Finally…Not Running Against The Clock

There’s nothin’ like a Saturday when you have time to do a little bit of everything, without having any time constraints! 🙂

So far, my Saturday has looked a little something like this…

I slept in without using an alarm, and it was fabulous. I think I got about 10 hours of sleep, which I needed every.last.minute of.

After lounging around for a bit, I headed out for a nice little run outside.

IMG_6134

Actually, that a lie.

It was not a nice little run. It was one of the most difficult runs I’ve tackled in a long time. It felt like my legs were as heavy as iron, my nose was running, and it was windy and cold.

But I still got it done, and I was happy for having done it. So YAY for me!

I decided I deserved a reward…so I went and got one of these:

IMG_6114

THAT, my friends, is a pumpkin pie latte. Normally, I order my lattes sans whip cream, but I forgot to mention it and they didn’t ask. It’s ok…I immediately dug a finger in. Scrumptious. 😛

IMG_6115

After rewarding myself with a little post-workout fuel, I stopped by the Farmer’s Market and picked up a couple goodies.

IMG_6135IMG_6136

Then I headed back home and did a little damage in the kitchen. 😉

IMG_6132

I’m such a tease! Don’t worry, I’ll fill you guys in on the details soon. 🙂

Now Jay and I are headed out the door to run a few errands, enjoy a dinner out, then meet up with our friends Joe & Kate for a movie date. I guess we’re going to see Mega Mind, which looks pretty cute…we like switching things up every once in a while. And since I got to choose the last time we went to the movies, Jay actually voted for this one. I’ll let ya’ll know how it is! 🙂

Question for the Day:

What’s been the best part of YOUR Saturday so far?? 🙂

A Salad To Make Me Smile

Tonight’s dinner definitely left me smiling. 😀

Thanks to some heavy errands/projects to do this week, Jay and I don’t really have too much planned in the way of dinners. I’ll take care of tackling the rest of the week as it comes, but tonight was absolutely perfect.

While Jay took care of polishing off some leftovers from yesterday, I happened to snag a few swipes of his amazing buffalo chicken dip

IMG_5027

Geez, it looks so completely unappealing when it’s photographed…I wish it looked that gross as I was shoving it in my mouth. 🙄

For dinner, I made myself one of the most amazing salads I’ve created in a while.

IMG_5030

Starting with a spring mix base, I added 1/2 a fresh tomato from this weekend’s Farmers Market, red onion, Italian marinated chicken, diced red pepper, and some fresh shaved mozzarella cheese.

IMG_5031

I “dressed things up” with about 1 tbsp. of Ken’s Light Balsamic Vinaigrette…totally a favorite of mine. 🙂

IMG_5034

On the side, I toasted up a slice of my Farmers Market Italian bread and smeared it with a little butta…

IMG_5029

IMG_5028

…but then I decided to try breaking up some of my bread and tossing it into the salad bowl.

IMG_5037

Best. Decision. Ever. 😀

And you want to know what’s almost even more exciting? I have unexpected DESSERT for tonight…

IMG_5035

…and it involves PUMPKIN!!! My co-worker, Annemarie, was apparently listening all three gazillion times I raved about my intense love for pumpkin ANYTHING, so today she actually greeted me bright and early with some pumpkin muffins! She said they’re a Weight Watchers recipe, which involves using only a box of Spice Cake mix, a can of pumpkin, and water. LOVE IT!

IMG_5036

Thanks so much Annemarie!!!!! 😀 (She actually gave me 3, so since you only see 2 pictures, I’m sure it’s no secret that I immediately attacked one of them on the spot…) 😉 I’m already planning to use the last one in tomorrow breakfast…yummmmm!

Dancing With the Stars is on tonight! I’m really looking forward to this season!

Fun Question for the Night:

Which show would you rather be on: “Dancing With the Stars” orAmerica’s Got Talent?

No question for me…after dancing for 18 years of my life, it’s Dancing With The Stars all the way!

Lots of Yummm!

Productive Saturday mornings really make me smile. 😀 But first, before I get to this morning, let’s back track a little bit to last night. A have evening + morning of yummy eats!

Being the first Friday after my first full week of teaching, I guess you could say that I was more than exhausted. The thought of doing anything besides chillin’ on my couch was definitely out of the question. To be honest, I really wasn’t in the mood to cook anything for dinner either, but knowing that we’ll probably be going out to dinner tonight, I figured it would be in our best interest to eat in.

So what do you make on a Friday night when you want dinner done in less than 20 minutes?

PIZZA!!

IMG_4962

Instead of fighting with the rolling out of a pizza dough, we took the easy route with some Boboli Whole Wheat thin crust mini pizzas. And because we can never decide which kinds we want, we make enough for a small army. 🙂

Before heading into the oven…

IMG_4958

Broccoli, peppers, onions, & tomatoes

IMG_4960

Barbecue chicken

IMG_4959

Fresh out of the oven! Mmmmm. 😛

IMG_4961

IMG_4964

IMG_4963    

I enjoyed a slice of each for dinner. Usually when we make pizza, we’ll usually have some side salads to go with them, but we were unfortunately fresh out of lettuce. Oh well…too much effort anyways. 😉

IMG_4965

IMG_4966

IMG_4967

It’s tough to pick a favorite – they were ALL delicious!

Saturday

Jay had to be up early for work, so I decided to follow suit and make my way to the gym for an early workout. Before leaving, I snacked on a honey graham Clif Z Bar. Side note: I really want to try the “Spooky S’Mores” flavor, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere?!?!

IMG_4968

At the gym, I completed 45 minutes on the elliptical, covering 6.5 miles, followed by 10 minutes on the Stair Master. I really despise that Stair Master…yet, I keep coming back to it. 😉 Nonetheless, it was a GREAT workout.

After the gym, I made a quick stop down to the Farmers Market. It was an absolutely beautiful morning for it!

IMG_4969

While sipping on a delicious Pumpkin Pie flavored coffee from my fave Flavour Cafe,

IMG_4970

I browsed the market, picking up some carrots, zucchini, basil, tomatoes, apple cider, Plain Jane Creamy PB, and some fresh bread…

IMG_4976

…which I immediately broke into for breakfast as soon as I got home. Spread with some White Chocolate Wonderful PB…amaaaaaazing. 😀

I also enjoyed a honey flavored Chobani, topped with a fresh diced pear, a sprinkling of cinnamon & nutmeg, and the last of my Bear Naked Fit granola.

IMG_4974

IMG_4972

The addition of cinnamon & nutmeg really makes such a difference. If you haven’t tried it, I’d definitely recommend it.

IMG_4975

Deeeeelicious!

IMG_4973

Time to go take advantage of this beautiful Saturday! Hope you’re all having a great morning. 🙂

Question for the Day:

Do you usually sleep in on weekends, or do you try to keep a regular schedule from the workweek?

Straight From The Market

I had been planning all morning on coming home to a nice, big ‘ol smoothie for lunch, but as soon as I opened the fridge, it was the veggies that caught my eye. At first, I even thought I’d just cut up some fresh cukes on the side, but before I knew it, a salad was created.

IMG_3869

The best part about it, EVERYTHING in this salad (well not the onions, but almost everything) came fresh from the Farmers Market this past Saturday. You could totally taste the freshness in every bite!

I topped some romaine lettuce with fresh cukes, tomato (a whole tomato!), the non-market onions, and some leftover corn on the cob. I had bought 4 ears of it on Saturday: Jay had 2, I had 1, and I cut the other ear off the cob to save for during the week. It was so sweet and tender! The corn definitely stole the show. 😉

IMG_3870

I drizzled my salad with some Ken’s Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.

IMG_3871

The nutrition stats aren’t too bad, but it’s definitely always been one of my favorites. You only need a little bit, it goes a long way! 

IMG_3873

I also ate one of the most delicious pieces of bread with lunch! Last night, my friend Kate brought me a piece of honey whole wheat bread that she had baked. YAY! I ended up spreading a little I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light spread on it, but before I knew it, it had disappeared before I even had a chance to get my camera. Woops! 😳 It was DELICIOUS though Kate, THANKS! I can help take some that off of your hands whenever. 😀

Question for the Afternoon:

Would you rather eat corn “on the cob” or “off the cob?”

For the longest time, I always ate it off the cob, since I had braces and had to cut it off anyways. But now, it’s definitely on the cob, all the way!

You Can’t Beat Cooking + Wine

Today has been such a fabulous day! Really, I have been lovin’ every minute of it.

Lunch

I kept things simple for lunch, kinda going along with whatever cravings I was having. The first craving to hit was cool, creamy yogurt, so I enjoyed a plain Chobani yogurt mixed with a big ‘ol spoonful of raspberry Polaner All Fruit spread.

IMG_3803  

While getting my yogurt, I noticed my neglected strawberries staring back at me, so I decided to snag some of those too.

IMG_3804 

And lastly, I couldn’t resist incorporating some of my fresh, new Farmers Market goodies, so I sliced a piece of bread and simply topped it with some basil leaves, tomato slices, and balsamic vinegar. So simple, yet so delicious!! 😛

IMG_3805

Lunch was definitely enjoyed poolside today. 😎

IMG_3802

I spent a good majority of the afternoon out by the pool, but got nervous when the hubby said we should really do some work around the house. AH HA! I worked this situation out perfectly by opting to clean and vacuum the pool. Still got my pool time in, while doing “housework” at the same time. It was a win-win situation for both of us! 😉

Dinner

After working up a sweat lounging in my chair for a few hours, I was feeling pretty hungry, so it was time to start thinking about dinner. I got to work in the kitchen, but decided it was going to be much more fun if I had a glass of wine to enjoy…

IMG_3806

I’d have to say that cooking is so much more fun when there’s a glass of wine involved. 😉 And as it turns out, it leads to some FANTASTIC dinners!

IMG_3809

Roasted Zucchini – Simply sprayed with a little PAM, sprinkled with some garlic powder, salt, & pepper, and roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.

IMG_3810

Fresh Corn on the Cob from the Farmers Market!

IMG_3812

And the STAR of the show – Grilled Chicken Panini’s with Tomato, Basil, & Provolone! 😀

IMG_3811   

Here’s how I made our panini’s:

  • I started by slicing up a couple thick slices of multigrain bread (again, from the Farmers Market), and cutting each in half for one sandwich (they were BIG slices)
  • Coat the slices with a thin smear of light mayo
  • Add 1 slice of provolone cheese to each side
  • Layer on tomatoes and fresh basil
  • Drizzle a little balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Add grilled chicken slices (*Jay had previously marinated a couple chicken breasts that we had in the freezer, so he cooked those up out on the grill while I worked inside on everything else)
  • Close sandwich. Brush each side with a little EVOO, and sprinkle with some S&P.
  • Cook on the preheated panini maker (or griddle, frying pan, whatever you have!) until cheese is melted and bread is lightly browned. ENJOY!

IMG_3813

Just check out that cheese!

IMG_3814

We both decided that these were probably the best paninis we’ve ever hade. Props to us! So we celebrated with a little more white wine with dinner. Hey, it’s Saturday, why not? 🙂

IMG_3808

We’re expecting our friends Brian & Mal over soon to have a nice relaxing bonfire tonight. Jay is on call for work, so we’re kind of restricted as to what we can do. Either way, it should be a fun night. AND, the best part is, we even have DESSERT to share!

I also picked up these 2 cookies today at the market: M&M Chocolate Chip for him and Oatmeal Raisin for her. YUMM!! 😛

IMG_3815

I almost forgot! Last night, I made a batch of some AMAZING Cookies & Cream cookie bars for the guys at their softball game. I’ll post the recipe for ya’ll tomorrow (be forewarned, they are not “healthified” by any means, seeing as though a softball team full of grown boys men really don’t care!) but I will give you guys a little sneak peek for now!

IMG_3782 

IMG_3786

The guys were definitely happy with these babies. 😉

Question for the Night:

A real simple one – favorite cookie of all time?

A Free Saturday Morning…Where Am I?

It’s another beautiful Saturday here in Upstate, and since I had a free morning, a trip to the Farmers Market was definitely on the agenda! 😎

Before heading out, I woke up nice and early to get my workout all finished for the day. I did the 40 minute Rock Hard Total Body Workout from Exercise on Demand, and it totally rocked my booty! I’m finding that I really like this workout, and it’s been a good switch from my usual BodyPump for a little while. If you have access to Exercise on Demand, and you’re up for a challenge, I’d definitely recommend you try this workout:

“This strength training workout from Body By Jake will get your entire body moving. Learn challenging muscle building moves that will take your workout to the next level while you watch your body change without expensive weight training equipment. Grab a pair of dumbbells and get ready to seriously sweat it out with this full body workout.”

After showering and getting ready, I grabbed a quick breakfast on the run, since I only had a few minutes before meeting up with Kate.

I had an ugly (but delicious) baby banana & two Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. My supply of these is dwindling…I’m getting sad. 😦

IMG_3789 

IMG_3788

(Please ignore the ghetto nail polish sample on my thumb…I was testing out some colors yesterday.) 😉

I realize this probably wasn’t the best “breakfast” to eat after an intense workout, but I was also taking into account the fact that I would be snacking on various samples while at the market too.

The market was definitely hoppin’ today! So many goodies to choose from. I would seriously have no problem dropping $50+ if I had that much cash on me. 😯

Ginormous tomatoes!

IMG_3791

Pretty flowers 🙂 

IMG_3792

So ever since the beginning of the Farmers Market season, Kate and I have been eyeballing this crazy concoction called a “pizza scone” at one of the vendors. We’ve passed it up every time, but today Kate bit the bullet and decided to try it out. After we both had a bite, we decided that it was definitely just like pizza! It almost tasted like dough + sauce, with the cheese on the top. Crazy, but totally delish!

IMG_3790

As I walked in door after getting home, I was greeted by this guy who was definitely somewhere where he knows he does not belong!

Oh crap, I’m busted…”

IMG_3794

We had a talk and straightened things out. He apologized.

Alright, so here’s my goods from today:  

Basil

IMG_3798  

Tomatoes!! 😀

IMG_3797

Multigrain Bread

IMG_3799

Blizzard Butter for Mom to try!

IMG_3800

And of course, an iced coffee with skim milk to top off my morning trip. 😛

IMG_3801

I also picked up some fresh corn on the cob, romaine lettuce, some chives, and a cucumber. All of this cost me Jay $20.00, which is probably more than I’d pay at the grocery store, but I really don’t mind. I love buying things locally when I can!

IMG_3796

Time to go make some lunch and head out for a little poolside action. 😎 Hope you’re all enjoying your Saturday!

Question for the Day:

When visiting a Farmers Market (or grocery store) do you go with a list or a budget or do you just buy whatever looks good?

Fresh Is Best

I love it when a Saturday rolls around when I don’t have a commitment to run to. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes those commitments can be super fun, such as last weekend’s Blogger Brunch. 🙂 But for those mornings when I’m free, nothing beats a trip to the Farmers Market.

Before leaving the house, I snacked on a couple pieces of Carrot Raisin Manna Bread with some PB2 spread on top. Yes, I think the addiction has already started.

IMG_3388 

IMG_3389

I had hoped the hubby would be able to make the trip down to the market with me this morning, but unfortunately he had some work to take care of at home. So me, myself, and I (and my reusable bag) headed on down. The market was definitely boomin’ today, and am super excited that so many of the vendors are starting to get such a wide variety of produce. It makes me smile. 😀

Today’s purchases: Carrots, beets, zucchini, yellow squash, red potatoes, fresh basil & flat leaf parsley.

IMG_3390  

Isn’t fresh produce just so pretty?!? 🙂

IMG_3393IMG_3392

Cody wasn’t quite sure what to make of his mama snappin’ pictures of her produce outside…

“Hey, whatcha doin’ Mom?”

IMG_3391

I also had to pick up a jar of Blizzard Butter, but that has already been taken to the post office to make its way out to Sunnydale, CA… 😉

I want to try to find a good recipe for a parsley-potato salad of some sort. If anyone happens to know of any good ones, please pass along the info!

I also picked up a little caffeine while out and about this morning: another Hawaiian Coconut flavored one – deeeeLISH! 😛

IMG_3394

Lunch

I made one of THE most delicious sandwiches EVER today! First of all, I love tomatoes. I could eat them everyday, especially in the summer once they start to get ripe. Gimme a big one, and I’ll bite into it like an apple. YUM. But when tomatoes are paired with fresh basil on a sandwich? Now there’s a combo I’m talkin’ about!

 IMG_3399

I lightly toasted a whole wheat Arnold Sandwich Thin, spread one half with a smear of The Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese, and the other half with some roasted red pepper hommus. Then I added some fresh slices of tomato and a couple leaves of basil; it’s amazing just how well the tomato and basil complement each other, along with the mix of Swiss cheese. Everything just tasted to fresh, which I love…it was definitely a killer sandwich. 😀

IMG_3400

Along with my sandwich, a had a couple new carrot sticks + hommus & a juicy peach.

IMG_3398IMG_3402

IMG_3397

Now I’m off to do a little yard work (yippeeeeeee) but I’m hoping all of my hard work will pay off with a nice little fro yo trip later this evening and maybe a movie date? Fingers crossed for me! 😯 😀

Question for the Day:

What’s the last good movie you watched (either in the theater or at home)