Friday, September 6, 2013

All good things happen at the end of the year....

Thursday Recap:

8:00am:  Coffee with creamer & unsweetened cocoa powder
Told ya...looks like mud, but is SOOOOOOOOOOO good!  1 tablespoon creamer + 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder = deliciousJ

9:00am:  Breakfast- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
This smoothie was very delicious and had the definite GIDDINESS of tasting like pumpkin pie.  Downside:  Even though I drank this VERY slowly and it was filled with pumpkin and Greek yogurt, I was somehow STARVING by 10:30am!  No snacks sounded good to me at the moment, so I just did the damn thing...

11:15am:  Lunch- Leftover Parmesan Chicken with sauteed zucchini 
That's right...lunch was had in the AM!  I thought it was going to lead to snacking for the rest of the day, but after finishing this plate, drinking lots of water and keeping myself busy, the rest of the 'eating day' was pretty much normal. 
PS-I had sauteed the zucchini the night before while making dinner so all I had to do was pop this lunch in the microwave to heat up.  Having vegetables cut up and ready to go make them SOOO much easier to grab and it raw or sauteed in advance.

In other news:  It's FALL up in here!!J  After lunch I got busy converting all of my summer colors to FALL fabulousness.  Here's some fun BEFORE & AFTERS:

All while keeping this a-burnin' to REALLY get the house feeling like the season...

And in 'ALL the wonderful things happen at the end of the year' news, I was surfing channels while decorating and saw one of my all-time favorite shows was on: HOME IMPROVEMENT and guess which episode was on??  Their FIRST Christmas episode...
I may or may not have 'ugly cried' at the end of this sweet episode where Mark discovers that OF COURSE Santa existsJ  So adorableJ

3:00pm:  Snack- Apple with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Definitely needed protein with this snack to help keep me full.  A plain apple was just not gonna cut it!

This dinner is such an easy saute of olive oil & diced garlic with ...
  • Cherry Tomatoes (about a pint)
  • 1 diced zebra eggplant (look for the light purple eggplant with stripes)
I also tossed in some kale that I had leftover in the other words, this 'sauce' is perfect to add whatever vegetables you have on hand.

15 minutes later...
I added 2 ladles of starchy water from the pasta I had cooking along side the pan and let it all cook together on high for about 2 minutes.

While the tomato/eggplant was cooking down, I whipped up a FAST basil ricotta...
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 basil leaves  (only had frozen basil on hand, but a couple minutes on the counter and it defrosted enough to toss in)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Toss the pasta with the tomato/eggplant sauce and dollop with the ricotta and enjoy!

The salty cheese made a cool & creamy topping to the SWEET pasta sauce.  Not sure if it's the end of the season or the zebra eggplants, but this sauce was summer SWEET.  Sooooo good (much better than those bitter eggplants, if I do say so myself!)

And even though it was stuffy while I was decorating the house in the afternoon, by dinnertime it was WAY more gorgeous outside than in!  We ALL were super happy to eat on the porch on such a beautiful night...

And to make it even MORE FALL appropriate, I broke out THIS:
One of my sweetest friends made this for me on my wedding to take on our "mini-moon" to Vermont.  Since then, it has become our official FALL playlist and as soon as the first notes of "Harvest Moon" started playing, I think my heart swelled 12 sizesJ  It makes me SOOOOOOO HAPPY!
Thanks again, Janice!!!J

After dinner, I decked myself out in my finest FALL footwear... (yes, my sock drawer got a FALL makeover, even if the rest of my wardrobe still screams summertimeJ)

...and headed out for the park.  And LOOK WHO MET US THERE!!!

After a lap around the park, we busted Katie out of her stroller to let her run loose... some catch... with Penny...

...and, um, hug trees...??? 
I think Katie found her new happy place for FALL.

And let's just say I woke up EXTRA giddy this morning when it was damn near CHILLY this morning!  I had to swap my tank top for short sleeves since I was actually COLDJ  This makes me absurdly happy...I can't help myself!

Well, hope you guys have some fun weekend plans.  I have not one, but TWO cousins turning the big 0-1 this weekend and will be out & about celebrating them bothJ  ...with maybe a little FALL football fun thrown in the mixJ

Have a great one!!

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