My Life According To…

Happy Sunday y’all!
Well 25th Birthday was a success!
Started my morning with a birthday run and a birthday coffee…followed by some birthday nails and shopping w/ the momma. 
Cheers!
 I went out to dinner with my parents and a couple of my cousins and we had a blast! 
All I have to say is Mexican food. Oh, and good conversation. 
Me and my beautiful cousin Megs. We are exactly 3 months apart. She will be 25 in May and we will party all over again. 

Had to take a birthday pic of my excitement. 🙂
My gorgeous parents. 
This was my mom 2 drinks in…still calm…but before the party even began! Love her!
Last Sunday I started my own little tradition…eggplant involtini is a go!

Cheesy, gooey, tomato deliciousness!

I just don’t even know what to say here.

Oh my gaaaaawd these were ahmazing. 

I want to slather this almond butter all up in my face

but I should probably stick to exfoliating with this coconut sugar scrub. 🙂
MANGIA!!!

25 Things.

Today is my 25th buuuuurfday!

My day of birth if you will.

I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to play a fun little game with myself and entertain you with 25 things that I have learned over my existence. Obviously, these are just a select few things. I have learned quite a bit.

I originally had a post about cake. However, I will save that little treat for Monday 🙂

Here goes nothing. 

1. Don’t be selfish, especially when it comes to your parent’s decisions regarding your future as a teenager. They know knew  still know what is best. It will come back to bite you in the ass and you will be kicking yourself in the future.
2. Don’t spend your time trying to please others, do what’s right for YOU, what will make YOU happy. 
3. On that note, my true happiness is all that matters.
4. Being picky when it comes to finding the right guy is not a character flaw…YOU deserve THE BEST!
5. On that note, ignoring/being rude/acting like a former crush (who treated you like crap when you were younger but then hello 21, Chelsy is actually good looking and I think I might try and approach her) is invisible does nothing to help the situation. Oh, and BTW’s it only makes you bitter when he finds the love of his life, and it’s not you.
6. Mean girls in jr. high will be kicking themselves in the ass when you grow up to be a stronger, prettier, and more decent human being than they will ever be.
7. Choose not one, but several parts of your body, and find what is beautiful about each and every one of them. Do this every day.
8. Your parents are human and are capable of mistakes. 
9. Forgive, but never forget. Soooooo true. But hey, don’t throw that back in the person’s face either, Jack!
10. Wear yoga/stretchy pants every.single.day. No one will know that you ate 3 slices of cake yesterday. Plus, you can hop from the gym to the couch in seconds. 
11. Go a couple of days without make up. Let your true beauty shine. Your skin needs a breather and it isn’t necessary to look like a New Jersey House wive
12. Money isn’t everything. It doesn’t buy happiness.
13. Never steal, cheat, or lie. Your conscience will be the only thing bruised, even if no one finds out. 
14. Anxiety is overrated. Calm the f* down!
15. On that note, try to be spontaneous once in a while. 
16. No matter what a family member has done/said in the past…if they need you, be there 100%. ALWAYS.
17. Sing at the top of your lungs in the shower, car, and in the super market aisles (only a little softer then).
18. Dance your ass off every chance you get. This includes going dance crazy at weddings.
19. Go outside of your comfort zone. You never know what you might miss.
20. If God brought you to it, he will bring you through it. 
21. Sleeping in is good for your body every once in a while.
22. Run in the rain every chance you get.
23. No matter how your day is going…a cup of coffee will fix it. That, and a pint of fro-yo. And peanut butter. And maybe some barbecue. Maybe. 😉
24. Gather whatever knowledge you can from your grandparents while they are alive. Listen to them fully. They know lots of shit. Oh, and watch your grandmothers’ every move in the kitchen. Your Czech g-ma knows what’s up with a poorboy, king ranch chicken, and pasta salad. Oh, and your Italian g-ma knows a thing or two about cooking too. 
25. Envy and jealousy are thieves of happiness. Someone’s life may seem picture perfect on the outside, but on the inside they may be crying out for help. Appreciate what you have.

This all being said: bring on the wine and cake!

MANGIA!!!

Birthday Amore.

Good Monday Morning all!

As you may have heard, Thursday was my birthday. However, I chose not to really celebrate it until Friday night. And by celebrate I mean have a nice birthday dinner with the fam. That is just what I did. The Friday night festivities were pretty ah-mazing. Before dinner, momma, seester, and I did a little shopping. My mom bought me a new cake stand for my birthday. I can’t wait to show it off. I know, I am so lame. Anyway, dinner was celebrated at my one of my fave “Italian” restaurants, Nino’s. In addition to my parents and seester, I invited a few of my cousins along for the birthday fun. The food was amazing as usual.

I pre-gamed with a good glass of Riesling…or two.
 I pretty much felt like a celebrity, ya know drinking a bottle of wine that doesn’t come from a grocery store. Plus, drinking out of a wine glass instead of a paper cup is so lady-like. Points!
The appetizer was the traditional Antipasti Platter. Meat, Cheese, and Bread. The regular staples.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to snap any more food photos. I know, disappointing. Let me just tell you what I ate b/c it was pretty freakin’ perfect: A salad of mixed greens, with a quarter roasted chicken…the chicken skin was crispy, and the meat so moist, hell I was surprised I didn’t eat the damn bone! I got pretty close though! I also order a side of roasted green beans, sauteed in olive oil, and dusted with fresh Parmesan. These weren’t your green beans that come in a can…nope! To make my meal even more tasty than it already was, I ordered the bakes eggplant appetizer, which was top notch! It was three round layers of perfectly baked eggplant, each layer spread with goat cheese just oozing out the sides, and melted to perfection. The best part? The subtly sweet, and mildly tangy marinara sauce poured over the top of the eggplant tower. Oh my word. I could have literally licked the plate. I did my best to mind my manners, using my spoon to scoop up as much of the sauce as I could!


Here are some pics of the night: 

Momma and Seester

Daddy and Momma

Daddy and I

Seester and I

Family Photo with the Cousins!

3 Men + 2 Ladies
MANGIA!!!

Happy Birthday To Me!

Happy Thursday all!


You know what is soooooooo great about today? It’s my birthday! Yes, today I am 24 years of age…o my goodness I think I just had a little panic attack. I can’t believe I am 24! I mean, yesterday I was practically running around in my backyard with no shoes on, my hair thrown up into a messy ponytail, playing tag with my cousins, and my mom screaming at us to come “blow out the candles, and sing the Happy Birthday” song. Yes, I definitely miss my birthday parties as a kid, they were always filled with family fun, backyard barbecuing, and of course, cake. 

Speaking of cake, yesterday I made myself some birthday cupcakes, because what is a birthday without cake? Or ummmm cupcakes in this case. Anyway, they were ahhhhhh-mazing. I have been pretty obsessed with my new bff toasted coconut. Not like the “omg I have a crush on my high school flame obsessed and feel the need to stalk his Facebook page every chance I get (don’t worry, never happened),” more of the “I still jam N’Sync and Backstreet boys tunes in my car, fist pumping hard” obsessed. That totally happened. Anyway, I made some awesome cupcakes, that were more like muffins before I topped them with this…

Holy Toasted Coconut Frosting Batman!
They were ordinary Coconut Cupcakes at first…
then they transformed into
the best Coconut Birthday Cupcakes, ever!

I pre-gamed with one of these cupcakes before dinner last night. It was definitely worth it. Especially, since my meal consisted of bland baked chicken. Fail. Anyway, these are definitely breakfast cupcakes, because who says you can’t have cupcakes for breakfast? I mean they are kind of like donuts, and we eat donuts for breakfast, right? Don’t worry about calories, they don’t count on my birthday. Coconut Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Frosting for all! So, get into the kitchen and whip these babies up, and have one for breakfast, and for my birthday! 

HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BIRTHDAY DESSERT?

Coconut Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Frosting:

Coconut Cupcakes (recipe courtesy of Elana’s Pantry):

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
1/2 c. agave nectar
1/2 c. coconut flour
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 10 cups in a cupcake tin with paper liners.
2. Using a blender, or a food processor, blend eggs, coconut oil, and agave nectar.
3. Pulse in coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and shredded coconut.
4. Allow the batter to sit and thicken for a bit.
5. Spoon 1/4 c. of batter into each prepared cupcake liner. 
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
7. Remove cupcakes and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Toasted Coconut Frosting:

Ingredients:
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 c. powdered sugar
water, as needed

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Spread coconut out evenly over the prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake coconut for 6 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
4. Pour coconut into a bowl and allow to cool.
5. In a small bowl, add powdered sugar and just enough water so that the powdered sugar turns into a thick paste, around 1 to 2 tablespoons.
6. Stir in the toasted coconut.
7. Frost each cupcake.

HAVE YOU ENTERED MY LARABAR GIVEAWAY? You have until tonight at 12 p.m. Central Time to Enter. I will announce the winner tomorrow, at 8 a.m. Central Time.

MANGIA!!!

Febbraio Amore.

Happy Sunday all (or um…Happy Super Bowl Sunday?)! 

Did you make my Mexican-Style Sweet and Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps that I told you to make for your big Super Bowl Bash today? Well, if you haven’t I don’t know why you are wasting your time listening to me…get into that kitchen and whip those babies up! No. Seriously. Hold on a second. I have some important things to say and I think you all should stick around for a bit. Well, not really that important, but today I would just like to give thanks for February, show February a little love, a little amore. I mean, it’s my favorite month. Do you know why it’s my fave month? It’s my birthday month of course. Yes, people, in exactly 4 days I will be 24 years old! Wow! Time really does fly. I actually had to remember how old I was going to be when asked my age the other day. Anyway, back to why I love February. Here we go.

What I am loving about February:


1. I will say it again and again, it’s my birthday month. And you know what that means. Cake, and lots of it. This chick makes ah-mazing cakes. All I want to do is jump through the screen and eat these cakes, no joke…

I mean, who makes an Asparagus Cake out of fondant? 
ah-mazing.
2. February is all about my extreme craving for scones. I have begun to think about scones morning, noon, and night. I was at the grocery store Friday scanning the bulk aisle for baking goodies…I walked away with chocolate chips and coconut, now come the next project: putting them into a scone. It’s all about the scone people. Kin to the biscuit, but a little bit crispier. 

3. February is Get Fit Month for me. Now, I consider myself a pretty fit person. However, I have discovered that it is pretty easy to get stuck in a routine. It’s simple. I run. I am a runner. Now that I am studying to become a personal trainer, I have fallen back in love with my college degree, Kinesiology. That being said, I have started to focus on building my strength. As a runner, you can loose a lot of muscle mass. That being said, my new motto is…
Stronger…that is the goal. I am a boss.

4. I am loving me some espresso, in my Americano, of course. Since moving back to Houston, this is my new hangout for a good espresso. I have been going to Brasil for years with my cousins. I have them to thank for the introduction, but seriously, I forgot how good it can actually be. I don’t think I will ever give up my addiction to espresso. Did I say addiction, I meant love for espresso. It’s just not gonna happen.

Now hear this! I definitely need me one of these Bialetti Espresso makers.
This month is all about d.i.y. This could save me millions. It could also be extremely dangerous.

5. Since it is February, I might as well mention it. After all, February is the month of love, right? You know what I am talking about….Valentine’s Day. Now, I am not a Valentine’s Day hater, it’s just that why do we have to pick a day to show someone how much we love them? I do that on a daily basis. Everyday is a day to love in my book. Nevertheless, I treat Valentine’s Day as the biggest excuse to buy myself some V-day themed candy…
Do it now. 

Or better yet…make myself an ah-mazing Valentine’s Day dessert.

Why, hello there!
6. February is the month to miss my puppy. Apartments suck for big dogs. 

To make matters worse, my Dad sent me this pic of our deceased lab George this week. 
Not good for the emotions. It has led me to stalk the Pets section of Craigslist, browsing all the lab puppies that I CAN’T have. One day…
7. Last, but not least, February is the month to love Larabar! Seriously, I eat one Larabar every single day. I can’t get enough of my new fave Cappuccino flavor. BTW, have you entered my LARABAR GIVEAWAY? I will announce the winner Friday, February 10th, at 8 a.m. Central Time. You have until then to enter! 

Free Larabar’s? Do it. Do it now

MANGIA!!!