Monthly Archives: March 2011

Caramel Skim Latte

I have a caramel skim latte pretty much everyday as part of my breakfast. About a year ago, I bought my own machine so I could make them at home and save a little $$. Caribou coffee is still the best, but my home version comes pretty close.

I first bought a ‘traditional’ espresso machine where you had to grind your beans, tamp them, and brew them. And also had to deal with a milk frother wand.

I spent about a week trying to figure it out and I just never quite got the hang of it!

So, I switched to the Nespresso brand. Best decision for me!

This was awesome to me, because they come with capsules that you just place in the machine and beautiful espresso magically comes out! They also have a variety of espresso capsules with different flavors and strengths.

I have the Nepresso Essenza. I love the look of it, as well as how easy it is to use and maintain.

It also came with a separate milk frother container. All I have to do is put milk into it, press a button, and in about 2 minutes I have the perfect amount of frothed milk for my latte.

I also buy Caribou Coffee flavoring syrup online. I use 2 tablespoons in my latte.

Now, every morning, I can make my own latte, just the way I like it!

Step 1: Turn on machine.

Step 2: Pour milk into frother.

Step 3: Pour caramel syrup into mug.

Step 4: Select capsule flavor: Purple – Arpeggio – one of my favs! Step 5: Put in machine.


Step 6: Watch espresso come out!


Step 7: Put frothed milk into espresso and syrup in mug.


Step 8: Pour remaining milk into mug.

Step 9: Enjoy caramel skim latte!!!




Of course I had my caramel skim latte for breakfast. Also, I had put 1/4 cup barley in the fridge last night soaked in milk. This morning, they were just softened enough to eat, still had a little crunch and very nutty tasting! I mixed it with some granola and blueberries. It filled me up!



Today it is kind-of windy and cold here in Mankato. We are supposed to get rain this afternoon too. So, I was craving something warm for lunch. Thankfully, the hospital cafeteria was able to deliver! Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sliced carrots.


Warmed up my belly!

Now, have to leave this one to go back to work! I hope she knows I would much rather be at home playing with her!


Have a good afternoon. Almost Friday! Winking smile

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Waffle Sandwiches

This is what was waiting for me when I got home for work today!


She makes me so happy!

It was 45 degrees out this evening, unfortunately sometime this afternoon the sun disappeared, but it was still pretty nice running weather. Scott, Abby and I did 4 miles again. It’s nice to have running buddies again!



Dinner was a good one. . . waffle sandwiches!

We use our Panini press = best kitchen appliance ever!


I toast the waffles in the toaster.


We snacked on some blackberries while making dinner.


I burnt the first batch of toasting waffles. Abby was more than happy to help out with the rejects!


After toasting, spread the waffle with apricot preserves. Top with swiss cheese, turkey, and ham. Toast in the Panini press until cheese melty and delicious!


Added some of the best chips EVER to make a yummy dinner.

I like to cut the sandwich into cute quarters. The apricot preserves really are the star of the sandwich!


waffle sandwiches

Wednesday = Survivor night! Go Boston Rob! Winking smile

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Couch hogging

Couch snuggling from last night.


Just as I was trying to take this picture, Scott moved! So, instead of getting a good view of Abby hogging one whole end of the couch with the pillow, I got this!


Play time this morning!

Caribou caramel skim latte made this morning possible! I got to work early to catch up on my paperwork and had some extra time to catch up on my Google reader!


Lunch was really spicy tortilla soup, a small Caesar salad and string cheese.

I also had a Kashi granola bar – my new favorite!


I had a few minutes to run home after lunch before starting clinic. . . It was really hard to leave again!

Looking forward to a run after work today. The thermometer says 50 degrees outside with bright sunshine – my kind of weather! Smile

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Taco Chicken

At least someone enjoyed my oatmeal from this morning!



After thinking about it, here are the toppings I think would be good in ‘my’ oatmeal:

  • banana chips
  • walnuts/pecans
  • honey roasted almonds
  • dark chocolate peanut butter – I have also heard they have white chocolate pb!
  • dried fruit

So, the oatmeal experiments will continue – stay tuned!


Lunch was quick. I grabbed a cup of soup from the hospital cafeteria – Italian wedding. One of their good ones.

I was still hungry, so I tried a bite of this bar,


no good.

So, I made up for it with this Kashi bar. Love the whole almonds!


I also had an Adora chocolate calcium. So good –> chocolate and calcium!


When I got home from work today, it was 41 degrees and sunny. The nicest weather we have had so far this spring. Both Scott and Abby wanted to go for my run with me.

We ran around Minnesota State University campus (which I LOVE because all the college girls ‘awwww’ at how cute Abby is!) for about 4 miles.

Because of all the spring puddles, Abby got a quick rinse before being allowed back in the house!


Super easy, yummy recipe!

Taco chicken

All you need is a packet of taco seasoning

and about 1# chicken breasts

Slice the chicken breasts into thick slices – about 3 slices per breast.

Put in a big ziploc bag with taco seasoning and shake to coat.


Put in baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.


Serve with sour cream.


We also had some tortilla chips with the best mango peach salsa from HyVee!

Quick, easy, good dinner! Smile 

Off to snuggle on the couch. . . I see some ice cream in my future. See ya tomorrow!!!

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Oatmeal experiment

The view from my end of the couch last night:


I don’t like oatmeal.

Correction: I don’t like regular oatmeal

I do like

  • oatmeal in cookies – i.e. oatmeal chocolate chip
  • oatmeal in granola

Many of the bloggers whose blogs I read, have oatmeal in the morning for breakfast. Sometimes it is mixed with yogurt, sometimes ‘made’ in the fridge overnight, sometimes put in smoothies.

Since I like oatmeal, just not fully cooked, I am going to do some oatmeal experimenting. . .

So, last night, I put 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1/4 cup skim milk to soak overnight.

This morning, I tested it. It tasted pretty good. It was still a little nutty but a little chewy too. I didn’t want to just eat it plain, but wasn’t quite sure what to put on it.

So, I tried fresh blueberries on one side and a scoop of pb on the other.


I didn’t like the blueberries with the oatmeal. So, I ended up just eating the blueberries.

Then, I mixed the pb in with the rest of the oatmeal. It was ok. . . it kinda turned into a gooey ball. I ate most of it, but it wasn’t the best thing ever.


I think it would be good, with the right toppings. . .

Thankfully, I had my caramel skim latte to save breakfast!


And Abby was helpful too!


Help! What do you put on your oatmeal?

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Abby + Caribou = Good Monday

Happy Monday!

This morning was especially happy for me, because it started with this:

and this!


Caramel skim latte from Caribou!

Lunch was a buffalo chicken salad. The salad dressing was really spicy! My mouth was on fire when I was done. The salad had lettuce, carrots, celery, tomatoes and buffalo grilled chicken.


I cooled my mouth off with a Chobani black cherry yogurt. Sweet and tart together – one of my favs!


After work I headed to the YMCA to teach aerobics. We got sweaty quickly after our warm up.


Tonight we used a weight bar (I used 15#) and a mat. Each move for about a minute. Repeat each circuit x 2.

Circuit 1
Slow jog 45 seconds alternating with high knees fast run 15 seconds (we did this x3)
Walking lunge with torso rotation with weight bar on shoulders
Wall squat with bicep curl
V sit with bar twist

Circuit 2
Steam engines
Jumping jacks
plie squat with side kick – hold bar for balance
bridge position with chest press and tricep press
Laying on tummy – lifting heels towards ceiling – alternating

Circuit 3
Mini squat with front kick with weight bar on shoulders
Upright row and overhead press – standing on one leg for balance
Oblique side bends holding weight bar
Push-ups x10

After a quick shower and paying some attention to this little girl,


it was time for dinner. . . Leftovers.

This was the Italian turkey sausage with onions and peppers over pasta. I added some extra pasta sauce too.


Scott and I shared some chips and dip too.

Catching up on our Sunday night TV that we missed last night –> Amazing Race (I am rooting for the father/daughter team) and America’s Next Great Restaurant (I am all about the grilled cheese place!).

Have a great night. Smile

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2011 Chocolate March

This afternoon, Scott and I drove up to the cities, specifically the city of Stillwater, to participate in the 2011 Chocolate March. I had seen this offer come up on Groupon and thought that it looked fun.

It was put on by the Inns of the Valley. We went to 3 bed and breakfasts in Stillwater and 1 museum. Each place was open to Chocolate March participants, had tours around their places, and some sort of chocolate treat.


We shared some clemetines on the car ride up.

Quick stop at Target to get Scott some new shades.


Chocolate March this way!

Our first stop – The Water Street Inn


One of their rooms – love that bed.


The view of the St. Croix River from the balcony.



Scott enjoying the chocolate treats. One was a raspberry with chocolate mousse and the other was carrot cake  = best of the day!


Our 2nd stop at the old Warden’s House Museum.



Old doctor’s medicine bottles and old surveying equipment

They had hazelnut chocolates for us at this place – nothing too exciting. . .

Third place: Country Cove


We had to put our shoes in plastic bags and carry them with us, because we came and left through different doors!


Ice cream sundaes with a chocolate pretzel rod.


Cookie bar, chocolate cake cookie and jelly beans.


Where Scott got us stuck in the snow. . . thankfully there were lots of people to help us quickly get out!

Our 4th stop. . .


Outing Lodge


We thought it was appropriate that on the Chocolate March, there was a chocolate lab!


Lemon sorbet, which Scott enjoyed next to the massive fireplace.


They also had a white chocolate and milk chocolate fondue bar.


Another HUGE fireplace, and a very ornate tub.

It took us about 2 1/2 hours to go to all four places, and we were pretty full of chocolate by the time we were done! We both agreed that it was a good time. We thought it would be a good activity to do with another couple sometime.

Afterwards, we headed back to my parent’s house to find:


She seemed pretty happy to see us!

We went to Chili’s with my parent’s for dinner.


They don’t really get the whole ‘smile for the blog’ concept! Smile 


Ever since Scott’s surprise birthday party where the ‘plan’ was to go to Chili’s with my family for dinner, we have all been hungry for margaritas with chips and salsa.



I also got the ‘big mouth bites.’ Basically 4 mini burgers with onion rings.

We had a good time, with good conversation!

Abby needed (wanted?) lots of attention on the way back to Mankato.

Now, we are all home again! Time for some family snuggling and bed. See ya tomorrow.

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More excitement later!

Happy Sunday!

It was only 20 degrees here in Mankato when I woke up – come on April – I need warmer temps!

I headed to the basement for a quick bike ride with some weights.

I spent about 30 minutes on the bike, alternating sitting and standing at higher resistance.

I did the following weight set:

  • tricep dips
  • tricep pushups on stability ball
  • bicep curls
  • overhead press
  • upright row

I used 10#s and did about 10 reps x3.

After a quick shower, I hit up the espresso machine for my usual caramel skim latte.

Added frosted mini wheats – bite sized = breakfast!

We are headed out to the cities in a little bit.

I am pretty excited for this afternoon..  . Here is a hint!


2011 Chocolate March

More to come later! Have a great Sunday. Smile 

Oh and of course we will be bringing this home!!!

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Successful Saturday

I was very successful on my to-do list today!

Well, more than I thought I would be!

  • Run – 6 miles!
  • Run thru presentation – done!
  • Watch The Office – love that show!
  • Weights – decided to postpone until tomorrow am
  • Organize hall closet – done!

although do you ever start one project, only to have to do anther one too?


During – it always gets worse before it gets better – right?

As I was cleaning out the hall closet, I realized I needed to organize the front closet and the entry closet!

2nd project!


Oh well, at least it is all organized now.

  • grocery store – ok so I didn’t get everything done. . . oh well, that’s what tomorrow is for, right?


I also watched Toy Story 3.


I made up lunch while I was on my run. It helped pass the miles.

I had lots of ideas

  • waffles
  • scrambled eggs
  • leftovers
  • Chinese takeout
  • Chipotle – decided to talk Scott into this for dinner, otherwise it would have been lunch!
  • popcorn
  • cereal

It ended up being a whole wheat frozen waffle, toasted.

Covered with a layer of apricot preserves,


and topped with an egg white.


DSC01325Yummy bite. . .

Check out my cute little egg pan – complements of my Mom!


Some clementines to balance it out! (+2 fruit)



As promised, as soon as Scott walked in the door, I was on him to take me to Chipotle. Thankfully, he was more than happy to appease me!


I got a steak fajita burrito. . . usually I get the salad but I was pretty hungry after my run and light lunch. It was good.


We also got chips and guac to share. Extra yum!


Now off to have some couch time together and watch Robin Hood.

Have a good Saturday night!

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Polar Bears

Last night I was reminded of my favorite pick up line. . . No, Scott and I did not go out or anything, I think someone mentioned polar bears on TV.

Guy: “How much does a polar bear weight?”

Pretty Girl: “Ummm, I don’t know. How much?”

Guy: “Enough to break the ice. . . Hi, my name is Guy.”

I have never had this line used on me so I am not sure if it ‘really’ works, but I still like it!

And polar bears are cute!

This morning was a typical lazy Saturday morning. Drank my caramel skim latte, while catching up on my Google Reader (just started that this week – love it!), and watching old episodes of The Office on Netflix Instant Play.

I also had another barley breakfast bowl. This time 1/4 cup barley went into a peach Chobani yogurt 2 nights ago (I was going to eat it on Friday, but ran out of time before work). It was still nutty and delicious. A little sprinkle of some homemade granola – made by my little sister, Laura.




Scott is helping a friend do all the electrical work in their basement today, so I have the house all to myself!

Plans for today include:

  • Run
  • Weights
  • Run thru presentation for work
  • Watch more episodes of The Office
  • Maybe go to the grocery store, at least make up the grocery list and decide what meals to make over the next week. . .
  • Organize hall closet

Hope you are having a great Saturday. I heart weekends!

Question: What is your favorite/best pick up line?

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