Monthly Archives: November 2010

November Lessons Learned

Alright, so I skipped October, but read previous months’ lessons learned here.

This month I learned that one should be careful not to get too zealous when shredding their spaghetti squash and let it going flying everywhere. Apparently dogs will eat anything else off the floor except spaghetti squash.

You should eat all holiday/seasonal candy at the appropriate holiday/season in order to avoid putting Fall-themed Hershey Kisses in a Christmas candy dish.

I cannot make hash browns to save my life. Just ask Mister E. He’ll tell you how I’ve tried many a times to pass potato mash off as hash browns. I just CAN’T figure out those little crispy spuds!

Prince likes snow.

At her last check-up, the vet mentioned that Kaylie might want to think about shedding some pounds. Kaylie does not do well on a diet. And by diet, I mean she comes close to dying in those 45 minutes that I let her food dish go empty.

The jury is still out on whether it’s weird or not that I make my cat eat of a bowl with her face on it. But the verdict is in that Kaylie is lovable at any size.

Shallots make you cry just as much as onions. If not more.

There is so much to be thankful for in life. <3

What are some of your recent lessons learned?

Perhaps the Greatest Combo Ever

First of all, thank you so much for sharing all of your cookie monster stories! I’m glad I’m not the only one that can demolish a batch of baked goodies by myself!

Ok, so I don’t want to make any grand claims or anything… but, I think I might have stumbled upon the best combination of flavors since peanut butter and jelly!

Pumpkin butter, cream cheese, and bananas!

The other day, I had the thought to use up some of my pumpkin butter on my Western Alternative Cinnamon Bagels. I heard that pumpkin butter and cream cheese compliment each other well, so I threw the creamy spread into the mix as well. But a bagel with cream cheese and pumpkin butter just didn’t seem like the most nutritious breakfast ever, so I decided to add a banana to “healthify” it a bit.

Holy deliciousness! Some people may think that having pumpkin coffee along with pumpkin butter might be a pumpkin overkill, but I say, the more the better!

Unfortunately, I used my last cinnamon bagel up for this breakfast. :-( So when I was craving it again today, I took a different approach and used toasted whole grain bread and just sprinkled cinnamon on top of the finished product. :-)

Not too shabby!

And hey, look at that… the first food picture I’ve been able to take in natural light (albeit, gray) in probably over a month!

You might have been able to predict this….

Another pumpkin-lover in the household! He got it from his mama! :-D

Question: What are some of your favorite flavor combinations?

And… how many of you are starting to prepare for the next holiday season?

And… did anyone score some awesome Black Friday deals?

I busted out the Christmas songs today and have plans to start going through holiday cookie recipes this weekend – should be fun! And all I have to say about Black Friday is Gap and 50% off. Enough said!

How I Ate 36 Cookies in 7 Days

Sometimes, a girl just needs a cookie.

The other week my hormones got the best of me and I turned into a not-so-fun to be around person. I knew that the only possible way to salvage my mood was through a chocolate chip cookie and a viewing of the latest episode of Glee. So, I made myself a batch of cookies, calmly showed restraint by only eating two, and stuck the rest in my freezer.

Then there are other times that a girl doesn’t need a cookie. She doesn’t even want a cookie. But somehow, the girl still ends up eating an entire batch of cookies.

I had the best intentions of making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to bring into my coworkers. With a bit of research, I found a pretty amazing sounding recipe (which I’m afraid I can’t share with you at this time since I didn’t bookmark the website that I found it on). To my delight, the recipe ended up making THREE dozen medium-sized cookies. As I removed each batch from the oven, I let them cool before stacking them on a plate. And then to my horror, I realized that these cookies were too moist and soft and had started to stick together, and clearly, stacking them was a huge mistake. As I tried to lift a cookie off the top of the pile, the top of the cookie underneath came with it.

In the words of Winnie-the-Pooh, “Oh, bother”.

Now, I might do some questionable things that people don’t agree with (like letting Mister E eat chicken that had accidentally been dropped on the floor), but giving clumped-together cookies to coworkers is just not one of them. I’d rather be tagged in dozens of embarrassing photos online than serve someone cookies that I wasn’t proud of.

I think you can clearly see my predicament here.

Three dozen cookies.

Amazingly delicious.

Clumped together in one giant cookie ball.

A stubborn baker who won’t serve them.

And thus, that is how it came to be that I ate three dozen cookies by myself over the course of a week.

And I didn’t even want one to begin with.

But they were the most amazing cookies I have ever tasted.

I debated sharing this story with you, but I figured if ever there was a time to talk openly about gluttony, Thanksgiving would be the day.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, this year I am thankful for a wonderful family that loves me for being me, a boyfriend that puts a smile on my face every single day, a dog and a cat that seem to always love me unconditionally, friends that are always a phone call away when I need them most, and all of you. This blog has been a huge source of comfort to me these past six months and I’m so thankful to all of the wonderful people who support me in it. <3

And superficially speaking… I’m also thankful for flavored coffee, yoga pants, pumpkin cookies, Modern Family, and ear warmers.

Frolicking in the Snow

Sometimes I question your motives for coming to my blog. Is it really to read what I have to say? Or are you just interested in the Prince photos?

Either way, I hope this video warms your heart.

And because I’m paranoid that my very first video won’t play right, here’s the link if the above video doesn’t work.

Today

Today is my brother’s 17th birthday. You would never guess it since he looks my age, if not older. I still see him as the eight year old cutie pie with the mushroom-top haircut and Harry Potter glasses.

Today, I was preoccupied with trying to figure out what to get Mister E for Christmas while preparing my breakfast. Somehow I ended up pouring my oatmeal into my coffee.

Today, my knuckles are still white from the death grip that I had on my steering wheel while driving into work on the ice.

Today, it is 21 degrees out but feels like 7 degrees.

Today, Prince was able to unleash his inner three month old puppy-self in the snow and watching him frolic about warmed my heart. Unfortunately, it did nothing for warming my toes.

Today, Mister E wanted me to point out to you all that my post, ‘Boyfriends, Airplanes, and Cactus… Oh My!‘, incorrectly had a plural on boyfriend. It should have been properly titled, ‘Boyfriend, Airplanes, and Cactus… Oh My!’. One boyfriend is enough for me to deal with, thank you very much.

Today, I’m giving thanks early for Western Bagels’ Alternative Bagels. You would never guess that these doughy babes only pack 110 calories each. In fact, I still feel like Western Bagels is lying to me about the calories. They’re too good to have so few calories! These totally blow Thomas’ Bagel Thins out of the water. Sorry Thomas, but you better step your game up!

I discovered these bagels in Florida, and out of fear of not being able to find them in Washington, I bought five packs to bring home with me. I wonder what the TSA people thought of my carry-on filled with bagels, oatmeal, and coffee? (Don’t worry, the oatmeal wasn’t in the coffee this time!) As it turns out, Western Bagels are sold in Washington, so there was no need for me to declare a national crisis and pack my freezer full of bagels. But… for those of you that run into the tragedy of not being able to find a location near you, never fear, for Western Bagels has an online shop!

I have found that the Sweet Wheat is perfect for my new favorite breakfast sandwich.

And the Cinnamon Spice is everything nice when topped with cranberry orange cream cheese.

Speaking of cranberry orange cream cheese…

Today, I’m thankful that such a cream cheese exists. Why is this a seasonal item? I’m lobbying for it to be a year-round delicacy.

Today, I’m looking forward to tomorrow when it will warm up and be in the 30s.

Today, I feel as if my universe has been turned upside because I just used warm and 30s in the same sentence. Someone please save me from this madness!

What’s happening in your world today?

Getting Ready for Black Friday

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.

Crazy?

Yes.

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!

(source)

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?

Boyfriends, Airplanes, and Cactus… Oh My!

How is it that three weeks have past by since my last post??? Eeek! Can’t someone find a way to slow down time please?

So, I bet you’re wondering, “What has Bethany been up to in the past three weeks that would make her forget about us?” Well, hopefully you’ll understand why I wouldn’t want to take time away from what I was doing after this!

I was making a mess out of my kitchen…

Hanging out with Mister E…

Falling in love with Seattle again…

Eating pizza…

Taking pictures of myself next to a cactus in Arizona…

Flying across the country on red eye flights…

Packing way too many shoes…

Missing this guy…

Playing around with these guys…

Trying a carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice for the first time…

Wandering around Florida…

Going through my grandmonther’s recipes…

And eating home cooked meals…

Sounds fun, no? I’m currently still in Florida, and am flying back to Seattle today. I promise to resume normal blogging tomorrow. There’s so much to catch up on! Hope everyone had a spook-tacular Halloween and enjoyed their “extra hour” of sleep this weekend!