December's Goal: 3 miles/day

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Adventure at the Mall

Scotty took me to work for a few hours in Bellevue. Then he took me on a little adventure to the Crossroads Mall.

First we stopped for coffee at Starbucks

there was a huge line, but the coffee stand was next to one of my favorite places: Half Price Books

to keeps this short & sweet, I'll just post my favorite pics

I left this little guy at the mall (lol, I'm goofy lookin)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Restaurant Review: Pita Pit

For lunch Friday, I escaped the office and met Scotty. I also ran a few errands: Get my paycheck and deposit it. I'm still a temp-to-permanant worker (*shakes fist at economy*), but my boss is cool enough and has the motto "as long as you get your sh!t done, I don't care what ya do"

We were going to go to The Office, a local bar, but true to form, I forgot my ID... I don't carry a purse and I don't go anywhere I would need my ID without Scotty, so I usually keep it in HIS wallet.

We opted for faster food anyway and hit Pita Pit.

I would've taken a picture of the outside, but there isn't much of one. Despite it being a franchised company and the other locations I've driven by had big colorful signs, this location in downtown Tacoma has only a non-descript circular sign with the name and that's it.

I'll start with the things I don't like about the franchise:
-The meat is pre-prepared. Granted, they have a big ol' flat grill where they 'cook' it in front of you, but they still take preportioned, preseasoned, precooked and wrapped meat and just toss it on a hot grill and move it around until its warm. I can't complain too much about that, its still a step up from Subway's 'Eat Fresh' from a microwave.
-The annoying, named mascots.

It's like the Chuck-E-Cheese of healthy dining! If I put a quarter in the wall, will they sing for me?

Now the good things:
-Price is decent. I paid $6.95 for mine.
-The size!

^That's about half of it. They tear half of the wrapping off if you eat there. I was holding high up on it to hold the insides in.
-The taste and freshness. The vegis were fresh and crispy. The tzatziki was delicious and the soulvaki was flavorful.

-Their Website have a very in-depth nutritional information tool. Since you pick your own ingredients (and the staff has a specific measurment of each they put in), they set up a "build your own" nutrional information label. This was mine.

I could've built a much healthier pita, I'm sure. This one has a great calorie count (552) for a full lunch, but the sodium is enormous- I blame the soulvaki that I really really wanted.
I really would recommend Pita Pit for a fast food alternative for healthy eating. A wheat garden pita with hummus and all the vegis your heart desires will yield under 350 calories and 450mg of sodium 0 cholesterol and 9g of fat, which is much healthier than my choice.
They also do breakfast! They prepare scrambled egg pita-rittos. I haven't tried one yet, but I'm sure that they taste better than a microwaved piece of egg, but the calorie counts are about 500+

World's Most Annoying Orange Eater

Happy Friday!

I'm in a state of realizing that I've done very little to prepare for Halloween... I'm about to have a very busy weekend.

Last night after, yet another, healthy dinner, Scotty and I took a night walk with the dogs. We are terrible dog owners, to be honest. They are mostly outdoors except at night and they aren't really trained well for walking. We have 2 dogs and they get really jealous of each other and if I tried taking both by myself, they would be a tangled mess. If I take just Riley, Murphy gets depressed for the rest of the day. If I take Murphy, Riley gets hyper and excessively pushy for extra attention.
I think its important that I need to walk them more often. Last night, I had Riley and he kept wanting to look at murphy and was veering in front of me so I'd accidently kick him or step on his toes... (Its a good thing dogs can't ballroom dance)

The word gets around well at my office that I'm a nerd. One of my coworkers runs a family business where they specialize in Silver Age comics. A while back I shared my interest in Marvel Comics and how I almost took comics as a career, but in the great scheme of life, I sold my collection and picked a delightfully duller, yet more dependable career.
So in the morning, I was gifted with these:

They are reader copies of Marvel Comics from the 50s. Before Marvel had superheros, they published horror genre comics. How fun. :)

To celebrate Friday, I decided today was a great day to dust off the ipod

The monkey has speakers in the form of headphones he wears. My sister bought him for me and I absolutely love it. The volume doesn't get super loud, but this is perfect for listening to music in my office. My office is next to a conference room, so it cracks me up with people give me funny looks. They go in to a meeting while I'm thrashing to Japanese Death Metal at low volumes then they exit the meeting seeing me lip-synch to Pop.

So ok then, I had an orange saved for a snack and I came to realize that I'm an incredibly picky and annoying citrus eater. After about 15 minutes, my orange looks like this

I sat there with a plastic butter knife cutting all the rind and white stuff off of it... The only part I like on an orange is this

The pulp. I'm like this with all citrus fruit. My bartender knows this: Hefeweizen with lemon and a cup for the lemon rinds when she is done scraping the pulp out with her teeth. Classy, that's me.
I know there is no wrong way to eat a Reeses, I take this slogan with my fruit too.

Speaking or Reeses... I really need to get my butt in gear for Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Taste Review: Trader Joe's Red Quinoa (psudo recipe)

Last night I was happy to see my mother-in-law to be cook a healthy meal. She roasted a chicken, cooked rice and steamed broccoli. Felt good to not see a bag of frozen vegis go in the microwave as the only 'healthy option'.

The boys were having a podcast tonight and they really wanted coffee at 7:30pm for some reason... In place of some of the creamer, I treated us to some of the sample flavors that came with our recent Kahlua purchase.

Little Duder REALLY wanted to hand model for the pic. He also wanted to taste test for the camera, but mommy said no.

While everyone was preoccupied, I decided to make myself a hot lunch for tomorrow.
Black Beans and Not-Rice
Here are (most of) the ingredients

TJ's Red Quinoa
Chicken Stock
Diced Onions
Whole Black Beans
Chia Seeds
and Almond slivers, for the heck of it.

First, I cooked the quinoa by the packaged directions with the stock. Part way through, I decided I wanted onions so I tossed them in after half of the liquid was cooked in.
In my bowl (Ziploc for convinience), I mixed a few TBS of black beans and salsa with a tsp of Chia Seeds, then ignored them for a while.
When the quinoa was done, mix it all together, toss a few almonds on top and- Done.

Simple, easy to make and made a great lunch.

How great? Well, this was my first time trying it. The flavor was amazing, it absorbed the stock really well and held the flavor. If this were rice, I'd be adding soy sauce just so I can taste something, but in the quinoa, I tasted the stock. The grains stick together like rice but there is a varience in texture. Some of the grains popped between my teeth; it remided me of the little seeds you feed to parakeets.
I've forced my family to taste it too and feel confident that I can prepare something in a family meal that they will be willing to try.

Then, when all the house was silent and at peace, I snuck out the back door into the night to feast on souls... er, I mean, walk. I took along my headlight had two goals on my mind: Finding awesome Halloween decorations and attempt jogging some more. I was going a whopping 3.75MPH. I know, slow down there Speedy Gonzalez...

I did find a house that was decorated in the scariest way I can imagine. Forgive my pics, its the middle of the night.

Now, the scarey part.... the whole yard was covered in these

About 2 dozen political signs... shudder.

I think I need to do some festive decorating before its too late.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Restaurant Review: Two Busy to Cook

Two Busy to Cook is a local catering service to Tacoma, WA. They aren't actually a sit-down restaurant.

My work scheduled a meeting during the lunch hour so they called these gals up to provide us with some boxed lunches.

I think we just asked for a selection of random sandwhich lunches, but their online order form allows buyers to select their options. (OMG, Nanaimo bars!) They even offer a breakfast menu for morning meetings.

Mine came with:
Turkey sandwhich on wheat with cheese
pasta salad
2 cookies (peanut butter and white chocolate macadamia nut)
Apple Slices (mmm, calcium sorbate...) with lowfat caramel dipping sauce

(it was a full-sized sandwhich, but I ate half of it before the meeting ended and I saved the other half just for this pic...then nommed it immediately afterward)
The pasta salad was ok.. ok, it was delicious... I was already full so I tossed it (I was still trying to grab noodles and stuff them in my mouth with my fingers while they were in mid-flight to my garbage can)
The apples I saved for my last meeting of the day and the chips and cookies can go home to my kiddos.

Taste Review: Justin's Honey Almond Butter

First, a quick disclaimer:
I was not given free product by these companies or asked to review this product, it is just by my choice and my opinion.

I had been feeling somewhat sick lately with a cold. Having a large family makes colds and flus innevitable, imo... We have been dropping like flies, 4 down, 2 to go (Booter and Scotty are next mwahahaha) Perhaps its too little too late, but I accepted this 'Get Well Soon' gift from a coworker last night:

He actually gave me two of them so I made a fizzy drink for me and one for Squeaker.

Justin's Honey Almond Butter
I happened upon a sample-sized pack of Justin's Honey Almond Butter at Safeway for $0.79 and said "Hey, why not?" I hear rave things about it and I have never tried a nut butter outside your typical brands (Skippy & Jiff).

Breakfast this morning at work was uber-simple:
Plain Oatmeal (the instant packet kind)
Chia Seeds (tsp maybe?)
and Half of my Justin's Honey Almond Butter

The nutbutter and the chia seeds made this instant oatmeal thick and wholesome. I couldn't have asked for a better texture to fill me up. I was in serious need of warm comfort food.
The flavor of the butter was not as sweet as I'm used to. I would love to try this nut butter in a savory dish someday, maybe in a thai sauce.
I think I'll try the rest of my nut butter on some toast or in my oatmeal again with some chopped nuts or granola bar crumbles to add a contrasting texture or sweetness.

Next up is lunch... and my work is buying. :)

The Halftime Show I'll Remember for a Lifetime

This may be a few days late to report, but I still need to report it :)

Date: October 24th, 2010
Place: The Ram in Tacoma, WA on the Ruston Way Waterfront

This is our hangout. We come here to feel at home, away from home. They have fantastic beer that they brew on site

The staff knows us by name. (The Cheers jokes run thick...) This Sunday, Scotty made them a Jack-o-Lantern

There is a lot that I love about coming here. I feel at home here and able to relax without the uptight feel of a formal dining experience.

On this last Sunday, we came to watch NFL football with my sister, her husband and our friend, Nate.
Little did I know, this was not a regular football game.
During Halftime, the manager asked Scotty to take a look at their TV controls. It made sense, he had fixed some stuff for them before it just so happened that it was a windy day and their dish kept crapping out on the big screen.
I was explaining to my sister how well they treat us here and give us a lot of trust, much like how my sister gets treated at their local bowling alley where they play leagues. (I also mentioned how bad Scotty is at bowling...ouch)

And then! I hear Scotty's voice. I look over and there he is on the 10 foot tall TV... Talking about me. On Sunday, October 24th, my sweetie proposed to me. Nate had his phone video taping my reaction I remember shaking and all I wanted to do was hug Scotty.

Scotty and I started dating April 14th, 2007. We moved in together June of the same year, including moving in his mother at the same time and out 3 children. Needless to say, right off the bat it was hard. But, you know what? We found that there is nothing we can't overcome and we find more reward and joy in mapping our life journey together.

We have a wonderful life. We have 3 beautiful, funny, and smart kids

And there are so many things I love about my husband-to-be.
He is passionate. About his family, about his hobbies... There is nothing that he does with a shrug.
He is nerdy and funny. Very important in my book. I'm proud to say that my guy doesn't follow the social norm. He can blend in really well because he is so social and outgoing... but deep down, he is my nerd. He gets excited when he sees all the new Star Wars toys, plays X-box, reads sci-fi fantasy, and he is getting very popular in the Android smartphone community... yep, MY nerd.

(forgive me for posting that pic!)
We have fun together. He is my best friend and I am his. We found that a lot of couples, although they love each other, they don't really spend a whole lot of time together. We find that we have more fun together. We have different hobbies and interests, but I think that keeps us interesting. We enjoy having our little adventures together

Who's the best guy ever?

^This guy!

I feel very thankful with the turn my life is taking. I feel ready for this next step in our life together. Ready for trust, ready for more ups and downs, ready for forever.

I'll always remember this halftime show, and I thank him for giving me such a fantastic memory.

I also want to thank the Seattle Seahawks for their 22-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. ;)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun Family Fall Activities: Pumpkin Patch

I highly encourage anyone to visit their local pumpkin patch, there is so much to take from the experience and I can't ever again bring myself to the laziness of shuffling through the buckets of pumpkins at the local Safeway.

We packed up the youngins and headed to Marris Farms for a day of fun in the mud. One of the first things we did was visit the animals

(the kiddies don't appreciate the humor of calling them nuggets, bacon bits, and lamb chops... oh well, I digress)

We watched them make kettle corn, pumpkin cannons, pedal car races, etc. I couldn't capture pictures of it all because Little Duder was trying to direct us to the corn maze and nothing else... In fact, he was so adamant about it that he almost got ran over by this

The maze was downhill, and we saw a "Miner's Slide" that we used as a shortcut


We waited in line to get into the maze and listened to the instructions and rules

"Well THAT'S no fun!"

We were given the choice of what kind of clues to use for navigating the maze, my sweetie let me choose the clues, so I went with "Health and Fitness" (of course). Then off we went!

Oh yeah... our feet were muddy.
We grabbed two wheelbarrels and headed for the hills full of pumpkins, left with 7 pumpkins of various sizes (3 of them were as big as Little Duder!)

That was our adventure. Next step is the carving and roasting of seeds, I can't wait!