New Webpage!

24 Apr

Hey everyone!

I am one lucky gal! My husband bought me my own domain for Christmas and we have been working hard on getting that set up!

It has been a bit of a labor of love, but it is finally clean enough to share!

From now on, I’ll be updating my blog here:

Jonathan is working on finding a follow-me button that we can add to the menu, but until then, here is what you need to know:

If you are following me on wordpress currently, you will no longer get updates unless you add manually. You can do this by clicking “Blogs I follow”, then click the little gear icon to the right, and then type in into the box that says “enter a blog URL to follow.”

I hope to see some of you over there – and I’d love some encouraging notes on my new site! :)

#100HappyDays: Days 11-20

18 Apr

Continuing on with sharing my #100happydays challenge, here are days 11-20

(In real life, I’m on day 57 or something like that, so I am trying to catch up in blog land! You can always follow me on Instagram:  sasharoundtheclock)

Day 11

1 month ago

Got to walk outside today and finally hit my step goal!!!#100happydays #fitbit

Day 11 – March 16th: Some days are a bit more of a stretch on this challenge – either because I forgot about the challenge until bedtime or because it’s just generally been a grumpy day! I can honestly say that on Day 11, Alysha was visiting me, so it was the former that led me to taking a picture of my fitbit!  My daily step goal is 7000 steps, and I hit it right before heading to bed! Anyone else on fitbit? Friend me!

Day 12

1 month ago

Loving the St. Patty’s day mani that @sparkle__ninjagave me! #FourLeafJulep #100happydays #holidays#mani #julep #llarowe #sisterweek #sistersinstl

Day 12, March 17: My sister is much better at painting nails than I am!  I was so lucky (get it? haha!) that she was here to give me a cute mani for St. Patrick’s Day!  The green polish is Llarowe – Gemini Rising. The white polish is a Julep, though I can’t remember the name now… oops!

Day 13

1 month ago

Delicious dinner cooked for me by @sparkle__ninja !!#100happydays #food

Day 13, March 18: Doesn’t this look delish?? Recipe posted here: Alysha’s Crispy Chicken Thighs

Day 14

4 weeks ago

Had so much fun painting St. Louis with@sparkle__ninja !!! #100happydays #paintingwithatwist

Day 14, March 19: Alysha and I did Painting with a Twist. It was so much fun and we had a BLAST!  And the pictures turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself!

4 weeks ago

I forgot to post by midnight last night but yesterday was definitely happy! Here is a cute pic of my pet bunny that @sparkle__ninja took!! #100happydays #bunny#pancakes #sisterweek #sistersinstl

Day 15, March 20: While I was at work, Alysha sent me this adorable video of Pancakes running around the office!  How can that NOT make you Happy?

Day 16

4 weeks ago

I loved spending the day wandering downtown St. Charles with @sparkle__ninja ! #100happydays#sisterweek #sistersinstl

Day 16, March 21: I took Alysha to walk around downtown St. Charles.  Love this pic of my lovely sister!!

Day 17

4 weeks ago

I made this pineapple upside down cake for my dad for Nauroz! We met my parents in Terre Haute so they could take @sparkle__ninja the rest of the to Dayton. Sad to see her go but enjoyed lunch with my fam!!!#100happydays #sisterweek #sistersinstl #food#pineapleupsidedowncake #nauroz

Day 17, March 22: This one is actually a little bit of a story.  To get Alysha back to Ohio, we met my parents halfway in Terre Haute at my dad’s favorite Chinese place. Nauroz had been the day before (or maybe two days before) but we decided to celebrate when we could all be together!  Now, where does the pineapple cake come in, you ask? Well, the weekend before, for Dad’s birthday, I had offered to make him a pineapple upside down cake because he loves those! But he said no, because they are too sweet. So we got a cake from Wal-Mart, which was WAY sweeter. So then Dad said, okay, bring me a pineapple cake for Nauroz. So I agreed. Then on Saturday, I totally forgot to make it! And I ended up at a comedy show until LATE and I didn’t have the ingredients. So… at 5 A.M. on Sunday, I went to the store, bought the ingredients, and made the cake!

Everyone seemed to like it – except Alysha, who does not like pineapple cake to begin with.

Day 18

4 weeks ago

Going to work au naturel today. No make up. No extra hair product. Scary, but feels great for a change!#100happydays #nomakeup

Day 18, March 23: If you know me, you know I love beauty products. I might be a hoarder, but I’ve seen girls on the Facebook groups that I follow who have way more than I do! That being said, I woke up and thought, NOT TODAY! It was refreshing to go out just as myself with no products. Oh, also, I overslept ;)

Day 19

3 weeks ago

This was actually yesterday’s,but I guess it didn’t load. We finally paid off one of our cars! Whoo hoo!#100happydays #roadtofinancialfreedom

Day 19, March 24: We received the letter relieving us of any liens on car number one! Whoo hoo! We purchased the Hyundai in 2010 after my sweet Pontiac Sunfire was the victim of a hit and run. Our first car that we bought – all paid off! Now let’s hope it holds up as well as advertised and lasts ATLEAST another 5 years!

Day 20

3 weeks ago

Jonathan and I just finished this work out! Feeling great! #100happydays #workout #bodyweightcircuits#noexcuses

Day 20, March 25: I made up this work out to do with my friend Nancy, but we didn’t get to it, so I made Jonathan do it with me. Boy were my legs burning! Nancy – you still owe me a work out! ;)

Alysha’s Crispy Chicken Thighs & Veggies

18 Apr

Day 13

So this fine specimen of dinner is a creation of Alysha’s – and boy was it tasty!

And simple.

So I am going to share it with you:

Ingredients: (Makes 2 servings)

2 chicken thighs, skin on

2 cups brussels sprouts, washed and halved.

2 onions, sliced

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons Tony Chachare’s seasoning (or really, ANY seasoning you want!)


1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil. Make sure it is very hot – you can do this by doing the water droplet test (a drop of water should sizzle in the oil!). While the coconut oil is heating, rub the seasoning on the top and bottom of chicken breasts.

2. Once oil is hot, place the chicken skin-side down in the oil. It should sizzle. Throw in the onions around the chicken. Let the chicken cook about 5-7 minute or until skin is browned and crispy.

3. Flip the chicken over and let the under side cook about 2-3 minutes, so the chicken no longer looks raw.

4. Move the chicken skin side up to an 8×8 baking dish. Put onions around the chicken. Leave stove ON.

5. Put the brussels sprouts in the still hot skillet that the chicken was in. Saute for 2 minutes. Turn stove OFF. (I always forget to do that ;) )

6. Put the sprouts in the 8×8 dish around the chicken. The chicken skin should not have vegetables on top or it will get soggy.

7. Put the baking dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.


Here are some extra notes about this recipe:

  • You can swap out the seasonings for ANYTHING you want, and make the chicken whatever flavor your heart desires!
  • You can swap out the veggies! We did sprouts. We also did green beans. You could do just onions with the chicken for flavor, and then cook another veggie on the side or have a salad. the possibilities are endless!
  • This can easily be scaled up for a family by adding more chicken thighs and more vegetables, or scaled down for one.. or you could make six at once and have leftovers!  Reheats nicely in the oven!
  • You could do this without the chicken skin — its not as tasty, but it does make it a smidge healthier. I say a smidge because I built out this recipe in LoseIt and here is what I found


Super filling and UNDER 500 calories!  This assumes you eat 1 chicken thigh, half a cup of onions and 1 cup of brussels sprouts.

  • This is gluten free, dairy free, and it can be paleo if you make sure to use a paleo friendly seasoning.
  • this was also inexpensive! We bought a big pack of chicken thighs. If I scaled out the costs of all the ingredients, this was under $5 per person!
  • In conclusion: healthy, tasty, easy, inexpensive, and able to modify for endless options. Sounds like the perfect dinner to me!

#100HappyDays: Days 1-10

28 Mar

I have a great friend, Kirsten, who I email with multiple times a week. She and her husband, Doug, are in the Peace Corps in Rwanda, you can read all about them, here:

Anyway, through the course of our emails it became apparent that I always had something to complain about. I am not proud to admit this, but I am someone who has every reason to be happy, yet, I let my summary of my day be filled with the tiny gripes in life instead of the tiny celebrations. Anyway, Kirsten recommended that I check out

Essentially, it is a challenge to take a picture daily of something that makes you happy. To switch your focus from the things that are bad or negative, which is human nature, to the things that are positive.

I have actually been loving this project! I am sharing on Instagram under “sasharoundtheclock” (so feel free to follow me!)

Well, a few of my close friends (Kirsten included!) have told me that they don’t have instagram but want to keep up with my project. So I have decided to do some weekly recaps here on this blog, where the forum is better for story telling and giving you a deeper glimpse into what is going on behind these photos.

Now, I am on day 22, so clearly I am behind on that! So I am going to do weekly 10-photo recaps until we get caught up!

Here were my first 10 days, starting on March 6th.

Day 1

3 weeks ago

Watching tv from bed… Wonderful end to the work week and so relaxing! #100happydays

I decided to start my posting on the very day that Kirsten recommended it. So while this might not be the most inspiring tale of what makes me happy, I think a lot of people can appreciate that glorious feeling of snuggling into a couch or bed and watching tv or reading a book at the end of a long work day.

Day 2

3 weeks ago

Drinking wine with my dear friend! #100happydays

I got to spend almost an entire day with my dear friend, Nancy! We had a rocky start to our day – we had planned facials together and then one of the estheticians called in sick and my appointment was cancelled. Never fear, though, we saved the day! Nancy got her facial, and then I met her at the salon and we explored downtown St. Charles, wandering in and out of little shops together. I also came back over for dinner and to craft, but we ended up having great conversations over an amazing bottle of wine (Stag’s Leap FAY) that Nancy was kind enough to share with me. I love this amazing, fun friend!

Day 3

3 weeks ago

The weather was nice enough that I got to wear my flip flops! Looks like it might be pedicure time though…#100happydays

I absolutely love letting my feet be free! I went to the University of South Carolina for undergrad, where flip slops were a MUST. I always love when the weather gets nice enough to bust out my Old Navy flops!

Day 4

3 weeks ago

Had fun making this one-sie for a friend! I love having time to be crafty! #100happydays #embroidery

You may or may not know, but I got a sweet sewing machine for my birthday from my parents and my husband. And then I got an awesome cabinet of embroidery thread from my mother in law for Christmas, and some accessories from my sister (which you’ll see featured in part in a minute). So embroidery is my new hobby! I was so excited to be commissioned to make this for my coworker’s daughter’s first birthday! I have an extra, too, that I haven’t been able to sell so I guess I’ll have to wait for someone’s kid to turn one…haha.

Day 5

3 weeks ago

Great appointment at my dentist- my only long term care provider (other than my dad). Dr. Lambert and his staff are great and I had a cavity free appointment!#100happydays #dentist

Here’s a plug for my dentist. I’ve been seeing him for 5 years and he and his staff are just GREAT. I had an awesome, cavity free appointment. Whoo hoo!

Day 6

2 weeks ago

Practicing my embroidery by making a present for my dad’s bday! Shh it’s a secret!! #100happydays #embroidery #family

More adventures in embroidery! If you can’t read it, that says “Karachi Doc” and I made it as a birthday present for my dad. My dad is an amazing man. He is a child neurologist and he grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. He is a true testament to the idea that you can achieve  your dreams if you work hard and persevere. Love this man!

Day 7

2 weeks ago

Seeing these cute giraffe themed gifts daily reminds me of my sister and makes my heart happy!!! They certainly make my craft room more stylish!!@sparkle__ninja #100happydays

My baby sister (she’s 25 but will always be my baby sister) is so thoughtful and my desire to be crafty is rubbing off on her! She made the mason jar pin-cushion pictured. Yes, the lid of that mason jar is a PIN CUSHION that she made, and then I can keep the loose pins INSIDE the jar. I love it! She gave me a ton of accessories to get my sewing hobby off of the ground. When I see things like this in my house, it makes my heart really happy and reminds me how loved I am!

Day 8

2 weeks ago

Early start to daddy’s birthday weekend!#100happydays #roadtrip

You saw, above, that I made a hat for my dad’s birthday. Well, I also drove to Warm and Cheerful (that’s Centerville, if you don’t know) to celebrate my Dad’s birthday! The picture is really pointing out that it was 3:43, so I was getting a head start on my drive! Good thing I did, because the weather and rain meant that I got in pretty late! It would have been so much later if I had worked until 5!

Day 9

2 weeks ago

Got my dad to do a birthday selfie with me!!! Love my daddy and happy to celebrate him today!!#100happydays #family

Got my dad to take a selfie with me on his birthday! I am not the best selfie taker. I guess I need practice. :)

Day 10

2 weeks ago

Made it to my home at the end of our#bestieroadtrip!!!!! Excited to spend the week with@sparkle__ninja !! #100happydays #sisterweek#sistersinstl

The best long drives are long drives you get to share with a friend!  This amazing girl decided to spend an entire week with me before embarking in employment. We had so much fun, and you’re going to see that in the next ten that I post. :)

Spicing Up That Salad

23 Mar

I like to poll my facebook friends for ideas, suggestion and advice. I usually get an assortment of types of answerers – close friends, acquaintances, former classmates, people I forgot were even on facebook…. but this post was one of my most popular posts in awhile (popularity, of course, being judged by the number of comments):

Facebook poll: what fruits, veggies, or seasoning would you add to a salad to give it some kick? I don’t care for salad dressing or nuts, and trying to avoid dairy and processed foods. Any ideas?

So you can see, I explicitly asked for suggestions that would take my daily lunch to a new level, but without adding the extra sugars, processed foods, or other junk that is honestly calories wasted on a salad and better saved for dessert (oh, how I wish I had taken a picture of the gloriousness that was the pineapple upside down cake that I made for a coworker’s birthday today!)

The ideas ranged the gamut, so I thought I’d share some tidbits with you guys:


Thanks for the warning – I will not be trying Mac & Cheese.  However, I do love STRAWBERRIES!

I paired that with this tidbit of advice:

kale and mint

And the end result was this beauty:


What I had for lunch all week after asking for advice — It’s a romaine/kale blend (the kale is on the bottom, I should have tossed that a bit better) with sliced strawberries that have been tossed with mint and sat over night.


Here are some other responses to my poll — some of which I may need to be trying in the very near future!

saira salad

Great ideas!  I love jicama. I usually just eat it raw. I never thought about toasted oats or barley!

Some other popular ideas on my facebook were:

  • avocados
  • pico de gallo / salsa
  •  fruit such as mandarin oranges, pears, craisins, and apples
  • herbs such as mint, cilantro, and basil
  • alternate dressing ideas such as lemon juice, balsamic vinegars, and tomatoes cooked with a touch of honey

All in all, what I am getting at is that your salad does not have to be plain and boring to stay healthy! There are thousands of combinations. We also don’t need to hide our vegetables under layers and layers of ranch dressing… gross!

And I was glad to see so many ideas and suggestions– and to maybe even inspire some of my friends:

gwyn salad

Anyone else having a salad this week? :)

Better Breakfast

3 Feb

The word breakfast literally means to break one’s fast. A fast is a time of not eating. So breakfast is literally the time of day where we give our bodies the nourishment that it has not received during our slumber.

You can argue that our bodies need less energy during the night, to which I would agree. But breakfast skippers (my former self included) find themselves not eating until lunch time. Guilty as charged. On an average night, if I went to bed around 11, and ate lunch at noon, that means I was leaving my body without proper nourishment for 13 hours! And by the time I ate, I would crave sugary, fatty foods. And lots of it.

So I started eating breakfast.

I have been thinking about breakfast a lot lately, and doing a bit of Google-research. I find study after study that says eating breakfast has no effect on health or weight loss. And study after study that says it does. So where is the truth in it?

I’ll put up a big disclaimer – I am not an expert. I did not conduct a study. But I can say this:

The studies that seemed to prove that eating breakfast didn’t matter did not control WHAT the eater ate for said breakfast. For example, both studies cited in this article, “Is Breakfast Overrated?” only seemed to control whether participants ate breakfast. No information is given about what was eaten.

In contrast, articles that were proponents of breakfast talk about high protein breakfasts, or low glycemic index breakfasts, and the effects on the participants. This website provides a list of studies addressing the importance of breakfast, if you’re interested: Breakfast Studies

I used to be a poptarts kind of breakfast girl. When I got into calorie counting, I nixed those, and breakfast all together as everything I considered to be a great breakfast ended up being most of the calories I would allot myself for the day. I don’t know what you eat for breakfast, but my typical breakfasts might have been:

– Poptarts on the go

– pancakes with syrup

– scrambled eggs with muffins

– eggs over easy with toast

Carb-laden goodness with a side of butter and sugar of some sort!

A Google image search for “typical American breakfast” pulls up pictures that have eggs, bacon, pancakes (with butter and syrup), a glass of juice, and a glass of coffee.

I did a poll on Facebook to see what some of my peers were eating, and some responses included:

– green smoothies

– oatmeal with peanut butter and/or banana

– chicken

– cereal

– a ham sandwich

– toast with peanut butter and banana

– just coffee

– And the closest response to the American “classic” : two eggs, an english muffin with butter and jam, and apple juice

The Case for a Better Breakfast

I used to fall asleep in class. I used to start my day with a sugar/carb laden breakfast, then a healthy-ish lunch, and I would still feel exhausted by 2. or I would skip breakfast and have a heavy lunch. Same result. Even if I had a “healthy-ish” breakfast – for a long time greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a squirt of agave was my go-to healthy breakfast!- i still ran out of energy and felt tired through out the day.

Then I was challenged to eat protein and VEGETABLES for breakfast. Gross, right? It really was, the first week. Once I got myself out of my American way of thinking about breakfast, it really changed how I approach my meals.

This website shows Breakfast Around the World, and I was surprised to see some veggies make a cameo on the breakfast plate!

Long story short, for the last few months I have been eating breakfast daily, and I typically eat a protein and a vegetable. I have more energy, feel better, and my weight has been creeping down. Just eating a good breakfast won’t guarantee weight loss, but it is a strong way to start the day — with the right nutrients so you have energy and can crack down on those cravings!

For ideas on how to add veggies into your morning meal, you can see what two of my favorite breakfast go-to’s are, as well as peruse Buzzfeed’s 29 Ways to eat More Vegetables at Breakfast.

Breakfast 1: Slowcooked Chicken with Snow Peas and BlueBerries 


This breakfast eases the stress of morning food prep – I throw the chicken into the slow cooker the night before, and when morning comes around, I am awoken to the delightful scent of savory chicken. Throw it on the plate with some veggies and some blueberries, and you are all set!

Any slowcooker chicken recipe will work, but one of my favorites is below. It makes plenty for multiple meals, which is also a bonus!

1 can tomatoes

2 chicken breasts, 3 thighs

1/2 onion

1 tspn garlic powder

1/2 tspn onion powder

1 tspn italian seasoning

salt and pepper to preference

Toss in the slowcooker on low over night, and VOILA! Done!

Breakfast 2: Brussels Sprouts Power Bowl


Okay, clearly my over-easy egg needs a little help. Gordon Ramsay?  Personal Lesson?  Just kidding! (but not really!) I’ll keep trying and if I get a better picture, I’ll edit this. :)

This delight is a little more work intensive, but it’s worth it!

2 ounces lean ground beef (or turkey!)

1/2 cup brussels sprouts, sliced into thin rounds (that’s the irritating part, but worth it!)

1 tspn coconut oil

1/4 onion

1/2 tspn paprika

1/2 tspn oregano

1/2 tspn red chili flakes

1/2 tspn garlic salt

1 egg

pepper to taste

Saute onions and all seasonings in coconut oil until tender. Add meat, cook until nearly done. add brussels sprouts. Saute 5 minutes. While sauteeing, cook an over easy egg. Serve egg on top. The yolk will taste so rich and delightful when it oozes out all over your breakfast!

Welcome back!

21 Jan

So I’ve been absent for a few months… during that time.. big things were happening!

I started to learn how to sew.

Jonathan started a new site for me.

I started a new weight loss venture (down nearly 15 lbs!)

I went on a trip to the Azores with Alysha to celebrate her 25!


10 year high school reunion.


New Year’s.

annnnnnnd here we are!

So, I’m welcoming myself back to blogging.

I mentioned Jonathan started a new site for me. it’s not live yet, but I think it will be good when it is! I’ll let you know what it is as soon as it’s ready. :)

It’s going to be started with intention and organization so I can blog about the various things I love in a way that makes it easy to follow what I’m blogging about, and in a way that makes me be more organized with my thoughts and ideas.

It’s going to have travel posts and review.

DIY crafts and tutorials.

Recipes and food ideas.

Exercise and healthy living ideas.

and of course some personal anecdotes sprinkled in.

It’s gonna be GOOD!

The other big thing is that I opened an Etsy shop! It’s

I mentioned that I am learning to sew, and I am selling these SUPER soft, adorable lime green infinity scarves for Valentine’s Day.

Infinity Scarf - Super Soft Jersey Fabric- Green with Hearts - Great Valentine's Gift! - Shipping Included!

If you know someone who needs one, pick one up! I’m including free shipping since this is my first item!

Anyway, until the new site is live, I’ll be blogging here, so keep coming back. I am about to try to make slow cooker chicken and if it turns out, I’ll put a recipe out there tomorrow! :)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58 other followers