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Naked Hands.

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First off, thank you all for the incredible amount of congratulations on Jarid & my engagement! 🙂

We are eccstatic and cannot wait to start the rest of our lives together.  For now, my hands are feeling naked, though.

Not only have I neglected to paint my nails for the past week, but I had to send my ring back to be resized. It was a 7 and I need a 5, unfortunately.  Hopefully, I’ll have it back before I know it!

In other news, we are proud to announce that we have officially named Bowman as our ring bearer.  Check out those baby blues!  They get me everytime.  His Momma, Bran, and my childhood BFF (cousin) & matron of honor, has already been a great deal of help with wedding planning.  We are totally going to pump this event out in six months.

I got an awesome email the other day from Kashi, and I really wanted to share it.

I love it when companies make it SO easy to help out people in need.  Seriously, please go “like” their page.  Starving kids will be benefitting from something SO simple that you can do in less than 30 seconds.

Speaking of starving…you’d think I was when I downed this plate of salad topped with roasted vegetables.

Butterleaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red peppers, roasted kale, roasted parsnips, with light ragu for dippage.

I offered some to my fiance, but he was busy with his noodles & grilled cheese, courtesy of Momma FF.

To play a little catch up, I’ll show you these beautiful flowers that Jarid sent to my workplace for Valentine’s Day. 

He ALSO gave me a Freckled Foodie customized apron, a memory book that he made, & energy truffles! 🙂  That guy is amazing, I’ll tell ya.

For HIS Valentine’s gift, I made him a scrapbook, too, and had ordered him a pair of awesome looking Sperry’s that he picked out while we were shopping together one time.

Mens Sperry Top-Sider Bahama Casual Shoe - Black

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along with baking him this No Sugar Added Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake Mix, which Sans Sucre sent me for review.  For the record, when it was done baking, I totally sampled it…DELICIOUS! (Official review coming soon!)

The directions say that you need water & oil, but I subbed 2 tbsp. of canned pumpkin for the oil and added red food dye to turn it a nice hot pink color…much more festive.

I wish I had taken a picture, but I actually baked it in cake form and then used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make individual little cakes 🙂  They were pretty cute if I say so myself.

Oh yeah, and he LOVES Nebraska (college football), so I snagged him this tee from American Eagle online.

Valentine’s Day was on a Tuesday, but that didn’t stop us from celebrating…after my basketball practice from 3:30-5:30pm, he met me at school (I used the locker room showers – yuck!), we went to the Pita Pit, got dinner for $7 (it was $3 pita Tuesday!), and he took me to see The Vow.

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I have wanted to see it since the first time I saw a preview.  Nicholas Sparks is a genius, amen?  I think I almost cried approximately 5 different times throughout the movie.  LOVE Rachel McAdams.

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There’s another NS movie in the works that we saw a preview for, too, which I’m excited about called “The Lucky One” with Zac Efron, who is also growing on me as an actor.

Anywho, how was your Valentine’s Day?

Xo.

Peanut Flour Winner + Christmas Trees

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Mondays stink, so I figured I’d wait til now to choose a winner for my Southern Grace Farms peanut flour giveaway with hopes that we could make it a little easier to start the week for one lucky, randomly chosen commenter 😉

Congratulations to Nicole

Just shoot me an email (freckledfoodielove@gmail.com) with your shipping info and I’ll have your 6 lbs. of peanut flour sent out to you right away!

Thanks to everyone for entering!  If you didn’t win…you could always check out Danica’s blog, where you could win a sweet Cheerios prize package complete with a cereal dispenser!

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s a bit of entertainment from the weekend…Christmas tree hunting & decorating in the Freckled Foodie household:

Somebody else was decorating their tree for Christmas, too!

I may not quite be ready for Christmas music yet, but I am pretty excited about all the other pre-Christmas festivities!

XO.

A Freckled Foodie Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day, or any holiday for that matter, is always an adventure for our family.  It starts at about 4:30AM, when Momma FF wakes up to put the turkey in the oven.

By the time I woke up around 8am to work out, the table had already been set, the aroma of home cooked specialties filled the air, and the cooking had already been half finished.

This year, Jarid and I ate lunch with his family & then dinner with mine.  It was a good compromise, if you ask me.  I made two new recipes for the event!  I found these healthy mini maple pecan pies over at the Dashing Dish (Katie’s blog is one of my favorites!  Not to mention, she’s SUCH a sweetheart)

 I’m a huge fan of recipes with short ingredients lists.  All I had to do was mix some sugar free maple syrup, egg beaters, and splenda in a dish, break some pecans into small pieces, and fill mini phyllo cups with the mixture.  Bake and voila!

I also made a Hungry-Girl recipe that turned out pretty stinking awesome, if I do say so myself.  You can see it on the right side of my plate…it’s called Crantastic Apple Cornbread Stuffing…which actually, I can’t name mine…because I used raisins instead of sweetened cranberries…Haha.

Ingredients:
Cornbread
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda)
1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup canned cream-style corn (I used whole kernel canned corn)
1/3 cup Egg Beaters
1/3 cup 0% Chobani

Stuffing
1 large Fuji apple, cored and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped (I used 3/4 C.)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 tsp. chopped garlic (I used 1.25 tsp powder)
4 slices light bread (I used Nature’s Own x2 fiber)
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used organic raisins)
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried sage (omitted)
1/4 tsp. dried thyme (omitted)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
I added 1/4 chopped red pepper, some chopped mushrooms, and a baby chopped zucchini

Directions:
To make the cornbread, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine corn, egg substitute, and yogurt. Whisk thoroughly. Add mixture to the large bowl and stir until completely mixed.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow cornbread to cool completely. For speedier cooling, remove it from the pan once slightly cooled.

To make the stuffing, set oven temperature to 350 degrees. Spray a 13″ X 9″ baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add apple, onion, celery, and garlic. Stirring often, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Lightly toast bread slices. Meanwhile, chop cranberries and add to the large bowl. Tear toasted bread into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl as well.

Crumble cornbread into pieces and add to the bowl. Add broth and spices, and gently stir to combine. Transfer contents to the baking pan.

Bake in the oven until firm, 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Our first Thanksgiving together was absolutely perfect.  I really loved meeting his Dad’s side of the family, since I had only met most of his Mom’s until this point.  They were all kind and welcoming.  After lunch, we hung out for a little while, and checked out Black Friday ads.

A little while later, we headed to my house for Thanksgiving meal II with my family.  Bowman was especially glad to see Jarid…as was my Nana…she always shows him a little extra affection…which I think is hilarious.  I can’t blame her, though 😉  I mean, look at how handsome he is.

Dinner was leftover stuffing from lunch.  I’m pretty sure it’s my new favorite recipe.  Along with a whopper of a salad…complete with dill pickles, which is my new favorite salad topping…well, that and Annie’s Lite Honey Mustard.

 I think it’s only appropriate that I thank God for all of the amazing things he’s given me:

  • My health
  • My family & friends
  • My boyfriend
  • My job
  • The opportunity to play a sport I love again
  • Most of all, eternal life

I hope you all had the chance to thank God for all of the gifts in your life and spent the holiday with the ones that matter most!

 

XO.

Multi-Tasking Mayhem.

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I’m taking a break.

 

Not necessarily from blogging altogether, but from basketball, for one.  It may not be my choice, but I think God chose it for me.  He knows I don’t have the willpower to take a break on my own, so he decided to give me a little injury which is just enough to sit my butt out for a week.  I guess I’m what you would consider an exercis-o-holic.  I don’t do well with rest.  In fact, as important as I KNOW rest days are, unless I’m hurting, I rarely take them. 

Recently, I’ve been juggling quite a plate full of things:  Full-time work, an Anatomy & Physiology class, a daily basketball practice, a business software class, preparing for and teaching a nutrition class at the YMCA, being a good girlfriend, blogging, cooking healthy meals, housekeeping, etc.  It was exhausting.

While I truly enjoy this haphazard, productive, constantly multi-tasking lifestyle, God started convicting me that I was spreading myself too thin.  I was half-assing a lot of things, mainly my relationship with Him.  I wasn’t fully dedicated to any one thing and I found the frustration to be overwhelming.  Still, I didn’t know how to stop myself from doing it all.  It was the only way I knew how to function, regardless of whether it was healthy or not.  I was burning out slowly, and I felt like I had no other option.  God, however, took things into His own hands.  In our last game, I did some serious damage to my knees and my left foot. 

 After consulting a physical therapist, who is hoping that the injuries are simply soft tissue rather than stress fractures, I was sentanced to a week of NO STRAIN ON MY LEGS OR FEET, which for me was basically like a death sentance.  I’m a cardio freak and I love the high I get after a long hard basketball practice or a run.  I was even forbidden from the elliptical and the exercise bike.  If you know me at all, you know I was freaking out. 

 Since then, I’ve read this devotional:

““But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.” Psalm 31:14-15 (NLT)

“Mom, quick…look at that lady!” My fourteen-year-old son shouted as we were headed down the interstate on an errand-running Thursday afternoon. “She should not be doing that,” he added for emphasis.

I glanced over at the car next to us, expecting to see someone without her hands at the ten and two o’clock positions like my by-the-rulebook-boy does when training behind the wheel. Instead, I nearly ran off the road while gawking at what my Driver’s Ed patrolman had spotted.

Next to us was a woman cradling her cell phone on her right shoulder; holding an open fast-food salad container in her left hand; ripping open a salad dressing packet with her teeth and her right hand…all while steering her car with her knees!

What in the world!? My boys and I thought surely, if she kept up this multi-tasking method of driving, she was going to cause a crash.

“I would NEVER attempt to do all of that when I drive,” I smugly thought to myself. “Entirely too dangerous and probably against the law.” Yep, when it comes to being a safe-driving expert, the apple doesn’t fall far from the “Honey-you-didn’t-use-your-blinker-back-there” maternal tree.

It wasn’t until later that night it hit me. Yes, I may not dangerously multi-task when driving, thereby risking collision. But in my day-to-day life? In my schedule? In my “sure-I-can-take-on-one-more-responsibility-so-everyone-will-like-me” way? I sometimes dangerously multi-task to the point I am headed for a crash.

Taking on too many responsibilities, no matter how “good” they may be, can often render us ineffective for service to God. Yet, He knows our limits. He understands are capacities. He is willing, if we will ask Him, to help us navigate the busyness and activity that often trips us up.

On one of my so-busy-I-couldn’t-breathe days, I read today’s key verse. While I’m sure the author David was talking about actual physical enemies — men who could chase, catch and ultimately hurt you — I realized that day my enemy was busyness. Too many activities and responsibilities outside my four walls were about to do me in. They chased me, cornered me and worst of all, were about to go in for the kill.

Thankfully, God can rescue us from the barren life of busyness. He invites us to hold our too-full plates up to Him, allowing Him to scrape off all the activities and responsibilities. Then, place back on our plates only the items HE longs for us to possess.

When this happens, we can create space in our calendar to retreat, places of sweet respite in our days where we connect with God. Times when we slow down and sit still to listen and learn from the Creator of time itself.”

I think this passage speaks for itself.  It was like God open-handedly (but gently ;)) tapped me on the forehead and said, “duh, this is what I’ve been trying to tell you“.  I knew I didn’t have the strength to slow down on my own.  This minor bump in the road was just what I needed…as always.

So, instead of waking up early or killing myself trying to get from one thing to the next, I’ve been taking things slow…kinda because I have to, but mostly because I know I should.  At first, I was completely distraught about it.  What was I going to do?  How was I going to stay in shape?  What about the rest of basketball season?

Then I realized…It’s all in God’s hands.  He takes care of and provides for His children.  Another thing I was reminded of in church this Sunday, was the fact that I need to be THANKFUL, even in tough times.  This verse has been ringing in the forefront of my mind for the past few days:

James 1:2-4

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

God is molding me right before my own eyes.  It’s exciting!  And I’m thankful 🙂 

After church on Sunday, Jarid & I hit our favorite lunch spot, aka Wegmans.  For him: crabcake sandwich with garlic bacon mashed potatoes.

For her: brown rice tuna roll along with an awesome side salad.  We shared some fruit, too!  Strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, and grapes.

Steamed broccoli, blanched green beans, grilled red pepper, shrimpies, black bean & corn salsa, cucumbers, and mushrooms all over a bed of baby spinach.

It was quite the feast!  After, we walked rolled around the store checking out all the sweet goodies.  I also snatched up some provisions for this week’s lunches.

Momma FF had the whole family over for dinner that night. 

They had sandwiches and noodles.  While I did snatch a few slices of turkey, I also whipped up a spread of my own:

 Butternut squash & parsnip fries roasted at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes with reduced sugar ketchup +  kelp noodles in an avocado/pea mash, per Elise’s imaginative combination.

 For once in my life, I’m actually enjoying thankful for rest. 

What’s one thing that at first, you saw as a burden, but are turning it around to show the Lord you’re grateful for EVERYthing he gives you? 

Ex: You reallllllllly can’t stand your workplace, environment, or co-workers, but you’re SO thankful to have a job especially in times like these.

XOXO.

The 700 Club.

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No, not this 700 club

This is officially my 700th post! (:  Thank you to all your wonderful ladies (and gentleman?) who have encouraged me, inspired me, and supported me along the way.

There are quite a few things I’ve gotta catch you guys up on!

1- This past week, Jarid & I went to dinner with Julie & Mike, who we went to the beach with this past summer.

There’s a place in our area where you can eat all the pizza, pasta, and salad you want for just $5.99 called Infinito’s.

Julie & I had basketball practice from 3:30-5:30PM, so we just showered at the locker rooms on campus and met up with the guys for a nice little double date.

Salad bars fear me, I swear.  This one was pretty decent, too!  Baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, mushrooms, beets, banana peppers, carrots, broccoli, chickpeas, oregano, and light italian dressing.

Number two was pretty much identical.  I was stuffed afterward…especially because I managed to down two entire glasses of water.  I guess that’s what running for two hours will do to ya 😉

 2- In between basketball, school stuff, and work, Jarid has been absolutely amazing about making time to see each other. 

 Weekends are the best because we get to spend Friday night, Saturday night, and allll of Sunday together.  This weekend, he came along with us to my little sister’s league championship soccer game.

I was freezing, so he lent me his beanie (: 

Sunday after church, we went to Wegman’s.  It’s a weekly thing, now.

His = chinese, wings, & mac + cheese.

Hers = sushi & veggies. 

(brown rice california roll, roasted veggies (red peppers, mushrooms, b-nut squash, onion), cucumbers, blanched green beans & broccoli

3-  The family was over Saturday afternoon for pumpkin carving and other fun stuff. 

My Momma does a great job of making sure we get to celebrate Fall together.

 

As you can see, some even came costume!  Check out this adorable little penguin 😉

Momma FF had a lovely spread of kid friendly foods including hot dogs,

chicken corn soup, taco dip, cupcakes, bbq, cookies, dirt pudding, and cheese sandwiches (in the shape of bats).

Check out the creative twist on the cupcakes…they’re little eyeballs!

I even set aside two pumpkins for Jarid & I to carve, since he had to work while all the festivities were taking place!

(butterleaf lettuce, chopped baby peppers, chopped asparagus, cukes & mango vinaigrette spritzer)

I wasn’t feeling the party food, so I threw together a nice big salad for lunch (along with an unpictured chocolate vitatop ;))

4- I have a new favorite lunchspot for days I don’t have the time to pack. 

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I think before my date with Jarid at the Pita Pit last week, my go-to lunches were at the Keystone Cafe salad bar.

They’ve got alllll the besttttt toppingsLettuce, spinach, onion, green peppers, tomato, sprouts, mushrooms, banana peppers, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, pickles, olives, sweet peppers, jalapenos, avocado, hummus, feta cheese, etc.

HOLY awesomeness.  I chose the whole wheat turkey with lettuce, spinach tomato, onion, banana peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms, green peppers, deli mustard,  and red pepper hummus on the side for dippage.

I love how they heat up the meat on the grill before they wrap it up in your pita! It made a cozy little spot downtown for a lunch date (: 

Jarid enjoyed his buffalo chicken wrap as well!

5- Please say a prayer for me.  I have a HUGE Anatomy & Physiology test tonight, and I am just trusting God to guide me in studying and helping me to remember the material I learned. 

I realize it may seem like a silly request, I believe in the power of prayer and that nothing is too small to ask for God’s help.  If it’s important to us, it’s important to Him.

Thanks guys!  Love ya’ll.

XOXO.

HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY, BOWMAN!

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One year ago today, hundreds and hundreds of prayers were being sent up for Bowman. 

Being born three months premature is no easy feat, but we knew from the beginning he was a fighter!

  I remember going into the NICU so many times to visit Bran & Jare before I could even see Bowman. 

Each and every one of the nurses absolutely adored him.  He was the “most handsome” baby in the unit.

We celebrated when he turned 100 days old, and we celebrated when he was able to come home from the hospital.

I remember everything from the first time I got to see him to the first time I got to hold him!

As he grew, he developed such a personality!

His little smiles and giggles are enough to melt your heart.

Everytime I visited, it was made clear to me over and over that he is SUCH a miracle and a blessing for our family.

I can’t wait to see what other things God has in store for his life!

I can see so much of his Mom in him, it isn’t even funny.

Those baby blues are easily going to mesmerize the ladies!

His little chin dimple is simply adorable, too. 

Watching my cousin’s motherly instincts take over and seeing the joy that he brings to her life makes me really excited to have a family of my own someday.

He’s such a spunky little guy, yet so well-behaved, too!

It seems like he grows, he only gets cuter….if that’s possible?

He’s got a healthy appetite for life…

…and cake 🙂

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, little man. 

SOOO many people love you SO incredibly much…I guess it’s not hard to see why 😉

Bits & Pieces

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G’morning, blog loves. 
 
I hope this post finds you well-rested, bright-eyed, and bushy tailed this Monday morning.  I certainly didn’t want the weekend to end…
 
Let’s rewind to Friday, shall we?
 
After work, I went home and prepared a nice little meal for the boy & I.  He had to work until 6pm and afterward, we had a “date night” planned. 
He likes pasta, and I had an unopened package of Crum Creek Mills soy protein linguini noodles which I cooked up and covered in Vodka sauce.  I threw in some Coleman Natural Italian Parmesan chicken meatballs.  He really liked it!
My choice of carbs was a little bit different (: Roasted Garlic hummus & Fiber One Multigrain bread.
 
We both enjoyed some salad on the side…
 I threw in some a baby spinach mixed with romaine, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, & purple cabbage and used Fat-free Poppyseed dressing on mine.
 
After dinner, we went to pick out a birthday gift for BOWMAN!  I can’t believe he is already a year old!  We also went sneaker shopping together.  Both of current pairs are beaten and bruised.
 
His:
 
 
 
Hers:
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Yeah, yeah.  His are way cooler.
 
After shopping, we hit the movie theater to see “Crazy Stupid Love” which we both had on our radar since the preview we saw for it.
 
The cast was pretty awesome: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone…and the movie was cute.  I was not disappointed.  Plus, everything is fun when we’re together.
 
Saturday morning, we had breakfast together, too. 
 
Gosh, I love that cheesy smile.
 
Nutrition First pancakes were on the menu!
I really need to get my DLSR camera out when events like this happen.  I think the photography would improve x2193408203.
 
 
I was too busy having fun to worry about the photo quality…sorry! 😉 Sugar-free syrup is good on anything, just for the record…particularly healthy pancakes.
 
The boy was off to work and I was off to the gym.
 
My routine ended up being a little haphazard.  I just kind of did what I wanted to when I felt like it.  I ran a quick two miles on the treadmill at intervals ranging from 6.5-10 mph and then took 45 minutes on the elliptical while I watched “Kindergarten Cop“.
  
I followed up the cardio sesh with some abs and arms: bicycles, oblique v-ups, pushups, crunches, heels to the heavens, etc.
It only took me about an hour & 1/2 to burn up 583 calories!  Not bad, not bad.  Sometimes I struggle to mix up my routine, so my body gets used to the exercise and it’s more difficult to get my heart rate up.  I’ve found that intervals of high speeds & inclines are key!One snack I’ve been LOVING recently are these cookie dough LUNA protein bars.
They taste like raw chocolate chip cookie dough coated in rich chocolate, but they’re stacked with 12g of protein, folic acid, calcium, vitamin D & iron.
 
Until Jarid got off work, I studied a bit for my Psychology class…yes, I know I haven’t mentioned it on the blog, but I am taking two summer classes…Psych & English Comp II.
 
 
The Development chapter is most definitely my favorite so far.  It is so incredible to me how intricate God’s blue print for our bodies was…especially after reading about the growth of a fetus.
 
 

UH. MAY. ZING.

Speaking of development….when JMS got off work, we were headed to Bowman’s FIRST BIRTHDAY party!

I was super proud of him for digging right into his cake like a champ!

The party was “cowboy themed“, so naturally the birthday boy sported a hankercheif around his neck and a straw hat. Cutest cowboy ever.

My Aunt is a pretty talented pastry chef, and she was the artist behind the masterpieces! 


Bo’s first year of life was quite a roller coaster ride…and a complete miracle.  Weighing in at 1 lb. 10 oz. doesn’t exactly seem like a fair shake at a first shot, does it?  Regardless, he is one of the happiest babies I’ve ever seen.  Such a little lover.

At the party, they had a table set up for Bo’s favorite charity organizations. They requested that we not bring gifts, even though we didn’t listen, and instead to give money to a cause of our choice.  Jarid gave to World Vision, and I gave to the Hershey Children’s Hospital where Bo stayed for the first few months of his life.  I loved the idea.

Since it’s back-to-work Monday, I guess I’ll go get some things done…I’ll leave you with the verse of the day to help you get through 😉


Food for thought, definitely.

Hope you all have wonderful Mondays (:

 

XO.

Phillies Phanatic & Pizza Palooza.

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My weekend started off with a bang at Citizens Bank Park in Philly, where I watched them spank some Pirates 😉  Remember when my Godfather & I went to the game last year?

Well, this year we brought a new member of the Phillies Phamily with us 😉

That’s right!  My date to the game was Bowman.  Jarid was actually in Philly, but he was visiting a friend from college for the weekend.  Actually, Momma FF came with me in his place, but she & I didn’t get a picture together, which I’m a little bummed about!

He’s officially a movie star now.  The Comcast Camera found him in the crowd and he was definitely on TV with his Daddy for about a minute!

I spotted a froyo place on the way to our seats, which I knew, inevitably I would be giving my business to later in the night.

The place was called “Yogen Fruz“.  It gave the option of chocolate, vanilla, or sorbet base, and then fruit mixed straight into the yogurt, but I just kept it simple with a twist (choc&vanilla).  Totally worth the wait.

Other exciting events this weekend included pizza making!  In fact, I had it two days in a row, it was that good.

Ever since the beach, I’ve been craving pizza, so here’s what I gathered up:

Clean CravingsJust Crusts, Laughing Cow – Light Blue Cheese

Athenos Roasted Garlic Hummus, Light Mozzarella String Cheese, Sriracha Hot Sauce

Spinach, tomatoes, onions, red peppers, steamed broccoli, part skim ricotta cheese, and grilled chicken.  You see, I had a few varieties in mind, so I went halvsies on the pizzas.

Pizza #1: 1/2 white pizza (part-skim riccotta, steamed broccoli, and light mozzarella), 1/2 margherita pizza (light mozzarella, tomato, & spinach)

Pizza #2: 1/2 Hummus & Veggie (garlic hummus, chopped red peppers & onion); 1/2 Buffalo Chicken (light blue cheese, grilled chicken, & sriracha)

I was quite the proud pizza momma while these babies were in the oven.  I tried a little slice of each as soon as they were finished!

The favorite child?

Buffalo Chicken.  Hands. Down.

I liked the idea so much, that the next day, I baked some more pizzas…but I was out of my Clean Cravings crusts, so what’s a girl do to?

Use a socca crust recipe?  Don’t mind if I do- Thanks, Chels 😉

I wanted a thick crust and knew I was using a pie pan, so I went with:

  • 1 C. garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 C. + 2 tbsp. water
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Onion powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of xanthan gum (optional)

Once the crust was baked, I loaded on the toppings.  This time I added mushroom to the white pizza and used extra cheese.  Popped under the broiler for a few minutes until it gets gooey & melty… MMmm..

Success!

Oh, and hey, before I go!  This Wednesday is your LAST chance to enter my giveaway of some awesome Protein Bakery goodies!  Make sure you don’t miss out!

Hope your weekends were wonderful!

 

XO.

Paradise Part 4

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Yeah, yeah, it’s just another boring HR monitor picture…I wish there was a better way to capture how fantastic these workouts felt while in the OBX!

With an average HR of 130, I was pretty proud of what I accomplished each morning in just about an hour & a half.

Just like last year, we went out to dinner one night at the beach with my God parents.  It actually ended up being to the same restaurant, too!

I liked how they totally knifed up the bread.  Pay no attention to the fact that my sister is rudely texting at the dinner table 😉

I was too busy listening to everyone talk about how great the crab bisque was!  My Godfather LOVES the soup there.  Personally, my favorite thing about is the view.

They even have live music in the little pavillion out there on the water.  Some older couple began dancing part way through our meal.  TOO cute.

I ordered the lump crab meat, which came with two sides, but I just asked for 1 heaping garden salad (two side salads), and this is what they came out with.  I loved how they chopped the cucumbers into sticks 🙂 I got red wine vinegar on the side for dressing + salt & pepper.

JACKPOT 🙂  I asked them not to broil it with butter…just crabmeat, straight up ❤

Did you know what a protein powerhouse crab could be?

Yeah.  I’d say this dish had about 8oz. which means 140 calories and 28g of protein in my belly. 

After dinner, we went back to the casa and let the food digest.  I spent my time hanging with this handsome little guy while the rest of the family played games.

Bowman & that little chin dimple can melt my heart completely!  Can’t believe he will be 1 year old in a little over a month!

Short recap, I know…  but it was my favorite dinner of vacation!  More to come in a later post 😉

XO.

Paradise Part 1

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I know it’s taken awhile for me to get these pictures uploaded, so let’s get things started, shall we?  Before the vacation could start, we went to support our cousin, Allison at her graduation.

She is a great soccer player and will be attending PSU Harrisburg next year, joining their team!  It was pretty cool that my Dad had the opportunity to present her with her diploma since he’s on the school board 😉

Afterward, there were photos and tears.  The party came to our place afterward for a campfire & reception.

Before I left for vacation, the boyfriend took me on a date.

Since we wouldn’t be seeing each other for about a week & 1/2, it was deemed necessary to have a date night…this was complete with chinese food

steamed mixed vegetables with shrimp

and Kung Fu Panda 2…in 3D 😀

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After a wonderful send off, it was time to get the roadtrip started…My sister, Myranda & I were driving down together in a car by ourselves for the first time.  Typically, we go with our parents, but they were going to a tournament of my youngest sisters’ first and wouldn’t be getting to the beach until a day later. 

When we arrived in the Outer Banks, it was about lunchtime, and this little guy was hungry so we made a pitstop at Pizza Hut.  We had been traveling with my Godparents, my best friend, and her family…which included Bowman 🙂  His first beach trip was SO exciting!

Anyway, lunch looked like this…

Not too bad for a Pizza Hut salad bar, huh?  My thoughts exactly 🙂

When we finally were able to check in at our beach house, I decided to take a tour so you all could see it.

Welcome to Blue Point at milepost 16.8 in Nags Head, NC. 

There were three floors, of which, my bedroom was on the second. I was bunking with Allison (my cousin), and my two sisters…plus, my sister’s boyfriend, Braxton.

We were right across the street from the ocean and could see it from our deck. 

The kitchen was on the top floor,

but there was a little mini prep area on the 1st floor that I took full advantage of using for my grocery stock. Yep, you better believe I brought my Oster blender. How else would I make my protein shakes in the morning?! 🙂

 I filled the cupboards with goodies from home, too!  Most mornings, my Godfather picked up donuts for the house to nosh on for breakfast and dinner, most people in the family went out to eat, except my immediate family.  It was just fine with me because cooking and meal prep is limited while I’m at home due to such a busy schedule.  It was nice to have time to prepare and sit down to enjoy my meals while on vacay.

The goods included: Fiber One cereal, Coconut Macaroon coffee (a la Target), Seaweed Snacks, Nature’s Own whole grain bread, Udi’s Gluten-free Vanilla granola, Eat.Think. Smile Crispy Thins, About Time protein powder, xanthan gum, dark unsweet cocoa powder, vitamin water zero, mini clif bars, Pepsi Max, oat bran, Amy’s low fat split pea soup, and some various light dressings.

The game room/pool table, also in the same vicinity as the mini kitchen.  That little table is where I ate most of my lunches!

Most of the time we were there, either baseball or the weather channel occupied the television, with the exception of Monday night, which obviously had to be on ABC for the Bachelorette.

Just another shot of the family room….I’ve always loved how summer homes and beach houses are decorated.  Such bright, happy colors 🙂

As usual, the house also had a pool and hot tub in the back, which the kids took full advantage of.  I spent most of my time on the beach (I can go to a pool anytime, right?), but I did get a nice pool workout in on the last day we were there!  I think this was the first year I didn’t step foot in the hot tub! 

After the tour, everyone settled in, unpacked, and ordered pizza…

I put my freshly bought produce to good use and whipped up a yummy dinner that I’ve been wanting to try for EVER now. 

KELP noodles, a la Elise (<–genius)

  • mashed peas
  • mashed avocado
  • rinsed kelp noodles

For those of you wondering, I’ve been trying to incorporate foods into my diet that have been linked to thyroid health, since I read the book “Must’ve Been Something I Ate“.  The winner of the book still hasn’t claimed her prize, so I’ve decided to pick another winner…

CONGRATS, MARIE 🙂  Please email me your address and I’ll ship you your prize book STAT!  You guys really should check out her blog, Chocolate-Covered Chaos.  It is awesome! 

Annnnnd there’s recap #1!  Stay tuned for numero dos!

XO.