Holiday Shopping Deals!

Good Morning (and happy Thursday!).

It’s time to do some catch-up from yesterday…I don’t know where the day went, but I’m glad it flew by (one day closer to the weekend!).

While watching Something Borrowed (a really interesting movie – check it out if you have HBOGo!), I enjoyed a big bowl of kettlecorn Smile

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That popcorn filled.me.up! Later much later on, I made a tuna sandwich for lunch.

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I melted a thin slice of provolone and thin slice of colby jack cheese on a whole wheat roll in the oven, and put a can of tuna on top! Those whole wheat rolls I got are so good…definitely need to buy some more!

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A small plate of cooked baby carrots on the side.

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And a small bag of Hershey’s kisses for dessert! I wish they made little bags of their seasonal flavors, like candy cane!

Dinner:

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Leftover sweet potato fries (eaten cold – my new favorite potato temperature!)

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Chicken & broccoli bowl (with raisins, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and honey balsamic dressing)

Breakfast:

I woke up reeeeally early this morning (around 5:00?) – well, not as early as Bud. He had to wake up at 3:00 to go on watch from 4-6 Sad smile

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I decided to go all out and make a fancy breakfast sandwich with eggs, turkey sausage, and a honey wheat english muffin. It tasted great, but was really difficult to eat (it kept falling apart!). Also enjoyed with a hot cup of gingerbread coffee!

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After doing a 30 min. yoga video (hulu.com has a bunch for free!), I had a Yoplait apple crisp yogurt. Oh, and a bunch of pb&j mixed nuts. Those things are dangerously delicious! I have a feeling I’ll be eating another late lunch today Rolling on the floor laughing

Cute Picture of the Day!

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Charlie & Artie, 12/5/12

For some strange reason, our cats love hanging out in their carrier!

Freebie Alert!

This morning I ordered two free bottles of nailpolish from Crabtree & Evelyn Open-mouthed smile If you use the code: Holiday94, you can get $10 off any purchase of $10 or more (and everything’s free shipping!). I went for the red (apple) color and white (snowdrop) color, so I can *hopefully* paint candy canes on my fingernails! They have several colors to choose from, and their nailpolish is on sale 2 for $10….perfect!

Another really good deal:

If you go to Amazon.com’s facebook page, they have an offer for $5 off a qualifying purchase of $25 or more. I bought some Christmas presents with the offer this morning – it worked out great!

Question of the Day:

How do you save money while holiday shopping?

Cute Picture Alert!

It’s Wednesday already?!?! This week has been flying by…wow!

Yesterday afternoon was busy busy – I ended up making two trips back and forth to the Navy base (Bud needed various articles of clothing), but it worked out because I was able to pop in the gym and do a quick dumbbell workout before eating dinner at the mess hall Smile 

The mess hall only charges $4.55 for civilians to eat there – a pretty good deal! They have a line of hot entrees, salad bar, fresh fruit, soup, dessert, and drinks (soda fountain, coffee…).

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None of the hot entrees looked appealing last night, so I made my own taco salad with taco meat, lettuce, salsa, and cheese.

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I also had a hot (PIPING hot!) bowl of minestrone soup. Oh, and an apple and peanut butter cookie (both with peanut butter on top). It was a delicious dinner, but the taco meat was not pleasant to my stomach last night Sad smile

Breakfast:

I was really excited for breakfast this morning, because we got a special surprise in the mail yesterday (thanks Andy & Kelly!)….Gingerbread coffee!!!!

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This coffee is really good. I like it better than the pumpkin spice flavor, but chocolate glazed donut still is my #1 favorite!

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With my coffee, I enjoyed a jar of overnight apples & cinnamon oats.

In the jar:

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/2 medium gala apple, chopped
  • 1 spoonful peanut butter

I was originally planning on going to a yoga class at the gym today, but have decided to find a free yoga video or two online and workout at home instead….the gym’s class is at 11:30, which is probably the most inconvenient time ever for me (that’s when I eat lunch!).

And now, a cute picture for you to enjoy! I’ve decided to post one picture of our cats, Charlie and Artie, every morning. They are just too darn cute!

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Charlie and Artie, Winter 2011

Question of the Day:

What flavor of coffee gets you in the holiday spirit?

The Most Mouth-Watering Pb&J Ever!

Happy Tuesday Smile

My day got off to a great start, thanks to a jar of overnight oats!

Before I get to that though, check out the most mouth-watering pb&j ever!

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I made this last night for dinner, after daydreaming about it pretty much all day Rolling on the floor laughingA really easy, inexpensive, deeeeelicious dinner (or lunch!). Actually, I would eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yum. Yum. Yum!

To make your own hot n’toasty pb&j, follow the steps below!

1. Warm up a whole wheat roll (or your bread of choice) in the microwave or oven

*I used a crusty whole wheat roll from the grocery store’s bakery, and would recommend using something similar

2. Slice the roll in half (or not, if you’re using regular sandwich bread)

3. Spread a generous helping of peanut butter on both halves of the roll

*I used both creamy and chunky peanut butter to make things extra fancy

4. Slice 1 banana and place on one half of the roll

*If your roll isn’t very big, one banana might be too much

5. Top the banana slices with a few spoonfuls of jelly or jam

*I used Cascadian Farm’s blueberry fruit spread

This is what your pb&j should look like at this point:

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6. Put the non-banana half on top of the banana half

7. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, until you see major peanut butter and jelly oozing going on!

8. Eat, and enjoy!

*Warning: this is a sticky & messy meal….keep some paper towels and/or hand wipes handy!

I promise you will love this!

On the side, I enjoyed some cooked baby carrots (gotta have some veggies with dinner!)

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And a bag of pretzel m&m’s

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If you’ve never tried these, I highly recommend them for a tasty (and not too-unhealthy) treat!

Breakfast:

Breakfast today was an easy one, since I prepared it last night! I’ve got to do this more often…making breakfast at 5:30 a.m. isn’t always as fun as it sounds Party smile

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Overnight apples & cinnamon oats!

  • Nearly empty peanut butter jar (the best vessel for overnight oats!)
  • 1/3 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, chopped

Enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee!

Workout:

The gym on base was packed this morning, so I didn’t get a chance to do some dumbbell exercises after my 30 min. on the elliptical. When I got back home, I cranked up some music and did squats for a song and then arms (pushups & dips) for a song. Not as much as I’d planned on, but still better than nothing!

 

Question of the Day:

What’s your favorite way to eat peanut butter? On a spoon? In a sandwich? In a Reese’s peanut butter cup?

Weekend Highlights :)

Happy Monday Smile

This weekend went by way too fast! It was filled with Christmas shopping, cooking, and quality time with Bud (and the cats!). Here are some food highlights from the past few days:

Frozen yogurt with a Ghiradelli pumpkin spice chocolate

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8 Can Taco Soup (check out the recipe here -it’s SUPER easy to make and turned out delicious!)

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Peanut butter & jelly mixed nuts. Ummm. YES, we will be buying these again!

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Peppermint whipped cream…tasted so good on my chocolate covered donut coffee!

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Now, back to real life today’s food!

Breakfast:

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A nice warm bowl of apples & cinnamon oatmeal!

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1 cup water (I like my oats pretty soggy Smile)
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/2 chopped granny smith apple
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Spoonful of chunky peanut butter

Snack:

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I went to a workshop about moving in the Navy right after the gym, and am so glad I planned ahead with a snack in my bag! These granola bars are deeelicious!

Lunch:

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A random bowl of tasty things!

  • Broccoli
  • Chicken
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raisins
  • Blueberry flavored cranberries

I thought it would be plenty to eat, but I was still hungry afterwards…

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Hello, Thanksgiving leftovers!

For some reason, I’ve been only thawing the leftovers out in the microwave and eating them slightly cold. Is that weird? I think it’s delicious!

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I also enjoyed two Chocolate Parfait Nips…these are really good until the chocolate’s gone, then they become a strange little caramel thing and I throw the rest out Smile with tongue out

Weekly Workout Schedule:

Monday: Walk, core

Tuesday: Elliptical, weights

Wednesday: Yoga (first class at the gym on base!)

Thursday: Core

Friday: Pilates

Saturday: Off (hopefully going to Busch Gardens!)

Sunday: Walk or elliptical, weights

 

Question of the Day:

What are you looking forward to this week?

I’m hoping our moving truck comes early, otherwise I’m excited for Christmas Town at Busch Gardens!

Holiday Survey!

Happy December!

Before I get to a really fun holiday survey, check out what we had for dinner & breakfast….yum!

Last Night’s Dinner:

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Homemade chicken parmesan sandwiches!

While the rolls were toasting in the oven, I heated up leftover chicken tenderloins on the stovetop. After everything was good and hot, I melted a thin slice of provolone cheese over the chicken and topped it off with Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil pasta sauce on the bread. This was mmmmmm mmmmm delicious! The sauce made it a pretty messy meal to eat, but that’s what paper towels are for Smile

Breakfast:

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Thanksgiving breakfast leftovers: Pumpkin French Toast Bake. Ummm. Wow. You’ve got to try this recipe! We topped ours off with chunky peanut butter and syrup!

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I also had a Yoplait apple crisp yogurt (pretty good!) and cup of coffee. Gotta love festive mugs!

And now, in honor of it being the first of December, a fun holiday survey that I found on Julie’s blog!

25 Questions: Holiday Style

  • Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate, definitely. Especially the fancy kinds with peppermint flavoring and/or marshmallows on top! Eggnog grosses me out, but my husband loves it Smile with tongue out

  • Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

99% of the time, Santa wraps presents. I still remember the Christmas that Santa gave my sister and me blue inflatable chairs…those were ready for us to sit on!

  • Colored lights on tree/house or white?

Colored lights! I do think that white lights look better on really fancy houses, but colored ones seem much more festive to me Smile

  • Do you hang mistletoe?

Yes!!!! We need to go find some!

  • When do you hang your decorations up?

Usually the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we’re without our decorations until the moving truck gets here Sad smile We did buy a fake tree at Walmart though!

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  • What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Ohhhh, that’s a tough one! Probably my family’s Chex Mix (with white chocolate and m&ms). Other than that, we don’t really have a special holiday dish…

  • Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Decorating the house while listening to “Ooompapa” music!

  • What is on your Christmas wish list?

Clothes, shoes, books…nothing too exciting!

  • Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?

My parents always give us a new ornament at dinner on Christmas Eve. It’s a really special tradition, because the ornament is related to a big event that happened during the year. *I’m guessing this year’s might be wedding-related!

  • How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

With colored lights and ornaments. It would be really fun to make popcorn strands to put on the tree, but our cats would go crazy and the tree would probably crash down in about 5 seconds Smile

  • Snow? Love it or dread it?

I love snow! It was really strange to be in Texas for Christmas and not have snow on the ground, but maybe we’ll get some this year in Virginia?!

  • Real tree or fake tree?

Real trees will always have a special place in my heart, but we bought a fake one this year Sad smileIf we ever live somewhere that has snow on the ground and real Christmas tree farms, there will definitely be a real tree in our living room!

  • Do you remember your favorite gift?

Two years ago, I moved in with Bud a few days after Christmas and he bought me a used piano. That was really special Red heart

  • What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?

Being with my family

  • What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Oh, definitely my mom’s peppermint stick icecream pie. Bud and I actually tried to make one for Thanksgiving this year, but it didn’t turn out nearly as good as mom’s!

  • What is your favorite tradition?

I can’t decide between the new ornament on Christmas Eve and eating donuts (have to be from Dunkin Donuts!) on Christmas morning!

  • What tops your tree?

Good question! I can’t remember if we have a star or an angel. Actually, we might not have a tree topper…we’ll find out when the moving truck gets here!

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We can always use Artie as our tree topper!

  • Do you prefer giving or receiving?

Both!

  • What is your favorite Christmas song?

Carol of the Bells, definitely!

  • Candy canes, yuck or yum?

Not my favorite candy of choice…but, I do love candy cane flavored things. Target’s Archer Farms brand has a candy cane flavored coffee out right now that looks amazing!

  • Favorite Christmas movie?

The original Santa Clause movie (with Tim Allen). Elf is a close second, though! Oh, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!

  • What do you leave for Santa?

Sadly, nothing…we used to leave cookies (I think?). If we left anything out for him, our cats would eat it Open-mouthed smile. Funny story…a few years ago we had everyone’s donuts out on Christmas Eve night, and Charlie got into them and ate my dad’s and brother in-law’s donuts. Hahahaha.

  • Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?

We open our stockings while eating donuts and drinking coffee/tea/orange juice, and then get started on the Christmas tree!

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Last year’s festive Christmas coffee!

  • Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

Neither…I like shopping at Target! Their Christmas aisles are so much fun to walk through!

  • Christmas letter or Christmas card?

I’ve never sent out a Christmas letter, but I do enjoy getting them from other people! My favorite Christmas cards are ones with family pictures and/or really sweet notes written inside Smile

 

Question of the Day:

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Holiday Money-Saving Tips

Greetings!

I have exciting news…..

This morning I cooked chicken and it turned out pretty great! (it was one of the first times I’ve ever cooked raw chicken by myself…and I’ll admit I didn’t have high expectations for the end result Smile)

I marinated it with this dressing:

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and added garlic powder, pepper, & poultry seasoning. Well, marinate is probably not the best word choice…since I only let it sit for about 4 minutes before popping it in the oven. Oh well…I’m still learning here!

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Also on the plate:

  • broccoli
  • homemade sweet potato fries (didn’t turn out very good…I think the potatoes I bought are going bad?)
  • baby carrots (2 pound bag cooked with 1 tbsp. butter, 1/8 cup sugar, 1/8 cup brown sugar on the stove for about 45 min.). YUM!

This was a tasty lunch, and a welcome change from our Thanksgiving leftovers!

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For dessert: vanilla frozen yogurt with a Ghiradelli peppermint bark square. Yes, I ate it out of a plastic wine glass (although it looks like a bowl in this picture!). So fancy!

And now, for some holiday money-saving tips!

1. Make a budget, and stick to it.

2. Homemade gifts are often better than store-bought ones. Friends and family are 99% more likely to love (and remember a lot longer) a framed picture or hand-sewn blanket than a giant Hershey kiss shaped like a Santa hat that’s on sale for $19.99 at your local supermarket. Just saying…

3. Shop around, and don’t be afraid to return items if you find them cheaper somewhere else!

4. Giftcards are a great option (especially for those hard-to-shop-for people in your life). Lots of stores & restaurants have great promotions going on right now, where they give you a small giftcard if you buy a giftcard. You can find a master list here!

5. Give everyone a lump of coal.

Just. Kidding.

Hahaha.

I have seen gum that’s made to look like coal at CVS…a very tempting stocking stuffer Smile with tongue out

And in honor of Freebie Friday, here’s a free offer just for YOU!

Restaurant.com is giving out FREE, yes, FREE $10 egiftcards to everyone! You can email as many as you want to friends and family. Pretty awesome!

Question of the Day:

What’s the most special homemade gift you’ve ever given or received?

I’m Baaaaaaaaack!

Hello hello!

The past month has flown by, and I can’t believe my last post was on Halloween…Yikes!

Here’s what’s been going on in November…

1. Bud (my husband) graduated from boot camp

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2. I drove from Texas to Virginia with the cats (they did surprisingly well in the car, but howled a lot in the hotels)

3. We found an apartment and moved in within three days (I’m SO glad I found a potential place before getting to Virginia!)

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*We’re both very grateful that the Keurig fit in my car Rolling on the floor laughing

4. Bud and I made a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us, and ate leftovers two meals a day for three days straight…I’m going on a week straight actually Smile

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Now that we’re finally settling in, I can get back to blogging! It’s been WAY too long…I miss it!

Breakfast:

I’ve been waiting for a few days to make overnight oats in our nearly empty peanut butter jar

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and finally prepared it last night, since Bud ate breakfast on base this morning (I didn’t want him to be jealous of my breakfast, and there was only enough for one serving Smile). We’re dealing with a very limited amount of kitchen supplies right now, since our moving truck isn’t planned to arrive until Dec. 12th. Fortunately, the Navy is lending us a big box of plates, bowls, pots, pans, etc…but we don’t have any mason jars to make overnight oats in!

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YUMMMMM. The peanut butter jar was practically overflowing with apples, and it was delicious.

In the jar:

  • 1/3 cup oats (probably should have used 1/4 cup to fit it all in, but I didn’t realize the jar was so small!)
  • 1/3 cup skim milk (left over from Thanksgiving cooking!)
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • Cinnamon (generous sprinkling)
  • 1 small/medium granny smith apple, chopped

I also enjoyed a Yoplait pumpkin pie yogurt. The Commissary (grocery store on Navy base) had a 4 pack on sale for 99 cents…couldn’t pass that deal up! The verdict: it did taste like pumpkin pie, but was kind of watery and had a slightly funky aftertaste. I looked at the ingredients and saw that it has aspartame in it, which is a bummer… yogurt’s supposed to be healthy, not filled with artificial sweeteners! Hmpf!

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And I had a nice hot cup of coffee, topped off with whipped cream!

Bud and I go through whipped cream phases…sometimes we put it on our coffee for several weeks straight, and sometimes we don’t buy it for a month or two. Weird! I have a feeling we’ll be having it a lot in the next month or so…

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Especially when our red and green sprinkles arrive with the moving truck! Hello, festive coffee!

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My flavor of choice this morning was Chocolate Glazed Donut. This stuff is the BEST. Seriously, it tastes like a donut in coffee form Smile with tongue out

charlie coffee

Hahaha, we actually got this picture of Charlie a few nights ago while we were eating Thanksgiving leftovers. He LOVES the smell of turkey Smile

I’m off to do some serious cooking….sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, taco soup, cooked baby carrots…all while jamming out to Pandora’s R&B and Pop Holiday station Open-mouthed smileIf you’re looking for a good (free!) holiday music station…definitely give this one a try! It’s especially awesome when Christmas songs from Glee come on Smile with tongue out