Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

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Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 large white potato
  • 1/2 of a large white onion
  • baby carrots (amount equal to onion after chopped)
  • celery (same quantity as carrots)
  • 2 bay leaves (you may just need one if they are fresh and fragrant)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 a stick of butter
  • chicken stock
  • water
  • bacon

Get a large pot going on medium heat with some olive oil and 1/2 a stick of butter.  Chop up 1/2 of a large white onion, baby carrots and celery.  You want equal amount of those three things.  Add those to the pot along with some salt and pepper.  Cook until soft.

While those are getting all delicious, start working on your butternut squash.  Peeling and cutting up a butternut squash will unlock feelings of anger and violence.  Try to “squash” those feelings because this soup will be worth it.  Chop the butternut squash into bite size cubes (about 1/2 inch cubes, but doesn’t have to be exact).  Also peel and cube one large white potato.  The potato is there for a thickener and I think it adds a deeper, richer flavor.  I don’t like adding flour or dairy to this soup so one potato seems to replace the flavor of those two ingredients.  Making everything the same size will help it cook faster and ensure everything is done around the same time.

Once the onion, celery and carrots are soft, add the squash and potato. Stir everything together and cook for about 10 minutes.  Add chicken stock (I used 1/2 of a 14 oz carton) and then add water until the squash and potatoes are just covered.

Add your bay leaves in, some more salt and pepper and crank up the heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until all white potatoes are tender.  (they take the longest)

Get out your emulsifier and go to town.  Blend until it is the consistency you want.

Crisp up some bacon and crumble on top!

Big Things are Happening

Just kidding.

I just wanted your attention.

I’m needy like that.

Fun things are happening though!

Saturday I went to the Adorn Fashion Show. 

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My sister, Autumn, and I went.  We went last year with my Mom and she was supposed to go this year but got sick.

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It was fun and we had a good brunch.  Only, I was three bites into my red velvet cake dessert before I remembered I wasn’t eating sugar! doh!  I pushed it away.  Talk about mindless eating!

Monday and Tuesday I have been volunteering as a LUNCH LADY!  I don’t have the pictures to prove it, but it happened!

One of my friends has her daughter at a small private school where the lunch room duties are all volunteer.  I laughed at her so hard when she told me she was the head lunch lady and then told her I would help her out whenever she needed.  So Monday, yesterday and the next two Tuesdays, I will be reporting for lunch lady duty!  It’s pretty fun and HyVee caters the food each day.  Those kids are getting some pretty delicious food!

I am back to light exercise.

That is probably the BEST news I have for this week! 

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I am doing my spin bike for 20 minutes each day.  It’s the only form of cardio that doesn’t irritate my knee.  Yesterday I incorporated one round of tabata using an app on my iphone.

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Man, tabata is legit.  I was pedaling away for 15 minutes and needed something to really get the sweat moving and lungs working. See that sweat dripping off my nose?  And that smile?  (My Mom probably wants to spank me for how crooked my teeth are getting. She paid a lot of money for those teeth.) 4 minutes is all it took!  4 MINUTES, PEOPLE!

I was feeling so good after that I headed straight into our weight room. I only had 15 minutes, so I did a quick upper body.

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In other news about yesterday

I got the Fall spirit.

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Fall candles.  Well, I went to Yankee Candle with a coupon for buy two large jars, get two free and had every intention of buying Fall candles, but left there with Whoopie Pie, Hazelnut Coffee and Banana Bread!  At least Be Thankful is in the Fall category!

Then I made butternut squash soup.  I have to pat myself on the back or give myself a hug, because this soup is AMAZING!  I could have eaten the whole pot!  Luckily, I didn’t and can’t wait to have some today! (maybe for breakfast)

Our pumpkin spice coffee for the Keurig also came yesterday!

We are in deep over here, Folks.

Hope everyone is having a great start to the Fall season!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Two Weeks!

Now, where was I…..

Oh, yes, Monday.  I was curling up with my heating pad!  That was TWO WEEKS ago!

Oh boy, settle in, Friends.  Go to the bathroom, refresh your coffee…this is a long one!

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Asian glazed chicken thighs, adapted from this recipe.

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I watched these two little schnauzers while their Dad played golf with Justin and his Dad.  I could have kept them forever!  But, they are pretty in love with their Dad and he with them, so I let them go. (like the choice was mine!)  They let me distract them from time to time by playing outside and snuggles but they were pretty fixated on the door he walked out of and when he returned 4 hours later, they showered him with love like he had been gone for a month!

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Thursday was a day that truly felt like Fall in Kansas City so I went running for boots and scarves, trying to recreate every fall outfit I have pinned on Pinterest! 

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Friday, Sara got curious about a bag and then wore the bag.  (don’t worry I quickly removed it AFTER getting the picture)

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Saturday, I did a track workout with friends.

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Sunday, I did a workout with some of the KC Diva girls.

And that brings us to this week.

I felt great during the workout on Sunday, but by Sunday afternoon my right knee felt tight and not quite right.  When I woke up Monday morning, it still felt a little “off” but I didn’t think too much about it.

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So, I ran 4 miles. (In my KC Divas tank!).  Big mistake.  By Monday afternoon, I was limping.

By Tuesday, I was icing.

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By Wednesday, Justin had banned me from walking, which made Sara punish me by laying on clothes fresh out of the dryer. (Look at Brutis. He is such a bully to Sara.  I made him get down AFTER I took the picture!)

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I felt better yesterday, which just means I ran around too much and feel it this morning.  The girls of Junky Munky (the ones I sell my hats too and then they embellish them and sell them), they have a space of their very own in a boutique called LuLu’s.  It is one of those places where you can bring in gently used and seasonal appropriate clothing and get cash or store credit!

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I went to their grand opening last night and it was a lot of fun to see my friends and even some of my hats with their added touch!  I got some cute stuff.

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They also embellish ball caps and here is one of them.  It is even cuter in person as you can’t see all the embroidery they have done in the picture.

So, that’s what I have been up to over the past couple of weeks!

See you tomorrow (hopefully!).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Past 3 Days

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Today is Day 12 of my Sugar Free Challenge.

Friday

I had to cross off “No alcohol” because we went out Friday night and I did a wine tasting and drank a glass of wine.

I am holding strong with all the other sugary foods, though, and feeling good.  It’s that time of month, so you KNOW I am dying to be elbow deep in a gallon size bag of peanut butter M&M’s.  BUT, I’m not and I am still alive. Imagine that.

Other Friday happenings:

Friday

Saturday

Saturday

  • Started the day at the track
  • Took Sara back to vet for allergies.
  • Apple/Chicken sausage with quinoa
  • Steak, baked potato, salad
  • Enjoyed the evening in the screened in porch

Sunday

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  • Group workout with the KC Divas
  • Spent most of the day in the screened in porch (on the computer, crocheting)
  • Breakfast: eggs, bacon, GF toast

So, there you have it!  The past three days!  Hope everyone has a great Monday.  I have a meeting with my heating pad.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Greek Salad

It’s FRIDAY!

With Monday being a holiday, the whole week has been weird.

I started yesterday off with not wanting to run AGAIN!  I knew I needed to get moving though, so I leashed up the girls and we went for a 30 minute walk.

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Back at home, I ate some oats with protein powder.

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After getting everyone going for the day, breakfast number two was some peanut butter toast because I was running short on time.

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I powered that toast down and headed to a Pilates class.  She killed my hips, in a good way!

Next up on the agenda, brazilian wax!

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Justin was home from playing golf by this time of the day and we were both pretty hungry.

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Day #2 of Pad Thai.

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Dinner was going to be steaks, baked potatoes and salad, but we were both two tired to cook steaks.  Baked potatoes and Greek Salad for dinner!

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I didn’t get a picture of my potato, but it was nothing fancy.  Baked, buttered, salt and peppered.

We wrapped up the day with some TV.  We tried to watch the MTV Music Awards, but it was awful.  What was Pink wearing?  I ended up going outside and playing with the dogs and taking pictures of the cat, until Big Brother.

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I am going to run this morning.

I am going to run this morning.

I am going to run this morning.

Oh! Before I go, I saw this on Healthy Tipping Point the other day.  Jog.fm

The jog.fm iPhone app.

Since I tend to get motion sickness when listening to music while running, I wonder if this would help?  You plug in your pace time and it recommends songs for that pace.  Pretty cool!  I might have to try it sometime.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

FALL WREATH

Yesterday started with a 30 minute walk with the girls.  For some reason, I have not felt like running this week.  I LOVE running so I’m not sure where my oomph has gone but it better be on it’s way back.

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I NEED those endorphins.  Today is Thursday and I haven’t lifted weights this week.  Instead of lifting yesterday, I zoned out in Pinterest land.

Fall Wreath

Everyone is pinning fall decoration ideas right now, so I was pumped to make a wreath.   I headed up to Michael’s to gather supplies.

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I had never made a wreath, so I really wasn’t sure what all I would need.  I ended up not using some of the supplies I bought, but I’m sure I can use it in another Pinterest project down the road.

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After taking the picture and seeing that area with no cream flowers, I am going to make a little sign that says “It’s Fall, Ya’ll!” (saw that on Pinterest too) and put it in there.  I probably should have waited until I was completely finished before posting a picture, but I got excited, Ya’ll!

I bought the over-the-door hanger at Michael’s also.

The wreath base, I purchased one of the grapevine wreaths, along with all the flowers were 40% off!

On my way home, I stopped at Noodles & Co. and grabbed some noodle bowls.

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Regular size Pad Thai = 2 meals!

The rest of the day was work stuff, dinner and then Big Brother!

Okay, I’m off to Pilates!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

I didn’t post anything yesterday because I didn’t want to bore you to death.

Monday was Labor Day

That’s not the boring part.  The boring part is my life.

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Just kidding.  You know it is never boring around the Beach House.  I just didn’t take too many pictures over the past couple of days, so not too much to share.  Monday was a rest day for me.  I went over to my sister’s in the afternoon and hung out with family.

I brought coleslaw to go with the pulled pork and chicken sandwiches we were having.

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I used Ina Garten’s Blue Cheese Coleslaw recipe.  I split the ingredients in half and put blue cheese in one and made the other plain.  I thought it was really good.  Justin thought it was too mustard-y.  The best part about making coleslaw is using the blade attachments on my food processor.  It took about 5 seconds to shred all that cabbage you see in the picture.  I have another attachment for grating the carrots, which took about 2 seconds! Love my food processor!

Yesterday

I started the day on the elliptical.  I hadn’t done that in a while so it was a nice change.  I did 3 miles and burned 300 calories.

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Sara kept me company while I was getting my sweat on.

My plan was to head to Pilates, but I didn’t eat, for some reason, all morning and was starving.  So, instead of Pilates, I ate egg whites with one whole egg and gluten free toast.

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Yesterday was also Taco Tuesday!

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Justin wanted me to take a picture of his too. (Always trying to steal the spotlight!)

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After lunch we went to Bed, Bath & Beyond for some new pillows and ended up with a giant bag filled with stuff we “needed”.

I slept like a baby last night on my new pillow!

Hope everyone had a fun holiday weekend!  The last HURRAH of summer!  Although, yesterday had a heat index of 104, so it would have been a great day for the pool.  Too bad they are all closed now.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Divas and Date Night

Yesterday started off with some oats with protein powder.

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Before meeting up with the KC Divas for a group workout.

It was a lot of fun and I was sufficiently pooped (and a little nauseous) by the end.

Back at home, I grabbed some peanut butter toast.

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That was just to hold me over until I made some shrimp stir fry.

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For dinner, we met up with my younger sister, Vann, and her husband, Matt, at Gordon Biersch.  I ordered Margarita chicken with asparagus.

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I chose not to eat my rice with the meal, but that just left me hungry.  After dinner, we weren’t quite finished hanging out so we walked over to the Flying Saucer where the guys drank beer and I ate a pretzel!

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I didn’t drink any alcohol because of my little No Sugar Challenge, but I still feel hung over this morning because of that darn, doughy, delicious pretzel!

It was a fun night and I’m pretty sure we were both asleep by 10:30pm!

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