Holiday Surprises

Happy Hump Day WordPress World!Image

My blogging efforts were thwarted Mon/Tues by some unexpected absences at work…SURPRISE!! Guess who learned how do work the shipping software?!?!?!?…..THIS GIRL!! That’s right, I didn’t want the brides expecting to have their wedding photos before the holiday to be disappointed, so I spent most of my work days Mon/Tues processing, packing and shipping wedding photos; which meant my nights after coaching were spent catching up on MY work….oh well!

AnYhOw….I will be spending the afternoon between the office and coaching (we are closing at 2p YIPEEE!) shopping for a hostess gift and Thanksgiving groceries! I’m making a tofurkey with mushroom gravy for tomorrow’s festivities and a roasted veggie lasagna to bring to the mountains over the weekend!

If the kick off to the holiday season has reminded me of anything, its that surprises pop up around every corner, especially now! Prepare for your plans to be thrown off base and try to take it in stride!

Instead of fretting over little things getting in the way of your holiday todo’s, try to stay in the holiday spirit…life’s really worth celebrating, not stressing!

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Foodie Friday!

WOOOHOOO!!! Happy Friday! I am in a celebrating kind of mood!

Even though Thanksgiving isn’t for about a week, today marks the unofficial start of the Holiday season…really, Halloween did but that’s besides the point! Out of town family begins traveling home this weekend, friends & family gather for ‘early thanksgiving’ this weekend and the Christmas Village set-up at Love Park in Philadelphia kicks into high gear this weekend…SoOoOo exciting! I can’t say I shop much at Christmas Villiage but I love wandering through and taking in all the holiday merriment – it’s a real mood booster and an unbeatable way to get into the holiday spirit…

…as are these heavenly honey wheat cinnamon rolls!!!cin

These tasty treats were what rounded out mountain weekend as well as supplied the lovely ladies in my office with a baked bite to begin the work day! I can’t say this was entirely my original creation because I used this awesome honey wheat dough recipe I found on HealthyHomemakers but the gooey center and luscious icing are all me!

While the dough may not have any sugar in it, the center and icing are definitely not short on sugar…or butter for that matter, but the recipe yields about 6 8in cake rounds with 8-10 rolls a tin, so one or two dozen wont kill you! πŸ˜‰

Pick a rainy Sunday, slow Saturday or try to bake these sweet treats – I am sure your family, friends and coworkers wont mind sharing in the fruits of your labor! Did I mention these would be awesome at ANY holiday party or as a special giftΒ  for neighbors and loved ones?!?! Just throwing it out there!

Enjoy!

 

Cheese plate lunches and candle lit dinners

Hello and Happy Thursday!

I am oddly energized this morning even though I didn’t do my planned morning workout. I opted to move my cardio to this afternoon in an effort to get an early jump on the workday…plus Phil and I are going to dinner right around the corner from my gym this evening, so this way I can pop right over and take my time working out.

I have getting my daily morning workouts in (alternating between cardio and yoga) but feel like I am always cutting them short so I can scoot out the door and get off to work…I guess anything is better than nothing; however, with a pending plate of practically perfect, palate pleasing pasta from Porcini, I am grateful to be able to put in a little extra this afternoon.

By the way, can you tell I am excited for dinner!?!?! But honestly, with a weekend of cheese plates and mushroom risotto dinners, who can blame a girl?!cheese

As mentioned on Tuesday, the macaroons were just the tip of the culinary iceberg that was our mountain weekend. After today I will have just one more fabulous food post to share…perhaps for Foodie Friday…from our perhaps inappropriately nicknamed ‘fat kid weekend.’ We did both hit the gym and go for a long walk Saturday mind you, but this was still a deliciously decadent weekend.Β dinner

I have been toying this new thing where I try not to feel guilty about truly indulging. In the past when I said indulging, I meant eating a brownie made from black beans and egg whites, but listening to lectures by the inspiring Geneen Roth, I have decided nothing is off the table. Sure, I am not going to up and eat meat (that juicy steak is Phil’s, the Swordfish is mine) but the goal is to stop demonizing certain foods. If I want to eat creamy risotto for dinner after having a cheese plate for lunch every once and awhile, the world isn’t going to come crashing down….hopefully πŸ˜‰

Enjoy the little things in life…like cheese plate lunches and candle lit dinners

Hump Day Celebrations

Happy Hump Day!

Today’s office hump day celebration was pizza and a show…that’s right, a little midday TV time!

We ordered a ton of pizza…h4h3…rolled out the big screen….h1….and got cozy with our coworkers!h2 We watched theΒ slapsgiving episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ for anyone who is familiar with the show! Had I already seen this episode?…probably 6 times. Did I enjoy the break?…you bet!

Take a hump day break, you’re half way there!

Mountain Recap

Although a day late because I was under the weather yesterday, I wanted to share a quick recap of our mountain weekend! We went on a long walk as soon as we arrived and I kept thinking “I should take some photos! No, don’t be silly, you can take some tomorrow, just enjoy the walk!” and I totally should have listened to my initial instincts because it rained Sunday and the weather was foggy/overcast so I didn’t get the amazing images I had envisioned…sigh! But the walk was lovely and the weather Saturday was just warm enough to enjoy a fire under the slightly cloud covered stars!fire

I will have more food posts from our amazing meals but I wanted to share these tasty treats first! I have had a hankering for coconut lately so I decided to try my hand at coconut macaroons! These bite size bombs are addictive and indulgent, so beware! macaroonCoconut Macaroons: Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes

  • 14oz coconut flakes
  • 120z condensed milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4oz chocolate

I will admit I am not 100% pleased with them but that didn’t stop me from eating SeVeRaL throughout the weekend! Combine the first two ingredients in a bowl with the vanilla extract and mix until will blended. Beat egg whites separately until it forms stiff peaks and then fold into coconut mixture. Spoon onto baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Set in the fridge to cool, melt the chocolate, dip the cooled macaroons into the melted chocolate and return to the fridge to set.

These suckers took no time at all to whip up and they disappeared just as fast!

 

Enjoy!

Foodie Friday!

Happy Friday!!!

I hope everyone’s day blissfully breezes by until it’s officially the weekend! To make the day a little better I brought along these coconut, chocolate chip, hazelnut cookies I made last night!!! Image

Now before you get all ‘Wow, kicking off our indulgent weekend a little early aren’t we, Colleen, its not even 10am!?!’ these little lovelies are chock full of healthy substitutes that not only make them guilt free but good for you too! Talk about a sweet start to the weekend!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies: Bake @ 400 for 12min.

  • 1/2 c coconut oil (liquid) ~ 2 eggs (beaten)~ 1 tsp vanilla extract ~ 1/2 c brown sugar ~ 1 c applesauce
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour ~ 1/2 c almond meal ~ 1/4 c flax (ground) ~ 1 tsp baking powder ~ 1 tsp baking soda ~ 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 c coconut flakes ~ 1/4-1/2 c dark chocolate chips ~ 1/4-1/2 c hazelnuts (chopped)

I wanted to play around with making these as cookies first, so I can get closer to making my own version of the chocolate coconut protein bar Luna Bar makes. Those things are insanely delicious, and my go to protein bar if I am ever too lazy to bake my own; which of course, never happens because I am perfect, hahaha!

Anyway, combine line one, combine line two and then mix all your dry ingredient into your wet ingredients. Add the items in line three at desired amounts (vary depending on personal taste), spoon onto baking sheet and go to town! Be sure to allow the cookies to cool on a rack before packaging in an air tight container.

These cookies are fantastic and great to eat morning, noon and night…literally, I recommend consumption three times daily for optimal happiness!!

Kick your weekend off with something sweet….enjoy!

Getting Silly

One day closer to the weekend…WOOHOOO!!!

This weekend Phil and I are heading up to the Poconos and I am SOOOO excited to hike, cook, bake, lounge, and take in the stars all bundled up on the deck! That has nothing to do with the topic of my post really, haha, it’s more of a ‘heads up! lots of delicious, not so healthy, food posts to come!’ for all those food porn lovers!

AnYwAy…my office has instituted a weekly hump day celebration and yesterday was the first! From 2:30pm-3:00pm on the sales floor we had a dance party complete with DJ and MC (after all, we are a DJ, photo and video company)!Image

I was a bit skeptical on how this was going to play out, thinking: ‘this is going to be soo awkward and really silly,’ as if that’s a bad thing!! It wasn’t really awkward but it sure was silly and definitely put everyone in a much happier mood! ImageEven though it was only a half hour, the dance party was a lovely distraction from the stress of work. Believe it or not, taking a little break and moving around not only boosts office morale but also increases productivity…clever bosses we have!

Consider giving yourself a little dance party break and see if you don’t have a renewed desire to dive back into the task at hand!