It’s All in the Drink

I’m not sure what it is about drinking Perrier that makes me feel so fancy.

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Maybe it’s the bubbly carbonation or the thick, green glass bottle? Whatever it is, I feel like a queen when I sip on a bottle of this stuff.

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At the grocery store this evening, I picked up a bottle of pamplemousse rose Perrier, which tasted a lot like pink grapefruit flavored sparkling water.

I loved it! I would drink this stuff everyday if I could afford to drop some serious dough on my beverages.

Along with my oh-so-regal drink, I enjoyed a tasty dinner of a Morningstar Farms Asian veggie patty with a side of steamed broccoli.

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veggie burger 005

Yum!

Tonight Ryan and I have plans to cuddle up on the couch and watch some shows we’ve DVRed.

First up: Jersey Shore. (Don’t judge. This show is hilarious. I thought it looked so, so stupid before I actually watched it… But I couldn’t stop laughing once I finally gave it a chance. These people are ridiculous!)

I’m not feeling 100 percent and still feel a little tired from this weekend, so this activity sounds perfect-o!

Somethin’ To Check Out

Do you have a healthy living blog or enjoy reading healthy living blogs?

If so, then definitely check out the new website database for these blogs: Healthy Living Blogs!

Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you’re interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to healthylivingblogs@gmail.com and check the site out for yourself!

  • Email subject line: MEMBERS
  • Your name (please share if you prefer to go by first name, first and last, or however you prefer to be known on the Internet)
  • Blog Name
  • Blog URL (please start with http://, not www.)
  • Your twitter handle, if applicable
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  • Any specific labels (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, weight loss, running, etc.)

Big Spaghetti Dinner

Big spaghetti dinners were one of my favorite meals growing up.

I would sit in my big, wooden chair at the dinner table as my mom placed a pot of steaming noodles on a hot plate in front of me. The steam from the noodles would moisten my face with a warm heat and my stomach would growl in anticipation. Next to me would be a bread basket filled with buttery garlic bread for easy access.

My mom would make this dinner for me the night before I had a cross country meet in junior high.

I would get so nervous before a meet even though I was not even kind of good and the team never really depended on me. I hated the competitive nature of meets and would nearly make myself sick with nerves. A big spaghetti dinner was one of the things that calmed me down and made me relax.

Though tonight’s dinner wasn’t quite as fantastic as the spaghetti dinners I  enjoyed growing up, it still was quite tasty.

I prepare our pasta feast using Barilla thin spaghetti.

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While the noodles bubbled away in a big pot of boiling water, I chopped up steamed broccoli florets to toss on top of the cooked pasta.

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I also popped open a can of clams to add a little protein and salty flavor to the mix.

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Before digging in, I topped the spaghetti, broccoli and clams with marinara sauce.

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Even though I’m not the teeniest bit Italian, I sure do like eating like I am! 😀

Question of the Evening

  • What is a meal that always makes you feel relaxed and calm?

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?

Love Affair

When I fall in love I fall in love with a new food, I fall in love hard.

I am so excited by the tastiness of something new that I want to include it in every meal!

As evidenced by my new love for Chavrie goat cheese, which I only discovered yesterday, I simply had to include the creamy goodness in my lunch today since our love affair is in full bloom.

Goat Cheese + Broccoli + Pasta

I need to back off from the cheese a bit because I can already feel myself getting a little too attached, clingy and overly obsessed.

I think the $6 price tag on such a small chunk o’ cheese will help prevent this new relationship from becoming a full-fledged addiction.

I included the goat cheese in a pasta bowl with Carba Nada egg fettuccine noodles and steamed broccoli.

Lunch is Served

Noodle Bowl

On the side I enjoyed a small banana.

Nanner

All Together

Lunch was finger lickin’ good (or fork lickin’ good in this case 😉 ).

Now a question for YOU!

What is your most recent food obsession?

Though this goat cheese is definitely my most recent foodie love, my past obsessions have included Monterey Pasta Company’s ravioli, flourless peanut butter cookies, the Pioneer Woman’s sugar cookies, Carba Nada noodles, pumpkin protein pancakes, Babybel cheese, Mochi frozen yogurt, Jimmy John’s sandwiches, and Lindt truffles… to name a few. 😉

Bare As Can Be

Our fridge and pantry are currently bare as can be! Ryan and I usually hit up the grocery store on Sundays but didn’t make it there yesterday. Alas, my lunchtime options were pretty miniscule.

Good thing a peanut butter sandwich is always a fantastic standby!

The Old Standby

Today’s peanut butter sandwich included Crazy Richards chunky pb smeared on top of a Pepperidge Farm whole wheat deli flat.

On the side I had steamed broccoli sprinkled with garlic salt and Brothers-All-Natural apple crisps that I snagged from my parents’ house this weekend.

Brothers-All-Natural Apple Crisps

Monday's Lunch

Quite the random assortment of goodies, but tasty nonetheless!

Just One Second

Please take a second (literally a second) to simply click here to give a woman a free mammogram. All you have to do is click the pink button on the website and sponsors of the site will pay for women to receive free mammograms.

Receiving a regular mammogram is so important for women in the prevention and early detection of breast cancer. You may read about my mom’s journey with breast cancer here.

On the Menu

I’m pretty excited about what’s on the menu for dinner evening!

I’ll give you a hint: Ryan scored this meal for us on Saturday.

Any guesses???

Question of the Afternoon

What is your standby meal that you make when you have nothing on hand?

I Love the ’90s

I always prep my lunch the day before. If I don’t assemble it completely, I at least package up what I need and organize it in the fridge so it’s easily accessible in the morning.

I usually pack my lunch as I make dinner. It’s efficient and also distracts me with an activity while dinner is cooking, which helps me avoid mindless snacking.

Last night, I prepped today’s noodle bowl which contained:

  • Carba Nada pasta
  • Ragu meat marinara sauce
  • Steamed fresh broccoli

Noodles + Sauce

Monday's Lunch

The entire bowl came together in less than 10 minutes. Fast and tasty! Perfect-o.

I Love the ’90s

I am a huge fan of music from the ’90s.

Maybe it’s because ’90s jams take me back to fun memories from childhood and high school or maybe it’s because the music is just so darn catchy. Either way, I can’t help but feel a little excited every time I hear a ’90s classic come on the radio.

This weekend Ryan’s mom brought out a big box of Ryan’s old CDs. I think I fell in love with him all over again when I saw him pull out CDs like LaBouche, Alanis Morissette (he denies ever liking this CD), Will Smith, No Doubt, Sister Hazel, Sisqo (I didn’t think anyone actually bought this CD…), 2Pac, TLC, Blackstreet, and more.

My Girl, Alanis

I immediately took a handful of his old CDs and uploaded a billion songs onto my iPod.

Just in case any of you share my intense love for ’90s music, I thought I’d share my latest playlist, comprised completely of ’90s classics:

Of Possible Interest:

Question of the Afternoon

What were some of your favorite ’90s bands or ’90s songs?

Don’t be ashamed to share your intense love for the Backstreet Boys… This is a judgment-free zone (and I’m looking for more ideas of ’90s songs to download 😉 ).

First Time on Your Own: Healthy Food Ideas

Sadie called me at work after seeing my post this morning and was highly embarrassed that my blog not only featured a picture of her poppin’ a squat, but also showcased her doggie booty for the world to see.

She requested that I post a more flattering picture of her, and since I fear the wrath of Sadie, I had to oblige.

Much Better

Now that that’s out of the way and I don’t have to worry about our apartment being covered in drool and feces, let’s move on to lunch, shall we?

Lunch

After my appointment at the bridal boutique last night, I headed next door to browse around at The Fresh Market.

I stumbled upon Brie cheese for the reasonable price of $4 and picked some up to enjoy throughout the week.

Oh Brie, how I love thee.

I incorporated approximately 1.5 ounces of the cheese in a broccoli barley bowl for lunch today.

Barley + Broccoli + Brie

Three “B” Bowl!

Eat Up, Buttercup

Dessert

For dessert I had a small brownie.

Frosted Brownies

I made a small pan of brownies for the guy at work who helped me format our save the dates and had to sample one before they were devoured by the office freegans.

Healthy Food Ideas for Your First Time on Your Own

Last night my sister, Leslie, called me because she recently moved into an apartment for the summer and is now faced with the task of preparing her own meals for the first time in her life.

Sistas!

Leslie lives in her sorority house during the school year where the girls have all of their meals prepared for them, so though my sister will be a senior in college next year, this is the first time she’s been responsible for preparing her own breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. (Hello longest sentence ever!)

Leslie said she felt completely clueless as to what to make and since she wants to make healthy choices, she found herself eating plain, boring “rabbit” food because she didn’t know how to prepare simple, healthy dinners for herself.

I know exactly how she feels because when I graduated college and was faced with making my own meals for the first time, my entrées of choice were often Lean Cuisines, oatmeal or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I didn’t know where to begin!

We started brainstorming on the phone last night and I came up with the following ideas for simple, yet healthy meals she can prepare on a tight budget:

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with various add-ins (nuts, fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips)
  • Whole wheat waffles topped with bananas or sweetened ricotta cheese
  • Whole wheat or protein pancakes
  • Greek yogurt with granola, berries or nuts
  • Eggs or an omelet with veggies and cheese and with whole wheat toast
  • Egg sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin
  • Whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and fruit
  • Smoothies with yogurt (or protein powder), frozen fruit, milk and ice cubes

Lunch and Dinner

  • Whole wheat pasta or ravioli beefed up with lots of steamed veggies
  • Tuna, chicken or egg salad sandwiches with sliced green pepper or cucumber on the side
  • Sloppy joes with lean ground beef
  • Baked potato or sweet potato with cheese and veggies
  • Tacos or taco salad
  • Grilled cheese and vegetable soup
  • BBQ meatloaf
  • English muffin pizzas
  • Flatbread pizza topped with lots of veggies
  • Breakfast for dinner (see above options)
  • Lean chicken sausage with peppers

Some of the ideas listed above may yield portions that are much too large for one person, so I suggested that my sister freeze the remainders of dishes such as sloppy joes or BBQ meatloaf to thaw and enjoy another time.

What were your eating habits like when you were first responsible for making your own meals? If you’re still in school, what are you eating habits like right now?