Not Every Occasion is Special

Good afternoon folks!

It’s a beautiful hazy Tuesday here in the Dirty Durham and I’m enjoying last night’s Gossip Girl as I wolf down last night’s leftover spaghetti squash. It’s even better than it was last night, if that’s possible.  Complimented with that sad little basil plant, spinach, some chopped pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese (and a liberal smattering of crushed red peppers, of course), so flavorful, and so rich.

I didn’t take a picture because honestly, it was a twin to last night’s meal, even served in the same bowl.

I paired the meal with a delicious low-cal dessert.  My old friend, J-E-L-L-O!

Jiggly! (click for source)

I went with the strawberry-kiwi today and it was divine.

For today’s snack, I’m trying something I promised myself I’d never eat. I’ll reveal later how it went, but wish me luck!

In other news, I’ve come to a realization. As I stood on the scale at the gym yesterday, I realized my weight had ballooned and blossomed several pounds since my last check-in.  I tried to think back about this summer and figure out what I did wrong.  Then I remembered.

Aviator Brewery Tour? Fried pickles are a must!

Trip home to the shore? This calls for Charlie's Wings!

Cousin's bridal shower? PIle on the Pizza Dip!

A new beer is released? BEERSHAKES!

Basically, every “occasion”, big or small, has been a “special” occasion for me this summer. It’s been full of wedding celebrations, beer events, and, of course, my birthday! And while I always told myself that I’d never let my weight loss efforts get in the way of enjoying things like food at events.  But when you travel two weekends a month and have at least one beer outing a week, and there are still tailgates, parties, and BBQs to be had, sometimes you need to step back and remember that not EVERY “occasion” is one of those “special occasions” that you promised yourself you wouldn’t miss out on.

It’s okay to indulge now and then, but letting your plans and healthy eating go out the window every time someone announces, “It’s not going to rain this weekend! Let’s get a pizza!” is a bad habit to get into.

It’s a bad habit I got into a lot this summer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the heck out of every summer.  But, realistically, I’ve celebrated every moment to the fullest, mostly when it comes to my stomach. It’s no mystery that many of life’s biggest events revolve around special foods (birthday and wedding cakes, homemade meals, tailgate food, etc) but I think that I just needed to remember that the focus wasn’t on just enjoying every last bite of a special meal. It’s about the special occasion itself, and the food can just add to the fun.



Honestly, that post was mostly for me so, in the meantime, please enjoy this video, shared by Courtney of Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life, which will now embody my future as I play it on repeat.

Do you overeat during special occasions?

Or, for more constructive advice, how do you stop yourself when you seem to just be eating to celebrate?

Thank Goodness for Bloggers!

Hey there everyone!

I’m so happy that you all enjoyed my Live Tweeting: 30 Day Shred Level 1 post! I’ll admit, I’m more than a little proud of that one, and the idea of all of you laughing along with me just brought a smile to my face.  We laugh so we don’t cry from the pain, sweat, and tears, right?

Since I’m getting ready to fly home this weekend for the wedding shower of my cousin (the one that was postponed due to stupid Irene), I’ve been playing catch-up with my produce drawer and trying to eat every veggie/fruit in sight!

Dinner last night

I put together a monstrous sammy on a Sandwich Thin full of spinach, tomato, and chicken. On the side, grapes and a few cucumber slices, though I ate most of them by the time this picture was snapped.

Salad monster. Goodness, I hate knee shots.

Both of these meals were brought to you (er… me) by the masters of pre-cooked chicken.

Truly a short cut

These Perdue Short Cuts were actually purchased a week or so ago via a tip from a local coupon blogger and some Harris Teeter Triple Coupons, ringing up for nearly free (like…. a dollar?) Awesome. They’ve been making up the protein of my past several meals as of late. Not too shabby.

Also, this is the first time in a long while that I’ve eaten spinach right off the stem.  Guess what the result was?

Yummy? Yummy.

I also just wanted to take a hot second to thank a few bloggers who have inspired me lately.  I can’t really give too much away why, secret events and such, but here goes nothing:

Jessica from How Sweet Eats for inspiring my first from-scratch baked good as a one bedroom broad

Other Jessica from Healthy Dairy Land for always being supportive

EVERYONE who writes at Thought Catalog  for writing some of the funniest, most thought-provoking pieces I’ve read in a while

The Bloggess, who tried so hard to Put a Bird On It

Sierra of Posh Meets Pavement for proving to me the power of blogs, even across oceans and continents, in reuniting friends

Are there any bloggers lately who’ve inspired you, taught you, or made you laugh?








Shredding for the Wedding

Hey there friends!  Today’s a glorious Wednesday and you know how much I love Wednesdays! The Changing of the Sales was celebrated in full force this morning and, of course, my favorite: No-Pants Wednesday is currently being celebrated!

Wednesday, pantsless Wednesday!

I should also explain the other reason that I love to come home for lunches.

Oh, hey Vitamin D! (that's the one you get from the Sun, right?)

I just love to come home and open the sliding glass door and enjoy the sun, even briefly, during the day. While I love my job, I’m unfortunate enough to be the proud owner of one of the only windowless offices in the building. Drats.

Oh well, I also got my fair share of other tasty vitamins in the form of this tasty Mexican salad.

Spinach, black beans, tomato, green peppers, cheese, salsa, and chia seeds!

With a dessert of half a slice of the small cheese pizza from Mellow Mushroom last night (there’s still time, if you live near a MM, to get a coupon for a free small cheese pizza with purchase of a drink. Trying to spread that freebie love, even if it’s not your birthday!)

But now, tasty treats aside, time for some focus.

Shredding for the Wedding

I’ll lead into this section by saying that, if you aren’t aware, since March 2010 I’ve lost approximately 40 lbs. I’m incredibly proud of my progress and, for the most part, very happy with my body. That being said, the past few months have been full of lots of travel, lots of  fun and, going hand in hand with those two, lots of food. Visits home, birthday freebies, weddings, holidays,and all that jazz, quickly resulted in a little bit more cushion on my body than I’m fond of. Enter: Jillian.


After reading past folks reviews of the program (such as Meghann from Meals and Miles) and having started it (briefly) at the beginning of the year, I think I need something to whip my booty back into fighting shape. For the past 8 days, I’ve shredded 6 of them (one day was an “off” day and another I did Zumba for an hour). Though I haven’t noticed much of a change physically, I think it’s mostly because what I’ve been doing in my living room hasn’t been supported by what I do in the kitchen (or restaurant…. or at the tailgate). Here’s where the big change comes in.

My cousin’s wedding is the first full weekend of October (read: Columbus Day weekend. Mark your calendars, that’s a holiday, folks!)

I credit the first 20 lbs of my weight loss entirely to Weight Watchers.  When I got to a point I felt good at, I laid off and just rested on my laurels and the knowledge I had about what was good for me and what was not good for me. But with this whole “craft beer” thing becoming a super fun part of my life, and wanting to enjoy myself and wear the clothes I want to wear at my cousin’s big weekend, I’d like to kick the last 10 lbs that have been weighing me down (literally).

Starting tomorrow, I’ll start following the Weight Watchers plan again. I won’t be quite as strict as I was in the past, but I wanna rid my home of all the junk food that’s been lingering around and focus on what got me to where I am in the first place.

Know it, live it, love it.

I’m stoked to be shredding with some of my favorite fellow bloggers (like Jessica, Carly, Sadie, and Holly)  , and I’ll be tweeting along the way. The Weight Watchers thing, well, I’m hoping that’ll come back to me like riding a bike.

But on that note, it’s back to work.  No more slices of pizza as a lunch dessert (it was tiny, though, I promise) and it’s time to get back to my roots. Goodbye sunshine, see you later comfy pantsless time, and ta ta to y’all. At least until later tonight.

Have you ever followed a 30 day (or 60 or 90) day program? What’d you think?

How about Weight Watchers or some other type of diet?

OR for folks who haven’t ever tried either of them, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever had for a dessert? 

Secret Hoarding: Office Edition

Good evening, all! Normally, I’d just be turning off my HRM from a sweaty BodyCombat class….  That’s my preferred Monday exercise of choice.  Today, alas, I’m on call and BodyPump is really the only fitness class I can take with my phone on hand (translation: the only class that I’m not so drenched in sweat as I kick, punch, or zumba my booty off with the music blasting in my ears where I can hear or see my phone.)  So I took today to run some errands… which was partially successful. The drive-thru ATM at the bank wasn’t accepting checks, but other than that, I:

  • Dropped a package off at UPS
  • Picked up some goodies at the store for a package
  • Packed that package!

I promise, the knife has nothing to do with this package.

Oooh, I also just recently got a package that I’m pretty stoked for….

Oooh, what's that?

More about that at another time. The real topic of the day is something that I just learned about myself.

I think I might be a secret hoarder (of snacks). A coworker gave me something to put in one of my drawers, and that’s when it hit me.

Triscuits Thin Crisps in Quattro Formaggio (deadly addictive, never ever get them) and Odwalla Protein Bars

In our next shelf?

Adora Calcium Disks in Dark Chocolate

Across the office (i.e. over a desk that isn’t even my own:

Two of my cereals from Attune Foods! (Not pictured: my favorite Uncle Sam)

Need a mid-day pick-me up?

Trashy mags and Coke Zero!

Ok, I’ll admit, that last picture was staged. If I’m going to have soda, OBVIOUSLY I’d put it in the fridge (and truly, I am mandated by my job to have tons of media all around me, which actually means that sometimes… I make a workday out of perusing those trashy mags!)

I scatter my goodies throughout my office (didn’t even take a shot of my dried cranberries in the refrigerator or the gum in my purse).  That way, no matter what, if I forget a snack or lunch, I should be okay.  Often, I also keep a can of soup or sandwich thins in the drawers (but you caught me on an off day.)

I promise, I don’t hoard all my things like a thieving magpie (at least not regularly) but something about the amount of drawers and cabinets in my office just brings out the nester in me.  It’s like I’m ready for anything (as long as anything = a hunger pang… or a trip to the hair salon or the waiting room at the doctor.)  Now it’s time to use my hoard of goodies in the fridge and try to find something for dinner! The beau’s talking pork chops…. Let’s see how that goes.

Do you keep snacks at work or by your desk?  If so, which snacks?

IPA Day, Birthday, Thursday

Good afternoon to you all and TGIF so, so much.

It’s been a long week, a full one, and a busy one! In fact, yesterday I was so busy that I had no time to write even a single post.  I’m sure you were all very disappointed, so here’s what you missed!

23 years (and one day) ago, this little man was born:

RyBaby!! So pensive over pizza.

It only made sense to start celebrating the day of his birth with a treat specially requested by the beau himself.

Cafe du Monde Beignet mix!!

While these were easy enough to mix, I realized moments after pouring that I was missing two key ingredients for the process:

  • Powdered sugar
  • A rolling pin

Neither of these could be substituted (well, I just really needed a rolling pin anyway) so at 7:40 am, I rolled up to Harris Teeter, looking classy as all get out in a dapper oversized t-shirt and boxers, unshowered and wiping sleep from my eyes. I’m sure everyone wanted to be my friend.  A quick purchase later, and a REALLY difficult amount of rolling the dough out, followed by a minor grease burn, with Ry’s help, we had…. BEIGNETS!

Mm.... Greasy fried dough!

They may not have been exactly like the ones we ate in NOLA, they were darn tasty.

During my lunch hour, instead of coming home for some No Pants time , I went to the gym, knowing full well I’d have no time to go after work.  A sweaty three miles on the elliptical were chased with a quick shower and then a delicious, yet slightly unfilling, meal.

Trader Joe's Chicken Tikka Masala

However, when I did what I normally do with tikka masala and rice (jam it all together for a mixed up tasty mash), it looked more like this:

Not exactly a lot of foods...

This frozen meal felt more like an appetizer. And I’m DESPERATELY craving real Indian food now (hear that, Ryan?  are you reading?)

After work, I was FINALLY able to participate in one of my (new) all-time favorite holidays!

We had a great night planned at Rockfish, and it was packed! Great company, a great brand rep from Peak Organic Brewing Company, and, let’s not forget, a great beer!!

Peak Organic's Hop Noir

From the brewer:

Hop Noir is a delectable Black IPA, dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops. The malt base is dark and rich, anchored by organic black malt. This provides a strong foundation for the extravagant kettle hopping and dry-hopping that this beer experiences. Enjoy with a night-light.

My thoughts?

This beer was a WELCOME change of pace from the other super floral hoppy IPAs I’ve enjoyed all week (like Monday’s double IPA lineup!)  The words I’d use to describe the beer would be malty, smokey, and dark! It was sort of like a campfire burn taste, but there were enough hops in there that you could absolutely tell it was an IPA. Black IPAs are pretty new to me, so I was stoked on this one.  We even had a few ladies from Girls Pint Out come to join in the fun!!

Oh yeah, then we came home and split an ENTIRE pepperoni pizza.

I’d say it was a bangup birthday, all around.  This weekend will be more exciting celebrations, one of the highlights being Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ tonight in Cary.

What are you doing this weekend?  Any fun plans?

No Pants Wednesday!

Hello friends!

Just whipped up a DELICIOUS meal of breakfast for lunch.


In this little number was:

  • 3 egg whites, one egg yolk as the base
  • Sauteed spinach
  • Banana pepper
  • Reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil (from my own plant!)
  • Pizza sauce

After eating a tasty homemade pizza last night, I was not ready to let the pizza party end quite yet.

I rounded out the meal (and my sweet tooth) with a Vita Top in Dark Chocolate covered with a little dollop of some Harris Teeter branded caramel delight.  The only reason I “splurged” on the Vita Tops (which are normally a little outta my price range, read: $5.69 for a 4 pack) was because they were BOGO at the Teeter. Hard to say no to a BOGO….

Chocolate... ice cream... pizza plate. Totally appropriate.

In other news, a lot of you have been asking (haha not even one person has asked this, but I wanted to talk about it. I always wonder when bloggers post this whole “a lot of you have asked… wondered about _____” if that’s true or if they just felt like chatting about it.  The world may never know)…

What I meant to say is: I felt like talking about why I always drive home for lunch.  Part of the reason, of course, is the fact that I can whip up delicious treats like eggs and sauteed spinach and grab my own ice cream. But the real reason is the following:

PANTS! (ugh these ones are looking a little loosey goosey, I promise they look classy IRL)

I hate wearing pants. I really do. I think there was a span of 3 years, before I made my Glorious Transformation (aka lost 40 lbs), when I didn’t wear pants. I wore dresses, skirts, leggings, and athletic shorts…. but I avoided pants like the plague. Mostly that reason was due to the desire to not wanna jump up a size. But now that I’m at a size I’m comfortable with…. I still hate em.

So every day, at lunch time, I sweep myself home for a brief, shining lunchtime. The very first thing I do….


And for that period of time, while I’m making my meal and writing my blog post…. the pants of the workday are gone. GOOD RIDDANCE!  So even though the title of this post is No Pants Wednesday…. for me, it’s always No Pants day.  And I like it like that.

Do you like pants?  If not, GET EM OFF! (unless you’re in public, don’t cause a ruckus, y’all)

Where do you eat your lunch? At your desk? In a conference room? Out in some restaurant?

I tend to avoid eating out during lunch, mostly to save money (but also because most of the time, I’m too busy wearing no pants to wanna be out in public.)

Wisdom Teeth: BE GONE! (and what I sort of ate/drank Thursday)

Hello chipmunk lovers (you must be, if you’re reading this blog and you love me, a chipmunk)!!

For any of you who have never had your wisdom teeth out (or for all of you who did at a young age, and just need a laugh) let me tell you the excellent tale of today.  After my crazy and restless sleep last night, I was just ready to get these teeth the HECK out of my mouth!  Of course, in typical Jordan-likes-to-blog-every-aspect-of-her-life-shamelessly fashion, I asked the fine folks that helped me with my day today to photograph every step of the process.  I’ll be honest, posting these pictures takes enormous balls ovaries (?) but, lucky for each and every one of you, I possess ovaries of steel.  Reap the benefits, my friends.

Oh, wisdom teeth, there's no room for you in this Inn...

After saying a quick, not-so-fond farewell to my stupid wisdom teeth, we hopped in the beau’s car since I was not allowed to drive any automobiles or heavy machinery, and my other ride is a backhoe.  We headed over to the Triangle Implant Center, where I posed obnoxiously in front of the door.

Hey! It's my beau in the mirror door!! Hi, boyf!

After paying them all my moneys to yank out my teeth, I went into the ominous office, which was set up with tons of machines to regulate my anesthesia and my heart rate and blood pressure and probably all sorts of other things that I couldn’t tell you about because I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV). It was then that I informed the staff of my intentions to milk them for all they were worth as they had now become part of my documentary team.  They begrudgingly agreed, because how could you say no to this face?

All hooked up with no place to go!

I am pretty sure I heard one nurse say to the other “That’s not a request we get every day… Wonder what she’s doing with this?” I told them I was going to send the pictures to my mother (which I indirectly will by sending her a link to this blog) but was not prepared to get into the whole “I write a blog and like to compulsively photograph and write about my life.” The mom excuse was a lot easier.  My other major demand: while I was out, take a picture of my teeth!

This shot is black and white to avoid looking at blood for the weak of stomach.

The next 20 minutes of my life will never be remembered.  C’est la vie.  I was told that I was SO proud when my beau walked in to get me, and announced to all 4 people in the office “THAT’S MY BOYFRIEND!” with a mouth full of gauze.

This is where my giant ovaries come into play. No shame in my game.

I demanded the doctor got in a shot too. I'm bossy when I'm loopy.

All in all, it was a pretty reasonable experience.  Since I was the first appointment of the day (and have incredible veins which welcome any anesthesia with open arms vessels), it took barely more than 20 minutes.  I remember adamantly requesting a picture of my teeth and then, next time I looked up, it was 25 minutes later and I was ol’ gauze mouth.

Since solid foods were out of the question, todays eats were smooth as butter (there even was a little butter around dinner time, yum!!)  The beau did a drive by to Smoothie King, risking his life (literally) to get me an Angel Food Cake smoothie (there’s banana in it. he’s allergic. dangerous smoothie adventure!) minus the added sugar. I enjoyed this with a pill chaser (amoxicillin/pain killers) and a little bit of water.

He even came back later to check in on me around 2pm, bringing me some tomato basil soup from Harris Teeter, which was DELICIOUS! (BTW it’s double coupon week at the Teet, if you’re local that means big savings.  and hours of extreme couponing!@#?T^!?#!?$)

Pills, soup, blogging. Lunch of champions.

I was able to just sort of spoon this into the back of my throat, trying to bypass any area of gaping holes in my mouth.  It wasn’t too tough for the creamy soup.  I also had a few scoops of Black Raspberry froyo, which I made a sizable dent in by the end of the day.

Dinner was a super weird mix.

Green monster on my left

Mashed 'taters... for dessert.

Green monster contained:

Spinach, frozen mango and strawberries, blueberries, 1 1/2 cups of Almond Breeze Almond Milk (unsweetened vanilla, my favorite), and 1/2 a frozen banana.  After that, I was hungry still, but for something savory….

So I heated up some dessert. Hormel Mashed Potatoes with some garlic powder and seasoned salt.  I know, horrible dessert, but tasted so so good.  I think these mashed potatoes might be the best food for my teeth since this whole thing started.  They taste so filling and savory, despite being a squishy mush that I can actually eat.

Basically, that sums up my day.  I’m going to try to be a little bit more of a human-being tomorrow, maybe even getting my hurr did in Raleigh (PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN! FOR THE SAKE OF ALL ROOTS, EVERYWHERE!)

What would you eat if you could only have liquid/mushy foods?

What movies or shows are on Netflix streaming right now that I can watch tomorrow?!@#

Help me out, readers!!