Saturday, July 31, 2010

Princess Molly

Hello everyone!  First of all, have you entered my fabulous first giveaway yet? If not, follow this link and leave a comment on the post. Winner is being chosen on Monday 8/2.

I hope you all are enjoying your Saturday.  There isn't much going on up in here today, it's been a nice COOL day filled with some on and off rain.  I did do something pretty amazing though.  I went for a run.  Yes you read that right.  Yes you are on TLD blog.  (Notice that I changed that from LSD.  I don't need that popping up in search engines.)  Of course, all week I did it right, I ate right and I hydrated at night in preparation, and never went.  Last night, due to J having the car while out with friends and me having no food in the house, I ordered Papa Johns.  I drank almost no water.  Breakfast was leftover Papa Johns.  After "breakfast" I went out.  It's a little disheartening to see that my progress has completely backtracked and that my "run" is more like a walk/jog, and is taking 45 minutes again like in the beginning, but at least I went.  And... get this... I went in the rain.  Who am I???  I figured it had taken me three hours of being awake and mentally yelling at myself that I'm never going to look like Britney Spears at this rate to even get out the door so I was not going to let a little sprinkle deter me.  Molly was not pleased.  As you know, she is a freakin diva who hates to get wet and kept looking at me like I hate you and will make you pay for this later, and stopped every 3 seconds to shake and try to lead me back home.  I had to remind her that I own her, and not the other way around, and there would be no turning back.  She had no choice but to suck it up.  I blame her hatred of everything wet on J, who in every attempt to not get his sneakers wet has inadvertently taught her to jump over puddles.  I kid you not.  The dog will NOT step in a puddle.  And she will dance around in mud like she isn't a badass looking pitbull mix rocking a Harley collar.  You would think she, (and maybe J,) was a little white poodle with a pink bow.  Wimps, both of them.

After the pet abuse run, we dragged ourselves up the stairs where Molly promptly laid down in front of her water bowl, and I stretched, showered, and refueled with this greatness:

This would be with a green smoothie made with a frozen banana, a handful of blueberries, almond milk, and somewhere around 3 handfuls of spinach.  I pack it in because I can never taste it so might as well put in as much as will fit, right?  Notice how it went right up to the brim of the glass.  I couldn't have planned that better.  I paired it with the last pieces of cinnamon raisin toast topped with eatth balance and cinnamon sugar. 

I finally went grocery shopping this afternoon.  I didn't make it to the FM, I think we will be doing that tomorrow, but I went to Whole Foods and stocked up on the produce I can't get at the FM, as well as local grass fed beef for J, spaghetti sauce fixin's, cashew butter, (for the first time!!) yogurt, cheese, granola, and a few other odds and ends.  Including... bagels!!  Thank God, I was totally having withdrawals.  $99 later, and I was home.  Is it me, or does everything at WF seem to cost $5?  I guess that trying to eat as much organic as possible comes with a price tag, but I am willing to pay it when I have the money.  After all, prevention is always better than treatment, and I really don't want the cancer and things that come along with all those chemicals and pesticides.  Anyway... off the soap box now.

J enjoyed his grass fed beef, underneath all these veggies. He made it sort of a taco salad instead of having actual tacos.


Of course, you know what I had to have:


That would be a cut up nectarine along with it.  Dinner of champions.

Well, I'm off now to read some more of my Chelsea book.  I started it this afternoon and I'm loving it so far.  The girl is crazy.. maybe if I can tear J away from the video game for a minute, we will watch a movie.  Either way, the plan is to veg out.  See y'all tomorrow!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fabulous Friday

Hellooo bloggy peeps! First of all, have you entered my fabulous first giveaway yet? If not, follow this link and leave a comment on the post. Winner is being chosen on Monday 8/2.

How is everyone today?  It's FRIDAY peeps!!!  Aren't you all excited??  Fridays are so much better now that I don't have to work all weekend at Target.  Every Friday at work at the office, people would be all, "Aren't you excited it's Friday?"  And I would be like, for what???  I have 2 8 hour shifts to look forward too, no I am NOT excited.  Now, I'm the one asking.  I love it :)

Today was a particularly fabulous Friday because it was my company picnic at work, and I only needed to put in 3 hours.  Then, J and I went to get his first full paycheck from the new job and guess what.. for the first time in almost 2 years, he was able to give me half for bills.  (For those that don't know, he was laid off almost 2 years ago and finally just now got a good, full time job!!)  I honestly don't even know which one of us was happier about it, because he has been so stressed for so long about not being able to contribute enough, and I have been so stressed working either two jobs, or a crazy amount of overtime at my full time job.  Overtime isn't even an option since I got promoted to a salaried position, hence needing to work at Target for so long.  But today, it's like it solidified that things are starting to look up.  I hope it stays this way for a long time, I still don't fully grasp the fact that I don't need to stress anymore.  Wow. 

Anyway... one more reason it was a great day was because I met Chelsea Handler today!!!!  She had a book signing in Raleigh and I went with my friend Lindsay.  We weren't allowed to take pictures with her, but I got a couple from a distance.

I f-ing LOVE Chelsea Handler.  I think she is the most hilarious person, and she is teeny tiny in person!  I knew she was thin, but she is so short!  She's adorable, and really friendly and soo pretty, and... I'm going on and on, but I just love her and I'm so happy that I met her for 10 seconds of my life.

Sorry there are no food pics for today, but tomorrow I will be going to the Farmers Market again so I'm sure I will have lots of good stuff then.  I hope you all are having a good day!  See ya tomorrow :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

DIsappointing Dinner Fail

Good evening bloggy friends!  First of all, have you entered my fabulous first giveaway yet?  If not, follow this link and leave a comment on the post.  Winner is being chosen on Monday 8/2.

Today went by really fast for me at work.  Actually, this entire week went by faster than normal, and I am so very happy about that.  Tomorrow is only a 3 hour day because it is my company picnic, and early release day.  And then... tomorrow afternoon I am going to CHELSEA HANDLER'S BOOK SIGNING!!!!  I am so excited, and even though she is in a rush and you cannot take pics or really talk to her, I am super excited to see one of my fav comedians in real life.  I had to get a ticket for the line because she is only there for an hour, and in alphabetical order, I am in the "D" category.  So I am sure I will get through.  Early release day + Chelsea Handler = Fabulous Friday.

I didn't really think through dinner today before J left and took the car with him, so I was stuck with whatever I could scrape up.  It wasn't good, or really healthy, but I know you wants pics anyway so here it goes...

That would be a portobella mushroom gardenburger with spinach, avocado, and onion on toasted wheat bread, paired with freezerburnt frozen Ore-Ida fries and cheese.  I'm not going to lie.  This was not a good dinner.  I didn't even finish it.  You are probably wondering what I wanted, well, honestly all I wanted was my bagel from last night.  Yep.  My very observant boyfriend of 3 years made the following intelligent comment to me last night:  "Do you know that all of your favorite foods are like, breads and pasta?"  No.  Kidding.  3 years people, 3 years and he thinks he just made some sort of grand announcement.  Bagels make me happy.  I am a simple girl.

Since I couldn't have a bagel, I raided the fridge till I came up with this.

This would be cinnamon raisin toast topped with lots of Earth Balance and cinnamon sugar.

If I couldn't have my bagel and cream cheese, I had to have something carby and earth-balance-y and sweet.  If ever there was a childhood meal throwback..

Well, it's 9:30 and I believe I am going to pass out now.  I am really sleepy for some reason, and I need to start going to bed when I am tired instead of staying up for some reason and then not getting enough.  Not to mention that you saw that bottle of water, and I will probably be up to pee at least once tonight.  Anyway, I will probably see you tomorrow, but if not, J has requested another trip to the Farmer's Market and I will post about that this weekend.  HE requested it.  I almost passed out.  Maybe I am winning the war.  Have a great night and a Fabulous Friday everyone :)

CSN Stores Giveway

Why, hello all LSD readers.  (Wow, I just realized that is a drug name.  Excellent..)  Yes, it's really me, posting in the middle of the day, AT WORK... scandalous.  Anyway, as you can see from the title, I am excited to announce my very first giveaway.  CSN stores contacted me about offering one lucky reader a gift certificate in the amount of $40 to use on one of their websites.  I have never done a giveaway before, but I always knew that IF I did one, it would have to be something that I myself would want to win.  I went and checked out this website for you, (yes, I am generous,) and realized that this place has literally everything.  Dinnerware, dog beds, suitcases, home decor.. everything.  As a blogger who cooks, (duh,) owns a dog, travels, and wishes she could decorate her apartment, I thought this would be perfect :)

Official ways to enter are this:  Leave me a comment saying why you want the gift certificate.  If you want to be entered again, post about this giveaway on your blog and leave me the link in a separate comment.  That's all I got for ways to enter, I'm not going to go all crazy about following on Twitter and all that, just those two things.  I will randomly select a winner on Monday, August 2nd.  (Oh, and this can only be for US and Canada readers only.  I don't think I have many international peeps anyway, but I am so sorry if I do!!)

Have a great rest of the afternoon and I will see ya'll tonight!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kitchen Slave

It's been a LONGG day.  And if anyone suggests that my annoying coworker, my OTHER annoying coworker, my ex boyfriend and my current boyfriend seemed worse today because of PMS, well, I wouldn't really be able to argue with you.  But seriously.. I think they all reserve extra ammo just waiting for this time.  At least now I have chilled out.  And no worries, nothing serious, just really irritated a lot of the day.  I think J watched Everybody Loves Raymond, the episode where Ray tries to get Debra to take pills for her PMS, and she yells at him to give her a hug.  I was all pissed off and next thing I know I'm getting a hug?  Oh well.  I guess it worked :)

Before the whole argument over nothing and hugging incident, I was making him dinner to take to work.  He usually takes sandwiches, but I feel bad because it's a manual labor job and I feel like he needs more than deli meat sandwiches and gatorade to get him through the night.  (It breaks my heart to have to reveal that my boyfriend eats this way.)  So after my successful eggplant parm, I decided to make chicken parm for him.  It was basically the same steps, except I first dipped the chicken in a mixture of flour, garlic powder, oregano and basil.  Then I used the egg, panko breadcrumbs, and baked at 425 for a half hour.  I gave him some linguine, homemade sauce, and some parmesan and mozzarella cheese to put on top.  Hopefully he likes it, he had to rush out so I didn't even get pics of the masterpiece except for this one, of the leftover chicken.


So, what does the chef eat after she so nicely cooks gourmet meals for her boyfriend?

Bread and water. That's right, prison food.  (Actually, this was a delicious onion bagel from Whole Foods, smothered in Earth Balance and organic cream cheese, but that is neither here nor there.  It really is water though, just in a lemonade container.  Trying to be green and reuse, yo.)  I am trying to hydrate more at night now, for my morning runs.  You know.. the invisible runs that haven't happened yet.  So basically all I'm doing is trying to see how many times a night I can wake up to pee.  Oh well.  I will appreciate it on the day that I wake up and actually go, right?  I was still a little hungry, so I had some fruit and granola.

I almost had a stroke when I realized I was out of granola this morning.  I am having a food obsession lately with vanilla Greek Chobani, berries and granola.  I finished the last of the granola yesterday and totally forgot that I was out.  Thankfully I had a couple of Vans waffles in the freezer that came to the rescue.  Once I toasted them and ripped them into pieces and mixed them in, all was right again.  But I went and bought granola right after work today.  I don't want to go through that again!

And here is a question... see the liquid in the bowl?  That's almond milk.  When I buy almond milk, it looks like milk.  This past weekend I bought the WF brand kind for the first time and it came out looking like dirty water.  And it tastes like very watered down almond milk.  Yes I shook it and everything.  Is this normal?  It tasted fine and everything, so I'm not sure what's going on.

Please excuse my extreme snarkiness and sarcasm throughout the post today.  I blame PMS.  (No comments from those in real life who know that I'm actually pretty much like this most of the time, but try to tone it down some for my internet friends.  Shhh..)  Come back tomorrow though, because I have some blog-news to share.  Goodnight :) 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce, Part II

Hi everyone!  I hope you are all having a good week so far... it's hump day tomorrow!  Which reminds me of a hilarious slogan at Bonefish when my friends were here.  They have this great appetizer called Bang-Bang Shrimp, and they were running a special this month for the appetizer for $5 on Wednesdays.  They said they were officially changing Hump Day to Bang Bang Wednesday.  Totally inappropriate and I laughed so hard.  Anyway, I was going to go for a run this morning but once again the temps were already in the 80's at 6:00am and it was so muggy.  Thankfully, it rained and stormed all day today so it's much cooler out now.  I actually shut my air conditioning off after letting Molly out and becoming chilly... since when does upper 70's, low 80's feel chilly??  Oh yeah that's right, when the past couple of weeks have topped out in the 100's.  That's when.

Last night I decided I wanted to make eggplant parm with the eggplant from the Farmer's Market.  In order to do that, I needed to make some homemade sauce.  Since posting the recipe last year, I have had a couple people ask for a little more instruction.  (Hi Juliana and Amanda!)  It's really not hard or time consuming, and it makes such a good sauce.  I wish I could take credit for it, but it's from my grandmother.  Here we go:

Ingredients- that's chopped onion in the bowl

Sauteing the onion in olive oil and butter

Spices on top!!

All mixed up and ready to cook down

That's it!  Simple right?  To get the entire recipe, click here.  I hope this helps a little for those who are interested.

I didn't take any pictures of the eggplant, but basically just sliced it, salted it, and let it sit for about 45 minutes.  I rinsed it off, patted it dry, then dipped in egg followed by Panko breadcrumbs.  Panko are the best breadcrumbs, try them once and you will never go back to the regular ones.  Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, flip, bake for another 10 minutes.  Put on top of linguine, place sliced mozzarella on top, sauce on top of that, and sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan.  A-mazing.  I promise :)

I am off to watch a little TV and then bed early for me.  I went out after work with some friends for drinks and had one giant beer.  It was at least 2 regular beers, and I ate tater tots, and I'm not feeling great.. wonder why??  Here's hoping I can run in the morning!  Have a great night :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm Melting!!!

Hello everyone!  I hope there are at least some of you who are escaping this heat wave.  It's officially unbearable in NC right now, with the Raleigh area having a heat index of 112.  (Actual temp: 102.  Insanity.)  I am sitting in my air conditioned apartment with the ceiling fan on high, and I'm still roasting away.  I'm sad because this means that at least for tomorrow, I won't be able to go on my run :(  It won't get below 80 tonight and it's going to be super muggy, so I don't think I will even try it.  I don't do well being overheated, I like the heat but this is above and beyond.  Hopefully it'll calm down for Tuesday morning.

Today was a good day.  I went to church this morning for the first time in probably 8-10 years.  I don't really discuss religion or my beliefs on this blog, but I have been feeling very strongly that I wanted to go since winter time.  My work schedule prevented me from being able too, but now that I am no longer at Target, I decided now was the time.  I had researched and found one right down the road from me, and it was very, very interesting.  I grew up in a very calm, organized, quiet church.  I hated going, I was always so bored, and that hour was the longest hour of my week.  Today was definitely not boring.  People were dancing, singing, running around, there was a full band playing music... It was quite a culture shock, but in a good way.  I liked it, and I think I will be back.  Everyone was so friendly, that was the first thing I noticed.  It seems like a really good group of people.

Anyway, I was going to do some cooking for the rest of the day after church, but that is out of the question.  I think I may need to go crawl in my freezer now.  I hope everyone on the east coast is surviving these temps and finding some way to stay cool!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Raleigh Farmer's Market

Today J and I went to the Farmer's Market for the first time.  I knew this place was hardcore, seeing as they are open every day of the year, with the exception of Christmas.  I heard it was huge.  I heard it was great.  But seeing was believing.... and DAMN.  I didn't bring my camera, but there was one giant building of all NC produce, and another building with meats, wares, jams, honey, and some more produce.  There were little restaurants all around.. it was insane.  We didn't go into the restaurants, but we definitely visited the 2 buildings.  They were open air buildings, and the heat index today was 112, but that didn't deter me.  Even when I got home and had to wring my soaking wet dress out, I was happy we went.  Everything we bought, (with the exception of strawberries and cherries,) was local.  The meat is local, free range, organic, etc.  And CHEAP.  Let's talk about a huge bunch of kale for 80 cents.

The finds

Blurry Cherries

Blurry Strawberries

Meat for J

Flowers for fun and because they looked pretty :)

Dinner last night was Carraba's with my friend Lindsay.  I asked the waiter if I could bring some of the spices home that they bring with the bread because I am totally obsessed, and he was able to hook it up.  So tonight, I added those to some pasta with a chopped zucchini and olive oil, and a little fresh grated parmesan cheese.  The fresh zucchini was SO GOOD.  I had forgotten how good fresh produce is, and even though I get organic and all that from the store, it still is probably at least a week old.  This was probably a day old, and there was a huge difference in flavor.

Tomorrow I have to finish up what little grocery shopping I have left, and J and I are going to church.  I always hated church growing up, it was the longest hour of my entire week.  But as an adult, I want to give it another try so we have narrowed it down to 3 to try, and tomorrow is number one.  Wish me luck!  I hope you all are having a great weekend :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Absence In Pictures

(Yes, this is beer, just for our table)

Hope you enjoyed!  I will be back with a real post tomorrow!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Popping In To Say Hi!

Hello everyone!!!  Sorry that I've been MIA, and it's probably going to last a little longer too.. I have friends in visiting from NY, and I am also working 10 hour days at my job (my only job!!!) to make up for having Friday off.  Needless to say, I haven't really had time to even read blogs, let alone write anything fantastic.  I am so excited to have my girls here.  I haven't been home since Christmas 2008, so its been a LONG TIME since I have seen anyone.  Tonight we are going out to play Trivia at the bar, and tomorrow night we will be hitting up downtown Raleigh.  Friday is the beach, (and possibly Saturday as well,) and Sunday is their last day :(  Gotta make the most of it while they are here.

J started his new job yesterday and seems to like it.  He will be working days for the first two weeks, 7:30-5.  Since we share a car, this means that I am working long days by default, but my boss is nice enough to let me work 4-10's and take a weekday off.  This means that one day next week I will have all to myself, I can't wait!  When I think of having the full weekend, a weekday next week of my choosing, and then another weekend, I don't think I really understand it.  I haven't had a break in so long, or a chance to fully enjoy weekends, so I am really looking forward to being able to do this.  Starting out at the beach this weekend is a pretty great way to kick it off as well, don't you think?

Anyway my friends, I am going to get started on my day now.  I apologize for neglecting you taking a break, but real life is happening and I gotta take advantage.  I will be back soon, and I will still be reading blogs in my downtime at work :)  I hope you all have a great weekend coming up!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

My News.... Revealed :)

Sorry I have sucked so bad at posting this past week, I have been busy with working and being TIRED and wanting to sleep in my spare time.  I do have some pictures for my next post that I will share soon... whenever that next post is, either tomorrow or Sunday probably.  But don't worry, I will be posting much more regularly now.  Are you wondering why?
I have tonight off from Target so I am going to my friend Jenny's for a party that her and her husband are throwing for friends and neighbors.  (Yes, my friend Jenny whose wedding I was recently in.  Have I posted any of those pics??  Don't think so.  Here you go, isn't she beautiful?)

The Bride and I (not so great of me lol)

Happy Couple :)

Thank goodness I switched my shift tomorrow in order to recover:)  And then I work on the 4th for a small 4 hours. 

Are you still wondering?

Yeah... the 4th is my last day at Target.  My boyfriend got a full time job.


Sorry, but I am so excited.  Honestly, this may be the best news ever that I post on this blog, other than being pregnant.  And maybe my wedding announcement.  As of now, this is the most excited I have probably ever been, so I can't really compare.  Do you know what this means????  THIS means that I will have my nights free.  I will actually have a weekend.  It means that for the first time in almost 3 years, I can work a 40 hour week... and that will be enough. 
The job itself is another overnight job, Monday - Thursday.  Some people would be bothered by this, but I am a very independent person and need a lot of space, so having all that time apart is ok with me.  It means I can come home and watch whatever I want to watch on TV, I can be on the computer all night long without feeling bad, I can read, chill with Molly, whatever I want.  I am going to change my hours so that I don't have to be at work so early.  I will have time to work out!!!  Maybe I can lose this stubborn 20 pounds finally!  Honestly, I don't even know what I will do.  I am so happy that this happened at the beginning of summer so that I can enjoy the summer and good weather and be at the pool and beach on the weekends.  Ahhh....
So that's it.  My news.  10 more hours at Target and then it's over.  I still don't fully realize my new freedom, but I am definitely excited about it.

PS  If anyone is reading this thinking that it would be a good plan to try something crazy because my boyfriend won't be home, be warned that I own a LARGE pitbull, and she isn't friendly.  And her owner isn't either  :)