“If Everybody Looked the Same…”

“… we’d get tired of looking at each other.”

Do you remember that song by Groove Armada? It’s fantastic. It actually came up on my iPod on my morning walk with Sadie and got me thinkin’.

Last night at our girl’s holiday movie night, we all talked about how pretty the actress who plays the part of Natalie is.

Natalie in Love Actually


This woman is not a stick-thin actress, but she is beautiful. (Hey, even Hugh Grant couldn’t resist her!).

Everyone thinks different people are beautiful. Today it seems like being thin is almost synonymous with being beautiful. I consider so many people of all shapes and sizes beautiful. If everyone looked like Heidi Klum we’d all be gorgeous, but wouldn’t that be boring? Like my Groove Armada friends said, “We’d get tired of looking at each other.” Embrace your uniqueness today! It makes you beautiful and fun to look at. šŸ˜€

And that was my random thought of the day! šŸ˜‰ Back to normal blogger Julie:

Double Brownie Batch

Last night before dinner and holiday movie night, I baked two batches of brownies for a holiday party at Ryan’s work today.

Brownie Mix

  • Duncan Hines Candy Shop Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
  • Betty Crocker Cookie Brownie Bars

Is there anything better than brownie batter? Well, maybe cookie dough… but in the case of these cookie brownie bars, I got to enjoy both.

Cookie Dough annnnd Brownie Batter

How fantastic does that look!?

Our apartment smelled wonderful, but I had to leave for movie night before they were done. Ryan was a little nervous about taking them out of the oven at the right time, but they turned out perfect.

Cookie Brownie Bars

Double Brownie Batch

I really enjoy baking from scratch, but boxed brownie mixes are tasty and so easy when you’re short on time.

Movie Night Recap

I headed over to my friend Kaitlyn’s around 7:15 p.m. to hang out with mah girls and watch Love Actually.

My friend Laurel, me and the movie of the night

As always, we talked through most of the movie, but made sure to stop long enough to watch a few key parts (like the “To me you are perfect” sign scene… aw).

Throughout the night Laurel was a busy little baker and made multiple batches of homemade banana muffins for a work breakfast this morning.

Laurel the Baker

They smelled phenomenal. Drool…

Merri and Kaitlyn enjoyed hammin’ it up for the blog by holding up Kaitlyn’s computer with Peanut Butter Fingers on display. Unfortunately the computer screen reflected, but you get the idea.

Merri, Kaitlyn and Peanut Butter Fingers

Look how into my blog Merri is! What a dedicated friend. šŸ˜‰

Workout and Breakfast

This morning started out with a nice and sweaty workout.

  • 15 minutes stair master
  • 10 minute run
  • 25 minutes incline walking

Simple and effective.

For breakfast I knew I wanted to use one of Ryan’s very ripe bananas since he said they’re gonna go bad soon and needed to be used ASAP.

Banana Slices

I decided to make Elvis’ favorite peanut butter and banana sandwich: the PB & B.

I toasted two slices of whole wheat toast, spread lots o’ peanut butter on top and added the banana slices.

Elvis would be proud

PB & B

I enjoyed my breakfast sandwich with a hot cup of eggnog tea.

Thursday's Breakfast

Pop Secret and Emeralds Nuts Giveaway Winner

Using Random.org’s random number generator, the winner of yesterday’s giveaway is Cindy!

Cindy said: “I try and bring my own food in but growing up I always picked up the Junior Mints.”

Please email me (pbfingers@gmail.com) with your address so I can send you the goodies!

Also, just in case you were curious, the most popular movie theater favorites were popcorn and M&Ms. You guys have great taste! šŸ™‚

Crock Pot Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

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This is a long shot, but does anybody remember the episode of The Brady Bunch where Peter (I think) says “pork chops and apple sauce” in the goofiest voice?

Well, as a former Nick at Nite fan, I used to watch reruns of The Brady Bunch with my sister and we somehow picked up on this little quip.

The Place for T.V. Reruns!

Now, whenever I think of pork chops, I always think of apple sauce. This word-association inspired my dinner for tonight.

What are your favorite T.V. show reruns?

My favorite reruns are definitely episodes of Friends. Hands down, no competition there! After all, Joey and I do share an affinity for Peanut Butter Fingers!

Crock Pot Dinner

This morning before I left for work, I prepped dinner in the crock pot.

I started by trimming the fat off pork chops before placing them in the crock pot and covering the meat with applesauce and cinnamon. I let this cook on low for about eight hours.

When I arrived home from work, the aroma smelled fantastic. I bet it was driving Sadie crazy all day!

Cinnamon Apple Sauce Pork Chops

Cinnamon Apple Sauce Pork Chops


  • 4 pork chops
  • 3 c. apple sauce (or enough to coat the meat)
  • Several dashes of cinnamon


Trim unwanted fat from pork chops. Place in a slow cooker and top with apple sauce and cinnamon. Stir mixture so cinnamon and apple sauce coat the pork chops. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.

The chops were pretty good! Nothing amazing, but we agreed we’d make them again.

We paired the choppers with a bowl of Amy’s organic black bean vegetable soup.

Amy's Black Bean Veggie Soup


I recognized every last one except for high oleic safflower oil – huh??? A quick Wikipedia look up informed me that safflower is “a thistle-like annual, usually with many long sharp spines on the leaves.”

Plants and flowers = good for you, right? The use of safflower in my food is a-okay by me.

Delicious Soup

This soup was tasty! Both Ryan and I gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. šŸ˜€

Holiday Movie Night

Tonight I’m heading to my friend Kaitlyn’s house for our weekly girl’s holiday movie night. The movie on the agenda for tonight is Love Actually.

Love Actually

“I feel it in my fingers,
I feel it in my toes,
Christmas is all around me,
and so the feeling grows”

My favorite part of the movie is this scene:

Together Now: "Awwww!"

Ryan, if you’d like to hold up love posters for me I wouldn’t object. šŸ˜‰

…And I’m off to movie night! G’night all!


Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! The winner will be announced tomorrow morning.

Dinner, Elf, Hot Cocoa, Breakfast

Who knew a night of no blogging could make me feel so behind! Let’s get caught up, shall we?

Yesterday I left work early for my Invisalign appointment at my orthodontist’s office. She told me my teeth are coming along smoothly and slowly but surely I’ll have the smile I’m hoping for. All in good time, my friends. šŸ™‚

My orthodontist just got married last week so I enjoyed hearing about her wedding. My visits there always fly by! As I was about to leave, she gave me her latest promo material. Normally promotional stuff is useless, but I was super excited about this one!

Awesome Promo Cup!

Cool huh? I filled it up with my gym’s free Barnie’s coffee this morning, so I’m reppin’ College Park Orthodontics like it’s hot! šŸ˜‰


After my Invisalign appointment, I hurried home to scoop up the pup and take her to the dog park with Ryan. It was gorgeous outside and Sadie had a ball.

Once park playtime was over we came home to cook dinner.

Pre-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

I chopped up Brussels sprouts and carrots and tossed them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees for 12 minutes on one side before flipping them and roasting the veggies for another eight minutes.

While I was preparing the veggies, Ryan grilled up some BBQ chicken. I marinated the chicken breasts all day while we were at work, so they were infused with BBQ goodness. Ryan cooked them perfectly, as always.

My Plate

Sadie really wanted some of that chicken.

"Gimme Da Chicken and No One Gets Hurt."

With that cute face, she got more than a few bites. šŸ˜‰

Once my belly was full I was ready to set up for girl’s holiday movie night.

Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider Spread

The spread included two different flavors of hot chocolate, apple cider and the movie of choice: ELF!

My friends arrived around 7 p.m. and left at 10:30 p.m. I don’t think we watched even one minute of the movie, but I enjoyed talking and laughing with mah girlies.


On to today! My neck is slowly on the up-and-up. It felt okay enough to go to BodyPump this morning which made me quite happy. I’ve missed that class! The workout was tough. I felt weaker after only a week off of this total-body weights class. I see soreness in my future.

Following two days of cold Greek yogurt-based breakfasts, I was cravin’ something h-o-t. Oatmeal… oh yes.

Wednesday's Breakfast

I stirred in one scoop of All the Whey cupcake batter protein to make my oats extra creamy. So darn delicious.

Feed Your Fingers

You guys all know how much I love peanut butter and basically all nuts in general. I was excited to receive an email from Ann with Diamond Foods informing me about FeedYourFingers.com, a Web site featuring recipes created with various nuts (and popcorn, too!).

Emerald Deluxe Mixed Nuts and Pop Secret Homestyle Popcorn Brittle

I love using nuts as a standard mix-in with my morning Greek yogurt, oatmeal and my protein brownie. The Feed Your Fingers site also offers coupons, including this $1 off any Diamond nuts product (8 oz. or larger) coupon.

According to Ann:

Diamond Foods supports healthy eating for an active lifestyle. Some of their most recent product introductions have been 100 calorie packs of a variety of Emerald nuts and Pop Secret microwave popcorn as well as two new indulgent Emerald Trail Mixes. The company sponsors the last five miles of the 2009 ING New York marathon and the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park in NYC on December 31, along with the LA marathon and the Emerald Across the Bay 12K in San Francisco.

Gotta love companies that support healthy living! šŸ™‚

Who Spiked the Eggnog?

Straight No Chaser just released their first ever music video! It’s holiday-themed, which obviously pleases me to no end.

Here’s the video for “Who Spiked the Eggnog?” a song off their latest Christmas CD, Christmas Cheers.

I love this acapella band and own both of their Christmas CDs (highly recommended). The happy, upbeat music always ups my Christmas cheer.

Straight No Chaser: Christmas Cheers


Lunch today was a ginormous salad featuring lots of random veggies, fruit and cheeeese.

Tuesday's Lunch

I topped a bed of fresh spinach with leftover green beans and broccoli from last night’s dinner, mushrooms, homemade cranberry relish, feta and goat cheese. I used Annie’s Naturals raspberry vinaigrette dressing for added sweetness.

Annie's Naturals

All Tossed Up

I’m on track to meet my veggie-quota for the day!

A Rare Appearance

Today I randomly snapped a pic of my elusive morning snack. As you may remember, I usually do not take pictures of my snacks, but today I was feelin’ pic-happy.


I made a quick microwavable quesadilla. I just placed a stick of string cheese on a whole wheat pita an microwaved it for 45 seconds until the cheese was melted. Easy, warm, delish ‘dilla!


I will be leaving work early today for yet another Invisalign appointment with my orthodontist. IĀ  actually don’t mind these appointments (I have to go once every six weeks) because my orthodontist is amazing and is engaged as well! I love all the wedding talk! šŸ™‚

After my appointment, I am hoping to make it home early to take Sadie on a walk with Ryan before dinner. Then I’m hosting our weekly girl’s movie night! We’ll be watching Elf, one of my favorites.

"I'm Buddy the elf! What's your favorite color?"

My sister and I quote this movie year-round. It’s the best!

What’s your favorite holiday movie?

My top three holiday favorites are:

Click here for MovieFone’s list of the top 25 holiday movies. Somehow How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer didn’t make the list! I’m confused.

Cake Batter Breakfast and Mixed Nuts

Holiday Movie Night Kickoff

The kickoff to our once-a-week holiday movie night (now through Christmas!)Ā  was a success!

Holiday Movie Night

Take away the movie, add in some amazing friends and lots o’ laughs and the night was great! I say “take away the movie” because Mixed Nuts wasn’t exactly a holiday classic in my opinion. We made it though about 30 minutes before completely ignoring the film and talking and catching up instead. Bad movie and all, holiday movie night was fun!

Work out

I woke up this morning and did not feel like going to the gym. I told myself I’d machine-hop my way through a cardio workout to keep my interest alive. When I grabbed my iPod near our mail stash, I realized the new issue of Cooking Light arrived yesterday, so I had some fun reading to fuel my workout.

Do you read magazines or watch T.V. when you work out?

I will read magazines when I’m on the elliptical, but that’s pretty much the only machine where I’m able to read since I’m not bouncing around too much. I’m not a big television watcher when I work out. I definitely prefer the eclectic mix of music on my iPod as my background noise.

Today’s workout consisted of 10 minutes on the stair master, 10 minutes on the arc trainer and 30 minutes on the elliptical. Not an intense workout, but I still was sweaty when I left and happy I went.

Hot Breakfast

I originally planned to eat Greek yogurt for breakfast, but changed my mind after a chilly walk with Sadie. Hot oatmeal sounded much better!

I added a scoop of All the Whey cup cake batter protein powder to my oats before microwaving them until they became thick, hot and creamy.

I topped my cake batter oats with thawed raspberries for a punch of color and flavor.

Thursday's Breakfast


Christmas Find

I always bring my lunch to work in a random paper bag with handles that I receive from stores like Bath and Body Works when shopping. They actually work really well and typically last a couple weeks before ripping.

If you prefer a lunch bag with a little more longevity, I saw this cute lunch bag in Cooking Light this morning.

KOKO Jenn Lunch Bag

I thought this lunch bag was much cuter than many of the others available these days and just wanted to share! šŸ™‚

It’s Friday tomorrow!!!