Posts Tagged 'daniel'

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?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Happy birthday to my sweet husband!

 

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I have to brag on him – he has an amazingly strong faith AND the boy cooks, cleans, gardens, works so very hard, and always gives 110% in everything.

 

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He treats me like a princess.

 

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He puts up with my difficult ways and all of my nonsense.

 

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He makes me smile and laugh every day.

 

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And – he is a total hottie. 

 

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I’ll post about his birthday present later this week – hopefully he will like it!

much love,

natalie

putting the suitcase away

I’m back!  After several weeks of traveling, house sitting, and more traveling, I am finally putting my suitcase away (that is, once I actually unpack it).

I have had so much fun this summer, but it seems impossible that tomorrow is the last day of July AND that this is my last week of summer break.  Where did it go?!

Last Wednesday I headed out to Nashville to spend the night before flying to Ohio on Thursday.  My first stop was Fleet Feet to get new running shoes!!!  Aren’t they awesome?!?!?!

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That night, I met up with my mom and another girl and we went for dinner at this great little place called The Yellow Porch.  We didn’t go until 9 and we definitely missed the big crowd because we were seated immediately.  All of our food was wonderful, but the caprese salad stole the show.  

Nashdress

 

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On Thursday morning, my mom and I went to a little place called Marche for a delicious breakfast before heading to the airport.  I ordered flax toast with fresh ricotta, peaches, and honey and a fried egg on the side.    Mom ordered one fried egg and the savory crepe of the day, which was potato, lemon, and mint.  Of course, we split our food and everything was delicious!

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We flew to Columbus where my sweet cousin Laurel picked us up.  She had to go back to work, but dropped us at Easton to shop for a couple hours.  After a somewhat successful shopping trip and grabbing a light bite to eat, she picked us back up and we headed to her lovely home.  My amazing blogger friend, Lindsay from In Sweetness and in Health, lives nearby and came to meet us for dinner.  Lindsay and I connected through Kristen and got to know one another through our Bible study and countless emails and texts.  She is incredibly sweet, thoughtful, and caring.  If you don’t read her blog, you definitely should!  It was so much fun to finally meet her in person, and it really felt like I was just seeing an old friend.  We chatted the night away and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at a cool pizzeria called Harvest.  I can’t wait until we can meet up again!

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Late that night, we rode with my cousin to a little place outside Toledo.  We were there to celebrate with my mom’s oldest sister – 29 years of being cancer-free!  We joined in on all the food prep on Friday and also had a great time catching up on everyone’s life!  The party was Friday night, and it was a blast.  The food was great, and the DJ played a great mix of music until midnight.  Needless to say, when I wasn’t explaining my southern accent (those Ohio people thought it was so funny and kept asking me where I was from haha), I was dancing the night away.  It was a great night celebrating my aunt’s health and life.

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On Saturday we spent the day at my aunt’s lovely home eating leftovers and watching my little cousins swim and play.  All too soon we were headed to the Detroit airport to catch our flight back to Nashville.  We drove straight from the airport to meet my cousin and her husband at The Cheesecake Factory (I had never been!) for dinner.  Oh my gosh – that menu is quite overwhelming!  I ordered a glass of skinny sangria, farro salad, and salmon rolls.  I couldn’t finish my meal, and ordering dessert was out of the question.  I guess I’ll have to go back sometime to get some cheesecake!  

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After crashing that night (I slept in the exact spot where Steve McNair was murdered – pretty cool, huh? – it’s actually a really nice apartment!), I got up the next morning and headed to my favorite place – Trader Joe’s!  I stocked up on everything I needed (and a few extra items…dark chocolate coconut bonbons…mmmm) and then headed home.  As soon as I walked in the door, I gave Daniel a quick kiss and then my mom’s other sister (from Texas) stopped by with her husband, one of her daughters and her grandson.  They were in town for a high school reunion, and it was so good to catch up with them!  When everyone left, the only thing I wanted to do was hang out with Daniel and take a nap haha.  Instead, I headed off to tumbling with my cheerleaders (who are truly amazing, by the way).  Once back home, we chilled for a bit and then I convinced Daniel to take me to Sonic for 1/2 price shakes.  I got a mini vanilla caramel hot fudge shake, and it was perfect.  After that, we both crashed!

Okay, enough of this rambling!  I hope that y’all had a great weekend!!!!!!!!!  I have an announcement later this week, so be watching for it!

much love,

natalie

so tell me…

Do you unpack your suitcase as soon as you get home, or do you put if off?

Do you see your family often (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins)?

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!
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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
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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)
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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?

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. 

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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.

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the meat before going on the grill

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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.

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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?

My fastest run ever!

It’s almost Friday, people!  Get excited!!!

Did you realize that tomorrow is Friday the 13th?  Pretty spooky, huh?  To balance out the creepiness that can come with an eery Friday the 13th, it’s also our four and a half year anniversary tomorrow!  (Just in case you were wondering, we didn’t get married on a Friday; it was a Saturday.)  I choose to celebrate the happy occasion instead of falling into the whole watch scary movies and freak yourself out thing.  In case you didn’t know, I don’t watch scary movies, and if I am forced to do so, I will make jokes the entire movie so I won’t be scared – this is highly entertaining to everyone…or maybe it’s just me.  Even if I do that, I will still sleep with my light on (yes, I’m five) or have bad dreams – or both.  I digress… back to the real reason for this post.

Today I ran my fastest run EVER.  Sounds impressive right?  Let me tell you just how impressive this is!

First, I quickly scribbled down some workouts from the Tone It Up girls.  One of the cardio workouts was to sprint (at about an 8 on a scale of 1-10) for 90 seconds, then jog (at level 4) for 3 minutes, then repeat this sequence five more times (for a total of six), which would be about 27 minutes.  This afternoon seemed like the perfect opportunity to try this interval workout since I had enough time between work and teaching Zumba and Daniel said he would be working a little bit late.

Next, I donned my new Fila running capris.  I found them on super sale at Kohl’s.

(In case you were wondering what that is attached to my jacket, it’s my gymboss interval timer – I don’t know how I lived so long without it!)

Finally, I headed out the door for my run!  Our driveway is about a quarter of a mile, so I used that as my warm up.  I felt nice and warm, so I geared up and hit the start button on my interval timer.  I began my 90 second sprint and was feeling great.  I had that “good run” feeling.  I was sprinting toward the park down the street from our house, and a familiar truck was heading in the opposite direction.  It was Daniel, so I obviously wanted to stop and say hey.  I had been sprinting for 45 seconds (on the first round no less), but he opened the door, I hopped in, and we drove home.

Fastest. Run. Ever.  🙂

Aren’t you impressed?

It may seem silly, but Daniel has been working nights all week, and we literally have not seen each other (awake) for more than two hours since Sunday.  I knew that spending some quality time with him before Zumba would make me feel better than a thirty minute cardio workout.

I figured that I may have developed the hottest workout trend.  Short workouts are all over the place – bodyrock, HIIT training, etc – so why not take it down to a quick 45 second sprint and then a 30 second ride back home?

So tell me…

Do you do HIIT workouts?

What was your workout today?

 

No Excuses

So…I didn’t post all week.

I could say that I was busy.

I could say that I was on Spring Break (which is true).

I could say I was on some amazing tropical vacation (which is a lie).

OR I could tell you the truth.  Let’s go with that.

I had every intention of posting each day last week, especially because I was on break from school.  However, I just didn’t feel like it.  Lazy?  Perhaps.  I enjoyed the break from absolutely everything, and I definitely feel refreshed.  My idea of Spring Break used to be sitting on the beach, toes in the sand, listening to the ocean waves crash peacefully onto the shore as I watch the sun seemingly sink into the water.  Let’s be honest, that’s STILL my idea of Spring Break!  Because I work at night, that idea was not a realistic one for me.  So what did I do over my break?  So glad you asked!

Slept in until almost 8 a.m. every single morning!!!  Glorious sleep!

Read – I read a lot of health and fitness articles, as well as the adorable novel Moving Neutral by food and fashion blogger Katy Atlas.

Planned and prepped food for the plan – more on that tomorrow.

Watched more TV than I usually would – I still love Saved by the Bell just as much as I used to!

Spent some quality time with m-swag.

Took these crazy puppies on several walks to the park down the street.

Poor Clyde, he needs some new pictures.  I tried to take several, but he has a hard time holding still for more than .19 seconds!

Harley gets just a tiny bit excited when we go run outside!

Spent a great amount of time with Daniel (especially over the weekend).

Had a girls night with my mom, cousin, and friend.  I now have a French pedicure thanks to sweet cousin Anne.

Convinced Daniel to go see The Hunger Games with me.  I thought the movie was excellent, but, as always, the book was better.  I want to read the second book again haha.

Daniel said it hurts to smile, so he’ll roll with his “prison photo” face.

Enjoyed a night out with friends.

Bridal shower for my great friend Hazelnut.  Okay, her name is Hazel, but I like to pretend her real name is Hazelnut.  We also call her Wheezy, but I’m not exactly sure why…

Grocery shopping.

Real shopping (MARSHALLS will forever be my favorite store!).

Food prep for the upcoming week.

FINALLY feeling like blogging again! 🙂

Please forgive my absence – and sorry I don’t have a good excuse!  I hope that you enjoyed your week and weekend, and that your Monday goes exceptionally well!

So tell me…

What did you last week and this weekend???  Catch me up!


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The Lean Green Bean