Shopping vs. Buying

After work today, I swung by the apartment to pick up Ryan and some Christmas goodies to exchange/return.

I figured a random Tuesday night at the stores would be less busy than this upcoming weekend, so we rounded up a bag of stuff to take back before dinner.

We were both lucky this year and don’t have too many things to return… most were simply exchanges for proper sizes (and the occasional return of a duplicate gift).

Normally when we go shopping Ryan will browse for about three minutes before he’s bored. Then he’ll follow me around until I’m done (Oh the pressure!). Ryan says he likes to go “buying” not “shopping.”

Do you prefer to go buying or shopping?

Ryan goes to a store with one particular thing in mind. I, on the other hand, love the shopping experience and could browse around certain stores (like Target or T.J. Maxx – they have everything!) for hours.

This does not sound like a good time to Ryan… unless we’re in one specific store: Sports Authority.

Sports Authority

This is the only place where Ryan and I can go and split up to do our shopping and I will typically be the first one done. I’ve been known to  sit in one of those tailgating chairs at the front of the store waiting for him to finish examining the tennis rackets, soccer balls or the gym shoes that just came in.

Sports Authority was on our hit list this evening since I received running tights (which I wore on our bike ride on Sunday) from both my family and Ryan for Christmas.

Ryan’s First Squash

Ryan’s first attempt at spaghetti squash was a success! He did everything perfectly and we had a delicious fast and easy dinner.

My Bowl

We topped our spaghetti squash with portobello mushrooms, sliced yellow squash, marinara, Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese. Deeeelish!

Sliced Squash

Close Up

All Stirred Up

 After dinner we shared a big mug of hot chocolate.

Sweet, Creamy, Good

Ryan’s mom gave us both a bag of this tasty hot cocoa and we’ve been enjoying it every night since Christmas!

Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows

Hot chocolate is definitely my favorite beverage in the whole wide world.  (Do milkshakes count as a beverage because a creamy milkshake might give hot cocoa a run for its money…)

What’s your favorite beverage?

Tonight Ryan and I are watching Food Inc. Should be an interesting night!

Trusty Ol’ Salad

I haven’t had a salad in what feels like months. (Actually, it honestly might be months since I have had one! Yikes.)

Today the salad made a strong comeback in the form of an Asian veggie salad I gobbled up during lunch.

Asian Salad

My salad included:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Steamed broccoli and carrots (leftover from yesterday’s lunch)
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Celery
  • MorningStar Farms Asian veggie patty
  • Kraft light Asian toasted sesame dressing

So Many Veggies

After pouring on the yummy dressing, I shook up my salad to evenly disperse all the goodies.

All Shook Up

Salads can really bore me if there aren’t enough toppings to keep me interested. Fortunately this bad boy had a variety of flavors and made me feel quite satisfied.

What is your favorite salad topping?

I love the addition of fruit (such as apple slices or mandarin oranges) and toasted nuts to my salads. Yum!


Ryan is tackling his first spaghetti squash in preparation for our dinner tonight.

Spaghetti Squash

Since he has the week off from work, I left him detailed instructions as to how to bake a spaghetti squash and fork out the yummy strands so the squash will be ready to go when we want to eat this evening.

We have plans to do some Christmas returns/ exchanges tonight and I know we’ll want a quick and easy dinner after the shopping madness. When I asked him to prep the squash while I was at work he said “What!? But I’m the ‘meat guy!'” He seemed a little nervous but  I have faith in his squash abilities! You go guy! 😉

Change in Plans

Last night our dinner plans for a double date to Season’s 52 changed when our friends Ryan and Jenessa decided to head over to our apartment a little early to hang out.

We originally planned to meet them half way between their house and ours, but since they drove to visit with us in downtown Orlando, they wanted to eat at a local Orlando restaurant. Since Ryan and I have been meaning to try Antonio’s, a nice Italian restaurant in Maitland, we decided to give it a go! (Warning: All pictures are extremely dark due to restaurant lighting. Please don’t hate me.)

Antonio's Ristorante

Antonio’s Ristorante is located directly above Antonio’s Cafe and Deli, a more casual restaurant in the middle of a gourmet Italian shop. The atmosphere downstairs was louder and seemed really fun, but the wait was a good 45 minutes, so we opted for the upstairs fine-dining restaurant.

The first thing we commented on was the attentive service. Very impressive! Our waiter greeted us and took our drink orders immediately and brought us a big basket of freshly baked bread which was delicious!

Warm Bread

I somehow enjoyed only one piece… I think I was too busy chatting away and by the time I went for another, the boys had already polished off the goods. 🙂

For my entree I ordered a big bowl of Antonio’s soup of the day: chicken with lentils and vegetables. This soup was unbelievable. Ryan also had a bite and thought so as well.

Chicken Soup with Lentils and Vegetables

I also enjoyed a side of asparagus because I was determined to get some veggies in my body after a  holiday hiatus.


I ate a lot of Ryan’s dinner as well since it was so huge and delicious.

Ryan ordered the Risotto allo Zafferano. Confused? I was too, but it was tasty! The dish was arborio rice slowly simmered with saffron threads, white wine and chicken broth, finished with Parmesan cheese, and  topped with jumbo shrimp.

Janessa ordered the same dish and we all were raving about the creamy, cheesy flavor.


After dinner we just had to take Ryan and Jenessa to Jeremiah’s, our favorite gelati joint.

Jeremiah's Menu

As always, Ryan and I split a big ol’ cookies ‘n’ cream gelati and enjoyed every last bite. I could eat Jeremiah’s every day!

Cookies 'n' Cream

Why-oh-why is ice cream so gosh darn delicious? Why can’t broccoli taste like this???


Today I woke up and frantically changed into my gym clothes and dashed to the gym because it was freezing in our apartment and outside. Even non-Florida folk would agree that weather in the 30s is cold! Where was this chilly weather on Christmas!?

My workout was all over the place because my iPod was acting up and wouldn’t play any of my music. I really need my music when I do cardio.

Today’s cardio hodgepodge consisted of:

  • 10 min. stair master
  • 15 min. arc trainer
  • 15 min. weird cardio machine that I don’t know the name of
  • 10 min. elliptical

Not the most amazing workout, but it made me sweat a bit and did the trick.


As a peanut butter lover, my cravings for the nutty spread hit me hard. I wanted peanut butter for breakfast like nobody’s business!

I made a breakfast sandwich with peanut butter and fresh strawberries (on sale!) on an Arnold whole wheat sandwich thin.

Yummy PB

Tuesday's Breakfast

I also enjoyed a cup of free Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas coffee courtesy of my gym.This is definitely my favorite flavor of all Barnie’s coffees. The combination of coconut, caramel and vanilla flavors hits my coffee spot!

You Go Girl!

I had a man say “You go girl!” to me today. 🙂

How often does that happen? Apparently he thought my Uggs were quite jazzy and complimented my boots.

Mah Uggs

When I told him they were lined with fuzzy sheep wool to keep my feet warm he busted out the “You go girl!” It made me laugh and started my morning off on the right foot.

I hope you’re all enjoying a great Tuesday so far and are staying warm! You go girl!

OMG! Is that a vegetable!?

Ahhh yes, the return of the vegetable!

Does anyone else feel like during the holidays vegetables and fruits somehow fall to the wayside?

I know my daily veggie servings were replaced by casseroles or decadent holiday dishes. I’m not complaining because all the food I ate was beyond delicious, but it’s time to give the ol’ bod some much-needed nutrients.

Along with a simple cheese sandwich (Colby jack cheese on a whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin), I enjoyed steamed broccoli and baby carrots.

Monday's Lunch

Love That Cheese


Dinner Plans

I am hoping to sneak some veggies into my dinner tonight, too. Ryan and I have plans for a double date with our friends Ryan and Jenessa who are in town from North Carolina.

Ryan was a groomsman in their wedding back in May of this year and our friend Ryan will be one of my Ryan’s groomsmen!

I took the picture below of the happy couple on their big day.

Ryan and Jenessa

How cute is this picture!?

Here’s a flashback picture of me and Ryan at their wedding at the Duke Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Me and a Foxy Groomsman

We’re meeting Ryan and Jenessa at my favorite restaurant, Season’s 52.

The restaurant serves healthy dishes, with nothing on the menu above 475 calories. The best part? It all tastes amazing!!!

According to the Season’s 52 Web site:

“We promise our guests the freedom to indulge while simultaneously eating well and feeling good about themselves by featuring foods that are thoughtfully prepared and in appropriate portion sizes, with no item on the menu above 475 calories. This enables our guests to indulge in a complete dining experience, including our custom flatbreads and signature mini-indulgence desserts, while still feeling good about themselves and their dining choices. We use natural cooking techniques such as wood-fire grilling, brick-oven cooking and caramelizing vegetables to let the natural flavors shine through. We do not use any fryers or heavy cream sauces, which hide the authentic flavors of food. And we execute precision seasoning flavoring, and oil with control and care to ensure just the right amount is used to bring out the great flavor profiles. The result… great tasting food that just so happens to be good for you!”

Sounds pretty wonderful, huh?

I’ve never left this restaurant disappointed and I’m hoping to have another fantastic experience there this evening.

Back to Business

After four glorious days off work, it’s back to the grind today. Fortunately we’re easing our way back into the work week since we are only working four days as New Years Day falls on a Friday this year. Yay!

Today started off like a normal Monday with a good workout and a nice walk with Sadie. Ryan was able to join me and Sadie on our morning walk since he has the whole week off of work. Lucky boy, huh?

Meringue Breakfast

I was anxious to break into one of the three boxes of  Divine Meringues I received for Christmas, so I jumped at the opportunity to incorporate them into my breakfast.


I opted for vanilla bean  meringues and crunched them up to stir into my Greek yogurt.

Yogurt with Vanilla Meringues

I also enjoyed a clementine that I swiped from my parents’ house. 😉

Monday's Breakfast


Foodie Gifts

I got several yummy food-related gifts for Christmas this year including:

  • Merinuges
  • Soup mix
  • Atkins chocolate caramel bars
  • Peanut butter M&Ms
  • Ferrero Rocher chocolates
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • Grapefruit knife and spoons
  • Food processor (!!!)

Delicious Hazelnut Chocolates

Did you get any foodie gifts this year?