Friday, October 28, 2011

Costco and new glasses

I left work at 1 p.m. today because I have to work tomorrow afternoon through midnight. In the spirit of Halloween, I ate dirt cake someone brought into work.

dirt cake

My mom came to visit me at work and we had lunch together, which was a nice change from eating at my desk all alone. After I clocked out, we drove out to the new Costco in Pewaukee.

My mom stood in line to join Costco and I started filling up our cart with almond butter, Food Should Taste Good Chips and gum. My mom quit Sam's Club today and I think she'll enjoy shopping at Costco much more. Like I have read, they do have really nice brand names compared to Sam's and I found more healthy food options there too. Otherwise, they're pretty similar stores.

We sampled lots of yummy foods (my favorite food we tried besides cheese was butternut squash ravioli with pesto sauce) and I really enjoyed Sartori cheese from Antigo, WI that came in flavors such as Merlot, Raspberry and Rosemary and Olive Oil. I honestly think that Merlot cheese is something I'll be dreaming about over the next couple of days. I regret not getting any, but my mom can always pick some up for me.

I also thought of the bloggers that love their Vitamix when I saw a huge area devoted to that product and a demonstration of it's ability to blend so well.

Here is what I came home with: Fage and Chobani yogurts, quinoa, MaraNatha almond butter (super cheap for that huge jar, about $5.79), dried mango, floss, contact lens solution, orbit sweet mint gum (about .74 per pack of gum) and Horizon Organic Half and Half (unpictured).


Once I was on the freeway, I avoided a huge traffic jam and took it as a sign to just get off the freeway and drive to Target and pick up my eyeglasses that came in today.

My new glasses fit perfectly and everything looks so crisp through them!



new glasses 1

They are Converse Disarray Purple Eyeglasses from Target Optical.

side view Converse Disarray eyeglasses

Converse Dissaray purple eyeglasses

Converse glasses

side of Converse Dissaray eyeglasses

Karma wanted to smell them!

Karma smelling me and new glasses

The other exciting aspect of my Friday involved getting this in the mail! My husband and I are such computer/Mac nerds. It sounds like it will be an insightful biography and I like the author, Issacson.

Steve Jobs biography from side

Steve Jobs biography


Craig is having a friend over tomorrow while I'm at work, so I need to go to the gym and then clean the house! What an exciting Friday night, huh? :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eros Greek Yogurt and Numi Jasmine Green Tea

This week, I tried a few new food products and new flavors of brands I have had before, so I thought I would share my thoughts on them.

Yesterday's snack and lunch

My snack was Eros Vanilla Greek yogurt (new-to-me brand) with Sweet Cranberry Pecan Love Grown granola (new flavor, brand I have had before) and a cup of Numi Jasmine Green Tea (not sure if I have had their teas before, but I loved this flavor).

The tea really felt like it caffeinated me. I was accomplishing a lot at work yesterday morning!

snack--Numi green tea, eros, love grown

Eros greek yogurt was ok. The texture was nice, but I still love Chobani. You can only find Eros at Whole Foods, so try it for yourself!

I liked the message on the back of the yogurt container.

Eros greek yogurt

Nutrition Facts Eros Greek Vanilla Yogurt

Lunch was a turkey and cheese wrap, a pink lady apple and veggies. I read the Food section of the paper while I ate.

Dessert was an adora dark chocolate calcium disk. I had never had these until this week and I had run out of my old calcium chews, so I figured I would give these a shot. I love the texture and flavor! I will definitely be buying them again.

lunch with Food section of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What I ate today

Kim sent me home with some zucchini muffins last night and I had one with coffee this morning as a snack. I loved the flavor!

zucchini muffin and coffee

Lunch today was curry cauliflower and chickpea rice (also courtesy of Kim's kitchen, she sure hooked me up) and Fage Mango Guanabana greek yogurt (new-to-me flavor and it was very yummy). I really liked the meal Kim gave me to try out.

Anyone else annoyed by how small/skinny the flavor compartment of Fage yogurt is? It drives me nuts every time I eat that brand!

cauliflower, curry rice and fage

Have you tried any new foods lately that you just adore?

I purchased all of the foods shown above except for the Love Grown granola.

Beginner Blogger

Remember back to when you first started you tried to navigate the ins and outs of posting pictures, links, recipes correctly, using twitter and Facebook to promote your blog and creating a header or theme of your own. Blogging takes being somewhat technology savvy and patience!

I have learned so much in my year plus of blogging. I only wish I had time to post more often and the talent to create a new look for my blog.

Yesterday, I offered some of my blogging "expertise" to my friend Kim who is just starting her own food blog (I'll link to it when she has more posts). She cooked me a fabulous vegan dinner in exchange for my help. Kim is doing a 30 day vegan challenge and I am happy to eat vegan food!

I made a list of things to talk about, but I knew we wouldn't get to most of them.

Blogging notes

I was entertained by Kim's bubbly personality and her social kitty Dash while Kim prepped dinner.

Kim cooking vegan meal

We snacked on deliciously fresh french bread and balsamic vinegar and olive oil while sipping some wine.

prepping vegan dinner



She made Vegansaurus's AvoKale noodles and it was so good! I definitely need to make this at home.

AvoKale noodles

Dessert was a carob chip, coconut flake, agave syrup, oatmeal concoction that was also very yummy!

vegan dessert and candle

It was fun helping another blogger get started and was nice to share some tips. I know a lot of other bloggers have written about blogging, so I won't share my list because it's more about the technical things to think about. I did urge Kim to stay private (not share her last name or workplace/position with the world), to join twitter especially, post on her Facebook page if she doesn't mind friends reading her site, wait a bit before becoming a Foodbuzz tastemaker and to use Flickr for uploading her photos. I don't use blogging software, but I know some bloggers use those and upload their photos that way.

Do you have any tips for Kim as she starts her new blog?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I got some of the things that were causing me stress over the weekend straightened out yesterday. :) Phew!

To get moving on my iPhone 4S order, I called the credit check company to see what was flagged in my account. In the end, what caused the flag had nothing to do with my credit and everything to do with my middle initial/name missing from my account. I honestly think it had something to do with the fact that my name has changed since the last time I got my credit checked, because the lady did mention my maiden name towards the end of our conversation and that is what the final paper work I got from the credit check company implied. I barely could understand the woman I was talking to and that is frustrating when you're dealing with something as important as your credit report!

Important thing I learned this week

So, this is a warning for all of you ladies getting married soon who are changing their name. Make sure your credit reports somehow note your maiden and married name, if that is even possible and your middle initial or name. Just something to ask right away when you call to get a credit report or when you are buying something important and big like a house or car.

After that was done and I could breathe a sigh of relief, I was able to call AT&T and get my account cleared.

After work, Craig and I headed over to the AT&T store and completed ordering my iPhone 4S! I will have to be very patient and wait for it to arrive in the mail, which means about three or four weeks without a cell phone. I know I'll survive and then I'll be extra connected to everything once my phone arrives, so I should enjoy the little break.

me with iPhone 4S sign outside of AT&T store

Yes, I had Craig take a picture outside of the store to remember the day by. Total Mac nerd, I know, and I don't care. I did it for the blog, I swear! And for memories. I earned that iPhone with the hassles I endured.

I look about 12 in that picture or just exhausted because it was Monday.

What I've Been Eating

I'm on a real grilled cheese and tomato soup kick. I tried this Garden Tomato Herb Pacific Natural Foods soup for the first time and I love the flavor.

Pacific Natural Foods Garden Tomato Herb soup

There is still a lot of sodium, as there is in most soups, but it's better than some I have seen on the shelves. I was impressed with the ingredients and will be looking for more soups from this brand.

Nutrition Facts Pacific Natural Foods Garden Tomato Herb

For breakfast this morning, I thawed out some pumpkin pancakes I had made a month ago and put Artisana pecan butter on top. This meal really filled me up and I liked topping my pancakes with syrup and the yummy pecan butter. I definitely prefer the pecan butter over the walnut butter.

Artisana Pecan Butter and pumpkin pancakes

Lunch today was tofu and fresh veggies with wasabi dip. I also dipped my tofu in the wasabi sauce which tasted fantastic.

Dessert was banana quinoa pudding. I added some cinnamon to it today and that was a great idea.

veggies and wasabi dip, tofu

What I've Been Reading


I finished The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Poetzsch, but only was able to really read 70% of it and skim the rest before my loan was up. I did pretty good with the skimming and figured out the ending. I enjoyed the book, but would only give it about 3.5 out of 5 stars because a lot of the story could have been cut out.

The cool thing I read in the postscript was that the author's family were real hangmen in the Bavarian region of Germany. He even used one of his family names as the hangman's name in the story. I wish he would have included this piece of information at the beginning of the book, but sometimes that isn't possible and not everyone would have been interested in that fact like I am.

I also discovered a little trick that my husband can't believe got by Amazon when they designed the particular kindle I use. I borrow books through the library or other owners of the books, like I did in this case. My loan for The Hangman's Daughter was up on Sunday. I was able to keep reading it today because I didn't turn my Wi-Fi or 3G network on. When I officially was done with the book and turned on the Wi-Fi, sure enough, the book was no longer available.

On my lunch break today, I read some of Health Magazine. I feel like I am not learning a lot from some of my magazines, including Health, and am glad that once the subscriptions run out, I won't get them anymore. Thankfully, my friend Kim gifted me Whole Living magazine and I'll have a subscription to that to look forward to soon.

Health magazine Michelle Monaghan

What Made Me Laugh Today

-My husband. I won't embarrass him, but he does funny things and they make me smile and happy. :)

-The woman at the gym tonight who skipped sideways on the treadmill and seemed to receive lots of stares as a result. She was following a Women's Health magazine workout plan and I give her credit for doing something like that which is so unique and attention calling. I don't think I would be coordinated enough to skip sideways on a treadmill! I am just glad I wasn't the lady next to her who was trying so hard to concentrate on her own workout as the skipping woman was facing her treadmill. I was stretching when I saw all of this happen and it made me giggle.

My workout was a little more boring. I've been craving doing cardio lately, so I did the stair-stepper and elliptical and only lifted a few weights. I love going to Bodyflow on Tuesdays, but decided I would do that every other week due to the later class time. If only it was an hour earlier!

Time to go get through some more of my magazine pile and google reader.

What is the funniest thing you have seen someone do at your gym?

Good night!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Banana Quinoa Pudding

Back in September, my mom and I went to community day at the YMCA. One of the things we were able to participate in was the "Something's Cooking" class. The teacher was fantastic and one of the things she made and had us sample at the end was Banana Quinoa Pudding.

She spoke about healthy snacks and desserts quite a bit, which got the parents in the room interested. I think most kids would enjoy eating this dessert, as long as the texture of the quinoa doesn't bother them, like it did my husband.

(Sorry for the yellow photos. I have been trying to use Paige's flash trick lately and didn't attempt it this time, but it has worked quite well)

recipe and pumpkin

I finally made the pudding last night and loved it!

Banana Quinoa pudding recipe

banana quinoa pudding mixture

Banana Quinoa Pudding


1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup quinoa
2 cups low fat milk or soy milk or almond milk
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons white sugar or sugar substitute
salt to taste
1/2 tablespoon butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla flavored milk)

Recipe adapted from


-Rinse and drain the quinoa. Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

-Blend together the milk, bananas, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the milk mixture into the saucepan with the quinoa.

-Place the pan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture becomes thick and creamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla (if desired) and serve warm.

Approximately 4 servings. Protein per serving: 8.9 g; total calories and fat depend on type of milk used.

Banana Quinoa pudding

If you are looking for a different way to use quinoa, do yourself a favor and make this!

Excited that I have some leftover for a healthy dessert this week.

Have a wonderful Monday.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


According to the dictionary, disarray means the following.

Noun: A state of disorganization or untidiness.
Verb: Throw (someone or something) into a state of disorganization or untidiness.

This seems to have been the theme for the weekend. It's only a temporary state for me and the disorganization will work itself out eventually.

How ironic that the eyeglasses I ordered from Target optical today are Converse brand and model name Disarray!

That picture isn't the best, but I'll post one of me in the glasses once I get them in about a week. They're purple and rimless. I wanted something different, so I opted for the rimless. I chose purple because Craig kept saying that purple glasses looked good with my blue/green eyes. I liked that the color was something unique and not the usual brown I would have picked out. I only wear glasses at night and in the morning, so it kills me to have to pay the $100 for the glasses after insurance, but I may end up wearing them more often now since they'll definitely be more comfortable than my old glasses.

Other things that caused disarray this weekend:

1) I woke up in a bad mood yesterday after having nightmares about my family. Not nightmares where anyone was getting hurt, but more like the people in the dreams were really annoying me in general. Not fun to wake up in a bad mood and have it continue for a lot of the day.

2) Craig and I went to the AT&T store yesterday to ask about the iPhone4S and that was fine. Today was another story. I called a bunch of stores trying to get an answer to a question and it was just getting more and more confusing the more people I talked to! Finally, we just went into the store and worked it out there. I started to order the iPhone, got so far as the credit check and then something didn't pass, so now I have to call another company tomorrow and see what is not checking out with my credit. I have never had a problem like this in the past and even bought a new car within the last 5 years. I hope it all works out in the end so I can order the iPhone and just wait for it.

3) Having to order the iPhone4S means I will be without a cell phone for three or more weeks and so will my mom. Our Sprint plan officially ends on Friday and I am not about to try to fanagle staying with them for another month or so. I'll just deal without a cell phone and hope I don't get myself into any emergencies where I need it.

4) I looked at four places for new eyeglasses yesterday and none of them were jiving. I tried my last place, Target optical, by myself because Craig was exhausted. Sure enough, I found three pairs I liked and he wasn't with me to get an opinion and move forward with the purchase.

5) I came home from Target yesterday and found our kitchen all pulled apart. Craig did what I have been putting off for years. I organized two cabinets when I was off at the end of August, but didn't manage to do the rest because I really did want him around to check out what to get rid of. We worked together to determine what stayed and what went in the basement. Craig went very minimalistic with the pots and pans and the result of that cabinet is this:

organized cabinets 2

I squeezed some food on the right side since it was empty. I hate the location of our pantry, so this makes some food more accessible.

The other cabinet that was reorganized looks like this now:

organized cabinets 1

I only wish he had taken some before pics!

6) Today, I woke up in a much better mood and was ready to tackle getting things done. I washed dishes, washed our comforters and picked up in general.

I felt better once I got my eyeglasses picked out officially and ordered.

I saw that the Target ad today featured the curtains I had recently eyed up on sale for $5 off. I showed Craig them and we went for some gray henna ones that will match with most wall colors. I'd like to paint our bedroom a cool blue, so they should look nice with that.

new Target henna curtains

When I went to put them on the rod, I discovered I had to pull apart the sliding string mechanism to get the new ones on. ARGH. I hate these kind of projects. In the end, it's worth it to trade up from the curtains the previous owners left that Craig had kept up.

old curtains bedroom

I hate the half curtains like this for bedrooms. Sorry if you have them, but they just don't look warm and pretty in a bedroom.

And because this is a healthy living blog (not that home and life improvements don't count for healthy living), here is the one different food item I tried this weekend:

Artisana Walnut Butter on a pink lady apple

Walnut Butter Artisana apples

I thought it was pretty good, but I still prefer almond butter.


Nutrition Facts Artisana Walnut Butter

Check out the nice selection of goodies the company sent me! I'll be posting about the other items I try soon.

Artisana butters and packets

I also feel like my blogging and gym time has been in disarray this week. I'll be trying to both more often next week. My arm hurt for three days from the flu shot, so there went any type of arm exercises and yoga. Boo. Now it's back to being better and I am so happy to be able to go lift and row tonight. So, time to sign off and get my butt to the gym.

Here's hoping for a better week that doesn't resemble the chaotic weekend I had.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lactose Free Yogurt

I've had lots of stuff going on after work this week! I had to catch up on grocery store and Target runs after failing to do both over the weekend.

On Monday, I got my eyes checked and the doc said that I must be eating my veggies because my prescription hadn't changed. Hooray! Now I can get new eyeglasses and hopefully I'll find some I like this weekend.

After my appointment, I met Craig at Outback Steakhouse and this is the only the second time either of us had been to that restaurant. Thanks to a suggestion from Karis, I got this free steak dinner coupon in the mail and Craig was able to use it for his dinner.


He got a wood fired steak and garlic mashed potatoes. He enjoyed the meal and took half of it home.

I had a small portion of a chicken quesadilla. It was yummy and greasy--had bacon on it and I dipped it in the honey mustard sauce it came with. For someone like me, it was hard to find an item on the menu that really appealed to me. This was the best I could come up with.


Last night, I went to Bodyflow with Angie and it was the second week of the new release. I liked the old one better, but class was still excellent. My abs hurt today and that is a good thing! I guess I liked the old music better too.

I purchased some Green Valley Organics blueberry lactose free yogurt while at Whole Foods a couple of weekends ago. I tried it for lunch today and was so happy to find the taste pleasant and the texture good too. Hooray!



I definitely will be purchasing more of their products. I really love yogurt so if I do end up having a lactose intolerance, I'll be eating this instead of traditional yogurt. For those of you wondering about the lactose intolerance situation--after my one week test, I can't be sure I am lactose intolerant. After my EGD and colonoscopy in two weeks, I'll ask for a hydrogen breath test to confirm.

Lunch today was homemade egg salad on top of spinach, the lactose free yogurt and some cucumber slices with Penzey's Mural of Spice.


For dinner the last two nights, I've been making quinoa with chickpeas and Mmmm sauce. I seem to go through phases with the Mmmm sauce and will want it all week and then get sick of it.

That's all for now...two more days of the work week! Woot woot!