Friday, August 28, 2015

The charm and what I'm reading this week

It's finally Friday y'all!  Last night we FINALLY got to give our friend her paddleboard lesson.  Third time's the charm.  We left a little later than I would've liked but it ended up working out for the better.  We are a few days away from a full moon and we got on the water probably 15 minutes before true sunset.  I was able to get some great pics of her silhouetted and she said it was so peaceful and she felt like she was flying.  We stayed out until 9:15pm and enjoyed the quiet for a few minutes.  It was our first but definitely not our last night paddle especially when the moon is close to full!

But enough of that, let's get to...

The 7 Best Exercises for Your IT Band  (Doing one now!)

Jeff Goldblum Shares an Adorable Video of Son Charlie Ocean Goldblum and Explains How He Got His Name  (This interview is classic Goldblum)

The 1 Move You Need If You Want to Tone Your Butt   (His anaconda don't want none unless you got buns hon)

Here's the Real Story Behind My Viral Weight-Loss Video  (Good read)

How to Cut Down Recipes   (If you're trying to half a recipe, bookmark this)

15 Most Surprising Sources for Omega-3s — Ranked!  (Good to know!)

Elderly Women Say They'd Slow Down And Live in The Moment if They Were Young Again  (Interesting perspective)

25 Things Americans Do That Are Rude in Other Countries  (I don't foresee myself traveling overseas anytime soon but duly noted)

Accused Bank Robber Says He Stole for Daughter's Chemotherapy Treatments  (Breaks my heart)

Major cancer breakthrough: Doctors solve long-standing mystery of how to stop cancer from growing  (Can we please get on this like right now?  I'm sure there's the standard 20 year asterisk beside this.  I remember being told in the 80's the cure for cancer was 20 years away.  35 years later.  Now they always say 10 years away like we all forget.  I bet if you cut out a lot of BS and corporations getting involved, we could fast track it to terminal patients.  Sorry, can you tell I'm tired of people I know and love getting cancer?)

These 20 Tips Will Have You Asleep in No Time   (These are helpful t.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Ken Jeong: How to Ditch Medicine for a Career in Comedy and Diagnose Castmates   (This guy is truly the nicest.  Love him)

The 17 Worst Healthy Food Swaps That Just Aren't Worth It  (Preach it, yo!)

Joey Fatone’s Letter to One Direction “Everything is About to Be Terrible”  (Courtesy of the Mr.  Seriously one of the most un-PC and AWESOME doses of truth I've read in a while.  I hope 1D takes note because no one else will tell you truth like an ex-boy bander.)

The Westboro Baptist Church Got Rick Rolled By The Foo Fighters  (Oh Lord, there she goes with her Foo Fighters crap again.  I told you.  When they stop being awesome on a weekly basis, I will stop linking to said awesome)

‘Breathe Me’: The Oral History of the Six Feet Under Finale’s Death Montage  (A MUST READ for any Six Feet Under fans!!  I'm so glad I'm not the only one who hears this song and cries.  I will literally run and hide from it if I'm in a store.)

We're meeting my friend halfway between our respective cities tomorrow for an early birthday bash and her paddleboard lesson.  I know, we're paddling fools.  Or just fools.  TBD.  I'm spending today making stuff for a picnic I'm bringing.  Roasted turkey club on focaccia, chips and a special cookie I'll likely give the recipe for next week.

What's on your agenda for the weekend?  

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Banana Nut Zucchini Muffins

For the past three weeks, I've been craving banana bread something fierce.  I dreamed about it, ways to make it good (sub applesauce for oil/butter) and ways to make it bad (dip it in egg wash, make it into French toast with butter pecan syrup).  But three weeks ago, it was 90 degrees and my desire to bake bread had not yet overcome me.  However, like clockwork, last Thursday at 8:34pm my baking gene activated.  I wanted to bake everything.



I baked lasagna.  This weekend I'm baking cookies for a gathering and yesterday I baked that banana bread.  Kind of.  Since we're sliding into the end of summer and in between the last burst of mas zucchini and pumpkin spice everything, I thought I'd make some of these babies...

I had a banana bread recipe floating in the back of my personal recipe book from a family friend but I knew it needed an update when it called for oleo.  I made a few tweaks like applesauce for oleo (margarine), coconut flour for some of the AP flour which also meant tweaking the eggs and a few more adjustments and prayed for the best.

Let's get acquainted with the wet(ish) ingredients

Now the dry

I didn't have room for another bowl in the dishwasher so I'm going to be honest, I just dumped all the dry stuff in a bowl...

Then I dumped the wet on top of it and gave it a stir.

Much to my relief, no sinkhole opened up under my feet when I didn't sift dry ingredients or cream in separate bowls etc as directed by the culinary gods.  Obviously if there was butter and sugar to be creamed I'd do things differently but I didn't and was feelin' lazy.

I lined my 12 cup muffin pan and used an ice cream scoop to fill them just slightly over 2/3 full.


I took my ounce of Planters salted caramel peanuts...

...and gave them a goodly choppin'.

I spinkled two grams (yep, I measured) on top of each muffin.

Into the oven at 350 degrees for 30-34 minutes (mine were done in 31 minutes)

It took everything in me not to slather those bad boys with honey butter and snarf them down in the corner while they were still warm but I refrained.

They scratch that itch for banana bread but still feel a little summery with the zucchini in there.  It has that nice dense, moist feel you want from banana bread too which is a relief since coconut flour can dry things out.  By having them in muffin form, it makes it easier for us to just grab one and go instead of doing a loaf pan and hoping for an equal measurement each time.  We all know how easy it is to cut that extra half inch off of a loaf of banana-y goodness!

Here's what you'll need to make them:

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (or regular granulated)
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Hain Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ener-G Baking Soda Substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup grated zucchini, excess water drained
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ounce planters sea salt caramel peanuts (or honey roasted peanuts) - optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, sift together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

In a large bowl (because unlike me, you're ambitious like that), stir together applesauce, eggs, sugar, zucchini and bananas.

Add dry mix to wet ingredients, don't over mix.

Use muffin tin liners or spray muffin tin with cooking spray and fill with batter 2/3 of the way up.

Chop the nuts and sprinkle onto the top of the batter.

Bake for 30-34 minutes depending on your oven.


Nutritional Info per muffin (12 servings per recipe):  Calories 128  Total Fat 3g  Saturated Fat 1.0g Cholesterol 55mg  Sodium 131mg  Potassium 192mg  Total Carbohydrates 22g  Fiber 2g
 Protein 4g   Vitamin A 2%   Vitamin C 6%  Calcium 7%   Iron 6%

Linked up with Bless'r House

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First taste of Fall workout

Yesterday it was amazingly wonderful temperature wise...66 degrees.  It felt like San Francisco but without all of the awesome.  I grabbed the lightweight long sleeved active shirt I usually wear over my thermals for snow shoeing and it kept me perfectly comfortable since there was a little breeze.  We thought it would be a good time to do a leisurely paddle so as not to irritate the Mr's shoulder and see how he'd do.  I helped him pump the paddleboard up when it started giving resistance to keep his shoulder happy.  

Unfortunately, I had a raging headache that only got worse as I paddled.  (It was a tension headache so that's why...sigh)  But I was still able to take some phone pics and enjoy the scenery.

I was happy to see little peeks of early changing leaves here and there.

I explored a few coves.

Took in the rocky cliffs.

We had a few bird friends along the way.  (middle of the pic)

By the time we got back, my headache was in overdrive and unfortunately dinner didn't help so it was med time.  I was grateful for lasagna leftovers though because in three minutes, it was done and ready to eat!  Hallelu-yer fer leftovers!

Spent the rest of the night chillin'.

Do you workout when you have a headache?  Leftovers...yay or nay?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hobblin' hooky day

Yesterday the Mr took a sick day because he was completely and utterly beat.  He did work super hard all weekend and is still recovering from his arm injury from last week.  It was a beautiful day, mid 70's, sunny and staying inside seemed like a waste of a day.  Once the Mr felt a little better, he suggested a trip to the zoo and I bit.  How can I pass up a chance to see otters and other furry friends?

It kind of stunk that walking around for 3 hours only warranted about 760 calories burned for me but it was better than sitting at home with bad soaps on in the background.

Because we had a late breakfast, we brought a protein bar with us in case we got hungry.  By the time we left, we were famished of course.  We had a long drive home so instead of driving home and then having to make a lunch, we decided to swing by Subway so we didn't eat our hands.  I got a footlong turkey breast on 9 grain wheat because it was more protein and only 60 calories more than if I got a side of Sun Chips and a 6" sub.  It was okay.  You know how it all can tend to taste the same no matter what meat.  I hopped online to enter my sandwich and almost keeled from the sodium content.  1800 effing milligrams of sodium...are you kidding me!?!  I knew it wasn't low but crap man, seriously??  So that was our last trip to Subway.  If I'm eating 1800 mg of sodium, it's going to have some actual taste.


The trail walk we did Thursday really screwed both of us up because like idiots we didn't roll or stretch and our hips paid for it.  You throw all the walking and workout we did Sunday (Turbo Fire) and then walking for 3 hours at the zoo and our legs were toast.  I told the Mr I was doing yoga and he said he'd do it with me so we did a 35 minute session in the basement and I felt much looser.  I rolled a little more to attempt to get the big ol' knots out of my calves.

I slacked Sunday on meal planning so I got that done, we watched a little tube and that was that.

What's your favorite zoo animal?

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Monday, August 24, 2015

The suckiest of weekends is thankfully over

I'm just going to warn you now, this is going to be full of sailor talk so if you're one of those delicate sensibility types, just go to a happier blog elsewhere where they pretend their life is bubbles full of unicorn kisses and moonbeams of cotton candy.  I'm writing about Saturday on Saturday in the throes of all that is going wrong so it's raw but I'll likely still stand by it today.

You ever deal with people so friggin' inconsiderate of your time that you want to hex them with a fire ant infestation in the armpits and short hairs?  If not, consider yourselves lucky.  This basement project was slated to be Thursday and Friday.  Because half of our possessions were down there, we moved our front door cam to the basement in clear view of one part of their working area.  We could keep an eye on them without being in their way and yes, the one dude noticed it.  Don't care.

He was supposed to arrive at 9am and of course at 9am we get a call that he will be late.  45 minutes later...  So he's down there caulking up the cracks and doing a bang up job when he's not on his phone.  Seriously, his phone was ringing every 2-5 minutes at one point for over an hour.  Let the guy do his damn job so he can leave and move on to the next thing.  Some dude shows up during the last five minutes and he's of no use so I don't even know why he was there.  The Mr says "same time tomorrow, right" and gets a major stall response and when he finally spit it out it was like "I'll call if I'm going to be later."  Shock of shocks, the next day he calls past the time we were expecting him and says he'll be there closer to lunch time.  Okay, so you've basically set us back a minimum of 3-4 hours because this is the stuff that can cause death with too much exposure so we need to determine how bad it's going to be and whether we can stay in the bedroom or need to get a hotel.

11am comes and goes.

12pm comes and goes.

1pm and I am so friggin' flaming it's not funny.

I have the Mr call to ask where the hell he is and he says 10 minutes away and starts giving excuses again like he did before he left the night before.  The Mr basically hangs up on him.  20 minutes later, Larry, Darryl and Darryl show up.  As things are being set up, "Larry" says "now we may need to come back tomorrow to do a second coat."  The Mr didn't even look up and Aunt Flo, Uncle Red and I shot him the death stare and I said "well, we're in and out tomorrow so yeah..."  He said to call him Saturday and let him know what would work with our schedule.  Whatever dude.  So they start doing their thing painting on the epoxy.  We stay in the living room as long as we can before the fumes start giving us both a headache and burning our throat.  Luckily, I had all of the windows open and the upstairs doors were closed with towels covering the cracks and I shut the vents so the smell was not infiltrating the upstairs.  We went up there until they said they were done.  They set up a big fan to bring in the "fresh" air from the back lanai.

Here's the problem, 5' from that fresh air was the 'bad' air output from the basement so they were recirculating the same rancid air out of the house back into the house with the basement door closed.  I'm sorry, how is the air supposed to circulate ever if the door is closed?  Seep through the 1/2" crack at the bottom?

As soon as they left we went to check on things and make airflow adjustments that made actual sense.   We went downstairs and turned on our fan to point to their fan that was pointing out the back window.  You know, the window they took out and then left completely open so that 50,000 bugs could fly around down there?  (And I threw away the pop cans they left down there on our shelves.  *smack!*  Our basement is not your trashcan, assholes!  Especially when a trashcan was literally one foot from where they left them out in the open.)  We grabbed a plastic drop cloth and taped up the window hole then we closed the back door and put the big fan in the kitchen pointing toward the basement stairwell.  We decided to let it do the 2 hour cure with the door closed so the stinkiest part would be contained and we went to see The Gift with Jason Bateman.  We came back, I made dinner and opened the basement door to let the air circulate and we could tell we would be okay to sleep at home.  So we went ahead with our relaxing paddling session and enjoyed a nice sunset.

When we got home, you couldn't even tell anything had been done, only if you were in the basement.  We didn't run the A/C but thankfully it was a chilly evening so we made it just fine without it.  

Then comes Saturday, the Mr leaves a message saying we'll be in until 11:15am if they're in the neighborhood like they said they'd be.  Nothing.  He calls again two hours later.  He makes an excuse and says probably later and the Mr said we'd be home after 3pm and he said that was fine.  3pm comes and goes with no call and our calls are now going to voice mail.  Oh no you did'ent!  I march downstairs and grab half their crap and take it straight out to the garage.  He calls the Mr and says he can't do it today, can we do it Sunday on a message.  Seriously dude?!  The Mr calls, leaves a message saying no, it won't work and we're leaving at 5pm so if he wanted his stuff it's been moved to the garage.  (But in that nice Mr kind of way that the man did not deserve at this point in his dicking us around.  I wanted the Mr that just had his Camaro hit by the dealership guy when he was 20 to show up but apparently he was on hiatus.)   He returned the call and said he'd be there in 20 minutes.  Yeah, something tells me having your work done for you will motivate a person.

Matter of fact, I was typing this when he came in so that my laser glare did not kill him instantly when he walked in to check the basement before gathering his wares from the garage.  I swear if he would've even said hello to me it would've taken everything in me not to wing my water bottle at his head with the brute force of a woman on her worst ladies day. But he got in and out without incident and hopefully I won't have to see that dillhole ever again.  We definitely know who NOT to call should the need for a contractor arise.  On someone elses dime where it's all paid for, whatever, but on ours...never.

Then we decided to go grab a pizza at this place we hadn't been to in years.  It's like cracker thin crust to the point of being like an appetizer.  The place was small so we figured we'd eat in and I could get rid of the headache I'd accumulated during the day from having my blood pressure skyrocket from the basement dude.  We walk in to a screeching mess of children not being parented, running amok, banging on video games and should've just turned around and walked out.  But honestly, the fight in me had been wiped so I raised the white flag and succumbed.  Pizza wasn't even good.  *twitch*

We ended the night with a visit to a family member who just moved into their new apartment to drop off a housewarming gift.  I won't go into detail but I'll just say it was the appropriate end to the day I had.  By the time we went to the store afterward, I couldn't turn my head to the left so the weird week of sleep coupled with stress had finally beaten my body into submission.  All I could do was pray Sunday was better and throw on some jazz.

It was grocery refill day so we were off earlier than I wanted to be.  As we rounded the corner in Tarzhay, it was apparent the sights of Fall were in the air...err...on the shelves.

When we came home, it was time to get the basement back in order so we could have our workout space for later on.  The Mr spotted something awesome...our 19 year old faucet dohickers for the washer and dryer both decided to give out and start dripping.

Look, I know we just got the basement waterproofed but we don't need this right now.  So a trip to the local hardware store was in order.  We got the replacements and despite some seriously scary moments in the loosening of the originals including me getting a nice spray, the Mr got them replaced.  We got all of the shelving units moved back and I got some things organized that I've been putting off.  The amount of dust and my allergies already acting up was ridiculous but we still had to workout.  The Mr was practically dead on his butt but I wasn't going to condone skipping.  I said it may not be the most productive Turbo Fire but we should still do it.  Then I thought, nope, can't go in with that attitude so when the music came on, I moved my booty, pretended I was being taped for a video and got my energy.  I burned 1060 cals so yeah, pleased with that.

Then it was time for dinner.

BBQ pork chop, small sweet potato and grilled sugar snap peas while latin jazz was serenading us.  So we began to chill out a bit and I popped in The 40-Year-Old Virgin so we could have some laughs to wind down a stressful weekend.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, August 21, 2015

It's stin-ky and what I'm reading this week

Wow, it's Friday already, eh?  Thankfully this week has gone by quickly and hairy situations have almost all been dealt with.  The basement dudes come back today to do the "stinky" part of the basement wall fix.  If yesterday wasn't stinky then this should be heinous.  The dude just shut the door and left.  Um, excuse me sir, perhaps turning on the fan and opening the back window so that noxious fumes in a room with a flame from a hot water heater would be in order.  Idiot.  We've got the back lanai set up to be our office today if need be and depending on how bad it gets, we may end up in a hotel Chicago.  HA!

But enough of the stinky stuff, let's get to...

8 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age  (Let's exercise that noggin!)

11 Seriously Awesome Benefits of Stretching  (Strrrrretch!)

7 Important Exercises You're Probably Neglecting   (I would definitely need to roll after some of these)

The 18 Most Magical Autumn Sensations  (OMG...I'm SOOOO ready!)

20 Crafts To Get You Ready for Fall  (I love the tray one for sure!  So cute!)

10 Things You Must Do Before You Board a Plane  (Some pretty good info right thar)

‘The Goonies’ house goes off limits  (SEE!  This is why people suck.  People like the Mr and I who make vacations out of visiting movie locations are respectful, take pics from a distance and certainly don't harass the owners.  You are NOT entitled to trespass just because a place was featured in a movie or tv show.  Please stop ruining it for the rest of us who aren't douches!)

New Fall Foods - Updated!    (A few new ones added since last week.  Yum!)

9 Highly Effective Solutions for Heel Pain  (For da oochie owies)

Obesity Gene Discovery Could Forever Change Weight Loss  (I read it and I have no opinion.  Unless they can do gene therapy that doesn't make me grow a third arm from my forehead, then I'm all over it)

You Won't Believe the Amazing Renovation of This 106-Year-Old House in Upstate New York  (SOO pretty!  How I'd love to restore a place like this!)

Foo Fighters Fan Brian Roberts Rocks Edmonton Crowd on Cover of Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’  (This is pretty cool and I LOVE watching Dave's face behind him as the dude hits the high notes.)

Dave Grohl serenades emotional Foo Fighters fan  (Okay, I know, two Foo Fighters links in a row but seriously, if Dave would stop being so damned awesome, I could go on.  Actually, whether you're a fan or not, watch this.  When he calls out the dude and then the thing and then they....oh man, I'm a friggin' puddle of tears.  I know this feeling that man is going through.  I've been to some concerts that have brought me to tears when you connect with the artist and I was so him at a few.  You cry those tears Anthony!)

Well, we have no definite plans this weekend because we don't know if our home is going to be inhabitable for more than 20 minutes at a time.  We've got outfits ironed in case we need to make a hasty retreat to anywhere but here.  We're paddling tonight to kill 3 hours and let the house air out but after that, I gots nothin'.

What are you guys doing this weekend?

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tattered and torn

(I hope you read that as though Tom Bailey from The Thompson Twins was singing Hold Me Now to you)

Yesterday was a much needed rest day from strenuous exercise but not so restful.  The night before, we went out for an evening paddle since the weather was nice.  Since we didn't go Sunday, I felt sluggish and felt every stroke.  Ten minutes in, I felt my ass getting wet again so despite the Mr checking the bail plugs, obviously one loosened after I pumped it up.  I think I pushed it down in time for it not to do too much damage.  That didn't make for a happy paddler so I'll have to permanently glue down the back ones since this butt isn't going on any rapids...ever.  We were the only ones out on the water and got further than we had the last time we went this route.  We saw a nest area and that was going to be our turnaround point.  As we paddled, tree branches were sticking out of the water here and there but nothing we couldn't maneuver around.  Then behind me I heard a splash.  The Mr went in when his skeg (fin on the bottom) hit a branch he couldn't see and it just stopped and threw him forward.  I was just thankful he didn't get hurt on a branch when he went in.  While he could touch, it was all mud which makes him nervous in shallows because he doesn't want a whole Artax in the swamp of sadness situation.  (Points if you got the reference)

I paddled over and held the board for him to swing back on and I could tell he was hurt.  I guess when he went down, he put his arm out to brace the fall and coupled with the heavy upper body circuit the night before, he was in poor paddling shape.  I begged him to let me tow him back the 2 1/2 miles so he could rest his arm but you pride.  By this time, the sun was dipping behind the horizon and the bats were out.   So we just had to dig in and paddle our butts back as fast as we could.  Obviously we had our lights on our vessels but with a 13% waxing crescent moon that looked like a fingernail, it wasn't going to be much light to paddle by.

I didn't want his arm to give out and us have to try to figure out something in the dark.  All I knew is in the future, anything with branches a plenty are off limits and no shallows for him.  My mind went to the worst what if places and it's not worth the risk.  By the time we got within eye sight of the bridge which was within 1/4 mile of the launch, my hands gave up.  I had to stop using my thumbs because I could feel my tendons pulling in my arm and tendinitis for paddlers is real, yo.  We got packed back up pretty quick and despite doing stretches, my fingers were stiff and my left shoulder tweaked.  We got home and instantly showered, had some dark chocolate for our snack because 1550 calories later, I could spare the extra 40 calories from what I had planned and we both iced our shoulders.  At 2am, I was awakened by the Mr continuously rolling onto me so I got up and slept on the couch to just give him rule of the bed.  Wednesday morning we were both stiff messes and watching him try to put on a shirt was rather sad but he had to be at work so no sick day to recoup.  Well he could have but it's not in him.  Me?  I'd have done it.

I made an earlier dinner of mahi mahi over spinach and carrot polenta.

Then it was time to get all of the crap moved and ready for the basement dudes to come in today and start application one of our fix.  We were quite the pathetic pair.  He could only push so I moved most of the shelving units we put on moving sliders a few weeks ago.  I covered them with drop cloths.  Then he moved the washer and dryer because my weak azz couldn't hack it and we pulled off the dryer vent (metal accordion style) and I couldn't push it back together.  So pressure on either of our shoulders was not our friend.  We're trying to stay optimistic for a paddle tomorrow night since the workout area will be off limits.  No upper body anything tonight, that's for sure.

To relax, I popped in the pilot episode of Sleepy Hollow.  Damn that was good stuff.  I know season two went awry but we're trying to stay optimistic for upcoming season three.  Anything that gets me 41 minutes of Tom Mison once a week in hot period garb is high on my list.

Ever had an outdoor sport injury?  Chased the last winks of daylight on an outdoor activity?

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