Saturday, October 30, 2010

toy story 3

JJ and I had a wonderful Saturday.  Currently, we are relaxing on the couch playing "Words with Friends," (with one another) even though we're sitting next to each other. :) 

This afternoon, JJ and I went for a really great run and then I continued while he biked.  We enjoyed going through new neighborhoods and enjoying the 80 degree weather.  I love JJ.  I love when he encourages me in something I enjoy, such as running. :)

We then went to an afternoon matinee at the dollar theater.  Toy Story 3!  This was our second time seeing it, but it was just as good or even better than the first. 

We then had a couple friends over for pancakes and bacon.  :)  It was so good--breakfast for dinner.

What a perfect Saturday.  :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

warm chili and cozy socks

Despite the 90 degree heat yesterday, I still made a nice pot of warm turkey burger chili.  It was very tasty.  I added some green pepper and onion to my meat, added together tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, corn and kidney beans and when the meat was done tossed everything together with a McCormick Chili packet.  It's just that easy!  (My picture seems to be rotated funny-but you get the picture.)

After dinner, JJ and I ran a ton of errands, including buying me some new socks.  Once I started running 5+ miles in training for this half-marathon, the inside of the ball of my feet started to get really sore.  So, thanks to Kyla--thank you, Kyla!--I picked up some new socks at Sports Authority.

They're called Experia socks and they have added cushion to your heel and ball of your foot.  I used them this morning and they seemed to work well!  Plus, they have a ton of fun colors!

Now, it's work-work-work.  Have a sunny day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

school lunch

Today, JJ and I made a date to have lunch together at his school.  We brought our leftovers and shared a tuna fish sandwich.  It was so pleasant seeing one another during the day instaed of at 5 p.m. 

It's funny because whenever I am in his classroom I ask his students what they are having or have had for lunch.  Today, a student told me he had a sandwich and almonds.  I thought, "Wow!  His mom must have packed his lunch."  Sure enough, she did. :)

If you ask JJ what he had for lunch growing up (even in high school) he'd tell you a bagel sandwich with all the fixings, big pouch Capri Sun's (which started out frozen to keep his sandwich cold) and apple slices in lemon juice to preven them from browning.  Who packed his lunch? His mom. :)

Now days, JJ and I ususally have our left overs from the night before, pb sandwiches, tuna fish sandwiches, or salads.  It's not like the old days...but lunch is lunch...dinner is what is special at my house. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

when do i throw my make-up??!!

This is a question that I often wonder when I'm putting on my makeup in the morning.  When I was browsing the Today Show's website--they have answered many of my questions:  When to throw mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, foundation, blush, and the such!  Check it out!!

90 degrees

It's 90 degrees here!  It was yesterday, too!  To celebrate the warm weather, JJ and I headed to the pool.  I've never been a strong swimmer, so when I tried doing a few laps on the lap side of the pool, I did two and stopped. :)  I think my next purchase will be goggles.  We also checked out our neighborhood weight room/exercise room which will be using tonight. :)  8-12 reps of 8-10 exercises, one for each large muscle group.  That's what I'm prescribing for a good strength training endurance activity today. :)

JJ also surprised me by making dinner!  Thanks, JJ! :)  That meant so much to me!!  We had some delicious hearty sandwiches, veggies and some baked chips and dip!

Then, it was off to pumpkin carving with the girls. :)  I would have to say Kyla and Stephanie were the Pumpkin Carving Queens.  They're so talented!  Megan, I'm sorry to say we have some catching up to do! :)  At least, I do! :)


Monday, October 25, 2010

minnesota nice

I made it safely back home from my fitness weekend with Pam.  We had such a great time and learned sooo much.  We did some shopping, ate really good food (and healthy, too!), expanded our knowledge of health and fitness, and drank a lot of coffee. 

One of our favorite things about our trip were the people we met.  Whether it was in our class, at the stores, on our run, or even at the Subway, everyone was so friendly and so kind.  That's Minnesota Nice for you! :)  Thanks to our great Subway sandwich artist, we ate a delicious ham and veggie sub.

I also had the chance to see my good friend, Sam. Last night, we had the chance to take a walk to the St. Paul Cathedral.  It was beautiful.  St. Paul is so unique and classic.  The leaves were still changing and falling and the weather was crisp.

Thanks, Pam and Sam for a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

long day

Today, Pam and I left our hotel bright and early and drove around for half an hour looking for coffee.  Where'd we find it??  About two miles from our hotel--duh!  We had a delicious "Amy's Blend" drop coffee and were ready to learn. 

What a long day it was of learning and studying.  Here are just a few fun facts....according to my NETA study packet. :)
*You need 10 (8 oz) glasses of water a day
*70% of your muscles are water weight
*66% of adults are overweight or obese
*The annual cost of obesity is $117 billion in the US!
*3500 calories=1 lb. of fat

After class, we headed to the mall for more Christmas shopping...for Gap card holders it was 45% off!  What?!  Yes...we bought some things. :)  (JJ loves the Gap!--that's a lie.)  After a little shopping, we went for a 30 minute run around a gorgeous neighborhood with vibrant fall colors, beautiful yards and adorable homes. 

We ended at California Pizza Kitchen for a delicious salad and pizza.  We shared. :)
Now, we're studying our tails off.  This is just a study break. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

minneapolis/st. paul airport

Today I flew to meet my mother-in-law and fitness partner, Pam, in Minnesota for our weekend certification course.  Because we were flying from different parts of the country, our planes arrived at different times.  I got to MN around lunch and was starving.  I remembered Pam telling me about a really yummy bruschetta she had at one of the airport restaraunts, so I found out where it was and went.

It's called the "French Meadow Bakery Cafe" and it's the first organic restaraunt in the MSP airport. didn't look how I expectd it to, but it was delicious. 

We had a great evening at the Mall of America--Christmas shopping!  :)  Why not start early?!

We're excited to learn as much as we can tomorrow as we embark on our fitness endeavour. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

plate size

Last night I made some yummy baked ravioli (thanks again, Jessica for the receipe!)  It is one of the easiest things I've ever made.
*1 bag of frozen ravioli
*1 bag of frozen (or fresh) brocolli
*1 can of Pasta sauce

Put all the ingredients together and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes! 

As I was deciding whether or not to use a bowl or plate it occurred to me that I have not used my big plates since the beginning of the summer (see picture i.e. brown plate.)  This is because I had purchased smaller plates from Ross Dress for Less that are the perfect size for a perfect portion of food (see picture i.e. robin's egg blue plate.)

Why is this?  I realized that when we used bigger plates we ate more, not because we were hungry, but because there was food left on our plates.  Since our plate change, it's nice to have pleasantly full stomachs, not stuffed stomachs, and be able to save a little room for a tasty desert. :)

If you're looking for small plates, check out Marshalls, Ross, or TJ Maxx--you won't regret it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

chicken fried rice

Yesterday, I tried a brand new receipe, thanks to my friend and co-worker Jessica, for Chicken Fried Rice.  It's so easy and soooo good.

*Brown Rice (instant or boil in bag work great!)
*Fried Rice packet
*2 cups Frozen Peas or Frozen Mixed Veggies
*1 Egg
*Soy Sauce to taste
*2 Chicken Breasts
*7-8 Green Onions

While you cook the rice according to the box, cook your chicken in some olive oil and add your green onions when the chicken is almost done.  Next, follow the directions according to your fried rice packet (which is found in the Asian section of the grocery aisles.)  You will add your egg to the chicken, onion mixture and then your frozen peas or veggies.  Once your rice is done, add it to the chicken mixture and toss some soy sauce in for taste.  Then, enjoy!!


It really is so good! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

jj travels to wisconsin

This past weekend, JJ went to two big football games in Wisconsin with his Dad.  On Saturday, they headed to Camp Randal Stadium for the Wisconsin/Ohio game and Sunday went to the mecca of Wisconsin, Lambeau Field.

While JJ was busy tail-gating, I was busy sprucing up our place by shopping for a welcome mat with my friend, Megan. :)  We also enjoyed a delicious batch of Rice Krispies.  :)

Thanks to Pier 1, I got a very fall-ish looking rug to wipe our shoes on and welcome people to our home.

I also got to spend some quality time with Jessica and David!  We had been anticipating watching the movie, "Babies" together--so we finally did!  This picture was taken pre-babies on a Target run. 

This weekend I also saw the movie, "Life as We Know It."  With the early bird special, it was only $4.50! Yay!  Thanks, Kyla and Stephanie for such a fun afternoon!  It was definitely a predictable chick-flick--but for $4.50--well worth my money spent.

Even though it was such a fun weekend with the girls and a fun weekend for JJ, I'm so glad to have him home!! :)  So, here's to you, J-Man!  Welcome Home!  You were missed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

saturday fun :)

This morning, I woke up early and went for a 5 mile run with my running friend, Amanda.  I headed home, threw in some laundry, and went to grab a cup of coffee to have with my greek yogurt, granola and peach.

JJ and I have never owned a coffee maker.  I'm not really sure why...we got one for our wedding, but when we moved to Florida, we returned a majority of our gifts and had one big gift card to Target.  We actually bought all our food with our Target gift card for the first 6 months of our marriage--seriously!  Because we moved into a furnished place, we didn't need much.  Since then, we've gotten almost all of our things off of Craigslist!  (And thanks to JJ's mom--our rug from Costco!) 

To give you a glimpse into our home, here are some pics!  Last weekend, JJ put up a "white board," which was actually the top of his desk.  We can use dry-erase markers and it works perfectly! 

I'm headed to see the movie, "Life as We Know It." I'll let you know if it's a good one--or one to skip! :)

Have a wonderful Saturday!  Enjoy the weather--it's beautiful in FL! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

chobani yogurt

Today I ran to Target for a few errands and much to my surprise the Target that I go to is renovating for a grocery section.  I quickly ran through a couple aisles and found this: 

A 32 oz container of Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt.  I couldn't believe it!  It was Costco size at a Target price....I love it!  I went straight home to have  dish to celebrate. :)

taco wednesday

Last night, JJ and I needed a quick we had turkey burger tacos!  They were yummy.  I browned 1 lb of turkey burger with some 30% less sodium taco seasoning and put out my minimal amount of fixings:  lettuce, corn, sour cream and cheese.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to make it to the produce market before we made this entree.  Plus, it's  a great leftover!  I took some of the meat and corn and added it to the lettuce to make a delicious taco salad for lunch today!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

organic oranges

This past summer we were grocery shopping and JJ suggested we buy some organic oranges.  I was a bit hesitant considering that they are like $6 for one bag...but we did...and it was the best decision ever! 

I just had one for an afternoon snack.  It was so juicy and tasty!  Sometimes I wonder how much better organic produce is versus non organic...but in the case of oranges...non organic oranges are not even close to as good as the organic ones!  Thanks, JJ for the suggestion! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

anika's chicken salad

After picking me up from the airport, JJ and I headed to the grocery store to do our week long grocery shop.  We try to only go once a week.  We've found that if we have all our meals planned out, we not only save some money, but a lot of time.  This week we're having, Anika's chicken salad, pork chops and rice, tacos and a pasta dish from Giada herself. :)

Tonight, I made a chicken-pasta salad that we first had at JJ's cousins' house, Ethan and Anika.  Therefore, I affectionately call this dish, "Anika's Chicken Salad."

Easiest ingredients ever!

-3 chicken breasts
-3/4 box of bow-tie pasta
-Poppy seed dressing (the amount used is up to you)
-Craisins (the amount used is up to you)

*Cook your chicken, boil your water and add your bow-ties, rinse the pasta when done, toss your chicken, pasta, Craisins, and poppyseed dressing together in a big bowl.  You can serve this hot or cold.  It's great either way!

Finished product!  Oh yum.

minnesota friends!

 While I was in Minnesota this weekend, I took some quick pictures of the stunning fall colors in Minneapolis/St. Paul. This is one thing  JJ and I miss most about living up north.  It was so gorgeous out that we drove around with the windows down!

This is the beautiful bride, Kristy Thompson! :)  What an awesome day, Kristy!  Thanks for letting me be a part of this.  Love to you and Steve!

My dear friend, Sam and I were able to spend some time together, too!  To celebrate our time together, we decided to head to one of our favorite eateries, "Good Earth."  One of my favorite things about this restaurant is how good I feel after filling my tummy with their fresh, clean, delicious food.  As seen on their website, "Good Earth"  serves unprocessed, organic where indicated, seasonal, "green" dishes.  Sam and I shared the cinnamon french toast and tomato, basil omelet.  How did we like it?  LOVED IT. :)

It was a wonderful weekend, but I'm glad to be back with my very best friend, JJ. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Busy weekend!

This weekend is my dear friend kristy's wedding in Minnesota! :) It's a beautiful weekend to celebrate something so special. I thought the MN weather would be cool and crisp, so I brought a warm jacket, tights and scarves. But guess's in the 80's!!

I flew in Friday afternoon and before I left the airport in FL I needed a snack. I had recently watched a segment on "The Dr.'s" and Jillian Michaels was talking about what to eat in the airport on the go. She suggested dried fruit, nuts, things homemade from home, and avoiding high sodium chose some delicious smoked almonds and a hot passion tea. What a perfect way to relax into a 3 hour flight. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

morning run and muffins!

I feel like I've had one of the most productive mornings in my history. :)  I got up and was in the car at 5:44 a.m. to meet a couple gals for a run and went home to bake some blueberry muffins.  JJ was so surprised to see them on the stove this morning.  So, here's to him. :) 

It was an absolutely great time to run.  The stars were still out, the air was super crisp, and I even got to pass by Carrie and Dru a couple times! 

I went home feeling super energized, which was totally opposite of my plan to go back to bed when I got home. :)  The friend I run with is a great running partner! We stay at the same pace, enjoy fun conversation and really makes me remember why I love running!  I think everyone should have someone like that. :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

turkey burger

Here's last night's dinner. :)  Turkey burgers with lettuce, onion, and a yummy spread. (a little sour cream mixed with taco seasoning)  It was so simple and so good!

Yesterday, JJ and I went for a run in our new neighborhood.  It was sooo nice out!  We couldn't believe there was actually a chill in the air.  I also signed up for a half-marathon in December.  I'm now committed.  $45 committed. :)

So, how will I go about training?  The answer...Hal Higdon.  :)  Hal Higdon is an awesome guide to a successful training program that will make a half-marathon a delight.  JJ and I used his guide for the only other long race we've done before and I was smiling the whole way...because it was just that great. :)

Check him out!

Monday, October 4, 2010

morning grocery shopping

This morning I decided to run to the store before I started work.  It was the best decision I made so far today, and it's 10:22 a.m. :)  I'm not sure if I've ever been to the grocery store before 8 a.m. before.  But, I love it.  It's so peaceful, there's no long lines, people are extra friendly because you're one of their first customers, produce is stocked, you're not weaving in and out of cart traffic and you beat the after-school rush.

Last night, I decided to plan out our meals for the week.  I honestly think this is one of the best ways to save grocery money (other than couponing--something I'm not too fond of or good at).  When I have a plan, I like to stick to it and also look in my fridge to see what I already have. Then, I can plan my meals around some of those items.  So, here's this week's meals.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
White Bean and Chicken Chili
Turkey Burgers
Pasta Salad (with mixed veggies and pesto)
Chicken Salad with lots of veggies and garlic bread

I'm excited to show you how they turn out! 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

moving day!

Today, JJ and I made our big move to our new place.  We're downsizing to a one bedroom apt instead of a two bedroom.  It's very ideal for the two of us.  We've been having fun decorating a new place.  Thank you to our friends Jessica (for helping with the paint) and Patrick (for helping us move all our stuff today!)  JJ and I are so thankful. :)

Tonight, JJ and I had a really yummy salad with lots of veggies and a pasta dish.  I'm excited to start cooking in our new kitchen!