Sweet Tooth

Goodbye Sweet Friend

I’m doin’ it.  I’m saying farewell to a constant companion.  A companion that has provided succor in times of need but that I know deep down is not good for me.  Of what companion do I speak?

Sugar.

Yes, my dears, I’m giving up sugar.  I’m bidding adieu to sweet, saccharine splendor.  Saying sayonara to delectable, comestible confections.  Kickin’ candy to the curb.

At least this is my plan.  How successful I will be remains to be seen, but I have high hopes.  According to WIAW, this is the time to “fall” into good habits – no better time than the present – so here I go.

Of course, I have known for quite sometime how bad refined sugar is for overall health but this hasn’t stopped me from satisfying my insatiable sweet tooth on a daily basis.  To be fair, because I live a relatively healthy lifestyle, I don’t have to worry that my sugar consumption is gonna end up killing me tomorrow but I could probably benefit from a reduction.  Therefore, I will focus on cutting out the overt culprits – candy, frosting, maybe even the occasional pint of Arctic Zero – but not stress too much about hidden sources – salad dressing/condiments, yogurt…ahem…wine. 

So, goodbye, Gummies.

Okay, I can do this…

Cheerio, Caramels.

Gah! This is hard…

May we one day meet again, Marshmallows.

What the h*ll am I thinking?!?!?!?!

I can’t promise that I won’t fall off the wagon – that I won’t heed the siren song of sweet temptation every once in a while – but this post marks an end to my daily 11:00am raid of the candy dish.  Instead, I will reach for these…

Okay, I admit, these do have added sugar but I think this qualifies as one of those “hidden sources”…no?

…and these…

I’d eat these even if I wasn’t using them as a candy substitute.

…and bask in the antioxidants and fiber that they provide.  Candy cannot compete.  But, man, it sure does taste good…  Deep breaths…  I will stay strong.  🙂

Have you ever tried to give up a food you crave?

What did you eat Wednesday?

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Categories: Candy, Sweet Tooth, What I Ate Wednesday | 5 Comments

I’m a Consume-ah…

…but I don’t have a tume-ah!

I must have a subconscious “thing” for Arnie…this is the second time I’ve referenced him…hmm…

It’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday, folks!

In snapping photos for this week’s edition, I realized that I was takin’ pictures of lots of products.  Rather than pretending that I cook every single night from unprocessed, fresh ingredients, I decided to just “go with it” and introduce you all to the pre-packaged products that I love.  Don’t you worry, I still ate plenty of fruit and veg but those can be the subject of another post because today’s topic is WIAW: Shameless Product Placement!

My morning coffee usually comes from a bag of pre-ground Starbucks Sumatra or DDs French Vanilla or something cheap and flavored from Ocean State Job Lot or a mix of the above.  Lately, though, I’ve been relishing this blend from Trader Joe’s:

Fall has fallen…into my kitchen.

Deliciously spicy and aromatic, it’s a great way to start a crisp fall morning and goes very well with my current nut butter of choice from Target:

The prominently featured expiration date sorta screws up the photogenic quality of the tub…ah, well.

My daily snack attacks are usually satisfied by one of these from Whole Foods:

Top-notch snack stash.

I’ve already posted about my love of Primal Jerky and Biena Roasted Chick Peas but they bear re-mentioning cause they are that good. 

I’ve been trying to be better about my sugar consumption lately and I have cut back quite a bit but there is no resisting an individually wrapped Halloween Peep:

He has no idea he’s this close to losing that pretty little head of his.

When lunchtime hits, I reach for my go-to yogurt.  I’ve been wanting to try Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt since reading about it on Caitlin’s blog but I wasn’t able to find it until last week.  My local grocery store finally wised up and started carrying it:

When I was little I used to call strawberries “strawbalooboos.”

I really enjoy this but don’t forget that I’m a sweet-a-holic.  It tastes just like the regular Dannon Light & Fit, just a little bit thicker.  If you’re going into one of these thinking that you’re about to enjoy a deliciously tangy greek yogurt, walk away cause it’ll probably be too sweet for you.

My daily dinner salad is traditionally accompanied by some form of protein.  Sometimes it’s an egg (hard-boiled, scrambled, poached –  I’m not picky), sometimes chicken or turkey, sometimes beans.  Last night, however, protein came in the form of these

Sorry for the glare but look at how the shiny spot is placed directly above the “Mo”…it’s almost like a little sun shining on the logo. Appropriate – though unintentional – no?

…and this:

Have you ever actually seen a laughing cow…like, for reals? Are cows even capable of laughing?

I also scooped up some delicious leftover watermelon salsa that I made for a party last weekend…

Watermelon, black beans, onion, jalapenos, etc. = YUM.

…with these perfect salsa scoopers:

Salty, crispy, and addictive.

I capped off the evening with my customary cinnamon-sprinkled cottage cheese – Hood is the best, by far: 

This stuff blows the competition outta the whey.

Even better when served in the mini-pint glass from Brew Fest:

I told you all I was gonna use it for this…didn’t believe me, huh?

That’s it, dear readers – the product wh*re’s version of What I Ate Wednesday. 🙂

What are your “go-to” pre-packaged foods?

What did you eat Wednesday?

Categories: Candy, Cottage Cheese, Nut Butter, protein, Sweet Tooth, Trader Joe's, What I Ate Wednesday, Whole Foods | 12 Comments

Expanding My Beer-izons

I LOVE wine.

It’s amazing and delightful and tastes like yum.  Of course, I have my favorites (Conundrum, Yellowtail Shiraz, I’M Rose, Rex Goliath Chardonnay – all delicious and reasonably priced) but I am an equal opportunity wine enthusiast.  Red, white, dry, fruity – bring on the varietals!  I’m a huge fan of wine tastings and I also enjoy a rockin’ wine festival.

Gal M, Gal C, and me at the 2010 CT Wine Festival. We volunteered to sell wine slings. This led to sweating in the blazing sun, eating kettle corn, and getting into the festival for free!

Yes, wine is my alcoholic beverage of choice.  Considering it is basically a fermented version of juice which is basically just liquified fruit, this whole love of wine might have something to do with that sweet tooth of mine.  Hmm, never of thought of it that way before…

Anywho, my relationship with beer is a totally different story.  While I worship Dionysus, I’ve never held the same affection for Silenus.  I WANT to like beer…I just don’t.  It’s not for lack of trying, either.  I’ve tried ales, lagers, stouts, pilsners, and porters.  The most I get from any of them is a buzz – this is not necessarily a bad thing, but I’d like a little flavor to accompany my inebriation.  To my palate, beer tastes like…well…beer.

However, I’m not willing to throw in the bar towel yet.  So, in an effort to expand my beer-izons, I accepted an invitation to attend The Brass City Brew Fest

Oh my gosh, people.  It was SO much fun!  I can’t say that it helped in increasing my knowledge or appreciation of beer, but it was an excellent way to spend a Saturday.  Despite the ick-tastic weather, the event was sold out.  2,000 beer aficionados, wanna-be beer fans (read: me), and designated drivers (DDs got in for free – excellent idea on the Brew Fest organizers’ part, don’t ya think?) congregated in Waterbury for an afternoon of beer tastings, live music, and festival food.

Not the best picture of “the crowd” but I think I was a few beers deep at this point…so gimme a break.

As soon as I got my hand stamped and walked onto the festival grounds, I knew I was gonna have a good time.  This was before I had even tasted any beers.  What was the reason behind my initial excitement?  Why, this, friends:

I’m a “glass half full” kinda gal.

A miniature pint glass?  Oh, baby, that makes my day like nothin’ else :).  Not only will this make the perfect vessel for my nightly cottage cheese concoctions (you can take the healthy eater out of her comfort zone but you can’t wrastle the cottage cheese out of her beer covered hands), but it also quite nicely served its purpose as the most perfectly sized beer tasting glass ever.  I got the perfect amount of beer every time.  It didn’t hold too much, or too little, but just enough – I felt like Goldilocks drinking out of Baby Bear’s cup.  Winky Dinner Date, on the other hand, forewent the mini-glass and got a real pint glass from one of the vendors.  As a result, he was treated to a half glass of beer at every tasting.  He wasn’t complaining, though…

Big ol’ pint glass.

…maybe cause he actually likes beer? 🙂

As I said earlier, my time at the Brew Fest did not expand my beer-izons as I hoped it would but I did try some super delicious drinkies – probably none of which would be described as beer by any true beer connoisseur.

The first winner was this lemon-y malt beverage from Poland:

Wysmienity. Polish for “delicious.”

It tasted like lemonade with just a hint of yeasty-ness.  It was light and crisp, sweet and tangy.  I could see it being very refreshing served ice-cold on a hot day.  Be warned, though:  while I would love a whole glass of this, one of my companions found it way too sweet.

Next up was this delight from the Finger Lakes:

I love apricots, yes I do. I love apricots, how ’bout you?

This was the “beery-est” of the beers I liked but there was enough apricot flavor in there to make it enjoyable to my untrained palate.  At first sip it just tasted like an “ordinary” (please excuse my uneducated beer terminology) beer but then the apricot kicked in and added a sweet, round, nuttiness that was simply wonderful.  I could drink a whole bottle of this – and that, my friends, is saying something.

Lastly (yes, I went to a Brew Fest that had more than 250 brews to sample and I walked away liking three of them – haters, don’t judge), there was this Scottish gem:

OH. YEAH.

This stuff was ah-mazing!  It was ginger-y and slightly beer-y, sweet –  but not too sweet – with just a touch of a spicy kick from the ginger, and immensely drinkable.  Even my beer-loving companions enjoyed this brew.  I’ve gotta find out where they sell it cause, nevermind a bottle, I could drink a whole case of this!  We have a winner!

The Brew Fest was certainly a wicked good time and I would recommend it to anyone as a fun day out.  I have not given up on my quest to more fully appreciate beer – even though all the brews I liked were not all that beer-y.  It’s safe to say that my beer-ducation is still a work in yeasty progress. 🙂

Are you a wine drinker or a beer drinker?

Have you ever attended any alcoholic beverage tasting events?

Categories: Sweet Tooth | 5 Comments

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

I know it’s cliché but it’s totally true.

Just one week ago today, I was all sad because I couldn’t post on Foodie Pen Pals reveal day.  Well, that was sadness wasted, my friends, because my package has arrived and what it contains is simply gloriousLorna really outdid herself :).

I mean, check out this loot…

Sweet schwag.

…pretty awesome, hmm?

I’m excited for each and every item!  These Trader Joe’s Seaweed Snacks are already a staple in my pantry (Annie Chun’s version is equally delicious).

Bad name. Yummy taste.

Deliciously salty with an initial crunchiness that morphs into melt-in-your-mouth-i-ness – oh yeah, these are where it’s at when it comes to satisfying a snack attack :).

Continuing with the snickity snacks, I am completely enthralled with these dill pickle flavored sunflower seeds.

“It’s the best tastin’ pickle I ever heard!”

Dill pickle flavored anything is usually a safe bet when it comes to making my taste-buds do a happy dance and these little gems do not disappoint!

I can’t wait to crack open this box of Risotto and I already have plans for that can of green chile.

Don’t know how good these would taste together but they certainly make a photogenic couple, dontcha think?

I think I may be most excited, though, for the wonderful collection of spices I received – curry and chili…

I LOVE me some curry…mmmMMMmmm.

…PINK salt and boquet garni…

I’m a fan of the pink and green color combo going on here…

…all from one of Lorna’s favorite spice shops – these are just begging for some recipe brainstorming! 

I also cannot wait to use this South African Smoke Seasoning Blend from TJ’s. 

What an innocent looking grinder. This photo gives no hint to this blend’s punch-you-in-the-face-with-smoky-delight aroma.

O.M.G.  The smell of this stuff is just beyond!  I haven’t been able to stop sniffing it since I cracked it open.  It’s like a drug.  Can you be addicted to the fragrance of smoky deliciousness?

Finally, Lorna must have read a few of my past posts before sending this package because look what else I received:

Peach flavored crack.

Yes, please.  These babies satisfy even the biggest (read: my) sweet tooth.  Lorna said in her note that she included these because “who doesn’t love peach rings?”  Indeed, Lorna, who doesn’t?  If anyone out there knows of such an anomaly, gimme a call, I’ll slap some sense into them cause peach rings = awesome.

Lorna did an amazing job putting together this perfect package even though it includes none of what I claimed I would want in my dream Foodie Pen Pal package.  The only obvious explanation for why I love this collection of foodie goodies so much?  Lorna must know me better than I know myself…or she’s clairvoyant :).

Look at the card she sent. Yup. She’s clairvoyant.

What’s been the BEST thing you’ve had to WAIT for?

Has someone else ever surprised you by giving you something you didn’t even know you wanted…until you got it?

Categories: Foodie Pen Pals, Sweet Tooth, Trader Joe's | Leave a comment

Poppin’ the Question

What question, pray tell, might that be?

“Do you prefer Margaret or ‘Satan’s Mistress?'” LOL.

Why, “What did I eat Wednesday Engagement Party?”, you sillies, that’s what ;).

Guys and gals, this party was so bangin’ that I just had to make it the topic of this weeks WIAW!  It was held in the backyard of the Bride-to-Be’s parent’s house but don’t be thinkin’ it was a backyard BBQ or anything like that.  No, the best way to describe this shin-dig is “Just so.”  The attention to detail was superb and the food was delicious.  It was apparent the amount of thought that went behind each and every component. 

From the signature pink margaritas served in lidded mason jars…

The jars were pretty but there was a whole lotta condensation going on, hence the napkins.

…with super cute twisty straws…

Actually, we stole those from the kids table. The adults had classy stripped paper straws…but, you all know me, I’m much more “twisty” than I am “classy.”

…to the awesome Taco Pacifico food truck…

Someone else’s photo cause I was a bad blogger and forgot to take one of the truck.

…that offered simply scrumptious tacos, quesadillas, and burritos…

The remnants of our pork tacos. Those babies were a revelation of mexican deliciousness.

…to the unforgettable desserts…

Tart and Tangy Lemon Squares.

…of which I remembered…

Refreshing melt-in-your-mouth Key Lime Pie Bars.

…to take lots of photos…

Super decadent Oreo Truffles.

…of course – we do all remember that sweet tooth I’ve got, right? – …

Look how rich that is – million dollar chocolate bomb.

…this party was a true celebration.  The happy couple sure has started off their personal wedding season with a bang and it seems lots more good things are to come.  🙂

“Just so.” Right?

Been to any good parties lately?

What did you eat Wednesday?

Categories: Sweet Tooth, Uncategorized, What I Ate Wednesday | 8 Comments

I’ve got a secret…

I am super dupes excited, you guys! 

I bet you can’t guess why…

It’s not because today is another edition of What I Ate Wednesday

…though that is reason enough for excitement, in and of itself.

It’s not because when I was a house guest this past weekend I discovered some of the most glorious peanut butter ever lurking in the back of one of my host’s kitchen cabinets.

Yum-tastic peanut butter + cutie patooter plate + mini spatula = Happy Michelle.

Though this was particularly pleasing because when you are a house guest you can’t always rely on your host having exactly what you enjoy most in the world just hanging out in the back of one of their cabinets.

It’s not because when getting my fix of refined sugar for the day…

I’m loving this retro-fied Instagram treatment…along with the equally retro-fied design of the Stop & Shop marshmallow bag.

…I noticed this on the back of the bag:

Hmmm…

Not like this is something I’ve ever had cause to be concerned about.

Um. Hello. I didn’t hear you coming. Yeah. Want one?

It’s not because I enjoyed the same exact lunch that I’ve had every single work day for the past three years…

I don’t think I could ever be vegan cause dairy products are sorta like God’s gift…to me.

…though there is comfort in consistency.

And it’s not because I just discovered how delicious cottage cheese is when doused in cinnamon and eaten straight from the carton.

I know I’m late to the “Cinnamon on Cottage Cheese” Party. I like to think I’m fashionably late. Just look at that spoon for evidence – that spoon is fashionable.

No, dear readers, none of the items listed above is why I am so flippin’ excited.  Rather, I am elated over what I made for dinner last night.  In fact, I was so darn impressed with my skillz that I literally gave myself a little pat on the back after tasting my creation.  I even interrupted a text-versation I was having with a friend of mine – while simultaneously creating my masterpiece – to text-claim “O.M.G.  I am good!  This stuff is awesome!”

I bet you’re all waiting out there in cyberspace, glued to your desktops with bated breath, on tenterhooks for the revelation of my succulent stroke of culinary genius!

Well…this is where the secret mentioned in the title of this post comes in.  Call me an evil genius…

You get a prize if you know who this is.

…because I am going to make you all wait until tomorrow to find out what’s got me so pepped up.  However, I am not entirely insensitive, I will give you one hint as to the gloriousness that is coming your way:

Little ball of sunshine.

So, tune in tomorrow, ladies and gents.  Same time, same place.  Your taste buds will rejoice.  🙂

Categories: Candy, Cottage Cheese, Nut Butter, Sweet Tooth, What I Ate Wednesday | 6 Comments

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Truer words were never spoken, my dear readers.

I’ve spent the last couple of days feelin’ annoyingly shi**y.  Not in a funk but just ick-tastic enough that it’s put a damper on things.  If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that I’ve also not been able to squeeze in much physical activity during the past few days either.  Whelp, therein lies the source of the shi*…

Things started to turn around yesterday afternoon when I killed the Static Five-Minute Plank Challenge.  Feelin’ pretty impressed with myself, I then went for a run and that was all it took – the blues were gone, the slight sniffle that had been developing over the course of the day disappeared, and I slept better than I have in the last three nights.

All this only confirmed what I already suspected.  I’m addicted to running, guys and gals.  Just a couple of days sans run and I start to feel withdrawal symptoms.  I’ve been good about fitting in other kinds of exercise when I’m too busy to run and I’ve been really good about cross-training and building my upper body strength…

Those shoulders are coming along nicely, no?

…but nothing quite does it for me like a good ol’ run.  Exhaustion, sweat, endorphins, serenity.  Yup, running is the only drug I need – well except for the occasional glass (or two, or three…who am I kidding, sometimes I need the whole bottle) of wine.

I may be addicted, but it’s a healthy addiction and if it keeps me sane then fair enough, right? 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I can also apply this adage to the foods that I eat.  I’ve stuck to pretty much the same basic diet for the past eight years or so.  What can I say, people?  I’m a creature of habit.  Far from being boring, this routine cuisine has served me quite well – it’s nutritious enough to keep me energized and healthy while also offering enough “wiggle room” and indulgences to keep me happy.  Again, I must say…

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

So, my darlings, this week’s edition of What I Ate Wednesday shall be renamed What I Eat Always.

Mornings always start out with coffee.  Must.  Have.  Coffee.  Just one cup, mind you – and no caffeine after 10:00am – but I’ve gotta have that one cup.  Oh, and if you’ve ever lived with me, you know that you probably shouldn’t talk to me before I’ve had that cup.  Fair warning…

Say hello to my little friend.

Breakfast typically starts with fruit – an orange, a peach, some grapes, a pear – I’m not picky.

Little friend #2.

There’s only one fruit that has not ever made an appearance in my breakfast – or any other part of my diet, for that matter: an avocado.  Ew.  They taste like how sweat smells.  And the texture?  **gag**  Don’t even get me started.

Anywho, breakfast continues with an english muffin or toast – there’s usually a variety of spreads involved, one of which is always a nut butter of some kind – …

Sometimes the nut butter doesn’t make it to the muffin…

…and a handful of vitamins.

Cocktail includes: multi, fish oil, B-complex, MSM, calcium, and a pro-biotic.

I haven’t hidden the fact that I have a sweet tooth – mid-morning usually involves some sort of candy.

I go for the classics.

Lunch is a relatively staid affair – not very exciting but it does the trick.

You know what they say about an apple a day?

Throughout the day there are many refillings of this…

Green is my favorite color.

…because we all know how important it is to stay hydrated.

On days I’m not enjoying a glass of vino, dinner is preceded and/or accompanied by a glass of seltzer mixed with one of these…

I told you I had a sweet tooth…

…and drunk out of this…

Ahhh…

Quick sidenote: The glass is from Nashoba Valley Winery – good wine, worth a visit.

Dinner is usually centered around a HUGE salad.

Big Bowl of Friends.

This one included iceberg, romaine, cherry tomatoes, celery, red onions, some olives, a crumbled up Morning Star Farms Garden Veggie Patty, and a generous dusting of nutritional yeast.

I keep my nooch in a tiny little tupperware – you know my love of tupperware.

With a random gathering of crackers on the side…

Yes, those are animal crackers – a lion and a bear, maybe? No, I am not five-years-old.

…and a cup o’ pudding or cottage cheese concoction – two slightly melt-y Pumped Up Strawberry Cheesecake Bites and a spoonful or two of Friendship Whipped Cottage Cheese – for dessert…

Doesn’t look like much but it tastes delightful. In other news: cute spoon, huh?

…dinner is complete…except for the mango that’ll come into play when I realize I want just a little something extra to tide me over till morning.  🙂

The lovely cashier at my local grocery store – who sees me nearly every week – once told me that I have a mango fetish. She is correct.

And that about does it.  A day in the life of Michelle’s belly.  🙂

Do you have a “standard” diet?

What foods are staples in your culinary repertoire?

Do you have a particular form of exercise that you just can’t do without?

Categories: Candy, Cottage Cheese, Nut Butter, Runner's High, Running, Salad, Sweet Tooth, What I Ate Wednesday | 7 Comments

Sugar Rush

News flash, readers: I have a sweet tooth.  I adore candy.  The super sugary, rot-your-teeth kind of candy.  Jelly Belly’s, Swedish Fish, Mike and Ike’s, Sour Patch Kids (even though I think I’m slightly allergic – I get all hot in the face when I eat them), and marshmallows…OH, GOSH…marshmallows!  And that’s only scratching the surface, people.  I won’t even bother getting into things like fresh fudge and buttercream frosting.  One look at candy and my Healthy Living Attitude gets on a plane with my Willpower and flies off to Timbuktu.

Real place.

Ya gotta live a little, right?  Everything in moderation, hmm?

Given this weakness of mine, you can all imagine how wicked excited I was when I discovered that The PEZ Factory is located in Orange, CT – a mere 45 minute drive away!  A visit was definitely in order.

PEZ was invented  in the 1920s in Vienna, Austria.  How the factory moved to Orange is beyond me, but who am I to question a good thing?  My niece, K, who is similarly enamored with candy (though she has a decidedly more refined palate than yours truly, preferring 70% dark chocolate to penny candy) happened to be in town this past weekend so we, along with my mom (who shall heretofore be referred to as Grandma) and dad (Grandpa, who also loves candy – it runs in the family) hopped in the car and headed towards this scion of almighty sugar.

The Visitor Center just opened in 2011 and is pretty impressive in terms of construction. 

Motorcycle courtesy of Orange County Choppers.

After paying admission (a reasonable $5 for adults, $4 for children) and getting a nifty PEZ badge…

I dressed appropriately – the badge matched my outfit.

…you’re admitted into a land of sugar and sunshine.

Love the colors of the rainbow. However, we did not taste the rainbow, because PEZ are not Skittles.

The Visitor’s Center is basically just one big room but it does contain enough “stuff” to keep ya busy for a while.  There’s a whole wall of “PEZ Through the Ages” and loads of PEZ memorabilia.  I particularly enjoyed the vintage PEZ posters…

Hmmm…

…even though some of them were a little, shall we say, suggestive…

Don’t quite know how I feel about this…

The Center also has a viewing window where you can see the production floor.  A little more sterile than Willy Wonka…

These are not Oompa Loompas.

…but exciting nonetheless.  Especially when you catch a glimpse of the huge vats of candy.

Can I just shove my face in one of those?

K had a great time designing her own PEZ dispenser…

Michelangelo at work.

…while I got physical with some larger-than-life PEZ…

Grandma chopped off my head.

…and Grandpa took advantage of the bulk PEZ section.

A 70-year-old candy freak’s heaven.

With each admission you get a $2 credit towards anything you buy in the store that day so we didn’t have to pay a dime (or $8) for K’s personalized PEZ dispenser or Grandpa’s bucket-o-PEZ.  Free stuff is always fun :).

We all headed upstairs to the lounge area after we had our fill of PEZ fun.  We watched some PEZ related clips (Seinfeld, The Today Show, E.T. – PEZ has had its fair share of exposure) and dug into Grandpa’s bucket…

Chocolate, Cola, Lemon, Strawberry Vanilla, Orange…

…except for Grandma who opted for coffee and peanut butter crackers instead.

Walking to the beat of a different drummer.

A good time was had by all and I recommend the PEZ Visitor’s Center to anyone lookin’ to indulge their sweet tooth or just kill some time on a rainy afternoon.

We’re walking on sunshine…in the form of PEZ.

 

Do you have a sweet tooth?  If so, what’s your favorite candy?

Have you ever been to any treat production facilities?

Categories: Candy, Sweet Tooth | 8 Comments

Bittersweet Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me…Cha Cha Cha…Happy Birthday to Me…Cha Cha Cha…Happy Birthday Dear Me-ee…Cha Cha Cha…Happy Birthday to Me…

Yup, it’s my birthday today.  Above is my niece’s version of The Happy Birthday Song – the “Cha-Cha-Cha”s add a little something, don’t they?  Well, the second half of her rendition is decidedly less festive…

Are ya 1? No, certainly not.  Are ya 2? No.  Are ya 3?  No.  Are ya 4?  That would be a negative.  Are ya 5? Nope.  Are ya 6?  Uh, uh.  Are ya 7? Nope.  Are ya 8? No.  Are ya 9?  No, again.  …I will refrain from boring you with what has obviously become a trend here…  Are ya 29?  No.  Are ya 30?  Uh, uh.  Are ya 31?

Um…ugh…yes.

Over the past five years or so, my birthday and I have had a sort of love/hate relationship.  I’m a fan of my birthday because presents are awesome…

I squealed like a tween when I opened these.

…as is time spent with family…

We are one dork-tastic family, aren’t we? That’s me in the stroller.

…and friends.

Dirty 30 with my besties. 🙂

The thing about birthdays, though, is that with every one of them you get, well, older.  This is all fine and dandy until you reach age 25 or so.  After that milestone birthday, all the fun is over – you can vote, you can drink, you can rent a car…what else is there?

I guess you can tell that I was one of those who suffered a Quarter Life Crisis.  Yup, when I hit 25 I started to think “Who am I?  What am I doing?  Where am I in my life?  What’s this all about?!?!”  While I’ve dealt with some answers to those questions and feel more secure in who I am, I still have an issue with the whole aging process.  Now, though, my problems with getting older have more to do with this ol’ body of mine getting older.  FYI to all you young ‘uns out there: when you hit 30 your metabolism goes to pot, you start noticing icky things called wrinkles, and it takes you about 5 days to recover from one night of imbibing.  Yeah, it sorta sucks.

However, I have found that I’ve so far approached this birthday with a bit more of a positive attitude – hard to tell considering the above pity party, huh?  I’ve been making a conscious effort to focus on what my body can do rather than how it looks.  I can do multiple reps with those 8 lb. weights pictured above and I can run more and better miles than I could when I was 21.  Actually, ya know what?  At 31, I’m probably in the best shape I ever have been and I don’t look half bad either.  Sure I might have a few laugh lines around those 31-year-old eyes of mine but I wouldn’t trade any one of the laughs that got them there :).  The more I think about it, the more my response to The Happy Birthday Song changes:

Are ya 31?

You bet your socks I am!  And proud of it!

So, I’m gonna go enjoy one of these delightful cookies (which are not at all healthy, by the way, but it’s okay cause it’s my birthday) and give my OLD self a giant HAPPY BIRTHDAY hug :).

Bittersweet Birthday Cookies

I prefer cake, but these are like cake in cookie form.

1 1/8 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter

3/8 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup sugar

1 (1 oz.) box Jell-O Sugar Free Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

healthy shakity-shake of rainbow sprinkles

Whisk together flour and baking soda and set aside.  Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in pudding mix and then egg and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture and then chips and sprinkles.  Scoop into balls and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Drool-worthy

Do you like birthdays – yours specifically?

Are you a cake or a cookie person?

Categories: Aging, Birthdays, Cookies, Sweet Tooth | 6 Comments

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