Friday, March 30, 2012

If we win the lottery tonight...

I'll quit my job immediately. Volunteer at the humane society where Craig picked out our cats.


Take my parents to Germany or anywhere else they want to go.

Study nutrition and fitness just because I love them both and tuition costs will seem like a drop in the bucket.

Work at a gym or as my husband said--buy a gym.

Give lots of money to charities that mean something to me.


Give money to our family members, but that's an obvious one.

And travel the world anytime I want.

What would you do if you won the lottery tonight? Even if you only won a small amount?

I'm not much of a gambler, but this is just kind of fun to participate in and daydream about. I got two tickets after work tonight. They were randomly picked. Ironically, I looked down at the first line and thought it was so cool that my dad's birthday, June 11th, showed up as the first two numbers. Then I got a bit freaked out because the third number is the year he was born, 1936. Maybe my dad will bring us some luck.

The second line has some of my favorite numbers, including 13. It also has my mother-in-law's birthday numbers in it.

Crossing my fingers we win something tonight and my dreams can come true.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chocolate overdose and tofu cooking class

I've been having a good week so far!

Yesterday, my co-workers and I were in quite the chocolate coma all day. A co-worker is having a major surgery this week, so we were sending her off with a chocolate party. I brought in chocolate coconut milk by SoDelicious and a few people tried it.

I made the mistake of eating chocolate oatmeal before I went into work. Oops.


This sea salt caramel chocolate was from a chocolatier in Grafton. It was simply divine. I love sea salt and add it to chocolate, oh my deliciousness.


Dessert after a huge and healthy salad was an eclair and a chocolate covered strawberry.


I had to workout after work! I hit the gym for a fast but challenging set of exercises. I am sore today so I know I worked hard. That or I didn't stretch enough post workout.

I blended up a spinach smoothie after my workout to balance out all of the sweets I had all day.

spinach smoothie

Then I went to a Tofu cooking class through the Milwaukee recreation department. I like tofu enough to want to learn more about it. This class made me like it even more. Our teacher was quirky and a little all over the place with her thoughts, but she is passionate about vegetarian eating and tofu, which was perfect.

My favorite thing was this tempeh salad she brought. It's meant to taste like tuna or chicken salad and it sure did. Like the lady next to me said, I could have eaten that whole bowl! I must make this soon. Too bad our teacher brought none of the recipes for the things she made, but I suppose most of it is so simple to recreate or look up versions of on the internet. I found a tempeh salad one right away.

tofu/tempeh salad

Next she made a tofu stir fry, which was also tasty and fresh. More veggies, which is all my body craved at this point! My only complaint was the tofu should have had the water pressed out of it for the class. I was thinking of my TofuXpress the whole time.

tofu stir fry

The last thing was tofu tacos. She said the key with tofu is to let it marinate the night before. She crumbled up the tofu and marinated it with MSG free taco seasoning from Outpost (a local grocery store). I think most people would enjoy tofu tacos, even if they don't think they like tofu.

tofu tacos

Do you like tofu or tempeh? I really prefer tempeh, especially the kind with flax from Whole Foods.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Steel cut oats stole my heart

Can you believe that I write about food a lot on this blog and have never tried steel cut oats? These Bob's Red Mill ones were on sale and I decided to give them a shot finally. I've been wanting to try them for a while, but just never made the purchase.


I made them for dinner last night. I had just purchased some strawberries from the store and that combination sounded delicious to me. I added some cinnamon and sugar, a bit of maple syrup and some coconut milk. I couldn't eat this whole bowl, so I saved some for breakfast today and they were just as good warmed up.


What I like about them is that they kept me full a long time, the taste and texture seems great compared to rolled oats and they are so good for you!

Earlier in the day, I had these oats for breakfast and snapped a photo because breakfast was the photo for the March photo a day. I also love these oats too and will still enjoy eating anything by this brand.


Yesterday, I met up with my friend Kim for a great discussion about my career. Basically, I am trying to find something that matches well with my passion for nutrition, fitness and/or holistic health. I have ruled out a couple of possibilities and was still considering one, which Kim offered some insight on. I am just not sure what path to take and it's pretty stressful. I don't want to look back on this blog a year from now and be stuck in my same job. I am looking for a new one and feel very motivated to find one now.

This sign in The Limited spoke to me yesterday and I related it to what I am going through.


Well it's getting late and the night flew by with meditation and a workout, so I better get ready for bed. Good night!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

There is such a thing as a free lunch

On Thursday, I got a promotional e-mail from Noodles & Co. saying that a new location was opening up in Oak Creek and the e-mail was inviting me to take advantage of a totally free meal on Saturday. I asked Craig if he wanted to go and he was all for it!

So, we drove over there yesterday and checked it out!


We ordered and were able to get any meal with meat or vegetarian protein, a drink, bread and dessert at no cost to us. Take that middle school science teacher who told us kids that there was no such thing as a free lunch! :)

Craig's favorite part was the soda machine, which I googled and found out it's called a Coca-Cola freestyle machine.


Unfortunately, the line was so long for the machine, that I never got a chance to try it out. They did have a Noodles & Co. employee helping people out though.


Our feast! The staff that brought it out was friendly and happy to be serving customers.

Craig got the Bacon Mac and Cheesburger (he had tried it before this visit and liked it) and we ordered a french roll and flat bread. Dessert was rice krispie treats, which we had to save for later.


I had the Bangkok Curry with organic tofu. It was really good and had a subtle coconut flavor. I don't think I have ever ordered a dish there and added tofu to it before. It was cooked perfectly and really tasty.


Thanks Noodles & Co. for the great promotion! It was nice to try out a new location, especially since it had such friendly workers and a cool soda machine, which was really unique and something we haven't seen in other restaurants yet.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Challenging Week and Hunger Games

I've been MIA all week. So what was I up to? Getting my eye numbed (had eye pain for about 5 days and finally got it checked out), tough talks about the future of my career, updating my resume, taking lots of walks outside, going to the dentist and working until midnight last night. It was a challenging week for other reasons too, mostly involving work, which led to a very sleepless night and tired Thursday.

I didn't make it to the gym a lot. I did get there yesterday and had part of a Larabar before my workout. Ironically, while running on the treadmill, I watched a Joy Bauer segment on the Today Show about not needing to eat before working out. She said it was actually counterproductive, but recommends something small like a banana. Joy also recommended having caffeine about a half hour before your workout.


Lunch was a scrambled egg, asparagus and a roma tomato.


I also tried some new protein powder as a recovery drink. My sweet co-worker brought it in for me to try out since she knows I am always trying to make sure I get enough protein in my diet. It was tasty!


This morning, we went to the bank to update one of Craig's accounts. While waiting for the banker, I got to use a Keurig for the first time! I loved it. I think one would be so nice for an office. The coffee was delicious!


After the bank, we went to Oak Creek and got a free lunch. I'll write a review tomorrow as we felt so lucky to get a nice big meal for nothing!

And then it was Hunger Games time! I haven't been this excited for a movie in a while. :)


I gave it two thumbs up! I loved the book though and think the adaptation was a good one. Craig liked it too and he had only read half of the book...mind you, the first half which is more boring than the second.


I loved the actors in the movie and the sets.


We stopped at Target after the movie and I found this finally. Hooray!


I purchased the Raspberry Fudge Chunk and tried it when we got home. It was pretty tasty. :)


We haven't been home all day, so I am glad I can relax a little tonight and look into some things. Once I know more about my future, I'll clue you in with my decision. I am excited, but a little nervous too.

Hope you had a fabulous Saturday!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The rest of the weekend...

...I watched Mildred Pierce. I liked it! Another period drama to help me fill that Downton Abbey void.


I knew Saturday's workout challenged me when I woke up sore on Sunday. I couldn't quite place what made my arms so sore in a particular area.

Yesterday, I went to do more push ups on the BOSU (ball side down) and the pain hit in those exact areas. I guess that move is working, so I'll keep doing it! The cardio portion of our workout included walking around our YMCA, enjoying the sunshine, perfect temps and gravel trail.

Banana soft serve (frozen bananas grinded with a bit of milk in the food processor) was mixed up when we got home. I added chia seeds and sunflower butter to mine. Yum!


Sunday lunch was quinoa with roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, dried basil, kalamata olives and red pepper.


March photo of the day was a corner of our house. Here is our front door with Buddha. :)


I crammed a Target and Marshall's trip into the afternoon. When I got home, I sat outside and gave myself a mani and pedi and then read the latest Glamour issue that features Jennifer Lawrence on the cover. Can't wait for The Hunger Games to be in the theaters this week! I haven't been this excited for a movie in a while.


Dinner was a small tortilla (that ended up being hard to pull apart so it is holy) with romas, avocado, jack cheese and Frank's Red Hot.


I was in the mood to bake and I had known since Friday what I was going to make. I saw this recipe for Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars with Brown Sugar Glaze randomly on a blog or website and printed it out.


And then I ended my evening by watching The Amazing Race. They went to my favorite place, Germany! They had a challenge at Neuschwanstein, which is the gorgeous castle we went to on our honeymoon.

Aaah, to be there on vacation right now instead of starting another work week.

If you are looking for a great giveaway to enter, check out Laura's blog to win a case of Vita Coco. Giveaway ends tonight!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Style tips from Clinton Kelly

Yesterday, I went to see stylist Clinton Kelly appear at Southridge Mall, outside of the new Macy's store. I was interested in hearing about his fashion tips and of course, in seeing him in person. I used to watch What Not to Wear (don't have cable anymore, so that is why I say "used to") and I've seen him on The Chew.

The chairs down below were all taken, so I got a good spot above the stage.


This was the end of the show, but it's my favorite shot I took.


Clinton asked for a couple of people to volunteer to get up on the stage and he critiqued what they were wearing. One woman had a Victoria's Secret neon green "pink" sweatshirt on. I think she said she was 48 and he definitely declared her to be too old to be wearing that. I kind of agreed.

Another woman wore a plain t-shirt and jeans. She also had black socks on with flats. She talked about her midsection being a problem and claimed "baby belly." He advised that she wear an interesting blazer or jacket to make her look an actual outfit. He said what she had on wasn't an outfit.


Clinton also signed books after. I didn't buy one and bring it or purchase $100 worth of clothes to get one for free, so I just snapped a shot of him smiling. He seemed like such a down to earth and nice guy.


The fashion show was pretty cool to see. I liked this outfit. The trends we saw were colored skinny jeans, aztec/southwestern prints, pretty dresses and bags that sort of matched outfits, but more or less complimented the coloring.


Clinton said that in style, look for color, texture, pattern and shine. He talked about how black doesn't always look good on everyone. People who tend to wear black too often need to look to other colors as black can emphasize dark circles. Similarly, red can emphasize red tones in your skin. I know my skin tends to get red around my nose and on my cheeks and when I wear this one red sweater, I swear the redness stands out more.

I think I would have passed Clinton't style test if I had gotten up on stage yesterday. I wore jeans that looked right, I covered my plain t-shirt up with a gray stylish light sweatshirt, I threw on a green necklace that gave me some texture and I wore ballet flats. Perhaps he would have said I was trying to look young, because I guess my outfit could have been one a 20 something year old would have worn.


I got closer to the stage at the end and that is when he spoke to a young lady in the crowd about loving what you do for a living. I felt like this was another sign from the universe. He earned his Masters in Journalism and was working as an editor-in-chief. Someone asked him to be on What Not to Wear and the rest is history. He took a chance and I guess that was also one of the main themes of his advice...take chances, find what you love to do and have fun.

After the show was over, I walked around the new Macy's and thought it was a really nice store. I even tried on some skinny jeans, but I didn't love them. I remembered some of the tips he gave when I was shopping, but alas, I didn't buy any clothes. I feel like I am in such a clothes rut right now!

It was fun to see a celebrity in person and learn some things yesterday.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday = no work = good mood

Despite yesterday being Friday, I wasn't in a good mood after an early morning meeting. Let's just say I keep finding my job more and more unfulfilling every day and I need to do something about it, but I don't know what that something is yet. I haven't found a new job or applied for any. I still want to change careers anyway, but that isn't an easy thing to do. Being unhappy depresses me. I want a challenge. I want the skills I worked so hard for in so many years of schooling put to good use. More on this later at the end of the post.

My lunch break was spent reading a sample NASM personal training lesson to see if it's something that interests me. I met someone at work last week that inspired me to possibly pursue fitness and nutrition via this program vs. going back to traditional school for yet another expensive degree.


After a restful sleep, I woke up in a good mood today. Maybe a good laugh with my hubby last night (over play dough and other things) and a good sleep is all I needed, just like this Irish Proverb says. My sweet ex-boss posted this on my Facebook page today.

I've still been keeping up with the March photo a day and I am always excited to see what the next day's theme is. Thursday was car, so here's a purposely fuzzy photo of mine.


Friday was sunglasses. Sadly, it wasn't the sunniest of days and mine were in their case.


Today was green of course (Happy St. Patty's Day!), so here's my green purse and wallet.


After hitting the gym this morning for a great workout (love it when my energy is up and I push myself extra hard like I did today), I went to the mall. I dropped off some clothes to donate for the Goodwill sale at a local department store and I brought Macy's coupons because a new Macy's opened there.


I was pretty thirsty after shopping for a while and standing for an hour, watching a fashion show (more on that tomorrow and the celebrity that was the host), so I ventured over to Starbucks for one of my favorite summer drinks. A passion iced tea. I haven't been to a Starbucks in a while, so I naturally had to get the latest free book offer.


I always ask for "just a little bit of ice" and the baristas or cashiers always kind of laugh. Well, I hate when I get an iced coffee and basically finish it in two big sips. Anyway, the girl today was extra nice and even said back to me "easy on the ice then" and I said yes. Now I know how to order it properly next time without getting a chuckle! It was perfect too--not too cold and it wasn't warm at all.


The only purchase I made all day was at Bed Bath and Beyond and I got this cute pink Tervis "to go" lid for my Foodbuzz Tervis cup. I can't wait to bring iced coffees to work instead of buying them off and on throughout the week.


Before we ran to Wal-mart to check out bike pumps and get fun things like toilet paper and toothpaste, I snacked on these bad boys. Love buffalo wing anything and these are fantastic!


At Wal-mart, I saw a huge reminder of the fact that I need to change my job soon. It involves the fact that I have to order items like play doh, etc. for an upcoming program. Let's just say ordering items for my co-workers doesn't thrill me at all and I had bad experiences with this in the past. It's not the act of ordering, but then again, it sort of is because it gets back to that whole unfulfilled thing.


And then I saw it again. Aaah, it's everywhere! Actually this one looks kind of fun because it involves mock baking.


Other Saturday fun included doing our taxes. My angel of a husband did them for us, but we also had many discussions about retirement accounts and such. I'll be glad when they're done and I hope we'll actually get some money back this year with the way we're going about contributing more to our IRA.

Phew, that post was a long post and I am sorry about my occasional whining about my job situation, but this is my blog and I want to document the fact that I am unhappy with that part of my life right now. I know this is public and I risk things by saying what I do, but sometimes it's worth it to openly vent.

Hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day!