Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kellie humped a pirate, and other birthday fun

Kellie's birthday was yesterday (happy birthday, love!), and I've gotten into the tradition of planning a day of fun, new, unique experiences for us each year.  I absolutely adore my city & the weirdness of Austin, so yesterday's focus was on quirky Austin experiences.  It was fun to plan, and even more fun to do!

We took lots & lots & lots of pictures.  You're going to enjoy them.  :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Today is a new day

On my morning run today, I hit a major personal milestone, which should NOT have happened, considering I spent the entire day yesterday eating (gorging is more like it) on sugary indulgences, mostly from 7-11.


Yesterday was technically my first day of vacation - thus the free ride I ultimately gave myself to eat whatever sugary treats I wanted yesterday.  But that wasn't *exactly* the plan when I woke up.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What the.....%$@&#!

Ever paid $150 for something with your debit card, only to have the company mistakenly take an extra $3,000 out of your account?  Doh!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another year for my personal March challenge

Hey everyone!  I'm so excited for March!  Wanna know why???!?
  • The weather is always so awesome during March in Austin, and so it marks the start of kayaking season for my wife Kellie and me.  I can't wait to get out on the boats again!
  • It's spring break, which means both Kellie and I have off for 9 days together.  Bring on the fun!
  • I get to spend a long weekend camping with three of my great friends from high school.  It seems we are making this a tradition, and I just can't WAIT for the great conversations & laughs we all have together!  It can't get here soon enough.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A weekend of new adventures....plus a special happy birthday

Whoa!  What a weekend this was.  I didn't really plan it this way, but this weekend ended up being a whirlwind of several "firsts" for me.  I love trying out new things, so this has been a fuuuuun weekend!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Making magic through food in Austin, TX

I live inside my head quite a bit.  And I'm pretty sure it's much, much (MUCH) more than other people do.

I process things, ask myself questions, get angry with things, get over hurts, celebrate little victories, come up with creative ideas, re-live moments of the past, wonder which celebrity will kick the bucket next, think of loved ones I miss, wonder what everyone is doing, plan my day, remodel my kitchen, cook extravagant dinners, climb Kilimanjaro, win both Showcase Showdowns on TPIR, cage fight in Nicaragua (kidding...it would be in Thailand).....and that's all before I break out the Magic Bullet & make my morning smoothie.  :)

photo courtesy of arriving41.tumblr.com

Friday, February 14, 2014

Good wine. Great brownies.

Ahhh, love is in the air today. And it feels good. :) You can't turn your head anywhere today without seeing red hearts & roses everywhere. The grocery story today made me laugh, seeing all the men frantically getting flowers, chocolate, and the ingredients for their cooked-at-home dinner for their beloveds tonight. It was all so cute.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spaghetti Squash & Black Bean Mexican Bowl....plus Banana Wontons for dessert

You see the guy in this picture?





















No, not the one in the colorful headpiece looking like a Hawaiian banana!  (Although keep bananas in mind.  A delicious banana dessert is coming up later.)  The one on the left.  That's my brother-in-law standing with my sister Aimee during their honeymoon in Hawaii.  Well, ex-brother-in-law now.  Let's call him Derrick.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The giraffe who was fed to the lions

It seems people are up in arms about a recent news story about a giraffe who was killed & fed to the lions at a zoo. The facts of the story, as shared by the media, are this. A completely healthy 18-month-old giraffe named Marius was purposely killed with a bolt gun to the head by a Danish zoo for reasons of avoiding inbreeding. The giraffe was then both autopsied & dismembered in front of a live audience of adults & children, and then the dismembered giraffe was fed to the lions, tigers, and leopards in the zoo.

Marius, 2 days before he was killed (photo courtesy of CNN)

Friday, February 7, 2014

What to do with salt & lime when you're out of tequila: crispy, refreshing jicama

If you're ever hankering to do something with leftover salt & lime in your cabinet & you just don't feel like running to the liquor store to get tequila, I've got the perfect solution for you: crispy, refreshing jicama.  :)


Monday, February 3, 2014

Easy Lemon Lentil Soup

One of the best gifts I've gotten from becoming vegan is that I have been (re)introduced to some of the most amazing tastes out there.  Being vegan is, for me, primarily about my health, so along with eating a plant-based diet, I have also given up the vast majority of processed foods.  Once I got away from eating processed foods, it's like my taste buds came alive.  Brussell sprouts?  Omg, delish.  Roasted.  Right out of the oven.  Lightly browned.  Tastes so nutty.  Perfection in a vegetable.  I can't believe I'm actually saying all that.  I have also fallen in love again with blackberries.  My brother, sister, and I used to go pick (and eat) those off the wild vines near my grandfather's house.  I'm "re-delighting" in them now as an adult, & it's been sweet.  :)

One other thing that has gotten my attention lately in the world of plant-based eating is lentils.  Oh, how I love lentils! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Easy Mini Nacho Pizzas

So today begins February, a month of many celebrations.  Valentine's Day probably comes to mind the most.  Love, hearts, and all that commercial stuff.  I'm not a fan of this holiday (one day a year to show your love?  Nah.), but I can appreciate that other people are.  I do like how it (hopefully) reminds people to show their loved one(s) how much they love them, even if it is once a year.

How about Groundhog day?  Better yet, how about the movie, Groundhog Day?  I absolutely loooooove that movie!  Bill Murray is a riot, and his friend Ned kills me every time.  And Andie MacDowell is absolutely adorable in it.  I love the idea of the movie, that we get to live a day over and over and over again until we get it right.  Good feel good movie.  I need to pop that one in the DVD again soon.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Meal plan for the week.....and my 1988 muzak!

Good morning!

What a great day it is today.  It's only 9:15am on this beautiful Friday morning in Austin, and I have already meal planned for our upcoming week, been to both of my regular grocery stores, made a Target run, and now I'm at home blogging to you guys & listening to some jam from 1988.  It doesn't get much better than this.  :)

103.7 Bob FM is both mine & Kellie's favorite radio station, and my favorite thing they do every weekday morning is the "9 at 9."  They play the top 9 songs on this exact week during a particular year.  Today, they are playing one of my favorite years ever, from the year I graduated high school....1988.  Makes me think back & reminisce to where I was in life during this particular week back then.  Let's see, I was:

  • thoroughly enjoying my senior year in high school.  Go Rangers!
  • best friends with Lynette, Carole, and Jay.  These awesome gals were in the Sterling Stars (drill team) with me, and we all had been close friends throughout high school.  We're all still connected through facebook these days, and I really still enjoy them so much.
  • just finished up my last football season as a Sterling Star.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vegan Thai Coconut Lime Soup.....& my Thailand adventures

A decade ago, I spent three weeks on a solo adventure traveling all around Thailand.  It was, it turns out, the vacation of a lifetime for me.  And to think that the reason I chose to go to Thailand was because I loooooove Thai food.

The conversation in my brain at the time went something like this:
"I have some extra time.  And some extra cash.  Where in the world shall I go next?  Let's see.  What kind of food do I adore?  Ooohhh, I love Thai food!  I mean, I'm getting Thai take-out at least once (sometimes 2-3 times) a week.  That Cha-am restaurant down the street in Berkeley is just to die for!  So Thailand it is!"
And off to Thailand I went 6 weeks later.

I had so many adventures and met so many interesting people!  I rode an elephant through the Thai jungle to get to the start of a whitewater rafting adventure (after mountain biking to even get to the elephants).

Starting the elephant adventure

Ahhhh....the Magic Bullet

December is always a great month for me.  In Austin, it's the first sign we get of any real winter, and there's always a feeling of hope for me as the seasons change. I really, really despise cold weather, but even so, I really enjoy those first few (and sometimes only) days of Austin winter.

Then there's the whole holiday thing. I mean, even if you aren't celebrating for religious reasons, it's so easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit. At least I do. Seeing all the lights & decorations & celebrations? I love the feeling of the holidays.

But then best of all .... it's my birthday month!