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Archive for December, 2010

3 Days Worth….

………….of Baking, GrillingRunning, Shopping & Wrapping Gifts!

As you might imagine it was quite a busy 3 Days (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) for me this past weekend. 

I too Friday off so I could do some shopping so let’s start there.

Orlando Premium Outlet Mall (International Drive)

My husband and myself ventured to International Drive in order to do a day of shopping while our little one was at school.  We hit the Orlando Premium Outlets while there and looked for some Christmas Gifts as well as a jacket for my husband

Our shopping venture took us to other stores around the outlets, including Bass Pro Shop across the street.  This store was massive.  A man’s dream store, as I confirmed from all the men inside.  I can honestly say I have never seen so man men in one store in my life. 

My husband finally found the jacket he was looking for and I got a few things on my list as well.  Another trip will need to take place later this week but only for a few odds and ends luckily.  I think I might hit the mall that time so I can take in all the decorations and enjoy a nice lunch, a holiday tradition for me.  Just doesn’t feel like the holiday’s without doing both.  =)

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Next, let’s review grilling as I did just that on both Friday and Saturday nights for dinner.

On Friday night I made Brown Sugar Bourbon marinated pork chops on the grill for dinner along with roasted potatoes and corn on the cop

The meal was super yummy.  The pork chops came out perfectly.  I grilled them with only one layer of charcoal and let them sit for approximately 8 to 10 minutes per side on the grill until they were all crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.   ***Sorry for the lack of pictures, it was a busy/tiring day and I completely forgot.

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On Saturday night I made Mahi on the grill along with a baked stuffed crap cakes, fries and green beans on the side for dinner.

Dinner

This was My 1st Official Attempt At Making Fish and not just on The Grill, AT ALL!!!

It all started when I was walking by the seafood department at Publix and found Mahi on sale for $6.99 lb.  I confirmed with my husband that he liked this kind of fish (he does, though he pointed out it wasn’t his favorite) and then I proceeded to ask the kind lady behind the counter to wrap it up for me and also her advise on how it should be cooked.

Once I got home I followed her instructions by doing the following:

  • Coated the fish with olive oil plus lots of blacking spices for fish.
  • Grilled it for approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side until it the meat was white and flaked off on the edge with a fork.

And, the below was born!!!

Mahi on the grill!

I also got stuff crap cakes that I baked 1st for 10 minutes at 350 degrees and browned on top of the stove after.

Crapcake

French Fries

While baking and grilling my fish picks I also fried up some french fries and nuked some canned green beans for the sides.

For my 1st attempt at this dish I was very pleased and will make again as it was extremely tasty!!!

As mentioned above this kind of fish is not my husband’s favorite.  He prefers the Gulf of Mexico fish like Red Fish, etc.  However, those are not easily found in Orlando.  Only at local fish bait shops by the Gulf so we had to settle for Mahi.  Though next time we will splurge on Red Snapper, which was $14.99 lb.

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Let’s not forget the running I did over the past 3 days!

On Friday morning, after I sent my little one-off to school for her final day before Winter Vacation, I headed out for a run on what was chilly but sunny morning.

I ran 4+ miles (think around 4 and 1/2 but didn’t map it) in approximately 55 minutes.  I was not trying to go fast by any means on this run.  I just wanted to go out for a nice hour-long run and enjoy the fresh air.  And, that is exactly what I did.  =)

I also ran just under 3 miles on Sunday morning, however it was quite a different morning on this run.  The sky was covered in grey clouds and it was much colder out than on Friday, plus it was a bit foggy as well.  The run was completed in exactly 30 minutes as I had to get home by 10am.

Also, before I forget I ran a FAST 3 miles at the Gym on Thursday after work…..the reason I wanted to mention this to you for two reasons:

  1. For the 1st time I ran more than 1 mile at 6mph, I ran it for 3 whole miles!  =)  Now I will point out I started the run at 5mph and upped it to 6mph during the 1st mile and then during the last 5 minutes of the 3rd mile I ran between 6.1mph to 7.5mph to finish. 
  2. I almost fell face down on the treadmill during the last 10 seconds of my run!  Why you may ask?  Because my long sleeve t-shirt that was hanging on the side of the treadmill fell off and under my feet so I slipped on it.  Luckily, I caught myself before hitting the running treadmill with my face below.  =O

My week ended with 13 miles in all

Not to bad in all, however this week I will be aiming for 15+ in light of all the EXTRA EATING that will surely be occurring…………….

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Finally, onto baking and gift wrapping that took place all day on Sunday!  Most of the day was spent baking (and cooking a little) and the rest wrapping gifts.  I started after my daughter left with her grandma for the day and my husband went to work at 10a.m.

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First, I headed to Wal-Mart to grab a few last-minute items needed for the day, then I grabbed a coffee from Dunkin Donuts on my way home and next I made myself some breakfast.

DD Medium Hazelnut Coffee

Breakfast

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Second, I started by getting all my ingredients together so I could start the process of making Chocolate Covered Peanuts as it would take 3+ hours to make.

All the ingredients.

Then I looked over the recipe one more time and began to follow the super simple instructions.

The Recipe

Next, I chopped up all the chocolate so it was in smaller pieces for adding to the crock pot.

Chopped chocolate chunks

Last, I added all the ingredients to my crock pot that was set on low.

Everything in the crockpot

And, I set it for 3 hours and waited……….

Timer set and waiting.......

About an hour later I lifted the lid to stir everything up and then in hour two I did the same thing again.

All stired up

Just before the 3 hours were up I switched the crock pot to low as I knew it was ready to start dropping spoonfuls on wax paper, which I did.

Spoonfuls of yumminess!

Last, I let them dry.

Drying spoonfuls of yumminess!

As you can see the recipe makes A LOT, so there is plenty to give away and keep for yourself to eat!  =) 

I gave away to containers full to my mom and mom-in-law last night and the rest went into a large and medium container that I put in the freezer for keeping (I of course sampled a few while doing so).

What I love about these is they freeze wonderfully, which keeps them out of site (and mind) but when you want one all you have to do is take one out and a minute or so later it is ready to eat.

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Big Pot of Chili

Third, I made a big pot of chili to go with the chilly weather outside!  I followed my favorite recipe from Paula Dean’s son Jamie’s recipe, here it is for your viewing pleasure………..Jamie’s Chili.

Not only is to full of three (3) different kinds of beans but it is very yummy and filling.  Plus, my husband loves it so it is a super easy lunch for him.

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 Fourth, I made one of my favorites……..Pumpkin Bread!  =)

My slice after baking! =)

It was super easy to make as everything (minus the eggs, water, oil & Pecans) including the recipe came in one box……..

All the ingredients and baking items

I wipped everything together, starting with the wet ingredients and then added the dry.

Wet ingredients, whipped together

Dry ingredients, mixed in with the wet and Pecans on top

I than poured it all into the baking containers.

All poured in

And, baked at 350 degrees for 60 minutes until them came out like this……

All Done1

All Done2

And, that is how you make Pumpkin Bread (super easy) and VERY YUMMY!!!  =)  I gave the two smaller loafs to my mom and mom-in-law and kept the bigger one for home.

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And, finally, LAST, but not least I was able to get some gift wrapping done after all of the above!

All the gift wrapping items together now.......

Everything wrapped and under the tree!

And, on that note I will end this VERY long post that I hope you all enjoyed…………I will try to do a little post before the holiday, however if not I hope you all have a great and very Merry Christmas!!!  =)

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Florida Freeze

Florida Freeze

The rest of the country is not alone when it comes to freezing temperatures, as what they are calling the Florida Freeze struck us here in what is usually “sunny” Central Florida early this week.

Tuesday Morning Temps

We experienced freezing temperatures the past 2 nights (Monday & Tuesday) and 20+ degrees below average temperatures for this time of year as well during the beginning of the week.

7 Day Forecast

Luckily, as you can see above we will get back to “normal” by the end of the week and I might be able to run outside this week if I am lucky.

SPEAKING OF RUNNING!

What is a girl to do when there is freezing temperatures outside and she doesn’t have the proper cold running gear in order to venture outside for a run????

She hits the gym that is!

And, that is exactly what I did after work on Monday night.

I had planned to doing a full training session that included abs, upper & lower body weight machines and then a quick 1 mile run

BUT, I didn’t have enough time as I had to stay at work late so I just hit the did a fast 3 mile run in 30 minutes

Now, mind you it has been ages since I did a “fast run” so it was a bit challenging…….yet at the same time easily done. 

Which, felt great! 

I ran most of the run at 5.8mph and finished at 8mph after upping .1mph each minute at the end.

In light, of the current weather conditions I will be skipping Tuesday’s  December’s Running Training Schedule run and will be hitting the gym again after work on Wednesday to hopefully do a full training session that I missed on Monday as well as another fast run.

Hopefully, I can return to running outside by the weekend!

In the mean time it is all GYM for me.

A girl has to make adjustments when things throw a curve ball into her scheduled. 

TAKE NOTE ~ This is one of the most important things I learned during my My “Weight Loss” Journey! and over the past year!  That you have to roll with the punches (changes) per say to your schedule (both in and out of the gym) and not let them thrown you off or at the door.  It is hard sometimes but you can do it.  Just get back as soon as you can or adapt to whatever comes your way.

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In other news, I have been trying my hardest to not eat to many of these……..

Sugar Cookies

However, I must admit I have had at least 3 every day since we made them on Sunday night.  Luckily, they are pretty small cookies so I don’t feel to bad for doing that and I also have been keeping my other Nightly Snacks at bay as well since the beginning of last week so that has helped the scale not be so scary in the mornings.  =O

What is your favorite holiday treat?

Sugar cookies are mine for sure!!!   

I have loved them since I was a kid.  After the first time I made them with my step-mom during one Christmas visit.  I could eat all of them in one sitting if I am not careful so I try to keep them hidden.

I also love many of the other holiday cookie classics and am a sucker for the Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha & Hot Chocolate.

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That about covers things for now. 

Sorry I do not have any EATS pictures to share with you but I have been so busy lately that I am lucky I find time to eat let alone take pictures of what I am eating…….I am sure you understand as I am sure you are really busy too right now, such is the Holiday Season.

Weekend full of………

…………..trimming the Christmas Tree and hang the Stockings on Saturday evening!

Our Christmas Tree (2010)

Our Stockings (2010)

Everyone took part in “trimming” the tree this year (last year my husband had to work so he missed it)!

  • I put the tree together.
  • My husband did the lights and moved all the branches around so they there would be no holes.
  • My daughter emptied out all the ornaments from the box.
  • We hung everything on the tree together and my husband put the angel on top fo the tree.

The entire process took approximately 3+ hours in all.  2 hours to put the tree up and 1 hour to decorate it.

While I put the tree up I watched my favorite Christmas movie of all time…………Christmas Vacation!

I love all of Chevy Chase movies and this one is my all time favorite, especially around the holidays of course.  It is just so funny and I completely understand how he wants to have a perfect family Christmas.  The movie always gets my in the spirit of the holidays and every year I watch it while putting the tree up and wrapping gifts.

What is your favorite holiday movie?

I also really like Home Alone, A Christmas Carol and I must admit I am a sucker for all the Hallmark Christmas movies as well.

In light of the busy evening we opted to order pizza for dinner from Papa John’s and enjoyed every warm bite of it.

Dinner

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………………………..Baking on Sunday!

First, I made sugar cookies so my daughter could decorate them for her teacher and classmates.

Sugar Cookies

After the cookies were all baked, I sampled one of course and then I set the table up for my daughter to decorate them.

Table

Then it was cooking decorating time and my daughter got right to it.

My daughter decorating the cookies!

I joined in about an hour later when there were still about half the cookies left to decorate and soon we had a huge pan full of decorated cookies.

All decorated and ready to eat!

Of course my husband, daughter and I had to sample several before boxing them up for my daughter to take to school this morning………they were as good as they look!  =)

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Second, I made cranberry white chocolate granola bars for my boss as a holiday gift. 

Holiday Gift f/My Boss

I used the Breakfast Bars from Slowing Things Down recipe that I have made several before……..Homemade Granola Bars but with raisins instead of cranberries and chocolate chips instead of white chocolate.

The version I made yesterday was of my own creation as I know how much my boss loves the ones I have made in the past as she always eats them whenever I bring them into work and I also know she loves cranberries and white chocolate so while shopping yesterday morning at the grocery store I came up with the idea and bought all the ingredients.

Let’s go through the steps below to making this yummy and healthy snack………

Step 1 - Grap the recipe & gather everything together.

Step 2 - Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Step 3 - Mix the wet ingredients in a pan over med-low.

Step 4 & 5 - Mix everything together and scoop into a baking pan.

Step 6 - Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Step 7 - Cut & eat, serve or package.

And, that is how it is done!  They came out pretty good.  I wish I could have tasted the “white chocolate” more but other than that I liked them and the cranberries tasted wonderful.

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Later that evening I swipped together an Italian feast for dinner, it was SUPER yummy!

Dinner

Oh, and during the day we all snacked on these lovely’s that were on sale at the grocery store……

Clementines

I LOVE CLEMENTINES!!!  They are so juicy, sweet and easy to eat……..I would eat them all year-long if I could.

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In other news, I FINALLY ran over the weekend after 8 days and what a great run it was. 

On Saturday, morning I woke up around 8am and went for a 4+ mile run outside in the 50 degree weather with grey overcast cloudy sky for just over 55 minutes.

It felt amazing!  =)  Completely unlike what I thought it would be as I thought after being away for so long I would be tired and have a hard time but I didn’t luckily.

Finally feeling better! =)

Yes, you heard right………I am finally feeling better!  =)

So I can finally return to my December’s Running Training Schedule after a long absence………another big smile!  =)

Unfortunately, since I have been away I don’t have tons to share workout/running wise and I don’t want to bore you with the work stuff I have been dealing with all week so I will share with you my EATS for today and return next week with more!

Pear & Chocolate Spider

Salad

Taco & Rice

Apple & Godiva Peppermint Truffle

Another Salad

Dinner

I typically snack nightly (though I rarely take pictures of it)……..mainly just on peanuts, popcorn, icees, etc. 

However, since I was under the weather and out of the gym I STOPPED in order to not gain weight (hopefully) and lucky me I didn’t…….something I will note for the future when I am sick or away from the gym/running again!

Have a great weekend everyone!  =)

The cough that just will not go away!!!

Since Monday I have had a cough that just will not go away!!!

I believe it first stemmed from the Stuffy Nose I had at the end of last week, however I know I would not still have it if it wasn’t for the fact that we have had the heat on since Sunday night due to a Cold Front we are having here in Central Florida that has brought freezing temperatures to the area.

Freezing Temperatures

So as you can imagine the “heat” does not help my situation, especially when it is the 1st time we have turned it on so far this year so who knows what came flying out when we did that.

Luckily, I do not feel that bad and it seems to be getting better everyday!

BUT – – – I haven’t felt well enough to head outside (especially in the freezing cold weather) to run or the gym either for that matter.  So today, marks 1 Week since I ran last and 2+ weeks since I have been to the gym (the gym is due to my work schedule being crazy recently).

However, I think I might try to run tonight after work.  Even if it is only for 2 miles or so.  And, if that doesn’t work I plan on hitting the gym this Friday after work and the pavement this weekend to run as the weather is due to get a bit warm per the 7 Day Weather Forecast.

7 Day Weather Forecast

Overall, I have missed running and the gym a lot! 

In fact, I have been feeling the stress of not doing either. 

Fortunately, though I haven’t been stressed weight wise as the scale has been very friendly to me as you can see on my Weekly Weigh In page.  Which, I know is mainly due to the fact that I haven’t been eating as much due to being sick and I have also not been snacking at night either in order to keep my numbers low.

I have been surprised how easy it has been to avoid eating bad food or too much over the past week.  Guess being sick does that to you.  Not only do you not have much of an appetite, a stuffy nose doesn’t make things taste so great either.

So as you can imagine my EATS have been pretty good so far this week.  =)

Check out what I ate on Monday in order to judge for yourself:

Dunkin Donut's Medium Hazelnut Coffee

I must admit I had the above on Friday, Saturday and Monday due to forgetting to buy creamier at the grocery store.  Luckily, it only cost $1.80 a cup so it didn’t break the bank too much now. 

Oatmeal in a Peanut Butter Jar

It has been awhile since I had oatmeal in a peanut butter jar and for the life of me I do not know why as I forgot how GOOD it is, YUM!  In fact, I added peanut butter to my oatmeal on Tuesday and Wednesday as well because I loved the taste so much.

Ranch Salad

Pork Loin w/Corn on the Cob & Baked Potato

I think did pretty good on my eats, what do you think???

However, when things like this…………..

Chocolate Nutcracker

…………start arriving in your office it begins to become tough to not break in and eat it even when you are under the weather!!!  =O

What kind of “goodies” do you get at work or home for the holidays???

Every year we get one of the above from someone we work with as well as a Harry & David basket that should be arriving soon.  We used to get a lot more stuff in the past but due to the current economy everyone has cut back so we do not anymore, which is ok in my eyes as I do not need all the temptation around.  =)

I will try to check in tomorrow or Friday at the latest, have a good rest of the week everyone!

Cracker Christmas

On Sunday…….my mom, nephew, daughter and I visited Fort Christmas in Christmas Florida for “Cracker Christmas”!

Welcome to CHRISTMAS

Prior to departing I had a bowl of Wheat Chex with 1/2 a banana and 2% milk for breakfast.

Breakfast

On the drive we enjoyed Starbucks coffee.  I had a Grande Peppermint Mocha, one of my favorites around the holiday’s.  =)

Coffee

We arrived a little before noon and the place was pretty busy but not packed. 

Fort Christmas

Basically, Fort Christmas is a replica of a fort built-in 1837 during the Seminole Indian War that has a traditional Florida “Cracker” house and eight pioneer homes; a schoolhouse and lunchroom; a sugar cane mill and other historical farming equipment; and a gift shop.

And, every year the park hosts what they call Cracker Christmas in which they have “cracker” / pioneer demonstrations as well as tons of craft and food vendors.

This was our first visit to the park and what a beautiful day we had in order to enjoy them as it was in the 70’s warm with a clear blue sky.

First, we walked around the craft booths that were throughout the park.

Than, we ventured into the “cracker” / pioneer demonstration area to take a look at all the wonderful houses and presentations they had going on.

Pioneer Area

Old Pioneer Main House

Old Pioneer Main House (Stairs)

Old Pioneer Main House (Kitchen)

Old Pioneer Main House (Living Room)

Old Pioneer Main House (Bedroom)

Old Pioneer Main House (Storage Room)

Old Pioneer Main House (Garden)

Old Pioneer Area (Tent)

The above pictures only show about 1/2 of what we saw yesterday.  It was pretty impressive and very authentic.  We enjoyed everything!

After leaving the Pioneer area we had lunch. 

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before we ate our pulled pork sandwiches and french fries….but I didn’t forget to snap a picture of the man who made the Kettle Corn we bought before leaving the park.

Kettle Corn

It was as good as it looks, YUM!  We purchased a huge bag to enjoy on the way home and throughout the week for that matter……….=)

What a nice day we had, the first “festive” one of the season for me.

I miss running……=(

I have not run since Wednesday morning due to being sick and it is really starting to get to me!  =(

Fortunately, I am finally starting to feel better today but not 100% so I couldn’t run this morning as I had planned but maybe tomorrow or Monday at the latest, we will see, either way I plan to get right back on track with my December’s Running Schedule as soon as I am completely better! 

CAN’T WAIT…..as I miss running so much right now!  =( 

Though luckily for me and to my surprise the scale has been very kind to me due to lack of appetite while I have been sick……….in fact it has been very kind so that is nice as I was a bit worried that the lack of running and gym (haven’t been to the gym in almost 2 weeks now) would affect that.

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Not to much was “planned” to do this weekend do to being under the weather, however I can’t call in sick to my job at home and the household chores still needed to be done so I tackled grocery shopping/laundry today and plan to do a little cleaning tomorrow. 

And, I am also thinking of putting up the Christmas Tree but might also go to a Christmas Craft Fair with my mom and daughter so it is a toss up for now…….????

Have a great weekend everyone!  =)

Categories: I Miss Running!