Category Archives: Dogs

Secret Ingredient for Boxed Mac n’ Cheese

Yesterday at work we hosted a Farmers Market, showcasing some local businesses in the Cleveland area.


We spent the morning setting up the picnic grounds area as the vendors began to arrive. Everything was going smoothly until a major down poor of rain came through the area…

Luckily most of the vendors had their tents set up and came prepared for the weather!

Eventually the rain went away (thankfully!) and the sun came out just in time for the employees (and their families) to enjoy the market.

We had a variety of vendors come and each showcased their unique products.

Honey, jellies, and more

Bread and other goodies

Olive Oils and Vinegars

Produce

Hummus, pitas, and other goods

There were also vendors selling purses and handmade bags, flowers, maple syrup, salsas and hot sauces, and gyros.  It was a nice variety!

Lunch

On my lunch break I took time to shop and eat! I managed to buy a lot of goodies for Andy and I, as well as a couple of things to use as birthday gifts coming up.

Produce, monkey bread, nut roll, hot sauce, pepper jelly, and BBQ sauce

For lunch I went to the gyro stand and purchased a chicken pita.

It was delicious! I especially loved the yogurt sauce.

I think the Farmers Market was a big success! Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed the vendor selections.

Dinner

I was in the mood for more roasted tomatoes to have with dinner last night.  I decided to use the fresh ones I purchased at the market along with the zucchini.

I sliced up the veggies then seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I also chopped up a head of garlic to roast with the tomatoes and zucchini.

The veggies cooked in the oven set at 375 for about 40 minutes.

I wasn’t sure what else I wanted with my veggies until I saw a box of Whole Foods brand Shells and Cheese.  We had a winner!

I cooked the macaroni according to package directions.  Then I added my secret ingredient to make it extra creamy: A Laughing Cow cheese wedge!

Along with the cheese wedge, I added a splash of 2% milk and about a tbsp of real butter.  It really ups the flavor! I think boxed mac n’ cheese is rather bland without the extra additions. Try this combo! It will not disappoint!

Workout

Today’s workout included a hot run with Boo and Sophia. It’s supposed to be in the 90s today and by the the time we hit the pavement it was already 75 and humid.  Luckily there was a slight breeze that made the 2 mile run pretty enjoyable.

That still didn’t stop me from looking like a total sweat monster:

Sophia was hot too, and jumped straight into the bushes when we got back:

Boo just looked stunned,  like he was blinded by the light:

I swear they enjoy running with me 🙂

After cooling down, we all relaxed for a bit before I headed off to work for the day.

Weekend Plans

My mom and dad are coming from Cincinnati to stay with Andy and I for the long weekend. I can’t wait to see them! We have dinner plans tomorrow night and we’re thinking about going to the Zoo as well.  I love family time!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Secret Ingredient for Boxed Mac n' Cheese

Yesterday at work we hosted a Farmers Market, showcasing some local businesses in the Cleveland area.


We spent the morning setting up the picnic grounds area as the vendors began to arrive. Everything was going smoothly until a major down poor of rain came through the area…

Luckily most of the vendors had their tents set up and came prepared for the weather!

Eventually the rain went away (thankfully!) and the sun came out just in time for the employees (and their families) to enjoy the market.

We had a variety of vendors come and each showcased their unique products.

Honey, jellies, and more

Bread and other goodies

Olive Oils and Vinegars

Produce

Hummus, pitas, and other goods

There were also vendors selling purses and handmade bags, flowers, maple syrup, salsas and hot sauces, and gyros.  It was a nice variety!

Lunch

On my lunch break I took time to shop and eat! I managed to buy a lot of goodies for Andy and I, as well as a couple of things to use as birthday gifts coming up.

Produce, monkey bread, nut roll, hot sauce, pepper jelly, and BBQ sauce

For lunch I went to the gyro stand and purchased a chicken pita.

It was delicious! I especially loved the yogurt sauce.

I think the Farmers Market was a big success! Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed the vendor selections.

Dinner

I was in the mood for more roasted tomatoes to have with dinner last night.  I decided to use the fresh ones I purchased at the market along with the zucchini.

I sliced up the veggies then seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I also chopped up a head of garlic to roast with the tomatoes and zucchini.

The veggies cooked in the oven set at 375 for about 40 minutes.

I wasn’t sure what else I wanted with my veggies until I saw a box of Whole Foods brand Shells and Cheese.  We had a winner!

I cooked the macaroni according to package directions.  Then I added my secret ingredient to make it extra creamy: A Laughing Cow cheese wedge!

Along with the cheese wedge, I added a splash of 2% milk and about a tbsp of real butter.  It really ups the flavor! I think boxed mac n’ cheese is rather bland without the extra additions. Try this combo! It will not disappoint!

Workout

Today’s workout included a hot run with Boo and Sophia. It’s supposed to be in the 90s today and by the the time we hit the pavement it was already 75 and humid.  Luckily there was a slight breeze that made the 2 mile run pretty enjoyable.

That still didn’t stop me from looking like a total sweat monster:

Sophia was hot too, and jumped straight into the bushes when we got back:

Boo just looked stunned,  like he was blinded by the light:

I swear they enjoy running with me 🙂

After cooling down, we all relaxed for a bit before I headed off to work for the day.

Weekend Plans

My mom and dad are coming from Cincinnati to stay with Andy and I for the long weekend. I can’t wait to see them! We have dinner plans tomorrow night and we’re thinking about going to the Zoo as well.  I love family time!

Have a great weekend everyone!

His and Her Dinners

My lack of sleep from the bad storm and my 5AM wake up call yesterday finally caught up with me by the time I got home from work.  I was exhausted! I grabbed my pillow and blanket and headed straight for the couch to relax.

Andy had the same idea when he got home a couple of hours later and soon he was fast asleep on the couch while I watched the finale of the Real World Challenge (And yes, I realize I watch the same shows as high school age kids) 

I didn’t want to wake Andy up from his nap, so I headed in the kitchen to make myself breakfast for dinner.  I knew that Andy had wanted to use up some ground beef, so I figured we’d just have our own “His and Her” dinners tonight.

On my menu for the night: Waffles n’ Eggs!

I chopped up a tomato to fill in my omelet, which consisted of 1 whole egg and two whites plus a splash of milk.  Shredded cheese was also added to complete my omelet.

Dinner came together in a flash and it was oh-so-good! I love this combination!  Plus I love waffles topped with real maple syrup.

There was a time in my life when I tried to eat everything sugar free and get as few calories as possible from foods like syrup or creamer.  Long gone are those crazy days!  Bring on the real food! And what’s funny is that I used to eat enormous servings of the sugar free stuff and now that I eat the real thing, I only need a little bit to get all of that wonderful flavor.

Man Food 

Andy finally woke up after 2 hours of napping and was ready for some dinner. So he headed out to make some serious man food on the grill: Burgers!

Boo and Sophia were doing some serious begging for his burger (even after I gave them egg yolks…I guess a burger is more enticing!)

Let's make a deal...You can have some of my dry, I mean delicious, dog food and I'll have one of your juicy burgers...

For God's sake, drop something!

The rest of the evening was spent reading in bed. I’m currently reading The Help, which is such a great read so far! I wanted to read it before I saw the movie that is out.

Morning Run

I awoke today feeling well rested (finally!) and decided to take Boo and Sophia on a quick 2-mile run.  It was a great way to start the morning!

When we got back I attempted to take a picture with the dogs…

The pictures didn’t turn out so well…(although the overgrown weeds sure look pretty!)

This one was as good as it was going to get…

These two  were just more interested in cooling off on the patio instead…

Life is so hard

The rest of the morning was spent eating breakfast (Shredded Wheat and Peanut Butter Puffins cereal with strawberries and soy milk) and catching some of the Today Show before packing my lunch and heading off to work.

Almond Butter and Tomato Sandwich

I was inspired by Kelly when I made my lunch for work this morning.  The other day she talked about one of her favorite sandwiches: Peanut Butter and Tomato! This intrigued me, so I decided to try it.

I sliced up the tomato and seasoned it with salt and pepper:

I then topped two slices of bread with Almond Butter before packing it up in my lunch bag.

I packed the tomato and almond butter sandwich separately and then assembled it at work while on my lunch break.

I loved this sandwich and I think the salt and pepper on the tomato really adds such great flavor.  I’ll be making this combination again!

Gossip Friday

While sitting outside for my lunch break, I caught up with the latest US Weekly.

Fridays have become “Gossip Friday” for me since that is when the new magazine comes out.  I’ll admit, I enjoy reading celebrity gossip and just mindlessly flipping through the pages looking at the pictures.  It makes for a very relaxing lunch break too!

Have a great Friday everyone!

Question:

What are some of your favorite magazines to read?

Eating just to Eat

Last night of course was Taco Tuesday…and surprisingly we are still not sick of it! I think we’ve been on our Taco Tuesday kick every week without fail for well over a month, if not more.  Bring on the Mexican food! 🙂

For our tacos we had:

  • Re-fried Vegetarian Beans
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Salsa
  • Hot Sauce
  • Chips

I made a taco pile and enjoyed a glass of Skinny Girl Margarita.  I just can’t seem to eat tacos without it!

It was a delicious dinner but I was completely stuffed.  Two taco piles will do that to ya I guess!

Family Walk

After dinner Andy and I decided to take the dogs for a walk.  We have not done that in so long so it was nice to get out and spend some quality time with our lil’ family.

Plus, these two crazy monsters needed to do something with their never-ending energy:

Who, Me?

This is just our warm up

We walked around the neighborhood for about a half hour and enjoyed the nice, warm evening.

When we got back everyone was looking a bit tired

I'm not ready for bed, I just need to rest my eyes

Andy and Sophia even shared a special moment relaxing on the couch:

She is quite the Diva in the household

Eating just to Eat

Once I sat back down on the couch and caught up on the latest episode of Millionaire Matchmaker (holy first date in the hot tub!), I felt hungry. Well, to be honest I wasn’t all that hungry but I really wanted something sweet to munch on.  A small bowl of cereal did the trick!  Sometimes I eat just to eat.  There, I said it 😉

I don’t care that I do this sometimes and in fact, I enjoy it.  I enjoy food so much and sometimes I do just eat simply because I want to.

I also sometimes eat because I am bored, tired, happy or upset.  I admit that I do use food for comfort from time to time.  But I am OK with it. I don’t do it often, but I do think it’s completely normal to want something to comfort you, and for me it’s sometimes just a warm, filling meal.

My focus on food and exercise has changed dramatically over the last few years.  I’ve gone from meticulously counting grams of protein, carbs, and fat (especially during Figure Competition prep) to counting scoops of ice cream at Dairy Queen (and making sure I get plenty!)

I’m not saying I don’t care about what I eat (because I do!), but I certainly don’t go crazy.  I’ve found a balance that works for me.  To some, my diet may be unhealthy.  I mean I ate tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream at dinner (which is just fine by me).  But by others’ healthy living standards it may be junk.  It’s all just food to me and I like it all.  The good, the bad, and the extra greasy.

Question:

Do you ever eat just to eat?

It's Not a Wedding Without a Line Dance

This weekend sure flew by! It seemed as if I was always on the go.  I definitely enjoy weekends like these because I feel so accomplished.  But I also really love my lazy weekends and so far not much is on the agenda for next weekend. I hope my couch is ready for me because I have some serious reality TV to catch up on 😉

Saturday

To start my busy weekend off I headed to a free Yoga class at Puma Yoga Studio in Lakewood, Ohio.

I had never been to this studio before and I was excited to give it a try.  My boss recommend I go since they were having free classes on Saturday.  I can’t pass up a free class!

I’m glad I didn’t pass up the free class because it was a good one.  The class was called Rise and Shine since it was at 7:30AM. I prefer doing Yoga early in the morning when I have not had anything to eat.  My stomach definitely appreciates it too 😉

The class was a nice blend of flowing poses, holding poses, and deep breathing and relaxation.  I would definitely recommend this studio to anyone in the Cleveland area. It had a great atmosphere and the staff working were very friendly and helpful. Plus their prices for classes when not free seem pretty reasonable.

After Yoga I hit up a local Starbucks to get myself a hot coffee and to surprise Andy with one of his favorite treats: a Mocha Frappucinno (also scoring some major girlfriend points if I do say so myself!)

A Yoga class and a Starbucks coffee was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Wedding

Saturday night we had yet another wedding to attend.  This makes it three for the summer. But I’m certainly not complaining.  What’s not to love about busting some serious moves on the dance floor, eating great food, and boozing my face off? Nothing!!

Andy’s family friend was getting married to his long-time girlfriend.  Andy’s parents, brother Joe, and sister-in-law Lindsay were also attending so I was looking forward to spending time with everyone.

Andy and I

Lindsay and I

Andy and his parents

The wedding and reception were both held at the same place, a local Hilton Hotel.  In fact, all three of the weddings I attending this summer (See Kelly’s here and Sam’s here) were also this way.  I really liked not having to travel from place to place.  Super convenient, especially for out of town guests.

The wedding ceremony was short, sweet, and beautiful.  We had a cocktail hour shortly after where we munched on cheese, crackers, fruit, bruschetta, and mini egg rolls.

We also spent a lot of time at the bar…Naturally 😉

The families of the bride and groom sure like to party…there was a great assortment of beer, wine, and tons of liquor.

Our Table

The dinner was served buffet style and there was an array of options including chicken, salmon, some kind of red meat (which I don’t eat so I didn’t really take a good look!), mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, salad, and rolls.  It was all pretty good but I especially loved the salad since there was fresh parmesan cheese available to top it with. Yum!

The wedding cake was amaretto flavored which I’m not a huge fan of so I only had a bite.  However, it was certainly a beautifully decorated cake!


The rest of the night was spent out on the dance floor where I showed off my line dancing skills busting out the “Cupid Shuffle” and “The Booty Call”.  It wouldn’t be a wedding without those line dances! 🙂

Sunday

Andy I woke up late on Sunday and made a hangover special breakfast:

  • Cheesy eggs
  • Home Fries
  • English Muffin with butter
  • Extra grease for the headache

After breakfast we had to get ready to attend my friend Megan’s baby’s first birthday party. Andy was not wanting to get up:

But too bad, I made him come along with me.  We ended up having a nice day out visiting with friends and celebrating little Lena’s 1st birthday.

Megan and her husband Dan provided a wonderful assortment of food and goodies to eat:

There were sandwiches, potato salad, chicken wings, chicken sausage, chips and dip, and my favorite: cake pops! I ate three of those little suckers.  They are delicious (and highly addicting!)

While the adults ate lunch miss Lena had a blast eating her birthday cupcake

And then shoving it into her uncle’s eye:

What an angel 🙂

But after all the gift opening and excitement, this little one was ready for nap time:

Lena and Mom

That was our cue to go so we said goodbye to everyone and headed out to run some Sunday errands.

Dress Up

After running errands Andy and I vegged on the couch and ate some leftover pizza (from Pizza Friday) for dinner.  Then we decided it was time to dress up Boo and Sophia in this crazy bow tie:

Boo the Circus Clown

Sophia’s turn was next:

I kinda hate you right now

If I dance this thing comes off....got it?

Andy and I are easily amused (or getting really lame!)

This better not be on the blog

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite kind of cake? I’m a cheesecake kind of girl!

It’s Not a Wedding Without a Line Dance

This weekend sure flew by! It seemed as if I was always on the go.  I definitely enjoy weekends like these because I feel so accomplished.  But I also really love my lazy weekends and so far not much is on the agenda for next weekend. I hope my couch is ready for me because I have some serious reality TV to catch up on 😉

Saturday

To start my busy weekend off I headed to a free Yoga class at Puma Yoga Studio in Lakewood, Ohio.

I had never been to this studio before and I was excited to give it a try.  My boss recommend I go since they were having free classes on Saturday.  I can’t pass up a free class!

I’m glad I didn’t pass up the free class because it was a good one.  The class was called Rise and Shine since it was at 7:30AM. I prefer doing Yoga early in the morning when I have not had anything to eat.  My stomach definitely appreciates it too 😉

The class was a nice blend of flowing poses, holding poses, and deep breathing and relaxation.  I would definitely recommend this studio to anyone in the Cleveland area. It had a great atmosphere and the staff working were very friendly and helpful. Plus their prices for classes when not free seem pretty reasonable.

After Yoga I hit up a local Starbucks to get myself a hot coffee and to surprise Andy with one of his favorite treats: a Mocha Frappucinno (also scoring some major girlfriend points if I do say so myself!)

A Yoga class and a Starbucks coffee was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Wedding

Saturday night we had yet another wedding to attend.  This makes it three for the summer. But I’m certainly not complaining.  What’s not to love about busting some serious moves on the dance floor, eating great food, and boozing my face off? Nothing!!

Andy’s family friend was getting married to his long-time girlfriend.  Andy’s parents, brother Joe, and sister-in-law Lindsay were also attending so I was looking forward to spending time with everyone.

Andy and I

Lindsay and I

Andy and his parents

The wedding and reception were both held at the same place, a local Hilton Hotel.  In fact, all three of the weddings I attending this summer (See Kelly’s here and Sam’s here) were also this way.  I really liked not having to travel from place to place.  Super convenient, especially for out of town guests.

The wedding ceremony was short, sweet, and beautiful.  We had a cocktail hour shortly after where we munched on cheese, crackers, fruit, bruschetta, and mini egg rolls.

We also spent a lot of time at the bar…Naturally 😉

The families of the bride and groom sure like to party…there was a great assortment of beer, wine, and tons of liquor.

Our Table

The dinner was served buffet style and there was an array of options including chicken, salmon, some kind of red meat (which I don’t eat so I didn’t really take a good look!), mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, salad, and rolls.  It was all pretty good but I especially loved the salad since there was fresh parmesan cheese available to top it with. Yum!

The wedding cake was amaretto flavored which I’m not a huge fan of so I only had a bite.  However, it was certainly a beautifully decorated cake!


The rest of the night was spent out on the dance floor where I showed off my line dancing skills busting out the “Cupid Shuffle” and “The Booty Call”.  It wouldn’t be a wedding without those line dances! 🙂

Sunday

Andy I woke up late on Sunday and made a hangover special breakfast:

  • Cheesy eggs
  • Home Fries
  • English Muffin with butter
  • Extra grease for the headache

After breakfast we had to get ready to attend my friend Megan’s baby’s first birthday party. Andy was not wanting to get up:

But too bad, I made him come along with me.  We ended up having a nice day out visiting with friends and celebrating little Lena’s 1st birthday.

Megan and her husband Dan provided a wonderful assortment of food and goodies to eat:

There were sandwiches, potato salad, chicken wings, chicken sausage, chips and dip, and my favorite: cake pops! I ate three of those little suckers.  They are delicious (and highly addicting!)

While the adults ate lunch miss Lena had a blast eating her birthday cupcake

And then shoving it into her uncle’s eye:

What an angel 🙂

But after all the gift opening and excitement, this little one was ready for nap time:

Lena and Mom

That was our cue to go so we said goodbye to everyone and headed out to run some Sunday errands.

Dress Up

After running errands Andy and I vegged on the couch and ate some leftover pizza (from Pizza Friday) for dinner.  Then we decided it was time to dress up Boo and Sophia in this crazy bow tie:

Boo the Circus Clown

Sophia’s turn was next:

I kinda hate you right now

If I dance this thing comes off....got it?

Andy and I are easily amused (or getting really lame!)

This better not be on the blog

I hope you all had a great weekend!!

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite kind of cake? I’m a cheesecake kind of girl!

Blizzards for a Cause

Apparently I can’t get enough of interval workouts because yesterday on my lunch break I tackled yet another one.   This one was brutal and I wanted to yell obscenities much like I wanted to while completing this interval workout last week.

I used this deadly interval combination to come up with another rendition. I call this one: Intervals of Death Part II.

To be honest, I originally planned to do another incline running interval at minute 25  (5.5mph at 10%) and complete a full two minute interval for minute 19, but I completely ran out of steam! So the above  workout is what I actually did, not planned.  Regardless, it was a tough cardio workout!

Waffles n’ Eggs

Since coming back from San Diego our refrigerator and pantry is pretty empty. Luckily I can always count on enjoying breakfast for dinner on nights like these!

For dinner last night I made Waffles n’ Eggs.  It’s such a delicious combination.  I love the savory (eggs) with the sweet (waffles and syrup) mixed together in one meal.


I topped two waffles with real maple syrup:

On the side I made an omelet with one whole egg + two egg whites and a splash of soy milk. I filled the omelet with chopped onion and tomato and topped with a shredded Mexican blend cheese.

I love breakfast for dinner!

Whenever I am cooking eggs (or anything really) I can always count on these two for company:

I hope this woman drops something

Don't you ever share?

Lucky for them I do in fact share and gave them each an egg yolk.  Andy often asks if he can have the extra yolks but I always give them to Boo and Sophia. Sorry! 😉

Blizzards for a Cause

While I was driving home from work yesterday I heard a radio commercial mention that the local Cleveland Dairy Queens were giving the proceeds from blizzards sold on Thursday to the Children’s Miracle Network.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make a charitable contribution (and not to mention give me a reason to eat my second blizzard of the week.  Moderation is not my thing apparently)

Andy was feeling extra charitable and bought us both medium blizzards.  And they were beyond delicious as usual.

In my mix: Reese cups and Oreo.  Try it, it’s a winning combination! Andy gets a Turtle Pecan Cluster which is a close second to mine 😉

Now I just need the local pizza restaurants to start giving some of their proceeds to charity.  It’s Pizza Friday after all!

Weekend Plans

Tomorrow I am planning to attend an early Yoga class that’s being offered for free. I love taking Yoga classes and I don’t get to take them that often so I’m excited to go.

We also have another wedding Saturday night for one of Andy’s family friends.  Another excuse to drink way too much and act a fool on the dance floor.  Can’t wait 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

Question:

What’s your favorite Blizzard, ice cream or frozen yogurt combination?