feeling inspired

Nicole is a planner.  An organizer. 

She’s not that last minute Christmas shopper who frantically buys something just to buy something (*cough*cough*like me!*cough*cough).  No.  She puts thought into each selection.  She’s that person who wraps your gift so elegantly you don’t even want to open it.

So when she called me up and asked if I wanted to go into Boston this weekend, in order for her to finish up her Christmas shopping, I of course said YES!  Maybe some of her organization and Martha Stewart-ness would rub off on me in the process.  One can hope.

I realize that this is my third straight weekend in Boston.  I think I might be falling in love with the place.

I also fell in love with a giant Christmas bulb.

And these two fluffy lovebugs.

I think I need a dog in my life. 😉

And—is it just me?—or are guys getting more and more creative with proposals these days? 

The ice sculpture on the right read, “Will You Marry Me?” 

There’s always something to see in Boston.  Maybe that’s why I love it so much.  People watching is one of my favorite hobbies. 😉

However, today was not just about people watching.  Or eating.  (Although we did plenty of both—hello, cheesecake factory!)  Today, we each had a mission.  To either (a) finish our Christmas shopping or (b) to leave feeling inspired.

Nicole left Boston with all of her Christmas shopping completed.  Done!  And I left Boston feeling inspired not to be that Christmas Eve shopper this year.  It was a successful day! :mrgreen:

Until next time Boston!  I will see you again shortly.  This time, with my very own Christmas list. 

Question: Are you a last minute gift buyer for birthdays and holidays, or do you plan ahead?


Weekend Highlights


Some weekends are made for relaxing and doing absolutely nothing at all.

Some weekends are made for going out with friends and family and just having fun. 

Some weekends happen to include the best of both worlds. 😀

Matthew and Kelsey came down for the weekend, so we (Nicole, Nate and I) went to meet up for drinks and appetizers on Saturday night.  

Nicole and I split the Mediterranean Hummus Plate.  It was filled with feta cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh veggies.  The grilled pita chips were so perfect; flaky on the surface but warm and doughy on first bite.  Perfect.

We ended up talking most of the night away.  I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed so late, but it actually felt really good.  Especially since I’ll have available catch-up time on Monday morning (not that our bodies can truly, honestly, ever “catch up” according to the sleep experts, but I gave a big *harumph* to that idea for this weekend! 😉 ) 


I’m pretty sure God knew what He was doing when He decided to give us Sunday as a day of rest.  We all deserve the break, really, and it felt wonderful to have nothing on the ol’ to-do list.  


Nothing but a nice long walk with the family.  

Have I ever mentioned how in love I am with the fall?  I wish it would never end. 😀

We ran across a big black cow on our walk, and he (she?) was the sweetest thing ever.  I was hoping it would follow us home, but to no avail.  I guess he must have decided that the grass was much greener on his own side of the fence. 😉

Dad treated us to dinner from our family favorite pizza shop, and we all crowded around the table to indulge in a veggie pizza.  The perfect ending for the weekend, if I do say so myself. 😀

I love busy, fun-filled Saturdays.

I love, love, love lazy Sundays.

Love. 😀

Question: What made you *smile* this weekend? 

perfect endings.

One week.  One week of babysitting two of the most adorable cats you will ever meet. 

My sister and her husband are on a week-long vacation for their anniversary, and I was more than happy to babysit their fur-babies.  I am, after all, a very proud aunt. 😉 

Just as a note, Stitch and Highstreet have convinced me that dogs aren’t the only ones who keep their owners in shape. 😉  We’ve had many wild chases around the house, games of hide and seek, and—of course—lots of cuddling time.  These boys sure like to cuddle. :mrgreen:

And, really, nothing beats getting head-butted by a warm fuzzy kitty at the end of a hard, long day at work.  These guys never fail to make me smile and laugh.

Speaking of hard, long days at work…

…Today I had a hard, long day at work.  When I came home, I was completely frazzled out.  A nap sounded more appealing than anything, but I pulled on my sneaks and headed out for a 3-mile walk instead.  I know from experience that a bit of fresh air is almost always the perfect medicine.  Well, that and a warm, delicious meal. 

Tonight I chose some of my favorite, simple autumn flavors for dinner.  Roasted brussels sprouts.  Mashed garlic infused red potatoes.  Smashed butternut squash with nutmeg.  Baked cod with crumbs.

Everything came together in under 30 minutes which I liked.  Everything tasted so perfect, so delicious, so healthy, which I loved.  The perfect way to end a long, hard day at work.

Time for me to unwind and relax with a cup of raspberry tea and Biggest Loser!

Question: Are you an animal lover?  Which is your favorite? 

a weekend to remember

Best.  Weekend.  Ever. 

Nicole has been planning a get-away for us since I graduated in May.  Leaving me totally in suspense, she simply told me that it was going to be a weekend to remember.  A weekend filled with laughing, food, fun, and simply enjoying life to the fullest.  I didn’t bother trying to guess what she was up to, because this girl can keep a surprise, and she knows how to plan, plan, plan.  Seriously.  I’m convinced that she should be a wedding planner.

After indulging in some ice cream from Kimball’s (where I surrendered to chocolate chip cookie dough icecream…amazing), Nicole drove directly into this adorable little Inn, known as the Wachusett Village Inn.

 I was shocked.  In fact, I started laughing a little, half expecting her to say, “Kidding!” while driving on.

But we stopped.

She handed me the key.

And we walked in to our own little cabin.


 The room was so quaint.  So charming.  So New England. 


 We quickly took over and made it our own.  This was a girly weekend to the MAX.  :mrgreen:


And no girly weekend is complete without (a) twizzlers, (b) funky nail polish colors, (c) girly magazines, and (d) anklets!

Nicole used to make these all the time, and she showed me the how-to’s. 😀

I then became a little overexcited about the spread of breakfast items that she prepared (not to mention the gallon sized water bottle that she bought specifically because she knows how much water I drink…haha.  This girl knows me 😉 )

Complete with whole wheat bagels, The Bees Knees peanut butter (first time trying it…love, love, love!!), bananas, heart to heart, milk, and crunchy granola.  She also bought chobani yogurts, but we brought them home since we simply didn’t have any more stomach space for them. 😀 

 Best.  Weekend.  Ever. 

And this was just day one.



The next day was absolutely gorgeous.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Seventy degrees.  Cool.  Breezy.

And I still had no idea where we were off to.  Nicole simply stated that we should each wear a sundress and live it up for the day.  There are never enough excuses to wear a fun sundress. 😀 

Where were we going?

I was dying to know.

And as we were sipping on our Starbucks coffees-to-go (I felt so girly and carefree! :mrgreen:), Nicole filled me in with some of the details.  We were going to spend an entire day in…


This is one of those things that we’ve always talked about doing, but never actually have.  Dress up.  Feel pretty.  Go shopping in any and all stores (Gucci, anyone?) 

Live.  Life.

And this weekend, we did just that.  I honestly felt as if I were living in a dream.  One in which my best friend was also living that same dream, and everything was ten times better then even my imagination could have allowed. 

We walked, and walked, and walked.  Taking in all that the beautiful city of Boston has to offer.

Swan Boats!

Newbury St.!!!

(aka, shopping central!) :mrgreen:

We walked into specialty soap shops.  Shops that carried only imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  Shops that had tiny little spoons with a price tag well over $100.  Shops that had fancy little cupcakes in every flavor imagineable.

Such fun.

And then there was dinner.  It was the highlight of the day.  The one thing that Nicole refused to tell me about until the very last minute.  I had no idea what to expect, but when she led me to the elevator and told me that we were going to the 52nd floor of the Prudential Center, I almost squealed, screamed, did a little happy dance.  But instead, I just smiled and laughed in shock.  Utter, complete shock.

We were going to the Top of the Hub.


The above picture was the view from our seat.  The view right from where we would be eating.  We were literally overlooking the entire city of Boston.

If it weren’t for the pictures, I still would think it all a dream. 😀

When we first walked in, the host commented, “Congratulations on your graduation, Sarah.”  Wait, what?  How did he know?  And when the waiter came over later on to issue the same congratulations, I practically fell over.  Nicole and I felt so special at this restaurant, as if we were the only people in a room full of people.  I’ve never had such perfect, intricate, or special service as I did here. 

Of course, it’s not all about the service, is it?  It all comes down to the food.  How quickly your water glass is filled upon the time you reach the the last sip.  How hot the entree is when it is placed in front of you. 

The bread. 


 The bread.

The warm, doughy raisin bread oozing out cinnamon from its deep swirls of perfection.  Needless to say, I loved it. :mrgreen:

The real highlight of the meal, I’ve got to say, was the appetizer, the Joan and Lump Crabmeat Cake with Avocado Cream and Roasted Red Pepper Remoulade

Nicole and I took one bite, looked at each other, blinked, and went back for another.  This literally melted away in your mouth.  The outside was crisp and buttery, and the inside was soft, tender, mouth-watering.  We almost told the waiter to just bring us another round and skip the entree altogether. :mrgreen:


 Nicole’s entree was the Vermont Misty Knolls Chicken, a free-range chicken served with fingerling potatoes, bacon lardons, and braised swiss chard.

The chicken melted—absolutely melted—off the bone.  And the sauce tasted like a gourmet, adult version of a bbq sauce reduction.  Amazing.


 For my entree, I ordered the Potato Gnocchi, made with smoked chicken, morel mushrooms, fresh english peas and a parmesan cream.

This reminded me of a traditional macaroni and cheese that was given an adult, gourmet twist.  The gnocchi were soft, oozing with the creamy sauce.  Comfort food at its finest.  My favorite part of the entire meal were the morel mushrooms.  They had these tiny little pockets that brought in–and held–the cream sauce.  It made me sigh.  Literally. 

I can’t imagine a meal ever topping this one.  A meal to remember.


 Although we were both pretty full by the end, we wanted to take complete advantage of the fact that were sitting at the top of the Prudential Center and eating at the Top of the Hub.

We ordered dessert. 

We ordered Valrhona Warm Chocolate Cake, served with blackberry icecream atop a delicate meringue, and drizzled with burgundy sauce.

One poke into the chocolate cake, and a flood of warm chocolate sauce oozed out onto the plate.  We practically licked the plate clean, it was so amazing.  Perfect.  So perfect.  Everything about the meal, the day, the service, the dessert. 



 We uttered our thanks to the Top of the Hub for the most delightful experience I have ever had, and walked our way back to our car.

And, might I add, walking through Boston at the end of the day is an experience in and of itself.  The sun was just beginning to set and a cool breeze swished and swayed its way through the city.  But the city was not resting.  A whole new side of the city came to life.  Amusement parks.  Live performances and plays on the common.  Sail boats.  Boston is always so alive.



 I can hardly wait for our next extravaganza. 😀


Thanks again, Nicole!!  The entire weekend was filled with non-stop surprises.  It was by far the best weekend of my life, and I mean that completely. 😀

Question: What is your favorite city/town to visit? 

best of friends

Not gonna lie.  This was probably one of my favorite breakfasts of the week. 

Yes, I love oats.

But there’s something about biting into a giant sized whole wheat bagel, smeared with chunky peanut butter, and finishing the meal off with fruity sweetness.  Perfect.

Here’s another bite of truth: blueberry picking with my Pepere was the highlight of my week.  The blueberries literally—literally!!!—came off the branches in clusters.  You simply had to grab a handful, and they fell directly into your bucket.  And they’re absolutely bursting with sweetness.  Which makes this (this = cottage cheese, raw oats and blueberries) my favorite snack of the week.


There is no competition for these two treats of today.  None. 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that Nicole, aka Loving Simple Moments, is my very best friend.  And I’m not just saying that as a cliche statement.  I mean, really, if you knew this girl in person, you would totally understand.

Whenever we hang out, I always have fun.  It doesn’t matter if we’re meandering our way through a country fair in the middle of nowhere…


 It doesn’t matter if we’re spending time at Trader Joes, where we say “yes” to any and all free food samples….

squirting ketchup onto a beef hotdog…note that my face is saying, “umm…I don’t know about this.” :mrgreen:



 It doesn’t matter if we’re shopping till we’re dropping….


 We always—always, always—have a blast.  I can count on this girl for when I need a good cry, a long conversation, or just a drive out to the mall.  She’s always there.  And she’s always an awesome friend.

This weekend, starting tomorrow night at 5:30 sharp, Nicole is kidnapping me.  Yes, kidnapping.  To where?  No idea.  Seriously.  Not a clue.  All she told me is that I need to…

(a) Bring a cute, girly sundress. (b) Bring my pj’s, toothbrush, and any makeup necessities.

And (c) bring my appetite.  Yes.  I can do that.

Needless to say, I may not be around for much of this weekend.  Instead, I’ll be off somewhere, living it up with my bestest of friends. 

I.  Can.  Not.  Wait. :mrgreen:

Question: What was your favorite snack/meal of the day?

Nicole’s Birthday Bash

Nicole’s 27th Birthday Bash was an absolute blast.  The entire day was full of shopping, family, friends, food, fun…

…and hot pink sunglasses.

…and skinny jeans.  Nicole was absolutely rocking these white skinnies!! 

I realize that three photos is an awfully brief way to sum up an entire day’s worth of shopping.  But just trust me that we did indeed shop till we almost dropped.  Nothing less would have sufficed.

We left the mall carrying bags full of great deals.  I practically bought a whole new wardrobe at H&M alone, and all the shirts were $20 and under.  Very happy indeed.

This photo, by the way, is an example of the “slightly dropping phase”…in case you were ever wondering. 😉

Following the shopping spree, everyone headed over to Nicole and Nate’s place for dinner.

I’m convinced that Nicole is the up and coming Martha Stewart.

Case in point:

While waiting for the food to cook (Nicole was serving grilled turkey burgers, her famous potato salad, green side salad, onion rings, and more), the men chatted…

…the pretzels sunbathed…

…and I ate my fill of these baked onion rings.  I am forever addicted. 

There were many gifts to be opened, and at the very end, Nate came out carrying a new bike.  Nicole was pretty shocked and excited.  And so was I.  This now means that I have a future biking partner.  :mrgreen:

The night ended on a very sweet note.  Nicole has a yearly tradition of serving “make-your-own icecream sundaes”.  I look forward to this every year. 😀

In keeping with the birthday’s theme, there were many fun, tropical-inspired toppings.  Crushed sugar cones, coconut shavings, coconut M&M’s!!! (even better than it sounds!!!), whipped cream, crushed pineapple, crushed strawberries, and cherries.

I think one of the best parts about making a personal sundae (aside from the fact that it’s way more social this way,) is that you can add on as many cherries as you want.  I always plop on at least two, just because I can. 😉 

The entire day was a blast—Happy 27th Birthday, Nicole! 😀

Happy Weekend!

Question: What is your dessert of choice on your birthday?  Do you usually opt for cake or do you take a different route?

Friday Foodie

I am the queen of clumsy this week.  In case you don’t believe me, let me convince you.

It started on Sunday when I walked into a large, bright neon cone in the hospital.  My sister let out a laugh and simply stated that it could have been worse and at least I didn’t walk into some poor, innocent child.  Then it happened at the grocery store, when I grabbed one apple only to have 10 more follow along, each in a different direction.  But since I don’t have 10 arms, I decided to try my hand at juggling.  This resulted in having a little boy laughing, a mother looking shocked, and the poor produce employee looking sad (or angry?)  It wasn’t pretty.

I won’t even mention the moment when I leapt for the ringing phone, only to realize that my foot was tangled in my laptop’s battery charger.  I found myself lying face down on the ground with a loud “garumph”.  I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry, so I did both. 

Queen of Clumsy.

Anyhow, at least it’s Friday and a whole new weekend is here.  This clumsy phase can’t last for too much longer (knock on wood.)

On to the eats!!!

Friday Foodie #1

My sis and I both shared wide-eyed expressions when we spotted these small packets of Honey Peanut Butter at whole foods.  We share a love for honey roasted peanuts (in fact, this was a very serious conversation topic that we had while on our 5-mile morning walk,) so what’s not to love about the nut butter version, right? 

Love.  Pure, sweet love.  I slathered it all over my whole wheat bagel and each delicious bite was savored.  I also served a grapefruit on the side, and this breakfast kept me full until lunch rolled around.  I need to find a place that sells large containers of this wonderful peanut butter blend! 😀

Foodie Highlight #2

I’m obsessed with salads.  They are such a form of artwork, yeilding to whatever suits your fancy at that moment in time.  Today I wanted simplicity with a bit of excitement (i.e., feta cheese!)  Along with some cornbread, this lunch made the most satisfying summer meal.

Foodie Shopping Highlight #3

I realize that I’m listing many obsessions in this post, but here’s one more to add to the list: starbucks soy mocha frappucinos.  My sister and I are—well—obsessed.  It’s true.  I think we’ve gone about 3 times in the past week and a half.  And today my sister surprised me by buying us each an insulated cup for all of our ice coffees and smoothies.  Can you imagine how excited I am?  Can you imagine all the crazy smoothie ideas that are now running through my head?  Can you imagine how proud I’ll be when I hand over my reusable cup to the barista as I order my tall mocha soy frappucino?

Can you imagine that I’m so incredibly excited?

This.  Is.  The.  Best.  Cup.  Ever.  I love it!

Foodie Highlight #4


…turned into THIS!

I was dining solo tonight, so I took advantage of this and made myself a yogurt & oat mess.  I’m falling quickly in love with Voskos yogurt (this plain, nonfat flavor was so silky and smooth!)  I’m also kind of obsessed (oops, here I go again) with the PB&Company Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.  I bought the jar last week and it’s quickly diminishing.  It’s a little too sweet for my morning oats, but I love it as a snack—or in this case, as part of dinner.

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 Voskos Organic Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
  • toppings: 2 T. Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola (another obsession, but I’ll bet you already knew that 😉 ), 1 tsp chia seeds, sprinklin’ of coconut, and a dollop of PB&Company Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter

Sooo creamy and delicious.  Exactly what I wanted for a dinner on the deck.   

Happy FRIDAY and I hope you enjoy a fresh, new weekend!

Question: When dining solo, what is your meal of choice?  Usually scrambled eggs, oats, or some form of a grilled sandwich.  Unless I’m in the mood for cooking, and then it’s fun to whip up a whole new recipe—just because.

Weekend Highlights

Nicole and I had big plans for today, so I knew I had better start with a filling and satisfying morning meal after my brisk 2-mile walk.

I filled my mostly used peanut butter jar with a mixture of overnight oats.  I have to say, this isn’t quite the same experience as eating hot oats in a jar, but it does have a charm of its own.  I kind of like it.  A lot, actually.

Anyways, let’s get to the nitty gritty details…

  • 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1-1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • about 1/4 c. of soymilk
  • mix above ingredients and stir in 6 oz. plain yogurt the next morning

I found every little last bit of peanut butter in this jar, and let nothing go to waste.  Not one little lick or spoonful.  Nothing.  Oh the joy of oats in a jar! :mrgreen:

Once I was well fueled and ready for a day of exploring and fun, Nicole (aka, Loving Simple Moments) and I set out on an old, windy dirt road to pick up some farm fresh eggs (which, by the way, happen to come from organic, free range, vegetarian fed walking hens…it feels good to purchase local eggs!) 

Then we were off to Trader Joe’s!!

This was Nicole’s very first time meandering her way around Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  An event that should be remembered and enjoyed to the very fullest.  :mrgreen:

Oh how I love Trader Joe’s and their creative glass displays!

I also love their food samples!  Beef hotdogs anyone?

I’m not even a hotdog person, but these were actually pretty tasty.  I especially liked the trader joe’s ketchup on top—it was similair to heinz. 

With bags full of grocery items (gotta stock up on the wholewheat sourdough bread, folks!), Nicole and I headed off to eat lunch at Panera.

Nicole ordered the You-Pick-Two option with half a turkey asiago sandwich and half a caesar salad.  She let me steal one of her croutons which was amazing.  I can’t wait to try making homemade croutons at some point in the near future…they seem like they’d be simple to make (I think?)  And I’ll bet the TJ’s sourdough bread would be perfect for this. 😀

I ordered the new menu addition, which was the Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad.  It was filled—absolutely filled—with blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, pinepaple, pecans and chicken.  It was light, refreshing and exactly what I was in the mood for.  I also ordered a whole grain baguette slice on the side which was perfect for dipping and dunking.  Loved this lunch! 😀

Then we were off to Whole Foods, where—of course—there were more free samples!

We both loved this zingy lemonade. 😀

I found so many goodies at Whole Foods, including canned pumpkin for under a dollar, cheap cereals, big bags of coffee beans and lots of canned black & garbanzo beans.  It feels good to have a restock of all those oh-so-necessary items. 😉

However, I’ve got to say, the highlight of the entire day was stopping in at one of the nearby icecream spots.  Bart’s Homemade Icecream has some of the most grand flavors imagineable, and this was my first time stopping here.  It most certainly won’t be the last though.  Nicole and I both agreed that it was worth coming out just for this stop.  Oh my word.

We each ordered one scoop of the Snickers on a sugar cone, and then we ordered one more flavor scoop to top it off.  Nicole ordered the “Three Geeks and A Redhead” (yes, I’m being serious) which was a combo of raspberry swirls, chocolate chunks and—get this—coconut icecream!  Yes, my friends, it was as blissful as it sounds.  I went with another scoop of the straight out coconut sorbet which was also as good as it sounds.  Full of creamy coconut flavor and actual coconut chunks.  It was delightful in every sense of the word. 😀

Two thumbs up…we’ll be back, Bart’s!!! :mrgreen:

Question: What was the Highlight of your day so far? 

Weekend Post: life’s to-do list

I decided to create my own version of “life’s to-do list.”  The movie The Bucket List—as well as the book, The Next Thing on the List—have inspired meI’ve always envied people who have set goals and ideas for themselves, then follow through by actually doing them.  And how fun would it be to check off the list as I go?  It’s still in the works, but I’m excited to see what new adventures it will bring my way. 😀

I can tell you at least one “to-do” that will definitely find it’s way onto that list: Try something completely new at your favorite restaurants.  Or something along those lines.  I’m such a creature of habit.  When I saw black bean soup on the menu at Panera this afternoon, it was the oh-so-obvious choice.  On the side I had 1/2 of a Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich and an apple.  Mmm…how I love Panera’s soups.

It was so much fun eating out for lunch with this girl.  I told her that she needs to order the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich next time we eat there so that she can figure out what’s in it and then recreate it at home (and teach me how.)  😉  I don’t know how she does it, but somehow she knows exactly what’s in a meal so that she can make it again. 

Trying something new isn’t easy, but advertising helps a little. 😉  Starbucks has been promoting their frappucino’s for a while now, with the claim that “you can make it your way!”  I’ve been wanting to try a soy version for a while now, and today was my chance.  Nicole ordered their caramel light frappucino (um…amazing!) and I ordered the tall soy mocha light frappucino.  It tasted just like a wendy’s frosty—only better. 

What a fun treat! 😀

Creating my own version of “life’s to-do list” will be challenging and fun.  Who knows what new foods I’ll try?  What excursions I’ll go on?  What kinds of people I’ll meet?  What lessons I’ll learn?

Of course I’ll share the completed list as soon as it’s complete. 😉

Question: What are some things you would add to your own “life’s to-do list”?  I need some brilliant ideas to add to the list!

Blue Skies Keep Smilin’

My muscles were sore this morning!  Not in a “I just hiked a mountain” way, but definitely in a “I pushed myself hard yesterday” kind of way. 

I was also starving.  Oats were a major must!

Today’s mix:

  • 1/4 c. each oatmeal and oatbran
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran (stirred in at end)
  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 banana, sliced thinly
  • topping: 1/2 a whole wheat pumpkin muffin, scoop of peanut butter and shredded coconut

It was an especially yummy bowl this morning.  I love adding wheat bran…it really plumps things up! 😀

Nicole and I had a coffee + shopping + workout day planned for this morning.  Originally we had planned for a Tae Bo DVD, but there was a change of plans when the blue skies appeared and the sun came out.  How could we not go out for a wal to enjoy the fresh air? 

A walk outside sounded absolutely perfect. 😀

Nicole and I ended up taking a 4-mile, chatty-filled loop.   I love spending time with this girl! 😀

I love early morning walks.  They’re so refreshing.  Especially when there’s a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, waiting to be admired. 

Back at Nicole’s place, we contemplated what to have for lunch.  She started listing off some things that she had in the house, then suddenly she exclaimed, “You know what I’ve been wanting to try, ever since I saw it on Katie’s blog?  Sweet potatoes and nut butter!”  I practically flipped out with excitement (it doesn’t take much to get me incredibly excited :mrgreen: )  I’ve been dying to try this combo. 

(By the way?  I think adding grapes to my oatmeal has brought out a whole new wild side in me. 😉 )

We started with side salads and light ranch dressing, while waiting for the potatoes to cook.

Nicole took out some Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter, and we both topped a sweet potato with about a tablespoon of this sweet, nutty goodness.

Holy Moly Deliciousness!

We both thought it was awesome.  I almost felt as if I were eating candy.  I think I have a new favorite lunch planned for next week at school. :mrgreen:

When we stopped for a soy caramel latte at Starbucks this afternoon, Nicole convinced me to order the Venti.


Although I have to say that this cup could definitely find its way into my life.  How’s that for a morning cup of joe? 😀

Somehow I managed to fit in some homework this afternoon too.  I have a couple of case studies that I still need to finish, but I’ll probably fit them in tomorrow afternoon or Monday.  It’s been so nice having Mondays off from school, because it gives me a chance to still enjoy a weekend, knowing that I can catch up on assignments when I need to. 😀

For a homework snack, I peeled an orange and had a handful of pistachios. 

Dinner had its fair share of beginnings and endings.

It began with a toasted slice of homemade whole wheat and walnut bread (courtesy of mom…she’s such an awesome bread maker!) and a pat of butter.

It ended when I took a bite of my feta-topped, lentil and tomato soup.  I have never met a lentil I did not like, but this soup was beyond spicy!  My mouth was burning, as I guzzled my water down.  Intense!  When it comes to spice, I am such a wimp.

Needless to say, the one bite of soup is where it began and ended. 😉 Thankfully, Dad loved the soup, so nothing will go to waste.

Dinner began again, when I substituted with a super sized salad, topped with the usuals plus a big dollop of hummus and feta cheese crumbles.  This salad made up for the overly spicy soup. 😀

Dinner ended with another toasted slice of bread.  I finally felt full and content. 😀

Okay…this is when it officially ended. 😀

Snack, read, relax…I love Saturday nights! 😀

Question: Spicy Foods…love or hate?  I think you guys and gals already know my feelings on this. 😉  I can not take the spice!  Although I do like salsa, which is mildly hot, as long as I eat it with something. 😀