A Great Ending To Finish Off The Week….Minus One Snake

Strange week for me for sure. All the stars aligned and left me with Friday off….super cool in every way possible. So what did I do, well, I do what I always do, I went and had the best sweat session ever in the wee morning hours at the gym Friday morning. You all know I LOVE to work out in the morning and it leaves me with SO MUCH ENERGY the rest of the day it’s crazy. After this I came home, showered, and surprised my husband by freeing up Friday night by going grocery shopping during the day instead of the evening as we always do. I even made a trip to Aldi’s here in Green Bay. Someplace I really need to visit more often but just never do and it’s a shame. I could save so much money I know, but I dislike their hours and I can’t get everything I need there either.  So to normally shop two grocery stores would be a huge hassle for me.

My knee is back to almost 100% so it was back to full workouts all week. It was a bit of a crazy week with my husbands birthday one day which meant we were gone out one evening.  One day we had gorgeous spring like weather which we spent all day outside enjoying, doing yard work and taking walks. Which then left me completely exhausted come evening time. Just how I love feeling after a great day outdoors.So my workouts were all over the place but I still fit it what I could.

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical and legs

Monday: home:1 mile walk with my kiddos, 30 minute recumbent bike, total body weights, 3 mile evening walk with my hubby

Tuesday: 2 mile walk and a lot of yard work

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike, arms and shoulder weights, stretching

Friday: gym: 45 minute elliptical, TRX suspension trainer, and stretching

Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical and stretching

outdoors: 3.1 mile hike

Ending the week with an nice spring mud hike through an area waterfowl preserve near us. I love this place, they have so many gorgeous hiking trails and its minutes from our home.

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The true sign for me that spring has arrived is these slithery creatures start making a comeback. Going into the hike I figured it was still way to early to see any….apparently I was wrong. We came across this one just off the trail….and he was not moving all that quickly since it was still cold so I actually calmed myself(and used my zoom) to capture my first ever living snake picture.

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Braised Cauliflower

I love my vegetables and could never have imagined preparing cauliflower so easily and then also getting my husband to eat it with me. This in itself is a small miracle which makes this recipe a winner. So I thought I would share it with all of you.

Ingredients Needed

1 head of cauliflower

1 pint of tomatoes….grape, cheery, heirloom, whatever you prefer or is available

1 tsp of salt

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2  large sweet onion, chunked

dash red pepper flakes

1/4 cup water

pint of fresh sliced mushrooms

4 whole, peeled garlic cloves

Directions:

Wash and peel the leaves from the bottom of the cauliflower head leaving the core in tact but trimmed close to the head itself. Set aside.

Chunk up your onion and slice your mushrooms if they are whole.

Peel your garlic cloves.

Wash and slice your tomatoes in half or if they are large chunk them into large pieces.

Heat your dutch oven and pour in the olive oil. Place your cauliflower head into the pot and spread the onions, tomatoes, garlic cloves and mushrooms around the sides. Pour in the water, and add the red pepper flakes and salt.

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Cover and let this cook on low/medium for 15 minutes. Return and give it a quick stir and baste the cauliflower head with some of the juices you will now find in the bottom of the pot.

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Recover and cook for another 15 minutes or until a butter knife can be easily inserted into the middle of the cauliflower head.

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When its tender, use a spoon to break apart the head and serve over rice, pasta, soba noddles or just as a side dish. We had ours over soba noodles topped with a little shredded parmesan cheese and crushed croutons and it was fabulous.

Enjoy!!!!

Ugga Mugga…..Another Long Week On My Own

This week was much like last week in that I was again, on my own all week. Hubby and I said goodbye to each other again Monday afternoon so he could catch his flight and I could face the week ahead on my own. Thankfully this does not happen too often with his job, but when it does it really rocks our world here at home. We rarely do anything apart, he is usually always home at the same time everyday and all my daycare children know when this time is, and honestly, it just makes life a bit crazy trying to work around when we can find the time to chat in between busy schedules. Add in a time difference (if any) depending on where he is compared to me here at home and it can get a little difficult…. I always pray I am the earlier time so I can go to bed at a normal hour.

Anyhow, like last week, I did what I wanted when I wanted to do it. Here is the outcome of my workouts this week:

Sunday: 1.5 mile walk

Monday: 3 mile walk together before dropping him at the airport, 30 minutes elliptical at the gym

Tuesday: gym:30 minutes elliptical and stretching

Wednesday:home: floor weight routine and 30 minute recumbent bike

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Thursday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, upper body weights, and stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: rest…but a ton of big household chores…..scrub carpets, do loads and loads of laundry, and just hang out with my hubby who arrived home finally.

Meals were easy peasy since, for the most part, it was just me.  It sure makes grocery shopping much easier when its less mouths to feed. Here’s a peak at the meals from the week.

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Sunday: baked ham, roasted brussel sprouts, scalloped potatoes(family dinner)

Monday: philly cheese steak brat, sauteed perogies with spinach and bacon.

Tuesday: chicken and cheese quesadilla with stuffed poblano peppers(dinner with our son home)

Wednesday: sushi

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Thursday: bruschetta personal pizza

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Friday: out

Saturday: mom’s day off….fend for yourself

The week as a whole….I would say was pretty good. I love being back at the gym. Renovations there are almost complete and I am pretty excited to hear we will be getting kettle bells soon. I love kettle bells and wish I had more at home, so this is something I am really looking forward to having access to at the gym.

Life lately has been many unanswered questions…however, the one thing I am sure of is that winter is getting closer to making an arrival and I am preparing myself the best way I know how….I have a whole tub of hot chocolate, my Christmas list has an electric heated blanket on it, and I have stocked up on lip moisturizer….I literally have tubes of this stuff everywhere! The joys of frigid temperatures makes me want to cringe!!!!!

 

 

 

A Taste Testing Disaster….Among Other Things

A week ago we purchased some highly recommended products that apparently are great on the trail for backpacking (according to fellow backpackers). We got a nice assortment of cheese, meats and snacks.

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This past weekend we decided to have a taste testing lunch to make sure we liked everything before buying more for our upcoming Superior Hiking Trail trip. And let me just say, thank goodness we did. The only items we bought that were edible, in my opinion, were the hummus, coffee beans, and I am sure the salted caramels. Although, we did not try these yet and technically, did not buy these for the trail…..because in all honesty they wont last that long anyhow:)

I made sure not to refrigerate these items since we will not be able to do so on the trail either. I plated the meats, different cheese flavors, and added some olives and peppers to the mix. While cutting the cheese I was a bit leary already since it really felt like Velveeta(which I despise). Although, I had to keep an open mind and try it.

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Well, needless to say, I made something else for lunch and my husband was able to eat a bit more of this test plate but also gave into to making something different for lunch. The ending result was our son tried nothing and the entire plate went in the trash can.

So much for trying what others suggest. I think we have done just fine with our choices of trail food in the past while hiking some very long and difficult trails. This makes me believe we will be sticking to our normal trail menu. I am a true believer that you don’t change what works. For more on what our normal trail menu consists of click here.

Moving on…..did you hike any trails for National Trails Day? We did. Originally, we thought we would be picking up our son’s new kayak for him but since the delivery has been delayed we were home. The weather was not the greatest but not as bad as predicted either, so we headed to a local trail for a few miles. Add this to our 52 Hike trail log and we have almost accomplished our goal. Here is a few pics from our hike.

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There is just something about the serenity of a trail lined with wildflowers or even colorful weeds that can put your mind at peace. Add in some sights of wildlife and a rainbow and the world just looks a bit brighter.

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As for the rest of my weekend, it was a revamping of sorts. I said goodbye to two of my daycare kiddos on Friday after a 4.5 year relationship with them. They are relocating and moving on to another state. Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do in this profession but it eventually always has to be done. Which means today I start a new child and this is always exciting and a bit overwhelming for all involved. This little guy is only a few months old, so I needed to dig out some baby supplies that have been packed away for awhile and have my husband take down a toddler bed, to then put up an infant pack and play. And since I know this week will ultimately be an adjusting period for everyone, I did some meal preparations so meal time after a long day goes a bit smoother. I am a firm believer in healthy meals for the week and meal prep on the weekends makes this so much easier to accomplish during the week.

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With my veggies and fruit cleaned and cut, hard boiled eggs made, and menu posted on the frig, I feel ready to face the week head on.

 

Do you meal prep on the weekends?

What is your favorite backpacking trail food?

 

 

What I Am Loving Lately

I find myself starting to enjoy each day a little more as the weather starts to heat up little by little here in Green Bay. From finally seeing leaves on trees to gorgeous colors starting to be planted in planters around homes and businesses. There is something about color that just adds happiness to life. With that being said, here are a few things I am loving lately.

Dinners outside again: My husband and I will often share dinner together outside on the porch in the warm months of the year. We have begun doing this again on the days that are nice and I am so grateful for this time.

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Coffee Nut M&M’s: OMG….they are my favorite all time M&M.

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Our Bugaboo Camp Cooking Pot set: I could not believe this when I found it at a garage sale one morning walking the neighborhood with my kiddos. I almost had a stroke when I saw the $3 price tag (normally $70 brand new retail) and opened it up to find it new, not scratched, and never used for that matter. It will no doubt be the best thing I find at a garage sale this season.

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Palmer’s Coconut Oil Lotion: As I mentioned in the past, my hair and skin have drastically changed since surgery back in January. And since I found my new favorite hair moisturizer, I was on a mission to find a lotion that would offer my skin some relief. I gave this coconut oil lotion a try after talking with a friend and have been very happy with the results so far. It not in any way greasy which is a BIG thing for me. It smells wonderful….like the tropics and really seems to moisturize well.

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Luna Chocolate Dipped Coconut Bar: After a long walk one day I stopped at a local drug store for a quick errand and noticed these by the checkout. I grabbed one since I was hungry and this sounded yummy. I don’t typically do bar type snacks unless on a trail or paddling a river but this just sounded perfect. After opening it and giving it a try, I think I may have a new favorite bar because it was soooo good.

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Sriracha Aioli: With grilling season upon us I am always experimenting with ways to liven up burgers, chicken and other meats. I picked this up in Door County, WI on a day trip with some friends and cannot wait to return for another bottle. We have tried it on chicken sandwiches, turkey burgers, and its fabulous in black bean burger wraps. It really adds a kick of flavor and spice.

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This inspirational saying:  I recently saw this while shopping and thought of how much our life has changed in the last few months. It’s exactly how I feel and I am working very hard to feel like I am living right side up again. All in good time….right

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That shall do it for now.

If you want to share something you are enjoying lately, feel free and do so.

Since tomorrow is going to be one of those crazy busy days I will end by wishing everyone a safe and very happy Memorial Day weekend………….