Monday, January 24, 2011

City Prints by JanuaryJonesPrints

I just had to share these with you because they are SO neat. I came across JanuaryJonesPrints on Etsy in a random Valentine's Day gift guide I was reading (ironic since we're not doing V-day gifts this year). I am so in love with these, I want one for every place I've ever traveled to. I especially love, love, love the road trip map!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Five for Friday

1. I have a squirrel update, but I'm too exhausted to post it. Lets just say that the problem is still there and I came face to face with it today. And it's gross. It makes me want to move. And take a shower.

2. Have you been reading View from the Middle Seat? If not, then you've missed: my witty thoughts on customer service in Barbados restaurants, a post on the most awesome interior design store ever, and why I'm on a first name basis with one of our founding fathers.(Is founding fathers capitalized?) Also, if you read my blog, you should officially follow it - I'm giving away free 5x7 prints to the first five followers and every 10th follower after that!

3. Have you been following View from the Middle Seat on Twitter at @MiddleSeatView. If your answer is no, you're probably beyond help at this point.

4. In extremely sad news for my sweet-tooth (but great news for my wallet and muffin top) our favorite custard store in Alexandria, the Dairy Godmother (our current president is also a fan), is closed for a month. Something about sales being slow due to the winter, needing to defrost freezers, take a vacation, blah blah blah. We anxiously await the reopening on February 10. I'm thinking Malia, who wisely chose the brownie sundae during their visit two years ago, will be in line with us.

5. I realized that I never posted some fun family photos from our Christmas trip to Barbados. So see below. We will be back in Barbados in 50 days. Not a moment too soon.
Washing off feet after the beach. Notice all the beach essentials: W's book, local beer, floppy hat
Dad and David at Animal Flower Bay - an amazing place on the island
lookin' good!

Touring the George Washington house. Don't we all look excited? (It actually was a great tour)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recipe Tuesday: HEALTHY Corn Chowder

I know what you're thinking: no way! That's what I was thinking too when this Paula Deen recipe landed in my in-box. Yet, here it is.

Full disclosure: I have not tried this yet. But it sounded good enough to share. It's on the meal calendar I've planned out for the week I'm thinking about making it this weekend.

Lighter Corn Chowder
Recipe from Ms Paula Deen, y'all!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

3 strips center-cut reduced-fat bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (32-ounce) container chicken stock
2 russet potatoes, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) package frozen baby gold and white corn kernels (3 cups)
1 cup fat-free milk
3 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

DirectionsSpray a large nonstick saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, 2 – 3 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.

Add the onion and jalapeno to the saucepan. Cook, over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour; cook 1 minute. Add the broth, potatoes, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add the corn, milk, half-and half. Cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese and cilantro; sprinkle with the bacon.

Yield: 8 cups
Nutritionals: Per Serving (1 cup): 167 Cal (15% from Fat, 23% from Protein, 62% from Carb); 10 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 27 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 5 g Sugar; 117 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 668 mg Sodium; 6 mg Cholesterol

Friday, January 14, 2011

Five for Friday (brought to you by a large cup of coffee)

1. The squirrels. Remember them from last winter? Well the little buggers are back, probably with some raccoon friends as well. This has been going on in our attic, and the attic of the lovely people across the hall from us, for at least 11 days now (it was a fabulous thing to return to from a relaxing trip to Barbados). Thus, I have not had a full night sleep in 11 days. Thus the reason why today's Five for Friday is brought to you by a heavy dose of caffeine. We're going on a stay-cation for the long weekend tomorrow, so I'm hopeful for a critter-free hotel that I can actually get some sleep in.

P.S. Remember how I was concerned about the squirrels welfare last year? Not so much this time around.

2. Have you all been reading my new blog, View from the Middle Seat? I know you have. Posted yesterday about a new fabulous place we discovered in Barbados over Christmas - but you won't read about it here! Don't forget to officially "follow" my blog for the chance to win a free print!

3. Did you know my new blog is also on Twitter at @MiddleSeatView? I'm just going to go ahead and say it: tweeting about travel is much more fun than tweeting about public health.

4. Like much of the rest of America, I have taken the occasion of the new year to get myself back to the gym & back to eating healthy. I will honestly say that I can't wait for February to roll around so all the people who bought new gym memberships on January 1 go back to sitting on their couch and there won't be a line any more to use the chest press machine. Along those lines, keep an eye out for more healthy Recipe Tuesday's.

5. Did you hear the recent news that they have messed with the zodiac signs? Changed the dates and even added a 13th sign. Luckily, I have remained a Pisces. Unbelievably, Brad is now a Pisces instead of a Aries. It's ridiculous. There's no way Brad is a Pisces! Others in my office are similarly distraught about the change... in fact I heard one coworker yell out yesterday "I don't care, I'm still going to be a Leo! I'm all Leo!" Yes. Yes, you are.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The only constant in life...

The times, they are, a changin'!

I'm happy to announce some big changes, both here & at Christina Saull Photography.

As of today, all fans of:

- funny travel stories
- cheap, good eats at far off destinations
- tips on how to squeeze three weeks of clothes into a carry on bag
- musings about the travel industry
- Christina Saull Photography

should head over to my new blog, View from the Middle Seat.

I will continue to post on this blog; however, I will not be cross-posting. Meaning: if you read it here, you won't read it there. If you read it there, you won't read it here. This blog will become more of a personal, family & friends blog, with a continuation of some of my favorite weekly posts, including Five for Friday & Recipe Tuesday.

I am excited to take my blogging in a new direction & hope that you all will continue along with me on this journey!

Sending all the best,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recipe Tuesday: Healthy Football Snacks

Last Tuesday, the Ohio State Buckeyes played in the Sugar Bowl. Instead of going to a bar filled with tempting, unhealthy food, we decided to stay home & watch the game. I whipped up some healthy "snacks" to have as dinner during the festivities. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of the food, as we were both starving by 8:30pm when we finally sat down to nosh.

In addition to the great guilt-free potato skins below, I also made baked chicken fingers (I dip the chicken in bread crumbs without using an egg wash), a hot ricotta cheese dip (using part-skim ricotta cheese), & some phylo dough wrapped cheese triangles. It was all a lot more satisfying than having the usual high fat, high calorie chips & queso!

Guilt-free Potato Skins
recipe from the awesome Hungry Girl

3 medium-sized potatoes
1/2 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. imitation bacon bits
1/4 cup chopped chives and/or fat-free sour cream and/or salsa (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prep potatoes by washing & drying to remove dirt & piercing them several times with a fork to prevent bursting while cooking. Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 4 minutes. Turn potatoes over & return to microwave for 4 more minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a fork, gently scrape out the bulk of the flesh. Place potato skins on a baking dish spritzed with nonstick spray. Cook for 8-10 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your potato skins.

Evenly distribute cheese and bacon bits onto potato skins. Turn off oven, but return skins to the oven until the cheese has melted (for crispy crunchy cheese, leave the oven on).

Remove and top with chives. Cut skins in half. Serve with fat-free sour cream and/or salsa. Makes 3 servings.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas in Barbados

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

I wanted to share some photos from our Christmas celebration in Barbados. Having never been there at this magical time of year, we weren't sure what to expect. But, in true Bajan (&Dad) style, we were not disappointed.

We stay at my Dad's condo while we're there. When you walk in the front door, this is the view you are greeted with:

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Not exactly a bad way to start your vacation.

Dad had all his holiday decorations out, including his collection of nutcrackers:

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Decorations definitely made it feel more "Christmas-y"... even though it was 86 degrees out.

A real Christmas tree costs a couple hundred dollars in Barbados, but I thought his little fake one looked real enough to me!

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Love this little guy

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

The sunset was beautiful, as always.

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Our gifts had both a Bajan and French-Canadian flare to them. This little lady bug chocolate is apparently very popular in France.

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 7, 2011


The sunsets were cloudy, but amazing, this trip.

Photo (c) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The last sunset...

... of 2010!

Photo (C) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, my lovely blog readers!

We had a wonderful time in Barbados. It was sunny & relaxing & great to be with family & friends. I'm still sorting through photos of our trip, but in the meantime, here's a spirited new year's greeting right from Crystal Beach.

Photo (C) Christina Saull - All Rights Reserved