Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quick Hello..

I took the day off from posting yesterday as I was out for the evening with a couple of girlfriends for dinner & a movie. Had every intention of posting tonight, but now it's just too late and I'm tired. I'll try again tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday – Salsa Chicken & Black Bean Soup

I actually remembered to take photos today! It’s a miracle. :)

We have had very un-January like weather over the past day or so. The temperature actually went up to 9 degrees Celsius last night, though it went down to around 4 or 5 for most of today. It also rained off and on all day, and of course there is snow melting all over the place. It is supposed to go below freezing again tonight, so things could be icy tomorrow.

We were quite late getting in to work today. Husband is coming down with a cold and was really dragging his feet. But we made. And apparently, the third time is the charm because I finally got my carrot muffin.


Lunch was very familiar:


Another Amy’s Burrito with red bell pepper strips. I ate the apple later in the afternoon, plus a treat…


Today’s workout was Supersets + Abs and Steady State Cardio on the treadmill. I actually cheated a bit on the abs and substituted some stability ball exercises – I’m getting tired of doing planks; they are so boring.

Then it was time for supper which was ready and waiting in the slow cooker - Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup.


This is from A Year of Slow Cooking. I bought the cookbook, so I imagine you’ll be seeing quite a few meals from there as I try out new recipes.

This sounded really good. Since Husband could care less about garnishes, I let him have the last two pieces of corn bread and I garnished my soup with sour cream & cheddar; I figure that way we each get a little something extra.

At first I was eating around the garnish and was not all that impressed with the soup…But then I stirred in the sour cream and cheese, and suddenly it was fantastic. Amazing what a little sour cream and cheddar can do. I actually didn’t get around to asking Husband what he thought, but he did go back for another bowl, so I’m guessing he thought it was ok.

That’s about it for today. Not much excitement unless you count the fact that some feline or other threw up on the bed. Again. Which reminds me, I have to go check on the laundry and make the bed.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Monday, January 25, 2010


The weather is warming up again which is nice, but we have a wind warning + rainfall warning for tonight;. The weather page says winds of up to 90 km/hr. I’m hoping the cat fence survives.

Today I was a very forgetful food blogger. Totally forgot to photograph breakfast. Remembered to snap a photo of my red bell pepper strips at lunch, but then forgot to capture my Amy’s Kitchen Burrito.

So, for the sake of keeping track:

Breakfast was PC Blue Menu hot cereal made with almond milk and sweetened with maple syrup.

Lunch was 1/2 large red bell pepper and a burrito.

Afternoon treat – two After Eights.

When I came home from work I did 35 minutes of cardio intervals. This felt like a bit of a bonus workout as I was supposed to be meeting a friend for dinner and a movie tonight. Unfortunately, my friend is laid up with a bad back and can’t go anywhere at the moment.

It was probably just as well that we didn’t go out tonight anyway, because the weather could be nasty.

Supper was the same as last night, but since it’s the only meal I photographed today, I figured I could at least use different dishes!




That was the last of the White Bean & Apple Chili. Tonight I split my cornbread and added a little butter and maple syrup.

Now, I do believe I can get in a bit of piano time before crawling in bed with a book. Night all!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


For those of you who enjoy shoes as much as I do, I have some more shoe pictures to share.

But first, since I know not everyone shares my love of shoes, some food pictures and recipe links…

We tried a new slow cooker recipe tonight - White Bean and Apple Chili from A Year of Slow Cooking. To make it Husband-friendly, I replaced one can of beans with 2 boneless chicken breasts.

Other changes:

- I think I used slightly less chicken broth; probably 2 1/2 cups instead of 3.

- I added some chipotle chilis for a little extra heat and some smokey flavor.

- Shortly before serving I mixed together a bit of corn starch & flour then added it to the chili in the slow cooker to thicken it up.

- I didn’t add cheese, because I thought Husband would prefer it without, but I did sprinkle a bit on top of mine.

To to with it, I made this cornbread recipe. For the corn bread, I halved the recipe, switched the amounts for the flour and cornmeal (so more cornmeal, less flour) and used melted unsalted butter instead of oil. Just because I prefer butter.




Both came out really well. Husband had 3 pieces of the cornbread, so I think that was the favorite tonight.

On to the Shoes!

I mentioned on Monday that I made a return trip to the shoe sale. On the previous Friday I had bought the one pair of boots, but there were some other items that I was considering…

The pair that I had bought on the Friday were a no brainer. As I said, I’d been admiring them since the fall, they fit and felt very comfy. The other reason I didn’t hesitate is that they are Naots.

I have a pair of Naots that must be at least 5 years old, if not older. They have been worn regularly, they are still comfy and still in good shape. Here are the new and the old, side by side:


I still love the first pair, even though I’ve had them for a long time, so the new pair of Naots seemed like a safe bet.

I initially decided to stick with that one pair as my purchase in an effort to avoid impulse purchases. I regretted it almost right away, and almost went back the next day, but the sales lady had said that if I came back on Monday there might be an even better deal going on (at the time everything was 50% off). So I made myself wait until Monday.

On Monday when I went back, the sale was buy 1 item (at 50% off) and get the second item for 75% off. And both of the items I wanted were still there.

First – Anne Klein pumps.

IMG_8412 IMG_8413

I hesitated the first day because there was also a pair of black patent pumps that were quite nice and seemed maybe more practical. But I couldn’t decide so I left them both. After leaving the store, these Anne Kleins were the ones I regretted leaving behind.

Second – Green boots!




I can’t help it. I love them.

But, while I was there grabbing the two pairs of shoes that I had been obsessing about all weekend, I also saw a couple of other things…


Honestly, I just tried these Clarks boots on for the fun of it. They remind me of the granny boots I had…well…quite a while back now. Late 80’s? Early 90’s? But surprisingly they looked really cute with my jeans and were very comfy. What’s a girl to do at a shoe sale? Ahem.

The purse is larger than what I would usually buy – I’m only a small person after all and I don’t think my purse should be bigger than me. But I quite liked this. It’s got a sort of luggage look to it and I think it would be good for travelling.

So that was my haul. No shoe shopping for me for a good long while now, I think I’ve hit my quota…Well, at least until summer anyway.

Yes, I am fully aware that I have a shoe problem. I just don’t really want to do anything about it. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saigon Noodle

Husband has been raving about Saigon Noodle for a while now. He goes there fairly often for lunch during the week. I rarely go out for lunch, and for some reason we never think of Saigon Noodle when we decide to go out for dinner, so I had never been there.

Today, around 11:30 Husband suggested we go for lunch because he was craving a bowl of Pho Soup.

It was probably close to 1:30 by the time we got there and the place was not busy at all.

The menu was bigger than I expected and had a section of vegetarian dishes. In comparison to the rest of the menu, the vegetarian section seemed small, but when I thought about the vegetarian options available at most of the restaurants in Saint John, I realized it was actually pretty decent.

I decided to order the Curry Tofu Stir-Fry with Pineapple. Husband ordered his Pho.

When my lunch arrived it was huge! I served some up to myself and Husband helped himself to a few bites, but then it hit me that I really should snap a picture or two. Not sure these iPhone photos do it justice, but here it is:



Not sure how well you can see it – the sun was really bright so it was hard to see what I was photographing – but the stir fry is sitting in a hollowed out pineapple. Before I started dishing it up (and Husband had a few tastes) the plate was heaped full.


It came with a little plate of rice. Which may not look so little here, but in comparison to the main dish it definitely seemed small.

Husband’s soup was also quite something to see.


That bowl is packed full of noodles and chicken and beef. Husband gave me a taste of the broth and it was quite nice, I could definitely eat a small bowl of it – couldn’t handle one that big though. This was a size large and your options are medium, large and extra large.

Surprisingly, I ate almost all of my stir fry (Husband helped out with the carrots and also snitched some of the pineapple). I only ate about half the rice though. And it was definitely more than I needed to eat. But it tasted good.  :)

Husband and I stopped for groceries on the way home and I have to say this is one of the best grocery shopping trips we’ve ever had for sticking to the list. I think we were both sleepy from full bellies and just wanted to get home.

We pulled into the garage at home and Husband looked at the clock. “It’s 3:00 and we’re both stuffed.” We’re thinking supper will be pretty light tonight.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 3 - Done

This week has been hard. Not necessarily the workouts – it was a repeat of the Week 1 Schedule – but motivation was on the low side.

When I started off the month, I thought if it went well I would plan on sticking with it for the next few months – probably up to the end of April. And things did seem to be going well. The plan is definitely doable and it’s good to be pushing myself a little bit.

Then I got an email from Lindsey yesterday asking that we let her know if we were planning to continue next month so she could get to work on everyone’s plans. Up until that email came in, I had been fully planning to continue. Suddenly I got cold feet.

I’m tired. I don’t like having to go home and do a workout from a schedule. I want a break.

This afternoon I really was tired. My head was aching. I felt like I wanted to curl up and take a nap. I was feeling sorry for myself.

I decided it was time for a break from the office.

While I was out walking around I had a little talk with myself. I know that some weeks I’m raring to go, and some weeks I have zero energy. It’s a familiar cycle. So I’m having a bad week. Most days by the time I got home I would talk myself into doing a workout anyway – it might as well be one that is scheduled for me, then I don’t have to think about it.

I am the one setting the expectation here. Lindsey designed the workout schedule based on my goals and how much time I said I had for exercise. Yes, I check in with her once a week, but if I decide I don’t want to do a workout, that’s my choice. I can skip it if I want. Or I can substitute something else if I want. I’m choosing to do this.

So, I came home and did my workout. I won’t say I was enthusiastic, but once I got going it wasn’t so bad. That’s Week 3 down.

And then I went and signed up for the next 3 months.


Today’s food pics:


Decided to try for a carrot muffin again, but no luck.


Last of the Beef Curry Hotpot & Basmati Rice from last night. There was also a container of cauliflower that I ate before I remember I was supposed to take a picture.


From the freezer – Tex Mex Taco Soup with Cheddar and Light Sour Cream.

There may also have been a raid on the candy stash, but I’m not telling.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Snowy Day

It started out like this…



And it just kept snowing all day.



This is the first real snow we’ve had since the beginning of the month though, so we’ve had it pretty easy so far.

The roads were messy, I was glad Husband was driving and that we had winter tires on the car.

Cardio Intervals? Again?

It seems not that long ago that I was looking forward to intervals and feeling happy about it. It was going so well there for a while. Today I was all ‘Intervals again? Didn’t I just do intervals?’

It’s not so much fun because the running is not feeling so great anymore. Again. I may just have to give up on this running thing, I don’t know.

Anyway, today I alternated walking and running intervals, so it was less running; similar to what I did on Monday. I may have to stick with this for a while and hope the running thing gets better again.

Lazy Food Blogger

I was taking pictures all day, but I realized at supper time that it was nothing you haven’t seen already this week. And it’s only Wednesday.

- Yogurt & coffee for breakfast

- Raw veggies & Amy’s Kitchen Burrito for lunch

- After Eights for my afternoon treat

- Tomato & cucumber salad, Beef Curry Hotpot for supper.

It would just be boring to see all that again, right? So to save time (yes Bag Lady, for the piano) I decided to skip it.

However, I did decide that such a snowy night calls for an appropriate dessert; time for Mr. Hot Chocolate Maker to come out and play again.




Off to the piano I go!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I wore my pretty  new boots today…


I had happy feet all day. Looks like I will be back to snow boots tomorrow though. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

I actually packed yogurt and an apple for breakfast today, but on the way in to town I decided I really wanted a carrot muffin and if they had any, that’s what I would have for breakfast. Despite my lifelong hatred of carrots, the Texas Carrot is my favorite Java Moose muffin.

So we got there and they had carrot muffins! Yay! A carrot muffin was ordered for me, and a Summer Berry muffin for Husband.

When I got to work and opened my muffin, I saw:


Summer Berry. I thought: Poor Husband is not going to be happy; he doesn’t like carrot muffins at all.

But, it turns out we somehow both got Summer Berry. It was still a good muffin, just not quite what I had been wanting. Oh well. At least I wasn’t going hungry, right?

For lunch, I started with my veggies:


Oh, and you can see the apple peeking out in the background; I was too full to eat it after my muffin.

Then for lunch tried a new-to-me Amy’s Kitchen meal:


Which was sort of all frozen on one side of the container…


But it still heated up all right.


It was good. In both of the Amy’s Indian meals that I’ve tried, the Paneer is my favorite part. I always eat that first, then mix all the rest of it together. Aside from the Paneer though, I think I prefer the Burritos.

Afternoon treat – x2


It was a busy day, but the afternoon felt long. I guess it was a tiring day. I was glad to head home.

Today was Supersets, Abs and Steady State Cardio. This was the easy cardio, but today it felt hard. Guess I really was/am tired.

Very simple salad because I was feeling lazy – cucumbers & tomatoes with Renee’s Cucumber Dill dressing.


I probably wouldn’t have bothered to make this except I remember the cucumber needed to be used. I ended up being glad that I’d made the effort though.

And main course from the slow cooker – Beef Curry Hot Pot over Basmati Rice.


Watched Castle with dinner. Cleaned up the kitchen/washed dishes, cut some veggies for tomorrow’s lunch.


And now I’m done.

These past few nights, but the time I’ve done everything I have to do, I’m tired and I just want to crawl into bed with a book for a while. So, no piano for the past couple of days which is disappointing. Tomorrow I will make sure there is time.

Good night!

Monday, January 18, 2010


So I type up that whole recap of last week’s workouts, I post food pictures, and 2 out of 3 comments are about the cat pictures (and shoes). I guess I was right – it is all about the cats! 

That’s ok, they are pretty fabulous, in my humble opinion.

I confess – I also made a return visit to the shoe store today and gave my debit card another little workout. There were a couple other pairs of shoes I had been debating over, but I am trying to curb my impulsive shoe shopping…Mostly it appears I just manage to delay it. What can I say? I like shoes.

My other workout for the day was Cardio Intervals. After last week, I was still not feeling up to doing the whole thing as running intervals. So, I did 3 intervals that were different speeds of walking, 4 intervals that were walk/run, then 3 walking again. At the time it felt fine, but now my legs are complaining. Hope I haven’t I haven’t gone and set myself back again.

Finally, less than exciting though they may be, today’s food pictures….

Breakfast was yogurt and an apple:


Still feeling unmotivated to actually cook on the weekends for my work lunches. Last year January was a bad month for workouts. This year I’m doing the workouts, but I don’t wanna make lunch. So, for the second week in a row, Amy is doing the cooking. The upside to this is that I feel compelled to add veggies to my pre-packaged lunches.

Burrito with yellow bell pepper and cauliflower:


Late afternoon pick-me-up:


Dinner was a very tasty repeat of last night. So glad this experiment worked out and we will be making it again.

Italian Chicken & Potatoes, with steamed broccoli and cauliflower:



For my dessert – Bolthouse Vanilla Chai:

Time to drag my weary muscles to bed!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fitness and Felines and Food! Oh My!

A little something for everyone. There’s even a new pair of shoes to be seen…


First up, a quick recap of Week 2 of my online fitness coaching experience. I mentioned a bit of this during the week, but I thought it would be good to have it all in one spot.

Sunday – Started off week two with the first Hyperbolic Resistance workout of the week, which was a circuit that I was supposed to complete as many times as I could in 20 minutes. By the time I was finished, my legs were shaky. I still managed to get in 40 minutes of Steady State Cardio (starting off very slowly until I was sure my legs would continue to hold me up) and Abs.

Monday – Intervals. This was meant to be a 45 minute workout, but I knew as soon as I started that I was in trouble. Ankles, shins, calves, all were complaining. I tried, but I ended up cutting it short, getting in 5/10 intervals and a total of 30 minutes of cardio.

Tuesday – Supersets Weight Workout plus Abs, plus a very cautious 30 minutes of Steady State Cardio.

Wednesday – intervals again. I stuck to walking and managed to do the full 45 minutes. It felt ok.

Thursday – Hyperbolic Resistance workout #2 – Another circuit, this time 5 sets as fast as I could. Then Abs. Then, for my cardio workout of the day I decided to take a break from the treadmill and did my Fat Burning Pilates DVD.

Friday – Rest.

Saturday – Yoga.

…And Felines (and shoes)…

I sat on the couch with my breakfast and coffee this morning, all covered up in my comfy, fuzzy blanket. Frank came and curled up next to my feet for a snooze. When I got up, Frank stayed put, and stretched right out.

I was doing some cleaning and tidying and came out of the kitchen to see this, which for some reason made me laugh.


I don’t know, just something about that face, those eyes peeking out from the comfy blanket…


Sorta looks like he’s posing for a photo shoot, doesn’t he?

Not to be outdone, Zappa got in on the action when I was trying to take a picture of my new boots – which I know some of you will appreciate.



I’d been eyeing these since the fall, but they were a little pricey so I just kept admiring from afar…Then on Friday I happened to walk by the shoe store and see sale racks…And there they were, just waiting to come home with me.

Not the best picture, but they are all shiny and pretty and very comfy. Happy JavaChick.

…And did someone say food? Oh My!

I didn’t photo all my food today – I was going to but then I forgot. However, what I did get was good.

First, breakfast…The fruit trays were calling my name when I went to the grocery store yesterday and I thought it would be a nice treat. Along with the fruit, my favorite Liberte Mediterranee Moka Yogurt.


I also had coffee, but I was all excited by my pretty plate of fruit and snapped a picture before I thought to pour coffee.

Then for supper, I did a Slow Cooker Experiment – I wanted to adapt a favorite meal that my Mom used to make (ok, she probably still makes it, I just don’t live there anymore so I don’t get to eat it. Boo.) .

I told Husband I was experimenting for supper and asked if he was scared. He said no. The man is no fun.

But he was also right.

I give you: Slow Cooker Italian Chicken & Potatoes.


It was very good. And we made enough to have leftovers tomorrow! Happy JavaChick! Again!

…And Finally…

I just thought these apples looked pretty.



That’s all folks…Hope you had a great weekend!