Tag Archives: dogs

Snapshots of Home

There are a lot of pictures that I took on my phone while at home and, since they don’t really fit into any specific kinds of posts, I’ve just decided to have a “snapshots of home” post.

Don’t worry. They’re fun pictures. It really gives a sense of what it was like at home.

This one was actually taken by my sister. This is the view of Thatcher with which anyone in my family is most familiar.

I miss that mug.

New England in a picture:

Fire in the fireplace:

Reading a book in the most comfortable chaise ever by said fire in the fireplace.

Dogs to keep me company:

One of my favorite pictures from the entire trip:

See that? Sawyer is smiling at me as I read a book written in the perspective of a yellow lab.


Dad looking on:

That wasn’t the only place or time in which I read, though. I also read on my favorite couch quite a bit. And I got through three books! Such a good way to spend a vacation.

On another night, I went out for drinks with one of my best friends in the world, Whitney.

Can you tell how huge the drinks are?

Pretty much the size of our heads. Oh, and please ignore my boobs.

Some days were spent shopping. I had the shopping spree at TJ Maxx.

Both necessary and cathartic.

I also fit in a lot of favorites from home while at home, like my favorite tuna salad with cranberries and apples from a place called Garelick & Herb.

So good.

Another favorite?

Zumbachs! In a Toasted Almond flavor! Heaven.

Also heaven: my mom’s homemade pancakes.

I know it’s just Bisquick, but why does it taste so much better when Mom makes it?

I also made up a meal of totally separate leftovers, for which a friend and reader, Maiah, requested a recipe.

I am now determined to create a recipe out of this concoction. Expect it sometime soon!

One of my favorite nights at home was again spent with Whitney. On this night, I went over to her house and helped her family make dinner, then got to enjoy it with them.

Just looking at those pictures makes me smile.

Speaking of pictures that make me smile…

My brother, the best gift-giver ever, gave me Pumking for Christmas. Naturally, I needed to try it with him.

Best. Beer. Ever. Just the smell was worth every penny.

Naturally, the occasion was so momentous for me that I had to take pictures of us with the beer, too.

And my dad wanted in as well.

My dad’s on tiptoes. 🙂 Daniel is very tall.

On my last full day at home, my siblings, dad and I all took our dogs for a walk in a local park by a lake.

I will always remember that day!

On my last night, we went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Viva Zapatas. I got my favorite meal and my favorite margarita. 🙂 Afterward, my dad captured this very cute moment of my siblings and me at the top of the stairs.

Sadly, the next day, it was time for me to go back to California.

Before I left, though — right before I left! — my mom and I made blondies “for my little brother because it was his first day at his new job.”

Please. They were totally for us.

As soon as they came out of the oven, though, it was time for me to go.

So, I headed to the airport…

… and then I was back in sunny LA before I knew it.

P.S. — Don’t forget to enter the Chobani Giveaway!


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I have been the worst blogger lately.

Eesh. Sorry.

Let me get through things kind of quickly. I’ll start with the 22nd and 23rd. Interestingly, in those two days, I did most things in twos.

The first meal totally doesn’t fall into that, though. I just had another yogurt bowl. But what a yogurt bowl it was!

Into the mix went:

  • Strawberry Banana CHO
  • Julie‘s healthy homemade granola
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • 1/2 banana, sliced

Now, for the twos.

I had two coffees. One for each day.

On Wednesday, I had a Toasted Almond coffee from Zumbach’s… on which my mom decided to write a new spelling of my name.

And on Thursday, a soy latte.

Wednesday brought two fish-based meals.

Lunch was fresh Italian bread and tuna salad, both from a local Italian deli & bakery, toasted and topped with cheddar cheese to make a tuna melt. On the side: green beans with EVOO, walnuts, almonds, fresh parmesan and dried cranberries – from the same deli. Delish.

So fresh.

For dinner: leftovers of the grilled shrimp, sauteed vegetables & rice.

On Thursday morning, I made two bowls (well, mugs) of oatmeal – one for me and one for my dad.



Into the mix (for two) went:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup 1% organic milk (for the record, I like almond milk much better in oatmeal)
  • 1 banana, sliced & mushed
  • a few dashes cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

On top (of mine, 1/3 of the oatmeal):

  • creamy honey
  • blueberries
  • raspberries

On top (of his, 2/3 of the oatmeal)

  • creamy honey

Then, I had two tomato-based, Italian meals.

For lunch, I had pasta fagioli soup from that same Italian deli/ bakery from the day before. Topped with fresh grated parmesan from there, too.

Then, for dinner, we got pizza from a place nearby called Planet Pizza.

We ordered a Greek salad, the veggie pizza and a ridiculously fresh pizza called Grandma’s pizza. I had a slice of each and a lot of salad.

I also had a blueberry ale. But just one. 🙂

I saw my first snowfall of the season that day. One snowfall. Two pictures.

But it was nothing – nothing – compared to what we got today.

Two fitness classes: one strength class and one kickboxing class. Plus 50 minutes on the Arc Trainer. All on Wednesday. No workout on Thursday.

Two good deeds:

25 Days of Good Deeds for Christmas, Day 22

I actually know I did something else that day, but I can’t remember what it was. But I also left an extra big tip at Zumbach’s, so I’ll list that one.

25 Days of Good Deeds for Christmas, Day 23

At the eye doctor, the nicest old man sat down next to me and just wanted to talk. That’s all! He told me about his sick wife and the fact that they can’t go down to Florida anymore because of how sick she is, and how he’s not used to the cold. I just sat and talked to him for as long as I had until I was brought in for my appointment.

I’ll leave you, for now, with two seriously cute dogs.


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Broke My Promise

Let me start with some gratuitous dog pictures.

They’re totally best friends. It’s adorable.

Anyway, yesterday was a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, but the most important one was the one in which I got to rid myself of the dreadful heart monitor. So glad I only needed a 24-hour one and not a 48-hour one.

I fueled for the day with a yogurt bowl, since my mom noted my love for CHO and stocked up for me. 🙂

Into the mix went:

  • 1 pineapple 2% Chobani
  • Julie‘s healthy homemade granola
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • raspberries

Isn’t the grain of the wood pretty? I love the photos I take at my parents’ house.

Another reason my mom rocks? She packed me lunch!

She made me a chicken sandwich (basically all I’ve had for lunch since I came home…) with the Crispy Parmesan Chicken from the night before, cheddar cheese and honey mustard on a toasted english muffin.

I also snacked on an apple a little bit later.

Now, to get to that whole breaking my promise thing…

I worked out yesterday.

I just… had to. First of all, my doctor didn’t give me any indication that I had to stop working out altogether, so there was that. But really, after being limited in movement for the previous 24 hours from the heart monitor, after three days of not working out at all, and after a day full of doctor’s appointments… like I said, I just had to.

So, I fueled up with a handful of dark chocolate-covered raisins (what, that’s not fuel?) and went to the local gym (which I love) and did 20 minutes on an Arc Trainer and followed it with an hour-long strength class and then an hour-long kickboxing class. I had a blast. It was exactly what I needed!

And then, when I came home, I found that my mom had made an awesome dinner: grilled shrimp and sauteed vegetables in a chili sauce with white rice.

Um. Yum.

I could get used to coming home to a warm dinner!


Just kidding.

Oh, my mom and I also had a baking project yesterday…

… but I’ll get to that in another post. 🙂 I have a good deed to get to.

25 Days of Good Deeds for Christmas, Day 21

When I was in high school, I was in a choir that sold grapefruit every year in order to raise funds. This meant that every fall, I was held accountable for selling X many boxes of fresh grapefruit… no easy feat!

To this day, despite the fact I graduated roughly a thousand years ago, my family still buys grapefruit from the choir.

Yesterday, I went to pick our box of grapefruit up.

Someone else was pretty interested, too…


These 25 days are wrapping up!


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Red Eye

I really like milking every second of my vacation, so I had scheduled a red eye flight for Friday night – in other words, ASAP. Unfortunately, the airline wasn’t in quite as much of a rush. My flight was delayed two hours, which isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things but felt like a long time to wait when I’d just rushed over to the airport after work and when I was so exhausted and eager to get on the plane to fall asleep.

When I went to grab dinner, I found that most options were fish-based and I wasn’t feeling very trusting of airport fish, so I had a cheeseburger (no pictures, but I’m sure you can use your imagination). Unfortunately, I spent the duration of my meal being forced to listen to the extremely loud girl next to me making fun of overweight people. That was fun. I came so close to saying something to her but decided an airport restaurant/ bar probably wasn’t a great place to pick a fight with a stranger.

Anyway, the night improved immensely a little later, when I fortuitously looked up and saw one of my friends, Mike! We ended up getting  drinks at the same restaurant/ bar I’d just left. I got a small beer, figuring a little alcohol might help me sleep.

After an uneventful flight during which I (thankfully) I spent the entire time sleeping, I was so happy to see my Dad waiting for me at the airport. I also immediately told him, in my fairly drug-induced state (I was still kind of knocked out from the Tylenol PM I’d taken for the flight), that I wouldn’t hate it if we stopped at Starbucks.

Thankfully, he picked up on my subtle hints.

I treated my tastebuds (and my growling tummy) with a Soy Peppermint Mocha (just one pump of each syrup).

When I got home, my wonderful mother made me some eggs and toast. Clearly, she knows the way to my heart. 🙂

Lunch, a few hours later, was fresh rotisserie chicken on freshly baked bread with a little olive oil mayo (this is literally the only sandwich on which I like mayonnaise… isn’t that weird?) and some BBQ Pop Chips on the side.

Food just tastes better at home, you know what I mean?

I also had my mom’s new favorite drink, which is seltzer with a splash of pomegranate juice.

It was all kinds of awesome. Even more awesome? My mom had made my Grandma’s famous Czechoslovakian bars.

I am definitely going to have to make these and post the recipe. And you’ll thank me. Profusely.

Oh, and even more awesome than even those (delicious) bars? These faces:

So good to be home.


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I ran six miles this morning!

I was very excited about a new app on my iPhone called iMapMyRun, which comes from Map My Run (I know, who would have thought?). I have regularly used that site, interchangeably with RunningMap, to plan running routes or to check my mileage after my runs. Until last night, however, I never knew about the iPhone app.

Confession #1: I most definitely purposefully angled the camera for that photo so as to not capture the most embarrassing parts of my phone… such as the screen cover peeling off or the many, many scuff marks from all of the times I’ve dropped my phone.

And yes, I know I wasn’t entirely successful.

So, anyway, I eagerly downloaded the application, which I felt essentially promised me the ability to run freely and figure out my route as I went. I was excited to not have to stick to a plan or memorize what I was doing. Basically, I was pretty psyched to have many of the benefits of a Garmin, but for free.

Unfortunately, it stopped working in the middle of my run, so I don’t know my pace. Given my fairly consistent ability, lately, to fall in the 11’s, I’m sure it was around 11:45 (as there were many hills).

Fortunately, I was not only able to remember my route exactly, which I mapped out on the actual website once I got home, but I also (miraculously) managed to reach for my hoped-for six miles.

Confession #2: I just sort of lied to you. I didn’t run an even 6.00. I ran 5.97. I’m giving it to myself. Happy early birthday to me.

Anyway, I had a very fun but entirely rushed breakfast (I was running pretty late today) this morning of gingerbread overnight oats topped with pumpkin banana “fro-yo” and a sprinkle of pecans pieces. I got the ideas from Angela and based my mixtures on her recipes.

For the overnight oats…

Into the mix (last night) went:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • tiny pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp molasses

For the pumpkin banana fro-yo…

Into the food processor (this morning) went:

  • 1 frozen banana, broken into thirds
  • ~2 tbs canned, chilled pumpkin
  • 2 dashes pumpkin pie spice
  • splash unsweetened almond milk

It was definitely good… but it was also both a lot of flavor for the morning and quite a bit of food for after a run. I think that, next time, I’d scale back slightly on the flavor of the oats and have them with a different, simpler topping. I’d also make the pumpkin fro-yo, which was so delicious, to go atop simpler overnight oats. Finally, I think I’d have the oats after a workout that isn’t a run, as runs don’t make me very hungry immediately afterward (but make me really hungry later in the day and even more so on the following day).

Anyway, I (again) got excited about my new table and photographed my lunch on it this morning, as well.

This did not, by the way, help my whole running late thing.

Into the mix went:

  • bed of fresh baby spinach
  • block of tofu, cubed and baked (prepared exactly the same as last night‘s)
  • 1 cooked beet, sliced
  • ~ 1/3 cup sliced cucumber
  • ~ 1 tbs crumbled goat cheese
  • ~ 1 tbs dried cranberries
  • ~ 1 tbs pecans
  • dressing: olive oil & balsamic vinegar

It was really, really good. I’m on a mission to try to create new salads as often as possible. I’m trying to be creative, as I’ve found I really like salads as work lunches but also get very bored with them, very easily. Any ideas?

Confession #3: The tofu used in my dinner last night and in my lunch today may or may not have expired on October 8th.

Don’t worry about it.

Confession #4: After meeting my boss’ completely awesome dog today, I am 100% determined to get a dog and sneak it into my absolutely-no-dogs-allowed apartment.

No big deal.

Tuesday Morning Workout

6 (okay, okay, 5.97) miles in (probably) about 1:10:00, giving me (probably) about an 11:45 pace


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