Thai Chicken Wrap and Adorable Clothes

Happy Friday! Yayyy!

It’s a Friday Favorites kind of day so I’m linkin’ up with my girl Katie!

Here are some of my favs from the week…

1. Lunch with my darling friend Courtney at Good Earth. I ordered the Thai chicken peanut wrap and really enjoyed it! Most of all though, I loved catching up with my Court. 🙂

good earth thai chicken wrap

2. Leftover French onion soup from the freezer. It’s one thing to enjoy a bowl of my favorite soup, but the ease of only have to take it out of the freezer and thaw in the microwave makes it that much more delightful.

french onion soup

3. These tacos.

baked beef tacos

4. This dress from Filly Flair.

filly flair dress

fillyflair.com

5. And this top from Filly Flair.

filly flair top 2

fillyflair.com

I ordered both of them online and really hope they fit. I should be getting them within the next few days. They have seriously so many adorable things and I wanted everything! Everything is so reasonably priced too!

6. Seeing the progress on our basement. We are in the process of finishing the basement and it is SO incredibly exciting! This is a project we have been wanting to take on since we moved in 3.5 years ago. Dana is a champ.

7. My family. There has been so much change and excitement going on in our family and I am so thrilled, proud and happy for everyone.

What are some of your favorites from this week?

Favorite Food in London, Bruges, and Paris

I really want to begin my vacation recap posts, but am still slightly overwhelmed by the thought of it. So, I am going to ease my way into it by covering one of my most favorite topics…food.

Figure-friendly foods were not on my agenda for this trip. I was looking for macaroons, crepes, baguette, cheese, and hot chocolate, and that is exactly what I found.

Below are photos or some of my food highlights from the trip from London to Bruges to Paris.

London

The hot chocolate. It’s soooo much better in Europe (or maybe it’s just better on vacation?).

hot chocolate

Chicken Tikka Masala. OMG. I’ve had Indian food in the past but was never blown away by it, but this totally changed my mind. I couldn’t get enough of it! It was one of my favorite meals of the entire vacation. I can’t wait to find it at home now!

chicken tikka masala indian food tikka masala, naan

Butterbean burger at Happenstance. This picture does not do the burger justice. Have you ever thought of taking butterbeans and making them into a burger? I certainly have not but it is a brilliant idea. I devoured this burger. butterbean burger

Fish and chips. We had to; we were in London after all. Dana and I split a filet and we both really enjoyed our meal!

IMG_0288

Bruges

French Onion Soup (called onion soup in Europe). You all know I adore this stuff. I also had French onion soup on the plane ride out to London as well as two other times on the trip. Four times total. I love my onion soup!

french onion soup

Paris

This meal was actually from a day trip to Fontainebleau. We traveled out to go see a beautiful palace only to find out it was closed for construction when we got there. Not to mention, it was raining and cold. We found a cute little steakhouse and settled in for a burger and onion rings aka the best onion rings I’ve ever had.

IMG_0355 burger

Back to Paris…

Our favorite bread shop was called Coquelicot because look at it….

coquelicot bread paris

It’s perfection. It’s exactly how I would picture a Parisian bread shop. They make their bread and pastries in-house and everything is always so fresh and the place is always packed. Many days, we would buy a loaf of baguette for lunch along with some cheese and apples. I really looked forward to this lunch.

bread and cheese for lunches in paris

Crepes with nutella and banana. Need I say more?

nutella crepe

Crescents. Nearly every day. So buttery and flaky!

crescent rolls

Macaroons. I channeled my inner Blair Waldorf while eating these.

macaroons

This chocolate mousse. It tasted like the filling of a French silk pie. I was in heaven eating this. Ahhhhh so good.

chocolate mousse

More Indian food. We were actually planning on having Chinese food this night but the restaurant we walked to was closed so we had to find something else. I was once again so impressed with my meal. It was a rice and vegetable dish.

indian food vegetable rice

Check out the ambiance…

indian restaurant paris

In Paris, the boys had a couple of crocque monsiers. Ham and cheese sandwiches with an egg on top.

croque monsieurs

Oh yes, more baguette.

french baguette

And more onion soup. Don’t mind if I do!

french onion soup

My favorites: Indian food in London, the onion soup on our last night in Paris, the chocolate mousse, and the nutella crepe.

Needless to say we ate very well on vacation.

If you were in London or France, what food would be on your “must eat” list?

I’m linking up with Katie for Friday Favorites too! Thanks, Katie!

Favorite Soup, Clean Things & Pups

TGIF!

I’m linking up with Katie once again for Friday favorites!

1. Getting goodies delivered to my door. Blue Diamond hooked me up with a fun little Olympic-inspired box of almonds.

blue diamond almonds

2. Lunch with two amazing and inspiring women at Panera. Can you believe I ordered the French Onion soup? I’m a creature of habit apparently. That, and French Onion soup is one of my all-time favs and since I don’t go to Panera too often, it’s one I like to order on repeat. And yes, I ate my whole loaf of bread with little repercussions (yay!) but I don’t plan on making that a habit.

panera french onion

3. As much as Moose is driving me crazy lately with his stir-craziness, he is so stinking cute still. I mean really, who can blame him. I would go stir-crazy too this winter. As you may have heard, we got bombarded with snow yesterday and Moose was in his dreamland. He just sat out in the snow and watched the world go by.

moose snow winter

moose snow winter  moose snow winter

4. Experimenting with my Young Living Essential Oils and finding new combos that work for different ailments/household messes/stinky gym shoes/sticker residue, etc. Being that I’m a science nerd, experimenting with oils gets me all happy.

lemon oil

5. These cleaning brushes from Collections Etc. The kind folks at CollectionsEtc.com sent me these cleaning brushes to review.

collections etc

I realize this is a bit of a random one for me, but the reason I agreed to review these is because I thought they would be perfect for cleaning the CamelBak water bottles which both Dana and I use on a daily basis. The downfall to the CamelBak is that there are a lot of nooks and crannies where bacteria can grow and it’s not always easy to clean out.

Well…I am happy to report that these little gadgets did a pretty fine job at disinfecting the water bottles. I used a lemon oil/vinegar/water blend to clean these along with the brushes.

The only issue I had was that not all of the straws on the water bottles are the same size, and so the cleaning tool got stuck in one of the straws. I had to unwind it out. So, technically it came out, just not easily so I guess I shouldn’t necessarily say it got “stuck.”

IMG_0413

It worked great for the mouthpiece.

collections etc

And inside of the straw insert hole.

collections etc

So far I have only used these brushes on the water bottle but I am definitely satisfied with the product! I have my eye on some cute tumblers on their website too!

Happy Friday to you all!

Disclaimer: Collections Etc. sent me these cleaning brushes to review on Beautifully Nutty. All opinions expressed on the product are solely my own.

Gluten-Free Hippie Loaf

Happy Friday to you all! This week flew by for me, how about you? Let’s all do a little happy dance…

happy dance

 

source

As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, I didn’t really plan on too many meals for the week. It was a busy week and Dana and I were both gone quite a bit so the only meal I really planned was for a recipe I got from a friend called Hippie Loaf. The recipe is from the Happy Herbivore and it is a vegan meatloaf made with loads of veggies obviously, quinoa, and a little ketchup and soy sauce.

quinoa veggie "hippie" loaf

I followed her recipe pretty closely except for I forgot the 3 Tablespoons of brown rice flour (I was going  to use almond flour because that is what I had on hand) so I completely omitted it. It turned out great without it!

Here is her recipe!

Happy Herbivore’s Hippie Loaf

  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used cooked black beans from dried)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, shredded
  • 1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper (this was not in the recipe)
  • 3 Tbsp brown rice flour  (I omitted)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup (Ya’ll know my love for ketchup—I used about 2 Tbsp in the loaf, and then slathered it on top of the loaf as well. I used homemade ketchup).
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a standard 8-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  3. Mash black beans in large bowl and combine all ingredients until evenly combined.
  4. Transfer to prepared pan and pat down firmly using hands.
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes until firm and brown on the outside.
  6. Allow loaf to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Source: Happy Herbivore

I really didn’t have any idea what to expect before taking my first bite. The loaf smelled fantastic as it baked in the oven, but that doesn’t always mean it’s going to taste great.

Once I took my first bite though I was very impressed. I believe my first words were, “I could be a vegan” because this loaf was stellar. I don’t necessarily want to be a vegan, but I was just saying it probably wouldn’t be the end of the world for me since I don’t love meats or cheese or milk, however I would miss eggs quite a bit. I respect vegans entirely, it’s just not something I am interested in at this point in my life.

The seasonings and ingredients in this loaf were simple and the dish was so flavorful. That’s what I love: simplicity.

quinoa veggie "hippie" loaf

It didn’t hold up quite as well as a standard meatloaf when I went to plating it, and this could have been because 1. I didn’t wait long enough for it to cool before cutting and serving it, or 2. I forgot the flour, or 3. A combination of the two factors. But it didn’t matter! I enjoyed it just as well!

quinoa veggie "hippie" loaf

There are a couple of tweaks I would like to make to this loaf recipe to better suit my taste buds and to make it “my own”, but all-in-all I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend this recipe to all.  I can’t wait to make my own version of Hippie Loaf!

******************

Switching gears…to catch you up quickly on the rest of my week. On Wednesday I stopped over at mom and dad’s for dinner. Mom coaxed me over for her French Onion Soup. Kidding, like it takes any coaxing to get me over there. 🙂

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, her French Onion Soup is my FAVORITE soup! I’ve ordered this soup at many-a-restaurants in my time, and I have never ever found one that compares to hers. And what’s ironic about that is that my mom uses the simplest recipe for this soup. No wonder I like it! I’m a simple gal.

french onion soup french onion soup

 

The soup was everything I hoped for and more and even better, I enjoyed it in the company of my wonderful parents.

I am in a GREAT mood today. I am hopeful that the sun is going to shine for a little while today. My plants need some serious sun, and I could really use a touch of Vitamin D myself! I hope you all have a glorious Friday! Keep on smiling my friends!

Question of the day: What made you smile this week?

A Relaxing Sunday & One of My Favorite Soups

This weekend flew by just as fast as last weekend if you ask me. We had a very low-key weekend and I loved every second of it.

Sunday

I was feeling incredibly energetic Sunday morning and just in an overall good mood. That was most likely due to the excitement of our upcoming vacation and a good night’s sleep. I was feeling good.

For some reason my appetite has been a little “off” lately. I’m thinking this may be because of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I was hungry for breakfast but couldn’t decide on anything that sounded good so I put myself together a combo that I know is easy on my tummy and usually pretty appealing : peanut butter and banana of course.

banana peanut butter

 

We went about our standard Sunday errands, came back home and put groceries away, and by 11:00 I was hungry again. I was hungry but again, nothing sounded good to me and my highly energetic self from the morning was starting to take a nose dive.

I pulled out a bowl of homemade turkey veggie soup from the freezer.

turkey veggie soup

It was simple and comforting to my belly. I also had a microwaved apple…

apples

 

Later in the afternoon I had a banana, a bite of peanut butter, and some pistachios.

I have been in a bit of a workout rut this past week. I just haven’t had the highest amount of energy. I was full of energy yesterday morning but once the afternoon hit I was definitely losing it.

I wanted to at least move a little bit, so I headed down to the treadmill for a half hour walk. I  did do a few other strength exercises, but I really wasn’t feeling up to it, so I stopped.

Maybe I just needed it to be a low-key day.

Later in the afternoon I headed over to mom and dad’s for dinner. I got my cuddle time in with the little one which always does a great job of boosting my mood.

melanie and abbie

 

Dinner was one of my all-time favs: French Onion Soup.

french onion soup

I went with the SCD version without the bagel chips and cheese and it was STILL outrageously delicious. I had two bowls and asked if I could take one home for leftovers this week! I swear I could try and make this duplicate recipe at home and it wouldn’t taste the same. Mom has to make it. 😉

french onion soup

After dinner we got cozy on the couch and sipped on hot water with ginger and honey while we watched the Oscars, and then later called it a night. I really like the hot water with ginger and honey, like REALLY liked it. Could this be due to the fact that my dad made it for me? It really is true that food tastes better when someone else makes it for you.

tea and oscars abbie

 

It was a very relaxing Sunday and I feel like more Sundays should be like this one.

Now we are onto Monday and I have a list of things to do as tall as the Eiffel tower, SO I better get a move on!

Happy Monday to all!

Question of the day: Do you think food tastes better when someone else makes it for you?!

Nuts for Nuts

I am so happy it is the weekend! I cannot wait to relax and enjoy the two glorious days ahead.

My day started off with a bit of indecisiveness. I really wanted peanut butter and banana, but I also really wanted cereal. What to do? Throw it all in a bowl, add a splash of almond milk, and you have the best of both worlds! That’s proof that sometimes being an indecisive person can be a good thing.

I made to sure to get my peanut butter banana fix in at breakfast because I knew I wouldn’t be having it at lunch (if you can believe that). My coworkers and I decided to go out to lunch at a Bakery and Cafe called Patrick’s. Patrick’s is connected to Bachman’s and the inside is just beautiful. There are fresh flowers everywhere, the ceiling is made up of some material (like the stuff used in metrodomes maybe?) where a little bit of sunlight shines through and lightens the room naturally. The menu wasn’t ginormous but still offered a nice selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches. They do also have bakery items but I didn’t feel like tempting myself so I didn’t really look at it.

I decided on one of my all time favorite soups, French Onion. It was topped with a large crouton melted with what tasted like gruyere cheese but I am not for sure. On the side a nice hunk o’ baguette.

Pretty with the table linens and natural light, huh? I was pretty excited about that. I am working on my camera skills you know.  The soup was pretty good, a little too salty though. I have very high expectations when it comes to my french onion soup though because my mom makes DYNAMITE french onion. She will be modest and say, “o, goodness really it’s so easy, but thank you.” But really, hers is the best. I only spent $4.00 at lunch today and it definitely held me over long enough to get home and stuff my face have a few almonds.

Let’s talk about almonds for a second. Clearly, along with peanut butter, I really enjoy almonds. I eat them every day pretty much. It must be their slight saltiness and crunchy texture that really get me. They are a good source of protein (6 g per 1/4 cup), they do have some fiber (3 g per 1/4 cup) not to mention that evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts daily can help lower your risk of heart disease. HOWEVER, it is important to watch your portions with these bad boys because they do pack a load of fat at 15 g per 1/4 cup. Many of these fats are the “good” kinds but you still want to be careful with portion control. Yea, I’m still working on that one myself. Sorry Dana if I ruined my appetite for dinner. That’s what you call a tangent my friends. There will be lots of them. The moral of the story is I am Nuts 4 Nuts (just like the vendors in New York right Bets?). I am a pretty nutty gal.

One more important bit to share with you. I resisted sweets (specifically doughnuts with chocolate frosting and sprinkles) again today for the third day. I am very proud. Now if only the pants would start fitting a little more comfortably again. It takes times, I know.

Off to run a few errands then we’ll see if I’ve conjured up an appetite for dinner by then. Then it’s relaxation time including kicking butt in SkipBo, Sequence, and maybe Rummy. I don’t know. We’ll see if we have time. 😛 Har har har.