I Found Treasure!!!

Hey! I’m back from Jacksonville πŸ™‚ Sorry I wasn’t able to post while I was gone- spent it with the family.

First things first- I PASSED!!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ I’m an official licensed insurance agent in the state of Florida! I can sell health insurance, life insurance, annunities, and all that fun stuff. We mainly focus on selling annuities in the office, but the license is for all of it. It is SUCH a RELIEF! woooooo

Anyways, I’ll back up to Friday-

mini protein shake after my workout

real breakfast- 1/2 cup egg beaters, 1 piece wheat toast, & a piece of banana manna bread.

banana hemp manna bread + SF strawberry jelly

I’m LOVIN’ this manna bread- it’s soooooo good! So healthy & seedy..which I love. Banana Walnut Hemp Manna Bread was really good because of the natural sweetness from the banana. Not only did it have real chunks of banana in it, but it also had big walnuts in there too. SO YUMMY!!!

Lunch was the usual..yes, I was boring- Greek yogurt, fruitΒ & cereal for crunch.

the usual lunch mix

After lunch I headed to go & take my test. I was a bit of a nervous wreck, MORE so than when I initially took it. I think I was just worried that I wouldn’t pass it again. And I took more time to go over all of the questions & answers…then it was a big SUBMIT. I walked out & the lady said “CONGRATS, you passed!” I couldn’t get the smile off of my face after that πŸ™‚

When I arrived home I found this waiting:

POM juice

The nice people at POM wonderful contacted me to see if I would sample their products & of course I agreed πŸ™‚ Can’t pass up 100% REAL pomegrante juice!

After this, I had an apple (unpictured), packed & then we started out drive to Jacksonville. We got there in a good time & without hitting a bunch of rain. Craig & I were pretty hungry, so we decided to stop at a place for dinner. Since we are celebrating Craig’s birthday (which is not until August 14th) for TWO weeks (hey the 3-0 is a BIG one) he told me to pick a place & just drive him to it- as a surprise. I really had NO idea where to go, so I kind of was just driving along..and then it dawned on me- Red Elephant. It’s pretty close to my house, & Craig wanted Dairy Queen on the way home…so it worked out perfectly.

We started out with an appetizer of boiled peanuts but they were WAYYY to salty, so I actually sent them back. I HATE doing that- I feel like such a scum bag..but I could NOT eat them. Literally my lips were stinging because they were so salty. So, we sent them back- & ordered the hummus instead. The waiter came over to us & said he actually tried a peanut too & said YES they were wayyyy salty – so that made me feel a bit better.

hummus appetizer

I ordered an Asian salad for my dinner- I didn’t take a picture…but it was good.

We headed home after this…got a Reese piece blizzard for Craig, a Health bar blizzard for my Dad & a vanilla cone for my Mom <– that is her FAVORITE thing ever. She loves just the PLAIN vanilla Dairy Queen ice cream.

plain vanilla cone

We hung out with my parents for a bit, then watched some sports stuff- the ESPYs. And it was getting late- like 11pm- so I headed to bed. I was sooooo tired.

The next morning I woke up & made breakfast for my parents & Craig. I made some ‘healthified’ pancakes πŸ™‚ Just some substitutions- like egg whites for eggs, Splenda for sugar & no oil. I also added cinnamon & vanilla to kick up the flavor. I also added strawberries & blueberries to them.

the batter

snacked on a few of these while cooking

the pancakes a cookin'

flipped & almost ready

pile o' pancakes

YUM YUM! These were great! My parents & Craig enjoyed them as well. I thought we would have way too many pancakes, but they actually ate them all!! Those guys can pack away some food πŸ™‚

After breakfast Craig & I decided to head out to the beach for a bit- we weren’t sure how well the weather would co-operate…it said there was a 70% chance of rain, but when we got to the beach it was BEAUTIFUL! Clear skys, no rain in sight.

Jax beach

I actually FORGOT, yes FORGOT my bathing suit. UHHH stupid! But instead I decided to take advantage of this awesome weather & went for a 5 mile run on the beach while Craig laid out.

Total time: 43: 37, Calories burned: 579, Max HR: 224, Avg. HR: 183.

I managed to keep all of my miles until 9 minutes- my first two were 8:10, 8:20 then I averaged like 8:35- not too bad. But I actually need to learn how to slow my pace down just a bit- since I’m trying to train for the half marathon..I won’t be keeping my miles at 8:10- so I just need to realize it’s OK to train @ a slower pace…IF I’m not doing speed work..but more of an enjoyable run.

While I was running, it was not that bad- heat wise- with the breeze- but once I stopped I thought I was going to DIE! I mean I started running @ 12.30pm in FL..on the beach…not too smart, but it really wasn’t bad- because like I said, the breeze off the ocean. But after my run, but needed some WATER & FAST..so I walked to a near by Walgreens, & grabbed some drinks.

ahhhhh RECOVERY. I chugged this water in about 2 seconds flat

I decided to share. πŸ™‚ Craig got into my stash

We laid out for a bit- me in my smelly running clothes (@ least it was a tank)..and then headed back home.

When I got home my Mom asked what I wanted to do for dinner. I said I would cook for everyone if she wanted. She said that would be great- she’d buy, I’d cook πŸ™‚ We headed up to Fresh Market for the supplies. I LOVE this store- it’s similar to Whole Foods- with all sorts of neat stuff in it to look through.
LOOK AT WHAT I FOUND:

CARBA NADA NOODLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I INSTANTLY thought of Julie! I heard of these noodles from her blog- & I know how much she loves them. I also love them & am so glad that I took the chance & ordered them online- since you normally can’t find them in stores. As soon as I saw them, I was like OMG CARBA NADA NOODLES!! My mom was like “what?!” She had never heard of them before, so I had to tell her how they only contain 140 calories per serving, & are nearly half of the carbs. But they are also full of protein! I couldn’t believe you can actually find them in stores! Now I will always be going to Fresh Market to stock up on these whenever I’m in Jacksonville. We bought each & every bag that they had in stock πŸ™‚

While there we also picked up some Sweet Potato Food that Should Taste Good Chips.Β I also see these on Courtney’s blog, so since I finally found them, I grabbed a bag πŸ™‚ I was actually REALLY impressed- they are delicious! They are more of corn chips though, not sweet potato chips- I thought they were made out of sweet potatos, but the sweet potato is mixed in, the main ingredient is stone ground corn. I really did like them though- even plain- delicious!

On the right are these other things I found- Snikiddy Nacho Cheese puffs. I had never seen these either, but they are like Chee-toe chesse puffs. I used to LOVE cheetos as a kid..and still do- but they are not all that healthy for you, so these are a healthy alternative. They actually TASTE GOOD though too- they aren’t just a healthy snack that tastes like a healthy snack- ya know what I mean.

For dinner I decided to go with something I found on Tasty Kitchen. It was Vegetable Pasta Bake. It looked really good in the picture & it was full of veggies, so I figured it was a definite must πŸ™‚

Ingredients: (my changes are noted)

  • 1 pound Macaroni Pasta (or Other Small Tubes)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil Pam cooking spray
  • Β½ pounds Mushrooms
  • 1 whole Onion (medium)
  • 3 whole Garlic Cloves (I used Fresh garlic)
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes, 14.5 Oz
  • 1 package Frozen Spinach, Defrosted And Drained, 10 Oz
  • 1 whole Roasted Red Pepper
  • 1 pound Mozzarella Cheese (I used part- skim)
  • 1 cup Parmesan/Romano Cheese
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • ΒΌ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • ΒΌ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Preparation Instructions

Boil the pasta according to the package instructions.

Chop all the vegetables, mince or press garlic. Cube mozzarella. Mix the parmesan/Romano cheese with bread crumbs.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil over medium heat and then saute mushrooms, onions and garlic. When the mushrooms are tender and onion golden, add can of tomatoes, spinach, roasted red pepper, cayenne and nutmeg. Cook for 1 minute until all heated through.

In a big bowl, mix pasta, vegetable mixture and cubed mozarella.

Butter a 9x13x2 glass dish, sprinkle with half of the parmesan/crumb mixture, cover evenly. Add pasta mixture into the dish and then top with the rest of the bread crumbs. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

baked & ready!

the inside

We served it with some French Artisan Bread sprinkled with garlic powder & oregano.

my dinner πŸ™‚

While I was cooking I decided to make some cocktails for us- & since I had just received the POM wonderful juice, I had to include that πŸ™‚
In the mix:
-some watermelon
-1 shot coconut rum
-about 1/4 cup POM juice


I added some water & ice & threw it all in a food processor & just mixed it all up until there were no chunks- just juice.

foamy & delicious!

My Dad also tried the POM juice by itself & he was a bit surprised @ how tart it was. He liked it, but didn’t realize it was going to have such a punch. He was thinking it was going to be like Juicy Juice, or something sweet like that, but it’s just PURE Pomegrante juice- nothing else added in. He said he would probably mix it with seltzer & enjoy it like that. I left them a few bottles of it πŸ™‚

For dessert my Mom had picked out a recipe a while back to make for my Dad, but she had not had a chance yet, so she asked me if I would mind making it- OF COURSE NOT!! πŸ˜€ He is a dark chocolate LOVER & this is FULL of dark / semi sweet chocolate.

Cappuccino Brownies

Recipe By :Better Homes and Gardens
Serving Size : 16

1/2 cup butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate — cut up

1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter — softened
Chocolate Frosting:
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/3 cup whipping cream

Grease an 8x8x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a heavy medium saucepan cook and stir 1/2 cup butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat until melted.

Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon just until combined. Stir in vanilla.

Combine the flour and baking soda. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture just until combined. Spread in the prepared pan. Bake in a 350′ oven for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, for topping, dissolve coffee crystals in cream. In a small bowl beat together powdered sugar and the 2 tablespoons butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add the whipping cream mixture and beat until creamy. If necessary, beat in enough additional whipping cream to make a mixture of spreading consistency.

Spread the topping over warm brownies. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until topping is set. Carefully spread Chocolate Frosting over brownies. Cover and chill until set. Cut into bars.

Chocolate Frosting: In a small saucepan, combine semisweet chocolate pieces and whipping cream. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture begins to thicken.

all ready!

piece for Craig πŸ™‚

I had a little bite of his- I’m not super into the coffee/ chocolate mix…so I just had some frozen yogurt instead πŸ™‚

We watched a bit of TV with my parents then headed to bed.

This morning when we woke up my mom offered to make everyone eggs. Of course I had my usual Egg whites- 2 1/2 &Β a smallΒ piece of banana walnut hemp Manna bread & a smallΒ piece of Multigrain manna bread.

breakfast


I had not had the Multigrain bread yet, but once again, I was not let down @ all! I LOVED it- so crunchy & full of seeds. SOOOOO GOOD! I had some peanut butter on it..which of course made it perfect πŸ˜‰

My Mom also tried the Carrot Raisin Manna Bread & she liked it. She was thinking it was like a sweet bread- kind of like regular banana bread, but I told her it was sweetened naturally- not with sugar..and she thought that was pretty neat. She also said if I wanted I could leave the rest with her, so I did πŸ™‚ It was already like half gone, so I thought she would enjoy eating the rest. I also left my Dad a big hunk of the Multigrain bread because I know he’ll love it!

We spent some time with the ‘rents- got my Dad some new running shoes & did a few other errands- then Craig & I got on the road to head home around 3:30pm. We didn’t eat any lunch- since we ate breakfast at like 11am, so we were both pretty hungry when we arrived. I needed something quick, so I grabbed some Monterey Lobster Ravioli– another thing I always see on Miss Julie’s blog πŸ™‚

I also made a quick salad to go along with it.

And I made a bunch of roasted veggies- squash, mushrooms & zucchini to go with the Ravs.

dinner.

one more shot

I actually gave Craig most of the Ravioli, and I just ate a TON of the veggies with marinara & a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I LOVE LOVE LOVE roasted veggies & he is not a fan. He was REALLY hungry, & I actually preferred the sauce & veggies to the ravioli, so I only ate like 4 of them & he got the rest πŸ™‚

Anyways, that was the weekend- sorry this has been SUPER long…hope you enjoyed the re-cap & I also hope you had a GREAT weekend πŸ˜€ I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow- I start my new position WITH my LICENSE & I move into a new office πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Monday I will not dread you πŸ˜‰ And we have a short week because we leave for Maryland on Wednesday afternoon for Craig’s BIG weekend- can’t wait!

So, I leave you with pictures of my parents’ crazy cats- & I CANNOT wait to catch up on my blog reading!!

THANK YOU ALL for all of the well wishes for my exam- YOU ROCK! πŸ˜€

Miss Sandy

Bradley all up in the laundry

Bradley

BC- she's my favorite πŸ™‚

Bradley's eyes look like headlights! haha

Sandy, spying on us

GREAT weekend over all- I LOVE visiting my parents. I really do miss them so much, so it’s great to spend time with them πŸ˜€

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13 Comments

  1. Congrats on passing! That’s great news. Sounds like you had a full weekend. Nicely done with the beach run too.

    Reply
  2. Congrats on passing your test!!!!!!!!! That is great news!
    The POM juice looks really good!!! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

    Reply
  3. Holy long post πŸ˜‰

    Congrats on passing — such a great feeling for sure!

    I’m dying to try Carba Nada as well, but don’t want to pay for shipping..ha!

    Just had the Sweet Potato chips on Friday and they are SO GOOD! Beware, they are addicting!

    Reply
  4. Thanks for offering to bail me out, bud. I may need that someday. Haha. You are an absolute goober for forgetting your bathing suit. Also, I think I’d die if I tried to run in Florida in the afternoon. You’re probably used to it though. You’re funny for putting your pom in your cocktail, although that does sound delicious!

    Reply
  5. OMG I forgot to say congrats! I’m super proud of you, baby girl!

    Reply
  6. Katie

     /  August 9, 2010

    I didn’t know you were an insurance agent! I just worked at an insurance agency for my dad this summer and I loved! I am definitely considering making that my career and getting my license after college! Do you like the insurance business? What was your major in college?

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the recipe girl! I just found your site and I love it. I am actually a licensed insurance agent as well, although I don’t sell.

    Reply
  8. Those pancakes!!!! AHHH hahah I want πŸ™‚ Next time you come we are doing MOCHI or happy cup..I mean I do know all the soft serve locations in jax. lol what can I say, I get around πŸ™‚

    Reply
  9. Holly please please please look at this picture. Hahahhaha you’ll llove it. http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l6xo38FrXf1qzbrd7o1_500.jpg

    Reply
  10. congratulations on passing!! your pasta bake and brownies look fab. i need to try those noodles!

    Reply
  11. WHAT A GREAT TIME!! I love this!! SO sweet of you to make pancakes too!! Aww! I ❀ running on the beach!

    Reply

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