Archive for May, 2010

I think every weekend should be a 3 day weekend.

Nick worked on washing the cars while I cleaned inside the house and worked on laundry. It was a productive day!

I took a break and had a little snack.


I got these Probiotic Bars as a sample through OpenSky, and I love them! Nick’s tried all the flavors so far and really likes them, too. Look out for a full review soon – they’re really tasty and have a great ingredient list. They’re definitely being added to my shop, and soon!



Dinner tonight was almost all on the grill. I love meals that are completely grilled – it means less work inside!


One of the gifts in our anniversary packages the other day was this Tequila-Agave marinade from Williams-Sonoma.

Since we had good weather (and it was a holiday weekend), I decided we needed to break it out and get something on the grill tonight.

I poured half the bottle over some free range organic chicken thighs and Nick grilled them to perfection.


I love the I can read all the ingredients! It was delicious on the chicken.

We also had some grilled yellow squash (from our co-op this week) and some brown rice I mixed with lime juice and cilantro.



Along with a Corona + lime, it was the perfect summer meal.


We ate our dinner outside on the deck with Maggie and Roxy. Definitely the best way to end this weekend 🙂

I’ve got one last load of laundry to fold, and then I’m ready to relax!


PS: Did you know Emily and Allison are going vegan for the month of June? I’m thinking about it…but I need to do a little planning.

PPS: I made my Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble completely vegan yesterday, and it turned out even better than the first batch!


I used all agave in the fruit mix and subbed in soy-free Earth Balance for the butter/oil.


Hope you enjoyed your day – back to the grind tomorrow!


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Happy Memorial Day! I hope you’re able to spend the day remembering all the people that serve our country and enjoy the time with those you love.

Nick, Maggie, and I started our day off with an early morning hike to the Cascades.


We’d been wanting to take Maggie hiking and we finally had a nice morning. Plus, we wanted to go early so there wouldn’t be as many people out on the trail – we definitely picked the perfect time to go! We got on the trail this morning around 7:30 and it was starting to get busy by the time we got back to the car.


The trail up to the falls is about 1.5 –2 miles each way and Maggie loved every minute of it! She swam, chased butterflies, and ate a lot of leaves.


It was a beautiful morning, and I’m glad we were able to start our day off like this. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do – I just wish we had enough time in our days to hike a few times a week!


Hiking buddies!



Getting close – you can see the falls through the trees.

Sadly, I didn’t get a good picture where I was sitting – there was so much mist coming off the falls this morning!


Still beautiful, though. It was a fun morning. I like walking in the woods, just listening the sounds of nature around us – birds chirping, bugs buzzing, twigs snapping under our feet.


As for breakfast / lunch, we feasted!

I had half a banana before we left on our hike, and Nick had a granola bar so we were both starving when we got back.

By the time we ate “breakfast”, it was 11:30, so I’m just calling this brunch.

But I’ve definitely earned my “Biscuit Bran” nickname!


All the tips Bob gave me helped me make some awesome biscuits this morning. So…yes, there’s a stick of butter in the recipe, but I did use 1/2 whole wheat flour. That counts for something, right? 😉


While I mixed up and baked the biscuits, Nick made coffee and cooked some bacon and eggs and I got the strawberries out.


Full plate = full belly.

Nick and Maggie just woke up from a nap and I’m not sure what the rest of the day will be!

I’m pretty sure we’ll be grilling for dinner, so I’m hoping the rain holds off.


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Wine Me, Dine Me

Dinner was fantastic!


The tour was a bit disappointing (literally, 5 minutes long and we saw one room with the barrels – I was thinking the tour would at least be 30 minutes?), but we had fun at the tasting!

We got to try 10 of their wines, and we loved almost all of them. The tasting room was pretty busy when we were in there, and there wasn’t much room to move around so no pictures.

But dinner was delicious.


The temperature was perfect, but it was really hazy (like it always is in this area, hence the “blue ridge”).






I loved the entrance to the restaurant! Like entering the Secret Garden.


We had a starter of some quick-pickled veggies with cucumber, yellow squash, carrots, tomatoes, and green beans. The beans were the best! Still crispy, and I loved the pickling spices on them. I guess they were like a fast version of dilly beans?


I had a glass of their Angel Chardonnay with my meal – the perfect match with my Caesar salad and Chicken Saltimbocca.






Nick had their house salad and a bbq spiced ribeye with some mashed potatoes that tasted like macaroni and cheese!

IMG_9661 IMG_9682

Sadly, I didn’t get pictures of our dessert (it was dark by that time), but they were delicious! We split a flourless chocolate torte (super rich) and wild strawberry gelato with a pecan praline crunch and mint oil.



It was a great way to celebrate 6 years of marriage and the start of year #7.


We’ve got a cookout tonight with some friends, so I’ve got laundry going, beans cooking on the stove, and I still have to make my strawberry rhubarb crumble to take with us.

Should be fun!

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Well, today has been just like a normal Saturday!

Big breakfast together at home.

Cuddling with Maggie + coffee.

Trip to the Farmer’s Market and grocery store.

Back home for lunch.

Big salad for me!:

  • 1 head of romaine
  • 1 local tomato
  • avocado/black bean/pepper/onion/radish salad


Our dinner tonight will be full of wine, wine, more wine, and a lot of decadence, so I decided to get in my veggies at lunch 😉

For our anniversary, Nick and I are going out to Chateau Morrisette tonight!!! I’m so excited – I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard it’s beautiful and the food is supposed to be pretty amazing (and local!).

chateau_morrisette (image source)

We’re going for the wine tour / tasting at 5 and then our dinner reservations are at 7:30. I can’t wait! We’re getting dressed up and everything.

This will also be our very first time to ever do a wine tour / tasting. Pretty fun thing to do for our anniversary, I think.

As for right now, Nick and Maggie are taking naps and I’ve got a load of laundry going.

Plus, I just found The Goonies on tv!


True or False: I used to have a Truffle Shuffle sticker on my car in high school.

I watched this movie at least once a week during the summer after my senior year of high school. Totally obsessed, and still am! I think I need the soundtrack.

I forgot I put so many wedding pictures up last year!


See ya later gators! Enjoy your Saturday 🙂


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Wedding Waffles

6 years later…


…we’re still using the waffle maker we got at our wedding.


We don’t use it very often, and it’s almost always perched on top of the refrigerator, but every now and then…we just want waffles.


I’ve got to work on this waffle recipe before giving it out. They tasted awesome, but they weren’t as crispy on the outside as I like them.

But the maple syrup baked bacon was amazing 😉


If nothing else, I’ve at least learned to cook in these 6 years! Who knew I would be making us breakfast when he was the breakfast guru when we got married?

I’ve got coffee to drink and then we’re getting ready to go into town!

He’s got to go to the lab for a bit, so I’ll do the farmer’s market + grocery shopping while he’s there.


Happy Saturday!

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Movies Rule

Friday night = Movie night!

We’re having 2 movie nights in a row 🙂 Last night, we watched Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang (love Robert Downey, Jr – especially after Sherlock Holmes) and we’re about to start The Hangover.

The weather turned out nasty today! There were horrible thunder storms and lightening all afternoon at work.

I soothed myself with a local donut.


My donut rule worked in my favor today! We have these donuts in our office every Friday, but I have a rule for myself: if my favorite kind (chocolate iced cake) is there by the afternoon, I can have it if I really want it. And today, there was one just waiting for me!

I never want a donut when I first get into the office because I’ve just eaten breakfast. But sometimes…a sugary donut for a Friday afternoon treat is the best thing ever.

We came home to gray skies and puddled streets and got started on dinner.


I made some “dirty” brown rice with roasted garlic chicken sausage and some green beans.



The movie is starting, but there may be a snack tonight?


Cashew ice cream?

Who knows?!?


Tomorrow’s our anniversary!!!! AH!

Happy Friday 🙂


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Time for round #3 of Behind the Blog!

Sit back, relax, and let’s meet Cynthia 🙂



1.       What’s your name and blog address?  I’m Cynthia at

about me 004

2.       How long have you been blogging?  I started blogging as a
journal last April but then really started in July to enjoy it in my
current format.

3.       What do you love / hate about blogging?  I love that I can
just be me and enjoy sharing who I am and what I do for my health
without being seen as crazy.  I hate the pressure I sometimes put on
myself to get a post up everyday and when I get anxious when I can’t
get back to it.

4.       What’s your favorite color?  I love yellow and green.  I
can’t pick just one.  They both look great with my hair and most of
the shirts I own are in these two colors.

5.       Favorite movie?  As Good As It Gets.  Who doesn’t love Jack
Nicholson telling Helen Hunt "You make me want to be a better man."
Don’t we all want someone to tell us that.

As Good As It Gets

6.       Favorite book?  There is a monster at the end of this book.
Old school Grover with all his anxieties and fears about the monster
and it is lovable furry him.  I still have my copy from childhood.  If
you want an adult answer I’d have to say We Were the Mulvaneys.  So
complex and I couldn’t put it down even though I had to study for a


7.       Favorite food?  Sushi.  I’m addicted and it is my favorite
girls’ night out date night.


8.       Chocolate or vanilla?  Vanilla unless it is dark belgian
chocolate.  I don’t like american chocolate.  Too waxy.  I grew up on
the good stuff in Germany.

9.       Favorite tv show NOW and when you were growing up?  Right now
I hate to admit my favorite show is LOST because although it is so
good I have no idea what is going on.  I’m watching it right now and I
have a headache.  I need to go back and rewatch it sometime to get it
all.  Thanks to Brandi for getting me onto this addiction.
As a kid my favorite show was this crazy German variety show that is
kind of like Sabado Gigante on Telemundo.  It had cartoons and games
and everything and I couldn’t wait for it to come on each week.  I
missed it so much when we moved back to the states that I really
didn’t watch a lot of TV except old game shows and Murder She Wrote
with my grandma 😉

10.   Do you like playing sports? Watching sports?  I don’t play well
with others.  I love to run and bike but I am not talented enough to
play a real sport with other people.  But I’m addicted to watching
some on TV.  I’ll watch any NFL game during the season and I have to
love my Red Sox.  I watch more sports than my Hunni 🙂


11.   Are you a coffee or tea person? Or neither?  Both.  I love tea
all the time and have a collection of tea that I drink constantly.
But I love good coffee, usually flavored, with some milk and only once
a day so I’m not wired to the hilt.  I used to hate coffee but now it
is my daily pick me up.  But both tea and coffee have to be the good
stuff.  No Lipton or Folgers for me.

12.   Do you have tattoos or piercings?  Yes and Yes.  In college I
had my belly button pierced until I was hospitalized and had to take
it out.  I actually repierced it but had to be rehospitalized and
never put it back.  I wanted to get my eyebrow done at the time but it
wouldn’t have looked good for a teacher.  I have multiple holes in my
ears that I rarely wear earrings in because of my job.  But I do like
to wear my wedding earrings or hoops when I dress up.
And I have one tattoo on my left hip of a filagree cross and the
Hebrew word for redeemed.  It is a reminder to me of my faith and the
healing God has given me.  I spent hours in the seminary library
researching the right words and planning it.  I love that it is
representative of me.

13.   Do you have any special talents?  If you mean things like
rolling my tongue I can do that.  But I am a pretty good quilter and
enjoy making them for wedding gifts and baby showers.  I also speak
fluent Spanish and pick up tons of other languages easily like Korean,
Chinese, Tagalic, Japanese, French, and Portuguese.


14.   If you could go anywhere in the world TOMORROW, where would you go?I would go back to Spain.  I miss it so much and the joys I had
there.  I want to take Hunni there some day and show him "mi pais".
It is my home away from home.

15.   Last thing you ate?  My version of apple crisp.  Two diced
apples microwaved with cinnamon.  Drizzled on crunchy raw almond
butter and a bit of some cereal or granola.  Today was cheerios.  My
favorite dessert for almost everyday. And I added some dark chocolate
powder today to make it interesting 🙂


16.   When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a teacher.  And I actually was one for 2 years
before going back to seminary.  I used to set my dolls up as my
students and my mom bought me a chalk board to teach with.  I studied
Spanish Education and taught Middle/High School for 2 years in a rural
school district.  I actually taught both Spanish and French since I
had some french classes in college.  Teenagers are interesting
especially in Spanish.

17.   What was your favorite subject in school?  I loved Math.  It
made so much sense and I actually took Calculus in college and thought
about minoring in Math.  But languages ruled out because I could use
it as an excuse to read all the time on the quad "for class."

18.   What games did you play when you were younger?  We had family
game night so we played all sorts of board games but my favorite was
SORRY because I always kicked my brother’s butt.  Outdoor games were a
blast too but most of them were ones we made up as kids and never
really had any rules to them.

19.   Favorite restaurant?  I’m a big local restaurant fan.  Where I
live locally I love a cute little coffee shop called Brewhaha that has
whole wheat pancakes the size of the plate with real Massachusetts
Maple Syrup or all sorts of fun vegetarian and vegan options.  If I
have to eat at a chain restaurant I love Panera because they have
great healthy options and I can get a good piece of sugary junk food
if I want too 😀

20.   Favorite store?  TARGET!!! I go there almost every day just to
look around with my cup of Starbucks in my hand…told you I like good
coffee.  Most of my clothes are from there and I just enjoy browsing
the aisle.  But I recently found I love all the funky stuff in
Anthropologie and enjoy looking at all the unique little things you
can’t really find many other places.

21.   Favorite animal?  River Otter.  Random I know.  But in 9th grade
we had to do a zoology project on an animal at the Philadelphia Zoo
(my mom lives outside Philly) and we spent the entire day in the
drizzly rain watching these little guys slide around their exhibit and
eat and just show off.  They were so funny it made me forget that it
was raining.


22.   Favorite thing to cook/make?  I love making home made baked
goods.  Because I have such bad IBS symptoms I can’t eat normal baked
goods from the store or a bakery.  If I make them myself I can be sure
that I won’t get sick eating them.  And they taste so much better than
the stuff I can buy.  I just don’t make them too often because I have
portion control issues since they are so good 🙂 (and I obviously
have a smiley problem too)

23.   Most embarrassing guilty pleasure? Reality TV!  I will watch it
all and actually enjoy it.  And I’m a pastor.  But it is such an
escape from reality I enjoy getting involved in the drama of the Real
Housewives and seeing all the crazy things the Top Models do.

24.   Do you have any nicknames?  My dad calls me CC Lee, Missy and
Pumpkin.  Hunni calls me Hunnibunny and Girl.  A few friends call me
all sorts of variations of my name like Cyn, Cynth, Syd.  I even
answer to Lu because it is short for Lieutenant which is my work


25.   List one thing the “blog world” doesn’t know about you but should!

I think the blog world should know that I have super powers…not
really.  😀 I really think they should know that I’ve never lived in
one place for more than 5 years my entire life and I don’t really ever
intend to.  I grew up in a military family who moved every 3 years,
then I live with my mom until college for a few years and have moved
every couple of years since then.  So if you ever here me talk you
won’t be able to place my accent.  I have a bit of southern twang,
some proper british-isms from my European education and random bits
and pieces from all over.  I’m just a big conglomeration and that
makes me me.

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Side Splits

It’s FrIdAy!!!

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready for this 3 day weekend – plus, tomorrow is our wedding anniversary 🙂 We have fun dinner plans, and I can’t wait to start the celebration!

We’re running a bit low on groceries for the week, but I did have a perfectly ripe banana for a banana split.


After trying a few different nut butters on this, I’ve decided that the Dark Chocolate Dreams PB&Co Peanut butter is the best banana split topping. It’s sweet, melty, and chocolate.


These are so easy and fun to eat!

The oats are basic:

1/2 cup oats

1 cup water

pinch salt



Then I just layer those into a split banana, add toppings, and dig in.


Oatmeal. Banana. Chocolate pb. Fruit. Coffee.

I think I’m ready to get my Friday going 🙂


Do you have fun Memorial Day weekend plans?

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Pizza Poppers

Thursday night is turning into movie night!

Since all our normal Thursday night shows are over, we’re going to watch one of our Netflix movies, so I better hurry.


While working this afternoon, I snacked on some yogurt + TJ’s Nuts Over Raspberries trail mix. I completely forgot I had this in the cabinet! It’s one of my favorites.


Dinner tonight was light, fresh, and easy.


We had salads with local greens, carrots, red onion, scallions, radishes, and a homemade dressing.

For the main course, we had Pizza Poppers!


I made little mini frittatas for us with all our favorite pizza toppings.

Mine had:

  • red pepper
  • orange pepper
  • red onion
  • ham
  • oregano
  • basil
  • parsley
  • garlic
  • parmesan cheese


Nick’s were the same except he had pepperoni instead of the ham. I’m going to have to remember to make these more often. They were a fun new dinner to have, and so quick and easy!

I just mixed up the eggs, egg whites, and fillings, poured them into a greased muffin tin, and baked at 375 for 20 minutes.



Time to settle in! I’m not even sure what movies we have, but I’m pretty sure there will be a snack later. Popcorn with olive oil and salt sounds good.


Tomorrow’s Friday!!!

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How’s your Thursday?

Mine is going…and going and going 🙂

It’s HOT outside! I’m so happy we went running this morning and got it over with. Today is the kind of day that makes me wish I had access to a pool.

Lunch is so, so random, but so good!


Tasting Plate = lots of fun food at one time.


I’ve got 2 hard boiled eggs with salt + smoked paprika I made last night (and I just realized I’ll be having eggs in dinner! Oh well). Plus a slice of cornbread, some broccoli, and the last of the Cuban black beans from last night.



Cornbread + beans is good. In fact, I’ll probably go back for another piece of cornbread…


We got a delivery today!


My mom sent us our anniversary gifts, but I’m going to try my best to not open them until Nick gets home 🙂 I can’t wait to see what they are!

(I know the bottom isn’t actually an ice cream maker. She knows we don’t have room for it, and the box isn’t heavy enough for it to be that)


Can’t wait to tear into these boxes later!!!


Do you wait to open all gifts on birthdays/Christmas/etc until the actual day or do you open them as soon as you get them? Our anniversary isn’t until Saturday, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be opening these tonight 😉


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