Vanilla Rooibos Latte

must get a better picture…

Lately at nights I have been wanting to drink a hot cup of tea, since it is getting a little colder here in Texas. Over the weekend I decided to experiment and make a latte. Instead of a coffee latte, I made a tea latte! What?! A tea latte?!! Isn’t that gross?! <– That is what i am imagining you are saying…

Yes. A tea latte. It is delicious and sweet!


Here is what you will need for a 16 oz latte:
2 packets Celestial Seasonings Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos tea (or just any vanilla flavor tea you have, but this one is really delicious alone as well!)
16 oz of milk (I used 2% but by all means use whatever you want. For a healthier option, I would go with skim milk or almond to cut out some calories and really make this a healthy drink.)
2 tsp of sugar (I used 2 packets of sugar in the raw.)

Instructions:
So you will want to heat up the milk and the sugar in a saucepan. Make sure you don’t boil the milk because it will make a huge mess, you just want the milk to be hot. (I know this because it happened to me.) Then remove the saucepan from heat and add the tea bags. Wait about 4-6 minutes and then remove the tea bags. Finally just give it all a stir and pour that creamy latte into your favorite tea mug and enjoy!

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Food Diary Entry #5 (for Fri, 11-09-2012)

In the morning:
A huge cup of coffee today. Little Cas gave us a hard time last night and he woke up earlier than usual.

For Lunch:
Lunch was really late today since Cas’s schedule was off and it just changes everything! For lunch I had a spinach-kale-chicken-mandarin salad with poppyseed dressing.

For an afternoon snack:
I had an apple.

For dinner:
Before dinner, my little family and I went to Target. I was looking for the Bengal Spice tea and the Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Holiday tea from Celestial Seasonings. Unfortunately they where out of both!!! They must be very popular. I settled for the Madagascar Rooibos Vanilla tea instead and I also got some green tea since I was out. (Green tea is pretty much one of those staple items I have to have in my pantry.) While we where at Target the fiance and I were trying to decide what to eat for dinner. The fiance is on this crazy diet that I do not approve of by the way, but he was saying he was starving and that he wanted to grab some fast food. I instantly got upset because we are supposed to stay off fast food; so I suggested to buy items for enchiladas. (Even though I have never tried enchiladas before or made them before. It was a risky move, I know.) His eyes got big and he said, “Can you make american enchiladas?” I laughed and told him that I could try. So we grabbed turkey chili (the fiance actually chose turkey chili over beef chili 😮 ), low fat cheese, and corn tortillas. Anyways, we got home and I made the american enchiladas. To my surprise, they came out really good!! The fiance really loved them too and my cooking isn’t always good so I was pretty proud of myself.

To drink:
The fiance and I also grabbed some wine and beer at Target. Usually on fridays we are able to stay up late and have some drinks while we watch a movie. Its kind of become a tradition and every friday as soon as Cas goes to sleep for bedtime, we watch a movie (or two) while we drink a bit. We watched Dumb and Dumber since I had never seen it before. Oh, I had a glass and a half. 😉

Today may have not been my healthiest day but I won’t beat myself up for it.

Food Diary Entry #4 (for Thurs, 11-08-2012)

In the morning:
A huge glass of water.

For breakfast:
A Strawberry-Banana-Almond Smoothie.

For lunch:
Tuna Salad {I finished the leftover tuna and added 1 tbsp of light mayo, chopped spinach, 1 chopped pickle slice, 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning} with Kale. I used kale as if they were crackers. I didn’t have any crackers so I tried the kale and I actually really liked it.

For an afternoon snack:
I had a small apple.

For dinner:
Turkey burgers on a bed of spinach. This was yummy!!! (I didn’t have any buns or bread, so I used spinach.) For one turkey patty; it included some chopped spinach, some parsley, pepper, salt, and a little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese. I did have my turkey burger with a little bit of ketchup and american cheese. I didn’t even miss the buns!! Oh and the fiance actually really liked the turkey patties! Which is like a surprise for me because he thinks I am weird that I choose turkey over beef.

For dessert:
Dark chocolate covered strawberries flavored yogurt. I totally invented this on the spot. (I’m sure someone has a better recipe somewhere.) I really wanted something chocolaty but I didn’t have anything around. I did remember however, that I still had a bag of Cacao Powder for which I use in smoothies or banana ice cream. So, I grabbed about 1/4 cup of vanilla yogurt, 1 tsp of cacao powder, and some chopped strawberries and mixed them all together. I wasn’t sure how it would taste but it tasted just like dark chocolate covered strawberries!!! I loved it! I think next time I will try this with bananas.

Today’s menu of food was just delicious from my breakfast to my dessert. i just can’t believe that I actually made all those meals myself. I’m extremely proud of myself!!

What should I be eating?

Some of the diet, recipe, cooking, food books I have.

Have you ever found yourself obsessing over what you eat? Have you skipped out on certain foods? What about the fad diets, have you done them? I know I have and they have not worked for me. I remember when breakfast was the most important meal of the day for energy and weight loss. All of a sudden I’m hearing that having a big breakfast is not good anymore but to instead drink a green juice/smoothie. Or how about how lean meat was okay but now all meat is bad. And, have you noticed that high fructose corn syrup has been on almost everything? Scary! Wasn’t snacking 2 times a day good and that 5 to 6 meals a day is really great for your metabolism? Yet, now I am reading that eating many small meals a day is bad for you as well. Oh yeah, have you heard of this crazy rumor that fruit should be limited because it has a lot of sugar!! Insane! Craziness! Or just plain Mad!

Is anything even good for you anymore?!

I have done the juicing for a week and I gained the 3 pounds that I lost right back. I was hungry and very nauseous the whole time. I freaked because I seriously thought I was pregnant!! (I’m not btw)

I did the whole no carb thing as well. Bad mistake, since I’m hispanic, we pretty much eat carbs with just about anything and every meal!!! Tortillas, Rice, Pan Dulce (sweet bread), and if no other carb is around we use regular sandwich bread to substitute the tortillas.

I have also eaten really bad ever since becoming a stay-at-home-mom. Its not my little angel’s fault at all!! Its all mine, my fiance and I just got really lazy and just kept buying fast food. When a baby arrives and you don’t have much help around, it gets really hard to be able to prepare meals. Fast food is just more convenient to get than going to the grocery store. Sad but true.

When I was with my parents my mom would always make us eat breakfast! Honestly, when I did eat breakfast I didn’t get hungry until lunch hour came around in school. When I ate breakfast I also did better on tests because I wasn’t stressing out about the room-being-so-quiet-that-if-my-stomach-growled-it-would-be-the-end-of-me. My mom would also have fruit on the kitchen counter and in the refrigerator. So when my sister and I got home from school, we usually snacked on plums or strawberries. For dinner, my mom would always make us have a protein (like grilled chicken, grilled pork chops, or blackened tilapia) and 2 to 3 sides of vegetables plus rice (seriously every dinner had rice or tortillas). Oh and we could not leave the table unless we ate the vegetables. I used to hate her for that but now I appreciate it because I do not mind eating veggies at all. Another thing that I thank my mom for is that she never let us have soda past 9 pm. It didn’t always mean that we could have soda before because well sometimes she never bought any unless she threw a party. My mom would always have juice, iced tea and water in the fridge. Those were always the three options available and most of the time I picked water. My mom would also have chips, popsicles, and cookies around as well. My sister and I ate them too, we just didn’t overeat them. I think that is the problem today and where I have gone wrong. I have tried to completely stop eating those items that when I do eat some of those items, I eat more than I should which then causes guilt.

So I have to ask, did I really grow up eating the wrong things?! Or has the obsession with being size 00 and not eating certain foods really the right way to go?

I am 8 pounds heavier after baby and the fast food consumption that I have taken on. (About 4 of those 8 pounds are due to the fast food.) I realize now that I am not Jessica Biel or Heidi Klum. I also don’t want rock hard abs, I just want to fit into my clothes and look decent. I am a normal girl, living a normal life with a normal fiance who has a baby. I can take as long as I can to take the weight off. I rather do it slowly because all these crazy diets and binge eating is backfiring.

So, I say goodbye diet fads and trends!! I will do what works best for me! So here is the plan… it is really simple actually. Eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and have chips, cookies, or ice cream.

I think it is pretty obvious that fruits and veggies are a must! Whole wheat and whole grain foods are obviously better than white. Protein will keep you full and carbs give you energy. Last but not least, it is okay if eat sweets! Sweets will not be a treat but instead it will be under the category dessert that I will have each day. I feel like I am so traumatized that I am actually going to have a hard time not feeling guilty every time I eat. I am tired of feeling guilty for doing something that comes natural to human beings! EATING!

Food Diary Entry #3 (for Wed, 11/07/2012)

In the morning:
Cup of coffee with 2 packets of sugar in the raw and some water. I also had a small pear because it looked good in the fruit basket.

For a midmorning snack:
A small apple and banana. I was actually starving but since Cas was sleeping upstairs (on my bed :/ ), I really couldn’t make something to eat so instead I grabbed some fruit to help with the roaring stomach I had.

For lunch:
Spinach, whole grain pasta, garlic, parsley, and butter (I ran out of olive oil, so I used butter instead. I don’t really mind since we almost never run out of our small tub of butter. We just don’t use it that often since we prefer olive oil.) This is probably one of my favorite meals and it always keeps me really full.

For dinner:
So I had about 2 tbsp of wild rice, sweet potato, and apple with honey and cinnamon. Which I hated! So I stopped eating it and made a tuna salad instead. The tuna salad consisted of; half of chunk light tuna, 1 1/2 tbsp of light mayonnaise (too much for my taste), 1/2 tsp of pepper, 3 tbsp of chopped spinach, and 1 hard boiled egg including the yolk. I’m sure I could have done without the mayonnaise since I don’t really care for it but for some reason I can only have tuna salad if it has mayo. It must remind me of the way my mom makes tuna salad, which includes lots of mayonnaise.

Not the prettiest picture but when does tuna ever look pretty?

Later I sipped on..
Some Hibiscus tea with a tsp of honey and a dash of cinnamon. This has to be my favorite tea at the moment. (The Tea I used today was Raspberry Zinger Herbal Tea by Celestial Seasonings) I also had another small apple after my late workout.

I am okay with what I ate today. If I had all the ingredients to make a sweet potato and wild rice soup I would be a lot happier but the tuna salad came out good and very filling.

Food Diary Entry #2 (for Tues, 11/06/2012)

In the morning:
Cup of coffee with 2 packets of sugar in the raw. 30 oz of water.

For Lunch:
Black beans, spinach, and mild cheddar shredded cheese with balsamic dressing. (Not very creative here but I did not have a lot of time to eat since it was cutting close for Cas’s lunch as well.)

Snacked on…
A small red delicious apple.

For dinner:
Grilled lemon pepper chicken with sweet potato, sweet peas, and wild rice. I made dinner kind of early today (for me anyways) since I got pretty hungry by 4 o’clock.

For dessert:
A strawberry yogurt parfait!! I have been obsessed with this dessert/snack since forever!

Later I snacked on:
3 Turkey, cheese, pickle roll ups. Not my favorite thing to eat but my fiance was eating his dinner pretty late and I got a little hungry. Instead of serving myself another plate of food I tried a few of these roll-ups to see if they would fill me up, and they did. (It was very high in sodium, so I don’t think I will do this snack again.)

Throughout the whole day I kept drinking water before, during, after meals. Its my favorite beverage and it has always been since I was little.

Overall, I think that I did very good today. I’m proud of myself, 🙂

Grocery Haul from HEB Market

4 jugs of water, granola, baby mum-mums, baby puffs in the apple flavor, baby oatmeal cereal, stonyfield 32 oz vanilla yogurt, yobaby yogurt in the vanilla flavor, sweet potato, green beans, sweet peas, baby spinach, kale, cantaloupe, bananas, pears, apples, strawberries, and chicken.

So here is another post about my grocery shopping trip. This time I went to H-E-B Market; which I believe are only in Texas but I could be wrong. This H-E-B in particular carries organic items and non organic items. Which I absolutely love! I’m hoping I will use up all these groceries and i would like to post all the meals I make. This way I can keep track of what I actually use and what I should quit buying.

On a side note: I will also be including groceries I already have.

Today’s post will be a short one for now.

Pin it Tuesday: Frozen Yogurt Melts

One Good Thing by Jillee

Ok, so here goes another pinterest find I actually made as well. I usually buy Cas Happy Yogis or Gerber Graduates Organic Yogurt Melts and he loves them. So while I was on pinterest one day (like always, actually) I came across an idea to make homemade yogurt melts. I knew I just had to try them for baby Cas and I thought it would also be good to soothe his teething gums. I’m sure everyone has already made them by now but I am way too excited about them! Like, I totally love them!!!

So you first start out with any yogurt you like, I really like the Yoplait yogurt brand (I know greek yogurt is better but I prefer Yoplait), and then you put it inside a ziploc bag.

Then you cut a tiny piece of the corner of the ziploc bag and then you make swirlies (<- not a real word but whatever) onto a baking pan and freeze anything from 40 minutes to an hour.

And enjoy!! I usually put the yogurt melts into little baggies to keep them in the freezer (like the picture below).

I also made some with Stonyfield Yobaby Yogurt in the banana flavor for Cas. Since he usually loves to eat the Happy Yogis in the banana peach flavor. (see below) Anyways these are yummy and I am wanting to experiment more with yogurt melts… I’m thinking maybe making them in a chocolate flavor or making a banana peach mixture for Cas.

Pin it Tuesday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

Cookie dough on upside down muffin tin you get chocolate chip cookie bowls!

pinterest

So I think everyone by now is familiar with Pinterest!! I am obsessed with it and loving it! The other day I decided to actually try something I pinned. I decided to try the chocolate chip cookie bowls and while they did not turn out as pretty looking as the picture above, they were still delicious!

1st step: You start out by putting cookie dough on a muffin tin. Now I think this is where I went wrong because when you look at the picture you’ll see that some of the cookie dough spread out onto the bottom of the pan.

2nd step: I found that while the cookie is still hot is the best way to eat with ice cream on top.

Now while they did not look as cute as I would have liked for them to be, they were a hit! My future in-laws loved it!! I think they like me even more now. 🙂

First Birthday Party Themes

Classic Blues Birthday Theme
So as you can tell I have been obsessing over Cas’s first birthday party theme. It is kind of crazy because his birthday will be in January of 2013. So I may be getting to ahead of myself but it is so much fun!!! I like it way more than wedding planning. The only thing I have done is watch Say Yes to the Dress and look at wedding gowns online. Anyways I have three themes in mind that I am in love and have lots of ideas for. For starters, I have created inspiration boards using Polyvore.
The first theme is the first inspiration board above that I have named as Classic Blues. So I am thinking of using fabrics, balloons, and cupcake holders in many shades of blue. I am also planning on having lots of blue serving ware and flatware. It wouldn’t have to be fancy or anything.
Monkey, Yellow, Brown, White/Ivory Birthday Theme
For the second theme I want to have monkeys as a theme with the colors yellow, brown and white to help bring the theme together. I also want to have lots of food items based around bananas!!! I also wanted to get banana milk and chocolate milk, as well as root beer and pineapple soda. Too cute!
Teal Orange Brown Birthday Theme
Finally the last theme is just based around the colors teal, orange and brown. Just like the monkey theme, I would have food and drink items that match the colors of the theme.
Now, which one to choose???!!!