Eat-In Dinner Success

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Heeeelllo, Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole. I think I love you.


I especially loved the fact that, after a long day, all I had to do for a fresh, hot dinner was ask my father-in-law to stick it in the oven when he got home from work (we stayed a little later).  I prepped this casserole to the pre-bake stage this morning and popped it in the fridge to ‘mesh’ for a few hours.  So much better than takeout – and it only took me about 5 minutes of active work to prep. 


I promise I will share the recipe for this yummy casserole tomorrow!


I really want to get back to my book!  I’m currently engrossed in this book:  Little Earthquakes.


I even read it while secretary-ing it for the Husband earlier (trying to consciously disconnect from technology every now and then).   I also ate a bowl of Wheat Chex, raisins, and almond milk behind the desk.  😉 Don’t tell the boss I was eating and reading on the job.


Guess what’s in the oven for dessert? 


Espresso Scones…. Yum!


Today’s Girls on the Run session was so much fun!  The girls, the Husband, and I talked about negative self-talk and turning our negative thoughts into positive ones.  I also showed them the Operation Beautiful book.  They loved the concept.


The girls had to write down examples of their negative self-talk and then we tossed them in the Negative Nelly Monster as part of a 50 yard-dash warm-up.  I made her myself.    Don’t you just want to feed her your negative thoughts?!





  • Kristy @ KristyRuns February 17, 2011, 9:52 pm

    Ha! Negative Nelly is amazing! Nice job, and I’m sure the girls loved it! …Why haven’t I made your espresso scones yet?

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 17, 2011, 9:56 pm

    Haha! Love the box! That reminds me that I need to go prep for my girls on Saturday! 😀

  • Rika February 17, 2011, 9:57 pm

    The Negative Nelly is sooo cute! It does make me want to feed it my negative thoughts! This reminds me of how a place placed a bird head lid over a trash can. It motivated people to throw away their trash because they were excited to “feed” the bird! 😀

    • Emily G. February 18, 2011, 9:16 am

      LOL One of our theaters are like that. The trashcans were shaped like monsters and when you threw something in it would talk to you!

      • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 10:01 am

        Um, that is f*cking awesome. I want a trash can like that.

  • Sarah for Real February 17, 2011, 10:01 pm

    That is too cute! Great prop!

    The casserole sounds yummy. I can’t get enough shrooms lately!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin February 17, 2011, 10:02 pm

    I loove Jennifer Weiner’s books, but I haven’t read those one yet! Can’t wait for the recipe tomorrow. And that box is adorable!!

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 17, 2011, 10:03 pm

    I need that Negative Nelly box!!!

    And the scones. And the casserole!

  • Ashley February 17, 2011, 10:04 pm

    Love the Negative Nelly! That’s such a creative idea and I’m sure the girls loved it.

  • Ashley February 17, 2011, 10:09 pm

    What a cute idea! Love it!

  • Baking 'n' Books February 17, 2011, 10:10 pm

    Yep. Deposit your negative thoughts and forget about them. Good idea.

    Is there cheese in that casserole 🙂 YUM.

  • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 17, 2011, 10:19 pm

    I talked about getting rid of Debbie Downer today! She and Nelly need to tale a hike! Dinner looks delicious. Ya gotta love being prepared. That is the key to eating in. Have a great night and enjoy your book!

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) February 17, 2011, 10:24 pm

    The Negative Nelly box is genius! I bet the girls loved it.

  • Jen February 17, 2011, 10:28 pm

    That casserole looks delish – can’t wait to see the recipe! Have you ever read Emily Giffin? You should check her stuff out if you haven’t! I think you’d like her 🙂

    • Shari February 18, 2011, 8:50 am

      I second the Emily Giffin recommendation. She has an amazing talent for writing novels that pull you in and resonate so far beyond the pages 🙂

      • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 10:02 am

        I will check her out!

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston February 17, 2011, 10:28 pm

    Love the box! I’ve definitely used the phrase, “Stop being such a negative Nancy — you need to be a positive Polly!” Lol. Yup.

  • Carly February 17, 2011, 10:28 pm

    Love love love Jennifer Weiner, and that was the book that got me hooked! Prepare for it to become really intense.
    Also looking forward to the casserole recipe, looks deeeelish!

  • Parita@myinnershakti February 17, 2011, 10:29 pm

    I know I can just go on Amazon and read a review on Little Earthquakes, but I’d love to hear your version of a review when you’re done!

    • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 10:03 am

      It was really good. It totally drew me in. A very good read.

  • Cate February 17, 2011, 10:30 pm

    The Negative Nelly box is a great idea!
    I recently started reading Jennifer Weiner books and can’t get enough. I have read Good in Bed which was great and Little Earthquakes, which was good as well. I am currently reading Certain Girls which is the sequel to Good in Bed and then I have Fly Away Home to read next. Clearly I am on Jennifer Weiner reading kick!

    • Tracy February 18, 2011, 5:57 am

      Me, too! Love her books!

      • Kara February 18, 2011, 7:32 am

        Me too! 🙂

  • T.D. February 17, 2011, 10:32 pm

    The casserole looks delicious! I’ll have to try it sometime after you post the recipe. I love meals that you can make ahead and cook later.

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life February 17, 2011, 10:36 pm

    I love the book little Earthquakes! And that Negative Nelly is so cute, a good idea for my future classroom!

  • Carin February 17, 2011, 10:40 pm

    Love it! That soup looks yummy – sigh – another brand we don’t get in NZ. You want to watch that espresso scone habit though – could prove costly/painful in terms of running off the calories! 🙂

    Hope this isn’t too personal, but I’m interested in your dynamics with your parents and in-laws – given that I have a… complex family set up myself (currently featuring a second stepmother, one sister, two half-sisters and three step-sisters, plus other family members who don’t talk at all). Do you all get along really well, or do you have issues? Just wondering, because if I mentioned outings with/ feelings about/ positive vibes towards certain family members on a blog, I’d be inviting nasty comments and emotional hassle from others! Obviously my position is to be open, honest and positive, but I’m just curious as to whether other people experience similar issues – and how they cope with them!

    • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 11:19 am

      I don’t talk about personal relationship problems on the blog just because I don’t choose to have that kind of blog (if I was anonymous, I might do it) and I wouldn’t want it getting back to them. I get along with everyone in the family most of the time, but of course some people have their issues and its not all rainbows shooting out of our asses all the time.

      • Carin February 18, 2011, 3:47 pm

        Thanks Caitlin – wasn’t meaning to pry at all, just interested in how you balance being authentic on the blog with any responses or reactions you may get to those open and honest comments. I know it’s all subjective and reader response can’t be presumed or predicted, but I know that in making the slightest reference I could potentially be setting myself up for emotional backlash! Rather than try to make every post overly considered and measured, I think I’ll just aim for what you appear to do – stay true, positive, clear and strong.

        Love the image of “rainbows shooting out of asses” – I’m going to picture that whenever I need to be a bit more chirpy!

        • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 3:55 pm

          Just do you!

  • Michelle February 17, 2011, 10:54 pm

    I adore the negative nelly box! I kind of want to make one of my own! Except maybe i’ll have to put a dollar in it every time I negative self talk and then I’ll donate the money somewhere. Make something good out of the negative!

  • Anne @thefitbridesmaid February 17, 2011, 10:55 pm

    I love Jennifer Weiner! That book was great! Have also read “Certain Girls”?

  • Kiran February 17, 2011, 10:56 pm

    I wonder if I can squeeze my Debbie Downer into Negative Nelly? Great tool 🙂

  • Marie-JourneytoBodyZen February 17, 2011, 11:02 pm

    I love Negative Nelly! I need to keep one of those in my house to ward off negativity :). And the casserole looks delish!

  • Mrs. Muffins February 17, 2011, 11:10 pm

    Ooh, that looks yummy, can’t wait for the recipe! I love Imagine soups 🙂

    I love the book Little Earthquakes. I wrote a short review of it on my blog once ( and I wrote “I recommend this for anyone who’s ever been pregnant, had a baby, or ever plans on it.”

    Night night!

  • Coco February 17, 2011, 11:11 pm

    Jennifer Weiner is so addicting! I love me some classic novels and thought-provoking memoirs, but sometimes you need a little “chick lit”, don’t you think? “Little Earthquakes” was one of my favorites!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 17, 2011, 11:16 pm

    i love your neg nelly monster…such a great idea (and cute little nelly you made!)

    and i love jennifer weiner’s books! the last time i read one i was pregnant and it was called Good in Bed. Oh, the irony. When one is pregnant 🙂

  • Alex @ Healing Beauty February 17, 2011, 11:16 pm

    Negative Nelly, that’s such a cute concept. I think it’s great that you are part of Girls on the Run! What a positive endeavor 🙂

  • Runeatrepeat February 17, 2011, 11:17 pm

    I need to feed Negative Nelly some stuff tonight.

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write February 17, 2011, 11:18 pm

    Negative nelly! What a cute idea! You’re doing a great thing by those girls.

    I’m looking forward to that recipe. My hubs loves anything with mushrooms and broccoli!

  • Mabelle@ Dance, Love, Dine February 17, 2011, 11:29 pm

    I love your operation beautiful mission 🙂 so inspiring!! PS: those expresso scones look pretty delicious.

  • Karen February 17, 2011, 11:54 pm

    I totally agree with your concept of negative self-talk. Ever since I first read you mention it on your blog, I am hyper aware of when I do it. I now try really hard to stop myself in the act, knowing full well that it’s not doing me any good. Yum that casserole looks good. I love prep ahead meals like that.

    • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 11:19 am

      I’m so glad my blog has helped you! that means a lot.

  • annette February 17, 2011, 11:58 pm

    can I put my negative self talk in there too please?! Love that box-she’s a cutie. I want that recipe….. 🙂

  • Allison @ Happy Tales February 18, 2011, 12:03 am

    What an adorable little monster Negative Nelly is! Very creative 🙂 Oh, and I love that you’re holding your book open with a stapler. I’ve totally rolled like, too.

  • Fit Chick Britt February 18, 2011, 12:19 am

    Caitlin, how do you schedule in time to read? I want to read so bad and my book list keeps piling up. I just can’t seem to find the time between working, working out, blogging,household chores, and errand to sit down and read. Any suggestions?

    • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 11:23 am

      I make time to read!!! I love to read. 🙂 I usually do it at night instead of watching TV (or while the Husband watches TV) or right before I go to bed… Carry your book with you too so you can read it on the go (like at doctor’s offices).

  • KJ February 18, 2011, 12:50 am

    I loved that book! I “borrowed” it from my mom one time when I was visiting my parents. She saw me reading the book and told me she’d been hiding it in the back of the bookshelves because she wanted to give it to me to read when I was having a baby because she thought it could scare me out of having kids if I read it before I was actually pregnant. Oh moms…

  • Amber K February 18, 2011, 12:57 am

    Love the negative nelly box, I totally need one of those for my desk 😉

  • Beatrix @ Beaglebea February 18, 2011, 1:27 am

    those scones look quite delightful.

  • Marina February 18, 2011, 1:34 am

    I need to try making some scones. I have no idea what to expect 🙂
    You know, one day, you’ll make an awesome mom. Now, you’re an awesome trainer and a great roll-model to those girls!

  • Leila @ Spinach and Skittles February 18, 2011, 2:18 am

    Love the negative nelly box! I am participating in National Eating Disorders Awareness week next week and am creating a positive-words wall in my middle school…but I kinda want to make a negative nelly box too!

  • Kate February 18, 2011, 4:19 am

    Love Jennifer Weiner too. And I agree with the above poster who recommended Emily Giffin.

  • Cathy K February 18, 2011, 6:06 am

    oooo, i think i’ve read all of jennifer weiner’s books – but not this one! maybe for my upcoming holiday! i really like her writing style; my fave was “good in bed,” by far.
    i think i should make my own negative nelly – a fun craft plus a useful visual tool! great idea to incorporate “her” into the warm up!
    have a great friday!

  • Kristen February 18, 2011, 6:30 am

    Negative Nelly is adorable…

  • Lauren February 18, 2011, 6:56 am

    Oh I hope you will post a recipe for the Broccoli casserole. It sounds perfect!

  • Kara February 18, 2011, 7:34 am

    That casserole looks wonderful. Although I will admit that if I made it, I would probably add cheese. Because cheese makes everything better 🙂

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 18, 2011, 7:37 am

    I love negative nelly!!! I think I might put something like that in my classroom. Whenever the kids whine/complain, I don’t want to hear it! 🙂

  • Lizzy @ runbakerace February 18, 2011, 7:46 am

    Love the negative nelly idea! That’s awesome 🙂

  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY February 18, 2011, 8:01 am

    I love Negative Nelly. Little girls do not get enough positive messages about their bodies.

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) February 18, 2011, 8:15 am

    I love the box! What a great idea. The scones also look great!

  • Julie @ Shining From Within February 18, 2011, 8:32 am

    That negative Nelly box is such a good idea for young girls! Or anyone for that matter 😀

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 18, 2011, 8:37 am

    Haha I love that Negative Nelly idea! And I think it’s great that you’re helping these girls realize NOW as opposed to later that trash talking themselves is NOT okay. No one told me it wasn’t ok until I started reading blogs, and that was only last year!

  • Heather February 18, 2011, 8:48 am

    I love the negative nelly picture!

    Cannot wait for that recipe – I have always been grossed out by broccoli casserole but that looks amazing.

  • Shari February 18, 2011, 8:54 am

    I just clicked on over to Amazon and read the synopsis for that book. It looks so good! It’s definitely going on my “to read” list 🙂

  • Kris February 18, 2011, 9:21 am

    Love the Negative Nelly box. I haven’t read Jennifer Weiner, but I do love Emily Giffin.

  • mary (what's cookin' with mary) February 18, 2011, 9:25 am

    Excited to see your casserole recipe! I loooove casserole bc you can get them all prepped and toss ’em in the oven when you’re ready. ..and the leftovers always taste better the next day.

  • Angie February 18, 2011, 9:30 am

    Can’t wait for this yummy recipe! Love your posts !

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy February 18, 2011, 9:34 am

    Love the Negative Nelly (maybe you can make a small one to be a “bonus” with your next book! Ha) and can’t wait for the recipe too.

  • Ashley (The Vegetable Life) February 18, 2011, 9:40 am

    That casserole looks DELICIOUS! I love casseroles (Im such an old lady!) haha

  • Caitie @ The Caitie Experiment February 18, 2011, 10:21 am

    If you loved Little Earthquakes, you should definitely read Goodnight, Nobody, Good in Bed and In Her Shoes!! I actually mentioned JW in my post this morning; I love, love, LOVE her older stuff, but her last three or so haven’t really impressed me. I was really happy I borrowed them from friends instead of buying — but I’ve read Good in Bed enough times that I cracked the spine of the book!

    Jen Lancaster is like a funnier, snarkier version of JW… her memoirs are hi-freakin-larious! Such a Pretty Fat might be one of my favorite books EVER – it’s what inspired me to start blogging!

  • Kathie February 18, 2011, 10:28 am

    love your negative nelly. cute idea

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith February 18, 2011, 11:37 am

    It seems I always forget how good and easy casseroles are, and then you feature one and it is like a sudden awakening! I cannot wait for this recipe!

  • Clare February 18, 2011, 12:13 pm

    OMG, I love Negative Nelly. I need one of her for my own apartment!

  • JenRD February 18, 2011, 12:27 pm

    I loooove that book–one of Jennifer Weiner’s best! If you like her books, you should try Marian Keyes’ books. I am currently re-reading “Watermelon,” which is one of my faves, along with “Rachel’s Holiday.”

  • Kimberly February 18, 2011, 1:22 pm

    Funny story…my bf and I were “arguing” over whether the expression is Negative Nancy or Negative Nelly. I was on Nelly’s side, so I used this post to prove my point!

    • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 1:23 pm

      Maybe Nancy and Nelly are twins!

  • Liz February 18, 2011, 3:20 pm

    Oh… Little Earthquakes is one of my very favorite books of all time. ALL of her books are awesome! You must read Good in Bed if you have not read it already. (And no… it’s not REALLY a dirty book… just has a dirty-sounding title!)

  • Laurie February 18, 2011, 6:13 pm

    Did you make up that negative talk activity or was it in the curriculum? It sounds really really helpful for the girls.

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:32 am

      You cannot change the GOTR curriculum in any way, so it is just like that!

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