Bachelorette Fun Begins!

Bachelorette weekend day one was amazingly fun!

Let’s start from the beginning…

After work yesterday, Ryan drove me and my friend Laurel to the airport to catch our 6 p.m. flight to Chicago. We enjoyed dinner while waiting at the gate at the airport.

I opted for a chicken caesar salad from Starbucks.

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The whole bottom of the salad had a layer of Parmesan cheese, which I loved.

Our flight took off about 15 minutes late. Unfortunately Laurel and I didn’t have seats together, but I did get to enjoy two hours of quality time with my book.

When we landed in Chicago, we headed to baggage claim to meet up with our friend Leah and take the train into downtown Chicago to my friend Krystal’s apartment to kick off bachelorette fun!

I was so touched my all the time and effort my friends put into planning a weekend full of bachelorette fun! They had every last detail planned and presented everything to me in an adorable itinerary.

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After changing into a tank that said “BRIDE” on it, given to me by my girlfriends and donning a hot pink feather boa, it was time to enjoy some drinks!

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My friend Merri played bartender and made us delicious chocolate martinis by combining hot chocolate mix and vodka and topping them with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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How cute is my glass? My friend Leah made a bedazzled martini glass for everyone with our initials on them.

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In addition to my boa, I also wore a necklace that my friends made with paper rings. Each ring had a different dare written on it to complete throughout the night!

After enjoying a couple more drinks, we were ready to head out to Howl at the Moon, a fun piano bar in downtown Chicago.

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Once there, we sang, drank and danced the night away!

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My friends were pretty sneaky and even had me called on stage a couple of times. I made sure to sing my little heart out to Madonna’s Like a Virgin and Goin’ to the Chapel. 🙂 Luckily my friends joined me half-way through and helped sing along!

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After all of the singing and dancing, we took our party train to Beaumont’s, a late-night bar for some more fun.

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And that was our night in a nutshell (minus the 3 a.m. ransacking of tortilla chips, French onion dip, peanut butter bars and cookies 😉 ).

Today has been flyin’ by and I’m off to take a shower before more bachelorette fun tonight.

Here’s a hit about what we’re doing this evening: Boys will be girls. 😉

Cheers!

Savin’ Them ‘Gs

I’m sure you’ve heard people refer to money as “g’s” before, right?

If Only My Blog Paid Me Like This...

Apparently I’m not well-versed in pop-culture slang, because I never knew what exactly “g’s” stood for when referencing money. Just in case you’re a super-blonde like me and never knew, it stands for “grand” like $1 grand = $1,000. Somebody, somewhere just rolled their eyes into the back of their head (Likely Ryan 😉 ).

I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson… Or will forgive me for telling you something you already knew and thought was totally obvious.

Annnyway, I have always been a g-saver and constantly look for great deals and ways to save my money.

A couple of months ago my friend Merri sent me a text message that changed my life. (Okay, not really, but it was still a good little nugget of information that she shared with me.)

Did you know you can get a polish change instead of a pedicure for $10?

Nooo. Actually I didn’t know this.

Ever since I got that text, I haven’t splurged on a full-on pedicure. I’ve opted for a simple polish change on my toes, which still looks great, but costs less than half the price of a pedicure at most nail salons. Score!

Polish Change Lunch Break

Aside from the price, a wonderful thing about a polish change is that you can often get in and get out of the nail salon in 20 minutes. That means you may even be able to cram it into your lunch break.

That’s exactly what I did today. I managed to save even more time by bringing my own polish since I often take an inordinate amount of time selecting the perfect color.

Self-Timer at a Stop Light! What, What!?

O.P.I Shade: A True Aboriginal

I was in and out and on with my life in less than 20 minutes! Sch-weet!

Lunch

Since I have a long day ahead of me involving a flight to Chicago and our first night of bachelorette party fun, I wanted to be sure to enjoy a filling and nutritious lunch.

I opted for my favorite combination of noodles, Barilla mushroom and garlic marinara sauce, steamed broccoli and freshly chopping spinach.

Noodles + Sauce + Veggies

Apparently My Camera Focuses Only On the Most Nutritious Parts of My Bites...

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Noodle Boooowl

I also ate a Colby-Jack string cheese on the side that went undocumented.

Tonight

I am an antsy-pants  girl this afternoon! I just want my weekend of fun to start NOW!

Tonight I will be arriving in Chicago around 8 p.m. and we’ll be kicking off this wonderful bachelorette party weekend by doing Lord knows what. No one is telling me anything about the whole weekend, so I’m looking forward to having a good time at the hands of my wonderful friends. 🙂

I’ll try to keep the ol’ blog updated as much as possible while I’m in Chicago.

See ya from the Windy City! 😀

Gourmet Nutrition Giveaway

Don’t forget to head on over to Jessica’s blog to see who won the Gourmet Nutrition Giveaway!

Of Possible Interest

Question of the Afternoon

What did you do for your bachelorette party? If you’re not married, what would you want to do for your bachelorette party?

Half Marathon Game Plan

The final run of my half marathon training plan is D-O-N-E!

Ahhh!

5 Mile Stats

I must say it feels so good to be completely finished with training.

I am not a naturally good runner. I don’t just fall into a comfortable stride immediately and breathe effortlessly as I run. Running, for me, is work. Though it is tough for me, I do enjoy the way my body feels after a good run and the clarity of my thoughts during a run. (You may read my running story here.)

That being said, it sure will be nice not to feel like I have to run on certain days after this race on Sunday!

I like working out in the morning, but I also like doing what I want to do to get my heart rate up. Without a half marathon looming over my head, I’ll feel much more free to take a spinning class, swim or complete a challenging interval workout.

Clearly I’ve missed the variety in my cardio workouts! Variety, after all, is the spice of life! 😀

Half Marathon Game Plan

As I was running this morning, I started to think about my game plan for Sunday’s race.

Initially my training plan had me completing a 12 mile run last Saturday, but since my training was derailed for a couple of weeks due to some serious pain in my heel, my long run only ended up being 10 miles. I actually felt pretty wiped out after the 10 mile run, so I am going to be sure to listen to my body during the half and take breaks when I need to.

Though I was never planning to run for time, I did have a little goal in the back of my head to run the entire race without stopping like I did during my first (and only) half marathon back in 2007.

Well, I’m officially scratching that goal. I am going to embrace breaks if I need them. In fact, I am planning to stop at the five and 10 mile mark for at least a full minute to refuel and stretch.

My new goal is to seriously enjoy the race. I will be running it with four of my girlfriends and want to have a great time before, during and after the race.

Of course I will put forth serious effort to get to the finish line because I can’t just breeze through 13.1 miles, but I am excited to run a race for fun and not worry about anything other than enjoying the race and the people I’m running it with.

And that, my friends, is my new game plan. 😀

I really wrote all of the above content to sort through my own thoughts, so I apologize for those of you who are drooling and falling asleep at your computer screens now. How about we move swiftly into breakfast to tantalize your senses and bring you back to life?

Breakfast

Why is peanut butter so good? I mean seriously. Why?

Why can’t broccoli taste like peanut butter so I could eat buckets and buckets of it every day?

Obviously peanut butter made a stellar appearance in my breakfast this morning in the form of a peanut butter and peach sandwich.

PB + Nutmeg

After spreading a copious amount of peanut butter onto half of a whole wheat sandwich thin (and eating a peanut butter finger in the process), I placed peach slices on the other half and dusted the sandwich with nutmeg for a little extra flava-flav.

Life's a Peach

The Goods

It's Not Okay to Look That Delicious

I was still a little hungry after this sandwich (running will do that to ya!), so I also enjoyed a creamy cup of Chobani plain Greek yogurt with a squirt of honey.

Yog

Breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day!

Questions of the Day

  • Are you a competitive person? Were you competitive growing up?
  • If you’re a runner, do you run races for time or run them for fun… or a mix of the two?

Packing, I Hate You

I know, I know, hate is a strong word. My mom said you should only say you "hate" something if you wish it would die.

Well, I hate packing. I wish it harm. I wish it death.

Though I am extremely excited about my bachelorette party weekend, which begins right when I get off work tomorrow, I was feeling less than enthusiastic about packing this evening.

I blame my father.

He hates packing as well. When I was younger, the night before any family vacation you can bet you’d find me and my dad chillin’ on the couch watching something about sharks (they fascinate me) on the Discovery Channel (I love Shark Week!) with our bags completely unpacked. We’d then sulk around and slowly drag our feet into our respective rooms to pack, moaning and groaning the entire time. So dramatic, I know.

Tonight was no different. I tried to make the experience more enjoyable by making a list. Turns out organization and lists do not make packing more exciting.

And neither does an all-too-enthusiastic dog who wants to help.

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Still, I managed to make it through the horrific chore. I have a fully packed bag that is likely missing something extremely important like underwear or my running shoes, which could make running Sunday’s half marathon awfully challenging.

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With a packed bag under my belt, I got to work in the kitchen.

Dinner

Tonight’s dinner was made while terrorizing Sadie. She missed her evening walk due to inclement weather, so she was extra annoying chipper tonight!

Since packing took up quite a bit of time, I opted for a no-cook dinner.

For some reason a turkey sandwich sounded absolutely perfect, so I went with it!

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I made myself a turkey sandwich on a whole wheat sandwich thin with dijon mustard, sliced grape tomatoes, cucumber and fresh spinach.

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On the side I enjoyed leftover rutabaga fries with some ketchup for dippin’.

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This plate was assembled in under three minutes and was exactly what I was in the mood to scarf down.

Now it’s time to tackle some last minute things around the house and spend some quality time with Ryan since I’ll be in Chicago through Monday. Lots to do!

Question of the Evening

Has your luggage ever been lost? Have you ever forgot to pack something important?

I’m So Exciiited, I’m So Exciiited (+ Giveaway)

Is it any shocker that today’s lunch included carrot slices?

Carrot + Cuc + Tomato

Since I had a carrot the size of a toddler chillin’ in my fridge, I knew I better start eating that bad boy since it will likely take me five years to get through the whole thing.

I enjoyed the sliced carrot with cucumber and grape tomatoes alongside a fakie-bacon and cheese sandwich, made with two Morningstar Farms veggie bacon strips.

Fakie Bacon

For a lil’ sweetness, I also included a cup o’ Motts natural apple sauce which brought me back to childhood.

Mott's Natural Apple Sauce

The Full Spread

Speaking of childhood, I was am a huge fan of Saved by the Bell and read in a magazine this morning that today is Jessie Spano‘s birthday and she is now 38 years old.

Jessie Spano

This clearly must be false. She is only 28. Time does not fly that fast!

Anyway, happy birthday Jessie! I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so… scared for you. 😉 (Seriously, who gets that loony on caffeine pills?)

Chocolate Indulgence Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Chocolate Indulgence Giveaway is…

Fallon: “I love putting chocolate chips on top of my self-serve yogurt, like Yogurtland!”

Congrats, Fallon. Please email me (pbfingers@gmail.com) with your mailing address so I may pass it along to the folks at Stonyfield!

Gourmet Nutrition Book Giveaway

A giveaway two days in a row? What is this?

When Jessica, the wonderful woman behind the new blog Give Away One Thing A Day, contacted me about hosting a giveaway on my blog I was immediately intrigued by the unique concept behind her blog. Jessica started her blog in an effort to bring more positivity into her life and focus on doing something good for others.

When someone wins a giveaway offered through Jessica, they are asked to “pay it forward” by giving away an item of their own and sharing their story with Jessica. (Just FYI, you do not have to have a blog to enter this giveaway. If you win, you may giveaway something to someone you know and simply tell Jessica about it.)

Jessica is offering one reader a copy of Gourmet Nutrition, a cookbook for “the Fit Food Lover.”

Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook

According to the book’s website, “We’ve taken the healthiest ingredients and whipped them into nearly 300 pages of delicious culinary creations that you can serve with confidence to the most discerning foodie – or the most nitpicky nutritionist.  We’ve included detailed cooking instructions and ideas for improvisation.  And we’ve even photographed every recipe in beautiful color to show you just how appetizing healthy food can be.”

To enter this giveaway, simply comment on this post below.

Jessica will randomly select a winner tomorrow, so be sure to check her blog to see if you won! I will also post a link to Jessica’s announcement of the winner once Jessica has randomly selected someone.

Good luck you foodie lovers, you!

Flash Freeze

Going to bed last night I figured I’d wake up and make myself a healthified Egg McMuffin for breakfast.

Fast forward to this morning and my body was screamin’ for oats.

Gimme oooooats. Make ’em coooooold. Stop talking to yoursellllllf.

I’m not one to ignore a craving (Lord help me when I’m pregnant), so I switched my eggy plan and opted for a big ol’ bowl of cold oats with Greek yogurt and a chopped peach.

The Goods

Since I didn’t plan ahead and cook my oats last night, I prepared the oats this morning and stuck them in the freezer to chill while I showered. Gotta love the last minute flash-freeze!

By the time I was all cleaned up, my oats were sufficiently chilled.

Cold Oats, You are Fantastic

Before digging into my oatty yogurty peachy (“y” overload!) bowl of delight, I sprinkled the mix with some beloved nutmeg.

I'm Nuts for this Stuff

If you’re a cinnamon lover and haven’t branched out to other spices, put nutmeg on your to-try list. You won’t be disappointed. And if you are, come back and look at this picture and just tryyyy to stay angry. 😉

"If you're still mad, I'll come give you a sloppy kiss... and then breathe on you and invade your personal space until you're happy again... or really irritated."

The nutmeg was a welcome addition to my breakfast and made the whole meal taste a little more special.

Peach + Nutmeg

Food on Spoon Photo - My Fav

How It Really Looks When I Eat It

D-to-the-lish.

I think Ellie was spot-on when she described the texture of the cold oats and yogurt combo as “a lot like rice pudding.” Ellie, you’re a smart cookie (and I love the name of your blog: Inside I’m Still Dancing)!

Workout

Breakfast was a fantastic thing to come home to after a good workout this morning! I took my usual 5:45 a.m. BodyPump class, and followed it up for 20 minutes on the elliptical.

Half way through the ‘Pump I realized I probably won’t be doing any strength training for a week! I leave for my bachelorette party weekend after work tomorrow (Hooray!) and won’t be back until Monday evening.  I love strength training and will miss the muscle burn, though I’m sure my legs will feel some burnin’ during Sunday’s half marathon. Yow-zaa!

Question of the Morning

It’s a random one this morning…

Do you like rice pudding or tapioca pudding, or does it totally gross you out? What’s your favorite flavor of pudding?

I like all flavors of pudding, but I’m a little partial to plain ol’ chocolate. If you’d like to throw some Oreo pieces in there too, I won’t object. 😉

A Carrot the Size of My Arm

If you are veggie-averse, puh-lease try making veggie fries using rutabagas, parsnips or turnips. I think they’re your best bet for falling in love with this nutritious food group.

Not only do they look a lot like real fries, but when dipped in ketchup they almost taste like them, too. Now, I’m not going to lie… There’s no replacing greasy, salty French fries, but these are an excellent healthy substitute.

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Tonight I made a big batch of rutabaga fries to enjoy along with slow cooker BBQ chicken.

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Of course I included a big blob of ketchup for fry-dippin’.

I enjoyed my slow cooker BBQ chicken on a whole wheat Joseph’s tortilla (half of it went directly into my mouth and eluded any pictures 😉 ).

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Gotta love a well-rounded dinner! Veggies + Lean Protein + Whole Grains = Score!

In Other News…

Check out this ginormous carrot I bought at the Farmers’ Market.

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I figured you guys would be interested in that because you’re just as oddly interested in weird produce as I am. 🙂 It’s almost the size of my arm! Carrot overload!!!

I’m off to do some laundry and dishes… fun night ahead. 😉