Sweet and Salty: Potato Chips and Pineapple Mango Smoothie

Homemade Spicy Potato Chips and Pineapple Mango Smoothie

Everyone knows you have to have a sweet and salty treat for a car ride. YUM! Potatoes from Bennett-Burk's Farm (so, yes N they do have flavor this time). It was hard to save any for the car trip.

Simple Recipe:
Thinly Sliced Potatoes
Olive oil
Salt, Pepper, Hungarian Paprika
Bake at 250 until crispy, about 45 minutes.

These are a perfect after yoga snack for me today, because potatoes are packed with potassium (3x the amount as a banana!)
Fish Tacos, Sand and Ocean here I come!

Refried Black Beans and Afternoon Espresso LaraBar

Tomorrow I leave for my first full week PTO (paid time off) vacation. It is official I am a working girl now. I told my mom and dad I was entirely too young to not be taken on a "family" vacation. Well this "family" vacation will be mom, dad and me. I most certianly am sad my siblings/sibling in-laws will not be joining, but hey I couldn't be happier to be going to the beach.

One full week in Orange Beach, AL. All I need to make me happy is the ocean and sand (and maybe a pair of running shoes and some good food and maybe a bathing suit and some sunscreen??)

Today, should have once again consisted of packing (both for my move at the end of the month and for the week vaca) and neither have happened yet. Instead, I slept in went to visit with Nanny, 12pm yoga, lunch, showered and being lazy.

For lunch I made refried black beans and paired them with corn, tomatoes and ate it with baked tortilla chips. YUM! I used homemade taco seasoning I already had mixed up (left overs from lentil walnut tacos).

Homemade Black Bean Refried Beans

For a boost of energy and my chocolate fix I had a homemade Espresso Chocolate LaraBar. I'm still feeling sleepy...

Espresso Chocolate LaraBar
Urban Love

Who would have thought XXX$ could fit in this tiny little package!! My Urban Outfitters package has officially arrived.

Today=PTO (Paid Time off!) I should be packing my house up to get ready to move, but instead all I want to do is this:

Watermelon, Berries, Coffee and Real Simple = Good Livin'

Week Recipe Update:
The Dinner Recipe this week was Pad Thai with a spicy Peanut Sauce. I used zucchini, cabbage, carrots, onions and ginger, 2 eggs all sauted-up and mixed over rice noodles. I also added the left over tahini chicken and onions. The two flavors complimented each other quite nicely.

Pad Thai and Homemade Spicy Peanut Sauce

I've spent the last two hours obsessing over my new clothes. What do ya think?
Possible MOH Dress

Was bought for work...did not fit the way expected?

Just realized mom said "you have to have this" then I proceeded to order...ring a bell anyone? Polka-dots, movie, mothers, daughters= Because I said So. Scary.

The one that started the whole search

And of course my fave! Adorable new Earrings

And these are old...but love!

This actually does a better job a describing my day than my blog post did. I hate little saying things like this, but this one couldn't put my after work feelings into words more perfectly. (Patti and James will have very little chocolate left in their pantry when they arrive home from Jamaica.)
Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries Greek Yogurt and Granola

A delicious treat to bring the day to an end. It is only Tuesday and it feels like it should be Friday. I am more ready for the beach than ever.

I've taught three class in the last 2 days and all three were spectacular.

Monday night is Snack Attack. The class is for ages 6-11 years old.
Recipe: cheesy bread = homemade pesto, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on whole wheat bread french bread

YUM! The kids loved it. For over half it was their first time to eat basil or pesto. Of course they did make some faces about the vibrant green color (the basil came straight from our new Tower gardens: www.mytowergarden.com = very strange contraptions, but they are really coming along).

While the cheesy bread was cooking up, we got down and dirty/smelly with our herbs from the garden. I cut a sample of each herb and the kids got to touch, smell and taste them. We smelled: lavender, chocolate mint, spearmint, lemon balm, oregano, thyme, rosemary, chives and basil. Then we voted on which was our fave. Overwhelming majority for the Chocolate Mint. Then we tasted: spearmint in Lemon Mint Water and Basil in the Cheesy Bread.

Tuesday Morning is now our Seasonal Cooking Class/Farmer's Market Class. Since Cheesy Bread was perfect for today's market, I made the recipe a repeat! It is crazy how some classes work perfect for both kids and adults. The adults were just as inquisitive and excited to touch and smell the herbs as the kids were. I made a bunch for this class and had quite a bit of left-overs. (We just give small samples). After class, everyone came up begging for seconds.

A few quotes:
"I'll make this at home for sure."
"This tasted way better than I thought it would"
"Show me where that basil is b/c I NEED some"
"This is better than pizza"..."I'd put this on a pizza"
"This fresh mozzarella is really different."
"It was different...good...but different."

And if there were any bad remarks I made sure to block them out. I had enough to deal with today. I immetately left class to greet our Farmers. Today we had Tommy Bennett from Bennett-Burk's Farm. They brought some great stuff: onions, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peaches, 3 kinds of squash, zucchini and new potatoes. I got some peaches and new potatoes. The peaches were good, but it is still early you can tell. I can't wait to cook up the new potatoes!

The day ended with Meals in a Snap, a class for families. Tonight we made Turkey Sliders with fresh basil and oregano and made our own Honey Mustard Dressing. Not my cup of tea, but I seemed to have done a good job researching and pulling different recipes together to make an original recipe--they loved it! They really like the sauce, which to me was the most important part. Most likely, they won't go home and change up how they cook their burgers--burgers are burgers, don't mess with them, but Honey Mustard?? it isn't that good anyway, so maybe, just maybe they will make their own and add a little Esther Pizazz to the BBQ.

Latest Obsession:

Best After Yoga Blend

Peanut Butter Mocha Frappuccino

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have been going to 5:30am yoga. I leave yoga hot, sticky and ready for the day.

Throughout the class it is somewhat of a twilight zone, you completely forget that it is way too early to be up and it could easily be 4o'clock in the afternoon. Then around 6:30 the sun starts to peak in through the fogged windows--reality check, yes I do have to spend a whole day at work after this sweat session.

I've found the most energizing after yoga blend/combo is a quick cold shower, a comfy dress, cowboy boots and a Peanut Butter Mocha Frappucino and I'm ready to hit the ground running for the next 10 hours (Thursdays I'm at work 7:30am-7:30pm!)

My Blog World

Disclaimer: should have been posted yesterday, but computer died on me. Goes nicely with the theme of the post.

Baby Seedless Watermelon

While I told my sister what I did last night, I realized just how easy it is to jazz up your life when blogging. I will give you the tale of the polished blog worthy evening and add in italics all the real thoughts and feelings surrounding what ened up being downright horrible evening. That way you don't have to sit around at home reading my blog being utterly and completely jealous of my fabulous life and wishing you too could be sitting out on the veranda (or savannah) drinking mint julips (the blog always leaves out the mosquitoes, heat and next day hangover).

So here goes nothing....

Around 8:30am, I rolled over, rubbed my eyes and listened as I heard my roommate dashing around the apartment grabbing up her last minute things she needed before leaving for work. The door opened and closed slammed and the apartment was still. I pushed myself up, brewed some free trade organic coffee and sat down to open my laptop after clicking though numerous screens warning me about battery levels, finally made it to the Internet only to have it shut off. My daily routine started with coffee, checked yoga schedule already had missed the 9:30, ate some greek yogurt and berries and worked on updating my blog layout most frustrating thing in the whole world, html, css, all these codes and all I want is the header picture centered?? why does this have to be such a pain!

Grabbed up my towel, mat and changed into my yoga pants and top and headed out the door. The sun was shining and I was pumped up on coffee jittery, ready for class. The room was hot, always smelly and class was great. So fun to be in room full of such hard workers, but still haven't talk to anyone? My foot was so close to wrapping in eagle!

Left yoga and picked up a baby watermelon costing practically the same price as the large melon and ended up being quite flavor-less, on-sale raspberries and strawberries at the corner store aka kroger.

Home again for carrott sticks and cilantro jalapeno hummus from whole foods. Showered, hydrated and rested for a bit. Ran a few errands and finally after playing the nice card recieved 150$ refund for our flooding back in winter. about time and only 150$????

Last minute I decided to head down and sign up for the neighborhood harbor town 5k race that evening. Adorable set up, people everywhere in running gear. I filled out my form and could feel my heart beating a bit faster as my excitement grew! I LOVE races. Sweat was running down my face, back and arms, hot and humid. Got my number, bag and head back home to change and get ready.

Walked the 1/2 mile back down to the starting point with 15 minutes to race time. I love runners. They are so serious and quirky. Tons of them were doing their warms-ups: running the path a few times, stretching, shuffling, skipping and other silly running techinques. And all the girls had on my big ugly watch too. If I had worn mine I would have said "Hey like your watch!" (very mom-esque type thing to say). But, instead I made a few loops without seeing anyone I knew. Then I ran into one of the ladies from nail bar who I always talk running with. We chatted for a bit, then ran into a few more friends all dolled up in their running gear make-up dripping down their faces in the heat, no real runners put on make-up before a race. Blocked out of convo and just akwardly stood, wishing I'd just stood solo.

I found a good spot in the middle and bounced on my toes a few times and then we were off. So exilerating. The whole street flooded with athletes of all different kinds. Pushing passed each other with a smile and sheer evil brewing in their/our hearts as they/we knew they/we had to come in first. Quite a few "on your lefts" until finally the crowd evened out and those that thought they were running their pace suddenly had to stop, keel over and catch their breath.

The race felt good. Mile 1: 8:30, Mile 2: 18 and End: 28. Started off a little to fast, I do always get excited too! This is practically the same pace I ran the whole germantown half. Still can't figure out how that was quite possible.

Always exciting to run through the finish line. People yelling, cheering and you are bombarded with waters, sports drinks and free gifts. (We got sweat wicking hats! So excited I have been needing a new one!). Made a loop and surveyed the crowd. Great set up: huge stage with a fun band, smoothies from smoothie king, sonic food, free beer and tons more. I found my friends friends? again and we headed into nail bar I trailed along behind as they popped in, feeling quite akward and unsure? for a beer. Chatted for a bit and they grabbed a sonic bag lets save this for late night food!!--me: yuck!

Then it was over. Tired of feeling strange. I left and took the scenic route along the river  or didn't want anyone to see me alone?? The sun was setting and it had cooled off quite a bit. Succuess. My roommate was home cooking up a pizza. She had been away for a week on holiday visiting her family in South Hampton. It was wonderful to hear about her vacaction. no italics here??

Showered quickly, grabbed my white linen shorts, flowy black top and closed toe urban outffiters brown wedges and headed out the door to watch the redbirds game. We watched the game from the rooftop of the YMCA. I only arrived to see the 9th inning and each group of people were seperated into clusters just hoping their buzz would kick in soon and they'd have enough confidence to chat with the cluster to the left. After the game they lost there was  spectacular show of fireworks. I'd never seen fireworks so close before. They were indeed stunning.

Everyone else decided to pop around the corner for a beer a the local tavern: bar dog. I decided it was time for me to turn in the evening. I arrived home to my central gradens house and crashed into my king size bed if only, housesitting/playing house?

Maybe we should put a spin on things every now and then...you may even be able trick yourself into thinking "hey, that kind of was a fun night after all!"

Cinnamon infused Chocolate Frappuccino = Hot Friday

Chocolate Frappuccino and "Candy" Blueberries

It is Friday and it is H-O-T out there. I wanted to eat the delicious eggs I got from one of our farmers over 2 weeks ago! BUT--it was TOO H-O-T.

So, instead I ate handfuls of "candy" blueberries (bought at Whole Foods and yes in my heart they are local blueberries from NC, because in my heart I am still living 7 minutes from the water in a house built in 1807 with four other girls and attending classes 4 hours of the day and am still only 21 years old).

Back to breakfast/reality: I blended up a Frappuccino (put cinnamon in the coffee grounds, added cocoa powder, ice, almond milk and a little agave). Add the nutrition punch of some flaxseed=extra Omega-3s. Sometimes I don't get enough fat in my diet! (Contrary to what some may think..even though there way be fat around your middle..you still might not be actually EATING enough fat)

I also, I have been struggling to get in enough water. Sweating for 90 minutes a day in a room heated to 105 degrees really depletes you of all fluids and then some. I think some of the problem maybe my expensive new water bottle (img below). It has a nifty filter and is a great big size. But, it doesn't squirt out fast enough. I am very picky about my water bottles. I hate buying them, because I end up never liking them. My favorite is a smart water bottle and to just refill it, but that is "bad" for you, so I'm trying out this new technique. Not sure which is worse: dehydration or getting the bad toxins from the plastic water bottle when used over and over again?

"Water Bobble" (www.waterbobble.com)

The class loved the LaraBar tasting yesterday. After each class I had everyone vote on their favorite bar. The results surprised me. Who would have thought not a single person!! would like the cookie dough flavor the best (besides me).

The results were similar for class 1&2: overwhelming winners were Key Lime Pie and PB&J and strongly disliked Apple Pie
Class 3: Loved PB&J and Cashew Cookie and hated Key Lime Pie

Very interesting! But, I was even surprised how delicious Key Lime Pie was! That fresh lime juice and zest and coconut really made it fabulous.

My family is more intrested in being bee-keepers right now than reading my blog. So once again I am debating sending out an email blast to extended family and close friends altering them of my blog. I do not feel like am recieving enough recognition, compliements and to put it frankly attention from my dear family.

So, we shall see....maybe tomorrow.

National Running Day

Beautiful Flowers form the CHC garden: Picked on Tuesday for the Market Wed-Mon on my desk

First run in months!
About 4ish miles.
Average speed: 10/mi
Max: 7:17/mi

A few things to note about my run:
  • I was slightly afraid I had been taken into yoga land and would never return to the pavement, oh but it sure did feel good in my lungs, heart and legs. I will be sore tomorrow. 
  • My mile per minute mind makes me an average runner. distracting mind = good for passing time--bad for focusing on running form
  • It was so nice to be next to water and outside. There was  slight stench (from recent flooding), cool breeze and sunny skies. If squint your eyes and listen to the breeze and breath in it almost smelled/looked/sounded like the ocean....oh how I can't wait to be there
  • I was quite worried I had not only lost my desire to run but also my running ability. But luckily 3 honks:1 lawn truck, 1 white van and 1 SUV--reassured me nicely...I've still got it (junk in the trunk that is...still questioning the running skills)
  • Based on my speed...I really need to work on consistency 
  • Lastly, I will not be running again until the beach, my hips were tight and I felt all scrunched up again. Can't wait for 5:30am yoga to get me back in line
  • But, it sure was nice to get out and support the day: National Running Day! What fun! 
We made Baked Salmon Salad with Peanut Dressing today in class. They LOVED it! Everyone, not a single person didn't like it and they said "now this is something I would have never tried before..this is a winner!" Yes! I am a winner. They day started on the right foot and ended on the right foot (??), the time in between was definitely on the left foot. Enough said about that.

Until next time! Tomorrow we are making LaraBars in class: cookie dough, key lime pie, pb&j, peanut butter cookie and cashew cookie flavors. YUMMM..