Whew... I have just been dragging all day today... physically AND mentally! Luckily it was pretty quiet at work today!
And now, as promised, here is my delayed post.
First of all, did anyone else (besides Heather over at Heather Bakes) think that last night's episode of The Office that came on after the Super Bowl was weird, and to be honest, kinda sucked? I am a huge fan and I was definitely disappointed. Maybe the writers thought that everyone would be too drunk from the Super Bowl parties to care? LOL. Definitely not their finest work!
I hope you all had great weekends, however you spent them. Mine was pretty great- low-key, relaxing, and as usual, too short. Why do the weekends fly by so quickly, and then weekdays drag on for an eternity? Where's the justice in that???????????
First and foremost, I finished- yes, finished!- Chasing Harry Winston. It's a very fast read. I enjoyed it for what it was- a light, breezy, completely unrealistic chick lit book. I read some reviews on goodreads and people were just slamming it for its completely unbelievable plot and shallow, one-dimensional characters, and, to be honest, I could certainly see where they were coming from. The premise and the characters' lives were totally unrealistic, and not very believable (as was the ending). The characters were a little shallow and unlikable at times. But it is a chick lit novel, not Great Expectations. If you want heavy reading or something substantial, this is probably not the book for you. Take it for what it is... silly and fun! That's the attitude that I went into with the book, and maybe that's why I wasn't as sorely disappointed as some other readers seemed to be, because I had no intention of taking it seriously. Although I will say, that out of all of Lauren Weisberger's books, that I liked this one the least. I LOVED The Devil Wears Prada, and I liked Everyone Worth Knowing more than this book. But I liked this one too. Anyway. Just my two cents. :-)
And without further adieu... here is my latest book!
It's called Tales of the City, by Armistead Maupin. This is actually a book within a series of six books, and this is the first one. I actually own the first three in the series- acquired all from book sales, naturally- and haven't read any of them, so it's a good thing I picked the first one! I bought this a few years ago at my favorite book sale. My friend Rick actually made me buy it... he insisted on it! He said it was such a great series, so I trusted his judgment (plus he was pretty insistent on it!). So the series is about a group of residents in a house-turned-apartment complex in San Francisco in the mid 1970s- the time of free love, free drugs, free spirits, disco dancing, all that good clean squeaky fun. :-) The first book is mostly focused on the story of Mary Ann Singleton, a 25-year-old girl who visits San Francisco from Cleveland on a whim, by herself, and immediately falls in love with the city and decides to stay. She gets an apartment in this house (the landlady tapes a joint to her door that she personally grew in her own marijuana garden as a "housewarming" present... she kind of reminds me of a Mrs. Roper from Three's Company, only with pot), takes a job as a secretary at an ad agency, etc. I started it on my lunch break today and am about 50 pages into it so far. It's fun! I feel like I'm back in 1975, LOL. I am a big fan of the '70s- NOT the drugs and free love part, haha, I mean the music, the clothes, the TV shows, I think it's all so funky and fun- so I think this will be another successful read! Good call, Rick, good call. ;-D Ah, he knows me so well.
So that was the reading portion of the weekend. Now onto my yummy food and snacks and fun food finds!
Ah, how I missed my beloved Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls so.
After breakfast I did a quick trip to Trader Joe's for my staple items (sodium-free whole wheat bread, chicken, salmon burgers... I consider all these things "staple items"), and saw that they did not have the Clif and Luna White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars. Sigh. But I knew that one place would have them... and so, I went to Whole Foods, and there they were!
Yay! I haven't tried one yet, but I plan on it this week! I was so happy to find them. I get sad when I see cool products and finds on other blogs and I can't find them anywhere. :-( Not the case here!
I hadn't had an Egg McMuffin in a while, so that was lunch:
3 egg whites prepared a la microwave, with steamed spinach and chopped onion flakes on an Arnold's Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin (they are the perfect size for Microwaved Egg McMuffins!). And some red pepper hummus on the side. Happiness.
Dinner was a shrimp stir-fry:
Frozen shrimp, instant brown rice, chili pepper sauce, pepper and onion stir-fry mix. Simple and tasty. And later on that night before bed I snacked on a bag of Smart Balance Heart Healthy Popcorn. I love to eat popcorn on the weekends because it takes me forever to eat, and I can curl up in bed with my book, the remote, a blanket, and a big bowl of popcorn. I'm getting really, really old... just a few years ago, I was out all night! No more for this Grandma! I'm too old and tired for all that now!!!
Breakfast was the same thing on Sunday as it was on Saturday. The exact same thing, just in a different color bowl. So I didn't feel the need to photograph it again. Just scroll on up if you forgot what it looks like. :-) Alas, I only have a little left of my beloved Barbie's Spoonfuls. Maybe 1/4 cup, and the cereal dust. I won't be buying more for a while though- I got a little Kashi-crazy a few weeks ago and ended up buying two new cereals (new to me, anyway)- the Mighty Bites and the Honey Sunshine. And they've patiently been waiting to be tried out. So I figured I'd use up the rest of the Shredded Spoonfuls mixed with one of my new Kashi cereals over the weekend. Which should I try first- the Mighty Bites or the Honey Sunshine? I only want to open one box right now because I'm only eating cold cereal on the weekends now, and I don't want them to go stale.
I ran some typical-yet-enjoyable errands: Target and Wegmans. No fun new finds or splurges at Target. Oh, wait, that's not true... I picked up some new coffee for our little coffee club at work... Archer Farms Macadamia Praline. It was only $3! The club was happy with this selection. We brewed a pot this morning. Pretty tasty! Same thing at Wegmans- I spent, like, $50, and almost none of it went to food! It was all stuff like toilet paper, cat litter, cat food, melatonin tablets (I take this stuff to help me sleep sometimes... it's like $6 for a pack of 20, but I don't use them often, and they work really well, so whatevs), aluminum foil, etc. I did get a little bit of actual edible items- Ranch soy chips (LOVE these things), natural pb, sugar-free jelly, French Vanilla tea (because I either drank all that damn Sugar Cookie tea or I put them away somewhere and can't remember where... knowing me, it's probably the latter!), sweet potatoes (OBVI), frozen veggies, and a Pure Protein Bar. Still... I much prefer the grocery shopping trips where I get a lot of fun stuff for not a lot of money. Ah, it all balances out.
Lunch was a new product- and very appropriate for Super Bowl Sunday!
I present you with: Tabatchnick's Vegetarian Chili. I impulsively bought this at Wegmans a few weeks ago, and it was my first time trying it out. The box comes with two frozen servings- all you do is break one off, cut it open, put it in a microwave-safe bowl, and run with it until it's hot. The ingredient list was all ingredients that I could read and pronounce and identify, which is always good, and the nutritional stats weren't too shabby either: one serving has 180 calories, 3.5 g fat, 360 mg sodium (very impressive for chili!), 28 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 12 g protein. Anyway, be forewarned that it makes a small bowl of chili- you might want to bulk it up with veggies, cheese, a sandwich or salad, etc. I added crinkle cut carrots and pepper and onion mix to mine and paired it with a piece of whole wheat toast. Anyhow, all that said, it was delicious!!!!! Very tasty and flavorful and filling... I loved it! I'd definitely buy it again! The only thing I didn't like too much about it was that I had a definite slight aftertaste, even after I brushed my teeth, used Listerine, and chewed gum throughout the afternoon... I couldn't get rid of a slight lingering taste no matter what! Ah well. It was worth it! If you can find this at the grocery store, give it a try! I'll definitely be trying their other products too! I was looking at their website and I'd love to try their Smoked Salmon Chowder, but I don't remember seeing that at Wegmans.
I had a leisurely Sunday afternoon- riding the stationary bike at the gym while reading, coming home, taking a shower, surfing the web, watching the World News Tonight (again, channeling my inner old person... a few years I would have never watched the world news or any of those evening anchor news shows; now, not only do I watch them from time to time, but I catch myself shaking my head when I see something upsetting or disappointing or sad... next week I'll probably be complaining about the "damn kids and their rock and roll music", haha), and then eventually started making dinner.
I saw this combo on the lovely Alyssa's blog and simply had to try it out for myself:
I ripped off her dinner completely, LOL. I had a Boca burger (with crushed red pepper flakes on top- I also had some horseradish mustard on the side to dip it on, not pictured), steamed broccoli instead of spinach, and the intriguing Laughing Cow/sweet potato combo... I never thought to put these two things together, but she swore up and down it was amazing... and was she ever right! I thought it was GREAT!!!! This is one of many reasons why I love the food blogging community... because I find all these wonderful, amazing, healthy food ideas! I'm not sure I ever would have thought these two things together! This is just one of many reasons why Alyssa is so awesome! (If you don't read her blog, do yourself a favor and do so... she's a sweetheart, and she loves Wegmans too... a friend of Wegmans is a friend of mine!) Thank you, Alyssa, for this great idea! I might try it with chicken next time instead of a Boca Burger for my protein part of the meal... they were very tasty altogether, but my tummy made some weird noises/reactions for a while after dinner, but that could have been for any reason, or maybe I was just digesting, LOL! I grilled up some chicken for dinner tonight and made extra for dinner tomorrow, so I'm thinking of trying it out then!
So they're calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow tomorrow, and of course, most of it is expected to start falling in the afternoon, just in time for the drive home. Glorious. I was planning on hitting the gym tomorrow, but if it comes down as badly as they're predicting (fingers crossed it won't), I'll have to skip it and work out at home instead. I am a gym bunny and love going, but I'm not going to risk my safety and my car's safety trying to get a workout in! I'll just do yoga or Pilates or something. I did a lot of heavy lifting tonight with weights, so a nice yoga or Pilates workout would probably do my body good. But I'll pack my gym gear tonight just in case.... it wouldn't be the first time they were wrong about a storm prediction! I think they do it just for scare tactics and ratings!
Well, I've bored you enough for one night, don't you think? ;-) I'm off to get stuff ready for work tomorrow and watch some of the new TNT series, Trust Me. Is anyone else watching that? Thoughts? I wasn't sold on it at first, but then I watched the episode again (in typical cable TV fashion, they showed it over and over throughout the week and weekend), and it grew on me! So I'll tune in tonight. Then I'll make myself a yummy bedtime snack of sugar-free vanilla pudding (trying to use up the last of my milk from the weekend- I'm frugal- more grandma-esque behaviors!!!) with cinnamon and some Annie's chocolate bunnies and ff whipped cream- this is a great little combo that you have to try out the next time the urge for pudding hits you, or you need to use up the last of your milk, haha. :-)