KT, DC and ME – The Food Edition

Before I get to the culinary delights of our nation’s capitol, I wanted to tell you about our weather. I’m sure you saw it on the news. Or maybe you lived it with me. But last week we had snow. And sleet. And then snow.

It didn’t turn out to be quite the event they originally forecasted, but it was the most winter we’ve had this season. In March. Right after we’d had lovely, upper 60’s, leave the windows open, I’m ready for spring weather. Now I love me a good snow storm as much as the next fella who loves a good snow storm, but I feel kind of like winter missed its chance. I think Mother Nature should have just let us be disappointed for the year and move on. Maybe she could have made up for it next year. But to be teased by the glory that is spring like that and then smack us upside the head with what we got is kind of cruel. But maybe that’s just me.

Alright. Onto why you’re really here.

[Disclaimer – I’m afraid this post may be a letdown. There are really only two food experiences to share with you. So please, for the sake of our friendship, lower your expectations.]

One of Katie’s college friends is from the DC area and she recommended a couple of places. CAVA for a meal and Baked and Wired for cupcakes.

We ate lunch at the Holocaust Museum Cafe after our tour because we were starving and it was the closest place to find food. I had a decent Mac & Cheese, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Our plan was to make our way from there to Baked & Wired, procure our cupcakes and then go back to the hotel for a bit, after which we would walk over to CAVA.

So this is how it went down. We ate at the Museum Cafe, walked the couple blocks to the Smithsonian Metro station, took it to Foggy Bottom Metro station, wherein we disembarked and followed the map on my phone towards the bakery. Except we turned left out of the station instead of right and finally figured that out after two blocks. Still, we were in the midst of Georgetown and it was an interesting locale.

After turning around and passing the metro station we’d just come from, we set out for confection perfection, our steps determined and our moods light. We walked and walked and walked some more. We walked for a mile after we’d already been walking most of the day. When we finally got to Baked & Wired the line was out the door. No, I’m not kidding. Out the ever-lovin’ door. But we waited, by golly. There was no way we were leaving without the goods.

The patrons were lined up along the glass display case and the cupcakistas (you know, like barista, except they were serving baked goods instead of coffee) were grabbing the orders as fast as they could. Which was great and made the line move pretty quickly. Except here’s the thing. It took me months of practicing “Venti white chocolate mocha, 2%, with whip” in the mirror before I was comfortable ordering at Starbuck’s. I had no time to practice, people! I didn’t even have time to look at all the splendor they had to offer and make up my mind! Oh, the pressure! It was almost too much and I blurted out, “One cherry blossom cupcake, please!” because it was the main cupcake on display  in honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival beginning the following week.

Do you see the gravity of this situation I’m describing? There was no chocolate in the cherry blossom cupcake. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Do you know me?

Katie, on the other hand, had the privilege of perusing the case while I kept our place in line and ordered a chocolate doom just as cool and confident as you please. Ingrate.

After the acquisition was completed, we decided to take an Uber back to the hotel. Best $4.73 I’ve ever spent.

Once in the room, we shucked our shoes and settled down for a little rest. At this point I was seriously considering room service for dinner because I didn’t think I would ever want to move again. I had walked more than 200% of my daily goal and my dogs were barking. But a nice, little nap and a growling tummy later, I was up for the next edible adventure. Thankfully we didn’t have to walk a mile for dinner, but rather about half that.

I really didn’t know what to expect, but Katie described it perfectly. Think of a Mediterranean Chipotle. Minus the salmonella, of course. You start with a base – greens, grains, pitas – you decide. Next you add your dips or spreads – these would be tzatziki and hummus and the like. Follow that with your protein. I chose falafel, but there are meats or roasted seasonal vegetables as well. Then you choose your favorite toppings. I had them add pickled onions, cucumber, cabbage slaw and crumbled feta. Finally, you pick a dressing. Yogurt dill was my choice.

And that, my friends, is a blueberry soda next to it. I’m not a big consumer of pop, but I saw Maine Root blueberry soda on tap and had to try it. It was everything I expected it to be.

There was very little conversation at dinner because we were too busy eating. It was very filling and I despaired of being able to finish. But I’m not a quitter so I stuffed myself silly. I wasn’t going to waste a drop!

We were more than pleased with our dinner experience as we walked back to the hotel. But we were too full to eat the cupcakes.

~ Can I just pause here and right a wrong? I have been referring to these as cupcakes. The correct term is cakecups because they were huge. ~

Finally we could wait no longer. We each fixed ourselves a cup of coffee and then settled in for our sugary prizes. I decided right then and there that I had chosen wisely, even if it had been under duress. It was a vanilla cake with big chunks of maraschino cherries and a smooth cherry butter cream on top. I was NOT disappointed.

 

And judging from the look of bliss on Katie’s face, she was not mad about her choice, either. We also decided we would be stopping there on our way out of the city the next morning.

Which we did. I dropped her off and then drove around the very large block. She jumped back in the car with four cakecups (because we had to get one for each of the boys – duh) and a vanilla latte for me. And then we were for home!

Except the GPS told me to turn down a street that was crazy backed up so I kept going, but the rerouting couldn’t keep up with me and we finally turned around and I pulled up a side street to readjust the GPS. There was no parking from the corner up to the next house, but we weren’t actually parking so I pulled over. And then saw the sign that said, “NO PARKING Unless Approved by the Mongolian Embassy”, which we were not. But I didn’t even care because I had chocolate cakecups, a vanilla latte and the remnants of joy from a delightful day in DC. And I also kept the car running and could have easily made my getaway had Katie spotted a Hun coming. Yes. That’s how I pictured it. Men dressed like this, chasing after us, waiving swords and yelling loudly.

Nobody chased us (I may have even been a little disappointed because just think  how much better my story would have been) and we got headed the right way. As we were cruising down the Beltway, we started reminiscing about our dinner the night before. There were smiles and sighs and everything. Then Katie looked it up and it turns out there was a CAVA only 4 miles out of our way! So we changed our plans, took the detour and enjoyed another visit to our new favorite restaurant. I loved it so much I even toyed with the idea of opening a franchise by us. Except I’ve never had any desire to be a franchise owner and I don’t know the first thing about it. So if any of you live in my area and are looking for a new, up and coming restaurant to own, let’s chat.

Once home and settled, we had our cakecups. And you know that part about buying four cakecups because of the boys? Well, it didn’t actually work out that way. The excuse I’m going with is that I’m bad at math and we’ll just leave it there.

 

 

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So Many Bits

so-many-bits

Today I’m going to take random to a whole new level. I’m talking chocolate smeared on a piece of paper level.

See? I found this in my scripture writing notebook from back in March. I don’t know what I was eating while I was writing out my scripture that day, but whatever it was, it had to be wonderful. Because it was chocolate. And I smeared it. On my paper. And then I commemorated the occasion. If I thought it would be helpful to analyze this further I would, but I’m afraid no good could come of it.

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In the past two weeks, I have followed five different people on Facebook as they recorded their fabulous vacations. Italy, Scotland, New Zealand, England and Germany. Each one has done a spectacular job of making me want to go to Italy, Scotland, New Zealand, England and Germany. But Lancaster County will have to do for now.

Because my mom and my sisters are going to be here in less than two weeks and we will be going to Lancaster to chase see Amish people and take in the beautiful scenery. And probably eat yummy things. Which may or may not include chocolate. We have a lot of other things planned besides just Lancaster and will probably all need a vacation from their vacation when it’s all said and done. And we’ll probably have delicious, Amish jellies for our post vacation vacations.

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But before they come out, I get to go see the Rachael Ray Show with some girlfriends. Did you know you aren’t allowed to wear capris to a taping of the Rachael Ray show? So now I have to hope and pray I have slacks that still fit me. Because it would be really embarrassing to get kicked out for wearing capris.

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And speaking of television, I’ve been binge watching “Once Upon a Time” in between the office project and my work. A couple times I’ve thought I might be losing interest, but then new fairytale characters pop up and I have to see how they work them into the storyline.

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This past Monday was Asked & Answered over at Grace & Such and I was the subject. Which was kind of weird because they were my questions. I was both the interviewer and the interviewee. Which maybe isn’t actually so strange when you consider I not only talk to myself, I answer myself. Complete conversations. I have the best chats and really help me work through a lot of stuff. So if this wasn’t enough you can read more random here.

 

As Hot As The Sun

hotter-than-the-sun

We’re staring down what I believe is our 7th heat wave for the summer, which I think is a record. Regardless, it’s YUCKY out. This oppressive heat and humidity is even causing some schools without air conditioning to close early due to heat indices of more than 100. I don’t like it one bit. I even planned meals and shopping ahead of time, just like I was planning for a snowstorm, but the opposite. No baking. Except today’s Todd’s birthday so I’ll be baking a cake and stacked enchiladas. And cranking the air up so it doesn’t heat up the whole house.

Happy birthday, Babe! I would have gotten you a present, but I had to pay the electric bill.

Speaking of Todd, he finished my bookcase! It’s beautiful. I need to touch up a few spots with paint so he said I can’t show a real picture of it until I’m completely done. You’ll just have to come back to see that.

Now that the bookcase is in its home I can move the storage cabinet to it’s appropriate home. Then I can start putting stuff in said storage cabinet. And once the touch ups are done on the bookcase I can start filling it with all my cherished books. (I’m seriously smiling the smile of a love struck goofball as I type.) And once the cabinet is in it’s place I can move the desk down so there will be room for my glider and side table. But before I can put them there I have to paint them. And I have to hang my pictures and organizing thingies and calendar. And then I might be done.

OH MY GOSH! I MIGHT BE DONE!

chair-and-side-table-before

Here’s a before picture of the glider and side table. (I’m actually showing this to you because you can see part of the bookcase in the background, but it’s not a full-on picture of the bookcase so it doesn’t actually count as a real picture. Right? And Todd doesn’t know the password to my blog so he can’t go in an remove it. But it is his birthday, so let’s just not tell him I did it. M-kay? Shhh…)

The plan here is to paint the glider the same white as the bookcase and the table the same mint color as the bead board  in the back of the bookcase. And I have new cushions for the chair, but I’m not going to show them to you yet. Suffice it to say, they’re lovely!

I’m on a bit of a time crunch to get all this done because my mom and sisters are coming out in less than four weeks! So now I’m going to go bake a cake and do a little website work for a couple of clients (I have real, live clients!) and tomorrow I’ll get back to painting.

You guys! It just hit me that I get chocolate cake tonight! That is exciting.

The Office Project – Days Three and Four

The Office Project

Thursday night I was so sore and exhausted from all the painting calisthenics I mentioned in my last post, that at 9:00 I took two Advil PMs and went to bed. I slept like a rock. It was glorious. Waking up yesterday was not quite as glorious. But wake up I did and coffee helped to clear the cobwebs.

Once I was mostly coherent I slapped the first coat of paint on the walls. I typed my wishful thinking on Facebook that maybe it would only take one coat and several people cautioned me against it. Which I already knew. I was just daydreaming out loud.

After the first coat I left for some errands in Todd’s manly man truck. It’s big and it’s diesel and I have to hoist myself up into it and slide down to get out. I felt mighty powerful, folks. My main objective of the day was to pick up my desk and chair and a few other things from IKEA.

Let’s stop here a second and chat about IKEA. I could probably live there. It makes my heart sing and my step spring. It’s like Disney. I know I’ve said that before and I still stand by that statement. And the food! I’ve always heard about their Swedish meatballs, but had never eaten there. Well yesterday I timed it just right. I was already hungry, but when I came to the cafe and smelled the aromas I became ravenous. So I had my first-ever IKEA Swedish meatball plate. Well worth the $6 for that and a flavored water. Now I’m looking forward to the next time I have to go to IKEA.

Anyhoo, I had already made a list of the things I wanted from IKEA so it was easy to just pick them up as I came to them. I had a hard time finding the storage boxes I wanted, mostly for the color, but was successful in the end.

IKEA Box

Look at that color! It’s actually a little brighter than the picture looks and it goes so nicely with the gray walls! And boy, do I have plans for that accent color, as you will see.

After a delightful time at my happy place I came home and put up the second coat of paint and then I was done for the day. Which meant a nice evening watching Whitechapel with Todd.

 

Let’s stop here and talk about Whitechapel. Have you seen it? It’s on Amazon. It’s really good, but each season gets creepier and creepier. I’m not sure how much more of the creepiness I can take.

Okay. Back to the office. Today I haven’t done a whole lot. I pulled off the Frog tape and I primed the return vent, but I’m going to have to run out to get a decent brush to paint it with. I’m kind of stuck until Todd takes down the ladder and puts my desk and chair together. But he’s been busy with more important stuff, though what that means, I’m not sure. Well, he didn’t actually say that, but since he didn’t jump at the chance to help me put my furniture together it must be more important. He’s been out in the garage, though, and it’s hot and icky so I’m not going out there to find out.

What I DID do, though, was get crafty. I couldn’t bring myself to put the ugly switch plates back on the freshly painted walls so I did a little Pinteresting and found a cheap solution. A trip to AC Moore for some scrapbook paper and a little Modge Podge and I was in business. Check it out!

I’m going to have to paint the screws, though, because they’re bugging me. But all in all I’m pleased with the look. It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but the storage box is the same vibrant blue as these switch plates. As I said above, I’m going to be using that as an accent color splashed around here and there. You’ll just have to stay tuned for that, though, because there are many more tales from the office to come.

I’m On Fire

matchstick

Good gracious, Gertrude! I burn everywhere. There was a t-shirt on Facebook that said, “Everything Hurts And I’m Dying.” No inspirational quote has ever captured my truth better.

Just to give you an idea of what my head is going through while my body is being tortured, here are more journal excerpts from the last few days.

Day 4, continued:

Another thought I’ve had. Facebook, Pinterest, TV – they’re all full of the most delicious looking, decadant, cheesy, creamy, chocolatey, sweet, greasy foods. *sigh*

—-

I was mean to Todd this morning. He was in the kitchen as I did my Pilates work out and more than one time I had to tell him to shut up. And not in the cute, flirty, giggle kind of way. It had a more, “Don’t make me come over there and shank you,” feel to it.

—-

I’m quickly figuring out that I shouldn’t “sit down for a minute” when I have dinner prep to do. I sat down for a minute about 30 minutes ago and now I don’t want to get up and make the marinade for the delicious flank steak I’m broiling for dinner. Mmmm… That sounds so good.

Okay. I’m getting up.

—–

I kind of phoned in dinner tonight. Man, I am so tired! I couldn’t want to do anything and used the summer heat as an excuse to scrap roasting potatoes because I didn’t want to clean and cut them. So I opened a can of peas instead. And the flank steak took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to broil! Dinner was supposed to be around 6:30 and it was after 7 before we finally ate. It was good, though. I cut up my steak and put it in my salad.

Day 5:

Super slow start to this morning. Had my yummy egg and veggie with quinoa breakfast, but thinking about changing it up tomorrow. Haven’t decided how yet.

I’m getting ready to do my exercise – Cardio Fix. Sounds sweaty and exhausting. And again, I look ridiculous. I didn’t want to tell Todd to leave the room, but he offered so I took him up on it. Seems a little silly that after 28 years of marriage I still don’t want him to see me this way. Not like he can do anything. He’s stuck with me whether he likes it or not.

Lots of thoughts running through my head that will need to be written about. This could get ugly.

—-

I was right again. Cardio Fix was sweaty and exhausting. But mostly sweaty. And burpees are of the devil. Seriously. Who thought up that torture? I’m guessing Torquemada. I was ready to renounce my family just so I could stop doing them. And I did the modified version!

I did notice that I’m already more flexible than I was when I started 5 days ago. So that’s something.

Also, I like the warm up and the cool down. I wish there was 30 minutes of just those two things.

I am not managing to eat all my food in the day. I’m not too beat up about it, though. What I am eating is very healthy and nutrient rich. And I’m not starving at all.

Day 6:

I had to run to the grocery store this morning and stock up on veggies and meat again. I started with a coffee shake so I wouldn’t go hungry and it worked like a charm. I got my stuff and came home to fix a yummy bowl of oatmeal cooked with an egg, blueberries and a little maple syrup. It was delicious.

Now I have to exercise. Today’s work out is called “Dirty 30”. I don’t even want to know. But I’m gonna find out anyway. I am just as frightened as I was when it was Pilates day.

—-

Dirty 30 was hard, but it wasn’t horrible. Still noticing more flexibility and more strength. That’s pretty cool.

—-

As the day goes on the more sore I’m getting.

—-

A couple of thoughts I’ve had while doing these work outs:

1 – I haven’t always been this terribly out of shape. In fact, there was a time when I was very active and flexible. My mind knows what it’s like to move, stretch and bend the way I’m supposed to, but my body just can’t do it. Not yet anyway. It’s kind of like when I played softball when the kids were little. My mind knew how to play well from playing when I was younger, but my body just didn’t listen. It is depressing and frustrates me to no end.

2 – I think the warm up period is good exercise and I’d like to do 30 minutes of that. And also, she makes us get on our knees and one minute later she’s telling us to stand up and then one minute later it’s down on the floor. And she expects us to actually exercise during that minute. Getting up and back down and back up again IS exercise!

—-

Taylor described in detail THREE donuts he bought yesterday at work from Federal Donuts. It was so very cruel.

Day 7:

Last day of the first week! I hurt everywhere. I feel like I’m on fire. I keep looking down to make sure there are no flames.

Today was Yoga. I thought, “Oh good. Just some stretches. No big deal. Namaste.” Namaste your face. The first part of it was pretty much horrible. My favorite pose of all was the corpse pose. I can do that one like a boss.

I have no idea if I’ve lost any weight or inches, but I am more flexible and stronger than I was just a week ago. Don’t get me wrong. If after 3 weeks my clothes still fit exactly the same I will most likely fling myself into the depths of despair. But then I’m going to drag myself back up, wipe off those tears and get back to the work outs. And eating healthy.

Speaking of which, I don’t really feel deprived of anything. Not yet, anyway. Though last night while I was eating fresh strawberries I kept thinking about how much better they would be on shortcake with real whipped cream.

I know to a lot of people, doing this for seven days in a row is no big deal. For me it’s huge. I’m such a quitter! But now I’m 1/3 of the way in, I may as well keep going.

One week down, two left. Watch me go!

 

Cooking With Grease Now

Cooking With Grease

Well actually, I’m cooking with extra virgin olive oil, but that doesn’t have the same ring. Before I get going on this post, let me state for the record I am NOT a trained cook. I just play one on my blog.

I’ve been so enamored with my breakfast this week that I decided to share the recipe. It’s super healthy and super yummy and super filling. And super easy. I would name it after me, but it’s really just scrambled eggs and vegetables. But I have pictures so that makes it special.

First, instead of doing the same thing every morning, I cut up all my veggies and then measured them out into mason jars. In each one there is 1 cup of raw spinach (a very packed cup); 1/2 cup of sweet bell pepper; 1/2 cup of diced mushrooms; and probably about 1/8 cup diced red onion.

Breakfast Prep 6-29-16

This way I could just pull out a mason jar each morning and be ready to go. (Geesh! I’m feeling kind of like an imposter. Like I’m one of those really organized, very healthy, cook all the time people. Is that the vibe you’re getting?)

Anyway, with a bit of EVOO (I sound just like Rachael Ray!) sauté the vegetables over medium-high heat until the spinach wilts significantly and the mushrooms and peppers are soft.

Breakfast Before 6-29-16

Before

Breakfast Veggies Before Eggs 6-29-16

After

Whisk 2 eggs with a little bit of water and add to the cooked vegetables. Then throw in some seasoning – I kind of like a little garlic powder and mustard powder, but you can use anything you like. I’m just trying to stay away from added salt. Mix it all around or, you know, scramble it.

Once your eggs are cooked to your liking, add 1/2 cup cooked quinoa.

Breakfast with Quinoa 6-29-16

It tastes like vegetable fried rice! You can even add soy sauce or coconut aminos for some Asian flavor. And you can use whatever vegetables you want. It’s a very versatile dish.

Good stuff, y’all!

And I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who has ever blogged a recipe for scrambled eggs.

 

 

I’m Still Standing

Still Standing

Today is the fourth day of my 21 day challenge. So far I have eaten well and exercised my 30 minutes every day. The best news of all is that I can still walk. Yesterday was 30 minutes of lower body exercises and I really despaired that I wouldn’t make it down the stairs this morning. There’s this scene in Pitch Perfect 2 where Fat Amy rides a disk down the stairs.

Fat Amy on Stairs

That’s what kept running through my mind yesterday.

I’ve been keeping a journal and here are a few excerpts so you get an idea of what my life is like right now:

Day 1:

6:30

I’m eating a delicious dinner right now. Really, really good. But it seems like I’ve eaten so much food today! My biggest concern is the work that goes into eating like this. I know me and I’m afraid it’s going to get old really fast. You know, it’s so much easier to order a pizza than chop and cook and clean and all. But I have one day down so let’s see.

—-

8:15

I want ice cream. Or cake. Or ice cream cake.

Day 2:

I have to pee all the time and all the vegetables and fruit and probably the shakes are keeping me more than regular. I think that’s part of the plan. By the time you get to the grocery store you have to pee again so you just get your food without stopping to look at cookies and pretty cakes and such. In, out, home and to the bathroom. I made a couple of stops before the store and went to the bathroom at one of them. And still, by the time I got to the grocery store 20 minutes later I was miserable again.

Day 3:

I’m still at it. My pecs are really feeling yesterday’s workout and I’m a little concerned I won’t be able to walk after today’s lower body workout. I sat on the floor a good 10 minutes and tried to decide if I really had to get up or not. I finally made it to the love seat and now I think I need a nap so I’ll have the energy for a shower.

—-

Humiliation side note. Todd was gone and I almost texted him to not to show his revulsion when he got home and saw me. I’d been cleaning and had my short hair in two clips. He was very gentlemanly when he got home and didn’t mention how hideous I looked. Then I did my work out with him in the room. I kept the moaning and grunting and cussing to a minimum, but my comments couldn’t be contained. Comments like, “Can’t we rest now” and “Please don’t make me do this” And “You’re sadistic and rude.”

Day 4:

Right now I’m waiting for the DVD to run through all the stuff at the beginning so I can start my day 4. Pilates. I’m scared.

Also, I put too much quinoa in my breakfast this morning. Had a really hard time eating it all. In fact I had to throw just a teensy bit away. And no coffee this morning, but I did have a cup of tea with honey. I miss my coffee with yummy creamer. How great would it be if, after the 21 days, I didn’t want the creamer anymore!? A girl can dream.

Okay. The DVD is ready. I can no longer put off Pilates. Wish me luck.

—-

I was right. Pilates were horrible!

Seventeen more days. I can do this. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS!

 

So Far So Good

Blue Smiley Face

I thought the challenge was supposed to start yesterday, but found out Saturday that it began today. My coach told me I could start yesterday if I wanted, but this new knowledge felt like such a gift. One more day to be lazy. And it turned out to be a great thing because we ran into some friends we hadn’t seen in a while at church and went to lunch with them. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I’d started the challenge yesterday. And when we got home I took a glorious nap on the love seat. It was nowhere near “the nap to rival all naps“, but it was pleasant.

Oh. I forgot to tell you about the weighing and measuring. Probably because I’d like to forget it myself. I’m telling you, ignorance can truly be bliss as long as you avoid mirrors and numbers. But when you have to write those numbers down it’s right there in your face and there’s no getting around it. But I didn’t cry so there’s that.

Today I began in earnest. I had a delicious omelet with spinach, red onion, orange pepper and mushrooms and a piece of whole wheat toast for breakfast. It was seriously yummy and there’s a little part of me that’s excited for breakfast tomorrow. And it was a LOT of food!

After cleaning the kitchen and doing a few other things, I finally decided I had put off the first workout long enough. But I couldn’t get the DVR to work. I really wanted to think it was a sign, but I knew it was because I couldn’t remember how to work it. So many boxes, so many remotes, so many things… But Todd came downstairs and got me all set up. I might be a little angry with him.

I know this is totally out of character for me, but I really liked the video. It was 30 minutes of exercises, but I never felt like I was going to die. Of course, I did a modified version of the modified version, but I kept moving the whole time. Maybe by the end of the 21 days I’ll be able to do the actual modified version. It’s a goal.

And now I’m finishing off a mocha almond shake. I’m feeling really good about things and I only have 20 days and about 8 hours left to go.

 

It’s Only 21 Days

Fruits and Veggies

I’ve spent all morning working on a meal plan for next week and preparing the grocery list. Which means I need to go to the grocery store. Which is probably why I’m writing this because y’all know how much I love the grocery store. (And if you don’t, then let me explain. That was sarcasm. I loathe the grocery store with every fiber of my being.)

My friend, Tara, who writes at Grace & Such and has a fabulous blog called Chewing the Fat on Skinny, is a Beachbody® coach. I have signed up for her 21-Day Fitness Challenge which starts on Sunday. It’s 21 days of very healthy eating (no processed foods) plus a meal replacement shake (do not think Slim-Fast because, no. Just don’t.) and 30 minutes of exercise from DVDs. This challenge also includes a helpful team, a group of encouraging people and an accountability partner.

I do not plan on having a beach body in 21 days. What I do plan on having is a kick start in my nutritional and exercise habits, as well as feeling a little bit better. I’m so tired of being tired and sluggish and blah. And the thing is, I know what to do. I just can’t seem to get it going on my own.

As far as weight loss goes, I’m hoping for that, too. Of course, I have so much to lose that five or ten pounds is only a drop in the bucket. But it’s a start.

Tomorrow I will officially weigh and measure body parts. If you hear a deep keening coming from Southeast Pennsylvania, you’ll know what it is.

There. It’s out there. Now everybody knows. You guys can feel free to keep me accountable for 21 days. But when the 21 days are over, leave me alone.

Shoot. Now I’m done. Off to the grocery store I go…

Tea and Quilts

Today was a lovely day for me and The Girl. She goes back to school on Sunday and we decided to finally make our way to the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, a place she’s wanted to visit since we moved here nearly ten years ago. Turns out, however, the museum is closed on Mondays.

Undaunted, we still made our way into the city, managed to find a decent parking spot and met The Boy for a cheap, delicious and way too large lunch. Philadelphia is known for its murals and, in fact, there are more than 3,000 of the colorful works of art scattered throughout the city. I’m always awed by their vibrant beauty so I grabbed these pics with my phone. (I made the conscious decision to leave my camera at home. *sigh*)

Mural 2

After we ate lunch The Boy went back to work and The Girl and I walked four blocks to Miel Patisserie, a divine French pastry shop, so we could finally experience French macarons. They’re quite as colorful as the murals and look like the little cookies on the time wasting game, Cookie Jam, on my iPad.

Macarons 2 Tea and Macarons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also had really good tea. My tea was caramel toffee flavored and Katie’s was called Noel and was flavored with cinnamon and cardamom.

We enjoyed our sweet refreshments and walked back the four blocks to the car with about 15 minutes to spare before the meter ran out.

On our way home we made a stop at IKEA because IKEA. It’s like Disneyland. It even has flags at the entrance to the parking lot. The Girl bought a plant and named her Mabel, while I bought a $5.00 cheese grater. I spare no expense for my cheese preparations.

When we got home Mr. Jenster was off bowling so we made more tea to go with the macarons we brought with us and watched a few episodes of “Call the Midwife”.

Even though our original plans were dashed, it was an absolutely delightful day.

And as for quilts, it’s my day over at Grace & Such.