Category Archives: wine

WIAW: The Budget Bites Edition

So I’ve talked a bit on here recently on how I’ve been setting a budget for the year but there is a big difference between talking a good game and actually being able to stick to it. Which is why I decided to share one of the more delicious parts of my budget a little more visually.

Budget Bites

I’ve allotted myself $100 per month for food/drinks (not including going out) with the goal of eating mostly vegetarian and possibly visiting farmers markets to supplement my CSA share. I eased into it for the month of June, inheriting food from my aunt and my parents while I was housesitting, but I managed to stay just under budget ($98.73 to be exact) which is pretty good considering I had to start my spice collection from scratch! That figure includes everything I ate this month, including the cost of my first 2 CSA shares. Not included are foods I already had on hand or foods that were given to me by well meaning family members 🙂

Budget Bites

This month featured lots of salads courtesy of my CSA greens, quick and easy stir-fry, plenty of variations on flatbread pizza, and just a few waffles. It also marked my foray into vegetarian eating with my own veggie burger recipe and a surprisingly good dairy free ice cream. There was also plenty of wine, kombucha, cheese, and of course granola. All my meals were made with fresh whole foods (nothing processed or packaged aside from my almond milk and peanut butter), came together quickly, and made enough for me to eat for days. I’d say it’s a pretty good start and I’m looking forward to continuing the challenge next month.

Slices of Life- sharing a room

I’m hoping to cut the spending down even more in July now that my “pantry” is established… any extra money in the budget heads straight towards student loan payments!

What’s your favorite budget friendly meal? Any good resources for re-using leftovers?

This post is linked with Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday at Peas and Crayons and Ruth’s Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less.


Slices of Life #5

Welcome back for another week of my particular brand of crazy. It’s Monday which means it’s time for another Slice of Life. Basically I share what I’ve been up to for the past week and link you to related posts from some all over the internet 🙂

Slices of Life


The Life

Slices of Life- the life

I officially survived starting both of my jobs last week (despite my neighbor “choking” me during my CPI training). I’ve got a great caseload of upper elementary students for the next 4 weeks of summer school and a pair of clients at my part-time ABA gig. I had to generate my own therapy schedule for the first time ever which took a lot longer than it probably should have but it’ll get easier with time. I also took advantage of having a weekend to finally plant some herbs (just mint and basil in pots for this year) and catch up on some recipe photographing. For reading this week I found:

Inspiration to take it easy and enjoy the little moments from Lindsay at Cotter Crunch.

The Naked Face Project from Healthy Tipping Point. I’ve been working to streamline my personal routine and move into “greener” more natural beauty products and this project definitely takes care of that!

An interesting read from Greatist on the rising prevalence of autoimmune disease in 20 somethings (too bad Celiac didn’t make the list… guess I’m not as trendy as I used to be 😉 )

A defense of oil pulling from Wellness Mamma, who introduced me to the idea in the first place. It’s still a part of my weekly routine and I really do feel as though I’ve seen improvements.

A seemingly fair review of my old favorite grocery store Trade Joe’s from Savvy Sugar that looks at their discounts from both sides of the aisle. Either way the closest TJ’s is now almost 40 minutes away so I won’t be shopping there any time soon 😦

The Eats

Slices of Life- The Eats I am still swimming in salads from my first round of CSA produce (though I’m not gonna lie I’m excited for round 2 this week!) I had salad for lunch almost every day and I’ve still got enough for a few more this week. I finally cut into my kohlrabi and decided it’s one of my new favorite veggies, I sliced it super thin and used it to make a variation on my Kale Slaw.  Aside from salad it’s been lots of beans and rice, eggs, lentil tacos, and lots of pesto. Other great eats I found include:

Drool worthy Seafood dip from Peas and Crayons that BF is trying to bribe me into making ASAP.

Some great tips on loving you leftovers from Meghan at Clean Eats Fast Feets.

A Buzzfeed Sangria roundup that could keep me and my friends buzzed all summer long. *side note find local friends ASAP so I have an excuse to make sangria* 

A fun new contest with a hefty prize from Bobs Red Mill (the maker of my beloved GF oats).

The Exercise

Slices of Life- The Workouts

Exercise this week has dwindled significantly in terms of running. I think the change up in surfaces by my new place (gravel, mulch and grass) and the increases in mileage I’d been trying to build all added up and left me with one very sore hip. Despite all the stretching and foam rolling my PT bestie suggested I still can’t go more than a mile without things feeling funky. Since both of my jobs are active I’m officially on a running rest until everything feels 100%. That doesn’t mean I’ll be taking it easy though! I’m looking at plenty of yoga, HIIT workouts with minimal jumping, and slow hikes on the trails until I’m back to normal. I’m not sure yet how this will impact my plans to run a half-marathon with the BF this fall, but I’ll be sure to keep you all posted. No fitness links this week, just a reminder to listen to your body 🙂

Who’s got a recommendation for low impact at home workouts? Anyone want to come over for a sangria party?

WIR #28: The post-Birthday reality check

Hello everyone 🙂 You miss me? I could offer a million excuses for my absence last week, like how I was too busy trying to find research for my final paper in my final reall class of grad school, or how the internet access to my laptop has been shady at best (even though it works fine on my iPad and phone…). I could blame the totally self-indulgent weekend with the BF, or enjoying some rare free time with my dad while he was off painting the new house.

But the truth of the matter is I spent the last week eating cupcakes…. lots and lots of cupcakes.

Okay fine I do have a few other accomplishments to round up, and what better way to do that than with a list?

Last week I took my last ever exam in my last ever “real” course in school. Ever. True I still have written comps in 3 weeks (yikes!) and I have papers to write for my finals, but in a few short weeks I will be basically, completely finished.

I received notice of my medical placement (again with the yikes!) for the spring last week, though I’m more anxious to get my school site since I start there in January. But everything is coming together very neatly here at the end of the semester and I’m trying not to freak out that by this time next month I’ll only have a semester of school left. Wow that sounds really final when I write it out…

In other school related things I outlined my final paper for voice disorders and did some research on happiness for my counseling class (look for more on that later this week).

Fitness this week was…. not as good as I had hoped. But one part of being committed is being honest when those commitments fall through… I only ran 5 miles total last week. And all of them were pretty rough. I’ve got myself laid out to clock quite a few more this week in anticipation, but at the current rate it looks like Thanksgiving’s 5k is going to be rough.

I was good on the yoga and general stretching things this week though so I guess there’s that 🙂

Other than that the biggest thing I did last week was celebrate my birthday. I came home from class on wednesday to a shelf I wanted assembled in my room, topped with the aforementioned cupcakes,a new wallet, and some pretty balloons. Thanks mom and dad!

I then helped my dad disassemble that shelf, pick out a different one at Ikea, and assemble the new shelf in it’s place. At least everyone is in agreement that the new one is nicer (thanks for your patience Dad!) 
 And then over the weekend I got to celebrate with some of my friends from HS and of course the BF. He showed up on Friday night with a giant box filled with 23 things that prove I am the luckiest girl in the world because I have someone who listens and cares about even the littlest things I mention in passing. I got cookbooks, workout clothes, bubble bath, chapstick, and things I don’t even remember talking about or mentioning more than once or twice. 

And he decked out this box of goodies with post-it-notes, seriously it does not get better than that!

The two other birthday indulgences included a long awaited DIY project….

I’m a tea drinker, and a big fan of displaying my jewelery. For $2 and some hot glue this seemed like the perfect solution.

Annnd some long overdue goodies shipped to my number one fan from the get-go (plus I know she has no allergies so I feel safe sending her food). Nothing wrong with spreading the love around right?

I promise to be back on a regular schedule this week… and at some point catch up on all of your posts and comments! Happy Monday.

WIR #26: Eat, run, and be merry

Hello lovelies! It was hard to bring the weekend to an end and start Monday this week… but at least I have the list loving fun of week in review to ease the transition.

In case you’re new (HI!!) this weekly party is a chance to look back on all you accomplished this week and give yourself a pat on the back. Our hostess, the list-queen Meghan always brings something awesome to the party so you should go say hi (after you’re done here, of course!). 
This week threw me off in more ways than one. Not only did I no longer have the praxis to study for or the seminar classes I was taking the first half of the semester,  I also didn’t have my clinical site all week (my supervisor was out of town) so I found myself with a large pile of free time on my hands and nothing that HAD to be done… a very odd feeling with the pace that school is usually moving but it was an awesome change of pace. 
That means I had a really fun week for a change, that was totally focused on things I like to do. That would include cooking, photographing, running, laminating (it’s a SLP thing), and reading for the fun of it!
The eats 
I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this week. Testing, photographing, and enjoying a whole variety of recipes for this months Chopped Kitchen Challenge, which I cannot wait to share with you .

I spy apples and pumpkin… the ginger and chili are hiding. 
The party starts this Thursday and will last for a week so get your fall favorites ready!

 The workouts 
 I did a double up on Zumba and weights at the school gym Monday and Wednesday (thankfully the weight class fits pretty well in the parameters of Steph’s challenge). I did a day of weights on my own at home, and lots of yoga throughout the week. I set a record (for myself) running last weekend that I haven’t been able to beat yet but I did get in 2 very chilly runs this week.

I’ll have a review of Steph’s program on Friday when I finish up my 30 days (and there might be a surprise for you as well!) and I can’t wait to share my fitness commitment for the next 30 days at that time too! You all have been awesome for keeping me accountable, which has always been my biggest struggle. 

The life 

While my week was a nice balance of me time, the best part of this week had to be a full weekend off from work (the last time that happened was probably around Christmas last year) and BF and I took full advantage with a road trip down to visit college friends for homecoming.

It was a lot of driving and a lot of corn (not much else along the highway here in Illinois) but it was totally worth it to spend Saturday catching up with old friends while playing a dizzying array of games. 
Thankfully I was not invited to participate in the 9am Mario Kart challenge. 
Last week was an excellent balance of food, fun, and fitness (the kind of balance I wish I could have in every week) and unfortunately this week will not be quite a nice. We finally move out of the condo starting Thursday (when my parents close on the house) and right now the piles of boxes everywhere are becoming overwhelming. On the bright side BF is helping my dad move furniture (since my baby brother is down at college) so at least I know I get to see him at the end of this craziness. 
Here’s hoping your week was your brand of balanced and accomplished (with not as many boxes around). And if not it’s the start of a new week, so you can make this one what you want 🙂 

WIR #15: AKA where I’ve been since last week…

So I could offer you all a million excuses as  to why I’ve been such a “bad” blogger the last few days… but I’m not going to because that’s annoying and the truth is always better anyways. Truth is I’ve just been really freaking busy. Some of you live your lives and still managed to pull together amazing posts on a regular schedule, I applaud you, I really do… I’m not that person. My bad 🙂

The work

Is what took up a majority of my time for the last week and a half. This Wednesday the project that I’ve been working on all summer at job #1 was due (just in time for new staff orientation, imagine that). We start in 9 charter schools in and around the city this fall (4 old plus 5 new ones) which means that each classroom needed a set of materials, since materials were never really made when we started in the schools last year (it was a last minute thing right before the start of the school year) I had to make all of the materials for all 9 classrooms. A couple 1000 laminating sheets, papers, posters and hours later my kits looked good. Actually they looked awesome, so awesome that I wish I had remembered to take a picture (but by the end of that last day I was just too damn tired and wanted to go home…). Either way our clinicians are all going to have awesome therapy rooms and now I wish someone would make me a therapy kit that was neat and organized instead of the box I have everything piled in at the base of my bed… Someday…

The life

Is the other thing that really threw me off. In an attempt to get me out of the office (and I expect to steal some kisses as well) the BF planned an awesome date day and a half last weekend in celebration of his finally moving home.

Thursday after work he came to my place to eat dinner with my family and check out construction on the new house with my parents. Then we enjoyed $10 game night at Gameworks. There was racing and shooting and bowling and pool (and he somehow managed to keep me up until 1am [like 3 hours past my “bedtime”] without me even feeling tired). 

Friday a friend of ours from school had one a happy hour downtown so we spent the day running (I’m working on it!) and vegging before heading down there. We got to the neighborhood early to search out some dinner (since bar food is not usually “sarah food”) and thought we struck gold when we found this place with a whole gluten free menu…

The pizza was so good that it didn’t taste gluten free (red flag #1) after double checking with our server who was VERY reassuring that it was fine and they had never had a problem I proceeded to eat the whole thing (it was tasty!)… we paid our bill and went on our way. We got to  the happy hour and I was a glass or 2 of wine in when the problems started… needless to say I don’t remember leaving the bar or getting to the train station but I do remember wanting to pass out once we got to the station because my stomach hurt that bad. 
I’ll spare you the details but I spent the rest of that night near a bag or a toilet, before finally passing out when BF got me home… so much for a happy hour. I had to miss work at job #2 on Saturday because I could barely move and I spent most of Saturday and Sunday morning asleep in bed waiting for my body to forgive me. Of course Sunday night we had family coming over pizza to say goodbye to my brother… at least I managed some salad…
The rest of the week so far I’ve been taking it pretty easy just working and hanging out. My brother moved into his dorm room yesterday and he seems to be settling in well 🙂 
The eats
Based on the story above you now know that over the weekend at least all I managed to choke down was some rice and bananas (and LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of water). While I was working crazy shifts I was living on grab and go food that I could eat with one hand while I manned the copier with the other (granola, muffins, fruit). Needless to say there hasn’t been much exciting in the food around here lately…
except this 🙂
My brother wanted key lime pie at his going away “party” this weekend and rather than mess around making a GF one (because I was in no shape to do so) my mom asked if she could buy me anything. I’d seen these lemon curd tarts from Hail Merry at Whole Foods before and figured I could give one a try. We gave it a little whipped cream and fresh lime zest to match the pies and HOLY YUM it was good. It took a few bites to get used to all the coconut flavor in the crust but this was a little tropical party in the mouth… and I kind of wish I had another one right now. 
The workouts
Have been few and far between based on the work schedule and the recovery weekend… I tried to go for a run yesterday but my foot was having none of it. So instead I went to my friends parents running store and had her brother help me pick out a pair of real running shoes (I figure if I’m gonna keep it up some real support won’t hurt). If those babies aren’t motivation to get my but into gear again I don’t know what it, I think they’re the most expensive pair of shoes I have ever owned… but they are super comfy and my feet are worth it 🙂 
Thanks as always to the Lovely Meghan  for hosting (even if I’m totally late) and look for your regularly scheduled posts next week as I get my life back together!

Week in review #12: Classes end and a BF surpriseI

Hey guys, my guest post yesterday bumped everything off a day, but I am back as promised with this weeks Week in Review!

I’m still camped out at my Aunt’s with the puppy and the cat, getting used to having my own space (and still loving having free run of the fridge). Since it’s Monday Tuesday that means things get list-y and you know I’d hate to disappoint you by not sharing my lists 🙂

The Eats

  • Way too much meat this weekend! Made chicken and veggie kebabs, steak fajitas, and egg sandwiches while BF was here (that man likes his meat). We also went out to Portillos (my favorite!) where I had to get a cheeseburger. At least I passed off some of the meat onto my carnivore. 
  • Made up a lovely batch of granola, along with some banana nut muffins to keep me going through all the mornings this week.
  • Stocked the fridge with my smoothie basics so I can throw together any combo I want in seconds in the am.

The workouts
  • Daily puppy walks
  • Yoga 2x this week
  • 1 run/walk with the BF (my goal by this time next year  is to have his stamina on the trail)
  • I’m considering signing up for the 5k fundraiser at job #1 this fall…. someone talk me out of this craziness before it’s too late!

The Blog
  • Had my first ever guest post yesterday! (Thanks again Liv!)
  • Something changed in gmail that has sorted all my comment notifications into a separate email tab, I don’t know what it is but I love it and I hope it stays that way!
  • Working on putting the finishing touches on the logo for my own link up party, look for the launch this Thursday 🙂

The Life
  • Dropped my family off at the airport on Saturday, they’re off camping and exploring in Seattle with the rest of my extended family (on my mom’s side) without me 😦 
  • Had a wonderful weekend cooking, drinking and “dating” the BF. We went to see Monsters University, drank way too much wine, and took the puppy to a concert in the park 
  • I finished my last official summer class last night! I still have to finish clinic, and this stupid online course the state of Illinois is making me take, but I am so close to my 2 weeks of freedom from school and I cannot wait another second 🙂
The rest of this week will be right on schedule (pinky promise). For now happy Tuesday (is it Friday yet?!)
What’s your favorite local “classic” restaurant? Portillo’s is so popular up here we sometimes ship it to family out of state to enjoy, I know I’m a sucker for their cheeseburgers and Chicago style hot dogs. 

WIAW #15: single girl in the kitchen

Sounds like some strange sort of self help or diet book doesn’t it? In truth that’s been me all week, enjoying the space of my aunts kitchen, holding back from the puppy’s begging, and generally loving the chance to make and eat what I want when I want (and generally take over the fridge!)

It has been an incredible week of eats over here and I’m so excited it’s Wednesday so I can share them all with you!

Be sure to stop by Jenn’s to see everyone elses eats!Breakfasts this week have been a mix of the traditional green smoothies, with a few fun fruity ones mixed in.

Frozen strawberry puree, raspberries, frozen banana, vanilla almond milkRaspberry sorbet, frozen mango, banana, spinachSpinach, celery ginger juice, apple juice, ice
Lunch has switched up between salads and wraps  depending on the schedule of the day

Spinach and romaine topped with cucumber, tomato, sharp cheddar cheeseHummus, turkey bacon, lettuce in a golden teff wrap

Dinners have been pretty simple (it’s just me after all!) but they’ve been fresh and veggie full. 

Sweet potatoes with spicy cayenne ham, served over spinach with a fried eggStir fried vegetables with quick spicy peanut sauce

I may have picked up a few liquid goodies while at TJ’s as well (like 3 bottles of wine worth)Don’t worry I didn’t drink them all 🙂 I’m holding on to those until BF comes to visit again later this week!!
If you couldn’t tell I’m loving not only having the puppy, but full run of the kitchen! It may be a little lonely here as a single girl but I am certainly getting used to it 🙂