Can’t Quite Grasp It

My bachelorette party (part one) is exactly a month away!!! I got an email from one of my friends with a basic itinerary and required attire this afternoon which pretty much sent me into a frenzy of excitement (as those of you who follow me on Twitter already know).¬†I can’t wait! ūüėĬ†

I’m sorry but I just had to get that off my chest. ūüėȬ†

Dog Park 

Our evening began with a trip to the dog park. 

Sadie was beyond thrilled when we loaded up the car. 

Pumped Puppy

Family Fun

 Our trip to the park was dominated by playing fetch with a crazy-shaped red ball. 

Get It Girrrrl

Ryan took the above action photo of me and Sadie, so naturally I had to turn the camera on him. 

Of course he put on an intense tough guys face… though Sadie’s face was 100 percent authentic.¬†

Like Father, Like Doggie Daughter

I’m not sure who looks crazier! ūüėĬ†

When we first started playing with the red ball, Ryan and I could not stop laughing because Sadie had such a hard time grasping it in her mouth. 

I caught one of her first attempts on video, which made us laugh at her all over again: 

Her big red ball got the attention of some other dogs who stole it away for a while…¬†

Stolen!

…But she swooped in and¬†got it back when they got distracted.¬†

"Mine!"

Gotcha!

Eventually it was bath time. 

Bath Station

For as much as Sadie loves the lake and the ocean, you’d think she would love baths.¬†

Not the case. 

She hates them. Fortunately she loves being toweled off and gets all snuggly afterwards. 

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

With a clean pup on our hands, we headed home for din-nah! 

Dinner 

Dinner tonight was another easy creation. 

The base was my two-ingredient crock pot pulled chicken which I smothered in BBQ sauce for a simple BBQ pulled chicken sandwich. 

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

To get some greens in our meal, I roasted broccoli at 415 degrees for 20 minutes after spraying it with cooking spray and dusting the veggie with garlic salt. 

Roasted Broccoli

Dinner is Served

Simple and simply delicious! 

Now I’m off to relax a bit and watch The Blind Side with Ryan. He’s never seen it and I loved it! Let’s hope he’s a fan, too!

Overcoming Fallback Recipe Mode

With such gorgeous weather outside, Ryan and I knew we had to take advantage of the wonderful breeze before the sweltering Florida heat kicks in.

We decided a trip to the dog park was in order and Sadie was more than happy to romp around with a stick the size of her face.

Sadie and Her Stick... Err... Log

Nom, Nom

Clearly Sadie couldn’t get over how fantastic her stick was…

"Oooh Stick, I Love You"

Sadie + Ryan (+ Stick)

Smilin' at the Park

"I'm Just a Love Machine!"

 After the park we headed home to make some dinn-ah.

Dinner

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Ryan and I bought three packs of chicken (two packs of breasts and one pack of ground chicken) at the grocery store earlier this week.

Oddly enough, I’m not a huge fan of chicken unless it’s really doctored up in a tasty recipe. It bores me otherwise.

Seeing the numerous chicken packages we had to use this week, my mind went into instant “fallback recipe mode,” and I figured we’d use the chicken in three dishes we make for dinner regularly:

Though they’re delicious, I realized I wasn’t really looking forward to any of these dinners.

That’s no way to live!

A big turning point for me in adopting healthier eating habits was making healthy meals I wanted to eat and couldn’t wait to enjoy.

Before work today, I still had my “fallback recipe” blinders on and threw the ground chicken into the crock pot with taco seasoning and ¬ĺ cup of water to cook on low all day. I figured we’d behaving tacos tonight.

When I thought about dinner on my drive home, I realized I wasn’t in the mood for tacos. I knew I’d just be eating them because they were there and easy.

So, what’s a girl to do? Get creative in the kitchen!

Oh Crock Pot, How I Love You

Instead of using the chicken in tacos, I decided to use it to create taco pasta!

My taco pasta included:

  • One serving Carba Nada egg fettuccine noodles
  • 3 ounces ground chicken (prepared in the crock pot with taco seasoning)
  • One Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese wedge
  • 1/2 c. diced portobello mushrooms, saut√©ed
  • 1/4 c. diced onion, saut√©ed
  • 1/4 c.¬†corn
  • 1 hard shell taco, crushed

While I cooked the noodles, I sautéed the mushrooms and onion and microwaved the frozen corn.

Onion + Mushrooms

When everything was ready, I drained the noodles and topped them with the veggies, chicken, crumbled hard shell taco and cheese and stirred it all up until everything was taco-tastic!

Taco Pasta

With the Fixins

 

Fiesta in a Bowl

Close Up

Though tacos are delicious, this meal tasted like victory! I overcame the fallback recipe hump and made myself a dinner I wanted to eat and thoroughly enjoyed.

Dessert

Dessert was simple and simply delicious: Gingersnap cookies.

Gingersnaps

They were a great conclusion to a great meal.

So what about you… Do you ever fall victim to fallback recipes?

Ryan’s Big Buy

As I was walking to my car after work today, I called Ryan to let him know I was on my way home.

“Okay, I’ll be home soon,” he said. “I’m at the store.”

The store? Hmm. Ryan isn’t the type of guy who just goes to a store to browse around. I knew he’d been eyeing televisions for several weeks now, so I immediately asked him whether or not he was buying anything.

“Yesss,” he said.

“Something big?” I asked.

“Yesss.”

Oh Lord. “How big?”

“The perfect size.”

When Ryan and I have looked at televisions together in the past he leaned toward TVs that were between 45 and 5,000 inches. I liked 42” and under.

As I pulled into our driveway, I saw a huge box in the back of his SUV with two large numbers on the side: 46”.

I helped Ryan haul it into our house and set it up on our TV stand.

It’s definitely a lot larger than our old TV, but it does look pretty sharp. Plus, I have one happy fiance, who immediately proclaimed “I can’t wait for the World Cup!” Oh joy. ūüėČ

Here are before and after shots of our TVs:

Before

After

After the TV was set up, we turned it on to Cash Cab. It was like we were in the cab!

Dog Park

With all the excitement of our new TV, we had to let Sadie in on some fun, so we hopped in the car to spend an hour or so running around at the dog park.

Sadie and Her Dad

 

Me and Ryan

As always, Sadie found a ball right away, so many rounds of fetch ensued.

"Gotcha!"

Peek-a-Boo

Since it was pretty warm outside, Sadie also enjoyed play time in the lake.

Water Dog

You’d think she’d be a pooped puppy by the end of this trip, but I’m sitting here blogging in our backyard while she’s running around chasing lizards. (Also, please don’t forget that she also went on a 55 minute run/walk with me this morning!) This dog doesn’t stop!

Dinner

After the park, we swung by McDonald’s for a snack-size Oreo McFlurry.

Oreo McFlurry

It was a nice little appetizer. ūüėČ

The cold, creaminess of the McFlurry made me want more of the same for dinner.

Of course an actual McFlurry wouldn’t make a very nutritious meal, so I settled for another green monster (my second of the day!).

I made this one a “double” and it was so stinkin’ good.

I think I’m officially obsessed with these bad boys.

Green Monster in a Bowl

I poured my green monster into a bowl and ate it with sliced strawberries and granola on top… Both of which¬†sunk into the thick smoothie really quickly!

I had to be a fast photographer!

Sinking Strawberries

This was also Ryan’s first taste of a green monster and he was impressed!

Something about a green monster makes me feel energetic and rejuvenated. I don’t know what it is, but I love ’em.

Hope you’re having a great night!

Feast Fit for an Irishman

I abandoned my inner German/Sweed and let Ryan’s Irish heritage rub off on me a bit when creating tonight’s dinner.

Before I left for work, I placed a large piece of corned beef in the crock pot with four bay leaves, 6 cups of water, pepper, and 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar.

(I would like to add that I cut the biggest hunk of fat off this meat before putting it in the slow cooker. Gross!)

When we arrived home after work, the apartment smelled unbelievable. Corned beef is so aromatic and the scent of it in the air made my mouth water almost immediately.

Dog Park

Before digging into dinner, we took Sadie to the dog park to run off some of her never-ending energy.

Ready for Action

"Meet My Best Friend... Ball."

Playtime in Progress

Even though playing fetch, sniffing around and running the trails are Sadie’s top priorities¬†when we’re at the park, she still makes some time for some lovin’.

Me & My Girl

Ryan & His Lil' Lady

Dinner

When we arrived home, the smell was as strong as ever!

It took some serious patience to wait 20 minutes after adding the chopped cabbage to the crock pot to dig into our Irish feast. What choice did we have though? We needed to have cabbage with our corned beef!

Finally it was time!

Corned Beef

I filled my plate with three slices of the corned beef and copious amounts of cabbage.

Cabbage

My Irish Feast

I love this meal. It really is one of my all-time favorites!

St. Patrick’s Day Love

I leave you with this loving St. Patrick’s Day picture I snapped off the St. Patrick’s Day card my family sent to me, Ryan and Sadie.

I ‚̧ You!

I love you guys mucho!

Thank you for following along and for your wonderful support. It really means more than you know!

Play Time at the Park

Even after two walks totaling at least 4.5 miles (2 with Ryan and 2.5 with me), Sadie was as energetic and chipper as ever. Clearly a trip to the dog park was in order. 

Puppy Play Time 

I’ve never seen so many cars at the dog park!¬†

People came out of the woodworks to take in the sunny day at the park. 

Smilin' at the Park

"Well Hello There."

 Sadie found lots of treasures to play with today. A grungy ball, several sticks, a rope toy and more! 

"Look What I Found!"

Pretty Girl

I originally planned to make garlic soup from scratch for dinner, but a long trip to the park made both of us unwilling to wait the 1.5 hours needed to prepare the soup and let it simmer. 

Luckily we had a freezer fallback meal on hand! 

Dinner 

Having a frozen pizza in the freezer has saved me in numerous “I need dinner and I need it now” situations.¬†

Yay for CPK!

Sadie is Intrigued...

(Please ignore my slippers in the above pic. Also, don’t I kinda look like a bobble-head? What’s the deal!? ūüôā )¬†

Ever since trying (and loving!) the BBQ chicken frozen pizza by California Pizza Kitchen, Ryan and I have been on a mission to try all of their flavors. Tonight the margherita pizza was on the menu. 

Hot 'n' Cheesy

This pizza was g-o-o-d! We both agree that the BBQ chicken and the white pizzas by CPK¬†are our favorites, but we’d definitely buy this one again. Mmm, mmm.¬†

To get our veggies in, we served the pizza with a side of cauliflower roasted at 400 degrees for 20 minutes after tossing it in a bit of olive oil and garlic salt. 

Pizza + Veggies

My Plate

Ryan and I both want dessert and are craving ice cream, but we’re feeling pretty lazy and don’t want to go anywhere… It’s the sweet tooth vs. laziness. An epic battle, I know! Not sure which one will prevail…¬†

I hope you guys had a wonderful weekend! See ya in the mornin’.