A few days ago I noticed teeny tiny stems starting to emerge in some of my pots (okay, yogurt containers). Yay!
Aren't they bee-yoo-tee-ful? All right, they don't really look like anything yet, and there's no guarantee I won't kill them off soon (accidentally, of course), but at least something is growing!
And here's something that's also a "miracle" of nature, but completely terrifying:
AHHH. Do you see the size of that thing?? It's practically a tarantula. I drove down to stay with my parents for a night because we had some relatives from out of town visiting with their new baby (so adorable!) and I naturally brought my laundry with me to do free-of-cost. I turned around to grab some clothes to throw in the washer, and found this scary spider staring me down.
Normally I'm not too freaked out by bugs (other than cockroaches, ick!!) and can take care of a rogue spider without a problem, but this one called for reinforcements. Aka my mom. Yes, that's right, I called to my mom that she needed to come downstairs immediately and save me. Phew, close call.
I'll stick with nature's miracles of the pretty variety, thankyouverymuch.
As much as I love sweet potato fries, I saw some sweet potato wedges on Kath's blog the other day that inspired me to try a slightly different way of preparing them.
I cut a sweet potato into wedges, put them in a bowl with olive oil and cinnamon and made sure they were coated well, then put them on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. I put them in the oven at 350* for 20 minutes, then flipped them over and baked them for another 20 minutes at 400*.
I'm glad I tried this because they were SO good. Really tender and flavorful.
Eaten with some leftover vegetarian meatloaf and roasted broccoli, it was a great meal.
This morning I went to the gym with my mom for a special group exercise program. It was a neat concept - there were 7 stations with different forms of exercise at each one: spinning, exercise balls, dumbbells/ total body strength, body bars/ lower body work/ TRX, zumba, TurboKick, and tabata. There was also belly-dancing for a warm-up and chi gong for cool-down. We were split up into groups and we changed stations about every 12 minutes. The time flew by! I didn't look at the clock once.
I think it was a great concept and a really good idea to be able to try out a bunch of different forms of exercise. However, I did not like certain stations at all (the ones with equipment, basically) because it was way too rushed and there was no time to figure out proper form and focus on executing the moves well. I really loved the cardio stations, though - zumba, TurboKick, and tabata were all great, and kicked my butt!
The tabata was especially challenging - we did multiple sets of 20 seconds as hard as we could go, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for high knees/ jump squats, then quick feet/ in and out feet on the step. I've been reading about tabata a lot recently and have done it some on my own, but I find it to be a lot more motivating to have an instructor telling you what to do, and feeding off the energy from/ "competing" with the other participants. This one really left me drenched.
I had a great protein smoothie the other day - 1 cup almond milk, 1 T natural peanut butter, 1/2 scoop vanilla Sun Warrior protein powder, lots of spinach, about 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, heaping 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 a frozen banana, water to thin it out, and 2 ice cubes added after everything else was blended up. This turned out to be a great combination of flavors! I would definitely recommend it.
Adding nut butter to a smoothie really makes the biggest difference - it's so much tastier that way!
I hope you're all enjoying the weekend so far!
PS If you want to enter a giveaway for lemon and orange NuNaturals stevia, go here!
Song of the day:
"Blue Skies Again" by Jessica Lea Mayfield. She has a very pretty, quiet voice and I like listening to her album Tell Me when I'm in more of a mellow mood. And she's from Kent, Ohio which is pretty close to where I grew up!