Tag Archives: grapes

A little bit of everything

I couldn’t really come up with a great title for this post, so I just called it “a little bit of everything” because that’s what it is. Do you ever struggle with titles for your blog posts?

It was Monday for me and I had a good first day back. It helped that it was sunny and warmer out, which seems to have put everyone in a splendid mood.

Catching up on my March Photo a Day…I forgot to add my photo for Sunday. I didn’t take it on Sunday, but it’s a picture from Christmas of my sister-in-law Amanda and brother Gary. I spoke to Amanda last week and Gary on Sunday, so he was my someone I talked to. They live in California and I used to see them all the time when I lived out there, so I miss both of them. Amanda has the cutest Scottish accent that everyone loves!

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Today’s photograph was “sign” so I took this one on my way to the bank to get a document stamped by a Notary Public. It seems like many cities have acquired these types of direction signs for their main attractions, which I think is cool and very helpful.

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The Notary Public thought I looked like Amy Poehler from SNL. I don’t think I do, but he said he could have sworn “the girl from SNL was sitting outside of his office needing something notarized.”

source

As I walked back to work, I almost got hit by a car again. Someone turning right didn’t even watch for pedestrians and I am glad I waited for her to pass through the intersection. Ugh, I feel like I am a target lately! Too many close calls and they’re making me scared of cars.

I pass by a lot of pretty buildings in downtown Milwaukee on my bus ride. This is a shot I got of the Pfister, our most expensive and historic hotel. It might be haunted. I’ve never been inside the hotel and need to remedy that soon.

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Dinner tonight had to be quick because I got home from work later than I normally do. I grabbed this packet of Thai Sesame Noodles from our pantry. I purchased it at Aldi a couple of weeks ago.

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Added some veggies and grapes on the side, which made for a delicious and very green meal. I guess it’s appropriate since St. Patty’s day is on Saturday.

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After my stomach settled a bit, I hit the gym. I rowed, did the elliptical and lifted weights. I had the itch to exercise outside, but I guess I can do that tomorrow since it’s supposed to be gorgeous out!

Night!

One down, two to go

My title refers to the fact that I am done with one work day and only have two more to go for the week! Wahooo! I am already making lots of lists for what I want to get done on my four days off, including updating my blog, writing and scheduling some posts, cleaning, shopping (maybe the outlets, we’ll see), and hitting the gym with my mama on Thursday morning.

Rewind to last night–we made homemade salsa that had cilantro from our garden and the standard ingredients. It didn’t impress Craig, but I liked it and it tasted fresh. Not sure how to change it to make it better next time. Maybe less jalapenos because our mouths were on fire?!

homemade salad, blue corn chips

I watched “Life As We Know It” and it was just ok. Another movie that didn’t really impress me. I guess I am more of a foreign film and documentary fan than anything. Anyone seen good, new movies from either type of genre that they can recommend?

Breakfast this morning was Chobani 2% plain yogurt with Bonne Maman wild blueberry preserves, fresh blueberries and chia seeds. It was my first time trying the 2% plain and I couldn’t really tell much of a difference between that and the non-fat. When I can find the non-fat at Woodman’s again, I’ll get it instead.

coffee,  yogurt, chia seeds, blueberries

I had my “usual” of iced coffee with almond syrup and half & half at work.

iced coffee

Lunch was a big salad filled with mixed greens, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, red onion, and red peppers. I also had a date and a vanilla Activia yogurt.

Vanilla Activia yogurt, salad, dates

After work, I found the book I won from Kitchen Conundrum in my mailbox, which excited me. I paged through it and the recipes looked awesome. Can’t wait to make some of them soon!

Green Market Baking Book

I meditated and then snacked before heading to the gym. I had a bit of Starbucks ice cream. Love coffee ice cream and especially this flavor!

Starbucks Java Chip frappucino

I also snacked on some TJ’s cheese & Jalapeno Jack Sun Chips. I needed something in my belly, but didn’t want to eat too much before going to the gym.

My workout was 22 minutes on the elliptical while watching HGTV, 18 minutes on the bike while reading Glamour, I lifted some weights and I did some ab work on the ball and on the mat.

Dinner was a TJ’s veggie masala burger without a bun and some grapes. You’ve seen it all before, so that went unpictured.

Better be off to read some blogs and then get to bed in about an hour! Tomorrow, I am waking up earlier than normal to go to the 5:30 a.m. Body Pump class with my friend Laurie. She just joined my YMCA and I am excited to be able to go to some classes with her. She’s never done yoga either, so we’ll have to hit up one of those classes soon to show her how great it is!

Moist and delicious banana bread

As always, where did this weekend go? Too bad we didn’t get to do too much outside due to the dreary weather we’ve been having in Milwaukee.

Did my usual Sunday morning thing–meditated, ate breakfast and watched CBS Sunday Morning.

Breakfast was an egg on a TJ’s sandwich thin with jack cheese, jalapenos, and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. Yum! I love eggs with jalapenos. :)

egg sandwich with jack cheese, jalapenos, frank's red hot, coffee

I really want to get back to doing Body Pump on Sunday mornings, but with my nose now being so stuffy, I figured it wasn’t the best thing for me today.

Instead, I showered and decided to run my errands. I went to Target and Pick N’ Save. I needed some produce, so I picked up a bunch of it at Pick N’ Save. I also got lunch meat, skim milk, Sun Chips, blue corn chips, and yogurt at Target. Oh and gummy bears and Milka chocolate somehow made it into my cart!

I wasn’t feeling the whole shopping thing today even though the stores seemed empty to me.

I ate this when I got home. Just can’t seem to get sick of the Vegetable Masala burgers this week. :)

vegetable masala burger Trader Joe's, red grapes

Then it was time to bake! I had three dark bananas and had been waiting to make banana bread with them.

Please excuse the big hole I created by testing the middle with a knife!

banana bread

Even though I knew I was going to make banana bread, I didn’t have a recipe picked out yet. Luckily, myrecipes.com tweeted a bunch of banana bread recipes this morning and I bookmarked the tweet. I used the Classic Banana Bread recipe from Cooking Light.

The only alterations I made to the recipe below were that I used whole wheat flour and not all-purpose, I added three heaping scoops of ground flax seeds, and I used Chobani plain greek yogurt instead of regular plain yogurt.

Ingredients

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 2 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
* 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Cooking spray

Preparation

* Preheat oven to 350°.
* Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
* Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

banana bread

It turned out really moist and delicious! I definitely recommend this recipe.

After watching a movie in the afternoon, I finally got my butt to the gym. I wasn’t feeling it because of my stuffy nose, but I went anyway. Glad I did because once I am there, I am always fine. I did 25 minutes on the elliptical, a full circuit of weights, squats on the bosu, and crunches on the Swiss ball.

It was late when I got home and I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I put together a nice salad that contained spinach, chickpeas, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, & artichokes. I topped it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

salad

Dessert was gummy bears and a slice of banana bread.

And now I am watching one of my favorite movies because I am a big bird lover, Winged Migration. I usually turn on the TV while I blog and I still had PBS on, which just so happened to start that movie at the exact time I turned the TV on.

Better read some blogs, catch up on the Sunday newspaper and then get to bed early. Another week awaits!

With another work week upon most of us, it’s good to remember this quote from Onward by Howard Schultz (of Starbucks).

quote from Onward by Howard Schultz, kindle

Morning at the Winter Farmer’s Market

This morning, I got up, relaxed a bit, made oats in a jar and coffee and then got ready to go to my friend Angie’s house.

oats in a jar, coffee

We headed over to the Milwaukee County Winter Farmer’s Market together at State Fair Park.

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It was a fun morning spent sampling all sorts of treats: dark chocolate caramel with sea salt, eggplant Parmesan soup (totally delicious), bread with balsamic vinaigrette, cookies, scones, bread, flaxseed crackers, feta/kalamata olive dip, sorghum syrup, granola, enchiladas, & strawberry preserves (tasted the difference between no sugar and sugar, I actually liked no sugar just as much). Well, no wonder I didn’t want to eat lunch later in the day! The samples were all very little of course.

I can’t wait until the spring and summer markets open up, but this was fun to experience. The only thing I purchased was sorghum syrup. I had never had it before or even heard of it. I sampled a bit before purchasing and think it tastes like molasses. I grabbed a free sorghum recipes brochure and will try making something from that, maybe some cookies.

sorghum syrup

sorhum syrup wisconsin

Here is a sign the booth had posted which did influence me to buy it.

glycemic load sorghum syrup vs. others

sorghum display at Winter Farmer's Market

After the market, I got a tour of Angie’s adorable house, we chatted for a bit and then I headed home. I thought Craig and I were going to get Indian buffet for lunch but after last night’s buffet and all of the samples I had at the market, we opted to save it for another weekend.

I was in my “cleaning mood” as Craig calls it and I did more laundry, hand washed lingerie, brought some things into the basement, did dishes, etc. It felt good to clean up around the house!

I finally had something for a late lunch–just plain chobani with the wild blueberry preserves.

chobani plain yogurt with bonne maman preserves

I rested on the couch and like always, conked out in a nap and so did Craig. By the time we woke up, it was 3:30. Aaah, naps are too common for me lately and then I feel so behind in my plans for the day.

I got up, cleaned some more and ate an early dinner.

I had red grapes first.

red grapes

Then I made pasta with mushrooms, kalamata olives, feta and tomatoes–all drizzled with olive oil and topped with a bit of sea salt.

pasta with mushrooms, kalamata olives, tomatoes, feta cheese

Dessert of cadbury mini eggs were calling my name.

Cadbury mini eggs

After meditating, Craig and I went on a walk around the neighborhood for about 20 minutes. I changed into my gym clothes when we got home and headed straight there, because it was getting late at this point in the day.

I just wanted to do a light workout so I lifted a few weights and biked for a half hour while finishing reading a Fitness magazine and watching HGTV’s dream home show.

Once home, I needed some protein so I had a strawberry Chobani yogurt.

strawberry chobani yogurt

Time to log off and watch Despicable Me! Tomorrow, I am headed to brunch with the girls and then to my parent’s house after to visit and drop off/pick up some things.

Night!

I heart Fridays

Aaah, Friday, how I love thee. I will also love Wednesday of next week, since it will be a “Friday” before a four day weekend.

We don’t have much on our agenda for the weekend, but I made a fairly big to do list today. I will try to accomplish almost everything!

Breakfast today was Total cereal and coffee. I ate a quick breakfast so I could spend more time making a healthy lunch for Craig and I.

I made us both ham and cheese sandwiches on Arnold’s Thins. Additionally, he had a Yoplait yogurt and I had red grapes, a Stonyfield smoothie and pita chips.

After work, I headed to the YMCA. I logged 32 minutes on the elliptical and lifted some free weights. The machines were so busy tonight that I figured I would rather wait until the weekend when it’s quiet and I don’t have to wait around to do my circuit.

I had a craving for pizza for dinner so we had a frozen one. I made it a little healthier by adding broccoli and red peppers to my half (Craig is grossed out by broccoli, unfortunately). Wow, that was so good! I am going to add both of those veggies every time I eat pizza now!

Of course I had to have dessert. I have been ignoring my pumpkin ice cream all week, so I had a little bowl of that. Maybe I want to save my pumpkin cravings for Thanksgiving.

Speaking of, my mom and dad are hosting turkey day and my mom is not clear about what she wants me to bring. She will make the pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole. My mother-in-law will bring the green bean casserole, which is what I was going to bring. I planned on finding a healthy version of  it to make. Now that is no longer an option. I want to bring something healthy–any ideas? I guess I will be searching food blogs this weekend to look for something. That or I can just bring wine! Honestly, holidays sort of frustrate me and it shouldn’t be that way. I don’t find them relaxing and I never even have to host any parties!

I’ll stop venting and cross my fingers someone comments with some healthy recipes to share.

Tomorrow morning, I want to get to the 8:45 yoga class, Starbucks to enjoy the buy one get one free holiday drinks and then Craig wants to buy a new toilet at Home Depot. We want one that is more green and uses less water. All I want from Home Depot is a spice rack to mount on our pantry door! Love the differences between male and female priorities in a household. My co-worker and I were discussing that this morning. I want to decorate and organize, Craig wants to make the house green and improve manly things.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wicked and wild wind

Driving to the grocery store tonight, I heard Coldplay’s Viva La Vida and this line was perfect for today: “it was a wicked and wild wind.” Whoa, today we are the windy city! What a crazy storm with high winds and rains.

Breakfast was the rest of the pumpkin oatmeal that I couldn’t finish for breakfast yesterday. I added a big chunk of greek yogurt for some protein and sweetened up a little more than yesterday’s bowl with some maple syrup.

Lunch was a whole wheat tortilla with pinto beans, shredded cheese and topped with Frank’s Red Hot sauce (I swear, I never get sick of this meal). I also had an apple and a Strawberry Chobani yogurt. Oh yeah and a Reese’s PB cup, which I learned scores a 3 according to the Nuval system on Trading Up Downtown today. Oh well, good thing I only eat them during Halloween time!

Lunch

Dinner was fresh European baguette with deli ham, cucumbers, tomato, Swiss rye cheese, mayo, Frank’s Red Hot sauce, and oregano. Red grapes were my dessert. Oh and maybe another Reese’s PB cup. :)

Mmm…European baguettes bring me back to eating in Europe. Love them!

European baguette
mini-sub with red grapes

Mini sub and red grapes

Before dinner, I relaxed, put my feet up on the couch and looked through my new Fitness magazine.

Off to watch The Biggest Loser and rest some more. My legs aren’t as sore as they were yesterday, but I think I have a good night’s sleep and Burt’s Bees Muscle Mend to thank for that.

Speaking of The Biggest Loser, I was reading this FitSugar article featuring Jillian Michael’s Fitness Ultimatums while blow drying my hair this morning. Thought you would enjoy!

No pain, no gain

The perfect title for today is “no pain, no gain.” It isn’t creative, but describes exactly how I am feeling due to Body Pump yesterday! I think the squats and lunges made my thighs and quads hurt the most. I hurt all day long. Thinking about it, I don’t believe we stretched our legs after class. I will have to do that on my own from now on, because the abs and tiny bit of arm stretching won’t cut it.

Our Indian dinner was yummy yesterday. My pictures are horrible, but I will share anyway. The lighting in the restaurant was not conducive to no flash photography!

Naan and paneer tikka masalaIndian food 

I had two pieces of naan and two helpings of rice and paneer tikka masala. Craig got chicken tikka masala. We also had a Mango Lassi and a Mango milkshake. We had never tried the milkshake before and it was a little lighter than the lassi. I think we both concluded that we like the lassi more. I was so full at the end and bloated. It was well worth it for yummy food that I am not sure I could duplicate in my own kitchen. Plus, I had leftovers for lunch today!

I snacked on some Halloween candy while I watched The Amazing Race.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Candy Corn

Mmm...candy!

I made overnight oats for breakfast this morning. I mixed canned pumpkin, non-fat organic TJ’s yogurt, skim milk, chia seeds, flax seeds (for the overnight portion). This morning, I added dried currants, almonds, topped with a bit of greek yogurt and honey. I warmed it up in the microwave, since I seem to like that better than cold oats, especially as the temperatures outside drop and I am seeking warmer, comforting breakfasts.

Overnight oats

Overnight oats and coffee

Lunch was Indian leftovers with red grapes and a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

Lunch

I also snacked on some almonds, candy corn and had a green earl grey tea to wake me up a little in the afternoon. Monday afternoon sleepiness hit me at about 3 p.m. and I remember that happening last Monday too. I need more sleep on Sunday night!

I napped after work and then forced myself to eat early, even though I wasn’t that hungry. I had to get some food in me well before heading to boot camp.

Pinto beans with whole wheat tortilla, shredded cheese and Frank's Red Hot

Boot camp tonight was tough at first with my painful legs. Luckily, we didn’t do many leg exercises. We did chest presses on the swiss ball, jumped rope, ran the basketball court, scooters (for abs), balancing on the bosu and passing the weighted medicine ball to each other, scoops with resistance bands and things in between and at the end. The end was lots of arms with resistance bands. I bet I will be walking like a freak tomorrow with sore arms and legs!

It’s 8:40 and I need to get off of this computer and do something else. I also want to get to bed a little earlier tonight so I don’t feel so sleepy tomorrow.

Fitness goals achieved since October 1st

Happy hump day (evening)! The work week is nearly over!

Breakfast was a Christmas themed cup of coffee, TJ’s non-fat plain yogurt, greek non-fat yogurt, almonds, the rest of the Door County Cherry Jam (sad face), honey and chia seeds.

Snack was one of the 100 calorie Craisin packs I got at the walk on Sunday. I love the pomegranate ones compared to these, but in general, they have too much sugar! Oh and I had a cup of Earl Grey to warm me up. I had chills at work this morning!

Lunch was this:

A veggie sandwich on a plain bagel with spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, hummus and a little bit of mayo. I had some grapes for dessert, plus half of the pita chips featured in the photo. For an afternoon snack, I had the gala apple pictured yesterday.

After work, I was still not feeling great but then that cleared up and it was time to hit the gym. I stretched (still a bit sore from Monday, but not too bad), did 17 minutes on the treadmill, some running and mostly walking. Then I did 22 minutes on the elliptical and pushed myself extra hard on that. Next it was lifting weights with the Fitlinxx program tracking me. When I was all done, the Y employee who trained me on the Fitlinxx had left me an e-mail in the system saying that I was keeping up with my fitness goals of 1-3 times of strength training with Fitlinxx per week. Yay! I have been doing about 3-4. He recommended 3 times a week for toning up. I have gained a little weight from strength training, but that is to be expected.

Kind of a boring post today–sorry! Not too much exciting around here on my hump day.