Saturday I awoke to a yellow, glowing hazy outside. The light was very weird, abnormal, and I couldn’t figure out why until I went outside. Then I realized it was all the wildfires in Oregon. Apparently the wind shifted and Portland was engulfed in a haze. It was gross, smelly and hard for me to breathe. Thankfully I already had plans to go to the gym and not try to run outside or go for a hike. I don’t see hiking in the future until the air quality clears up.

It was the first time I was back at lifting weights since my back injury. I took it easy and focused on things like shoulders, triceps and core instead of my back. I was back at doing my PT exercises and glute/core work. It felt good to do it again. Then I did a walk/run on the treadmill. First run since my 5k! I felt pretty good and did 2.5 miles.

I burned 559 calories, went home to clean up and have lunch (leftover turkey enchiladas I made). Saturday I spent most of the day inside to avoid the smoke!

Saturday evening we went to a friend’s house for dinner. It was so good to see them! And to get out of the house and be social. After my back stuff I kind of hid in the house for awhile. I was tired, feeling wounded and a little bit mopey I think. I didn’t do much socializing (aside from our parents visiting) so once I was starting to feel more like myself I was glad to see some friends.

They made delicious margaritas from scratch (limeade, rhubarb compote, simple syrup, lime verbena juice and ice). So delicious and refreshing!! Mine was a virgin because me and Tequila AIN’T friends. No thank you!


Dinner was grilled chicken, corn on the cob and a delicious salad with greens, mint, feta, onions and watermelon.


For dessert they made root beer floats with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. What a treat! I can’t remember the last time I had a root beer float…


It was a fun night. The kids are getting so big.


Michael made french toast for breakfast. It was quite a treat. I hadn’t had french toast in I don’t know how long…at least a year. I’ve been craving it recently and Michael kindly satisfied my craving. He made the fabulous Martha Stewart recipe (it’s a winner for sure).


After breakfast I went to the gym. It was too late for yoga class and honestly I was a bit too sore for it I think. Those jump squats always do me in. I was so sore (hamstrings) from Saturday’s workout. Instead I used the elliptical for a mild workout.


Sometimes doing something like the elliptical can help loosen up the sore muscles. Time will tell. The afternoon was spent in the kitchen working on tomatoes from the garden. I decided to can whole tomatoes. I had so many ripe ones in the garden that needed to be cooked or something. I picked a big batch and got started.


I did a combo of romas and heirloom tomatoes. I love canning whole tomatoes because it’s super easy and fast. I boiled the tomatoes, peeled the skins in no time, cored the tomatoes and then canned them whole. The longest part of this process was the canning part. It took forever to get the water boiling and I had to do the jars in two batches because my pot wasn’t big enough.

Sunday evening we had Michael’s mom and stepdad over for dinner. It had been way too long since we saw them and I was excited to make dinner using the spaghetti sauce I made last weekend. Michael’s mom made a fantastic salad with greens, tomatoes and lemon cucumbers from their neighbor’s garden. I baked a loaf of garlic bread (my weakness).


We did gluten free spaghetti and I cooked up my spaghetti sauce with meatballs. I was so happy with my sauce! It was delicious! Thick and flavorful and just right.


Dessert was a little bit of a cheat. 🙂 I baked cookies.


It was a busy weekend! But a good one. How was yours?

Holiday Traditions

The tradition used to be that my parents would drive from Seattle to Portland on Christmas morning to see me on their way to somewhere sunny. The three of us (and then eventually Michael joined us) would go to The Heathman for brunch on Christmas morning. This is a photo from brunch two years ago:


I don’t know why we dropped the ball this year but somehow no one got around to calling The Heathman to make reservations and they were full. I found somewhere new to try this year. First thing on Christmas morning,  Michael and I slept in a little bit and then we opened presents. Michael most definitely spoiled me this year in a big way!

A Canon Rebel XS DSLR! A fancy, grown-up camera that I can hopefully learn how to use to take better pictures. What an amazing gift!

My parents arrived and the four of us drove to NW Portland to go to Gracie’s. I’d never been to this restaurant before. It’s in the Hotel de Luxe:  “a contemporary tribute to the Golden Era of Hollywood filmmaking that tastefully balances art deco and art moderne styles for a mix of timeless sophistication and serene comfort.”

We all LOVED this place! The restaurant was gorgeous, quiet and the food was amazing. It was unanimous that Gracie’s would be our new Christmas Brunch restaurant. We all liked it better than the Heathman. For breakfast I ordered the most decadent thing on the menu: Bread Pudding French toast. It came with bananas and toasted pecans with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

The French toast was crunchy but like bread pudding on the inside too. It was the richest, most amazing French toast I’ve ever tried.

Michael go the Huevos Rancheros and I had a bite. His breakfast was amazing too! Everything was delicious. But the French Toast was by far the show stopper.

After brunch we opened gifts back at the house. My parents got me the Hood to Coast DVD and I made them watch some of the highlights. 🙂 They hit the road for their beach vacation and Michael and I went to his Mom’s house for their family traditions. Here is the rest of the evening in pictures:

Dinner was a delicious roast, perfect mashed potatoes and green beans. Michael’s sister made a bok choy salad that was delicious (I hope to get the recipe soon).

Aw! Cute Christmas ornaments, complete with ones from Michael’s childhood. Adorable. 🙂

I indulged a little bit but I think all in all I lived pretty balanced during the holidays. I ate some treats, ate some healthy food and got in some fun fitness! B+ this year!

QUESTION: How did you do for the holidays? Regrets? Ready for a detox?