Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stuffed peppers recipe

A while back I made a delicious, gluten-free, dairy-free clean eating stuffed peppers dinner. It was delicious! And super easy to make plus I had extra and was able to mix it up over the next few days. Being in school and working, I love meals that keep giving - meaning meals that give me leftovers!

[Note: I don't claim to be a chef/nutritionist/dietician/food blogger. I don't have calorie counts (I don't count my calories) but I don't think it would be difficult to figure out.]

Lean ground turkey
Yellow squash
Bell peppers (any color)
Garlic powder (optional)
Salt and pepper (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cook turkey in skillet until lightly browned, over medium heat.
  • Chop all veggies except bell peppers, add to pan with turkey and continue to cook, adding garlic powder/salt/pepper to taste.

I promise there are onions and mushrooms under there somewhere!
  • Cut the tops of the peppers off so they make a little container. Save the part you cut off so it makes a lid. Scoop out the innards.
  • Pack each peppes with your turkey/veggie mixture.
  • Place packed peppers in a baking dish with a little water in the bottom to keep peppers from drying out. I used a square pan but I think a long, bread loaf pan would have worked better since one of my peppers fell over and spilled. 

  • Put tops on peppers and bake for 20 minutes. 
That orange guy in the front right just wouldn't stay up!
  • Serve alone or with sides. Enjoy!

I ate two peppers (all but the stem) and also some extra steamed broccoli and then some fruit.
Top plate was dinner, bottom container was lunch the next day
I took two peppers for lunch the next day and they heated up well in the microwave. I think I zapped them for about 45 seconds with the lids off.

I had left over turkey/veggie mixture so I saved that and ate it on top of some spaghetti squash later that week. Mmmmm!

Any good, clean recipes you'd like to share? Any great ideas for being gluten-free and dairy-free? Comment below or share a link!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

so what wednesday

Fun little link up today with Shannon from life after i "dew".
 So What Wednesday
So what if...

  • my brain is about to explode from reading nursing research articles and instead I'm spending precious time reading blogs.
  • I am way more excited about the return of Keeping Up with the Kardashians than I should be.
  • the best part of my weekend might be finding out if Kimye is having a boy or a girl. E!, don't tempt me.  You better reveal that baby's gender on Sunday's new episode!
  • I'm on my third Spark of the day.
  • my addiction to playing solitaire on my phone is OOC.
  • we've only sold 1 ticket to this weekend's 8th grade dance because I am way too distracted with life to care and if those kids don't want a dance, then I'm not wasting my damn time on a dance.
  • a small part of me feels like a failure for not having kids want to attend the dance.
  • I am trying to get back on the clean eating train but my babysitting kiddos offered me force fed me delicious banana bread at dinner. Yeah, pretty sure that ish wasn't gluten-free.
  • there are only THREE days left for me to show up at work. THREE. HOLY COW. Things just got real. 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

long weekends are good for the soul, bad for the scale

Hey errbody! Hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend as much as I did.

It was filled with the AMAZING wedding of two very good friends...

picture from @lindseylk #finallyabecker

...and studying for nursing school.  Lots and lots of studying for nursing school...


image addition to a 5 lb weight gain.  That's right folks, 5 big ones.  As in, almost out of the 130's.  YIKES!


But all that eating drinking studying paid off because I took my first Integrated Concepts of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology test today and got an A!  The first two tests for my program were last week and I got a B on both. I wasn't thrilled (type A personality means I want that A, damnit!) but I wasn't beating myself up over it either.  I haven't been in school for a while, it's an accelerated program, there's an adjustment period yada yada yada.

To celebrate, I'm rewarding myself with some shopping I've had my eye on for a while now.  I've got 4 items in my Kiki La'Rue wishlist at the moment but I'm struggling to pick out just one thing.  Thankfully (never thought I'd say that), I've got another test later this week so if when I get an A I can order another item.  Score!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

At the moment, I've abandoned my pledge to eat healthy and am thoroughly enjoying a glass or two of vino and some delicious bread and butter.  No, I'm not kidding.  That is my treat.  That, and watching some TimBob and Hubby Jack lip sync some sweet tunes.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Random Things

Nursing school and working full-time is no joke.  I'm alive and well, just not spending much time blogging/blog reading these days.  But lucky for you, I've given my self a 15 minute break and rather than eat junk food I am taking this time to blog!

1) I'm joining Holly in the Ab 300 Challenge.  I stated earlier this month I'd be doing the May Meltdown with Ms. Michaels but that hasn't really panned out like I wanted.  If you're interested in the challenge, visit The Petit Athleat!

2) I got this awesome new workout tank but I'm VERY self conscious when I wear it around the neighborhood.  I took it out for a run last week and felt like all the moms were giving me the evil eye through their house windows.  But I also love it a lot so I don't think it will stop me from wearing it.

Super Cala Fraga Tank (clink on picture for link)

3) B and I had our engagement party this past weekend and it was wonderful!  My future SIL (who I love and am so blessed to have in my life) threw it for us as a chance for our families and wedding party to get together.

Future SIL could seriously BE my sister.  And I look pretty amazing in that Kiki La Rue dress :)

Most of the wedding party couldn't make it, but this girl did! Julie is a very good friend of mine who I met through Teach for America when I moved to Houston 5 years ago.  She's seen my relationship with B grow from mere flirtations to what it is today.

There were also shot girls at the bar/restaurant and we got my Grandmother to take quite a few tequila shots.  It was the sort of scene my grandfather would have loved and I felt his presence that night very much.  I'm actually getting weepy just sitting here and typing this (though that could be the lack of sleep + the abundance of Spark in my system) so Lord knows how I'll make it through my wedding.

4) Wrote thank you notes for the gifts we got yesterday on these gorgeous note cards I found at Tar-jay.  Holla!
1 // not online // not online

4) Got my Watermelon Spark in yesterday and it's pretty, pretty, pretty good (Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm reference? Anyone? Okay then, watch below.)

5) I told myself I'd reward myself for every A I got on a nursing school test.  Took our first one yesterday and got a solid B.  Not horrible, but I'm disappointed in myself and determined to get an A on the next one, which is tomorrow.

On that note, back to studying. Here's an #ootd from school on Tuesday - sweet test hair, Cait.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Find + Follow Friday Link-Up

Oh, happy weekend! I'm feeling quite a bit like this little guy right about now:

But it's nothing that a quick little link up can't fix!

I'm linking up with some wonderful bloggers who I recently started following.  I'm excited because I'm new to the blogging world.  I've casually followed a few blogs for some time but now that I'm blogging myself I LOVE getting to know a whole new group of bloggers (new to me, not necessarily to blogging)!  And that's what this link up all about!

Let me introduce you to the fabulous hostesses... 

Nicole over at Me and the Moon is an awesome mom and Air Force wife who totally loves animals, which is just one reason why I love her! She recently took some plain jane Ikea coffee mugs and decorated them to look adorable.  I would buy them if they were in a store.  And I wish I had her artistic creativity!

Sarah at Limited Space Organizing does great posts on how to effectively organize small spaces.  As my fiance already thinks I have too much junk, her blog is a great place for me to get ideas about storing said junk (rather than throwing it away)! April was all about Bathroom Organization, and coming from a home with NO LINEN CLOSETS this was very helpful.

Lifeology is Alesha's blog about her life with husband Andrew and gorgeous little baby girl, Charlotte.  She jumps around from DIY projects to thoughts on life and mothermood with some gorgeous pictures mixed in.  Her Good Eats Friday posts are always a favorite of mine!

Lastly, we have Sunkissed with a Twist blogger Nicole.  She hails from Austin (shoutout to another Austinite!) and lover her pups and man, which is just one reason I like her so much! Plus, she's partaking in the Blog Every Day in May challenge so there's lots to read about over there!

So go ahead, check out some awesome blogs. And if you're a blogger then go join the link up so we can make more bloggy friends :)


Friday, May 17, 2013

Late nights at Wally World

Generally, I try to avoid Walmart.  Don't get me wrong; I love a good deal. And I'm not making any judgments about the clientele or the store or their business practices.  I'm just more of a Tarjay girl probably because I love the clothing accessories housewares The One Spot.

However, the other night I went for a few items because it is a) open 24 hours and b) very close to my house.  When you're sleep deprived and on a mission, that equals a win.

What I didn't count on was spending so much money trying to decorate my house while buying dryer sheets, Think Thin bars, eggs and bananas.

Hint: The home goods are hidden by all the healthy things!

Anywhooo.... let's get to the good stuff.

I bought these two galvanized buckets a while back at the Target One Spot but couldn't figure out what to do with them.  We've got this awkward niche spot on our stairs that nothing seems right for but I put them there anyway along with some bottles covered in chalkboard paint (thanks, Pinterest), a lantern from my parents' anniversary party and some stray picture frames.  Well, that is until my delirium-infused trip to Wally World turned into a decorating mission.

I ended up buying some fake flowers and a big block of the green foam stuff.  Must say, despite this terrible "after" pics, I smile every time I see it on my walk up the stairs.

And while I was wandering the faux florals, I found this little basket - perfect for toilet paper in our downstairs bath (which seriously lacks any storage).

I also found this pretty hammer vase and decided to fill it with more flowers and stems and such. Then a "love is all you need" canvas hopped in my cart, because what home is complete without that?
The yellow flowers were from a student (not fake!), which reminded me that there ARE good days in teaching.  Just not enough for me to stay.
 That's all for now so I'll leave you with this adorable picture of Milli, my decorating assistant.

xoxo, YFG 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Finish the Sentence... and learn more about ME!

I'm linking up with Holly and Jake for Finish the Sentence... This should be really good (or really bad) because my brain is like scrambled eggs right now from attempting to digest all the information dumped on me in the first week of nursing school.


1. Unlike my sibling(s) (that I love very much).... I have to watch what I eat and how much I work out.  My siblings are my brothers who can eat whatever they want and just play basketball to stay in shape.  In high school, they would share an entire GALLON of Bluebell ice cream after dinner EVERY. NIGHT.

2. My best friend says... LYLAS all the time and it's rubbed off on me.  Now I say or text it in almost every conversation we have.  And I like it because my 4 "sisters" are two older step-sisters than I'm not too close with and two much younger (like 9 and 10 yrs old) half-sisters. 

3. People call me... Girlie.  As in, capital G, like a name, Girlie. I don't really know where it came from but people at work do it and friends and family.  And I am pretty girly so it makes sense.

4. I most often dream... about crazy things, like my students are in my house while I'm pregnant and fighting off a huge battle of warriors at my front door while trying to fold the laundry like my life depends on it.  Or something akin to that.  I usually remember my dreams in those foggy moments between when my alarm goes off and my feet actually touch the ground but beyond that, they sort of just dissolve.

5. The best part of my day... might be when I step on the scale if that number is lower than the last time.  Confession: I weigh myself every morning.  When my alarm goes off for the tenth time I take the dogs downstairs, feed/let them out, make my Spark (but don't even take a sip), come up stairs, and weight myself totally naked.  Then I'll sip my Spark.  And if I'm showering that morning I'll hop right in.  If not, I put my PJs back on and go start the getting ready process.  Other than this little ritual my favorite part of the day is coming home to my sweet dogs and talking about my day with my Boo.

6. I really don't understand... how the internet works.  I love it and I'm thrilled it exists, but it baffles me when I try to understand it. So I just don't try anymore.

7. I get really annoyed... when I need to turn left at a light but the line that is going straight is so long that I can't get over into that little left turn lane.  It REALLY irritates me when some idiot has 1000 feet between them and the car in front of them but if they would just move up a smidge, then I could get over in that lane and not miss the green turn arrow for the hundredth time.  I'm getting annoyed just typing this.

8. There's nothing like a... waking up early on a stormy weekend morning where you have nothing to do except cuddle in bed with your dogs and your man.  Or fitting in a shirt/pair of shorts/dress/pants that didn't fit previously.  Hot damn, those are some great feelings. See below.

I cannot EVER remember being smaller than an 8 at Gap. But these are an 8 and they were actually falling off.  If I could bottle that feeling I would be a millionaire billionaire.

9. Lately, I can't get enough... running.  That is weird for me to type and even weirder to say.  I spoke with my best friend the other night and she said something to the effect of "what's this runner's high you've got on instagram? seriously? who are you?"  Yeah, I'm not sure either.  But I ran 4 times in the last week and I'm looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.  So strange but I hope this lasts. 

10. One thing I am NOT is... negotiator.  I don't like to haggle or confront people on prices.  So doing the whole back-and-forth dance with wedding vendors nearly gives me hives.  And I'm pretty sure my fear of this got me gouged today at the alternations place - paid $24 to have 3 tiny patches sewn on the shoulders of my scrubs.  How could that cost $8 a pop?? 

11. I spent too much money on... clothing. And groceries.  But I can justify the groceries because I'm buying fresh and healthy food which is generally more expensive than frozen meals and crap. It's an investment in my health which pays off daily when I have more energy, am in a better mood, and will do better in school.  The clothing I can't always justify and I am constantly trying to set myself a budget but I inevitably end up blowing up.

12. I want to learn.... to fly a plane.  Crazy, right?  My stepdad has his pilot's license and co-owns a small plane and I think it would be so Angelina-Jolie-badass to be able to fly a plane. 

13. If I ever met Britney Spears, I would... want to lay around the pool with her while we drink and eat Cheetos.  But I'd also want to know how she got her amazing body circa I'm A Slave 4 U.  Total girl crush. When I work out, this is what my end goal is.

14. I can't stop... babytalking my dogs.  I don't think I ever will stop. And I'm okay with that. 

15. Never have I ever... unplugged my straightener without going back to check that it's unplugged. I have a phobia of leaving it plugged in.  Partially because my mom has the same phobia (I got it from my mama) and because a roommate once left a stove burner on all day with a frying pan on it.  ALL DAY.  Thankfully it was an electric stove AND thankfully it didn't burn down our apartment. 

16. Reese Witherspoon... is America's Freakin' Sweetheart. I love that girl. And I wish we were friends.  Her arrest tape is hilarious!  She can drink and party like she's white trash, dress up like a sex kitten, and still cleans up and goes to church like the best of them.  

Hope you learned some interesting things about me!  Writing this has been a nice little break from reality but it's back to the books now.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday's Four: Nursing Orientation Edition

I've been at nursing school orientation the last 2 days so between lots of sitting, listening, and absorbing, I've had very little time to think. But this "Friday's Four" came to me pretty easily today.  Let's get started, shall we?

1. Attending nursing school is without a doubt the right decision for me.  

I am HAPPY there.
I cannot wait until things really get started on Monday.  

Folks, it's been a looooonnggg time since I've felt this way, since I've had this passion.

It's official! And pretty good ID picture, if I do say so myself.  Probably because I always feel gorgeous and confident in a KikiLaRue piko shirt. And because my hair looks fabulous thanks to Rondeann!
To say I was nervous before orientation is an understatement. I think there's always going to be anxiety when you are starting something new. I turned in my resignation letter for teaching this week and at that moment I really felt like there was no turning back. Up until that point, if I wanted to change my mind, I could have. My job would still have been mine. I could have returned to my classroom and repeated everything I did this year all over again next year. But I would missed out on the fulfillment I felt today.  TODAY.  A day of orientation and getting to know the systems and expectations.  If I can feel like this after orientation, then that alone confirms that I'm making the right decision.

2. I took Milli, our Boston terrier, went to the vet on Tuesday for a routine kennel cough shot.  On the drive there she was suspiciously quiet in the backseat.  Turns out she was eating a mysterious white pill.  One phone call to my mom later, I discovered that it was a hydrocodone pill from the night I was in the ER following my car wreck.  That pill was meant for me, a ~150 lb person (at the time).  Not my 15 lb dog. Cue the parental freak out.

My name is Milli and I'm a pill popper.
The vet had me call the Poison Control Line at ASPCA [sidenote: who knew?] which was a $65 phone call for someone to tell me that she may experience dry eyes/nose and possibly some vomiting.   

NEWSFLASH - that dog vomits almost daily anyways because she can't help but eat ridiculously long plants in the backyard that she then chokes on.  At least I knew she'd be fine.

But should our little pill popper relapse, I hear there's an opening in rehab...

3. Kiki LaRue.  Oh Mylanta, that shop has some cute stuff.  I've decided that for each "A" I earn on a nursing school exam, I'll reward myself with one of these KLR goodies.  Here's my current wishlist:

Clockwise from top left: Pink Long Sleeve Piko, Champs Maxi, Layton Leopard Trimmed Top, Gold Studded Pocket Top, Diana Earrings, Famous Leopard Tunic.  All images from

Cute clothes and good grades? Sounds like a win-win to me!
If you'd like to support this cause, please email me :)

4. I know I've talked about AdvoCare on here before (here, here and here).  I'm trying to work up to the next level of discounts because, remember folks, I'm about to be a very poor, very hard-working student who will use my last dollars on rewards from KLR.  If you've ever thought about ordering anything, now would be a great time!  If you're not sure of what you want here are my favorite things and why:

Spark - powdered natural energy drink, amazing replacement for coffee, acts like brain juice
 24 Day Challenge - totally reset my eating habits and has helped me lose 15+ lbs in 6 weeks
Meal Replacement Shakes (Vanilla) - I like the idea of eating breakfast but not getting it together and the shakes make it easy to have a healthy breakfast

Or email me if you're looking for something specific!

Hope you all had a great week and an even better weekend.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Link Ups and Quick Post!

Shout out to all my fellow night owls! 
 It's May 1st (well, it was until 40 minutes ago... details) and you know what that means - 

#4Mchallenge day 1, in the books.  Booyah.

Oh yeah, baby!  I ended up going on an unexpected run yesterday (seriously, I do not run) so I didn't get up early like planned for my girl JM.  Instead, I fit in the 30 Day Shred video tonight between taking two history tests.  [Sidenote: nursing school orientation is tomorrow and classes start Monday.  I am finish up two history prerequisites as we speak.]  I really didn't feel like doing the video but after I started I was so glad that I did.  Funny how exercise works like that, right?

3.24 miles! Still can't believe I did that!

This morning I happened to read Mama Laughlin's post and felt like she was talking right to me.  Yes, this pace is slow.  But it's MY pace. And this is MY fitness journey.  And I'm proud of that 12:07 pace because it is the FURTHER and LONGEST I've ever run.

On to the next link-up... I've been following these ladies for quite some time now (you should too if you aren't already) and I'm excited to finally participate!


Alright, here's what the scale said this morning:

I haven't figured out how to rotate it yet, sorry.  And I know, that pedicure has gots to go. Yikes!  But woohoo! Within 10 lbs of my goal weight (125).

When I started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge I was about 150 lbs.  And most of this comes from changing my diet, folks.  As you may recall reading, I broke my hand right before the challenge so I was not working out AT ALL.  Now, I'm adding it back in.  And I want to have a smoking hot body that I am proud of and that can do stuff - like run. And life weights. And #flexbreak!  Hell yes!

Alright, I've got to get back to the books for now.  And to bed soon - gotta get up at 4am for orientation :)


PS - Follow me on Bloglovin'. You know you want to and I'll love you forever!