pack your bags!

This morning started off kind of rocky due to sleeping through our alarm and missing church.  Sad:(  We made a last minute run to the city last night because I needed to get some shoes to wear on our trip.  I had a little too much luck with shopping and ended up with more shoes than I really need.

I’ve had worse problems.  Either way, I guess our bodies weren’t quite ready to be up and at ‘em this morning.

We turned things around pretty quickly though, putting it in high gear to get ready to leave for Europe.  By mid afternoon we had laid out most of our clothes to be packed, cleaned out the fridge, mowed two lawns (I mowed ours, Jon mowed a friends), and done three loads of laundry.  I also was fortunate enough to get two of my drawers and my closet cleaned out.  You see, I have had this stellar pair of Nike spandex workout capris that I absolutely adore, and they have mysteriously gone missing as of about three weeks ago.  I really want to take them, but alas, even after looking every last place I can imagine they’d be – they have remained undiscovered.

Regardless of the busyness of the morning, I managed to throw together a healthy breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast – Yogurt bowl w/ one soy yogurt, sliced almonds, granola and dried cherries

Lunch – two slices Ezekiel bread, spinach and artichoke hummus, sliced cucumber, tomato and onion.  With a side of corn on the cob.  Kind of random, but we’re trying to eat the last of the perishables in the fridge.

I am so happy that I planned out my vacation outfits a couple of weeks ago.  It has made packing so much easier.  Now, if I could just get the laundry done, I’d be set!  Folding laundry is my least favorite household task.  I’m not sure why, but I’d rather do just about anything else.

We are flying out of Dallas on Tuesday, so we’ll be driving down early to stay with my sister for a day.  We are actually comtemplating going tonight, but still have not decided whether it is possible, so we’ll see!  Regardless, we will be making a pit stop at Whole Foods once we get there so I can stock up on some healthy snacks.  I wouldn’t want to get caught with plane food as my only option!

As far as our time in Europe, I plan to enjoy the food and indulge, but in moderation.  I’ll be packing a few of my own healthy things (think rice cakes, nut butter and bars) to supplement, and doing the best I can!  I’ll be updating later about ideas for taking food on trips in case any of you are planning your own trips and are interested.

Gotta go finish packing – talk to ya’ll later!

What are some ideas that you have as far as packing food to take on an international vacation?  How do you balance eating healthy and indulging while on vacation?

What is your least favorite household chore?

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gettin’ back in the groove

After a week long hiatus that seemed like an eternity…I’m back.   I just needed a bit of a break.  I’m in the final weeks of my 1st year of teaching, and I’m honestly just feeling a bit run down and overwhelmed.  Give me 14 more days and all will be sunshine and roses.  Forgive me for being a bit naive in thinking my life will be blissful in 14 days, but summer break has never looked better:)

Some of the things I’m dreaming of doing once I have some free time are: cleaning out our office. early morning runs, spending more time in the kitchen (which = a better CSM:), reading for pleasure, getting 8 hours of sleep, blogging more, gardening, going to classes at the gym, helping Jon with his business…I think that’s enough to get me started.  Something you may not know about me is that I love being at home, and I love being domestic.  So, 10 hours of commuting a week + working around 50 hours a week gets really old after awhile.

This weekend Jon and I have stayed busy trying to get ready for vacation.  We’re counting down the days – only 17 days left until we’re on our way!  Yesterday we spent the day shopping in the city, working on building a bit of a wardrobe up!  That’s my kind of vacation prep:)  We both got some really good deals.  Today after going to church and getting some work done, we picked out the clothes we want to pack for our trip.  The amount of luggage we can take is limited, so we went ahead and put together an outfit for each day.  We laid them all out on the bed and took a picture of each one, so when we get ready to pack, we’ll already know exactly what to take!

When we lived in Thailand, we traveled so often that I became a self proclaimed pro at packing; however, as of late my skills have waned a bit, and I’ve become notorious for just throwing in almost everything I own because “how am I to know what I’m gonna want to wear??”  I’m hoping this pre-planning will cut down on luggage weight as well as the “last minute running around like a crazy person throwing in random t-shirts I haven’t worn in the last decade just because I might need it” phenomenon!  This will also make my husband very happy:)  We also used our iPhone app to check what the weather is going to be like both in Barcelona and Paris.  Praise the Lord, it’s going to be in the upper sixties and lower seventies the entire week!

Changing the subject – I got caught up for awhile earlier, looking at pictures of our time in Thailand.  I get so nostalgic sometimes, thinking bout our time there.  I found this video and thought I’d show it to your for fun – and for an example of how the Thais get their exercise in!  They honestly don’t exercise like we Americans do.  In fact, you would almost never see a Thai person out running.  When Jon and I would go running near our neighborhood, the Thais would just stare at us like we were from another planet.  haha.

This video is when we were visiting a village over Christmas, and as we were wandering through the streets, we came upon a group of Thais “working it out.”  If you look closely, you can see Jon in the back in the green shirt – he decided to join in:)

I’m sorry that I’m not posting food pictures tonight.  I have been slacking a bit with the busyness this past week, and I honestly haven’t taken many food pics.  I’m sorry I haven’t been more committed to making that happen.  I’ll be getting back in the groove this week, and it’s only going to get better once school is out and I’m at home more!  Thank you so much for sticking with me.  I’m so thankful to you who come to my little blog.  You’re amazing:)

Until tomorrow…

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super fun news

What a day!  I have got some super fun news.

We’re going to Paris!

Jon and I have been working on planning our summer vacation for awhile.  Remember this post?  Well, Jon has been spending a lot of time researching flights and hotels, trying to get us a good deal.  We really haven’t been picky about where to go…we just knew we wanted to go overseas because we haven’t been outside the U.S. since Tokyo almost 2 years ago!

Anyway, we were looking more into South America because the flights are much more affordable than Europe.  On a whim the other night, Jon typed in the information to find out how much a flight to Barcelona would cost, and in another instant a round trip flight from Dallas to Barcelona to Paris and back to Dallas popped up.  Whoohoo!  I’m so excited.  I’ve never been to Europe, but have always wanted to go.  We leave just a few days after I get out of school.  It’s already almost time to start packing, ha!

Now I just have to survive four more weeks of madness and we’ll be on our way!

I’ve been bursting at the seams all day, but now on to breakfast.

I had an Ezekiel English muffin with almond butter and 1/2 a sliced banana.  One of my favorite breakies.  Gotta love the fine paper dishware as well.  Great for on-the-go!

Lunch today was Pita Pit, and unfortunately I didn’t get a picture.  It was delicious as always, though!

Later I had a snack of Whole Soy vanilla yogurt and raw oatmeal.  And some carrots for later on.

Raw oatmeal is SO good in yogurt!  I used to eat it in Greek yogurt a long time ago, and I hadn’t had it in awhile.  The other day I ran out of granola, and decided to throw in some oats instead, and I fell in love all over again!  You MUST try it.

I had a meeting after school today that lasted until 5, which means I didn’t get home until 6.  As soon as I walked in the door, Jon had some casual clothes laid out for me and said “get dressed, we’re goin’ out!”  What a guy!

Needless to say, it’s been a busy evening, and I’m about to peace out and get some sleep.  This is really Thursday night for me because I took off work Friday.  The plan is to stay home and grade essays all day, and then head south to hit up the Train concert!  We’re staying in a hotel Friday night, stopping in the city to see the inlaws on Saturday and then heading home!  Blogging may be a bit “hit and miss” this weekend, but I’ll def. be around.

Hope you’re all having a great night!

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where have you been?

Hey!  How is the end of your weekend treating ya?  I love Sundays, but I’m not too crazy about Sunday nights because I start feeling not too excited about the week ahead.  Do you ever feel bummed out on Sunday nights at the thought of starting the work week?  Or do you feel excited about the coming days?

Honestly, I don’t have a whole lot of exciting things for you tonight…sorry!  We have just had kind of a lax day.  I did snap a quick shadowy shot of breakfast

This bowl included 1/3 cup oats, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp almond butter, a couple of spoonfuls of soy yogurt and homemade granola.  I’ll never tire of this combination – the toppings are where it’s at!  This granola is a homemade recipe that I created.  I’m on a misison to create the best clean granola I’ve ever had, and while this one wasn’t quite it, it was pretty close.  It was definitely tasty enough to sprinkle on for breakfast!  As soon as I hit it, I’ll let you guys know, but until then…onward and upward!!

The rest of the day was spent napping, grading essays, going to visit some friends, working on some projects and watching Amazing Race.  Tonight they were in Singapore, which was so fun because Jon and I were just there about a year ago.  We saw some of the same places we had been – fun!  Here are some pics from our time there

They ate ice cream sandwiches exactly like this on the show tonight

China town

The contestants took an overnight train from Malaysia just like we did, and I swear we saw this same sign on TV when they got off the train.  It was definitely the same station.  Ah, memories:)

Have you been on any international vacations?  What has been your favorite place to visit?  Jon and I are planning an international vacation for this summer, and we are trying to decide where we want to go.  We’ve been to Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.  Any suggestions on great destinations?  I’d love to hear about your favorite trip!!

Apologies for the lack of food pics tonight.  Hope you all have a great start to the week tomorrow!!

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dallas day two

Day two of our little mini vaca was quite fun!  Before I get to that, though, let me finish off day one.

As anticipated, we hit up Whole Foods for lunch.  This picture is actually from day two/Whole Foods trip numero dos.  I got pretty much the same thing both days, though.  Hey, when you don’t have a Whole Foods within an hour radius of where you live, you gotta take advantage of it!

I had a salad with onions, peas, corn, artichoke hearts, cauliflower, mushrooms, grated beets, grated carrots and hummus.  On the side I had a delicious raw kale salad, a zucchini salad, and cappelinni with a lemon marinade and tomotoes.  So, so good!!!!

Saturday night Jon took me to our hotel – Aloft.  It’s a lower scale version of the W hotel, which we only dream of staying at!  Aloft was really nice, though, and we loved having a night away!  We only stayed there one night, and we stayed with my sister the other nights.  Sunday morning we slept in of course, then got up and went on a hunt for our camera.  We ended up finding a really great deal at Best Buy.   We decided on the Canon Rebel xsi.  We love it!   I am now obsessed with it, and I carry it everywhere I go;)  I think Olive is getting a little jealous.  We also did some fun shopping at Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Crate and Barrel.

Warning: there may be some really random pics coming up on the blog because I tend to take a picture of everything I see!

Later that day we met up with my sister and spent some time at Ikea.  We got a few odds and ends.  Once we get them up around the house I’ll post some pictures.  I snacked on a Cliff bar on the way to Ikea.  You definitely don’t want to get caught in the middle of Ikea hungry.

After galavanting around Ikea for about 2 hours, we headed out for dinner.  My sister knew of a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that she wanted to take me to.  She had never been there, but a couple of her friends had and they said it was great.  It was supposedly in a Hindu temple, but that was all we knew.

Unfortunately, we were not impressed with the look of the buffet.  I know a lot of people LOVE Indian food, but I am not a fan, and there was a high percentage of Indian dishes.  It was definitely a very cultural experience, but we opted out of eating there and decided to hit up a different vegetarian restaurant called Cosmic Cafe that she had taken us to before, but not before I snapped some shots of the temple.

Cosmic Cafe is so quirky, and they have a great menu.  I wish I would have taken a picture. We started off with the hummus because it is to die for!  It comes with warm nan for dipping.

I ordered the “Pizza Mystica,” which consisted of black bean burger crumbled on top of nan with a tomoato sauce, mushrooms, spinach, onions, and some other veggies.  I asked for them to hold the cheese.  This pizza was excellent, and I totally want to reinvent it at home!

My sis and Jon both ordered the veggie tacos.  I had a few bites of course.  They were awesome as well!  The black beans that came with them were a little undercooked, but the white rice was awesome!  It had some sort of flavoring on it that I couldn’t quite place.

Throughout our entire dinner I was facing a menu board that was advertising vegan cakes – chocolate, hazlenut chocolate and vanilla chai.  So, naturally, by the time I finished eating I convinced Jon and Cristen to share a slice with me.  We ate about half this slice, then I finished the other half off for breakfast the next morning.  Hey, it’s vacation, right?!

I kind of felt like the blueberries and green sprinkles were a little random, but I wasn’t about to complain!  ha!

Here are a few shots of the restaurant.  This place is so fun; I can’t wait to go back!

After dinner we headed back to Cristen’s apartment.  It was pretty late, and we were all exhausted!  Besides, the babies were waiting for us after having been locked up for several hours.

That’s all for day two!  Stay tuned for day three tomorrow.  Day three was kind of a half day because we had to get back to my hometown by evening, which is about a 3 1/2 hour drive.  Sorry this post is SO long, I think I definitely set a record for number of pics.  I am loving my new camera, though.  I just need to figure out how to use it!

I’m off to make some spinach enchiladas with green verde sauce.  We aren’t necessarily celebrating St. Patrick’s day, but I guess it kind of works out!  Hope you all are having a great day!

I’ll also be working on a post to sum up the 20 day challenge.  I’ll have that up asap.  Let’s just say it did not go as planned, but I’ll go into more detail later:)

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