Elements of a Great Weekend

Greetings!  I hope you have enjoyed a lovely weekend.  The weather here in PA has been perfection lately.  Early fall is my favorite time of year, and I’m happy that we had a full weekend to really enjoy it!

I may be a simple girl, but here are a few things that add up to a great weekend, in my opinion:

Delicious breakfast made with love by the hubby (and a steaming cup of hot coffee):

Lighting a new fall candle (“Leaves” from Bath & Body Works):

Tackling my to-do list

(I use this app for my to do list if you’re interested)

A two and a half hour walk through the woods with Pickles the Fearless.  This dog seriously has unlimited energy:

My first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season! ❤

A rockin’ new pair of shoes:

Sunday brunch with all the fixins:

Watching the game with my family (go Eagles!):

…and now just relaxing and preparing for Monday.  I’m bummed that the weekend is coming to an end, but happy that it was a nice mix of productivity and relaxation!

How was your weekend?  What sort of fun things did you do?  Please share!

OK, OK, I Get It ;)

Hmm, where to begin…..

Well, I think the best place to begin is with a big “thank you!”  Thank you to all of you ladies that took the time to reach out to me and say “where the *&!% are you??”

I didn’t really mean to pull a disappearing act, but wow, I guess I did.  I probably would have stayed in hiding indefinitely if it wasn’t for a few of you nudging me back, so thank you 🙂

That being said…ummm….I’m back!!  And I’d like to give a little update on my goals and life in general.  If you’re interested, read on…if not, that’s cool too 🙂

On the fitness front: I don’t even know where to begin with this.  I could probably dedicate an entire post to what the heck happened to my brain and body post-competition, but I’ll give you the brief overview for now.

In a nutshell, I kind of forgot how to be “normal” after my competition.  I was still signed up for coaching services through Cathy Savage Fitness, but I felt like a lost soul with no real “purpose” in my training after the competition.  For many weeks, I was half-heartedly following the Savage recommendations for training and nutrition, but I found myself swinging WAY out of control with my food.  It was all or nothing:  I’d try to eat “perfectly” for a few days and then I’d have an entire day of eating CRAP food which I wouldn’t have touched with a 10-foot pole in the past.  To be honest, I guess I started having some disordered thinking and behavior with food.  I hear this is common with women who participate in fitness competitions, so I’m sure I’m not alone.  And rather than airing out my dirty laundry on this blog, I went into hiding.  Plain and simple.

The thing is, I know how to eat in a balanced and healthy way.  I know how to be active and fit in regular exercise.  The more I try to follow a regimented program, the more pressure I start to put on myself, and that’s not a good place for me.  In my regular, day-to-day life, I don’t need someone to tell me how to eat and exercise.  Yes, if I am training for a specific purpose, I need all the  help I can get.  But I’m not currently training for another competition; therefore, I discontinued my membership with Savage.  It is a fantastic program and I can’t say enough good things about it…it’s just not the program for me at this stage in my life.

I’ll be giving you more updates on my current diet and fitness in the near future, but that’s where I am right now!  🙂

On the rest-of-my-life front:  The hubby and I have recently had a really, really tough couple of weeks.

My father-in-law passed away.  Even as I type those words, I’m still in a bit of disbelief.

Trever’s dad, Big Rudy, was larger than life.  He was a vivacious, kind, fun guy who was always the life of the party.  Rudy took me under his wing just like I was his own daughter.  And he was my husband’s best friend.

We were both absolutely devastated to lose him.  I haven’t really had a chance to share my feelings about this with anyone before now.  It’s impossible to describe how heartbreaking it is to not only lose someone that I was very close to, but to watch the person that I love most in the whole world, my husband, deal with such a terrible, crushing loss.

We are still in the midst of processing this grief and all the emotions that come along with this experience.  I am just trying to be the best wife and support that I can be to my husband, but man, it’s been really rough.  So…that’s that.

And in other news:  I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the direction of this blog moving forward.  Even though I haven’t been posting a lot lately, I actually have been diligently pursuing my goals.  So, I’d like to continue to give updates on the things that I’ve set out to achieve in 2012 (sheesh, before you know it, it’s going to be 2013!).

But, I’d also like to blog about…life.  Ya know, the random stuff that pops into my head that I want to share with you and the rest of the universe 😉  It might be fitness-related, or food-related, or fashion-related, or something silly, or just daily ramblings.  I guess what I’m trying to say is – it’s not going to be so regimented.  I hope that’s OK with you…and I’d love for you to come along 🙂

And OK, I get it!  It’s not cool to pull a disappearing act.  It won’t happen again. 🙂

Camping fun and food

Hello, my friends!  I am back from a lovely camping trip to Lake Wallenpaupack, PA with 8 other people.  We had such a blast!!

This was my standard look the entire time:

…kicking back by the lake, beer in hand, cowboy hat on head 😉

We spent lots of time fishing:

…playing silly games:

…..and EATING!!

I swear, I’ve never had so much food in so few days in my life.  I thought it might be fun to share our menus with you, in case you’re planning on camping anytime soon (and I’ve linked to similar recipes that I found online).

All the food was very tasty!  We were lucky, because we had electricity on the campsite (so we could use our crock pot and Keurig coffee maker), and we also had a small propane grill in addition to the fire.  Most of our meals were made using both the grill / griddle and campfire.

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

  • BreakfastPancakes cooked on the griddle and breakfast sausage
  • Lunch – Hot dogs cooked on the fire (standard!).  I don’t eat hot dogs, so I had about 47,000 chips and 26 Woodchuck ciders instead 😉
  • Dinner – Shrimp and veggie kabobs, marinated in teriyaki sauce; along with corn on the cob that we cooked in their husks on the campfire
  • Dessert – More S’mores!!

Day Four:

  • Breakfast – Breakfast casserole made in the crockpot
  • Then we came home and I’ve been chugging water ever since trying to get rid of my food baby / sodium bloat.  Lovely 😉

Do you enjoy camping?  What are your favorite camping recipes?

Sushi night at home!

On our vacation, we took a sushi class, which inspired us to try our hand at making sushi at home last night.  My SIL and her boyfriend stopped by and Trever and I attempted to make made a few rolls for them.

We’ve actually had this kit forever, so it was high time to put it to good use:

Yes ladies, I promise he does occasionally shave 😉

My hubby bought all of our sushi ingredients at Assi, our local Asian grocery store.

Nori, sushi rice, wasabi, pickled ginger, rice vinegar, and cream cheese

Sashimi-grade tuna and salmon

Ground tuna, imitation crab, and shrimp (still frozen in this pic)

First, we made the rice.  Trever has an awesome app on his iPad that walks you step by step how to make different sushi components – I thought the rice tutorial was very helpful!  I would have preferred brown rice, but thought I should stick with traditional sushi rice for this experiment.

Then we started rolling away!

It was fun to experiment with different combinations of ingredients.  Some turned out pretty good:

Others, not so much 😉

 What is this??  LOL!

This turned out to be a fun night at home.  We like to always try different things when it comes to food.

Have you ever attempted to make your own sushi rolls?  Any tips you can give us for next time??  What’s the craziest food you’ve ever made at home?

Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂