Exciting: Waking up to a winter wonderland.
Not Exciting: Realizing that you’re not eight years old and that snow has no impact on the fact that you have to go to work today.
Exciting: Getting to dress up in winter gear including a handmade knit beret from your grandmother.
Not Exciting: Listening to your coworker sing ‘Let It Snow’ all day long.
Exciting: Perusing Black Friday sale ads.
Not Exciting: Seeing that sales are starting at 4 A.M. this year!
While many people right now are preparing for Giving Thanks Day and planning their dinner menus and dining room table seating arrangements, I’m focused on the following day and have been studying family and friends’ wish lists and mapping out store layouts.
My goal this year is to complete all of my holiday shopping by next weekend. This would be a major accomplishment for someone like Miss Procrastinator, aka, ME. Trust me, I’m not taking this goal lightly. Have you seen the ads for Target’s Black Friday? That’s me this year. I’ve started to devise my plan of attack on what stores to hit up at what times in order to maximize the deals and minimize the crowds as much as possible. Part of my game plan also includes my defense strategy for the inevitable crash that I’m expecting to experience at 10 a.m. right in between Macy’s and Target.
Enter: the perfect protein snack!
While Mister E was visiting me in Seattle a few weeks back, our plans of going apple picking were foiled by the weather. Instead of letting the clouds rain on our apple picking parade, we quickly made new plans to lighten up our wallets at the outlet mall. Mister E was in desperate need of a wardrobe update (sorry, Mister E, but it’s true) and I’m (clearly) always open to finding a good bargain.
We started off strong in J. Crew, but after hitting up Nike and Gap, I could feel my energy levels starting to dip down to zero and could tell Mister E was in the same boat that I was. It had been three and a half hours since lunch and all of those dressing room changes were starting to feel more like a workout than casual shopping! But we still had our sights set on Banana Republic and Coach (alright, fine, my eyes were set on Coach… I think Mister E would have been fine if we skipped that one), and Mister E was still in need of socks (yes, socks), so we weren’t ready to walk away yet with a mission unfinished.
I suggested that we pop into Starbucks for a caffeine pick-me-up, and while standing in line, I spotted their Protein Snack Plate. I picked it up for us to share, which turned out to be the best decision ever! The snack pack included a hard-boiled egg, apple slices, Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter, grapes, cheese wedges, and muesli bread (Starbucks, I would really appreciate a recipe for this bread, please!!). This snack was pretty much the equivalent of finding the secret talisman in a video game. My energy levels were instantly restored back to full!
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the snack either. Mister E actually requested that I recreate something similar for him to bring on the plane the next day when he would be traveling. And, his wish is (sometimes) my command.
His snack pack included half of a Honeycrisp apple, half of a sandwich thin with crunchy peanut butter, three hard-boiled eggs, and a wedge of Laughing Cow Swiss cheese. Do you believe that this was my very first time making hard-boiled eggs? Turns out, it’s not so complicated. Simply bring a pot of water to boiling, add salt (this helps the eggs from cracking – Mister E taught me that trick after my first egg cracked), drop your eggs in carefully, and let them do their thing for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon and let them cool slightly (you still want them to be warm) and then peel their shells.
Inspired by Mister E’s forethought for snacking on the plane, I packed the same for myself the following day for my flight to Arizona.
And when my groggy self made into Florida after a red-eye flight a couple days later, I made a beeline to Starbucks for a protein snack and an iced skinny vanilla latte with a pump of pumpkin syrup (my latest drink craze).
So, if you happen to be in the Seattle area this Friday, be on the lookout for me scarfing down a hard-boiled egg and peanut butter outside of a Macy’s. Just don’t plan on disturbing my focus or cutting in front of me in the checkout line. I have plans to be home by 3 p.m. to treat myself to a pumpkin smoothie (stayed tuned for more info on that smoothie!) before crashing into my bed, and I’m not going to let anyone come between me and pumpkin!
Question: On Friday, are you going to be out in the stores Black Friday shopping or home in bed still recovering from your turkey coma? And who else thinks that Prince is having too much fun in that top photo?