Thursday, September 27, 2012

Can You Help Me Out?

Some of you have probably seen me post ad-nauseum that I can't eat gluten.  However, I'm still a pasta-a-holic and I can't seem to get enough of the stuff.  This, however, presents me with two problems:

1) Gluten-free pasta is quite high in calories (and I'm trying to lose a few lbs)
2) Eating too many refined carbs leaves me with a tummy ache

I'm also awaiting the results of a super intense screening for food sensitivities and I foresee a serious detox in my future.

In the meantime, I want to make a slow change in the direction of eating almost exclusively whole grains.  I've replaced sandwich bread with rice-cakes, cereal with oatmeal, and dinner-rolls with a side of brown rice.  But I really really miss pasta.  My goal is to revamp some rockin' pasta dishes to replace the pasta with a whole grain.  I've seen quinoa mac'n'cheese recipes floating around, and my sister taught me an amazing quinoa lasagna dish.  But, other than a fancy spaghetti, I don't really know many good pasta dishes.  And by "good" I mean more complex than simply a jar of sauce. 

Soooo - here's where I'm asking for help.  Will you send me/link me to your favorite pasta dishes?  I'd love something medeterian, something creamy with vegetables, a great chunky red sauce - anything that's healthy-ish and interesting.  I'll test them out with different grain bases and report back what I find.

Are you up for helping me with this challenge?  I'd be more than grateful!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Old Navy Challenges Me Again

So, every time I think I know what looks good on my body - every time I think I know my own sense of style - Old Navy comes along with a new Crowdtap challenge and totally shakes me up. 

You  may have seen my posts  about the free Old Navy swimsuit I was awarded.  Or, perhaps, this post about the free Old Navy dress.  Well, this time they really stepped it up.  Not only did they increase the number of friends I got to take from 1 to 3, but instead of giving us one free item, we each got 3!  We got to put together entire outfits!  Huzzah!  I'm the queen of buying random pieces that go with nothing else I own - so it was fun to have the challenge of building a whole outfit.  

I took along 3 friends who'd never met before, from three completely different spheres of my life.  Fortunately, they are all amazing women and they got along swimmingly.  We had a little trouble finding things at first - the skirts, scarves and cardigans are all in different parts of the store (in fact, the cardis were in 3 separate places!), but once we got things sorted out, we had a blast putting things together in the fitting rooms.  And each one of us was surprised to discover what clothes looked the very best on us.  We came in four very different lovely shapes and sizes, but each of us was able to build an entire outfit that flattered us.  Here are some photos of our adventure.

 Here's what I wore to the store.  Yup, those are Old Navy shorts from many seasons ago.  Definitely my go-to pair.
 What my racks looked like - so hard to choose!
 And, of course, I couldn't just stick to the promotional items - I found sweats I'd actually wear out of the house!  That is so rare for me, so I bought them in two colors ;)
 I did have a little trouble finding the right size in some things.  This cardi was supposed to be a small, but it was super long!  Looking at the website, I thought this sweater would be my favorite.  Not so much.
 And I really wanted to love this cardi and scarf (look at the adorable ruffles!  and the gorgeous pattern!), but they just didn't work on my shape.
 Ah, much better.  Though I exchanged this scarf at the last second for a pink and grey infinity scarf.  I figured I ought to infuse the outfit with a little color. I was surprised, given that I have curves, that the long sweater and the skinny pencil skirt were the most flattering.  Way to go Old Navy!
 Much nicer on my silhouette.  I love the long lean sweater and the slinky skirt will look killer with heels.  Made me feel elegant while still being SUPER cozy.
 And my other lovely ladies found awesome outfits, too!  I love all the colors (wish I'd been more brave) and the way they pulled their outfits together.  Aren't they gorgeous!?
 And I had no idea that Old Navy had such amazing accessories!
 I wanted to buy everything on these racks!
I finally picked out a bracelet and some earrings to match a boutique dress I'd bought for a wedding.  Pricey dress, but the accessories were dirt cheap!  Here's to looking classy without breaking the bank!

So that was my adventure at Old Navy.  If you haven't checked out their latest fall looks, head over there asap - you won't regret it!  

Also, if you're interested in participating in similar promotions, consider signing up for Crowdtap.  Answer a few simple product questions each week, rack up megapoints (which you can trade in for Amazon cards), and eventually you'll qualify for awesome deals like free clothes from a fantastic shop!

Note: clearly, I was compensated for this post with free products.  However, my opinions are always honest and I would never recommend a product I didn't love.
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