Blueberries and the Weenis

Don’t you just love it when fresh fruit is on sale? It makes me happy. 🙂

Yesterday blueberries were discounted at the grocery store, so you know they made it into my breakfast this morning!

Cranberry Relish with Blueberries

I was even more excited to enjoy my blueberry breakfast after reading an article in Health magazine praising the fruit’s ability to help diminish belly fat. Fat found in the belly is the bad kind (also known as visceral fat), linked to heart disease and diabetes.

My morning meal was sweet, tart and creamy. I enjoyed a cup of Chobani Greek yogurt topped with fresh blueberries and homemade cranberry relish. Easy and satisfying.

Monday Breakfast

My Million Dollar Idea

I think we all have little things that just tick us off. I came across one of my pet peeves this morning on my walk with Sadie.

It was raining outside… not a light drizzle, but not a downpour either. We walk past many houses on our walk and two of the houses had their sprinklers on during the rain. Why!? Let’s overload the grass with water, shall we?

Ryan is constantly on a mission to think of a million-dollar idea. I think a sprinkler system with a rain sensor could be a billion dollar idea! Though knowing my luck, someone’s already invented it.

This happened to me with my last million dollar idea.

When Ryan and I were hiking with Sadie one weekend, we both had to pee. We were on trails in the middle of the woods with no bathroom in sight. Naturally I popped a squat while Ryan sought out a nearby tree. (Sexy, I know.)

This experience made me realize just how uncomfortable it is to be a woman without an adequate toilet around. Squatting might be one of the most awkward things to do, and the tightening of the muscles doesn’t exactly relax me and allow for a relieving pee.

This experience prompted my most promising million dollar idea: the Weenis. The Weenis is a biodegradable cup-type thing that a woman would affix to her area to allow her to pee standing up like a man, thus eliminating the awkward squat and the potential for pee-splatter. It’s biodegradable so it can simply be tossed because, let’s face it, no one would wanna hang on to that bad boy.

Great idea, right?

Well, imagine my horror when my friend emailed me a link to the Shewee. According to Shewee’s Web site:

Shewee is a moulded plastic funnel that provides women with a simple, private and hygienic method of urinating without removing clothes whilst standing AND sitting.

The Shewee

I honestly was aghast that this had already been invented. C’mon! The Weenis was my ticket to billionarieism.

Oh well, back to square one.

Have you ever had a million dollar idea that was already invented?

Acorn Squash Sweet Salad

I am on a Pumpkorn kick. I cannot get enough of these delicious pumpkin seeds!

Today I incorporated a big handful of the honey ‘n’ flax flavor into my lunch .

Acorn, Pumpkorn, Cranberry Relish

Last night I prepped an acorn squash by piercing it before microwaving it for 5 minutes on one side and three minutes on the other. I used all the yummy flesh in my acorn squash salad today. I added several scoops of homemade cranberry relish for extra sweetness.

My afternoon snack is more Pumpkorn. I think I’ll be digging into my sea salt Pumpkorn sooner rather than later… not because I’m hungry, but because I’m obsessed.

Have you ever tried pumpkin butter? What’s your favorite kind of nut butter?

On random foodie Web sites I’ve seen pumpkin butter for sale and have always wanted to try it. Sounds delicious to me. My favorite nut butter is… duh… peanut butter!

I want to eat you!

I really love the honey nut peanut butter grinding machine at Whole Foods where you can grind your own honey nut peanuts into the most amazingly creamy and sweet nut butter. Whoa, is that a puddle of drool I see on my desk?

Peanut Butter Fingers Confession

I have an embarrassing peanut butter confession. About two weeks ago I was eating one too many peanut butter fingers. Ryan was about to leave for a soccer game and I thrust the peanut butter jar at him and told him to hide it from me so I wouldn’t eat the whole dang jar.

Let me just say I am one of the most curious people in the world. I’ve always tried to find my Christmas presents before Christmas (sometimes I’ve succeeded!). Ryan actually hid my engagement ring in his car for fear I’d find it. (Disclaimer: I don’t snoop unless I know someone’s planning to give something to me. I just wanna know what it is NOW!)

Anyway, about an hour after Ryan left for his soccer game, I felt my curiosity kick in. I promise you it wasn’t just another peanut butter craving (believe me I know how to identify this feeling). I knew he hid the peanut butter jar in the spare room of our apartment. After some digging, I found it in his closet and rewarded myself with another peanut butter finger! 😀

Naturally I placed the jar back in the closet and shut the door to hide my embarrassing lack of control over my own curiosity. When Ryan went to change after his shower he immediately said “Hm… someone found the peanut butter!

Caught! Ah! Apparently I didn’t place the jar back in the closet exactly as I’d found it. Note to fellow snoopers: return your finding exactly as you found it. Don’t get so excited about enjoying another peanut butter finger that you place the jar in the closet vertically when you found it horizontally. I’m so embarrassing.

Light Breakfast

In preparation for the third of my four Thanksgiving meals I will be consuming at my work’s potluck lunch today, I decided to keep breakfast nice and light.

Monday's Breakfast

I enjoyed a cup of Chobani Greek yogurt topped with homemade cranberry relish. The mix of tart and sweet flavors made this breakfast yum-tastic.

Too Much Turkey?

Is is possible to get sick of Thanksgiving meals? I am on my third Thanksgiving meal in four days and I’m already hurtin’ a little bit. I don’t want to get sick of turkey and other staples by the time the big day arrives! Fortunately I think there’s something to be said for your own family’s home-cookin’. 😉 No one makes better stuffing than my mama!

One thing I am really liked about the various Thanksgiving meal’s I’ve enjoyed is seeing what other people bring. It’s so interesting to see what dishes people consider mandatory in their Thanksgiving meal. My family always has turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas (and maybe green beans), cranberry sauce, stuffing, rolls with butter and pumpkin pie.

I know people that would be appalled that my Thanksgiving does not include sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, baked macaroni and cheese or pecan pie.

What do you HAVE to have on Thanksgiving?

I need stuffing on Thanksgiving. Also, as weird as it is, I need peas, too. My dad and I always make little “pea pockets” in our mashed potatoes before stirring them in and topping everything (and I mean everything) with gravy. I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving meal without my peas!

Saturday Morning Hike

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. this morning… for no reason. This is getting ridiculous! I wasted time waiting for Ryan to wake up by updating my iPod and flipping through wedding magazines.

Armed with a jammin’ new playlist, I leashed up the pup and went for a quick 30 minute run before breakfast. It was gorgeous outside! 

When I got home I made some more cranberry relish and topped a of bowl of butter pecan Flax Z Snax hot cereal with the colorful relish. I also stirred in half of a scoop of All the Whey cup cake batter protein powder and a big dollup of pumpkin.

Colorful Cranberry Relish

Saturday Mornin' Breakfast

Hikin’ Time

When Ryan suggested going for a hike with Sadie at Weikwa Springs Park after breakfast I was more than game. The cool breeze and sunny weather made it a perfect day for hiking.  

The Hikin' Crew

We followed the Orange Trail, which was a nice 5.3-mile loop through the park.

We’ve done this hike many times before, but today’s weather made it extra enjoyable. Plus, we had a super-cute line leader.

Our Line Leader

In the past we’ve seen deer and wild turkeys on this hike, but today our wildlife run ins were limited to freaky-deaky creatures.

Ahhh!

We saw three black snakes. I was quite on edge after the first encounter!

Lunch

After our hike, we both were haaangry! Ryan stopped on our way home to pick up a Cuban sandwich.

Cuban Sandwich

"C'mon Dad, Just Oooone Bite!"

I love Sadie in the above picture. She doesn’t look interested in that sandwich… not at all… 😉

For my lunch, I opted for a flatbread pizza made on a Joseph’s lavash bread with marinara, broccoli, spinach and goat cheese.

Veggie Flatbread Pizza

Yummy Lunch

I was still hungry after lunch, so I popped a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s 100-calorie butter popcorn to fuel this post. Now I feel nice and full.

Plans

I’m so happy to have a weekend at home! I feel like I haven’t had a weekend in Orlando in a while.

Next on the agenda for today is cleaning the apartment and decorating for Christmas. Ryan’s already popped in the Batman Begins DVD to entertain himself while I dive into the holiday goodies! We may have a dilemma on our hands when I try to blast Christmas music…

The holiday fun will continue today since this month it’s my turn to plan our “special date” for the month. I’m taking Ryan to the Festival of Trees event at the Orlando Museum of Art. The entire museum is decked out in Christmas decor with hundreds of trees on display. They’re all decorated from head to toe and look amazing.

After visiting the Museum we have reservations at Season’s 52, one of our favorite restaurants. All the food they serve has less than 475 calories and they utilize the freshest ingredients to create amazing dishes. I’m excited! I LOVE date night!

Pink Breakfast

“Paaay-ink.” Apparently that’s what I would reply with when asked my favorite color when I was younger. I also referred to crayons as crowns (remember that one, Kristen?). Fortunately I now know how to properly refer to the color pink and the coloring utensils.

My breakfast today was a beautiful bowl of paaay-ink mush! My younger self would be delighted.

Last night I made some more cranberry relish (yes, I already polished off my first batch), and plopped a bunch on top of my Greek yogurt.

yogurt cranberry relish

Yogurt and Cranberry Relish

After stirring it in, my yogurt was transformed into a lovely pastel pink bowl of creaminess.

stirred up

Pretty 'n' Pink

I added a half a cup of Cheerios to the mix for some whole grains and crunch. Gosh, I sure do love those lil’ o’s.

cheerios and yogurt

Cheerios and Cranberry Yogurt

topped with cheerios

Topped Off

I served my big bowl of pink with a hot tumbler full of my gym’s free coffee. Today’s flavor combo was Barnie’s hazelnut and French vanilla. Perfect for a crisp morning.

friday breakfast

Friday's Breakfast

I loved my super-girly, super-pink breakfast!

Workout and a Cosmo Realization

This morning I woke up to a dog that was spooning me and breathing like she was having an asthma attack. How romantic! Sadie was allowed in the bed last night because it was chilly in our apartment and we didn’t want our little munchkin to be cold (she’s spoiled, we know).

Waking up to a cuddly pup put a smile on my face and I headed out to el gym for a BodyPump class and 25 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical.

While I was cardioing, I read the latest issue of Cosmo. I must say I think that magazine is garbage. I received a free subscription to the mag and feel like I need to read it before leaving it on the gym’s magazine rack (why, I’m really not sure).

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The Latest Issue of Cosmo Magazine

Every time I flip through an issue, I am amazed at the advice and quantity of crap (eek!) I find. I wonder how many girls actually take this advice seriously. I love asking Ryan about the “different ways to wow your man” only to see him roll his eyes and say “I swear Julie, if you ever did that I’d smack you.” (Disclaimer: He would never actually smack me. And don’t worry, because if he did Sadie would eat him.)

It’s amazing how magazines that were once so special can lose their luster. I thought Cosmo was the coolest when I was in high school even though I wasn’t allowed to have a subscription. Now… not so much.

Sometimes these realizations make me feel like I’m getting older. I remember seeing my mom and dad watch the news. I’d think to myself, “That’s so boring! Why would you voluntarily watch that?” Home Improvement and Full House were much more entertaining! Now I actually watch the news. I think 24 may be the new 65.

Packing

After aging myself about 500 years at the gym, I came home to shower and pack for our trip to St. Pete this weekend.

sadie and julie

Me and My Packin' Partner

(Doesn’t Sadie look so feeble in this picture!?)

Sadie was a terrible fantastic packin’ partner. I love how she’d jump on every item of clothing I’d add to my duffel bag and put her paws on my shoulders for hug breaks every two minutes. It was greeeeat and really helped my productivity. 😉 (Sense the sarcasm.)

I think Sadie knows what my bright blue duffel means because she was acting mighty frisky this morning. She’s ready for a weekend in St. Pete with my family! She adores my parents and my sister and freaks out every time we pull into the driveway at their house. Fortunately they’re all Sadie-obsessed too. I’m ready for the weekend to begin!