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Friday in a Nutshell and the Foodie Blogroll!

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I had a pretty eventful Friday…here is what went on (in a nutshell ūüėČ )

I was invited to be a member of Foodie Blogroll!!

Foodie Blogroll is a blogging community that features different blogs each week, allows members to participate in exclusive promotions with various food companies, and is a great way for food bloggers to connect with other food bloggers. I am so excited to be a part of this community, and I can’t wait to be involved in my first promotion.

Lunch Date

Yesterday, Brian showed me just how great of a fiance he was by stopping by the hotel to take me out to an unplanned lunch date!


It was very unexpected, but much needed. ¬†Panera was our restaurant of choice. ¬†Seriously, I don’t think that I could ever get sick of that place.


My lunch was one of the You Pick Two combos including the vegetable soup with pesto, and the Thai chopped chicken salad…sans the chicken. ¬†So good, I need to figure out how to make that salad at home!


After we were finished with our lunch, we ran next door to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a wedding gift for the wedding we are attending later today. ¬†Unfortunately, we had to order the gift to be delivered to the couple, but luckily they had a coupon code that I could text to receive on my smart phone! ¬†Gotta love savin’ some moolah ūüėČ



My work day ended with a meeting downtown.  Since my workout scheduled for the day was my long run for the week, I totally took advantage of this and made sure to pack workout attire.

I stopped by one of the gyms I teach at to change, then headed out along my usual path. ¬†Sadly, I didn’t charge my Garmin last night and she died about .2 miles in…so I think I ran just about 6 miles.


I got pretty thirsty along the way and forgot to bring my mini water bottle, so I stopped at a hotel and creeped around until I found this little beauty.  It was glorious!



After the run, I was pretty hungry and so thankful that I had leftovers from last night’s salmon patties. ¬†Even though they weren’t perfect, they were still a tasty and quick dinner. ¬†I just added a side of green beans and called it a day!


Ella’s Frozen Yogurt

The other day, Brian and I stopped by a friend’s on our way home just for a moment to say hi and see her new house. ¬†On the way we drove past this cute little frozen yogurt shop!


We didn’t stop then, but I knew we would be making a trip in the very near future. ¬†Ella’s Frozen Yogurt was decorated so cute, the toppings were displayed perfectly making Brian and me want to try each one, the staff was incredibly friendly giving us samples and recommendations, they had live music, and special discounts every day of the week! They had a live band playing outside too. Not to mention the frozen yogurt tasted delicious!

Topping Station:


More Toppings:


Even More Toppings:


Tara’s Creation: ¬†1/2 Snickerdoodle and 1/2 Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt topped with granola, peanut butter drizzle and a few cookie dough bites to snack on in the car.


Brian’s Creation: ¬†1/2 Cake Batter and 1/2 Strawberry frozen yogurt with cheesecake bites, butterfingers, strawberries, and peanut butter drizzle.


The best part about the whole thing was that it only cost $5!! Friday’s promotion is 40% off for students, and Brian and I completely took advantage of that discount. ¬†A delicious Friday night treat!


This morning, I woke up pretty hungry, so I immediately ran upstairs to make myself a delicious strawberry protein smoothie bowl (strawberries, almond milk, Sunwarrior protein powder, spinach, ice and water, raw oats, and a bit of peanut butter on top).

It totally hit the spot!


Now, it’s time to review some Body Pump before teaching my class later this morning. ¬†I hope you all have a great Saturday!

Question of the Morning?

  • What were your Friday night plans?
  • Anyone else eat some fro yo? (or ice cream??)
  • What is your favorite Fro Yo topping??

My absolute all time favorite fro yo topping would be….granola! ¬†I love the crunch, the sweetness, everything about it. ¬†Yum!

An Australian Skirt

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Today, I wore a very special skirt. the thing that makes it so special is that Brian’s aunt made it for me. ¬†In 3 days!

While traveling on the cruise, one of my favorite spots that we stopped was Sydney, Australia.  

On our last trip to Sydney, I walked around for a while by myself waiting to meet up with a friend who lives in Sydney. ¬†There just happened to be a market with a ton of arts, crafts, hand made goods, and tasty looking food. ¬†I couldn’t resist when the first booth I saw was full of beautiful patterned skirts (much like the one that I am wearing from Brian’s Aunt). ¬†The woman’s stall was called Gigi’s Fairy Fashion’s¬†, and as we started chatting we instantly hit it off. ¬†She had me trying on skirts over my shorts, putting on belts, and holding up shoes…and then I saw the one. ¬†The perfect skirt for me.

I don’t know what came over me because I am usually¬†very¬†frugal with my money. ¬†The skirt cost $165….but I didn’t care. ¬†It was the perfect skirt to wear with a tank top, boots, heels, a sweater, cardigan, anything…and the fabric was gorgeous…so I bought it!

I am wearing the skirt!

Gigi (of Gigi’s Fairy Fashion’s) told me that she hand makes each of the pieces that she sells, and she started by making these pieces for her daughters. ¬†Eventually, her daughters’ friends wanted these wonderful skirts, and in 1996 Gigi was making enough skirts to start a business! ¬†I don’t regret purchasing the skirt one single bit, and now I am glad that I have two!!

Thanks Aunt Erin ūüôā

After work today, I stopped at the gas station and picked myself up a little treat…

When I start chewing gum…I can get pretty addicted and I had gone all week without it, so I decided today was the day to break down and chomp!

Special Night

Tonight is a very special night for two reasons:

  1. Erin is having her rehearsal dinner because she gets married tomorrow!!

This next year is going to fly, but I can hardly wait to marry my best friend.

Just after I said yes!

I want you to tell me about the biggest impulse buy you have ever made…did you feel guilty about??

Wedding Night Eve

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So, I guess I should have told you what I will be doing in my new “adult” job. ¬†My official title is¬†Outside Sales Manager. ¬†I am working for a local hotel franchise, and will have a team of two under me. ¬†The exact day-to-day is a little bit unknown to me, simply because I haven’t done it yet and there will be a lot of training at the beginning, but I think that a huge portion of my job will be meeting with representatives from businesses who are in need of hotel rooms for business travel situations and making them happy. ¬† Sounds like something I can handle ūüėČ ¬†The great part is that I will still be teaching my fitness classes.

Last night, no one showed up to the spinning class that I was subbing for…so I decided to go shopping. ¬†Or at least attempt to go shopping. ¬†I was really in the mood for some new shoes or something, but nothing jumped out at me saying “buy me!”, so I went home empty handed and got dressed and ready to head out to Tastings, a little wine bar in Indianapolis.

It was a pretty chill night because today, two of our great friends are getting married! ¬†We wanted to save any sort of shenanigans for the actual wedding… ¬†I can’t wait for tonight ūüôā


As we were taking a picture of the girls, Brian said we looked too posed…so he asked us to laugh about something.

We opted for funny faces instead.

It was a great evening spent with great friends, relaxing and low key. ¬†Tonight will be a different story ūüėČ ¬†Let the celebration begin!

Pancakes Potatoes and Salad

This weekend has been just as amazing as I had hoped it would be…and it’s technically not even over yet!


Brian and I (actually…just I) did some major shopping damage on Friday. ¬†I have been working a the LOFT clothing store in the mall and Saturday was my last day…and I needed to use up my discount! ¬†We also hit up the outlets ūüėČ

By the time that we were done shopping, it was 8pm and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet! ¬†I don’t know how that happened because usually my stomach is growling by 5:15pm. ¬† What can I say, I am a very “scheduled” eater.


Initially, Brian and I had plans to eat at our favorite sushi place, but when we looked at the time and realized that it was a Friday night and we didn’t want to wait to eat until 10pm we decided to head back to the apartment to make our own meal.


For some reason I had the weirdest craving.  Pancakes.  Breakfast potatoes.  And Salad.  All together for one meal, and it was delicious.  I used the Hungry Jack Complete Wheat Blends pancake mix and was totally satisfied.  The salad had celery, onion, hard boiled egg, summer squash, and cucumber.   Random but totally delicious.


We then went over to Kelsey’s for a little martini party in honor of her birthday. ¬†She seriously makes the best cocktails! ¬†The first one she made us was pomegranate flavored…so good.

She is so good she doesn’t even have to look while she is pouring!

The martinis were tasty, but I only had one knowing that I had to work my last shift at LOFT starting at 9am the next day.



In order to fuel myself for my last day of work I made an egg white scramble with spinach, cottage cheese, and onion and put it in a whole wheat tortilla that was deliciously soft.


After work, I came home and put the finishing touches on cleaning the house and ate a little lunch.  Then, I was surprised by Chelsea, Ashley, and Dina (my girlfriends from home) arriving early so that we had a little time to hang out and shop for last minute accessories before the going away party!


The party, the people, and the night were absolutely fantastic and perfect. ¬†I couldn’t have asked for anything better ūüôā


Look at that cute puppy costume!


We also hit up the bars after the party.


I really wanted to give the girls the true Indianapolis Broad Ripple “experience!”


This morning, we woke up needing some fuel after last night’s “festivities.” ¬†I really wanted to show the girls my favorite brunch spot, Patachou! ¬†Patachou is owned by the same people as Napolese, which is probably why I love both places so much!


The restaurant is really known for their cinnamon toast (which none of us got) and their omelettes (which Chelsea and Ashley got!). ¬†They also have pretty delicious bloody marys ūüėČ


I had whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a fruit cup.

Chelsea and Ashley had the egg white omelette of the day which had mushrooms and asparagus (among other things), and they loved it!

Dina had the fresh waffles, which also looked super tasty.

And Brian ordered probably the most random thing on the menu, but it was really tasty.  His meal was called the Cuban Breakfast Special and had egg, cheese, rice, black beans, and avocado.  That sauce on the side looked like pesto, but it was actually a spinach jalapeno sauce.

And now the weekend continues. ¬†Brian and I are a little slow moving today, but the agenda for today is basically pack for the weekend and head to the lake house. ¬†Tonight we are laying low…making dinner, watching Desperate Housewives, and then hopefully watching (if I can stay awake) PanAm.


Have a wonderful Sunday!

Super Fun Weekend

I can’t believe it is here….the last weekend before I leave for London and my job on the cruise line.


Brian and I have really fun plans for every day this weekend, and I have been looking forward to it for a while.  Here is a recap of what we will be doing!



  • Lunch with Brenna, Kenny (he is home from Florida for the weekend!), Dad, and Brian at Panera. ¬†I have been craving Panera, and so has Brian so we are super excited about eating there….now I just have to decide on what to order!

Love my siblings!

  • Getting the apartment ready for Chelsea, Ashley, and Dina (Fort Wayne friends) to come over tomorrow night
  • Shopping to use up the last of the discount at my retail job.

  • Dinner at Naked Tchopstix! This is probably Brian and I’s favorite sushi restaurant….we are looking forward to it.
  • Heading to a friend, Kelsey’s house, for her birthday!
  • 9-5:30 last day of work ūüė¶
  • 7pmish Chelsea, Ashley, and Dina come into town!!
  • 7:30pm-??? Going away party with all of my favorite friends!
  • I’m hoping for a morning after breakfast at Patachou. ¬†This place is seriously my favorite. ¬†Brian and I went there after our engagement night with my family for breakfast, and they loved it too!
  • Heading to Brown County Indiana for fall festivities such as….Apple orchard visit, wine tasting, going around cute little shops.
This weekend should be great!
I started today with a coffee smoothie so that I have energy for the day and for this weekend!
Literally the sun just came up, so I am now off to change into my running shoes for a little 3 mile jog this morning.
Hope you all have an amazing start to your weekend!
Of Possible Interest:

Pumpkins are Back!

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So today I literally woke up at 3:45am because I had to be to work b 5am….that means I didn’t shower ūüėČ I started the day off with overnight oats so that I didn’t have to prepare anything this morning. ¬†Even though I am a morning person waking up in the 3’s is definitely stretch for me.

Work was great…but sorry no picture…oops!!

Because we were at work for so long and so early me and the other two managers got a break. ¬†So on our way to the bank we stopped at Einstein Bagels. ¬†I went in not really knowing what to order because I was hungry since I ate breakfast at 4:30am, but as soon as I walked in I knew exactly what I wanted. ¬†Pumpkins had invaded Einstein Bagels in the form of Pumpkin bagels, schmear, bagel bites, muffins, and my favorite…Pumpkin Latte! ¬†I ordered it nonfat no-whip and it totally hit the spot ūüôā ¬†I LOVE pumpkin, it truly speaks fall to me. ¬†I almost feel guilty eating it any other time of the year…so as soon as I see it in the seasonal products I go crazy for it.





After coming home, I was pretty hungry so I actually had something to eat…the leftovers from Brian’s lunch! ¬†Quaker rice cakes, homemade hummus, and veggies. ¬†It was tasty, and gave me energy to do an hour of pilates. ¬†The pilates routine I did today was almost more like a giant stretch session and felt great since I am running on little sleep.

Now, Brian and I are headed to the store to exchange my first pair of jeggings. ¬†After wearing them the first time, they got a snag in them. ¬†Since I got them at the store I work at, my manager said to just call another store with my size and exchange them because it is “flawed product.” ¬†I am not going to argue with her on that since I only wore them once and they already have a string loose!

Check it Out

Clean Shopping on a Budget Part III

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I got home from work starving…I guess that’s what 10 miles will do to ya! ¬†And Mom had a little lunch all made up for me.

Carrots, celery, ritz, cucumbers, dip, radishes, crab, and cheese!  It was perfect.  On to the important things.

Grocery Shopping

I received a request last week for a step-by-step guide as to how I go grocery shopping for two people for two weeks for $100.

There are a lot of helpful tips in Clean Shopping on a Budget and Clean Shopping on a Budget Part II.

Here is my process for creating a yummy, fun, creative, and inexpensive grocery list.

Step 1:

Think about what ingredients are already have in the house, what staples are there and what can be made with it?

Here is what I had on hand:

  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Pasta
  • Lunch cheese slices
  • Barley
  • Hummus Ingredients
  • Blue Cheese

I usually base my meal ideas around things that will potentially go bad soon, or keep these items in mind while making my menu for the next two weeks.

Step 2:

I like to think about what I want to make.  I usually am constantly compiling recipes that I want to try and pick a couple meals and treats from that list.  I then add the needed ingredients to the list.

Step 3:

Then, I look at my schedule.  With my new retail job, I may be working through dinner and need to have something available for Brian to either heat up or make on his own (aka chicken or guacamole ingredients)

Step 4:

I start out the list with things that I buy every week, and staples that need to be replenished.

My Staples (I did not have to purchase all of these this week, but sometimes like when just starting out and building up the pantry the grocery bill may be higher because all of these items need to be purchased.):

  • flour (wheat and white)
  • oatmeal
  • white sugar and brown sugar
  • cocoa powder
  • spices
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken/other lean protein (fish)
  • some sort of granola or snack type bar
Things I Buy Every Week:
  • almond milk
  • peanut butter
  • spinach
  • vegetables
  • onion
  • bread/wrap
  • bananas
Step 5:
When I go to a new store, I price out commonly purchased items and compare the price I paid at the old store with the new store.  I am then able to figure out which is cheaper and if it is worth it for me to go to two stores for one shopping trip (which I often do).

Step 6:

To avoid impulse buys while at the store, I write down the things I want with the price next to them so that next time they will make it on the list.

Step 7:

Once my list is made, I go back to old lists and write down the price that I purchased things for in the past and calculate things up. ¬†If it is over my budget (a couple of dollars is ok), it’s time to start crossing things off the list.

While I am actually shopping, once I put an item in my cart I immediately write the price down rounded up to the nearest dollar.  This helps me total at the end and create future lists!

Step 8:

I then go to brand websites and coupon sites to print out coupons before heading out to the store.   I can almost always find coupons for Chobani, Almond Breeze, and Fiber One.



This method works for me, and I enjoy the process of getting everything ready for grocery day. ¬†I know it’s not for everyone, and that is ok! ¬†For me, doing all of these things will allows for a fun, healthy, and delicious grocery list where the budget is easily monitored.

Money Saver!

Tons of groceries!


Happy Shopping!