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Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, good mother, good looking, good tempered, well groomed and unaggressive. ~ Leslie McIntyre

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday...

Hey Guys!
Today has been a fairly straight forward day actually. Nothing exciting happened, but nothing too bad happened either. I did, however, miss my run because last night I must have been so tired that I forgot to set my alarm back to 5:30 from 6:30 in the morning which  is what time Jason and I were getting up to go work out. Sadly, that didn't leave me with enough time to freeze my butt off while running outside this morning. :(

Then, I was out of creamer so I had to go by Bread Co for coffee ( :) ) which was just a huge PLUS bummer! Bread Co has the best hazelnut coffee and a large is only $2.00.

Breakfast this morning was slightly different than normal because I used up all my steel cut oats over the weekend. I had to replace them with the Cream of Wheat that we had for breakfast at work. It wasn't nearly as good as my oats, but it worked. I added a spoon full of sunflower butter, a couple scoops of pumpkin butter and a handful of craisins.

Lunch today was a Probar. I've never had one before because they are pretty high in calories. I usually buy them for Jason and I knew that he loves them. So today I brought one to have as my lunch and I gotta tell you - it was DELICIOUS and FILLING!

The second half of the day went by as smooth as the first half and then it was time to go. Linsey and I ran by the grocery store because we were basically out of EVERYTHING. Then we went backa nd got Regan, came home and I had a brownie that snuck past the camera. By that point I was pretty hungry.
HEY - four hours had passed by that point!
Jason got off work late so he ended up skipping class and actually got to eat dinner with us tonight. I made the Morningstar Farms Grillers Chik n Patties, with french fries and vegetarian baked beans. Not to bad for a 'throw together whatever you can find in the pantry' dinner.
I had BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, red onion, romaine lettuce and a tiny bit of mayo on mine.

The Sparks' around the dinner table on a Monday evening - NEVER happens!

I was very proud of Linsey for eating her baked beans without complaining. She usually complains about everything that we have to eat.

Notice anything different about Regan's face? She decided that paper was a boring option to draw on and her face seemed like way more fun!! :)

Butter Pecan!!! Three bites and I was perfectly satisfied. :)

Now I'm off to help Linsey finish her homework, get the girls in bed and spend a little quiet time with Jason before we both crash and burn. Hope that everyone had an easy time coming back from the holiday...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm Back...for real this time!


It feels like it's been forever! I had so much trouble with the WiFi at my in-laws house over the holiday weekend that after my last post I just gave up. I either couldn't get onto blogger or I couldn't get onto the internet at all. Instead I decided to put the computer away and enjoy the time with my family. It was so nice seeing everyone and being away from St Louis for a few days is ALWAYS nice, but it is good to be back in my own bed ~ even if that means going back to work tomorrow. :(

So a quick recap in photos is what you're getting tonight simply because I am exhausted after the five hour drive on a jam packed interstate.

I hope that EVERYONE had a great Thanksgiving - just like I did.

* * * * * * * * *

Thanksgiving 2009

This long weekend has gone by way too fast, but it's always like that these days. I spent some quality time with my family and Jason's family and the girls had a ball playing with their cousins and being spoiled by their grandparents and great grandparents. All in all it was a great holiday weekend. 
I am very proud of myself and Jason because we got up at 6:30 three out of the four mornings to go and work out. Thanksgiving morning we went on a great 4.8 mile run. It felt so good to be able to exercise with him! The rest of the time we worked out at the gym in his parents building. It got fairly cold the past few nights so running outside was not an option. We took full advantage of the gym's treadmills, ellipticals and weight machines. It felt amazing! I ate very well (considering it was a holiday) and only have one food photo to share (bad food blogger) I took more, but the one I am sharing is THE best...
Jason and I got hair cuts by my bestest friend Heather in her super cool spalon (Mo Jo Pie), Linsey spent the night with Heather's daughter (Alex) and then her cousins so we hardly saw her the last half of the weekend and when we were with her she was so busy playing that we still didn't really see her so there is only 1 picture of her from the WHOLE weekend!!
Still - We had a fabulous time!

Thanksgiving evening we took the girls to Silver Dollar City with Jason's family to see ALL the lights. I think they had a really great time despite the fact that it was FREEZING!

Then Friday morning (after our workout) Jason and I went to get much needed coffee and desperately needed hair cuts... The inside of Heather's shop looks like an art gallery AND it kind of is because besides doing hair and nails - THEY SELL LOCAL ART!

This is the world's BEST pumpkin pie made by MY grandmother!!!

And a couple random cute moments by Regan. Linsey was too busy being with her cousins to hang out much with us this weekend. :(

And this is what happens when the grown ups are too busy talking and a two year old finds someone's bubble gum chapstick!!

Bye Bye Thanksgiving 2009 - it's been GREAT!

* * * * * * * * *

For those of you who actually read the Sunday Segment I apologize because I don't have one! :( I thought of some ideas, but am holding on to them for the weeks to come, b ut I will leave you with the link to my latest freelance article. Hope you enjoy the holiday travel tips.

Good night...

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! :)

I hope that you're all ready for the day and having a great time with the ones you love.
I am sooooo thankful to be back online!

First - I went to work yesterday without my blackberry keeping me from photographing ALL my food AND keeping in touch with my peeps all day! Then once I got home I had to get our car packed, get us ready to go out of town for close to 5 days and get everything ready for our dog sitter too. We managed to get out of town by 3:30 yesterday afternoon so that was a plus!

We stopped for a quick biet half way through our drive, but the meal was awful and I ended up not eating much of it. So we made it into town about 8:00 and Linsey was so happy that she got to watch GLEE! I was still hungry so I was really happy that I had packed two bags full of my kind of groceries to have while we're here. I made a yummy bedtime snack...

After a two hour nap in the car Regan was in no way ready for bed so she, Jason and I stayed up until almost midnight watching Letterman and playing with my blackberry camera.

We finally got little Monkey to go to sleep and we C-R-A-S-H-E-D!

Sadly, it felt like as soon as we fell asleep my alarm went off at 6:30 this morning reminding us that we planned on running together every morning. So Jason and I quietly got out of bed and snuck outside for a blustery 4.8 mile run. It was GREAT!!! He and I got to chat, run, laugh and enjoy each other's company with no screaming little girls around. :D
Afterwards, I made a huge pot of Steel Cut Oats for the whole family to enjoy. No offense, I love them all, but they need some serious help with their nutrition. I hope they liked the oats. They at them, so I'm guessing they did.
I tried something a little different in mine because the grocery store I went to didn't have almond butter. I'm using Sunflower Butter right now and I have to admit - it's not as good.

I will be back later, but not sure when. We have so much to do today and so many people to see between now and Saturday afternoon. My posts may be sparatic, but they will be here so keep checking back.
Enjoy your holiday and be safe!

Love Ya!! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

As Promised...

Hey Guys - gonna be short one tonight. I am tired!!
So like I said earlier today, I had the BEST vegan pumpkin pie. I actually ate one piece at work and then had a second piece after dinner because it was THAT good. My friend and coworker (and Regan's teacher) sent me the recipe this eveing. So, as promised, here it is...

Colleen's Vegan Pumpkin Pie

3/4 pound Silken tofu (the kind that is the consistency of pudding)
1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp molasses (we used blackstrap molasses, I'm sure any kind would work)
1 pre-made pie crust (We used the vegan graham cracker crust from Whole Foods)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients, except for pie crust, in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. (In the Comet room we just had the kids dump all the ingredients into the bowl and mix with a spoon. That may be why it didn't quite set up, so it may stay together better if you actually blend it!) Pour into pie crust.
Bake for one hour.
It also may help to refrigerate it if you want a more solid consistency.
I cannot tell you enough that this pie was so yummy. I'm actually thinking about making it this weekend for my family who are not even vegetarian!! So exciting to try out new and different recipes on my family.

* * * * *

I have been cooking ALL day long. And NONE of it was for me...
The girls and I ended up ordering pizza (I know...) because Jason was working late and I had so much to do to get us ready to leave. But, never fear, I made a fairly decent pizza choice (if I do say so myself) because thin crust automatically makes it a better choice and... BONUS - it's my favorite! I ordered delivery from Domino's because it's close, it's cheap and it's quick. I got the Pacific Veggie and added pineapple to it. The Pacific Veggie is actually not that bad for you as far as delivery pizza goes. It has Roasted red peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and black olives with feta and provolone cheeses on a parmesan crust. The pineapple adds a little sweetness that I really like.

I made it extra tastey with a small amount of light ranch dressing on the side for dipping!

Then my evening's worth of work began. I made...
1.) a huge pot of vegetarian chili
2.) a dozen cornbread muffins
3.) a pan of chocolate truffle brownies

I did ALL the dishes, got the girls ready for tomorrow, made my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow, got the girls into their pajama's and then got them into bed. Whew...
Now I'm blogging in bed.

and watching Jason try and get himself packed. I started to do it earlier, but just couldn't get it all finished. Oh's funny watching him try and decide what to wear with what and what shoes to bring and which pair of jogging pants he wants and if I like this shirt better than that shirt and - you get the point. :)


Here's what I had to shuffle around just to get to my side of our KING SIZE BED!!!

Good night.
Hope everyone's Friday is tomorrow because mine sure is and THAT is something to be thankful for...

Tuesday's Gone With The Wind...


I hope that you're all ready for Thanksgiving because it's only 2 days away...I can't believe it. I'm so ready for a few days out of town - the suspense is killing me. I left work right on time this afternoon, but left Regan there because A) she was still napping and B) I need to get all 4 of us packed and can do that so much faster with her NOT here.

But first a recap of the day...
I got up and went running this morning because (thankfully) the rain hadn't gotten here yet. I did sprint intervals this morning because I just felt the need to change it up a little. I got in about 28 minutes, but did some walking, some jogging, some sprinting, some more jogging and then a tad bit of walking at the end. It felt so good!

Then I had to get the whole family up because we ALL went into my work this morning at 7:30. I think I mentioned that today was the Thanksgiving Feast and we had to feed roughly 300 people. Well, Jason volunteered to slice up 18 smoked turkeys for the event.

He did such an amazing job! He managed to slice up 18 turkeys in exactly 3.5 hours. He is the man!! :D Of course I think he's the man not for slicing turkey's, but for bringing me a large hazelnut coffee with a cranberry walnut bagel. THAT makes him the man! He even brought me honey walnut cream cheese to go with it. Isn't he precious?! God bless him!

I had breakfast with my family at work this morning, got Linsey off to school and got to work getting a meal for 300 ready. WHEW...what a day. By the time it was all said and done I was exhausted, but I did get to go out with Regan and sit with her and her class for the school sing-a-long and then Jason ate with her in the classroom. I think she really enjoyed herself. Jason said he took some pictures, but he hasn't sent them to me yet. I'll post them as soon as he does though!

For lunch I wanted NOTHING to do with the Thanksgiving food. No offense, but I'm waiting for my Grandmother's cooking! :) Instead, I took the leftovers from burrito night on Sunday and made a quesadilla. It was really yummy AND filling.

Regan's teacher, Colleen, (also a reader) made a vegan pumpkin pie for their room because they have a couple kids with severe dairy and egg allergies. Let me tell you - the pie didn't look all that appetizing, but it was FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC!! She's going to share the recipe with me and as soon as she does - I'll pass it on to you!


It was creamy kind of like pudding, sweet and had a crunchy crust (which I love) and I brought an extra piece home with me for tonight. YAY!

Now I have to get packing. I have 4 days worth of packing to do for 4 people so - yeah...

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Hear My Bed A Callin...

Ok...quick post and then off to bed I go!
My body is shutting down fast...
I have done so much tonight AND listened to my girls scream and throw things and beat up on each other! Oh the life of a parent - and two daughter's is just drama on a regular basis!! :)

So dinner was simple after all. We are heading out of town on Wednesday so we need to eat up everything that won't make it till we get back - that includes the Trader Joe's Powerhouse Salad kit...

I love this salad! It has everything in it that I love - fresh spinach, walnuts, edamame, cherries, blueberries and a great cherry vinaigrette. It really packs a nutritional punch besides having amazing flavor. I topped mine with a few Morningstar Farms Buffalo Wings and a portion of that apple I didn't get to eat at lunch time. YUM!

I'm always amazed and delighted when my girls eat things that are so good and so good for them. They ate the CRAP out of this salad - so I was pleased!

Don't tell Linsey I used this picture :)

Regan rarely finds a meal she doesn't like!

After dinner, of course, we had to have a few Candy Cane Joe Joe's. Hey - they can't go to waste either!! We each had two, but (hope you can keep a secret) I snuck a third one while putting them away...

The girls are in bed and lunches for tomorrow are made. Jason's out getting the clothes from the laundry mat and we will soon be folding about 5 loads of laundry before going to bed - oh well. Who said sleep was important?

OH MY!! I almost forgot - we're getting a membership to a gym that is literally right around the corner from my house. I'm so excited because I can go there in the morning's before work, work out, get ready for work and then go to work straight from the gym! Jason can use it in between class and work or vice versa too and on Saturday's he and I can go work out together and there is baby sitting in the gym for the girls.
YAY!! Merry Christmas to us! :)

Good night...

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. ~ Robert Frost