Thursday, February 26, 2015

One of those days...

Yesterday was just one of those days where (dramatic hand gesture) I couldn't figure out what I REALLY wanted, but I just knew it was pretty much NOTHING we had in the houseJ  And I tried...I really tried and didn't just snack through the house while trying to figure out that one thingJ  Here's how this excessively snack-y day went down....

Wednesday Recap:

OK...well FIRST of all, yesterday was one of those days where I could have savored about 56 cups of coffee.  Not solely for the caffeine (although it woulda helped around 1:30!), but just for the one brief moment of relaxed peace in a whirlwind LONG day in the house with a busy 3-year oldJ  (although, even though it started before 7am, yesterday was STILL not as long as last Thursday...shudder).  So yeah, maybe it was that coffee + peace I craved all day long...instead replaced by varying games of "Mommy, why CAN'T I play with the glass/ink/insert your own non-child proofed items kids want to play with while being SURROUNDED by toys."

Breakfast:  6 mini pitas (120 calories) + 2 tablespoon hummus
Yep.  Hungry BEFORE I ate these and still pretty hungry AFTER I ate em too.  Held off long enough to have...

Snack:  No sugar added Chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast 
I try not to have too many of these since the ingredients list is freakishly long, but I guess I wanted a protein excuse for having MORE chocolate milk since Tuesday's real deal was SO GOOD.  I added ice for volume and spinach because of the philosophy:  if ya can't taste it anyway, why not??J  After this the hunger was finally at bay, but I spent a LONG time thinking about what I wanted for lunch that was going to feel satisfying.


Lunch:  100 calorie multi-grain sandwich thin with peanut butter, banana, honey & flax
This did a pretty good job quelling a lot of cravings since it was sweet, salty, crunchy, smooth and FILLING.  Definitely a hit and kept me full for most of the afternoon.


Butttttt...that didn't mean my EXCESSIVE SWEET TOOTH yesterday wasn't pinging again by 3pm.  I kept this to a 140 calorie portion of these DIVINE chocolate/smooth buttery caramel/pecan/QUINOA bites and tried to move on with my day.


Dinner:
But by 5pm, I was SOOOOOOOOO HUNGRY and SOOOOOOOOOOO bone-tired (aka-that specific mental tired that comes along with toddlers on some daysJ) that I just didn't feel like cooking.  So for dinner, I went with the ONE thing that sounded SOGOOD at the moment:  TACO BELL.  I actually can't believe I even was able to EAT Taco Bell after it being a HUGE craving during the REALLLLLY nauseous months, but I must say, last night it tasted even better than I even hopedJ

The one thing I WILL say though, is not only did I feel satisfied after my little splurge, I didn't let it beome an excuse to keep spiraling the night away.  I had my (FAIR!) share of the Bell...did have a FEW bites of frosting (ditching the cake layers since I wasn't crazy for them)...and then spent the rest of the night downing water to combat ALLTHETHINGS.  Despite my splurge, I didn't feel stuffed, gross or use it at as an excuse to keep going back and forth to the kitchen all night as I would have in the past.  I feel like if you can enjoy a splurge and are able to move on, I take that as a sign as my body just REALLY wanted something on the indulgent side and that you obviously really enjoyed it and didn't just eat it JUST to eat it (not that, I'm sure, it didn't NEED Taco BellJ).  I was just happy that the only thing I actually craved for the rest of the night was GRAPESJ   As random as that is, I'll chalk it up to a victory.

I was more mad cause my workouts were limited to chasing Katie around.  I've been doing really well with workouts lately, so I won't be too hard on myself, but it was definitely skipped out of laziness and in the name of indulgence vs. that I didn't actually have time to fit in 30 MINUTES.  

Onward on BOTH accounts today!  

...except that I already spilled a bit of my ONE allowed cup of coffee today on my newly laundered sheets.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr....

BUT BESIDES THAT:  Onward!

And just cause I thought you guys would enjoy this one:  Katie usually sits next to me watching her animal shows on my her Nook (oh yeah-the one I SWORE, pre-children, she would NEVER have.  Yeah, that one.) while I type up these blogs.  And today her snack of choice??  

LETTUCE!
I can get this child to eat THE most random things at THE most random times.  But don't dare put the EXACT same things in front of her at ACTUAL DINNER TIME and expect her to eat it.  That would just be complete sillinessJ  At this phase of SPECIFIC toddler eating:  I take what I can get WHENEVER I can get itJ

Well, I won't have too much time to ponder cravings today since we have ONE more day of PARTY SHOPPING ahead of us.  That should burn off some of that Taco Bell, no??

Have a great Thursday!J

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Outta the park...

Tuesday Recap:

Breakfast:  Almond meal/Flax pancake with peanut butter + chocolate milk
So espite having what I thought was one of my more filling breakfasts options of the pancake with peanut butter yesterday morning, around lap #17 of the Dollar Store in Mission: Birthday Party, I started feeling hungry/TIRED.  I knew I had to have something or the day was going to go downhill and FAST.  I grabbed a container of (Dollar StoreJ) chocolate milk and chugged 1/2 the container.  Chocolate milk is one of my FAVORITETHINGSEVER (don't even get me STARTED on the LOVE for local Halo Farms brand!), but one I look at as a TREAT and proceed with cautionJ  But at that moment, it hit the spot and gave me the boost of energy I needed.  I deemed it a VERY worthy 180-200 caloriesJ


Lunch:  Saladworks Cobb Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
This isn't the 'leanest' Saladworks option, but it was the one that sounded SOVERYGOOD at the moment of ordering.  The goal of the day was a lunch of VEGGIES and I felt like this served its purpose...despite a few decadent mix-insJ.  (I did, however, skip the DELICIOUS side roll in an attempt to balance the calories a bit)  And short of a cup of hot lemon water, this kept me full for the rest of the afternoon.  I'll take it...Green goddess dressing and ALLJ


Dinner:  Crispy white bean Caprese nachos with roasted balsamic tomatoes
Oooooooo...I'm batting 1000 in the Caprese dishes this week.  And pardon my second baseball metaphor in two sentences, but these definitely knocked it out of the park!  (OK, I'll stop nowJ)

I started by roasting up a couple pints of cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes... 

Once the tomatoes were burst and roasted, I gave em a quick mash & mix with a tablespoon of balsamic and a handful of chopped basil.  Tomatoes = done. 

While I was mixing up the tomatoes, I also popped in a few sliced tortillas on a cookie sheet, sprayed them with olive oil mist & a sprinkle of sea salt.  Pop those in the oven for about 10 minutes or until slightly crisped.

I also added a drained can of white beans right to a DRY pan and let them cook up on high heat until dry & crisp (also about 10 minutes).

Once the beans & chips were crisp, I topped the chips with the beans & a few slices of diced mozzarella and popped em back in the oven until the cheese was melted & gooey...

WEEEEEE! 

Serve the chips along with the tomatoes and you are all set...
Holy hell, these came even better than expected.  Crispy chips with gooey cheese & crispy beans, topped with the combo of sweet tomato & tangy balsamic and a kiss of fresh basil...this was a million flavor combos in one and oh-so-satisfying.  Not to mention, a great non-meat meal for the mid-week....which is always good for your health AND budget!  Give this one a whirl ASAP!  You WON'T be disappointed.


Workout- Vinyasa & Gentle yoga class
A good combo....but it was EXTRA cold by the time I left the gym at 9:30pm.  Brrrrrrrrrrrr!  I went straight from the car, to a hot shower, to under the sheets of my warm bed.  Although I gotta give props to the lady who was going INTO the gym while I was leaving and she told me how she pushed herself outta the house to get there!  Lord knows how cold it was when SHE left.  I yelled 'you should be super proud!" as I sprinted to my warm carJ  Didn't have too many excuses after seeing thatJ

Not too much on the agenda today since my Mom is heading to NYC today and Katie & I are having a low-key day.  ....which started bright and early with the WHOLE house being awake by 6:15am.  Ohhhhh...this should be interesting.  Nap gods:  I hope you're on my side todayJ

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When life gives you cheese leftovers...

Monday Recap:

Workout #1:  Hatha Yoga class

Recipe from the sweet Chocolate Covered Katie blog, this oatmeal hit the spot on a coooooooold morning.  And thankfully it was filling because even though I grabbed that small handful of cashews before I ran to the gym, I was starving by the time I got home and it still took a lot of distraction after the oatmeal to wait until I felt full.  Esp since I knew I had a good lunch on tap...


Lunch:  1 Stuffed Cabbage
Yeah, NOT that whole plateJ  I finally split the 2 leftover rolls with my Mom for lunch, but the reheated version wasn't as pretty as the OG picJ hahahahha

We also split the TINY bit of kugel I saved for her to try...and I do mean TINY: 

FYI:  THIS was what it normally looked like and the above was all that remainedJ  
Told ya I LOVED that babyJ


 Snack:  Sprouted grain wheat toast with flax & butter


When you have leftovers from wine & cheese night, what do you do?  Make salad of course!  I took some chopped basil & mozzarella from my party remnants and added some diced avocado & sliced sundried tomatoes... 

...toss everything over shredded lettuce and drizzled with a bit of olive oil, sea salt & balsamic vinegar and you have dinner ready in under 10 minutes.  And this was a GOOD ONE!  It's been a LONG while since Salad Monday made its permanent return, but I think it could be an easy sell if we had THIS on tap every week.  We both were H-A-P-P-Y with this one.
And get ready for one more Caprese dinner for tonight since I'm DEFINITELY not letting that fresh basil get away from me.  It just smelled wayyyyyyyy too good.

Workout #2:  Zumba
So remember I told you last week how my friend from grade school got me to Zumba lately?  Well, now another friend from high school joined my gym (YAY!) and recruited me for Zumba LAST night too!  And since a dentist appointment was going to cut into my usual Monday night yoga, I was so excited for the 'extra' excuse to join her.  I feel like the universe is tryin to tell me somethin here with all this motivation to get there even though if you even SAW what I bundle myself up in to leave the gym, you would dieJ hahahahahhaa  Think BIG coat, hoodie, hat (WITH ear flaps...HOT!), gloves, scarf...yeah, it's prettyJ

And dessert?? 
Well, not ALL of those at onceJ  But I've been downing water like it's my job lately.  I'm chalking it up to all of the workouts, but it's been WAY easy meeting my daily water requirements lately.  I feel like when I'm drinking a lot of water, I drink MORE.  The rest of the time??  It's hard to even chug down a bottle!  Some weeks are just easier than others in ALL things, I suppose.

Well, off to do more party supply 'round up' today.  All the PINK is a callinJ

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I even organized socks??...

Morning, everyone!  Hope you guys had a great weekend.  Now that I think of it we barely left the house the last 2 days and that was A-OK with me.  We still managed to have a lot going on around here, starting with our traditional "Winter Wine & Cheese" (think HOT DIPS being B-I-G business) on Friday night...


...where my favorite highlight was my BFF's Pinterest-worthy cheese, fruit & nut plate...esp. since these are some of my most FAVORITETHINGSEVER.  Just skip any meal EVER and hand me THIS and I'll be a happy girlJ

Saturday brought our only venture outside of taking Katie to dance class and very soon after we walked in the door, the snow started falling and didn't stop until way past sunset.  The snow canceled the plans I had for Saturday night, but lounging around the rest of the day in PJ's with Scott & Katie was a pretty damn awesome way to take its placeJ  We even made one of our all-time favorite dinners of Spinach Meatballs with Parmesan sauce over egg noodles... 
...butttttt I guess the baby wasn't too crazy over it just yet.  We'll leave it at thatJ  I think I probably maxed out my weekend cheese quota around 7pm on Friday night and the sauce on this dish didn't do me any favorsJ

Sunday's meals proved to be a bit more of a hit, starting with our breakfast of...

Bacon in the oven for 20 minutes = check.  Potato Pancakes in the oven for 10 minutes = check.  Breakfast = Complete!  (topped with a little sour cream & chopped dill) 
These little babies were exactly what I was dreaming of in December.  Crisp, full of onion flavor (my fav!) and ready, sans standing over a frying pan.  I have a feeling this will be a new staple from Trader Joe's from here on out.  Scrumptious!

And they must have been pretty filling, because short of a yogurt & 22 COUNTED OUT CRISPY BLACK BEANS (cause portioning them out is a MUST), I was full for the rest of the day and managed to have one of the most productive Sunday afternoons in AGES.  I'm chalkin the CRAZY amount of energy I had yesterday up to the fact that I've been eating pretty well/balanced + getting in a lot of exercise.  After Scott & I banged out a 2 mile walk before 10am, I tackled a 'to do' list and got things done that I have been putting off for MONTHS (like, ummm, organize Katie's SOCKS...???)  I just never stopped moving and it felt GREAT!  As much as I love a nice, loungy day (like SaturdayJ), a day where you feel SUPER productive is also at the top of my LOVE LIST.

Another item checked off was also tackling my first ever attempt at Swiss meringue buttercream...  
Me & whipped egg whites don't usually get along very well, but I somehow managed to temper them, whip them up into perfect peaks and add butter, vanilla and salted caramel without it all falling to pieces.  If I did nothing else for the rest of the day except THIS, it would have been a miraculously accomplished dayJ 

Back to the frosting in a sec, because first: DINNER!  Since my SIL & I are Pinterest ADDICTS, we decided over a year ago to have a monthly dinner where we alternate dinner & dessert duties and 97% of the time, the recipes are usually coming from our dueling overflowing boardsJ  So for her dinner pick of the month, she made us a chicken quinoa enchilada bake (complete with homemade enchilada sauce...yummm!!) 
I haven't had a stomach for quinoa since October, but here was a GREAT re-introduction to it since you could barely taste it under all the other fab flavors of pulled chicken, black beans and spices.  None of us could get enough!

Andddd of course that brings us back to the frosting, which was tucked between the layers of my HALF-A-CAKE of Salted caramel chocolate fudge cake topped with whipped chocolate ganache & MORE salted caramel... 

The cake was delicious (albeit, VERY sweet) but I was SO focused on the frosting that I didn't really notice the oddity of the actually chocolate cake portion of the recipe.  It called for nearly equal parts flour and liquid, resulting in a ...well, fudgy layer I suppose, but it also had that weird 'not completely set' texture, even though it baked for nearly an hour.  Strange...but we still managed to make do somehowJ 

Well...that about wraps up my post for today.  Ready to get today started since I have lots of odds & ends to tackle this week to get ready for:  KATIE'S THIRD BIRTHDAY!  Wow...I can't even handle it.  I was all fine with the thought of her turning 3 until we hit the 'two weeks till the day' mark and I nearly started freaking out.  Crazy how time flies, but her birthday is always one of my favorite day/weeks of the year, even with that slight twinge of bittersweet...as I'm sure all Moms can relateJ  Off to start compiling piles of PINK decor for the weekend...J

Have a great Monday, everyone!J
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