Dinner Cereal with a Side of Chic-Lit

Hello everyone! I’m feeling so much better than I was earlier today. I’ve decided I’m not going to let a few sour apples spoil my work endeavors!

Even though I only had one piece of not-so-good pizza and a little salad for lunch, I just wasn’t hungry for dinner. I came home around 6:30 PM, cleaned up a bit and then debated on dinner. I knew I needed to eat something. Then, I remembered my special delivery from a few days ago…

9.17 Kashi

My new Kashi Heart to Heart cereal finally arrived! This was a single serving size box – even though it looks full size. It was just perfect for a light dinner, but still full of nutrients. The cereal has 130 calories per serving and 4 g of fiber. Plus, it has little clusters of blueberries!

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I added raspberries to mine to give my cereal a little more kick, but you can clearly see the blueberry cluster right up front. Holy yum this cereal was fantastic! The blueberries even made my milk turn blue! I would definitely buy this cereal – even when it was not on sale – he he! I just wish it had more fiber like their other cereals.

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If you want to try a box of Kashi’s new cereals, just go to the Kashi Web site to sign up for your free sample. How fun is that? Kashi has SO many awesome cereal products that it’s hard to choose just one. But I know I’m preaching to the choir on that one!

QuestionHow do all of you feel about cereal for dinner? I don’t eat cereal for dinner very often, only when I’m not hungry or there’s absolutely nothing else in the house.

After my very long and tiring day I am really ready to curl up with a good book. Aside from Harry Potter re-reads, I haven’t read a book for fun in sooo long! I used to be really into the Shopaholic books, but stopped after the first chapter of the Sister book. Now, I’m psyched to read….

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It’s another book set in England, but this time with an American heroine. I just love books set in Britain, especially when there’s a young British heroine. I mean, who didn’t love Bridget Jone’s Diary?  I also plan to have a little snack while reading my new Brit Chic-Lit…


I decided that a new fun book needed a fun book snack – enter…100-calorie microwave popcorn!

Ok, enough chatter. Must get reading before I end up falling asleep! 

Night everyone.

Hands Out of the Bread Basket, Please…

Wow, what a day! We went nonstop from about 1-9 PM and had so much fun! Right after lunch, we headed to Brookfield Zoo just north of Chicago. The zoo itself is amazing but it’s also featuring a traveling exhibit, Dinosaurs Alive!, until the end of September. A friend of mine had given us free tickets to the exhibit so we decided to go today.

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The exhibit had about 10 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs, that moved and roared when you pushed a button. It was pretty neat – kind of like being on the Dinosaur ride at Disney World. The rest of our zoo time was spent viewing the animals – bears, gorillas, penguins, etc. While walking around, I got a little hungry so I tore open my third and final Odwalla bar…

9.12 Odwalla

Once again, I really did not care for this power bar so I only ate 1/2 of it. It was overly chewy and really did not have much of a flavor and what flavor it did have was not very good. I don’t plan on buying these bars again – unless I have no other options – give me a LUNA or LARA bar any day!

After the zoo, we headed to dinner at Antico Posto, an Italian restaurant, for dinner. We started with the typical Italian restaurant starter – bread and oil. But I do have to admit, this bread and oil combination was exceptionally good.

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That is my excuse for eating way too much of it! The bread basket is my #1 downfall at restaurants. I still haven’t figured out a way to control my bread habit. I always tell myself to only eat 1 or 2 pieces then push the rest away, but somehow I don’t hear that little voice when I’m actually munching on the bread.

For my entree, I ordered the cavatappi pasta with roasted chicken, fall veggies, and parmesan cheese all in a chicken-based broth.

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The dish was very good, although it seemed like it was missing something. I think a few red peppers or spinach would have made the dish even better. I ate about 2/3 of it then gave the rest to Scott.

After dinner, we did a little shopping. We hit Anthropologie, Lucy, and Nordstrom but didn’t manage to find anything within our budget to buy. For all you Foodie bloggers out there, Anthropologie had a ton of new dishes (plates, bowls, etc.) in all different designs and colors. They’re a bit expensive but worth a look if you’re wanting to spruce up your food shots.

On the way home, we stopped at Red Mango! I have been wanting to go to this place for months now. I’ve heard so many great things about it (as well as pinkberry) and really wanted to try it. I decided to get a regular size original yogurt with watermelon chunks and bits of Ghirardelli chocolate.

9.12 Red Mango

Oh my gosh – this tasted like pure Greek yogurt – and you all know how much I LOVE Greek yogurt! I loved this new treat and could easily see how a person could become addicted to the creamy, sweet taste. On the other hand, my husband did NOT care for the froyo at ALL. But then again, he does not like yogurt – Greek or any other kind. Thankfully, he tried a sample before buying a full cup. He opted for one of their flavored iced teas instead.

I am so tired now from walking around for hours and hours today – but it was great exercise! Tomorrow, I’m planning an 8-miler which should take me just over an hour to complete (hoping for no more than 65 minutes). So I’m off to bed.

Night All!

Lions, and Tigers, and Dinosaurs, Oh My!

Hey all, this is going to be a drive by post because we are heading out to the zoo in a few minutes.

I arrived at yoga class with 10 minutes to spare and received the LAST yoga card (cards they hand out to make sure they do not go over 20 people). I was so happy to get in! But, even with their nifty card system, there were somehow two extra people, just like last time. Sounds like they need a new system.

Yoga was very HOT again this morning because of all of the people combined with the heat being on full blast. Savasana was extra relaxing today. The music was just right, the temperature had evened out, and I really felt calm. During savasana, our yogini also does something really cool. She goes around to each student, one by one, and gives them a very quick neck/head massage with this wonderful smelling lavender cream. I love the smell!

For breakfast, I had a quick cup of Trader Joe’s blueberry nonfat Greek yogurt topped with a few sliced almonds for extra MUFA!

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Plus, I had my daily shot of wellness from Zola…

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After breakfast, I got ready than ran to Target and the grocery store. I made awesome time at both stores and ended up only being gone for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Scott and I made sandwiches for lunch so that we could avoid eating at the zoo. I’m not against zoo food, but I’d really rather eat my own food and save money.

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I made my 1/2 sandwich using double fiber Brownberry bread. I added a few slices of deli ham and low-fat salami, plus a little cheddar cheese and a bunch of red leaf lettuce. On the side were a couple of handfuls of Cape Cod low-fat chips and a crunchy pickle.

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Now that our tummies are happy, we are headed to the zoo to see the dinosaur exhibit before it ends. After the zoo, I’m going to try to convince Scott to make a side trip to Red Mango froyo – we’ve never had it and there’s a store not too far from the zoo. I say it’s fate and we should not tempt fate.

Alright, we’re off to the zoo. Lions, and Tigers, and Dinosaurs, here we come!

Oh, What a Beautiful Day

I had such an awesome and very tiring day! I began with a morning run, but this was not like my typical Sunday morning run. I ran for over 50 minutes and logged just over 6 miles. It’s such a great feeling knowing that I’m running faster and increasing my pace.

I usually don’t eat anything before I run (there are pros and cons to this) but I decided to eat something today. I knew I wanted to elevate my performance and would probably need some extra calories to help.

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I ate 1/2 of a LUNA bar for women – the caramel nut brownie flavor. It has 9g of protein and 4g of fiber – perfect for a prerun snack. The bar itself was mighty tasty with a nice chocolate flavor.

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I then laced up my shoes and headed out the door. I made a deal with my legs that if they were too tired to run a full 45 minutes then we could stop at 35 or 40. But, at 40 minutes, my legs and whole body felt great so I went past 50 minutes – hooray! The only reason why I didn’t run longer was because we had a TON of things to do today and I really couldn’t spend anymore time running. 

Immediately after my run, I did some stretching and a 15-minute ab workout (what I do after each run). By this time, I was so completely ravenous that I ate the second 1/2 of the LUNA bar followed by a big bowl of mixed cereal.

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Cheerios Multigrain and Kashi Go Lean Crunch with flaxseed and blueberries, to be exact. On the side, I had a little shot of wellness from Zola..

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Before heading out this evening, we had a huge list of things to accomplish:

  • Clean the house, including the basement
  • Grocery store run
  • Eat lunch
  • Laundry
  • Make food for event: fried chicken, pasta salad, brownies
  • Write blog post
  • Pack car for event

Whew, I’m tired just thinking about all of the things we did today! Lunch was nothing too fancy because there just wasn’t enough time for fancy…

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I had my leftover Mediterranean salad from yesterday and also a Vienna Beef all-natural, nitrate-free hot dog with a few Mezzetta peppers on top. And of course, low-fat Cape Cod chips were on the menu!

By 4:30 PM, the food was ready and the car was packed to go to our final outdoor music event of the summer. We went to listen to a local orchestra play the music of Rogers and Hammerstein. If they don’t sound familiar to you, R&H did the scores for such musicals as The King and I, Carousel, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and South Pacific. The vocalists, accompanied by the orchestra, sang several songs from each musical, but I only recognized a handful:

  • Title song – Sound of Music
  • Getting to Know You – The King and I
  • Some Enchanted Evening – South Pacific
  • Overture – South Pacific
  • Oh, What a Beautiful Morning – Oklahoma

In fact, there were so many songs that my husband and I didn’t know (and we both like musicals so that’s saying a lot) that he dubbed this the night of obscure Rogers and Hammerstein songs.

For our picnic-style dinner, we started with white cheddar cheese and crackers – I had more than my share of these…

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We then feasted on homemade fried chicken, courtesy of my husband using his mother’s recipe. We also had homemade pasta salad made with a ton of fresh veggies and Trader Joe’s organic tricolored pasta.

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I did eat a few other things, but by this time in the evening it was so dark that my pictures were not turning out very well, even with the flash. I had a few chunks of juicy watermelon, a couple small but delicious chocolate chip cookies that my father-in-law brought from Panera, and a big cup of lemony frozen yogurt. I was so cold after I was finished eating the yogurt that I was shivering!

I am home now and am sooo ready to go to bed. We have a busy day again tomorrow. The guys are NOT going golfing as planned but we are headed to an early Labor Day dinner at my in-laws

See you in the AM All!

An Apple A Day….

As you know, yesterday was my family’s annual trip to the apple orchard to do a little apple picking. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for apple picking – about 70 degrees and sunny.

We all arrived at the country-style orchard around 10 AM- right when it opened. We were surprised to find that the orchard had just changed its prices/policy. Instead of all of us being able to pick apples and put them in one big bag, we now had to all have our own 1/2 peck bag, including the kids. This was rather annoying considering it was $10 a bag and by the time each bag was full, it weighed about 5 lbs. That’s fine for adults, but for a 4-year old boy, that’s a bit heavy.

Apple Tree

But, we didn’t let this little hiccup ruin our day. We all piled on the tractor hayride-style and proceeded out to the actual line of trees. At this point in the season there was only one variety of apple available for picking – Gala. That was good news for us because Gala apples are really versatile – you can use them in pies, apple sauce, salads, and eating straight.

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It was quite a foggy morning when we first started so there was still dew on the apples as you can see above. It made for a cool picture.

Bags in hand, we set out walking through the designated Gala rows. It was fun to see the kids running around and getting excited when they would find an apple good enough to eat. Although you’re not supposed to eat the apples right from the tree, I may have had one or two as a sample – have to get my fiber in, ya know!


Most of the really red apples were way up at the top. Needless to say, there was a lot of shoulder sitting to reach them – ha ha!

Apple Trees

About an hour and a half, and 8 1/2-pecks later, we climbed back onto the tractor and headed to the drop-off point. A little later we dived up the bags between 3 families – somehow we ended up with 3 1/2-pecks of apples – way more than we can eat. I guess I’ll be taking some to work!

At lunch, we all debated on who would make the first apple-dessert. I plan on making an apple crisp tomorrow – hmmm goood! I’ll be sure to post the recipe and photos!

Now, I’m off to our final outdoor music event of the summer. We are going with my in-laws to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra play songs from Rogers and Hammerstein. I love musicals! I’ll post a quick update later tonight although I don’t expect to get home until after 10 PM. Have a great afternoon!