Jan 122015

I woke up Sunday morning sore. It might have been the squat jumps I did at the gym on Saturday…I don’t know. All I know is that I woke up with sore hamstrings, tight lower back, sore-to-the-touch quads and glutes that were on fire. This was Saturday:


The idea of going to yoga on Sunday morning didn’t sound appealing to me. It wasn’t raining and Michael suggested we got for a hike. I agreed, we ate eggs, bacon and an English muffin for breakfast and then set out to go hike the same trail we did last weekend (the trail where Bella got injured).


Bella was SUPER EXCITED about going for a hike. It’s funny–the words she freaks out to are “car”, “treat”, and “hike.” We drove out to the industrial area to pick up the trail we did last time. This time instead of doing Maple Trail (too muddy) we stayed on the main path that turned out to be Saltzman Road.

Saltzman Road is the main, wide, road through the forest. You go uphill about 3/4 mile and that’s where you can pick up Maple Trail (either up or lower trail). We continued around the corner and stayed on the main road. It wasn’t overly crowded but we did see a fair amount of mountain bikers (completely covered head to toe in mud) and trail runners.


Most of the hike we were in a cloud of mist. It was kind of spooky. It was foggy, quiet and a little eerie. But at the same time it was kind of peaceful. As you can see, the path is pretty wide, which is nice, and it was a mixture of gravel, dirt and some pavement. It was nice that it wasn’t just a giant mud pit like the other trails.

How do the ferns grow OUT of the trees? I really want to know how that works. Fascinating. Bella did great on the trail, didn’t bark at strangers she met on the trail. We also passed the “scene of the crime” from last weekend and thankfully she didn’t notice. ;) We did have one (well two) minor incidents on the trail. It makes me crazy–people with their dogs off leash! Especially in a major park that clearly has signs everywhere that you have to have your dog on leash AND pick up after them (which people don’t do because we see poo bags on trails all the time–why pick it up and then leave the bag??).

Some lady was walking her two dogs off leash and one of them came barreling up the trail when it saw Bella. It was CHARGING. GRRRR. I stepped in front of the dog and told it “NO!” And made sure it didn’t get near Bella. The lady was an idiot. She was like “Oh he’s ok, he’s still a puppy”. Um? What? If it’s a puppy and not trained off leash to stay NEXT TO YOU and not charge other dogs, maybe it needs a leash? Maybe? Common sense?



Then we came across them later when we turned back towards the car. So annoying. Once again the dog charged and raced up to Bella. I, again, stepped in front of the dog and this time yelled/barked “NO” even louder. Like come on. Get your animal under control lady! Bella is okay, other than being scared and cowering behind Michael. :(


Anyways. I promise I won’t rant about off leash/bad owners too much more. I think it’s because it’s Forest Park. We never had issues like this on such a consistent basis when we hiked elsewhere. I think Forest Park is just really popular and it attracts more people.

So we turned around and hiked down. The trail was a gradual hike up, nothing too steep or strenuous but kept my heart rate around the 130 mark, and that helped loosen up my legs. But once we started hiking downhill, I felt my body starting to tighten up and by the end of the hike I was SO SORE.


We ended up hiking 5.40 miles in two hours. I burned 576 calories. We stopped at Subway on the way home and split a sandwich (I was famished AND freezing). Then Bella got a bath because she was FILTHY. I also got a bath but mine had epsom salts in it to see if it could help my sore legs.


After we got cleaned up we went over to my friend Star’s house for dinner. We had to cancel our Christmas dinner plans last months because of illnesses and so we rescheduled to do a belated Christmas-early birthday-housewarming dinner. I hadn’t had the chance to see her new places since I helped her move back in October. I was excited to see the place now that they were all settled in!

I made a carrot and chickpea salad to take with us for dinner. Here is the recipe:

Quick and Easy Carrot and Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Calories per serving: Depends on servings

From: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-and-easy-carrot-and-chickpea-salad/


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped white onion


  1. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until dressing is smooth.
  2. Add carrots, chickpeas, parsley, and onion and toss to coat.

There were five of us for dinner and we got about 6 servings out of the salad I made. The salad was tasty and light in flavor. Star made an AMAZING dinner (as usual). She made spaghetti sauce from scratch (she’s a “throw everything in a pot” kind of chef and it’s always delicious). Words cannot describe how good this spaghetti sauce was. It was so creamy and my guess is that was the alfredo sauce she added…yep it had all the calories I think! She also added a bunch of veggies to the sauce–carrots, celery and I think there were some mushrooms in there.

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Spaghetti and meatballs in homemade sauce. With a side salad and the salad I brought. Everything tasted great. I brought a bottle of wine as a housewarming gift but I didn’t have any of it (limiting my liquid calories right now).

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After dinner we had satsuma oranges for dessert and Star opened the Christmas and birthday gifts I brought for her. Then we went in her room and she showed Michael some yoga stretches he could do to help with the things that hurt him (Star teaches yoga).

So Star moved in with two people who both have a dog. Kaya is a gorgeous yellow lab that is very playful. Star has two cats and they are adjusting to their new world with dogs but it’s been a slow process. Boy do I know how that goes! My critters are all finally getting along. We were in the bedroom and Kaya ran into the room to give Michael her ball and then Ra, the big kitty, suddenly appeared from under the bed all growls and hisses and scared the crap out of puppy and us. LOL

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The standoff:

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It was a pretty good night. I was tired from the hike and still really sore but it was SO good to spend some time with my friend. I miss living next door to her. :) But at least at her new place she’s much closer than her old place. In a few weeks she is going to give Michael and I a private yoga lesson. I’m looking forward to that to fix some of my form issues and to show Michael how to do some stretches that will help with his back and IT Band issues.

Dec 312014

What a year it has been!

This has also been one of the worst years for my health. It seemed like I was ALWAYS sick this year. Getting a cold every other month, multiple sinus infections and also bronchitis. In that aspect I’d say I’m disappointed and hoping that 2015 is an improvement. Other than that, it was a pretty good year full of big events and lots of traveling.


I got to go on a girl’s adventure! Going to Vegas with my cousin Anna was so great. It had been way too long since we’d traveled together and it turned out that one of my work friends was also in Vegas during the same time so we all got together for a great show. ;)



It was a trip that I really needed and I love Vegas so much. The weather was fantastic and lounging poolside with drinks was a dream come true. Vegas is a place I could easily go to every single year. Maybe this is the winter weather speaking here but damn, I need to be back in Vegas poolside SOON. I never get sick of that city.

Trying New Things

Kayaking the Willamette River had been on my “to do list” for so long and I finally got to do it! It went well and I got more experience kayaking in Hawaii on our honeymoon. I am determined to make 2015 a year of kayaking! Michael is on board with this, too.

Canning Salsa had been on my “to do list” for several years, too. Ever since we started planting our own vegetable garden. Well this year I finally CANNED the stuff I grew! And it turned out well. I was surprised at how much fun it was canning stuff. I canned salsa, tomato sauce, raw tomatoes, I even made jalapeno jelly. All of those creations were a hit with people I gave them to as well. Next year will include a lot of new canning adventures.

Ran a 5K

After years of battling various injuries and flare-ups, I was able to run a race again. It took me pretty much all winter/spring to train for it. I know that 5k’s are pretty easy for most people but after being “out of it” for so long and not doing much running on a consistent basis, it was a really happy moment for me to be able to run another race.


I did have to take a few walking breaks, but my time wasn’t too bad and I finished it! I felt strong and was able to keep running the rest of the year injury free!


Yep! After a year and a half of planning, the wedding was finally here. (You can see the Engagement Pictures if you missed them.) And that of course included the Bachelorette Party! The Bachelorette Party was amazing and just perfect for me. I was really happy my close friends planned such a fantastic day and everyone could participate. Lots of happy memories there.

The wedding finally arrived and it was even more wonderful than I had fantasized about. We are STILL getting rave reviews from guests who loved the food and music and said it was the best wedding they’d been to. That kind of positive feedback makes me happy–all the stress of planning was worth it. (You can read the wedding posts here: The Wedding Details – Part 1The Wedding Details – Part 2The Wedding Details – Part 3, and Professional Pictures are Here!.)


It’s nice because I still love looking at our beautiful wedding pictures and when I hear certain songs on the radio that were played at the ceremony/reception I do get a little teary-eyed. I’m a softy, what can I say. So yeah, I’d say the wedding and honeymoon was the “big deal” for 2014!


What can I say about Hawaii? It’s paradise, of course. The weather was hot and sunny but not so humid you felt stinky. The flowers were aromatic and gorgeous. The sound of the ocean waves hitting beach while we enjoyed our breakfast on the lanai every morning is something I missed the second we returned home.


We did so many amazing things in Hawaii and one of the happiest memories I have is Michael actually running with me! Like, wow, that’s a huge deal. He is not a runner, has never expressed any desire to start running, but he joined me a few times on the honeymoon for a run along the ocean. How great is that? And of course, swimming and snorkeling in the warm ocean rates pretty high on my list.


After spending 9 days on a beach in Hawaii all I want to do is go on tropical vacations. Beach life is necessary!

2015 Goals

Get back to 145 pounds. That was my weight for many, many years. Then shit happened, including a glorious honeymoon where I ate and drank everything in sight, and gained a bit. When I got back I had about 15 pounds to lose. It was a hard road and I lost a bit, gained a bit, lost a bit. 2015 is going to be an easy, low-key year, I know it. I will focus on losing those extra pounds and get back down under my goal weight. I know I can do it. I did it a few times before. I just need to buckle down. Here comes the

Do more kayaking. I got the kayaking bug! It was so much fun the few times I’ve done it and now all I want to do is do it more. Of course I’m a wuss when it comes to weather so this goal will have to wait until summer time. I’m just not willing to spend hours out in the rain for this!

Travel. I have a trip planned to Tucson in the spring for my friend’s wedding. Other than that there are no major trips planned for me yet. Michael and I have been talking about where to go for our wedding anniversary in September. We talked about visiting the East Coast. I’ve always wanted to explore the historical towns and go to museums. We were originally planning a trip to Philly, Boston and New York but I think that might be a little too much–too much money, too much time away from home. We are currently discussing making a mini-trip and going to Philly (to see my brother and his wife) and then exploring Washington DC. The other destination discussed was Mexico and New Orleans. I have to admit, I am leaning more towards sunny, warm places! Stay tuned!

What were your 2014 highlights? Any New Year’s Resolutions?