Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Smile for Tile

The Fontys bought an overflow house up in Sapphire. As the family is multiplying, beds on busy weekends seemed to be getting scarce. The new house, dubbed Whisper Waters, borders the Sapphire property and even has a trail to a cove on the lake. It's pretty awesome. 
The house itself didn't need much work except for a basement bathroom that had ugly tile floor, mis-matched vanities and a plastic insert shower. The new layout includes a separate shower and tub and a pair of chrome pedestal sinks. Since we are in a basement, we chose to extend the wood-looking tile floor into the bathroom. With some subway tiling inspiration from the one and only Sarah Richardson, we have an extremely cost effective way to add major interest to the shower. Check out our inspiration here: 
whisper waters

Friday, April 11, 2014

Espadrille Team

Nothing says "Hello, warm weather!" like a pair of espadrilles. The leather options this year are really something special. I can't pick a favorite! Do you think I can make these a Hip Pops Pop Shop expense. Leather = easy clean up = work wear, right?


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

To the Maxi

This weekend I popped into Old Navy, and was shocked at all the cute clothes in their spring line. I came home with several tops and dresses. My favorite of the dresses was this maxi. Every dress is currently on sale and there is an extra 30% your whole purchase, so the dress is basically free. I will be wearing it all summer. 

old navy

Old Navy halter top

Dorothy Perkins jacket

Charlotte Russe flat sandals

Blue handbag

Danielle Nicole satchel bag

Linda farrow eyewear

Salvatore Ferragamo belt

Calypso St Barth scarve

Loop scarve

Circle glasses

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's All Great

Get the Gloss
I started working out to the point of breaking a sweat for the first time a year ago. I am not exaggerating - the first time. In college when everyone was going to the rec center to run on the treadmill and bend over next to frat boys, I opted to throw on my bikini and lay in the 360 days of Arizona sunshine. This worked well for me until about 26, and since then I have steadily been gaining weight until one day I hit rock bottom. I woke up and realized I had gained 25 lbs since meeting Mr. Fonty. Disgusting. So, I hit the gym for real this time, and fell in love with a crazy indoor boot camp circuit class, Blast 900. It is everything my former (and honestly current) self hated about exercise - running, sweating, weights, mountain climbers, burpees, the list goes on. But I kept forcing myself to go, and even now, I still complain every time I walk out the door, but there is no feeling like end of class, and knowing I made it through 60 minutes.
Most boring post ever?
At first, I saw results from just working out, but in the past few months, my weight has plateaued. My love of food and wine was going to have to change. Like so many people, my social life revolves around eating out, enjoying wine, and meeting up with friends for happy hour. I am a mindless snacker, red meat loving, carb-aholic wine-o. I needed to find a happy medium of enjoying food and being a gluttonous over-indulger.
To jump start, I started a 2 week detox diet. Yes, it is from Dr. Oz. In my effort to lose weight I have become a middle America housewife. Just wait for my posts on The Biggest Loser and Rizzoli and Isles. I thought this diet would be hell, but I'm telling you, aside from the no alcohol, this diet has been really great. One week in, I had lost 5 pounds - while giving myself weight-gaining fertility shots, so I imagine it could have been even more. Even though it is a short time, I swear it has helped transform my eating habits and curb my cravings for carbs. I used to not feel full unless I had some sort of carbohydrate in my meal. Not the case anymore.
Even before I started Dr. Oz's Hype Diet of the Month, I was cooking a lot from Gwyneth Paltrow & Julia Turshen's book, It's All Good. Let me tell you folks, this book is awesome. Mr. Fonty has happily eaten every meal with me without thinking it was a clean eating dinner.
I've cooked a ton of recipes from the book, and the only one I didn't love is the Many Mushroom Soup. It was a bit blah. Here are some of my favorites:
Chicken Burgers, Thai Style: I thought since these were chicken, that they would be dry, but they are so juicy and flavorful. I ate mine with a salad and dipped it in the Mexican Green Goddess Dressing. I dipped it, because I love sauces, not because it needed it. Mr. Fonty enjoyed his on an enviable brioche bun with Siracha. These burgers freeze well raw.
Turkey Meatballs with Go-To Tomato Sauce: These meatballs are great on their own, or you could serve them over pasta for traditional spaghetti and meatballs. I also enjoyed them dipped in homemade tzatziki sauce for a Greek twist.
Japanese Chicken Meatballs: These are actually in the kid's section of the book, but they are fabulous! I think they would make a great appetizer for a party. I ate mine over a salad, and couldn't get enough. Froze well raw.
Siracha Lime Salmon: Holy Moly, so good and super easy. Great dish if you have spice loving guests coming to dinner, and you want to stick to your diet. It is really good with the Mexican Green Goddess Dressing .
Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas + Mustard Dressing
The Simple Veganista
Roasted Cauliflower & Garbanzo Beans: I was shocked at how much I loved this recipe. It is good hot and cold, so make extra for lunch the following day.
Easiest Pozole: I LOVE hominy, so I can never pass up a pozole (Hominy is a puffed corn, so this is not on Dr. Oz's diet). This recipe is as it says the "Eaziest" (don't let the picture from the linked blog scare you. Mine did not look brown like that.) Don't skimp on the cilantro, lime and avocado garnish. They make the dish. Adding shredded chicken would really "beef up" the dish.
Mexican Chopped Salad with Mexican Green Goddess Dressing: Well, as you've seen I am slightly obsessed with this dressing. I swaped Greek yogurt for the sheep or goat's milk yogurt it calls for, because I don't have dairy issues. I've been eating it on every thing from kale to fish. It's crack sauce.
I posted this picture on Instagram, and book co-author, Julia Turshen, commented on it!
My favorite recipe so far is the
Mr. Chow-Style Minced Chicken with Lettuce Leaves (AKA Lettuce Wraps)
Neutral Oil (canola, grapeseed, or safflower)
1 lb. ground chicken
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbsp ginger, finely minced
2 small carrots, finely diced
1/2 can water chestnuts, diced (my addition, and I really liked the crunch)
1/2 cup lotus root (optional, I didn't include)
1 recipe Lee's Hoisin Sauce (recipe to follow)
1 head bibb lettuce or iceberg
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Cilantro, minced

Lee's Hoisin sauce (all the store bought versions have sugar listed as the first ingredient. It pays to spend 5 extra minutes to make your own)
1 tbsp neutral oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 cup red miso paste
1/2 cup good quality maple syrup
2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and five-spice powder and cook for about 30 seconds. Whisk in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let cool before using. Keeps in refrigerator for several days. 

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken along with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally to break up the chicken. Cook until the liquid has released and then evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. 
In another pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook and stir until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the water chestnuts, carrot and lotus root along with pinch of salt, and cook until the carrot softens, about 10 minutes. Combine with the chicken. Add 1/2 cup Lee's Hoisin and 1/2 cup water. Stir and cook for 1-2 more minutes. 
Place spoonfuls in lettuce wraps. Thin remaining Lee's Hoisin sauce with water and drizzle over the wraps. Top with cilantro and scallions

The Lettuce Wraps are seriously so delicious. Since he hasn't subscribed to my new diet, Mr. Fonty had his in a tortilla topped with Siracha for a sort of Asian-Taco night. He said it was fabulous. I ate mine with Bibb lettuce, and if you plan on eating these in front of other people, I'd recommend doubling up on the lettuce leaves. It got quite messy. 

Recipes I will try once I start incorporating more sugars and starches into my diet: 

Honestly, there are so many more recipes I would recommend. You really need to pick up a copy of It's All Good. As I close out the 2-week detox part of my diet, I am really energized to keep this kind of eating up Monday - Thursday. I am not totally willing to give up a weekend glass(es) of wine and a hanger steak at The National just yet. Hope you enjoy all this healthy eating as much as I have!