Maple Mustard Salmon and Sisterhood

This was one of those weekends that went so fast it hardly seemed like it existed. The only proof I have is that I took a few photos from the weekend. 🙂 Kidding, I have fond memories from the weekend to remind me that it existed too. But seriously, it did fly by.

My weekend was full of exercise, cleaning, putting Christmas decorations away, hanging out with girlfriends, and running errands. Today as the weather is dramatically low, I will be keeping warm and hibernating as best as I can.

A couple of snap shots from the weekend:

Quinoa salad bowl with spinach, quinoa, tomato, muffuletta, and hummus. It was pretty darn good even though I was forced to scarf it down in the Target parking lot and even though I was really craving peanut butter. But, it’s what I had packed!

spinach quinoa salad

 

On Friday night I switched up our typical salmon (my favorite salmon) for a maple mustard salmon. Dana grilled the salmon on the grill per usual as I prepared the maple mustard mixture. You are actually supposed to slather this mixture/sauce on the salmon before and as they are being grilled, but I didn’t want to waste any of it down the grates of the grill so we kept them separate.

The mustard maple sauce was from a recipe on Chow. Here’s the recipe from their website: Maple-Mustard Grilled Salmon

For the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

The changes I made were I used dried thyme instead of fresh and halved the recipe since we were only making two salmon fillets.

 

maple mustard salmon

 

After the salmon were done on the grill, we set them in the saucepan inside and then transferred them to our plates pouring the sauce over the salmon. It was good but not as good as my favorite sesame oil, almond, and caper recipe!

On Saturday evening I had some of my girls over for girls night. We had an array of snacks: Chex Mix, apples with peanut butter Greek yogurt dip, cheese (havarti–my fav) and crackers, veggies and hummus, chocolate, and wine.

girls night appetizers

 

We chatted, played games, ate, watched part of a movie and then crashed before midnight. Oh how the times have changed. I love those ladies with all of my heart and can’t wait to be reunited again!

Speaking of ladies, my dear friend Katie (Running4Cupcakes) has nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! I am always grateful for these nominations so thank you Katie for nominating me!

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award-w500

The Rules

1. Post the logo on your blog
2. Thanks the person who nominated you
3. Answer the questions
4. Choose 10 or so other ladies who blog as your nominees
5. Post the links to the nominees’ blogs and notify them on their blog

Favorite color – I really don’t have a favorite color. I like them all and my color choice depends on my mood mostly. I guess I could say I’m a red gal though. I have a lot of red accents around my house and I love wearing red.

dana and melanie

Favorite animal – Dogs and monkeys and gorillas. They all make me laugh!

Moose camping

como zoo

Favorite non-alcoholic drink – Turtle Mocha Northern Lite Lattes, Skinny Peppermint Mocha, sparkling water, water.

coffee

Facebook or Twitter – Facebook I guess. I kind of get tired of both actually and yet I check both of them all of the time.

Favorite pattern – Zebra print, leopard print, stripes, polka dots.

date night lago taco

Favorite number – Growing up it was 32 which was my basketball number, but today I don’t have one. Maybe I should follow Katie’s lead and use birthdays; so 16.

Favorite day of the week – Friday! I bet you could have guessed that based on my excitement in my Friday posts.

Do you prefer getting or giving presents? – Giving a perfect gift and seeing that person’s face light up is the best BUT I will not lie…I like getting presents too.

christmas 2013 mom and dads

Favorite Flower – tulips, gerberas, roses…

wedding and flowers

What is your passion –  Family, food, health, fitness, cooking, positivity, travel, happiness, and love.

Florence Italy

Now it’s your turn:

Sarah
Caroline
Becky
Shannon
Chelsea
Hannah
Kim
Christie
Jackie
Kate

It’s your turn too even if your name isn’t listed above! Answer some of the questions in the comment section! HAAAaaaave fun!!

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Friday Favorites 1/3/14

Happy Friday! Thanks to the holiday falling mid-week, this week absolutely flew by and it is the weekend already! Woo woo!

This past week has involved a lot of healthy eating, exercise, sleep, water consumption, and spending time with family and friends. It’s been a pretty good week. Here are some of my favorites from this week. I’m linking up once again with Katie who is hosting the Friday Favorites link up!

Friday Favorites

1. Spending time with family and friends. It is one of my favorite things to do!

IMG_0170

2. This strawberry spinach salad: spinach, strawberries, avocado, black beans, feta cheese, pecans, and a small drizzle of Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard dressing. This is one of my all-time favorite homemade salads and it’s so easy.

strawberry spinach salad

3. Tacos! One of my favorite meals of all time. Everytime we make tacos I remember just how easy they are AND how delicious! This photo on the other hand could use some work…

taco salad

4. My new FitBit Flex! I am having so much fun with it as I watch the step counter go up throughout the day. It motivates me to get moving!

fitbit

5. Remote car starter. It has been ridiculously cold this past couple of weeks, so being able to start the car up without going out in the cold to do it is so nice.

6, My soft brown blanket given to us from Betsy at one of my bridal showers. It keeps me warm and cozy when I’m hanging out around the house.

couch time relax

I hope you all have a super weekend!

Any fun plans this weekend?!

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Becky’s Paleo Pad Thai & One Year Anniversary

Today is a very special day. Today is one of my very best blend’s one year blog anniversary! To those of you who haven’t run across the blog Olives ‘n’ Wine, you absolutely must. Becky, who I was lucky enough to meet this past year and become great friends with, offers incredibly funny blog posts full of nummy food, adventures, recipes, and her quest to find healthy balance in her life.

Me, Katie, and Becky this summer at Spoon River.

becky katie melanie

 

Caroline, me, Becky, and Katie at this year’s Healthy Living Summit.

 

caroline katie becky melanie

And speaking of recipes, I have one of hers to share with you all today. In honor of Becky’s blog anniversary, about thirty of us bloggers have teamed up to make this day an extra special one for Becky. We have all selected one of Becky’s recipes to create and enjoy at home, and we will all be posting about it today to celebrate our special friend and her achievements!

My recipe decision was an easy one when I stumbled across her paleo pad Thai post. I have made some form of paleo pad Thai in the past and absolutely loved it, but I was all about trying Becky’s recipe this time!

I love that her recipe not only included spaghetti squash, sunflower seed sauce, and veggies, but that it also includes scrambled eggs! What a nice little surprise, right? Considering I didn’t have any meat protein on hand, I felt good about eating this dish knowing I was getting protein from the eggs (and a little from the sunflower seed sauce).

becky's pad thai

Here is her recipe:

Paleo Pad Thai (Slightly adapted from The Clothes Make The Girl)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups snap peas
  • 1 roasted spaghetti squash, shredded
  • 16-20 ounces baked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Pad Thai Sauce recipe (See below!)
  • 4 eggs

Directions

Heat a non-stick pan or wok over medium heat and pour coconut oil into the pan. Saute the onion, peas and any other vegetables you want to include for approximately 5-7 minutes, until they are tender but still crisp. Add the spaghetti squash and chicken to the pan and cook until warm, about 5 minutes. Pour in the Pad Thai Sauce and stir until everything is combined. While everything is heating for an additional 2-3 minutes, scramble eggs in a small pan. Serve with the scrambled eggs and a handful of sunflower seeds on top. Enjoy!

Pad Thai Sauce

Makes 1 Batch

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sunflower butter
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBSP red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBSP coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • ½ TBSP cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Directions

Place all ingredients except the coconut milk in a food processor and blend well. Once blended, add in coconut milk and blend until smooth and creamy.

You can also go to the recipe on her site here: Paleo Pad Thai

Besides dirtying up a few pans, this recipe was relatively easy and extremely delicious (no surprise).

becky's pad thai becky's pad thai   becky's pad thai

becky's pad thai

The only alterations I made were that I excluded the chicken because I didn’t have any on hand and added in some broccoli! Oh, and I scaled down the heat in the recipe because I’m a big baby when it comes to spicy food.

****

I am so proud to be able to call Becky a friend. She is so  incredibly thoughtful, giving, funny, smart, and beautiful.

Happy one year blog anniversary my dear friend! You have achieved so much in just one short year, I can’t wait to see how you will continue to grow! I am so proud of you. I love you!

caroline katie becky melanie

Now, go check out Becky’s blog at Olives ‘n’ Wine and wish her happy thoughts!!! http://www.olivesnwine.com/

Here are the links to the other blogger’s posts to honor Becky in case you are interested! Lots of nummy recipes going on here!

Blog URL
coffeeandquinoa.com
blondeambitionblog.net
sproutsnsquats.com
Http://www.nachoaveragerunner.com
dailycupofkate.com
eatgreatbegreat.wordpress.com
http://www.runningwithspoons.com
http://www.thedailymoderation.com/
http://running4cupcakes.com
http://snacktherapy.com
thelittlehoneybee.com
http://www.cleaneatingveggiegirl.com
http://betterwithsprinklesblog.com
Thehealthymaven.com
makingthymeforhealth.com
alishasappetite.com
haveyourcakeand.com
Http://www.Proteinandpumps.com
http://fitncookies.com
http://www.chelseashealthykitchen.com
hisnhershealthynhappy.com
thealmondeater.com
http://www.frhuman.com
http://www.9tofit.com/
www.brunetteanthem.com
www.fitcupcaker.com
http://peaceandpizza.wordpress.com

Thetrendytrainer.com
 
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Acorn Squash with Turkey Bacon + Weekend Happenings

What a weekend! This was a crazy fun weekend and I am exhausted but it was worth it!

Let’s begin with Friday…

I really haven’t been into the salads lately. I’m thinking it’s because it’s cold outside and I’m craving more warm foods. However I made myself a nice little salad on Friday for lunch and I actually enjoyed it! In the mix: dark greens, tomato, peas, avocado, olives, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, and drizzle of olive oil infused with Italian spices.

salad

Friday afternoon we celebrated Ted and Annie’s wedding!

dana melanie wedding

It was so great to see the beautiful couple enjoy their special day and it was a lot of fun to see so many of my high school friends!

mel and brandon ted's wedding kal melanie liz

On Saturday, I was a lazy bum for the majority of the day. Dana made us a hearty, protein-packed lunch of eggs with chicken-apple-gouda sausage and onions. Seriously delicious and satisfying.

eggs and chicken sausage

I watched New Girl and eventually whipped up a batch of this awesome and super easy bean dip for a Halloween party we would be attending in the evening.

http://www.thecountrycook.net/2011/01/warm-bean-dip-and-party-food-highlights.htmlbean dip recipe

In the evening we headed out to our friends Adam and Stacy’s house for the annual Halloween party. Every year they impress me more and more with their Halloween decorations. You can only see half of my costume but I was a Food Safety Inspector (you can’t see my badge or meat thermometer and I don’t have my clipboard with me) and Dana was an Italian chef. Unfortunately his restaurant broke too many codes so I had to shut’er down. 🙂

melanie dana halloween 2013

Thanks Adam and Stace for an amazing party once again!

On Sunday, Dana and I had a bunch of errands we had to run in the morning. I spent the rest of my day prepping for my big TV debut (more to come on this) and I also squeezed in a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood. The weather was absolutely perfect and the scenery was beautiful.

fall walk

For dinner I baked up one acorn squash and served it with organic butter and Applegate Turkey bacon, salt, and pepper.

acorn squash with turkey bacon

I wasn’t in the mood for anything sweet but I think maple syrup would have been really good on this too!

So there you have it. My weekend was a blast and went WAY too fast as it always does.

How was your weekend?
What’s your favorite squash?
How do you use it?

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Vaca Part II: Seattle to California

I can’t believe how long it is taking me to write these recap posts from my recent vacation. It’s not like I don’t enjoy reliving the moments of the trip, I really do, so I can’t understand what my deal is.

Anyway! If you missed my first recap post you can read about it here: Vaca Part I: Vancouver. After Vancouver, Dana and I hauled ourselves and our luggage down to Seattle. We had to cross the border of course and waited a loooonng time to get through. Interestingly enough, they confiscated my orange from me. Apparently that can’t cross boundary lines just so you’re aware.

welcome to united states

On our way to Seattle we grabbed some lunch, stopped at the Lululemon outlet (I actually didn’t find anything I wanted!), and then continued on to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour. To those of you who don’t know, my husband really enjoys airplanes. He always has. Needless to say, this tour at Boeing was my anniversary gift to him because this wouldn’t be my first choice of activities for the day. I have to say though, it was kind of neat to learn about how they make the planes, they just could have cut the tour down by 45 minutes or so.

boeing seattle

When we arrived at our hotel in Seattle, we got all settled in, warmed up, and then headed out to explore.

Our hotel was in walking distance to the famous Public Farmer’s Market and fish markets.

seattle

We had to stop by Pike Place to see if they were throwing any fish around. They weren’t but it was still neat to see the place and to see all of the fish for sale! I would be so spoiled if I lived in Seattle!

seattle

We had to see the first ever Starbucks of course.

seattle

We really enjoyed walking around the market and gawking at all of the fresh fruits and vegetables.

seattle

 

For dinner, we waited for a table at the Crab Pot.

 

 

seattle

This is where you order mountains of seafood and they pile it right on your table. You use your hands and the tools that they give you to eat the seafood. Super casual; you even get a bib!

crab pot dana and melanie

We ordered the shrimp and crab which came with corn and potatoes.

seattle crab pot

 

I was not a fan of having to completely remove the shell, head, and veins of the shrimp; not very appetizing to me! The food was all very good though really! After dinner we continued our anniversary celebration by getting some ice cream for dessert at a nearby ice cream shop. People probably thought we were crazy eating ice cream outside while it was a mere 50 degrees with a light mist. It doesn’t matter to us!

Before heading out of Seattle we made a stop at the Theo Chocolate Factory.

theo seattle

Just like the wall says, they make organic fair trade chocolate and it is DELICIOUS! We got situated in our hairnets and got ready for our tour. Ironically, we toured with a couple who I went to high school with! Talk about a small world.

theo seattle

We learned all about how they make the chocolate and got to sample lots of nummy treats!

theo seattle

theo chocolate

We also were able to tour the inside of the factory and see where the chocolate was made. It smelled heavenly inside! I felt like I was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Our tour guide was hilarious too which made the tour that much more fun.

After Seattle we hopped on a plane to California. After a terrible nights sleep, we met up with our friends Brandon and Elizabeth for breakfast!

brandon elizabeth

Brandon and I go way back. We’ve been friends since 8th grade. He now lives in California but I still get to see him from time to time. I miss that little booger. 😉

melanie brandon dana

We enjoyed pastries at a Cuban bakery. Mmm…mmmm!!!

pastries

 

It was so great catching up with those two and I get to see them very soon again!!!

The rest of our time in California was spent getting to know the crew that we would be spending time with on the cruise. More on that next time!!!

Sorry that this was much of a “in-a-nutshell” recap, but I would have to write a novel if I went into every detail of the trip! I hope you enjoy!

Happy Thursday!

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Project Freezer Clean Out

Did this weekend even exist? It went by so fast!

I had a fabulous weekend really, packed with family, beautiful walks, great food, and home projects. Here’s a quick little recap of what was happening around mi casa this weekend.

Friday

I was feeling exhausted after work but brought myself to walk for 35 minutes. Dinner was simple but tasted SO good! It was sautéed broccoli, zucchini, onions, and green beans with diced chicken, apple, and gouda sausage! The dish was very flavorful thanks to the snausage sausage.

chicken sausage veggie saute

Saturday

I met my cousin Betsy out at Target Field in Minneapolis for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Our local news anchor Diana Pierce kicked off the event. Senator Amy Klobuchar also spoke, and I saw local sports reporter Eric Perkins on the walk and said “hi”! To any locals, you might know some of these folks. 🙂

walk for alzheimers walk for alzheimers

The weather was beautiful and the walk was so much fun. We were led through the streets of downtown Minneapolis and into Loring Park (which is where I was last weekend!)

walk for alzheimers

Bets and I made a pit stop at Caribou on the way back of course. Because of this, we didn’t win the race. 😉

There are so many people affected by Alzheimer’s, my grandma being one of them. It is a horrible disease that needs to end! They are researching like crazy to find the cure, and I pray they do. I can’t wait to do the walk again next year to support the research and end Alzheimer’s.

This weekend I solidified my obsession for these Blue Diamond Salt n’ Vinegar Almonds that I got from the Summit last weekend. I’ve looked in CVS and Target so far and I haven’t been able to find this flavor anywhere yet. I should have grabbed ten bags at the Summit. Seriously these things are awesome! They are tangy and salty. MMM…mmmm!

blue diamond salt n vinegar almonds

 

I dragged the Fall decorations up on Saturday. Our house is looking mighty festive!

mantle fall autumn

 

In the evening we had a bunch of family over for dinner at our house. I finally got to wear my ZeeBee Threads t-shirt dress! I paired it with a zebra print scarf, grey leggings, and actually had to wear a long black cardigan too because it was CHILLY! This dress is so incredibly comfortable. I was so happy to be comfy yet still be wearing a cute outfit at the same time. Ya’ll know I’m all about comfort.

zeebee threads dress

I was overly excited for dinner because we were getting pizza. I should really look back on the blog to determine the last time I actually ate real, not gluten-free, not cauliflower pizza crust… just real original legit pizza. My system has been cooling down quite a bit and I wanted to try this one treat to see how I held up.

pizza

The results: I think I felt fine—I didn’t feel any different really! Not that I will make this a common meal but it’s good to know I can handle it every once and a while. It tasted just as good as I remembered too!

Sunday

I am beginning a project freezer clean out and dug this up from the freezer: gluten-free lemon blueberry bread. I topped it with some almond butter and called it breakfast.

blueberry lemon bread

After breakfast we ran our errands and got a few groceries but not too many because we are going on VACATION at the end of the week! I am realizing I haven’t said much about this yet. More to come on the vaca 411.

This week I plan to eat food from the freezer primarily. We have loads of frozen veggies, frozen meats, leftover soups, chili, etc. It will feel good to begin cleaning out the freezer! PROJECT FREEZER (and fridge) CLEAN OUT!

For dinner I made a batch of yellow quinoa and topped it with sautéed broccoli, zucchini, onions, chicken, and fresh tomatoes, olives, and hummus. A Mediterranean-inspired dish! My fav.

 

mediterranean inspired meal

 

It tasted as good as it looked!

We tackled a few projects around the house, relaxed a bit, watched some of the Emmy’s, and called it an early night on Sunday. It was another fabulous weekend for the books!

How was YOUR weekend? What did you do?

Are you in need of a project freezer clean out?

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Thai Chicken Salad with AMAZING Peanut Sauce

On Tuesday night my gal pal Kalkal came over and amazing things happened…thai chicken salad

 

Yes, you read it right. Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce. Amazing peanut sauce. And to be perfectly honest, it was a super easy meal to make, so even better right?

1. We baked up two chicken breasts.

2. Made the peanut sauce.

3. Chopped the veggies.

4. Plated the salad.

salad prep

Once it’s all plated together you get this beautiful masterpiece. We have mixed greens, carrots, red bell peppers, onions, cilantro, basil, baked chicken, and PEANUT SAUCE!

thai chicken peanut salad

Every bite was an OMG bite. That’s how good it was! What really made the dish was the basil and the peanut sauce.

The freshness from the crisp vegetables paired with the slightly salty chicken, fragrant herbs, tangy lime juice, and sweet and slightly spicy peanut sauce…it’s perfection. Seriously this salad is incredible. Please make it soon!

thai chicken peanut salad

A success in the kitchen with Kalley once again. It probably helped we were wearing matching Boundary Water shirts. 😉

melanie kalley

Quick flashback anyone?!

homecoming sophomore year

Homecoming Sophomore year of high school. We were just babies. 🙂 I’m so happy we’re still friends after all this time! Love you!

Thai Chicken Salad with AMAZING Peanut Sauce
Print
Ingredients
  • Chicken:
  • 2 small chicken breasts
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • sprinkle of coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • Peanut Sauce:
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1½ Tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp. natural creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 dot of hot siracha sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • Salad:
  • Mixed dark green lettuce
  • carrots, cut into slivers
  • red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch strips
  • onion, diced
  • cilantro
  • basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking pan with aluminum foil and a light spray of olive oil.
  2. Use fork to puncture chicken breasts. Then sprinkle on coconut aminos, lime juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake for 35 minutes and then broil for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, prepare peanut sauce by combining sauce ingredients into a food processor or mini food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Prepare salad by plating chopped lettuce, topping with carrots, red pepper, onions, cilantro, and basil.
  5. Once the chicken is done cooking, cut into bite-sized pieces and place on top of salad.
  6. Drizzle with peanut sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and ENJOY!

 

Have a fabulous Thursday my friends! I have some excitement headed my way over the next couple of days. Can’t wait to fill you in!

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I Am Grateful: August Recap

We are now three days into September which completely blows my mind. What happened to August, July, and June? Did they even happen?! I adore summer but I equally adore fall so I am so looking forward to slightly cooler weather, sweatshirts, and long cool walks but even still, I just can’t believe how time flies.

I wanted to do some type of recap from August. At first I thought about my favorite posts from August, or my favorite meals from August, but instead I wanted to put together a list of things I was grateful for in August. In fact, I hope to do this a lot more often because it makes me feel SO incredibly happy and lucky to see my blessings written out in front of me.

Without further ado, here is a short list (it could be a million pages long but I kept it short) of things I was grateful for in August and am always grateful for.

I Am Grateful For…

I am grateful for medical advancements and having the option to choose. I am taking the complementary approach to my health care right now by following with both Eastern and Western Medical doctors. I am grateful I have the options to choose.

be grateful

I am grateful for my legs that keep walking each day. That get me through miles of walks around the neighborhood, errands, and every day tasks.

I am grateful for my husband, family and friends. They are my #1 priority.

grateful for people

I am grateful for delicious food. I am so lucky to be able to eat healthy and delicious food everyday. I know many people struggle to find food on a daily basis.

grateful for everything

During the heat wave of August, I was very thankful for air conditioning.

ac puppy

I am grateful for the opportunities to fly out and visit friends in other parts of the country.

kate and melanie

I am grateful for the opportunities I have to meet amazing people through Beautifully Nutty. I have made incredibly strong connections to many other bloggers and can’t believe how close we have gotten. Also, In August I had the opportunity to meet Bethenny Frankel. Without the blog I don’t think this would have happened.

Bethenny

I am grateful for my dog. He makes me laugh everyday, he is always up for a walk, and he is always good company.

IMG_3303

This is only a small list of things I am grateful for! I will continue to be thankful and grateful for each day! Life is short; be grateful for each day.

What are you grateful for?

gratitude inhale love

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10 Random Things About Me

At the beginning of the week, my girl Becky, at Olives ‘n’ Wine, nominated me for the Sunshine Award. The Sunshine Award is for blogs that inspire and bring sunshine into reader’s lives. I am honored. Thanks my love!

Sunshine Award

The Rules:

  1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

Here it goes!

1. What is your first memory in life?

Becky! Why must you start off with a tough one right off the bat?! I am sure I have memories before this one but it is the only one I can think of right now… I remember being 3 or 4 years old and I was at my grandparent’s house. I needed to take a nap and my grandma covered me up with a quilt that she had sewn herself. I loved that quilt so much that she ended up giving it to me (along with another one a little while later!). 🙂 I still have it in a box but it is pretty much torn to shreds. It was my blankie.

2. What has been the best vacation you have ever been on and what vacation are you looking forward to in the future?

I have had so many wonderful vacations. Disneyworld was my very first big family vacation, and that will probably always be on the top of the charts. I was only 4 years old but seem to remember a lot about it. I never know though if they are true memories or if it is just from watching the home videos from the trip?

Dana and I went to Italy for our honeymoon, and this trip holds a very strong place in my heart. I LOVE Italy and I LOVED this trip. We were even blessed by the Pope (now former Pope) while we were in Rome; it’s hard to top that!

Montalcino Italy Florence Italy

the Pope Rome Italy

3. What is your preferred type/brand of coffee?

I’ve only been drinking decaf coffee these days and it is only once in a while, but I used to be a huge coffee drinker and I was really getting into Starbuck’s Italian Blend. We would always get coupons for it and then would stock up!

4. Flowers or chocolate?

I have to choose? I don’t think I can. They are both amazing pick-me-ups and I am okay with either any time!

farmers market flowers

5. What is your normal bedtime and wake up time?

I am usually in bed by 10:00 pm and up between 6-7:00 am during the work week. On the weekends I sleep until 7-8! I get really crazy I know.

6. When going out, do you wear your hair up in a pony tail or down?

Almost always down unless it’s super dirty, then I try to make it look presentable in some type of pony tail or bun. It’s rare that my hair cooperates when I try to put it up though.

kate and melanie

7. Favorite form of exercise?

Walking, dancing, running, biking, and yoga. Oh, and stand-up paddle boarding! I just don’t get to do that too often.

melanie moose hiking eagle mountain

turks and caicos stand up paddle board

8. Favorite place to shop?

TARGET, TJ Maxx, and Von Maur!

9. Do you have a favorite cuisine to eat when dining out? What is it?

I am open to trying anything but my mood will often dictate what type of food I want to eat when dining out. I have always loved Mexican food, so Chipotle is always an excellent option. I guess the more I think about it, I usually choose American cuisine when I am out, but like I said I will try any type of cuisine.

chipotle

10. Broccoli. Yay or nay?

Yay, yay, all the way!

clean lunch quinoa broccoli   white bean broccoli soup

broccoli

The Bloggers I am Nominating:

Caroline @ The Trendy Trainer
Shannon @ A Pinch of Ginger
Jamie @ Studio Eats
Amanda @ Running With Spoons
Erica @ Love.Baby.Life
Kailey @ The Caffeinated Runner
Danica @ It’s Progression
Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate
Ashley @ Running Bun
Chelsey @ Clean Eating Chelsey

My Questions… 

1. What would you choose for your last meal ever?

2. If you could only drink one beverage besides water for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

3. Milk or Dark Chocolate?

4. Morning exerciser, afternoon, or evening?

5. Worst food you have ever eaten?

6. Biggest pet peeve?

7. What is your favorite holiday?

8. Would you rather mow the grass or clean the dishes?

9. What is your current go-to breakfast?

10. What song would you like someone to serenade you with?

I can’t wait to see the responses! I want you all to play along too! Answer any or all of the questions in the comments section!

Happy Friday!

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Local readers!! Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway coming your way soon!!

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Atlanta for the Weekend!

I am coming off of one fantastic weekend. Dana and I flew out to Atlanta to celebrate the beautiful Katie’s birthday with her! Remember last year when we went out there for my birthday? I thought I would switch it up this time and go out there for hers.

I have an incredible amount of laundry to get to so I’m going to limit the words for ya’ll today (the southerners must have rubbed off on me). Here’s a photo recap from our wonderful weekend with our friends.

Dinner at Muss and Turners: I ordered the Grilled Bison Flank and the collard greens

kate and melanie

atl muss and turner

Hike up Stone Mountain on a rainy and windy day=kinda scary/ super slippery

kate and melanie

stone mountain atl

Going up was simple compared to coming down! Hanging on tight.

stone mountain atl

Burgers at Flip Burger: I ordered the turkey burger with tomato, avocado, sprouts, provolone cheese, and some awesome ketchup. We all split an order of fries too. Confession: I love crispy fries.

Flip burger

Atlanta Braves baseball game! We had amazing seats and had a blast!

atl braves

Headed to the Farmer’s Market and Art Festival at Piedmont Park!

melanie and dana    farmers market atl

Hanging out on their massive covered porch while the rain fell and enjoying their friend’s adorable puppy, Ruby who is an Italian Greyhound. She liked snuggling with me! My heart melts.

atl ruby

Homemade dinner on the last night made by Dana and myself: scallops, spinach salad with fresh organic peaches and almonds, roasted veggies from the farmer’s market (zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper), and quinoa of course. 🙂

scallops

I really can’t believe the weekend came and went already. Why does time fly by so fast?! Luke and Kate, thanks for being such great hosts to us once again! Can’t wait to see you again.

What was the highlight of YOUR weekend? A beautiful walk, much-needed couch time, cooking, baking, a ice-cream cone, etc?

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