New year!

Happy New Year's Eve! I'm just working away for a few more hrs. and am then speeding home to finish preparations for tonight! My roommate and I are actually having a party at our house so there has been lots of cleaning, organizing and prepping to have a full house!

Yesterday after work I went home to do some of said cleaning. We have hardwood floors that no matter how often you sweep there is always dust in the corners of a room!! While cleaning I worked up an appetite! I snacked on 1 ryvita cracker
And some dried pineapples. After cleaning I went to dinner at Qdoba with Fiance. I LOVE it here and rarely go since they give you so much food. I got a chicken burrito.
I asked for only a little bit of rice and got black beans, corn salsa and a little bit of cheese on it.
I ate about 3/4 and then just picked at some of the inside stuff.
Breakfast this morning was a nice full bowl of oats topped with pecans, some brown sugar and tj's pumpkin spice granola.
With coffee in a to go cup!My oatmeal actually kept me full for a pretty long time. I just snacked on some pistachios to hold me over until lunch!
I can't believe that tomorrow is 2009! Time flies when you're having fun I guess :) Have a fabulous rest of the day and stay safe tonight!


Google reader = amazingness!

It is BEAUTIFUL outside today! Really sunny and in the 40's. (which is amazing weather for Dec. in the midwest!) Work is going kind of slow today. UGH! At least the rumor is we are getting out early tomorrow and Thurs. is a holiday! Paid holidays are one of the best things in the working world :) Now, let me recap the eats!

Yesterday I ate a mid morning snack at about 10:30. I had an Almond crunch bar! The first time I had one of these they were just ok, but I am really starting to like them! It has a really good balance of sweet and salty and is pretty filling. It also has 6g. protein!

Lunch featured a toasty sammy on this new bread:
This bread is SO good! It tastes really hearty and has good flavor. My sammy had swiss cheese and turkey. Pre toast photo:
Along with my sammy I had an apple. I also tried o'soy yogurt in Strawberry. I was NOT a fan of this! I don't know what it was, but the flavor was incredibly strange. I had like 2 bites and then just tossed it.
After work I had some TJ's plain greek yogurt with a handful of cinnamon puffins.
Dinner was a piece of pork with some cinnamon chipotle seasoning, broccoli and 1/2 of a microwaved sweet potato topped with some brown sugar.
After dinner fiance and I ran a bunch of errands doing returning and exchanging of some Christmas presents. We also stopped at the gym when I did the stair master, biked and a few leg machines.
Later on while watching some TV I snacked on some popcorn.

This morning was another early day. For breakfast I had a bowl of puffins with 1 sliced banana as well as unpictured coffee.

The rest of my eats have been exactly the same as yesterday! Almond crunch bar for snack. Toasted sammy and an apple for lunch. Boring , huh? I will try and spice things up here soon!!!!
I FINALLY put all my favorite blogs into my google reader! I have been meaning to do it for like a month and just got around to it. Oh my gosh...I don't know how I lasted so long not using it! It makes it insanely easy to stay up to date with your favorites...I have been sneakily checking it all day at work! :)



Morning! So sorry about my blogging absence!! Christmas was CRAZY busy and I just wasn't able to get as many pics and do as many posts as I had hoped! Things are finally getting back to a normal schedule so my posts should be much more regular :) Fiance and I ended up coming home pretty late on Saturday night so we could sleep in some on Sunday and get to the grocery store, unpack and organize things before the week started.

Sunday morning I woke up and had a quick snack of a whole wheat waffle with some pb then headed to the grocery store since I had like NO food!! When I got home I snacked on this almond crunch bar.
After my snack fiance and I went off to a bar to watch the Bears game. I had a little bit more then 1 bud light and we split a veggie quesadilla. The Bears sadly lost and now their season is over! :(

After the game Fiance and I went and bought a Christmas Tree!!! We had wanted to buy one that we could use next year when everything was on sale! We got our tree for like 50% off.....it was only $65! WOO WOO! When we got home I whipped up some spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. We also had some canned green beans on the side.
After dinner we did some major unpacking, cleaning/organizing and I put away the decorations. Before bed I had a few pretzel crisps from harry and david as a snack. I got these while outlet shopping on Sat!
This morning I was struggling to get up and ready. Christmas didn't really feel like a vacation since it was so busy!! I made an egg sammy for b-fast. It was a whole wheat muffin, turkey sausage, egg whites and some cheese. I had a chopped banana on the side.

And a warm cup of coffee!!

I have the feeling that this week is going to seem forever long!! I only have thursday off while fiance has weds, thurs and fri off of work!!!! NO FAIR!
I hope everyone has a good monday! :)


Holiday recap.

GOOD MORNING! I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! Mine was fun, but SUPER busy! Fiance and I have basically been going non stop since Christmas Eve! I don't have pictures for everything, but let me give you a quick recap:
After lunch on weds. we lounged around my parent's house spending time with my siblings!

I enjoyed a nice cup of french vanilla coffee :)For dinner on Christmas eve my family has a tradition to eat finger foods and appetizers! I cant remember when this started, but we have been doing it for years!! Here is the spread:Here is my plate: shrimp, pigs in a blanket, tuna salad finger sammy, fresh peppers, 2 spinach and veggie mini quiches and 2 swedish meatballs! I also had a glass of white wine.
After dinner we headed to church then came back and opened all of our presents!! I got some great things :)

Christmas morning finace and I woke up and headed out to his mom's house. Before leaving I had a quick b-fast of some cherry coffee cake and 1 banana. (on a christmas plate!!!!) I also had a cup of coffee.
here is pretty much where the pictures end! OOPS!!!!! After opening presents at my future mother-in-laws we headed to fiance's aunt and uncle's house for a few hours then over to my aunt and uncles. We stayed christmas night at my future mother in laws in a Chicago suburb in IL. (all of my extended family lives over there too) Friday we did a little shopping, lunched with fiance's siblings and then headed to dinner and christmas celebrations at my grandpa's. We got home pretty late last night and have lots of plans for today! This morning we are heading over to the reception site to look at the room we will be having the reception in. (it was still under some construction when we booked it) We will also be shopping at the outlet mall some and running other errands. The weather is strange here very warm and rainy!?! Strange for December. I will do my best to take more food pics today!! 

Happy Saturday!!!!


Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas Eve!! Right now I am nice and safe, blogging from my parent's house!! Last night we ended up just staying in Indianapolis since the weather was so ICKY! It took me about an hour to get home when it normally only takes about 25! Traffic was crawling and it was pretty icy. I ended up sliding into a curve while pulling into fiance's apt. complex. EEK! Luckily my little Toyota was fine, but it was kind of scary! We ended up leaving this morning around 9. The weather was much better today, but it was still raining the whole time!

Now onto the eats:

Yesterday for lunch I was just trying to use up any leftover food so I ate an orange

and a whole wheat bagel with some honey nut cream cheese.....YUM!Since we ended up staying in Indy I started my evening with a beer.Since we had used up almost all of the food in both of our places we ended up making a frozen pizza. The only one fiance had was a sicilian one. It had 3 kinds of meat! UGH! I also made some frozen broccoli on the side. This pizza was really filling and I didn't end up eating the whole second piece. After a while I was craving some dessert so I enjoyed 2 candy cane joe joe's with a glass of milk. 

This morning I woke up and made an AWESOME b-fast of Apple pecan waffles.
I toasted 2 whole wheat waffles and topped them with chopped apple and pecans and some lite syrup. These were so easy, but SO delish!

When I got home my dad had already prepared lunch. Minnesota minestrone! This is one of my favorite meals because my fam. makes it chock full of goodies! I'm not sure of the exact amounts, but it included:
whole wheat pasta
lean ground beef
sliced zucchini
canned tomatoes
I topped mine with a bit of parm and had 1 slice of loraine swiss on the side. I LOVE THIS CHEESE! I also had a dessert of 1/2 a cheesecake brownie, but I don't know what happened to the picture!

Well now I am off to relax around the house, watch some christmas movies and have some celebrations tonight! :)


Wintry mix!

I am SO excited! Today is my last day of work until next Monday and tomorrow is Christmas eve! I don't know what it is, but I honestly feel like time is flyin' these days! Wasn't it JUST T-giving?? Oh well I love Christmas :) I am religiously checking weather.com and seriously doubt we will be able to go home this evening. If we can't make it home fiance and I will just enjoy a nice relaxing evening in with some wine to celebrate out mini vacation! We HAVE to enjoy this since neither of us can use ANY vacation days until the wedding/honeymoon in August. Ugh, it seem like forever away!

Yesterday after work I jetted home to finish my packing just in case we were able to leave right after work today. I snacked on 1/2 of a whole wheat wrap with some salsa and mozz cheese which I zapped in the micro for about 20 sec.

I used Newman's own chunky roasted garlic salsa. Love this flavor!Dinner was leftovers: Kasespaetzle. (trying to use up food!) I also had some roasted asparagus on the side topped with a tiny bit o' salt and black pepper.For dessert I had 2 candy cane joe-joe's from TJ's. UMMMM...wowza! These are SO delish. The minty center goes perfect with the choc. cookie. And as fiance said "wow, those are more like double stuff then regular oreos!"

Breakfast this AM was a bowl of cinnamon puffins with 1 banana. I got to work early at around 7:10 (there was like NO traffic...everyone must already be on vacation!) I am planning to take a shorter lunch so hopefully I can be outta here by 3:45 at the latest to avoid the horrible wintry mix conditions coming later this afternoon. We have a freezing rain advisory in Indianapolis. ICK!
Happy Tuesday, which actually is like FRIDAY for those of us still working :)


Fingers crossed.

Afternoon! I hope everyone is having a good Monday. Today I am working from 7:30-4:30. So far the day has flown by, but now I am finished with most of my projects and feel like time is CRAWLING! AT least I just have work tomorrow and then it's Christmas Vacation for 5 days! :) I am a little bummed since I was planning on heading home tomorrow night, but the weather looks like it is going to be miserable for the whole day! :( I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't be as bad as they are forecasting!!

This weekend was extremely busy and productive! I got all of my Christmas shopping and wrapping done! I watched 2 of my favorite Christmas movies and made some festive treats to take home(see below)! I also had to work Sat. morning, went out to celebrate a friends birthday on Fri. and went to dinner on sat. at a SUPER nice steak place Morton's! Fiance and I used a $100 gift card that I got when I purchased my new car back in Sept. It was SO yummy! I got a chopped salad and ordered the bacon wrapped scallop appetizer as my dinner.

This morning was FREEZING! The wind chill was minus multiple degrees. I thought my hands were going to freeze off. I made a nice yummy bowl of oatmeal to get me going. I made the reg. oats with 1 banana in them and topped it with:
brown sugar
TJ's pumpkin spice granola
4 blackberries
Luckily there is a thermostat in the Lib. I can control so when I got there I cranked it up to get nice and toasty. At around 10 I ate some cinnamon puffins for a snack. These are SO good. I picked them up at the store on Friday and have snacked on them everyday over the weekend! For lunch I made a toasty sandwich. It had turkey lunch meat a piece of swiss cheese and some mustard on it all warmed up in the toaster oven @ work! It is one of the toaster/toaster oven combos and I feel it heats up and burns extra fast. I think I have finally got the hang of it!I had an apple on the side and a choc. chip z-bar as dessert!

Now I am just counting down the hrs. until 4:30 when I will head home to pack, then go to the gym and relax the rest of the evening :)


All about me.

Hi all! I thought I would FINALLY give you all a little background about me so you know where I am coming from :) I have been meaning to do this pretty much since I have started this blog so here ya go!

My name is Jill and I am a 23yrs. old. I am currently working full time as a librarian for a career college. I work at their downtown Indianapolis location and love it! Being a smaller school I get to do a bit of everything so it keeps things interesting. I am also going to graduate school part time and working on earning my masters in library science (MLS) from IUPUI. I will be done in December of 2009 and CAN'T wait! Another thing I may mention at times is my upcoming wedding! My fiance and I have been together for about 4 years and just got engaged this past August. We will be tying the knot on August 8, 2009!! I am planning my wedding where I am originally from (about 3 hrs. away) in northern IN. Life can seem SUPER busy at times with work, school and wedding stuff but I couldn't be happier :)

Another aspect of my life that has lead to happiness is a fairly recent weight loss and revamp to a healthier lifestyle! I wouldn't say I was ever really overweight, but I have had a fluctuating weight since high school and it hasn't always been healthy. When I started college I was at my smallest weight I can remember, 105 lbs. Throughout college I steadily put on weight through bad eating habits and drinking. I felt that it was under control until my senior year. I hit my highest weight of about 145/150 ish. I felt uncomfortable with my body and just knew that I was NOT healthy at this point.

This is during homecoming my sr. year at a sorority event:

Here I am during spring break sr. year:

Sometime during the fall/winter I remember having to get some blood work done at the request of my dad's dr. My dad has very low HDL (this is your good cholesterol) and his doctor feared it might be hereditary. And it was for me.... My overall cholesterol numbers were fine. My bad cholesterol(LDL) wasn't too high, but my HDL was very low for a young female. My dr. recommended I work on exercising, alter my diet some and will most likely have to be put on medication when I am older. This kind of scared me. As a 22 yr. old I didn't think I needed to be worrying about my health to that point. I began altering things in my life. I swapped refined for whole grains, watched my portion sizes, ate more fruits and veggies and worked out regularly. My weight slowly came off.

Here I am in early March 2008 on vacation in FL at about 135:

After a few months I got tested again and my numbers had improved. After this improvement, my health was slowly becoming less of a focus for me. While I wasn't gaining my weight back I realized I wasn't doing myself any favors.

A few months ago I started reading food blogs and seeing that there was a supportive community out there of other young women dedicated to leading a healthy life. I researched ways that I can naturally try and raise my HDL to avoid having to take medication. I joined a gym and made a transition to eating healthier, more natural foods. I don't like to deny myself things, I just try to keep it in moderation. I am not always perfect and will sometimes splurge on pizza, beer and sweets, but isn't that part of life??
Here I am currently at about 123 lbs. I am not looking to loose more weight I just want to focus on living healthier and feeling comfortable in my skin :)



I'm happy to report that dinner was a SUCCESS!! I was attempting to recreate one of my fav. meals I ate while I was studying abroad in Germany. Introducing....... 


This is made using spaetzle noodles, a variety of cheeses and caramelized onions!L to R: Gouda, Parmigiana and Brie 
My simple recipe was adapted from several different I found online. I had previously tried it using only emmentaler cheese and the taste was completely off! I remember reading somewhere that combining different cheeses gave a similar taste to the actual dish. (We don't have the actual kind of cheese in America that Germans use to make the dish)

17.6 oz. bag of spaetzle noodles (I used a little less than 3/4 of the bag)
1 lrg. onion
1 c. gouda grated (you can also use emmentaler or gruyere)
1/2 c. parmigiana grated
1/4 c. brie diced (since it is kind of gooey I just ended up ripping it apart!)

Cook spaetzle noodles in boiling, salted water for about 13 mins.
While noodles are cooking carmelize onions.
Mix noodles 3/4 of gouda and parm, all of brie and 1/2 of onions together in a 9x9 casserole dish. Stir.
Top with remaining ingredients. Cook for 25 mins. in 350 degree oven.

This was VERY good and much closer to the original dish!
I also had a side salad with light ranch and some roasted asparagus!Along with my Kasespaetzle I wanted to make Gluhwein. This is also a German treat and is really just red mulled wine! Here it is cooking:To make Gluhwein I used:

1 bottle red wine
mulling spices (I filled 1 spice ball about 1/2 way)
1 1/2 tbsp. honey (or other sweetener of your choice)
1/2 orange sliced

Combine all in a pot and heat over medium low heat for 30 mins. to 1 hr. 

This recipe can be altered however you want! Normally it is made with a ton of sugar so I decided to sub honey and it worked well! You can obviously adjust the amount of mulling spices and sweetener to your taste. The sweetness level can also be altered by the wine you choose. Dryer red wines might need more sweetener.

I made mine with a cheap bottle of merlot and used these williams-sonoma mulling spices. 

After work I came home and had a quick snack of TJ's greek yogurt, some pumpkin spice granola and 2 blackberries. 

After my snack, fiance and I headed to the gym, where I biked. 

Now I am just relaxing! I am planning to read and head to bed early...today just wore me out! NIGHT!