Not what I planned, but good

This weekend did not go how I planned. It started out with a happy hour on Friday, that went on for hours. There was lots of great conversation and laughs, but I stayed out much later than planned.

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I spend Saturday running fun errands, like picking up my veil and stopping at JoAnn Fabric’s to pick up a craft project.I had been wanting a chalkboard for the kitchen for a while, but my desire was rekindled when a friend posted a picture of her new chalkboard on Instagram this past week. After looking for one in stores with no success, I picked up some chalkboard paint and an ugly St Patrick’s Day sign that was on clearance to re-purpose.

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Brian decided to draw on the new board:

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We had a low-key night in on Saturday, watching the documentary Hot Coffee about lawsuits and tort reform. Very interesting. And the popcorn was good, too:

march4Sunday I made yet another very ugly but tasty and healthy breakfasts. Mostly egg whites, zucchini, mushrooms, red bell pepper and spinach with marinara and provolone. So filling.

march5Feeling blah about the constantly crappy weather and hopping for a ray of sunshine, I added a pop of color to my nails. Just look at how pale my  hands are! Sunshine, PLEASE!

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I also watched an unusual amount of TV, drank a lot of hot tea and a glowing green smoothie.

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All things weekend

Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day!

I started out my weekend by doing a new LUSH face mask. It had lots of mint in it and felt amazing.

green1Then I headed the the gym for a good workout. And thank goodness I did. The rest of the day was filled with some St Patty’s Day celebrating with friends. I did stop at Whole Foods to grab lunch after my work out, though. I grabbed some salad, bison chili and their amazing jalapeno corn bread. I don’t eat much bread, the WF’s corn bread is a carb that I make an exception for.

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I had leftovers of both and made them into a cowboy eggs “benedict” for breakfast the next morning.

green3Then I headed into the kitchen to make food for the week and weeks ahead. I double up on the meat purchases for the week and cooked it all up so I would have plenty to put into the freezer. Burgers for weeks!

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I realized after a very busy and social last week that I really have to have healthy meals on hand to make sure that it is easy for me to make good food decisions. I also made a batch of coconut butternut squash soup that is a little disappointing. But it’s healthy and cooked, so I’ll eat it. Slowly, but surely.

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I also make two big pans of oven baked chicken fajitas for a work lunch today. They were excellent and so easy. I got the idea here, but combined several different marinade recipes to create my own.

green5I tried my hand at Whole Food’s coconut date logs. My current post workout obsession. They turned out pretty close to the real deal and I’m set for a while!

green9Despite everything I got done yesterday, I still felt like I did a lot of lounging around, snuggled up under a blanket on the couch.

green10I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Delightful things

Here are a few things that I have found absolutely delightful lately.

My favorite shampoo and conditioner from high school has been brought back! Hallelujah!! I’ve even gotten compliments on my hair this week.

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Iced green tea while shopping at Target:

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Roasted acorn squash topped with coconut butter:

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This lip gloss:

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Healthy comfort food( steak, mashed cauliflower, roasted mushrooms, and grilled asparagus):

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And these little gems from the bulk bins at Whole foods. Dates(ground up) then rolled in unsweetened coconut. They are my new favorite sweet treat. At 40 calories a piece, they have more potassium than one banana. Perfect post workout snack. I’m going to try my hand at making them this weekend.

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Sometimes, it’s the little things that make me happy.

Quick sweet and sour cucumbers

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I have trouble going to a Thai restaurant and NOT ordering an appetizer of cucumber salad. If they offered it in entrée portion, I would probably order it as my meal. It’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s crunchy and oh so refreshing.

I’ve made a few attempts at a homemade version before, but they always seems a little off. This is one of the closest I’ve made. It might even taste a little lighter than that in the restaurant.

Ingredients:

  • 1 hot-house cucumber, unpeeled, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • fresh ground black pepper

Place cucumber slices in colander, sprinkle with salt, toss to coat. Stir occasionally. Let stand 15 minutes.

Mix remaining ingredients in bowl until sugar is dissolved.

Rinse and drain cucumbers well. Pat to dry.

Add to dressing mixture. Combine well. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours(I put mine in a glass jar for safe keeping) and ate them a day later. The flavor was superb.

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Italian eggs

I have had eggs made like this at least once a weekend for the past 6 weekends. And for a few quick weeknight dinners. I am absolutely obsessed.

The idea came to be because I needed to use up some cherry tomatoes and spinach. Then I ate them, fell in love and couldn’t stop making them. They have evolved a bit over time, but mostly due to ingredients on hand.

I start by frying one or two eggs in a skillet. Try to keep the eggs on one half of the pan. Sprinkle them generously with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.  Put a big handful of spinach in the empty half of the pan(and cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half, if you have them). Top the spinach with a few spoonfuls of marinara. stir a bit until the spinach wilts. OR, you can scramble the eggs and cook the spinach and tomatoes in with them. So many possibilities.

While you are doing this, toast a piece of bread(I prefer sprouted grain).

Top your toast with spinach/marinara then eggs.

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Or vice versa. I have done it both ways and it is equally delicious.

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Devour.

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9 and 30

Yesterday brought Chicago the largest snowfall since the blizzard of 2011. We got 9 inches of snow. Beautiful snow. It snowed steadily all day and made the city look like a movie set of freshly fallen snow. It was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it.

snow1 snow2 snow3Last night I stayed warm by heading over to a friend’s house to celebrate my friend Katie’s 30th birthday. And a fabulous night it was. Too much good food. Plenty of champagne and wine.

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And this absolutely ridiculous dessert made by Lisa. It was so delicious. A Pinterest recipe that was not a fail, but should have also come with a recipe to make insulin. We all thought we had diabetes after eating it. Layers of cookies, ice cream and caramel sauce. Yummmm.

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500 and a wonderful weekend

I didn’t realize until I logged in today that this would be my 500th post! Happy 500!

This past weekend was super productive and exciting. A lot of wedding decisions were made.

My parents came in to town.

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To go wedding dress shopping with me. Eeeek! I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed since we got engaged. Fortunately, most of the big things have been taken care of. With one stop and several dresses tried on, I found a dress. After deciding on a dress, and cancelling the rest of the bridal appointments for the day, we headed to lunch. Oh, we found and purchased a very nice dress for my mom to wear, too.

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Potbelly sandwiches to celebrate. Yum! My mom and I split one of their amazing chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, too! Full of delicious fuel, I thought it was the perfect time to take on a home improvement task…

I have been working on cleaning out and reorganizing my closet. A large task. I decided that with things constantly spilling out of my closet that I needed a dresser. Well, I made the poor decision of buying a dresser that needed assembled. Smartly, I downgraded from the 6 drawer to the 4 drawer dresser. I definitely could have used the other 2 drawers for storage, but it was so heavy. So, Saturday evening, we started putting it together…And the assembly continued into Sunday morning….but it got done. And it’s been filled with clothes.

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It made quite the mess in our living room by getting styrofoam bits and saw dust everywhere. So after my parents left on Sunday, I got the privilege of cleaning the house right after I had just cleaning it for their arrival. Yippee.

Overall, it was an amazing weekend with lots of great memories.