learning to eat, cook, and live healthier one day at a time.

Tag Archives: pumpkin spice

Good morning!

I hope wherever you’re starting your day is a bit warmer than South Dakota right now. We’re barely going to make it into the 50s today. Yikes! One good thing about the cool weather? It’s put me in ultra Fall-mode.

Last night I decided to bring out some of the Fall decor. I feel a little silly going all out right now, so I’ll probably wait until the beginning of October or so to bring out the pumpkins and Halloween candy dishes. Baby steps.

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And of course, the arrival of Fall means the arrival of everything pumpkin spice flavored!


I do like pumpkin spice, but I feel like it has gotten a little overboard in the past few years. I stick to coffee creamer, tea, and canned pumpkin to get my pumpkin fix. I must admit I have been intrigued by the pumpkin spice pudding I’ve seen in the grocery store. Thoughts?

Speaking of the grocery store, I’m having some grocery dilemmas in my life right now.

I’ve really been trying to stick to spending no more than $50 on food and groceries each week. Judging by the way my refrigerator looks, things aren’t going well.


It looks pretty bare, but my goal is to make it through the next few days with the food I have on hand. I’ve surpassed my $50 limit for the week thanks to eating out a few times last weekend. I just have to make it through to Monday! Here’s what I’m working with:


  • Egg whites
  • Oatmeal
  • Peanut butter
  • Banana


  • Sliced turkey
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Spinach
  • Tuna
  • Grapes


  • Ground turkey
  • Chicken breast (less than 1/2 pound)
  • Peppers
  • Frozen veggies (very few)
  • Beans
  • Quinoa


  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Grapes

I know the food I have will last through Monday without a problem, but I don’t just want to eat; I want to eat healthy. And that’s where the problem lies when you’re living on a pretty tight budget.

When I throw cost out the window, here’s what my typical grocery hauls look like:


If only I could afford that all the time. But, this will be good for me. And hopefully I’ll learn how to save a little better and buy only what I really need.

Also, I cut all my hair off yesterday!


Crazy, right?



After getting done with work around 6:30 on Friday, I rushed home to prepare for Mike’s arrival! Naturally, I’d had the dinner menu planned for several days already. Mike got in around 9:00, and we kicked off the night with pumpkin cheesecake dip, a recipe I’ve wanted to try ever since I read about it on pbfingers.


This dip is so delicious and simple. It’s just 5 ingredients! Canned pumpkin, low fat or fat free cream cheese, honey or any other sweetener, pumpkin pie spice, and crushed candied pecans. YUM! We used braided honey wheat pretzels and ginger cookies for dipping.

Then it was onto the main course, which was another pbfingers recipe I’ve been wanting to try for some time. Meatball Casserole.


I altered the original recipe  just a hair by adding some fresh spinach to the cheese mixture, and by using low fat ricotta instead of goat cheese. It was absolutely delicious and could even be made without the baguette for a lower carb option.


I kept dessert simple with some mint chocolate chip ice cream, or peppermint bon bon as Mike and I call it.

Mike also surprised me with a couple goodies he picked up in Chicago last weekend!



A Dunkin’ Donuts Mug along with their Pumpkin flavored coffee.

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Sadly, there are no Dunkin’ Donuts anywhere remotely close to Sioux Falls, and I find myself missing their coffee and sweet treats almost every day. Starbucks just doesn’t cut it sometimes!

I was on call Friday night, which means I am up listening to the police scanner until the wee hours of the night, so Mike and I just stayed in. Yesterday was such a blast I want to devote a whole post to recap the day. But first, I’m off for an evening run before dinner!



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