WIAW + A Virtual Surprise Party.


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Before I jump into the ‘WIAW’ aspect of today’s post, I need say something:

SURPRISE! And happy one year blogiversary Becky!!

I had the pleasure of meeting Becky this past September at HLS.

Becky and Sam

Her love for her blog and connecting with other bloggers definitely shines through both online and in person, so I’m happy to be part of this virtual potluck.

So when I was flipping through her recipe collection, her Spinach and Cheese Lasagna Rollups stood out to me the most.

Spinach Roll Ups


I’m always looking for a good vegetarian recipe for my aiming-for-once-weekly-veggie nights, and of course, you can’t go wrong with anything that involves cheese.

Roll Ups


They got full approval from both Eric and myself. And like any good lasagna, the reheated leftovers are even better.

Once again, happy blogiversary Olives ‘n’ Wine! 

But today is also the much-loved What I Ate Wednesday.


And of course, I still needed to participate in this one. All my eats from Monday!

Morning Ritual:

Morning Ritual Some people go for coffee or tea first thing in the morning, but these are all included in my morning. Fish oil, greens+ powder, hair and nails supplement, and my ACV cocktail (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, water and a few drops of stevia). 


Breakfast Oats with strawberry jam, crunchy Barney Butter and an egg + egg whites. In my microwave-induced messy bowl – am I the only person too lazy in the morning to make my oats stovetop?


Dates BCAA


I went for a late morning gym-session, so I had two dates and some blue raspberry flavoured BCAA’s for some energy beforehand.


Although I’ve been doing a lot of fitness classes lately, I’ve been missing the heavy lifting work. I followed Day 3 on this set of full body workouts from Tara, and wow – doing heavy deadlifts for the first time in about 3 months? OUCH. Such DOMS the next day.


Smoothie Smoothie time. A frozen banana, about a teaspoon of chocolate PB2, a scoop of cookies n cream whey protein, and a good pour of cereal – a mix of Uncle Sam’s Supergrains and Wild Harvest’s Banana Nut Granola.


Squash and Veggies Veggie snack. Cold roasted ambercup squash and raw baby carrots.


Monday was Eric’s mom’s birthday, so we opt to take her to Mein Street, an Asian fusion restaurant that we’re all big fans of. Also…it was snowing Monday night. Our first big snow of the season. Snow + cold = I want soup.



That, and Davida gave me a Pho craving. So Chicken Pho it was.

Bean Sprouts


Plus the added bean sprouts, hoisin and sriracha. I added the sprouts and hoisin, and enough sriracha that I had to stop and blow my nose every few spoonfuls – how you know you’re doing sriracha right.


Nadine had been gifted some shoe cupcakes from a friend of hers for her birthday, so she sent one home with us.

Cupcake Clearly a trained pastry chef, right? Almost too pretty to eat. Of course, I did – Eric and I shared, which translates into he had about three bites and I had the rest. The cake itself was a lot fluffier than I like it (I prefer a dense cake) but the icing and the cookie bits were fabulous.

And really, a cupcake is just a fabulous way to end the day, isn’t it? Have a good one!

<— Oats: microwave or stovetop?

<– Fluffy or dense cake?

<— Do you have snow yet?

<— What’s included in your ‘morning ritual?’



  1. We don’t own a microwave so by default I’m going to have to say stove-top oats. As amazingly creamy cooking oats on stovetop makes them, the convenience factor of using a microwave sure would come handy some mornings. I’m normally not the biggest fan of frosting but clearly this cupcake is an exception- it looks amazing. Like you I prefer denser cakes, especially if I’m eating it as a dessert rather than with a cup of tea mid-afternoon.
    • I remember you saying before that you didn’t have a microwave and that seems so mind-boggling to me – I don’t know anyone else who doesn’t!
  2. Better believe we’ve got snow around these parts! And normally I’d be kind of down about it, but it’s still actually pretty warm and more snow means better snowboarding… so I guess I can live with that

    Oats… usually on the stove. I grew up without a microwave, so I really have no idea how to cook with it. Actually, the only thing I really use mine for is to heat up this bean bag thing that helps keep me warm.

    Aaaaand cake. I like mine a little bit denser so that it doesn’t get overwhelmed by the frosting. What can I say… I’m kind of a cake girl
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted... as we speak, I’m… .My Profile

  3. I have to say – kind of old but I guess I had a lot to say when I wasn’t blogging and the weight made me think of it – I am so psyched you are loving switching and trying all these classes. That is the best way to do it. I need to get more into making full on recipes, I still have a little tab full of recipes I want to try. Now I just need to do it!!!
    Alex @ therunwithin recently posted..In my face is flashing signs.My Profile
  4. Well I don’t exactly keep my love for cupcakes a secret so I won’t get started but I will say that that one looks amazing and I love the frosting to cake ratio and the lasagna. Yum. I haven’t had it in so long but since I don’t cook, that will have to wait until I’m home so my mom can make it.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted..This is not a joke.My Profile
  5. Glad I could be of service! Pho is sooooo good. Wish I could make it that good at home! And I’m jealous of your friends talent. Why oh why did I not come out of the womb being able to do that?!?!? Ugh time to start practicing!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted..{Surprise!} Biscoff Chip CookiesMy Profile
  6. Oh that cupcake!!! Adorable! but yeah, I would have eaten it too – in the end, the craving would be stronger
    I cook my oats the night before and then eat them cold or warm them up in the microwave – cooking with the microwave still scares me a little, since I only have one since 1 year
    Lucie@FitSwissChick recently posted..WIAW#43 – the miseries of foodpicturesMy Profile
  7. I had such a hard time picking a recipe from Becky’s blog for today – there were so many good ones! I definitely want to make this lasagna though.. so yummy. I don’t really do oats. I think that’s in large part because my mom made me eat oatmeal way too often when I was younger. And we saw a few flurries yesterday, nothing major though. I’m excited for the pretty dusting of snow.. not so much for the huge amounts that will take forever to go away.
    Taryn recently posted..Cheeseburger Wraps & Andes Mint CookiesMy Profile
    • I could see how that could ruin oatmeal a bit – I ate it a lot as a kid to, but it was the Quaker packets with brown sugar on top so I didn’t complain too much
  8. I still haven’t tried Pho but it always sounds good. That cupcake is really cute, I haven’t seen a shoe one before. The microwave oats thing really isn’t bad. I had my oats in the microwave yesterday and kind of like how the oats don’t get as mushy as they do when you use the stovetop.
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted..WIAW – lunch dateMy Profile
  9. I knoooow heavy lifting is good for me, but the pain that comes after is just unbearable sometimes. Haha. I’ve been doing a lot of classes lately and need to get my pump on soon. And thanks – now you’ve given ME a Pho craving!! ;)!
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green recently posted..Creamy Avocado and Broccoli SoupMy Profile
  10. Yum to those lasagna roll-ups and that cupcake is SO adorable!

    I usually cook my oats in the microwave, but if I have more time (like on the weekends) I’ll make them on the stovetop. Definitely a fan of fluffy cake.

    My morning ritual includes me running around like a crazy person try to get out of the door on time! You’d think I’d have this down by now, but I just can’t seem to get it right. Sigh!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted..WIAW #22 – A Virtual Surprise PartyMy Profile

  11. 1. Pho is my favorite. Sadly, I’ve only had it like twice in my life. 2. THAT CUPCAKE. IS BEAUTIFUL. I’d probably be too scared to eat it and ruin it. …who am I kidding, it’d be gone in no time. 3. Your meals always look so healthy. Definitely a little kick of motivation to keep up good eating habits! 4. I’ve actually never made oatmeal in the microwave before…it’s always stovetop for me (when I’m home, that is).
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles recently posted..I Know Where I’ll Be Every TuesdayMy Profile
    • It’s quicker and you don’t dirty up a pot if you do it in the microwave – just make sure you’re cooking them in a big bowl!
  12. I have been seeing a lot of date loving around WIAW this week! I love to eat a few dates before I work out. It gives me a great boost of energy.
    Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted..Recipe Repeats [WIAW #32]My Profile
  13. First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It was so great to meet you and I was just telling the girls this weekend that I loved meeting you and that you’re just as “real and like yourself” in real life as you are on your blog And that lasagna – It's so easy and delish AND the leftovers are amazing. Snow – YES!! Although it's supposed to be back up in the 50's this weekend so it will be gone soon
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted..#50shadesofblends – RECAPMy Profile
  14. How sweet of you guys to throw a ‘virtual’ surprise party!

    Oats for me are stovetop exclusive; I always end up blowing them up in the microwave :S
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy! recently posted..DIY All Natural, All Purpose CleanerMy Profile

  15. Can you believe I’ve never had pho before. My Sister keeps trying to take me but I keep on chickening out when we order since it seems weird to me. Ha, I have texture issues with food so I feel like I wouldn’t like it.
    I actually prefer microwave oats. I’m odd, but at least you’re not the only one who microwaves them:)
    No snow for us here, but we never ever get it. I think the last time we had snow was like 3 years ago! (how can I even say I live in Canada?!)
    Lisa recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday – Compulsive Fall DisorderMy Profile
  16. I wanted to make these roll ups SO bad! I was sad when I saw that you had claimed them on the spreadsheet I was so sad haha
    • haha they were actually my second choice – there was a sweet potato mexican dish that I wanted, but someone claimed it before me! of course, you can still make the rollups :-p
  17. That cupcake looks amazing! I’ve actually started making my breakfast (some sort of gluten-free porridge) the night before because I’m too impatient to wait for it to cook in the morning!
    Danielle @ Labelsarefortincans recently posted..Bodyweight Workouts I’ve Tried + Loved LatelyMy Profile
  18. the shoe cupcakes are ADORABLE! i’m just not a big pho person but i’m eyeing the chicken in that soup. i am seeing these celebrations for olive to run around the blogosphere today..what a great idea! yes lasagna and cheese, you can’t go wrong. i don’t like oats but my sister always does them in the microwave. you aren’t alone!
  19. For some reason, I always burn or make my oats on the stovetop taste TERRIBLE. When I make them in the microwave, they always get thick and chewy so why not?
    We only had a little dusting of snow here in PA which is absolutely fine by me!
    Lauren recently posted..i mustache you a question…My Profile
  20. what is the “recipe” for your ACV drink with lemon juice?
  21. Those roll ups look delicious. I’m definitely going to have to steal her recipe on those. I think that anything that is stuffed with something delicious is going to be a winning recipe. Blue raspberry BCAAs? That sounds like an interesting flavor. What was your opinion of it?
    Lindsay @ The Functional Foodie recently posted..WIAW: While AbroadMy Profile
  22. Pingback: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies – Happy Blogiversary Becky! | Blonde Ambition

  23. Oh man those roll ups look good….but then again, you’ll never find me turn down anything involving cheese Thanks for celebrating with us!
  24. 1. You REHEATED the lasagna? Fail. You NEED to try lasagna cold. Mind blowing.

    Morning ritual involves pouring a scoop of BCAA into a water bottle (blue raspberry too! Is yours scivation by any chance?) and then high tailing it to the gym. If I occasionally go later, its coffee and 1 T of straight up ACV. Your cocktail sounds more appealing though…

    Stove top oats- only because I usually do it the night before and refrigerate it!
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted..WIAW + Spicy Sunbutter chickpea bitesMy Profile

    • mine is revolution nutrition! And a shot of ACV straight – you’re a brave mine. I need it in cocktail form, for sure.
      And while I do like a lot of leftovers cold, lasagna isn’t one of them!
  25. Those lasagna roll ups look so good! That’s one meal I’ve been wanting to try, but haven’t yet.

    I do my oatmeal on the stove unless I’m seriously pressed for time. Oatmeal is usually a part of my morning ritual (unless I have yogurt + fruit + cereal), as well as coffee and blog reading.

    No snow here yet, thank goodness. Keep it awaaaayyyy!
    Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted..Things I’m loving latelyMy Profile

    • YOU DIDN’T GET SNOW YET!?! Unfair. From Monday-Tuesday night, we must have got a good 3-4 inches. So not impressed right now :-p
  26. Ohh, those rollups. There’s nothing not to love about pasta, cheese, and spinach. Heavenly.

    Snow yet? Hahahahaha. No snow here ;). Although, we do have Tahoe a few hours away, which is an amazing place to ski/snowboard!
    Carly @ Snack Therapy recently posted..A Surprise Party…My Profile

  27. Since I’m usually pressed for time, oats usually happen in the microwave. Love that purple cupcake So fun and festive!
  28. we had some snow here in Ottawa over the weekend..brr! and ever since i found out about Davida’s Pho excursion, I have had an ultimate craving for it too then this morning there was a whole yelp review dedicated to pho restaurants here…i take it as a hint.

    i don’t own a microwave, so i always use the stovetop for cooking. i get a little frustrated with all the buttons / settings on a microwave gah!

    for the longest time, my morning ritual was a shot with 1/2 – 1 lemon + organic evoo, then a glass of water to chase. acv always worked well too but now i just use it for digestive reasons. a shot of acv + a big glass of water and i’m good to go.

    i love that lasagna dish you made btw..it’s been quite awhile since i’ve had lasagna..and seeing your pic makes me want some and you’re just such a sweetie for doing this for Becky! i can’t get over all the love – it’s making my heart melt!

  29. Shoe cupcakes?!?! Genius!! Seriously

    Any program from Tara is always killer, I have a program that she has written for me and it kills me every time but I love it too.

    I so want to try Becky’s Lasagna roll ups, so happy we were able to help her celebrate, love all the posts
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted..Happy Blogiversary Becky – #ONWturns1My Profile

  30. If I want egg white/egg oats, I cook them on the stove, otherwise, they’re ALWAYS made in the microwave…the consistency of microwave eggy oats is the equivalent to cutting up a sponge and throwing it in the bowl! Blech!

    Davida (and now, YOU!) totally got me craving pho! Haven’t had it in over a year, but I want it so bad now!

    And my cake has got to be dense! I hate it when you feel like you’re eating air!
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli recently posted..What I Ate ‘Round the ClockMy Profile

  31. Pingback: Coconut Quinoa Granola Bars

  32. Mmm, snacks look really delicious, Sam! Personally, I prefer different nuts before and after training.
    Kate recently posted..Best BCAA SupplementsMy Profile

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