Carving and Cardio

Thanks everyone for all of your comments or just for stopping by to read!

I mentioned that I went to carve pumpkins with a friend the other night and I forgot my camera!  But I took a few shots at home.  I used one of those patterns and I swear I picked the hardest one.  I guess I won’t be a professional pumpkin carver any time soon.

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It turned out ok, though.

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I think Hunter wants to eat the pumpkin.  He kept sniffing it and would run over to it when I wasn’t looking. I’m willing to bet if I left him unsupervised long enough, he’d chow down.

Sadly, today was the first day I dragged my sorry butt to the gym all week.  It’s better than nothing right?  I tried out a new cardio routine today to keep my ADD self from getting bored.  I did 20min on the elliptical, 15min on the rower and 15min intervals on the stair mill and 5 minutes of stretching.  I have to say, time flew by!  Thanks for the idea Janetha!  It was a fun little workout especially since I brought my recent copy of Women’s Health to read while on the elliptical.

I was starving when I got home and immediately grabbed a banana and some left over apple slices.

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My new favorite type of apple is Braeburn.  They are so crisp and just a bit tart.  I hate mushy apples.  Blech.

I also put together a tuna pita sandwich.  I mixed up a can of albacore tuna, chopped apple, broccoli slaw, dill, feta and a bit of light mayo.  Kind of a strange combination, but it was quite good!  I added the mixture to a pita with some spinach.

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Everything but the kitchen sink tuna salad.  Sometimes, it’s fun to play with your food.

It’s been kind of windy and rainy lately, (which I don’t mind) so I haven’t spent anymore time outside then I had to.  It was actually sunny today and I decided to take Hunter for a walk after I’d gotten some food in me.

I grabbed my camera to snap some fall pictures along the way.

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Ready to go.

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View out the front door.

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It was a leisurely little walk.  Hunter is easy to please.  He takes picture taking very seriously.  And yes, he wears bandannas on a regular basis.

I don’t know if I’m going to dress up this year, but here’s a picture of Jeremy and I a year back:

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Biker couple.



I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!


What are your weekend plans?

What do you do to avoid boredom at the gym?

Hi, my name is Meg

Hello, hello!  I can’t believe how fast the week has flown by.  Wait, yes I do: I’ve been studying.  I had 4 tests in 3 days!  Thank goodness that’s over.  My brain is fried.

Some good news, I found the camera my hubby gave to me and though my iPhone takes decent pictures, a camera is a step up.  For all you camera junkies, it’s a Canon cyber-shot.  Whatever that means.  Isn’t that the one Ashton Kutcher does ads for?  Anyways.

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To celebrate my survival of this week, I got a new coat for only $78.  Thank you Kohl’s.  I love houndstooth.

By the way, I got a new haircut/dye.  Like it?

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And the back. Love.

Some interesting eats of late:

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My official new favorite laughing cow flavor.

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Can you tell I like chipotle?

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Tastes like a pumpkin pie milkshake.  I guess it’s been a long time since I’ve had egg nog.  I forgot how thick/sweet it was!

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This is so cool. It’s “mulling spices” in a convenient little tea bag.  You steep it in hot apple juice and you get apple cider!  Yum.

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Ginormous salad.  Let’s see… spinach, broccoli slaw, tomato, slivered almonds, feta cheese, boiled egg, mushrooms kalamata olives, raspberry vinaigrette.

Want to know some things you wouldn’t guess just by looking at me?

Well, I’ll tell you anyway.  😉 I’ve seen this on other blogs and thought it was cute so here’s some of mine.  Fried brain = lack of creativity.

I hog the bed.  My “spot” is the middle.

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I have a viscous sweet tooth.

Sometimes, when I’m stressed, (a.k.a. this last week) I take a trip to the grocery store to browse and take my mind off my worries.  I make sure that I grab a basket and not a cart.

I’m a picker.  I pick the marshmallows out of Lucky Charms and the cookie dough out of cookie dough ice cream.  It drives my hubby crazy.

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I like Hunter’s “doggy” smell.

Normally, I’m a very type B personality, but I’m slightly compulsive about how the dishwasher is loaded.

I (almost) never make the bed.

I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 19, when my roommate bought me a gift card to go and get them done.

I must be one of the few bloggers who doesn’t particularly care for oatmeal.  Sure, I’ll eat it once in a while, especially when it starts getting cold, but you’ll hardly see it here.

In a little bit, I’m off to my friend’s house to carve up a pumpkin.  I grabbed one after my chem midterm tonight and was too stubborn for a cart.  Imagine me lugging a big ‘ol pumpkin across the parking lot.  Whew!

So, what’s one thing I don’t know about you?


Let’s Talk Food

Oh, let me tell you. I am SORE. I did a killer lower body work out on Monday and still walking around like a drunk cripple. It feels good to have incorporated exercise back into my regular routine, even it it’s only 15-20 minutes per day. Every little bit counts and Hunter is definitely enjoying the extra walks!
AND my recent goal to eat healthier has been coming along pretty well. I definitely feel and see a difference already!

Wednesday is my favorite day. Not necessarily because it’s the middle of the week (but that’s certainly a plus) but because it means that the bulk of my classes are done for the week. All that’s left is math tomorrow and chem lab on Saturday (yes, you read that right SATURDAY– there’s no way around the fact that class on Saturday afternoon sucks) Whew! Time to catch up on my DVR recordings. Currently on the list are: Real Housewives of Atlanta & Beverly Hills, America’s Next Top Model, Millionaire Matchmaker, The Event and Biggest Loser. I know, a pretty shallow line-up, but with my class schedule I don’t want to think when I’m relaxing!

Last week, I had a little middle of the semester crisis where I felt like I couldn’t take much more and the end of the semester seemed so far off. Just when I felt like my head was barely above water, I discovered that I had gotten the extra credit question–worth 10 points–on my last A&P exam. Yay! I love it when I finally catch a break.

I choose not to make every post about food because 1) a lot of my food is boring, 2) I’m too hungry to remember to take a picture, or 3) I eat a lot of leftovers.
I try to do a bunch of cooking over the weekend so that I have lots of healthy quick options during the week. This weekend I made:
-steamed carrots and broccoli
-brown rice (so good with a little sweet chili sauce)
-whipped sweet potatoes
-corn bread
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Sorry Hunter, none for you.
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Apple butter optional. After buying a jar when visiting my parents, I begged my mom to send me a case of this scrumptious spread. Thanks mom!
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It may or may not help with math homework.
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I was skeptical about this dish because sometimes ground turkey tastes dry in recipes, but not in this! It was the perfect balance of turkey, spices, tomatoes cheese and penne. More than happy to eat several meals of this!
-lemon pepper rotisserie chicken (ok, ok, this I bought at the grocery store)
Lemon pepper stirfry (made with some of the lemon pepper chicken- sneaky!)
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After craving mongolian BBQ, I’m so glad I whipped this up instead! Green pepper, red pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans and carrots. I just added a bit of peanut sauce to the sauce recipe.
Apple crisp I was out of ice cream, but vanilla yogurt was an excellent compliment.
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I bought a huge bag of apples with the intent (and success!) of choosing fruit over sweets to curb my sweet tooth. I still had a few left that were getting soft (blech) and when I saw Lisa’s recipe for Apple Crisp which looked fairly healthy I was more than happy to use up those apples. Yum! Thanks Lisa!
On that note, a couple of weeks ago, my friend Carrie gave me a blog award. Thanks Carrie! This really made my day! She is currently eating vegan for a month which I have to commend her for. I’d have a hard time giving up my cheese!
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I keep forgetting to pass the award on! So without further delay, here’s my picks!
1. Christina Food.Fun.Fabulous She always makes the sweetest comments!
2. Mary Bites and Bliss I love that she has a horse and goes to Auburn (my daddy’s alma mater)
3. Linzi Destination 26.2 Besides being a fellow Idaho blogger, she just ran a marathon!
4. Tina Faith, Fitness, Fun She always sees the positive side in things even on a bad day!
5. Katie Health for the Whole Self She was among the first blogs I started reading and she is so thoughtful!
6. Em Homecookedem Anyone who can teach first graders should be awarded often.
7. Lisa I’m An Okie Besides an awesome apple crisp recipe, she is always true to herself.
8. Jen Jen’s Losin’ It! She has a beautiful family and her blog is bursting with flavor.
9. Sara Nourish and Flourish My longtime friend. 🙂 I can’t wait to see her at Thanksgiving!
10. Christina Hungry Meets Healthy Her posts are always full of fun, smiles and terrific eats!
11. Erin The Healthy Apron She is full of nutrition advice and amazing recipes.
12. Nicole Simple Moments I was just starting out when she stopped by, she’s been great support!
And the guidelines:
1. Save the image above and post it to your own blog
2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers
3. Link the nominees
4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from.
Ok friends, I am off to get some homework done and then it’s time for SLEEP.

What shows have you been watching lately?

And to mix things up: what kind of car do you drive? (or wish you drove!)

Lusting

The change of seasons is always a good reason for some sprucing up. It never hurts to wish, right?

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Sunbeam Convertible Iron + Steamer. It’s an iron AND a steamer. I’ve always wanted a steamer.
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Military style jacket. My favorite fall trend!
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Sequined pillow. One word: shiny.
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These boots are made for walkin. Perfect to dress up jeans or a skirt!
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Le creuset French oven. Need I say more?
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Little black dress. Though I used to despise dresses, I’m coming around.
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Copper handbag. More fun than black!

What’s your favorite fall trend?

What is something you’ve been wishing for?

Fall-iffied

Apparently, I’ve been bitten by the craft bug.
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Remember this?
Truth is, I’ve always been artistic. I have a stack of carefully arranged paintings sitting in a box hoping to get a frame someday. I’m not sure why/when I let it fall to the wayside. I think part of it was that I didn’t have the time. Part was I have lots of creative friends and started to think that I wasn’t as good at it as they were (now how silly was I?). Perhaps I didn’t have the money or the space or the inspiration.
But if there’s any season that is bursting of inspiration, it would be fall. And so I present to you my house: fall-iffied.
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I didn’t make this one, I just bought it.
I put together the rest below.
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Just call me Martha Stewart. Minus the jail time.
And on a random note, I saw someone get arrested at CostCo the other day. She was walking out pretty cooperatively with her hands in cuffs behind her back. Now that makes me wonder: what was she getting arrested for? Shoplifting? Now where exactly do you expect to hide a 4 pack of cereal and get away with it? Guess I’ll never know.
Happy Wednesday!

A Student’s Life

Most of you know by now, that I’ve returned to school after a 2 year hiatus. I admire those who can power through 4 or 5 years of college after high school, I really REALLY do.

But it wasn’t for me.
Between personal struggles, getting a full time job and then getting married I needed a break. I was burned out from school and wasn’t making the effort that I was capable of. Taking a break from school was the best thing I could do. It helped me mature, refocus and become motivated.
There was one thing I forgot about going to school. Diet. I suddenly was in and out of classes, studying for tests and doing homework nightly (sometimes weekend nights too!). TV? Collecting dust most of the week. Cooking was a luxury.
When it came to meal time, I just ate the first thing I saw without taking time to consider a balanced meal. After a few weeks, I was feeling the effects of my poor eating habits. I realized I’d barely touched a vegetable and I decided to make it a goal to make sure the majority of each meal was vegetables.
It really wasn’t too hard to add these in. I always pick up some veggies when grocery shopping, but then they would get forgotten in the fridge. I decided, no more! Here’s just a sampling of some of my re-discovered favorites:
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Chicken sandwich with cucumber and spinach. Red pepper strips.
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Green monster of course. Spinach, chocolate protein powder, skim milk, soy milk, flax seeds and ice.
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Spinach omelet.
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The star of the week: pizucchini and whipped sweet potatoes.
I’ve also enjoyed spaghetti squash sprinkled with parmesan and an artichoke but no pictures of those.
Sometimes, I’ve had to remind myself to take a break and use the other side of my brain for fun things like shopping and getting creative.
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Oh so pretty pink sweater.
I went to the craft store with my friend and decided to make my own fall wreath instead of making one.
Isn’t it pretty?
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You can almost smell orange spice, nutmeg and cinnamon just looking at it.
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I hung it over the fireplace as recommended by my friend Lorna.
Saturday, I had the lucky opportunity to go to the BSU football game. I had such a blast!
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Here I am with my “adopted sister” Sheridan.
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They have this dog (the orange speck in the middle of the picture) that runs out on the field to get the thing they kick the ball off of (uh, anyone know what that’s called?). It was so cool to watch!
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Our field is blue. We’re just cool like that. 😉
We won. 57 to 14. I loved every minute of it.


What did you do this weekend?

What’s your most and least favorite vegetable?
My most favorite is sweet potatoes. Least favorite is brussels sprouts!

Crock-pot Southwest steak and beans

Aw, you guys are just the best. Thanks to all who posted congratulations on my anniversary post. And thanks to all my readers who stopped by!


If I had to cook for the rest of my life with one appliance, it would definitely be my crock-pot. Even though most of the recipes aren’t particularly aesthetically pleasing, they really hit the spot on a cool fall day.
And speaking of fall, I’ve finally witnessed some true fall weather. That rain you southern gals mentioned has been making it’s way up to me! Truthfully, I don’t mind rain. I love the smell and I love how much greener everything looks.
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The view out my back door. The canal runs right by!
When I first got my crock-pot, I went recipe crazy. I googled, bookmarked and emailed myself hundreds of recipes. I’m sure most of you can relate to having more recipes than you know what to do with! Some recipes stuck, some were disasters and some were instant hits.
This was one of the hits. It’s sort of a surprising combination of chunky salsa, a pound and a half of chuck steak (really, any kind works, you just cook it falls apart into tender morsels), beans (also, whatever kind you want), canned corn, some oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper. It’s not quite stew and not really chili either. You can literally make this with your eyes closed. Dump everything in and cook overnight. Just a little planning ahead is all. You really can’t get much lazier.
Southwest Steak and Beans
1 1/2 lbs steak (look for good, even marbling in the steak– that’s what my hubby taught me!)
1/2 onion, chopped (I used red onion I had on hand)
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz jar chunky salsa
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 can black beans
1 can garbonzo beans
1 can corn
(optional: 2 bell peppers, chopped)
Lightly spray the inside of the pot with olive oil. Place chopped onion and minced garlic in the bottom of the pot. Place the steak (don’t worry about cutting it up or anything) on top.
In a separate bowl, combine salsa, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour over steak. Add in both cans of beans and corn. (Optional: you can add 2 chopped bell peppers instead of corn.)
Cook for 9 hours on low, stirring occasionally. During the last hour, you should be able to easily break up the steak with a cooking spoon. When the meat is tender and falls apart, you know you’re done!
p.s. Try not to get overeager and burn your tongue. Take it from me 😉
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Told ya, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What is the one kitchen appliance you couldn’t live without (other than the oven and stove)?

Do you like rain/cooler weather?

3 Years Ago Today

Was the day that I became Mrs. Bailey.

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We got married in the Salt Lake City Temple.
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(For more information about LDS temples, see this post on my friend Carrie’s blog)
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This is my favorite wedding picture.
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Our best friends, Ryan and Audrey Blanchard! They just had their baby boy today!
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It was a sunny autumn day and we were grinning from ear to ear.
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At the end of the day our cheeks hurt. 🙂
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The dress.
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Yes, I am skipping!!
Though marriage is in no way a scene out of “Leave it to Beaver”, I am so happy that I married Jeremy. He is so loving and caring and supportive. We are each other’s best friend. We amuse ourselves for hours on end and we have so much fun no matter what we are doing. We love to laugh and be silly. We trust each other and feel comfortable being ourselves (even if it’s not always our nice selves!)
Every day of every year we are together I love him more than the day before.
“And now you’re my whole life,
now you’re my whole world,
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl,
Like a river meets the sea,
Stronger than it’s ever been,
We’ve come so far from that day,
And I thought I loved you then”
Brad Paisley

Jeremy, my love, my eternal companion. I love you more than I ever thought I had capacity to love. The joys you feel, the sorrows you feel, I feel them with you. Over the years, we’ve grown up and grown closer together. We’ve learned to apologize, to compromise and put each other first. I will always be by your side to defend you, support you and love you.
Your wife, Meg
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