Friday, September 28, 2012

my less serious day: tick tock #2

I'm an academic, which means that the structure of my days is completely up to me and changes depending on what I'm working on and how many meetings I have scheduled. I spent this entire day working on one of my research grant proposals (exciting, I know). I thought I'd change things up and take you through a day in my life with my second 'tick tock' my less serious day post (check out my first [very different] tick tock post here).

6:00 AM. Woke up.

6:00 - 7:00 AM. Fed the dog, made coffee, uploaded my blog post, checked e-mails/pinterest/facebook, and read blogs in my PJ's at the dining room table.

@6:36 AM. Breakfast Phase I: All Bran, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs, 1/2 banana, and cow's milk.

7:00 - 11:00 AM. Worked on my research grant proposal at home while sitting at the dining room table in my PJ's and drinking black coffee and water. Because this kind of writing is a painful task, I take plenty of pinterest/twitter/walking/blog breaks. This is my (somewhat unconventional) writing process and I've learned to embrace it.

@7:27 AM. Breakfast Phase II: All Bran, Kashi Simply Maize, 1/2 banana, and cow's milk.

@10:21 AM. Mid-morning snack: Gala apple.  Followed by a 15-minute walk around the block with my pup.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM. Workout: 35-minute stationary bike ride + cool-down walk with the pup. Followed by showering, gym-bag packing, lunch-bag packing, getting dressed (finally), and driving down the street to my office.

@12:11 PM. Got Dressed. Jeans: Gap; tank and sweater: Banana outlet; blazer: Target; shoes: Miz Mooz.

12:30 - 4:45 PM. Worked on my research proposal in my office and one afternoon meeting.

@1:45 PM. Lunch: a romaine lettuce salad with grape tomatoes, carrots, raw zucchini, cottage cheese, raw almonds, Craisins, and balsamic vinegar.

@2:38 PM. Afternoon Snack Phase I: carrots sticks and peanut butter. I've learned that depending on what I'm working on - I get really snacky (i.e., bored and desperate to procrastinate) in the afternoon. On days like this I try to break my afternoon snacks up into multiple eating sessions.

@3:37 PM. Afternoon Snack Phase II: 100-calorie pack kettle corn.

4:45 - 5:30 PM. Drove to the gym and changed into workout gear.

5:30 - 6:30 PM. Workout: 60-minute Body Pump class.

6:30 - 8:00 PM. Drove home, chatted with the neighbor, did the dishes, showered, and put PJ's on. Cooked dinner while catching up with the boyfriend.

8:00 - 10:00 PM. Relaxed on the couch with the boyfriend, ate dinner and snack, watched Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Top Chef Masters. I usually pass out on the couch about 9:45 and miss the end of my favorite shows...

@8:09 PM. Dinner: leftover spinach and cheese quinoa casserole and roasted eggplant.

@9:00 PM. Dessert: Envirokidz Koala Crispies, ricotta cheese, and whipped cream.

10:00 PM. Goodnight. 

And that, my friends, was all you ever wanted to know and more about my less serious day on Wednesday, September 26.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 51

You know those days where you just can't stop eating? Today was one of those days. It happens...

Figure 1. Breakfast (so early it was in the dark): a bowl (x2) of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs, a sliced banana, and cow's milk.

(un-pictured mid-morning snack: honey Greek yogurt and fruit, stolen from a work meeting.)

Figure 2. Lunch: a romaine lettuce salad with grape tomatoes, raw zucchini, carrots, green onions, cottage cheese, balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds, and a drizzle of agave nectar. Carrot sticks with peanut butter on the side.

Figure 3. Unintentional post-lunch snack: homemade frosted spiced pear cake. I couldn't help myself.

Figure 4. Afternoon snack: Kashi Simply Maize cereal and homemade roasted almonds.

(un-pictured afternoon snack 2: a bag of pretzels from the work vending machine.)

Figure 5. Dinner (courtesy of the boyfriend): bbq chicken tenders, a baked sweet potato with cinnamon, and roasted green beans.

 Figure 6. Dessert: one of Amanda's delicious chocolate chip oatmeal muffins, warmed and melty and topped with a spoonful of ricotta cheese and a drizzle of agave nectar.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, September 25).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

my less serious home: family room

You may remember that I recently moved into my first home. I also recently gave up my fear of letting hundreds of complete strangers see my private (and un-tidy) personal space by sharing my new kitchen. 

Turns out, you guys loved seeing my space. And, although this makes me mildly uncomfortable, it also makes me happy. So, today I share with you: the family room (disclaimer: it is a work in progress).

I could have arranged the pillows for you and put away the dish from my previous night's 2-minute chocolate peanut butter cake indulgence...but, ya know...

 Figure 1. Remember the kitchen? Well I'm standing in it taking this photo over the bar towards the living room. The door at the back of the room leads to the hallway with the bedrooms. On the left are glass doors leading towards the screened in porch and back yard.

 Figure 2. Ok, ok. The red couch clashes miserably with the red wall. I get it. I'm on the hunt for a modern, neutral sofa (suggestions?). I can't find the perfect one so instead I bought these kick-ass pillows from IKEA and this ABSOLUTELY AMAZING coffee table from West Elm.

 Figure 3. Close up of the coffee table (and dirty dish). Yesssss. So you thought it was awesome, but you didn't know that it actually LIFTS UP SO YOU CAN EAT OFF OF IT AND WATCH TV LIKE A TRUE LAZY AMERICAN. Bazinga.

Figure 4. Here's a picture of it in action on Saturday night with a side of quinoa casserole.

 Figure 5. Ok, clearly I need a new TV. This is fairly embarrassing, I know. My Grandma visited this weekend and told me she even has multiple flat screens. But, when it comes to making granola or going TV shopping, granola wins every time.

 Figure 6. To the left of the TV sites the doors to the screened-in porch and my back yard. A screened in porch was on my wish list - and I got it. I am lucky.

More spaces to come...

Monday, September 24, 2012

weekend review: plan B

Figure 1. Saturday night's dinner: spinach and cheese quinoa casserole and a Greek-inspired salad (spinach, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, feta, and a homemade Greek vinaigrette). I try and make new recipes to entertain you guys, but the boyfriend will NOT stop asking for me to make this quinoa casserole - so I gave in (happily, might I add, because it is delicious and easy).

PS - I'm starting a homemade salad dressing series. You guys asked for it (indirectly). Get.freakin'.ready.

Figure 2. Saturday night microwaving: this 2-minute chocolate peanut butter cake. And, sorry folks, the picture is blurry because the cake was steaming with chocolately goodness and I only snapped one picture before i dove in...

Figure 3. Sunday morning baking: this delicious frosted spiced pear cake.

And....come Sunday night I had the intentions of making dinner. A delicious breakfast-inspired dinner at that. And then, I drank a [high gravity] pumpkin beer (Southern Tier Pumpking) and decided all I wanted was NOT to cook and to eat an unreasonably large salad and handful after handful of Quaker Oatmeal squares followed by slices of pear cake. Plan B, folks. Plan B.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

my less serious day: wisdom

I was driving home from work when I saw this old man standing frozen in his yard leaning on his shovel. It wasn't until I saw the voluminous smile on his face and his eyes gazing upward that I realized he had stopped his work to enjoy the setting sun.


Jeans: Gap; top: LOFT; necklace: JCrew outlet; flatforms: Blowfish.


Late this morning I went on a 30-minute run at working pace. After work I hit the gym for a 60-minute spin class. I also included two 10-minute walks during the day.


Breakfast was a bowl (x2) of Post Shredded Wheat, Rice Chex, banana, and cow's milk

Mid-morning snack was a pear.

Lunch was a spinach salad with grape tomatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, cottage cheese, balsamic vinegar, and agave nectar.

My afternoon snack was a carrot sticks dipped in peanut butter and pretzels.

Dinner was leftover pasta with oven-roasted eggplant, goat cheese, and mint and roasted green beans.

Dessert was Cascadiam Farms vanilla-almond granola with peanuts.

Note: this post represents what happened in my world on Tuesday, September 18. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 50

Today is my 50th WIAW anniversary. I think that means you guys have to buy me gold. Gold or Arctic Zero - I'll accept either.

Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl (x2) of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Rice Chex, a sliced banana, and cow's milk.

Figure 2. Lunch: a spinach and arugula salad with grape tomatoes, dates, peanuts, balsamic vinegar, and tahini thinned with milk and apple cider vinegar.

Figure 3. Afternoon snack: double homemade whammy - homemade high-protein almond butter granola and homemade smoked-paprika almonds.

Figure 4. Dinner: an egg scramble (1 egg + 2 egg whites) with zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and red bell peppers, sharp white cheddar cheese and two pieces of Ezekiel toast (I buy 7 Sprouted Grains) with Earth Balance soy-free spread.

Figure 5. Dessert: dulce de leche sugar-free pudding (Jello brand) with fat-free cool whip. PS I always add more cool whip after I photograph...

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Monday, September 17).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I sat down this weekend to work on my blog and quickly realized that i've got nothing.

Nothing but,

an overflowing dish-drying rack that needs emptying;

a full laundry basket that needs put away;

a bored pup that needs love;

and a pair of running shoes that needs to hit the pavement.

Monday, September 17, 2012

weekend review: food is life

What did you do this weekend?

Me? I cooked. I ate. I lived.

Figure 1. Friday night's dinner: pasta with oven roasted eggplant, goat cheese, and mint and a spinach salad with a homemade honey-lime vinaigrette.

Figure 2. Saturday morning baking: Amanda's oatmeal muffins - half with Enjoy Life 'chocolate' chips and half with dates.

Figure 3. Saturday afternoon baking: smoked paprika roasted almonds. So much better than the pre-roasted/flavored kind.

Figure 4. Saturday night's dinner, courtesy of M: maple-mustard chicken thighs (subbing coconut aminos for soy sauce), mashed red potatoes, and grilled asparagus. This is one of our favorite chicken recipes!

Figure 5. Sunday night's dinner: chickpea potpie with cornbread crust and an arugula salad with corn, avocado, and a homemade red pepper-tomato vinaigrette.

Question: I've been into making my own salad dressings lately. Anyone interested in the recipes? They are usually simple variations of ones I find online. Comment if you care!

Friday, September 14, 2012

special issue: colliding worlds

I tend to be fairly anonymous on my less serious life, but today, whether I'm ready or not, my two worlds collide.

Academic life, meet my my blog life. Blog life, meet my academic life.

Little did you know, dear blog readers, that before I began my less serious life, I went to school (for many years). They ended up giving me all these degrees and diplomas. Go figure.

Amongst other things, my research focuses on cancer outcomes and I somehow sparked the interest of the lovely folks at the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR).

I'm not sure if it was my serious research publications, or my less serious blog ramblings, but they kindly asked me to write a guest post for their blog. I hope you'll go and check it out and learn a little bit more about me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 49

I can't believe you guys aren't sick of seeing my food yet...

  Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl (x2) of All Bran, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs, a sliced banana, and cow's milk.

Figure 2. Lunch out with the boy: a spinach salad with tart apples, candied pecans, and blue cheese, dressed with lemon and olive oil. A slice of house-made honey whole wheat toast on the side.

Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a Gala apple and smoked almonds.

Figure 4. Dinner: a random concoction of leftover wild rice, roasted eggplant and grape tomatoes, spinach, smoked almonds, and Italian dressing.

Figure 5. Dessert: homemade high-protein almond butter granola. Yums.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, September 11).