Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend Recap...

Kicking off the summer with...

Strawberry-basil chicken burgers...

Strawberry pickin'...

Girl's nights/mini-baby showers, which led to Katie's favorite gift:  ALL THE TISSUE PAPER...
(this went on for an hour)

Family weddings...<3 p="">

Parade watching... 

A too-tired to cook Memorial Day trip to The Pour House for good ole short rib cheese fries & pork nachos... 

...and a "Sweet Cheese" burgers (topped with blue cheese, cheddar & maple-mustard) ...

...and of course, ICE CREAM...

...as only the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (now in Philadelphia) can do, with an "American Gangster" (vanilla cone coated in chocolate covered pretzels & a chocolate dip + dulce de leche)... 

In short:  I'm exhausted & ready for a salad.  Hope you guys had a fabulous long weekend and are set for the week ahead.  Have a good Tuesday!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bringin back the carbs;)

Thursday Recap:

Workout:  2 rounds arms & squats with 8 pounds

I cut the avocado to half this time around and I LOVEEED the flavor.  It wasn't as creamy as the original version, but I loved the combo flavor of mango + mint.  SOOO GOOD!

Snack:  Luna Bar

Lunch:  "Breakfast Tacos" 
TOO GOODJ  In full disclosure-I just had these AGAIN for breakfastJ  CAN'T STOP!

Snack:  Granola bar
Not crazy over having granola bars for BOTH snacks, but I was craving chocolate yesterday afternoon and this was as close to a healthy dose of it as I could find in my house at the momentJ

 Dinner:  Tone it up Turmeric "Skewers" + couscous + spinach
Scott & I are LOVING these quick 'stir-fry' meals cause they are not only healthy, but SUPER quick.  TIU recommended the turmeric, soy sauce, green onion marinated chicken as skewers, but we instead tossed it in a pot with a diced onion, some cooked couscous & spinach and let it all cook together about 10 minutes.  A uniquely flavored + healthy meal in mere moments = A-OK with us!

ps-I've been feeling A LOT better since adding healthy carbs into my dinners.  I was surprised not having them past 3pm had such an affect on me since I certainly didn't cut them out the rest of the day (and, in fact, was eating MORE of them throughout the day than usual).  But after a week & a half or so of cutting back, I was barely able to hold my head up after lunch.   So (healthy) CARBS with DINNER again it is!  I may try again IN A FEW MONTHS (since cutting them at night apparently puts your body in fat-burning mode), but for this moment, a few pounds I could potentially loose from those carbs are SOOOOOOOO not worth being even MORE exhausted thought out the day,  So yeah...that was my little carb updateJ

ANYWAY!  I should have PLENTY of my fill of carbs after THIS weekend since it's Memorial Day!  Crazy!  Hope you guys enjoy every moment!J

Thursday, May 21, 2015

By request...

 Wednesday Recap:

Breakfast:  Flax & Almond Meal Pancake with peanut butter & maple + 1 cup strawberries

Snack:  Luna Bar

Workout:  Power Yoga Class
Everyone in my classes have beens so sweet and surprised I'm still hangin in.  I tell em I'M still shocked myself what I can still do aka-haven't fallen over yetJ hahahahahhahaha

Lunch- 1 SMALL Fast Food cheeseburger
By the time I chatted with some peeps and left the gym, I was pretty ready for lunch and a few-days craving for a cheeseburger seemed like the perfect for a quick lunch (so I was more interested than eating than taking a photo by the time I got homeJ)  And since what I wanted was one SMALL burger (no fries), my little splurge clocked in at 270 calories!  Not a healthy/everyday lunch, but certainly not a break in the calorie bank.  It was just enough, I savored every bite and had no guilt since I had just what I wanted and stopped when I was done.  Weeeeeeee!

Dinner:  Whole Wheat Spaghetti 
The small burger somehow kept me full all afternoon, long enough to take Katie to play at the mall playground and to a make-up dance class.  And when we were on our way from class, she had one request:  SPAGHETTI.  And since Katie isn't usually much of a 'dinner person.' we were OK with granting her request, even if it was a bit off the Bikini SeriesJ...

She even photoed her dinner for you, blog-styleJ

Brought to you from our take-home desserts from Kim's in the Mix.  And even though I kept bouncing back & forth between all of the amazing choices, my first instinct won out with my final pick of Wedding Cake....
Kim's somehow makes a basic vanilla/vanilla cake PHENOMENAL.  Vanilla flavor to the hilt.  LOVE.

And I managed to sneak a quick bite of Scott's Blueberry praline pound cake before he devoured the rest.  The pound cake was vanilla and dense layered with a bright center of tangy berries & crunchy praline...JUST. SO. GOOD.
The only bummer about treat night?  It was Survivor Final night too...BOO!  We always hate when Survivor's overJ  I guess Wednesday treat night will now be a night of catching up on "Ridiculousness,"  "Impractical Jokers," & "Inside Amy Schumer" nightJ 

Anywaysss....have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Morning tacos...

Tuesday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets arms & squats with 8 pounds

Breakfast:  2 corn tortillas + 1 cup of black beans + 1/2 avocado + 2 tablespoons salsa
LOVE THIS BREAKFAST!  Like morning tacosJ

Snack:  Strawberries + 1/4 cup coconut cashews 
I thought the stats on the cashews were going to be ghastly compared to regular 'shews.  But it was really the difference of about 5 calories & 5 grams of sugar.  Who knew??  So I didn't mind swapping them up for a little something 'extra' here & there.

Lunch:  Leftover Strawberry Kale salad + 1 cup of pineapple 
And leftover kale salad is the BEST kinda kale salad because it has time EXTRA time for the tough leaves to break down in the dressing.  Not to mention:  a QUICK & easy lunch.

Snack:  1 bowl Frosted Flakes  
Brought to you by pregnancy, NOT the Bikini SeriesJ  Kept it to one small bowl, so I'm fine with itJ

Dinner:  Greek Chicken Meatballs + 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous + cucumbers + feta/yogurt dip
Scott SAVED dinner last night when I just did NOT have it in me to make dinner last night (I'm blaming increasing humidity & DEcreasing ability to breathJ).  Thankfully, these whipped up pretty quick.  Oregano & garlic spiced meatballs + feta & dill non-fat yogurt dip to cover all the goods, this one felt well-rounded & filling. 


Well, thankfully it should be MUCH easier to breath today since the humidity AND temps dropped overnight.  If it could just stay like THIS until JULY, that'd be great.  ThanksJ

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

...and then I ate the ENTIRE PLATE.

Monday Recap:

Breakfast:  Bikini Series Avocado Mango Smoothie
This week's series smoothie du jour included mango, coconut water, lime, mint, protein powder and A WHOLE AVOCADO.  I checked the recipe about 45 times to make sure it REALLY was for ONE serving.  It was creamy, distinctively flavored like avocado (even though I thought it was going to be masked by the mango & protein powder) and HUGE!  I thought I was going to be full for hours & hours with this but...

Snack:  Apple & coconut bar
...snack time STILL came a-callin' about an hour & a half (and a trip to Trader Joe's) laterJ  Homemade fruit crisps were on the menu this week....which sounded fun & yummy, EXCEPT that it involved the crisps cooking in a 250 degree oven for 2-3 hours.  Maybe I'll give this a whirl in September/October, but in May???   I'd rather opt for one of these JUST FRUIT bars from Trader Joe's.

Lunch:  Cheesecake Factory "Skinnylicious" Turkey, Bacon & Avocado sandwich with side salad 
My Mom & I had taken Katie to run around the mall for a bit of the morning and when she suggested lunch, I AGAIN thought I was still too full from the smoothie (and now snack) that I didn't think I was really hungry.   ...and then I ate that ENTIRE PLATEJ  Good thing it was the Skinnylicious menu and we skipped all other variations of bread & dessertsJ  Not to mention this sandwich and even the side salad are just SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD.  Just a good idea if you want to switch it up from salad and keep your calories in-check.

Both were as SWEET AS CANDY!  Be still my heart<3 p="">

Dinner:  Lemon & garlic chicken & kale salad 
Yesterday began hot & HUMID and as soon as I heard that forecast, my body just began craving SALAD left & right.  Ironically enough, once my house was all stocked in arugula & kale, we left the mall and found the temperature had dropped nearly 20 degrees!  Fun for Katie in a sleeveless short set & flip flops and me in a tank topJ  Anywho...that was a long way of telling you how this dinner came on tap and even though it was quite chilly by dinner, it was still A-OK in our book, especially for its 20 minute cooking time.  Lemon & garlic powder seared chicken over lemon/olive oil & Parmesan cheese massaged kale, this just felt CLEAN and right in order after an indulgent weekend.

Workout:  Hatha Vinyasa Yoga
Made it out last night and am still hangin in my tougher classes.  I woke up feeling AWESOME this morning and I'm not sure whether to credit the yoga OR the warm bath I took when I got homeJ  Whatever it was...my muscles are hap, hap, happy todayJ

Well, as I sit here I can feel my hair promptly starting to frizz.  It's overcast and chilly, but with that notable damp/humid air...ICK!  At least after today, it's a forecast of mid-70s for the rest of the week.  Phew....MUCH easier to breath in mid-70s at this momentJ heheheheh

Have a great Tuesday!  (I just typed "Have a great weekend!" and then nearly cried from having to delete itJ  Tells you where my mind is alreadyJ)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Passed 'the point'...

Morning, all!  Hope you're doing well.   Man, is it REALLY Monday already??  I feel like most of last night was spent BEGGING Scott to tell me it really wasn't Sunday night and my weekend with him was a wrap already.  GRRRRRRRR....how do those 2 days go so fast????  Well, time always flies when you're having fun and we had enough of it packed into 2 days.

First up was a Saturday morning trip to the CIRCUS!  Katie's first show, so we were really excited to see how she'd fare.

Favorites included ALLTHEANIMALS & the popcornJ

 Her telling us "I like being at the circus" made it all worth itJ  $12 bucket of popcorn includedJ

And on the food front, we had a couple splurges on tap...

Including a serious craving for Bricco pizza and their PHENOMENAL Cesar salad (WITH charred bread pieces).  Cesar salad being another random FAVTHINGEVER these last 8 months...

....and their PERFECT tomato pie.  And I totally stole inspiration from fellow diners and when I saw this ricotta & meatball topped pie at someone's table as we made our way to our seats, I knew it was a MUST try.
The ricotta was creamy & fresh, their tomatoes are SUPER tangy and plentiful and the meatball is freshly ground and smoked.  Basically it was heaven on a pan.

And Bricco's is never skimpy on the coal oven CHAR.  Anyone who doesn't think this is a ART form is obviously not from the north eastJ  We live for thisJ

And since it was one of the first VERY WARM Saturday nights, I just kinda insisted that ice cream be included with the night's menu.  AND, another requirement:  It had to be from an old-school ice cream stand.  I was just FEELIN this one.  And I found my match in near-by Maple Shade at this little number...

And on top of being completely adorable and EXACTLY what I was envisioning, their soft serve custard was hands down some of the best I EVER tasted.  EVER.  EVER EVER.  It was suuuuuuuuuuper rich & VERY creamy.  Like heaven on a spoon. 
My only regret was not going with my first instinct of a VERY SMALL cup with jimmies.  I heard their non-fat ice cream was just as good as the regular and I think that woulda satisfied me plenty.  Instead I got influenced from ordering Katie a 'flurry' mixed with Swedish Fish (HER FAV!) and ordered myself up a SMALL (yes, THAT'S a small) flurry with peanut butter cups.  The first few bites were DELICIOUS and the CHUNKS of peanut butter cups were a FAB mix-in.  But a quarter of the way in, it became WAY too rich and found myself eating a few more bites 'just cause it was there' and I was PAST 'the point.'  I'll know for next time to keep it together and not go under the influence of KatieJ hahahahahahaha

And I was especially bummed I overindulged cause I knew another of our fav splurges was on tap for Sunday, when we made our one-hour drive north to Rahway for our niece's Sweet 16 birthday request:  Kim's in the Mix.  

We started with our traditional cheesy hush puppies (Scott talks about these at least once every few monthsJ)  And our sweet waitress, Miss Andre's, recommendation of the fried cornbread... 
OMG....sweet, crisp and buttery, as if cornbread needed anything to be more yummy.  It was drop-dead delicious.

And then I couldn't pass up having their chicken & waffles with a side of mac & cheese and fried apples again.  It was as fabulous as I remember.  Just divine, especially the herb-crisp chicken.  Swoon.   We were so full, we didn't even get to sample our desserts...but we ALL took home one, cause ya just CAN'T pass up the selections!!!

But after THIS weekend, I was EXTREMELY ready to get back to a bit of normal.  Where last weekend's splurges felt worth it and no guilt, this week's fared to the side of 'too much' and I'm ready to move on from it...with about 37 gallons of waterJ

We DID have a few 'pull it together meals' in the mix, including my Sunday morning 'liquid breakfast' of coffee, water & some fresh roasted beet/watermelon juice from my friends at EdoFoods...

As well as quenching my latest yogurt OBSESSION with THIS little number aka-love at first sight...

And also some leaner lunches of kale salad & a light dinner of spaghetti squash & pesto.  But I'm ready for the next few days to be 100% LEAN.  Onto Bikini Series: Week 6!  A very welcome to this week, I might add!

Alright, off to get this healthy week started.  Hope you have a great Monday....well, as good as a Monday CAN beJ

Friday, May 15, 2015

All the berries...

Thursday Recap:

Breakfast:  Avocado toast with honey & sea salt
So, I took this as a breakfast option and ran with it this week, huh??

Snack:  Coconut almond milk yogurt + strawberries + unsweetened coconut 

Lunch:  2 Wasa crackers with peanut butter & jelly + strawberries
Couldn't get ENOUGH strawberries yesterday...they were sooooooooooo sweet!  Tis' the strawberry season.

Dinner:  Avocado & chipotle mayo topped turkey burgers + kale chips

It was SUPPOSED to be stuffed burgers (al la this recipe), but we...oppps...didn't have enough meat with our leaner portionsJ  TOPPED burgers worked out JUST fine.  Loved the cool & spicy combo.

Which brings us to....sigh...the weekend.  SO. VERY. HAPPY!  Quite a few fun things on tap and I know at least ONE delicious splurgeJ  Hope you guys have some great plans and ENJOY!
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