able to feel a difference in the smoothness and softness of your face! Then use a squirt or two of the replenishing serum and gently swipe up your face and around to give your skin a nice drink. (your face may appear slightly pink and you may feel a slight tingly sensation, but that is just the product working it’s magic). If you wish, continue with your moisturizer or day/night solution.

9.  TIME WISE REPAIR SET  $199 —- This set is truly the CADILLAC of all skin care! We have compared it to other equivalent products from those “other” skin care companies and this has the best customer satisfaction and value around! (other sets are at least $100-$200 more!). For any age, This set has 5 different products for you to use. It is like the time wise miracle set on steroids. The difference is RETINOL! It cleanses, evens, protects and repairs but on a higher stronger level. Sun damage? Gone. Wrinkles showing up? Vanished! Dark circles or puffiness around the eyes? Poof! The cleanser washes away not only the stress and make up for the day, but works to repair yesterday and the day before! The volume lift serum is a healthy drink for tired skin, making it firmer and brighter, and of course repairing damage! The day and night solutions work the same as the Miracle set, just overtime! My favorite by far is the volufirm eye renewal cream. This is magic! Dark circles and puffiness around the eyes in the morning? Not anymore- I use this every morning and in a matter of minutes, my eyes are brighter and ready for the day. I look like I’m a well rested princess. The key is the special ingredients and the specially created metal applicator. Its cool and smooth, like a gentle massage for your eyes. The Mary Kay developers used the same science that boxers use- magnesium and zinc to control swelling and dark spots during boxing matches. You can imagine what wonders it will work for simple sleepy eyes, if originally it was designed for black eyes! This set is well worth the money. Originally $250, now only $199, doesn’t your skin deserve the best

10.  MARY KAY EYE MAKEUP REMOVER  $15 —- All the beauty magazines are raving about this eye makeup remover. No pulling, rubbing or oily mess with this! It easily and effortlessly removes all types of eye makeup- including that tough waterproof mascara. Just dab a little bit on a cotton ball and wipe it all away! (it also works to remove sharpie, pen, and other tough stains off skin and clothing). Your skin doesn’t feel red, rough, or oily when done, just clean and soft.MARY KAY_spring3

11.  MARY KAY LASH LOVE MASCARA  $15 —- For long lashes, that are full and beautiful, this is the product for you! I often get asked if I have false lashes when I’m wearing it! The specially developed brush is the key factor in this amazing mascara. It is made of a soft silicone that grabs the lashes and separates them, while applying the perfect amount of lengthening and volumizing mascara. Lashes feel soft, not hard and crunchy, and mascara stays all day- no flaking or running. All Mary Kay mascaras are water resistant, so no worries if you find a sudden rainstorm or cry, but for those water filled days at the pool or beach, Waterproof is available!

12.  TRUE DIMENSIONS LIP COLOR $18 —- Soft, smooth, shiny lipstick that doesn’t instantly wipe off with a sip of coffee. True Dimensions comes in so many wonderful colors- it’s hard to pick just one! I use natual beaute for my daily, natural look. It has just enough pink to give me color, but not so much that it’s over powering. For night or a more dramatic look- I use the Firecracker or sizzling red. Such vibrant colors that don’t stain or fade, and don’t leave my lips feeling dry- it’s a no brainer!

13.  NOURISHINE LIP GLOSS $14 —- Every Woman needs a good lip gloss, for a fast and easy- on the go, out the door look. A good lip gloss can completely brighten your appearance, even if you have nothing else on! There is color available for everyone and they easily mix and blend with the lipsticks and the lip laquers. This is one item I NEVER leave home without. My favorite is Fancy Nancy, however I do love Au Natural, and Red Passion.

14.  MINERAL POWDER FOUNDATION $18 —- Want that flawless, perfect complexion look? Well search no further! This Mineral powder foundation works with your skin to create a smooth, even, flawless look! When partnered with the foundation primer and some concealer, you’ll achieve the perfect look. Just a gentle dip, tap, and swirl of the brush and you’re on your way. This powder is incredibly light, you’ll soon forget you’re even wearing it! The powder works with your skin tone to blend and balance rough or discolored spots and create the flawless look you’ve been searching for! (foundation brushes are just $10 and are essential with the mineral powder foundation)

15.  MARY KAY 5 PIECE BRUSH SET $55 —- This set has all the brushes a woman needs to create her perfect look! The 5 different brushes are specially created to apply whichever product you’re using perfectly and easily. Get your cheek color just right, your foundation perfectly applied, achieve the perfect eye shadow color blend, all with the flick of your wrist and a Mary Kay brush in your hand! Brushes also help keep contamination and bacteria to a minimum. Mary Kay also offers a fabulous brush cleaner for only $10! Just spray a little on the brush, wipe it across a paper towel or wash cloth to remove any product, and lay flat to dry!

These are just the newest items and my top 15 favorites! Feel free to contact me (KGCagle@marykay.com) or Allison with any questions or specific skin care concerns and I will find you exactly what you need! All Mary Kay items are 100% satisfaction guaranteed- so you can feel safe and confident that you will find something you will Love!

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Email Kat at KGCagle@marykay.com

And check out the full May Kay website here.

The Changing Times

IMG_3397I’m so happy it’s staying lighter later… but what is up with all of this cold weather?? My sinus’s are going crazy and caused my poor little body to go into an over the counter medication over load… anyone else?

IMG_2711I’m pretty sure people at work thought I might have a problem–whatever. All I have to say… Nyquil is a god-send. Taking 2 days off work; however — not so great.

IMG_2651I am very ready for moderately cooler weather so I can spend more time with this little guy outside.

IMG_2704Life has been super busy with LOTS of travel. We took the scenic route home 2 weekends ago and it was wonderful AND we saved on the gas mileage even if it was a little bit longer. But anything is better than being on I-65 for 4 hours!

Things I’m looking forward to in the next 2 months: Birthday weekend, upcoming birthday spa appointment (gift from my parents!), boyfriends spring semester ending, an awesome May Wedding, and a getaway to Europe… in 47 days. I’m ready for everything to hurry up and get here!

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Upcoming Posts: Top 10 Spring Make-up Must Have’s from Mary Kay, The Best Chicken Salad Recipe — ever, AND a Healthy Blueberry Muffin Recipe. Keep an eye out for ’em!

PLTW

 

 

 

 

BBQ Baker Time

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Oh yeah, it’s time for BBQ! And some baked potato action.Image

 

 

Do you know that I have never cooked a baked potato? Ever. For those who don’t know what to do… here it is: Preheat the oven to 425F and then lather your tater in some olive oil and give it a good dose of salt and pepper. Leave it in the oven for 45 mins –  1 hour.  Stick a fork in it’s done! Open ‘er up and smack enough butter on it to make Miss Paula Dean proud.

OH Yeah… that’s my butter dish in a whale.Image

Add some BBQ and cheese!Image

Add some sauce and eat up!