the big move

Well, guys, the time has begun for our big move! Or at least the start of it! Josh and I sold our first house (so bittersweet!) the end of May. We didn’t even have time to officially put our house on the market when we got an offer on it only 2-3 hours after meeting with our realtor about listing it. Since then, we have hit the ground running on the hunt for a condo or apartment in Columbus, OH. We hooked up with a realtor over there because it is near impossible to condo hunt when working full time and living about 3.5 hours away. Our realtor has been great and searched out several suburbs and areas all around Columbus to find us one that will work for the immediate future. We went over two weekends ago to drive around a lot of neighborhoods. We found a condo that can work for us and we went ahead with signing a rental agreement. It’s definitely going to be an adjustment, moving from our own home with a huge yard and lots of space into a second story condo with a little less space and shared outdoor areas. It’s not forever though and I keep reminding myself that as long as Josh and I have each other (and Rocko, of course!) that it’ll be a fun new adventure for us! We have to be out of our house by the end of June, so this past weekend, Josh’s dad helped us load up part of our stuff to move over to Ohio. We still have quite a bit to move (it’s seriously insane the amount of stuff you accumulate over a few years), but getting part of it out of the house makes me feel a little better.

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After we got everything unloaded, we headed to a really cute little Mexican restaurant called Local Cantina.

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The restaurant was decorated with lots of bright colors and decor hanging all over the walls and from the ceiling. One of my favorite parts was the little cart of “serve yourself” chips and salsa. And it was good salsa. We shared an order of fresh guacamole (topped with queso fresco and pico) that was yumm-o! I had two tacos- a roasted carnitas with pineapple mango salsa and a carne asada with chimichurri, queso fresco, and pickled onions. I liked both, but the carne asada was especially good with the chimichurri sauce and pickled onions. Josh had two tacos also- the crispy pork belly with pickled onions, pico, candied jalapeños, and guajillo crema and the Tinga chicken with cabbage, pico, avocado crema, queso fresco, and cilantro. I think the Tinga chicken was the best taco we had there. There was just something about the crunch of the cabbage with the juicy chicken and the smooth crema that made it amazing. Local Cantina is definitely going to be a spot we frequent and a great place to bring our visitors to!

We were super excited to find that there is an AMC theater just a few miles from our condo. After all the moving activities, Josh and I just wanted to relax and enjoy a movie, so we went to see Incredibles 2. We loved it! I laughed, I teared up, I gasped, I was entertained the whole time! Y’all have to do yourselves a favor and see it soon! Another perk of our condo’s location is that there is a Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt nearby as well. I’m sure you can see where this is leading to…a stop for dessert after the movie! I always peruse the menu and think to myself that I’ll try something new, but I couldn’t help myself and I went with my tried and true favorite- a waffle bowl with Oree-dough (Oreo + chocolate chip cookie dough). Yes, please!

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Josh had a really delicious looking sundae with their Monkey Business ice cream (banana cake batter with swirls of caramel and brownie bits), caramel sauce, whipped cream, crushed peanuts, and a cherry.

Since we live close enough, we took our treats back with us to spend time with Rocko. And Handel’s is the best because they have pup cups, so Rocko was able to have dessert with us. He absolutely loved it! I didn’t want him to get sick from eating too much, so I took it away from him after it was about half gone…that little monster dug in and didn’t want to give it up for anything! It’s a good thing he’s so cute.

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As scared as I am of all the upcoming changes, I’m equally as excited to find new places to eat, drink, have fun, and explore! The next few years will be full of lots of faith and prayers and I know God will provide exactly what we need…so, bring on the new adventures, Columbus!!!

Memorial Day Weekend

What a wonderfully “long” Memorial Day weekend we just had! I don’t know about you all, but it was very much needed for me. My new job has about half the paid time off that I used to get, so I hadn’t had a day off since the beginning of March. I definitely took advantage of all that free time of an extra day off.

Saturday morning I woke up early to work out at home in our garage. I re-did a CF Open workout (17.1- lots of dumbbell snatches and burpee box jump overs) and it was even more awful than the first time! Our garage is pretty clean, but by the end I was completely covered in dirt from all the burpees. See proof below. Despite struggling through the workout, I was so happy I made myself get up and get moving. I felt so much better starting the day off being active and just feeling energized.

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The reason I got up early to workout at home was because my friend, Andie, and I were headed to Cincinnati for a girls’ day of shopping at Ikea and Jungle Jim’s. These are two of my favorite stores and I could easily spend a full day at each. We stopped off at Ikea first. And because we were meeting another friend at Jungle Jim’s after lunch, we were total crazy people and sped through Ikea in a little over 2 hours. I don’t know how we did it, but seriously major props to us for purchasing only the things on Andie’s list and not being side-tracked by all the gloriousness that is Ikea.

After our shopping spree at Ikea, we headed over to Jungle Jim’s for even more fun. Jungle Jim’s is just the coolest grocery store ever. It is around 200,000 square feet of food and drink heaven. They have whole sections full of just different wine or honey or beer or butter or cheese, etc. There is an olive bar, a bakery (with the most wonderful pretzel breads and croissants and cake pops and cheesecakes and more), a deli, a kombucha bar, and tons of fresh fruit and vegetables. They have things as simple as whole carrots and tomatoes to cactus leaves and rambutan. One of my favorite parts of the store (besides the cheese section and bakery) is the international section. There are aisles upon aisles dedicated to different regions around the world, including Asian, Hispanic, Indian, European, Eastern European, African, and Middle Eastern. I love seeing all the products from around the world! If you have a free day, I highly recommend heading over to Cinci and exploring all that Jungle Jim’s has to offer.

Sunday was such a chill day for Josh and I. I got up before Josh and did all our meal prep for the week. There’s just something about prepping our food that helps me get ready for the week, that helps me feel prepared for whatever might come up. I might not be in control of everything, but I can at least be in control of what I eat. When Josh got up, we enjoyed our cups of coffee (tea for me) and watched some episodes of Good Mythical Morning on YouTube. It’s such a great show and they always keep us entertained with all the weird, random stuff they do.

When we started getting kind of hungry, we headed down to Louisville for brunch at Garage on Market.

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We had eaten there once before for dinner and loved it, so I was excited to see what their brunch was like. The weather was really nice outside, so we were able to sit out on their patio and enjoy the sunshine and cool summer breeze. I had to order the housemade red cream soda again, it’s just too darn good to pass up! Josh was adventurous (it seemed adventurous to me, at least lol) and ordered the A.M. Shandy which was PBR with orange juice and ginger. Totally not a normal drink for him, but he said it was pretty good.

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We shared an order of beignets for an appetizer. They were covered in powdered sugar and served with local preserves. I don’t know what flavor the preserves were, but I really enjoyed them.

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For our meal, we ordered the Monte Cristo pizza. I absolutely love that their pizza is made in the brick oven. The crust was bubbly and the toppings were soooo good! The Monte Cristo was everything we ever wanted from a breakfast/brunch pizza, covered in a garlic puree, country ham, sorghum, Gouda cheese, and sunny side up eggs. And it came with a side of the preserves to dip into! So. Good.

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We walked around Market Street for a little bit after brunch. It was fun to peruse a few of the local boutiques and shops. Josh even found a concrete shave bowl that he had been in search of for forever at Scout, the cutest shop full of books, women’s clothing, jewelry, men’s grooming accessories, kitchenware, and more. I loved so many of their items and hope to shop there again soon.

When we were finished looking around, we made our way back down Market Street to Louisville Cream. You know we weren’t leaving a food date without stopping there for dessert. Josh had the Haute Fudge sundae with Bourbon Smoked Pecan and Mint Julep Chip ice cream. The brownie in the bottom is so gooey and fudgy, I could have eaten a bowl of just those brownies. Add ice cream, fresh whipped cream, and hot fudge and it’s a done deal.

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I opted for the Salted Butter Caramel ice cream nestled between a Reese’s peanut butter cookie (full of Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter cups) and a salted chocolate chip cookie. It was just so delicious. No matter how hard I try to try something different there, I always get sucked into an ice cream sandwich. And I’m never disappointed.  

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Memorial Day was quite the day. I woke up with an upset stomach and just not feeling the best, but we had our annual “Murph” community workout at CF Ripcord to honor Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan. It’s a “hero” workout and while it’s very long and mentally challenging, it’s nothing compared to all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country. So even though I didn’t feel great, I knew I had to push that aside and still try my hardest at this workout to honor everyone. Doing these “hero” workouts is one of the things I enjoy most about CrossFit- even though these people aren’t here with us anymore, we still have a way to honor them and keep their memory alive.

After the community workout was over, we all headed over to one of the gym member’s house for a cookout and pool party. It was so great to just relax and enjoy great food and hanging out with friends for the afternoon. Until I got the worst headache from having no caffeine the entire day. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it, but I usually have tea in the morning and sometimes a pop for lunch. And I had had nothing all day. Rookie mistake, right? By this time, Josh was feeling really exhausted too, so we came home and crashed hard. We both took a nap for about an hour and then forced ourselves to move to the couch for a few hours before bedtime. Not quite the way I imagined spending my last glorious hours of a long weekend, but it is what it is. If nothing else, it was really nice to just snuggle up on the couch with Josh and Rocko with no plans for the whole night. It’s moments like these lately that have helped to remind me to find happiness/beauty/joy in even the simplest things.

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HammerHeads & LC

I know recently I haven’t been keeping up with my posts like normal. I’ve just really been lacking any motivation with being gone so many hours with my commute/work. When I get home, all I want to do is eat dinner and sit on the couch watching Food Network with Josh. I’m hoping things will turn around soon with this amazing warm weather we’re getting!

I do not know how I haven’t written a post about HammerHeads before. It is hands down my most favorite restaurant ever! I first ate there with some girlfriends a few years ago and honestly I have no idea how we found out about it. HammerHeads is located in the Germantown neighborhood of Louisville. The restaurant itself is in the basement of a two-story house and is not at all what I expected- it’s a small/cozy space with a low ceiling and very eclectic decor and music. There is ALWAYS a line, even when we have shown up at opening time. It’s really that good. I honestly don’t know why we don’t eat there every weekend.

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We arrived slightly before they opened and thankfully (even though there was already a line) we were “early” enough to get a seat at the bar right away. For an appetizer we shared the crispy mushroom medley which is a mix of shiitake and portobello mushrooms with a sun-dried tomato aioli. The mushrooms are always so big and the breading is delicious. You don’t even need the aioli, but really neither one of us is turning down some “fancy” mayo.

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I usually always gravitate towards their dishes with pork belly, but I decided to switch it up a little and try the duck tacos. I’m so glad I did! The duck was fatty and juicy. The pico gave it a nice crunch and the jalapeño-lime aioli added a spicy element that was just right. And it was all wrapped in double corn tortillas which is the only way to eat a taco!

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Josh was adventurous too and went with the BBQ lamb ribs for dinner. The ribs were so tender and fell right off the bone.

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We couldn’t come to HammerHeads and not order some fries to share for dinner too. Of course, we had to order the Grippo fries…fried in duck fat. There really is no other way to get fries there. The Grippo seasoning is BBQy and tangy and the duck fat makes them all the more irresistible to eat.

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I know it sounds like we already ate a lot of food, but we had plenty of room to make a trip to Louisville Cream for dessert. I was super excited to try one of their newest flavors- Milk Chocolate Coffee Crunch. Even though I don’t drink coffee, this ice cream was amazing. Especially stuffed between two huge fresh chocolate chip cookies. The espresso enhanced the milk chocolate flavor and I loved the house-made dark chocolate crunch throughout. Josh had a scoop of the Coffee Crunch covered in hot fudge and vanilla bean whipped cream. Delish!

I’m already dreaming of when we can have a repeat date of this night!

Festivus Games & Chopped

This weekend was so fun and full of firsts! CF Ripcord (my home gym) hosted their first competition ever- the Festivus Games. The Festivus Games is a beginner/intermediate CrossFit competition. Several CF gyms around the country host these Games and everyone performs the same workouts on the same day. I volunteered to help set up equipment, judge during the competition, and clean up afterwards. I’m so glad I did! It was so much fun to see people of all different ages and skill levels compete for the first time and push outside their comfort zone.

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Judging wasn’t easy- you never want to have to tell someone they’re not doing a movement to standard and “no rep” them, but it was a great experience and learning opportunity. There were several times where I wanted to stop counting reps/judging and just cheer people on, I kept getting so caught up in all the energy and excitement. I really hope to be able to volunteer to help at another competition sometime in the future!

After a full day of helping out at the Festivus Games, I was very happy to head home for a “Chopped” date night with Josh. The idea is for you and your spouse to each buy four secret ingredients that the other has to transform into a dish (along with any pantry ingredients), just like on the Food Network show. I chose to cook the dinner portion because I knew Josh would do a better job than I would with any dessert. The secret ingredients I had to use for dinner were chorizo, chihuahua cheese, English muffins, and avocado.

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I stared at the ingredients for a few minutes and came up with the idea to make little pizzas. I cooked up the chorizo, added it to a pizza sauce I made, and put it on the English muffins. I sautéed garlic, peppers, and onion and sprinkled that on top along with the cheese. While I waited for them to heat up and the cheese to melt in the oven, I whipped up some guacamole for dipping. Even though we didn’t put a time constraint on it, I moved fairly quick and am quite proud of the end product. It was very tasty and we both agreed we would happily eat my little pizzas again!

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The secret ingredients I bought for Josh to use for dessert were a bit trickier- ginger snaps, sweet potato, dark chocolate, and strawberry soda.

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After just a few minutes, he came up with a great idea to make a sweet potato tart! He used the ginger snaps in the crust, made a filling out of the sweet potato and dark chocolate chips, and cooked the strawberry soda down with some blueberries for topping. And of course, he melted down some of the chocolate to drizzle over top. He served the tart with some blueberry crumble Halo Top ice cream. It was an awesome dessert and I was super impressed with how he transformed the ingredients! If it was a real contest, he definitely would have won!

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We had leftover ingredients from the dinner portion, so Josh made a “Chopped” breakfast of eggs Benedict Sunday morning. It was so delicious (heck it might have even been better than my pizza)!

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Seriously though, our “Chopped” date night was such a blast-  I absolutely can’t wait to do it again soon!!!

you are what you eat

Happy Tuesday, you guys! I am so excited! We are wrapping up our second Nutrition Challenge at CF Ripcord and from what I can tell it has been a success. I am in no way an expert on nutrition or health, but I’ve experimented with quite a few diets/ways of eating and learned what works for me. We didn’t want to push any specific diet or lifestyle, so the whole focus for the challenge was to help build habits towards a healthier lifestyle, habits that are sustainable and not just a crash diet where you starve yourself and then binge like crazy when it’s done.

After experimenting with eating habits for the last few years, I’ve noticed quite a few benefits from making healthier choices in my diet and lifestyle.

*I have fewer breakouts than I used to and my skin tends to be clearer now that I stay more hydrated.

*My hair and nails seem to grow faster and are stronger and less brittle than before.

*I have a lot more energy throughout the day. I still sometimes get the “after-lunch sleepies”, but I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

*Before changing my diet, I would have trouble falling asleep and sometimes wake up throughout the night for an hour or two here and there. Now, I fall asleep faster and usually stay asleep through the whole night.

*I have noticed an increase in my performance at the gym, both with being able to lift heavier weights/do more reps and being able to do bodyweight movements more easily.

*I feel like my mind is clearer and I can focus more easily when I’m not eating junk food all the time.

*I used to feel congested or stuffed up a lot and didn’t even realize how “bad” I felt until I started eating way more veggies and lean protein. I can totally tell when I indulge too much because I always wake up the next morning feeling congested.

*I have made new friends with people who share my interests in eating well and wanting to be active. I’ve also tried new things out of my comfort zone and gone on new adventures because of this- hiking, boating, spelunking, all kinds of fun things!

*I have saved money by not eating out all the time and instead cooking at home for the majority of our meals.

*By watching what I eat and cooking at home a lot, I’ve learned to really take the time to enjoy and savor  something when I do decide to indulge. I make sure it’s really worth it- I can easily pass on the store bought donut when I know I’ll be enjoying homemade lemon meringue pie later instead.

I encourage everyone to make the healthiest choices you can and build a lifestyle that works for you. You’ll be amazed at the differences you’ll notice in your body, mind, and even relationships!

opportunities

For the past couple of months, I have been slowly getting into a routine and finding a new normal since starting my new job. I’m still trying to adjust to not working with Josh every day. I’m still trying to adjust to working out at a new gym at 7 am instead of 5 pm, for only one hour a few days a week instead of 2-3 hours six days a week. I’m still trying to adjust to working later hours than I have for the past five years (aka less quality time at home). Some days I feel completely content and happy about the changes. Some days I just plain struggle and want to give up. I know that these “issues” don’t really seem that big in the grand scheme of things, but they were all things that had become a comfort to me, things that were just a part of my life in such an easy way. Through it all, I keep reminding myself that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. All these changes are changing me and making me better. This job is going to be a huge opportunity for me to grow not only career-wise, but also as a person. I was given this opportunity to learn new equipment, techniques, and software. To actually make a difference in someone’s life. To learn patience when waiting in the terrible after-work traffic. To get to work with a group of people that are hard workers and genuinely care about making our world a healthier, better place. In the end, this is going to be a great stepping stone for whatever is next on my journey and a major blessing for my personal growth. Life sure happens, right?

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Enough with all the serious stuff, check out this awesome bibimbap we made this past weekend!

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If you like Korean food at all, I highly recommend purchasing the Half Baked Harvest cookbook and giving her recipes a try asap! Besides marinating the beef for a few hours and chopping all the veggies, all the elements came together rather quickly and easily. And the end result was so worth it. Every bite was different and delicious. I mean who doesn’t love bites made up of marinated steak, sweet potato, kimchi, quinoa, fried egg, avocado, and fresh herbs??

And of course I have to share a picture of our rotten pup…Rocko has started this new thing at Josh’s grandparents where he carries his water bowl into the living room when he thinks he needs more (side note: he was given water probably not more than 15 minutes prior)! It’s a good thing he’s cute!

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things i’m loving right now

This week, I’m keeping it short and sweet. I love reading posts like this, so I decided to do my own. Making lists like this reminds me how truly lucky and blessed I am and that sometimes the littlest things have the most special meaning in life!

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things I’m loving right now:

frozen chocolate mousse with peanut butter glaze, salt, and caramel (from Divvy)

the slow smile my nephew gives me when I tickle his chin

Nonnie’s dutch baby (from the Half Baked Harvest cookbook) covered in Brie cheese, blueberries, homemade honey syrup, and homemade whipped cream

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long walks in the fresh spring air and sunshine

a hot cup of Irish breakfast tea in my favorite mug

puppy cuddles

learning lots of new things at my new job

getting crazy random messages from my friends at all hours

the super welcoming community at my new CF gym

building a blanket fort, watching a movie, and eating ice cream on a Sunday afternoon

 

Of course, I have to throw in some more food pictures from all the great restaurants we ate at this weekend!

Bru Burger

Triple Dip

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Provençal burger & Stilton Bleu cheese burger

Another Broken Egg Cafe

Blackberry Crisp and Brie Waffle Combo & Fried Chicken Benedict

Divvy 

Veggie bisque &  seafood chowder

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Beer cheese, tuxedo tenderloin, seared sesame tuna, corn crème brulée, jalapeno cheddar hushpuppies & whipped feta, porterhouse teasers, sizzlin’ shrimp, blistered brussels sprouts, bruléed brie

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chocolate brownie with white chocolate and strawberries, powder sugared biscuit beignets and caramel & frozen chocolate mousse with peanut butter glaze, salt, and caramel, Tahitian vanilla bean crème brulée with strawberries