pesto turkey pasta recipe ( and a few meal prepping tips )

October 27, 2016

turkey pesto pastaDon’t mind me eating with a GIANT ASS spoon, by the way. They were out of forks at work.

So you know how I’m trying to take care of myself, mind, body and soul?

Well part of that whole “better me” journey includes eating right. Especially when I have the SUPER fun digestive issues I do. And the easiest way to eat right? Meal plan.

Now, you know I’m not the best at this. I’ve admitted it. Because sometimes I have one idea of what I want to eat one day, and by the time that day comes around? Meh, hard pass.

But, I have gotten pretty good at it recently. Out of necessity. And I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned thus far:

+ Create a document that helps you track everything. I use Google Spreadsheets to loosely outline my entire month. I break it down by day and meal (shown below). Sometimes I will even section off days when I know I’ll have a work-related event or be out of town.

Meal Plan

+ Pick one day to prep the majority of your meals. For me (and most people, it seems), that’s Sunday.

+ Take a look at your recipes and write out exactly what you need to make. For example, the recipe in this post consists of three main ingredients: ground turkey, brown rice and pesto. All of which need to be prepped before they can be placed together. By breaking down all the ingredients, you can also coordinate what you prep at the same time. For example, because there’s little to no effort that goes into prepping pastas, quinoa or rice, you can whip those up while working on another, more complicated recipe.


Alright, so let’s get down to the reason you’ve read this far (I assume). My favorite “meal planned” meal: turkey pesto pasta goodness.

turkey pesto pastaIt’s clean. It’s simple. It’s easy to pack and bring to work and mix up without anything intermixing beforehand and getting gross (any person who brings her lunch to work will understand this struggle).

The recipe (legit not even worth a recipe card peeps, it’s that easy):

You’ll need:

  1. Pesto (mine is homemade, but this recipe is similar. Or you could grab it from the grocery store – I love this Trader Joes pesto).
  2. Brown rice pasta (this is my favorite)
  3. Ground turkey (prepped simply, with salt and pepper; feel free to add additional spices when prepping if it’s your preference).

If you’re making this at home, of course you can throw them all together and sprinkle with some crystallized pink salt. But if you’re bringing it to work (as I often do), you can either keep the ingredients entirely separate and prep them while at work, to maintain freshness, or throw them together the night before or morning of. Super duper simple.

Hope you enjoy as much as I do!

turkey pesto pasta

Digital Reads

Link Love

October 24, 2016

Link LoveHola people.

Another weekend has come and gone way too quickly.

I’ve been hanging out in Wisconsin with the fam these past few days, and it’s been a very sweet change of pace. This morning, I woke up, worked out at the local YMCA and spent the day nibbling on food, reading Marie Claire and working on some side projects. Oh did I mention this was all with the leaves (pictured above) falling outside, football on the flatscreen and a fire blazing in the fireplace? Pure. Magic.

But tomorrow, it’s an early trip back to Chicago tomorrow. Hey, it can’t last forever.

Has your weekend been chill? Hope so. We all need a few days a week to just chill the F out, right? At least I’ve been trying to do that more–put an emphasis on relaxation and self care. Because the stress is seriously getting to me rn.

Basically, I’m going to try and incorporate a bit more meditation and continue to clean up my diet a bit better. Any tips? Seriously, please share.

Any who, if you haven’t chilled yet this weekend, hope reading these articles forces you to carve out a bit of space for yourself. Cheers!


#TreatYourself: Karamel Krispies

October 21, 2016

Karamel Krispy Bar RecipeMy lovely, bakerista sister Kimberly is back with a delicious batch of goodies.

No, really.

Fair warning, these are *not* healthy for you. Let’s not even pretend these things are going to clear your arteries or freshen up your skin. Nope, these are total, 100% #treatyourself dessert bars.

But it’s all about balance, right? Or as close to “balance” as humanely possible. Basically, indulge without going overboard. Everything within moderation.

Alright, you were fairly warned.

But really. Look at these things…

Karamel Krispy Bar RecipeUgh I wish I could reach through the screen and just grab one right meow.

Karamel Krispy Bar RecipeSpeaking of healthy eating (ha!), I’ve been doing okay with all of that.

I’ve been sticking to #BBG (week 3!), incorporating yoga once a week and mixing in some strength training and LISS.

However, I’ve also been feeling super low-energy.

For awhile, I was tracking my calorie intake using MyFitnessPal again. I love using it get back on track after I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit. However, when I started upping my workouts, I obviously became hungrier and then it got to a point where I was worried I wasn’t eating enough…but then I don’t want to eat too much…

So now I’m in some weird limbo where I’m not sure how many calories I’m supposed to be eating.

I don’t want to eat too many and gain the wrong sort of weight (I don’t really care about the number on the scale, I just want to tone up and lose overall body fat), but don’t want to eat too little and run low on energy.

I’ve also been pretty bored with my meals, which can’t be helping the cause.

All of which is to say, I’m doing okay…

I’m still trying to get the hang of treating myself (preferably to one of these rice krispie bars), lowering my stress, keeping my energy up, killing my workouts and also eatinging clean most of the time.

Ugh, the elusive “balance” people. Balance.

Karamel Krispy Bar Recipe

Karamel Krispy Bars
A decadent take on a crispy classic.
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 1 pan
  • 2 cups crispy cereal (ie: Rice Krispies)
  • ¾ creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ½ cup melted chocolate
  • Nuts (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  1. Spray a 7 x 7 pan with a nonstick spray.
  2. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave until it is easy to mix, around 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups of crispy cereal and mix until all the cereal is covered. Press the mixture into the pan and freeze until hard.
  3. In a separate pot, heat up the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup until combined and bubbling, continue to mix. Make sure the mixture doesn't burn. After 1 or 2 minutes of stirring while bubbling, take the pot off the heat. After the peanut butter and crispy mixture is frozen, take out of the freezer and pour the caramel mixture on top of the crispy crust.
  4. Let the caramel set until firm. Then take the melted chocolate and spread on top of the caramel layer. Add sprinkles, nuts or leave plain if you prefer. Make sure to keep bars in cool place until served.
  5. Enjoy!


Digital Reads

Link Love

October 17, 2016

Link LoveDay late and a dollar short, like always. But per my last post, I’ve been cutting back a bit. Taking time to do quality > quantity, ya feel me? And focus on a few other things, like my sanity and more relaxing time. Enjoy what’s left of the summer and such.

Any who here are a few lovely digital finds from the past week:

  • Heart warming. And Packers-themed.
  • I hate most zoos because I love animals and think they should be roaming free in their natural habitat, or in a sanctuary if they are injured or endangered. That said, this is a very cute orangoutang. I want to be his best friend.
  • This is Kero, in general.
  • Playboy got something right.
Digital Reads

Link Love

October 9, 2016

Link LoveH A P P Y  S U N D A Y!

How is everyone doing? I’m doing decent. Kero‘s feeling a bit under the weather though and woke me up at 4:45AM and 5:20AM this morning, so I’m feeling a bit exhausted from that.

But per my thoughts last week, I’m really trying to take a step back and chill the F out too. And that means evaluating what is and what isn’t working in my life; what contributes to my happiness and what subtracts from it.

As much as I love this blog, I’m not so sure I can follow the typical “blogger guidelines” of posting daily and sharing on all the social platforms and engaging with other random bloggers online and networking and backlinking  and doing the chicken dance… If you haven’t noticed, I’m already pretty bad at all of those things. And while I still want to try and make this little blog as awesome as possible, I want to take the pressure off a bit too. To check in with myself and make sure that I’m sharing things I’m excited about, instead of simply sharing “content.” To stop worrying about taglines or content themes.

TBH, I’m not sure what all this rambling means. I guess it’s just to remind myself to stop using numbers as a gauge for success or failure. And to just do something because I like to do it.

Just think it’s important to check in with yourself, and make sure you’re working on things that either bring you happiness or bring you closer to your other, bigger goals. Food for thought, peeps.

On that note, here are my digital finds of the week! Hope they brighten or inform your Sunday and the rest of your week:


october desktop wallpaper downloads

October 6, 2016

October Wallpapers

We’re 5 days in, folks.

October (basically Fall) is here.

Instagrammable foliage, cozy sweaters and all the candles my arms can carry out of TJ Maxx (#Maxxinista lol).

I really think Fall is my new favorite season. I used to be a semi-typical Midwesterner and say that summer was my favorite season–it’s pretty outside, it’s warm and it’s my birthday (July 26 in case you were curious), but I always forget how disgustingly hot the summers can get here. Or maybe that’s just global warming. Either way, I’m such a sweater/cardigan/layers girl that I am WAY too excited for the temps to start dipping. But only a little bit. High 50s, low to mid 60s. That’s my jam. Below that though? Um, nothanksbye.

Download these October wallpapers!download “forest one” wallpaper

Hmm, well what else is new with me? Nothing much really. Been doing a lot of work on myself, if I’m being honest. Just trying super hard to take better care of myself. Trying to take more time to chill the F out.

It’s weird how as an adult you begin to identify all the little habits, behaviors or beliefs you pick up from your parents, or other influential people in your childhood, and how they help or hinder you as an adult. Most people probably don’t enjoy digging up past experiences, good or bad, but it’s such an important exercise to do. Whether it’s with the help of a therapist (woohoo for therapy! really need to break the stereotype with that, btw), meditation or journaling, I think it’s always good to take a look back and challenge why you think or act the way you do now. Not only does it make you a happier, more well-rounded person, I also believe that the most successful people are the ones who don’t just accept their circumstances or beliefs–they’re constantly challenging themselves and trying to be better. And that’s what I’m doing.

But that’s just one girl’s opinion.

Download these October wallpapers!download “forest two” wallpaper

Aside from that, I’m busy reading again. Which feels super good, if I’m being honest. I’m trying to replace some of my reality shows with books. Will let you know how that goes, obvii.

But I’m also really trying to step up my healthy eating / working out routine.

Download these October wallpapers!

download “sweater weather” wallpaper

I just realized I’ve been to the gym every single day this week, which feels awesome. I’ve been doing a mix of yoga, strength training, cardio and #BBG. So either tomorrow will be a rest day…or not. Going to listen to my body and see what I can do (Ladies Days has me feeling a bit lethargic and lacking in energy). But aside from that, I’m really trying to develop a healthier relationship with my food, especially now that I’m stepping up my workouts. Guess it goes with my whole “working on taking care of myself” theme. Which, the colder seasons are kind of awesome at–forcing you to be inside and sort of care and take account of where you are, emotionally, physically or otherwise.

Any who. That’s all I have to say today. Oh, and download these desktops because they’re pretty cool, don’t you think?

Gosh, I love Fall.

Digital Reads

Link Love

October 3, 2016

links I'm lovingHey guys. I’m pretty damn tired right now. Not really sure why. Just feeling a bit lethargic and lazy, which probably isn’t the best thing since it’s a Sunday and I’ve gotta be back at it tomorrow! Oh boy…

I guess until then, I’ll drink my red wine. Eat my parmesan crusted chicken. Watch this Amanda Knox documentary on Netflix (have you watched it yet!?) and maybe read a book before bed. Hope you all have a lovely, relaxing evening as well.

Inspire Life Relax

love, lust and leave: september movies

September 27, 2016

So. Many. Good. Movies. Coming out!

Arguably, this summer hasn’t been the best for my reading (a million apologies, Good Reads). But it has been pretty damn good when it comes to movie viewing! #winning

While I’m excited to see what comes out in the next few months, here are a few movies I’ve seen lately worth note (or worth..not a lot):

The movies worth watching this month


The Secret Life of PetsYes, this was cute and clever, which definitely qualifies it as a “love” movie this month. However, I personally was a little disappointed. Maybe I’m a diehard Pixar fan? Or maybe my humor’s gotten too dark? Because some of it just seemed a little too…predictable and cheesy for me. That said, it’s still a very cute, fun movie to see and seemed like a crowd-pleaser, based on the theatre attendees I was with.

Finding Dory: As mentioned, I’m starting to become a huge fan of Disney-created animated movies. And this second film did not disappoint. Of course, pieces may be slightly predicatble, but for the most part it was cute and maintained the essence of the first film. Highly recommend (and–sorry but–I recommend it over Secret Life of Pets).



Popstar: Has anyone seen this? I totally missed it and now I’m sad and don’t know where I can watch it… I love Andy Samberg though and feel it my civic duty to see anything he stars in.

The Accountant: I know Ben is a bit of a mess right now (and I totally take Jen’s side in…whatever is going on with their family), but he’s SUCH a good actor and The Accountant looks amazing. Already scheduling this for date night.

The Girl on the Train: We’ll see if this movie is as good as the book (which I highly recommend, btw), but I’ll see it nonetheless because I’m really loving thriller lately. And Emily Blunt.



Now You See Me 2: Ugh, I can’t with this movie. I *wanted* to like it. It had all these major stars (Harry Potter!) and I was surprised by how much I was into the first movie. But take 2 on this was no good at all. HARD. PASS.

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates: I love Aubrey Plaza and really wanted to see this. But then I did…and was disappointed. Went with my friend though, and she liked it. So I might have to chalk it up to my inability to appreciate simple humor.

Digital Reads

Link Love

September 26, 2016

Link LoveHappy Sunday, ya’ll!

How was your weekend? Chill, I hope? Chicago blessed us with a perfect fall day on Saturday, which worked out well for me since I went to the Northwestern vs. Nebraska game with a few friends.

P.S. For more random articles I’m loving, follow me on Twitter!

Inspire Life Relax

love, lust and leave: sept audio

September 20, 2016

Happy Monday ya’ll.

I am not doin’ so hot still. Woke up feeling great, but as the day’s worn on, I’ve started to feel worse and worse. Now I’m just trying to breath through my nose…

While we wait for that to happen, let’s review all the things I’ve been listening to recently, shall we?


LoveLustAudioI’ve been on the Podcast game HARD as of late. Of course, I keep my Spotify going constantly (that membership is worth all), but have really been trying to so my audio “reading” while doing chores, going to work or going for walks with Kero. Here are a few of my faves:


Lady Lovin’: This podcast grew on me. Hosted by Lo Bosworth (you know, starred in Laguna Beach, The Hills and basically my entire high school life) and a few of her gal pals who discuss everything from beauty and health to sex and relationships. Originally, I thought the ladies chatted a little, ahem, too much. But now I love this podcast. It’s relatable and has tons of incredible takeaways.

Monocycle with Leandra Medine: I love Leandra. She makes it okay to be weird, which is a huge thing for me (fun fact!). My favorite episode is this one because it’s so raw, emotional and unedited. A drastic departure from what your typical podcast has become. Every human in the world needs to listen to it.

Oh Boy by Man Repeller: Surprisingly not all about fashion or the team at Man Repeller (though I wouldn’t mind if it was), this podcast is a series of interviews with noteworthy creatives, movers and shakers doing cool things. Always great if you’re looking for #inspo on your commute.

Modern Love: Recommended to me by a co-worker, this thoughtful podcast explores the various ways people define, fall, thrive and deal with love in the “modern age.” Perfect reminder that one size does not fit all when it comes to love and relationships.



Schoolboy Q’s album: Basing this purely on hype and this piece.

Frank Ocean’s album: Because, duh. *Update: Have listened, and LOVE! Now on Spotify… #justsaying*

Spent: Downloaded this forever ago, when I was on a “NEED TO SAVE MONEY” bender. Which, I’m arguably still on… Either way, I like the style of the podcast, from what I’ve heard, now I just need to dedicate the minutes to actually listening to it…

Myleik Teele’s Podcast: Myleik Teele is the creator of Curl Box, and I love everything about her. She’s a straight-forward, successful and stylish entrepreneur. The 3 S’s basically. She just kick’s ass. Also highly recommend following her on Snapchat.



The Tim Ferriss Show: I wanted to like this podcast because I think Tim has some good #ProTips, especially for bloggers, creators and biz owners, but…I can’t. It’s so long. And bro-y. PASS.

The #AskGaryVee Show: Again, a podcast I *really* wanted to like. But after a few listens, I just feel annoyed. And usually I love his books and other materials, but hearing his voice…in that way…and then the tips or subjects they explore aren’t even that interesting? Yeah, no thanks.

GirlBoss Radio: You may be sensing a theme but, yes. I did want to like this podcast as well. However, she raddles on for the first 10 minutes and I just don’t care enough. Depending on the interviewee, it can be really interesting, but for the most part, um..no thanks.