I Needed My Coffee

Fun fact – I had an amazing time last weekend!  It was fantastic to see my friends and Traverse City is quite possibly my new favorite place (we walked a ton (by the lake!) and drank cocktails with coffee, Mexican Coke, and locally-made vodka, so how could it not be?!).

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Not so fun fact – I spilled an entire coffee yesterday morning and ruined everything in my purse including my dayplanner/brain and camera.  The only thing that’s really missing from this post is the fun lunch I ate at the farmers’ market with my coworker yesterday, but I’m not sure what my plan will be for this weekend since I hate taking photos on my phone.

Here were the highlights before the flood…

Grady’s Cold Brew really is the best, and I say that even I smelled like it all day at work.

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Berry breakfast.  Cereal and milk with blueberries.

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Yogurt bowl 1 – Fage, blueberries, vanilla peanut butter.

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Yogurt bowl 2 – Trader Joe’s vanilla skyr, red plum, walnut butter.

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I finally ate my first fresh apple of the month, a crunchy Pazazz apple.

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I had the day off on Tuesday and I took myself to breakfast at Quality Pie.  Tortilla with egg, chicken, queso, and salsa verde.

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Graeter’s makes my new favorite s’mores ice cream.  It contains no palm oil and the marshmallows are unbelievably soft.

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Related – sadly I can’t recommend this; the texture was actually great but the only flavor present was coconut.

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I am still obsessed with these seaweed chips.  BBQ is even yummier than the original flavor.

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This is the easiest dinner on earth but it tastes soooo good.  Throw Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi on a baking sheet with some turkey pepperoni, bake at 450 for 20 minutes, top with pizza sauce.

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Super salad – romaine, champagne vinaigrette, maple roasted walnuts and cranberries, chopped celery, vegan “chicken salad.”

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BLT FTW

Life highlights from the past six days –

  • I survived my 2nd week without my boys.  Adam has been super sweet about sending me a million photos of the most handsome dog in the world!
  • I’ve had a ton of TPNs at work lately and I realized the other day just how comfortable I feel managing them now – I will never stop being grateful for this job opportunity, I have grown so much as a clinician the past year.
  • I saw, and loved, The Farewell.  Such a sweet, funny movie; I can’t recommend it enough.
  • I went to a free yoga class with one of my coworkers and loooooved it!  I had forgotten about just how much I enjoy yoga.  I haven’t been in several years and it seems my balance has gotten much worse but my flexibility has gotten much better – I got myself into camel pose easily and comfortably.

Food highlights –

All of the coffee.

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Hey Day Cold Brew.

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Black and white milkshake cold brew – Grady’s with vanilla bean powder and chocolate milk.

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Still obsessed with this chocolate chip cookie dough Perfect Bar that seems to only be sold at Trader Joe’s and has no internet presence.

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This mango and nut mix is perfectly spicy-sweet.

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This yogurt bowl was amazing.  Strawberry quark with pluots, maple cashew butter, and homemade chocolate chip cookie.

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I had a great assortment of gummy candies for the movie, lots of cola options.

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These s’mores mochi have graham cracker ice cream and and a marshmallow center and all three of us thought they were fantastic.

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Raspberry Short Kate!  Hardywood‘s newest IPA brewed with milk sugar and raspberry.

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Whole Foods hot bar – kale salad, cabbage crunch salad, carrot and harissa salad, breakfast potatoes, chicken sausage – with a side of chicken and waffle chips.

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A swoon-worthy sandwich – local heirloom tomato, turkey bacon, and kewpie mayo on a bun.

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BLT salad.  Sweet baby lettuce with champagne vinaigrette, heirloom baby tomatoes, bacon, Dubliner cheese, and hickory smoked peanuts.  Plus spicy roasted okra that my cousin made.

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Leftover salad with delicious crab cakes that my cousin made.

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Trader Joe’s frozen scallion pancakes with mayo, sriracha, and a side of roasted green beans.

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5 + 5

Five random life updates –

{1} We took some stuff to Goodwill last weekend and now we are living in an empty apartment (minus a blow-up bed and all of my clothing).  Literally the only things in our living room are boxes of seltzer!

{2} Last weekend was the first time in 5 weeks that Adam and I were both home and not traveling.  Phew!

{3} This weekend we’re on the move again – we are heading to Solomon Island Maryland to spend some time with my family, including my youngest cousin who I haven’t seen since Thanksgiving!

{4} We finally saw “Late Night” and loved it.  If it’s still in theaters in your area I recommend going if you haven’t already.

{5} Then we watched “Always Be My Maybe” on Netflix and loooooooved it!  It’s officially our new favorite movie.  Super funny and touching.  Ali Wong is one my favorite comedians and she was fantastic as a leading lady.

Five things I ate and loved the last week – 

{1} Yogurt bowl.  Wegman’s chocolate Greek yogurt with pluots and Nature’s Path coconut chia granola.

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{2} Dehydrated rainbow carrot snacks from Trader Joe’s.

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{3} Cheese tea (aka bubble tea that you sip through foamy layer of milk and cream cheese sprinkled with salt) with strawberry heart jelly.

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{4} Marshmallow!  We shared a cup of carnival cake and marshmallow at Kirt’s Ice Cream.  And I was living my best life with this snack combo – Kilwin’s caramel chocolate marshmallow with iced coffee.

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{5} BBQ.  No Limits Smokehouse is a new-ish spot in Belmont and it’s wonderful.  I had a fried chicken sandwich (<– super juicy!) and collard greens, plus we got smoked mushrooms that were my new favorite savory thing I’ve ever eaten!

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Cheese In All Its Forms

Highlights from a lazy weekend…

Chocolate Stumptown cold brew + a peanut butter chocolate chip Perfect Bar.  <– my two favorite flavors from each company

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Mild cheddar Just the Cheese snack.  <– my official favorite flavor from my box of samples

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Garlic and chive cheese + a chicken sesame bbq Epic Bar.  <– my favorite flavor from Epic

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Grilled cheese + maple vanilla coconut chips.

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Plain Icelandic yogurt with yellow plum and chocolate caramel sunflower butter honey.  <– do NOT recommend those honey packets

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I am still having a Brazo’s Tacos obsession.

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Chicken and Mexican-style street corn frozen meal + a guava kombucha.  <– my favorite Synergy flavor, other than grape chia

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I made the quickest nachos dinner ever, by buying bbq chips and then filling a box at the Whole Food’s hot bar with shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, red onion, and roasted bell peppers.  5 minutes in the oven later…

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Strawberry Guava Passionfruit Mango Banana Pineapple Coconut Plum

There was not much excitement around here this weekend, Adam was out of town and I worked a Sunday coverage shift at work (and it was a particularly long and harrowing day!) – I mostly ate frozen meals and snack foods.  Here were the highlights…

How many drinks do I need to pack for a weekend work day?  Unsurprisingly, I’m a pretty big fan of the new strawberry guava diet coke.

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I tried the new cinnamon shortbread latte from Starbucks (with half syrup and double espresso), it’s pretty good.

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My 1st year working as a teacher in New York I ate about a million protein bars and lately I’ve gotten back on that train.

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Yogurt bowl wins.  Trader Joe’s guava passion fruit whole milk Greek yogurt (it’s amazing!) with sliced mango and TJ’s freeze-dried banana slices.

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Wallaby caramelized pineapple Aussie creme yogurt with chopped black plum and shredded coconut.

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Spicy shrimp tempura sushi from Whole Foods.

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Kashi Mayan Harvest bowl. 7/10 on the frozen meal scale.

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Red’s chicken and Mexican street corn (8.5/10).  Severe with roasted broccoli.  That whole plate got topped with copious amounts of Kewpie and Sriracha.

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Hell Of A Halvah

Highlights from this week…

It’s really lovely to have a husband who arranges me flowers and buys me cupcakes when I’m cranky!  Related note – it’s also really nice to live walking distance from Sweethaus because apparently they are our favorite cupcakes on the planet.

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Random drink assortment from work, the lemon rose blossom water was surprisingly delicious.

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Weirdest/most exciting snack award goes to – this Japanese candy we brought home from NY.  It was like a fun dip but with a cola flavored lollipop and fizzy milk powder.

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Fantastic product sample – Absolutely Gluten Free sent me their newest snack item: TahiniBARs.  Halvah is a candy made of sesame paste and it is both Adam’s and my very favorite treat.

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The TahiniBARS come in vanilla, pistachio, and cocoa nibs.  They are certified kosher, dairy free, and gluten free.  Each serving has 100 calories.

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We LOVED them!  They absolutely stacked up to the halvah I grew up eating and the artisinal varieties we’ve had in NY.

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One of my favorite ways to eat halvah is crumbled up in yogurt, so one day I made an absolutely ridiculous snack – plain Greek yogurt / vanilla TahiniBAR / Soom chocolate tahini spread / red plum and green pluot.  Delicious.

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We had some tasty dinner too.  Like bbq chicken fried rice.  Fried rice / carmelized red onion / shredded rotisserie chicken / fresh corn / collard greens cooked with rice vinegar / bbq sauce / eggs.

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Jalopeno popper pasta, loosely inspired by this recipe.  We used whole-wheat shells, turkey bacon, no cream, and less cheese; plus I topped mine with panko.  With roasted zucchini.

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Leftovers with an assortment of baby wines.  I do NOT recommend the rose.

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Homemade buffalo chicken dip / scooped with baby carrots and potato chips / celery sauteed with butter, salt, pepper, and celery seed.

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I’m trying out a recipe that sounds super fun this weekend, so please cross your fingers for me that it turns out!

Broccoli And Cake

Highlights from the week…

Coffee coffee!  Irving Farms Blackstrap Espresso with half and half.

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Things that taste like cake!  Hot chocolate that was pretty good and a candy bar that was pretty meh.

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Blackberry yogurt bowl with chopped plums and Flax Plus Multibran Flakes.

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Plain Greek yogurt with black sesame halvah from Seed + Mill and an envy apple on the side.

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Dinners this week were easy (and very chip forward) but good.  The best night I ate a crappy sandwich on the train because… I went to the ballet!  My aunt brought me along with her to see Misty Copeland in Giselle.  It was beautiful and fantastic!

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Chips and dip.  I made homemade onion dip – sauteed sweet onion and green onions, turkey bacon, fresh chives, sour cream, and kewpie mayo.  Dipped with gojuchang kettle chips, baby carrots, and bell pepper.  It turned out very well and I definitely went back for more chips to keep scooping.

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Nachos!  Toasted tortilla chips / homemade nacho cheese sauce (you literally just melt together mild cheddar and sour cream, it was crazy easy) / ground turkey sauteed with taco seasoning and onion and bell pepper / green onion on top.

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Warm broccoli salad.  Roasted broccoli / turkey bacon / chives / raisins / blistered peanuts / sour cream, sugar, smoked paprika, and rice vinegar.

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I work the next five days but I hope everyone else has a fun weekend!