Friday Favourite Workouts

TGIF!!!!! And Happy Halloween! Oh my goodness I have never been so happy to see a Friday in my life. This week has just drawn on and on forever. It has been a  stressful one and I am happy to see it go. Luckily the weekend is on its way and its going to be a good one. Of course there’s Halloween if your into things like that lol, and I am headed to Kingston on Saturday to visit my brother and maybe do a bit of shopping. I can’t wait I love ktown and my brother of course!

This week I have been thinking a lot about my favorite workouts. I am starting really having a hard time committing myself to more than a run or two a week and am looking for more in my workouts. I also think my body needs different conditioning that running just can’t provide. There is just too much out there to move in only one way.

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Today I am going to share my top 5 favourite workouts. I like all sorts of things and it really does depend on my mood. I am a Gemini and I have that whole multiple personality thing going for me. I have a short attention span and get bored easily. I need to mix things up.

1. Running!

Running is still one of my favourite fitness activities. Even though I seem to be in a running slump right now, I still love running. Nothing else gives me that full body feeling of “I’ve worked hard.” I still love the runner’s high. And I still love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I run. Its so amazing to get outside at any time of year and push my body to its limit.

This month I have signed up for Run, Eat, Repeat’s Pile on the Miles. I have made the goal to run at least 10k a week. I think this is a manageable goal. Especially because I am still playing with the idea of half marathon training. I have pulled out the winter running gear and I am ready to get moving.

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2. Boot Camp Group Classes

This is a somewhat new discovery for me. I have been neglecting strength training for too long. Boot camp reminds me how amazing it is to train to be strong. I have stronger arms, legs and abs since starting a weekly boot camp class. In the next couple of months I plan on taking on 2 boot camp classes a week. I love group fitness classes. It is fun to make new friends and have support while you workout.

3. Piloxing

This is one I haven’t been able to do since we moved. I haven’t been able to find a Piloxing class in my town. This makes me really sad and I am still looking. Piloxing is a mix of Pilates, Cardio Boxing and Dance. It is an amazing, high paced, intense workout. I love it! I used to do it twice a week and I miss it sooo much! I am ordering the DVD and going to try doing it on my own every once in a while. I know it won’t be the same as taking a class with a qualified instructor but it might help me get in my fix.

4. Tabatta’s and Circuit Workouts

Whats better than working out in front of your favourite TV show? Nothing as far as I’m concerned. I love to get out of bed put on my workout gear, roll out my mat, get it done and get in the shower without putting on a coat or shoes. Getting out and working out outside and with other people is great and all but sometimes I just don’t feel too sociable. I want to get it done super fast and with as little interruption as possible. Circuit workouts or tabattas are awesome. I can get sweaty and build strength with little equipment or a gym.

5. Pilates

I love Pilates, it kicks my butt whenever I  go to a class. Pilates makes me feel strong and lean. It is also really easy to do at home with the help of a DVD or YouTube. I find my flexibility slipping farther and farther away these days. Actually, lets me serious, I was never flexible. I failed the flexibility test in high school (but really that shouldn’t even be a test.)

Thanks so much for the link-up Heather!

Housewife Glamour

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts

I have been so busy this week with work, appointments, car trouble and a job interview that I have gone off the wall with my posts. Things are still pumping away around here but I have been having a hard time getting some decent exercise and blogging happening. It might just be a sad part of the month. With all of this craziness floating through my head I thought I would put together a Thursday Thoughts post, thanks for the great link-up Amanda!

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1. Seriously, Halloween??

I am not a Halloween fan and it is jumping down my throat! I don’t want to dress up and go out in the cold. Yes, I might be a huge party-pooper but just wait till Christmas and I’ll show you how awesome I can be. Problem is, I am unable to hide in my house until Halloween is over. Tomorrow I will have to go to work and wear some sort of festive garb and experience twenty little people hopped up on the sugar of Halloween. Oh the horror! Actually, not really I love their excitement, it might actually put me in the spirit!

2. Winter is knocking on my door and I’m not answering.

Its not fair!! Everyday I read about people in much warmer climates than I am still running in tank tops and wearing sundresses around town. Its just not fair I tell you. Up here in Ontario October has just not been kind. It has been cold and rainy all month. The next few days seem to be warming up with lots of sun. I wish we could have summer forever. Soon there will be snow! Well, I can’t be too upset about that because that means Christmas is coming. I am a Christmas crazy sort of person. If you are a follower of my blog (thanks for your readership!!) get ready for tons of Christmas decorations, crafts, baking and all sorts of fun! I really can’t wait. There are already plans in the works.

3.  Making my own granola bars is awesome

Last week I made Pumpkin chocolate chip granola bars from Amanda and loved them! Josh loved them too. They were a great snack for work and felt way cleaner and heartier than the ones I usually buy at the store. I think I am gonna keep making them!

pumpkin granola bar

4. I am a closet tswift fan!

So I think I love Taylor Swift. I mean I loved her back in the day when I was a teenager and she was a cute little country singer, but in recent years we have grown apart. But her new album rocks! I am having a particularly horrid week. This might be responsible for my lack of posts, I didn’t want to be a downer. The new Taylor Swift album was a very nice treat to make my hours of driving this week not so terrible. The new sound is great but I do hope she comes back to country some day!

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5. My cat is fat and I don’t know what to do.

Poor Marley. I wish cats would go for runs with us. Or even a light stroll. There is a guy who walks his cat at our local market but I think he is just weird. His cat always looks like she’s about to have a heat attack. But still, Marley can’t get too much excersise in our tiny apartment, no matter how many catnip toys I bring home. Something must be done. If you have any suggestions for me please let me know. He hates water and loves to eat and cuddle.

marley doing yoga

Getting Serious With Dinner

I have been getting down to business this week and it feels great. Yesterday I started the day with a great workout from Housewife Glamour. It was a challenge and made me feel sweaty and great! I rolled out my yoga mat and was  instantly surrounded by cats.

marley doing yoga

This cat needs to be put on a diet and exercise plan right now! He is only a year old but is huge. I love fat cats but we are getting worried. I don’t think doing yoga with me counts as cat exercise. We are experimenting with some new cat food and I am trying desperately to get him to drink more water. He has no interest in water at all, picky kitty.

One of my goals for October is to eat out less and keep it to the weekends. This always gets a bit tricky because Josh and I always seem to be super busy during the evenings. I  tutor during the evening, and we both hit up our separate exercise classes, the gym, and the Running Room. We are very rarely home for an entire evening. I am not a huge fan of cooking on a good day and very rarely can bring myself to pull out the stops on a weeknight. To help combat that I have been trying to do some meal planning on the weekend. I want to get serious with this and take it to the next level. I thought sharing my meal planning would help me stay accountable and organized.

I have gotten pretty good at doing the majority of cooking on Sundays. This has been working out really well for me. I can make a few big things that will get us through a few lunches and dinners until one of us has a quieter night to cook up something. I really try to pick healthy meals that have lots of veggies in them. I also plan a crock pot meal and a few smaller, quick things to fill in the gaps.

This Weeks Meals

Sunday: Kale Salad, Broccoli and Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Monday: Turkey Sheppard’s Pie with Cauliflower.

Tuesday: Left-overs

Wednesday: Make your own soup and sandwiches

Thursday: Turkey Pasta Bake

Friday: Pizza, salad and sweet potato fries

Saturday: Wing-it!

Josh and I are constantly battling our grocery bills. You can’t get around buying cat food and litter but everything else needs to have a bit of wiggle room. I try to look for sales and shop the flyers but its not always easy. I like to see what is on sale at the grocery store and plan our meals around that. I also try and stock up the freezer when something I know we eat a lot of. This can also be hard,we don’t have a ton of freezer space. This is all a work in progress and I am trying to get better at it.

I recently discovered an app that displays all of the flyers for stores in your area. This is my favourite discovery! We don’t have flyers delivered to our apartment and I never know what is on sale. I am super excited to start price matching and get smarter with our shopping.

Groceries from our Pantry:

Frozen cauliflower, Sheppard’s pie seasoning, pasta, pasta sauce, soup, onion, peppers.

Groceries we need to buy:

frozen veggie mix, eggs, skim milk and coconut and almond milk, frozen fruit mix, apples, broccoli heads, salad mix, carrot sticks and cucumber, crackers, cheese, bananas. I also wanted ingredients for kale chips and pumpkin granola bars for lunch snacks

meal planning

The plan this week is to make a Sheppard’s pie and pasta bake on Sunday and freeze them for us to cook later. I also plan on making kale chips and pumpkin chocolate chip granola bars to have for our lunches this week. Because I am putting so many casseroles in the freezer, we will have lots of yummy things to take for our lunches. I also plan on making smoothies for breakfast this week. I think we will have a very yummy week!

meal planning with finnick

I swear this cat somehow appears whenever I want to take a picture. He is a creeper and a photo-hog. That is probably why he appears in most of my pics, that and he’s cute.

What’s on your menu plan this week?
What tools do you use to save money on grocery’s and meal plan?

Jam-Packed Weekend Recap

Good morning! I hope everyone is excited for a new week. Well maybe not, but we’ll smile and pretend anyways. This weekend was jam-packed. Well, it feels like every weekend is jam-packed. There are just never enough weekends! We crammed so much stuff into this weekend that I am just remembering things we did as I write this.

Friday night we had date night. Josh and I went out for dinner and went to see Gone Girl. I was so excited to see his reaction to the movie. Josh walked in all confident that he would be able to predict the entire movie while I smiled to myself. He hadn’t finished the book and had no idea what he was in for. I think he was blown away from the first scene, I chucked away as he gave me shocked looks at every twist. The movie was about as crazy as I thought it would be and I think they did a very good job adapting it to film. There were a few things that threw me but I won’t go into detail in case I spoil anything. :)

Saturday morning I got up bright and early to meet a good friend for breakfast. Amanda and I went to university and teacher’s college together. She is a teacher as well and we haven’t seen each other in quite a long time. She lives a couple hours away and was visiting for the day. It was so nice to catch up and talk teaching with someone who understands! I am sure we bothered the waitress with our long drawn out breakfast. I think they wanted their table!

breakfast selfie

Saturday afternoon I hung out with mom and ran a bunch of errands. We also did some shopping. I really need a new pair of boots, cardigans and some work clothes. My hunt for boots is beginning to take over my life! Life can be difficult when you have big calves. The search continues (sigh).

Josh and I also went and got a ton of groceries. And by a ton I mean a TON. I honestly think we are good for food for a few weeks. Of course I am sure this isn’t true, things always creep up. However, I have never seen our freezer so packed! I was going to make some casseroles to freeze but there is no room. I will have to wait and make them up later in the week. By the end of the day I was exhausted from running around town, driving and lugging grocery bags up to our second floor apartment. Shopping is a workout!!

Oh yah, and we made our first ever batch of kale chips on Saturday night. Aren’t we cool? Josh bought a huge bunch of kale at the market last week and I didn’t want it to go bad. I am not a huge kale fan but I have been hearing so many amazing things about kale chips and thought they would be a good experiment.

kale chips

We attempted to make salt and vinegar kale chips. It didn’t go well. The whole house smelt like a heap of wet, dead leaves and the kale chips didn’t taste much better :( I think I need some pointers because I am not sold on the kale chips. I am sure it was my awful kitchen skills coming through but I had consulted Pinterest before attempting them. What did I do wrong?

Sunday morning we got up and did some antiquing! It was a cloudy and cold day and we spent it browsing some amazing antique shops. It was the best kind of day. We came across some really amazing things.

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Josh and I incorporate those brass trivets into one of our picture collages in our living room. We hadn’t hung the pictures in our new living room yet (we moved in five months ago). Josh let me pick out a few new ones to motivate me to get them out of their box and put them on the wall. He knows me so well, getting new things always motivates me :)

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I didn’t bring this orange jam pot home but I thought it was pretty neat. I collect chintz china and love jam pots. I didn’t have much luck finding anything new yesterday. Nice jam pots that aren’t missing their plate or lid are hard to find. Funky orange shaped ones aren’t quite my taste though.

After our antiquing we continued my hunt for some fall boots and then hit up Target. The hunt for boots is still unsuccessful but oh my goodness, I could spend so much money in Target. I had amazing self control and only came home with a navy cardigan for work. It was another exhausting day of driving and shopping but we had lots of fun!

When we got home Josh pulled out his hammer and we got those pictures on the wall. Be ware of putting up complicated picture collages with your spouse. It is very stressful and just because you love your spouse doesn’t mean they can read your mind. We survived and the pictures look awesome. So do our new trivets! I love the mix of dark frames and brass. We also have a framed key from the first apartment we lived in together and a J (both of our first initials). I am sorry for the terrible picture, the apartment was dark and the J isn’t up yet, but you can get the idea.

picture wall

And, because the weekend wasn’t busy enough I also tried a new recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip granola bars. I wanted something healthy to take as a sweet snack for work and these definitely fill the bill. I can’t wait to have one tomorrow with my lunch!

pumpkin granola bars

Another busy and fun weekend in the books. I have a busy week coming up with work, a workshop and I am starting my half marathon training program! I am really happy to be starting the week with a fridge and freezer full of healthy food and a plan for my week’s workouts. Things are going to be busy but I want to start my training off strong and give it everything I have!

What was a highlight of your weekend?

Did you bring anything new into your home this weekend? What was it?

Date Night!

The other night Josh and I treated ourselves to something special. We went on a tour of a local Pioneer Village. Lang Pioneer Village is a local historical village and museum that is committed to preserving history in a fun and interactive way. They host all sorts of events and tours throughout the year. I had been looking for something like a ghost walk to participate in but unfortunately everything in our area was sold out. I came across the Historic Walks of Lang and Josh and I decided to check it out!

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We got to the village just before dusk and had some time to look around before it got totally dark.

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We were met by two lovely ladies that led us on a trip through the lives and struggles of early Canadian settlers. The village include a homestead home from the early 1800’s and then some more ‘modern’ buildings from the turn of the 19th century. We also met a few interesting characters along the way.

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Someone couldn’t help but try on some period attire. He looks quite pretty doesn’t he? I swear, we are very mature adults, not goofy children at all.

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By far, the best part was traveling by the light of lantern. We got to meet some rowdy men at the local tavern, the school teacher, a textile worker and see a few different homes and vehicles. I was hoping the walk would have a more Halloween spooky theme but it was interesting to hear some local history and hear some familiar names from the area we live in.

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Lang hosts a Halloween event this weekend and I would really like to check it out. We are so lucky to live close to such a great museum. I love to take advantage of local attractions and activities. You never know what great things are going on right in your back yard when you look!

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Friday Favourites: Books, Books and Books!

Happy Friday Friends! I am really excited this week because, not only am I participating in Friday Favourites this week, I am sharing some of my favourite books!

I am a book work. I love to read all sorts of things from nonfiction to light romantic fluff. I used to read more for pleasure before attending university. I found being forced to read text books for five years turned me off of books for a while. Now I am pretty picky and only read what I truely want to read. I have no problem leaving a book unfinished if I don’t like it, there isn’t enough time in my life for a bad book. I also will reread books again and again if I love them. There isn’t anything wrong with this, a good book should be enjoyed and shared!

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I have picked my top 10 favourite books. I should say that these might not be my favroutie books of all time, but they are books I am loving right now and want to share with all of you! Please don’t judge my taste in reading materials, we all have our guilty pleasures!

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I think this one is a bit over done as of late but that doesn’t stop me from loving it!! I can’t get this book out of my head. I finished it last week and  immediately called my mom to have a very dramatic ‘WHAT THE HELL!!??’ conversation. Now I am frantically coming up with a time to go and see the movie. The ending rocked my world. I can’t say I really liked the end, or most of the characters but it definitely got up under my skin. Josh is reading it right now and I NEED him to finish it so I can talk to him about it.

gone girl

2. The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness by Maria Manounos

I picked this book up a few months ago at the book store and got hooked. Maria lays it all out on the table. her book is light and clean looking, easy to read and is full of awesome tid bits and stories to inspire you on a journey of healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle. I wouldn’t normally buy this type of book but I did and am very happy about the decision. There is so much information in this book that I know I will need to reread it to absorb everything. I also think its very motivating and will be a good read for when I start to feel my resolve slipping.

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3. Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E. L. James

Need I say more? These books are the best summer vacation, sitting in the sun doing nothing, sort of books. They are pure fluff and fantasy but that’s okay! Books should be fun and lets face it, most of my reading is done by the pool on hot lazy summer days. I need some fluff in my life. I am only slightly embarrassed to say I have read this trilogy three times now. They are too much fun. I am looking forward to the movie in a big way. I’m not a fan of the casting and I am sure the movie won’t do the books justice but I am looking forward to a super fun night out with my girl friends!!

4.The Last 15: A Weight-Loss Breakthrough by Dr. Joey Shulman

My copy of this book is full of notes, stickies and it looks worn out overall. I have been through that book up and down inside and out many times. This program helped me loose about 25 pounds a few years ago. It was an amazing but short lived time in my life. I let my new body go to my head and forgot that in order to keep myself looking that way I had to continue to work. I would still suggest this book and don’t blame the program for my weight gain. I still follow a lot of the advice in this book and this is a program I want to try again. I will just have a different outlook when I do it and be going into it for the long term. Being healthy is a life long marathon not a sprint, no matter what method you choose to help you get there.

the last 15

5. The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett

If you work with children, know children or have children you will gain some beautiful things from this book. It truely is something to read, absorb and hold onto in your heart. I loved reading it the first time last Christmas and need to reread it soon. As an educator it is easy to get clogged down by many things like stress, politics, the multitude of needs and things to do. This book brought me back to why I love kids and helping them learn. It was a wonderful experience.

6. Anything Written by Elin Hilderbrand

If you need something to read at the beach you should check out Elin Hildrebraund. She writes what I would call, slightly smarter beach fluff. Her books are fun and mostly take place on Nantucket Island, they follow a number of generations and are often family stories. I haven’t read a book by her that I haven’t liked. They are perfect for getting lost in by the beach.

7. Running Like a Girl: Notes of Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley

This is an awesome read for any woman who runs or is interested in running. Alexandra is like any girl who decided to get healthy and start running. She talks about her training and struggles along the way as well as some tips. This book made me laugh and cry. It was lots of fun and very relate-able.

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8. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

When the Hunger Games trilogy was published I thought there was no way I would like them. I am not really into the whole science fiction fantasy realm thing. I also don’t like to think about the end of the world let alone watch movies or read books that deal with it, why depress myself? But when the movie came out I was intrigued. It looked like a good movie and my mom wanted to go. I loved the movie and then spent the entire weekend before my final exams of my final year of university reading the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, instead of studying. I would not suggest this as a game plan for studying success. I am now somewhat completely obsessed with the books, movies and Jennifer Lawrence.

9. Anything written by John Irving

I discovered John Irving through a book assignment in grade 12 and he is now my favourite author. My favourites of his books are A Prayer for Owen Meany, The World According to Garp and Last Night at Twisted River. There is something so wonderful about John Irving’s writing. His books are often very serious but also funny with a bit of strange mixed in.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My grandfather wanted me to read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was 13. It was his favourite book and I think this is a large part of why I call it my favourite book. There is no doubt that this is a truly wonderful book and something special in literature. But, I have a sentimental connection to this book. I feel connected to my grandfather when I read it and therefore its messages are more clear and important to me.

If you haven’t checked out any of these books I certainly hope you do. I love them and I hope you do too! Thank’s for the link up Heather!!

Friday Favorites October Button Medium

WIAW #3: Comfort Foods

Yesterday I got treated like a princess! Josh is on holidays this week and has taken over a lot of the cooking for the week. This means that I got a very yummy dinner and some awesome treats to eat yesterday. Seriously, things were tasty around here :) I am sharing my WIAW once again this week. Thanks again Jenn for the link-up!

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Breakfast

Don’t tell anyone, but I might be a bit spoiled (hehe). Yesterday I was getting ready for work and was having a blah morning. Sometimes I just don’t feel like making breakfast. I like breakfast and I know I NEED to eat in order to feel good and not bite off the heads or pour innocent children. Despite knowing how important breakfast is, sometimes I just can’t bring myself to make it. Nothing seem appealing and I have to try really hard to make myself eat something.

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Luckily my wonderful fiancee came to my rescue. He kindly got out of bed and made me a breakfast sandwich. He is so awesome! The breakfast sandwich was awesome and it hit the spot. I am so glad I caught him on a good day, he must have been feeling guilty about staying in bed while I went to work on this dreary, raining day.

Lunch

I didn’t work on Monday but I had lunch all packed just in case (life of a supply teacher), so Tuesday morning I was able to pull it out of the fridge and threw it in my bag for yesterday’s lunch. Apparently my lunch was extremely interesting to Finnick. I sweat cats are very nosy. They always need to know what’s going on.

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Lunch was a piece of ham from the crock pot and some mixed veggies. I know, not very exciting, but quick and nutritious so it works. I forgot my fork at home though and had to swipe one from the staff room kitchen. Sometimes not having a permanent work place isn’t too fun.

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In order to spice up my sad little lunch I threw in some veggie sticks and a honey crisp apple. I am still in love with both of these snacks. I will be sad when the season changes and I can no longer get good apples. That is one of the sad things about living in a slightly cooler climate. I am getting jealous of reading other blogger’s posts about running around in sun dresses still as I pull out my winter coat. Oh well I will be happy when we have a white Christmas!

Snacks

In between my day job and my evening tutoring session I decided to duck home to curb my late afternoon hunger. I decided to cure my bagel craving with half an everything bagel and some Laughing Cow Cheese. It was delicious and just what I ordered. It was a hairy sort of day and come tasty carbs were needed.

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Dinner

When I finally got home I was greeted by a wonderful sight. Josh was hard at work making homemade soup and chocolate chip cookies! Wow, maybe he is trying to wrack up some brownie points? I am not too worried about the reason, it was just plain awesome.

Josh made Broccoli and Cheddar Soup. He slims it down with light cheese and skim milk. It is really good and packed with veggies. I don’t make that soup because it needs to be blended. I don’t have the patience for that but Josh does. I love soup and it was the perfect comfort food dinner for a long rainy day. Things are getting cold around here!

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I was very excited when I realized there were chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven for dessert. I really am spoiled! I think we should all just pretend that I only ate the two cookies on this plate. I really can’t bring too many baked goods into the house, who would turn down homemade cookies? I wouldn’t!

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Those are my Tuesday eats. I am really looking forward to eating left over soup for lunch tomorrow! I think Josh should stay home and cook more often. I could get used to coming home to yummy dinners.