Keep ’em Interested

The hardest part about wanting to blog every day is feeling like I’m writing something that will actually contribute to people’s lives.  Today…not so much.  Most of today was spent takin’ care of biznass which makes for pretty boring writing.  We drove to base to run our errands and the incentive in that is this delicious sandwich! 

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You make your own sandwich, kind of like Subway, but it ends up costing less than 2 bucks. Score!

Yummm. I also managed to squeeze in a workout at home today, once again drawing inspiration from Julie’s circuit workout page. I took her Jump Rope ‘n’ Abs workout and adjusted for the equipment I had to make it look something like this: 

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And that’s all my Wednesday turned out to be!

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Aaand We’re Back!!

Mystery Science Theater, anyone?

I am so excited right now because I’m finally HOME!! After about 19 hours of travel time total, I am finally sitting in my family’s beautiful apartment in Naples, Italy and I couldn’t be happier. I got the full tour and my parents, as always, have really made this place feel like home.  My mom even checked out a book from the library from me and has it ready and waiting on my bed! Although I’m currently reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

 

It’s a great airplane/trip book but I can’t say I’m totally swept up.  Apparently it’s a pretty long series so we’ll see how far I get.  I’ll have to tend to the library book soon to avoid those overdue fees that I seem especially talented at accumulating.

I arrived in Naples at about 12:30 local time, but I’m strugglin with the sleepies! Time to get up and move around to fend them off!

Birthdays Are My Favorite

My birthday policy is go big or go home.  And for Blaine’s birthday today, we’re going big.

First off, let me send a big shout out to my mom for (1) not only throwing me and my brother the greatest birthday parties complete with amazing cakes but also for (2) keeping an amazingly well stocked kitchen, in terms of both food and equipment.  I never realized how many really cool, helpful tools my mom has until I came to school and tried to cook and bake.  Take Blaine’s birthday cake for example.

When I set out to make the cake, I didn’t know that my apartment only has one brownie-sized pan, hidden in the very belly of the kitchen. So in order to make Blaine his round, 2 layer cake I’m going to have to bake one layer and then the other, and then cut them into circles. But I am not phased! Completely… We’ll see how it goes.

I baked the cake layers last night and the rest of the cake will (hopefully) come together at Blaine’s sister’s this afternoon when we get ready to throw him a big 2-0 birthday  bash! The cake was incredibly easy to make, thanks to my friend Duncan Hines

It really is moist

It really is moist

I’m usually opposed to baking things out of boxes, but Duncan Hines makes the best cake mixes, plus I was a little short on time to make something from scratch.  The icing is a different story! That’s going to be handmade mocha icing folks, and I am too pumped to lick the beaters after I make that food of the gods. I’ll post again soon showing the final setup for the big bash!

Cravings

The past 15 hours or so have been full of cravings for me. When the weather starts getting warm (86 yesterday, 82 today wahoo!!!!) my imagination goes crazy and I always set out a million new plans for myself. Last night Blaine and I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to look at some casual tennis shoes for Blaine.  Looking at work out gear never ends cheaply for me, but with the warm weather and the impending half marathon, I found myself lusting after more merchandise than normal. Like these Pilates bands! 

I’ve never really been into any exercise classes like that, but all the sudden it really struck my fancy. Anybody out there a Pilates fan? I think I might try a class at my university’s gym and see how that goes.

After grocery shopping for cake supplies (Blaine’s birthday is tomorrow and I am way too excited.  I love birthdays!) we came home to make a quick dinner. Blaine whipped a Trader Joe’s ‘mixed grain with garden vegetable’ frozen dinner.  We usually prefer to cook from scratch, but we’d heard good things about this dinner so we gave it a whirl.  Blaine also added some basil pesto sausage which was killer good.

Stole this image from simplyshaka.wordpress.com

I really enjoyed the dinner, but it would not have been the same without that sausage.  mmm mmm good!

Finished product

Finished product

All those grains last night really had me in the mood for oatmeal this morning.  Since I didn’t have any of the classic Quaker, I pulled out my McCann’s Irish Oats to see how much work that would involve. In hindsight I probably should’ve made an overnight oat recipe like this one, which I’ve been dying to try out. Since I missed the overnight oat boat, I decided to make classic Irish oatmeal and add some walnuts and honey to the bowl.

Waking up early pays off!

Waking up early pays off!

This bowl was made extra special because my mom sent me some fancy Italian honey, which I was very gracious with 🙂

Fancy honey!

Fancy honey!

Off to conquer the rest of the day!

Weekend Preview!

This weekend my team is headed for a big rugby tournament in Maryland, so I’ll be pretty busy! I hope to make it back in time to make a Southern Living dinner on Sunday, cross your fingers for me. Or as I learned in German today, press your thumb!

Yesterday was nasty weather, cold and rainy all day long.  I also thought I lost my wallet (didn’t), temporarily lost my University card (kind samaritan found it), thought I failed a German test (the computer miscalculated), and found out I’ll be driving the big van to the tournament this weekend (not happy). So obviously I had to pull out the stops in personal pampering in order to cheer myself up.

Hello hot chocolate with extra whipped cream from Starbucks! Blaine says he thinks the barista was a rookie because it didn’t taste as creamy as previous hot chocolates, but I thought it hit the spot.

Blaine got a vanilla latte to cure his rainy  blues

Blaine got a vanilla latte to cure his rainy blues

Next stop: Dunkin’ Donuts. Ever since they put in a Dunkin’ close to school, Blaine and I have been buying donuts like it’s our job.  We’re not going to have these metabolisms forever, we gotta enjoy it! My personal favorite is strawberry frosted with sprinkles.

Me, regularly.

That cured the blues until I took that unfortunate German test, which led to my next go-to cure: pancakes.  Pancakes are my favorite food in the world.  And Cracker Barrel does them best.  Every time I go I order Mama’s Pancake Breakfast, which consists of 3 perfectly crispy buttermilk pancakes, 2 eggs I request scrambled with cheese, and 3 strips of bacon.  I can never finish it but man oh man does that hit the spot.  I order it no matter the time of day and I never regret it.

Accidentally polished off the eggs before I snapped a pic..

Accidentally polished off the eggs before I snapped a pic..

 

mmmm. Up at 5 for the tourney tomorrow!