Friday, January 24, 2014

Stuffed Peppers by Non-Chef Nycole

In an effort to stop ordering out so often I decided to make stuffed peppers tonight. Just like any time I cook, I take a picture for proof that I actually cooked. To my surprise, friends on Facebook, actually wanted to know how I did it. I figured, why not use this opportunity to make another blog post!  I'll be honest, sometimes (a lot) I'm way too lazy to actually follow a recipe so I just make things up on my own.So here we go kids. Learn how to cook like a woman who barely cooks, but can rock it out when I actually do!
Stuffed Peppers (The easy way by a non-chef)

What do you need?
  • 4-6 green peppers 
  • 1 lb of ground turkey meat (or ground beef)
  • Diced tomatoes w/ light sauce OR for those who love sauce just go with a tomato sauce. I didn't want a saucy meal.
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rice. 
  • salt, garlic, oregano and whatever other seasoning you like :)
  • Shredded cheese've got the ingredients. NOW WHAT?!
  1. Preheat the oven to 365 degrees.
  2. Cook your rice and ground meat.
  3. Cut the tops off the peppers and clean the inside out. Put the peppers in a pan to await their filling.
  4. Once the ground meat is ready, drain it. Then put your cooked rice and diced tomatoes or tomato sauce in the pan. 
  5. Add your seasonings. I used light salt, garlic and oregano. 
  6. Give it a stir, make sure it tastes good.
  7. Take the filling and stuff your peppers...get it...that is why it's called stuffed peppers :)
  8. Bake your stuffed peppers for about 40-50 minutes or until green peppers are soft. 
  9. Before you are completely done toss some shredded cheese on top and pop it back in for a final 5 minutes
  10. EAT IT! (duh)
This just goes to show that anyone can cook. These were super simple and really good. Extremely filling too. I got through 3/4 of a big one and I'm switching to stretchy pants.

Not gonna lie, this would have been WAY better with Malbec. Major rookie mistake. How did I not have any wine to drink while I cooked?

Happy Friday Kids!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Technology Has Changed the Face of Dating

Technology is both, the most amazing, and the worst possible thing that could have happened to dating and relationships. With technology came options. On one side of the coin, we now have all of these options that we can utilize to meet new people and get to know them; enter online dating and texting. On the other side of the coin, we have something that consumes our time, makes conversations less personal, and makes infidelity easier to get away with. I have had both positive and negative experiences with technology when it was involved in my dating life. 

I have to say that the best relationship I have had, was with a guy I met online. He lived in another state, but was planning on a move to Chicago, so apparently he started girlfriend looking ahead of time. Gotta love a man that is proactive and thinking ahead, right? Anyhow, we talked every day on the phone, FaceTime and via text. In that time, because we weren’t able to actually hang out, we spent so much time getting to know each other which gave us this amazing bond. I have technology to thank, for not only letting me meet this guy that I otherwise never would have met, but for also helping me talk to and see him every day. When we finally met, about a month into talking and getting to know each other it was completely easy because it felt like I knew everything about him. Unfortunately, technology doesn’t cure distance, and when push came to shove he wasn’t moving here quick enough and we couldn’t travel enough to sustain a relationship. Because of technology, I am open to meeting a guy that lives in another part of the US. I do not think my Mr. Right has to live within a 5 mile radius, I’d never limit myself like that, and with technology I don’t have to.

Now on the flip side, technology can really stunt the dating, or courting process. Texting specifically has taken away a level of personalization and can lead to a lot of meaningless, and repetitive small talk.  When I am getting to know someone online I will move to text messaging rather quickly, which in turn leads to conversation that lacks depth. When texting back and forth with someone, I often times lose interest quickly because our conversation is recycled every day. How many times can you respond to; “good morning”, “how are you doing today”, “how was your day”, and “what are you up tonight” to name just a few of my daily favorites. You can do it for maybe a week and then you’re done. To remedy this, I have been trying to either FaceTime or talk to someone on the phone to gauge their sanity level and then move on to meeting pretty quickly. I like to get meeting out of the way. Once you do it, you know if it’s worth more conversations and more dates.

Oddly enough, for me technology brought someone far away closer to me, but when it comes to men who are close in proximity, who text too much it can lead to me pushing them away. Use technology in your dating life and relationships with caution.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Who says being healthy can't also taste good?

This year I got serious when it came to New Years resolution. My biggest one was implementing new healthy habits into my life. It's been going really well, so far I joined the Shut Up and Train 21 day challenge and I have been juicing as meal replacements. I have also kicked pop from my regular diet. I use to drink pop 2-3 times a week and I've only had it 1 time so far in January! I think the key to my success is just going to be moderation and skimming back not completely knocking things out of my diet. When you totally kick something from your diet, I feel like you crave it so much more.

I have been on a serious hunt for new products that taste good and are also good for you or low calorie. I found two cool new products that are low calorie, and just so happen to be the color of the 2014. Perfect, right? Check out Celsius "Burn More Calories" Drinks and USANA Fudge Delite.

CelsiusYour Negative Calorie Drink, is a great tasting drink for your active, healthy lifestyle. Celsius is the world’s first and only negative calorie drink, backed by multiple clinical studies. Studies show that drinking a great tasting Celsius before exercise helps you burn up to 100 calories and more per serving. It has also shown that it boosts metabolism, reduces body fat, increases endurance and provides lasting energy. Celsius proudly displays on its can that it has no sugar, no aspartame, very low sodium, no artificial preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial colors or flavors. With all of those benefits, why not give it a try?

USANA Health Sciences brings you a healthy treat for the New Year:  instead of stocking up with unhealthy snacks you find crammed in vending machines or in a local mini mart, satisfy your sweet tooth without eating empty calories. USANA introduces their Protein Snacks: each product in this deliciously tempting line includes at least 11 grams of protein but no more than 180 calories. The new protein snacks are non-GMO, contain no trans fats, and comes in three delicious flavors including Choco ChipPeanutty Bliss, and Fudge Delite. I tried Fudge Delite and it was very chocolaty. If you crave chocolate then this is absolutely for you. I'd be interested in trying the Peanutty Bliss.

What are some of your favorite low calorie treats?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Drink NERGIA for a natural energy boost

As a freelancer who works on multiple projects at a time, not only do I find myself wishing for more hours in a day but I also wish I had a constant flow of energy. Oddly enough, I often find myself jealous of the energy level of my five month old puppy, Maizy. Let’s be honest, I’m no spring chicken. I couldn't pull an all nighter to write a 20 page paper like I did my senior year in college if my life depended on it. Ok well MAYBE if my life depended on it, but you see where I’m going with this. Sometimes, I need a boost of energy to help me stay up late, like I use to in college, when I have a major project or presentation due the next day. I've tried several different energy drinks and coffee, and I always end up with a headache or crashing out. 

Finally, I found a great new product that can give me my much needed energy boost but not leave me feeling like a zombie when it starts to wear off. NERGIA (pronounced: EN-ER-GIA) is new to the scene and provides that boost of energy that we all need from time to time.The best part about it is not just that you can stay up longer, but what you’re putting into your body is all natural. You don’t have to feel like you’re drinking a chemical that can turn your insides bright green. NERGIA is organic and made from Guarana seeds, Açaí berries and Catuaba bark, which have all been sustainably harvested and bottled for a pure boost of clean energy. NERGIA ingredients are sourced from the Brazilian Rainforest where some of the world’s most important botanical resources have been discovered. Which, quite frankly, is pretty darn cool!

A main concern of mine, when trying products like this is the amount of sugar or fake sugar in the product. I do not believe all of the artificial sweeteners that are being forced on us is good for us, and I don't even like how it tastes anyhow. Thankfully, NERGIA uses pure and natural low and no calorie sweeteners. As if the natural ingredients were not enough, the packaging is glass and recyclable. Beyond that the glass packaging prevents the chemical properties of plastic from leaking into the product and our bodies. This product lets you leave the stress of trying to figure out what you really just drank behind.

Right now, you can find NERGIA at, but expect to see it locally soon! Learn more about NERGIA on their website, Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Great Solutions for New Year’s Resolutions!

With 2013 behind us, many of us have already begun to adhere to our 2014 resolutions that we set for the year. Every year, when it comes to resolution time I hesitate, because I don't want to create some lofty goals that will set me up for disappointment. This year I made sure to set very realistic resolutions and then put them out there in the world to put a little added pressure on myself. My resolutions for the year are to the left. Because resolution making and seeing it through can be scary I jumped on the opportunity to ask Sterling, a popular life coach, what her thoughts were on how to set resolutions that actually had a chance of going the distance. I came up with five questions that I wanted her feedback on, questions that I was mulling over during the creation of my list. In her guest article below you will find her answers to my questions. Hopefully it will help give you the confidence you need to keep up with your resolutions as well! 

Enjoy the following post, Great Solutions for New Year’s Resolutions!, by The Savvy Brunette Guest Blogger and Life Coach, Sterling.

Right now, it's an exciting time to create New Year’s resolutions, right? Maybe yours include aerobic exercising, engaging socially with friends, attending an art class, helping others or simply taking more time out for you! It can also be a confronting time when we think about our past, unrealized New Year's resolutions. How do we fulfill on these important resolutions? I've created some easy key steps to keep your New Year's resolutions right on track!  

1. How do you push past the fear of failing, based on past unfulfilled resolutions?
Declare that this is a New Year out loud and that the past is something that happened in the past. Declare that you live the present moment and draw inspiration from your intended and, importantly, created future.

2. How do you set realistic New Year’s resolutions?
Choose resolutions that feel right for you right now – in the immediate future. What resolutions feel more inspiring and less daunting? Start with those. Who says you can’t create more complex resolutions along the way? You can. Stick with smaller, more realistic resolutions and go from there. There will be greater opportunities to add to your resolutions along the way, as you grow more confident completing the initial ones that you create. It doesn’t have to be a new year to create your life.  It’s always a good time to keep evolving and growing in your life.

3. How do we continue to push forward when we aren't accomplishing our resolutions right way?
Allow yourself to have infinite patience. Sounds like a contradiction in the modern, fast-paced world, right? It is. Our typical impulse is to push ahead in order to cause intended results faster, but this actually pushes our results away. The reality is that if we can allow infinite patience in our lives, we actually accelerate the process of receiving intended results.

A really good way to help our New Year’s resolutions come to life quicker is by making some seemingly insignificant changes along the way. Throw out old, outmoded things and replace with the new, like: take a new route to work, listen to new music, trade your old look for a new one, meet new people, create a day of adventure or go to an exciting new museum exhibition. Change helps facilitate important new turns in your life and any change, no matter how small, can make your New Year’s resolution come to fruition more easily and faster.

4. How do you learn to celebrate your progress and not just the final result?
There is something to celebrate just by simply choosing our New Year’s resolutions. This is the first step towards success. Realizing this is not only encouraging, but gives you a boost of confidence, knowing that your New Year’s resolution is beginning! Also, it always helps to be kind to you by creating a healthy reward for keeping on the path. Go get a massage, go out to the movies, buy theater tickets, take an overnight trip or buy a piece of new clothing to ring in the new season!

5. What is the key to create resolution making as a great kick-off to the New Year, versus something full of pressure?
Take bite-sized action. Commit yourself to your New Year’s resolutions for just one month if you feel overwhelmed with the big-picture commitment that you’ve made. After one month, determine whether you’d like to take on another month of engaging in your resolutions. Repeat this action. It’s a little trick that we can play on ourselves because it takes approximately 21 days for change to occur, that is, for something to become more habitual and second nature. By the time a month is over, chances are, you’ve acclimated to your new lifestyle. Then, slipping back into your old ways may prove to be harder than you think! Also, remember that consistency is the key. If we can be consistent for a period of time, then the rest is easy. Plus, the headway that we make and the results that we experience are enough to strengthen our commitment – for good.

About Sterling
Sterling has gathered over 20 years of extraordinary experience in the fields of life coaching, psychology and astrology. She formally studied psychology in Dallas, and between 1998-2003, studied advanced personal development at the famed Landmark Education Center in Los Angeles. In 1998, she began her professional career as an astrologer, tarot card reader and life coach. Sterling then developed her unique Art of Manifestation © life coaching program for clients to create and experience outstanding lives. Today, she offers all of her services at Intuitive Life By Sterling, her spiritual life coaching practice in West Hollywood, California and through online, telephone and Skype appointments. Ultimately, Sterling provides caring and passionate guidance, leading clients to fulfilling the amazing lives that they've always intended.

To book an appointment with Sterling today, go to: You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

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