Spring break has been a wonderful week of relaxation and rest. This weekend, not so much. This weekend brought along the sad realization that my spring break is ending, and that all the schoolwork I had all week to do I still have to do, without the whole week to do it. As such this weekend has been rather quiet. I’ve been working both at my job and on schoolwork, not the most exciting things in the world. Of course I have been eating, so without further adieu, my recent eats:

Maile and I hit up the hot food bar at  Wegmans yesterday. I got the chicken salad, mashed sweet po.tay.tos and green beans. The chicken was delicious and the po.tay.toes were like a dessert, they had cinnamon and ginger and were so creamy. The green beans were really lackluster, they were kind of chewy and badly seasoned. Those definitely weren’t my favorite but my standard mint green tea and honey more than made up for it.

After dinner Maile had to do some grocery shopping so we wandered around the aisles checking out all the food (and awesome samples!). Maile and I laugh that to the cashiers at Wegmans we must seem like we’re in a relationship because we’re always buying groceries together. Since we’re both into guys (and I’m in a relationship!) it just makes us laugh, but we have definitely gotten some funny looks while checking out before! Another thing that made me laugh that night was the cutest Sesame Street-esque cupcakes I found at the bakery. I didn’t buy one but that didn’t stop me from taking a picture to remember the cuteness.

Feeling victorious in turning down said Oscar the Grouch cupcake you would think I walked proudly out of that store and went and cut up some bananas and strawberries for a snack. I wish. Instead we headed over to Carvel for some ice cream. I got a mix of cookie dough and cake batter and was not impressed. It was supposed to be hard ice cream, yet it had a soft texture and it just tasted so overly sugary and sweet. I nixed mine halfway through, but that was still half too much that I ate.

This morning I woke up renewed to my healthy eating and with thoughts of Carvel’s sub-par ice cream way behind me. For lunch I stopped at Subway on my break from work and picked up a steak and cheese sandwich with chipotle sauce dressing per the Subway guy’s recommendation. It tasted great!

After work I drove home with my windows down in the partial sunshine soaking up the pre-spring weather that I didn’t need to wear a coat outside for! I got home to discover my family was having eggplant parm for dinner! Well don’t mind if I do! ;p It was rather yummy, although it tasted a little different than normal. Diane told me she baked it instead of frying it this time to cut down on the grease. I am all about making dishes healthier but I learned today I am a fried eggplant girl. Baked just does not compare! Afterwards my family cuddled up and watched Mask on the OWN Network. It was touching and a tearjerker, and made me so thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life!

And now its time to celebrate one of my least favorite yearly traditions. I call it, lets-get-excited-about-turning-our-clocks-ahead-an-hour-and-losing-yet-another-hour-of-precious-sleep-that-will-have-to-be-made-up-in-coffee-shots-and-jumping-jacks. Yep, I’m a big fan. But I am going to try and be responsible tonight and get some sleep so that tomorrow’s work day goes well. 🙂


They say when it rains it pours. And wow did it pour today! I woke up to the sound of the rain on my roof and now as I’m nodding off to the newest Jersey Shore episode on TV (Sammi and Ronnie trainwreck, what else is new) I can still hear the rain. Despite the dreary weather and its attempts to break my pretty leopard umbrella I did manage to get some things done, and have a really fun day!

After a lazy morning I decided to go grocery shopping at Wegmans to get some healthy foods for my house. When I don’t have a lot of my own healthy snacks its easy for me to reach for foods I normally wouldn’t, like salty pretzels or chips. There are so many healthier options out there, that taste a lot better to me. Pesto is amazing on cocopop, and apple butter is incredible on unsalted pretzels. The health food section in Wegmans is pretty awesome for this town, so I was really excited to pick up some tempeh and veggie sausage.

For dinner I decided to make a few of the organic pot stickers I just bought and cook up some brown rice to go with them. Living in Hawaii last summer I developed a bit of an obsession for rice. I miss having it at least once a day, so I’m going to try and include it with more of my meals.

Cooking this meal took fifteen minutes tops and was the easiest thing. I just boiled the rice and steamed the pot stickers. They were so delicious, they already had a little soy sauce in them so they didn’t need any flavoring. I might be making a few more of these tomorrow. ;p

Maile and I met up at Starbucks after dinner for some girl talk and coffee. We had a great time, and despite just swearing off Starbucks treats, this blueberry muffin was calling my name.

Here’s Maile showing off her cranberry bread. She modeled so well a gentleman in a suit struck up a conversation with her shortly after. ;p While no numbers were exchanged, who knows, this could be her in a year!

Afterwards we went to TJMaxx to check out the deals. I found some awesome Elle MacPherson items, and Maile found two really cute birthday outfits. I also found some awesome deals online at home! Back in December Target partnered with William Rast, one of my favorite denim lines, to make a cheaper line for their store. The true William Rast jeans are $200-$300, with Target’s line priced around $50. You can imagine my surprise when I went online today and saw they are on clearance for $17! I was reading reviews and the quality is supposed to be comparable to the real line, so I figured for that price I couldn’t not try them out! I ordered two pairs in the washes above and am really excited to try them on once they get here! They are famous for how they enhance derrieres!

Now I am going to take my derriere to bed. Goodnight bloggy world!

I’m a big believer in personal days. In high school my dad was that awesome parent that realized that some days a kid just needs a break and a little extra sleep. As long as I kept my A’s he was fine writing the occasional, “To whom it may concern, please excuse Erin from school yesterday, she was not feeling well.” Are those good values to be passing down to your child? Ehhh… Is it an awesome way to teach time management skills and put responsibility and trust in your children? Absolutely. I may be a little biased in this assessment though. ;p

Yesterday was a personal day for me, one filled with a hodge-podge of things I did, not because I had to, but because I wanted to.

I spent a lot of time sleeping and cuddling with my fluffballs. They wait outside my door in the morning (/afternoon) for me to wake up and sometimes manage to open my door and wake me up with cuddles and kisses on their own. They are so full of love and want so much to share it, its important to me to make sure I have time to pet and play with them and just love them back.

And boy do they love to play. They look so peaceful and calm in these pictures, but let me tell you, its deceiving.

There is a reason my stepmom just came home with this magazine the other day. Bailey and Andy especially love to bark. Maybe love is a strong word, but if do it all the time to any thing that moves outside their front window counts, then I’m going with love. The UPS man, one of us coming home, someone walking in front of the house, a bunny, a birdie, the list goes on and on. We found out from the article they’re not bored, or scared, or anxious, they’re just protectors. They are cockapoos and have the cocker spaniel hunting gene in them. They love to chase, and despite being twenty pounds of pure love, they bark to protect.

I also enjoyed my day through food that is slightly healthier than what I’ve been eating these past few days. I’m trying to watch what I eat and make smarter choices for my health. I have to keep reminding myself its bikini season in a few months!

For breakfast I had a bagel thin (raisin cinnamon!) with creme cheese and two scrambled eggs with some shredded cheese and ketchup. This is such a delicious, filling breakfast!

Wheat bread + almond butter + strawberries (!!! we’re so close to fresh fruit season!) = heaven after a workout.

And so is wheat bread + almond butter + sliced banana after you realize you’re still hungry after a kick butt workout and fresh fruit is yummy! I live on fruit in the spring and summer and I am so excited for it to be making a comeback in my life. Its amazing how much you don’t miss processed (for lack of a better word) crap when you have a plethora of fresh fruits to chose from. I’m slowly weaning myself off the winter comfort staples (bye-bye Starbucks pumpkin loaf, I had my last piece tonight in memoriam) and am introducing the fresh and the good back into my life.

Diane has also been making healthier dinners these past two nights. As the two women in the house we’re always interested in eating healthier and are excited to cook some more veggie-based dishes to try and curb our red meat consumption. The first dinner is a typical meat dinner of turkey, po.tay.toes, and green beans. Very yummy and very filling. The second dinner was a delicious veggie sausage with spinach and cheese and a side of veggies. Just as yummy and just as filling. When I have to leave for work before dinner Diane always fixes me a little plate for when I get home. She knows how much I love the veggies sausages, so whenever there’s extra she always saves them for me. 😀

With all that eating I’m happy to say I did a lot of this. I have a Latin Dance Workout DVD and it is so much fun! I get to get my grove on and work out to silly exercises like the Tango Toning Twist! Call it bulky winter sweater complacency or just plain laziness but I have gotten way too comfortable eating foods I shouldn’t be eating and then not getting my heart pumping to work off the calories. I love this DVD because you can really feel the workout, and it always leaves me so invigorated!

And what day would be complete without a little bit of shopping? Meet the newest addition to my sunglasses family: Maui Jim Rainbow Falls. I’ve had a giftcard that I’ve been meaning to use for forever, and these were just the happiest looking, most sunshine-y sunglasses I’ve ever seen. I’m so excited to start wearing them!

And now that it is 4:30 am I’m going to go cuddle up in a position that looks sort of like this and gets some sleep.

I love going to the movies. There is something about the surround sound, huge screen, and reclining chairs that make the movie come alive.  My friend Maile and I love seeing movies together. We go rather often and have seen a whole variety of genres. We decided to see a matinee today after a wonderful morning of sleeping in.

As the trailer suggests we went to see Unknown and it was really good! I was definitely on the edge of my seat the entire time, unable to guess what was going to happen, and likely bugging the crap out of Maile going, “I don’t think I can handle this!” ten million times. Two thumbs way up!

After the movie we decided to stop for a snack at a nearby pizza parlor. The owners are so nice and the food is good + cheap! Win! I knew I was going to be eating in a few hours so I just wanted to get a little something. I normally stick with the chocolate chip cannoli but these cinnaknots were looking so tempting from the display case. And the price for all four of them? $1! You just can’t beat it.

After Carb Fest 2011 we decided to do a little shopping. There is an awesome store named Willards in town that has a lot of specialty items for all sorts of occasions. While Maile checked out the jewelry I made a beeline to the kid’s section because, well, I’m 5. I found these super cute cookie cutters by Lilly Pulitzer, and it took a lot of serious willpower not to spend $25 on four cookie cutters. So adorable though.

Got chili? It was obvious when I got home that Diane had been cooking. There was at least eight pounds of chili simmering on the stove for dinner! Delicious? Absolutely. Overkill? Without a doubt.  Unless she’s planning on entering a chili contest I don’t know about it, we have enough chili for our family of four for a very long time.

When it was time for dinner I took my much smaller serving of chili and a rather large piece of homemade corn bread (so ono!) to the table and enjoyed hearing how everyone’s day was. Then I settled in for a Bravo marathon of Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Bethenny Ever After, and Cake Boss. It was wonderful and a great way to spend a slow, lazy Monday night.

I have a confession to make: I am not a morning person. This is not a shock to anyone reading this that knows me in any way, shape, or form. Don’t get me wrong, I truly wish I was! The whole idea of rising with the dawn and soaking up every minute of the day is super romantic. I mean have you seen how much fun Tuck and Winnie had? They were totally morning people!

Anyone else a Tuck Everlasting fan? It is hands down one of my favorite childhood novels. I took away more life lessons from reading that book than I thought possible, and the lessons only grow stronger with age. Unfortunately, waking up bright and early was not one of them, and the reason why my college classes are never scheduled for before 11am. Waking up at 9am to get ready for school feels early, so setting my alarm for 7am this morning felt like cruel and unusual punishment. There are only a very few situations that can have me up before the sun with a smile on my face and life in my eyes. And as much as I love my job, work is not one of those special circumstances.

After a hectic morning of employee classes and suit selling I was still caffeine-less and now hungry. I was working my department by myself until 1pm so I wouldn’t get a chance to grab coffee until after lunch. My mall doesn’t have a food court so I have the choice between 1. greasy Italian restaurant, 2. greasy Chinese restaurant, and 3. Subway. I think you can understand why I normally go with option 3. ;p

The day I realized Subway made pizza was a happy day. I didn’t even know they did until Maile ordered one a few weeks ago. I thought it looked and smelled delicious, and when I finally tried it I knew I had found my new staple menu item. You get to pick all the toppings you want added to the crust and then they pile on the cheese and cook it in the oven. Delicious!

Full of yummy pizza I was headed on a caffeine mission when I looked around and noticed that the mall was full of dogs! (I was not the most alert, awake person today…) There must have been around fifty dogs on leashes in the center of the mall getting groomed, doing tricks, and being perfectly quiet and well-behaved despite all the commotion going on at the dog show. (I would have loved to see my puppies in the middle of it. They would have had a blast getting the party started. ;p) And because I can’t walk past a dog without an instinctive need to coo and attempt to pet it I walked right up to this little guy to say hello.  (I’ve literally tried not to but puppies and babies make it impossible for me not to start acting like an idiot to get them to smile. Although I never get the urge to pet a baby, I do find myself making guppy clappy hands while smiling really big as a wave of sorts. They always seem to enjoy it.) I don’t know this puppy’s name, his breed, or how he see’s out of that hair, but he is so adorable and happy. Thankfully his owner didn’t think (or notice!) I was a creeper for taking a picture.

After a white chocolate mocha from Seattle’s Best that I was too busy inhaling to take a picture of, my day flew by.  The weather outside was getting progressively worse, from clear skies to rain to sleet to expected snow, so I was happy to be getting off of work relatively early at 5pm. This is the weather as I was leaving work, a mixture of rain and sleet but nothing terrible.

This was five minutes later on the highway. Great visibility, huh? I could not see more than 20 feet in front of my face, so driving 25mph the whole way took me a while to get home.

By the time I got home it had changed over to snow completely and was coming down pretty heavily. I live on the side of a mountain so our roads can take a while to get paved. Hydroplaning at every turn going up a hill is not fun and when I finally got home safe and sound I was very happy. For picture reference, there was no snow on the ground this morning.

Getting home exhausted, tired, and slightly shaken up after horrible driving conditions I was so ecstatic to see such a wonderful dinner waiting for me. Diane is an incredible cook and I love that my family sits down for dinner together every night. It is a great time to talk and catch up and get to enjoy a meal without any rush. Po.tay.tos + carrots + chicken bouillon + family = a wonderful way to unwind at the end of the day.

Another great way to unwind after a long day? Cuddling up with these two lovebugs. Andy is the little bean on the top of the couch and Bailey is the little princess on the pillow. They’re my babies/cookie monsters/ alarm clocks/ all around best pets in the entire world.

And now I’m going to take a page out of my puppys’ book and cuddle up and get some rest. I’m not setting an alarm tomorrow and cannot wait!

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” -Oscar Wilde

Today was the kind of morning that it hurt to open my eyes. Groggy, sleep-deprived and majorly disheveled all I can say is thank goodness for caffeine!

In particular, thank goodness for a Seattle’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough JavaKula. Eternal gratitude to the barista who when I asked if she could make it super strong told me, “Sure, I’ll nix the milk and triple the 2oz expresso shot.” You. rock.

Work passed by quickly, in a somewhat sleepy haze. When I got home I could tell someone in my house had been baking cookies. Thankfully that person was Diane, my stepmom, and not my dad or the smell wouldn’t have been nearly as pleasant. Fresh cookie smell is the absolute best smell to come home to after a long day. When I have my own place I want to have fresh cookies and fresh flowers in my house at all times. The smells, tastes, and sights can do wonders for a person.

Help myself? Don’t mind if I do! I’m not the biggest fan of oatmeal but my stepmom can do no wrong in the kitchen. These oatmeal clusters were delicious! Some House Hunters International and a glass of milk and a cookie (or two… okay three!) later, it is time for me to get to bed. I have to be at work even earlier tomorrow morning and another night of four hours of sleep just isn’t going to cut it.

Although another six ounce shot of espresso might help! ;p