Guest Posts

2011 Favorites

I’m pretty happy with how my blog has progressed over this past year. In 2010 my blog was pretty new, I didn’t think many people would even want to read what I had to say and when they did I had to find myself. I wasn’t sure what kind of blog I wanted to have, so in the beginning I did what everyone else did–posting my workouts and what I ate for my three meals.

Eventually that grew boring to me and I figured it was probably boring to read. My blog changed a lot and I found my groove. I loved sharing my weight loss memories and struggles with my readers.Β 2011 was a year where I really found what I liked to write about and I hope that came through to my readers as well.

Here are some posts that I am really proud of from 2011:

Partners Who Sabotage

When The Mirror Lies

Gaining Weight in Relationships

Stop Dieting!

Psychology of Weight Loss

3 Year Anniversary of 100 Pounds Lost

Thanks to some great readers/blog friends I also had some great guest posts this year.

Reshaping Your Body with Weight Lifting

Triathlon Help

The Battle of The Calorie Counters

Thank you to everyone that shared a guest post this year with my readers. I hope people found some new blogs to read as a result. πŸ™‚

Favorite Recipes of 2011

2011 was also when I started to really try new things in the kitchen. I’m happy with a lot the recipes I’ve tried and (thanks to Michael!) I have a lightbox now that helps me take amazing photos of the food I cook.

Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables

Curried Shrimp with Rice

French Toast

Filet Mignon with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola

Pumpkin Muffins

Pasta with Broccolini, Pickled Goat Horn Peppers andΒ Goat Cheese

Poulet Au Vinaigre (Gina’s Weight Watchers)

I’m pretty proud of the dishes I’ve made. I know, I know, it’s really just following a recipe. But that’s huge for me. I hated cooking, I sucked at cooking most everything and I honestly made stuff that came out of the freezer or a box for most of my life. Being able to tackle recipes by myself and actually have them turn out edible is stellar–having them be AWESOME was even better!

So there you have a few of my favorites from 2011. I hope 2012 is even better!

QUESTION: What was your favorite post of 2011? Share the link to it here! And if you have a fantastic recipe you tried, post it here too!

Sunshine and Vino

I had a fantastic time off last week. Michael and I went for a few bike rides, I saw a great concert and went on a fun road trip through the desert. It was a good break from reality.

Did you enjoy the guest posts I had lined up? Thank you so much to the bloggers that shared their stories!

  • Sugar Magnolia wrote a very informative post about how to train for a Triathlon. The more I read about other people’s triathlon experiences the more I want to try it for myself.
  • Lori shared her story about losing 100 pounds. Her blog has always been one of my favorites because she lost so much weight and she’s also a cyclist too.
  • Becky’s post on How (Not to Train for a Half Marathon got lots of hits! I’m glad it was so popular.

Thanks again ladies for writing these awesome posts for me! Β I have a few more good ones coming up soon.

When we were in Yakima we had a chance to do a little wine tasting, too. We didn’t have time to do much but a little bit is better than nothing.Β There isn’t a whole helluva lot to do in Eastern Washington but there are some fun fitness related things to do (bike rides, hiking) plus wine tasting. There are tons of vineyards and tasting rooms in Yakima. We were short on time so we stuck with two tasting rooms in downtown.

The first was Kana, which is a Native word for “spirit or fire within a mountain.” We arrived at the Kana tasting room and it was packed with people. That was to be expected since there wasn’t much else to do in Yakima, but I later discovered there were a few big wine tours going on too.

It was $5 to taste and Michael and I split the tasting. They waived the tasting fee with a bottle purchase. I enjoyed the first few tastings, disliked the Dark Star, and LOVED the Syrah. The Syrah was fantastic: light and creamy and not too sweet. It was a smooth wine and had the bottle not been $30 I would have bought one. It was a little out of my budget for this trip. Usually when I go wine tasting I will splurge on one more expensive bottle if it really stands out, and then buy a few other average priced ones.

The bottle we did end up buying was the Workingman’s Red. The blend was well balanced, the Tempranillo and Syrah parts being the most noticeable. The bottle was in my budget ($15) so we left with one.

The staff was very knowledgeable about Washington wines, which I am less knowledgeable of simply because I do most of my tasting in Oregon.

We finished up the tasting at Kana and headed across the street to the second tasting room.

The Gilbert Cellars tasting room was very stylish and hip in decor. Β It was completely packed when we first got there, but the group touring left shortly thereafter.

The first wine we tasted was theΒ 2010 UNOAKED CHARDONNAY. Β I loved it. It was my favorite that we tried but unfortunately Michael did not like it at all. We try to stick with buying bottles of wine we both agree on, since we will be drinking them together. So instead of buying a bottle of the crisp chardonnay I had to just enjoy it there.

It was light and very crisp–like a blend of Granny Smith apples and limes. I loved how dry and refreshing it was. Sometimes Chardonnay can be too heavy on sweetness and butter.

Hands down the most interesting of their wines was theΒ 2007 PETIT VERDOTΒ : “Scorched earth, wildflowers and blueberries lead into a saturated palate of sweet fruit and firm tannins as this wine shows off the potential of Petit Verdot on the Wahluke Slope.”

It was a big, strong wine with intense tannins. The manager, Laura, impressed me with her knowledge of everything wine and she said that the Petit Verdot is usually a blending wine–meaning it’s added to something else (like a Bordeaux) to even out the tastes. Β I can tell why someone would prefer this wine in a blend because it was very strong.

We chatted with Laura for a bit and she said she was going to Portland for her weekend. I gave her a few restaurant recommendations for her to try (I hope she liked them!). She waived the tasting fee and it was time for us to leave–unfortunately empty handed. If we’re ever back in that area I might just buy that chardonnay anyway!

QUESTION: What is something you are blessed to have in your life right now?