Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Little R and R

Happy Hump Day Everyone! 

And hello all who have seen this page! I've been a little behind my sisters in posting but I promise it's not because I don't love The Colorful Cardinal. Work has definitely been hectic this summer and between the long hours in my revolving office (I travel frequently for work) added together with all the festive summer activities I've let time get away from me! 

I want to tell all of you about my most recent trip to Denver to visit a couple of college friends, but before I do I wanted to give you a glimpse of the resort I'm taking Mary to this weekend! I have to be there for work but wanted to give Mary with a little R and R after all her hard work studying for the Bar.

Gosh, it can be so hard to work in paradise ;) 

The resort is the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador

xo, Elise 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Flashback Friday

Hello All!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, its been crazy busy.  Elise and Claire have been out of town and I spend all my time studying for the bar exam in 4 days.  Ahhhhhhhhh! Freaking out a little bit :)

Here is a little gem from Christmas a few years ago.  My aunt and uncle have a wonderful tradition where, instead of buying gifts for everyone, they leave clues around the house for all the cousins to figure out and the final clue lets us know what group activity we will be doing.  This is from our group scuba diving class.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2014


While taking a break from working today, I came across an article talking about the fat v. skinny debate.  Like most people today, I felt the need to at least skim it to see what it had to say. Maybe from a need for affirmation about where I am or to find a new way to lose those last 3 pounds, either way, I didn't get what I expected. I learned a new word (phrase?).

#thinspo - Short for thin inspiration, it refers to photos, or phrases that inspire thinness.  

I googled it and was devastated by some of the things I saw.  Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle.  Eating healthy food, working out and generally taking care of yourself are good things, but the sad part is, so many people sacrifice their well bring for a particular look.  Whether looking for the thigh gap or more prominent collarbones, people are turning to #thinspo to help remind them of their goal.  Here are some of the #thinspo images you can find.

I get it. The desire to be skinny.  I was a ballet dancer growing up, and staring at myself in a leotard and tights for hours a day never exactly helped me feel good about myself.  I always wished I was just a bit skinnier or one jean size smaller. Since stopping ballet, I keep in shape now with cycling and other various workouts. There is one thing I learned in my desire to stay fit, I will NEVER be a size zero.  I may be able to get to a size two, but that will likely require multiple hours a day of working out and a strict diet. Not exactly attainable, plus I love food too much. 

Do I still look at photos of skinny celebrities and wish I could look like them? Yes, of course.  But then I remember the teams of people they have to help them look a certain way, the wonders of photoshop and, even then, they might just be skinny and not healthy.  

Now, I realize some people are naturally skinny.  I have a few friends that happen to fall into that category and I in no way mean to shame them because of how they are. It is how they are made, naturally.  This post is for the majority of people who are not like that. I hope that your reaction to these #thinspo photos is the same as mine, one of disgust.  Starvation is not the answer, throwing up is not the answer and neither is abusing laxatives.  Stop saying "I want to be skinny" and say "I want to be healthy." While living a healthy lifestyle may earn you a thigh gap, don't have your goal be to have the thigh gap.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Family Favorite

Mexican Tortilla Soup

I have had many types of tortilla soup before and in my mind, none compare to this recipe. All the veggies are cooked enough but still have some of their texture, the broth is to die for, and it can be easily adjusted for vegetarians. 


1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 tbsp sweet butter
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 cup of onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
½ cup carrots, diced
½ cup Anaheim chile, seeded and diced (sub: canned, diced green chilies)
1 tbps ground cumin
1 ½ tbps chile powder
1 tsp oregano
1 ½ cup tomato, diced
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock or water
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 ½ cup cooked chicken, diced
¾ tbsp. salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 cups tortilla or corn chips, broken into smaller pieces
1 avacado, diced (or guacamole)
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated

First, melt butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat.  Add the garlic, onion, celery, carrots, corn and diced chilies and cook for three minutes.  I prefer raw corn kernels cut with a sharp knife off the cob, but thawed frozen corn or canned corn with no sugar or salt work too. Cut raw kernels off the corn cob with a sharp knife. Stirring the mixture occasionally until the onion is transparent. 

Second, stir in the cumin, chile powder and oregano. Continue stirring for another minute to toast the spices. 

Third, add tomatoes and cilantro. This is where you can adjust the recipe to suit your needs.  Claire is a vegetarian so the original recipe doesn't work for her, but there are so many great veggies in this that it would be terrible for her to miss out! I separated about half of the mixture into another sauce pan.  Then I added 3 cups of vegetable stock to her portion and 3 cups of chicken stock and the chicken to the other. I found that separated dish needed a little more broth than just the quart called for. If you are not dividing the vegetable/seasoning mixture into two, only 1 quart (4 cups) are needed. 

If you want to add more veggies to the vegetarian portion, now is a good time; summer squash, zucchini or black beans are perfect.  For the chicken, I took 3 medium sized raw chicken breasts diced them into two inch cubes. Then, I added the chicken to boiling water and let them cook for about 9 minutes.  I then cut the 2 inch sections into smaller cubes before adding them to the saucepan. If you want, you can boil whole chicken breasts, but I like to cut them a bit smaller so they cook more quickly.  I don't suggest anything smaller than the 2 inch size before boiling, because I find the chicken stays more moist that way.  Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowls and garnish each with first tortilla chips, cheese and a tablespoon of avocado/ guacamole. This is another point where you can adjust the recipe as needed.  For example, I don't eat food with gluten, so I use organic black bean chips or skip the cheese if you can't eat dairy. If you are a dairy lover and can't live without sour cream, you may also add that as part of the garnish.  My dad loves to add jalapeƱo to his. 

Yield: 6-8

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! Be sure to comment on what you thought if you tried it! 


Running on Empty

Post Workout Shake

This shake is designed to to give your body the essential nutrients you need after a hard workout! Each ingredient individually is great for after any work out, so feel free to have the ingredients together or separately! If you do not have or do not wish to buy Carnation Breakfast Essentials (Chocolate) feel free to substitute with organic chocolate milk (preferably skim).

To make this shake is incredibly simple! First, blend a banana, ice, milk, and Carnation Breakfast Essentials (Chocolate). Be sure to blend well to get rid of any chunks of ice or banana! Last add the peanut butter and yogurt! You can add more or less milk/ice in order to get a consistency that you prefer.

Note about the ingredients: I recommend Natural/Organic Peanut Butter over regular in order to avoid partially hydrogenated oils. Similarly, I suggest Greek Yogurt over normal yogurt, because Greek yogurt contains more protein and less sugar than normal yogurt!

Friday, July 18, 2014

#NSales Favorites


The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a great time to get items you use every for a great price.  A classic pump, a pencil skirt and a leather jacket are must haves.  The Anastasia Brow Serum works wonders if you are trying to get the big, beautiful brow look.  

Thanks for stopping by and happy shopping!

Flashback Friday

Happy Friday Everyone! 

The name for this blog was inspired by two people that are very dear to us.  Loved ones leaving before their time are never provide happy memories, but they do provide us the chance to take a moment to really appreciate what is important, family.  In honor of family, this week's Flashback Friday comes from 1994, when Claire joined our happy family.  Elise and I are overjoyed, you can tell ;) 

Christmas in July #NSale

Its the Nordstrom Anniversary sale! This is perhaps the best sale of the year because you get current pieces at fantastic discounts.  Lovers of all things Nordstrom, we have been devotees of the sale for many, many years.  It is a well known fact that our mother regrets the day she gave us our own Nordstrom cards... The sale has been going on for card members but don't fret! Items have been restocked for the official start of the sale.  What are you waiting for? Go Shopping! 

Keep an eye out later for a post on our amazing finds :)