Travel Zombie

I got home from North Carolina last night around 10:30 which for those of you unfamiliar with time zones is equal to 1:30 Eastern time.  Which normally wouldn’t seem that bad except that I’d gotten up at 5:30 EST to go running with one of my new co-workers (having gone to bed at midnight the night before).  So really, when talking PST, I was up from 2:30 AM – 11:30 PM and ran 4.3 miles, listened to 5+ hours of presentations, spent 3+ hours in airports and about 7 hours on various airplanes.  And then I had to be to work today by 8.

No wonder I handed Chris the cheese grader when he asked for the slicer this morning (duh, doesn’t everyone want shredded cheese on their sandwich).

But yeah, exhaustion aside, North Carolina was awesome and my new teammates are great.  I am so happy I went.  I didn’t take my big camera but here’s what I managed to capture on the ‘ole iphone.

Trip highlights include a round of golf (in much colder weather than anticipated), an amazing mexican feast (with the best tiramisu I’d ever had) at a co-worker’s house, and the early morning run around the UNC campus.  It was an awesome experience.

And because my blog is supposed to be about healthy living – I should mention that I actually ran both days.  Tuesday was on the treadmill and Wednesday was the outside run.  I make sure every time I get to a hotel to check out their workout facilities and the Carolina Inn had a great little room with some nice treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and weights.  And I planned ahead and brought oatmeal and peanut flour mixes and just heated up water with the hotel room coffee pot so that I could still work-out, eat breakfast and make it to the lobby at the designated 7:30 am departure time.

Am I coherent?  All the sudden I feel like I’m tying random things and I really should stop.  I’m off to try to find some sort of dinner.  Nothing really sounds good so we’ll see what I come up with. Can’t believe tomorrow is only Friday.  I feel like it’s been ages since I was packing my bag up on Sunday.  Whew.  Time flies when you’re having fun?

2 October Challenges, family visits + I can’t stop eating M&Ms

Couple things to talk about today…the most interesting might be that I physically cannot stop eating M&Ms.  Like seriously impossible.  My mom gave me a bag of the minis which she said we were suppose to save and give out as Halloween Candy (um, have you met me and my sweet tooth) and I wasn’t going to open them I swear, but I got snacky on the car ride home from Olympia and well, pretty much I’ve done nothing but dive into the bags ever since.

And while eating all that candy wasn’t good I’d like to think of it as my last hoorah before October challenge number one starts tomorrow.  Challenge one = no sugar.  One of the pilates teachers and the Zumba teacher at the gym are giving up sugar and I’m joining in.  They’re following this 21 day detox plan which includes both sugar and alcohol and I’m sure a couple other things that you can find in the guide.  I haven’t gotten the guide and I don’t know how closely I’ll follow the alcohol plan because cutting out sugar is enough.  And we’re not talking natural sugar, we’re talking sweets – candy, cookies, M&Ms’ etc.  Last weekend I told my grandma I was going to give up candy starting last Monday and I did good until the weekend when I blew it on some delicious banana, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies that Chris’ grandma made me so hopefully a new month will give me that push to really make it happen.  Let me know if you want to join me, I could definitely use the support.

October challenge number two is a fun little contest I found here. It’s called the Rocktober challenge and basically every day there’s a fitness/healthy challenge that you need to do and take a picture of and then tweet it to @MichelleLMyers.  Tomorrow is “athletic shoes.”  Easy.  I looked at the rest of the month and they’re pretty fun – wall sit, favorite nut butter, fitness quote that inspires you…Oh and best part, you are entered to win prizes if you complete the whole month.

And now, the actual reason I started this post, the recap of my weekend.  We went up to Seattle to watch my Washington State Cougars take on the Oregon Ducks.  I knew it was going to be a blow-out so I didn’t have very high expectations but surprisingly the Cougs held their own for the first half before stinking it up big time in the second.

And because we like to pack in as many things and people as possible, we hung out with Chris’ grandma and cousin on Saturday where beyond just feeding us delicious cookies made a tasty lunch of grilled turkey, grain salad, fresh from the garden tomatoes and avocados.

We also hung out with my dad, step-mom and sister.

And on the way home this afternoon we stopped in Olympia and had lunch with my mom, brother and grandma at Red Robin (and it was delicious – the whiskey river BBQ chicken wrap with honey mustard for the fries in one of my most favorite meals).

And now that I’ve written a novel it’s time to go.  Revenge is on!

Happy Saturday

Happy Saturday my friends. Hoping you have some fun things planned today? I will be at the WSU v Oregon game where I will be watching my Cougs get crushed by the Ducks. They’re predicted to lose by 28 points. Yikes.

On the trip up to Seattle Chris and I played one of our favorite car games – name that 80’s or 90’s tune. You have to guess the artist, title and year of the song. Trust me. It makes car rides fly by.

20120929-080726.jpg
We stopped in Olympia and saw my brother on the way up. Loved hanging out with him. I don’t get to see him nearly enough. Also in Olympia we saw a gorgeous sunset.

20120929-080913.jpg
When we got to Seattle I chatted with my sister and got stressed out about the youth of America. She is 11 and receiving texts from stalkerish boy who calls her sexy and goes to school with a group of girls who call themselves the “sexy 7.” Do I really want to have kids? (Note – my sister does not participate in any if this “sexy” calling thank goodness).

20120929-081222.jpg
I also stayed up way too late watching Eight Below, the movie with Paul Walker and these amazing dogs in Antarctica. If you like dogs you should watch it. Totally tugs at your heart.

With that, I’m off to start my day but wanted to leave you with a quote I saw on Facebook.

20120929-081632.jpg
Adios.

Things I am jazzed about

Can you tell I’ve been busy at night enjoying our glorious weather that seems to be never-ending?  Instead of trying new recipes, taking pictures or talking about my workouts we’ve been celebrating our anniversary, meeting friends downtown for dinner, going on long walks and eating Chipotle.  Ahhh the life.  And the best part, it looks like the sun is going to stick around at least for another week which is even better because I’ll be able to lay out all day and enjoy it.

“How?”  You ask?

Because this gal is taking a vacation.  Except not really.  I just have tons of time off saved up. So much that if I don’t use it I’ll lose it so I took all of next week off.  Chris and I might go to the beach for a couple of days or we might not.  And on the days he has to go to work and I don’t, I’ll be laying out on the deck.  Soaking up those fleeting summer rays.  Can’t wait.

You know what else I can’t wait for?  The rodeo!  Tomorrow AM we’re heading to Pendleton, OR to catch the finals of the Pendleton Round Up.  We’ve never been to this rodeo and I’m super excited.  As long as I can find a cute dress to wear…that’s my after-work mission.

To match these boots.

But first I have to get through the rest of today.  A couple of meetings, a workout, the Coug game.

And while we’re on the topic of workouts, it has been a pretty good week on that front.  Pilates + cardio Monday and Wednesday, circuit workout + cardio Tuesday, and yesterday I went for a 4 mile run outside.  The best part – my knees didn’t hurt on the run, after it or this morning.

Alright, I feel like this post has been random enough so I better get a move on.  But, I will leave you with one of my favorite photos from Tuesday’s 2 year anniversary photo session (and by photo session I mean me strategically setting the camera on the deck and running back and forth between auto-timed shots).  Chance dog was so excited for me to be in the pic that he full-on licked my face.  That guy.

Hope you all have good weekends.

Picking berrries & making jam

This is how I spent the bulk of my weekend.  And it was awesome.  My mom came down to visit and wanted to get some use out of the big water bath canning pot she got me for my birthday so we set to work.  We drove out Smith’s Berry Barn which is the cutest place ever!  Not only do they have berries and produce to pick they also have a store on site where you can get just-picked fruits and veggies along with the most amazing gift shop ever.  I wanted everything! But I settled for a $30 bottle of lotion (side note, I know that is ridiculous but I HAD to have it).

Here are some snaps from the picking:

Bonus points for being run by Cougs :)

My mom :)

Amanda & me

So after we picked the berries (which we did in about 2 hours in the rain) we turned them into jam.  This was the 1st time I’ve made jam by myself.  Good thing my mom was around to help Amanda and I out or who knows what would have happened without her.

While my mom opted for a traditional recipe and used sugar, Amanda and I were determined to make “healthy” jam so we used honey and agave nectar.  Here’s the recipe we followed.  If I were to do it again, I’d cut way back on lemon juice and add a little more berries.  I wanted 3 solid pints and the original recipe got me 2.5.  I’d do something more like this:

Blackberry Honey Jam

  • 1 box no sugar pectin
  • 6 cups mashed  berries
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup honey or agave (we used a mix of both)

First, remove all the debris from your berries (my mom is an expert at this and does it in the field.  I learned the hard way and had to do it at home), lightly rinse with water and then mash them.

Definitely a little confusing to know how mashed is mashed enough.

And then measure out the cups.

Add the lemon juice and then bring to a boil on the stove.

Once your berries are on the stove, mix your honey/agave and pectin together and add to your berries once they start to boil.  Make sure you’re stirring this whole time and keep stirring (without reducing heat) until they set.  This was a little vague in the recipe we used and it turned out to be about 10 minutes.  You can test for “setness” but putting a little spoonful of berries in the freezer for about a minute.  You can easily tell when things have jelled.  Just keep cooking until set.

Then pour into jars.

Wipe off the rims, add the lids (make sure you get a tight seal) and add the rings.  Then put them in a water bath.

Make sure there is about 2 inches of water above the jars and bring to boil.  Put the lid on and boil for 20 minutes.  Remove the jars, check to make sure they sealed (the lid should be flat not popped) and store in a cool, dry place.

And there you go.  Jam.  If they don’t set you can pop them back into a water bath for another 20 minutes (2 had two jars that needed a 2nd round).

I also froze one flat for smoothies.  Lay all the berries out on a cookie sheet to freeze individually and then transfer to a freezer bag later.

I ended up with 7 jars of jam (a few from my mom’s berries) and an additional 2.5 gallon bags of frozen berries for smoothies.  It seems like a lot but I’m sure they’ll go fast.  Especially the frozen berries.  I’m actually considering going back next weekend for a few more and to check on their peppers and tomatoes which are supposed to be ready.  Now that I’ve tackled jam I’m ready to move onto tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Too bad my mom can’t come over every weekend.

Who out there has made jam?  Any favorite recipes?  Has anyone canned tomatoes and can tell me what I need to do for that?

 

 

 

 

Off the Grid

This weekend I had no cell phone, no computer, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram…off the grid.  Completely.

We went camping at Barlow Creek up near Mt. Hood and it was great.  In the history of our relationship, Chris and I have had 1 sunny weather camping trip with all the rest taking place in the pouring rain.  Not this time!  We finally had glorious weather for our outdoor adventures.  It was a great campsite with the picnic table area up near the road and then our own private beach down by the creek.  And to be honest, we really didn’t do much besides relax, play cornhole (the boys), read (the girls) and eat (all of us).  Not going to lie, I certainly enjoyed some bad for me food (um lets not even talk about the amount of licorice or giant doritos I consumed this weekend).  But it was great.  Well deserved rest and relaxation.

When we got home I actually hoped on the spin bike (in all my filthy camping grossness…please still be my friend) for 45 minutes and then did a tiny arm circuit (front & side raises, shoulder press, tricep extension, front rows, bent over lateral raise) and finished off with about 250 crunches.  And then finally I showered.

And then we ate pizza.  Whoops.  Clearly I will be losing my diet bet.  I hope those of you who are doing it are having more success than I am…However this was our last “big” weekend before football season starts (have I mentioned we have season tickets to the Beavers) so I hoping I can pull things together these last two weeks before tailgating starts.

Alright off to watch the closing ceremonies and Newsroom.  What was your favorite moment of the Olympics?  I’m going to go with swimming.  I still love Michael and I’m a new fan of Missy.

Black, Blue & Delicious + I need a new book

It’s going to be a hot one today. We’re talking 97 degrees which rarely happens here. There’s even an extreme weather advisory. Yikes. Hope I don’t melt :) And I can already tell I’m going to need some serious sunscreen because by 7:30 we had our living room fan turned on (PS we have no AC…tonight’s gonna be fun). Chris was way better than me and got up and went for a run while I opted for some leisurely breakfast eating while listening/watching Great American’s Country. Ahhhhh Saturday’s.

And I know right now you’re just dying to know what I had for breakfast so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

Black & Blue Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/4 cup protein plus peanut flour
  • 1/2 scoop Designer Whey French Vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup (ish) spinach
  • 1 teaspoon psyllilum husk powder (fiber)
  • 1 teaspoon raw maca (energy/hormone balancing)
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Nutritional stats:

Next I was going to tell you about last night’s delicious stir-fry dinner but Chris got back and asked me if I wanted to go for a walk with he and Chance. How could I say no to that? :) And then after our 20 minute (already steamy walk) I was already in my running clothes so I decided to pop out an easy 2 miler on the treadmill. Done and done!

And now we’re off to float the river. Can’t wait to see what kind of craziness we see out there.

But before I leave you I need some help. Tomorrow I’m planning on spending some leisurely time reading a book in the shade except that I have no book :( I polished off Night Circus (so good!) during last night’s spin-bike cardio session. I’m looking for a good “beachy” type read. You know, a little summertime easy reading. Maybe with a love story thrown in?

Any recommendations?

Note – apparently this post didn’t post this morning.  We’re now back from 7 hours on the river in 100 degree weather and I did not get burned anywhere!  That makes me really happy because I always seem to miss spots with my sunscreen.  Today I applied my SPF 30 about 30 times and while I was made fun of a few times I’m glad I did.  Gotta protect your skin :)

5 miles, Paddle Boards, Brews, Bike Rides & Birthdays

Ok so you remember here how I talked about the perfect day? Well I was wrong. Yesterday truly was the perfect day. Pure bliss. A day that I will hopefully remember for many, many years to come. It also happened to be my father-in-law’s 59th birthday and I hope that when I turn 59 I have a day like this (and can be as fit as Chris’ parents are).

To start the day off, Chris and I went for an almost 5 mile run. Together. I can’t even tell you the last time this happened. He runs much faster than I do so normally we split up but he wanted to keep his pace in check and I pushed myself a littler more than normal.

And then I kicked it at the pool for a little bit, getting deeper into Night Circus (which is a great book) before we went off on our main adventure of the day.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding!!!! Chris and I had tried it once before in Mexico and it was kind of disaster. Not sure if it was a rough ocean or small board but we sucked. We’ve been wanting to try it again for quite a while and when we floated the idea by Chris’ dad he said he’d love to try it on his birthday. Fantastic! We have a friend who owns a place in Bend (Stand on Liquid) so we headed on over to pick up some boards.

All 4 of us stood up and paddled for almost 2 hours, going both with and against the Deschutes current. It was so much fun. Much easier than in Mexico but still super impressed that both of my in-laws were out there paddling around with the best of them. How many 58 & 59 year olds do that? In fact, Chris’ dad was flying back up the river on the way back in while I was struggling in the distance. I’m ready to buy a board and become a SUP addict. Only problem being Portland lacks in good spots to do it….Oh well, guess this is just another reason we need a place in Bend :)

And because apparently SUP burns 500-700 calories an hour, we decided to head over to Deschutes Brewery and treat ourselves to some icy cold beers.

After an amazing day in Bend we headed back out to Sunriver, cleaned up and rode our bikes out to the marina for dinner just as the sun was setting.

Dinner was a mix tamarind margaritas, enchiladas, burritos (a few too many mosquitoes), an owl sighting, and an awesome view of the moon.

Which was in full force for our bike ride home. Let me tell you, there’s just something about riding your bike in the cool summer air, in the middle of the country, surrounded by a river, under a full moon, with fantastic people that makes you want to pinch yourself. It’s hard to believe that this is my life. I am so thankful.

And to cap off the night we cheers’ed to Chuck. Happy 59th Birthday!

What a great family I married into.

I am so glad we got to have yesterday. It was a perfect ending to an absolutely perfect vacation.

And while I would love to sit here and share more pics from our trip I’ve got to get a move on…you know, showering, unpacking…all those good things. But before I go, I wanted to remind you that my Diet Bet starts today. I’m starting off at 138.8 pounds and by September 1st my goal is to get to 132 pounds which means I’ve got quite the challenge ahead of me. Good luck to the rest of the ladies joining me and if anyone else wants in it’s not too late to sign up.

Oh and by way, head over to Robin’s Bite where you can see a feature on my fridge and why I fill it the way I do.

Chest + Tri + Broken Bikes

Today, for my warm-up, I walked to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Or so says the step mill…I followed that up with some chest and tricep work that looked a little like this.

I finished the whole thing off with 15 minutes on the rowing machine plus some solid foam rolling and I thought I was done with my workout for the day but that changed when I got home and realized I used the red pepper meant for tonight’s dinner (jambalaya) last night.  Whoops. So we called an audible and decided to ride our bikes down to Laughing Planet for a burrito.  I thought we were heading straight home but Chris wanted to ride around which normally I’d have been all for but I just wasn’t mentally prepped for it.  I didn’t have the right clothes…or right mindset.

I felt like I was being a major complainer the whole time and I only got worse when the gears on my bike started acting up.  Like I could shift them but then they’d drop out.  This was fine when we were flat or downhill but sucked big time when we were peddling up Vermont.  Definitely got my workout that’s for sure.  Eventually (after I about had a breakdown in the middle of Multnomah Village) we switched bikes.  And of course, Chris had no problem with my bike for the rest of the ride.  Go figure.  But even though I was a whiny baby I’m glad I did it. I will never regret a workout :)

And now we’re back here and I’m re-hydrating.  After that, I’m going to go ice my knees and make some popcorn.  Wild times here I tell you.

There are only a few days left in the month – are you still drinking your water to make sure you #hydrateinjuly?