Hard BAKED Eggs

No sooner had I pinned this to try later and my friend Ashley was already blogging about it. The idea is: baking eggs, instead of boiling them.

I am sure we have all struggled with peeling the shell off of a hard-boiled egg. Sometimes it can go perfectly and other times, well half of the egg comes with the shell. It is quite frustrating and makes you want to vow to never hard boil eggs again. Well, now there is a solution!

Hard Baked Eggs

Preheat oven to 325F. Put one egg in each hole of a muffin tin. This way they don’t bounce around and get lost in your oven.


Baked for 28 minutes. Once the timer goes off take eggs out of the oven and place into a bowl of very cold water. I used a spoon to remove them from the tin, because they are obviously going to be very hot coming out of the oven.


I let the eggs sit for about 15-20 minutes. Once I thought they were cool enough I started to peel. And let me tell you, they peeled so incredibly easy!!! But there was one thing that was a bit wonky and unexpected- they looked like this.


I thought I burned them. However, I consulted with the expert at Following the Yellow Brick Road, and she said that is how they are supposed to look when they are baked. Phew.

I urge you to give it a shot and save a whole lot of time trying to peel the suckers!

Have you ever tried something you found on Pinterest and it saved you a lot of time and effort?


The Little Things

After yesterday’s post I started thinking more about the little things in life that bring a big smile to my face. I believe my list could go on forever, but I will share some of the first things that came to my mind.

1. My nieces and nephews! I don’t see them nearly enough, but every time I do I just love it. I love it when we sit down to dinner and I hear, “Elizabeth, sit by me.” And I love it when I receive emails like this…yes, an email! So sweet.


2. Taking walks around the neighborhood in the evening with my husband and dog.          3. When I go to buy something and find out it is secretly on sale.                                           4. Sitting in bed and getting lost in a book.                                                                                  5. The fact that my dog just needs to be as close to you as possible.



6. Hearing one of my favorites songs on the radio. Extra joy if it is an old song.                  7. Random text messages that make me laugh. That could include way too many emoticons (there is no such thing) or a great photo.

IMG_08158. Enjoying a really great dinner and a glass (or two) of wine.                                                 9. Dancing!                                                                                                                                       10. Working out with my husband.


It is nice to stop and think about the everyday things that bring joy and happiness to your life. What comes to your mind right away?

Pure Joy

Do you ever have days that by the time you crawl into bed you feel more full of joy than usual? Well, today was one of those days for me. As I reflect on my day I am quickly realizing that nothing over-the-top or out of the ordinary happened. Simply stated, my life makes me happy.

Ok, maybe I lied a little. Something special did happen today. Justin Timberlake released an album- The 20/20 Experience. Although I was running quite late for work after my Rotary meeting this morning, I still decided to make a quick stop by Target to pick it up. Most of my music purchases nowadays are done online, and a friend of mine commented that picking up a CD was so 1998; but honestly, I kind of wanted to look at the CD insert. I know, how teenage of me. Even when I checked out, only item in hand was a Justin Timberlake CD, and it was only 8:30am, the lady checking me out said, “Oh, you are getting one of those?” Well DUH lady!


I also picked up a Skinny Vanilla Latte from the Target’s Starbucks to seal the deal that today was the most fabulous morning of 2013 so far. I enjoyed listening to the smooth tunes of JT for my whole commute. I even spilled my latte in my new (to me) car, but that type of thing couldn’t ruin what I have been waiting for for seven long years.  SEVEN years. Can you believe it has been that long since JT brought his SexyBack (side bar: that is still one of my favorite songs.) with FutureSex/LoveSounds?

I continued to listen to the CD, on repeat, ALL day long. No joke. The office was almost empty so I worked, listened, and swooned the whole day. And if that wasn’t enough I was even reminded by a friend that The 20/20 Experience Volume 2 is due out this November. Bah. I love 2013.

And for a quick, legit review that leaves behind my eternal (He makes me feel 16 again!) love for JT, my initial thoughts were lukewarm. The 20/20 Experience is NOT what you’d expect. It is definitely a different sound than what most JT fans are used to. However, as I continued to listen and hear more and more each time, I decided, I am a forever fan of all works JT.

Yep, couldn’t keep my bias out no matter how hard I tried.


Baked Oatmeal & Egg Muffins

I love finding good recipes on Pinterest. And I love when they actually turn out even more!! A couple of weekends ago I had some girlies over for a Lia Sophia get together. If you are unfamiliar with that, it is basically a jewelry party much like a Tupperware (do they do those anymore?), PartyLite or Pampered Chef.  It was a brunch style get together so I obviously was serving mimosas and turned to Pinterest for some inspiration for food to serve.

This is what I came up with: Baked Oatmeal & Egg Muffins. Both turned out really well, and I have even made them since the party. As usual, I also modified the recipes a little bit as well.

Baked Oatmeal

2 cups whole wheat rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans (I used more, because it is tasty.)
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup diced apples (I use less than original recipes. I don’t like baked fruit.)
3 eggs
2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup light brown sugar (I’d like to play around with this to see if I can bring the sugar down)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease an 8 x 8 pan. Soak raisins in a small bowl of hot water while you prepare other ingredients.  Mix together oats, baking powder and salt in a larger bowl.  Stir in apples, pecans and raisins.

Whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over dry ingredients and stir together. Transfer to pan and bake for about 1 hour, until golden brown.


I made mine in a loaf pan. It made for quick and easy breakfasts all week as we sliced off a piece each morning to heat up before leaving for work!

Egg Muffins

1/2 pound Italian seasoned ground turkey                                                                                1/4 cup of chopped green peppers                                                                                               1/4 cup chopped mushrooms                                                                                                          1/4 cup spinach                                                                                                                                1/4 cup chopped onion                                                                                                                    12 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F. Whip everything together in larger bowl. Spoon egg mixture into greased muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of muffins and let melt for the last five minutes.

When I add veggies to a recipe like this I never measure. I just load it up! Use as much or as little as you’d like! We also refrigerated a lot of extras and heated them up with our baked oatmeal. Both recipes provided us with a nutritious and protein packed start to our day!


And done!

This past week my Mom and I both thought we were a bit off.  Which isn’t the way you want to end the challenge. The only good thing about my off weeks these days are they aren’t nearly as bad as they used to be. Which means we are well on our way with this whole lifestyle change.

Last night we arrived and they did the full scan again. I was so excited to find out what my metabolic age changed to after seven weeks of hard work. If you remember from the first week I was quite shocked to find out I was 49!!! They weren’t telling us our overall results right away, because that would be announced at the end. However, I think I commented so much they told me what my age was…currently, 45. Four years off isn’t too bad, right?

While the team at Nutrition Revolution tallied up our stats, we enjoyed a healthy taco bar which consisted of shredded chicken and lots of fresh veggies. Yumm.

Before they announced the winners of the challenge we were all presented with a certificate that showed the percentage of total body weight lost (which is how they determine the winner), total pounds lost, and total inches lost. The top three with the highest percentage of total body weight lost win, as well as the person who lost the most inches. When I received my certificate I knew something was off. It said my total weight lost was 2.4lbs and my total percentage lost, which had to have been the total from the week. And was 4.9% total body weight which is where I was standing last week. Definitely confusing.

Next they crowned the winners. My Mom ended up in 2nd place overall! Yahoo! She didn’t lose any weight that week but was sitting at an impressive 15 pounds lost!!! She took home $180. The 3rd place winner had $120 and the 1st place winner received a total of $300!!! Crazy.

479762_10152661778785151_99563998_nAfter the winners were crowned I inquired about my sheet. It took a bit of time as there was some confusion with my stats, but it was finally worked out that I had lost a total of 9.6lbs overall! Just shy of my 10lb goal, but hey, I am very happy with that. And I was actually the 3rd place winner.

Man, crowns fit me so well.

Luckily, the original 3rd place winner knew there was something up with my results and hung around to hear the final verdict which was really nice of her. In the end, since she pointed out I was indeed in 3rd place, I split the money with her. So we both walked home with $60. Not too bad considering it cost $35 to join. I love getting my money back…and then some!!!

I will be doing an overall recap of my thoughts about the challenge in an additional post tomorrow. So stay tuned for more!!! Until then, here is our before pic taken the first night of our challenge with our after!



Little Late

I am a little late on last week’s post. Oops, I have always struggled with punctuality. With that said, let me get to it. As you now know, unless you are a new reader, I joined a weight-loss challenge with my Mom that had us checking in weekly for a weigh-in and coaching.

The week before, which is now two weeks ago, I did not have a great weigh-in. And by not great, I mean I gained a pound. Doh! Although I was bummed it gave me greater motivation to keep at it. Especially since I fell completely off the leader board. Not even in the top five!

As I prepared for the next weigh-in I did something that has definitely got to be in the top three things NOT TO DO if you are participating in a weight-loss challenge… go on a pub crawl! I know, you are thinking I am not that serious about getting back onto the leader board. However, I made sure I had an amazing workout the morning of and watched what I ate (literally stared at it, I swear it helps). Plus, the pub crawl included some physical challenges.

B Team (B stands for Best)
B Team (B stands for Best)

By the time Monday rolled around, I was guzzling water like no other hoping no one would notice the multiple beers I had two days prior. I was less than confident showing up Monday night, but I also knew I made the best choices I could, while still enjoying life and beers.  (yes, I think they go hand in hand.)

My Mom ended up in first place yet again and going passed the 15 pounds lost mark! This put her into 2nd place overall. Go MOM!!!


I lost a total of two pounds, pub crawl and all, to bring my total of weight lost to seven pounds! Finally, I had a place back in the top 5 and was fifth. Go ME!

My focus for the final week of the challenge was to reach 3rd place and reach the 10 pounds lost mark.

And as I proof read this someone might mistakenly read that title and think this is about to turn into a baby blog. Sorry, not today. Which reminds me, I should really update my Before Baby Bucket List.


Everyone keeps asking me, “Did you give up anything for Lent this year?” It reminds me of when I was a kid and my brothers and I would tell our parents that we were going to give up homework for Lent. Unfortunately, it never worked out.

I wasn’t raised Catholic, although we typically participated in the tradition even though I have no idea where it started. In years past I have given up pop, chips, cookies, and candy. I am sure there have been others, but those are the ones that reappeared each season.

Since I have been candy free for over a year, I couldn’t give up candy. I rarely drink pop, so that wasn’t much of a sacrifice. And frankly, I don’t find myself munching on chips or cookies as much as I used to either. Instead of giving something up, I thought why not add something to my lifestyle that would benefit it?

I decided, and keeping it some what close to a Catholic tradition, that I would have one meal a week that was fish! Yum. We all know fish is good for you, and this would help incentivize me to eat more of it!

photo-79One of my favorite fishes to eat is salmon. I am also just realizing how easy it is to make. It always appeared to be a chore, and my husband isn’t fond of “stinking up the house” with fish, but salmon is actually not a chore, and it is not smelly.

What I do: Scope out Cub, Kowalski’s or another local grocery store or health foods store for a good-looking piece of salmon. I also pair it with a sweet potato…or is it a yam? I am pretty sure it is usually a yam, which is located right by the potatoes.

When I get home I peel and slice the yam or sweet potato and boil it until soft. Mean while, the oven is preheated to 375 degrees. The salmon is prepped with a garlic olive oil and mustard mixture. Basically I just mix like 2 tbsp of olive oil and a couple of squirts of mustard. Usually I use a fancy mustard, like Grey Poupon or a mustard that has seeds in it. I mix it all together and spread it across the salmon and bake for 20 minutes.


I mash up the yam or sweet potato, add a little pepper, and I have an incredibly amazing, healthy meal.  I try to throw in some greens as well, like broccoli or something, but sometimes the salmon is enough!

Do you have a favorite salmon recipe?