Tag Archives: restaurants

Guilt

I have been trying all day to think of what I would write about. I don’t feel particularly happy or in a good mood. Yesterday was Internet-free day in our house and I felt liberated by the fact that I hardly took any pictures all day . . . of food anyway. I did take plenty of pictures of me, Corey and Callie in the park.

But there is one thing that has been on my mind all day. Corey and I have plans for a date night tonight. Since both of us have the next couple of days off work, it’s kind of nice (and a little luxurious) to have a date night in the middle of the week. We are going to one of our favorite places, Farm Burger. The burgers are made of grass-fed beef and every single ingredient is local and organic. The burgers are the best burgers I have ever had. Ever. I can really tell the difference in taste by eating all natural and local ingredients.

The problem that I have is guilt. All day long I have been feeling guilty for the fact that I will be eating a hamburger and onion rings and I have no idea how many calories are in them. I can’t seem to shake off this guilt or the feeling that I will gain ten pounds from the meal. Logically, I know that’s not possible. I know that it’s still possible for me to lose weight this week despite eating this meal. But I keep thinking about all the ways this meal could hurt me and my efforts to lose weight. I even contemplated restricting my calories for the rest of the day. I won’t. I know that not eating enough will make me want to eat even more tonight.

I am letting my guilt ruin my excitement over eating a wonderful meal and spending time with my husband. How do I get rid of this guilt? I am trying to talk myself out of this guilt, but that is much easier said than done.

It’s probably because my weight loss is progressing so slowly. So slowly that I am afraid to eat anything I like because it may jeopardize my efforts. But I feel the effects of my workouts. I actually have a little bit of definition in my biceps now. I see muscle for the first time in a long time. My abs, triceps, quads and thighs are sore from yesterday’s Jillian Michaels workout. Those are good things. Regardless of what pants size I am currently wearing, I know that I am getting stronger.

I know this post has been a bit of a ramble. I appreciate you guys for hanging in there with me. I feel better just by venting. I love the support that the blogging community provides. :)

And now I am going to end this post on an upbeat note: some pictures of me and my little family at the park yesterday. I love this weather!

Playing Fetch!

Taking a break from playing for some petting time

Date Night

Last night I had a great date night with Corey.

He graciously allowed me to choose the restaurant and I was in the mood for something new (and light). Believe it or not, I have quite a few restaurants bookmarked in my Favorites folder to remind me about them. Does anyone else do that?

Last night we ended up at the 5 seasons brewing company. Their website stated that the chef policy was to use all natural, local, and organic ingredients. I loved that policy! I am always looking for new restaurants that use only local ingredients and they seem to be lacking.

The food did not disappoint. I started with the hummus and homemade toast points.

The hummus was delicious, as were the toast points. The only issue I had was that they only gave a few toast points for a huge portion of hummus.

Look at that waste! The waiter did offer to bring me some more toast points. However, they didn’t come until about ten or fifteen minutes after our food did. By that point, I was too busy eating my main course.

For my main course, I ordered the honey curry grilled chicken sandwich on homemade foccacia bread with sweet potato fries.

Holy vegetables! The sandwich came with roasted red pepper and arugula. I also added some goat cheese and grilled onions.

These vegetables tasted so unbelievably fresh. Usually grilled onions at restaurants are soaked in oil. But I didn’t taste anything but onion.

I also loved the fact that the sandwich was overflowing with veggies. Usually there is a lot of bread and not enough of the good stuff with restaurant sandwiches. I liked that the veggies were taking over my plate. :) Corey had a great time taking lots of pics of me eating my sandwich. Here is one of the least embarrassing ones.

I will definitely go back to this restaurant again. There were lots of other items on the menu that I wanted to try. Next time . . .

Now I am watching the Oscars with my hubby. I have seen every nominee up for Best Picture, except for the Fighter. I have to say that I absolutely loved King’s Speech and True Grit. Those are two of my favorites. The only two movies that don’t really deserve to be nominated (in my opinion) are Social Network and The Kids Are All Right. Both of those movies are pretty good, don’t get me wrong. But are they Oscar worthy? Not so much. But Toy Story 3 . . . there’s a different story. ;)

Sugar Overload

Hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day. :) Mine was pretty great. Corey and I wanted to keep things kind of low-key because of our budget. But who says you can’t have a great day even though you don’t spend a lot of money?

The day started with a trip to Starbucks. I completely forgot that I still had money left on my Starbucks gift card from Christmas! I purchased my new favorite drink: a skinny latte with a shot of white chocolate mocha syrup.

I also bought a piece of their pumpkin bread.

It was a delicious way to start the day. For lunch, I had some leftover buffalo chicken pizza. Corey and I ordered pizza from Mellow Mushroom last night.

I had never tried this pizza place before. This is my new favorite kind of pizza. The crust was so buttery and garlicky. The pizza came with Mozzarella cheese, buffalo chicken, buffalo sauce, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and a little ranch dressing. It was really tasty. Salty, but delicious. It is official: I will eat buffalo sauce on anything.

I worked today and work went by fast. Before I knew it, it was the end of the day. I picked up a tired Callie from doggy daycare and when I arrived home from work, Corey had these post-its all over the house.

Seriously, they were everywhere. He put them all over the television, the mantle, the bathroom . . . he even put one on the toilet. :)

The rest of his gifts to me were food related. He is such a food pusher. He bought me a couple of organic dark chocolate bars from a chocolate shop in Atlanta.

I love these things! He got me a couple of small bars because too much chocolate = a headache. But how could he pass up getting me some kind of chocolate on Valentine’s Day? I ate a couple of small pieces to make sure I wouldn’t get sick.

He also bought me some macaroons from this little French pastry shop near our house.

Every time I have a macaroon, it takes me back to our honeymoon in Paris.

me and Corey in Paris!

These macaroons were so good! He also bought me some white chocolate covered strawberries from the same shop.

Maybe it was because the strawberry was covered in sugar, but it was the best strawberry I have tasted in a long time!

I’m not really any better than Corey. I also am a food pusher. I bought Corey some workout pants and I also bought him Reese’s peanut butter cups in the shape of a heart and a huge box of Milky Ways.

Corey will always eat like a twelve year old boy and there are very few things that I can do to change it. And I don’t try. Corey does eat healthy enough because we do cook fairly healthy on a regular basis. But if he wants a candy bar, who am I to stop him? :)

I desperately needed something fairly healthy to balance out the sugar. Because we were keeping things fairly simple budget-wise, we went to Jason’s Deli for dinner. I have become addicted to this place. I ordered tomato basil soup (duh) and a roast beef on whole grain with organic greens and Italian peppers.

The soup was delicious (as usual). I ate the soup and I saved my sandwich for later. The sugar had left me with not much appetite, but at least I got some veggies in.

Mmm . . . so good I want to lick the bowl!

I did have a couple of the potato chips that came with the sandwich.

As if Corey hadn’t had enough sugar, he had some free soft serve.

This was probably the first time ever that I turned down the free soft serve at Jason’s Deli. I was on sugar overload and I knew that Corey had given me another gift: ingredients to make homemade cupcakes! On the way home, we stopped at Red Box to get a movie to watch as well . .  . a love story in honor of Valentine’s Day. :) The best part was that I had a coupon code for a free rental that was good only for Valentine’s Day.

Corey had gotten a couple of recipes for homemade vanilla cupcakes and homemade caramel frosting. Since I can’t have a lot of chocolate, these cupcakes were perfect because we could both eat them. And it doesn’t hurt that Corey is obsessed with caramel cake. The recipe that we used for the cupcakes can be found here and the recipe for the frosting can be found here.

I have to say that the baking was way more fun than the eating.

Yes, we are using a Christmas themed spatula. That's just how we roll.

Corey and I had great fun baking together and laughing. It was a great way to spend the day. It was nice to spend some quality time together. Of course Corey was laughing because I was so busy taking pictures of everything that I didn’t help with the baking that much. He called me the paparazzi. :) At one point, he actually told me to take a picture of the butter because it was sexy. He is such a goof ball.

Check out that sugar!

The cupcakes were really rich, but good. The frosting was so incredibly decadent. I could actually only eat three quarters of the cupcake.

It also took both of us about half an hour to form these cupcakes in the shape of a heart. We had lots of fun doing that.

Of course we could not leave Callie out. I got the feeling that she was sad because no one was showing her enough love today . . . as if we don’t spoil her all the time anyway. ;) We bought her a little duck and some rawhide that had little hearts on them. They were a big hit!

Corey and I ended the day by watching Going the Distance. It stars Drew Barrymore and it is about a couple in a long distance relationship. It was really funny and a pretty good movie.

Corey and I had a pretty great day. I hope all of you had a great day as well.

Brownie Points

I have the best husband in the world.

My dear husband is out of town and I had a horrible migraine today. I was speaking with Corey on the phone, he asked what he could do for me. I jokingly asked him to FedEx me some tomato soup. Tomato soup is my favorite “sick” food after all. Corey knew this so he arranged for Jason’s Deli to deliver me some! How thoughtful is that??

Their tomato soup is awesome and my husband was so thoughtful to arrange for this delivery. He also ordered me my favorite sandwich, roast beef on whole wheat with Italian peppers, organic greens, and guacamole. Mmm . . . tasty. I’m impressed that he knew what my favorite sandwich was. He said that if he couldn’t take care of me in person, he wanted to find a way to take care of me from afar. He has scored major brownie points for this. ;)

He also bought me a tasty white chocolate macadamia nut cookie.

I ate the entire bowl of soup and my cookie. I decided to save my sandwich for tomorrow.

It is days like this that reminds me why I love my husband so much and why I married him. :)

Another surprise waiting for me when I got home was a package from Amazon.com. I had recently ordered two cookbooks and they finally arrived!

I bought So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Day of the Week by Ellie Krieger and The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook. Yay! I have already seen a couple of recipes in these books that I want to try just by skimming through them. I can’t wait to try some.

I may have been sick, but the day still ended on a high note. :)

Question: What is your favorite “sick” food?

So many movies, so little time

And now . . . here are my meals from yesterday and today. Join the “What I Ate Wednesday” over at Peas and Crayons! And her blog isn’t half bad either. ;)

Yesterday was a great day with my husband, even with my disappointment over getting pancakes instead of waffles. :)

Ever since I saw the list of Oscar nominees for best picture, I have had the urge to see as many of the nominees as possible. That may be because every year I have no idea who to root for since I usually have seen hardly any of the nominees. That’s not surprising since my taste usually falls in the romantic comedy category . . . not exactly Oscar worthy. ;)

Since I have not seen even one of the nominees, I have a lot of catching up to do. So yesterday Corey and I went to see not one, but two movies. We saw 127 hours and Black Swan. They were both pretty good movies. 127 hours made me uncomfortable in certain parts because he was so close to dying. And I had to look away at the infamous arm self-amputation scene. Black Swan was odd and more than a little dark, but still a good movie. I can see why both James Franco and Natalie Portman were nominated. I may be biased because I have had a crush on James Franco ever since he appeared on General Hospital. I told you guys I was a fan of soap operas. :)

In between movies, I went to the mall so I could get a bra fitting at Intimacy. It was kind of a waste of time. I did get an idea of my true size, but the woman didn’t even tell me. I had to look for myself, among all the bras she was bringing into the fitting room. She was mainly just trying to get me to buy something. At $145 a bra, no thank you! I have a budget after all. Even if I did use credit cards (which I don’t), I wouldn’t have put one of those expensive bras on it.

We had lunch at Jason’s Deli. I love that place! It’s one of the precious few sandwich places that I can eat without getting a migraine. No MSG baby! :)

I got a turkey on whole wheat bread with organic greens and roasted pepper hummus. It was pretty good, but I think I like their guacamole better than the hummus. It was such a big sandwich that I saved half to eat for later.

The star of the show though was the tomato basil soup I purchased along with my sandwich. Tomato is my favorite kind of soup, but I don’t usually get it here because I like their Southwestern Chicken Chili so much.

This was hands down the best soup I have ever tasted. It was so creamy and I could taste how fresh the tomatoes were. I was so sad when I was done with my soup.

What is your favorite soup?

The best part of lunch was the free soft serve!

I’m not afraid to say that this one of the reasons why I love this place so much.

Yesterday I actually slept in kind of late and we didn’t eat breakfast until after 10:30. Because of that, our whole eating schedule was thrown off. We had lunch late and then neither of us were in the mood for dinner. I ended up eating a light snack of cheese toast and a piece of chicken sausage around 9:30.

It seemed like the weekend just kind of flew by . . . especially because I worked on Saturday and then had to be back at work today. Argh. And Callie woke up early and started whining so she woke us up earlier than necessary. I don’t know what her issue was but we have a rule that we don’t get up to take her out until the alarm goes off (even if she’s whining). Because of this, she doesn’t whine too early before the alarm because she knows that is the signal to get up. She is such a smart dog!

I started the day with some leftover Gingerbread Walnut Pancakes.

Mmm . . . I love leftovers!

The work day was kind of slow. I had what seemed like a lot of work to do, but no immediate and pressing deadlines for anything. The day passed quickly anyway. For lunch, I had some spinach fettuccine, pasta sauce, and grilled chicken.

I don’t think I will get this pasta again. It tastes just like regular pasta, so the flavor is fine. However, it seems like no matter how long you cook it, it still tastes a little undercooked. Ironically, it seems to be more cooked the next day and it seems to soften a little when you reheat it.

My snacks included a couple of clementines,

a bagel with some Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter,

bagel half times two

and the second pack of Biscoff cookies that my husband brought me from his trip (or should I say the airplane?).

I can’t believe I held onto these for two whole days before eating them. Talk about self-control!

Today was rainy and much colder than the weekend (which was a very warm 70 degrees). But I wanted to do another round of 10K training when I got home. My husband is going out of town (AGAIN) tomorrow so I wanted to go for a jog with him and Callie. It was drizzling most of the time and I had to walk the whole time (instead of jog) because my legs were shaking or something. But we still walked for around 40 minutes and it was nice to relax with Corey and discuss our day. It was truly the best part of my day. :)

Dinner was a simple baked chicken strips and sweet potato fries (fresh, not frozen).

Can you tell that I love orange vegetables? I have eaten a lot of sweet potatoes lately.

Now I am relaxing with my hubby and catching up on some White Collar and Royal Pains. Love those shows. :)

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He’s home!

Today was a good day. Yesterday I felt really crappy. I think it was a combination of lack of sleep, a long day at work, not enough food and of course . . . missing my husband. He has been on a business trip all week and he was due back today.

I had to work (unfortunately) and his flight didn’t get in until after I was already at work. So he stopped by my office for a second or two just because he couldn’t wait to see me. :) And he brought me a present!

Biscoff cookies from the airplane! I love these things. I should try the Biscoff spread that everyone keeps talking about.

To celebrate Corey’s return, we went to our new favorite burger place: Farm Burger.

The beef is 100% grassfed and all of their toppings are locally grown. They are so incredibly delicious. I got a burger with pickles, roasted garlic, arugula, and caramelized onions. Yummy!

Not only do they have the best burgers in Atlanta, but they have the best onion rings in Atlanta as well.

We haven’t been to this place in quite a while, so it was a nice treat.

After I gave my food some time to digest, I did manage to sneak in a quick workout. Since I actually own the Jackie Warner total body workout now (thanks Borders gift card!), I did the 15 minute total body circuit. This was the first time doing this workout because I always did the 40 minute total body workout that was On Demand. While I wouldn’t choose to do the shorter version every single time, this was a nice option for when I don’t have the time (or the inclination) to do a longer workout. And even with just 15 minutes, Jackie Warner still knows how to break a sweat! Now I’m just trying not to feel too guilty because I did 15 minutes instead of 40.

Now I am relaxing with my husband and enjoying some quality time. I’m having a craving for waffles, so I think I’m going to search for (or create) a new recipe. Corey’s home and he always makes me breakfast on Sundays! :)

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend.

Food Processor Lovin’!

Before I talk about today, I want to give a brief mention about yesterday. I didn’t blog, mostly because I didn’t get home from work until nearly 5:00 pm and by then I was so emotionally drained that I just wanted to unplug for a while.

Last night, Corey and I wanted to go out to dinner. We had a gift card for Outback, which could be used at Carrabba’s. And since our last dinner there was so awesome, that’s where we wanted to go. However, I was starving and the wait was way too long. Coincidentally, we had another gift card to Chili’s. We decided to go there. Not a good idea as it turns out.

We started with some chips, salsa, and queso dip. (By the way, I’m sorry about the quality of the photos. The lighting was awful!)

The queso dip was pretty good. Of course, the chips were way too salty. As my husband said, it was like someone had dumped a salt lick on the chips. He wasn’t exaggerating.

For my entrée, I ordered some crispy shrimp tacos. The tacos came with rice and black beans.

The shrimp tacos were not good. They were way too salty and I didn’t like the flavor of the rice. I tried one or two of Corey’s fries and they were also way too salty. Maybe they did that on purpose so people will drink more. Corey usually drowns his food in salt, so if he says that he thought the food was too salty, then that’s saying something. Neither one of us ate very much of our entrees. In fact, we spent the rest of the night trying not to throw up. Worst dinner ever.

Today I was feeling extremely dehydrated (probably from all the salt). I wanted a nice, healthy breakfast in an attempt to recover from last night.

I took one apple and microwaved it for 2 minutes with some cinnamon and Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter. After it was done, I added half a cup of the custom granola that I created online, along with some ricotta cheese. It was so delicious! What a great way to start the day.

The rest of the day was spent with rerun after rerun of New Adventures of the Old Christine. I just discovered reruns of this show on Lifetime. It is so freaking hilarious. I had a nice lunch.

It was a hamburger on a white pita (I was totally out of my multigrain bread) with some Alexia Sweet Potato fries. I love these things! Unlike most frozen items, there are only a couple of ingredients and I can recognize all of them! They are very delicious and perfect when you want something quick.

After lunch, Corey and I went to Whole Foods to stock up on veggies and bread. You know, the staples. I was feeling so drained for some reason when we got back. I had to force myself to go for another session with my 10K training app.

I am so glad that we got dressed and went out. It was truly a beautiful day. It was in the high 40′s and the sun was shining. Just about all of the ice had melted and even most of the snow was gone. I really wanted to go for a run for Callie’s sake. Poor thing has had cabin fever worse than anyone. Even with all that ice, she didn’t understand why we couldn’t go for a walk.

It’s amazing the difference that a couple of days of above freezing temps can do. On Monday, the cemetery looked like this . . .

And today it looked like this.

I didn’t even need a jacket! And to think that exactly one week ago, I went for a run and got a headache because the wind was blowing so hard.

The highlight of the afternoon was watching Julie & Julia.

And best of all . . . I made my very own nut butter! I used my brand new food processor and I used Angela’s recipe for dark chocolate almond butter as a guide.

I started with some raw peanuts.

I melted some white chocolate chips.

And I mixed it all together. Took about 15 minutes to fully transform the peanuts into peanut butter. But when I was done, I had white chocolate peanut butter! Yummy.

It tastes as good as it looks. :)

Now I’m relaxing, eating some dinner, and getting ready for Desperate Housewives.

Dinner was baked chicken strips and sweet potato fries. These sweet potato fries were fresh and roasted with olive oil, salt, paprika, and red pepper. Spicy. The chicken strips were made simply by coating chicken with some melted butter and panko crumbs mixed with a little black pepper and salt. It was a tasty meal. And now I’ve realized that I have eaten a lot of orange veggies today.

Unfortunately, I have to work tomorrow so my weekend has been a bit short. Hope everyone had a great weekend. What did you do this weekend?

A day of rest

I love Sundays. It’s a day of rest, relaxation, and some errands as well. :)

The morning started with a breakfast date with my husband. We went to J. Christopher’s to eat. We had a coupon they had mailed us a while back.

I absolutely love this place! They have the best pancakes ever. Of course, I did not get pancakes today because I was in the mood for something a bit lighter.

I ordered a San Bernadino omelet made of egg whites. It had chicken, avocado. cheese, and pico de gallo. It was a very tasty omelet. Next time, I might order it with less chicken and more avocado, but otherwise it was good. The omelet came with some breakfast potatoes and an English muffin.

Believe it or not, I managed to stop myself from eating the whole meal. I actually stopped eating when I was full. Yay!

 

The remnants of my meal

 

Normally when we eat out, I stuff myself silly until I am so full that I feel like I am going to be sick. This is the second meal that I have eaten out and left the restaurant feeling satisfied, but not stuffed.

After breakfast, we had to go to Whole Foods and the Farmer’s Market for some healthy items that I had run out of. I stocked up on plenty of great items. The Farmer’s Market was insanely packed. They were predicting snow, so of course the entire state was in panic mode.

At the Farmer’s Market, I stoked up on lots of healthy goodies.

I bought a few pears, some fresh pineapple, an avocado, cherry tomatoes, blackberries, cashews, peanuts, a yellow bell pepper, some potatoes, freshly ground sirloin, and some hamburger buns that are out of this world. Quite the haul!

After our trip to the grocery store, we came home and bundled up for a run (with Callie of course). It was 30 degrees outside, but I wanted to get in a day of 10K training since I hadn’t run in a few days.

I think the cold was a bit much though. Instead of a full 46 minute walk/run, we ended up doing about 30 minutes. I started feeling like a migraine was coming on. I think it was all the cold air hitting my face and my head. I tried not to beat myself up for cutting my walk short. Something was better than nothing, right?

Corey loaned me his sunglasses and hat to help warm my face a bit. It did help a little. My eyes were hurting from the sun and the wind, so the sunglasses helped.

When we got home, I wanted a warm and comforting lunch. So I turned to my favorite comfort food: grilled cheese and tomato soup.

The tomato soup was a brand that I bought at Whole Foods. I forget the name, but it’s one of the few that I have found without MSG. And it is good! The grilled cheese was made out of standard organic multigrain bread and some American cheese. It was an excellent lunch in this weather.

After lunch, I still wasn’t feeling well so I slept for a large part of the day while Corey took care of some things around the house. I guess Callie was tired from our walk because she napped right along with me.

My appetite wasn’t much to speak of throughout the afternoon (because of my headache), so I didn’t snack that much. In the afternoon, I was catching up on some blogs and my husband brought me a mug of Gingerbread Spice tea. Mmm . . .I love this tea and contrary to popular belief, it’s not just for Christmas. It was very comforting.

When I did start feeling better (and hungry), I wanted to use my brand new food processor to whip up a snack. A couple of days ago, I noticed a recipe for Raw Honey Cookie Bites on Kat’s blog. They seemed like an easy and healthy snack.

And I was right. They were. I think I may just add a little more honey next time because the mixture seemed a little dry. But they were so good and just the right amount of sweetness. Next time, I may play around with the spices a bit. Maybe I could add some pumpkin pie spice? I can’t wait to whip up another batch for me to take to work. They will be perfect for a portable afternoon snack.

For dinner, Corey cooked a rotierrsie chicken. It was cooking in the oven for a few hours and the smell was rejuvenating my appetite.

With the chicken, we had a baked potato and some roasted green beans.

Well . . . I had the green beans. Corey doesn’t like the unfamiliar and the new, so he still won’t eat them. Poor boy, he is missing out. :)

After dinner, I decided to do a workout. I was feeling better and the mood struck me. So I did the Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack DVD that I bought yesterday.

I love this workout! There are two levels. I started with level 1 and it was very tough, but effective. It is 35 minutes and a mixture of standing and floor work. I was feeling it in my abs by the time I was halfway through it and the workout kept my heart rate up the entire time. I was huffing and puffing from the warm up alone. I don’t like the name of the workout though. I mean, how realistic is it to develop a six pack in six weeks? But the moves will definitely strengthen my core.

Now I am relaxing with my husband before bed. I am so incredibly excited because it is snowing! Here in Georgia, we don’t often get a lot of snow. So the fact that we are expecting 3 to 5 inches overnight is pretty awesome. I can’t wait to play in it tomorrow. :)

Day of Shopping!

On Saturdays, I work. It kind of sucks, I know. But I’m off on Monday so my weekend officially began today!

The morning started with some pancakes. It was a recipe of peanut butter protein pancakes. They consisted of egg whites, oats, and peanut butter. I topped them with some strawberry jelly.

I would share this recipe, but they didn’t turn out quite right. They were actually a little too sweet. I will do some tweaking and then share the recipe when I have it where it needs to be.

Work was busy and the time flew. I didn’t take a picture of my lunch, but it was my new favorite: egg and cheese sandwich. We must get to the Farmer’s Market so I can get some new veggies for lunch and snack.

After work, my lovely husband and I immediately headed out for some shopping. We both had several gift cards from Christmas that were burning holes in our pockets. :)

First up: Borders!

I absolutely love that place and I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve browsed in a bookstore. I bought several items with my gift card that my boss gave me. First item was Operation Beautiful by fellow blogger Caitlin Boyle.

I have been dying to read this book and I actually bought the last copy. Woo-hoo!

I also bought a new workout DVD, Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack.

I have never done this workout, but I have heard good things. I can’t wait to try it out.

In addition to those items, I bought my husband a book . . . cause, you know, I’m that good of a wife. I also bought the other two books of the Hunger Games series: Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

We went to the mall, where Corey bought some new sunglasses.

Glad that’s done. Now he can stop complaining about the fact that he lost his. ;)

But the best purchase of the night was this:

Yes, I got a new blender . . . FINALLY!!! I haven’t made a smoothie in forever, partly because of the weather and partly because my blender can’t handle it. Last time I made a smoothie, my blender started smoking. Literally, smoke was coming out of the base. Thought I was going to catch the house on fire. So I am excited to make green monster smoothies again. But better than that is the food processor that comes with it. I have never owned a food processor before. I am so excited about making my own nut butters and hummus. Does anyone have any good recipes?

Shopping does make us hungry, so we went to Carrabba’s for dinner. Corey’s boss had given him a gift card. The dinner was awesome. It started with some warm bread and olive oil.

I had a few small pieces. But I did tell my husband to take the bread away from me when I thought I had eaten enough. I didn’t trust myself, but I knew that I wanted to stop. So proud of myself for stopping!

I also had an Italian salad. It was delicious and refreshing.

In this salad, there were cherry tomatoes. Believe it or not, I have never, ever tried a cherry tomato. But I did tonight! And they were delicious. I don’t usually like tomatoes, but the cherry tomatoes had a different flavor that I really enjoyed. And maybe it was the combination of the tomato and the Italian salad dressing.

For dinner, I ordered the Chicken Bryan and green beans. Chicken Bryan was chicken topped with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and a lemon basil sauce.

This was the best dish I have eaten in a long time. I don’t know that I’ve ever had goat cheese before, but it had a really nice flavor and was super creamy. The chicken was very moist and the cheese really brought out the flavor of the sauce. I didn’t eat all of my food because I didn’t want to overstuff myself. I stopped at the right point. Another victory! And it was tough too. I knew I was full, but I was so tempted to eat more bread. But then I asked myself: do I really want to eat more food? Answer: no.

Before leaving Carrabba’s, I felt inspired to leave an Operation Beautiful post-it note on the bathroom mirror. What better place, right?

I always feel so great after leaving a note like that.

With all of this shopping, we had to get something for Callie too. Otherwise, she might have felt left out. :) We bought her a big red doggy bed.

I think she liked it.

All of that shopping wore me out so I’m pretty sure I’m hitting the hay soon. But today was a great start to the weekend!

 

10K training and snack bars

I decided that today was the day I would start running again.

I haven’t done any form of running, jogging, or walking since September. First, I had trouble with my knees. Then I had trouble with my migraines which prevented me from getting out there. And by the time I got my migraines back under control . . . it was winter. And very, very cold. But I am determined to do the Peachtree Road Race 10K in July, even if I have to walk it. :)

The day started with my husband making me a lovely breakfast. I love that he cooks me breakfast on Sundays! He made me a sandwich made of multigrain bread, an egg, a couple of slices of bacon, some cheese, and a little hot sauce. Yummy!

After breakfast, Corey and I (and Callie) headed out. A couple of days ago, I downloaded the Couch to 10K app on my iPhone. It’s a 13 week program and day 1 was great. The program gently eases you back into running. Today, the program had me run for 30 seconds and then walk for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I was supposed to do this 9 times, or 41 minutes. 30 seconds may not seem like a long time for running, but it is a way to make sure I don’t overdo it on my first time out!

Today’s weather was perfect too. It was in the mid-40′s and the sun was shining. My running coat kept me from getting too chilly. I didn’t focus on distance, or even speed. I just focused on the wonderful weather and spending some time with my husband.

After the run, I had to get ready for an outing with a friend. Nothing fancy. We just met up at Moe’s for lunch and then saw the movie Tangled (which was awesome, by the way). At Moe’s, I got a grilled chicken rice bowl. It had grilled chicken, rice, pinto beans, cheese, peppers, onions, salsa, and guacamole. It was so tasty and filling!

When I got home, my husband had prepared dinner for me. Yay! We had steak, a baked potato, and corn on the cob. Such a tasty treat and so nice to come home to a nice dinner. :)

After dinner, Corey and I made some Gingerbread Spice cookies. We had purchased pre-made dough at Whole Foods last week and I was in the mood for some sugar!

I did manage to have just one cookie. They were so good, very chewy and moist. I considered it a small victory that I only had one cookie. And this was the only sugar I had all day. Yay for me! :)

The baking did not stop there. It occurred to me that the reason I crave sugar so much is because I don’t have proper snacks to take with me to work. And when I get hungry, sugary snacks are the closest (and easiest) thing to grab. But if I had an easy (and nutritious) snack prepared, then maybe I wouldn’t crave sweets so much.

These bars are perfect. They do have  a little sweetness in them, with the honey. And I used white chocolate peanut butter to satisfy my sugar craving a little bit. They also have plenty of fiber and protein, which are guaranteed to fill me up.

I was really nervous about this recipe. I was crossing my fingers for this one because I just took a bunch of ingredients from different recipes and threw them together. I knew that I wanted something with peanut butter and I also wanted some blueberries for added nutrition.

Blueberry Peanut Butter Bars (makes 6 bars)

1 1/2 c. oats
2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful)
1/4 c. honey
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix honey, peanut butter, and olive oil together in a saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, mix oats, blueberries, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a separate mixing bowl. Once peanut butter mixture has been brought to a boil, mix with the dry ingredients. Press mixture down in a greased 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees until browned, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or so before cutting into bars. These are very soft so they need some refrigeration time to let them cool off. Enjoy!