Flying By

Wow this week just flew by! It’s FRIDAY already! Wahooo!

I didn’t have internet for a few days this week, so I got stuck in “old fashioned mode”, even after we got our internet connection back. I’ve spent a lot of the week reading two books which I have been working through for a while now. I’ve also been getting my 8 hours… funny how the lack of Pinterest and blog reading = quality rest!

I’m currently working through The Bailey Flannigan series by Karen Kingsbury. Some people I know think her books are cheesy and predictable but I enjoy them. You don’t have to think a lot while you read them and they are nice love story-like books without making you blush while you read them. I’m also making my way through The New Rules of Lifting For Women by Lou Schuler.

Due to my recent work schedule I have a lot more time to focus on lifting and I miss being as strong as I used to be. My workouts have mainly consisted of cardio for the last 8 years of my life with spouts of weight training here and there.  But I really want to commit to a plan, because I have so little experience I am really liking how they break down everything in the book and show you how to do things. I’m excited to get started in the gym!

Asiacs Gel Cumulus-13

Speaking of the gym I got some new running shoes this past weekend! I’m loving the black and white, for some reason they make me feel totally BA which is key for a good work out 🙂

It’s been awfully chills this week, so I’ve stuck to the treadmill, and I’ve also been doing some ab workouts with this lady…

Jackie Warner

I have  fallen in love with a new cereal… something that was clearly made just for me! Kashi GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble! I love all of Kashi’s cereals and loved the toasted berry crisp they came out with last summer, but nothing compares to my love for cinnamon! I was actually at the store picking up something else when an empty shelf with one lone box of this stuff caught my eye 🙂 It. Is. Incredible.

Tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch or cinnamon topping on a warm apple crisp, but sooo much better for you!

I had it for breakfast yesterday, and I’m not going to lie it was like dessert for breakfast… incredible! I could eat this alll the time!

Plain Chobani

Pumpkin Butter

1/2 Apple

Kashi GoLean Cinnamon Crisp!

Raisins

New Chobani Flavors

I also got my hands on these this week as well. I LOVED the Apple Cinnamon one, because you just can’t go wrong with that combination. However, I found the Passion Fruit one to be incredibly sweet…. too sweet for my taste buds is almost unheard of!

That’s all for now…. We have a snow storm headed our way after the few inches we had last night and several smaller storms this week. Anyone want some snow?

I’m sensing some baking for my snowed in Saturday 😉

Whats your favorite at home work out?

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

This is obviously going somewhere good….. I mean butter, eggs, sugar, and peanut butter ALWAYS results in a beautiful ending.

I’ve had quite the casual weekend, a little homework here, a little baking there, some hanging out with the boy… its been productive AND relaxing, who knew that existed! I have quite the crazy next two weeks before spring break, why did all of my professors decided to cram a majority of the semesters exams and projects all BEFORE spring break… we do have another 6 weeks of school, right?!

I also had a CRAZY adventure going grocery shopping this weekend…… It was windy, like 35 mph steady with 55 mph gusts every 5 seconds, or so they say.

I had planned to go grocery shopping so by golly I was going, but on my way there I noticed all the traffic lights were out. As I was turning into the shopping center I realized that Giant and Walmart were both without power….. and closed. So I ventured my way to Wegman’s and it was nuts, but there was power! After this little adventure I finally got my shopping done. I am telling you go buy Chobani’s new flavors….. it made the madness absolutely worth it! The Mango and Lemon are AMAZING!

My new favorite: Mango

Anyhow…. all weekend I was hardcore craving  a little comfort food, something tasty. Obviously that always leads me to chocolate or peanut butter, or both in this case. My mom used to make these bars quite often when we were growing up, and I haven’t had them in ages. I also decided it was time to whip something up from my stash of “mom’s recipes”, because that hasn’t happened in a few weeks. Which was probably the cause of my need for something yummy, she really is the best!

We always have fun in the kitchen together

So my journey in wanting to bake these really began around 12:30am last night, but being as I was out of eggs, and I only had a spoonful of peanut butter left. It had to wait until this morning… So you can bet that as soon I was back from my run, I was baking.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


½ cup butter

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

1 ¾ cup sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 ½ cups flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees

Prepare 13×9 pan with non stick spray

Melt butter. Add peanut butter; stir until melted. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and stir with spoon until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 min or until top is golden brown and edges firm.( it took about 40 minutes in my oven). Cool. Cut into bars, large or small whatever you prefer! I did a little of both 🙂

Baked to perfection

Perfect study break snack 🙂

What comfort food do you crave when you’re stressed?

Anything with lots of carbs or that I had often while growing up at home! Cookies, and mac and cheese.

“Excuses”

These days I’m full of excuses to indulge my inner foodie and love for healthy living, or really any excuse to get me out of doing the two term papers and multiple exams looming over my head for the next few weeks. Half way through the semester…. I’m pretty pleased with that!

I used the beautiful, completely unseasonal weather as an excuse to go for a run on a busy morning, as well as an excuse to go for a walk with the boy when I should have been preparing an outline.

Obviously a photo from the summer, because lets be real there is no green here unless you want to count the tiny sprigs of grass trying not to drown in mud from all the snow melting.

I am using Valentine’s Day as an excuse to buy cheap, cute kitchen and decorating items for next year

Major score at Walmart! Table cloth, cookie cutters, and cute heart plate!

And perhaps a little Ghirardelli to indulge my sweet tooth

I’m using a rushed day as an excuse to eat Raspberry Chobani with butter toffee almonds and calling it lunch and then later having a second lunch because yogurt just won’t cut it.

SO pretty and yummy! Yogurt and almonds is a super concoction!

Cinnamon Cheerios and Kashi Blueberry clusters

It is funny how I bought more produce this week then I ever do and seem to have consumed it all faster than I ever do….. so I resort to cereal and yogurt… or an excuse for ANOTHER grocery run of the week to get some strawberries, because well its winter and I need some “summery” foods in my life

To add to my yogurt... with honey on top.

Then there is the fact that it is Friday night, no homework EVER gets done on Friday night. So I like many others decided it was pizza night, a pizza night followed by baking and watching the office on hulu….. What did I bake you ask?

Jess’s Cinnamon Sugar Flatbread Crackers

She posted them this morning and I decided I just had to have them!

He was such a good helper 🙂

Greatest combination out there!

Team work at its finest. Please ignore and don't be blinded by my extreme paleness

The final product!

I modified her recipe just a little bit….

Cinnamon Sugar Flatbread Crackers

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons sugar + 3/4 tablespoon cinnamon for sprinkling

A smear of butter or margarine (to coat top)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl, mix. Add water and olive oil. Mix until dough forms. I used my hands, it was easiest.

Cover a baking sheet with flour and roll the dough as thin as desired with a rolling pin. Brush top of crackers with melted butter or margarine. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over top and cut with a pizza slicer into desired sized crackers. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Let cool completely.

I think I’m off to bake more tomorrow… I’m using this weekend to bake, catch up on sleep, and prepare for another VERY busy week!

What “excuses” have you made lately to indulge in your preferred lifestyle?

run, run, run, bake, bake, bake, homework, sleep. I’ve got to stay sane somehow with all this school work, some would beg to differ that I’ve actually remained sane.

Does anyone else use holidays as excuses to buy cute little things on sale?

I couldn’t wait for Feb 15 so I could go buy some heart shaped cookie cutters!

Motivation

I have a huge exam on Monday, so yesterday I decided what better way to motivate myself and power my studies, than with some awesome awesome meals! I really don’t like studying…. like more than normal. And I certainly don’t study like a normal college kid. I like to intermingle my studies with some good meals and lots of breaks to keep me focused and sane!

Let’s just say I’m glad it’s my last hard semester of college!

I woke up early, on a saturday to get my run in before my marathon of studying. After my run I headed to the boyfriend’s house to study (They have a kitchen table to spread out on…. and I don’t). I had bought one of Chobani’s new flavors friday night while I was at the store and was dying to try it!

Lemon! I may just buy more of these to eat for dessert! So good!

I studied the morning away and finally around 2 pm felt lunch calling my name…. I get super distracted and can’t focus when I’m hungry or tired, so I knew I had to stop and take a break. Let’s just say I’m not the normal college kid that stays up late a studies for hours…..

Flat out w/ hummus, black beans, and bell pepper

After lunch I decided it was time for a nap. I was happy with the progress I had made that morning. When I got up I studied for an hour or two and go hungry AGAIN….. yep I eat allllll the time. So I decided to have a snack, because I knew I wouldn’t start dinner for another hour or two.

Wheat thins w/ PB and apple sauce w/ cinnamon were snack on

Finally, I had enough! Staring at the computer typing a study guide and reading over notes gets the best of me after about 6-7 hours…. I go a wee bit crazy if I do work for too long, just ask the boy.

Friday night I had went grocery shopping and gotten a ton of  fresh vegetables and other “new” things that I don’t usually buy, so I decided that we were going to have a nice dinner tonight. That is after I layed on the couch and watched Wedding Crashers for about 30 min….. sometimes you just have to unwind.

Dinner started off with some awesome sauteed veggies! You really can’t go wrong with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, onion, zucchini, and bell pepper!

Then I moved on to some chicken which I had been marinating in Light Italian dressing all day. I sprinkled it with a few whole wheat bread crumbs and set it to bake in the oven at 400  for about 25 min. –> easiest way to do chicken, marinate it in salad dressing and then bake. Super tasty and moist!

This was gonna be it for dinner…..

But then I was going through the pantry and found some cornbread mix. So we had cornbread as well 🙂

It was sooo tasty and fast. The boy LOVED it! He came in from studying and immediately went YUM that smells amazing and I got countless compliments throughout dinner! I make this boy dinner nearly every night, but this meal was def a favorite of his!

We ended the night with some chocolate chip cookies and TV…. I’d say it wasn’t a bad day. 😀

Chocolate chip, cranberry cookies

I’ll be back with that recipe tomorrow 😉

 

What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day/week?

Definitely a movie or TV with the boy and some cookies or wine 🙂