It is the chocolate and kisses of life that make us rich. Enjoy what brings a smile to my face and love to my life.....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

MIA No Longer

It feels like ages since I have been able to write! To be honest, there has been everything and nothing to write about. Does that make sense?

I've had a lot going on lately, but nothing that was blog worthy, or what I felt was something I wanted to write about in the past few weeks.

To summarize the last few weeks in a few words: work, chaos, busy, tired and a few more words, not feeling so hot.

During the past few weeks, I have been able to enjoy some decent eats here and there.

Last night after getting my hair cut (which I will add, I don't like!) we filled our tummies at Chili's Bar & Grill. I enjoyed my favorite salad which was just as delicious as all the other 100 times I've had it.
The Quesadilla Explosion Salad. Yes, I know this comes in over 1200 oh lordy calories in one salad. Almost a whole day's worth of calories in one "salad". Well, I'll make you feel better and admit that I was only able to eat half of it. My appetite hasn't been up to par lately. Which could be a good thing.

Last week, I was also able to get my burger fix on at Popeye's in Morris, Connecticut. This little joint serves up burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches and ice cream in a fast food meets hometown feel. I hadn't been there in ages, so the man and I thought I would relive a childhood memory.

The last time I went there, I was learning how to drive and actually drove my grandparents there to meet the rest of my family. It's a memory I hold dear to my heart, so it was nice to be able to go back.

What I will say is that it doesn't feel the same. Maybe it's because I'm older, wiser and well, I have my own opinions that I like to throw out there, every now and again. Such as, the place needs an update! But, that's my opinion and it doesn't altogether matter much, now does it?

I ordered their Popeye Burger with american cheese. The burger was the size of my face. I was able to eat half of it and feel satisfied. I may have eaten half of the other half and stuffed myself. Sometimes we forget our limits.
The burger was alright. I don't believe I've had a burger there before. Growing up I was more of a hotdog girl. It lacked some seasoning, and dating a chef for the past seven years, my palate has gotten a little judgemental! I hate to say that, but it's the truth!

As for any other shenanigans, I finished my wedding invites and sent them out last week. I've been cutting that one close, so it's a huge weight off my shoulders to finally have them done! It was a pain to do them myself, but I saved us some moolah, so that makes me happy!

Today was Easter, and the funny bunny came to my house, delivering ones of his children, a stuffed bunny and some yummy candy. Skittles + mini cadbury eggs = happiness. It's a simple equation. After 40 days of no sweets during Lent, my breakfast consisted of this.
I ate a chocolate chip cookie. It was the best chocolate chip cookie, but it might have been the start to some tummy trouble that has lasted all day. It appears that not much agrees with my stomach these days in regards to food. I can honestly say after the few meals I've "indulged" in that I've shared today, all have made me feel awful.

So I believe it's time to clean up the diet and start eliminating foods to see who the culprit is. I'd rather give up something I love, then feel this way because it's the pits!

So that's all for now. Hope to get back into blog life, because it makes me happy! Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Typically on saturdays I am either working or hanging out with these two goof balls.
Never do I get a chance to spend a Saturday with my favorite person.
But this weekend is different. This weekend I get to spend a whole three days with him! Better yet, this man is off from work until April 28th! He has yet again gotten a new job, but this one is exciting.
My fabulous chef will be opening up a new Cheesecake Factory in his beloved hometown. He is so excited, and it is a great feeling to see him so happy.

While I am very happy for him, what I really am excited about is the cheesecake! I have nine days left in the NO SWEETS ZONE, and then it's all sorts of over!

Although, I do feel better without them, I am not craving them, so technically I don't need them. Obviously I don't need anything but good, wholesome food. You only live once, so a piece of cheesecake once in a while isn't going to kill me. Everyday? That could be a problem.

So I'm going to get on my weekend shenanigans, and am looking forward to finally being able to post some good eats!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bean Burgers & Things

Today started with some clouds and grumpiness. Probably because I was out later than normal last night. After getting out of work at 1230, a late night date at the diner was in order for us ER folks. I'm not going to lie, I may have indulged in some potatoes that were shaped like fries.
Waffle fries, to be exact.

But don't worry, I only ate a few and shared the rest with my wonderful coworkers. They are a silly group, that they are.

Only they would order hot italian sausage while air humping in the direction of our male waiter. No, they are not children, actually grown men in their 30s and 40s. They are special.

After my grumpiness passed, the sun was shining and it was time for me to get my very first passport. Yes, at the ripe age of almost 28. What blows the big one though, I'll have to change the name once I'm married. I guess I should have traveled a little more out of the country, huh?

Not that getting married is a bad thing. I can't wait to be Mrs. G instead of Ms. D. Although I am sad to get rid of my initials. I've always loved them, M.A.D. Soon I'll be MAG, like in maggot, gross.

Today's spotlight in eats was my favorite black bean burger smack on top of my salad. I've always loved Morning Star spicy black bean burgers, so when I found the gigantic chipotle black bean burgers at my favorite store Costco, I was in love. They are the size of your face. Okay, only if your face is only 3-4 inches in diameter. A Baby face maybe?
It was delicious and filling. Until it wasn't.

So I had this.
Kashi cereal + skim milk + big glob of peanut butter. Mmmmm.

Meanwhile, I was jealous of this beauty.
A dog's life is just horrible.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Two Months

Two months from today, I'll be:

Getting my hair did all pretty, in hopes that it decides to stay pretty for the big event.

Hoping my waterproof mascara doesn't leave streaks down my face.

Praying that when I walk down the aisle I won't trip and break my ass.

Allowing people to take multiple pictures of me, something I despise more than cow pies.

Dishin' out lots of money for a wedding that is priceless.

Marrying my favorite person, my best friend, the man who stole my heart on date numero dos!

Two months + 1 day, I'll be:

Spending time with family and friends by my pool.

A married woman!

Two months + 2 days, I'll be:

Soaking up the sun in beautiful Antigua!!

Needless to say, I'm extremely stoked about what is happening in two months!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Open Windows & Double D's

Yes, finally a day where we can open our windows and air out these stuffy homes! It felt great. Nothing sounds better than turning down the thermostats and hearing the dollar bills going into your pocket!
Okay, so obviously you can't hear it...but I know that it is happening! We all like to save a dollar or two. If any of you are doomed with electric heat, you know what I am talking about.

Today was spent enjoying the sun, cleaning, grocery shopping and attempting to get wedding stuff accomplished. Tomorrow marks two months, which means eight weeks, which means I'm about ready to do the pee pee dance in my pants.

At the store today I scored these GINORMOUS navel oranges. They may not be double d's, but these are not considered pieces of fruit in my book. It's like a sumo wrestler and Carrot Top had a fruit baby. So I decided to pair it with some somewhat stale pretzels I found in my cupboard with a spoonful or two of peanut butter.

It was a good snack/lunch minus the staleness of the pretzels. Ok I'm lying. I have a secret. I use to steal stale chips from the man when I first started dating him. At the time, I lived off of lettuce and water. It was like hitting a gold mine! I guess we all just have different taste buds.

Excuse me while I go wallow in shame over here.

Rough days but still I smile

So I have been MIA for the past week. The words weren't coming to me, and my appetite for creative picture worthy food was not here. Sorry about that!

It's been a rough week emotionally, but with all the support and love from my beautiful coworkers, we've gotten through. Last wednesday while at work, we had a six year old pass away. Although I don't have kids yet, it doesn't really matter. My heart broke, for her, her family and for everyone that was involved in trying to save her life. But we didn't. Tears were shed throughout our whole emergency department. Hugs were given, and emotional support has been provided in enormous amounts.

It's moments like these that always make you think how precious life is. We may not understand why things happen, but it's how we embrace the tragedy and what we take from it, that shapes who we are.

I know that I'm a loving person. I try to see the good in everyone and I try to be as honest with myself and others, as I can. I try to live life one day at a time, offering myself to others whole heartedly when needed. Sometimes, who we are gets clouded by every day obstacles. Work, money, time, etc.

Again, I am reminded of what's important. Today I did my usual daily obituary read. I know, it's morbid.  I started the habit when I became a nurse and 5 years later, it's a habit I'm not going to break. I don't really want to. I'm proud of what I do for my profession, I love what I do and with the job, comes death. I care to know what happens to my patient's even after my care is done. Sometimes it makes me sad, but I would rather know, than not know.

If I hadn't given in to my daily obituary read today, I wouldn't have seen that someone from our past lost her four day old baby girl. That my friends, broke my heart. But, I'm glad I know, so I can send my condolences to her and her husband. Reading it, it made my stomach jump up into my throat, and my heart sink into my stomach. I just pray her child didn't suffer, and hope they are surrounded by immense amounts of love and support during this horrible time.

Sorry this post isn't so happy. I hope to get back on the blog, and continue to dazzle people with my wonderful skills *haha* I'm trying to make myself laugh here people, work with me! So for now, I'll smother my pups with love and hugs, because it's something all of us need!
Spoiled rotten, just like they deserve. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Craving Summer

As I walked outside today to do errands, I was greeted by something that left a huge smile across my face.

More flowers in my favorite color purple!!!! I would have taken a picture, but by the time I recharged my battery, the flowers had closed up for bed, so sad. Maybe tomorrow?

Seeing my beautiful flowers is making me crave warmer, brighter, and happier weather. May sunny days be coming our way!

Until they do, I will remain hopeful and start to make meals that remind me that soon I will be sitting outside eating dinner by my pool. Tonight's meal: Bun-less burgers with salad. It may not be summer yet, but it's bright and cheerful in my belly!
I absolutely love making burgers. I love how you can add so many different ingredients to make various combinations. Today, I sauteed 1/2 red onion, red bell pepper, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 3 tbsp minced jalapenos, 2 pieces of chopped bacon, and added it to one pound of lean ground beef. I added salt, pepper, chili powder, ground mustard, garlic powder, parsley, cholula and worcestershire sauce. I got my hands dirty and mixed it all up, to make four patties.

When it's starts to get warmer out, I crave lighter, healthier options like so many people, so I tend to top my proteins on salads. This one was a winner!

While allowing my food to digest, I vacuumed and dusted my living room. I just love when my furniture shines! Then it was time for my workout of the day.
I did this DVD and then did intervals on my treadmill for 20 minutes. 

I bought this DVD the last time the man and I went to Costco. This is another store that we enjoy WAY too much. The last time we went we told each other we would only buy the staples. Somehow this ended up underneath our loot, oops! But I'm glad that it did, because I really like it! 

After showering, it was time for a snack.
Granny smith apple + peanut butter + two huge strawberries. So good! Refreshing and filling, the perfect snack!

Now, its time to get some wedding stuff done and read a book, my favorite part of the evening! G'nite all.

How We Met

Seven years ago from today I was twenty-five days away from my 21st birthday. I was two months away from finishing my sophomore year in nursing school, and I had no idea that in six months I would meet the man who would instantly steal my heart.
I first heard of him through a mutual friend. We were having lunch at Olive Garden discussing my guy problems. In the midst of my ranting, she broke the cloud of negativity to tell me about him. She told me what a wonderful guy he was and how I had to meet him. She described him as kind, caring, and a guy who knew how to treat a girl right. I was sold, though she never followed through.

Being the kind of person that I am, I decided that it was time for me to meet a nice guy. I called one of my good friends, dolled myself up and off we went to the restaurant he worked at. Our mutual friend happened to be working that night as well, so she went into the kitchen and brought out this guy.

After a few rum and diet cokes, it appeared I had my valiant pants on. I called him over by patting the chair next to me. At the same time, thoughts running through my head "Did I really just pat the chair like he is a dog?" Despite my gesture, he came over and we exchanged some typical small talk. He offered me some of his Jambalaya, which I declined, nicely. After a few more somewhat awkward words, I gave him my number and he said he would call.

A few days later, he did. After numerous times of picking up my phone to see if I had missed any calls, when I knew I hadn't, the phone rang. We made a plan to get together that Monday, dinner and a movie. I was nervous but happy.

On Monday, I drove to his apartment and we ventured out on our first date. We had dinner at Chili's and went to go see the move Shall We Dance. He allowed me to choose, so I lived it up! Afterwards we went back to his apartment, talked a little and he walked me out to my car. I didn't know how I felt about him yet, but out of nowhere decided to give him a kiss on the cheek. It was a nice night, I had had a good time.

The next day when I was getting out of class, he called. He asked if I wanted to meet at his restaurant to hang out, but I had a paper to write. I went anyways. As we talked and got to know each other, I began to notice two things. One, I could feel how kind hearted he was. It was easy to talk with him and while I was nervous, I was comfortable. Two, I found him attractive.

I ran into some friends while there and we decided to sit with them in a booth. As we were laughing together, I suddenly noticed how close he was. I could feel his arm touching mine, and as we kept giving each other short little glances, we smiled. It was then in that moment, that he ran his fingers along my hand. Instantly, chills went down my spine and my stomach did a flip. I had experienced my first butterfly moment.

It was then, at that moment that I knew, he was the one.

We ended up seeing each other a few more times, and I couldn't help my feelings. They were getting stronger and deeper. Unfortunately, he didn't want a relationship. As soon as I thought I had found the person I wanted to spend my life with, it came crashing down with the realization that he didn't want it. It
felt awful.

After shedding some tears, I tried to focus on school and my friends. Always in the back of my mind, was him. We still talked, sometimes saw each other, but he always remained clear on his intentions. It didn't make my feelings go away though. Whether he meant to or not, he always crept back into my life in some way when I was trying to move on.

But was I really trying to move on? Whenever I would go out with my friends, we would always end up at his restaurant. I would always end up spending time with him, and I would always end up drinking a little too much. There may have been a few nights that my emotions got the best of me, and things might have been said that were thoughts of a distressed psychotic girl.

Despite my words or actions, something happened between us. It was apparent that we had a connection, he just had to realize it. Eventually he did.

We began to spend more time together, and without talking about "what we were", I could tell our feelings for each other were growing.

On the day of my graduation from nursing school, he finally met my family. They had heard about him incessantly for the past 1 1/2 years, it was a very special day. He was able to spend time with my grandma, which meant so much to me. Her first words to him still ring in my ears, "It must be so nice to be such special friends." I loved her, she was an amazing woman.

That night as we lie on his bed talking, he told me that he was in love with me. It was a day I will never forget.

That was five years ago and in two months, we will be getting married!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shopping on a Budget Trip #2

Randomness from Today

It's April 1st, the joke was on US when mother nature dropped some white crap snow on us.

Dunkin Donuts made me the best iced coffee EVER.

I shopped with my fabulous reusable baggies. My sister would be proud.

My dogs keep falling asleep in the cracks of my couches.

Now that I've given you some useless information, I'll continue with my second shopping adventure on a budget.
What we still have:

  • eggs
  • bread
  • 2 apples
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • frozen whole chicken
  • pasta
  • chobani fat free greek yogurt
  • peanut butter
  • sugar free raspberry jelly

What we bought:

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 green peppers
  • mushrooms
  • 2 packages of romaine lettuce hearts (buy 1, get 1 free!)
  • 2 packages of strawberries (buy 1, get 1 free!)
  • ground beef
  • pork roast
  • milk
  • tortilla chips (new: pepper jack flavored)
  • 1 box kraft mac n' cheese (request by the Mr.)
  • 409 cleaner
  • deodorant (no one likes a stinky blogger!)
  • cheese pizza (as said in the last SOAB post, good to have on hand for lazy men)
  • reduced sugar ketchup
  • ranch dressing
  • 1 bottle of soda (cut it down from 2!! We are getting somewhere here)

I wanted to keep our budget around $50.00 and I came in strong. $49.00. We still have a lot of things in our pantry, mostly different condiments and sauces. I am trying to incorporate them into our weekly meals so I can get rid of them. As you can see, there's some healthy buys and then some convenient, not all that great, for the man. We are getting there though. The only thing missing the past two weeks, dessert.
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