So Long, Farewell

“…Auf Weidersehen, goodbye!”

It’s so sad when friends from college start moving away. 😦

Since I went to college at UCF in Orlando and have been fortunate enough to transition into a job in downtown Orlando, I am lucky enough to live near many friends from college. Though Ryan and I have jobs we enjoy in Orlando, others have slowly started moving away to pursue other opportunities or additional schooling.

Tonight we said goodbye to our friend Pete, who is moving to Chapel Hill to attend grad school at UNC.

Pete was in Ryan’s fraternity and his girlfriend Merri was in my sorority, and we’ve always enjoyed hanging out with these two! (Merri is staying in Orlando and they will continue stay together long-distance.)

Pete & Ryan

We met up with Pete, Merri and some other friends at Mucho, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Orlando to say goodbye.

Ready for Dinner

Once we sat down I dug into the chips and salsa.

Chips 'n' Salsa

Crunch 'n' Munch

The waiter kept refilling our basket and I swear I ate an entire basketful myself. I was addicted!

Some of the guys enjoyed some beers…

Boys

That came with free shots of tequila…

Shots

For dinner, Ryan and I shared a quesadilla and I also had a fish taco which went unpictured.

'Dilla

I left this meal a little too full. I snacked on a bunch of almonds (easily three to four servings) before we left for dinner and I think they contributed to my overly stuffed feeling.

A too-full belly was more than 100 percent worth it though to enjoy a fun evening with good friends and say our goodbyes to Pete. Fortunately it won’t be goodbye for too long because Pete is a groomsman in our wedding so we’ll be seeing him in no time at all.

I’m off to PACK for our vacation!!!

Achin’ for Some (Veggie) Bacon

“Are ya achin’ (yum, yum, yum),
For some bacon (yum, yum, yum)…”

That Timon sure knows how to bust a move!

(Fun fact: I once played the role of Timon in my summer camp’s rendition of The Lion King. 😀 )

Lunch

That little quote and movie clip segue right into my lunch today.

I was achin’ for some bacon in the worst kind of way. Ever since trying MorningStar Farms veggie bacon strips last week, I’ve been cravin’ the pseudo-meat.

Today’s lunch included the veggie bacon in a sandwich with avocado and light Miracle Whip. It was kind of like a BLT, but with some A and no T or L… So it wasn’t really like a BLT at all, I guess. 😉

Avocado

Bacon and Avocado Sandwich

I did enjoy some Ts on the side though.

Freshly sliced summer squash and Emerald smoked almonds also made an appearance.

Squash + Tomatoes

Emerald Smoked Almonds

All Together Naaaw

Bacon craving = satisfied!

Question of the Afternoon

Were you ever in any plays or musicals?

I was in many plays and musicals from elementary school through middle school. Some of my roles included:

  • Timon from The Lion King
  • The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz
  • One of Annie Oakley’s sisters in Annie Get Your Gun
  • An Elf in The Shoemaker and the Elves
  • Chip in Beauty and the Beast

I would tell you about my roles in my dance performances, but they’re not quite as impressive.(Think drop of dew on a poppy in The Wizard of Oz. Yes, I actually was a drop of water.)

Vacation Anticipation

Good morning!:D

Let’s begin with breakfast, shall we?

I branched out from my typical Greek yogurt flavors at the grocery store this week and nabbed a cup of blueberry Chobani to use in one of my breakfasts this week.

Today was the day!

I made myself a fruity yogurt bowl with blueberry Chobani, sliced apple and a dusting of flax seeds.

Blueberry Yogurt + Apple + Flax

It was creamy, crunchy, sweet and filling. (Adjective overload! 😀 )

Close Up

Hump Day Breakfast

Vacation Anticipation

Tomorrow I am taking a half day at work so Ryan and I can beat the rush down to the Florida Keys for 4th of July weekend.

We’re meeting up with my family on Thursday night to enjoy a weekend of scuba diving and outdoor fun. I can’t wait!

The anticipation of my upcoming vacation has me feeling very antsy! It’s hard hunker down and check important things off my “to do” list when all I want to do is pack and get on the road!

Workout

Working out is such a great release for me and the gym helped me work off some of my anxious feelings this morning.

I took my typical Wednesday morning BodyPump class where I got to experience the latest release (Release 74) for the first time.

I really, really enjoyed it! I thought the lunge track was killer, but in a great way. I could feel my legs burnin’!

Post-Pump, I took Sadie on a 40 minute walk around the lake by our apartment. On our walk Sadie saw her first armadillo!

'Dillo

I’ve gotta be honest… It was nice to see one of these guys alive for once. I feel like 95 percent of the ‘dillos I see are road kill. 😦

Hope your day is off to a great start!

Question of the Day

Which do you think is worse, packing or unpacking?

I absolutely hate packing. Unpacking isn’t so bad because I just dump everything in the laundry. 😉

Can’t Quite Grasp It

My bachelorette party (part one) is exactly a month away!!! I got an email from one of my friends with a basic itinerary and required attire this afternoon which pretty much sent me into a frenzy of excitement (as those of you who follow me on Twitter already know). I can’t wait! 😀 

I’m sorry but I just had to get that off my chest. 😉 

Dog Park 

Our evening began with a trip to the dog park. 

Sadie was beyond thrilled when we loaded up the car. 

Pumped Puppy

Family Fun

 Our trip to the park was dominated by playing fetch with a crazy-shaped red ball. 

Get It Girrrrl

Ryan took the above action photo of me and Sadie, so naturally I had to turn the camera on him. 

Of course he put on an intense tough guys face… though Sadie’s face was 100 percent authentic. 

Like Father, Like Doggie Daughter

I’m not sure who looks crazier! 😀 

When we first started playing with the red ball, Ryan and I could not stop laughing because Sadie had such a hard time grasping it in her mouth. 

I caught one of her first attempts on video, which made us laugh at her all over again: 

Her big red ball got the attention of some other dogs who stole it away for a while… 

Stolen!

…But she swooped in and got it back when they got distracted. 

"Mine!"

Gotcha!

Eventually it was bath time. 

Bath Station

For as much as Sadie loves the lake and the ocean, you’d think she would love baths. 

Not the case. 

She hates them. Fortunately she loves being toweled off and gets all snuggly afterwards. 

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

With a clean pup on our hands, we headed home for din-nah! 

Dinner 

Dinner tonight was another easy creation. 

The base was my two-ingredient crock pot pulled chicken which I smothered in BBQ sauce for a simple BBQ pulled chicken sandwich. 

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

To get some greens in our meal, I roasted broccoli at 415 degrees for 20 minutes after spraying it with cooking spray and dusting the veggie with garlic salt. 

Roasted Broccoli

Dinner is Served

Simple and simply delicious! 

Now I’m off to relax a bit and watch The Blind Side with Ryan. He’s never seen it and I loved it! Let’s hope he’s a fan, too!

Coyotes, Cows and Turkeys, Oh My!

First things first, your comments about the crazy things you’ve seen while working out not only made me laugh out loud, but they truly amazed me!

Here are some of the things you’ve encountered while getting your sweat on:

  • Coyotes
  • Road runner (Are you sure you weren’t just watching Looney Tunes? 😉 )
  • Cows that somehow escaped the farm
  • Family of turkeys
  • Man walking on the treadmill at a 1.5 pace while using his arms to do dance moves
  • A kid on a school bus who threw a pencil at the runner
  • Guy doing push-ups in work attire
  • Naked man sweeping his driveway
  • Mockingbirds dive-bombing a squirrel that was trying to steal from a bird feeder
  • Dog running down the street with a mailbox attached to its leash

And my personal favorite:

  • A middle-aged Amish man walking across a road with a dead turkey on his back while his wife walked behind him in her dress holding a gun.

All of your comments reminded me of a weird thing I once saw while working out:

One time a guy was doing ab exercises on an exercise ball near the treadmills at my gym.

Crunch it Out

He had his legs propped up on the ball, and mid-crunch the ball flew out from underneath his feet and into a nearby treadmill.

The problem? A woman was running on that treadmill and the ball caused the treadmill to stop, sending the woman flying. While this was happening, the exercise ball squeaked loudly as the treadmill tried to keep moving.

It was insane! Luckily the woman was okay, but she was clearly very shook up. It also took a good two minutes or so for someone to turn off the treadmill and stop the ball from squeaking, which made the whole scene seem all the more dramatic. Totally nuts!

Lunch

My lunch today included two new things!

They’re probably not new to you, but they’re new to me! Well, I’ve loved avocado for years, so it’s not technically new to me, but since I rarely buy avocados, it felt like a new discovery!

Tabouleh

The tabouleh, on the other hand, was definitely a new dish. I’ve tried tabouleh (a Middle Eastern salad featuring bulgur, mint, parsley, and other herbs and spices) one other time at TooJay’s Deli when I was in college. I liked it a lot back then, but totally forgot about it until Sunday evening when my friend Merri gave me a box mix to make my own!

Using Fantastic World Foods’ box mix, I made tabouleh last night while dinner was cooking and let it chill in the fridge. By the time I was ready to eat it for lunch today, it was nice and cold.

I topped a bed of fresh spinach with the tabouleh, along with grape tomatoes, cucumber and celery and half of a large avocado.

Tabouleh + Avocado

I used Ryan’s method to prep the avocado, which made it super simple! Ryan makes the most amazing (and simple) avocado salsa dip and has perfected his avocado slicing technique.

To prep the avocado, simply cut it in half, lengthwise, and twist to separate the two sides. Stab the pit with a knife to remove it before carving a grid into the avocado. Scoop out the avocado! You should have perfectly diced chunks of avocado!

Avocado Grid

Sliced Avocado

My lunchtime salad was definitely taken to another level due to the addition of the tabouleh and avocado. I forgot how much creaminess and flavor avocado adds to any dish (not to mention it’s a great source of good fat!).

Summer Salad

I’ve actually noticed something about my body and food recently.

I seem to feel much fuller off of fat and fiber than I do when I consume protein alone. A simple protein shake might calm hunger pains for a little while, but if I eat a small handful of nuts with the shake or add some high-fiber fruit to the mix, I feel much more satisfied. I guess the whole “eat protein + carbs + fats” at every meal is a pretty decent equation. 😉

Of Possible Interest

Berry Barley Breakfast Parfait

“You know what else everybody likes? Parfaits. Have you ever met a person, you say, ‘Hey, let’s get some parfaits,’ they say, ‘Hell no, I don’t like no parfait?’ No! Parfaits are delicious!”

What a fantastic scene from Shrek. I love Donkey. 🙂

Donkey

Donkey is right on the money with that quote if you ask me.

Seriously who doesn’t like a parfait?

Layer after layer of deliciousness? I mean, c’mon. They’re fantastic.

This morning my breakfast was a berry barley parfait.

Berry Barley Parfait

I made the parfait by layering vanilla Greek yogurt, cold cooked pearled barley, and thawed frozen strawberries in a wine glass for visual appeal.

View from the Top

I Love Parfaits

This meal was basically my favorite barley breakfast bowl in parfait form.

I followed up my parfait-in-a-wine-glass with toasted walnuts-in-a-shot-glass.

Shot o' Nuts

Quite the filling breakfast!

Workout

This morning Sadie and I set out on yet another five mile run. I was feeling kind of sleepy, and by the time I actually felt awake, the run was over. Can’t beat that!

On our run this morning we saw quite a neat little sight.

For some unknown reason there are a small handful of peacocks that live a mile or so from our apartment. They’ve always been there and seem to enjoy roaming around peoples’ yards in a one-block radius.

Well, today we saw little baby peacocks!

Baby Peacocks

I’ve never seen a baby peacock before and thought they were so cute! They reminded me of a bigger, more awkward looking chick. Adorable!

Question of the Day

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen while working out?

2x

Fish two times in one day? Holy omega-3s!

I think the American Heart Association would be proud of me. They recommend eating fish at least two times a week to get the adequate amount of the essential fatty acid in your diet.

It’s only Monday and I’ve already done it. Say goodbye to heart disease! 😉

Tonight’s fish dish was salmon, which I dusted with lemon, basil and thyme seasonings before broiling it for approximately 10 minutes until the fish flaked with a fork.

Seasoned Salmon

I absolutely love the crisp crust that occurs on the top of fish when it’s broiled. To me, the most flavorful bites are the ones that include a bit of the charred top of the fish.

On the side, I enjoyed roasted yellow squash and zucchini which I tossed in olive oil and garlic salt before roasting at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (flipping halfway through).

Roasted Zuc + Squash

This was quite the colorful meal, huh?

Dessert

Dessert was portion-controlled ice cream.

The old favorite…

Oreo Klondike

“What would you doooo-oo-oo for a Klondike bar?”

How good are Klondike bars? They were buy-one-get-one-free at Publix yesterday and Ryan couldn’t resist, which means I cannot resist them sitting in the freezer.

Tonight

It’s about that time… The Bachelorette is on in five minutes!

I’m soooo ready for Ali to eliminate Justin. He’s beginning to bother me almost as much as Kasey did. Okay, that’s a blantant lie, but still. I’m off to guard and protect my heart and get sucked into girly television! 😀

See ya in the mornin’ pretty ladies (and maybe a couple o’ guys).