Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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This weekend was what blogs were made for. If this was a fancy lifestyle blog, I would have lots of blurry edged photos, treated with a slightly vintage filter to express my joys appropriately. But since I really only had my iphone fresh from iPhone back glass repair and I was more into eating, drinking and laughing than “setting up a good shot” — I only have what I have to show you this morning. Guess we’ll just have to make due. 🙂
Friday was my day off, and man I’m not sure I would have survived this weekend had I not had that day off. It wasn’t reeeeeally a day off because I’m about to have 10 days off and unfortunately my job is not the type where the work stops because I’m not showing up. So I got up early, did a little bit of 9-5 stuff, hit the gym (where I had to do Cindy, OHMAHGAWD OUCH. I hate that workout with a fiery passion) and then it was on to my real mission for the day — Crafting The Epic Grocery List:
Not only is this week Thanksgiving, which means the grocery stores are a shit show daily, but Garrett’s mom was arriving Sunday night and it was Garrett’s request that “we cook her really good paleo food for every meal.” Ahem, I’m assuming by “we” he meant “me” so I set to crafting an awesome (yet not super demanding) meal plan. But it literally took hours to get all of that, plus the list together. I posted this on Instagram and lots of you got chuckles about the “cheap wine” but not cheap bourbon. What can I say, I have priorities? 🙂 I also have a house full of expensive wine, but no good “second or third” bottles. You know? #hostessproblems
So after all of that nutty thinking and planning about food, I didn’t even have time to go to the grocery store because Friday night we were headed out to my mom’s (with Buster!) for a family dinner. My contribution was appetizers (I highly recommend the Bacon Jalapeno Cheese Ball from Whole Foods, if you are in a pinch,) a salad (I made Food & Wine’s Celery Salad with Walnuts, Dates and Pecorino and I AM NOT JOKING I had a dream about it last night, it was that good. And easy!) And then I brought dessert, which was a mish-mash of purchased things because I was out of creativity.
My mom and grandma made an epic spread with pot roast and roasted root vegetables and the seven of us ate a little too much, talked a little too loud, and then we headed back home sans Buster. My mom and grandma were watching him for a couple nights because on Saturday night we were headed down to San Francisco.
Awkward, flash-ridden, car self portrait! YAY!
Saturday, coincidentally enough was my and Garrett’s SEVEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY. In dog years, I think that means we are married. 🙂 We celebrated that day by going grocery shopping (what? how do you guys celebrate?) And then made our way down to The City for the night. We weren’t going for a fancy white table-clothed dinner, instead we were meeting up with a big group of Garrett’s friends for a going away party. (Oooh, romantic! yes?) Actually it was no big deal to do that on our anniversary. I think after 7 years together romance is definitely not made only on special occasions, you know? (Which reminds me, you read this right? I kind of loved it.)
So we headed down to Cigar Bar & Grill to toast to Garrett’s good friend John (from high school! what???) and his fiance Amy who are moving to Amsterdam for a job.
AMSTERDAM, YOU GUYS! I MEAN COME ON!
It was fun to hear about such an adventure and it reinvigorated Garrett and I to discuss what our plans are for the future and where we want to live. We love Sacramento, but neither of us feel like this is our forever home, so it is fun to contemplate where else we could go. (ahem, ESTES PARK, COLORADO ahem) Do you guys do this too? Tell me what cities are on your list. I think it is SO FUN to think about moving to a new place. I mean, yes, it would be a ton of work to start a new life over again, but also it would be a new city to explore! HOORAY!
I tried to take some nice pictures of Garrett with all of his friends, but in the end most of them all looked like this:
It’s fairly representative of the evening though, and that’s the point, really. Right? There is a lot of love in that group and it’s pretty fun to watch. We did manage to sneak away for a few minutes by ourselves.
We didn’t spend that time whispering sweet nothings into each others’ ears though, instead we made it our mission to find the greasiest pizza in North Beach.
Mission: Accomplished. (I’m pretty sure they cook their pizza crust in butter, which I’m telling you is NOT a bad thing.)
It paired well with the cocktails I’d been drinking all night, if you know what I’m saying. (Also, I think I may have accidentaly discovered my new favorite drink: aged dark rum, pomegranate juice, squeeze of lime, angostura bitters on the rocks.) Sounds sweet, is more tart. Very delicious. Now where were we…Ah yes, I believe I saying that My Best during the holidays looking a little different than the rest of the year? Ahem.
Sunday morning we headed back to Sacramento and to my mom’s to pick up Buster. You guys, I CAN NEVER HAVE KIDS. We missed our dog so. damn. much! Of course he was at my mom’s, which is not a bad life. When we showed up she had just deep conditioned his hair, brushed him and was You Tubing videos about proper Dog Massage Techniques, so it’s really not a bad gig for Buster. 🙂
When we got home, it was a whirlwind of cooking, cleaning and prepping the guest bedroom for Garrett’s mom’s arrival! She lives out in New Mexico and is 3.5 hours from the airport, so it was a long travel day for her. I cooked up some stew, picked up some chocolate truffles and had a nice bottle of wine at the ready (not one of the “cheap ones” I promise – HA!) when she arrived.
Last night we stayed up late chatting and today we have a full day of stuff on the agenda! Maybe later on this week I will do a better job with the soft-focus, vintage filtered photos, eh? 🙂 I’ll be sure to put that on the list.
We made it to Friday, you all! And another long weekend…oh how sweet that is! Since it’s Memorial Day Weekend you know what that means, right? It’s time to brush the dust off of your grill.
Also? It’s time to get to wearing all the awesome white in your wardrobe and roll out the red carpet for summer. I’m finishing up some items on my Spring Bucket List and taking notes for my summer one. I’ll be throwing that up the first week of June and it’s sure to be full of fun. Hooray summer!
I bought a pair of white linen pants recently that I’m in love with and I’m definitely planning to rock them this weekend (with some sandals, natch!) just as soon as I make sure they aren’t completely see through. Man, I love white pants but there is a fine line between being fashionable and FLASHING MY ASS TO ALL WHO WALKS BY.
Speaking of things I’m not planning to do, grilling in white pants will NOT be happening either. 🙂 Saturday I am brunching and shopping with my partner in crime Sarah, and then Sunday I am planning to grill up a feast:
And of course, it just wouldn’t be the weekend without a cocktail in hand! I’ll definitely be sipping on some Spiked Strawberry Mint Coolers but I’m not planning to get too crazy, because on Monday morning I get to try my hand at doing “Murph” again at the gym.
Run 1 Mile
then, Run 1 Mile
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah, and we’re doing that for time. YIKES! The last time I did it it took me 63 Minutes, so I’m looking to beat that! Although the last time I did it I was doing modified pushups and now I’m not! woot! So we’ll see how that goes. 🙂
Sometimes I look at workouts like that and think “Why the hell would I put myself through that kind of torture?” Hero Wods, man. They are TOUGH! But then I remind myself of how lucky I am to be alive and healthy and in the position to push myself like this on a daily basis.
Murph is a workout created in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y. who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. This was one of his favorite workouts. If he was still around, he’d probably jump at the chance to do it. So because I can, I’m going to. Wish me luck.
I hope you have an amazing weekend filled with fun and friends and lots of sunshine and grilling!
Psssssst….need more Menu Inspiration?
Melissa has a great roundup of Paleo recipes over at The Clothes Make the Girl.
It’s grocery day again! Time to stock up on goods for this week’s sweet eats. I’m trying to get as much as I can get done early today because I think I’m getting sick. BOO. Also, we have guests stopping by at noon. Convenient, right? 🙂 Cross your fingers for me would ya, I don’t waaaaaanna get sick!
I’ve run myself a little ragged over the past few days and combined with EVERYONE at my job having the hacking cough plague and NOT STAYING HOME, I think I’m racing the clock of good health and time is not looking to be on my side. Operation: Afternoon Nap is definitely happening today. But not until the groceries are procured, food is prepped and guests are fed. So let’s get this party started.
Time to chat about what we’re eating:
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads
Dinner: Asian Beef + Cauliflower Rice Bowls (at Garrett’s request. It’s partly because he loves this dish and partly because I think he kind of misses AndreAnna)
Lunch: Garlic + Mozzarella Chicken Sausages + Sauteed Squash with Peppers
Dinner: Chicken in Pepperoni Marinara + Caprese Salad
Lunch: Brunch + Shopping. Woooooooooooooooooooot!
Dinner: Leftovers/Must Go!
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods, friends?
So I made some better grocery decisions this week. I didn’t buy any meat from disreputable sources, and in fact I picked up some awesome (and delicious — I know because I sampled!) chicken sausages from the Carmichael Farmer’s Market this morning. I got two different flavors so we’ll be enjoying those for lunch this week which will be excellent because I am already feeling the pressure — this. week. is. FULL!
Hopefully I will at least be well fueled, which will help me be able to kick ass and take names! Here’s what we’re munching on:
Lunch: Leftover Garlic Pepper Pork Loin from Sunday’s Dinner + Steamed Broccoli
Dinner: Cinnamon Chipotle Sliders + Sauteed Rainbow Chard
Lunch: Chive Chicken Sausages + Sliced Red Peppers + Strawberries
Dinner: Southwestern Turkey Burgers + Brussels Sprout Slaw
Lunch: Leftover Turkey Burgers Veggie Must Go
Dinner: Pepperoni Pizza with Cauliflower Crust + Salad
Bridal Shower — this day is going to be a Free for All!
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods?
Well it appears this week will be the first hot one in the books for my little town.
Followed by many more, I’m sure, so instead of complaining I’m going to use this as an excuse to get some sun on my legs and enjoy some simple warm weather pleasures:
*drinking lots of water spiked with lemon juice (which is my new favorite thing EVER — juice a whole lemon into 36 oz of water, refrigerate and enjooooooooooy the refreshment)
*wearing skirts and dresse
*grilling in the backyard
*squeezing in some ultra-sweaty wods in the early evening
*and perhaps staying up a little bit too late since nothing beats a hot summer night (in the spring!)
Breakfast this week is made to order green smoothies (for her…since Garrett hates them) or chicken apple sausage, baby carrots and hard boiled eggs (for him, already prepacked in the fridge, ready to go!)
Shall we talk about the rest of the menu?
Lunch: Salad topped with my favorite Citrus Carnitas (I bought a new mango vinaigrette at Whole Foods that I might try with this. It could be awesome, or awful.)
Dinner: Joe’s Special and Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
Lunch: Grilled Honey Chipotle Chicken + Cucumber/Tomato/Feta Salads
Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner! Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs + Ham
Lunch: Chicken Chorizo with Steamed Garlic Broccoli + Caprese Salad
Dinner: Cobb Salads (OHMYGOD I LOVE COBB SALADS!)
Lunch: Taco Salad (you didn’t think a week would go by without it, did you?)
Dinner: Mid week BBQ! Grilled Chicken Sausages + Veggie Skewers (Zucs, Summer Squash + Peppers)
Lunch: Grilled Blackened Mahi Mahi + Salad + Veggie Leftovers
Dinner: Spicy Turkey Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries + Salad
Lunch: Wild Card — we may go on a picnic.
Dinner: Grilled Italian Pub Burgers stuffed with spinach + Caprese Salad + sauteed zucchini
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods?
It’s a green smoothie kind of week around here for breakfast. The weather is supposed to be in the high 70s/low 80s all week so for the rest of the meal planning, I am pretty committed to cool refreshment, grilling and enjoying of eating green things outdoors.
Just a quick note, I’m linking to a lot of “inspired by” recipes. I’m adapting most of them to make them Paleo (leaving out croutons, substituting sweet potatoes for regular potatoes, etc) but I just wanted to clarify that. I actually find a lot of Paleo cooking inspiration from completely un-Paleo cookbooks. My current favorite: Tyler Florence Family Meal. I’ve been flipping through it all week with excitement! Don’t let non-paleo recipes bum you out — let them inspire your cooking.
Ok, random sidebar over. Let’s talk about what’s going on the table:
Lunch: Chicken Chorizo with Sauteed Zucchini
Dinner: Grilled Chicken BLT Salads with Avocado
Lunch: Greek Salads
Dinner: Curried Ground Turkey with Sweet Potatoes served over Sauteed Rainbow Chard
Lunch: Chipotle Salads
Dinner: Grilled Honey Chipotle Chicken + Veggie Must Go
Dinner: Wild Card.
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods?
This weekend I ate one half of a roast beef sandwich. That had french fries INSIDE OF IT.
At 1:30 in the morning.
Are you surprised that over half of my meals this week involve salad? Because you really should not be. Let me just clarify that the french fry filled fourth meal? Was one of TWELVE MEALS I ate in Portland. Many others coming from similar food trucks and donut shops, to boot. Oh god.
I remember a couple of years ago, Garrett and I drove down to San Francisco mid week to see one of our favorite bands perform. Then we drove home after midnight, went to sleep and got up the next morning to go to work. About 5 minutes into getting ready we both looked at each other and said:
“We are too old for this shit.”
And now, we only see bands we like during the week if they are local. Or if it is an out of town show, we spend the night and don’t work the next day. We don’t quite recover like we used to! What I’m getting to here is that this Food Filled Vacation yielded a similar sentiment when we woke up this morning. We eat too clean, too regularly to enjoy a dive off the deep end into the donut box these days. So that may be the last time we go nuts and try ALL OF THE FOOD in a 72 hour period. We’ll see.
My digestive system is mad at me, but all in all we had such a great time! I can’t wait to tell you all about it but I’m currently nursing a gluten hangover and we have no groceries in the fridge, and someone needs to handle that. Also, I’m pretty sure my pants don’t fit anymore, so I should probably figure out what I’m wearing to work tomorrow. 🙂
Until then, here’s what we’re noshing on this week:
Lunch: Taco Salad I’m minutes away from consuming this bliss. YES!
Dinner: Grilled Chicken + Asparagus + Salad
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad
Dinner: Spanikopita Turkey Burgers + Zucchini/Squash/Shallot Saute
Lunch: Greek Salad
Dinner: Salmon Burgers + Cucumber and Tomato Salad + Leftover Zuchini
Lunch: Spinach Salads
Dinner: A friend is in town tonight: Wild Card!
Dinner: Fiesta Grilled Chicken + Roasted Cauliflower + Salad
Dinner: Weekend Burgers + Salad + Sweet Potato Fries
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods this week?
I was all stressed out about planning a menu and going grocery shopping this morning and then it dawned on me: I ONLY HAVE TO COOK FOR 3 DAYS NEXT WEEK! Then we are off to Portland and someone else will be doing the cooking. YUM! 🙂
So I scrambled through my fridge and threw together some random combinations of food, and we now have a menu! Bonus, I only need to pick up a few things at the store so I don’t even have to go today if I don’t feel like it. Sunday Fun-day it is! I think I’m going to watch some Formula 1 with Garrett, organize my closet, and read a little bit. (Yes I realize I just listed organizing as something fun, but man, I do love it!)
Here’s what we’re chowing on this week:
Lunch: Chex Mix Shrimp (Just toss your shrimp in melted butter + the seasoning mixture for Chex Mix. Saute or broil and done. It’s amazing!) over Cauliflower Rice
Dinner: Big Blue Burgers + Salad + Sweet Potato Fries
Lunch: Taco Salad with Ground Turkey
Dinner: Blackened Mahi Mahi + Sauteed Rainbow Chard + Salad
Lunch: Salmon Burgers + Sauteed Zucchini
Dinner: Must Go Veggie Frittata (As in “all veggies in the fridge Must Go” + Fried Ham + Sweet Potato Hash
Thursday and on…
This picture just made me laugh so I had to include it.
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods this week? Plus, last call for good restaurant suggestions in Portland. Leave ’em in the comments.
Have a great week you all!
While you are reading this post, I will be eating this plate of delicious eggs benedict. Well, not this exact one, but the one my mom is making me. And you can bet it will be good. But you aren’t here to find out what I’m eating right now, are you? How about I get on to what I’m eating next week!
Lunch: Asian Ground Beef, Mushrooms + Broccoli Slaw Wraps
Dinner: Cayenne Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa + Chili Zucchini
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad
Dinner: Turkey Satay Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries + Salad
Lunch: Salmon Burgers and Roasted Yellow Squash Fries
Dinner: Leftovers or Go Out!
Dinner: Grilled Marinated Flank Steak + Roasted Cauliflower with Jalapeno Cilantro Salsa Verde
It’s looking to be a pretty tasty week. What’s cooking in your neck of the woods?
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are going to be very Paleo and mostly Zone this week.
Since this weekend we are in the Bay Area for the wedding of our good friends (drinking champagne and eating cake!) we will definitely be cleaning up our act when it comes to meals come Monday!
For Breakfast, I’m sticking to the Zone Combos that have been working so far. I made some sweet potato hash before we headed out of town, so that’s what’s on the menu for most of the week!
Lunch and Dinner are as follows:
Lunch: Taco Salad
Dinner: Sauteed Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce + Roasted Asparagus + Salad
Lunch: Leftover Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce + Asparagus
Dinner: Salmon Burgers (from Costco, Holla!) with Dill Yogurt Sauce + Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Shallots + Walnuts
Lunch: Greek Salad
Dinner: Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers + BBQ 3000 Sweet Potato Fries + Tomato Cucumber Salad
Lunch: Chipotle Barbacoa Salads with Guacamole
Dinner: Cauliflower Pizza with Chicken Chorizo + Shallots
Dinner: Paleo-ified Almond Apricot Chicken with Mint Pesto + Roasted Broccoli
What’s cooking in your neck of the woods?