Liebster Award :)

2x today you are graced with my presence. It’s Jen overload. (You secretly get excited when I have a new post, admit it)

BUT I HAD TO IMMEDIATELY POST AGAIN because Sara from My Life in a Lab Coat nominated me for a freakin’ award! Thanks so much Sara, not only does it make me feel super duper good, but I have a case of raging boredom so this couldn’t have come at a better time.


It’s for small blogs, which makes it even awesomer because THOSE are the blogs I love most! We little folk are more interesting, funnier….you get the idea. So, I gotta tell you 11 things about myself, answer the 11 questions from Sara, nominate 11 people, and ask 11 questions for them to answer. Here goes!

11 things about me

1. When I run on the treadmill, I do a 4-count on my right hand. Over and over and over again. People and neighboring treadmills think I’m cray.


2. I still jump onto the bed because there is a monster under it who WILL grab my leg. (Insert scene of Sixth Sense here).

3. I sang in Carnegie Hall! In Latin! As a soprano!

4. I DO NOT eat fries.

5. I don’t wear ‘makeup’ (i.e.: foundation, concelear, etc.) It’s too icky for my pours. Strictly You Rebel moisturizer and a bit of Hoola from Benefit

6. I have lived in Southern California, Northern California, Upstate New York, New Hampshire, Boston, and now Calgary. Progressively colder places.

7. When we were living in Northern California (we had a chocolate lab named Sadie) a cockatiel flew into our backyard. So, we put signs up for a found bird. No one claimed her, so we named her Tiki and bought her a cage. On nice days (which is pretty much every day in CA) my dad would hang the cage in the backyard under the awning. Well, after two years of having our ‘found’ bird, the cage broke, and Tiki flew away. Good thing too, I hated cleaning that cage.

8. My favorite family vacation EVER was going to a dude ranch in Colorado. I had my own horse for a week, got to hang out with kids my age (super fun when you’re an only child) and eat cowboy food. (Wait- I just ranked this vacation over Hawaii. Am I insane?! No. Why? Because this gal DOES NOT do bathing suits. NO. NO. NO. Although, that reminds me, my high school friend Becca and I used to scooter (Razr scooters, HA!) around our town barefoot and in bathing suits. We would sometimes get all the way to a shopping center and be so dehydrated and hot that we would have to walk into the local pizza place and ask to use their phone to call my mom to come pick us up..and then take us to Starbucks for caramel frappuccinos.

9. I was convinced that I would go to school for soccer. Soccer was my life growing up. Primarily because I was the best left-footer (ok, the ONLY left footer, really). But for some reason, when I got to high school, my dad made me try out for the volleyball team and the rest is history. Boy was it gross when I gained the freshman 45 and still had to wear California spandex (1 1/4 inch inseam. YUCK)

10. That being said, it wasn’t until after high school did I find out what people were calling me behind my back. pun intended. you’ll soon see why……people would reconfigure my last name and call me “two-ass”. So mean!

11. I get really crazy when I am home with my parents. I run around the house, make funny noises, stand behind my mom while she’s doing dishes while holding her arms and controlling her movement. She’s really short, too, which makes it way fun. I can throw my leg over her shoulder to make her stay put. I’m not kidding. Granted, I have to do a series of stretching prior. But still. It’s fun.

11 answers to Sara’s questions

1. On a scale from 1 to 10 how much do you love cheese?

A billionty. Except about 70% of the time, my stomach doesn’t like it. In that case, 0%.

2. If you could life anywhere else in the world where would it be?

Australia. And I don’t know why. Perhaps because I hate snow.

3. Who is your favourite band/musician?

Hmmm, I don’t really have a favorite. But I can tell you what concerts I have been to: Nsync (2x), Backstreet Boys, Madonna, Britney Spears, KOL (3x)

4. How do you feel about snow?

Oops, I prematurely answered. I HATE IT. HATE. HATE. DO NOT LIKE. (Hate is a strong word. Seriously dislike)

5. What percentage of your day do you spend blogging/thinking about blogging?

This somewhat requires math. And I do enough of that with my homework. So, I’ll ballpark it and say 5% blogging/50% thinking about blogging.

6. What was your favorite childhood tv show?<—had to take the u out of the word favorite, because I’m amurrrrican.

I Love Lucy.

7. If you could have a big dog and a little dog, what would their names be, and which one would be the alpha dog?

Not counting my current dog, I would get a Burnese Mountain Dog and name him Gus. I hate little dogs, so I’ll say the other would be a Basset Hound named Bobby.

8. Do you love what you are doing for work, would you trade it for something else?

Haha, well I don’t work right now. But I am excited to see what I end up doing what I get my PR card! In the states, I worked in finance (worst job EVER) and taught group fitness. I would LOVE to continue personal training and instructing, but I think with my upcoming degree, I’d like to go back into the corporate environment to make some serious $$$.

9. Which member of the beatles is your favourite?

Ringo, because I like to say Ringo.

10. Do you prefer sweet, salty or sour?


11. If you could change the colour of the sky, what colour would you make it?<—again, dropped the u in color


Now I gotta nominate 11 people! (They’re either smaller bloggers or new-to-me bloggers!)

  1.  Chelsea from thedancingrunner
  2. Kori from incandescently lovely
  3. Helene from healthyfrenchie
  4. Athena from Fitness & Feta
  5. Alison from Life and time of Alison and Justin
  6. Erin from A Girl and her Mutt
  7. Abby from Back At Square Zero
  8. Alicia from The Wannabe Foodie
  9. Allison from Life’s A Bowl
  10. Heidi from run.around.aroo
  11. Lynne from lgsmash

11 questions for you guys

1. What would be your ultimate last meal?

2. 2 of your biggest pet peeves?

3. 3 wishes you’d make if you were on Aladdin or something.

4. Which is your favorite season?

5. Favorite holiday? And a memory associated with that holiday!

6. What is a really cool craft that you either did recently, want to do, or pinned?

7. Disregarding pay or benefits, what would be your ultimate job?

8. What reality show would you be on?

9. Go-to meal to make?

10. Ever have a recurring dream? What was it?

11. Do you have a word that you always say? Or a phrase?

Yay, go!


Thursday Things

1. Check out this little craft I did yesterday that cost only $5 and took about 5 minutes to complete:

Each of those 81/2×11″ frames were 25 cents and the scrapbook paper was 99cents a sheet!

I have two other christmas craft projects that I might wait to complete over the weekend (it includes paint and candles and glitter and glue and all that jazz)

2. Last night’s dinner was FANTASTIC. I took the recipe from SkinnyTaste, and only tweaked it a bit. <—because I am terrible at converting ounces to grams and then usually halving the recipe for just the two of us. Yes, pretty much everything here is in grams which drives me freaking batty.

Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups no yolk noodles
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large crown of broccoli
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 cup minced onion
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs

Here’s what you do:

1. Put the chicken in the crock pot on high for roughly 4 hours and shred with two forks when it’s done. (submerge the chicken in chicken broth, enough to cover the meat- this is not included in the list of ingredients0

2. Cook the noodles until they are almost al dente. Strain and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375, spray 8×8 with cooking spray.

4. Put the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and allow it to simmer for about a minute. Then add the broccoli florets. Turn the heat to low and cover the skillet to allow the broccoli to steam.

5. In a large pot, add the butter. Once it’s melted, throw in the onion and allow the onion to soften for a few minutes. Add the flour until incorporated. Then add the chicken broth and whisk thoroughly. Add the milk and bring the mixture to a boil (stirring occasionally). Once brought to a boil, turn it back down to medium heat and allow 6-7 minutes for mixture to thicken. Remove from heat, and add the cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp parmesan. Mix well.

6. Add shredded chicken, noodles, and broccoli to the cream mixture in pot.

7. Pour the mixture into the 8×8 dish. Top with remaining 2 tbsp parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.

8. Bake for 20 minutes, then allow it to sit under the broil for a couple minutes to allow the top to brown.

9. Eat! (We added some sriracha to our portions. yum!)


(I always use the smaller plates for my meals, and leave the big plates for Tyler. Perception of having the plate full can really deceive your eating habits!)

3. I worked out at home yesterday and did the strength workout B from Best Body Bootcamp. It was an interesting workout, and I adjusted a few moves to accommodate the equipment I have. The toughest one was what I substituted for hamstring curls- I actually used my gliding discs for these. Yikes, my hammies were screaming after that set. There were cardio intervals within the supersets and I finished it off with some kickboxing. Check out this super flattering picture.

(Notice that my HEAD is wider than my entire body. Oy)

4. It was during my workout (in ‘my’ room) that I noticed it’s been a while since I updated my calendar.

Just a few months off. No biggie. But July is my favorite. 4th of July, my birthday, summer= all happy things.

5. A lot of people do throwback thursday pics. Since I am now 3000 miles from home, I couldn’t really bring any of my stuff with me, so I don’t really have any of my childhood pictures. But I do have this gem that my mom somehow brought this summer.

It was my understanding that in 5th grade, prescription sunglasses were HOT. Looking at it now: NO THEY’RE NOT.

6. I got shout outs on both Leigh AND Alison’s blogs today (ladies, I am totally stealing that post soon!) Woo hoo!

7. It’s not a new song, but it’s been a huge player this week in my workouts. Love me some hip hop/electro mixes (mostly the hip hop part though). The best part:

Ugly girls be quiet, quiet, pretty girls clap, clap like this
Ugly girls be quiet, quiet, pretty girls clap, clap like this

(I obviously clap)

Pretty Girls (Benny Benassi remix)

What song (new or old) do you have on heavy rotation lately?