Fitness, Food and Photography

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

Last Things Thursday – 6/13/13

1. Last Food You Ate:

Tonight, we had grilled portabella mushrooms, but I forgot to take a picture of them.  So instead, I’ll give you a picture of the turkey burger I had last night at Fuddrucker’s.  We went there to celebrate hubby’s birthday with the family.

turkey burger

2: Last Beverage You Drank:

Water, of course!  🙂

3. Last Workout:

This morning I actually got up early and worked out before work!  (Yay me!)  I’m so not a morning person.  It usually takes me about 30 good minutes just to wake up after I’ve had a full cup of coffee.  But today, despite the 150% humidity, I went for a walk/run in my neighborhood anyways, which ALSO included hill sprints!!  It was awesome..  I had so much energy afterwards!

4. Last Thing you Pinned:

Who doesn’t love these funny e-cards?

But how awesome is this …..  ?!?!  We read ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ on a regular basis in my house.

5. Last Text Message You Sent:

To my friend Alice ….  “What time is the party tomorrow night?”

6. Last Blog You Visited:

My girl, Daisy, over at http://nomorefatkitty.com/  She is a super sweet, weight-lifting, dog-loving Aussie.  I love reading her blog and her progress.

7. Last Place You Visited:

Work.  Does that count?

8. Last Show You Watched:

Extreme Weight Loss.  Chris Powell is hands-down my favorite trainer ever!  Love him.  He is so compassionate and motivational.

9. Last Thing You Baked:

Technically, the last thing I baked were homemade brownies for a party on Sunday.  But since I didn’t take a picture of the brownies, I’ll post a pic of the Minnie Mouse cookies and cupcakes I made for my daughter’s 3rd birthday two weeks ago ….

minnie mouse cupcakes

10. Last Photo You Instagrammed:

daylilies

Daylilies are my second favorite flower (behind daisies of course).  I just wish they stuck around a little longer than they do.

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What I Ate Wednesday: 4/17/13

Yesterday was Wednesday.  So I tried to remember to take photos of my food all day.  Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting this fun link up every week.


As I said in my last post, it’s been a really busy week!!  I’ve hardly had the time to blog at all.  It’s not that I haven’t thought about it.  I’ve planned the posts in my head, but finding the time to sit down and write is hard.  Too many other things have been taking precedence lately.

The day started with a kale shake, of course.  (I forgot to take a photo, so this is actually an old one)….

kale shake

Busy day at work!!  So I hopped over to the Food City across the street to make myself a salad from the salad bar.  Apparently there was some shifting during transit.  My cheese and sunflower seeds ended up mixed in with my berries.  Eh.  That’s ok.  I ate it anyway.

food city salad

After a busy day at work, I didn’t feel much like cooking.  There’s not a whole lot easier than grilled pork chops, corn on the cob and (instant) mashed potatoes.  I love the Idahoan kind.  (Baby Reds are my fave).  They are so easy and really do taste like real mashed potatoes.

pork chop dinner

And of course, I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of the interesting sunset out my window with the sun peeking out behind the storm clouds.

sunset

And I’ll throw in a pic of the kids ….  they love bath time….

kids in the bath

Oh, and I signed up for another Diet Bet!!  I needed a little extra motivation to get my body ready for bikini weather.

What I love about Diet Bet is – it’s not on the honor system.  They verify your starting weight and and your final weight with pictures.  And they ensure that you are taking a new picture each by giving you a new word to hold.  (I thought my word was very fitting …. I love sunflowers)!

You also have to take a picture of the scale with the number on it, but I’m not posting that photo.  🙂

diet bet pic

So I’ve got 28 days to lose 4%!  It’s on.

If you want to join a Diet Bet, new games are starting all the time  Or, start your own game!  www.dietbet.com

 

 

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Weekend Recap: Waffle Fail and Not Quite Date Night

Once again, I’m a little late in posting my weekend shenanigans.  Better late than never, right??  I need to get better at transferring the pictures from the phone to the blog.  I always plan out the post in my head, but never have time to follow through the way I want to.

So this past weeekend was supposed to be a productive weekend.  We didn’t have anything planned, but I did have a few very important things on my To Do List.  (Taxes being one of them!!)

But as always happens, if there are things I don’t want to do, I will find a way to put them off.  On Saturday morning, I thought waffles were a great way to procrastinate….  These are Protein Oat Waffles.

waffles

Don’t get excited and ask me for a recipe.  Even though they look pretty, it was a HUGE waffle fail!!  I found a recipe for pancakes made with oats.  You were supposed to put the oats in a food processor to make them into a fine flour.  I skipped that part thinking it wouldn’t matter.  Oh, it mattered!!  That step was in there for a reason.

waffles with PB

I, of course, still ate mine after I smothered peanut butter all over it.  But the hubs and the kids weren’t too crazy about the consistency.  Oh well.  Back to the waffle drawing board.

IMG_20130413_092636

For lunch, I made a hard boiled egg wrap in a Flat Out.

egg wrap

Have you tried these Flat Outs?  I love them!!

flat outs

Eventually I ended up taking care of my chores.  And to celebrate, Hubby and I went out for a date night.  Well, a ‘Not Quite Date Night’.  We ventured down the street to a neat little place called Double Dogs.

beer at double dogs

We had to take one kid with us.  The other kid was spending the night at my Mom’s house.  She prefers to keep them one at a time.

fried pickles

And a date night with a little person is not quite a date night.

kid1

And it meant we had to share our fried pickles with her.

kid2

And then we had to deal with her fits.  She is definitely a two-year old!

kid3

But my California Buffalo Burger was delicious.  Here’s the description:  A low-fat Buffalo burger patty topped with fresh spinach, tomatoes, red onion, Dijon mustard, our signature lime sour cream and Provolone cheese.

And I shared my fries with the little one.

buffalo burger

On Sunday I was able to get the taxes prepared, filed and put away!!  Yay.  That’s always a chore I hate doing.  Even if we do get a little money back, I still wait til the last minute to do it because I hate the process so much!!

That was what was Marvelous in my Monday ….  even though now it’s actually Thursday.  Oops.

Question of the Day:  What chores do you hate doing that you put off??

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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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Weekend Update: It’s Been A While

Wow – has it really been 3 weeks since I posted???  Sorry, guys.  Life has gotten so crazy lately.  Plus, the germs have been running rampant in my house.  Hubby is just now getting over a virus he’s had over 2 weeks!!  I managed to get the crud, too, just before the big race.  (I’ll get to that later).

I’ve been taking pictures and constructing blog posts in my head, they just never made it to the computer screen.  In fact, when I logged in just now, I realized that I had 3 working drafts for 3 different posts that I never finished.  Oops.  Part of the problem, though, is that when the pictures don’t upload quickly or WordPress is being difficult, I just walk away.

So I’ll try to catch you up quickly, through pictures:

protein waffle mix

One thing I’ve been doing every weekend is making protein waffles!!  The kids love waffles, but I hate buying the frozen kind with sketch ingredients.

homemade protein waffles

So I’ve been having fun with some recipe testing!  Once I perfect the recipe, I’ll post it.

The first batch was vanilla, and the second batch used chocolate protein powder!  Yum!

chocolate protein waffles

I did enjoy a Girls Night Out one weekend!  Half price sushi and $10 off bottle of wine at the Stir Fry Cafe on Saturdays!  Gotta love that!!

sushi at stir fry cafe

me and gretchen

Niki and Jennifer

My weekends have mostly consisted of a lot of studying …..

studying

… And eating!!  Since everyone in the house was sick, I made a pot of Chicken Noodle Soup, which lasted for days.

chicken noodle soup

I love salmon.  It might be my favorite food.  I also attempted to make mashed cauliflower, but it didn’t turn out so “mashed”.  It looks like rice on the plate.  But with a little garlic, salt and pepper, it tasted pretty good.

salmon dinner

Homemade Chicken/Black Bean/Spinach Enchiladas.  Even the kids devour these.  A pan like this lasts for days.

chicken enchiladas

Being sick meant we spent a lot of time on the couch….

sweet kids

…. watching movies together….  We watched ‘Wreck It Ralph’ (twice!), ‘Hotel Transylvania’, and some other random Redbox find that wasn’t that good.

watching a movie together

But THIS weekend in particular, I was getting ready for my Half Marathon….

I woke up on Monday with horrible sinus congestion, but I was determined not to let it stop me from running the race.  So I asked all my FB friends what their best remedy for nasal congestion was.  Half said Mucinex D and the other half said a neti pot.  So, I decided to do both!!

cold remedies

That Mucinex D really works!!  It didn’t completely dry me up, but enough where I didn’t feel like my head was in the clouds.

So Saturday, we headed downtown to pick up my race paket from the Expo…..  I was starting to get a little nervous.

downtown knoxville

I chose Trader Joe’s spinach tortellini as my carb-loading pre-race meal.  Yum.

pre-race meal

I’ll save all the details of the race for my next post.  (Which I promise not to take quite as long to post)

Here’s the starting line….  The temperature was 54 degrees.  It was the perfect day!

the starting line

I was hoping and praying my new shoes would carry me to the finish line!  Yes, I said BRAND NEW shoes!  I know that’s totally crazy, but that’s just how I roll.

new shoes

And after the race …..  boy, was I glad it was over.

after the race

The first 10 miles were awesome, and the last 3 were pure hell.  But I made it, congestion and all.  And only 3 minutes behind last year’s PR!

Final chip time:  2:19:18.  I’ll take it.

Stay tuned for the details.  It was a GREAT race.  I’m already wondering when my next one will be!

So that’s what’s marvelous in my Monday.

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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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What I Ate Wednesday: 3/13/13

Wednesday.  My favorite day of the week.  Why?  You get to see what I ate today.  🙂

I know some people use the WIAW post to share pictures of the food they’ve eaten this week or over the weekend.  But I take the ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ title very seriously.  This is literally what I ate on Wednesday ….  Most of this was posted on Instagram (katiedaisy921), so if you follow me, you’ve probably already seen all these pictures …..

So today was Day 2 of the Fitfluential Diet Bet.  And I am very motivated to keep it up right now.  So I started the day with one of my famous Kale Protein Shakes.  These are seriously my favorite breakfast.  High in protein, high in vitamins, and very filling.  YUM!

kale protein shake

I sipped on it in the car.   Thankgoodness for heated seats or I’d be an icicle by the time I got to work drinking that frozen shake.

Despite the cold temperatures, it was a beautiful morning.

sunrise

We took a client out for lunch today.  This particular client works in an area where there aren’t a lot of restauarant options.  Since it’s standard practice to ask the client where they would like to eat, I have to just go along with the decision.  The client chose O’Charley’s, which is probably one of my least favorite restaurants.

I immediately jumped on the internet to check out the nutritional data.

Good thing I did, too.  The salad I would have ordered, the Chicken Apple Spinach Salad, had over 1,000 calories and 71 carbs!!  Yikes!  So instead I got the California Chicken Salad, a half order with the dressing on the side.

And you know what?  It was actually really good.  I would order that again.  Now, I don’t mean I am going to drive to O’Charley’s just to get that salad.  But if someone forces me to eat there again, I know which salad I’m getting!

california chicken salad

I was really craving a sweet snack this afternoon.  Thankfully, I had this Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar in my desk.

No, I didn’t eat the whole bar.  I had one little square, I swear.

afternoon snack

I really wanted to get a long run in this afternoon.  But today was the one day of the week when the temperatures dipped down in the 40’s (while the rest of the week was supposed to be in the 60’s).  So I opted for an inside workout today, so I can save my run for a warmer day.

Max Interval Circuit was the video I chose for today.  I think I sweated more in just the warm up than I would have if I’d gone running!!  Insanity is no joke!  That’s tuff stuff.  But I loved it!!

insanity workout

After the workout, it was time for some dinner.  I was starving!!

Usually, I will make tacos on Tuesday night (just because I love alliteration and ‘Taco Tuesday’ has such a nice ring to it.)  🙂

But we didn’t do the tacos on Tuesday and my kids were asking for them.  So I turned my taco into a salad.

This was so quick and easy ….  the time it took to make was just the time necessary to brown the ground chicken.

Here’s the ‘before’….

salad before dressing

And the ‘after’ ….  with ranch dressing and sriracha squeezed on top.

taco salad with ranch and sriracha

And here are my kids eating their double decker tacos.  I swear, neither one of them can keep their shirts on.  LOL

kids eating tacos

Well, there you have it …. Wednesday’s eats. I also managed to drink about 60 oz of water today. I was shooting for around 80 oz, but didn’t quite make it. I am proud that I didn’t have any snacks after dinner. I had gotten in a bad habit of spreading some Trader Joe’s cookie butter on a graham cracker (or two) before bed. But since we started the Diet Bet, I’m going cold turkey on the cookie butter!!

Questions of the Day: What did you eat on Wednesday?? Have you tried Insanity? And what is your favorite bedtime snack??

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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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