Feelin Thankful

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. It was filled with everyone one wants during Thanksgiving – food, fun, family. While I didn’t get to go back to New York to spend time with my family (I’ll be back for Christmas in a few weeks!), I did get to spend time with B, his family, extended family, and even got in some early holiday spirit-filled activities!

Thursday morning started early with the Cleveland Turkey Trot 5 miler. B, me and all his siblings did the race! It was a ton of fun to run with the whole family. I didn’t run it fast enough to race it, but did beat my last Cleveland Turkey Trot time, which was awesome.

20151126_105529

Then it was time for turkey. Well, first we had to make our contribution – we were assigned a vegetable side dish and we brought some roasted cauliflower with pignoli nuts and dates. It was SO good – I’d definitely make the recipe again.

20151126_131320

We spent Thanksgiving with B’s family and his mom’s side and hung out with them until late in the evening and I nearly fell asleep on the couch from food coma. So yes, a successful Thanksgiving dinner 🙂

pre-food coma

pre-food coma

Friday morning started early –  B’s family has had a tradition of going to the West Side Market the Friday morning after Thanksgiving for brats for breakfast. The tradition started I believe with B’s mom’s cousin, who sadly just passed away. So, in his honor, we met at 8:30 a.m. for brats at the Market. It was in the 50s, so B and I walked over.

walking over to the market. 50+ degrees and nearly December=awesome.

walking over to the market. 50+ degrees and nearly December=awesome.

20151127_085413

We got in a little shopping while we were there and then headed over for some tea and coffee in Hingetown before walking home.

20151127_100028

Every year, B and I organize our local alumni’s Adopt a Family program and always adopt a family and buy holiday gifts for them. We typically wait until mid-December to buy gifts, but since we were around (and it was still early), headed to Target to take advantage of the Black Friday sales AND finish our Adopt a Family buying. We got to Target around noon and for some reason it wasn’t even crowded!

Friday night, B and I decided to use a gift card we’d had for a little while and go on a dinner date. Yes, I was still craving some carbs even after Thanksgiving and got pesto pasta with potatoes. Carbalicious 🙂

20151127_211835

Saturday, I started the morning with a short treadmill run and then we began by celebrating Small Business Saturday and checked out the market that was going on downtown at the 5th Street Arcades. I got a few Christmas gifts before picking up a smoothie for lunch at Restore (more small business support!). ‘

Arcade all decked out with holiday lights

Arcade all decked out with holiday lights

20151128_120044

Then it was time for Carney Bowling. Every Saturday after Thanksgiving, B’s dad’s side gets together for an early holiday celebration/party, bowls and has dinner. I did the BEST I can remember ever bowling this ear – I somehow got in the 90s! (and I beat B in one game…which never happens. He typically scores a lot higher)

My first game - bottom left!

My first game – bottom left!

My niece Sofia and I taking selfies at bowling. She took this :)

My niece Sofia and I taking selfies at bowling. She took this 🙂

After dinner, we made it back downtown just to catch the tail end of Winterfest and the downtown tree lighting. It was a great way to finally kick off the holiday season and get in the holiday spirit. Christmas tunes, a winter beer garden, a ginormous Christmas tree, Santa and another holiday market. I love this time of year!

fireworks!

fireworks!

20151128_175507

Sunday morning, I got in an easy treadmill run and then B and I decided to take a walk in the Metroparks. It was another seasonably warm day, so it was great to get in some steps and take in nature before the cold sits in.

even the ducks were out!

even the ducks were out!

Sunday afternoon, we kicked off the holiday season the way we do every year – we decorated our apartment, made pepperoni bread (and ate it. a lot of it) and watched Love Actually. Love Actually is still one of my favorite holiday movies and even though I’ve seen it at least 10+ times, I still love it and still tear up at parts.

getting the holiday decorations out

getting the holiday decorations out

B making the bread

B making the bread

finished product.

finished product.

All in all, it was a great, relaxing, fun-filled long weekend. I can’t believe December is nearly here – but I’m so ready for the holidays and seeing my family!

Some questions for you:

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Seeing my family! It’s been too long. 

What’s your favorite holiday song?

Favorite holiday movie?  I love Love Actually and Muppet Christmas Carol. And about a gazillion other movies. I’m such a sap for holiday movies!

Linking up today with Erin for my weekend snapshot post, Katie for MIMM and the weekly wraps.

WIAW #40: White Pizza

It’s the BEST DAY of the week! Do you know why? Not only is it What I Ate Wednesday (and as you know, I really really love seeing everyone’s meals. I’m a food stalker like that), but it’s also my Friday because tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Here’s to a productive, short day in the office and then a great few restful and thankful (and stuffed) days off.

For breakfast, I started the day with some yogurt and fruit. I mixed plain Greek nonfat yogurt with some random fruit I had on hand (not your typical yogurt fruits, if you know what I mean – look) and some granola. Yum. Still not feeling the breakfast eggs and veggies.

20151123_084354

Lunch was a salad. And not just any salad. I had done some meal prep over the weekend and made myself an AMAZING salad. It had feta cheese, chicken that B had roast, some avocado, tomatoes, sweet potato, artichoke hearts and more. Look at it.

20151123_123450

In the container it doesn’t do it justice. Look at it on the plate! Such a ginormous glorious meal.

20151123_123738

I was pretty full after that but still managed to have some pear and nuts for a snack.

20151123_130722

20151123_134138

For dinner, I had a board meeting and it was held at a restaurant. So I ordered their pizza happy hour special. It was a white pizza which was super cheesy and garlicky – but it was a white pizza. Do you like white pizzas? I love marinara sauce so much that I really can’t understand the purpose of a white pizza. Basically it was like thin cheesy garlic bread which was good – but still not pizza. Oh don’t worry, I ate it, along with some bread before the pizza came out for a carbalicious dinner.

20151123_175459

When I got home, B was eating some of the cookies I had baked over the weekend, so of course I had to partake. Yum.

20151122_110936

 

And that was about it! A day with some more veggies – but still not as much as I typically eat. Nut definitely a carbalicious day!

 

  • Do you like white pizza? Or do you prefer pizza with tomato sauce? Tomato sauce is the best part of the pizza. I prefer that. That’s also why I’m not a fan of buffalo or barbecue chicken pizzas. No sauce!
  • What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? I’m a stuffing girl 🙂

Excited for Nothing

I shouldn’t have done it, but I peeked ahead at the calendar for the next month. And surprise-  starting next weekend, I have something every single day of every single weekend until January. Eep! I know, I know – it’s the holiday season and that’s what happens, but I literally have no more free days any upcoming weekend. From B’s family bowling outing to comedy show tickets to holiday parties to cookie exchanges to baby showers … there are some weekends when I just know we won’t get to do everything we want to do. So when I realized  B and I had pretty much nothing planned this weekend, I was so so excited. I was SO excited for nothing!

Here’s a little about what our weekend of nothing looked like:

We started Friday with drinks with someone from our alma mater, Boston College. She was in town for a day and we got drinks at Butcher & Brewer followed by dinner at one of my faves, Pura Vida. I had an amazing dinner of fish, mussels and butternut squash risotto. I tried taking a photo, but the lighting made my food look bright pink. It was so weird. Like neon pink. Okay, since you want to see it (I’m sure) – here’s my unedited pink looking dinner:

20151120_191904

Saturday morning B and I got outside for a 5 mile run. It was CHILLY. So hard to believe that last weekend I was wearing a skirt and shorts while running.

Screenshot 2015-11-22 13.42.26

We were going to go out to brunch, but instead, I decided to just make myself my go-to brunch, a yogurt parfait. It was DELICIOUS. Plain greek yogurt topped with fruit, granola and a drop of honey.20151121_134936

We also were able to hit up the West Side Market for some groceries. The clouds were so wispy and blueish grey, I had to take a picture.20151121_123115

That afternoon, I decided to bake some chocolate chip cookies. I have been baking a lot lately (’tis the time of year!) but no standard just plain old chocolate chip cookies. Yum. 20151121_144833

I may have had a few fresh from the oven.20151122_110936

That afternoon, B and I hit up the movies and saw Spectre. I’m not a huge Bond movie fan (I know, I know) but it was enjoyable! Definitely entertaining.

For dinner, we had plans to go out to Taza. The have some of the best pita and hummus in town and I am proud to say we feasted. Finished the pita pillows, hummus and our entrees.20151121_192920

And Taza was even kind enough to play the BC Notre Dame game at the bar for us. Sadly, BC ended up losing by three. Ugh.20151121_201614

Finished up the night with some warm cookies and Arctic Zero.20151121_221742

Sunday morning, I got in an easy workout on the elliptical. I don’t know why, but my hips were slightly sore – perhaps from our run? 20151122_104745

Then, after enjoying some more cookies, B and I cleaned the apartment (well, mostly B), did some meal prep for the week, and then hung out with Dave and Anson and their new baby. Celia is getting bigger and yes, I’m getting a little less afraid to hold her.

She looks a little confused here...

She looks a little confused here…

After Dave and Anson left, it was already dinner time and B made me something I’d been thinking about all week – chicken parm. Nothing like a little comfort food when the weather’s cold!

20151122_191157

And that was our nothing weekend. I’ll take a nothing weekend anytime!

Linking up with Her Heartland Soul for this weekend update post.

WIAW #39 – A SOUPer potluck

If you read my last week’s post, you saw that I wasn’t having veggies. A shocker for me – I eat veggies at least three meals a day typically (plus snacks), but last week, they just didn’t appeal to me. Good news – I’m back on the veggie bandwagon! I still haven’t been feeling them in the morning and haven’t been doing eggs, but on this day (Tuesday), I had them twice in one day. Woohoo! I’m almost back!

Here are Tuesday’s meals. It includes some veggies AND a work potluck where we all brought in soup to share!

For breakfast, I started the day with some yogurt and fruit. I mixed plain Greek nonfat yogurt with some canned pumpkin, cinnamon and Hemp Hearts and it was delicious! Does pumpkin count as eating veggies for breakfast?

20151117_085853

Lunch was our potluck! I had brought in a chicken gnocchi soup, but also tried some beef stew, veggie chili and gluten-free matzo ball soup. Plus some homemade fudge for dessert. And a side of raw veggies. And bread. Yup, that was a delicious lunch and I ended up in a food coma.

20151117_121525

homemade peanut butter fudge!

homemade peanut butter fudge!

For a snack, I had an apple. I forgot to take a picture, so here’s my mostly eaten apple from Monday. I also had some tea.

20151116_102939

 

B made me dinner! And here are some more veggies. He made salmon and broccoli and shallots and asparagus. It was so good! I’m so glad to be eating more veggies again.

20151117_190636

I also had another small bite of fudge. SO. GOOD.

20151117_162921

And that was about it! A day with some more veggies, thank goodness. Back on the vegetable bandwagon!

  • Have you ever made fudge? What’s a good recipe?
  • What’s another creative potluck my office should do? We do themes…we’ve done crockpot, salad, and soup!

Boxing, Baking and Relaxing – Another Weekend in CLE

Well, we finally had a weekend back in CLE. And it was great. Don’t get me wrong – I love traveling and loved spending time in Dallas and New Orleans, but but it was great to have some time to hang out and enjoy the gorgeous fall Cleveland weather, be somewhat productive and also chill with friends.

Friday night, B and I attended the Cleveland Boxing Invitational. B’s on the Associate Board of the Cleveland Sports Commission and this is one of their big fundraisers of the year. I’m not a huge boxing fan, but it’s a cool event and really fun to see Tower City all decked out with a boxing ring, tables, etc.

B and I at the event

B and I at the event

Check it out - it's usually a mall but they decked it out with a boxing ring

Check it out – it’s usually a mall but they decked it out with a boxing ring

Saturday, Nicole and I had a lady date planned. We didn’t get nearly as much done as we had wanted to, but we did end up meeting for a run. I got in 6 slow miles – it was chilly out!

Running selfie

Running selfie

And then we spent the afternoon baking some pumpkin cookies and bars. Yup, still not over pumpkin baking!

20151114_143148 20151114_144144 20151114_195533

Then it was time for Ladies Craft Beer Society. This month was pumpkin beers and we made mugs and tea. Pretty much the perfect fall craft!

20151114_180056

Sunday morning I had plans to relax, but with the weather being 63 degrees, I knew I had to get out and at least go for a run / walk. It was too nice not to go out!

Screenshot_2015-11-15-12-47-53

I also got to wear my new running skirt, which I hadn’t gotten to do since it got cool.

20151115_120549

I didn’t do much during the day. I managed to do some meal prep, make some fudge and watch some girly stuff on TV.

a few days of lunches

a few days of lunches

fudge!

fudge!

I watched some episodes of a pretty awesome show – Catastrophe. Have you seen it? I blew threw 5 episodes (they’re only 20ish min) in 2 days.

And that was about it! A pretty good weekend if you ask me.

Some questions for you:

  • I need some good chick flicks/TV shows to watch on Netflix/Amazon. Any recommendations? my bff Jane recommended Catastrophe and it was great. What else?
  • Are you still eating pumpkin flavored things? Or are you over pumpkin yet?
  • Do you like boxing?

Linking up with Her Heartland Soul for this weekend update post.

WIAW #38 – LOVE me some hummus

I haven’t been feeling the vegetable love lately. I know – shocker – I tend to eat tons of veggies, starting my day usually with eggs and veggies and spinach, having a salad for lunch AND plenty of veggies for dinner. But not lately. But what I do love is hummus. I don’t eat it NEARLY enough and I’ve been realizing that lately. Anyway, for this week’s WIAW, I knew I had to have some hummus in my life.

Since I wasn’t in the mood for veggies in the morning, I decided on something sweeter – some yogurt, berries and some mixed candied nuts on top of the yogurt. I saw some limited edition apple cinnamon greek yogurt and tried it out. Not bad! Enjoyed it with some herbal tea.

20151110_083901

Lunch was semi-on-the-go. I had a busy day and didn’t have time to take a real break, so I opted for some almond butter, cashews (not pictured), crackers and an apple.

20151110_185832 20151110_110757 snackapple

Before dinner, I had some more tea and part of a chocolate chip cookie. So good.

20151110_160049

I also tried some of these flavor changing Tic Tacs. They start out tasting like peach and then go to lemonade flavored!

20151110_113227

For dinner, B and I hit up Aladdin’s and I finally got my hummus fix! We started with pita and hummus and then I got the baba ghannouj wrap.

20151110_173118 20151110_174103

And that was about it! A perfectly delicious day. Without too many vegetables 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like hummus and baba ghannouj? Which do you prefer?
  • Do you find that some days it’s hard to get in all your veggies? What do you do?

A Weekend in Dallas

B and I just got back from a quick weekend in Dallas. Our friend from B’s law school class, Jared, moved to Dallas several years ago and since B and I had never been, had planned to get in a quick trip before the winter. It was a weekend full of lots of food, some sightseeing, a little walking and some football.

Some of the highlights included:

Feasting on Mexican and Tex Mex. We started off our weekend Friday night with some delicious tacos and ended up getting Tex Mex for brunch at Pepe and Mitos on Sunday.

first meal in Dallas!

first meal in Dallas!

breakfast tacos. YUM.

breakfast tacos. YUM.

jared and brian and their mexican food

jared and brian and their mexican food

Seeing Dealey Plaza and taking a trip to the Sixth Floor Museum. I’m not always a museum fan, but I really enjoyed the Sixth Floor Museum. It was somewhat surreal to see the place where JFK was shot and actually stand from the window where the trigger was pulled.

20151107_121434

More food. We of course had to get some barbecue while in Dallas, and B and I got a pound of beef brisket that we split between the two of us. Let’s just say I’ve had enough beef and barbecue for a while. Lockhart Smokehouse was legit.

ready to eat!

ready to eat!

All of the meat.

All of the meat.

Walking around downtown and a few of Dallas’s neighboring areas. Did you know there’s a giant eye downtown? It’s not far from the original Nieman Marcus.

20151107_113916

if you know me, you know what i had to take this picture…

We even went for a run one morning.B and I got in 6 slow (still getting over my cold) miles to a nearby park and lake.

20151108_101432

We also got to go to a Cowboys game. Wow. I’ve been to NFL games before living in Cleveland, but the Cowboys games are quite the experience. The stadium is simply huge! We were able to tailgate before the game and then enjoy some Sunday night football.

pre-game tailgate

pre-game tailgate

The game! It went into overtime.

The game! It went into overtime.

And that pretty much wrapped up our quick weekend in Dallas.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Dallas?
  • What’s your favorite Mexican dish?
  • How do you like your bbq – sweet or smoky?