But Really It’s…

Is it just me or do you find yourself looking at the clock the day after the time changes and saying to yourself, “The clock says it’s 9 a.m., but really it’s 8 a.m.”

"Tiiiiiiime, is on my side. Yes it is!"

I think I do this for at least two days after the the time changes and I’m not quite sure why. Maybe to explain why I’m hungry or tired at certain times?

This morning Ryan and I woke up at 7:45 a.m. and Ryan immediately said, “Good for us! We almost slept ’til 8 a.m.!” Not so, I said. “You think it’s 7:45, but really it’s 6:45 a.m.”

Even the pastor at church this morning had a similar thought when he thanked us for coming to the 9 a.m. service when it was really an  8 a.m. service.

Eventually reality will settle in. 😉


I grabbed a quick snack on my way to church this morning, and was ready for a warm breakfast when I arrived home after the service.

I sipped on a hot mini cup of Starbucks coffee while I prepared a big ol’ bowl of pumpkin protein oats.

Me + 'Bucks

Pump it Up!

My pumpkin protein oats contained:

  • 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1 scoop All the Whey cup cake batter protein powder
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • Several shakes of pumpkin pie spice

Precooked Oats

Pumpkin Spice is Oh-So-Nice

I combined all of the ingredients with about a quarter of a cup of water and microwaved it for 90 seconds, stirring it every 20 seconds or so.

I enjoyed my breakfast with a side of the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine and a mini apple pie Larabar.

Sunday Morning Breakfast

 This is one heck of a filling breakfast!

Hopefully it’ll keep me full while I head out to complete a couple of Sunday morning errands.

See ya lata for lunch!

Souper Package and Giveaway

When I walked in to my apartment after work today, Ryan informed me that I had one heck of a heavy package waiting for me.

I opened it to find about a billion different kinds of Progresso soup… all with less than 100 calories per serving.

Yay for Packages!

Sadie was also souper excited about this package and made a mess of helped me sort through the packaging.

Sadie Wanted In

Ryan immediately went to work building a beeramid soupamid of all the cans of soup.


(I can’t wait to try the Manhattan clam chowder!)

I also received a Progresso soup mug and a jump rope that keeps track of jumps and calories burned. The soup and fun gifts were sent to me as part of Progresso’s “Souper You Debut” contest.

Here’s some information about the contest from Progresso:

January 4 through March 15, visit www.Progresso.com/SouperYou to enter the Progresso “Souper You Debut” contest for the chance to win a full makeover in New York City. Three grand prize winners will be awarded a trip for two to New York City from May 21st-23. The prize includes roundtrip airfare, a two-night stay in a NYC hotel, a full makeover, a $1,000 wardrobe shopping spree and personal consultation at a New York department store.

To enter:

  • Go to www.Progresso.com/SouperYou to learn more and enter the contest
  • Submit your essay (200 characters or less) telling Progresso why you love Progresso Light or 100 Calorie Soups and why you would like a makeover
  • In addition, please submit a photo of yourself that visually reinforces the theme of your essay

Once you enter, you’ll have the chance for your photo and/or an excerpt from your essay to appear on www.Progresso.com/SouperYou, so be sure to check back frequently! Once the 10 finalists are announced, you can visit www.Progresso.com/SouperYou from March 29 through April 12 to vote for your favorite.

In addition, throughout the duration of the contest you can visit www.Progresso.com/SouperYou to download a coupon for $1 off any three varieties of Progresso Soup.

Souper Giveaway

Progresso has also offered to giveaway two cans of soup, a Progresso soup mug and the calorie/jump-counting jump rope to one of you faaaabulous readers! To enter, simply comment on this post telling me what kind of soup is your favorite. Easy peasy.

I will randomly select a winner using Random.org’s random integer generator, and will announce the lucky winner tomorrow night.

Dog Park Fun

Since Sadie was a little too enthusiastic about the bubble wrap in the soup package, Ryan and I knew she needed some extra exercise tonight, so we leashed her up for a trip to the dog park.

"Best Ball Everrrr!"

Dog Park Smiles

Sadie was quite the daddy’s girl today and played several rounds of fetch with Ryan.

The Stand Off

"C'mon, Dad... Throw it!


Though the ball-throwing was quite intense, another dog was the real source of excitement at the park today…

Wolf Dog

Yes, that would be a wolf dog. The wolf dog’s owner said she’s 80 percent wolf. She had yellow eyes and even started howling when a fire truck went by and the sirens were blaring. (I wonder if she is a member of the Quileute tribe??? Twilight nerd alert. ;))

Mongolian Beef Dinner

Eventually our bellies told us it was time to head home for dinner. While Ryan did the dishes, I got to work making Mongolian beef using a recipe I tore out of the December 2009 issue of Cooking Light.

Mongolian Beef a la Cooking Light

Mongolian Beef Recipe

(Mama, I finally got to use that hoisin sauce I stole from you! :D)

The sauce was really easy to make and the entire dinner came together in less than 20 minutes.


We topped steamed fresh broccoli with the beef mixture and it was deeeeelish!

My Bowl

Ryan said he thought this recipe would be great with shrimp as well and I totally agree. I see Mongolian shrimp in our future!


Do I even have to say what I had for dessert tonight?

JELLO MOUSSE CUP! Yes, the love affair continues…

Even Sadie is affected:


Thank You for Your Love

Thank you all for your wonderful comments about my new blog design (courtesy of The Blog Fairy). I’m so glad you are smitten with it, just like I am! 🙂 Emily did a wonderful job and was so open to my thoughts and suggestions. If you’re ever in the market for a blog makeover, I highly recommend Miss Emily!

G’night everyone! See ya mañana!

Just Another Meatloaf Monday

Just another manic meatloaf Monday!

As we were grocery shopping yesterday, Ryan picked up a pack of lean ground beef and looked me with a little smile on his face. “Meatloaf???”

How could I not want to make our beloved BBQ meatloaf (that we also made here)? Why would I not want to enjoy this classic comfort food, perfect for this out-of-control cold weather we’re experiencing in Orlando?

While I got to work prepping the loaf, Ryan built another fire in the fireplace. Ooooh warmth!

Pre-Mixed Meatloaf

Once the meatloaf was ready, we piled our plates with the loaf and some steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.

My Plate

This meal is so satisfying. I’ve had a couple of friends make it and everyone has given it rave reviews. Cooking Light makes some mean recipes!


Every now and then I try something that I think will taste pretty decent only to be blown away by how delicious it truly is.

My latest discovery?

Jello Mousse Temptations

Dark chocolate decadence. Do you even have to wonder why I bought this?

I expected the little dessert cup to taste chocolatey and decent, like the other Jello pudding cups, but OH WOW, it was phenomenal and tasted sooooo indulgent.


What foodie product have you recently tried that completely exceeded your expectations?

I’m sure it sounds like I’m Jello’s daughter or something with this little love-fest, but I promise I’ve received $0 or incentives to promote this product… it’s just really that good. It’s rich, creamy, light and airy all at once. Try it, and if you hate it, send it to me. 😉

Your Pet’s Diary

I received this email today and as a dog (and cat!) lover, I just had to laugh and share it with all of you:

What Pets Write in Their Diary

Excerpts from the dog’s diary:


Your Dog's Thoughts

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from the cat’s diary:


Inside Your Cat's Thoughts

Day 983 of my captivity…

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.  They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.  In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet.  I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of.  However, they merely made condescending comments about what a ‘good little hunter’ I am.  Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight.  I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event.  However, I could hear the noises and smell the food.  I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of ‘allergies.’  I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking.  I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.  The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return.  He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant.  I observe him communicating with the guards regularly.  I am certain that he reports my every move.  My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe.  For now…

Chicken It Is!

I was already leaning toward making the roasted chicken with lemon and thyme for my family for dinner last night, and when your enthusiasm seemed to gravitate toward that dinner choice as well, my decision was solidified! Thanks for the input. 😀

My sister Leslie was excited to help me and we decided to make two roasted chickens.

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

This was Leslie’s first attempt at making a whole chicken and she was shocked at the amount of fat we cut off before even beginning to prep the birds. Naaaasty!

Though it took around and hour and 20 minutes to actually roast, the recipe itself was a breeze and eventually we had moist, delicious chicken without too much effort (we didn’t make the gravy detailed in the recipe below).


We transferred the chickens onto a prettier platter and served them with sweet potato casserole made with brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon and butter and my homemade microwavable cranberry sauce.

Sweet Potato Casserole


The dinner got rave reviews and Leslie’s first attempt at cooking a whole chicken was a success!

Before dinner, we picked up our family Christmas tree! I can’t wait to decorate it today. It smells wonderful and looks very festive.Yay for the holidays!


Today Ryna my family and I will be meeting with a potential florist and wedding photographer. At 11:30 a.m. my mom, Leslie and I are off to a boutique to try on wedding dresses. I’m so excited!!!

If you are married, how many places did you visit to try on dresses?

This is my second attempt at finding the dress, but we’re going back to the same place since we didn’t get a chance to look at everything the first time.

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme


  • 1  (6-pound) roasting chicken
  • 2  teaspoons  Hungarian paprika
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2  lemons, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
  • 1  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 2  teaspoons  sugar
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • Thyme sprigs (optional)
  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425°.

    Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine the paprika, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; rub under loosened skin. Thinly slice 1 lemon; arrange slices under loosened skin. Cut remaining lemon into quarters. Place lemon quarters inside chicken cavity. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme to chicken cavity.

    Place chicken on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Brush oil over skin. Cover chicken with aluminum foil. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165°. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; cover with foil, and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

    Place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Place pan on stove top over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into pan. Add wine; bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add drippings, broth, juice, sugar, remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

    Remove skin and lemon slices from chicken, and remove lemon wedges from cavity; discard. Carve chicken, and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with gravy. Garnish with additional lemon slices and thyme sprigs, if desired.

    You may also view this Cooking Light recipe here.

    Nutritional Facts:

    (Serving size 3 oz. chicken, 3 tbsp. gravy)

    Calories: 174 (35% from fat)
    Fat: 6.7g (sat 1.8g,mono 2.7g,poly 1.5g)
    Protein: 23.5g
    Carbohydrate: 3.2g
    Fiber: 0.1g
    Cholesterol: 69mg
    Iron: 1.3mg
    Sodium: 417mg
    Calcium: 21mg

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast

    This morning while I was  ellipticizing (that’s Julie-speak for working out on the elliptical) at the gym, I flipped through the December Food Network magazine that my friend Minda gave me at our girl’s holiday movie night on Tuesday.

    I saw a recipe for chocolate peanut butter cookies and a craving was born!

    I honored my desire for chocolate and peanut butter with a healthy breakfast wrap featuring peanut butter and cottage cheese mixed with sweetener and lots of cocoa powder.

    Cocoa Peabut Butter Wrap

    (Sorry for the cruddy picture. My camera is crabby today.)

    This wrap was d-to-the-e-to-the-l-i-c-i-o-u-s (can you tell I was listening to the Black Eyed Peas this morning?). If you’re cottage cheese averse, try adding a little sweetener and some cinnamon or cocoa powder to the curds. It totally changes the flavor.

    Side note: I think the word “curd” might be in the top five of my list of disgusting words. (Other top contenders include slop and panties.)

    Pump it Up!

    BodyPump was awesome this morning. I feel like I’m getting some of my strength back from my week off of weight training over Thanksgiving. My biceps and hamstrings were a-burnin’ today! I rounded out my workout with 25 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical with Food Network magazine.

    Food Network Magazine December 2009

    The December issue features 50 (yes 50!) recipes for Christmas cookies! I can’t wait to make some. I’m going to a Christmas cookie exchange on Dec. 20 and am already excited!

    Are you making any cookies for the holidays? What’s your favorite kind?

    In case you missed it, click here for my Examiner article featuring low calorie Christmas cookies including the oatmeal, chocolate chip and pecan cookies pictured below.

    Cooking Light's Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies

    Foodie Tees

    How adorable are these foodie t-shirts?

    Rad Radish

    Rad T-shirt

    I love simple t’s like these. A good gift idea for a foodie friend or a vegetarian perhaps???

    Ryan the Food Pho-tog

    This morning Ryan’s mom emailed me two pictures my photograph-savvy fiance snapped over Thanksgiving.

    Thanksgiving Sangria

    Table Setting

    He’s quite the picture-taker, huh?

    Also, is it just me or does that holiday sangria look freakin’ fantastic!? I could go for a glass right now… too bad it’s not even noon. 😉

    Hope you’re all having a great Friday so far. Yay for weekend-eve! 😀