Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Just a few photos of my holiday.

Last night I went to the symphony's Summer POPS concert, Celebrate America!
There were fireworks after the show.

The harvest from my garden today. Also, this is what happens when you leave a pickling cucumber on the vine too long.

And my outfit today.
Dress from Dress Up boutique.
Red & white striped Toms wedges and Meredith Jackson earrings from Bevello.

I hope you're having a fun and safe holiday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Garden Update

I have to share an update on my garden. It's turned into a jungle!
First I planted herbs in the empty side of the garden a few weeks ago.

I planted a few things (catnip, rosemary, and bay) in small pots too until I buy nicer big pots. I added two mint plants from my parent's yard to this part of my patio as well.

My neighbor's strawberries decided to migrate under the fence, so I have my own strawberry patch.

And finally, my little garden turned into a jungle! It's hard to tell, but the tops of tomatoes are now about eye level with me! Also the cucumber plant is climbing the house. Thankfully I have baby vegetables starting to grow on everything. I can't wait until I can harvest something other than herbs and strawberries!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Blogging Break

As you can see, I took quite a while off from blogging. I'm settling into my new life in Charlotte, and I'm not a rocket scientist anymore. I don't want to give up the blog just yet, but posts will probably continue to be just as sparse as they have been so far this year. If you want to keep up with my life, follow me on twitter, pinterest and instagram (username lizo830). I use both regularly. Here's a snapshot of my life as documented on instagram.
I try to garden.

I run in the woods.

I do yoga.

And I finally have a North Carolina driver's license.

I hope you'll continue to follow me even if I don't blog regularly.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My secret to weight loss!

I accidentally started losing weight. Since I wanted to continue losing weight, I had to think about what I had been doing differently. I figured it out, and I've continued now for a month. I'm down 9.6 lbs and I now fit into my size 29 jeans (down from size 31). My big weight loss secret is...(drum roll please)...

...eating less.

There. It is SO stupid simple it makes me angry, but it's working, so I'm going with it. It's surprisingly simple. I just eat when I'm hungry, and I'm not grazing during work. I still eat whatever I want, but since I know I'm eating less, I tend to choose foods that keep me full longer like oatmeal, quinoa, and lots of veggies. I slip up occasionally, but I've given myself a whole year to reach my goal, so it's okay.
Do you have any life changing realizations that are just as simple?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Songs that keep me going at work.

I listen to the iheatradio app at work for music. In the afternoon, I need really upbeat music to make sure I don't get sleepy. My favorite station for ridiculously upbeat pop music is based on Shake It by Metro Station. Here's a sampling of the soundtrack to my afternoons.

Hello Seattle by Owl City on Grooveshark

Sunday, January 15, 2012


So I don't normally talk about my health on this blog, but since most of the people who read it are family and close friends, today I am. I'm currently eating a very big breakfast because as of 9 am I have to fast several hours. I'm going to have a CAT scan this afternoon. Although I'm not scared of the scan, it is weird to be going to a hospital alone even for a simple scan. At my last rheumatologist appointment, my doctor found a small lump, or nodule, in my neck. Since I have had hypothyroidism since I was a teen, it is most likely just a nodule on my thyroid. However it's a bit far from where my thyroid should be, so she wanted to get a better look. My parents did offer to drive up this weekend, but I asked them to wait in case I need the nodule removed. I would definitely want them here if that's the outcome. I'm pretty confident it'll be fine, since most thyroid nodules are just left alone. Well, back to my breakfast so I can finish up before nine!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Best Fruitcake Ever

Pretty much everyone that tries my fruitcake agrees that it blows their preconceptions about fruitcake away. It is nothing like the stereotype. My friends once renamed it boozy trail mix cake because, honestly, that's a much better description of it. It's extremely customizable as well. Change up the fruit, nuts, and alcohol to suit your tastes. My mom even prefers the cake without the alcohol, so that's another option. The key to success with this cake is picking high quality ingredients. Buy good dried fruit, natural and not overly sweet. Use an alcohol you enjoy drinking.

Best Fruitcake, aka Boozy Trail Mix cake
(adapted from Holiday Baking by Sara Perry)

5 cups of dried fruit such as:
   1 1/2 cups cranberries
   1 1/2 cups apple rings, chopped
   1 cup tart cherries
   1 cup raisins
1/2 cup spiced rum, plus more for soaking (buy a whole bottle)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 3/4 cups nuts, roughly chopped or halves such as:
   1 1/4 cups each almonds, walnuts & pecans
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup applesauce
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar

5 mini loaf pans, 3x6 inches

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease the mini loaf pans and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dried fruit and the rum. Stir to coat and set aside.
3. In another very large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves until well blended. Stir in the nuts, then stir in the fruit-rum mixture.
4. In a medium bowl (or a stand mixer), whisk the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the applesauce, butter, and molasses. Add brown sugar and mix until smooth.
5. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until all the fruit and nuts are coated with batter.
6. Fill the prepared pans to about 3/4 full.
7. Bake for 1 hour or until the sides begin to pull away from the edge of the pan & a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
8. When cakes are completely cooled, take out of the pans. Cut cheesecloth to 5 pieces - lengths that will wrap around a cake about twice. Put the cloth into a bowl and pour in enough rum to thoroughly soak all the pieces. Wrap each cooled cake completely with a piece of cloth, then tightly wrap with foil. Put all wrapped cakes into airtight containers and set aside into a cool or room temperature dark place for at least a week.

The cakes will keep several weeks at room temperature. You can rewrap the cakes periodically with fresh rum-soaked cheesecloth to keep them moist if you'd like. If you want to keep the cakes longer, they freeze very well.