This Blog is Moving

I am moving my blog. Still on wordpress, but a total redesign with a new name and address. I have felt for a while that this blog wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be and have been struggling to envision what I wanted, so I’m trying again. Hopefully I got it right this time. If you follow me here, I welcome you to come follow me there at www.spicysugarblog.wordpress.com. Thanks!

 


Photographing my 4-year-old: sometimes it’s a workout

While my older daughter creates outfits and poses for me, trying to get a picture of my younger daughter isn’t quite as easy. It looks something like this…


My daughter playing fashion designer with some scarves.

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What You See is Not What You Get

Just one of the reasons I don’t like to go to Applebees.

This is what I ordered:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what I got:


Fancy Tomatoes

I love when companies pay attention to their customers. Thanks, Muir Glen. I wrote a blog post a couple months ago about Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes. I use a lot of canned tomatoes and I was searching for a BPA-free option. It took me a while before I found Muir Glen, who is switching to all BPA-free cans this year. Yay!

I was surprised to get a thank you from Muir Glen about my blog post since I didn’t forward it to them in any way, but they found it, and thanked me for it…by sending me this fancy collection of “Reserve” tomatoes. I didn’t even know Reserve tomatoes existed!

I was especially happy to receive my thank you gift because it contained some fire roasted tomatoes. I LOVE fire roasted tomatoes but have not been able to find the Muir Glen fire roasted variety near me.

Also included with the gift basket was a little recipe book and a hand-written thank you note. Yes, hand-written. How nice is that? First a move to make a better and healthier product, then amazing customer service and attention. Way to impress, Muir Glen.


But I Hate Running, Don’t I?

Not stilettos. My new running shoes. Saucony Cohesion 5. If I stick with it, I’ll upgrade.

I hate running. I say it all the time. I know a lot of runners. My husband ran the NYC marathon last year. They all know I hate running. I find it painful. Not physically painful, mentally painful. I think it’s tedious and boring, and I hate doing it.

So how did I get here? And by here I mean running at 6:30 am. For 30 minutes. Three times this week.

Well, I put on seven pounds between the end of last summer and the beginning of this summer. I know that might not seem huge to some people, but it’s a lot on me. My pants were tight. I like to blame it all on Hurricane Irene and my flooded basement derailing my diet and exercise routine (excuses, excuses), but I certainly can’t blame my flooded basement for keeping me derailed all through the fall and winter. Once I got out of a routine, I got lazy. It’s that simple.

Finally, in the spring, I started to get back to nice healthy eating habits and a regular exercise routine. And by a regular exercise routine, I mean 30 minutes of weights and toning exercises 4-5 times/week. Because that’s what I like to do. And I do it at home. The problem is, in a few months, I only lost two pounds and my pants were still tight.

I had to admit it. I need cardio. The easiest cardio without going back to a gym? Running. Ugh.

But I told myself I had to try it. Even if I dreaded it. Just try it a few times. See if I can get through it without being completely miserable.

Since I work best with structure and set goals, I decided to try a Couch-to-5k program. It will tell me exactly what to do. Just get through it.

Well…I ran three days this week. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. I did some core exercises on Monday. And I lost three pounds. Just like that. My pants fit. And that was with a not totally healthy day of eating on Wednesday…I ate out, had some frozen yogurt. Three pounds.

This running stuff works!

And I’m not miserable. Maybe it’s the success. Maybe it’s the goal of completing the 5k program. But I feel great!

It also doesn’t hurt to have a husband who makes me a nice healthy breakfast while I’m out running. Thanks, hubby!

So maybe I’ll have to ease off my “I hate running” stance. Maybe. Okay, definitely. For now, at least.


Black Bean Saute

This is one of my favorite side dishes. It’s easy, quick, delicious and healthy. What more could you ask for?

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 small vidalia onion, diced

1/4 cup cider vinegar

15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, then add the red bell pepper and the onion. Saute  until tender. I let the onion just start to brown because this is how I like onions. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Then add the vinegar, beans, corn and peas. Saute until the frozen vegetables are cooked and the vinegar has reduced. Season with salt and pepper. That’s it!

I serve this with so many things! Grilled chicken, fajitas, burgers. I love to serve bunless burgers on a bed of fresh spinach, topped with avocado and salsa, with this veggie saute on the side. Excellent summer meal.