Relaxin’

I find many different activities relaxing. I genuinely enjoy cooking and baking and find that making cookies from scratch soothes me (as does eating the cookies).

Today consisted of quite a few relaxing activities. What better way to kick off a Sunday than with a big ol’ pancake breakfast?

I made a big batch of fluffy pancakes using half apple cinnamon pancake mix and half Bisquick Heart Smart mix.

Pancake Mixes

These two mixes really complimented each other and the pancakes tasted great!

Cookin' Cakes

Doctored Up

After a satisfying breakfast, Ryan and I took Sadie to the dog park to run around for an hour or so. I find the dog park oddly relaxing as well. I love watching dogs run around and just be dogs. They’re so funny!

Sadie found a ball to play with almost immediately.

"Throw It!"

"Come and Get It!"

Woohooooo!

The weather was a little chilly outside, but I was bundled up and didn’t mind. Sadie ran around like a mad woman. Chilly weather makes her extra frisky.

After the park, we came home and did some chores around the apartment. Laundry: Done! Dishes: Done!

When Ryan went off to soccer practice, I headed out to Hallmark to pick up a card for our six year anniversary tomorrow. Yowzaa! Six years! ūüėÄ

I came home and felt like bakin’. I made some blueberry protein muffins that¬†turned out okay. Nothing phenomenal, but still tasty enough to enjoy.

Protein Muffin Batter

Baked Muffins

Muffin!

Protein Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. oats blended in the food processor (or oat flour)
  • 4 scoops protein powder (I used All the Whey cupcake batter protein powder)
  • 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • chopped pecans¬†(optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients together before folding in desired amount of blueberries. Pour into muffin tins lined with muffin liners and bake for 15 minutes or until tops become slightly brown.

I ate two muffins which kept me full until lunchtime.

For lunch I enjoyed a lavash pizza with broccoli, plum tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Lavash Pizza

Pizza Close Up

I wish I could make pizzas like this at work for weekday lunches! We need an oven in the break room. ūüėČ

Later this afternoon, Ryan and I went to go see New Moon at the discount movie theater near our apartment. The theater shows movies that are out of the main theater, but not yet available on DVD. I love this theater because you can still enjoy a movie on the big screen, but tickets are no more than $3 each (on Tuesdays they’re $1!).

We split a medium popcorn. Why is movie theater popcorn so darn delicious??? (The butter… duh.)

We got home a little before 7 p.m., and I chatted on the phone with two of my girlfriends who live up north¬†for a while. Why does talking to someone who lives so far away make me miss them even more? ūüė¶ I wish I got to see my best friends from high school more often.

Who are you missing today?

“Here She Comes…”

“…Miss Ameeeeerica!”

The Miss America watch party at¬†our friends’¬†Merri and Pete’s apartment was a blast!

Merri is a wonderful hostess and within five minutes of walking in the door I had a glass of my favorite kind of wine in my hand.

Relax Riesling

My parents¬†gave me a bottle of¬†Relax Riesling wine¬†for my college graduation in the spring of 2007 and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since!

Aside from my favorite wine, Merri and Pete¬†had a beautiful display of food… the majority of which was really healthy!

Fresh Fruit

Veggies

The Spread

I¬†am a fruit lover and¬†gobbled up a lot of the delicious fruit. The grapes¬†were¬†perfect –¬†really crunchy, but very sweet.

Merri also brought out homemade spinach artichoke dip which I ate a ton of as well. It was cheesy, creamy and homemade how was I to resist?

Unfortunately our sorority sister, Miss Florida, didn’t make it all the way in the pageant, but she looked beyond gorgeous and her body was smokin’. I gotta get on the Miss America fitness plan, STAT! ūüėČ Great job, Rachael!¬†

Before leaving, Ryan and I managed to stuff ourselves with tons of cookie dough and a billion oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies. Merri made a huge batch and we dug in!

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had more than five… I am officially a cookie monster. ūüėÄ

I’m off to make breakfast. Pancakes are callin’ my name!

I hope you all have a relaxing Sunday. I’m going to try to swindle Ryan into seeing New Moon (the second Twilight movie) with me at the dollar movie theater since I still haven’t seen it. Wish me luck!

Dress Success???

Shocking! I actually found two¬†dresses I liked on this morning’s bridal gown shopping trip. Since I seem to be¬†the pickiest¬†person¬†in the world when it comes to wedding dresses, this was quite a victory.

With the help of my two friends, Laurel and Merri, I eliminated several gowns before stepping into two gorgeous dresses. They’re completely different, but both are very beautiful.

Obviously I cannot post pictures of the dresses that are contenders for “the one,” since I¬†don’t want my groom-to-be to see them.¬†Instead I hope you enjoy these pictures of dresses¬†I will not be wearing on the big day. ūüôā

I loved the back on this one:

Dress Attempt Number One

I am a lace lover and really¬†liked the top of this dress. I¬†couldn’t get¬†past the bling-blingin’ broach though…

Bling, Bling

My friend Laurel really liked this one, but I had a¬†hard time¬†with the beading. I’m just not a beading kinda girl!

Dress Numero Tres

Beads!

Why am I so weird about beading? I think dresses with beading look so pretty on the rack and in magazines, but when I put them on I feel like I look bedazzled.

Full View

Of these three dresses, which one would you pick?

I got a little excited to¬†talk about¬†wedding dresses,¬†so let’s back up a bit to breakfast.¬†

Before the dress shopping business, I filled up on chocolate oats with cocoa powder and chocolate peanut butter cup  protein powder. YUM.

Chocolate Oats

When I came home I had a quesadilla that went unphotographed. Oops!

I really wasn’t feeling the gym today, but Ryan was amped up and swindled me into a work out. I thanked him after it was over, of course. I did total-body weights and light cardio for 25 minutes. It wasn’t an amazing workout,but it was better than nothin’!

Our plans to attend a chili¬†cook off are on hold at the moment due to icky weather. It’s really raining hard and is supposed to continue raining until 6 p.m. tonight. Boo!

At least the Miss America watch party is in doors. Don’t forget to root for Miss Florida! Yay Rachael! ūüėÄ

The Lovely Bones + Sushi Night

After leaving work early yesterday for our mental health break prize, my coworker and I headed to the movies to see The Lovely Bones.

The Lovely Bones

I read the book by Alice Sebold several years ago and thought it was a page-turner, so I was excited to see the movie.

The story is about a 14-year-old girl who was murdered¬†(this happens right away, so I’m not ruining anything). The movie is narrated by the¬†murdered girl from the “in between,” a place between heaven and earth. My coworker and I both agreed the movie was good… but kind of strange in the parts where the girl was frolicing around in the “in between.” It’s not one I’d say you have¬†to go see in the theater, but I was entertained¬†the whole time, which is good.

Dinner

When I arrived home, Ryan and I headed to the grocery store to pick up some essentials for the weekend. We were both feeling lazy¬†and didn’t want to cook, so we opted for sushi.

Sushi

We both selected California rolls made with brown rice.

California Roll

Ryan and I agreed that California rolls are only as good as the avocado in them. Fortunately, the avocado in our rolls was fresh and perfectly mushy.

After dinner, Ryan and I settled in to watch our latest NetFlix movie, The Italian Job. How gorgeous is Charlize Theron?

Dessert

For dessert, I blended a cup of frozen strawberries in the food processor with a spoonful of cocoa powder.

Chocolate Strawberry Soft Serve

I love bananas soft serve and thought strawberries might tastes delicious as well. They definitely did and I think a combination of strawberries and bananas would be ah-maze-ing!

Today’s Plans

Today will be a fun Saturday!

Two of my girlfriends are coming over at 9:30 a.m. and we’re heading out to a boutique in Orlando to look at wedding dresses. This is my first wedding dress shopping attempt in Orlando (all others have been in St. Pete), so I hope something beautiful surfaces. Fingers crossed!

After wedding dress shopping, Ryan and I have plans to go to a chili cook off in Baldwin Park with some friends… I looooove chili so I can’t wait.

Tonight we’re heading to my friend’s apartment to watch Miss America because a girl from my sorority is competing as Miss Florida. Go Rachael!!!

I’ll stop in with a wedding dress update this afternoon. ūüėÄ Happy weekend!

Mental Health Break

My Friday is flyin’ by! I’m checking things off the to-do list, left and right. It’s a good thing I’ve had such a productive morning because I’m leaving work a little early today for a “mental health break.”

At my work, certain milestones or projects are rewarded with random prizes ranging from a $5 foot long sub from Subway to a half-day of work and more.

One of my coworkers won a “mental health break” for meeting a goal. The “mental health break” is a prize that allows the winner to select another coworker to take to see a movie in the middle of the work day.

I was lucky to be selected and we’re leaving work around 3 p.m. to see a movie. I don’t know what movie we’re going to see yet, so I’ll keep you posted.

Have you seen any good movies lately?

The last movie I saw in the theater was Sherlock Holmes. I thought it was a goodie!

Lunch

Lunch today was a repeat from Wednesday.

Pasta Bowl

Friday's Lunch

I just can’t get enough pasta in my life, I guess!

Overactive Nose

This morning I feel like my nose is on smell patrol!

Take Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

Today I have been very sensitive to even the slightest smells.

It started when a stinky person got on the stair master next to me at the gym. I promise I’m not just being mean, they really were stinky. You know the type… Drenched shirt, dripping hair, sweat on the floor next to their machine…

After completely 20 minutes of a stinky stair master workout, I took my sweat session to the treadmill and the elliptical to finish it out.

I came home and leashed up Sadie for our morning walk.

Ready for Walkin'

Thankfully the air on our walk smelled fresh and crisp. We even enjoyed the sweet smell of citrus when we passed a grapefruit tree.

After our walk I took a shower and was one again overwhelmed by a new smell. Last night we ran out of our girly moisturizing soap with aloe for soft and silky skin, and Ryan broke into his “man soap.”

Kiehl's Man Soap

He received the “Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap” as a gift for Christmas. It smells really good… but like a guy. So now I smell like a guy. A good smelling guy… but a guy nonetheless. Sexy, no?

On to the last strong smell…

As I was blow drying my hair, Sadie came in to keep me company and did a little stretch before heading into the bedroom to watch me complete my morning routine from our bed. About 1.5 seconds later, I realized that mid-stretch Sadie let out a stink bomb!

Our bathroom smelled like a mix of man and flatulence… but I guess those two smells go together pretty frequently anyway.

What is your favorite smell?

I love the smell of:

  • Cinnamon candles
  • Freshly baked cookies
  • The beach
  • Sadie (her fur, not her gas)
  • Ryan
  • Freshly baked bread
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Pizza

Breakfast

After Sadie’s gas attack, I was ready for some good smellin’ stuff in my life again. Enter breakfast!

Today’s breakfast included cinnamon lavash chips that I baked in the oven using a Joseph’s lavash bread. I dipped them in yogurt pudding made with Chobani Greek yogurt and a spoonful of butterscotch pudding mix.

Breakfast

Butterscotch Yogurt Pudding

All around good breakfast!

Ole!

There was a two month period when Ryan and I would eat tacos at least one time a week. We became a little obsessed with the ease of crock pot chicken tacos and made the yummy meal over and over again.

What meal do you make over and over again?

After a brief hiatus, the tacos made a return last Friday, and we were reminded of how tasty those lil’ tortilla and hard shell delights really are.

Tonight tacos made another appearance and were just as delicious as ever!

I opted for a ginormous taco salad tonight consisting of taco-seasoned chicken, shredded ice berg lettuce, a sliced plum tomato, salsa and two crumbled hard shell tacos.

Taco Salad

Fiesta for my Mouth

Stirred Up

Olé!

After dinner, I had a couple small handfulls of glazed pecans for dessert. Pecans are my favorite nut and when they’re glazed, they taste that much better. Get in mah belly!

Glazed Pecans

Ryan will enjoy his dinner and dessert after his soccer game tonight. Cross your fingers for a win!

I’m off to catch up with some of my girlfriends via the ol’ cell phone before settling down to read Wicked and hanging out with Ryan when he gets back.

F-R-I-D-A-Y tomorrow! Woop, woop!