Star Trek Robe Remote Control Beer Cooler Bourbon Ice Balls Rocks Glass Set Silk Bow Ties Bamboo Organizing/Charging Station Watch Sock of the Month Club Membership Bacon Bundles Play Station Games Image Map
How stressful is picking the perfect gift for people-pleasers like us, right? I took a survey of
tons of guy friends asking for their Christmas lists and the best gifts they ever received, and
after weeding out the extremely inappropriate suggestions this is what we came up 
with (as well as the least expensive places I found to buy):

  1. $29.99 Star Trek Bathrobes from It's a robe AND it's Star Trek. The perfect gift for the sci-fi guy on your list (can you imagine the joy that comes from watching Star Trek IN A STAR TREK ROBE?).
  2. $26 Silk Bowties from Macy's: Really how good looking are these? This is the best price I have found for bowties that are not pre-tied (pre-tied bowties = cardinal sin according to the surveyed males).
  3. $42 Remote Controlled Beer Cooler from Amazon: This doesn't need a description. It holds 6 bottles or cans at a time + ice. 
  4. $34 Bamboo Multi-Charging Office Organizer Station from GreatUsefulStuff: Perfect for the working guy at home or at the office, or at the home office.
  5. $9.99 Makers Mark Bourbon Ice Ball Tray on eBay:  Get the giggles out of your system- I know, iceballs is hilarious- because this is the best gift I have ever given. Williams-Sonoma is selling these like hotcakes for $1,000, or you could get the simplified version on eBay.  The spherical shape of these ice balls causes the ice to melt way slower than ice cubes, therefore diluting drinks less. If you watch Bar Rescue you know ice balls are also the key to saving struggling bars.
  6. $9.99 Rocks Glasses (set of 6) from Target: To complement the gift of iceballs. Also throw in some booze and you are officially the best gift-giver ever.
  7. $155 Tommy Hilfiger watch from Macy's: Every professional needs a good looking watch. And this is a REAL good looking one. Use this RetailMeNot Coupon for 20% off  (huge shoutout to all the readers who have turned me onto 
  8. $40 3 Month Subscription to Sock of the Month Club: The BF is a member and it is like Christmas once a month when the new, hand-made, one-of-a-kind socks come in the mail. It's the small things, people.
  9. Starting at $19- Bacon Gift Bundles from For the bacon-lover on your list. (also check out Bacon of The Month Subscriptions from Zingerman's starting at $99
  10. COD: Ghosts $41 on Amazon: For the life of me I cannot figure out what is so fun about pretending to blow things up on Nintendo, but this showed up on 90% of the lists so I guess there is something enjoyable about it. Amazon has the best prices I could find.

Runner ups:
  1. $19 NFL Jerseys from Target
  2. $149 Nike Fuel Band
  3. $30 Dri-Fit Athletic Shorts at Kohls
  4. Polos 
  5. iPads (I found the most competitive prices on Amazon but these change daily)
  6. Seasons of TV Shows on DVD: Breaking Bad ,   The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection, HouseStar Trek..In my opinion if you're going this route I suggest a Netflix Subscription
  7.  Boxers: UnderArmour ($20) and just plain silk ($50) were the highest ranking

Gifts for Every Guy on Your List for EVERY Budget

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!! There's an excuse to dress up the dog in ridiculous outfits! Why should humans get to have all the fun at tacky sweater parties right? Well that's a joke since Andi hates being dressed up, but I just love it sooo much- can dogs have psychological damage?
Here are my favs:

Doggy Style: Tacky Christmas Sweater Edition

Friday, November 29, 2013

YALL! The best day of the year for the broke and bougie out there is almost here!!! CYBER MONDAY! For those of you who live under a rock, Cyber Monday is the internet equivalent to Black Friday. To me, Thanksgiving is about enjoying my short time home with family and friends which equates to Friday being all about nursing hangovers- not the ideal condition for power shopping on Black Friday.

Some of my top picks:

Cyber Monday Sale Guide:

To Do Before You Shop:
  • Make a list! It's easy to get distracted if you don't know what you're looking for, then spend too much money and not even get what you need
  • Measure yourself so you can check measurements against the sizes  we all know small in one brand could = medium in another brand so save yourself the headache of returns. Measure your waist (where you crease in your middle when you bend over), hips, chest. **don't have a tape measure? Use a string or long cord and measure up against a ruler or yard stick.

Broke & Bougie Guide to Cyber Monday

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
image from

I'm posting this a day early so everyone can do this workout with me tomorrow (Thanksgiving Eve), before the biggest cheat day of the year, no matter what time you work out. I chose this super-tough HIIT because after HIITing, your body repair cycle goes into major overdrive and stays burning calories for 24 hours after the workout.

I also included the playlist from last week's Wednesday Workout- it's over 90 minutes of hype music, so even though I used it for last week's workout, I can fast forward to about 30 minutes into the mix and still have new music and enough playlist left to do the full hour (and 1000 calories). You can play it from this page or go to the soundcloud website (linked).

Wednesday Workout {Thanksgiving Day Eve BURN with a motivational PLAYLIST}

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday of the year!!! This year I got a little nervous thinking am I going to gain 10 pounds over the holiday? But you know what? We don't have to! Here are 8 of my favorite Thanksgiving sides cleaned up:

  1. Almond Crusted Creamy Green Bean Casserole
  2. Garlic Cauliflower Mash (Low Carb Mahsed Potato Substitute)
  3. Baked Okra 
  4. Green Beans
  5. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  6. Fall Kale Salad
  7. Deviled Eggs
  8. Cranberry Sauce 

Also, is it just me or does picking appropriate-for-all-ages music get a little stressful on Thanksgiving? Below is the playlist the BF made for Thanksgiving last year (you can push play and play directly from the page, or follow the link to download), and my favorite family friendly Pandora stations.


Family-Friendly Pandora Stations
Van Morrison Pandora
Motown Pandora
Ayo Pandora
John Legend Pandora
The Temptations (Holiday) Pandora

8 Cheap, Easy, CLEAN Thanksgiving Sides + Family Friendly Playlists

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My favorite part of Thanksgiving green bean casseroles is the crust- wait the crust AND the creaminess- ahhh I just love everything about green bean casseroles! With all the cream and flour that goes into casseroles I thought for sure I'd have to pass this year and go for straight green beans, but thankfully an afternoon of experimenting in the kitchen led to something that tastes just as good as the original with the same texture!! (I'm a big texture person).

Sidenote: I took this dish to our Friendsgiving feast this weekend. The BF thought "the idea" of green bean casserole was so gross that he refused to try it (you may recall a previous post about casseroles in which he said "Casseroles sound like something I would be forced to eat as punishment", so I called the dish a "bake" and he loved it). It was a hit with everyone else, and people were really surprised to learn it's completely clean. I know it' a good dish when it tricks people.

Servings: 10
Prep Time: 25 mins (I chop REAL slow though..)
Cook Time: 30 mins

  • 1 lb fresh green beans, halved longways ($3.00)
  • 1 cup fat free Greek Yogurt ($.75)
  • 1 medium onion, diced ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ($1.00)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 piece Ezekiel Bread, crumbled into tiny crumbs
  • 1/8 cup stone ground corn meal
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds ($2.00)
  • 3 Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the halved green beans for 5 minutes. Remove the green beans and strain, then rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking. ***Once you finish this step you have cooked green beans! You can just add sea salt and garlic powder and serve that too! Easy.

In a medium sized frying pan cook the chopped onions over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic for about a minute, stirring constantly.

Remove the onions and garlic from the heat and throw in the cheese and mix until it's a big melty glop. Now add the Greek Yogurt, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly. Add the green beans and stir it all together until it's thoroughly mixed. Spread the mixture evenly into a 9x9 (sprayed) baking dish.

In a small mixing bowl mix the almonds, cornmeal and garlic powder. Sprinkle evenly over the green bean mixture in the baking dish.

Cook for 30 minutes.

Is there a fast way to halve these beans? Seriously.

This is where I was like, "this is going to be a disaster and unedible"

But then all this goodness came out!

You can serve just the baked green beans too! Yummm

Garlic Almond Crusted Green Bean Casserole

Yeah yall, I went all out for this meal. I have never been a pork chop person, but I wanted something to test out this cranberry sauce on before I subjected everyone to it at Thanksgiving and let me tell you- the marinade I put on these pork chops changed my taste on this. I'm in the pork chop club. Officially. As long as I marinade it the same every single time.

Oh and I had my first experiment with kale. And goat cheese. And fruit. And nuts. All together. HELLO.

Can we just talk about how much work this amazing meal took? About 4% of my evening energy, but it appears to the eaters that it took hours. bwahaha.

Pork Chop Marinade: 
Servings: 2
Prep Time: 1 minute

  • 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Raw Honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
 Yep. That's it. Put it in a ziploc freezer bag, shake it up and mush it around until it's all blended together. Add the pork chops to the bag, seal, and allow to marinate in the fridge for an hour or 2.

Put the marinated pork chops (2) onto a frying pan over medium heat and cover. Allow to cook 7 minutes on each side. So, that was easy. I'm still confused about why that was so easy yet tasted so good.

Garlic Cauliflower Mash (Low Carb Mashed Potato Substitute)
Servings: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower ($2.50)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth ($.50)
  • 1 teaspoon ceyenne pepper
Cut the florets (the flower things) off the stems. Put the florets, minced garlic, and chicken broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Once the broth and cauli are boiling put a lid on it and reduce the heat to medium. Let it cook for about 10 minutes.

Test to make sure they're ready to come out by poking the florets with a fork- the fork should easily poke through the florets.

Dump the contents of the pot into a blender and add the ceyenne pepper. Pulse until you have a mashed potato-y substance.

Cranberry Sauce:
Servings: About 2 cups
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 25 minutes

  • 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries ($4.00)
  • 1/2 cup honey ($1.00)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
Put all the ingredients in a pot and cook over medium for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. That's it. Once some of the liquid is cooked off you're going to have to stir more to make sure it doesn't get stuck to the pan.

Fall Kale Salad:
Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0

  • 1 bunch of kale ($3.50)
  • 1/2 lemon worth of lemon juice ($.30)
  • 1 apple, diced ($.99)
  • 1/2 cup craisins ($.50)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts ($.50)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese ($1.00- I def added more. As I've said before, goat cheese is crack for white girls)
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
Rinse off the kale, pat dry with a paper towel, and put in a bowl with the garlic salt and lemon juice and massage it (yes, just rub it with your hands, it's weird) for about 5 minutes or until the kale has turned a darker green and is softer and wiltier. Add all the ingredients and toss together.

THESE cauliflower florets with chicken broth...

Turn into THESE faux garlic mashed potatoes
and THIS
turns into THIS cranberry sauce!

Clean Dinner Plate: Pork Chops, Cauliflower Mash (faux mashed potatoes) and Fall Kale Salad

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Gods of Groupon Goods are hearing Andi's and my prayers with this deal today:
In the last 6 months Andi has developed a kind of car anxiety where as soon as the car goes into drive she shakes profusely and sheds approximately 2-5 lbs of hair (depending on how far the drive is)- I mean in reality it is probably for attention and probably because she has discovered it earns her a seat in my lap if I'm not driving. But she's almost 60 pounds and front seats are just not build for 2. Enter: AKC Car Seat Covers from Groupon Goods. As soon as this hit my inbox I ordered- $12 + $2 shipping and handling- yes please! When I researched these at the onset of Andi's car-anxiety I couldn't find anything under $50.
Just look how happy this dog is in the car, No anxiety anywhere.
Apparently most people get this to keep dog hair off their seats not necessarily as a barrier to the front seat. You say potato and say pota(h)to. Whatever.

I may or may not have strayed over to the "customers like you also liked this" page and purchased this LED leash (hey Christmas is coming!)

Ok ok ok and an LED collar..Andi will be so safe!  And the coolest dog on the block in our new neighborhood! (more on that later)

Dogcessories: The $12 Doggie Car Seat

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So here's the thing about this snack- I have no idea what to call it. It's delicious, it tastes like bar food, it looks kind like mozzarella sticks but Cauliflower Sticks gives the total wrong idea, so what do we call it? After punishing an entire tray of them the BF came up with this list: sticks, crescents, swirls, twirls, nuggets, bits, bites, tots, tits (really?), chews. Um, ew. But, these nameless ditties are so delicious and make a great clean snack or party food. They store well and taste just as good reheated. Here's the breakdown:

Servings: 5 (3 per serving)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

For the nameless cauliflower snack-
  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower ($2.50)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ($.50)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal ($.50)
  • 1 egg (
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons dried Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Click here for garlic bruschetta recipe

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the cauliflower florets and steam them (easier than it sounds- if you don't have the equipment, just put it in a pot with about an inch of water, boil the water, cover and let it sit on the stove on high for 5-10 mins or until tender). Allow the cauliflower to cool for a few minutes.

Take the steamed cauliflower and wrap it up in paper towels and SQUEEEEZE all that water out. I went through 7 paper towels doing this, gotta get rid of that excess water!

Now take your dried, steamed caulflower and finely dice it. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pull out a chunk and roll together into an ovalish shape that is about 1 inch by 3 inches and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Do this until you have used up all the 'dough'- should make about 15 cauliflower snack things.

Cook for 10 minutes. Serve with bruschetta and enjoy!

PS anyone who went to high school with me may recognize this phrase from an old chemistry teacher. My brother still gets me laughing till I cry while he walks around the house flinging candy bars around yelling "I'm feelin SNACKY! Anyone else? SO SNACKY! Who got candy bars for me?" Anyway we always say "feelin snacky" instead of "hungry" or "snack time" or whatever.

"I'm feelin SNACKY" - Cauliflower bites with Bruschetta

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do the workout routine below, and don't forget the abs at the end to the HYPE workout music below (just press play and it will play right from this page!). This is my running/HIIT mix (made by BF)- hope you enjoy!

*this is a hard HIIT! modify as needed.

5 Minute Ab Challenge: 
You should finish up the HIIT right around 30 minutes. Keep the playlist going while you take a 3-5 minute water break (which just happens to be when the moombahton beat kicks in which is a little slower). When the music gets to 36 minutes, get on the ground and do bicycle crunches to the beat- it picks up! Keep the bicycles going for the entire 5 minutes as the beat picks up and feeeelllll the burn!

Wednesday Workout: HIIT at Home {playlist included!}

Monday, November 18, 2013

Goat cheese is basically white girls' crack so I give this dish a 10. This also gets point for being the easiest meal I put together all week. The only thing I will do differently when I eat this next time (let's be real- tomorrow and the next day and the day after..wouldn't want my goat cheese supply to go bad right?).

Here's the breakdown:

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

  • 1 chicken breast, thawed ($2.50)
  • 1/8 cup goat cheese crumbles ($.70)
  • 2 handfuls spinach ($.75)
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp chili seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  •  1/2 tsp paprika
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butterfly Cut the chicken- this basically means slice the chicken breast through the middle but NOT all the way- like a taco shell. The linked video shows what I'm talking about in 30 seconds.

Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly on the chicken (both sides). I REALLY like seasonings and spice so I added some extra.

Lay the butterflied chicken breast out flat. Sprinkle half of the goat cheese onto one half of the chicken breast. Top with the spinach, top the spinach with tomato, and top the tomato with the remainder of the goat cheese. Fold the other half of the chicken breast over the 'stuffing' and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Butterfly cut extra-seasoned
oh hey powerfoods!


Folded over, tacoed, sandwiched

Spinach Tomato Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Disclaimer: This is not my mom's tortilla soup. If you have ever tried her's you probably jumped with joy when you saw the title of this post thinking I was sharing Deb's tortilla soup recipe just in time for winter, but her "recipe" takes a lot of feeling or heart or some kind of mom-power because I have followed it to the T and not had success. So this is the next best thing, and maybe I'll have ole Deb do a guest post (or a few- she is the queen of all things power shopping and dessert baking).

This hearty, meaty, crockpotty, mexicany, veggie-packed, flavor-packed soup has the approval of me, BF and the neighbors. My neighbors hosted a boozy movie night and I offered to bring supper. This was the easiest thing I could have done- I put all the ingredients in the crockpot the night before, stored it in the fridge, and in the morning took it out, plugged it in and let it cook all day. 4 of us ate it at the movie night and it also supplied my lunch for the week.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 6-8 hours in the crockpot
Servings: 10

  • 1.75 lbs of chicken thighs (they have the bone-in, don't worry the chicken falls right off the bones and it's easy to pull them out after it cooks in the crockpot) ($4.00)
  • 1 can black beans ($.99)
  • 2 cups frozen corn ($1.00)
  • 6 cups low sodium natural chicken broth ($5.00)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes with chiles (with the juice) ($2.50)
  • 1 little can (6 ozs) green chiles (you can cut up your own too!) ($1.00)
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, diced ($1.75)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced ($.50)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
Combine all all the ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on low for 6-9 hours. When there is an hour left to cook, pull out the chicken using two forks and put onto a plate. Remove all the chicken meat from the bones (it should fall riiiight off the bone). You might have to fish around with the fork a little to make sure you get all the bones out of the pot. Put the meat back into the crockpot and allow everything to cook together for another hour.

Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to set for about 30 minutes.


Ready to cook
Ready to eat. She's not pretty, but she sure is tasty.

Lunch for the Week: Crockpot {spicyish} Tortilla Soup

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's Friday, It's Friday it's FRIDAY! In honor of running the Richmond Half Marathon tomorrow I'm posting the frequently asked questions I get asked about fitness and running.

photo from @bossgirlssquat. Feeling motivated yet?
How are we supposed to stay in shape in the winter? 
Look, I hate cold weather as much (or more than) the next person- my winter in Rhode Island scarred me for life. While I watch everyone else trek to the warmth of their $120/month gym I go on home and get a great workout for FREE. Four or five days each week I go home and cut on youtube alternating between Fitness BlenderBlogilates, and Mr. Shut Up and Train's workouts. A HIIT here, a Pilates workout there, a boxing workout that day, a cardio blast another day. It's important to alternate so you don't get bored and so you keep burning fat and cals.

Also, I get pretty down in the winter- it's so dark all the time and I just feel like eating and sleeping. I've found that exercising daily not only makes me feel better about myself (who else gets into that winter hole of "I'm fat, I'm tired, I'm cold, I just want to eat..") but gives me more energy, reduces my stress and improves my attitude and sleep schedule. Plus it's nice to come out of winter hibernation without that extra 10-15 lbs.

I run every day and I look as blobby as I did when I started running. Why??
The oldest trick in the book. Running is good for you, but it is important to switch it up and to keep pushing yourself HARD. When I run every day I find it a little too easy to slip into running at the same pace and not pushing myself harder. Like I said above, our bodies adapt and it is important to have a variety. Our bodies get used to workouts, so if I run 3 miles every day for 4 weeks I will actually burn less calories by the end of the 4 week period than I did at first. Also: Studies by the American College of Sports Medicine show that 20 minutes/day of HIIT (high intensity interval training) 3 times per week yield more cardio (and weightloss) benefits than 60 mins/day of jogging/elipticalling 5 days per week. Another thing to consider is how important diet is in weight loss- just as important as exercising. Click here for meal plans and healthy options.

I have approximately 10 minutes of free time every day. How do I stay in shape?
I definitely recommend HIIT workouts- these are short and to the point and really get the job done. 20 minutes 3 days per week has tons of benefits. Fitness Blender has a great variety of short HIIT workouts, and Blogilates has 9 HIIT printables in case you don't have time or a place to follow the videos. Also think about how much time it saves to not have to trek to the gym, change, and get back home. And I have done all these workouts in the two square feet between my bed and my wall, no no space necessary.

But I'm so tired after work...
Suck it up, follow some fitspo on Instagram (may I recommend @fitspo4women, @instafemmefitness and @bossgirlssquat for those of us working on our booties), and remember your long-term goals. Plus, while it is exhausting exercising gives us MORE energy! Another thing to consider is diet- making sure you're eating healthy foods that are giving you more energy aka intentional eating. I post all my clean eating success recipes here

Why do you know about these youtube workout videos?
I worked at a YMCA for years with the benefit of a free gym membership. When I relocated to DC for a gym-less job I was appalled at the price of gym memberships but was determined to stay in shape. I started out doing Netflix workouts, but those just disappeared one day. Enter: Youtube. I have wasted a lot of time on crappy online workouts and would have loved to have recommendations from others of legit online fitness programs, so I'm not letting anyone else waste their time on crappy workout videos!

FAQ Fridays: Fitness

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tis the season to be jolly- and spend a zillion dollars on holiday parties! Like really, by the time you bring a bottle of wine (are we too old to bring two buck chuck as host gifts?), homecooked holiday goodies (is it just me or do the grocery stores hike up the prices of baking goods at the holidays?), and wear your new dress with a new wrap, and a gift for the white elephant ($15 is a steep price limit when you have 5 white elephants to go to), I'm already dipping into my gifts budget for the year. 

Not to mention we're all friends and we all go to the same parties so there's no recycling party dresses womp womp. HOWEVER thanks to my favorite retailers it is going to be possible for me to dress myself this holiday season! And honestly just changing up the shoes/wrap/cardi, tights and accessories the same dress can look like 3 different dresses.

Here are my favorites:

Can't forget the accessories:
$16 Zermatt Wrap from KMart (super soft, comes in 26 colors)

Holiday Cocktail Dresses UNDER $20

Thursday, November 14, 2013