Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Accomplishing some 2010 goals!

I've been running!  And hiking!  I actually think the hiking has really helped the running, but I am excited to report on both fronts.  :)
I have always wanted to be this cool:
Heather and I have completed three hikes toward my goal of five this year, and I have been running for 30 minutes on the treadmill several days a week (lunchtime gym runs!).  I am feeling pretty fit and accomplished!

Snow Lake made for a beautiful hike, even with the fog, but it was a very rocky trail making the way home seem never-ending - Heather and I were both wishing for hiking boots!  The grade was easy, and I would do it again for a better glimpse of the lake.
Next weekend we are off to Kendall Katwalk, and the following week we are going to do Blanca Lake - these are going to be a challenge, but I can't wait!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Twin Falls Trail

A day off work to take a hike?  Yes please!  :) 
Twin Falls Trail
Beautiful waterfalls, tons of trees, a great afternoon.  :)

I've taken up hiking...

Every weekend?  Sure why not.  It is way more fun than going to the gym, and the view!  That makes all the hard work getting up the mountain worth it.  :)
Rattlesnake Ledge

Seattle's Kubota Garden

Kuboto Garden
 (A great location for a free date in Seattle!)  :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer has finally arrived in Seattle

I know some may find it shocking, but it is quite often beautifully sunny here in Seattle. It is especially nice (and noticeable) when you get to skip the stuffy gym in favor of a couple laps around Green Lake with a good friend and some sunscreen. :)

Happy Monday! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How do you feel about a 'diet'?

I don't cover my diet or weight loss journey here too much, but my life (and diet) have been changing! I mention this now, because what I do post here (recopies and the like) are bound to experience a makeover as a result. :)
Under my doctors supervision and direction I have been following an anti-inflammatory diet for the last three or four weeks. This means no wheat, animal dairy of any kind, no potatoes, corn, peanuts, tomatoes, oranges or grapefruit, and really trying to eliminate all processes foods from my diet.
I can eat all veggies, fruits, chicken, turkey, eggs, wild game, fish, now shellfish (added back today -woo hoo!), olive oil, nuts, coconut products, quinoa, rice, rye, spelt (also added today) and other non-wheat grains.
What I am finding amazing is just how common corn and potatoes are - they are in everything!!!
But, here we go with the healthy stuff! I am finding that I really like this doctor, and while I'm still getting over my cold, I'm feeling pretty good! Really, growing up in semi-rural Alaska, this is the diet I grew up on, it will be an interesting journey discovering how my body likes the diet as an adult. :)

Quinoa with Shrimp, Carrots and Zucchini
Serves two, or dinner for one with lunch leftovers. :)

2 cups cooked quinoa
10 large pre-cooked shrimp
1/4 medium white onion
10 baby carrots
5 shitaki mushrooms
2 small cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil

I have a rice maker, but still don't like to wait for my grains to cook - I make a big batch, and then freeze rice or other grains in two person servings, so I can have dinner done quickly. :)

Heat/cook you quinoa, set aside.
Warn a medium pan, add olive oil, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and carrots and let them sweat at a low to medium temperature releasing the sweetness of onions and carrots, and flavoring the mushrooms and oil.
Once your carrots are cooked to your desired doneness (I like mine still a bit crunchy) add your shrimp and zucchini. Cook for another minute or two just until you shrimp are warmed up - over cooked shrimp are rubbery and over cooked zucchini is mushy, so watch this step closely.
Top your quinoa with shrimp and veggies and enjoy! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Out sick

I love the food blogs out there with multiple daily posts, I love the healthy ideas and insight, encouragement for weight loss, fitness, and healthy living. 'Food porn' with a healthy twist? Lol... I'm a fan! (I always laugh at the phrase 'food porn'!)
But yesterday I got a sickness... Well, I guess that isn't entirely true, I've had it since Sunday, but yesterday it became official and I got antibiotics! So this proposed week of food business maybe a bit delayed - I'm sorry!
I hope to be healthy soon!
In the meantime, how are you spending the weekend? (let me live vicariously!) :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Before and After bathroom tile

Did you know you are supposed to seal you tiles and grout? 
Hmm....  I didn't.  That was a hard lesson to learn. 
Here is my lesson:  White grout gets dirty.  Octagon tiles are charming until you have to clean the tiny grout around them individually.  If you seal your tile apperiantly it is supposed to stay clean!
We spent DAYS scratching away the top layer of grout, bleaching, cleaning, sealing.  If you are attacking a similar tile I would highly recommend spending $100 on a dremel to remove the grout.  It is worth your time and money.
It is nice having a brand new clean white floor!  :)  We applied two layers of sealant, and from what I hear (oh how I love Young House Love!) sealant should be reapplied every 6 months. 
Have you ever learned a home related lesson the hard way?  (If so, could you clue me in?  I'm not such a fan of learning the hard way!  lol...)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Ladybug Farm Series by Donna Ball

I've read two and am on the hunt for more!  Though it sounds like I have to wait until October for the third Ladybug Farm book, I have loved the first two - tales of three women (life long friends) who buy an old farm/vineyard/mansion, and attempt to restore both it and themselves while dealing with what life throws in the way.  I found myself identifying with all three women, wanting to pack up and move to Virginia, drag some friends along, make a dairy into an art studio and fulfill that long held dream of living off of something I can make. 
I could do this...  or at least I was so enchanted by this book that I certainly want to give it a try.  Are you with me?  :)

Port Townsend

We've been back a week, and I cannot yet figure out a way to explain how much I love this place.
So instead of trying to describe it with words (a bench that is ours, the first fire of the year, and rose buds on a bike ride), I may just show you the things I now miss the most.
Port Townsend is a place I would love to move to, my ideal kind of town all squished together in walking/biking distance, on a bluff with beaches to wander, and ocean scented breezes. 
We spend camping trips walking beaches, snuggled together on cool nights, pretending we are roughing it, but really .... well, lets just say we camp in a tent, but there is an air mattress involved.  :)
Saturday we wandered the town on our bikes, seeing things we hadn't before, found a house I would love to own, visited a farmers' market, ate some Japanese, and visited our favorite ice cream shop.  The sun even came out for some afternoon napping and more beach exploring.
Even looking at these pictures I want to go back.  :)  It was one of the best (and most relaxing) trips we have taken together, I've already booked for next year.  :)

Where are your favorite places?

Friday, July 2, 2010

A year in pictures

I have completed my Project 365!
365 pictures, a year of my life. 
Here are a few of my favorites days:

What should I take pictures of next?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Elliot Bay Book Company and the EBC

Okay, one more post before bed.  :)
If you live in Seattle, I'm sure you know.  Elliot Bay Book Company (aka my most favoritest book store ever) has relocated (closer to my house!).
Within the last week I have visited (ahem) several times.  One time I even brought my own book so I could just hang out.  The thing is, it's Seattle.  It rains here, a lot.  Or at least it has been this year.  We all know what that means right?  Coffee, rain, and the bookstore?  They go hand in hand! 
The thing is, this bookstore is just sooooo good!  They always have authors coming in to speak (many of which are free events), they have amazing book recommendations from the employees (I have found many of my most favorite books due to that recommendation wall), and though this is a new location, it still smells like the old one, only this one has the addition of amazing skylights.  Needless to say, it is love.  (I think I need to join one of their book clubs!)
Oh, and the new EBC (Elliot Bay Cafe), they still have my favorite salad:  Arugula, pear, goat cheese, and roasted pine nuts.  I'm listing this as restaurant #4 for the year, because well, I told my boyfriend that if I am ever missing and he can't find me, I am probably here.  :)
'Night all!  :)

Smoothie mix-ins

I'm wondering what you think of Amazing Meal or Amazing Grass?
I keep seeing people in blogland adding this to smoothies; you know toss in a few handfuls of spinach, 1/2 a banana, some fruit, ice, soy milk and Amazing Grass - tada!  they are drinking a VERY green smoothie that everyone seems to love!  What is the scoop?
The ingredients seem okay, nothing too crazy in there, so I wandered over to their website and ordered some samples.  Samples!  What a great idea right? 
Boy am I glad I tried before I went hog wild and bought a tub!  lol... I started the experiment with wheat grass, which prior to this I had never tried before, so maybe it was just the shock of something new?
Let me tell you, wheat grass is not good.  I mean really bad!  lol.....
But that is the only bad thing I have to say.  :)
I have learned that I don't like wheat grass on it's own, but the rest of my sample pack was mighty tasty!  I, like Jamie over at Embracing Balance liked the Original better than any of the flavor varieties (the rest seemed too sweet for me), and I am not quite up to adding in spinach, but the addition did make for a tasty and nutritious smoothie!  :)
What are some of your favorite smoothie additions?

The Bloedel Reserve

I've been wanting to post pictures, but you know, busybusy.  :)
The Bloedel Reserve is amazing, have you ever been?  We had tried to visit before, but were unsuccessful, so I've been lusting after it's beauty for some time. 
With David's parents in town we had the perfect excuse for a ferry trip and trek about the reserve.
Here's the thing that makes this place so amazing:  It used to be someone's retirement home.  People lived here, loved this place, the grounds, the space, the view of the ocean, the zen garden and Christmas pond, bridges and orchids, all of this beauty belonged to someone.  And now you can wander through.
It was the perfect afternoon, a long stroll through a beautiful space, a perfect place to take family or out of town guests. 
....and there is a wishing bench.  :)
What would you wish for?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Blueberry welcome muffins

David's parents arrived last night for their annual visit, so I had baked some blueberry muffins, added some fruit and magazines, a few 'hello and welcome!' treats.  :) 
I feel like it is always nice to have a basket of homemade/healthy snacks when you are staying in a hotel on vacation.  How do you wlecome family?

Blueberry Muffins
I' m not sure where I found this recipe, but I use it often.  The muffins come out so large and fluffy you would think they are store bought, but the secret is in the yogurt! 

3 cups flour (I have mixed this, half white and half wheat with good results)
1 TBSP baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

10 TBSP unsalted butter (1 1.4 sticks) softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt - I just use whatever I have, plain, vanilla, lemon, blueberry, greek, I have even had to supplement my yogurt with a little lite sour cream - it all works.  :)
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 1.2 cups blueberries (don't add extra here, your muffins will fall apart!  lol....)
1 TBSP flour if you are using defrosted frozen berries

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Wisk together dry ingredients in a small bowl.

Beat butter sugar and eggs together, one egg at a time.
Add 1/2 of your dry ingredients to your wet, mix.
Add 1/2 of the yogurt, mix.
Mix in the remaining dry mixture, and then then last half of the yogurt. 
Gently fold in your blueberries and lemon zest if using.

Fill a standard 12 muffin tin - it will look full, but trust me, they bake up beautifully!  You can sprinkle a bit of sugar on the tops of the muffins if you are going for that coffee shop experience.  :)
Bake muffins until golden 25-30 minutes.  Let muffins cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning them out to cool completely. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

TJ's Fake Fried Rice

After reading TJ's Test Kitchen last night I knew dinner had to be 'fake fried rice'!  I didn't have all of her ingrediants, so I made a few adjustments, but you've got to try this - so easy and SO TASTY!  :)

TJ's Fake Fried Rice
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup egg beaters (I used one egg)
green onion-diced
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed veggies-defrosted
splash (or two) of soy sauce
1 clove of garlic-pressed
2 teaspoons olive oil
splash (or two) rice vinegar

I didn't have any green onion or frozen veggies, but did have regular onion, baby carrots, some broccoli, and about 10 shittaki mushrooms.  I diced everything very small, sauteed the onions, carrots, and mushrooms until tender, and then proceeded to her directions:

"In a large skillet or wok add oil, garlic-toss in rice and stir to mix & coat rice with oil/garlic. Add veggies (this is where I added the broccoli) and cook until heated through. Make a hole in middle of pan; add egg beaters and scramble until cooked. Stir entire pan, mixing egg into rice. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, and green onion."

I also added about 10 or so roughly chopped shrimp at the end - we buy the cleaned and pre-cooked frozen variety from Trader Joe's so they are super easy to thaw quickly in a bowl of water, and then toss in your dish of choice.

Yum!  This was an awesome treat, I am excited for lunch leftovers!  :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I've been away!

After a sunny week in Las Vegas, I am so thankful for my Seattle clouds, but I had a great time visiting my friend Carrie and her family!  We walked the Strip, had dinner in Paris (lol... the casino!), relaxed at a (FABULOUS) spa, shopped 'til I dropped, admired the roses, ducked fire at a Japanese restaurant, and enjoyed a girly craft day.  Whew!  It was a whirl wind trip (and by the end I really missed my honey!), but we had so much fun!
Do you have any fancy vacations planned?  I would love to hear about them!  :)

Pan Africa Market with Amanda

Let me just tell you up front, prior to visiting this restaurant I wasn't too sure about African food, I guess I was just worried that it would be too spicy, or mostly curries which I am not too fond of, but after hearing my friend Amanda go on about how she loves the Pan Africa Market, I agreed to meet up for a sampling.  :)
I am so glad I did!  I ordered the Mango Pineapple Chicken, which was broiled in a mango pineapple curry sauce and served with rice, half an avocado, black beans and a fruity salad.  I loved it and ate every bite!  lol...  Give it a try if you find yourself down by the pike place market, it was delicious!  :)

Friday, May 28, 2010


As my brother would say, all smashed together like that, no time for spaces!  lol....  Today is the last day of my busy May work season, I am off to work after completing my 100 morning push-ups, grabbing an iced coffee, and packing my gym clothes.
David has said that he will give me $200 to complete 100 push-ups each morning before I am off on vacation to visit my friend Carrie in Vegas.  Pretty good deal right?  lol....  lets just say I asked for some specifics and then agreed promptly.  Yes, I will be buff, and he will pay for my spa time while in Vegas!  
I also am trying a new workout from the most recent issue of Oxygen Magazine.  Basically that cardio I have been killing myself at?  It is taking a back seat to some timed (light) weight lifting.  I will post more on this after I have tried it a few more times, but so far I am loving that my workout is done in half the time and I am twice as sweaty!  I am going to be doing Oxygen workouts 5 days a week during my lunch hour, and then on Saturdays David and I are going to get into some more CrossFit training.  I have been struggling with loosing fat lately, so I am trying my attack from different angles!  :)
Also, I had a comment requesting information on Jodi Picoult books, I didn't forget you, I promise!  :)
I, like most of the other women in my office have become addicted to these books, I trade them back and forth with my Mom, and love that they offer something that we both can get into.  My favorite of her books has been Plain Truth, a story about a young Amish girl who became pregnant, had the baby in the barn, and then woke up to find the baby no longer there.  The book tells of Amish life, belief, system of justice, and a mother's love.  It also included quite a bit of German/Pennsylvania Dutch, so it was fun asking David how to pronounce words properly.  :)
All of the Jodi Picoult books tell a sometimes tragic, sometime just traumatic story.  They have a legal twist involving jail time/a court case, and end leaving you wanting more, maybe hating the ending, questioning what really happened, or what you would do in that situation.  It took me two books to really be hooked, but now I have pretty much read them all.  lol....  If you liked John Grisham books, you would like these, they teach you something without you even realizing it.  :)

And one last thing!  I only have a month more in my Project 365!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


'Yummy food in my tummy!' Hummus
(Hummus recipe from my boss, crazy title, but you may seriously want to lick the bowl clean.  Just warning you.)  :)
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup tahini (sesame butter, ask your grocer if you can't find it, sometimes with hummus section, sometimes with peanut butters)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
pinch of ground black pepper

Put all ingredients besides garbanzo beans in your blender or food processor (I used a magic bullet and just mixed in batches).  Blend for 5 seconds.

Add garbanzo beans gradually, blend to desired consistency.

Dream of all of the delicious add ins, olives, red peppers, herbs......
I may never buy hummus again.
:) Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


1.  Yesterday I accidentally left my phone at home.  It's absence left me somewhat uneasy all day.

2.  I am semi-obsessed with my fingernails at the moment, I wish they always looked so nice.

3.  My Mom and I have been reading a lot of Jodi Piccult books lately.  It is her fault, she got me hooked.

4.  How are your 2010 goals shaping up?  I have had to really work to lose weight (I am a calorie tracking Queen!  ...or at least my iPhone is), but I have been dropping inches like crazy!
January and May:

5.  Tuesday also marked the 1st sandal day of the year.  :)

Happy Wednesday!