I’m still here, I promise!

Hi friends!

Gosh, it feels like a year has gone by since I’ve had time to drop in. There is so much to update you on!

I’ll start with the obvious: school. It sucks up all my time, but I suppose that is always expected. I had my first calculus exam on Thursday and then this next week is going to be the week from hell because I have 4 exams. So all I ever do is study. Forget having a social life. I don’t even know what having a social life is. I don’t know what sleep is either. So it sounds like I’m just complaining so let me end this paragraph by saying despite all the stress and lack of free time, I am still enjoying being a student again!

The Bull’s season is officially over. We played up until game 5 of the last round of playoffs, so we were so close to making it back to the National Championship game! Now that I don’t have to work as much (I might still work every now and then if I’m needed) I can use tha time to study more! Yippee! That’s not true, I use that time to go see Vinnie. And Madelyne’s horse, Saint, is down here now which is super exciting! Of course Vinnie is a jerk to him, but still it’s great to have Saint there because it increases the chances that I get to see Madelyne! Both of our lives are crazy busy so I rarely get to see her. 1

My half marathon training has been going well! During the week I try and utilize my beginning jogging class as much as possible so that I don’t have to spend that much extra time running. So I will just stay on the track after to finish my runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have been swimming at the Y on Saturdays as my cross training because I have fallen in love with it. My long runs on Sundays have actually been happening early Monday mornings at the Y… I need to change that because soon since i won’t have enough time to fit it in on Mondays due to the runs getting longer! I also have a really bad shin splint in my right leg. It hurts all the time. So I have been trying to ice it a lot.

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Some big news: I turned twenty one on Tuesday! I didn’t do anything special. I had class all day and then cooked dinner for my parents and I. I made tostadas which were delicious. Thursday night I ended up going to this place called City Beverage, which was totally awesome and I am definitely going back, with Bryan, Casey, and Justin (her husband). It was a lot of fun and it was a good way to relax after having my calculus test earlier that day! I ordered a Sea Dog Wild Blueberry beer and it was delicious. But… I didn’t get carded! What in the world, right!?

My meals have been really repetitive. I have overnight oatmeal pretty much every morning for breakfast. For lunch I typically have a turkey sandwich or chicken salad and pretzels, usually with an apple and carrots. My snacks are usually Greek yogurt and a KIND bar. Then for dinner it varies a little, but most nights it’s meat, roasted veggies and then I have a potato. We have been trying to add more variety by getting back to meal planning though! About a week and a half ago my parents went up to PA to help out my grandma, Baba, since she had a procedure done on one of her eyes, and while they were gone I got a little creative for my lunch and dinner one day. I used leftover pork tenderloin and made Asian pork and broccoli! So good! I had it for lunch and dinner that day, just because it was convenient for taking to work. And maybe also because it was just that darn good! So I knew in advance I would want to share this recipe so here it is friends! Apologies in advance for lack of quality of the pictures- lighting wasn’t the best. And I don’t have fancy plating to display the final product haha.

Simple Asian Pork and Broccoli 

Over medium high heat, add sesame oil to a large skillet. Once warmed, add the garlic, ground ginger and the red pepper flakes.

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Once the garlic is heated through and all the flavors look pretty well blended, add the leftover pork tenderloin to the skillet. Of course, you could add uncooked or leftover meat of any kind, such as chicken or beef. I’ve used my recipe for this before with chicken and it was delicious! Add about half of the sauce mixture to the skillet along with the pork. Let this cook down a little, until the meat is warmed through.

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Next, throw in all of your veggies and give them a stir. Pour in the remainder of the sauce and stir again.

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Cover with a lid and let the steaming action work its magic.

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Stir occasionally and cook until the veggies are at your desired tenderness!

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Serve over rice or quinoa. I went with quinoa this time since it cooks faster! Makes two kick-ass servings.

Ingredients:

  • 45g carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise (about half a serving/small handful)
  • 3 servings of broccoli (it is called pork and broccoli after all)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 70g onion, chopped/sliced/diced/carved into a scary face
  • 6oz leftover pork tenderloin, sliced into thin pieces (mine was grilled and then I trimmed the crispy edges off-but you might want to keep em’)
  • dash of ground ginger
  • few shakes of red pepper flakes (shake n’ flake. Yeah? Anybody?)

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (still more than enough sodium)
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Whisk this sauce like crazy! Get that cornstarch mixed in there.

So that’s it for this update! I am off to make my breakfast before I go to the barn with Madelyne. I am in for a busy day today! Maybe I will stop in tomorrow to post about my Saturday because I am sure I will need a break from studying, but I know I am not reliable so no promises haha!

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Wahhh :( Why did today have to come? (& Pork Stuffed Acorn Squash)

I was kind of dreading today… The weather was returning to yucky cold rain and we had to say our goodbyes to Madelyne and Matt. We won’t see them again till sometime in the summer so it was kind of depressing. I always have so much fun with them, even if we are doing everything I do on a daily basis, they make it more exciting. Wahhh! At least I will have people at work to keep me entertained.

We had a late start to breakfast this morning. I still made a good portion though: double oatmeal + banana and blueberries, egg with spinach and red peppers, and a chai latte. Image

Before I knew it we were getting ready to go into Durham for lunch before we said our goodbyes. We went to Bull City Burgers and Brewery which is right across the street from Monut’s. I love the atmosphere of ALL of these local downtown restaurants. So cool.ImageImage Since I was still pretty full from breakfast I just ordered the vegetarian white chili. It was so spicy, which is just the way I like it! I loved it and would absolutely get it again.Image

After lunch we went our separate ways, Maddie and Matt back to PA and my mom and I off to run errands. That morning we made a list of groceries based on sales and planned our dinners for the week. So we went to Harris Teeter and Costco, then went to Staples to get some things for my dad’s office. We also stopped at Food Lion to get my dad cottage cheese since he claims H.T.’s tastes different and not as good haha. Oh, by the way, my dad is doing AWESOME! He is just a few pounds away from reaching his goal. He just had a check up and his blood levels are wayyyy down which is a good thing! The doctor said he could even stop taking his blood pressure medicine completely! He is going to wait till after tax season to do that though. The doctor said in the 14 years he has been practicing, my dad was the fifth person he has ever seen who has had made such a huge change for the better. That makes me so happy!

When I got home I crashed. The rain had me feeling lazy so I hit the couch and snuggled with my cat as I watched TV. It felt nice to relax and do nothing. When 5 o’clock rolled around I fixed my snack. I made a berry (strawberry, blackberry, blueberry) smoothie that I had with greek yogurt, pretzels and trail mix.Image I like my green smoothie much better. I felt kind of gross after eating that big of a snack, but I thought of my values and pulled myself back over from the dark side haha.

My mom and I worked on dinner together. She was in charge of the side dish of veggies and I worked on the main dish.ImageImage I made pork stuffed acorn squash and it was heavenly!

Pork Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and deseeded
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 dashed cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 slices bread, cut into cubes

Roast the squash at 350 for 50 minutes. In a skillet, cook the pork, celery and onions.ImageWhen browned/tender drain the fat and add the seasonings. Cook another minute and then add the applesauce and bread cubes. Mix together and then spoon into squash and bake an additional 20 minutes.Image Eat up! Image

This upcoming week is going to be very very busy, but I hope it is a good one!

Stuck Day

Hellooo!

Last night’s snack

For my snack last night I had one of my creations. I made mini key lime pies using silken tofu! I wanted to do a little experimenting of my own with tofu desserts so I could have an idea of the flavor of something I can easily make for my client. Of course, my client can’t have this because of the acidity of the lime juice and the gluten in the crusts, but now I know that the other ingredients can make it so you don’t even know you are eating tofu! I wish the pictures were better, but with it being night and all the flash on my camera doesn’t do it justice. ImageImage

Mini key lime pies

  • 1 package lite silken tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup fresh key lime juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Keebler mini graham crusts (6)
  • Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and thick then pour into crusts and place in the freezer. Wait at least 2 hours and serve.

Stuck Day

This morning my mom came and woke me up to tell me that I wasn’t going to work today. The area was expected to get ice/freezing rain/snow starting around noon and she didn’t want me to drive old blue into Durham and then me stuck there. I was actually looking forward to going to work today, but my boss reassured me that it was ok. After laying in bed for a while I got up and began my day stuck at home. For breakfast I made a big bowl of oatmeal topped with pistachios and a variety of berries, a grape tomato, green pepper and feta scramble and a chai latte. Image

I went crazy in the kitchen. For some reason there were ants infiltrating the perimeter (reference to a movie, virtual high five if you can guess it!) so I went on an ant murdering rampage with 409. Then I did dishes, cleaned and then organized the pantry.ImageImageImageImage Once I finished with the kitchen I took to the couch to do some reading from Eating Mindfully. I read the entire section on mindfulness of the mind and learned some very good tips.

For lunch I made black bean and cheese chimis, carrots, a pear and greek yogurt. It was very yummy!Image After lunch I put a skim coat on a section of my wall. My dad was kind enough to stop on his way home from work to get me the supplies I needed. Once I applied it the waiting began. It turns white when it is dry. A few hours later and it is almost ready to be sanded! I worked on sanding my other three walls to get rid of the unevenness from spackle and from old paint drips. It felt good to finally get started on my walls!ImageSee the two lines?Image

I relaxed a little on the couch with my mom, searching on Pinterest for color ideas for my room. Then I got started on my vision board! I think it will be a continuous process of making additions to it. Image

For my snack I had an almond butter sandwich and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing.Image For dinner my mom made turkey burgers, sweet potato fries and peppers and onions. It was yummy, and it all came from the freezer! Image

I would say that is has been a very productive day! Much better than my other days when I have been stuck at home due to weather! Tomorrow I plan to finish sanding my walls and I wouldn’t mind getting it primed! That might be far fetched considering I have my appointments with Mary and Lori, but I can try can’t I?

Hope you had a great Monday 🙂

Sunset Miles

Yesterday after work I came home and got right to it! I was thinking about going to the gym with my dad to do my run on a treadmill, but decided to stay home and run outside before the weather turned frigid again. Plus my dad was only going to do a light workout so I didn’t want to keep him there longer than necessary since I am such a slow runner. I took off right at sunset and by the time I finished my run I could barely see the road because it was so dark. I enjoyed my 3.5 miles very much 🙂 ImageImage

I was a little bummed that it took me that long because I felt like I was going at a faster pace, but I didn’t hang my head. I haven’t calibrated my running app or anything (if that’s even possible?) so the accuracy is always questionable. Technology is advanced so it is probably right, but I am letting myself believe that there is a little room to play haha. I iced my calves afterwards and had my chocolate milk. Then I started sneezing like a crazy person. I guess I had been sneezing throughout the day, but last night I think I sneezed more than I had in the past 3 weeks combined. Then I got a runny nose. Yuck. Hopefully it is short lived because I have things to do!

Anyways, yesterday I tried to have my meals and snacks without totally relying on my bubble sheet. At this point I have it memorized so I can quickly throw things together that are pretty darn close to what I need. For breakfast I had an orange pepper scramble and a bowl of homemade granola, blueberries, raspberries and greek yogurt.Image

Homemade Granola recipe:

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients separately and then combine and make sure everything is coated evenly. Spread out on a lined baking sheet and bake at 300 for 45-50 minutes, stirring/mixing every 10 minutes to prevent burning. So simple and delicious!

At the office I had oatmeal and almonds.Image That is pretty much the only snack that I have up there in the kitchen. For lunch I had a clementine, carrots, cottage cheese, potato soup and caramel crisps. Image

On the way home from work I had a banana and an almond butter sandwich that I forgot to take a picture of, but you know what that looks like! I was actually productive at work yesterday. I got one company’s check register sorted out and am about halfway through with getting the reconciles up to date. I also put together some 1099s and addressed to be mailed out. That job was very easy haha. I attempted to do some journaling for a company, but it was so confusing. I don’t feel qualified to make some decisions that go along with that job haha. I came prepared with two books incase I was bored and without a job, but I never had to resort to them.

For dinner my dad grilled pork chops while my mom and I assembled some stuffed peppers. I stuffed them with a zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, and onion (?) mixture and quinoa. They were very good! Image

For my bedtime snack I had a pudding, trail mix, dried figs and a little chocolate cereal. Image

I woke up today still with some sneezes and stuffiness, but I am hoping that it wares off. For breakfast I made an egg, cheese, spinach and a mixture of peppers on a sandwich. With a cup of tea and a juicy clementine. Yum!Image

Today I would like to beat my sneezes. That is a silly goal and nothing I can really control, but it sure would be nice haha! It is a workday for my mom but I think she is staying home so maybe I will take that opportunity to go to the barn and ride Vinnie before the chill comes! I would love that 🙂 She had the day off yesterday so she went out to the barn since I was at work. She didn’t do anything with Vinnie, except give him treats, but she chatted with Renee and Barb and it made me miss Vinnie! I haven’t been spending nearly as much out there since Tax Season has started and with weather being cold, windy, rainy… So I am looking forward to that this morning! I also have my appointments with Mary and Lori this afternoon/evening! Busy day! Have a good one!

Day to Myself II

Happy Monday! Today I was lucky enough to stay home so I could work on sanding and do my own thing. It was a very good day, but let me begin by taking you back to last night. I made another creation using egg roll wrappers and it was SO easy and tasty. And when the ingredients are this simple, flavor can punch you in the mouth in no time at all! All I did was thinly slice an apple and top it with cinnamon. Then I folded up the edges of the wrap and popped it in the oven for 10. I made my mom one as well that she ate for breakfast this morning.Image

My breakfast this morning was another “breakfast in a bowl” (or “loaded oatmeal”) that I enjoyed with peach tea and a chai latte.Image I relaxed as I ate it and then I got to work on cleaning up the kitchen.

Mid morning I decided to make an easy fix breakfast for the upcoming week. I had all the ingredients so I made a simple spinach quiche. Image

  • 7/8 cup egg whites
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • lots of spinach
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • frozen deep dish pie shell
  • add onion and spinach to the pie shell, mix remaining ingredients and pour over veggies. Other veggies or cheese could easily be added. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Makes 6 servings

I enjoyed a slice for my morning snack and it was very delicious topped with pepper and a little hot sauce.Image

After my snack I went outside to work on our new table. There were a few small splits in the legs that I attempted to fill but I don’t think I was all that successful. I went on my 3 mile run around the neighborhood while I let the wood glue dry.Image I had my recovery chocolate milk and then got to work on sanding!Image I did the parts that I could reach. That table is way too heavy to move it by myself.

I came in and made my lunch. I cooked up chicken sausage with onions and tomatoes and added it to brown rice. I also had carrots, an apple and baked Ruffles. Image

Then I went out to the barn! I took my time grooming Vinnie and then I took him up to the arena to long line. At first he was trying to follow the rail and therefore he was doing a wimpy jog instead of a trot with his head bent to the inside. Then he got it figured out and was able to work in the circle I was asking him to work on. Then I swapped directions and things went down hill very quickly. He could figure out how to canter and not follow the rail. That resulted in lots of bending, backing up, bucking, changing directions and so on. You name it, Vinnie did it. My forearms were burning from trying to get him to listen. When he finally did what I asked of him I rewarded him by calling it quits. It was a very long lesson though. He got lots of work in and he was foaming at the bit which meant he was really trying to work hard and listen. Even when he has a bad day of work, he is still the sweetest guy ever once the pressure is off. I was able to snap a quick action picture, mostly for my benefit so I could go back to look and see how he carries himself, but here it is! Not the best picture but it’s ok.Image

When I got home I did some more sanding before relaxing and fixing my snackImageImage

We had a late dinner tonight (like past 9:15) because my dad went to the gym late and we started making dinner late. We had pork tenderloin and sweet potatoes and broccoli. Image

Week 4 and Baked Egg Roll Chimis

Today had a little bit of a spin to it. I woke up and fixed my breakfast before I threw together some things to take for my snacks and lunch. For my breakfast I made a 2 egg veggie, cheese and toast scramble. I also had a cinnamon cream cheese bagel and a glass of milk.Image For my morning snack I packed a banana and a chewy bar.Image For lunch I packed spicy veggie chili, apple, carrots and sun chips. For my second snack (which I ended up eating at home since we left early so my dad could go to a client’s in Durham) I had a greek yogurt and a Kind bar. Image

I went to work with my dad, but I did just about everything except work. When we got there I went right to work on the kitchen. I threw away all of the silverware and dishes because they were gross. I cleaned out the fridge and sprayed everything down and wiped it up. That took a little chunk if time and then my dad sent me to Food Lion to get a few things for his new healthy diet. So after I ran to Food Lion I ate my snack and then got ready to go on my run. The rain stopped and the sun was out so I jumped on the opportunity to run before the temperature dropped. I started off week 4 of my training plan for the Krispy Kreme Challenge! I ran on the paved path that goes around the baseball field at the park in Roxboro. It was a nice little loop and I really enjoyed it. Here is this week’s schedule:Image

After my run I stopped at a gas station and got a Special K shake for my post run refuel.Image I also went to the post office to pick up mail for my dad. Once I got back to the office I did the day’s puzzles and then had lunch. After lunch I vacuumed and collected all the garbage and took it to the truck. It felt good to do some cleaning up there and now that those little chores are taken care of I can be more of a help tomorrow.

At home I did a little knitting and I watched some Netflix. My mom was home earlier than usual for a Monday night but we still had a semi-late dinner. I made a delicious creation! Baked egg roll chicken chimis. Yum! ImageImage

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • egg roll wrappers
  • shredded cheese (I used mexican blend for me and fat free shredded cheddar for my parents)
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil

Method: Preheat oven to 400. Cook the ground chicken in a skillet and then added the water and seasoning. I let that cook until most of the liquid was absorbed (so the wrappers wouldn’t get soggy). Then I portioned out a serving size of cheese and chicken between each serving of egg roll wrappers. My parents had two egg roll wrappers and I had three, but the fillings were all the same amount for each of us. Place chimis on a aluminum foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Brush olive oil on top and then bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping once. Enjoy!

I might be making quite a few different egg roll creations since there are still a lot of wrappers left and the package says to use within 7 days of opening! I am excited for making some fun and tasty combinations!

I Smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Do you guys remember this throwback?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS06R_GIRYg

Travis Tritt has a few good hits out there. So that song kind of has nothing to do with anything important, but you will see later on why it popped into my head!

So last night I made dinner. It was something I just kind of created in my mind and it turned out!

Mexican Stuffed Shells

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Ingredients:

– 1 can condensed cheddar soup

– half a jar salsa or how ever much you want 😉

– 1 lb ground beef

– pasta shells

– 1 large can enchilada sauce

Directions: Boil water and cook shells as directed on the box. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Add the cheese soup and salsa and heat thoroughly. In a large casserole dish add half the enchilada sauce. Then stuff as many shells as you can and place them on the enchilada sauce. When the dish is full add the rest of the sauce and then pop it in the oven to heat it through. I suggest putting foil over it. I didn’t put any foil and the shells got a little over cooked. They were still great though! Top with any of your favorite mexican toppings or have a nice salad on the side. Or both!

I watched Thursday night television and relaxed on the couch. Then for my snack I had a glass of milk with pretzels and chocolate hazelnut butter. Great combo!Image

I think someone sleep walks in our house… When I woke up this morning the hallway closet door was open (this closet is right outside my bedroom) and when I went to bed last night I am pretty sure it was closed… Mysteries of the Crum house…

I did lay in bed for a while before I fixed my breakfast. I had a spinach omelet over a bagel with cheese and hot sauce. I also had a chai latte 🙂 Image

Then I unpackaged our new sander and got to work on my project!Image I had to line up all the pieces of wood for the shelving and then clamp them together so I could make sure they all were the exact same size. Some sides were wayyy off so it took my a long time to get them all the same size and then sanded down.Image When I finished with the edges I went inside for my snack. I had a broiled banana with Reese’s miniatures. Does the banana make the chocolate healthy or does the chocolate make the banana unhealthy? Neither! They both make each other freaking delicious. Now it is time for what made me think of that old song… this little trouble maker!Image She thinks she is a human. And then she thinks she is one of the place mats.Image After my snack I did dishes and laundry before heading out to the barn. I saw Renee and talked to her a little bit while I was brushing Vinnie. Then I lunged him and he was pretty good. The only bad thing he did was change directions when I was trying to get him to go faster. I could have prevented that by taking up the slack in the lunge line so he wouldn’t be able to spin, so I will just have to make sure I am more aware of that. Also, he always has to come to a complete stop to take care of his business. Not necessary, but I think it is impossible for him to poop while he is moving. It’s sweater weather time for the horses!Image

When I got home I fixed my lunch. I had left over mexican shells with chips and guacamole, carrots, apple, and a yogurt.Image Speaking of yogurt… Great news! I have been sad because all of the best flavors of Greek yogurt are fat free. Booo! But Mary got back to me about my question and said that it would be fine for me to do the fat free yogurt + another fat bubble as a dairy exchange. Yayyy! Now I won’t have that all the time because I have grown to love a few other yogurts that aren’t fat free, but now on those occasions when I really want a blood orange Chobani, I can have one as long as I make sure to get another fat in my plan! Once I finished eating I went back to work on my project. I started sanding the edges of the long pieces of wood, but then my dad had to come help me because we needed to make a few cuts to the wood to make it identical in size. So that took up the rest of the afternoon. I enjoyed working on it though! I got everything sanded except for one flat side on each of the shelves. We are making sure we get everything done as nicely as possible. I am hoping to have this all finished by the end of the weekend!

I came in and had an original vanilla Boost. Let me tell you, those things can be filling! Now that I am all cleaned up we are going to go out for our Friday Night Dinner! It is my turn to pick a new place and I have one in mind, I hope it is good! I made sure they had Bud Light to please my parents hahaha. I am trying to find fun ways to help me with my fears. I am starting to get back to my old (new old?) self and it feels amazing! I hope everyone else had a wonderful Friday and is ready for the weekend!