Baked Panko Chicken Tenders

Happy Hump Day friends!

It's another long week...I have a feeling all these last weeks until summer break are going to feel that way!

How are y'all?  Are you as anxious for summertime as I am?

Still not ready to post about Orlando (pictures have been added to computer, but I'm still going through them!).  However, I do have a 'taste' of Orlando today!

ARS, the best friend I visited, is an amazing cook and also recently became certified as a nutrition counselor!  I loved soaking up all her knowledge while I was there and asked her about a million questions related to all my recent eating changes.

Anyways, she shared a great recipe with me while I was there that was super easy.  It was a huge hit the night I made it and I thought it would be good to share with y'all--especially the mamas out there that read Sundresses and Smiles...kids would love this!

Raw Chicken Breast Tenderloins
2 Eggs, Beaten
Flour (seasoned how you'd like--I just used salt&pepper)
Panko Bread Crumbs


1.  Preheat oven to 400F.

2.  Butter a baking sheet or dish.

3.  Fill three separate bowls with flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs, respectively.

4.  Dip chicken tender into flour, then egg, then finally, panko.

Chicken Breast Tenderloins

First Flour

Then Egg

Finally Panko

5.  Line on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, 15 minutes per side

6.  Enjoy!

I served with a gluten free pesto and pea pasta salad and we had enough to get some lunches out of the meal too!

What are some of your quick, go-to recipes?

Have a great day!!


April Showers

Happy Hump Day friends!

Isn't it funny how each week varies?  Despite just coming off of Spring Break, I was able to roll through last week (exhausted, nonetheless).  This week, however, I am really dragging!  It is going by so slowly and I am worn out!

That being said, I still haven't added pics to my computer (bad blogger!) and because of that can't put together a few of the posts I've been planning.

Bryce is out of town on a work golf trip today through Saturday night, so I am actually looking forward to some me time to catch up on blogging!

That being said, I do still have a post for you today, so here goes!

You know what they say:  April Showers Bring May Flowers!

I am so thrilled that Spring is here and so many beautiful flowers have been popping out everywhere.  On an even better note, we haven't been too inundated with April showers!  Rain IS, however, in the forecast for today so I thought it would be fun to post some rainy day essentials!

Okay, SO, first things first!  Every gal needs a good pair of wellies for rainy days!

I'm partial to Hunters...I have the above graphite pair and love them!  The color is neutral with just a little bit of funk!

And speaking of funk...

How funky fabulous are these babies?

If rainboots aren't your thing, these J. Crew flats are perfect for wet weather (and on sale for just $19.50!!

Next of course, you need a good raincoat (or two)!

I'm on my second of these jackets!  The first one made it through 4 years of college and student teaching (no easy feat!) and I was super excited to get a new one this year for my birthday!

Having a nicer raincoat is also important.  Who wants to pair a sporty raincoat with a cocktail dress or date night outfit?  This C. Wonder anorak is perfect for any affair, casual or fancy!

And last, but not least, here are a few of my other rainy day essentials!

An adorable umbrella to make you stand out in a crowd!

A bright scarf to make your day a little less blah!

Because pretty lips are a distraction from frizzy hair! (Chunky Cherry is my favorite!)

Beause everyone just wants to wear leggings on a rainy day and these are a chicer version!
( Honestly, I can't say enough about how much I LOVE these pants..rain or shine!  I have a few pair and live in them!)

Has it rained much where you are lately?

What are your rainy day essentials?

Have a great day!


Weight Loss: How I've Done It

Happy Thursday friends!

Have y'all had a good week so far?
Mine has been much better than I was expecting being that it's the first week back after Spring Break, however, exhaustion has definitely hit!

My flight didn't come in from Orlando until late Sunday night, which made for an early morning on Monday.  Surprisingly, I breezed through Monday and Tuesday (likely running on adrenaline alone) and then exhaustion hit big time Tuesday evening.

That being said, I haven't even added pictures from my trip to the computer yet and am still getting all my ducks in a row since being home.

I have some great posts in the works, but, honestly just don't have the energy to put them all together.

After my last post, Resolutions Update and an April Fool, many of you asked how I've managed to lose 18 pounds.  I thought today I'd share what's worked for me and some basic tips I've picked up.

This will be a text heavy post, so I've tried to add in some Pinterest inspiration along the way and apologize now if I bore you!

But, before I continue, I'll give you the answer to my 3 Truths and a Lie for April Fools.  To recap, here is the list:

  1. Bryce and I met during my 4th year at UVA.
  2. I am naturally a brunette.
  3. I was a psych major in college.
Surprisingly, most of y'all guessed right; the lie was #1!  Bryce and I did not meet until the summer after my fourth year through mutual friends here in Richmond.  Here is a link to the first post I ever mentioned him in, and if you scroll through "Newer Posts" from there, you'll find a recap of the early days of our romance.  I can't believe it was nearly 2 years since that first post and since first meeting my B.

Additionally, I'll mention the other 2 truths.  I am naturally a brunette-kinda.  As a little girl I was blonde, but during high school my hair gradually changed into a dull brown.  I was born a blonde, and therefore think it's in my soul (ha!), but technically now would qualify as brunette.  And secondly, I was a psych major in college and also earned my Masters of Teaching while at UVA.

Okay, now onto the nitty gritty:  losing weight!

Part 1:  Simple Changes

I started the post with that picture because it really has proven true for me.  Around a year ago, I tried to start losing weight, pretty much by working out alone.  I saw virtually no results!  I may have firmed up a bit, but as a whole, working out alone was worthless.  

This time around I changed my diet and the first 5 or 6 pounds fell off without setting foot in a gym.

I started slow:  Sometime around the end of November or early December I cut Cokes out of my lunch.  I only drank one of the small 90 calorie cans each day and always justified it telling myself "It's only 90 calories!"  But what I didn't think about is what makes up those calories--sugars, chemicals, caffeine!  I switched to water, and usually add some lemon slices to it for flavor!

I also began focusing more on my body's natural cues at that point.  I had gotten into a really bad habit of overeating all the time.  Rather than eating until I felt comfortable, I ate until I was overly full and usually felt like I was going to burst.  

With just these two simple changes I lost the first 5 or 6 pounds-- it was painless!

Part 2:  Taking It to the Next Level

I was thrilled by those first pounds that came off, however, I knew that those simple changes weren't enough to reach my goals.  Once the new year began, I knew it was time to take it to the next level.

I did that in a few ways:

  1. REALLY changing my diet!
  2. Working out, some
  3. Allowing myself some leeway
  4. Keeping my eyes on the prize 

First things first, y'all know I'm a Southerner and you know how we Southerners eat.  We love our comfort food.  As stated in my bio on the side, mac and cheese is and will always be one of my favorite foods.  However, I knew I needed to take a step away from the comfort foods (carbs in particular) if I wanted to see real and lasting results.  

I changed my diet in 3 major ways:  
  • Switching to a low carb diet
  • Switching to a low sugar diet
  • Adjusting portion size
I should start my explanation of that low carb diet bullet with:  "Hi, my name is Allie and I'm a recovering carbaholic."  I LOVE carbs--my favorite food is by far pasta and I love carbs in just about every form.  Now, however, pasta dinners are more of a reward, rather than the norm.  I also have been more strategic when it comes to carbs.  I knew that a zero carb diet just wouldn't work for me, so now I focus more on adding complex and gluten free carbs to my meals (especially polenta!).  

Additionally, I have really cut my sugar consumption down.   At the beginning of March I did a two week sugar free cleanse to boost metabolism and curb cravings.  I've found that when you break the habit of eating things like sugars, the cravings tend to go away.  Not only have I cut back on sweets, but also sugars in many different forms.  For example, I switched from Honey Nut Cheerios (9g sugar/serving) to Rice Chex (1 g sugar/serving) for my morning cereal and cut my lemon yogurt out of my lunch (13 g sugar).  I also cut sodas out completely about 2 months ago (aside from the occasional cocktail with Sprite).  When I initially started, I still allowed myself Coke when out to dinner or after a particularly long day, but now I don't drink it at all!  

Finally, I really adjusted portion sizes.  Being that I'm not a fitness or health expert, I can't really verbalize what my portions are now, however, I'd reiterate what I said earlier:  I eat until I no longer feel hungry and feel comfortable, rather than eating until I feel full or stuffed.  To give you an idea, I'll share an Instagram pic of my dinner one night:

You'll notice the salad is the biggest portion on my plate!

Now to give you an idea of what all this "low-carb, low-sugar, reduced portion size" mumbo jumbo means, I'll share a typical day's eating with you!  I decided to include two dinners for a bit of variety!

You get the idea, right?

Working Out, some

This will be short and sweet:
  • Find a work out you love (for me, that's spin classes!)
  • Workout when you can.  (for me, that's usually about 2 times/week, sometimes 3, sometimes only 1!)
  • Like I mentioned before, 70% diet, 30% exercise--if you eat well, working out is more for toning!
Allowing myself some leeway

This has been key.  I strongly believe that my changed eating habits are not a diet, so much as a lifestyle.  HOWEVER, you'll never be able to maintain a healthy diet if you don't allow yourself some leeway.  People who limit themselves completely are more likely to give up or get to a point where they binge after depriving themselves for too long!

I'm a firm believer that most everything is okay in moderation.  I eat somewhat bland cereal 5-6 days/week for breakfast.  BUT, you better believe I indulge on the weekends!  Brunch is one of my favorite outings.  On weekends I allow myself chocolate chip pancakes, waffles, or cheesy omelets for breakfast!

Additionally, when I'm out to dinner, one of the last things I'm ever going to order is a salad.  Going out to dinner is a treat and if I'm at a restaurant and pasta is the best sounding thing on the menu I'm going to order it!

And finally, if I really want ice cream, I'll stop and get some (usually kiddie size, though!)!

Keeping My Eyes on the Prize

Finally, none of this would be possible without a big dose of motivation!

For me this motivation came largely from clothes (are you surprised?).  For close to a year and a half, I had a closet full of beautiful, but unwearable clothes.  I went from a size 6 to a 10 and felt defeated almost every time I looked in my closet.  I finally got to a point where enough was enough.  I wanted to regain possession of my closet, and also a lot of my confidence.  Fitting into smaller sizes has kept me going.  I'm proud to report that I can now fit in probably 99% of my clothes again and it feels great!  

Yesterday was class picture day at school and I felt so triumphant when I was able to wear a favorite Lilly!

I used to laugh this quote off, but now, I'm all for it!

I still have 7 pounds to go to reach my goal of losing 25 pounds, but I'm not dreading it--I'm excited about what is to come!  My next steps are to continue what I've been doing and try to up my workouts a bit, as well as add more tone/definition to my arms and abs.  

Wish me luck!

Do you have any weight loss tips?

What is your motivation for staying skinny?

Have a great day....tomorrow is FRIDAY!


Resolutions Update and an April Fool!

Happy April my chickadees!

How was your Easter?

Those of you that follow me on Instagram, know I went to the country with Bryce for Easter with his grandmothers.  I always enjoy our weekend trips to the country and he has two adorable grannies so it was a nice weekend!

Being that today is April 1st and we are now a quarter of the way through 2013, I thought it would be a good to update you on my resolutions progress.

Part of the reason I shared my resolutions on the blog was to increase accountability, and so it would only be appropriate to report on my progress.

I'll quickly recap my resolutions in this post, but to read the full post on them, click here!

So here goes:

Blog More:
My first resolution was to blog more in 2013.  As a part of my resolution to blog more I decided to schedule a weekly blog time on Tuesday afternoons.  I figured adding it into my schedule each week would be a good way to ensure that I found the time to blog.  This weekly time has worked pretty well, however, March was a bit hectic so I wasn't able to get my Tuesday time in each week.  My goal was to post at least once a week, though, and I have stuck to that and even posted twice many weeks!  I have definitely enjoyed being back in the blog world and have enjoyed reconnecting with all of you!

Gripe Less:
This resolution was mostly for Bryce.  He is so good to me.  I honestly don't think I would ever find someone to love and care for me  more than Bryce does.  With that being said, I sometimes am hard on him about little things and decided that I would try to do a better job of picking my battles in 2013 and letting things slide.  I'm still a bit of a control freak and am far from perfect, but I will say I have noticed our relationship has reached another level in the last few months and I'd like to think it's partly due to my conscious effort to be more grateful of him each day.

Get Fit...again!
I have to toot my own horn on this resolution a bit.  I have really dedicated myself to getting healthy again and have seen major results.  Since the start of the year I have lost 18 pounds and am thrilled!  My biggest goal was to be able to fit back in all my clothes and it has been wonderful to rediscover my closet again!  My goal was to lose 25 pounds total, so I have 7 more to go.  I have changed my diet a lot, mostly cutting down on portion size, carbs, and sugars and have really noticed a difference in how I feel.  I have also started cycling again and make it to class 2-3 times a week.  A part of that resolution was also a workout tip jar.  Every time I work out I add $2 to the jar and was not supposed to buy any clothes until the jar reached $100.  Well, I have to admit, that I have not stuck to this completely.  I made it almost two months before caving and buying some clothes.  I have however cut way back on my shopping because of the jar and am still planning to treat myself to something when it reaches $100.  I'm not beating myself up over this though because the whole point of the jar was to motivate myself to get fit and I've found that motivation even without the pressure of the jar!  I also have been having so much fun "shopping" in my closet...so many clothes have been off-limits because of the weight I had gained so it has been so fun wearing many old favorites again!

I recently picked up these 3 favorite sundresses from my parents' house!
My two all time favorite Lilly dresses and a favorite Trina Turk...I couldn't fit into any of these last summer and can fit in all of them again!

My Easter outfit...I bought this dress last spring for Foxfield and it was a honestly a bit snug when I wore it, this year it's actually a bit loose and looks so much better on!

Try One New Food a Month
I'm not sure if this one has actually worked out to one each month (don't think I tried anything in February), however I have tried more than 3 new foods which works out to more than one each month.  While we were in Chapel Hill I tried a grapefruit and red pepper salad (yuck!).  I recently tried sushi while out to dinner with Bryce one night (yuck!).  I re-tried beans in a white chicken chili (yum!).  And I tried brussel sprouts just last week (yum!).

Did you make any resolutions?

How's it going?

And finally, for April Fool's Day, I thought it would be fun to try and play a little trick on you with the game 2 Truths and a Lie.  I'm going to list 2 truths and 1 lie, and you have to try to guess which is the lie while I try and fool you!

  1. Bryce and I met during my 4th year at UVA.
  2. I am naturally a brunette.
  3. I was a psych major in college.
Okay...now go!  Which one is the April Fools trick?!?