Thursday, September 30, 2010

No Officer, I Wasn't Texting While Driving

Today a new law went into effect in Massachusetts. The no texting while driving law. This also applies to phone calls for teen drivers. I can empathize with this law. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop texting while driving completely. How am I going to be able to drive 10 minutes down the road to work without asking a friend if she saw Gossip Girl last night? In all seriousness I know it's a good law, and I know that I shouldn't text while driving...but for someone who is as ATTACHED to their phone as me, how am I going to get by?? I really don't know if I will be able to deal with it. And I'm so good at it. Granted, the first accident I ever got into after I got my license 5 years ago was because I was texting (for those of you good at math, yes, I got my license at 23), but I've come a long way in my skills since then. Granted I'm not as fast as I used to be...

There was actually a story on ABC News yesterday that bans alone are not effective enough to reduce the number of texting-related traffic accidents. The problem therein lies with enforcement (which in my opinion, the law is way too heavily focused on traffic related laws than real criminals already). At first the Massachusetts police will be looking to make an example of any violators, but this too shall die down eventually and go the way of seat belt laws I feel.

Does anyone else live in a state that has a texting law? What do you think of it?

The Dreadmill

I hate the treadmill. Hate. But alas, it's that time of year now when it's not light enough to run outside before work, so I had to endure the dreadmill this morning. My gym has an indoor track, but at 6am on the weekdays, it's full of moms and old ladies walking and chatting and it basically becomes an obstacle course. Not that I have ANY issue throwing 'bows and hip checking people who block my path, but at 6am I fear my rage at being blocked would turn into full scale assault. So for the safety of others, I decided to stick with the treadmill this morning. The plan was to do 4 miles, the first mile at 5.0, second mile at 5.2, third mile at 5.5 and then finish with the final mile at 5.0. Well I made it through three miles easily and then slowed it back down to 5.0 and just suddenly lost my mojo. I ended up stopping at 3.6 miles and calling it a day. I've been to the gym every morning this week so far so cutting it 0.4 miles short won't kill me. I think the reason I lost my mojo was because running on the treadmill is like being a hamster on a wheel and I get very very bored.

Breakfast after the run was cereal (in case anyone was curious, the cereal I eat every day is Kashi Heart Smart with unsweetened almond milk...don't want you all thinking I eat fruity pebbles with chocolate milk every day). Lunch was a fried egg and some TJ's mini chicken tacos. I am down to the bare bones of my refrigerator. I have no veggies except for spinach and no fruit except for some mashed bananas that I am making banana bread out of tonight. So I had to grab whatever I had on hand for lunch. Dinner tonight is being made for me by my very handsome date :) Photos of that tomorrow.

What do you do to relieve treadmill boredom?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Even Old People Need Love

Old people in love are the cutest things are they not? Right up there with puppies and chubby babies. I say this because I take a spin class at my gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 6am and there are these two people in my class. (Names have been changed). Mary is in her 60s and is a favorite among the spin instructors because she is extremely enthusiastic. Fred is in his 70s and acts like he's dying in every class. He is not enthusiastic, but more dramatic. Well they flirt. And it's adorable. This morning I was leaving the class and they were standing by the stairs flirting it up (Mary casually touches Fred's arm, they giggle) and I hear her say to him "why don't you meet me in the pool Fred?" in a dirty kind of way and then as she is walking away he is CHECKING HER OUT and says "mmmm mmmm." Oh my. I wonder if Fred and Mary will take things to the next level soon. Even old people need love I guess.

Breakfast.this morning after spin class was a green monster. In the mix went a half a bag of spinach that had one foot in the grave LAST WEEK (don't judge, it didn't smell funny), 1/2 scoop of protein powder, a scoop of Amazing Grass, frozen pineapple, frozen mango, frozen blueberries, and a squirt of agave. Usually smoothies don't hold me over until lunch but it's 10:30 now with an hour and a half to go and I think I can make it without breaking into my emergency larabar in my purse.

I have to make up for yesterdays embarassing display of gluttony. Let's just say the ride home from work involved a stop at the BK Lounge. Enough said. Lunch today will be veggie mac n cheese and I have a lovely dinner date this evening with Nicole at Chili's.

What do you put in your smoothies?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Snickers and the Glass Castle

Hi there! New music Tuesday! Not that there was anything worth buying on iTunes this morning, but I still love new music Tuesday anyway.

Before I headed off to my book club meeting last night, I whipped myself up some delicious stir fry (as a side note, I wonder how many times I've used the word delicious on this blog??). In the mix is 2 bags of frozen mixed veggies, 1 pound of organic chicken, some teriyaki sauce, and a little salt and pepper. So simple, so filling.

After my yummy dinner, I headed out to my book club meeting. I joined a book club because I read a ton of books and it would be nice to have people to discuss them with on a regular basis (I have a couple of friends who read the same books as well, but I thought a book club would be fun) and sure enough, I had a great time!

We read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I really enjoyed the book, although much of it was very disturbing. Unfortunately, the parents in the book reminded me so much of my own parents (only not nearly as bad) and it brought back some ugly memories. Of course I didn't share this information at my book club meeting since it was my first time meeting these girls and didn't want to get too personal on the first meeting. But I can tell you guys these things ;)

I had actually read Jeannette Walls' other book first, Half Broke Horses, without knowing that she had written The Glass Castle first and I wished I had read this one first as it was the far better of the two.

Our next book is Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Even though I have a ginormous pile of "to be read" books, it looks like I will have to go on the hunt for this one to read. Next on my list outside of the book club is the True Blood books. Yes, I'm a tad obsessed with True Blood. But I have to have something to fill the void of the show until it comes back next summer. And I know once I start reading these books it will just be like the Twilight series all over again...I will finish all ten of them in a week. I read fast.

Breakfast was the usual cereal and lunch was a piece of pizza. I know it's not ideal, but I limited myself to only one because I had to grab lunch quick. I brought a lara bar to hold me over until dinner but I'm considering heading over to the convenience store for a soda and a candy bar. It's been a really long time since I've had a candy bar. Probably my good old friend Snickers will be the bar of choice.

What is your favorite kind of candy bar?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Breakfast for Lunch

Ugh Monday.

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was extremely eventful. Shopping and drinks with Kristen Friday night, more shopping with Meg on Saturday, engagement party for friends on Saturday night. Lots of sleeping on Sunday since I was up a tad late Saturday night. Just a tad.

I also went to see The Town this weekend. What did everyone else think? I LOVED it. Ben Affleck is the epitome of male deliciousness. And I also think he is a fabulous director with lots of potential. This only being his second movie, I can see some room for improvement, but so far I love what I'm seeing from him. And of him ;) I went to go see the movie with the fuzz and we had an interesting conversation after the movie about what our favorite Boston-based film was. Or rather, top five favorites. So we started out by listing the movies...The Departed, The Town, Mystic River, Edge of Darkness...then the fuzz spits out "Fever Pitch." And I just stare at him. Is that a legitimate suggestion? Fever Pitch is the worst representation of Boston in the history of the WORLD. It definitely did not deserve any reference in this conversation. We both of course agreed that The Departed was number one. Does anyone else have any suggestions/favorites for best Boston movies?

Breakfast this morning was cereal. My original plan was a couple of Vans organic waffles with a banana, walnuts, and maple syrup but a quick glance in the fridge and I realized I didn't have any maple syrup, so I settled on cereal instead. Lunch was breakfast for lunch! Now, let me start out by saying that I really love eggs, but they really don't love me. That doesn't stop me from nourishing the craving for them every once in a while and today was one of those days. So I fried up an egg, added a piece of toast with Crofter's on it, and an apple with PB. What a perfect breakfast. I mean lunch. Either way.

Dinner tonight is stir fry (which I've also been craving for a while) and tonight is my book club meeting. Books are one of my many loves. I would read all day long if I could.

As side news, I heard on the radio this morning, that my favorite Jersey Shore cast member is getting his own spin off show. That's right! Pauly D is getting his own DJ-themed reality show. You KNOW I am all over this. What is better than trashy reality TV?? Trashy reality TV starring Pauly D, that's what. Will anyone else be watching?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Premier Party

Tragedy! I forgot it was bagel friday today! I don't know how this happened :( I woke up, had a bowl of cereal, and put on my jeans for casual friday, but it apparently never entered my mind that there were warm fresh bagels waiting for me at work. So obviously now I have already had breakfast and can't enjoy a bagel :( Not a good way to start my friday.

Last night was the Grey's premier party at Meg's. The theme of the evening was pumpkin since we had pumpkin beer and pumpkin cupcakes. With a spectacular brown sugar rim (as a funny side story, in preparing my beer Meg told me that "she was going to give me a rim" and my mind went to someplace completely dirty and just stared at her for a few seconds before what she really meant sank in...lots of laughter at my expense, lol) this beer totally hit the spot. After the bitchy day I had yesterday, I needed a drink for sure.

I also brought over my pumpkin cupcakes and chocolate chip blondies to share with the girls. Both had a blondie and Meg ate a cupcake. Which I of course finagled a picture out of which she wasn't super excited about...

But she was a good sport and let me take her picture anyway ;) It's all in the name of good blogging!

The premier of Grey's Anatomy was actually a little disappointing, but still excellent. The flashbacks to last season's amazing season finale managed to bring back some of the feelings I had watching that two hour block of pure genius. I am loving the new and improved Derek, adding a little fun to his otherwise boring (albeit dreamy) character. I also loved Bailey and Weber's scenes. The scene of the night though, goes to Lexy and Alex. I won't spoil it for those of you that haven't watched it yet, but it's a winner. I have really high hopes for this season.

Lunch today is TBD since I have an appointment at lunch time, so we will see if I have time to go home and whip up a sandwich or if I will have to hit the drive thru today.

Did anyone else watch Grey's? What did you think?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Bitch Hates Dishes

I am a BITCH today. I cannot even stand to hear people talking. Due to life circumstances, I'm feeling a little fed up with people. The best thing would be for me to just hole up and avoid everyone, but alas, I don't have that option. I am, however, looking forward to sharing my evening with Mer and Der and a buttload of fattening foods to share with my friends ;) I've already had both a blondie and a cupcake today, but that's not going to stop me from having another of each tonight. The cupcakes are actually a lot better the second day, after the frosting has a chance to settle.

Speaking of fattening foods, I have my culinary creations from last night all packed up and ready to take over to my friend's house. I also have a sinkful of dishes and dirty countertops. I like cooking, but I really HATE doing dishes. These guys will probably sit in the sink until Sunday. Even if they start to give off a weird smell (which they most certainly will after 5 days) I just don't think I will have time to do them. And even if I did, I would still put it off.

Breakfast today was cereal, and lunch was mini chicken tacos from Trader Joes (if you haven't tried these, they are super yummy and relatively healthy). I was having one of those days where vegetables were just not going to cut it. Sometimes it's best just to indulge yourself I feel.

I want to talk a little bit about the season premier of Biggest Loser. How cruel of them was it to call three people per city to get weighed in and then tell them that one of them isn't going? Talk about crushing someone's dreams. Especially when every one of these people had a dead relative (not to be insensitive, but at least 75% of these people had a relative that died recently, which will bode well for those touchy-feely talks Jillian likes to have with people about their issues). But oh wait! Biggest Loser is SO tricky. In the previews they show that some of these people WILL be making it on the ranch. Oh BL you had me fooled for a minute! Except that they did this last season. BL gets an F for originality. I still love the show though and will be faithfully watching it.

Anyone else having a bitchy day?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Baking Spree

I'm a sugary floury mess! For whatever reason I got the baking bug today and decided to come home and bake up a storm. I found a pumpkin muffin mix at Trader Joe's yesterday and since canned pumpkin has been MIA for a month now (although I did find 4 cans at Hannaford's today and yes, I bought all 4 cans) so I figured this mix was the only way I was going to get any pumpkin baked goods. Some of the ingredients in my baking venture:

I started out with mix, 1 large egg, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. I stirred it up and it turned this lovely color:

I may or may not have taken a couple of spoonfuls of the mix right out of the bowl. Ok that's exactly what I did. Oh my. I love pumpkin. I popped them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and they yielded this:

While the second batch was in the oven, I started on my buttercream frosting. I actually had a cream cheese recipe that I was going to use but ended up using the recipe that was on the side of the powdered sugar box. Ingredients:

1lb of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 stick of softened butter
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

I decided to add dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg too to compliment the pumpkin. When the second batch came out of the oven, I allowed both batches to cool completely before I frosted (this is very important, otherwise your frosting will melt and look lopsided) but honestly it wouldn't have mattered because I don't have a fancy pastry bag, so I used a regular ziploc and let's just say my frosting skills leave much to be desired.

They may not look pretty, but they tasted pretty delicious! I will use the cream cheese frosting next time because this frosting actually came out really really sweet.

My second baked good was a recipe that I got from Jenna of Eat, Live, Run. The recipe is here.

Yes, I did use two complete sticks of butter baking today. Yes I know it's not good for me. But really, if buttercream frosted pumpkin cupcakes and chocolate chip blondies are wrong, I don't want to be right.

I added this melted butter to 1 and 2/3 cup of packed brown sugar (I used light but you could use dark, whatever you have on hand). Once that was mixed I added 1 large egg, 1 cup of flour, a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla. I used a square pan. Before baking:

After baking:

It's supposed to make 16 servings, but it actually makes 9 cookie battle sized servings ;)

I will be taste testing these out on the girls tomorrow for the Grey's premier party. Partly because I need to bring something, but also because if I have all of these goodies in the house, I will eat them all! As it was, all the "sampling" I did out of the bowls before the food even got cooked made me feel a little sick. I could barely finish a frosted cupcake.

Let's backtrack to earlier today. My workout this morning was a spin class and it was one of the best ones I've had in a while. I definitely am feeling fitter and fitter as the days go by. This is the most consistent I've been in a workout plan in quite some time. Breakfast was a cantaloupe bowl and lunch was odds and ends. Meaning I shoved whatever I could in my mouth in the five minutes I was home before I had to run right back out. Dinner was a lean cuisine pizza since I was so focused on baking. I had planned to make a stir fry tonight, but that will have to wait.

How is everyone liking premier week?? So many good shows!! I am trying to start working my way through my DVR now, but will only be able to get through a few tonight. Biggest Loser and Glee are definitely at the top of the list!

What is your favorite season premier so far?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Solea and New Friends

Hello blog friends! 

So I just had the most fabulous time at Solea on Moody Street in Waltham. Jimmy was having a case of the blahs today so to cheer him up I decided to forgo our run and go out to dinner instead. I suggested Solea, a tapas bar that I hadn't been to before but had heard great things. Plus Jimmy wasn't feeling that hungry, so I thought a few tapas plates would be good.

When we sat down to dinner, we were seated in close proximity to two other two person tables. I usually hate this type of set up in a restaurant. You are constantly hearing other people's conversations and constantly thinking about them listening to yours. The diningroom itself was extremely loud and actually made conversation difficult. I was surprised that it was so busy for a Tuesday evening, but every table in the diningroom was occupied.

After a while of trying to engage a sullen Jimmy into conversation, we noticed that the table next to us had gotten their first plate, even though we had ordered before them. The other table noticed this as well and made a joke about it, offering us some of theirs. We soon were chatting away with them and naturally they noticed me taking pictures of our food, so I had the opportunity to tell them about my blog (hello Kelly and AJ!) and come to find out that they had met there exactly 8 years earlier to the day and were coming back to celebrate the occasion since they had moved to California and were just visiting for a wedding. Further along in conversation Kelly and AJ told us about their move from Boston to California to begin a wine business. AJ sells over 100 boutique wines and in 2007 began his own label. If you are ever in the area, visit AJ Pearce Wines. AJ and Kelly were fantastic and I'm so glad we met them. It certainly cheered Jimmy up considerably and I love meeting new interesting people. Now on to the food!

We ordered five plates as well as dessert:

Queso de Cabra Montaٌnes, Baked Goat Cheese with Tomato & Basil. I got a little overzealous with this one and dug in before I remembered to take a picture, but I assure you, it was much more delicious than it looks. I used the bread basket for dipping. It was so rich that I didn't end up finishing it, but I really really wanted to!

Chorizo a la Plancha, Grilled Spanish Sausage. Fried to perfection. 

Buٌnuelos de Alcachofas y Espinacas, Artichoke & Spinach Fritters. These were easily my favorite. They were crispy on the outside, soft and flavorful on the inside. The cheese sauce underneath added just enough to make them unbelievable. 

Pato Braseado, Roasted Duckling with Berry Sauce. I don't love duck, but as far as duck goes, this was quite good. The berry sauce was exquisite.

Solomillo con Chimichurri, Beef Tenderloin with Spicy Herb Sauce. This dish was my second favorite. The beef came on crunchy french bread and though the spicy herb sauce was a little spicier than I had expected, I was pleasantly surprised at just how delicious this relatively simple dish was. It's hard to go wrong with beef tenderloin.

Tarta de Chocolates, Chocolate Almond Cake Fresh Berries & Whipped Cream. I was actually quite disappointed with this dessert. The cake was extremely dry and there was no almond flavor whatsoever. Our new friends actually ordered my original choice (that Jimmy vetoed) of the bananas with butterscotch and pistachios. Kelly was kind enough to save me a bite and every last morsel was heavenly. Dessert regret. I get it often.

In short, the food at Solea gets a 4 out of 5, but the atmosphere gets only a 2 out of 5. I may go there again, but never on a weekend and I may try sitting in the bar area next time just to see if the noise level is any different.

So I am about a week away from finally being able to divulge my really great news and I am just DYING to tell you all (I'm teasing now I know). The only bad part about my news is that it will leave me unable to complete my goal of getting fitness certified, which makes me a little sad :( Instead I just have to focus on being the fittest I can be. Speaking of fit, my ass still really hurts today, so I didn't make it to BodyPump this morning. I will definitely be attending on Thursday morning though, it's such a great workout. For those of you who are lucky enough to have it at your gym, try it out! Then your ass can be sore too!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lunch & Watch City Brewing Company

Good evening friends! I'm back to bring you my lunch and dinner. I know I said that I was having a salad for lunch, and I did, however, I was actually craving a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, but since I didn't have tomato soup, I decided to stick with the salad but have a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich as well.

I realized that I didn't have any cheese slices so I used shredded cheese instead. A good idea in theory, but the problem with that is when you go to flip the grilled cheese, the cheese falls out all over the place (yes this did happen to me). No fear though! I just added more cheese and waited for it to melt and then enjoyed. MMM cheesy goodness...

On the side as promised was a salad with romaine, radishes, and olives. I saved the best for last of course.

For dessert I had a delicious organic plum that was on sale at Hannaford's last week. It was yummy, but could've used another day or two of ripening as it wasn't quite as juicy and sweet how I had hoped it would be. That's ok because I have another waiting for me!

Just before leaving to go back to work, the mail came, and guess what was in it?? YAY!

I can't wait to browse this guy for some new recipes! Dinner tonight was with the fuzz at the Watch City Brewing Company on Moody Street in Waltham. They have some interesting beers here, but by far my favorite so far is the vanilla ale that they have. Tonight though, it was all about the pumpkin! A pitcher of it to be specific...

For dinner I got the grilled chicken breast sandwich with swiss cheese and honey mustard. I also got sweet potato fries on the side, which were both delicious. Of course, I was halfway finished with it before I remembered to take the picture :(

For your reading pleasure, a Time magazine interview with Jackie Warner here.

In a shameless attempt to garner up some comments/interest in the blog, I welcome any comments! Don't be shy! I would love your feedback...what would you like to see more or less of? Any particular topics you want me to address? Feel free to leave me a comment, shoot me an email, message/follow me on Twitter (@thecookiebattle), etc. For those of who come and lurk but don't want to comment, thanks for reading anyway :)

My Aching Butt

Monday came awfully quick, didn't it? I literally feel like I just left work.

So you're probably wondering about my post title this morning. Yesterday I finally made it to Bodypump and wow I'm sore today. Particularly my butt, quads, and hamstrings. Even my chest a little bit, but really, the sorest is my butt. Apparently I lunged a little bit harder yesterday than usual. I will say, the one area I don't feel I NEED to work on is my butt, so it's unfortunate that clearly it got the biggest workout instead of my "problem" areas (abs, inner thighs, etc. you ladies know what I'm talking about).

My workout this morning was a spin class. The Monday morning instructor was shameless plugging his new small group training class (which you have to pay extra for, even if you're a member of the gym, which I personally think is ridiculous to the tune of $190 for an 8 week class). Funny enough, the class he's teaching is a TRX (previously reviewed by Rachel here) and I have to say, I am really intrigued. I would like to give it a shot before committing to a class, but unfortunately you can't try it before you buy it.

Breakfast this morning was a cantaloupe bowl. Apparently I waited just a touch too long to eat this guy because it had fruit flies flying around it and a soft spot (that I cut off) but that didn't deter me from eating it. Yes I know I'm disgusting. I cut mold off bread and cheese and eat it. I've never gotten sick from doing this. I don't believe in wasting perfectly good food because it's gotten a little old. So, the cantaloupe got eaten this morning. My cantaloupe bowl ingredients:

The pineapple chobani is my absolute favorite greek yogurt ever. And I actually managed to also photograph my morning snack today! I usually miss the snacks with the camera and often forget to even mention them on the blog, but I was on top of things today! Mid morning snack was a banana (I love spotted bananas, however I know this will gross a lot of you out too if my mold thing didn't already get to you) and a Vans organic blueberry waffle.

Lunch today will be a big salad. I'm going out to dinner tonight so I have to save some of my lunch calories for the beer or two I'm going to have with dinner ;)

How was everyone's weekend? Does anyone else just cut the mold off?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hello Mrs. Armstrong

I love spin. Besides running, it's easily my favorite exercise. As you all know, I went out and bought spin bike shoes at REI the other night. Well, I tried them out for the first time this morning and wow what a difference they make! Yes they do make your pinky toes go a little numb, but they force you to improve your form and give you much better balance than just strapping your sneakers in. They also made me feel legit. Like I'm serious about this sport. So what if I don't own an actual bike? So what if I fear helmet hair? I own spin shoes. I am the female Lance Armstrong with these shoes on :)

Bagel Friday today...they did have Pumpkin Raisin (my fav) but was more craving savory than sweet, so I rolled with the Everything today. With my usual side of orange juice. Lunch was the last of the leftover tortellini. I'm trying to decide what to have for dinner because I have one last head of romaine and a bag of spinach that must be eaten in the next 2 days or it's getting thrown out and I hate to throw out food. I was thinking maybe a spinach protein smoothie with a side of roasted sweet potato fries. I've been craving sweet potato fries all week.

Has anyone else been watching Jackie Warner's Thintervention?

I love all shows like this (love Biggest Loser and even watched 2 seasons of Diet Tribe on Lifetime) and used to watch Jackie's old show. She is similar to Jillian Michaels, but for some reason she seems more human to me. Jillian seems really fake at times (though I love love love her, don't get me wrong) and Jackie seems a bit more real. The incident that caused her to lose her first show was a comment she made about a woman's breasts who had them reconstructed after breast cancer. I am not condoning her comment whatsoever, but she made a mistake and is trying to come back from it and I personally value that about her. I am loving the show so far. It has group therapy sessions, but doesn't feel as touchy-feely as Biggest Loser and doesn't have those annoyingly shameless product placements in the middle of the show (AKA Bob taking contestants to the kitchen to sing the praises of those Ziploc steamer bags). If you've read any of Jillian's books also you know that she doesn't believe in chewing gum because of the artificial sugar in it, yet her and bob push it on BL like it's the cure-all for obesity. That being said, I cannot WAIT for Biggest Loser to start up next week!

Who do you like better, Jillian or Bob?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lunch and a Baking Experiment

Hi bloggies!

Lunch today was a big sandwich. The star of the show was the avocado (I have an obsession with it) along with some hummus, tomatoes, and chicken on rye bread. Yum.

On the side I had some veggie crisps. These have actually lasted a full two weeks in my house, which is amazing, because I love them. My eating habits really have gotten better since I moved though. I am loving lots of fruits and veggies these days.

Dinner was just some cheese and crackers.

I actually had the brilliant idea to bake on my way home since it was starting to pour any my plan was to run outside, so what better stay-at-home activity than baking, right? WRONG. I was one big pile of fail today. My idea was whole wheat banana walnut muffins. More like banana walnut muffin lead balls. I don't know what I did wrong with them, but they were extremely heavy and just didn't taste that great. I will have to work on that recipe some more. I did eat one muffin and a half before i just threw the rest of the batch out. Boo :( I was excited to get a new recipe for you guys too. Oh well.

Any baking fails for anyone else?

Shoe Fetish

I have a SERIOUS shoe problem. If you know me, you already knew that. But in case you don't, I have at least 50 pairs of shoes, not including sneakers. And the reason I ONLY have 50 is because I clean out my closet fairly often and donate to Goodwill. I refuse to be that lady that literally lived in her shoes. After going to have my hair yanked last night, I decided to head over to REI in Natick to pick up some spin shoes.

I was really excited that I found an employee at REI who actually knew what they were talking about (how many times do you go to a store with questions and find someone who doesn't BS you??) This woman was super helpful and even put my clips on for me as well as gave me helpful hints of adjustments I can make and what I can do if I decide to get a real bike in the future. An overall awesome shopping experience. Next up was DSW, where I walked out with a new pair of sneakers to run in.

I'm excited to break these guys in tonight. Haven't decided if I want to do the 4 mile path or hit up the track. I have to say though that all this running is making me want to run a race. I may do a 5K soon just to test myself out. I do prefer the longer distance races though. Something to consider. Anyway, the other two shoe purchases were part necessity, part desire. I wanted/needed a pair of black high heel ankle boots for work for the winter.

They actually had these in a few different colors as well. I did momentarily consider the snakeskin, but then thought better of it. No need to go crazy. The last pair is actually a pair I own in a different color but love them so much that I decided to buy them in black as well. I did look all around for a pair of knee high black boots that I liked as much as these to avoid buying something I already have in a different color (to me this is sort of a sign of someone with no fashion sense and I hate to be that girl) but as hard as I tried I just couldn't find a pair. So I just went with what I already liked.

Fantastic aren't they? What's great is that you can wear them a bunch of different ways, folded over, slouched down, or all the way up to the knee. Very versatile.

Dinner last night was a lean cuisine microwave pizza as I had approximately 10 minutes at home before heading out to my wax appointment. I do have those in my freezer for just such an emergency. Breakfast was the usual cereal. I know I know, my creativity astounds you!

Anyone else have a shoe problem?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Toes are the New Black

Sometimes my stupidity astounds me. I bought a new pair of running sneakers a little while back. Instead of trying them on, I just bought the size I "usually" am and called it a day. I didn't change brands or anything, I went with my old faithful mizunos. Well, apparently they cut this particular pair a teeny bit small. Picture Cinderella's ugly stepsister trying to force her ginormous foot into that tiny glass slipper. That's me with these sneakers only I'm not ugly. And instead of being smart and returning them immediately after realizing they were too small, no, I decided to stick it out and run in them anyway. I really am smart, I promise.

Oh and I've also been putting off buying proper spin shoes, so my big toe has taken an extra beating from the straps of the spin bike pedals. Oh and I wear high heels everyday. I can feel this black toenail coming a MILE way. Or in my case, probably about 20 more miles before it rears it's ugly head. I really should have known better in this case. So it looks like I will be buying new running sneakers this weekend too in addition to the new bag I plan on buying :)

Breakfast today was cereal and lunch was some of the leftover torellini and artichokes that I had monday. No pictures because you all know what cereal looks like and you've seen the tortellini with artichokes. I was up and at 'em this morning at 5:30am to hit up a spin class and I have to say, working out in the morning always leaves me feeling super charged all morning long. Getting my lazy ass out of my warm cozy bed is always the tough part though. As long as I can get out of bed, I can make it to class.

On the agenda after work tonight is a visit to my salon for some hair yanking (the funnest thing ever) and some errands. Tonight will be my only night this week to myself so I need to get some things done, including getting started on the book for my book club meeting in less than 2 weeks. Yes, I can be a slacker.

Is there anything you are slacking on?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Veggie Mac N Cheese

Howdy friends! So a friend of mine sent me the very best thing ever today...

Yes you read that right. It's a website that BLOCKS you from stalking your ex. Is this not the greatest thing ever? I of course did not actually use it because let's face it, I could never give up my stalking ways, but the person who invented this is so obviously a genius. With all this talk of stalking lately, I'm sure y'all are going to think I'm crazy. I'm not crazy, just honest. I know a lot of you do it too. Own it!

Lunch today was a salad with romaine, radishes, tomatoes, and avocado with an olive oil lemon juice dressing. On the side I had a piece of toasted rye bread with some cheddar cheese. And yes, that is soda you see in the picture. 2/3 of a glass. I'm making progress, really I am.

The run today was fantastic. There really is nothing better than running in the fall weather. It's perfectly cool, there is a fresh smell in the air, it's fantastic. I ran with Jimmy again today with the goal of finishing the 4 miles in 50 minutes (I know you speed demons are cringing right now). He wanted to be a tough guy and finish in 47 but he's not a runner and is not in good cardiovascular shape so he's being a little ridiculous with the timing thing. I finished in exactly 43 minutes, Jimmy finished in 48:40. I was really feeling the run today.

For dinner I made a cauliflower and broccoli mac n cheese. A good way to get your veggies in is to smother them with cheese!


12 oz whole wheat elbow pasta
1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups of sour cream (low fat version can be used)
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 head of broccoli, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs

Turn the oven to 400. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower and broccoli during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard. Breadcrumbs on the top are optional, but either way, bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown or if you don't use breadcrumbs, bake until the top begins to bubble (about 10 minutes).

Dessert was a slice of pumpkin cheesecake. I actually altered the recipe that I posted last week due to an apparent pumpkin shortage, and I have to say it came out better than my original version. I will be posting the new recipe soon.

What's your favorite post-workout fuel?

I Love Gossip

It's official. The TV premier season is upon us! First up we have my personal fav (besides True Blood of course) Gossip Girl! I was disappointed by the mere glance of Ed Westwick, who is 50% of the reason I watch the show...but I have a feeling he will not disappoint me next week. Swoon. I happen to love "teenager" shows and would most certainly act like a tween with a celebrity crush if I ever ran into any of the stars of the shows on the street. Or I would stalk them for six blocks like I did with Kelly Washington. Bottom line is, I'm a little obsessive. And Gossip Girl is right up my alley because well, I love me some gossip. I LOVE hearing about other people's lives. Which is also probably why I tend to be a facebook stalker. Hm. I'm sensing a pattern here. Anyway, I'm hopeful that this season of GG will be great because frankly, if it's not, the ratings are down and it will be on the chopping block.

Breakfast today was the same as yesterday, a cantaloupe bowl with greek yogurt and granola. I actually like it so much that I went to the supermarket to get two more cantaloupes. Yes, whenever I find something I like I eat it until I'm sick of it, so it looks like that's what I'm going to do with this cantaloupe bowl too.

I didn't stay true to my word today :( Instead of having just a half a cup of coffee, it actually ended up 2/3 of a cup. Oh well. At least it was a little less. Lunch at home today will be a big salad and a piece of the rye bread on the side. I don't know what it is, but the Hannaford in Waltham makes the softest loaves of bread and I really can't get enough. I thought the sourdough was my favorite, but the rye is catching up fast.

Speaking of bread, I walked through the organic/natural aisles last night and saw ezekiel bread. I have never seen it in a supermarket before, just at Trader Joe's. This supermarket actually sells a variety of things I have not seen outside of TJ's or Whole Foods so I'm quite happy about that. I have tried Ezekiel bread before, and I know Jillian Michaels is a huge fan...but I have to say, it tastes like dog shit and it's like chewing on rubber. When I eat bread I want to be flavorful, soft, and delicious. I really don't know what the hulabaloo (that's right, I used hulabaloo in a sentence) is all about with the ezekiel bread. I know it's healthy for you, but much like low fat cheese, why do it? It's just not the same.

I'm going for a 4 mile run tonight on the Charles River Bike Path that I have been raving to you guys about. I've decided I'm finally going to try upping my mileage this weekend and either go for 5 or 6. I'm slowly but surely getting there! When I burned out last fall on running, I actually became so disillusioned with running that I ebayed my Garmin. I am regretting that decision now. I have been considering the 405, does anyone have any experience with the 405? I really loved the 305, but hated it's bulk. Something to consider.

What "healthy" foods does everyone rave about that you can't stand?