Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Hello friends!! Thank you sosososo much for all the kind words on my last post. Physically, I am feeling much better. My glute soreness has been downgraded from severe to just high. I got up and showered today, grocery shopped, cleaned and interacted with the outside world :)

Mentally, I’m still a little drained. There are a lot of things I have to adjust to, but I think know I will be better for it.

In other news, I am completely obsessed with custard oats. They’re all I want for breakfast when I have time to make them. This morning, I decided to see if the deliciousness transferred to oatbran.


  • 1/2 cup oatbran
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole egg (whisked into pot at start of cooking)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (splashed in intermittently) 
  • 2 chopped dates
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter

I remember Leah mentioning a long time ago that she eats oats in shallow bowls because it cools quicker and you get more toppings in each bite. I’ve been trying it out lately, and I would have to agree!

The egg definitely made the oatbran creamier than usual, but still not as thick as with rolled oats. I find rolled oats leave me feeling satisfied longer too.

My morning was uneventful. Finally caught up on my MTV watching (already love the new Real World!) and did some stuff for work. I wanted to clear up the rest of my fridge for lunch to make room for groceries today. The only three fresh things in there were egg whites, cottage cheese and baked beans. Here’s what I came up with…


Egg white frittata with cottage cheese and frozen veggies. I also found a lonely slice of swiss cheese that I threw on top. The beans on the side. Oh, and I may have smothered the eggs in hot sauce ;)

I spent soooo much money at the grocery store. I would say food shopping is definitely my form of retail therapy. I did more fridge-clearing once I got home, finishing up the carrot protein sqaures topped with laughing cow cheese, cinnamon and sugar. In the back are the tiniest mandarins I’ve ever seen.

Size comparison next to a Larabar (which are also pretty small).


Wee tiny wedge!!!


A nice fruit for munching mindlessly. Might make their way into to a salad if they last that long ;)

Minutes after polishing off last week’s protein bars, I got started on a fresh batch for this week! I poured over various recipes, and ended up just doing a variation of the breakfast cookie.


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • ~ 3/4 cup water

All mushed up in a bowl, flattened into a 9×9 pan, and stuck in the freezer till hard. Then I cut them into 8 pieces and wrapped them up for the week.

The stats are pretty stellar: 190 calories, 7g fat, 18g carbs, 2g sugar, 3g fibre, 15g protein. I think they’ll need to be kept in the freezer, but that’s fine by me. I’ll just put it on top of an ice pack in my lunch bag :)

Dinner was one of my favourites – roast chicken!


I make a really basic roast chicken. Stuffed it with lemon wedges and garlic, then rubbed salt and pepper on top. Baked at 425 F for 90 minutes. Easy peasy (and that’s coming from a former vegetarian!)

Veggies were roasted zucchini, carrots and parsnips.


This was my first time trying parsnips!! (or not, mom, you can correct me on that one). The consensus on Twitter was that roasted is the best way to have them. I loved the texture. Tough on the outside, mushy on the inside. They’re almost like a starchier version of turnip (or rutabaga?). Next time, they’ll get the fries and ketchup treatment ;)


So seeing as life has been a little rocky lately, I thought it would be prefect timing to participate in the Happy 101 game Tam tagged me in.


The rules are to list 10 things that make me happy then pick 10 other people to do the same! First, my list:

  1. Mornings in bed. My ideal day starts off with breakfast in bed, the Today show, blog reading, and then a trip to the gym. I got attached to it while taking evening classes in university.
  2. My remote car starter. Sure, I’m polluting the environment and wasting gas, but it’s pretty sweet getting into a warm car with a clear windshield on a frigid day.
  3. The last second of a sprint. I love that moment when I’m giving it 110% in a sprint, be it on the bike, running, or elliptical, and I get to that last second and slow down. It’s a mixture of “omg I’m going to die,” “omg I’m going to live,” and “omg I can’t believe I did that.”
  4. Pigeon pose. If it were socially acceptable, I would work at my desk in pigeon pose. I want to live in it.
  5. Children’s fantasy books. Yes, they are my favourite genre. Yes, this includes Harry Potter and Twilight. His Dark Materials series, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, I love them all.
  6. The first day of spring. And by that I mean the first day of the year I wear flats. Usually a little earlier than I should, as I always end up stepping in some slush. But it’s always a moment of hope knowing the long, harsh winter is over and nothing but warm days are ahead.
  7. The recovery shake/meal. I love coming home from a tough workout and replenishing my system with delicious food. It tastes better, digests better, and just makes me feel good about my body.
  8. Dogs. Particularly, roughhousing with them on the floor. You know what I’m talking about. When you get down on the floor and start teasing them so they bark and wag their tail. Good times.
  9. Clean bedsheets. Ahhhhhh…..
  10. Making delicious food and sharing it with others. I love most of the things I cook for myself. But it’s awesome when others do too. It puts a huge smile on my face whenever someone clearly enjoys something I’ve made :D

So in order to pass the happy thoughts along, I’m going to pick 10 random people who commented on my last post to participate:


Can’t wait to read what makes you ladies happy too! :D


I’ve also decided to tweak my weekly workout plan a little. I’m going to be switching out my Friday lower-body workout with an at-home bike trainer + workout DVD session. This way I’ll only be getting up super early to go to the gym two of my five work days. To me, that sounds super doable, and hopefully keep me from burning out. We’ll see how it goes this week!


Last but not least, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!!!

Tomorrow is a B-I-G day around these parts. Make sure you stop in for some bloggie fun, mm-kay? ;) Can’t wait – see ya then!!

Question of the Day: What puts a smile on your face?

Posted on January 10, 2010, in Fun and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. Oh man that chicken and veggie combo looks delicious- if you ever need a dinner guest, I’m your girl :)

  2. I agree with number 5. It’s sorta my dirty little secret!

  3. I made roast chicken tonight too! love it!


  4. Hmmm, bloggie fun!? OK I’ll be there! Have a great night- glad to hear you sounding so upbeat.

    BY the way, I think Angela could have some serious competition with your bars- they look amazing. And BIG!

  5. Things that put a smile on my face:

    My Fiance
    Picking Up A Paycheck
    A really amazing meal
    Foot Rubs
    Sex & The City
    Red Wine
    Winning Scrabble

  6. Dude, perhaps I am a dolt, but in your next post about your bike trainer, can you explain what it is/how it works? I see a bike in your living room and I am perplexed as to what it does. Halp?

    • No prob;) It’s essentially just something that allows the back tire to spin freely when you pedal, while keeping the front one in place. But it’s a good post idea, so I’ll explain it in better detail :)

  7. i love how you used red and orange in this phrase: severe to just high

    the pigeon pose. just work in it. no one will notice, I’m sure :)

    those granola bars….WOW. AWESOME WORK!!!!!!! and the fact that there’s no gluten, can i can make them vegan AND soy free. and not use the oven. PERFECT.
    they kinda remind me of my overnight brownie protein oats i have been making but yours look more solid and less gloppy.. which for an on the go bar, = perfection!

    • I think the oats + protein powder + nut butter combo is the basis of all things yummy :) And so happy you got my threat level joke!! (I can be incredibly dry humoured sometimes…)

  8. oh my gosh LOVE pigeon pose!!! thats my fav yoga move :)
    granola bars?! YUMM!! and roast chicken! so good!!

  9. Pigeon pose hurts so good.

    My cat always puts a smile on my face. :-)

  10. Yay, thanks for tagging me :D I already did a post about the Happy 101 award & I should have put mornings in bed on there…
    I’m always on the lookout for protein bar recipes; yours look great!

  11. Yummy oats and omlet!
    Great idea on the breakfast cookie making them into protein bars!!

  12. I’m so jealous of a remote car starter! :)

    I’m glad you are feeling better

  13. yay I’ve been tagged! I wrote my post and it made me smile the whole time.

    Glad your booty is feeling better. the glute burn is the WORST!

  14. 4 things put a smile on my face:
    1. Your AWESOME food pics/recipes
    2. My husband and the way he completes tasks without being asked
    3. A warm, comfy breakfast
    4. Days with no work

  15. #11 traveling with the healthy everythingtarian (i added it for you)

    LOVE YOU….off to do more research, which makes me happy. scouring airline websites for trips i am going to take brings a smile to my face.

    have a fabulous day tomorrow :)

  16. Hmm.. I’d say the biggest smile on my face comes from accidently spending time with my family. Let me explain LOL What I mean is the times when it just happens that my parents, brother, and I all have nothing to do and end up just sitting down in the living room watching tv. It’s not planned, but we’re all home and we happen to find a show we’re all interested in. Those moments really mean the world to me. They remind me that even though we’re family and we love each other – we also LIKE each other and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

    Good luck with your new workout schedule,
    Nicole G

    • LOVE this!! This happens a lot when I’m at home with video games, We somehow all gather around the game and start playing together. Those moments are definitely awesome :D

  17. I am glad that you’re bouncing back. It happens..it does to me when I have change in my life. I am excited..then when it happens I freak out and crash sometimes.

    Take care of yourself and remember that it’s all gonna work out.

    BTW love Pigeon. Have you ever done this before? Pigeon your right leg. then thread your left arm under your right arm pit so that your left shoulder is laying on the ground and extended past your right hip. Then twist your right hand behind your back and grab your big toe.

    confused? my fav. version. yogadownload.com is having a huge sale check out heather eats almond butter..if you haven’t already. They also have heaps of podcasts in i-tunes for free :)

    • Haha Mish, I just tried that and felt like an actual pretzel. Or that I was trying to lick my elbow :P Hip openers are kiiillller on me because of my bum hips :\ (but also why I love them!)

  18. Those mandarins are SO cute! Aaaaaah…. I love mini stuff. I love the snack sized breakfast cookies- I have them a LOT and they are so much tastier than bought protein bars. Let me know how they hold up for a week- I have never made more than 24 hours in advance (never thought to make a batch!) Though it was the addition of milk that put me off- water = good idea.

    You tagged me- does this mean I need to post?!!!!!! I’ll just list things here: friends, family, long hot showers, George Foreman’d wraps, hot summer days, NYC, long walks with my iPod, coffee with my best friend, grocery shopping, blog reading :D

    I love parsnips- only ever had them roasted I think? Sometimes with a maple mustard glaze. Oh-so-fab.

  19. Thanks for the tag! Sunshine always put a smile on my face, especially on a warm spring day and it feels so good.

    I need to try custard oats. I love breakfast so much that sometimes I am paralyzed about what choice of the many yummy ones to make LOL. If I didn’t blog my food every day, I might be sorely tempted to eats oats for all 3 meals :D

  20. Things that make me smile are sleeping in and snuggling with my husband on the weekends, funny movies, a really good cup of coffee, time with friends, and a recipe that turns out 100% fabulous!

  21. Custard oats sound awesome! Would love to try that soon. I am loving anything with oats in it=) I hear ya about grocery shopping. I find it ssoo relaxing and I actually look forward to it. So fun poking around in. Really cool facts about yourself too. I love your number 3. Sprinting at the end. Awesome! Its such a good feeling I think. Anyways take care and I hope you have an great day!

  22. That protein bar mix looks delish! I love ya happy list, clean bedsheets bliss! x x

  23. erintakescontrol

    Very cool tag, Susan! So excited to get a post up!

  24. I love pigeon pose. It’s one of my favorite yoga poses :) Right now the thought of my annie’s organic mac n cheese with peas for dinner is making me smile.

  25. I haven’t had chicken in a hot minute, but your roast chicken looks absolutely fantastic!
    I’ll get back there one-o-these-days
    Love your blog :)

  26. Thanks for the protein bar recipe!! I tried to make some a few days ago and they didn’t turn out so well. I’m going to use yours now!!

  27. i read this from my phone last night and realized i didn’t comment! ha. those bars look awesome~i need to get back into making my own. so cheap and easy! dude, i got a kick out of those baby tangerines :)

  28. ooo ooo love this protein oat cookie recipe! Such a great idea- and they’re actually a good size! you could prob get more bang for your buck (more cals for your tum.??) with a larger serving size, more like a full breakfast? hmm ideas.

    love your list miss susan, especially the morning one. there is just something about “my” mornings as well. favorite part of my day.

  29. YESSS on the clean bed sheets! Bonus happy points if they are IRONED!

    Roast chicken makes me happy :) Especially with your selection of veggies (I can always do without the potatoes, but never the parsnips or carrots!).

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