Christmas Cookies Galore!

How’s everyone doing on this glorious Saturday?? 😀

I got my day started nice and early to take care of some errands that needed to be done. One of which, was to stop back at my parents’ house to pick up some of the goodies I made yesterday…

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Oh yes! I had to take yesterday off from work for a doctor’s appointment that took a good portion of my morning. But while I was there, I got a call from my mom asking if I’d like to come over after to do some Christmas cookie baking. Did I ever!

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We had such a productive afternoon of cookie baking. And eight batches of recipes later, we had some delicious goodies on our hands. 🙂

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To say I was a little “Cookied-Out” is an understatement; after consuming copious amounts of dough & cookies, my sugar coma claimed victory. But hey, it happens. Mom and I are planning our “Round 2” of cookie baking next Saturday – I guess you could say we’re feeling ambitious.

Don’t worry, I plan on featuring some of the recipes here on the blog in the next couple weeks. 😛

So after stopping home and continuing on with my errands, I needed a little something to keep my taste buds occupied.

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I’m sure you may be thinking that’s a Peppermint Mocha Latte, but unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to stomach those for a while. Even though I know last week’s stomach bug was in no way related to drinking one of these, it was one of the last things that I consumed before I really started to get sick. 😳

So while I’m sure I’ll eventually work up the courage to try one again, for now, those and stuffing are on my “NO WAY” list.

Isn’t it weird how that happens? When I was in fourth grade, I got sick after eating tacos (TMI maybe, sorry). It took me over 10 years to eat a taco again. Crazy, right??

A little while ago I started to get some tummy grumbles, so I whipped together a creamy, pumpkiny-licious snack. That’s totally not even close to a word, I know.

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Cottage cheese + canned pumpkin + pumpkin butter + raisins + cinnamon & nutmeg + Quaker Oatmeal Squares

Mmmmm 😛

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Cody was also intrigued by it…

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But then some blowing leaves quickly snagged his attention. 😉

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Now I’m listening to some jolly Christmas tunes on Pandora while writing out some more Christmas cards. I have a pretty relaxing afternoon ahead of me, followed by a fun Christmas party tonight!

Question for the Day:

How are you spending YOUR Saturday?? 🙂

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! 🙂

Goodbye Fall…Hello Christmas

Has everyone made their way out of their food comas from yesterday?? 😉

Well, it’s about that time again…

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As much as I absolutely adore everything about fall and my fall decorations, it’s time to pack it away. I think Cody’s going to miss all of his window decorations toys. 😉

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Hey! What are you doin’ with all my fun toys I play with every day Mom?”

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Growing up, it was always tradition to use the day after Thanksgiving as the day to begin decorating for Christmas; tree up and all! So even though I’ve been out of my parents’ house for two years now, I still keep the tradition going in my own house. 🙂

Before getting started, however, a delicious breakfast was in order.

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I figured it was only fitting to incorporate the “fall background” one more time before it’s all packed up. 😉

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A plain Chobani mixed with a scoop of homemade pumpkin butter + a scoop of pumpkin cream cheese + 1/2 sliced banana + granola.

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Yummmmm. 😛

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Along with some caffeine…of course!

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Now all of my fall favorites are all packed up…

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And it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 😀

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We’ll see how much progress I make today!

Question for the Day:

How are you spending your Black Friday? Did you brave the crowds??? 😉

Date Night Dinner Giveaway!

As you guys all know, I’m a sucker for Date Nights. 🙂

As much as I love having Date Nights out, sometimes it’s nice to have something quick and easy to prepare in the comfort of your own home.

A few weeks back, I was offered an opportunity through MyBlogSpark to try out a couple new dinner kits:

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I received the Wanchai Ferry Orange Chicken dry dinner kit, as well as the Macaroni Grill Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta dry dinner kit. YUM YUM! 😛

I had actually forgotten that I had them in the pantry, but since I’ve tried to start cleaning some stuff out to make room for the new renovations, I figured tonight would be the perfect opportunity for a little “Date Night” in.

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I decided to prepare the Orange Chicken dinner kit, however, I switched things up a bit to make it an “Orange SHRIMP” dinner! I’ve had a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer weeks now, and really wanted to use it. The dinner kit provides everything that you need, except for your protein, so it gives you options (think chicken, shrimp, pork…)

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The dinner was actually extremely easy to make, and it was quite nice having everything I needed right at my fingertips. I honestly don’t usually buy boxed dinner kits like this, just because I prefer to make my own. However, the ease was of preparation was definitely right up my alley. 😉

Considering it was a “Date Night” and all, I decided a little bit of wine was in order…

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Yeah, that’s right. I kept it classy in the plastic cup. Hey, sometimes that’s just how I roll. 🙂

When cooking up my shrimp in the provided seasoning, I also added a little red bell pepper + onion for some extra bulk. Definitely a good decision.

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After adding the orange sauce…

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I’ve gotta admit…I was little apprehensive about adding these chilies…I’m not a spicy kinda person. 😯

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But I did it anyways, and these four little buggers definitely gave the entire dish a little kick!

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My “date” and I agreed…it was yummy! 🙂

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I think if I were to make it again, I might consider adding a little less of the orange sauce. I know orange “add your protein here” is supposed to be sweet, but I think I might like mine a little “less dressed.” 😉

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And of course, somebody else wanted in on the Date Night action…

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He sure knows how to make himself right at home, doesn’t he?

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So do you guys want in on a little secret??

There’s an extra “Date Night Prize Pack” that’s up for grabs for one of YOU!!! 😯

The winner of the Date Night Prize Pack giveaway will receive:

  • (1) Wanchai Ferry dry dinner kit,
  • (1) Macaroni Grill dry dinner kit, &
  • a $25 Visa gift card that you can use to create your OWN date night at home!

*To Enter:

Leave a comment on this post answering one of the following questions:

  • Where did you and your significant others have your first date? Or…
  • What are your best tips for having a fun date night at home?

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, November 17th @ 5pm E.T. I will announce the winner that evening.

In the meantime, feel free to snag a coupon for $2.25 off a Macaroni Grill or Wanchai Ferry dinner kit! Just CLICK HERE.

GOOD LUCK!! 😀

*Note: Wanchai Ferry and Macaroni Grill provided me with the free products, information, and prize pack through MyBlogSpark. Any opinions of the products seen here were completely my own.

We Be Chillin’

It’s been a pretty “chill” day in this household today.

Jay and I originally had plans to meet up for breakfast with some of our friends, but unfortunately, hubby woke up with a migraine this morning and has been on the couch all day. Poor guy…I used to get migraines; they are no joke. 😳

So after realizing our morning plans were given the kibosh, I decided to lace up my sneaks for a run on the treadmill. I completed 4.25 miles in just under 40 minutes, by doing various intervals throughout. I felt great! AND, I must say…it’s quite nice to actually have a TV in front of the treadmill to watch now!

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This morning Austin Powers was on, which provided a few good laughs. It definitely makes the time go by much quicker. 🙂

After showering up and eating a quick breakfast of toast with PB + pumpkin cream cheese + banana slices (YAY for recycled photos!) 😉

I went and took care of our grocery shopping for the week. I grabbed an iced coffee with skim milk on my way to the store; I don’t know what it is, but I almost always need something to sip on while perusing through the aisles. 😛

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Once I got home, I did some laundry…which is always a favorite of mine (notice the sarcasm?) and caught up on some magazines. Believe it or not, I still have two more waiting for me. 😯

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Then it was time to just be lazy. Cody got in on the action too.

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But I DID make sure he was up to see the Jets get their victory today. WOOO HOOO!

He was obviously just as excited as me. 😉

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After the game, it was time to make some dinner. I already planned on having some of our leftover Bruschetta Chicken Bake, but I decided to whip up a snazzy green bean dish to go along with the meal.

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After cooking up the green beans, I sautéed them up in a little balsamic vinaigrette dressing, mixed with tomato and onion. It was super quick, and hubby looooved em!

Balsamic Green Beans with Tomato & Onion

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup light balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I used Newman’s Own Light Balsamic)
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Gold
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Drizzle lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Place green beans in 2qt saucepan filled with 1 inch water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 minutes until crisp tender. Drain green beans and rinse immediately with cold water. Put aside.
  2. Using a medium skillet over medium heat, cook onions in balsamic dressing about 3-4 minutes, until tender. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, garlic gold, and salt. Simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Add green beans, stir to combine, and allow to heat through. Drizzle with lemon juice right before serving. ENJOY! 😛

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This stuff is just as good the second time around. YUM!!

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I’m thinking maybe a movie is in order this evening? I need a little somethin’ to combat those Sunday blues. I think I need to go check out my video stash! 🙂

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Question for the Evening:

What’s the last good movie YOU saw??

It’s Too Early For This!!!

What in the world is going on?!?!?! 😕

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I’m not ready for this stuff yet…it’s only the beginning of November! 😯

My poor pumpkins!

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Eeeeeewww!

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I’m not a huge fan of the cold as it is, however, with living in the northeast I’ve learned to suck it up and deal with it…but really, a girl needs a little notice here! Cody does too…he’s not a fan. 😉

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As soon as I walked inside, I heated up the tea kettle to make some nice warm tea. Nothing sounded better as the cold, wet snow sloshed around inside my flats, which were being worn with no socks mind you…of course. 🙄

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I heated up some vanilla almond milk and added that to the tea to up the creaminess factor. It totally hit the spot…that, and the fact that my tootsies were pleasantly warm inside my fuzzy slippers. 🙂

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Reeeeewiiiiind……

In usual Monday fashion, I started out my day with a nice sweaty workout! I decided on the Jackie Warner’s Total Body Power Circuit from Exercise on Demand, which was definitely a good choice. I could feel the burrrrrn. 😯

Breakfast was simple but hey, when there’s peanut butter involved, simple is snazzy.

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I lightly toasted a light english muffin, topped with PB & banana slices, which was thoroughly enjoyed along with my Caramel Macchiato coffee.

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Lunch was a Monday Usual, so I didn’t bother with the photos. You guys know the deal. 😉

Dinner, however, was a delectable leftover feast!

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Check THAT baby out! On Saturday when Jay and I went out for dinner, we both ended up ordering a “torpedo” from the menu of the restaurant we went to, Appletini’s. I think both of our jaws dropped to the floor when we saw just how much food we were being presented with. Would you believe that this was only half my sandwich???

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My torpedo was marinated grilled chicken, topped with peppers & onions (surprise!) and tons of delicious, melty provolone cheese. I also heated up some leftover peas to go along with my sandwich; partially for the veggie intake, but partially for some color. 😉

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I obviously had no problem with this beast tonight…I was starving tonight!

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The rest of the evening has not exactly been relaxing, but certainly bringing on lots of excitement!

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Putting together a treadmill is no walk in the park, I’ll tell ya! This thing is no joke.

Cody, on the other hand, has been having a blast playing with any packaging pieces he can get his little paws on…

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He’s such a ham! 😉

Hopefully, Jay and I can get this monster put together ASAP…not only because I can’t wait to give it a whirl, but also because I have some leftover Apple Crisp calling my name!

Have a good night everyone! 😀