I Am A Joy To Dine Out With…

 

Since I had no intention of being in New York this weekend, I have given little thought to weekend plans.

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I can always go for cake though, especially free cake.

I received free cake gift certificates back in December when The Cheesecake Factory ran a gift card promotion offering a free slice of cake for every $25 gift card you purchase.

You better believe I bought a few gift cards, for myself of course.

Here’s the thing – I don’t care for cheesecake but if you ask the waiter, they will honor the gift certificate for any of the chocolate cakes or even the Godiva Brownie Sundae.

I also get them to honor the lunch price rule – up until 5:00 pm on any given day, you can get the lunch-sized salad for $5 less than the dinner size.

The issue with this is, if you order after 4:00 pm but before 5:00 pm, you kinda fall into this gray/confusing area for the waiter.

Sometimes they think to ask you which size salad you want, and sometimes they just ASSUME you are there for dinner and not lunch.

I of course welcome the dinner sized salad but will absolutely argue the bill based upon the lunch price policy.

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Confession: Very much on purpose I get there before 5:00 pm to place my order when dining out with my son (or with anyone willing to meet me at said time) just for this situation to occur.

Yes, I know I sound so appealing to dine with.

In fact, the other night I met a friend for dinner and I am pretty sure I thoroughly embarrassed her, not just because I argued for our salad price but because, and sit down for this, our sundae was missing hot fudge.

If I am going to eat it, it is going to be right.

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Hot fudge makes everything better, don’t you think?

Life Lesson: If you don’t stand up for yourself and your desserts, if you don’t monitor what you pay and respect the money in your wallet, no one else will.

Since we are talking cake and Valentine’s Day seems to be only a week away, I just pinned a few new dessert recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers that are worth checking out:

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes –   I have been wanting to make molten cakes for the longest time.

Healthy Chocolate Lava Cake – Chocolate Covered Katie never lets us down with her “healthy” versions of our favorite goodies

Milk And Cookies Snack Mix – Must.Make.This.ASAP. No excuses. Too cute. Hint: Cookie Crisp

And now that I have made us all hungry, it is time for me to eat breakfast.

Enjoy your weekend!

I may or may not pop in to say hello tomorrow or Sunday. If you miss me, which who are we kidding, of course you will, make sure to follow me on Instagram – you wouldn’t want to miss a Red Mango parfait or anything of such importance, right?

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Do you debate your check in restaurants when you know they are overcharging you?

Will you be able to run outdoors this weekend?

Anyone signed up with me for the Fitness Magazine Women’s Half in April?

 

 

 

Thinking Out Loud Link-Up With Running With Spoons!

 

Happy Thursday! I am super excited this morning because Amanda decided to host a link up today to her Thursday “Thinking Out Loud” posts.

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I am always thinking something so this gives me the perfect opportunity to let you in on my thoughts of the moment. I know you are excited.

Before we get started, thank you to everyone who entered the #Kindawesome giveaway!

The winner is Mary  – Congratulations and I will be emailing you shortly!
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Now…without further ado, let’s take a look at what I am thinking:

1. In honor of our host,  it is only fitting that I start today’s post showing you my collection of spoons.

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Upon reviewing my stash of yogurt store plastic spoons the other day, I became curious as to where and when I got this purple spoon and then wondered why yogurt stores only seem to offer “girl” spoons.

As a kid, I always viewed my box of crayons in terms of “boy” colors and “girl” colors – you know, the reds, pinks and purples were the girl crayons and the blues, greens, yellows and ugly browns were the boy crayons.

If you are wondering why I didn’t list orange, I guess I just never formed an opinion about the orange crayon. Didn’t care to color with it but used it if I was drawing a rainbow and needed to complete the ROY G BIV.

Please tell me you recall ROY G BIV?

2. Maybe my labeling of colors boy and girl is the reason I can’t bring myself to try out blue or green shades of nail polish.

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I can’t help but go with some shade of light pink to avoid seeing the chippage. Is chippage a word? I think it is, spellcheck doesn’t.

But then again, spellcheck is always putting a red line under DESSERT which always make me think that the person behind this whole spellcheck system is on some fad diet where dessert is off-limits and taking it out on the rest of us.

3. Dessert. Ah yes. Always on my mind.

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My favorite partner in food crime and I ventured out in the snow and ice the other evening  to enjoy my favorite Linda’s Fudge Cake. Am I the only one who orders the chocolate cakes at The Cheesecake Factory instead of cheesecake?

I just never learned to love cheesecake. Goes back to when I was a kid – the words cheese and cake should never have formed a compound word. Cup and cake, yes…cheese and cake, just no.

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Although, to be fair, I have allowed my spoon to taste the Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake which is slowly changing my opinion.

4. I need to talk spoons again. Seems to be a theme in this post, yes? I just can’t help but mention that I only use a spoon to eat my dessert, even if it is cake. No forks allowed for dessert. Oh and the smaller the spoon, the better. Actually, I like to eat all of my meals using small utensils.

5. I am beginning to think that part of being a child means thinking your parents aren’t cool.

Last night the little boy and I attended some sort of Book Bonanza at our local Barnes and Noble to benefit his school.

As we walked in, he firmly whispered to me, and I quote:

“I see people I know so walk away from me. Go. Go the other way.”

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Really? And here I thought I was cool. There goes my high self-esteem again.

6.  I can’t seem to give up reading an actual newspaper.

Call me old-fashioned, but I just can’t bring myself to cancel my paper delivery.

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I have been on the fence about canceling for a while now and every time I think I am ready to make the call, I get a bunch of coupon inserts like these that came yesterday. How can I pass up the newspaper perks of BOGO for frozen yogurt?

7. Another thing I can’t pass up right now are fun knee socks.

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They keep me all warm and cozy and fit nice inside my boots. In fact, they are the only positive to come out of the recent frigid and snowy weather.

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Is it wrong that I plan to get myself some more knee socks from Little Miss Matched?

 

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They have so many fun patterns like these Big Apple socks. I may have to check them out.

And you need to check out the rest of the Thinking Out Loud posts! Thanks Amanda for the link-up!

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I NEED TO KNOW:

What color is on your nails?

Cheesecake or chocolate cake?

Do you take home the yogurt store spoons?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Godiva Brownie Sundae + Favorite Food Partner

Friday already? This week sure flew by quick!

I ended up running 5 miles yesterday morning. With an average pace of 9:35 min/mile, I was clearly not in my zone but I felt well enough to complete the run and I am confident that I will be able to enjoy my long run tomorrow morning.

I still don’t know exactly what went on with me this week in terms of my totally lackluster runs.

Thankfully I am not feeling any specific aches and pains, just an overall tired feeling and slight fear of walking the line between normal tired and overtrained.

I am wondering if my 5 mile rebound run occurred because we had a fabulous dinner at The Cheesecake Factory the night before.

Or shall we thank the Godiva Brownie Sundae for dessert?

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I went with the Godiva Brownie Sundae to mix things up from my usual Mud Pie or Linda’s Fudge Cake.

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And that would be the Hershey Bar Cheesecake ordered by my favorite food partner.

If you take anything away from reading this blog, please make sure it is this-

Always ensure you dine with someone who has the following qualities:

  • Appreciates good food and a good dessert
  • Is not selfish
  • Willing to share their mound of cake even when you order your own 

That Hershey Bar Cheesecake was simply divine. I don’t normally  ike cheesecake but the richness of the chocolate fudge matched with the whipped cream was just heavenly.

And, the calories from your favorite food partner’s plate don’t count.

It is no secret that not only do I have a sweet tooth but I also always have plenty of room left for dessert.

I receive a lot of questions and comments regarding how I must be able to eat whatever I want since I run so much.

Not the case.

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I have told you this before, yes?

Sure, exercise and running lots of miles burns calories. But, the majority of my diet is nutrient dense whole foods – meaning unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, peanut butter, whole grains and the occasional fish and dairy products.

My sweet tooth is my indulgent side.

Moderation is the key; one cannot indulge in the super chocolately, super rich sweet stuff every day at every meal and expect to run it off.

Not only would eating such heavy, calorie laden foods on a daily basis wreak havoc on your body and energy levels, thinking you can eat it and somehow burn it all off just wouldn’t work nor would it be worth it.

I mean, I would still be running since yesterday to burn off those slices of heaven from Cheesecake Factory, don’t you think?

Since I don’t believe in making any food you desire off limits, the key is to find the right balance of indulging in your favorite foods while making sure the rest of your meals are nutrient dense loaded.

In other news, I spotted this picture in a rest room of all places recently in my travels.

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Which of the above will you be doing this weekend?

I know I won’t be wasting my money, I hate coloring outside of the lines, I will try not to cause a scene and I will be at the beach but hate swimming in the ocean because I may literally get carried away.

Which, hmm, only leaves me with one thing left to do from the list….ORDER DESSERT.

Have a great weekend!

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I NEED TO KNOW:

Favorite dessert at The Cheesecake Factory?

Food weakness – salty or sweet?

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Recap – Crosstrain and Cheesecake

Rise and shine people, time to start the week!

I am getting ready to go for my morning run shortly.

I forced myself to cross train yesterday because I realized I have been running every day without many elliptical or spin days in between.

But I know me. I know that there is always a chance that as soon as I open the front door, the best of cross training intentions may be out the window and I will simply turn left and start running on the path.

To prevent this scenario from occurring yesterday, I switched up my sneakers before leaving the house.

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While I like these Saucony’s, and while they are a running shoe (minimalist), they are not my Gel Nimbus 15’s.

I knew back at the end of May and into June that the new Asics felt like they were the right shoe for me.

Since I try not to jinx things or speak to soon, I kept testing out the other shoes while still breaking in the Asics just to make sure.

Once I decided the Asics were my perfect running companion, I stopped alternating my shoes and have been happily running ever since.

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I don’t love the elliptical; I don’t hate it. It is simply there.

I always do the random program alternating high resistance levels. I don’t bother plugging in my weight to monitor the calories because a) I don’t know what I weigh and b)I don’t think the calorie counts are accurate.

Before I leave for my 5 mile run now, can we quickly discuss for a minute that we are in the last week of July with August to begin on Thursday?

The only exciting thing about July ending is that National Cheesecake Day tomorrow.

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Considering I don’t like cheesecake at all, this holiday would mean nothing to me except for the fact that Cheesecake Factory is honoring the day with the debut of the Toasted Marshmallow S’mores Galore Cheesecake AND EACH SLICE OF CAKE IS HALF PRICE.

You know I like a good savings. Hmm, I wonder if slashing the price in half makes the calories half too?

I was actually at The Cheesecake Factory yesterday. Not for dessert but for brunch.

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In addition to their regular menu and Skinnylicious menu, they now have a “specials” menu.

Now, there were many appetizing featured items on the menu yesterday.

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But I stick to my favorite BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad (without the chicken).

I just can’t go there and order anything else.

 What if I didn’t like what I ordered as much as I love my giant salad? It would just ruin my day.

Call me weird but if I am going to eat something, I better enjoy it. If not, it is a complete waste of a meal and of a dining experience as well as a complete and total waste of calories.

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The little boy though knows how to diversify his selections. He went with the special “Belgian Waffles Elvis Style” which involved peanut butter, bananas and bacon.

Can I just say how nice it is to have a child that loves to eat out and enjoys a good meal? My my my, I have raised him so well.

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One waffle left = leftovers for this morning’s breakfast.

Have a great Monday!

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I NEED TO KNOW:

Do you alternate your sneakers?

Elliptical – love it or hate it? Do you pay attention to the calories burned?

Do you like cheesecake?

Are you a creature of habit at your favorite restaurants or do you always order something different?

Peanut butter and bacon – good combo or gross? I think peanut butter could go with anything.

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