The "Good" Jeans

Hello All!

As many of you know, when it’s someone’s birthday in our office, it’s customary to bring in a treat for the entire office. Many people go the easy route and buy donuts or coffee cakes from the grocery store. While others will bring in huge platters of sweets and other goodies. Well, I looked on our interoffice calendar for next week and there are 6 birthdays! You all know what that means – food overload! I’ll try to snap a few covert photos whenever possible.

This morning, I was able to get out for my run and finish just before the rain started – perfect timing!

Breakfast was cereal bowl trifecta…

10.8 breakfast

A mix of Cheerios multi-grain, Kashi Go Lean, and Nature Valley nut lover’s granola (a sample received from the company). Crunch, crunch!

Next up was deciding what to wear. Now, during the months of October – December, we are allowed to wear jeans on any day of the week (I think they feel sorry for us because we’re so crazy busy preparing for our big shindig at the end of October!). The catch is, unless it is a Friday (when we are normally allowed to wear jeans), we have to pay a $1 which goes toward our Foundation. Money isn’t the problem. I just never seem to have a good pair of jeans available to wear! And this morning, that’s just what happened. I woke up thinking that I would just wear jeans, pay the buck and be done with it. Not much thought or effort, etc. But I realized that I didn’t have my “good” jeans ready to wear (I really only have one pair of Gap jeans that I like enough to wear to work). They are not fancy, they just fit really well and don’t have that faded/worn look that probably would not be acceptable to wear to work.

So I went back to the closet for 20 minutes trying to figure out an alternate outfit. Because of this extra time spent on outfit hunting, I didn’t arrive at work until 9:15 AM!!! Yikes! Has this happened to anyone else…where you’re late to work because of a clothes dilemma? What is your go-to brand of jeans? I’m asking because I’d like to invest in a few new pairs.

Anyway, I settled on brown pants and a burnt orange v-neck sweater – very fall-ish, I thought. 

Work was very productive and went by super fast. If it weren’t for the handful of people who kept bugging interrupting me with unnecessary issues, I would have been even more productive. I need to put a sign on my cube that says please save all unnecessary questions or issues until after Nov. 6! But, I’m sure that would appear rude and not very team-oriented.

Lunch happened to be leftovers once more….

10.8 lunch

My favorite sausage-leek pasta dish sprinkled with a few red pepper flakes for extra kick!

Around 6:45 PM, I arrived home to an empty house, which wasn’t so bad because it was quiet and it smelled completely like chicken soup! Scott (who was home sick for most of the day) made homemade chicken noodle soup for himself and kept it warming up on the stove for me. So thoughtful, even when he’s sick. The soup must have helped him feel a little better since he did end up going to class tonight.

10.8 dinner

After my hearty bowl of soup, I indulged in… more cake? No, I did NOT have cake! There was actually one little piece left in the cake dome and I thought about eating it to put it out of it’s lonely misery, but I walked away. Instead, I had a date with Edy’s…

10.8 dessert

I mixed a scoop of Edy’s chocolate with a scoop of Edy’s spumoni. So good! Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE cake! But, a girl can only have cake so many days in a row. It’s really that old saying – too much of a good thing….and so on.

I have a little more work to do tonight, so gotta run. But, I think I can smell a loaf of pumpkin bread in my near future!

Have a great night ladies!

Cake Denial

Hi everyone!

I am so excited! I arrived home today to find a HUGE package of goodies – all food samples for me to try. I won’t reveal what products they are just yet – I need to arrange a really cool picture displaying my new bounty!

Today was a no-run Wednesday, so I promptly got up around 6:30, ate some breakfast, and was at work at 8:30 (yippee, I was early!). Before leaving the house, I had a light breakfast – a super ripe and juicy nectarine…

10.7 breakfast

I just wasn’t very hungry (that happens when I don’t run) but I knew I needed to eat something. 

Work was very productive again today. Thankfully, my projects are beginning to wind down. But, it really is just the calm before the storm, so to speak. Because, in about 3 weeks, everything culminates at our big meeting in San Diego. I will be traveling and working for 7 days straight – working 12-15 hour days. Although some people at the office may not agree, I really do have fun at the meeting. I find all of the hustle and bustle exciting and energizing.

I’m a little worried about my posts for that week though, because of the long days. Also, I’m still not sure how I’m going to take pictures of all my meals – and we usually have GREAT meals/dinners at these meetings – very high class. I promise I will try to sneak in a few good photos!

Around 1:30 PM, I thought it was about time to grab lunch. I called ahead to Go Roma to check out their soup du jour – it was cream of chicken with wild rice. Sold!

10.7 lunch

Oh, this soup is fantastic! But I really felt like I was eating 1,000 calories because it was so rich and creamy. That definitely kept me full for the rest of the day!

Dinner was a superb meal of chicken tacos prepared by Scott The Chef/Computer guy – aka my husband.

10.7 dinner2

He actually made me chicken tacos while he had the steak variety, because I don’t eat beef. good that I actually had two full tacos! As you can see, I made the first one and completely forgot to put lettuce on it – so here  is my taco re-do….

10.7 dinner3

To finish off the meal, I had a little taste of chocolate that someone gave to me at work…

10.7 chocolate

This was a Lake Champlain maple crunch chocolate made in Vermont. Don’t you just love the cool fall design? It’s so Vermont-ish too.

OK, I wasn’t going to mention this, but my conscience got the best of me. After the chocolate, I had another piece of chocolate cake with Breyer’s vanilla bean ice cream. No photo though because I’m in cake denial. Part of me thought that if I did not have a photo of it that there would be no proof that I ate it. I’m sure you’ve all been there!

Ok, enough blabbering for tonight. See you all on Thursday!

Take the Cake….Out of My House!

Evening chicas! I first want to give a shout out and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to all of our fellow female food bloggers who received FoodBuzz Blog Award nominations. Good luck to all the nominees!

Today was such a productive day! Really, I felt like I was flying through project after project and putting out fires along the way. 

This morning, I was on treadmill about 6:30 to run for about 15 minutes before heading outside. It had just rained about 2 hours before so the ground was still wet and the air had that wet Autumn leaf smell that I love. I only ran about 4 miles total – it was all I could do today because I was running late for work.

After my run, I grabbed a simple breakfast…

10.6 breakfast

A high fiber English muffin with all-natural creamy peanut butter.

Somehow, even after waking up at 6 AM I still didn’t get to work until after 9 AM. I really have to streamline my morning routine.

About mid-morning, I became a little hungry and went to my granola bar stash in my drawer. I tried the Market Pantry high fiber peanut butter and oats granola bar.

10.6 snack

I was excited to try this bar because I love “high fiber” foods. But, after one bite, I knew this bar was not for me. I did not like this bar at ALL. It’s hard to even tell you what I didn’t like about it because after just one bite, I grimaced and threw it away. I’m glad I didn’t waste 140 calories on that one!

So, it was on to lunch! I was so hungry by the time I stopped for lunch that I ate it so fast and I didn’t stop to take a photo (oops!). But rest assured, it was the same thing that I had for dinner last night – sausage and pasta with leeks. Nothing like leftovers!

Dinner ended up being more leftovers – turkey chili!

10.6 dinner1

I had it with a size of elbow noodles, topped with white cheddar cheese – yummy!

The chili was pretty filling, but I still went for another piece of chocolate cake to finish off the night…

10.6 dessert

This cake is sooo good! But, I would be extremely relieved if I came home tomorrow and it was all gone. Please take this cake out of the house!

Now, I’m watching reruns of The Office and contemplating whether or not I should do more work. I think not – I see my new Shape and Fitness magazines staring at me just begging to be read!

Take care all and see you tomorrow!

Workplace Yoga!

Hello out there!

I’ve had a great Saturday so far today, although I didn’t make it to yoga class. I’m beginning to think I should just cancel my membership at the gym because I only keep it for yoga classes. Yet, I can’t seem to get my rear end out of bed in time to go! However – good news! My work announced that, starting in November, we will actually have yoga classes brought to us onsite!!! How awesome is that? So, it will be about $60 for 6 classes (one hour per week) and my company with subsidize at least 50% of it. Plus, it will be held during our lunch hour – now if that isn’t motivation to attend class, I don’t know what is!

Instead of yoga, hubby and I went to the mall (seems like we’ve been doing a lot of that lately) to do a little shopping. However, before heading out, I fueled up on another cereal bowl…

10.3 breakfast1

This was a little different than yesterday. I mixed Multi-grain Cheerios, Kashi Go Lean (mostly for the fiber), and the rest of Bear Naked banana nut cereal – extra crunchy goodness!

10.3 breakfast2

Our mall trip was specifically to pick up some last-minute birthday presents for a party we’re going to tomorrow. But, I was also side-tracked at looking at clothes and shoes – such a girl thing, ya know? I was also excited to hear that on Tuesday, Macy’s starts its Clinique bonus time. I’ve been waiting for this because I need to stock up on a few essentials before my big San Diego trip at the end of the month.

For lunch, we opted for Americanized-Thai/Asian food at Big Bowl. This restaurant reminds me of a PF Changs or even a little of Wagamana in England (also in Boston). They serve Thai-Chinese food with an American flair. I’ve had some pretty scary Thai and Chinese food in my day so I stayed away from it for a LONG time. Then, after moving to Chicago a few years ago, I tried Big Bowl and have loved Thai food ever since.

Before ordering our main course, we started with some of the best chicken egg rolls I’ve ever eaten…

10.3 lunch2

If you ever have the opportunity to eat here, you must try these!

Next, my husband and I split the make-your-own stir-fry bar..

10.3 lunch1

Which has all sorts of yummy and locally grown fresh produce – like carrots, snap peas, broccoli, etc, plus standard Asian selections like water chestnuts and baby corn. You basically tell your server what meat you want (we chose the crunchy chicken), the sauce (we ordered spicy kung pao), if you want rice or noodles (we chose brown rice), and then you fill up a big red bowl (hence the name Big Bowl) with all the veggies you can fit in the bowl. You put the bowl, along with your order receipt, at the order station, and a few minutes later, your fully cooked meal comes out.

10.3 lunch3

Hmmm, so yummy! And you really can easily split one order of the stir-fry bar between two people. Sometimes, we even have leftovers!

Now I need to be heads down working for the rest of the afternoon – although it’s going to be tough because I’m really easily distracted right now.

See ya all later!

Pie in the Sky

Hi Girls! Sorry I’ve only been posting in the evening for the past few days. I forgot to mention earlier this week that not only am I crazy busy at work but I am also SICK! I’ve had a bad cough for about 2 weeks and this morning I woke up and my chest hurt so bad I could not even RUN! That really says that I’m sick because I can usually run through just about anything – a headache, a cramp, leg pain, etc. But, when your chest feels like someone is squeezing it to the max, it’s probably time to take a day off. But, being the stubborn Polish girl that I am, I walk for 45 minutes instead. My chest still hurt when I walked, just not as bad.

For breakfast, I made a quick PB sandwich with MaraNatha all-natural creamy PB…

10.1 breakfast

Not fancy, but still adequate, nutritious and portable!

Of course, when I arrived at work, there were still more temptations around every corner. There were THREE coworker birthdays today so the sweets were plentiful! We started with a full table of Panera coffee cakes, followed by sweet breads from Costco. Then, when everyone was pretty full on that, another coworker brought out the PIES…

10.1 pie1

There were 8 Baker’s Square pies in all – I can’t believe someone spent all this money on pies for work! Because I was feeling achy all over I was not easily swayed to have a piece. But, then I saw the holy grail of pies! The banana cream pie – bottom left!

As I mentioned in my anniversary post last weekend, banana cream pie is probably my favorite pie EVER, yet it seems to be the most elusive pie EVER. Whenever I go to Baker’s Square, they always say it’s “out of season” and when I ask them when IS it in season, they say that it varies. Could you be more vague? As a result, whenever I am presented with banana cream pie, I nearly always take a slice. Today, I took a slice but immediately put in the fridge to take home. I didn’t want to spoil a good piece of pie by eating it when I felt crappy. And, I still hadn’t eaten lunch.

And speaking of lunch….it was slim pickins’ today. I was running late as usual this morning and didn’t make anything to take. And, I was too busy to go out for lunch today. Luckily, we had our second staff training session today and I specifically ordered a veggie tray for us to snack on…

10.1 lunch1

I had a bunch of little bell peppers (they are so sweet and yummy!), tomatoes, and carrots with a little veggie dip. I also scoured through the staff fridge and found a TJ’s Greek yogurt I left in there from last week.

10.1 lunch2

I added some of Bear Naked’s new banana nut cereal to the mix as well as a little vanilla pound cake. This was incredible, but probably too much like  dessert to eat for lunch – he he!

I was feeling incredibly achy and feverish later in the afternoon but I stuck it out until 4 PM. I felt a little better once the Tylenol kicked in, but after 4 hours, I felt bad again and took more.

I really didn’t have the energy to make dinner when I arrived home. I just heated up whatever I could find in the fridge, which happened to be leftover tacos…

10.1 dinner

They ended up making a very nice taco salad.

Tomorrow is my day off, but I’m actually headed back into work – or I should say near work. Our CEO is retiring so we are having an all staff retirement party for him at his country club. Free food and drinks? How could I miss that? I just hope I feel well enough to go and to partake in the festivities. Don’t know if I’ll be able to take pictures…could be a very awkward situation if I do.

Anyway, I’m outta here. Gotta rest up tonight so that I can actually run in the AM.

BTW – the pie is still sitting in my fridge at home. I swear it’s mocking me because I don’t feel well enough to eat it.

Night all!

Taking Food Pictures In Odd Company

Hola Chicas! Sorry I’ve been out of pocket all day. I’ve been bogged down at work and couldn’t break away to post. 

Because it’s staying dark later in the morning, I am faced with the problem of needing to run at the same time – around 6:15 AM – but having it be pretty dark when I run. Obviously, this happens every year in the Fall/Winter. So, to accommodate this seasonal change, I run on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes. Then, when it’s just light enough for me to see, I jump off, put on my windbreaker and go outside for the rest of my run. This also helps me ease into treadmill season – late November until the end of February – which I dread every year.

So after my 4-mile indoor/outdoor run this morning, I quickly got ready and grabbed a small bowl of cereal for refueling…

9.29 breakfast

The bowl was a mix of Multigrain Cheerios (3/4 cup) and 1/4 cup of Cascadian Farm dark chocolate almond granola. It was filling, but I wish we would have had a little fruit for me to add. I also had day 29 of my Daily Wellness Shot from Zola. I can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of the challenge – that went by fast!

9.29 Zola

Immediately when I arrived at work, I became so engrossed in my projects that I didn’t eat anything until lunch. I ended up going to lunch with a coworker and my boss. We all walked up to a nearby Italian cafe because it was beautiful outside. I did NOT take pictures of what I ate – how weird would that look if I took pictures of my food with my boss sitting right there! I wonder what excuse I could give in this situation – here are a few good ones..

Top 5 excuses that I can give to my boss for constantly taking pictures of what I eat…

  1. I am taking a photography class that requires me to take artsy photos of my food
  2. I’m coming down with amnesia and want to remember what I ate
  3. If I end up getting food poisoning, I need documentation
  4. My parents like to see what I eat every day
  5. I’ve entered a local “biggest loser” contest and must show proof of what I ate

Question – Have any of you ever run into this situation where you hesitate to take photos of what you eat because of who you are with? What do you do in these situations?

I did have a lovely bowl of tomato basil soup with a dollop of basil pesto on top. It was really rich and creamy – just delicious! 

The rest of the afternoon was spent in meetings and doing more writing. I think I’m getting carpel tunnel from all of the typing. 

Scott is at class, so I made a very easy, no cook dinner..

9.29 dinner1

…a 1/2 salami, ham, and Swiss cheese sandwich topped with Mezzetta hot and sweet peppers, all on double-fiber Brownberry bread. I was surprisingly full after I ate this – partially due to the huge amount of ice cold water I chugged while eating.

Now, I’m enjoying some of my new Yogi tea!!

9.29 yogi1

This tea is awesome!! It has such a yummy and slightly citrusy taste. Since this is my first time drinking it, I’m not sure if it actually “promotes restful sleep”, but I sure hope it does!

9.29 yogi2

I love that this tea has all sorts of organic ingredients, like chamomile, spearmint, and English Lavender (ooh, how European!).

9.29 yogi3

I am enjoying my tea with a bit of homemade blueberry cake – courtesy of my baker-in-law father-in-law.

9.29 dessert1

He really does make some great baked goods, especially around the holidays. And, this blueberry cake was fantastic. Pretty dense and very moist, with just the right amount of blueberries.

9.29 dessert2

I have to finish up a few things for work before I head to bed. So, have a great night everyone!

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Hey Ladies!

It was a very windy morning today – gusts up to 40-50 mph, so I decided to run on the treadmill. I ran a very fast 4 miles – 32 minutes flat!! Yippee! I just wish I could keep up that speed for 10 miles – he he!

Breakfast was a quick bowl of Kashi Go Lean cereal mixed with Cascadian Farm dark chocolate almond granola…

9.28 breakfast

Then, on the way to work, I stopped at a drive thru Starbucks to pick up a warm, but skinny vanilla latte..hmm..

OK, now onto the good stuff!!

Happy Anniversary – I love you Scott!

Eight years ago today Scott and I were married on the North side of Chicago in an old Catholic church. It was a small wedding/reception, attended by less than 90 people, but it was beautiful!


Two days after the wedding, we jetted off to Maui for our 10-day honeymoon in Wailea at the Four Seasons – the best hotel/resort I have ever stayed at!


In 8 years, we’ve traveled all around the US, have cruised to the Caribbean, and have spent time in Europe. So, where are we headed next?


We’re going to Disney World! That’s right, in the Spring, we’re going back to the place where it all started. We met in Disney World in college so the Mouse is quite magical and nostalgic for us. I get sappy just thinking about it!


So, here’s to 8 years of adventures and many more adventures to come!

Food and Football – A Perfect Sunday

Hello Girls! Wow – what a beautiful day it was here! It was about 72 degrees and sunny – just perfect! 

Well, in honor of my 8th wedding anniversary, I thought I’d give you a preview of the anniversary photos for tomorrow’s post….

Cruise 2006 273

This is Scott and I while on a cruise a couple years ago. You might not be able to tell, but we were quite tipsy from all of the wine! Believe it or not, I ran 5 days on our 7 day cruise – even in choppy waters! As for my husband, I don’t think Scott saw the inside of the fitness center at all that week – he he! Ahh..good times! Stay tuned for more pics tomorrow….

Now, onto today…

I was out the door by 7:30 AM to go for a fast 6 mile run – it took me just over 48 minutes – yeah! I love when I have really good runs, they usually put me in a great mood for the rest of the day.

I did have a 1/2 Luna bar just prior to my run which I think helped with my endurance and speed immensely…

9.27 breakfast1

This Luna bar was pretty tasty with a great peanut butter flavor. It only has 3 g of fiber though which is not terribly high for a power bar. After my workout, I was running late to make 9:30 Mass, so I ate the other 1/2 of my Luna bar in the car. I was so glad that I did because Mass ended up being nearly 25 minutes longer than expected. I think I would have passed out if I wouldn’t have eaten ahead of time!

9.27 breakfast2

After church, we headed back home for an hour or so then it was back out to lunch at Go Roma. Between work and home, I eat at this place WAY too much – but it’s so good and convenient – not to mention relatively healthy.

9.27 lunch2

I had the vegetarian panini with spinach, red peppers, tomatoes, onions, and goat cheese. It was quite good, although I stopped eating about 3/4 of the way so I wouldn’t get too full.

The rest of the day consisted of cleaning (outside and inside) and watching the Chicago Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks! Scott was very happy of course.

For dinner, Scott made his awesome turkey tacos with all the fixins…

9.27 dinner1

I only had two soft tacos – full of lettuce, meat, salsa, cheese, and guacamole – and I was pretty full by the end.

Now, I’m off to do a little light reading and then to bed. I have another early and jam-packed Monday planned, that starts with a 5 mile run!

Night all!

Bear Naked Goodies!

Running With Cake Fact: I used to work at Disney World (Magic Kingdom) on the College Program and that’s where I met my husband. Anyone want to guess where I worked?

Hey All!

It’s my day off today as usual and I’ve spent it running errands and cleaning the house! The fun just never ends 🙂

This morning I ran a very relaxing 4 miles. It was a typical “fall” morning, with leaves beginning to fall off the trees and a cool, crisp breeze in the air. I left the house around 7:30 AM which is prime school bus time in my area. I must have seen a half dozen school buses in a matter of 15 minutes.

After my run, I enjoyed a nice, leisurely breakfast. I forgot to mention last night that yesterday, while I was at work, I received a sample of Bear Naked’s new banana nut cereal! Yeah- I love goodies!

9.25 Bear Naked

The cereal is 100 percent all natural and is made with banana chips, oats, dried apples, and walnuts – everything I LOVE! The cereal itself kind of reminded me of Kashi cereal, only with a little more sweetness and not as crunchy. Instead of just eating this as plain cereal, I decided to add it to some Trader Joe’s nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt.

9.25 breakfast1

See it laying on my yogurt – all nice and crispy? Just before I took the plunge, I had a revelation – I should really add peanut butter to this, I thought! And, so I did! I added 1 tbsp of MaraNatha all natural creamy peanut butter right on top.

9.25 breakfast2

Oh my, this was just about perfection! The taste of bananas, chocolate, oats, and the yogurt were fantastic! And the mixture was so thick and creamy – like a little bowl of goopy heaven…

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I washed everything down with Day 25 of Zola’s Daily Wellness shot. Only 5 more days and I will have completed my challenge!

After running a few errands, it was time for a quick lunch. I grilled a homemade turkey-vegetable burger..

9.25 lunch1

A few weeks ago, I took a 1/2 pound of ground turkey and mixed it with a bunch of finely chopped veggies, like carrots, onions, and peppers. I froze 4 very nice size patties from the bunch. Even though I slightly over grilled the burger, it was awesome – so full of flavor.

9.25 lunch2

I paired the burger with a side of all-natural tortilla chips and Frontera salsa – so spicy and yummy!

Tonight, Scott and I are headed out to dinner to start our anniversary weekend celebration! As of September 28, we will have been married for 8 years – I can hardly believe it! Since our anniversary falls on a Monday, we thought we’d celebrate the whole weekend before our big day. 

For those of you who do not know me, Scott and I met while working at Disney World in Orlando on the College Program. He also proposed to me at the Magic Kingdom right when the fireworks were going off – he’s such a Disney romantic. Ahh, so many fun memories!

All right, see you all tonight – or maybe tomorrow morning 😉

Breakfast and Life On the Go…

Hello All! Sorry I’ve been MIA all day. It’s been one crazy day! I started with a 4-mile run. It was so foggy out this morning that by the time I got home my hair and face were drenched as if it was raining!

I was really behind schedule after my run, so I had a breakfast on-the-go, which I hardly ever do. Luckily, some smart person out there was thinking of me and all the other over-booked women out there and invented a portable and healthy breakfast in a bar!

9.24 breakfast1

I had another one of my LUNA bars – this time chocolate raspberry. This bar had a great flavor but it was probably a little too much powerbar for me for breakfast. I really prefer it as a pre-run snack. 

9.24 breakfast2

I was really dragging on my way to work, so I stopped off at Starbucks. No, my old Starbucks did not reopen. I stopped at one of those mini Starbucks inside a grocery store. I was really debating on getting a skinny vanilla latte and a mocha frap….guess what I went with –

9.24 starbucks

Hmmm..sooo goood! I drank some of it right when I arrived at work, but then I had to run to a meeting at 9 AM. I usually don’t take anything but water into meetings, but I ended up being in back-t0-back meetings from 9 AM – 12:30 PM!! Oh my gosh – how do they expect me to get any work done? On a break, I ran back over to my desk and grabbed my mostly melted frap and took it back into the meeting. I’m really glad I did because it kept me alert through all of the meetings.

After the meetings, I ate some leftover stir-fry because I didn’t have time to get out for lunch…

9.24 lunch

The stir fry was good but I could have eaten a LOT more than what I brought.

Oddly enough, by the time I got home from work, I wasn’t really that hungry. Scott was at class again tonight so I just threw together a very quick and simple dinner…

9.24 dinner

A 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with a side of Cape Cod chips and a nectarine – healthy and satisfying…

  • Protein – √
  • Whole Grains – √
  • MUFA – √
  • Fruit – √
  • Fats – √

I probably could have whipped together something a little more exciting if I had more energy. But at least I’ve graduated from cereal!

Ok, time to say goodnight Gracie!