Monday, April 30, 2012

Easiest Recipe Ever

Hello and happy Monday!  For the first time since I started Weight Watchers, I am not able to do a video this week.  But I wanted to make sure I still did a post to share what is quite possibly the easiest, healthy dinner one could prepare.  We had this Friday night after a busy day and it was so quick and easy to make.  The fact that brown rice can take ages to cook always turned me off it, until I discovered Uncle Ben's Brown Minute Rice.  Also, this recipe says to refrigerate, but I've been serving it hot.  Here's Weight Watcher's Mexican Brown Rice Chicken Salad:



1/2 cup(s) ( ) cooked brown rice
1/2 cup(s) (chopped) cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast(s)
1 medium ( ) green pepper(s)
1/4 cup(s) ( ) canned black beans
2 Tbsp ( ) fat free salsa
1 medium ( ) uncooked scallion(s)

Instructions
Combine all ingredients into a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

The numbers are for one person, so just adjust accordingly.  (Although I use one green pepper for the two of us, and also add some spices like cayenne and red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch.)


**This is seven PointsPlus points:)**

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Do You YouTube?

I'm still fairly new to the YouTube game, having only really started making videos regularly about four months ago.  I can't recall the exact time frame of when I started watching videos on YouTube but it's quickly become a daily must-do.  I have certain people I subscribe to and love to check in to see their latest postings.  In case you are looking for some new people to check out, I thought I'd share some of my favourites:)










What are your favourite channels on YouTube?  I can spend hours lost in the pages of channels upon channels.  I have learned so much and been insanely inspired by videos on YouTube.  It's such a fun community!  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mama Mare Must Have

Right off the bat, I am well aware that this is pretty disgusting.  But, if it works, don't knock it! 
Today's recommendation is this feeding toy you can see in the pictures below.  The ones I have are the Munchkin brand and I picked them up at WalMart.  They were in a pack of two for $6.99 I think.  
These have come in very handy to give Thomas a snack while we are driving or out on a walk.  It's a great way to give your baby a snack without worrying about a choking hazard.  I've used grapes, mango and pear so far but you can probably use any type of juicy food.  
You just fill the bag with food, close the top securely and voila!

Thomas will suck on these until all that is left is the grape skin.  Kinda gross, but he loves it!  Some days I will fill this up two or three times for him.  I think it's also very good for teething.  It is a bit messy and drippy, but if your son or daughter is like mine and loves to eat independently, try this out! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wise Word Wednesday

"Funny how a melody sounds like a memory."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Healthier Burgers and Tacos





SPICY TACOS:

3 spray(s) ( ) cooking spray  

2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced   

3/4 pound(s) ( ) uncooked 93% lean ground beef   

1 1/2 tsp ( ) ground cumin, or other brand   

1 1/2 tsp ( ) ground coriander   

3/4 cup(s) ( ) table salt, or to taste   

1 1/2 cup(s) ( ) canned diced tomatoes, with jalapenos or green chilies   

8 small ( ) corn tortilla(s), or small, lightly toasted just before serving if d   

2 cup(s) ( ) lettuce, shredded   

1/2 cup(s) ( ) low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese, sharp-variety   

1/3 cup(s) ( ) fat free salsa   

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add beef; cook until browned, breaking up meat as it cooks, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, salt and diced tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Place tortillas on a flat surface. Top each with about 1/4 cup beef, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 tablespoon cheese and 2 teaspoons salsa. Fold tortillas in half and serve. Yields 2 tacos per serving.
*To toast tortillas, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place tortillas on top and coat with cooking spray. Heat in a 300°F oven until slightly crisp but not too crisp that they break when folded.


JUICY HAMBURGERS:

1 spray(s) ( ) cooking spray   

1 pound(s) ( ) uncooked 93% lean ground beef   

1 Tbsp ( ) Worcestershire sauce   

2 tsp ( ) minced garlic   

1/2 tsp ( ) table salt   

1/4 tsp ( ) black pepper, freshly ground   

4 item(s) ( ) reduced-calorie hamburger roll(s)   

Coat a large griddle, outdoor grill rack or stovetop grill pan with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high.
In a large bowl, combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well and shape mixture into 4 patties, about 1-inch thick each. (To retain juiciness, be careful not to overwork the meat.)
Place burgers on hot griddle or grill and cook 5 minutes per side for medium (or longer until desired doneness).
Serve burgers on rolls with your favourite toppings (could affect POINTS values). Yields 1 burger per serving.


46 cent Nail Polish

You know I'm always up for a good deal.  "Clearance" is one of my favourite words.  When I saw I could get a brand new L'Oreal nail polish for 46 cents, I couldn't pass it up and I had to share!
Simply Frugal is a great website for deals, coupons and DIY ideas.  You can also get on her mailing list to be sent daily deals.  A few days ago there was a link for this coupon:
It's $3 off for any L'Oreal Color Riche product and right now, the nail polish is on sale for $3.46 at Walmart.  So with the coupon I got this polish for 46 cents!


Pretty right?  I felt very Extreme Couponing;)  
In September of 2010 I interviewed the woman behind Simply Frugal so I thought I would include that audio for you here:


Where do you find coupons and information on deals? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Nail of the Day

When I was visiting my friend I took the opportunity to try a new nail polish brand, Gosh.  It can be found at Shopper's Drug Mart in Canada. This is the shade Gold.  Original name right?  ;)  I wasn't a huge fan of the application, thinking it looked fairly streaky.  But it was a nice subtle colour, like a nude.  It did chip a little the first day, but then lasted a week.  It was a bit pricey ($10) and I think you could get the same, if not better result from a much less expensive brand. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy Record Store Day!



It's the fifth annual Record Store Day!  I had actually never heard of this celebration, but upon doing some research have realized it's a pretty big deal in the music industry.  You can check out the official website here.


Today artists are celebrating everything vinyl and countless are releasing exclusive songs or albums in record form.  Artists like Katy Perry, Coldplay, The Black Keys, fun. and many more.  
There's been a bit of a rediscovery of vinyl in the past few years with more artists also releasing records and I love it.  Vinyl has such a nostalgic feel to it and there's just something precious about the size of a record and the intricate grooves which make music come alive.  Also, how great is it to go to a record store and thumb through album after album looking for that one that jumps out?  Or, to just lazily look through them, and discover someone new.  Why not spend your Saturday with a coffee in hand and take a lap through your local record store?  They are a dying breed. 


I thought I would celebrate Record Store Day by showing you how we display a few of our records. 
The two sets above are in our music themed guest bedroom.  I might actually do a tour of this one day.  But, all I did was buy matching frames and position the records inside them.  They are secured by an oversized silver thumb tack.  
Our basement is the room I let the husband decorate.  He bought frames specifically for records from Michael's and painstakingly chose these five the display.  They are a very inexpensive yet fun way to decorate.  Especially if you are music lovers like us! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wise Word Wednesday

"I hate to break it to you babe, 
but I'm not drowning, 
there's no one here to save."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Questionnaire

1.) Mood:  A little overwhelmed.  After being on vacation for two weeks, I have found myself with a two page to-do list!
2.) Are there any spring trends you're loving this year? Any you're hating? I love all the bright colours.  It's making me so excited for warm weather.  I also really like the skirts which go to about the knee or just below in the front and are longer in the back.  
3.) Do you like to cook? I do like to cook and try new recipes.  I get pretty bored though eating the same thing repeatedly so I like to mix it up.  
4.) Current nail polish:  Sally Hansen's Rockstar Pink.  Super fun! 
5.) What is something you are excited about at the moment?  Heading back to work in four weeks!  Also, my mum has been away since January 1st in Arizona and is returning next weekend.  I can't wait to see her!
6.) Current outfit: Skinny jeans, long black tank, purple scarf and a beige knit cardigan. 
7.) Are you a heavy or light sleeper?  Very light.  It's rare I sleep through the night.  
8.) What size handbag do you prefer?  I really like a cross-body bag.  It seems to fit everything I need but it's not too heavy.  I was just given a new one that I can't wait to rock when I go back to work and leave my beautiful yet large diaper bag at home.  
9.) Do you like karaoke?  It makes me cringe and so nervous.  I've never done it and wouldn't even do it in front of strangers in Mexico.  My husband on the other hand, loves it! 
10.) Weekly goals:  Did I mention my to-do list? ;) 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vacay = Indulging!

Why So Judgey?


It's officially four weeks until I will be back on the air, co-hosting a morning radio show on a Top 40 station.  I can't even express how excited I am!  Early mornings and all, I can't wait to get back on the air!  I just love my job and the people I get to work with.  It's going to be so much fun to get to chat with all of you again and be back in the loop on today's best music.  Pumped!
I have enjoyed my maternity leave and feel so incredibly lucky to live in a country where I am able to take an entire year off work to be with my new babe.  That being said, I am ready to get back to work.  I am very fortunate that with my job, I will get to spend afternoons with Thomas everyday.  Jeremy will be with T while I am at work, and then we will swap so he can go to work.  It does not escape me how incredible this is.  I am so fortunate that my bosses and the powers that be recognize how important this arrangement is for our family.  They are just being so very supportive. 
I am, however, running into a large number of people who are not supportive of my return to work.  It seems many people, some I know, some strangers, feel it's their place to tell me that I am doing my family a disservice and should not be working.  First of all, I am not really sure why it's someone else's role to tell me that I am making a mistake.  I know I will be a better parent to Thomas and a better wife to Jeremy by going back to work.  Kudos to the women who stay home.  It's the hardest job in the world, hands down.  Bravo to you!  I don't judge you for staying home, so please, lay off the judgement of me.  Can't we all just relax, listen to the radio, have fun and smile? 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It's Time To Start the Music

image courtesy of Wikipedia
Ohhh this movie takes me back!  I can vividly remember watching The Muppets tv show every week and looking forward to that hour all week long.  I love Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the whole gang.  I especially love the two old men in the balcony.  They are quite the peanut gallery!  
The Muppets which was just released on DVD and Blue Ray a couple weeks ago does not disappoint.  Jason Segel  best known from the tv show How I Met Your Mother helped to write this movie and stars in it.  I think he did an excellent job at introducing The Muppets franchise to a new era.  He plays the brother to a muppet who he takes on a trip to Hollywood and it's there they discover the Muppets theatre is in trouble.  They devise a plan to save the Muppets.  It's a cute homage to this group of characters.  There are plenty of cameos from Jack Black, John Krasinski, Selena Gomez, Whoopi Goldberg, Dave Grohl, Feist and many more.  I love cameos:)  
My only dislike is the lack of Rizzo the Rat, one of my favourite muppets.  Other than that, it's fun for the whole family!  (Mum, this one is appropriate;)  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

iTunes Hacked

This is a cautionary tale, one that I hope doesn't happen to you.  One day my husband Jeremy logged into his iTunes account only to discover that his account balance had been wiped almost completely clean.  What an unnerving feeling!  It's like when your car is broken into or someone takes something from you; you just feel violated.  He found out something was wrong because his account had been de-activated by Apple and his credit card info deleted.  This was definitely a nice feature of the system.  But, it took us a couple days to navigate through the Apple website to find the appropriate means to report the hacking.  Jeremy looked through his account and found that his money had been spent on buying an app and then spending money to use said app.  It wasn't something he would ever have bought, considering it was in Chinese!  
So, after finding the form online and submitting it, we were very impressed that an actual Apple employee started emailing back and forth with Jeremy, not just an automatic response.  They credited his account back with the stolen money no problem.  
Jeremy didn't realize the hacking had happened until about a month after the fact.  As we were researching how to fix the problem, we found that a lot of people now just buy iTunes gift cards and keep a credit on their account.  This way, a credit card isn't necessary.  (Nothing happened to Jeremy's credit card, luckily!)  I think this is a good way to use iTunes, only with a gift card.  It's how I pay for books on my Kobo as well.  
I wanted to post this in case it ever happens to you.  Or, if you want to avoid having credit card info online:)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wise Word Wednesday

"Everybody dies, but not everybody lives."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Questionnaire

1.) Mood:  Happy!  For countless little reasons and for no reason at all:)  Just, happy. 
2.) Glitter in your lip gloss: yay or nay?  
I like a little shine, and a little sparkle when appropriate for the situation. 

3.) Can you freehand draw a good circle?  Not really.  I guess that's why I usually choose to draw hearts. 
4.) Current nail polish:
 Essie's Red Nouveau
5.) What is your favorite type of accessory to wear? (earrings, bracelet, headband, etc.)
 Wedding rings not included, I would say big rings.  I love bracelets also but don't like when they smash on my desk or keyboard at work.  I also am a big fan of statement earrings but now that there are little hands always grabbing at me, I tend to go for studs or small hoops.  
6.) TV, video games, or internet?
 Internet.
7.) Current outfit:
Black leggings and a long grey sweater, both from Old Navy with new light grey leg warmers my friend Jess knit for me.  How chic is that?  Also wearing some studded peep toe black flats from Target.  

8.) Do you like public speaking? I do.  I have been doing it ever since I was little and now is a large part of my job.  I still do get a bit nervous or excited, but I like it.  
9.) What is your favorite fit of jeans to wear? (boot cut, skinny, flare...)
 Dark wash skinny
10.) Weekly goals:
To stay in the moment and enjoy. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I hope you are all having a lovely Easter long weekend, filled with chocolate of all kinds and Easter egg hunts in the beautiful fresh air.  
I wish you peace, joy and love.  And pretty nails;)
We are going to be enjoying a feast with great friends and hopefully a walk in the gorgeous sunshine.  
(Can you guess which bunny is mine and which is Jer's? Oops!)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nail of the Day - Easter

This is a new shade from Revlon called Minted.  It's the perfect Easter and Spring colour.  It's my first attempt at mint green which I know has been all the rage in the last year.  I really like it.  It's fresh and light and feminine.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Favourite Songs Featuring


As I was brainstorming this list I realized quickly it was going to just be my favourite Jay Z songs!  Also, it's a bit tough because it seems virtually every hip hop or rap song is featuring someone.  Nonetheless, I wanted to share my favourite songs which feature another artist.
Enjoy!  And, please let me know in the comments below or tweet me your favourite songs featuring:) 

Empire State of Mind - Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys

Moment for Life - Nicki Minaj ft. Drake

Airplanes - B.O.B. ft Hayley Williams 

Telephone - Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce

Sumthin' Wicked This Way Comes - TLC ft. Andre 3000

Love the Way You Lie - Eminem ft. Rihanna

'03 Bonnie and Clyde - Jay Z ft. Beyonce

Live Your Life - T.I. ft. Rihanna

The Way I Are - Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson 

Run This Town - Jay Z ft. Kanye West and Rihanna

Glamorous - Fergie ft. Ludacris 

Walk This Way - Run DMC ft. Aerosmith

Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland

The Boy Is Mine - Brandy ft. Monica

When I Get Where I'm Going - Brad Paisley ft. Dolly Parton

Under Pressure - Queen ft. David Bowie

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Tips for Baby Food

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wise Word Wednesday

"I just wanna throw my phone away, 
Find out who is really there for me."

(This marks the beginning of my April series of quotes from songs.  Hope you enjoy!)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday Questionnaire

1.) Mood:  Happy!  I managed to make it through April Fool's Day without getting fooled:)  This never happens! 
2.) How was your weekend?  So fantastic.  I just love spending time with my two men.
3.) Current nail polish:
 Revlon's Minted
4.) Do you tend to be too hot, too cold, or just right?
This is actually a funny question.  I usually feel chilly, but I give off a lot of body heat.  So, if you are sitting next to me or if we were to snuggle, you would probably be warm!  This is the origin of my husband giving me the nickname Furnace years ago.  

5.) What is your favorite genre of books?  Oooohhh this is tough.  I am going to have to say bestsellers.  Is that a genre?  I usually find that my tastes are in line with what's popular.  I like chick-lit, but not all the time.  I also like autobiographical books, but not all the time.  I switch it up a lot.  
6.) Current outfit:
  Skinny jeans and black tank, both from Old Navy, with an oatmeal coloured cardigan from Mossimo for Target.
7.) Are you a die-hard fan of any sports teams?
  Nope.  But my basement that is decked out in Detroit Red Wing memorabilia would tell you otherwise.  Do you think we are super fans or what? 

8.) Are you more of an in-store or online shopper?
 I started to shop online a lot more after T was born.
9.) Do you go by a nickname/something other than your given birth name?
 Some people do call me Marianne, but most use Mare.
10.) Weekly goals:  
Get ready for Easter!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mama Mare Must Have

This one may seem a bit random or obvious, but nonetheless, here it is!  This is one of my most simple must-haves.  
A good water bottle.  
I guess starting when I was pregnant until now I have been carrying around a water bottle.  In fact, the one in the picture is my fifth!  This one I like because it is large, stainless steel, and I can either drink out of the spout or the opening, depending on my mood.  I also have a smaller black one that I love and use daily with my stroller.  
It's important to keep hydrated when you are nursing and I cannot believe how thirsty it has made me!  I would lose count trying to keep track of how much water I drink everyday.  I notice that I get tired or feel a headache come on if I haven't drank enough.  
I like to have a pretty bottle; one that I will want to tote around everywhere.  (Mine says, keep smiling and love life.)  This is another must-have or great gift for any mama.  
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