Finally, I am BACK in bloggie world! At least for the morning until I return to fun summer vacation land. I am catching up with my posts and your lives…I started to get stressed by my lack of posting and commenting but it seems like a lot of you are going through the same thing! Between work and friends and having FUN, there just aren’t always enough hours in the day.  And besides, if I skimp on enjoying myself to blog, you guys will be treated to many boring, cranky posts and nobody wants that :)

Tuesday morning I finally got my act together with fresh fruits and made a v. satisfying yogurt mess. Perfect summer food!

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I ended up getting major props from my bosses in a staff meeting for all the work I’ve been doing the last few days, which is always nice. I’ve been getting hungry early for lunch so right at 12 I nibbled on some veggies.

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Then I had another pricey frozen meal…I couldn’t resist this one! I’ve been dying to try the Kashi pesto pasta and I FINALLY found it. I have been looking every time I go into the grocery store and never see it! The promise of a good meal…

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…totally worth it!!! This stuff was awesome for just under 300 calories!

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I have been less snacky the last few days at work because I’ve been too busy to think about food! I did bring a cinnapple though that I crunched on later in the afternoon.

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After work I headed over to see Stephanie’s new place.  She and Josh just moved to a cute neighborhood and a big apartment.  Josh had me do a walk through and give decorating ideas, which of course I loved.  Steph made great salads topped with hummus.  I couldn’t even finish this though because I was stuffed from the gorgeous turkey burgers she made!

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After dinner and lots of catching up, Steph and I walked down to Penguins to get some delicious froyo. No skimping on the sprinkles here!!!

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Wednesday morning I had another regular :)

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Work was more of the busy bee season.  At noon I heated up Progresso Minestrone soup, one of my old school favorites.

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With corn cut from the cob and one of Steph’s homemade oatmeal muffins on the side!

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I have never been the biggest fan of spicy food, but after having Julia’s firey pork dish the other night, I am loving things HOT! I bought this Tabasco to keep at work and added a little to my soup. Loved it!

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My boss gave me props again!  He usually tells us our writing sucks (1. SO supportive and 2. it doesn’t) but he told me this time that I was great at understanding a complex situation and writing under pressure and a huge help putting together the urgent materials we needed this week. That helps make it all worth it :)

Cinnapple made an appearance later in the afternoon.

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After work I had a crazy random craving for TJ Pineapple salsa. BEST salsa ever! If you haven’t tried this yet, you must!

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I used it to dip some salted zucchini.

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For dinner I made a serving of TJ eggplant with a serving of whole wheat pasta on the side. I’ve NEVER seen WW shells before. I get so bored of the rotini and spaghetti and loved eating a new shape :)

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After dinner, Miss Master of All Trades colored my hair a gorgeous honey blonde. The roots were getting dark! Actually, someone called me brunette so I just wanted to clear up that little situation. Julia did an AMAZING job!!! We are thinking about adding in some highlights too.  I had half of this TJ beer while she was working away.

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Plus a Skinny Cow for dessert after Jules styled and blew out my hair for me :)

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All right lovies that’s it from me for now. I am off to the beach!!! Happy 3 day weekend!!

Happy weekend everyone! The sun is finally shining, which makes me SO HAPPY! Friday morning I enjoyed the usual, except with blueberry yogurt since the store was out of my favorite vanilla.

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Since both my bosses were gone for the day, I made sure to take a long and leisurely lunch. I started with some mango and kiwi.

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Followed by Thursday dinner leftovers on a La Tortilla Factory wrap.

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All rolled up!

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Then I headed outside with The Alchemist and read for a bit in the sunshine. I even treated myself to a chocolate/vanilla swirl froyo with chocolate sprinkles. The place right near my office has a size called “Baby” that’s perfect when you are looking for a just a little taste!

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The rest of the day was pretty busy — I even had to stay late! I know, on a Friday, what’s up with that?! I think my long relaxing lunch was definitely worth it though. On the way to the gym, I munched on some cinnapple cubes. I had half before doing some light elliptical for 40 minutes and the rest on the way to the grocery store where I picked up some ingredients for a special dessert :)

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Back home, I whipped up some half whole wheat/half white flour dough for pizza! As usual, I used 1/3 to make a thin crust veggie pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, basil, red onion, red pepper, and mushroom. It was delicious, no big surprise!

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After some lounging and TV watching, I made dessert! Inspired by the great strawberries I picked up at the Farmer’s Market, I started with some biscuits…

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…which turned into strawberry shortcake! Bisquick single packets make these a breeze. You just add water and 10 minutes later you have 150 cal biscuits that are perfect for shortcakes!

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The rest of the weekend is coming!! For some reason my computer isn’t liking these long posts and  I have lots of good pictures for you guys :)

Wow, it’s been a crazy two days! Wednesday morning I had the usual yogurt mess, which was delicious as always.

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The day was taken up by some PR drama with a cap D! One of our clients got some unexpected uncontrolled unplanned (but not bad!!) coverage on Perez, MTV, Entertainment Tonight…so it was a busy morning. Lunch was a frozen Kashi meal I’ve been wanting to try — Lemongrass Coconut Chicken.  Not going to lie, it was the coconut flakes that caught my eye!

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I added some more veggies for extra color :)

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Around 2, I ended up eating some fruit (mango, kiwi, cinnapple) while heading over the hill to help smooth over another sitch and found myself at Kendra’s bachelorette party (yes, from The Girls Next Door). Only in LA, huh?? All the girls were sweet and cute as buttons!

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Since I was already in the Valley, I headed over to Kate’s house for dinner. She and her boys had already eaten, so I snagged a few bites of her amazing pasta before eating myself.  Kate gave me a list of every food under the sun and then I got to customize my own meal. And she cooked it for me!! I love cooking, but it’s so amazing to kick back with a glass of wine while someone else makes you a plate of delicious food, right?! Now presenting dinner by KJ — here’s a face to match with the name…imagine THIS zen lady standing over the stove instead of coasting down an air slide and that’s the scene.

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Hi guys!  This is Katie Jo.  Tonight dinner was on me because Tates was stressed and needed a girls night.  We opened a bottle of red wine I’d been saving and watched trashy television. On the menu was pasta with tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and mushrooms all sauteed together.  On the side we had baked chicken in a homemade marinade and a couple slices of fresh kalamata bread.  It was a fun night of cooking and girl talk that we topped off with a quick stop at Pinkberry.

Kate’s boyfriend snapped the photos of my dinner.  Yup, literally didn’t have to do anything for this meal but eat it!

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We debated going to Aroma for dessert but I haven’t had the pink in so long! I got an original tart and pomegranate swirl topped with mini chocolate chips, blackberries and blueberries. I couldn’t get a good photo so I finally gave up to eat this goodness :)

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I got home and passed out so hard! I woke up this morning still exhausted for whatever reason. My yogurt mess was good but didn’t do much to energize me. Too bad I don’t have any of that caffeine granola!!

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All the events from Wednesday carried over and the day was pretty crazy again. I managed to squeeze in a yummy veggie-overload Lean Cuisine ravioli bowl for lunch.

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I also was able to swing by the Farmers’ Market to get some fresh veggies.  My fridge is thanking me right now!!  Late afternoon, we celebrated my boss’s birthday with a big cake. I am not the hugest fan of white cake, but I do love icing so I had a few bites. After working late, I went home for an early-ish dinner.  I snacked on a few hummus dipped green beans while cooking.

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I used some of my FM veggies to make a bowl with red peppers, onions, eggplant, chicken, zucchini, and 4 mini potato pierogies.

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Dessert was the usual Skinny Cow. Imagine this one but dipped in rainbow sprinkles for some outer layer crunch! Genius.

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Right now I am going to have some tea and try to catch up on your gorgeous lives! Hope everyone has a kickass FRIDAY!!! Weekend rolls around again :)

Thursday morning I woke up extra early to get to the doctor’s office.  Since it’s Friday night now and I am having a relaxing evening & don’t want to harp on it, let’s just say it was not a great morning. One big shot in the arm later, I headed off to work with 2 slices of Newsroom bread heels topped with Better N’ Peanut Butter and cherry jelly.

This lovely times 2!

This lovely slice times 2!

I grabbed another coffee on the way to work; I needed the caffeine!

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I also chomped on a mango after getting to the office.

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Lunch was the rest of my gorgeous Aroma tofu rice bowl leftovers. Still amazing!

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With acorn squash on the side.

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Thursday was a pretty rough day at work. Things have been a little intense lately. I need to figure out how to go there with an attitude adjustment so I’m not so stressed out!  Luckily I had a movie date with Katie Jo and India. Dinner was pretty random…I started with more acorn squash,

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followed by an apple,

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and then a box of Junior Mints!

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Junior Mints are my favorite movie candy! I haven’t had a box of these in so long! We ended up seeing Angels & Demons, which wasn’t anything amazing but I love movie theaters in general, so I was happy :)

This morning I woke up early and got to work before the day officially started, giving me some time with breakfast and Reader.  The usual yogurt mess, with a whole banana today since I mostly had Kashi dust left in the box.

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I kicked off lunch with some mango. So fresh and delicious!

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Lunch was turkey on a La Tortilla Factory wrap…I tossed in a few of my BBQ pop chips. I love the crunch!

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Plus some more chips, green pepper slices, and red cabbage on the side.

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I have been insanely snacky the last two days! I was full the rest of the afternoon but wanted to munch and crunch anyway. Luckily I packed a cinnapple, which kept me from buying froyo or a chocolate bar!

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Don’t worry, I was just saving my treats for after dinner! First, homemade veggie pizza on the dough I made last weekend.

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Followed by some of the best ice cream I’ve had in a while — Ben & Jerry’s half baked froyo! Chocolate and vanilla low fat frozen yogurts with fudge brownies and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough…yes please!!!

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I ate this while watching The Heartbreaker. Pretty hoaky but some funny parts too! Ah, it’s so nice having a relaxing night with nothing to worry about tomorrow. Still coming up with plans for Saturday night; anyone doing anything super exciting??

Happy weekend y’all :)

I finished off the last of the PB Puffins in my yogurt mess today. Why are these so darn addictive??

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For lunch today, I made a turkey wrap on a La Tortilla Factory tortilla with some TJ tomato & basil hummus and red cabbage. A somewhat strange but very filling combo! Paired with a mango and a few pieces of fruit from the office spread, this meal held me over almost until the end of the day.

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Right before leaving for the day, I dug into my cinnapple from yesterday. You know how people suggest adding lemon to keep a cut apple fresh? It seems like cinnamon does the same thing! I diced this apple Tuesday early morning and ate it Wednesday afternoon and it was still crisp and not browned at all.

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After work I decided to go for a hike instead of going to the gym. The sun was FINALLY out, even though it wasn’t hot. The cool air is much better for the hike though! I did a light jog on the way back down the canyon…makes the trip downhill so fast :)

Dinner was inspired by Julia’s new plates. Aren’t these cute??

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I went Italian-style with a serving of TJ breaded eggplant topped with sauce and a little light cheese & a side of shirataki noodles with sauce, mushrooms, red onion and basil. The eggplant was SO GOOD as usual.  Pasta probably would have tasted better; I only really like these noodles in stir fry I think. But it left lots of room for dessert!

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Cookies & cream Skinny Cow while watching True Blood. Perfect combo!

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Three Things for Wednesday

  1. Brought chips to eat with lunch but skipped them
  2. Tacked on an extra bit to my hike
  3. Made shirataki noodles instead of pasta for dinner

Earlier I was talking to my girl over at What Do I Eat Now? about temptation at the office. I realized that today we were stocked with muffins, brownies, fruit, cheese & crackers, jellybeans, chocolate, tootsie rolls, laffy taffy, runts, swedish fish and sour patch kids. That kind of spread is pretty typical! For the most part, I just avoid it all because once I start, it can be hard to stop! Does anyone else have lots of food temptations at work? How do you keep from just snacking all day long?

Friday morning, usual breakfast. Someone brought in a big box full of donuts but my yogurt mess was just so much more appealing. I can’t go without it!

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I packed lots of veggies for the day, so I broke into my sugar snap peas at 11 to tide me over until lunch.

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These greens held me over for an hour or two before I heated up a can of Progresso onion soup. At 100 calories, this is PERFECT for bulking up! I had a slightly stale piece of ciabatta bread that soaked up the soup wonderfully and tasted amazing.

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I had more colors on the side; orange butternut squash…

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…and yellow pepper slices!

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I had a hankering for a sweet treat and since it was pay day, I swung by Coffee Bean on my way to the bank and grabbed a light half mocha half vanilla no-sugar added Ice Blended. When did coffee names get so LONG?! Anyway, it totally hit the spot :)

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Friday at work was much less intense than the rest of the week, and we all got some catch-up work done. Right before I left the office, I had a cinnapple for workout fuel. Eating a small snack right at the end of the day is a great gym motivator because I always want to go burn it off and build up my appetite again for dinner!

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I did 45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical before heading to Ulta for some glam accessories for the night. I needed eyeliner and ended up with a new mascara and some fake eyelashes too! Got to play up those baby blues! Anyone else try the false lashes before? Last night was my first time and they looked awesome and were so easy to wear, even though I was worried about them falling off all night LOL :)

I headed home for a dance party with the roommate while we got showered and ready. Kate J and Kate W came over for pizza and wine. (Yes, another Kate! Are you confused yet?!). I had two slices of the veggie pizza from Cheebo but skipped the booze.

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Then we made our way over to the Viper Room to hear Katie Jo’s boyfriend’s band. The music video came out AWESOME! There are some really cool shots of yours truly in there! I will definitely put up the link after the guys post it online. I grabbed a Bud Light and we all danced the night away. The whole gang came out in full force, and it was great to see everyone. I also ran into my ex, who I haven’t seen in months. It was really weird talking to him…the girls reclaimed me though and we headed to another bar for more dancing. I did two rounds of girly watermelon shots before calling it a night. Best part about hosting dinner at your place before going out? Leftover pizza when you get home!

Saturday morning I woke up early and still totally full from my late night pizza snack. I watched TV for a while and made a batch of whole wheat pancakes around 10 AM. I gave these a sweet twist by adding 1 tbsp cocoa powder and the last 10 semi-sweet chocolate chips I found in a bag in my closet. These few choc chips were the perfect touch! Topped with 1 tbsp vanilla bean maple syrup and 1/2 banana…

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After breakfast, I bummed around for a bit and cleaned a little too. A little after noon, I decided to run a few errands and made a piece of toast with Better N’ Peanut Butter and cherry jelly to hold me over for the next few hours.

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I headed over to the office since I left my camera cord there and couldn’t charge or upload photos. Can’t have that!!! The parking lot was oddly full…?! After Target and TJ, I went home and eagerly dug into my splurge purchase, PUFFINS!

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This cereal and I had to break up for a bit because I couldn’t NOT finish the box in two days. I snacked on a few extra handfuls throughout the afternoon, but didn’t sit down with the box and mindless just eat it — that’s progress :)

Around 8, I headed over to Whole Foods where the nicest guy behind the meat counter helped me pick out a 4 ounce piece of organic beef. I had such a craving for red meat and mashed potatoes! This dinner was one of my very favorite meals growing up. I made the smash using 1 Russet potato boiled and mixed with a little less than a tablespoon of butter and a few splashes of milk and salt. I finished out the meal with some corn, sugar snap peas, and hickory BBQ sauce for dipping. I felt just like I was at the dinner table in Jersey again!!!

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I had good intentions to go out but ended up relaxing at home instead. I’ve been looking for a new TV show to watch and decided to give True Blood a try. I ended up staying awake until 2 AM catching up on the first season — I really like it! I had a Skinny Cow and one more handful of Puffins while watching.

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Three Things for Friday

  1. Avoided the donuts in the office
  2. Got a light Ice Blended to curb my sweet tooth
  3. Skipped the wine with dinner

Three Things for Saturday

  1. Used 1 potato to make my mashed potatoes for portion control
  2. Portioned my meat by having the butcher wrap up 4 ounces of meat (my eyes are usually bigger than my stomach!)
  3. Ate a Skinny Cow for dessert instead of going out to get ice cream

Wednesday night, I was feeling pretty tired so I decided it would be a good idea to just lay down for a bit. Ehhh…I woke up at 3:30 AM, lights on, clothes on, contacts in, makeup & hair a wreck!! After a nice tooth brushing session, finding jammies and doing some face cleansing, I made it back into bed for a much sounder 3 more hours of sleep. I awoke feeling not too refreshed and super hungry! My coffee kept me satisfied for the drive over to the office until I could assemble this beaut.

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Lunch was a last minute grab-and-go Lean Cuisine, with a side of broc to bulk it up a bit.

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I used my break to catch up on my Reader (finally, sorry for the lack of commenting y’all!) and hit up the Farmers’ Market for some fresh produce. The last $6 in my wallet bought me an eggplant, a bunch of basil, 3 peppers (green, yellow, red), 4 baby zuchini, and a bag of sugar snap peas. My fridge will be very happy to see this greenery!

Later in the afternoon, I had a pre-workout snack of a heated cinnapple with 1 serving of crushed ak-mak crackers. I did this once with a Lorna Doone shortbread 100-cal cookie pack and it tasted like a yummy pie crust but ak-mak crackers don’t exactly have the same effect. I bet graham crackers would be good though! Everyone in my office was still jealous of how delicious it smelled…

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I almost had a mini freakout at work yesterday.  I have been sick-to-my-stomach missing home and decided to go back in July to see my family. I looked into flights on Monday; between then and yesterday (had to get vacation time approved, check with my family’s schedule, all that jazz), tickets went up $150. Actually, I found the one I wanted to book Wednesday morning but had to wait for my boss’s final okay which I got after lunch. Yes, prices went up $60 in those few hours. Then, thanks to some small miracle, as I was in the process of booking the flight, a message popped up telling me “GOOD NEWS” and that it had dropped back down to the morning price point. No idea why but hey, I’ll take it!  I couldn’t select a seat on the return flight for some reason but at least it’s booked!!! I can’t wait to go back to Jersey and spend a few days at the beach with my family :)

After work, I assessed my mile-long to-do list and decided that a gym session was definitely in order. Luckily I had some good mags from the office and was able to do 50 minutes of intervals on the elliptical before heading home. 

Dinner was prompted after seeing some delicious TJ potstickers on Slim Shoppin’s site. I whipped out my own slightly freezer burned bag and cooked the remaining 4 in a little soy sauce with salted edamame and a great blend of veggies on the side.

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With the potstickers coming in at 130 calories for 4, this whole dinner was pretty light for me so I decided to roast some butternut squash to use in Friday’s lunch and have some of the extra as a little snack. I’m very proud of myself for waiting the 40 minutes of slow roasting and not just caving in and making rice which was my other thought! The squash was well worth the wait.

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Later I got my Skinny Cow on with a minty cold dessert! This was much needed after I did all my laundry and then the cat peed in my bed. Again.

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I’m so glad the weekend is here again already! I am always amazed when Friday rolls around so quickly, even on my busiest weeks. Tonight I am going to see Katie Jo’s boyfriend’s band play at the Viper Room. They are debuting that music video we all did a few months back. Hopefully I can get a link of it so you can see all of our “partying rockstar groupie” impressions in the video :)

Three Things for Thursday

  1. Ate a cinnapple for workout fuel instead of relying on the usual bar
  2. Marinated the potstickers in 1 tbsp of soy sauce instead of using it for dipping (I use so much less that way!)
  3. Waited for the squash to roast instead of making brown rice with my dinner
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