Beginner Wine Snobs

Mornin’ mornin’ 🙂 How we doin this fine Thursday morning?

I’m a little slow moving…

Last night after training a client, the husband and I made a quick dinner: PIZZA!!

Right after I got AB (short for Alton Brown…my fave) for Christmas, I made homemade pizza often.

 

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Then the excitement wore off, and I haven’t made it in about a year. Until last night:

 

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I used Kath’s (Matt’s) whole wheat pizza dough recipe, and for the sauce, I through together what I had (next time I’ll write it down, because it was goooo-ooood!)

 

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Another rave. If you haven’t tried Matt’s dough before, now’s the time, my friends. I actually made both the sauce and the dough the night before while I was making that night’s dinner. That way, all I had to do was have the husband take it out of the fridge an hour before baking, and preheat the oven.

 

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The results did not disappoint.

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My side had goat cheese + a little mozz + the sauce. Phenomenol!! Best homemade pizza I’ve ever made.

We needed a quick dinner because we were going out – on a school night!

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I love going out during the week:D Kinda breaks it up I think. We headed to Swingers, a local All-Seasons Entertainment club for a wine class!

 

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Oh what a fun class this was 😀 Don’t be fooled, this was really beginners wine class, with the advanced wine packet. The only way I could describe a wine this class was “fruity, dry, smooth, crisp, buttery, or…winey” LOL

 

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Throughout the night, we sampled five different wines – two whites and three reds – and learned a TON about wine. (How I woke up and went on my run this morning I’m not sure.)

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The merlot was actually my favorite!! Did you know wineries with merlot grapes actually went out of business after the movie Sideways came out? “If anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving!” Merlot gets a bad rep!

The instructor was awesome, too. Energetic, Entertaining, and Educated. The threee E’s 🙂 He was pretty funny too – and totally mocked wine snobs haha

 

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Even though it was all ready past our bedtime when the class ended, we couldn’t resist heading to the restaurant next door for a little dessert 😉

 

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We almost, almost, ordered some champagne OR merlot, which apparently both go well with this kind of dessert…dahhhhling ;)    

But this was enough.

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What a delicious night!

Soon I plan on putting together a post about what I learned in the class. And I really wish I could have interviewed Jason, the instructor. He has a totally awesome story about how he got to where he is now that I just know the blog world would appreciate:)

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Well I’m off to go work, work, work! Have a lovely day, everyone!!! 😀

Have you ever been to a wine class or a wine tasting where you learned about wine?

What’s your favorite type of wine? I gotta admit, in college it was boxed Franzia, baby. But it’s currently a tie between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

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One Last Shebang

Hey bloggy people! How ya doin?

I’m POOPED. I’m usually not this tired on Mondays, but I just had a 14 hour day. Combine that with crap sleep the past two nights and you get one tired Paige.

Yesterday my mom, dad, brother, and SIL came over to celebrate my birthday. I had celebrated with everyone else except family!

 

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Family portrait! (I took the picture:))

They came over around 5:00 and we had a few drinks and caught up. Well, I had water, thankyouverymuch.

Not before long, we headed out and were on our way to one of our favorite places ever…Lucca’s!! I’ve blogged about Lucca’s before, but one thing I’ll say: best. pizza. ever. Seriously.

So good I forgot to snap a picture:

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That’s what’s left of the veggie pizza my mom and I shared. We both had a little under half of the medium veggie + extra tomatoes pizza. What I love about Lucca’s pizza is a. the CRUST and b. it’s not overly greasy. It’s the worst when a pizza just has a film of grease over it. Bleh.

We also got some spinach and artichoke dip – the chips are actually piece of fried pizza dough! Amazingly good.

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And while most everyone else had beer, I had water:

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I just can’t do two nights in a row!

So good. So fun.

Then we all headed back to our house for some BIRTHDAY CAKE!!

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IMG_6107 It was good, but didn’t have enough chocolate. I kid 😉 It was AMAZING!

 

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Nomtastic!        

We cut everyone a “small” piece, but seriously, no matter how this cake was sliced, no piece could be considered “small:”

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Small for a bigfoot!

Shortly after they all headed home, and Shane and I were left to relax and enjoy the rest of our night. AKA watch two episodes of 24 and then go to bed leaving me to do nothing but have nightmares of someone gutting me. Note to self: do NOT watch 24 directly before passing out.

This morning I got out of bed and got ready to head to the gym for an easy 4.5 miles. I usually take Monday’s as my rest day, but I decided to go ahead and go today since I had quite the indulgent weekend. Gotta have that balance! However, I probably should have taken the extra sleep. I had a few clients to train directly after work (including my first male client!) and now I am beat. In fact, I feel a tickle in the back of my throat that might be more than just tiredness. I REALLY hope I’m not catching something…Urgh.

Anyway, this is the last of the birthday posts! Normal posting (normal?) to resume tomorrow 😀

I hope you all had a fabulous Monday and an even better Tuesday!!!

 

What’s your favorite cake flavor? We have a cake-baker here in town that has the MOST amazing Butter Pecan cake EVER. Shane and I had it served at our homecoming wedding reception. Otherwise, chocolate all the way 😀

Natural Wellness: Celestial Seasonings Giveaway

Hiya!

I just had the best dessert/dinner ever!

It was a combination of Ezekiel Golden Flax granola, my homemade granola, and some Kashi Heart 2 Heart with SO Delicious Coconut Milk.

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Trriiiifecta!!

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Delish, delish.

Has your week started off on the right foot? Mine wasn’t too shabby! I got to sleep in today because it’s Monday! I take Monday’s as my rest days, because I like to ease on into the work week. I sleep in a couple hours later than usual on Saturday and Sunday, so I like to gradually introduce myself into earlier work week wake up times by starting my early morning workouts on Tuesday. Works out best for me!

What day does your rest day typically fall on? Or do you just go completely by how your body feels?

Natural Cures – Celestial Seasonings Giveaway!

Celestial Seasonings recently offered to send me some of their “natural wellness” teas to sample. And since I’m all about trying to cure/prevent illness naturally, I said, “of course!” I’m a huge tea drinker anyway and Celestial Seasonings carries my favorite flavors 🙂

They sent me five of their wellness teas:

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Echinacea Complete Care with Vitamin C and zinc to promote natural defenses, Detox AM with milk thistle for natural cleansing, Sleepy Time Throat Tamer with licorice root and chamomile, and two of the natural antioxidant Green Tea flavors.

And a bonus prize!

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I’ve never tried Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, so I was super stoked to try it. Now I know why there’s so much hype. This tea is absolutely wonderful! It’s almost as if you’re sipping dessert, because the steam smells just like sugar cookies. Gonna be sad when it’s gone, that’s for sure! J

Lauren was also kind enough to offer one lucky RAN reader the Celestial Seasonings Wellness Kit!

The kit is worth $60 in goodies and will help flu and cold symptoms naturally. In the kit is:

Sleepytime Extra, Echinacea Complete Care, Tummy Mint, Two Green teas, a mug, soothing lip balm, honey sticks and Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Bear and the book “Herbs for Health and Happiness.” 

To enter:

Go to the celestial seasonings website and leave me a comment saying which wellness tea you’d like to try and why

Extra entries:

I’ll pick a random winner this Friday morning!

Happy Tea Time! 😀

Time’s a Changin’ and a PDR!

Morning all! Happy Daylight Savings Time! Remember to set your clocks ahead?

So how was everyones’ weekends? Mine’s been filled with good fun and good company!

One Friday a month I get together with a group of girlfriends for wine, shenanigans, and bunco, and this Friday was one of those nights! It was such a blast. Like I said in my previous post, it was one of the girl’s birthdays, so it gotta little more crazy than usual 😉

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Oh, and everyone loved the balls I brought 😀

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Birthday cake…that I never got a chance to try! Oh but don’t worry, there were other goodies sampled 😉
I didn’t end up winning anything, but it was a great time, nonetheless!

After a night of indulgence (i.e. glasses of wine and an abundance of sugar) I had a nice, stabilizing breakfast:

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Oat (bran) in a jar!


In the jar of goodness was:

-1/2 c. oat bran
-1/2 c. water
-1/2 c. almond milk
-1 packet of Purevia
-1 T. hemp powder
-1 banana
-About a T. of almond butter

Then it was time to get ready for a long run. The weather was rainy and about 45 degrees, so it was a bit of an internal debate on whether it was happening inside on the dreadmill or outside on the road. During the couple hours it took to digest breakfast, while I was majorly indecisive as to whether I’d run in or outdoors, I received THREE packages!

Here’s a couple of em:

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Birthday Lulu’s!

My mom got me some of the new Wunder Groove crops, and I am in LURVE with them. Two best styles combined into one, if ya ask me!

Another package was from Ryan at POM Wonderful, who sent me a case of their 100% pure pomegranate juice to sample:

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Review and experimentations coming soon 😉

After tearing into my packages, I finally decided on manning up and hitting the open road.

I used map my run to determine my route, but ended up getting a little more than I bargained for…

At what should have been the half way mark, I was already at 5 miles, and around mile 6, I ate to Clif Shot Bloks I packed in the bottom of my water bottle:

 

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And got back to my house after 8.5 miles total, 1:22:46 later I got back to my house not feeling too shabby aside from my right hip being a little tight.
Stats n Splits:

Mile 1: 9:39
Mile 2: 9:46
Mile 3: 9:57
Mile 4: 10:06
Mile 5: 9:43
Mile 6: 9:48
Mile 7: 9:38
Mile 8: 9:29
Mile 8.5: 9:02

Woot! Average pace was 9:44. Not too shabby!

And that, my friends, is a personal distance record for this girl!  Yep, the farthest I’ve run is 8 miles. This…is was 8.5 miles felt like:

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It also finally feels like running season has officially started for me. I came back with blisters and a wound (warning)

 

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Let the race season begin! 😉

After a quick shower, I made a delicious refueling Green Monster:

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This GM contained a little more ingredients than the ushe:
-1 frozen banana
-1/2 c. frozen cherries (which are natural anti-inflammatories)
-1 T. maca
-1 T. chia seeds (great for joint lubrication)
-1/2 scoop of choc. protein powder
-1 T. almond butter
-Almond milk
-2 handfuls of spinach

So good, and kept me full for a good few hours, even after a long run!

After a little laziness, the hubski and I headed out and braved the rain to do some runnin’ around town. We were on the hunt for a nice centerpiece for our kitchen table! We seriously went to about six stores looking for the right centerpiece, and finally settled on this beaute from Pier One:

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Whatdya think? Doesn’t it go perfectly with the painting behind it?! I love, love, love it:D She’s a keeper.

While we were out, I polished off this lovely bar:

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Quite the fantastic bar, if I do say so myself!

Also sipped on this as we were bumming around:

 

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Around 5, we picked up a couple Papa Murphy’s pizzas and headed home!

 

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These pizzas were for the company we had over last night! My brother and sister-in-law came down for some pizza, movie, and family time and it was a blast! While the pizzas were cooking, we just hung out in the kitchen for a while talkin’ up a storm, munching on some snacks, and sippin’ on some drinks:
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My SIL loooves Kahlua, so I knew she’d join me in an after dinner drink of decaf and Kahula + cream:

 

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We sipped on this while watching Couples Retreat. It was a pretty good movie! Kinda hokey at times, but overall, a good flick, in my opinion! It was so nice to see them – seems like it’s far and few between that we get together like this. Wish I woulda gotten a picture!

Well it’s already almost noon! The time’s a changin’ and it’s catching up with me! On the agenda for today:

  • gym with Heidi for a run and legs
  • grocery shopping
  • going through LLC and other self-employed business
  • laundry
  • floors

Yikes! It’s a busy one!! Better get crackin’ 😀

Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone!!

Which daylight savings do you prefer more? Springing ahead or falling back? I’m a HUGE fan of springing ahead. I hate when it gets dark so early! When it stays lighter later, it reminds me of barbeques, long evening walks, and SUMMER!

Food, Friends, & Football

Goood morning! Happy Super Bowl Monday 😉

CONGRATS to the Saints for the BIG win last night! Go Saints!! 😀

Yesterday after my morning post, I accidentally lied about my work out! I had planned on doing a full body weights sesh, but forgot it was day 2 of my half marathon training plan! So instead, I did (as planned) a three mile run + back and biceps. Was in and out in an hour and it felt great! I’m feeling very confident in my running thus far into my training 😀

After picking up a few last minute essentials for our Super Bowl party, I came home, cleaned, and finished preparing all the food. But first, a quick refuel:

 

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Brown Rice Flour toast + cottage cheese + best jam ever.IMG_5309 

Best jam ever = Fresh Market’s Organic Strawberry Jam. Love Plus some random odds and ends while finishing up cooking.

And then, I cooked.

Quinoa Confetti Casserole from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan:

 

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Before

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After…oh, so gooood.

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Meat meat balls (in homemade BBQ sauce)

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MeatLESS balls

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Hot wings and Tequila lime wings

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Got a request for Averie’s raw chocolate vegan balls (and they did NOT last long, lemme tell ya ;))

And the rest of the spread:

 

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Which included cookies, biscotti, two types of hummus, veggies, crackers, chips, guacamole, and store-bought salsa.

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Best salsa I’ve ever had.

After the food was taken care of, it was Super Bowl time!! But this Super Bowl didn’t involve any Colts or Saints, just puppies, half time kitties, and bunny cheerleaders!

 

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Flag for being too Rrrrruff!

Then we had a few couples over and ate tons of food, drank lots of beer, and cheered on the (real) Saints!

Luckily, Clarabelle took charge and took care of every one in the beer department.

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No kitteh, that’s my Bud Light!

Since I do have to work this morning, I kept the beer to a minimum, but still had an awesome time with awesome friends!

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A little before 10:00, everyone headed home, and it was time to wrap the party up!

 

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Haha, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I heard a noise over in the corner, and couldn’t figure out what it was, until finally I saw…A kitty in a bag!

Hope you all enjoy your Monday. Start this week off with a great attitude, and hopefully the attitude will follow you into the week 😀

 

Did you “do” Super Bowl last night? I paid attention to part of it, and mingled with friends for part of it, and LOVED the commercials. I think both the game and the commercials were great this year!

Breaking the Mold

Oh, hiii 🙂

How we doin’ this Monday? Hopefully your day was a little less painful than mine was.

Don’t get me wrong, it started out fabulously…

With a bowl of one of my new favorite granolas from Fresh Market (cherry vanilla) and some Warm Cinnamon Kashi Heart to Heart in a bowl of SO coconut milk!

 

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The oats in the background were a bit jealous of its toasted counterparts.

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Pure deliciousness.

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Big ol’ bowl!

I usually only eat cereal and milk in the summer, but I had a huge hankering for it today. This actually kept me full for just about the whole morning! Good deal, because I had a busy one ahead of me. It’s pretty much the start of “busy(er?) season” for me at work. The meetings are starting to pile up and prep work is getting more intense. Gotta have that good fuel to power me through the day! 🙂

 

Since I had to leave work at 2:00, I decided to eat lunch at my desk and get some work done.

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Can’t go wrong with Amy’s soups!

Plus the rest of a cottage cheese container with a handful of dried cherries. But it wasn’t pretty. And I inhaled it.

Around 2:00 I had to leave work to get a temporary crown put on. Hooray!! Wait, no, it sucked. Pretty big time. After I was good and numbed up, Dr. Weber began to drill on me. And drill. She mentioned several times that she was drilling into my gum line and I’d probably be in pain later tonight (she was on the money with that one, btw!) But that wasn’t even the part that sucked.

After she was done drilling, the assistant took the molding for the crown. But it messed up so she had to do it again. Then the mold broke again and she had to take it another time. In an effort to not sound like a broken record, she took the damn molding of my mouth a total of six times!! SIX! Gaaaag. I know there are way worse things happening right now, but I was not happy to be in that chair. At least both the dentist and the assistant were super nice and friendly though 😀

Finally they got a good temp crown, and I was on my way out after discussing a minor glitch they had in the office with my insurance.

 

Came home, and since it was the warmest it’s been in a couple of months (30º and sunny baby!!) I took Niko on a nice long walk. We both needed it since neither the hubski nor I were able to come visit her during lunch. Poor thing.

After catching up with the Days of Our Lives folks and doing some laundry, it was time for some dinner.

 

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Cinna-pear

 

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Roasted red pepper and zucchini Ezekiel pizza. Yep. I’m obsessed.

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Carb me up, Johnny!

Tomorrow is a “food day” as my office so likes to call it. Basically everyone who wants to participate brings in a dish to work. It’s usually for birthdays and holidays.

Trying to work with what I had in the cupboard, I nixed a few recipes that called for coconut (I ran out this weekend…the horror!) I was happy to see I had all the ingredients for the Fitnessista’s Vegan Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies 😀

And since I was using the Fitnessista’s recipe, I had to get in an obligatory stand mixer shot:

 

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Gooey Goodness!

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I really really wanted to cut them out in the shape of hearts for Valentine’s Day, but they were a wee bit too sticky 😦 Don’t worry, that’s not all you’ll see of that cliché cookie cutter!

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They turned out wonderfully!

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Can you say yumtopia?!

Then I totally pulled a Paige, and just got so excited to get them on the cooling rack that I thought of the great idea of just taking the parchment paper and moving them over as one entire entity…

 

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Cooling rack FAIL.

Yes, I grabbed my camera before I cleaned up the mess. So what.

I salvaged the ones that were still in tact, and donated the rest to my belly the guy in the basement:

 

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And since I already had the baking materials out for yet another fabulous blogger’s recipe, I decided to make some No Bake High Fiber Breakfast Bars!

The best part? I could use the exact same dishes that I used for the cookies. They both have the nut butter + maple syrup flavor to them, so why not?

 

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Killed two bowls with one spoon!

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This bad boy is kickin’ it in the fridge right now. I’ll let you know how it fares tomorrow after I try it 😀 I did make some adjustments though – I didn’t have hemp seeds, so I used hemp powder, and instead of dried apple (which I’m sure taste phenom) I used dried pineapple and dried cherries.

Time for a little Bedside Bachelor and reading for this lil; lady!

What was the last baking/cooking fail you’ve made? Aside from dropping things all the time, I’d say this is the most humorous baking blunder I’ve made it a while!

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!!

Steep, Sip, Smile

Hi and Happy Saturday:D

As for me, I’ve gotten an early start on this Saturday. It’s not even 8:00, and since I woke up with a twinge of productivity coursing through me, I’ve already made the coffee, changed the cat litter, did a load of laundry, and made Oats in a Jar!

 

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Currently nomming. It may look a little green, but that’s just from the hemp seed powder. The oats were made on the stove with 1 cup H2O, 1/2 cup oats, 2 T flaxmeal, 2 T hempseed powder, peanut butter of course (and I may have been a little overjealous in deciding it was OIAJ time..there was a bit too much pb left in the jar,) handful of blueberries (which I parfaited right smack dab in the middle of the jar,) one small ripe nanner, aaaand a new ingredient…

 

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Brown rice syrup! I decided to pick this up at the store yesterday. I usually use agave nectar to sweeten up my oats, but wanted to try switching it up with brown rice syrup! You see, Agave nectar is produced in Mexico. So originally people in hot, hot climates used this as a sweetener. I’m of Swedish decent (note: note hot, hot, climate ;)) and my ancestors probably didn’t grow up eating agave. It was just a random, probably silly, thought I had while walking down the baking aisle of the local health foods store, so I went with it. Also, brown rice syrup is a complex carbohydrate, and takes hours to fully release into the bloodstream, making it a steady supply of energy, rather than a sugar rush!

The verdict? It’s very, very gooey, but SO good. And I didn’t have to use much for it to be sweet enough for my likings 😀

 

I woke up feeling like a brand new woman this morning. I ended my day over at my friend, Trina’s house, who is also a massage therapist! I got an hour long full body massage, and then a bonus of 30 extra minutes for her to try some of the stuff she recently learned at a workshop. She must have REALLY worked all the lactic acid and toxins out from my muscles, because when I left, I felt like I was wasted! It was a really weird feeling – I was in a somewhat of a euphoric state, but was also very disoriented. Weird. But today, I feel spectacularrr 😀 Gotta pamper yourself every now and then!

Before the massage, I spend my half day running around town doing some personal business errands (and got some very hopeful news!!) before I went to the grocery store, devoured some leftover Amy’s Pizza, walked the Niko-roo, and twerked it out. Twerk out was upstairs in our “gym” because I was strapped for time and was NOT gonna be late for my rub down 😉

 

Another cool thing I picked up at the health food store:

 

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Dandelion root! Lately I’ve been reading all of the amazing benefits this little woody root has for the body, so I filled up a little baggy to give her a whirl.

Mixed it with some loose leaf pom green tea:

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Put it all in the silicon loose leaf tea infuser, then steeped, sipped, and smiled.

 

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Who knows what it did for my body, but it tasted good infused with the green tea! 😀

Clarabelle was jealous of my herbage, so I busted out some herbage for her, too.

She sniffed, rolled, and smiled:

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Kitteh likes her catnip.

Went to my massage, came back feeling drunk and HANGRY. There was no way I had the patience to cook. Boxes were much more fitting.

 

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It was my first time making Falafel, so I was a wee bit intimated:

 

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Yeah..and for good reason.

THESE were the ones that turned out!

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Yes, as in, the GOOD ones. I won’t even show you the bad ones.

Is it just me, or are foods that come out of a box supposed to be easier to cook?? Every other time I’ve seen falafel, they’ve looked fluffy, light, and perfectly shaped balls. Mine? Notsomuch.

After deciding that the above falafels could be salvageable, I had to figure out what to do with them. I had no clue.

 

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Went with putting them on a bed of arugula (?? I don’t know?)

With the mac n cheese (which was fittingly easy to make) and some steamed cauliflower alongside.

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You know what? The falafel + arugula combination was fabulous! The spiciness in the arugula went perfectly with the …tanginess(?) of the falafel!

 

It was only 9:00 at this point, and although I was beat and just wanted bed, I tried to be a trooper.

One screwdriver=trooper

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One piece of toasted brown rice bread with Earthbalance and dark choc. chips (although laughable, but VERY tasty)=trooper

 

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Sure it does.

One game of Mario=trooper.

Passing out before 11:00 on a Friday night=old lady trapped in a 25 y/o’s bod! muahaha.

On tap for my Saturday:

-gym for some running and upper body

-Starbies for some coffee w/ my girl Heidi

-Lunch and bridesmaids dress trying on w/ my girl, Jessica

Should be a supah fun day 😀

 

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun going on? If you’ve got time and are up for it, head on over to Janetha’s blog and check out her Secret Blogger Valentine swap! It sounds like such a FUN idea for Valentine’s Day coming up 😀