Friday Links to Love

Hey guys, did you hear that you can now capture and share mini-videos on instagram? R.I.P Vine.

I hope this doesn’t mean that my 45 minutes I currently spend on insta will turn into an hour to view all of the clips. I also hope I don’t try to be all artsy or cute with the new capabilities. I’m just getting used to text and arrows on my photos!

This week has been a long one. From delivering some bad news in a meeting yesterday to continually adding work to my desk, I’ve pretty much had all I can take. 

You’re in luck though, because that means I got all of these links for you!

Go on, you can be excited!

– 15 Cartoon Characters with beauty tips to borrow

– This is how I’ve been tying my shoes since I was 10, you’ve been doing it wrong your whole life!

Mobility & Functional Human Monvement (fascinating!)

16 pet photos that belong in a museum

– The Minnesota Twins’ ball boy makes a beautiful life-saving catch

– Want to improve yourself? Have a Freaking Goal!

– 30 Minute Cardio Interval Workout

Have an amazing weekend, all!

heart JE

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Weekend Links: Tough Mudder Style

Tuesday morning those of us who are participating in the 2013 Oregon Tough Mudder received this photo with a friendly reminder to not worry because “if you’re scared…… you can pee yourself. Everyone knows you can’t see pee in the mud.”

Thanks Big Mudder!

This will be my second Tough Mudder event and I’ll be joining my wonderful friends Brooke and her man friend Brad, while dragging Dan along for the torture fun!

In the words of Big Mudder, the vents are “hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”

I will promise to do my best, but can see something like this happening when I go to grab the monkey bars.

Last time Brooke went Beast-Mode on the same monkey bars and I am looking forward to being inspired by her once again.

Enough from me, here’s the links!

Wish us luck, last time I came home bruised from head to toe!

 

heart JE

Catching Z’s

This weekend was what every weekend should be.

On Friday Dan and I were able to escape the West side at 4:15pm and we headed straight to the restaurant we go to as a reward if we make it home before 6pm. This restaurant isn’t necessarily our ‘favorite’, but it’s a checkpoint for whether we suck at life or if we have a good work-life balance. Most days we don’t make it home before 6pm and since that’s when happy hour ends we use it as our benchmark. We haven’t been able to make it for a few months so I’d say we are failing, but it makes the reward SO worth it when we’re good.

What’s the reward? Margarita’s for $2.45!

But what’s even better than happy hour after a long week’s work? The sleep that comes after filling yourself with tortilla chips and margaritas.

Dan and I, no joke, were in our pajamas and sawing logs by 6:15 pm on Friday night. You’d think we would have woken up at some weird time and couldn’t fall back to sleep, but no – we slept all the way until the morning. It was THE best Friday I’ve had in a long time. I wasn’t even mad that I broke my Fuelband streak, the rest was unbeatable.

Dan had to wake up early on Saturday {sucker!} for a double-work day, but I made the most of the empty bed and slept until 9:30 before heading out for a 9 mile run.

After the run any guesses what I did? I napped. For four hours.

The rest I needed this weekend was long overdue and Dan agrees that we need to spend more time dreaming about bunnies than stressing over spreadsheets.

Of course I didn’t just lay around, I had to catch up on a few runs to get to my 33 miles by June 10th checkpoint.

Running Stats:

  • Saturday: 9 Miles
  • Sunday: 9 Miles
  • Monday at 4:15am : 5 Miles

I happily wore no makeup this weekend, had the first samples of the raspberries growing in our backyard, prepped my meals for the week and pre-wrote a few posts for you. Nothing like productivity to start the week off on the right foot.

Even better was having the two golden sisters over to visit Sunday night.

What did you do this weekend? I can’t wait to hear about it!

heart JE

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

Bachelorette Weekend

Dan left for Chicago on Saturday and since I dropped him at the airport it’s been a beautiful bachelorette weekend.

I do miss him dearly and the three terrifying motion alarms in the middle of the night didn’t give me much opportunity to rest, but the waking hours are exactly the way I’d draw up the perfect three day weekend.

Hours at my beloved neighborhood coffee shop, Lumineer’s Pandora station filling the house, no shame walking out of the house in my glasses, chambray + leggings + lace up boots…basically I turned into a hipster overnight.

Other musings included:

  • My monthly 90 minute massage to get all the running and weight lifting kinks out
  • Sleeping in until 11:30 – which is unheard of.
  • More running to get to my 100 miles for the month (only 4 remaining!)
  • Delicious recovery meal of Dave’s Killer Bread, 2 Eggs, 1/2 Avocado, Sriracha and Pepper {below}
  • A refreshing strawberrita or two while catching up on weekend reading
  • Finally watched Silver Linings Playbook – since Dan didn’t exactly want to see it

It also looks like I have developed a signature pose with my coffee, head tilt and eye position. Help us all.

I’m going to take advantage of the 90% rain forecast here in Portland and continue to pamper myself with a facial, a bubble bath and maybe even a manicure if I’m feeling wild.

I finally see the finish line at work for the end of the fiscal year and I can’t be stopped now!

Carpe Diem, friends!

heart JE

Weekend Blog Makeover

Do you notice some changes around here?

I finally had some down time this weekend while Dan was volunteering with Caddies 4 Cure as a driver for the celebrity guests Rough life, Dan. I could have spent my time working, cleaning, shopping, playing, running (17 miles wasn’t enough, Jessi?) but instead I devoted a good amount of time cleaning up my blog image.

What exactly does that mean?

I love the clean and simple themes I see daily from Brooke, Meghan, Justine, Jenni so I shopped around and even considered spending some money – but concluded that I’d find one that worked for me. Nailed it.

The font, the clean background, the date stamp, the banner – all of it. Okay, maybe not the pink accents – but it was Free. When it was all said and done, I was thrilled with the aesthetic, but felt a little like I’d put lipstick on a pig. Like I got my hair cut and colored but hadn’t paid my eyebrows any attention for weeks yeesh.

  • My pages (top bar in black) hadn’t been updated since February.
  • I had no organization or reason behind my Categories
  • The Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and social media links were amateur at best.
  • The formatting was all. over. the. place.

I kicked my slippered feet up, grabbed a hot cup of coffee and got to work.

My Action Plan:

I re-named and created new categories so that posts could be labeled for easy searching.

I revisited every. single. post. that I’ve ever written on this blog and did two main things:

  1. Justified the Text (important, fellow Bloggers!)
  2. Re-Assigned the Categories that made sense (What the heck was ‘Day to Day’ supposed to help anyone find?)

Looking back to every post made me realize some of the amazing things I’ve shared on here over the last year and how I can be a better blogger going forward. Thanks for never criticizing, being an amazing community and having patience as I develop my space here on the internet.

Ahhh – Clarity.

The unfortunate part of working on my blog all weekend was that it was an afterthought to write a post for Monday.

Oh you mean I just wrote it? Solid.

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