Seattle Beerventure: Pt 1 (Fremont & Ballard)

It’s official, guys.  We finally kicked off the SEATTLE BEERVENTURE yesterday!!!

Keep track on the above page to see where we’ve been/where we’re heading.

The Plan

The plan was to hit the first five breweries, but we ended up adding the sixth when we realized we could totally handle it.  Because we’re awesome.

1.9 miles/37 minutes/6 breweries/34 beers/6 Untappd badges

Asgard Tavern (Odin’s)
Fremont Brewing Co.
Outlander Pub
Hale’s Ales Pub
Bad Jimmy Brewing Co.
Jolly Roger Tap Room (Maritime Pacific)

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 12.36.47 PM

Asgard Tavern

20140629-121808-44288594.jpg
Beers I Tried:
1. Freya’s Gold (Kolsch)
2. Odin’s Gift (American Amber/Red Ale)
3. Thor’s Equinox (Belgian Dark Ale)
4. Sigrun IPA

The tasting room was small on the inside, but had a nice patio out front that would be great early in the day while the sun is still high.  They didn’t have food (I stuffed my face with a PCC roll before starting), but they do allow dogs and we met the PRETTIEST husky dog!!
$6/4 beers
I had tried the first three before, and am a fan of their beers.  Pretty standard in Seattle, Thor’s Equinox is probably my favorite (9% alcohol content makes it tough to put back a lot of it, though!)

Seriously, somehow we lucked out and the rain never showed up!  Gorgeous day in Seattle!!

20140629-121800-44280013.jpg

Mike, Pam, & I are excited to head off to venue #2!

20140629-121800-44280219.jpg

Fremont Brewing Co.

20140629-121800-44280778.jpg

I have to say, Fremont was the one I was most excited about.  I’m a huge fan of their winter, summer, and spring beers (Abominable Ale is one of my top 20, hands down!).  Fremont is another Seattle standard, and a tap staple at a lot of local bars, so I was excited to try it at the source.

20140629-121801-44281652.jpg

20140629-121802-44282329.jpg

Beers I Tried:
5. Universale Pale Ale
6. Summer Ale (Pale Ale)
7. Wandering Wheat
8. Proletariat Porter
9. Dark Star Nitro (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
10. Randall #1 (IPA brewed with Grapefruit & Lime) (not shown)

Loved the beer garden.  Would definitely bring out-of-towners here on a nice day.  No food (just pretzels), but the beer was great.
$7/5 beers
Like I said, I am no stranger to Fremont beer, and had tried the Summer Ale & Wandering Wheat numerous times, but I’d never had the Pale Ale, or the two dark beers.  The Randall beer is brewed differently every time, we just happened to be there on a day when it had fruit!  And I do love fruity IPAs…only way I’ll drink ’em!  Didn’t do the Interurban IPA (one of their most popular), and I added the Midnight Rider to my Untappd wishlist.  Next time!
We also RANDOMLY ran into Mike, Andrea, and Kelly Locke!  Great to see some friendly Wenatchee faces that I of course forgot to grab a picture with.  Blergh.  But maybe I’ll make a trip east to hit up some central Washington breweries…

Outlander Brewery

20140629-123413-45253137.jpg

Beers I Tried:
11. Wit (Belgian Wheat)
12. How Boydy (Brown Ale)
13. Noble IPA
14. Dry Stout
15. Biggus Dickus II (Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine)
16. Chili Amber

LOVED the space!  It used to be a house, and was just a really great atmosphere with super nice guys behind the bar.
$2/5-oz taster
I liked the Wit & Chili Amber, but my favorite was the How Boydy.  The stout was definitely dry, and I prefer my stouts to be sweeter, but I think it would be totally great if you like that!  Could not for the life of me get into the Biggus Dickus.  All three of us agreed it was just not our cup of tea, so Mike took one for the team and finished it off (leave no beer behind!).  I’d definitely hit this place up for a casual pint before heading to dinner somewhere in Fremont.

Mike and Pam give me their best beer connoisseur faces.  We ignore Mike’s Brasil jersey.

20140629-121803-44283675.jpg

Hale’s Ales 

20140629-121804-44284375.jpg

Pre-dinner telephone booth photo shoot because at this point, we were feeling awesome.  This one was the reason we hit up Ballard, because Pam’s vote was Hale’s.

20140629-121804-44284576.jpg

Also, we got to see the beautiful KATE JAEGER!  Jet City Improv was holding their fundraiser there, so we poked our heads in and were lucky enough to get some hugs and smooches from the host herself.  Now I just need to get my butt to one of the shows!

20140629-121809-44289472.jpg

Beers I tried:
17. Supergoose IPA (Imperial/Double IPA)
18. Wee Heavy Winter Ale (Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy)
19. Troll Porter
20. El Jefe Weizen (Hefeweizen)
21. Hale’s Cream Ale on Nitro
22. Pale American Ale
23. Red Menace Big Amber (American Amber/Red Ale)

It’s essentially a restaurant in a brewery.  Food was good, and pretty decently priced! My Vesuvius pizza was super yummy, as was Mike’s Palermo pizza.  Next time, I will get the Troll Porter meatloaf sandwich.
$1.35-$2/5-oz taster
I’ve had the IPAs and their Hefe before, and was excited to try some of the beers I always see at the grocery store but just haven’t tried yet.  LOVED the Troll Porter and the Red Menace.  Wee Heavy is fine, not my fav, and I was very confused by the Cream Ale.  Isn’t a cream ale a cream ale?  It was described in the menu as a blonde.  What??
Regardless, this was a great halfway place to stop for food.  And apparently a great venue for events!

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co.

20140629-121805-44285266.jpg

Beers I Tried:
24. IPA
25. Red IPA
26. Solo Summer Blonde
27. Blood Orange Honey Wheat Ale
28. Habanero Amber (not shown)

This was my favorite of the bunch!!  I had never had anything from Bad Jimmy’s, but I loved the tasting room, the guys working, the beers…small, dark, open garage door, dog friendly.  I’m a fan.  I will definitely bring beer-loving friends back here.
$8/4 beers (but they threw in a half taster of the Amber for free)
The IPA was pretty standard, and I actually didn’t mind the Red IPA, but I freaking LOVED the blood orange honey wheat!!  Need to go back and fill a growler.  The blonde was really nice and refreshing, a great summer beer.  The habanero amber had great flavor, but I definitely could not drink a whole pint.  Kickass spiciness, so if you’re a jalapeño margarita fan, you’d probably love this beer.
This is also where Jes and Randy met up with us!!  YAY for being the fifth wheel!  🙂

Jolly Roger Tap Room

20140629-121807-44287103.jpg

A serious picture for the creator of the Beericade, Czarnecki.  We take our Seattle beer VERY seriously, y’all.

Also, I was hungry again.  So I got the CUTEST and most tasty single slider (I mean, at this point, all food is delicious…let’s be honest).  I love small food.  Next time I will get a plate of them.

20140629-121806-44286399.jpg

20140629-121805-44285898.jpg

Beers I Tried:
29. Nightwatch Dark Amber Ale
30. Flagship Red Alt Ale
31. Old Seattle Lager
32. Dunkelweizen
33. Jolly Roger Christmas Ale
34. Imperial Pale Ale (not shown) (it was Randy’s that I demanded a taste of)

Loved the taproom!  Good looking menu, good looking waiter (hey oh!), and the beer is just classically great.  Apparently it was very slow for a Saturday night, which was probably for the best, because I definitely remember there being a lot of loudness and musical theatre singing.
$9/5 beers
I really liked the all five of the ones I had in my flight!!  It was the first place where there wasn’t a standout “meh, I wouldn’t order this again”.  My favorites were the amber & the red, but the lager is just so classic, and we have it on draft at all the pizza places.  The Jolly Roger is similar to the Thor’s Equinox in that I like it a lot but the alcohol content level is kind of obscene for an ale.  This would be the tasting room I would take my parents to when they come to visit (although that might put a cramp in my flirting with the waiter…hmmm…)

Randy calls this my Disney Pixar Character face.  I call it my I Have Tried 34 Different Beers Today And Am Ready For Bed face.

20140629-121807-44287721.jpg

So that’s all, folks!  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE join us next time, we’d love to have you!

Again, keep up with the Seattle Beerventure on the Beerventure Page!

Workout Wrap-Up 6/16-6/22

They’re BAAAACK!

My workouts, that is.  Officially have started a training schedule that, for the first four weeks, looks something like this:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Run, Biceps, Back, & Shoulders
Wednesday: Cross Train (Yoga), Triceps & Chest
Thursday: Run, Legs
Friday: Cross Train, Rest, or Short Run, Biceps, Back, & Shoulders
Saturday: Long run (pushing distance PRs)
Sunday: Cross Train, Triceps & Chest

Pretty easy to follow, which I like.  And fairly flexible, all things considered.  If I’m not feeling 100% (like Sunday), I can take it a little easier with lower weights, less reps, or a shortened run.

20140622-151010-54610388.jpg

Tuesday

Run
3 miles (broke it up into .75 miles/2.25 miles)
322 cals (according to HRM)

20140622-151008-54608744.jpg

20140622-151008-54608968.jpg

Weight Training (Sets/Reps/Weight)
44:19
330 cals

Warmup Burpees 3/10/BW
Warmup Squats 3/10/BW
Abs Plank 3/30s
Abs Mountain Climbers 2/10
Abs Russian Twists 2/10
Abs Crunch 2/10
Abs Reverse Crunch 2/10
Biceps Dumbbell Curl 3/10/10
Biceps Hammer Curl 3/10/10
Back Inverted Row 3/10/BW
Back Dumbbell Row 3/10/12.5
Back Lat Pulldown 3/10/45
Back & Abs Standing Cable Pulldown 3/10/30
Shoulder Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3/10/7.5
Shoulder Front & Lat Raise 3/10/7.5
Shoulder Shrug 3/10/12.5

Wednesday

Yoga
1hr 10min
230 cals

Weight Training
28:49
117 cals

Abs Side Plank 2/30s each side
Abs Side Crunch 2/15 each side
Abs Hip Cross 1/10
Abs Dumbbell Sidebend 1/10/8
Abs Cable Press 3/10/10
Chest Incline Pushup 3/10/BW
Chest Dumbbell Chest Press 3/10/15
Chest Dumbbell Fly 3/10/10
Tricep Tricep Pulldown 3/10/20
Tricep Tricep Barbell Extension 3/10/20
Forearm Wrist Curl & Extension 3/10/5

Thursday

Run
3 miles (broke up into 1.5 mile/1.5 miles)
297 cals (HRM)

20140622-151008-54608513.jpg

20140622-151008-54608817.jpg

Weight Training
30:46
220 cals

Legs Hip Raise 3/10/BW
Legs Single Leg Hip Raise 2/10 (ES)
Legs Barbell Deadlift 3/10/22
Legs Standing Cable Abductors 3/10/7.5 (ES)
Legs Kettlebell Swings 3/10/12
Legs Squats 3/10/10
Legs Sumo Squats 3/10/10
Legs Walking Lunge 2/10/10
Legs Calf Raises 3/10/10
Legs Calf Raises (1st Position) 3/10/10
Legs Calf Raises (Pigeon Toed) 3/10/10
Legs Bulgarian Split Squat 3/10/10

Friday

Weight Training
44:48
222 cals

Warmup Squats 3/10/BW
Abs Plank 3/30s
Abs Superman 3/10s
Abs Bicycle Crunches 2/15
Abs Crunch 2/15
Abs Reverse Crunch 2/15
Biceps Dumbbell Curl 3/8/12.5
Biceps Hammer Curl 3/8/12.5
Back Inverted Row 3/10/BW
Back Dumbbell Row 3/10/15
Back Lat Pulldown 3/10/60
Back & Abs Standing Cable Pulldown 3/10/37.5
Shoulder Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3/10/10
Shoulder Front & Lat Raise 3/10/7.5
Shoulder Shrug 3/10/15

Saturday

Run
4 miles (nonstop)
412 cals (HRM)

20140622-151008-54608634.jpg
20140622-151008-54608896.jpg

Sunday

Walk
Woke up feeling really shitty, so I used today to just walked around the Hill for a bit after my (super super short chill) workout.  Farmer’s Market!

Weight Training
22:26
100 cals

Abs Cable Press 3/10/15
Chest Incline Pushup 3/10/BW
Chest Dumbbell Chest Press 3/10/15
Chest Dumbbell Fly 3/10/15
Tricep Tricep Pulldown 3/10/20
Tricep Tricep Barbell Extension 3/10/20

Summer Fitness Goals:
To run a 10K (a race may not happen this summer due to scheduling, but 6.2 miles is the ultimate goal)
To be lifting at least 30% heavier on all the above exercises
20% Body Fat (<-trying not to aim for a goal weight, but I think a goal body fat percentage is a healthy way to gauge my progress)

Other summer things:
Trying to learn more about craft beer this summer, specifically about the more local breweries.  Goal this summer?  To hit every brewery in Seattle.

Totally doable.

But I got this book at Book Larder (the *BEST* local book store…all food/cooking books!!!) and hit up the QFC in UVillage to grab some single random beers.  Didn’t love the S’mores, the bacon was not bacony at ALL, but the Oatmeal Stout was good.  Follow me on UnTappd, I’ll be logging my beer adventure there!
20140622-151009-54609650.jpg

 

And my new favorite thing?  GRILLED AVOCADO.  Made these steak & avocado skewers ala Cooking Light, and fell in love.  Found my new favorite easy kabobs!

20140622-151009-54609119.jpg

June is Bustin’ Out All Over!

“Just because it’s June!  June!  JUUUUUUUUUUUUNE!!!!”

And what better way to celebrate June with only the best singing fail video of all time.  (Apparently her cue card guy fell in the mud, so I will cut her some slack…it is Leslie Uggams, you know.)
JuneLeslie

But seriously guys, June is here, and I realized I needed to kick my ass into shape.  So I got another Groupon.

20140601-151159-54719283.jpg

Vision Quest was a fail last time (God, what was that, almost two years ago now??), but I figured that Gold’s is only a 10-15 minute walk from my house (or 3 mile run if I go through Volunteer Park), on top of a grocery store (convenient), and my friends say they only pay $25/month.  I can do that!  And I appreciate that I haven’t been bombarded every time I come in with a “ready to sign a contract yet?”  Even though I totally am!
(Mainly because I saw DAN SAVAGE there, and I totally fan-girled, and then moved because I was taking up unnecessary room by the weights.)

But also I totally love working out.

………ish.

20140601-151159-54719161.jpg

I do love that shirt, though.

For reals, workout posts are coming back this summer.  To help keep me accountable!!  Also, I bought new running shoes, so now I have to work out.  I have been re-inspired to run.  Thanks, Ari!

AND I WENT TO A WEDDING!

20140601-151201-54721002.jpg

Colie and Graham met when Ari & I lived with Colie my junior year of college.  Ari actually introduced them because he was literally the boy next door.

I can’t even.

Colie and I were never as close as she and Ari were, but I really enjoy her a lot, and I know how important and positive this relationship has been in her life, so it was super great to go as Ari’s Plus One and get to support such a lovely union.  Also, Colie’s dad (who owned the condo we lived in, and was super great to rent from) gave the most sob-wrenching toast.  We were all a mess and it was beautiful.

20140601-151200-54720748.jpg

Dresses from Ann Taylor Loft Outlet!!!!  WE LOVED IT!!!

And let’s be honest, it was really awesome to get to spend a few days with this wonderfully awesome lady.  We got to stay with my little sister and her boyfriend while we were in Vancouver for the wedding (THANKS EM AND DAVID!), and of course we made them food the night we were there.

20140601-151200-54720361.jpg

Brussel Sprouts, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Chicken, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and a Balsamic Reduction Sauce…I wish we lived closer together so we could cook together more often!

We also got kind of drunk at the wedding and ran to the store for GF pizza (Ari), more beer (me), and ice cream (both of us).  We ended up crashing and forgetting about the ice cream.  So we ate it for breakfast.  Hashtag sensible.  Hashtag vacation.  Hashtag don’t judge.

20140601-151201-54721178.jpg

So that’s it.  I felt like I needed to post an update.  My internship is winding down (one more week!), my auditions are winding up (two down, three more for sure, we’ll see what else June brings), and I have lots of strong feelings to post & new recipes to try.

Seriously, I’ve been brainstorming posts since the last one, but I always get distracted by naps.

Speaking of, this 30 day challenge will definitely be implemented post-internship.  June, I hope you’re ready for me.

20140601-151201-54721300.jpg

Lots of love, y’all.

Prepping Food with a Ridiculous Schedule

Brief catch-up:

I tried a new recipe a week in January, and continued it into February! A few good ones below:

20140316-221710.jpgThyme-Rubbed Salmon with Shallots & Cauliflower “Risotto”//Beer Brined Paprika Chicken//Carb-Buster Breakfast//Cheddar Stout Chicken Pot Pie//Baked Brie with Amber Ale-Caramelized Apple and Pancetta//Brown Sugar Rosemary Pork Chop with Brussel Sprout, Onion, & Apple Slaw

Can you tell I’m obsessed with The Beeroness?  Also she just moved to Seattle…I want to be best friends with her and soak in all her abilities and beer knowledge.

20140316-221741.jpg

The Seahawks won the Superbowl, and we closed Les Miz.  It was an emotional week.

//End catch up.

Guys.  I am literally overbooked.  I’m working at two different pizza restaurants, and I have an internship at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  Here’s my schedule:
M – Pizza PH 11-3, Pizza BO 5-10
T – Pizza PH 11-3, Pizza BO 5-10
W – 5th 10-3, Pizza BO 5-9
Th – 5th 10-3, Pizza BO 5-9
F – 5th 10-3, Pizza PH 4-8:30
Sat – Pizza PH whenever they need me
Sun – Pizza PH whenever they need me

See why I’ve been absent?

Also I haven’t worked out in…forever…

It should be noted that Pizza BO is in Bothell, WA…a solid 30-45 minute drive from my house.  So all that in between time is generally spent commuting.  Holiness.

Look how behind I am on Bloglovin’!  Although it should be noted my recent time-waster is definitely Tinder…don’t judge…

20140316-221715.jpg
So because I’ve been unable to schedule in a work out (I know, I could just wake up early, buuuuuut that sounds gross), I’ve been trying to be really conscious about what I’m putting into my body.  I have Saturday and Sunday nights after my shifts generally free, so I’ve been using Saturdays to chill and Sundays to prep food.

Cooking for one is hard.  The usual complaint.  Taking boyfriend application.

I had a friend ask me about what I do, so I thought I’d share on here what I did for this week.  It changes up week to week, but the general outline stays pretty much the same:

5 breakfast items
5-6 main meals (usually 2 different options)
5 veggie snacks
5 fruit snacks
Kind bars

A not great photo of my half of the fridge post-prep:

20140316-221719.jpg

Calorie Count:

Breakfast Raspberry Mango Green Tea Smoothie 174 cals
Snack #1 Veggies & Guac, String Cheese, GF Crackers 336 cals
Lunch/Dinner Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowl 457 cals
Snack #2 Apple Slices & PB&H Yogurt Dip 202 cals
Dessert/Second Shift Fuel KIND Bar 200 cals
Total: 1,369 cals

I know it doesn’t look like a lot of calories, but it’s low enough that I can eat that messed-up pizza slice or a small plate of nachos when I get home without feeling guilty. It’s also one of the reasons I’ve taken to picking a quinoa-based lunch/dinner (literally, I eat it at like 3pm, it’s definitely a lunch/dinner). It keeps me full, tastes good cold, and goes with everything. I’ve been trying to incorporate more meatless days in my eating schedule, as it’s cheaper, and requires me to incorporate more fruits & veggies to get to my caloric intake requirement, but this week I was hardcore craving chicken thighs.

(Recipe swaps in the Thai Quinoa Bowls: Subbed six brussel sprouts for the coleslaw mix, no peanuts, added 1C frozen veggie mix, no egg, only 1/2 lb chicken thighs, because that’s what I had/wanted)

20140316-221729.jpg
I also made Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash & Roasted Brussel Sprouts (464 cals, swapped 1 tbs almond slivers for the pepitas, and used 1/4 C parm cheese because that’s what I had) for my other Lunch/Dinner.  Made the full recipes of each, and divided between three.  I honestly couldn’t believe how low the calorie counts were for both…I expected them to be so much higher!  Win.

Shopping list for this week:
Trader Joes:
Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt (2C)- $2.79
Frozen Mango Fruit Chunks (24oz) – $2.69
Frozen Raspberries (12oz/ea x2) – $4.96
Organic Apple Slices – $3.49
Chili Sauce – $1.29
Brussel Sprouts – $2.29
Mini Pearl Tomatoes – $2.29

Whole Foods:
Chicken Thighs (1/2 lb)- $3.18
Frozen Butternut Squash – $2.99
Local Honey – $5.99

Target:
Wholly Guacamole Singles (6-pack) -$3.89
KIND bars (4 pack) – $4.99

Things I already had: Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Sugars, Zucchini, Carrots, Crackers, String Cheese, Quinoa, Frozen Veggies, Green Tea, Peanut Butter, Oils, Almond Slivers, Parm Cheese, 2 KIND bars

This grocery shopping trip was pretty light…usually I end up spending $50-75/week.  Buying less meat has definitely kept it on the lower end, which has been nice.  I’ve also been buying less wine & beer, and I’ve been replacing my night time drink with tea most of the time.  I definitely wined tonight while I prepped, because you gotta.  😉  Weekends have become total freebies because they have to be.  Or I’d be sad.

These Ziploc containers are a godsend…the 100-cal packs of guac and hummus fit great in the upper right space.

20140316-221725.jpg

I’ll be honest…it gets monotonous.  And some (most) days a pizza looks way better than my cold quinoa.  BUT that’s why I’ve been experimenting with different recipes for my main meal, and stick to snacks I already know I love.  Seriously, that PB&H yogurt dip?  Holy BOMBDOTCOM.  (Are the kids still saying that?  No?)  And I could eat all six of those single serving guacs in one sitting, no prob.  Hence the purchase of the single servings.  😉

So that’s my meal prep basics for the week.  If there’s interest, I’d gladly break it down into a step by step and show how I time manage in a small kitchen…I’m not a pro, but I’ve been getting better every week!

Stayed tuned for an announcement later this week about my summer goals.  It definitely involves the following, and not any sort of exercise.

20140316-221735.jpgHasta mañana, Seattle.  Love you.

Resolutions Schmesolutions

“Happy 2014!  WHAT IS YOUR RESOLUTION FOR THE NEW YEAR???”

It’s as bad as “Happy Thanksgiving!  NOW LIST ALL THE THINGS YOU’RE THANKFUL FOR!”

So much stress.  I’m always afraid I’ll give the wrong answer.  Which is stupid, because obviously there is no wrong answer…right?

But just like I feel obligated to come up with a list of all the amazing things I’m thankful for (and ultimately, it’s always a good journaling exercise that makes me cry and actually thankful), I always feel obligated to make resolutions that inevitably I *will* fail at.  Like, I definitely did not work out three times a week for 52 weeks in 2013.  FAIL.

But here’s where I’ve realized I fail: I make year-long, excessive resolutions with no motivations, inspirations, or incentives.  And “Be Healthy” isn’t a resolution, it’s a lifestyle change.  You can work towards being as healthy as possible, but sometimes you’re going to eat that not-so-but-kind-of-don’t-judge-me delicious $2 biscuit & gravy plate at Denny’s at 1am.  And you can’t hate yourself because of it.  “Be Healthy” is always the plan, and it just doesn’t work as fuel for my resolutions anymore.

So here’s my vague resolution for 2014: To Feel Good.

Let’s break this down…what makes me feel good?
-Eating fruits & veggies
-Cooking & eating good food
-Drinking water
-Working out
-Clothes that fit
-Getting 7-8 hrs of sleep
-Waking up before 11am
-Family & friends & love
-Projects & organization
-Not being stressed about money
-Clean room & living spaces
-Good time management & preparedness
-Feeling 100% inside and out (no colds, zits, etc.)
-Not waking up hungover as F&#$
-YouTube videos of babies and animals and baby animals

How can I achieve “To Feel Good”?  Well, I’ve realized I can’t make a specific resolution for an entire year and expect to stick to it.  For example, there are weeks that I am just not going to be able to work out.  It happens.  I shouldn’t completely fail because I didn’t foresee a stressful tech week in November (see what I did there?).

But I can foresee that the month of January isn’t looking so terrible.  Right now, I just have Les Miz, a concert, maybe an audition, and a few shifts at the pizza place.  That’s plenty of time to get things done.

So here’s the plan for 2014: to revisit my “To Feel Good” resolution at the beginning of each month, determine what I am capable of & what I need To Feel Good, and make a new list of goals.  Resolutions.  Whatever.

Cuppatea

The ladies are helping me make goals

So HERE WE GO!

January 2014 Goals

-Eat more fruits & veggies, and drink 64oz of water a day

-Try one new recipe a week

-Do Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred everyday

-Fix my sleep schedule!  (Aiming for 1:30am bedtime, 9:30am wake-up by the end of the month…currently at 3-4am bedtime, 11-12pm wake-up)

-Organization Goal of the Month: Bathroom

-Make my bed every morning, and hang up/put away my clothes every night

-Learn more about skincare

-More tea, less alcohol

-Make and USE my new planner to schedule, budget, organize receipts, meal plan track food & exercise, and note-take

See?  Tangible goals.  I’m not even making blog goals this month, although I anticipate you’ll be seeing a little more of me on here these coming weeks.  Especially with the work I’m doing on the planner.  I am just so excited.  I went to Staples.

So that’s my bit of 2014 resolution advice from me to you.  Break it down month by month and focus on the NOW.  If you need, do it weekly instead of monthly.  Journal it out.  Post it on your wall.  Write it in your planner.  Whatever you need to do to make positive changes, because that’s what a new year is for, right? #getit

P.S.  I do have TWO traditional full-year 2014 resolutions:
1) Save.my.receipts so I stop kicking myself every tax season
2) Find a guy that can put up with my crazy because my stuffed bear just doesn’t cut it for cuddling and conversation.  Taking resumes via email or in person.

Love you, Buffo!

Love you, Buffo!


Hey there, 2014

Christmas was great. It was so nice to be home for a few days and hang out with my sisser and parents. We really missed Natey, BUT we got to Skype with him for the first time since he’s been deployed!!! It was great to see his face, but hard to see him so homesick. We miss you, Natey! Come home soon!

We hit the movie theatre on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
Saving Mr. Banks. GO. NOW. It was so not what I was expecting, but I was extremely happily surprised. Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks of course were brilliant, but Colin Farrell’s character was really what caught me off guard. I didn’t particularly care for him as an actor before, but this movie really showcased his ability and his beautifully heartbreaking performance deserves him an Oscar nod. And if you don’t cry during “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” then you have no soul.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. I fell asleep numerous times.  Partially because I’ve fallen so far behind on sleep, partially because the LOTR & Hobbit celtic soundtracks just put me out, and partially because I just didn’t care for the film.  It was too long, I wanted more stuff to happen.  I’ve read the book, and I felt like I didn’t remember anything that was happening in the film.  Whatever.  I’ll watch it again when it comes out on DVD.  Although I could listen to Benedict Cumberbatch speak all day.  What a killer voice.  Someone please tell me he sings.

I got hooked up on Christmas.  A couple new cookbooks, a meat grinder, and a Polar FT60!!20140101-163259.jpg
I already made something from The Craft Beer Cookbook…Cheddar & Stout Chicken Pot Pie!!!

20140101-163218.jpg
In other news, I now watch Doctor Who.  I just started in on Season 4 (Donna!), and I made this for one of my Secret Santa gifts!

20140101-163238.jpg
And we had a fire alarm go off during a show…in the middle of Paris…in my least-covering costume…

20140101-163251.jpg
And commence the New Years Eve resoluting.  I’ll be posting my 2014 goals tomorrow, but here’s a preview.

20140101-163209.jpgLove you guys.  Happy 2014!!

The cost of eating healthy

This NPR article was making the rounds on Facebook last week, and I just wanted to share it and my thoughts with you.

What Separates A Healthy And An Unhealthy Diet?  Just $1.50 A Day

My first response to this was YES.  This is awesome, spot on, totally true.  I have absolutely made the excuse before that a box of Kraft mac & cheese is cheaper than a full dinner of a protein, veggie, and starch, so I eat the unhealthy option instead of actually thinking about the fact that I usually end up throwing half a bag of shredded cheddar into said mac & cheese, maybe some lil smokies, and dipping it into my side of applesauce (hey, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it), which adds $$$ and calories and nasty processed crap.

Overall, the article raises a good point.  But the *one* part that I found to be frustrating was this suggestion:
“Another key tip: When comparing two items, focus on the price per unit rather than the total price.”

Truth be told, this is the first time in my life I have had to actually sit down and create a budget.  The thing is, sometimes I have enough in my budget to buy that $10 value pack of chicken parts.  But there have definitely been times where I’ve had to look at what I have and settle on the fact that I can only afford a $3 pack of two.  I GET that it is ultimately cheaper to buy the value pack.  I absolutely get that, and I will always buy in bulk when I can.  But it’s just sometimes not possible, especially when I am only cooking for one person and I have limited freezer and fridge space.

For some reason, that tip really rubbed me the wrong way.  Maybe because I hate budgeting and it makes me cranky.  Maybe because things like Mario Batali’s food stamp experiment prove that surviving on a tight budget can make eating healthy seem like a luxury or an inconvenience.  Regardless, the overall point that is made is good.  But an extra $45 a month is a lot, especially for people working minimum wage jobs.

(It should be noted that even though I’m having to budget, I’m doing fine.  I have been extremely blessed in the past to have a fluffy enough bank account to get me through minimal-work-hour times.  And I am extremely blessed and thankful to have a job doing what I love that does pay the bills plus a little extra.  This is what I signed up for, and I could be a lot worse off.  So just me doing my strong feelings soapbox thing.)

Knitting Projects Update!

Hey guys, guess what.

I’m bad at secrets.

Whoops…that was a secret…

 🙂

SCARVES AND HATS FOR EVERYONE FOR CHRISTMAS!

20131202-223325.jpg

Natey is getting a Cougar colored hat for Christmas.  Gotta ship this off to Afghanistan ASAP!!!  I loved the solid colors with the mixed color pattern.  Not exactly what I wanted in the end, but it was a valiant try, and it looks fine.  I used Cascade Sport 220 yarn and found the pattern in their book I checked out from the library.  But these last few hats have definitely proved why I need to use smaller needles for the brim.  It flares out otherwise.

20131202-223316.jpg

Sisser is getting an owl hat!!!  I’m going to add buttons for eyes, but seriously, this hat was so easy and turned out so freaking cute!!!  It’s a basic cable, and took me only a couple days to complete.  Fabulous.

20131202-223337.jpg

I’m in process on this lace panel scarf for Mom for Christmas.  It will be done, but it’s kind of a frustrating pattern.  I keep skipping yarn-overs, but it’s coming along.

20131202-223321.jpg

I bought size 35 needles and I’m obsessed.  I’ve been using Michael’s Loops & Threads Charisma yarn doubled up in different colors to make a basic infinity scarf and I can’t stop.  I can make a scarf in a day.  It’s so fast, and it was exactly what I was going for.  I’m going to make a couple matching-ish hats with the leftover yarns, but with smaller needles and a solid color.  LOVE.  Like, love them enough to model them for you.  Slash pretend to be surprised when you receive any of these in the mail.

20131202-223333.jpg

20131202-223312.jpg

20131202-223330.jpg

20131202-221601.jpg
(photo cred: Beth Devries)

We have a club.  Or something.  Knitters on the barricade.  There are 11-12 of us who all knit or crochet in the cast and we love it so much.  Rachel even made us all knitting bags!!  So awesome.

Viva la revolución.  Or something.  In French.

More projects to come!!  I had to take a break from Ari’s gift cuz it was long, but

Meal Prep…Tuesday

I spend a lot of money eating out when I don’t meal prep.  Also I eat terribly.  But bllllerrrrrrgh if I don’t love the street tacos and tasty mango tequila beverages at Las Margaritas.

So my pledge to you this week.  I WILL NOT BUY MORE FOOD UNTIL MONDAY.  Which is my birthday celebration night.  So YAY!  (Also, my parents are coming into town, so there’s that meal on Saturday.  Sssh.)

Also I’m tired of bad photos.  I’m going to do some research and find some tips on how to make my iPhone photos better.

20131202-222155.jpg

Top Left: Roasted Zucchini Black Bean Goat Cheese Enchiladas (Meatless!) (4 portions)Top Right: Smoothies!  Mango-Raspberry-Coconut Water-Spinach-Vanilla Protein Powder (3)/Kale-Kiwi-Green Grape-Coconut Water-Coconut Oil (3)/Coconut Water-Chia Seed-Lemon Juice-Maple Syrup (4)
Bottom Left: Greek Risotto Stuffed Peppers (Beef, green olives, sauteed cherry tomatoes, basic risotto, feta…a few other random things) (2)
Bottom Center: Bacon Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats (recipe to come if I like them lots!) (2)
Bottom Right: Megan’s Mom’s Soup (I made this meatless, too!) (6)

My plan is pink & chia seed smoothies for breakfast, soup for lunch, green smoothies for snack, and one of the entrees for dinner.  I’ll have to make more smoothies in a few days, but everything else should last me through Sunday.  I have two extra entreés in case I find myself super hungry.

But seriously…I’m pleased with this plan.  It was very do-able.  I did all the cooking/prep in about 3 hours.  It’s healthy for the most part.  And all of this was sans-list.  I just knew what I had in the freezer, and headed to Trader Joe’s right after my shift.  Kind of scary.  So for next week (well, it’s birthday week…so maybe in two weeks, let’s be honest) I’m thinking:
-Smoothies
-Stuffed zucchini and/or peppers
-Casserole (like the enchiladas)
-Soup
-Rice or Pasta dish
-Cut up apples and carrots, portion out some nuts or popcorn

I think sometimes I just get overwhelmed with the amount of things I want to make, or I make a lot of food I dislike and get bored with (plain chicken breast with veggies and brown rice…blech) and then I don’t eat it, but this week I think I’m good…there’s enough variety for new recipes in case I’m not a fan, but I *love* the soup, so no worries there!  YAY!  Meal prep, here I come.