Tag: dinner

Birthday Weekend!

This past Saturday was my birthday and it was such a great day! Not only did I run the inaugural Best Damn Race 5K with hubby, but I got to spend the afternoon celebrating at one of my favorite places, Johns Pass in Madeira Beach.

We had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and after getting over the shock that they no longer have the Shrimpin’ Dippin’ Broth (WHAT?!?!?), I decided to have the Shrimp New Orleans and it was delicious. The service was not good, however, thank goodness the food made up for it… After dinner, we all had ice cream at Kilwin’s. I had the salted caramel ice cream on a waffle cone. YUM! I let myself enjoy whatever I wanted on Saturday and while it was really good as I was eating it, I didn’t feel so great afterwards – I . Was. Stuffed. But, it was still fun! Here’s the fun in photos….

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Thank you to hubby, my mom, Nick, Jenna, Autumn, Jenni, Bea, and Gene for coming out for my birthday. I love spending time with my family!


On Sunday, hubby and I went for a great walk on the Dunedin Causeway. I knew that it was approximately 5 miles all the way over the causeway to the entrance of Honeymoon Island and then back and that’s what we did, and then some. We ended up walking a 10K, 6.22 miles! It was so pretty out, the weather was gorgeous. We even saw dolphins!




After our walk, we went grocery shopping which was probably insane since everyone and their brother was there getting ready for the Super Bowl. We stocked up for the week and then when we got home, I made a delicious post-walk lunch. I made a wrap on a low-carb whole wheat tortilla – Boar’s Head Prosciutto, broccoli slaw, sliced tomatoes, Trader Joe’s White Bean & Basil hummus, and pepper. I had some tortilla chips and sweet onion salsa with it, and an ice cold bottle of Yuengling Light. Great lunch after a great walk!




We skipped the whole Super Bowl thing, and watched other TV including the Puppy Bowl in Animal Planet. Cuteness overload!


Do you have a special place you like to spend your birthday? Any traditions?

WW Weigh-In #5

Yesterday morning, I stopped by WW for a quick weigh-in before the Best Damn Race. I wish I could have stayed for the meeting, but there wasn’t time.

After another good week of working hard, I had another loss! I was already excited for the fun day ahead and this just added to my excitement!


WW Weekly weigh-in Week 5


Things I did right this week are:

  • Hubby and I walked twice this week and I also made it to hot yoga twice.
  • Still eating breakfast every day. I can’t say enough how important this is to my day.
  • Water, water, water.
  • Making good choices when eating lunch out during the week.
  • Keeping snacks with me for mid-morning and mid-afternoon.


What I will focus on this week:

  • I would love to get 2-3 easy walks in this week before next weekend (my first half-marathon of the year).
  • Hot yoga at least once, twice if all starts are aligned and I can make it work.
  • Keep up my accountability – post my workouts online when I do them, track all my foods, keep track of my water, and make it back to my regular WW meeting next Saturday.
  • Keep weighing and measuring my food. It can be easy to fall out of that routine thinking you have a pretty good idea of how much something is.


After weighing in yesterday, hubby and I ran a 5K and then we enjoyed a great afternoon down in Madeira Beach at Johns Pass for my birthday dinner. Since it was my birthday, I allowed myself to enjoy whatever I wanted for the day. I did very well for breakfast and lunch, even had non-fat milk in my post-race frappuccino. For dinner and dessert, I didn’t worry about it. I will say that while it was good, I did eat too much, and that old familiar too-full stuffed feeling was a reminder that I just can’t – and should not – eat that way. By the time I got home, my tummy was not happy with me. I did my best to calculate the points for everything, hopefully over-calculating, and it wiped out my extra weekly points. This week I will have to be on point without those extra points to fall back on. Thank goodness for extra points!


If you follow WW, how do you use your extra weekly points? All at once or spread out during the week?

Trader Joe’s and Weight Watchers

Ever since I went to Trader Joe’s back in November, I’ve wanted to go back. You can read about my first trip here.    It’s a little bit of a drive, down in Sarasota, and it’s hard to get down there with everything we have going on. I also wanted to go on a weekend so that hubby could go. Yesterday was finally the day! We decided to hit the road early and my mom joined us. The drive over the Sunshine Skyway was pretty, but the bridge will always freak me out.





Being back on WW, I decided to plan ahead and try and make a list. Thanks to the interwebs, I found a couple lists of Trader Joe’s popular items and their WW points plus values. This made it much easier, although I totally would have gone through the store with my handy dandy WW iPhone app and calculated points on whatever I wanted. I ended up doing that for a few things not on the list.

My last trip consisted of a lot of carbs (pasta), sweets, and alcohol. This trip was much different. I knew going there I would not be buying certain things, such as the most evil Cookie Butter and even posted as much on Facebook when we were headed there. Accountability rocks. When we got there, I even took a picture of the evilness in all it’s glory on the shelf and posted a picture about how I was NOT buying it. Which by the way, did you know they now have a Chunky Cookie Butter? Holy yummy goodness, I can only imagine. I steered clear of that too. I could totally have it, 2 points for a tablespoon, but I am here to tell you there is no way I could stop at one tablespoon. Best to just not have it. Nanci – 1, Cookie Butter – 0


evil cookie butter


We were there probably about an hour and a half. I had my lists printed out and my iPhone app out. I checked just about everything I bought, except for anything I knew was 0 points. I made out pretty well and can’t wait to make many yummy meals with everything I bought. Here goes… And yes, I have four Trader Joe’s bags, one of them insulated. A girl has to be prepared.


all stocked up




trader joes haul




frozen veggies 1       oatmeal


entrees rice brats


prosciutto bacon


salsa dressing soup mushrooms




tortillas and dips


cookies chips


Here is a list of what I bought and the WW Points Plus values, just for you! (ppv = points plus values)

Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips – 3 ppv / 14 chips

Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas – 1 ppv / 1 tortilla

100-Calorie Pack Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – 3 ppv / bag

99% Fat Free Blueberry Wheat Bran Muffins – 2 ppv / 1 muffin

Butternut Squash Soup – 2 ppv / 1 cup

Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette – 1 ppv / 2 tbsp

Cilantro Salad Dressing – 1 ppv / 2 tbsp

Marinated Mushrooms With Garlic – 0 ppv / 1/3 cup

Pineapple Salsa – 0 ppv / 2 tbsp

Mild Fresh Salsa – 0 ppv / 2 tbsp

White Bean & Basil Hummus – 1 ppv / 2 tbsp

Guacamole Hummus – 1 ppv / 2 tbsp

Sliced Prosciutto – 2 ppv / 1/4 package

Peppered Uncured Turkey Bacon – 1 ppv / slice

Roasted Potatoes with Roasted Pepper and Onions – 2 ppv /  3/4 cup

Frozen Steel Cut Oatmeal (Brown Sugar & Maple Syrup) – 4 ppv / packet

Shrimp Fried Rice – 4 ppv / 1 cup

Frozen Organic Brown Rice – 5 ppv / 1 cup

Frozen Stacked Eggplant Parmesan – 6 ppv / 1 cup (1/2 package)

Frozen Eggplant Parmesan (Not Fried) – 7 ppv / whole container

Frozen Asparagus Spears – 0 ppv / 12 spears

Frozen Harvest Hodgepodge – 1 ppv /  3/4 cup

Frozen Fire Roasted Bell Peppers & Onions – 1 ppv /   3/4 cup

Frozen Kale – 0 ppv /   2/3 cup

Frozen Artichoke Hearts – 0 ppv /  3/4 cup

Avocado –  2 ppv /  1/4 avocado

Asian Veggie Stir Fry (produce) – 0 ppv

Broccoli Slaw (produce) – 0 ppv

Shallots – 0 ppv


Another fun trip in the books! I’m sure I’ll make another trip down in a couple months. For now, I’m good with what I bought. On our way back, we stopped by PDQ in St. Pete for lunch. I absolutely love their salads, it really hits the spot.

For dinner last night, I had the Trader Joe’s Eggplant Parmesan (Not Fried) frozen entrée. I baked it in the oven and it was really good! I’ll have to get it again next time I go to Trader Joe’s. The flavor of the sauce was just right. I also made a salad to go with it – baby spinach, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Trader Joe’s Marinated Mushrooms (YUM!), and homemade Italian dressing. The eggplant entrée was 7 points for the whole tray, I ate about 2/3 of it, and just 1 point for the salad. So 8 points for a filling dinner.


tj eggplant parm



If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, what is your favorite go-to item from there?

Weekend Fun!

I think we need to have longer weekends, how about you? It seems that the weekdays drag on and on and once Friday afternoon gets here, it fast forwards to Monday. I don’t like that. But alas, this past weekend was great while it lasted and I guess that’s all I can ask for.

I headed up to the mall at lunch time on Saturday to meet my sister-in-law Jenna, cutie-pie niece Autumn, my mom, and Bea. Bea is my dad’s cousin’s wife and they spend January – March(ish) here in Florida. We love it when they are here! The plan was for all of us to have lunch at Red Robin and then Jenna and I would go for some much needed pampering. A mani/pedi to be exact. But first… Lunch! Red Robin. Yum. This was to be my first time eating there where I was not going to cave and have the ginormous mushroom burger, fries, and coleslaw. I was a good girl after my WW meeting in the morning and went online to decide what I could have that wouldn’t kill my points for the day. So, going in I knew what I was ordering. I’m telling you, that’s the way to go. Know what you want and then there is no going back on forth on everything and you’re less likely to cave and order something really high in points. I ordered a garden salad, balsamic vinaigrette on the side, and a cup of chicken tortilla soup. I took the sour cream and cheese off the top as I forgot to ask them to leave it off. And I had ice water with lemon. It hit the spot, all for 9 points. Not awful. The best part? Sitting across from this cute face… I’m not lying when I say she is THE cutest niece ever. EVER.




After lunch, we headed to the nail salon. I was entertained by Jenna’s excitement and giggles as we sat in our comfy chairs and got ready for our pedicures. I’ve had them for years and yes, I am extremely ticklish. I told her that she would love it. Yes, it would tickle, but just for a minute, and the wonderfulness of it all would make her forget about the ticklish part. Needless to say, there were a lot of giggles and laughter. Did she love it? Yes! Welcome to the dark side, Jenna!




I can’t tell you how bad I needed a pedicure. My feet were begging for some TLC, and they got it. We both chose the same color, Opi Skyfall, I always seem to pick the dark red / burgundy colors for my toes (Opi Malaga Wine is also a favorite) and this was perfect. See how happy my toes were? Bliss!




We also had manicures. Jenna had a French manicure which came out beautifully – I should have taken a picture. I opted for clear as my nails are still growing. I am a nail biter and if my cuticles are out of control, I bite more. Don’t judge me… I am so happy with my manicure and clean cuticles and soft hands, now I won’t mess with them and they will grow.

We walked around the mall for a bit afterwards. Jenna and I grabbed a Starbucks (yes, I cheated on my Keurig!). One a week isn’t bad. We both tried the new Vanilla Spice Latte, with soy milk of course. It was very good – the vanilla is very subtle. And I love soy milk in all coffee drinks – it makes them so smooth and creamy.  Hello, old friend….




My mom and Autumn had Dairy Queen and we sat around chit chatting for a bit. A great way to spend a cool Saturday afternoon!






See my hair in the picture with Autumn? it’s getting crazy long. I may have to cut it soon because when it gets this long, it has a mind of it’s own and I can’t deal with it.

I headed home after our mall fun and before I knew it, it was time for hubby and I to go out to dinner with our friend Rachel. She plays paintball with hubby and she is a trip. Five minutes with her and you are laughing your butt off. It was a great dinner, and I stayed on point again. Go me! Salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, broiled tilapia with broccoli and asparagus, one biscuit, and a glass of wine. A very filling dinner and the biscuit was a nice treat. After dinner and a lot of laughter, we headed home. For dessert, I had a slice of the pineapple cake I made last week with some fat free Cool Whip. Hubby loves it too – score!

Sunday morning after hubby headed out to play paintball, I put on my running shoes and headed to the park for a run. I intended to go to a 90-minute Power Hot Yoga class but I was slightly scared, plus I had not run since last weekend at the Glow Run and I keep thinking about the 3 races I have coming up next month. I had a great run. I tried not to look at my Garmin during and went with what felt right. I alternated running and walking (I like to go from sign to sign, tree to tree, etc… Keeps my heart rate up!) for the whole time. I know the exact route I have to take to hit 3.11 miles so I know when I’m done. I finished with a solid 42:59. Not too shabby for this girl. Despite the cool morning, I was soaked when I was done. It was a great run (but I MUST get back to yoga this week!!!).


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After my run, I headed home for breakfast. I was starving! I don’t like to eat before my run (unless it’s a long one) so I was ready for food. I made scrambled eggs with fresh diced tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms with basil, and a cup of coffee. My favorite coffee right now? Green Mountain Limited Edition Golden French Toast. It is so good! When it’s brewing it smells like maple syrup. So good. And it’s not too sweet, it’s just the perfect flavor.




french toast kcup


After breakfast and some blogging, I headed to the store. I make noise about grocery shopping but I actually do like it because I enjoy starting the week off prepared. Nothing sends me into a tailspin faster than when we have no meals planned for the week. I have to be prepared. I spent about an hour at the store, but we are set for the week for lunches, dinners, and snacks. I even put celery and carrots in snack bags and cut up strawberries for hubby. The topic last week at WW was all about your refrigerator and being prepared. No convincing needed on my part, I know how important it is. When we don’t have food on hand to cook, that’s when I cave and want to pick up take-out or order a pizza. Right now, I just can’t do that. Our refrigerator is ready for this week! Chicken, turkey sausage, and lots of fruits and veggies. YUM!!


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The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning the bathroom (the worst thing ever), laundry, a quick nap, more blogging, and spending time with Blue and Ozzie. They love days when I am home, there’s a lot of snuggling and snoozing and cuteness. Blue is doing much much better and today he will stay home after going everywhere with me last week to keep an eye on him. He still has a few days of meds left and is still eating chicken and rice, but he’s Mr. Saucy Pants again and that’s how we know he’s feeling good. By the way, you should pop on over to hubby’s blog and read his post about Blue and Ozzie, appropriately titled Crazy and Lazy.

I hope you all have a great week!!


What foods do you keep in your refrigerator for go-to snacks? How often do you grocery shop?

#TBLB Book Club: The Happiness Project

Last Wednesday, a small group of the wonderful Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers met at Courtside Grille in Clearwater to discuss our latest book club read, The Happiness Project. It was just four of us this time, but still fun. I enjoy meeting with these wonderful ladies that I have met simply because of this blog.



Beth, Caroline, Me, and Debbie

Thank you Caroline for letting me use your photo!

Much of the evening was just catching up and chit chatting and wondering why our food was taking so long. We sat outside by the bar, which probably contributed to the slow service. Ah well. Caroline has been following the Whole30 – she is a rock star for tackling that. I am not sure I could do it but she is doing wonderfully with it. There was a lot of laughter – my kind of book club. Like Caroline says, the whole book club thing is just an excuse to get together anyway.

I was able to eat very well for few points, thanks to some planning ahead and checking out the menu online. I knew what I was going to order before I even got there. I had the Southwest Chicken Salad, dressing on the side, and ice water with lemon. I also ordered a hot tea with lemon because I still have a darn cough that is hanging on forever from when I was sick. The hot tea helped immensely.

sw chicken salad

Truth be told, most of us only read part of it. I read 37% and would have finished it if I had more time (as if the two months or whatever since the last book club wasn’t enough – priorities!!). I enjoyed the 37% that I read and will finish it. It’s written by Gretchen Rubin, writer / blogger, who decided she wanted to life a happier life and tackled it month by month, in different aspects of her life.


(Source: Goodreads)

Of the 37% I read, what I liked most was her list of Secrets of Adulthood. So many of them apply to many of our daily lives and situations we run into. My favorite ones are:

  • People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think.
  • It’s okay to ask for help.
  • Do good, feel good.
  • Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.

You can think of many ways to apply this to your life, right?

Another part of the book that jumped out at me was about defining happiness and that “the opposite of happiness is unhappiness, not depression. And much like dieting, we know what we to do, it’s the application that is challenging… You have to put happiness ideas into practice.

Ultimately, it just boiled down to the little things in life. Small gestures, self-focus AND focus on others all add up. This seems like common sense but when we get busy and rushed, it all flies out the window. So yes, I’m going to finish the book!

Thanks ladies for a fun evening out, our short discussion of the book, and lots of laughter!

Have you read The Happiness Project? Do you belong to a book club?