Big + Mini Purchases = Combat the Sunday Blues

Another Sunday…

Another day of football and delicious snacks!

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Sometimes I wonder what it is that I do with myself on Sunday’s when it’s not football season? 😉

Today’s football festivities brought Jay and I over to my parents’ house for some good laughs and good eats. Of course, they had the Jets gear out and ready to go!

HOORAYYYY for a Jets win today!! 😀

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Mom made one of my favorite “snackies” of hers today…Garbage Bread!

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I go NUTS over the peppers + onions + sausage combo! She also makes a pretty mean pepperoni bread, but I’m pretty partial to my peppers and onions. I had to restrain myself from dominating the entire bread. 😳

Luckily, I knew there was some delicious dessert waiting to be had…

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My Apple Crisp!! I’m still shocked that I never ended up breaking into it yesterday after baking it…but it was soooo well worth the wait!

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I topped off each of our portions with a little slow-churned french vanilla ice cream + a drizzling of caramel. My spoon may or may not have accidentally fallen back into the pan once or twice more after eating my portion…I cannot tell a lie. 😉

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I’m going to have the recipe coming your way tomorrow, I promise! 🙂

After enjoying a good few hours with my parents, Jay and I set out on a mission, which I must say, was accomplished rather smoothly and I am beyond excited…

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WE FINALLY BOUGHT A TREADMILL!!!

We’re going to pick it up tomorrow, and I can.not.wait. It will be so nice to be able to get a run in in the morning now (since, a- I don’t like to run outside when it’s cold, and b- I don’t like to run outside when it’s dark). WOO HOO!!

So I guess between our new big purchase, and my mini purchase here…

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I’d say I’ve done a pretty good job of battling the Sunday Blues.

Time to go relax with some Real Simple and my boys…hope you all had a GREAT weekend!!

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Blogger Grocery Shopping

Before I proceed with any of this post, let me just preface by saying, Trader Joe’s, please move closer to me.”

Yesterday marked my first trip EVER to not one, but TWO foodie shopping heavens! And better yet, I got to experience it with a great group of ladies!

(Thanks for the photo, Heather!)

After some great planning by Cynthia, our crew (Emily, Cynthia, Me, Rebecca, Jen, Emily, Katie, & Heather) was able to get together to embark on a fabulous grocery shopping adventure. Yes, 8 of us went group grocery shopping. And yes, it’s really fun. And yes, I think I need to group grocery shop more often. 😉

Our adventure started at Whole Foods to grab some lunch at the hot bar. It was a long drive for grocery shopping and we needed some fuel!

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I really have no idea what’s in here. I was so hungry that I pretty much snagged a small scoop of anything that looked or sounded good. I do know, however, that the vegan chicken salad that you see in the top right corner was fantastic, and the tiny little elbows of mac & cheese you see hiding in the center were out of this world.

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For some reason, I thought I needed to separate some of the foods, so I ended up getting this separate container and filled it with some tofu, couscous, and broccoli. No idea why I thought this was necessary…especially if you look above. Unfortunately, I probably wasted about 1/3 of everything, since I wasn’t too stoked about quite a few of the items.

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This very rarely happens…I don’t know what was wrong with me. Especially when I couldn’t even finish this gelato! shock:

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You guys ready for this?? I got apple pie + pumpkin pie and I didn’t care for the pumpkin pie. Nuts, right?!? The apple, however, was utterly delicious. 😛

So after somewhat striking out in the lunch department, I was ready to get my shop on.

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Excited much? Nahhhhhhhh. 😉

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So let’s take a look at the goods, shall we??

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Whole Foods on the left, Trader Joe’s on the right. I found it pretty amusing that my purchase from Whole Foods mainly consisted of alcohol and kids energy bars. That’s normal right?

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  • Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale
  • Oh…Schist Riesling (never tried it, but it was on sale for $9.00…worth a shot!)
  • Organic Cider Beer (**If you mix this with Octoberfest beer, it’s one of the best things EVER. Try it.)
  • Spooky S’mores Clif Z Bars
  • Larabars
  • The Bee’s Knees PB sample

The Cranberry Ale sounded so festive, I just couldn’t resist.

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Look what I found!! I have been on the hunt for these Spooky S’mores Clif Z Bars forEVER!

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I really had to restrain myself from buying a whole box. I can’t wait to try one. 🙂

As fun as my purchases were at Whole Foods, they really did not compare to Trader Joe’s. Oh what a store!

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Thanks to everyone who gave me some ideas and recommendations for what to get. I took some of your suggestions straight to the register with me, along with a few other goods that were callin’ my name.

  • Chicken Sausage Ravioli
  • Cats Cookies (have been eyeballing these around Blogland!)
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese
  • Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix
  • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
  • Tortilla Chips with an Identity Crisis
  • Eggplant Garlic Spread
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Roasted Chicken Patties
  • 2 Mini Pumpkins (they were just too cute!)
  • Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
  • Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries
  • 2 Pizza Doughs (one whole wheat, one garlic & herb)

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Can you believe all this only cost $39.84??? I was shocked when the cashier gave me my total. I almost wanted to go back and buy more!

I’m so glad that Jen recommended these Powerberries. They are on point…and they probably won’t be around too long…

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I also have to thank Cynthia for giving me a jar of her lemon curd! I had been drooling over it ever since she guest posted about it last weekend here on the blog.

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I can’t wait to figure out what to do with it! Thanks, Cynthia!!

But now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to go dig into my stash of goodies. 😉

Question for the Day:

What items from my purchases look most appealing to YOU?

Spooks, Celebrations, & First Time Shopping!

G’Mornin’ Folks! It’s the weekend!!!! 😀 WOOT WOOT!

Can I just tell you how psyched I was about my Friday evening?

You may or may not be aware of the fact that I am obsessed with scary movies. Give me suspense, blood, gore, horror, terror…I love ‘em all. So it should be no surprise that I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Paranormal Activity 2!

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Jay, on the other hand, could take or leave (preferably leave) scary movies, so it’s usually a bit of a process to get him to agree to watch one. Luckily for me, asking friends to join us in our trip to the movie was one easy way to coerce him. 😉 So we met up with Brian & Mal to tackle the spooks, and I must say, I definitely enjoyed the movie! I haven’t decided if it’s as good as the first one, but it was still really good. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sitting with my hands half covering my face for a good portion of the movie. 😯

After the movie, Jay and I were in need of some dinner, so we stopped and grabbed a quick piece of pizza – white broccoli & tomato for me. Yumm! 😛

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Dinner had to be quick since we needed to be somewhere to celebrate a very special occasion…

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It was our friend Kate’s Birthday! 😀

Jay and I met up with Kate, Joe, and a few others at a local bar that I had actually never tried, Wollf’s Biergarten in Albany.

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This is the front of the building…it’s actually an old fire house! Cool, right? 🙂

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So if you go to the Biergarten on your birthday, they have what they call “Das Boot” – a gigantic boot of beer, which you have the pleasure of sipping on for the evening. Even though Jay and I didn’t stay for the entire evening, Kate was definitely holding her own with this monster. Way to go, Kate! 😉

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I, on the other hand, wasn’t really in the mood for beer, so I sipped on a nice glass of Riesling while chatting away…

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…and munching on some peanuts. (No, those were not all mine! I don’t like them that much!) 😛

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So I couldn’t stay out too late last night, since I have big things happening today. I’m tellin’ you…I am absolutely giddy with excitement right now!

Yes my friends, I am about to embark on my first trip EVER to both Trader Joe’s AND Whole Foods!! Now how’s THAT for a Saturday day trip?!?

I’ve got my coolers packed, my wallet ready, and my game face on. 😯

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Even better, I’m heading to these fabulous places with some fabulous people! I’m about to meet up with Katie & Heather, and THEN we’re meeting up with even MORE awesome blends. I can’t wait! 😀

Question for the Morning:

HELP!! What recommendations do you have for a first timer at Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods?!? I need some suggestions! 🙂

Bagels – 1, Courtney – 0

Aaaand the winner of the $20 CSN Stores gift card is……

Ilene!

CSN winner

Congratulations, Ilene! You should be receiving your promotional code through email shortly!

I decided to take last night off from blogging, but Jay and I did have a really nice evening. I’m tempted to call it a Date Night; I mean, we did enjoy a nice dinner, but I guess it would also depend on if you count grocery shopping at The Fresh Market and perusing the model kitchens in Home Depot at 9:30pm “Date Night worthy?” 😉

Date Night or not, I left The Fresh Market with a couple new goodies!

Almond Amaretto flavored coffee. I probably could have passed it up, seeing as though I just picked up some of their Pumpkin Spice. BUT, they had it available to sample…and then I was immediately sucked in. 😳

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Look what else I found…Carba-Nada pasta!!

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Thanks Holly for letting me know that I’d be able to find it here. 🙂  I’ve been looking for it forever.

Breakfast

Before making breakfast, I headed out to do a quick grocery shop since we have a busy day ahead of us. Normally, I like to eat before I shop so I don’t go overboard, but I thought I’d be alright today…

Ok really, what was I thinking?

I immediately fell victim to the sweet aromas of muffins and bagels coming from the bakery. Then I saw the display case, and my willpower was almost non-existent. I tried to resist…really, I did. But today, the bagels get the victory.

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I picked up two bagels: one for me and the hubby, who was beyond ecstatic over my purchase and thanked me with an enormous hug. 😀 Hubby got plain, while I enjoyed a delicious honey wheat bagel, topped with PB, banana slices, and some raspberry Polaner All Fruit. I don’t ever restrict bagels, since they’re utterly delicious; I just don’t tend to buy them very often. Either way, I’m completely OK with this purchase. It was light, chewy, full of flavor, and it tasted wonderful.

You wanna know what else tasted wonderful? This mug of Almond Amaretto coffee, that’s what!

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YUMM. 🙂

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Jay and I both had a “working breakfast” while making a huge mess doing a little work in the kitchen. He was in charge of making a batch of Healthified Guacamole, while I did a little baking…

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Mmmmm, fresh outta the oven! Don’t worry, I’ll share with you guys a little later. 😉

Today is the official start to Sunday Football, and we’re headed over to our friends’ Joe & Kate’s apartment to enjoy a day of football, food, fun, and friends. I’m sooo excited for the start of football season…I just love this time of year!!!

Question for the Day:

In 5 words or less, what’s your favorite part about fall?

A Trip To The Fresh Market

Over the weekend, Jay and I ventured over to a new hot spot that opened in our neck of the woods: The Fresh Market!

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The only grocery stores that have really ever been available to us around here are Price Chopper and Hannaford, so I was beyond excited when I heard a newbie was coming to town. 😀

Immediately upon entering The Fresh Market, the atmosphere definitely had the feel of an old world European market. Although it was pretty tight quarters (not to mention the place was PACKED), I was definitely impressed with a lot of what we saw.

Tons of fresh produce

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A very impressive meat counter. Jay and I will definitely be going back for some of their meats. They looked so extremely fresh, lean, and incredibly delicious.

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And they even like to have a little fun with their meats. Jay and I got a kick out of this guy staring back at us. 🙂

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Make your own nut butters!

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Some amazing looking fruit & nut mixes.

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Coffeeeeeee. 😛

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This flavor looked pretty enticing…

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But there was really no question once I saw THIS:

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Puuuuumpkin Spice! Rather than buy the whole pre-bagged 1lb., I ground some of my own out of the bulk bins and ended up with about 1/2 a lb. I can.not.wait to give this stuff a try!

This was quite possibly one of the most tempting areas in the Market…

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My sweet tooth was out of control in front of this case! YUMM!! We really couldn’t leave without something from this corner of the store, so Jay and I each picked out a cookie. Chocolate Chunk for him, Heath Bar Crunch for me…

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I’m not going to lie. This cookie is definitely in my Top 5 cookies of all-time. It was just incredible: moist, chewy, and sweet, and loaded with big crispy chunks of Heath Bar. I could have eaten another one a dozen of them with NO PROBLEM. 😉

Finally, I think this area may have “taken the cake” – Create Your Custom 6 Pack!

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Jay and I each picked out 3 beers, two of which I tried Saturday afternoon while we were up in Saratoga at Jay’s grandma’s camp for a Labor Day party.

I had high hopes for this Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale, but unfortunately it wasn’t my favorite. The first few sips were tasty, but after that, the “spice” flavor of the beer was just too strong. It was almost like I was sipping on pumpkin pie spice. :-/

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THIS beer, however, was fantastic! I guess I’m apparently a blueberry beer kinda gal. 😉

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Overall, our experience with Fresh Market was split. For Jay, it was a little too small/crowded for his liking, but that didn’t matter much to me. We both agreed that the prices were a bit higher than our normal grocery stores (for example, Chobani is usually $1.00 at Price Chopper, but was $1.59 here) and it probably won’t be suitable for a full grocery trip. However, we were definitely impressed with the meat department, the produce, their bread, and the bulk coffee. I’m sure we’ll be stopping in occasionally for a couple things here and there.

Question for the Afternoon:

Have you ever been to The Fresh Market? What is your favorite place to grocery shop?

Fashion Friday: Banana Republic Outlet Shopping

🙂 Happy Fashion Friday!! 🙂

It’s been a couple weeks, so let’s get right to it…

On today’s Fashion Agenda: Banana Republic Outlet Shopping

Last night, I hit up the Lee Outlets to do a little shopping, and if you were on Twitter at all, you already know how things went…

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It was a VERY successful trip, to say the least, so here’s a peek at my new goods:

Dressed up black short-sleeve T – on sale for 40% off

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Basic white V-neck T-shirt – perfect with jeans for the weekends!

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Lycra Shell tanks – perfect for layering under anything, and a little nicer than plain cotton.

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One of my faves – super cozy 3/4 sleeve heather grey sweater

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Short sleeve cowl-neck sweater. It’s longer length will go great with a pair of leggings, a thick belt, and some cute boots!

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Basic black cardigan – originally $49.99, on sale for $20.00

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Loved the crystal button details

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Basic 3/4 lightweight sweater in grey, paired with a pair of flannel shorts, on sale for $24.99

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I’m totally picturing these with a pair of thick black stockings (or leggings), cute booties, and a flowy, layered sweater on top. Can’t WAIT to put an outfit together with these!

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Navy blue Martin Fit pants – on sale for 30% off – they were the perfect length to wear with flats for me.

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Check out those savings: $171.57!!! Even though my “mystery coupon” was for the smallest amount offered (of course), I got A LOT out of my purchase, and still saved a bunch too.

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And would ya look at that…apparently, they want me to come back too. 😉

Which is great, seeing as though I had to leave 5 just as perfectly awesome garments at the register while checking out. 😦 I figured I should at least wait for a paycheck for the next visit (September 17th can’t come soon enough!)

Questions? Comments? Thoughts on the purchases? Leave ‘em here! 🙂

Hope you’re all having a Fabulously Fashionable Friday!

All Mixed Up

“…you don’t know what to do,

“Next thing you turn around and find the person is you…”

Any other 311 fans out there? 😉 Jay and I actually had the first dance at our wedding to “Love Song” by 311 – I loved it because it wasn’t a “typical first dance” song, and it holds a special spot in both of our hearts. Ahhh sappy…can’t get enough of it. 🙂

Lunch

Today’s lunch was made in about 5 minutes flat, and then I was out the door again! I ran in to the fridge, starting grabbing stuff, and ended up with a delicious creation.

I mixed up some spring mix lettuce, sliced grape tomatoes, leftover corn off the cob (random, but delicious) 2 slices of roasted deli turkey, 1/2 a wedge of The Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese, and a drizzle of honey mustard.

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Then I let everyone get properly acquainted… 

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…and finally stuffed them all into a mini whole wheat pita.

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When I eat pitas, I like to slice off just the top, rather than cut the pita in two – it just seems to hold everything in a little easier.

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DELICIOUS! :-D 

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I picked up these Joseph’s Whole Wheat pitas the other day at the store, and I must say, I am definitely impressed. Each pita is only 80 calories, is the perfect size for a sandwich (or pitawich? 😉 ) and is tasty to boot!

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I also packed up some baby carrots + celery to bring with me in the car on my way back out the door…

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Tonight’s Adventures!

As soon as the hubby gets home from work, we are heading out to Lee, MA to hit up the Outlets!! I just received some coupons through my email this week for Labor Day sales, and today is the only day we’d be able to go. I’m so excited the hubby agreed!

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Hopefully I can find some good stuff…I tend to have pretty bad luck when I have the opportunity for a good sale! 🙄 I’m also planning on grabbing some leftover pizza from the fridge for dinner before we hit the road. Yummmm.

Question for the Evening:

Do you like to Outlet shop? What outlets are your favorite to hit up?