Tag Archives: Coffee Bean Friday

Happy Birthday, Mark!

You know, two days late.

Don’t worry, we celebrated on his birthday. We celebrated quite a bit, actually. We spent most of the day together. Because, you know, it was a really important day. For me. It was all about me. Naturally.

Kidding.

So, we started off the day bright and early. You see, I had picked Mark up late the night before at the airport, so we had some catching up to do. Plus, what better way to start off a birthday than with a little light cardio and fresh air?

We had fun.

Maybe too much fun for 6:45 in the morning.

This is Mark posing as Captain Planet.

(He really was picking up trash as we walked. It was 95% awesome and 5% embarrassing.)

This is Mark “tightroping.”

There are more, but I’ll spare you.

Eventually, we walked to Starbucks.

Duh.

I couldn’t drink most of it yet, though, because coffee on an empty stomach always gives me a tummyache. I know, I know, everything gives me a tummyache.

Anyway, it was okay, because I enjoyed it with my awesomesauce breakfast.

And I do mean awesomesauce, because…. LOOK AT WHAT I FOUND AT TRADER JOE’S!

Right?!?

I was psyched. Just ask the birthday boy. Happy birthday to ME! I mean, Mark.

I drizzled the Mango Butter on top.

Ohmigodamazing.

I mixed it all up before I ate it, of course… especially since I used plain yogurt. This way, I had mango yogurt! I know. I’m a genius. It’s okay, you can say it.

Into the mix went:

  • TJ’s 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • TJ’s Mango Butter
  • strawberries
  • bananas
  • coconut butter shavings (hello, gorgeous)
  • Go Lean Crunch (not HAF! I know, I just blew your mind.)

Anyway, so the celebrations had to stop for a little while, because I had to go to work. Fortunately, though, I got out before lunch! Woohoo!

Unfortunately, Mark couldn’t stay home to eat with me. He had a singing lesson.

Mark wanted me to tell you that he doesn’t actually look like that when he sings. He was kidding around.

Like I said, that’s what Mark wanted me to tell you.

Anyway, so, I had lunch at home. On a real plate. It was glorious.

Into the mix went:

  • bed of baby greens
  • panko chicken
  • mini heirloom tomatoes
  • grated carrots
  • olives (I’m learning to like them, slowly but surely)
  • cucumbers
  • shredded lowfat cheddar
  • Newman’s Own Italian dressing

Salads are so much better when freshly made and served on a plate. Also, when the chicken is hot. YUM!

Anyway, Mark and I then spent the afternoon going to Great Harvest, hanging out at home (I had a little work to get done), and, eventually, drinking champagne.

I mean, we were celebrating. Duh.

Mark also, post-champagne, opened my card (don’t forget, his birthday present was Cavalia!).

Eventually, we walked into town to go to our favorite Thai restaurant for dinner.

I have no pictures of the food (which was great), but I do have pictures of us on our (silly) walk downtown.

We’re awesome.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARK!

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Challenge Failures

I’ve been failing pretty miserably at my clean out the pantry challenge in the past 24 hours. What can I say, sometimes life gets in the way!

First, last night, I scrapped my plans for eggs and yoga when Hanna invited me over for dinner.

(I’m kind of bummed you can’t see the super-cute french braid pigtails Mark did in my hair!)

We went to Whole Foods to get our dinners.

Because I was craving Kombucha but a woman took the last one right before I could get to it (!), I decided to try this coconut probiotic drink.

Thumbs down. It tasted like carbonated coconut vinegar. What you see missing from the bottle above was all I could stomach.

The dinner, however, was a huge thumbs up!

I got a base of brown rice, on top of which I layered roasted vegetables and black beans. YUM! I also got one little plantain. You know, for good measure.

The vegetables were insanely good. Seriously, I want to know their secret.

It didn’t seem like a lot of food, but it was so filling. I couldn’t even finish it!

I failed at my challenge again this morning.

Well, I didn’t fail at breakfast.

Into the mix went:

  • 0% Raspberry Chobani
  • CranBran VitaTop (I’ve had them in the freezer and this is the first time I’ve tried one)
  • blueberries
  • coconut
  • spoonful White Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter

It was good, but I was kind of underwhelmed by the VitaTop.

I got a package of VitaTops because other bloggers rave about them, but I didn’t think the one I tried this morning was anything special. Maybe I need to try a different flavor?

I realized this morning (AKA too late), that I hadn’t thawed or prepared anything for lunch today (kind of crucial during a clean-out-the-fridge/pantry challenge), so I was SOL. The good news was that I had to run an errand right next door to a grocery story anyway, so I picked up a frozen Amy’s dinner.

I didn’t love it at first, but it actually grew on me a lot. At only 290 calories, it packs a lot of good ingredients and even more staying power.

I ended up being pretty impressed! I’d buy it again.

Oh, it’s also Coffee Bean Friday today. I haven’t mentioned this in a while! I moved away from ordering anything interesting lately, not wanting my afternoon snack to consist of sugary (or fake sugary) lattes. I much prefer simple lattes from Starbucks, anyway. (Sorry, Coffee Bean).

Today, I just got a Pomegranate Blueberry Tea.

Keeping it simple, ya know?

I have super fun plans tonight… Claire and I are cooking a multi-course dinner for a friend date! Woo!

What are you doing this weekend? Any fun plans?

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The Eve

I finally slept for eight hours last night.

Finally.

I don’t actually think I’ve mentioned it on here other than after the first night it happened this week, but I have been up with that heartbeat issue every single night this week. Not cool, heartbeat. Not cool. I’ve been kind of exhausted.

Anyway, I did experience it a little bit last night, but today was thankfully a designated “rest day” (tomorrow is a race day, after all!), so I got to sleep in until the glorious hour of 7:30.

I had a leisurely bowl of oatmeal, which was inspired by cheesecake.

Really, I just think graham crackers make me think of cheesecake.

(By the way, if I’m being honest, I have no idea how I got that cool picture.)

Into the mix went:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • a few dashes of cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1/2 banana, mushed
  • capful pure vanilla extract

On top:

  • blackberries
  • 1 graham cracker, crushed
  • 1 tbs (ish – probably less) White Chocolate Bliss peanut butter

It was pretty epic. Also, I love that the use of banana completely erases any need for sweetener.

I kind of… completely forgot about lunch? I mean, I honestly didn’t even think about it until I was at work. Thank goodness for our fully stocked kitchen.

I still had some baby carrots, celery sticks and edamame hummus left over from yesterday and the office still had plenty of flat-out wraps, grapes and cheese. So, I split a piece of provolone across a wrap and stuck it in the toaster for a few minutes, then spread the other side of the wrap with some hummus.

Then, I arranged the rest of my lunch items on the side.

Looks pretty similar to yesterday’s lunch, huh?

So, you know, lunch was totally healthy, but the healthy day kind of ended there.

I had a piece of chocolate after lunch, and then I got kind of cranky and emotionally ate some Pop Chips (which I so regretted), and then it was Coffee Bean Friday and I had half of a NSA Vanilla Soy Latte…

with a biscotti. I kind of completely forgot that it’s my birthday tomorrow (a good part of why I was in a bad enough mood to emotionally eat Pop Chips and a biscotti) and that my office might do something for me.

Fortunately for me and my mood but unfortunately for my already full stomach, they did.

I had a teensy tiny piece.

It was fudge cake. I couldn’t have done more than the teensy tiny piece if I tried.

Oof. Good thing I have a race to run tomorrow!

25 Days of Good Deeds for Christmas, Day 10

I fully admit, before I say anything that this is a cop-out. However, this “good deed” took more effort than most of my actual good deeds.

I was gracious to someone who absolutely did not deserve it. That’s all I’m going to say on that matter.

Friday Morning Workout

Pre-race rest day!

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Got My Foodzie Box!

I have to say, if I do say so myself (and I do), I can be pretty skilled in the kitchen.

This Hearty Minestrone Stew that I made last night (recipe to come this weekend!) is kind of fantastic. It’s a stick-to-your ribs, warm-you-right-up kind of meal. And, just hours after finishing lunch, I’m craving it again.

I had actually been kind of toying with the idea of getting lunch from the food truck at the office today, as it was a taco truck and I’ve had a craving for tacos ever since I had the best taco of my life at the Foodbuzz Festival Food Fare, but then I realized how much I was looking forward to the lunch I’d packed.


I’m so glad I stuck with it! Plus, it was perfect for warming me up. I’m a little chilly in the office today.

Now, for the main event! I’ve been so excited to show you this all day today. Look what I got in the mail!

Remember that awesome giveaway I did the other day? Well, Foodzie is so wonderful that they gave me a tasting box, too!  If you follow me on twitter, you already knew this… but if  not, I got this package and thought, “Happy Friday to ME!”

Want to see what’s inside?

Of course you do.

Each box comes with five different samples. Foodzie also gives you a card describing each item. I’ll write each one out, below.

1. Alfajores Cookies

MAITELATES/ Ann Harbor, MI

Local Michigan milk is combined with sugar in a copper kettle and transformed into a milk preserve, dulce de leche. The creamy, sweet spread is layered between two buttery shortbread cookies and enrobed in dark chocolate from a local chocolatier.

2. Heriloom Cranberry Beans

ZURSUN BEANS/ Twin Falls, ID

A hearty variety of heirloom beans grown in a small-scale farm in South Central Idaho. Used in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, cranberry beans are plump, pale pink with maroon markings. They have a rich, earthy, yet mild flavor.

Also in the box was a recipe in which to use the beans. I’m excited about that too!

3. Bacon Peanut Brittle

THE REDHEAD/ New York, NY

This standout bar snack from an East Village neighborhood restaurant in NYC is more savory than sweet. Crunchy peanuts are tossed lightly with maple syrup, a dash of cayenne, thyme and small chunks of salty, smoky bacon.

4. Parmesan Flatbreads

LITTLE RAGGHI’S/ Ocean City, MD

A simple but addictive cracker topped with a peppery extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and a sprinkling of exceptionally good Parmesan Cheese. A percentage of each sale goes to the Native American community to celebrate the company’s namesake, Raggatha.

5. Fleur De Sel Caramel Popcorn

479 Degrees Popcorn/ San Francisco, CA

This sweet and salty snack starts with locally-sourced organic heirloom popcorn kernels popped in heavy copper kettles. While it’s still warm, the popcorn is tossed with a buttery organic caramel and delicate, flaky fleur de sel.


I think the content and variety within the box is great and there is literally nothing in it that I am not incredibly excited to try.

In fact, I kind of already got started. You see, it’s Coffee Bean Friday today and I usually consider my latte to be my afternoon snack on Fridays, but the coffees came really late today and, well, the Foodzie box was right in front of me.

Admittedly, I cheated on my own rule about not having sweets this week (except for on Sunday), but I feel okay about it. The Foodzie Tasting Box delivery became a special occasion.

So, I jumped right in with one of the Alfajores cookies.

Y-U-M.

It wasn’t what I expected (somehow I expected something softer?), but it was incredible. I savored it over a few minutes (I’m a really fast eater, so this is crazy for me!) and enjoyed every single crumb. I’m so excited that I have another one, too.

My only complaint about these boxes is that I think they’re a little steeply priced at $19.99/ month.

Oh, and when my NSA Vanilla Soy Latte came, I took a few sips, but it was really too late in the day for me to have caffeine at that point!

But a few sips still made for a CBF. 🙂

Did you celebrate Coffee Bean Friday today?

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Dough Balls

I love Fridays.

Well, I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love the promise of the weekend but I hate that Fridays seem to last twice as long as any other day.

In other news, I made dough balls last night.

Yes, mom, dough balls. So many balls this week.

(TWSS.)

I made them from Mama Pea’s recipe, which was inspired by the Annie the Baker cookies that I can’t stop thinking about. As Mama Pea would say, Oh. My. Peas.

I’d be a bad friend if I didn’t tell you to make them immediately.

And I don’t like being a bad friend.

However, I’d also be a bad friend if I didn’t tell you that you might want to plan on wearing stretchy pants the next day. 😉

Totally worth it.

My workout this morning, by the way, was awesome. I almost didn’t go to the gym (just wasn’t feeling it again – what’s wrong with me?), but then class kicked my ass and my elliptical workout was especially fun because, as I tweeted, I was doing some movie producing from the machine.

How very Hollywood.

Last night’s dinner was majorly simple and was also a clean-the fridge kind of deal. A sliced zucchini, grilled chicken, onion, a dollop of nonfat, plain greek yogurt and the new love of my life, TJ’s Thai Yellow Curry Sauce. Be still my heart.

This afternoon’s lunch was similar: the rest of the leftovers of the Chicken Fried Rice.

Breakfast, however, was a different story. It was a new flavor combination and I’m a little bit in love right now.

Cherry Peach Smoothie

Into the mix went:

  • 3 ice cubes
  • big handful fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbs unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 heaping tbs nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 packet Cherries Jubiliee protein powder (big fan)
  • 2/3 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches

On top:

  • 2/3 tbs warmed coconut butter
  • handful Go Lean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax

Oh, by the way, another reason I love Fridays?

You know the answer.

Come on.

Here, I’ll give you a (blunt) hint.

Coffee Bean Friiiiday!

Today I got a Candy Cane Tea Latte. Soy. NSA. Half-Flavor.

I am so high maintenance.

I was also presented with one of these:

I have three words for you:

1. Salted.

2. Caramel.

3. Cupcake.

AMAZING.

The cupcake was from Blue Cupcake, by the way. I made sure to find out.

At first, I could only do this much damage to it:

But then, once the camera was all packed away, Lauren came over and, with her help, I managed to do a little more damage. 😉

Oof.

Sugar. Coma.

Happy Friday, my friends!

Friday Morning Workout

5 minutes elliptical trainer warmup

45 minutes ass-kicking boot camp (seriously, I sweat through my clothes)

35 minutes elliptical trainer

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None of the Work, All of the Benefits

Last night, I walked into the apartment to the amazing smells of bread.

Not just bread. Whole wheat blueberry walnut bread.

I know.

I’m going to need to get the recipe for you guys. However, Mark says he needs to do a little tweaking before he shares.

Pssssh.

Perfectionist.

As much as I love baking, I also love when other people bake and I get to reap the benefits without any of the work. 🙂

Anyway, after a little taste of that bread last night, I woke up knowing I needed to have it for breakfast this morning.

First, however, I had to work out. Unfortunately, this morning was one of those mornings when I had to force myself to go. I probably should have taken the fact that I let myself fall back asleep for a few minutes as a sign. Instead, however, I the sign I chose to take was the fact that I woke up only a few minutes later.

So, I went. I did boot camp and the elliptical. Nothing special, but I got it done. Oh, and boot camp kicked this girl’s booty.

At least I had breakfast to look forward to! First, though, I had to make a stop at Trader Joe’s to get this:

After reading about it on Monica‘s blog (and especially about how she needed to lick the container clean…) and Amanda and Andy‘s blog… there really wasn’t any way I could resist any longer. And, frankly, Mark and his bread presented me with the perfect opportunity.

All I did was slice and toast two pieces of bread and top them with the Pumpkin Cream Cheese and a big handful of blueberries. Tons of flavor and no effort. Well, no effort on my part. Mark and Trader Joe’s did all the work.

Sadly, though I had big plans for lunch, they kind of fell through. You see, the plans were made around supplementing yesterday’s leftovers, but those leftovers didn’t keep very well overnight.

Oh, well. Lunch was still yummy, it was just more carb-based than I would have liked after a carb-based breakfast.

Plus, it was all (well, mostly) orange!

It involved an edamame hummus (another TJ’s favorite) and cheddar sandwich; roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon, nutmeg, a little butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar; and a carrot, peeled and cut into sticks.

It did the job!

The highlight of the day?

Coffee Bean Friiiiiday!

After my taste of this Coffee Bean tea the other night and a subsequent comment on here that I needed to try it in a latte, I knew what I needed to do. I had to try the Winter Dream Latte.

I’m not sorry. However, I did miss my regular Friday afternoon kick of espresso!

I am also dorkily (I’m making it a word) excited about the holiday-themed sleeve. Basically I get dorkily excited about… well, anything holiday-themed.

Whew! I’m happy the day is wrapping up. I need the weekend. I’m so excited to sleep.

Friday Morning Workout

45 minutes boot camp

35 minutes elliptical trainer (30 min high intensity + 5 min cool down)

Unless I suddenly feel differently over the next couple of days, I’m taking the whole weekend off from working out. My body needs a break.

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Happy National Oatmeal Day!

I know I already told you about lunch today, but please, allow me to back up to my breakfast.

After all, on National Oatmeal Day, it would be a shame not to show you my oatmeal breakfast.

Amusingly enough, however, I had no idea that it was said holiday when I made my morning eats. It was fate, I guess!

Really, I was making oats because I wanted to try out two of my most recent foodie purchases…

Into the mix went:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 dashes cinnamon
  • capful pure vanilla extract
  • handful frozen dark sweet cherries (at the end)

On top:

  • ~ 1 tbs walnut pieces
  • ~ 1 tbs Cacao Bliss
  • ~ 1 tbs Crofters Organic Morello Cherry Premium Spread

Heaven.

Much, much later (as in, late this afternoon), I celebrated a different holiday: Coffee Bean Friday!


What? That’s not a weekly national holiday, you say? Pish posh!

I kept it simple with a Regular Soy No Sugar Added Vanilla Latte. 🙂 Perfect for a chilly office!

I also snacked on a pumpkin-shaped cookie, in the spirit of the upcoming holiday. (Sheesh, that was kind of labor-intensive!)

I shouldn’t have. It wasn’t really worth it. Oh, well.

Strikingly relevant linkage for the week:

From the New York Times: Distance Runners are a Paradox for Insurers. (I know, right?)

Today, I Went For A Run from a non-runner relative of a co-worker about running. I found this to be beautiful, inspiring, touching and an eloquent expression of the mental benefits of running.

And, finally, Baby, You’re a Firework by Monica at Run Eat Repeat because she mentioned a Nike Ad that was exactly what I needed to hear after being told by the doctor yesterday that running is hurting my body because I don’t have the body of a runner.

Check her blog out if you haven’t yet (it’s one of my favorites), but the ad reads:

No one runs in my family.

I am not built like a runner.

My bones aren’t weightless.

My legs aren’t gazelle-like.

As a child, no one ever said,

“Now that one…she’s going

to be a runner.”

I am not a marathon runner.

But, I know that no one

is a marathon runner until

they actually run one.

– Nike Ad

And, with that… have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

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