Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring in the New Year!

Happy New Year’s Eve!! So, what kind of plans do you have to ring in the New Year this evening?

We’re having some family and friends over for munchies, drinks, and fireworks. The city does a great firework display at midnight that we can see perfectly from our rooftop deck.

I’ve spent today doing some final touches, cleaning (o.c.d. here) and prepping food. We have quite a spread planned…

Pulled pork BBQ
Harry & David’s pepper relish cheese dip with crackers
Hot pepper cheese ball with sliced almonds
Dill Havarti cheese
Deviled eggs
Tortilla chips with salsa
Fresh veggies with hummus
Pumpkin roll
Cookie tray with chocolate covered cashews

Let me check the frig to see if I missed anything…. Oh yeah, three bean salad.

As you probably guessed I will not be eating much of this so I’ve planned on making a BBQ tempah sandwich to fill my belly. What better way to get rid of food you don’t eat, feed it to guest. (Oh that sounds terrible). I’ll post pictures of all these goodies sometime soon.

While I was cleaning today I used these stainless steel wipes for all our appliances. They work great so I thought I’d share.

Method Stainless Steel Wipes

We pick these up at Big Lots super cheap. Look how shiny the refrigerator is!


Have you thought about your 2010 resolutions? Mine seem to be about the same every year and I haven’t put too much thought into them this year but here’s a general idea of what I would like to accomplish.

Save money (always on the list)
Live a simple and healthy life
Start a family (TTC this spring!)

I try not to set goals like loose 10 pounds, although I’d like to, I rather be realistic and stick to a healthy lifestyle. I just want to feel great and be happy! Of course I have other goals besides just these three (i.e. attend church frequently, spend more time with family and friends, further my education).


In case you’re wondering about my eats (probably not but I’ll share anyway)…

Today started off with my regular black coffee and pb/ab oats. Like always I wanted to lick the bowl clean.

After cleaning a while I ate an apple, sliced with sprinkled cinnamon. This taste so good I’m not sure why I hadn’t tried it sooner. I also polished off the last two vegan cookies I baked. They were in the freezer just yelling my name :)

For lunch I am baking some carrot fries that I can’t wait to try. I always see these on Mama Pea’s blog and wanted to try them. There’s no better time than after buying 5 lbs of carrots from Sam’s.

Note to self: don’t toss in olive oil. The first batch burnt in less than 25 minutes.

Much better with canola oil.

For someone who loves sweet potatoes fries, carrot fries are right up there! I could have done without the salad and had more fries. These maybe a new staple in our house.

Fiesta themed salad: spring mix, broccoli, carrots, salsa, Kashi Fiery Fiesta rice

Time to finish house work and get myself cleaned up. If I have time I’d like to workout before guest arrive, we’ll see.

Wishing you a very happy 2010!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shrimp Scampi

Good Morning! As I mentioned yesterday, after watching Julie & Julia I was inspired to cook something different. After raiding our cabinets for ingredients I found this recipe to try. It’s nothing too fancy or out of the ordinary but something different for us. Shrimp Scampi.

I used the base of this recipe since those were all the ingredients we had and it turned out lovely.

Shrimp Scampi
(modified from the GoodLife eats recipe here)

1 lb shelled and deveined shrimp
2 Tbs Smart Balance Light buttery spread
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs parsley
cooked pasta for 2

Sauté shrimp in Smart Balance until cooked through. Add garlic, sauté one minute more. Add white wine and lemon juice. Simmer sauce until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add olive oil and some parsley. Combine cooked pasta and shrimp with sauce in large bowl. Toss with additional parsley and add freshly grated parmesan (optional).

This didn’t photograph well but tasted great. I especially liked this scampi since it wasn’t rich tasting like most made with real butter. It went great with steamed broccoli on the side. I also made salad but we were so eager to try the scampi that I forgot to get them out of the refrigerator. So I have my lunch ready for today.

This morning started off like any other day with my black coffee and oats.

At the moment PB and apple butter oats are my favorite!

½ cup oats
spoon of peanut butter
spoon of apple butter
½ packet of stevia
cooked with about 1 cup hot water


There’s a lot to do today so I need to step away from the computer. Here is what’s on the agenda:

• Give Elli a bath
• Get oil changed
• Workout
• Finish Cleaning

Doesn’t seem like much but the last on the list may take awhile. Off I go…. Have a great hump day everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Windy 3 Miler

I finally motivated myself to get out of the house and outside in the cold to run. Since my training schedule has been nonexistent over the last week with the snow and holiday get-togethers, I'll be playing catch up this week!

It was rough getting my foot out the door with the windy weather. It's 30 degrees here but feels like 17 with gust of wind up to 39 mph.

I had to return our DVDs from last night so I carried the movies for my first 2 miles until I reached a RedBox to return them. The last mile I ran against the wind which explains the decrease in time.

Here's what the Garmin reported:

Distance 3.01 mi
Time 29:59
Calories 317
Avg pace 9:57


Mile 1- 9:32
Mile 2- 9:59
Mile 3- 10:12

I'm not thrilled with this run but after a week off and crappy eating it will have to do.

After I thawed out with a hot shower I made some lunch. While cutting the veggies for my salad I dipped some in the container of hummus. (no pic)

I had a huge salad with carrots, sugar snap peas, green pepper, sliced almonds, and Annie's Goddess dressing.

I also had some crackers with homemade plum jam. Thanks Aunt Bonnie, it's delicious!

Time to start cleaning... oh what fun!

2010 is right around the corner and I still haven't posted my goals. Have you though about your goals yet?

Getting back on track... Monday

Jeff was off work yesterday so we spent the day together running errands and watching movies. Fun stuff!

I started my morning off with pb and apple butter oats. Oh how I missed them! It feels so nice to get back into my routine. We then headed out to pick up our kitchen tile that finally came in and also did some grocery shopping.

First stop was Trader Joe’s where we got some odds and ends. Peanut butter (I can’t live without it), frozen vegetables, pizza sauce, and other random things.

The most fun we had was at Sam’s club! With our Christmas money we decided to join the club and do a big grocery shop. We cursed up and down every isle in the store and Jeff tried every sample too :) Most were meat but I got to sample a soft pretzel that held me over till lunch.

From what I’ve heard we would probably enjoy a membership at Costco much more since they carry more foods that we eat but Sam’s is much more convenient. I did get some good deals on daily eats like my 9 pound box of oats!! They had great produce too so I stocked up on fruit and salad. We were a little bummed that they didn’t have a faux meat products but were happy to see lots of soymilk.

When we got home I made a big salad

Lots of veggies, slivered almonds, and hummus. I’m really trying to get back to healthy eating after all the holiday treats I had the last couple days.

We rented two movies for tonight: Paranormal Activity (Jeff’s pick) and Julie and Julia (my pick of course). I am not a huge fan of scary movies but somehow Jeff always talks me into watching them. Promising to hold me tight...blah blah blah… you get the drift. It never makes the movie any less scary and Paranormal Activity was no exception. Needless to say I didn’t sleep well last night.

Julie and Julia was very cute and made me want to cook a fancy meal. Jeff kept reminding me that I could never live off French cooking. I assumed because it would make my ass huge but he just meant that they cook with a lots of foods I don’t eat. Either way I don’t know how the French stay so thin.

Before eating dinner I had to fit in a workout after the weekend I've had. So I did Jillian's 30-Day Shred level 2. These are the best 20 minute workouts!

For dinner we had a very Americanized meal of salad and pasta.

It was nice to spend the day with my hubby but now we're back to the daily grind.

I need to get motivated to run this afternoon. It's so windy and cold outside that I'd much rather workout in the basement but I haven't ran for a week. Santa did bring some warm running gear so I'll head out a litte later hopefully it will warm up.

Is anyone else having a hard time heading outside in the cold weather? I could really use a running buddy to help keep me motivated.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Lots of Catching Up

Hello there, wow it's been a while! I'm glad that I'm off work all week since there is so much catching up to do. Not only with the blog but I have to clean house for our New Year's party, get my oil changed, and other stuff. Surely there are other things to do. Rather than writing a really long post about the holidays I'm going to keep it semi short with mostly pictures instead. They're more fun anyway!

Christmas Eve started with my first ever oats in a jar! Here is the pb I started with

I added oats, cinnamon, stevia, and apple butter. Cooked with about 1 cup hot water.

Yummy! When I was done, this was the cleanest pb jar to ever go in our recycling.

Now for the good stuff!

We spent Christmas Eve night at my parent's house. This has been a tradition for as long as I can remember. Here's a peak...

Lots of good food and company!

My FIL with the silly cat.

Best girlfriends!

Good news! I'm going to be an aunt!! Me with my SIL who finally shared the news that she is 3 months pregnant.

(for those who didn't know, shhhh!)

And being silly with my mom

Christmas Day was also spent with my parents. We had too much fun opening gifts and trying on our new onion goggles that I forgot to take pictures. woops.

I was able to snap these of my parent's cute dog.

He loved the camera!

And I have to show off my Mom's favorite gift this year- Lenox Christmas china.

Saturday we spent the day with my in-laws and family. Once again I didn't get out the camera but we had a blast together. We laughed our butts off playing charades!

The entire weekend was wonderful and we couldn't have ask for a better time with our family and friends! I'll admit it's nice to be home and away from all the Christmas cookies though :) Now I have to get back on track.

I'm enjoying my morning coffee and Good Morning America this morning. I'll brave the cold weather for a run this afternoon.

I keep this mug out all year since it fits me so well... thanks Mom!

Well that's all for now but I'll be back with a Monday recap.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday! Have a great day!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oats Remix

Good Morning! I am happy to report that I didn’t eat any sweets yesterday, YAY! Just had to get that out first thing :)

I finished the last of my holiday baking yesterday. Peanut butter treats for the doggies in our life. I tried my best to make them look like bones with the little cookie cutter I found. Elli wouldn’t leave me alone while these were baking.

Last night after dinner I curled up to watch football with a mug of Sugar Cookie tea.

While watching the game we heard several fire trucks pass our house. This is pretty common since we live on a busy city street but they just kept coming. Soon we heard helicopters and police and quickly peaked outside. Oh my goodness, there was a huge fire just two blocks from our house. It’s sad but I immediately grabbed my camera and took this terrible picture.

Now for today…

I skipped a workout today since my butt is still sore from Jillian. (Damn her!) My body could use some rest though so it feels nice.

With no more bananas I decided to try a different mix with my oats. I added apple butter to my normal pb oats. Why haven’t I done this sooner? OMGosh it was amazing! I definitely found another great combo. With just a little peanut butter left I’m looking forward to oats in a jar on Thursday. Tomorrow I’ll be having brunch with my co-workers so oats will not be necessary.

• 1/2 Oats
• 1 tbs peanut butter
• 1 tbs apple butter
• cinnamon
• stevia
Cooked in about 1 cup hot water.

Pure deliciousness! You know it’s good when you plan breakfast two days in advance.

Today was yet another freezing cold day in the office. My lunch warmed me up a bit.

Remember my impulse buy from last week, this Pad Thai soup? Besides the rice noodles it didn’t resemble the Pad Thai I know but it was tasty. For a convenient soup it was fairly healthy too and number one, it warmed me up! Along side my soup I had an apple and baby carrots. Overall this was a very satisfying and filling lunch.

I don’t know how you’re feeling about work these days but it’s rough. This time of year work is the last place I want to be and I really have to push myself to get things done. Does anyone else have that problem? Man, am I looking forward to vacation next week!

Time to make dinner... have a great night!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Running Blues

Its official I have the blues. This is when my no-gym membership decision kicks me in the butt. I can’t run outside! Ugh! Have you looked out there lately? It’s a mess. Not only do I have cabin fever but I’m supposed to be training and am extremely anxious. I did yoga this morning but that didn’t help my anxiety. This afternoon it was pretty nice outside so I decided to give it a try, to run that is. Since we had movies to take back to the Redbox I decided to attempt a run to Safeway to return them.

It was nice to get outside and the sun was shining. But this was pretty dumb to say the least. First of all, not many people in Canton shoveled their sidewalks and the city still hasn’t plowed any side streets. So needless to say it was very dangerous and I couldn’t do much running. I had to hop over snow and run in slush so my feet were soaked.

Ok, enough complaining but I really miss my runs. So I’ll be hanging out with Jillian for the next couple days or week. Santa, please bring me a treadmill!

Have a good night everyone :)

Cabin Fever

Happy Monday everyone! We got over 12 inches of snow this weekend so I’ve been stuck in the house. Needless to say it was a pretty uneventful weekend. I stayed home today as well since the city still hasn’t plowed our side street where we park. Can you say Cabin Fever!

Still sore this morning from Jillian’s No More Trouble Zones that I did yesterday, and not able to run because of the conditions outside, I opted for yoga today. Every time I do yoga I describe it as “much needed” yoga. It feels that way since it gives my whole body the tender stretching it needs and leaves me feeling calm. The rest of my day seems so peaceful.

Back to yesterday, Jillian kicked my butt! I’ve been doing her 30-Day Shred on weekdays, when not running, since it’s only 20 minutes. I had extra time on Sunday for this other DVD that is 50 minutes total. What an amazing workout! I felt like I was in boot camp and sweated my ass off. I highly recommend this one but will have to get myself pumped up to do it again.

Not too much went on this weekend. While stuck inside I took the opportunity to wrap all our Christmas gifts, clean the house, do laundry, and play with Elli in the snow. Oh yeah and I had fun trying a few new recipes! I shared the pumpkin spice pancakes but we also made Mama Pea’s whole wheat pizza dough for dinner on Saturday. Jeff added some spices (garlic, oregano, parley, and what ever else) to make it an herb crust. This was so easy to make and it rolled out nicely. We may have found a replacement for the Trader Joe’s pizza dough- sorry TJ’s!

We we not able to get very creative with the toppings. Lack of groceries. But we doubled the recipe and got two of these.

I also have to fess up about my consumption of sweets over the weekend. We can’t wait to take all the baked goods to our family this week and get it out of the house. I’ve had absolutely no willpower and it’s driving me crazy. I wish I could just suck it up and move on but it bothers me when I eat healthy all day than blow it will cookies and crap. My goal this week is to stay away from sugar, period!!

That’s about all for today. Pretty boring, huh? I’ll leave you with the cutest pup ever :)

And this new book I found. If it wasn’t too late I’d add it to my Christmas list.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Good Morning everyone! Elli woke me early this morning, I think she wanted to play outside in this

yep this is what I woke up to. At least 6 inches of snow and its still going strong. These are the best days! I love being stuck inside a warm house watching movies, baking whatever comes to mind, and relaxing with my family.

Feeling very thirsty and just a bit hungry this morning I made my very first Green Monster.

• kale
• banana
• soymilk
• flax
• wheat germ
• peanut butter
• ice

This was very tasty but I wish I had some berries to add. They're now on the grocery list just for my next GM!

Later this morning once Jeff woke I made Pumpkin Spice Pancakes. After my impulse buy of PS Silk I had to make something with it. I veganized the recipe on the carton and thought they were blog worthing since the husband gave them 2 thumbs up.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

¾ cup flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup Silk Pumpkin Spice
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs oil (I used canola)
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

Whisk dry ingredients together. In another bowl mix wet ingredients together. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing gently. Cook on a preheated skillet.
Note: Batter maybe a little lumpy. Makes about 10 pancakes.
*recipe modified from Silk's Pumpkin Spice carton.

Top cooked pancakes with your favorite toppings. Here's mine with earth balance and agave.

Now it's time to finish wrapping Christmas gifts and watch movies.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Impulse Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I’m looking forward to the weekend, how about you? In my area they’re calling for snow tomorrow. Apparently a blizzard with anywhere from 1 – 20 inches! I’m so glad we don’t have any plans.

Time to fess up and share my impulse buys for the day. I was so close to making it all week without any more buys! Today I headed to the grocery store during lunch for a trip to the salad bar and look what I spotted…

Pumpkin spice Silk! I had to try it, just had to. Anything pumpkin is a must have. Somehow I justified this purchase but not sure how or why. While waiting in line I was excited to see a recipe for pumpkin spice pancakes on the carton. There that’s why I needed it so I can make breakfast while we’re snowed in this weekend.

Here is what I really went for

This fixed my salad craving that I’ve had for a while now. I loaded it up with good eats.

• spring mix
• spinach
• mushrooms
• black olives
• chickpeas
• tomatoes
• broccoli
• shredded cabbage
• cucumber
• green pepper

Then I added my own toppings of edamame, Mary’s crackers and Annie’s organic balsamic vinaigrette. Exactly what I needed!

Somehow this ended up in my tummy too.

Freezing cold office + pumpkin spice Silk = pumpkin spice chia tea

I almost forgot to share my second impulse buy of the day. Man, I really blew it today. While at Sears picking up my Dad’s Christmas gift the latest Fitness magazine was screaming “renew your subscription!” and it jumped into my cart. On a better note I am finished Christmas shopping! Now I just have to stop shopping for me.


I froze my butt off this morning during my run. Just went for 2 miles (2.21 for those counting) with the sista. This is what she said

Mile 1- 10:03
Mile 2- 9:24
.21- 2:04

Yesterday I didn't post my workout or eats but I started the morning off with Jillian's 30 day Shred.

Also had this super huge and yummy lunch of baked tofu with leftover grilled vegetables and basmati rice.

The joys of working from home!

The rest is history... have a great night, do something fun before the blizzard hits :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Season's Greetings

Hello there and happy Thursday! Rather than writing about what I ate and what workout I did today I decided to share some thoughts (some of other people) of the season.

I read such a nice post this morning over at Mama Peas about giving. It really got me thinking about the season and what it's all about.

You may remember when I posted about my Salvation Army Angel that I bought gifts for this year. This is something I plan on doing every year from now on. It's amazing how helping others makes you feel, it really brightens the season for me and hopefully for the little girl as well.

I encourage you to think of ways you can help others during this holiday season and over the course of the year.

Check out the Mama Peas post for great gift ideas for all ages. Also read about Holly's goal over at the healthy everythingtarian.

Sometimes I make excuses for not donating but than I remember how very blessed and fortunate I am and that every little bit counts. After reading about what Holly is doing I donated a little towards her goal. Again, every little bit counts!

There is no better gift than knowing you brighten someone's day :)

Before I wrap I have to share this beautiful clip with you...

Peace On Earth

(I saw this on Jessica's blog and it gave me chills)

Season's Greetings to all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First Timer

After hearing so much about Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred on other blogs I had to check it out. Since I decided a few weeks ago that joining the gym wasn’t an option, I ordered 3 of her DVDs to keep me busy at home. Hoping these workouts will be good on my days off from running I gave one a try.

I started my morning off with Jillian’s 30-Day Shred workout. This is the one I’ve heard the most hype about. As a first timer I started with level 1 as she instructed. The DVD is made up of 3 workouts (level 1,2, and 3) that you progressively work through. Each level is 20 minutes of continuous workouts alternating between strength, cardio, and abs.

I have tried a lot of these quickie 20-minute workouts and never see results or feel very challenged. Jillian held her word and worked my ass hard during those 20 minutes. I have a feeling these workouts are going to be good! Come on, she is referred to as America’s toughest trainer.

Soon I’ll try the other DVDs- No More Trouble Zones and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism.

Once at work I had breakfast- PB oats :)

Amy’s came back into my life today around 1:00. I promise I’ll never cheat on her again! Today I had the low fat Minestrone soup that is by far one of the best. Next time I’ll look for low sodium in this flavor. No wonder I like it so much with all the salt!

After lunch I made some hot tea to fill the rest of my belly :)

Side note: I drink water all day long. I don’t see the need to post it everyday but I keep a 24-ounce bottle at work that I fill up at least 3 times a day. Yesterday I had 3 bottles before even eating lunch. Just to give you an idea. I’m always thirsty and can never get enough ice-cold water. I read once that you should drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. There’s my little fact of the day :)

Not too much going on this evening. Take a peak at my to do list.

Make dinner- grilled vegetables over brown rice

Pack Jeff’s lunch and my oatmeal

Set out work and warm running clothes for tomorrow

Bake M&M cookies with leftover candy (while Jeff’s at basketball)


There you have it! Stay warm tonight wherever you are.
See ya tomorrow!

Christmas Baking

Hello everyone! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful hump day. The weekend is near and Christmas isn’t very far away either.

Jeff and I had fun baking cookies last night while listening to holiday music. We both love chocolate (who doesn’t?) and peanut butter so we made peanut butter blossoms. I ran to the grocery store for the ingredients, list in hand and no impulse buys. Yay me! Can you believe there was no regular Hershey kisses at the store? Everyone must have had the same idea. Of course there were a million other fancy kinds of kisses that really didn’t sound good to me. So I chose a variety of candy to use instead of regular kisses: mini Reese’s cups, Rolos, and special dark kisses.

We stuck with the traditional Hershey’s recipe. I liked this recipe in particular because it was to yield 4 dozen cookies, which sounded perfect to share with friends and family.

Jeff helped unwrap all the candies and also served as quality control. I had a few too :)

In the cookie dough I substituted with soymilk and natural peanut butter.

Then rolled dough balls in sugar and baked.

Once baked press in your favorite treats. Reese’s cups, Rolos, and dark kisses!

(Santa, I need a cooling rack)

I had to sample just one cookie while they were warm and gooey. The Reese’s cup was my pick and it was delicious.

Somehow we only ended up with 2 ½ dozen cookies. My cookie scoop must be big because we didn’t come close to the 4 dozen.

With the leftover candies we made pretzel treats. I have no clue if these treats have a name but I’ve had them on several different occasions. I was reminded of them by Janetha over at meals & moves and so glad I was since they’re super easy and tasty.

You can make so many different varieties of these pretzel treats. We went with these:

• dark kisses with almonds
• dark kisses with almonds and dried cranberries
• dark kisses with M&Ms
• Rolos with almonds
• Rolos with M&Ms
• Reese’s cup with M&Ms

I sorted through the M&Ms for all the red and green ones. The candy was so picked through at the store they were out of the holiday themed bags.

These treats are very addicting but I limited myself to 4 of them. I had to eat the ones that I messed up!

After cleaning up the mess from baking I snuggled up on the couch with my Mother Earth Pillow (heated in the microwave) on my hip. Elli and a blanket also kept me toasty while watching the National Christmas tree lighting and the Sing Off.

Then it was nighty-night :)