Monday, February 27, 2012

pain in the neck - literally

This last week really took it out of me. A week ago at the office, my back/neck gave out on me. I literally was sitting in my chair around 3p.m., lifted my arms up to stretch, and boom. Everything locked up. It hurt to breathe, my neck and back killed just sitting, I couldn't move, drive, etc. I've felt lots of physical pain before from my gymnastics career as a kid, but never to this degree. I couldn't even make it into work the following day - and with several upcoming events and a press conference around the corner - it took a lot for me not to be in the office.
I didn't know what to do, so I finally faced my fear of seeing a chiropractor. Luckily, my boyfriend knew of one that didn't crack you - which sounded much better to me. And here's what the doctor found:

The blue line going down my spine is an actual scan of my spine - and it should be straight - not zig-zagging...ugh. No wonder it hurt.

Today, it's been a week and I'm feeling much better. Not 100%, but almost there. If you're feeling significant pain of some sort, I would highly recommend Dr. Jones.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

valentine's day

So, my boyfriend's fave cake is apparently Black Forest cake. He's only ever had it in restaurants but it is a chocolate cake with a Kirsch Cherry feeling and whipped cream between the layers. Although I've made a lot of cakes, I've never made this one. The week before V-Day, I did a lot of researching to find the best recipe to use so I could surprise him with a homemade version...well apparently this kind of cake is made with "sponge cake" as opposed to the typical "butter cake." Not a fan of "sponge cake." It dries out super fast and next thing you know I was peeling wax paper off each layer, piece by piece. (not how i imagined the process would go)! However, I think made with a regular Devil's Food recipe, it would come together quite nicely.

The best part of the cake making process was learning how to make chocolate curls from the Pioneer Woman blog. The Black Forest cake recipe can be found here, which I wouldn't make the same way again...

My Valentine made me a wonderful filet mignon dinner with Gorgonzola garlic butter, french bread, salad and champagne. Yum. Plus romantic red roses and chocolates - it made for a pretty great little evening.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

pre-valentine's day

When I was visiting my parents on the Saturday before Valentine's Day, my mom and dad gave me a card and *TWO* bouqets of flowers + a Trader Joes gift card. I love that they still get me things for

~Light pink roses - my fave color~

~My tulips before they opened...~

~...And after~

Saturday, February 11, 2012

the perfect color

Looking for the perfect nail polish color for Valentine's Day? Here's my fave for this year - OPI's "I'm Indi-a Mood for Love." It's a virbrant and refreshing shade!

Friday, February 10, 2012

thursday night out

Last night was a fun evening with dinner and cocktails at The Grind. If you haven't been, it's known for its Sweet & Spicy burger - complete with candied jalapenos. I've probably been here about 10 times in the last year and a half. I don't know anyone that doesn't like it. Even Bon Appetit magazine is a fan!

~The famous sweet & spicy burger ~

Apparently we chose a good night to go - Thurs. nights are half off their signature cocktails. So, Champagne Cocktail for me and Moscow Mule for my date.

About to dig in!

One happy girl. Cocktail in hand, sitting in a booth with my fave person.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

fish dish

Quick, easy and delish recipes aren't always the easiest to come by. My mom bought me the best cookbook ever by Taste of Home that's full of super simple, healthy comfort food dishes.

This Red Pepper and Parmesan Tilapia recipe is one of my favorites from the book. And one fillet is just 179 calories!

Red Pepper & Parmesan Tilapia (from Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook)
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tilapia fillets

Dip fillets in egg substitute. Mix remaining ingredients and dip in mixture. Place in a baking pan covered in cooking spray. Bake at 425 degress for 10-15 mins. That's it!