Out Of My Routine

Happy Tuesday to ya :D WOOHOO for making it past another Monday!

I was thinking the other day while driving to work that I only have one more full week of work left- well, after this one. Next week will be the full 5 days of work, but the following week I only have 3 days! That definitely made my Monday morning a bit brighter.

My boss is giving us the 23rd & 24th off of work- I was thankful because that is two less days that  I have to take for vacation. We actually fly out on the 23rd, and we don’t get back to Florida until the 3rd of January! Next long vacation coming up. Cannot wait!!

countdown to Christmas!

Since my birthday happens to fall during the time we are up there- my birthday is December 26th- Craig told me the other day what he had planned. He was going to keep it a surprise, but then he really wanted to tell me…& of course I wanted to know :D

One day while we are up there, of course NOT on my actual birthday- that’s a Sunday- which means FOOTBALL, which in turn means we will not be moving our tushies that day :) Anyways, he told me he is going to take me to the Inner Harbour for a night, take me to a fancy restaurant for dinner & then we will go to the infamous National Aquarium the next day! So cool, right?! I’m BEYOND excited!

There’s a lot to look forward to in the next couple of weeks & months. I can’t believe in less than 6 months I will be getting married to my best friend!! :D Bring on 2011!!!

Anyways, back to reality where I have work, studying, workouts, etc ;)

Yesterday & today we had our annual holiday breakfast for our clients. This is something the clients look forward to all year long. We have to break it into two days because of the amount of our clients. While it is fun for them, it means extra hours for us. I don’t mind because of how much they enjoy it. So Monday & today I had to be at the location where we hold the event at 6am.

The time really isn’t too bad, since I’m used to getting up at 5am anyways…but I was planning to get up at 4am so that I could hit the gym first. THEN I remembered we have a gym in our office building…score!

The past two days have made my routine a bit off..so I’m looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow.

Yesterday for dinner I made SOUP! It was a PERFECT day for soup, considering it was FREEZING outside. The high was only like 54 degrees- BRR!

To figure out just exactly what kind of soup I wanted…I went to my favorite go-to recipe site- Jessica’s blog :D

Then I saw just the one I was looking for- Chickpea Chicken Soup.
I’ve copied the recipe directly from her blog & added in the changes I made.

Chickpea Chicken Soup

serves approximately 6-8, depending on your serving sizes

4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped- I used 6 slices turkey bacon

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped- only had green, so I used a green pepper

1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 cups raw spinach

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 cup chopped carrots- forgot to get carrots, used green beans & corn instead (kind of random)

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 25-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

24 ounces low-sodium chicken stock

Preheat a large pot on medium heat. Add chopped bacon and fry until brown and crispy.


While bacon is frying, chop vegetables and prep chicken. You have 3 options for the chicken – you can either bake it while the bacon + veggies are sauteing, you can pan-fry it while the bacon + veggies are sauteing, or you can use pre-made/leftover shredded chicken in the soup. Either way, take the time while the bacon is frying to get the chicken ready.

cooked chicken on the stove

Once bacon is done, remove and drain on a paper towel. Keeping heat on medium, add onions, mushrooms and peppers to bacon grease and saute until soft, about 5-8 minutes.


 Add garlic, spinach, paprika and cumin and stir for 60 seconds. Turn heat down to low and add chickpeas, celery, carrots and chicken. Pour in chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes.



Right before serving, add bacon back into soup.

 Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with toast if desired. Season with salt and pepper if needed. I found I needed no extra salt.


This soup was SO good that I broke away from my normal greek yogurt, fruit & fiber one to have THIS for my lunch!! (& I’m looking forward to having it AGAIN tomorrow for lunch..yes, it’s THAT good ;) ) It was DELICIOUS! Love the addition of the turkey bacon in it. Perfect combination of flavors- Jess has the spices down perfectly. :)

My workouts have consisted of a lot of cardio & plyometrics. Since I’m limited on weights- they only have one of those full body weight equipment things- I have done a lot of running & jumping :D

I take my lunch break to head down stairs to change & then get my workout on. I go from professionally dressed…to this mess:

haha, this is the before shot…didn’t think you’d wanna see the after shot- nice & sweaty!

I’m really looking forward to hitting the weights HARD tomorrow..but I am very thankful that our building does offer a gym I can use in times of emergencies. :)

Before I go- GUESS WHAT TONIGHT IS?!!?

YES!! A Charlie Brown Christmas- on TONIGHT at 8pm on ABC.

Enjoy the rest of your day!!

PS: DAD - Today is Pearl Harbor Day- thought of you & the special day! I love you.

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10 Comments

  1. The soup looks hearty and good. I have a new found love of chickpeas! Never was a hummus eater until a year ago!

    Reply
  2. Oh that is a long vacation to look forward too! If I can just manage to get through this week and next, then I have 2 weeks that aren’t full work weeks. Love that. Have a great evening!

    Reply
  3. I love that photo of you. It’s adorable. I also love that aquarium. You seriously will not be disappointed at all. Do you live in Florida? I was thinking of taking a daytrip to DC/Baltimore area sometime around Christmas when I get back for some serious shopping.

    Reply
  4. So glad you liked the soup! And you are sooo pretty!

    Reply
  5. Liz @ Blog is the New Black

     /  December 7, 2010

    Jessica is a genius! Soup looks delish and what a fun birthday “surprise!”

    Reply
  6. I love the aquarium…it’s so awesome! I am a creature of habit too, I do not like to have my routine disturbed!

    Reply
  7. Chicken chickpea soup…yum! I have so many green beans that I need to use, I’m definitely going to make this recipe!

    Reply
  8. Very creative soup recipe!

    Your upcoming Bday plans sound amazing! What a good hubby-to-be!

    Reply
  9. Awe your birthda!! Holy cow we are turning 24. Where did high school go?

    I have been to that aquarium before and it is so fun!! You will have a blast. Inner Harbour has so many good restaurants :)

    Reply

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