Looking For Attention

Happy Monday! I feel like I’ve got quite a bit to catch up on this morning, so let’s get right to it…starting with what you may have missed this weekend:

So yesterday afternoon, I met up with my mom to head out for, yes, another bridal shower.

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Yesterday’s shower was for my friend Heather’s younger sister, Samantha. Sammy and my brother were best buds growing up, so I’ve known Sam since she was just a little tyke.

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The shower was really nice and went by fairly quickly. For lunch, there was a large buffet of homemade food to choose from, so I opted for some chopped salad, homemade eggplant parm, and some sliced deli meat.

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I was also pretty psyched when our table won the “purse game” and I got some new cinnamon sugar soap as a prize…hey, you can never have too much soap, right? Winking smile

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By the time I dropped my mom off and got back home from the shower, I had a few things to take care of around the house before it was dinner time. I’ve had a spaghetti squash sitting on my counter for weeks now, so I figured I’d cook that up.

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I topped half of my spaghetti squash with some steamed spinach, marinara sauce, and four MorningStar Farms veggie meatballs.

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The meatballs were pretty good, but nothing crazy…just don’t expect them to taste like real meatballs. Winking smile

After dinner, Jay and I spent the evening relaxing, watching the Emmy’s, and apparently not paying enough attention to the Codester.

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Either that, or he was trying to tell me that I need to get going on the laundry? Whatever the reason, he made us laugh.

This morning, my little guy was still looking for some attention and wound up being my workout buddy. Immediately after I finished on the treadmill, he hopped right on there.

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Today’s workout was my Boredom Buster Treadmill Walk + some light upper body weights, and it felt great to get moving again after taking the weekend off.

Post-workout, I followed up with some breakfast out of a jar…all thanks to my dear friends Joe and Kate who like to save their PB jars for me. I love it.

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I whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Custard Oats, topped them with a bit of Love Grown Foods granola, and enjoyed them with my mug of coffee.

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Soooo, so good.

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Alright, my friends…time to get going with some Monday to-do’s. Have a great day!

**Quick FYI: My friend Linda is holding a 100 Day Challenge and is offering prizes to 10 winners – if you’re interested in joining in on the challenge (today is the last day!) be sure to check it out.

Question for the Morning:

For my fellow pet owners – what funny things do your furry friends do to try to get your attention?

Light ‘n Easy Cincinnati Chili

Holy crap. Amazing dinner recipe to share with you all tonight! But I’ll get to that in a second…

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Sorry to leave ya’ll hangin’ with no post this afternoon (Yes, I like to pretend that you all just impatiently wait at your computer screen for a “New Post” update everyday. I know I’m obnoxious, and obviously kidding, but hopefully you’ve caught onto that humor by now, tehehe).

I didn’t end up getting home from work until about 2:00pm this afternoon, and by the time I got in, all I wanted to do was eat something besides my arm and not worry about taking a picture of it. Actually, no pictures of food were taken today up until dinner, but if you’re curious…breakfast looked a little somethin’ like this and lunch looked a whole lot like this – random, snacky, and colorful.

Workout for today was another repeat of last Wednesday’s workout, using four sets instead of three again (yowsahs!), plus a Tabata class with about 60% effort…

Confession: Unless I really feel like sweating, if you’re not facing me with the move, then I’m probably not doing it. Winking smile

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Alright, enough of that…let’s get to this DINNER.

If you guys remember, last week I mentioned that I was going to be participating in the BOLD Lean Beef Challenge. While I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a week straight of meals incorporating beef (because for one, I’d get bored, and two, I never cook dinner 7 nights a week…ever), I thought it’d be fun to try and have it two nights a week. Jay thought this was very fun.

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Tonight, I decided to try a new-to-me recipe known as Cincinnati Chili. This is something I had never even heard of, really, but the ingredient list immediately captured my attention. Would you believe that there is cinnamon in there? And even cocoa powder?

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I know. Wild, isn’t it? But seriously, this chili is totally up there on my list of favorites now, right next to Mal’s Famous Chili, of course.

So in the midst of my findings with this whole Cincinnati Chili thing, I also discovered that it is often ordered 5 different ways. Being my first attempt and all, I decided to hold off on the 5-way and opted for the 3-way: chili over spaghetti with cheese. Hubby got the real spaghetti because he won’t come within a foot of anything else, but I lightened my portion up a bit by serving it over a generous bowl of spaghetti squash. Wow oh wow…

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I’m so excited there’s leftovers.

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I’m already in my cozies for the evening (who am I kidding, I’ve been in them since about 2:05 this afternoon) and am ready to relax and *hopefully* get myself to bed at a decent hour. We’ll see how that goes.

Question for the Evening:

Am I the only one who has never heard of Cincinnati Chili? What rock have I been living under for these past 28 years?!?

Anyone out there ever had Cincinnati Chili?

Could Not Have Come At A Better Time

Well heyyyyy there! Wooo WEE has it been a long morning. Hope everyone’s day is off to a great start and you’re all recovering from a fantastic weekend. Before anything else, here’s what you may have missed around these parts…

So as I mentioned last night, Jay and I ended up making some last minute changes to our plans, so when it came time for our originally planned dinner, we soon realized that it just wasn’t going to happen. Luckily, we had a few trusty standbys on hand, so we were able to whip a healthy little something up in no time.

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I know it doesn’t really look like much, but it tasted pretty darn awesome! Just a simple bowl of spaghetti squash, topped with some jarred garlic marinara sauce, Italian-style chicken sausage, and sautéed peppers and onions.

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Jay actually took care of a majority of this dish, and I must say that he is a pretty darn good sauté-er…if that’s even a word? Winking smile

We actually ate our dinner in front of the TV while catching up with Saturday night’s episode of SNL. We were both excited to see Lindsay Lohan’s appearance, especially since we had heard that there was going to be quite a few guest appearances, but neither of us were very impressed. She actually screwed up her lines quite a few times and was constantly looking at the cue cards.

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The one skit I found the most funny was the one pictured above, when the three actors sitting down there all started cracking up on set. I absolutely LOVE when that happens! Did anyone else watch and/or see that skit?

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This morning, I was up nice and early to head to work and get prepped for my first Tabata class! I was a little nervous, but more excited than anything, really. Unfortunately, I only had two girls in the class (who I happened to grab from the stair climber) and they only stayed for about half of it because one girl said she was getting lightheaded. Bummer.

The class isn’t really being promoted too much right now, since it’s just a soft roll out, but I’m hoping that things pick up sooner than later. I have another class to teach this afternoon, so hopefully I’ll get a few more to come in. We’ll see!

Immediately after class (or should I say, half class) was over, I decided to get in my own workout for the day. Today actually started day 1 of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp which I’m participating in, so I brought my workout with me and did everything there.

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Today’s workout was 20 minutes of steady cardio (I ran on the treadmill) + “Workout A,” which consisted mainly of full-body stability exercises, including lots of use of the Bosu ball. It was great, and it’s so obvious that Tina really put a LOT of hard work into this program of hers.

I was actually just telling Tina the other day that this could not have come at a better time for me; I feel like lately I’ve been putting so much effort into OTHER people’s workouts that I really haven’t had any true goals or reasoning with my own. I’ve just sort of been doing whatever comes to mind that day. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing!

Post-workout, I ate up all of my snacks/breakfast that I brought with me to work: a black cherry Chobani, a piñata apple, and a honey graham Clif Z Bar, which actually turned out to be chocolate chip when I opened it. Odd, right?

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Thank goodness I checked the schedule before I left for work this morning and saw that I had two group sessions at 9am & 9:30am; otherwise, I definitely would not have brought all of this and would have been one hungry beast.

Once my group sessions were over, I headed back home, reheated the cold coffee that was waiting for me, and snacked on some cinnamon roast almonds.

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Again…these almonds? Sooooo good.

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(And yes, I have tried the cocoa ones, but I like these ones WAY better!)

Now, I think it’s about time for a shower…yikes.

Question for the Morning:

Do you usually workout with specific goals in mind (i.e., weight loss, build muscle, increase cardiovascular endurance) or do you just workout to do it?

WIAW: How To Make a Restaurant-Style Omelet

It’s already Wednesday again, so you know what that means…it’s time for another round of What I Ate Wednesday!

Everything from this post is actually what I ate yesterday so I suppose, technically, it’s What I Ate “Tuesday,” but you get the drift. Let’s get to it!

Breakfast – 8:45am

Three-egg white veggie omelet with turkey bacon and coffee.

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And I can’t even begin to tell you how flippin’ excited I was over this omelet.

I guess you could say that I was inspired by the omelets I got in Mexico, because I decided to attempt to recreate the way that they made them on my own. Rather than using my mini round skillet and a spatula like usual, I used my griddle pan and my icing spreader tool.

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I simply sprayed the griddle, poured the egg whites onto the hot pan, pushed the side together to form a rectangle, filled it with my pre-sautéed veggies, and folded it all up, length-wise, with the icing spatula. Turns out that tool is good for more than just frosting. Winking smile

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So not only was this omelet awesome for how it was made, but holy cow was it tasty! I filled it up with some sautéed broccoli, onions, diced tomatoes, and some of the sweet potatoes from my roasted veggies.

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FYI: Sweet potatoes in an omelet is pretty darn fantastic.

Mid-Morning Snack – 11:00am

A pear sprinkled with cinnamon and a Babybel Light cheese wheel.

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The cheese was meh…the pear was ripe and super delish.

Lunch – 12:45pm

A whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, banana slices, and chia seeds + a vanilla Chobani topped with strawberries and Love Grown Foods granola.

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Basically, by the time lunch rolled around, I was craving peanut butter in a bad way. I was also craving something sweet. So I made it happen.

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These strawberries was so sweet and full of flavor…definitely like finishing lunch with “dessert.”

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Mid-Afternoon Snack – 4:00pm

A grande skinny caramel macchiato from Starbucks.

I had a gift card. I had a break at work. Oh, and I had a craving for caramel. ‘Nuff said.

Dinner – 7:00pm

A random mix of leftover spaghetti squash, roasted veggies, 2 slices of low-sodium deli turkey, a wedge of The Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese, and a drizzle of Italian dressing.

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Luckily, I had a quick break at work where I was able to heat this up and scarf it down quick before my last group session of the night. Once everything was mixed all together, it was actually pretty awesome, albeit a bit on the lighter side.

*By the way, I got some pretty awesome feedback from two clients in my last session last night. They told me that they come to me to get their “ass-kicking workout” of the week. WOOP! Smile

Late Night Snack – 9:00pm

A corn VitaTop topped with peanut butter and Peanut Butter Cheerios.

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Plus an extra handful of Peanut Butter Cheerios.

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Plus way too many of these…

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Ughh. I knew I should have left them on the shelf while shopping the other day. Jelly beans are one of my favorite holiday candies and I have a hard time with portion control. A very hard time. Oy vey.

Question for the Morning:

What are your favorite holiday candies?

I love jelly beans, Reese’s Eggs, and any holiday-themed pretzel m&m’s. Jay is a huge fan of Cadbury Eggs but they actually make me want to vom.

I Like It All

This morning, I spent some time doing a little bit of housekeeping on the main blog page here, so you may end up noticing a few differences. I also updated my “Featured Recipes,” which include three of my favorites from 2011. After that, I ended up wasting about 10 minutes laughing WAY too hard at funny New Years Eve pictures. Don’t ask me why…I really have no idea.

Some of them are not exactly appropriate to share (there are some ca-raaaaazy peeps out there!) but some of them were rather amusing. This card in particular totally has my name written all over it…

I feel like we (as in Jay and I) are always such last minute planners. Not necessarily when it comes to bigger events like NYE, but definitely for a typical Friday night. We’ll spend a good hour just trying to decide what to do for dinner and then spend another hour figuring out if we want to make it ourselves or go out. Oy vey. Perhaps a resolution of mine for 2012? ;)

Some other funny ones I came across…

That someecards site totally cracks me right up! :)

Lunch

This morning when I was putting together my lunch, I was *this close* to making myself some sort of yogurt mess. It sounded good, but not as appealing as it usually does. But then as I was grabbing something else out of the fridge, I spotted all of my leftover spaghetti squash from Tuesday’s dinner.

How in the world could I have forgotten about (let alone missed) the two huge containers of it staring right back at me from my top fridge shelf? Sometimes I wonder…

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I portioned out a big ‘ol serving of spaghetti squash and topped it with some shredded carrot (random?), steamed spinach (almost half of a bag!), some shriveling grape tomatoes, marinara sauce, and a wedge of The Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese.

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Once it was heated in the microwave and the cheese got all super-creamy on me, this meal turned out to be one big ‘ol bowl of awesome. I also ended up snacking on an orange and some Pretzel Crisps.

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I still can’t believe that Jay and I already have our dinner plans figured out for tonight (homemade pizza). Now I’ve just got to decide on a Redbox movie. I’m going back and forth between 3 different ones…all of which are total opposites:

Yeah, what can I say…I like it all. ;)

Has anyone seen any of the above movies? What would you recommend??

High Intensity Treadmill Intervals


Who doesn’t love some good ol’ High Intensity Treadmill Intervals? Check it out below! Technology and I are not getting along too well today. Not at all. I’ve been experiencing some blog-related issues (slow loading time, taking me 5+ attempts to even get a post up) and I’ve been about *this close* to throwing in the towel. UGH. SOO, major apologies if you’ve been experiencing some severe lag time and/or other crap here on STSL. Hopefully things will get straightened out soon and this post will be a little more kind to my frazzled self. And if not? Well hey, at least I’ve got some awesome food to eat today! Anyway…I totally forgot to mention this morning’s workout earlier today. Let me fill ya’ll in! I know how much you all love pinning stuff now (oh wait, maybe that’s just me…) but I figured I’d put a little something together for this morning’s treadmill intervals. high intensity intervals Pin It

Nothing crazy. It’s been a while since I’ve done just some plain ‘ol intervals like this, so it felt good. Actually, no, it felt hard. But that’s a good thing, right? Winking smile

I followed up my sweaty intervals with my Quick Abs Circuit and called it a day.

Lunch

This morning as I was waiting for my amazing breakfast to cook, I got a sudden, major craving for a sandwich. Luckily I had the time, so I put together a winner.

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Three slices of deli turkey, a wedge of The Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion on two slices of whole wheat bread.

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It was awwwwwesome.

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Other snacks packed up for the afternoon: baby carrots, almonds, two prunes, and the other half of my banana from this morning’s oats.

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Thanks to last night’s dinner, I’ve also got some tasty leftovers packed up with me to have for dinner later on.

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I packed up a big ‘ol serving of spaghetti squash and topped it with a leftover piece of chicken…and lots of extra sauce, of course. ;)

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I’m already excited about digging in!

Time to get back to work…catch ya later!

Questions for the Afternoon:

If you had to give up one piece of technology (i.e., smart phone, computer, etc.) what would it be?

Would you consider yourself “addicted to technology?”

Surprisingly Fantastic

Well good morning! How’s everyone doing on this fine Wednesday morning? Good? Super. Then let’s move one – I’ve got lots to share!

Last night, Jay and I had our friends Joe & Kate over. It had been FAR too long, so it was really great to spend the evening with them. For dinner, we had a pretty decent spread…

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Kate brought a salad (still workin’ on those veggies)

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I made Healthy Baked Chicken Parm, which turned out great. I only had 3 chicken breasts on hand, so I pounded them out and cut each in half. It ended up being more than enough, since everyone only had one half.

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To accompany our chicken, I also cooked up some fettuccine, spaghetti squash, my homemade sauce & meatballs, and some “healthier” garlic bread.

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I say healthier because rather than buy the store-bought one that’s already loaded with butter, I bought a fresh loaf, and Jay and I took care of the toppings on our own. A little olive oil, garlic, spray butter, seasoning, and parmesan cheese, and we were good to go. Delicious AND a whole lot better than the butter-laden one!

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Since we’re super classy, we broke out the TV trays and ate dinner in the living room by the Christmas tree.

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I loaded up on some salad, chicken, spaghetti squash, a meatball, and some garlic bread.

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I didn’t realize it was almost 8:00pm by the time we ate, so I was a little more than starving. I devoured my whole plate, no problem-o.

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For dessert, I put out a plate of the last of our Christmas cookies and fudge. I ended up snagging a few goodies from it – I just couldn’t help it. I need these things GONE!

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Definitely a great evening, and a great dinner with great friends. Smile

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Breakfast

I was thinking ahead last night and already knew that I wanted some voluminous oats for today. So I prepped a bit then, and finished ‘em up this morning.

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Today’s batch was awesome. I prepared my usual oats base (1/3 cup Coach’s Oats, almond milk, water, 1/2 mashed banana, chia seeds, cinnamon) along with some fresh blueberries mixed throughout and on top. A little Love Grown Foods granola sealed the deal.

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Today’s coffee was surprisingly fantastic. I say surprisingly because it was Folgers brand. We haven’t bought this brand in years because we thought it was disgusting but ended up acquiring a can of their French Roast and figured we should use it up.

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I don’t know…we must have been making it wrong before because this stuff is great – and cheaper. I’ll take it! Winking smile

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Alrighty folks, I’ve got my long day of work ahead of me today and I still have a mess of a head of hair to attempt to do something with, so I gotta scoot!

Questions for the Morning:

WOULD YOU RATHER (YES – I’m bringin’ it back today!)…

  • Have curly hair –OR- pin-straight hair?
  • Pay to get a massage –OR – pay to get a facial?
  • Pay top dollar for good coffee –OR- good shampoo?

Blogger Cookie Swap

Today’s lunch was super easy and involved absolutely zero prep this morning, thanks to the fact that I actually had my act together last night after dinner to do it then.

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I put together the other half of my leftovers from last night, including spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli, Newman’s Own sauce, and a dollop of goat cheese.

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It was fantastic not only taste-wise, but effort-wise, too. Winking smile

But enough about that…I want to talk to you guys about something else this afternoon!

As a lover of all things sweets, especially cookies, can you just imagine my excitement when I came across this…

Have you heard about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap yet?

I’m still not quite sure how I stumbled upon it last week, but however it was, I’m thankful. Here’s the deal…

  • Sign up.
  • Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers.
  • Send each of them 1 dozen homemade cookies
  • Receive three different boxes of cookies for yourself from three other bloggers.
  • Share…or don’t share. Winking smile

It’s almost like a Secret Santa + cookie exchange all wrapped into one. I’m in love.

If you want to sign yourself up for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, just click here to head to the website and plug in your info. Sign ups are open through Friday, November 18th, so you’ve still got a few weeks to get on board. Feel free to spread the word, too!

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Now that I’ve already committed to the swap, it’s time to start thinking about what cookies I should make. Yes, it may be a little early to start thinking about it, but I tend to be pretty awful at that whole decision-making thing.

There’s always my favorite Crackled Sugar Cookies. These have gotten the best of more than one chocolate lover (ahem, mom).

I could also go with the #1 searched recipe on STSL, the Chewy Chocolate Chip Heath Bar Cookies.

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Then again, I can’t forget about the delicious Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’ve been a hit on more than one occasion for sure.

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However, maybe I could get really feisty and go with the Brownie-Cookie-Toffee Layer Bars.

Now those babies are sinful. I’d just have to make sure that whoever is receiving those bad boys isn’t on any sort of a diet, if ya know what I mean. Winking smile

Oh boy, decisions, decisions!

Alright, so who’s going to join in on the swap with me??

Dinnertime Photo Shoot

Jay and I had a little bit of fun with Cody after dinner tonight, but first, let’s talk about this dinner…because it was fantastic.

Last week, I received one of the most amazing packages ever from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, complete with an abundance of Newman’s Own products. I received two different varieties of sauce, including this Tomato & Basil Bombolina which we incorporated into tonight’s dinner.

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I also received three varieties of dressing, including this Light Caesar variety. Jay had a salad with his dinner tonight and tested out the dressing; I also sampled a taste and we both agree that it gets a thumb’s up. It’s not creamy like you’re typical Caesar, but more like a vinaigrette with Caesar flavors. Deeeelish.

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I have the other goods tucked away to try out later, after we use these two up.

In addition to the sauces and dressings, I also received a coupon for a free frozen pizza, as well as this Flip video camcorder. I haven’t gotten a chance to try it out yet, but I’m pretty excited to give it a whirl. Any requests for the next vlog?? (I already know yours, Brenda!)

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Thanks so much to Newman’s Own and the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program for offering such a great opportunity!

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So anyways, back to this awesome dinner. Last week, I ended up buying a small spaghetti squash thinking that I would make another batch of my Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.

However, by the time tonight rolled around, I really just felt like keeping things easy, so I nixed the stuffed squash and simply used it as a spaghetti substitute, topped with sautéed peppers and onions, steamed broccoli, sauce, and grated Romano cheese.

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The sauce was actually a combination of the Newman’s Own sauce and some leftovers of my homemade sauce, so I was psyched to see that there was still a homemade meatball left in the batch. I love my homemade meatballs! (<—P.S. – Mom, if you’re reading, we’re down to one container in the freezer…it’s almost time to make some more!)

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So now, after dinner. That’s when the fun began.

Cody had been lurking around our feet all during dinner, waiting for somebody to play fetch with him. Once we finally finished eating and were just catching up on our days, we decided to have him come and join us at the table.

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And that’s when Cody’s photo shoot began…

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I think someone was trying to play a little nonchalant at first…

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…but then he started warming up to the camera.

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Eventually the fetch toy was brought up and he was alllll about fun and games.

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Needless to say, we definitely had a few good laughs at dinner tonight. Smile

Now, I’m about to go end the evening the best way possible by snuggling up in my cozies and enjoying a nice big bowl of Cranberry Apple Crisp. YUM!

So far, we’ve only  had two trick-or-treaters, so I’m thinking that a) it’s going to be a quiet night, and b) Jay and I are going to have some Skittles to eat up. I think it’s a good thing I didn’t buy as much as I did last year!

Question for the Evening:

What were (are?) your top three kinds of candy you would always hope for in your trick-or-treat bag?

Mine were (in order): 100 Grand, Twix, and Nestle Crunch. Eventually, once I learned to like peanuts, Snickers inched their way into the top three.

Please Don’t Be Grossed Out

Hey Hey! How’s everyone’s Cinco de Mayo going so far? Anyone dig into a margarita yet?? (It’s ok, I won’t tell.)

This morning, I had a few things to take care of…first up, blood work.

(Notice the creeper and his favorite toy about a foot away…he must have been trying to work off those beers from this morning.)

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You know, I’ve always been pretty cool with needles. They’ve never bothered me, which is probably a good thing, seeing as though I get poked with four of them every week. But there’s something about getting blood drawn that really grosses me out. Maybe it’s the placement of the needle right in the crease of my elbow, I don’t know.

Either way, it required a little pick-me-up. In the form of iced coffee. Because I’m sort of addicted. Especially when two of my favorites are on the menu: Jamaican Me Crazy & Sugar Cookie. Yumm-o.

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After feeding my addiction, it was time for stop number two: kitchen table shopping. I found a couple that could work, but I’m still not totally sure.

Table #1 – Love it (and the price) but not sure if it’s too big for our space. Might be kinda cramped in.

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Table #2 – Not square (bummer) but I do like how the leaves will make it more accommodating for our smaller space.

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Plus, it has a pretty cool base that will be helpful with more storage.

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What do you guys think? Table #1 or Table #2???

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Once I got home, I put together a quick lunch.

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I had the other half of my leftover spaghetti squash, and if you’re doing any calculating in your head right now, yes, I made this exactly two weeks ago. That probably grosses out some of you (it sort of does me, too, after realizing it’s actually been that long) but it passed the “eyeball & sniff test” and since I hate wasting food, I ate it.

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It still tasted awesome, so I’m just going to ignore that whole 2 week thing…and I’m also going to ignore the fact that I’ve OD’d on cornbread today. You know how it goes…

Cut yourself a little bite size piece…

Five minutes later, go back for seconds, then thirds, then…

Well, you get the idea.

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Please tell me I’m not alone on this awful habit?

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Now, it’s time to go finish getting things ready for tonight’s fiesta. At least I’ve got the important stuff ready to go. Winking smile

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Ole!!