Fitness, Food and Photography

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

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: 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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What I Ate Wednesday: 2/20/13

Happy Hump Day everyone!!  Who is ready for a little sunshine and warm weather??  I know I am!!  It was just a ‘blah’ day outside today.  And it was much colder than expected.

This morning, we were in a bit of a hurry to get out the door.  So that meant we didn’t have time for our usual kale shakes.  😦

Instead, there was leftover scrambled eggs with spinach in the fridge.  So I heated it up, placed it atop some fresh spinach; dabbed some red pepper jelly on a Trader Joe’s British muffin, and called it breakfast.  Not too bad.

egg sandwich

Lunch was at my desk:  almonds, yogurt and a hard-boiled egg.

lunch collage

Yes, you read that correctly ….  coffee flavored almonds  !!!!  But wait.

I really had high hopes for them.  I mean, I love coffee. And I love almonds.  I especially love Blue Diamond!  So how could you go wrong?!?  But sadly, I was disappointed.

Read it again.  It’s roasted coffee.  Maybe that was the problem.  I’m not sure.  I think I’ll stick with the other Blue Diamond flavors I love so much (like wasabi, habanero BBQ, honey dijon, lime & chili, etc etc)

By the time I got home, I was exhausted.  Could not stop yawning.

I declared a no-cook night.  Thankfully there was a Newman’s Own pizza in the freezer for the kids.  (I tried a bite of Luke’s and it was pretty good)!

frozen pizza

And I made myself a big salad.  With sriracha, of course!!  No dinner is complete without sriracha!  🙂

big salad

I have to include a photo of the sunset.  You know I’m obsessed with sunsets.

sunset tonight

And finally, I will leave you with a funny story ……

I will occasionally leave notes in my son’s lunchbox or hubby’s lunch bag.  I just like the surprise of finding a little love note later.  So yesterday morning, I was sitting at my desk and I needed something from my purse.  I reached in, only to discover that Luke had left me a love note!!

How sweet, I thought.  Then I read the note …..  I couldn’t stop laughing all day …….

love note

“I hope you get the orange off” ….  he’s referring to the fact that my hands are a little orange after my spray tan.  I had gone after the kids were in bed.  So he didn’t even know I had gotten a spray tan.  The next morning I was fixing his breakfast when he noticed my hands.  Honestly, they aren’t THAT bad.  But I will say – it was my first ever spray tan.  Now I know to put a little more of the barrier cream on the hands and feet next time.  That is, if I go again.  I mean,  I like the look of the tan, but I did not like the experience.  The claustrophobic little capsule and the spraying in the face – it’s enough to traumatize a person.  Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic.  All I could think about before walking in was that episode of ‘Friends’ where Ross forgets to turn.  Thankfully, I turned.  🙂

Question of the Day:  Have you done a spray tan before?   And what is your favorite flavor of almonds??

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Last Things Thursday – 1/24/13

1. Last food you ate:

Fish tacos.  Whole wheat tortillas, broiled tilapia, broccoli slaw, cheese, salsa and jalapenos.  YUM!!

(Totally should have taken a picture of those!!!)

2. Last beverage you drank:

Water.  And lots of it!

3. Last workout:

Yesterday’s 100 burpee workout.

4. Last thing you pinned:

Pinned Image

This is awesome.  Especially considering I had a Tall Vanilla Spice Latte (skinny) this morning.

5. Last text message you sent:

Hubby was at the grocery store today.  Asked me to guess how much he spent.  My response:  “$99 no beer or $114 with beer.”  He said “With, of course.”  The total was $117.  So I was within $3.  I asked him what I got for being so close.  He didn’t respond.

6. Last blog you visited:

My Elf friend, Claire, in the UK:  http://flakeandcake.wordpress.com/

7. Last place you visited:

Besides work, I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday.

8. Last show you watched:

Big Bang Theory, of course.  🙂

9. Last thing you baked:

Bite Size Apple Pies.  So easy and everyone loved them!!

Pinned Image

source:  bettercookies.wordpress.com

10. Last photo you Instagrammed:

A sunset, of course.  In fact, every night this week there’s been an amazing display of color in the sky.

sunset

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Snow Day!!!

When the meterologists were predicting snow, I didn’t believe them.  You tend not to when you live in the valley.  Usually it’s only the higher elevations that get the snow.

weather map

Schools let out early.  My office closed early.  And everyone was on the road at the same time trying to get home.  The interstate was a mess.  (Thankfully I took the back roads).

bush

I must admit …. normally, I am not a fan of the snow at all.  For one thing, it’s cold.  But also, us Southern folk can’t drive in it.  It really just makes a mess of everything.  But days like today make me giddy.  Why?  It’s Thursday.  And I don’t have a thing on my work calendar tomorrow.  So if this ices over, it could very easily be a 4-day weekend!!!  Now that makes me happy!!!  🙂

windshield

Within 30 minutes, my deck was covered.

deck

The kids LOVED it.   Not sure who was more excited …  them or me!

kids

This was Lucy’s first real snow fall.  At first, she wasn’t sure what to do.  But she quickly learned how to form a snow ball and then throw them at her brother!!

snowballs

But he was throwing them at ME!

snow covered trees

That’s the view past my driveway.  A winter wonderland.  So pretty!

sunset

The sunset tonight was amazing.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.  The snow clouds were so thick, but you can see the yellow peeking through the edge of the cloud cover, just over the ridge.  To the left, the sky was so red.  It was gorgeous.  But it was a view to be seen in person.  Cameras do have limits and this was one of them.

Question of the Day:  Do you like snow?  What’s your favorite thing to do on a snow day??  (I am predicting lots of board games and hot chocolate in my future.)

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4 Miles Later the Bad Mood is Gone!

As I told you earlier, I was in a funk.  But just as I knew it would, my run put me in a better mood.  In fact, that was the best run I’ve had in a long time!!  After work, I headed over to my favorite running spot, Lakeshore Park.  In less than 2 weeks, I’m running in a 8K on Turkey Day, so I really need to get some mileage in.

The view from the top of the hill

The sun was starting to set so I was trying to run as fast as I could.  This is a hilly greenway, so my goal is to sprint the hills and recover at the top with a short walk.  I was a little slower in the beginning, but once I found my groove it was smooth sailing.  I probably could have done another 2.1 mile lap but I didn’t want to overdo it.

When I got back to my car, I refueled with some BCAAs.  This Protein Shot is really not bad.  It tastes better than you would expect.  And at 120 calories and 26 grams of protein, it’s a great recovery drink.

Finished the night off with a healthy dinner.

Grilled pork chops, roasted carrots and steamed broccoli. Delicious.

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite post-work out drink or snack?

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Weekend Recap: Laziness

This weekend was super lazy.  I had a long list of chores around the house that needed to get done.  Sadly, I didn’t cross very much off my list.  I did the usual laundry, vaccuming, kitchen cleaning, but I ignored the bathrooms, my closet, and other projects I’ve been meaning to get to for a while now.

What did we do instead?  We ate!  Well, not really, but that’s all I took pictures of.  lol

Mmmm… pork chops!

 

Saturday morning omelet

Low carb wrap with leftover omelet

Low carb wrap with sauteed zucchini and cheese

 

I did make my 7-year old help me with the chores …  and he did (with MUCH grumbling) …

And my 2-year old did Plyo with us on Sunday!  🙂  (Not really, but she loves stomping around the room like she’s participating too).

And of course there was a sunset pic!

I was not ready for this weekend to end.  It was way too short, even though we did gain an hour.  We also lost a lot of daylight on Sunday and that’s no fun.  This is my least favorite time of the year.  I saw one of those ecards that said “Goodbye Daylight Savings Time, Hello Seasonal Depression Disorder.”  Ha!  That’s exactly how I feel.

Question of the Day:  How do you deal with the dark and the cold of winter?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

From WordPress: SILHOUETTE. The proper definition of a silhouette is “the outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass.” In photography, often we achieve that effect by putting light behind the object whose silhouette we want to capture, effectively darkening out the features of the subject instead of highlighting them. My silhouette of the Colosseum in Italy I think still shows off the ancient landmark while bringing other details into focus.

Share a picture of a Silhouette with everyone!

I would say most of my “silhouette” photos were not intentional.  Backlighting trips me up sometimes.  I don’t usually intend to make it a silhouette unless I’m shooting my favorite subject, the sunset.

My best silhouette photos were from sunsets.  Hope you enjoy.

sunset over chickamauga

Chickamauga Dam in Chattanooga, TN

 

sunset

Sunset and Canada Geese

These trees frequently make appearances as silhouettes in my photos.  They are in my backyard and usually blocking my view of the sunset.

Taken off my back deck

These two pictures were taken on the same night, within 15 minutes of each other.  It amazes me how much the sky can change in a matter of minutes.

 

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Weekend Recap: Music and Rest

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who posted with their own homemade remedies on Friday!  I’m not sure what worked, but I am feeling better now.  I had planned on taking it easy all weekend.  But then I found out that a band I really like was playing a free concert in Market Square!!  I couldn’t pass it up.  These guys aren’t in Knoxville very often and I didn’t want to miss it.

We were first introduced to The Delta Saints in February when they opened for our beloved Dirty Guv’nahs.  They were really good, so we downloaded a few tracks and started following them.

the delta saints

My favorite song is the brand new one, Liar.  The album hasn’t even been released yet.  But you can get a FREE download from their website HERE.

the delta saints

Other really good songs are: Swamp Groove and Momma and Bird Called Angola.  Check out their You Tube channel – they can jam!!

the delta saints

Me with the Delta Saints, minus one

We love to listen to LIVE music.  As you might recall, we saw The Dirty Guv’nahs in Market Square not too long ago.

Brooklyn Octoberfest

There were still 2 more bands to play after them, so we headed over to Blue Coast Burrito for some grub.  We sat outsite while we listened to the second band.  It was freezing!!  Good thing I had beer and hot salsa to keep me warm!!

Blue Coast Burrito

We ordered the fish tacos, but I didn’t take a picture of them.  They were super disappointing.  Kinda soggy and wrapped in not one, but two corn tortillas.  I think Marlin & Rays still has the best fish tacos around!!

That was Saturday.  Despite my fatigue, I am soooo glad we went!!

I didn’t do too much on Sunday, I tried to take it easy and rest up for a busy work week ahead.  Although, I did manage to get a brisk walk through the neighborhood in.  It was super cold.  Okay, it was like 55 degrees.  But for this summer girl, I’m never ready for the first cold snap.  55 felt like winter!  Brrrrr.

Bring summer back!!

I’ll leave you with a sunset pic from the weeekend!  That is unretouched.  And, taken from my crappy phone!!

Have a great week, everyone!!  🙂

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Weekend Recap: Birthday Celebrations

Sorry I’m a little late in posting this weekend recap.  I guess I had a little too much fun.  I’m still recovering.  🙂

It’s so much harder to get away for the weekend when you have kids, which is why we don’t get to do it that often.  Greg wanted to take me on a trip for my birthday, but we only had one night without the kids.  In less-than- 24-hours, we tried to pack in as much food, photography and fun as possible!

Growing up, I lived a stone’s throw from Chattanooga.  We went shopping in Chattanooga almost every weekend.  If you wanted to go to a nice restaurant, you went to Chattanooga.  So to me, Chattanooga is not that exciting.  But over the last 15 years, they have done a LOT to that area to make it exciting!  Downtown is bustling with people – families and kids – walking all over, from the Tennessee Aquarium to the Discovery Museum to the Walking Bridge and Coolidge Park.  So many interesting things to see – the buidings, the art, the water.  It’s beautiful!

We arrived downtown just in time for sunset.

sunset

downtown chattanooga

We parked on the Coolidge Park side of river so we could walk across the walking bridge to get to all the downtown attractions.  Downtown Chattanooga is alive –  it’s hopping, it’s cool.  Almost makes me wish I lived there!

Our first stop was at a restaurant called Taco Mac.  It had been probably 7+ years since I’d been to a Taco Mac, and I remembered it being really good.  Unfortunately I either remembered wrong or my tastes have changed.  It was just ok.

They have a HUGE beer selection, but it was crazy expensive.  I started off with a Magic Hat #9.

If a place is known for their buffalo wings, then what should you order?  The Buffalo Wings, of course!  The hubs and I split a half dozen.

taco mac buffalo wings

 

hair of the dog

From there, we were enticed into an English pub by a British flag door.  I wish I had gotten a picture of it.  The name of the bar was Hair of the Dog.

It was here that I discovered my new favorite beer…..  Pumpkinhead by Shipyard.  Seriously yummy!!  Almost doesn’t even taste like beer.  Apparently it’s hard to find, so I’m hoping that some craft beer stores in Knoxville have it, or at least know how to order it!!!

best beer ever!

best beer ever!

After this, we found some live music – a guy and his guitar, so we sat and listened for a while.  It was obvious that the college students were pretty drunk as they all went completely nuts when he started the intro to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and started dancing where there was no dance floor.  I wish I had gotten a video for you.  I didn’t even think to snap a pic, I was so enjoying the people-watching.

We finished the (very late) night at a German restaurant, Brewhaus.

brewhaus

We ate bad and drank more beer…  isn’t that what birthdays are for??

This was my attempt at a nightscape.  It’s a little blurry.  Perhaps I should have used a tripod.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have drunk that much beer.  LOL  Either way, the pic is a FAIL!

The next morning, we just walked around, enjoying the scenery… and the quiet.  We were enjoying the fact that we weren’t having to yell at anyone to calm down, stop running, leave your sister alone, etc etc.  You get the point.

Here’s the walking bridge in the daylight.

Birds and butterflies…. some of my favorite things to photograph!

Do you see the crane watching those board surfers?

Too many things to photograph.  I could take pictures all day.

Time for (a very late) lunch.

I love Greek food.  So this cute little restaurant called Taziki’s caught my eye.  (I had no idea it was a chain.  I’m thinking Knoxville needs one)!!

The food was fresh and delicious.  I had a Greek Salad Gyro with chicken.  The hubs had the Chicken Gyro with a “side” salad.  Seriously, that was a side salad – it was HUGE.  I would definitely go back there!

After our lunch, we didn’t have much time left before we had to pick up the kids.  No time for our previously planned hike.  That’s ok – I wasn’t too sad since we’d been walking all morning.

We headed up to the top of Lookout Mountain.  The houses up on the mountain are gorgeous.  Just check out that view!!  It’s amazing.

Yeah, I could live there!  🙂

Time to get back to reality….  and to healthy eating …..

But not before one final birthday celebration.  My mother-in-law made her famous carrot cake.  Yum.

It was an eventful and exhausting 24 hours.

Question of the Day:  If you had only 24 hours without the kids, where would you go and what would you do??

 

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