June’s Eight Great Goals

I know you’re all excited to hear about how my weekend away went, but you’ll have to be patient as we work through establishing June’s Eight Great Goals and tomorrow’s informational and inspiring TED Talk Tuesday.

No song, no dance – let’s just get down to business (mainly because our flight was delayed and I’m running on fumes this morning!)

1. Earlywork only 5 times this month.

Since April 1st I’ve been showing up to work at 6am for more time in my day to get work done, more concentration, more productivity and more output. While I wouldn’t change the progress I made it also lead to less sleep, less patience at home, less carpooling and less balance. I will use up three of these days automatically today, tomorrow and Wednesday – but after that I’m driving in with my baby.

2. Lift Weights.

Whether that means training club classes, in my room after a run or even body weight work (squats, push-ups, lunges, etc) I want to build up some muscle to turn it into a revved up metabolism.

3. Call (actually call) Friends and Family.

I have an aversion to making phone calls and I need to get past it. There’s something about awkward silence that makes me feel socially inadequate and I’d like to change that. I’ve really changed my relationships in business by being fearless over the phone and I could transfer that to my personal life.

4. Meal Schedule.

Last weekend’s purposeful food prep for a Dan-free week got me excited about having a breakfast, lunch and dinner already figured out without having to consult my partner. Two can still play that game, and the way we can synchronize is by planning together.

5. Wait For Dinner.

A horrible habit of mine is to get home and immediately open all the cupboards, drawers and fridge. Terribly impatient for dinner, I mindlessly put away 100-200 worthless calories that would be better served through fro-yo after dinner or a soothing glass of wine while writing my blog.

6. Daily Doubles.

This goal and goal #2 go hand in hand, as I’ll finish a long 5-10 mile run and no longer have the need to do additional activity through the day. It’s okay to work out twice in one day and will encourage that second session of the day to be strength or balance focused.

7. Schedule Time Off.

Enough said. I’ve earned it.

8. Eat Lunch Away From My Desk.

Eating lunch at my desk is an activity I’ve become used to. Easy and productive aren’t good enough reasons to find myself wolfing down a salad, fitting more than I can into my mouth and allowing my grilled chicken to get cold while my lettuce becomes room temperature. I’m going to grab my Tupperware and head out onto the patio this month. Watch me!

Come back tomorrow for a TED talk about something Dan and I did way too much yesterday travelling across the country.

heart JE

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Weekend Prep Returns

Even though I’ve been quiet about my weekend food prep it’s still been going on.

For you new faces around here, I recommend that you check out the archives:

Take the Time: Meal Prep and Weekend Food Prep will give you an idea of what usually goes on in my home on the weekends.

Lately however, food prep begins with a sweet and gentle, “Dan, can you please please please grill some chicken and salmon burgers? I bought lettuce yesterday.”

From there, he jumps out of his seat if there’s no sports on TV and heats up our extra convenient grill. He’s finished in under 45 minutes, has protein ready for the week and all I have to do is chop the lettuce, squirt the sriracha and make sure the avocados are ripe enough for bliss at work the next day.

Okay, so I know that arrangement sounds unfair and I’m working on it, but this weekend since he wasn’t home I had to take meal prep back to my top standards and make a mini-production out of it. It was especially fun this weekend because I didn’t even have to go grocery shopping!

1. Egg ‘pancakes’:

Nothing involving pancakes goes into cooking up these eggs, just the shape the finished product ends up being after a quick 90 seconds in the pan. At work I can pop these into the microwave, add spices or 1/2 of an avocado and voila – protein made easy.

2. Tempeh, Lentils, Avocado, Sriracha Salad

Here’s where I get to use the other half of the morning avocado and also get to watch all my co-workers turn their heads to see what the amazing smell is that’s coming from my area.

Tempeh is a protein powerhouse so it’s no wonder that I love to include it in my meals wherever I can. What you see below is 4 servings worth of the good stuff, and I can pre-portion it into my convenient tupperware for the whole week – each day’s ration alongside 1/2 cup of wonderful Trader Joe’s Lentils.

I pop the lentil / tempeh / sriracha mix into the microwave for 35 seconds and have a clean and filling meal ready to be instagrammed and devoured.

3. Sweet Potato + Quinoa Stir Fry

This one’s for dinner every night this week.

Sweet potato, Quinoa, Jalapeno peppers, black beans, grilled chicken and a dash of love make this the perfect ‘comfort meal’ after the long days of work I’ve been experiencing. 

The recipe is here and you’ll find the peeled thin potato slices to be the perfect texture and just the right size for cooking without extra time or effort.

Have you ever done your food prep on the weekends? What are your favorite easy fixes for a whole week of quality meals?

heart JE

Mother’s Weekend

In case you missed it, last week’s Throwback Thursday was all about my wonderful mother.

Today, we’re going to talk about Mother’s Day weekend and the wonderful time that Dan and I spent with the family.

First of all, I think something that captures my mom’s loving personality is an update she posted to Facebook on mother’s day:

She truly feels that her greatest accomplishment has been motherhood – which makes me all the more excited about how she will embrace being a grandmother.

NOT a hint – sorry friends, you’re welcome Dan

Back to Mom’s special day!

Sunday morning I set out for a nine mile run while Dan called his mom and thanked her for everything she’s done as a mother. I got back home and he was mid-call with his dad, and I couldn’t even recognize his voice. He was so far into sports-mode that I thought there was a Sportscenter announcer sitting in our media room. Boy’s got another calling.

After cleaning up a little, we drove 20 minutes away with latte’s for all of us in hand. We arrived to crazy puppy town and got the girls all hyped up before taking them on a boardwalk park walk while learning that Tiger Woods won yet again – Go Tiger!

These girls walked so well through the park and had nothing but smiles on their sweet little mugs. It’s evident how much mom and dad both love these little girls – they are the luckiest puppies around!

We made it back from the walk and a gourmet meal was cooked up in no time! Our favorite mix of grilled chicken and sweet potato fries can make any meal whole – but even better and not pictured were the accompanying lettuce, salsa, greek yogurt and sisters snoozing at our feet.

The evening turned risky when we pulled out the crude card game (that I absolutely love): Cards Against Humanity

This past week the game with two expansion sets arrived on mom and dad’s doorstep from brother Matt – and Dan and I were the lucky ones to test the waters with the parents.

I knew they’d warm up to the game after a while, but didn’t realize that my dad would be responsible for some of the most hilarious, raunchy and blush-worthy combinations of cards I’d ever witnessed. After I saw some of the hands mom and dad were playing, Dan and I loosened up and actually played the same way we would have if we were surrounded by a group of peers. It was bliss.

Laughing until we cried, snorting, avoiding eye-contact; all indicators of a great time with the parents. Can’t wait until Matt comes home and gets to join in on the fun!

What a wonderful day with mom, dad, the sisters and the comfort of home.

heart JE

Week 18: Cohabitation

I’m so happy that Dan and I headed to the coast last weekend because we really haven’t seen much of each other this week. We’ve both been so busy that when we do see each other it’s dinner time, it’s get-ready time or it’s ‘dont-bother-me-i’m-blogging-time’. Rough life

Before we get started with the week – check out the Bad Lip Reading for The AMC’s The Walking Dead

…Dan says that’s me at 2:45

Back at it –

House chores have fallen by the wayside and just yesterday we sorted week old mail into three important piles. The yours, mine, and ‘how do we stop getting this…’ piles are still sitting on the dining room table, but at least they’ve been sorted. Third time was a charm on loading / running the dishwasher as well. Soap was in, racks were loaded, but somehow there was no urgency in actually running the thing. Lastly, you know it’s bad when you decide to just buy more athletic wear to stretch out the frequency of laundry loads rather than just find the time. Love the new sports bras though!

Enough about what we’re doing wrong! How about what we’ve done right this week! Food related, obvi

1. Avocado + Sriracha Toast at the Coast

2. Costco trip turned into a belated Happy Birthday cake

3. Cinco de Mayo guacamole prep – yum! 

4. Post dinner-date with Brad and Brooke led us to ice cream

Dan wanted to make sure that I shared some of the cuteness from this weekend. Bella is an excellent snuggle-bug and my handsome Daniel was happy to take a nap on a hot day. Daniel is a favorite among the two golden sisters, they find it hard to leave his side when he’s around.

Can you even believe that he and I have lived together for 18 weeks? I can’t – it feels like much longer than that and I am so thrilled to call this house a home.

Enjoy your weekend and hug/call/cherish your mother!

heart JE

Grill Time

A heat wave has hit Portland this past week and is honestly the warmest streak I can remember ever coming through our city this early in the Spring.

With arrival of the beautiful weather also comes a constant need for sunglasses, increased time spent outside in the evenings and naturally the inclination to invite some friends over and fire up your grill.

I am very fortunate to have grill-master Dan by my side who loves to put grill lines on anything and everything – but sometimes we can fall into a rut of doing the same thing over and over – like grilled chicken, burgers, veggies in tin-foil, etc.

This summer we are planning to step up our grill game and I wanted to share some recipes from Pinterest and other blogs that I’m dying to try out.

My hope is that you can find something you’d like to try too – and maybe share some of your own or your favorite recipes with me!

1. Pineapple Mango Tropical Chicken Skewers

2. Grilled Focaccia Bread

3. Jerk Chicken & Grilled Pineapple Salsa

4. Grilled Zucchini

Sorry, I know – I’m drooling too.

Happy grilling!

heart JE

Throwback Thursday: ¡Olé!

We made it to Thursday – ¡Olé!

Today has me thinking about how close we are to a holiday that is very near and dear to my heart: Cinco de Mayo

What’s not to love about celebratory margaritas, chips, salsa, guacamole and other traditional cuisine not Taco Bell, Dan!.

I know that whenever I don’t want to put dinner on the table the first restaurants that come to mind serve chips by the basket, keep the salsa coming and have eclectic flare and mariachi bands. Seriously – my salsa to chip ratio is 2:1, I have plenty of tomato stains to prove it.

Lately around the house we’ve been mashing avocados, chopping onions and chilling that guac like we’ve never tasted something so decadent! I’m looking forward to maybe putting together my first shot at making Sangria this weekend. Who knows, maybe I’ll share!

Sorry for the shorty post – today is going to be one of the busier days of the whole month with quite a lot of pressure on the little girl below’s shoulders.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a little girl who has always been chasing the sun with a smile on her face, sombrero and all.

¡Olé!

heart JE

April Summary

Whoa – reality check, it’s still technically April? I think we’ve got some confusion around here, the weather has been gorgeous in Portland and that’s not normally until June July if we’re lucky.

Really though, with the change of seasons, my work focus being on the month of May and all that has gone on in my world it’s difficult to face that tomorrow is the 1st of May. No complaints, just level setting with my mind because so much has happened this month.

April to me meant change, maturity and responsibility at work. It brought overwhelming success and pride that I’ll never forget. It propelled me into overshooting my running goal of 100 miles by 16 miles – which is unheard of during such a busy month. 

I’m looking back to my April’s Eight Great Goals and I seriously missed the mark on 6 of 8. I didn’t think reasonably what craziness the month would bring and sadly there were a few things that were out of my control and even out of my scope of importance. Where we did have amazing success was with limiting latte intake – I am looking forward to keeping that in mind in the months that follow.

Even though I’m managing through falling under the line, we still had a great month and plenty of wonderful memories to show for it!

Yummy Eats

So much amazing food was enjoyed this month from date nights to weekend food prep:

Torta-Landia

Sweet Potato + Quinoa Stir Fry

Saburo’s

Work Related

I realize that I talked a lot about work this month, and really because I spend most of my day living and breathing my work with so many positive things to show for it.

I’ve promised Dan and everyone in my life that the craziness will be over starting once the fourth quarter is over – which means another month!

Still there were some good posts that came out of the craziness and want a collection of them here:

Under the Bridge

How High?

Desk Love

Keep Running

Running Love

I got after so many miles this month and it really impacted my happiness.

I knew that running was more than just about meeting my goal when I was lacing up after 8pm at night, or logging ten milers even after hitting my goal. The weather has been so warm I’ve even been breaking a sweat early on in the run, and there’s no better feeling.

Running for Days

30 Mile Weekend

Countdown: Tough Mudder

My Handsome Daniel

The one person who got the least of me this month was my wonderful boyfriend. We stopped carpooling due to my schedule, we only went on two runs together, he had a golf tournament that I didn’t make it to and he did nothing but try to fix the world and make things easier on my life. He’s my everything and I’m so thankful he’s in love with me.

Week 14 Cohabitation

Week 15 Cohabitation

heart JE