Easter Recap

Happy belated Easter, my friends! Whether you celebrate the day or not, I hope you had a great weekend πŸ™‚

Mine was fantastic. It was filled with family, relaxation and a whole lotta food. It was wonderful! I think it’s perfectly acceptable to loosen the belt buckle and throw caution to the wind every now and then and just enjoy food. And that’s exactly what happened this weekend πŸ˜‰

Don’t mind me. I’m a 23-year-old who still enjoys coloring eggs…

I’m also a 23-year-old who still gets excited about an Easter basket! πŸ™‚

So.much.candy.

Money shot.

I think the Easter Bunny reads this blog and knows that I’m learning to bake πŸ˜‰

Let me tell you something. Cory’s mom is the Hostess with the Mostest. She is the Detail Queen and I love it! I mean seriously. Look at the table settings she created.

Too cute right?

And the food was fabulous. I pulled the I’ll try a little bit of everything that’s on the tableΒ card.

Looking at this picture, I realize that this serving makes me seems quite anal. I’m swear I’m not a 5-year-old. I really don’t mind if my foods touch πŸ˜‰

I also went to town on desserts. But let me just highlight my favorite. Enter: a ball of red velvet cake that was rolled in cheesecake, that was then rolled in graham cracker crumbs, that was then dipped in white chocolate. Heaven on a stick? I think so.

I’m certain I will be dreaming of these.

Cory didn’t want to keep a lot of the candy in our Easter basket, so guess who it came home with? This girl. Who has sticky fingers around sweets. I have to take precautionary measures when left alone with bags of candy.

I measure out serving sizes and put them in separate baggies so when I do want a little treat, I can grab and go.

Otherwise I will devour an entire bag of Starburst jellybeans in one sitting. And then I’ll try to convince myself that because they’re so tiny, they can’t possibly have any substantial caloric impact…

Let’s chat – What’s your favorite Easter candy? Starburst jellybeans. Duh.


Weekend Wrap Up

Hiya! Did you guys have a fun weekend? I sure did! πŸ™‚ Saturday was spent cashing in on a Groupon that Cory and I bought a few weeks ago, and today was spent on a adventure in DC.

Let’s start with Saturday’s events, shall we?

Saturday

Cory and I spent a few hours over at National Harbor at theΒ Metropolitan Food, Libations & Luxury Home Show. Clearly, we don’t own a home – but we’ve got the food and libations part covered πŸ˜‰

This is the inside of the Gaylord. It’s seriously such a neat, beautiful hotel!

Tickets to get our draannk on πŸ˜‰

This is the first vendor that greeted us. Yes please!

The caramel pretzel bark was ahhhmazing.

Barbecue sause (served with non-pictured chicken sausage)

Oh my dear sweet Lord, I want a Vitamix SO badly. This guy said that he “saw my eyes light up” as we approached this station πŸ˜‰ Now if only I had several hundred dollars lying around..

I’m not a beer girl – but I tasted two that I actually really liked! Agave Wheat – has anyone tried this!?

We tried brownies, chips and salsas, chocolate-covered nuts, wines, and coffees. It was a blasty blast.

************

Sunday

Today, we experienced the most epic let down of all time.

Jamie, Cory and I hopped on the metro this morning with BIG plans. We rode into the District to fulfill one mission that I’ve been wanting to do for so long – have The Cereal Bowl for lunch.

We were stumped when we got to the address but couldn’t find the place. 3820 is what we were looking for. We were standing in front of 3816. We scanned to 3818. I let out a huge “Are you KIDDING ME?!” When we got to 3820.

We attempted to reenact our tantrum.

Defeated, we went to Clyde’s for lunch. I ordered soup because it came in a bowl, like cereal.

It didn’t make me as happy as a cereal combo would have. But of course, this did make things a little bit better.

Frozen-Yo is a pretty tasty fro-yo place in DC. I was so upset about The Cereal Bowl that I ate way too much fro-y0 to in order to compensate (the hole in my heart, clearly). This was the first time ever that I left a fro-yo place feeling gross. It was delicious while it was happening, though.

Well friends, that’s the weekend in a nutshell! I’ve got to go grocery shopping before I can retire in my comfy pants for the evening. I’ll give you one guess as to what I’m planning on having for dinner…

Let me know – On a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being FANTASTIC), how would you rate your weekend? Mine? A solid 6.Β Saturday was great, and I loved seeing Jamie today – but all that excitement about The Cereal Bowl just to be let down was blah.


My Day in Pictures

Hey hey, blog friends!! I hope your day has been fabulous! Because I was so busy this weekend, I didn’t keep up with my 30 day picture challenge. So let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?

Day 16 is a picture of your day. I thought it might be fun to recap my day in a couple pictures πŸ™‚

Lunch was a smoothie – 1/2 a banana, frozen blueberries, 1 tablespoon of Nutella, 3/4 cup milk, a tablespoon of Vanilla Chobani and a hand full of ice cubes πŸ™‚

The afternoon was spent with my mom shopping for her Mother of the Bride dress. We were unsuccessful, but it was fun! (Sorry for the unevenness of the dress. This was the only place in the dressing room with enough light!)

I got some fantastic samples of Gnu Food bars. They are so delish! Stay tuned for a give away! πŸ˜‰

Cory and I made a tasty dinner of whole wheat penne, tomato sauce, grilled chicken, broccoli, yellow peppers and onion. It was so simple, yet so good!

We went out to the Apple store (again) to see what time they’re opening tomorrow and we passed a candy store (Cory’s favorite thing) on our way out. Obviously we had to stop in πŸ˜‰

I wasn’t in the mood for candy, so my after dinner treat was an apple and Nutella.

Now I’m relaxing and getting ready to start a book for a paper that’s due next week. Good thing it actually seems interesting πŸ™‚

Enjoy the rest of your night! πŸ˜€

Let’s chat – What’s the last book you read? Gummy/fruity candy vs chocolate? Have you ever had a Gnu Food bar?


Home Again, Home Again

Hi there! Friends, I seriously cannot get over this beautiful weather. I am silly to think that Spring could be here for real?!

Before heading back home, we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Richmond, Cafe Caturra. I had half a veggie panini with a raspberry walnut salad on the side. It was fantastic.

We even ate outside!! I could feel the warmth of the sun on my back and it was heavenly.

I love Cory because we’re normally on the same page. On our way out of Richmond he asked “Do you want Sweet Frog one more time?” YES PLEASE! πŸ™‚

Fro-yo two days in a row? Sounds good to me! Can you guess which one is mine? πŸ˜‰

Since this upcoming week is my spring break, Cory and I are planning on eating dinner together most nights, which made this weekend’s grocery trip exciting.

We are trying to practice our “meal planning.” Once we get married and move in together (!!!) we’re going to have to buckle down and make a meal plan for the week in order to make our lives easier and cut down on our grocery budget. If we have our meals planned out ahead of time, we’ll be less likely to buy random groceries we don’t need. Does anyone else do this now?

Well, I think the rest of the night is going to be spent relaxing. The premier of Sister Wives is on tonight, and I want to see it.

Have you seen this show?! Does anyone else think that the husband is the creepiest man ever? The whole thing just boggles my mind.

I hope you’re having a relaxing Sunday!

Let’s chat – Did you enjoy this weekend’s beautiful weather? Do you plan out your meals for the week before going grocery shopping? How do you relax on Sundays? Have you seen Sister Wives – what’s your take on the whole thing?

 


 

 


Food Tasting {Part 2} + Fro-yo

How is everyone doing?! Did Daylight’s Savings throw anyone off today? I was lucky enough to not have anything to wake up for, so it didn’t mean much to me this morning πŸ™‚ When I saw that it wasΒ 58 degrees outside I hopped out of bed andΒ did the two mile loop around the lake in Cory’s parent’s neighborhood. It’s no marathon run, but it felt good to be outside.

Yesterday was full of more wedding planning. I guess you could say I was pretty excited about it (and the fact that it was warm enough to bear my pasty legs for the first time in months)

We went to the country club where our wedding reception is going to be held. I had to laugh when I realized we were spending time seriously debating between white vs ivory tablecloths. This is my life.

Once we were able to make a choice between the drastically different table cloth colors it was on to the main courses πŸ™‚

Someone from the club was sitting with us as we ate (slightly awkward) so I was only able to snap a picture of the salmon. Ohmygawd.Β It was so delicious.

Cory had chicken stuffed with feta and spinach with a roasted red pepper sauce that was also divive, and we switched half way through πŸ™‚

Later in the afternoon we headed out to my favorite fro-yo place, Sweet Frog. I’m usually a vanilla + my weight in rainbow sprinkles type girl, but my blogger BFF, Rachel told me to add in some PB flavor and I’m SO glad she did πŸ™‚

I went to town with my fro-yo. Peanut butter, vanilla and cake batter flavors topped with rainbow sprinkles, almonds, white chocolate chips, and a few Oreo pieces πŸ™‚ Fro-yo has absolutely become my favorite treat. I may be obsessed.

We’re getting ready to head back home in a little bit, so I will catch up with you later! Enjoy this beautiful Sunday!

Let’s chat – What was the best thing you ate this weekend? What you’re favorite fro-yo flavor + toppings? Is the weather finally getting nice where you are?


Call Me Betty

Sike, don’t really call me Betty. But seriously, I had quite the productive morning in the kitchen!! Cory and I are going to my parent’s for dinner so I volunteered to bring dessert. My mom doesn’t like sweets, but I know Daddio will appreciate my efforts πŸ˜‰ (Kate will, too. She’s a good sport.)

I called my parents last night with several recipes for them to choose from. When I mentioned truffles, both my parents said “What are truffles?” Oh, Lord. With that said, I knew I had to go the truffle route.

So first up, cookie dough truffles. Need I say more? I borrowed this recipe from FoodNetwork, and it is divine!

Oh.My.Word. These are so good. You must make them immediately. The recipe is simple – but it’s very messy! When I make chocolate-covered-anything, the kitchen ends up looking like an unsupervised five-year-old was left in there for days. It’s not pretty. But the end result always is πŸ™‚ (That said, I’m not a blogger who can take step-by-step pictures of my baking. My hands are too messy!)

Here are the directions I followed:

* As you can see, I drizzled mine with white chocolate. Deeelish! πŸ™‚

Round 2 was scones again! I used Courtney’s recipe and they turned out fabulously. I know I made these last week, but I made them again because I wanted my parents to have them. I’m not a scone hoarder. Not that there would be anything wrong with that..

Here are the directions that Courtney so generously provided on her blog

* 6 wedges = 12 -15 minutes

* 8 wedges = 10 – 12 minutes (This is what I did)

* 12 wedges = 8 – 10 minutes

Needless to say, I’ve got A LOT of sugar sitting in the other room. I can’t handle all that temptation. That is why I’ve boxed things up, ready to take over to my parents πŸ™‚

Cory’s off work, so I’m gonna get outta here πŸ™‚ Enjoy your weekend!


Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

You will all be pleased to know that I survived my Lady Doctor experience. She did actually ask me how school was going, and it made me chuckle.

Since I dedicated my morning’s post to that experience, I need to fill you guys in on the rest of my (less traumatizing) day πŸ˜‰

One thing was good about today’s appointment – I had a little extra time this morning. That meant I got to ditch P90X and actually go to the gym!! I ran three wonderful miles and felt great afterwards.

I came back to a breakfast of overnight oats. I again added pomegranate Chobani, but I also had a baby piece of a banana sitting around so I mashed that up and added it to the mix. It truly tasted like a pomegranate-banana smoothie! If I wasn’t so attached to my toppings, I would have eaten it as-is.

Once I got back to campus after visiting The Lady Doctor, I felt that it was more than appropriate to treat myself to some iced coffee. A grande sugar-free hazelnut coffee with skim milk, if you want to get technical πŸ˜‰

I’m aware that drinking iced coffee while having to wear gloves seems counterintuitive, but it’s what I really wanted. I don’t mess with cravings. I just end up disappointed if I do πŸ˜‰

Lunch today hit the spot. I had my veggies topped with a cut up veggie burger with an apple on the side.

Dinner will be classroom style tonight. It’s the regular turkey sandwich on a bagel thin with red peppers, hummus, mustard and half of a Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedge. The co-stars of the meal are grapes and Kashi crackers. Β I’m a creature of habit. And I’m a graduate student who can’t afford new and exciting meals all the time πŸ˜‰

Today is day seven of the 30 Day Picture Challenge!

A picture of your night. Get ready to have your mind blown πŸ˜‰

Textbooks and magazines. I like to mix business with pleasure πŸ™‚

On to the winner of the CNC Stores Gift Card Give Away!!

Cynthia from It All Changes!! I love coffee mugs as well, so I hope you pick a neat one! πŸ™‚ Please email me at lunchboxdiaries@gmail.com so I can send you the promo information.

Okay, my friends – I’ve got to run to class. Tonight we’re doing practice counseling sessions. My fictional problems include alcoholism, depression and a bout of infidelity. Whew! My “counselor” will have a lot to work with, that’s for sure! πŸ™‚

Let’s chat – What breakfast would you make if you had extra time in the mornings? Are you a Chobani fan? Do you give yourself little treats when you “accomplish” something?


Self-Control, Where’d You Go?

Frozen Yogurt. Spanish Tapas. Scones. Chinese. Whole Foods (whew!). More scones + Ice Cream. Oh, God. Looking at it in print makes me feel even worse.

Don’t get me wrong. I think weekends are meant for hypothetical stretchy pants. It’s a time to indulge and enjoy yourself – and I usually embrace this idea and don’t think twice. But as I sit here replaying my meal movie reel in my head, I’m asking “Where did my self-control go?!” (Does it help my case that it’s that time?) When I go balls-to-the-wall and forget about moderation, I being to feel less than stellar. I feel lethargic. My skin starts to go south. My Chron’s acts up. I become self-conscious. It’s not good. But rather than sit here and freak out, I just need to get my butt into gear and back on track! Right?

Yesterday, Cory and I made our way out of our PJs and over to Whole Foods πŸ˜€ My favorite part of WF is the trail mix bar (that’s not the technical name, I’m sure)

I threw together some almonds, honey granola, banana chips, walnuts and a few chocolates. It even made an appearance in my oats this morning πŸ˜‰

I think it’s impossible for us to visit our beloved Whole Foods without eating a meal. Thank goodness it was lunch time! I had a “make your own” veggie sandwich: spinach, tomatoes, swiss cheese, grilled veggies, and mustard. It was delicious, per the usual.

For dinner we had a pasta with grilled chicken and veggies – but I didn’t take a picture! Do you know what I did get a picture of though? My 240,590,345th indulgence of the weekend: my scone and ice cream dessert πŸ™‚ I heated up the scone before topping with ice cream and it was absolutely heavenly!

Look at this cute little ice cream I found at Giant! (I used a little less than half and it was perfect)

I enjoyed this dessert while watching beautiful and 100% toned movie stars walk down the red carpet πŸ˜‰ Who made your best-dressed list?? For me it was Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon Mila Kunis and Mandy Moore!

They all looked so beautiful!!

This morning I woke up and made myself some regular PB&J oats with some added WF trail mix. Perfection.

Tonight I have round 2 of my alcohol program. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that at least one person peopleΒ show up this time! πŸ˜‰

Chit-chat: Who do you think should make the Oscar’s Best Dressed List? How do you deal with an over-indulgent weekend come Monday morning?

 


Weekend Wrap Up

Hi, hi!! I hope you’ve had a great weekend! If you haven’t already checked out my story on Heather’s blog, I think ya should πŸ˜‰

My weekend has been pretty busy and I feel like I’ve been slacking on the blogging duties, so I just wanted to give you a little recap πŸ™‚

Let’s start on Friday, shall we?

I mentioned that I had tacos on Friday, but I had forgotten my camera and M & D’s! I lurve tacos.

I topped a whole wheat wrap with refried beans (my weakness), ground beef, lettuce, onions, green pepper, salsa and cheese.

It was tasty πŸ˜€

As you know, the bulk of my Saturday was spent inside the classroom, but I did manage to have a fun night! My cousin Mandy turned 21 – so we celebrated with family, food and fun!

The majority of my evening was spent Β hovering over one of three areas :

1. The snack table. Notice the dip in the back left. I’m pretty sure that was all me πŸ˜‰

2. This fantastic dip made by my aunt Cindy. I lose all will-power around chips and dip. It’s a concern.

3. The bar. Can we say “I love Cosmos” ?? πŸ™‚

Of course I had to get some pictures with the beautiful birthday girl!

This one’s a little blurry. Oops!

Where did I find myself towards the end of the night? Spending time with my two of my favorite things: A cocktail and a cupcake. My uncles kept teasing me about stuffing my face all evening and having this blog. But, true to my word, I put all out there πŸ˜‰

This morning I woke up early (shocking) and made myself breakfast before working out.

One egg, one egg white and two pieces of wheat toast with blackberry jelly. YUM! Eating before working out makes a difference. I had more energy compared to working out first thing in the morning with no breakfast. But there’s no way I’m waking up at 4 AM for that. Sorry, Charlie!

I ended up running 3.5 miles this morning and I felt great!

Well, friends – I’m about to head over to Cory’s πŸ˜€ I haven’t seen him in almost a week! Enjoy the rest of your night!


Valentine’s Day Victory

I know I said I’m not one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. After I made that post, I almost regretted it because I felt like I’d have to be Hard Hearted Helen today in order to stand true to what I said – and that’s so not me. Β All I was trying to express (albeit poorly) was that I don’t like when this day taken to the extreme. I try to find the happy medium between walking around throwing rose petals in my wake and wearing black while dubbing today “Singles Awareness Day” (Which I just realized spells sad. That’s sad.) It’s a fun day to do cute things with people you love, and I can dig that.

Our Valentine’s ended up being just that! A little bit of cuteness, with a whole lot of love πŸ™‚

Cory and I usually send each other emails throughout the day, and today he sent me two “themed” ones that I enjoyed πŸ™‚

A little comedy –

We love our Macs and iPhones πŸ™‚ I know these things from Facebook are so yesterday, but they always make me laugh.

And a little sweetness in the form of a Google Maps e-card –

 

Aw, man. I just love this guy. πŸ˜€ As an aside – I can’t believe our wedding is less than six months away! It sounds like a long time, but it’s going to be here before we know it. I get butterflies every time I think about it πŸ™‚

Speaking of our wedding – Cory’s parents sent us a Valentine’s Day present off our registry πŸ˜€

It didn’t come out in the picture very well, but they’re Mr. & Mrs. champagne flutes filled with treats! Can you guess which one is mine? πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much, Joni and Mark!!

When Cory got home, I gave him two “tickets” to the Spy Museum in DC. I went years ago, and we’ve been wanting to go together, so I thought this was a good idea πŸ™‚ Nevermind the 5th grade-esque quality. It came from the heart.

Cory asked where I wanted to go to dinner and we came up with the decision to try the American Cafe.

I ordered Cajun chicken with veggies and mashed potatoes. You can imagine my disappointment when I quickly realized the “mashed potatoes” clearly came out of a box. Let down. The chicken wasn’t too bad though – it had a nice spicy kick to it.

Neither of us was totally satisfied with our meals, which only meant one thing. We had to go somewhere else for dessert. Enter: Red Velvet Cake (to-go!) from Eggspectations.

We devoured this baby real fast. I tried to get it out of the to-go box for a pretty picture, but that wasn’t going to happen without the cake crumbling/messing up the (cream cheese!) icing.

Well, friends, I’m stuffed and ready to relax for the rest of the night! I hope you’re doing the same! πŸ˜€

Question for the evening – How did you spend your Valentine’s Day?