Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Cabbage Stir-Fry

20953301_1451132834934122_1833240564025144783_n.jpgI wish I could remember where I saw or got this recipe from so I could give them credit!  It is so YUMMY!  I’m wondering how it would work in the crock pot, so I might just give it a try.  We have an insta pot too but I have never used it.  Is this a recipe you could do in it?  What do you think?

Ingredients:

3 chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 cup water
1 tablespoon Soy sauce, low sodium (I use gluten free)

Directions:

1. Cut chicken breasts into strips.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan.
3. Add chicken strips and stir fry over medium-high heat, turning constantly until done.
4. Add cabbage and sauté 2 minutes until cabbage is crisp-tender.
5. Mix cornstarch and seasonings; add water and soy sauce, and mix until smooth.
6. Stir sauce into chicken/cabbage mixture.
7. Cook until sauce has thickened and chicken is coated, about 1 minute.
8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes:
• Add bell peppers or carrots for color.
• Try with broccoli.

Got leftovers?  We always do since I can’t seem to get the hang of cooking for just two people.  You would think I was from a BIG family.  LOL.

Grab a Lunch Break Thermal from Thirty One before they are gone!  Yes, this AWESOME thermals are being retired at the end of the month.  The Lunch Break Thermal is the stylish way to take your lunch to work or wherever you and your family go. Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

I know, the holidays are barely over AND maybe you are just putting your decorations away.  The kids just went back to school and you are trying to get a grasp on the New Year…..Have you been in the stores lately?  Christmas sales are GONE!  Valentine’s Day, St. Pattys and even Easter decorations are out. It is CRAZY!  So I figured I would jump on the bandwagon since Thirty One is having an AWESOME Outlet sale. What better time to shop then during a sale, right?

Thanks to a little help from Thirty-One Gifts, you can convey a message to leave a lasting impression on that special someone’s heart. Forget the box of chocolates – there’s nothing sweeter than a shared memory or sentiment which holds a special meaning. If you want to touch someone’s heart with a truly special gift, check out these customized ideas sure to become their all-time favorite gifts.

Straight from the heart

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without giving someone your heart, right? But if you’re not quite ready for a commitment, why not give a heart on a pillow or tote instead? The new heart-themed print designs allow you to add a heartfelt message to your gift. Each is a graphic print you can add to any of several Statement Canvas products including throw pillows, custom wall art, a Mini Shopper or Zip-Top Pouch.

Bundles of love

There are lots of things which come in small packages, BUT think of all of the AMAZING things which could come in a BIG Thirty-One bag! Why settle on one gift when you can pack lots of love in a tote, caddy or bin?  Create a special gift set with everything your sweetheart can appreciate throughout the year.  Check out some of these ideas:

Design a bin just for him

Put together a sports-themed Essential Storage Tote with game tickets, his home team’s jersey, sports magazines, signed memorabilia or a new pair of running shoes or cleats. Or design a fishing-themed Catch-All Bin with new tackle supplies like bobbers, hooks and lures or packed with a new tackle box or fishing hat!  Guess what??? Those Catch-All Bins are part of the outlet sale (you can save up to 70%)!

Create a special spa package

Fill a Mini Storage Bin with bath bombs, sugar scrub, slippers, beauty products, a sleep mask or even a gift certificate to a local spa or massage therapist. On a budget? Search for DIY bath product recipes on Pinterest. And YES, these are also part of the outlet sale…

Have a romantic indoor winter picnic 

Treat your honey to a personalized Picnic Thermal Tote with chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, fancy cheeses and crackers. (The Leak Lock® lining means you can fill it with ice!) Just spread out a blanket in front of the fireplace, grab a couple of champagne flutes and toast to the perfect Valentine’s Day!  The best part is you can use this year round when you want to take the picnic outdoors.  It is great for tailgating, trips to the park or even road trips.

Add a little sparkle

Were you thinking more of jewelry??? If you want to whisper sweet nothings in her ear, make sure they’re properly dressed for the occasion. Our Gallery™ Earrings and Luxe Loop Dangles are the perfect start to any romantic dinner or a night on the town.

Make her blush

While we have your attention, gentlemen…you should probably know she’s had her eye on these fashion-forward styles in her current favorite color since we introduced them this season! For a fail-safe Valentine’s Day gift she’ll love to carry all year long, choose a Convertible Belt Bag, Rubie Mini or Studio Thirty-One™ bag in Rose Blush Pebble and personalize it with her monogram in tone-on-tone Blush embroidery. (You can thank us later.)

Share the love, ladies!

Even if without a significant other this Valentine’s Day, you can always be Valentine-mates with your best friends, your kids, your mom, your dad, your brothers and sisters – anyone and everyone you love. Valentine’s Day is about appreciation and letting others know you care. We want you to know we care, too! Lots of love to you this Valentine’s Day.  Thank you Thirty One for today’s tips….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to STOP Sabotaging Your Diet

Christmas is over and if you are like me…. you have eaten so much over the last few days (okay so maybe it has been the last few weeks).  Now there are leftovers to deal with and the last push to enjoy all those treats before we hit the New Year’s resolutions.  Doesn’t everyone’s resolution include eating healthy or hitting the gym?  Yes, I squirreled.

I have been struggling for several months to maintain my goal weight or even stay within the 2 pound range given by Weight Watchers when I stumbled on this article.  Now I have been told these misconceptions many times, reading them again always is a good reminder…

“Skipping breakfast is harmless and a smart way to cut calories.”

I am definitely a breakfast skipper!  I am usually up early and always say “it’s too early to eat”  or “I’m not hungry.”  It is time to re-train my brain.    Studies show people who eat a smart breakfast daily are less likely to become obese. Your body functions more effectively when it’s well fueled, so you’ll actually burn more calories throughout the day if you feed it in the morning. Plus, you’re more likely to make poor food decisions if you let yourself get too hungry. So start your day with a light healthy breakfast.  Not hungry first thing in the a.m.?  Why not keep a piece of fruit and protein bar handy for a mid-morning meal.

“Eating gluten-free/vegan/insert-buzzword-here foods will help with weight loss.”

No hate mail, please.  I know there are some who need to eat gluten free or vegan for health reason.  I do gluten free to help manage MS symptoms BUT there are some who thing it will help with their weight loss. The simple fact is eating like this does not guarantee weight loss. They can be loaded with calories and fat. Gluten-free foods are sometimes just as carby as their gluten-containing counterparts, and vegan goods may be full of fatty calories. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to foods which work for your personal needs and lifestyle, but some choices are better than others. That’s why it’s so important to check the nutritional info before you order or buy. Pay special attention to calories, serving size, and servings per container!

“On workout days, I can let loose and indulge at meal time, and it’ll all balance out.”

Even if your spin class promises to burn 800 calories, don’t treat yourself to fettuccine Alfredo and cheesecake just yet. It’s common to overestimate the number of calories we’ve burned — everyone burns calories at a different rate — and you could unintentionally negate your hard work. Even if your estimates are spot on, do you really want to cancel them out entirely? If you’re aiming for weight loss, you still need to take in fewer calories than you burn. Either way, you’re better off just increasing your portion sizes to replenish yourself, not reaching for junk food or totally overdoing it. Check out these ideas for what to eat before and after a workout.

“As long as I stick to a clean diet of all-natural whole foods, I don’t need to worry about calories.”

If weight management is a priority for you, then yeah, you’re going to want to keep tabs on your calorie intake. YES, eating whole natural foods is good for you. But it’s completely possible to consume way more calories than you burn in a day by eating these foods. Plenty of natural foods are calorie dense — think avocados, nuts, grains — meaning a small portion has a large calorie count. Eat too much of those, and you could pack on the pounds.  Believe it or not, the same thing can happen with fruits which are packed full of natural sugar.  So eat the good stuff, but watch the portions.

“I’ll order a salad for dinner to save calories for dessert.”

No judgement call here – I’ve done this. Although, it may seem like a smart choice, restaurant salads often pack WAY more calories than you think. So if you’re blindly assuming the giant Cobb salad is a better option than a lean petite filet and a side of veggies, you might want to spend some time checking out the restaurant’s nutritional facts.  The salad dressing alone often contains hundreds of calories! And when it comes to dessert, treat yourself… but split one with your dining companions. Studies have found we enjoy the last bite the most anyway!

What is your best weight loss tip?  Share them with us as we get ready for the New Year…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Accessorize Your Little Black Dress

Thank you Thirty One for today’s blog post.  I will admit…. I don’t have a little black dress BUT I do have my favorite pair of black pants and black top (that counts, right?)

Whether it is a black dress or not, everyone has go-to items in their wardrobe.  The things which  never let you down – you feel great when you put them on AND you can dress them up or down with a pair of go-with-anything heels to the perfect dark wash denim to the LBD – otherwise known as the little black dress!  Your staple piece can easily go from a casual day of errands to a night on the town. With so many silhouettes and styles, there’s a little black dress for everything life throws your way.

But when you have a dress to go with everything, how do you even begin to accessorize it? No matter the occasion, Thirty One has you covered with our favorite ways to dress up (and down!) the classic LBD.

Effortless Everyday

Whether you’re running errands around town, walking in the park or going to class, a T-shirt dress is the perfect way to stay comfortable and cute when you’re on the go. Throw on a denim jacket and the Avenue Scarf in Lovely Leopard or Deco Diamond to complete this simple yet chic look. Add a Retro Metro Hobo Crossbody in Twill Stripe for a subtle mix of patterns that stands out with ease

Need some fresh scarf styling tips? Learn 10 easy ways to tie a scarf!

Office chic

When you can’t bring yourself to put on another pantsuit, turn your little black dress into a sophisticated ensemble perfect for the office! Choose a sheathe or shift silhouette, then throw on a blazer or structured jacket for a put-together look. Add flats in a pop of color or fun print like leopard, and stack on a few Cherish Bracelets for some shine. And don’t forget your work bag! Choose a Cindy Tote in one of three neutral prints and you’re ready to rock the work week.

Girls’ night out  

Everybody needs a girls’ night every now and then, and with the right little black dress you’ll feel ready to paint the town!  Try a dress with a fitted silhouette, then go black-on-black with a black moto jacket and black booties for the perfect mix of feminine and fierce. Keep the accessories simple with a Rubie Mini or All About the Benjamins and Wristlet Strap for a hands-free bag you’ll feel comfortable carrying all night!

Wedding season

Have a wedding or other special occasion approaching? Don’t rule out black just yet! When it comes to wearing black at a celebration, it’s all about the details. We recommend a classy fit-and-flair silhouette, but go for whatever you feel most comfortable in. Add coordinating jewelry like our Gallery Necklace and Luxe Loop Dangles in Silver or Gold-Tone, and go for a sleek pair of heels for the perfect finishing touch.

Date night

Even the iconic little black dress needs a makeover from time to time, so why not try a little black jumpsuit on your next date night? The one-piece trend has been in full swing for several seasons now, and there’s no question why! A jumpsuit or romper is a head-to-toe outfit, so you won’t have to stress over pairing tops and bottoms. For a fun and funky look, choose a pair of chunky statement heels, a simple belt and a Fringed & Fabulous necklace. Add a bag from our Studio Thirty-One collection for a personalized piece that expresses your unique style!

So whether you are headed out on the town or to work, show us how you rock your little black dress with the #thirtyonepartywithHope hashtag.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Matters Right Now?

For some reason this year, the holidays have me STUCK!  We have all been there from time to time, right?  I’m an emotional mess.  There is a multitude of reasons (or maybe excuses) I could give but the truth is I am stuck and struggling to reach goals – personally, professionally and financially.

Whether it’s a relationship problem,  a work challenge, a financial habit (good or bad) or a health dilemma……inevitably on the path to our goals, something gets in our way.  It is weird how this has hit me during the holidays.  As I reflect on the past year which was filled with LOTS of challenges and look forward to the new year, I am trying to put things in perspective.

I’m trying to get unstuck AGAIN!  Yup, unfortunately it happens more than once year for me and I’m sure for others too.  My focus gets pulled in a million directions.  My goals start to look unobtainable.  My emotions get jumbled and I am an emotional mess.  I often want to blame it on the MS but the truth is, I used to get like this BEFORE the diagnosis came along.  Time to take responsibility and face the fact I let everything and everyone influence me which causes me to lose my focus.  I play the comparison game despite my best efforts to squash those inner gremlins.  Comparison will not only steal your JOY but it will also have you wondering about “what really matters most?”.

I know, why am I rambling on about this, right?  The truth is there is ONE powerful question which always helps me.  When I find myself overwhelmed, distracted or bombarded with requests or life’s chaos, I stop and ask myself a simple question.  It usually helps me to regain my focus and use your time better:

What really matters right now?

It sounds so simple, right?  It is not as easy as it seems.  This simple, but perspective-shifting question can help you to get unstuck in the most common challenges of everyday life. There are times when the noise in my head is so great, even this one question is difficult to answer. During those times I stop and repeat the Serenity Prayer.   It has saved me more than once over the years when life became unglued.  It helps to focus my thoughts and THEN I can ask the question of “what really matters right now?”.  Staying focused in the present has actually been a blessing to me reaching my goals.

You may need to set a reminder on your phone – once an hour, twice a day or whatever works for you (or however often you need it).   Get into the habit of pausing and choosing what really matters right now. When you do, you’ll find your days more productive, your stress lowered and your time used well.  And in the end, you will find you have reached the goals you have set for yourself – short and long term.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!