Berries + Chocolate Oatmeal

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I was soooo not ready to go back to work today! hehehe Where did the holiday go?!

I stayed up a little too late on the computer last night, per the usual, and woke up in a bit of a fog that stayed with me most of the day.

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Breakfast helped me wake up. That and hot coffee. Mmm.

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I put the leftover raspberry sauce from yesterday’s pancake breakfast on top of oatmeal.

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I was going for the classic combo of berries and chocolate and put some cocoa powder in my oats whilst cooking them stovetop.

Have you ever noticed how much cheaper almonds are when you buy them whole? I think I need to start buying almonds not already chopped more. The only trouble is that I’m usually so groggy in the mornings, I’m too lazy to actually chop them up. hehe Details, details. ;)

***

Have I ever mentioned that I have a desk, 9-to-5 style job? Today, like most days, I sat in my tiny cubicle from about 9:30am-6:00pm sans breaks. I even ate lunch at my desk…another bad work habit. Not seeing sunlight or getting fresh air probably doesn’t help me snap out of a fog. Those are two reasons I love to work from my house, though I still don’t always get as much fresh air as I could. I’d like to work on building better breaks into my work days. Sitting at a desk all day cannot be healthy for you!

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Anywho, I bought a lovely grass-fed beef brisket this weekend and had planned to make it Sunday night, but decided to wait till today. This would have been a better idea if I weren’t working till 6pm and the brisket didn’t take 3 hours to cook. lol But, I made it work. I typically eat pretty lately, anyways, though I do try to shoot for meals before 9pm.

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I made a family favorite – Ina’s Beef Brisket. The recipe is straightforward in a style that almost reminds me of the simplicity of a crock pot meal. You pretty much just put everything into a roasting pan and bake. The brisket comes out super tender and the veggies become super soft. I like to entertain with this dish because it looks and sounds impressive, but is caveman-easy.

Anywho, I just served the brisket with some simple rice. I was going to go brown rice till I realized that we were out! So, white rice it was. I grew up eating white rice in my family thanks to my Filipina mom, but I’ve opted for brown rice over the years. But I usually have white on hand for emergencies. lol

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And after dinner, I ate an entire GIANT Great Harvest cinnamon roll all by my lonesome. ;) Nommy noms!

Are you a 9-to-5-er? What are your typical work hours?

Relax + Re-Charge

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This weekend was such a whirlwind!

After the masquerade party, I stayed up till 1am. Then, I woke up promptly at 7am for a 5 hour Zumba Instructor workshop with my company. Phew! I was pretty zonked after that and promptly re-heated some frozen soup and made toast for a quick lunch. Hubby reminded me via text that our neighbors were having a birthday party, so I went there. Then, I came home, had a quick dinner, and got ready to go out again! I went to a dueling piano bar with some friends to celebrate my friend Megan’s first day of school! She’s getting a second degree, and I’m super proud of her. Happy School Megan! :) Anywho, I stayed up again till about 1am. For whatever reason, I woke up early-ish on Sunday (around 8:30am)…maybe it was Bailey licking my hand? lol I barely had time to make breakfast and get ready for the day before it was time to head out to teach Zumba. I stayed after to work on choreography with some friends from class. Then, it was time to meet another Zumba co-worker to do paperwork. And that brought me to dinner time. After dinner, I finally had the chance to blog my masquerade party post before it was time for bed. Thank goodness I had Monday off from work, because after this weekend, I seriously needed to re-charge. I slept in till 10am! That’s how I know I’m really exhausted…sleeping in that late. Phew!

Anywho, I was off from work today to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In honor of MLK, here’s a great quote by him:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

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Since I had some time this morning, I decided to make my multigrain pancakes and raspberry sauce (click for recipes).

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I had 2 bags of flours (teff and spelt) that were almost empty and decided to throw them into the pancake mix. They were extra-multi-grain. lol

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They were also fabulous!

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I added chopped almonds on top for extra texture.

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Ooh and I tried making the sauce sans lemon to see how it turned out. It was pretty good, but I liked the tang of the lemon juice in the sauce.

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It was lick-your-plate, clean-your-fork good. Ooh la yum! :)

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Bailey says hi!

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I worked hard to get a head-tilt photo for you guys. lol.

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Lunch was leftovers from dinner last night – fresh spinach spaghetti with meat sauce using Hickory Nut Gap grass-fed beef.

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Hubby bought some focaccia at the same place where we got the pasta. I didn’t have time on Sunday to make focaccia from scratch, even though you guys know I luuurve to make it!

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Since I had the afternoon off, even though I was spending most of the day relaxing and re-charging, I decided on doing some baking.

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I’m also working on a new recipe for you guys!

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An instant, no-bake granola bar for one!

If you’re like me, you like homemade granola bars, but don’t like how it makes such a big batch, or such a mess, or takes so long. I’m hoping this will be a winner. :) It doesn’t quite have the same rich taste as a baked bar, but it’s also a fraction of the effort. ;)

***

Even though I was being lazy work-wise all day, I wanted to stay on track fitness-wise. I went to Zumba tonight and had such a good time. At the Master Class with our new ZES, we saw a new dance for How Low Can You Go. The instructor did it tonight and though I liked it the first time I saw it, I reeeally liked it the second. I gotta get the song so I can do it in my class soon! It was so F-U-N!

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For some reason, I decided to make homemade enchiladas for dinner. Not sure why. The recipe looked really easy and though it was, it wasn’t a weeknight-post-zumba kind of dinner. I should have stuck with something faster. lol.

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Oh well, it was still delicious. We had Spanish rice pilaf and some spicy blue corn chips.

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And I got to try my baking experiment – a new dough ball flavor – Chocolate Coconut Almond. Nommmy nom! The recipe needs tweaking before I post it, but it’s gooooood!

Thank goodness I had today off to relax and re-charge. Sometimes I feel like I get so crazy-busy during the week, I need the weekend down time to get back to normal. lol Know what I mean?

Do you use the weekends to relax and re-charge? Do you build time in during the week?

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