Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesday – Cola Chicken

This is a Weight Watchers recipe and so delicious. I got it a long time ago from a co-worker. It’s quick and very easy.

4 chicken breasts
1 cup ketchup
1 can diet soda (I used Diet Dr. Pepper)

1. Put chicken in non-stick skillet
2. Pour ketchup and diet cola over the top
3. Bring to boil
4. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes
5. Uncover, turn up the heat and continue to cook until the sauce becomes thick and adheres to the chicken

It turns into the most incredible BBQ sauce and it's only 4 points per serving.

I served this with broccoli in cheese sauce (Green Giant) and polenta.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend recap

Whew…what a weekend! Friday was really relaxing. Geof and I went to the gym and then came home to catch up on some trashy reality TV. You have to cherish those lazy nights when you can!

Saturday, I had an appointment to get my makeup done at MAC. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, because I’ve seen some of my friends get it done and always looked nice. I love the smoky eye and nude lip look and asked them do this for me. My artist, Sarah, did a great job. It was a lot more dramatic than I’m used to, but something that I would definitely try to recreate for a night out. Luckily, Geof and I had plans to go see SafetySuit, so I was ready to go.

All done up from MAC!

SafetySuit was back in PA, about 40 minutes from us and it was great to see them again. After meeting the guys at their other shows, they recognized us right off the bat. We were talking to Dave (the guitarist) and then Doug (lead singer) came up behind me and grabbed me by the shoulders. We were chit chatting with the two of them for awhile and then we went to talk to Jeremy (the bassist) and Tate (the drummer). We let them know we were going on the cruise and everyone is really excited for it. Jeremy mentioned again how awesome it was of Geof to write the review that he did of the band. Tate and Geof got to talking about fishing and it was just nice to get a chance to chat with them in a more laid back environment. They were driving back to Nashville that same night, so we didn’t try to take up too much of their time. I give them a lot of credit for being away days and weeks at a time. It must feel good to get back to your loved ones after being out of the road. The show itself was awesome and the guys sounded great.

This pic cracks me up. Tate put on a choir dress and came back out and played like it was nothing

Geof and me at the concert

Dave and me

Doug and me

Jeremy and Geof

Sunday, I met with a new group of girls for brunch at Terrain at Styer’s. This place is so cool. The owner of Anthropologie took over what used to be a regular nursery and turned it into a more outdoorsy Anthro-type spot and put in a café. The café is in a greenhouse and it’s just a really nice space to hangout and enjoy a meal. The group of girls I met up with were awesome and I thought they were all really sweet and welcoming. I cannot wait to see everyone again.

Pretty stained glass doors in the greenhouse

Me, Kim and Siobhan

Louise, Ganelle, Yvette and Jingbo

Pretty candles and cloches in the shop

When I got home, I finally got the chance to talk to Gwen. We were chatting the evening away until I realized it was time for dinner. She kept talking about making beer bread and it was making me hungry ;) I cannot wait to meet someday in person. Talking to her is like talking to an old friend that you’ve known forever. It’s unbelievable the real and honest friendships that can be made through blogging.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I’m on a boat

Or rather, I’m going to be on a boat! Geof and I booked a cruise and we leave in a few weeks. I cannot wait to get away and this will be something different for us as a couple, since we’ve never been on one together.

Carnival Inspiration

We’re going to the Cayman Islands and I absolutely love it there. The island is beautiful and there are so many things to do. The bonus is that it’s the VH1 Best Cruise Ever and there are going to be a ton of concerts on the ship. Lifehouse, 3 Doors Down, Shinedown, SafetySuit and Carolina Liar (just to name a few) will be rocking the boat!

They’re also going to have 2 theme nights, one 80’s and one formal. It will be fun to put some ridiculous 80’s outfit together.

I went on a cruise to the Cayman’s a long time ago with a bunch of friends and did a tour to Stingray City where they take you out to this sandbar and you get to play and interact with the ray’s. I remember the boat pulling up and looking at this water that was as clear as a pool and then seeing these dark shadows swimming about. I was completely freaked out at first, but it was such an amazing experience. I hope to do it again, explore George Town, visit “Hell”, 7 Mile Beach and maybe even get over to the Turtle Farm. There is so much to do and I really hope to squeeze as much in as possible that day that we’re in port.

Stingray City

Hell - it was fun last time to send postcards to my friends back home postmarked from Hell. It's basically a tourist trap, but still fun.

7 Mile Beach

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good night

I have a cold that I’ve been fighting since the weekend and so far the cold is winning. On the bright side, there is nothing like a mid-week ladies night to lift your spirits! Colleen came down tonight for pizza and pedicures. We went to our favorite spot, Alfredo’s for dinner and then went to the nail salon for pedicures (I got a mani too). There was a bridal party at the nail place and they were so cute. They brought in lots of food and wine and we’re playing party music in the salon. I felt like I was in the club, but we had a nice time. It was so relaxing and just what I needed (my favorite part is the massage and hot towels). I love catching up on girl time with Coll we always have a blast. I love that girl!

In other news and as of this morning, I am down 14.8 pounds over the past 10 weeks. I don’t talk about it much on here, because I don’t want to make a big deal of it. I thought I would post it to keep myself accountable and stay on track. I still have a long way to go, but I’m proud of what I’ve done so far. Maybe I’ll post another update at 20 weeks…

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend recap

Friday, I worked most of the night and was able to get out for a little bit to go to the gym and then came home and started working again. We had a ton of errands to run but because of how crazy busy work is right now, they had to be pushed aside.

Saturday, we had a spring clean-up day in our town home community and the neighborhood came together to plant flowers and spruce things up a bit. I worked in between the clean-up off and on throughout the day and into the night. It was nice to be outside when I could help out because the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It also didn’t hurt that I got to hold my neighbor’s 2-month old baby girl on and off all day. She is such a cutie! Saturday night I watched bits and pieces of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Dirty Dancing and Romeo & Juliet. I’ve come to realize that Dirty Dancing will never get old.

Sunday, Geof and I went to the city to meet up with our friends Colleen & Donald for dinner at Chima. The four of us love it there. It is a Brazilian Steakhouse and the meats and salad bar are so delicious. It’s overwhelming at first when the Rodizio servers keep coming with 8 different kinds and cuts of beef, poultry and fish. We were all so full when we left. It was great to catch up with our friends and the four of us always have a nice time when we go out together.

Me & Coll

The Donald & Geof

Double date!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

If you want something bad enough…

You just have to go out and get it. Hi, I’m Jules and I have an obsession with hunting things down that and are hard to find. The most recent example of this behavior is for this necklace:

I saw it on MCW’s blog (love her), thought it would be perfect for spring and summer and had to have it. I went to my local Target and they had recently sold out (isn’t this always the way?). I had them print out a list of stores that might have one on hand and went down the list. A store in Delaware had one left and agreed to hold it for me. Geof was a trooper and drove down there with me (it really wasn’t that far). Victory is mine!

I love this necklace and the hunt was worth it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Award time

I’ve been a major slacker on catching up on awards that have been given to me. I appreciate them all and apologize for not getting to this sooner!

The first award was given to me is the Smile Award by Gwen at Confessions of a Control Freak. She is an amazing mother and friend. We’ve gotten to know each other outside of the blog world and this is just another one of the many reasons that I love blogging.

I was also given the Sunshine Award by Trish at Preppy Pink Lilly Lover. She is such a sweetheart and I can’t wait until we’re able to meet up in real life. Her blog makes me smile too!

Here are the rules:
1. Post the logo on blog.
2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees' blogs so others can get to know them.
4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from.

I am passing this award onto the following bloggers that always make me smile!

1. Annie at Chapters Of Our Life
2. Brittany at Living in the Moment
3. Kathie at Just a Happy Housewife
4. MCW at Saving the Best for Last…(fingers crossed)
5. Angela at Sweet Tea Diaries
6. Jill at Peeptoe Pumps and Pearls
7. Danielle at design your life {create the life you love}
8. MrsEysCanSee at The juice is worth the squeeze
9. Hailey at Destined For Royalty
10. Nat at It’s a Charmed Life
11. BLC at The Company She Keeps
12. Leeann at Join The Gossip

I was also given the Best Blog Comments Award, Kick Ass Blogger Award and Stiletto Award from Kathie at Just a Happy Housewife. Kathie started a new blog about her life as a housewife and talks about all sorts of fun topics. I love her new blog and you should definitely check it out.

There are no rules for the Best Blog Comments Award or the Kick Ass Blogger award. I am going to cheat on this one and say that everyone should take this award for all of the lovely comments you leave me. I read them all and appreciate each one.

Here are the rules for the Stiletto Award:
1. Display your Stiletto Badge of Honor on your sidebar! Wear it with pride…

Heels this high are not meant for clubbing or walking long distances in. They are mainly used for getting from the living room to the bedroom, from the car to the restaurant, or for a short stroll along the catwalk.”

2. BRAG ABOUT IT! -write a post about your award.
3. SAY THANKS! - include a link to the friend who nominated you for the award.
4. SHARE THE LOVE! -nominate 5-10 blogs that you feel deserve the award.
Include links to them in your post -and- leave them a comment to let them know they are nominated.
5. DO WHAT YOU DO! - keep at it. Keep inspiring and encouraging and sharing your life! We love it and we thank you!!

I am passing this award onto the following bloggers:

1. Gwen at Confessions of a Control Freak
2. April at dot…dot…dot…
3. Mrs. Stoneking at Meet the Stonekings
4. HB&HB at Headbands and Handbags
5. Kate at The Adventures of Katie and Josh

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend recap

Friday, Geof and I had a relaxing night in catching up on our shows. I’m so happy that Melrose Place and Gossip Girl are back. We had a plan to go out, but I crashed on the couch for almost 3 hours making it almost impossible to fall asleep that night. I hate when that happens.

Saturday, Colleen came to my house so that we could drive to our friend Krystie’s baby shower brunch together. The rain was horrible, but we made it there okay. The shower was really nice and some of our other friends were there too. We’re so excited for Krystie and cannot wait until her little bundle of joy arrives. We made jokes that there is going to be a line outside her door for everyone to get in and see him.

Yummy favors and we also got these funny baby pens!

Cutest gift presentation. Adorable baby clothes hung on ribbon with clothes pins!

Krystie and me

Delish cupcakes

Something funny/sad (depending on how you look at it) happened when we were getting ready to leave. Coll and I used the ladies room before the long drive back and there was another mom-to-be in there freaking out on the phone about her shower and cursing about everything from the flowers to what a horrible job everyone did. She was livid. We were so uncomfortable and couldn’t wait to hightail it out of there.

After the shower, my friend Kelly was out for St. Patrick’s Day on the annual Blarney Bus bar crawl. I took my own car and met up with her at Durty Nelly’s. The place was insanely crowded and everyone was decked out in the most ridiculous St. Patty’s day gear. A bunch of people even had t-shirts made. There was a mix of regular music and Irish music being played. It was a good time and I was glad to catch up with Kel.

Lauren, Kel, me

The gang

Saturday night, my mom came over and Geof got home with Dan a little later (they were out all day). The boys brought back pizza and we just hung here. My mom started some soup for Sunday in the crock pot. She rocks!

Sunday, I slept in way late and blamed it on turning the clocks forward. We had my mom’s potato soup and watched The Hurt Locker. I didn’t know if I would like it, but ended up loving it. The movie was so good and made you feel like you were right alongside the soldiers in Baghdad. I can now say that it definitely deserved to win Best Picture at the Oscars. That new show, Minute To Win It was on and we caught about half of it. I couldn’t believe that ridiculous things these people had to do. We liked it though!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weekly top 10

10. Lady Gaga’s Telephone video, featuring Beyoncé premiered tonight and it is out there. I thought Paparazzi was nuts, but this is another level. I’m a fan and love Gaga, so I can’t say anything bad.

9. Instead of “that girl” at the gym this week, I saw quite the opposite. There was this girl wearing Uggs and a coat with one of those fur-lined hoods running like Forrest Gump on the treadmill. It was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen at the gym.

8. Time to build my ark, because we’re supposed to get up to 5 inches of rain this weekend.

7. Philadelphia ranks #6 on the list of America’s craziest cities. I’m not talking about fun crazy, I’m talking about insane crazy. That is kind of scary when you think about it. The article is interesting and lists the top 57 cities.

6. We made these Butternut Squash Fries for the first time and they were so good.

5. I’ve tanned 3 times this week and I know it’s really bad, but I glow in the day. On a positive note, I went to the dentist and had a clean bill of health!

4. Corey Haim passed away at the age of 38.

3. Went to the Lenten service at church this week and learned about Christ in the middle ages.

2. I feel myself getting stronger and having more stamina from the gym and it’s nice to know that my hard work is paying off.

1. This week has been 16 years since my grandmother passed away. I still think about her everyday. That is a story for another day.

Don’t forget to spring forward this weekend!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Handsome Men’s Club

This was on Jimmy Kimmel after the Oscars on Sunday and too funny not to post. Getting Jimmy Kimmel, Patrick Dempsey, Gilles Marini, John Krasinski, Ethan Hawke, Ted Danson, Lenny Kravitz, Josh Hartnett, Matthew McConaughey, Sting, Rob Lowe, Tony Romo, Keith Urban, Taye Diggs, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Jennifer Garner together for this is classic!

The outtakes are just as funny on the ABC website.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tasty Tuesday – Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

Last week, I made a recipe from the Biggest Loser cookbook. It was Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf and it was tasty! I added a little extra hot sauce to spice it up and give it a bit more flavor. It thought it turned out really well.

Olive Oil Spray
2/3 c. Old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. Fat-free milk
2 1/2 Tbsp buffalo wing sauce, or more to taste
1 pound extra-lean, ground chicken breast
1/2 c. Finely chopped celery
1/4 c. Shredded carrot
1/4 c. Finely chopped sweet onion
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
2 oz. Crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 9x5 loaf pan with olive oil spray (I use my misto for this).
2. Combine the oats and milk in a medium mixing bowl and stir to mix. Let standfor 3 minutes, or until the oats begin to soften.
3. Stir in the wing sauce until well mixed.
4. Add the chicken, celery, carrot, onion, egg whites and salt. With a fork orclean hands, mix the ingredients well.
5. Add the blue cheese and gently mix to combine.
6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread so that the top is flat. Bakefor 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and nolonger pink. Cut into 8 slices and serve immediately.

I didn’t have a loaf pan, so I formed it the best I could with a baking pan. It was very filling and even with my mom over for dinner, we had plenty of leftovers.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 263 calories, 6 g fat, 74 mg cholesterol, 485 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 35 g protein.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekend recap & Oscar fashion

Friday, Geof and I ran some errands and then went to Media to have dinner at Pinocchio’s (best thin crust pizza ever!). This place also brings back such great memories from high school and was the place to be after football games. After dinner, we went to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on some groceries. I forgot how much I love that place. We got a ton of stuff, but I cannot wait to try the edamame hummus. Once we got home, I started getting caught up on Idol. I have a few favorites, but it just seems a little painful to get through this season. I think this may be the last one for me.

Saturday, we ran to Marshall’s and got some workout clothes and then went to the movies to see Shutter Island. We were also able to sneak in some warm soft pretzels from the Philadelphia Pretzel Factory, so that was a bonus. It was such a great movie and not at all what I was expecting. I think Leonardo DiCaprio did a great job in it and the way Scorsese shoots his films is incredible. It looked like something from another world. I love a movie that makes you think and this definitely did that. After the movie, we ran to Old Navy and got a few things for spring.

Got the top in turquoise and maxi dress in navy blue!

Sunday, we did a deep clean on the house and it felt really good. I watched a movie called Timber Falls and it was a predictable, but decent horror flick. My mom came over later to watch the Oscars and Geof made dinner for all of us. Geof and I also took the dogs for a long walk right before the awards, since the weather was mild this weekend. It’s so nice to see the snow melting and to have seen the sun.

On another note, I thought the Academy Awards were excellent and some of the leading ladies looked absolutely gorgeous and were much more impressive than at the Golden Globes. Neil Patrick Harris did a great job with the opening and Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin did not disappoint. The tribute to John Hughes (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Weird Science are 2 of my favorite 80’s movies) and horror montage was also very well done. I also loved how the fellow actors got up and spoke on a personal level about the nominees for best actor and actress.

Best Dressed 2010
Cameron Diaz was glowing and looked beautiful in this Oscar de la Renta gown

Sandra Bullock almost looked like an Oscar in this gorgeous Marchesa gown

I didn't see Demi during the show, but she looked glam on the red carpet in this Versace gown

Worst Dressed 2010
This Chanel gown looked kind of like a pineapple curtain on SJP. Not a fan of the hair either.

Miley Cyrus in Jenny Packham. It didn't look like it fit her well and the top looks like lingerie. It's a shame because from the waist down the dress is pretty.

Zoe Saldana in Givenchy couture. This one I actually like from the waist up. The bottom looks like some sort of tissue paper art project.