Wednesday, May 30, 2012

summer salad

After researching my options for restaurants that serve yummy salads in downtown Fort Worth, I discovered that Flying Saucer [a staple downtown bar] actually serves lunch! Not only that, they had a few salads on the menu. I went a few weeks ago for lunch and ordered Lauren's Goat Cheese Salad [how could I resist a salad bearing my name?] and it was to die for. No joke, people. I liked it so much that I bought the same ingredients at the grocery store and am happy to be able to make it whenever I want! I did make some additions and substitutions, so I renamed my version:

Lauren's Chicken and Feta Salad
adapted from Flying Saucer's Lauren's Goat Cheese Salad
[serves 2]

2-3 cups spinach - can use mixed field greens, romaine, or other mix [no iceberg!!]
1/2 a vine ripe tomato, diced
1 thin slice of red onion, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled - can also use goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
2 small chicken breasts
1/4 cup dried cranberries, optional

1. Grill, bake, or pan fry the chicken until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Slice into 1/4 - 1/2" pieces. I chose to bake mine at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes. *Optional: You can marinate the chicken in Italian salad dressing the night before you cook it for some extra flavor.

2. On a plate or in a bowl, combine the spinach, diced tomato, red onion, goat cheese, walnuts, cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette. Serve chicken on top and enjoy immediately.

This salad would be great for lunch during the work week, too! What do you think of this yummy fresh salad? Do you have a go-to healthy salad recipe? If so, please share in a comment below! xo.

Friday, May 25, 2012

weekend retreat

Hey everyone! I just got back from a weekend retreat in Frio country with a big group of me and the hubs' friends. We spent three beautiful days outdoors and floating the river while catching up on each others' lives. Despite the long drive, the trip was a blast and I feel refreshed and ready for summer! Hope to get some time this week to sit down and whip up some new reading material for you.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! xo.

Monday, May 21, 2012

summer concert style

I went to my very first Dave Matthews concert on Saturday and faced a dilemma most girls can relate to: what should I wear?? 

I went to Marshall's and was thankful they had a great selection. It's hit-or-miss with that place, really. I found a gorgeous flowy tank in a lightweight tangerine fabric--it was perfect! I paired the new top with my trusty dark wash Express shorts and light brown gladiators from last summer [so glad they are still in style.] For accessories, I went for a pair of fun dangly earrings and a small Fossil cross-body cobalt-hued purse.

Below, I've come up with a very similar outfit that I think is a great laid-back yet classy summer look that's appropriate for other twenty-somethings like myself. The cobalt blue pendant is to die for--I think I need to get one asap! A small purse is a stylish and practical way to tote the bare necessities and a bright summer blanket to sit on is a must for lawn seating.

What do you think of this summer concert look? xo.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

fort worth happy hour :: mk's sushi

I'm thinking of starting a new weekly-ish series that focuses on the happy hour hot spots in Fort Worth. After starting my full-time big girl job last month, I've really come to appreciate a good happy hour special from time to time.

This past Friday my friend and I decided a cocktail was calling our names after work! We knew we wanted sushi and a good happy hour, so MK Sushi in the West 7th district fit the bill. There are lots of great sushi places around Fort Worth and I'm sure this will be the first of many I write about.

Anyway, appetizers were very inexpensive [hello, $3 edamame!], drinks were very affordable, and there was a limited selection of rolls for $5! We split an order of edamame, each got our own roll, and had a drink or two. At $2 each it's not a bad deal! I tried a vodka soda with a splash of cranberry juice and it was perfect. Refreshing for a warm May afternoon. Did I mention MK has a patio? That was also a major factor in our happy hour selection. Gotta soak in these wonderful Texas spring afternoons while we can before it gets too unbearably hot.

Overall, MK Sushi gets about 4.5 stars out of 5. I only dock them points because the service wasn't great when we first arrived [I want my server to greet me and at least take my drink order instead of making us sit and wait for 10 minutes--and trust me, it wasn't overly busy at 6 pm] but it did get better.

Cheers! xo.

Friday, May 18, 2012

my thoughts on yoga

In addition to my current cardio routine consisting of spin class 3-4 times per week, I've started attending a yoga class about twice per week and have really started to look forward to it! I'm by no means new to this form of exercise, but I've definitely stepped up my frequency and am already noticing improvements in my balance, flexibility, and overall muscle strength.

If you are interested in making yoga part of your weekly routine, check out YouTube for some free videos to practice with in the comforts of your own home [Tara Stiles' vids, below, are pretty easy to follow.] Or if you already have a gym membership that offers group exercise classes, try out the yoga class and see what you think!

What to know:

  • Get your own mat! They are so cheap at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, etc. [Mine was $10!] Also, make sure you clean it regularly to prevent bacterial infection. Tea Tree oil or good ol' soap and water will do the trick. Class-shared mats are rarely [if ever]cleaned, and you don't know who used it before you!
  • Wear flip flops. Yoga is best done barefoot. Flip flops allow you to slip your shoes off easily without dealing with socks and shoe laces.
  • Wear fitted pants, leggings, or capris. Do yourself and the class a favor and don't wear shorts [especially loose-fitting ones.] Many of the positions might give people around you a view that they may wish they hadn't seen.
  • Fitted tops are also best, since positions such as downward dog mean you will be upside down. Don't flash the class!
  • Be in the right mindset. Even if you are stressed, upset, etc. try to free your mind as much as you can and just be in the moment. You will feel so relaxed once class is over.
  • Modify! If a certain position pains you beyond tolerance or you just haven't developed the balance to sustain it yet, your instructor should be showing you modifications to the positions that make them slightly easier and help you work your way up to the real deal.
  • Bring a friend! It's always so much better when you know there's someone else in class with you keeping you accountable and vice versa. Personally, I'm much more likely to keep a good exercise schedule when I'm going with someone else.
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Do you practice yoga regularly? What is your favorite benefit? 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

may playlist

I don't know about you but I love discovering new music and rediscovering long-forgotten oldies. I often get inspired by sites/apps like Pandora and Spotify in addition to recommendations from other people. Spotify is my music player of choice when I'm at home [it's free on a desktop but you must pay to use it on a mobile device.] Currently, I am digging indie/alternative tunes. Here's some of my faves that I've been listening to lately while unwinding on the web or developing photos. Check them out and feel free to recommend some to me! xo.

Monday, May 7, 2012

mother's day gift guide

Mother's Day is a week away! Here's a few gift ideas to show mom [or aunt, grandma, etc.] how much they mean to you. Tropical brights and soft pastels are prominent in my selection and are sure to give serious style cred to your recipient. Happy shopping! xo.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

attention, attention...

I have an announcement!

I've decided from here on out, Lancaster Laundry will be a Fort Worth lifestyle blog. Don't worry, friends. I will still have a large focus on style and home decor. But you may start seeing a little more of a peek into my personal life as a Fort Worth resident.

I hope you will like what you see in the coming weeks!


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