fall, pumpkin, recipe, recipes

At Home, Healthy, Pumpkin Spice Coffee

So I am a basic b who LOVES fall. I love all things autumn, which of course includes the much beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Besides the hefty price tag, it comes with a whole bunch of calories and chemicals. As you can see below, there just isn’t much good…or much pumpkin, in a PSL.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (16 fl oz)Calories 380 Calories from Fat 120% Daily Value*Total Fat 14g 22%Saturated Fat 8g 40%Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 55mg 18%Sodium 240mg 10%Total Carbohydrate 52g 17%Dietary Fiber 0g 0.png

So what to do when you want that pumpkin spice flavor but don’t want all the calories and sugars? Make your own! I skip the steamed milk and espresso and just made a delicious coffee.

PSL Recipe-3.png

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Tell me if you try it and what you think!

 

 

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fall, paleo, recipe, recipes, salad

Healthy Harvest Salad Recipe with Maple Dressing!

So I love salads but wasn’t able to eat them for the last 5 years due to my lapland issues. The second I was able to start again after my sleeve surgery, I haven’t stopped. If you follow me on instagram @northshorepoor then you know I am embracing all things salad.

This is the perfect fall salad that’s great for a lunch or as a dinner side (just leave out the meat). I personally make this as an end of the week leftover salad because it involves baked sweet potatoes which I make a big batch of at the beginning of the week. Usually the chicken thighs are also leftovers from a previous nights dinner.  The dressing is fantastic and warming up the maple syrup adds a great autumn flavor.

Besides the taste, why else should you make this?

Here are just some of the benefits

Spinach: Raw spinach includes folate, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, and potassium. It’s also rich in iron. (source: Vegetarian Times)

Pecans: They contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Just one ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the Daily Recommended intake of fiber. Pecans are also rich in age defying antioxidants. (source: Shape Magazine)

Sweet Potatoes: They are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. (source: Worlds Healthiest Foods)

Ready to make it? Recipe below!
Continue reading “Healthy Harvest Salad Recipe with Maple Dressing!”

fall, pets, product review, reviews, thepups

Four Legged Fall Fashion w/Hotel Doggy

Today was a perfect fall day: crisp, dry, and full of sunshine. We were up early and headed over to Hoosier Mama Pie Co. and Dollop Coffee for breakfast. They have the most amazing hand pies so I grabbed a few of the spinach and sausage ones. Joey opted for an amazing sausage, Gouda, and egg biscuit. Well, I can vouch the biscuit was amazing since I don’t like Gouda. We grabbed some Nutella Coffee and headed back home to the pups.

Since my fur babies are small, they definitely need some kind of clothing as the weather gets colder. Luckily this was the perfect chance to try out the gorgeous jackets and sweaters sent over from  HotelDoggy, an amazing dog apparel company from Canada. They are finally here in the US at PetCo (NY area), TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and HomeGoods. Prices range from $14.99-$29.99.

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Penelope (XS) and Barbara (XXS)

My two little baby girls look adorable in these dark pink plaid sherpa jackets. They are great because they close by velcro and can work with their leash/harness/ and any winter weight gain lol (but really not funny cause dog obesity is no joke).

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Dante (S)

Dante has always needed sweaters and jackets but is really hard to find clothes for. He is thin with a large rib cage and long long legs so what fits the ribs is usually huge everywhere else. This sweater fit perfect and he looks so handsome. He is such a sweetie and so patient and gentle.

Uptown, downtown, any town: wherever you venture, you pup will be the top dog in the neighborhood. (Hotel Doggy)

I think when you’re a pet parent, especially of small dogs, people love to make fun of and mock clothing. People forget some dogs really need it and yes, I know Babs doesn’t need a bikini but hey, I am allowed to have a little fun. That’s what makes Hotel Doggy so great. They get it and can laugh at themselves and provide an amazing product.

Next up for the crew, I am eyeing some of the HotelDoggy #adoptdontshop sweaters and their shiny parkas. I also saw some great holiday pajamas the fur babies would look great in. Holiday cards need a great photo and this year, I think we will send one out to all our friends and family.

Now remember everyone, these opinions are my own. I was sent these amazing clothes at no charge but I always keep it real, so you’re getting my honest review. 

angry orchard, avocado, crock pot, fall, food, paleo, recipe

Cozy as Flannel Crock Pot Chili

Fall is perfet for comfort food and warm delicious chili while watching football (or reading while your signficant other does). I’ve perfected my chili over the few years and love making this recipe! We made it last weekend and it’s always a huge hit! It is a rich, flavorful, sweet and spicy chili that makes you feel like you’re in a cozy log cabin on a cool fall night. The cinnamon and cocoa add a rich and unique flavor. Try it out and let me know what you think!

To make this PALEO simply omit the kidney beans and brown sugar. You can sub the brown sugar with coconut sugar to get the sweetness. 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb danish bacon
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 andouille sausage
  • 1 lb steak (I buy the one pre-cut for tacos or stew)
  • 1 pepper (green, red, yellow, it’s your preference)
  • 2 jalepenos, diced with seeds
  • 1 large white onion, onion
  • 6-12 garlic cloves, minced (depends on how much of a garlic lover  you are. I add 12)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of kidney beans
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2-4 cups of chicken or beef stock (depends on thickness you want)
  • 1 Angry Orchard (Sam Adams Octoberfest works as well)
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar (depends on sweetness you want)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Directions

  1. Cut up sausage into small pieces
  2. Cut up danish bacon into small cubes
  3. Season ground beef with salt, pepper to taste and cook in pan until browned. Add to crockpot.
  4. Dice up pepper, jalepeno and onion and add to crock pot (I use gloves when chopping and touching jalepeno to avoid any contact with seeds and then later touching my eye or contact lense and feeling the wrath of hell upon my eye but that’s just me…)
  5. Add minced garlic
  6. Season steak with salt and pepper, cook until medium and add to crockpot
  7. Sautee bacon in pan and cook until crisp. Taste test for maximum enjoyment. Add to crockpot.
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    danish bacon, so delcicious
  8. Sautee sausage and add to crockpot
  9. Add in cinnamon and cocoa powder and mix
  10. Add stewed tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato paste and 2 cups chicken/beef stock to crockpot and mix
  11. Add in Angry Orchard and mix
  12. If more liquid is needed, add in the rest of the stock and one cup of water if necessary
  13. Give everything a final mix
  14. Turn crockpot on to low for 6-8 hours OR high for 4-6 hours
  15. When cooking is done mix and taste
  16. Add brown sugar and mix
  17. Add in cornstarch for desired thickness
  18. Enjoy with corn muffins on the side!

You can garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, or my personal favorite, avocado!

Garlic Herb Corn Muffins
This is where I cheat and simply use JIFFY corn Muffin mix. Follow direction on box but use KerryGold Garlic Herb butter. Add another tbsp or so for a richer flavor.

What do you add to your chili to make it your favorite?

fall, life

It’s more like Sin-namon

I have a confession and it’s sinful.

Okay…well it’s cinnamon and that’s close to sinful right? Right. Just nod your head with me here and we’ll continue.

I love pumpkin but it’s become so overused. As much as I love Trader Joe’s, their copious amounts of pumpkin flavored items are actually a turn off.As I waled through TJ’s aisles recently, looking for wine and cheese and other delectable goodies, I thought to myself “Isn’t it time for something new? Something that screams flannel tops and shearling lined boots and cuddling under a blanket watching the Santa Clause?” Yes folks, it IS time and I am making a stand. While I am not abandoning pumpkin flavored things, I am expanding into a whole new world. Much like Jasmine had to learn to fly on the magic carpet with Aladdin, we must venture into the world of cinnamon.

A tablespoon of cinnamon only has 19 calories yet somehow brings a wealth of joy to our taste buds. As I have the biggest sweet tooth ever and I am always looking for a healthier alternative to chocolate, cinnamon has seduced me. JoeyWaffles started me on this torrid love affair by having me try a Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latté. Trust me when I say, order one with soy AND whip cream for my favorite combination of sweet with a warm burst of spicy and sweet flavor. I like the soy because it adds a vanilla flavor but it tastes (almost as) delicious without.

Since discovering the sinful and indulgent taste of cinnamon, I have started adding it to my life daily. Whether it’s a snack, dinner, or dessert, there isn’t a meal that cinnamon isn’t welcome. Here are some ways I’ve used it lately:

  • Cinnamon hot chocolate
  • Apple cinnamon chicken
  • Apple cinnamon goat cheese from Trader Joe’s.
  • Banana bread with chocolate chips and a heaping ton of cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon. Try it alone or with Cooper’s Hawk chocolate cake, a dessert that is completely decadent, sinful, and worth the gym session.
  • Banana sprinkled with cinnamon for a snack (you can add honey as well)
  • A few drops of Young Living Cinnamon Bark oil in the diffuser for a great smelling house (curious about oils or want to sign up? click here for more info)

I actually made an amazing twice baked sweet potato the other night and cinnamon played a big part. I baked the sweet potato in foil at 450 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Then I took them out, cooled them off for a few minutes and scooped out the insides. Put them in a bowl and added the last of the Trader Joe’s apple cinnamon goat cheese, apple butter, and a tablespoon of cinnamon. Mixed it all up and put back in the potatoes. Baked for another 15 minutes and voila, perfection!

Add in my fake fireplace, a glass on Three Thieves wine from Caroline and it was a perfectly cozy night.

Do you love or hate cinnamon? What are your favorite ways to use it?
angry orchard, books, fall, friendship, halloween, happy, joeywaffles, monday, monday must have's, noshopo, velma, winter

Monday Must Have’s- Fall into Comfort…and the beginnings of Winter

Fall means thermal shirts ($9 on sale right now at Old Navy) and the leaves changing from green to reds and golds and it means dressing up for Halloween. It means rainy Friday nights cuddling with the pups watching Christmas movies (it was November pretty much so that’s totally allowed) and it means the transition to Winter. So just like sinking into a hot bubble bath, this weeks Monday Must Have’s bring comfort and relaxation to my life.

Work BFF– Everyone needs a work bff to laugh with, get water with, throw tantrums at, jump out at you and make you scream (okay maybe not this one), and have general debauchery and shenanigans. I have an amazing work bff and now we get to go through the whole30 together. While I already have a really amazing workplace, having my bff there makes everything better and means one of us is always ready and willing to go shopping on lunch or switch off Starbucks runs. Reading this article in the Huffington Post, there are a lot of great reasons having a work friend is actually highly beneficial to the office, so, really it’s your duty to find someone to have slop buckets with and eat at spider table. Don’t ask, just go find the Meredith Grey to your Christina Yang.

Smart WomenSome books just stay with you and this has been one of my favorites since I first picked it up. Set in Boulder, CO in the 1980’s, it deals with growing older, friendships, relationships, and has a great protagonist in Margo Sampson. Judy Blume is an honest, funny, smart woman herself and her writing never disappoints. If you want a reflective, fun, and comfortable story, this is the book. A great read, especially if you loved her other novels, Summer Sisters and Forever. Plus, sometimes I just want something real without there being something crazy or depressing or someone getting terminally ill.

Angry Orchard Hard Cider-This has been around for a while but as I say good-bye to it for the next thirty days, I encourage everyone to try it or keep drinking it. There are so many ciders out there and it can be overwhelming but this one is tops. Delicious and crisp and never disappointing, Crisp Apple is my favorite and Green Apple a close second. JoeyWaffles loves the Cinful Apple and I do have to say, it’s pretty tasty. I love it in all seasons but I do have a particular fondness for it during the fall. Great with some homemade chili, salmon, ribs, okay pretty much anything, it just always hits the spot without feeling like it’s alcohol. To be honest, I don’t even care about the alcohol as much as the great flavor and crispness.

I dressed up as Velma from Scooby Doo for Halloween at work and it turned out great. Last year I was Kim Khardashian and while it was fun, it wasn’t great for working in. By EOD I was wearing some Bearpaw boots with my little black dress, not very chic. So this year fun + function won out. 
   
Skirt- $2.72 from Ann Taylor Loft via Goodwill
Sweater- $3.99 from the Limited via Goodwill
Kneeesocks- JoeyWaffles bought for $5 from Ebay
Glasses- Borrowed from my friend Marta from her old Garth/Wayne’s World costume
Wig- $14 from Spirit Halloween
Shoes- $19 from DSW
Magnifying Glass- $1.99 from Party City
Total=$46.70 

I am keeping the shoes since they were so comfy and on sale from $69.95. Everything I can sell or reuse (minus the glasses). Considering the Velma costume from Party City is ill fitting and $29.99 for a low quality product and doesn’t include shoes or socks, I consider it a steal. Jinxies!
What did you dress up for this Halloween?
What are some of your must have’s this week?

crafts, DIY, fall, goals, happy, joey waffles, life, noshopo, thrifty, weekend

Falling Into the Season

I love fall. I loves pumpkin spiced lattes, boots, the crisp weather, saying the word ‘crisp’, well…you get the picture. Thanks to the interwebs freaking me out about PSL giving me cancer(yeah google that shit, kinda scary) I have been drinking cinnamon dolce lattes with soy and whip (I like no dairy usually but whipped cream cannot be ignored). Fall in Chicago is pretty breathtaking and I am hoping we can actually commit to a season because we had no spring and a weird not summer summer.

Friday night I made a mixture of the Pioneer Woman’s chili with some help from Jamie Deen. So delicious. I added coco powder, cinnamon, a Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer, and a jalapeno. Made some Bob’s Red Mill gluten free cornbread muffin mix and an Angry Orchard cider and life was real good. 
Saturday was a huge score at the garage sales. Joey Waffles and I had to have hit up at least 15, some duds, some pretty amazing. Also went to my first estate sale, not so great but won’t stop my from trying again in the future. We supported C.A.R.E in Evanston by going to their rummage sale first and I got a new litter box, car seat booster thing for Dante and a picture frame. By the end of the day, I had 2 more frames, a mini muffin top pan, a sewing machine, and a vintage tray with flowers on it. Oh, and a corkboard.
Thanks to pinterest, I found inspiration for my office and used thisthis, and especially this to help me DIY my new frames. With some metallic spray paint from Home Depot and some fabric from JoAnn fabrics, I now have a beautiful corkboard, a frame to use over a dry erase calendar and another I am not sure exactly what to do but it’ll look pretty. Grabbed some extra fabric to make curtains to hide Joey’s random junk on the bookshelves and a matching seat cushion for my chair. Pictures soon of the rest but here’s the corkboard:

I spent Saturday night at the rehab clinic/home my Grandma is currently staying at and had a great time with her. We talk and laugh and play scratch off lotto and watched the new Lifetime Movie Deliverance Creek which was a departure for Nicholas Sparks but I absolutely loved it. I hope they make it into a mini series because I love a show with a strong female lead and a great plot.

Sunday JoeyWaffles and I went to Kauffmans for bagels, Starbucks, and then Home Depot. We are so yuppies in our 30’s but whatever whatever I do what I want. We bought mistake paint at $9/gallon for our bathroom and the new laundry room, which will apparently be a bright lilac. Then CarlitaRosita and I went on a lady date to JoAnn fabrics, Sears Outlet, and the grocery store. Who knew Sears even had an outlet and what great sales they had? Not me! I snagged a cute ress (olive green with light pink hearts) and a fall skirt along with a pair of gloves with the thumbholes cut out for $7.92. Who says you can’t be a baller on a budget? NoShoPo for life #noshame.

We also cooked steak, steak fajitas, chorizo burgers, chicken kabobs, salmon, chicken thighs, chicken leg quarters, and then I baked these yummy carrot cake muffins (sans the cream cheese). I love that we can cook for the week, be healthy, spend time with each other, and save money. It’s all abut balance and I am loving what we’ve got.

This week’s goals are:

  • Completing the laundry room by Saturday for the washer/dryer delivery. 
  • We have to put the new vessel sink and vanity in the bathroom and lay down the new tile. 
  • Sewing my curtains/making the sea cushion/finishing touches on my office
  • Sign up and study for the GRE
  • Work out 4 times
Happy Monday!