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Monthly Archives: August 2011

TidBits.

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I don’t think I ever showed you guys what my sweet boyfriend’s parents gave me for my birthday, did I? 

I absolutely LOVE it.  Probably because Jarid sneaked back to buy it after I picked it out while we were shopping together.  Stinker.

I guess I haven’t shown you what I’ve been learning in A&P, either?

That’s right.  All of the bones in the skull.  From the coronal suture to the foramen magnum.  I’ve got an exam coming up in about two weeks, so I’m really cracking down.  The tough part about the class, is that the NON lab part (textbook reading) is all on us to learn…there’s no lecture.

 

It’s been stress busting trips to the gym, where I can sweat out my anxieties keeping me from pulling my hair out.

Lunches lately have been lackluster, yet healthy.  I had high hopes for this Helen’s Kitchen organic burrito, but the flavors were less than stellar. 

It was all-around kinda bland, which I’m not sure I understand because I love all the ingredients.

It even smelled good when I pulled it out of the microwave and chopped it in half…I’m not sure where I went wrong.

It needed some serious salsa or marinara sauce or something…It didn’t taste bad, it just didn’t taste at all.

Steamed green beans & snap peas on the side.

Anywho, this next tidbit will be appreciated by any chick out there who has thick hair like mine, and even with those seemingly invincible hairties, manage to break a few each week.

I bought these jelly textured hairties at Rite Aid (I think they were Goody brand), and highly recommend them.  They STAY PUT not matter what and it’s next to impossible to break them…coming from the girl who went through three thick ones in one night (TWSS). 

Dinners have to be one-pot-wonders, because they are stashed in a locker until it’s time to feast after the gym and before class. 

That’s right, I’m the girl sitting in my towel on a bench in the locker room chowing down on baby shrimp, broccoli slaw, and black pearl rice.

 I think I’m in a rut… I need some healthy ideas of quickly packed lunches for this fall semester!  Preferably ones I can nuke at work. 

What are your favorite frozen meals?  I love Kashi, but I’m not a fan of Lean Cuisine, etc. 

AtLarge Nutrition

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Before I started this blog, I had never tried a protein shake, nor did I know that there were so many different varieities…From casein to whey, I’ve learned a lot through reading, from supplement companies, and just by browsing the blogworld.  Now, it’s my turn to help you ;)  Or should I say, AtLarge Nutrition’s turn to help you.  I know everyone has different taste as far as which protein powders they prefer, but in my opinion, protein powder should result in nothing less than a delicious, thick, chalkless shake. 

AtLarge’s proteins are scientifically backed, which appeals to me even more.  I’m a girl who is all about the facts.  Trying something for myself is important for me as far as reviews go, because without a first-hand experience, I don’t feel comfortable advocating a products…Regardless of the fact it was Award Winning by Men’s Health Magazine for 2008, 2009, 2010 ;)

AtLarge Nutrition was super generous and sent me three huge tubs of Nitrean and Nitrean+ proteins to try in Dutch Chocolate, Chocolate, and Vanilla.  They also sent one of their coolest products for fat loss and optimal workout performance, Axcel.  Thank you so much to Chris and the company for the samples!  I literally use them almost every single day because I enjoy them so much!

The difference between these products and other protein powders on the market today is the fact that they’ve got the perfectly balanced formula of whey & casein together for a dynamic duo our muscles LOVE.

Just the facts, guys!

I appreciated that the website put things into lingo that the average joe can understand.  It’s easy to see why it ranks so much higher than other protein powders! 

23g of protein in just 110 calorie serving.  There is only 1g of sugar!  You wouldn’t believe how awesome they taste, too.  Personally, if I’m going to buy a protein powder, I want it to be one that you can simply mix with water and still be able to down it.  If you have to mix a whole bunch of other stuff with it for it to be edible, it isn’t worth the money.  Granted, you can still dress up this brand with fruit, almond milk, or nut butter, for a more dessert-like treat, but it’s not necessary.  They’re yummy all on their own!  Texture is another big thing for me.  These didn’t come out too icy or watery, which is important.

Axcel is a pre-workout, thermogenic supplement that helps you maintain your energy and focus while working out.  It also may inhibit the production of adipocytes (or new fat cells) !  I love my muscles, but that fat can stay away ;) I was a little hasty about trying this because I’ve heard bad rumors about pills making similar claims, but this was different.  It didn’t give me the shakes or anything like that, it simply gave me a clear mind and I felt super focused while I was going through my workout routine. 

Right now, AtLarge Nutrition is having a HUGE sale where you can save $12 per 4.6lb jug of the Nitrean+ protein! 

Make sure to check out their website (http://www.atlargenutrition.com/)  where you can order your own!

 

The Good Life: Part II

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Sunday morning, I had plans to go for another run, but opted to stay in bed and later walk to Wawa for coffee with the boy.

After we got back, we ate breakfast with Julie & Mike and headed out to the beach for day two. 

We weren’t able to attend church, so we did devotionals together on the sand.  It was so neat.  I love that we met another Christian couple and have decided to meet on a monthly basis for a bible study!

Jarid & I wanted to do something nice for Julie & Mike since they were kind enough to let us stay with them while we were there, which saved us a lot of money, so we took them out to lunch after we were done on the beach, before we headed home. 

Julie has allergies to a lot of different foods, including gluten, so I thought it was cool that this place called Green Cuisine Restaurant had a ton of gluten-free options.  There were about 23947982374 different things on the menu that I wanted to try!  If we ever get to go back to Avalon, I think we will definitely have to go back to this place!

 

I chose the California Salad, which was a base of mixed greens with marniated artichokes, avocado, tomato, sprouts, mushrooms, and egg which I switched out for turkey. The dressing was a homemade low-fat citrus vinaigrette (I’m pretty sure the main ingredient was orange juice!)

We wandered around the shops for a bit before heading home.  There was so much we put on our possible to-try list if we ever make it back there…in fact, I’m going to document it so we don’t forget ;)

  • Atlantic City – Caesar’s Palace
  • Island Studio Paint Your Own Pottery (www.islandstudio.org)
  • Island Watersports
  • Peace A Pizza (http://www.peacepizza.com/Stone-Harbor.html)

     

    It was time to say goodbye to the beach, since we had dinner plans with my parents.   They met us in Harrisburg for a low-key meal at Hoss’s which ended up being perfect.  The drive home was a rainy, stormy one, but the boy handled it like a champ.

I ordered the broiled scallops sans butter and a baked sweet potato with the salad bar.

I was pretty pleased at the amount of healthy desserts Hoss’s had available too.  I couldn’t make up my mind and since it was a buffet, I grabbed a little cup of each to try. 

The only one I actually ate was the no sugar added butter pecan.  It was delish!

When we got home, the parents gave me my birthday present & sang happy birthday with a candle in a chocolate Vitatop.  They are the best (: 

A little bit of history behind the gift…when I turned 16, my Daddy took me shopping to buy my first pair of diamond earrings.  It was really special.  Unfortunately, 16 year-olds (at least this one), wasn’t very responsible and somehow lost one of them.  I was absolutely devastated.  More-so because of the sentimental value than the retail.  This birthday, Momma & Poppa FF gave me a replacement pair!  They are absolutely beautiful princess cut studs , and I promise a picture soon!  <3

I could not possibly feel more blessed.

XOXO.

Oh, This Has Gotta Be The Good Life <3

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I can’t think of a place that I would’ve rather been to spend my 23rd birthday weekend than Avalon, NJ with the boyfriend & our friends, Mike & Julie.  You may remember Julie from basketball season.  I met her at HACC and we’ve been great friends ever since.

These two are a match made in heaven, and are going to be married in June 2012!  They recently got engaged and asked us if we wanted to join them on a beach trip!  We couldn’t go for the entire week, but headed down after work on Friday.

We had beautiful weather the entire weekend, which wasn’t supposed to be the case, but God pulled through and answered our prayers for an excellent time.

This post is basically going to be a plethora of pictures from our experiences there…maybe a few foodie pictures, but for the most part, it was all about the memories (:

We stayed at the Beachcomber Resort, which was just across the street from the beach access. 

It was at a great location, within walking distance to the little shopping strip as well…oh, and Wawa (:

The first morning we were there, I set out on a 5 mile run…mainly because I’m nosey and was excited to explore the new-to-me area.  I really wanted to see what all was around.  

First, I headed around the neighborhood.  There were runner-friendly sidewalks everywhere, but I found my way to the beach.  Then, I proceeded to run through town until I made it to the bridge.

There is something SO serene about running near water & early enough in the morning that you’re one of the only people out and about.

See my shadow on the bridge?

Avalon, NJ is a very quaint little area which I adored.  It was family friendly, unlike OC, NJ & OC, MD where you tend to see a lot of partying, etc.  This was quiet and peaceful with a sweet little strip of shops and things to do in Stone Harbor. 

Not to mention, the place was SUPER gluten-free friendly, which was great to see…especially because Julie has some pretty strong food allergies.  When I got back from my run, Julie & I headed to Coffee Talk which was actually somewhere that Taylor Swift used to play, while the boys headed to Uncle Bill’s Pancake house.

I got some amazing coffee and we sat & chatted for awhile about things God was teaching us, our families, and anything else that came up in conversation. 

When we got back to the room, I had some breakfast.

Fiber One Cereal, chunked banana, & chocolate Light Muscle Milk

Post breakfast, we got geared up in our beach apparel and headed down to the sand. It was already turning out to be a beautiful day!

Don’t mind the frizzy hair (:  Jarid didn’t.  Haha.

Julie, Mike & I played frisbee on the beach while Jarid napped for a little bit.  He drove us the whole way after a long day at work, so it was totally reasonable that he was a little tuckered out.

We all headed back to the room to grab a bite to eat for lunch in the afternoon and stayed by the pool until it was later in the evening.

I’m pretty positive that I could do anything with Jarid and we would make it fun, but this trip had adventure written all over it.  It was my first weekend away with someone I was dating and it couldn’t have been better.  Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure he’s the one ;)

Must be the adorable dimples or the goofy smile that drive me wild (:   Okay, enough gushing…back to the trip!

Mike & Julie were SO sweet.  They got a chocolate cake, frosted it, and sang “happy birthday” to me when we went back to clean up at the room!

Jarid wanted to give me my birthday presents before we went out for our “date night”/birthday dinner, so I happily obliged.

Remember when we went to the Aquarium and got an artist drew a picture of the two of us?

Welllllll, Jarid made me a copy and framed it for my birthday! (:

AWESOME! His parents also gave me a sweet card & gift (which I forgot to take a picture of.  It looks just like THIS, though).  I never imagined I would like the parents of the person I was dating so much.  Even the times we spent at their house chatting on the couch were so enjoyable.

For the grand finale, the boy gave me a large-ish box which contained

THIS!  I was in shock and awe.  I’ve never owned a REAL Coach bag.  I couldn’t believe how amazing he did at picking it out!  I love that I can match it with black or brown.  It is JUST the right size, not too big, not too small. I think I smothered him in kisses after he gave it to me.  So thoughtful. 

You better believe I made the immediate bag switch from my old to my new before we went out.  The place we found in one of the books about the area was called the “Sea Grill” and it was highly recommended.

Turns out, we were both caught off guard when our waitress told us the way the restaurant worked…See, you don’t give your order to the waitress at this place, you take your “tab” up to the chef’s window, order something off the blackboard menu, and tell the chef exactly what size and how you’d like it cooked. 

I ordered grilled chicken and a baked sweet potato to have with my salad bar, while Jarid picked the crap imperial stuffed shrimp.  He let me try it, and I can say without a doubt, I will be ordering that next time. 

He helped me finish off my chicken.  The restaurant was a  tad dark, so the photos didn’t come out so hot, but we had an amazing dinner.

Afterward, we did a photoshoot by the bay on our walk to the shops.

I actually LOVE this picture (:

 

Part II of “the good life” coming up next ;)

XO.

 

Too Close For Comfort.

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This little survey is just something to hold you all over until I get my birthday weekend pictures uploaded completely ;)  I want to do the time I shared with the people I love this weekend justice, so I’m taking my time to perfect the posting.

Sometimes I avoid getting too personal on the blog, but this time, I figured what the heck.

I got this from Janetha, who got it from Caitlin!

1. What are you really good at? What are you really bad at?

I’m good with words.  Word games, grammar, and spelling.  I will always remember that my parents always spoke to my sisters and I like adults, using extensive vocabulary.  Even though they realized we wouldn’t know what exactly the word meant that they were using, we were self-taught to use context clues or to ask questions. 

I’m really bad at balance in general.  I’m more of an all-or-nothing kind of person, and moderation doesn’t come easily to me.  I think this could be the reason behind my insane workouts (sometimes), volume eating, and one speed – fast.  I wish I could be better at intuitive eating, too. 

2. Have you ever been in a car accident? What happened?

Unfortunately, two.  The first one was my fault and happened my senior year in high school on Easter.  I was on my way to visit my Aunt pretty late at night and just got barely off the road enough that the lip of the asphalt pulled me off the road.  It didn’t help that there were trees about two inches away from the road.  I hit a tree and totaled it.  The second, I was rear-ended by a Coca-Cola truck.  Apparently he thought he could speed up and ride my tail through a yellow light…the only problem was, I planned on stopping, not thinking I could even make it through.  My entire back windshield was shattered and my GMC Jimmy was in the shop for awhile being repaired.

3. Why did you attend your college?

The first college I went to, Georgian Court University, I went simply because I thought it was my best option to play basketball for money…They offered me an 85% scholarship and I was smitten after visiting the campus and hearing all the promises that the coach made me.  I actually hated it there.  I’m going to Harrisburg Area Community College while I’m working now, for Nutrition & Exercise Science and I absolutely love it.  Mainly, I’m going because I want to be able to pursue my passion…playing basketball for fun again is just a perk that God provided (:

4. Describe your morning routine today.

It varies.  Monday & Wednesday I know I’ll get a good workout in playing basketball after work, so I sleep until about 6:40AM, get dressed, brush my teeth, do my hair, eat breakfast, pack up my lunch, and head out the door.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, I wake up around 5:30AM to do Insane Abs or Ab Ripper X, followed by biking and elliptical work.  Then, I shower, and go through the same routine as above.  More often than not, it also includes a trip to our Keurig machine for some caffeine.

5. Have you ever snooped through someone else’s things? Did you find anything interesting?

I’ve checked out text messages in the past, and I used to read my sister’s diary when I was younger.  I don’t know why I got such a kick out of the things she wrote, but for me, it was pleasure reading.  She caught me a few times, but I never found anything extremely embarassing or unnerving.

6. What do you think happens when you die?

When I die?  Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to Heaven, thanks to God’s mercy and forgiveness.  Unfortunately, not everyone will get this oppotunity if they’ve denied His love or rejected Him.  Don’t believe me?  You don’t have to.  It’s in the Word of God:

John 3:16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Romans 10:9-10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

 7. Are you superstitious?

Not in the slightest.  God is in control.

8. Do people think you are younger or older than you actually are?

People always think I’m younger than 23.  In fact, last year at ArtsFest, there were seperate prices for children (being 12 or younger) and adults.  As I approached the table, she said, “child?”

9. How did your parents’ relationship influence you?

They are the ultimate example of persistence and unconditional love.  I’d say they’ve taught me to never give up on someone that you love.  Their relationship with one another, and with other people in our family has been one of trials and triumphs, but through everything they are still together…it’s been 24 years as of August 1st!

10. What were the three happiest moments of your life?

This is a tough one!  I’ve been blessed enough to have several happy moments throughout my life.

  1.  The basketball game that I scored my 1,000th point.  It was such a feeling of relief and excitement after having two broken wrists for the first 3/4 of my senior season.  Celebrating with all the people I loved so much was a blast.
  2. Leading children to Jesus while we were on missions trips during the youth group years.  If you haven’t experienced this kind of moment, I can assure you, nothing compares…ever.
  3. The day I found out that Bran’s cancer was gone and that she would be coming home from NYC after battling a 1 in a million case.  It was literally nothing short of a miracle.  Again, unless you’ve been in that kind of situation, watching your childhood friend hurt and suffer, wondering if she would live to experience all the good things life has to offer with you, you cannot imagine the joy I felt when I heard the news.

Now it’s your turn! Riddle me this…

What do you think happens when you die?

What are you really good/bad at?

XO.

 

drawkcab dnekeew.

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My littlest sister turned 15 years old on Sunday…which means this coming Sunday, I will be turning 23 years old. Bizzare.

We had a joint birthday party this weekend since we are only 1 week apart.  Before hand, Jarid & I went to play basketball, and afterward, returned home to a house full of family guests.

Burned a whopping 973 caloriesDanggg.

The weather was gorgeous, and we hung out on the deck for most of the day.

Thanks to this goober, I found lots of photos of myself on my phone of me while I was opening gifts.

Along with the presents, came the food.  Of course I ate more than just this to re-fuel (think protein shake, fruit, no sugar-added ice cream, & a chocolate vitatop) but this was all that made it to my camera.

Poppa FF grilled up hotdogs, hamburgers, and of course chicken for those of us who were opposed to pork (rat?) & beef (:  I made a pita out of mine, courtesy of Joseph’s + some roasted red pepper hummus & reduced sugar ketchup along with a salad of iceberg, cukes, and cherry tomatoes with light zesty italian dressing.

With my 23rd  year of life comes several new adventures

A&P starts on Tuesday @ 7pm…right after my first ! HOT YOGA class!

This past weekend, I also trading biking on this:

for biking on this:

I live in a very hilly area, so bike riding isn’t easy.  I just wanted to be outside, and took a 5 mile loop near my house instead of staying in the basement on the stationary.  I appreciated the switch and enjoyed some fresh air after I hit the gym Saturday morning. 

My new sneaks are wonderful.  Completely comfortable and are great for cross training.  Whether I’m playing basketball, running, or biking, they’ve adapted!

Jarid was working, so after my workout that morning, I ate lunch, took a shower, & went to donate some clothing to the consignment store in our area.

I found these cute brown peep toe pumps for just $7! Along with a discounted soup in the grocery section!

I’m happy to report, that I have a new favorite soup.  This stuff was AWESOME.  Impeccable nutrition stats & ingredients, too! 

It came in handy when I was feeling too lazy to actually cook for dinner that night…

For snacking?  My choice was this kashi chocolate turtle roll that I also found at the consignment store.

It was only priced at 25 cents!  Bargain shopper, I am. 190 calories, 12g protein, 6g fiber. It kicked my candy craving for the day.

Finally, Friday night, I made another dinner for the boyfriend & I. This time, turkey burgers were on the menu, using Jeanie-O Lean Ground Turkey.

Here’s the recipe I used:

  • 1.25 lb lean turkey burger
  • 4 T of your favorite flavor hummus (I used roasted red pepper)
  • 2 T worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (i used a red one)
  • 2 t cumin
  • lots of black pepper
  • dash of cayenne for spice factor 

They grilled up nicely on the George Foreman, but they ended up being a little bit dry…I expected a little more flavor, too.  Next time, I’ll add more hummus and spices!

Regardless, the boy really appreciates when I cook for him.  He is probably the most appreciative person I know…he makes me feel like a million bucks…even when I cook up a recipe that’s less than stellar ;)

The spread was healthy, with the exception of the pierogies I made especially for Jarid…I knew steamed green beans and turkey burgers wouldn’t quite cut it for him.  Although, I did put together a nice little toppings plate!

Heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and romaine lettuce.  He tried avocado for the first time…and immediately removed the small bite he had taken from his mouth…haha.  NOT an avocado fan. 

After dinner, we spent the night peroozing the mall in search of gifts for the little sister.  We managed to get finished in time to catch a $2 movie…

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Bad Teacher was playing and we thought that it would be a decent flick to see.  It was funny, crude, and overall not bad.  Nothing spectacular, but we made it fun!

So there you have it, my weekend…DRAWKCAB.  Or backward, if you still haven’t caught on :)

What was the best recipe you’ve tried recently?
For me, it was Mama Pea’s Mmm Sauce.

What’s the best movie you’ve seen this summer?
I’d have to say Crazy, Stupid Love.

XO.

Coach’s Oats

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If you’re a healthy living blogger, odds are, you’ve had your share of run-ins with oat based recipes…from OIAJ to Overnight Oats, I usually look to Kath, the oat queen, for recommendations on how to incorporate them into breakfast and such.  When I saw her love for Coach’s Oats, I knew I had to try them first-hand.  Thank you, Lizzy for sending me some, so I could be a believer! ;) 

You may be saying to yourself, “what’s another oatmeal company? I can find oats anywhere!”  This is true, but Coach’s Oats are a wee bit different than your typical oatmeal.

How so? Since I am by no means an oat guru, I looked to the Coach’s Oats site for guidance ;)

See, the microwavable factor is important to me.  I’m a girl on the move…constantly…so convenience is key.  How do they measure up to good ole’ Quaker and other competitors?

I loved that I could use Coach’s Oats for baking the way I would any other rolled oats, but yet, the texture when I microwaved them for breakfast was thick and volumnous.  The key, is that they are steel cut oats that have been cracked and toasted, thus the quicker cooking time.  

IMG_2275Blog

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When I cooked them up, they turned totally creamy.   I hate that steel cut don’t get fluffy and fill up my bowl after cooking, so these were just what the doctor ordered ;)

I love products that you can order online in bulk!  Since I eat oatmeal at least 3 days out of the week for breakfast, it’s important that I keep a hefty stash in my pantry….plus, then you’ll save on shipping!  Coach’s also has a great looking Multi-grain Pancake Mix, along with decadent looking cookies for sale on their website!  I’d be curious to see what they’re like!   Make sure to check out the Coach’s Oats blog, too for some awesome recipes!

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