Category Archives: Lunch

WIAW: A Grown Up Kids Meal

Hooray for another WIAW post! I’m just thankful that I remember to take pictures of all of my meals once a week. That is a miracle, my friends.

I decided to spice things up about on the breakfast routine. Usually I enjoy my own version of the McMuffin, but lately I’ve been craving sweet potatoes, so I concocted my own sweet potato hash to accompany my eggs in the morning (recipe coming soon!). It…was…awesome.

I mixed up the hash with one egg and 1/2 cup of egg whites and a touch of cheddar cheese. Yum. Then, it was off to work where I got hungry at the usual 9:45. I snacked on a ThinkThin bar, which is full of protein and tastes delicious. I needed the extra protein to prep for my heavy leg workout that evening. ThinkThin bars are fairly yummy, especially the Creamy Peanut Butter flavor. They contain sugar alcohols, which can upset some stomachs, but for a quick snack they’re perfect.Lunchtime rolled around, and I found myself staring at a protein-less fridge when I came home. Luckily, I had tons of veggies from my Sunday Night Prep, so I mixed those up with a small breakfast sausage (that was supposed to be for my husband…oops…what’s mine is yours, right?), some avocado, and half of a whole-grain English muffin. This turned out to be one of my favorite lunches. The avocado made everything so creamy, and the veggies were super tasty.

My afternoon snack was a fairly big one for me. I knew that I needed to seriously fuel up for my workout, so I went down to the kitchen at work and toasted up the other half of the whole-grain English muffin from lunch, topped it with 1 TBS of Peanut Butter, a banana, and cinnamon. It was delicious, and really helped me get over my afternoon slump.

After my heavy leg workout, I came home and was REALLY in a nostalgic mood. I just had to have chicken fingers and mac’n’cheese. HAD TO. So, I whipped up my own healthy version of chicken fingers, paired it with some Annie’s and green beans and called it a day.

This was definitely a “grown up kids meal” and I loved it. Sometimes you just need a little comfort food 🙂

What did YOU eat today? Anything that brought back some memories?

Talk to you soon!
-Melissa

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WIAW – Memorial Day Weekend Cleansing!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We are so blessed to live in a country that values personal freedoms, and that we have men and women choosing to fight and lay down their lives for those freedoms.

My weekend was jam-packed, to say the least. It started on my Friday off, when I drove down to Houston to watch one of my best friends and old college roommate graduate from MEDICAL SCHOOL!! That’s right, Sarah became Dr. Sarah. It was such a great moment for her, and I’m so glad I got to be there. It also was a rude awakening, that we had been out of college for 4 years already :(. Ha!

Hey graduate!

What made an amazing moment even MORE amazing, was that as soon as my best friend walked across the stage to graduate, I got a text saying that my precious little niece had been born! I am officially a first-time aunt, and I could NOT be more excited! So, after spending Friday night celebrating Sarah’s awesomeness, I woke up Saturday morning and immediately trucked back up to Dallas to meet sweet Georgia Eve.

She is the most precious gift!

After spending too short of time with my girl, we headed off to Tyler, TX to spend the remainder of the weekend with friends at the lake! Needless to say, as jam-packed as the weekend was, it was FULL of blessings and friendships and I wouldn’t of changed one thing about it!

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Speaking of jam-packed…my weekend was ALSO jam-packed full of unhealthy eating 😦 Between road trips, celebratory dinners, and meals on the lake, I came home Monday night craving fruit, veggies, and my healthy eating routine. I spent Monday night grocery shopping and food prepping, so when Tuesday rolled around I was ready to go.

Breakfast was amazing, per usual. It is my FAVORITE meal of the whole day. I had my own version of a McMuffin, with one whole wheat english muffin topped with 1 egg and 1/2 cup egg whites (scrambled!). I also added a tiiiny bit of breakfast sausage to give it some extra yummy-ness. Oh, and coffee. Duh!

A few hours later, I was working away and got hungry again (naturally), so I grabbed a Luna Bar. I was SUPER excited about this one: Peanut Honey Pretzel. All of my favorite things rolled into one bar. It was more amazing than I thought it could be. I highly recommend this flavor!!

For lunch, I was able to go home and put together a bowl full of some veggies that my awesome husband grilled for me, and one Al Fresco Chicken Sausage (sun-dried tomato is my favorite!). I topped it off with a little bit of cheddar and I was good to go.

I was still pretty full by the time 4:00 rolled around (heck, I was probably still full from the weekend!), but I knew I needed to grab something to eat before I headed to boot camp, so I snacked on a banana with 1 TBS of PB2
(powdered peanut butter…if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly suggest you do!).

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That snack definitely helped fuel my body for my ridiculously hot, humid, intense, cardio-filled workout. I was DYING the entire hour, but so glad that boot camp has started back up! There is honestly no better workout, in my opinion. But I definitely had to pause a few times to keep that banana down, if you know what I’m sayin’ :).

Due to my near-death experience at boot camp, I wasn’t in the mood to whip up an extravagant dinner by ANY means, so protein smoothie it was! I blended some Advocare Vanilla Meal Replacement Protein, ice, water, 1 banana, 1 TBS PB2, and 1 TBS cocoa until smooth, and slurped that bad boy down. It was so refreshing after the super hot workout.

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So, there you go! That was my first day back to normal eating. I woke up today feeling much better about myself, all after one day of eating well!

What are some ways that you “detox” from a food-filled weekend?

Talk to you soon!

-Melissa

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Crockpots & Tuesday Mornings

My Tuesday morning was entirely too eventful for my liking.

I had the bright idea last night, since crock pots are so easy, that I would just throw stuff in it this morning to make Chicken Taco Chili (recipe later!) and it wouldn’t take me more than, say, 5 minutes.

Ha.

Things always work out so well in my head. Alas, upon waking this morning I realized that I hadn’t chopped ANY of the veggies, and that opening 6 cans with my handheld can opener was going to take more than 5 minutes on its own. Sheesh. So, after chopping peppers and onions and painfully cranking open multiple cans of beans and tomatoes, I finally got everything dumped into the pot in around 15 minutes or so. Then, as I’m taking the chicken out of its bag to throw on top of my veggie/bean/tomato mess, the juice (ick) goes EVERYWHERE. Literally,everywhere. Being the germaphobe (bacteria-phobe?!?) that I am, I spent at least 15 more minutes scrubbing down my counters, hands, and hands again until I was positive there wasn’t e-coli raging throughout my kitchen.

I’m fairly certain there is, which is why I will probably clean it AGAIN tonight.

Needless to say, my crock pot adventure took MUCH longer than expected. But I still made time for my favorite breakfast ever; a whole wheat English muffin topped with cheddar, 1 egg, and plenty of egg whites. Yum.

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After a late arrival to work, I tackled my inbox and assignments until lunchtime rolled around. I live super close to my office (about a 6 minute drive), so I was able to run home today and whip up a yummy lunch of Annie’s mac ‘n cheese, Al Fresco Chicken Sausage, and TONS of veggies from my prep night!

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This may be my new favorite lunch 🙂

The rest of my day will include finishing up at the office, watching The Bachelorette on my DVR (since my husband will be out and I won’t have to hear him complain), then hitting up a NEW GYM to get my leg workout on! I’m always so anxious to try a new gym…it’s intimidating to me, and I can’t really figure out why. Luckily Preston will be going with me, so hopefully it’ll be less “scary”.

How is your Tuesday going? Does trying out a new gym make you anxious as well, or do you love it?

Talk to you soon!
-Melissa

 

 

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Sunday Night Prep

I’m an odd bird (in more ways than one), but sometimes I actually crave the consistency and routine of the workweek. It is so nice to know what your schedule is going to be (food/exercise-wise, not necessarily while AT work!). So since I can easily plan what and when I’m going to eat during the week, I try to use Sunday nights as my “prep night”. This is usually only for lunches, as dinners are usually prepared by both my husband and I (yes, he’s amazing and helps me cook!) and we can’t ever decide what we want until that day!

My typical lunches while at work consist of one of the following meals:

…I think you’re seeing the trend here. Basically a protein, a whole grain (1/2 cup to 3/4 cup), and veggies. Since I try to bring my lunch 4 out of the 5 workdays (or 3 out of 4 if it’s my Friday off), it’s easier to prep my food all in one night, divide it up into containers, and then just grab and go in the mornings!

Sunday mornings I’ll run to the grocery store and grab the essentials for the week, then come straight home and spend maybe 30 minutes or so on my prepping. That’s IT!

First, I dice up all of my veggies into chunks. My go-to veggies include squash (duh!), zucchini, bell peppers (of ALL colors!), onions, snap peas, carrots, and occasionally broccoli and broccoli slaw. I then throw them in my HUGE wok (thanks, wedding registry!) and sauté away! I try to use as little olive oil as possible, but some is necessary to get a good sear on them! A lot of times I’ll add a little low-sodium soy sauce to give it some flavor (actually, I do this MOST of the time!) The result is a LOT of veggies!

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Next comes the protein! 9 times out of 10, I can sucker my husband into grilling me chicken on the outdoor grill, but this time he was feeling a little under the weather, so I grabbed a rotisserie chicken at the store and he gladly ripped it to shreds for me Smile.

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Next, I boiled a pot of water and cooked up some quinoa (my grain of choice for the week). I usually do about 1.5 cups of dry quinoa to cover 4 meals.

Then…VOILA! All done! I pack it into 4 separate containers, pop them in the fridge, and enjoy the rest of my Sunday!

Some people find it hard to eat the same thing every day for lunch, but to me it helps me stay on track! It’s also nice to not to have to worry about what I’m going to bring. Also, I always leave at least one workday where I can go out with coworkers and eat lunch with them, so as not to be completely anti-social Smile.

A side note: the TONS of vegetables that I sauté are definitely not just used at lunch! Preston and I incorporate them into our dinners too. Check out these yummy veggie tostadas we whipped up for dinner tonight!

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Do you have a “Sunday night prep night” as well? What are some of your favorite bulk meals to whip up?

Until next time!

-Melissa

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JALEO + Last Day in Sin City

On our second night in Vegas, Preston and I knew that we wanted to go somewhere yummy and semi-fancy for dinner (I always drag him to ONE fancy dinner on vacations…they’re my thang). We browsed around the restaurants in the Cosmopolitan until we saw the menu for JALEO. I thought it looked yummy, and Preston liked the price, so we made a reservation and went back to change and get ready for the night.

Upon arriving, the place was bustling with super trendy people. Immediately we knew that this would be an EPIC people-watching night. They led us to our table, which just happened to be a one sided booth…meaning we had to live out our personal nightmare of being “that couple” who sat on the same side of the table Winking smile Like I said though, the people watching was on POINT that night, so we didn’t mind too terribly.

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Notice a theme here of Preston and his hatred of photos?

Everyone who worked at JALEO was super nice. The waitress brought over an iPad (yes, a freaking iPad) to show us what our drink selections were for the night. You better believe Preston spent forever scouring that baby for the best priced bottle of wine Smile

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The wine guy (sommelier?) even came over and helped us with our selection. I wish I could remember what we picked, because it was delicious. You can definitely tell a difference between good wine and cheap wine. But heck, I’m perfectly fine with the cheap!

Once we ordered the bottle and started looking at the menu, it dawned on us why the prices had looked so affordable on the menu. JALEO was a tapas restaurant…

…meaning small plates…

…meaning that the price we saw per plate was actually x3, if we wanted to be somewhat full after eating.

I could see Preston start to sweat, after just ordering a pricey bottle of wine and now learning that our semi-affordable meal was slowly turning into a multi-digit nightmare.

We ended up laughing it off (the wine helped that, I’m sure) and ordering just 3 small plates to share. We figured that if we were still hungry afterwards that we would run and get a burger or something. Luckily, the wine and tapas did the trick, and we left JALEO happy and satisfied and spent the rest of the night trying our luck at roulette.

v17Maybe I enjoyed the wine a little too much?

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And maybe he did too? Smile

Our last day in Vegas was very similar to Day 2, in that we spent the morning at the pool and the afternoon in the casino.

Okay, this is MY blog, and I know I’m all about fitness, health, etc. on here…but I’m also all about balance, so I suppose I should be honest and give you a preview of what our breakfast on Day 3 looked like…

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I know, I know. I’m not proud. That was all him, by the way. Mine looked slightly tamer, but still just as obnoxious:

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Sigh. Balance, right? Remember my breakfast from Day One?? So I was okay splurging on my last day in Vegas Smile We barely made dents in that breakfast, but man, was it GOOD. It was from the Hash House A Go Go in the Imperial Palace. If you ever make it to Vegas, GO THERE. It is delish.

Lunch was nonexistent (see above photos if confused as to why that is), and dinner was a casual affair at some café in the Bellagio. The rest of the night was spent at the Blackjack and Roulette tables.

We had SUCH a great time in Vegas. Seriously, it’s not at all what some people think. Yes, there is drinking and gambling and all that fun stuff, but there are so many things to do and see and EAT! I’m so glad we went.

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Thank you to the elderly gentleman who did not know how to use the iPhone camera function Smile

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One last treat before heading home

And that, my friends, was our trip to Vegas in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed Smile

What are some things that we did NOT do that you think we definitely should do on our next Vegas Vacation?

Have any of y’all SEEN the greatness that is Vegas Vacation?!?!

-Talk to you soon! Mel

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Las Vegas Day 2!

Vegas Day 2 started later than we thought it would. Since we were two hours behind Dallas time, I thought we would be up and at ’em by 6 am. We must’ve been pretty exhausted though, and slept in until 9 am Vegas time. We immediately went in search of food, and stumbled upon Mon Ami Gabi, a cute French restaurant in the Paris hotel. I ordered the egg white and turkey omelet with toast and hash browns, while Preston opted for the many steak and eggs combination.

Had to get me a mimosa!

Delicious and healthy egg white & turkey omelet with tomato and avocado relish

The man meal

The rest of the morning consisted of wandering around the Paris hotel, attempting to tackle the penny slots (we were too chicken to try anything else at this point).

A shot of the Paris hotel

Dorky me 🙂

We then made our way to the AMAZING pool at the Venetian, where we spent a few hours (and a few dollars…drinks there cost $16 EACH!! For a SMALL!)

Preston slurping down every ounce of that $16 Pina Colada

After the pool, we just walked around and enjoyed the sights of Vegas. I’ll post some pics now, and come back and tell you all about our dinner on the next post 🙂

Every trip we go on involves a McDonald’s somehow. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not gonna lie about it either 🙂 Our first meal on our honeymoon was McD’s!!

Checking out the roof of the Venetian!

Chandelier bar at the Cosmopolitan

A view of our awesome hotel

Checking out one of the menus!

What was your favorite part about Vegas, if you’ve been? If not, what would you WANT to do if you went?

-Melissa

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Viva Las Vegas! Day One

Hello, world! I’m back from a wonderful trip to Las Vegas with the husband. Actually, I’m home sick today from work…some sort of sore throat/sinus crud. Loved all the texts from coworkers asking me if it was a sore throat or a massive Vegas hangover 🙂 I’m truly ill, I assure you!

We had such a good time on our vacation. Vegas has so much to offer other than gambling/drinking/clubbing (although those things are fun, too!). The shows, the FOOD, the hotels, the lights. Everywhere we looked there was something new to see and do. We stayed at Caesar’s Palace because we found a great deal on their website. The only other time I’ve ever been to Vegas was for work, and I stayed in a luxury suite at the Cosmopolitan hotel. If you haven’t seen the Cosmo, TRUST ME, it is out of this world and over-the-top nice. So I was a little apprehensive about staying at Caesar’s because I knew it was older than a lot of the hotels on the strip. It was in a great location though, and for Vegas that is VERY important!

So needless to say, Preston and I were pretty excited about our trip once we started researching more about the hotel and things to do in Vegas. Since my only trip was work-related, and Preston had never been, there was a LOT that we wanted to see and do.

About to board the plane! Preston is SUPER excited 🙂

When we finally made it to our hotel, I realized I was SO wrong about Caesars! The hotel was gorgeous…the attention to detail was ridiculous. It had so many elements straight out of Rome, from the design to the statues to the fountains everywhere!

Food-wise, our first Vegas meal was a quick one; we had time to kill before our room was ready, so we wandered over to the food court at Caesar’s to see what all it had to offer. Flying always makes me a little unsettled in the stomach area, so I decided to stick with a salad. Preston, however, was definitely in vacation mode and ordered a HEAPING pile of nachos.

My yummy custom-built salad

Preston’s instant bad decision 🙂

Not gonna lie, I had a few nachos of my own…definitely good-not-great, and an underwhelming start to our vacation. Little did we know the kind of wonderful food we would be enjoying soon! We then headed over to the penny slots to see how our luck was looking. Honestly, we are both not big on gambling…in fact, it made us SUPER nervous. We spent the first day on the slot machines, played it safe, and had a great time!

Our first winnings…turned $1 into $3.80! Yeaaaah!

When our room was finally ready, we took a break from gambling to call up our bags and check out the room before exploring a little more. Despite our attempts at getting an upgrade (Preston is SHAMELESS about asking people for upgrades/discounts/free stuff. He thinks it’s a game; I think it’s mortifying), we had an average room with a not-so-stellar view of a parking lot AND the air conditioning units 🙂

That night, it was time to get ready for our one-and-only show for the week: Phantom of the Opera. I know, I know…we should’ve gone to see a Cirque show. They were just SO expensive, and the Phantom tickets were such a good deal on Travelzoo earlier this month. I thought the Vegas production of Phantom was SPECTACULAR…the set was amazing, the music (as always) was amazing…I really, really enjoyed it. Preston, on the other hand….not so much. We now know that he is most definitely NOT a musical lover 🙂 Oh well, newlywed lessons learned.

We left the show famished and ready for a good meal. Luckily, the show was in the Venetian hotel, so food options were aplenty. The Venetian is my favorite hotel in Las Vegas; if it wasn’t so darn expensive, we definitely would’ve stayed there. Check out the view of their Grand Canal Shoppes area; it looks JUST like something you’d see in Venice (trust me, I’ve been there :))

There are gondola rides and everything; it’s beautiful! After walking around and taking in the view, we found a yummy pizzeria called OTTO by chef Mario Batali. Holy moly, did it taste amazing. We split the pancetta and goat cheese pizza, and decided that we had to try the gelato sundae for dessert. That gelato was some of the BEST gelato I have ever had, and I’ve had it straight from the heart of Italy! Fairly certain that I will be dreaming of this gelato for many months to come.

At OTTO in the Venetian

The view during dinner

Best. Gelato. Ever.

Honestly, by this point, it was 11:30 Vegas time and 1:30 Dallas time and we were pooped. We rolled our full bellies to our hotel room and called it an early night, saving up as much energy as possible for the next day!

Day one was relatively healthy and active for me, which is normally not how I do vacations. I was all about enjoying myself, but not eating so much that I felt insecure and unhappy with my body. Plus, pool time was in order the next day, and I definitely wanted to feel good about myself then!

Have you ever been to Vegas? Where did you stay? What was the best thing you ate?

More to come soon!

-Melissa

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This or that?

Here I am, all alone on a Thursday night, blogging and watching Mad Men on my DVR. And why am I alone, you ask? Oh, that’s because my RIDICULOUS husband got offered tickets to the MAVS PLAYOFF GAME tonight! Are you kidding me?! He is such a bandwagon fan, and he always gets to go to games! He’s got some pretty sweet seats, too. Sigh.

Bitter, party of one.

Despite my lonely evening (totally being dramatic here, by the way…I actually LOVE a little “me time”), I’ve had a fairly good day. After my yummy breakfast, I was fairly full until lunch rolled around. I am lucky enough to be able to go home sometimes during lunch (I live roughly 7 minutes away from my office), so I decided to head to the casa and whip up another random meal of sorts. I had a tiiiiny bit of filet left from my birthday dinner, so I sliced that up and placed it in between two corn tortillas, added a little cheddar cheese, and made myself a quesadilla. Added on some carrots and black beans and I had myself a pretty decent lunch!

I love throwing together leftovers and making something completely new out of them! Plus, I hate wasting food!

The rest of my day consisted of a pre-workout snack of a banana and peanut butter, followed by a killer weights workout at boot camp. Love, love, love weights days! Please take a look at what my slightly OCD very organized husband did to my trunk while I was in Florida:

Yup, he organized my mats/weights in a bin so that I can easily transport my gear from camp to camp. Thank goodness for him, because I am so far from organized it’s not even funny! Speaking of not funny…check out the temperature in my car after my workout:

Yup….106. It’s May 3. Help?

The rest of my night will most likely consist of a Meal Replacement Shake from Advocare (vanilla, with 1 TBS of PB2, 1 TBS of cocoa powder, and 1 banana), Mad Men, and an early bedtime. Definitely not cooking dinner for just me, plus I need the protein the shake provides. Me time = bliss 🙂

I got this fun little survey from Beyond Bananas, a fun blog I discovered not too long ago. It seemed like something to do to help pass the time 🙂

Coke or Pepsi?

Unfortunately, neither now! I gave up Diet Coke almost two years ago and I’ve never looked back! Every once in a while I’ll have a Sprite, and recently I tasted that new Dr. Pepper 10 and that stuff is GOOD…I’ll need to stay away 🙂

Lemonade or Fruit Punch?

Fruit punch, hands down! Lemonade is too tart for me 🙂

Caramel Apple or Cotton Candy?

Neither, to be honest! Caramel Apples hurt my teeth, and Cotton Candy is too sugary (if there is such a thing?!?)

Butterfinger or Snickers?

Neither…Twix!

Pudding or Jell-O?

Pudding! Absolutely!

Turkey or Chicken?

Chicken!! I eat it every single day almost!

American or Provolone Cheese?

Neither…cheddar (and NOT the orange kind…do you know what makes it orange?!?)

Crackers or Cookies?

If I’m being honest…….cookies 🙂

Pretzels or Chips?

Pretzels!!! I don’t care for chips, UNLESS they are tortilla chips. Then it’s game on.

Mexican food or Japanese food?

Mexican food! If my husband and I could have it for every meal, we would!

Chinese food or Italian food?

Italian 🙂 yay pasta!

Pie or Cake?

If we’re talking the cold-pie variety, like ice box pies, or chocolate pies, then definitely pie 🙂 but if I had both sitting in front of me, I wouldn’t discriminate…I’d eat both!

Ice cream or Cookies?

Frozen Yogurt! Ice cream makes my tummy hurt. I’ll put a few cookies IN my frozen yogurt though!

Pasta or Pizza?

Pizza. Definitely.

Soda or Juice?

Tea!

Chocolate Bars or Chocolate Truffles?

Chocolate Bars I guess, but I can’t eat too much of one or I’ll get sick

Apples or Bananas?

Banana’s!

Salad or Soup?

Salad!

Cauliflower or Broccoli?

Broccoli…roasted, with lemon and garlic 🙂

Onion Rings or French Fries?

Sweet Potato Fries!

Blizzard or McFlurry?

Blizzard, hands down. There are FAR more options with the Blizz.

Fried or Poached Eggs?

Scrambled! I suck at this quiz!

Crepes or Pancakes?

Pancakes….big fluffy ones

Hashbrowns or Roasted Potatoes?

Hashbrowns with ketchup….yup, I said it. KETCHUP.

Oatmeal or Cereal?

Oatmeal! I’ve developed a new love for simple rolled oats…who knew?

Thanks for reading 🙂 Talk to you tomorrow

-Melissa

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Post-birthday post!

You guys, I had such a wonderful birthday! Normally, I am not a big fan of my birthday. I love celebrating everyone else’s big day, but the attention that comes with my own birthday always makes me just a little uncomfortable. My husband knew this and set out to make sure that I had the best birthday yet, and he definitely succeeded (although I told him the ONLY thing that would have made it any better was if we had a four-legged friend joining us…but maybe next year :)).

It started when I came back from Florida to a SPOTLESS house, a car that had been cleaned and detailed by Preston himself, and a kitchen counter full of balloons, gifts, and cupcakes (my favorite flavors even!)

Please note the Justin Bieber balloon. It wouldn’t be like my husband to not do something funny when trying to be sweet 🙂 His gift was also in a JB gift bag, too. That’s why I love him.

Yesterday, April 30, was my actual birthday, and it was truly a wonderful day. I had to work, but my department took me out to lunch and my wonderful coworker Sally got be the cutest apron from Anthropologie! I have been wanting this yellow apron for MONTHS, so needless to say I was excited (and didn’t take it off for the majority of the day)! After work, I came home and was finally able to open my gifts! I got workout tops, makeup & shoes from the families, and new tennis shoes from Preston! He bought be two pairs, and I can’t decide between the two. I have to make a decision soon, though, because I DESPERATELY need new ones!

After gift opening, it was time for my surprise dinner. Preston took me to Bob’s Steak & Chop, which is one of the BEST and nicest steakhouses (and restaurant in general). I was so excited! Bob’s was located inside of the new Omni Hotel, which Preston worked on last summer while it was being built. The hotel was gorgeous, and we got there a little before our reservations so that we could grab a drink at the hotel bar and look around for a bit. We stumbled across this cute outdoor patio with great views of downtown Dallas, so we decided to stop there and enjoy our drinks.

My sweet husband 🙂

Our view while enjoying our drinks

Then came dinner, which was phenomenal! I didn’t take any pictures because it was SO dark in there (gotta love ambiance), but trust me, it was delicious. We got Caesar salads, steaks, potatoes, and a surprise Birthday dessert that was some kind of Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sundae wonderfulness. We almost had to be rolled out of there, we were so full, but man was it worth it!

My 26th birthday could not have been any better, and I owe it in large part to my awesome husband. He really made me feel special 🙂

Today, it’s back to the real world…can you believe it’s already MAY? That’s crazy to me. I started the day off with a late breakfast consisting of coffee and a Dark Chocolate ThinkThin bar, because I was still fairly full from dinner (I’m not kidding, we ate a lot). I also just polished off lunch, which consisted of a random compilation of 2 eggs, a whole wheat seeded English muffin from Whole Foods, and some leftover chicken and brie from my birthday lunch yesterday. Delicious (despite how it looks!)

Tonight, it’s back to the workout grind at boot camp, followed by a fun birthday dinner with some friends from my old job 🙂 It’s so hard to stay healthy on your birth-week, but I’ll do my best!

What was the best birthday you ever had? Do you like celebrating your own birthday?

Talk to you soon!
-Melissa

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Quinoa and other newfound foods…

I am what you might call a dreamer. Just ask the husband, because it drives Mr. Practical CRAZY! I dream in all aspects of my life…I dream of vacations, of living somewhere new and exciting, of fun new jobs (despite loving the one I have, but hey, that’s the crutch of being a dreamer!). I even dream of being a better version of myself…of being SUPER in shape, Jamie Eason-style, or of being an amazing cook like The Pioneer Woman (love her!).

Lately, I have had some high hopes of cooking these elaborate, complicated meals full of exotic ingredients, showering in the praises from my husband and friends.

Yeah, right.

I have, however, started to branch out on ingredients. Recently I fell in love with quinoa (I know, I know, I’m a little behind the curve here). I love the texture of quinoa, and the added protein is definitely a plus! Check out my yummy lunch I had today featuring said quinoa:

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1/2 cup of quinoa (cooked in chicken broth), 4 oz of grilled chicken, and a cup or so of sauteed veggies! Deeeelish, and not to mention VERY filling.

I also bought some chia seeds at Whole Foods today. I keep seeing them all over blogs/magazines/etc, so I thought I’d give them a shot. I am a huge fan of Peanut Butter Fingers, and she uses chia seeds in all kinds of different recipes. Maybe I’ll give it a try tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

What are some other “new” foods out there that I should try?

Talk to you soon!

-Melissa

 

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