Vacation Recap – ROME Day 1/2 and 1

So I decided that I should do some recaps, because i like talking about myself and the things I do.

We got to Rome, Italy Friday (May 16) at around 10 pm.  We got to our hotel (The Hearth Hotel in Rome… Can’t Recommend This Place Enough!) and after dropping off our bags we walked to the closest open restaurant.

Francisco I. (sadly I can’t find the website).

So good.  Especially after being delayed forever and then not eating on the plane and being exhausted.  It was good to put food in our bellies, and it didn’t hurt that it was by far the best pizza I’ve ever had.

We went to sleep rather quickly and woke to find the Vatican bustling.

Yes, that is the Vatican, right outside our window.  YES THAT IS THE LINE TO GET IN.

Because Jason is uber smart, he booked a skip the line tour of the Vatican and it’s grounds so we didn’t have to wait!

This is behind glass because some psycho tried to throw a hammer at it.

Our Awesome Tour Guide Valentina!

I would have taken pictures inside the Sistine Chapel, but because it is a holy sacred place, no photographs are allowed.  A Japanese company came recently to restore the ceiling by meticulously cleaning and repainting portions to bring it back to it’s original (or as much as it can be) state.

Here is a picture that doesn’t do it justice at all:

The Vatican only took like half the day, so we set out to see other things…

The Pantheon

A Pretend Roman Guard

Something Important? Jason? What was this?

We then decided to walk around a bit, find food, and go about our day.  We met this guy…

He was kind of broken up that we wouldn’t stay and chat…

We were then swindled.  This always freaking happens.  We were walking through a court yard, this guy gave me roses, and then told Jason to give him money.  I tried to give them back and it didn’t work.  Then another guy came up did the same thing, and then took more money.  We spent 30 Euros on crappy roses.

After this lesson, anyone who approached me got a “NO.  GO AWAY.”  Jason would laugh because I went from nice American to “YOU’RE NOT TAKING MORE MONEY FROM ME.”

This lasted the rest of the trip…

We had an amazing dinner from the Restaurant down the street (Crap… what was the name… I suck at this).

Gnocchi and Clams for Jason

Gnocchi and Ricotta with Black Truffle for Me

Braised Veal Cheek for Jason (Apparently the best cut of meat he has ever had)

The Best Meatballs I have Ever Had

Wine soaked sweet cake with whipped cream and custard

Of Course Coffee

Two very happy diners…

We went back to the hotel, tucked ourselves in and went to sleep happily.

Tomorrow we go to the Colosseum!

Recipe Review: Skinny Fish and Chips

As seen on The Londoner - I was dying to try this recipe, because when we were in London I pretty much gorged myself on Fish and Chips (The best place that I had on holiday was at The Swan in Paddington – I am sure there are ‘better’ versions, but that one stuck out to me for some reason).

Well if you look at the nutritional information for Fish and Chips anywhere, it will make you cry.  I think the lowest I found – just for the fish, no chips allowed – was 700 calories.  HOW CAN THEY MAKE FISH SO BAD FOR YOU?

Oh… right.

So when I was browsing through the recipe section of my favorite London Blogger and saw that she had a LIGHT version… I about cried.  Then I added it to my menu for this week.

Original Recipe

There might be a difference in my recipe with hers.  She’s in London and I am in the States, so there is bound to be a conversion factor :-)

Ingredients (for two people – or one really hungry runner):

  • 2 Fillets of Halibut or any white fish (I used halibut) – I also bought this fresh – but you can buy flash frozen fish.  Fresh fish is expensive yo’ – especially for my Midwest readers.. buy what you can… I suspect Frozen would work just as well.
  • 2 Cups of Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • 1 large Egg
  • Oil

For the “Fries”

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes (She calls for 5, but I’m on a diet, and I could eat 5 pounds if I tried)
  • 2 Tbsp of Chili Flakes
  • Rock Salt
  • Oil

She makes her own Tartar sauce – because she’s perfect.  I, however, am  not.  So i bought mine from a store… but for those who are talented and patient enough:

For the sauce:
(The sauce makes enough for about 4-6 people, so just pop the extra in the fridge)
3tbsp skinny mayonaise
1/2 cup Crème fraiche
3 sprigs of fresh dill
2tbsp capers
1/2 a fist full of fresh chives
3 or 4 cornichons (little gerkhins) & a tbsp of the juice from the jar
Juice of half a lemon
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Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees F (180 degrees C - What??? Turns out I have readers in Europe!)
Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Throw your peeled and chopped potatoes in to the pan and drizzle with about 3 TBSP of oil, top with the chili flakes and salt to taste.
Use your hands to spread the oil and toppings over all of the potatoes – realllllllllly cover those babies.
These will need to cook for at least 25 – 30 minutes (longer if you like them burned like me)
While you are waiting you can make the sauce…
Or stare at the Tartar sauce you bought at the store?
This is a mighty fine bottle of Tartar Sauce.

This is a mighty fine bottle of Tartar Sauce.

Now for the Fish!
Mix the breadcrumbs and chili flakes together in a bowl.  Crack your egg and whisk it into another bowl.  Cut the fish into strips, if you haven’t done so already, and then submerge each strip into the egg.  Then, roll the egg fish in the breadcrumbs.  Lay to rest on a clean plate at the end of your assembly line.
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Soon you will have the beginnings of a fish mountain.  Bask in its glory.
Check your fries.  If they look done, remove from oven, turn oven off, and add them to a bowl.  Put the bowl back into the oven that is off and cooling down to keep the fries warm.
Put a frying pan on the stove and heat it up.  When it’s just about to smoke, add enough Olive Oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and swirl it around.
Turn the heat down to medium, and add the fish strips.
When you see the fish turn white and the crumbs start to brown, flip them.  When the fish are done they should be white all the way through, no pink or translucent fish here.
I like mine kind of burnt... yeah, that's it.

I like mine kind of burnt… yeah, that’s it.

Add them to a clean plate and scrape the excess breadcrumbs from the pan on to the fish.  Get allllllllll the crunchies you can.
Plate this amazing dinner and enjoy!
Man Approved!

Man Approved!

I suggest drinking a beer with this while watching Broadchurch or Law and Order UK to get the full effect.
(Which is exactly what we did.)
Nutrition Info – Recipe Builder in MyFitnessPal (not including tartar sauce, and I used 2 TBSP of Canola oil, and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs total – I measured what was left over after breading the fish… so I guess… just use less the begin with… as to not waste)
  • Calories – 570
  • Carbs – 46 g
  • Fat – 22 g
  • Protein – 44 g
  • Fiber 5 g

Not the most healthy meal, but a darn good substitute when you are craving the bad stuff!

Recipe Review : Guilt Free Egg Fried Rice

I must seem like an obsessive fan, but here is another recipe from The Londoner.  She’s most likely black listed my name from most London Venues so there is no chance we’ll ever bump into each other (OH MY GOD I WOULD JUST DIE).  I kid I kid.  She doesn’t know I exist, and that’s cool too.  JUST KEEP POSTING RECIPES.


So here is my recipe review on her Guilt Free Egg Fried Rice.

In her recipe she added Prawns, which would be fine, but I wanted to use the chicken I bought, so this is Chicken Fried Rice :-)

(It is not necessary to call and gloat to your local Chinese takeout place that you don’t need them anymore.. because frankly, You can’t quit them.  Not even with this recipe.  Don’t burn bridges.)

Original Recipe

To Feed 3 or 4 people (OR LUNCHES FOR THE WEEK!)  (Or if you are having one of those days… 2 people):


  • 2 TBSP Coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 or 3 chilies, chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, skinless boneless, cooked and cut into strips
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Spring Onions, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped
  • soy sauce
  • Sweet Chili sauce for serving (optional)


Grab the cauliflower and tear off the leaves.  Chop the head into smaller sections.  You’ll want to grate these pretty finely.  I used my food processor.

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If your pile of ‘rice’ is damp wring it out in a tea towel and let it sit out to dry out a bit.

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Get a wok nice and hot and add your oils.  Crush the garlic and fry it up until it’s a golden brown.

Next add your chilies.

Followed by your ‘rice’ which you will need to stir thoroughly to get all the flavors mixed in evenly.  After about  a minute, add your spring onions and then 2 TBSP of soy sauce.  Stir well.  Once the rice starts to look golden, you know you’re on the right path.

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Throw your chicken (or protein of choice) in.  Stir for about another minute or so.  Then make a well in the middle of your rice.

Crack your egg into it.

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Let it fry a little.

Then break it up with you spatula and just as it’s starting to look cooked, stir it through the ‘rice’.

Repeat that process with the second egg, and you are done.

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Sprinkle your chopped peanuts on top, and enjoy.

Or eat it out of the wok.  That works too.

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Nutritional Information – From My Fitness Pal Website (Nutrition based on a two serving recipe)

  • Calories – 535
  • Carbs – 26 g
  • Fat – 31 g (but they are all GOOD fats)
  • Protein – 43 g
  • Fiber – 12 g

Thursday Things

Yesterday was a rest day - and it was much needed.  I cleaned out our master bedroom closet.  I got rid of the mountain of Old Navy cheap flip flops that I’ve had for years (and I don’t wear) I organized shoes, and my clothes, hanging up skirts with special hangers, and stuff.

I went through my closet and doled out two piles:

  1.  Pile to donate
  2. Pile to sell

Have you heard of Like Twice?  I love this place.  I can sell my clothes and either get money or a credit to buy more clothes.

Just yesterday I bought an Armani Collezioni Coat…



Retailed for $701.99 – I got it for $39.95.


YUP.  95% OFF RETAIL PRICE.  Who cares if it was used?  I hope to God it fits and looks nice.

But it’s okay if it doesn’t… because I can return everything – FOR FREE – for up to 30 days.

Sign up and buy stuff UBER CHEAP – Go here!!  They have everything from tops, pants, jeans, dresses, coats, etc.  All from top brands like Gap, JCrew, Banana Republic, Anthropolgie, Urban Outfitters…. and it’s all from the past few seasons!  Classic pieces with guaranteed quality.

* I was not paid or offered any compensation for this review.  I just love to shop and I am cheap.

So today I am running again.  I’m shooting for 4 miles, but if my attitude is anywhere close to where it was on Tuesday – it might be more!  I think I am getting the running bug back, and it’s not feeling so forced.  I am actually looking forward to my 7 miles on Saturday/This weekend.

Treadmill?  Outside?  Eh it doesn’t matter anymore.

I’m on a Weird Cooking Kick.  I’m bored with what we have been having for dinner, and frankly following a recipe is not hard, and there are a plethora of blogs online that have great recipes and ideas for cooking.  Currently I am using the entire recipe stream from The Londoner.

I mean, come on.  That is just beautiful.  It doesn’t hurt that she is amazing with all presentation, and she has a great eye for pictures, and she uses an actual camera as opposed to an iPhone (I really need to get a camera… any recommendations?)

So I am planning out our meals for next week and this is what I have so far:

  • Monday – Chicken Fried ‘Rice’ – The rice is actually cauliflower!
  • Tuesday – Brinner – Fried eggs, avocado slices, bacon, and biscuits
  • Wednesday – Mahi Mahi Tacos with a black bean salad
  • Thursday – Skinny Fish and Chips
  • Friday – Homemade pizza (Pepperoni, Veggies, fresh mozzarella)
  • Saturday – TBD/Out
  • Sunday – Sushi (or something else at Wegmans for our weekly Grocery Shopping Date)

Can you point me toward another interesting blog to add to my look up for inspiration?

Give it to me:

  • Do you online shop?  Or do you have to go to the store?
  • What are you doing today to be active?
  • What’s for dinner?




Recipe Tuesday – Mexican Stuffed Zucchini

So I found this recipe on Skinny Taste and I tweaked it a bit, mainly because I didn’t have all the ingredients and I threw out some of the stuff while cooking, so, I had to make it ‘my own’ because I never know how to read ahead in instructions.

So here we go!

Serves 2 People


  • 2 Medium Zucchinis – cut in half
  • 1/2 pound of 99% fat free ground turkey
  • taco seasoning
  • 1/2 an onion
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • cheese – coarse grating
  • 1 tbsp of canola oil



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the zucchinis in half and using a small spoon scoop out the inside seedy area.


  1. Once the water is boiling, boil the zucchini’s for about a minute.
  2. Place the zucchini halves in a cooking dish inside facing up
  3. Brown the turkey meat in a skillet with 1 tbsp of oil (I used canola, but feel free to use your oil of choice).


  1. Chop the half of an onion and add to skillet with turkey.
  2. Once the turkey is cooked through, add the taco seasoning to 1/2 a cup of water and then to the skillet.   Simmer until the liquid cooks off.
  3. Spoon the turkey mixture into the halves of the zucchini and top with the coarse grated cheese.  Cover in foil and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes – until cheese is melty and the zucchini is cooked through.


  1. After it’s done cooking add salsa, sour cream, etc toppings you desire!


Transformation Tuesday! {Bachelorette Finale}

June 23 2007

June 23 2007

That was me more than 6 years ago.  I think the only time I ran before this point was from the cops! (Haha… er..ah.)

I was squeezed into that dress, and felt like I was a stuffed sausage.  I was uncomfortable.  I was in pain (There are bones in the bodice of the dress that were pinching me to no end.)

I know the point of the wedding night is to get out of your wedding dress as fast as possible, but I think the Husband was a little shocked at how fast I ripped that thing off when I got to the apartment.

and “OH YES” came out of my mouth the minute that zipper went down and I could put my jeans and tank top on.  Fat needs room y’all.  That dress didn’t provide room.

It provided room when I bought it, of course.  It was the 18 months between the time I bought it to the time I had to wear it that I decided to gain 15 pounds.

July 5, 2013

July 5, 2013

Obviously not the same dress – BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE WEIRD! – But I think it’s obvious the changes that have occurred (or we can say it – the 40ish pounds that are no longer on my body).  I’ve got a little be longer to go, but I am happy at this point when I think about how now that dress doesn’t even stay up.  It literally falls down when I try it on.

Now on to more important news…

Who watched The Bachelorette Finale?

I KNOW.  What the crap.

Okay so we start off from last week, where Des is still crying and wondering what she is going to do.  She talks to Chris Harrison and he’s like “Well what do you want to do?” and she is all like “I just want to go home.”  Then like 5 seconds later she is like “I want to continue on.”

So she has her little “It doesn’t matter” Rose Ceremony where she has two roses and two guys left.  Both Drew and Chris are like “OMG IS SHE GOING TO PICK ME?” and I’m like “This is math I can do, you’re both safe.”

She then decides that before she lets the guys meet her family she wants one more date with them.  Pretty much from the point her and Drew are on screen together, she’s like “Yeah no.”

She takes him to the beach via horseback – which frankly no one seems to be enjoying, including the horses – and then they sit down on the beach and she’s like “I can’t.” and then apologizes, and Drew is all sad and walks away along the surf to the limo waiting to take him away from Rejection Island.

The next date with Chris seems to go a bit better, as there is no poetry throughout the entire date – which we are all THANKFUL FOR.  They take a boat ride around the water and the island and she feels comfortable with him.  Okay, well that’s not love.

They then have dinner, where Chris gives her a journal for her to write in, and in the back of the journal are all of the ‘poems’ he ever wrote her.  GAG.

She then decides he can meet her family.  So they do, and her father and him talk and a blessing is given for him to propose to Des.  YAY.

Des and her brother sit down – I swear this is the only voice of reason in the entire show – and he’s like “Well like a week ago you were so upset about Brooks leaving, and blah blah blah… Rushing into this? blah blah blah.  I have lots of tattoos…. blah blah blah… Are you sure?”

And Des is all like “YES I AM.”  In a tone that screams that she is trying to convince herself.

Well…. Scan to the last rose ceremony.

Oh yeah and Chris has NO IDEA Drew has been sent home.

Chris goes into this whole lecture about how he loves her, and poetry is great, and then just as he is about to drop to one knee, Des says “No, wait.” and that she has some things to say.

She explains that Drew was sent home, and that she had really strong feelings for Brooks, and that because of those feelings she wasn’t able to see what was in front of her this whole time (I’m guessing she means Chris?) and that she loves him.


and then he drops to one knee, proposes with the most beautiful ring that someone would chop off her hand for (My husband’s words) and she says yes.


I am literally on the edge of the couch screaming “WHERE IS BROOKS?”

Fly to the After The Rose ceremony…

Brooks comes out, nothing has changed, he still doesn’t love her, and she is all like “Well I’m engaged.”

This is where I decided to go to bed.  I have also decided to never read spoilers again, because I was always Team Brooks.  I was sure that he would have gone back to his villa, added more gel to his hair and realized that Des and him should be together, and then run up during Chris’ proposal and be like


But that didn’t happen.  Reality Steve was all like “WHOOOPS” on twitter (I got my info from him originally) and I’m like “THAT’S ALL YOU GOT?  WHOOPS?”

Here are my problems with this:

  • She obviously settled.  I mean you don’t go from being gung ho about some guy to being in love with someone else that quick.  I think she likes Chris, may be even cares about him a lot, but to go from all sobbing over Brooks to being engaged to Chris, is kind of bullcrap.
  • It looked more manufactured by the franchise than ever before.  With all the other seasons there was always a front runner, we always kind of knew.  This time it was the lesser of two evils that she chose.
  • She seemed vastly uncomfortable the entire time Chris was next to her at the After the Rose ceremony (I watched it this morning).  She didn’t seem in love, where Sean and Catherine were all like cute and stuff, it seemed forced with her.
  • I give it three months.

The best thing to come out of last night?

JUAN PABLO IS THE NEXT BACHELOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If I wasn’t married… I would TOTALLY BE APPLYING.


Today’s Plan:

Meals – Pretty much same as yesterday – Check out my Recipe Review from last night’s dinner – Beef and Broccoli over Brown Rice - except dinner tonight is Zucchini Taco Boats (Recipe on the blog tomorrow!)

My run yesterday was an awesome 4 miles – so I am repeating it today!

Monday Recipe: Beef and Broccoli Over Brown Rice

Serves 4 normal appetite people/2 extremely hungry people


  • 1/2 pound – 1 pound Beef for stir fry (I bought stir fry beef cuts from Harris Teeter)
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1/2 of a large Onion
  • 2 TBSP of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 TBSP of Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. If you have not already cooked the rice, now would be the time as it will take about 45 minutes, unless you use that instant crap, in which you should:
    1. take instant rice box
    2. walk to trash can
    3. deposit rice box in trash can
    4. walk away
  2. Cut up the heads of broccoli in bite sized pieces, throw in steaming bag and place in microwave.  Cook on high for about 4 minutes.  Leave bag in microwave when done to rest.

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  1. Add 1 TBSP of oil (Veggie, Canola, Peanut, etc…. anything but EVOO, you need higher heat without the smoking of the pan) and heat in a pan on medium/high

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  1. once the pan is hot, add the beef and chopped onions to the pan.  Use a spatula to move the beef around so it doesn’t burn, but cooks evenly.
  2. Once the beef is done cooking, add the broccoli to the pan and then the soy sauce and W. sauce as well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

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  1. Serve over Brown Rice (or Quinoa if that’s your thing)


321 Calories / 18 g carbs / 11 g fat / 39 g Protein / 3 g fiber

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