A Weekend Full Of Food And Fun

What an adventurous weekend I had in both the fun and food I was able to experience.Saturday I had plans with a friend to hit up a festival and a flee market both at two separate spots here in the area.

IMG_8993

One ended up being a bit of a flop and one ended up being a big garage sale. So needless to say we were done with both adventures in an hour and half. And at least 30 minutes of this time was spent eating breakfast from a BBQ food truck since our sandwiches were too messy to walk and enjoy at the same time.

IMG_8994

IMG_8995

She had a bacon,egg, and cheese croissant and I had a pulled pork sandwich with a poached egg on top with cheese. Mine was good but super messy.

Then, since we both did not want to return home yet….it was only 9:45 in the morning after all…we decided to head to Appleton to hit up World Market an Penzey’s Spices. I love both these stores.

IMG_8996

We also hit up a new boutique back in DePere and found some very unique things. I however, bought nothing. I love knick knacks and stuff to decorate my home but at the same time I hate to dust. So the more I buy the more things I need to dust. Although, it was fun looking around.

IMG_9003

The highlight of our day ended up being lunch. I have been trying to get her here for some time but as usual, life always kept getting in the way. However, this time we made it and wow it was amazing. It’s a deli type restaurant where they serve sandwiches, soups, chips and usually a pasta/grain salad of sorts. Although, in my opinion, the sandwiches are so large that nothing extra is really needed.

IMG_8999

We both had the “Late Night” which is their version of a reuben sandwich. Only this one has pickled red cabbage with cranberries mixed in. It is so absolutely wonderful words can’t describe.

IMG_9001

And then Sunday arrived and I should have gotten out of bed as I did Saturday before anything else got in the way and went to the gym. However, this did not happen. I was tired, bed was warm, and my husband offered to make my favorite breakfast if I stayed home and skipped the gym. That was all I needed to hear and I happily stayed home.

IMG_7357

After breakfast we quickly did some chores and were on the road and headed to the river for a 4 hour float once again. The last time we did this it was so relaxing and refreshing. So we had to get it in one more time before the river turns too chilly for my liking. And without a doubt this time was just as wonderful as the last…..so relaxing!!!

IMG_9011

IMG_9017

 

Some Of The Best Places Are Ones We Stumble Upon

While we were in Wallace, Michigan visiting the De Young Family Zoo(read about it here if you missed it) we were hoping to stumble upon a park nearby that we could enjoy a quiet picnic lunch together at. So we drove down a nearby highway thinking we were headed toward lake Michigan and were surprised when we realized we had turned the wrong direction. Which we then turned around and passed a sign that said public boat landing on a flowage.

IMG_8914

Now, if you know anything about my husband, he knows just about every boat launch in our area. However, in Michigan, he knows very little but said that the ones in WI sponsored by WPS are usually pretty nice so why not check this one out in Michigan. I had no reason to complain since I know very little about any of them and plus, I was hungry and wanted to eat lunch. So we ventured down this gravel road and came upon this.

IMG_8886

Wow, gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!! A big lake, with a nice gravel lot, and a porta potty. And the best part….not another vehicle in the entire lot except for us. We both used the bathroom facilities and then ate our picnic lunch of chicken salad on pitas, fresh apricots, prickly pears, and Larabar caramel seal salt bites.

IMG_8884

Oh, I must mention, if you have not tried this flavor if Larabar bites yet, you must….they are fabulous. Good luck eating only one serving…..the two of us finished the whole bag!

IMG_8784

After lunch he knew I spotted the grassy trail we passed off the gravel road that seemed to lead around the lake and suggested we go check it out.

IMG_8902

Now, keep in mind, we were not in any way prepared to hike today since I was suppose to be taking it easy and letting my abdominal muscle heal. However, I saw the trail, he saw that I saw the trail, and my hiking boots are always in my SUV just in case….you never know when I will come across a trail I must explore. So after lunch we both sprayed down with more sunscreen and bug spray which also never leaves my SUV and we headed out for a look where this trail led to.

IMG_8907

It quickly got much more wooded and the trail turned from grass to dirt. And soon we found ourselves surrounded by big tall trees as far as we could see.

IMG_8912

IMG_8910

I asked my husband if he felt we could possibly see a bear here…and he said it was very possible which made me stop and look around. One of my bucket list things to do is to see a bear in the wild while hiking someday. Although, today was not the day since we soon found ourselves swatting at numerous bugs. Plus, not having any hiking supplies, backpack, bug nets, water or bear spray we decided it was probably best if we turned around and head back to the parking lot where we left our vehicle.

We walked probably about 1.5 miles on this trail with no end in sight. You all know what that means…..we will return and come better prepared next time for sure. I never start a trail I can’t finish. And next time maybe we will stumble upon a bear…who knows.

All in all it was a very beautiful place to share a lunch and explore. Never be afraid to stop and take that turn if you not sure what’s down that road. You never know what you may miss by passing it by.

IMG_8891

IMG_8899

IMG_8888

IMG_8895

It Has Been Open Less Than A Week And….

It’s finally open and I have been there twice in less than a week…..Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Ashwaubenon,WI had it’s grand opening last Wednesday and I was there!!!!

IMG_8696

A friend of mine joined me for the first visit here and to say it was packed with people would be putting it mildly. Our area (Ashwaubenon is minutes from our home and is where the store is located) has no organic healthy grocery at all. So for those of us that have always wished and hoped for a Whole Foods or a Trader’s Joe’s, this may be as good as it gets and in my opinion it’s pretty nice.

IMG_8697

I have never once braved the crowds and went to any grand opening of anything but this one was different. Upon arriving I knew it would be busy but wow, our area clearly needed a grocery store like this. I did not get to enjoy looking around as much as I would have liked but what I did see made me very happy. I found a few new items that my husband can enjoy since going to an artificial sweetener free diet.

IMG_8707

And I also found a kombucha flavor he has been searching for…win for him.

IMG_8709

I’ve already made another visit since this grand opening night and crowds are much more manageable. I love the meat/seafood, bakery, and fresh veggies/fruits selection. I have also found some other amazing items that we have all fell in love with. In my opinion, it’s a great addition to the Green Bay area.

IMG_8764

Talking about my husband being artificial sweetener free…..he is doing wonderful. He is feeling great and has surprisingly lost his big sweet tooth. He still enjoys candy here and there but before this he loved candy and could not live without it. He has also since lost his taste for coffee….go figure. How odd is that? Cooking is getting easier and I have been working on getting creative so everything he eats does not have to be so basic. Like one evening we had Korean BBQ pork sandwiches, zucchini, and corn on the cob.

IMG_8682

And another evening we had homemade BBQ chicken pizza. The only difficult thing about this meal was finding a store crust without artificial sweetener. Our normal grocery store had only one out of at least 10 different brands so we tried it. He loved it….win for me!

IMG_8713

This weeks menu has two new meals on it for us to try. Slowly but surely I am finding meals he enjoys and that are easy to prepare now that we have revamped our pantry. I am just so happy to see him happy again and not always so miserable with stomach aches.

IMG_8727

 

I Am Not One To Back Down From A Challenge

I am not one to ever back down from a challenge but let me tell you….sometimes this bites me in the butt and it bites hard!!!!

Friday mid day I received an email from my husband saying….”Let’s try doing three laps of the trail we chose to do our training on for vacation. What do you think?” I then answered back….”why now, I thought we would work our way up to three laps the month before we leave for vacation.” He then emailed back,” come on, do you think we can’t do it?” Enough said…that sounded like a challenge and he knew darn well I would not let that go.

(*NOTE: the longest trail we plan to hike on vacation is listed at between 7.7 to 8.3 miles long with mountain elevations)

Saturday morning we woke, had a hearty breakfast, packed our picnic lunch, packed our backpacks as if we would be hiking a long trail just like on vacation, and hit the trail by 8:30 a.m..

IMG_8381

Lap one was fairly easy as I expected it would be. Here is us at the end of lap one…3.25 miles done.

IMG_8453

Lap two was good, not too hard, legs still felt good, and the heat of the day was just starting. We definitely needed another coating of bug spray and some lunch though. Us at the end of lap two, 6.45 miles complete.

IMG_8454

So as we would and plan to on the trail, we stopped and had a picnic lunch on the nearby lawn next to the trail head.

IMG_8457

Recoated with bug spray, we then started the last lap. This one was a bit different since we knew in our head it would be the final lap. And no doubt it was harder, the hills seemed to multiply, and every corner we rounded that we thought was our last was actually not the last. This was the only lap we saw wildlife larger than a chipmunk on.

IMG_8467

And we even came across a berry bush that next time may be ripe enough to offer us a snack mid hike.

IMG_8461

We were a hot, sweaty mess when we were done….here we are at the end of three laps. In approximately four hours with a half hour of that being a break for lunch, we completed three laps for a total of 9.68 miles and ironically my body felt pretty darn good at that moment.

IMG_8468

IMG_8462

That is until I arrived home and removed my boots….OH MY GOODNESS DID MY ANKLES HURT!!!!The remainder of my day was spent getting my legs and ankles iced, rubbed, or elevated with compression socks on.

IMG_8472

Needless to say, I tossed and turned all night between fireworks going off in our neighborhood and with my very sore legs throughout the night. Which meant I was very tired on Sunday. I can’t say I regret accepting this challenge he proposed but next time I will think a bit harder about what else I wish to do before excepting this type of challenge again. Since all I really got accomplished on Sunday was throwing together a quick dinner and one fast trip to the store for a few items.

After all this I will say I am proud of us since clearly we still got it. We may be slower and ache a bit more than before but we can still pull almost 10 miles off with little effort and this makes me very happy.

 

 

 

Hello March….Your The Month I Wait For All Winter

Although I was feeling a bit unhealthy this week suffering from this nasty virus, it still was a great week for me since it was the beginning to another month…..March. Which means another month closer to summer.

March is a busy month for us here. Birthdays are spread all throughout the month, we have a day trip planned to attend an REI garage sale event for members, I have my first overnighter with a friend planned that I am so looking forward to, and don’t forget….this is the month where daylight gets longer in the evenings since we all change our clocks in a few days……hurraaaayyyy!!!!!

Since I have no workouts to share from this week of rest due to this nasty bug, I thought I would catch up on some of my favorite things lately. However, in all honesty, I did not rest completely…..I got in small workouts here and there because the guilt was worse than the virus plaguing me. Crazy I know, but it is what it is. Anyhow…
Remember those mirrors my son snagged before his employer threw them out….well they are up and I LOVE THEM!!! These will benefit my workouts so much being able to watch my form during yoga and weight lifting.

IMG_7061

Speaking of time changing and girl’s weekends….I have one coming up and we are so excited about it. A friend and I, that I have known for over 20 years, have planned our first over night girls weekend away from life here at home. We both do the same thing for employment….childcare. And if anyone knows anything about childcare you would all agree, winters are LONG! So we decided to take a weekend and go away over night to a near by town, stay at a bed and breakfast type lodge, shop, wander, and eat our way through 48 hours of not caring for anyone but ourselves and celebrate another winter passed. How cool is that? Does anyone else celebrate surviving winter????? Probably not, but that don’t mean we can’t.

IMG_7073

Speaking of surviving winter, it feels so good to be back outside with my kiddos. Fresh air does wonders for nap time, gives us all a new perspective on life, and makes them eat so much more food. I am so ready to pack away the puzzles, coloring books, and the finger paints and change over to sidewalk chalk, critter hunting, and bike riding. What about you?

IMG_7058

IMG_7050

A few weeks ago I made a plan to try at least one new recipe a week since I was completely burned out on our dinner rotation. This has been going wonderful. We have tried many new things, some being keepers and some being not so great. However, I have not had to throw any out completely and we have not found ourselves ordering takeout due to any disasters. What have I learned these past few weeks during all this trial and error of meal planning? We LOVE sun dried tomatoes!!!!

IMG_7068

I have also been starting to stock up on our active seasons snack box that we keep stocked for those grab and go trips to who knows where. Typically, I will pick up trail mix, Clif bars, turkey jerky, nuts, chocolate, etc. and have that ready to go all spring, summer, and fall. Although, this year I am trying some new(to us) bars, and ideas for this box since I am not able to eat some of these prior things since surgery for some reason. Recently, I picked up numerous flavors of Larabars and this Nourish snack mix and found we love both and both agree with my new way of eating.

IMG_7039

IMG_7077

That’s it for me today. My weekend looks a bit sketchy at the moment with many options, not enough time, and only one of me to be everywhere with everyone. However, I have narrowed it down to spending time with my husband since next weekend I will be gone and plus, we think we may start geocaching this weekend which is one of my favorite things to do together. So exciting….

IMG_2701

 

 

Loving Lately….

It’s been awhile since I wrote about what I am loving lately. So I figured, there is no better time than today to share a few things….

Limited Edition Cranberry English Muffins: I love when the fall flavors arrive….they warm my heart and my stomach. If you have not given these a try…..I highly recommend them.

IMG_6148

GoStak by Blender Bottle: I stumbled across one of these while hiking in Arizona. A fellow hiker was opening up what looked to be a water bottle but when I got a bit closer I saw it was a bunch of little bottles all connected nicely. Well, you know me, I immediately researched this the second I had the opportunity and found it. I ordered one without much thought, since I love organization…..and the one place I really like organization is in my backpack. From snacks, ear buds, medications, small jewelry…..almost anything can be kept securely in this storage container that is no larger than a water bottle. They can be used separately, together, or you can even add to the length buy purchasing more containers of a preferred size. I have many ideas for mine.

IMG_6166

This unseasonably warm weather we have been having: For a person that struggles through winter, I have no complaints about fall so far. I am still out hiking every weekend, and have even been able to wear shorts a few hours here and there. How fabulous is that and it’s mid November…….so awesome!!!

IMG_6156

Zucchini Bread: I have been making ooodles and ooodles of zucchini bread. These loaves never last long in my house. It’s the best recipe ever.

IMG_6132

Silicone Ring: This is a tough one to explain but here it goes. My husband and I have been married for over 23 years now and I knew from day one that he would rarely be able to wear his wedding ring because of the job he had for over 17 years. And then he changed jobs a few years back and I thought, maybe he could wear it a bit more now, but this was also an issue in his new profession. And then about two years ago….he changed jobs again and once again I thought….maybe he could wear it now. And again, he just did not feel comfortable risking it. Now I know in my heart that a ring does not MAKE HIM MARRIED….but I want him to have a ring on that finger in the worst way. So while hiking, once again, in a region that does so much more active activities than we do here in WI, I noticed many men had on silicone rings. So, as I always do, I researched a bit and found what I was looking for. A safe ring, that will break if it gets caught on anything, that is inexpensive in case he looses it, and most important…..it will not conduct electricity to put him at danger in his job. They are hypo allergenic, lightweight, and made from high performance silicone and are durable. They are made for an active lifestyle which we have. He can wear it rock scrambling while on vacations, he can wear it at work, he can wear it painting, swimming, or camping. He can wear it ALL THE TIME! I can’t wait to give it to him!!!

IMG_6168

IMG_6170

Are you loving anything you want to share with me? Go ahead…I’d love to hear about it.

 

A Strange Week That Ended In An Awesome Way

This was a strange week for us here. My husband was missing in action all week and I feel every one of us noticed. Missing one person in the family makes a huge difference…from less laundry, to less food required at meal times, to no one to talk to in the evenings, and no one to wake up to in the morning. Like anything in life, some things are good and some are not so good…. in this situation we adapt, overcome, and move on.

So being I was on my own all week, I could do what I wanted when I wanted to do it. I returned to the gym, started Christmas shopping, enjoyed the exceptionally warm weather we are experiencing here in WI, and caught up on some reading. I made some great progress on the to do list for fall and made meals that would make my husband cringe.

Here is what my workouts consisted of this week.

Sunday: 3 mile walk

Monday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, stretching

Tuesday: 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, floor weights routine, stretching, 5 mile evening walk with a friend

Wednesday: 3 mile evening walk with a friend….this was suppose to be gym night but with temps so wonderful here yet, why would I go to the gym when I can spend it outside and not shiver in November…..so awesome!

Thursday: rest

Friday: floor weights routine

Saturday: off…..however, we did tons on walking while on our shopping trip.

Which brings me to the ending of our week. Saturday my husband and I took our annual shopping trip to a mall in Illinois. It’s our day to spend whatever we wish on just us….and this year was a blast. We found some awesome deals, ate at our favorite place, and enjoyed the day. And the best part is that we take a coach bus so we never have to worry about traffic, parking or being too tired to drive back home at the end of a long day. I can’t wait until next year.

Here are a few pics from our trip.

IMG_6187

IMG_6186

IMG_6181

IMG_6184