Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Just say no to bowlers lunges

It's the last day of September!  Where the *&$% did the month go???

Sunday night we did a strength session of Chalean Extreme and in it were some bowlers lunges.  Now as soon as I heard the cue for them, all of these red flags went off in my brain not to do them.  I knew they did something screwy to me but I couldn't remember what.  I thought they just made my legs sore the next day and figured I could handle that so I proceeded.

Monday, I felt like my right ankle needed to crack and halfway through our workout, I was greeted with a stabbing pain that shot up the back of my calf from my ankle.  I had to stop and have the Mr kind of yank it a little like the chiro will sometimes do and it seemed okay.  I continued on and a few minutes later got a little shooter again.  Great.  So I continue on the balls of my feet and as long as I didn't put any pressure on the back of my heel, I was okay.  I rolled and did an ankle massage before bed.

We were set to do a strength last night and I knew if I didn't have a DVD guiding me, I'd slack and the Mr said he wanted something slightly more challenging so we popped in Atletica by Powerstrike.  It was okay even with the lighter weights but with all of the leg work, I could feel the back of my leg getting a little irritated with me.  It backed off when I did a zillion squats and then my right knee was like "is there room for another at the pain party, yo?"  I cut out the last two exercises, which frankly, I could've done but I was over it and it'd been 40 minutes so I was done.  I went to get on my balance board to see if my ankle could take it.

~*~SHOOT~*~  

*~*ZING!*~*

Guess not.

Cue Simon and Garfunkel...

"Hello Achilles Tendinitis my old friend...."

I iced it as soon as we came up and it was mad at me just standing to make dinner so that was fun.

Mahi fish tacos and Brussels


I put the ice back on it after dinner and sleeved up with the compression gear.  I did some ultra sound on it before bed to help speed healing.  I know I can get this under control within a week if I'm good and I don't have a choice, we've got places to go soon so I need to be healed up.

So under no circumstances am I to ever do bowlers lunges again.  I want to, they feel challenging when I'm doing them but bottom line is my ol' bod just can't take them.  Rat bastard.  I hate feeling limited by some moves like that.

Now I have to figure out what cardio I can get in the rest of the week.  I might have to break down and do yoga on Friday instead of cardio so I can pair it with Saturday's rest day.  Then if I do upper body strength Sunday it'll be like a 3 day rest for it.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm listening to this.

On another unrelated note, tomorrow is Sleepy Hollow's season 3 premiere.   HELLS YEAH!  Tom's dropping the wig and while I wasn't a fan at first, his longer than Tom's/shorter than Ichabod's hair hath grown on me.

What exercise moves don't agree with you?  (Or is it just me?)

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

So this is what spontaneity feels like

For those of you that have been following me for any period of time, you know I'm a planner.  I like the structure of an itinerary for a trip because it's important to maximize the time I have.  We don't always follow it to a tee like in the olden days but we've tried going sans itinerary and spent 45 minutes saying "where do you want to go?"  "I don't know, where do you want to go?"   Decide on something, then repeat for the next thing.  It just breeds frustration and irritation.

Part of the fun of last week's trip was we planned on paddling most of our indulgences off.  One of those trips may have been the night we got into Saratoga Springs just to knock the rust off of us from the car ride.  When we got there, we didn't have it in us and decided to skip it and walk the town.  Now that I know what was waiting for us, I'm glad we waited because it could've ruined my day at Beekman Farm given my pension for dwelling.

See that beautiful building in the background?  That's the Sagamore Hotel on Lake George in the Bolton Landing area.  I'd been dreaming about paddling around that with the Mr for 2 months.



See the Mr?  He's paddling that dream...while I take pics from the pier with tears streaming down my cheeks.  Why?  Because my delightful inflatable kayak decided to blow not one, but BOTH bladders.  The one was a complete rip that was not able to be patched.

The patch covered the initial leak but inflation to 1 PSI (half the normal) sent it busting at the seams...literally

The Mr said no way was he going without me and I insisted he go because one of us should be able to enjoy it.  Though it would've been nice if he hadn't gushed about how awesome the scenery was when he got back.  *flick to forehead*  It didn't help the restaurant we'd been looking forward to was the only one closed for the season.  Oh, did I mention we started off the day with a HORRIBLE breakfast experience and later that night some rowdy school kids made us get up and leave the theater before the movie even started with their antics?  So yeah, the 2nd half of our trip was nowhere near as good as the first half.

We were set to head for home the next morning.  I was bumming because Sleepy Hollow was only 3 hours away and I really missed it.  We joked about going that night and then decided against it.  Then next morning it was nagging at me and I felt I was owed an extra day to make up for the crap that was the day before.  It wasn't until we got in the car with it packed up that I said so where do I set the GPS for?  Sleepy Hollow it was.  Halfway there after constantly seeing signs for NYC and knowing that there was a train station in Tarrytown, the Mr and I both had the same thought.  He mentioned it first that we could take a train in and I laughed and said I thought the same thing.  I checked the departure times and started seeing what was close to Grand Central Terminal that we could cram in.  I knew we'd have to see things at break neck speed but we were on an adventure.

When we got to Tarrytown, I told the Mr to get the maximum amount allowed at the parking meter.  We had to be back at 9:21pm or I didn't know if we'd get a ticket or worse, they'd tow us and all of our clothes and possessions and we had nowhere to stay there locked down yet.  (I knew there were vacancies but didn't book anything yet)  So yeah, it was way out of our comfort zone.  The next thing we knew...


...we were in Grand Central Terminal.


Then Times Square.


Wandering the theater district


Enjoying some much needed sustenance at Angelo's pizza while watching the people waiting in line for the Colbert show.  We're more deep dish people but this was GOOD!


Making our way around Central Park was much more pleasant once we hopped in for a carriage ride, a dream of mine!


I was so glad we took this route over a pedicab.  If the building looks familiar, it's from Ghostbusters, Dana Barrett's apartment.


We enjoyed taking it all in.


Afterward, we wandered the park a bit more as I took mental notes on our ride and we returned to the Bethesda Terrace/fountain area.


Even though we're not Beatles fans, we swung by Strawberry Fields.


A part of me wishes we could've seen the Pope but we couldn't have seen about 90% of the things we did had we been there 4 days later.


As the sun began to dip into the sky, the neon lights of the city started to light our way back to the terminal.


Next time, Jimmy.


A quick photo of the Chrysler Building while we were waiting to cross the street.  No time to lollygag.



We were both broken by the time we reached the terminal and the following few days.  It was a whirlwind and we both feel like it happened to someone else because we only had 5 hours to take it all in.  But I think for having no itinerary I was able to find things concentrated in an area we could easily navigate and see some big landmarks.  It was a quick taste of midtown Manhattan and while we both agreed we don't feel the connection we feel to San Francisco or Chicago, we'd better plan a trip for the next few years because I'll be too old to keep that pace up!

When we got back to Sleepy Hollow after some uh..."issues" with the train, I started getting upset because I knew we were going to scrape back by the short hairs on the parking meter.  I told him to run ahead of me to get back to the car.  I don't think he was physically able to run at that point so I was only about 6 steps behind him.  We literally got in the car with ONE MINUTE to spare.

I got on a travel site and booked through them to get a better rate at a place we were looking at and we collapsed in bed.  Too bad the cement bed left me awake most of the night but I was just glad we weren't sleeping in the car evading the Headless Horseman all night!

We did go back to Sleepy Hollow cemetery and enjoyed our spot at the Headless Horseman Bridge, the lighthouse and enjoyed an afternoon tea in town.

(From last years trip)

I could so live there.  It's a beautiful town.

We left waaaay later than we should have if we wanted to get home at a decent hour but we were just enjoying it too much.  Mad props to the Mr because it was a long, arduous drive both ways but he tackled it like a champ.  I couldn't have driven half the places he did because I get so panicky when it's construction zones and it seems that's all we hit.

When we look back on the disappointment of the kayak issue, the last minute decision to stay in NY and then suddenly ending up in the biggest city in the world with no directions or plan, we can certainly say it was an interesting, whirlwind, unexpected trip and by far the most spontaneous thing we've ever done!

What is the most spontaneous thing you've ever done?

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Pumpkin-palooza

Where did the weekend go??

I'm seriously trying to remember what the heck we did!

Oh yeah, Saturday we went to lunch.  It always puzzles us when people bring their kids into a bar.  This place clearly has no kids menu and even though we're not drinkers, they still have a good burger when they're on their game (which thankfully they were that day) so we go on occasion.  It's not exactly cheap either.  So we got through playtime and hung out and then I figured I wanted to at least get Trader Joe's and Target out of the way and we went a little pumpkin crazy.



The Mr and I both got a box because I wasn't willing to share.  *blush*  So this is likely going to be breakfast this morning, I'll report back.  


Run far, run fast.  These are too good and we had to give half of them away to avoid temptation.


When Trader Joe's gets in pumpkin pie spice for the year, you stock up.  It's a moral imperative.  It is the best ever and I use it year round.

We spent the rest of Saturday watching football including Hawaii.  Not giving up.

Sunday, I wanted to get some friends an advent calendar for their vacation. They're going to the Horror Night's thingy down in Florida and it's their first vacation by themselves in a while so I'm excited for them.  I could've sworn I saw Halloween advent calendars in the past at Hallmark and stuff and couldn't find them to save my life.  So I decided to make one for them!  We took it over to them, hung out with them and their massive curly pup (doodle) for a few hours and then it was time to get the rest of the groceries.  Thankfully I remembered my coupon for once to get $5 off for spending $50 or more.  I seemed to be forgetting it all summer which I'm sure is the goal.  But the mahi mahi helped with that one.  Man, I wish fish wasn't so expensive.  Then we got home and we were starving because it'd been about 7 hours since we ate.  I made dinner and then we went downstairs to get in our strength workout.

We were both really proud of getting it done because we were going to a movie and it would've been very easy to skip.  Instead I'm sure we'll be limping from all of the dead lifts and squats today.  We wanted to go on a paddle to see the super moon/lunar eclipse but Mother Nature pulled over a blanket of clouds pretty tight.  Sigh.

What did you guys do this weekend?  Bought any pumpkin products for the season?

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Beekman 1802 Farm Tour and a giveaway


We had a wonderful time on our tour of Beekman Farm.  We were shuttled by bus from downtown Sharon Springs to the farm where we quickly learned this was a family affair.  We were greeted by Josh's dad, Brent's mom and ├ľnder the pup.


If you ever watched the Fabulous Beekman Boys , you no doubt recognize this grand back porch.


Since it was harvest season, our guide generously offered everyone to grab an apple from a tree to enjoy while we toured the grounds.


We saw the Beekman crypt.


Behind the crypt was a heart shaped rock where they say if you kiss by it, your love will last forever.  Of course the Mr and I snuck a smooch!


The view of the home is just breath taking.  I can only imagine how beautiful it is in the spring when everything is in bloom.


Brent's mom took us over to the barn to see Farmer John.


...and of course the delightful goats!  They were all so cute.


The one on the lower left had a nice time nibbling my apple juice soaked fingers and the other goat would get jealous when I pet anyone but him (her?).

Then if you're a fan, you know this diva, Polka Spot the llama.


She seriously has a presence when she walks in and she looked at everyone like "excuse me, I'm here now, let the picture taking commence."

Then it was time to go to Josh's favorite spot, the veggie garden.




The wild flowers by the fence were beckoning on our way to meet one of the beekeepers.


One of the hens peeked her head out to see who was at the door.


When you buy a ticket to the tour, they don't boot you out as soon as it's over, you're allowed to stick around and enjoy the grounds until the last bus runs.  So the Mr and I sat on the grass by the pond and listened to the rustling of the weeping willow trees.


Then we hiked up wedding hill and took in another sweeping vista.  In a few weeks, this will be bursting with fall color.  I'm so jealous!


├ľnder watched on as we showed ourselves to the bus and began mentally planning our return trip in the future.


Now for a little surprise!

I picked up The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook at their store and ran upstairs and had the boys sign it for a lucky reader!


If you'd like to enter to win, just comment here or on Facebook with the phrase "BOOK ME!"

The winner will be revealed next Friday, October 2nd with the What I'm Reading This Week links.

I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour and consider making a trip to Sharon Springs during the Harvest Festival!

If you'd like to keep up with Brent and Josh and every living thing on the farm, they share beautiful photos and their adventures on their Facebook,  Twitter and Instagram.  If you want some awesome products from their store, you can shop online.  (If you're new to the site, you can enter your email address for a 15% discount!)

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Birthday trip to the Sharon Springs Harvest Fest

Sorry for no post yesterday but getting back in the middle of the night from an extended weekend put sleep as my top priority.   When we stopped through Sharon Springs, NY on our trip last fall, I swooned at the thought of coming back someday during Harvest Festival when Brent and Josh of Beekman 1802 (also winners of the 21st season of Amazing Race) offer tours of their beautiful farm.  About 2 months ago, the Mr saw in a promo email that was happening and asked if I wanted to go as a belated birthday trip.  Uh...yes!  We went to nearby Saratoga Springs first back in 1999 with the in-laws since they lived close by and then stopped through town for lunch last year on our way to Vermont.  I said I would love to have a day or two to explore the town in the future so this seemed like a good excuse to merge the two ideas!

We stayed in a lovely condo in Saratoga Springs and on arrival day we got to wander the main drag of Broadway a bit as well as Congress Park and Hathorn Spring.  Of course we also had to see the horses at the track the next morning getting their exercise in.

click to enlarge


Now it was time to go make our trek to Sharon Springs!  Just over an hour later we were parking at the school and getting ready to be shuttled over to the festival.  We were dropped off close to the Etsy Makers Village and got to roam the artisans early in the day before the crowds came in.  It was amazing to see all of the talent that poured into the village.  As if that wasn't enough, the town has some great local stores to visit any time you like and it was all decorated to get you ready for autumn!

click to enlarge

Of course, the store many people are there to see is the famous Beekman 1802 Mercantile store.  If you're not familiar with the Fabulous Beekman Boys, you can read their story and get super inspired.  Their products and the products they carry are seriously some the of best out there.

click to enlarge

Our favorite is their honey.  The cinnamon honey is like...ridiculous.  It's one of those things that if someone tried to take it from me, they'd leave minus a limb.  We've used their bug spray and lip balm too and liked them as well.  (Worked on Savannah bugs!  That should say something.  They have big ol' demon skeeters there!)  The Mortgage Lifter pasta sauce was also a hit and I totally recommend you make the Mortgage Lifter Hybrid Lasagna recipe I posted with it.  It's at Target and it's kind of like your way to give back to the farmers so it's a moral imperative.  HA!

The second floor was full of gorgeous new, vintage and upcycled furniture.  You know you're in for something fun when something this beautiful is lighting your way:


In addition to the treasures for the home, the town treasures Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell were also on the second floor greeting neighbors old and new!


They were seriously the sweetest guys and took a few minutes to chat with everyone who came up to see them.  What these guys have done not just for the town of Sharon Springs but for bringing awareness to the importance of supporting small farmers and giving back to the farming community is nothing short of awe inspiring.  It's a way of life that was being swallowed by big business but using their story as a platform has begun to make a mark.

I do have a suggestion for their next line of products...sunscreen.


I guarantee unprepared doofs like myself who forgot theirs in the car would've paid any price to protect their skin!  (Plus we need more sunscreen options with less toxic ingredients and I know they could pull it off!)

Now I told you at the beginning that we were there for a farm tour but I took so many dang pics that there was no way to fit it all in so you'll have to come back tomorrow to see that as well as a surprise!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mortgage Lifter Hybrid Lasagna

We spent this past weekend in Sharon Springs, NY at the Harvest Festival.  After seeing the Beekman Merchantile store on our big New England trip last year, I knew I wanted to go back.  But before that, I finally picked up a jar of Beekman 1802 Mortgage Lifter Pasta Sauce at Target.


Actually, you'll be able to get a lot more of their products and give 25% back to small farmers,  read more about that here.  I tried to think of the perfect vehicle for which to use this pasta sauce and given how successful my half whole wheat spaghetti/half zucchini noodle spaghetti went over, I wondered if it would translate to lasagna.  I was more than happy to see that it did and this was born...


Here's what you'll need to make yours.

1 jar Beekman 1802 Mortgage Lifter Original Pasta Sauce
2-3 large zucchini
2 1/2 cups low sodium cottage cheese
1 large egg
1 cup frozen spinach, drained of water
1 pound 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey Breast
2 small heads of garlic, roasted
1 large onion, chopped
4 oz whole wheat lasagna noodles, (4-5 noodles)
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Swiss Gruyere shredded cheese
3 tbsp Trader Joe's Parmesan, Asiago and Romano cheese shreds
Preferred salt free spices (oregano, black pepper, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes,etc)

Preheat the oven to 450.  Cut the tops off of two heads of garlic and wrap them in foil.  Bake for 45 minutes to roast the garlic.


The rest of the ingredients are waiting to be made into awesomeness.


In a skillet, brown your ground turkey.  I use a goodly amount of black pepper with mine.


In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, egg and spinach.  I added some red pepper flakes for a little heat.


Boil your lasagna noodles.  (In the oven or microwave with water covering the noodles.)  Or because of the water in the zucchini, you could choose to leave them dry on the bottom and they should be just fine.


Chop the onion and saute until translucent.


Time to ready the zucchini for their close up.  Wash the outside and cut off the ends,


Because of how much water is in zucchini, you have to grill the slices up or your lasagna will swim away.


I set the mandoline to 3mm to slice and got to slicing my zukes.


I used the grill pan but you could use a regular skillet too.


Time to add the onions to the cottage cheese mixture.


The zucchini will limp up a bit as they grill but have some paper towels ready to rest them on so they'll absorb even more water.


Time to prep the pan.  Add 1/4 cup of sauce to the bottom of the pan. (I also add some cooking spray to the sides so noodles and ingredients don't stick)


Add the whole wheat noodles to the bottom.


Then it's time to layer.  Add half of the cottage cheese mix to the top of the noodles.  Then half of the ground turkey.


Add 1/3 of the jar of sauce and 1/3 of the shredded cheese.

Add the grilled zucchini slices over the top.


Repeat layering process.

When the garlic is done roasting, drop the oven temperature to 350 degrees .


When you get to the last of the zucchini, it'll look nekkid.


Add the last of the sauce, roasted garlic and shredded cheeses.


Bake for 45-50 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes before cutting.


There may be some water on the sides so just use a spoon to remove it before letting it rest.

Because zucchini is so low cal, this recipe gives 6 generous portions.  Pair it with a side salad and you have a delicious, filling dinner.


This also freezes well.  We had it two nights in a row and I froze the other two pieces and we had them a week later.  I just thawed them overnight in the fridge and a few minutes in the microwave and boom...a fancy pants dinner on a night I didn't feel like breaking out the pots and pans!  Because of the whole wheat noodles on the bottom, it gives that mouth feel of regular lasagna which will have those who typically turn their nose up at zucchini substitutions reluctantly giving the thumbs up.

Nutritional Information per serving (6 servings):  Calories 315  Fat 6g  Sat Fat 1g  Cholesterol 86mg  Sodium 290mg  Potassium 320mg  Carbs 29g  Fiber 5g  Sugar 7g  Protein 39g

Vitamin A 46%   Vitamin C 32%   Calcium 17%    Iron 22%

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