Weekend Highlights {9/23}

Hey hey! Happy Monday, friends. How was the weekend? Since it was the first weekend of FALL and all, did anyone do anything fun and, umm, fall-ish?

We didn’t necessarily do anything fall-ish (although we will be going apple picking and celebrating Fall Festival in just a couple weeks!) but we did have a great weekend. Saturday morning, I had a bridal shower to go to so Mr. Lucas got to spend the morning with dad. Unfortunately, things weren’t going too well with the little guy so I wound up having to come home a little early. Of course, by the time I got home he was happy as a clam. Isn’t that how it always works?

His afternoon was still a little rough (since he decided he was too cool for naps once again) but after squeezing in a broken 2-hour stretch of one, we were out the door again so he could attend his first birthday party!


Albeit, we were two hours late, but hey, I guess it’s bound to happen. Winking smile His friend Jacks (the son of my very talented friend, Christina) turned three, and had an adorable construction-themed par-tay. Lucas even got his first goody bag…how cute is that?!


Sunday started off with lots of the usual house stuff, and then Lucas and I went out for a little walk. It was a perfectly crisp first day of fall, so I couldn’t resist a little outdoor time.


Plus, I got to test out my new pair of Reebok Crossfit Nano Speed shoes.


The Nano Speeds were built to perform for all CF WODs and for cross-training activities of any kind.  It was built for more running-focused cross-training, but the 4mm drop still provides stability for lifts and other activities. It is still a training shoe, but with a slightly narrower fit than the Nano 2.0 or 3.0, it’s now much more runner-friendly.

I even managed to get a few jogging bursts into my walk yesterday and I’d say they felt nice and stable. Plus, I mean, just check out those colors. Pretty sweet, right?


Later in the afternoon, we all headed out the door once again to go to my parents’ house for the Jets game. I mean, you can’t really tell we’re Jets fans, can you? Winking smile


We all enjoyed plenty of the usual snacks, had a few great laughs, and just had an overall great evening (especially since the Jets actually WON!).


I totally think they won just because Lucas was wearing his “lucky onesie” though. He wore it when they won a couple of weeks ago, so obviously, that’s got to be it.

No, I’m not superstitious at all.

Today, we’re back to the grind, BUT, I’ve already got my workout in for the day (lower body + 20 mins cardio) so let’s just hope I can go squeeze in that shower before the little man wakes back up.

Catch you all later, friends! Smile

A Sweet and Salty Salad You Must Try

Well, I went and got my camera back from my parents’ house this morning, so even though it’s old news, here’s a few pics from the day.


Plenty of Jets fan gear all around, as if you didn’t already notice. Winking smile


My mom put out a great spread of food…I contributed the beer bread you see up there in the corner, but she plenty of cheese and crackers, her taco dip, and cookie dough dip to snack on.


I had a few nibbles from the snack table (mostly the beer bread), but I actually challenged myself to try and hold off on the cookie dough dip until the fourth quarter of the game. Surprisingly enough, I made it to the fourth quarter…but then I went cookie dough dip crazy and probably ate half the bowl.

Okayyy, slight exaggeration. But I had a lot. I promise.

Halfway through the game, I put together a small plate of some of the other hot appetizers – mom’s special meatballs and a couple slices of garbage bread.


Also on the menu yesterday were some “Green Goblins.”


My parents got this shooter recipe when they were in Jamaica earlier this year and it’s pretty good. Not sure exactly what’s in it, but I think I heard pineapple juice, orange juice, blue curacao, and vodka? But who cares…it tastes good. Winking smile



I had to take care of the grocery shopping late this morning too, and out of nowhere while walking down one of the aisles I got a craving for a very specific sort of salad. I was in the cereal aisle too, so honestly, I have no idea where this craving came from? But as soon as I got home, my little sweet and salty creation was made…and devoured.


  • fresh spinach
  • chopped apple
  • dried cranberries
  • green grapes
  • warm turkey bacon
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • ~3 pecan halves, crumbled
  • raspberry walnut vinaigrette


Oh. My. Goshhhhhhhh. The sweet and salty combo in this salad was insane. There’s really just no other way to describe it. I want another one, like, right now.

You just gotta love when a craving comes together and totally hits the spot, right?

Question for the Afternoon:

Fill in the blank: The last major food craving I had was ____________________ and it tasted ____________________.

Jets Game + Yoga Challenge, Week 2

Hey, friends! How was the weekend? Do anything fun? I actually had a pretty awesome weekend, in case ya missed it…

And now, here’s the rest of my weekend…at the Jets football game!


Jay, my parents, and I headed down to East Rutherford, NJ early yesterday morning to get there in time for a little tailgating. There was, of course, a pit stop at DD’s which included a pumpkin spice coffee + a cinnamon raisin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese…just in case you were worried I wasn’t getting my fix. Winking smile

When we left my parents house in the morning, the weather was gross. Rainy, cold, windy…definitely NOT ideal football weather for me. By the time we made it down to the stadium, it was still pretty chilly and cloudy but it was dry so I couldn’t complain. Plus, it wasn’t nearly as chilly as this game from a couple years ago…that was a brutal one.

Thank goodness my parents had a huge Jets blanket in the back of the car. I cuddled up with that and a little bit of mom’s homemade chex mix. YUM.


We actually didn’t do the full-on tailgate like we did last year. We had a few snacks for when we got down there and then we had some stuff ready for us for after the game, so we just sort of hung out for a bit and got jealous of all the wonderful aromas of people cooking around us.


Oh hey, husband. Winking smile

I didn’t wind up taking too many photos during the game because really, how many different photos can you view of a football game when you’re way up in the upper deck, right? Right.

Thankfully, by the time we made it up to our seats, the sun was out, there was a beautiful breeze, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Seriously, a great day to watch a football game – we got so lucky!

About halfway through the third quarter, my stomach started to growl and it was actually pretty warm out. Then, all of a sudden, I see a little kid walk up the stairs with some sort of ice cream/icy thing and I just needed to have it. So I made a beeline to the food stands to find out just what it was and where it was so I could get one of my own…



And despite the fact that this little thing was a whopping $8.00, it was totally worth it. Vanilla soft serve* (*edited: not vanilla soft serve,  it’s vanilla custard) – some sort of orange-mango flavored Italian ice, and more vanilla soft serve custard.

Jay and I shared that thing of beauty while cheering our Jets on to a victory. WOO HOO!


After the game, we all headed back to the car and hung out for a bit while eating our packed subs. I got sliced deli chicken, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles.


The sub was massive, so I ate half while tailgating and am saving the other half for what will most likely be today’s lunch. Shortly after eating, we packed it up and hit the road to head back home…definitely a great day out with family!


Oh boy, I’m not quite ready for this one…

October Yoga Challenge – Week 2 Recap

The second week of the October Yoga Challenge has come and gone and, well, let me be blunt. I failed miserably this week.

My Challenge: Do 3 yoga sessions for the week

Actual: 1 yoga session (10lb. Slimdown Xtreme Yoga DVD – 40 minutes)

This past week was just not a good week. Plain and simple. With my frustrations on the rise, I felt myself gravitating more and more towards running so I just went with that and it felt wonderful. The one yoga session that I did do was really anything but “zen.” My mind was wondering all over the place, I couldn’t concentrate, and I was falling out of poses I usually have no problem with…thus making me more frustrated.

Needless to say, me and yoga were not exactly a “thing” for week 2 of this challenge, BUT, I’m determined to get back into the swing of things again for this next week. Hey, maybe I’ll even get a chance to try out a class at a local studio?!

Alright, so I’m hoping that you guys all did better this week than I did…let’s see it!


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Things Making Me Smile This Week {10/14}

Despite the fact that I had somewhat of a shit-tastic week, I did still manage to have a few good laughs and smiles thrown in the mix. Hey, you’ve gotta try to see the positive even when things are at their worst, right?

So here’s a peek at a few things that managed to turn my frown upside-down this week…

My friends. I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. Seriously.

And just the simple act of mailing an actual card? It’s just so thoughtful (and somewhat rare nowadays, wouldn’t you say?).

This week it REALLY, officially became fall…and it is beautiful outside.

Let’s just forget about all the leaves that need to be removed from my own yard.

Sitting at the bar with Jay earlier this week, sipping on some Octoberfest.

It was perfect.

The fact that I managed to run four different times this past week. FOUR. Granted, they were only between 2-4 miles each time, but I just can’t even begin to tell you how good it felt.

I don’t intend to fully incorporate running back into my routine just yet, but for this week, it was wonderful.

I was going through all of my old photos on Facebook the other night and came across this oldy but goody.

Me and the Little Bro. God, those were some great cheeks, weren’t they?

There were a few Pinterest finds this week that weren’t necessarily of the humorous variety, but they definitely did make me smile.


Of course, there were also quite a few funny ones added to my Makes Me Smile Pinterest board too, which we can’t leave out…

And last, but not least, early this morning, Jay and I left the house to meet up with my parents so we could head down to Jets stadium for the day!

You guys know I do love me so tailgating…now let’s just hope that the Jets can actually do something. Wishful thinking? Probably.

What’s making YOU smile this week? Open-mouthed smile

Ready and Waiting

Well, today has been a nice little Sunday. Certainly a little more low-key than last Sunday, that’s for sure!

This afternoon, Jay and I headed over to my parents’ house for the Jets game, which turned out to be a big ‘ol “W” to put in the books. WOOT! We snacked on lots of the usual goodies, including mom’s amazing garbage bread. I also got my hair colored while I was there and am now sportin’ a nice new shade of red. I’ll be sure to show you guys soon.

After the game, it was a trip to Target to stock on some goods for tomorrow (so excited!). While we were there, I ended up coming across a bag of these Cherry Cordial m&m’s. Anyone else ever tried these before?


I’ve seen them before, but never felt compelled to buy them. I guess when you have a coupon, it changes the way you look at things. Winking smile

By the time we arrived back home, the house was filled with the amazing aroma of dinner ready and waiting for us in the crockpot. Is that seriously not the best feeling or what?


I made another batch of Crockpot Balsamic Chicken and served it along with some fettuccine. I was also in the mood for something cheesy, so I ended up ripping up a piece of provolone cheese and sprinkling it over my dish.


Random, yes. Delicious, absolutely.

In a few minutes, I’m planning on heading back out into the kitchen to make a nice hot mug of raspberry hot chocolate.


I’ve been in the mood for hot chocolate ALL day, so I have a feeling this is going to be a yummy after-dinner treat to enjoy while cuddled up on the couch this evening.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!!

Question for the Evening – fill in the blank:

The best part of my day was _______________.

I’ll say…the best part of my day would have to be getting my hair colored. Mom did a great job, as always!

Out On A Weeknight

Okay, so I’m a tad sleepy this morning…

I guess that’s what I get for staying out until midnight to watch my beloved Jets lose in last night’s game against the Broncos. Ughh, talk about a disappointment.

But hey, ya know what? It was still an awesome way to spend my evening!


As soon as I got off of work last night, I picked up Jay and headed over to the Recovery Sports Grill to watch the Jets game (they weren’t on regular cable, so we wouldn’t have been able to watch it at home). The two of us grabbed a table and quickly ordered a couple of beers.



I was psyched to see that they actually had one of my favorite beers from one of my favorite local breweries on draft here, so there was no chance I was turning that down.

I mean, really, how can you turn down a beer with a cherry at the bottom, right?


It’s soooo delicious.

Oh yeah, and you like my scarf styling? I call it “The Courtney,” which is basically how to wear a scarf with no style at all.

Obviously, I really didn’t pay much attention to last night’s video that I posted. Winking smile


After about forty-five minutes of catching up on the day with Jay and watching the game from about eighty-seven different tv’s, we were greeted with some pretty fantastic company.

Mom & Dad…


and our friends Ryan, Scott, and “little” bro Dan came to join us! They had just finished up bowling and came down to watch the game with us.


As soon as they got there, we ordered some snacks to share at the table.


The sweet potato fries were ahhhhhmazing. The plate wasn’t very big, which is probably a good thing because I most likely would have kept eating them if they were in front of me.


The spinach & artichoke dip was pretty good too, and I had my fair share of that.


As soon as the game was over, we packed it up and headed home. Despite the fact that they lost, it was still a super fun way to spend a weeknight…even if I didn’t get into bed until after midnight and am a bit sleepy this morning.


Thanks to last night’s late bedtime, I skipped out on a morning workout. I may end up squeezing something in later today, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Breakfast this morning was another wafflewich (recycled photo) which was eaten rather quickly…


I’ve actually got an earlier morning than normal today because I’ve got somewhere super important to go today. It’s kind of exciting, too! Smile

Don’t worry, I’ll catch ya’ll a little later to fill you in.

Also, be on the lookout for another Fashion Friday post this afternoon!

Questions for the Morning:

How often do you like to go “out” on weeknights?

Sweet potato fries or regular fries?

Beer drinkers: What’s your all-time favorite brew?

Tailgating at the Jets Game

Going to see a live football game is always such a great time!


And it’s even better when they WIN, too. That’s 2-0 for my Jets, baby!! Smile


I’ve been lucky enough to be able to go to quite a few Jets games in my lifetime, thanks to my dad now being a season ticket holder, and a diehard Jets fan for as long as I can remember.

This morning, Jay and I met my parents nice and early to hit the road to travel down and get set up to tailgate before the game. You guys know how I feel about tailgating and all…it’s the best part! Luckily, we got in no problems, got ourselves a spot, and got set up right away.


^^That picture there is how far away we were from the stadium. It was fantastic.


Since the game started at 1pm and we got there early, we planned on our first tailgating adventure for the day to be breakfast. Because I mean, hey, why not?


My dad packed up his trusty tailgating grill along with lots of the breakfast tailgating essentials: homefries, sausage, bacon, eggs, and bagels. All to make none other than…


Bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwiches, of course!


I opted for bacon over sausage on my bagel sandwich, along with some homefries. It was quite tasty.


Shortly after we finished up breakfast, we packed up the car to head in to our seats.


You know, for as many games as I’ve gone to, the amount of people still amazes me. Can anyone spot a familiar face creepin’ in the picture below?? Winking smile


Finally, we made it!


Thankfully, the sun started to shine shortly after we arrived at our seats and the temperature felt like it had to of jumped 20 degrees. All of us were pretty chilly while we were sitting and tailgating in the parking lot; but it got super warm while we were sitting in our seats.


But really, I’m not complaining; it was probably the warmest day that I’ll get to experience for quite a few months now…fall is right around the corner, and it’s coming quick!


Before we knew it, the game was getting started.


And then the Flight Crew came out (aka, the cheerleading squad) which, of course, both Jay and my dad had to pay extra close attention to.



They’re a couple of hams, I’ll tell ya. Winking smile


Once the game was over, and the Jets had their victory (WOOT WOOT!) we headed back down to the parking lot for tailgating, round 2.


Oh that’s right. We don’t mess around!


This time, it was a mix of burgers, hot dogs, and chicken sausage on the grill, along with some of my pasta salad. Mom also made some of her homemade Chex Mix after getting a special request from her favorite daughter.


This stuff is addicting. Like, REALLY addicting. I ate a lot of it.


I snagged a chicken sausage from the grill along with some pasta salad, too.


And then, of course, there was dessert. Remember yesterday when I said that I had to bake a batch of cookies before heading out to Oktobeerfest? Well, I DID have the time to make them, and I’m so glad I did.

These Chocolate Butterscotch Cheesecake Cookies are one of my favorites.


They honestly get softer the longer they sit, so by today, they were basically at the melt-in-your-mouth stage. I stopped counting how many I ate after 5…and I don’t really want to think about it either. Embarrassed smile


Once we finished up tailgating #2, we packed it up and hit the road…BUT…the fun for the day wasn’t over YET. Look at where I convinced my dad to stop!!


Oh Trader Joes, I love you.

We had to make it a quick stop, so I ran in just to stock up on a couple of my favorite snacks (we also made sure to pick up a couple of their pizza doughs, since they’re amazing).


Talk about a great day.

Heck, talk about a great weekend! There was definitely lots of fun happening this weekend, and I am now officially beat. I’ll be happy to get back to the grind tomorrow, along with some regular eating too…I’m actually looking forward to having a couple vegetables back in my life!

I hope everyone had just as great of a weekend, whether it was busy and on-the-go, or relaxing and peaceful. Smile

Questions for the Evening:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Was yours busy or more relaxing?

Double Date Night & A Cookie Bar Recipe

Yikes! How terrible of me…I promised you all a recipe yesterday and I didn’t deliver! Surprised smile

Well, Jay and I set out yesterday afternoon to run the errands that we needed to take care of, but things took a little longer than we anticipated and we never made it back home before our double date night plans!

Yup, double Date Night! Open-mouthed smile

We were first invited over to Joe & Kate’s place for dinner, where we were greeted with some amazing smelling chicken tacos!


And they were healthy chicken tacos to boot! Thumbs up

I enjoyed two mini whole wheat tortillas, filled with (hidden) black beans, taco-seasoned chicken, lettuce, salsa, cheese, and homemade guacamole.


Kate actually made her guacamole using equal parts of diced avocado and cucumber, which helps cut back on the fat. Very delicious, and very similar to my healthified guacamole, too! I had some extra guac along with some blue corn chips and a side of Spanish rice.




After dinner, the four of us made our way out to the Albany Devils hockey game.


This is the game that I actually bought Jay the tickets for for our “Paper” anniversary. I had checked with Joe ahead of time to see if they’d be interested in joining us, and the plan was a GO!



YAY for double Date Nights!!!



Thank goodness we were in a box that had a TV in it so we could watch the Jets game…otherwise we may have had to leave the hockey game early to go watch. Winking smile


So after the hockey game was over, we went back to Joe and Kate’s to watch the rest of the game. All I can say is…

GOOOOO JETS!!! Open-mouthed smile


Alright, so how ‘bout that recipe?!? Winking smile

On Friday, we officially got our stove back up and working and I was determined to bake something. Granted, it still is not easy, since we have no countertops or sinks, but I had to attempt at least one goody!


I attempted to make a healthier version of an oatmeal raisin cookie bar, which turned out pretty good for the most part. They were a little bit drier than normal, which I attribute to reducing the butter. But otherwise, they have really good flavor!


If I were to make these again (which I probably will) I might try to add in a little applesauce, as well as reduce the amount of oats in the bars. If you decide to give them a try, feel free to mess around with the ingredients…if you come up with a winner, let me know! Open-mouthed smile



I may feel the need to attempt to bake something else today…we’ll see where the day brings me!

Question for the Day:

What are your favorite “healthy substitutions” when baking or cooking?

Fun At The Football Game!

Hey, you win some…you lose some!


Despite a disappointing loss from my Jets yesterday, our crew still managed to have a good time. :)

The ride down to the stadium encouraged the opening of the TJ’s peanut butter pretzels I’ve been holding onto for almost a month and a half now


I don’t anticipate these being around much longer now…HOLY YUM-O! :-P


Once we got down to the game, the weather was still dry so we hung out and did a little tailgating (my favorite!)


I promise Joe & Kate…I mean that in the BEST way possible! ;)


Normally when my family goes down to Jets games, we like to really get into the tailgating; coolers packed, snacks stashed, and the grill smokin’! Unfortunately, since the forecast was calling for bad weather, we decided to keep things simple by packing some snacks and picking up some subs on the way.


These chip’ins popcorn chips from Popcorn Indiana may seriously be one of my new favorite snacks. I already loved their kettle corn, but after picking these up at the store, I think they may take the cake. They’re light, salty, and totally unique in texture. Two thumbs up from me! :)


I also ordered a bomb-diggity sub of honey smoked turkey & provolone with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles & honey mustard. YUM!



And of course, what December 12th football tailgating would be complete without some Christmas cookies? I munched on two of my M&M chocolate chip cookies while chatting away.


Unfortunately, the longer we were sitting outside, the wind started to pick up and it started to get rather chilly. I noticed my Raynaud’s disease kickin’ in…


…so I decided to start with the layering! The general consensus after all layering was complete was that I looked like a linebacker. Hey, you think they’ll hire me?


About an hour and a half before game time, we made our way up and into the stadium. I must say, the new Jets stadium is pretty impressive!




To ensure that my poor little fingers were toasty warm, I made sure to pack up all my hand warmers I’ve acquired over the years; hand warmers make great stocking stuffers for me! ;)


They worked like a charm!


Luckily, it didn’t rain for the entire game – probably only about half of it. We all agreed that the weather definitely could have been worse, and that we all had a great time…even if only two out of four of us could claim “victory.” ;)

I’m pretty excited for tonight…I’m going to be heading over to my parents’ house to “borrow” their kitchen so I can “host” my Nasoya “Wrappy Hour” party!


A couple months ago, I was chosen as one of the lucky hostesses from Nasoya and was given a goody bag of some great products to use.


I’ve never ventured into using anything with won ton wrappers or anything like that, so it should be interesting!

But for now, I’m off to work! Hope you all have a Marvelous Monday ahead of you!!

Question for the Day:

What foods would you like to try eating or preparing that you have yet to try?

Christmas Cookie Baking #2 & Some Girl Time

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas, when all through Mom’s kitchen,

Batches upon batches of cookies were bakin’! :-D




Mom and I definitely worked just as hard the second time around on our marathon cookie baking. We both accomplished double batches of Mexican Wedding Cookies,


and Christmas M&M Cookies. :-P


I actually used the same chocolate chip recipe that I use for my Chewy Chocolate Chip Heath Bar Cookies; I simply substituted M&M’s for Heath bars, and they turned out awesome!


Mom also made up another batch of cookies that absolutely knocked my socks off…


Chocolate & Black Raspberry Filled Shortbread…HOLY DELICIOUSNESS! :shock:


Once again, with cookie baking comes copious amounts of cookie eating. I did manage, however, to keep things somewhat under control and didn’t end up leaving in a sugar coma. YAY for small victories! ;)

Besides, I couldn’t load myself up too much, I had a dinner date with my favorite gals to get to!

We had a great time chatting, catching up, and just enjoying each others’ company. We don’t get to get together nearly as often as we’d like, so these meet-ups are always special. :)

I attempted to take a picture of dinner…


But obviously that wasn’t happening. :oops: Grrrrr. I will tell you that it was a delicious mixed greens salad, topped with oven roasted pears, dried cranberries, almonds and a toasted brie crostini, served with a honey vinaigrette dressing (which I ordered on the side). It was super tasty, but for the amount of food, I’m not sure if it was quite worth the price. I was still hungry after!

But no worries; us ladies knew how to solve that…

Enter: Friendly’s Ice Cream :-P


Now THAT, my friends, is what I call quality “girl time.” ;)

I went with a favorite combo of cookie dough ice cream + caramel + brownie bites.


I guess it’s a good thing I fit in a sweaty treadmill run this morning! :shock:

Mmmm Mmmmm GOOD!


On a side note, some of you asked yesterday how I got my sugar cookies to look so pretty (thank you, by the way!)…


Well, here’s my secret:

Betty Crocker Cookie Icing


This icing is the easiest stuff to decorate with. All you need to do is outline the shape of your cookie, then just fill in about 85% of the middle. Eventually, the icing just fills in any gaps on its own. It’s amazing! :)

Today, Jay and I, along with our friends Joe & Kate, are packing up our rain gear and heading down to the JETS vs. Miami game!


Joe & Kate are Miami fans, while Jay and I (as you know) are total Jets fans, so it should make for a fun day. It would be nice, however, if it wasn’t expected to look like this all day…


100% chance of rain today. ALL day. Oooof. :roll: Good thing we’ve got our ponchos ready!

J-E-T-S, Jets Jets JETS!

Have a great (dry) Sunday everyone!! :-D