Weekend Fun!

I had an awesome weekend! I’ll be dedicating a full post to the Apple Harvest Festival I attended on Sunday, but that wasn’t the only fun that was had. I headed to work on Friday in a very TGIF mood, still a little cranky from the day before, but a fun outfit and yummy (yet routine) lunch cheered me up a bit. And the fact that it was Friday, but I’ll give that part a rest at the risk of sounding too much like Rebecca Black.

Red eye removal went to town.

  • Top: Forever 21 (Christmas ’08!)
  • Jeans/Headband: American Eagle
  • Watch: flea market!
  • Shoes: Wal-Mart ($13 baby)

As I mentioned earlier, I used a SaveNowCT deal at South Tavern on Friday night. That place has never left me disappointed!

Pulled pork nachos, shared by the table.

I was impressed with the quality of their Greek Salad. It wasn’t too expensive to add the shrimp, and it came with more than your standard fare: artichokes, chick peas, and pepperoncinis in addition to the usual romaine, feta, tomato, onion, and kalamatas.

Ugh restaurant lighting!

I got a ton of homework done at Daybreak both Saturday and Sunday morning. On Saturday I went with their Bacio (chocolate/hazelnut) flavor for my nonfat cafe au lait, and on Sunday I tried the Pumpkin Spice flavor. YUM.

My co-worker Steve had a BBQ on Saturday night and it did not disappoint! I put together a cheese, cracker, and olive plate to go with the bottle of Priam Vineyards Cayuga White that I have been housing in my fridge for almost a month now. For the crackers I found a tasty wheat variety at the store from Special K: Savory Herb. I also included the normal Ritz for the non-wheat eaters. I usually like to include options for parties for those that may be “watching” what they eat and those that aren’t. Either one of those is fine with me as long as there’s something for everyone!  I used my Artisan Foods cheese but did leave half the wedge in my fridge (too good to give it all up).

Steve really outdid himself. The BBQ had SO MUCH FOOD. I was in heaven and also ended up drinking all but one glass’s worth of that bottle of wine. Woo hoo…I was still in bed before midnight. Grandma needs her sleep!

Grilled pizza! I topped my slice with grilled chicken and my olives.

Roasted cheesy potatoes and crusty bread! Dipped both in garlic hummus.

Romaine, tomato, cheese, some sort of delicious dressing.

Oh boy! I braved the creeper to get to that delish corn.

4 glasses of wine later…

Missing are photos of steak, grilled chicken, ribs, hot dogs (I had my first hot dog in forever…that classic white bun, ketchup, and mustard was AMAZING), stuffed mushrooms, and grilled veggies. THANK YOU to Steve and his wife Sharon for having me!

Sunday I woke up feeling quite iffy from the wine, and also still full. I hit the gym for a Bootcamp workout class that I’d never taken before. It was quite intense but also a little less enjoyable for me than other fitness classes I take. It was a lot of sports drills which were tough and high intensity, but I didn’t get a satisfying muscle-burn like I get from Group Power or the fun choreography I see in Group Step. It was still good to step outside the box though and keep my body guessing!

I also barely took any photos yesterday (Monday), but that could be due to the fact that it was a day of repetitive eats. Seriously, if you want to know what I ate, look here. Hit the gym after work for Group Power and 25 minutes (2.68 miles) on the stair master. I read the latest issue of “Health” with Sarah Michelle Gellar on the cover – it was a good one! I love SMG, her interview was real and she seems so cool. Looks like I need to start watching “Buffy” since I’m so into “Ringer”.

This morning I woke up a little bit earlier than usual to do some nice yoga stretches per Shayla’s suggestion. I get very antsy and feel “pent-up” on my long work/class days, since I have a desk job and my responsibilities all involve a computer and SITTING! Hoping that starting my day out with some soothing yoga poses will help that today – thanks again Shayla!

The rest of my weekend is deserving of its own post, so I’ll end this here!

What was the best thing you ate this past weekend? I don’t think I can choose…

Is anyone else watching “Ringer”?

Workday Food Routines

Each night, I prep my lunch for the next day to bring to work. Even if it’s the day before a non-work-day, I still think about my plans for the following day and if any food prep is needed, I do it the night before. I find this is the best way to a) save money, b) save time in the morning, and c) keep healthy eats that I enjoy on hand.

I tend to eat almost the same thing each morning for breakfast, but the other day I was craving some of my Beltane Farm farmer’s market chive chevre, so I spread it on a crunchy toasted english muffin.

Like the Sesame Street plate? Childhood fave, will never get rid of it.

I added more chevre after I took this photo. Simply not enough.

Snack examples: TJ's veggie chips + chive cottage cheese, cucumbers + black bean dip.

When packing my lunch, I tend to pack a veggie-heavy salad for my main course, with some sort of protein incorporated. I also like to pack a couple fruit servings as snacks, as well as some starches. I tend to like to get my starches in during snacks and dinner, it’s just kinda my routine (I’m in favor of the evening carb-coma), so that’s why I like to keep my lunch in the form of a salad. A ginormous salad with about 10 ingredients – on a minimum-ingredient day.

A workday salad and side of fruit. Don't be fooled, there's meat in there.

It’s important for me to have plenty of snacks because I tend to eat many times throughout the day, a little bit at a time. Again, this is just what works for me and keeps my energy up constantly. I also work out after work on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, so eating snacks in the afternoon serves as pre-gym fuel.

A day of workday "loot".

Do you tend to pack your lunch, buy, or a mix of both? Do you have “standards”  you always pack? Any new snack or salad ingredient ideas for me?

When Potatoes Attack!

How is everyone’s weekend going so far?! I started mine off last night with the new release of Group Step – it was AWESOME. I ran into my friends Lauren and Casey there too, so it was fun to get some spontaneous exercise buddies! The new release really challenged me and the choice of music, with the exception of “Born this Way”, was great. Just not a fan of that song, but the fact that Usher’s “More” was in there more than made up for it.

After dinner I met with some college friends at South Tavern (food pics to come). I had a great shrimp Greek salad and my friend Kim was kind enough to give me her leftover sweet potato fries. I used a SaveNowCT deal, which made the experience even better.

Headed to do the new release of Group Step again this morning – I was awake anyway to take my little brother to PSATs. Now I’m at Daybreak studying. I just finished my take-home exam so thought I deserved a break to blog!

Daybreak's coffee "prep" station – love the old rustic vibe!

Lots of fun stuff on the agenda this weekend. I’ll be sure to take pictures of the Artisan Foods cheese plate I put together for the BBQ I’m attending tonight!

My main reason for this post was honestly the below photo. I pulled into my garage Thursday night and saw this “horrifying” sight…

THE HORROR! I actually just laughed out loud – attack of the potatoes!!! My mom is volunteering at our church’s baked potato booth at this weekend’s Applefest, and she was using the towels to dry her freshly-washed potato army.

Bizarre, but classic.

What’s on your agenda this weekend? What would you do if you pulled into your garage and discovered a potato army? You don’t have to answer that last one.

Three Dinners

Yesterday after I got out of class, I was in a crappy mood, plain and simple. Even the dinner my mom had prepared, waiting on the stove top when I got home, didn’t cheer me up. Neither did watching the latest episode of “Ringer“. TGIF because I’m still feeling pretty blah. I’m hoping a weekend of dinner with old friends, cafe studying, a fall festival, and a co-worker BBQ will lift my spirits.

Last night's dinner: Boboli wheat crust with goat cheese, grilled chicken, vidalia onion, and broccoli.

That knife looks way creepier than I intended it to! It also did no good in cutting the pizza – toppings everywhere. Any suggestions on a better option?

Be still my heart: roasted Brussels

Went back for seconds on both. And the rest of the brussels found their way into my salad today.

I suspect part of the reason for my crankiness was the fact that I had a lot of pent-up energy from sitting on my butt all day at work and in class. I don’t really have time to work out on those long days (Tuesday/Thursdays). I could if I woke up earlier, or worked out when I got home at 7:45pm, but neither of those things are on my list of things I WANT to do, and I also know rest days are important. In the past I’ve been TOO rigid with having to work out each day and I think it’s actually healthier for me to teach myself to take days off, rest, and work out for enjoyment – but sometimes it’s tough! Any suggestions for me? How many rest days do you take?

I have a lot of photos from the week to share of other eats as well!

Monday's dinner: green beans, Ore Ida fries w/spicy mustard, turkey burger, grilled chicken, turkey sausage.

Is anyone else as addicted to oven-baked frozen fries, plain or sweet potato, as much as I am? I swear I cannot leave any left on the tray. I MUST FINISH THEM! They are so good with yellow mustard too. The green beans are home-canned by my Nana Connie. She brings them to us whenever we see her and we stock up on the jars in our garage! Each time my mom uses one it both pains and overjoys her. And after a weekend of several vegetarian meals (no parents = no meat in the house) I was so ready to load up on my dad’s grilled specialties.

Tuesday's dinner: leftovers and a baked potato!

My mom busted out some frozen meatloaf that I didn’t even know we had (score) as well as chicken and beans from the night before. More mustard, obviously. I filled the baked potato skin with Mariah’s Chow-Chow Relish.

Baked potato innards mixed with garlic salt and Promise.

After I took this photo I mixed in some of the Yummy Hummy pico de gallo – good decision.

I have more photos to share of a breakfast and lunches, but I think I may save them for later, which leaves me to another question for you all: Would you prefer to see one longer post each day from me, or several shorter ones? I will ask the same question on Twitter too!

There Is Food In This Post

The above title is necessary because today’s post is actually going to be about fashion, or lack thereof depending on your opinion of what I wear. I like when bloggers share their outfits, whether dressy, casual, or workout-related, so I thought I’d do the same. But I also know most readers expect me to talk about food/fitness so I’ll just start with a quick recap of last night’s workout and dinner.

I hit the gym for Group Groove. Got there a bit late but wanted to check out all of the new songs since the new release is officially out next week. Verdict – disappointed. The new tracks are not nearly as challenging as the summer release’s! After the “peak dance” I felt like I definitely hadn’t reached a peak and still had so much energy, so I skipped the cool-down (bad, oh well) and headed to a place I haven’t been in awhile – the treadmill. I had a weird and random urge to run so I put my dependable work-out playlist on shuffle and busted out a mile at with the incline set on 2. Not a ton, but I just wanted to run something quickly to reach a peak HR and I had to get to dinner anyway! I ran the first half at 7.0 and the second half at 7.5. I felt great afterward! And my desire to run has now probably been quenched for the next several months.

My favorite restaurant was next on the agenda – J. Gilbert’s. I was meeting my foodie friends Evan and Jeff, as well as my friend/Jeff’s girlfriend, Kim. Jeff had a coupon that he was kind enough to split with us (that place is expensive). I was again bad and did not take any photos, but ordered their BBQ Salmon Salad for the first time and was not disappointed. From the menu: BBQ salmon with “baby greens, tortilla straws, smoked corn-black bean relish, ancho chile onion rings, cilantro lime vinaigrette”.

This was AWESOME. I already knew I loved their salmon but the relish and dressing were crazy good. I also asked for sides of mango salsa and pico de gallo to add to the salad. Had to make it a glorified beast! Of course the onion rings mostly took care of that – the pile of them on top of the salad must have been at least 6 inches high. I took most of them off, along with some of the tortilla straws, and plated them on the center to share with the table. Not a ring was left standing, and I enjoyed the moderate amount I left on my plate!

Moving onto the photos – collected over the past week!

Friday's work outfit (yes I get to wear jeans!)

  •  Sweater – Forever 21
  • Jeans – American Eagle
  • Shoes – Keds
  • Watch – Fossil
  • Ring – Forever 21 (I have about 6 different colors!)

Saturday morning workout

  • T-shirt – Race for the Cure 2010 5K (in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month!)
  • Hoodie – Victoria’s Secret
  • Pants – Victoria’s Secret
  • Sneakers – Adidas

Back of the hoodie – it's my favorite!

Earrings for the Renaissance Faire!

I got those at Claire’s back in high school – I still love them and wear them every year!

Sunday morning workout

  • Top – 6th grade soccer jersey! Palm City rec soccer represent!
  • Crops – Victoria’s Secret


No joke, these are one of my favorite pairs of PJs. They are so goofy because they’re silk and they match, but I got them at a VS Semi-Annual Sale and LOVE THEM. I call them my fancy pants PJs.
And because I promised you food…
cucumber “soba” noodles, watermelon pickles, tuna crudo, aji amarilla coulis, chipotle aioli, local tomato ceviche
From a tasting I went to at J. Gilbert’s this past summer – told you it was one of my favorite places. Now you can see why!
Do you care at all about fashion posts? Do you have any fancy-pants PJs?

Weekend Wednesday

Confusing title, no? But I am super behind on posting photos, and this post on some weekend eats is occurring on a Wednesday. And I need to upload my work week photos next. Bad blogger – I’m workin’ on it.

As long as you have something to look at, right?

Nonfat amaretti cafe au lait, with a side of homework, at Daybreak Coffee.

On Saturday and Sunday morning I set up camp at Daybreak to get homework done. The owner was kind enough to let me ask for a french-pressed cafe au lait on Sunday using whatever flavor I wanted (that they already had roasted and ready to grind). I went with toasted butternut and it was out of this world. Definitely tops their pecan pie flavor. FYI a cafe au lait is just a coffee with steamed milk. At Daybreak they actually call it a blanc, and at Starbucks they call it a misto, if either of those sound more familiar.

Whole Foods salad beast

I moved my study party to Whole Foods later on Saturday afternoon and had lunch while I waited to pick my brother up from work. I could not even begin to tell you what was in this beast, but it included their broccoli/sundried tomato/kalamata olive medley that I LOVE, avocado kale salad, about five different bean salads, pineapple, edamame, artichokes, red pepper fish, falafel, and…OK that’s all I remember but that’s probably only half. This was almost a two-pounder.

Falafel tacos

After the Renaissance Faire on Saturday night, and after my fiber-rific lunch had finally digested, I was ready for dinner pretty late (about 8:30pm) and was feeling particularly lazy since I had already been parked on the couch for over an hour watching “Secret Circle”. And since my parents were out of town, aka Dad the grill man was gone, our fridge was devoid of all meat except my brother’s ham (no thanks). So I went the vegetarian route for dinner (vs. the pescatarian route for lunch) and decided to mix two food “genres” to create some Greek/Mexican magic.

Falafel, pico de gallo, tzatziki sauce in whole grain taco shells

These were SO good! And so easy to put together too – I used a boxed brand of pre-made falafel (can’t recall the name right now) and these awesome whole grain taco shells we have that are less than 200cal for two! The pico I used was the Yummy Hummy variety I got at the Coventry Farmer’s Market. It’s still SO fresh and delicious over a week later!

And since that was not nearly enough for me, I proceeded to go tzatziki-carrot crazy, because once I start with tzatziki I just cannot stop.

Sunday was another day of packed study snacks in the morning, cheese and other goodies in the afternoon, and before I knew it, it was dinnertime and I was craving some take-out. So off to Moe’s I went to get my favorite item on their menu – a burrito “streaker”. Moe’s > Chipotle – who’s with me?!

Chicken with cucumber, cilantro, corn, olives, pico, salsa, black beans, onions, and green pepper.

After I was 75% done, I switched from fork to chips as my method-of-choice for getting this delicious pile of food into my mouth. It was a good decision. And when the bowl was gone, the chip munching continued with some more of the Yummy Hummy pico.

Those are my weekend eats photos – maybe this weekend I will post my week eats photos. No?! OK, I’ll try to be faster than that.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a weekend fashion post! These delays are getting out of hand. I should stop revealing when my photos were taken…nah.

What was the best thing you ate this past weekend? Only half a week left til the next weekend!

Autumn Leaves Cheese Festival

Did everyone survive Monday? I did, and was glad to come home after a nice elliptical/Group Power session and feast on a classic dad-grilled meal and watch the last ep of SNL. Did anyone else see it? Reviews I’ve read are hatin’ on Ben Stiller and saying he can’t top Melissa McCarthy’s AKA the original Sookie (none of this True Blood business, GG all the way!), but I actually thought her hosting job was completely lackluster and I barely laughed during her episode, whereas last night my dad and I were absolutely cracking up. And ZOOLANDER made an appearance? How can you not love it?

I also love how in last night’s class, I increased my weights during both the triceps and shoulder tracks. And I’m not dying nearly as much in the bicep track (definitely my toughest muscle group to improve in)! The day I increase the weight on that one will be an exciting day indeed, but I think I’ll make that my next Group Power mini-goal. Do you set mini-goals for yourself when you work out? I find them more fun because you usually conquer them sooner 🙂

I have been seriously slacking on both food and fashion photos, and I swear I will post them soon, but for now I’d love to recap the Autumn Leaves Cheese Festival that I ended this past Sunday at Beltane Farms.

I arrived and made a beeline for the wine tasting table (priorities, people) hosted by Priam Vineyards.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the wines were different than the ones I sampled at my first tasting there! I love how I’m expanding into whites lately too. My very favorite wine that I tried was the Salmon River Red, and the woman running the booth even gave me an extra pour. I think she could tell I would appreciate it! The wines that were being sampled were of a nice variety and no two wines I tasted were alike. That is just the way I prefer my tastings!

Next I headed to Savor, LLC of Waterbury’s table to try some of the most unique cookie flavors I’ve ever heard of! The seasonal smoked red onion contained, you guessed it, smoked red onions, which were a great contrast of flavors with the sweet, shortbread-like cookie. They were also selling lavendar and roasted leek varieties! Their website has a black olive flavor – now that I’ve gotta try. I’m an olive freak!

There was also a nutty fudge from Harbor Candy Shop in Maine out for sampling that was so tasty. Definitely not too rich like you often see with fudge.

Two thumbs up to Savor! Their packaging was adorable too – little things like that make a huge difference.

Next it was time for something salty – Appalachian Naturals sauces and spreads on tortilla chips!

Pictured above is the cilantro lime vinaigrette, which was a bit hard to sample since the oil kept sliding off the spoon before it could get onto my chip (I didn’t want to dip). Still, what I tasted was very good. I also am a cilantro freak, so anything cilantro I am bound to love. There were other dressings (ginger miso, which tasted exactly like miso soup) as well as some awesome chipotle honey mustard and a sundried tomato horseradish (definitely my favorite).

Now time for something sweet from Peace Tree Desserts! These guys are all about organic, sustainable food, as well as making what I can honestly call the best caramel sauce I have ever tasted. It’s made with goat’s milk and has a Mexican dulce de leche (founder Robyn Ead’s words) vibe to it. The particular type of caramel is called cajeta caramel and Peace Tree makes applejack, curry, rosemary, cinnamon, and lemon flavors.

Isn’t Robyn’s apron beyond cute? Her friend made it for her!

Next I spoke with a nice man, Ron Pinto of Winding Drive Jams & Jellies. I was pleased to hear that he gets a good portion of his ingredients from farms in my town! He and his wife make marmalade, jams, and jellies by hand. I sampled the Pear Eau de Vie jam (Bartlett pears and French pear brandy). It was delicious! If only it had been made with Bosc pears, my one true love…well, after pickles and cilantro and olives.

Other notable flavors I’d love to try next time I see Ron at an event: Strawberry Pinot Noir, Roasted Garlic (AH another love) & Caramelized Onion, and Mint Rosemary! I have a feeling the Roasted Garlic & Caramelized Onion could be a future purchase for use on the many meats we are always grilling.

I tried some of the best feta (seriously, I need to stop proclaiming I love things in this post, but oh how I love feta) at the booth run by Taylor Farm Cheese of Vermont.

Holy cow (see photo on the packaging) there is nothing like fresh-made cheese. After this event I am thoroughly convinced that I can never eat non-local cheese again.

Aren’t they pretty? Almost too pretty to unwrap – but too tasty NOT to. I encountered a cheese-tease when I sampled Vermont Ayr, a Crawford Family Farm creation. There was none available to buy, hence the tease comment, but I think I could have eaten an entire block. With some Ritz crackers, please and thank you.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Phyllis of Mariah’s Chow Chow Relish again! My mom and I fell in love with her Sweet & Spicy relish after I purchased some at the Coventry Farmer’s Market, and this time I sampled the Sweet & Hot. It was the perfect amount of hot, and I’m pretty sensitive to spicy foods. Phyllis was kind enough to give me a jar to take home and enjoy – thank you Phyllis! I can’t wait to open it once we finish the first jar!

Thanks Mariah’s Relish for the image!

Though I’ve already tried Beltane Farms fresh chevre (I had some of the chive flavor on my english muffin this morning in fact), I was excited to try many new varieties of chevre and other cheeses. The garlic herb chevre, paired with crackers, was awesome.

Another reason I love these types of events, besides tasting all the food and supporting the local businesses, is getting to expand my own palate! Danse de la lune (French ripened cheese with brie rind), Harvest Moon (hard, nutty cheese), and vespers (French ripened cheese) are all cheeses I never tried before and realized I love. I also sampled the ricotta, but was not a huge fan (never have been though).

Artisan Food Store of Southbury, CT helped put on this event, but they also were selling their cheeses and had a generous number of samples to hand out – I must have tried almost 10 varieties at their booth! I bought some cheese and was reminded that their next event, the CT Cheese & Wine Festival, is in just a couple of weeks – woo hoo! More cheese and wine!

I stopped by The Farmer’s Cow to pick up a free carton of fresh skim. They also were giving out apple cider (not my thing) and selling farm-fresh ice cream for just $1! Most people that came by seemed to be choosing the coffee flavor – can’t blame them.

Ladies of Lebanon (no photo – sorry!) offered me some of their chive cottage cheese. It was delicious, but I actually prefer 1% cottage cheese to the 4% because due to the lower fat content, it is easier for me to dip my veggie chips into it (veggie chips and chive cottage cheese are one of my favorite snacks). I was lucky enough to purchase their last fresh greek yogurt. I had some last night for dessert and it was very decadent, but very good. Just a little bit was enough to satisfy me!

I unintentionally saved what ended up being my favorite part of the festival for last. Rachel LaPorte, a chef and teacher at Windham Tech High School, whipped up goat cheese and swiss chard crepes for us! I know this is a sin, but I’ve never had a sweet OR savory crepe. The reason I know this is a sin is because after trying this thing, I was in disbelief. It was AMAZING! The swiss chard was sauteed and so fresh. She used only ingredients, with flour being the exception, that had come from Beltane Farm. I could taste the difference!

Now I’m craving one all over again, and it doesn’t help that I’ve been snacky all day (thank you strength training). I may try to recreate something similar to this at home, since a co-worker was kind enough to give me some swiss chard from his garden yesterday. If that isn’t fate I don’t know what is. Not sure if I could master a crepe, but maybe an omelette would be a good breakfast option for this weekend. We’ll see!

Don’t worry, that is not what I paid for that cheese!

Thank you to Artisan Foods and Beltane Farm for putting on such an awesome event!

What’s your favorite cheese? What’s the best crepe combo you’ve ever had?

Guest Bloggin’

Hey guys! Today I am guest posting over at Katie’s blog, Lil Veggie Patch, so check it out: Planning a Day of Eats in NYC!

And in case you missed it, I recapped my visit to the CT Renaissance Faire yesterday!

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I certainly did – got a lot of work done, had my favorite salmon salad and rolls at Bertucci’s, had a great Group Power class Saturday and stair master session Sunday, indulged at the Autumn Harvest Cheese Fest (post to come), and went chips-and-salsa crazy last night with some Moe’s takeout.

How was your weekend? Any good eats to share?

Hear Ye, Hear Ye…

Ha, just trying to get into the spirit as I begin this post on my experience at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire! Last night the fairgrounds were open for extended hours, until 8pm, for a Halloween Knights event. That meant extra shows (jousting, comedy, birds of prey demos, etc) and actors, er, zombies roaming the paths and accusing me of having no brains (due to the blonde hair – at least I know I’m safe from zombies now).

Gorgeous hand-crafted masks.

I actually did have a brainless moment when I realized the Groupon I had purchased for our entries was, d’oh, expired. Luckily they still honored it, but only at the value of what I actually paid for it, meaning we ended up paying full price to get in ($16 per person, a little steep, but the events were free). Still, it could’ve been worse – they could’ve not taken it all. Is “could’ve” not  a real contraction? WordPress is giving me spellcheck squiggly lines under it!

Lidia, Silvana, and I came dressed to impress. I’ve always loved witches, perhaps because of my early obsession with “Hocus Pocus”, so naturally I dressed up like one – I like to think I was channeling Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, to continue with the dumb blonde trend.

They just don't make movies like this anymore.

The resemblance is uncanny, right? Wait, when did we switch movies?

We ran into some hilarious vendors, including a pirate who attracted us to his booth by waving necklaces in our faces and singing out “shiiiiny things!” He claimed his name was Captain Crunch. I also was given a walking citation by a self-appointed sheriff, and some creepy guy had Merlin take a photo of him with us ladies. I kept seeing him slinking around later and it was a little weird!

I thought these signs at the booths were hilarious.

Lidia and I had a great time getting very into character at every opportunity.

The queen and her sorceress. What's with the leopards adorning my throne?

Sorceress turns on the queen, hey, it happens.

We didn’t really buy any crafts, since a lot of them were pretty expensive (and rightly so – a lot goes into their creation!), but the vendors were very gracious about taking photos at their booths.

Of course there was plenty of FOOD! I wasn’t hungry due to a ginormous, fibrous Whole Foods salad beast that I consumed right before our trip (pic to come…) but there was still plenty of fun food to look at, and Lidia and Silvana both did some snacking!

Oh wow Lidia…

I just HAD to show this pickle some love. I LOVE PICKLES.

Overall, the CT Renaissance Faire was a lot of fun! Not sure if I’ll go back next year due to the steep admission price, but maybe I will if my blonde brain can figure out how to use their Groupon next time.

Have you ever been to a Renaissance Faire? What’s your favorite fair food?

I was pretty impressed that this place had baked potatoes – they’re one of my obsessions, along with pickles!

Winner Winner (Not Chicken Dinner)

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! I’m so psyched for the weekend. I’m going to hit up Group Step after work, go have dinner with an old friend I haven’t seen in forever, and head home to catch up on the DVR. Ah, the life of a working girl-grandma hybrid.

I have been on a bit of a winning streak lately. Yesterday I found out that I was chosen in the lottery for Conan O’Brien’s NYC show taping tickets, so in early November I will be hitting the Big Apple to go see Conan! I am beyond excited and can’t wait to find out what guest will be on that day, though I won’t know for a couple of weeks. I’m hoping for Leonardo Dicaprio since J. Edgar starts showing at film festivals around that time. Yeah I know, dream big, but how amazing would it be to be in the same room as Leo AKA my favorite actor?

Who doesn't drop everything whenever "Titanic" comes on TV? Swoon.

I also recently won an Odwalla Bar giveaway over at Katie’s blog, and a marketing book from a Good Reads giveaway that I can’t wait to check out:

I hate to brag (but really I don’t), I’m feeling quite lucky lately, and am hoping my luck will hold out in the 50/50 raffle at work today that I just purchased 5 tickets for. Proceeds support the troops so even if I don’t win, it’s all good, but it would certainly be nice to head into the weekend with a little extra cash!

I shared my breakfast yesterday, and no need to do so again since it’s the same almost each day, except with a different kind of PB (and maybe an english muffin thrown in on weekend mornings). But today I thought I’d show some pics of my lunch and snacks, and again I most likely will not be sharing these again since my workday lunches and snacks are fairly consistent day-to-day, except my salad beast ingredients change with what we have in the fridge.

Salad beast, fruit and cottage cheese, english muffin and Laughing Cow wedge.

Just to give you an idea of what a typical lunch-size salad for me would have in it, today’s includes:

  • leftover meatloaf
  • spinach
  • banana peppers
  • both bread n’ butter and dill pickles
  • tomato
  • vidalia onion
  • red pepper
  • kalamata olives
  • sundried tomatoes
  • baby carrots
  • snow peas

Some snacks, TJ's veggie chips and a bosc pear.

To finally explain this post’s cheesy title, last night’s dinner was not chicken-related in any form. I got home from class and was absolutely ravenous. I tore through the fridge like a tornado and grabbed the best leftovers I could find. I reheated some Giovanni’s veggie pizza in the oven on low broil (mmm crispy burnt crust) and heated up the last piece of leftover filet in the microwave. It was a super tasty dinner and was followed with an ice cream sandwich.

Veggie pizza with tzatziki sauce, filet with spicy yellow mustard

Thanks to Android Headlines for the below image.

These never fail to take me back to my childhood!

Finally, yesterday was made a little bit more fun by the fact that it was not too cold out, so I could wear my fun Forever 21 leopard swing coat! It has 3/4 sleeves so the time of year I can wear it consists of a very narrow window (early fall, early spring). But whenever I do, I feel so glamorous. The inside is hot pink too – PERFECT.

Who is your favorite actor? When was the last time  you won a giveaway/raffle/lottery/etc and what did you win? Did you eat ice cream sandwiches as a kid?