Archive for the 'weekend' Category

the rest of daniel’s birthday week and my announcement

Is it really already Saturday???  Wow – time flies when it’s your last week of summer break!  

I hope that y’all had a great week and a fun Friday night!

Daniel and I have had a fun week celebrating his birthday (even though he says it’s “just another day” – psh).  For his birthday dinner, he requested chicken and cheese enchiladas, so that’s what I made.  I wanted to make him some type of summer dessert, so I bought some fresh peaches and made a couple of individual peach pies.  I didn’t really have a recipe, so I was surprised with how delicious they turned out to be!

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served hot with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful until we got around to Friday.  I had an early morning haircut appointment (nothing new – just a trim) and then came home to tell Daniel what I had planned for us.  I had told him to not make any plans for the whole day because I had something up my sleeve!  We grabbed lunch at Panera before hitting the road for Memphis.  One of our best friends recently moved to Memphis, so we stopped and chilled with him for a couple hours.  It was SO GOOD to catch up with him!  We did a little shopping and then decided to go to the Cooper Young district to walk around.  Our first stop was Cafe Ole, and then we ended up going to Cortona for dinner.  It’s a contemporary Italian restaurant, and oh my gosh, the food was incredible.  It started with fresh bread and herb compound butter that was delicious.  I asked our server for his recommendation on dinner because I was having a very hard time deciding what to order.  I went with his suggestion and it was one of the best Italian dishes I’ve had in my entire life (seriously!).  I ordered the chicken and asparagus ravioli with walnut cream, pesto, pine nuts, and fresh shaved Reggianno cheese.  I can’t even begin to explain how scrumptious this meal was.  All of the pastas (and pizza crusts) are homemade with imported Italian flour.  Yeah.  It was to die for.  Usually I don’t like to order the same thing at a restaurant, but I would totally get the exact same thing the next time I go.  Daniel ordered the grouper special, and the fish was incredibly fresh and the sides were quite tasty as well.  I wanted to order dessert so badly, but I was already overly full (and it was worth it).  After that, we drove to a cool place in Germantown to hang out for a bit before heading back home.  It was such a fun night, and it was great to be able to spend that much time celebrating Daniel’s birthday.

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sorry for the fuzzy phone pic

Okay, now on to that announcement…

Remember when I said that I was officially training for my first half marathon?  Well, my training has been sidetracked for several reasons over the past month (vacation, the ridiculous TN heat, and some digestive issues), and there is no way I can be ready to run 13.1 miles for the Chicago half marathon in September.  SO, I decided to find another half that was a bit later.  My cousin and her husband told me about the Go Commando half in Clarksville, TN (near Fort Campbell military base).  It’s October 20, so that gives me quite a bit of extra time to train AND hopefully it will be much cooler!!!!  I went ahead and registered for it, so I am officially signed up to run my first half!!!  Since I’m going back to work next week, my schedule will be much more consistent, so I can get settled into a training routine.  I am very excited!  I really hope they have tshirts that say something like “I went commando for 13.1” hahaha.  Wouldn’t that be funny?  Anyway – I’m a little disappointed about not going to Chicago, but this will definitely be better for me.  I’ve got to get back into my long runs on the weekends. 

 

Daniel is at the duck blind drawing this morning, and this afternoon we are going to church for a bit to work on setting up for tomorrow’s service.  I hope y’all have a great Saturday!

much love,

natalie

so tell me…

What did you do for your last birthday?  

Anybody have a race coming up soon?

playing catch (up)

WOW so much has happened since the last post!  

The teacher in me has missed making organizational lists, so that’s what we’ll be doing today.

1. Friday

  • hot yoga
  • yolo’s frozen yogurt with my friend Amy
  • hung out with my mom and a few friends
  • Lauren’s rehearsal dinner (Lauren is Daniel’s oldest niece – she was 11 when we started dating!  I can’t believe she’s old enough to get married now)
  • chilling with Daniel outside until almost midnight – most of our conversation was about how excited we are to go to Mexico this week!
Cancunchristmas2011

2. Saturday

  • farmers market!!! – I picked up a pint of fresh blueberries (for only five bucks – I was ecstatic!), a quart of fresh blackberries, one pound of mahi mahi, and some crabcakes
  • catching up on my google reader
  • working in the yarden – weeding, picking, tying, hoeing, sweating, etc – we stayed out there for a good three hours in the heat, but our fresh veggies are so worth it!
  • Lauren’s wedding & reception
Laurencollage

3. Sunday

  • long run (actually longEST run of my entire life) – 6.4 miles – I know that’s not a big deal for some of you, but this felt like a major breakthrough for me!
  • church
  • goodwill (to drop off donations)
  • cleaned out a closet and my workout room (it had a bunch of stuff that was here when we moved in that didn’t belong to us – let’s just say that we are no longer storing other people’s stuff 🙂 )
  • tumbling/stunt cheer practice with my awesome team (I somehow got roped into going up again – it was fun!)
  • helped Daniel pick up a new-to-us fridge for our garage for all our overflowing produce (I’m not sure how just the two of us need a second refrigerator, but I’m just going to say it’s because we buy/grow a ton of fresh produce)
  • family time!!!  I haven’t seen my cousin Jennifer in a very long time, and I got to see her, meet her husband, and meet her precious nephew
  • make salt and vinegar zucchini chips (recipe soon)
Famcollage

Needless to say, the weekend was jam-packed with a balance of hard work, fun, and family.  This time next week….you know where we’ll be

much love,

nat

so tell me…

how was YOUR weekend?

do you have an empty or full fridge right now?

mango avocado ice cream

Hey hey my lovely blog friends!  I hope that you enjoyed your weekend and were able to celebrate Father’s day with the people you love.  

I got to spend the whole weekend with family, and it was wonderful.  On Saturday, Daniel and I went to his family reunion and were able to spend time with his siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  That night, we got together with my family and had a delicious dinner outside watching my little cousins play on their new playset (I will have to take pictures – it’s the coolest thing ever and I kind of want one for myself).  Sunday evening we went to my parents house for a big Father’s day dinner.  Daniel grilled the best pork chops in the history of the world, and we also had a plethora of other delicious treats: black-eyed peas, cornbread, pole beans, corn on the cob, and grilled squash and zucchini from our garden.  It was quite the meal.  After dinner, we headed outside and played whiffle ball and washers.  I completely sucked at whiffle ball, but I redeemed myself with washers.  I had never played before, but I completely dominated the game (I even beat my brother…..not that we’re competitive or anything).  We finished the night off by enjoying my mom’s homemade blackberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream.  It was pretty much the perfect night with my family.

love them

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned that ice cream yet, aren’t you?  Patience is a virtue, people.  😉  When it comes to ice cream, I don’t have much patience either, so let’s get right to that recipe.

This isn’t actually ice cream, but it sure does taste like soft serve!  Not only is this recipe delicious, but it is super simple with only three ingredients!

Mango Avocado “Ice Cream”

  • 1/2 avocado, frozen (peel and chop your avocado before freezing it)
  • about 3/4 or 1 cup frozen mango (I used one small champagne mango that I peeled and chopped myself)
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!

Mangoavocadoicecream

This is a healthy, scrumptious, sweet-relief-from-the-summer-heat treat.  I bought several avocados yesterday at the grocery store so that I can put them in the freezer and make this recipe again.  I can’t wait!  I think next time I’ll add in some coconut extract and use coconut almond milk.  I’ll let you know how it turns out. 

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

much love,

nat

So tell me…

Have you used avocado in sweet recipes before?

What’s your favorite cold treat in the summer?   

whirlwind weekend and the return of hot yoga

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I hope that you enjoyed your weekend and your Monday!

Looking back, our weekend was fun but a total whirlwind.

Friday night, my cousin and I went out for our girls’ night and had a blast.  We started with a delicious dinner at Coyote Blues, then went to hear some live music.  It was so nice to get to spend some quality time together and get caught up on everything.  Side note: during our talks throughout the night, I once again realized that I can relate any situation in life to an episode of Friends.  I seriously wish they would do a reunion.  We got home later than normal, and I opted to let my body sleep instead of pushing through a run early Saturday morning.  I was so thankful that I chose not to run, because by the third song in Zumba that morning my left knee was giving me fits.  After Zumba I elevated and iced my knee for a bit, and it definitely helped.

I can’t really remember what all we did on Saturday during the day, but I know that at some point we went and checked the yarden (I renamed it yarden instead of garden since it takes up the whole yard!).  We picked squash, zucchini and onions; and we will have cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers soon!  We are going to be having squash and zucchini at every meal I do believe.  That’s not a bad thing in our opinion!  Saturday night, Daniel grilled some hamburgers (we buy fresh beef from a local farmer) and roasted the veggies that we picked.  I topped my burger with caramelized onions and a quick sriracha mayo that I mixed together.  It was a perfect summer meal (if only we had our tomatoes ready!).  We watched Madagascar while eating dinner.  I told D that we had to watch it so I could get all geared up to see the third one!

Saturday night is when things started to get all crazy.  I think I’ve mentioned before that both Daniel and I love to cook, and that he is extremely crazy-talented when it comes to grilling and smoking meats.  Our church asked us if we would be willing to prepare the meat for our church picnic that was held last night. Of course we jumped on the opportunity, and Saturday night we got everything ready to start cooking.  We went to bed about 11 and got up a short two hours later to fire the grill. 

Burnbarrel

the burn barrel

Even though we had hardly any sleep, neither of us felt tired and we had a blast hanging out for 8 extra hours.  I told Daniel we should get up in the middle of the night more often just to hang out and have silly conversations.  We took turns asking each other questions like “If you could only have five foods for one month, what would they be?” and “Which five places do you want to visit the most?”  In case you were wondering, my answer to the first question was sweet potatoes, sushi, zucchini or asparagus, honeycrisp apples, and dark chocolate.  I had a hard time choosing between dark chocolate and nut butters.  Daniel’s answer was steak, zucchini or squash, bananas, seafood, and biscuits and gravy.  

Back to the cooking – we smoked twenty Boston butts (that’s a TON of meat, in case you didn’t know).  Since we were sitting out by the grill, we decided to go ahead and make a double batch of homemade bbq sauce as well.  The sauce takes about four hours to cook, so we took turns stirring the gigantic sauce pot throughout the night.  I can’t share the recipe with you because it’s a family secret, but man, it is good!  I was a little heavy-handed with the cayenne pepper, and it had a nice kick to it and left that slight burn in the back of your throat.  Perfection.

Meat

the meat before going on the grill

Meatclose

this picture makes me drool

Deerpoppers

Daniel’s famous deer poppers made a special appearance (these are one of my favorite foods in the entire world)

I decided to go run around 5:45, but it was starting to rain.  Instead of taking the loop I had mapped out, I opted to run up and down our street so I didn’t get caught in a storm or something.  After running 3.25 miles with the rain pelting into my eyeballs, I jogged back to the house.  For not having any sleep, I was proud that I ran at all.  I’ll go back my usual long runs this coming weekend.  After all, that half marathon is now less than three months away!  I think we may need to start a countdown!

We took the meat off the grill later in the afternoon, and oh my gosh y’all, it was absolutely perfect.  You could tell that it was incredibly juicy and was falling off the bone.  We took it to the picnic at the park down the street, and everyone went crazy for it.  It was a fun way to get to actively participate with our church, and we were able to meet several people we didn’t know by talking about the food and cooking.  After the picnic, Daniel and I went home and crashed.  I was trying to read, and I think I fell asleep like 16 times.  I kept doing the head bob thing.  Finally around 8:30, we called it quits and headed to bed.  It was a good thing we went to bed so early, because I had a lot planned for Monday!

After training my client, I met one of my friend’s at Gold’s Gym for Bikram yoga.  Bikram, also known as hot yoga, is a practice that is set in a very warm studio.  I think the temperatures in the room stay around 100 or 105 degrees (see picture of burn barrel above and you’ll get the idea of the temperature).  When I tell people this, they all freak out and say they couldn’t do it, and I try to remind them that it’s not a high impact cardio class in that warm of a room.  It’s similar to lying by the pool in the summer heat – it is hot, but you don’t really focus on that.  We went through 75 minutes of twisting, turning, stretching, bending, and holding.  It’s been over a year since my last hot yoga class, and I could really feel how tight some of my muscles were.  It was a great class, and I felt like a sweaty noodle by the time we finished.  I’m going back on Friday, and I hope to go twice a week throughout the remainder of the summer.

Hotyoga

The rest of Monday was typical – I taught cardio dance, abs, then Zumba.  Tuesday will be filled with training, running, cheer practice, and teaching SHRED.  I think I may also have to spend some time reading – any good book suggestions for the summer?

I hope y’all have a FABULOUS day!  Much love!

So tell me…

If you could only eat five foods for a month, what would you choose?

Have you ever taken a hot yoga class?  What did you think?  Would you like to take one if you haven’t?


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The Lean Green Bean