Archives for October 2009

Fire Drills and Smoldering Projects

Hello Everyone!

I had my last training session of the year – woo hoo! I’m home free now. Well, not really, I’ll be home free as of November 6, but who’s counting, right? 

Before heading to work this morning, I did a quick 4-mile run on the treadmill- again, I needed to run way too early for me to actually run outside. Breakfast was a very fast bowl of Honeynut Cheerios with chopped walnuts…

10.20 breakfast

There’s nothing sexy or exciting about Cheerios – but, hey, they get the job done when you’re in a pinch.

Immediately when I arrived at work, I was putting out fires left and right – just call me firefighter Jen! They were not huge fires, more like smoldering projects that needed my specific attention. Good thing I planned for this and had the morning blocked off for a fire drill.

Lunch happened to be leftovers from Sunday lunch…

10.20 lunch

I had the other 1/2 of my chicken pomodoro sandwich from Go Roma. Surprisingly, this sandwich tasted better today than it did on Sunday – maybe because I put it in the toaster oven and it came out all toasty and crunchy??

The afternoon was spent preparing for the staff training session, then actually presenting the training session. All of this took about 3 hours. Training (which was all volunteer by the way) has taken up soooo much time  in the last 2 months. Plus, I’ve been doing the training on TOP of everything else I have to do to prepare for our meeting. It’s a wonder I have not gone crazy by now. But, I guess it’s good that I’m trying to expand my horizons – and my paycheck! – at least a bit.

After the training ended at 4 PM, I was super hungry and chowed on some Trader Joe’s nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt. Sorry, no picture – I ate it way too fast to even bother getting the camera out of my bag.

Dinner, like breakfast, was not very eventful, although it was rather tasty…

10.20 dinner

As tasty as whole wheat linguini with Newman’s Own Mushroom Marinara sauce can be. I’m not much for jarred sauces – probably because I was raised on Ragu. I think that really resonated with me because I can’t eat Ragu and many jarred pasta sauces to this day. However, Newman’s is the exception – it really has some decent flavors. I still prefer Scott’s homemade meat sauce to anything else in a jar or at a restaurant – yes, that’s how good it is!

Dessert was yet another chocolate chunk cookie from Costco with a side of skim milk…

10.20 dessert

I’m a not a cookie-milk dunker. I only took this milk & cookie picture so that you could see it was not the same picture as the last two nights.

Tomorrow, we have our big all-staff kick-off breakfast for our San Diego meeting that starts next week. Most people are not leaving until Thursday or Friday of next week, but tomorrow is our outgoing CEO’s final day in the office as the big chief. I am predicting that breakfast will be all of his favorites, including coffee cakes, cheese blintzes, and lox and bagels. I’ll try to take a picture so you can see that if I guessed right.

Ok fellow bloggers, time to shut down the computer and hit the sack.

Under New Management

Happy Monday everyone!

Well, we are officially under new management! Today was our first day with the new CEO. Quite honestly though, it was really no different than an ordinary day. The day included work, food, work, and more food – nothing new around the office for us! 

Prior to work, my morning started with a fast 4 mile run on the treadmill. I needed to get to work early today (gotta impress the Big Cheese ya know 😉 so I got up extra early – 5:45 AM yikes! – in order to get my run done and over with. However, getting up that early meant sacrificing an outside run for a run on the treadmill due to the utter darkness that still engulfed the morning.

Breakfast was a big bowl of peanut butter mousse…

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…aka Trader Joe’s vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt with a dollop of all-natural creamy peanut butter. Plus, I add a few chopped walnuts to give it some CRUNCH! I haven’t had Trader Joe’s yogurt in nearly two weeks (come to think of it, it may even be longer than that).

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I was so going through withdrawal. As you can imagine, I was super excited when Scott offered to pick up some yogurt last night when he ran out to get gas in the car. Yeah – now I’m all set with TJ’s yogurt for the week!

My morning at work consisted of finalizing a few projects for our big meeting (OMG – I can’t believe I leave next Friday for San Diego!) I also spent the day mingling with the new CEO, his wife, our president and his wife, and other staff members. It was actually quite fun because they are all very lovely people.

I know that we are working in a casual atmosphere these days because of preparing for the annual meeting. But, I am really surprised at what people at my work actually wear to the office – especially on the day that the new CEO starts!!! He’s in a suit and some of my coworkers are in sweatshirts and jeans (and worse than that too!) And frankly, I don’t know anyone who climbed the corporate ladder wearing a track suit – unless you count Richard Simmons. Pu-leeze people, think before you dress when you come to work!

I am very glad that I chose to dress up for the occasion, despite our implied casual day, because I felt so much better while I ate lunch with our new boss and his wife. I know I would have been very uncomfortable chatting with him in jeans. 

We had an all staff lunch to welcome our guests – 20 pizzas were on the menu! Now that’s a LOT of pizza! But then again, we never do anything small when it comes to food. However, I didn’t have any of the pizza – I’m just not crazy about the pizza that they buy at work. Everyone else raves about it, but I tend to just have the salad…

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Hmmm, a suspicious looking meatball also landed on my plate. I think it was a turkey meatball, but let’s just say that I can’t be sure and that I’m better off not knowing. The fruit was extra yummy…

10.19 lunch2

I have really been craving the summer fruits that are now out of season – watermelon, cantaloupe, etc – I took a couple of big spoonfuls. Don’t worry, I left plenty of fruit for all of the “dieters” in the office.

I arrived home feeling utterly exhausted after my long and eventful day. Scott managed to get home early from work and cooked up some turkey burgers for dinner. He made the burgers outside on the grill -that’s how NICE it was outside today! Too bad I didn’t see daylight from about 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

I did my share as far as making dinner – my job was assembling the zesty salad…

10.19 dinner

I may or may not have eaten a big old chocolate chunk cookie for dessert????

10.19 dessert

Ok, I did. But Scott commented that we needed to “get them out of the house”, so I thought I’d help make that wish come true a little faster.

Alright ladies (and gents – meaning Steve), time to call it a night. I’ve got another important day tomorrow – I’m leading another training session, this time for the executive staff so I really must be on my game tomorrow.

Have a great night!

40 Pounds of Pumpkin

Hey All!

Hope you had an awesome Sunday! It was a gorgeous day in Chicago, albeit a tad chilly when I went out for my 5 mile run. Scott and I spent quite a bit of the day doing fall-related things, but before I get into that – let’s hear it for breakfast!

Breakfast was an omelette made with 1 egg and 2 egg whites, filled with cheddar cheese, bacon, and a mess of veggies leftover from our salad last night…

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This was super high in protein which is just what I needed after my run.

After breakfast, we headed out to the pumpkin patch. Scott immediately became enamored with the extra large pumpkins, so one 40 lb pumpkin managed to follow us home and make it to my dining room table…

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Yes, that really is 40 pounds of pumpkin sitting on my table. I’m glad I have a sturdy, solid wood table. I wonder how many pumpkin pies 40 pounds of pumpkin would make? Hmmm….good question – I think I’ll do a little research and let you all know!

Aside from “The Great Pumpkin”, I also picked out a few smaller pumpkins to put around the house…

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I really like the light orange and light green pumpkins – they are so different from the standard orange pumpkin. The patch was running low on these so I settled for a darker green one, which is still pretty cool.

Aside from pumpkins, we also bought a few apple cider donuts and promptly ate a couple right on the spot…

10.18 donut

I am NOT a donut fan but this is the one time of year where I will actually eat one without any qualms.

We spent a little more time at the pumpkin patch than we thought so it was already lunchtime when we were packing the pumpkins into the car. We headed to our favorite little Italian cafe for lunch…

10.18 lunch

I had a chicken pomodoro panini which was filled with grilled chicken, provolone cheese, basil, tomatoes, and spinach. It sounded SOO good on the menu but honestly it was just so-so. I think there was a little too much basil on it which overpowered everything else. I only ate half and took the rest home.

The afternoon was spent cleaning and carving the pumpkin, as well as preparing the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds. We also ended up taking a 30-minute walk which was fantastic! It was chilly, but so crisp and bright outside. I loved seeing all of the brightly colored leaves and all of the neighbors’ halloween/fall decorations. 

Dinner was my responsibility tonight so I made one of Scott’s favorites – Basil Chicken Stir-fry…

10.18 dinner

Unfortunately, as I think I have mentioned before, I can’t give out the recipe for this dish due to copyright issues. But, you can find it in the Williams Sonoma “Chicken” cook book. This can be a very spicy dish depending on how many jalapeno peppers you put in. When Scott makes it, my lips are practically burning. But when I make it, I use just enough peppers to give it a little spice without having to drink a glass of milk with each bite.

After dinner, I had a little dessert to round out my nearly perfect fall day…

10.18 dessert

A chocolate chunk cookie from Costco! We bought these cookies yesterday because they looked really good in the package – almost like homemade. Now, after having a couple, they are starting to taste like regular store-bought cookies. 

Well, I have an early morning tomorrow and a busy day planned. Our new CEO, whom I’ve never met, is starting tomorrow. We have an all-staff meeting to welcome him. And of course, there will be more food – pizza! Should be quite an interesting day!

Have a great night everyone and see you tomorrow evening!

Homemade Salad Bar

Hi All! 

What a day! It was a busy, busy Saturday for me. It started with a hearty bowl of cereal….

10.17 breakfast

Honeynut Cheerios topped with walnuts and fresh strawberries. Yes, that is my hand that you can barely see in the photo above. With it being so cold outside, I’ve been having to hold my food out our French doors because I’m too much of a marshmallow to take the picture outside! So, you may see part of my hand in pictures throughout the winter ;-).

Next on the agenda was a little lot of shopping  –  nearly 3 hours worth! Scott is such a trooper when it comes to shopping. He actually is a very keen shopper and is more than willing to spend money on clothes for himself and me. Well, after 3 hours of shopping – Jcrew, Ann Taylor, etc – I still could NOT find anything that I remotely liked – ugh!! Why is it that when you really need to buy something you can’t find a damn thing, but when you’re just browsing for the heck of it, you can buy out the store? On the other hand, Scott happened to find an awesome, “they call me Professor Scott”, brown blazer – and a sweater vest from JCrew. Hey, we’re shopping for me here!! 

Lunch was at Chili’s – mostly out of convenience. With all of the times I’ve been to Chili’s, you would think that I’ve tried just about everything on the menu. But today, I actually ordered something brand spankin new – the black bean burger…

10.17 lunch

I don’t recall EVER having a black bean burger in my life. This one was good, but a bit soggy after a few minutes. It was also kind of freaky to see the actual black beans in the burger after I cut it in half. After one bite, little black beans were actually falling out of the burger. Not sure if that’s normal or not. Anyway, I only ended up eating 1/2 the burger but I had also filled up on chips and salsa ahead of time.

The afternoon included a fun trip to Costco – when is going to Costco not fun or expensive? We went there for water and other necessities but ended up looking at a bunch of holiday things. I don’t normally care to look at holiday items/decorations prior to Thanksgiving. But Costco puts out its decorations in JULY so it’s hard to avoid them. 

Dinner was an awesome and healthy treat…

10.17 dinner1

A Super Salad Bar right in our very own home! This was all Scott’s idea and preparation. He even suggested I take a picture of all of the ingredients…

  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green onion
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Red onion
  • Cucumbers
  • Bacon (nitrate-free)
  • Salami
  • Cheddar cheese

And all of these goodies topped with Scott’s homemade balsamic dressing.

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And I almost forgot, the salad also included grilled asparagus!

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And here is the main course….

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We also enjoyed some fresh bakery bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar – so yum!

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Such a fancy smancy dinner calls for a fancy drink…

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OK, it’s diet coke, but it’s in a real crystal wine glass 😉

Now I am finally watching the “wedding” episode of The Office and laughing out loud – Michael Scott is too funny!

I have another busy day planned for tomorrow so Good Night everyone!

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Evening everyone!

Well, it was rainy and cold again today, for like the 20th day in a row. I don’t really mind the rain, but it’s been so rainy and gloomy lately that I’m ready for a change. However, things may be turning up for Chicago, at least for a day or so. Tom Skilling – the famous Chicago meteorologist – is predicting high 60s/low 70s for Monday. If you are from Chicago, you know that good old Tommy Skilling is nearly always right, which is quite uncharacteristic of most meteorologists. I guess that’s why he’s famous.

I was so happy that I was able to get out for a run before the rain started this morning. Four and five-mile runs seem to go by so much faster when you’re actually looking at scenery and not staring at the television or the clock from the moveable perch of a treadmill.

Breakfast ended up being a huge (double my normal size) bowl of homemade oatmeal….

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…made from whole oats and skim milk, mixed with all-natural creamy peanut butter and walnuts, then topped with fresh strawberries. My eyes were bigger than my stomach (I’m so becoming my mother by using that phrase) because this turned out to be way too much food for my stomach to handle.10.16 breakfast1

After browsing on the Internet and working a little, lunch was another super convenient meal…

10.16 lunch

…defrosted turkey chili over elbow noodles, topped with sharp cheddar cheese, plus a side of carrots.

This afternoon was spent running errands, including a stop at the doctor, and Starbucks – woo hoo! It was just the pick-me-up I needed on this grey day.

Tonight, Scott and I headed to the mall to do a little suit and shoe shopping. Actually, I did the shopping while Scott browsed his iphone. With my big meeting less than 2 weeks again, there are still a bunch of things I need to get in order to be ready for all of my events and receptions. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything to my liking tonight – not even at Nordstrom which usually has great shoes. Although my shopping efforts came up short, we did manage to have a nice dinner at The Cheesecake Factory..

10.16 dinner

I really wasn’t that hungry so we ended up splitting the chicken tacos. Although they were quite good, I could barely eat one whole taco – I’m just not having a good stomach day. We left with no cheesecake and no dessert of any kind. Some people ask how we can go to the Cheesecake Factory and not get cheesecake. Easy – neither of us cares for cheesecake so it’s never an issue with us.

I’m am barely awake as I write this, so I guess that’s a sign I need to get to bed. I am predicting that shopping will be on the agenda for tomorrow. I’m hoping to get an early start to beat the crowds.

See you all on the flip slide!

Thursday is the New Friday

I finally made it! I made it to my favorite day of the week – Thursday! For many people with full-time jobs, Friday is the best day of the week because it signifies the last workday before the weekend. However, for me, that day is Thursday! We are fortunate enough to have flex time at work which allows me to work extra hours from Monday-Thursday and have Fridays off (unless something major comes up). So, for us flexies at work, Thursday really is the new Friday – giving us a 3-day weekend every week. I so LOVE where I work! Don’t get me wrong, I have to pack in a FULL work week into four days, so those days are very long and tiring. But, it’s all worth it when Thursday rolls around.

And, here’s how my favorite day played out this week….

I was up bright and early, and ready to run around 6 AM. But I got sucked into the Internet shortly thereafter and didn’t start running until 6:30 AM (why do I even bother getting up at 6 AM?) It was raining pretty steady so running outside was not a very good option. So, the treadmill it was. Four miles of monotonous treadmill running was all I could take this morning, but I did do a few extra stretches and a complete ab workout.

Now, onto breakfast…

10.15 breakfast

I have NOT been in a breakfast mood the last week or so. I just don’t feel hungry and nothing seems appetizing. Today was more of the same – blah – honeynut Cheerios with walnuts. It was definitely crunchy and full of MUFA, but it just lacked the pizzaz that I need at breakfast.

Because of the powers that be (aka – me taking forever to get out the door), I didn’t arrive at work until nearly 9:30AM. Then, I was in back-to-back-to-back meetings from 10 AM to 2 PM – no joke! Whew, I’ve had enough meetings in the past month to last me the whole year. In between meetings, I had about 15 minutes for a quick, souped-up lunch….

10.15 lunch

Thick and yummy potato soup – I only wish I had more time to savor the taste!

With our big meeting just 2 weeks away, today was a packing day for my team. So after lunch and more meetings, I stuffed a huge trunk full of office supplies and other goodies specific to my projects. The trunk was slightly overpacked and just barely shut. With no lock to keep it from bursting open, I pondered out loud what I could do to avoid the thing busting at the seams. Someone suggested plastic ties – genius!! I didn’t even know we had these and they worked like a charm. I only hope that someone has scissors onsite in San Diego so I can cut those babies off!

I completely forgot that I had to leave at 4 PM today in order to make a 5 PM eye appointment. I practically ran out the door, coat unzipped, bag loosely packed, and my hair flying every which way. The appointment ended up taking all of 15 minutes – I can’t believe I left work an hour early for that!! But, that’s the price you pay when you’re desperate for contacts.

Before I hurried out the office door, I stopped in the staff lounge to grab some water. Luckily I did because there was a bunch of leftover food from a lunch meeting – catered by Panera! I hadn’t really thought about dinner so Panera saved the day! I grabbed some Mediterranean salad and 1/2 a Mediterranean sandwich and gobbled that up after my appointment….

10.15 dinner

Finally, office food that is NOT a coffee cake or a cookie! Oh, by the way, we have 3 food-related functions at work next week. Thankfully, I have great willpower or else I would need to wear stretchy pants to work every day.

After my very convenient and FREE dinner, ice cream sounded soooo good and we just so happened to have chocolate peanut butter ice cream in the freezer…10.15 dessert

Again, very convenient and only slightly more expensive than dinner.

Although tomorrow is technically my day off from work, I will be spending it running errands related to work – picking up suits from dry cleaners, buying new black heels and nylons, etc. In years past, I have not tackled these errands until a few days before our big meeting and totally regretted my procrastination. So this year, I am getting a jump start on my tasks in hopes that I am packed and ready to go by October 29!

OK, chicas, that’s enough for me for tonight. See you all tomorrow!

A Soup-er Wednesday Day

Yes, it was a super, soup-er day, and you’ll see why in a minute. It was a no-run Wednesday for me today which means I was able to sleep in for a whole extra 20 minutes – whoopie!

Then, it was time for breakfast…

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A cereal mix of Honey Nut Cheerios and Kashi Go Lean, topped with walnuts and banana slices – hmm!

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It was another day and another birthday at work. This time, someone supplied the whole office with birthday bagels. Luckily I stopped eating bagels circa 2000. I seriously can’t even look at a bagel without feeling bloated.

The morning flew by and I was able to get a ton done – so much in fact that I had a little extra time at lunch. So, I met Scott at Go Roma. Enter soup #1…

10.14 lunch

A cup of hearty minestrone with a dollop of basil pesto on top. This soup is so rich and filling – it’s hard to believe that it’s low in calories – but it is thank goodness! This soup actually kept me fairly full all the way until dinner – minus a few Halloween-shaped pretzels I had 😉

Enter soup #2….Potato and cheese!

10.14 dinner

Scott made this soup on Monday and now, after sitting for two days, this soup tastes 10 times better! It really thickened up and all the flavors finally came out to say “hello!” I had the soup with a few pieces of whole-garlic infused bakery bread – the perfect thickness for dipping in hot soup!

Now, it’s time for dessert – a little chocolate peanut butter ice cream from a huge Chicago favorite – Oberweis!

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We used to buy single scoops of ice cream at Oberweis for about $3 a scoop. But now, we’ve wised up a little and just buy the pre-packed quart of chocolate peanut butter for $6. It makes like 10 scoops which is waaaay cheaper!

Now that I’m all souped and ice creamed out, I’m going to read a little of my new Real Simple magazine – yeah! I love the Holiday issues!

Only 15 more days until the BIG meeting in San Diego!!

Have a great night all!

A Bacon Chocolate Cupcake – To Go

Hi Everyone!

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just seems to fall into place and your productivity is super high – even higher than normal? Well, today was one of those days for me! I started off with an awesome four mile run, split between the t-mill and outside. It was even colder outside today (35 degrees, brrrrhh!) than yesterday but I bundled up. The cold air actually felt great, although by the time I got home my hands were frozen.

For breakfast, I recharged on some homemade oatmeal…

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I started with plain oats, then added some skim milk, walnuts, creamy PB, and topped it with fresh cut strawberries – so sweet, thick, and yummy!

10.13 breakfast2

Not only was my run fantastic, but work was incredibly productive today! I was so on my game today. I completed project after project – writing, reviewing, copying, etc. – not bothering to wait for admin help and just taking care of things on my own. I love these kinds of days!

But of course, working in a large office is not without its faults. As I mentioned last week, there are no less than 6 birthdays being celebrated in our office this week. As is office custom, when it’s your birthday, you bring treats for everyone in the office. So, when I walked into the staff lounge this morning, I was not at all surprised to see 3 large coffee cakes, 2 dozen cookies, and a dozen gourmet cupcakes. I would have taken a picture, but the food was a little disheveled and it would have seemed odd if I tidied up and then took a picture. 

So, out of all these goodies, what did I take? A cupcake of course!

10.13 snack

The cupcakes were from a specialty bakery in Chicago called Bleeding Heart Bakery. They sell all sorts of goodies, but seem to specialize in cupcakes with exotic ingredients/flavors – like bacon-infused chocolate cupcakes and blueberry crumble. I thought I had selected a peanut butter chocolate cupcake but it turned out to be bacon-infused chocolate. Kind of a strange combination – bacon and chocolate – but it really works. And, no, I did NOT eat this for breakfast – shame on you for even thinking that 😉 I saved it for an after lunch treat and it was fantastic!

Speaking of lunch, it was leftover pasta and sauce for me!

10.13 lunch

I LOVE pasta and sauce as leftovers – it’s a lunch that I actually look forward to. However, I ate this so fast because I was just about starving. I realize that I really need to eat earlier (before 1 PM) to avoid eating fast or overeating at lunch.

My afternoon cupcake treat was a great way to celebrate my super productive day but it left me pretty full, even too full for dinner at 6:3o PM. So instead of a big dinner, I opted for a small salami and ham sandwich on fresh bakery bread, with a side of pickles and Cape Cod chips…

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I haven’t had a sandwich in at least a week, which is actually quite a stretch for me. And having the sandwich on garlic bread from the bakery made it extra tasty!

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No dessert for me tonight – the cupcake was enough sweetness to last me the whole day!

I have a few things to catch up on this evening, so I’m signing off early. Have a great night everyone!

Cursing the Chex-Mix

Hello All! Thank you all so much for all your sweet and concerned comments about my lost camera. I am liking the new one – the Canon SD 980 IS, however, I may have my sights set on an even better one!! Hopefully, I’ll have more details about that in the coming weeks. But, let’s just say that one camera is NOT enough for this household!

After my split run (2 miles on the t’mill and 2 miles outside) I came home and enjoyed a bowlful of fluffy goodness…

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Today I tried Chobani’s fat free vanilla Greek yogurt topped with walnuts for extra crunch and MUFA. This yogurt was pretty tasty, but I still prefer Trader Joe’s Greek yogurt to most.

I arrived at work about 9:15 AM, Starbuck’s skinny vanilla latte in hand, and promptly got down to business. For nearly 4 hours straight I barely left my cube. I was so entrenched in work that I didn’t even feel like eating lunch – just wasn’t hungry. Instead, I munched on some homemade chex-mix, full of chex cereal, mixed nuts, and pretzels (what, not chocolate?), that was found in our staff lounge. I have a very strong feeling I should have eaten lunch, because around 4 PM I was cursing that chex-mix big time – ugh! Please note that I do NOT normally skip lunch completely. It’s only on these very rare occasions when I’m just not hungry that I do actually forgo a lunchtime meal. I do not recommended it at all, because most of the time, I will end up eating junk or over eating later in the day.

Anyway, now it’s on to dinner with Scott, which is always event. Tonight, I came home to a very clean house (thank you!) and a huge pot of potato soup!

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Hmmm….sooo good on a cold day! I will have to admit, I do like my version of the potato soup a tad better. I think it may have to do with the carrots and leeks that I add – they give my soup a ton of flavor. But this version is still quite tasty.

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While we were waiting for the soup to finish cooking, I decided to finally break into the Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread…

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I simply followed the recipe on the box, only I added about a cup of chopped walnuts right on top…

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The smell of this batter was just heavenly! It’s amazing what certain food scents can conjure up in your mind. I felt like it should be Thanksgiving or at least November.

About an hour later, the sweet bread was finally puffed and fluffed and ready for me to take out of the oven…

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Next came the taste test….

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This bread was really good, although I felt like there was something missing. I can’t put my finger on it just yet, but I can assure you that if it just had a little something more, it would have been fantastic. Scott, on the other hand, liked it “enough to have a second piece”. I think I’ll try homemade next time….

I am completely spent for the night. Have a great evening and see you all tomorrow!

New Day, New Camera

A food/health blogger without her camera is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, without the peanut butter. Well, as you all know, my husband lost our camera yesterday somewhere in the woods. We actually went back to the forest preserve this morning to look for it and inquire at the Visitor’s Center, but no luck.

So, my husband did what any awesome husband would do and he promptly went out and bought me a brand new camera!! But before I get to those details, let’s see how my day went without the camera….

Prior to our excursion to the forest preserve, I ran 4 miles on the treadmill. It was only about 28 degrees outside this morning and I’ve become such a marshmallow that it’s hard for me to run outside when it’s below 30 degrees. Running on the treadmill was VERY hard this morning. Even though I got about 8 hours sleep, I felt so sluggish. I even tried watching the Chicago Marathon, thinking that might help, but I still felt weak. I’m guessing it was my camera dilemma that zapped the energy from me.

For breakfast, I had a bowl of homemade oatmeal…

10.11 breakfast

Please keep in mind that this photo was taken with Scott’s iphone, prior to him buying the new camera. My oatmeal was made with plain oatmeal, doctored up with some brown sugar and a bunch of walnuts – super yummy! I would have added peanut butter, but we are completely OUT! Imagine that, a peanut butter-loving gal OUT of peanut butter. We are were also out of cheese, which is again so unlike us.

After our fruitless effort in the forest, we headed to Red Robin for lunch. We tried to save money and calories by splitting a crispy chicken sandwich…

10.11 Lunch

But then we went and ordered TWO chocolate shakes!! I needed to wallow somehow and having a chocolate shake was the perfect way to drown my camera sorrow.

But then….enter the new Camera!!! My new Canon SD 980 IS is very similar to my old Canon SD 870 powershot, only an upgraded model with more features and a touch screen. So cool!! We’re going to at least try it out for a month to see if we like it and then take it back before our 90-day trial period if we don’t.

I was so excited when he gave it to me that I promptly started taking pictures of everything just to play around…

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As you can see, I had zero natural light because it was nearly dinnertime when he came home with the camera, but that didn’t matter to me! 

I also tested the new cam out on dinner….

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We started with a little lot of aged white cheddar cheese and whole wheat crackers, both purchased today from Fresh Market. We haven’t had high quality cheddar like this in a while so we ate way more than we should have – practically the whole block. But we were also celebrating our new gadget!!

Dinner was lemon-herb rotisserie chicken from Fresh Market with a side of homemade mashed potatoes and steamed carrots…

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We topped this all with my husband’s homemade chicken gravy – oh my, this was good!

Now, we’re about to watch a few episodes of The Office on Hulu – I missed Jim and Pam’s wedding 🙁 – and dig into our celebratory dessert, a raspberry white chocolate layer cake…

10.11 dessert

One word to describe this – SWEET!!

Ok, enough for today. I’m outta here!

Have a great night everyone!