Just a Girl Trying to Find Her Place in This World

Oh I'm just a girl on a mission…

Tag Archives: Fitness

“[The Internet] is back ALRIGHT!”

Ok

I know I have this tendency to disapear for chuncks of time, and I truly do appologize for that, it hasn’t been super long this time, so we’re good still right? This time it legitimately was not my fault. My internet was not working for some odd reason (lots of phone calls and service calls later) and its back up, then this past week I’ve been insanely busy with finishing up on school assignments (some of which are late because I refused to stay extra long at school when my internet was out). So, now that I finally have a bit of downtime today (I get to watch my TV shows tonight too that I’m behind on) I figured I better get these posts up and running again!

On a very positive and uplifting note however, I now have almost two full weeks of daily posts planned out for y’all! Yay! I have some fitness things to discuss, some monthly goals to go over, some to create…And the baking!

OH the baking! My oh my! I’ve made THREE things this week already, cookies and strawberry cheesecake bites, I plan on baking again Friday, I have a tea party to go to on Tuesday I’ll need to bake for, and then the following weekend is my work Christmas party (haha I know… don’t ask) and I plan on baking TWO things for that… so… yea. Prepare yourselves!

So I’m going to TRY and go in order of how things happened, how my posts would have turned out had I been able to get on the internet from home, or enough time to focus on my blog instead of the copius amounts of homework… But alas, it catches up. I will do my best. And I promise it will be epic though. Especially the baking.

Gotta love the baking.

I promise I will post again tonight, my first recipe for the week, but unfortunately, I do not have the recipe on me at the moment as I’m in class and supposed to be paying attention to my professor.

I love y’all for hanging around while I went on a temporary hiatus, and I promise it won’t happen again (at least not until finals come around in April :P)

Hearts all around! ❤

 

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“Oh This is the Night, What a Beautiful Night…”

So I think I’m lonnnnnng overdue with a post… and since it’s been SO long, I’ve decided to include a special treat for you… A RECIPE!

However! This is not just any baking recipe, no…. this is a DINNER recipe! I’m broadening my horizon… Today I made Lasagna Cupcakes (which my friend named them, and, lets face it, it sounds so much cooler than individual lasagna cups…) I actually saw the idea on Pinterest.com – a website I have become absolutely addicted to… I just wish I could get my own invite for it… sigh. Anywho… Before I give you this fantastic recipe, a quick goal update.

First off: New Years Resolutions: I’ve lost 2 inches around my waist, and have been eating all healthy (I gave up pizza and only had one piece of lasagna today) other than on Saturday at work, when I ate a macaroni and cheese that contained 123% of your daily intake of saturated fat. That’s right. 123%. We sell them at work, and they’re oh so good… but oh so bad… Anywho, I hadn’t eaten anything all day, it was like 5:30pm….  Let’s just never speak of that again.

Monthly Goals: Saturday was another challange…. after going almost two weeks without Tim Horton’s (Saturday would have been day 11) I got stuck working in the freezer for 3 hours, and was then asked if I was going to Tim Horton’s…so I went. HOWEVER, my friend gave me a $5.00 gift card for Tim Horton’s for going, and told me to use it and keep whatever was left after I bought his tea… So TECHNICALLY I didn’t spend any money on Tim Hortons… I made a $1.95 for going…. So can I still count Saturday as a day I did not spend money at Tim Horton’s…. keep my streak going? Please?

Ok, so, before I bore you anymore, LASAGNA CUPCAKES! Now, if you make your own lasagna already, you can simply use your own recipe for the fillings… if you don’t never fear! I never have either!

So I got my recipe off a lasagna noodle box… but I had a bit of trouble converting the measurements… So I estimated a bit… and it turned out great! I got 3 opinions from school (two people I only met today) and 3 family opinions, and 2 work opinions… and everyone liked it, so yay! The outer shells were a little dry as they stuck out of the cupcake trays and therefore had no sauce on them to moisten them… but they were still edible. I am going to try something different next time to try and avoid the outer shell from drying up.

Lasagna Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 package lasagna noodles
680 ml of spaghetti sauce
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup of water (I actually think I skipped this… my spaghetti sauce was thin enough)
450 grams (1 pound) of Ricotta Cheese
1 egg beaten
2 cups shredded cheese (I bought a bag of 4 cheese Italiano mixed – Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, and Provolone  – but you can also use a mix of just Mozzarella and shredded Parmesan)
12 Cupcake papers

Directions:

(Keep an eye on the lasagna cupcake second from the left on the top row… I referred to it as the ‘perfect one’ as everything seemed to work out perfectly for it right from the very beginning.)

1. Preheat oven to 200C (375F) and line a cupcake tray with squares of parchment paper (I actually prefered using cupcake papers, I did some with parchment paper squares and some with cupcake papers… and I found the cupcake papers helped hold the shape better – the ‘perfect one’ was made in a cupcake paper)

2. Boil your lasagna noodles for 2 minutes less than the box instructs you to (I used oven ready lasagna noodles and boiled them slightly to soften them enough to work with. This may have been my first mistake. Next time I’m going to use the regular lasagna noodles that need to be boiled first… maybe boiling oven ready ones overcooked them?)

3. When the noodles are soft enough, allow them to cool slightly (so you don’t burn yourself) and form them into a circle in the cupcake  holders (the noodle will overlap a bit, about 2 inches) Cut the remaining noodles into squares (You’ll get approximately 4-5 squares per noodle, depending on the size your cupcakes – I also found it was easier if I removed the bumpy edge of the lasagna noodle from these squares)

4. In a saucepan, brown your ground beef. When it’s browned, drain the grease and add the pasta sauce to the pan and bring it to a simmer.

5. While your beef is browning, you can mix up your cheeses. Beat your egg, then add the ricotta cheese and the shredded cheese blend. Beat it all together with an electric mixer. (You can also add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg if you desire)

6. Put a small drop of your sauce mixture on the bottom of each cupcake tin. Place a square of lasagna noodle on the bottom of the cupcake tin.

7. Add a teaspoon of your sauce mixture into the lasagna cup. Then add a teaspoon of your cheese mixture. Don’t be stingy. Top these two layers with a square of lasagna noodle. Repeat once more.

8. On top of your last lasagna noodle square, place another teaspoon of your sauce mixture, then sprinkle with some shredded cheese (or use half a teaspoon of your cheese mixture if any remains)

9. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven or until the edges are a dark golden/light brown colour and the cheese on top is darkened. Remove from the oven, sprinkle each cupcake with a pinch of shredded cheese, then place them back in the oven only long enough for the cheese to melt on top.

10. Remove from oven and serve hot. (You can add a teaspoon of lasagna sauce to the finished lasagna cupcake in order soften the outer shell a bit if you’d like)

Just as a side note, the next time I try this recipe, I’m going to cover the cupcake tray with aluminum foil to try and lock the moisture in and stop the outer shell from drying out. I may also try soaking the outer noodle in pasta sauce to help it keep the moisture…

“If You’re Happy and You Know it Shout Hooray!”

Hooray!

Guess what!?

I said ‘no!’ to potato chips today! I get it’s not a huge deal, but to me it is. Potato Chips… Mrs. Vickies salt and vinegar mainly, are my downfall. I have major issues with chips. Buuuuut I. Said. No. 😀 Proud moment for me ok.

Instead today I made myself a lovely haddock fillet with brown rice for dinner. And an incredible strawberry smoothie for a late breakfast (since I overslept a bit more than I should have). It was a really good supper though, and like I said I’d do in my resolutions, I turned the tv off while I was eating my dinner, and focused only on it. Little by little I’m going to get myself back on track to a healthy eating habit. Baby steps.

I also didn’t buy any Tim Horton’s today… put $1.60 in my Jar instead and made a tea. 🙂

The highlight of my day however, TurboJam. Today was the first time I’ve gotten all of the moves completely right the first time, and didn’t have to slow down a lot because I was tired. Not saying I wasn’t tired or sweating like a pig, but I pushed myself through it and didn’t give up. I just hope I can keep it up. I know I can.

Other than that today wasn’t too interesting. I went back to classes today at McMaster. I only made 1 of 4 of them…. but it was the most important one. *blushes* In all honesty, my mom was sick most of the night and in the morning, and I can only get my grandma to stay with her for so long, so I chose my afternoon class instead of the morning, because I get participation marks for the afternoon class. It was fun going back though! I got to see some of my cool people, not everyone, and not for long, but I did get to see some cool people.

Also, here’s a treat for you, my friend just got this necklace for her birthday, I think it’s incredible. It’s not this exact necklace, but very similar. Enjoy. 

“I’m Like a Brand New Chick…”

Hey y’all!

So, like I promised, here’s your official New Year’s Day post… Including my January Challenge – Not to be confused with the list you’ll get tomorrow of my New Year Resolutions… Yes, I will write one.

So after looking back at last months challenges, I realized they really were just to general, and there were a lot. I think I got excited about my blog and just kept spitting out more and more goals! So this month I’m going to be more specific, and more realistic. Let’s face it, I forgot my goals a few times last month because I had so many set out.

I thought about focusing on a certain topic each month, say food, or esthetics, or recreation…. but I don’t quite think that’ll work how I’d want it to. So I’m going to look at what I find most important right now, and start there. Seems logical to me.

Before I give my list, I’d just like to thank everyone who was so supportive of last months challenges and overall blog posts… y’all made my day each time I logged on and found a new comment or someone who ‘liked’ my post, and those who gave me encouragement to follow through with my challenges… I really appreciated it! It was so reassuring to know I had people following what I wrote, and it really encouraged me to keep writing, and to keep trying new things. You guys are all so great, and I truly hope I can entertain you all in the coming year.

So without further ado;

January Challenges:

1. Save the Tim Horton’s money: Ok, I know this is revisiting last month’s challenges… but I’ve been taking a harder look at how often I’ve spent money at Tim Horton’s, and why I do. Leading cause, my grandmother. Bless her, but in order to convince her to come over at night, since my mom’s nervous to leave her home alone overnight, I usually need to tell her I’m running to Tim Hoton’s, getting her a coffee, and picking her up on my way home. The Fix: I need to remind myself this month, just because I go for her does not mean I need to buy myself a tea or hot chocolate as well (even if the guys behind the counter start making mine the moment they see me pull into the parking lot). Just. Say. No. And take that $1.60, and drop it into the jar that I will place in the kitchen, beside my car keys to remind myself each time I reach for them, not to make a detour. This month, I know I’ll also be faced with the problem of the six Tim Horton’s on campus: The Fix: Don’t take change to school. Tim Horton’s doesn’t accept debit on campus. I also need to keep an eye on work. The Fix: Stop offering to do the coffee runs!

2. Portion Control: I am one of the worst eaters this time of year, and as you saw last month, I really struggle with the sugar and salt cravings. I’ve noticed however that my biggest downfall has nothing to do with the food itself (ok maybe a little), but more so with the activity I’m doing as I’m eating the food. That’s right, I blame the TV! I have a huge problem with curling up on the couch, laptop beside me, tv on, bag of chips in hand… and I just go to town! One show, two shows, and before I know, chips are gone! I went to the laundry mat the other day, and took the half bag of salt and vinegar chips I had left over from work with me. They had a tv playing some singing competition show for kids – Star something – and while I was waiting for my washer to finish, I pulled out my chips and zoned out. In the 15 minutes it took for the washer to finish… my bag was empty. I don’t even know what the show was called! The Fix: Pay attention! A snack here and there is alright, but I really need to start taking out the ‘recommended serving’ and putting it in a seperate bowl… no more eating straight from the source. Better yet! When I get that urge to chow down in front of the tv, I got to get moving. I know it’s going to be a tough habit to break at first, but with a little will power I think I can do it. I just need to find a way to distract myself better. I mean in all honesty, half the shows I watch, I don’t even like that much…

3. Write at Least One Chapter of my Book: I know this month is going to be busy since school will be starting back up, and I’ll have my own readings and essays to do, but I truly enjoy creating my own stories. Usually I get so fed up with my essays though, I don’t want to write anything else because of it. But I noticed at the end of November, when I was in essay overload, I would use my blog post as a sort of, break. So, The Fix: Use my future novel as a reward. If I start my essays earlier, and I don’t leave them for the last two days, I’ll have time to write them, and time to finish them, and when I finish, I can sit down and get lost in a story from some far off place that doesn’t revolve around victorian poets or colonization. I’ve always loved writing, as long as I like my topic, so if I can use it as a reward, not only will I get that chapter done by the end of the month, I might get my essays done on time as well!

So, I think three challenges for the month are a good start. They’re specific, and I’ve got some sort of strategy mapped out to help me get started at least. I’m also going to dedicate one post a week to updates on my challenges! That will give me more of a drive to focus on them and get things done!

Thank you again to everyone who has been reading and following my blog. I hope you all have a fantastic 2012, and I can’t wait to continue writing for you, and hearing your comments!

“I’m Dreaming of a White [hot chocolate for] Christmas…”

Man, one of the best feelings in the world is a nice morning workout, an even better feeling is a nice hot shower after said workout though. I am officially back on track with my TurboJam schedule (although doing a 45 minute intense workout right before going to work and lifting crates of milk for hours probably wasn’t one of my best ideas – 4 hours into my shift it really caught up to me). Such a good feeling though today… once I worked through the pain left from yesterday. LOL) It felt good to come home and settle back on the couch and watch Frosty the Snowman (the original cartoon one!) which was yesterday’s daily Christmas movie…. guess what today’s was? FROSTY RETURNS! (and I might watch another one depending on what time the hockey game ends tonight (GO LEAFS GO) and if I’m not too tired.) 

Then there was the lovely, homemade, white hot chocolate I knew hoped would be waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday that I was looking forward to sipping on while I watched my Christmas movie….

I tried the Hot Chocolate Truffle Balls recipe with white chocolate this time… It didn’t really work out, but I think that’s because I used the wrong cream, it tastes good though. The recipe calls for heavy cream…. and being a 20 year old with no baking experience prior to last month, I had no clue what classified as ‘heavy’ cream. So…

STORY TIME!

So for my first attempt at the hot chocolate truffles, found here, that I was linked to from the post “50 Things to do with Kids in December” (I suggest checking out the post, there are a ton of great ideas – I got the idea for the Ice Wreath there as well)

Anywho, the recipe calls for Heavy Cream, so I went to my nearby grocery store/workplace (I have to support my own paycheck afterall) and looked for the highest percentage of cream, the most I found was 18% *blushes* so I bought it. Now, I knew we carried a 35% whipping cream as well, but we were sold out, and I was anxious to try out the recipe. So I bought a carton of 18% “heavy cream” and my chocolate and skipped home to bake (actually I drove, but for the stories sake lets go with skipping)

Once home, I followed the recipe to a ‘T’ (the best I could with my 18% cream); melted the chocolate into the cream, mixed all till it was smooth, let it set on the counter for 10 minutes, left it in the fridge for 2 hours covered (the recipe calls for 2-3…it was 10:30 at night, probably another thing I should have left longer) But at 10:30 that night I scooped up the chocolate and set it on a baking sheet and placed it in the fridge for another half hour. 

When the chocolate was (a little) hardened, I scooped them up (although the recipe calls for you to be able to form them into balls, this was not my case) so I scooped them up and placed them in the saran wrap and stuck ’em in the freezer. They actually turned out alright, a little soft, not real hard like they were supposed to be, but easy enough to unwrap and put in the cup of milk, as a ball of chocolate. Then you just heat it up, and stir. 

All in all, they turned out tasty!

Then the real story begins,

I decided, ‘let’s try white hot chocolate!’ But when I went to buy more cream, they had the 35% whipping cream that, I thought, would be better since 35% meant it was ‘heavier’ than 18%…right? Right??

WRONG!

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

It started out alright, looked like everything was going great…

It looked like it was supposed to when it was ready to set in the fridge…. but, it never really set (and I left it for almost 4 hours this time too!)

But it was settled enough I could put it on a tray and leave it uncovered in the fridge (figured that would help it settle more too…)

WRONG!

I left them on trays OVERNIGHT in the fridge and in the morning they were still really hard to scoop up onto the saran wrap…. but I thought I’ d try, and maybe when I put the make-shift balls in the freezer they’d harden enough to hold shape. 

WRONG!

They haven’t hardened at all, they’re just kinda, blobs….in saran wrap….

HOWEVER! They are still tasty, you just need to scrap them off the saran with a spoon and drop it into the cup…

So the white hot chocolate is scrape, add milk, heat, and stir…. And it does taste delicious still, so that’s always a good thing. 

Rest assured though, I plan on going out and FINDING the proper cream so that I can make these the PROPER way and maybe give them away as Christmas gifts, You get about 10 balls from each batch, so just mix some white chocolate and some regular chocolate balls in a mug, wrap it, and give it as a gift. I think  that would be a nice idea. Just don’t use 35% whipping cream…

So what did I learn? 

“Heavy Cream” does not mean 18% table cream or 35% whipping cream, however, if forced to choose between the two, 18% table cream will be thicker than 35% whipping cream, so buy that.

On the bright side, I now have a supply of whipping cream in my fridge and made myself some fresh, homemade whip cream topping for hot chocolate 😀