Feb 162015
 

Michael and I got home from work right before Valentine’s Day to find a bunch of goodies left for us on our kitchen counter! A big brown bag with tissue paper and then two small gift bags:

vday

Our dog walker had made up some Valentine’s gifts for her clients! It was such a nice surprise. I opened it up and there were treats for the kitties (homemade catnip toys), liver treats for Bella, some tennis balls for Bella (her new favorite toy), some chocolate for us and some other goodies for the beasts!

vday1

vday3

Plus there was this GORGEOUS watercolor painting of Bella! The painting was actually a belated wedding gift and it was a painting from a photo that Amy took of Bella on one of her visits. The painting is so incredible! I had a huge smile on my face all night and I absolutely LOVED it.

vday2

I immediately hung the Bella portrait next to the other amazing art we got as a wedding gift from a friend. We are slowly decorating our house with art work but it’s definitely unfinished. Most of it will be taken down at some point when we finish the remodel (especially in the kitchen). Once the remodel is done I’ll figure out a better way to display all our amazing stuff.

Bella also got a homemade bandanna from Amy. How cute is my little Love Bug?

vday4

Haha, she doesn’t look too amused but she is really good at holding still while mama takes photos. She’s used to it (my Instagram is basically just animal pictures). Anyways. After we unwrapped our Valentine’s gifts, we got dressed for a run. This time we took Bella!

run3
Since we had Bella with us on our run, we couldn’t go to the neighborhood school track. Instead we did the nearby street near our house that is currently empty. They are building a bunch of houses there, apparently, but we haven’t seen any construction happening in months so who knows. It’s about a mile long loop and it’s been our new walking loop with Bella for awhile now. It’s nice because there’s rarely anyone over there.

run6

We didn’t run for a long time for a number of reasons. 1) It gets dark earlier still. 2) Bella is “out of practice” running and I didn’t want her to do too much on the pavement too soon and hurt her paws. 3) Michael is new to running so he doesn’t need to injure himself. 4) My body is used to treadmill running so I need to ease back into street running.

run5

We did the neighborhood loop twice and then headed back to the house when it started to get darker. We hadn’t been out for a super long time so I wanted to get a little more of a workout in. I did a short kettle bell workout in our living room while I watched Downton Abbey. Nice combo, huh?

kb1

Bella sat on the rug by the door and watched me swing kettle bells for 15 minutes, I did some ab work and then finished up with some stretches.

run7

The calories were a little low for me but it was better then going to the gym and spending an hour on the hamster wheel. I got to be with Michael and Bella and get outside. It was nice.

Valentine’s Day

To celebrate Michael and I went out Friday night (instead of Valentine’s Day) to Grain and Gristle in NE Portland. I’d never heard of it before but it came up on a search for new restaurants and the reviews were really good so I wanted to try it. We got there around 6pm and the place was already packed. The wait for a table wasn’t too long, though. We got an intimate table and ordered drinks. Michael got an Old Fashioned and thought it was really good. I had a sip and it was tasty (and I’m not a whiskey fan).

IMG_6937

I ended up getting a Bloody Mary and it was okay. Not the best one I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some really good ones before). They had a special  “for two” that sounded really good (pork with polenta and braised leeks) and we almost got that. I LOVE polenta and it just sounded so tasty. Plus it was a good deal–lots of food and 2 beers.

IMG_6933
In the end we both ordered the burgers because they sounded so great. And boy were they! They were so good we both said the burger makes our top 5 list for Portland burgers. It came with homemade pickles, aioli sauce, bacon. I got the salad with it and Michael got onion rings, which were the skinny shoe-string style. They were so great. Man, the food was spectacular! I got the Brussels Sprouts as a side and loved them. They were charred and just perfect. Still thinking about that meal, days later…yum!

IMG_6936
My only complaint about the place was that the service was SO SLOW. It took forever to get our drinks. We waited for a really long time for the food. I get that it was a Friday night and it was crowded but it was abnormally slow compared to other restaurants we’ve been to. The food came out just as I was getting to the “this is making me grumpy, I am not a fan of this restaurant” phase. And of course, once the food arrived and it was so delicious, those irritated thoughts disappeared.

After dinner we ended up going to IKEA to pick of a part we’d ordered for the kitchen and pick up a few other things we needed (I needed some soap bottles, a lamp for the spare bedroom, a picture frame). The restaurant was so close to IKEA we figured, why not? And it wasn’t insanely crowded either so that was nice. Michael ended up getting a nightstand like the one we got for me a few weeks ago. There might have been some shenanigans going on in IKEA with the carts… ;)

IMG_6939

On Valentine’s Day we decided to go for a hike and invited some friends to come along. Sadly one of the kids got sick so our friend had to stay home with them but Michael’s friend Dave was still able to come and he brought his adorable 2 year old son. We went over to Saltzman Road again because we figured it would be a good hike with a 2 year old. Dave ended up putting his son in a backpack though, but either way a little one could have done it.

IMG_6942

IMG_6943

It was such a nice day out! Sunny and mid-60’s. So we ended up doing a little more mileage than planned 5.22 miles roundtrip! It was just such a nice day out, the trail wasn’t too crowded and we were all feeling pretty good. The trail is a gradual grade uphill but it’s never TOO strenuous that you feel like your heart is going to pound out of your chest. Hopefully the whole family can join us next time!

IMG_6944

So 5.22 miles hiked, 505 calories burned in just under 2 hours. We were all tired out I think. Bella slept on the way home. We gave her a bath, Michael put together his new IKEA nightstand and I spent the rest of the day doing chores and errands. It was a nice little holiday!

Share
Feb 042015
 

Monday was supposed to be a rest day for me. On the way home from work Michael mentioned that he might go for a run. What? Go for a run?! He’s not a runner! He ran with me in Hawaii on our honeymoon, which was amazing and one of my favorite honeymoon memories, but it’s never his first choice activity.

The rain had started, and will most likely keep going until summer at this point. No joke, the rain starts in February and ends around July 5th. I hate the rain. But Monday night the rain had stopped, the sun was out, the weather was nearing 60 degrees. Plus, the evenings are lighter again so by the time we got home from work the sun was still out! I decided to switch my rest day to Tuesday and go for a run/walk with my husband instead!

We decided to put the dog/baby gate thing back up in the hallway (which I was a little bummed about because I was enjoying our super big hallway sans gate since we took it down awhile ago) because we wanted to experiment with leaving Bella out to free-roam the house. We were only going to be gone for about 30-45 minutes tops so I figured it was a good time for her first try.

track1

We walked/jogged down to the neighborhood track and happily found it empty. We started out at a slow jog/run as we warmed up. Here is Michael turning on all his gadgets before we got started running:

track2
It was really nice that we could run together. It’s something I love to do and it makes me excited that Michael may want to get into it. He said he wants to diversify his fitness this year. That’s his goal. He bikes to work, does kettlebell workouts at home and that’s it. I think the more cross-training someone can do the better. Use different muscles! Move your body in new ways. The only downside to having a really diverse fitness routine is that you never get REALLY GOOD at one thing. But the upside outweighs that I think. Neither of us are striving to be Olympic athletes…

track4
Since Michael isn’t a runner, we did a lot of walking. The routine we got down was running the straights and then walking the curves of the track. I think that was a good thing for a newbie runner. I think Michael did about a mile and a half. Then I did some running on my own while he walked the track. Finally, I remembered that Bella was running free and loose in the house and started to get some anxiety about that so we turned back and walked back to the house.

track3We did about 2.5 miles total (including the walk to and from the track). We got back to the house, the sun had set and it was getting dark by this time, and Bella was sitting pretty in the window waiting for us! She saw us and then took off, running through the house to greet us at the door. She hopped and jumped around all excited (and spazzy) and then flopped down on the floor for belly rubs.

track6

Next, review the house. I took a minute to look around and see if she got into anything. Thankfully she didn’t! I think she sat at the window waiting for us the whole time! No mischief like the first time she was left out, or the second time when I got home after she’d been left out and she had destroyed the living room….

I was so proud of my girl! She’s growing up. She’s getting more mature and well-behaved. I think we’ll continue to let her roam free for periodic errands we have to run, etc. The gate is back up so that the cats have a chance to run away and hide if things get stressful for them. I don’t think Bella really bugs them but you never know. My number one concern is keeping the cats safe from a curious and frisky puppy.

bell1
I took Bella for a walk in the neighborhood, although it was now really dark out. We didn’t walk a ton, but a little bit and I used that as my “cool down” from the run. I ran about 2.5 miles total but with the walk it came to 2.93 miles total.

track5

It was a nice run and I was glad I changed my rest day so we could run together and enjoy the nice winter evening. Anytime I can get a workout in without having to go to the busy, crowded gym is a good a time! My knees felt good and I was a little sore the next day but it wasn’t too bad. Michael seems to be doing well, too. Hopefully we can run again in the future!

Share