I Hoard Gourmet English Muffins…So What?

Boy I’ll tell ya…this gym decision is very difficult! 😯

You’ve all got so many great reasons that support BOTH sides that I’m now stuck at a stand-still. Hmphh. 🙄

Well, here’s my plan for now:

Tomorrow, I’m going to attend a BodyPump class after work. Perhaps actually being back inside the gym will help me determine what exactly I should do. I will say, however, that I’m pretty psyched about the class…maybe that’s telling me something…?

Breakfast

Today’s morning meal was once again enjoyed at work. I’ll admit: it’s quite nice having my break first thing in the day!

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I sipped on my mug-o-joe, along with another delicious yogurt combo bowl:

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  • Vanilla flavored Chobani
  • 3/4 diced pear (I ate the other 1/4 while prepping this morning)
  • 2-3 tbsp raisins
  • cinnamon + nutmeg
  • granola

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So tasty! I seriously LOVE adding the spices to my yogurt…it makes SUCH a difference.

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Before leaving for work, I made sure to snack on two of these gummies. Nooo, they aren’t fruit snacks…

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They’re my new gummy multivitamins! 🙂 I picked these up at Target last Friday, in an attempt to try to increase my vitamin intake.

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They taste JUST like fruit snacks, and totally make me feel like a kid again – not only because they’re like fruit snacks, but because I’m eating gummy vitamins. 😉

Lunch

Thanks to my Turkey & Veggie Soup leftovers, lunch was ready to go! I didn’t snap a photo, but just picture this exact setup:

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But in one of my snazzy tupperware containers, of course.

Dinner

The electric was being worked on in the kitchen tonight, so I was somewhat limited with my choices. After perusing through my freezer, I came across a package of gourmet English muffins that I’ve been hoarding had in the freezer for almost a year now. 😯

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My parents got Jay and I a few packs of these Wolferman’s English Muffins last year around Christmas time, and since I knew we couldn’t eat them all right away, I stored some away for safe-keeping. These are some of my FAVORITE English Muffins; they’re JUMBO-sized, and full of flavor. Calorie-wise, they’re more comparable to a bagel than a normal English Muffin, but they’re totally worth it! Perhaps a great gift idea for your favorite Foodie too?? 😉

Did you guys check out that Pumpkin Spice flavor???

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Mmmmmm!! I was feeling a little indecisive, so I went with a handful of different toppers:

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Left: Pumpkin cream cheese + pumpkin butter (I’ve STILL got loads of this stuff left!!)

Right: Saratoga Peanut Butter Company Plain Jane Creamy peanut butter + pumpkin butter

(This photo was obviously taken a while ago…I can no longer see the bottom of my kitchen table) 😉

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If the lighting looks a little weird in tonight’s photos…well…it’s because…

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This was my “lighting” for this evening. You like?? 🙂

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Whenever I eat anything with two different kinds of toppings, I always have the hardest time deciding which one to save for last. Tell me I’m not the only one??? 😕

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Aaaand I tend to eat them both in same pattern until I can finally decide…is that weird?

Maybe.

But I’ve been doing it for 26 years, why stop now?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering…I finished with the pumpkin cream cheese + pumpkin butter half. 😉

Gotta hurry…one of my FAVORITE Christmas cartoons is on TV right now!

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Question for the Night:

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?? 🙂

Is It Time To Say Goodbye?

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope your day is off to a super start. 🙂

I got mine off to a super start with a nice workout on the treadmill; nothing too crazy, since I’m still working to get back all 100% of my energy, but it felt great. I did my 45 minute treadmill interval walk, with a few amped up sprints in the middle and at the end (I had to get a little running in somewhere!)

So speaking of workouts, there’s been a decision I’ve really been struggling to make for the past few weeks, and it’s coming down to the wire:

Do I renew my gym membership, or is it time to say goodbye??????

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Here’s a little of my reasoning:

  • My contract expired back in October – I had thought I signed up for a 2 year, but apparently only 1, so my gym automatically put me on a month-by-month payment plan, which is $10.00 more each month. NOT what I want to continue paying…
  • When I first signed up for the gym, I utilized pretty much everything that was available to me: cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, spin classes, Body Attack, Kickboxing, BodyPump…the list goes on! Since then, however, I noticed that I really only use a few of these things now.
  • Since buying our new treadmill, I’m able to do just about ALL of my cardio at home AND get it done first thing in the morning (definitely a PLUS).

  • I’ve also really been enjoying some of the different videos available to me on Exercise on Demand.

So after reading all of that, it may seem simple…

Just kick the membership to the curb, Courtney! Save yourself some moola!”

It’s almost that easy…except there’s one thing holding me back…

BodyPump

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I absolutely LOVE the BodyPump classes! They get my heart rate pumpin’, they make me feel strong, and they kick my boo-tay much more than I would on my own.

But at the same time, when I looked back at my Workout Log, I realized that I haven’t actually set foot in the gym since October 27that was over a MONTH ago! I’ve certainly gotten some great workouts in at home, but I also know that I don’t push myself as hard as I do when I’m surrounded by a class full of people.

So I’m really struggling here guys…

Do I renew the gym membership, just for the sake of my beloved BodyPump (and a few other classes I enjoy)?…

Or do I save myself the $19.99 a month and keep working out at home?

What would you do???

Need To Use Up Those Leftovers?

Heyyy, would you look at that…a normal, healthy breakfast!

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After a long weekend full of definitely “not-so-normal eating” (Hello Thanksgiving + Stomach Flu) a healthy, hearty breakfast was more than welcomed! In today’s oatmeal mash:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • raisins
  • cinnamon + nutmeg
  • Toppings: 1/2 leftover Cranberry Apple Bread + granola

Yummmmm. 😛

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I brought my goods with me to work and heated them up there, since I was running a little late this morning (Hey, it’s tough to get back into a schedule after 5 days!) 😯 I was also lucky enough to have this iced coffee waiting for me in the fridge that was leftover from yesterday.

I know, kinda weird…I’ll explain: I still couldn’t stomach coffee yesterday, and I had a coupon for a free one when I went to pick up our bagels. So I ordered it black and figured I’d just save it for today. It worked perfectly…there was even still ice in the cup! 😉

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Lunch

Lunchtime brought back another welcomed favorite…The Monday Usual! 😀

A plain flavored Chobani, mixed with a big ‘ol spoonful of pumpkin cream cheese + homemade pumpkin butter + 1/2 sliced banana + granola. Pure HEAVEN!

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Speaking of Chobani! Have you checked out their Blogger Creations Gallery on Facebook? If you do, you mayyyy just see a yummy recipe made by “Yours Truly!” Can you find which one it is??? 😉

So believe it or not, these were the first veggies I’ve consumed since the green beans in my green bean casserole on Thanksgiving! 😯 Crazy, I know. They tasted fantastic; so did the pear…even though it may look a little less than fantastic.

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Workout

After work, I had planned on coming home for a workout on the treadmill, but the body just didn’t quite feel ready for anything too intense. Rather than skip the exercise all together, I decided to flip on Exercise on Demand and did Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown video. It had me workin’ up a sweat, and was exactly what I needed. Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be back to 100%. 🙂

Dinner

Believe it or not, I tackled the “kitchen” again tonight to utilize the remaining leftover turkey in my fridge.

You guys like my ghetto “cutting board” here?

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Yeah me too..it even works double duty. The way I see it is: If I cut through and onto the counter top…WHO CARES?!? It’ll be gone soon enough! 😉

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Finding all the ingredients I needed actually wasn’t as difficult as I thought. And when it came to adding the pasta, I had this little guy staring up at me right from the top of the box. Thank you Healthy Living Summit swag bag!

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If you haven’t figured it out yet, I decided to make one my favorite leftover recipes:

Turkey & Veggie Soup

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(I actually originally posted this recipe within the first week of starting the blog…I had no idea it was that long ago??)

If you’re still trying to figure out what to do with YOUR turkey leftovers, this recipe does not disappoint!

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Along with our soup, I cooked up a can of reduced-fat crescent rolls that I’ve had sitting in my fridge. (Crescent rolls = No extra prep = Super!)

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To “jazz ‘em up” I sprinkled them all with a bit of garlic powder, but I also filled a couple with shredded cheese, and a couple with onion powder + dill weed. They were perfect for dunking. 🙂

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All enjoyed by the Christmas tree. 🙂

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Now it’s time to go pack up the rest of the soup (YAY for lunch leftovers tomorrow!) and catch up on some laundry. Hope you’ve all had a great day back to “normalcy!”

Question for the Night:

What’s your favorite way to use Thanksgiving leftovers??

The Good, The Bad, & A Kitchen Update

Good News: Jay and I are back on the mend and almost feeling “normal” again today. 🙂

Bad News: The stomach bug has run rampant amongst my family…now my brother, Mom, Dad, and grandma have it. 😳

Turns out, my one grandma was apparently sick with it during the week and must have still had it lingering when we saw her on Thanksgiving. This bug is no joke! It completely wiped us out…I don’t think I’ve slept so much in months. Luckily, it appears to only be a 24-48 hour pain in neck…or tummy, to be exact. 😉

Seeing as though I was cramped up in the house all day yesterday, I was craving some fresh air! So I offered to go out and pick up some bagels for breakfast. (I’m still craving nothing but carbs.)

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I had a cinnamon raisin bagel, topped with some peanut butter & banana. It was incredibly delicious. I savored every.last.bite. Ahhh, to be able to enjoy food again! I’m still also downing ginger ale like it’s my job. 😉

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Even though the stomach is better, I’m still lacking in the energy department, so much of my day has been spent relaxing on the couch and watching “In The Kitchen” on QVC. There’s some really fun stuff on here…I’ve had to restrain myself from grabbing the credit card a few times. 😯

Jay, on the other hand, has gotten back to work in the kitchen:

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He was planning on doing a lot of the electrical yesterday, so we’re a little behind schedule.

Yikes! 😯

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My current mantra: “It will ALL be worth it when it’s finished…”

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Plus, it also helps a little when we get to go buy more fun stuff! 😀

On Friday afternoon, Jay and I set out to window shop for some appliances that we’ll be needing…well, “window shopping” turned into “actual shopping” thanks to some great deals!

We got a new over-the-stove microwave (no, it didn’t cost $749…that’s the price of the stove below) 😉

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A dishwasher(!!!!!!!) <—The most exciting appliance yet…since the “dishwasher” in this house has pretty much been ME.

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And new flooring! We got an incredible deal at Lowe’s, where it was about half the price of the other flooring we had been looking at. SCORE! 😀

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Now that we have the internet turned back on in the house, I think it’s time to do a little online Christmas shopping!!

Question for the Day:

Do you like to do any online shopping??

If you have any good websites to share with great deals, feel free to share! 🙂

Lemon Curd Filled Butter Cookies

Remember those Lemon Curd Filled Butter Cookies I made for Thanksgiving?

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Well, how about I share the recipe with you!? Hey, I need something to keep me occupied while I’m laying on the couch here. :-/

It wasn’t exactly my easiest baking venture…but I was determined!

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First, start off by making a basic butter cookie (see recipe below). After the dough is chilled for at least an hour, roll and cut out your dough into whatever shapes you’d like. Allow them to cool completely before filling.

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Luckily for me, my filling was already taken care of, thanks to the lovely Cynthia! She had given me a jar of her lemon curd when we last met up for our Trader Joe’s adventure and I’ve been waiting for a good opportunity to use it ever since.

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This stuff is tasty!! 😛

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To fill your cookies, you could easily snip the tip off of a sandwich bag, or use a pastry bag, to make it easier on yourself. I couldn’t locate either of those in my mess of a kitchen, so I went with the old spoon method.

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My cookies were tiny, so I only used about 1/2 tsp of filling for each. I probably could have used less though, since some of them got a little messy. 😯

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Yumm! 😛

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Just before serving, give them a pretty dusting of powdered sugar so they’re nice and pretty.

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Lemon Curd Filled Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Lemon Curd <—This is the recipe from Cynthia’s guest post on her lemon curd!
  • Directions:

    Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

    Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

    Form dough into two balls and flatten into disks, about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

    **Note: If making your own lemon curd, do this now, while the dough is chilling.**

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining dough chilled) into a 9-inch round (slightly less than 1/4 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a rolling pin. Cut out as many cookies as possible with cutter.

    Bake cookies until edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

    Transfer lemon curd to pastry bag or sandwich bag (snip an 1/8-inch opening in a corner of plastic bag). Put 1 cookie upside down on work surface and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon lemon curd onto cookie, then top with another cookie, right side up, to form a sandwich.

    Just before serving, sift some confectioners sugar over tops of filled cookies. ENJOY! 😛

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    Not What We Had Planned…

    Well my Saturday certainly hasn’t started off as I planned…both hubby and I are sick with a stomach bug. 😳

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    I hadn’t really felt 100% yesterday, but just kind of attributed it to extra food consumption from the past couple days. Apparently that wasn’t the case. Whatever it is that we have, it had us both up half the night. Yuck! Thankfully, my mom dropped off some ginger ale, so we’re now sipping on that.

    Seriously, what is it about ginger ale when you’re sick? It tastes absolutely incredible right now.

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    Hopefully I’ll be able to muster up some energy to make something to eat soon. Toast is always a good option, so we’ll see.

    Cody also isn’t a fan of our “bug” because he’s not getting the attention he wants…so he continues to attack the tree while neither of us have the energy to stop him. I’ll tell ya…he’s no dummy! 😉

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    I actually had a dinner date with my girls planned for tonight, but unfortunately that’s not happenin’. Luckily, they’re fantastic enough to reschedule for another time when I’m feeling better. Thanks girls!

    For now, it’s time to lay back down on the couch, watch some TV, and sip on my ginger ale. Hopefully you’re all having a better Saturday than I am! haha 😉

    Question for the Day:

    Do you have certain things that you crave when you’re sick? Foods? Drinks? Movies?

    Thanksgiving Dinner Melts, Elf, & Christmas Decorating

    Whew! It has been a busy day of decorating over here in this house! 😯

    Of course, before getting started I had to pop Elf into the DVD player…it’s my favorite movie to decorate to!

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    Before getting the tree started, I put out some of our other decorations. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to use them all, since I’ve lost a good amount of decorating space with the kitchen demo…but I made sure to put out my faves. 🙂

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    I bought this post with the kitty on it last year at a craft fair because it reminded me so much of Cody. 🙂 And I actually picked up the snowman today while out running errands…isn’t he cute??

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    It was almost time to start the tree, but FIRST…my absolute favorite Thanksgiving leftovers meal was ready to be had:

    My “Thanksgiving Dinner Melt”

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    Oh yes my friends! That is a monster of a grilled sandwich, complete with:

    • Leftover turkey
    • Cranberry sauce
    • Leftover “special stuffing
    • Provolone cheese

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    I look forward to this sandwich every year…probably just as much as the original meal itself. It’s soooo good. Hubby tried one too and he was quite impressed! 🙂

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    After getting some fuel in the belly, it was time to tackle the tree!

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    And of course somebody else had to get in on the action…

    Wherrrrre’s Cody?!?”

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    I love going through and looking at all of our ornaments. Some are just plain silly…

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    But so many carry such great memories!

    Such as this ornament that dates way back to when my grandmother was younger…

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    And this one from our honeymoon last year. Well, actually this year. Wow, this is actually going to be our first Christmas as hubby & wife…how fun! :mrgreen:

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    Finally, after 2 rounds of watching Elf…the tree was complete!

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    You like?? 🙂

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    Now that the tree is finished, time to do a little more clean up, then this gal is headed to bed. Gotta get up bright and early to work on some more kitchen stuff!

    Goodnight Everyone! 🙂