Tag Archives: baby spinach

Frugal Friday: Saving money when without home

15 Jul

Happy Frugal Friday! I am about to hit the hay because I have to wake up early for another traveling adventure. This time?

(source)

Boston!

I haven’t been there since I was 11 years old and can’t wait to experience it as an adult. I’m taking the train up there so I’m sure that will be an experience itself and am intrigued by the whole train business. I haven’t been on am Amtrak train since I was in fifth grade when we went up to DC for the safety patrol field trip. I can’t wait to people watch but don’t think there will be as many skeezers on it than a bus. Stayed tuned for tons of pics and blogger meetup details!

As many of you know, I’m still living the vagabond lifestyle and much to my surprise, I haven’t been spending a lot of money. We’ve been eating out but not as much as I thought we were going to. If not eating out, I’ve been having leftovers at home (AKA Neyals house) or eating meals at home. Neyal likes to go out to eat but she is all about saving money and calories as well so we have been doing one meal at home and then go out for one each day if we don’t eat both meals at home.

Leftover chicken verde stew

Ropa Vieja made in the crockpot

Neyal’s garden is sick. But in a good way! She has a ton of vegetables growing right there in her backyard which saves her money on produce, especially in the summertime. Right now she has tons of peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, parsley and more.

Check out these zucchinis!

Matilda took a liking to the big zucchini right away

I stopped by Trader Joe’s the other day after reading about Stephanie’s love for Joe.

I tried the tortellini bowl for lunch the other day and it was wonderful! It is pretty much the same as Amy’s Pesto Bowl. I usually have to add protein or some kind of space to kick up a frozen meal but this didn’t need anything additional.

 

When we went to the thrift store the other day, they had a ridiculous music selection. Not just cd’s, they also has cassette tapes, records and I saw an eight track! They cd’s were only $1 each so I grabbed some for all the road trips ahead of me. Apparently  I was trying to go back to my college days.

And yes, I did buy the Baha Men cd. One can never get enough Who Let The Dogs Out. Plus, there could be other hidden gems on there!

We went to 7-11 on 7-11 for a free 7.11 oz slurpee.

I’ve collected a bunch of reusable shopping bags at different events throughout the years. Instead of using them for shopping only, I use them day to day as well.

My Vitamin Water bag doubles as both a gym bag and a beach bag for me . It smells really interesting.

And my Food Lion bag used to be used for grocery shopping but now it’s used strictly for groceries. I cleaned out my cupboards when I left my apartment in Charlotte and the remainder was snack foods so why not take it on the road with me?

Instead of going out for fro yo, we made spinach ice cream the other night. I’ve made spinach smoothies but never spinach ice cream so I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. Neyal got the recipe from Costco magazine, I couldn’t find it anywhere online but I found this recipe for it which uses the same ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We followed the directions to a T but it still came out more like a smoothie than ice cream. It was good though,thanks to the agave nectar.

Totally not Frugal Friday related but has anyone else heard about the new Style Network show Big Rich Texas???

It’s supposed to be like Real Housewives but only saucier and cattier—can’t wait!

How have you saved money this week?

Do you grow your own vegetables or herbs?

Did you get your free Slurpee on 7/11?

Ill Communication

17 Jul

Ma Bell,  I’m not feeling too hot right now and it hasn’t been too exciting the past few days but will do a little recap of food, drinks and other stuff.

Egg white, turkey, white american cheese and avocado breakfast wrap

Finally got “Heart of The Matter” from the library after three months of waiting!

Yoplait was handing out free yogurt on Thursday and I tried the vanilla. Since I am a fan of the greek yogurt, I was not impressed because it was thin and tart compared to the thicker stuff.

But then got a free Espresso Monster and it was frickin great! I would actually buy it in the store, it reminded me of Starbucks Double Shot. Click here if you would like to get a coupon for BOGO Starbucks Double Shot + Energy Coffee

Sweet Basil Pesto Chicken Sausage with grilled mushrooms, artichokes and spinach over brown rice

Drunk dog

Sober dog

Chocolate Chip Bagel with cream cheese—thanks work for the free breakfast!

Blueberry Juice Infused Craisins

I was off to meet up with some friends for happy hour last night, thank God 1Baby Girl was leading the way. I cannot stand personalized license plates (sorry if you have one–we can still be friends) and had to look at this the whole way but I guess 1Baby Girl was no going to get her drink on. My friends send me texts of random ones they see b/c they know this and when I see one I can’t figure out, it drives me mad.

We were meeting at San Antonio’s, which is a newer restaurant in town with an awesome drink special–$1 Margaritas, $2 Sangrias, $3 Beers. That right there is how you can reel me in! Little did I know, I would soon be calling it San Antoni—noooooo’s.

The Sangria—it was what you would expect a $2 Sangria to be but drinkable. They brought us a big platter of chips and salsa and sadly, the salsa was runny and bland. The service kinda sucked—our waitress was a bit clueless. I waitressed for six years so I have a lot of patience when I go out to eat but I felt like it was her first day or something. One of my friends ordered a mojito and the waitress had to ask how that was spelled. Whatever happened to menu knowledge?? Oi. I made the mistake of getting a margarita after the sangria to see what the $1 hype was all about it. The nice thing is they give you the option of adding a shot of tequila for $1 extra which made it a tad strong but it just did not taste good. And it was weird—after sitting out for awhile it separated into two blocks of ice within the cup. I wish I would have taken a picture because it looked like a margaritas science experiment gone wrong.

Pollo Nachos. Look at all that gooey cheese and jalapenos–yum! These tasted great however when I was a few bites in, something weird happened. I had a wave of nausea come over me, was light-headed, sweating, started seeing spots and couldn’t hear anyone talking to me but had an intense ringing noise in my head. The girls at the table looked at me because I did a 180 in mood and they were talking to me and I just couldn’t hear them. I grabbed my water and chugged it and I’ve fainted, had strep, mono, you name it but had never felt like this before. I wanted to go to the bathroom to get away from all the noise but feared if I got up, I would faint. One of the girls gave me some tums and my stomach settled down a bit so that was one less thing to worry about. Eventually it went away and I could hear and see normal again but then it came back. They were suggesting perhaps an anxiety attack which I’ve never had and don’t know why I would have since I was in the company of food, drinks and friends which are some of my favorite things. Then one of them mentioned a migraine. Now I’ve had headaches before and I thought I’ve had migraines but apparently not. I got home ok and felt like crap the rest of the night. I laid on the couch with Lincoln in the dark and watched tv at a very low volume. I couldn’t fall asleep because my head was pounding and my stomach was cramping.  I just felt horrible and felt bad that I was being a Debbie Downer of sorts and ruining the evening for everyone (and only finishing a 1.3 of the nachos, I think that is a first for me)

 I woke up early this morning still feeling off but I was ok to get up and move around. I took Lincoln out and while he was dropping the kids off in the grass, he started scooting on the grass so doo-doo all over his butt. Beautiful. This is exactly what I want to deal with at 6A after a horrible night so I had to take him in the yard and hose his booty off and make sure it was all gone. This right here? Is how much I love this little dog (and my new rugs)

I was starving afterwards and made an egg white, white american cheese and tomato sandwich on a honey wheat sandwich thin

I wasn’t feeling the sandwich at first but then I saw this cheese oozing out and knew it was meant to be

I always feel like, somebody’s watching me

That being said, I still don’t feel well. My stomach hurts, my head is aching a bit and I am just feeling off. I hate not feeling well when it is beautiful out so I am hoping the day takes a turn for the worse and it gets cloud and rains again. Off to curl in a fetal position with Lincoln! Hope everyone’s weekend is off to a better start!

PS-Click here for a chance to win some Olympic Granola!

Jammin’

24 Jun

I just wasn’t feeling the coffee this morning but craving something cold with this crazy, hot weather and opted for a Mango Green Monster. Look at how green it was! This was one of the best ever! I made with baby spinach, Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, Frozen Mango’s, flax-seed and one packet of Splenda

I had a diet coke on the bus so got some caffeine in my system but this green monster? Yum.

We had a Just Fresh open today and they were offering free coffee for a month to the first 100 customers. I completely forgot about this but one of my coworkers who doesn’t drink coffee went and got a breakfast pastry and had the coupon. He asked if I wanted it and I responded with “Is the pope Catholic?” Free coffee for a month?!? That’s like a dream come true! I fear that I will become like Kramer on Seinfeld when he gets free coffee for a lifetime and starts getting all jittery, has the shakes, etc.

Beautiful. I will be there every day instead of Starbucks now. I have no loyalty whatsoever when it comes to free stuff.

My coffee buddy came in late and I told him about the free coffee deal but by at that point they stopped giving out the free cards. I lent him mine to go get some free coffee since I am nice like that. He came back to my desk sans card. I asked him where it was and he just shrugged his shoulders. I had a knife at my desk for cutting my fruit (I’m all about the love) and pulled it out and was like “I don’t mess around when it comes to free or coffee, give it up!” and then I continued to recite lines from the Princess Bride such as “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” accent and all and he looked at me like I was from outer space.

“Hello? Princess Bride?” and again, he shrugged his shoulders and said “Never seen it” What? How has someone never seen that movie? It’s a cult classic and personally, I’ve probably seen it over 50 times since I used to love it so as a kid. He then told me he has never see Forrest Gump, Star Wars, Shawshank Redemption, etc. I haven’t seen the latter two of the three so I can relate there.

For breakfast, I kept it simple: Half of a sweet potato and egg whites with a packet of ketchup

For lunch, I had leftover Chicken Fried Rice.


A fresh, sliced peach. I love how it looks all psychedelic with the swirls.

I walked to Reid’s in the afternoon despite it being 93 degrees out. When I am out for a good deal, nothing stands in my way. I am all about the saying “Neither rain, nor sleet nor snow….will keep me from a sale!” I ended up getting goodies there, they are closing this Saturday and the entire store is still 40% off. All of this for $15!

Goya Recaito Cilantro Sauce—I cannot wait to cook with this!

Grandma Gibble’s Old Fashioned Homestyle Popcorn

A variety of Hearth Strings Foods granola bars—Blueberry Muffin, Gingersnap Cookie, Cherry Vanilla

Baby spinach and bananas

A Coconut Crème cupcake


I wanted to dive right into this beauty of yummy, sugary goodness but was good and only had half 🙂

After work, it was time for RiverJam @ the National Whitewater Center. During the summer, the center has a free concert series every Thursday and Saturday night. It’s a beautiful venue with great live music, dog friendly and beautiful sights

They have the River’s Edge Bar and Grill and we got a table right in the sun, which was killer, but thankfully had an umbrella-ella-ella so that helped a bit. But when it is 7P on a summer night in North Carolina, it doesn’t help that much! We kept fanning ourselves off and waiting for the sun to go down. There was a funk band playing but we were there for a little over two hours but they may have played four or five songs. It seemed like they were taking a break more than they were playing.

Blue Moon made a much-needed appearance (not only because I had a rough day at work but because it’s summertime!)

Appetizer of fried pickles with ranch dipping sauce

It did not disappoint, as fried pickles usually don’t. I never tried fried pickles until I moved to NC and wish I would have never tried them because they are slices of heaven

I had the Apple Walnut Chicken Salad –Marinated grilled chicken atop spring mix with apples, crumbled bleu cheese and candied walnuts with Balsamic Vinegarette

Fantastic salad! It was very refreshing and the candied walnuts added a nice sweet touch to contrast the apples. And I am all for any kind of crumbled cheese! I was looking at the hummus plate but needed something cool and refreshing and this hit the spot!

Seriously, why has Lincoln been glaring at me lately? Dislike.

I’m curious now—what’s a popular movie that everyone has seen but you haven’t?

 I’ll be announcing the winner of my giveaway in tomorrow’s post, you still got a few more hours to enter if you haven’t!

Home made

14 Jun

Today was a great day!  It’s Monday which is a bit of a downer but I finally set my mind on going to Phoenix…..in the summertime-eek! One of my friends is turning 30 and having a party for the big event. I was going to go but got bogged down with bills and was bummed about it. I was thinking about it on Friday and suck eff it. I will just work a bunch of OT to afford the trip and suck it up. Plus, flights to the desert aren’t bad in the middle of summertime and it will be nice to see everyone. And I am surprising her, so that just makes it extra fun! I will only be gone Friday through Sunday but it will be a nice little trip to look forward to!

I started the morning off with an egg white and avocado wrap

This morning was super busy but not too busy where I was wanting to scream and pull out my hair like Friday. We like that.

For lunch I had a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat with a baby spinach side salad topped with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini and avocado with Kraft Light Three Cheese Ranch. I love this dressing but I think only with chicken bites or wings as opposed to on a salad. I really wasn’t diggin it today and wanted something a little lighter.

This afternoon, I searched for different dumbbell and kettlebell exercises and got a little ego boost from the new girl on our team. I am forever talking about food and the stuff I make and she was begging me to give her some ideas since she is looking for new stuff to make her family. I love it! It’s like a little project for me to work on for her. Plus, I am always going on and on about my husband (Trader Joe’s) and she is putting together a list of stuff she wants me to get for her since I live so close. Meal planning and food shopping? Can I please do this for a living? I am kinda over moving millions of dollars each day.

Speaking of making your own food, I finished The Art of Eating In Today by Cathy Erway. It’s the story of a twenty something girl (and blogger!) living in NYC and tries to eat all of her meals at home for two years (exclusing special occasions and work related lunches). I really enjoyed this book, how she taught herself to cook different things such as bread, risotto and even menudo with tripe (which I tried when I lived in Phoenix and don’t think I will ever try again once I found out what tripe was). She talks about the history of restaurants, the implications that come from eating out (to both your wallet and waistline) and has some of her recipes in there. If you’re a foodie, I highly recommending reading this book or checking out her website Not Eating Out in New York

And is it wrong that when I go to NYC next month, I want to break out of my running hiatus, go balls out (not literally LOL) and go running all crazy like Phoebe in Friends??

For dinner, I made thin crust pizza on Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough with sun-dried tomatoes, salami, turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and provolone cheese. Instead of marinara, I lightly brushed the dough with the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes which was a thin, tasty base.

And I may have been really engrossed with Family Guy and kinda forgot it was cooking. It worked out fine though, I like it crispy!!

I’ve had the Crunch Cardio Sculpt DVD that I got through Netflix sitting in my living room for the past week and finally popped it in

I was really impressed with the workout. And coming from a girl who hates DVD workouts, that says a lot. I used my eight and ten lbb dumbbells and there was a lot og squatting and lunging along with bicep curls, lateral raises,tricep dips, crunches, shoulder presses and more. It definitely got my heart a’ beating but once I was really getting into it, it was over. It was only a 30 minute workout and for once, I was in the mood for something longer. Other than that once complaint, I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it.

Decent calorie burn of 270, not bad but again, was looking for something more. All I can say is I am already feeling it in my triceps and quads.

And how did I miss that my 30th and half birthday was yesterday? I am officially leaning towards 31 now, good thing I still have the maturity and sense of humor of a 13 year old instead.

Scorcher

13 Jun

Hi all–another relaxing day under my belt. I feel so good, rested and just peaceful right now but too bad that’s going to end tomorrow when I go back to work, meh 😦 I need to get back on the ball with looking for other jobs this week and update my resume.

I woke up this morning and made the Low Fat Oatmeal Protein pancakes I tried for the first time yesterday and they were equally great the second time around. I topped with cooked apricots and bananas with a drizzle of maple syrup.

I cleaned this morning, caught up on blogs, had my coffee and relaxed with Lincoln. I was going to a pottery studio at 1P and wasn’t sure how long I would be gone for so I had a small lunch before hand. I made a wrap with a leftover chicken cake, avocado, cherry tomatoes and salsa.

Good thing I was going to the pottery studio because it was another hot one out. Is it hot for anyone else? I talked to my parents in Florida and it was only 85 there and it’s supposed to be in the 90’s the entire wk so I will need to scour my wardrobe tonight for light clothing. The humidity was stifling and the heat  alone made me  feel like I was back in Phoenix so I was not trying to be outside at all.

I made a spoon holder for the stove top, when it’s done it will be lime green with black polka dots. I am a creative thinker but I am not good with art, drawing, etc. so I stuck to something easy. I would love to go again and make more things though, it was quiet and relaxing.

Afterwards I stopped at the Bucks and got a Mocha Light Frappaccino to cool me down.

Then I stopped At Bath & Body Works for their huge sale. I really only go there twice a year for the sale just to stock up on stuff. I just wanted to get in and get out but the saleslady would not get off my sack. I would be looking at something and she would be like “That’s 75% off so it’s only $2.62” or “Did you know if you buy three of the lotions, you save more money than buying two.” I just wanted to yell out “I can read and I can do math” but I was trying to be nice and just smiled. And I was not leaving there without buying something so it got on my nerves after 10 minutes of that. When I go shopping, I’m on a mission and am not all about staying there for an hour. I paid, was free from the claws of the overbearing saleslady and got all of this for $30

Next stop was Ulta where I finally picked up some Philosophy at the recommendation of Mo. Ulta has been selling Philosophy online but it’s finally being sold in their stores and I have heard nothing but good things about their products . I bought the Makeup Optional Skin Kit for only $40.

I got back home, took a nap and when I woke,  it was approaching dinner time.

I made Giada’s Turkey meatloaf with Feta and Sun Dried Tomatoes. I tried this one before last fall and it was amazing so I was excited to try it again.

Before going into the oven

 I followed the recipe except for I baked for 50 minutes instead of 45, used more parsley than called for and used 4 tbsp of milk instead of 2 to give it more moisture.

I served with a baby spinach salad with mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes with Light Three Cheese Ranch

I did some yoga and stretching for 20 minutes. Speaking of which, head to Peace. Love. Nutrition for a chance to win an Aurorae Yoga Mat! After the yoga, I felt very calm and relaxed and now I’m catching up on “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”. Good night indeed.

And scene

11 May

Holy effballs, two days from hell in a row. Not cool. I just noticed I didn’t post food pics from yesterday so this will be a foodlicious post.

Let’s start with the food because, cmon, it’s a lot more fun than work talk!

Breakfast yesterday was a good bowl of oats with banana, coconut and blueberry flax

And of course, a BIG salad in celebration National Salad Month with baby spinach, carrots, kidney beans, tomato, cheese, chicken, peas with Ken’s Lite Honey Mustard dressing.

Dinner was boring compared to that though–leftover pierogies

My friend gave me this container of Williams Sonoma Peppermint Hot Chocolate

To make it extra chocolate-licious

Would have been perfect with whipped cream!

Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me. I only got four hours of sleep the night before and was up until almost 1A last night (morning?)…..grrrr!

I started out with a Kashi Go Lean Chocolate Peanut Bar this morning

I went into Starbucks ready for a HOT Venti drip coffee and they told me they were out of hot water. What? Isn’t this what most of your business is based off of? I got a Venti Iced Coffee instead but wasn’t happy about it. It was cold and rainy this morning so wanted a warm cup of happiness. I could have gotten a cup of the breakroom stuff but don’t want to start growing hair on my chest.

I then had a bowl of Chobani Strawberry Greek Yogurt with coconut granola.

And still hungry. One may say ravenous. And then I starting having horrible stomach aches and realized I had a friend in town, meh. I was just in a rotten mood. When someone called, I was rude which I never am at work no matter how busy or crappy of a mood I’m in. I have some apology calls to make to people who I was rude to today. And people kept looking at my strange because I had my hoodie on with my hood up on my head ala the Unibomber.

And my hair looked like crap. And I forgot my lipstick so I just felt weird without having any on yes (yes I do wear lipstick to take Lincoln out and to the grocery store). Since it was raining, the hippies weren’t out today either, meh.

I brought my lunch with me but just didn’t want it. I want something greasy. Something fatty. Something fried. And that left me with one place in mind—Bojangles!!

Awwww yeah.

I got a horrible for me meal….a leg and thigh with fries and a biscuit….and a 32 oz Mountain Dew. If I was going all out, I was going to go all out.

It was delicious.

Soon after though, I felt nauseous. And then remembered why I don’t eat fast food that much anymore. How on earth did I used to put this in my body multiple times per wk year after year? Dear Body, my sincerest apologies. This afternoon was a big mess of sickness, tiredness and stress. Not a good combination. I tried to leave early but that was a no go.

 

I took Lincoln for a walk, talked on the phone with my sister and parentals and was actually in a good mood despite the horrible day. I was off to make dinner, which was a complete 180 from my lunch.

I nuked some veggies that had been sitting in the freezer forever

Made some red quinoa…..which was new for me.

And baked a catfish filet with lemon juice, butter, lemon pepper seasoning and paprika

A balanced dinner!

Not sure how I feel about the quinoa though….anyone have any tips on cooking it or types they like?

Getting ready to watch Lost soon and can we talk about Sex and The City 2 coming out soon???!! Cannot wait! I liked the movie but still love the show more but fell in love with the first soundtrack and can’t wait to hear what the second one is like.

This is my favorite song from the first soundtrack

Lasagne

2 Apr

I got so much done today it wasn’t even funny! After proclaiming about how much I was going to get done after my last post, I got sucked into Regis and Kelly (which I love but never get to watch) but then, I got sucked into Dr. Phil.

I cannot stand Dr. Phil and just the sound of his voice makes me cringe. But seeing sometimes I am lazy and do not have a remote control, I sit there and watch him. Then I get in a Dr. Phil trance and soon I am cheering him on. Ugh.

I was then off to go to the grocery store but stopped at the Bucks first for a grande iced coffee with skim milk, one pump of Cherry syrup and two splendas.

I stopped and loaded up at Bi-Lo, Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s. I go wherever the sales are for things I need and luckily, all are within a two-mile radius. And God forbid, I don’t stop at Trader Joe’s every other day.

I love that Trader Joe’s sells beer individually. One of my goals this month/quarter is to drink less beer but it is the opposite of when it comes to chocolate. If I have chocolate in the house, I eat it …..non stop. But sometimes I will get a hankering for beer and just want one or two. If I have it in the house that’s good but if I don’t I go out to the bar and end up drinking seven or eight of them and end up staying for a while.

I grabbed a bag of their  Flax Seed with Blueberries. I was telling one of my co-workers about it and we are going to keep it at work and split it. If you haven’t tried this—do so!!!

And Lincoln got some goodies also—all of this for $10—thanks coupons 🙂

When I was at The Teet, I got a 6 inch tuna sub on wheat with mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles

As always, a fan was waiting for something to fall

The Barack was in town so it was all over the news……future running mates?

Has anyone seen this ad? Hilarious and so true.

I mentioned in my last point how I leave a path behind me since I am so unorganized and evidence right here :

It was a gorgeous day outside and couldn’t let it go to waste. I took some sinus medicine I had from my last sinus infection and suited up for the pool. I haven’t work my bathing suit since December when I went to the Bahamas but good news—less snug!!

I caught up with Gwen again

Beautiful day indeed

There were a few other people getting sun. Ummmm one dude who is ALWAYS there was talking to himself for a good 20 minutes. I walked past him to see if he had a Bluetooth but none so yeah, stay away from him. I got a good two hours of sunning in then went back in. It’s just not as fun when the pool isn’t available 😦

I saw an ad for H&M in In Style which reminded me of how much I love that store….and that we don’t have one near.

But have no fear—there a few in the DC area so I will be putting it up on the list of To Do next wknd!

I made granola bars afterwards since I am out of stock

The dry ingredients—I added vanilla whey and mini chocolate morsels for some umph!

The wet ingredients

The final product

Can’t wait to break into these!!

I haven’t made lasagne in a while and decided to break it out again! Just call me lasagna because I loooooooove lasagne

I made veggie lasagna with mushrooms, onions, baby spinach and Morningstar Veggie Crumbles

I use No Boil noodles since I really don’t have the patience to sit there and boil lasagne noodles

All layered up and ready to go

I just had to take a peek while it was cooking!

It turned out beautifully (I love burnt edges)

Not to toot my own horn but this is the best lasagne I have made to date. I love cheese but used only 2/3 of the ricotta it called for (the consistency turns me off) and less shredded cheese.

Lincoln always gets to lick the lasagne plate clean

Such a sucker for this dog.

I love and hate how much energy I have when I don’t have to work. I love it because I can get so much done in the day but hate it because my jobs the energy out of me and it kinda pays the bills. Note to self, buy lottery ticket tomorrow.