Monday, October 4, 2010

Baseball + Margaritas + Abby = the Perfect Day!

I seem to be rocking a once a week posting schedule at the moment. Things should pick up around here now that I'm completely moved and unpacked. Did I mention that I was in the midst of a move? I didn't move far, but any move is enough to keep your time fully occupied for weeks at a time. I have way too much junk it seems.

My move was pretty much complete by the end of last week which should have meant relaxation, but I spent my weekend on the go again and didn't have a lot of downtime. On Saturday I attended my very first game at the Minnesota Twin's new baseball stadium, Target Field. It's so pretty! Our seats had a fabulous view of the Minneapolis skyline.

I can't believe it took me all summer to make it to a game. Baseball is my one true sporting love. I was also BEYOND excited to spend the day with my BFF Abby.

Abby lives entirely too far away from me so we don't get to hang out as often as we'd like, but we definitely make up for it every time we manage to coordinate schedules because we always have a killer time together. I wouldn't have wanted to experience my first game at Target Field with anyone but her.

Any other baseball fans out there? More importantly, any other Twins fans out there? I'm a diehard hometown team supporter although I also have a soft spot for the White Soxs.

Aside from the fabulous company, great weather, beautiful new stadium, and ridiculously talented baseball team that I got to enjoy on Saturday, my other favorite part of the day was when I discovered that Target Field now sells margaritas. That's right, my friends. Margaritas. At a baseball game. Could my day have gotten any better?!

Since I live in Minnesota, you would assume that I'm acclimated to the insane weather spectrum that I'm forced to endure every year, but that would be an incorrect assumption. Cold weather and I are NOT friends. I much prefer the long hot sunny days of summer and would happily skip most of the weather between October and March of each year. With that said, I will, however, admit that I've been loving fall lately. The weather hasn't taken a turn for the really chilly yet and I'm a huge fan of all that stereotypically fall-esque stuff. I like to drink pumpkin flavored coffee drinks and eat pumpkin flavored things (I'm sensing a theme here...). I also like bundling up in layers and getting to sleep under a mound of blankets at night. Not to mention nothing makes me happier than being able to wear all of my boots and sweaters again. I've missed you, fall clothes! I'm hoping that my newfound enthusiasm for fall will continue into the winter. Keep those fingers crossed, people.

My food this weekend was pretty typical, but there were a few highlights.

Friday night featured a thai peanut noodle bowl.

It was muy delicioso!

Sunday's breakfast however won the prize for most delicious food this weekend. I made these and OMG! SO GOOD! Seriously, try these pumpkin breakfast cakes. They were moist and flavorful and pretty much perfect. Plus I love that they were individual sized. Perfect for portion control, y'all.

I have a feeling that these little babies are going to be making frequent appearances on my dinner table. I may or may not be drooling over them even as I type. Yum!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Shawty got low

Happy Monday everyone!

I got to work this morning and checked my email to see that I had TWO comments on my blog. TWO! I'm not even kidding when I say that I squealed out loud before bouncing around in my office chair in celebration. And as if that wasn't exciting enough all on its own, I also discovered that I have a blog follower. Double yay! I want to thank both of my commenters and my lone follower for completely making my morning.

These past few weeks have been hectic (hence the lack of updates), but I think things are finally going to start slowing down soon. I had a nasty cold for over a week and literally subsisted on oatmeal and soup. Delicious, but not very interesting picture-wise.

Aside from feeling deathly ill (can you tell that I'm not a very good patient?), I've had a great few weeks and some AH-MAZING weekends. I've spent two of the last three weekends with my cousins Kayla and Tiffany and with Kayla's boyfriend Cory. The rest of the family refers to our little foursome as "Cory and his harem." It's a good thing that Kayla doesn't mind sharing her boyfriend with us.

Kayla and Tiff
Cory and me
Haha, I love the last picture! Cory and I always end up looking like a happy little faux-couple when we take pictures together.

On Saturday night Tiff and I decided that it was our turn to cook dinner since Kayla and Cory were letting us crash at their house for the weekend again.

Looks good, right? Chicken broccoli alfredo with garlic bread AND cheesy garlic bread. Yum!

I won't recap my time with them because it would make this post embarrassingly long, but rest assured, there was a lot of ridiculousness.

And dancing. There's always dancing.

But perhaps the most exciting thing I've done in the past few weeks was a road trip to a little place called WHOLE FOODS!!

Yes, that's right. I've FINALLY been to a Whole Foods. And it was just as magical as I thought it would be.  I didn't buy much, but just exploring the aisles was exciting enough to keep me enthralled for over an hour. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who geeks over Whole Foods. Whole Foods is like a foreign land to me, all exotic items and undiscovered tasty delights. Love it! I bought a bag of medjool dates and just about died. So good!

I shouldn't have brought up Whole Foods because now I'm going to spend the rest of the morning daydreaming about going back. Bye-bye work productivity.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I've finally found a Greek lover to call my own.

Happy Tuesday! Sorry I've been such a lazy blogger lately, I was sick all weekend so most of my meals (if I ate at all) looked a lot like this.

And occasionally like this.

It was exciting stuff, y'all. Thank goodness I like oatmeal because I pretty much subsisted on it for the last week or so. I didn't dare eat much of anything else because my stomach was on the verge of revolt.

I went grocery shopping yesterday to pick up some sundries for the coming week. I ended up buying all sorts of new-to-me groceries.

Almost this entire bunch of goodies is comprised of items that I've never tried before. I'm totally late to the party, but I bought some Ezekiel bread (Verdict: YUM! I'm totally wishing I would have bought a loaf of this much earlier.). I also snagged a bag of dates and a bag of figs along with some coconut water and Chobani yogurt. A can of Amy's soup and a few easy-to-make Indian dinners rounded out my adventurous purchases. I haven't had a chance to try everything yet, but so far I've fallen completely in love with Ezekiel bread and with the dates. I've avoided dates for years because I thought they looked like gargantuan raisins (not a flattering comparison in my book) and I firmly believed that they'd taste as gross as they look. However, I'm willing to stand up and admit that I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong. My first taste of the date was kind of blah, I didn’t think it was anything too special, but then suddenly, like magic, flavors exploded and it was like a party in my mouth!

Breakfast this morning was more of the same.

Beneath the copious amounts of fruit lies a mixture of oatmeal, almond milk, and chia seeds. It was delish. I could happily eat this exact same breakfast every day without getting sick of it.
My stomach is still a little bit on the fritz so I've been erring on the side of caution when it comes to my food. I kept lunch pretty simple. Some bell peppers, a peach Chobani yogurt, and two hard boiled egg whites. Calorie wise this was a pretty light meal, but considering I barely ate all weekend, I thought it was best to ease back into eating normally.
I've been loving bell peppers lately. I never used to like them, but they're fast becoming one of my favorite go to snacks. As for the Chobani yogurt, it was good. Surprisingly good actually. My relationship with Greek yogurt has been contentious at best. If I find the taste even remotely tolerable, I chalk it up as a win. The peach Chobani, however, was sort of delicious. Creamy, just the right amount of sweet, and not too thick. Is it possible that I've finally found a Greek yogurt worthy of my love?! Keep those fingers crossed, people!
I have an appointment tomorrow and my stomach is in absolute knots over it. I'm so nervous! I don't want to go into details at the moment since I'm not sure if anything is actually going to come of it, but rest assured, if things happen the way I want them too you will definitely be hearing about the whole situation in the future. Sorry to be so vague about everything, it probably would have been best to not bring it up in the first place, but I needed to get rid of some of my anxiety by spilling it out here. It's not really in my nature to be so circumspect, I'm definitely an open door kind of girl, but somehow I've managed to keep this information mostly under wraps. I'm equal parts excited and anxious about the appointment tomorrow, I'll definitely let you know whether the outcome is good or bad although I'm not sure how deep into detail I'll go.
My face has been disgustingly dry lately. Anyone have a favorite moisturizer that they'd like to recommend to me? Seriously, I'd welcome any and all suggestions. I've had a devilishly hard time finding a moisturizer that actually moisturizes my face without making me break out. My skin never used to be this sensitive so I'm kind of at a loss as to how to deal with it.  
So even though it feels kind of weird to write a blog and not have anyone read it, I'm almost glad that so far my readership number is zero. My blog is definitely still in its beginning stages and there are some serious wrinkles that need to be ironed out. With that said, I will admit that I do hope that someday I won't be talking just to myself.
My plan for the night is to bike ride with my mom, fit in a rockin' run, and then force myself to do at least a quick strength training sesh. Confession time. Strength training and I don't really get along. I find the entire process to be yawn-inducingly dull. It fails to entertain me which means that my embarrassingly short attention span is wandering after one set of exercise thus I have a hard time convincing myself to do it on a regular basis. As much as I don't like strength training, I'm determined to make it a regular part of my exercise routine. I'm hoping that after I get in the groove of strength training regularly, I'll eventually start to look forward to it instead of dreading it. After all I used to hate running and now it's my favorite form of cardio. Lately I've been inspired by a lot of my favorite bloggers who love to strength train so I'm hoping that their inspiration will provide me with the kick in the pants that I need. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weekend Recap

Happy Wednesday everyone! My work week is officially halfway over and I couldn't be more glad. I am so ready for a long weekend. God bless Labor Day.

I've been a blogging slacker again. I felt slightly sick for most of last week so my food centered around mostly bland combinations. It definitely wasn't anything worthy of a blog post. Plus I was in the twin cities area for the entire weekend hanging out with my family and didn't bother to bring my laptop along with me.

Our impromtu family reunion was the result of my cousin John's marching band playing in the parade at the State Fair. My family will latch onto any excuse for a shindig. I'm pretty sure our family motto is "The family that plays together, stays together!"

As you can see, this girl loves an adventure. Conquering the Minnesota State Fair definitely counts as an adventure in my book.

My cousin Tiffany was equally excited for the fair!

We even bought new gaudy shades to rock at the fair. We're cool like that.

Most of the day was spent with these adorable cuties...

Anyone who's been to the MN State Fair (or probably any fair) knows that it's really all about the food. Well that and the free stuff. In years past I might have eaten cheese curds, corn dogs, cheesecake on a stick, and who knows what else. This year, however, I was on a mission to keep things a tad healthier. Before the fair I filled up on a Panera bagel with cream cheese. Yum! Have I mentioned what a Panera freak I am yet? The closest Panera to me is over an hour away so it's definitely not something I get to enjoy on a regular basis. I stocked my purse with almonds and a Luna bar to eat at the fair so my snacking was infinitely healthier than in previous years.

After about seven hours of wandering the fair, Tiff and I got bored so we decided to take our adventurous selves elsewhere. We informed the rest of the family that we were heading to the nearest Barnes and Noble and requested that they pick us up on their way home.

My only purchase at the B&N was an Ani Phyo raw cookbook that I've been coveting. I'm excited to try out a few of the recipes!

After a long day at the fair and another hour or so of B&N browsing, Tiff and I were in desperate need of libations. Yes, that's right, I can stay strong in the face of unhealthy, fried fair foods but I'm helpless before a margarita.

And yes, it was DE-lightful! I don't feel even an ounce of guilt over drinking the whole thing even though I'm mentally cringing at the amount of calories.

Of course, the margarita calories paled in front of the calories in these babies.

It was my aunt's birthday on Sunday so Tiff and I went on a mini baking spree and whipped up a few white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and fruit pizza. Fruit pizza is a thing of dreams, my friends. SO GOOD! Fruit pizza is right up there with grilled cheese as my favorite food. Haha, can you tell I have the taste buds of a four year old?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Did you know The Passion was a big hit in Italy?

Oops! I was not a very dutiful blogger over the weekend. My only excuse is that it's summer. Minnesota summers are fleeting and I try to enjoy the warm weather as much as possible. The thought of winter and snow is enough to make me want to go into hibernation. I'm definitely a summer baby. I like the heat, days spent on the lake, and living in shorts and a tank top. This chick was meant for warmer climates.

Aside from being a blogging slacker, I was also a slacker when it came to documenting my eats. I only took sporadic photos because I mostly ate the same few things all weekend long.

There were a couple of these...

The picture doesn't do the pretty pink color of this smoothie justice. It was delish too!

I ate a lot of this. My mom made the salad for a potluck and sent me home with a big bowl of leftovers. Yum! Thanks mom!

I also had one of these for at least two of my meals this weekend.

A margherita pita pizza! Double yum!

After my last successful attempt at eating greek yogurt (and actually enjoying it), I gave this bad boy a whirl.

Verdict: Yuck! Apparently plain greek yogurt is still a taste that my tastebuds haven't grown accustomed to. Even the copious blueberries weren't enough to make it palatable.

I was bored this weekend and wanted to try a new twist on my breakfast standby so I made this.

I forgot to take a photo until after I'd mauled it throughout the weekend. Oops again! I'm not completely in love with the recipe yet (I stuck to the basic recipe and they were a little bland) but I think with a little creativity they could be uber fantastic. I left out the chocolate chips from the original recipe because this chick is not a chocolate fan. I feel like my girl membership should be revoked every single time I admit that chocolate just doesn't do it for me.

This morning's version was getting pretty close to being delicious, I sliced up a banana and smotheredsprinkled brown sugar on top.

The most exciting thing about my weekend was my baby brother's birthday. He turned 20! I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that my baby brother isn't so little anymore.

You can't see it in the photo, but my baby brother isn't such a baby. He's over 6 feet tall and totally dwarfs my 5'7" height. I have a feeling that he's always going to be my adorkable baby brother no matter how tall or old he gets. Sorry E!

Let's take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?

From the very beginning Ethan recognized that his sister was to be respected and feared.

I, in turn, recognized that my little brother needed to be loved (in spite of the mullet my mother forced on him) and protected (because of the mullet my mother forced on him).

Eventually mom stopped making the poor kid have a mullet... Thank goodness...

Sometimes E likes to stare pensively into the distance. I'm sure he's thinking something highly intelligent.

Or he was just wishing that he could pose like this. *points down*

Embarrassing facial expressions aside (a trait that runs in the family), Ethan is pretty much the best little brother I could ask for. He embraces my natural inclination toward enthusiastic insanity and doesn't bat an eyelash when I suddenly burst into song in the middle of Target. Both are important traits to have if you're going to be my brother. If he had a nickel for every time I've sang the theme song to "Fame" in public, he'd be a rich man. He's also adorkably nerdy, super smart, a little bit lazy, accidentally hilarious, and all around awesome. Happy Birthday E! I love you to bits!

The fam went out for lunch at D Michael B's to celebrate E's birthday and I had my old standby. A panini with veggies and dip on the side.

I also snitched a few bites off of E's plate. Tortellini?! Yes please!

Aside from the birthday fun on Sunday, I spent most of my weekend hanging out with this furball.

This is Colby and his "girlfriend" Sadie. Colby hasn't realized that Sadie is three times his size yet.

Lunch today was a huge salad. I was craving veggies like mad. As usual I had to add some hardboiled egg whites to my salad. Most of the white stuff is chopped up egg whites, but there is a little feta cheese on there as well.

I filled up my gas tank over my lunch hour and I caved to buying an iced coffee from the gas station. Am I the only one who has a weakness for gas station iced coffee? It's a very peculiar love, I know. The coffee was incredibly sweet so I only drank about a third before I ditched the rest of it. I didn't want to spend the rest of my afternoon at work with a sugar high.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually excited to start my half-marathon training once the weather takes a turn for the arctic chill that Minnesota calls winter. I like having a goal to work toward. Plus, let's face it, being able to run a half-marathon is pretty b.a. I've always had a serious case of runner's envy. In the back of my mind I always had this desire to become a "runner" but for whatever reason it seemed like such an insurmountable goal. Over the years I've tried to start running time and time again, but after making what seemed like no progress I kept giving up. I attempted to start running (for what felt like the millionth time) earlier this year and started to repeat the same pattern. I spent a few months running pretty consistently, but my progress seemed nominal at best. I stopped running for a month because I was so frustrated with it, but one day my mom goaded me into hopping on the treadmill while I waited for her to be ready for our bike ride. When I had been running previously, I'd been doing intervals of running and walking. The longest run interval I'd ever done was 7 minutes (which made me feel like I was going to die) so I set a goal of running five minutes straight and powered up the old treadmill. Five minutes passed by without me breaking a leg and/or dropping dead so I decided to run for another minute. Then I ran another. Then another. Somehow I managed to run over a mile without stopping. As a point of reference I would like to say that I had NEVER ran a mile straight in my entire life before that point. I literally screamed when I realized that I'd ran an entire mile without stopping. I then promptly burst into excited tears. The pure joy of that accomplishment jumpstarted my motivation and I haven't quit running since. I've fallen in love with the way running makes me feel. Strong. Accomplished. Invincible. Fantastic.