Thursday, March 15, 2018

Book Review: The Best and Lightest by The Editors of Food Network Magazine

I'm a Food Network fanatic so when I saw that the editors had put together a cookbook with healthy, light but still yummy recipes I jumped at the chance to try it out!

Synopsis: Using clever cooking techniques and ingredient swaps, Food Network Magazine’s test kitchen chefs have lightened up all the foods you crave. Each crowd-pleasing dish comes in under 500 calories with satisfying—not tiny—portions. With a visual table of contents—complete with icons that indicate vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes—you can quickly find meal ideas for any diet. Plus, each recipe appears with nutritional information and a beautiful photograph, making eating right surprisingly simple and totally fun.

Take a look at what’s inside:
Polenta with Fontina and Eggs
Spiced Burgers with Cucumber Yogurt
Potato-Leek Soup with Bacon
Shrimp and Kale Pitas
Spicy Chicken Enchiladas
Chile-Rubbed Steak with Creamed Corn
Three-Cheese Macaroni
Banana-Almond Pudding
Strawberry Corn Cakes


With the word lightest in the title, you would be safe to assume that there are a lot of light recipes in here, but that doesn't mean they aren't tasty.

Now, I've only tried one recipe so far and while it wasn't perfect the fault was mine.

When a soup recipe calls for small ravioli, don't think you can substitute HUGE ravioli and still get the same flavor. Nope, all of the cheesy goodness fell out once I cut open the ravioli and it just wasn't near as good as I'm sure it was supposed to be.

I love that there are so many recipes, and a lot of good categories that I'll use.

They did a great job of giving not just main dishes, but light snack ideas as well. I'm really looking forward to continuing to use this book in my light and fit journey!


I received this book free from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

All About the Books March 2018

Life According to Steph

This post is going to be a HOT mess, but I like sharing what I read, especially for my own benefit when I'm like "Did I read that?" and it didn't make it on Goodreads, know what I mean?

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata was recommended HIGHLY by Kristen and romance and only had little smut so I immediately put it on my list. Since I was between books from the library I had complete freedom to read and it was on my phone so whenever I had downtime I was reading. I loved it! I wasn't sure what to expect and when they talk about a slow burn I really thought the feelings were going to be all one sided and just a crush but boy was I wrong. Vanessa being a designer really connected with me, working second jobs and getting to do something you love for authors...hello, I've been there. The deep character developments help carry through the lack of romance until the last 1/4 of the book and it works!

Wait for It by Mariana Zapata - I really enjoyed Wait for It. this was my second book by Mariana Zapata and I think the dynamic between Dallas and Diana was such a slow build but man when it got there it was THERE. I loved getting to see Van's appearance. I'm a sucker for a good story with kids and all the adults that care about them.

From Lukov With Love
is the most recently released Mariana Zapata book and when it went on semi-sale I had to get it since my library doesn't have her books. I loved seeing the comeback that Jasmine is able to make with the help of what starts out as an enemy. When enemies become close, what's there to stop the inevitable?

I read like I watch Netflix series, BINGE-Y. There was a series I knew I had the first three books in a bundle and while I knew I had started the Beneath series by Meghan March, I never got around to finishing it. Now, I'm 4 books in and I'm hoping the next few go on sale, lol. Set in the middle of New Orleans, Beneath this Mask (which is free right now) starts the series off with a girl that seems like she's from the wrong side of town and the son of a political figure that could be the next to run for his father's seat. You get introduced to a lot of characters in the series that end up getting their own books.

Previous reads worth mentioning:

The Fatal Series by Marie Force is very much like a mystery soap or night time drama and I loved the whole series!

In August I discovered the author I liked that wrote Lost Stars, part of the Star Wars canon of stories, was coming out with a Princess Leia story. Bloodline was also good.

Currently reading:

In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence by Kayla Aimee

What's been your favorite book recently? What are you currently reading?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 2018 Recap - What's New With Me

What's New With You

So many new things this month and to look forward to this next month. I always can't believe it when a month that I've been looking forward to, like my Birthday month comes up.

I started bullet journaling, yay!! While the enthusiasm has dwindled and I'm not tracking sleep and water like I was in the beginning I certainly like the freedom to create my own layouts as they work or don't work for me.

We celebrated Valentine's Day, National Pizza Day and National Margarita Day and while I didn't always indulge ON the actual day I wore my Margarita shirt and had a drink on Friday night, lol.

Girls weekend happened and I got to try a new ride to me at Epcot. With their tiered ride FP+ system I always chose Frozen or Soarin' so I had not done Test Track. While I'm glad I did it I don't know that I'll do it again or even recommend it to people that aren't roller coaster junkies.

I started and finished a couple books that I'm hoping to share with you on Book day March 13th but don't hold me to it. I just don't always have the words to be like I love this because...

Attended my first Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras party!! My friend Heather really knows how to throw a party and is one of the best hostesses!

Went putt putt golfing with some of my new friends from church. I think in our group I wasn't last but I also didn't win but we had a pretty good time and I stepped in the water.

Celebrated my dad's birthday and got to try out Ford's Garage. I did the build-a-burger and thought it was pretty good.

I'm headed to the beach with friends and family this weekend for my birthday! Hopefully the weather is a little warmer than forecast, lol. What have you been up to this month? Did you celebrate any of the holidays?