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Honeymoon Mystery and Deliciously Simple Asian Tofu Salad

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Yesterday, Mom and I spent the morning driving up to Michigan to meet my dad and be with family for the morning.  On the way up there, we saw about a bazillion hot air balloons.  I know it’s hard to see in the picture below, but all those little specs are hot air balloons!  We had no idea why so many were out on a Wednesday morning, or even that so many people owned hot air balloons, but it gave us some nice scenery along the drive.

The trip to Fort Wayne and Michigan was short and sweet, so before I knew it, I was in the car and heading back to Indianapolis to meet with our Travel Agent to speak of honey moon plans.

It was a long day of driving, so I needed snacks in the car.  Mom packed up some cucumbers, radishes (yum!  I don’t eat these enough!), green pepper, and dried apricot.

It was great talking with the travel agent.  Brian and I just keep getting more and more excited about the wedding and our honey moon each day and can’t wait for next summer!

We haven’t booked anything yet, but hopefully soon we will have our arrangements all settled to travel to one of these locations…

Cinque Terre, Italy

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Negril, Jamaica

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The Bahamas

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Any guesses as to which location Brian and I are trying to make our honeymoon destination? We will let you know the answer once everything is all booked!

Dinner

When we arrived home, it was later than our usual dinner time and both of us were a bit hungry.  Luckily, I had prepped a meal on Sunday so we had to wait almost no time for dinner to be on the table.

Asian Tofu Salad

Yields:  2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup of cubed tofu
  • 2 cups of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped cabbage

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and olive oil.  Stir until combined.  Pour about half of the Asian dressing over the cubed tofu to marinate.  Spray and grease a baking sheet, and lay the tofu on the sheet.  Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, stir the tofu around and place in the oven for 10-15 more minutes until it reaches your desired crispness.

This tofu can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days so that you can have this meal later in the week, or you can serve it right away.  

Divide the lettuce and cabbage into two bowls.  Top with the tofu and the remaining dressing.  Eat and enjoy!

This meal was delicious and tasty, so simple, and we both cleaned every bite from our plates!

Hope you all have a great Thursday!

Of Possible Interest

 

Baby, I’m Back!

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After an amazing week long vacation in Florida with my family, I am back home in Indiana.  I took so many pictures attempting to capture each moment, and plan to recap the vacay within the next few days, but I thought that I would start off today by recapping today and the end of our journey.

Leaving Florida

After packing up our bags and making sure that we had everything out of the condo, my family headed up to Ocala, FL.  Ocala is a small town a couple of hours North of Orlando, and it just happens to be where my Aunt and Uncle call home.  It has always been a tradition to stop at their house on our way home to fill our tummies with a delicious meal before hitting the long road home, and yesterday was no exception.

My grandparents were there too, and my grandma picked up some special treats to serve as appetizers to our lunch.

Fried Alligator

and Crab Legs

 

Now, I have tried crab legs before…and I love them!  So when it came to that dish I (and the rest of the fam) dug right in!…literally

 

My dad and grandpa stayed out of the mess.  To them, crab legs are a lot of work, for not a lot of food…but I think that the work is all the fun!

Now, as far as the alligator goes…I would be lying if I didn’t say I was apprehensive.  It took a little coaxing to get me to agree to trying a piece:

I would also be lying if I told you I didn’t go back for seconds ;)…I liked it!

After chatting and catching up for a bit, my aunt then laid out some delicious salads and toppings for us to “build-our-own” lunch salads.  Just the kind of meal I love! Create-your-own…and veggies!

Grandma and Brenna

Uncle Chris, Mom, and Grandpa

Aunt Doreen, Dad, and Me

It was a great afternoon and a great way to end our vacation.  Thanks Aunt Doreen and Uncle Chris!  And thanks Grandma for the gator and crabs 🙂

Surprise Breakfast

We then drove through the night, switching drivers every couple of hours so that we could all stretch our legs and by around 8:30am we were pulling into the Rochford’s driveway…and they had a surprise breakfast made up for us!

 

 

 

There was delicious fruit and yogurt, bagels, hashbrowns, and Greg (Brian’s dad) was making eggs however we liked…it was delicious and much needed.  My parent’s were especially thankful considering they were dropping my sister and I off in Indianapolis with another two hours to go until they reached their destination of Fort Wayne.

Thankfully, we all made it back safe and in one piece!

Sunday Prep

Rather than heading straight to bed or scheduling a nap in during the day, I decided to be productive and work on getting things done in order to prepare for the work week so that I can go to bed early and not worry about anything I didn’t have time to get done.

I made some hummus:

I baked some peanut butter cookies…seriously delish!

Greg shared the harvest from my tomato plant with me…

Two baby baby tomatoes, with a third one still green on the vine!

I really owe a big thank you to Brian’s dad…he watered that tomato plant, while I barely even looked at it!  And thanks to his water pot…we have three baby tomatoes, and they were tasty!

Getting Back in the Groove

Now, that I am back and laundry is done, I have grocery shopped, and prepared food for the week I am sooo ready to get back on track.  I absolutely love vacation and spending time with my family, but I am the kind of person that needs to function on a schedule, I thrive on it!  So, I am completely ready to dive in head first to get back into the routine of my half marathon training, Body Pump practicing, group fitness teaching, and healthy eating regular schedule 😉

Shout Out

And one last shout out (to the longest post ever…).  Thanks so much to Sam at Fit for my Fork, Courtney at Sweet Tooth Sweet Life, Clare at Fitting It All In, and Andrea at A Doctor in the House for guest posting while I was spending a wonderful week in Florida with my family.

Heading to Florida

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Hello and happy Saturday!

I hope all is going well with you, and you are doing something really fun with your favorite people 🙂

Today has been a pretty jam packed day…for a good reason though!  Tonight I am leaving for a family vacation to Florida in honor of my younger brother’s graduation from college.  Because I have been so busy with work and teaching group fitness recently, I literally have not had a spare second to think about packing (or maybe it’s the fact that I truly hate the packing process…)

That being said, I started this morning bright and early with a delicious bowl of what I like to call Monkey Oats!


The Monkey Oats were chocolatey, peanut buttery, bananay, and just plain good!

Monkey Oats

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 stevia packets
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 sprinkle cinnamon
  • 1/3 banana
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter

Directions:

Place the oats in a microwave safe bowl with 2/3 cups water.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Take the oats from the microwave and mix in cocoa, stevia, protein, cinnamon, and about 2/3 cup more water.  Microwave for about 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until the oats are the desired consistency.  Top with bananas and peanut butter…and enjoy!!

Workout

After my oaty breakfast, I spent the morning reviewing my Body Pump notes.  I was a little nervous for class today because I was teaching the latest release all by myself for the first time!  The class was great, I had so much fun, and I only made a couple of minor mistakes…nothing to sweat about!

After teaching that class, my brain officially went on vacation mode!! I came home to make myself a quick lunch, and Brian had a little surprise waiting for me.

For the past 10 days, Brian had been in London and Ireland with his mom and aunt visiting family (yes I know…I was only slightly jealous he was in London right before the Olympics!)

Brian bought me a couple of souvenirs, the first being an Irish wool sweater!  I absolutely love being warm and cozy all the time, and love bundling up in big chunky sweaters, so when Brian asked what I wanted while he was on the trip, I jokingly said I wanted a wool sweater…I guess he didn’t get the joke 😉

I love it!

He also got a cool Olympic backpack from London!  We are definitely taking it with us to Florida.

After present time, it was time to get down to business.  Brian cleaned our little apartment, and we packed a whole weeks worth of stuff into one bag…

That’s right…ONE BAG!  We are driving to Florida, and in the car will be my mom, dad, Brenna, Brian, and me.  There is very limited space, so we had to be flexible…luckily it is summer, meaning our clothes are small and can easily be rolled up.

The trip down to Florida should be interesting considering we have three adults in the back seat of the car…and my dad hates making pit stops…wish us luck!!

Packing Time

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It’s that time again.
Time to pack my bags for a weekend at home in Fort Wayne.  Packing is definitely not on the top of my list when it comes to “things I look forward to doing” no matter how excited I am for the trip.  For some reason, the shorter the trip, the more bags I pack.  I am always worried and stressed that I will forget something.  It’s like I forget that if I forget my toothbrush, there just happens to be a grocery store less than 5 minutes from my parent’s house.

Packing has been slightly easier recently due to the fact that I get ready at the gym every morning.  I just keep all of my “getting ready” stuff in a bag so that when I go to the gym I just grab the bag, which makes it nice to just “grab the bag” while packing for a little trip home.

Breakfast

Breakfast was another smoothie…slightly more attractive than yesterday’s breakfast 😉

A tasty strawberry banana smoothie topped with half of a zucchini breakfast cake for my morning serving of starch, veggies, and a little bit of fat.

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior protein powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a little bit of water to get things movin’!

Workout

I decided to make this my rest day!  Usually I take Sundays as my rest day, but since I am heading home I am going to a Body Pump class tomorrow with mom, and I am planning on heading for a run on Sunday.

Another factor in my decision to take this day of rest was the fact that I don’t have to be at work until 11am today!  Seriously, what a better way to start a Friday?  It is kind of like having an adult snow day.  At work, we have an all company sales meeting from 11am-5pm.  The meeting is located downtown, and my office is located North of downtown.  Because I live South of downtown, my boss was kind enough to realize how much unnecessary extra driving going into work would require, so she told me to just go to the meeting.  I didn’t complain one bit!

So, the morning will include getting ready for my trip home, blog stuff, and a little bit of relaxation!

Craft Update

FYI….the craft turned out great!  However, I can’t share pictures…YET!  Don’t worry, you will know soon 🙂

Weekend Reading Material:

 

 

 

An Australian Skirt

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Today, I wore a very special skirt. the thing that makes it so special is that Brian’s aunt made it for me.  In 3 days!

While traveling on the cruise, one of my favorite spots that we stopped was Sydney, Australia.  

On our last trip to Sydney, I walked around for a while by myself waiting to meet up with a friend who lives in Sydney.  There just happened to be a market with a ton of arts, crafts, hand made goods, and tasty looking food.  I couldn’t resist when the first booth I saw was full of beautiful patterned skirts (much like the one that I am wearing from Brian’s Aunt).  The woman’s stall was called Gigi’s Fairy Fashion’s , and as we started chatting we instantly hit it off.  She had me trying on skirts over my shorts, putting on belts, and holding up shoes…and then I saw the one.  The perfect skirt for me.

I don’t know what came over me because I am usually very frugal with my money.  The skirt cost $165….but I didn’t care.  It was the perfect skirt to wear with a tank top, boots, heels, a sweater, cardigan, anything…and the fabric was gorgeous…so I bought it!

I am wearing the skirt!

Gigi (of Gigi’s Fairy Fashion’s) told me that she hand makes each of the pieces that she sells, and she started by making these pieces for her daughters.  Eventually, her daughters’ friends wanted these wonderful skirts, and in 1996 Gigi was making enough skirts to start a business!  I don’t regret purchasing the skirt one single bit, and now I am glad that I have two!!

Thanks Aunt Erin 🙂

After work today, I stopped at the gas station and picked myself up a little treat…

When I start chewing gum…I can get pretty addicted and I had gone all week without it, so I decided today was the day to break down and chomp!

Special Night

Tonight is a very special night for two reasons:

  1. Erin is having her rehearsal dinner because she gets married tomorrow!!
  2. BRIAN AND I GET MARRIED ONE YEAR FROM TODAY….crazy

This next year is going to fly, but I can hardly wait to marry my best friend.

Just after I said yes!

I want you to tell me about the biggest impulse buy you have ever made…did you feel guilty about??

Grand Haven Part II

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My mom and I had an amazing mother-daughter weekend visiting her hometown of Grand Haven, MI.  You can view part one of the trip here!

The weather got a little wet in the late afternoon, but my mom and I didn’t let that stop us.  After walking up and down the pier, we decided to head into town to check out all the little shops.

One of my favorite shops was a little general store called Fortino’s.  They had so many different specialty foods, homemade candy, and home-roasted nuts.  Delish!

We didn’t buy much, but we made sure to get some nuts for snacking and some locally made blueberry coffee (blueberries are pretty big in Michigan).

The store we bought the coffee from had a sample, and the blueberry hint was subtle enough that you could taste it but the blueberry flavor wasn’t overpowering.  I am excited to make a mug of this warm drink!

Eventually, all the walking around and shopping got us hungry for dinner.  We stopped at another local place called Snug Harbor.

The restaurant had outdoor seating right on the water with a perfect view!

For dinner, we shared two appetizers.  One of salmon bruschetta (I am for sure trying to make this again!!) and a hummus platter.  Yum!

Then, it was time for dessert and the musical fountain.  So, we headed to Temptations for some homemade ice cream, and then found a spot on the lawn to watch the musical fountain do it’s dance.

The musical fountain, happens at night.  It is a fountain that plays music, talks and lights up!  It is a cute summer tradition for locals.

After a long day of hanging out in Grand Haven and doing all of the “tourist” type things we were ready to hit the hay and drove to a nearby hotel.

We slept like logs, then woke up early to head back to Fort Wayne.  Luckily, the hotel had a hot breakfast, waffle maker included!

Mom and I shared the waffle, and it was tasty 🙂  So worth it!

After our tummies were satisfied, we loaded up the car and headed back to Fort Wayne.

All in all it was a perfect weekend, and I can’t wait to go back and visit with Mom again 🙂

Grand Haven Part I

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I had an AMAZING mini weekend vacation with my mom, my only wish…that it was longer.  I can’t believe that it is now Monday, I have to go back to work.  Hopefully, another trip is around the corner 😉

This weekend, my mom and I planned a little weekend get-away trip to her hometown of Grand Haven, MI.  It had been a while since either of us had been there, and my mom wanted to take me there so that we could do all of the “touristy” things.  The town is small, and located right on the beach of Lake Michigan.  It is the perfect destination for a little weekend trip.

We started out the morning bright and early so that we could hit the road ASAP…look out Grand Haven, the Deals are coming.

We then loaded up the car, and headed to Grand Haven, MI, my mom’s home town.  The first stop was Rosy Mound for a little hike on the the beach.

The hike was only about 2 miles, but boy were we sweating by the end!  There were plenty of stairs and even a little sand for us to trudge through.  It was a good leg workout for sure 😉

Luckily, there was a water station.  I think this is the fanciest drinking fountain I have seen!

We then decided to change out of our sweaty clothes and into our bathing suits with flowy dresses over them.  Our next stop was to eat lunch and then head to the beach.

We stopped for lunch at this local restaurant called Kirby House.  It had a fun feel to it, and mom and I both agreed that it was probably a pretty popular spot at night, but there was one thing that appealed to my mom and me….outdoor rooftop seating!

The wait staff was funny and friendly and gave us great recommendations.  My mom ended up ordering an olive and blue cheese burger with onion rings and their spiked with Jack Daniels ketchup.

I made sure to help my mom with the onion rings 😉  I ordered the Farmer’s Market grinder, which was a hot sandwich with melted mozzarella, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes and a lemon oregano dressing.  On the side, I had a mini salad.

It was warm, gooey and delicious!

After our bellies were full, we began to walk down to the beach, with the intentions of laying out for a bit and catching some rays.  Unfortunately, that is when the clouds and wind started to roll in with a little bit of rain.  Nothing too bad, we just ended up walking out to the end of the pier rather than laying in the sun.

That is all for now, but I hope you have an amazing start to your Monday.  Stay tuned for Grand Haven Part II later today!!