Monthly Archives: September 2009

Blogging positives and motivation Wednesday

Happy hump day friends, we are half way there!

I didn’t make it to the gym this morning. My stomach is off, my head is congested and dammit, my body needs a break ;). But on a positive note, it IS Wednesday, and I am using the upcoming exciting things to keep me motivated today.

1. I go to LA in about 2 1/2 weeks.
2. Halloween is in about a month, which marks Mike and my unofficial 2 year anniversary 🙂 🙂 🙂
3. I get to think of a Halloween costume
4. My brother comes to MN in mid-November for a wedding he is in
5. I JUST BOOKED MY FLIGHT HOME TO DALLAS FOR THANKSGIVING LAST NIGHT!!!!
6. I get to go back to Dallas for 10 days over Christmastime
7. Mystery exciting thing in which I cannot tell you since I’m not sure if it is 100% yet.

What is keeping you going today?

Moving on…

One of my favorite things about the blogging community is finding new foods and food combinations you may not have thought of yourself. Both my breakfast and my lunch are examples of these combinations.

After reading Kristin’s blog yesterday morning about her breakfast wrap, I knew I had to create that for my breakfast this morning. I pretty made the exact same thing that she made. I’m a total copycat, but at least I am crediting the source :). Thanks for the fabulous idea Kristin!

On a whole wheat and mega high fiber wrap (32%, wowzas!), I lathered a combo of whipped cream cheese and Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter. Note to self, I must go get another jar this weekend because I have already eaten the whole jar in a week and a half.

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With half of a naner sliced on top.

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I then folded and packed it to bring to work this morning. I don’t yet have an appetite, but it has got to kick in at some point I would think!

With my sweet wrap I have some blueberry yogurt. Hopefully this will help calm my tummy, ugh.

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For lunch, I am trying a new combo and praying that it works out taste wise. It looks and sounds pretty tasty to me, but you can be the judge as well. So what do we have here?

The other half of the mystery squash from Sunday. I filled it with about half of a cup of black beans and topped it with some feta cheese. Sound good?

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I love the yellow/green color of this squash.

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Along with a roll that I will heat in the microwave (and most likely smear with some peanut butter).

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I also am brining along bread and oatmeal packets in case I need something a bit more bland today. I always crave the lamest most boring things when I am even *slightly* not feeling good.

Oh, and I can’t forget, I will be taking my Flinstones vitamin’s today. Yes, my co-worker has Flintstones vitamins and he has me take two a day, lol. I mean, who wouldn’t want one of these?

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Are you a fan of Halloween? Have you started to think about your costume? If so, what are you thinking for this year?

I love Halloween. Okay, maybe mostly because of the candy ;). But I have a few friends that despise the ‘holiday’.

I am not sure what I am going to be this year, maybe BATWOMAN, get it!?!? I’m not actually going to be that. I have a good friend at work that comes up with the best costumes, so she is going to help me.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Couch bound

I’m gonna make this snappy. I think some of the germs floating around this city have infected me :(. I know a total of five of Mike and my friends that have gone home sick today. What the hay? Not to mention all the sickies at my work.

While I wasn’t feeling too hot this afternoon, I couldn’t pass up a piece of cake. This is obviously not the cake, or cake at all, but it is a cute placeholder.

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For dinner, I was hungry, but nothing sounded good at all.  That’s where eggs and an english muffin came into play.  I also had a little bit of Mike’s caesar pasta salad; it was pretty bland, so it worked.

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To make the eggs a little more interesting, I added cilantro and parmesan cheese.

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Close up of the pasta salad.  It was a from a box, Suddenly or Simply Salad I believe?  It was a little to salty for me, but Mike was a fan.

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And the whole wheat english muffin.

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As you know, I am a ‘dipper’.  So instead of smearing the muffin with butter, I dipped.  Are you a dipper?  Also, do you love condiments as much as I do?  I seriously need to go to condiment anonymous.

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I can already tell I will be hungry later.  Not sure what will sound good, but I’m going to need something!

Ok my bloggie friends, I’m off to lay on the couch and watch the Biggest Loser.  Have you been watching this season?

Long winter?

Rise and shine sunshines!!! It is Tuesday, so at least it isn’t Monday :).

This morning I woke up and headed to the gym and froze my booty off in the process. It seriously was in the low 40’s when I walked to the gym this morning. Wayyy too cold for this chica. I need to bring out the pants to wear over the shorts now. Sad 😦

At the gym I ran 4.5 miles in 42 minutes. I was feeling motivated to run when I got to the gym; people were lined up on the treadmill which always makes you push yourself I think. How do you find motivation at the gym or at home?

Now I am at the workplace, which many of my co-workers feel like they are coming down with something and we also have a few people out sick. Hence, the title of my blog post.

A few of us were talking yesterday and we think it is going to be a long nasty winter for people getting sick. How exciting huh?

To combat the airborn germs, I am stocking up on vitamins and healthy foods.

Breakfast includes a muffin from Sunday. I snacked on a piece of one last night while making dinner and am happy to report they get better with age :).

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A honeycrisp apple.

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And some Fage.

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All together now! It is a semi randomly thrown together breakfast. But, what I love about it is that it will take me awhile to eat since it is three separate ‘courses’. My snacky self loves this type of meal.

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And somehow the computer ate my lunch photos, grrrr. They were here last night but have vanished. Luckily, Cooking Light has a photo of their version.

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I also packed a baggie of tortilla chips to crunch on top.

This afternoon there will be cake in our office to celebrate one of my co-workers who is getting married this weekend. You best bet I will be having two pieces a piece. The ‘celebration’ is going to be in the conference room right next to my cube, so hopefully I don’t get tempted to go back for seconds.

Do you partake in indulgent office treats? If yes, what was the last treat you had? If not, is there a reason you don’t?

Another winner

Heyyy, happy Monday evening! How was everybody’s day? Good? Mine was pretty good, nothing to complain about.

From the responses this morning, it sounds like all of us want to go to Greece! Maybe we should plan a bloggie get away there 🙂

This afternoon I partook in the beginning of the Halloween candy trap.  I had something I haven’t had in ages, a fun size Milkyway.  I felt like eating this many…

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But luckily I stuck to just one.

So today is the first day in Minnesota where you can really tell that winter is coming.  It was in the mid-40’s when I walked to the gym this morning and the wind was gusting all day long.  For this reason, it was definitely a soup night at our house.

We were going to just can it up with good old Campbell’s soup but Mike suggested we make our own from scratch.  This turned out to be a fabulous idea because, ladies and gentlmen, I have yet another winning recipe for you: Tortilla Soup.

I made a few minor tweaks to accommodate what we had on hand.

  • Instead of fajita seasoning, I used taco seasoning.
  • Instead of pinto beans, I used spicy chili beans.
  • Instead of chopped green chiles, we used fresh jalapeno (highly recommend doing this for people who love things spicy and hot).
  • Chopped up a red bell pepper to add in.
  • Omitted the lime juice.
  • Added chopped cilantro.
  • Added chicken.

During the cooking process…

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Dished up with crushed tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and a large spoonful (ok two spoonfuls) of sour cream.

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All the goodies mixed together.

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With a roll I heated up in the oven. Dipped some in the soup and had some smeared with butter.

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The verdict?  Another recipe you need to make ASAP.  It was super flavorful, spicy, quick (under 30 minutes) and healthy (from Cooking Light).  It is also is very versatile, you can add in fun ingredients like we did.  Next time I think I would add some corn in as well as make some guac to dallop on top along with the sour cream.

I have a confession… so today I totally took the ‘Jenna wants to get a dog’ obsession to the next level… I emailed a breeder, eek!  While Mike and I would prefer to adopt a puppy or young dog (6-9 months old), we are also open to breeders.  The type of dog I emailed about today was a Miniature Schnauzer.

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Cute huh?  As much as Mike and I want a bulldog, not sure we are ready for the large expense.  They are extremely expensive, and through research, have high vet bills and take lots of grooming.

The three other dogs we are considering are the schnauz, maltese and pug.  The family I used to nanny for had a pug named Bernie and I grew semi-obsessed with him.  Plus, Tina’s pug Murphy is freakin’ adorable.

Sorry if you guys are getting sick of my dog talk, but it probably won’t stop for awhile ;).

Let’s take a poll…  Why not have a say huh?

Dessert is TBD.  I am thinking a lemon bar from Trader Joe’s.  Have a wonderful evening!

Overnight oats failure

Happy Monday to you all. I hope you are starting off the week wonderfully!

As you can probably tell by my post title, I attempted to make overnight oats last night, and it was a complete failure :(. I knew it looked a little soupy last night, but that is how I always make my oats (I like them a little runny).  Maybe that is what caused it to not work out? Any pointers would be appreciated it you have made overnight oats before.

To make matters worse, I made them ‘in a jar’ using up the last of my BARNEY BUTTER. Not a happy camper that my Barney gold is ruined.

Okay, rant over. On a positive note, I did get an amazing nights sleep last night and woke up refreshed and ready to run. I did 7 miles in 65 minutes on the treadmill this morning. Awesome way to start the week on the right foot if you ask me.

Since I was breakfastless this morning, I decided to treat myself to a bagel sammie from Brueggers. I ordered an egg white and cheddar sammie on a whole wheat bagel. Great post-run nutrition if you ask me :).

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Lunch is leftovers from last nights incredible meal, Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie. I am already excited and looking forward to lunch, lol.

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And since my lunch photo doesn’t do the dish justice, here is a photo from Rachael’s website of this dish.

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Annnd, a photo of the fabulous cook. I was searching for photos of her in Google images last night and barely recognized her in this photo. She is always a naturally beautiful woman, but here she looks gorgeous!

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Oh, and I also brought a banana to have with lunch.

Ok friends, since it is always a little hard to get back in the swing of things, I decided, why not make it harder ;). Jk… my goal of the below photos is inspiration to work hard so you can play hard and visit one of these locations. Would you rather go to…

1. Thailand

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2. Greece

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3. New York City

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Or, 4. Northern Minnesota

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Tell us all where you would want to go and why. It is a tough descision, but if I was forced to chose, I probably would go with Greece. I have obviously been to Northern Minnesota, but I have not been to the other three locations. So why Greece over the other two? Because it has the ocean, the beauty and a lot of cool history to go along with it. I hope that is a good enough answer 🙂

Ta ta for now!

Rachael filled me to the brim

Howdy friends.  I am writing this post stuffed to the brim thanks to the fabulous Rachael Ray.  More on that in a bit…

This afternoon’s eats were wayyy random.  My appetite hasn’t really been present today for some reason.  I pretty much snacked my way through the whole afternoon.  A lot of my snacks weren’t photographed due to being completely spontaneous.  What I did photograph:

Chips and guac:

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Mystery squash with pumpkin butter and butter.

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I thought this was an butternut squash, but it ended up being what seemed to be a hybrid between butternut and spaghetti squash.  Even though I was disappointed it wasn’t butternut, it was still quite good (and the pumpkin butter went great with it too!).

Other notable eats of the afternoon include: an apple, the rest of my cheesecake and some peanut butter and crackers.  Now that I list it all out, it does kind of seem like a lot, whoops!  Boredom snacking I supposed.

I caught up on blogs, worked on my puzzle and watching the VIKINGS WIN!!!  If anybody was watching the game, you know how amazing Favre’s touchdown pass with two seconds left in the game was.  It was screaming and jumping for joy like a two year old.  Minnesota pride baby!

061029_Minnesota_Vikings_logoAnd now on to the main event of the day, dinner.  This was a new recipe of Rachael Ray’s that Mike picked out.  What is it you ask?  Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie. We found it in one of her cookbooks that I own, but lucky for you, the recipe is online.

Now, I was a bit hesitant going into this meal.  I love buffalo chicken and a I love pot pie, but the two of them together?  And with corn bread as the ‘crust’?  Didn’t sound too great to me.  Boy was I ever wrong.  There are not words to describe how delicious this dish was. All I can say is you have got to try this recipe, pronto!

Before going into the oven:

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Hot out of the oven:

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My slice of the pie with salad, which I doused with ranch:

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Got to work the angles 😉

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This portion may not look big since we were using huge bowls (think salad bowls x2 or 3), but it was probably about 1/6 of the dish… so it was enormous.  I didn’t think there was any way on earth I could eat this whole bowl, anddd, I did.  It was so good I couldn’t stop.  😦  My body is saying ‘payback time Jenna, you stuffed me way too much’.  Oh well, it was worth it.

It is now time to lay on the couch and curl up with Sunny.  I am thinking either a book or some Mad Men, followed by an early bedtime.  I am exhausted.  I definitely may just find room for dessert as well.

By the way, I am trying something new for breakfast tomorrow.  While it is not new to the blog world, it is new in my world.  I put it together this evening and am wondering if I did something wrong, it just doesn’t look right.  However, maybe the way it looks is exactly what it should look like.  You will see tomorrow a.m. if it works out!

Have you ever tried a Rachael Ray recipe? If so, do you have a favorite?

Career Change

I have big news to announce, I am leaving my job in the marketing field to become a professional bowler.  Your thoughts?

I was pretty much unstoppable last night.  I kept getting strike after strike.  I was the champ of the group 🙂  We had a great time last night; no way to sugar coat it, many drinks were had.

The four of us also brought up the idea of potentially going to Las Vegas in November.  Jodi had looked into it yesterday and the deals are fantastic.  We all just need to check in on our vacation time; hopefully it will work out!  I’ve never been to Vegas, have you?  If so, what did you think of it?

To top the night off, we stopped by one of my favorite pizza places in Uptown, Toppers.  Now, Toppers doesn’t deliver downtown, so of course, I had to get a late night snack ;).  We got an order of the Pepperonistix; I was good an only had one and a half stix with marinara sauce and garlic butta.  Worth every bite!

This morning Sunny woke me up at 7 letting me know she had to go outside and go potty.  Afterwards we curled up on the couch.  Annnnd, I had a donut hole.

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Sunny decided she was interested.

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And then she was interested in the object that was close to her head (the camera).

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Yep, that’s her nose and her little eye.  Adorable.

On to eats this morning.  I had some overly ripe bananas that I wanted to use up but wanted to try something different from just banana bread.  Want to play name that batter?

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The  recipe that caught my eye was Brown Sugar Banana Coffee Cakes from Sunset magazine.

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I got a little sloppy while butting on the streusel, hence the little burnt blobs all over the pan :).

Fresh out of the oven…

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While these were okay, they didn’t really do it for me.  The banana flavor was pretty much non-existent, I would much rather have had my banana bread.  However, Mike did enjoy them, so maybe you would too!

After breakfast, we took Sunny on an hour walk along the river.  We found some really cool trails that we never knew existed.  They are perfect running trails!  You know me, I am not an outside runner, but these trails and the scenery gives me the urge to run them.

Not sure what lunch holds.  After eating tons of batter (which was REALLY good) and having a coffeecake muffin, my system is on sugar overload, which is making me feel a little sick.  I may cook up some butternut squash though, num!

I’m off to catch up on my Google Reader, I am so far behind on all of your blogs, sorry guys :(.  I am also watching the Vikings vs. 49er’s, GO VIKES!!!!

Oh, and tonight we are trying a new recipe that Mike picked out to try.  I have a feeling this one will be a winner at least!