Thankful Thursday: Ryan

One more day of November.  That’s crazy talk!  I thought September sped by, being the month we got married and my birthday, but I think November takes the cake in speediness…  Which is totally fine because I’m happily embracing the holiday spirit and cannot wait for this weekend to start decorating!  Bring on the merriment and mistletoe 😉


The past week has been busy with Ryan’s surgery, celebrating Thanksgiving, and balancing everything else in between…  And my body is definitely feeling it, mentally and physically.  Evidence: the stress sore that’s growing on my bottom lip.  It is naht pretty.  But, I’m a mother [of a furry son] and I’m a wife, it’s my duty to care for my boys and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  With that being said, it’s Thankful Thursday- thank you Jessie for hosting another wonderful week!

This week I am thankful for Ryan [*cue the sappy music*].  Not once has he complained, whined, or pitied himself since his surgery.

He’s asked for help and I’ve quickly lended a hand… In sickness and in health, until death do us part.

He makes me smile.

He makes me laugh.

He makes me feel appreciated.

He makes me feel loved.

He consoles me when I’m upset.

He comforts me when I feel sick.

He celebrates my accomplishments.

He joins me in my happiness.

He helps me when I’m in need.

He listens when I speak.

He supports me in my endeavors.

He makes me feel beautiful.

He works hard at his career.

He always gives it his best effort.

He thinks of others before himself.

He is a great daddy to his [furry] son.

He is a great husband.

For all that he does for me, for both of our families, and for our future, I am so very thankful.  Always and forever

Yesterday…  #elf4Health 11/28 Day 3:  Try a new workout today!  Since I was feeling crummy yesterday, I took a rest day.  My body and mind both needed a break and I’m thankful for it today.  Sticking with the challenge, check out Lindsay’s [from The Lean Green Bean] All-time Favorite Workouts!

Today…  #elf4Health 11/29 Day 4:  Get up 15 minutes early to meditate and reflect.  I’m not one to meditate so this was new to me, but I it was nice to reflect and relax this morning while eating breakfast without the news playing in the background.  Check out this NY Times article about meditation, How Meditation May Change the Brain.

Tomorrow…  #elf4Health 11/30 Day 5:  How many colors can you eat today? Challenge yourself!  This one should be easy-peasy, I love me some fruits and veggies!

Question:  Who are you thankful for?

Question:  Do you meditate?  If you do, share some tips for us beginners!

— Allison


WIAW: Inspiration from Julia

I truly enjoy being in the kitchen, chopping and dicing, tasting and testing.  Cooking calms me…  When I have time.  During the week 30-minute and semi-homemade meals are more my style.  Just because something takes hardly any time to make or uses no more than 3 ingredients does not mean it isn’t tasty!

Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty What I Ate Wednesday link-up :)

Comforting. Convenient. Healthy. Hearty. Simple. Satisfying. Scrumptious.


Folgers vanilla biscotti cappuccino, frozen berries, & a pumpkin pie spice waffle topped with pain yogurt + peanut butter frosting + pistachios + raisins

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” ~Julia Child

Mid-Morning Snack

sugar-free Starbucks peppermint coffee

“Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper.” ~Julia Child


simple spinach salad, red Anjou pear, & acorn squash + baked chicken tenders + slivered almonds

“One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.” ~Julia Child

Afternoon Snack

green apple, light mozzarella string cheese, & Kashi Go Lean + Peanut Butter Puffins

“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.” ~Julia Child


cauliflower loaded salad, sunny eggs with parm cheese, & cranberry walnut bread with a schmear of peanut butter

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ~Julia Child


[unpictured] Deep Chocolate VitaTop & popcorn

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” ~Julia Child

Yesterday…  #elf4Health 11/27 Day 2:  Send a card or handwritten note to a friend.

“Remember, ‘No one’s more important than people’!  In other words, friendship is the most important thing–not career or housework, or one’s fatigue–and it needs to be tended and nurtured.” ~Julia Child

Today…  #elf4Health 11/28 Day 3:  Try a new workout today!

Tomorrow…  #elf4Health 11/29 Day 4:  Get up 15 minutes early to meditate and reflect.

Question:  Cooking- yay or nay?  *Regardless of whether you think you’re good or not!*

Question:  How do you take your eggs?  Sunny and runny, hard boiled, over easy, poached, or scrambled?  Sunny or hard boiled for me please!

— Allison


Berry Good Creamy Cinnamon Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oats

That might be the longest post title I have ever created and ever read.  Oops!  Moving on…  I love to shop.  I love to window shop and peruse aisles looking for the latest and greatest.  And I love Trader Joe’s, so much so that we’re on a nickname basis, heyyy TJ’s heyyy 😉

shopping + fun finds+ TJ’s = grocery shopping greatness

I know not all y’all ladies [do I have any male readers? sorry Ry, you don’t count] love to shop but let me try to persuade you that grocery shopping at TJ’s is an experience unlike anything else.  Don’t believe me?  Just check out their “About Us” tab on their website…

  • It started as a small chain of convenience stores called “Pronto Markets” before switching their name to Trader Joe’s in 1967
  • All of the employees rock Hawaiian shirts, which [I think] compliments the wood paneled walls
  • “Value” is a concept they take seriously by buying direct from suppliers [whenever possible], bargaining to get the best prices, and ultimately sharing the savings with us [the shoppers]…  In their words, “every penny we save is a penny you save”

Still don’t believe me?  I’ll let some pictures of my recent eats do the talking…

*products specific to TJ’s in bold*

Whole Wheat Tuscan Pane topped with Fat Free Cottage Cheese + pumpkin + Pumpkin Pie Spice + honey

plain Chobani + Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

Low Sodium Organic Creamy Tomato Soup + a runny egg & Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas with Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole with Greek Yogurt

cranberry walnut parfait & sliced Cranberry Walnut Loaf topped with maple syrup

apples, Uncured Turkey Bacon, & cinnamon flax pancakes topped with cinnamon Chobani + cranberries + walnuts + maple syrup

turkey pepperoni, Low Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella String Cheese, rice cakes, & Healthy Bites

veggie filled salad with Frozen Artichoke Hearts

Blueberry Wheat Bran Muffin & pretzels

Pumpkin Pie Spice Belgian waffle topped with peanut butter frosting + warmed apples + raisins + cinnamon Fat Free Cottage Cheese

simple salad topped with Steamed Lentils

Semi-Homemade Cho Brownies with Peanut Butter Puffins using Brownie Truffle Baking Mix

Thanksgiving Sausage-Pear Stuffing using Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Chicken SausageWhole Wheat Tuscan Pane + mix of veggies + pears

Chicken Gyoza Potstickers

creamy cinnamon peanut butter oats topped with a Deep Chocolate VitaTop + Very Cherry Berry Blend

Whole Wheat Tuscan Pane sandwich with Horseradish Hummus + sprinkle of parm cheese + red Anjou pear

Cranberry Orange Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Pie Spice Belgian waffles fixings

One of my most favorite things about TJ’s is that they always feature new products, sometimes seasonal, other times just tasty new finds.  We buy most of our groceries at TJ’s since they also carry brand name products, but for things not available at TJ’s we’ll swing by Whole Foods or our local chain grocery store.  For some of our favorite TJ’s staples click here.

Yesterday [recap]…  #elf4Health 11/26 Day 1:  Go meatless today.

A few of you asked me on Instagram to share my berry good breakfast…

Berry Good Creamy Cinnamon Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oats

1/3 cup oats

1 cup water

1 teaspoon stevia

a few heavy shakes of cinnamon

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons peanut flour

1 Deep Chocolate VitaTop

frozen berries

1.  Combine oats + water + stevia + cinnamon.

2.  Cook in the microwave or stove until desired consistency.

3.  In a separate bowl, mix yogurt + peanut flour and add to oatmeal [makes for a yummy peanut butter pocket].

4.  Top with VitaTop crumbles and frozen berries.

5.  Enjoy!

*I added a splash of Silk Light Vanilla post-picture because warm oats + cold milk is tasty!*

Today…  #elf4Health 11/27 Day 2:  Send a card or handwritten note to a friend.

Tomorrow…  #elf4Health 11/28 Day 3:  Try a new workout today!

Question:  Would y’all like to see more frequent “TJ’s Featured Finds” kinda posts or a glimpse at our weekly groceries?  Call me a dork but I love reading other peoples posts about their favorite finds cause I always enjoy trying new things!  Product reviews?  Recipes using the products?  Share, share, share!

Question:  What’s your favorite TJ’s product?  If you don’t have a TJ’s near you or have never been [eek, tragedy], where do you typically grocery shop?

— Allison