Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grandma's House & A Photo Shoot Fail


 This post is two days past due, so bear with me!

Sunday night was spent eating, laughing, eating, hugging, and eating at my grandparent's house.

This place is by FAR one of my most favorite places on earth. Always warm, always comfortable, always delicious :)


Our little Sunday family get together started with sausage bites and drinks.


My lovely seeester, aka Bartender Hannah. She's a good mixer.


 Then dinner! 

BBQ brisket, baked beans, salad, and a jumbo roll that I didn't realize was a BUN for my BRISKET until I was 3/4ths of the way through the meal. I'll try to focus next time.

I have had zero taste for meat lately, but when you're at Mema's...you eat the meat. No one barbeque's like the men in my family. D to the lish.


Blackberry cobbler with Ceeewl Wwwwhip for dessert!


Classic :)


I forgot how much fun cream from an air-sol can is. I also love how my Creeper McCreeperton of a Father is peeping through my arm hole. Oh Dad :)

Ok, now for the FAILED attempt to get a cute picture of my sister and me...


Oh no.


Nope.


Negative, Ghostrider.


 Ok, better, but a leeetle too close.


Ok, I'll take it, even though my Grandpa's head in the background looks like a miniature hat and/or growth coming out of the top of my head. Frame, please.


The rest of the evening was spent cuddling with family and watching the game. Ready for the big game this weekend? Any fun Super Bowl food ideas??

I'm torn between a few different savories and sweets, hmmmm. Maybe I'll just make them all :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Happy Freakin Weekend


Saturday began at the lovely hour of 9:00 AM! The Mr. was off golfing (as always), so I slept in, munched on some apple slices, Wild Squirrel Pretzel Pizazz, and Wheat Thins, then headed to my sister's place in Houston for a day of shopping and an early lunch!


After playing the 3..2..1 food game (ya know, "Ok, YOU pick 3 places where you would like to eat, then I'll pick 2, then you pick 1..."), we decided on our tried and true, Hungry's Bistro!

Jalapeno Hummus as our app, then the Chicken Salad Plate for my entree.


They have the best chicken salad, packed with chicken, crunchy celery, and sweet apples. To me, celery is right up there with drug commercials and Snuggies as far as useless things go, but for some reason the celery MAKES this salad. Crunchy goodness.


With the oh so necessary warm, homemade pita bread that I had all to myself since the sister has a gluten allergy :) 

I'm not really smiling...on the outside.


After some Saturday shopping, we had a serious yogurt craving that could only be satisfied with something TASTI and DLITEful.

Half cake batter, half peanut butter fudge, topped with colored sprinkles...because I'm 5.


The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home, until I couldn't stand it anymore and just HAD to get out there and run!

Well, I got to the stop sign (which is about 1/6 of a mile from my house) and had to turn right back around due to my groin STILL not being healed. How long it this going to take to heal?? Worst.running.injury.ever.

I returned home, grabbed my gym bag, and headed to the gym for some cardio...Grouchy McGroucherton style. An hour of cardio (level 10, default incline) on the elliptical was completed while reading Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Then I came home and started on dinner...Gnocchi Alfredo with Sundried Tomatoes, Spinach, and Mushrooms!


Yummmm. Good old comfort food, and super simple!

Hope you had a great weekend! We just returned home from a very fun night at my grandmother's house. 


Isn't it just the loveliest?

Recap tomorrow!


Gnocchi with Sundried Tomatoes, Spinach, and Mushrooms

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 jar Newman's Own Organic Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 package whole wheat gnocchi
  • 6 cups spinach
Directions:
  1. Heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper and saute until mushrooms are soft.
  3. Pour sauce over the mushroom mixture and simmer.
  4. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions, remove from heat, and add spinach to the hot water to wilt. Drain gnocchi with spinach.
  5. Toss gnocchi and spinach with sauce mixture and serve.
ENJOY!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Best Day


 Today was one for the books.

It started with a 5:15 AM wake up call for some gym time. Breakfast was ANOTHER cinnamon raisin english muffin with my LAST Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter packet. Sad day.

After working for a few hours, it was time head to Jasper's for a lovely lunch with my work peeps.

We had to eat an early lunch (11:00AM!) so we could make it to our very special appointments... :)



I went with the Mediterranean Rainbow Trout, served on top of spinach and sun dried tomato couscous. 

Fantastic. 

I licked my plate clean!



I also had a glass of Riesling, that ended up giving me a killer headache later on :( Not used to 11:30 AM alcohol.

Then it was time to head to the spa for the rest of our work day!

My amazing boss gave me, and a few of the other ladies I work with, a spa package that included an hour long hot stone massage, spa manicure, and spa pedicure for Christmas. Amazing.

We all wanted to go together, and today was the first day that worked for all of our schedules since Christmas!


After spa-ing it up for 4 hours (yes), I walked around our local Market Street (since it was GORGEOUS outside) to kill some time. I had plans to meet the Mr. at the golf range around 6:45 PM, so after a little bit of walking and shopping, I decided to head to the gym for a tad more cardio.

I completed another hour on the elliptical (level 11, default incline) while reading Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I must say that as much as I am enjoying my elliptical sessions, I am DYING to get back out there and run...I am just afraid

Afraid that I will either get out there and my groin will immediately start hurting or WORSE...I'll get 3 or 4 miles away from my house and have to limp back home, doing more damage than before. Ugh. What do I do?! I feel stuck!


Anywho, after finishing up my cardio session, I headed to the range to watch the hubs hit a few balls. 

Then it was dinner time! 

We decided to grab food at Pure, one of our favorite local eateries.

Everything they make is organic, super fresh, healthy, and delicious to boot!


I always get the Mediterranean Shrimp Wrap with sweet potato "air fries", and tonight was no different.

It's just so good! 

Brent went with the Fish Tacos that were equally delish.

Now time to enjoy my nightly bowl of ice cream while watching the PGA tour on silent and listening to Mad World by Gary Jules on repeat. 


Love.

Happy Freakin' Weekend! 

Time to drink Fourbucks, sleep in, and consume copious amounts of Menchie's, warm chocolate chip cookies, and Great Harvest granola chunks dipped in peanut butter!!!

No? Just my weird weekend vices? 

Ok then, what are some of YOUR weekend vices??

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rainbow Bowls & Bangs


Tonight's dinner was another rainbow bowl, filled to the brim with my favorite things: Sweet potato, green beans, scrambled eggs, salt, pepper, and topped with ketchup!

I also had a thick slice of buttered Great Harvest Rosemary Garlic on the side.


Rainbow bowls make me happy. Almost as happy as rainbows make this guy...


It's the little things :)



I decided to sleep in this morning in place of hitting the gym. 

I normally go to bed around 11:00 PM and wake up at 5:15 AM, so after going to bed last night at 9:30 PM and waking up at 6:30 AM, I felt rested and ready to take on the day!

Breakfast was a cinnamon raisin english muffin with Justin's Honey Almond Butter at work.

I like to cut the nut butter packet down and scrape all the goodness out with my teeth, artichoke style. It's a must. Classy, and a must.

We ordered in lunch today as work, since it was another super busy day. 

Jason's Deli Turkey Wrap with a side of fruit for this gal!

(image)

I also snacked on a few of Mrs. Field's mini chocolate chip cookies and handfuls of Goldfish throughout the day. I am insatiable on stressful work days.

After work, I headed over to my 6:00 PM hair appointment and decided to CUT BANGS!


I've had the same haircut since the 5th grade (long with long layers), and thought I would change it up!

Annnndd the fact that my sister and cousin (who is like my sister) just cut super cute bangs contributed to my decision as well.

What do we think? 

I like them, but they will definitely take some getting used to. I haven't had bangs since I was 4, when I didn't have the choice on whether or not I had bangs, so this is new territory for me.

I also have a KILLER cowlick that may make me look like I slept directly on my forehead all night when I wake up tomorrow, but whatevs. 

Life's too short to not have bangs by choice.


Now time to snuggle with this dude and catch up on Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Getting good!

Anything fun planned for this weekend? I'm looking forward to a lovely sister date on Saturday and perhaps a RUN???

Good night, sleep tight!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Belated Must Make Mondays & Pizza Veggies

I wish I could say that I just HAD to share my Monday eats in place of my Must Make Mondays, buuuuut that would be a lie.

I forgot. Apologies.

Here are my belated Must Make Monday items!




I am a BIG FAN of veggie burger-y things. I am also a fan of Mexican food, so these immediately caught my eye.

Paired with some tortilla chips and cilantro lime rice??? Now we're talking.


Now...you have eaten your delicious patties...the movie is on...and you want something munchable/dessert-y. 

How about some SNICKERS POPCORN?

Yes.


After a rather stressful day at work, I arrived home and told the hubs that we were either going out for dinner or ordering pizza. Cooking was not an option :) Dominos it was!

One slice of BBQ chicken with spinach, pepperoni with jalapeno, and a large bowl of veggies to round out the meal.


Ice cream with chocolate sauce and peanuts for dessert. No surprises here :)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hammy and Chili


Tonight's Bikram was my first class since I pulled my hammy a few days ago. I thought I was healed, since my hamstring no longer hurt during normal life, buuuuttt no. 

About half way through the class, I started to feel that sharp ache in the back of my right leg again, so I just decided to not push it and only do the postures that didn't aggravate that area.

Ugghhh.

But that's ok, because I had THIS to look forward to...


I made this Vegetarian Butternut Squash & Bean Chili last night and let it simmer right up until we went to bed, so dinner was ready when I got home tonight! My favorite :)

I dumped a BUNCH of veggies on top of my chili, but I promise there is chili under there, and it was DELISH.


With I side of the best homemade cake buttermilk cornbread EVER.

I topped it off with some freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese and a few drops of unnecessary sriracha...it was spicy enough on it's own!

Today's lunch was a quick one due to an enormous amount of work to be done. A cinnamon raisin english muffin topped with Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter (OMG). I also had a big 'ole apple, handfuls of Goldfish, pretzels, and a Luna bar. 

Not the most nutritious lunch, but THAT BUTTER...insane. If you see this at your local Whole Foods, stock.up.


Breakfast was a bowl of plain oats topped with Biscoff and Wild Squirrel Sneaky Cinnamon at my desk. I completed an hour on the elliptical this morning (resistance level 11, default incline) while looking at food on Pinterest THE WHOLE TIME. Issues.

Now time to enjoy my last slice of funfetti cake, grab my book, and head to bed. It is amazing how much harder I sleep if I read right before going to bed. I realize this is not a phenomenon, but worth mentioning :)

After finishing the Hunger Games series (absolutely loved), I started The Kite Runner. Everyone said it was amazing, so I was intrigued. I am still waiting for it to pick up, but starting to realize that it may not pick up and just might not be the best read after the action-packed Hunger Games...

We'll see!

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start! Make it a good one!!

Have you read The Kite Runner? Thoughts??

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Dog Gone Birthday


Today marked 2 blissful years with our sweet golden retriever, Nova.


A day like this called for funfetti, without a doubt.


There is just something about those sprinkles...





Mmmmmm, buttaaahhcrrreaaammm














It also included birthday hats. Nova loved them.


"The hat WILL NOT hurt you!...Ok, smell my hands".


Success.


We gave him his birthday cake, but then realized it had candle wax on it.


He wanted it BACK.


Ok, waxed removed. 

Enjoy, little boy.


Gulp.


Now time for mommy and daddy to enjoy grown-up cake.


Gulp.

Happy Birthday to the BEST puppy dog a human could ask for! Your licks, snuggles, kicks, and nuzzles bless us more than we can explain. We love you, pumpkin head.


Funfetti Cake


Ingredients:
  • 1 box French Vanilla cake mix (I like Duncan Hines Supermoist)
  • 1 small box vanilla-flavored instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles
  • Extra sprinkles, for decorating
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour two 8" round cake pans.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour evenly into pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out fairly clean.
  5. Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes, then remove from pans and place on a cooling rack until cakes are room temp.
  6. Frost and enjoy!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. With an electric mixer, beat butter until soft and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar and salt until fully combined.
  3. Gradually add in cream and beat until smooth.
  4. Mix in vanilla until combined.
  5. Beat icing until spreading consistency (3-4 minutes on medium speed).
  6. Frost that cake!
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