Feb 112014
 

It’s not secret that I’ve been feeling a bit burned out, tired of my job, disappointed in missed opportunities, and my manager (who is awesome, love him!) is fully aware that I’m looking for something else within the company. He understands and supports it and has wished me good luck with every interview I’ve had thus far. But this feeling of dissatisfaction, constant to-do lists that never get resolved, stress and fatigue at work has been making me feel lethargic. I don’t like feeling this negative about my job and wish I could get out of this funk!

The forced break for a few days has most definitely helped me out of this funk, even if it’s temporary. I’m sure you can all relate–stressful, exhausting work weeks lead to weekends packed with chores, errands, wedding planning details, etc etc…I never had down time. It’s rare that I have an evening off just to myself and I can’t remember the  last time I didn’t have at least four things planned on a weekend. Mother Nature stepped in and said “REST. STOP WITH THE SCHEDULE.” And She piled on about 6 inches of snow to force her point! I get it!

Friday was a snow day from work and I got a lot of stuff done, then Michael and I binge-watched part of season 2 of The Shield (totally late to the party, but wow, what a great show!). It was nice just laying around in my pajamas, cuddling with Bella (who was exhausted from all her playtime in the snow) and just relaxing.

Friday evening the snow was coming down steadily. It looked so beautiful as it fell. I had the urge to bake something but didn’t think baked treats would be a good idea when we were trapped in the house for four days. Baked goods + cabin fever + boredom = recipe for failure. I decided to make some comfort food for dinner instead.

Tater Tot Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 421

From: http://www.food.com/recipe/tater-tot-casserole-421306

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 1/2 ounces Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 12 ounces frozen corn
  • 15 ounces southern style hash browns (Ore-Ida)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 9" x 13" glass or corningware casserole with pan spray.
  2. Saute beef and onions until the beef is browned and the onions are softened. Remove from heat. Stir in the soup, salt, and pepper; spread mixture evenly in the bottom of the casserole dish.
  3. Next spread a layer of frozen corn and finally hash browns on top. Bake until heated through and the hash browns are slightly crisp.
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I used the recipe as a jumping off point really. I saw a few recipes that I liked but didn’t like something from each of them, so I kind of made my own. I didn’t have cream of mushroom soup so I used condensed cheddar soup. I used a small can of corn, about 1 cup of frozen peas, and 2 cups of the hash browns. With my alterations the calories came out to 337 calories as opposed to the 450+ the other recipe said.

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The dinner turned out to be really delicious. It was hearty, filling, homey; we both thought it was tasty and hit the spot on the cold night. It may not look pretty but it tasted good, that’s all that counts. I guess I’d describe it as kind of a white trash casserole/hamburger helper creation.

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On Saturday I got to SLEEP IN. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the Warrior Room workouts and I’m happy that I’m fitting in yoga once a week…but the Saturday kettle bell class is at 9am (which means I’m up by 8am) and yoga is at 10am on Sundays (so up by 9am) and I haven’t had a chance to sleep in late on the weekends in months. I miss it. I miss not having a structured time that was forcing my schedule. Weekends were the only time I got to languish in bed–even if it was just for a little bit! Thank you snow, once again, for giving me a little bit of that pleasure.. :)

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It was another at-home workout since it snowed a few more inches over the night. I did an ab workout on the Nike Training Club app and also did a short spin workout on the bike trainer. I haven’t been on my bike since October. While I’m happy that I have options at home to still get my workout in, after a second at-home workout I’m ready to get back to the gym.

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After lunch (the tater tot casserole was just as great as leftovers), Michael and I took Bella outside to play in the snow. We walked over to the school near the house and there were tons of kids out! Even more than on Friday. There were kids snowboarding, sledding, inner-tubing; dogs running around chasing each other, everyone was out!

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It was so cool to watch them.  If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a few short videos of Bella spazzing out in the snow. :)

On Sunday I did some home yoga. I actually like doing yoga at home over the gym. I can do it at the pace that I like it. I know that the point of most yoga is to slow down and relax but for me it’s more about the stretching and doing it a snail’s pace makes me crazy. So I just did it on my own in the living room.

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It was a good break being snowed in all weekend long but I tell ya, by Sunday afternoon I was starting to go stir crazy and was ready to get out of the house and (gasp) and actually go back to work! 

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Jan 072014
 

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My weekend started off nicely–a swim and then home to find beautiful flowers from my honey! No occasion, just because. I don’t get flowers often because Fat Kitty knows the instant flowers are in the house and makes a bee-line for them. He destroys, eats, devours any form of flower that is in the house and then pukes it up at 3am. :P It doesn’t matter if I put the flowers up high (like on top of the fridge), he finds a way to get to them.

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The little jerk! Inevitably my flowers always end up in a closet where I only see them when getting dressed…Look at him! 

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On Saturday I worked out (more on that later) , got a bunch of stuff done around the house and then Michael and I took Bella to a park for a walk. It was a brisk, cool day but the sun was out and it felt nice outside. We went to West Moreland Park in Sellwood and ended up walking a little over 2 miles with Bella.

Then it was back home to get dinner ready before my friend came over. I’ve been holding onto this recipe for awhile and finally made it. I’m so glad I did! It was excellent.

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I wish I knew where I got the recipe so I could credit it here, but I’m not sure. I’ve seen a ton of variations on pinterest, so maybe that is where I originally found the recipe.

Cashew Chicken

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

Calories per serving: 296 - 394

Ingredients

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced thin
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shelled edamame
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet.
  2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and then sprinkle some cornstarch on each side until slightly coated.
  3. Add more olive oil and add chicken to skillet. Brown on both sides until cooked, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Add garlic, red pepper, edamame, half of the green onions and cashews. Stir for 30 seconds. Turn heat to medium low.
  5. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce and honey. Pour into skillet, coating chicken and vegetables. Service with jasmine rice.
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I got 4 servings out of this recipe, so that changed the calorie count. Also, I skipped the mushrooms because I hate them, added a dash of red pepper flakes and only used 2 tablespoons of honey instead of the 3. Two was sufficient. I will definitely make this recipe again. In the future, I’d probably add a little more of the cashews and maybe some more edamame. The ratios seemed a little off.

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My friend Robyn came over for dinner and a girl’s evening. The three of us hung out in the kitchen while Michael and I made the dinner and then he escaped to the bedroom to eat and be away from all the “girl stuff.” You know, pillow fights in our pajamas and all that stuff. ;)

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In reality we ate the delicious dinner and ended up watching two chick flicks– Bridget Jones’s Diary and Under the Tuscan Sun and shared one and a half bottles of this really tasty wine: 

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It was fun just hanging out, catching up and watching movies I hadn’t seen in ages! We had M&Ms for dessert and ended up drinking a little too much of the wine and having too many M&Ms but all in all it was a great night. And I wasn’t even hungover the next morning for my yoga class!

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