Tag Archives: Coffee

Thoughts on a Thursday

Good morning!

Your regular reading has been a little different this week as I slowly acclimate to my new work schedule. Thanks for sticking with me! Any full-time workers + bloggers out there? I would love to hear your secrets. I thought I would keep today’s post more true to form, a little tangential and more about what’s going on in my world. Sound good?


Yesterday I just could not wake up. I snoozed a couple of times before turning off my alarm and stumbling out of bed. Transitioning from a couple months of not having a schedule to working a busy full-time job is not pretty, ya’ll. I am so fortunate to have this new position; honestly, it feels like a dream. However, the schedule is a little wonky and will take some time getting used to. Most of my days start at noon and end closer to 8 or 9 p.m. Sometimes they will be longer like 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. I am most definitely not complaining though. Like with anything, my body and mind will adjust in time!

I started my tired morning with 20-minutes on the treadmill following a modified version of this routine.

20 Minute Treadmill Workout

If you’re looking for a quick calorie burn, this PopSugar interval workout does not disappoint. It was challenging, but it was also over quick enough to even notice. I also completed a 10-minute yoga video (<– I actually do not recommend this video. It was a little slow and the instructor is kind of annoying!) in the group exercise room alongside two meathead-like men who were grunting and panting the whole time. It felt a little awkward and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Ha! I guess it’s my fault for trying to follow a yoga video outside the comforts of my living room.

Fortunately, I had prepped a bowl of oats the night before and they were waiting for me patiently in the fridge. Otherwise, I might have eaten my arm for breakfast.

Overnight Oats

Old fashioned oats, almond milk, plain greek yogurt, truvia and chia seeds mixed together and left to sit overnight. In the morning, I added honey, walnuts and craisins. 

A couple more thoughts about this week…

  • My meals have been monotonous, rushed and probably not the most balanced. However, my weekend meal prep has literally saved me this week. I might have eaten the same things, but they kept me from devouring microwaved popcorn for every meal.

Eats from the Week

  • Getting fitness out of the way in the morning has been key to feeling productive. Since I don’t have my evenings anymore, the morning hours are my time to get thangs done.
  • Speaking of fitness, on Sunday I took quite the embarrassing photo. It’s on my Twitter feed and you’ll just have to go there because I can’t find the actual photo to post. I wasn’t paying attention to how I was dressed myself (mindfulness, anyone?) and ended up in all pink. Um…
  • Coffee really is my bff. I have a sleep shirt with that saying plastered on the front and Bobby loves to make fun of it.

Coffee in bed

I don’t have time for a filter, so just ignore my dark circles, beautiful hair and the fact that I’m typing this from bed, mmmkay?

  • Since I’m really great at transitioning, speaking of Bobby… I arrived home late on Tuesday night and he had dinner waiting for me! How awesome is that? This isn’t even a #humblebrag. It was like the nicest, most needed gesture ever.

Chicken fajitas

I had the above serving of chicken fajitas x2.

  • Valentine’s Day is next weekend. Excuse me? How is that even possible? It’s one of my favorite holidays and I really need to get my *shat* together.
  • I forgot how much I love business casual clothes. I find work outfits to be the easiest to put together. Now if I had to wear “nice” jeans everyday I would end up in leggings and sweaters.

Work Wear

  • Since I know how much you love cat pictures, I will leave you with this one. He’s also had a long week.

tired baxter

Questions for you:

  • What is your work schedule like?
  • Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What do you do? <– When I was single, I once hosted an all-girls party and my teeny tiny apartment. We had a blast!





Filed under Breakfast, Miscellaneous, Workout

Yoga is Necessary

Hey hey and happy Monday to you.

If you were expecting a morning post today, I apologize that you didn’t get one. I am still trying to figure out a blogging schedule that works best for me. I want to ensure that my content is interesting, fun or informative…preferably all of the above! I once read that you should never blog if you just aren’t feeling inspired, and this morning was one of those times. Have no fear though, we are back to normal starting NOW!


Today started with a piece of paleo carrot cake loaf and some green grapes, enjoyed with a mug of gingerbread coffee on the side.


I was in the baking mood yesterday and realized I had everything on hand to make it. This recipe was so easy and took about ten minutes to throw together (not including baking time). There is only one piece left…obviously both Bobby and I hated it.

The morning was spent reading the news and perusing blogs. Around 10 a.m., I realized that I needed to get my rear in gear in order to make it to my prescheduled yoga class. Freezing rain makes for a not so fun walk. I really wanted to turn around and get back in my bed!


I spent 75 glorious minutes in a vinyasa style class at Exhale. As per usual, it was amazing and I felt 1 million times better afterwards. I’ve determined that yoga is necessary both on Mondays and when it rains.



After yoga, I ran a few errands before heading home. I blended up a smoothie for my mid-day meal and slurped it (<–what a God awful word?!) while sending off a couple emails.


1/2 frozen banana + 1/2 C frozen cherries + 1 handful kale + unsweetened almond milk + water + About Time vanilla protein powder + 3 ice cubes

A larger than usual ingredient list resulted in 1.5 smoothies. Hey, I’ll take it!

smoothie x2

This one actually ended up being a little to kale-y, even for me. I might cut down on the leafy green next time. I also grabbed a serving of everything-flavored pretzel crisps for some necessary crunch.



I’m off to catch up on my latest stimulating TV show, House of DVF. We’re having a fend-for-yourself style dinner tonight. Have a lovely evening!




Filed under Breakfast, Lunch, Yoga

Sunday Snaps














Filed under Sunday Snaps

Rendezvous with Jillian Michaels

I woke up a bit later than usual today since I was up until the wee hours pinning holiday decor ideas. Seriously, what was life like before Pinterest? I remember it being sad and lonely…

Over coffee, I literally watched from my window while the freezing rain turned to snow in about five minutes!


It was pretty remarkable actually, but I’m glad I didn’t have to venture out to experience it.


With my coffee, I enjoyed a sweet and savory egg sandwich. It’s a regular around here and I completely forgot to snap a photo. You’ve seen it before though (like yesterday), so picture an ezekiel english muffin + egg white + swiss cheese + sugar free strawberry jelly. I worked through the morning and cranked out the final edits of my 15-page research paper. One down, four to go! :/

Hunger struck again around 1 p.m. I’ve been craving egg salad lately, so I made sure to purchase some hardboiled eggs at the grocery yesterday (I hate peeling hard boils, so I usually splurge for the bag of pre-peeled eggs).

lunch close up

I used four chopped whites + two chopped whole eggs + light mayo + nonfat plain greek yogurt + oregano + S&P over romaine and carrots. I didn’t measure anything, just made it to my liking.


Paired with some green grapes. How are grapes sooo good right now?! Bobby and will be lucky if these last until Wednesday.

About an hour after lunch, I dusted off my old Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD and committed to completing level two.


It’s been a long time since I’ve done this workout, like maybe two or three years!? But, I didn’t want to brave the *wintery mix* to walk to a group fitness class and I just didn’t feel motivated to hit our building’s gym. Back in the day, I used to stick to level one only because I was lazy wasn’t as fit as I am nowadays. However, level two was still pretty challenging and I found myself modifying a few of the circuits. I’m interested to see what level three is like.

If you’re wondering, this is what a “home gym” looks like in a tiny highrise apartment.

home gym

Super zen, eh? Gotta do the best you can with what you got! After Jillian kicked my bootay, I finished up with a ten-minute yoga for flexibility video from YouTube.

Does this happen to anyone else when they workout at home? After laying there for five minutes, he tried to attack my wrists while in downward dog.

mat baxie

I’m currently typing up this blog post while snacking on a tasty honeycrisp apple and some peanut butter. When Bobby gets home, I’m planning on making a super easy spaghetti squash with tomato sauce followed by a night on the couch and some more school work.



Today marks day seven of my no sugar + sweat everyday challenge! I’ll post a recap of my experience tomorrow. Have a fabulous evening!




Filed under Healthy Meals, Lunch, Workout

Sunday Snaps {11/23}










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Filed under Sunday Snaps

Favorite Finds Friday 11/21

Happy Friday!

Welcome to this week’s addition of Favorite Finds Friday, where I share some items that have been catching my eye this week.

  • Quirky Nibble Cake Pan – this is one of those products that I’m annoyed I didn’t invent! There are so many times where I’ve baked a cake for someone else and have NO IDEA how it tasted. As much as I love to bake, I’m not entirely confident in my abilities. This would save me from future dessert fails!

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.45.40 PM

  • 10 ways you’re making your life harder than it has to be – I originally saw this in Courtney’s round up last Friday and have kept it in my inbox ever since. Numbers 2 and 7 particularly resonated with me and I’m guilty of both all too often. Look over this list. I think it’s important to check yourself every once in a while and make sure you’re working on a couple of these.
  • Uncommon Goods – you know when you get a catalog in the mail that you’ve never heard of and have no idea why you’ve received it? This is one of those. It arrived in our mailbox last week and has been a blessing in disguise for some of those harder-to-buy-for people on my list (cough…Dad…cough). Everything is super affordable and unique. I’ve been eyeing this tea pot, a DIY lip balm kit and these city map glasses <– how perfect for a house warming gift? 

uncommon goods2

  • A more economical way to use our Keurig – after some comments back and forth with a reader on Julie’s blog, I was turned onto the Brew & Save brand of reusable k-cups. I’ve tried other brands before, but always ended up with coffee grounds at the bottom of my mug – yuck! Though I buy our k-cups in bulk from Amazon, they still come out to $.64 a piece. With my $2.79 bag of Dunkin coffee from Walgreens, the reusable k-cup drops our cost per use to close to $0! 🙂

brew and save

  • Since I overload you with cat pictures on the reg over here, this video of a golden retriever on a mission for treats during obedience training is for my dog-loving friends.


We have a fun weekend planned and I’m going out both Friday and Saturday nights! That’s a lot for this grandma. Tonight we’re headed to dinner with Bobby’s best friend and his wife (who is a dear friend of mine too – hi Court!). Tomorrow it’s my friend Kristin’s annual Friendsgiving. I have a cornbread recipe that’s been sitting on my Pinterest board just waiting to be made.

Questions for you:

  • What’s on your agenda this weekend?
  • Do you typically Christmas shop online or in stores?




Filed under Favorite Finds

Celebrating Your Pet’s Birthday

I’m currently on the tail end of the longest day I’ve had in a while. Three classes + a two hour GRADUATION meeting <– where they tell me everything I must do in the next two weeks in order to bust out of here on time. Woot!

I told Bobby in advance last night that I would not be cooking when I arrived home, and would instead like takeout sushi waiting for me.

What princess wants, princess gets.

Not really. I’m sure we’ll order something or possibly head out to a neighborhood joint.


I packed up my lunch this morning to include a turkey sammy. FYI, I really wanted to take a huge bite while taking this pic!


We’ve got a toasted ezekiel english muffin + light mayo + mustard + reduced fat swiss cheese + deli turkey. I also packed a green apple and peanut butter to enjoy as the sweet part of my lunch. Before heading out the door, I heated up two everyday egg white muffins and grabbed a banana to consume on the run.

apples pb

Per my Thursday ritual, I snagged a blonde roast + 1 pump sugar free cinnamon dulce from Starbucks (added my own almond milk and stevia) with some homemade trail mix on the side. My first obligatory red cup of the season!

coffee and nuts

just nuts

One of my classmates brought cookies to share with the class. How dare he, right?! I think I was still full from lunch because they actually weren’t as tempting as I thought they’d be.


My creepy attempt at a photo


Baxter was being extra naughty cute before bed last night. We started talking about how when he was little and before I moved in with Bobby, he rarely slept next to me. However, in the past six months, he’s started snoozing legitimately against my face every single night. I told Bobby that maybe it’s because he’s getting older and more needy?! Baxter turns four this January!


Baxter’s third birthday

The rest of the conversation went something like this:

  • Me: What are we going to do for his birthday this year?
  • Bobby: It doesn’t matter, you’ll be gone. (I’m headed to Florida with my mama in January)
  • Me: I will be?!
  • Bobby: You’re such a bad mom!
  • Me: (nervously pulling up my itinerary on my phone) Found it! I’m leaving the day after his birthday.

Thank goodness. 🙂

We also talked about inviting all the other cats in the building to visit Baxter on his birthday. We pictured them coming out of the elevator and prancing down to our end of the hallway. Yes, we are joking…and yes, we are very strange!

Questions for you:

  • Do you celebrate your pets’ birthdays?
  • Do you pack your lunch to take to work/school?
  • What do you pack?


PS. I brought the Walgreens gloves with me today to give to the homeless man. I didn’t spot him on the corner, but I like to think that he found his way into a shelter and is warm and fed. Don’t worry, I’ll keep looking for him!



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Filed under Healthy Meals, Lunch, Meals on the go, Pets

Breakfast for Dinner

Good morning!

I am headed out to the suburbs as soon as I hit “publish” on this post. I have to fill out some paperwork at my old internship site. It’s been almost six weeks since I made the commute, so I brewed a large mug of coffee for the occasion.


I found Dunkin coffee in the clearance section of Walgreens yesterday. Who says pumpkin-everything has to end? 😉

  coffee bag


We’d originally planned to have turkey burgers, but come time to prep dinner I just wasn’t feeling it. My cravings have been fairly rampant since cutting out sugar, causing me to fantasize about pancakes while at the gym. Normal, right? I ran the idea by Bobby and…..B for D it was!

i iz waiting for mycakez

Bobby isn’t much of a pancakes person, so he made an omelet while I perused the ‘ol Google machine for recipes. I followed the instructions for Top with Cinnamon’s 2-ingredient healthy pancakes, with these recommended additions:

  •  1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 T almond flour


Plus copious amounts of sugar free syrup!


These were pretty good, but I might double the recipe next time because I was hungry just an hour later. I’d also sub egg whites for whole eggs (since I watch my yolk intake due to high-ish cholesterol) and add more cinnamon.


When I get back into the city, I’m heading to my favorite yoga class ever (fingers crossed for minimal traffic and making it back in time).

Questions of the day:

  • What’s your favorite item to order for breakfast?
  • Do you stop using pumpkin-everything once Halloween is over?




Filed under Dinner, Healthy Meals

Lightened Up Pad Thai

Hey guys, hoping your morning is going well.


I’d posted last week about wanting to make Lexi’s Clean Kitchen Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai. I bought the necessary ingredients during our latest grocery haul and decided to give it a whirl last night.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 9.58.30 AM

Pad Thai is one of my favorite takeout foods, but it is most definitely not the healthiest choice. One serving can pack over 1,000 calories and almost 4,000 grams of sodium! Once in a while, I don’t mind consuming a meal with those stats, but I could eat Pad Thai every night 🙂

up close2

The two main ingredients in the sauce, oyster sauce and seasoned rice vinegar, both have added sugar – something I did not realize until I pulled them out of the cabinet. I ended up using about 3/4 of what the recipe called for in order to cut the sugar a bit.


All in all, I probably had about 5 g sugar in my meal, which I still consider a success for my no sugar challenge. 

far away2

I made a few other adjustments to Lexi’s recipe.

  • Didn’t include mushrooms (can’t stand them); doubled the carrots instead
  • Used canned minced garlic
  • Didn’t include shrimp
  • Used regular eggs, not organic
  • Used soy sauce instead of coconut aminos

Our squash was too small as well; you definitely need a big guy for this recipe. Bobby and I both enjoyed this stuff and thought it tasted just like Pad Thai. Will definitely be making again!


I woke up this morning in time to chug coffee, make breakfast and pack up lunch for the day.


I didn’t have much of an appetite when I woke up (blame the no sugar?), so I blended a protein smoothie to go. I forgot to take a photo but it included the usual: 1/2 banana + handful of spinach + 1 scoop About Time vanilla protein powder + frozen cherries + 1/2 C almond milk + 6 ice cubes. I also made a similar lunch from yesterday’s.


I used a whole wheat wrap as my base and added 1/4 avocado mashed + deli turkey + spinach + carrots.

open wrap2

In addition to roasted peanuts and spicy sunflower seeds on the side. <– bought these in the gourmet food section at TJ Maxx, ie. my favorite aisle on earth. 



It currently feels like January in Chicago (16 degrees!!!!!!!), so hoping it’s warmer wherever you are.



Filed under Healthy Meals, Meals on the go, No Sugar

Outfit Inspo: Olivia Palermo

Hi guys!

I hope it’s much warmer where you are today. We got our first taste of winter today with temps in the 30s and lots o’ wind. I never know how to dress during this transitional time of year, as evidenced by my choice of coat today.


I am also a bag lady

I wore my trench that is meant for light rain, but actually needed a hat, gloves and wool coat instead. Oh well. For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you saw that I based today’s outfit off one of my style icons, Olivia Palermo.


My look: 

  • Chambray shirt – Gap (old)
  • Sweater – Michael Kors (old via TJ Maxx)
  • Jeans – Paige Denim (old via consignment)
  • Shoes – Keds (via Nordstrom Rack; similar)
  • Bag – Gigi New York

I pinned Olivia’s outfit to my “Weekend Fashion” board on Pinterest because I love how it’s laid back, yet still put together. I already had everything in my closet, so this was easy to recreate.


For an alternative, I’d like to switch out the jeans for black skinny pants, the shoes for pointy-toe leopard flats, and the bag for a more structured tote to reflect an overall business-casual look.


I packed up my coffee and lunch bag, and headed to campus for a full day of classes.


Sitting in classrooms from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. calls for lots of good snacks, so I always plan ahead. I ate my breakfast while waiting for class to start.


This picture does not look too appetizing, but I promise it was. I bake a dozen of these egg white muffins every Sunday for grab-and-go breakfasts/snacks throughout the week. They stay really well in the fridge; just nuke them in the microwave for 30 seconds and you’re good to go! I’ll post a full recipe in the next couple of days.

Halfway through my first class, I snacked on a bunch of mini pretzel crisps. I should have known they wouldn’t tide me over for very long, because around 12:30 p.m., I dug into my lunch.

whole lunch2

I packed a pear, my SmartyPants multi-vitamins, and a salad I threw together consisting of romaine + carrots + 1/4 avocado + unsalted almonds/peanuts + reduced sugar craisins + Bolthouse Farms yogurt ranch dressing.


I love colorful salads!

I headed to Starbucks in between my afternoon classes because I needed a major pick-me-up in the form of an iced coffee with one pump pumpkin spice.


I brought my own almond milk and truvia, and enjoyed my caffeine with a chocolate chip cherry torte Lara bar on the side (one of my fave flavors).


In terms of exercise, today actually became an unplanned rest day (I’m all about resting my body, especially after an intense spin class like yesterday’s). Because I got home later then I’d planned this evening, we decided to order sushi and catch up on our DVR instead. Sounds like the perfect night to me.

I’m going to a spin class tomorrow morning, followed by babysitting during the day, then we have plans to attend my friend Kristin’s charity event in the evening. I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend, even though it’s supposed to snow. Say what?!

Enjoy the rest of your night!




Filed under Outfit Inspo