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Egg Hunt

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My favorite thing about Easter was always the egg hunts. I got really frustrated trying to find the plastic eggs, but always loved opening them up because they either had one of my 3 favorite things as a kid in them: candy, money or toys!

In the morning we would open Easter baskets & do an egg hunt through the neighborhood. We lived on a cult-a-sac where everyone was friends, so all yards were free game. It was always exciting to find one with your name on it.

In the afternoon we would go to my Grandparent’s house. My grandpa went to great lengths to make a great egg hunt for us. He would think of really tricky places in his big Arizona backyard to hide the eggs and would give us tons of hints to find them. He’d say “you’re getting warmer… nope, colder colder.” All of the eggs had our names on them with labels made from his label maker and they were filled with cash! The best ones were the ones with dollar bills, but we all knew we got the same amount of money as everyone else in the end. It was so much fun and I’m so glad I have those memories.

The picture is of my sister & I. Miss you today, Weeze!

This morning I made my bowl of oatmeal festive with an egg hunt. Much different than my childhood egg hunts, but still fun 🙂

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This Easter will be celebrated by spending time with my family & going to a craft show/wine tasting.

What are your plans for Easter? Have a nice Sunday everyone!

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Hey There, Sweet Stuff!

Today was another fun-filled day of baking. My aunt & grandma are in town visiting and I asked them what baking projects they could give me. My grandma immediately said brownies (actually, she was upset they weren’t already made upon her arrival ;-)) and my aunt said she’d like cupcakes. Score! I love reasons to bake.

Project 1: Brownies with walnuts

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These turned out moist & passed Grandma’s approval test. She said the only thing wrong with them is that you have to have more than one to make sure they are good. 😀

Project 2: Cupcakes

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These are chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting & Newman O’s crumbled on top. The only things I changed from original recipes was to replace the sugar with Splenda because my Grandma is diabetic and from what I’ve read your body doesn’t metabolize it like sugar. I know there are many people opposed to it for whatever reasons, but I think a little in moderation is fine. They haven’t found anything wrong with it from what I’ve read, though it might increase appetite.

Project 3: Peanut Butter Banana Bars

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I had 3 bananas that were begging to be baked with so I found the perfect solution 🙂 These were the only “healthified” things I made today. I’ve made these before and really liked them- they’re super moist & yummy. To me it tastes like they should be bad for you, but they’re not. No sugar in the recipe either.

I’m not sure where I originally found this recipe, but here it is:

Peanut Butter Banana Snack Bars (makes 16 squares):

Ingredients:

1 egg (or equivalent in egg substitute)
1/4 cup peanut butter, natural
1 cup banana, ripe mashed (3 medium)
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons sugar substitute
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1.    Preheat oven to 350

2.    Spray 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray

3.    In a large bowl, combine egg, peanut butter and bananas

4.    Mix Well

5.    Stir in milk

6.    Slowly add wet mixture to dry

7.    Spread evenly into pan & bake for 20 minutes

Nutritional Information: Calories: 76 Calories from Fat: 30 Total Fat: 3 g Total Carbohydrates: 11g Protein: 2g

So that is how I spent the majority of my Saturday- in the kitchen. I love baking/cooking so much that time just flies by when I’m working on something. I had the company of my Grandma today while I was baking which made it even more fun than usual.

We just got finished with dinner which was deep dish pizza & salad. We’ve been having lots of great meals out since they’ve been here, all out of course. We had Mexican one night and Italian another. Tomorrow we’re staying in for both meals though, so that should be a nice change. We’re hitting up the wineries in the afternoon to do some tasting since I can now that I’m the big 21! It sort of feels sacrilegious to go wine tasting on Easter, but then again, isn’t wine God’s blood or something? Sorry, I don’t know much about religion but I like Easter for the candy, bunnies, & spring time!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Snacks, Snacks, & more snacks

Happy Friday!

Last night got busy so I never ended up getting to post. My eating was a little goofy yesterday since I had a late lunch and then went with Chris to finally go pick up his family at LAX. I never got an official dinner, just snacked on a whole bunch of things, but it was fine by me. However, my veggie intake was pretty low since the salad shown below were my only vegetables all day.

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In the afternoon I snacked on some grapes (per usual) and finally decided to start making lunch when I felt hungry around 3. I made myself a spinach strawberry salad and a cheese crisp. The cheese crisp is something I used to love to eat at Mexican restaurants and is basically just an open face tortilla with cheese. I used a la tortilla factory wrap, some smart balance, shredded cheddar, and Adobo seasoning- with spicy salsa for dipping- yum!

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This would be a good and easy party appetizer now that I look at it.DSCN0435

I made my dad a grilled cheese and a salad with a ton of stuff in it. I just thought the browning of the grilled cheese was too beautiful not to include 😛 I’m still the master at grilled cheeses. hehe

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I packed an apple, yogurt,banana and Kind bar for the car and am glad I did since it turned out to be my dinner! It was yummy though and I couldn’t wait to try the Kind bar after hearing a lot about them on other blogs. I thought it was good, with the perfect amount of sweetness and chewiness.DSCN0440 DSCN0442 When I got home I felt like I was still a little hungry and had some Peanut Butter Puffins, some popcorn with chocolate Chex mixed in, and also some dried banana & of course, grapes! (not pictured)

This morning I woke up at 8 to go to spinning class. I hadn’t been to a class in 3 weeks, which is very rare for me since I had been going 2-3 times a week. I was just getting tired of the routine because you have to get there at least 30 minutes early to get your name on the list and 45 if you want to claim a good bike. Since I’ve been getting good workouts with my bike and running outside, I have slept in and skipped the classes & pretty much the gym altogether for 3 weeks now.

It was good to be back in the class and a little harder than 3 weeks ago, but not bad. It’s funny to go back though because it’s like I’ve never left. Everything is the same including the people, the teacher, the mad rush to get a bike… I don’t know if it’s depressing or refreshing, but I just found it funny. Though I do like the gym and spinning, I really have been enjoying my workouts outside and in the fresh air.

Before the gym I made myself a bowl of oats to take to the gym and eat in the locker room (always so fun). My camera battery was dying this morning and this is the only picture I could snap.

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The mix was pretty much the same as yesterday except minus the pecans & Barney Butter instead of chocolate pb.

-1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

-1 small banana, cinnamon

-Barney butter on top

-Chocolate/Caramel/Almond/Cranberry Trail mix (I LOVE this topping!)

I’m just waiting for my dad right now and we’re going to go to lunch and run some errands. I’m not sure of my weekend plans yet, except I know I have a lot to clean my room, bathroom, car, and the rest of the house before Monday. My mom gets back from Arizona Monday and is bringing my aunt back with her whose never seen the house before so I want it to look nice. I’m sure I’ll manage to sneak in some fun this weekend though. 😀 I really want to see Adventureland, but Chris’ 14-year-old nephew is coming to town so I doubt we’ll get to go since it’s rated R. I am excited though because I just saw that there is going to be a Sex & the City 2 movie due out May 2010– yippee! 😀

Well I’m off to lunch. Have a good start to your weekend!

Totally worth it

One of my baking experiments today was wheat bread. I combined two different recipes and was going for a lighter bread because the only other time I tried to make wheat bread it weighed about 9 lbs and was really dense. However, this one turned out super flat and still pretty dense. I’m not quite sure what happened, but that’s what I get for messing with recipes.

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I tried a piece and it was actually pretty good. It kind of reminds me of a whole wheat Panera baguette without the seeds. It won’t work as great as I had planned for sandwiches, but I’m sure I’ll still put it to good use. Maybe I’ll try croutons again- I’m determined to get them right!

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I met my friend at BJ’s who actually brought another friend I knew from high school and we had a good time. It was good to catch up with them. I had a chicken caesar salad which was delicious. We got a pizookie (a pizza cookie) which BJ’s is known for.

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It was half peanut butter cookie half double chocolate chip & the waiter was funny and came back and added the squares of ghiradelli to the top. I think he felt bad that he took a really long time in the beginning to get our food.

After dinner, I stopped by the grocery store (2nd time today) because there were a bunch of good sales I saw earlier, but was on my bike and knew I couldn’t try to get it all.

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I totally splurged on expensive items I don’t usually buy, but I figured it’s food and what the hell, right?! I rarely clothes shopping so if my big “splurges” are fun food items I figure I deserve it 🙂 (I am such a dork!!)

The loot included:

-Izze- Pomegranate (for Chris & Dad)

-Pre Juices (they boasted about probiotics, also for Chris)

-Almond milk: chocolate & vanilla

-Wheat flour, White flour

-Almond Nut Thin crackers

-Health is Wealth Spinach Munchees

-Odwalla Banana Nut bar

-Chocolate Easter Eggs

-Dried Goji Berries

-Barney Butter: crunchy!!!

I was excited about Barney Butter- I haven’t been buying it because of it’s $9.00 price tag, but it’s worth it!

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When I got home I had to remember what Barney butter tasted like and what better way than on a banana? Also, some more grapes since I’m an addict.

Today probably wasn’t the best day to splurge on groceries considering sales tax went up today- sheesh.

Blogging 3 times a day is pretty crazy, not sure how people do it regularly. I haven’t even read any blogs today yet. I think I did a pretty good job capturing everything besides the salad, random grapes, crackers & goji berries I sampled, & a pack of gum. (Yes, I’m also a gum addict. Gum & Grapes are my vices)

Time to go read some blogs 😀

**I just ate another piece of the bread, man I need to eat less often… lol

Luck of the Irish

I have always loved the month of March. Every year I look forward to it because good things usually happen. I remember reading a statistic that everyone’s favorite month happens to be the month of their birthday, which is true in my case, but I still love it. My birthday is St. Patrick’s Day and I have red hair, which people always find hilarious. They find it even funnier when I tell them that I’m a quarter Japanese and everyone else in my family has dark brown or black hair.

So far, my good luck March month seems to be coming true. Or at least I have a lot to look forward to/be excited about this month. Here are some of the reasons I’m excited for this month:

1. Last night I was reading Tina’s post and found out I won NURU’s Exercise Anywhere cards! I was sooo excited because out of all the blog giveaways I’ve never won a single one and even posted how I probably won’t win but would love to. Yay! I can’t wait to get them in the mail!

2. The other day at spin class the instructor mentioned the Temecula Triathlon that is on March 22nd. She said it’s a sprint triathlon and great for beginners. It consists of a 5k run, 17 mile bike ride, and 150-yard swim. I was instantly intrigued because I haven’t heard of any races in my actual town and I am getting a new bike for my birthday (which I already picked out and LOVE but have to “forget” about until the 17th :-)) So anyways, I mentioned it to my mom and she just made me feel discouraged saying “people train for those kinds of things.” Then I mentioned it to my dad today and he said he’d love to sponsor me and watch me complete it! It was $50 which was holding me back as well, but I’m sooo happy he is sponsoring me and I’m excited and nervous to do my first race ever! I think maybe I should have started with a 5k, but I think I can handle it. My main goal is to have fun and finish; one of my “to do’s before I die” is to compete in a race so I can’t wait!

3. My 21st birthday- March 17th– party time!

4. My sister coming from Virginia to visit tomorrow!

5. Dr. Phil show audience- March 9th

6. Chris & my 4 year anniversary– March 12th ❤

See what I mean that March is an awesome month?! It’s even better that I quit my job to fully enjoy the month (one of the reasons I didn’t mind quitting) Then starting April I will be in school so that will keep me plenty busy.

Hope everyone else gets some Irish luck this month!

I want me some goji!

I’m excited this morning to see that Olga at HealthingIt is giving away a gift certificate for [ME] & GOJI, the site where you can create your own healthy cereal! I gave my sister a gift certificate for it in January for her birthday when I ran across the site and thought it was super cool. Since then she’s been loving the stuff and I’ve been dying to try it. I even have been dreaming about it… seriously! Anyways, check out her cool new site to get a chance to win yourself.

New Personal Record!

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Yay for me! I just got back from finishing my longest distance and timed run EVER! This is the loop I ran this morning in 1 hr & 4 minutes for a distance of 5.9 (practically 6, right?!) miles! Woo hoo! I’ve never ran that long or far in my life and it was actually surprisingly easy. I remember struggling and hating running one mile in high school, so to me, this is amazing. I didn’t even feel like I was going to pass out and die!

Anyways, I know I’m a really bad blogger and I think I’ve accepted I’ll never be a full-time food blogger. It takes way to much time and effort & my food is way too boring. But in the past few days I have tried 2 new foods that I like: Pom seeds & Almond milk.

Also, I got a DSCN0038very awesome new toy that I’m super excited about: a Kitchen-Aid electric mixer!! My parents bought it on a whim and I was soo excited. It has a dough hook which I’ve been dreaming about to make breads with! I can’t wait to start baking more now. The other night I made some double chocolate-chip cookies for Chris with it.

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Life is great right now- I think I have everything I could possibly want/need and I am loving being in California and happy to have my parents here finally. The other night we went to the beach at sunset– how beautiful is that?! I’m so lucky to be in such a beautiful, warm place, especially in January. Happy Wednesday!

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