Easy Cold Pasta Salad Recipe

Hello Monday! I don’t know about everyone else but my days are morphing into each other. As this quarantine life continues, it’s hard not to eat everything in fridge. I also probably haven’t ate a vegetable in 3 weeks, lol. So now that this has become our new normal (for now), I’m going to make a conscious effort for better food choices.

Today I’m bringing to you a super simple cold pasta salad recipe that can basically be made however you want and with whatever you got in the fridge.

Here’s what I used:

  • Whole Wheat Penne
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Light Italian Dressing

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package
  2. Chop veggies while the pasta is cooking
  3. When ready, drain pasta and let it cool completely
  4. Once the pasta is cooled off, combine everything (including the cheese, which I also cut into pieces)
  5. Add the dressing to the pasta mixture – I didn’t measure a thing, I just eye-balled

Now doesn’t that look scrumptious?! I like to have this on hand for an easy snack or lunch. And like I said, what’s great about this is that you can throw anything in there and my guess it will taste just as good. You could also add in a protein (like chicken) if you wanted too.

Have a great week!

New Balance Workout Wear

Don’t we ladies love a good pair of leggings? And I’m talking about the real deal, no see-through kind.

Needless to say that I live in workout clothes. I like to be active/workout everyday and the fact that I work from home is also an easy excuse. Lately I have been going through my closet and getting rid of the really old and really crappy workout stuff. You know what I’m talking about too; the shirts with the sweat stains, the leggings that are stretched out, etc. And now that I cleaned it out, I decided to check out my favorite website and grab a few things.

I’m not sure when New Balance totally re-branded but boy have they come a long way from those white sneakers. I have a few pairs of their sneakers which I love. The other day I purchased a couple items from Joe’s New Balance Outlet, an online retail spot that sells clothes and sneakers on major discount. They have daily deals (hard to resistant) and the clearance section is always on point.

NB Dry Tanks – Reversible, Relaxed Fit – I picked up these three tanks for less than $10 each and I’m so glad I did. I definitely could of sized down though. But I’ll still wear these a ton and just knot them. They are reversible so you could wear the v-neck in the front or back.

NB Dry Sports Bra – I’ve been in desperate need for new sports bras so I was happy to grab these when I saw them. They are medium impact so perfect for my at-home workouts.

NB Dry Mid Rise Speed Crop / Mid Rise Impact Capri – These leggings will suck you right in! I got these leggings because the length appealed to me. I have such short legs, so I’m always on the hunt for capri/crop length. These also have reflective strips on the bottom which is a nice touch for running in the morning or at night.

If you’re in the market for some new workout gear I would highly suggest checking out Joe’s New Balance Outlet and browsing the site for some deals.

Meal Prep Monday – Burrito Bowls

And just like that…it’s Monday again. I hope everyone had a nice relaxing weekend! The weather here in NC was beautiful so David and I took advantage. We went for a nice long walk around the neighborhood and I managed to get a wicked sunburn. Sometimes I forget how quickly and easily I burn! It was also nice to cook at home (David made a delicious meatloaf) and just lay low.

Yesterday I managed to whip up these burrito bowls for the week. I like to have either lunch or dinner prepped for the week that way it’s one less thing to worry about. This is a super easy recipe and came together really quickly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brown Rice
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Yellow Onion
  • Red Enchilada Sauce
  • Black Beans
  • Corn
  • Sour Cream (topping)
  • Fiesta Shredded Cheese (topping)

Directions:

  1. Cut the onion and throw them in the hot pan with a little olive oil
  2. Add the ground beef and cook until brown
  3. Add spices of your choice (I used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder)
  4. Start cooking the brown rice (I used the pre-cooked, boil in a bag, 10 min kind to make it super easy)
  5. Add the jar of enchilada sauce, black beans, and corn to the beef and let that simmer for a bit

Once everything is done, then combine the rice and beef mixture into your containers. Remember, let it cool before putting them into the fridge. When ready to eat, heat up in the microwave and add some cheese and sour cream. You could also add some lettuce if you had that too.

Now let’s tackle this Monday and have a great week y’all!

 

Friday Feels

Happy Friday everyone! Can we still say that with everything going on? My county officially established a Stay at Home Order on Thursday, which quite honestly, is what we’ve all been doing anyway. However, parks are now closed, most people should be working from home now, and there’s not a heck of a whole lot to do. But I’m trying to have a positive outlook and not let the stress get to me. Now is the time to relax, slow down, and enjoy what we can.

What I’m reading this week:

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod – This book is so popular and now I’m starting to realize why. I’m only a couple chapters in but boy am I hooked.

How To Stop Feeling Like Shit by Andrea Owen – Admittedly I bought this book on a whim because Amazon told me to. Is that a sign I buy too many “self-help” books? LOL

Lately I am trying to develop a more healthy morning routine (hence The Miracle Morning) and one of my personal goals is to read more personal development books. It may be corny to some, but trust me…there is a whole community out there that loves these types of books and for good reason. They make you think, give helpful tips and tools to live a more fulfilling life, etc.

My favorite snack of the moment! Cut up an apple and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top. So tasty and satisfies my sweet tooth. Apparently apples curb your hunger as well, so having this in the the afternoon holds me over til dinner.

Since we are all cooped up inside, below are a couple of YouTube channels that provide great (free) online workouts. Put on the sneaks and get moving!

Leslie Sansone (Walk at Home) https://www.youtube.com/user/walkathomemedia

Up to the BEat Fit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3wm6Rex4kcvOVpqxNHeA

Tone It Up https://www.youtube.com/user/ToneItUpcom

Obviously this weekend will be low key. The forecast is set to be in the 80s(!) so a lot of walks around the neighborhood will definitely be had. I’ve got a new puzzle to start (my new hobby), a few magazines to dive into, and some Netflix to binge.

I hope everyone continues to be safe!

 

Crockpot French Onion Chicken and Potatoes

Happy Hump Day y’all! Hope everyone’s week is going well and smoothly. There is still so much stress and anxiety in the world right now, that it’s hard to focus on anything else. For me, watching the news is not healthy at this point so I decided to take a step back from that. And let’s face it, whenever there’s an update or breaking news it’s all over Twitter and Instagram anyway. With that being said, I hope everyone remains safe and continues to brave the storm.

Today I’m sharing a quick and easy slow-cooker recipe; french onion chicken with potatoes and greenbeans. Not only is this super easy but also super yummy. Throw this together in the afternoon and 4 hours later you have dinner made!

Here’s what you need: 

  • 2 lbs of chicken breast or thighs (I’ve used both and either works! With the grocery stores all outta whack, I was only able to find thighs this time)
  • Gold potatoes – cut in quarters (I ended up only using 2)
  • Fresh Cut Greenbeans – I’m sure you could use canned, but I just happen to like the taste of fresh ones better
  • French Onion Dip seasoning mix packet

Directions:

  • Place the chicken on the bottom of crockpot
  • Cut potatoes (in quarters) and toss them in there
  • Throw the greenbeans right on top
  • Sprinkle the seasoning all over

Note – YOU DO NOT NEED ANY LIQUID! Between the water from the potatoes and juices from the chicken, you’ll be fine. I had no issues with the chicken getting dry. It was actually perfect.

4 hours later, you’re done! This dish is extremely delicious and great for a busy weeknight.

This has become a regular in my kitchen. I’ve actually used ranch seasoning as well and that was scrumptious too.

Enjoy!

Book Review (Round 2)

 

I’m back! Instead of giving you some long-winded excuse-filled post about where I’ve been and why I ghosted this blog, I’m just going to dive in. Cool? Cool.

Today I’m bringing you another round of book reviews. As it’s no surprise, I love reading and have quite the collection building up. Full disclosure here – I read these three books a couple months ago and I just happened to find them in a drawer recently. I really enjoyed all three, so I figured I would jot these down for you.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

You guys, this book will suck you right in. This is a fast-paced suspenseful novel that will keep you on your toes and will leave you wanting more. In this book, you follow along Thursday (the narrator) and her life being married to a polygamist. She knows NOTHING about the other two wives, until one day it all changes. I truly don’t want to give anymore details because it’s just so good. It’s not what you expect and neither is Thursday. This book does touch on mature issues/situations if that bothers you.  *Trigger warning: domestic abuse, miscarriage, mental health issues*

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

I will admit that it took a little while for me to get into this book. I don’t know if I was just too tired by the time I opened it or what but it finally picked up for me a few chapters in. In this novel we meet Paul Strom who seemingly has it all. Married to the beautiful Mia, has a big perfect house, two healthy boys, and a great career. He’s planned a lovely romantic getaway for himself and Mia at their lake house and has promised her the “best day ever”. You quickly find out that Paul’s life isn’t so perfect and his marriage most certainly is not.  Even with the slow start, I would still recommend this book.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

This book has been floating around for quite some time and I’m not surprised. It’s a real page turner and I’m all here for it. You will start to read this and make assumptions galore. You’ll think you’re reading about a jealous ex-wife and this is some crazy wicked love triangle. DO NOT ASSUME. It’s chilling and dark and so much more. Highly recommend!

During this crazy time we’re all living in right now, there’s something comforting about having a glass of wine, getting cozy and picking up a good book to read. I know we are all stressed and afraid of the unknown, so why not escape the real world for a bit?

Stay safe!

Monday Meal Prep

 

Hi there! I have another easy recipe/meal prep idea for this week!

Mandarin Orange Chicken with brown rice and green beans. 

This literally took me 30 mins to throw all this together and I ended up with five portions. This is great for either lunch or dinner, which ever you prefer. I decided with this meal because I already had all of this in my pantry/fridge, so I didn’t even need to hit the grocery store.

Here’s what I used:

  • Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken (frozen package)
  • Brown Rice (Ready to boil)
  • Trader Joe’s French Cut Green Beans (frozen)

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken according to the package – about 20 mins in the oven
  2. Cook the brown rice – bring 4 cups of water to a boil (for 2 bags) and simmer for about 10 mins
  3. Saute the green beans to your liking – I also added some salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder

That’s it! 3 easy steps!

Monday Meal Prep

One of my new year’s “resolutions” was to start meal prepping. I find I make healthier food decisions when things are made and ready to go. Having a full fridge is crucial  when trying to be mindful with your eating. There’s less temptation and better yet, REASON, to not grab the not-so-healthy foods.

With that being said, I threw together this easy chicken/pasta dish for a quick option for either lunch or dinner this week. Here’s how it went down…

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

  • Bow tie pasta
  • Chicken Breasts (I used 2)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • String Beans (I used fresh french cut)
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing

Directions

  1. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins
  2. Saute the string beans with olive oil and add in whatever seasonings you like – I used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Also add some cherry tomatoes (I’m not a HUGE fan, so I didn’t use a heck of a whole lot), but of course you can have as much as you want
  3. Boil some water and throw that pasta in there
  4. Once the chicken is done, cut that up and throw it in with the green beans and tomatoes
  5. After the pasta is done and drained, you can also add that in the same pot as the green beans
  6. Mix it all up and then divide into containers – I ended up with 4

Notes

  • Let the pasta cool off before putting it into the fridge
  • When you grab the portion for the day, throw some roasted peppers on there and some dressing
  • Can be eaten hot or cold

Easy right? Such a simple dish to prepare ahead of time and will still be delicious the day of. Have a great week!

BeautyCounter Favs

As I continue to get older (I’m looking at you 3-0), I’ve become more aware of what I’m actually putting on my face. Long gone are the days where I can slap on a cheap moisturizer and call it day. Now you can find me at the sink for what feels like an hour and partake in a multiple-step process morning and night. Night routines are the worst, amiright?

A little backstory on my skin… I’ve always struggled with acne. Some years worse than others. And unfortunately for me, I’m in a bit of a rough patch right now. Quite literally. I have dry, acne-prone skin. So when I get can get my pimps under control, that’s when the dryness flares up.  But, instead of getting mad and frustrated like I usually do, I’m trying a new approach. I’m being more intentional of the products I’m using and truly giving them a shot. Instead of trying loads of new products (all at the same time) like I have done in the past, I’m using what I have, seeing the difference and slowly introducing new products. And while my skin is nowhere near great and how I want it to be, I do see some improvements and I’m hopeful.

With that being said, I have started using more BeautyCounter products in my routine. If you don’t know, BeautyCounter is a skincare/cosmetic line that sells safe and cleaner products for your skin. They use natural ingredients, are cruelty-free, and ethically sourced. Now I know that the brand can get a bad rep because just like any other multi-level marketing company, you’re going to get a bad taste in your mouth. However, I do not use a sales rep and I don’t sell it. Meaning, any Joe Schmo can go on the website and order. You don’t need to go through a sales agent or anything like that. And if you do happen to love the products, you can actually join with a membership (I have not done this…yet) and for like $29 a YEAR, you can get some good discounts and free shipping. Which, I think is a total no-brainer because shipping costs suck. Most of the products have great reviews and are extremely helpful. Of course, everybody’s skin is different, so you really just have to try for yourself and go from there. But based on other reviews and similar skin types, I decided to try some products that I think would help my skin. I’ve been using these products for months, so I truly can give my opinion on them. And again, I don’t “sell” BeautyCounter and this post is not sponsored in any shape or form.

Here’s a list of my current favorites!

Nourishing Cream Cleanser – Like I said, I have dry skin so I tend to lean towards cream cleansers for daily use. I actually love this one too! It’s not harsh at all, def cleans the skin, and I don’t feel like my skin is being stripped every time I use it. I use this in the morning and night.

Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion – This is a nice lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t clog my pores. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’m head over heels with this product, but I will continue to use it. I use it in my morning routine.

Toner Pads – For years I didn’t use toner. Like, what’s the point right? WRONG. I stopped using these toner pads for a while and totally noticed a difference. I know this might seem like a pointless step in your nightly routine, but it definitely is not. Swipe one of these suckers across your face and you’ll see the excess makeup that your cleaner just didn’t get.

Lotus Glow Cleansing Stick – In addition to the nourishing cream cleanser, this is a great alternative cleanser. I keep this one in my shower and use it sparely. I have no true negatives about this product, but I’m not jumping out of my seat either.

Overnight Resurfacing Peel – If you take away anything from this post, take this…. get this product! This is like the holy grail of BeautyCounter. So many rave reviews and hardly any negatives. After washing your face, take 1-2 pumps of this and massage into your face. Take note, it might sting a little bit. It’s supposed to! I mean, you won’t wake up with a new face but you’ll def notice a difference. I use this about twice a week.

Charcoal Facial Mask – This is my second favorite!! In all honesty, I don’t do masks a heck of a whole lot, but this one is on my face on a weekly basis. Charcoal is known to take out all the icky stuff out of your face and I feel like this product does just that. This is a great addition to your nightly routine about twice a week as well.

There ya have it! Those are just a few products that I’ve been using and liking lately. All in all, I will continue to use BeautyCounter for sure.

Friday Feels

Hey! We made it through another week friends! For me, this week dragged a tiny bit, but I think that the darker nights and colder mornings are just getting to me. I’m craving that warmer weather, and hell, I’m not even a summer person.

I figured in light of me re-starting this blog, I would introduce some new series. Posts where it would become a weekly regular. And of course we’re going to start with Friday, because…FRIDAY. So with that being said, I’d like to add “Friday Feels” to that list. Basically jotting down quick snip-its from the week and sharing what I’m feeling. There could be five things, there could be twenty (highly unlikely, but you know what I mean).

Let’s get started, shall we?

Restarting “Sara’s Savory Style”

Quick backstory here: I originally started this blog about six years ago, with a notion that I was going to become this big-wig blogger and document all the things and be this influencer that could quit her day job. Um, Sara. WAKE THE F* UP. To give myself some credit, I was young(ish) and blogs were the cool thing then. For a while I was pretty good, but ultimately it just started to fizzle out. I felt myself becoming inauthentic and it just wasn’t fun. Fast forward to today, where I’ve been living in a new state for almost 3 years and I work full-time from home. But it wasn’t until recently that I was having dinner with my boyfriend, and we stumbled upon the topic of hobbies. You see, he’s a total video-gamer and I am not. Not one bit. The best I can do is kick your ass in Mario Kart, and then I’m calling it a night. But David on the other hand is a complete pro. Has the whole duel desktop setup and special chair kind of pro. So on top of him doing his video game thing, he also works a hell of a whole lot (CAD engineering) and goes to school. Which, when I see it in writing…damn, my guy is a go-getter. But for me, I like to do things, but I wouldn’t say I have a “passion”. Yeah I like to cook, read, and write, but where can I throw them all in one pot and stir them all together? Enter, this blog. So here we are! Revamping Sara’s Savory Style and giving it a good-all college try. Is that the expression? Lord knows I never finished college.

LIIFT4 (Beachbody Program)

Have ya’ll ever heard of Beachbody? I’m sure your first reaction is “of course! It’s that scam where people can become a coach and you get that nasty shake stuff”. And I’m here to tell you… you are not wrong. Is it complete bullshit that anyone can call themselves a “coach”? Yes. Is it annoying to see girls on Instagram posting their workouts every day and saying “if I have the time, so do you!” Yes KAREN, it is annoying. But… you can make Shakeology taste pretty darn good. Truth? I drink it. I add some almond milk, throw in a banana, and blend that shit up. I do not use water because I’m no monster. And I do not “shake it” because I have taste buds. If you make it like my little concoction, it ain’t half bad. It’s definitely on the healthier side as far as “protein shakes” but it can be annoying when you have to physically make it everyday. #firstworldproblems So, I’ve since cancelled it but have a supply for another two months to finish. Damn subscriptions.

With all that being said, I do love their workout programs. I’ve done a few of them and I’m currently doing the LIIFT 4 one. At first I was a little skeptical of how I’d like it. But just call me Arnold Schwarzenegger because turns out I love weightlifting. This program blends weight training (using dumbbells) with HIT cardio and it’s a total sweat session. So if you’re looking to skip the gym and try at-home workouts, I would recommend Beachbody On Demand. You can simply pay for just the workouts (not to mention, it’s one flat fee for TONS upon TONS of programs). In true transparency, it’s about $100 bucks for year. In comparison, Orangetheory is over a $100 a month.

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta (Recipe Fail) 

Sounds delicious right? It’s easy cause it’s in the crockpot, right? WRONG. It wasn’t until the step where I had to add the pasta, where things went wrong. So so wrong. It became thick, chunky, and heavy. Am I subconsciously describing myself? LOL. But yes, it was okay and you could eat it but it certainly didn’t come out the way I intended. I was picturing say, spaghetti with your basic tomato sauce, but switch it for a creamy buffalo sauce. Tasty right? I’m going to attempt it again, without cooking the noodles in the crockpot. Here’s my plan: make the chicken/sauce combo in the crockpot, cook the noodles (using macaroni instead of fettuccine) separate, and then combine the two. If it turns out the way I envision, I’ll share the recipe fo sho.

No set plans for this weekend for me. Tonight will consist of me eating gluten-free pizza (hey Udi’s) and watching Life After Lockup. If you know what show that is, then you’re my person! Let’s be friends. David mentioned making chili on Saturday night, which I won’t lie, is a major highlight for me. But in my defense, who doesn’t love chili?!

Hope you enjoyed this first edition of Friday Feels, which turns out, wasn’t quite as short as I intended. Oops. Anyway, have a lovely weekend and I hope you continue to check back in and see what other shenanigans I get into.