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TGI Friday!

June 10, 2011

I am so excited that I could not wait for the day to start and woke up before the alarm went off this morning (That’s two days in a row.) There are a bunch of reasons for me to feel like a kid on Christmas morning. (Being Jewish I don’t really know exactly what that feels like, so I am imagining it would be how I am feeling now.)

1. It’s Friday and the long work week is over (the full week after a holiday always seems extra-long and it was very busy in the office this week, so I am glad that’s over and done with for now)

2. I am only working half a day today

3. I am going to my second hot yoga class at lunch (Read about my first experience here)

4. But most importantly, it’s my hubby’s birthday on June 11, which we are starting to celebrate early with a surprise birthday extravaganza! Since he reads my every post I will not be sharing any details with you today. (Sorry to keep you in suspense but it’ll be just for a bit.)

I always get so excited about my loved ones’ birthdays and I am horrible at keeping secrets and preparing surprises. A couple of years ago I planned a trip to San Diego for Eric’s 30th (Sorry baby, now everyone knows how old you are). I booked the air tickets, rented a car, reserved a room at a fancy hotel in La Jolla, and even picked out a perfect card and Top 10 San Diego book as a hint present to give on the plane. The problem was I did all this so early in advance that come the birthday week, the excitement was pouring out of me and I could not contain the surprise any longer. Instead of unexpectedly picking him up at work with our bags packed to go to the airport, I ended up giving our vacation plans away the night before Sad smile He still enjoyed the present very much, and I figured he would have probably noticed his shaver and toothbrush disappearing from the bathroom if I tried to pack in secret, but nevertheless I could not pull off the surprise part. After that failed attempt, I scaled back on the element of surprise so he knows we are going away to Suncadia lodge, but that’s all he knows! Winking smile

No birthday festivity can begin without treats. So last night I baked oatmeal cookies to take for the road. I only bake on special occasions so don’t expect many dessert recipes from me. There are two reasons I avoid baking:

1. I am not a fan of all the precision and time baking requires

2. If it’s any good, I end up scarfing it all down in a couple of days

I do have my tried and proven recipes (Very-Berry-Crisp and Must-Bake-Carrot-Cake) that I use for parties or when the mood strikes once in a blue moon. Eric loves apple pastries, so I found this oatmeal raisin cookie recipe which uses apple sauce instead of butter or oil to cut calories and fat content. The cookies came out dense and chewy more like oatmeal-apple-cinnamon bars, so I recommend piling on the fillings: more raisins, cranberries, walnuts, maybe even peanut butter.

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Since I was only going to be at work for a few hours and would have to shower after the yoga class, I decided to skip my getting ready routine and go au naturel (I did put a bit of concealer, blush and mascara to avoid scaring worrying my co-workers thinking I have unexpectedly developed a terminal illness.) After two desserts and a couple of cookies (Like any good chef, I had to put my stamp of approval to deem appropriate for others) and I recall there was ice cream at some point during the night but I am hoping that was just a dream, I still had an egg-thin sandwich this morning.

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I am a breakfast person and no matter how much I eat the night before, I have to eat something within the first hour I wake up. Many nutritional studies indicate that eating breakfast boosts your metabolism for the day and keeps you lean, but I wasn’t always this way. In college, my breakfast consisted of a large coffee and a couple of cigarettes, but we won’t talk about those dark days. The great wizard of Dr. Oz advises to drink orange juice after a binge or a heavy meal (or 3 desserts the night before), which I did not have on hand so instead I went with an actual orange which probably still provides the same benefits but less sugar and more fiber. Before yoga, I had some mango with cottage cheese and for lunch leftover BBQ chicken on a bed of greens and whatever else I could find in the fridge: white onion, baby carrots, celery and grapes.

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Time to throw a few overnight things in a bag and hit the road if we want to beat traffic. Happy Friday to y’all!

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