Fitness, Food and Photography

Follow me on my road to fitness… Because it's all about the journey, not the destination.

I Lied …

5 weeks ago, I said I was back.  But apparently I lied.

I have a great excuse, though.  I promise!  ……I’ve started a new job.  (Yay!)

But it’s been hard trying to get used to the new schedule.

I have to leave the house earlier so I can drive farther, park in a garage 3 blocks away and walk up to the 5th floor of the building.  And leaving downtown at 5pm isn’t much easier.

I’m not complaining though.  Once I’m downtown, I really enjoy it.

And how can I complain when this is the view from my new office?

View #1

View #1 looking left

View #2

View #2 looking straight ahead

View #3

View #3 looking to the right

Yes, I said OFFICE!!  For the first time ever in my career,  I actually have an office.  With a door and everything!!  Yay!

So far, my favorite thing to do is walk around and explore downtown during my lunch hour.  (If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve already seen a few of these) …..

tennessee sign

One thing I love about downtown is the architecture.

gorgeous downtown door

Gorgeous doorways …..

20130718_135709[1]

Curious alleyways ….

alleyway

Interesting angles ….

architecture 1

architecture 2

So many sights to see downtown.  That’s just a few of the many photos I’ve taken.

And there’s so much more where that came from!

So stay tuned.

Hopefully this time I can actually be back for real.

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2013 Knoxville Half Marathon Recap

Well the big day finally arrived, ready or not.  And I was not.  Well, not as ready as I should have been.  I knew I should have been training more, running farther.  My longest training run prior to the race was 6.5 miles.

I had been looking forward to this race for months.  I was determined not to let the lack of training or this sinus congestion keep me out of the race.

So I got up early, took my Mucinex-D before the race (which did not help at all), ate my oatmeal, and drank 1/2 cup of coffee.  I left the house around 6:40am to drive downtown.  I had a couple of friends who were also running the race, but we just agreed to meet in the corral.

before the race

The race started at 7:30am in downtown Knoxville, next to the famous Sunsphere.

sunsphere

There were over 5,000 people there for 3 different races – 5k, Half and Full Marathon.

crowd

The weather was PERFECT!  In years past, it’s usually cold and foggy or drizzly, but this year it could not have been more perfect!  It started out at 56 degrees and only improved from there.

The first 3 miles went great as we wound through campus onto Neyland Drive.  Just after turning left on Kingston Pike, I took a quick bathroom break.  There was a short line and I knew if I didn’t go then, the line would be longer at the next one.  I was feeling really good as we turned into Sequoyah Hills and ran the length of Cherokee Blvd.  I was happy with my 10k time at 1:01.  The 7-mile mark is just at the base of the Noelton Drive hill.  Imagine the tallest, steepest hill you’ve ever seen, and this one is taller and steeper.  My strategy going in was to walk the hill.  I even ate my GU while I walked up the hill.  Sure I could have run it, but then I would have worn myself out and there’s still 6 more miles to go after that!

I felt a jolt of energy at the top of Noelton Drive, as we turned left onto Kingston Pike.  I don’t know if it was the screaming crowd of people or the GU kicking in, but I got my second wind.  I was still feeling good as we entered the Third Creek Greenway, and when I saw the sign for 9 miles, I thought it was wrong.  I didn’t think I had gone that far yet.  I started smiling.  Only 4 more miles left.

And then WHAM!  I hit the wall.  Around the 10-mile mark, my knee joints were killing me.  I feared my IT band would start flaring up as it has in the past.  I just kept pushing through, but stopping to walk more frequently than I wanted to.

endomondo half

Those last 3 miles were pure HELL.  I even stopped looking at my watch.  I was no longer concerned about my time.  Going into the race, I wasn’t expecting to PR.  But I secretly wanted to try for it.  At this point, though, I just wanted to finish.  I just wanted this race to be over.  Why did I think I could run 13.1 miles when I haven’t trained more than 6.5??????

And then I could see the stadium in my sights.  There is no better feeling than crossing the finish line of a race!  And this race ends on the 50-yard line of Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee!  I’ve been in those stands many times, so it’s an awesome feeling to be on the field after such an accomplishment.

finish line

Only 3 minutes behind last year’s time.  How is that possible??  Now I’m thinking – just imagine if I’d pushed a little harder on those last 3 miles.  Just imagine if I’d had a few training runs at 8 or 10 miles.  With a tiny bit of additional effort, I could have beat last year’s time.

So then I started wondering …. when’s the next race??  How soon can I try this again?

Here are my split times:

Mile 1-  9:24

Mile 2-  8:48

Mile 3-  8:58

Mile 4-  11:42 (included the bathroom break)

Mile 5-  10:29

Mile 6-  9:33

Mile 7-  10.02

Mile 8-  11:36 (included the walk up Noelton Dr)

Mile 9-  10:25

Mile 10- 11:06 (it just goes downhill from here)

Mile 11-  12:10

Mile 12- 12:06

Mile 13- 11:36

race results

I’m always curious about what people are listening to while they run.   And I’m amazed at the number of people who didn’t have headphones at all.  For a short run, I usually let my mind wander and think about the things on my To Do list.  But for a long run, the only thing getting me through it is my music.

I spent a few hours on Saturday perfecting my playlist.  Here it is:

1. The Delta Saints – Company of Thieves

2. The Delta Saints – Death Letter Jubilee

3. The Delta Saints – Liar

4. The Delta Saints – Voodoo Walk

5. The Delta Saints – Swamp Groove

6. The Delta Saints – Boogie

7. The Delta Saints – Bird Called Angola

8. The Dirty Guv’nahs – Baby We Were Young

9. The Dirty Guv’nahs – Brown Little Bird

10. The Dirty Guv’nahs – Blue Rose Stroll

11. The Dirty Guv’nahs – It’s Dangerous

12. Big Head Todd & The Monsters – Resignation Superman

13. Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried

14. Zac Brown Band – Make This Day

15. Matt Nathanson – Faster

16. Matt Nathanson – Modern Love

17. Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise

18. Beastie Boys – An Open Letter to NYC

19. Beastie Boys – 3 the Hard Way

20. Beastie Boys – Ch-Check It Out

21. Beastie Boys – Time to Build

22. Shinedown – Diamond Eyes

23. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem

24. Kanye West – Stronger

25. Foo Fighters – Best of You

26. Switchfoot – Stars

27. Skillet – Awake and Alive

28. Shinedown – Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide

29. Shinedown – Sound of Madness

30. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire

31. Halestorm – I Get Off

32. Slipknot – Before I Forget

33. Eminem – Lose Yourself

Yes, I realize it’s a WIDE range there.  Rock, Country, Metal, Rap.  But they all motivate me in one way or the other.   I made sure the harder rock songs kicked in around mile 7, which is when I would need a little more motivation.

I timed it almost perfectly.  Eminem sang to me during the home stretch, but then the playlist started back at the beginning and The Delta Saints brought me home.

after the race

I was so glad hubby was there to watch me cross the finish line.  And I don’t know if Little Bit understood what I had just accomplished but she seemed really excited for me.

endomondo app

As soon as I got home, I knew the best thing for me was an ice bath.  No, it doesn’t feel good.

ice bath

For dinner, we met my Mom, Aunt and Cousin at the Cracker Barrel.  My post-race dinner included spicy grilled catfish, fried okra and green beans.  YUM!!!

catfish dinner

And now that I write this 3 days later, I’m feeling really good.  I was really stiff the day after, but the DOMS are completely gone now.  Might even go for a run tonight.  (In the 85 degree weather)!

Question of the Day:  Which race should I do next????

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

From WordPress:  It’s phonoegraphy month, and what do we love to photograph with our cameraphones? Food. So why fight it? This week’s theme is “lunchtime.”  In a new post created for this challenge, share a picture that says LUNCHTIME.

Ok, if ever there were a photo theme that was right up my alley, this would be it!!!

My typical lunch is a salad ….  so here are a few of my favorites from the last week…..

This one was featured on my What I Ate Wednesday Post on 3/13/13 ….

O'Charleys California Chicken Salad from 3/13/13

O’Charleys California Chicken Salad from 3/13/13

Posted this one on Instagram (katiedaisy921) ….

food city salad

From the Food City Salad Bar on 3/12/13

This was a catered lunch at work from Jason’s Deli.  With grilled chicken, organic field greens, grapes, feta, nuts, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, raisins and apples, it’s the perfect mix of ingredients for a filling lunch.

Jason's Deli nutty mixed up salad

Jason’s Deli Nutty Mixed Up Salad from 3/7/13

From my What I Ate Wednesday Post on 3/6/13…..  deer meat and hard boiled eggs make this a protein-packed salad!

Homemade venison salad

Homemade venison salad from 3/6/13

This is my very favorite salad of all time.  There’s a local place called Brown Bag, which caters our work lunches frequently.  It’s a very basic salad – spinach leaves, mandarin oranges, blackberries, shredded parmesan cheese with this amazing homemade poppyseed dressing.  They have the biggest blackberries I’ve ever seen.  And their grilled chicken just melts in your mouth.  So so yummy!!!

Catered lunch from Brown Bag on 3/5

Catered lunch from Brown Bag from 3/5/13

And here’s one of my faves….  Salmon with sriracha sauce ….

salmon and sriracha

I love sriracha sauce!!!  It might be my favorite thing to put on …. well, anything, not just salad.  But it’s awesome on salad!!

salad with sriracha

Ok – I’ll stop there with my homage to salad.  Just know, I could probably post 100 pictures of salads in this post.  I love them.  I eat them almost every day.  🙂

Question of the Day:  what is your favorite thing to put on a salad??

New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. You can also link to this post to create a pingback here and to encourage more people to participate.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

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Weekend Recap: A Night Away

This week I am linking up with Katie at HealthyDivaLife and her Marvelous in My Monday post.

We had a marvelous weekend and I can’t wait to share it with you!!

Let’s back up and talk about Friday, shall we?  If ever there were a day of temptation, this was it.  A carrier rep brought in 4 boxes of pastries this morning.  And my friend, Kara, brought in homemade cupcakes from the bakery she co-owns, Panache Bake Shoppe.  The pastries I could easily pass up, but this cupcake, it was calling my name.  I had to.  It was worth every single extra calorie!  Do you see that oozing lemon center?  Oh, but the frosting was by far my favorite part!!  YUM!!!

lemon cupcake from Panache

Lemon Drop Cupcake from Panache

I think that extra boost of sugar was what I needed to clean my desk off.  Seriously folks, this is clean.  I should have taken a ‘before’ shot.  You wouldn’t believe the chaos.  Granted, it was organized chaos.  I knew where everything was.  But it needed a good cleaning!!

clean desk

I was already planning on running after work, but once I ate that cupcake, I knew I had some calories to burn.  I ran an easy 4.2 miles at Lakeshore, and I should have pushed another 2 but I was ready to get home.

Saturday started out beautiful, so I took the little one for a walk/run in the stroller.  My neighborhood is super hilly so this was a major workout.  At the bottom of every hill, I would sprint to the top behind the stroller and then recover at the top.

As you can see, Mickey and George are enjoying the ride as well.  After the 3 mile jaunt, I did some squats and lunges, along with some arm work.

jogging stroller

Once the workout was done, the house was cleaned up, and everyone was packed, we headed out the door for Pigeon Forge.

First stop, Tanger Outlets.  Apparently everyone else in East Tennessee had the same idea.  That place was CRAZY!!!

tanger outlets

I’ve never seen so many people in the COACH store before.  You’d have thought they were giving these things away.  That is literally the line to check out.  I’m not kidding.  I mean, I love COACH, but I’m not standing in a line like that UNLESS they are giving them away.

Coach line

I did manage to get a few really cute items at the Banana Republic – 2 dresses, 2 tops and a Spring-y sweater, all for only $68!

It didn’t take long to get annoyed with the crowds, so I took the boy to the arcade!

arcade

I had to play Skee Ball ….  my favorite game ever!

skee ball

From there, we went to check into our hotel.  This is the view from the balcony.  So peaceful.  The weather was incredible this weekend!!

view from balcony

The kids loved the hotel room.  It was actually a suite with two rooms separated by the bathroom.  It worked out perfectly.

kids

For dinner, we decided on pizza.  The Big Daddy’s had a wood-fired brick oven style pizza, which sounded really good.  And the pictures of the pizza on their website looked really good too.

dinner menu

But oh how pictures can be deceiving.  Or maybe I set my expectations too high.  But we were seriously disappointed.  The pizzas were small, not a good value for the price.  For what we paid, I wish we had gone to Mellow Mushroom instead.

daddy & daughter

mommy & son

On Sunday morning, we got up and headed to Gatlinburg for the day.

in gatlinburg

We walked up and down the main drag, enjoying the sights and sounds.  This is a great people-watching place!

main road

The boys, of course, loved the car museum.

car museum

For lunch, we found a little local place to get some sandwiches.  I had to try their Bloody Mary, which was really yummy.

sunday lunch

The whole reason for the trip, though, was because my Groupon was about to expire.  Months ago, I had purchased a Groupon for tickets to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!  Thankfully, I didn’t pay full price for the tickets because Luke thought the place was CREEPY!!!  And yes, part of it is creepy, but he’s a 7-year old BOY.  I would have thought he’d love the weird stuff.  I know I did when I was a kid.

This might have been my favorite thing in the Ripley’s ….  Eminem made of M&Ms.  How cool is that?!?

eminem

Or ….  Jimi Hendrix made of Rubix Cubes….

jimi hendrix

And of course, we all had rub the Buddha belly ….  can you read what this guy is made out of ….  a million dollars!!!

buddha

 

kids on a bench

It was a really short trip, so we’re already planning another weekend soon.  We started making a list of all the things we’ll do next time.  Oh, and I won’t forget to bring my Nikon with me (I can’t believe I left it at home).

Question of the Day:  Have you ever been to Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg??  What’s your favorite thing to do while you’re there??

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What I Ate Wednesday: 3/6/13

Well, hello there.  How have you been??  I know, long time no blog.It’s been over a week since I even logged into WordPress.  I guess you could say I took a little holiday from social media.  Not intentionally, of course.  Life just got in the way. I wish I could tell you I was on a real vacation, but sadly, I wasn’t.  I wish I could tell you that I was purposefully taking some me-time.  Nope, just busy.

But what better day to make a come back if not on Wednesday????  Thanks of course to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the linkup!! So let’s get this party started!  First of all, let me say that I am not a workout-in-the-morning kind of person.  I am a sit-with-my-coffee-and-blog kind of person.  But yesterday, I got up early to get on the treadmill before my shower!  30 minutes of incline intervals.  After the treadmill, I jumped off and did 50 squats, 50 lunges, 25 push ups, and 25 overhead presses.  I was a sweaty mess by the time I got in the shower!

treadmill time

I didn’t take a picture of it, but my breakfast this morning was a protein shake.  I simply take a scoop of my cookies n’ cream whey protein powder, add a tablespoon of PB2, the rest of my cooled-off mug of coffee, top with water, then shake.  Yummy!! It had also snowed overnight.  Not much, but enough to delay school for an hour.

snow on my flowers

It also delayed me getting to work.As you can see from the tracks, I attempted multiple times to leave my driveway but it just wasn’t happening.  I would drive up, slide back down, drive up, slide back down.  The hill doesn’t look like much in the picture, but it definitely gets steeper closer to the road. So, funny story ….  I had a meeting at 10am at a client’s office very close to my house.  But my presentations were still sitting on my desk.  I texted my boss and asked him if he could grab the presentations and meet me out at the client’s office.  I even sent him this picture of my driveway to prove I wasn’t making this up.  Well, 30 minutes go by and I don’t hear from him.  At 9 o’clock I text him again.  Nothing.  So hubby tries to make it out of the driveway in my car.  He did it on the first try.  Whatever.  I made the path for him.  Anways, it takes me 20 minutes to get to work.  I walk in the door just at the moment we need to leave for the client’s office, and I notice he is not there.  So I call him on his cell phone, asking him what the plan was.  He said he would meet me there.  Fine.  But then I asked him if he got my text messages.  He said he had just woken up.  It was 9:30am!!!!!   Seriously??  So it’s a very good thing that I did drive all the way to work (only to drive right back to a place a few miles from my house), because otherwise no one would have had the presentations.

 

driveway tracks

By the time the meeting was over and I was back at my desk, it was 1pm and I was starving!!!!  I brought a salad from home.  It doesn’t look pretty. Perhaps it doesn’t travel well.  Or perhaps it doesn’t photograph well.  But it was delicious. Mixed greens, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, hard-boiled egg, cheese, jalapenos, sriracha and ranch.  With deer meat. Yes, I said deer meat.  Hubby is a hunter so we typically have a venison roast in the freezer.  We recently put it in the crock pot so I’ve been using the leftovers for salads and wraps.  So yummy!

deer salad

For dinner, I was in the mood to cook.  But the only meat we had left in the fridge was ground beef.  So I made pizza meat loaf.  One of the kids’ favorites!!  (And possibly mine too).  With mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

kids eating meat loaf

(And before you comment on her lack of clothes, she won’t keep them on.  But it works out well during meal times because they she doesn’t get food on her clothes)!

my plate

So there you have it.  What I ate Wednesday.  I may have left out a few little snacks here and there.  But for the most part, that was it.Tell me – what did you eat Wednesday???  And did you prepare it yourself or did you go out?

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Weekend Recap: Chocolate Wine and Cake Ballz

Once again, better late than never.  🙂  I seem to have a hard time getting a blog out on a Sunday or a Monday.  Not sure exactly why that is all about, but I’m not going to let it stop me from posting a weekend recap.

First of all, do you remember me telling you about this chocolate wine I found for Valentines Day??  I never imagined I would see it again until next February.  Well, imagine my shock and surprise when I found it at a local liquor store on Friday… AND there was a $10 mail in rebate if you bought 3 bottles.  Duh.  Guess how many I bought???  lol

chocolate rouge

That was my idea of a fun Friday night!!  🙂   And this was the kids’ idea ….  naked and playing video games.  They are so funny.  Of course, she is not actually playing that Nintendo DS, she is just pushing buttons.

kids playing

Saturday was a beautiful day!  So I had to take my daughter out for a walk in the neighborhood.  I actually started out on the treadmill with an episode of Biggest Loser, but then realized that I would be much better served to take it outside.  Our neighborhood is really hilly, so it’s a great workout pushing a stroller up all the hills.

You do realize that you can’t take a walk without Mickey, Minnie AND George, right??

walking the neighborhood

After the walk and the shower, we were headed down to my in-laws house for an afternoon gathering.  It’s an hour-long drive in the car.  The little one wouldn’t nap.  So that made for a really evening… and night.  Why is it that if they don’t get their nap in, they then don’t sleep well at night.  You would think they’d be so tired that they’d sleep great!  Not with this one.

Dinner was Taco Soup with a variety of toppings.  It was fun watching how everyone made their soup.  Some put chips on the bottom, some on the top, and of course, mine are on the side.  Everyone’s was different.

taco soup

You know me ….  I have to take a pic of the beautiful sunset ….

sunset through the three

If it’s a birthday in hubby’s family, then carrot cake is standard issue.  It was delicious!!

happy birthday

And finally, no birthday is complete without cake balls!!  Red Velvet Cake Ballz.  (My specialty)  And a favorite with the fam.

cake ballz

Most of Sunday was spent doing homework.  I still had a massive chapter on muscles to finish reading, homework to do, discussion questions to answer, and a test to take!  But I am happy to report I got a 93 on my test!  Yipee.

It was another beautiful day so I made sure I took the time to get outside for another walk with the babe in the stroller.  My workout actually started on the treadmill with an episode of ‘The Biggest Loser’ but then decided I would be better served to take my workout outside.

Question of the Day:  Have you ever made cake balls before?  And what is your favorite treat on your special day??

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Weekend Recap: Snow and Putt-Putt

As I told you on Friday, I was planning for a fabulous, productive 4-day weekend.  My To Do List included lots of housework, studying, running and playing with the kids.

looking out the window

On Saturday, they were calling for snow flurries. I was surprised when it really started coming down!! The kids were thrilled!!

let it snow

It wasn’t enough for snowballs or snowmen.  But they were some big fat flakes!!  And just as quickly as it started, it was gone.

sky

On Sunday, hubby woke up with a stomach bug.  ;(

So he spent much of the day laying around, while I spent the day doing homework and studying.

It was still so cold outside.

Therefore, I kept the workout inside on both Saturday and Sunday.  45 minute interval with some incline, some speedwork, and some weights.

workout

Thankfully, it warmed up on Monday because we were ready to get out of the house.

We’d promised my son at the beginning of the week that if he had an all-blue week we’d take him to play putt-putt.

me and the kids

kids

It was actually his first time to putt-putt. He had so much fun.

She enjoyed just running around from hole to hole, watching everything that was going on.

at putt-putt

Hubby and I had a little bet going to see who would win. I had an early lead but I lost it. I think I got too cocky.

Now I owe him a back rub!  😉

me

For dinner on Monday, I made us salads.  Can you guess which one is mine?!?  (Hint: I think I’m addicted to sriracha).

And, while I was at it, I went ahead and made my lunch for the next day too.  (Love it when I’m on the ball like that)!

salads

That’s the weekend.  And then it was back to the grind on Tuesday.   But I’m happy to report that I got a lot done!  Including 100’s on my homework and my test.  YAY!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss

From WordPressKiss. There are a lot of ways to capture a kiss, between two people – lovers, family, friends; two animals, or even just the sending or receiving of a kiss.  In a new post specifically created for this challenge, share a picture which means KISS to you!

I could think of no better photo than this.

One of the first few times I was able to hold my daughter.  She was born at 24 weeks at 1 lbs, 9 oz.  In this photo she is about 3 weeks old.

kiss

New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

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Friday Fun: Day Off

I took Friday off so hubby could go to a car show in Chattanooga.  It was already going to be a 3-day weekend with President’s Day on Monday.  But taking Friday gave me a 4-day weekend!!  Woo hoo!!

It was just me and the little girl all day.  It was fabulous.  Made me realize how much fun I would have if I could be a stay-at-home mom.  AND … how much I would get accomplished!

my baby playing

Not only did we have time to play, read books, work on our ABC’s and hang out together, but I also got 4 loads of laundry done, the fridge cleaned out,  the kitchen spotless and all the hardwoods swiffered.  I even had time to study while she was napping.  It was fabulous.  BEST. DAY. EVER!

salmon and egg spinach salad

my lunch

I also realized how well I would eat if I were home all day.  I made myself a wonderful lunch while drinking more than my fair share of water!!  (Detox water, at that!  Recipe to come soon.)

I picked up big brother and we all enjoyed some leftovers for dinner.

kids dinner

I enjoyed a leftover fajita from the other night.  It was still yummy!!

leftover fajita

After I put them down for bed, I caught up on 2 old episodes of Revenge (on Netflix).  I’m still on Season One.  I have 2 episodes left.  Then I have to figure out how to catch up on Season 2.  Man, that is such a good show.  I’m totally obsessed.   I just happened to find this review of Revenge that cracked me up.  I totally agree with that list of 7 things.

And as much as I enjoyed my time alone with the kids, I am so glad to have hubby back home.  All is right with the world.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!!!

Katie  🙂

 

2 Comments »

Weekend Recap: Unofficial Food Tour of Asheville

It’s been a crazy week and I realize I still haven’t told you about last weekend’s trip.  I started this post on Sunday night and never did finish it.  Better late than never, right?

Well, it just worked out that what started out as a business trip in Greensboro, NC, then ended with a kid-free night in Asheville, NC.

We dropped the kids off with the in-laws on Thursday.  They were excited about 2 nights with Gramma and Grampa, and we were excited for 2 uninterrupted nights of sleep!

The drive to Greensboro is about 4-1/2 hours.  It poured the entire way there.  This picture doesn’t do it justice, it was nasty.

fog on the mountains

By the time we made it to Greensboro around 8pm, we were starving.  And after that nerve-wracking drive, I was ready for a beer!

There was a restuarant across from our hotel called Tripps.  I’d never heard of Tripps before, but it clearly said ‘Tavern’ on the sign, and I was sold!  However, once inside, I asked what beers they had on tap.  There were only 4 beers on tap.  Two of which were Bud and Bud Light.  How can you call yourself a Tavern if you only have 4 beers on tap?!?!?  Thankfully there was Fat Tire.  It hit the spot!  And so did this burger!!

burger

The next morning, I didn’t have to be at the meeting til 10am.  So I had plenty of time to hit the little fitness center in the hotel before grabbing breakfast.  I got in a quick 20 minutes on the elliptical, which felt really good.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been on an elliptical so I know I was working all kinds of different muscles.  That was confirmed when my quads and glutes were sore for the two days following.

hotel breakfast bar

The hotel had a really nice breakfast spread.  Hubby chose a bacon/egg sandwhich, while I got the open-faced egg-white and mushroom.  And we shared some fruit.

breakfast

As soon as the meeting was over in Greensboro, it was time to hit the road towards Asheville.  That meeting started at 3pm.  We knew exactly where we wanted to eat lunch.  It’s my favorite place in Asheville.  Sunny Point Cafe.  Everything I’ve ever eaten there has been incredible.  The very first sandwich I ever had was chicken with brie and a raspberry mustard.  It sounds weird but it was amazing.  Unfortunately, that sandwich is no longer on the menu.

sunny point

But there plenty of other amazingly good options.

menu

I started with a Weyerbacher Merry Monk beer, which was very tasty.  It reminded me of everything I drank in Helen, GA.  Definitely a Belgian-style beer.  My favorite!  🙂

weyerbacher beer.

Hubby had the fish tacos.  (of course)  He got them last time and loved them.

fish tacos

I had …. are you ready for this ….  a Fried Green Tomato BLT on a crossaint.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was pure deliciousness.  And those fries were perfectly crispy.

fried green tomato BLT

The last and final meeting went splendidly.  You might even say it was the best enrollment meeting I’ve ever done.  Definitely the most fun.  We all sat around on physio-balls during the meeting.  I can honestly say I’ve never conducted a meeting on a physio ball before, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

When the meeting was over, we checked into our hotel and got ready for a night out on the town!

We are really bad at getting photos of ourselves taken.  I totally forget to hand my camera to a perfect stranger and ask them to take our photo.  And I completely suck at these self-portraits.

us

I just wanted to walk around downtown for a bit before going anywhere.  I love the downtown area.

First stop was LAB.  Lexington Avenue Brewery.  We went here last year and really enjoyed the food and the beer.

beer at Lab

But we didn’t order any food this year, even though this grilled cheese sounds pretty amazing ….

lab menu

Next stop ….  the Thirsty Monk.  I don’t even remember what I had here.  LOL

thirsty monk

Thankfully, our hotel was within walking distance.  🙂

The next morning called for a big breakfast.  Tupelo Honey Cafe was a block away.

tupelo honey

They start you out with a big fat homemade biscuit.  I could have eaten just the biscuit and called it breakfast.

biscuit

But then they brought me the sweet potato pancake!!  Yeah, I had to take about 2/3 of that home in a box.  It was HUGE!!  But delicious.  Totally worth each and every carb I consumed.

sweet potato pancake

There were so many yummy things on the menu that I wanted to try.  Thankfully, they opened one in Knoxville so I can try it again soon!!

After breakfast, we walked around downtown, snapping photos and window shopping.  Here are just a few of my favorite shots:

church

architecture

birds

There was a guy on a park bench feeding the birds.  They would all fly in, get some food then all fly back out together.  It was really cool to watch.

birds 2

All the walking and photographing made me thirsty.  We had time to hit only one more restaurant before heading out of town.  So we enjoyed a late lunch at the Asheville Brewing Company.

abc beer

We declared this to be the best beer we drank all weekend.  We’ll be going back there next year for sure!!

I ordered a veggie quesadilla while the hubs enjoyed a Nacho Libre burger.  I tried a bite of his burger and it was delicious!

quesadilla lunch

So that concludes our unofficial food and beer tour of Asheville.  Love that town.  I could walk around downtown all day long!

And now, after eating at Tupelo Honey Cafe and Asheville Brewing Company, I can honestly say I have more than one favorite restaurant in Asheville!!

As much as I enjoyed our short-time away, I was looking forward to seeing these little rugrats.

rugrats

So we took them to park on Sunday for some quality time.  🙂

My 7-year old had fun feeding the ducks and birds.

ducks and birds

While my 2-year old enjoyed playing on the playground.

playground

It was an awesome weekend.

Question of the Day:  Have you been to Asheville, NC?  If so, where is your favorite place to eat?  What should we try next time??

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