Sep 302015

I took a break from weight lifting for awhile. Part of it was when I hurt my back at the beginning of August. Part of it was just not feeling motivated to do it (first trimester fatigue) and all I could drag my tired butt to do was the elliptical and swimming. Then we got busy with houseguests, I ran a 5k and we went on vacation for our anniversary where we just hiked.

So recently I got back to lifting weights and was feeling a renewed sense of interest and desire and energy to do it. I was SO sore after those first few times lifting. I’m glad to be back at it but yeah, sore! Since I was still a little sore, I took it a little easy on this session. I did bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, one-leg Romanian Deadlift, my ab workout (including planks and my PT exercises for my back), a seated row and then finished up with 3 miles on the elliptical.


My energy level was great during the whole workout. A LOT better than it had been recently. A little bit later Michael and I met my friend Sam and her boyfriend for a lunch date. When Sam and I made the plans I’d been craving Hawaiian (but hadn’t said anything to her about it yet) and she suggested Ohana. Apparently my friend is psychic!

Ohana was a cute place. The service was great and the food was decent. It definitely wasn’t as good as the food we had in Hawaii but it was tasty. Michael got the spam musubi appetizer. It was something he was looking forward to when we made the plans. The spam musubi we had in Maui was a risky choice–neither of us had ever had spam and it sounded kind of….gross….but it was AMAZING. We were both hoping to relive that. Here was the Portland spam musubi:


It was a little different than what we got on Maui, where it was small–like a sushi roll–that was deep fried and did I mention it was amazing?? This version was pretty good. I had a few bites. The flavor was fantastic. I wish it had been smaller, bite-sized pieces, but overall it was good.

For lunch Michael got a place of short ribs and chicken with rice and macaroni salad. I got the kahlua pig–of course! What I had been craving. It also came with rice and macaroni salad. The kahlua was tender and moist and really good, but on the salty side. Overall the meal was really good and I’d go back and try other things. I had a bite of the short ribs, which were great so I think I’d get that next time.


I had a glass of iced tea sweetened with real lilikoi pulp with lunch. It was too sweet for my liking (I like plain iced tea instead of sweet) but it was kind of a nice treat. I also got a slice of the purple sweet potato and coconut custard pie to go for later. I just couldn’t resist!

Lunch was really filling and a lot of food so dinner was very light (it might have been popcorn and lemonade while we watched a movie). And then of course the pie for dessert. :)


The pie was very mild and didn’t have an particular overpowering flavor. The sweet potato was mild, the coconut was mild. It wasn’t overly sweet . It had toasted coconut on top (yum) and the crust of the pie was fantastic!


Woke up SORE. I’m surprised at how sore my lower body was considering the only lower body activity I did was the one-leg Romanian deadlifts. And I used two 10 pound weights and did 3 sets of 10. It’s not like I did something strenuous but damn I was sore. :( I’m guessing this is a pregnancy side-effect. Extra extra sore everything.

Since it was a nice day and I was kind of feeling too sore to go to the gym, we asked Bella if she wanted to go for a hike.


I think she was stoked! We did the Pittock Mansion Hike that starts at the Lower Macleay Park. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve seen parts of it that connect all over Washington Park.


I think we picked up the trail in the middle of it. That happens a lot with the Forest Park trails–especially Wildwood trail (which is huge and connects all the trails in the park) because we definitely missed the Stone House (bummer) and it wasn’t 5 miles roundtrip. Where we started the trail was pretty steep and went up immediately and steady the whole way.


This is a very popular trail and it’s also a popular spot for trail runners. We saw a bunch of trail runners and lots of hikers. Bella did so good on the trail! Not a single bark at any people or other dogs! We hiked for about 40 minutes I think and then we were at the top! Pittock Mansion:


It was a popular place on a sunny Sunday. We walked around to the back and found a bench to sit on where we could eat our lunch in the sunshine. It was a gorgeous view.



The grounds were pretty and there were lots of flowers till in bloom. My favorites were the dahlias, of course.




After lunch (Michael had a sandwich, I had egg salad with crackers and an apple) we hiked back down Wildwood Trail to the parking lot. We’d considered going a little further to see what we missed on the other part of the trail but it was getting late in the day. Next time. I really want to see the Stone House!


We did 2.77 miles roundtrip. It was a decent little trek in the woods, nice picnic, nice weather. I burned 353 calories.

Sep 082015

The original plan for Labor Day weekend was for us to go to Seattle and spend time with friends and see Faith No More at Bumbershoot. In the end I ended up staying home and Michael went to Seattle. I was torn and wanted to see our friends, but I knew that sitting in a car in holiday traffic for 4+ hours was not a good idea for my back. While my back is much better, sitting for long periods of time is not good. I was bummed to be missing out on the fun, but it gave me a chance to get some stuff done at home.


I started my day with the gym:


Then Bella and I hit the road to meet my friend Erika at Laurelhurst Park (where I recently ran my 5k!) for lunch and a walk. Bella sniffing me as we sit at a very long light (she gets antsy when we just sit):


It was a slightly chilly day but we found a picnic bench and ate lunch and talked. While we ate lunch it drizzled on us a teeny bit, but it wasn’t too bad. The park was full of people playing, having BBQ’s and birthday parties and there was even a wedding about to take place!


I’d been craving pasta salad lately so that’s what I made for my lunch. Bowtie high-fiber pasta with chopped carrots, black olives, red peppers, tomatoes from my garden and Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian dressing. I had a string cheese and a plum with the salad. After lunch we walked around the park for a bit, saw this guy practicing tight rope walking:


And then walked around the neighborhood. I found my new house:

I bet that house has a library in it! 😀 We finished up our neighborhood walk and said our goodbyes and it was just in time, too, because it started to downpour! When I got home I got set baking chocolate zucchini bread.


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes



  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, plus more for greasing loaf pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ cups finely shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchinis)
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, 2 tbsp. coconut oil, eggs, applesauce and vanilla extract. Whisk together until well-blended.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine, taking care not to over-stir.
  5. Add the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips and fold into the mixture until well-blended.
  6. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and spread evenly.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest in for 10 minutes. If desired, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I liked healthier options for baking things like this. I would have liked to find one that used less sugar, but 3/4 cup of sugar was the least amount of sugar I was able to find in a recipe. I also love using applesauce in baking recipes! It makes the bread moist and fluffy in my opinion. I actually made 4 mini loaves of bread in my mini loaf pan.

The house smelled amazing as the bread baked! Yum yum. I gave one mini loaf to a friend and I froze two of the loaves for later. I carved into the last one for dessert!


It was SO good. Spongy and moist, slightly sweet but not overly so and just plain delicious. I loved this recipe. It’s a keeper!


Sunday was elliptical and yoga time. Then I came home and got lunch ready for Bella’s foster mom who was coming over for a visit. Lunch was cheese and crackers (smoked gouda and pepper jack), cantaloupe, pasta salad, salami and tomatoes. Then some zucchini bread for dessert.


She brought her dog, Kona, so the two pups could race around the yard and play. It was so cute to watch them! Bella LOVES her mama Jen. She gets so excited and spazzy when she sees her. It’s amazing to watch.




Bella was in HEAVEN. The dogs raced in the yard, Bella had zoomies for hours, she was so freakin’ happy! The dogs played for a few hours, we had lunch and chatted and Jen had some ideas for Bella’s latest issue. Jen has done some dog training courses and she’s seriously like the dog whisperer. We’ll see how things go. We have some good ideas on things to try for Bella.

After they left, Bella sat in the window kind of bummed–missing her buddies. Then I got to making tomato soup from the tomatoes from my garden. First I roasted the tomatoes with onions and garlic. Then I cooked it all down for a few hours. I used this recipe.


I used the recipe as a base. I let the roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally. It thickened up and I used my immersion blender (I LOVE that thing!) to mix everything up until it was smooth and creamy (and didn’t have to remove the skins because it all blended up nicely. I added salt, pepper, seasonings, some vegetable broth, tomato paste and mixed it again. Then added a few pinches of sugar.


Let it simmer a little longer and then put the tomato soup into freezer containers for this winter. I can’t wait to have this soup! When I defrost it I will probably experiment with adding some cream to it and it may need more tomato paste once I reheat it. We’ll see. It tastes good though!



Got two 42 ounce plastic tubs of tomato soup (for freezing) and a small tupperware full for my lunch one day this week. How was your holiday?