Tag Archives: salad

Weekend up north

We headed up to Shawano, WI over the weekend, where my husband’s family has a cottage on the lake. I didn’t grow up going to a lake cottage or cabin, but it’s a tradition in Craig’s family.

I drove and was feeling sleepy halfway through our trip, so a trip to Starbucks was much needed. I tried a White Chocolate frappucino for the first time.

Needed a pick me up while driving up north

We stopped in Oshkosh, where the EAA flyin was going on and we saw the Good Year blimp and some fighter jets.

Good year blimp

Here are some pictures from the lake.





We ran into town on Friday night and I picked up a salad and some Chobani at the store.

Healthy dinner

Craig supported the girl scouts and got a hot dog.

Craig eating his hot dog

On Friday night, I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, but admittedly spent a lot of time on my cell phone because I was a little bored. They weren’t horrible (especially if you knew that Boyle was creating the first live movie) in my opinion, I just get bored during those in general. I like the parade of nations part best.

I enjoyed this cider finally.

Fox Barrel cider and the olympics

We ventured out to Wausau to hike Rib Mountain on Saturday.

The views from the top were beautiful.


me at Rib Mountain

us at Rib Mountain

We went on the yellow trail and it wasn’t that tough or long of a hike.

the yellow trail at Rib Mountain

The top of the observation tower offered the best views of the area.


It was nice to get a change of scenery over the weekend. I didn’t get to do any reading of magazines or books, which was a bummer. I did watch a lot of Olympics and Craig learned just how excited I am about the summer games. I was so happy Lochte won a gold!


My one complaint about the weekend? Getting a cappucino in town at a local coffee shop. Let’s just say that the girl admitted that she didn’t know how to make one and when she started to make it, kept asking if I wanted it flavored with vanilla. Then another lady took over making it, asked me if I wanted vanilla flavoring and it was finally done about 15 minutes after I ordered it. I think there was something wrong with the machine or the barista. I should have complained or walked out as the capuccino was not very good in the end. I don’t think Shawano will be getting a Starbucks anytime soon, so I know to just be happy with my instant coffee when I am up north.

Baking, fro yo, friends and family

This weekend…

Craig came back from being out of town. He has had to use up vacation days because they expire at the end of this month. So, he went up north and enjoyed a change of scenery. It was so good to have him back! We really haven’t been apart much, so I was missing him like crazy while he was gone. So were the kitties. 🙂

I baked the strawberry rhubarb crumble I made a year ago because I was craving it.



I went to Yo Mama and got cake batter and pistachio frozen yogurt.



This mama (my friend Danielle) got hers totally free because she’s a mama to two cute little girls. I asked if cat children counted, but sadly they didn’t (I wasn’t the only weirdo who asked that apparently). Yo Mama in Tosa had a buy one get one free deal, so Danielle’s first fro yo from there was totally on the house. Lucky girl. She loved the cake batter like I do.


Before that, we had walked a big loop around Hart Park, through a neighborhood in Tosa and then went to Outpost after fro yo because she had never been to the Outpost before. It was a lovely day for a long walk with an old friend.


I needed to balance out the sweetness of the yogurt, so Craig and I had salads for dinner. He requested croutons and I picked up a yummy cheese and garlic natural variety from Outpost. Mmm…they hit the spot!


Today, we took Craig’s mama, Kathy, out for breakfast. We tried to eat at Blue’s Egg but it was packed, so we went with our second choice.


I had a breakfast wrap with hash browns. I ate this whole plate and regretted it later since I didn’t really eat much else all day.


I didn’t get to see my mom today, but I am glad I spent her birthday with her. It’s always hard since her birthday falls right before mother’s day. My brother went over to my parents’ house, so at least she got to see one of her 7 kids! We’re going to do a mother’s day redo together by going to Cedarburg on one of my furlough Fridays. I haven’t been there since I was a kid so I am looking forward to that.

I ran some errands to Target and Kohl’s, pumped up the tires in my bike and went for a ride around the block and then took long walk with Craig. After all of that running around, I read magazines in bed and relaxed for a little while.


And now I am going to go work on a review of a product, which I hope to post early this week! I’ve been enjoying using it this weekend and it’s something I always wanted for my kitchen.

Friday recap

I got highlights and a haircut at a new salon. I loved my stylist and I’ll be back to see her.

I enjoyed some Aveda comforting tea while I waited.


The end result–a lot shorter (I think I got about two or three inches off) and a little darker, with warmer highlights like I asked for. This will be much easier to dry in the morning! As an added bonus, my husband prefers my hair shorter and he was ecstatic to see that I got so much off the ends.


I checked out the Outpost in Bayview after. It was my first time to that location and it was such a nice store. I liked the layout better than the Tosa one for some reason. I wish we had an Outpost on my side of town!


I liked how this church in Bayview said “kirche,” the German word for church.


After finishing one of the worst movies we have seen in a while, J. Edgar, we headed over to New Berlin. We split a chicken burrito for lunch and enjoyed some chips and salsa.

I like my husband’s happy Qdoba face here (he was brushing the salt from the chips off of his hands I think).


And yet another hubby shot–us reading magazines at the library. I felt like we were a retired couple just hanging out at the library on a Friday afternoon. 🙂


Then it was time for Starbucks’ frappucino happy hour! I had the new Mocha Cookie Crumble flavor to satisfy my chocolate cravings. I liked this drink because despite what you may think from the name, it didn’t taste overly sweet.


I liked the chocolate flavored whip cream too.


We ran a bunch of errands and then hit the gym to burn off those frappucinos!

Today flew by with a trip to the New Berlin Farmer’s market (opening weekend = a very small market) and more errands. We’re on the hunt for a filing cabinet for me and it’s not been easy to find one I/we like.

I’ve been eating a lot of junk today and we’re having salads for dinner to balance things out. It’s a miracle that my husband will eat salad because he never does. He liked the smell of the salad dressing I made in the shaker the other day and he just needed some “normal” lettuce instead of my regular spinach to convince him to eat a salad this weekend.

Time to go be productive and clean the house!

A healthy and divine dessert

Since Craig and I were both off of work today, we just kind of approached the day in a leisurely fashion.

I listened in on a Institute for Integrative Nutrition webinar which promoted the program and answered questions from the audience. It was informative and well thought out. I am just not sure I want to spend that kind of money on another degree (even though I need to spend it on some type of program in order to make a career change).


Lunch was a big salad, as you may already know if you entered my OXO giveaway! Keep the entries coming and thanks for your responses so far. Love reading about everyone’s favorite salad combinations.


Since it’s that time of the month, I can’t get enough chocolate today. I had a couple of pieces of this for dessert. I gave my mom a bar for her b-day yesterday and she enjoyed it too.


After lunch, we went to Batteries Plus to get my car battery tested (they do it for free there, whether or not you buy a battery). We found the store to be busy with customers and friendly sales people to help them. I did need a new battery within the next year, so I bit the bullet and bought a new one. They installed it there and the installation was totally free and quick. I ended up getting a pretty good deal on with a coupon I printed off the web, so I was happy. My car started up much more nicely once it had a new battery to power it with! I know this has nothing to do with healthy living, but I thought I would just give a nice little review on our positive experience at Batteries Plus. 🙂

Then it was time to watch the storms come in. We got pounded a bit this afternoon, but nothing like the flooding they’re experiencing north of us.


Dinner tonight was our favorite pizza from Trader Joe’s.


And my dessert was INSANELY FANTASTIC. I won some Orange, Lemon and Vanilla stevia drops from NuNaturals through Clare’s blog. I got the idea for my dessert from her giveaway post. I just combined some Fage plain greek yogurt, a few lemon stevia drops and strawberries. I haven’t been this crazy happy with a dessert in a long time and it’s super healthy to boot! I kept saying “mmmm” every time I took a bite! I can’t wait to make this again.


Time for a walk outside! It’s the perfect time of night. It’s cooling off and the birds are all chirping so happily. Aaah, I love spring.

OXO Salad Dressing Shaker review and {GIVEAWAY}

I am excited to share this review and giveaway with you today!

As part of the OXO blogger outreach program, I received a salad dressing shaker for free to try out for myself and one to giveaway.

OXO Good Grips salad dressing shakers


Here are some of the features:

OXO Good Grips salad dressing top

Description from the OXO website:
Making a quick dressing is a cinch with the OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker. The watertight Shaker offers a clean, neat and convenient way to mix, serve and store dressings, sauces and marinades. The top unscrews to reveal a wide opening ideal for adding a range of ingredients like oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, onions and spices. The Shaker is made of a BPA-free, break-resistant and dishwasher safe material. Once ingredients are added, screw the top on and shake to quickly mix dressings with no spills. The top lever flips back for pouring and forward to seal. Use the airtight Shaker to store leftover dressing and sauce right inside the fridge.

I made a salad for lunch today and tried out the product! I used a Penzey’s Italian salad dressing base.

Salad dressing OXO salad dressing shaker

Mixing it all up!

OXO salad dressing shaker

The top opens up so you can pour out your dressing and it closes for easy storage in the fridge.

top pouring feature OXO salad dressing shaker

I am so happy I received one of these to try out and keep! It is something I see myself using quite often because I tend to make my own dressings vs. buying them.

pouring the dressing

Want to win one for yourself?

To enter (US residents only):

Mandatory: what are your favorite salad combinations? If you don’t like salads, just say that and tell me what you are having for dinner tonight.

Extra entries:

-Follow me on twitter.
-Tweet about the giveaway “Lisa @ FitintheMidwest is giving away an @OXO good grips salad dressing shaker. Enter here:http://wp.me/p13dZe-1lE”

I’ll announce the winner on Monday, May 7th at about 8 p.m. CST. Good luck!

Arms & abs

Despite my injury, we went to the gym yesterday and I was determined to get my heart rate up by doing weights and abs. I was successful with my goal and happy to get moving, even if it wasn’t by doing any cardio. I focused on my arms and abs since anything with my legs was pretty much not possible (except leg press with my good leg and one hip exercise).

I ate steel cut oats with berries while reading Whole Living before we went to the gym.


I snacked on some greek yogurt when we got home from the gym and then I had a big salad for lunch. I added broccoli, red peppers, tomatoes, cottage cheese and mozarella cheese to a bed of spinach. I mentioned my renewed love for cottage cheese in Friday’s post. The other thing I’ve been doing lately is adding it to salads since it’s something I discovered from our salad bar at work.


Topped it all with Green Goddess Annie’s dressing. Not quite as good as just the “Goddess dressing” but it was still tasty.


Dessert was a Reese’s egg. I hadn’t had one this year, so I was tempted by the 70% off sale on them at Target this week.


Yesterday’s photo a day challenge included capturing “how I was feeling.” Instead of a semi-sad face portrait, Craig suggested I take a picture of my foot since I was feeling defeated with my injury. It was a nice day out and I couldn’t be active. 😦


While making dinner, I drank some Titanic Lakefront Brewery beer. It’s been in our fridge since 2009, so it was about time to drink it. I tend to drink beer more when the temps get warm, but otherwise I am more of a wine girl.

Anyway, I figured it was also time to drink it since this weekend is the 100th anniversary of the sinking.

Titanic Pilsner beer, Lakefront Brewery


I cooked up some quinoa for us for dinner. I added tofu topped with soy sauce to my dish with roma tomatoes. Craig added chicken pieces to his.

Quinoa, tofu and roma tomatoes; beer

I’ve missed taking pictures with my Canon DSLR, so I got it out this weekend and will try to get back into using it more often instead of just for special occasions like vacations. Inevitability, I shot some cute pictures of the cats, so I’ll share those. If you hate cats, I’m sorry. 🙂

Here’s Karma, who is usually the one I take the most pictures of because he is usually the silly one.


The rest are of Tanzi, who was the comedian this weekend. He was biting his comb after Craig cut the cats’ nails.

Tanzi and comb



cute kitty

I didn’t go anywhere yesterday and felt pretty sleepy all day. We’re going to get out of the house after lunch to head to Penzey’s (free spice redemption, yay), Starbucks to get a free drink by handing in an empty bag and to Barnes and Noble to look around. I hope the storms that are supposed to come through this afternoon aren’t too bad! They were really loud last night.

Walking Milwaukee

It’s been unseasonably warm here in Milwaukee this March. It seems from what I am hearing, it’s that way all over the country. I have decided to take as many walks and bike rides outside as I can, especially before it gets unbearably hot and humid in the summer.

Yesterday, I walked down to the river on my lunch break. Here are a few pretty (and educational sites).


Milwaukee County Historical society windows (interned here for a bit).


The March photo of the day was “clouds” yesterday. There really weren’t too many clouds in the sky to find, but I found these cool ones above the Milwaukee theatre.


Was wishing this was my license plate so I could spread the positive healthy vibe. 🙂


Reflection off the Journal Sentinel newspaper building.


And the educational end to my walk.


I already took my walk outside today to the library to pick up some things that were on hold for me. I’m going to start reading one of those books now and eat my lovely salad I put together at my work salad bar. It’s full of all sorts of goodies like cottage cheese, chickpeas, cous cous, etc. that I normally wouldn’t be able to throw together at home.

Has the weather been really warm in your neck of the woods? Are you taking advantage of it too? If so, what’s your favorite outdoor activity in the spring and summer?

Fiber and green tea

I forgot to share the wonderful news I got last week! Now, let me preface this by saying that I never quite understand what the results of medical tests mean.

My final lab tests came in from my colonoscopy and EGD that I had back in November. Everything came back normal and great. No ulcers, polyps, pre-cancer bacteria, no colitis showing up, etc. The doc wants me to get tested for celiac sprue, which I had done in 2004 and that lab came back negative. I am still not sure if that one negative lab test will reassure my doc that I don’t have Celiac Disease and I need to call the doctor’s office and ask. At least I had my old lab results sent over to them and that’s done.

My gastroenterologist also wants me to make sure I am getting enough fiber in my diet, so that is one of the reasons I started tracking my food with MyFitnessPal too. I am happy to say that I am definitely getting enough fiber and enough protein so far (which I was worried about since I eat a mostly vegetarian diet).

I bought some Fiber One honey clusters cereal this week and it’s pretty good. I put a banana in it and that helped with the flavor. I need to eat bananas when they are still a tad green on the end as I like them much better that way!


Because it’s so good for you, I am trying to drink more green tea. Yesterday, I had a cup mid-morning with a lovely little unexpected snack of a pumpkin spice apple pie that my co-worker’s wife made. It was delicious and such a great combination of flavors.


Lunch today was half of the pictured leftover butternut squash risotto from Trader Joe’s, carrot sticks and a Stonyfield Oikos blueberry yogurt. I snacked on the clementine later in the afternoon. It was a very orange lunch!

I made the risotto for dinner last night and it was ok. I don’t know if I would buy it again because I am not sure I am that wild about butternut squash.



After work, I had to go to the store to get some electrolyte drinks for Craig. He has the flu (for the second time this season) and had a very bad day. Poor guy. I feel so bad for him, especially because he can’t seem to sleep and rest when he’s sick.

At the store (Aldi), I picked up a bunch of produce so I could make a yummy salad for dinner. It was just what I wanted to eat before yoga. I also made a smaller salad to bring to work tomorrow.

I put artisan lettuce in it, cucumber, turkey, provolone cheese, roma tomatoes and I topped it with goddess dressing.


I hadn’t been to yoga for about a month and it felt so good to practice again tonight. Of course, class was sooo crowded with the January joiners, but we all fit and worked around each other.

Have a wonderful night! This week flew by and I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday already.

I am definitely a city girl!

We’re back from our trip up north! It was nice to relax, unplug a bit, nap, sleep in, and read without distractions. I did miss home and our cats especially, so it feels good to be back!


lake view

While I enjoy getting away from the city, I am definitely not a country girl. I guess I take after my mom! I told Craig that we’ll probably never go camping together. I feel bad, but in all seriousness, if I can’t handle spiders in the cottage bathroom, how could I ever camp?

Here’s a recap:

Some of the food I/we ate:

Trader Joe’s maple oatmeal with Justin’s maple almond butter (so good).

coffee, oatmeal, Justin's maple almond butter

A big salad from the Pick N’ Save salad bar. By yesterday afternoon, I was just craving tons of veggies.


We went out to eat on Friday night and had fry bread and cheese for our appetizer.

fry bread, cheese

For fear of strange looks, I didn’t take a picture of my main meal. I got a delicious veggie burger with swiss cheese and mushrooms on it.

I was sent an Erin Baker sample pack of products before we left, so I tried Erin Baker’s Organic Brownie Bite. It was unexpectedly a bit minty and tasted so good!

Erin Baker brownie bite

Erin Baker's Organic Brownie Bites

We brought two bags of the Food Should Taste Good chips up north and tried those. Let’s just say my husband loved the White Cheddar and that bag is already gone. Glad I got to try more than a couple of handfuls of that flavor!

White Cheddar Food Should Taste Good chips

I munched on some jalapeno chips during our car ride home. Not that we needed any more “heat” added to our drive. You’ll hear more about that in a bit.

Food Should Taste Good jalapeno chips


We went out to eat and walked around town on Friday night. We enjoy one particular restaurant in town, so we always return back there.

Craig and I July 16th, 2011

Restaurant interior

restaurant interior


Typical main street in any Wisconsin small town.



We played Uno a couple of times. Craig was declared the winner far more often than I was :(.

Cider, uno

I finished reading The Hunger Games! It was so addictive to read. Craig also was reading it on his kindle and he claimed I was being competitive, trying to finish before him. The truth is, it was just so good that I had to get to the ending! I can’t wait to read the other two books!

The Hunger Games

Only “up north” would you see this:

Scooby on toilet


I actually did not workout a lot and I missed it. I did a walk/run with Craig one morning before the humidity set in.

And I did yoga this morning using the Hot Body Yoga app from Women’s Health. It was my first time using the app and I really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to try it more often.

Women's Health Hot Body Yoga app ipod

yoga with Hot Body Yoga app

It felt amazing to do some yoga! My body needed it.

Today’s car ride felt like our own version of 127 Hours. We weren’t stuck in the desert and we didn’t have to cut our arms off, but we were in extreme heat the whole way home and Craig’s air conditioning was not working.

Did I mention that I hate bugs of any kind, especially spiders? There was a black spider crawling around our pillows and food in the back seat. When I got the opportunity to, I killed the bugger. I know, it’s not very nice, but hunching forward in my car seat to avoid him wasn’t so pleasant either.

Besides the bugs and extreme temps, we faced a nice highway backup. Why oh why Dept. of Transportation of WI, would you have a popular two lane highway going from north to south cut down to one lane on a weekend when no one was doing any construction work? I am sure they have their reasons, but we and the other 100 something cars in the backup were not happy!

I actually feel sick when I am in that kind of heat with the sun blaring down on me. I was so happy to get home to our air conditioning blasting and the happy faces of our kitties.

Time to go change the laundry, unpack some more, and find something to eat.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the Food Should Taste Good chips giveaway!

Food conversations at Target

Boy, what a busy Monday it was for me at work. I was running around non-stop. Just when the fax machine would go off (I get most of the faxes), the phone would ring, or a new e-mail would come in.

Luckily, meditating really has seemed to help me control my stress levels at work and also helps me think more clearly. I am sure it has helped in many other ways too!

I started off my Monday with Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt, berries, and chia seeds. This filled me up!

yogurt, berries, chia seeds, coffee

I snacked on an iced coffee and a string cheese at work mid-morning.

I had a big salad with spinach, feta, and red peppers, topped with Italian dressing for lunch. I also had some baby carrots and a vanilla activia.

salad, carrots, string cheese, vanilla activia

After eating and reading some blogs, I started The Hunger Games. Craig has been reading it on his kindle, but he’s a slower reader than me and I couldn’t wait to read it!

The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

So, I picked it up from the library just in time for our upcoming trip up north, where we will be doing lots of reading. I wanted to get a head start on it so I can get into a bit before we are at the cottage. Hope it’s a good read! I like it so far.

A Target trip was in order after work. I got out my “All Out Of” list and coupons and was ready to conquer my list! I was on a mission to get some essentials, a few food items, and to use up some coupons! Love my coupons! I actually never bought a coupon organizer from etsy in the end. I just use this cute and cheery Clinique cosmetic bag and filled it with labeled envelopes full of coupons. It works perfectly!

All Out Of and coupons

While at Target, I heard one interesting food related conversation and participated in one. I overheard a young mom say to her two boys that she wasn’t buying them scooby fruit snacks because those particular fruit snacks had artificial ingredients in them. She told them, “you wouldn’t understand, but I buy things that are natural and I read the labels to make sure certain packaged foods are good choices.” They kind of whined and then she said, “you’ll understand someday.” I smiled at her as she said this and thought to myself, what a good mom!

The food conversation I participated in was at the checkout. My cashier saw that I was buying cheap balsamic vinegar. Even though it is from Italy, I am sure it’s nothing special. I just needed some to make salad dressing with and to drizzle on my quinoa. She recommended Oro di Oliva in Wauwatosa. She was so excited to share the details of how you can taste conventional olive oil and vinegar vs. Oro di Oliva’s and really taste the difference! I’ll have to check it out soon.

When I got home from Target, I found this lovely package on our back door step! I kind of squealed with joy upon seeing it! I am sampling five different flavors of Food Should Taste Good chips. The company was also generous enough to give five bags to a lucky reader. I’ll post that giveaway a week from today on the 18th, so check back then if you love these chips as much as I do!

Food Should Taste Good box

We’ll definitely be sampling those up north too! Craig is a major chip eater, while I tend to only care for these more healthy ones and pita chips. 🙂 I told him he can’t scarf down all of these bags, I must sample them for the blog!

Dinner tonight was boring frozen pizza. I had a larabar at work before leaving, so I wasn’t too hungry. I needed to eat something quickly before heading to the gym.


At the gym, I biked for a half hour while reading an old issue of Health magazine. They showed a drawing of the Bulgarian Split Squat and I decided to try it out when I was done biking.

If you haven’t seen this move before, here is what it looks like:


I enjoyed doing this exercise and will definitely incorporate it into my gym routine more often.

It’s almost bedtime, so time for me to sign off. Hope you had a good Monday.