Good morning friends!  How was the weekend?  We had a quiet, productive weekend over here!  It started off on a delicious note- I was browsing pinterest and came across a roasted blueberry ricotta crostini recipe from two peas and their pod and decided I was going to make something similar for a pre-dinner snack.  I covered a cookie sheet in aluminum foil, sprayed some cooking oil, covered the sheet with blueberries and topped them with a few drizzles of honey.  After roasting them for seven minutes at 400 degrees, I placed the berries on sourdough smothered in goat cheese.  Yum!  I definitely want to try this with ricotta as the original recipe calls for, but you can’t go wrong with goat cheese!

In addition to berry bread concoctions, wine was consumed-

This wine was really good!  Although I can’t quite drink an entire bottle like I used to- I am usually done after one glass.  Cheap date, right?

There were bedtime stories- our current favorite is Little Blue Truck (so cute!)-

 

Audrey got a new toy- if you are looking for something to hold your little one’s attention for at least a few minutes (ha)- puzzles are where it is at!  She loves them!

This weekend I tackled one of my most hated chores- cleaning the shower.  Ugh.  Between the hard water and the glass shower door, it seems like the shower gets gross quickly.  I think I’ve found the perfect storm of cleaning supplies to help me get the job done as quickly and painless as possible.

First I combined equal parts blue dawn and white vinegar in a spray bottle (heat up the vinegar in the microwave)- I used about a quarter cup each.  I found this concoction on pinterest and it is supposed to be a miracle worker on soap scum.  Yeah, not sure about that.  Anyway.  I sprayed the dawn/vinegar mixture on the glass door and let it sit for a bit while I worked on the shower.  For the shower, I misted it with water and then covered it in barkeeper’s friend (another pinterest recommendation).  Then I scrubbed my little heart out.  The pinterest peeps make you think that you put these miracle cleaners on the shower/shower door and then voila- the shower is clean!  Nope!  The glass door has to be rubbed down with wet and then dry paper towels a few times to remove the film from the dawn/vinegar and you need to SCRUB with the barkeeper’s friend.  However, after all of that work my shower is absolutely gleaming and I kind of don’t want to use it so it can stay clean.  :D  So, I do recommend this method, although it is almost a workout- it works!   What is your most hated chore?  Any cool cleaner tips for me?

Onto fun stuff- there was baking- cherry chocolate fig muffins (minus the fig- we ate all of the ones we purchased in less than an hour, ha)-

and pureed cherries for Audrey- we aren’t really giving her purees anymore but I am still making a few fruity ones to mix into her morning yogurt :)

And my coup of the weekend- I saved almost fifty percent of my grocery bill at Publix!  Woot!

See that?  That is 53.29 spent and 37.30 saved- hell yes!  So not quite 50/50 but I think that is the most I’ve ever saved at the grocery store.  Here’s the thing- I didn’t even use one single coupon!  I went through the publix circular and noticed that a bunch of the buy one get ones was stuff that we actually buy and use- so I made a list and off I went!  I am so inspired by the savings that I want to start seriously couponing- saving money is addicting!

Going through the circulars this weekend inspired me to come up with a solid meal plan- normally we purchase the meat and fish at the grocery store and farmer’s market for the week without any real clear plan- just that one night we will have some sort of chicken dish, some sort of salmon dish another night, etc.  Not this week!  I really would like to be organized and feel less discombobulated at dinner so I’m hoping having a solid plan helps.  This is what’s on tap for the week:

  • Monday- Broiled salmon with a blueberry glaze, served with baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli
  • Tuesday- Breakfast for dinner- Sausage omelettes and sauteed okra
  • Wednesday- Turkey quinoa loaf with baked zucchini fries
  • Thursday- Stuffed peppers
  • Friday- Chicken with olives and dates served with a side salad
I think it looks like a solid week of eats!  I feel calm having a plan going into the week :)  I’m thinking that concrete meal planning will be crucial in making dinner less stressful :)
This weekend also brought some workouts!  On Friday I finally met Lily!  Brian put us through one of the baseline Crossfit workouts- 500 meter row, 40 squats, 30 situps, 20 pushups and 10 pullups.  Lily smoked me!  Homegirl is in some serious shape :D  It was so nice to finally meet her after all of these years and I’m looking forward to hanging out again!
Yesterday’s workout was tough.  Tough!  First, we found our bench press max- mine is 55 pounds.  Good to know.  Then, the WOD:
Three rounds:
  • 20 bench press at 70% max (35 pounds)
  • 20 pullups (I used the green band)
  • 20 push press (25 pounds)

Hot damn this was hard!  During the first bench press round my spirit was almost broken (dramatic much) and I felt like I wouldn’t be able to finish the workout. However, once I finished it (in 16 minutes and change) I felt great!  I’m not sure how I am going to carry around my little 20+ pounder today though :)

She had a good time watching us :)

All right friends, that’s a wrap!  I hope you have a happy Monday- I’ll see you soon with an Audrey ten month update and a ten month post baby body update! Have a good one :D

Katie

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Good morning friends! Happy opening day of the Olympics! I’m so pumped! I love watching the Olympics- it always gets me motivated to work hard and push myself. My favorites to watch are swimming, diving, beach volleyball and gymnastics. What sports are you looking forward to watching?

Speaking of motivation, I received some in the mail yesterday!

I’m ready for a running comeback!  While I’ve been doing a lot of crossfit (and loving it!), running has really fallen by the wayside.  I’m running two times a week, max.  I WILL run a half-marathon this coming February so I need to get to it!  This heat and humidity sure isn’t helping but September will be here  before we know it- and with it cooler temps, right?

Today, my sweet little miss is ten months old.  TEN MONTHS!  Double digits!  Where does the time go?  I will write a ten month update next week- it seems like my little baby is gone and she is starting to look more and more like a toddler to me.  It is awesome and also bittersweet.

Beautiful baby.

Happy on the swings :)

Yesterday afternoon I took a look in the freezer to scope out what ingredients we had for dinner.  We had some ground turkey from the Farmer’s market- normally we make turkey burgers with it but I decided I was going to venture out and make something different.  Enter- turkey quinoa loaf.  I am so proud of myself- it came out SO delicious AND I was able to do it with a baby that refused to nap (anyone else going through this?  Tips? Tricks?  Send wine).  I found a recipe online and edited it to make do with the ingredients that I had on hand.  I’m really loving the quinoa lately!

Turkey Quinoa Loaf  (recipe adapted from here)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

 Ingredients:

For loaf:

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (or soy) sauce
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
For “glaze”
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • t tablespoon tamari sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Bring quinoa and water to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15  minutes.
  3. Saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant, around a minute or two.
  4. Combine ground turkey, cooked quinoa, egg, garlic, ketchup, hot sauce, tamari sauce and salt and pepper. Shape into a loaf and place on foil lined baking sheet.
  5. Mix together the brown sugar, water and tamari sauce and pour over the loaf (you  may want to do this before you transfer the loaf to the baking sheet, as it is quite runny).
  6. Bake for 50 minutes- it should appear golden brown on the top and the internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees.
  7. Enjoy!

It was so good! Seriously.  It may sound weird (uh, meatloaf?) but I really did like it.  I also feel super domestic putting together a recipe on a whim with ingredients that were in the house, versus going out and shopping for them off of a list ;)   I loved the flavor that the tamari sauce added.  This is a simple, easy recipe to add to my dinner arsenal- we will be seeing this dinner frequently (I hope you like it, Brian :D).

We’re off to enjoy our day!  I hope you have a great weekend- any fun plans?  We are working out tonight, watching the Olympics, hitting up the Farmer’s market and relaxing.  Ah, summer :)  Have a good one!

Katie

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Hello everyone!  Welcome to the dinner edition of Munchkin Meals!

I’m not going to lie, dinner time at our house stresses me out sometimes.  I always put pressure on myself to come up with new, creative healthy options, but always revert back to a few tried and true favorites (homemade burrito bowls anyone?) If it were up to me, we’d eat some sort of pasta dish every night ;)  Now that Audrey (ten months old) is venturing away from the purees and onto true solid foods, it is important for me to give her meals that are both nutritious and involve ingredients that Brian and I can eat too- less work and less pressure for me!

One of my favorite recipes that I’ve made for her lately involves a summer staple in this house- zucchini.  We love us some zucchini!  Starting around six months old, Audrey has LOVED it in puree form.  As she’s gotten older, I’ve added oatmeal to the puree to thicken it up.  Now ten months old, she can handle chunkier textures, so no more zucchini puree!

Enter: Zucchini Quinoa Pilaf

We also eat a lot of quinoa- it is so versatile and adds nice texture to dishes and a punch of protein to boot!  So, combining the two seemed natural.

The verdict?

It was a huge hit!   She gobbled it right up.  Well, kind of.  She is entering the stage where she starts to fight eating from the spoon- miss thang is quite independent apparently!

Her new thing- sticking her nose in the air at the spoon.  You can’t make me eat it!

Once she started fighting the spoon I just fed it to her from my finger.  The texture of the dish doesn’t quite make it finger food but I’m sure we will transition to just giving it to her straight up on her high chair tray soon.

Why do you keep taking pictures of me?

After eating the pilaf I gave her some cut up banana for dessert- she loves it!

Other dinner staples include ground turkey, shredded chicken, goat cheese, roasted butternut squash, mashed sweet potatoes and peas.  I definitely want to expand our repetoire so I’m looking forward to checking out all of the munchkin meals!

Zucchini Quinoa Pilaf  (adapted from here)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • two zucchini, coarsely graded
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, saute the shredded zucchini in olive oil on the stove top until tender- around five minutes.  Stir in cumin.
  3. Combine quinoa and zucchini, stirring together thoroughly.
  4. Enjoy!

I froze the pilaf in one ounce servings in the freezer- if you do this, it is good for three months.  If you store the pilaf in the refrigerator, it is good for three days.  I simply toss a few frozen one ounce servings in the microwave and voila- food is ready!

 What are your thoughts on quinoa?  I’d never heard of it until a few years ago ( I thought it was pronounced kwin-noah, not keen-wah) and I’m so glad I tried it!  Audrey’s palate is already way more sophisticated than mine ;)

Before I forget- congratulations Heather- you won the thirty-one lunch tote!  Yippee!  I will contact you to get the ball rolling in getting you your new lunch bag :)

Have a good one, friends!

Katie

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Good morning friends!  How goes?  We have a fun day on tap, with some pool action and chilling with friends (and hopefully some nice naps in there- homegirl has been going through a serious nap strike!).  Good stuff!

Recently Audrey and I had the opportunity to play tourist again :).  Remember the movie The Notebook?  Specifically, that scene where Noah and Allie are rowing in the water surrounded by swans?

Ever since I saw the movie way back in the day (has it really been eight years since it came out?), I always thought that it was one of the most beautiful movie scenes.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I learned that the scene was filmed in Cypress Gardens- just outside of Charleston!  Awesome!

We were super excited to walk around and check it out.

Sidenote- I love the Maya wrap ring sling!  Even though it was early it was still pushing 90 degrees- although we were hot, the sling didn’t make the heat any worse.  I was able to hold Audrey and have some support- win win!

Cypress Gardens features a butterfly house, with tons of butterflies flying about-

It was so fun to watch Audrey take in the butterflies- she was absolutely fascinated!

We came across a swamparium, with tons of creepy little (and big!) creatures-

See the creepy guy on the left?  I just remembered that I dreamed about him the other night *shudder*

Of course, the main attraction was walking around the trails and taking in the beauty of the Cypress trees.

Breathtaking, right?  I was so excited to actually be at the place where they filmed the notebook and to see such beauty in person.  It was awesome!

Lily pads everywhere!

Swampy.

So beautiful!  I have to say, Cypress Gardens definitely lived up to my expectations- and they were set pretty high!  The only thing that was missing was all of the swans that were in the movie :)

One of my favorite things about living in Charleston is that there is no shortage of gorgeous sites to take in.  I’m excited to explore our new(ish) home even more as the weather cools down.

So, I stand by my assertion that the swan scene in the notebook is one of the most beautiful scenes out there.  Do you agree?  What is your favorite movie scene?

Yesterday’s workout was intense.  We warmed up and then, for time:

-400 meter run

-2 rounds of:

  • 40 squats
  • 30 situps
  • 20 pushups
  • 30 situps
  • 40 squats

-400 meter run

This one was tough.  That’s a total of 160 squats, 120 situps (my poor postpartum abs- although it’s been almost ten months, can’t really use that excuse) and forty pushups.  Damn skip!   Whenever a workout is really hard I always start to think that I didn’t eat enough during the day or drink enough water and that I therefore need to stop- I need to get out of my head and just do the damn thing!  I finished in 16 minutes and change.  I felt great afterwards, which is always good!

And we’re off- have a good one, friends!

 

Katie

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