Back to Reality

It was nice having Thursday and Friday off from my day job.  I slept in, we didn’t have to be anywhere in particular except for dinner with my daughter in law Thursday night.  It was just the rest and relaxation I needed.  But, this week is back to reality.  I work Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week at the restaurant.  On Saturday night, I thought I was working the bar, and the start time is usually at 6, not 5.  I was almost there when the manager called and asked if I was okay.  I said I was almost there and she said “your shift started at 5.”  Doh!  So I was put in the back room again – she had to give away my section in the front dining room, and since there was a private party in the back room until 7, I only got 4 tables all night.  It’s my own fault – oh well!  Note to self – double check the schedule!

Saturday morning we had a his/hers brunch.  It’s really breakfast, but we didn’t eat it until nearly noon.  Tony had lox and bagels (ew) and I made a hash with leftover filet mignon, crash hot potatoes, baby spinach and Cabot cheese.

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Yesterday morning, Tony made me his famous tater tot breakfast – a layer of tater tots on the bottom of a cast iron skillet, then two eggs, some cheese and lots of hot sauce, then flips it out onto the plate tater tot side up.  Holy shizz people – this is amazing – crunchy topping, super creamy cheesy eggs in the middle.  I ate every bite!

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We actually had a nice day out – it was probably just over 50 degrees with the sun shining.  I realized I had tomatoes in the downstairs fridge I never made salsa with, so I had to use them or lose them.  I made a quart and a half of my baja fresh salsa.

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I hadn’t gotten all my steps in on my fitbit (on Saturday I got 10,200!) so I headed out for a walk – it was so nice being outside!   You can see the Fox River is all melted, but the channel still has some ice in it – hopefully it will all be melted in the next couple of weeks so it will actually feel AND look like spring.

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I ended up just shy of 10,000 steps – I think I was 700 short – not bad for a Sunday!   I had a steak marinating for dinner using my best steak marinade ever.   Tony and I sat outside and had a glass of wine while the grill got up to temperature – except he kept getting freaked out by the squirrels who were visiting!  At one point he even was holding onto the shovel just in case for protection.

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I made his and her twice baked potatoes on the side – Tony had American cheese, I had more of the extra sharp Cabot cheddar.

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Perfect medium rare – so flavorful and tender.   Later in the night, Tony texted his son that he was freaked out by the squirrels, so I took a screed shot of a snap chat he sent to his Dad, showing him petting a squirrel on t.v. – so funny!

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Well, it’s time to get this show on the road.  My gym is actually closed this week for remodeling – they are getting all new equipment too.  The pool is open and I brought stuff to change into in case I wanted to take a walk at lunch outside – we should have temps in the 50s again today!

Happy Monday – make it a great day!

Not my Night

After my lazy day on Thursday, I knew I had to get my ass in gear yesterday.  I had a granola bar earlier in the morning and that was all the fuel I needed to do T-25.  I LVOVE T-25.  Even though it’s non-stop, before you know it you look down at the count down and you are already half way done.  Yesterday I did dynamic core – I was able to do about 90% of it.

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I’ll give you a nice boob shot.  You’re welcome.

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The darker pink tank I am wearing under my pink sports bra is awesome.  It’s Nux brand, and I was given it a couple years ago from a company to review that then went out of business before I even got a chance to review it!   I love it because it holds the muffin top in place when I work out and it’s super comfy.

Since it is Lent and Tony can’t eat meat on Friday’s, before heading to Trader Joe’s we went to Kobe East – a sushi place.

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I normally get their bento boxes – it comes with tempura, fried rice, a California roll, teriyaki steak and soup and salad – all for $11.95.  But I didn’t want anything fried, so I went with a “pan noodle with chicken and vegetable” for $10.   Um, does this look like $10 worth of food to you?  It was tasty, but I definitely didn’t get my money’s worth.  Roz, you’ll be happy to know that Tony got sushi!

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Thanks for your suggestions on Instagram on what to buy at Trader Joe’s – and sorry to those who don’t have one near you!  This is my loot.

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I am definitely switching back to almond milk for my smoothies to get the carbs down – that brand is only 30 calories a cup and only 2 grams of carbs.  I had a gift card in my purse that I thought only had $6 on it, so we swiped that first and shockingly it was a $25 gift card so it paid for everything – score!

Since I had the day off from my day job, it was nice to have a leisurely afternoon before heading to the restaurant.  I knew I was in the dining room, but didn’t know where.  I ended up having a 5 table station in the back room – one of which was set for a table for 12 – nice!   For some reason they like to fill the front of the restaurant first before even seating anyone in the back room.  I got to work at 5 and didn’t get my first table until 6:40.  So for that first hour and forty minutes all I did was help clear tables, make cappuccino’s, set up desserts for people who needed help.

I ended up getting two deuces before my 12 top sat at 7:00.  The girl who had the station next to me?  For some reason they kept seating people in her station – a 7 top, 4 top, 4 top, 4 top, 3 top, 2 top then a 9 top!  She was most definitely in the weeds and I was thinking “why aren’t they seating anyone in my section?   I ended up having to take drink orders for her tables, explain specials, open wine, order apps for her tables.  Anyone in the restaurant business knows that it’s the hosts job to make sure that everyone has equal covers – more or less.  I went to the front where the sheet is for how many covers each server got, and after the second table, there was nothing written down.  Huh.  The manager came by and said “that’s not right – on the weekends, it’s too hard to keep track so we just wing it.”  Well, their just winging it meant that I had 16 covers (two of which were infants) to her 33 covers.  I brought it to her attention, so maybe it will even out next time.

I ended up having only the three tables, and I was on my way home by 9:30 – which is probably a good thing because tonight I am working in the bar area and that will be a long night.  I just barely got my 10,000 steps in though!

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I only had a cup of soup when I got to work and I made some garlic bread when I got home – not the healthiest eats!

Next week I work Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.  My plan is to bring my dinner to work – something that doesn’t need to be heated up like a vegetable pasta salad or something like that – do you have any suggestions?  That way I am not eating late at night and then going straight to bed.

I was in bed at midnight last night and didn’t wake up until 10:50 this morning – I kinda love that I can still sleep like a teenager at 46!  Helen, I don’t think you could ever do that!

Have any fun plans this weekend – hope it’s a good one – see you on Monday!

Lazy Was I!

Tony slept in a little later than me yesterday, so I did one productive thing!  I finally deleted all the old pictures I don’t need to keep anymore.  It was getting way out of hand.  Check out how many photos I deleted since June of last year!

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7,773 photos!  Gah.   And what’s funny is that most of them were blurry food photos – ha!

Tony and I decided to get some tacos for lunch.  This restaurant just changed names and ownership, and I can’t even find it online, but they have super flavorful tacos for just $1.75 each.  The last time I mentioned this place and talked about their beef tongue tacos, I got several responses that said “get them next time – you won’t regret it!”  Here’s the deal though.  What I had in my head was that the tongue would have taste buds on them still and I imagined them “popping’ in my mouth as I ate them!  Tony was convinced I’d take one bite, say “nope!” and hand the plate over to him!

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That, is the beef tongue taco – and it was delicious!  Just tasted like tender beef.  I believe they cook it on a flat top grill because I had these charred crunchy pieces that were so good.  I generously topped that taco with this salsa – its avocado, sour cream, cilantro and my guess jalapenos – its so spicy and delicious!

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After lunch we went to the Fresh Market.  I love that grocery store.  The Dominick’s that closed in the next town over had lots of bids from other grocery stores  – Mariano’s, The Fresh Market – but sadly Jewel is taking over that location.  Can you tell I don’t like Jewel that much?!

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I drooled over all the cheese, although didn’t buy any since I still have Cabot cheese in the fridge.  Tony got some lox for bagels this weekend – he loves it and The Fresh Market has these nova lox bits that are perfect and pretty reasonably priced.  Me?  I don’t like any kind of salmon.

Then it was time to pick up my insulin.  My deductible hasn’t been met yet.  It’s my night time insulin and without it, my blood sugar is always high in the morning.  I went online and found a coupon from the manufacturer.  I had no idea if it would work because I have insurance – I think It was mainly meant for people who didn’t have insurance.  Well, it knocked off $100!  So I ended up paying $211.  This box will last me about three weeks.

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We got home around 2 in the afternoon, and I thought to myself “I have a few hours to get stuff done before we have to go to dinner.”  Except I laid on the couch, put a blanket on myself and dozed off and on for a couple hours – it was AWESOME!  I can’t even remember the last time I did that.  No guilt at all!

My step-daughter-in-law has had a whirlwind trip while she’s been home this week and glad she was able to carve out some time to meet with us.  We got there early, so I asked Tony to take a nice picture with me – um, not sure he knows what the word “nice” means!  The last picture makes me laugh out loud!

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We had a lovely visit.  Her Mom is really nice and actually comes to the Chinese restaurant we picked about every week so everyone stopped by to say hello to her!

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That photo above was taken with a new app called Cam Me – you give your iPhone a hand signal and it counts down to take a picture – hands free selfies!  Photobombed by Tony!

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So the only thing missing was my step-son Joe.  He stayed back in Austin because of work.  It was great seeing you Lizz – I love you!

So here is how inactive I was yesterday!

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Yep – just over half a mile yesterday!  But, I will make up for it today.  I work at the restaurant tonight.  We have a new computer system so hopefully things will go smoothly – they installed it on Monday so hopefully by today all the kinks will be worked out.  Happy Friday – make it a great day!

Copycat Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars

The way our house is situated, we still have ice and snow on our back deck and I am kind of sick of looking at it.  It’s dirty, there are leaves from last fall intermingled in between the ice.  But when we have temps in the teens, I don’t see that going anywhere anytime soon.  Um, this doesn’t feel like spring!

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I made another Green Monster, although I added blueberries to this one, so it’s not very green.  However, when I added everything together:  1 cup soy milk, 1 container Chobani blood orange yogurt, 1/2 frozen banana, 3/4 cup frozen mixed fruit and 3/4 cup of blueberries – this giant smoothie comes in at 555 calories and wait for it, wait for it . . . 95 grams of carbs!   Of course, I didn’t figure that out until I drank it all.  It was delicious, but I didn’t give myself enough insulin and my blood sugar was 355 later in the morning.  I’ll have to research some lower carb smoothie options.  I still love the idea – its such a great way to get in a ton of fruit and veggies.

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I have noticed since I have gotten my fit bit, I do try to squeeze in any extra steps I can during the day.  When I went to the gym, I parked in the farthest corner!

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I ended up doing 40 minutes on the treadmill at a 7.0 incline and 3.8 mph.  All while watching the Chew which was all about chicken.  They went to a place called The Country Cat that made boneless fried chicken and it looked amazeballs.  It’s in Portland, a place that I really want to visit someday.  Has anyone ever been to this place?  It doesn’t help to watch food shows while working out – I just get more hungry!

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No picture of lunch – it was more lasagna soup and I added a bunch more spinach to it, so the color of it looked like baby puke, but it tasted good!

I’ve always loved Nature Valley granola bars.  I love a crunchy granola bar vs. a chewy one.   Of course I went to my new go to to find recipes – Pinterest!  I adapted this recipe.   I ended up adding sesame seeds, dried cranberries and unsweetened coconut to my bars.

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Check out your Dollar General for mixed nuts – that can cost $2.25 – less than half the price I would have paid for it a grocery store.  Make sure you really press down the mixture in your pan – I used my bench scraper.

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I waited just 10 minutes before cutting these – otherwise it’s one giant granola bar!

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OMG.  These are so good!  They are crunchy, toasting the oats gives it a whole new flavor – I’ll never not toast my oats before making granola bars again.  #winning!

While I was making my Italian meatballs for my lasagna soup over the weekend, I had some leftover Italian sausage – not really enough to do anything with, but I had an idea to form them in the shape of a burger.  I knew I had leftover brisket thinly sliced in the freezer so I did my adaptation of Chicago classic – an Italian beef combo.

Since the beef was sliced so thin, all I did was heat 1 cup of beef broth with 1 tablespoon of Italian season.   Once the broth came to a boil, I took it off the heat and added the beef just to warm up – I didn’t want to cook it because I wanted it still tender.  I ended up pan frying the sausage patties, and I melted an ounce of mozzarella on the bottom of my hamburger bun.  Then assembly time!  Italian sausage patty on the bottom, the beef on top, then I took half a ladle of the au jus and poured that over the top of mine.  The only thing missing for me was hot giardiniera!   I made due with a spicy pickle spear.

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Tony wasn’t a fan of the sausage patty, so he picked that off, but the meat was incredibly tender.  I still have two more bags of the sliced beef too!

I have nothing really on our agenda today – we meet up with my daughter-in-laws family tonight for dinner.   One project I need to do is to get rid of some of the pictures I have on my computer dating back to October – that should free up some computer space.  It’s rainy and 36 – maybe I’ll just stay in my pjs all day!

I got my 10,000 steps too!

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Make it a great day!

I’d really like you to be. . .

One thing I failed to mention about my quarterly diabetes doctor appointment, was that each and every visit, he looks over my digital chart and at some point or another says “I’d really like to see you in the 130 – 135 pound range for your height.”  He said “you seem to be hovering between the high 150s and mid 160s these past several years – I’d like to see that number a bit lower.”  

I told him I just wanted to be 5’10” tall and then it would all be fine!   I know what I need to do – the same thing I did between June and December of last year – make exercise my #1 priority ever single day.  I was reading my friend SuziCate’s blog yesterday.  The title of her blog post was called “The Edge.”  Go ahead and click on the link, I can wait.  One sentence in particular struck a chord in me:

What is it you want to do? Lose weight? Learn to sew? Write a book? Play the piano? Sing? Paint? Take photographs? Take the first step today. Do it again tomorrow. Take it a step farther the day after that and so on. You can do whatever it is you want as long as you intend to do it.

I intend to lose weight, but my actions of late are not going to get me to where I want to be.  I can’t use the excuse of working two jobs.  I have no small children, I have the time, I just need to make exercise the priority again.

Yesterday morning I had a green monster – I forgot how much I love these!  Only one tiny problem – I usually take half of the insulin when I begin to drink it, and then half when I am half way through it.  It takes me so long to drink that I took all my insulin in the beginning, when I took my blood sugar an hour later it was 294!

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I decided to do the StairMaster again to get to my goal of 100 flights in 20 minutes.  I was sweating balls!  And Rachel, thanks for the Facebook post for this recipe – it killed!

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So close!

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And my face was still pretty red even after a shower and back in my office parking lot!  I ended up doing a total of 30 minutes on the StairMaster including the cool down, then 10 minutes of upper body and 5 minutes of stretching.

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More lasagna soup for lunch – except I noticed yesterday that even though I used crushed tomatoes like I always use, it was a bit chunkier than I prefer.  I decided to puree the soup part with the spinach in my smoothie maker – doesn’t look to pretty but it was delish!  I’ll have the last of it for lunch today.

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My store had filet mignon on sale a week ago – I never made it so it got put in the fridge and I defrosted it yesterday while I was at work.  Check out the price!

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I made Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes on the side.  Super simple dinner.

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I forgot my Fit Bit yesterday!  I realized it half way to work.  I have it on my pajama pants right now so I won’t forget today when I get into my work clothes.  

This is my Friday!  I am off my day job tomorrow and Friday and just work at the restaurant Friday and Saturday night.  So if my post is late tomorrow, I’ll be sleeping in! Open-mouthed smile

Gotta get my shit together – make it a great day!

Cabot Cheese!

Last Thursday when I was working at the restaurant, Tony texted me a picture and said “there’s a big package here for you.”  At first I thought he was going to send me a picture of him in his under wear, but when I looked at the picture it was from Cabot Cheese!

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I’ve nearly used all of this cheese already – didn’t have enough of the wrapper left for a picture!

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Yesterday morning I had an egg white, baby spinach and Chipotle cheddar flour taco with strawberries on the side.  This cheese is just so good – not too spicy and you still get the strong cheddar flavor.

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I had my quarterly diabetes doctor appointment.  I have to get my blood work done while fasting, so I’ll do that one day this week at our local hospital to get my A1C number.  Other than that I am in good shape.  Good heart beat in my feet (great for diabetics!) and my blood pressure was 120/80.  I did mention to him that I was surprised that if my blood sugar was 100 when I left for work at the restaurant, that I was surprised that when I would test it around 8 it would be in the low 200s!  I would think with all that walking around it would just take a nose dive.  He said that I probably don’t have enough insulin going into the night, and suggested I give myself 4 units of fast acting insulin before I start my shift.  Huh!  Always learning something new with this disease!

I had time to hit up the Japanese grocery store on my way back to the office.  Got Tony some sake – he loves a cup of hot sake in the winter, and considering we got a dusting of snow last night, this winter isn’t just ready to give up on us yet.  I am always fascinated by the different products they have.  Doesn’t this look like the same girl?

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When I got back it was time for more . . . lasagna soup!  Although this time I made Italian sausage meatballs.  So easy – 1.5 pounds of Italian sausage out of the casing, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons wheat germ (didn’t have any egg whites), pinches of crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.  I ended up making about 50 of these tiny meatballs – I added 6 meatballs and 6 cheese tortellacci’s to the base of my soup, as well as 3/4 cup chopped baby spinach once the hot soup came out of the microwave.  I just cooked the meatballs about 3/4 of the way through, knowing they would finish cooking when I warmed up the soup.

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I made a batch of stove top refried beans over the weekend when I found I had a bag of pinto beans in my pantry.   I asked Tony if he were likely to eat any, because if not, I was going to spice the shit out of them.  Suprisingly he said yes.  I had shrimp tacos on the menu last night, but he asked if I could bring him back to Taco Bell circa 1979.  Refried bean tacos is what he wanted!  A tostada on the bottom, a shmear of refried beans, taco sauce, shredded lettuce and cheddar cheese.  I used Cabot’s classic cheese – which is covered in black wax and aged for at least 16 months.

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I had the shrimp tacos – this time shockingly NOT battered and deep fat fried.  I just cooked them with taco seasoning at a high heat for a couple minutes.

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Delish!  Since the pan was so hot, the taco seasoning almost became like a blackened seasoning.  The sliced jalapenos were the perfect amount of spice.

I had no workout yesterday, and that will show in my fit bit total yesterday:

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I plan on doing either the Stairmaster again today to try to reach my 100 floors in 20 minutes, or a treadmill interval, haven’t decided yet!  My gym bag is packed, I plan on making a Green Monster for breakfast when I get to work.  And more lasagna soup for lunch!    Time to scrape the snow off my car – this is getting old!  Make it a great day!

Monday again?

Since working at the restaurant, my weekends seem to go by in the blink of an eye.  On the way to work on Saturday, I decided to stop off at Starbuck’s for a pick my up to get me through the night.  Heather, I am still using the gift card you sent me!  I got something completely different that I never had before:

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I got it with skim milk and sugar free syrup – I got a grande and it came in at 210 calories.  I was afraid it would be too cinnamony, but it was light and refreshing.  Work on Saturday was super busy.  I had a 5 table station and literally as soon as a table left and the table was reset, I had a new table.  Super fun people, the night went by super fast and I was home by 11:15 with $202 dollars.  Nice!  One of my customers on Friday night left a comment on Facebook – both the Chef and the GM gave me high fives!

Dined at Zeal for the 1st time! Going back soon….very soon! First, let me say this; Beth is an excellent server. She knows the menu and makes excellent suggestions, including wine & cocktail choices. In addition, Chef Vince is amazing! He came out and greeted my mother and I. Lastly, he treated us to the most delicious desert, my new fav, salted caramel gelato w/ Garret’s caramel popcorn! Who does that! Zeal! Go check it out. You won’t be disappointed, I promise!

 

I also had another customer Saturday night tell me that she was going to Yelp about the restaurant and my service – nice!   We had a special appetizer on the menu this weekend – a giant soft pretzel with rock salt and an IPA cheese dipping sauce.  It looked so good!

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I ended up sleeping in until 10:30 yesterday morning.  It felt so good.  I ended up with 14,000 steps on Saturday – I only had 4,000 going into the night so that will tell you how busy I was!  And I fell asleep within 2 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.  Tony was still watching t.v. and I was out like a light.  He took this picture and said “cocoon wife!”

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We had a taste for sushi for lunch yesterday but realized as soon as we got there that they weren’t open for lunch on Sundays.  Bummer.  So we went to Buffalo Wild Wings instead.  I know, complete opposite of what we wanted, but it was across the street.  I had beer and wings.  I always do the sauce on the side for the wings, I like my wings nice and crispy.  Tony got an awful burger, it was so over cooked.  This picture was taken with the PRO HDR app – the detail is pretty good considering I have an iPhone 4!

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I am not going to lie, as soon as we got back from lunch I seriously wanted to take a nap, but I ended up doing laundry, watched a couple episodes of GIRLS (love that show!) and got Bizzy in my Kitchen.  I made copycat Nature Valley granola bars (recipe coming later this week) and I made another batch of Lasagna Soup, although this time I made Italian sausage meatballs and cheese tortellaci.    We bought more peanuts for the squirrels but there have been a couple mean ones who run everyone off – especially this one, who is definitely not Kyle or Lyle!

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I also made ribs for dinner.  I cooked them low and slow at 225 for 4.5 hours, then finished them off the grill.  Yes, it may have been 26 degrees outside but I was willing it to feel like summer.  I was even having a glass of white wine which is my summer wine!

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So yesterday could most definitely be called a rest day for me – check out how many steps I got!

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And my WI:

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I guess all that extra walking helped this week!  I’ll take it.  It’s going to be a slow week at work – four attorneys are away on spring break, but I am taking Thursday and Friday day off from work.  I still need to look at the restaurant schedule for this week.  My step-daughter-in-law is in town this week visiting her parents so we hope to get together with her and her family one night this week.

Thank you Louise for the lovely hand crafted birthday card!  I really appreciated it!

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Time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!