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Dirty Little Vegan

Let me just say that this Memorial Day weekend has started off strong!

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(Doesn’t this picture just take your breath away?)

No, we didn’t pack up the dogs and head to the beach or river.  We didn’t even go out of town. 

But that is the beauty of it. 

We stayed in town and are enjoying a nice, relaxing weekend at home together.  I can’t even tell you the last time we did that… or the next time we’ll get to do it again!

Yesterday, after blogging and catching up on some reading, I spent some down time on the couch.  I watched the movie Precious, which I must say I did not enjoy.  A little too sad and slow.  I then watched a good 2 hours of the Food Network!  I learned how to make Braised Red Cabbage (which I will be making after my next trip to the Farmer’s Market), Apricot Oat Bars, and Stone-Ground Grits with Gruyere.  I decided I’d had enough of the boob tube when I saw Duff Goldman and Geoffrey Manthorne from Ace Of Cakes eat Rocky Mountain oysters.

I then went for a treacherous 6.6 mile run in the blistering sun.  It was the toughest run I’ve had in a long while.  It really didn’t feel that hot when I left the house, but the heat was intensified by my black pavement running path.  It took me 1 hour and 1 minute to run including two walking breaks, and a stop at the Cultural Arts center for water.  That’s an average of 9:24 minute miles, which isn’t too bad considering I thought I could literally to burst into flames during 5 out of the 6 miles! 

Boy was I glad I ran those miles when Larry and I feasted on these babies as an appetizer at dinner!

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After lounging by the pool for a couple of hours, we headed to Sticky Rice for dinner. 

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And yes.  We ate half a bucket of tater tots dipped in a spicy ranch type dressing.  They were melt in your mouth good, and I do not regret one single bite 😉

For dinner, Larry had sushi, and I ordered the Dirty Vegan Noodle bowl.  I was ecstatic to find so many vegan meals on the menu!  That is just not something you ever find in the suburbs. 

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This description simply does not do this dish justice.  It was chock full of tofu, veggies, edamame, cilantro, and sprouts served over udon noodles.  A little spicy, a little nutty, and a tad bit sweet.  Perfection in a bowl.

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It was seriously the best dinner I’ve had while dinning out in a LONG time.  I could only finish about a quarter of the bowl (the tots may have had something to do with this!), and I can NOT wait to have the leftovers for lunch this afternoon.  🙂

Today Larry and I are planning on heading to the pool until it is time to come home and get ready for our friends’ little girl’s first birthday party.  I plan on swimming laps for cardio and then doing some serious poolside reading 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

~Jen

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

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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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Hiking for a Happy Heart and Mind

I just had the most glorious day with a great friend, beautiful weather, and the most perfect scenery.

Gen and I headed out to Belle Isle and James River Park for a hike through nature.  We couldn’t have picked a better day.  The sky was clear blue, there was a light breeze, and the temperature was just right for a little tramping through the woods.   

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We started off at Tredegar Iron Works where they were celebrating Civil War and Emancipation Day.  We were only scared entirely out of our wits when they shot off a canon about 200 yards away from my car! 

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We then walked across the suspension bridge to Belle Isle and walked almost completely around the island until we found a ladder that took us to a dry pass on rocks across the river.  This time we actually found a path across!  Our feet got only slightly damp as we got a great core workout jumping and balancing our way across the James.

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The trails were beautiful!  They were luscious and green and filled with newly awakened spring wildlife. 

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We walked for a couple of hours as we talked about work, weddings, and just about everything!!!  Walking in such beautiful weather with such good company makes you forget that you are actually getting in a great workout!

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It is also good for the soul. 😉

After almost 3 hours of hiking, we decided to honor the rumbly in our tumblies and get a little lunch.  We decided to eat at the Boathouse at Rocketts Landing.  If you live in the Richmond area and you have not tried this restaurant yet, you must! 

Not only was our view phenomenal, (Yes!  This was our actual view.  Check out the glass ledge that was our table!) 

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but the food was fantastic!!!

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I got the Vegan Pizza and it was absolutely face rocking! 

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I almost ate an entire half of this baby by myself!!! 

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I can not wait to do this again!!!  Hiking and being with a friend is truly great for the heart and soul.  It was wonderful to take a timeout from our hectic daily schedule to spend the day with Mother Nature.  My mind was calm, my heart was happy, and I couldn’t stop smiling! 

The good news is that anyone can hike!  Just strap on some sneakers and hit the trails!  Here is a great site to find hiking trails in your area!  Click here

Now, Larry is on his way home from work and we are planning on relaxing together for the rest of the evening.  We are going to grill some chicken and veggies for dinner, eat on the back patio, and watch movies on our newly discovered Netflix Instant Streaming through Wii for the rest of the night!!!  Tomorrow we are signing up at a community pool for the summer, and then going to a local winery to do a tasting and listen to live music.

Life is Good, my friends, life is good! 

~Jen

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

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Sunny Sunday

Hello!  I hope you have enjoyed your weekend, and I hope  you have spent some time outdoors in the beautiful March weather!

Yesterday was a fun and eventful day full of girly entertainment!

I started the day off by procrastinating from doing all of my to-dos.  I finally did an hour of kickboxing, though I definitely wanted to stop half way through the workout.

Lesson #1 of the day: Eat before you do intense workouts. 

I ended up finishing the workout and found a second wind near the end, but I do know next time I will not attempt to do this workout without some type of fuel. 

After working out and tidying up the house a bit, I threw together the snacks for the Arbonne Party. 

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There was a veggie tray with yellow and red peppers, baby carrots, cucumbers and TJ’s garlic hummus,

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a Gouda Cheese Assortment and TJ’s party crackers,

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and TJ’s sea salted pita chips and a variety of TJ’s hummus. 

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I also made homemade guacamole, which is an easy and clean recipe anyone can make!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 small red onion
  • Juice from 2 1/2 limes
  • Juice from 1 small orange
  • 2 medium red tomatoes halved and deseeded
  • 2 Serrano chilies
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Grill or broil the tomatoes and the Serrano chilies until the skins are bubbly and slightly blackened.  Chop the tomatoes.  Remove skin and seeds from Serrano chilies.  Chop the Serrano chilies. 

Smush avocados in a medium sized bowl with a fork.  Add the tomatoes, chilies, juice from limes and oranges, cilantro, salt, and onion.  Mix well and refrigerate for up to 8 hours before serving.

It was a bit oniony, and I have the breath to prove it ;)  If you’re not an onion fan, you may want to only use half of a small onion.

Once Kelly arrived, she set up the table with all of her goods.

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My mom won the tub with pretty green ribbon filled Aromassentials Awaken Salt Scrub in a raffle, and I won the big box in the middle just for throwing the party!!!

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Lesson #2 of the day: Everything we put on our skin goes into the bloodstream.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so smitten with Arbonne.  They do not use any mineral oils, lanolin, collagen, chemical dyes or fragrances, SD40 Alcohol, alcohols, free radicals, or animal by products.  If you concerned about the quality of the food you consume, it is also important to think about the quality of ingredients you add to your bloodstream through the products you use. 

Do you know of any product lines that follow a similar philosophy?

After the party, my mom, aunt, and I headed downtown for dinner.  We visited Balliceaux (pronounced bally-so).  This restaurant follows a farm to fork philosophy that incorporates fresh, local ingredients.  They even make their cocktails with fresh berries and fresh squeezed juices.  My aunt had a martini that was mind blowingly good! 

Dinner was beyond delicious!  I got the panko crusted “twin oaks” tofu
house made kim chee and an orange blossom sauce.  It was simply out of this world.  It’s funny, too, because yesterday morning I was reading Brittany’s, and she mentioned this locally made tofu that I had never heard of before. 

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Lesson #3 of the day: I simply must try to recreate this dish at home! 

Today, Larry and I took the dogs to the park to enjoy the beautiful sixty degree weather.  They are all tuckered out now and living dog’s life!

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We are going to extend our enjoyment of this spectacular weather and grill out for dinner tonight :)  Can’t wait! 

How did you enjoy the wonderful weather??? 

~Jen

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

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