I have had a pretty productive weekend…

Yesterday, Hubster and I were outside scraping paint off the house, and suddenly we heard something fall from our Locust tree in the backyard…

this guy!

this guy!

I know I should stay away from wild animals (especially ones that mysteriously land in your backyard), but how could I resist…

raccoon1 raccoon2

so. freaking. cute!

andy3andy2andy1

he/she/it LOOOVED Andy.

racc+andy1 racc+andy2

Homemade Greek Yogurt... WIN!

Homemade Greek Yogurt... WIN!

I gave him a choice between a tomato, carrot, yogurt, and a nectarine. He went for the bowl of yogurt. Yay me!


Rundown of Saturday’s events:

-scraped trim off the house

-ran 1.5 hours

-went to the garden (green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers mainly) with my friend Molly. I

-made 12 more cups of tomato sauce

- I was lazy, and we had pizza. It was DiGiorno, not Delivery.

-Molly and I also met us with her hubby while in town, and had kiddie cones from DQ.

Sunday:

- Went to church, where the bishop of the Iowa Methodist Church delivered the sermon.

- Scraped more paint off the house

- Ran 7 miles

- Had dinner with my wonderful friend (who love to eat healthy). We chatted in the kitchen and snacked on fruit, puppy chow) and fat free Reddi-Whip in a can. Yes, we are that close.

- Went to Inglourious Basterds. I loved it! I have a hard time sitting and watching a movie though. I have a hard time sitting for more than 30 mins.

Today:

- I woke up at 6, and started a new batch of yogurt.

- I have been lazying around all day, anxiously awaiting my first day of work!

julie.

THIS GIRL!

Kink. As is. Just woke up. Thanks Hub!

Kink. As is. Just woke up. Thanks Hub!

Before I go any further, I apologize for lack of pictures. However with the new job… There will probably be more to come, since I will be gainfully employed as a graphic designer at a photo studio! Hells yeah!

Hubster is getting not getting used to me taking pics of food. He managed to grab my camera sitting on our coffee table (outside) and snapped a pic of me. Then, my camera battery died. So, you don’t get to see a pic of my beeeeeautiful yogurt bowl (made with my homemade Greek Yogurt). I only had about a 1/3 cup of yogurt left, so I put it in my blender with some milk and chia seeds and a couple of frozen strawberries.  I poured it in a bowl, and I topped it with a crumbled almond biscotti and a diced up plum. Heaven!

The first time I used chia seeds, I put them in my oatmeal. I did not like it. It made me gag, and I couldn’t finish my oats (and that’s saying a lot – i always clean my plate). I kind of forgot about them, but I wanted something that would thicken with milk. Also, by putting it in the blender, it broke the seeds up, and made it more manageable to swallow.

Anyways,  back to the picture. I don’t wear makeup, and honestly, the reason why is because I don’t know how to put it on! Is that weird? My mom never wears makeup, either, so I never really learned how to put it on. If I do wear makeup, I’m always worried it’s going to smudge or mascara is going to run, and i’ll end up looking weird. What is your best makeup tip?

No food pics today… My friend Sara called and asked if I wanted to do lunch at our favorite Mexican place. I had a bowl of  chicken soup with 2 tiny tortillas and rice with lime squeezed on top. honestly, I wasn’t that hungry, but I knew I’d be running everywhere, and it is one of my favorite meals, so I loaded up. It held me over till 6, when I had a chicken sausage sandwich at one of my favorite places. I was pretty stoked, because it’s usually a huge sandwich, and I feel guilty after eating it. They started making it on a different kind of bread, and the sandwich is smaller, but very filling. So perfect!

I am making more yogurt, and it should be ready to be refrigerated around 11 pm or so. I let the milk sit for an extra 1/2 hour while  i was visiting with my future employers, so if the yogurt doesn’t turn out this time, i’ll get over it. B/C I GOT A JOB! Hopefully I’ll have a beautiful bowl of fresh yogurt in the morning, and I’ll take a pic this time.

I have a lot of plans tomorrow – a medium length run, haircut for the doggie + bath, baking something delicious for a church function on Sunday, and veggie picking at the garden with Molly – the sweetest friend a girl could have. I have big plans of sauce making for Saturday night. Woot Woot! Jealous?

loves,

julie.


No, I am not giving away my dog

No, I am not giving away my dog

Otto did a little modeling today. The inlaws needed a pic of him in his bowtie, so he is going to announce the contest/giveaway…

giveaway Giveaway!

- 1 Shaklee Cinch shake

- Running for Mortals (by Jenny Hatfield and John “the Penguin” Bingham

- Marathoning for Mortals (by Jenny Hatfield and John “the Penguin” Bingham

- A sweet organic cotton, hand-silkscreened grocery bag by none other than Kinkeats herself

All you gotta do…

– leave a comment on this post, telling me what you’d like to see on the blog. link this post on your blog, and you’ll be entered in the contest!

- a winner will be chosen… via random number generator, on AUGUST 28th!

That’s about it. I have been a lazy bum today. I woke up waaaay to early today I got all of my errands run, and took the dog on 5k run. I had the startings of a migraine, and sometimes it helps to run as soon as I feel one coming on, but it made it a little worse. My stomach has been a wreck, and I’ve had a 200 calorie pack of Honey Wheat Wheatables. I wasn’t hungry, but I needed something. I crave carbs when I get headaches – am I the only one?


I have a caribou roast in the crockpot for the boy
with potatoes and carrots from the garden. It’s a pretty free range dinner. I’m not a big fan of eating big chunks of meat (kinda creeps me out) so I planned on just making a Greek veggie stirfry that we call “Zerzevoulika”. Basically, it’s zucchini, potatoes, onions, greek green beans, and eggplant cooked in olive oil till nice and tender, mixed with some cooked down tomato sauce with a ton of pepper and some salt. It’s a “peasant dish”, and we don’t use silverware eating it, we just scoop it up with fresh vienna bread. However, I’m thinking a diet of saltines will have to suffice for tonight.

I hate being a Debbie Downer! So, I will leave with some good news – I have 2 pretty good leads on jobs! Finally!

much love,

julie.

Good morning! I woke up at 4, and could not go back to sleep. I have quite a few things on the to-do list today and a run planned, but I’ll try to squeeze in a nap this afternoon – I know I’ll need it.

best dog ever!

best dog ever!

I made a trip to the garden yesterday morning. My dad and I spent a couple hours picking massive amounts of veggies. I took my favorite tomato fetcher for company…

This is Otto! Seriously, he is the best dog ever. He has lots of energy, and regulary accompanies me on 8 mile trail runs. I hate taking him for runs longer than that, but he has done 10 miles with me (he pulls the whole time, too!

He loves car rides, and goes pretty much everywhere with Hubby and I.

you know you're a redneck when...

you know you're a redneck when...

My dad would kill me if he knew I took a pic of him. I had to… he’s wearing a straw hat! My dad is actually really careful about his sun exposure… he had skin cancer a few years back.

That’s what you get for being a leprechaun - you probably can’t tell in this pic, but he has RED hair. Super Irish!

He’s at the “tomato table” – we just put all the tomatoes on it to ripen further.

This is Barnaby. He protects the veggies when we’re gone.

Barnaby the Barn Owl

Barnaby the Barn Owl

But not really. He just sits there. :D

garden1 garden2

This is the biggest part of the garden. Tomatoes, peppers, green beans, corn.

squash, pumpkin patch, eggplant, more tomatoes.

squash, pumpkin patch, eggplant, more tomatoes.

punkin'

punkin'

fuel for redneck shenanigans.

fuel for redneck shenanigans.

nom-nom

nom-nom

I was starving around 1, and it started raining, so I hightailed it back to town and grabbed a bite to eat at Subway.

Chicken breast on flatbread with everything except pickles. and light mayo. Iced tea (i wasn’t a winner). I got chips to use for taco salad for the hubby later.

When the rain cleared, I went for a 5.5 mile run. It was hot and muggy.

Since I was sweaty and gross, I unloaded our trailer of firewood to the wood pile. Holy crap. That was a crazy workout. the wood pile is behind our house, which is built on a hill. After about 1/2 hour of doing this, the hubby came home and helped. We did this for another 1.5 hours, and popped in a Freschetta pepperoni pizza. I had 3 little slices, minus pepperoni, and most of the cheese scraped off – i’m not a big fan of pepperoni or cheese. I put some Parm and red pepper on. I was still hungry, but wasn’t really digging the pizza, so I decided to let my tummy settle before I had anything else.

I started chopping up tomatoes to make sauces, etc. in the winter…

Tomato Makeover... Before.

Tomato Makeover... Before.

a couple hours later…

Tomato Makeover... After.

Tomato Makeover... After.

This made 12 cups. I dropped some veggies off to my friend Molly earlier today, and told her that I was like a squirrel… hoarding food for winter.

I was still hungry an hour later, and had a smoothie w/some whey protein, milk, and strawberries.

A CONTEST/GIVEAWAY WILL BE ANNOUNCED THIS EVENING! Stay tuned!

julie.

First post!
I added an about me page, pretty basic…
Yesterday, I spent the day roadtrippin’  to Peoria, IL with my parents. My dad is retired, and my mom is a teacher – she’s enjoying her last few days of freedom till school starts. I didn’t have time to get breakfast ready, and truthfully, I wasn’t hungry, so i got the only yogurt at the gas station….
i forgot to eat breakfast - this is the only yogurt the gas station had.
i forgot to eat breakfast – this is the only yogurt the gas station had.

It was “eh”. I definitely won’t be getting it again. I was pretty hungry by that time, and I should have had a granola bar or something, but I’m not gonna lie… the oreos intrigued me.

coffee break.

I did manage to pack milk in a cooler with some coffee, and had an iced coffee around 10:30.

The Peoria riverfront:

P5210051

I love this town’s riverfront. It’s on the Illinois River (it dumps into the Mississippi just above St. Louis). I spent some time here when I was working on “the barge” (Living Lands and Waters).

They have jumping carp really bad here, and I was hoping to get a pic of them. They’re actually Grass Carp, and when they hear a certain vibration from boat motors (usually when they’re slowing down, I’ve noticed), they go nuts, and will jump into your boat. It can be pretty dangerous. I’ve had a few 25 pounders jump into the boat I was driving, and they flop around and get cut up and bloody. Sorry for the mental pic. Also, I know somebody that got hit in the face by one and had to get a few stitches.

Anyways, Lunch is not pictured. The picture above was taken at Joe’s Crab Shack, so my parents and I split a Steampot with potatoes, sausages, blue and snow crab, and shrimpies. My mom kept saying “We have crabs!” (more on that later… Mom is a former Sex-Ed teacher). The spices were really good – pretty much just a whole bunch of Old Bay Seasoning, but spicier. Dad ate the sausages, potatoes, and shrimp for us. My mom and I had the crabs (hehe).

umm…. just to clear things up, we don’t really have crabs.

We did a little exploring. I really don’t know why we decided to drive the hour and a half here – we didn’t have plans. I knew I would need something to eat on the ride home, so I got a few snackies at GNC. One of them was a muscle brownie:

I only bought this because the logo had two guys with 'fros. and it's a brownie. with 20g protein.

I only bought this because the logo had two guys with may-juh fros. and the 20g of protein. Also, I didn’t read the back correctly, and I thought it had 190 kcal for the whole thing. I knew it was too good to be true… that was for only 1/2 the brownie. I ate the whole thing, and it was pretty good. pretty natural, and no fake sugars, so I was happy. Plus, lunch was on the dainty side.

It held me over till dinner, which was supposed to be kebabs. Our grill was out of propane, so I ended up cooking them on the stove. It tastes so much better on the grill…

din-din

din-din

I just marinated everything in some Italian dressing, and added some spices lying around – more garlic (love it!), and I think some dill and probably cracked black pepper. We had a package of rice from the natty food store. I put a hefty amount of cheese on hubby’s chicken. You may be shocked to hear this, but I am not a big cheese eater.

However, I do like me some Greek Yogurt. I stopped buying it because: A) the only place I could get it was WalMart, and B) it was $1.56. I am looking for a job, so I really like to pinch pennies, and I couldn’t justify spending that much for 5 oz. of yogurt…

so I started making my own!

Greek Yogurt Recipe

straining yogurt to make it greek...
This is so easy. Seriously, if you have a crockpot, you need to do this. It does take time, so if you’re like most people and have a job, I recommend making this on the weekend.

  1. Set crockpot on low, and add 1/2 gallon milk. Let it sit for 2.5 hours.
  2. Unplug crockpot, and let it sit for 3 hours.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of yogurt with active cultures (do not use ultra-pasturized). I usually take out a couple cups of milk, whisk in the yogurt that’s been sitting at room-temp, and whisk it back into the crockpot.
  4. Put the lid back on, and cover the entire crockpot with a bath towel (i use 2). Let it sit for 8 hours.
  5. After 8 hours, you can eat the yogurt as is (although I would let it sit in the fridge for awhile to cool) and set up), or you can make it greek by straining it.
  6. To strain it, you can see my janky set-up above. I just put a coffee filter in a little strainer above a bowl. I put it in the fridge, and let it strain for about 8 more hours. This makes it REALLY thick. In addition to the strainer above, I also used a colander lined with MANY coffee liners.
finished product (with half of a coconut shortbread cookie on top, strawberries, and a couple pineapple chunks).

finished product (with half of a coconut shortbread cookie on top, strawberries, and a couple pineapple chunks).

I actually made this on Sunday, but I have been eating it like crazy. The above photo was my breakfast this morning. SOOO GOOOD!
I’m off to the garden…It’s going to be a stay inside kind of night – the forecast calls for rain all evening, so I’m going to get some tomatoes to make sauces for the winter.
I’m pretty stoked to have a blog up – I am going to have a weekly giveaway involving a contest. I’ll announce the contest tomorrow! Spread the word!
Julie.
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