I had an exciting day today! It’s pretty late and I just got home so I will have a full recap tomorrow but here are a few clues. Can you guess where I went and what I did?!
I need to laugh, and when the sun is out
I’ve got something I can laugh about
I feel good, in a special way
I’m in love and it’s a sunny day
I am loving all this sun. Even though it’s in the 90’s and super humid, I’ll take it over a cold rainy day anytime! I got to try a new bar recently tried that I want to tell you about; but first, some eats.
This morning I woke up SO tired. I am not sure if it is allergies, lack of an exercise schedule or I am getting sick but I can’t shake off the sleepiness and fog that usually goes away as soon as I wake up. I’m hoping some healthy eats and exercise this week will kick whatever this is out the door.
I was craving a Cereal Bowl all morning so I decided to skip the normal morning smoothie. This Cereal Bowl hit the spot!
This Cereal Bowl kind of tasted like a deconstructed PB&J with a nanner and glass of milk! 🙂
Since I had a very filling breakfast and a late snack I wasn’t super hungry for lunch and didn’t have any idea what to make – but then just as I was leaving the office I got some lunchtime inspiration via email from Snack Girl!
Avocado on Toast! (with tomato and goat cheese)
Super easy, satisfying and tasty! I think that lunch will keep me going way into the afternoon. I’ve got a Pineapple Chobani with me for a snack though.
So several weeks ago the folks over at Kardea Nutrition contacted me asking if I would like to try their nutrition bars. I did a little looking around on their website before agreeing. I was intrigued by the flavors offered and I love bars so I wanted to give them a try!
Here are a few stats from their site: (contained in one nutrition bar)
Kardea offers four flavors which include Chai Spice, Banana Walnut, Cranberry Almond and Lemon Ginger. Here is what I thought:
Chai Spice – This tasted just like Chai! It had great flavors too it and didn’t taste artificial at all. I really liked this one.
Banana Nut – YUM. I love banana nut anything and this bar was pretty spot on with it’s flavors. I really liked the little “crunchies” throughout the bar too.
Cherry Almond – do you ever have a moment when you are eating something that tastes like the smell of something else? Maybe I am alone on this one, but it has happened before and this particular bar brought that saying right back into my mind. This bar tasted like the smell of the cherry almond hand lotion you find in bathrooms. Weird I know. This bar didnt taste BAD, I was just weirded out because all I could picture was myself licking a palm full of hand lotion. Ew.
Lemon Ginger- This was a light a refreshing flavor. The lemon flavor wasn’t as fresh as I would have liked it but it was still good. I probably wouldn’t buy this flavor over Chai Spice and Banana Nut if they were offered in stores.
Overall I really enjoyed trying these bars. I like how each one was only 150 calories, making them less calorie dense than other bars I like. Although they were small in size, they were chewy which is something I really like as well.
I wasn’t a huge fan of how many ingredients there were in each tiny bar. That is one thing I love about LaraBars. Their ingredient list is very simple and straight forward. Although I probably would consider purchasing these in the future, it would be in a situation where LaraBars weren’t available. 🙂
Tonight I have a fun trip to Whole Foods planned! I’m grabbing dinner with a couple friends then going food shopping with one of them to help them pick out fun, healthy foods she can use to whip up meals for her and her fiancé! I’m so pumped to do this!
Happy First Day of Summer!
It feels strange saying that since the past several weeks sure have felt like summer! This weekend was no exception! After my bike ride Saturday I got ready and went home to see my dad. I wasn’t going to be with him ON Father’s Day so I wanted to give him his gift and visit before I left. My dad should win an award for raising THREE daughters who all turned out pretty great! We always used to joke around because my Dad was the ONLY guy in a house full of women. Even the pets were always girls. I think he still managed to be a pretty awesome Dad regardless! Love you Dad!
After a short visit I went to my friend Lauren’s for a small party celebrating her anniversary with her husband. She had a very small ceremony last year so the party Saturday was for family/friends who couldn’t be there last year. It was really fun and I had a good time chatting with her family and enjoying the weather.
Lauren and I have known each other for almost a DECADE now! We met in high school and have been friends ever since. This picture was taken on her wedding day last year. I love this photo and actually have it framed in my room!
After saying my goodbyes at the party I hopped in the car for the drive down the shore. It did not take very long and I was there by dinner time. I love the part of the drive where you go over the bridge to whatever shore point you’re headed to. To me that is the official WELCOME TO THE BEACH!
Saturday night B and I went to a friend’s house in Stone Harbor and hung out before meeting his brother and sister at the WhiteBriar for a couple drinks. Of all the shore bars, my favorites are the ones where you can be outside. B made a good point Saturday night when he said, “why would I want to be at the shore and stuck inside someplace with no windows?” I agree! We didn’t stay too long though; we wanted to be up Sunday to fully enjoy the shore. And we did! It was a beautiful day.
After spending a couple hours at the beach we came back and had dinner before driving home. It was another fun (although short!) weekend at the shore. I love the shore — being there really helps me relax and “re-center”.
This week coming up is going to be pretty busy! I have something exciting going on so check back later this week. Enjoy all the extra sunshine we get today for Summer Solstice!
I hope everyone had a good Friday night. I just laid low; ran some errands and did laundry while watching TV. I really love those rare nights when I have time to myself and NO PLANS. I was even able to finish the book I started reading in NC last week: Water for Elephants. If you haven’t heard of/read it yet you should. The book is being made into a movie as we speak and I believe Robert Pattison and Reese Witherspoon are the stars!
I am still so excited about the news I shared yesterday about the ride I am doing in September. To kick off my training I decided to head out on a ride this morning. I am not officially beginning a set training plan for a few more weeks but until then I want to make sure I am riding often and getting my body prepared for longer distances; especially in the heat!
I headed out this morning for a breezy 12 mile ride which took me about 1:07:21 which included a few stops for water and to take pictures. I am DEFINITELY a newbie to riding but am excited to get better! It was tough seeing so many people whiz by on their road bikes decked out in professional cycling gear. I had to remind myself that everything takes work and I too will be whizzing down the road this summer.
I definitely went at a good time today because the sun was bright and shining but it wasn’t swelteringly hot yet. I had a piece of toast with almond butter before I left and made a smoothie once I got home. Into my smoothie went:
It hit the spot! Now I must get myself ready and packed for the rest of the weekend. I am heading to a friends party this afternoon then down the shore for the rest of the weekend. Have a good afternoon and enjoy this beautiful weather!
I tweeted earlier this morning that I had officially registered for an exciting event and there are only 99 days to go! I am sure some of you are wondering WHAT I registered for since I have been talking about signing up for a 1/2 marathon for about a month now.
Well I didn’t sign up for a 1/2 marathon. I didn’t sign up for any kind of run actually. I am still planning on signing up for the Philly 1/2 in November, just not yet.
What I did sign up for though is going to benefit a great cause!
The MS City to Shore! This event is a 75 mile bike ride that will take me from South Jersey all the way to the Jersey Shore. The event is September 25th – 99 days away!
This was definitely something I decided to do very recently, but could not be more excited for!! My good friend Meghan and I joined a team so there will be a lot of support and fun along the way. I knew I wanted some sort of goal to work towards this summer but just didn’t feel like running was the best idea for me. I still plan to incorporate some running over the summer so I am prepared to start 1/2 marathon training come September!
I hope you all are as excited as I am about learning about and training for a 75 mile ride. It is a flat and easy course that will be focused on having fun more than finishing within a specific time.
Since I signed up through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, I was able to set up a fundraising page. The team I joined has a goal to raise $25,000 for the cause which I think is so awesome! This is my site in case you want to track my progress!
I know this is going to be an interesting and challenging summer. I have plans to purchase a new helmet and have my bike tuned up this weekend. I will also be doing some reading and chatting with experienced riders. I am so excited to start training for this ride! The month of September will be extra busy because I will be starting my first month of 1/2 marathon training as well.
Any tips or suggestions on how to be healthy and smart throughout this journey are greatly appreciated!
Last night had all the makings of a perfect night out.
1. Perfect weather – warm with a cool breeze.
2. A fun walk with friends.
3. A fabulous restaurant!
This week is Conshohocken Restaurant Week and when Meghan suggested we grab dinner I immediately said yes. Our friend Lauren came as well and we had a great time! We decided to have dinner at The Stone Rose. I attended a Happy Hour there in the fall but never had a chance to enjoy dinner so I was excited; the Restaurant Week menu looked so good!
There were four courses being offered and you were able to choose something from three different courses. I immediately thought salad, entree dessert (I loooove dessert!) but instead went with salad, appetizer and entree. Everything was great as you will see but in hindsight I definitely wish I had gotten something sweet instead of an appetizer. Live and learn I guess 🙂
Being the professional restaurant diner, I took I look at the menu ahead of time to choose exactly what I wanted get an idea of what I wanted.
I started with the crab and avocado salad which came with field greens and a roasted pepper.
It was divine! The crab tasted very fresh and the avocado was creamy. The field greens had a light lemon vinaigrette on them which cut through the creamy avocado perfectly. I ate it all!
With our dinner we enjoyed some white wine which went perfectly with the cool summer night. We had pinot grigot and a sauvignon blanc throughout the night. I love dining outdoors, especially with a crisp glass of wine in my hand.
The second course was timed perfectly and we were able to let our salads settle before having our appetizers. I chose the Polenta Parmesan Fries with Mushroom Gravy. I had read about these in various reviews of the restaurant and the owner personally recommended them when I was there for Happy Hour in the fall. So it obviously wasn’t a hard decision.
YUM! I may have burned my tongue on first bite because I was so excited to try them. I am always an impatient eater. Once I got over the pain radiating from tongue I was able to fully enjoy the crispy exterior and creamy/grainy interior of these “fries”. The mushroom gravy was tasty and went well with the dish. It was a very rich/filling dish so I was glad I shared with Meghan and Lauren.
I snagged a few of Meghan’s mussels too. They were served in a white broth which was good, although I prefer tomato based broths for my mussels :).
I was starting to get pretty full at this point! We were having a great time chatting and watching all the cute dogs walking by. Did I mention I have “puppy-fever” right now? Well I do. I am trying to control it for as long as possible but it is a losing battle right now. I have thrown around the idea of fostering but I am pretty certain that would lead to me adopting multiple dogs and I don’t think my roommate would be terribly pleased with that. I’ll keep you all posted though on my puppy ploy (yes, I’m scheming).
Ok so back to dinner! Our entrées arrived nicely timed once again. There was only one “I only eat fish” friendly options which I was perfectly happy ordering. I don’t doubt that if I had asked the owner for a vegetarian meal he would have happily said yes. The meal was sushi grade yellow fin tuna with a cold wasabi noodle salad and green beans.
I will admit that this was probably my least favorite course. I have a “thing” with fish. It’s a texture thing and as weird as this sounds, I really only LOVE fish when I am eating it as sushi. For some reason seared tuna never really does it for me. So that is my fault. I didn’t eat too much of it, although it was cooked perfectly! The cold wasabi noodle salad was good but had a tad too much mayonnaise for my taste. I love sesame oil and that flavor came out great but I really couldn’t taste any wasabi. I love cold noodle salads but wished this one had a bit more wasabi heat and a little less mayonnaise.
Meghan and Lauren both had the Scallops and Risotto dish which was very good! I tried the scallops and they had a nice flavor to them and were a good texture. There were mushrooms on top and they had such a hearty “meaty” flavor to them – Love this!
The three of us sat around chatting and enjoying the night for awhile longer until this happened:
No more wine! We paid our bill and thanked our server Zack (who was wonderful!) before walking back to my house. I LOVE being able to walk home from a great dinner.
Such a wonderful night with friends! I don’t see these girls NEARLY as much as I would like. Next time you are in the area, definitely check out The Stone Rose. It’s a must try!
I figured I should probably finish up my recap from last weekend since the upcoming weekend is almost here! But before I get to that I wanted to show you the simple, random, easy, delicious meal I made for B and I on Tuesday night. It started like this:
And ended like this:
Sometimes it is the random dishes I create that taste the best! I basically sautéed the mushrooms, zucchini and squash in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until they were tender. I then simmered the chickpeas and diced tomatoes and “smashed” the polenta with a little Earth Balance and water. This whole meal probably took 20 minutes to make including preperation and cooking time. And there were lots of leftovers. My kind of meal!
OK back to my weekend :). I have a cousin who lives close to where my college friends live so my aunt and uncle offered to drive me to my friends. We had a great car ride chatting and before I knew it, I was hugging some of my best friends! I spent the weekend with my college besties Liz, Leland, Staci and Shannon.
We made a quick stop at the food store and were off to Staci’s lake house for the night. We had grand plans of laying on the dock catching up but an awful thunderstorm rolled in and we were FORCED to go eat Mexican food and rent a movie. 🙂
We rented Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio in it. Lets just say it may not have been the best choice of movie to watching while it was pouring down rain and thundering all night. The next morning got up early and headed to Staci’s house. Staci lives in the country just outside Elon and I LOVE visiting her home. We used to go home on weekends with her in college and go to church and have breakfast with her family. I was happy to be back! It was nice to be out in the country, get some fresh air and snap some good photos.
After all the picture taking we went to church and to a real Southern Potluck after! There was so much food, but I decided not to snap any photos. It was so refreshing to be around people who were genuinely excited to have you there and just wanted to chat chat chat. We all had a great time and before too long it was time to head to Raleigh for the rest of my stay. Many thanks to Staci for hosting us last weekend. It was so much fun and I already miss it!
There was one stop I requested we make on our way back to Raleigh; ELON! I hadn’t been in two years and was dying to go. It was SO HOT outside but we managed to take a mini driving tour through campus and hopped out to snap some pictures. It was so good to be back on campus. It brought back so many memories; staying up late editing a paper in the lab, walking home from a fun night at the bar or just sitting in the grass catching up with friends. I miss it a lot, but enjoy the freedom and independence I have from standing on my own two feet in the “real world”.
These girls make me smile 🙂
We ended our Elon Photoshoot on the steps of the building that I spent most of my college career in. We decided to have some fun with my DSLR. This is what I like to call “JUMPERS” 🙂 Enjoy!
Try out a new restaurant in Conshohocken tonight! Check back tomorrow for a review!