Save the Dates = DONE!

Who doesn’t like startin’ their day with a little chocolate?

Cocoa Powder

I’m in the mood for chocolate morning, noon and night. 5 a.m.? Yes! 11 p.m.? Yes!

This morning chocolate popped up in my breakfast in a chocolate chip cheesecake breakfast bowl.

The base of my breakfast bowl was a mixture of ricotta cheese and cottage cheese, which I blended together with a pinch of xanthan gum, almond extract and sweetener.

Ricotta + Cottage Cheese

I topped the creamy, cheesecake-like mixture with chocolate chips, cocoa powder and freshly sliced strawberries.

Cocoa Powdaaa

Fresh Berries

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Breakfast Bowl

This bowl contained:

  • 1/2 c. cottage cheese
  • 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1 pinch xanthan gum (for thickness)
  • 1 splash almond extract
  • 1 pinch sweetener
  • Sprinkling of chocolate chips
  • Sprinkling of Nestlé cocoa powder
  • Sliced strawberries

I blended the first five ingredients together with my immersion blender before topping the cheesecake-like mixture with the remaining goods.

This breakfast was really tasty and hit the spot after a hot run with Sadie this morning.

Workout

This morning I decided to change up my normal running route and took Sadie on a five-mile run around a different lake.

"Stop Taking My Picture and Go Get Me Some Chicken."

We stopped for a couple potty breaks (as usual) and had to pause for more cars than our typical running route, but I enjoyed the change of scenery.

Here are our stats (including potty breaks, waiting for cars to pass and talking to a couple about vizslas 😉 ):

Breakdown

(Woohoo for my first ever Garmin stats picture on the blog! Oh and yes I do wear my watch turned in rather than facing out. Not sure why…)

Save the Date Success

Wedding update!

Our save the dates are printed and ready for mailing!

Smiling for Save the Dates

After picking them up from Staples last night, Ryan and I got to work stamping the cards and licking lots of envelopes.

Please excuse me while I sing the praises of Staples!

With help from my sister and a guy from my work, our save the date images were formatted and ready for printing yesterday. I worked with a guy at Staples and explained what I was looking for and he went above and beyond to make our save the dates look amazing.

Then, on top of it all, he cut everything to fit into the envelopes I purchased, and only charged us for black and white printing when really it was color since the image of me and Ryan on the card is sepia.

Save the Date

October 30th, Baby!

I was determined to create our save the dates myself because I love being crafty and wanted to save money.When I found a wonderful (free!) template for these save the dates on WeddingChicks.com, I knew we had a winner.

We are so pleased with how they turned out and are even more excited about how inexpensive they were to make. The guy at Staples really helped us save a ton of money on printing costs.

Here is our save the date cost break down:

  • Envelopes: $54
  • Printing/ Cutting at Staples: $11
  • Heart stamp: $4
  • Happily ever after stamp: $7
  • 2 stamp pads: $8

Total cost: $84

Not to shabby for 80 save the dates!

Now I just have to purchase a billion stamps and get these bad boys in the mail…

Save the Date Pictures

After work our backyard became the site of an intense photo shoot!

Ryan and I went the do-it-yourself route and got friendly with the self timer on my camera to take some photos of us for our save the dates.

You’d think that after 6+ years together we would have a picture we could use already, but none of our current pictures seemed quite right. We needed a romantic picture without anyone or anything distracting in the background, which is much harder to come by than you might think.

Even though it was 90+ degrees outside, we took picture after picture and eventually found a winner!

Here are some of the pictures that didn’t make the cut, starting with the one I found the most hilarious:

Lots of Action

We had to throw toys for Sadie to make her run out of the pictures. Sometimes we didn’t make it in time. 😉

Cheeseballs

Gimme da Kisses!

And, for your viewing pleasure, the winning picture that will be featured in our save the dates:

The Winner

I love this one because Ryan turned his head to look at me like that at the last minute. We didn’t plan for that pose, but I love the way it turned out! I think he looks so cute!

Dinner

After sweating and smiling in the backyard, we were ready for dinner!

What to do when you’re hungry and want dinner fast? Pasta!

Monterey Pasta Company Lobster Ravioli

Ryan and I bought this ravioli (my favorite!) on sale at the grocery store on Sunday for buy one get one free! Gotta love that!

I actually also received a huge package from Monterey Pasta Company (Thank you, Rachel!) filled with a bunch of different pastas to try, but those will have to wait for another day since we had some of their fantastic lobster ravioli on hand already!

Big Box!

Apparently Moneterey Pasta Company got wind of my minor obsession with their ravioli.;)

The lobster ravioli cooked up in a flash.

Ravioli Poofs

I topped the pasta with roasted cauliflower and yellow squash before pouring marinara sauce on top of everything.

Veggies

Saucy

Ravioli Bowl

As always, this ravioli hit the spot! I love how they actually include real lobster in the ravioli poofs (I think it’s the second ingredient right after the actual pasta shell). YUM.

Dessert

Dessert tonight was super simple and super delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I brought home a couple of cookies from work today and enjoyed two chocolate chips cookies after dinner.

I think I could give the cookie monster a run for his money… 😉

I’m off to watch the Magic game with Ryan while reading the first book in the Percy Jackson series. Any Percy Jackson fans out there?

Move Over, Cinnamon

Cinnamon may be my favorite spice. I adore everything about it, from the taste of the spice to the smell of it. I even love the soft brown color.

Within the past year I’ve become quite friendly with another spice… Perhaps the only other spice that holds a candle to cinnamon in my book: Nutmeg.

Today my breakfast included both spices in a battle over which spice was more delicious.

Cinnamon made an appearance first in the form of Van’s cinnamon French toast sticks.

This was my first time trying these French toast sticks, and let me just say a beautiful new relationship has blossomed.

Lovers and Friends

Van's Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

Cinnamon came back for more before nutmeg even got in on the goods.

I mixed several shakes of cinnamon into two large dollops of ricotta cheese, along with a squirt of honey.

I placed the cinnamon-ricotta-honey mixture on top of the French toast sticks before adding a freshly sliced pear to the mix.

Then, it was nutmeg’s turn to make an appearance.

I sprinkled copious amounts of nutmeg over the entire dish for a punch of flavor.

Cinnamon vs. Nutmeg

Pear and Ricotta Topped Cinnamon French Toast

Monday Morning Breakfast

Oh how I wish I had syrup for on top of this bad boy! Unfortunately we used it all up on Saturday morning. 😦

Still, syrup or no syrup, this breakfast kicked major boo-tay.

Though cinnamon was prominently featured throughout the dish, and tasted fantastic, the nutmeg really stole the show. It upped the flavor of this breakfast and made it look a little prettier, too. 😉

Workout

Pre-breakfast, Ryan and I hit the gym for an early morning workout. While Ryan went off to kick his own butt in the weight room, I stuck to the cardio machines and pounded out a sweaty workout that looked like this:

  • 20 minutes stair master
  • 20 minute treadmill blast
  • 10 minutes elliptical

My 20 minutes on the treadmill was spent alternating running with super-fast walking. Here’s the breakdown:

20 Minute Treadmill Blast

The hardest part of my time on the treadmill was the last 5 minutes. I was haulin’ hiney at a pretty decent incline. It was tough!

Save the Dates

Wedding news!!!!!!!! Last night Ryan and I brainstormed a bit about our save the dates. We selected a do-it-yourself project and placed an order for a whole bunch of paper and stamps which should arrive within the next couple days.

I can’t wait to get started!

Tonight we’re going to attempt to get to know the self timer on my camera really well as we try to snap a picture of us to include on the save the date cards. We want it to look classy, romantic and loving without looking super cheesy. Should be interesting!

Question of the Day

Did you make your own save the dates or purchase them from a professional? If you are not married, are you planning on making your own save the dates?

I love being crafty and figured making our own save the dates would be a fun way to show our personalities and save some money at the same time.

Kitty Chow

I think people who hate canned tuna really hate canned tuna. It’s not generally something they’re on the fence about.

Personally, I love canned tuna and would eat a tuna salad sandwich for lunch regularly in high school. My best friend Michaela always said I was eating “kitty chow.” 🙂

Cats ❤ Tuna

Sure it’s staaanky, but I think it’s delicious!

Are you a canned tuna lover or hater?

Clearly I’m a canned tuna love-ah!

Lunch

Surprise, surprise!

My lunch today was a tuna salad wrap.

Canned Tuna

My tuna salad contained one can of tuna, light Miracle Whip, mustard, relish and sweet corn.

Tuna Salad

After wrapping the tuna salad in a whole wheat wrap, I dug in!

Carrot sticks were served on the side.

Carrot Sticks

Save the Dates

Remember waaay back when I asked you guys about the proper amount of time to wait before sending out save the date cards?

Well, I still haven’t even started making ours, but my goal is to send them out six months in advance, so I still have a little bit of time to get my act together.

I love being crafty, so I think Ryan and I may be sending out DIY save the dates with a bit of a personal touch. I’m not sure if making our own save the dates will be too overwhelming, so we’ll see!

If you are married, what were your save the dates like?

(Note: Please do not share your save the date idea if you don’t want me to steal it. 😉 )

Salad and Save the Date

I finally got some long lost vegetables into my belly at lunch today.

Lots o' Veggie Salad

I enjoyed a big salad with a variety of nutritious toppings.

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Beets
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Feta cheese
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms

I topped the salad with Annie’s Naturals light raspberry vinaigrette.

Annie's Naturals

Monday's Lunch

It feels good to have some good-for-you-foods in my body again.

Save the Date Question

I have a question for all of you wedding experts out there.

How far in advance are you supposed to send out save the dates to wedding guests?

We’re getting married at the end of October, but most of our guests will have to travel to St. Pete for the wedding. I read that sending out save the dates six to nine months in advance is ideal, and I figured we should probably send them out closer to the nine-month end of that estimate since the majority of people will have to travel to attend. If that’s the case, we gotta get on those bad boys! 😀