Barney Butter Barley

You guys know how much I adore my barley breakfast bowls.

To make them I usually combine barley with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit.

Well, today I replaced the Greek yogurt with something fantastically delicious.

Barney Butter!

Barney Butter!

After cooking up some pearled barley after dinner yesterday, I stirred in a packet of Barney Butter and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

Today I added a sliced nectarine and some pumpkin pie spice to the mix.

Barney Butter Barley Bowl

Oooooh yum.

Nutty Fruity Barley

The Goods

So tasty! I literally licked this bowl clean… and then Sadie did, too. πŸ˜‰

"Barney Butter RULES!"

Workout

This breakfast was the perfect post-workout meal. Today’s gym session included a BodyPump class followed by 20 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical.

I increased the weights on the back track this week and was really feelin’ it! Today’s lunge track was a little too easy and I feel like my lower body didn’t get quite the workout I was hopin’ for. Next time, my friends! πŸ˜€

Honeymoon Update

We are officially overwhelmed.

We read every single one of your comments and suggestions last night (thank you!) and spent hours looking at the websites of various resorts.

All I can say is that if I had a bazillion dollars, I would love to stay at The Ladera in St. Lucia, recommended by blog reader Lindsey.

The Ladera

Not only is this place unbelievably gorgeous, but it also offers a bunch of activities, ranging from scuba diving to zip lining to cooking classes to rainforest hikes. Can you say heaven?

Though this place is beyond amazing, we’re looking for something more within our budget. Your comments and speaking with some friends made us think twice about the Dominican Republic, as it seems like we may not be able to do as many adventurous activities or as much exploring as we’d like to. We don’t want to feel confined to a resort on our honeymoon.

If any of you out there enjoyed a vacation that included fun activities like scuba diving and zip lining and exploring a town, etc., puh-lease let me know! I’ve heard great things about Costa Rica with regard to it being a beautiful place with lots to do.

Why is picking a honeymoon destination so hard!?

The good newsΒ  about all this honeymoon hoopla is that Ryan and I have a pact to pick a place by the end of this weekend! We’re going to be vacation-research mad men for the next few days. πŸ˜‰

Question of the Morning

What is more appealing to you: A vacation filled with activities or a vacation full of relaxation?

Caught Up in You

“I’m so caught up in you, little girl
And I never did suspect a thing
So caught up in you, little girl
That I never want to get myself free
And baby it’s true
You’re the one
Who caught me baby, you taught me
How good it could be”

I love that song by 38 Special. I heard it in the gym first thing this morning and it set my day off on the right foot! There’s something about amazing ’80s music that just does it for me. πŸ˜€

Sometimes I think I belong in the ’80s…

'80s Night!

Workout

With “Caught Up in You” jammin’ in my head, I danced my way into BodyPump this morning for a total-body strength training workout.

I felt like my mind was racing a mile a minute throughout the class. I found myself thinking about everything but BodyPump. By the time we were laying on our mats to do some ab work, signaling the end of the class, I was shocked at how fast the class flew by!

Post Pump, I leashed up Sadie for a 40-minute walk around the lake near my apartment. I don’t want to jinx it, but the weather in Florida lately has been wonderful! It’s remained in the ’80s and hasn’t creeped into the hotter-than-heck ’90s for a few days. Woop, woop!

Breakfast

I prepped my breakfast last night which made it super easy this morning!

Last night I cooked up a small batch of pearled barley and let the whole grain cool down overnight in the fridge.

This morning it was ready to be used in a barley breakfast bowl.

Peach + Barley Yogurt Bowl

To make my barley breakfast bowl, I combined a cup of Greek yogurt with the cold cooked barley and topped it off with peach slices and nutmeg.

Oh Yum

I love the nuttiness and chewy texture barley brings to the table.

Gnarly Barley

As I typed up this post, I looked back through some of my old posts about barley and stumbled upon this one that I posted during my first month of blogging. Holy crap-tastic pictures. Thank goodness I invested in a better camera.

Along with my barley breakfast bowl, I also enjoyed a tumbler full of Barnie’s French vanilla coffee that I snagged for the freezie at my gym.

I practically burned off my tongue after the first sip.

The Heat is On

I like really HOT coffee, so I took my time sippin’ it rather than gulping it to prevent the loss of additional taste buds. I’m so scrappy. πŸ˜‰

Questions of the Morning

For everyone:

  • What is one of your all-time favorite ’80s songs?

For the bloggers:

  • Do you see a big difference in your blogging now than you did when you first started blogging? What has changed the most?

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. πŸ™‚

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?

Hula Hooper

Usually the people who are up running around the lake by our apartment before 7 a.m. look pretty hardcore. They’re decked out in spandex and an old race t-shirt, and check their Garmin every 2.2 seconds.

On my morning run with Sadie today, however, we saw something out of the ordinary: a hula hoop walker.

Hula Hooper

We saw a woman walking the mile loop around the lake while hula hooping. This lady had skills!

I thought Sadie would be spooked by the hoop, but she kept her cool and we ran right past theΒ  woman. To Sadie, baby strollers = scary, hula hoopers = not so much.

"You Got Nothin' Hula Hoops!"

The heat during our five-mile run was really intense. There’s one heck of a heatwave in Central Florida right now and it made our run a little more challenging than usual. I was sweating like crazy and felt fatigued much earlier in the run that I normally do. I’m downing water like a mad woman now. Gotta rehydrate!

Breakfast

This past weekend at Ryan’s mom’s house, I spotted Libby’s canned pumpkin in her pantry. I freaked out and asked her where she found it because our local grocery store hasn’t stocked pumpkin in months.

The Elusive Pumpkin

She said she’d had the pumpkin for a while and offered to let me take two cans back to Orlando. Sweet!!!

I was pretty excited to include the canned pumpkin in a yogurt barley breakfast bowl this morning.

Apple + Pumpkin + Barley + Yogurt

I added freshly chopped apple and sweetener to the mix for a little extra crunch and sweetness.

Most of the apple went directly into my mouth and only several little chunks actually made it into the breakfast bowl.

Stirred Up

Git in Mah Belly!

Oh pumpkin, how I’ve missed you!

Question of the Morning

Can you hula hoop?

I can… for about 10 seconds. πŸ™‚

If You’re a Texture Freak…

Puh-lease make yourself a barley breakfast bowl STAT!

Strawberry Barley Breakfast Bowl

(Just FYI, STAT stands for statim, which is Latin for immediately. Who knew Peanut Butter Fingers was so educational!?)

I cooked the barley for this breakfast bowl last night by letting it simmer in boiling water for about 20 minutes on the stove top. I then immediately stuck the hot grains in the fridge.

I also added several frozen strawberries on top of the barley in the fridge to thaw out overnight.

This morning I scooped a cup of Dannon Greek yogurt over the fruit and barley to round out the bowl.

Breakfast is Served

My barley bowl was enjoyed with a tumbler full of my gym’s free Barnie’s cinnamon butter cookie coffee. This stuff is like dessert in a cup. Fantastic!

Dig In!

Sadie was sulking as I was taking these pictures…

"Yo, Woman, How 'Bout Some Barley Fo' Me?"

…So I had to shower her with lots of puppy love (and give her a doggie treat) to get back in her good graces.

I Love My Dog

I almost fell over after snapping this picture. Sadie seemed to enjoy my stumbling and jumped on me again. More puppy love ensued. πŸ˜€

Late Night Snack

When I am done blogging after dinner I may have a snack before bed. This snack is usually a peanut butter finger, a handful of nuts, yogurt or something relatively light.

Not last night!

Last night we brought out the big guns.

Orville Redenbacher's Caramel Pop Corn

My mom brought me and Ryan a bag of this deliciousness when she was visiting on Tuesday.

Orville Redenbacher’s caramel popcorn (the kind that comes with a huge pouch of caramel to melt over the popcorn) is so hard to find. My family used to enjoy it all the time when when lived in Illinois but we haven’t seen it in Florida grocery stores in years. I was super excited when she brought me a bag to enjoy!

Ryan and I downed the entire bag in less than five minutes while watching So You Think You Can Dance (glad so many of you are fans of this show too!!!).

Caramel Popcorn

I’ll be honest, I think the popcorn-eating ratio was 80% me, 20% Ryan. πŸ˜€

Questions of the Day

  • Are you a late-night snacker or is the kitchen closed once dinner is over?
  • What late-night snacks do you typically enjoy?

Winning Equation

No vodka + Adequate hydration = Successful run

6-Mile Run Thumbs Up!

Stats

After learning that happy hour coupled with not drinking enough water the day before a long run is a recipe for disaster, I made sure to hydrate properly yesterday and – wouldn’t you know – it made a huge difference!

This morning Sadie and I tackled the 6 mile run we were supposed to complete on Saturday as part of my half marathon training plan. Today’s run was five bazillion times better than Saturday’s cramp-fest.

I felt strong and gave myself a little pep talk as I was running.

Truth be told, I signed up for the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon (which takes place on August 1) with some of my friends because it seemed like a neat way to conclude my bachelorette party.

Unlike my last half, I signed up for this race on a whim. Last time, I really thought about it and committed myself to training. Plus, I was curious to see whether or not I physically could complete a half marathon. Each long run was like a mini-milestone.

Now that I know that I can run 13.1 miles, I don’t have the same drive to run and follow a training plan like I did before. I’ve been having a bit of a mental struggle because I don’t like feeling like I have to run. I prefer working out for fun and doing whatever form of exercise calls to me on a particular day.

This morning, my pep talk with myself addressed this issue.

I am determined to re-commit myself to this training. It’s only two months of training with runs scheduled three times a week. No big deal! I feel so blessed to be able to run.

When I think back on the time that I injured my hip and couldn’t run for months, I feel grateful for the opportunity to run in this upcoming half marathon.

My mini-pep talk was filled with tough love and served as the kick-in-the-butt that I needed. Half marathon here I come! πŸ˜€

Post Run

One of the great things about running at 5:30 in the morning is being done before 6:30 a.m.!

I had some extra time on my hands this morning and I put itΒ  to good use by doing some dishes, vacuuming and straightening up our apartment.

Dishes = Done (I know our cabinets are heinous. We're renting. Don't judge.)

Clean Apartment

During my quick clean, I placed six of Sadie’s toys back in her toy bin.

Sadie's Playmates

Last night Ryan and I were talking about how ridiculous it is that Sadie has so many toys. We’d throw some away, but she honestly plays with every single one. She’s an equal-opportunity player. πŸ˜‰

After my super-fast clean, my tummy started to get angry at me.

“Feed me, you little jerk,” it said.

I’m never hungry immediately following a run, but 25 minutes later my stomach wants some food!

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning featured my favorite little grain.

Caress the Barley

Barley was the highlight of my yogurt bowl, which also included freshly sliced strawberries.

Berries + Barley

Breakfast Bowl

Stirred Up

So good!

Barley breakfast bowls are one of my all-time favorite breakfasts (French toast still holds the number one spot).

Bridesmaid Dress Update

Check out the text message I received from Ryan this morning:

This Just In...

You know what that means!!! Full speed ahead with the bridesmaid dress orders!!!

I’m glad Ryan seems to have changed his mind about the champagne/cashmere color of the bridesmaid dress.

We really haven’t discussed it too much since looking at the dresses on Sunday, but I did show him some pictures of other weddings where the bridesmaids wore champagne dresses which I think helped him see how elegant and classy they can look. We’ll discuss it a little more tonight, but I’m hoping to place an order soon! πŸ˜€

If you are married, what colors did you feature in your wedding? If you’re not married, what colors do you see yourself selecting for your big day?

Barley Love & a Birthday

Since barley basically blew my socks off in my breakfast bowl yesterday, I cooked up another batch of the healthy grain to include in my lunch today.

Healthy Grain

I added cauliflower and broccoli (roasted with olive oil and garlic salt), fresh spinach and a wedge of Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese to round out my meal.

Barley Veggie Bowl

Thursday Lunch

The nutty taste of barley really appeals to me, though I think my favorite thing about the grain is its texture. It’s chewy, with an al dente pasta-like consistency that makes my tongue do a little happy dance.

All-in-all a filling, nutritious and delicious lunch.

Happy Birthday To…

My dad!

Me & My Dad, 1987

Happy birthday to my wonderful father.

My dad is such a fun, loving, hard-working, family-oriented, slightly intense πŸ˜‰ and passionate man and I feel so blessed to be his daughter.

Getting a Lesson in Sea Creatures from My Dad

Daddy, I wish I could be with you on your special day to eat a piece of marble cake and sing you happy birthday! I love you so much.

Oh, and I called today to schedule an appointment to get my car detailed over Father’s Day weekend when I’ll be home with you in St. Pete, which I thought would make you happy. πŸ™‚

Father/Daughter Hug On the Night Ryan Proposed

Happy birthday!!!

Of Possible Interest