Monthly Archives: April 2011

Lets Give Em Somethin’ To Blog About….

how about loooooove, loooooove, LOOOOOOOOVEEEEUH?!?!?!

Sorry, it reminded me of the song. ūüôā

Lord, did everyone think I had vanished again? ¬†No worries, your blogger boy is still here….just crazy busy! ¬†Like the title says, however, I have lots to blog about….

First off, a recent shopping trip has led me to offer some helpful hints when getting groceries, most of which being…

Shop on the outside!

I know you have heard it probably many times, but it is so true.

Sticking to the outside of your local store will allow you to only select fresh ingredients, leaving out the middle man which is mostly full of not so healthy choices.

Random but helpful tidbit there.

Next up in this random post consisted of a cool aspect of my job I just had to post about.  Who else gets to play tag with middle schoolers and get paid?!

A Healthy Living Director, thats who!  I love being able to get these kids active, while still having FUN!  This game is a bib with strips on the back.  Last kid (or blogger) standing with a strip left on their back without it being grabbed is the winner.

Of course, I dominated. ūüôā

Another random portion of this blog consists of a Earth Fare trip with Ginny, that proved to be AHHHHMAZING because of a new, and outstanding, find.

Two words for you people.

Chocolate.  Booty.

These were AMAZING!!!!

While the Veggie variety still holds #1 in my heart, Chocolate ranks a close second! ¬†It was so good! ¬†At $2 a bag, I think I may have went a bit overboard with my booty purchases for the day, I will let you be the judge….

Mmmmmm, booty love at it’s finest.

Completely unrelated to Booty, but delicious none the less…

Random yummy dinner…

Where I found your long lost blogger friend, Emily!!!! ¬†ūüėÄ

Where a delicious wrap was consumed…

Turkey wrap with double broc!  Yum!

And what happens when a group of friends get together with a shared love for sugary goodness?!

That is one big box of Munchkin lovin’

which makes a nice transition into burning those mentioned Munchkins off!

My friend Sharon kept telling me about a local 5 mile trail run. ¬†I have only ever done road races, so I was instantly ready for a change! ¬†Trail runs, here I come…we even had SHIRTS made for the occasion.

And did we ever run for those cupcakes!

Check out the muddy (and cold!!!) legs after!

I have misssssssed racing so much!  Felt good to have a race bib on!

and boy was the 5 miles worth the trophies that awaited us in the car…

Cupcaaaaaaake. ¬†ūüôā

Thanks to Sharon for introducing me to the new and addicting world of trail running!

What do you think of trail running?  Are you a road, or trail racer?

And can I just say, what is the DEAL with all this Royal Wedding nonsense?  Why are we supposed to care again???  They are streaming it live in like 96 countries or something equally as insane.  Ridiculous.

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Food, Food….and for a change of pace…FOOD!

Well my friends, Chicago has been many things…one of which has been some AMAZING eats. ¬†Lets take a look…shall we?!

Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it also happens to be my favorite.

Gotta love a place that has stock Truvia for the coffee!

The menu was HUGE! ¬†I narrowed it down a bit, and finally went with…

West Coast Crepes?!?!  You had me at avocado.

They didn’t skimp on the green stuff, either!

Huge chunks -o- cado!  Yummmmm

Shortly after this meal we walked deeper into the city, where we found a free zoo!  How awesome is that?

MONKEYYYYYY! ¬†Have I mentioned my slight obsession with monkeys?! ¬†There was also a huge exhibit full of sleeping gorillas. ¬†If I didn’t think these gentle giants wouldnt rip me to shreds, I would have hopped in there with them. ¬†I love the monkeys!

But I digress.  Time for more food.

One place I was directed to go for CUPCAKES was a place called Sprinkles. ¬†Considering there are days when I go so far as daydream about cupcakes…I knew this place probably¬†wouldn’t¬†disappoint.

There is nothing like the sweet smell of icing hitting you in the face.  I knew this place and I were going to get along juuuuuuust fine.  How could I choose?!

The carrot cake ended up winning!  The icing looked divine, and everyone knows that is what I go for first!

In typical me fashion, I ripped off the top to save for last…and munched on the actual “cake” part of this beauty.

Super moist, hint of spice…and huge chunks of carrots, and nuts. ¬†Awesome.

Now, what about the icing?!

Best.  Cupcake.  Ever. Seriously, and I am *THE* cupcake expert.

Bravo, Sprinkles…..you sold me big time.

If you are ever in the Chicago area,  you MUST check this place out.

Moving on…….more food! ¬†ūüôā

The trouble with my brother planning all these food stops, is that he based most of them on “Diners Drive-Ins and Dives” from Food Network. ¬†This made for amazing meals, but not so amazing nutrition facts. ¬†This is a vacation, THIS is a vacation. I had to keep reminding myself of this fact as I was presented with meals such as these…

 

Smoque was a prime example of the classic BBQ joint. ¬†This chopped brisket was great, minus the bun! ¬†I was also not used to a tomato-based bbq sauce…so it was a nice surprise. ¬†I am a fry junkie…and these did not disappoint.

This was also a prime example of a “dive”. ¬†Leave it to my brother to find these places!

Which brings me to a HEALTHY meal! ¬†Trust me, my stomach was more than ready for something a bit lighter. ¬†Let me tell you….I am an official fan of “The Corner Bakery”. ¬†They seem to be everywhere in Chicago, and offer great light/natural/organic options. ¬†Panera like, but better! ¬†I was a big fan.

OATMEAL!!!!!!  My poor stomach was in panic mode, but this meal seemed to calm it back to normal after massive amounts of not-so-healthy options!

Banana/Granola oatmeal with a crisp raisin bread slice.  YUM!

My stomach was also re-introduced to Odwalla juice. ¬†Mmmmm….

Meals like this were few and far in between……but I was ecstatic, and enjoyed every bite.

All in all Chicago has been a great place.  Tons of stuff to do and even MORE stuff to eat.

Back to reality tomorrow, and time for a MAJOR detox for this blogger boy. ¬†I have alot of calories to burn off. ¬†My poor classes are going to hate me. ūüôā

Have a great night everyone!  Long day tomorrow with planes, trains, and automobiles!  Back to Tennessee!

 

 

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Chicago Part Deux

Well, I am still here in the beautiful city of Chicago..

In typical tourist fashion, it was time to conquer Big John!

Craaaaazy view!

I am officially the only one on this trip willing to take ridiculous pictures such as the one above.  What can I say, I love making a fool of myself!

Totally believable, right?!?!?!?! ¬†ūüėõ

All this tower climbin’ geeky picture takin’ Chicago craziness had worked up a beast of an appetite, which HAD to be filled by the one….

the only…

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza!!!!!!!

Giordanos seemed to be the most talked about, so thats what we chose. ¬†Lets face it people. ¬†Water and I are BFF. ¬†However. ¬†When it comes to pizza…a little carbonation is a necessity.

Now bring on the pie!

Cheesy.  Deep.  Chicago.  Goodness.

Pizza, to me, is all about the crust.  This one was AWESOME.  It was the equivalent of two thin crusts baked on top of each other in a literal pie shape.  This allowed for TONS of cheese/sauce.  The crust was still crisp though, which is perfection in my book.

No wonder this place is so popular!  This pizza was incredible!

I managed to slay 1.5 pieces.

Gooey pizza lovin’ right there, folks.

Chicago comes alive at night!  It was like another world!

Stay tuned for more Chicago fun including the best cupcake I have EVER had…fantastic crepes for breakfast…and a zoo, oh my!

Any other Chicago suggestions for me?!

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Hello, Chicago!

Well, in the randomness that is my life, I am currently sitting 24 floors up in this amazing Chicago hotel on a spur of the moment long weekend!

This blogger boy¬†doesn’t¬†get out much, so this impromptu trip to Chi-Town with my dad and brother is going to be too much fun!

The boys have currently left me for a Cubs game (I would rather watch paint dry!) so I have actually gotten to explore alot on my own today.  This city is right up my alley!

Lets rewind a bit to this morning, where a 4:30am wakeup call had us rushing to the airport. ¬†Luckily, I had two friends along for the flight…

Starbucks, & Mens Fitness!  Score!

Now, it is a well known fact that I am pretty much¬†terrified¬†to fly, so here is the much needed “please do not let us fall 40,000 feet to our death” – face.

Luckily, I survived.

Can I just say how hilarious it was that my FIRST impression of Chicago once exiting the Subway was of a homeless man, pantless, drying his bottom half with the automatic hand dryer in the bathroom?!?!?  Wow.  That is certainly a mental image.

Other than the half nude hobo, this place is BEAUTIFUL!

Now, let us move onto the delicious portion of this blog, the FOOD!  Let it be known that while in Chicago, my food choices are NOT going to be what is typically seen around these parts.  Watching what you eat is a major part of my life, but so is moderation.  This weekend may consist of a few SPLURGES (or 40) that while not the healthiest, are an example of how ANYTHING in moderation is not bad!

Point in case, my breakfast/lunch was combined with an undocumented blueberry bagel…so wandering the streets of Chicago, I immediately took my dear friend Shannons advice (pretty much a demand) and stopped by Garrett Popcorn. I mean, how bad could a place that Oprah listed as one of her favorite things be?!

Obviously, NO ONE knows about this place.

CRAZINESS!

Seeing as how I was *in* Chicago…the “Chicago Mix” was a must! ¬†This is a combination of their cheese and¬†caramel¬†popcorn (seems strange…bare with me…)

Ahh.  MAZING.

Your probably thinking, it’s POPCORN, how amazing can it be?! ¬†Trust me, this was unlike any other I have ever had! ¬†I am SUCH a sucker for the sweet/salty combination so this was most certainly the perfect fuel to explore the city with!

As I munched on my popcorn, I spotted a very nice sight.

Trader Joe’s!!!!! ¬†Needless to say I managed to stay for much longer than I should have. ¬†It is a good thing I was alone, I think the boys would have killed me if they had to spend that much time in a grocery store. ¬†Anyone else share the TJ obsession?

Well bloggies, I would love to stay…but I a off to enjoy Chicago a bit more. ūüôā ¬†First stop is the fitness room, and then dinner lately. ¬†My brother has found the best pizza place apparently, so I need to do some extra cardio beforehand ūüôā

This is where I need you guys.  WHAT do I need to do while I am here?  Great places to eat, shop, neat little stores???  I need your help!  What should I do while in Chicago?!?!

PS this is what happens when I am left alone.


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