The Big Birthday Dinner

So remember when I told you guys that I had better be thirsty last night for my birthday dinner? Well, here’s why…

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I had an enormous birthday margarita to tackle!

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There’s a local restaurant in our area called Bombers Burrito Bar, which is known not only for their amazing burritos, but also for their giant (FREE!) birthday margaritas. (You may remember when we were there for my friend Kate’s birthday). Last night, we went to the newer location in Schenectady, but they also have their original spot in Albany, which I’ve been to quite a few times.

Bombers is quite the popular place to be for your birthday…I think we saw at least five other birthday margaritas go by while we were there! Either way, it’s definitely a good idea to go with LOTS of thirsty people, because this thing is huge. Luckily, I had a little bit of help throughout the evening. Winking smile

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For dinner, I was joined by our friends Brian & Mal who, oddly enough, actually joined us out for my birthday dinner last year. They couldn’t make it out for Friday’s birthday celebration, so it was nice to be able to spend time with them.

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And of course, my favorite family was all with me too, including mom and dad,

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“little” bro,

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and hubby. Smile

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When it came time for dinner, there was really no question as to what I was getting, since I order the same thing every.time.I.go. Creature of habit, I suppose? I did actually change up one thing though…I got a little spunky and ordered my burrito naked!

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I figured it’d be good idea to try a little give and take with my meal, so I ordered my typical BBQ Pulled Pork burrito sans tortilla,

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and ordered a side of their amazing sweet potato fries. I just love how they serve them with syrup. So unique, and so delicious.

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Brian, on the other hand, was a little less than thrilled when he was brought out his order…

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Just kidding. He ordered the jerk chicken, but we thought it was funny. Winking smile

Clearly, as you can see, I had no problem dominating my entire meal. With the exception of the chips (I thought I was getting my fries instead of ‘em) and a few fries stolen by my brother, the rest was all me.

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Yup, all me.

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Unfortunately, I had a little bit more difficult of a time dominating my giant margarita. Even with everyone’s help, the thing just did not seem like it was getting any less empty. After about two hours, this is what we were left with…

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But we made it a joint effort, and all managed to work on finishing it up. Teamwork, my friends, teamwork!

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The one downside to that margarita + all the food? Wicked heartburn. Wicked. So by the time I got home, I was already feeling exhausted from my 4:30am wake up call and decided to just call it a night. But overall, it was definitely a spectacular way to celebrate my 28th! Smile

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This morning, I got to sleep in a bit, which was fabulous. My shift today doesn’t start until later this afternoon, so I’ve still got most of the day ahead of me. That meant I got to start out with a delicious breakfast (which I missed so much yesterday).

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I made a big batch of Voluminous Pumpkin Oats and topped it with…

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some Homemade Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter.

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(Of course, you can always adjust the amount of liquid you use, depending on how thick or thin you want your PB).

The thing I’m starting to love about this PB2 is that I can flavor it any way I want. Today, I went the honey cinnamon route, and I think next time I might even have to add in a few raisins. It was the perfect accompaniment to my pumpkin oats.

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Yumm!

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Alrighty, folks. Time to start being productive…have a great Tuesday!

Today Officially Starts…

Well good morning! I’m a little bit behind schedule this morning, due to almost a full hour of hitting the snooze button. The scary part is that I only remember hitting the button twice…woops.

First, let’s get you caught up on what you may have missed this weekend:

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Workout

So I don’t really know what my deal was this morning? I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have anywhere I need to go right away this morning (I think my subconscious must have been telling me to snooze). Either way, as soon as I eventually got my rear outta bed, it was time for a workout!

Over the weekend, I came across Tina’s upper body workout that she had put together. I really liked how it incorporated all moves using a stability ball, so I decided to use it in today’s plan:

It was definitely a great Monday workout!

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So by the time I came up from the basement this morning, Jay had already left for work, but as I went into the bathroom to take a shower, I noticed a very special something on the mirror. That’s right my friends, today officially starts…

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Birthday Week!

I’ve long been a huge proponent of celebrating for one full week leading up to the main birthday (January 30th). Jay hasn’t always been on board with birthday week, but it looks like my incessant hounding has finally gotten him to change his ways. Woot! Smile

Breakfast

Since I went the eggs route both Saturday & Sunday this past weekend, I decided to switch it up and go with some oatmeal.

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Today’s batch of voluminous pumpkin oats, topped with diced apple and some Love Grown Foods granola, seriously felt like it was never going to end. It was a foodie’s dream.

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The coffee I’m currently sipping on is sort of “meh” because I totally forgot that we were still out of coffee and had to brew up some of our “emergency decaf” stash.

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Any guesses where my first stop will be while out running errands today? Winking smile

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I’ve got a few things on the agenda today, but stay tuned for later this afternoon…I’ve got another giveaway headed your way that I’m pretty confident is going to be a good one!

Question for the Morning:

Do you think birthdays should be celebrated for more than one day (such as birthday week) or just kept to the one special day?

The Finished Product

Do you guys remember a couple of weeks ago when Jay and I bought ourselves a new front door? Well, I realized this morning that I still haven’t shown you guys the finished product.

So here’s the before:

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It was an old, wooden door, that had since expanded due to weather and was actually quite a challenge to open and shut (we usually use our garage door as our main entrance anyways – probably because that’s how we did it when my grandparents lived here).

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So last week, I left one morning with Jay and his dad here, having it look like this…

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And then I came home to find it looking like THIS!

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I seriously still walk into the living room every morning and cannot believe the difference it makes in the room. It’s so much brighter now, thanks to the morning sun that we get in the front of our house.

Before & After:

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It’s definitely one of my favorite home improvement projects to date; well, except of course, for that whole big kitchen renovation. Would you believe that a year ago at this time, I had a kitchen that looked like this:

Good lord that was not fun. But hey, totally worth it in the end. Smile

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Workout

Today started off with a light, mish-mashed workout from Exercise TV, focusing on a little bit of everything:

This particular yoga video was new to me, and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it. The instructor was much different from the usual, calm, lightly-spoken instructors that I’m used to; he seemed to have a little more fun with it and kept the moves moving constantly the entire time. My final verdict by the end was that I liked it, but not for all the time.

Breakfast

I had to switch it up today. I needed a day off from the eggs, and since I knew this last night, I went ahead and prepped a batch of Voluminous Pumpkin Oats. And then, since I had an almost-empty peanut butter jar just waiting to be used up, I turned it into some pumpkin oats in a jar.

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I really think that today may have been one of the best, creamiest batches I’ve made to date. I’m thinking that the extra splash of Silk Pumpkin Spice may have done the trick. Oooo my oh my!

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Today’s batch got topped with some raisins, a little Love Grown Foods granola, and paired with my typical mug of coffee.

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A delicious and filling morning meal indeed!

Alrighty folks, it’s about time to go do the work thang. I’ll catch ya’ll a little later…I’ve got to share some of my fun Thanksgiving crafts that I did yesterday. Winking smile

**Reminder: Don’t forget to get your entries in for my Perfect Holiday Gift Giveaway! I’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow.**

Questions for the Morning:

Oats: In a jar, or out of a jar?

What do you think would be harder on convenience: remodeling a kitchen OR remodeling a bathroom?

Have you ever remodeled anything in your own home?

Quickie

Good Morning! Happy Tuesday!

I don’t know about you, but this morning I decided to forego a workout in favor of a few lovely extra ZZZ’s. I’ve got eight hours of sleep under my belt now, which is a good thing, because I’ve got a long day ahead of me!

To kick start the morning, I decided to make a breakfast switcheroo. As much as I’ve been enjoying my egg, cheese, and jam sandwiches lately, I was feeling the need for a little extra variety this morning.

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I prepped a batch of Voluminous Pumpkin Oats, added it to my almost empty peanut butter jar, and topped it with some Love Grown Foods granola. This breakfast will never, ever get old.

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I’ll tell ya, you know you’ve definitely got some volume in your breakfast when it can fill an entire (almost empty) peanut butter jar. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

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Sorry to make this morning’s post such a quickie (which is the reason for the post title…dirty minds if you thought something different!) – I’m running a little behind schedule and don’t want to be late, which I’m pretty sure is messing with my writing mojo. I am having total writers block this morning!

Questions for the Morning:

WOULD YOU RATHER (icky food addition!):

  • Sticky oatmeal –OR- runny scrambled eggs?
  • Week-old cheese –OR- super brown lettuce?
  • A cup of freezer-burned ice cream –OR- a piece of your favorite candy that fell on the sidewalk for 10 seconds?

A Month Is A Long Time

This morning, I was very quickly reminded of how long it’s been since I last went for a run on the treadmill. After a quick glance at my workout log, I realized that other than a couple quick sessions of HIIT during the challenge, I actually hadn’t completed any sort of run since September 20th. Ohh boy. A month is a long time…

Unsure of how things would go, I laced up my sneakers and prepared for my Pyramid Treadmill Run. Even though I finished, well, let’s just say that I basically got my butt handed to me. Yowsahs, that was one tough run. Looks like it’s time to start working that running endurance back up again.

Post run, I came upstairs to get my stretch on and was not at all surprised to notice a visitor shortly after. I’m telling ya…he’s got a special radar.

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Code-man also made sure to stretch out the limbs this morning.

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He may not be a typical workout buddy, but I’ll let him join me any day. Winking smile

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Breakfast

Today’s morning meal had been waiting on the stove for me since last night…

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Voluminous Pumpkin Oats seriously rock my world. Basically, if I could get my act together, I would probably never make oats (or buckwheat) any other way. I mean, there’s basically double the amount here compared to yesterday’s buckwheat bowl. However, remembering to prep them the night before sometimes becomes an issue…because I’m either too lazy or I don’t know yet if I’ll want oats in the morning.

Toppings for today’s oats included half of a crumbled Honey Graham Clif Z Bar (I ate the other half before my run), some granola, and a tiny scoop of cinnamon raisin PB.

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Ooop, can’t forget the coffee!

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A fantastic way to start off a Tuesday, if ya ask me.

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Originally, I was planning on sharing a quick, tasty little recipe with you all this afternoon, but my baking experiment yesterday turned out a little, ummm, unattractive. They’re still quite tasty though, and there is chocolate involved…should I still share?

Questions for the Morning:

What was the last form of exercise you took a hiatus from? How difficult was it to get your stamina back?

Secret Workout

Okay, since when did it become so darn dark in the morning??? Jay and I were both up this morning at about 6:15 and it stayed practically pitch black until almost 7:00am. We actually spent about 15 seconds wondering whether or not we missed a clock turn back or something, until we turned on the news to realize we were okay.

Granted it is dark, gloomy, and rainy here today, but still? Did this sneak up on anyone else?

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Anyways, enough of that. How ARE you all this morning? I’ll tell ya, I had a really great weekend. Nothing crazy exciting, just really good, quality time spent with great people. Since you were probably off having a blast yourself, here’s what you may have missed:

I Like It

I Had An Audience

Pumpkin Ale Rocks

Past Its Due Date

Life Is Good

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Workout

This morning kicked off Week 3 (already?!?) with Day 15 of the 10lb. Slimdown Xtreme Challenge. I can’t believe I’m already halfway through, but from the looks of it, I think I’ve still got quite a challenge ahead of me! Here’s what I’ve got on board for the week ahead…

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This week’s workouts are definitely upping the intensity (look at tomorrow!) and I realized that I actually have no rest day. It looks like things really ARE getting extreme. Punch

*FYI: Many of you have expressed interest in following the challenge (WOO!). If you want to follow the four-week plan, click here for the workout tracker.

In addition to the two workouts that were scheduled for today, I actually added in a hidden 10 minute bonus workout which I stumbled across over the weekend. CHECK THIS OUT…

If you go to the Exercise TV version of the Xtreme Lower Body video, you’ll notice that it’s about 50 minutes long. If you fast forward through the first 40 minutes, you’ll come to a 10-minute “Back Fat Blaster” video, which works  the rear shoulders, upper, and mid back using a resistance band.

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It’s a quick but effective workout and I was pretty psyched when I found it…it was almost like I was uncovering some sort of hidden secret! Smile

Breakfast

Thanks to a little prep work last night, I had some delicious, voluminous pumpkin oats waiting for me to finish up this morning post-workout.

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I used the same recipe as last time, and they turned out just as delicious as I remembered them being.

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I also had a mug of coffee to kick start my day, but I know that you’re not at all surprised by that one. Winking smile

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I’m feeling super ambitious today with my to-do list, so I think it’s about time to get goin’ on it. Catch ya later!

Questions for the Morning:

What do you prefer: turning the clocks back, or turning them forward?

What was the best part of your weekend?