Hoppy Birthday

On Saturday night we had Michael’s mom and stepdad over for her birthday dinner. I opened a bottle of the Stoller Chardonnay and I prepped a little bit of the veggies while Michael prepped the chicken.

I found this recipe.


The recipe needed a little tweaking, which we figured out after the fact. But I think it’s a good idea. The execution was just a little off.

What attracted me to the recipe was that it sounded refreshing and good for a spring dinner. The asparagus was great and I loved the zucchini in it, too.

Michael marinated the chicken thighs in the lemon juice/garlic/herb mix. Then he cooked the thighs in the skillet, then put everything in the Dutch Oven and baked it. I still don’t understand how this recipe was “Greek”??

The flavors were all great. But like I said at the start, the recipe needs to be changed. First, we’d cook the chicken entirely in the skillet (like usually do). Doing it in the skillet then the oven made the skin not crispy–which is the best part. The veggies were good in the oven, but the cook time in the recipe for the oven portion was not correct, either. We had to bake it longer.Β So next time, all skillet!

Dessert was Baskin Robbins ice cream! Yum.

On Sunday I went swimming and took care of some stuff around the house and then Michael and I got to have a little afternoon date. A friend had offered to babysit for us and we finally were able to take her up on it!

We got pedicures first. It was nice to just relax back in the massage chair and be pampered. Michael commented that he didn’t understand why more men didn’t do this because it’s a luxurious, relaxing experience. I laughed and said I know. It’s not really about getting your nails done! πŸ˜‰

Then we went to happy hour for dinner at Hop Jacks in Happy Valley.

We’d never been before but I’ve seen it a million times on our way home from Mount Hood and was curious. They bragged about the coldest beer in town. Michael got a Long Island Iced Tea (what?!?) because he hadn’t had one in years. (I think it’s been at least 15 years for me.) and I got a Boneyard RPM and yes–it was very cold!

We got some nachos and queso for dinner. It was pretty good! The place felt kinda like a Red Robin I guess? We got there about 4:30 and it wasn’t very crowded but by the time we left an hour later it was packed with a line out the door. They have happy hour every day from 4-6.

It was a nice way to unwind after a busy weekend!

A Girl Night and Some Reader Questions

Last night was a pretty good one for me. I met my friend Robyn at the mall for pedicures. Β With all the stressful stuff that’s been going on lately it was a much needed Girl Night.

The last pedicure I got was a few weeks before Hood to Coast and running 17 miles pretty much trashed my nails. This timeΒ I got purple. πŸ™‚

After that Robyn came over and I fixed dinner. The plan was brown rice and salmon. I asked Michael to take the salmon out of the freezer while we were getting pedicures. Turns out we were out of salmon. Yikes! We almost never not have salmon on hand. Change of plans…I stopped at the store and picked up a rotisserie chicken instead.

Robyn brought over salad fixings.

It was so nice hanging out and having some girl time. I also had a nice surprise waiting for me when I got home. If you remember last week I mentioned I’d be doing a product review for CSN stores. Check out what I ordered!

A waffle maker!! Oh my god I am so excited. πŸ™‚

This weekend Michael and I will be making waffles. Yippee!

On another note,Β I’ve gotten some really good questions and emails from readers lately.

Beth emailed me and asked: Β “I just recently started reading your blog and noticed the cute greenΒ Polar watch you where when exercising.Β I love green and your watch seems like just what I need to monitor myΒ stats when exercising. I tried to find it online, but failed. Can youΒ please tell me more about the watch, and where I can get one?”

I have the Polar Heart Rate Monitor, model F6. I love having it. It really changed how I workout. It especially changed how I run! With the HRM I learned how to pace myself and run within my optimal zone.

It’s easy to use. Here is a quick guide: Once you enter your pertinent info (age, sex, weight) it calculates how many calories you burn. In the above photo the 623 are the calories. The 143 is the heart rate. The little heart underneath the 143 means you are working out in your target zone. If you work out too hard, a little arrow points downward saying to slow down. If you’re not working hard enough, an arrow points upward.

It was given to me as a birthday gift a few years ago but I know it runs about $100 depending on the model. My HRM does NOT calculate mileage–the only downside. It also can be worn in the water. I wear it swimming once in awhile.

Esther asked: “I am curious, do you do that same lifting routine every day? Or do you do some like, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the rest on the other says? I only ask because I personally was advised against working the same areas every day simply because I needed to give those areas time to rest.”

Good question! No, I don’t lift weights every day. I lift weights 2 or 3 days a week only and I split it up. For example, this week my schedule is:

Sunday – Swim

Monday – Weights

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Weights

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday – Swim

Saturday – Weights

I definitely cannot lift weights every day. I’m not as sore after weight lifting like when I first started a month ago, but I’m definitely all for giving my muscles a rest. πŸ™‚

QUESTION: When you’re in need of a Girl Night (or Boy’s Night) what do you usually do?