I gave up cereal.


My grumbling belly wants to know why the heck I’ve decided to torture myself in such a way, given my well-known love and infatuation for cereal. Why would I willingly rip such a dependable source of joy from my life?  And what the heck did cereal do to deserve this unjust exile?


Lately, I’ve turned into a major snack monster.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all about snacking and eating small meals throughout the day.  I’m also all about incorporating lots of delicious yet nutritious treats into my day.  And apparently I’m also all about grabbing fistfuls of cereal and shoving them into my mouth every time I step foot into my kitchen.  A handful of puffins after breakfast to cleanse the palet… a handful for my pre-dinner snack… you know, just to hold me over…  and while we are at it, why not throw in a late night bowl o’ cereal to settle my tummy before bed?

Cereal and I, we have a LONG history.

This was, at one point, my favorite Friday night ritual after all:


My infatuation runs so deep that it’s not abnormal for my pantry to have five+ open boxes of cereal on any given day.


A while back I caught on to my cereal addiction.  I think it was sometime around the day I decided, after scouring every aisle of the grocery store in search of a fabulous dinner feast, that of ALL THE THINGS the grocery store offered me, I’d most like to have THIS for dinner:  /

(You may have noticed I’ve now pictured wine twice in this post.  Yes, I like to drink wine with my cereal.  No, I’m sure as hell not giving up wine.)

It was around that time that I started using a small coffee mug to dole out my cereal portions rather than a bowl, which enabled me to still get my cereal fix without going overboard.  But it’s a slippery slope, my friends.  Eventually one mug of cereal turned into two…  then two turned into three…  and as a CPA I am confident that 3 mug-fulls of cereal is equivalent to a crapload.  And god knows how many bowls four fistfuls of cereal is equal to.  I mean, I do have freakishly large hands after all.


So in an effort to nip this snack monster issue in the butt, I’ve decided to give up cereal for the rest of busy season (AKA through September 15th for you non-tax folk).  And on that day when busy season once again comes to a screeching hault, I will be wiser, stronger, and fully prepared to have a sweet sweet reunion with the my beloved cereal.


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Whew Wednesday.




Today was such a particularly packed Wednesday, I think I’ll rename it Whew Wednesday Smile

The day started off with a handful of Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins:


I affectionately call this the Cereal of the Gods.  It really is THAT good.  I also hear Barbara’s now makes chocolate peanut butter puffins.  Don’t worry.  I’ve added finding the new cereal to the weekend to-do list.

After I popped the puffins, I headed out for my interval run (which consisted of a short 2-interval series of 1 minute walking and 9 minutes running).

Post run, it was time for eggs and bacon … sprouted 7 grain bread.  Mmmmmmm Smile


These are the eggs I make pretty much every day.  I call them my fake out dippy eggs because it’s actually a 3 egg white scramble topped off with 1 dippy egg.

When you poke the yolk it oozes down over the egg whites and tastes just as darn good as a plate full of dippy eggs. Thumbs up


After the eggs, I headed to work (insert 2 hours of number crunching here) and around 10am it was time for Breakfast #2!

photo (1)

Overnight oats, my friends. Overnight.Oats.  Yes, I STILL love and adore them.  Yes, I STILL eat them every day.

(insert two additional hours of number crunching here)

2+2 = Lunch time.

Today’s lunch consisted of some leftover ground turkey taco meat that I threw onto a bed of lettuce along with some tomato, onion, black beans and corn:


If you are looking for a tasty side dish for Mexican food, try out this recipe for Corn and Black Bean Salad.  I made it over the weekend, and it was super tasty and SUPER simple.

Afternoon snack consisted of an un-pictured apple and some cocoa roast almonds….

After work, I headed to Dandelion Market for happy hour with some coworkers:


The Dandelion Market is a tapas restaurant that serves up a variety of intriguing small plates.  The atmosphere in the restaurant was rustic, yet chic.  Dimly lit and extremely cozy.


I’d of felt equally comfortable sipping a cup of coffee in a chair in the corner as I did sipping a glass of cabernet at a table near the window.


Tonight I had the pleasure of sampling two of the tapas.  First was the pepperoni flatbread.  Isn’t it beautiful?


Don’t be fooled.  This was not your typical peperoni pizza.  This flatbread had cured peperoni, ricotta salada, a rustic tomato sauce, and BASIL.  It was light and delicious, and honestly I think I could have ate three of them.  The basil was the perfect finishing touch.

I also sampled the grilled steak skewers:


The steak was cooked PERFECTLY medium rare and was incredibly juicy.  But what REALLY made the dish was the sweet and spicy honey soy marinade that came along side:


Coming from a lady who puts A-1 Steak Sauce on EVERY steak that goes in her mouth, you KNOW it must have been amazing if I devoured the entire plate without even pausing.

Dandelion Market on Urbanspoon

After dinner, I headed to TCBY for some froyo with the Charlotte Food Bloggers!  Now, truth be told I am an ice cream snob.  I worked at the world’s most fantastic locally owned and operated creamery throughout all of high school and college (biased much?), and during these years I had the opportunity to taste, sample, and create some of the most outrageously delicious ice cream concoctions.

So, frozen yogurt?  Meh.  Doesn’t really do it for me.  Which is odd, given that this town is littered with Fro Yo joints.  What DOES do it for me though is the crazy assortment of toppings all these frozen yogurt places have.

Here’s my combo of the evening:


PB and Cake batter froyo…. with a little cookie dough, some heath bar, a little brownie, mochis, Peanut Butter drizzly drizz, and some blueberries for good measure.

Let’s focus on what’s really important here:


Who’s with me?



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Running in the Rain

I started this lovely Monday morning off with Day #2, Week #2 of interval training.  It looked pretty grey outside, but after consulting the local radar on my weather channel app, I determined I could definitely get 30 minutes in before any rain approached.

Whelp, I was about 15 minutes off on my calculation…  Half way through  my normal route, a torrential downpour started to erupt from the sky!  Running in the rain is actually pretty fun, and I would have kept right on going had I not JUST got a new iPhone to replace the iPhone that suffered water damage last week.  So, I threw my iphone in my sports bra to keep it dry and took shelter under a nearby tree for about 15 minutes until the rain let up.  Standing under the tree in the rain was actually pretty peaceful and relaxing!  I’m sure I looked like a creeper though 🙂

Breakfast #1

I’m really loving the grilled fruit and nut butter wraps I’ve been making for breakfast.  Today, I made one with half of a banana and Smucker’s Organic Peanut Butter atop a Mama Lupe’s low carb tortilla.  I wrapped everything up and threw it on the george foreman for about 5 minutes.

(I’ll have to post the pic later.. left the stinkin cord for my old camera at home!)

Soooo delicious!

Stats on B#1:  218 calories, 23g carbs, 11g fat, 10g protein, 7 g fiber


Breakfast #2

I was still pretty hungry after B#1, so I decided to overload my overnight oats.  Last night, I put 1/2 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze Almond milk, 1 tsp brown sugar, and some cinnamon in a bowl in the fridge.  This morning, I overloaded the oats with blueberries, strawberries, the other 1/2 of my breakfast banana, and some Barbara’s Bakery Peanut Butter Puffins for crunch.


Stats on B#2:  308 calories, 61g carbs (hello excessive carbs), 6g fat, 8g protein, 10g fiber



After all the carbs at breakfast, I was glad I packed a salad for lunch!  Today’s salad consisted of romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, a sliced up Trader Joe’s Spinach Fontina Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage, with 2tbsp Hidden Valley fat free ranch dressing.

Couldn’t get the flash to go off for the life of me… haha… need to spend some time playing with the camera! 🙂  I’m really liking the Trader Joe’s sausage!  I wish I would have picked up more than one kind… oh well, guess I’ll have to go back 😉

Stats on Lunch:  239 calories, 22g carbs, 8g fat, 19g protein, 6g fiber

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Sunday Sum-up

Whelp, I didn’t do much cooking this weekend.  I did get a new digital camera and new (free replacement) iPhone though!  WOOOHOO!

I contemplated getting a digital SLR camera, but in the ended I decided to go with the Fujifilm Finepix S2550HD, which is a higher end point and shoot camera.  Down the road I may invest in a digital SLR camera, but I felt I needed to learn more about photography before taking such a big (financial) leap.  Ok, I’m cheap.  🙂

Here’s some random pictures I have taken so far with the camera.  I’m still learning how to use all the functions but I especially liked how these turned out.  I’m looking forward to my free class at Van’s Camera to learn everything!

This weekend was pretty action packed.  And by action packed I mean lots of shopping, driving around, nonstop errands, and eating foods that I didn’t cook 🙂

For breakfast this morning I had a Mama Lupe’s low carb tortilla, blueberries, and Trader Joe’s Crunchy Almond Butter that I cooked up on the george foreman grill:

Tried the Vanilla Almond Luna Bar and the Nuts over Chocolate.

Both were pretty tasty (Luna never lets me down apparently), but I wouldn’t rank either of them at the top of the pack because I wished the flavors were stronger in both bars.

Also tried a Pecan Pie Larabar… I ate one small bite and tossed the rest.  Bummer.  I’ve got some good feedback from you guys though, and it looks like Key Lime Pie, Cherry Pie, and Coconut are the flavors I need to keep an eye out for!

After getting my iPhone replaced, we headed to Tropical Smoothie Cafe at Legacy Village for lunch.  I ordered the Jerk Chicken Wrap, apple, and a Very Berry Green Tea Smoothie.  Jarrod got the buffalo chicken wrap and a Muscle Blaster smoothie.

We both loved everything we ordered and definitely want to try the cafe out again since their menu had a lot to offer.

After lunch we hit up Trader Joe’s!  Here’s what I picked up this time:

I had one of the chicken sausages for dinner along with some of Jarrod’s special oven baked cajun potatoes:


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TGI Freakin F!

Today I feel like a chicken with no head.  Let me recap the last 24 hours in 13 key points:

1.) Went shopping for new pants after work yesterday, ended up buying three shirts.  (I still consider this a success)

2.) Ate a Luna Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar for energy before my interval training.

This was pretty tasty.  It had more of a candy-bar like feel to it than the normal Luna Bars, but I think the taste of the regular bars are better than these protein bars.  Worth a shot, definitely better than the Larabar Flop earlier in the week, but I’ll stick with the regular Luna Bars from now on!

3.) Got locked out.  Super.

4.) Dinner consisted of a cold leftover turkey burger (luckily I had brought this with me to work and subsequently took it with me shopping).  Yes, I took the burger into the mall… Haha 🙂

5.) Phone died (again).  Super!

6.) Completed Day 3 of interval training.  Whoop!

7.) Set alarm clock (since phone is broke). 

8.) Turns out alarm was never changed for daylight savings.  Woke up 1.5 hours late.  Super.

9.) While making coffee, realized I never unplugged the george foreman after making my breakfast wrap yesterday.  Wow, Mary.  Wow.

10.) Ate a Blueberry Bliss luna bar on my way into work.  And it really was blissful!  Things started to perk up after that.

11.) Got to work 1 hour late. Craaaapppppp…

12.) Strawberry Oikos Greek Yogurt with blueberries and Bear Naked Maple Pecan Granola 🙂 Yummmm….

13.) Takeout lunch from Jimmy Johns.  It’s starting to feel like Friday now 😀

Giant beach club unwich, no mayo, add onion and giant pickle:

Me after finishing my grub:

 Blurry, but at least I’m smiling!

*deep breath*

In through the nose, out through the mouth….


Plans for the weekend:

  • Get my frickin phone fixed
  • Yard Work (obviously)
  • New digital camera!!!! YAY!!! Super excited about this one.
  • Fun with friends Saturday night
  • Try new recipes?  I sure hope so.
  • R&R?  Mandatory.


QUESTION OF THE DAY:  How do you turn your day around when you start off on the wrong foot?

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So, I have a confession to make.

Before we get into that matter, let’s recap lunch and dinner:      

As posted earlier, I was ill-fated this morning so I decided some pizza for lunch would help me come around.      

Lean cuisine cheese pizza with leftover gionino’s hot sauce… Pretty darn close to the real thing:      


If you haven’t tried hot sauce on your pizza, I am begging you to give it a try!!!  Soooo good!      

On to dinner.  Things just keep getting better!  I don’t mean to brag, but hot damn my dinner was good!  (said with midwest hillbilly accent while simultaneously throwing in an arm jab)      

I had a leftover turkey burger from the weekend I wanted to use up, but I wasn’t feeling the typical ketchup and mustard fixins.  So I decided to make a quesadilla burger — and let me tell you it was glorious!      

Here’s what went into the quesadilla burger:      

quesadilla burg fixin's


The sauces I used were 1 tbsp fat free breakstone’s sour cream, 1 tsp (AKA all I could scrape from the container) of Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus, and some Frank’s red hot.  I threw it all in between a Mama Lupe’s Low Carb tortilla I had ordered from Netrition.      

I also decided to take a second stab at turnip fries.  This time, I cut them into larger wedges and cooked them at 450 degrees for 35 minutes.      


I threw the quesadilla burger on the waffle iron (that’s right, waffle iron) to crisp up the tortilla and heat everything through.  Why dirty the george foreman when the waffle iron was just sittin there begging to be used?      


All together on the plate:      


Not the most appealing photo, but trust me this quesadilla burger was awe-inspiring.   

The turnip fries still didn’t have the fry texture I was shooting for.  Crunchy? No.  Tasty? Yes.  I actually preferred the smaller skinny fries we made last time over these.  Could be because the larger fries reminded me of the rooty texture of you know what.      

Dinner Stats:  298 calories, 23g carbs, 9g fat, 36g protein, 9g fiber      

On to what you are all really here for:  the confession.      

About a week ago, I discovered what may be the most amazing cereal on planet earth.  I have secretly been enjoying sporadic handfuls of this glorious cereal since then, yet I have not posted anything about my discovery on my blog!      

Well here it is.       

Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins.      


Lets take a few moments and discuss why this cereal is utterly amazing.      

First the limited list of ingredients (which is pretty darn good for a cereal).       


Second, one serving is only 110 calories, 23 carbs, 2g fiber, 6g of sugar, 3g of protein!      

Third, the taste is pure peanut butter amazingness.      

Fourth, the puffins are shockingly large.  For comparison purposes:      

Shredded mini wheat, PB Puffin, Kashi Heart, Kashi Sunshine, Cheerio


Go. Buy. Now.

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