*October Loving*

If I could plan an almost perfect fall weekend, this past weekend would have been pretty darn close. We had a wedding, a baby shower, an at home date night, brunch, and family time! Lots of fun, family, friends, and yummy food!

Josh and I had Friday off of work due to a mandatory shutdown of our facility. Even though I was kind of frustrated we had to take our own PTO when it was mandatory, it worked out really well to have the day off. We slept in (I slept until 8 am…contact Guinness World Records, that is so late for me!), lounged around, and caught up on some of our tv shows. I was able to get all our meal prep done for the upcoming week as well. I love getting that off my list of things to do, it makes me feel so prepared for the week. I spent some time doing “girly” stuff like painting my nails, sipping on my pumpkin spice brulee tea, and watching Will & Grace. It was a wonderful relaxing, pampering afternoon before heading up to our friend Almitra’s wedding.  

We had to stop at Starbuck’s on the way up and it just isn’t a trip to Starbuck’s without a cake pop!


Almitra and Tim got married at the Avon Wedding Barn, which was so very adorable! The wedding ceremony was held outside under a huge tree with leaves just starting to change colors for the fall. The ceremony was officiated by one of their close friends and was really sweet. I just love love. And weddings.

After the ceremony, we headed inside the barn for appetizers and drinks- veggies with ranch dressing and cheese spread and crackers (I ate so much cheese spread, I forgot how much I love it). We had some great friends to sit and catch up with while we waited for the wedding party to come in, which made it even better.   

For dinner, City Barbeque was the caterer. I stuffed myself with all the delicious food- corn pudding, green beans, pulled pork, brisket, and cornbread loaves. Several of our friends had told us to try City Barbeque out and I’m happy we finally got to. For dessert, we had mini cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes. Naturally, Josh and I tried one of every flavor to see which we liked best. We had chocolate chip cookie dough, red velvet, wedding white, and chocolate to choose from. They were all really good (my faves were the cookie dough and wedding white) and the perfect size to feel like you indulged but didn’t overdo it.  

Saturday started with our usual lifting session at the gym followed by mobility and a great workout during class. The workout involved stations of rowing, toes to bar, shoulder to overhead, and rest. My favorite part was the rest haha just kidding (maybe)! When we got home, we ate lunch then it was time for me to get ready for my friend Brittany’s baby shower. I hadn’t seen Brittany for several months, so it was really nice to see her and spoil her and her baby boy! We had lots of yummy treats (pizza dip, queso, veggies, chocolate dipped pretzels, cake pops, and cake) and even played a few baby shower games. I know most people think shower games are extra cheesy, but I always enjoy playing them. I even won the word scramble game and got a prize- hand soap and the cutest pumpkin pot holder, oven mitt, and decorative towel!  

When I got home from the shower, Josh had dinner all ready for us. We had a yummy meal of chicken sausages, sauerkraut with apples, zucchini, onions, and green peppers. I snagged a few cake pops and pretzels from the baby shower, so we had some dessert too. We decided that wasn’t enough for dessert and we should probably make some snickerdoodles to make ice cream cookie sandwiches with. Josh found a great recipe for snickerdoodles and set about making them. The recipe was especially great because it only made 4 cookies…which saved us from feeling like we had to eat the whole several dozen a normal batch would make! We scooped Jeni’s Splendid Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries ice cream in between the warm out-of-the-oven cookies and it was amazing! We will definitely be making these again soon!


Sunday morning was another slow going morning. We had breakfast, drank our hot tea, and watched tv. As we were finally getting ready for the day, Josh suggested we try out Toast on Market in New Albany for brunch. I’m always game for trying new places and this one had been on our list for a long time. We arrived around 11:30 which was quite possibly the busiest time ever. We put our name in and began our thirty-five minute wait for a table. When we finally were seated, I was really excited to order. I got one of the specials of the day- apple pie French toast with cheesy hash brown casserole. Josh ordered the drowned eggs. We also ordered a lemon soufflé pancake and a pumpkin spice pancake a la carte. I thought the apple pie filled French toast was the best of our dishes. Overall, the food was pretty good, but I was expecting more (I think we’ve been spoiled with places like Tupelo Honey, etc. on vacations). I would probably eat there again, but I’m definitely willing to try other places before going back.  


We headed home to pick up Rocko and go to my parents’ house for the afternoon. All of my siblings and their significant others were there to celebrate my brothers’ and my brother-in-law’s birthdays. My mom fixed lots and lots of food for us to snack on. We had green pepper jelly on cream cheese with Ritz crackers, sausage/cheese stuffed jalapeño poppers, and pumpkin fluff with graham crackers. We all got our fill of snacks and headed out to the garage to decorate pumpkins. Normally, we would carve pumpkins, but this year we all decided to try something new and paint them. I think they turned out pretty darn great! And they’ll last much longer than if we had carved them, hooray!

After we finished up with our pumpkins, it was dinner time! I wasn’t even hungry, but when it’s a home cooked meal from my momma that doesn’t matter lol. We had chicken and tilapia with onions and bell peppers (think fajita insides), deviled eggs, rice, beans, and my grandma’s homemade German potato salad (*drool*). And don’t forget dessert- funfetti cupcakes with rainbow chip icing, homemade sweet cream ice cream, and peanut butter rice krispies with chocolate ganache on top!  

There’s nothing like a weekend of celebrating love, babies, family, and food to rejuvenate your soul!



summer’s in the air, baby

Oof, was Saturday morning rough! We went to the gym like usual to get our RP Hypertrophy lifting in before mobility and class. I warmed up, started my sets, and missed lift after lift after lift of a weight that I don’t struggle with anymore. I missed a third of my programmed snatches! That NEVER happens! For every lift I missed, I would take a few steps back away from the bar, reset my mind, and attempt the lift again. And make it. It’s crazy how sometimes a little mind reset can help. When I finally finished my sets of snatches, I moved on to my clean and jerks…which didn’t go much better unfortunately. I had to drop my weight down and really focus on my form. Fatigue from the week, a long list of to-do’s on my mind- I’m not really sure what was going on exactly, but I think those both definitely played into a terrible day of lifting for me. Let’s just say I was more than happy when I was finished lifting for the day.

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Being so bad on the struggle bus, after mobility I decided to head home and start meal prepping. I don’t think my body (or my mind) could have handled a long workout after all of my lifting struggles. When I got home, I got some pork chops (with salt, pepper, and McCormick’s Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon seasoning) baking in the oven while I started the veggie chili. With the cast iron pot simmering full of zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms, I began portioning out the pork loin, broccoli, and green beans. It’s a good thing I can multitask because meal prep has me running around the kitchen like crazy for a couple hours. After the pork chops and chili were finished, I portioned those out into our containers as well and finally sat down to eat my lunch. I feel so accomplished when I’m all done meal prepping, prepared for whatever the week has in store. Josh got home from his last nutrition class, ate lunch, and headed out to mow our yard. I know I’ve said it before, but I truly appreciate that he takes care of the yard so that I don’t have to worry about it. We had a short time to relax after our “chores” were all finished before getting ready for our Olivia’s (our coworker) wedding. The wedding was at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Brownstown and it was a beautiful ceremony. At the reception, we sat with a few of our other coworkers and had a fun time eating, telling stories, and laughing. And of course, we tried all the flavors of cake…don’t judge, we only shared 3 small pieces.   

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Sunday turned into a fun food day for us. We woke up fairly early, ate a small breakfast, and headed up to Broad Ripple for a lovely cake date at the Cake Bake Shop. We sat outside under an umbrella, the sun shining down, bright pink and white flowers lining the fence next to us, and traditional French cafe music playing over the speakers. It truly is a little slice of heaven on Earth. The summer flavors that are available currently make it almost impossible to narrow it down to one flavor to try. After much debate, we finally decided on the Lemon Blueberry cake and the Boston Cream Pie cake. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing they both were. The Lemon Blueberry is three layers of moist blueberry studded vanilla cake, filled with their house made lemon curd, and topped with their lemon vanilla bean buttercream frosting. The Boston Cream Pie is six layers of moist vanilla cake filled with a homemade pastry cream and vanilla buttercream and topped with Belgian fudge frosting, a vanilla buttercream dollop, and a maraschino cherry. Everything was so creamy and rich, I had to stop myself from licking the plate clean! Bon appétit!      

After our cake date, we stopped in at the new Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market in Broad Ripple. Fresh Thyme is a grocery store set up like a farmer’s market. They offer a large selection of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, and fresh baked breads. There are sections to grind your own coffee, make your own fresh nut butters, and even pour your own local honey or maple syrup. We didn’t feel like heading home quite yet, so we made our way down to the Greenwood Park Mall. We spent a few hours wandering around, stopping in at different shops here and there. I’ve been on the lookout for a chambray shirt and I finally found one I liked and it was even on sale! Yay for bargains! After a bit, we decided to head home…and then decided to turn around at Whiteland and head back up to the new Primanti Bros. restaurant in Greenwood. My friend, Rich, has told me about this place many times and I’ve been wanting to try it. It did not disappoint! I ordered the Almost Famous pastrami & cheese sandwich (grilled pastrami, provolone cheese, fresh cut french fries, sweet and sour cole slaw, and tomato all stuffed in Italian bread) and Josh got the New Yorker Tall Boy sandwich (grilled pastrami and corned beef, provolone cheese, fresh cut french fries, sweet and sour cole slaw, tomato, and spicy beer mustard on Italian bread). The sandwiches were so huge, I could hardly fit it in my mouth. You’ve got to make a stop there if you’re ever in Greenwood or near any of their locations at least once in your life.           

I headed over to my parents with Rocko after we got home from Greenwood for a little pool and relaxation time. It was a perfect day to lounge in the pool and the water felt great. I’m always very grateful that my parents let us enjoy their pool and are always willing to share an afternoon with us. We capped off our amazing day watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Life in Pieces on Netflix, enjoying a root beer float and a bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips. Here’s hoping for many more amazing summer weekends just like this!

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{celebrating} Mother’s Day & a Marriage

Who doesn’t love a weekend full of celebrating love? I’m so super excited about this past weekend still! Saturday morning was filled with lifting and lots of fitness and fun with the class. I got in some cleans, clean deadlifts, front squats, and walking lunges for my Hypertrophy templates. After mobility, we tackled the workout which was a weighted team sled pull (my team pulled 255#, not to brag or anything, but that was the heaviest sled in the whole class), 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 double unders (each person), then another sled pull. I absolutely love partner/team workouts because it makes me push a little harder so as not to let anyone down. This was so fun and I hope we do it again sometime in the future. After class, I headed home to get all our meal prep done while Josh taught his first class in his nutrition series. He had five people sign up, which was really exciting! We got some downtime Saturday afternoon and watched part of the USA Weightlifting National Championships before heading up to Columbus for my friend, Torrie’s, wedding. This girl and I have been friends since 2011. We met at Columbus Regional Hospital when I took a job there and Torrie was a medical technologist. Soon after starting, I walked right up to her and gave her a big hug…I didn’t give her any choice but to become my friend! We quickly learned that we had a lot in common, most especially our love for TV (she introduced me to the concept of putting all my TV shows into a spreadsheet categorized by date, time, and channel). How could this girl not be my soulmate? Fast forward six years and celebrating her and Brian getting married! The wedding was beautiful (I loved all the decorations with big red roses and white carnations) and Torrie was so gorgeous all dolled up and in her wedding dress. It was so great to catch up with my friend, Tim, and all my old co-workers from the hospital. There were lots of laughs and stories to tell. It’s possible that I ate 4 pieces of cake, too…I had to try all the flavors. And I did share with Josh! The best part was the photo booth they had set up at the reception. It was so fun putting on different masks and accessories and being extra goofy with everyone.  

Today was Mother’s Day. As I get older, I appreciate more and more what all my mom has done/does for me. I was adopted the day I was born. I’ve always known, it wasn’t something my mom and dad felt like ever hiding. There was never any doubt though that I wasn’t loved or that I wasn’t a “real” part of the family because of being adopted. My mom often told me “Never forget for a single minute, you didn’t grow under my heart, but in it”. I love that saying to this very day.


Growing up, my mom never ever let a day go by without telling us how much she loved my siblings and I, whether it was through words or home cooked meals on the table every night. She still helps us out any time that we need, taking off work to help us move to a new house or talking to us on the phone for an hour when we’re having a bad (or good) day. And you can always count on tons of food all over the kitchen if you’re hungry (or even if you’re not). Celebrating Mother’s Day at my parents house today was no exception. We spent the afternoon outside enjoying the most gorgeous sun shining down with a light breeze, playing corn hole and spike ball, and lounging by the pool (my dad opened their pool this week, but it was FREEZING so even though the crazy boys got in, no way was I) while the pups all ran around the yard peeing on everything and wrestling with each other. It was crazy and loud and I couldn’t imagine my home life any other way! After a few hours playing outside, we were all starving, so we came in to enjoy a delicious dinner of stromboli, pasta salad, fruit salad, homemade fudgy brownies (I made them from scratch for the first time ever all by myself, yay me!), my mom’s homemade Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and a homemade strawberries ‘n cream cake roll (by my talented baking hubby). Josh and I tried our best to be good, so we brought our own meals for dinner…and then enjoyed all the wonderful desserts!

I hope we succeeded in giving my momma exactly the day she wanted- a day filled with all her kids (we missed you, Kylie!) and their pups, laughing, playing outside, and enjoying each other’s company over a scrumptious meal. I can’t think of a mom more deserving of all the love (and crazy) we have to give! Happy Mother’s Day, Momma, we love you so much!