The Lady and Sons {a.k.a. find Paula}

Last week, I got to travel to Savannah for work. Having never been there before, I made sure to research and plan out my free time in advance. I knew I wanted some of that good southern cooking, and I really wanted to see all the weeping willows and old buildings and all that good stuff! And what better place to start than Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons?

Honestly, I sort of expected it to be only so-so. I mean, don’t you think that somehwere as hyped up as “Paula Deen’s Restaurant” can’t really live up to expectations? Well, let’s just say my inner southern fat kid was NOT disappointed. I got the buffet (partly because I was indecisive and partly because it was one of the cheapest menu choices, and I’m on a limited per diem over here), which included, among other things, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn bread, greens, green beans, and mac & cheese. First plate was as follows: chicken, greens, a little pork, and a little cornbread. I told myself, “This isn’t SO unhealthy.” And when I finished, I was full. And I sat a little while longer. Thinking about mac and cheese.

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And so I may or may not have gone back to the buffet to make a small “dessert” plate of mac & cheese and sweet potatoes.

At that point, I became uncomfortably full. But whatever, it was worth it.

The restaurant itself was really pretty, and much bigger than it looked. Being a loner, I asked for bar seating which was all the way up on the third floor, down a random hallway, to it’s own little room. It was cozy, however as the photo below implies, I was definitely alone at the bar. Thankfully, with all the traveling I do, I don’t really mind riding solo. It makes me, like, mysterious or something, right?

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ALL of this to say, if you find yourself in Savannah, GA, do not be intimidated by the Paula. Go there! I didn’t get to see Paula herself, but the food definitely lived up to her reputation. Cheers!

 

A Soccer Breakfast {Followed By Napping}

Recently, my husband (and I, of course) has decided to become an Everton (a team in EPL soccer) fan. Because these games are played in EUROPE, they are often very early in Eastern time. Well this Sunday was a BIG one – 7:00 a.m. EST vs. Manchester United. So yes – we were up early and making a delicious breakfast for two, including scrambled eggs, bacon, and bagels with lox. I mean, YUM. Needless to say, we had fun but went back to bed…

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Fall Favorites {Round Up}

It’s October now, and starting to really feel like fall here in Ohio. I can’t say I’m looking forward to THE-SEASON-THAT-SHALL-NOT-BE-NAMED, which comes after fall and rhymes with “splinter,” but I still really LOVE fall. And now that I’ve had this lovely little blog going for over six years, I’ve shared a number of fall crafts, food, and festivites along the way. Here’s a little round up of some favorites!

Crafties

Last fall, mama B visited in October and helped me deck out the house a little with some sweet decor, which I recently pulled out of the basement to use again. LOVE IT.

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A few years ago, I bought little pumpkins at the Nashville farmers market and came up with a few new centerpieces. I need to do this again!!

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Last year, this sweet little argyle wreath was inspired by my husband’s late grandmother’s fabrics. She quilted all the time, and my mother-in-law gave me a stack of these pretty squares. I used a few on this wreath, and still can’t decide how to use the rest!

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Pumpkin and Squash Treats

SO MANY!! My favorites are:

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake and Protein Bars

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hersheys Kiss Acorns

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup

Festivities and Photos

One of my FAVORITE fall festivities is the Wine and Harvest fest in my little hometown. Best part? The Pumpkin Race! Literally, a few people get into giant pumpkin boats and race across the river. It’s awesome.

Pumpkin Regatta

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, of course, and I love decorating our pretty table. Another wonderful part of fall!

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So that’s it. I love me some fall. A few years ago I took a photography class with my 35mm camera (not digital!) and took random photos all over the place. This one of a paper pumpkin is still one of my favorites. Happy Fall, Y’all!!

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Whole 30 {Round 2 – update}

WELLLL so here’s the thing. I’ve sort of failed at Whole30 this round. A tiny series events I won’t delve into. Such is life. I feel great from the week or so I did it, and it’s hardly a disaster. And one step forward and one step backward is just the cha-cha, right?

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I will do one again, sometime in the next year. Maybe I picked a bad time of year. Football doesn’t lend itself to extreme dedication to one’s health. And I know, there is never a good time, but for now, it’s back to eating as clean as possible, and allowing myself the occassional treat.

Keep an eye out for more yummy, healthy recipes here on the blog. Let’s keep having a healthy lifestyle together!

Binge-y-ness

If it were a real word, I would define binge-y-ness as: the tendency to go overboard after saying you will just “have a little.”

It pretty much sums up my life. I don’t have an addictive personality. I am not a perfectionist. I am not any of those other things we try to label ourselves with. But I do have a quality of binge-y-ness. 

Case in point: Television. Oh, TV! How I love you so. If I don’t turn on the TV – on a Saturday morning, let’s say – I’m totally fine. I will workout, make breakfast, clean, and be a totally productive, functioning member of society. But once I turn it on, I’m HOOKED. I become useless. Let’s not even TALK about bingeing TV shows. Um, House of Cards, anyone? Game of Thrones? Gossip Girl? I have no shame. And suddenly, I just spent 5 hours watching poor Lonely Boy navigate adolescence.

Netflix

Everything I do is sort of this way. I can hole up in a room with craft supplies and NEVER COME OUT. I can sit down at the piano and have two hours pass by. I realize these are pretty good binge-y-nesses, but still. It’s basically the opposite of ADHD.

And same goes for food. And wine. Oh wine. I can go days without drinking any at all, and really, that’s easy for me to do (because I am not an alcoholic, mom). But as soon as I have a glass…well, then it’s pretty much a bottle. And as soon as I make a batch of cookies or we order a pizza, well…you can guess the rest.

I can’t decide if I’m a moderator or an abstainer. I think it depends on the particular item. I do better abstaining from potato chips (just don’t start and you’re fine), for example, but moderating desserts (having them once in a while). Are you a moderator or abstainer? Are you binge-y? Has anything worked particularly well for you? Share your journey!

Whole 30 {Round Two}

I promise to post less about it this time around, but on September 1 (Labor Day) I began my second Whole 30. Ever since completing the first one, I knew it would be something I would want to do again. Inevitably, over the last six months, I slipped back into old habits. But what’s done is done, and now I want to feel how I felt during Whole 30!

Some things that are different this time:

First, the hubster is doing it with me. He already eats pretty healthy and is very thin, but we all have those bad habits we want to kick somehow. So I hope he can get something rewarding out of it. ALSO, my lovely lady friend Kate up in Wisconsin is doing it as well! For the record, she totally made fun of me the first time so I’m very much looking forward to saying, “I told you so.”

Second, I really didn’t work out during the first one. This time, I plan to continue working out. In fact, I’m doing one of those plans this month where you “complete a triathalon” over the course of a month (Run 26.2 mi, cycle 112 mi, and row (instead of swim) 16,000 meters). I’ve been majorly slacking on cardio, so my plan is to do this cardio blitz, with some strength training, and then REALLY dive back into strength in October.

Last, recently, the folks over at Whole 30 decided that potatoes are okay to add in as well. Previously, sweet potatoes and yams and such were fine, but not white potatoes. Now, I’m really looking forward to the occasional baked potato or boiled red potatoes – just no french fries, people!!

Maybe you aren’t ready to make these big changes. Maybe you are making fun of me like Kate did. But if you have that little tug of “I want to do SOMETHING” just try to start eating more REAL FOOD. Check out the Whole 30 rules and pick a few things for yourself to stick to. Make some small promises to yourself, and stick with them. More will come with time!!

Let me know if you’re doing (or thinking of doing) a Whole 30. I would love to support you!

 

 

Caprese Salad

Any big plans this weekend? End of summer cookouts, perhaps? Or good ol’ fashioned potlucks?

Let me give you the easiest, peasiest dish ever for you to bring to your next gathering: Caprese Salad. It is EXACTLY as it sounds, and everyone will truly love it.

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You need just a few simple ingredients:

  • Mozzarella
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Now don’t hate me…but I’m not giving your “real amounts” here. Sorry if that is a problem…but basically, you need equal parts of cheese and tomatoes. Dice your cheese and half your tomatoes – you should have a pretty even ration of the two. Next, roll several basil leaves together and chiffonade your basil to get these nice pretty little strips. Mix this all together with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a generous drizzle of balsamic. Mix it all up with a little salt and pepper and let it sit in the fridge a little while. Give it a taste, and if you don’t get enough tang from the balsamic, mix in a little more.

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So this is my quasi-recipe of the day…I made it in a bit of a hurry so didn’t measure anything out – sorry!! But truly, enjoy these last weekends of summer, and make some yummy, fresh foods!