Tag Archives: family

Sweat, Soccer and Nostalgia

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This was me yesterday. 😉

Well,  not really, but sort of.  I took a LesMills BodyCombat class at the gym and it kicked my butt!

The whole class lasted 53 minutes and the entire time my lungs were screaming, my muscles were burning, and I had such a good time!

My heart rate monitor said I burned 946 calories, which I think is an over estimation, but only by about 100-200 calories.  The instructor said that she burned 750 calories, and she was an itty bitty thing.  It wouldn’t surprise me if I actually burned close to 800 calories! 

Last summer I took 2 BodyCombat classes a week and it helped me to get in amazing shape.  Once school started, it became more difficult to attend the scheduled times, so I kind of gave up going.  I’m thinking that after the endorphin high of yesterday’s class I will once again try and go at least once or twice a week for a  high energy, high paced class.

After BodyCombat I watched the USA –vs- Ghana World Cup game.

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It made me miss soccer terribly.  I haven’t played since I broke my sesamoid in a game last spring.  My foot really hasn’t been the same since.  I am able to run and take kickboxing classes and the like, but I think actually kicking a ball would be rather difficult.  Not only would it be a little painful, but I think I would be a little afraid every time I went for the ball!

However, the desire is so strong I may have to buy a ball and try kicking it around to see how it goes.  Who knows, maybe I could play Fall Ball with a little practice.

After the horribly disappointing game, Larry came home from bringing home the bacon, and we headed to West Point, VA for a couples shower in honor of our friends Beau and Gen who are getting married next weekend!

It was a summer soirée complete with a crab feast

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and a meticulously crafted sea turtle cake.

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Isn’t this cake amazing!!!!  The party host humbly made this cake the night before in the comfort of her kitchen!!!   

No one wanted to cut into this masterpiece, but eventually someone couldn’t resist the temptation of a delicious dessert and grabbed a piece.

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The crab feast portion of this party was the biggest temptation for me since giving up meat.

Growing up, my Pop-Pop would hold crab feasts at his house a few times each summer.  He would go into DC to get a few bushels.  Then my brothers and I would watch with our mouths watering as he pulled each crab out, threw them into a pot of boiling water, and cooked them to perfection.

We would spend hours picking crabs and running around the yard in our bare feet with Patsy Cline and Hank Sr. records playing in the background.

As much as I wanted to sit down and start crab picking last night, I just couldn’t do it.  It was an incredibly nostalgic moment for me, but I stuck with the meat free fare instead and I am rather proud of myself for it! 🙂

Today will be a pretty laid back Sunday.  Larry and I are planning on going to the gym for a quick lift followed by a little pool time.  I can’t wait to spend a few hours reading my new book.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Stay cool!!!

~Jen

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

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My Best Friend

Little Miss MIA is back… again!

Have you ever had a time in your life when it was go-go-go constantly, and when you finally did get to sit down and rest it was time for bed???  Well, that is how the last two weeks have been for me. 

I’m thinking that since school is finally out for the summer, Beth’s wedding was pulled off without a hitch, and Larry is back from Costa Rica, life will be much calmer and somewhat back to normal 😉

In fact, yesterday was a wonderfully, blissful and relaxing day, which is good because it was our second wedding anniversary!  🙂

It’s still hard for me to believe that two full years ago I married my best friend.  It feels like just yesterday we were deciding to be an official couple!

In fact, the story of our relationship has a rather complex beginning.  We dated for a little while our sophomore year of college, but being 19 and in college we decided to just stay friends.  We both dated other people, but were somehow always drawn back together.

It wasn’t until the day of my graduation from college, three years later, that we decided to be more than just friends.  Larry told me in those beginning days that we would be together forever.  To be completely honest, I thought he was just sweet talking me! 😉

On June 21, 2008, I realized he was pretty serious 😉

It was the most beautiful day of my life.  We were married in rural Virginia at Clover Forest Plantation surrounded by our closest friends and family.

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During our first two years of marriage, we have survived lay-offs, grad school, a recession, family illnesses, and so much more.  It truly is a wonderful feeling to know that your best friend is always by your side through thick and thin, sickness and health, the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Who knows what the next two years will bring.  What I do know is that no matter what life may throw our way, we will pull through, stay strong, and stay true to those sacred vows we spoke only two short years ago. 

~Jen

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

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A Little Low Down on Queen MIA

So, I’ve MIA for a while.  Here’s a little update.

Aleksandr graduated from high school.

Go Class of 2010!

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He ate KFC Double Down, which completely enthralled me. 

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And we had a rained out graduation party for him.

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There’s nothing like dancing in the rain. 😉

I made roasted red pepper hummus,

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which I turned it into a vegan pizza using leftover greens

Simply scrumptious!

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And I had a Martin’s Salad for a quick dinner last night.

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My students made a beautiful quilt for me that brought me to tears,

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and I found out a few of my students’ parents are HH, HM readers!  Amazing!

All in all it’s been a very busy, but beautiful couple of weeks!

I will be back tomorrow with more details, plus how I handled my first 5:30 AM run!  😉

Love,

Little Miss MIA 😉

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Trip to Longwood

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a lovely Friday and that you are all set to enjoy an awesome weekend.

Yesterday I took a personal day from work to go to Longwood University with my mom and lil bro for his college orientation. 

Longwood is my alma mater and I haven’t been back in about 5 years.  The campus was amazing and I had so much fun reminiscing about the good ol days!

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My freshman dorm (5th window from the bottom on the right.)

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My sorority.

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This is the school’s rotunda that burnt down my sophomore year and they were rebuilding for the remainder of my college career.

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Check out this totally awesome new gym!  I have a feeling my fitness level would have been a little different during college if we’d had this!!! 

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Brock Commons

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Aleksandr and me in front of the fountain 🙂

Today I’m heading out to the mountains for wine tour with Beth for her bachelorette party. 

Have a great day!

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Dining Under Da Sea

Ahhh!  Saturday.  No alarm clock to wake me.  No lessons to teach.  No rushing around to get ready.  Is there any wonder why I love the weekends? 

Last night, Larry and I went to a nearby mall to do a little shopping and to grab some dinner.  We were celebrating!  Larry won a trip to the Homestead Resort for being one of the top 1o sales people in the region for his company!  Needless to say, I need a new dress for the formal dinner 😉

We didn’t end up buying anything, but we did have a very tasty dinner at Tara Thai.

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It felt like we were little fish floating around the bottom of the ocean floor 🙂

I had the Pad Thai Jae. 

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It had lots and lots of veggies in a very light semi-sweet sauce.  I could have gone for a few more pieces of the bean curd, but all in all I think we were both very pleased with our dinners.  We will definitely be visiting this restaurant again :) 

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I am not very familiar with Thai food.  Any suggestions for a great dish I should try next time??

Today I am loading up Lucy and a few Mother’s Day presents into the car and driving to my parents’ house.  Mom and I are planning to plant flowers, and I’m hoping I can convince her to go with me to get a pedicure or manicure before going out to dinner. 

I hope you all enjoy your Saturday!  Don’t forget to do something nice for your mom!  🙂

~Jen

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

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Food and Your Mood

I love to eat!

I love to eat fruits and veggies and whole grains.  I love to eat ice cream and chocolate and cheese.  I look forward to meals.  I crave snacks.  And I savor every bite of scrumptious desserts.  Like I said, I LOVE to eat!

But some foods make me feel way better than other foods.  Sometimes I do not listen to my body, and I end up feeling crummy for the rest of the day, or sometimes for an entire evening.

Yesterday was one of those days.  As you may already know, I spent this weekend at my parents’ house.  I have four brothers who also love to eat.  Each one of my brothers is over 6 feet tall, and they each have a metabolism that should be studied by scientists

Because they are constantly in a state of “hunger,” my mom keeps the house stocked with every food imaginable.  She is a professional grocery shopper.  😉

I have a hard time resisting the temptation of many of these foods.  For instance, yesterday I started the day off with a piece of whole grain toast and peanut butter.  Then for lunch I had a cucumber and tomato sandwich, which doesn’t sound so bad; however,  I haven’t yet told you that I ate this with a huge helping of macaroni salad and a handful of Nilla Wafers. 

Not too, too awful yet, except I then proceeded to eat half a container of  spinach dip on Triscuits followed by a glass of Riesling. 

For dinner I ate a deliciously juicy portabella burger, and a WAY too big portion of, wait for it…

baked curly fries

I was definitely not hungry anymore when I ate a NO PUDGE brownie topped with French vanilla ice cream.

I do not have anything against any of the above mentioned foods. Everything I ate yesterday was delicious.  But at the end of the day I felt AWFUL.  Indulgence can sometimes be good, but indulging all day long is not.

I try very hard to follow a balanced approach to eating.  I try to eat clean, wholesome foods that are close to the source, but I do not turn down a birthday cupcake, or a helping of curly fries if that is what my body is craving.  I do not forbid myself from eating any one particular food

However, my experience yesterday led me to reflect on how important it is to listen to my body.  I need to pay better attention to how certain foods make me feel when I am finished eating.  I loved the taste of the spinach dip yesterday, and I could not stop eating it.  However, when I was finished, I felt sluggish and my stomach felt full and bloated.  I do not mean full like satisfied full, but full like I was ready to burst full. 

In her cookbook Clean Food, Terry Walters encourages readers to keep a food journal.  Not a journal where you record the calories and fat for every morsel that enters your mouth, but a journal that documents what you ate throughout the day and your emotional and physical outcomes.  By keeping a detailed journal like this, you may be able to track patterns and make positive changes for a more healthful life.

I certainly know that endless amounts of spinach dip led to an hour long nap and further indulgences throughout the evening.  I think I’ll avoid such copious amounts next time!       

The plan for today is to eat as clean as possible.  I think I’m going to try my hand at making Veggie Burgers That are Actually Made from Real Veggies for dinner tonight.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!! 

~Jen

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

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Vegetarian Halupkies

You can crack as many Polish jokes as you wish, but I’m telling you these vegetarian halupkies were amazing… but, more on that later.

As many of you may have noticed, I took a computer/internet break yesterday.  I did not check email, Facebook, Twitter, or my blog one single time all day long.  I did not read the news on the computer.  I did not check my bank account, or pay any bills online.  I took the day off completely.

I have to admit, it honestly felt pretty good!  Not that I don’t love posting daily, or catching up with old friends via the internet, but sometimes you’ve just got to take a break from the daily grind.  We are always so “connected” in a cyber kind of way.  Yesterday I took time to connect with my family sans the computer on a more personal level. 

We finally celebrated my Pop-Pop’s 85th birthday, and my dad’s 49th birthday (yes, my parents are very young).

Every year for Pop-Pop’s birthday, we eat a polish dish called halupkies (pronounced ha-loop-keys).  As as a young boy growing up in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania, this was a dish his mother often prepared for special occasions .  They are stuffed cabbage rolls filled with a ground beef and rice mixture, and then boiled in a tomato juice broth.

This year my mom found a wonderful Vegetarian Cabbage Roll recipe for me that was actually quite easy to make.

4 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, combine the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside eight large leaves for rolls (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use). Cut out the thick vein from each leaf, making a V-shape cut. Overlap cut ends before filling. Stir 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and lemon juice into vegetable mixture.
  • Place a heaping 1/3 cupful on each cabbage leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll to completely enclose filling.
  • Combine tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce; pour 1/3 cup into a 2-qt. baking dish. Place cabbage rolls in dish; spoon remaining sauce over top. Cover and bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (2 cabbage rolls) equals 142 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 675 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 starch.

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls published in Light & Tasty October/November 2001, p37

We sautéed the vegetables and bulgur,

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spooned the cooked veggie mixture into pre-blanched cabbage leaves,

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carefully rolled them up and tucked in the outer edges,DSC01296

then piled them high in a baking dish.

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We covered them with the tomato sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese and baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

I don’t have any fantastic after pictures, because once everyone arrived the focused then turned to the celebration!  But here is a picture of the leftovers, cold from the fridge, that I plan on heating up and devouring for lunch tomorrow 🙂

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Larry and I were planning on spending the night at my parents, but decided at the last minute to come home, so we could spend all day Sunday cleaning the house and running errands.  We have a tendency to put things off during the week, and they really pile up by the weekends!  Oops! 

We slept in, had chocolate blueberry pancakes for breakfast (recipe to come!), and cleaned our tushies off!  Now, our house smells and looks clean and beautiful! 

Tonight we are planning a Sunday Date Night ;)  We’re going to grab a healthy-ish dinner out and then go see Percy Jackson! 

What traditions does your family have to celebrate special occasions? 

~Jen

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

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