Weekend in Review

This was one of those weekends that managed to strike JUST the right balance of fun, productivity, and relaxation. They are rare, but OH how I love them.

Pre-weekend, I presented at a small conference on Friday here in Columbus. Lots of schools from across the state were represented, and we ended the day in a “networking” happy hour. A great start to the weekend, if you ask me.

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Friday night included a nice dinner out to celebrate the end of a crazy week, followed by TV and early bed time. Yep, I’m a dork but IT WAS AWESOME.

I got up early Saturday, knocked out a 3.5 mile run (a big deal for me), as I’m training to do a 10K in early May. The hubs and I went to breakfast, I finally used a groupon to Krema and got a ton of nut butters, and a few other miscellaneous errands. Then I did a bunch of random reorganizing and throwing away of old crafty things and home decorations. Downsize, downsize, downsize.

There might have been a nap, and then some basketball watching with friends. A healthy dinner at home, red crinkle cookies, and an Ohio State loss in basketball, but NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in wrestling. Holla!

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Sunday brought CBS Sunday Morning, coffee, church, lunch, groceries…and since it’s basically spring, I freshened up our living room a little with some new green/grey/blue/yellow potpourri and candles. You like? What did you do this weekend?

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The Adoption Plan

megstermeter:

Because adoption has been on my mind again lately, I am sharing this post I wrote two years ago. I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend ahead!

Originally posted on Megoirs:

I’ve written about adoption a time or two before, but every now and then, it comes back around into my life and I feel the need to share a little more. Today, I was inspired by a friend of a friend (of a friend)’s blog: http://thenewplana.wordpress.com/. They are just beginning the adoption journey, and it got me to thinking…

My friends are starting to have babies. I have friends who had no trouble getting pregnant, and others who struggled for years. I would venture a guess that I have other friends struggling right now who I may not even know about. I cannot imagine how hard it would get, after trying and waiting and trying, to hear about everyone else getting pregnant and doing all the things you only wish you could be doing.

I would also venture a guess that most people our age, in their mid to…

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Yeah, I made a paper chain…

Last year for our belated honeymoon, Jonathan and I took THE MOST AMAZING TRIP to Negril, Jamaica. We loved everything about it, and while part of me feels like maybe we should try other resorts down the road, a much larger part of me just wants to go back here every time we can.IMG_7107

Recently, something beyond exciting has happened. WE BOOKED ANOTHER TRIP TO JAMAICA! And the other night, I felt so moved to create a paper chain countdown out of old magazines to tick away the days until our trip. I’m a nerd. I was procrastinating. I really wanted to do this.

And this time with our friends, John and Lindsey. We will be celebrating a few fun things while there:

1. Jonathan’s 30th birthday

2. Jonathan graduating from grad school

3. Lindsey being accepted to grad school

4. John and Lindsey’s first wedding anniversary

5. Jonathan’s and my second wedding anniversary

6. Hopefully a job for Jonathan?!

Basically, me and John (Lindsey’s husband) are going to be all like “congrats to you guys!” and sitting at the “I don’t have anything to celebrate but my wedding anniversary” table, but it’s allllll good. I cannot wait to share this place with them. The boys can golf. Lindsey and I can lounge and yoga. We all drink the most amazing smoothies anyone has ever had anywhere in any life.

Just 111 more days to go!!

My Favorite Every Day Smoothie

I’ve posted about a few of my favorite protein shakes, but I really do have one go-to that’s my favorite. My base is ALWAYS frozen banana (either a half or whole one), almond milk, and protein powder. Beyond that, the options are endless. But here is my FAVORITE daily one…

And it happens to be green-ish! Just one day after St. Patrick’s. SORRY FOR THE BAD PHOTO. I was trying to get out the door!

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Ingredients:

1/2 banana

1/4 cup blueberries

1 cup spinach

2 slices of pineapple

1 serving protein powder

1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

Directions:

1. Prep first four items in advance by slicing, bagging, and freezing. I make several baggies at once.

2. Combine frozen ingredients with your favorite vanilla or chocolate protein powder plus almond milk.

All of the Green Things

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We had a little shindig over the weekend to celebrate both an early St. Patrick’s Day and the fact that my hubster, and most of his grad school pals, completed their comprehensive exams last week. A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT. Now they just have ot pass all their classes, and they will be good to go!

And in the spirit of St. P’s, I attempted to make as many green-colored foods and drinks as I could. And so I give you, a few of my favorite simple foods with a green twist…

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Green Champagne

A quick tip on green champagne…We put our food color right into the bottle, BUT here’s the thing. I have Americolor food coloring, which is really made to color icings and cakes and cookies and things. It’s more of a paste than a liquid. I recommend using the good ol’ cheap grocery store stuff. The Americolor dropped into the bottle in a few clumps, and with the first pour, looked like the photo above. But by the end of the night, it was completely dark emerald green – the clump of food color had slowly dissolved with all the bubbles!! It was kind of a fun experiment, but seriously. Use the cheap, watery stuff…

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Crinkle Cake Cookies

These cookies are SO GOOD. And I love them because you can make so many varieties.

Ingredients:

1 box cake mix (I used french vanilla)
2 eggs
6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, eggs, and butter. Add food coloring (if you want! Or you can use colored cake. Or anything you want…endless options!). Form into balls and roll in powdered sugar mixture. Coat them good!! Place on baking sheet and cook for 8 minutes. YUM. Add extracts for yummy flavors, too.

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Skinny Taste Spinach and Artichoke Dip

What did we do before skinny taste? I seriously LOVE this spinach and artichoke dip. Made it exactly to recipe, and it is AMAZING. Check out the recipe!!

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Turkey and Zucchini Roll Ups

Couldn’t be easier. Use an apple peeler to make some ribbons of zucchini. Wrap a slice of zucchini, a slice of turkey, a dab of mustard, and a pinch of broccoli slaw all up together, and secure with a toothpick. Healthy! Easy! Green!!

Baked Brie has ALWAYS been my go to party recipe. I made it here and here and used brie another way here. But I haven’t switched it up much over the years. I was in the mood for a good baked brie, and thought long and hard about how to make it St. Patrick’s themed. And then I realized: Green Pepper Jelly! Delicious and green. Also, green apples and pears served for dipping (and wheat thins, but they aren’t pretty or green). I even added a little shamrock on top. OH HEY.

Baked Brie with a shamrock :)

Baked Brie with a shamrock :)

Baked Brie with Green Pepper Jelly

Baked Brie with Green Pepper Jelly

Tidy Mom’s Copycat Tagalong Bars

OH.

EM.

GE.

These are delicious. I should not make things like this and then keep them in my house. All the people: please come eat these!

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So this recipe is from the amazing Tidy Mom, and I made it exactly according to her recipe (found here), so I won’t go into details. I did omit the sea salt on the top, but I think it would have been delicious. I also only took this one photo to put on instagram, whereas Tidy Mom did a gorgeous display…

DOESN’T MATTER because they are amazing. And actually, pretty darn easy. Do not be intimidated by the different steps. Easy peasy! Enjoy!!

Door County in March

Last weekend was my mom’s birthday! As a kid, I always got such a kick out of the fact that her birthday was March 7 and mine was September 7, exactly six months apart, “but different years!” I used to joke. Obvi. Here is my favorite embarrassing photo I’ve posted of her…

Some years we don’t get to celebrate birthdays together, but some years we do! Three years back for a certain special milestone birthday, we made our way to Charleston. We both loved that trip, but due to my mom’s genes, leading to a bad hip, she couldn’t get around as much as she wanted to. Since then, she’s had her hip replaced, I’ve moved to a new state and gotten married, and this was the first trip we’ve had where we could relax, shop, drink wine, and just hang out! The chaos of the last few years seems to have subsided for now.