New Web Address + New Recipe: Quinoa Vegetable Salad

Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for following my blog. I have changed my web address to allow me a little more flexibility with my posts.

Please follow me at my new address: www.JessicaGust.com.

I just posted a new recipe for Chilled Quinoa & Vegetable Salad, you don’t want to miss it!

Thanks!

Jessica

Pure Michigan

It has been a crazy few weeks in my life but I am feeling glad to be home and finally settled back into my routine. I always find it hard to get back into the swing of life and work after a long vacation!

Visiting my hometown after being gone for a while always brings a mix of emotions, I sometimes forget that time has not stood still since I left and that things change, ultimately that is a good thing πŸ™‚

I am so thankful for my friends and family. I miss everyone already! These are just a few of my favorite memories from my trip.

1. Seeing childhood friends

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2. Spending time with childhood friend’s babies πŸ™‚

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3. Lake Michigan

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4. Michigan Microbrews! Living in wine country, I don’t pick beer too often so this was a nice change! These were ones I tried: Perrin Grapefruit IPA {it was heavenly}, Bells Two Hearted Ale {I hear it is one of the highest rated in the country!} and Paleooza Michigan Pale Ale {Pictured below}

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5. A 10 PM walk {no jacket needed} through one of my favorite places on earth, Michigan State University

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6. Fun Tyme with the Marsh’s

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7. Laying pool side at home with the family

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8. Thirsty Thursday @ Lugnuts {Yes that is really the name of our baseball team}

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9. Seeing my college roommates πŸ™‚ Brody Reunion!!

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10. Having the ability to travel and making it safely!

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I love Pure Michigan!

Tasty {and healthy} Tuna Melt

My husband LOVES tuna melts. I swear if I made them every night he would be happy! Luckily, they are pretty much the easiest and quickest things to make when you are short on time {and energy}. My refrigerator is running on empty and I am the queen of mix matching random items to make some sort of meal. As a dietitian, I can appreciate a good meal, but I don’t in anyway consider myself a gourmet chef, or planner when it comes to meals. I am more of a throw something together at the last minute kind of gal. I also don’t love to follow recipes. So here is a quick and easy meal for one, two or the whole family in less than 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 can Albacore Tuna {no salt, packed in water}

Chopped Red Onion {I used about 1/8 cup}

Chopped Kale {1/4 cup}

Tomat0 {2-3 thin slices per sandwich}

Cheese {optional, I used cheddar because it was all I had, Swiss is my favorite for melts}

100% Whole wheat Bread {2 Slices, for a lower carb option make an open faced sandwich or lettuce wrap!}

Mayonnaise {2-3 Tablespoons, this can be adjusted based on how much you like mayo; alternate options are plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, some people also enjoy using mustard}

Seasonings: I used crushed black pepper and garlic powder {small amount for flavor} Sea Salt is optional, I use a pinch

Olive Oil {1-2 teaspoons}

Griddle or George Foreman Grill

Directions:

Finely chop up the vegetables {red onion, kale, if you have chopped carrots these work great too!}

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Add tuna to a small bowl

Add finely chopped vegetables

Add Mayo and mix all ingredients together

Add seasoning, mix again.

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Drizzle small amount of olive oil on two slices of bread

Place one slice, olive oil side down on the griddle, add 1 slice of cheese

Top with about 1/4-1/2 cup of the tuna mixture

Add a few slices of tomato

{Note} if you add your cheese to the top of the tomatoes, it helps hold them in place

Add your second slice of bread to the top, olive oil side facing up

Press down on the grill, let sit for a few minutes, check on it frequently, everyone likes their bread toasted a little differently

{note if you want to make an open faced sandwich, it works better in a pan on the stove top or in a toaster oven}

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Serve with a salad and side, tonight we choose sweet potato fries, baked in the oven, because we had some frozen cut sweet potato left over from a previous meal, these can be seasoned as well, we prefer ours plain.

Of course we also had kale salad, gotta use up the inventory!Β  πŸ™‚

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Super easy meal in under 20! Enjoy!

 

 

{How to} Pack a One Week Vacay Into a Carry-On!

I am super excited about this post, because doing so means I have an upcoming trip! I am so can’t wait to see my family and friends in Michigan! If you live away from home, or travel a lot you know how challenging it can be to check luggage. After 7 years away from home, traveling has become fairly routine for me, I feel like I have learned a lot along the way that has made my life so much easier! After many delayed flights {Detroit in the winter is impossible}, unexpected nights in the airport and several episodes of lost luggage forcing me to wait days for my clothing I no longer check luggage…EVER! Traveling in the winter makes this a little more tricky, but luckily it is summer {almost} and I am dreaming of a warm {and probably muggy} vacation in the mitten.

Since my friends and family are always asking me how I fit everything in my carry-on, I thought I would share, so here it goes! Tips for easier travel!

Tip #1: Streamline your toiletries and accessories, most places you go will have some items you need.

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1. I got this great flat accessory holder for my birthday from my mom, it is from Thirty-One and folds up so flat! In here I have included: Make up removing wipes, a small mirror, my daily contacts, a travel toothbrush, my make up brushes, mascara, lip gloss, concealer, compact cover up, naked-bronzer/blush combo, naked-palette, eyelash curler plus deodorant {but I keep that in my purse!}

2. When you carry on, any liquids/gels have to be visible in a re closeable baggie. I suggest not forgetting this or all of your favorite products will get thrown in the trash!! {yes I say this from experience} They have a strict 3 oz rule, don’t forget! I always make sure to have my favorite products with me in travel size. Here is what I have included: Bumble and Bumble voluminous mouse, thickening spray and defrizz {staples for summer in the Midwest!} I also have a travel sized face wash, face lotion and SPF 30 as well as a travel size toothpaste. Luckily for me I know where I am going will have shampoo and conditioner + body wash, so I won’t bother to pack it.

3. For this trip I am bringing my curling Iron and Straighter since I will be going to two different weddings. I tied all my hair ties to the handle of my brush so I wouldn’t lose them, I brought some fun hair ties because they look way better on the wrist than the ugly black ones.

4. Jewelry: I always struggle with downsizing here! I decided on one statement necklace, a watch, a few bracelets {gold and silver} and I will probably wear my simple stud earnings, which are not pictured because they are normally in my ears πŸ™‚ I may add in one or two extra necklaces last minute, I tend to do that! I am also bringing one neutral colored belt which works well with tops, jeans or dresses!

Tip #2: Pack active clothes which are multifunctional

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1. Since it is summerish I plan on spending time by the pool and at the beach. I packed two swim suite tops and bottoms that can actually be worn 4 different ways since all of them can be mix matched. If you try to buy swim separates this way, you have less to pack but more options! I love the black top with the colorful bottoms, but can also wear the full black suite, or the pink top with the black bottoms or colorful bottoms.

2. I know I will be working out a least a few times while I am home. My sister and I usually go running once or twice, so I packed one pair of workout shorts {which I can wash if I need them more than once} as well as 1 t-shirt and 1 tank.

3. I never forget a hat, summers in Michigan are HOT, gotta keep that sun off my face. I LOVE the colors in this hat that my husband bought me.

Tip #3: Bring one fun pair of shoes, but mostly neutrals that can be worn with lots outfits

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1. I am in love with these mint green sandals from Target. I have already mapped out what they go with and I know they are good for at least 3-4 outfits.

2. I have two weddings to go to while I am home, so I decided these nude colored heels were my best bet. They go with both dresses I have packed for the wedding, one that is dressier and one that is a little more summery and casual.

3. Flip flops, gotta have these for the pool, beach, running around etc. I am a big fan of turquoise.

4. My basic black go to sandals, they obviously go with just about any outfit.

Tip #4: Lay out your clothing and think about what you will wear with each outfit that way, you don’t wind up on vacation with a bunch of random items and nothing that pairs well. Also, try to find tops that go with more than one bottom.

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1. I packed 1 black bra, 1 sports bra and one convertible strapless.

2. Make sure you have enough underwear for each day {I don’t think this is an area for skimping}

3. I am not a fan of shorts, I just really don’t like to wear them. I am a dress gal, so I brought several of them. On the far right are two maxi dresses and one skirt, super comfy and light. I also have the nicer blue dress and yellow dress for the two weddings I am going to {the nude heels are for these}. I also had to bring my black and white pencil skirt, it is perfect for going out at night. I decided to bring one pair of capris and 4 tanks, two dressier and two casual. {added bonus, when I go home I always get to raid my sister’s closet so if I forget anything, I am not stressed!} Isn’t that what sisters are for?

4. That is it, this is everything I am bringing! I should note, I plan to wear my workout shoes on the plane since they are the bulkiest item. I have not decided yet on my plane outfit, but you can bet it will be something comfortable!Β  I normally also pick a neutral long sleeved shirt or light jacket to wear on the plane that can also be worn if there are any chilly nights.

Tip #5: fold all the clothes flat! None of that rolling stuff! It really doesn’t work the way people say it does!

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1.I lay all my undergarments flat and put them in the mesh zip up section on the tops. {Included here are: underwear, sleep shorts, sports bra, bathing suite.}

2. I fold all my clothes into rectangles that are about the same size and then press them together on one side of the suitcase, You can see I have two small piles of clothes. Next to the clothes I fit my one pair of heels, place one sole down and the other opposite way sole up. In front of the clothes at the bottom I placed the straighter and curing iron and then put my two bras that I didn’t want to smash on top of them. I actually still have a lot more room in my suite case, which is nice because I always find a way to bring stuff back with me when I go on vacation!

3. Put the shoes in the outer pockets if they fit, luckily flats and sandals fit perfectly!

4. The items to the right {Hat, toiletries, liquids, brush and jewelry} I like to put into my second carry on bag. You are technically allowed one carry-on and one “smaller” bag that can go under the seat in front of you.

Tip # 6: Use a second bag for your carry on that you can fit your purse inside of so that you have extra room for the items you want to reach in flight. The black bag will go in the overhead compartment and I wont mess with that until I reach my destination!

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1. Here are the items I keep in my “smaller” carry-on. I like to bring an i-pad, with a book and movie pre-loaded to reduce clutter. I also will throw my purse in there on the day of my flight along with some snacks and water. {Bonus} This will also be my beach bag while on vacation.

Here I am all ready to go! {Too bad I still have three more days!}

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Happy Travels!

{tbt} My 5 Favorite Memories from Spain

It is probably no surprise to anyone that I love Spain. It has been quite some time since I have traveled and lived there and I still reminisce fairly regularly. This weekend, my cleaning and organizing spree brought me back to one of my favorite summers ever, my summer in Santander, Spain. Looking through my old photos re-ignited my desire to travel and I am hoping to plan a new adventure in the not too extremely distant future.

As I started to think of all the amazing people I met on my trip and how long it has been since I have talked to many of them, I was motivated to re-connect with a friend I met during my studies and it was so fun to catch up! Thank goodness for Facebook chat!

So, in honor of {tbt} Here are just 5 of my favorite places I visited when I was in Spain {There are so many more!}

5. Palacio de La Magdalena, Santander, Cantabria, Spain

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4. The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

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3. Medieval Architecture in Santillana Del Mar, Cantabria, Spain

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2. La Segrada Familia and Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

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1. Playa de La Concha, San Sebastian, Spain

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Cheers to travel, loving life and meeting {and re-connecting} with old friends you have met along the way.

My Organized Life

In keeping with my recent “organization” theme, I have decided to share a few more things I checked off my to-do list recently. One of the bigger ones was getting my master bedroom closet, dresser and jewelry in order. Some might say I have a small obsession with jewelry….who can blame a girl? I will mention, much of my jewelry has been gifted to me by a few talented co-workers I have, but it is also my favorite thing to buy as a souvenir on trips, vacations and at other unique destinations.

Here is the outcome of my closet organization, so much easier to get ready in the morning!

And, P.S. I LOVE these Target shoe racks!!

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I am also slightly obsessed with scarves…I know, I have a problem. I found this old shoe rack when I was cleaning out the office this weekend, so thought it would be perfect for my scarf collection. You are probably thinking, I am crazy for having scarves out when it is summer, but for anyone who has ever been to the central coast, you know it is COLD at night! Well, cold by California standards anyways πŸ™‚ My Michigan friends are probably rolling their eyes at me right now!

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And here is the rest of my jewelry on display! I am really wanting to mount this old paint drawer on the wall, but I haven’t quite decided where I want it yet, so for now it gets to sit on my dresser. The dresser is another upcoming project!

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Happy Monday!

 

 

Office Makeover {In a Closet}

Happy Sunday! Since I have been putting off organizing/cleaning the home office/guest room since we moved in last year, I decided this was a good weekend to tackle the project. After yesterdays cleaning spree, I decided one more room needed to get done!

We have several guests coming to stay with us this summer/fall and as of yet we have not purchased a bed for the spare room, mostly because it has been full of junk, but also because buying another bed had not been a priority. Since I also have to use this room for my home office {I do a lot of work for my nutrition consulting business at home} I decided the best way to fit it all in would be to move my office to the closet. I found a number of inspiration pieces on pinterest, but didn’t want to spend any money…I am on a home spending hiatus…well, other than the essentials, I do have to go buy stain for the deck today.

These were some of the my inspiration offices, as you can tell I like white, with some pops of color, but also lots of space for random pictures and other items I might want to display along the way.

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Initially, I had my heart set on making a built in desk, but in light of my new plan {the no spending money plan} I decided to just work with what I had. So everything in my office is a hand-me-down, or rejuvenated item πŸ™‚

My first plan of attack was to paint the closet, it was a hideous off white/yellow stained color, the people who lived in the house before us somewhat thrashed the place. I have painted the house from head to toe, but the closet was one place that was skipped. I debated doing a fun bright color, but then reality hit…I might actually need to use this as a closet again. Plus I was right back at the not spending money on more paint issue. So, white it was, I already had two gallons of ultra bright white left over from the baseboards we painted.

Here was the closet before, you probably cant quite see the sticky yellow stuff all over, it needed a good wipe down before the paint even went on! On the right, you can see the difference between the old color and the new color.

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And here is the closet freshly painted and crisply white! Ahhh.

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Once the paint was all dry, I started moving into my new office! Most of the boxes on the shelves are filled with craft supplies, I am a sucker for colorful paper and scrapbooking items! I also decided to use an old canvas as a pin up board since I didn’t have a cork board. Obviously it still needs to be filled, but I am glad there is a lot of room for all my future finds πŸ™‚ I am sure I will find more items one day to pretty it up further, but for now, it works just fine! Here it is!

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The room is now cleaned and fully empty {well mostly} for when my guests come! Next up on the project list is changing out the hardware and re-finishing the built ins! Now, I just need to find some furniture. Craigslist and Home Goods, here I come!

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