Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birthday Party Fun & Some New Reads

Hello everybody! I wanted to start out this post by giving a shout out to all my new readers out there! Thanks for commenting...I just love reading the comments I receive on my blog. For those of you with your own blog, you can be sure that I will be checking them out in the next few days. I'm always on the hunt for new, exciting blogs to read.

My day certainly started off on the right foot. DD & DS made and brought my hubby and I tea/coffee in bed this morning! How sweet is that?! I got a pumpkin spice tea and my hubby got his coffee, 2 sugars, 1 cream....just how he likes it. I don't have any photos, though, as the camera was downstairs. After getting some laundry in the machine, I got my oats for the day on the stove.

-1 cup water
-1/2 cup Quaker oats
-1/2 mashed banana
-wheat berries
-pumpkin butter

I had forgotten all about my pumpkin butter so when I saw it in the fridge, I knew it had to go in my oats. YUM! It tasted great with the banana. The jar is almost done which is kinda sad.

I didn't have time for much this morning because we had to be out the door by 10:45am to pick up the birthday cake and get over to Burger King. I did manage to squeeze in some blog reading between my shower and packing up. Here's the's "Monster Truck" themed.

The party went VERY well! There were 11 kids in total and they all enjoyed running around and playing tag in the pay area. I enjoyed it because there was only one door to get in and out so it was easy to keep track of everyone! DS came home with what felt like a truck load of gifts. I barely heard a peep out of him for the rest of the afternoon he was so occupied!! And the Webkinz were a big hit! The kidlets had fun showing off which ones they'd picked out of the bag!

I knew there wasn't going to be anything I wanted to eat while there so I made a bagel to eat for lunch. It was a WW bagel with 2 pieces of deli ham, white cheddar cheese and sabra hummus. It was suppose to have lettuce on it to, but I completely forgot to put it on! DUH!

I ended up eating this at 2pm as we were driving home. I nibbled on maybe 5 fries and had a small piece of cake at the party. To tell the truth, I left the cake and ate the icing! That's really odd for me because I'm not usually a fan of icing, but this stuff was GOOD...not at all sweet like most icings. DD figured you all needed to see "after" pictures of the cake, so here it is!

The remainder of the afternoon was very quiet and peaceful. We didn't have any errands to run or places to go which is nice for a change. I watched a bit of TV and did a little reading before I got started on dinner.

Before I post about dinner, I wanted to show you all what I bought last night! I received a gift card to Chapters for Christmas and knew right away what books it was going towards. Last night I finally got around to picking 2 of them up!

That's right! Twilight & New Moon! The only reason I didn't buy the other 2 is that I am picky when it comes to my books and HATE hard cover. I do most of my reading in bed and they're just too heavy to hold up! I have enough $$ left on the card to grab the others when they come out in paperback. I'm excited to start on Twilight but have a few books from the library to get through first. YAY!

Okay...back to dinner! The fam had chicken alfredo (bletch!) so I made myself a chicken veggie pasta dish. I combined about 1 cup of steamed veggies, 3oz of chicken breast. 2oz of pasta and a big scoop of mango chutney...

This meal was bursting with flavour! Pretty darn good for something I just threw together. I didn't really need it, but I ate another small piece of cake for my sweet end. I'm definitely all caked out now! What's left will be split between my parents and my in laws tomorrow. Tonight I have to get at some work that I brought home with me. Not looking forward to it, but I don't want to leave it until tomorrow. I'll like it even less then! I truly hope that everyone else's Saturday night will be loads more fun than mine!! :)

Bye for now!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Webkin Mania!

I can not believe Friday has come and (almost) gone again! It seems like just yesterday that I was thinking TGIF and here we are again. AND, it’s pretty much the end of January. Holy smokes is all I have to say to that! I slept in a wee bit this morning because my hubby is off today so the pressure to get myself and the kids ready to go wasn’t there. That’s nice for a change. Here’s my breakie;

-1 cup water
-1/2 cup Old Wessex 5 Grain cereal
-1/2 mashed banana
-wheat berries

If you haven’t noticed, banana and blueberries seem to be my theme for the week where breakfast is concerned! I’m digging this combination.

After I posted last night I did end up making a mug of Camino dark hot chocolate.

I am in love. This stuff rocked my socks off! It reminded me of dark chocolate pudding…..creamy and s-m-o-o-t-h. I can’t believe I’ve gone almost 35 years without ever having this before. It will most definitely be a permanent item in my pantry! Now I really want to try one of the chocolate bars! On second thought, maybe I’d better not….

I ate the other half of my coconut cream pie lara bar before my run again today.

Half seems to be just what I need to power me through my run without feeling hungry. Speaking of my run….it was great! I bumped up the speed a bit today and left the incline at 5%. I plan to try out some of the programmed runs next week to shake things up a bit. Polar F4 stats….

Time: 45:00
Avg HR: 163
Max HR: 178
Calories Burned: 423
Miles: 4.62

I must say, fortunate as I was to live so close to home, I’m happy not to have to go there to run anymore! I feel that much better with the extra 10 minutes of run time that I’ve been getting!

Lunch was a Lean Cuisine Grilled Tuscan Style Chicken Panini…

This was a really good one! Right up there with the spinach and mushroom. I ended up eating the second half open faced to make it last longer! :~) I ate 2 Clementine’s along side the sandwich.

Somebody was selling neat looking chocolate bars as a fund raiser in the staff kitchen today. There was a choice of caramel, milk chocolate, no sugar dark chocolate and European mint. I grabbed a no sugar dark…

Cool packaging, eh? Can’t say that the ingredient list was stellar, but what’s $2.50 for a good cause? I had one strip as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Mmmm….chocolate! My favourite! I called the Geek Squad over at Best Buy today to check up on my camera and they told me that it should be back at the store in the next few days. YAY!! I can’t wait to have my camera back and put Old Bessy back in her case.

The boys had 5pm hair appointments and DD and I had to make a trip to the mall to buy the webkins for the party tomorrow. My hubby and DS decided to eat their dinner afterwards so I whipped up some Amy's California burgers and steamed edamame for DD and me. On my burger we have Sabra peppadew hummus, a Laughing Cow cheese wedge and lettuce....

Check out all these stuffed animals!

I think I'm just gonna let each child stick their hand in the bag and pull one out when it's time to go. I'm hoping that will discourage fighting.

I remembered to bring my tumbler to the mall so before we left I popped into Starbuck's and had them fill it with a vanilla rooibos latte.

This is hands down my new favourite drink to get there. Anyone else enjoy this latte? I've got some party prep to do tonight and them I want to finish reading a magazine that I started at the beginning of the week. Anybody have any exciting plans this weekend?

Bye for now!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A New Breakfast Idea

I tried out a new hot grain breakfast this morning that I’m super psyched to post about! So, without further ado, I give you……drum roll……

Bulgar Breakfast

-1/4 cup Bulgar
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze
-½ mashed banana
-handful blueberries
-splash of vanilla extract
-splash of French vanilla International Delight coffee creamer

Here’s what I did – last night I combined the Bulgar, water, almond breeze, cinnamon & vanilla in a bowl and nuked it for 2 minutes. When it was done I gave it a quick stir and let it cool before covering it and putting it in the fridge. This morning, I nuked it for 1 minute, added the banana and nuked it another minute, added the blueberries and nuked it 30 seconds, then stirred in the coffee creamer.

OH HEAVEN!! I’ve been toying with a few new breakfast ideas and this was one of them. I reasoned that Bulgar is a grain just like oats or oat bran, so why not incorporate it into breakfast? I’m so glad I did! This is definitely a winner! You could certainly mix & match the flavours here….the possibilities are endless!

I picked up a latte at 7-11 after swimming last night. Seems to have become a bit of a “tradition”. They were out of the blueberry and I wasn’t feeling the pumpkin spice so I bought a FF French vanilla.

This was good going down but actually upset my tummy a bit. It was VERY rich…..too rich, I do believe. I’ll have to remember that next week!

I was feeling snacky all morning, but knew that I wasn’t really feeling hungry. I was just excited to eat my coconut cream pie Lara bar. How sad is that?! I brought ½ of the bar because I was not falling for my mental game of “you have the will power to bring the whole bar and only eat half”. I know very well that I do not have the will power to not eat the whole bar. Anywho, this was my pre-run munch.

Good Lord, I love this flavour!

I enjoyed another fantastic run at the gym today! I am so, so happy the place is finally open! Running on this new treadmill feels like I’m running on air. It’s very smooth. And I downloaded some great tunes to listen to which really helps pass the time. Here’s my stats!

Time: 45:00
Avg HR: 165
Max HR: 182
Calories Burned: 429
Miles: 4.53

After my run was done, I heated up some of Mara’s chili for my lunch. I had a little tub of yogurt that was suppose to go on top, but I forgot it at home. Oh, well…it was still delish!

Then I ate a bowl of grapes. These guys were kinda sour. EEEKK! Pucker up!

Look who I found in the fridge this morning!

Another raspberry oatmeal muffin!! I guess my hubby took it home yesterday from his lunch. This made a great late afternoon snack! I promise that this is the last one this time!!

Tonight was DD's skating lesson, so I hit up the library again. It's so convenient that the rink & library are in the same facility! Unfortunately, I didn't find any cookbooks that interested me. I did pick up a bunch of easy readers for DS. Before we left, I ate an apple with a scoop of Mighty Maple PB.

On the way home I stopped by the health food store to part with my PB Lara Bar. I exchanged it for a pistachio one. I've never tried it before, so we'll see how I like it! While there, I picked up a can of Amy's split pea soup for dinner. I was getting pretty hungry and really didn't feel like preparing anything. I served it up with 2 pieces of WW bread & butter.

I was disappointed in the soup. It was kinda blah. I had expected a stronger flavour than what it had. It served it's purpose, though, I guess. I had a coupon for $0.55 off so at least not all was lost. I usually really like Amy's products. :( No sweet end as of yet, but the night is not over! :) I bought a tin of Camino dark hot chocolate at the health food store so I think I may just enjoy a mug of that. CSI is on at 9 and I have a few things to take care of before then so I must sign off.

Bye for now!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back in the Gym!

I actually woke up without too much of a struggle this morning! Most likely because I was stoked to wake DS up so that I could sing happy birthday to him! My baby is 7 YEARS OLD today! AHHHH!! Where does the time go? Here he is, then & now;

Winter 2002

Winter 2008
I whipped up a pot of my gingerbread oats this morning and it was divine. For an extra touch, I crumbled a piece of gingersnap cookie on top.

I wish I had another bowl of this right now.

If you’ve been reading along then you know that I killed my appetite for supper last night with cookie tasting. Well, I started to get just a wee bit hungry around 8 so I figured I’d better make something or I’d be up all night hungry. I decided another bowl of oats was the way to go. Who says you can’t eat oats twice in a day?

This batch was comprised of 1 cup water, ½ cup flax seed porridge, 2 Tbsp egg whites, 2 big strawberries and 1 Tbsp of chopped pecans. This was just enough to satisfy my budding hunger without being too heavy of a meal for so close to bedtime.

Another thing that I was psyched about today was that our office gym opened up! WAHOO! I can’t even begin to relay my excitement over this. No more driving home means an extra 10 minutes of running for me! The treadmill I was on today is a new one, so I had to fiddle with the speed and a few other things, but I think I got what I needed. Here’s my awesome stats!!

Time: 45:00
Avg HR: 167
Max HR: 181
Calories Burned: 443
Distance: 4.49 miles

Those numbers put a HUGE smile on my face!!! One cool thing that I noticed was that my HRM was working with the treadmill. Cool! I'm not sure how that all works, but the console and my wrist watch were reading pretty darn close on my HR and calories burned. Before I ran I ate a Curves bar to stave off the hunger;

Lunch was Thai Fresh Herb Tuna served over some leftover veggies.

I’m working a getting that protein in!! I really, really love these tuna steaks. 30 seconds in the microwave and lunch (or dinner) is served! Can’t get much easier than that! :) I also ate this beautiful apple.

After plowing my way through a mountain of paperwork, I decided to eat my very last raspberry oatmeal muffin.

These were a hit in my house and I plan on making another batch sooner rather than later.

Take a look at all the snow that was on my van after work! This took almost 10 minutes to clean off. Grrr!!

When I got home, I got a pork tenderloin ready for the oven. I smeared it with whole Dijon mustard, oregano, basil S & P and a fine mist of olive oil. It baked for 45 minutes in a 375* oven. Perfection...

I served my portion up with some veggies and a small salad with Bountiful's Tuscon dressing on it;

I had let DS pick out an ice cream to have as his birthday dessert for tonight because we'll be doing the whole cake thing on Saturday. He picked Nestles soft serve Smartie. I had about a 1/2 cup as my sweet end.

There's no witnesses, but I may have also ate 3 PB sticks. Who can resist?! Obviously not moi! Anyways, I'm off t the pool for DD's swimming lesson. Ahh, relax time with my book! Hope everyone enjoys their evening!

Bye for now!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Unexpected Free Time!

I woke up this morning feeling like the Pillsbury dough boy with a headache. Ugh! Hate those kinds of mornings. The day turned out to be pretty good, though. A nice hot shower and a bowl of oats had me feeling almost normal again.

-1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup Old Wessex 5 Grain cereal
-1/2 mashed banana
-handful blueberries

This was one of those bowls that just seemed to taste better than the last few. Maybe it was because I added the Almond Breeze this time? No matter….it was very satisfying!

I spent the morning working on tax calculations. Don’t go getting all jealous on me now! I know how fun that must sound! :) Needless to say, I was glad to get home to my treadmill at lunch. I ate a raspberry oatmeal muffin about a half hour before my run….

I ate one of these beauties as a sweet end/snack last night, too!

I have had such a desire the past few days to run outside. It’s just too darn cold still. I absolutely can not wait until it gets a warmer so I can enjoy a nice run on the trail…I’d even settle for a boring high school track at this point! All in due time, I guess. Regardless, I did have a great run! I pushed the speed up a little and felt like I could’ve run much longer than the 35 minutes I’ve got available to me. It felt effortless and when I saw my stats, I knew that it was effortless….my heart rate didn’t go over 170! I usually get it to at least 180. Time to try something harder!

Time: 36:08
Avg HR: 158
Max HR: 170
Calories Burned: 312
Distance: 3.52 miles

I brought a container of bean soup that I froze last week for lunch today.

This stuff just gets better each time I eat it! Can the flavours continue to “blend” in the freezer? Hmm…I wonder. I paired it up with some flatbread crisps. Here’s the box….

These were part of a gift basket that we received at Christmas time. They were a nice crunchy compliment to the soup. I also ate some carrots throughout the afternoon.

Crunch, crunch!

So, I've been thinking about what to do for grab bags at DS's party this Saturday. I want to stay away from snacks because there will be 2 kids there with food allergies. I was thinking of picking up Webkins for the kids in place of an actual "baggie". What do you guys think? Does anybody have any other ideas for 6-7 year olds? Girls are so easy! For DD's parties, I get the girls gift certificates to La Senza Girl. That's always a hit.

DD and I were suppose to go get hair cuts this evening, but our hair dresser is ill with a bad cold so we had to reschedule. Between that and the fact that tonight is hockey & swimming night for DS I had some free time on my hands to do other things. What did I decide to do, you ask? BAKE! I made some peanut butter sticks and gingersnaps. I found the recipes on Melissa's blog from her baking extravaganza at Christmas. The peanut butter sticks went off without a hitch if you don't count the fact that I baked them larger than what they should've been and then cut them in half when they cooled a bit. The ginger ones were a little trickier. I decided to make the "lighter" version that Melissa pulled off this past weekend, but my dough was really sticky so I decided to make them into cookies instead. The cookies ended up a bit big so I cut them in half, too. The end result was a huge platter of delicious cookies!

The only negative thing about making all these cookies is that I totally ruined my appetite and was not hungry for dinner at all. I ate 2 of the PB cookies and my fair share of gingersnap batter plus one that was actually baked. Honestly, I don't think I've ever had cookies for supper! I'm sure I'll pay for it later, though!

Well, the boys will be home shortly and soup & grilled cheese sandwiches have been requested. Once I'm done feeding them you can bet I'll be settling in to watch the Biggest Loser. Until tomorrow.....

Bye for now!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

An Uninteresting Day

I started out the week with an 8am dental appointment. Not my idea of fun, but it has to be done, I suppose and I have no cavities. Phew…I’m bad for cavities!

I pulled out the bag of Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain cereal to try out this morning before I left. To me it was just as delicious as the 10 grain! Once I finish this bag, I’ll go back to the 10 grain simply because it’s got 3 grains more than 7! :)

-3/4 cup water
-1/4 cup 7 grain cereal
-handful of blueberries
-1 Tbsp French Vanilla International Delight coffee creamer

The blueberries and vanilla went very well together in this bowl! YUM!

I got into work at 9 and I’m on early lunch this week so 11:30 came along quickly. Instead of going home to run, I went to our office gym to help clean it up. There was quite a bit of dry wall dust covering everything and some of the equipment needed to be placed. If luck holds, we’ll be back in there this Wednesday. I will do anything needed to make that happen because I’m tired of going home at lunch in this cold weather. Poor me, eh?!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I packed the remaining pizza for my lunch today;

I’m one of those people who like their leftover pizza cold. I don’t like the crust once it’s been reheated. Picky, picky, I know! :~) I also packed lots of grapes and an apple for snacking throughout the day. I figure if I’m gonna nibble, it might as well be on fruit!

There’s some random yellow pepper slices there, too!

As soon as I got home from work I changed into my Pilate’s gear and snacked on an energy bar.

These are freakin awesome! I’m so glad I took the time to make them yesterday! There’s a granola recipe in the same cookbook that I want to try, too, but it sounds dangerously delicious. I have trouble leaving goodies like that alone, so I don’t usually make them. I may have to bite the bullet on this one, though!

Pilate's was really awesome again tonight. We seemed to focus more on the arms whereas last week attention was paid to our legs. I think I may be a little on the stiff side in the morning! We started the class off by lying on a firm cylinder so that our spine was touching it from neck to tail bone. The pressure points felt really nice on my back. I picked DD up from dance after class was done and then flew home(obeying the speed limit, of course...haha!!)to warm up and eat dinner. I figured it would be a good idea to heat up some leftover chili seeing as I was chilled to the bone. I served it with a nice glop of yogurt on top.

Boy, will I ever be happy when I get my camera back!! I hope that picture didn't blind anybody!! I'm too full for a sweet end right now, but I may eat a raspberry oatmeal muffin a little later on.

Well, it seems to me that this post wasn't very interesting today! Thanks for reading to the end! I'm going to snuggle under a blanket on the couch and watch some tube for the rest of the evening. I hope everyone else had the pleasure of being just as lazy!! :)

Bye for now!!