Happy Things

Hi friends! I missed you! I know I was only away for less than a week, but I’ve been way less present to blogging the last 6 weeks as I’ve been way more present to my summer job and soaking up the amazing people I only get to see a few weeks out of the year, but now I’m back home (wahhh, it’s hot) and ready to reunite with my kitchen and you lovely people! So to jump back in, I wanted to share with you some happy things I came home to.

1. A jar of this deliciousness. While I was away, NuttZo sent me a jar of their crunchy chocolate flavor to try, and it is absolutely amazing. One of the first things I did when I got home was open it up, and it is drippy, crunchy, just the right amount of sweet, and totally addictive. I already have to monitor myself to make sure I don’t go through the entire jar in two days. It includes peanuts, cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and hazelnuts. It is better than any chocolate nut spread that I have ever tasted, and I am obsessed with the crunchiness. I must find a way to recreate in my kitchen!

NuttZo

2. A super sweet card from Heather about my upcoming speaking engagement at the Healthy Living Summit! I am beyond excited to be speaking, and really looking forward to meeting some of my favorite people from around the internet. Because that’s a totally normal thing to look forward to, right?

3. These faces. ‘Nuff said.

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Also finally having the sound of puppy nails on the tile again! I missed that!

4. A RUNNER HUSBAND!!! Without a doubt the happiest thing that happened while I was away is that Steve started the couch to 5k program! He’s on week 5, and hasn’t missed a beat since he started. I am unbelievably proud, and it means I need to get my butt in gear with some swim lessons so I can actually announce some exciting future plans. ;)

5. MEAN GREEN!!

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Isn’t she beaaaauuutiful? She needs a new seat because this one is, um, not working for me, but she is everything I dreamed she would be. Also,  road bikes are super sensitive to your movements. No more off in la la land while I ride my bike for me. I actually have to pay attention now. Crap.

6. I was in the Arizona Republic today along with one of my besties! Check it out!

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7. The months of February, March and April, I ran zero miles. In May I ran 24, in June I ran 38, and in July I ran 56. I was feeling a little down on myself that I still haven’t run longer than 5 miles and I am supposed to run a marathon in November, but I know Coach Susan is, like, a billion times smarter than me, and I know she has a plan, but seeing the numbers build up and actually being able to see my progress really lifted my spirits. Slowly, but surely I will get back to where I was last November and December, and really I have my whole life to get faster, so what’s the rush?

8. I really love my bed and my couch. I’m glad to be back to “real life”. Still totally missing Portland and my girls up there, but happy to be in my home with my kitchen and my Kitchenaid and my Vitamix. ;)

Disclosure: The NuttZo was sent to me to review for blog purposes. All opinions are my own.

Weekend Ramblings

1. I am 90% sure I haven’t told you this already (if I’m wrong, I’m sorry and it won’t be the last time it happens…), but I am thrilled to announce I will be speaking at Healthy Living Summit with my fellow D&D host Nicole on video content! I am over the moon. I applied thinking it was a long shot, and I was shocked when I found out we were chosen! It’s going to be my first blogging conference, and I am stoked. Are you going? You should be!

2. So you know how cilantro and goat cheese are my favorite foods? Well, the other day, I tried to make a cilantro goat cheese pesto. It was disgusting. I kept trying to add and change things, but it was just gross, and the texture was, like…butter. Not in a good way. Ew. I can’t even explain it. Then I tried to make rosemary pesto which was also a horrific failure. I guess I should have just made this.

3. I’m on a break from teaching right now, so I’ve been home a lot more which makes Winston super happy. Clementine couldn’t care less, but Winston follows my every step. Every single day when I’ve gotten out of the shower, he’s been laying on the tile in front of the door waiting for me. Then he gets excited and acts like we haven’t seen each other in years. I wonder what it’s like to be a dog.

4. I made a press page! I don’t have any idea if I did it “right”. In fact, I had no idea what I was doing, so I looked at Sally’s and Nicole’s. I figured they did it right. Also, do people really keep track of all of their features and things like that? Am I just super disorganized?? It was cool to see a list of the things I’ve done and the places that thought I was cool enough to share. Seriously, every time someone shares one of my recipes, whether it’s a big publication or an other blogger, it makes my heart so happy. I never actually thought anyone would read this thing.

5. This video. I can’t stop watching it. I may even love it as much as Beauty and the Beat? I always drag my heels about watching youtube videos that people tell me are funny, because most of them….aren’t. But this. Just watch it. Actually, watch like the first minute of Taylor Swift’s 22 video, then watch it. You’re welcome.

6. Last weekend I played Rockband at Nicole’s house. The only song I actually knew the words to? Wannabe. I sang the crap out of that song. I got a 95% which in case you didn’t know is a solid A. Except, did you know they say “slam your body down and wind it all around”? I’ve been singing “slam your body down and party all around” since about 1996.

7. I really hate that stupid eagle pose in yoga. BTW, I love yoga now. Like, actually love, and I want to do a real post explaining my change in tune, but right now I just want to complain about stupid eagle pose because I SUCK at it. The only good thing about it is getting to go into star pose after. That one’s fun. Also, I’m working on my headstands. I can get to it, but then it’s so hard to get my legs in the air. I tried today and they made it up for about .5 seconds. HOW DO YOU GET THEM TO STAY???

8. I recently (I know so late to the party) started watching Dexter. To say I’m obsessed would be an understatement. Like, I can’t go to sleep because I want to watch “just 1 more” episode. About 7 times. I’m really into anything psychological, and I have a huge fascination with mental illness (freak?) and all of the psychology of a serial killer, and the backstory along with ideas of why we become “what we are” is totally up my alley. I’m only at the beginning of season 2, so if you give me any spoilers, I swear our friendship will be over. I’m already too good at guessing and I hate it.

9. I spent all this time cleaning out my office so that I could actually use it to do work from home, but I can’t seem to make myself work anywhere other than my couch, standing at the kitchen counter (weirdo…not comfortable) or my dining room table. I think it’s the idea of a smaller room getting me down? I don’t know. I’m a freak.

10. Please tell me I’m not the only one with powdered sugar all over my DLSR? This is a common issue, right? My photographer husband doesn’t seem to find it common. Or cute. Or endearing. Or amusing.

11. I discovered the countdown app. I’d been meaning to get it for a while, but now I think I may have a problem…

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What’s on your mind? Tell me awesome things.

Weekend Ramblings

1. About a month ago, I ran out of conditioner, so I went to Target to buy more. Well, about a week later, I realized that my hair felt kinda funky. I checked out my “conditioner” that actually turned out to be shampoo in a different bottle color. I then continued to have no conditioner for an other 2-3 which is how long it took me to remember to go to Target and buy some. I never seem to have a problem remembering to buy chocolate…

2. This morning I went to the grocery store at 10am and left with candy canes, fat free half and half, chocolate syrup, and a big bottle of Whiskey. It was a successful trip.

3.  I just discovered podcasts. I don’t know how that’s possible, but in 24 hours I’ve downloaded approximately 15 Jillian Michaels podcasts, and I made Steve listen to them in the car with me. He was not impressed.

4. My friend Nicole introduced me to gizoogle. It’s pretty much the most amazing website that has ever existed. Here are a few of the best exerpts from my bog:

  • I gotz a fundraisin goal of $5,000 ta support Chizzlez fo’ Lil Pimps AZ. Chizzlez fo’ Lil Pimps provides game n’ fitnizz opportunitizzles fo’ underprivileged youth. If yo ass wanna ta donate, please git on over
  • My fuckin name is Ari. I be just a other ho whoz ass pimped a bona fo’ hustlin ta balizzle up mah bona fo’ baked phats. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. Somewhere along tha way I lost 75 lbs n’ discovered tha thug I wanna be.
  • Yo Ass don’t have ta run ta be fit. Yo Ass just have ta find dat muthafuckin thang dat yo ass ludd, tha muthafuckin thang dat fills yo ass wit accomplishment, n’ motivates you, n’ do dat shit. I found hustlin. Da muthafuckin thang I thought I hated da most thugged-out fo’ realz. And it turns out, I kind of ludd dat shit.
  • I had always heard bout gangstas whoz ass ran marathons. It seemed so impossible ta mah crazy ass yo, but ever since I done cooked up tha decision ta git gamey, it had been dis trip up in tha back of mah mind. I decided dat I needed ta do some shiznit fo’ me.

Last night we put in Bank of America which was referred to as Bank of Tha Ghetto. It’s now provided me hours of entertainment. To participate in the awesomeness, you just put any website into the search bar and click “gizoogle this shiznit”.

5. On a slightly related note, if you’ve never seen this video, it is a must.

Also this video has nothing to do with gizoogle or inappropriate stereotypes, but it just makes me sosoSO happy.

Watch it. It will bring you a happiness.

6. My student secret santa made me a quote book of ridiculous things I’ve said during rehearsal, and funny things other people have said. I say the weirdest crap. Favorite quotes include “It’s okay to touch each other.” and “Touch my feet!” I don’t know why I ever tried to get someone to touch my feet, other than I’m gross and have no social skills. The book also included pictures that she drew (ummm I love this girl) and one of them was me leaning on the piano with the quote “Girl, you trippin'”. I honestly don’t know why anyone hires me to work with children. They are more mature than I am…

7. I LOST MY FIRST TOENAIL!!! Everyone thinks I’m gross, but I feel excited only. I took pictures, but decided not to post them on the blog. Sorry to disappoint…

8. MY CHRISTMAS TREE IS UP!!! And also Winston is cute.

9. Clementine is cute too…

Thai Peanut Turkey Burgers

So I’ve been really mad that it’s summer time. Lots of whining and complaining about the heat, and how it affects my running, and blah blah blah. But I forgot how much I LOVE some things about summer! Like burgers!

And swimming!

Tuesday evening, Jason came over with my dog niece and nephew, and we seriously had the best time playing around outside with the puppies. They got so hyped up about the pool!

Nico and Winston have a love connection. They will play for hours on end.

Every time Jason was in the pool and would make eye contact with Nico, she would immediately go crazy and start barking, and then all the other dogs would start going crazy too.

Clementine is hiding under the chair. She wants to play, but she’s scared. It’s hard to be a Clementine.

Anyway, before all the fun dog playing, there were seriously amazing, delicious burgers.

Made with extra lean ground turkey, and homemade Thai peanut sauce.

Savory and spicy, with just a hint of sweetness.

Have I ever mentioned how much I also love Thai food? Give me some take out Chicken Pad Thai with extra cilantro, and I am a happy girl. I used to eat it all the time because someone told me Thai food was healthy once. Now, I figure out my own ways to use the flavors that are actually healthy, and not 7 servings of noodles ;)

Also, if you are one of those people who loves a beef burger, and thinks turkey burger are dry and gross (ahem…Steve), try these turkey burgers. I haven’t always loved the ones I’ve made at home (why do they never seem to turn out like the one at Zin Burger??), but I absolutely freaking love these. Like I can’t wait to make them every day for the rest of the summer my life kind of love.

Thai Peanut Turkey Burgers

yield 5 servings

  • 20 oz ground turkey breast
  • 1 tbs egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup diced onion + more for topping
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper + more for topping
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro + more for topping
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 tbs Better’n Peanut Butter (or pb2, or more regular peanut butter)
  • 1 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce (use gluten-free is applicable)
  • 1 1/2-2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2-1 tbs Sriracha
  • 5 100% whole grain hamburger buns (whole wheat, brown rice, etc.), toasted
  • crushed peanuts, sliced scallions, and bean sprouts for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey breast, egg substitute, onion, bell pepper, and cilantro. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, Better’n Peanut Butter, soy sauce, chili paste, lime juice, and honey. Pour 2 tsp of sauce mixture into turkey mixture, and set the rest aside.
  3. Thoroughly combine turkey mixture and sauce (I recommend getting in there with your hands!), and form into 5 even patties. Press lightly in the center of each patty with your thumb, so they are slightly thicker on the edges to ensure even cooking.
  4. Send your husband outside to Grill until cooked throughout (approx 5 minutes per side). Meanwhile, add Greek yogurt and Sriracha to leftover peanut sauce, and mix until well combined.
  5. Place cooked patties on toasted wheat buns, then top with yogurt peanut sauce, crushed peanuts, sliced scallions, bean sprouts, and extra onions, bell peppers and cilantro.

On The Road

Hello friends! I am posting en route to Prescott. For those of you that aren’t from Arizona, Prescott is about 2 hours north of Phoenix, so I packed up my favorite guy, and my favorite puppies, and we are off for a little 24 hour adventure to get out of the heat. Oh, and you know, so Lisa and I can run up a mountain and sing colors of the wind.

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Steve is driving. I’m enjoying frappuccino happy hour with a chai frappuccino light. Clementine is barking at Winston because he won’t play with her, and Winston is pretending he’s deaf. Or giving her the silent treatment. You decide. Now Steve is howling at Clementine and Winston is scared. I’m also icing my achilles tendons. It’s all incredibly exciting. Wish you were here!

Talk to you later, if I don’t die on the mountain!