I’m Home!

Hello to all!! Made it home safely from my trip which was entirely too short! Doing a bunch of things around the house today including a hill workout, finishing my Stephen King book (1074 pages!), and going out to eat with the fam! I am also slowly but surely catching up on everyones blogs! It seems like everyone had a great holiday 🙂

After dinner I will be posting my resolutions for the coming year and update u a little more! Hope everyone has a wonderful new years eve!!! Xoxo

PS here’s a stray puppy I found in joeys neighborhood. His name was Patrick and he got lost on Christmas day and I got him home the 28th!! Poor little thing, it was an amazing feeling to get him home safe. Love u Patrick! Everyone make sure to have a tag on your pup, that’s how we found his parents!

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It’s A Wonderful Feeling, Feel The Love In The Room From The Floor To The Ceiling :-)

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! Hope everyone had a blessed day! I had the most amazing time with my family and I stepped up my game this year and cooked so much today! Here’s the rundown of the day:

This morning I made my parents vegan chocolate chip pancakes, and OMG they were a HIT. I am always concerned bringing a vegan recipe to the masses, but everyone loved them and my dad even used legit maple syrup (which is not that common in the US)

Christmas makes it okay to start a family breakfast with champagne!

Instead of lunch we had an appetizer spread:

Shrimp Cocktail

Celery & Carrots

Now the AWESOME recipe! I used a recent Oh She Glows recipe for Pumpkin Spice Stix & Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip, and they were DIVINE!!

Pumpkin Spice Stix:

Cooking Ingredients:

  • 4 Ezekiel Tortillas
  • 7 T Organic cane sugar
  • 1 T Pumpkin pie spice (or more)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cooking Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Cut tortillas into strips

3) Cover the tortillas with EVOO (I used one of those kitchen paint brush looking things)

4) Put the sugar and pumpkin pie spice on a large plate and mix

5) Put the strips on the plate and cover them as much as possible with the mixture

6) Spray a cookie sheet with PAM and place about 10 strips (or as many as you can fit) on the sheet

7) Cook for 4 minutes on each side

8 ) ENJOY!

Pumpkin Spice Stix

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip:

Cooking Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural chunky PB (I used earth balance)
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt (I used Dannon light)
  • 6 T unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cooking Instructions:

1) Mix all ingredients together and ENJOY!!

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

After “lunch” we shared some more champagne and Christmas presents:

James was the man of the hour of course! He got so many cool toys!

Besides some fabulous JCrew clothes, I got this awesome wine bottle from a local vineyard filled with Christmas lights

Joey got mama a bottle of Riesling. You wonder where I get it from?! 🙂

I believe that's a fence for farm animals

Mommy/Daughter love

TomTom for me!! Check out J-man with my camera!

Joey got Dad some nice cigars! He knows how to make my dad happy!!

The best part of the day was helping the little guy with his gifts!

So I got James this Mizzou winter hat and apparently guessed wrong on the size. That's all the way pulled down. haha

After presents we made dinner which included ham, green bean casserole, raspberry casserole, rolls, and my addition: sweet potato casserole! I got the recipe from AllRecipes.com

Cooking Ingredients:

Main Ingredients:

  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 large golden delicious apples (you could use granny smith also)

In between layers mix:

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed sunacat
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Crumble top mix:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup margerine
  • 1/4 cup chopped peacans
  • 1/4 cup sunacat

Cooking Instructions:

Me chopping away!

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Cube the sweet potatoes and apples into bite-size pieces

3) Spray a casserole dish with PAM

4) Layer as follows: sweet potato, in between mix, apples, in between mix, sweet potato…..etc.

5) Once you have layer out all of your ingredients mix the crumble ingredients and put on top of the dish

6) Cook for 30 minutes

7) Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Apple Casserole

Dinner was a great overall success, we had lots of great and highly entertaining conversation! I love family time!

My plate

After dinner:

Ready to party!

Not a joke, my mom took this

I ended the evening with the end of both of my ice creams I recently blogged about and a couple pumpkin spice stix, sooo good!

Well tomorrow morning I am heading to Texas to visit my boyfriend and his family! This means that I won’t be blogging for the next couple of days 😦 I may do a few quickie blogs from my phone, but besides that I will be MIA! I hope everyone has a GREAT continued holiday and I can’t wait to catch up with everyone when I get back! XOXO

Christmas Eve Dinner Photos

The Spread

Nice Packaging 😉

Nothing Says "Class" Like A Bucket of Chicken and Champagne

My Plate

I Like To Say "Andre" Like Tim Gunn Used To Pronounce Andre's Name A Few Seasons Ago On Project Runway, Sounds Sophisticated, Haha

My Dessert; Plus Some Tempt Ice Cream Later 🙂

Mama Made Herself Cocoa In This Adorable Mug

I LOVE This Mug!! It's So 60s/70s

Overall wonderful night! And Julie & Julia was really cute, even though I didn’t like the ending. But oh well! Time to wrap a few last minute presents for James and head to bed before Santa gets here! Long day ahead!! Happy Holidays to all!!!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Look who I found canoodling on the couch earlier!

Noodle & Layla: BFF

Hello!! Hope everyone is having a great Christmas Eve.  Mine has been pretty good so far, and it will only get better when my family gets our annual Christmas Eve dinner of KFC!!!! YUM!!! We have been doing KFC on Christmas Eve since I was probably 5 years old, LONG tradition 🙂 I love fun holiday traditions. It’s also really nice for one night not to worry about having to cook up a big meal. Mama and myself have lots of cooking to do tomorrow; I will keep you all updated!

Today Mama and me ran some errands around town, mostly to get supplies for tomorrow. I am making breakfast, a desserty-appitizer, and a casserole. I hope they turn out!

Food that went in my belly:

Breakfast:

I'm Too Predictable

You guessed it, Seedy PB Banana Oats. I tried tea this morning too instead of coffee, Republic of Tea Comfort and Joy, but I don’t feel like it woke me up like a nice cup of coffee does. And don’t worry, I am not making Oats for breakfast for the family tomorrow!

Snack: I also had a handful of walnuts to tide me over till lunch.

Lunch: I had to get some chunky PB for one of my recipes tomorrow so I got Smart Balance, which I have never had before and wanted to try it with lunch. OMG is this stuff good!! It is just the right amount of chunky and the PB was still creamy (if that even makes sense) I mixed my PB with some flax seed meal and spread it on 2 pieces of ezekiel bread with a sliced up banana. As a side I mixed brussels sprouts and leftover chickpeas.

Snack:The other day I had this bar in the variety made with date syrup, today’s is made with molasses. I can’t pick my favorite, they are seriously incredible though. And you get three little bars in each pack so it’s a lot of goodness!

*I also drank my whole water bottle which I filled with water this morning. I am always trying to up my water intake, this is not an easy task for myself for 2 reasons: 1) They say everyone has the same size bladder and I call BS, I will seriously pee 7 times before lunch if I have more than a cup or so of coffee. 2) I find water quite boring, unless it’s after a hard workout.

Gym Time: Today I hit up my parents treadmill while I watched some classy Divorce Court, did I mention I LOVE court tv shows? Even though I never get the chance to watch them anymore, they remind me of undergrad. I did a pretty intense hill workout and got my sweat on:

Minutes Incline
1-5 2
5-10 3
10-15 4
15-20 5
20-25 6
25-30 7
30-35 7
35-40 6
40-45 5
45-50 4
50-55 3
55-60 2

After I worked on the Abs:

2 minutes middle plank on hands

1 minute middle plank on forearms

1 minute side plank on each side

25 exercise ball roll outs

25 exercise ball leg roll ins (have ball under legs while balancing forearms on the floor, bring knees into chest while feet are on the top of the ball)

Well it’s time to get ready for dinner over here! I’ll post some KFC pictures later! Oh and Mama and me ended up having to run around town a bunch last night so by the time we got home, she was a little too tired to start a movie. I watched a little bit of Confessions of a Shopaholic, but had to turn it off because I am seriously obsessed with those books (I have read every single one, theres like 5/6, they are the only chick books I like) and this movie was such an airhead blah! It was just making me mad, it could have been sooooo much better. But I do really like Isla Fischer, she’s adorable. I think we are going to watch Julia & Julia tonight after dinner though!

Hope everyone has a wonderful evening filled with family and friends!!

Also HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY TO MY AMAZING/ADORABLE NEPHEW JAMES!!! AUNTIE JILL LOVES YOU!!!

Happy Hump Day

Hello to all! Another busy day here with the J-man. It’s our last day babysitting him 😦 Sad. We mostly hung around the house today, it was nice, but I have not been sleeping well at my parents house and have yet to discover the problem, I’m averaging around 5 hours a night, and its VACATION!!

Gym Time: I went to the local Anytime Fitness so I could get some weight lifting in this week.

I did 2 circuits today with 5 exercises each; I ran through each circuit 3 times. After each run through I did 50 mountain climbers.  I decided to push myself in a new way and do the first circuit as all arms exercises and the second all legs, let me tell you, those body parts get TIRED! Phew! But it was a great workout!

Exercise Reps
Bench Press 15
Bicep Curl 15 on each arm
Inclined Bench 15
Overhead Tricep Dips on Bench 15
Overhead Press 15

Exercise

Reps

Leg Press Machine 15
Outer Thigh Machine 15
Inner Thigh Machine 15
Wallsit 1 minute
One-Leg Squat 25 on each leg

Later in the day I fit in an ab workout. I try not to stay at the gym more than an hour, so I’ll do abs when I’m watching tv or something. I mean no one wants to live at the gym!

Ab workout:

1 minute middle plank on forearms

1 minute middle plank on hands

1 minute side plank, each side

1 minute middle plank on bosu (ball side down like you are doing a pushup, so you have to stabilize yourself)

1 minute middle plank on bosu on forearms (ball side up, balancing)

25 side plank switches

I also went to World Market, which is a store I newly discovered and I LOVE it. It is filled with a million random fun things. From food to kitchen things, to wine, to décor! Some things I picked up:

Stemless Wine Glasses Mama Has Been Wanting

New Water Bottle for Myself, Only $6!!

GingerBread Chai (YUM!)

Food in my belly today:

Dessert last night: No picture (sorry upstairs just seemed so far! Ha) But I mixed this cinnamon raisin granolawith mashed up banana (30 seconds in the microwave works wonders), and a scoop of almond butter, quite delish.

Breakfast: Ok I really need to get a grip on my Seedy PB Banana Oats obsession, it’s taking over my mornings.

Snack: Before hitting up the gym I snacked on my favorite LaraBar

Apple Pie

Lunch: I decided to celebrate Taco Tuesday on Wednesday today. I got these huge Food for Life Tortillas (much bigger than the ones I have at home), chopped up an Amy Burger and topped with lettuce, vegan cheddar, onions, tomatoes, and salsa, It was like Chipotle size and I ate the whole thing (OK maybe not THAT big), but I also had the end of my leftover chickpea mix.

Snack: I took a recipe from the book of dessert last night and heated up a chopped gala apple with cinnamon on the stove (chopped it up and put it in a saucepan with a little water and cinnamon for about 5 minutes).Then added a scoop of almond butter and about 1/4 cup granola.

Dinner: Tonight I made the Whole Wheat Pumpkin Gnocchi’s.

The Whole Batch

My Plate: Gnocchi's, Salad with Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar, and Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio

**This time I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice, so I used some nutmeg.

Tonight mama and I are going to rent 500 Days of Summer! I am soooo excited to see this movie. (In case anyone was wondering, I do have a dad, he just works all the time!!!)

I will end the post with another Photo Rundown of the Day with Mr. J:

Playing with favorite toy for hours on end

Playing with toy plus Santa hat

Knocked out COLD from all the play

Waiting for lunch to be served

Who needs socks?!

"I'm having a good time"

That’s it from here! On a final note peep the new boots! I love the great deals you can get around Christmas time!

Inspector Noodle

No Taco Tuesday!

Hello all! I just realized it’s Tuesday and I didn’t eat anything mexican! Whoops!

Today was soooo busy. Freaking babies! I just finally sat down for the day with a glass of vino to wind down.

What’s currently in my belly:

Dessert last night:

Purely Decadent: Chocolate PB Swirl. Made with Coconut Milk

This coconut ice cream was SOOOOO FREAKING GOOD!! The peanut butter in it was really creamy, YUM! I also added a flour-less pb cookie to the mix; hey! I had a long run that I needed to balance out calorie-wise 🙂

Breakfast: Same old boring-ness. I swear I am OBSESSED with Seedy PB Banana Oats, I prolly need an intervention.

Snack: Taking a page out of the book of Mon Petit Peche Mignon (I only had to look up the last word of that! I impressed myself!) I added a holiday ambiance to this apple photo 🙂

Lunch:

Leftover Cracked Wheat, Garbanzo Bean, Broccoli, Spaghetti Sauce Mix, Brussels Sprouts, and Carrots Drizzled with Raw Cinnamon Honey and Golden Raisins

Snack: THIS IS THE BEST BAR EVER!!!! I can only find them at Dierbergs, not in MO so I stock up when I come in town. They taste like candy, and who doesn’t like candy?!

Dinner: Bread Co! (aka Panera for all of you not from the STL)

1/2 Mediterranean Veggie Sammy & Mary's Crack

Mediterranean Veggie was sooo good, I wish I hadn’t gotten a you pick two actually. It included: Zesty Peppadew™ piquant peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro hummus on our Tomato Basil bread (I had it on stone-milled rye instead). I also had there black bean soup, it’s one of my favorites.

Black Bean Soup

And for my “carb” I added my own Mary’s Crackers. I misspoke yesterday when I said they were the original flavor, I looked today and they are the black onion, VERY tasty.

Gym Time: I took a much deserved break from the gym today, mostly because this was me by the end of last night.

Ice Packs on Knees, Noodle, Stephen King Book, iPhone, Heating Blanket on Feet

Actually my legs didn’t feel too bad today, but I still deserved  a day off! I think I will try to fit in some ab exercises tonight though!

Tonight will include some wine with my mama and a scrabble re-match. I am going to humiliate her just like last time. muhahaha! J/K of course, but I am going to win 🙂

Just for fun, here is the baby J rundown:

Approx. 7 am (I had been up since 630, my internal clock is a mess)

Being a ham for Auntie Jill

Sharing toys with Noodle

Running around the house in his walker for hours like a madman!

Before the shopping outing

Ready to meet Santa!!

James is on the "nice" list

That’s it from here! Hope everyone has a wonderful night!

Looooooooong Run!

Hello all! Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday! It is so much nicer when school or work is not involved in a Monday, there are not so bad! 🙂

Look who showed up at my doorstep this morning!

Baby James

Mama and me babysat little James all day, it was wonderful. But let me tell you, babies are a handful!! They just never stop moving. Today we:

played with g-ma

ate cheerios

played some more

and ate some more!

This will all go down for the next 2 days! I am very excited for every second I get to spend with my nephew, he is my best friend 🙂 Besides Noodle, who got a haircut today by the way!

New Haircut

Food Rundown:

Dessert Last Night:

Tempti Chocolate Fudge Hemp Ice Cream

This was EXCELLENT. I loving trying all different types of dairy free ice cream. It is so much easier on the belly!

Breakfast:

Seedy PB Banana Oats & Chocolate Peppermint Twist Coffee (I'm boring I know!)

I also made my mom a Chocolate Vivanno Breakfast Cookie. She’s hooked!

Lunch:

SouthWest Veggie Chili, Brussels Sprouts, and Mary's Crackers

These brussels sprouts are from an individual eagle eye steamer bag, and they were BOMB! I was very impressed. Also, it was my first experience with Mary’s Crackers. These are the original flavor and they are so good. They have a grainy texture which I really enjoyed, and they are so crispy. It was a nice change with chili instead of a roll as my carbs.

Snack:

Banana Bread LaraBar (notice that I've already torn open the wrapping!)

YUMMY!! I seem to like everything banana bread flavored.

When I got home from my run I had some Adagio Peppermint Tea which was super delish.

Adagio Peppermint Tea

It had a BIG peppermint kick to it, which I really liked, but if you only like a hint of peppermint, it might be a little much for you.

Dinner: I made the cracked wheat, garbanzo bean, broccoli, spaghetti sauce mix (check out the newly renovated recipe page!) for my main dish (side dish for the parents)

I also used Newman’s Olive Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing (4 tbsp) to marinate 2 huge chicken breasts (about 4-5 servings) for my parents. (When chicken breasts are really thick I cut them in half length wise so they are easier to cook without making them super dry!)They really enjoyed it!

Gym Time: One reason I am soooo happy to be home is because my parents live in the mix of about 4 neighborhoods so there is so many places to go run. Where I live in MO it’s right by a highway, so my running places are limited. Well I have been saving up my running energy so I could do a long run here and boy did I! I ran for 1 hour and 33 minutes!!! That’s the longest I have ever run! (Beating my old record by 3 minutes, ha) It was about 32 degrees out, which really is the perfect running weather in my opinion. It’s only cold for the first couple minutes and then it’s not hot enough where you are super sweaty or anything. And I love the feeling of the crisp air, it’s all so therapeutic for me. I actually felt like I could run longer, but my hips started hurting, which was very weird since I have NEVER experienced hip pain before! I know that it is pretty common in long distance runs though, so I’m not too worried. Although I couldn’t run long distances all the time, I very much believe that it is important to push yourself in workouts and kind of shock your body every once in awhile! Keep your body guessing!!

Well that’s it from here tonight, currently watch the finale of the Sing-Off!! I really hope Nota wins, but anyone besides Voices of Lee is really ok with me. Nothing like making a friendly competition more Christmas-y by routing AGAINST teams. haha. Oh and Boyz II Men just performed (well sans 1 member). I LOVE them! They were actually my first concert I ever went to! What was yours? In the same line, what was your first CD? Mine was the Free Willy Soundtrack, Simpsons Sing the Blues was my second. haha.