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home sweet home

Good Morning!

Despite missing my peeps from HLS, I am happy to be back home with my favorite person.

and my baby of course:)

After Jon and I drove the two hours home from Wichita, we hopped into bed and slept for about 2 hours.  I’ve gotten a total of about 8 hours of sleep the last two nights combined, so I needed it!  I wanted to keep sleeping, actually, but had some homework to do!

My homework for my photography class is due on Sunday nights and I didn’t have time to complete it before I left for HLS, so it had to be done!

Jon and I had a great time wandering all over our little city looking for good shots…it was so sweet just to spend some time together. I missed that boy! Plus, the temps had cooled down to the mid eighties yesterday (hallelujah!), so it was a beautiful evening.

I gotta run to the city again today for my last (knock on wood) orthodontist appointment.  I hope I never have to see the inside of that place again!

I thought I’d leave you with some of my homework shots from yesterday. Practice, practice, practice!!

yoga on Library Lawn – taken by Jon

This building is where most of upper level English classes were in college

Student Union

This last one is obviously way overexposed, but I had to post it because of the story.  We were looking for a good shot and we saw this biker coming up the sidewalk and Jon said “see if you can get a cool shot of the biker!” So, I shoot it, totally neglecting to adjust my exposure, and then instantly realize that she is a friend of ours.  Random, right?  I think this picture kind of looks like it was taken with my Mini Diana.

Hope you all have a great Monday.  I’ll be back later on for another HLS recap!

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day in the life of olive pt 2 + summery salad recipe

Hi!

Yesterday when Jon got off work he announced that he was taking me out to eat to celebrate teaching my first PiYo class. I love that man!

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics because I left my camera in the car, but let’s just say I thoroughly enjoyed tortilla chips…and lots of ‘em!

After dinner, we decided to go pick up Olive at the house and take her out to finish my “Day in the Life of Olive” project.  It turned out to be quite the trip.

First, we stopped on the side of the road for a little photo shoot of  Olive with her (and my) favorite guy in the world

Next, we headed to her favorite hang out spot in town…

Petco.  Olive loves Petco!

Primarily because she gets to shop for treats.  She’s a foodie just like her mama;)

One of the funniest/most awkward  moments of the night was when Jon decided to snag this little mini grocery cart from one of the aisles.  The plan was to put Olive in it to have her picture made (we’re looking like real winners now, right?).  At this point, I have to admit I was getting a little self conscious.  I mean, who goes to Petco on a Friday night and takes pictures of their pup in a child’s grocery cart?

My husband knows no bounds when it comes to Olive though, as evidenced in his reply to my comment

“Honey, this is embarrassing!  What’s even cool about this picture?!”

His response, “What’s not cool about this picture?!  Olive’s in a grocery cart!!”

Just as those words left his mouth, this cute little girl rounds the corner of the aisle.

Little girl: “where did you get that grocery cart?” (who is she? the mini grocery cart police?)

Us: “we found it in the aisle.”

Little girl: “well, it’s mine!”

Ohh kay, then! Sooorrry!  We sheepishly lift Olive out of it and shove gently wheel it back to the little brat girl, just as her mom walks up behind her.

So, now we’re officially the bullies of Petco that go around stealing grocery carts from little girls.

We decided to go hide in the bird section.

even he looks as if he knows we just did something wrong

Actually, better stick to something smaller and less like it could claw our eyes out

hello there!

And that concluded our little outing.  We decided to head out before we got kicked out, Olive complaining the entire way to the car that “it’s not faiw to have such embawasing pawents.”

That was the end of our exciting night because we had to get in bed early to prepare for our long run this morning!  I’ll talk more about our training in my next post…but for now, I’ll leave you with this awesome lentil recipe I made yesterday afternoon!

Brown Rice and Lentil Salad

Ingredients
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup dry lentils
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or whatever broth you perfer)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used the jarred kind)
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp red wine vinegar (can use lemon juice or plain vinegar)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper
3 green onions, trimmed and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Directions
1.  Combine rice and lentils along with stock or cooking liquid in medium saucepan and cook until all water is absorbed, about 40 minutes.
2.  Remove cooked rice and lentils from heat.  Place into a medium sized bowl and fluff with a fork.
3.  Prepare dressing by combining olive oil, garlic, lime juice, red wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Wisk well.
4.  Add chopped green onion, tomatoes and parsley to cooled rice and lentils.
5.  Add dressing.  Toss to combine.  Serve chilled.

recipe from The Eat Clean Diet

I made this for lunch on Friday, and we had it as a meal.  I think it really works better as a side salad, though.  It’s very summery and tangy!!

I gotta jet – Jon and I are headed to my mom’s house to spend the night.  We’ll be celebrating my birthday (hopefully with my grandparents as well) tonight, and then tomorrow Jon and have super fun and exciting plans!!  My birthday isn’t actually until Tuesday, but we’re celebrating early.  I’ll tell you more about it later :)

Hope you all have a fantastic and relaxing weekend!  And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the Operation Beautiful book! I’ve gotten some super inspiring entries already.  I think it can be beneficial to all of us in some way, or it can serve as a sweet gift to someone you care about.  I’m sending one to each of two of my cousins.

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a day in the life of olive

**Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for your very own Operation Beautiful book!

Good morning lovelies!

I did it, I did it, I did it!  I taught my very first PiYo class.  I have been so nervous about this all week.  It was a great exercise in not letting fear rule me, but instead facing it head on and conquering it!

My class was supposed to start at 9:15am, so I arrived early, dimmed the lights, got the music going and waited.  And waited.  9:15am came and went. 9:20 came and went.  Just as I was about to give up hope, an angel (aka Betty:) walked through the door!  I was so happy! It would have been a huge let down if no one had showed up.  A few minutes later another person showed…so my class ended up consisting of only two people.  Hey, I’ll take it.  Thank the Lord for Betty;)

Despite my nervousness I think everything went really well!

Before class this morning, I was so nervous that my appetite was virtually non existent.  I knew I needed some fuel though, so I managed to get a larabar down.

And then after PiYo, I had a hankering for some cereal.

Shredded wheat n bran, Kashi U + almond milk

Amidst the chaos of today, I’ve been working on my homework assignment for my photography class.  For the creative part of the assignment I decided to focus on my favorite little furbaby by doing “A Day in the Life of Olive” project.  So, if you’re interested in the least bit in what little miss does from the time her parents’ alarms go off to the time her furry head hits the pillow at night – or if you just get all giddy inside when you see cute pictures of pups, then here’s a little treat.

This is just the first part of the project

Olive wakes up from a restful night of sleep

A bit annoyed because she isn’t ready to get out of bed

Time to go outside to potty!  Ohhh, something smells good – is that breakfast??

time to eat!

looks like someone forgot to shower

In the top five of favorite daily leisure activities.  Staring out the front window.

And back outside for more potty time…and a little fresh air:)

to be continued later…

I gotta run now – I’m getting my hairs cut this afternoon!

I’ll be back a little later to show you what tasty creation I made with these

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going “home”

I’m baaaaaccckkkk!

How was everyone’s weekend?  I hope you got to spend some time with family and friends or at least get a little extra rest in over the long weekend.

I had a great weekend hanging out with my family.  My grandparents have a cabin at the lake, and we’ve been going down there for vacation since I was born, but Jon and I haven’t been in several years.  It was a bit like going home after a really long time away.  So sweet.

Here’s a quick picture recap of the weekend

My step-dad’s birthday was Saturday, so I attempted to make cookies and have them ready when he and my mom arrived.  Unfortunately, the baking soda we packed had less than half as much as we needed, the oven at our cabin is on the splits, and this cookie sheet…well, you can see it for yourself.  FAIL

My great-grandparents built this cabin in 1960 (give or take a couple years:).  Even though it’s old and a bit small, it holds so many special memories and we love it.

Olive isn’t quite sure how she feels about the lake yet

my sister, my mom and me

my sis and I

skiing under the beautiful blue sky

Olive and her cousin, Bentley

fireworks over the lake

our little cabin:)

work hard, play hard, right?

she knows how to tell us when it’s time to head home

Happy 4th of July from our family to yours!

Today has been a little slow…and it has actually been quite nice!  For some reason, despite my laid-back weekend, I am exhausted! Plus, it has been storming off and on all day; Olive and I have been a bit lazy.  My afternoon appt. with Mohammad even got cancelled.  He called to say it wasn’t a good time for him because of the rain. lol.  So endearing to me because the Thais used to do stuff like that all the time.  love it:)

I did manage to make it to Piyo this morning, and got quite a workout!  The more I practice piyo, the more I love it.

For breakfast I threw together a yogurt bowl

whole soy peach yogurt, 1/3 cup raw oats, frozen cherries and chia seeds!

And just a few hours later I was ready for lunch

Amy’s split pea soup with black pepper and sea salt

Ezekiel toast with Sabra roasted garlic hummus and a sprinkle of chia seeds

Don’t forget about the giveaway coming up in celebration of my 100th post!  Details are soon to come…

What did you do over the weekend?

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it’s the little things

Wow, today was a hot one!  I about passed out on my run this morning…literally!  All’s well that ends well, though, and I pulled through.  It didn’t help that I waited until about 9 am to get out there.  Tomorrow’s goal: get my bootay outta bed early!

Here’s the stats:

distance - 3 miles
time – 29:54 yay!
fastest pace – 7 minute mile – I sprinted it in, hoping to finish in under 30 minutes
average pace – 9:58

Guys, I seriously wanted to quit on this run at about 2.4 miles.  My legs were so tired, and I’m fairly certain I was dehydrated (it was blazing hot and so humid).  I just kept thinking “pain is temporary, pride is forever.”  As silly as that sounds considering this was just a random 3 mile run, it’s the little things you do that add up to big things.  Next time three miles won’t be quite as daunting!

By the time I recovered from the run, I had about 20 minutes ’till I had to be at my hair appointment eek!  I scurried around, guzzling my green monster on my way out the door and made it there about 7 minutes late.  Check out the new ‘do

Riiiight.  So, you’re thinking it looks the exact same.  It’s shorter…you’ll just have to take my word for it;)

After chatting with my mom for a bit, it was time for lunch!

It’s tempeh time!

I heated slices of tempeh in a skillet for just a couple of minutes, toasting a slice of ezekiel bread and whipping up a quick batch of guacamole in the meantime.  I laid a thick layer of guac on my toast, topped by a layer of spinach leaves, with tempeh to finish it all off! Simple!

If you’ve never tried tempeh, you should really give it a go. It’s a great protein source for all of my fellow non-meat eaters.  It’s made out of soybeans and often has seasonings and grains, such as barley added to it.  Even though it’s made from soy as well, tempeh tastes almost nothing like tofu.  And unlike tofu, it has a very textured consistency and nutty flavor.  You can add it to stir fries, soups, sauces or eat it on a sandwich or wrap.  There really are a plethora of possibilites!  It can be found in the refrigerated section of most health food stores and maybe even your local grocery store.

These cherries were on their last leg, unfortunately.  I even had a to pick through them and end up throwing away several:(  The one thing I hate more than throwing away precious cherries is eating soft ones!  The good ones were still tasty though.

A little lunch time hangin’ out.  Like mother like daughter with the crazy hair!

I spent the afternoon working on these mysterious projects I keep referring to (I promise I’ll be spilling the beans soon)!  I’ve been thinking through a lot of things about my life lately.  I’m currently reading a book about how we should focus on our strenghts in everything we do.

What makes you strong?

Try to think of a strength as different than what you’re used to.  Instead of being something that you’re good at, a strength is something that makes you feel strong when you do it.  What makes you feel alive?  Those are your strengths.

Have you ever felt like somebody wanted you to do something because they thought you were good at it, but it wasn’t something you enjoyed?  It was something that made you feel weak or drained afterwards?  That is not a strength because it doesn’t make you feel stronger.

We should all play to and focus on our strengths as much as possible.  Life is too short to focus on the things that make us feel weak.  Of course we have certain responsibilities that are non-negotiables.  I don’t think anyone would say that cleaning the toilet makes them feel strong and alive.  I’d love to hear about it if that’s you:)

But in every situation possible, we should do everything we can to incorporate those things that make us feel strong.

What are you thoughts about this idea?  Do you think it’s a bunch of hullaballoo (yes, that’s a word;)? Or do you think there’s something to it?

Also, have you ever tried tempeh and did you like it?  What is your favorite protein source aside from meat?

I’m off to go read and then head to bed soon.  I hope you’ve all head a great Monday!

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