Day 172–Horses, Loud Lights, and Awkward Silences

Today started out well enough–I once again didn’t get any packing done–but it ended with quite the bang.

I watched some really bizarre soccer this afternoon as the French women destroyed Canada, the German “women” hung on against Nigeria, and the German “boys” U17 squad decimated the USA, and then made a ridiculous trifle that I’ll get to later. Time seemed to CREEP by because I was excited about hanging out with my friends!  It’s kind of sad, but it took me almost three years in Houston to find amazing friends.  This isn’t to say the people I am friends with from Grace Crossing or Westbury weren’t great–because you all are–but to develop that connection and truly say I have some “best friends” took a lot of time.  More than anything else, I’ll miss them when we leave Houston.  Put it this way: As bad as Houston as been, they’re worth staying for.

Breakfast–Apple Cinnamon oatmeal with sliced strawberries and the NutriGrain bar I promised to devour.  It didn’t put up much of a fight.

Lunch–Linguine with zucchini and onions.  It was a lighter lunch because I knew we’d be eating a heavy dinner relatively early.  However, that didn’t stop me from eating…

Snack–Two of the Dove minatures ice cream bars I for some reason let Abby talk me into buying.  I wasn’t thinking…oh well.  At least they’re really small and only 70 calories a piece.

Dinner–Pei Wei with Leah, a recent mainstay in this blog-o-mine.  I had some edamame and Mandarin Kung Pao vegetables with fried rice, partially because I missed them and partially because Pei Wei has completely revamped/screwed up their menu, and I know this option doesn’t suck, unlike my last attempt.  So here you go, public service announcement: DO NOT ORDER THE MARKET STREET NOODLES FROM PEI WEI.  THEY ARE TERRIBLE.  YOU WILL WANT TO FEED THEM TO YOUR DOG, AND YOUR DOG WON’T TOUCH THEM, SO YOU’LL HAVE TERRIBLE NOODLES IN A DOG BOWL TO DEAL WITH.  *The More You Know*

Dessert–The aforementioned trifle.  Angel food cake, the agave whipped cream from last night, and some macerated strawberries all layered together into goodness.  It was awesome!

Hanging out with Leah, the Toys, and St. Germains was a lot of fun…and I’m pretty sure that’s about all I can repeat.  Looking forward to doing it again once we stop traveling every weekend!

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Day 171–Going to the Dentist!

Confession: It’s been six years since I last went to the dentist.  Our family dentist is in Richardson, and since I’ve lived in Abilene, Conroe, and Bellaire, day-trips to get my teeth checked never quite made it to the to-do list.  So today, I righted that wrong and headed to Dr. Schultz and his Cosmetic Dentistry practice.  Admittedly, it was a Groupon that got me there, but still.  Anyways, it was the single best dentistry experience I’ve ever had.  If you live in Houston, go to him. Do it NOW. I had a positive check up–no cavities–and my teeth are definitely the cleanest they’ve been in a while.

Breakfast–More Kashi GoLean and blueberries.  There was actually a NutriGrain bar on the menu too, but somehow it escaped unscathed. Tomorrow, it dies.

Lunch–Two tuna sandwiches with some barbecue chips.  My creativity was out of whack because I was fearing my forthcoming trip to drills-ville and the dentist.  Turns out I just wasted brain power.  Whoops.

Black eyed peas with onion, pepper, and chiles

Dinner–Since I couldn’t eat anything after the dentist (fluoride and all) there wasn’t a snack, so dinner was healthy and full of fiber to keep the metabolism at least simmering.  I made black eyed peas and sweet basil sausage.  The BEPs had red bell pepper, anaheim chile, and red onion sauteed in olive oil and some of the sausage fat in them, along with S&P and a splash of lemon juice.  They were DELICIOUS…at least, I thought so.  Occasionally I’ll completely whiff and make something that’s absolute rubbish, but rarely do I make something that I like and Abby hates.  Tonight was one of those nights.  So now I know.

Dessert–I made some sweetened whipped cream (with agave nectar, not sugar) and had about 6 strawberries that I dipped into the cream.  Good, solid dessert.  And the leftover strawberries and whipped cream will make an appearance tomorrow night too…

All in all a great day.  Tomorrow, we get to have dinner with Leah and then hang out with Leah, the Toys, and the St. Germains!  Huzzah for having friends!

Day 170–Packing

Today, the madness commenced.  Went to my local 1/2 Price Boxes store (which does exactly what you’d think…) and purchased some cardboard receptacles for my less precious belongings…some of the books I never read, some old magazine issues, etc.  Eventually we’ll get into the cooking supplies I won’t need in Colorado (like my beautiful KitchenAid mixer…I’ll miss that one) and then things will really be rolling.  It’s weird to start putting the last three years in boxes, but its time.

It was actually one of the healthier days I’ve had, except I didn’t work out.  My time was spent packing, and admittedly, screwing around watching TV (including the worst spouse I’ve witnessed in a while on House Hunters…she was a she-beast) when I could have been doing something to better myself.  Need to work on that.

Breakfast–Kashi Go-Lean Crunch with fresh blueberries.  Great cereal, although its really hard. Like…felt as if I was eating a jawbreaker sometimes.  I guess that’s what natural sweeteners will do over time.

Lunch–Spicy Thai chile tuna on salad greens with green grapes and honey wheat pretzel sticks.  Solid meal.

Snack–A couple of tablespoons of peanut butter with about 20 chocolate chips sprinkled on top with more pretzel sticks.  Incredibly filling and satisfying…sweet tooth sated.

Dinner–Chipotle, because I failed on the whole “purchasing protein” aspect of grocery shopping.  Whoops.  Anyways, I had a bowl with (too much) rice, black beans, barbacoa, fajita veggies, corn salsa, and hot salsa.  It was delicious, and the company was spectacular.

No dessert…trying to quit.

Thanks for sticking with me, even through the absence and lack of blogging recently.  It really does help when people read, comment, and check up on me (Leah and Karla!).  I appreciate you all!

Day 169–Shout Out to Leah Bouteller

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way.

It’s funny, because with everything that’s going on, life feels like its accelerating with incredible velocity, almost to the point of spiraling out of control.  We had one trip to Dallas, followed by another trip to Dallas, and then in two weeks we head to San Antonio, and then a little under a month from that WE’RE IN COLORADO.  We’ve got to move stuff out, get addresses switched, donate some things, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Gonna be a fun fifty days.

The good news is that it gives me things to do.  Tomorrow the packing process begins, today we gave notice to our apartment…the wheels on the bus go round and round.

Breakfast–Sauteed some red onion, anaheim pepper, and three eggs together.  Good, filling, and healthy.

Lunch–Went to Kublai Khan with Jason (ask him how he pronounces it…) and Leah (hence the shout out).  It’s a Mongolian stir-fry where I had shrimp, beef, mushrooms, peppers, pineapple, broccoli…delicious.  Coupled with brown rice it made for a great meal.

Snack–Cherry-pomegranate Nutrigrain bar.  Good stuff.

Dinner–Roasted broccoli with lemon, meat sauce with ground turkey and homemade pasta sauce, and whole wheat penne.  Had a bit of a medical scare today, so I’m going to be ramping up the whole grains, fiber, and the like. It’s important.

I hope tomorrow I can work out some, around all the packing, and get back on track.

Day 168–Sunburn

My shoulders are roasted.  Not in the bad way, where I can’t move and breathing makes me cry and aloe brings me closer to God, but in the way where it tingles and if I have a shirt on I can feel the heat circulating like a convection oven.  Not so good.  It was, however, fun to hang out in the pool with my parents and spend some time outside where I didn’t have to worry about pollution or the ozone (again, thank you Houston).

We made it back home after a less tense drive than on the way up, grabbed some groceries, came home to our incredibly pissed off cat, and now we’re catching up on all of our recorded shows.  Not a bad day.

Breakfast–Sadly, the leftover cake from last night.  It needed to be eaten…it was in the fridge…meh.  Worth it.

Lunch–Luna de Noche, one of my favorite places in Dallas.  You know its a great restaurant when you order something that isn’t on the menu, the waiter gives you an approving nod, and you proceed to have an excellent meal.  I’ve ordered the same thing there since it opened, and even when they took it off the menu I kept ordering.  Rudy’s Request: three pork tacos with corn tortillas, cilantro, onion, and their fabulous green cilantro salsa.  I heart Luna.

Dinner–Some green grapes, pretzel sticks with Nutella, and Chobani Mango greek yogurt.  Lots of protein, lots of fiber…solid, simple, light meal.

Tomorrow we/I begin the process of packing up to move.  Fifty days!

Day 167–Stephan Pyles

I would like to apologize to my sister for ever making fun of her sleeping habits growing up. With our growing family, finding room to sleep is becoming an exercise in flexibility. Grandma takes the guest room, Abby and I are in Jenna’s old room, which has become a second guest room…and if Jenna and Seth are here too, I’m not sure what happens.  Someone gets the backyard?  Anyways, Jenna’s room is brighter than mine (more outside lights), is next to the driveway (so when cars arrive/leave its loud) and is closer to my parents’ room, so if they move around you can hear them.  It makes sleeping interesting to say the least, so last night was a restless one.  The good news is that we didn’t have much to do today…so I could sleep in and relax a bit.  Good times.

Got sunburned, got to see good friends at the wedding, and had an AMAZING dinner at Stephan Pyles in Downtown Dallas.  But of course, that’s what the food recap is for.

Breakfast–Biscuits and sausage!  I had two biscuits and two sausage patties.

Lunch–Whataburger…God bless Texas.  I had a single patty whataburger with bacon, but I resisted the fries and just had water to drink.  Good burger though.

Dinner–After Amanda Collier/Hogan’s wedding, we hopped on over to Stephan Pyles, located conveniently next to the DMA (where the reception was) and also conveniently one of my parents’ favorite restaurants.  Here’s the rundown:

—Amuse Bouche: Lobster, watermelon, basil, and a fennel broth.  It was really good, although mine was a bit oily, my dad’s was too salty…apparently the finishing touches were a tad scattered.

—Appetizer: Sea scallop and crispy pork belly (read: bacon) with a puree of celeriac and a salad of blood orange and cilantro.  It was INCREDIBLE.  I’d eat that every day.

—Main Course: Grilled salmon with a coconut broth and a mango slaw, as well as a smoky black bean-banana mash.  It was also freakishly good…the banana/bean mash was good on everything, including Abby’s steak with spicy barbecue sauce.  Delicious.

—Dessert: Abby and I “split” (read: I ate most of them) contemporary smores (marshmallow creme, graham cracker semifreddo, and chocolate croquette) and what they call Heaven and Hell cake: Angel food cake, devil’s food cake, peanut butter mousse, and milk chocolate ganache all layered together, served with chocolate filled raspberries, raspberry mousse, and a raspberry puree.  They were both amazing…I brought some of the cake home for tomorrow.

So yeah, calorie/health/losing weight-wise, today SUCKED.  Entertainment wise?  The best. I love Dallas.

Day 166–Watermelon Juice

Today we made our trek to Plano for Amanda’s wedding.  Unlike previous trips, Abby got out of school pretty early, so we didn’t wait until 7 to leave–we took off at noon to brave the traffic.  I can honestly say I spent at least an hour of the trip driving 90+ mph (along with everyone else on 45), and yet it still took us 4.5 hours to get home.  I hate Houston.

When we got here, we were greeted by two wonderful presents: getting to spend time with my grandma and a home cooked meal from my mom.  Sad to say, this may be the first time in two weeks we’ve had home cooked meals two nights in a row.  I failed as the cook.  Tonight’s spread more than made up for the absence though!

Breakfast–About a third of a cup of Bare Naked Peak granola w/ flax, the honey with blueberries kind.  Its good, although a bit expensive and a bit high on the calories.  Granola is such a great product as long as you don’t eat a lot of it…double-edged sword.

Lunch–Arby’s, as is tradition.  I had a large roast beef with fries and a Dr. Pepper…not healthy, but I think if I had eaten something less satisfying the drive would have killed me.  It was so good…I heart Arby’s.

Dinner–Grilled filet, marinated in soy and wasabi, thinly sliced and put on grilled crostini with caramelized onions, fresh butterbeans, and sauteed potatoes, onions, zucchini, and okra breaded with cornmeal.  It was an incredible meal…my mom rocks.  To go along with it, I wanted something cool and refreshing, so I stopped by and got a seedless watermelon on the way home that I cubed and blended it with some lime juice, then strained it all into a solid beverage.  Watermelon and lime is a great flavor combo…I don’t know why I hadn’t used it before!

Dessert–My mom made lemon crockpot cake, which is exactly what it sounds like (cake made in a crock pot…) but I resisted the temptation!  I was high on calories from Arby’s and ate enough beans (protein and fiber) and veggies (fiber) to keep me full from dinner.

Tomorrow I can hopefully work out some, get in the pool, and give myself a little leeway on the total cals.  Good to be home…and every time I see a Colorado vacation commercial, it gives me chills.  Less than two months!