Walking, painting, cooking

October 15, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Ack. Time ran out on me today. I got engrossed in the kitchen and lost the afternoon. But, I committed to trying to blog every single day this month, so I’m going to try to bang one out.

This morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school.

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Every day we pass these two guys on the walk to school.

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They go ballistic, running the fence and yapping their heads off. Chewie just sort of smirks at them. I love dachshunds. We like seeing these little dudes every morning, as spastic as they are.

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Chewie gets sad when Mack leaves us to go into school. He has to gaze after him and I have to drag him away in the opposite direction. He and Mack are tight.

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When I got home I made breakfast, but got interrupted by a phone call from my Dad. I sent my parents Vinnie Tortorich’s Fitness Confidential, the Hartwig’s It Starts with Food, and Jimmy Moore’s Cholesterol Clarity. He wanted to talk about it all, which was great. Apparently my Mom is fired up and is already changing her diet. Dad is understandably more skeptical. We’ll see how it goes for them.

So I warmed up my breakfast a half hour later.

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After breakfast I drove out to the beach to help my friend Amy with some painting in their adorable beach cottage. We were painting cabinets, which I’ve never done before.

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I painted this cabinet (this is after two coats):

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I only got one coat on the cabinet doors and drawer fronts before I had to leave.

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I hope I was some help Amy! Mostly I just went over to hang out with her, so that was accomplished.

When I got home I had a surprise in the mail and that’s what killed my afternoon. Melissa Joulwan sent me a copy of her new cookbook, Well Fed 2!!!

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The book is being released on October 22nd and she was nice enough to send me an advance copy for review. If you have been reading my blog the past couple of months, then you know that I LOVE Well Fed.

The new book is thicker than the first one!

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I dove right into the book and all plans I had for the afternoon and for what I was making for dinner just flew out the window. I tore into the book while I ate my lunch.

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I am going to do a longer review of the book in a few days after I play with it a little bit more. But I managed to make four recipes out of it today just with what I already had on hand.

I made kickass ketchup:

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Awesome Sauce:

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Classic Coleslaw:

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and Oven-Fried Salmon Cakes.

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Dinner saw so good.

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The boys thought the cole slaw and salmon cakes were great. Mack literally raved about the salmon cakes. Cal really liked the awesome sauce, but Mack only kind of liked it. I think it might have been a little too garlicky for him. Next time, I’m using a smaller clove of garlic. But Cal and I really liked it just like it was! Both the Awesome Sauce and Cole Slaw utilized homemade mayo, which I already had on hand (also using Melissa Joulwan’s recipe from Well Fed…it’s also in Well Fed 2).

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I can’t wait to make some more things from the new book! I would go ahead and pre-order it if I were you. You can get a free 35-page preview of Well Fed 2…check out Melissa’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl, for more information about that as well as her preview of the book. Ahhhhh, girl-crushing.


One week down

September 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm

So I survived my first week on the Whole30. It’s definitely been easier this time around, probably since I knew what to expect. I also didn’t have headaches or the “carb flu” this time. I had half-heartedly been trying to limit carbs leading up to September, but there were still margaritas and ice cream quite often.

On Sunday (the 1st) the boys and I went to Al Lopez Park to burn off some energy…

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then went to Whole Foods to get stocked up on good stuff.

I started off the week by doing a bunch of food prep. I made homemade breakfast sausage from a recipe in Paleo Comfort Foods.

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I made a batch of Thai meatballs using my own made-up recipe.

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I think planning and food-prep is key to a successful Whole30. There aren’t many “quick” meals on the Whole30 unless you have made things in advance. Carrots and almond butter usually don’t sound very appealing for dinner. If you are going to roast veggies, might as well make enough for a few days.

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I’m not photographing all my Whole30 meals this time around, but for some reason I always want to photograph my breakfasts. They are so beautiful.

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I always think breakfast needs greens. These beautiful beet greens made it into an unphotographed breakfast:

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Chewie and I went for several long walks last week.

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It is still scorching summer here in Florida. So HOT. We have a great 3.5 mile route from our house with a dog park at the turn-around spot where Chewie can get water. The only problem with that is he thinks he should be finished and then tries to stop at every shady spot for the remainder of the walk home. We are both trying to get back into shape.

Chewie was in the dog house one day last week for rolling in cat poop on his morning constitutional.

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Bathing a dog is what I most like to do first thing in the morning on a school day. I was in a great mood that day.

Friday night Chad and I headed out to St. Pete Beach for date night.

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We went to a Yelp event at the Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach, sponsored by Pretzel Crisps.

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We picked up our friends Amy and Brynn on the way there.

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Since I was Whole30’ing it, Amy agreed to try the complimentary cocktail for me. It was a sweet tea vodka lemonade. She said it was pretty good. Thanks for being my test-taster Amy.

They also had a Pretzel Crisps and dip bar…

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and had passed appetizers on Pretzel Crisps.

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Even though I couldn’t eat the Pretzel Crisps, I did pose for a photo with an appetizer so that I could enter the Twitter contest for a door prize.

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And I won! I got a big goody bag full of Pretzel Crisps and coupons for free bags…like a year’s supply of Pretzel Crisps!

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You can’t win if you don’t play! Thanks Pretzel Crisps and Yelp Tampa Bay. It was a fun event. I had fun hanging out with my friends even if I couldn’t eat or drink. I definitely can see us booking a weekend staycation at the Postcard Inn with the boys some time. We liked the funky décor.

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As the event was winding down, our friends had to leave but we met up with another friend for dinner downstairs at the PCI (Postcard Inn) Bar & Grill.

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Chad had the fish tacos which looked amazing.

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I had the baby back ribs with no rub or sauce and collard greens and a tomato/cucumber salad on the side.

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The smoked ribs were great just naked. I avoided the bacon in the collard greens since I’m sure it wasn’t compliant, and really just picked at them. I realized I had collard greens for breakfast and dinner that day. I think this was a pretty great Whole30 dinner at a restaurant. I had a big conversation with the server about everything beforehand, and she was great about answering my questions. I highly suggest asking about naked smoked ribs if eating at a BBQ place and trying to avoid sugar!

Saturday morning my friend Ali and I headed to Brocante Vintage Market, a once a month extravaganza of vintage awesomeness here in St. Pete.

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We went to the first one last month, and were sure to be near the front of the line as the doors opened this time. When I continue with my summer catch-up posts (sorry, not done with those yet), I’ll show you what I got last time.

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We got there about 8:40 and were second in line, although we didn’t realize there would be such a long line this month! This was just the beginning…

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By the time they opened the doors the line stretched down the street. Word is out…this market is fantastic.

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It was crazy chaos, but everyone was having fun.

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I posted that photo above on Facebook…do you know where all those hands came from and what their original purpose was? Don’t cheat.

I was like a magpie drawn to shiny gold and brass this month.

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This mid-century floor lamp was irresistible, even though I wasn’t sure where I wanted to put it. It was just slightly dinged up, but still gorgeous (to me). It worked fine, and at $45 it came home with me.

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Cal took a few photos of me in my pajamas with the lamp in action and Google+ turned it into a GIF. I love that new feature of Google+…it just does it without you even knowing it’s going to do it.


Here’s the other stuff I bought:

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That starburst is part of a vintage clock.

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I liked it because it has a “C” in the middle. Chad and I don’t always agree on home decorating ideas. He liked the floor lamp, but said that the “C” starburst crosses over into the “junk” category. Whatever.

After Brocante Market, Ali and I went by the new Casa di Mazzaro, the new home décor and tea room baby of Mazzaro’s Italian Market.

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They have all kinds of kitchen gadgets and equipment…

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lots of nice-smelling stuff…

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and all sorts of home décor and gifts.

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We also went next door to the market where I found some Whole30 compliant chorizo!

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Ali and I hooked back up later in the afternoon for pedicures. It was a good Saturday.

On Sunday the boys and I went by a sidewalk sale by Buffalo Gals Vintage which recently went out of business. Everything was $4 and Cal scored a tuxedo jacket and a Joker’s mask.

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He has been wanting to go thrifting for a while, so this cardboard-box diving was all for him. Next we went to Haslam’s Bookstore a few blocks further down on Central Avenue.

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Cal needed a copy of Animal Farm for school. I spotted two of my favorite books at the moment…

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We capped off our Sunday with some froyo (for the boys only of course).

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That’s it.

I feel like the Whole30 is a reset for me. It forces me to get back to basics and get back into the kitchen. So far so good. I still need to get back into the habit of daily exercise, and get back to doing some workouts with more intensity. Working on it. Maybe I’ll be more motivated once the weather cools off a little?