Pumpkin things.

But is a just me, or are things getting a little out-of-hand with the pumpkin everything thing?

I get it, it’s fall, and I think fall is one of the most wonderful seasons in the whole world.  Especially when the sun is out, which I haven’t really witnessed since fall began in North Carolina.  But the temps are a little cooler, I’ve been able to run without feeling like I’m going to vomit, and overall, I think this fall thing is a win.

Except…I went to a meeting early yesterday morning, and would you look at what I found.

Pumpkin PieThere, amongst all the asparatamey sweetness that is Yoplait (no shade to Yoplait, I used to like drink this stuff until I discovered Fage), was a Pumpkin Pie flavored yogurt as one of our breakfast options.  So obviously, I had to taste it.  I mean, what is the argument here.  I like pumpkin pie, I like yogurt.  But this was a major, major fail, and this, along the vast collection of pumpkin-flavored things to grace our Food Lion shelves over the last month, has just got to stop.

I have a confession to make.  I don’t care for the pumpkin spice latte (PSL).  I don’t care for pumpkin filled Oreos.  I don’t want pumpkin spice hummus.  Truthfully, the furthest I was ever willing to go was with pumpkin bread.  And pumpkin cheesecake, that too.  The rest of it?  I’m just not here for.

I’m sorry.

Does that make me grumpy?

Sunday Coffee Date

I didn’t blog much yesterday, and I missed you guys.  Let’s not do that again, okay?  Also, if you could follow me on Bloglovin?  That would be absolutely swell 🙂

Follow on Bloglovin
Anyhoo, I’m here at Starbucks, sipping on some tea, and Oprah is smiling at me from her perch on the bookshelves over there.  You think I’m kidding, right?

Oprah.jpg

Now I’m gonna say this.  I’m really not sure why Oprah ever decided to partner with Starbucks, like it literally makes no sense.  But I really enjoy the random inspirational quote that comes on my sleeve of tea every now and again.  And once again Oprah is touching lives.  How does she do it?

As a side note, I totally had to ask for the special Oprah sleeve because they only had the boring brown ones out, and I couldn’t foresee getting any working done without Mama Oprah’s insight.

Oprah sleeve.jpg

She be deep.

So we’re on this virtual coffee date, right?

If we were on a virtual coffee date, I would tell you the following in the course of our conversation.

//I just dropped Coco off to the groomer’s (she desperately needed it), and it was kinda sad to let a stranger, albeit a very nice stranger, take her out of my arms.  She gave me this look, like I was betraying her to leave her with strangers!  I gave her a kiss and told her that her mama loves her.

10176038_10100314959390833_1017502743551108450_n

She realllly really needed it though, things were getting ridiculous.

//IAustin’s been gone since Thursday at his younger sister’s graduation from pharmacy school, and for some reason, when that happens, since I know I won’t be seeing Austin for a few days, I take it as free license to not shower and let my house get really gross.  I’m not sure why I do that.

//I’m gonna go for  a run today for the first time in like a week.  I’ve of course been keeping up with my workouts, and they’ve varied from Zumba to Yoga to Body Pump, but for some reason, my body was really asking me for a break from running.  I’m not sure why, but I listened, and I think I’m ready to do a short distance this evening.

//I’m getting really excited about our wedding.  If you couldn’t tell that.  I think what excites me (besides the fact that I obviously get to marry Austin and hang out with him forever), is that I get to get all of my closest friends and family in the same place, and it’s for a happy occasion.

//I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.  I go to work, I work out, I blog, and teach classes, and finding time to do things I used to do, like paint my nails, or take an occasional bath, is not a luxury I really have any more.  But it is teaching me to be a little more efficient with my time, so every single thing doesn’t go to pot while I’m focused on certain things.  No, my house isn’t the cleanest, and I’m not the most organized, but I’m definitely making it work,

//I feel like something really big is going to happen to me this week, and I’m not sure why I feel like that, but I will let you know.

What you would tell me if we were on a coffee date with one another? 

Starbucks.

Am I starting to get over Starbucks?

I never thought I’d see that day, but after I read this article at the Skinny Confidential, I kinda started to back off the Fraps.  To be clear, I’ve always done the best I can to skinny my frap, but reading this, I was really over the concept of spending like $5 on something that was packed with a ton of fake sugars and crap that my body didn’t want to digest.

I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to get my caffeine, but I do know this.

photo

Two weeks ago, I changed my normal order (nonfat latté with two Splendas) and went for a venti iced nonfat caramel latté.  A few hours later, I started to feel horribly ill.  My head hurt, throbbed even.  I felt nauseated, and definitely was experiencing symptoms that felt a little like food poisoning.  I didn’t think anything of it, but drank as much water as possible, and kinda suffered through the next two days.

So I did a little experiment.

The middle of last week, I ordered the exact same thing, had a bottle of Aleve at the ready, and waited.  And the same. Thing. Happened.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but something with that caramel flavoring takes me from 0-runners trots and I will avoiding that order for the rest of the foreseeable future.

Anyone else have a food that you literally not stomach?

Starbucks + Alcohol. Dream come true, or nightmare on Elm Street?

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard.  Starbucks, coffee behemoth, is going to start to serve alcohol nationwide.

Is this idea a good one, or is a total nightmare?

Well, as you know, I’ve been a fan of Starbucks simply for the fact that you can find one virtually anywhere that you are in the world, and their coffee is, at the very least, decent.  But when Starbucks announced on their website last week that they’d be serving alcohol, I definitely raised an eyebrow.  Here’s what they had to say about it. 

The place you love during the day now has more reasons to love it at night.

We’ve always been your neighborhood spot where you can take a moment to unwind, grab a well-deserved treat, and meet up with friends. But sometimes, you just want a glass of wine and a delicious bite to eat without going to a bar or making a restaurant reservation.

Say hello to a new way to enjoy Starbucks after 4 p.m. Drop in after work, with friends, after yoga, by yourself, after a long day or after a great day.

The food is amazing. The wine selection is simple and smart. The chairs are just as comfortable as they are in the morning.

We hope to see you soon.

637ef1ececf240ed9e41ea0ba6325d7c
via Starbucks

My main reservation? The food at Starbucks is literally so bad, so how good could their wine be?  I love wine the same way I love scones – is Starbucks looking for a way to ruin everything that I love?

I’m interested to try the wine, maybe pair it with some food I haven’t tried before, and let you all know what I think, but suffice it to say that Mama is skeptical about the coffee giant’s latest additions to their growing menu. 

Oh P.S. wanna hear a new take on Starbucks?  Visit The Skinny Confidential and read on why she switched off her Starbucks addiction.  Really, really interesting!

Virtual Coffee Date

photo 1I think I stole this idea from Skinny Runner, but we’re on a coffee date right now, on this beautiful Sunday morning, so let’s chat about all of the things, okay?

+Austin and I went to a really cool thing yesterday, which I will be blogging about all tomorrow, and we’re both very very nervous because we’re not nervous about our wedding.  Seriously, a bride told use that she’s started drinking because she’s so nervous about her November wedding, and now I’m scared that I’m not nervous enough.

+My brother is amazing.  He got into NC State yesterday, and I’m kinda hoping he goes there so we  an hang out all the time.

+Speaking of my brother.  He’s an amazing rapper, and here’s his latest.


Vote for it, my brother is trying to win $2500 with some friends, and I really love the song/video, and I’d LOVE it if you could help him out.

+We went to Chili’s yesterday, which we don’t normally do, but I was able to find a really good salad, the Caribbean Salad with shrimp, and dressing on the side.  Really really really good, and not all that bad for you 🙂

What would you tell me if you were on this coffee date with me?

My week in food.

I promised last week that I’d send what a week in my diet looked like.  I don’t break promises, so here goes!

Friday

  • Breakfast: A banana, almond milk, and peanut butter smoothie.  This is one of my favorite breakfasts to make because it tastes like a total treat.
  • Lunch:  Easy!  A salad with broccoli slaw and balsamic vinaigrette.  I garnished it with some feta cheese.
  • Dinn:  I went really lazy with this one.  I had a butternut squash soup that I bought from Harris Teeter.
  • Snacks:  Fage total split cup, a rice krispies treat, and green seedless grapes.  Not all at the same time.  Duh.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: A monster trail mix bar and green seedless grapes.
  • Lunch:  A creation that I like to call a zesty rice bowl.  I make yellow saffron rice, combine it with black beans, corn, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream.  It’s delightful, and super cheap, especially for students.
  • Dinner: The samsies!  I had some left over.
  • Snacks:  The Fage total split cup, a grande latte with skim and two splenda, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Sunday

  • Brunch: French toast, and fruit.  About 1000 mimosas.  Sorry not sorry.

photo (12)

Monday

  • Breakfast:  I’m a creature of habit – I went for that same banana peanut butter smoothie.
  • Lunch: I had more zesty rice bowl left over.  So I ate that!  Cheap!
  • Dinner:  This.
photo 1 (4)
This is all vegetarian. Broccoli (which I inhaled), chicken fried tofu, and vegetarian mac and cheese. There was enough for me to eat for lunch again the next day.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: My same naner smoothie and a large latte with skim.
  • Lunch:  Half of the dinner from the night before.
  • Dinner:  I was craving breakfast for dinner, so I made an egg and cheese sandwich on wheat, and baked some new potatoes (the little baby ones) in lieu of fried hash browns.  I love making comfort food a little lighter, and breakfast is definitely my comfort.
  • Snacks:  Before my workout, I made the nastiest concoction of beans – black beans, corn, and salsa.  I called it a bean salad.  I’m gross, I know.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast:  An Amy’s breakfast burrito.  Have you had these?  So good.

000072

  • Lunch:  Okay, today was a bad day.  I had another Amy’s burrito.
  • Dinner:  I went for the breakfast for dinner again. Yum!
photo 3 (2)
Two fresh eggs from my future sister-in-law!

Thursday

  • Breakfast:  A large latte with skim and two Splenda, and an egg and cheese on whole wheat.
  • Lunch:  Lunch was BORING.  Just another salad, with feta, Gardein, and broccoli slaw.
  • Dinner: This
photo 4 (3)
A Whole Foods Southern meal! Some BBQ Tofu, brown rice, a teeny bit of mac & cheese, and a corn fritter.

A week in my boring meals. They may be boring and repetitive, but they keep me moving.  What is your diet like throughout the week?  Anything that you consistently eat?  Anything that you won’t consistently eat?  

My Day At Epcot

So you guys know I’ve been traveling.  I went to visit my youngest sister, who works for Disney, and she’s been begging me for months to come out to visit.  I finally did it, and I’m so glad.

I got a full night of sleep, napped with the dog, and finally made it out for a run.

IMG_1907

First things – Florida was supposed to be really warm. And it was last night when it came in. But when I exited the apartment to walk the dog, it was like 40 degrees. Also, my bra was out. Lovely. I am really classing Florida up. Also the fashions here are SO questionable.

IMG_1908

The favorite purple jacket came with me to Florida, and thank goodness, because it came in handy on the run.

IMG_1909

Toward the end of the run, I found a “jogging” trail (I hate the word jogging, ps), and tried it out, and it was lined with that weird bouncy stuff they started to put on playgrounds in the 90s.

IMG_1910

Instead of it being a great place to run, I actually was having trouble keeping my footing, and it sort of felt like sand to run in. I’ll stick to Florida roads.

IMG_1913

Next, since it was freezing, I dug out this slouchy sweater to embark on my journey to Walgreens, as my sister had no food suitable for vegetarian grown-ups, and I’d forgotten my toothbrush. As cute as I look, I had not brushed my teeth at this point.

IMG_1916

The family dog was in tow, and just as sweet as I remembered her. Gah, I truly love animals more than human beings sometimes.

IMG_1918

Next, my sister took me to Epcot, which I haven’t been to since I was 16, and on a choir trip.

IMG_1919

I insisted she take me to the nearest Starbucks, and it was literally the most insane Starbucks I have ever been in. People from every country, speaking in every language, and I can honestly say I have never been in a Starbucks so crowded in my life.

IMG_1920

Kimmy knew I would love anything having to do with Michael Jackson, so we waited to see this Captain E.O. show which featured Michael Jackson in 3-D. The movie finished up with “Another Part of Me” from ‘Bad,’ and we were probably the only two to clap at the end.

IMG_1922

We rode the “Finding Nemo” ride, and I got to see some dolphins, that I was so content to sit and watch for a long time.

IMG_1924

And then the big ‘ol Manatees, who just ate lettuce all day long.

IMG_1925

The Manatees were rescues, one was an orphan, the other was injured and his poor tail was chopped by a boat. They both were so sweet to watch.

IMG_1925

Can you tell I stood here for a long time?

IMG_1926

Next up was some vegan beef for dinner, which cost me $20. Yikes! I paid $6.50 for a beer. Help!

IMG_1928

The beer in question.

IMG_1930

And finally, after I’d chattered with a French man who sang Stromae in the World Showcase in French and tried all the wines, we came home to find that the dog had ripped apart a candy wrapper that smelled like food.

Today was a good day.

I hope your day was good!  Happy Saturday you guys!  I’m feeling mushy and gushy from all this family and Disney time!

Happy Belated Christmas, folks!

I think it’s the law that the WiFi in your childhood home has to, has to, be incredibly horrid, so I’m blogging a little late from the McDonald’s a few minutes from the border of South Carolina.

I’m avoiding eye contact with like 4 youths who’ve taken an interest in me, and seem to be trying to catch my attention.  I’m wearing my headphones and pretending I can’t hear them – but nothing is really playing.

But I digress.

I hope your Christmas, or whatever you celebrate, was wonderful.  Mine was really really nice.

I started with some Redbox action with my brother upon my arrival.  We watched that Melissa McCarthy/Sandra Bullock cop movie, ‘The Heat’, which I was totally sure was gonna be hysterical, but it was honestly a little off-putting.  There wasn’t a minute in the movie that you didn’t hear the f-word.  Now don’t get me wrong, I totally live for some some dirty language, but it was really too much for my delicate sensibilities.

Christmas Day, I woke up, and once we got everyone up, we started opening presents.  The fan fave?  This:

Soda Stream

The Soda Stream!  My pops, like me, is a huge fan of some seltzer, and we got into making a few glasses before we even started breakfast.  My dad kept looking at his glass and saying, “This is amazing!”

So I’m pretty sure I went with the right choice.

So knowing that I’d be probably indulging in a few more cookies than I usually do, I made sure to hit the run in some way, shape, or form a few times while here at home.  So when I was sent out for our Christmas dinner, some key Chinese dishes (veggie lo mein, sesame chicken for my brother, and general tso’s chicken for my dad), I put in the order, and left the restaurant on foot to make sure that I wouldn’t make an excuse to skip my run.  I ran around the back of the building….and right onto a golf course.

Golf 1

Seriously.  I ran, and found myself on a golf course, and it almost looked like another planet, with the amount of balls (hee hee) that were back there.

Golf 2

Like, doesn’t that look just like Mars or something?  So my quick run turned into one that was a little longer, around a local golf course as the sun went down.

Golf 3As predicted, I ate a few more cookies than I planned to before I went to bed last night and watched some Sherlock Holmes with my brother, so this morning, I hit it again, with some time on the treadmill, followed by some time spent with weights.

Some of today’s highlights?

  • I got to be lazy, aside from my workout, which was fabulous.
  • I used the Starbucks gift card that my mom got me!
  • I went to the Whole Foods in Charlotte, and they have a wine bar there.  A glass was on special for like $3.00, so of freaking course I indulged!  I also walked around, picked some produce with my mom, ate lunch from the hot bar, and got some handmade soap, which is super spensive, but awesome.
  • And I found my wedding dress today!  I’m keeping it super secret, otherwise, I’d post a little pictorial evidence for you.

So onword and upword!  Next up!  New Years!

What are your New Years plans?  Any running related ones?

La Boulange blows (at Starbucks)

So you guys know, I’m like super serious about my coffee right?  Ever since I’ve started to experience some GI issues, I’ve had to switch to decaf, which was sort of hard, but the fact is, if I’m consuming something that could potentially burn holes into the lining of my stomach, it’s time to make some changes.

I love my Starbucks. To date, one of the best gifts that I’ve ever gotten came from Debbie last year.  It was a Kindle gift certificate + a Starbucks gift card.  Incredible, and awesome on the budget, cause my budgeting software didn’t have to know that I was still visiting Starbucks at least once a week.

So, the food at Starbucks has always sucked.  That’s just a given, you don’t go the Starbucks to enjoy their scones and rice krispies treats right?

So I was delighted when I heard that Starbucks had worked out a huge deal with La Boulange, a popular bakery in San Francisco, and that they’d be bringing those treats to their stores.  I’d heard great things about La Boulange, so why wouldn’t it be great?  Well leave it to a huge corporation to screw it up.

Boulange

Finally, La Boulange made it to a store near me, here in Raleigh.  I figured, if for nothing else, let me try this food to try to report to my sweet blog followers what I’d found.  Okay.  I ordered one of those croissant things with the like treat cooked into the middle.  I went with a tomato-y and cheese one.  It was prior to nutrition facts being posted, and I couldn’t find them online, so I took my best educated guess as to what my best option was.

It was so gross.  Not a little gross, it was super nasty.  It was soggy in the middle, and smelled like cafeteria food.  So of course, I ate it.

It was soggy.  And that’s all I need to say.  The minute I get something soggy, I’m out folks.

I’ve researched the choices Starbucks had made, as well, by checking up on the nutrition facts that they’ve posted (thank you, thank you Jesus for folks now being required to post those), and it’s awful.  Barely anything under 300 calories, and the one “healthy” item?  The reduced fat pumpkin cream cheese loaf which weighs in with 10g of fat and 34g of sugar?  Uhhh, no thanks, I’m totally good.

Long story short, I’m sure La Boulange is awesome.  I love boulangeries, and I actually worked in a bakery for some time after grad school.  I have nothing against delicious treats.  But when someone comes in and perverts them?  Oh yes, we’ve got big problems.