I gained four pounds in three weeks.

This is not exactly the way I planned to exit my twenties. Sometime between now and then (the birthday) I’m going to have to find the mental strength that I’ve seemingly lost. Where are you, Mental Strength?! I NEED YOU!

Good stuff from today: Work– totally great. Food– super healthy (oatmeal, salad, applesauce, string cheese). Workout– Full hour spin class. Family– talked to Keri for a long time about life, and then she reminded me that I have a blog.

Tonight I’m going to keep it together and eat another salad (without a side of wine for a change). Gotta save those calories for tomorrow!

**Oh, and congrats to one of Ripon’s finest, Jaime, for becoming a teacher today! Love you, lady!

Fun-shaped, fun-sized food

Today is a big day! Happy 26th Golden Birthday to my little sister, Breezy!

I can think of almost nothing better than waking before 8:00am on a Saturday completely rested. The possibilities of how to spend this day are limitless! To start, I enjoyed some tea and an egg on toast while listening to OPB music. Next I’ll take the dog to the park, run a couple errands and then hopefully check out the downtown markets with the lady pals. Spin class at 4:00 this afternoon. Dinner and comedy to follow… I heart Saturdays!

Anyway, Friday was good, too. Anna pre-celebrated her 30th Birthday with finger foods!

My contribution, BLT Bites:

Non-edibles:

Weigh-in update (from Thursday): Up two pounds. I think it’s pretty clear how that happened.

Just like old times

I’m hanging with a very special fuzzy face right now, taking me back to the years when my own life was covered in black dog fur. Until Sunday I’ll be kickin’ it in Laurelhurst with Sole while I attempt to eat and drink as much of Amanda’s food and wine stash as possible. 🙂 Joking! But in all seriousness, I can NOT stop slamming her seemingly endless supply of kale. It’s fantastic.

Remind you of anyone??

Dinner for one: Sauteed chicken sausage, onion, red pepper and kale in white wine and olive oil… chickpeas and 3/4 C. spaghetti added at the end and tossed.

Workout: 20 minute row machine and spin class

Tomorrow: WW weigh-in and staying for meeting. Spin class.

always the shortest

We’re about to sit down for one last family dinner with Auntie, Keri and Violet — Ribs and chicken!

My 50 minutes on the row machine really lifted my spirits this afternoon… if only the NCAA tourny was on every time I worked out!

Pre-dinner photoshoot:

vacation food

These have definitely not been my healthiest moments.

Breezy requested homemade Chicago-style pizza for her birthday dinner last night. I obliged.

I followed an online recipe for the crust and used our fave Chicago restaurant, Lou Malnati’s, as inspiration for the rest.

For the best, freshest tasting pizza sauce, squeeze a couple big cans worth of whole stewed tomatoes. Remove all excess juice and season tomatoes with parsley, oregano, basil and garlic salt. Do not cook before putting on pizza.

Make Bloody Mary’s with the remaining juice…

Then eat some chocolate cake in honor of Bree’s Golden B-day!

Keri, Erin and Violet showed up this morning for my Mama’s breakfast of chocolate chip and pecan pancakes with eggs, sausage and bacon:

My sweet new ring with sweet Baby V:

Exercise? I’ve been moving a bit, but not nearly enough to manage all those calories. Yesterday I spent some time on the row machine (big fan) and spin bike at the hospital gym. I’m about to go back for more right now… Not. Motivated.

Hello, Violet Kay

Shortly after my last post Keri showed up with Violet. We spent the entire day together, including a big ol’ family taco dinner at my Aunt’s new house.

You’re going to have to drag me kicking and screaming away from this little one on Monday… I AM IN LOVE!!

Violet and Violet:

Taco Night! See Rebecca’s recipe below for her Mama’s Spanish rice (fantastic!):

I can’t wait to make this rice at our next dinner party in Portland. Another case of bacon making everything better… Thanks for hosting, ladies!

Rebecca’s Mama’s Spanish Rice

1 CUP LONG GRAIN RICE-soak in warm water for 30m minutes-then drain and dry for 1 hour (may leave in bowl to dry)

fry 6 slices of bacon to crisp –remove from pan-pour rice into bacon pan and fry until brown. about 1 minute in time
crumble bacon back into the rice
pour in 1 can of beef consumme
pour in 1 small can of tomato sauce
sprinkle in couple of pinch of cummin
stir together, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until juices are gone. stir occasionally

Bad Dog

I’d like to tell you that Molly has turned a new, calmer leaf since Christmas, but no dice on that. She’s still wack.

And since Violet won’t be here for a few more minutes, I’m going to give this dog some time to shine right now.

Gratitude moment

After seeing and reading about all of the devastation in Japan, I’m heavily contemplating the blessings I have. At this moment, most everyone I know is healthy and [relatively] happy. AND there are a handful of people anticipating my return to Wisconsin later this week… It’s time to finally meet Baby V!!

My last four days remind me of how grateful I am to be alive and well. I even photographed some of it!

From our weekend trip to Sunriver:

Cody made breakfast for ten people and impressed the heck out of me. Here is the turkey pastrami hash he’s been perfecting:

Beer tasting at Bend Brewing:

(Sunriver workout: 25 minute spin, lots of hoop-shooting, sit-ups, bench press and punching-bag-style boxing!)

Once I reacclimated to my little apartment, Ty, Pam, Jamie and Dani came over for Sunday dinner and drinks. Thanks to Ty for bringing both of those! She not only made seafood with garlic butter sauce, but she hemmed my curtains as well. Thanks, Mama!

Beauties:

She doesn’t even need a crafting table!

You gotta share the comfy chairs around here:

And even though my weekend was void of the Manlovers, I was able to do some serious catching up with Sara and Mandy tonight. Sounds like I’m not the only one who had a fantastic weekend! Glad y’all had fun 🙂

Workout yesterday: Nada
Workout today: Chrisanthi spin
Workout tomorrow: Chrisanthi spin

Curry Night!

Sometimes a girl just needs to invite herself over to an old pal’s place for curry. This becomes especially necessary when said girl can not host this type of event herself due to the proximity of her stove to her closet. No one needs an entire wardrobe wreaking of curry. Bacon, sadly, is another staple on the “Do Not Make in my Studio Apartment” list. A small price to pay for solo-living, however.

Thanks to Missy for moving into a curry-friendly house! And thanks to Jeremy for holding the sign!

I miss living with the cast iron!

Life just tastes better with chopsticks, no?

Off to Sunriver tomorrow for the weekend! And then Wisco NEXT WEEK… Finally time to meet our baby girl, Violet!!! Ah, happiness and gratitude…

Weigh-in Wednesday

Down 1/2 pound! Count it!

Today sure was long, wasn’t it? Anyone else giddy with the prospect of crawling into bed before 9pm with a book and Ibuprofen PM? This Wednesday night certainly has my name all over it.

After seemingly hours and hours of work, I was able to attend one of my favorite Spin classes of the week. The instructor (Brandy) and her music are all the motivation I need to stay on that dang bike for an entire hour… success!

With all the positive momentum of the day, a healthy meal was pretty mandatory. I chose an Isa favorite from Veganomicon. Roasted Protobello Mushroom Salad with Chickpeas:

(Sara’s letting me borrow her fancy lens! Remember when I broke mine on Halloween night? Bah.)

I posted this recipe over a year ago, but here it is again. This is the perfect meal when you’re having meat-eater’s remorse. We know my thoughts on mushrooms… best food ever.

Salad: Mixed greens, avocado, sliced red onion and a drained can of chickpeas.

Dressing: 1/4 C spicy mustard, 3 T olive oil, 1/4 C red wine vinegar, 2 TBSP maple syrup

Marinade for mushrooms: 1/2 C cooking wine, 1 TBSP olive oil, 2 TBSP soy sauce, 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar, 2 minced garlic cloves, chopped basil (optional)

Mix marinade ingredients. Marinate two mushroom caps in the mixture for 20 minutes. Bake mushrooms, covered with foil, in a pan for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove foil, flip mushrooms, bake for 10 more minutes.