Tag Archives: dessert

Quality Time

29 Dec

Good evening readers! As my time at home comes to a close, it’s been bittersweet to make plans knowing I won’t know when the next time I will get to see everyone will be. Today, and now tonight, I have been snowed in due to a big snow storm. I luckily got up and out early this morning and was able to drive home when the storm started. It looked gorgeous. IMG_1832I’ve actually been having a really good string of breakfasts and lunches these last couple of days. I’ve been very happy with myself in terms of both staying on track and enjoying myself with each meal. There’s something about being home that makes so many things feel much less stressful. I’m never feeling guilty or conscious so I find myself sitting down to eat a meal and then not worrying about food at all until I’m definitely hungry again. I’m not worrying about when I’ll get my next workout in, I just take them as they come. I also haven’t been running around with a full schedule trying to see every single last person and not having any time to relax. I’ve have a great harmony of alone time and seeing friends this break. It’s been exactly what I needed.

Without further ado, it’s picture time! Thursday morning I woke up ready for some oatmeal 🙂 so I made some Whipped Banana Oatmeal and topped it with blueberries and raspberries at the end so they would pop a little and melt into the oatmeal. I added a big spoonful of Cinnamon Raisin PB to turn this meal into perfection.IMG_1783 IMG_1791IMG_1790Next I ran some errands with my mom and tried on some fun heels while she was looking at after Christmas sales on Christmas items. IMG_1792IMG_1848I came home, caught up with a close family friend on the phone and got confirmation that her husband who teaches in Newtown is okay. Then it was time to meet up with Lacey to go see Les Miserables. I packed a healthy snack pack to enjoy if I got hungry during the movie.IMG_1794Boy am I glad I packed it! The movie was 3 hours. So I dug into the yogurt during and the carrots on the drive home. I highly recommend this movie. I do not do musicals. Rent bores me, Chicago I didn’t even last 20 minutes. Something about Les Mis moved me though and kept me engaged for the entire time. Definitely a must see movie.

After that I came home, skyped with Kevin for a hot second then whipped myself up some sauteed vegetables and spaghetti squash. I even got to teach my parents all about this wonderous vegetable.IMG_1797 IMG_1800 IMG_1802In the bowl was spinach, mushrooms, cauliflower, feta cheese, my dad’s homemade tomato sauce, yellow squash and spaghetti squash. It was filling and really delicious. Definitely hit the spot with my craving for vegetables.

Right after I finished up dinner my friend Haley arrived and we caught up while stalking One Direction and watching Simple Plan music videos. As Haley noted, “Some things never really will change.” We discovered we both want to move to California this year so we tossed around ideas of moving together. We are thinking about two different areas though and I don’t want to take away from her dream so we will see, but it was really exciting to look at apartments together and discuss logistics. Once Lauren came we continued to catch up until Haley got hungry and it was time to head to the diner.IMG_1803 IMG_1804 IMG_1807Diner trips are always a tradition of ours so it felt good to be right in our old groove. Although my camera died Lauren made sure that we had 3 rounds of photoshoots. I didn’t order anything, but snagged some of Lauren’s french fries. After that we came home, put the pajamas on, and apparently I passed out in the middle of our conversation around 2am. When we woke up yesterday morning my parents were cooking us a 5 star breakfast.photo-3 photo-4 ImageAfter breakfast, I took some time to blog and digest then went for a 4 mile run. Although I felt a little tired, it felt really great after to accomplish it and be active. After that I went home, showered, and started to cook my first ever chili while waiting for Alex to arrive. I followed this recipe from the blog PB Fingers. I didn’t add any meat though and used fresh tomato. My parents didn’t have all the spices so it didn’t have a lot of kick, but Alex and I both enjoyed it.IMG_1811 IMG_1813 IMG_1814 IMG_1818 IMG_1819Alex was clearly very happy to appear on the blog. I topped mine with some grated cheese and some Greek yogurt for a little extra protein. We also had some sides to munch on while we waited.IMG_1812 IMG_1817 IMG_1816 IMG_1815After catching up we decided it was obviously time for some ice cream so off we went to Coldstone. I had trouble deciding, but went with the Chocolate Devotion which has chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownies and fudge. It would’ve been amazing but they put WAY too many chocolate chips in it so I could really only eat about 1/3 of it before giving up. I also asked for the smallest portion, but he ended up making me double that. Whoops!IMG_1820 IMG_1821 IMG_1822We both ordered the same size… haha. Coldstone has never really been my favorite, but Alex was craving it and it worked out well since I didn’t want to have a ton of dessert. It was great to see her and we will both be planning trips out to see each other in the coming months.

As for me, I’m now going to snuggle up to some more Scrubs in my bed and fall asleep reading some more of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Until next time,

Natasha

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Peanut Butter Co. & An Annual Holiday Party!

22 Dec

Happy Saturday readers!

Yesterday was my big travel day from Washington DC to NYC to back home in CT. I started off my morning before the sun even came out at 530AM so I could brush my teeth, get ready, and be outside by 6AM waiting for a bus to the metro.IMG_1594 IMG_1596It was cute, since I had to carry my bear a man on the metro bus struck up a conversation with me about it. We ended up talking and he was so sweet. After the holidays he’s traveling to Japan for 8 days. He worked there back in his 20s and always wanted to go back, so he is now! It was a little inspirational to see someone following through on a dream like that and a great start to my “holiday break.”

I took the metro to my bus and met up with my brother. We departed at 7AM so I naturally slept the first hour and snacked on an apple about halfway through the trip.IMG_1597Once we got there, our parents were running late, no big surprise, so Nick and I went to a Starbucks and just chatted for about an hour catching up. While he chose a coffee, I chose a Mighty Mango Naked Smoothie. Always a good go to for me when I’m thirsty and hungry 🙂IMG_1598 IMG_1599However, I only drank half because I knew my family and I were going somewhere extra special for lunch today…IMG_1600Does this look familiar to any of you readers?

To give you a hint, after we ordered our sandwiches I also made sure to get a couple special purchases:IMG_1601Yes! That’s right! I went to the place where Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB comes from!!! 🙂 I was so excited for this little venture and it did not disappoint. There were so many interesting choices to choose from, and the dessert menu was TO DIE for, but I eventually chose The Elvis: maple syrup peanut butter, banana slices, and bacon on whole wheat bread with a big glass of skim milk to “wash it down” as they say on the menu :).IMG_1602 IMG_1603 IMG_1604Although I wasn’t sure at first if I would get the bacon, I decided to try it. I rarely have it and figured if I was ordering a sandwich called the Elvis, it wouldn’t be right sans bacon. It was delicious. I enjoyed every last bite.

The restaurant had a really classic feel to it. It was small, yet cozy with all these paintings and pictures up from the last couple generations of what peanut butter used to be advertised like. It gave you this really home-y feel and felt very classic.IMG_1605 IMG_1606 IMG_1607What was really cute is on the Potato Chip packaging the owner of the company explains when he was a kid his PB&J was served to him with carrot sticks and chips. He wasn’t allowed to eat the chips without having the carrots. He encouraged us to make sure we ate our carrots or his mom might come after us. I thought it was a great message to send out about balanced eating but in a very approachable and personal way. Peanut Butter Co. you are awesome.

Once home back in CT, I walked into my room and was so happy to see it again 🙂IMG_1609 I laid in bed until it was time to get ready for my friend’s annual holiday party. They’ve had it every year for the last 5 or 6 years and it became especially great once we all went off to college. I can always count on seeing this group of people once a year and it never fails to be a good time. I had some Shrimp and Cashewchinese food leftovers my parents had in the fridge with a simple salad on the side. I knew I would be snacking at the holiday party, so I wanted to get some good nutrients in me beforehand.IMG_1610 IMG_1611 IMG_1612I ate at our dining room table that my mom spends hours decorating each year. Our whole house becomes “Chrismafized” and there’s lots of small details throughout – like my nutcracker name holder. Once I headed out, I swung over to target to grab a gift for the present swap game. Tradition.IMG_1613While shopping, I had a couple gifts in my hand, but ultimately decided to pick a gift for a specific audience. When people get ambiguous gifts they’re either funny or traded back and forth a lot because people want something else, so I wanted to pick a gift that someone would definitely enjoy. I decided to get some Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms and bought myself a book to read over break. Perks of Being a Wallflower 🙂IMG_1614 IMG_1615I got to the party pretty much right on time, somewhat fashionably late by 15 minutes, and was drawn to Jack’s buffalo chicken dip he made. Holy wow. It was so delicious! And Haley’s boyfriend made bacon wrapped salmon which was also, amazing. It was dangerous to sit inbetween the two, but I enjoyed each bite and spaced them out. It’s always hard for me to avoid such temptation at parties, especially when everyone around me isn’t really concerned about it and enjoys what they’re having. At times during the party I found myself beating myself up for what I was eating and at those points I walked around the party and would go talk to someone different to keep me entertained and out of my own head.IMG_1616We played the present swap game, caught up on how everyone’s life is going, shared personal stories, and I was laughing hysterically for a good portion of the night. I didn’t take a picture, but in the gift swap I won The Dark Knight Rises on DVD! WOOO! Such a good gift year for me 🙂IMG_1617 IMG_1619 IMG_1622 IMG_1624 IMG_1626 IMG_1629Then it was time for dessert! I tried one of each, but my ultiamte favorite was the Red Velvet munchkins Haley and Lauren made. They were incredibleIMG_1620 IMG_1621I eventually decided I couldn’t be a prisoner to my own mind games, and just decided I would enjoy the evening, and hop back on the balance wheel tomorrow. Especially since I’m planning on moving to the other coast next year, I’m not quite sure how next years holiday will go. I’m not going crazy, but I want to be able to enjoy things and not penalize myself for it, not carry the guilt. Self control is still something I am working towards, but it will only be that much harder to achieve if I am constantly analyzing and beating myself up for certain things. I’ve gotta balance it all out.

The evening ended around 1am and it was great to stay that late, despite how tired I was. I am really looking forward to the party next year, and hopefully I can make it back for our 5 Year High School Reunion. Woah.

Until next time,

Natasha

Mean Girls, Sushi and a Mini Cannoli

16 Dec

Happy Sunday everyone!

I hope your weekend has been a good one so far. Mine has been really busy, but really enjoyable. Let’s start off with yesterday morning.

I woke up bright and early at 730AM and had to check the car before my mom left for home to make sure I didn’t leave anything in it, I blogged, then started to get a little hungry.

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Smoothie time! 🙂 I’ve just absolutely loved waking up and having juice in the morning. Adding berries and some yogurt into it makes it more filling and, since I love their taste, more enjoyable for my taste buds – which also leaves me more satisfied.

Since I wasn’t starving though, I made a smaller one today – again sans banana.

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Then my roommate Autumn woke up. We had plans to watch Mean Girls at 10AM.

Good morning Autumn!!!

Good morning Autumn!!!

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We were laughing about how we had to actually pencil in this time to make it work with both our schedules. She’s busy with finals and her capstone and I work a lot during the week so we both set alarms to make sure we would be up Saturday at 10 for our viewing pleasure.

While we watched, I got a little hungry so I toasted half a Pumpkin Spice Bagel Thin and put some Cinnamon Swirl PB on top.

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I wasn’t able to go to my internship for Potomac Pathways today which was a total bummer. They were doing laser tag!! But since my mom took the car it would’ve made everything much more complicated for me to get there, so I decided to nix it this time. Instead, I swung by Kevin’s to see Liam and help move a couch. The night before I spotted this flyer in the elevator for a free IKEA couch! This apartment was just giving it away and they were only one floor below Kevin. Today was moving day!

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It has a couple bleach stains on it, but no big deal! David and Kevin did all the heavy lifting, but I got hungry so I had some yogurt then some oats with milk, banana, cinnamon and honey.IMG_1426

Liam has been absolutely loving his new abode. He has been doing some full on exploring. So cute.

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For today’s workout, I was in the mood for a nice long run. My goal was 6 miles, so I set my Nike+ to let me know when I reached 10k and I went on my loop that I know is over 5.5 miles.

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Well, about halfway through my run it told me I completed 1k. ONE?! I knew it was wayyyyy off today, but this was ridiculous. It’s not the most accurate watch (Nike+ Sportband) and is normally off by .4 of a mile, which is still a good amount off, but it told me I ran 3k with a 21 minute average pace!!! What the heck?!

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Ridiculous. I’m so glad I put a new GPS watch on my Christmas List this year. I’m definitely ready to say goodbye to my Sportband.

Next I hopped in the shower, got dressed and biked over to meet up with Hana and Erika for our last dinner together 😦 Hana is going abroad to India next semester and I’m planning on moving come May so we likely won’t be able to see each other for a long time. Even though we just met this summer, we formed a great friendship and I really really enjoyed getting to know her. I’m going to miss her for sure 😦

I picked Murasaki for dinner, my favorite Sushi restaurant in DC! Both of them had never been which always makes it more fun 🙂IMG_1431 IMG_1432

I love this restaurant not only for the best sushi, but I love their dining sets. They’re so beautiful and simple.IMG_1434

We all had a tough time deciding what to order. I normally get the Hidden Dragon Roll which is eel and avocado with 2 shrimp tempura rolls. Amazing. ClassicBut this time I decided to venture out. I ordered a California Roll and their Tenleytown Roll which has lump crab meat, eel, asparagus, roasted red pepper and old bay spicy sauce! I used to hate spicy things, but now I enjoy mild-medium spicy foods from time to time.

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My Tenleytown Roll 🙂

IMG_1435 IMG_1437Hana got one roll to start, Murasaki Roll (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, avocado and red tobiko), while Erika and I both order California Rolls and Erika’s second choice was the Market Roll (shrimp, crab fishcake, eel, avocado and roe), she later also ordered a Philly Roll. Everyone enjoyed their rolls, although Erika was disappointed by the Philly, and was happy with our choices. We shared some really hilarious stories, Hana even knocked her head into a nearby waitress from leaning back and laughing so hard, and really had a great time. Hana was still hungry so she ordered meat and noodles and gave me all the vegetables 🙂

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And of course, we had our waitress snap our first, and only, picture of all 3 of us together. (Color coordination not planned for).

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Erika felt strongly about getting some Cheesecake and we definitely were not going to disagree. We thought of walking down to Cheesecake Factory, but decided it was a little too far/cold and chose Whole Foods instead. Cheesecake also would’ve been pretty crowded and hard to sit and take our time, so Whole Foods ended up being a way better choice for us. We all took our time deciding what to get, but once we paid we got some free Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Samples!

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Mine was a little too salty for my liking, but it was still tasty. For dessert, I chose a mini cannoli, Hana got 3 fruit tarts, and Erika chose a raspberry chocolate cheesecake slice. She ended up getting her cheesecake slice for free (a $7 value) because the card machine wasn’t working and another worker came over to say Erika had been waiting too long so the cheesecake was on them. Happy Holidays from Whole Foods Erika!

We sat in the upstairs part of WF to sit and enjoy our delectables.IMG_1448 IMG_1449 IMG_1450 IMG_1451

While we ate we goofed off a ton and talked for almost 2 hours. It was so nice to just be together, not rush and enjoy our evening.IMG_1454 IMG_1458 IMG_1459

Luckily I’ll get to see Hana for a hot second on Monday, (I’ll never say goodbye), but I really am sad to see her go. She will have a blast in India though – and fully catch them up to speed on everything they need to know about pop culture.

Until next time,

Natasha