Mt. Tabor: 1, Kelly: 1

To get over my sad weigh-in today, I desperately needed to remind myself that I am, in fact, still in decent shape. And since the sun was shining after work, I decided it was time for my Mt. Tabor rematch. Success! But I’m not going to lie, had there been more spectators, I’m pretty sure I would have turned around. You can probably imagine the huffy, puffy, sweaty mess I was. Nonetheless, I’m psyched about the victory… and more psyched that I’m alive to type about it!

The bike on top; downtown and west hills in the distance:

Cody made dinner for James and I!

For dessert James brought chocolate filled eggs… definitely put these on your list of things to do next Easter:

TGIF, in a major way.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Harper Grace!

Two years ago today I held Baby Harps for the first time… and two months after that, she went camping with us!

Here we are bonding in the woods:

Two days ago, playing with her new toy:

Because I can’t get enough of this birthday girl, I actually crashed their party twice this week. First we made an amazing soup sandwich combo — Elephant Deli’s Tomato Orange Soup recipe and Cooking Light’s Tuna Panini recipe. Both are easy and taste magical together! Let’s be serious, any sandwich with crumbled bacon and melted cheese is going to be a crowd-pleaser.

And for tonight’s birthday dinner, I dug up a blog favorite from March 2010, Shitake Pea Risotto.

The only bummer about today was the Blazer’s playoff loss… but I did manage to spend nearly all of the second half working out at the gym while watching. Now we’ll see how well the Bulls can motivate me to exercise 🙂

Easter feasting x2

It’s no secret that I need to celebrate every holiday as much as possible, and Easter Sunday was no exception. Nicole hosted a brunch, Cody’s family threw a dinner feast, and I skipped the gym. Yay!!

Nicole had a mimosa stand immediately upon entering her front porch… pure genius:

My appetizer, posed on a turtle– Sliced baguette with goat cheese, roasted red pepper and basil:

Nic’s featured brunch dish– Shrimp and Grits– with green salad, fruit salad and vegan blueberry-lemon muffin:

Dana’s Poblano, Potato and Corn Gratin dish:

After a couple hours of trying not to eat myself into explosion at Party #1, Cody and I went to the Moms’ for the biggest plate of grilled ribs I’ve ever seen, hot cross buns, and an Easter egg hunt.

Becky, still smiling from Saturday’s Blazer win:

Skyping with Kate, Zoe and Kai:

Zoe loves Cody:

Pretty darn cute.

I’m still full…

Happy Easter to you!

Weigh-in update

Crazy results to report today! Really, I nearly feel over at Weight Watchers when I saw the 3.5 pound loss.

I don’t feel like I can take this too seriously, though. I mean how can it possibly BE?!

Maybe it’s all the recent outdoor riding? Either way, I’ll take it! Speaking of riding, I’ve got a big ride to St. John’s this afternoon… Sunny and 65 in PDX today!!

Happy happy happy Spring Easter weekend! Love.

Dinner #4: Tempeh tacos with homemade corn tortillas

When was the last time I cooked four nights in a row?! This is great! It helps when your besties give you foodie gifts for your birthday. Thanks to Mandy for the new tortilla press… she obviously had to join me in my first batch of goodies! A simple mix of masa, salt and boiling water make the dough. There is officially no reason to buy tortillas anymore; it’s homemade all the way.

Tempeh filling on top, toasted corn on the bottom:

My plate with homemade guacamole and cilantro-lime sour cream:

Mandy’s version:

I didn’t make it out on my bike today, but I did get to the gym for 45 minutes of elliptical intervals. I dreaded that all day, and it ended up being really fun thanks to the “Passion Pit” Pandora station. If you have a fancy phone, I suggest trying your favorite upbeat Pandora station during your next workout. It was the revitalization I needed at the gym today. There was a time when I LOVED going to the gym; now I try to talk myself out of it all the time. What is the deal?! Bah.

Weigh-in tomorrow. Shoot.

Fortunately the boyf got us Blazers playoff tickets to offset any of the negativity Weight Watchers tries to launch at me. Yip! Yip!

Mt. Tabor: 1, Kelly: 0

I tried, I really did! With the incessant sunshine this week, I’ve really been favoring bike rides over the gym, because fresh air exercise is way better than driving through rush hour to workout in that box of hamster wheels. Some of you may remember last summer when I walked Lucy up and down Mt. Tabor a few times a week (and Anna and I would run stairs there, too…). Today I attempted to bike from my apartment all the way to top, which is a pretty reasonable climb the entire 60+ blocks to the base of the park. Once I made it there, my actual accent was foiled about halfway up when I started rolling backwards. Like I told Sara, it’s been a long time since I’ve done any physical activity to the point of failure, so I’m going to count this “project” as progress. I’ll let you know how far I make it up next time! For now, though, I’m going to bed with some really sore quads. I love that!

Most demoralizing moment of the ride up: A couple in their sixties cruised by me and said, “Keep it up, you’re almost there!” I was NOT almost there… Frustration:

A beautiful tree in the sun on the ride there:

My plan for this week was to begin a less rowdy, more healthy and balanced style of life. The birthday fun was a little all consuming. Now it’s time to grow up, right?! I did the only thing I know how to do with this must-make-good-decisions mentality: Cook healthy food.

Sunday: Spinach/feta turkey burgers and salad

Monday: Mini pita pizzas and salad

Tonight: Quinoa stuffed acorn squash and salad

Off to the coast tomorrow for work! Must not forget the camera.

the day after karaoke

I did it! I drug myself out of my apartment this afternoon and went on my first bike ride of 2011! If the sun ever needed to show itself in Portland, today was the day. Last night’s wild karaoke party left me feeling happy, blessed and a little sore today. Who’s thirty? Oh right, I am.

The sad part of this story is that I didn’t really take any pictures. So while we wait for those to slowly surface, this one will have to do. Sara calls this my “Americana” look:

Note to self: Become a rock star ASAP.

Perfect 30

I highly recommend taking your birthday off, especially when it falls on a Wednesday, and it’s your thirtieth. Yesterday was perfect from top to bottom. And in the spirit of how I prefer to execute my birthday, it actually began the night before when Cody took me to a Blazers game and got me my first Blazers bling!

Brunch at Mothers with Sara, Mandy, and wild salmon hash:

Then Juanita, Iris and Hazel came in from Seattle and we had tacos at Por Que No on Mississippi:

Park playtime:

And finally, my absolute favorite way to dine, PIZZA PARTY at Flying Pie:

My next purchase: Pizzeria-style table cloth…

What a wonderful group of people to spend the day with. It’s not possible to feel more grateful right now. Love you all!

faux japanese food

If you were to ask  my advice on the best food magazine to subscribe to (anyone remember when I was getting four or five a month?!), I would say go for Bon Appetit.  Sure the recipes are sometimes a bit far fetched, requiring obscure and expensive ingredients, but the food photography, travel writing, and food columns are completely worth it.  And every now and then you’ll catch a user-friendly, healthy recipe that sounds too good not to make immediately.  Fortunately for Sara (who invited herself over with wine), last night was one of those moments.

Soba Noodle Salad with Salmon and Asparagus (we ate this hot) Recipe here!

*I call this ‘faux’ because Trader Joe’s didn’t have soba, so I used whole wheat pasta instead, making it even healthier!

Instead of finishing the bottle wine, we went on a digestion walk!  Southeast Portland has a million secret views of the city, made even better at sunset.

celebrating in scappoose!

Cody’s mamas became the newest Grateful Apron-ers yesterday!  Thanks to my own Ma for making them… Wow, my life is packed with inspiring women.

And niece, Zoe, decided to sport her apron, too 🙂

Good thing I had hostesses gifts to offer , because I got super spoiled.  Thank you thank you, Scappoose Family!

And before my camera died, I was able to get a few cute-kid shots…

Cody and Kai:

Bird feedin’:

Oh yeah, believe it or not, we also ate.  God bless Glenna for her ability to navigate through multiple dietary intolerances.

Menu:  Garlic chicken, rice and this salad:

This was the perfect combo of sweet and savory.  I foolishly forgot to jot down the ingredients, but this is my estimation:  Chopped grapes, pear, apple, green pepper, cucumber, dill and tossed with rice wine vinegar, olive oil (the good stuff, lemon flavored), salt and pepper.  Can we PLEASE plan a brunch soon so Ican make this!?

Thanks again for the amazing night, Becky and Glenna!