National Margarita Day

Am I the only one who didn’t know there was a National Margarita Day?? I swear, I am always the last person to find about these things!

National Margarita Day is held on February 22nd so out of respect for this national holiday, my friends and I celebrated at Cha-Chas Tequila Bar in Palm Beach over the weekend.

It also happened that my best friend Melanie (pictured below) was in town from California that same weekend for our good friend Stephanie’s wedding so it was the perfect night for catching up with the girls and a little pre-wedding partying!!

Bring on the tequila, lime, salt and triple sec! Aye yi yi yi yi yi yiee!!!Photo

cha chas girls

Cha Chas Tequila Bar was a real hit! Not only did we have a fantastic meal and a great server but we also got a free round of tequila shots, free guacamole and they even gave us keys to a lock box which had fun prizes inside like fake mustaches and sunglasses.

As you can see, things got a little silly…..

It’s always a party with these girls! Viva tequila, amigas y margaritas!!!!

Cha Chas

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Coconut Ramen Noodle Soup

Who loves Ramen Noodles? Or I guess the question to ask is: “Who doesn’t love Ramen Noodles?

I remember I used to dine on this stuff regularly when I was in college but I ended up giving it up because of the unhealthy sodium-rich flavor packets.  However, today I found myself craving the stuff when my boyfriend and I were coming back from the pool.

Luckily, I found a healthy recipe on Motherthyme for Coconut Ramen Noodle Soup which I decided to make for the first time today (without using the packet).

coconut ramen noodle soup

The soup was very tasty and easy to make. Luckily, I had all of the ingredients in my fridge and pantry already so I didn’t have to do a Publix run. I was very pleased with this dish. I loved the flavor of the coconut broth and will definitely be using it as a base for future dishes. Plus I like the fact that I can now have a healthier version of one of my favorite college meals!!

Ingredients

  • 13.5oz can lite coconut milk
  • 13.5oz can water
  • 1/2 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce*
  • 1/4 cup frozen and thawed chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 3.2oz package ramen noodles without the seasoning packet
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan add coconut milk, water, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, Sriracha sauce, spinach and carrots. Bring to a boil and add in ramen noodles. Stir until ramen noodles are cooked, about 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired and serve.
  3. Garnish with bean sprouts and cilantro if desired.

Quick n’ Healthy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

It’s Taco Tuesday night at Casa Nice Girl!!  

Tonight I had 2 very special visitors come over for dinner – Alicia and lil’ Holly Bear 🙂

alicia n holly

Alicia and I have been best friends ever since high school. She just recently moved back into the West Palm area after living down in the Keys for 7 years. Although I’ve enjoyed visiting her, I’m so glad that she’s living closer to home so we can see each other more and have each other over for dinner during the week.

me and alicia
Tonight’s dinner was fish tacos with mango salsa and a side of arroz morros!! The fish and the mango salsa was easy to make and took less than an hour to prepare. And the meal came out exactly as I hoped it would –  light, healthy and delicious.

tacos

Ingredients (serves 3)

Fish Tacos:

2 haddock fillets, rinsed & patted dry

olive oil, salt and pepper

9 corn or flour tortillas, warmed

1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

Optional garnishes: white cheese, cilantro, lime, avocado and/0r sour cream

Mango Salsa:
1/2 red onion (diced)
1 tomato (diced)
1 cup of frozen mango (cut up into chunks)
3 tbl of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 lime

Directions:

1. Prepare the mango salsa – combine the red onion, tomato, mango, cilantro, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and the juice of one lime. Cover and keep in the fridge.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the fish on both sides with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the fish for 10-15 minutes.

3. While the fish is cooking, set up your taco bar. Place cabbage in a small bowl and any other garnishes you desire.

4. When the fish is done cooking, remove to a plate and drizzle with the lime juice. Using a fork, flake the fish into large pieces.

5. Wrap the tortillas in a clean dishcloth or paper towel, put them on to a plate and warm them up in the microwave for 15 seconds.

6. To serve: Put some fish in the center of each tortilla. Top with lime juice, cabbage, then drizzle with mango salsa.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Working-out Around an Injury

A couple of weeks ago, I injured my left wrist during a slip and fall on some ice in DC.

It was super-embarrassing and funny! Luckily, my girlfriends were around to help me out.

Boy I tell ya….that ice sure is slippery! 😛

As funny as it is I didn’t realize how bad the wrist injury was until I returned home a week later and was still in pain. At first, I didn’t think anything of it and thought it would go away on it’s own but here we are two weeks later and I am still dealing with the aftermath.

My good friend Brianne, who was with me on the trip and is also a Certified Nurse Practioner told me it’s possibly a strained Tendon so I’ve been treating it with ice, heat, tiger balm, ibuprofun (for inflammation) and keeping it wrapped up in an Ace bandage and a splint and giving it lots of rest. She also said that it could take weeks to fully heal. Yikes!

wrist

It really bums me out but I am determined not to let it get in the way of my exercise. Luckily it’s my left wrist that’s injured and I’m right-handed so it’s easier for me to rest it but I still use it a lot to do everyday things so it’s been a challenge. I just have to remember to take it easy so I don’t put any further strain on it. I know the best thing for me to do is rest so I am not going to push myself too hard. However, I still need to stay active especially since I have an 8 hour desk job.

So needless to say, I have to modify my work-outs. So far, I have been using the elliptical, treadmill and bike so I am still able to do my cardio. I can also do squats, lunges and sit-ups so at least I can work my abs and legs. I tried to do planks on my elbows but even that hurts so I have to give those up for a while too.

I am really hoping that this goes away before my Tough Mudder Challenge which is on March 1st. I guess I will just have to take it day-by-day.

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for me and I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Love Languages

Good Morning and Happy Sunday!

I hope you all had a great weekend and a Happy Valentine’s Day whether you are single or coupled.

Oscar and I had a very lovely, low-key Valentine’s Day at Casa Nicegirl.

Unfortunately, the weather was rainy and windy which put a damper on our outdoor grilling plans but we made the most of it and enjoyed a nice dinner at home.

Oscar prepared a steak with chimichurri sauce while I made a salad and we shared  a bottle of  Casillero del Diablo Merlot Reserve. For dessert we had my favorite – mint chocolate chip cookie ice cream and strawberries. It was wonderful 🙂

V-Day dinner

After dinner, we snuggled up on the couch and watched our favorite TV shows: Family, Guy, Modern Family and Tosh.0. We also caught half of the movie The Five-Year Engagement. SPOILER ALERT: I cried a little during the scene in the end when she proposed and they got married. I was very embarrassed but Oscar thought that was really cute and funny. I blamed the wine but I think I’m just a sap that way 😉

I also got a card from my honey (I’m a sucker for cards ;p) and a dozen roses. I got Oscar a card as well with a cheesy poem inside (written by moi.)

vday roses

I told Oscar early on in our relationship that I don’t want big, fancy gifts on Valentine’s Day. I don’t like to buy into the commercialism that goes along with this holiday and restaurants get way too busy and crowded so I was more than happy to stay home. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love going out to eat but I also LOVE Oscar’s cooking. I think he is way better at it than I am. I love how focused and creative he gets and how much  thought he puts into making something special just for us. That’s something that you just can’t buy in a store or restaurant.

I recently read a good book that a friend recommended to me called “The Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman. According to the author, there are five main unique languages that couples use to express their love for one another which are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch.

I’m not really sure which one is my main language yet but I think I definitely lean more towards Words of Affirmation and I think Oscar’s main language is Acts of Service. He does the most wonderful, thoughtful things for me all throughout the year which to me speaks VOLUMES.

I’m glad that I read the book and I found it very helpful. I think it’s important for couples to be able to recognize their own love languages as well as the love language of their significant other. That way, we can better express our needs, fulfill our partner’s needs and have a happier relationship.

If you are interested in learning more about the Five Love Languages or would like to take a self-assessment you can do so by clicking on this link: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Well that’s all of the love wisdom I have to share with you today. I hope you enjoy your Sunday and have a wonderful week! 🙂

Marietta Diner

I just love diners. I find them so quirky and inviting. Especially when they are run by the mafia…..

marietta diner front
About a month ago, on a cold Sunday evening during my Atlanta-Woodstock visit, my girlfriend Kristy took me  to the Marietta Diner for dinner and a little one-on-one catch-up time.  I loved it!!  The staff was friendly and inviting and the food was phenomenal. We both ordered the Greek Platter which was a Gyro plate that came with a big helping of fries and a Greek salad. I was also very impressed with the free warm Spanikopitas they bring to your table instead of the usual bread basket.


marietta diner meals

As you can see from the photo, the portion sizes are pretty large so we were both too full to order dessert. Tsk…tsk… that was such a shame because those cakes looked absolutely heavenly! Oh well…my waist line thanked me but I know I will definitely be going back : )

The Marietta Diner, which is located on 306 Cobb Parkway South, has a huge menu with reasonable prices. They also say it’s run by mobsters but you didn’t hear that from me 😉 If you are in the Marietta area, you definitely have to check this place out!!

Private Wine and Painting Party

Painting parties are a lot of fun whether you are with your family, your girlfriends or on a date night with your honey. You can host them at your house or go to a studio where they’ll supply the paint, brushes, canvas, aprons and your palette. All you have to do is bring the wine. They’ll even give you wine glasses and a cork-screw 🙂

Sunday Brunch at J. Christopher’s:
During a recent trip to Atlanta, I spent the day with my good friends Annie and Tanya at a wine and painting party while my boyfriend Oscar spent the day with Mikey (his good friend and Annie’s husband) down in the Atlanta, Ga dome watching the Niners beat the  Falcons in the NFC Championship game.

Before the party, the three of us had brunch at J. Christopher’s; a friendly little breakfast and lunch diner that serves traditional healthy meals all made with fresh ingredients. They have many  locations throughout the greater Atlanta area. I’ve been there a few times, each time at a different site and haven’t had a bad meal yet. I also thought the service and atmosphere was very friendly and cozy which makes this a perfect spot for breakfast or lunch with family and friends.

Breakfast of ladies 🙂

J. Chris breakfast

Sunday afternoon Wine & Painting Party:
Later that afternoon, a bunch of Tanya’s friends showed up for a private wine and painting party in her home. Tanya had booked a local artist and friend to come over and instruct us step-by-step on how to paint a beautiful cherry blossom tree on a canvas. I thought it was pretty neat and a great way to spend the day. We sipped wine, painted and laughed while we had the Niners vs. Falcons game on in the background. It was a lot of fun and everyone’s paintings came out great.

Then we celebrated the Niners victory when the boys got home. It was an extremely joyous afternoon and evening 🙂

paintings

If you’ve never been to a wine and painting party, I would highly recommend it. You’ll be surprised with how great they come out and discover a talent you never knew you had.