What I quit

As of today, I have been off of soda completely for 23 days!  I was drinking just one Diet Coke in the morning.  I wouldn’t even drink a whole can, but I felt like I needed that little bit of caffeine to wake me up. I am not a morning person at all!!  (It probably doesn’t help either that I am a night owl.)

What I Quit

But, I am going to try hard to not drink pop again.  I know it’s bad for me, but it’s just always been what I’ve drank.  Growing up, I was a dancer and in college my dance teacher used to get on to me all the time because I only drank Diet Coke.  She would get so mad at me because I didn’t ever drink any water.  I always felt fine, or I guess it was just normal to me.

What I quit

The last couple of years, I have really been focusing on what makes me feel good and how my body responds to foods and drinks.  I cut way back on pop because I couldn’t sleep at night if I drank it in the afternoon.  I started drinking a ton more water, because I could tell a difference in how that helped me with my running.  I don’t usually get very sore because I’m super hydrated.  And, if I am sore, I drink a ton of water and it helps!  But, I never felt a huge difference in the way it made me feel until we went on vacation this summer.

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The resort didn’t have bottles of water anywhere except in the rooms, so I drank Diet Coke all day and night for a week.  I was MISERABLE!  My stomach was so bloated and I just felt sick the whole time.  I also felt very sluggish and didn’t have a lot of energy.  I would actually crave water!  I could tell a huge difference in the way the pop made me feel, and how much better I felt after drinking water for a few days after that trip.

What I quit

 

I also just found a new favorite brand of water when I was in California – VOSS water!  It is so crisp and refreshing. It’s from Norway!  I bought several bottles and drank Voss the whole time we were in California.  I fell in love with it, and then I came home and I was really disappointed.  I can’t buy a case of it here.  I can buy a huge bottle of it, but it’s kind of expensive.  I can buy a whole case of water for the price that I can buy 1 bottle of the Voss water.  Next time I go somewhere, I will stock up on it!

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Since I still need a little boost in the morning, I have replaced the pop in the morning with another caffeine product, but at least this one is better for me.  My new favorite drink is Lipton’s Diet Green Tea.  I really like the mixed berry flavor.  It still gives me the energy that I need, but I think it’s healthier for me since it’s green tea.  I have one of these each day, and then I drink water the rest of the day.  I try to drink at least a gallon of water a day.  I do have more energy and feel better when I drink more water.

 

I also like that there are so many additional benefits to drinking more water.  Some of my favorites are:

  • It helps with digestion and kidney function
  • It helps speed up your metabolism
  • Keeps you hydrated – this helps with running a lot!
  • Makes you feel fuller – so you eat less
  • Keeps your skin healthy

Bottom line – I just feel better when I drink water and not pop!

 

Healthy Low Calorie Strawberry Muffins

I was in a baking mood today.  I searched through the pantry deciding what to bake.  But, after looking at ingredients for cookies and cakes, I decided that I didn’t want to make something bad for me because I would probably just eat all of it!  So, I whipped up a batch of my favorite healthy strawberry muffins.  These muffins are only 67 calories each!

Healthy Strawberry Oat Muffins


They are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or just a snack.  I love these muffins because they are so quick and easy to make, and don’t require a lot of ingredients.  They are also very versatile because you can pretty much add any fruit that you want.

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What you need: 1 ¼ cups of oat flour, ¼ cup light brown sugar, 6 packets of stevia, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 egg white, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 cup of frozen or fresh strawberries.

I started with the brown sugar and then I added the of oat flour.  I made my own by taking Quaker Oats and putting them in a food processor.

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Then I added the Stevia and Chia seeds.

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After combining all of the dry ingredients, I added the egg white and the unsweetened applesauce.

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Lastly, I gently stirred in the strawberries.  I used frozen today because that’s what I had, but you can use fresh if you want.  If you use frozen, make sure to drain all of the juice off before adding them.

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Then I sprayed a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and filled each cup about half way full.  This recipe makes 10 muffins.

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I baked them in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

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I have made these before with blueberries and peaches and they were just as good!

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This is the nutrition information from the recipe that I created in My Fitness Pal.

What I Listen to When Running

Yesterday I ran later in the afternoon.   It was so hot! It really cooled off this past weekend but it didn’t last. I had to go pretty slow. The problem is not that its so hot, the problem is that its so humid and it makes if hard to breathe. Summer is my favorite tine of the year but I am ready for fall.

2015-08-17 18.13.35 After my run, I took Jake on a walk to our pasture to feed the horse.

2015-08-12 18.56.18 He loves going up there and running. We walked until he was worn out!

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I love walking up there because we have to walk through a pecan tree grove and it is always shady and cool.

Right now I have listening to the Podcast Undisclosed. I started with Serial and downloaded it for the sole purpose of listening while I was running, but I got so into it that I listened every chance I got until I finished the season. I am only on the second episode of Undisclosed but I’m not that in to it yet. So I’ve been listening more to music when I run and I thought I would share my playlist with you. I have several different playlists, and they are named 5k, 10k, 13.1. lol ( hopefully someday I will have a 26.2!)  Here is my 10k list because that’s mainly what I have been running recently.

Katy Perry                         Hot n Cold

Katy Perry                         Roar

The Killers                        Somebody Told Me

Mark Ronson                   Uptown Funk

Outkast                             Hey Ya!

Taylor Swift                       Bad Blood

Florence & the Machine       Dog Days Are Over

Newly Furtado                 Promiscuous

P!nk                                  So What

Christia Aguilera             Fighter

Britney Spears                Circus

Britney Spears                Womanizer

Iggy Azalea                     Black Widow

Macklemore                   Can’t Hold Us

Florida Georgia Line     Cruise

Florida Georgia Line    This is How We Roll

On a side note, I have been obsessed with Ed Sheeran lately.  I find a song or artist that I like and I listen to it constantly.  I really love his song Photograph!

What are you listening to right now?

Sunday Dinner – Grilled Pork Chops

I was going share what I did this weekend, but then I realized that I didn’t do anything!  It was a pretty relaxing weekend!  On Saturday, I caught up on some much needed sleep.  When I got up I was getting changed to go for a run, and it started thundering and came a downpour, which was so random because there was no chance of rain at all!  Got to love Oklahoma weather! So, I forgot about the run and went to visit my sister in the hospital instead.  I also went to see my grandparents and my aunt.  She is here visiting from Houston.   After that, the hubby took me out to dinner to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.  We shared some enchiladas and a taco.  I always get so full eating the chips and salsa!

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On Sunday, we went grocery shopping.  I was so excited to see how fresh the produce was!

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I bought some to eat this week!
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We have been on the go so much the last couple of weeks and have not had a good home cooked meal.  The hubby’s work schedule has been a little crazy, so he hasn’t gotten home until after 9 just about every night.  So he has been eating at work, or just something small late at night.  I’ve been eating scrambled eggs just about every night, which I love!  So, last night we decided to cook dinner together.  I love cooking together!  We decided to grill pork chops.  I used a center cut thin chop.

IMG_4693 I brushed a little bit of extra virgin olive oil on them, and then sprinkled some Lawry’s seasoning salt, Cavenders, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper on them.  Once I got the seasonings on there, I brushed the pork chops again to combine it all.  I flipped them over and did the same thing.

IMG_4695 I let them sit covered in the fridge for about 5 hours, they smelled divine!!  We grilled them for about 7 minutes on each side and then pulled them off and let them rest under some foil.

IMG_4709They were perfect!  They were juicy and tender, and seasoned just right!

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The hubby wanted some roasted ranch potatoes.  But, he also wanted cheese and bacon on them.  I had to combine a few recipes to make these, but they turned out great!  I will post my recipe separately.  I try not to eat potatoes, but I had to have a few of these.  They were so crispy and flavorful!  Plus, everything is better with cheese and bacon….and ranch!

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While shopping, I had picked up some fresh zucchini and squash, so I decided to grill it.  All I did was cut up the veggies into bite size pieces.

IMG_4703 I put them on a square of foil and sprinkled salt and pepper on them.  (I use low sodium salt) IMG_4706Then I put a tablespoon of butter on the top and closed up the packet.

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These sat on the grill for about 20 minutes.  They probably could have cooked a little longer, but the meat was done, so we pulled them off too.  I have tried to make these with spray butter or olive oil, but they never turn out the same.  The olive oil leaves a bad taste, and the spray butter doesn’t help them cook enough.

We had so much food left over, the hubby got a good dinner again last night!

Did you do anything exciting this weekend?

Summer Vacation – California Trip

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I thought I would share the second part of our vacation this summer.  After leaving Jamaica, we flew to LA to visit my mother in law.  We actually had a 5 hour layover in Dallas.  So, we went to Denny’s and then tried to nap in the airport, but it was FREEZING!!

2015-07-21 03.00.08Our flight left at 5 am and we tried to sleep on the way there, but it was a full flight and not very quiet.  It was also FREEZING!  So, we were still going purely on caffeine by the time we landed!   We got to LA early and picked up our rental car, and then got on the road.  She lives in Simi Valley, which is about 45 minutes away from LA.

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We hadn’t told her we were coming and she was so surprised and happy to see us.  Our first day there, we spent hanging out at her condo with her but we went back to our hotel early to get some sleep.  We hadn’t had a shower or much sleep since the morning before.  The next day we got up and went and took her to breakfast.  We ate at the First Street Café.  It was home cooking and was really good.  I had scrambled eggs with a biscuit and roasted potatoes.  The biscuits were made from scratch and were amazing!  I could’ve eaten a ton of them! first

After breakfast, we went driving around so that the hubby could show me where he lived when he was little.  He showed me his school, where he played baseball, and the places where he hung out.  I loved seeing this part of his childhood that I have only ever heard about.  It was really sweet to see how excited he was to share it with me.  That had to be my favorite part of this whole trip!

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We spent the next couple of days spending some quality time with my mother in law.  We ate at several different restaurants.  One of them was Toppers Pizza.  Hands down, this was some of the best pizza that I have ever had.  It wasn’t too greasy, and there was the perfect amount of sauce on it.  We had a salad bar and a pepperoni pizza.  The salad bar was fresh and it had a decent selection of toppings.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was that you could only make one trip.  Overall, I really enjoyed Toppers.

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Another restaurant we ate at was Don Cucos Mexican Restaurant.  I was not impressed with this one.  First of all, it was so dark in there, that it was really hard to even read the menu.  We ordered the Chili con queso for an appetizer and it was good.  It was very cheesy and delicious, but it was also really greasy.  I could put it on a tortilla and have a stream of grease run off back into the bowl.  We also ordered mixed fajitas for one to share.  The portion size was tiny, even for one person.  The meat was cut into bigger pieces, but there still wasn’t much compared to other Mexican restaurants we have eaten at.  The fajitas were tasty, and came with a lot of peppers and onions.  It was enough food for the both of us, but it was extremely pricey!!  I was amazed at how much our tiny portions of food cost.   So, while I did like the food, the atmosphere and the prices really turned me off of Don Cucos.

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The final place we ate was at Coco’s.  It is supposed to be home cooking and they also had a bakery.  I ordered the turkey and avocado croissant.  It was really good, and the turkey was fresh.  I got a ton of turkey on my sandwich.  My husband ordered a burger, and he didn’t really like it much.  Their French fries were really good though.  They were hot and crispy.  We also shared a piece of apple pie.  It was amazing!!  You could tell it was fresh and homemade!  I wish we could have eaten here again.

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We also ate a couple of fast food chains that we don’t have in Oklahoma.  We ate at In and Out burger, and I loved it!  I don’t eat burgers very much, so this was a really good treat!

We also tried Weinerschnitzel.  This was one of the hubby’s favorite places to eat as a kid, and he still loved it.  I didn’t really like it very much.  But I just ordered a plain hot dog.  It wasn’t anything special.

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We did visit a couple of places on our trip, but I will save those for the next post.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Exciting News!

Hello!!

I have some news to share.  Something really exciting happened to me today.  When I got up this morning and checked my emails, I had one from WordPress.  I logged on and saw that Erica at Just a Little Dot had nominated me for the Liebster Award!!

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I am super excited about this! This award is way for new bloggers to get their blogs recognized and their blogs to be discovered.  I know I haven’t been blogging long, but I was really starting to wonder how I could get more people to hear about me.  This is AWESOME!!  I am really flattered that someone would read my blog and think that I deserved this.  I can’t even express how excited I am about this nomination!  Thank you so much Erica! Also, I loved your post Pushing Ourselves to Uncomfortable Levels.  That is exactly how I feel, and I’m sure so many others do too.  It makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Back to the award –

Here is how it works:

  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions given to you by the nominator.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  • Create 11 questions for the nominees.
  • Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

 

Here are the questions that Erica asked me:

  1. Where is your favorite place you have traveled? Definitely Montego Bay, Jamaica. We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall and it was absolutely beautiful.  The beach and the ocean there is breathtaking!
  2. What would you choose to have for your last meal? Chicken fajitas – that is my absolute favorite meal.  (and some guacamole!)
  3. If you could have an evening with any person in the world who would it be? I really had to think about this one for a long time.  I know most people would say someone famous, or someone influential.  But, for me, I really think I would choose my family.  We are all so busy with our everyday lives, that it makes it really hard to get together.  Everyone is spread out all over the states, and sometimes we only get to see each other at Christmas.  And, even when we are together, there is always cell phones and interruptions.  I would love to have an evening to just spend with everyone in the same room with no interruptions! (I know that’s more than 1 person, but I couldn’t choose!)
  4. What was your favorite childhood toy? Rollerblades LOL – I LOVED skating, and it’s something I did every day after school with my friends.
  5. What is your favorite quote? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 – I love this quote because it gives me confidence that I can handle or do anything I put my mind to. Another one that I like is just something that my old dance teacher used to drill into our heads, “Always be a lady and smile.”  I think that applies in every aspect of life as well.
  6. Cabin in the woods or oceanfront cottage? Definitely oceanfront cottage
  7. Android or Iphone? Iphone
  8. Pearls or Diamonds? Hard decision – diamonds
  9. What is your favorite post on your blog? – My favorite post so far is my “Racing Accomplishments” because it’s something that I am really proud of.
  10. What is your favorite way to release stress? Running
  11. If you won the lottery what is the first thing you would do with your winnings? My husband and I have joked about this many times, but I know that the first thing I would do would be to help my grandparents. My grandpa still works, and I hate that he does that. I want him to stay at home and enjoy his life.

When deciding who to nominate, I thought about people that inspire me.  I love reading about other people’s running experiences, so here are the bloggers that I have nominated:

Brits Run Disney

Really Not a Runner

My Mother’s Daughter

Just Running Around

Here are your 11 questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is your favorite hobby?
  3. What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
  4. What annoys you the most?
  5. Where is your favorite place to travel?
  6. What has been your favorite running experience?
  7. Where do you find motivation?
  8. What is your favorite meal?
  9. Laptops or tablets?
  10. Warm weather or cold weather?
  11. Cats or dogs?

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Jamaica Vacation Part 3

This is my final post over our Jamaica trip.  But, we extended our vacation and went to Los Angeles.  I will post about that trip in my next posts.

But first, I want to share our excursion experience in Ocho Rios with you.

If you are ever in Jamaica, I would highly recommend that you go to Dunn’s River Falls.  That place is incredible!  We went there a few years ago, and we thought about going back.  But, we decided that we wanted to do something we had never done.  Hubby has always wanted to go ziplining.  I have no idea why, because he is scared of heights.  I on the other hand, am TERRIFIED of heights.  But, this is what we decided to do.

So, on Friday of our trip, we went to the Mystic Mountain.

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When we got there it was beautiful!  It was in the middle of the jungle.

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I was already nervous about the zip lining, but when we got there we found out that we had to ride a chair lift 700 feet up a mountain.  We got on it, and I started to panic a little!  We were so high up, we were in the tops of the trees.  The view of the ocean was gorgeous, but the ride was terrifying!  The chair went pretty slow, and when it would reach each tower, it would start shaking.  And, it started to rain on us.  We were up so high, you couldn’t even see the ground!  I do not ever want to do that again!  (But I had to in order to get back down) The ride up the mountain took about 20 minutes.  When we reached the top, I wanted to kiss the ground!

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We got off and we to ride the bobsled.  It was like a roller coaster, but you could control how fast or slow you went.  The girl that strapped us in told us, “The faster you go, the safer you’ll be.”  We rode with our cars hooked together because I’m a chicken.  We went pretty fast, and it was really fun!   It was a quick, and then we had to ride back up to where we started.  This was just like a roller coaster going up a hill, but it went faster.

After the bobsled, we visited the hummingbird garden.  Then we went and got strapped into our harnesses so we could do the zip lines.

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We met our guides, and they were hilarious!  They were really nice to me since they knew I was scared.  They joked around with us, and kept calling me queenie.  Hubby went first on the first line.  I was impressed!  I went next, and it was AWESOME!  I loved every second of it! We went on four lines, and then we got to a platform where you had to drop straight down.  The guides made me go first.  I kept telling them I didn’t want to, but they said if I didn’t, I wouldn’t want to go at all.  So, I went and they lowered me really slowly to the bottom.  After I went, one of the ladies with us said she wanted to go because it didn’t look so bad.  She got up there and they just dropped her to the bottom.  I was so glad they didn’t do that with me.  Then we got to walk across a really long rope bridge to the last line.

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Once we went across that line we were half way down the mountain.  They took our harnesses and we had to get on the chair lift to go the rest of the way down.

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I had a blast, and I would love to do this again!  I was really proud of us for facing our fears, and I loved that we did it together.

Have you ever faced a fear?

Jamaica Vacation Part 1

The hubby and I take a trip to the Caribbean every summer.  This year we went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  We stayed at the Sandals Ochi.  This resort is huge, and is broken up into two sides.  We stayed on the beach side, so we could have a view of the ocean from our room!  I love everything about the beach.  I love the way the waves sound as they wash on shore.  I love the smell of the salt in the air.  I love the breeze that comes off the ocean and I really love palm trees.  Someday, I want to live on the beach!  We stayed in a beach front room and had a view of the ocean.  I love being able to sit on my balcony at night or early in the morning and listen to the waves. PicMonkey Collage2

I got up early every morning and sat on the balcony and watched the sun come up.  It was beautiful!

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We left our room around 8 every day.  We went and ate breakfast at the buffet in our building.  The buffet had an omelet station where you could choose what you wanted.  They also had really good French toast.  There were pancakes and an assortment of pastries, muffins, and breads.  You could also get yogurt and fresh fruit.  There was always bacon, sausage, and breakfast potatoes.  Every day they also had a selection of different Caribbean flavors.  After we ate, we would hang out at the beach until lunch.  The beach was usually not very busy in the mornings, so we had no trouble finding a chair or even getting a raft.

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Whenever we got hungry, we would go find lunch.  We tried both of the snack restaurants on the beach but our favorite was the pizza place.  They had the absolute best pizza, it was AMAZING!  Tapas also had really good fish tacos.

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Then, after lunch we would hang out in the pool for a few hours. We made friends with the swim up bartender and we had a lot of fun playing games with him.  He would fill my Diet Cokes on top of his head and bring them to me like that!

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Later in the afternoon, we would back to the beach and hang out until almost dark.  This was our schedule almost every day.

We did get up one day and go up to the hillside (the other section of the resort).  It was really nice!  We ate breakfast at their buffet, and it was so good.  They had a little bigger selection of food than we did.  Plus, they had a blueberry topping for the French toast.  (I love anything blueberry) The pool at this side was HUGE!

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We hung out in the pool and then ate lunch at the Jerk Shack.  It was some of the best jerk chicken I have ever had!  It was moist and tender.  It came in big chunks, and we could choose the jerk sauce that we wanted on it.  There were three different heat levels.  I tried the hottest one, but I couldn’t have more than one bite!  It was hot!!

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A couple of days we went snorkeling.  We didn’t see much, but I still loved that we got to go out on a boat.  We also spent some time using the kayaks and paddleboards, and we even went sailing once.  The weather was perfect!

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I’ll be honest and tell you that I didn’t work out or run at all!  I actually had every intention of running on the beach, but there wasn’t a big enough stretch of beach to run on.  So, I just relaxed.  But, if it counts at all, the resort was built into the side of a hill, so we had to go up 4 flights of stairs to get to the lobby and then another 4 to get to our room.  There wasn’t an elevator from the beach to the lobby, but there was from the lobby to our floor.  But, I don’t like elevators, I have a fear of them getting stuck, so we took the stairs most of the time.

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There was so much to do, so I’ll write about our night activities in the next post.

But, before I go, here are some extra pictures….

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I LOVE palm trees!
I LOVE palm trees!

Where do you like to vacation?

Weekend Recap

This weekend was really pretty uneventful.  Friday night, we had some family come to town to visit for the weekend.  We ended up going to Chili’s for dinner.  I ordered a cheeseburger and ate half of it.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a burger.  It was pretty good, but I’m fine without eating them.

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Then, I spent the day Saturday visiting my sister and grandma.  My sis is in a hospital because she broke both of her hips.  She is pretty bored because she can’t get out of the bed.  So my grandma and I took her some snacks and magazines.

Saturday night the hubby and I went to dinner with some friends.  We went to eat Mexican, which is my absolute favorite!!  I have a really bad habit of overeating when I go to a Mexican restaurant.  I mean, all the chips and salsa and tortillas and guacamole….it’s just so hard! But, even with all of that temptation, I think I did pretty well.  I ate chips and salsa in moderation, and I ordered the Pollo Loco.  It’s grilled chicken and it comes with grilled onions on top.  It also comes with beans and rice, but I passed on both.  (I forgot to take a pic) It was really, really good!  It came with two big pieces of chicken.  I ate one and gave the other to Hubby.  I ate until I was full, and not stuffed.  I usually eat until I’m miserable when I eat Mexican.  Especially when I’m eating with friends, because I’m paying more attention to the conversation than to what I’m eating.

After dinner, our friends came over and we played Wahoo! Everyone won a game, except me!

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On Sunday, I decided that I would be a good wife and go help my husband build a fence around our deer feeder.  I figured that he takes me hunting, so I should at least help get everything set up.  I just wish it could be done in cooler weather.  My weather app was saying it was going to be 101 degrees, so I was a little nervous. We packed two jugs of ice water and then a small cooler with several more water bottles.  We weren’t planning on being out there for more than a few hours.  At first, it didn’t seem that bad.  I stood around holding tools and being helpful.  After about 30 mins in the heat I started getting dizzy.  The hubby told me to go sit down in the shade and he brought me some water.  I drank a lot of water and as long as I was in the shade I felt okay.   I even weaved together some blades of grass.:) I got up to help for a minute and I got really dizzy, so he put me in the truck and turned the air conditioner on.  The thermometer in the truck said 107 degrees!! No wonder I was feeling so sick.

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Hubby works outside every day so he is used to the heat.  But, even he had to take a break and sit in the truck for a little while.  We (he) got the fence built and we came home and cooled off!  When it got closer to dark, we took Jake for a walk and went to feed our horse.

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It was kind of a boring day, but I like day like this when we don’t have much to do.  Between our jobs, we seem like we always have something going on, and on the rare occasion that we don’t we are trying to catch up on things around the house.  The next few weekends are jam packed, so I will have lots to tell you!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?