Category Archives: Around the house

Limitless

Pancakes were the winner for breakfast with the strawberry + ginger sauce.

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It was like eating dessert at 8am.

The rest of Saturday was pretty random.

A friend’s baby shower for twin boys took up most of the afternoon. It was  super cute and they had the best looking cake I’ve ever seen at a shower but I didn’t snap any pictures because I was about 1 of 2 people there not part of the family and it just felt weird. People probably would’ve been wondering who the strange girl with the camera was.

I’ve always been amazed at how much stuff one baby “needs” but now after seeing the amount of gifts for twins I’m in pure shock. All I could think about was this Netflix documentary I watched recently called “Babies”. It chronicles the lives of 4 babies born at the same time in different countries (2 of which were the United States and some country in Africa). The African baby literally has nothing. Barely any clothes. They showed the mother wiping it’s butt on her leg at one point. And yet, they were all happy. When you see the amount of stuff at a baby shower in juxtaposition to that, it’s just kind of shocking. Not that I’d want to live like African family but it’s just an interesting comparison. That’s all. I realize that’s probably an odd thought during a baby shower but somehow it popped into my head.

Ulysses got home early from work so we all hopped in the truck to go mow the lawn at our rental property. Well Ginger and I went for a walk, Ulysses mowed the lawn.IMG_0757

Ginger has a weird obsession with pick-up trucks. She hates jumping in any other kind of car but any truck Ulysses brings home she’s in within a second of the door opening.

This is our seating arrangement in the truck.

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I get bitch and Ginger gets the entire passenger seat. Seriously.

It’s actually because Ginger had gone to work with Ulysses a bunch of times before I ever needed to sit in the truck and by then the passenger side was covered in dog hair to the point that had I sat in it I would’ve emerged a weimaraner. So instead of putting a towel down, I just sit in the middle. Smile

After all the mowing was done, we decided to try out this cheap theater nearby that plays movies that are a few months older than the regular theater. It’s $3 a ticket so we figured if it was gross and disgusting we could always just leave.

First, dinner at Panera.

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I have to get their lobster sandwich at least once in the summer. It’s expensive for Panera, but pretty cheap in the world of lobster considering how much you get and it’s really good.

My smuggled-from-home movie snacks.

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Who brings fruit to the movies?

And then 2 hours with my man Bradley.

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Honestly, when Ulysses said he wanted to see Limitless, I had no idea what it was about but, the second he said “Bradley Cooper and DeNiro are in it” I had no more questions and it wasn’t because of DeNiro. His character makes him even hotter than usual in this movie. If you’re a Bradley fan I suggest checking this out. Winking smile 

The movie itself was actually pretty good too. It was one of those movies that have just enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes and interested but still understanding. Not one that’s so freakin confusing you have no idea what’s going on or what’s real or not (Inception anyone??). 

$6 movie total + 2 hours with Bradley = one good night!

We’re off to the lake for the first time this summer for some sun and jet-skiing. Can’t wait!

Favorite actor to stare at for 2 hours?

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Filed under Around the house

Mud, grass, sauce & sprinkles

How do you like that randomness for a title?

After leaving Ginger at home on Sunday for 9+ hours I felt like I owed her one. So after work I sucked it up and put her in my car for the 2 mile drive to the bike trail. I had done a quick 25 HIIT run on the treadmill earlier and wasn’t feeling much else besides a walk.

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Doesn’t she look thrilled? For 2 miles I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other keeping her wet little nose from touching my dash everywhere.

The damage:

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And I thought I lost a lot of hair! You can bet I wiped that off within 2 minutes of being home. I kind of have OCD tendencies with keeping my car clean. It probably stems back to my childhood and a father that wouldn’t let us eat in the car or get in with dirty feet. I blame you, dad.

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Ginger enjoyed the hour walk minus the bikers. She’s a little skittish around them. Not sure what a bike has ever done to her but she apparently found them scary enough to hide between my legs anytime one would pass. Wuss.

We stopped by the creek that runs under the bike path at one point to let her have a drink since it was kind of hot out and she was panting like crazy.

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And this is the payback I got.

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A bike went by on the bridge above us while she was drinking and rang it’s stupid little bell horn which freaked Ginger out and she jumped out of the creek, flinging mud all over me. So then I had a wet, muddy dog and muddy sneakers going into the car! We both got hosed down when we got home.

Oh, but the fun did not end there! Fast forward about an hour and I’m outside grilling dinner when Ulysses comes home and Ginger runs onto the deck to see him. That’s when he points this out.

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Can you see it? ASS GRASS!  And yes, I’m holding her tail up so I can get a better picture. Wouldn’t you? This has happened before so Ulysses knows full well I draw the line here. Ass grass removal is his job. I just take pictures and blog about it. That piece of grass ended up being a good 6 inches long (guess we don’t mow the grass often enough). Perfect dinner time entertainment.

Speaking of dinner, we had roasted vegetables and tofu on the grill with Mmmm Sauce. I’m starting to think I should rename the blog to “Running to Mama Pea’s Kitchen” considering how many recipes I make of hers. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it though, right? I actually saw Caitlin post about it yesterday and finally decided to take matters into my own hands and make it myself instead of drooling over everyone else’s.

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There’s a reason it’s called “Mmmm Sauce”. It is tasty! So tasty that I was lamenting the fact I couldn’t get it all out of the blender without risking some digits.

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Does it drive anyone else crazy that you can’t get the stuff under the blade out?

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I pretty much slathered it on everything. This was the first time I grilled tofu and all I did was season it with olive oil, salt & pepper. I purposely kept it simple because I knew this sauce was going on top of everything anyway. It reminded me of a sauce you’d find in an Indian dish. Loved it. Glad there is at least a cup left in the fridge.

And since it was the first day of summer and all, this was necessary.

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And promptly devoured in about 3 minutes.

Happy Summer!

 

Sprinkles or Jimmies? Sprinkles!!!

Would you pull grass out of your dog’s butt? Heck no, that’s what husbands are for!

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Filed under Around the house, Around town, Dinner

Father’s Day

Like most everybody else, we spent yesterday honoring the dads in our lives.

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Ha! Got ya mom! At least we don’t think he’s a dad yet?? Winking smile

Of course, no get together in our family is complete without the canine brood.

You already know these two, Sugar & Switch.

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Let me introduce Mack, Claire’s son (we like to keep it in the family here).

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Adrian & Doreen’s puppy who just turned 1. He has many talents including plastic bottle domination in 1 minute flat.

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And way more impressively, hammock acrobatics.

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He’s a pretty cool dog.

Ginger missed all the fun today. She got to spend 9+ hours at home because I’m too lazy to clean up the massive amount of dog hair that would’ve been in my car if we took her. Dog mommy fail.

It was a gorgeous day and we just sat, chilled, ate and drank. Smile

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Do we look alike?

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Classic Sal pose. No doubt telling some ridiculous story.

Hope all the dads out there had a great Father’s Day, especially mine. Smile And, thank you Adrian and Doreen for hosting at your lovely house!

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Filed under Around the house, Family, Videos

Whole wheat sunflower bread

I’m 29. We have no kids. And yet my Friday night was spent roasting sunflower seeds and baking.

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You see, I’ve had a container of sunflower seeds for about 6 months now. Raw, unsalted sunflower seeds. And, they were just not doing it for me. At 5:15pm on a Friday night I found myself face to face with said seeds in the pantry and had an epiphany. Roast them! Salt them, cover them in olive oil and roast them! And, that’s exactly what I did.

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They tasted amazing as I ate them one by one off the sheet pan and I probably should’ve stopped there, got showered and convinced Ulysses we should go out like oh, you know, the rest of the young, childless population on a Friday night but, no. Somehow I found myself searching for something to do with my now roasted, salted sunflower seeds.

And that something turned out to be this.

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Whole wheat sunflower seed bread.

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I don’t think I can adequately put words to how amazing this is straight out of the oven with some butter and agave on top. Pure bliss.

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If staying in on a Friday night to bake this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

We may be lame, but at least we eat well.

 

What did you do on your Friday night?

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Filed under Around the house, Baking

Camera crazed

This might be the only time that I was actually happy with a gloomy, rainy Saturday. The weather gave me a great excuse to get a ton done at home and play with my new camera all day. I usually never read manuals but there are so many settings and buttons on this camera that I figured I needed a little help. I really want to learn how to use the camera, not just shoot in automatic programmed modes otherwise it’s barely worth the investment in my opinion. So, I stuck the instructional CD into my computer and then proceeded to lose 3 hours of my life on the couch yesterday morning while trying to read and comprehend everything it outlined. Bad idea. I don’t learn well by reading, I need to actually do it. After 3 hours my head was spinning and I was getting frustrated by how little sense it all made so I took a break and cleaned the entire house, did NWOLFW and went for a 3.5 mile run. By that point I had calmed down a bit about all the camera lingo and decided to just go outside with my lunch and play around. Everything here was shot in manual. I had apertures, shutter speeds and ISO all confused and it’s pretty evident in the first few takes. Over exposed, under exposed, etc…

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Getting even more frustrated at this point now that the pictures are looking worse than with my point and shoot.

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Then I figured it out! I hadn’t realized that as you adjust the ISO, shutter speed and aperture that it shows you the exposure meter and it should be somewhere close to the middle. Mine was not. Hence the either really bright or really dark pictures. Once I figured that out things started to get better.

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And then I had some fun playing around with the depth of field.

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Focused grill, slightly blurry grill, very blurry grill. Woohoo!

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Love this one.

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Flowers got a little boring so I decided I needed to cook or bake something that I could photograph. But, I didn’t really feel like cooking or baking anything. Then Averie’s raw chocolate chip dough balls popped into my head! Except, I didn’t have any cashews so I subbed them out for almonds instead. The rest of the recipe is exactly the same so check it out on her site if you’re interested. It’s like a  dough ball meets Larabar and the result is pretty darn tasty.IMG_0154IMG_0156IMG_0160IMG_0164IMG_0170

And now I’m hooked on 2 things:

-photographing everything

and

raw dough balls (I have a ton of variations I now want to try after tasting these)

If you have a DSLR what are some of your best tips? Do you shoot in manual? Any good photography blog posts out there you recommend?

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Filed under Around the house, Raw

Going going back back to Cali Cali

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So as you might’ve guessed, I’m currently in-flight to California for work. Or, actually Minneapolis for a lovely 3 hour layover and then to California. At least there will be good people watching potential. It’s going to be an almost 24 hour day once I get to sleep again but, let’s not dwell on that part.

I’m sorry to say there was no blog worthy food consumed or prepared yesterday as I was running around frantically trying to get ready for this trip at work and then at home. When you don’t eat lunch until 4pm you know it’s kind of a ridiculous day. I never understood people when they would say “I’m too busy to eat” or, “I just forget to eat”. Yeah, uh how? I would love someone to teach my stomach how to forget being hungry. I didn’t forget yesterday, in fact, I was very much aware from about 1:30-4pm as my stomach threatening to revolt if it didn’t get fed soon. I did find out though what it’s like to be too busy to eat. I love that my region for work is the west coast. I mean trips to Alaska, Cali, Oregon, Washington, what’s not to love? But, when the first 3 hours of your workday are spent sitting there waiting for the other side of the country to get to work because you can’t do anything until they’re in and you rush to try and fit 8 hours worth of work into 5 because you still want to leave at 5pm, it gets old pretty fast. Or, just makes for a really hectic day and no food until 4.

Then, of course there were other non-work related things that needed to get done.

allergy shots

pedicure

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What? You can’t go to Cali without a pedicure!

laundry (I actually had to wear a sports bra I’m pretty sure is from high school yesterday for my workout. That’s how desperate the laundry situation was)

water my poor plants who are not liking this 90 degree weather. Just look at the cilantro.

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This is the second year I seem to have killed the cilantro. Not sure what’s going on with that. I have a pretty “green” thumb but, this herb just doesn’t seem to like me. Any ideas?

And speaking of plants, my first post was actually about planting all my pots. Exactly 1 month ago. (Happy 1 month blogging anniversary to me!) Look at how nicely they’ve filled in these past 4 weeks.

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                             May 6th                                                                June 6th

pack

This I’ve gotten pretty darn good at. I’ve been to Europe for 12 days packed entirely in a carry-on. A 4 day work trip is a cake walk. Smile

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First, you have to pick. Brown or black. This simple decision eliminates the need for multiple shoes. Shoes take up a lot of room. And since my sneakers are a must for workouts on the road, I have to pare down in other areas. Meet my latest DSW purchase. These Nine West shoes were 40% off. I bought them in black too. They are soooo much better than a heel. Have you ever tried standing for 10 hours at a tradeshow booth in heels? M.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e In fact, probably the kind of torture I’d imagine hell to be. Wedges make it so much more bearable.

So brown/beige/camel it is!

Next up, pack only as many outfits as days you are there. I understand as women we like choices but, there’s no room for choices in a carry-on. Unless you want to be that person that can’t lift their luggage into the overhead because it’s too heavy. <—Huge pet peeve! Unless you’re like 90, if you can’t lift it, check it.

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2 days of client meetings, 2 outfits. No if’s, ands, or buts. Make sure you like them before you pack them!

And, 1 cardigan that works with both outfits.

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Can you tell what store I frequent?

Where you do get some leniency is in accessories Smile

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They don’t take up much room but can change up the outfit dramatically just by a simple belt or different jewelry.

Same rules apply for workout gear (minus the accessories) and you’re all set!

Workout

I’ll be honest, I totally wanted to skip this because at this point it was 8:30pm and it was the last thing I wanted to do. I made a deal with myself to at least do a 20 min HIIT session on the treadmill and that’s exactly what I did. You never regret a workout!

At 9pm, the best I could do for dinner was some left-over gazpacho, snap peas, crackers and goat cheese. Random much?

Hoping for some in-flight wi-fi (which I now know means wireless fidelity) and some good people watching. See you from Cali!

 

What are your packing tips? Do you usually carry-on or check your luggage? Any good airplane stories? I have a ton! From seatmates refusing to discuss anything but religion, to freak-outs on the plane resulting in police boarding and then questioning me about the situation, to having dip spilled all over me from the 350+ lb man using it next to me. I could seriously write a book!

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Filed under Around the house, Running, Travel, Work

Not your ordinary pesto

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Looks good right? Recipe to come, but first you’ll have to read about my day. Smile

First of all, thanks for all the nice comments on the dresses! The majority of you picked dress #1 and that’s exactly what I went with. Wasn’t a huge fan of the fabric that trailed off the back on the 1 strap dress. Felt a little too Greek Goddess for me. Works out well too because there are 7 of us as bridesmaids. 5 of the girls had already ordered their dress and 4 of them picked the 1 strap option, so I’ll even things out a bit more with my choice.

After Friday’s sore, slow run I was itching to get out today to redeem myself. The weather was overcast and barely 70, perfect for a run. I filled up the camelbak and hit the bike trail for 5 miles. Awesome run. Even if my face doesn’t exactly scream “yay!”. It was good to know that I just needed some rest and fresh legs.

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5 Mile Stats: (8:34 average pace)

Mile 1: 8:42

Mile 2: 8:36

Mile 3: 8:26

Mile 4: 8:47

Mile 5: 8:20

 

Came home to do workout 1A of NWOLFW which I was technically supposed to do yesterday but I was still so sore that I ended up taking a complete rest day instead. <—worth it! I still got my 3 workouts in for the week. Hopefully next week the lunges won’t be as bad!

After the workout, I attacked my car which badly needed a cleaning. Inside and out.

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Dad would be proud, I even did the tires. I don’t think the outside of my car had been washed since before winter. It’s just not worth washing in the spring here though because there is a constant film of green pollen on everything until about now.

Up next was dinner. My basil had already almost gotten to the point where it was bolting so I decided a pesto was in order. I didn’t have enough basil for a true pesto so it quickly became an “anything you need to use up that’s green pesto”.  I ended up using basil, parsley, arugula and baby spinach as the greens. I knew I didn’t have any parmesan at home either so instead of the creamy, hearty route, I added lemon to give it a nice citrus kick.

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As well as some garlic and pine nuts like a normal pesto.

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I love how green it stayed without the parmesan mixed in. Seriously, isn’t that the greenest pesto you’ve ever seen? Pesto > marinara sauce any day in my book. This one was a winner. Even better when served with whole wheat linguine with sautéed mushrooms and zucchini.

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The pasta was simple. I sautéed some shallots and garlic then added sliced baby portobellos and the zucchini which I peeled into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Once the pasta was cooked I added it and the vegetable mixture to a bowl and tossed with the pesto. If anything, it needed more salt but all in all a great, fresh tasting dish. The citrus was mellow enough but you could still taste it in the background.

Next time you have a random assortment of greens laying around try making it into a pesto. It’s an easy, tasty way to use up your leafy greens and there are so many variations to play with.

 

Everything Green Citrus Pesto

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 cup packed baby arugula
  • 2 cloves of garlic (if you’re not a huge garlic fan, 1 clove will do)
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Place everything except evoo into food  processor and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped. Scrape down sides. Process again while adding evoo through top. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

 

Do you make your own pesto? What’s the best thing you ate all weekend?

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Filed under Around the house, Dinner, Recipes, Running, Side Dishes, Strength training