Booze and Birds

May 11, 2009

Gosh I love Spring!  It was a beyond fabulous day, but it is after midnight so I’m going to try to make this quick.  A and I got up around 9:30 this morning and weren’t really sure what to do with ourselves – it was way too pretty for schoolwork yet!  We ended up deciding to head down to 5th Avenue for brunch.

I was naughty and drank my new favorite beer – Abita Strawberry – on the walk down.

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 So perfect on a spring day.

For brunch we decided on Apertivo, a small Italian spot.  We went in on a whim and we are so glad, it was great!  They brought Panatone to the table as soon as we sat down.

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I had a piece with apple jelly,

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and a piece with butter.

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For less than $13 a plate, brunch included booze and caffeine!  Coffee –

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I added 1sugar and a splash of cream to mine but ended up only drinking a few sips because it was too rich.

I also had a Bloody Mary.

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This was so tasty, it was spicy spicy spicy!  I had never tasted a Bloody Mary before my trip to Boston this year but I think I am going to be hooked 🙂  I only let myself drink half because I knew I had work to do.

For food I ordered the Eggs Florentina- Two poached eggs with Hollandaisesauce on top of steamed spinach and an English muffin.  All the meals came with a potato latke.

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Yum!  I only ate half of the latke but I practically licked the rest of the plate clean!  There was a great citrusytang that made this just perfect.  I will say, though, I think I prefer plain sunny side up eggs or poached egg with bread, you just do not need the rich sauce.

The food was so great we knew we wanted to try dessert so A and I split the Chocolate Pyramid.

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This was chocolate mousse with a caramel mousse center- tasty!

After brunch we took a long walk around our neighborhood, I say this every time but I love Park Slope!  When we got home I randomly took an intense 2hour nap.  I was o-u-t, if I I didn’t have a deadline to get to Staples I wouldn’t have gotten up.  I lured myself to my desk with candy.

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Smarties are basically prettier, yummier M&M’s.  I love the way European candies bubble the calorie count in on the front of the package.  And instead of pretending people will eat small servings they just list the nutrition stats for the whole package, these had 174calories.

As I worked I also snacked on some Danielle Pumpkin Chips.

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I had 1serving.

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We had to hurry-scurry out the door to make it to Staples in time to do my copies.  We are doing a month on fairy tales and since I’m not allowed to use the text-book I have a ton of copies to make.  On the way home A bought a slice of pizza and he dropped his crust outside our house.  We ended up spending a ridiculously long time sitting on our stoop watching the birds have a feast!  I even went down and broke it up into little pieces to discourage the fights that were breaking out.

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Once our bird-watching was over we came back in and got back to work.  Much later, it was time to start dinner.  The recipe was inspired by three things – 1. I am super busy this week and this meal needs to last us through Weds, 2. I finally made my prize-won wheatberries,

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3. I need to use this adorable can of tomatos I bought at Whole Foods.

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I ended up making Berry Better Than Spaghetti.  Recipe, serves 5

  • 2.5C cooked wheatberries
  • 1T evoo
  • 3/4C chopped onion
  • 20 oz extra-lean ground turkey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1C frozen kale
  • 3C canned diced tomatoes, rinsed
  1. Pre-make the wheatberries; we did this yesterday since they take an hour to cook.
  2. Heat evoo in a saucepan.
  3. Add in onions and turkey, season with s&p, cover and cook through.
  4. Meanwhile, heat kale in a medium pot.
  5. When kale is ready, stir in wheatberries and tomatoes.
  6. When meat is cooked, stir into pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Cover pot and heat over very low heat for 5minutes.

You could obviously use fresh kale or sub in another type of green, use tomato sauce, use pasta, etc.  We thought the combo was pretty great.  Here is my serving –

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Look at those chewy wheatberries.

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After dinner I had tons more to do, hence my much too late post/bed time.  A delivered a doomed Peeps couple my way.

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I am pretty thrilled to say that my plans, materials, copies, computer presentations, and posters are all done for this week!  I hope you were in bed before me!

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Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String

April 19, 2009

…these are few of my favorite things!  None of them have been tied with string, but I have received quite a few exciting packages lately.  Oikos coupons, Dr. Kracker samples (the review is long coming, I want to try all of the flavors first), pasta samples from FoodBuzz, POM samples, and the wheatberries I won in Sarah’s contest.  I can not even tell you how grateful I am to be able to try all of these things!

For accountabilities sake, I should mention that I ate 8 (1.5servings) of A’s mini pb eggs last night.

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I started this morning with my Oikos.  Stoneyfield Farms sent me tons of coupons along with information about their products.

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Did you know that Oikos is the only organic Greek yogurt on the market in the US?  According to the literature,

Organic refers to they way agricultural products – food and fiber – are grown and processed.  It is an ecological system that at its core relies on healthy rich soil to produce strong plants that resist pests and diseases.  Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic and persistent chemicals in favor of more “earth-friendly” practices that work in harmony with nature.  In the case of livestock, antibiotics are prohibited, opting instead for preventative measures for keeping animals healthy and productive.  Organic production also prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).

I tried a nonfat plain one this morning with a small banana and some Stonewall Kitchen Carmel Apple Butter.

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My thoughts.  I love the fact that Oikos is organic, because that fits into my goal to eat more (all) organic dairy products.  The plain nonfat Oikos cups have 80calories and 15grams of protein.  The flavor was the same as every other nonfat plain Greek yogurt, with the tanginess we have all come to love.  My only complaint was that the consistency was slightly less thick than that of Fage (my favorite Greek).  Overall, the organic products outweighs the slight difference in consistency for me – I will be purchasing Oikos whenever my store has it.  I also have some nonfat flavored ones I am excited to try.

After breakfast I put my nose to the grindstone.  Thank God this is an easy week (the kids have a field trip and I have some pds), I managed to complete all of my school to dos.

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In between planning and grading A and I walked to Staples to get my copies done.  We are seriously enjoying this gorgeous weather!

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When I got home from my walk I snacked on a Dark Chocolate Cherry Chewy Kashi bar.

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And later on I used a teensy sweet potato to make myself some oven baked fries (preheat oven to 450*, wash and slice ‘tater, spray a foiled baking sheet with cooking spray, sprinkle slices with salt, cook 20minutes).

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Served with ketchup.  Yumtastic!  I always love to roast veggies but sweet potatoes in “fry” form are to die for!  If you don’t make them, start!

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I managed to finish all of my school work by 4:30, in time to make it to a 5o’clock yoga class!  I took Virgin Yoga at Crunch, a 60minute beginners class.  I am 100% to get back into the gym swing!

When we got home from the gym, A and I split a pear and I ate a few Cheddar Pumpkin Seed Doctor Krackers.

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I did some organizing, lunch packing, showering, etc before it was time to make dinner.  I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t have to cook my first few days back at school so I made something with lots of leftovers, stir fried rice.

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I didn’t follow a recipe, just kind of thought about a few recipes I had in my head.  The proportions really don’t matter at all.  Basically here are the “directions”

Very Veggie Stir Fried Rice, 5 servings

  • 4C cooked brown rice (prepared a day in advance)
  • large onion, chopped
  • carrots, chopped
  • defrosted frozen broccoli rabe
  • red pepper, chopped
  • fresh basil
  • evoo
  • 3eggs
  • fish sauce
  • 2limes, quartered
  • egg tomatoes, chopped
  • bunch of scallions, chopped
  • **A cooks chicken and adds it to his at the end
  1. (A day before you plan on making the dish) prepare 4C cooked brown rice.
  2. In a wok or large skillet, heat a little evoo.  Cook the first set of veggies until soft.  I wait to add the basil until the last few minutes of cooking.
  3. Remove veggies from the pan, replace with rice.  Heat the rice for a minute or so, stirring to distribute heat evenly.  Add a little bit more evoo at this point.
  4. Mound the rice so that there is a hole in the middle.  Crack the eggs into the hole.  When the eggs are mostly firm, scramble and stir them into the rice.  The timing of when you stir in the eggs will determine how dry your final dish is, so follow your own tastes.
  5. Add the cooked veggies back into the pan and stir.  Squeeze in the juice of 1lime, along with 4-6 shakes of fish sauce.
  6. Add the second set of veggies, stir once, and remove from the pan.
  7. Additional lime juice can be squeezed on at the table.

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Yum!  I love stir fried rice.

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I ate my portion along with a juice cocktail; 1part POM and 2parts club soda.

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When I received my package from POM the other day I was pretty psyched; A goes through these things like nobody’s business!  A drinks them straight, but I like them best mixed with club soda or incorporated into a recipe.

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We don’t drink a lot of juice because I think you are better getting the fiber from a piece of fruit instead, but POM is a “worth it” situation to me.  Here is some of the information the company provided me with that I found interesting –

  •  
    • Pomegranates are one of mankind’s earliest cultured fruits.
    • Many scholars now suggest that it was the pomegranate, not an apple, depicted in the biblical Garden of Eden.
    • POM Juice is the only juice guaranteed to be made exclusively from “Wonderful” variety pomegranates.
    • [Their] pomegranate orchards are looked in California’s sunny San Joaquin Valley.  [They] never use imported juice.
    • POM Wonderful is the only juice whose health benefits are backed by $25million in medical research.
    • [In a study in which participants drank 8oz daily] after only three weeks, blood flow to the heart improved approximately 17% in a a group that drank POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice, but worsened approximately 18% in the placebo group.
    • Drinking 8oz of 100% pomegranate juice per day for two weeks lowered the incidence of LDL oxidation, believed to be a key factor in arterial plaque formation.
    • Hundreds of scientific tests also show POM to be a superior source of antioxidants, with more and better antioxidants than red wine, grape juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, green tea, vitamin C and vitamin E.

POM juice is also shown to improve prostate health and erectile function, but I don’t think those figures are of much use to most of my readers! (You seem to be young and female, but if any grandpas are reading please give me a shout out!)

Tomorrow is my first day back to school after Spring Break, tear!  On the agenda for tonight?  Relaxation.  I have a new episode of Scrubs to watch online and a serving of Jelly Bellys calling my name, zzzzzzZ.

Don’t forget about my first giveaway ever, ending Weds!


Mix ‘n Match

February 8, 2009

Good evening, morning, midnight!  It’s been an exciting day.  Amid the fun I crossed off all but one item (school work, shocking right) on my to-do list.

Post breakfast I finished up my resume, applied to a grad program, recorded my #s/qs for all the other grad programs, and planned our meals for the week.  A was out and about shadowing a local podiatrist so I was all alone to work.

When A got home around 4 it was time for a late lunch.  I bought this Lean Quisine pannini on a whim, but it was pretty tasty.

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The plate is just for show because I actually wrapped it in a papertowel so I could eat it on the go as we headed to the grocery store.

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On the way there (post-sandwich, pre-shopping) we stopped and used our Starbucks card.

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I had a tall, nonfat iced chai latte.  I realize it’s below 40* outside, but I’ve been super parched all day.  Does anyone else find that hot drinks are just not thirst-quenching?

On the way home from the store I attempted to stop into a little store to redeem a coupon for Kefir (never tried it before).  Store #1 had them, but they were months past date – yuck.  I ended up running around to 3 different stores while A went home with the groceries.  All total I scurried an additional 1.6miles before I had success!

Once we were both finally home it was time for dinner.  I am really big on mixing food cultures so we made some Mediterranean Style Huevos Rancheros.  For 2 –

  • pour 1T evoo into a hot skillet.  Saute 1/2 a large onion, chopped.
  • add 3C raw spinach to the pan
  • add 2egg tomatoes, chopped to the pan
  • add 1/2C marinated artichoke hearts to the pan
  • beat 3 eggsin a separate bowl and add them to the veggies
  • once the eggs have mostly set, add 1/2C crumbled blue cheese
  • split eggs between 2 WW tortillas
  • top each with 1T roasted red pepper and onion relish

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Since we were eating brinner, I knew I had to have coffee.

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Cappuccino flavored Kefir!

All together now.

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I actually didn’t take a single bit of the tortilla and it ended up being a sort of wasteful “plate.”  We ate quickly and hurried out to the movie theatre – to find that both of our movies were sold out 😦  So we bought tickets to the 10:20 shows and ran some more errands before we went home.

When it was finally time to head back to the movies I was a little hungry again so I packed 2clementines (I also bought a large diet coke) as a movie snack.

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I also bought a (small, NOT movie sized, YaY) bag of Shockers.

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I saw “He’s Just Not That Into You” (sidenote – I HATE chick flicks, I am a total dude about movies, but the acting talent in this looked too appealing) and A saw “Slumdog Millionaire” so I could discuss it with him.  He thought it was great too, two recs, go see it!

It’s 1:30 in the morning so it is definitely time for bed, sweet dreams all!


Nice to Quinoa

January 26, 2009

What a successful day!  I ran my errands, am set up for school for the week, and even managed a mini workout!

Going back, this morning I woke up and tooled around a bit, completely missing breakfast.  I did some cleaning, got my laundry ready (A is amazing and does the laundromat for me!), read some blogs….  When it was finally time to set out on the errands I headached through yesterday, I packed a quick lunch to go.

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This was a roll topped with 1t light mayo, 3slices of thin turkey, 1 slice swiss cheese, and some banana peppers for kick.

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I ate my sandwich while I ran my Slopeside errands, including buying this neat candy for my daddy.

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These gummies are made with real fruit juice and there are 187calories per roll.  They did the caloric % based of a child’s needs which I thought was cute.  They are super yummy and I ate about 1/2 a pack while I walked around.

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My father had tons of candy requests and since I was charging it to his credit card he also let me pick out an exciting fancy yogurt you’ll see later this week!

Post errands I worked on plans and made materials for most of the afternoon.  I was craving chocolate so I attempted chocolate milk by stirring a teaspoon each of sugar and Dutch cocoa into a glass of skim milk.

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It was good, but the cocoa didn’t really stir in, I ended up skimming most of it off the top.

Later in the afternoon I made myself 3Ts of paper bag popcorn for a snack!

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How many people know about this?  I feel like I read about it in Martha Stewart or something!  You can put popcorn kernels in a paper bag with a little bit of salt to make microwave popcorn sans fat and oil.  You just turn the over the top of the bag and give it one staple – you don’t need to worry about this little metal, no sparks!

Around 5:30 A and I walked down to Staples to make some photocopies.  As much as I resent the trip it’s .64miles to get there and I do enjoy getting to walk.  I also met up with a coworker at a coffee place in my neighborhood; he does social studies so our students will be working on a joint paper for our two classes over the next couple of weeks.  I finally got my chocolate fix in the form of an unphotographed medium hot chocolate while I was at my meeting.

When I got home (at 8pm!) it was finally time to make dinner.  We made Feta, Tofu, Tomato,Zucchini, Quinoa.  It’s a busy week so we made enough for both of us for the next 3 nights.

  • 1pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced
  • 12oz extra firm tofu (tofu is for me only, A made chicken so you would need to double this for two)
  • 12oz quinoa, prepared according to the box directions
  • 4oz feta
  1. Prepare quinoa according to box directions.
  2. Meanwhile, place tofu and veggies on sprayed, foiled baking sheets and sprinkle with salt and seasoning of choice.  Put trays in a 450* oven for 30minutes.
  3. Combine all ingredients and loudly “Mmmmmmmmmmm!”

I used 3/4C cooked quinoa, 1/3 of the veggies, 4oz tofu, and 1t feta cheese.

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Oh my lord, Quinoa – where have you been all my life?

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A and I loved this, it was chewy and flavorful and fabulous!

After dinner I finished up my posters, packed lunch, and finally finally finally did some physical activity.  I did 20minutes of an at home workout using a “Crunch Pick Your Spot” dvd on instant-play from Netflix.  I did abs and butt!  It wasn’t the best workout, but it’s better than nothing.  I am such an “all or nothing” person but I have to let that go this year if I want to work out at all!

What is your favorite workout dvd?


Ups and Downs

December 18, 2008

An update!  an update!  Per usual this week has been crazy; I’m going to do a quick recap of some of the high/low points instead of a full-on retelling.

1. The other night I had big plans for the gym, but being a good wife, I waited for A to get home.  We set out with not much time to spare, pretty close to closing.  5 steps down the block A realized he had a splinter in his toe and we had to stop and do minor roadside surgery, so no gym 😦  We did at least head to the grocery store where I got to buy more Soy Silk Eggnog!

2. My principal (wigged the f out) and decided there can be no more teacher microwaves in classrooms.  We can only use microwaves in the lounge.  We had to sign a memo Weds. morning.  a) there are no microwaves in the lounge, b) a good 70% of the staff is thinking about quitting because the kids are pretty much running the school and you’re sending out memos about microwaves?!?  I don’t even use the microwaves (as you, occasionally, see I usually bring yogurt and fruit for lunch), but it’s the principle of the thing.

3. We cooked A’s birthday dessert finally – Smores Pie!  No pictures but I’ll post the super simple delish recipe if anyone wants it; it’s basically a giganto smore!

4.  A student had a major freak out in class yesterday and slammed me into a wall.  That’s all I’m saying about this one.

5. When I got home yesterday, from a particularly soul-crushing day, I had two holiday packages!  Look at how pretty my aunt’s wrapping was:

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She sent A and I each an Under Armour sweatshirt for winter runs!

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The jewelry on the side was the package from my mommy.  My mom is a children’s librarian, but she’s also a fantastic jewelry maker, almost all of my earrings and necklaces are from her!  These were my favorite.

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This morning for breakfast stuck with tradition and was running late, so I ate a Lemon Lara Bar on the train.

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Um, yum!  Laras aren’t my absolute favorite but this flavor was great!  I need to keep trying new flavors.

For lunch I mixed things up and packed a salad.

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I used a European blend of lettuce as a base topped with peppitas, blackberries, and 1/2 a raw yellow squash.  On the side was lowfat poppy seed dressing.

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I also packed some Kashi cheddar crackers and 3 candy cane taffies.

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I didn’t eat the crackers or candy until after school though, I stayed until 5:30 to catch up on workbook grading.  I still have a ton to do, I really need to haul my ass out of bed tomorrow morning!  I had a really great day today though – My all girls class was perfect – so hopefully I’ll be feeling 5am-motivated!

When I got home I had some snacks while I made dinner; a slice of extra-sharp cheddar,

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and the last of the nonfat cottage cheese (1/2C) topped with the last of the blackberries and a dollop of homemade strawberry jam.

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For dinner I made Semi-Homemade Spagetti (not Sandra Lee s.h. though, I hate that freakin’ show – butter is practically an orgasmic experience over there!).  I made most of the components myself, but used this sauce.

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“recipe”

  • cook 1lb whole wheat angel hair according to the directions on the box, and drain
  • roast 1pint cherry tomatos, 25minutes in the oven on a foiled sheet at 450*
  • saute a smallish onion in 1.5T evoo and then brown .5lbs extra-lean ground turkey in the same pan
  • pour tomatos, turkey, and sauce into the pasta pot and stir to combine
  • consume!

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This should be 2.5-3 nights of meals for A and I.  I had my serving alongside roasted veggies; the other half of the yellow squash and half a zuccini.  Look at the tomato-y goodness.

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My eyes were a bit bigger than my stomach, this is what A ended up eating off my plate:

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I did have room for dessert though, Smores Pie is so frickin’ good!

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We are watching (the original) “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” so I’ve got to get back to the couch!  What is your favorite holiday movie?  You’ll see mine later this weekend.


Mixing It Up*

September 3, 2008

*I like this because it is like a double entendre (spelling?).  Its literal (gym) and sarcastic (3rd day of the same dinner).

I ended up eating dinner, doing work, and then going to the gym; so I switched my schedule all around.  I had, shocker, leftover thai fried rice for dinner.  A small serving, it was amazing but I’m pretty much done with it! 

BUT I added in a cucumber, tomato and blue cheese salad which was delish!

I had tons of schoolwork which put a big lag time between dinner and the gym so I snacked on this fruit leather on the walk there.  Very impressive Trader Joe!

At the gym I did 30minutes split equally among the elliptical, the treadmill and the stairstepper.  I didn’t get to do any strength training (the gym was literally closing around me) but it’s ok because I plan on skipping the gym tomorrow to do strength training at home.

I have an early morning, gotta crawl off to the shower.