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the best surprise

I felt so blessed by the response to yesterday’s post.  Thank you so much for every encouraging word, congratulations, prayer and thought.  It really means so much to Jonathan and I.

As we are going through so many changes, I’m so thankful for this blog and all of you who stop by to read it.  This is a constant in my life that brings me calmness and familiarity to focus on.

Yesterday was yet another milestone marked off in the journey toward moving to OKC: our house inspection.  I think because everything has happened so fast and easily since we put it up for sale last Friday, I had a bad feeling about the inspection, like something just had to go wrong.  But it didn’t!  We passed with flying colors, and we’re so relieved.

We went to bed last night feeling so at ease, and woke up this morning to the best surprise.

Not only was everything covered in white, but the husband’s office had decided to not open until 10am!  Not a bad way to start the morning for sure.  We laid back down and slept off and on for another 45 minutes or so, and then got up to have some breakfast and get a few things done.

On my to-do list was to cook up a side dish of some sort to take over to a friend’s house for dinner tonight.  Earlier this week, when Grace and Jonathan invited us over, she said she’d be making a vegetable soup, but also some quesadillas for the guys.  I promised to make a side dish to go with the soup…I was originally thinking salad, but this morning I just couldn’t get hummus out of my head!  So, I pulled out a slew of cookbooks, searching for a recipe that I would already have the ingredients for.  Finally, I stumbled upon one in, you guessed it – Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  I adapted the recipe a bit to suit our tastes and due to the fact that I didn’t have a couple of ingredients.

I think it turned out great!  But I guess the true test will be tonight.  I love how the peanut, tamari and sesame add a distinct sort of flavor, but the garlicky hummus still shines!

Peanut Sesame Hummus with Chias

Ingredients

  • 2 cups canned chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes , or to taste (I like it hot!)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  • Place chickpeas in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute
  • Add remaining ingredients except water to bowl and mix thoroughly
  • Pour mixture into Vitamix or a food processor

  • Puree, adding water until consistency is smooth.  You’ll also have to stop to scrape down the sides at regular intervals
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and chia seeds, crushed peanuts or a wedge of lime!

Hummus is one of the top items on my list of favorite foods.  I especially love how versatile it is – you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner…and you can eat it so many different ways.  My favorite store bought kind is Sabra Roasted Garlic, but homemade just can’t be beat…especially because it’s super easy and you can add whatever flavors you want!  I’m thinking maybe mexican inspired next time…

Now I’ve got some Super Charge Me cookies baking in the oven, and I’m working on a few projects – planning my PiYo class for tomorrow being one of them.  I always end up waiting until the last minute to plan my class, and I’m really trying to work on getting it done early.  It’s much more fun when I have plenty of time!

Hope you’re all having a great Thursday!

Do you have a love for hummus? Or have you never tried it before?  What’s your favorite kind?

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i’m one proud wife

Hi!

It has been quite the crazy weekend around here.  Wednesday night I started feeling less than stellar, and by Thursday morning I had a full-on sore throat and achy body.  It was not fun.  It lasted well into this morning, but I think I’m finally starting to feel better as of this afternoon.

Needless to say my eats have been pretty boring as I’ve resorted to whatever required the least energy to put together.  Fortunately I had made a giant pot of taco soup on Tuesday night, so I’ve been eating that pretty much every other meal.

Sprinkle in a couple of Amy’s dinners and lots of hummus – hummus quesadilla, hummus on toast, hummus wrap…and on and on.

I must say I am beginning to seriously crave veggies in a bad way.  Must go to the grocery store tomorrow.

Anyway, despite being sick last night still, we headed to Tulsa for the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon race expo.  The logo and all of the signage was designed by the husband, and we were super excited to see how everything looked and take some pictures for our website!

I have to say, I am so so proud of him.  Outside of his 9-5, he put in over 60 hours for this race last month, and he had 4 other clients to keep up with as well.  He has worked so hard – so many late nights, so little sleep, but he is so dedicated.  He never stops until everything is just right, and I admire his passion and persistence so much!

Here is a glimpse of the expo.

So proud:)  It’s one thing to see the results of all his hard work on the computer screen, but to see it on welcome signs, t-shirts, bags, and even displayed on the floor was just so overwhelming!

We got back from Tulsa late Friday night and ended up sleeping in really late this morning.  By the time we got up we had just enough time to clean the house top to bottom before heading out for my 2nd ever photo shoot.  I still need to get the photos uploaded and sorted through, but I’ll be posting some asap!  They’re pretty cute methinks:)

Anyway, I’m off to bed now – we have to head to Tulsa bright and early tomorrow morning to be there for the start of the race.  I hope to get some great pictures of the runners and the husband’s work, but also just enjoy the race atmosphere.  I’m already feeling really sad that we aren’t running, but I’m trying to just focus on the excitement of what we are doing!  Which is basically the whole reason why we aren’t running….so there you have it.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

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bring on the carbs

Happy 2nd day of fall! I can’t believe I forgot to tell everyone Happy 1st day of fall yesterday because I am so darn excited.  Last night I heard our weatherman say “a fall cool front will be moving in this week,” and I about jumped out of my skin.  It sounds like I’m being really dramatic, but I really am that excited.  I am in love with fall:)

Jon and I literally drug ourselves out of bed (it was one of those kind of mornings) and went for a four mile run this morning.  I was feeling really strong until we hit our first hill, and then everything went downhill fast, literally and figuratively.  I think I was dehydrated – it wasn’t even that hot out and there was a nice breeze, but my neck and face felt like they were on fire and my body felt like lead.  Very pleasant indeed.  We took a couple of short walk brakes and came in just under 42 minutes.  I was feelin’ pretty blah, but still so happy that we finished.  Our half marathon training is finally looking up a little bit at least, considering we’ve actually stayed committed to our training this week.

Today has been a very “work from home” kind of day, meaning I didn’t leave the house all morning.  When the husband called around 11 to say he had to work through lunch I knew I had to get out of the house.   Obviously I had no choice but to drive straight to the little bakery we ate at yesterday.

Instead of ordering the same sandwich, though, I just bought an entire loaf of that same bread, haha.  I wasn’t kidding when I said how good it was.  By the time I was driving across town to get it, I was already starving and developing a serious headache.  So, naturally as soon as I got back in the car, I inhaled two pieces.  It was so good.  Let me say that again – it was so good!!!

Then I came home and recreated that beautiful sandwich, just with different veggies and hummus instead of pesto.

arugula, sprouts, pickles, hummus

with a red pear on the side

I have been wanting to try arugula for months now, but I never can find it!  After I picked up my bread, I dropped by the grocery store to get some bananas and happened upon some organic arugula.  score!  Is it strange to be so excited over a leafy green?

Anyway, I’ve been so excited about my sandwich that I breezed right by breakfast.

I was out of spinach and bananas this mornings, so I had to fore-go my green monster.  I opted instead for shredded wheat n bran, a sprinkle of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, frozen blueberries and soy milk.  It was a nice change:)  I was actually craving cereal last night before I went to bed, so this really kind of hit the spot this morning.

Anyway, I must run.  I do just want to say a quick thank you to all my sweet readers for reading my blog- you all are one of the main reasons I keep writing everyday.

And that’s a wrap:)  I hope you all have a lovely day – enjoy the cooler weather if you’ve got it and enjoy the last days of summer if not!

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takin’ me back

Today was another successful day of Operation: Get Clear Skin. Successful being used very loosely of course – meaning I pulled out all the stops by sticking to the list I posted yesterday…but my face is technically still not clear at all. I honestly do think I can see a glimmer of improvement, though, so my hopes are high.  Thank you for all the supportive comments and advice.  You guys rock!

Actually, the drama with my face brought back a memory of Thailand for me today.  It was Valentine’s Day of 2008, and Jonathan had planned a one night getaway for us at a hotel in Chiang Mai.  It was really only about 15 minutes away from our apartment, but had air conditioning, a bath tub and was gecko free as far as we could tell:)

this little guy welcomed us to our kitchen the day we moved in – little did we know his entire extended family + all his friends lived in our house as well.

flowers the husband bought me from the market

hotels like this are fairly inexpensive for Americans

I seriously stayed in this tub for hours on end.  It was like I was back in America.

The next morning he took me out to breakfast…

and then it was time for the big surprise.

He had booked me a massage and facial (also really cheap in Thailand – I could get a manicure for about three dollars)!

I remember laying on my back, feeling like I had died and gone to heaven as a sweet Thai woman massaged things into my face.

You see where this is going.

The next morning I woke up and throughout the day this rash began to show up on my face.  It was like my entire face was completely overtaken by blemishes…seriously beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my 27 years.  I wanted to hide under a rock and never come out.  And I kept asking myself “what could have possibly made you think it was a good idea to let someone rub not only their hands, but also various other unknown concoctions all over your face?!”

Needless to say I haven’t had a facial since.

And that’s where memory lane ends.

Back to today.  I started off again with a delicious breakfast juice before doing an hour session of yoga in preparation for my class tonight.

The goods.  Parsley, escarole (leafy green I picked up at Whole Foods last week!), 1 plum, 1 organic carrot, 1 beet and 1 apple

aren’t beets so pretty?

a spry little sprig of parsley

and the finished product

After yoga and some light house keeping, I was ready for a snack.

apple and almond butter

I haven’t had an apple and almond/peanut butter together in a long time…but I think it is time to bring it back! holla.

I also sipped on a Pom spritzer (a few ounces of Pom juice mixed with seltzer water) on the side.  This little drink was so refreshing to me today.

A little while later lunch was a green monster just like yesterday’s, except with almond milk – yay for a stocked fridge!

After meeting with a new student whom I will be tutoring now as well as student I’ve been tutoring for awhile, I came home craving exactly what you see above: homemade salsa (recipe coming soon!), baby carrots, sugar snap peas, spelt pretzels and spicy garlic  hummus.  This snack plate was so filling and it took me forever to eat it, which is a plus in my book:)

Dinner was a little more carb heavy.  I somehow failed to get a picture, but the husband and I made Mexican Fiesta Pasta. It was hot, mexicany, spicy and it really hit the spot!

I must be off to bed now…I’m planning to make it up in the morning in time for a run, but I’m a little worried seeing as how tired I am right now and how late it is.  Must. Get. Sleep.

G’night!

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perfect pepper puzzle

This morning Jon and I rolled out of bed just in time to head out for a run.  I was absolutely determined to have a good run…which can actually be quite dangerous:)

The weather was decent this morning – in the high seventies with a very light breeze – so off we went.  And praise the Lord – it went well!  I have been feeling so discouraged about our training, even to the point of thinking to myself “why the heck are we doing this?”  Have you ever been there?  Thankfully this morning restored my faith in believing that I really can train for and run a half marathon.

Before we headed out I honestly didn’t have a clue what I was going to do to help matters, but throughout the course of our run I tried several different tactics.

What worked:

Paying extra attention to my form.  Sometimes when I’m running, I find that I sort of hunch over and stoop my shoulders and back.  Today I kept checking in to make certain that my back was straight and my shoulders were down away from my ears.  I used a move that I do in my PiYo classes often: scrunch your shoulders up toward your ears as high as you can, and then release them down and back towards the floor, elongating the neck.  This helped tremendously today!

Break up the run into smaller segments. Not rocket science right?  The thing is that I usually do this with longer runs, but never with shorter runs.  I go into shorter runs thinking “well, it’s short already!”  But I have to say – in certain conditions, three miles can almost feel like a long run.  In fact, I’d rather do a long run over a short run anyday.  That’s anyday…not everyday, mind you. ha!  This morning, however, I kept telling myself things like “only .4 more miles until one mile is left.  You can run one mile easy!”  Sounds kind of silly, but it totally helped my mindset.  And Jon’s.

Frequent updates on mileage.  Sometimes I try to just zone out during a run and not think about the time.  Today, however, Jon and were both starting to struggle, so I was giving updates every half mile, and then every .2 miles towards the end.  I was somewhat doing this for Jon, since he wasn’t wearing the Garmin, but it totally helped keep my motivation and energy up as well.

Breathe.  Again, rocket science I know.  But sometimes I really truly forget to breathe.  I’ll realize that I’m either holding my breath or breathing very short and shallow breaths.  Today I focused on getting frequent deep breaths in, and I didn’t get near as winded throughout the entire run…even at the end.

Stretch.  We all know it’s important to stretch after a run, but what about during?  At about the halfway point, we both agreed that our legs felt pretty much like lead.  So, we stopped and stretched it out for about 30 seconds.  When we took off again, I felt much lighter and faster.

I’m not saying these tactics would work for everyone, but they definitely helped change my game this morning.  We finished in under 30 minutes including a short walk/stretch break.  For us, this was a great improvement!

After our run, I waited awhile for breakfast because I just wasn’t that hungry for some reason.  Very uncharacteristic of me.  When I finally got hungry awhile later, all that sounded good was a bowl of cereal.  I usually shy away from cereal for breakfast because it seems to go right through me, leaving me hungry soon after.  But I decided to go for it anyway.

Kashi Heart to Heart, Peanut Butter Puffins, sliced banana and soy milk

I love cereal so much…I wish it just was a little bit more filling.  A couple hours later I was already ready for lunch.  Jon had to work through lunch today, so I was flying solo.

I decided to throw together a quick concoction – and stuff it in a big bell pepper!

Bell pepper first.  I cut the top off, cleaned out the insides and set it on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees.

For the stuffing, I decided to start with a grain as a base, and after some inspection of the cabinets decided on bulgur.  Bulgur is one of my favorite grains because it’s easy to cook and so nutty!  Plus, 1/2 cup has only 75 calories but boasts 3 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.  Into the boiling water it went.

After studying the fridge for a moment, I pulled out some leftover canned corn and leftover chickpeas and dumped them in the skillet.

Protein…check!

Hmmm….I still need some greens.  That’s an easy one.

Oops!  Leaf overboard!

Lastly, I added 2 tbsp of homemade hummus for creaminess and flavor + 1 tsp oregano and a sprinkle of salt and ground red pepper for a little kick!

By the time this mixture was cooked through, my bell pepper was nicely browned and wrinkled.  I carefully (it’s hot!) filled the pepper with the creamy bulgur mixture, stuffing it in deep to make it all fit.  Then I stuck it back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so, turning on the broiler for the last couple.  I just love the broiler.  It soothes my impatient soul.

While I waited, I cleaned up the skillet and cutting board and said hello to this little visitor:)  She’s not dead, I promise.

When the pepper appeared super brown and wrinkled, it was ready to go!

Perfect.

With a sweet and juicy peach on the side.

So, so good.  Sorry dear…you totally missed out on this one;)  The pepper was perfectly soft and somehow the random flavors I threw together fit like a perfect little puzzle.  And I love the way the boiler makes the exposed part of the stuffing a little crispy!

After lunch I decided to book it to the coffee shop.  Without some lunch company, the house gets a little too quiet.  I’ve gotta get some work done and prepare for a call with an Outbox client this evening.

Hope you’re all having a great end to your week – let’s finish strong!

Random Question – what are you most looking forward to about fall?

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