A Little “Courtney Time”

Sometimes, you just need some “ME” time, and this weekend, that’s exactly what I did.

After posting on Saturday afternoon, I decided to take the rest of the weekend off from blogging to just relax and enjoy life. I didn’t want to be cooped up in front of my computer screen, because once I sit down and read one blog, it’s like a spiral effect and I’m glued to my seat forever. Rather, I wanted to be out enjoying the pool, not enjoying housework, and spending time with family and friends.

That doesn’t mean, however, that my camera was still in tow…I did still manage to take a few photos. I guess the “blogger” in me never fully takes a break. 😉

Some highlights:

Cuke, Tomato, Red Onion, & Feta salad

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6 inch Turkey sub on Honey Oat bread from Subway (using my gift card from HLS – Yesss.) 🙂

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Beverage 🙂

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Baked tilapia dinner with corn, beans, & homemade corn bread

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This morning, I made myself a breakfast that I have been waiting for ever since last Sunday…

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AHHHHHH Oats in a Jar how I love you. 🙂 I finally got my Blizzard Butter jar down to the perfect amount to finish off for some OIAJ last weekend, but I had to wait until now to enjoy them because,

A) we went to Vegas, and

B) we didn’t go grocery shopping until yesterday afternoon and I didn’t have any bananas or milk

It was worth the wait.

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In the jar:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • golden raisins
  • cinnamon & nutmeg

Topped off with a little Bear Naked Fit granola.

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And a mug of coffee (it’s supposed to be 90 degrees today and I made hot coffee…am I nuts? Nahh, it tasted fabulous.)

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All together now…YUMMMM!!!

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Obviously. 😉

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Now I’m headed over to the hospital to try to get this foot looked at. 😳 It’s still just as sore and pretty swollen, so hopefully I’ll be able to get x-rayed and find out what’s up.

I just hope I don’t have to sit in the waiting room for too long. Keep your fingers crossed for me guys!

Question for the Morning:

Have you ever broken a bone?

Have you ever had an injury that took a while to recover from?

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Lighting Speed!

I’m typing this post in lighting speed, since I have a softball playoff game to get to! 🙂

I made a quick, simple veggie sandwich for dinner, since I didn’t want anything too heavy before playing.

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I lightly toasted an Arnold Sandwich Thin, spread it with a thick smear of garlic & chive hommus, and topped it with some romaine, tomatoes, and cucumber slices. On the side, I also made like a bunny and munched on this yummy carrot stick dunked in a lot more hommus. 😉

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Jay and I also decided to test out the PopChips from my Swag Bag. Personally, I’m not a huge pepper person, but they were still really good. I’d really like to try some of the other flavors (sour cream & onion!!!), since I was a total fan of the texture.

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I know this probably looks like a pretty lame dinner, but hey, we can’t have customizable dinner bowls every night. 😉 I also did a pretty decent job of munching on some homemade trail mix during the afternoon too, so I am feeling pleasantly satisfied after this quick meal.

Ok folks, time to play some softball!!

Question for the Night:

On average, how many nights a week do you cook/prepare a full dinner for yourself and/or your family?

Airports and Time to Think

Yes folks, at 11:15pm last night, I finally made it back into Albany! As great of a weekend it was, the traveling definitely took a toll on me! But all was well with the world as soon as I turned down the hallway and saw my favorite hubby waiting for me, smiles and all. 🙂 I really missed my two favorite men this weekend!

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After having a fabulous nights’ sleep in my own bed, it was time to hit the gym. My body was craving a BodyPump class in the worst way, so I hit up the elliptical for an easy 20 minutes, followed by Pump, which felt anything but easy…I hadn’t taken a class since July 25th! YIKES. 😯 But it still hurt oh-so-good.

On my way to the gym, I raided the swag bag for a pre-gym snack…

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A Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio KIND Plus bar. After the first bite, I almost threw it out. I just wasn’t diggin’ it. But I gave it another try, and obviously it ended up tasting pretty good. 😉

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When I got home, I snacked on a handful of homemade trail mix. It’s soooo dangerous!

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Then I made myself a Mocha Protein Smoothie.

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And while in the midst of unpacking/laundry/catching up on house stuff, I made a little snack of veggies + hommus,

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a juicy peach,

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and my blackberry chamomile Solixir swag. This stuff is fantastic! I definitely need to pick some of this up at the store. 😀

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Now as you can probably imagine, being stuck in an airport for 8 1/2 hours definitely leaves you with a lot of “me” time. So I decided to use my “me” time to think and reflect a little bit about my weekend. Here’s some of my random thoughts…hey, maybe you’ll even agree with me on some of ‘em. 😉

  • I have no intentions of traveling on “standby” anytime in the near future.
  • Chicago has some beautiful sights to see…I need to go back with the hubby.
  • I think staying in a hotel that is “haunted” is pretty interesting…but I probably wouldn’t have felt that way if I was staying in Gina & Sabrina’s room.
  • I take the water pressure in my shower for granted.
  • I envy strong-willed people who have the guts to just go for what they really want, despite obstacles, without looking back.
  • Just because they’re veggies, doesn’t mean you can eat yourself to oblivion with them.
  • I think all fruit and vegetables should come pre-washed and ready to eat, displayed on pretty platters.
  • Wi-Fi helped me keep my sanity.
  • My one major fail of the weekend: I did not get authentic, Chicago deep-dish pizza. 😦
  • Despite being surrounded my numerous vegetarians & vegans, not once did I get the urge to become one. And I’m proud of that.
  • I still have no desire to become a marathon runner. But I love my short distance runs. 🙂
  • The “L” is much more bearable when you’re not scrunched in a corner with a group of 6 ghetto girls & guys bragging about their latest theft binge.
  • Walking 5 miles in flip flops is possible. But I wouldn’t recommend it. You’ll have blisters. Lots of them.
  • I’m already thinking about the next time I can eat Indian Food.
  • Thoughts on calorie intake goes right out the window after being bumped from two flights in a row.
  • I wish I had a river or pretty lake to run past everyday. It’s so motivating.
  • If you don’t have a smart phone at a blogger conference, you’re definitely out of the loop.
  • I’m so thankful to have met so many fun, friendly, smart, and beautiful women at HLS. Despite my horrendous travels, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything.

In case you missed anything from my weekend in Chicago, here’s some recaps!

A Shaky Start: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/12/a-shaky-start/

Chicago on Foot: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/13/chicago-on-foot/

Kickin’ Off HLS: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/14/kickin-off-hls/

Healthy Living Summit = An Eating Frenzy: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/14/healthy-living-summit-an-eating-frenzy/

A New Love Affair…With Indian Food: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/15/a-new-love-affairwith-indian-food/

Bon Voyage Chicago!: http://sweettoothsweetlife.com/2010/08/15/bon-voyage-chicago/

Hope everyone’s Monday is off to a great start!! 😀

Bon Voyage Chicago!

Today marked the end of my HLS weekend in Chicago. Boy does time flyyyy when you’re having fun!

The morning got started with a fun run. Nienke and I decided to start our run a little earlier than the rest of the group, to try to avoid the blazing heat & humidity that we encountered earlier this weekend. It was a solid effort, but it really didn’t make much difference. We have no idea how far we went, but we’re guessing maybe between 3-4 miles, with some stops to chat with fellow “summiters” in between.

Sweaty Ladies!

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WE LOVE CHICAGO!!”

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A sweaty run required a cool beverage to refuel…apparently in monstrous proportions. Woops, I guess next time I’ll order the medium! Probably had about 2/3 of this bad boy before calling it quits.

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After grabbing my caffeine fuel monster, we headed over to the Bon Voyage Breakfast sponsored by Thomas’ Bagel Thins. The concept was so fun: pick from a bunch of sweet & savory toppings to create your own cream cheese spread.

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Can you guess whether I went sweet or savory?

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C’mon, was there really any question? 😉 Starting with a low-fat cream cheese base, I went with a combo of honey, brown sugar, raisins, almonds, & a pinch of salt. Paired together with a cinnamon raisin Bagel Thin, it was oh.so.good.

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Along with more fresh berries. YUM!

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Eventually, it was time to part ways, and make my trek back home. I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare before my flight, so I grabbed some lunch and got settled in. A mixed veggie salad + a $3.79 (!!!) coconut water. 😯 OOOOF.

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Today’s Airport Breakdown:

  • Arrived at airport @ 12:00.
  • Ate lunch.
  • Flight was scheduled for 2:55 – got bumped, due to my standby status…at least my luggage made its way out. Travel Fail #1
  • Another mini meltdown…
  • Pity party ensued…
  • Ran to Ben & Jerry’s for a big ‘ol cup of Oatmeal Cookie Chunk ice cream. It made me feel better, I don’t care what anyone says.
  • Flight attempt #2 @ 4:30 – flight BOOKED. Courtney 0, Standby 2
  • Bought Wi-Fi to keep me busy, while I wait to attempt flight #3 @ 8:35…

<– ME

Please keep your fingers crossed for me! I think I’m stuck in a really bad movie this weekend…what do ya think? 🙄

On a positive note, at least I got all caught up on blog posts from this weekend!

A New Love Affair…With Indian Food

What rock have I been sitting under for all 26 years of my life? Seriously, why have I never tried Indian food????

I think I’m in LOVE!

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Last night after the HLS sessions officially ended, a group of us met up and headed to the Chicago Curry House for a late dinner.

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I was so glad that Gina decided to organize such a great dinner! Thanks, Gina! 😀 We had a group of about 20 or so people, and I was very much relieved to find out that I was not the only “Indian Food Virgin” at the table. 😉 I’d heard before that Indian food can definitely have a little “kick” to it, so I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous! 😯

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To start the night off, Gina, Paige & I split a bottle of Riesling.

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It was fantastically delicious.

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Then the table was given some pappadum & some dipping sauces to start.

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I have no idea what each of them was called, but I do know that the green one was spicy, the brown-ish colored ones were sweet (my fave) and the other was apparently super salty, which I did not try.

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The group decided to order a few of the dishes “family-style” to share, but others were also welcomed to order their own entrees. Since, I had some new horizons to explore here, I decided to dabble in a little bit of both. 🙂

A few veggie appetizers to start:

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I tried a piece of fried cheese, along with a dumpling of sorts, which Sana explained were filled with potatoes and peas.

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The dumpling was a little too spicy for me, so Sana gladly took care of finishing it for me. 😉

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The table also ordered an Channa Masala (phenomenal),

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a baigan bhartha (spicy, but totally yummy),

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some white rice,

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naan, and roti.

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One thing that I knew I could take away so far from this meal? Naan should be a food group all of its own. HOLY YUM-O!! This stuff is flippin’ fantastic!

And since I wanted to try as many new things as possible, I also decided to split an entree off the menu with Kristi. Again, with the help of Sana & Gina, they recommended I try the Butter Chicken…

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…and my love for Indian food grew deeper.

The chicken in this dish was very tender, almost shredded. But I think even more than that, I loved how much extra sauce there was to be able to dip my naan in. The sauce was thick and creamy, with a delicious tomato & buttery flavor. It was a bit spicy at times, but luckily the extra naan helped to cool things down a bit. 😉

Paige, Sana, Me, Gina, & Kristi

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At the end of our dinner, a big bag full of treats magically appeared, courtesy of Lin! She had made some of her delicious Vegan brownies to share with us. How sweet is she?!? I think we all immediately dug into our treats…apparently I’m not the only one with a sweet tooth after dinner? 😉

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One of my first missions when I get home: FIND A DELICIOUS, LOCAL INDIAN RESTAURANT!!

*To my locals: Do any of you happen to know of a good one nearby??? 😀

Healthy Living Summit = An Eating Frenzy!

I have been eating food all.day.long. I am completely STUFFED right now from all the awesome offerings.

Breakfast

Complete with delicious offerings from Quaker, Stonyfield, & Thomas’s – all HLS sponsors. 🙂

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Fresh Fruits

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OATS!

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Complete with toppings 🙂

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My Goods:

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I crumbled half of my blueberry muffin over the oats, which were already topped with a little brown sugar, raisins, granola, almond butter, and berries. I like to call it my “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” Oats bowl. 😉

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After breakfast, it was time for the sessions to get started.

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Me, Amy, & Megan

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One of the sessions I took today was on photography, so I was able to play around a little bit with some of my camera settings. I was quite surprised, actually, by all the settings my little point and shoot camera has on it! I definitely walked away with some new tips. 🙂

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I definitely still have a lot to learn, but hey, it’s a start, right? Maybe someday I’ll save up enough money for an SLR…

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After the photography session it was time for, what else, but more FOOD!

Lunch

The spread at lunch was absolutely AMAZING! There were so many different choices, I had such a hard time trying to decide what to go for…so I actually pretty much ended up with a little bit of everything. 🙂

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Desserts!!!

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My ENORMOUS plate…

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HUGE pickle (insert giggle here)

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Nothing better than a roasted veggie sandwich with provolone. Oh.my.gosh. delicious!

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Desserts!

Don’t let this plate fool you…I most definitely went back for about 4 more little pieces. They were all so delicious, I felt like I needed to try them all! Hey, I’m human, not perfect. 😉

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After lunch, there were some fun giveaways, and guess who actually won something?!? MEEEE!!!

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A snazzy Oikos apron, tote bag, and a copy of the DVD Food Inc., which I’ve really been wanting to watch. YAY for free stuff!

Oh yes, speaking of free stuff…check out all this SWAG I’m leaving with!

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Vega!

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Glo Bars!!!

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My afternoon session was a very informative panel discussion, led by Anne, Heather, Julie, Sana, & Andrea. There were a lot of great and informative topics discussed about the blog world.

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My next session was led by Chandra on the 5 W’s of Strength Training. Chandra was a phenomenal speaker, and gave a wealth of good information in her presentation. I’ll be featuring a post with all of her main points very soon!

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Next was a break, with what else but…more FOOD!

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These Tangy Taco Salad Bites were out of this WORLD! I honestly was so full from lunch, but after Julie told me how good they were, I knew better than to pass one up. I definitely need to re-create these babies at home…the hubby would definitely be a fan! 🙂

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Breaks not only meant food. They also meant time to BLOG and hook up computers to recharge your batteries. 😉

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Me & Caitlin, who also gave me some great tips for my first Indian Food Feast tonight. Hopefully I can work up a little more of an appetite after my day full of eating…

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Who am I kidding, I’m sure that will not be a problem. 😯

Neinke & I just got back from another nice casual stroll down the streets of Chicago. It really is such a pretty area.

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After getting back to the room, I wanted to snack on one of these babies that I snagged earlier today…Gina’s macaroons!

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Gina, these things are INCREDIBLE!!! I had to stop myself from eating the whole bag…I think knowing that I have a full Indian Food Feast ahead of me helped. 😉

Time to get ready!!!

Kickin’ Off HLS!

Let’s Get This Party Started!!

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Last night, the Healthy Living Summit officially kicked off with the Open Sky Cocktail Party. Immediately upon entering, we were greeted with a free drink and tons of good food. 🙂

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I started things off with an Amaretto & diet. It’s been a while since I’ve had this combo, but it’s always one of my favorites. 🙂

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Later on in the night, I also indulged with a little Pinot Grigio.

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I made sure to sample a little bit of all the food. Everything was fantastic, especially the vegetarian quesadillas. Holy Moly! 😛

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The party was in full swing before we knew it, with so many fun people to mingle with. I had such a great time finally “meeting” so many of my favorite blog friends!

Lindsay

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Heathereven though we’ve already met 😉

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Angela & Neinke

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Gina – who’s going to be introducing me to an Indian Food Feast for the first time tonight!

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Andrea, Kari, & Sarah – Totally fun, just found out that Sarah only lives about 30 minutes away from me! YAY for my local blends. 😀

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It was a totally fun way to kick off an exciting weekend! More info to come! 😀