Feb 162015
 

Michael and I got home from work right before Valentine’s Day to find a bunch of goodies left for us on our kitchen counter! A big brown bag with tissue paper and then two small gift bags:

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Our dog walker had made up some Valentine’s gifts for her clients! It was such a nice surprise. I opened it up and there were treats for the kitties (homemade catnip toys), liver treats for Bella, some tennis balls for Bella (her new favorite toy), some chocolate for us and some other goodies for the beasts!

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Plus there was this GORGEOUS watercolor painting of Bella! The painting was actually a belated wedding gift and it was a painting from a photo that Amy took of Bella on one of her visits. The painting is so incredible! I had a huge smile on my face all night and I absolutely LOVED it.

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I immediately hung the Bella portrait next to the other amazing art we got as a wedding gift from a friend. We are slowly decorating our house with art work but it’s definitely unfinished. Most of it will be taken down at some point when we finish the remodel (especially in the kitchen). Once the remodel is done I’ll figure out a better way to display all our amazing stuff.

Bella also got a homemade bandanna from Amy. How cute is my little Love Bug?

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Haha, she doesn’t look too amused but she is really good at holding still while mama takes photos. She’s used to it (my Instagram is basically just animal pictures). Anyways. After we unwrapped our Valentine’s gifts, we got dressed for a run. This time we took Bella!

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Since we had Bella with us on our run, we couldn’t go to the neighborhood school track. Instead we did the nearby street near our house that is currently empty. They are building a bunch of houses there, apparently, but we haven’t seen any construction happening in months so who knows. It’s about a mile long loop and it’s been our new walking loop with Bella for awhile now. It’s nice because there’s rarely anyone over there.

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We didn’t run for a long time for a number of reasons. 1) It gets dark earlier still. 2) Bella is “out of practice” running and I didn’t want her to do too much on the pavement too soon and hurt her paws. 3) Michael is new to running so he doesn’t need to injure himself. 4) My body is used to treadmill running so I need to ease back into street running.

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We did the neighborhood loop twice and then headed back to the house when it started to get darker. We hadn’t been out for a super long time so I wanted to get a little more of a workout in. I did a short kettle bell workout in our living room while I watched Downton Abbey. Nice combo, huh?

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Bella sat on the rug by the door and watched me swing kettle bells for 15 minutes, I did some ab work and then finished up with some stretches.

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The calories were a little low for me but it was better then going to the gym and spending an hour on the hamster wheel. I got to be with Michael and Bella and get outside. It was nice.

Valentine’s Day

To celebrate Michael and I went out Friday night (instead of Valentine’s Day) to Grain and Gristle in NE Portland. I’d never heard of it before but it came up on a search for new restaurants and the reviews were really good so I wanted to try it. We got there around 6pm and the place was already packed. The wait for a table wasn’t too long, though. We got an intimate table and ordered drinks. Michael got an Old Fashioned and thought it was really good. I had a sip and it was tasty (and I’m not a whiskey fan).

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I ended up getting a Bloody Mary and it was okay. Not the best one I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some really good ones before). They had a special  “for two” that sounded really good (pork with polenta and braised leeks) and we almost got that. I LOVE polenta and it just sounded so tasty. Plus it was a good deal–lots of food and 2 beers.

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In the end we both ordered the burgers because they sounded so great. And boy were they! They were so good we both said the burger makes our top 5 list for Portland burgers. It came with homemade pickles, aioli sauce, bacon. I got the salad with it and Michael got onion rings, which were the skinny shoe-string style. They were so great. Man, the food was spectacular! I got the Brussels Sprouts as a side and loved them. They were charred and just perfect. Still thinking about that meal, days later…yum!

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My only complaint about the place was that the service was SO SLOW. It took forever to get our drinks. We waited for a really long time for the food. I get that it was a Friday night and it was crowded but it was abnormally slow compared to other restaurants we’ve been to. The food came out just as I was getting to the “this is making me grumpy, I am not a fan of this restaurant” phase. And of course, once the food arrived and it was so delicious, those irritated thoughts disappeared.

After dinner we ended up going to IKEA to pick of a part we’d ordered for the kitchen and pick up a few other things we needed (I needed some soap bottles, a lamp for the spare bedroom, a picture frame). The restaurant was so close to IKEA we figured, why not? And it wasn’t insanely crowded either so that was nice. Michael ended up getting a nightstand like the one we got for me a few weeks ago. There might have been some shenanigans going on in IKEA with the carts… ;)

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On Valentine’s Day we decided to go for a hike and invited some friends to come along. Sadly one of the kids got sick so our friend had to stay home with them but Michael’s friend Dave was still able to come and he brought his adorable 2 year old son. We went over to Saltzman Road again because we figured it would be a good hike with a 2 year old. Dave ended up putting his son in a backpack though, but either way a little one could have done it.

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It was such a nice day out! Sunny and mid-60’s. So we ended up doing a little more mileage than planned 5.22 miles roundtrip! It was just such a nice day out, the trail wasn’t too crowded and we were all feeling pretty good. The trail is a gradual grade uphill but it’s never TOO strenuous that you feel like your heart is going to pound out of your chest. Hopefully the whole family can join us next time!

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So 5.22 miles hiked, 505 calories burned in just under 2 hours. We were all tired out I think. Bella slept on the way home. We gave her a bath, Michael put together his new IKEA nightstand and I spent the rest of the day doing chores and errands. It was a nice little holiday!

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Dec 012014
 

I love long holiday weekends! Sleeping in, not having every minute planned, not having to go to work….yay! The weekend held the typical weekend chore stuff but I also brought out the Christmas decorations. A little early for me but I had the time so decided to make the house festive.

Thursday

Thanksgiving day I slept in a little bit and then went to the Warrior Room. I was grateful they had some morning classes on the holiday. My gym is open until 2pm on Thanksgiving but it is such a madhouse every year that it’s a miserable experience and I just didn’t want to do that this year. Seriously, even getting up super early and going to the gym to try and miss the crowds I’d have to park at the mall across the street and walk because the garage was full and every machine would be used. It was never an enjoyable experience, that’s for sure.

Warrior Room was packed but much more enjoyable! I got in a great workout and my friend Debby joined me. Ashley started the class saying “let’s burn 10,000 calories so we can drink 3 bottles of wine and eat pie!” Sign me up! You had me at pie. The workout was hard and there many moments where I thought I might be pushing it…but in the end, I made it through the workout still standing and burned a lot!

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After that Michael and I took Bella for a walk before the rain set in. I ate light most of the day because I knew I’d be indulging later. I stuck with a small salad for lunch. Then Michael and I went over to his mom’s house for the holiday. Michael’s step-brother got the entire meal already done, you just have to pop it in the oven for a little bit before serving, from Zupan’s. He did this last year and it was wonderful. The food is so good!

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I ate a lot. I tried to be responsible but ended up overeating anyways. Honestly I’d been having some anxiety about Thanksgiving all week–knowing it was going to be a big calorie bomb. It was discouraging to feel like all the progress I had made lately would be entirely undone with one meal. SIGH. Trying to lose weight this time of year is like running up hill pushing a boulder.

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I did go easy with the dessert, though. I was honestly too stuffed to eat much more. Pumpkin pie is my favorite thing! And we did not break into this giant chocolate turkey:

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Seriously, it was huge! It looked amazing, too! Once we were all getting sleepy it was time to go. Michael and I went home to be with Bella and ended up laying in bed with the animals watching House of Cards in our PJs. :)

Saturday

Another Warrior workout! Honestly I was still a little sore from Thursday. I ended up going a little easy on myself during the workout as a result. Thankfully there weren’t a TON of squats during this class! My hamstrings were not happy.

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Then I met my friend Robyn for a sushi lunch date. It had been awhile since we’d gotten together (I think it might have been my wedding!!) and a lunch date was perfect. We both ended up getting a Bento Box for lunch. I’ve never had Bento before. It was kind of a nice change, even if I had been craving sushi and that craving hadn’t been satisfied.

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I went with the teriyaki salmon. It was a small piece of salmon, around 3 normal-sized bites. It came with rice, a side salad with cucumber and shredded carrots, a California roll and tempura vegetables. It was really tasty and super filling. It was really nice to catch up with my friend and we drank a TON of green tea and chatted long after the food was gone.

We parted ways and I headed home. I’m not into Black Friday/Christmas shopping and generally avoid the malls and stuff. I did most of my Christmas shopping online and I’m basically done except for two more things I need to get. Now it’s just a waiting game for the packages to arrive so I can wrap them before nosy busy bodies try and sneak a peak. ;)

When I got home Michael and I took Bella for a long walk before the rains arrived. The sun was out but there were some dark, dark clouds off in the distance. Bella got a bunch of walks over the long weekend and was happy with that–as I was happy with getting some extra exercise in!

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Sunday

Sunday finally came, sad that meant that it was back to work soon. :( I went to the gym (it was very cold and very blustery but the sun was out) and did about 40 minutes on the elliptical (3.35 miles) then it was time for yoga. After being sore for several days that yoga class felt spectacular!

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The rest of the day was uneventful until it was time to go to Michael’s mom’s house for a party. She hosts a charity party the weekend of Thanksgiving every year and this year we were actually available to attend! She sells wreaths for a charity and people come over to pick up the wreaths and enjoy a holiday party at the same time.

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They unwrapped the chocolate turkey! (Sadly Michael and I left before they carved into that thing!)

We went over a little bit early to see if she needed help setting up. The places was already decorated to the max. Tons of cute Christmas decor, the tree was up and decorated and holiday music was playing. The place was packed! There was also tons of food. It was mostly finger foods. There was crab rangoon, vegetable spring rolls, crab and artichoke dip, orange chicken and then meatballs with various dipping sauces.

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The meatballs were really good. There was a chipotle cranberry sauce that went with one of the platters and it was really good. Sweet but not overly sweet. I basically ate dinner full of finger foods. I had 2 crab rangoons, 2 spring rolls, about 6 meatballs, and 3 orange chicken pieces.

Look at these adorable wine stoppers:

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How funny is that? We stayed for a few hours, munching on food, mingling with people. Then it was getting late and we decided to head home. Michael was still hungry (I was not, I ate tons of finger foods) so we stopped at Five Guys on the drive home so he could get a burger.

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He did give me two bites of his burger. I went overboard all weekend. I knew it would be a challenge with the events we were going to. At the party I tried to stay away from the buffet table to keep myself from just mindlessly munching, but I admit, it was hard. The festivities made it easy to splurge. :( Anyways, Monday morning and back on track!

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