Friday, October 28, 2011

fast food is better than some restaurants?

In my journey to attempt to eat better I have learned many things but one of the strangest by far is that fast food is actually better for you than some restaurant food. My brother once told me that fast food restaurants have a more strict set of guidelines on the food they can make (i.e. why McDonald's had that whole campaign about putting their nutritional information on everything they serve!) while chain restaurants do not. Now here is where things get interesting. I decided to do a side by side comparison of cheeseburgers from a few different places. Here is the nutritional info on a McDonald's Cheeseburger: 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 750 mg of sodium, 33 carbs and 2g of fiber (not as bad as I thought minus the sodium. P.S. here is the entire pdf of McDonald's nutrition info...HERE).
Now time for the shocker. An Old Timer Burger from Chili's: 1310 Calories, 60 grams of fat, 128 carbs, 10 grams of fiber, 3230 mg of sodium. You could literally have 4.3 McDonalds Cheeseburgers to get the same amount of calories as the Old Timer--FOUR CHEESEBURGERS!!! Ahhh!!


Click here for the chili's nutritional info! 

CRAZY RIGHT? 

Here is one sure to make you sad (it sure made me distraught): P.F. Chang's Honey Chicken. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE THIS PLACE. But I am a foodie and can be too easily distracted by the wonder of this lovely Chinese Food. It is a special treat for me to go here...

They try to fool you on the website by showing that 1 seriving is a measly 477 calories. Not too bad you think. But there are actually THREE servings in one dish. That brings us to a grand total of 1,431 calories for just the chicken. This does not include rice, sauce, etc. 



Even the yummy lettuce wraps are not so grand. How can lettuce be bad?? One lettuce wrap is 160 calories-great if you can limit yourself to just one (it comes with 4). Here is the trouble...the sauce. Just 2 ounces of sauce is 310 calories. Don't worry it is not the end of the world. Get the lettuce wraps or veggies lettuce wraps and avoid the sauce!! You will feel much better. 



Click here for P.F. Chang's nutritional info. 

So while searching through this yummy food I came across a few recipe swaps that might help you out if you are a foodie like me! This girl has a super cute blog about healthy eating. Here is her recipe for low cal lettuce wraps. Click here for her blog! Thanks She-Fit for coming up with such a great recipe!! 



Ingredients
2 cups Boca Ground Crumbles lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
 Low Calorie Lettuce Wraps½ cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
8 oz sliced water chestnuts-drained and coarse chopped
6 scallions sliced thin on the diagonal
¾ cup snow peas
Roasted Garlic Teriyaki Sauce Low Calorie Lettuce Wraps½ cup diced mushrooms
½ cup shredded carrots
Handfull of toasted almonds
Roasted garlic teriyaki sauce and or Low Sodium Soy Sauce
½ head iceberg lettuce, cored, quartered, and peeled into individual leaves
Directions
* Heat a large skillet or wok with a generous amount of Cooking Spray
* Add Boca, onions, celery, and garlic powder. Cook till the onions are golden brown
* Mix in water chestnuts, snow peas, mushrooms, and carrots
* Add enough Garlic Teriyaki Sauce to coat Boca Ground Crumbles and Veggies to your liking



Hope you enjoy this recipe! I also like to swap the Boca and do ground turkey or grilled chicken. Play around with it and see what you like! Enough about healthy food for today. Halloween is around the corner! Happy Holidays!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Owl Prints

 Every now and then I like to daydream about my dream home. You know, what kind of furniture I want, what color walls, etc. A girl can dream can't she? Recently on Fab.com I found this little 7x5 prints of owls! They were only $8 a piece and came with the authors signature and came mounted on backing. Seeing as Owls are not only the symbol of my sorority but are also super cute, I couldn't resist getting them. How cool will this looked framed hanging somewhere in my dream house? And who could resist the price?? I think they will look really cute in a bathroom or hallway somewhere! Sweet! Check out all the cool stuff on fab.com by clicking here!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Teavana-the latest in "tea" trends

As it gets colder, we all start looking for warmer things to eat and drink, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soup and more. While I love all things coffee, I have been leaning more towards tea recently. We have a store in the Little Rock mall called Teavana. Now I assume if Little Rock has it then most big cities have it (we are not in the cutting edge category of store-hood but we are getting there!).

At first glance this store can be quite overwhelming. They have teapots, teacups, tea-trays, basically all the goods to set up a traditional tea party. My advice is to bypass this stuff and head straight for the tea. The back wall of the store is covered in the stuff. They have green tea, white tea, black tea, herbal, rooibos, oolong, and mate. Don't worry their website covers the definitions and properties of all these teas. I am a strong tea drinker (I don't like the sweet stuff) so I tend to go for black. But the beauty of this stuff is you can ask them to sample it and normally they will brew you some! As far as brewing goes they have great tools.

Here is what you need:

This is called the Perfect Tea Maker and it doesn't lie. What I have learned from tea is that it expands big time when you are steeping it, so you need to give it plenty of room to grow to get the full flavor. The other cool thing about this tea maker is how it pours, or should I say doesn't pour. All you do is set this guy on a coffee mug and the water pours straight out through the bottom and all the tea leaves stay at the top! Easy as pie right? This guy can be bought HERE for $19.95. 
As far as tea goes, well, that is up to you. They have just about every flavor imaginable. And while I like to get crazy tea sometimes the British Breakfast and Earl Grey are just to die for. And they are cheap too. This one is Earl Grey: 
They way the sell the tea is by the ounce. You can buy a cutesie tin to put them in (I recently got a Louis Vuitton looking one) or you can get them in a bag (the bag is free). The tins come in all different sizes too. They are great for if you just want to leave the tea on the counter. If not, get the free bags! 
Each tea has its own price per ounce. The Earl Grey and British Breakfast are about around $4 for 2 ounces. So to fill up a big ole tin it might cost you $10 or so. **Remember you can get any amount you want**The more elaborate teas cost more...for example their imperial green tea is $20.00 for 2 ounces (yowzer, but man is it good). Click HERE to see their Tea Wall...it's huge. 

It is also fun to mix and match teas. I like to blend mint with peach flavored teas...The other awesome thing is each tea comes with its own instructions. I know what you are thinking, how is this awesome? This is some crazy tea! But actually tea tastes much better when prepared the proper way. They tell you how long to steep it and how hot the water should be (to make it cooler you throw in ice cubes). If you over steep tea it gets bitter...yuck! I recommend getting an instant hot water maker (or electric kettle) like this one: 


This guy is from target and is only $19.99. Great for coffee in the french press, instant soup and more. Heat this baby up and poor over your tea in the perfect tea maker. Add a few ice cubes, wait a few minutes, and voila! Perfect tea. 

Here are some of my favorites: 


Moroccan Mint $4.50 per 2 ounces                                     Weight-To-Go $9.80 per 2 ounces


British Breakfast $4.40 per 2 ounces                             Peach-Cran Tango (mom's fav) $6.80 per 2 ounces


Click HERE for the teavana website! Thanks teavana for all your yummy tea!!! Did I mention they ship??


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Healthy Halloween?

Halloween is just around the corner so I decided to go on a mission to find "healthy candy" or to see if such a thing existed. And it does! After some research I have discovered some low calorie candy that you can eat that won't make you feel absolutely disgusting the day after Halloween.

Here are the snacks that RedBook Magazine suggests:

1. Dum Dums: one dum dum has only 20 calories and they last a while! So grab a dum dum to soothe that sweet tooth (and the longer you make it last, the better!)

2. For those of you with chocolate obsessions we have the Tootsie Roll: coming in at 26 calories per roll this is sure to help out with that constant itch for chocolate.

3. 3 Musketeers: you have seen those commercials with the bar floating up in the air right? It is because they are so light!! :) This one is 24 calories for THREE mini bars!!! Hello!!! You can eat three for the price of one tootsie roll. Done

4. Kisses: another chocolate favorite this little love bite is 67 calories for 3 of them! And they just melt in your mouth

5. Candy Corn: candy corn is probable my least favorite candy but for those who love it it is only 64 calories for 10 pieces!! So if quantity is what you want go for the candy corn!

6. My favorite candy ever: Caramel Apple pop: this little baby is 60 calories for one pop but this will last you HOURS! All that caramel makes it a bit difficult to bite into this baby, so start sucking on this thing and it will tame your sugar craving!!

Click here for the redbook article!

7. Pixy Stix: for 5 sweet tubes it is only 60 calories!!! woo hoo, bring on the sugary goodness

8. Wonka does it again with Sweettarts: 8 little circles come in at 50 calories!! Yummo! 




9. Gobstoppers: 9 of theses go for 50 calories and they last sooooo long!! Remember the ever lasting gobstobbers from willy wanka? Super delish! 

Thank you Mr. Wonka for making Halloween so delightful! Everyone go grab these low cal goodies to pass out to others (you know you are going to eat some of your own candy). Splurging on low cal candy won't seem like splurging at all!!!!

P.S. don't start crying, but research is showing that a Reese Peanut Butter Cup is the WORST candy!! 170 calories for ONE! EeekkK!! Good thing I don't like chocolate and peanut butter together...I know, I am weird. And laffy taffy bars run at 150 per bar! Yowzers!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Colder Weather = Cuter Clothes

It is finally getting colder here in Arkansas! And it is my favorite time of year (well for clothes anyway). I love the layered look...and warmth. Here are some of my fall favorites. Of course the first item is monogrammed. duh. (P.S. I hear people do Monogram Showers these days, OMG sign me up!!!)

You can find these gorgeous beauties in tons of colors at Mrs. Polka Dot. She ships too!!! Click here for her facebook page! They are $26 and that includes the monogram. How cute would red with white letters be for Razorback games?? They are also big and can be worn as pashminas! Go check them out!

As far as dresses go it seems an Indian theme is in style for fall! I look to my favorite clothing boutique, Ember, for new, stylish, and affordable dresses!! Click here for Ember's facebook page! I think she ships too!
This dress is only $68 big ones!! And hopefully I will be purchasing it soon!
 This one runs at $58 big ones

And this gorgeous one is $75! Those shoulders are to die for! So fall into fall with fashion! Check out Ember for great dresses and deals!


As far as shoes go I am a boots girl all the way. These Tory Burch boots are amazing! The are on sale for $209, which really isn't bad considering you will wear these everywhere!!! Click here to buy.

Next we have the foldover boots from Steve Madden! His shoes are so comfy and so cute! For only $73 on amazon too! Click here! With some leggings or skinny jeans you will be the talk of the town!!

So go out and check out the new fall clothes!
P.S. target has great stuff too!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fragrance Friday

The Fragrance of the day is the one and only Daisy by Marc Jacobs. You may have guessed it but it has a light florally scent to it! Here is how Sephora describes it:

Enter the world of Daisy: fresh and feminine, with a playful innocence. At the heart of Daisy is a floral with vintage edge: violet. Sophisticated, with a touch of whimsy, violet captures the eclectic, vintage flavor of Marc Jacobs' feminine, edgy designs. Always elegant, always enchanting - but not too serious - Daisy is a sparkling floral bouquet, spirited and fresh, wrapped in comfort and warmth

.Notes: Strawberry, Violet Leaves, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Gardenia, Violet Petals, Jasmine Petals, Musk, Vanilla, White Woods.

Style:
Bright. Alluring. Eternal

Can we say yum?? And check out the ultra cute bottle! While this perfume may put off a "spring" vibe I think it is perfect for cold weather! It is so bright in scent that it is sure to liven up even the coldest of winter days. And of course right now at sephora you can get a sweet deal!!! 

BUY ANY MARC JACOBS PERFUME AND GET A FREE TOTE!!! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS! Thank you Sephora for always having such sweet deals and enticing me to buy even more perfume...So now is the perfect time to go test out on of these lovely fragrances!!! Lola smells pretty heavenly too!!! 


David Yurman

Sigh...I can't even breathe the name without swooning. David Yurman...oh how I love thee. His jewelry is my go to jewelry. I love it because it goes with EVERYTHING. It can be casual or elegant just depending on how you dress! And I LOVE that he mixes gold and silver together!! Now here are my favorite pieces of his! This bracelet on the right I have in red and then one with two stones in yellow. Yes I know, red and yellow. Chi Omega colors--I swear I did not pick them out! But my Grandmother sure did (don't worry, she is a chi o too!). So aside from my Chi O braceletse I have one with two Xs (like the one pictured to the left). I like to wear them all stacked but I will admit I was made fun on in college for "wearing too much yurman at once". My response: IF YOU'VE GOT IT WEAR IT!!! I also have a cross necklace, an X ring, and a charm bracelet (below).

Now for my all time most favorite piece ever...the engagement ring. Do I think it would be too much? HELL NO!!! So for all of you readers in the future please tell whoever the lucky guy is that I not only want this ring but I NEED IT! For my sanity. Isn't it gorgeous???? YES! 



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Road Tested Mascara

So everyone has one thing they would change about their bodies right? Aside from the occasional lose in pounds here and there, the one thing I would truly change are my eyelashes! Who doesn't wish they had longer and fuller lashes? Well, short of going and getting new ones sewn into my eyes I have tried many many mascaras to try and get that perfect look (without getting black gloopy stuff everywhere). I used to be a big eyeliner wearer too-I have pretty big eyes and was convinced loads of eyeliner made them bigger. thanks to some thoughtful suggestions from friends I was re-convinced that simply mascara was the way to go, so here are my top three road tested mascaras (from most expensive to least expensive):

1. Laura Mercier Long Lash $24
This mascara I got from a friend of mine (thanks coco d). When I first opened it up I was surprised at how small the brush was. It is very very skinny! But I have decided that this is what makes this mascara awesome. I flat out love this stuff. Its tiny brush gets in there and grabs every lash and makes them look much longer. The problem I run into with most mascaras is I get it everywhere. Meaning my eyes end up looking like I have rubbed the brush all over the place. This mascara just touches my lashes and makes it look very natural. No smudgy residue or clumps anywhere. Even on my tiny lower lashes it stays put! Unfortunately like most wonderful products this one ain't cheap. I mean $24 for mascara? woof! BUT it lasts a long time and it is so much cheaper than the $200 professional ones that you can get glued in! Though I must admit I really want to try those too...

Click here for Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara

2. Sephora Atomic Volume Mascara $15
This product I actually received as a sample from sephora (a teeny tiny one of course) and I fell in love! Like the LM mascara this one has a skinny brush but this brush is made of rubber (LM above is made of the old fuzzy brush stuff--no clue what it is? hair?). This tiny rubber brush pulls apart your lashes to make it look like you have loads of volume! Hence the name Atomic Volume! Again it does not get gloopy stuff all over my face but this one does tend to have a more dramatic effect. While it is cheaper than the LM version it is still up there in terms of mascara price, but again, small price to pay for gorgeous lashes.

Click here for Sephora Atomic Volume Mascara. 

3. Maybelline The Falsies Flared $7-$8

I must admit this one caught my eye because of the purple color (I am a bit obsessed with purple), but when I started reading about it I was intrigued. First the name Falsies-makes you think of false lashes duh! And then flared....hmmm flared lashes? Needless to say I bought this and it is my new favorite! That's right, it currently holds first place among all three products and it is the cheapest! The curved rubber brush pulls my lashes apart while making them look longer and as for the flare, it really does work! They are pulled out and away from their normal straight forward growth path and it makes it look like I have used an eyelash curler or even a brush to pull them a certain way. I mean just look at Carmen Electra here (no I am not sure that is actually her)! Yes I am sure her eyelashes were altered in some other way but you get the point. This bad boy can be bought at the regular old grocery store and again is the cheapest of the bunch. I will say it has a funny smell, not bad, just interesting but it's not like you can smell your eyelashes all day long! I just try very hard not to think of what it is made of :)

So there they are in all their glory, my current mascara obsessions. I am also a big fan of fake eyelashes and I will post a big ole post on them soon! So get those lashes in gear and test out my favorites!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Skin Care Confessions

As a product junkie I have experimented with just about everything when it comes to washing my face. I will be the first to admit that I had HORRIBLE acne when I was a teenager. I am talking HORRIBLE. Don't bother looking on facebook or anything, all of the pictures have been deleted or really they never existed. I took Acutane when I was 17 and while it was miserable I do not regret a minute of it. Since then I have worked my tush off to try and keep my face looking clean and smooth (and acne free). My all time favorite products for those of you who have an endless supply of money is Erno Lazlo. I LOVE the smell and feel and, well, everything about this line! This sea mud soap to the right is to die for but it runs at $40 a pop! Ahh! And the rest of the line does not get any cheaper. In the distant distant future I will own this entire line and my face and life will be wonderful!

But for the rest of us commoners I have discovered a wonderful skin cleansing product...the Clarisonic Mia. You probably recognize the name Clarisonic (they make the jazzy toothbrushes that are electric!) and now they make a face washer too! The Mia is just a smaller version of the big fancy one (called simply the Clarisonic). This little baby has an electric brush that spins around to deeply cleanse your face and man does it work. My skin feels literally baby smooth when I am done. It is on a timer and lasts 60 seconds. (you do 10 second on each cheek and then 20 seconds on your forehead, nose and chin). It comes with the charger that hooks on magnetically which is great for clumsy people like myself that tend to trip over the cords. The brush is removable too. And as you can see they come in LOADS of colors!! AND you can take it in the shower or bath! It is totally waterproof! So you can charge it up and toss it in the shower to use!

*DISCLAIMER: this product is expensive but you only have to buy it once :) and maybe you can ask for it for Christmas?? It is about $119 for the Mia which gives you the brush, charger and a mini face wash. Extra brushes can be bough separately for $25 or 2 for $40. But you only have to buy a brush every few months.
P.S. I own the purple one. Duh.


Now I do NOT buy the clarisonic brand face-wash-I just use the face-wash that I already own. I use Clinique face wash and toner. The face-wash is only about $16 for a GIANT bottle and it lasts forever. The toner I use afterwards with a cotton-ball and it runs about $12 for a normal sized bottle. Now I use the kind that is for combination dry skin, but obviously pick which ever products work for you! I do NOT recommend using a face SCRUB on the Mia but that is totally up to you and your skin! So play around with it! If you go to sephora they will let you test it out (normally on your hand) but I promise you it makes a difference. The Mia comes with a brush for sensitive skin and it does not irritate my face at all. I use it once in the morning and once at night and no joke someone commented on how small my pores looked the other day SCORE! Click here for the Clarisonic Mia at Sephora! And click here for the Clinique page. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Deals deals deals

It seems the new hot topic in the world right now is "how can I save money?". Well actually they are making it easier with the millions of coupon/deal oriented websites out in the world. I personally subscribe to maybe 10? And no, I do not always use them but they sure make me feel better about myself when I do. Here are some of the sites I use that are FREE:

1. Groupon: the tried and true Groupon. By now I am sure most everyone is familiar with it. They offer great deals in tons of cities across the world (that's right, not just the US). These deals are mainly ones where you pay a small amount and get a big discount. For example, pay $5 and get a $10 gift card to a restaurant. Groupon is great for traveling also because you can change your city! You can also use your phone to simply show people your coupon code instead of printing them off (yea for saving trees!). Click here to sign up for Groupon!


2. Living Social: much like groupon they offer daily deals in your area. They also have those funny TV commercials! They don't always have a wide variety of deals, but they are deals just the same. Click here to sign up for Living Social.



3. Jasmere: now this site is a little different. They only offer online deals. This one is great for moms especially-they offer lots of kid stuff. This is also the site where I got my Scout coupon from the other day. They also did a deal a while back for Skeem candles that I ordered and loved--these are now the smashing hit candles that are sold at anthropologie! Click here to sign up for Jasmere.


4. Half Off Depot: now I must give credit where credit is due! Barbara showed me this one, and well, all the ones to follow! You are so deal savvy babs! Half Off Depot is just what it sounds like. It provides half off deals :) Lots of restaurants but also laser hair removal and more! Click here for Half Off Depot.

The following sites are geared more towards apparel! Clothes, shoes, etc. These were also discovered through my deal dazzling friend Barbara!

5. Beyond the Rack: This site has everything! From designer purses and shoes to fancy china (yesterday they had waterford crystal on there!) I bought a pair of shoes on there the other day that I got for $29.99 and they were originally $70! They are the lovely shoes above!! Click here for Beyond the Rack.



6. Rue La La: similar to Beyond the Rack, they offer all sorts of stuff at discounted prices. Of course you only have a few days to shop the sale! For example today they are selling Three Dots clothing! Soooo comfy!! Click here to sign up for Rue La La.



7. Ideeli: again similar to above, they offer daily deals on designer and name brand things! Click here to check out the awesome deals at Ideeli.


8. Fab.com: Fab.com offers furniture, fixtures and fun! Remember those green paper towels? They are from here! My friend Margaret introduced me to this one! And for the next 24 hours if you sign up for fab.com you get $10 in credit!!!!! Click HERE! You have until 10/15/11 at 9:30am!!! DO IT!!! 


So there you have it. 8 fantastic sites with amazing deals! So hop to it right now! Get yourself some great stuff for cheap!!!