Let The Celebrations Continue (with Cupcakes!)

Wow, it feels like FOREVER since I last posted! Even though I know it’s really only been a day, I’ve just had SO MUCH going on, time just seems to by flyyyyying!

If we rewind to yesterday, lunch was another delicious combination of wheatberries + roasted veggies + The Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese + Balsamic drizzle + basil leaves. Just like Thursdays bowl, minus the white trees. 😉

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Along with lunch, I tried a VitaCoco pineapple flavored coconut water that I picked up at the store. I’ve been seeing coconut water all over blogland, and decided to give it a go. This stuff was SO GOOD! I felt like I should have been lounging on a beach with a little umbrella stuck into the top of the carton. It was so tropical and refreshing!

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After lunch was finished, more baking ensued. Seriously, pretty much my entire day was spent in the kitchen yesterday! Luckily, I had my new Kaiser Decorating Kit to use which I bought with my credit to CSN Stores! It came at the perfect time and was super handy – much easier than using the snipping of the sandwich baggies! 😉

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Different style tips to use.

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I was feeling a little more than gross by the time I was done for the day in the kitchen, thinking about all of the cake batter and frosting I must have consumed. I went outside (yes, outside!) for a quick 2-mile run. I felt much much better afterwards! Finally, after showering and getting ready, Jay and I headed out to dinner to meet up with some friends to celebrate Mal’s birthday!

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We all met up at a local sushi place, Sake Cafe. It was my first time coming here, so I was definitely psyched to give it a try. The cafe was small, but definitely cozy and had a really nice, relaxing atmosphere.

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The restaurant doesn’t actually serve alcohol, but they allow you to bring your own which I think is just flippin’ phenomenal! It’s so much cheaper AND you get to pick exactly what you want. Jay and I brought a bottle of Pinot Grigio for the evening.

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I started dinner off with a bowl of wonton soup. It was only $2.00…why not?

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Then I ordered 3 sushi rolls: a Boston Roll, California Roll, & an Alaska Roll

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All 3 rolls were incredibly delicious. I love sushi…why do I not have it more often????

Jay, on the other hand, can not do sushi. It’s a texture thing. So he ended up getting one of the obviously healthier dishes on the menu: General Tso’s Chicken. 😉

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For dessert, we had BIRTHDAY CAKE! Brian & Mal made a cake together to bring to share with us all. Mal’s definitely on the “soda cake” bandwagon too, so at least the cake wasn’t as bad, right? 😉

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAL!!! 😀

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My piece…it was fantastic. 😛

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The Guys

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The Gals

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On to TODAY!

Breakfast

Jay and I got up super early this morning to get things ready for our PARTY today! I made sure to fuel up before getting to work, so I cooked up a quick batch of oatmeal.

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Today’s bowl was a little bigger than normal, only by accident because my brain was totally somewhere else and not thinking about my normal measurements. Oh well, I had lots of work ahead of me! There’s 1/3 cup each of wheatberries & oats, 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk, 2/3 cup water, golden raisins, cinnamon & nutmeg. Toppings included some PB2, a sliver of Fuit & Nut Manna Bread, and a sprinkle of Bear Naked Fit granola. It was an amazing combo today!

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Now it’s time to quickly head back and finish up some last minute things for the party…BUT…I owe you guys some pictures of some birthday cupcakes I’ve been working on. They have taken A LOT of work and effort, BUT I think it was all totally worth it. We’ll see what everyone thinks today!

Oreos & Cream Cupcakes (chocolate cupcakes with an Oreo bottom & Oreo cream cheese frosting)

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Chocolate PB Cup Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes (yellow cake with a cookie dough center & vanilla buttercream frosting)

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I cannot WAIT to try one of these babies!!

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I think NOW it looks like we’re ready for a party!!

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Hope everyone has a GREAT Saturday! Time for me to go get my party hat on. 🙂

In Celebration Mode!

Whooooo’s excited it’s Friday? C’mon, let’s see those hands up in the air! 😀

I’m definitely feelin’ the excitement today, since I’m going to have a BUSY BUSY few days of celebrating coming up ahead of me. Most of today has been spent in the kitchen, making birthday cupcakes. Jay’s birthday (and Cody’s!) is on Sunday, so we’re having a few friends over tomorrow to help us celebrate. Tomorrow is actually also our friend Mal’s birthday too, so there’s lots to celebrate. Oh, and hey, I guess while we’re in celebration mode, I’ll just quickly throw in there that today is my 1/2 Birthday. What’s that you ask? Who in the world celebrates 1/2 birthdays? Oh yeah, THIS GAL, right here! Happy 1/2 Birthday to ME!! I just love birthdays!

So when I asked the hubby what kind of cupcakes he’d like for the party, he responded with, “Umm, how about all of them?” Oh hubby, you’re so funny. 😉

I decided still that I would make three different kinds…yes three. Hey, what can I say, I’m crazy like that. Oh yeah, and I’m not working. 😉 Here’s a little sneak peek at what my kitchen has looked like all morning…

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Some of these might look familiar…some of them are a new adventure! 😮

Breakfast

My main meal came in two batches today, since I wanted to get up and out of the house first thing to get my supplies. Before leaving the house, I snacked on a piece of Manna Bread. Since I finished my Carrot & Raisin loaf, it was time to try a new flavor: Fruit & Nut!

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Topped with a smear of Blizzard Butter. 😛

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I think I may like the Fruit & Nut loaf MORE than the Carrot Raisin. Immediately upon biting into it, the bread had a quick burst of cinnamon & nutmeg which was surprising yet totally delicious. And I’m definitely diggin’ the chunks of nuts in it too (there’s almonds, cashews, & hazelnuts). It’s a WINNER! :mrgreen:

While I was out, I also took part in some Coffee Friday celebrating.

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Then breakfast #2 was consumed while in the midst of baking: a vanilla flavored Chobani topped with strawberries, blueberries, and some Bare Naked Fit granola.

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Now it’s time to take a break from the kitchen and start working again on the deck. “I love painting. I love painting. I love painting…” Maybe if I say it enough, I’ll start to believe it? 😉

Fashion Friday may have to be put on the back burner today since I’m super busy, BUT I promise I’ll find a way to make up for it next week!

Question for the Afternoon:

Do you have anything fun or silly that you like to celebrate? (like 1/2 Birthdays…even though I don’t think they’re silly!)

Just Call Me Butter…

…cuz I’m on a roll! (I know, I know, big cornball over here!) 🙄

It definitely has been a productive day, both outside AND in the kitchen. But I think I can honestly say that I really do not enjoy painting. 😳 Thankfully, Mal was here to help me, and I’d say we made a pretty good dent before we ran out of primer 3 hours later. It’s all the lattice work that is a total time killer. UGH!

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So, onto more EXCITING news…I can’t believe that I totally forgot to mention this earlier this morning…

I bit the bullet and I’m doing the Warrior Dash!!!!

BUT, that’s not even the best part…Jay offered to do it with me! 😯 I can’t believe I was able to convince him – but I just reminded him that it will be a totally awesome experience that we will probably never do again. Plus, there’s those hats that I just love. 😉 Hopefully I’ll be feelin’ feisty on September 19th!

Lunch

I wouldn’t have thought that any lunch creation I came up with could have topped today’s breakfast…but it surely held up as a strong contender!

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Roasted Veggie & Wheatberry Salad

-1/2 cup cooked wheatberries

-3/4-1 cup roasted veggies (oh, how I love leftovers!)

-1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese

-drizzle of light balsamic vinaigrette dressing

-fresh basil leaves

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To make the salad, I simply threw everything in a bowl, heated it in the microwave for about a minute, stirred everything up to get the cheese evenly distributed, and topped it with fresh torn basil leaves. Everything was ready in less than 5 minutes, start to finish, and it was totally delicious to boot! The flavors of the veggies have gotten even better as they sit, and the creaminess of the cheese throughout just brought the whole dish together perfectly.

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Good thing I still have more leftover veggies! 😉

Snack

Tonight, Jay and I have a softball game, which means we’ll likely be cooking out afterwards. However, all my hard work today (yes, that’s right Jay, you here that? LOTS OF HARD WORK TODAY 😮 ) definitely got my appetite kicked up a notch.

To cure the tummy rumbles, I decided to make a new Green Monster: Strawberry Peach!

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Strawberry Peach Green Monster

-1 chopped peach

-1/2-3/4 cup frozen strawberries

-1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

-1/2 scoop strawberry whey protein powder

-2 handfuls spinach

-1/4 tsp xanthan gum (for thickening purposes)

-1 ice cube

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I definitely like this combo, and I’m thoroughly enjoying sipping on it while we speak. 🙂

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We’re gonna be heading out the door in a few minutes for the game, so wish us luck!!

Question for the Night:

What is one chore/part of housework that you really just do no enjoy doing? Is there any that you don’t mind to do?

I actually don’t mind doing laundry, it’s just the folding and putting it away part that annoys me! 😉

Cinnamon French Toast Sundae

**CAUTION: Extremely decadent breakfast ahead…proceed at your own risk**

(or you may just want to go get your oven ready) 😉

Goooooood Morning!

Yes, it is a glorious morning! and I’m pretty darn sure that my delicious breakfast probably had something to do with it.

Ever since I saw Caitlin’s mouthwatering breakfast concoction yesterday, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. I knew it was going to be vital for my health to make sure this delicious recipe got into my belly this morning. 😉

Cinnamon French Toast Sundae

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I switched a couple things up from her original recipe, but Caitlin was right – decadent definitely doesn’t have to mean unhealthy. Just take a look…

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Cinnamon French Toast Sundae

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/8 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. Blizzard Butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
  • 1 serving Banana Soft Serve**
  • cocoa powder
  • honey

**To see what banana soft serve should truly look like, make sure to check out the link. I realized too late that I didn’t have enough frozen bananas, so I had to add in fresh, which totally messed up the consistency. Mine were a little thin, and not a good example, but the flavor was still equally as delicious!)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Beat egg substitute, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg in a shallow bowl.

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  • Dredge one piece of bread in the egg mixture as you normally would with French Toast.
  • Place in shallow baking dish, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with nut butter.

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  • Repeat process with second piece of bread, placing on top of the first. Pour any remaining egg mixture over the top of the bread.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until top is firm.
  • Remove from dish, plate, and top with banana soft serve.
  • To make chocolate sauce, combine honey (I used 1 tbsp.) and cocoa powder (1/2 tbsp.) in a small bowl until mixed thoroughly.  Pour on top of sundae.
  • ENJOY!!! 😀

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I wish I had the time to make this every day, because it was just so darn delicious! The crunchy texture on the outside of the bread, combined with the surprise peanut butter center, cold banana soft serve, and rich chocolate drizzle was just too good for words. I think everyone needs a Cinnamon French Toast Sundae in their lives ASAP! 😀

I have some hard labor ahead of me, so I’ll be considering that (along with my softball game tonight) my workout for today. I’m working on painting our back deck, but luckily my friend Mal is coming over to help! (I totally conned her into it by adding in some pool time.) 😎

Question for the Morning:

Favorite breakfast of all time?

Would You Do This?

Howdy friends! I promise, the question will make sense soon… 😉

Sometimes I wonder just where the time goes. Today literally flew by, I can hardly believe it’s already 7:30. Sheesh!

My afternoon consisted mostly of running errands, including a little browsing at the mall. I window shopped at a few of my faves, and definitely did a walk-through of Le Gourmet Chef. That is such an awesome store; and I can never pass up checking out what samples they have to offer! 😉 I was good though, and left the store empty-handed. The one thing that I DID leave with today was this tank top:

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Believe it or not, I’ve actually had a merchandise credit to bebe sitting in my wallet since June 2008, and finally decided to use it today. Normally that store is just way too pricey for me, not to mention not quite my style. However, I was able to find this tank which fit into my credit amount. Can you believe that the price tag on this shirt is $39.00?!?! There is no way I would ever pay that much for such a super-thin, cotton tank – that is just crazy! But, since I had the credit to use up, I figured I’d go for it. It’ll be a cute, casual tank to go with jeans. 🙂

As for lunch, a full meal never happened today. Since I didn’t eat breakfast until almost 11:00, my hunger was a little out of whack. I did end up snacking on some leftover roasted cauliflower, a fuzzy peach, and an undocumented Honey Graham Clif Z Bar. I also enjoyed a delicious iced coffee from Starbucks while browsing around the mall too. 😛

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Dinner

Tonight’s dinner came courtesy of the nice folks at Buitoni, who sent me a coupon to try one of their new Riserva refrigerated pastas. A free pasta dinner? Yes, please! 😀

The new Riserva pastas come in four varieties: Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli, Quattro Formaggi Agnolotti, Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli, and Wild Mushroom Agnolotti. Considering both Jay’s tastes and mine, I decided to go with the Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli: “Artfully-prepared ravioli filled with moist, all-white-meat chicken, custom ricotta, fontina, and Grana Padano cheeses, and a hint of aromatic rosemary.”

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The package size of these pastas are perfect for Jay and I, since they contain 2 just servings (which I would actually consider two good-sized servings, but not too huge). To make ours into a meal, I simply topped the cooked pasta pillows with marinara sauce, some roasted zucchini & yellow squash, a little bit of fresh basil leaves, and a sprinkling of grated Romano cheese.

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The verdict? This is some seriously good pasta! You could taste the flavor of the chicken and cheeses very distinctly, even through the red sauce and veggies. My one qualm would be that not all of the raviolis held up very well, and I did end up having chicken filling spewing out of a couple. However, that could have also been due in part to my nonchalant dumping of them into the colander. Hey, ya never know. 😉

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I’m not usually one to pick up ravioli or other filled pastas at the grocery store, since they’re usually a little on the higher end of the calorie counts, but it was definitely an indulgent, delicious treat to have for tonight. If the hubby didn’t have a darn softball game, I was all set to crack open a bottle of wine and call it a party! 😀

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Instead, I’ll be spending the rest of my evening relaxing with Cody, a magazine, and quite possibly a Dark Chocolate VitaTop that’s sitting in the freezer with my name on it. 😉

Ok, so now onto the question – Would You Do This??…

So I’m thinking about signing up for a race called the Warrior Dash. The race sounds absolutely crazy:

“Warrior Dash is the ultimate event for thrill-seeking athletes. This running series is held on the nation’s most demanding and unique terrain. Participants will conquer extreme obstacles and celebrate their feat with music, beer, warrior helmets and muddy shorts.”

I already know my friend Eileen is doing it, and just got word that Jen is tackling the beast, too. I think it would be a total blast, but I’m feelin’ a little chicken! It sounds scary! But hey, if nothing else, my registration would include one of these hot warrior helmets, which may just be my selling point. 😉

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Ahhhh, I don’t know!

Sooo, we’ll make tonight’s “Question for the Night” be…

Should I go for the race?? Is there anyone else local who’d like to join me? We can make a team!! :-0

A Little of This, A Little of That

Happy Hump Day friends!! 😀 Did you all get your day started off on the right foot? 😉

I know I sure did! I scooted my behind out to the gym this morning and loaded up on some cardio. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, walked for about another half, then hopped on the elliptical for another 35 minutes. Normally when I use the elliptical, I’ll just use the manual setting, but today I decided to give the “interval course” a test run. I’m so glad I did – what a great burn! Those hills are killerrrrr.

Breakfast

I expected to be completely famished by the time I made it back home, but surprisingly enough, I was actually not feeling that hungry. (Quick, somebody call the doctor, this is not normal for this gal!) I knew I still needed to eat something, and was definitely craving some kind of food, but just couldn’t figure out what the heck it was. End result: a little mix of everything!

I started by finishing up the last of my Carrot Raisin Manna Bread 😦 , spread with a little honey butter on top. Looks like it’s time to grab a new loaf out of the freezer! Hopefully the next one is as good as this one was…I’m thinking maybe Fruit & Nut will be my next victim. Mwaahahaha.

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The next thing I knew, I kind of just started throwing a bunch of stuff into a mug. At first, it was going to be cereal, then I realized I had half of a plain Chobani in the fridge from yesterday’s cantaloupe soup recipe, so that got tossed in too. Despite being a little bit of an awry preparation, it certainly didn’t let me down in the flavor department!

In the mug: 1/2 container plain Chobani, Quaker Oatmeal Squares + Kashi Heart to Heart, strawberries, blueberries, and a splash of vanilla almond milk.

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Actually, combining the little bit of yogurt with the milk made quite a creamy consistency that I was totally diggin’.

And of course, you can never go wrong with fresh strawberries & blueberries!

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This afternoon, I’m headed out again to run more errands (i.e., on the hunt for a birthday present for the hubby AND Cody.) Yes, both my of my guys share the same birthday, which is Sunday, but neither of them have given me any insight into what they would enjoy for their birthday.

I mean, I would expect it from Jay, but c’mon Cody…help your mama out!

Just gimme the catnip, Mom. That’s the STUFF.”

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Don’t you just love when they’re so helpful??? 😉 I have a couple ideas, but really, I’m just going in blind – so wish me luck!!

Question for the Morning:

Do you find it easy to shop for your significant other? Do you usually wing it, or do they give you clues?

Another Winner of a Dinner

I was on my own tonight for dinner, since the hubby has a softball game and is planning on eating at the “cookout” afterwards. I, on the other hand, decided to eat at home, since we seem to have so much delicious food here that is too good to pass up on!

I’ve definitely had my tomato + basil sandwich from Saturday on the brain the past few days, and tonight was the night to bring it back. I started by lightly toasting 2 slices of whole wheat bread, spreading one slice with roasted red pepper hommus, and the other with The Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese. Then I topped each half with some fresh tomato slices, some basil leaves, and 2 slices of roasted deli chicken.

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This sandwich was tremendous. I think I would eat one of these every day for the rest of my life if I had to (or even if I didn’t have to.)

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Along with my sandwich, I roasted up some cauliflower; 375 degrees for about 20 minutes in the oven. I simply coated the florets with some non-stick cooking spray, salt pepper, and a little dry seasoning rub that we had in the pantry. Adding the rub was a fantastic idea, as these babies were delicious! Plus, I have leftovers! 😀 (Just what my fridge needs…more leftovers!)

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I also decided last minute to have a small helping of some leftover grilled potato salad with parsley pesto. I think it may be getting better the longer it sits, but maybe that’s just me? 😉

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It was another winner of a dinner! 😉

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Now I’m headed out to watch the Jay’s game and chat with some of my favorite fellow lady fans! Hey, let’s be serious, that’s one of the main reasons I go. 🙂

Random Question for the Night:

What’s your favorite sandwich of all time?