Tag Archives: Panera bread

Monday Monday, so good to me

Yesterday was definitely productive and one of the happier Mondays I have had in a while, mostly because I was free to do whatever I wanted.

Maybe I should have bought this cup at Target after all?

I considered buying this for my desk at work

I went to Penzey’s to purchase something so I could get an item for free. I got the Natural High Fat Cocoa that my mom loves and makes brownies with. Now I need to figure out what I am going to make with it. The cashier suggested a nice chocolate cake with raspberry filling.

Penzey's Natural High Fat Cocoa

This jar was free with my purchase of $5 or more. Isn’t the label sweet?

Penzey's Raspberry Enlightenment

Halfway through my errands, I fueled up at Panera bread. I really love their greek salad. I must find a way to make that salad dressing at home!

Sierra Turkey and Greek Salad from Panera

I found these new fish oil gummies at Target. Even better, I had a $3 off coupon, so they were pretty cheap. I am all about the coupons!

I tried two when I arrived home and they were yummy. They didn’t taste like fish at all, which is always my worst fear because I do not like the taste of fish. I like the gummy form vs. the pills because my doc tells me they are easier for me to digest.

Nature Made Fish Oil gummies

When I arrived home, I found Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Happier at Home, in my door! I won it from her publisher directly and I am so excited to read it. I just have to get through a stack of magazines and some library books first.

Happier at Home

I worked out in the afternoon and recovered with protein powder and milk in my new BlenderBottle. I added some vanilla stevia and it added that bit of sweetness it was lacking before. The BlenderBottle mixed the protein powder well and I was so full after having 19 grams of protein in a matter of minutes.

Blender Bottle and NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia

Craig and I took a very long walk after dinner. We spotted mice (eek) in a few yards. I don’t like rodents. Craig insists that they are cute. Yeah, not convinced!

I have been cleaning and doing laundry today. I need to get back to some of that and take a walk while listening to some fitness and nutrition podcasts.


Sadness to Joy

It’s been a crazy week so far and it’s only Wednesday. I am just so happy that I took off of work from Wednesday through Friday and can relax and recharge now.

I went to Trader Joe’s on Sunday and bought some of these mints. I need to move to sugar free and sweetener free mints and gum. It will probably help my digestion problems. Love the taste of these by the way!


On Monday, I had one of those non-stop days of talking and meetings at work. I was exhausted by the end and then I went out to dinner with a co-worker after, so I couldn’t just go home and veg on the couch. It was a great dinner though and one that I found to be very helpful.

My co-worker has a wonderful personal trainer who has really found success in the health and wellness field, and not just as a trainer. So, we met up with her at Cafe Manna (I knew she’d be cool because she loves the restaurant like I do) and we chatted about my options. I didn’t have a revelation by the end, but I do think that I could succeed in the field like she has if I get some education under my belt. I am thinking about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition program and also still possibly getting my personal training certification to understand that aspect of the field. It’s all still very tentative right now. In fact, I am going to watch a webinar on IIN tomorrow morning and that excites me.

Oh and I had leftovers from my Cafe Manna meal, so I thought I would snap a photo. I had a new to me dish called the Mediterranean Couscous salad and it was simply delicious and made me feel so good after. I need to recreate it at home!


Tuesday was an awful day for many reasons. Let’s just say a meeting I went to ended up with me in tears because I was a) PMSing big time b) not in control of my emotions as a result c) simply frustrated with my work situation and really ready to say “you know what, I’ll give my two weeks now.”

So this happened. So did a headache, a nap and trouble falling asleep later that night from the stress. No job is worth this and I need this post to keep reminding me to get out.


Oh and I found a great job at a successful company, applied for it on Monday and found out it is probably already filled. Bummer. I’ll keep trying though!

It was my mom’s 73rd birthday today and I drove out to my parents’ house to surprise her. The surprise worked because she was shocked when I was talking to her on the phone, pretending to be at work and the next thing she knew, I was pulling up in my parents’ driveway.

While my parents were at the gym, I read this magazine at the library. I forget how great the articles in Psychology Today are.


This article sort of helped me realize how I need to move forward in the future.


I really enjoyed spending time at the library and not having to rush while reading and browsing books. Can I retire now?

My mom and dad love Panera, so that’s where we headed for lunch. Mom and I both had the Cuban Chicken panini, which tasted so good and different. It would be easy to recreate at home.


Mom got a free pastry with her Panera card and she shared with my dad and I. 🙂 I like bear claws just as much as she does.


Back at the house, mom and I baked this cake.


I took a nap on the couch next to the master napper, my father. We both can sleep in the middle of the day and be totally out of it. Pure bliss.


I picked Craig up from work and he got to setting up wi-fi in my parents’ house. Yay!


And then he patiently taught her the iPad, which is what she bought for her birthday.


Of course it was time for cake after that and the triple decadent was divine.



Happy Birthday Mom! So glad I got to spend the day with you and celebrate. Love you lots!


So, my week went from sadness and frustration to joy with today’s celebrations. And now I get to spend the next four days off of work with my husband, who also is on vacation. It will be great, even if it’s just a staycation.

I’ll end my rambling now and hope that you are all having a good week.

Happy 75th Birthday to my dad!

Today is my dad’s 75th Birthday. After going to the gym for an hour, quickly showering and getting ready, Craig and I headed out to my parents’ house to celebrate.

Here’s me and the birthday boy.

me and dad

My dad and mom love Panera bread and my dad hates waiting at a restaurant for his food, so we treated him to a meal at his favorite restaurant.

mom and dad at Panera

I had my favorite meal there–french onion soup and a Mediterranean veggie sandwich with an apple.

panera lunch

I enjoyed taking pictures of the peonies that were blooming in my parents’ backyard.




We sang happy birthday and had cake after letting our stomachs settle a bit from Panera.


Mmm…homemade chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream!

chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream

My mom gave me some magazines, two of which are fabulous! Whole Living and the Consumer Reports Food and Fitness edition.


Have you seen that Consumer Reports magazine before? It is very difficult to find in the store (believe me, when I saw it advertised somewhere last year, I went to about five different bookstores to look for it and could not find it).The library my parents go to orders it and then my mom is so sweet to request to buy it for me when they take it off the shelf. It’s the perfect magazine for a food and fitness blogger!

Consumer Reports Food and Fitness

And now I want to watch one of two movies I picked up at the library. I’ll probably go with “How Do you Know?” tonight. It’s not supposed to be that great, but I like Reese Witherspoon as an actress. I’m not a big Owen Wilson fan, so I hope he doesn’t annoy me too much.



Hope you’re having a great Saturday!

Coupon queen, Nutella Cookies and King Corn

Happy Saturday evening! Trying to post quickly before we watch this movie tonight.

king corn

Had a nice weekend day here. Woke up to the sound of meows begging for food and then meditated and ate greek yogurt with chia seeds, wild blueberry preserves and fresh raspberries for breakfast.

coffee; greek yogurt with raspberries, chia seeds, wild blueberry preserves

Did three loads of laundry before leaving the house to meet my friend Danielle at the mall.

I went to the mall with lots of coupons and deals in my purse. 🙂 That makes me happy and Danielle was not surprised I came with lots of coupons, as she knows I am the coupon queen like my mom is!

First up was a free $10 Francesca’s gift card just for turning in an e-mail I got from Mayfair Mall’s The Club at Mayfair. Score! Didn’t find anything at Francesca’s yet, but will eventually because they have lots of cute stuff.

I used my mom’s $10 Victoria’s Secret birthday card (she didn’t want it and is a nice mom so she let me have it) to get some lacie underwear.

Then it was time for lunch at Panera. I was very selective with what I chose because Panera helped me out by posting calories on the menu and that helped me decide on healthier choices. I did the “You Pick 2” and got a greek salad with a ham and swiss sandwich. The bread was so fantastic on the sandwich. I loved the caraway seeds in it. The salad also tasted so refreshing and this meal was what my body was craving. I didn’t eat the apple, but saved it for later. The Panera workers came around with free samples and I snagged a pretty big piece of a pumpkin muffin and a crossaint thing filled with soft cheese. Both were delicious!

Panera you pick 2 greek salad, ham and swiss sandwich, apple

After filling up our bellies, we ventured back to shopping. Unfortunately, Danielle is pregnant (well fortunately) and can’t really shop for much because of her ever changing body. She happily escorted me into Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft, Gap and then the Aveda store to score this free item. They were out of a free item on a coupon I had and were nice enough to give me a pretty big sized Foot Relief. God only knows my feet need this after the long winter.

Aveda Foot Relief

We enjoyed coffee at Starbucks to perk us up. I had an iced coffee and it was exactly what I needed.

I also picked up a cute and very me dish towel at Crate and Barrell. I knew I would probably use it as a placemat for the blog more than as a dish towel. I’ll show it later in my post.

A good day at the mall because I only spent about $2.00 and I got a couple nice little items.

Once home, I was in the mood to bake, so I whipped up a batch of Nutella Cookies using this recipe.

Nutella Cookies from Food.com

* 1 1/4 cups flour
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter (softened)
* 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 to taste approx. 26 oz nutella (one large jar)
* 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
* 1 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hr

1. In one bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and the two sugars until all is integrated and fluffy.
3. Mix in the Nutella, followed by the chopped hazelnuts. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl in three increments, integrating each one before adding the next.
5. Chill dough while oven preheats to 350°F Scoop the dough into balls and bake for about 10 minutes.

nutella cookies baking

They turned out kind of flat and big. I think someone else said the same thing in their review. They still tasted yummy. I only changed the recipe slightly by using less Nutella (didn’t have enough on hand and wanted to make it a little less fattening) and some whole wheat flour mixed in with the white flour. The cookies are very buttery and my husband loved them due to this fact.

nutella cookies

Dinner was beer battered tofu (yes, there are still leftovers), grape tomatoes and carrots. Pictured on the new Crate and Barrell dish towel, which looks kind of bad due to our ugly yellowish kitchen lighting.

beer battered tofu, tartar sauce, carrots, tomatoes

I am starting to feel better now, but I have noticed that as a result of feeling sick all week, I really did slack off in the fitness department (including today, unless you count walking at the mall as some exercise). I need to get back on track next week and create a plan for my workouts each day including classes, cardio machines and weights. I’ll try to post my plan tomorrow and may do this every week to see if I can stick to the plan and hold myself accountable. I have seen bloggers like Fit Chick in the City do this and I like the idea. Do you write out your workout schedule for the week?

Time to log off and watch King Corn. Have you seen it before and if so, what did you think?

Snow snow, go away

I had a snowy ride into work today–I did not enjoy waking up to see snow on the ground and big flakes in the air. When is this winter weather going to end!? I am ready for flip flops, spring coats, walks around our neighborhood and biking outside.

Today’s work day was good. I was dependent on others to get tasks done and most of them were accomplished today, a day early. Love when that happens.

I started my day off with Eggo nutri grain whole wheat waffles and a banana.


Snack at work was a trail mix bar, a kit kat and a latte.

Lunch was a whole wheat tortilla filled with pintos, a bit of cheese and red peppers. I also had more carrot sticks, red peppers, an applesauce and an Athenos strawberry greek yogurt. My verdict on these greek yogurts is that I do prefer Chobani over Athenos. I don’t think I am a big fan of the separate fruit filling that you have to mix in. Don’t know why, but it seems that Chobani’s blends better.


After work, I picked up Craig and we got dinner. He was getting his oil changed. His idea of the perfect dinner was McD’s. Mine, not so much. I had a bite of his chicken sandwich and was truthfully grossed out. I opted to go to Panera bread and ordered a you pick two of french onion soup, a meditterean veggie sandwich and an apple. Much better! Tasted nice and fresh.

Fuzzy picture courtesy of my husband’s Droid phone because I forgot my point and shoot camera.


My husband went to a basketball game tonight with his sister and I was going to head to the gym and then relax. Unfortunately, I laid down for a bit and an hour and a half later, I had been out on the couch sleeping away like a baby. This is a sign I need to go to bed earlier once again.

Speaking of, I missed my workout today as a result. So, maybe I should become a morning workout person more regularly?

Check out this article from Women’s Day featuring healthy living bloggers on 10 morning workout motivators. I am trying to find that balance in my schedule and it may be better for me to get to bed early and get up early to accomplish my workout.

Rewind to yesterday afternoon and evening–I enjoyed an Awake tea with a pump of mocha (my friend told me she enjoys this combo and she was right, it’s tasty) and the new Starbucks logo was on my sleeve. I managed to get two cute t-shirts from Old Navy totally free (no tax or anything) because of a $10 coupon I got from my Banana Republic card. Now I get to spend that at Gap, BR and online too.

Starbucks new logo

Dinner last night was Potbelly’s smoked ham and swiss sub.

Potbelly sandwich

Then Craig and I went to the Guided Meditation class. It was interesting and I am glad we went. Basically, I won’t be using this type of meditation in the future, but I think visualizing through listening to a CD or podcast could work for some people over the technique I use.

We meditated a couple of times in class and during one of the sessions, I was transported to Bacharach, Germany, looking over the city and sitting in the vineyards.


Bacharach was the first stop on our honeymoon in Europe a couple of years ago and it holds a special place in my heart, so it’s no surprise that my meditation session that involved picturing a place resulted in me going there. Aaah, I wish I could go there right now to drink some riesling and eat riesling gelato (which I really did and it was delicious).




Anyway, back to reality. Bedtime is approaching and since one of my new goals is to get to bed earlier, I better go get ready.