Winning Cherry Bells

I am not actually speaking of food when I say Cherry Bells.  But I did find a Cherry Bell Recipe you might find enjoyable.  I am referring to these kinds of Cherry Bells.

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Yesterday evening, after a long day including a great workout with Mom and  a winning Saint’s game (Who Dat!!) Mom and I decided to go to a fair being held at my local elementary school.  Each October, they hold the annual Cochon de Lait (translated as pig in milk or suckling pig) where on Saturday Night they have a real pig roast and dinners are sold the following day.  The main purpose of the fair is as a fundraiser for the parochial (private Catholic) school.  They sell all kinds of fair foods, have game booths, and rides.  Additionally, a band plays each night for adult entertainment, though the kids enjoy it also. 

Mom and I started with some grub.  I ordered some jambalaya, seafood pasta and Mom got the pork po’boy. 

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I enjoyed the pasta more, but did not finish it all.  The jambalaya was a bit salty, but I ate all of the rice and left some of the meat including whole pieces of bacon and sausage.  I have never had bacon in jambalaya before; and it was not a welcomed addition in my opinion plus it was undercooked.  If I  am going to eat bacon it at least needs to be crispy.  I also prefer more of a Creole, red jambalaya opposed to a Cajun, brown jambalaya which they served.  After finishing our dinner, we found a spot near the stage to listen and dance to the local band called the Topcats.

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They put on quite the entertaining show playing songs from the 80s like Bon Jovi’s “Shot Through the Heart” and music from the 21st century including Lil Jon’s “Get Low.” 

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After listening to the band for a while, we headed over to the Cherry Bells Booth.  I put up $2 and Mom $5 for seven tickets.  We won $8 dollars from the seven cherry bells so we traded them in.  We then won $10 from the eight.  And then Mom split the ten cards evenly.  On my third card, I think I’ve never screamed and been more excited/shocked in my life.  I hit the big one.  FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!

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So I was led to a secret back room in the school rectory (church office) and given my money.  We headed back to the band for a little while longer before heading home.

Seriously, I have been on a lucky streak.  I also one $25 yesterday from the Saint’s pool I am on with my coworkers.  That was my fourth time winning the pool and out of 100 squares, you would think I wouldn’t be so lucky. 

As for today, I started with peanut butter and plum on a whole wheat English muffin sprinkled with cinnamon.

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Plus a side of Mango Black Tea.

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Lunch included a turkey wrap with baby spinach and smoked creole mustard.

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With a Yoplait Strawberry Greek Yogurt and a Banana.  I prefer Fage or Chobani over this greek yogurt.  It was more like regular yogurt with the pink and strawberry pieces distributed throughout.

After work I had a babybel cheese round on my way to the gym.

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Before starting my cardio, I grabbed a Tropical Sunrise Smoothie at the Cafe.  It was made with Orange Juice, Pineapple, milk powder, and protein powder.  It was cold and refreshing.

My cardio included thirty minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes on the bike, and ten minutes of stretching and abs floor work.

Finally arriving home, I heated up some braised cabbage from the freezer and  cooked some brown rice. 

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Braised Cabbage + Pickle Meat—it looks quite mushy, but it was very tasty.

I added corn from the fridge to my bowl of rice and cabbage.  I left all but one small piece of pickle meat for the Hub.

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I also ate some leftover rotisserie chicken on the side.

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Most of this went to the dogs.  I ate my fair share as I was picking the bones waiting for the rice and cabbage to be ready.  I ate one wing and about half of a breast plus a few bites of dark meat.

I’m off to enjoy a few mini peanut butter cup chocolates Mom got me from Trader Joe’s in her first round of goodies from Chicago.

Question of the Night:  Have you had any good luck lately?  How so?

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Acts of Kindness

There are good people in this world!  That sounds a bit cliche’, but it is pure and simple truth.  A few weeks ago as I was listening to Lifesongs Christian music station on my way to work, I heard this touching story.

As I listened intently on the radio, my eyes began to well up with tears as I thought about what this one woman started by lending a helping hand to a stranger.  Now I am not saying we all need to lend out money to someone in need, but I think a small act of kindness can do wonders for both parties involved.  Additionally, there is a commercial that I love (I think it is an insurance commercial) where it shows one person do something kind for another, and that person displays kindness towards another, and the cycle continues.  It truly demonstrates  how a small act of kindness can turn a world filled with so much negativity into a much more positive place to live.

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I needed a helping hand to get myself out of bed this morning in the form of my alarm clock.  After yesterday’s late night at work, I was and still am feeling somewhat lackadaisical.  Following my awakening I made a bowl of rolled oats to enjoy for breakfast.

After heating a half cup of oats with a half cup of water, and a half cup of almond milk, I threw in half of a sliced banana (other half went in the freezer), a few raspberries, a teaspoon of peanut butter, a drizzle of honey, and a small handful of granola.

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Later on for lunch, I finished up the eggplant and shrimp casserole.  For some added nutrients, I ate sliced cucumbers and a baby orange bell from the garden, and a plum.

Lunch in the Lounge

A coworker walked in the lounge and said something smelled good after I had just finished heating my lunch; I presume it was my casserole because it sure tasted goooood! 😉

Even though I felt like I could use a nap after work, I decided to head straight to the gym for an energy boost.  Prior to my arrival, I ate a Think Thin Lemon Cream Pie Bar.  Mom bought me a couple at the gym’s cafe the other day because the nutritionist, Molly, who works there recommended them.

As I was eating it, I couldn’t help but wonder about my two King Bars I still have in my fridge.  I most definitely prefer those over the Think Thin.  The white chocolate, lemony flavored bar reminded me greatly of a protein bar with it’s chalky-like texture.  I finished it, but wasn’t satisfied with the flavor or the texture, but it is under 200 calories which I *heart* in a bar if I’m going to eat one.

Once I arrived at the gym, I overheard two ladies’ discussion about having mints or gum.  I could have minded my own business and pretended not to hear.  But I reached in my purse for my mints and my gum, peaked my head around the corner of the lockers, and said, “Gum or mints,” as I held up both.  They graciously accepted, and one of the woman said she was indebted to me.  Really, it was just two mints;  I certainly did not expect anything in return from my sharing two mints.  Just a small, simple act of kindness.

I carried on with my warm up of 15 minutes on the elliptical, approx. 30 minutes of strength training, and a final 15 minutes on the treadmill.

As I watched Oprah while doing the elliptical machine, I was listening to the generous and humble Will.I.Am, from Black Eye Peas, speak about his charity where he, out of his own pocket, pays off mortgages of families in need here in America.  On the show, Oprah announced Will would be paying off two houses of guests who were on the show.  My eyes soon began to fill with tears and the hairs on my arms stood just hearing about all the good this one man is doing.  Gosh, I must have looked silly working out wiping away tears from my face.  Or maybe it was just sweat that I was wiping away. 😉

Before leaving the gym I texted my hubby to ask him what he wanted for dinner.  Earlier in the day I mentioned picking up Chinese food so I could take the night off from my cooking duties.  So I stopped at the Little Chinese Kitchen on my way home.  It is a fairly new take-out Chinese restaurant.  I placed my order of Beef & Broccoli for the hub, and veggie dish with a small wonton soup for me.  I requested brown rice with my veggies, but they only offer white.

White Rice, Veggies, and Wonton Soup

I portioned out some of the order to enjoy!

I had 2 wontons out of the 5 that came in my soup with half of the broth and a few crispy fried wontons.  My veggie bowl included a packed half cup of rice with about 1 cup of the veggie mixture.

Daily Dose of Greens

Salty Comfort in a Mug

*Warning* Be aware of portion size when dining on Chinese.

FYI:  I am about to eat my fortune cookie once I hit publish.

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I could add more stories that exemplify kindness, but there are just so many stories that hit my heart in its soft spot.  It goes without saying, the main point is that true kindness comes from within.  Kindness is displayed when the person sharing it wants or asks for nothing in return, nor do they boast about it.  Kindness is the unspoken that comes from the heart!

Question of the Night:  Do you have any stories that exemplify true kindness in your eyes?  Please share.

Laugh, Dance, Eat

Rise and shine!  My dad used to say that when waking me up in the morning as a kid.  This morning I started the day off with a simple bowl of cereal topped with a banana and some frozen blueberries. 

Filling b-fast

I went into to work to begin setting up my classroom.  Here’s a sneak peak of my room–nothing spectacular, just an ordinary classroom.

My Home Away from Home

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For lunch I enjoyed a summertime salad.  In the mix, romaine, spinach, celery, carrots, strawberries, feta, and a drizzle of light raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Loved the fruity flavors

In the words of my students, "Get out my face!"

Also enjoyed a fage honey greek yogurt–I think this is my fave greek yogurt.

Smile for the camera, Fage!

After working in my classroom, I stopped at the gym since it was on the way home.  Today’s cardio of 25/20/15 consisted of elliptical, treadmill, and bicycle all while enjoying the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  Her show is so upbeat with laughter and music and dancing.  It really kept me enrgized during my workout.  Once home I decided on a post-workout snack–Plum and Almond Butter on Bread. 

Juicy Plum + Creamy Almond Butter = 🙂

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In the words of Ellen, “Laugh, dance, eat!”  Okay, well maybe not the eat part, but she usually plays fill in the blank with the last word of that phrase based on her guests interests.  So I filled in the blank with my own word and that is just what I did. 

 I laughed and danced with my 2 year old nephew and then enjoyed dinner with him, his parents, and my mom.  We went to a local restaurant called Mr. Ed’s, which serves seafood and italian food.  To start I had a side salad with some Italian dressing followed by my entree, stuffed bell pepper served with mash potatoes and green beans.

Salad

Shrimp, crab, and crawfish stuffed bell pepper

I ate one of the bell peppers, half of the potatoes, and all of the green beans (not pictured).  So my hubby got my doggy bag since he couldn’t join us due to work.  The food was very tasty!

Remember to laugh, dance, and eat at some point this weekend and have a great one! 🙂

Question of the day:  Do you prefer working out with t.v. or music?  If you prefer t.v., what do you like to watch while working out?