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Chocolate Mint Pie

Hey guys! I just watched Jessica Simpson’s new show, called The Price of Beauty. I read that it debuted (on Monday night) to really low numbers, but I ended up really liking it. She travels all over the world with Ken Paves and Cacee Cobb, and they look at different cultures and their beauty treatments/practices. It’s really interesting, and I’ll definitely watch it again. Have you seen The Price of Beauty?

Last night, I met my goal of trying one new recipe this week. I know that doesn’t sound like a lofty goal, but I rarely follow recipes, so this goal works for me.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I made Kristin’s chocolate mint pie.  

Chocolate Mint Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 package sugar-free, fat-free instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint extract, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free whip cream, divided
  • green food coloring
  • 12 mint Oreo cookies
  • 1 pre-made Oreo cookie pie crust

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Directions:

1. Place Oreos in a plastic bag and crush until the cookie pieces are the size of marbles.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine pudding mix and milk. Whisk for 2 minutes, or until it is soft set. Fold in 3/4 cup cool whip and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. Gently fold in 1 cup of crushed Oreos.

3. Pour filling into pre-made pie crust and spread until even.

4. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup cool whip, 1/4 tsp peppermint extract, and green food coloring. Pour on top of the pudding and spread until even.

5. Top with remaining Oreo cookie pieces and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

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You’re going to laugh, but look what happened when I cut myself a piece tonight. You guys, I even chilled this overnight. Definitely not as pretty as Kristin’s pie turned out! I guess I could have put it in the freezer, but my refrigerator is set at normal temps, so I’m not sure why THIS happened…

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Just because it didn’t look pretty doesn’t mean that it didn’t taste pretty! It’s really tasty, and it was very easy to throw together. Now if only I could keep my hand out of the cookie jar (The leftover mint Oreo cookies are better than I imagined!), then we’d be in business. 😉

If you like chocolate, and you like peppermint, then you should definitely make this!

Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year? Not only did I forget to wear green (Who does that?) but I fell asleep on the couch around 9:00! What can I say- I was tired. 🙂

-Laura

Shake It Up

Spring forward… how great was it that there was still daylight at 7:30 tonight? And how not so great was it that it was pitch black this morning?! Anyone?

I’m watching the 20/20 special on The Bachelor right now. Apparently, if something says “Bachelor,” then I watch it…

Yesterday, my dad & brother stopped in town on their way home from Augusta. I have been raving about Flip Burger and was convinced that they would love it, so we made our way over for a Krispy Kreme milkshake. I vowed to try a new one every time I go, otherwise I would have sprung for the nutella milkshake that I love.

Which one would you order?

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The milkshake lady split the Krispy Kreme milkshake into two glasses for us…

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One for me, and one for the boys. 😉 It was a glass of creamy, glazed vanilla goodness. They seriously put Krispy Kreme donuts in the concoction and blend away. Delicious, but the nutella shake is still in the lead… what can I say, I love chocolate!

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They had already eaten lunch, but they couldn’t resist getting a late afternoon snack!

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I think it’s safe to say that they’ll be back. Oh, and we confirmed that they are opening one in Buckhead. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing to have delicious milkshakes within an arm’s length!

Lulu spent the weekend in Augusta with the boys, so she was on guard patrol while we were in the restaurant. She watched us walk in and didn’t move from her spot… it was hilarious! How fierce does she look?

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So, Christie wrote a great post about goal-setting today. I normally have “loose” goals in mind, but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t stick to them. But, for this week, I want to shake things up. I wrote down my goals and made a plan for them, instead of just winging it and/or hoping for the best.

My goals for this week:

  • Go to hot yoga once
  • Try one new recipe
  • Study for 1-2 hours each day
  • Turn the computer/tv off by 10:00 pm (in order to get 8 hours of sleep)

So, here’s my plan:

Mon: yoga

Tues: pilates; book club

Wed: yoga; new recipe

Thurs: happy hour with friends

Fri: hot yoga

*I’ll study over lunch and after work each day.

Are you a goal-oriented person or do you just go with the flow? Do you have a current goal or two that you don’t mind sharing?

-Laura

Food, Drink, Run

Last night, we had a girls night at Ormsby’s. It’s on the west-side of town, which is full of warehouses and industrial buildings. I’m surprised that we even found the place because there wasn’t a sign to be found… nothing on the exterior of the building OR door, which was kind of weird.

Ormsby’s had a really cool industrial feel to it… and it was smoke-free! Major plus in my book. 🙂 The restaurant was upstairs and the games (bocce ball, darts, pool, etc) were downstairs.

We met upstairs and ordered drinks before we were seated. I had a glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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For dinner, I ordered the Alice, which was a veggie club sandwich. On the side, I had baked sweet potato fries.

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The sandwich was full of veggies, but kind of the bland side. I didn’t taste any seasoning or flavors outside of the butter that was on the toasted bread.

The baked sweet potato fries were delicious! When I make them at home, I normally slice them thin and bake until crispy. I will definitely be slicing them thicker next time- these were so good!

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Me, Liz, Lauren:

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After dinner, we went downstairs and kept chatting away, while some of the girls played darts. We didn’t end up getting home until after midnight, which would be okay if I WASN’T running the O’Highlands Jig & Jog 5k  at 8:00 in the morning!

I fell asleep just after 1:00, only to be woken up by a couple of screaming drunk guys outside. I was so mad that I actually went out on the patio to tell them that “some of us have to run a 5k in the morning!”, but they stopped before I saw them. Annoying!

It was 2:00 by the time that I fell back asleep and I thought there was no way that I’d get up in time to run. I set my alarm for 6:40, and my morning went something like this…

6:30 Wake up before alarm; “I’m definitely gonna run”

6:40 “I don’t feel like running… I want to stay in bed”

6:45 “Laura, you’re already awake… get up and run!”

7:05 Out the door, on my way to pick up my shirt and race number

7:20 “Ahh… I’m running a 5k! I’ve only run once this month!”

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It wasn’t as bad as I’m making it seem. The weather was actually perfect. Okay, the first mile was a little rough, but I zoned out after that. But, the hills… oh, the hills!

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My goal was to run it in under 30 minutes, and I finished in 29:31. We all met back up at the start and got a (sweaty) pic together!

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We wanted to have brunch at Rosebud, but they didn’t open until 10:00 and we were ready to brunch at 9:00!

We headed over to Murphy’s instead. It was so quiet in the Highlands- no wait for a table!

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They brought out muffins and biscuits to start. I took one of each, but only ended up eating the biscuit with strawberry preserves.

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I ordered the Southwest Frittata, with a side of cheddar grits… yum!

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The frittata was great- I ate ~1/2, and brought the other 1/2 home. I finished the grits, and this is going to sound crazy, but they weren’t that good! They tasted like cheese soup or something… too much cheese. Do you ever finish something that you’re not crazy about and wonder why you did, or is that just me?!

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Do you like to run races? Why or why not? I rarely run, but I have to say, I felt so good afterwards that it made me want to sign up for another one. Granted, I crashed this afternoon and took an hour and a half nap, but that was because I didn’t sleep enough last night!

-Laura

Frittata Cupcakes

Who wants the truth? I didn’t think that anyone was going to guess it, but lowandbhold got it right! Truth: I have really neat handwriting.

It was really fun to read the guesses, and even though I made up the lies (each one had an element of truth to it), it was funny to see you guys guess them!

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I made Caitlin’s frittata cupcakes for dinner tonight. I combined 4 eggs, 1/4 cup 2% milk, 1/2 cup 2% mozzarella cheese, 1/2 of a sauteed red pepper & 1/2 of a green pepper, and salt + pepper. I poured the mixture into 6 greased cupcake tins and baked it at 350* for 40 minutes.

The frittata cupcakes are really cute and would be perfect for a brunch. I’ll probably reheat a couple for breakfast tomorrow, too. 🙂

On the side, I had Trader Joe’s roasted potatoes with onions and peppers. I heated the potatoes and the other 1/2 of the red and green peppers in a pan for about 10 minutes.

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What are three truths about you?  I love learning random facts about you guys!

-Laura

So, Lee tagged me over the weekend to post six lies and a truth about myself. It was harder than I thought! I decided that it’s much easier to come up with truths than it is to come up with lies.

Oh, and for the record, I started a list of lies today and left it on my desk at work. None of them were inappropriate, but how embarassing would it be if someone read my list of eccentric statements?

Here goes nothing… which one is the truth?

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1. I was born in the Midwest, but my family moved to Pennsylvania when I was really young.

2. My mom entered me into a handful of child beauty pageants when I was little. Think Toddlers & Tiaras. Yeah, that didn’t last very long.

3. I have three tattoos- one on my hip, one on my lower back, and one on my foot.

4. I have really neat handwriting. When I was growing up, my hand used to shake when I was writing because I was so concerned with having perfect handwriting.

5. I was valedictorian of my high school class.

6. In college, I made money by signing up students for credit cards in exchange for free pizza. We all know that college kids love pizza, so that job was pretty easy!

7. I rarely let myself cry because I think that it’s a sign of weakness. Don’t even get me started on people who cry at work…

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On Friday, I said that I would be putting raspberry sauce on everything I eat until it’s gone. Well, it tastes great on oatmeal, but tonight I tried it in TJ’s No Pudge brownies! I swirled it in with a knife before baking.

Yum!

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I’ll be back this week to reveal THE TRUTH. 🙂

-Laura

Return of Hot Yoga

Happy Friday!

I decided to do something different today- go to hot yoga! Hot yoga was my main form of exercise for two years (minus the summers- too hot!), so it was weird that I hadn’t been there since December.

Here’s the thing about hot yoga- it’s expensive, time-consuming, and each class is always the same 26 poses. When I ran out of classes in December, I just decided to let it go and give my budget some breathing room.

I really like the yoga classes at my gym, but my love for hot yoga may have been re-ignited after tonight’s class! Maybe I’ll get a 10 class pack for some variation in my workouts. What do you think? Do you belong to a gym or yoga studio? Are you happy with what you get for what you pay?

By the time I got home, it was 7:30 and I knew that I wanted something easy and meatless (since I don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent). Dr. Praeger’s to the rescue!

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What’s your favorite brand of veggie burgers?

I had the veggie burger on bagel thins, with spicy chipotle sweet potato fries on the side.

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And you know that dessert comes next!

I put ~1/2 a bag of frozen raspberries into a saucepan, simmered them for about 10 minutes, and added 2 tbs of sugar. I didn’t strain the seeds out, but you definitely could if they bother you.

There was a lot of raspberry sauce leftover, so I’ll definitely be putting it on oatmeal and everything else that I eat for the next two days! 😉

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I put the raspberry sauce on top of a scoop of Trader Joe’s nonfat plain (tart) frozen yogurt. On the side, I had a TJ’s lemon bar.

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I loved this combo- raspberry and lemon go so well together!

I just watched the premiere of Real Housewives of New York. It seems like it’s going to be an intense season and I “need” a show to replace The Bachelor. Maybe The Bachelor is refusing to replace his turtleneck with something else, but I won’t refuse a drama-filled TV show!

Night!

-Laura

It snowed again today! I looked out my window at work, saw the flurries, and thought for sure that the office was going to close early. But no! The snow never stuck to the ground. The fact that it has snowed in Atlanta twice in the last month is just weird!

Who wasted three hours watched The Bachelor finale last night? I did, I did! I had the theme song – On the Wings of Love – stuck in my head all day… awful! Were you surprised that Jake chose Vienna? I will be shocked if they end up getting married… it just seems like he spends so much time defending her and explaining her immaturity. My favorite part of the episode was when Neil Lane showed up… Jake did pick a gorgeous (free?) engagement ring! Oh, and lets not even get into the fact that Jake is going to be on DANCING WITH THE STARS?! Thoughts?

Onto tonight’s dinner…

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Leftovers! (I made this on Sunday.)

I put the leftover Trader Joe’s masala simmer sauce into a pan with a little water (the jar said to do this but it diluted the sauce too much, in my opinion), along with boneless chicken pieces, and simmered it for ~15 minutes. Easy enough!

I had the chicken with brown rice, and roasted chickpeas on the side. I had chickpeas in the fridge, so I just tossed them with olive oil, s + p, and roasted them at 400* for 25 minutes. I love picking up little “recipes” from the blog world- they’re always tried & true!

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Dessert?

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Snyder’s pretzel sticks, dipped in Nutella! This jar doesn’t stand a chance with me. 😉

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What’s your favorite way to eat Nutella?

I like it in gelato, or on pretzels or toasted bread!

-Laura