Archive for September, 2009

Check, Check, Check

  • Dentist appointment – done! And no cavities.
  • Chiropractor appointment – done! And good!
  • Fun dessert-making supplies – bought. 🙂
  • Dinner – eaten.
  • Dishes – washed, drying.
  • Laundry – waiting to be folded.

I’m glad I didn’t eat my grapes with lunch because I really wanted to have this snack today.


I saved the 2 new Chobani flavors for last  :)  Today, I brought the Pineapple flavor plus my Kashi Free Sample box of the Honey Almond Flax GoLean Crunch.


I think this may be my new favorite yogurt.

I loved how creamy it was, and the little bits of pineapple were just perfect in it!


Look at that big slice of almond! This cereal kind of tasted like honey smacks. I liked it.


Now I just have to convince a store around here to start carrying Chobani so I can actually buy it.

We left work and headed over to the chiropractor, which went well for both of us. I really think having that car accident a few months ago just knocked everything into place for me. All my visits since then have been great.

Apparently, Nick and I are both up for phone upgrades soon so we ran over to the Verizon store to check some out. I think we both know which ones we want, but we’re going to look up some reviews first.

AND  – big news in this household – Nick and I can now text! I know…we’re so behind the times in regards to our phones. Better late than never?  🙂 At least we don’t have those awesome Zach Morris cell phones, right?

Before coming home, I also ran into the grocery store to pick up a few items for a dessert recipe I’m going to try to make tonight or tomorrow. It’s top secret right now, but I promise to show it off if it works out well.

Since we ended up eating out last night, dinner tonight was easy.


Leftovers, and good ones.

I heated up some leftover grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and the roasted butternut/onion mixture from the other night.


I think I could eat winter squash at every meal and be happy.

I also tried the Root Beer Zevia tonight.


I love root beer and don’t have it very often, so I was excited to try this flavor.

The only thing I didn’t like?

That I didn’t have any ice cream to make it into a float tonight  :) 

This root beer is good – it doesn’t taste exactly like regular root beer, but it’s definitely better than the other diet ones I’ve had.


I’m off to fold this laundry and get ready for some Top Chef + popcorn!


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Food Finds

Nick and I had dentist appointments during our lunch break today – fun, right? It’s a day full of appointments – dentist at lunch, chiropractor after work. Good thing I don’t really mind either one.

Since I knew our appointments would take up the majority of our lunch break, I packed a lunch that would be quick and easy to eat in the office.

First, I brought one of my favorite new wrap combinations.


1 Flatout wrap

2 Tbsp crunchy pb

1 carrot, peeled into thin little strips

1 handful spinach

4-5 strawberries, sliced


Roll up and enjoy!


I’m so excited when I pack this for lunch – I just look forward to it all day.

Since Nick and I polished off the 3-layer TJ’s hummus during the football game this past weekend, I had to break into our other container today.


I brought the TJs Original Hummus to try with some celery, sliced zucchini, and a tomato from our garden.


Good, but I miss that 3-layer hummus.

I also have some grapes, just in case. I doubt I’ll need them though, because I have a good afternoon snack I want to be hungry for later 🙂


Between the pumpkin butter at breakfast and this pb/carrot/spinach combination, I’ve found some great new food ideas and combos I love just from reading blogs!

What’s one of your favorite foods/combinations that you found through a blog or recipe?

I definitely had never tried any of these flavored peanut butters, almond butter, sandwich ideas, and oatmeal add-ins until seeing them online.


Want some pumpkin butter of your own (with a little more pumpkin goodness)? Check out Danica’s Pumpkin Giveaway!


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What a happy breakfast!


While picking up a few things at one of our local little health food stores, Nick and I grabbed a few locally made bagels to have for breakfast today.


We bought some cinnamon raisin ones yesterday, and I had the hardest time choosing my toppings!


Eventually, I decided on a lightly toasted bagel topped with a little light cream cheese + TJ’s pumpkin butter.  That, plus some sliced orange, made for a very fall-centric breakfast.

Lots of orange and good fall flavors.

Yesterday, Rose was talking about capturing some “slices of life” in your pictures.

What does this have to do with my “new photo studio”?


Yup. This is my bathroom.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to get any breakfast shots this morning outside using the natural light – it was still cloudy and overcast and just too dark.

It’s kind of strange, but my bathroom actually has the best lighting for taking pictures out of any other room. The way the lights hang in the kitchen/dining room just creates lots of shadows, so…


Welcome to my bathroom, I guess!  🙂


Where do you take your pictures for your blog (if you have one)? Or where is the weirdest place you’ve taken a picture?

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Against The Wind

Is it really only Tuesday?

Today has been a doozy.

I was starving this afternoon!

Not even an hour after lunch, I broke into my new Larabar  🙂


Thanks again, Steph!!! I was so excited to try this bar. I’d seen some good reviews and some mixed, so I was eager to try it for myself.


The verdict?

I loved it! Now, it’s hard to beat a REAL pb&j because it’s more than just the flavors. But I really enjoyed this bar.

Unfortunately, this did nothing for my hunger.

I ended up having a 100-calorie pack of almonds to see if that would make it better.


Eh…they were good, but nothin’. I just could not get satisfied today!

I was still pretty hungry at 4:30, but I didn’t want to eat anything else because I knew we were running after work and I didn’t want a bunch of stuff in my stomach.

Nick and I actually brought our running stuff so we could just run at a trail after work, but it was so windy in town that we came back home instead  🙂

It was only 57 degrees today and windy while we were running. Chilly!

We had 5 miles on the schedule today and I did it! This is the longest I’ve run since our insane 10K Trail Run in June. I kept a good pace today, even with the wind and the fact that I got even hungrier.

Nick ended up having a pretty rough day today and wanted to go to our favorite local place, The New River Grille, so we did.


The special sounded pretty good tonight and I just didn’t think I could handle my normal onion rings, so I went against all my normal tendencies here tonight  🙂

My meal came with a side salad, and the main part was some grilled chicken, stuffed tomatoes (with house made breadcrumbs) and green beans.


These tomatoes tasted like pizza! Good.

I’m sure this meal will definitely feel better in my belly than the burger and onion rings would have, but I did miss them.

The owner actually told me tonight while we were paying that they changed their onion ring recipe and I’ll need to try it since I’m their official onion ring taste tester  :)  I guess I do get them a lot.

We’re finally home, showered, and both in our pj’s on the couch.

I have a feeling some hot tea is in order.


I loved reading all of your dream jobs – I think we should all go after them! Baby steps, right?


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Dream Job

Fun topic, right?

First, let’s do lunch.

I had some more of the coconut cauliflower chana, brown jasmine rice, plus spinach today for some more green veggies.


I like how the spinach kind of steams in the microwave, but doesn’t get all weird and soggy.


I also brought a bit of plain yogurt – I need it on this dish! The yogurt gives just enough cold + tartness to balance out the spicy veggies.


And some grapes!


After seeing Caitlin and Jenna’s dreams basically come true over the past few months and watching Nick finish his schooling on Friday…it just has me thinking.

I don’t know what my dreams are, really.

I know that I want to feel like I’m making a difference in other people’s lives, not just my own.

I’m just not sure what that means in the job world.

I had so many dreams growing up…and somehow, not one of my old “job related dreams” have happened.

Growing up, I wanted to be:

  • a teacher
  • a marine biologist
  • an FBI agent / forensic pathologist
  • an interior designer
  • a writer
  • a Ben & Jerry’s flavor creator / taste tester

Now the only thing I know I want to be is a mom. And that’s awesome, and I can’t wait.

But that doesn’t solve my job longings right now or in the future.

I have a B.A. in English/Professional Writing and a M.S. in Health Promotion, but I am not using either. The job market / economy also isn’t helping right now.

I’m not sure where this leaves me. I just know I have a lot to think about.


What’s your dream job? What did you want to be growing up?


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Q&A #1

Okay, okay…maybe I’m taking the easy way out on this one :) 

I wanted to start answering some of your burning questions, so I picked one that I figured would be the easiest.

Veronica (one of my best friends from back home!) asked:

If you could pick one thing to eat every day, what would it be?

Of course….my first thought was oatmeal.

I mean, how can you beat either a warm, comforting bowl on a cool morning or a cold bowl of muesli during the summer?

How many other things can you use in so many ways and have in a sweet or savory dish?

Today’s breakfast confirmed that oatmeal is definitely one of my favorite things to eat.


I think you could add just about anything to oatmeal and it would be good.


Today, my oatmeal base was:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • cinnamon

Once that was cooked, I added my favorite Nuts over Raspberries TJ’s Trail Mix!!!


Oh, how I’ve missed you, trail mix.


These dried raspberries are amazing, and I love the dark chocolate chips. It just makes breakfast so decadent.


I love oatmeal. I love it so much that I’ve had it for 2 meals in a day in the past.

The strange thing is that I didn’t eat it until I was in college! I never really liked the texture, and I just wasn’t a big “breakfast” person until a few years ago. Now everything has changed  🙂


So…the one food I could eat everyday? Definitely oatmeal.

But – I could also make a case for:

  • nuts / nut butter
  • roasted veggies
  • avocado

Plus a few more, I’m sure.


If YOU could pick one food to eat every day, what would it be?


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Wine Me

Better hurry – How I Met Your Mother is on!!! That show totally makes my Mondays  🙂


Why did no one tell me how good dates + pb are together?


Seriously – how did I wait this long to try this combination?!?


5 dates + 1 Tbsp peanut butter = Good afternoon snack.

Work was busy today – thank goodness 5 pm showed up pretty quickly today.

As soon as I turned off my computer, I prepped a few things for dinner, changed into my running clothes, and waited for Nick to get home.

We took one of our normal routes today – a little over 3 miles – and it was an okay run.

I feel like I can’t go more than 1 run without having side stitches or cramps. Eh…they can’t all be winners.

One fun thing today – I got some wine in the mail!


I may be the last person to get this, but my Black Box Wine, courtesy of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program showed up today! Thanks to Black Box Wines and Foodbuzz!


Our sample was their Sauvignon Blanc, which was perfect to have with our meal tonight.


It was perfectly light + smooth. Nick and I have never really found many white wines that we enjoy, but this was great!



It made me feel a bit fancier in my pajamas tonight.  🙂

I had Nick grill the chicken for tonight’s meal while I worked on the veggies.


I marinated some chicken thighs with grapeseed oil, orange juice, thyme, oregano, salt, and garlic powder.

While Nick was grilling the chicken, I put some diced butternut squash and onion in the microwave for 5 minutes to get them going. Then I put them in a baking dish with some olive oil, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and crushed red pepper. I let those cook for about 20-30 minutes.


The broccoli was quickly steamed in the microwave, too.


The Q&A will be starting tomorrow, so make sure to tune in  🙂


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Must Love Curry

Well, it’s a good thing I love this meal, because we have a lot of this curry dish left  🙂


I heated up some leftover brown jasmine rice (totally worth the time it takes to cook) and some of the coconut cauliflower chana recipe.


I love when food gets better after sitting in the fridge.

This was amazing today!


I’m not sure how they do this, but the spices just soak in and mellow out a bit.

It was still spicy, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t the punch-you-in-the-face kind of spicy.

Everything just went perfectly together.


I also added some plain yogurt and sliced tomatoes on top for a little bit of sweet + cold action to balance out the hot and spicy.

I know it’s good when my nose is running, but I’m still eating it anyways. Is that weird that those are my signs for a good spicy meal? 🙂



Do you do anything weird when eating spicy food?

My nose usually starts running when eating anything spicy. Kind of embarrassing, but it doesn’t keep me from eating spicy foods!

One strange spicy-food effect I’ve seen is someone’s head itching! One of my friends would be scratching his head like crazy anything he had anything spicy.

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Dreamy Influence

Good Monday morning!

I had a good dream last night – I’m not sure what was going on, but I saw some of our Honduras group and it made me so happy! I guess I was trying to stretch out my dream, because I got up a bit later than normal. Thankfully, I still had time to make us some pancakes.


I used a whole wheat blend pancake mix and added half 1%/half almond milk, 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil, and one egg to the mix.

I had never  tried the yogurt-on-pancake creation, so I decided today was the day.


I still have a few Chobani yogurts left and I figured this vanilla would be the best flavor to have with pancakes, strawberries, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

I was right!


I wasn’t sure how I would like the yogurt on my pancakes, but it was a great combination.


And, I can definitely say that I like Chobani’s vanilla yogurt better than the Oikos Vanilla. I’m just not a big vanilla yogurt fan in the first place, but I would eat this one over any other vanilla yogurt I’ve tried. It tasted like vanilla and wasn’t as tart as some other brands I’ve had.


Is it possible that a good dream makes me feel happy and sad at the same time?

I loved seeing Franklin and Oscar in my dream last night and it just made me remember our trip all over again…but it also makes me really sad that I’m not there.


I guess that just means there’s more to look forward to? I hope so.


I mean, how can I not miss this?




July cannot come fast enough.


Do your dreams have an impact on your mood?

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Another Sunday is almost gone.

I’m going to squeeze as much in to this day as I can because I’m just not ready for Monday.

Breakfast was bad. Nick and I went early to church to help set up and we had planned on going to our favorite local coffee shop since they make great breakfast sandwiches with locally made bagels. But…I remembered on the way there that they didn’t open until 9 am on Sundays, so we ended up at Panera because we needed to get breakfast right away.


Sorry, Panera.

I like your soups, salads, and some of your sandwiches, but this was not a winner.

I got their new Breakfast Power Sandwich or something like that. It sounded so promising! Whole grain bread, smoked turkey, egg, and cheese.

First, it was smaller than I thought it would be – I need big breakfasts, so I was already a bit disappointed when I opened up the package at church.

And for only having one slice of cheese, this thing was SO greasy! Blech. I ate it, because that was all I had, but I don’t think I’ll be getting this again. I can make something ten times better at home. I did have an apple that I brought from home and some coffee, too.

After a good service and lots of football conversations  :), we came back home for some lunch leftovers.


I heated up some of the leftover chicken drumsticks from last night, the leftover potatoes, and made a quick salad using a few last tomatoes from our plants.


The weather did clear up today, thank goodness. It actually turned out to be a beautiful day once the clouds rolled out of here this morning.

Nick cut the grass today while I cleaned up the house inside and finished laundry.

I snacked on this while cleaning…


and watching the VT / Miami game again. What is wrong with me? I’ve got a serious football problem  :)  It could be worse, right? Maybe I just need some sort of job that deals with college football…

We debated running today and were planning on going, but after Nick and I both finished our work this afternoon, we just sat and talked. After Nick finishing on Friday, he’s just got a lot on his mind, and we’re trying to figure out what’s next for us. It was nice to just sit and talk and go through things.

We still don’t really know what the future holds, but that’s okay. I’m sure it will be exciting, whatever it is.

While I didn’t get in a run today, I’m not that worried about it. The weather is supposed to be pretty nice here all week, so we’re just going to make it up. Maybe I’m a little too flexible with the training schedule, but as long as I get them in during the week and keep the same mileage I’m supposed to have…I’m not that worried about it yet.

Dinner tonight was based on this Coconut Cauliflower Chana recipe I found on Kath Eats. I’ve been wanting to make this for months and finally remembered to make it.


My changes were:

  • Using light coconut milk since that’s all I had
  • Peas instead of chickpeas (I didn’t have any!)
  • Used the onions  🙂
  • Only about 2 Tbsp shredded coconut (all I had left)
  • more curry powder than called for
  • 1/2 red pepper from our garden + 1 diced poblano, also from our garden


We had it with some brown jasmine rice (from Trader Joe’s) and a dollop of plain yogurt.


I loved the peas in this dish. It gave it just another touch of sweetness, which was good since it was pretty spicy.


Oh, and dessert last night? Just cookies.

I was too lazy after all that intense football watching to go get ice cream 😉


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