A True Sunday

I am so lucky to have a three day weekend every weekend and rely on the extra time on Monday to get myself prepped for the week ahead.  I often wonder how other people are able to fit in all of their fun, shopping, and household chores into only 2 days?!  After having this schedule for over 5 years, I am spoiled and set in my ways.  The other benefit of a schedule like this is that it allows me some flexibility for time off.  Over the next few months, there are a handful of weeks where I am working Monday and then taking another day during the week (usually Friday) off.  This upcoming week is one of them.  Although I am actually taking Wednesday off and have it jam packed with professional responsibilities followed by dinner with my old coworkers.

 

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I made sure that we had an easy Sunday so that I would have plenty of time to work through my to do list before the start of the week.  The BOY and I slept in until 9am and then I went for a run.  Prior to leaving, the BOY started putzing around out back and to my surprise and excitement decided to clean off his grill. I think seeing all of our neighbors outback grilling last night really motivated him.

 

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Cooper watched on with excitement and I hit the trail for a 5 mile run.  I was slow today (more sore from last night’s yoga than I expected), but loved getting in my first medium distance run of the year.  When I got back, the BOY had run off to Home Depot for grill stuff.  Immediately, I knew that we would be grilling tonight and that from here on out, our meal planning would shift in the direction of the grill.  Hooray!

 

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We spent the afternoon running some errands (man I hate Costco on the weekends!) and came back and got started on meal prep.  For me, this meant throwing this week’s lunch in the crockpot and chopping up fruits and veggies.

 

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For the BOY, this meant marinating tomorrow’s steak and prepping tonight’s dinner, which consisted of grilled feta (photo above) for an appetizer, grilled romaine salad, and seafood medley.  I did find a cookbook recipe that I was planning to make, but we changed our minds while we were grocery shopping.  I’ll be saving it for next week!

 

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Grilled salad became one of our favorite appetizers last summer, but we’ve never made it at home. I picked up a huge bag of lettuce at Costco knowing I could have leftovers for lunch.  We washed the lettuce and the BOY prepped it with olive oil and seasonings.

 

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We’ve also used parmesan cheese in the past which is AMAZING!

 

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Typically, I don’t use dressing with my lettuce…I think that the olive oil and grill add more than enough flavor! 

 

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Especially when you add shaved parmesan cheese!  But you could make your own balsamic or use a store bought dressing.

 

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This salad makes a beautiful appetizer or can be topped with meat (in this case seafood medley) for a delicious and satisfying main course.

 

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In true Sunday night form, we are all tucked into our cozy spots enjoying a movie.  Look who is exhausted from his birthday celebrations : )  I’ve got to go to bed early since tomorrow is an early work day.  Have a great week!

 

 

What is your favorite thing to make on the grill?

How do you spend your Sundays?

 

 

Meal Planning 4/06/14

Sunday: Grilled Romaine (recipe below) with Seafood

 

Monday: MEAT!  Steak for the BOY and Salmon for Me!

 

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken and Veggies

 

Wednesday: Out to Dinner

 

Thursday: Who Knows?

 

Lunch: Crockpot Green Curry Chicken (recipe to come)

 

 

Grilled Romaine with Parmesan Cheese

 

Ingredients

4 long romaine lettuce heads

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Graded parmesan cheese

Shaved fresh parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Heat grill to 450 degrees.

Wash lettuce and dry it well.  Cover lettuce with olive oil, using your hands to spread it throughout the leaves.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese (or any other seasonings that you like…you can get creative with this).

Grill for 8 minutes total, turning every 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with shaved parmesan and top with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, or dressing.

Higher Ground

I’ve talked a lot about my hopes and intentions for the year ahead, and yoga has played a huge role in getting to where I want to be.  Something fun that I’ve started this year is trying to find one yoga workshop to participate in each month.  I’m not looking to do a workshop just to say that I did, but I’ve found some great opportunities and I’m usually able to convince my mom or a friend to join.  This is how the year has looked so far…

 

JanuaryDemystifying Sun Salutations

FebruaryChakra’s Mudras & Bandhas

March-Meridian’s Workshop

 

I accidently discovered my April workshop walking out of the studio after my training session on Monday.  I had previously seen the white board labeled Aerial Yoga-SOLD OUT but then forgot all about it.  This past Monday, the board showed that they added a second workshop with just a few spots left.  I immediately checked my schedule and signed myself up before I had time to think twice.  Aeriel yoga?!  Doesn’t that just sound like fun!

 

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I’ve never done anything like this, but had read an article or two about aerial yoga in a yoga magazine.  I thought it sounded like fun, but had no idea what to expect.  I have to say…the anticipation and surprise made the entire experience more exciting!  We started with some brief introductions and then got right into our ‘silk’.  In my mind, I saw us using the silk to support our hands or feet, but never imagined that we would climb in.  But climb right in we did.  And…I LOVED it!  We started inside our silk in a cross legged position hands at heart center.  There was a beautiful beginning meditation and then we did some stretching in this space.

 

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Afterwards, we moved through a vinyasa with the assistance of the silk.  It was there to support us, challenge us, assist in flexibility, and provide a totally different sensory experience.  It was a great core workout without feeling like a workout, but I was sweating!

 

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Then we moved on to inversions.  As an ex-gymnast, this had to be my favorite part.  Through the poses, we worked on loosening some of my tightest hip and back muscles.  It was when I was floating upside down, smiling at myself in the mirror, that I realized that I could probably reach my phone.  I don’t typically bring it into the studio with me, but wanted to capture this adventure on film if I could.

 

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Can you guess which one is me?

 

I grabbed my phone and snapped a picture in the mirror.  One of the instructors was also walking around and taking our pictures, so I’m hoping to get my hands on those too.  I should pause and tell you that the two instructors are multi skilled yogi’s who were kind, approachable, and made everything seem achievable and fun.  The toughest part of taking upside down photos was trying not to spin.  I did end up with a few photos of the ceiling in the process.

 

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And a few blurry ones…

 

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Lucky, these turned out SO much better…

 

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In the end, we cozied back into our silks for shavasana, which was absolutely incredible. I can tell you that it was tougher to calm and focus after all of my floating and flying, but the cocoon was so peaceful.  I found myself wondering how to create an aerial yoga set up in my house (or at least trying to figure out when I could attend another class).  I think it would be amazing to do this more consistently, strengthening your body and working through some more challenging poses.  It was an awesome way to spend my Saturday night!  Having only 11 people allowed each of us to get hands on experience, but I will tell you that we needed a lot less support than I would have thought.  I think this is a huge reflection on the talented instructors.  I’m sad that the photos were dark, but so fun that they turned out enough for me to share my experience.  I will have to post the professional ones if I can find them on Facebook.

*Note…thank you to Ananda Kamala for the amazing pics!

 

 

Each of these yoga experiences has deepened my yoga practice and allowed me to explore more of my emotional and physical space.  I don’t have anything on the calendar yet for May so if you know of a local workshop or have suggestions, let me know.  And just wait until you see what I am doing in June!

 

 

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Have you ever tried aerial yoga?  Do you want to?

Happy Birthday Cooper!

 

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I can’t believe that it’s already been 8 months since we met Cooper.  Yet at the same time, he has been a part of our family from that very first day.  Having a kitten has been a BLAST and really kept us on our toes.  I have loved watching Cooper grow (literally, he is now twice his size) and explore (usually in the kitchen). 

 

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He has graced the blog with his presence and shenanigans weekly and my phone is full of pictures of our adorable furry friend.  I’m so excited to celebrate Cooper’s first year today with extra cuddle time and a fancy dinner.  I hope that there are many more birthdays to come!

 

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Ps Here is another post of cute sleeping kitten pictures.

Too Many Substitutions

I’m getting started early with my April goals. Yesterday, I did some serious strength training followed by a cookbook recipe.  Despite the arrival of spring, I still love my crockpot.  Well, I really just love the ease of throwing in ingredients and having a healthy dinner!

 

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Before I even hit the gym yesterday, I had Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps in the crockpot.  They were done and individually packaged for lunch this week before lunch on Monday.  In the afternoon, I got started with Tuesday’s dinner.  I spent some time Sunday night reading through my cookbooks looking for recipes.  I have been wanting to make meatballs and of course, these caught my eye.

 

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I thought I was good to go with the recipe and decided to sub in turkey for the beef.  Well, as I started pulling things together I realized that my skim milk was expired and decided I could probably sub in some almond milk.  The result was thick and wet (although I think this may have been because I used only 1# and not the full 1 1/2# of turkey).  Needless to say there was no going back.

 

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There was the option to bulk up the meat with panko, add in some more spices, and then roll the meat mixture into ‘balls’ and try to freeze them into their shape.

 

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It was a good idea, but not a successful one.

The meatballs feel apart and were fairly tasteless (being mostly made of almond milk this isn’t surprising).  I will tell you (in case you are thinking of trying this) that the meatballs/crumbles were bland, but not bad, so in other situations, almond milk could work.

 

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The result was somewhat disastrous, but not a total loss!

A meat sauce was created that would work great over pasta if smothered with lots of cheese!

 

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The moral of the story is…when making meatballs, don’t add in all of your ingredients first and then your meat.  Add in the wet liquids slowly and incrementally after your meat.  The other moral is to really double check your recipe.  But that seems kind of obvious right?!

 

Thankfully, my parents had way too many leftovers from their weekend dinner party and stocked our fridge for the week with food.  No one will starve : )

 

Especially with these in the house…

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And there is always another day to make meatballs! 

 

 

What is your favorite meatball recipe?

 

 

Meal Planning 3/30/14

Sunday: White Chicken Chili from Food Network

 

Monday: Sushi Date with the Girls

 

Tuesday: Meatballs

 

Wednesday: Sea Bass and Broccoli

Thursday: Leftovers (Thanks Mom!)

 

Lunch: Sesame Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

 

Cookie recipe to come…