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Back to Reality – Giveaway Winners

16 Oct

I promise, I have not forgotten about you.

New York City was a blast and I  look forward to sharing some of the highlights…soon.  Today, its back to reality and I’ve done nothing but run around since my return on Sunday night.

When 5AM rolled around Monday morning, life was pretty darn hard until I got my large travel mug of coffee brewing…which was left on the coffee table at home by accident.  Luckily, there was a pot brewing at work and I used some of my cereal milk to fix it right.

Word.  I’m working on this though.  I only drink coffee about 2-3 times a week at most.  With the exception of yesterday, I actually do just drink it cause I like the taste.

Ed and I were supposed to meet with our small group last night for a service project after work, but we were rained out.  With that said, I knocked out to bed extra early.  10:30 PM.  Close enough.

After getting some work done and finishing up another dentist appointment this morning, I fixed a quick lunch to eat.

One apple with 1 Tablespoon of drizzled caramel

One whole wheat English muffing toasted with mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes.

Food is still a little low after this weekend.  All I’m craving is veggies.  I worked my sweet tooth a lot in NYC!

I twisted my knee up pretty badly with all the festivities of the weekend, but I seem to be much better this morning.  I’m hoping to get an ab workout in with some much needed yoga.  I’ll let you know what I came up with. 😉 Running will take place again tomorrow.

Giveaway Winners

The Who Nu? Giveaway winners are:

  • Emily N.
  • Chels
  • Kristina S.

You will all be emailed this afternoon. Please respond within 24 hours or I will have to choose a new winner.

Enjoy your treat!  Thanks to all who entered.

How do you “get back to reality” after a trip away?

Ed and I have been on so  many weekend trips to Ohio and other fun places since we have been married.  You would think we are used to it.  I’m exhausted after a quick trip like these.  All in good reason, of course. 😉  I have never been good at relaxing while on vacation, especially weekend trips.

Apple Salad

10 Oct

Today flew by!

After posting this morning’s post, I buckled down at my work computer and before I knew it, it was was lunch time.  I decided to spend my lunch in the gym doing a “quick” and “simple” workout and chose my Simple Treadmill Circuit.  I should really think about changing that name…I was a sweaty mess.  Since I’ve been running outside more with this beautiful fall weather, the treadmill and I are not doing so well.  I also kept my incline up at a 2.0 the whole time I ran.  I felt it.  Tomorrow is a long run before my NYC trip this weekend.  I’ll be walking, but I won’t be running at all from Friday to Sunday 😉

For lunch, I started with my favorite Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie before putting together a leftover bowl of soup.

I used Pacific Foods All Natural Southwest Vegetable Soup as my base and added some leftover pulled chicken and leftover Buitoni Whole Wheat Three Cheese Tortellini for some added depth.

Warm me up!

It tasted pretty awesome and made it’s way to my dinner plate as well.

Apple Salad

While tons of blogs are blowing up with all of their tasty  pumpkin recipes, I can’t forget that there is another favorite food in season as well.  Apples are getting tastier as the temps cool and I decided to put together a fall apple treat to change up all the pumpkin I’ve been consuming in the past week.


  • 3/4 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise (I used light Miracle Whip)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups apples, diced
  • 1.5 bananas, sliced

Blend the cottage cheese, mayonnaise, cinnamon and sugar in the blender until creamy (about 3-4 minutes).

Pour mixture into a bowl and toss apples and bananas together.

Serve and dash with a little extra cinnamon for some added flavor.  Extra cinnamon is always allowed.

That’s it!  A simple dessert or side dish to go with your next meal.  I plan on eating more with my breakfast tomorrow. 😉

While making this dish, I kept humming that song, “I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas!”  Does anyone else remember that song?  I can’t remember the whole thing, but I know one thing is for sure,  I’ll take my fair share of both any day!

What are your favorite apple recipes?

I love hot apple cider and homemade applesauce.  Anywhere there is hot apple cider around fall time is where my spending money goes.  It’s the perfect cool evening, non caffeinated treat.  Motts doesn’t hold a candle to homemade applesauce.  The chunkier, the better!

Have you entered my Who Nu? Giveaway yet?  Only a couple more days to win a sweet and nutritious treat!

Chilled Tomato Soup with Shrimp and Pesto

2 Oct

I can’t really catch a break this week with the weather and running so far.  It has been a down pour of rain since yesterday and massive puddles just everywhere.  I didn’t want to risk another short run in between rain spurts, so it was me and the treadmill today.  You know what though, it wasn’t that bad…

The last five minutes of this run was a slow cool down.  I was just under 6.2 miles when I hit 60 minutes.  I’m dangling on my goal of hitting a 10K in under 60 minutes this month.  We’ll see.

Chilled Tomato Soup with Pesto and Shrimp

Over the weekend, Ed and I teamed up and made one of our favorite dishes from our honeymoon cruise last year.  We had so much fun on our honeymoon that started as a Disneymoon and ended cruising the Caribbean.  We both had never been on a cruise before and were overwhelmed with all the delicious food at dinner to order.  We had so much fun testing our taste buds on some of the most delicious appetizers, main courses and desserts.

Formal night at our final dinner on the ship.

For our Chilled Tomato Soup recipe, I worked on the soup part after finding a recipe in All You Magazine and Ed made his homemade pesto sauce.  We broke out some shrimp we had in the freezer and dinner was on its way.

Chilled Tomato Soup with Pesto and Shrimp
Original Source: All You Magazine

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 3/4 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pesto (store bought or homemade)


Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and let cook while stirring until fragrant.  About 1 minute.

Stir in tomatoes with their juice, sugar, Italian seasoning and cayenne and bring to a boil.

Boil, boil.

Once boiling, puree the tomato mixture in batches.  I used my blender.

This made my blender HOT!

Chill in the refrigerator or over a large bowl of ice.  I chilled ours in the refrigerator for over 2 hours before serving.  Season with salt.  (If you just want a non-cream based hot tomato soup, this would be the perfect place to stop. ;-))

Freeze baby, freeze!

Once chilled, ladle soup into bowls and add shrimp and pesto sauce (store bought or homemade).  We used Ed’s Homemade Pesto which contained basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and sunflower seeds.

It was cold and a nice healthy option to add to our soup recipes!  Plus it brought back great memories of the yummy food we had each night while cruising the Caribbean.

Per Serving

255 Cal., 11 g. Fat (1 g. Sat. Fat), 130 mg. Chol., 2 g. Fiber, 21 g. Protein, 21 g. Carb., 2,001 mg. Sod.

Have a bite!

What was your favorite dish to recreate after your vacation?  Was it a success?

This is the first real dish I have ever “recreated” after a vacation meal.  It stood out because I wouldn’t normally order cold soup in a regular restaurant.  I do now though 😉

Friday Run Around

28 Sep

This morning, my alarm went off at 6:15 AM and I was ready to conquer the world.  The weather had other plans though.  It was pouring!  This was no drizzle.  The storm started last night and stuck around awhile.  I would have been drenched within seconds.  So, instead of skipping the outdoor run, I cuddled up with my Kindle for a while until the rain subdued and was able to get a short run in around 7:30 AM.

The hills got the best of me today.

It had to be short since I had to shower, eat and drive to my 9 AM doctors appointment.

With the humidity during my run from the rain, I was a sweaty mess and wanted something cold and quick.  A refreshing Cocoa Raspberry Protein Smoothie was all that sounded good.


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 large handful of frozen raspberries
  • 1 8 oz. cup of Raspberry Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 scoop cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp. cocoa
  • Enough vanilla almond milk to get everything moving
  • 1 packet of instant coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

I added the coffee to put a pep in my step to get the day going and it worked 😉

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

It was such a pretty color too!

After the doctor, I zipped through Wegman’s for a few produce things before lunch and my hair appointment at 12:30 PM.


In an effort to clean out the fridge I used the last of some spaghetti sauce to make mini pizzas with Nature’s Own Multi-Grain Sandwich Rounds in the toaster oven.  I added some extra mushrooms to the sauce and onions.  I sided it up with a big salad, with baby carrots and three different salad dressings (balsamic, zesty Italian and regular Italian).  There was a only a small amount left of a couple of those, so my salad was extra flavorful today. 😉

I added a clementine for some sweetness that I picked up at Wegman’s. These things are just so darn good!

Cute and delicious!

Soon I’ll be off to get my hair cut and I’m still unsure which direction I want to go.  I have been growing my hair out for some time and it is looooong.  I think I’m good with committing to 1-2 inches, but don’t want to go to drastic.  I was thinking about going darker, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that dramatic look just yet.  I’ve always been a blonde.

What is the most dramatic thing you have ever done to your hair?

When I was in high school, I was much more adventurous (and had a lot less bills).  I had blonde highlights with red streaks and low lights often.  I was constantly in the hair salon and usually just told my stylist to do what she thought would look best.  She loved seeing me come in because my hair type took to color so well and she got to experiment.  Now, it’s strictly blonde highlights.  I tried going back natural for a while in an effort to save money, but I’m a true “dishwater blonde” and I felt so washed out every time I looked in the mirror.

Oh, the things we sacrifice for beauty 😉

Texas Life Giveaway (Closed)

25 Sep

This morning has been busy, busy, but I did stop for some leftover lunch and to share a fun giveaway from a good friend’s blog.  So, let’s breeze through lunch so we can get to the fun stuff!


Leftover pasta under roasted garlic sauce with fresh mushrooms, sweet onion and tomatoes.  Sided up with fresh cut cantaloupe and carrots.

Texas Life Giveaway

I’m more than excited to share this post with you because it involves beautiful jewelry and two very beautiful lady friends.

Emily of Texas Life Blog is hosting a Giveaway to celebrate the start of her favorite season!

Vintage Tweet Necklace

The Vintage Tweet Necklace is made by Tricia of Mama’s Nest Designs (see her Etsy shop HERE) and it is beautiful!

Emily is giving one lucky reader a chance to win this necklace and it could be you  (Or me, but you know, I have to play nice :-)).

Enter to win this fall inspired necklace at Emily’s blog.

Texas Life: Giveaway {Vintage Tweet Necklace}

While you’re there, let her know how awesome she is after you visit her DIY projects and recipes she posts about 😉

To visit more with these lovely ladies, check out Texas Life Blog and Mama Marchand’s Nest on my Blog Roll.

Good luck!

P.S. Don’t forget to comment below and let me know you entered!

‘Just in Case’ Clothes

22 Sep

Today has been eventful and I’ve barely left the house.  We are going through some major arranging in our little space and purging, purging, purging.  Clothes, books, shoes, handbags, electronics.  You name it.  It’s possibly in a bag right now on it’s way to Goodwill.

We did break for lunch and I made a fantastic Mango Raspberry Protein Smoothie.

Mango Raspberry Smoothie

Mango Raspberry Smoothie

  • 1 handful mangoes (I used a whole fresh mango)
  • I handful of raspberries (I used a handful of some fresh raspberries that were frozen)
  • 1 8 oz. container of Chobani Mango Greek Yogurt
  • 1 scoop of cottage cheese
  • 1/2 – 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (optional)
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • Skim Milk to get everything moving

It was just what I needed since the weather went from pleasant fall to warm and sticky.

On the side, Ed started our salads with Italian salad mix, a sprinkle of Artisan cheese and his homemade dressing.  I added sliced strawberries for some extra bite.  His dressing made the whole salad a little nutty in flavor.  Which is ironic because he is allergic to nuts.  Odd, but filling.

Check out our new glasses from the Sares Rib Burn Off this year.  They make perfect smoothie glasses.

Clothes Donations

I’ve always struggled when I should donate my clothes because I feel like my body is always changing.  It seems like when my clothes are to small, I have no hesitation donating them out of my life, but when they are to big, I keep them around “just in case” I gain that extra weight back.

True story.

Apparently I had more confidence gaining back the weight then actually keeping it off.

One of my old co-workers  put this idea into my head and I would not recommend living by it like I have for so long.  For example, currently I wear a healthy size 6 in most jeans.  At one point in my life, I was a size 12 and some of those jeans were still floating around in my closet, “just in case”.

Will I ever be that size again?  I don’t know.  Will I ever want to be that size again?  Most likely not.  So, I could potentially keep these items in my closet for years under the “just in case” wardrobe and never wear them again.

Today (and some of this past week), I finally am saying goodbye to the “just in case” clothes and moving on to continuing my active lifestyle.

Now, who wants to go shopping 😉

The Lunch Box

19 Sep

Am I the only one that actually imagines their thighs blasting away when I do a lower body workout?

No one?

Forget I mentioned it, but today’s lunch workout was nothing short of a burning blast to the legs.

Let’s just say that my walk had a little swagger when I was done and I’m not even going to comment on going down the stairs.

I started with 5 minutes on the elliptical to get my legs moving.  I used two 5 lb. weights for the lunges and a 10 lb. weight for the plie squats.  I ended with a long inner and outer thigh stretch.

The Lunch Box

For as long as I can remember, I have a packed lunch when eating away from home for work or school.  When I was younger, I would beg my mother to buy lunch like many of the kids around me, but as I got older, things changed.

Eating out every day is expensive ya’ll!  In addition, usually full of unnecessary calories and the closest restaurants around my place of work are at least 10 minutes one way.

While I have got creative over the years, there are some necessary elements to my daily packing lunch routine.

First and foremost…PROTEIN!

I am one hungry girl on a regular basis.  PB&J’s are fantastic, but they won’t hold me through the afternoon.  Six small meals a day is a common practice and since my schedule often has me working out at lunch, I need to refuel, stat!

Most of today’s lunch.

Common Main Courses: Salad with meat (chicken, deli meats, fish, you name it, they have all made it into my salad), Sandwich flat breads/wraps loaded with deli meats and veggies, chicken breasts (cold, warm, BBQed, pulled)  its a perfect start.

Other appearances: Canned soup and baked potatoes.  Warm meals for the winter months are appreciated. Hard boiled eggs are great for post workouts too when I have them.

Next up, another staple, yogurt.  I usually try to stick with fruity Greek yogurt since it’s filling and has major staying power for the afternoon, but I’ll never give up my love for Yoplait (Key Lime is my absolute favorite!)

Fruit and Veggies: Somehow these usually last throughout the afternoon.  I munch on carrots, red peppers and celery (my cubicle can get pretty noisy) on a regular basis, with a side of hummus or sun butter.  So, so tasty.  Fruits are great too, but they don’t hold the filled feeling to me as long as veggies.

Water: Since my workouts take place post-lunch time, it’s a necessity.  I drink up a whole bottle in no time.

Desserts or snacks are rare in my lunch these days, but today I put two WhoNu chocolate chip cookies in there and considered lunch a masterpiece for the day thanks to their addition.  Who doesn’t love cookies?

Side Note: I have ALWAYS ate my lunch in the order of main dish, sides and THEN dessert.  Even as a child I would watch my friends rip in to their dessert first thing and I never did.  Is that strange?

While this is pretty typical day, leftovers are also a favorite when my timing is off in the morning.  Those are the days that lunch just can’t come fast enough!

What’s in your lunch box?

I’m in the market for a new lunch box.  The above lunch box was a quick Amazon buy a year and a half ago and it’s pretty much on its last legs.  I’m loving this one in Mocha Rouge or this one in Organic Poppy.  What do you think?

P.S. Have you liked Sand Between My Sneakers on Facebook yet? LIKE ME!  I’ll like you back 😉

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