Biking while reading

This is what happens when you read too long in the sun on your iphone/ipad.  See, I’d planned to spend my day off reading in the sun which meant I needed to have an actual book not my ipad.  But going to the book store seemed like so much work especially when the next installment of Christian Grey Fifty Shades was available at the click of a button.

I was not the biggest fan of the 1st book and had no plans to keep reading.  The submissive woman thing totally bugged me to the point where I was kind of disgusted by the whole thing.  I do not think that it’s ok to let men dominate you.  Ug and the whole rules/contract/you can’t look me in the eyes thing, bleh.  But I was talking to my friend and she told me to keep reading, that the dom/sub thing gets slightly less intense and you get to learn a little more about Christian Grey’s background and why he is the way he is.  Since I was curious to know his back-story I bought book 2.  So far, things are better in this book.  We get a little more vanilla and less crazy times plus you learn more about his childhood and there’s even a little mystery woman thrown in.  I was so hooked that I read for 40 min on the spin bike.  Sure, not the most intense workout but it was a little cardio/active rest which my body appreciated.  I’m actually about to hop back on the bike and read some more.  I’ll probably only read for 30 min and then pick up the pace for the last 30.

Question for you…have you read all the 50 Shades books?  Thoughts? If you have, who do you think should play Christian in a movie?  I’m going with this guy.  

And because Christian Grey is a fictional character in a book and my husband is so much better, I ditched the ipad for the night and we headed downtown to enjoy the 1st real night of summer in PDX.  We met up with some friends at Mellow Mushroom for some pizza and then headed across the street to Rouge.

I love Portland in the summer :)  It’s crazy that I still have a whole weekend left to enjoy the sunshine.  How nice would it be to only work 2 days a week all the time?  Once Chris gets home today we’ll be doing some sweaty (back and arm toning) labor and moving some river rock from the top of our driveway to the backyard.  He moved half the pile yesterday but there’s still a lot more to go.  He has done an amazing job with the backyard.  I can’t wait to share pics.  Not sure of our plans after that.  Tomorrow we’re celebrating a friend’s 30th bday and taking a brew tour by bike.  Not sure how good all the beer calories will be for me but at least we have to ride a bike around to get them right?  That counts as cardio.

And I’m out.  Gotta go ride the bike and read about Mr. Grey.  But before I do, just want to check in with you on the #hydrateinJuly challenge.  I drank all 120 oz yesterday including 16 oz when I woke up.  I felt great but I did have to go to the bathroom like every 5 minutes.  Hopefully once my body gets used to the water that won’t happen as much.  I have also found it super helpful to drink out of a straw.  For my last 32 oz I stood in the kitchen and sucked the whole thing down in about a minute.  That might be my new strategy.

How is everyone else doing with the challenge?  Any tips to share?


Makela Gets Married

Phew – busy day around here.  I got up and went for a 3.5 mile run.  It felt so nice to get up and get my workout out of the way.  Then I made our standard smoothie/coffee breakfast.  After that I showered and headed out on some errands – Babies R Us for a baby shower present, Nordstrom Rack to look from some shoes for a wedding I’ll be going to next week ( I was there forever and couldn’t find anything I like.  I think I’m just going to wear my cowboy boots), and then Fred Meyer for groceries.  After that I zipped home, dropped off the groceries and headed to the baby shower.

I got home and whipped up a big batch of black bean & quinoa salad for lunches (more to come on that tomorrow) and then we had a delicious BBQ chicken pizza for dinner. Overall, a great end to a great weekend.  Which included a fantastic wedding last night.  Our friend Todd married his lady Autumn in a beautiful ceremony and a reception at the Crystal Ballroom, which for those of you unfamiliar with Portland is an awesome venue where a lot of bands come to play.  It was so cool dancing around at their reception knowing that the stage I was sitting on at the end of the night was the same one that Eric Church performed on about a year ago. And not only was it a great to be there for Todd and Autumn on their special day but we also got to see our friends Troy and Jennifer who flew in from Amsterdam, along with our friend Dennis (who lives in Bend) and his lady, and of course Craig (Chris’ best friend).  Todd, Troy, Dennis, Craig and Chris all grew up on the Oregon coast so it’s always fun to hear their stories when they all get together.  Great night.

And now I’m off to watch TV with Chris but I’ll leave you with a photo summary of the night.  Hope you all had great weekends.  Did anyone do anything super fun?


Cooking with Chris: Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

Hola, Happy Monday morning :)  Hope everyone is having a great day so far.  I’m pretty pumped for some things that are happening later in the week but I’ll tell you more about that at another time :)

What do I want to tell you about today?  How about the delicious thing that came out of my oven last night…the BBQ chicken pizza that my wonderful husband created (while I was riding the spin bike and watching The weight of the nation on my ipad)?  It was AMAZING.  We’re having leftovers tonight and I can’t wait.

Before I tell you how he made it, I’ll tempt you with some pictures.  Not only did we have the pizza, but we added in a side strawberry salad (minus chicken) and some Rose (me) and Gravity Mountain IPA (Chris). PS if you like beer you have to try Gravity Mountain.  It’s a collaboration from Double Mountain and Terminal Gravity.

The supplies

The salads

The pizza

Patton Valley Rose. So good!

Chris’ version

My version

Words cannot describe how good this was

Chris’ BBQ Chicken Pizza


  • 2 organic, boneless/skinless chicken breasts marinated in BBQ sauce (we used Rudy’s from Austin, Texas), grilled and sliced into pieces.
  • Pizza crust – we used a store-bought version from New Seasons (side note – we were super bummed that they will no longer be carrying our fave whole wheat version).
  • BBQ sauce
  • Red Pepper – sliced and roasted on a grill
  • Cilantro
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Goat Gouda
  • Corn meal

Place pizza stone in oven and pre-heat to 500F.
Roll out dough and place on top of a pizza peel sprinkled with corn meal.  Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce over dough and top with both cheeses, cilantro, roasted red pepper, and chicken.  Top with a light layer of goat gouda. Transfer pizza to pre-heated pizza stone.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool, slice into pieces and enjoy.

This might be my favorite pizza Chris has ever made.  So good.  So excited to eat it tonight.

What’s your favorite pizza?  I use to only eat pepperoni but I’ve been trying to branch out lately.


Beach day

Just a quick note from the coast, checking in so you don’t forget about me :)

Last night we went to Dundee’s in Seaside which is home to my absolute favorite pizza ever and I barely had enough time to take a picture before I ate it all. And yes. At Dundee’s on this pizza I dip it in ranch and am not even ashamed.


After Dundee’s we stopped at the Sandtrap for some drinks and them headed home. The boys sat outside around a fire while the girls chatted for a bit before heading to bed. This morning we had a delicious breakfast courtesy of our friends Brad and Sarah – it’s called “Brad’s Northwest” and involves toast, eggs, salmon and a delicious cheese sauce.

After that, we headed on a walk down to the beach for some football tossing and frisbee chasing (Chance, not the humans).


Now we’re waiting for the boys to get back so we can finish marinating tonight’s dinner (carne asada and shrimp tacos). We went to the store yesterday but forgot the cilantro.


And after that’s all taken care of we’re heading into Astoria for a late lunch at FT. George (also known as the brewery that made the beer we served at our wedding), a drink at The Rouge (I get a free beer for my birthday) and then back here for a delicious dinner and large marges.

Pretty. Good. Day :)

Thank you Jillian

So Tuesday night I did Jillian Michaels’ killer buns and thighs.  I’ve done that DVD a couple of times, usually level 1 so I switched it up and tried level 2.  It was definitely harder – hello 1 legged squats! and then there were a couple lunge combos I couldn’t do because of my knees so I did some squat leg lifts instead.  I finished the DVD, went about my business and thought I would be ok.  And I was until halfway through the day yesterday when I got up from my desk and could barely walk.  My buns were on fire!  It was like all the sudden that entire workout hit me.  I hobbled to the gym and struggled doing any sort of leg workout because mine were so tight.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love it when I feel sore after a workout, I just didn’t expect to be that sore after that DVD.  I was pretty jazzed. I love a good leg workout so I’m going to add that DVD to my regular mix and make sure I do at least level 2, maybe 3 if I’m feeling crazy.  If you haven’t done any of Jillian’s workout DVDs I highly recommend them.  I honestly think that if I didn’t have access to a gym I could do a couple of her DVDs a day and be in the same or better shape then I am now.  Plus they’re only around $10 a pop which is always nice.

Because my legs were on fire, yesterday’s workout was a little random.  I warmed up with 15 min on the rowing machine and then worked my way through some machines.  I was planning on doing chest/triceps but I was having so much fun on the machines that I ended up doing an overall upper body workout.

3 sets of 12 reps at a challenging weight

  • Bench Press
  • Incline bench press
  • Seated chest fly
  • Lateral raise
  • Tricep pull down
  • Lat pull down

And then I headed into the small studio to attempt some jump roping.  After what felt like a million years looking at all the ropes to try to figure out which one would work for me, I took one jump and realized the ceiling was too low  – Doh!  So that didn’t work.  The other studio has a higher ceiling so maybe one day I’ll head over there.

Instead, I jumped rope without a rope.  I alternated about a minute of “jump roping” with a minute of abs.  I ran though of couple of my favorites from here.  I did that whole thing about 5 times.  I ended with some planks and stretching and called it a day.

In the eats department, my breakfast yesterday was a smoothie with spinach from our yard.  It was the standard PB/blueberry recipe (1 cup blueberries, 2 cups spinach, 2 cups milk, 1/4 cup peanut flour, 1 cup greek yogurt) but I felt like it just tasted better because the veggies were grown by me.

My pre-workout snack was cold coconut oatmeal minus the honey.  The other day I’d made oatmeal with the intention of warming it up later but didn’t have time and just ate it cold.  Turns out I love it!  Who knew?  I want to play around with the recipe and try adding in some protein powder or something to see if I can bulk it up a little bit better.  I’m excited about the prospect of this though.  I really haven’t been able to get into the whole “overnight oats” craze but apparently I’m all over cooked oatmeal cold.

Lunch was another protein smoothie…I didn’t take a picture or write down the recipe.  Sorry.  And dinner was leftover pizza and a salad.  So freaking good.

I went to the gym this morning and seriously kicked my butt.  It was by far my best workout of the week and if I thought my buns were sore before, I can only imagine the pain I’ll be in tomorrow. But alas work calls so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the recap :)

Question for today – Is anyone else out there a fan of Jillian Michaels’ DVDs?  Are there any other great at home work-outs I should be trying?

Have a great Thursday.  You only have one more day until Friday.

Homemade pizza & The Biggest Loser

Ready for the oven

Is there any irony in the fact that our dinner last night was homemade pizza and yet right afterwards we watched Biggest Loser – a show where people are trying to lose weight and change their lives?  I’m glad Bob Harper was in my TV screen and not in my living room.  (Although I did get a little visit from Jillian last night when I did level 2 of killer buns and thighs after work).

And because we try to eat veggies around this house we ate a salad before we dug into our pie.  I have so much lettuce growing in the back yard right now that I can barely keep up.  We’re having salads with every meal this week so we don’t waste anything.

My crops

Side salad

Chris’ homemade pizza:

Pre-heat oven to 500F with pizza stone inside.

For the sauce: Simmer all of the below for about 20 minutes.  This makes a tons so we usually save a couple servings in sandwich baggies in the freezer.

  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
  • Minced garlic – to taste
  • Italian seasoning – to taste

For the crust, you’ll need a store-bought whole wheat crust (we’ve made our own before and it just takes too much time), olive oil, corn meal and granulated garlic. Liberally sprinkle corn meal on a pizza board and knead/roll-out crust on top.  Rub crust with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic, cover with sauce.  Add cheese and toppings. We make ours with turkey pepperoni.  Delish.

Bake for 12 min.  Remove, let cool and cut into slices.


The Biggest Loser definitely got me choked up. It was the final episode before the finale and while I think this season was full of way too much drama at the beginning it got great in the end and once again proved to be such an inspirational show.  I can’t wait for next week and am hoping Kim takes it all.  She’s so awesome. Look at her:

Then (Source)

Now (source)


Doing (yard) work

Yesterday we did yard work.  And when I was thinking about what I’d say about it, I realized I didn’t want to write about yesterday’s yard work without giving you a bit of background on our yard.  Because yesterday’s yard work was NOTHING compared to most of the yard work we’ve done on this place.  When we bought this house the yard was a nightmare.  NIGHTMARE.  There were 11 raised beds, including one bed with an actual headboard (literally a raised bed), an overgrown herb garden and a giant mess of raspberries growing in the middle of everything.  We saw potential when we bought it and in the course of 3 years have made the backyard an awesome oasis.  But to get there involved countless hours of sweat equity and renting a Bobcat.  Twice.  Most of the big projects are done and now we’re just working on the last couple ones before we’d call the project complete.  Here are a few before and after pics:

PS Isn’t my husband hot driving that bobcat :)

Anyway, yesterday was nothing compared to all the other projects.  Chris worked on the path, adding bricks which was quite time consuming because he had to haul the bricks from one side of the yard to the other and then place them/line them up etc.  While he did that, I filled up a 3rd raised bed (we kept 3 of the original raised beds) because I wanted more space for my garden.  I didn’t think it would take that long but turns out that bed required a lot of dirt which I also had to move from one side of the yard to the other.

Empty wheelbarrow


Took the dirt down the hill, across the yard...

And up the hill. While Chance watched.

And into the bed. Kind of looks like a coffin...creepy

While Chris worked on the bricks

The path

The reward

The sunshine

The dinner

As you can see, after the yard work we enjoyed a drink in the sun and then we headed to NW to have some pizza at Mellow Mushroom which is fast becoming one of my favorite places because the pizza is so good.  I mean, it might even be my favorite pizza place in Portland (FYI favorite pizza ever is at Dundee’s in Seaside which is where we’ll be eating dinner in 2 weeks for my 30th! bday).

And after pizza we (surprise, surprise) ended the night at Journeys.   The regular “mug club” crew was there but as a special treat, our friend Craig (best man in our wedding, lives downtown) came along with us.  And he killed a keg!  Killing Chris and I hahah.  Anyway, the night was fantastic.  We ended up closing the place down (remember it only stays open till Midnight) and at the end of the night I was sitting up at the bar with some of my favorite people, and Sweet Caroline comes on and everyone is singing around.  It was good.  Moments like that are memories you keep forever.

I hope that all of you experience days like mine – with good weather, delicious food and fantastic friends.  And that while it’s super important to be healthy by working out and eating right, you know that sometimes creating memories are more important.  We only have 1 life. Make the most of it :)

And today, we’ll be back out in the yard, meal planning, grocery shopping, maybe riding bikes, maybe not….

Just like riding a bike

After spending the entire day outside in the yard, (hello glorious sunshine) Chris and I got out our bikes and went on a 5 mile bike ride into Multnomah Village. And the hills (which are super tough when running), kicked my butt.  We’d barely gotten out of our driveway and hit this tiny hill on our street and I was sweating.  The big hill towards the end of the ride seemed to go on forever.  We both had our bikes in the lowest gear and it felt like slow motion to get up to the top.  All the cars driving by must have been laughing at us.  But we did it.  And then soaring down the hill was exhilarating.  I felt like Meg Ryan in City of Angles where she’s riding down that road with her arms outstretched…it just felt so good in the warm weather with the breeze on my face (note, I wore a helmet, my hands were on the handle bars and my eyes were wide open so as not to crash into any log trucks…that movie is so sad).


My bike. She's basic but she does the job.

I know Spring has sprung for a lot of people so I’m not trying to say my Spring is better than anyone else’ but I think only people from the Pacific Northwest really GET how amazing it feels when we finally get warm weather here.  We have such crappy weather 9 months out of the year that something about good weather changes EVERYONE.  People are happier, full of smiles… it’s like the collective mood of all of Portland lifts.  It’s fantastic.  I should also note that it was only 66 degrees yesterday.  66.  I was in a tank top and shorts and I even drove to the store with the run-roof open.

After the bike ride I headed to the store for groceries.  Do you guys meal plan/prep on the weekend?  I use to get annoyed because I felt like I was in the kitchen forever but now I really enjoy my Sunday ritual.

Meals this week are a little random but here’s what we’re looking at:

  • Monday: Chicken Penne Pasta or Journey’s (Chris has a couple big presentations today so we’re going to Journey’s to celebrate them being over).
  • Tuesday: Chicken Penne Pasta (if we don’t have it Monday) or Shrimp Pasta
  • Wednesday: Meeting friends for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (note we don’t usually eat here but my friend is preggo and this is what she’s craving)
  • Thursday: Shrimp pasta (if we don’t have it Tuesday) or a TBD chicken meal
  • Friday: Flank steak, asparagus and wild rice
  • Saturday: TBD
  • Sunday: TBD

For my lunches this week I’ve decided to try doing protein smoothies (just like my breakfast ones).  When the weather gets nice I don’t like to eat a heavy meal at lunch and usually switch to shakes with a side of something. In the past I’ve just bought Muscle Milk ones but then I realized how full of nasty crap they are so I’m brought in my Magic Bullet and will whip things up in the break room.

Pre-workout snacks will be almonds or low-fat cottage cheese (I’m on a serious cottage cheese kick.  I bought 3 containers yesterday).  And to go along with my smoothie I chopped up a bunch of orange and red peppers and made some sun-dried tomato humus.  I’ll probably eat this a little bit after my smoothie, or it might become my afternoon snack. We’ll see how hungry I get.  I also chopped some up for at home.  I’m always snacky before dinner so hoping this will be what I reach for instead of chips/pretzels etc.

Here’s the recipe.  I modified this one except I realized I forgot lemons so this is sans lemon juice but I think it still turned out delicious (although Chris said my breath was horrible after eating it…whoops). It was definitely more trial and error than exact science so keep that in mind.  Start with less (water/spices/olive oil) and add more based on your preference.

  • 2 cans drained chickpeas
  • 4-5 tablespoons sundried tomatos in olive oil (I use ones from here)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Garlic/Salt/Paprika/Cayenne Pepper – I added all of these to taste, just dumped it in, mixed everything in the food processor and added more if I felt it needed it.  If someone forced me to give an exact amount I’d say about a tablespoon each of garlic and cayenne, 1/2 tablespoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • 4-5 tablespoons water (because I forgot the lemon juice)


Home and work portions

And instead of grilling we ended up with a Papa Murfs.  My mom said she wanted to get us our Easter dinner and she knows Sunday night pizza is our thing.  Thanks Mom :)  And we treated ourselves and got the Papa-roni which is a little known pizza that is not even on the menu.  It’s a regular pepperoni but with pepperoni folded into the crust.  It is amazing.  If you’re a Papa Murphy’s fan I highly recommend giving it a whirl.

And to burn off that pizza today, I think I’m just going to do the elliptical and maybe pilates reformer.  I know that that my physical therapist said not to do it but I at least want to try it and see how I feel.  Plus pilates tones my arms better than anything else so I’m thinking if I do super light springs for my legs I’ll be ok.  We’ll see.  And if this weather stays nice we’re biking to Journey’s.

Have a great Monday.  Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend.

125 push-ups

As I was doing Jillian Michaels’ Extreme Shed and Shred this afternoon I realized my arms were super sore.  So I thought back to yesterday’s workout and then I realized I did 125 pushups.  125!  That’s a lot.  Now I’ll admit that only 25 were real push-ups the rest were girl (knee) versions which I’m not super proud to admit but still.  I did a lot of push-ups.  I was watching The Biggest Loser the other week and Bob Harper came on to give one of his trainer tips and said that if you’re ever somewhere without a gym, like on vacation, that you could do 25 jumping jacks, 25 push-ups and 25 situps – 5 times – and that would be a pretty good workout. I didn’t feel like there was quite enough lower body in that so I added in 25 squats and at the very end of it all, did 3 sets of 20 (per leg) step ups and I would agree that it was a decent little circuit.  I certainly don’t think I’d feel good if that was all I ever did for exercise but I could see it coming in handy when you’re staying in a hotel room.

After the gym yesterday we did our weekly grocery shopping.  Our meals for the week look like this:

  • Sunday – Papa Murphy’s pizza
  • Monday – Crockpot Chili and cornbread
  • Tuesday – leftover chili
  • Wednesday – leftover chili
  • Thursday – Blackened chicken with cilantro lime rice and avocado yogurt sauce
  • Friday – Chicken penne pasta
  • Saturday – not sure, maybe go out…

And we also picked up ingredients to make hummus.  I’ve been wanting to make my own hummus for so long but I’d been worried that it would be too hard.  Wrong.  It was so easy!  We will never buy hummus again.

This recipe is courtesy of my friend Elyse and her blog, Fresh Habits. I used it exactly but tossed in an entire jalapeno (seeds and all) for spice.  Apparently we like things super spicy over here because it still wasn’t hot enough for us. Blend everything in a food processor, chill and enjoy.

  • 1 ½ cups chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 3 tbs water
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp sea salt


We spend the afternoon watching basketball and I was 2 points away from winning $270. No thank you very much Ohio State.  And the night wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Journeys.  We actually spent the entire night with the owner and closed the place down.

Gosh, I’m behind. This was just the rest of my Saturday.  I still have all of Sunday to fill you in on but the pizza just got out of the oven and the Academy of country Music awards are on.  Blogging can wait :)

Valentine’s day pizza

Have I mentioned that I love pizza? Like it’s my favorite food. Ever. Hands down. Last year for Valentine’s day Chris surprised me and created an amazing date where we made our own pizza. Soooo good. And such a great way to spend the day with the man I love. We decided to keep the tradition going and make it again today. And boy oh boy was it good. And along with my pizza I had some Mana Wheat beer (from Maui Brewing). And now we’re watching The Biggest Loser and I’m sitting next to my best friend. Pretty sure I could never ask for a better way to spend this day of love.

Oh PS I did make it to the gym today. Finally! 30 min of cardio plus 30 min of an overall upper and lower body circuit. I will be sore tomorrow!