that one time when lindsay was suzy homemaker… for a week

As you may know Adrienne is off jet setting and playing with Steve Irwin’s animals while I hold down the fort.

To add to the fun, I thought I’d throw some of our own exotic animals in the mix. You may know them, but you have no idea…this is the diary of a very tired babysitter.

Liv is my personal favorite. This rare beast ran away from a cat in its pounce position while we were on a run the other day. I thought it was a wild animal and we were in immediate danger the way she almost made me eat the pavement. I got over it quickly though. Mainly for this face.

....okay, I forgive you.

On to the next wild animal. There’s not much that could be said about Roary that you can’t tie back to these three words: energy, lovin’, and sass. It’s a crazy mix, which I sum up in the nickname “Fatty”. This kid will do ANYTHING for a treat. Hence my personal favorite trick, “sit pretty”.

"this better be worth something good"

I’ve left the best one for last. Best, meaning, this critter is IN-TENSE. But I’ve realized that my dislike of small dogs lightens a little when she puts up with me messing with her…Behold….MOTHER TERESA.

“Do small things, with great love.” ― Mother Teresa

 Her face in this picture seems to portray less Mother Teresa quotes and more “Wait until tonight when I wake you up at 5am”….I think it was worth it.

Also, an update on other things that I’ve been keeping alive…The garden!

minus one wilted stem, i'm doin' great!!.....

Phew…so much pressure to keep things alive around here. Three more days and then you’ll have your beloved blogger back! Hasta Luego, friends! Until the next time I’m put in charge of another life…or three….Gulp.

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yummy: dinner salad

It’s tough for my husband and I to stay on track with healthy eating during the week. Sometimes life gets in the way and we’re just too tired to cook. Lately, I’ve been turning to super easy salads to get in some veggies when we’re desperate and debating on ordering pizza.

The excuse that I use frequently ‘I’m too tired to cook’ isn’t good enough when making a salad for dinner because it doesn’t take much effort at all! It helps with the energy you’re lacking and makes you feel much better than if you were to order out.

Pretty much I’m writing this post to convince myself that I should eat more salads for dinner. 🙂

Here’s a little salad I made last week in the blink of an eye.

I started out with some baby spinach.

Then a little red pepper.

Some red onions for spice.

Carrots.

Edamame for protein.

A then some salad dressing of choice! With the edamame I’d think a sesame or ginger dressing would be tasty but I went with what we had which was caesar.

We ate the salad with a side of protein banana bread and that’s it! A delicious, super healthy meal in under 10 minutes.

Use whatever veggies and/or fruit you have on hand! Done.

What’s your go-to healthy meal? Do you have a weekly meal that you turn to?

P.S. My sister is posting next! Look out for it. 🙂

australian animals galore

I’m always hesitant to go to zoos because you never know how small or large the enclosures will be. I get depressed for the guys if I see them in cages that look too small to me but that wasn’t the case at Steve Irwin’s zoo here in Australia!

It isn’t just a zoo but “a team of passionate conservationists working around-the-clock to deliver an animal experience like no other.” So Awesome. Australian hippies. 😉

It was way too cool for me not to show you the pictures ASAP. Lots of fun things went down and I even got to interact with multiple animals!

I took a lot of photos but here are a ton few of my favorites:

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. A lot of the enclosures were very open so I could get up really close and take photos.

These iguanas are the pigeons of Australia. They aren’t in a zoo exhibit but I took a picture anyway! They also have wild turkeys that wandered about. So different from the US.

I enjoyed this signage. I assume the skull and crossbones means death. See the giant guy behind it?!

I die. I couldn’t even stop myself from baby talk when I saw these Koalas. I made my husband pay $20 so we could get a picture with one! I HELD HIM. His name was Slater and he was very smelly. 🙂

Wombats. Another super cute animal. The zookeepers walk around with them with harnesses on like dogs.

The other girls and I stopped to watch the Irwin family for an unhealthy amount of time. Bindi is all grown up!! We were starstruck.

We didn’t know until we got there but at the Crocodile show the Irwin kids did some shooting for a TV show they’re doing. This isn’t a daily occurrence so we were really lucky to see them feed a dead pig to the Graham the crocodile. As disgusting as it was, it was very cool! Lots of waiting and then violent thrashing.

I was so scared for her!

We got to feed the kangaroos. They are such characters!!

I did this.

And then he decided that the amount of food I gave him wasn’t enough so he grabbed my hand which scared the crap out of me.

After that I hesitantly fed him again only to have my husband say, ‘I want him to grab MY hand!’. Ha.

A little later on another kangaroo snuck up behind me and gave me a little shove. Needless to say I was a little jumpy after that so when we were in the Rain Forest after that and two parrots decided to breeze by my head multiple times I almost cussed in front of some little kids. It was terrifying yet I loved it.

The Wallabies got there turn at the food buffet too.

We went to Africa for an hour where we saw Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras, and a Rhino. We even got to feed an Elephant! I don’t have that photo yet but I’ve been told I have to ‘prove it’ so I’ll post it when I get back.

Such a great time! It’ll be a day I never forget. I love myself some animals.

Toady is ANZAC day so we’re keeping it low key but tomorrow is another adventure so I’m sure you’ll be hearing about it soon.

🙂

the big 5-0

No I’m not 50, I’m 26, but this is my FIFTIETH post people.

How in the world.

At the end of every week I think to myself, ‘What the HECK am I going to write about next week?’ and every week I think of something. I find this ridiculous, yet impressive.

Where am I going from here? You know, since I’ve had such a long blogging career so far. 😉

I’ve written a lot of lists on this blog so instead of making a list of goals for my next 50 posts I thought I’d humor you with a limerick.

there once was a girl with a blog
who wrote often about her cute dog
now it’s time for a change
more variety and range
let’s hope there’s still time for a jog

🙂

Pretty much you’ll be hearing once again about my projects that I’ve fallen off track with (volunteering, DIY, etc.) along with the topics that I talk about regularly. A little more diversity and entertainment.

———-

I’m writing/posting at an odd time because for the past 44 hours I’ve been traveling (19 hours of flying!) to Australia. I’m sitting here at the luggage claim with a super sore butt and a completely lost sense of time but I’m excited! We’re here for a wedding but will be doing exploring as well. I’m sure I’ll do some recaps of the trip when I get back.

I’ll be gone for over a week but I hope to get you three posts per usual while I’m gone. I’m not sure if I’ll have internet but I know you’ll have at least one post to read since my sister agreed to write something for you. 🙂

I hope to come back refreshed and renewed with no jet-lag. Ha.

I’ll leave you with dog photos because i miss the girls already.

It’s nice to know Aunt Lindsay is taking care of them…

…and that she’ll spoil them well. 🙂

What warm-weather trips do you have planned? It’s so nice to get away!

yummy: curried butternut squash soup

Today it’s supposed to be 80 degrees and I’ve got a soup recipe for ya.

You’ll be sweating by the end of this post but it’ll be worth it.

I just REALLY love this soup and I want you to know about it. If I’m in the mood for soup, this is the recipe I usually reach for. It’s super easy, quick, and delicious. I think that must be Ellie Krieger’s running theme because a lot of her recipes are like that.

I’d say I’m officially on an Ellie Krieger kick since I’ve already cooked up two others found here & here. I can’t help myself.

A couple of times now since the new year I’ve laughed at my husband when he’s chopping onions and they burn his eyes. That sounds terrible but it’s a funny site to see the man ‘cry’ since he’s known to not express much. And the silly faces he makes, oh they’re great.

I shouldn’t have picked on him -> caution, rough photo ahead.

I believe in Karma and gosh darn it these onions were Brutal with a capitol B! They burned while I cried for a bit.

I even laughed out loud at myself because I deserved it.

I had to add broccoli into the mix because it was going bad and I needed to stick to #2 from my healthy changes of 2012.
Be sure to skip the broccoli when you make it though, it’s too strong of a flavor. I had to add more honey. At least I didn’t have to throw them away!

I’ve been wanting an immersion blender for years now and I finally got one a couple months ago. It’s debut was with this recipe. It’s much easier to blend in the pot than to ladle two batches of the soup into a standing blender. And at only $30 for the contraption it’s definitely worth it.

note: the soup is a lot smoother if you don’t use broccoli.

The garnish is my favorite part!

When we’d carve pumpkins growing up we would bake the seeds in the oven with a little seasoning. Butternut squash have similar seeds so I always bake them in my toaster oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper while I’m cooking. The seeds add a nice crunchy contrast to the blended soup. Here’s a recipe for the seeds if you wanted to try it out too.

The soup is creamy with a hint of honey and curry. So good!!

Crank up the A/C and dig in.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

to eat meat or not to eat meat?

That is the question.

Ever since I was little, meat has grossed me out. To this day if I chomp on an unmentionable (veiny thing or fat) I panic, start to sweat, and then either attempt to swallow or spit it out. Lately I can’t even finish the meal if that happens.

Ground up stuff on the other hand, I can take – all that nastiness is mixed together so you can’t determine what’s what! <- That statement is so ridiculous but true. An example: I had a Mexican meal last week with the best beef tacos and tamales in town. It’s located here but has a different name now just in case any Richmonders want to venture outside the city.

Meat promoting aside.

At the beginning of this year I attempted to stop eating any of it. It was fine except for when I went to eat my normal meat meals like pizza and Mexican when I’d have to rethink a bit. Obviously there are simple substitutes but it made me think! I went a couple weeks and then went back to my normal eating habits. I think going back was a combination of having to cook for myself as well as my meat eating husband and the question of ‘why?’. What’s the point of stopping if I like some of it? I thought this and I’m sure my husband did too.

This morning my blogger friend Sarah wrote a post on Polyface Farms which is a ‘green’ farm talked about in the movie Food, Inc.
She reminded me that I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for a couple weeks now so I thought I’d bite the bullet and finish it.

I’ve been meaning to watch Food, Inc. ever since it came out (four years ago!) but I’ve been too scared to do it.

You know I’m a huge animal lover (my family keeps growing and growing) so too see all that pain and suffering would be tough. Watching the movie would be a game changer because I’m not a huge meat eater to begin with.

I’m scared of becoming a vegetarian even though I have an urge to do so. Also, it’s about the cooking challenges and the judging of my reasoning by others. Very silly reasons to not watch a movie that will help me grow. I am a grownup after all, I can do it.

But I haven’t.

I know for some vegetarians it’s about how gross it is to eat flesh and for others it’s about the rights of animals. Or at least I assume these are the reasons because really, up until I started reading healthy living blogs, the only vegetarian I knew was my older sister, Amanda. Hi AMP!

After writing the above, I realize I’m a little bit of both.

So should I become one? My views on animal cruelty are quite strong but I do like to eat meat once in a while. Do I want to give up my beloved tacos and tamales? Maybe I should just make sure the product is coming from a ‘happier’ place like Polyface Farms?

I think for now, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll find a local farm and/or head to the farmer’s market on Saturday to explore my options. Maybe I’m chickening out or maybe this is what I’m supposed to do.

It’s an interesting crossroads to be in. I’ll be watching Food, Inc. this week for sure.

If you’re a vegetarian or meat eater that is particular about their vendors, what is the reasoning behind your eating habits?

live a little

Wow, it has been a tiring week. Lots of people were on vacation at work so I filled in for them. I give props to everyone who works full time in the medical field. I can’t imagine trying to take care of the dogs (let alone kids) and also live a healthy lifestyle after being on my feet all week! Those people are gods.

———-

I, like many people, live in the past or the future. We’re too worried and worked up. We go through life wandering until we realize we aren’t really living.

I found a great Oprah quote that explains where I’m going with this:

Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift. — Oprah Winfrey

Often times if I’m in a funk and can’t seem to stick to my healthy habits, I decide that the day is a wash and give up. Thinking to myself, ‘ Tomorrow I’ll start eating healthy’ or ‘Next week I’ll get back to the gym’.

That’s one of the reasons I wrote this post to help me stay on track. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s about doing little healthy things that can add up to more of a routine. But what happens when you can’t bring yourself to do just one? What happens when you keep putting things off and struggle to make healthy habits a routine?

This week I was supposed to start running again. Up until Wednesday I used the excuse of a very busy work week to skip my running. ‘Next week I’ll start running again, I just don’t have time.’ is what I thought to myself.

There were two things that helped me get out of this cycle of not living in the present.

One is a mantra I picked up from Elisa. She uses the word ‘believe’ to help her get through her training workouts. I thought I’d try it out not just for workouts but every time I landed in a funk and negative thoughts would creep in. Let me tell you it works! I’ve been using the word since Monday and I haven’t felt this happy in months. Saying the word in my head stops those negative thoughts and helps me move on with what I’m doing in the present. I believed I could eat healthy this week and I did. I believed I could stay chipper this week and I did. I believed I’d run this week and I did. It’s amazing what a little word can do!

The second is not a thing but a person. I look up to all the Vets that I work with but I have really taken to one in particular. She’s a runner for one thing, has run a marathon (!!), and is a healthy, happy person. No matter how ridiculous a patient’s parents are, she is friendly and kind. It’s an amazing thing to watch! Such a genuine person.

I hold her on a pedestal so to my surprise on Wednesday, I found out that she has trouble motivating herself to workout and struggles with negative thoughts too! We both love to workout and know we need it to mentally and physically feel good but to just DO it is tough. As I left for work she said, ‘Have a good workout!’. Of course I groaned and said I really wasn’t sure if I could do it.

‘Believe.’

On my drive home I got to thinking. The Vet was so motivating and had lifted my spirits. I decided to live in the present for her. I physically didn’t have the time and energy to workout that night but I WAS going to wake up at 5:00 am and run. I hadn’t ran since the 10k and really needed to get back into it. She would be so excited for me when I told her at work. Maybe I’d even help her get back into working out too.

I got out all my running clothes and placed them in the bathroom so I’d be able to just get up and go. At 5am on Thursday, I ran. I ran for four miles and felt great! Like I thought, she was super excited for me when I got to work.

It’s funny how things work out in life. If I hadn’t started a blog I wouldn’t have met Elisa and learned of her mantra. If I hadn’t changed careers I would’ve never met the Vet and had the motivation to run and run far.

Last night my husband said, ‘I believe that all things happen for a reason. It’ll all work out.’ He’s so right.

I’m currently living in the present and hope to continue on with my moments, mornings, and Mondays. Now that I have a little more help to do them, I know I’ll be able to.

I’ll leave you with another Oprah quote to finish up:

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” — Oprah Winfrey

So true Oprah!!

What do you do to get yourself out of a funk?