Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quinoa Quiche

I love Trader Joes! I found this Recipe from their Website and just had to share...it looks mhmm good..and healthy! I hope you try...and enjoy:)

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a hearty grain light enough for Indian Summer meals. Pick up a box of Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa and try some of these wonderful recipes for an interesting alternative to rice and couscous.

Quinoa comes from the Andes Mountains of South America and was one of the three staple foods of the Incas (along with corn and potatoes.) It was known as the “mother grain” and is indeed a healthy and delicious grain, now called by some as the “supergrain of the future.” Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain, between 12% and 20%, which is higher than even wheat. It is also good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. It is quite easy to prepare and cooks to a light and fluffy texture with a bit of crunch. It can be used in salads, sides as well as desserts, and cooks in just 15 minutes.

Spinach Quinoa Quiche

From The Unofficial Guide to Trader Joe's

• 2 cups Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa, cooked

• 1 cup Trader Joe’s Comté cheese, grated

• 1/4 Cup of Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Red Peppers

• 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Spinach Dip

• 3 tbsp Basil Pesto

• 4 eggs, beaten

• 1/2 cup milk

• salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, mix the cooked quinoa, pesto and 1/2 cup of the Comté.

2. Press into the bottom and along the sides of a 9” pie plate to form a “crust”.

3. Place in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes to set the crust.

4. Remove and set aside.

5. In a small bowl, add the eggs, milk, spinach dip, fire roasted red peppers and salt and pepper.

6. Mix all ingredients well and pour into the prepared crust.

7. Place the Quiche into the oven for 45 minutes.

8. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of Comté to top of quiche and return to oven for another 20 minutes. Place a knife into center of quiche, then remove it. If the knife is clean the quiche is done!

9. Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting it into slices.

The Unofficial Guide to Trader Joe's is a cookbook, magazine & store reference book all rolled into one glossy, full-color pocket guide. Just $5.95 with FREE SHIPPING!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Healthy Pancakes

HI guys!
The Journey to health sometimes takes some creativity..Here is a good recipe courtesy of my friend Jenny:)

Soy Flour Pancakes with Vanilla Fage Frosting

(serves 2)

For Pancakes, gather:

■1 Egg

■1 Banana

■1 tsp Vanilla Extract

■1/4 cup Soy Flour

■1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder; we like MGN Vanilla

■2 tsp Baking Powder

■Cinnamon to taste

■Pinch of sea salt

Add banana, egg, and vanilla to blender and process until liquid. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Heat a griddle or non stick skillet over low/medium heat and grease with coconut oil (or non stick spray). When pan is hot, add batter in 1/4 cup dollops and cook until bubbles form and pop on the top side; flip and cook the other side. Top with Vanilla Fage Frosting, almonds, and cinnamon if desired.

For Frosting, gather:

■1/2 scoop MGN Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

■3 ounces Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt

Combine protein powder and yogurt in a small bowl, stir until smooth.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fool me once..

I've had this "relationship" with an emotionally unavailable man for about 9 months now.  It came to an end when he deleted me as his facebook friend after a misunderstanding. I say "relationship" very lightly, because in reality relationships take two, and in reality, I was the one doing all the giving. Now that things are ended, I am able to look back with perspective.

I think I choose these types of broken men, to be in relationships with because: 1) I think I am going to be that ONE person that helps them, that brings them up from the pit, that "saves" them 2) For so long I think I have thought I have been undeserving of someone good. 

I think the type of men I have gone after has been completely wrong. I have had a distorted sense of the guy that has been best for me. I choose these guys that are very smooth with their words, mysterious, unpredictable, sensitive, almost poetic. But in reality these guys turn out to be unpredictable, undependable, unreliable, aloof, and ultimately not there for me when I need them.  This isn't what I want.

Ultimately I want a guy who is ready now,who is living his life now and who is pursuing relationships with others, including me. I want a guy who is ready for what life has to offer him and does not run away from it. I want a guy who appreciates me for all that I am, and follows through with his actions and not just his words. I will do for the same for Him.
I have learned the lesson this time, after all those times. I feel wounded deeply. But ultimately I feel really protected, like God is whispering to me, "No, this is not what I have for you,I have something better." For this, I am deeply grateful.

Monday, March 28, 2011


"I speak to God .  I don't really want more time: I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven or wild to get it all done--yesterday. "- Ann Voskamp

Thank's Dana for this book I'm reading, the quote above is something I read this morning. This is kind of where I"m at right now.

I feel like I live in a constant state of tired lately, and I'm not sure of the solution. I feel like all this pressure is coming down  on me and sometimes all I want to do is run away. I wonder how I can make life different, how I can eliminate something? What can I eliminate Where shoudl my priorities be? I know spending time with the Lord helps but I feel like something has got to give? Does anyone read my blog that has any thoughts? Bueller??? Bueller?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Life is good

A poet once wrote: “As a rule, man’s a fool. When it’s hot, he wants it cool. And when it’s cool, he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not.”

Life is good. I have to remind myself of that.
I have a great job.  I get to train and license families to take care of children, then match children and families who I feel like fit together.  It's cool because its an opportunity to change people's lives , both the children and the people who have come to help. This is what I'm here for right now, God has given me a great purpose that I dont' always realize. I like what I do, but its hard, and I need Jesus. I get tired...exhausted actually, and the work is never done. People don't always appreciate what I do, or know the extent of what I do..but thats ok because I'm not doing it for them anyways.

When I want to complain and whine about what I wish I had..I do have to remind myself to take a minute and look at what God is currently DOING. It's a great thing to see christians really get on board with loving kids who have come from real brokenness. It's a great thing to see people changed and see people learn and grow from their experiences with these children.  Life..it's good.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


So when I think about all the things I need to work on lately, sometimes it overwhelms me. The other day, well yesterday, I hit my limit.
I had a work event and I was trying to get everything set up "just so" with the coffee, refreshments, etc.  I had set up everything, stepped back and was like..ahh, ok, perfect with ten minutes to spare.  Well, all of the sudden..BAM, the table leg collapses, and all the coffee pot, etc slides down and flew off the table spreading coffee grounds and coffee and donuts everywhere. I looked at my friend preparing the CPR and looked down and just sighed and said, "you know at another time this might have been funny, but now, it's really not funny". There was not a mop to be found and as I was desperately trying to wipe up everything people came in early for the training:)
 That's how I have felt this week, just like letting out a big sigh and saying oh well. So many times  I have stuck my foot in my mouth, said the wrong thing, sounded selfish, been a bad friend...SIGH! I'm such a work in progress. I've failed at keeping track of all my points, not losing the weight I want to lose, not being the friend I want to be, not being as a productive at work as I want to be, not being ENOUGH for everyone . So many times I feel like I am desperately trying to clean up my stuff only to be left on the floor with a pile of wet coffee stained rags. Bah! Times like these make you want to curl up in the fetal position and start rocking back and forth.  Well if it was all about me, maybe I would. It's a good thing it's not.
Romans 8: 5-10 "the mind set on the flesh is death, the mind set on the spirit is life and peace". I was listening to a sermon today and it was talking about Christ's life being the fulfillment of the law.  I will never be enough, but I don't have to. Christ died to fulfill the law so we would be able to rest and stop scrambling, so we could just be. During times like these I realize how much I need Jesus because my attitude is so easily impacted by the circumstances around me.  I am so often trying to improve myself and be better and get so frustrated when I'm not.  What is all this work for anways?
I'm praying for Joy and Peace in the midst of things not always going my way.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Roommates and more..

So I've had a new roommate, only for about a month. I've only seen her twice. Weird you say? Weird I say. She's 40 years old ..jobless and I often see posts on her facebook about "getting her creative juices flowing". Maybe it needs to flow on out to filling out a job application and getting to work like all the rest of us.
Part of me thinks, what's her excuse? Does she need an excuse? She doesn't have to answer to me I guess as her roommate. But still its weird to me.  Like I  said I only have seen her twice and she doesn't come in till well after 11:30 every night. How do I know this you say? Well because my dog growls when she is turning the key which wakes me up. I guess that makes her a good guard dog though..go kin!
Anways, with all this thinking about my roommate galavanting all over makes me think and wish I was more free...I mean what would I do if I didn't have to work? I guess I wouldn't have any money then..but what if I were truly allowed to dream, without any cost involved? Who knows what I would do?  I am grateful though..very grateful. God has been continuously reminding me in the midst of my busyness the purposefulness of what I'm doing now.  For one I have a great job in which I get to train foster parents to minister to kids, and be able to minister to kids myself. I get to work with now 13 10th grade girls and disciple them till they graduate high school, and I am now involved in an awesome church which I love love love! They are raising money for a community center, which I have always dreamed of being a part of a church that would do this, and they are such a cool group of people that are super down to earth, love God, and really have cornered the market on loving people. (maybe I'm biased)
I'm just feeling really really....blessed!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quinoa..my new favorite thing..for EVERYTHING..

So Quinoa has become my new favorite ingredient. Here is a new recipe for you to enjoy:)

Pumpkin-Quinoa Muffins

The quinoa and canned pumpkin make these muffins very moist. The dominate flavor is pumpkin, but there’s also a subtle nuttiness from the quinoa, which also gives the muffins a protein boost. The raisins and walnuts add just the right amount of texture and crunch.


1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

4 tbsp butter, softened

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 375*F

Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line muffins cups.

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl; blend well.

Pour batter evenly into muffin tins.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until muffins are cooked through.

Allow to cool before enjoying.

Makes 12 muffins

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Life is a journey..

There are so many things I don't have control of. I've been thinking about all the plans I have and all the ways things haven't quite turned out how I have planned. But there are so many things that are good in the here and now.
I have been given so much , and I'm the only ME I'll have and I need to take care of myself....

  Some of the goals I want to work towards in this part of my life are really committing to be physically and spiritually healthy and to work at that practically. It's not about putting  myself on another plan, recognizing that some things we do out of discipline even when our heart and emotions aren't there.

So I like to have little benchmarks for myself:  Sometimes people think I am setting myself up for failure when I do it. Sometimes I do fail. But I still like to try just the same:

1) So... I'm going to see if I can do hot yoga 30 times within the next 30 days. Hot yoga is intense and it lasts for 90 minutes in a hot hot hot room!  

If I can't do one day, I will have to double up another day..this should be interesting.  Another thing I'm going to try my best is clean eating...here we go! So now that I am done with this darn sinus infection that has had a terrible horrible ugh yucky affect on me, I've decided its time

2)I'm also making a goal to memorize scripture weekly. (I'm doing this with the high school girls I mentor so its super extra accountability)
3) Committing to prayer first thing in the morning

These are small goals. I'm not going to set any more, but they are important.

I've realized these last two weeks of not feeling well how I want to be well and healthy..and want to know how good it feels when my body is at is utmost.

Also I want to be committed to seeking the Lord at all times and be reminded what it feels like to be in a time  of ultimate surrender to Him.  I need to remind myself that he is not the means to the end in my plans and my life..he is the END.

 So all these thoughts and bloggings about singleness..guys..where is he hiding... well ....that's all going to take a backseat for a while... so that I may devote my time and my life to things that are more important anways.  So I guess you can say I'm just doing a little PAUSE with all that other stuff.  Maybe it will come back, maybe it won't but until then I'm going to enjoy the journey.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


So as an " addendum" to my last blog post I would like to say..I did not mean to imply that married life is easy or make a separation between married and singles. But because of our different stages in life we are naturally going to have different struggles. But I"m thankful for ALL of my friends and learn so much from all of them no matter what stage they are at. I think that's so important to have people in your life from all different places ..so that you can learn and grow with them.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

WAITING not DATING...true confessions

So. I give up. Seriously. I give up on dating right now. Not in a bitter I hate men way, but in a now is time to wait not date.  I got out of this long distance saga in december, then tried to be a cougar and date this young 25 yr old.  He then responded with, "I listened to a sermon and was convicted, so I can't talk to you anymore." Seriously? Who does that? Apparently 25 year olds. Then my last resort I got hooked up with a guy that I probably shouldn't go out with anyways, was going to go out with him today...and apparently he is jealous and thinks I am going out with other guys so he's not talking to me anymore? Hilarious. He's not for me anways, he doesn't have the same values, I was just bored, and I know that's not a good motivation to go out with someone. Yes, bad bad Leighton.I I know.. I know better. It's so easy to say when you are married or already have someone. Much harder to see when you're alone.

Other than the reality of the fact that both of these guys have issues, I'm coming to realize and hear the loud message that God is sending me right now as he is seemingly cutting me off from dating at every turn.."WAIT!" So I will. I will be obedient. I hear you..I get it. I have to believe in the plan that God has that is much better than the ones I am trying to make for myself.  Gosh I hope its better, because I'm not doing that great of a job.
This verse rings true to me right now from Psalm 19:21, "Many are the plans in a mans heart but it is the LORD's purpose that will prevail." So I will wait, TRUST ..HOPE..LIVE..BE THANKFUL..and remember what the Lord has done and will continue to do in my life.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hot YOGA!!!!

Let me introduce you to  one my new favorite things for all of you curious cats..

What is Hot Yoga?

Hot Yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees. As you can imagine, a vigorous yoga session at this temperature promotes profuse sweating and makes the body very warm, and therefore more flexible.

What is Bikram Yoga?

Living yoga master Bikram Choudhury is a Hot Yoga innovator. His method of Hot Yoga is a set series of 26 yoga poses, including two pranayama exercises, each of which is performed twice in a single 90 minute class. Choudhury, who was born in Calcutta, India in 1946, founded the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills in 1974. He and his wife Rajashree were both yoga champions in India. Recently, Choudhury was involved in a lawsuit over his attempt to copyright his series of 26 poses done in a hot room. At the heart of the controversy is Choudhury's desire to prevent anyone teaching yoga in a heated room from calling their class "Bikram Yoga." He would like to reserve this title only for those teachers who are certified by his Yoga College of India and who stick to his prescribed method exactly (including not only the temperature of the room and order of poses, but also the carpet and mirrors in the room, and his approved text). The lawsuit was resolved with an out-of-court settlement in which Choudhury agreed not to sue the members of a San Francisco-based collective of Hot Yoga teachers and they agreed not to use the Bikram name. Bikram remains a very controversial figure in the yoga world.

For those of you in the asheville area:

Check it out! Between this and Weight Watchers I've lost 5.8 pds in one week..not sure who to attribute to..but YAY!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

10 Morning Mood Boosters

So, not that I plan to have "resolutions" persay but considering my recent lack of luck in the romance department, I plan to focus primarily on the Health and Fitness department and hoping that running and taking care of my body by eating healthy will provide me with the natural high and mood boost I'm looking for....here's hoping!   I just ran a 10-K and although I did not train well I was able to run pretty much the whole thing! Just think what my body could do with better training:)

10 Morning Mood Boosters

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MY Birthday FUN!:)

So on the DAY of my birthday the snowpocalypse came so it wasn't soo much fun..:(

But I did get to walk across the street and my neighbor made me these...YUMMERS!
 Delicioso..and yes I have chocolate on my teeth...
The weekend BEFORE my bday I went to Charlotte to pick up my friend to go to Raleigh to have a much needed girls weekend:) Her kids and I had a little photo booth fun time..ha!

 Not sure if the other pictures would have been approved but these are pics of my friends feet doing the birthday dance:) I have had a rough month of heartbreak, so they made me a nice little encouragement basket with chocolate, wine...and a little sock monkey with "said boy"s face" and pins to go with:) heh
And here are some of my friends who made my birthday weekend great...

And then there is a picture of me, so utterly thankful for all I have been given:)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

healthy recipes

Hi guys..Here is a healthy recipe I thought you might enjoy:)

Almond Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato, Collards, and Ginger

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Almond Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato, Collards, and Ginger
Sweet potato and almond butter give this soup a creamy, decadent texture.


Serves 4
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (2 cups)
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup smooth almond butter
  • 1 cup collard leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Combine the stock, onion, garlic, and sweet potato in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter and 1/2 cup of the soup mixture into a thick paste. Add the collard leaves and ginger to the soup and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the almond butter paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls, and squeeze with lime wedge.

Read more at Wholeliving.com: Almond Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato, Collards, and Ginger 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


So I'm watching the Bachelor, again! I think it's going to be the most "dramatic season ever". I know I know it's mindless smut and I shouldn't be watching it, but I can't stop!! Well I could, but I dont' wanna. My friend Jenny and I have decided to make a weekly night out of it. We go to Pilates, go to her house,have a low cal dessert and watch the Bachelor. Hey, sounds great to me. I'm trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle these days and am recognizing the need for "buddies" in this . I am also recognizing the need for "rewards" of my efforts. So every Monday night..I go work out..and afterwards...sweet smut:)
I will have to say girl from Charlotte is my favorite, she seems genuinely sweet, I think the hairdresser is going to be a hooch though. Anyone else have any faves? Anyone have the same guilty pleasure as me...hehe.

Speaking of adopting a healthier lifestyle. I have been going to weight watchers meetings since the day after Thanksgiving and I think the mental part has finally clicked with me. The leader went around and asked us to make a measurable goal for the next 12 weeks. 12 weeks is a good time frame because it's short enough where it won't get lost in the shuffle, and long enough to see substantial change. I would like to lose 20 pounds in 12 weeks. I say this to you my blog readers (if there are indeed any of you out there) to put it out there again for even more accountability. She also challenged us to think about what we need to do to get to this goal and asked us, "how bad do you want it??" .
I want it bad. I want to fit into my size 10 jeans, and even go a bit lower:) So I am recognizing that I have to set a goal to "move" daily, to stay within my points, and to limit my going out to eat to once a week. I also need to decrease my alcohol intake. I have been realizing that since I have been having a hard time lately I have been drinking more, not necessarily in excess for most, but more than I am used to, so I am really trying to cut that out. So there you have it..a plan in place. A reasonable, doable plan! Happy New year Everyone!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Out with the OLD..in with The NEW!!!!

So Jennifer Hudson is my new inspiration for Weight loss. I know I have been talking and talking and talking and TALKING about how I need to lose weight...so its time to "just do it!" I have joined weight watchers and am going to meetings regularly so I thought I would post some tips from Jennifer Hudson on how she did it... and continue to encourage myself and others..."one day at a time.."..:)

Jennifer Hudson Weight Loss Tips

Crash diets might cause use endless health problems and headahces. Indeed spotting celebrities who lost their extra-pounds in a few weeks can be a real encouragement to keep on with diets and exercise. However there's no need to appeal to radical methods and nutritional programs instead it is is wise to consider some of the basic guidelines and secrets stars like Jennifer Hudson offer who managed to lose no less than 60 pounds throughout her rising career. Indeed some might credit her success to keen exercising others would swear by the effect of diets as Weight Watchers, after all, all comes down to the revolutionizing of our lifestyle which includes nutrition as well as physical exercises. In order to follow the footsteps of the Oscar-winner and laureate singer-actress it is important to shed light on the main principles she included in her lifestyle covering the meals she consumed as well as additional tricks. Those who are eager to lose some of the 'precious' extra-pounds should devote some minutes to the reading of the basic Jennifer Hudson weight loss tips as presented below.


  • Increasing the intake of healthy ingredients is the ultimate secret to get rid of fat. Indeed Jennifer Hudson claimed that the first step to success is to get rid of fried foods. These dishes might be uber-delicious still contain a prominent amount of saturated fats.

  • These in fact trigger the accumulation of fat in the organism and lead to weight gain. Instead of consuming these unhealthy servings make sure you opt rather for the steamed variation of both vegetables, legumes as well as meat. Enjoy the delice of these nutritional elements that will leave you with a sense of satiety as well as would preserve the proper functioning of your metabolism due to the easier digestion

  • Main ingredients that Jennifer Hudson added to her meal plan are vegetables as: lettuce, spinach, brown rice as well as other lean proteins and fibers present in chicken breast as well as fish. These elements should serve as the main pillar of your diet. Consume them with confidence and find out some of the healthy recipes that appeal to these ingredients. The fresh and healthy vitamin content of fruits, vegetables as well as fish will provide your organism with the necessary supplements to develop and produce healthy tissues.

  • Healthy snacks and sweets are also important as these would tame your craves and would prevent the occurrence of midnight munching. Skip the popular junk food dishes instead move on the palette of natural ingredients and choose instead almonds, nut as well as delicious seeds.

  • Moreover you'll also find some cakes and fruit salads that would fulfill your desire for a sweet dessert. Consider some of the popular healthy snack recipes that would allow you to tame your sugar craving. Fruits and seeds will be your best friends when it comes of delicious aftermeals.

  • It is also important to pay special attention to portions. Instead of stuffing yourself with healthy still in excessive amounts damaging dishes choose elements that would have the ability to tame your hunger.

  • In the case of Jennifer Hudson she claims that with the assistance of LaFonza Alston the famous trainer, she manged to reduce her meals to small portions.As a consequence she increased the number of meals and not the amount as the largest meal reached to that of the size of her palm.

  • Portion control is paramount in order to let our organism digest food and break down all the important nutrients. Consider the use of a scale or simple tricks that would help you monitor the food intake and also weight control process.

  • Exercise

  • Jogging as well as weight training were some of the most important exercises she engaged in. Practicing a well-defined workout plan on a daily basis can lead to visible changes in our appearance. Therefore those who would like to look and feel fabulous should start their regime with a daily morning jogging then include at least 1 hour of weight lifting and training in order to define and train the muscles. Besides lifting those stubborn weights Jennifer also does sit-ups as well as push-ups. These exercises have the ability to polish her silhouette and emphasize those curves.