Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Birthday America … the belated edition!


I thought I was due for a little lifecasting this evening… even if it is a little late. So here are a couple of photos from our Forth of July on the lake.

Good Friends, Nice Weather, Patriotism, and Great Beer! Enough Said.

011Brittany (my old roommate) and Dennin (her new roommate/boyfriend) and Bear (he’s the little one)


Brit and Jess On the Rocks … it’s a new drink. Ask your local bartender I’m sure they can make you one.


016 013

I originally had cropped the randomness out of this one but then I decided I love it as it! We were on the sand bar on Pelican Lake in Minnesota. Our own little red neck yacht club!!


So Happy Birthday America. Good times and great friends.

Now to bed… gotta be up at 5 AM to catch my flight.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yum Yum Yum

I am traveling for work this week and am in the Kansas City area. The first night I was here I noticed…. they have a Whole Foods!!  No TJ’s but a Whole Foods none the less.

So tonight I went on a little shopping spree

067 Inside of my bag (when I am really excited… I take really dorky pictures)!

068 The Loot!!

069 The left side of things:

Three Vita CoCo

Noosa – Mango Yogurt

Two Dark Chocolate Bars

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad made in the Whole Foods deli!


The right side:

Siggi’s Pomegranate and Passion Fruit

Peanut Butter and Company’s Cinnamon Raison Swirl Peanut Butter

Five Squeezable packs of different flavors of Justin’s Nut Butters

And the bottom corner of my reusable bag


I am embarrassed to even show this… this is what remains of the two cookies I bought. I ate half of each on the way home :(.

Monster Cookie – It was good, kind of hard but good. I loved that is wasn’t overly sweet like most monster cookies.

Carrot n Raison Sugar Cookie – Oh this was sooo good! Go get one now!!

So after I ate half of each cookies … I unpacked my goods and


I dug in!!

I didn’t eat any of the Not butters or the chocolate. Those are coming back to North Dakota with me.

I did try the:

Siggi’s – it was good. So I am not a huge greek yogurt fan in the sense of just eating it (love using it in recipes and as a sour cream replacement) So I was nervous to try Siggi’s … I was pleasantly surprised. It was tart but smooth. It had the slight sweetness of the fruit but didn’t over power my taste buds. I think it would rock mixed with blueberries or strawberries.

The Mango Noosa – This might have been one of the best things to ever touch my lips! No Joke! I am going to request this at my store back home. It would have been good for breakfast but even better for dessert!!!

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad – Keep in mind I have never had Quinoa but I did enjoy it. It was kind of onion-y and strong on the parsley but it was good. It had a lot of flavor. I think when I get home I am going to try to use it as a pasta replacement in a recipe.

Vita-Coco – Regular Coconut – I love the how refreshing it is! I love the slight hint of coconut and it has a creaminess.

Keep in mind I only tried them all … didn’t want to put myself into a binge comma but my first trip to Whole Foods ever was a true success.

I will keep you updated on my others products as I try them!! Yay to new foods!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Things I hate about Summer ...

This is an inspired post both Andrea and Sassy did posts on this and I had to join in. Although, we do disagree on the watermelon front.

I also must point out that I could list hundreds of reasons why I love summer but that is another post.

1.)  Flys – In the last two days I have found three monster flies in my house. And no, they weren’t normal flies, these suckers must have been had steroid injections. Please be aware, I don’t own a fly swatter (crazy I know). So I end up using the back of my Fitness magazine on the window, which is now smeared with bug guts. I was grossed out but not so grossed out that took the time to clean the window.
1b.) Mosquitoes – On which day did God create Mosquitoes?? I am just asking because I am inventing a time machine and visiting that day and my plan is to stop him from taking the hallucinogenic drugs he must have been on. That is the only explanation for creating a creature whose only purpose is to eat blood, and make my skin itch, and be so annoying.
2.) Hawaiian shirts – especially the ones which are Tan and have palm trees on them, trying to be a ‘Tommy Bahama-esq’. It seems that all men over 40 who have to dress up regularly think, these beaches shirts are the perfect Saturday, Sunday, evening or casual day ensemble. I beg to differ!
3.) Humidity – Humidity will be my demise. I love the heat. I could enjoy it all day but – stupid humidity making it hard to play, run, breath, not look like a complete sweaty monster.
4.) SWRA – That would be Bra Sweat, this kind of corresponds with #3. Just grossness as you sweat on your bra line
4b.) – Moustache sweat – sweat right along your moustache line… that is not attractive on anyone … especially this girl.

Ok that was actually really hard to come up with -- 1 and 1b were easy but the others not so easy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Philosophy from the CupcakeAholic

Do you ever truly know who you are?

I don’t think we do. I feel that as a person I am always growing and changing. Every moment is defining who I am and I might be able to explain who I used to be or who I am now but I will never be done molding who I am.

I think we are defined by the things we do, the people we surround ourselves by, the books we read, blogs we follow, foods we eat, alcohol we drink, and memories we make.

If I was able to tell you who I am then that would mean I am done evolving and that my friends is a sad, sad thought.

What are you good at?

Some one recently asked me ‘What are you good at?’ I had no idea. I could easily tell you what I do for fun. That I love being active but I am not really good at any sports. I can bartend but I am by no means a great bartender.

The only thing I truly can define is I am a good teacher. I only know that because when  I have been given the option to show someone how to do something, it typically goes really well and in many instance they have identified this as a strength.

Good at??? Well, I love to read and write but my no means am I a good writer. I love to learn and fill my brain with new knowledge but I wouldn’t say I am overtly intelligent.

What do you believe in?

Wow, I believe in a lot of things..

I believe that truth is a virtue all should possess.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and we couldn’t be who we are today without our mistakes.

I believe in no regrets. No matter what has happened move forward and never forget. Learn and Live.

I believe that the way a heart slows in the presence of love is so much more meaningful than the way the it speeds in the presence of lust.

I believe in second chances but not thirds.

I believe that you have to be happy with just you before you can meet the person you are meant to be with.

I believe that nature has more power over our wellbeing than anything man has created.


Stay tuned for another episode of Philosophy with the CupcakeAholic.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

On Sunday afternoon I was in a recipe experimenting mood. I have a great ground beef enchilada recipe that I love but I was craving chicken. I found a recipe and altered it quite a bit.



1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (I grilled mine)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup picante sauce
3 oz. Fat Free cream cheese
1 tsp.  chili powder and 1 tsp Mrs Dash Southwest
8 (6-inch) la-tortilla factory whole wheat flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups Enchilada Sauce (I buy one big can)

1 can Rotel

1 small can diced jalapenos or green chilies (I like it hot! so I go for the Jalapenos)

1 can black beans -drained (I use the no sodium added kind)

Preheat over to 350 degrees

Sauté the onion in a large skillet with a small amount of Olive Oil

Add the chicken, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, picante sauce, cream cheese, chili powder, and Mrs Dash.

Stir constantly and cook until warm/cheese melts.

In the 9 x 13 Baking Dish (I use a cake pan), coat the bottom of the pan with a small amount of enchilada sauce (just enough to cover the bottom).

Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture and roll up.

I was only able to fix 6 in my pan so I used a smaller glass baking dish to make a few more.

Cover the top of each pan with enchilada sauce and the remaining cheese.

Cook in the oven for 20 min.

Because I added the Rotel and black beans I had some left over mixture. It was great over brown rice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fixing the Inside

Surgery for weight loss

I know this is a sensitive subject and I have been contemplating this post for awhile. In actuality, I wrote this post two weeks ago and sat on it. Coming back to edit it twice and still feeling a little uneasy. But here it is… raw and real.

I have talked about my weight loss journey here .

Where am I going with this …

ah yes

I believe there are a lot of things you learn in the journey to weight loss … I am still learning.

I have in the past talked about some of my issues with food here and here and here.

National Institute of health claims 95% of people who lose a large amount of weight gain it back within 3 months of losing it.

What is a large amount of weight … 40 –75- 100?? I am not sure

I believe some of this results from not dealing with the issues that caused you to gain weight in the beginning.

Biggest Loser touches on it  … there are books on it (i.e. Joining The Thin Club).

It is true some of us were just raised eating bad food. I do believe the excess chemicals and byproducts in our foods do impact our weight. I understand the theories behind why artificial sweeteners can make you crave more sweets and how processed foods contribute to our eating more.

But for many of us there is more to it. Yes, if we all ate like our great grand parents we would probably be in a lot better condition. If we were more active and had labor related jobs our live would be different

But for me and for many others some of the issues we deal with come from somewhere else.

You eat because: your bored, tired, stressed, sad, and even happy. Emotional eating whether it is due to a trauma early on or how we learned to deal with our feelings is huge issue in the world today.

So …

Here is where my opinion comes in. Weight loss surgeries are wonderful for controlling your eating. So are diets if you can be committed enough to commit to them but what happens when the strict diet is over? What happens when you get to your goal weight? What happens when that comes fast and you never deal with how you go here to begin with??

My feelings are when we use food to deal with emotions, and we use a surgery, or a pill, or an extreme diet to remove the weight…. when the issues come back, How do we deal with them?

This is my biggest struggle with weight loss surgery. I realize the issues of obesity in our society but I feel there needs to be more care of the inside. The heart, the soul, even the brain before surgery is involved. Without this, we are doomed to repeat or mistakes.

I personally know two people whose stories are very similar. Both begin their weight loss journey with surgery. Both gained it back. One with quite a bit more. One of them is still living with the feelings and thoughts that she can never be skinny.

The other sought help for her emotions, and begin to eat healthy, control her portions and is now a healthy weight and an amazing inspiration to others.

Do I believe surgeries for weight loss should exist? Yes. Do I think they are overused to immensely? Yes

Friday, July 9, 2010

Late little randomness


I was going to edit a post I have been working on for awhile and realized this was just hanging out in my drafts… my Laughlin post from April that I had been having some many issues with… here and all ready to post. So here it is!

Originally from April 2010:

Laughlin, Havasu, a bike rally and Pirate’s Cove.


IMG_2085 Our first night there. As you can see by my hair line we had already gotten some sun.



IMG_2132 Jen down along the Colorado River.



IMG_2161 Up bright and early ready to go on our boat ride.

IMG_2222-3 In front of the London Bridge.

IMG_2198The Topock Gorge




Having a beer at Pirate’s Cove.


IMG_2258Out at the bike rally our last night.


This guy was crazy. Playing the guitar with his mouth!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Random thoughts for Friday

Random things I have learned about myself recently ...
  • I have multiple personalities. Depending on who I am with different ones come out, Crazy fun loving dance party Jess, Profound eclectic non-mainstream Jess, Sport lovin down to earth every guys best friend Jess, and then there is Granola eating jam band loving outdoor concert junkie Jess.
  • I find words I like and over use them immensely  (<--- that is one of them)... others are - viariously, eclectic, ensues, and so many more.
  • Sometimes I make up my own words or use the right words in the wrong places.
  • I kinda love the fact that my watch is bigger than most guys.
  • I am a very confusing person ... tru dat
  • I still haven't figured out the fine line between want and need (someday... maybe).
  • I know I don't want to get married tomorrow or even next year... but someday.
  • I believe in the power of communication; verbal, written, painted, moments captured by camera and expressed with the body.
  • The inner ponderings of my mind sound much better in my head than when I write them down.
  • I am proud to be an American and proud to be a citizen of this amazing country.

Why I live where I do ....

A little bit about my yesterday....

Biked to Island Park to meet a friend for some tennis action.

I learned: Tennis is tough – it looks like you just stand there and hit the ball but it is a lot of running and little bursts of energy. I took lessons when I was like 10 or so and I still have a racquet but I don't remember it being so exhausting. Lesson learned... bring more water.
Oh then we hit up the pool – it was in the 90’s yesterday so the pool was amazing. I hadn't been to the public pool in years. It was the best $2.75 I spent all week. I agree, it is a little over priced but... it was 90 degrees... that called for some cooling off action.
Then we headed downtown for smoothies at Atomic Coffee. I had a 5 Fruit Combination it was great!! We were pleasantly surprised it was 'Cruisin Broadway' a carshow they have the first Thursday of every month. I hadn't been to one since last summer and my friend had never. He was like a kid in a candy store with all the old cars and sweet paint jobs.

He insisted we have an Irish Car Bomb, so we did and a beer. Then biking home. It was a lovely little night of activity.

 If I end up moving I have this feeling that it won’t be close enough to downtown and the amazing Island Park, or my running park Lindenwood or all the other amazing places that come from living near the center of the city --- sigh
I currently life in the older part of town, close to historic homes, beautiful parks, downtown culture, cute restaurants and interesting people.

If I move it will be like living in the suburbs with parks that are just manufactured  playgrounds and bike trails as your only option. No little shops that sell the most random things. No bakeries that crossover into quaint lunch stops (with amazing Gelato). Just houses, and roads, and super stores... ho hum!!!

You know that saying you never know what you have till it's gone? I am starting to realize that more and more.