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Weekend Adventures

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Friday night, Jarid & I had a date night planned.  We try to have one night set aside, per week, just the two of us.

The Devil Inside” was a movie that we had wanted to see since the preview scared us out of our seats in the theaters.  Scary movies are something we both enjoy, so it was opening weekend and we were definitely not missing out.  The film was pretty eerie, but had a mediocre ending.

Saturday morning, I took the time to make myself a yummy breakfast before I got to work on the elliptical.

I absolutely LOVE having the time on weekends to prepare a cooked breakfast, since most of the time I’m running out the door with a pair of Kashi waffles and a banana in my hand.

No, a simple yogurt parfait or a bowl of oats just wasn’t going to cut it.  I traded in the quick and easy for a simple, yet comforting Pumpkin French Toast recipe that totally hit the spot.

3 egg whites
1/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. baking powder
cinnamon (to taste)
1 splenda packet
3 slices multigrain fiber one bread (50 calories/piece)

Add first 5 ingredients to a bowl & mix thoroughly.  Dip your bread into the mixture until fully coated.  Simply, spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and cook on the stovetop!

After breakfast, I allowed time for my food to digest by stopping at the post office to pick up one of Jarid’s Christmas gifts that finally decided to arrive.

 I guess I can’t complain since I only ordered it two days before Christmas and it was coming the whole way from China… Haha.  He loves his Portland Trailblazers!  I bought him his favorite player, Aldridge’s jersey…authentic and everything!

Next up: Insane Abs & Elliptical while catching up on missed episodes of The Bachelor on Hulu.

The workout was pretty good, but the show was pretty lame.  This season, most of the stuff has to have been staged…it’s less realistic than watching a soap opera.  Reality Steve is a little harsh, but he’s not far from the truth.

Lunch made up for the lack of entertainment while sweating, though.

1 Health is Wealth “chicken” patty with Tribe Roasted Garlic hummus + reduced sugar ketchup and a side of greens (swiss chard, spinach, & spring mix) rubbed with 1 tbsp. of Lite Gazebo Room dressing

Ya know that’s not gonna fill me up for lunch, so I roasted some parsnip fries, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, and butternut squash (salted & peppered) in the oven, drizzled in some more reduced sugar ketchup.

Boom. Fantabulous lunch.

Afterward, I was off to watch the lil seester play some basketball at my alma mater.

I want to make it to as many games as I possibly can.  She has been there to support me through all my high school and college years, an I can’t wait to watch her progress, too.

After the game, I went to visit Toni, a blogger, a friend, and now, an independant distributer of It Works!  You may have heard of these amazing products recently, as the word is quickly spreading how awesome they are.

When I heard she became a distributor, I was thrilled at the chance to try a wrap and some of the supplements that she would be selling.

I love the fact that it is a detox, rather than one of those phony wraps that promise a “weight loss miracle”.  You know what I’m talking about…those programs that simply wrap you up until you sweat out water weight and claim a “miracle” has occurred.  Not the case with It Works!  Here’s how it goes:

“Our body wraps are a detox. You’ve heard of cleanses where people drink just juice or cayenne water for days? Those cleanse you and your colon from the inside. The Ultimate Body Applicator cleanses from the outside in, targeting your adipose cells, AKA your fat cells. Unless you’ve Lipo-ed your fat cells into oblivion, you’re stuck with the fat cells you have. And beside holding onto fat, they also hold onto toxins, which not only comes from bad eating, but also our environment and even stress. That’s what the Ultimate Body Applicator targets, shrinking your cells back to their normal size. The result is you look tightened and toned. This process takes 72 hours and the results can last 3-5 months!”

ingredients:

Horse chestnut

According to the National Institutes for Health, horse chestnut seed extract is good for treating varicose veins

Green tea

Known to protect the skin from sun damage, caffeine also is showing much promise in fighting wrinkles and sun damage

Bladderwrack

This is a type of seaweed and helps aging skin

Ivy leaf extract

Reports in from Europe say this is good for reducing stretch marks

Horsetail leaf/stem extract

Known to help encourage weight loss

Butcher’s Broom root extract

Combats varicose veins

Guarana seed extract

A shrub rich in caffeine, known as a stimulant, and expected to increase fat burning

Jojoba seed oil

Similar in structure to human skin oils, jojoba is good for unclogging pores

Menthol

Comes from mint, used to treat sun burns and as a topical analgesic

Rosemary leaf oil

Chock full of antioxidants

Eucalyptus leaf oil

Used for acne … Plus, doesn’t it smell wonderful?

These are just some of the wonderful ingredients found in the solution on our Ultimate Body Applicator body wraps. They stimulate and release the toxins and extra fat in your fat cells, then your lymphatic system does the rest of the work. That’s a fancy way of saying you pee it out. THAT’s why we require you drink so much water before, during, and after applying your slimming body wrap. And that, in an organic, botanical nutshell, is what the Ultimate Body Applicator is and how it works.

I’m going to do a full-review in the upcoming week so you can see my crazyyyy results, but for now, I’ll just recap the rest of the weekend.  Sorry for the tease!  I can promise, however, that there’s an opportunity of a giveaway for a WRAP!  Trust me, you want to try it! Both Toni and I didn’t know if we’d see extreme results, since I eat clean & workout all the time, but seriously… Let me just say, I’m completely dumbfounded by my results.  Stay tuned!!

On my way home, I had this delicious muffin for a snack.

Black Forest Light Touch muffin.  Just 135 calories (1.5g fat, 6g protein), made with wheat flour, and wholesome ingredients.

The rest of the night was spent with the surrogates, Jarid, & the family!  Jarid & I made turkey bacon wrapped jalapenos with fat free cream cheese stuffed in the middle.  SOOO yummy! It was a fantastic way to spend Saturday night.

 XOXO.

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Stirred Up.

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 Daily Devotional:

“[For] it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13 (NIV 1984)

 

“I took a sip of coffee and grimaced as I peered into the cup. Everything looked like it should, but the coffee wasn’t sweet. Yet I remembered tearing open the little yellow packets and sprinkling the sweet crystals over the surface of the caramel colored liquid. Then I realized that—while I had added the sugar—I had never stirred it into the coffee. Without that stirring action, the sugar couldn’t work all the way through.

I do this with my faith as well. I add all the necessary ingredients. I’ve got my Bible, my devotion subscription, my godly girlfriends, my church, my special quiet time journal, my praise and worship songs, my verses memorized. If you looked at me, you’d say it’s all there.

But I’d rather avoid the stirring up part, truth be told. I’d tell you that I know it’s good for me. I’d tell you that it’s not good to stay in one place. I’d tell you that you should submit to God and let Him stir you up and that I’d be glad to pray for you during that process.

But me? No. Just leave me alone. Let me sit. I’d rather look okay and be comfortable than be stirred up and reach my full potential.

Have you ever had those feelings?

Maybe today you’re feeling stirred up. Your finances or your job or your marriage or your children or your friendships or your dreams feel like a cyclone is swirling through them, leaving you unsettled and unstable. You might be wondering why God is letting this happen, why He’s forgotten you. Not thinking that it just might be His hand doing the stirring. He’s using those swirling forces to reach all the parts of you that He wants to get to. As today’s verse reminds us, He works in you to accomplish His purpose for you.

 Years ago a friend and I were making a big pot of spaghetti sauce. We left the pot on the stove and went off to join our families outside. But when we returned we smelled something burning. We pulled the lid off the pot to peer at the sauce. The sauce looked fine. All the elements were there: the red color, the thickness of the liquid, the chunks of meat and slivers of onions and spices. It was only as we took a long spoon and dug deep into the pot that we discovered that the sauce at the very bottom had become stuck because we hadn’t been inside stirring it up, keeping it moving, not letting it settle. When things get settled, they become stuck.

As you are stirred up in life, thank God that He loves you enough to not let you get stuck, to not leave you bitter. The elements are there—and that’s important—but it’s in the stirring that we become all that He has in mind.”

[source]

Breakfast: Sliced pear + Laughing Cow Light Swiss & Cinnamon on a whole wheat cinnamon raisin sandwich thin.

Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty lousy about the fact that it seems like I have to do everything half-assed.  You don’ t have to tell me that writing on my blog recently has been less than stellar.  I’m aware.  My team doesn’t feel like we’re meshing at all during practice.  I’m supposed to be a leader.  My A&P grade is no where close to where I need it to be.  To add to the mix, I’m teaching my first nutrition class this Saturday morning, and I’m not the least bit prepared.  At work, I feel stacks of paperwork piling up.   At home, I’m stressed about everything that I’m not completing…Jarid has been totally gracious and helpful in keeping my attitude stay in check.  I feel bad though, because when we’re together, I want to be the best girlfriend I can be for him…Not one aspect of my life, do I feel like I’m fulfilling to the best of my ability.

This devotional made me realize, that although I feel as though I’m being pulled in 1920348039468 different directions, God is the one who’s doing the pulling.  He made these opportunities possible for me for a reason.  There’s a greater purpose that maybe I can’t see in the moment, but He’s in control.   

Baby spinach salad with shredded cabbage, sliced baby bell peppers, cucumber, roasted parsnips, jicama, roasted turkey breast & Annie’s Lite Honey Mustard

He might even be using these things in my life to touch and shape me in the areas that are unreachable in any other way.  He’s using me for His purpose, and I can find joy in that.

 
Anytime I can spend with this guy is a blessing counted.

This weekend, I made him chicken fajitas with some simple frozen veggies (red & green peppers and onions), chicken strips, Mrs. Dash fiesta lime, and 8 Grain tortillas.  He loves when I cook “healthy meals” for us to enjoy together.  I would’ve typically eaten them with him, but I was craving a big plate of veggies, so the salad you see above is what I ate.

It was the least I could do.  After all, he bit the bullet and tried ice skating with me.

He was a first timer, so I felt bad when he got frustrated….there’s not really any way I could’ve helped him, but we made a couple rounds holding hands…the rest of the time, he was kind of glued to the wall, which is exactly the way I was my first time.

Probably not the best time to take a picture, I realize…but it’s moments like this that I never want to forget…besides, he says he wants to go back.  I mentioned once that I would love to skate in the Rockerfeller center in NYC at Christmas time…he’s determined to be there holding my hand (:

What’s something God is teaching you right now?

What’s something you’ve got on the “bucket list”?

XO.

The Early Bird Gets The Worm.

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Getting to work at 6:45am isn’t as easy as I thought it would be…although utilizing our families Keurig coffee makes the commute much more tolerable.

Working 7am-3pm wasn’t supposed to make me feel like a zombie, but I suppose it’s worth it, since I’ve been able to attend all of my basketball practices.  I can’t believe our first game is in a few weeks! 

[whole wheat cinnamon raisin sandwich thin + peanut flour paste + mashed naner]

When I do finally arrive at my building after walking under the creepiest bridge ever from the lot I pay to park in downtown, I set up my own little breakfast making station at my desk.  Not many people in the office work the shift I do, so it’s nice and peaceful.

A delicious, healthy breakfast is necessary on days like these…like a consolation prize for my pulling myself out of bed at 5am….NOT for a workout.  Somehow, it was easier when I knew I’d be sweating and revving up my body at that time back in the booty camp days.

Mid-morning snack (aka, breakfast #2) = Lemon 0% Chobani + 1 of Katie’s Coconut Almond Macaroons crumbled in.

Before I know it, my lunchtime arrives.

This picture doesn’t do justice to how large my salad truly is.   A huge bed of chopped green leaf lettuce, broken asparagus spears, baby bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and english cucumbers. The large and in charge bottle to the left is a new product which I LOVE and found at Wegman’s.

 

Mango Vinegar Spritzer

Ingredients: Mango Juice, White Wine Vinegar, Natural Mango Extract, Xanthan Gum, Sulphide Dioxide; 1 tbsp = 15 calories

HUGE fan…although it did cost me about $6.

Before practice, I usually have some type of candy fuel.  These bars are my favorite…Elise’s recommendation.  120 calories, made from brown rice syrup, dates, and other wholesome ingredients.  What you’re not seeing is ziplock baggie of frozen grapes that I ate, too.  Nature’s sugar at it’s best.

After a two hour practice, I’m pretty beat, but it’s a good kind of beat, you know?  On days I don’t have class, I go straight home to get a shower…and then, when I’m out, I devour dinner (hence, no photos).  Usually, it’s something effortless like steamed vegetables (broccoli slaw, peas, snap peas, green beans – whatever is in my freezer), protein (whether it’s ff cottage cheese, grilled chicken, or deli turkey), and carb (brown rice, ww bread, oat cake). 

Then, for dessert before bed, I always have a shake.  I have been using 1/2 scoop Vega chocolate & 1/2 scoop chocolate whey together and it is delish.  Helps me sleep, too!

If you’re counting, that’s two cheeseball “thumbs up” pictures in one post.  I guess I’m a little awkward on camera.  Haha.  Sidenote: Jarid also likes to point out that when I’m alone in a photo, I always tilt my head to the left a little bit.  It’s too funny, now that I look back on all the pics he has of me.

Do you have a signature picture pose?

XO.

Breakfast With A Side Of Compassion

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You are young, but don’t let any person treat you like you are not important.  Be an example to show believers how they should live.  Show them with the things you say, with the way you live, with your love, with your faith, and with your pure life.”

– 1 Timothy 4:12

2 Kashi blueberry waffles with frozen, microwaved blueberries ontop

Along with breakfast this morning, I read and responded to a beautiful little letter from one of my Compassion International sponsored children.  If you ask me, this little guy is going to be one heck of an artist if he chooses to be (:  He’s only in kindergarten and check out what he drew!

I hope his picture brightened your Tuesday morning up as much as it did mine! 

 

Bodacious Banana-Blueberry Overnight Oats

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There’s definitely something to be said for being prepared.  After a long day at work, afternoon at the gym, and night at class, the last thing I felt like doing was coming home to prepare my meals for the next day

…but boy, am I sure glad I did.  This bowl of Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats was well worth the effort.

Here’s what I used incase you’re interested 😉

  • 1/3 C. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oat Bran
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. of chia seeds (plumping factor!)
  • 1/2 C. Almond Breeze
  • 1/2 C. water
  • 2 packets of Splenda
  • 1 handful of frozen blueberries
  • toppings: 1/2 banana sliced & 1 spoonful of pineapple Chobani

    Along with my breakfast, comes the verse of the day:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” – Philippians 2:1-2

God is good.  ALL the time.

 

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!  ❤

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.