My Favorite Starbucks is Closing!

Hey everyone! I’m doing much better today, although I am getting sick which is never fun. I’m still stressed over all the work I have to do, but today everything just seems more manageable. 

I started my day with a quick 4-mile run. I didn’t want to push myself too much due to being sick. I felt a little winded during and after running, probably because it’s getting harder for me to breath.

9.10 breakfast

Breakfast was a big yogurt bowl made with a carton of Trader Joe’s vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt, mixed with watermelon chunks and 1/4 of a nectarine. I topped it with the last of my chopped walnuts. I love this creamy, crunchy texture! I also had a shot of Zola’s Daily Wellness. The juice shot claims to help boost your immune system (ie. help you from getting sick). Maybe it just wasn’t strong enough to fight off the bug that I have.

As I headed to work, I heard Starbucks calling my name. I arrived at my usual store and found out that they are closing as of September 13! I was in shock as I walked out of the store holding what could be the last mocha frap I buy from that Starbucks. Boo hoo.

On a more positive note… since it was really the only convenient Starbucks on the way to work, this may be a great opportunity to reduce my Starbucks purchases. I’m sure my husband would be thrilled!

My morning at work was full of meetings, to-do lists, and tons of writing/work. There’s a seminar being held onsite at our office this week so there are twice as many people as normal stuffed into the staff lounge, to which I’m pretty annoyed. Luckily a coworker offered to pick up Potbelly for everyone and I quickly jumped at the offer!

9.10 lunch2

I enjoyed a super tangy turkey and provolone sandwich on whole-grain – skinny, with tomatoes, lettuce, brown mustard, extra pickles, and HOT peppers. Oh my, I haven’t had Potbelly in sooo long and it tasted awesome! I really had to stop myself from NOT inhaling this. And, it was all under 300 calories – bonus.

9.10 lunch1

Now that my tummy is pleasingly satisfied, I’m am back to work once more. I have a conference call in a few minutes, then it’s the first of two business reports that I have to draft. The fun never ends around here!

Have a great afternoon everyone!

A Two Dessert Kind of Night…

Ok, gang. I’ve had a pretty tiring day as I’m sure many of you have had. On a brighter note, I just booked my trip to San Diego for October! Although the trip is for work, I’m hoping to see a few of the sites, visit with my brother and his family, and try pinkberry frozen yogurt for the FIRST time. It’s the little things that excite me, can’t you tell!


It’s probably good that there are no pinkberry stores in Illinois or else I might be addicted to froyo by now!  If you have a favorite pinkberry flavor combo, let me know!

Before I go to San Diego, I have to finish ALL of my big projects related to the San Diego trip – ha! So, this afternoon, I went from project to project, working, editing, reworking, etc. I seriously have not had this much work to do since I was in grad school, but at least I’m getting paid for it this time. 

By the time I arrived home, it was 6:30 PM and I was exhausted. Thankfully, my dear hubby had dinner nearly ready….

9.9 dinner

He grilled what he calls rustic chicken, with rosemary and other spices. He also made mashed red potatoes and fresh green beans. Ahh, just what I needed – a home-cooked meal.

My long, frustrating day quickly became a two dessert night…

9.9 desssert

I had a small piece of the apple cake I made yesterday and a brownie leftover from Sunday. I am so glad this day is almost over so that I start fresh tomorrow.

I’m off to bed. Good night all!

Hump Day Stress

Hello all and Happy Hump Day! I am having a very stressful day (and a BAD hair day which just adds to the fun). So please excuse me if I’m not my typical cheerful self. Despite being my off day for running, I woke up early to try to get a jump start on the day and that I did. 

Before I left, I ate a quick and healthy breakfast ….

9.9 breakfast2

A super juicy nectarine! They’ve been so good this season – I don’t think I’ve had a bad one yet. I also had a piece of Brownberry Double Fiber bread with a tbsp of MaraNatha all-natural creamy peanut butter.

9.9 breakfast1

For quite a while, this was my go-to breakfast for the work week and on the weekends. It’s simple but healthy because it has tons of fiber, protein, and MUFA! Throw a little fruit and a Daily Wellness shot and you’re all set.

I arrived at work just before 8:30 without making any detours (although Starbuck’s was calling my name). I am in charge of so many projects right now that all seem to have the same deadline – how the hell did that happen?? But, I have to keep reminding myself that many people out there have lost their jobs, so I should just be thankful that I still have one in this economy. 

In keeping with my simple but healthy theme, I ate a 1/2 ham and salami sandwich for lunch, with a side of sweet and crunchy carrots…

9.9 lunch

Not very fun, I know, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Now, I’m thinking about going to Starbuck’s. And, it’s not that I need the caffeine, it’s more that I need a pick-me-up. I hate that I rely on Starbuck’s to put me in a better mood. But I guess it’s less expensive than going on a shopping spree!

Have to get back to work. Have a great afternoon everyone.

Rainy Day Blues…

Hey everyone! I am so glad that today was not my day to run because it was pouring down rain when I woke up. Or I should say, when I got out of bed. I actually woke up around 3:30 AM and could not go back to sleep because of the noisy rain and my racing thoughts. If anyone has any recommendations on how to fall back to sleep during these situations (other than my husband’s obvious suggestion), I’d love to hear them.

When I finally got out of bed at 6 AM, I made a cheerful and eye-opening breakfast…

8.26 breakfast1

I mixed 1 carton of Trader Joe’s nonfat Greek Yogurt – vanilla flavor – with 2 chopped strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, and 2 tbsp walnuts. After that, I was good to go until lunch! It’s amazing how Greek yogurt can fill you up – and the added MUFA from the walnuts doesn’t hurt either.

8.26 breakfast2

After a series of meetings, I was finally able to get a big chunk of work done – reading, writing, reviewing, etc. I hope I can be as productive this afternoon, although I’m feeling the itch to bolt out of here early.

Lunch was nearly identical to yesterday…

8.26 lunch2

Low-fat salami and ham with a piece of Swiss cheese on Brownberry Double Fiber bread. Only today, I had it with carrots instead of tomatoes.

8.26 lunch1

It’s someone’s 30th birthday in the office today and she brought a bunch of bakery treats. I am so wanting a piece of the chocolate coffee cake and the sprinkled butter cookies!

OK, back to work for me!

All work and no vacation

I don’t know what’s going on with me this week. I just couldn’t get my act together this morning. I even woke up an extra 15 minutes early to start my run earlier. Yet, I still didn’t get to work until 9:15 AM! I’m usually there by 8:30, so it’s really unlike me to arrive so late. I know what it is – it’s the end of summer and I still haven’t taken a real vacation! I really can’t take one though because this is my busiest season. But, all work and no vacation makes Jen a very cranky girl.

Enough complaining already. Because I was running so incredibly late, I had to make a quickie breakfast….

8.19 breakfast1

A cereal mix of Cheerios and Kashi Go Lean Crunch, topped with about 1 tsp of sliced almonds (for added MUFA). You just can’t beat that huge CRUNCH in the morning! Always wakes me up, that’s for sure.

8.19 breakfast2

I went outside to enjoy my breakfast on my usual front porch breakfast table and got a rude wake-up call. There was a horrible natural gas smell all over the area. I couldn’t smell it in the house thank goodness, but it was really thick around the house. I should really call someone about that….

Today, my boss is coming back to the office after being gone for about 10 days. So, I guess that means I really have to start working – ha! Who am I kidding, I’ve been working nonstop (hence the need for a vacation.)

Now that I’m at work and it’s nearly 9:30 AM, I really need to buckle down and get a few things done. I really want to go to Whole Foods at lunch, but have a long list of things I need to accomplish before I can head out the door. 

Enjoy your day!

Relieve Stress With Lemons and Lavender

I woke up extra early today for my Monday morning run. Come to find out, there was a huge thunderstorm passing through my area. So I opted NOT to run outside and hopped back into bed. NOT running on days I had planned on running tends to stress me out a little. So, although I went back to bed, I didn’t go to sleep. I just laid there thinking about not running and all of the work-related projects I have yet to accomplish before our big meeting at the end of the year. All of these racing thoughts can really stress a girl out. Maybe I need some lemons…


Why, you ask? Well, a new study shows that certain scents, like lemon, mango, and lavender, can actually help boost your mood and help reduce stress. The way I’m feeling right now, I think I need to combine all three scents to get the maximum relaxation effect – he he!

Well, I don’t have lemons, mango, or lavender in the house at the moment. So, rather than just laying there being stressed, I decided to get up and start getting ready for work. Then, I had a little breakfast..


Breakfast was a nice bowl of mixed cereal, 1/2 Cheerios and 1/2 Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Then, I headed out the door to work, bypassing Starbucks. Instead, when I arrived at the office I made a huge cup of Tazo Awake Tea. I probably should have had chamomile to calm my nerves, but Awake helps me start my day with a clear head.

Now, I need to be heads down for the rest of the day – which, ironically, ends at 2:30 PM for me because I have a doctor’s appointment – and not for a stress test!

By the way, if you have a favorite, all-natural stress reduction tip, please give me a shout!