I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. ~ EG

Ok, so that's not true.  I do enjoy flowers but not nearly as much as diamonds...  I'm not sure I've mentioned this before but Joe gets his work schedule a month at a time.  So when the new one comes out I always check to see if he has any weekend days off, if he does, I check with Mike and try to take the same day off from the restaurant.  This way we can occasionally spend an entire day together.  We slept in a little bit (all the way until 8:45) then planned to grab breakfast, use our Longwood Garden Groupon tickets and meet up with Vic, Tammy & Luke for dinner.

I knew it was going to be a long day with at least 3 hours in the car and lots of walking.  The weather report called for high 40s so I decided on this OOTD:  a maroon cowl neck sweater from Ann Taylor Loft with a brown puffy vest from The Gap and Express jean leggings.  I wore these Brown Naturalizer boots for the first time.  They were a little stiff at first and I was worried I might end up with blisters but my feet finished the day just as pretty as they started. 
We decided to take Joe's car since we wouldn't be bringing home anything big and he likes to drive fast on highways.  I thought is was pretty funny when I loaded all my stuff in the car for just a day away from home, that's two purses, a book, my kindle and a phone charger.  We also made sure to bring Luke's birthday presents with us (since his 2nd birthday was almost a month ago).
Joe wanted to go to Howell's on the White Horse Pike for breakfast.  I had never been there but sometimes he goes with his dad when they're running errands.  I ordered a tomato, onion and cheese omelet with home fries and rye toast = 815 calories.  The food was good, a little more home style then I'm used to but definitely tasty.
Once we were sufficiently full it was time to head out to Kentwood, PA.  The GPS said it would take about an hour and 45 minutes but we can always shave at least 15 minutes off those estimates.  Once we parked the car and got our real tickets the sun was coming out!  We were in really good spirits and ready to explore.  We realized after about 5 minutes that we should probably plan another trip for sometime in the spring or early summer because while the grounds are definitely beautiful they are a little boring in the winter (which is probably why they offer 1/2 price tickets through Groupon that expire in March).
We wondered outside for a while talking about how beautiful it must be when everything is in bloom.  I couldn't help but think how many great places there are to have a wedding but when I googled in later on I found out that they do not allow weddings on site.  You may take pictures but they won't have a ceremony or reception.
While wondering through one of the buildings we came across this big guy.  Does he remind you of anyone?  We couldn't get over how closely he resembles Ian!  He didn't move the entire time we walked around the room, I even poked at his feet and Joe scratched his head but nothing.  If I hadn't seen his chest rise & fall I would have sworn he was stuffed.
We moved on through a few more of the paths until we came across a little cafeteria.  We hadn't been planning on eating anything but I did need a bottle of water, my head was starting to bother me just a little and I was pretty sure it was because I'd barely drank one glass of water and we were approaching 2pm.  Once we saw all the options available we decided to have a little snack.  I picked up a bottle of water, an apple and an orange = 134 calories.  Joe decided on a cup of their award winning mushroom soup and a piece of chocolate banana bread pudding.  Both of his choices were extremely delicious no matter what that face he's making seems to say.
I was very impressed by how "green" the park was.  There were different bins for trash, recycling and compost.  They provided real silverware instead of plastic and there wasn't any garbage to be found outside.
When we were finished with our snack we went into the main greenhouse.  This is where they were hiding all the pretty flowers!  I was happy to see that Joe was getting excited about being able to take some pictures and use his new lens.  That was the whole reason I wanted to take him here.  The pictures below are all from my phone or point and shoot camera but Joe got some really great shots with his DSLR.  I've been toying with getting one and really exploring photography more.  Especially with this blog it might be nice to take some really nice pictures.

It was the orchid extravaganza or something like that so there were a lot really pretty orchid arrangements everywhere.  I made sure to get a picture of us together so we can prove we were actually there. 
We're thinking about trying something like this in our garden in the backyard with ferns and tulips.

Around 4pm we decided that 3+ hours of walking was enough and made plans to head to Vic & Tammy's for dinner.  We decided to get take out from Appleebee's.  We thought about getting something from the 2 for $20 menu but I couldn't find an entree that had less then 700 calories and the appetizers were even worse.  I decided on a house salad and the Grilled Shrimp with Island Rice = 590 calories.
For dessert Tammy made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting (she swore they were low fat) = 235 calories.
I thought it was just too funny how Luke refused to use his hands while eating his cupcake.
We hung out for another hour or two after dinner watching the Oscar pre-show before deciding it was time to head home.  We walked in the door and straight up to bed where I went through our pictures from the day, uploaded some to Facebook and prepped everything for my blog posts.  I tried to stay awake and watch more of the Oscars but I just couldn't keep my eyes open.  It was so nice to spend the day together, we didn't bicker at all, just enjoyed each other's company :-)

How did I do on my February goals?
1. Read 2 books:  I was really hoping to finish my 1st book with all the driving but I still have probably 20 pages left...
2. Burn at least 750 calories a day for at least 20 days: 2125 burned - 1774 eaten = 351 burned, 21 days total (goal met)
3. 1000 fitness minutes, not allowed to count walking at the restaurant: 0 minutes today, 1145 total for month (goal met)
4. Eat 1 fruit or veggie with each meal for at least 20 days: tomato & onion w/breakfast, apple & orange for lunch, salad & broccoli w/dinner, 11 days total
5. 10 spend free days - I didn't spend a dime, 13 days total (goal met)...

There aren't enough days in the weekend. ~ RS

I didn't realize it at the time but now that I'm looking back on the weekend, I was really busy!  I had to get up for work at the restaurant on Saturday and after staying up later then usual on Friday night I was a little whiny.  I got my act together and was actually over there a little ahead of schedule, I like having everything set up and ready when Mike gets in.  I started to get a little hungry around 8 so Mike made me a couple of eggs before we got too busy = 415 calories.
We weren't too busy which I was happy about because I had planned on an 8 mile run with Angela after work.  It seemed like everyone was a little moody, customers & coworkers, sometimes I have to wonder is if it's just me when that happens, how can that many people all be having a bad day?  But I can't complain, I made like $62 and was home by 12:30.  I made sure to make myself something to eat as soon as I walked in the door so that I would feel ok for the run.  I ended up just putting some pulled pork & cheese on a sandwich thin = 430 calories.  I was on a little bit of a tight schedule because I was meeting some people to start planning a shower for a friend.
Angela & Rob were doing some shopping at the outlets in Atlantic City that morning and I think she forgot that I had plans for after our run because they ended up not getting home until around 2.  She still needed to eat & change before we could head out.  I'm sure I probably could have squeezed everything in and made it work but I'm too type A to cut it so close.  We decided to move some runs around and just do a quick 4 miles instead of the planned 8 since that would shave about 45 minutes off of our workout.  We decided to run near my house, through some of the neighborhoods and a little of the bike path.  It went pretty well, we finished in just under 50 minutes.  I had to take a few walking breaks because my ankle was bothering me when we started and towards the end my knee was aching a little.
I only had about an hour to jump in the shower, get dressed and head out to meet up with the girls which is part of the reason Friday's blog post didn't go up until this morning.  My OOTD isn't too exciting since I wasn't really trying to impress anyone.  I wore a green Gap fleece (which I thought was way more flattering) with a white Hanes tank top, my Etsy neklace and Express jeans.  I wasn't sure what to do about shoes and ended up with some brown New Balance sneakers.  It's so funny what running has done to me, the sneakers I wore were pretty uncomfortable and normally it wouldn't have really bothered me but now I notice how it effects the way I walk and what happens to my whole body because of some crappy sneakers.
I met the ladies at Applebee's and we order dinner while we talked about our shower plans (don't worry, I'm almost 100% sure this friend doesn't read my blog).  I ordered one of the under 550 calorie items, Grilled Dijon Chicken and Portabello = 450 calories.  It was a great ego boost because I hadn't seen any of the girls for at least a year and even though we're Facebook friends they were pretty surprised by how different I look.
I'm not going to be able to attend my friend's shower as it conflicts with something else I have going on, the Broad St run.  I offered to take care of a few things that could be done ahead of time and then one of the other girls will just bring them to the actual shower.  I'm taking care of favors and thank you cards.  Luckily, Nicole is super crafty so we'll be working on this together.  I'm thinking about doing sugar cookies like these individually wrapped for favors.
I hung out with the girls for about two hours before we all went our separate ways for the rest of the evening.  When I got home Lou & Joe were hanging out watching the Flyers in the living so I went next door to hang with Nicole and Jack.  After about an hour Lou came home so I decided to head back to my house too.  We watched a little tv then went to bed, I was super tired, I'm pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch a few times.
I also snacked on two of these pretzels left over from the jewelry party = 260 calories.

How did I do on my February goals?
1. Read 2 books:  didn't get any reading done
2. Burn at least 750 calories a day for at least 20 days: 2560 burned - 1555 eaten = 1005 burned, 21 days total (goal met)
3. 1000 fitness minutes, not allowed to count walking at the restaurant: 50 minutes today, 1145 total for month (goal met)
4. Eat 1 fruit or veggie with each meal for at least 20 days: nothing w/breakfast, nothing  w/lunch, broccoli w/dinner, 10 days total
5. 10 spend free days - bought my dinner, 12 days total (goal met)...

Perhaps an ice pick through the eye would help.

Well the bottle of water & good night sleep didn't help.  I woke up numerous times during the night because my head was still killing me.  I get what are called facial migraines so it usually hurts around one of my eyes, I used to mistake them for sinus headaches until my doctor pointed out the sinus headaches don't usually bring people to tears.  Sometimes it helps to put pressure on the area so I'll try sleeping on that side of my face then I'll try to sleep with my arm thrown over that part of my face when that doesn't work I try sleeping on my back...  Well, around 5:45 Friday morning I finally gave in and took an imitrex in hopes that it would clear up before my alarm went off at 6:30.  No dice.  I took two aleve before getting in the shower and then used the neti pot in case it really was something with my sinuses.  I never call out of work or anything because of it, this is just my life sometimes...  I got dressed in some comfortable casual clothes and hoped breakfast & coffee would help. 

My OOTD is sponsored by New York & Company; the scarf, tunic and tank are all from there.  I'm sporting my awesome black skinny jeans from Express again because it's Friday with the same Steve Madden slouchy boots I wore on Tuesday.
Joe offered to make me breakfast since I was feeling so crappy.  I had a glass of Trop 50, a cup of french vanilla coffee and a two egg omelet with bacon and laughing cow cheese = 332 calories.
Surprisingly I felt much better almost immediately.  But now I don't know what it was that cured me.  Was it the imitrex finally kicking in 2 hours after I took it?  Was it the aleve?  Could it be the food or caffeine?  I'll never know.  This happens a lot because I get frustrated when one method doesn't work so I just try everything else at the same time...

Work was a breeze now that my head was feeling better.  I waited until after noon to eat lunch which made my afternoon seem much shorter.  I had a mandarin orange, fuji apple & greek yogurt = 248 calories.
Before work that morning I had text messaged some of the girls I hadn't gotten RSVPs from for my jewelry party that night.  I was surprised and a little annoyed that I hadn't heard back from any of them all morning/early afternoon.  My friend Christina said she was having issues with her phone but I didn't think anything of it because I had been using mine for WORDS with friends during lunch.
I called my sister on my way home from work to hear about the new puppy she & Bill were getting and my phone froze up.  I took the battery off to restart it & tried the call again.  When Shana answered the phone she said she'd been texting me all day long & asked why hadn't I answered her.  I let her know I hadn't gotten any texts and when I checked my phone I realized I hadn't gotten any texts since 9am!  Now I felt bad for being annoyed at my friends for not getting back to me.  I spent the rest of my drive home listening to Shana tell the story of the puppy they were getting.  Isn't he adorable?  He was tied to a fence during a storm & taken in by a city worker.
I didn't have a lot of time to mess around when I got home because I had to get things cleaned up for the party at 7pm.  But first I quickly texted everyone and let them know my phone was messed up and I hadn't gotten any messages they may have sent.  Well, my phone blew up, I probably got 35 message in the next 15 minutes.  So now I was running around cleaning, getting food ready and responding to everyone, lol.  I later learned from Amanda that I hadn't been getting calls either, she had tried numerous times only to have it ring straight to voicemail...  I had barely gotten everything straightened out when Heather showed up to set up the show.  Beans was a big fan and hung out on or near the table all night long.
I think everyone had a really good time, we had yummy food & a few glasses of wine.  I was surprised that 4 of my friends even booked their own parties for the spring and summer.  I ended up with $346 worth of free jewelry and didn't get to bed until almost midnight!  Here's the food we went through:
I ordered a couple of pizzas from Mack n Manco and Amanda brought over some Wheat Thins & two kinds of hummus.
I made two Tastefully Simple dips.  A Cheesy Chive Beer dip (super good) and a Carrot Cake cheese ball (to die for).
Christina brought over some chocolate covered pretzels and I put out veggie & fruit trays.
I picked on pretty much everything throughout the night and totaled my calories at 859.

How did I do on my February goals?
1. Read 2 books:  didn't get any reading done
2. Burn at least 750 calories a day for at least 20 days: 2275 burned - 1439 eaten = 836 burned, 20 days total (goal met)
3. 1000 fitness minutes, not allowed to count walking at the restaurant: 0 minutes today, 1095 total for month (goal met)
4. Eat 1 fruit or veggie with each meal for at least 20 days: nothing w/breakfast, apple & orange w/lunch, fruit/veggies w/dinner, 10 days total
5. 10 spend free days - bought the pizza, 12 days total (goal met)...


Holy crap I look skinny!

I am aware that that is an extremely self centered post title.  But seriously, it's all I can think when I look at this OOTD picture.  I can't help but think it's the angle Joe's taking it from but he takes them all from pretty much the same spot every day (laying in bed).  Anyway, let's discuss this magic outfit.  My sweater is from the Banana Republic outlet in Atlantic City with a grey tank underneath from...wait for it...New York & Company!  My pants are from The Limited and I'm wearing the same Naturalizer pumps from Monday, they're like the perfect height and super comfortable.
I woke up with a migraine Thursday morning; that's always the worst feeling.  I took a quick shower hoping the steam would help but when that didn't work I ran downstairs to take an imitrex.  Thankfully it only took 1 pill and about 2 hours for it to subside.  We were down to two pretty sad looking bananas in the kitchen so I decided to make some protein shakes and put them out of their misery = 392 calories.
Joe had the day off and offered to take me out to lunch since we were pretty much out of my lunch foods at home.  He was going to be at my office anyway putting a remote start in for one of my coworkers so it was a nice break from work.  We went around the corner to Gary's, a little breakfast & lunch place, really the only place near my office that isn't fast food.  Someone could really make a killing opening up another type of restaurant around here...I had a turkey club but asked them to hold the 3rd slice of bread & didn't touch the potato chips = 420 calories.
I could really tell the difference after eating a substantial lunch as opposed to a salad or an assortment of low calorie options, I was full all afternoon.  I didn't get any pangs of hunger until half way through my kickboxing class.  The class was a pretty good time but my left knee and right ankle were bothering me so I tried to avoid any major jumping or craziness.  I'm really trying to get more interesting pictures of my workouts so here's a shot I nabbed during our ab routine.
Joe had been wanting to make grilled cheese sandwiches & soup (my favorite) for a few days but I asked him to please wait until Thursday because I'd have more calories to eat because of kickboxing.  I really don't have the willpower to say no to bread & cheese plus it's the perfect meal when you're not feeling so great.  That's right my migraine came back right before I left work, someone sprayed some very strong perfume and I felt crappy alomost immediately.  I popped another imitrex and pretty much subsided but I could tell it wasn't going down without a fight.  I had 2 sandwiches and a cup of chicken corn chowder = 882 calories.
Joe finally had enough free time to get to the grocery store!  All of my go to foods have been restocked in the fridge!  He also picked up a healthy eating magazine and said "I'm not afraid to be seen buying a Women's magazine," lol.  I'm really so lucky that he's supportive of my new eating habits, this whole process would be much harder if I was always having get him to understand.  He's even started talking about joining the gym again!
I made sure to prep some of the snacks (mmmm carrot cake dip) for tomorrow night's jewelry party after dinner.  I'm not going to have a lot of time to get things together after work and before people start showing up.  Once I had taken care of as much as I could we headed to the couch and spent the rest of the evening playing WORDS with friends and watching American Idol.  My migraine was getting stronger again before bed but I hoped to knock it out without taking another pill so I chugged a bottle of water and hoped some sleep might be all I needed.

How did I do on my February goals?
1. Read 2 books:  I read a little before the gym...
2. Burn at least 750 calories a day for at least 20 days: 2674 burned - 1694 eaten = 980 burned, 19 days total
3. 1000 fitness minutes, not allowed to count walking at the restaurant: 60 minutes today, 1095 total for month (goal met)
4. Eat 1 fruit or veggie with each meal for at least 20 days: banana w/breakfast, lettuce & tomato cup w/lunch, nothing w/dinner, 10 days total
5. 10 spend free days - didn't buy anything, 12 days total (goal met)...

Five for Friday - 2/25/11

1. You play WORDS with friends with me all day & night.

2. You're doing an excellent job as my financial advisor, even though I still don't have new yoga pants.

3. You take a picture of me every morning for my OOTD with very little complaint.

4. You made my favorite dinner...all 882 calories of it.

5. You always shred the cheese for me so I won't shave off parts of my hand...again.

February 2011


I need a word that ends with C and contains a J and U...

Hello, my name is Lauren and I'm addicted to "WORDS with friends."  My hair stylist mentioned the game to me in passing about 2 months ago but I couldn't find it for android so I forgot all about it.  Then someone on Facebook mentioned playing and I got excited because they have an android; I tried downloading again and this time it was available!  Well I pretty much haven't stopped playing since, I've had to charge my phone twice in a matter of 24 hours and I'm inviting everyone I know that has a smart phone to join a game.  It's bad.  Basically it's like scrabble but there's no time limit, you just play when you have time (at lunch, on hold, waiting for the computer to load, etc).  I played all through dinner, in between turns on wii sports and while watching tv on Tuesday night.
I even played before getting out of bed Wednesday morning.  When I shut off my alarm I had an alert that it was my turn on a game so I logged in and played before getting in the shower, lol.  If anyone wants to play my user name is lfdimples.  I somehow managed to find enough time to get dressed in this OOTD: my sweater is from Old Navy and the tank underneath is from New York & Company, shocking I know.  The pants are from The Limited with Naturalizer black booties and the same necklace I've been wearing for a week from Etsy.
Joe didn't get a chance to grocery shop while he was off on Tuesday so we're down to the bare bones in the kitchen.  I made myself my old standby the egg sandwich with a glass of Trop 50 = 345 calories.  I looked it up and it would appear that I can count the juice as a serving of fruit, YAY!
Work was pretty mellow, no mind altering chemicals being used I guess.  I was surprised how not hungry I was all morning, I was concerned I'd miss lunch with the girls again.  But just like clockwork 12:00 popped onto my clock and my stomach started growling.  While searching the refridgerator for breakfast food that morning I came across one last fruit cup!  I was pretty excited to be able to eat my regular lunch again = 380 calories.  Also that would be Dawn giving my fruit cup bunny ears...
I cannot get over how sore I was!  I think it's mostly from Monday night's group power class but I'm sure my wii sports workout didn't help. Thankfully I only had a 3 mile run scheduled, I wouldn't be working my arms at all.  Angela and I decided to meet up at the gym for our run.  She's been going through some stuff and really needed a fast & furious run which would be hard for me to keep up with if we were outside.  I decided to joke around a little bit and took a picture of her while we were on the treadmills, obviously I don't have the steadiest of hands.
Her need for speed must have been rubbing off on me because towards the end I decided to jump from my normal 5.3 to 5.5 and then to a 6.0 and it wasn't too bad!  I was crazy sweaty, should have taken a picture, but I felt really good!  Look at that time, I would have beat my Thanksgiving 5K time by at least a full minute! 
Joe & I got home at pretty much the same time.  I made a quick change into some sweats and headed into the kitchen to make dinner while he went up into the attic to work on replacing the insulation.  This was the first time I've cooked in a long time, Joe's been beating me home most nights and doing a lot of the cooking lately.  I made baked pork chops with steamed broccoli & carrots = 510 calories.
After dinner we hung out in the living room playing WORDS with friends, messing around Facebook and going through google reader.  I'm pretty proud to say able to keep it under 100 unread posts for over a week; I'm going to try harder to comment on the blogs too now.  I know it really makes a difference to me when I read comments here.  I was getting kind of bummed and down on the whole blogging thing when I didn't get any comments for 5 days straight.  But I figure I can't be upset when no one is commenting on my thoughts if I'm not commenting on theirs.  It was funnt at one point during Parenthood or American Idol I mentioned that we have a very nice rotating scrabble board upstairs that we could use instead of sitting next to each other on the couch with our phone's out.  Joe's response, "we pay good money each month to play on the internet instead," lol!  Before going to bed I realized I still had a decent number of calories left over so I decided to have a weight watchers ice cream bar = 110.
How did I do on my February goals?
1. Read 2 books:  no reading for me...not looking good for this goal...
2. Burn at least 750 calories a day for at least 20 days: 2413 burned - 1345 eaten = 1068 burned, 18 days total
3. 1000 fitness minutes, not allowed to count walking at the restaurant: 45 minutes today, 1035 total for month (goal met)
4. Eat 1 fruit or veggie with each meal for at least 20 days: oj w/breakfast, fruit cup w/lunch, broccoli & carrots w/dinner, 10 days total
5. 10 spend free days - didn't buy anything, 11 days total (goal met)...