Tag Archives: dogs

Shake Your Tail Feather!

Hip, hip hurray for Friday!!!! 

Here’s a sneak peak of tomorrow’s Luau for Beau and Gen’s engagement party.  Te-hehehe! 

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Lucy’s such a good sport!

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Here she is shakin’ her tail feather! 😉

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I just couldn’t resist getting Lucy her very own grass skirt and lei for a buck at the Dollar Tree.  And yes she will be dressed for the festivities tomorrow! 🙂

As a matter of fact, if you are throwing a party any time soon, I highly recommend going to the Dollar Tree!  They have so many cute decorations. 

Where I am going to put all of these decorations when the party is over, I have no idea.

I don’t want to give away all of the surprises for tomorrow, but here’s a little preview:

Super cute wooden signs (Can anyone spot Lucy running away in utter disgust at her wardrobe torture???)

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Festive votive holders

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Totally realistic tiki torches (Larry is also a good sport! ;))

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Vibrant serving bowls and leis

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All from the Dollar Tree.  Who knew!

Tonight I’m doing a little pre-cleaning & food prepping.  Then I plan on catching up on the last few weeks of Grey’s Anatomy.  Sounds like I missed an exciting and excruciatingly unbearable episode last night!

Peace!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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10 Things to Learn on a Monday

Here are the top ten things I learned today in descending order:

10) A week of eating whatever you want, and working out minimally may mean extra pounds added to the scale!  Who knew?!?! 😉

Last week I had a series of headaches and stomachaches that kept me (sadly) from working out more than 2 days.  I also ate whatever I wanted with no limits.  This morning I weighed myself and I have packed on an extra 3 pounds to my usual morning weight.

[Source]

It’s not that I am not worried about these few extra pounds, but it definitely made me shake my head in amazement.  It is so hard to loose and to maintain your body weight, but oh, so very easy to pack those pounds on! 

I know that this just means I need to step up the workouts, and to be a little extra careful about what I eat this week.  Trust me, those s’mores were worth every last bite.  Even the burnt bites 😉

9) Third graders can not be expected to remember what they learned last month, let alone what they learned in Kindergarten!!!

Today we took the practice SOLs, which are Virginia’s standardized assessments (fitting name, right?!).  I was utterly shocked by what these kids were asked to remember. 

Third grade is the first year that students in VA take these standardized tests, and they are cumulative for everything they have learned since kindergarten!!!!  I have quite a few students in my class that can barely remember what they had for breakfast, much less what they learned the first week of kindergarten! 

[Source]

The amount of pressure these kiddies are under is unbelievable!  I mean do you know the three types of soil, or the actual names for the phases of the moon?  How about the transportation, homes, climate, and jobs of the First Americans (Native Americans) who lived in the Eastern Woodlands, Great Plains, or the Southwest?  Anyone???  Anyone???   

8) There is no better way to drink a Green Monster than to drink it made with fresh fruit.

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This morning I used leftover fruit salad to make a Green Monster.  The flavor of this monster far surpassed that of  any I have ever made with frozen fruit.  ‘Nuff said 😉

7) I am disappointed when a thunderstorm ends.

I love a good thunderstorm.  There is a kind of excitement that fills every inch of my being when a storm is on the way.  I love the power and the sheer exhilaration of watching Mother Nature take her course.  Of wind whipping and trees bending.  Of rain pounding and thunder roaring it mighty rumble.

Today we could see the storm clouds rolling in from the North.  They were thick and black.  Thunderous.

We rushed the kids to the busses just in time.  As soon as we were safe under cover, the sky broke and lightening lit the sky with bright brilliant streaks.  Thunder rumbled its low grumble. 

But just as soon as it started, it was over.  The excitement was gone, and it was back to the usual paper grading and e-mail answering.  Maybe we’ll get another good one tonight.  I do hear the wind picking up! 😉

6) Target has very cute journals made of recycled paper. 

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5) Buying said journal makes me want to write instead of clean!

4)  Mary’s Crackers are the perfect companion to 365 Organic Peach Mango Salsa.   DSC02083

3) I hate to fold laundry.

I do not mind washing and drying clothes.  But I absolutely, positively, with every ounce of my being hate folding clothes and putting them away. 

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2) Lucy does not like to have her teeth brushed.

Lucy has incredibly stinky breath, and is starting to show signs of buildup along her gum line.  I’ve never done this for any dog I have ever owned in my entire life, but today I bought Lucy her very own toothbrush and toothpaste. 

Although this would have been a hilarious picture to post, Lucy was not allowing any photographs to be taken during her embarrassing teeth cleaning!

And number one on my Top Ten Things to Learn on a Monday Countdown!!!!

( Drum roll, please!)

1) Our new laptop is in and ready to picked up from Fed Ex.

Tonight at an undisclosed time, I am rushing going to drive the speed limit to our local Fed Ex store to pick her up!  I can not wait! 

The next time you read Happy Heart, Happy Mind, who knows where I may have typed it!!!  Maybe in the bedroom?  Maybe on the back patio??  Maybe at the library???    There’s just no telling!  The sky is the limit!

I hope you had an enlightening Monday!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Camping Extravaganza

Hello!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 🙂

I survived my first camping trip since 1996, and I.had.a.BLAST!  The drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains in itself was spectacular. 

I mean just look at this!

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Once we arrived at the campground, we were pleasantly surprised to see that this was the view from our cabin.  The soothing sound of rushing water immediately gave you a sense of calm. 

We unpacked the truck and began preparations for our night out in the wild. 

**HINT**  It is always a very good idea to bring an Eagle Scout with you when you go camping in the woods!   

For dinner, we ate Hobo Packs.  A hobo pack is simply marinated meat and/or veggies wrapped in foil and cooked over an open flame.  I had hobo-ed asparagus, squash, and broccoli.  I also had a grilled Lightlife Italian SausageAll of you experienced vegetarians and vegans out there, what do you eat when you go camping???

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The highlight of dinner came after the dinner plates were scrubbed clean and the last logs were added to the fire. 

Yep!  S’more time! 

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Here is my perfectly burnt to a crisp vegetarian marshmallow s’more!  Just the way I like it! 

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After eating three of these delectable babies, it was time to hit they hay! 

Remember Glo Worms from the 80s???

 

😉

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Nice and cozy!

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Today we woke up and went for a 3.4 mile hike through the George Washington National Forest.

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3.4 miles may not sound like a whole lot, but when you are hiking those miles UP a rather large mountain, you definitely get out of breath!  It gives a new meaning to “buns of steel.”

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The scenery was amazing.  It really doesn’t feel like a workout when you are surrounded by such beauty.

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Larry and I are already making plans for our next trip!  It is such an easy, cheap, and exciting way to get away for the weekend!

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The dogs have been zonked out ever since they got in the car for the trip home.

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I am about to join them.  I know I will sleep like a baby tonight! 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Just to Make You Laugh

So, remember last week when couldn’t find Lucy, and she was curled up in a pair of Larry’s sweatpants taking a nap???  Well, she has kicked it up a notch this time.

I came out of the bathroom just a few minutes ago to see this!

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Somehow she had curled up in a pile of dirty clothes and came out wearing my favorite sports bra!  LMAO!!!!!

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I seriously can not stop laughing.  What is with the clothes this week???  Maybe this is a sign that we need to do some laundry Eye-rolling

Here’s a video of her strutting her stuff!

It has been such a great day!  This totally topped it off!!! 

If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to check out today’s earlier post about my longest ever 8.63 mile run today!!!!  I’m feeling ecstatic and pretty pleased with myself 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Bridesmaids Dresses and Salads Dressed

While Dallas lounged by the fire,

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and Larry tried to get Lucy to give kisses (She’s very particular about who she kisses.  He was trying to blow candy breath in her face, which usually works, but not tonight),

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I was making a masterpiece of a salad.

shapes salad (Source)

Although our salad did not turn out as beautiful as the one above, I’m pretty confident that it tasted just about the same 🙂

I found this recipe in a Shape Magazine a few months back.  It was adapted from  the Beach House at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii (1 Ritz-Cartlon Drive, www.ritzcarlton.com).

I only made three changes to the recipe.  1) I used agave nectar instead of sugar in the dressing.  2) I marinated and grilled a portabella mushroom for me along with a steak for Larry.  3) I did not using dressing on the mushroom version of this salad, because the grilled mushroom was so juicy that it provided its own “dressing.”

Sesame steak salad

Serves: 4 (Serving size: 2 ½ cups salad mixture, 4 oz. steak)

Prep Time: 45 minutesCook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Nutrition Score per serving:

381 calories, 21 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 19 g carbs, 29 g protein, 3 g fiber, 88 mg calcium, 4 mg iron, 782 mg sodium

Ingredients

For marinade and steak

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon thinly sliced green onion

1/8 teaspoon pepper

16-ounce flank steak

For dressing

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons canola oil

For salad

8 cups baby spinach

3/4 cup diced papaya

1/4 cup julienned radicchio

1/4 cup julienned carrots

2 tablespoons daikon sprouts

2 tablespoons julienned red pepper

2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon cilantro

Directions

In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, cilantro, garlic, green onion, and pepper. Put mixture and steak in a zip top plastic bag; refrigerate 45 minutes, turning once or twice.

Meanwhile, to make dressing, heat water and sugar on the stove until reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in lime juice, oyster sauce, lemon juice, chile flakes, and garlic. Whisk in oil; set aside.

Preheat grill or grill pan. Grill steak for 2 minutes per side for medium rare.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, papaya, radicchio, carrots, daikon sprouts, red pepper, peanuts, mint, and cilantro. Toss with dressing. Place 2 1/2 cups of salad mixture onto four plates. Slice steak thinly on the diagonal and divide the slices evenly between each salad. (Source)

It was simply amazing!

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This is my mushroom version.

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DSC01097 DSC01086 This is a must try salad.

The cilantro, mint leaf, and radicchio make the salad so flavorful, that you don’t even need a dressing!

Speaking of Dressing!

I need to pick a Bridesmaids Dress for my friend Beth’s wedding in June.

As you can see, Beth is incredibly beautiful and fashionable.  I do not want to let her down.

So, I’m asking for your help.  I’ve narrowed the picks down to two dresses.

Dress 1

dress 1 dress 2 alt (Source)

Dress 2

dress 2 dress 1 alt (Source)

Larry has cast his vote.  Let’s see what your vote is!

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