Kitchen Diva

For some reason I wasn’t that hungry for breakfast yesterday morning.  Just one of my Nature Valley copycat granola bars and a cup of coffee did the trick.   This batch I added 2 teaspoons of Giradelli cocoa powder, and they stuck together really well.

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Working a double yesterday, I skip the lunch time workout since I know I’ll be walking and on my feet for 6-7 hours.  That meant garage sales!  I actually only went to one – an estate sale.  You could tell that these two older gentlemen who were running it were liquidating their Mom’s house.  Turns out she collected PIGS and ANGELS!

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And check out this pair – $150 for both – have you ever seen these before??

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I sent this picture to my Mom, since she collects angels too.  Um, let’s just say my Mom’s collection is a bit more tasteful.

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I ended up getting a snowman soup bowl, and two gallon size bags of pens for $1.  I don’t know how it happens, but I’ll start out a shift at the restaurant with 7 pens and I come home with 3.  After sorting through them, these are the ones that worked.

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And they had this old brand of sewing machine, Mom, have you heard of this brand before?  My Mom was a Singer sewing machine gal.

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It was close to 1:15 and all of a sudden I was hangry.  I went to one of Tony’s favorite places.  He LOVES their steak and cheese on garlic bread.  When I told him I got an Oven Grinder (basically a heated up Italian sub) and kept saying “why didn’t you get the steak and cheese on garlic bread??!”

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I got that sandwich and a diet coke – and it came to $9.03!  Ah, now I remember why I don’t go there so often, but it is oh so good.  I could only eat half, and I wrapped up the other half to have later for my dinner.

I got this picture from Joe later in the afternoon – I love these damn dogs!

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Work started out really slow.  My boss and her husband and son came in though, so that was nice.  I was supposed to have a 6 top and an 8 top – one starting at 7:30 and one starting at 8:00.  7:30 came and went, and my 8 top finally sat down at 8:30.  And my 6 top finally called to cancel.  Rats.

We did have a great shared entrée – a 32 ounce Tomahawk steak with a 1 pound lobster tail!  It’s only $90 (ha!)

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And we sold a couple seafood towers – this is one pound of split king crab, jumbo shrimp, raw clams, oysters, smoked salmon and lobster meat.  The large one sells for $105.

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I finally got out of work at 11:00 – only made $105 with 4 tables it was that slow and with my cancellation.  Oh well!  It’s better than a poke in the eye!

Remember the other half of sandwich I was going to eat for dinner?  Well, that would be difficult to eat because I left it in my office fridge.  So I ordered a pizza from work (I get 50% discount) and a several squares when I got home.  With a glass of wine.  Momma’s puppies were tired!

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I got my steps in, even without a lunch time workout – I only had 2,500 steps going into work, and ended up with:

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It’s gorgeous out today – I wish I didn’t have to work tonight, but oh well.  Not sure what’s on tap today – maybe a trip to bed bath & beyond to get a generic filter for the coffee maker – I tried to use the old one I had in the new machine, and it only spit out a 1/4 cup of coffee – I think the holes are too small.

Hope you have a great weekend!  See you Monday!

Cream of Celery Soup with Sriracha Shrimp

You all know I can’t seem to go too long without having some sort of taco, tostada, etc. It’s just that it is so easy to put together and so tasty! Take these breakfast tacos – you could easily spend Sunday morning putting these together and cooking them with just the eggs and cheese. Then store them in the freezer in packs of three. I reheat mine under the broiler setting for 3-4 minutes if they are from the fridge, and 7-8 minutes if frozen. They crisp back up great – and then just stuff with your favorite fresh veggies and you are good to go – I went with cilantro and shredded red cabbage. and of course hot sauce – duh.

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These were so filling, I didn’t even leave for my walk at lunch until 1:00 p.m.!

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I ended up walking for 45 minutes – the weather was perfect – 73 degrees and sunny.

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I was listening to Pop radio on my iPhone and this song came on – Adore You by Miley – I have to admit, I really like this song – my daughter-in-law loves Miley! I texted her this picture and she said “you need to listen to the whole album!” I may just have to do that.

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So last week Helen was writing about her fabulous vacation in St. Martin, and she talked about a cold celery soup. Huh. I had never even heard of celery soup, let alone a cold one. A quick Pinterest search, and I found this recipe. I changed it up a bit, I didn’t use any oil and of course, you know I left off the leeks! I also made my shrimp spicy and subbed in cilantro for tarragon. Not a huge fan of fresh tarragon.


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Okay, so here’s the deal. The soup is delicious – not overly celery tasting, actually just a hint – but I didn’t care for it cold. It was a texture thing for me. However, one of my co-workers ate it chilled and loved it. This is a perfect course to a summer dinner party!

Since my lunch was so low in calories, I was able to have an iced coffee – I keep unsweetened almond milk in our work fridge – this is coffee, almond milk, and 2 tablespoons of Almond Joy coffee creamer (sorry Jody, I still love that shit!) and whip cream and a touch of caramel sauce – 107 calories. Just ignore the clutter on my desk, mkay?

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So last night was finally the night I grilled up Tony’s squid! They have been blanched and marinating in olive oil, lemon and garlic for days. It almost looks like they are ready to climb out of the container!

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Me? I had steak and zucchini! I am not crazy. Open-mouthed smile

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I served Tony’s baby octopus over a white bean and artichoke salad – of course, made without the nasty red onions. Sorry I didn’t get a better picture of this – my commute home last night was 65 minutes due to lane closures and by now it was nearing 7:30! I also gave him a bite of my delicious steak. He loved it. I tried one baby octopus, but I immediately spit it out in a napkin. No worries – more for him!

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And I got my steps in! My Mom is thinking of getting a Fitbit – I love that she’s nearly 74 years old and wants one – but truth be told, I am a little scared because I think she’ll kick my ass in the step department! She’s one busy lady!

Alright, time to iron my work shirt – working a double today. I usually don’t work out on the days I work a double but guess what season we are in?? GARAGE SALE SEASON! I am going to see if there are any garage sales near my office to hit up at lunch today.

Happy Friday – make it a great day!


Beef Tostadas–or what I could eat every day

We have had some chilly mornings – yesterday it was 50 degrees when I left the house, but truth be told, I think that’s my favorite temperature.  If I could live somewhere where it was between 50 and 75 degrees all the time, I would totally move there.  Poor Tony though is still sleeping under our down comforter!

Breakfast was delish – kind of savory and sweet!  I made an egg beater ‘”omelet.”   I am putting omelet in quotes because it doesn’t look too pretty, but I added chopped cilantro and some muenster cheese in it.  On the side – a mini caramel apple parfait – one container Chobani plain yogurt, one small apple diced, 1 teaspoon sugar free pancake syrup, 2 tablespoons whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce – I ate that last and it tasted like a breakfast dessert!

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It was still cool by lunch time – 61 degrees so I knew I was walking.  Going to take advantage before the heat is in the 90s and I have to go to the gym.  This time I had sunscreen AND a hat.

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I like listening to fast paced music – makes me walk faster!  All was well until I started to smell something and almost before I stepped right on it, I saw a dead raccoon that had a zillion flies on it – ew!  I couldn’t get across the street fast enough!

I had leftover steak from my salad the night before – I ended up making beef tostadas – pretty sure I could eat some variation of this every day.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:46]How delicious do those look?  Redic.

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I got home from work and Tony was enjoying a cigar outside – um, guess who decided after spending five days in the hospital last week to mow the lawn?  Yep – Tony!   I think he did it without me because he hates how I mow – in the 13 years we’ve lived here, I think I’ve mowed the lawn 4 or 5 times?!  Thanks Tony – it looks great!

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Tony always has a stash of peanuts, but in case Kyle or Lyle decide to get too close – he’s got peanuts to use as weapons!

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We ended up hanging out outside while I grilled up some chicken.

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I may or may not have added a bit of hot sauce to my plate. Open-mouthed smile

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My step-son sent me this cute picture of his dog Taquito – how cute is he??!!  I like how you can see their other dog Cinnamon Bun’s white paw touching Taquito.

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And because of my fast paced walk at lunch, had no trouble getting in my 10,000 steps!

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I ended up making a cream of celery soup for lunch today.  It’s supposed to be eaten cold, but when I tasted it warm I quite liked it – we’ll see if I end up eating it cold later on today.  If it’s good, I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.  My blog friend Helen had that cold celery soup when she was in St. Martin, and I’ve been intrigued with the idea since she posted it!

Alright, time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!

Spicy Asian Shrimp Noodle Soup

Thanks for all the well wishes for Tony yesterday!  We appreciate it!  And from your lips to God’s ear that we are done with hospitals for a while!

I had so much time yesterday before going to my dr. appt that when it got time to leave I never made anything for my breakfast!  I seriously considered hitting up McDonald’s, but realized that I could pit a McMuffin together in less than 5 minutes, so that’s what I made.  I used low sodium roast beef, and I have to tell you, with the reduced salt the meat tastes beefier to me.  I ate it in the car on the way to the doctor.

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My foot doctor appointment lasted all of about 8 minutes.  He said my toe looks great, and to check back with him in a couple months if I get another ingrown toe nail – I guess there is a procedure they can do that would permanently prevent ingrown toenails from even forming – huh!

Work was buys right off the bat, so before I knew it, it was time to workout.  Even though my gym bag was packed I decided it was so nice out I should take advantage of the weather and walk.

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I walked for 40 minutes, and sure enough managed to burn my shoulders and back of my neck – dammit!  I have new sunscreen in my bag now.  Damn sensitive skin!

So while Tony is in the hospital, I become the sleep whisperer – he just feels comfortable to sleep knowing I am there.  When I went home over the weekend to clean the fridge and freezer, I found that I had THREE bags of edamame!  So while he slept, I searched for recipes using edamame.  I found a recipe on Foodnetwork, but rewrote it to make it one serving.


At work I just heated it up in my container, and garnished with the cilantro.  This was remarkably spicy flavorful.  The mushroom soy just adds another layer of earthy flavor.

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This whole bowl comes in at 454 calories, 11 fat, 52 carbs, 7 fiber and 35 whopping grams of protein.  It also provides 214% of your daily Vitamin A, 70% of your Vitamin C, 32% of calcium and 27% of your daily Iron.

You can see the edamame sank to the bottom of the dish – I puffy heart this broth.

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And Tony’s liver decided to speak up yesterday afternoon.  That is one mean liver!!

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I had every intention of grilling shrimp and octopus last night, but it got stormy!  When I left my office it was 89 degrees – in 30 minutes the temperature dropped to 64!

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So Plan B.  Salads – Tony had his without steak, and yes, I have learned through Tony to love my steak black and blue.

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After dinner Fitbit sent me this message:

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A few trips up and down the stairs finishing up the laundry did the trick!

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When I was walking I heard this song for the first time and loved it!

I have been beating myself up for eating at home while Tony was in the hospital, but I realize I am only human, and I can get back at it.  Make it a great day!

Let’s Go To The Healing Garden!

How was your holiday weekend?  Ours?  Well, let’s just say it wasn’t the holiday weekend either of us envisioned.   We had to take Tony to the hospital after I got home from work on Thursday.  I was off site all day from my desk, and Tony left me a couple messages there that he wasn’t feeling well.  He tried to get a hold of two of his main doctors, to no avail.  Finally when I got home I got through to the doctor on call, Tony gave his symptoms over the phone and I knew right then and there that we were headed back to the ER.

Because he is prone to infections, they put him in the ICU – he finally got to his room around midnight and I left around 12:30.  I had to go to work on Friday, but I knew he would be in good hands.  I luckily found someone to work for me at the restaurant Friday night.  Here’s how Tony feels about being in the hospital again:

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And here was my view coming and going to the hospital for five days.

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And Tony missed out on amazing weather – it was warm and sunny all weekend – didn’t start to rain until last night.

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I had made a batch of my copycat Nature Valley granola bars for the nurse at the Coumadin clinic that Tony was supposed to see on Thursday, but felt too bad to go so rescheduled the appointment.   So on Friday morning I brought them to the ICU nurses.  I saw a nurse outside Tony’s room, introduced myself as Tony’s wife, handed her the granola bars and she said “your husband isn’t a happy camper today.”  See, Tony gets hardly any rest in the hospital – and because he was in ICU he gets extra special attention.  I have to say, the nursing staff is incredible – so caring. 

So this nurse Jennifer, so perky, walks into the room and says “Let’s go to the healing garden!”  We get Tony up out of the chair, transfer his IV’s to a pole so he can walk, and off we go.  Um, except this healing garden is literally nothing more than a bench, next to some flowers that haven’t bloomed yet and a “rock garden” that apparently has water attached to it so it’s soothing, but all it was, was a pile of dry rocks.  And it faced the parking lot so we got a nice view of all the doctors cars:  Porche, BMW, Mercedes, another BMW.  You can tell from this picture that Tony is THRILLED to be going to the healing garden!

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On Saturday I brought banana muffins to the unit.  I had several bananas that had to be used up.  I also had some leftover granola bars – the corner bars almost always break into pieces, so I decided to make that the topping to the muffins.  OMG – these were amazing if I do say so myself!  I’ll post the recipe later this week, but I had all the nurses asking me for the recipe!  I am calling these Banana Granola Crunch Muffins.

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My eats?  Kind of shitty, which is how I handle situations like this.  I had chili and water a couple times for meals at the hospital:

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I couple times I had my chicken finger salad:

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I had Subway too – and I bought a Digorno pizza one night, and over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, I managed to polish that off all by myself.  I lucked out at work on Saturday night.  Being a holiday weekend it was dead.  I was working in the bar and there wasn’t a single customer in the whole bar for the first hour and a half.  We had three bartenders, a bar back and me!  I ended up giving the bar to one of the servers who hadn’t gotten a table yet – there was going to be a party of 20 people later that night for apps and open bar and he was more than willing to take it, so I just went back to the hospital Saturday night for a few more hours.

Sunday afternoon I took a break and came home to get some stuff done around the house – get the laundry started, clean out the fridge/freezer.

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The top right hand shelf is what I like to call “Tony’s shelf.”  It has all of the stuff he eats now – fruit, apple sauce, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.  Loving having a clean refrigerator, although it never seems to last too long!

While I was home, Tony texted me this:

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He had the nurses laughing the whole time.  When they asked what he did for a living, he almost always said “exotic dancer.”   When I got to the hospital yesterday, I really didn’t have high hopes that they would let him go, but finally around 11:30 they said they were putting the discharge papers together – hooray!  Well, except we already know the drill, from the time they say discharge until they actually bring the wheelchair up to the room, it’s usually several hours.  Yup.  We finally left at 3:00!

I got Tony settled inside and then went to do my errands.  Remember when I put vinegar in my Keurig a couple weeks ago?  Yep, it’s never worked right since then.  Sometimes it would pour 1/4 of the amount it should.  Sometimes it wouldn’t work at all unless I unplugged it, plugged it back in, and even then it was hit or miss if it worked.  Momma needs her coffee!  So I used a 20% off coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond and picked up a new one.  Got gas for the car and grocery shopped. 

When we were waiting to get discharged I told Tony that I had no idea how to meal plan for dinners because I had no idea what his appetite was going to be like.  He said that he had a taste for a white bean salad (sans onions that seem to be in every recipe I looked at – I am going to make this bean and artichoke salad – doesn’t it look good?!) and he said “and you know what would be good with that? wait – never mind, you would never eat it.”  When I asked him what it was he said “octopus!”   And wouldn’t you know, while I was buying shrimp for this recipe I am making for my lunch today.    And as I am waiting for him to wrap up my shrimp, I look down and see . . . baby octopus!  There wasn’t a price per pound tag on it, so I asked how much they were – only $3.99 a pound!

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I put that picture on Instagram asking if anyone had any tips so that they don’t taste like ass.  For the most part, I think more than half the people threw up in their mouth just looking at that picture.  But my friend Alison said “grill it!”  So that’s what I am going to do.  Except there is a bit of work involved.  You have to remove the heads and then blanch the octopus in boiling water for 1 minute.  I have to admit, when I added the octopus to the hot water they looked like they were alive!

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Right now they are marinating in the fridge with a bit of olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.  I’ll grill them up tonight – wish me luck!

You know what Tony was dreaming about while he was at the hospital?  Just sitting outside, enjoying the weather and having a cigar.  Which is what we did last night.

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And then this look – when he was saying “okay, enough pictures of me already!”

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So he meets with his two main doctors this week and we’ll see what the game plan is.  Just so happy he’s home! 

And I have to give a happy birthday shout out to my niece Rachel!  She’s graduating from high school this year – time sure does fly – Happy Birthday Rachel!  Rachel is my brother Charlie’s youngest daughter.


I have a follow up doctor appointment this morning for my toe – it still looks awful but I have no toe pain anymore!  This gives me a bit of time to get my stuff together – my gym bag has been untouched in my car since last Wednesday – ew!

Make it a great day!

Blogging Break

Morning!  Yesterday was a long day – I spent all of my work day at a storage unit going through old files – what we thought might have been a 3-4 hour project quickly turned into a six hour project.  I was on my feet all day.

My nosh:  Breakfast – homemade McMuffin

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Once we determined that we would definitely be working through lunch, I did a lunch run to Panera – if I read the sign right I think this Mediterranean flatbread wrap comes in at 350 calories – it was really good!

panera 006I saw that they had hibiscus tea, bought thought for sure it would be sweetened – Hannah told me it isn’t so next time I’ll get that, but their brewed tea is outstanding.

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Since I didn’t eat lunch until nearly 3:45, I wasn’t hungry for dinner, and neither was Tony.  I finally made myself a tiny pizza bread on pita.

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I am taking a bit of a blogging break this holiday weekend.  So I want to wish everyone a wonderful long weekend – hope you get to spend lots of time with family, friends and food!

See you on Tuesday – hugs – make it a great day!

Caramel Apple Chobani Parfait

Well, I always remember after I ate a parfait that I have a love/hate relationship with them.  I love how they taste, but boy do they spike my blood sugar!  I think its because I take my insulin, and then it takes me a while to eat it, and the insulin has already worked its magic and I am just eating food which spikes my blood sugar – it was 350 AFTER I ate it!

But for those of you who have an active pancreas, this one is a winner.  When I put this on Instagram yesterday, I realized I forgot to add the teaspoon of peanut butter to the stats.


I love picmonkey for photo editing!

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Surprisingly this didn’t taste too sweet to me, which is probably one of the reasons I loved it so much.

So I had grand plans to work out at lunch yesterday.  So around 10 in the morning, I slipped off my Reebok flip flops and put my gym shoes on to walk around the office for a while to see how my toe would feel.

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In the beginning it was a bit sore, but not bad.  I thought at the very least I could walk on the treadmill.  Um, no – about an hour later my toe really started to hurt, and I realized it was bleeding again.  Only one tiny problem – I am a non-shoe person – meaning I literally have 5 pairs of various shoes – and that would include a pair of flip flops and my winter boots!  My Reebok flip flops I’ve probably had for three years?  About to break:

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So I hobbled over to Goodwill on my lunch and as luck would have it – I found exactly what I was looking for = a pair of nice sandals I can wear to work AND they are my favorite brand – BORN!   These sandals retailed for $50 – I got them for $3.99.  #winning

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So comfy too.  I’ll be getting a lot of use out of these.

Lunch you’ll remember was “throw shit in a bag” day.  I threw in a container of stovetop refried beans, some leftover chicken from the whole chicken we grilled on Sunday, some red cabbage, spinach, cheddar cheese and low carb wraps.  So I made a simple chicken burrito – I put two teaspoons of the refried beans on the tortilla, topped with 3 ounces of chicken and a sprinkling of cheese – put that in the microwave for a minute, then added the spinach, red cabbage and salsa to it and rolled it up.  This was surprisingly very filling!  And for the record, that’s a salad plate, not a dinner plate. Open-mouthed smile

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I love these tortillas too – so soft and chewy – and 13 grams of fiber!

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Tony was sitting outside enjoying a cigar when I got home.  It was so nice out – we ended up sitting out there for over an hour.  I picked up two $1 containers of white rice for Tony to do his magical fried rice.  He opted to just have plain rice with a touch of low sodium soy sauce – he made me his fried rice – this time no meat, just eggs and canned stir fry veggies.   I like to call this picture of Tony “stop taking my picture!”

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And he made enough so I’ll have the leftovers for lunch today.  Yum!

So without a formal workout, I still got in some steps yesterday – I know each day will get a bit better.  I plan on wearing my sandals until I have to wear work shoes on Friday night.  We’ll see how that goes!

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Alright, I have to get some granola bars ready to go – Tony sees this one woman at the Coumadin clinic when he gets his blood tests done – I made her a batch of my buffalo chicken chili and she raved about it so I am giving her a batch of my copycat Nature Valley granola bars.   I forgot I was going to make them for her, but they are so easy to put together, I put them in the oven at 10:00 and they were ready to cut by 10:45.  I like to let them cool overnight before moving them though – they have a better chance of staying together that way.

Make it a great day!  (and p.s.  I had no idea that the Goofus and Gallant cartoon had that caption underneath it – definitely R rated – sorry about that!)