Happy Friday, friends! I’ve been into soft tacos this week – anyone else? I made this breakfast a couple times in a row because it was so yummy – a tortilla + melted cheese + wilted spinach + scrambled eggs + black beans + avocado (added after this pic was taken – I almost forgot it!). Plus some unpictured cherries on the side.
Riese had a deconstructed version – black beans + avocado (mashed onto her bendy baby spoon) + scrambled eggs. We are still doing baby led weaning (more details on how we got started in this post: our experience with baby led weaning), although the foods that she actually eats/takes down the most of are not really finger foods like this. She didn’t actually eat much of this – just played with it/mashed it around – but I figure exploring textures is part of the process! So far her favorite food is plain whole milk Greek yogurt mixed with peanut or almond butter. She legit eats a lot of it! We’ve also discovered she likes pouches, and those are really awesome for feeding her while out and about vs. just at home, so I’m going to pick up some more of those at the store this weekend. The vast majority of her intake is still breastmilk, as I know it should be until she’s roughly 1 year old, but she has started stretching out the time in between feeds a little bit now that she’s taking down more solids. Anyway! For pouches, I’m looking for ones that are less sweet and with some protein/fat vs. just plain fruit – any faves I should look for?
For lunch that same day, I had a couple more tortillas – I needed something really fast but filling because we went to a stroller workout group in the morning and I was starving by the time we got back. I threw two tortillas, some spinach, black beans, and grated cheddar in the microwave together, then added some salsa and avocado on top. Done!
For dinner that night we had BLTs with a fried egg, avocado, spinach, and cheese. This was so good – Matt makes a mean sandwich. And we had leftover bacon from the weekend that needed to get eaten! Breakfast for dinner is always a win.
As for fitness the rest of the week, the girls and I got back on the boot camp/strength training train! It had been about a month or so since we had done a boot camp because we’ve all been traveling a lot lately! We met up for one of our usual faves yesterday morning; here we are foam rolling after class. This has become a nice routine – we always stretch out and foam roll together after class, which is obviously good physically (and the only time I consistently foam roll), but also fun because we get a little more time to chat. :) The move I’m doing in the bottom right is an especially good one for runners – really gets into those glutes! Try it!
Baked & Wired coffee shop is on our walk back to the car, so Chelsea and I treated ourselves to lattes and a savory scone to share. The scone was goat cheese and rosemary – so delicious! Great flavor combo.
It was such a beautiful morning we took the extra long way back to the car and took a quick walk along the waterfront – always love this view.
As for this morning, I wasn’t planning on doing a workout, but I was up at 5:30 to feed Riese, and when I was done she went back to sleep and Matt was sound asleep and I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep myself, so I decided to treat myself to an early yoga class. My body felt really stiff and banged up from the stroller workout Wednesday followed by the boot camp yesterday so this felt amazing! So glad I went. It was a nice flow, but not intense at all and with more of a restorative focus, which was perfect.
I will end this post with a request! I thought it would be fun to mix it up and share some quick meal photo ideas from you guys here on the blog! I make a lot of the same things so I know I would appreciate some fresh ideas, and I figure you all would too. I’m not looking for recipe links or anything complicated – the meal ideas should be really fast and easy and just require a brief explanation. If you’d like to contribute, please send a picture of the meal (can be breakfast, lunch, a snack, or dinner) + a short description of how to throw it together to me via email at anne@fANNEtasticfood.com. I’ll share a round up of the ideas in a few weeks – maybe in one post or maybe multiple depending how many I get! Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with. :)
Hi guys! I’m back with one final Outer Banks beach vacation recap, this time all about our big group dinner featuring create your own kabobs!
We go to the beach with Matt’s family and a big group of family friends for a week every summer. One night every year, my father-in-law, who is a big foodie and a great cook, hosts a massive group dinner for everyone. He plans for the event for months, and we all eagerly wait to hear what the theme will be. In the past, we’ve been treated to some delicious feasts, including made to order pasta night, a fish fry, seafood paella (so pretty!), and a Mexican fiesta with make your own tacos and margaritas.
This year’s theme was Create Your Own Kabob night – creative and so fun!
The added twist that made the meal even more unique was that the food (and the drink!) were spiced up with the inclusion of OLD BAY! I’ve always been a fan of OLD BAY – the smell of the delicious seasoning just screams “summer” to me, and I love that it originated close by along the Chesapeake Bay. Knowing that OLD BAY is the perfect addition to beachy food gatherings, I reached out to my father-in-law to see if we could come up with some ways to incorporate OLD BAY into make your own kabob night at the beach. He was all about it – more than up for the challenge! Especially since this sweet apron was involved. ;)
To kick off the festivities, we had OLD BAY lemonade! There was also liquor in case anyone wanted to turn it into a cocktail. ;) The glass rims were wet with juice from a lemon wedge, and then they were dipped into a mixture of sugar and OLD BAY. A twist on the classic salted margarita glass rim! (Sidenote: my brother-in-law is a photographer based in NYC – as well as an actor and a fitness instructor… he wears many hats – and he had fun working with me to stage and shoot some of the pictures in this post. A team effort – thanks for your help, Drew!)
For those who were more interested in beer, we had OLD BAY koozies. They were quite the hit – even Riese was into them. ;) p.s. How cute is her watermelon dress?! I got it at a yard sale for $3 – total win.
While everyone enjoyed their drinks, they also started putting together their kabobs! My father-in-law had a big spread of kabob layering options ready for everyone to choose from.
For the kabobs, we had:
Protein: beef, chicken, shrimp, and sausage
Veggies: button mushrooms, zucchini and squash, onions, peppers
Carbs: potatoes + pineapple (so good on the grill)
Olive oil to brush on the kabobs once they were assembled, plus fresh chopped herbs (rosemary, thyme, and basil)
There were also some side salads to round out the meal: a Greek salad, a delicious lemony orzo spinach salad, and an OLD BAY-infused quinoa salad (this recipe minus the salt and red pepper flakes and plus 1/2 tablespoon of OLD BAY).
In addition to the quinoa salad, OLD BAY was featured in the protein offerings – specifically the shrimp and the chicken. For the shrimp, here is the rough recipe for the marinade that my father-in-law used. He let the shrimp sit in the marinade for about an hour before it was go time.
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled (tails on) and deveined
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons worth)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon OLD BAY Seasoning
For the chicken and steak, he used the recipes from this Food Network post – the dijon-rosemary steak and the citrus-tarragon chicken. He did the steak as the recipe called for, but for the chicken he left out the salt and pepper and instead added 1 tablespoon of OLD BAY.
One thing that I thought was really smart was that my father-in-law pre-cooked the meat (except for the shrimp, since it’s so quick cooking). He used a sous vide method to pre-cook it all, but you could also use a grill, bake the meat, or pan sear it! Having the meat already fully cooked meant that a) no one was handling raw meat, and b) the kabob grilling was really fast because it was just to add some heat and flavor and to soften the veggies vs. to fully cook the meat. If you want to do a sous vide approach (here’s a great overview/more info about cooking sous vide) like he did, you cook the meat first without the marinade, then add the marinade in once it is cooked. It sat in the marinade for 2-3 hours. If you want to pre-cook the meat using the stove or a grill, marinate first as per the original recipe.
Everyone quickly got to work building their kabob creations! I loved how colorful and varied they were.
Kabob building in action:
Ready to grill!
Ready to eat.
Such a fun and delicious evening! 10/10, would OLD BAY kabob again. :) Thanks to OLD BAY for being the inspiration behind bringing our family and friends together for a yummy meal at the beach this year!
Want to get in on the action and enter to win a season’s supply of OLD BAY seasoning and fun swag like the apron and koozies in this post? Share a photo on Instagram using the hashtag #OLDBAYOurWay by August 17, featuring how you celebrate summer together with friends, family, and OLD BAY. For more details and to officially enter, click here.
It’s hot here – and that calls for cool salads for dinner. We had some leftover grilled chicken and random other stuff in the fridge to use up, so last night for dinner I threw together some easy salads for us.
When building a salad, make sure you have protein, carbs, and fat in addition to the veggies – that will make sure you are building a salad that will keep you satisfied! I see a lot of people skipping carbs when having a salad, and without the carbs you’ll be hungry again pretty quickly. Usually I put grains on salads as you guys know (see also: grain salad bowl recipes – such an awesome easy packed lunch or dinner), but last night I thought we’d mix it up with some fruit! Here’s what I threw together:
Protein: chicken + beans (chickpeas and kidney beans – we had some left over)
Fat: sprouted pumpkin seeds + avocado + oil from dressing (I made a homemade vinaigrette with equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, plus a splash of red wine vinegar and a squirt of dijon mustard)
Veg/fruit for volume and fiber: arugula + cucumber + cherry tomatoes + apples
I also had some unpictured crackers while making the salad – without those I might have needed a little more carb action (like rice) on the salad for it to be filling/satisfying enough.
As for this morning, I started my day with some zen and met my friend Chelsea for an early a.m. yoga class.
I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been doing much yoga lately (I finally made it to yoga again last week, but the month before I didn’t really go at all), or because of general postpartum-ness and hormones, or because I’m carrying around a heavy baby a lot, but I am SO stiff and tight. I want to start making yoga a priority again at least once a week because it feels so good both physically and mentally.
I’m off to tackle more of my to do list, and then later today I’m looking forward to a mastermind meeting with a handful of other intuitive eating dietitians in the DC area. We’re going to start meeting every other month or so to discuss client work, do case studies, etc. There’s always more to learn, so I’m sure it will be really helpful!
Hi guys! I hope you had great weekends. Ours was filled with lots of family time, work around the house, and good eats! First up: grilled tuna tacos on Friday night on our deck with Matt’s parents and our sister-in-law.
My father-in-law and I dreamed these up – we thought tacos would be fun, but wanted to do something a little more unique than usual tacos, so I thought seared tuna would be fun! Matt did a simple sear of the tuna on the grill, and the fillers included:
We will definitely make these again – easy and yummy! We did a mix of hard and soft tacos, plus some chips and salsa and guac to start.
I had leftover tacos for lunch on Saturday, and then for dinner we all did pizza. We ordered the pizza and a couple salad options from the pizza place, and then made a homemade caprese salad as well using some really good tomatoes from a farmer’s market at the beach last week. Summer tomatoes are the BEST. I need to hit a farmer’s market here to get some more good ones because caprese salads are such a great side in summer – so refreshing! Plus we can use the basil from our herb boxes. :)
After the salads, we enjoyed the pizza. We had leftover pizza so Matt and I had the rest of it last night with some homemade salads while watching the Handmaid’s Tale (so good but so intense). Yay for easy dinners!
As for yesterday’s lunch/brunch, Matt made a big feast for everyone at our place. It was a little too hot to sit outside this time… the humidity was coming back in full force by yesterday! We had scrambled eggs (with some sauteed veg), orange slices, bacon, and hash browns.
And that’s all I have for you today! My in-laws were in town to see my sister-in-law Morgana dance in a show (for those in DC who are interested, it’s the Capital Fringe Festival show Gilded, and she’s dancing the part of the “Rook”… we are seeing the show in a couple weeks when my mom is available to watch Riese and can’t wait!), and while they were here we took the opportunity to get a lot of projects done around the house. So not much went on besides some good eats and lots and lots of work at home! Matt and I did get out for a run on Saturday morning, though – just a low key run/walk with the dog while Riese was at home with her grandparents – and we did a nice long family walk on Sunday morning while his parents were out at church. Everyone enjoyed it. :)
Hi friends! I hope you’ve had a great week. Mine has been filled with lots of baby adventures because our nanny was on vacation! It’s always such a treat to get extra time with my little one. :) My father-in-law came back with us from the beach; he’s been working on some big projects around the house and also helping out with the babe so I could have some AnneTheRD client meetings here and there and get some time-sensitive writing done. Grateful to have his help!
We’ve also had some really good dinners this week because my father-in-law loves cooking! I know, we were super spoiled. :)
Have you guys heard of the sous vide cooking method before? It means “under vacuum” in French, and refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. Pretty cool! My father-in-law has this sous vide cooker and brought it with him to play around with for some of our dinners this week.
One night we had a really good sous vide pork that you see pictured above. My father-in-law seasoned it with salt and pepper, olive oil, shallots, garlic, and rosemary before putting it into a bag and then into the pot of water to do the sous vide cooking. When it was fully cooked, Matt seared it quickly on the grill to finish it off. We enjoyed it with some lemony arugula with shaved parmesan, sauteed rainbow chard (with olive oil, garlic, and shallots) and baked sweet potatoes. So good! Tip for the chard: the stems are also edible! Just chop them up and saute them first so they get soft before you add in the leaves.
Our other sous vide dinner this week was salmon! It was like poached salmon in texture – it got really soft and buttery. Delicious! It went into the bag with some olive oil and fresh dill from our little garden boxes.
Served with boiled, buttery corn on the cob (x2), a refreshing tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad, and zucchini sauteed in olive oil and garlic and topped with parmesan. Such a summery and fresh meal!
As for fitness this week, I was in the mood for some more movement after keeping things low key at the beach last week! On Monday, Matt took the day off to work on some projects around the house with his dad, so we took advantage of the childcare and had a morning run date just the two of us. A nice treat!
We ran 3.5 hilly miles. I was tired when we were done but it felt good to move!
On Tuesday morning, I had another run date – had to take advantage of the lower humidity and slightly cooler temps! Plus, I hadn’t seen my buddy Sokphal in wayyy too long. We met up for an early morning jaunt along the monuments – always so fun to start the day with these views.
Great to catch up with Sokphal, too! She had just done a long run the night before, which was perfect because she was on board for a jog/walk situation for our run date. ;) We probably covered about 3.5 miles total and ran half of it, which felt perfect since I had just run the morning before and my body felt a bit worn out.
My next workout was yesterday, when Riese and I went to a stroller workout group! I didn’t get a photo but this was the first time I’ve tried one of the boot camp stroller groups with her in the actual stroller vs. in the carseat, and she enjoyed it! I think her being able to see the action made a HUGE difference. It will be fun to go to the groups more often on my days off now because both of us get a little cranky if we just stay home by ourselves all day. Plus as she gets bigger I know she’ll enjoy playing with the other kids after the class is over! I’m also hoping I can get to know some more moms who are around during the day… I have been feeling a bit lonely on my solo days with Riese because I don’t know many stay at home or other fellow part time working moms in the area. Anyway… we hung out at the park nearby after class and I put her in the swing for a bit – she was cautiously into it. My big girl! (cue freak out over her growing up too fast)
My final workout for the week was a yoga date early this morning with my girls Chelsea and Kathleen! We hadn’t done a group workout in a few weeks because of travel schedules, so it was nice to see them again. Yoga felt amazing, too – my body really needed a nice calming stretch.
I’m off to enjoy the rest of the day with my little one. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you guys back here on Monday!
Hi friends, and happy National Watermelon Month! That’s right, July is National Watermelon Month, and I’m so excited to continue my partnership with The Watermelon Board this year to bring you more fun recipes and tips for using one of my favorite summer fruits – watermelon! First up: these flavorful and summery Chicken Gyros with Watermelon Rind Tzatziki.
Did you know that 100% of a watermelon is edible, including the rind? Using watermelon rind in recipes is not only tasty, but also a great way to reduce food waste. Give it a try if you haven’t already! In addition to these delicious gyros featuring watermelon rind, you may also want to try my Watermelon Rind Coleslaw – it’s perfect for summery BBQs, either as a standalone side or as a sandwich or taco topper!
Here’s what you’re working with for this fast and easy lunch or dinner:
Tzatziki is a yogurt sauce that traditionally uses grated cucumber and dill, but I swapped out the cucumber for grated watermelon rind. Watermelon rind actually has a similar texture to cucumbers (just a tiny bit firmer), and since both cucumbers and watermelon rind have a mild, fresh flavor, the swap works perfectly.
Since you’re working with the whole watermelon for this recipe, be sure to wash it well first, and then separate the rind (white and green) from the flesh. Save the red “flesh” for snacking on later (or immediately…!), and grate up the rind to go in the tzatziki with yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and dill.
Another key component of these delicious gyros is the juicy marinated chicken. The marinade is so simple, but it adds an insane amount of flavor! The combination of yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and garlic makes the chicken super moist and savory. If you’re in a pinch, you can also sub in leftover rotisserie chicken – just shred the chicken and toss it in a little lemon juice, grated garlic, and dried oregano while reheating.
Once the tzatziki sauce is stirred up and the chicken is marinated and broiled, it’s time to build the wraps! I piled crunchy romaine lettuce and red onion, juicy tomatoes, and fresh parsley on whole wheat pita bread, but feel free to use whatever fresh veggies and herbs you have on hand.
Ready to get your gyro on?! Here’s the full recipe:
1 1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced, grated, or crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
salt and pepper, to taste
For the tzatziki
1/2 cup grated watermelon rind
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced, grated, or crushed
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper, to taste
whole wheat pita bread or flatbread
sliced red onion
Place the chicken and all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine and coat the chicken pieces evenly. Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the tzatziki: Place the grated watermelon rind in a bowl lined with a paper towel. Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the rind, then discard the liquid. Place the rind in a bowl with the remaining tzatziki ingredients and stir to combine.
Heat the broiler to high and remove chicken from the fridge. Spread the chicken on a greased baking sheet and pat with paper towels to remove much of the liquid from the marinade. Broil for 8-10 minutes, until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
Assemble gyros by filling the pita or flatbread with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, and chicken, then spooning the tzatziki over the top. Enjoy!
by Anne @ fANNEtastic food
Feeling inspired to try your hand at cooking with the whole watermelon, too? The Watermelon Board actually has a recipe contest going on right now; you can enter your original recipes using the whole watermelon for the chance to win $500! Plus, your recipe will be professional photographed and featured on Watermelon.org. Cool, huh? For more details and to enter, check out the Use the Whole Watermelon Recipe Contest page. You have until August 10 to enter! And for more tips on cooking with and using the whole watermelon, check out their Use the Whole Watermelon tips page.
Thank you to The Watermelon Board for sponsoring this post! Want more watermelon recipe inspiration? Here are my other recipes created in partnership with the Watermelon Board:
Hi guys! I’m back to share part 2 in our Outer Banks beach week adventures with Matt’s family. My first post talked all about the food highlights, so check that out first if you missed it! Now it’s time for the fitness/outdoorsy highlights from the week.
Of course since we were at the beach, our main movement for the week was lots of water adventures! I did lots of wave jumping and pool swimming in between baby cuddling. :) Riese hung out on blankets and played while we were down at the beach, or took naps while one of us held her or strolled with her in the carrier.
It was really fun to introduce her to the pool for the first time, too – we had one at our house. She was cautiously intrigued. :)
As for non-water fitness, Matt and I brought our running stroller with us so we could take Riese on some adventures. It was hot so we weren’t feeling any serious runs, but we took her out for two walk/jogs – we ran when we felt like it and walked when we felt like it. :)
I always love the boardwalk area in the town of Duck – so lovely for walking! And for mini boot camps. ;)
After one of the walk/jogs we hit up Treehouse Coffee in the town of Duck for brunch – biscuit egg sandwiches and lattes hit the spot!
Normally I do a couple yoga classes while in Duck (check out Duck Village Yoga if you’re in the area – it’s great!), but my sister-in-law Morgana is usually my yoga buddy and she couldn’t come this year – plus it’s obviously a little more complicated logistically now with the babe in the mix! I did make it to one yoga adventure though – on Tuesday mornings in summer in the town of Duck, there’s a free 7:30 a.m. outdoor yoga class. The ladies of the house all went and left the men in charge of the kids. :)
We all walked over to Treehouse Coffee for breakfast after yoga — this time I tried the avocado toast. It was pretty good but would have been better with mashed vs. sliced avocado. (Check out my blog post featuring my fave avocado toast recipes.)
The other big outing of the week was a kayaking trip!
It was just me and the gentlemen – my sister-in-law Jess stayed home with their boys and my mother-in-law offered to watch Riese so Matt and I could both go. Very kind of her!
We kayaked in Kitty Hawk Woods Nature Preserve with a guide leading our small group around. It was lovely – so peaceful out there! We kayaked for nearly 2.5 hours – my shoulders and forearms were feeling it the next day!
Our beach week went by way too quickly – we were so sad to leave on Sunday! It took us 9 hours to drive home with all the July 4th week holiday traffic, but it was still so worth it. We’re already counting the days until next year’s trip!
Stay tuned for one more beach recap (about an epic group dinner we had) coming up next week. In the meantime, I’ll be back with a yummy summer recipe post on Thursday!
Hi guys! We are back in DC after a wonderful week with Matt’s family and family friends at the beach in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It’s always one of my favorite weeks of the year, and this year was no exception!
It’s so fun to get the whole gang together – although this year we missed Morgana, my sister-in-law, as she was tied up with work! She’s actually going to be performing in a dance show in DC over the next few weeks, though, so we will get to see her soon. :)
This year was really special because we got to introduce Riese to so many new experiences! We think she is an extrovert like her mama because she seemed really happy with all the people and action going on all week. Her cousins were also so sweet with her – they loved holding her and were good about being gentle. :)
I’m going to do a few beach recap posts because I have so many photos from the week. Let’s start with the food highlights, and tomorrow I’ll talk about the fitness adventures! Next week I’ll also have one more beach recap post for you featuring one of our huge group dinners in more detail because it was a really good one.
We stayed in a big house with all of Matt’s family, and there was another house a few doors down of good family friends. We ate in almost every night since it was easier than going out with all the kids involved. For most of the dinners each house did their own thing, but twice we got together as the whole big group – once at our place and once at the other house.
One of my favorite dinners was early on in the week – cedar plank salmon cooked on the grill. Matt’s dad marinated it in some lemon juice, olive oil, dill, and Old Bay. So good!
Served with a quick pickled cucumber and onion salad, tomato pie (purchased locally from one of the farmer’s markets – so good), cinnamon baked sweet potatoes, and sauteed chard. Yummmmmm.
On July 4th we had a big joint BBQ with the other house. Delicious! I had a burger and a hot dog (topped with kraut + mustard). Plus some really good rice and bean salad, and some baked beans.
July 4 family photo attempt that Riese was not super into because it was bed time. :)
We did go out to eat one night – every year we do a night where the grandparents are in charge of the babies/kids and the parents all go out. A nice treat! This year we went to Sunset Grill, which lived up to its name.
The views made up for the food, which was good but not as good as the prices they charge (must be that view!). I had two appetizers for my meal – a beet salad and a quinoa and tuna poke bowl. We also shared some oysters to start.
Breakfasts were standard so I didn’t get photos – I usually did toast with nut butter and yogurt and fruit. Although one day we had a pancake feast (made into fun shapes for the boys)!
For lunches, we did a lot of sandwiches (unpictured/eaten by the pool) and leftover salads.
I will end this post with a photo of Duck Donuts. :) Had to do it – a classic!
I’ll be back tomorrow to share some of our fitness/outdoorsy adventures while at the beach. Stay tuned!
Hi guys! I’m back with part 2 of my recap from the weekend I just spent out in Seattle for the annual Brooks running blogger ambassador trip. If you missed part 1, check that out first. :)
On Friday, I met up with the blogger gang around lunchtime at the Brooks headquarters in Seattle! So great to see everyone there – this is always one of my favorite blog trips of the year because it’s such a great group of people, both on the Brooks side and on the blogger side. This year was no exception! Great to see old friends and to make some new ones, too. (Obviously this photo is not from Brooks HQ – it’s from Saturday night’s adventure! More on that in a minute…)
Over lunch and through the afternoon on Friday we were treated to a sneak preview of some of the Brooks gear coming down the pipeline in fall 2018 and spring 2019 via some presentations from their apparel and design teams. So much functional but really cute stuff – I can’t wait to test some of it out and report back! The fan favorite purely in terms of style was the new Bedlam shoe, which will be out in September. They are a new support version of the (neutral) Levitate shoe. Cool pattern, right?!
I also really liked the look of a few items that were just released on the Brooks website on July 1: the Array Long Sleeve and Array Short Sleeve (love the trendy open back), and the Fly By 1/2 Zip (always love Brooks 1/2 zip shirts). I will report back as I try out more of their new gear in the months to come. :)
Dinner on Friday evening was at a really cool place on the water called Westward. Gorgeous views of the city! Delicious food, too – apparently it’s really popular so if you want to go, get a reservation. You even need to reserve your spot at the casual chairs outside.
Dinner was buffet-style and started with (unpictured) oysters and bubbly – my kind of meal! :)
Saturday morning kicked off with a run! It had been a week since I’d gotten in a solid workout, so I was excited to get out there and get some endorphins going.
We ran from the Magnuson Athletic Club, going along the water briefly before heading on a nice trail.
I was proud of myself for making it all 5 miles. That’s about as far as I’ve run postpartum, and I’ve only run that far a couple times. It felt hard, especially the last mile or two, but I was smiling and chatting and so happy to be out there.
Also, how cute is the tank I’m wearing?! It’s one of my favorite styles – a really lightweight and airy tank I have in a bunch of colors from previous seasons, but in a really cool new bright print. Here is it on the website – it’s on sale right now! Love! The shoes I’m wearing are the Ghost 10 (also on sale right now!), which I really love too – I hadn’t tried the Ghost before until recently, and now I know why they are one of Brooks’ most popular styles. The tights are the Go-To Capri, which will definitely be my new go to – perfect fit. They are also on sale for $35 right now in one of the colors! My sports bra is the Juno, which is a new-to-me sports bra that I now love, especially because it has velcro straps which make it a) adjustable, and b) inadvertently breastfeeding or pumping-friendly. :) It was really comfortable and supportive and I liked that it didn’t have removable pads to fall out in the wash. :)
After our run, we did a strength and mobility workout with a few of the Brooks Beasts professional runners. I had to miss part of the routine because I snuck back onto the bus to pump before brunch, but what I was there for was good – some familiar moves and some new ones!
We had brunch with the Beasts afterward at a spot called Cactus. We enjoyed an awesome buffet sampling of their offerings – the chorizo eggs and huevos rancheros were my favorite, but the french toast was amazing too!
After brunch we had some free time; I wandered around and did some sightseeing with Janae, Meghann, and Ashley. Great to see them and catch up – I have known them since my very early days of blogging back in 2009/10!
Dinner was a special treat: a dinner cruise!
The views of the city were gorgeous, the company was fabulous, and the food was really good, too. I could have stayed out there all night!
On Sunday morning, I got up early to get the blood flowing a bit at the hotel gym with Janae, Meghann, and Ashley. I did about 10 minutes of the elliptical, 5 minutes of rowing, and then we did a little strength circuit routine together. Fun to have company! Despite this photo, I ended up modifying this core move since my abs still aren’t ready for anything super hard, FYI. :)
Our final adventure as a group was a very special opportunity: cheering on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games athletes as they made their way into the opening ceremonies!
Thousands of athletes from all 50 states are in Seattle this week for the Games; we cheered and gave high fives to the athletes from each state as they passed by our Brooks cheer squad. We had quite the crew between all of us and a ton of Brooks employees, and it was an honor to be there to cheer and support the athletes. So, so inspiring!
Great way to end a wonderful weekend. I was sad to say goodbye to everyone and head to the airport, but of course also excited to get back to my little one and Matt waiting at home. I missed them so much this weekend! Apparently Riese did great while I was gone, though – I think it will be harder to leave when she actually realizes I’m gone!
Also, I’m happy to report that I had no problems getting my pumped breastmilk through TSA at the airport – I had it in an insulated lunch bag with two ziplock bags full of ice and they opened the lunch bag and swabbed that as well as my hands, but didn’t open the actual milk bags or have any issues with the bags of (partially melted) ice. It was all fast and easy. Whew!
I got home around 11 last night and this morning Matt, Riese, and I hopped in the car to head to the beach for the week for our annual trip with his family! We’re going to the Outer Banks in NC as usual and are so excited. We’re doing the trip a little earlier in July than usual and will be there for July 4th for the first time – fun! I love fireworks over the water. :) I’m probably going to take the rest of the week off from blogging – I have a feeling that this vacation will have a little less down time than in previous years, and I want to take advantage of that down time without my computer. So, I’ll probably see you guys next week with some beach recaps. But in the meantime, I’ll be sharing our adventures on Instagram and Instagram stories, so come see what I’m up to over there!
A huge thank you to Brooks for sponsoring me throughout the year as one of their Run Happy Blogger Ambassadors, and for covering our expenses for this trip! Also, please note that all Brooks gear links in this post are affiliate links.
Hi guys! I’m home from Seattle! Before I get into the Brooks blogger ambassador portion of the trip (which is why I was out there!), I’m first going to recap part 1 of my trip, which was spent hanging out with my good friend Jess! Jess lives about 2 hours north of Seattle in Anacortes, WA, so I took advantage and flew out a little early so I could see her before the Brooks adventure began.
Jess’s husband was out of town so it was just the ladies – me, Jess, and her sweet daughter Lillian! I got in around lunchtime on Friday so our first order of business was food. We went to a really cool spot called Marination Ma Kai in West Seattle that had beautiful views of the city from across the water.
Marination Ma Kai is a casual, order at the counter type place that bills itself as “Hawaiian-Korean Fusion” – interesting, right?! I got a sampling – a fish taco, a “sexy tofu” taco, a pork slider, and a side of slaw (really good and gingery). It was awesome and I was hungrier than I thought, so I ended up going back for two more of the fish tacos, which were my fave! Lunch with a view:
We arrived back at Jess’s place around 5 and decided all three of us could use some movement after sitting for awhile in the car (and the airplane for me). There are hiking trails basically right out their backyard – so jealous! It was nice and cool out and it felt lovely to get some fresh air and be in the quiet woods (and to not be sweating – DC is so hot right now!).
For dinner post-hike, Jess made crockpot Mexican-themed chicken (she threw it all in the crockpot before leaving to meet me at the airport – I was impressed) – she said she just put chicken breasts, taco seasoning, and chopped peppers and onions in the crockpot and let it do its thing. The chicken creates its own juice that makes it nice and moist, and once it is cooked you just shred it and enjoy!
We had the chicken in tortillas with Greek yogurt, guac, and cheese. Plus a beer that I only made it halfway through before deciding I needed to go to bed… I was wiped after a really early wake up and all the travel! I made it until 9 p.m. west coast time (midnight my time), so I felt that was respectable enough. ;)
On Friday morning, we grabbed breakfast at a cute place in downtown Anacortes, Mary Ann’s Kitchen, before I had to head back into Seattle to meet up with the Brooks gang. I had an omelette with spinach, avocado, cheese, bacon, and tomato, plus a side of french toast. Yum, yum.
It was such a treat to catch up with Jess and her little girl – long time readers will recognize her as one of my bridesmaids in our wedding; we used to be roommates back in the day in DC in our early 20’s. I miss living near her! So good to hang out with you and your sweet little one, Jess! :) Thank you for having me!
I’ll be back tomorrow to share part 2 of my recap all about the Brooks portion of the trip – stay tuned!