Family Fourth

Hi everybody! I know that today I’ve already reported on hitting up the farmer’s market and going to Wolf Trap with Jennifer and Amanda, respectively, but I’m back to pick up where I left off and shove more self-indulgent pictures of my life in your face. You are welcome. 🙂

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Sunday afternoon centered around a family trip to the dog park!

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What with my sister’s new puppy down to visit, we decided it was time to introduce him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly ideal considering it was about a billion degrees outside, and Oreo seemed a little intimidated by all the wide open space at first.

Shady Pup

He spent the first 15 minutes parked under the same tree until Jenny had to physically carry him over to the rest of us, haha!

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He warmed up to the experience in no time though:

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And it wasn’t long ’til he was officially part of the pack:

Order of the Pack

While we were there by ourselves for a chunk of our visit, we did have some fun visitors come by to play.

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I can’t imagine how hot it was for Harry’s water buddy under all that fur!

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When this biker came up to the gate, I thought he was just riding by to check out the dogs. I had no idea he had a tiny Yorkie hidden in his bicycle basket! If only Daxter were a few inches shorter… sigh. 😉

Little Man

It really was unbearably hot though. The dogs kept going back and forth between playing and poopin’ out. At least they were nice and tired by the time we got home!

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A really fun way to kill an hour or so in the afternoon though, and it certainly worked up our appetites for our big backyard cookout! Grilling was performed in between thunderstorms, hehe.

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There was SO much food – steak, hot dogs (cooked flat-top style, mmm!), grilled veggies, pork, and corn! Fruit & cupcakes for dessert, too, hehe. Oh, and I discovered the most amazing way of grilling corn! I gotta remember to share it with you all soon – you will die of blissful deliciousness.

Hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend! We celebrated the actual Fourth today with more family hanging out and attending a cookout at Amanda‘s, and I prepared my fantabulous Mango Guacamole (which was a hit!) Recipe is coming tomorrow, don’t worry, along with what is sure to be a catastrophic weigh-in after all the holiday eating, hehe. Worth it!

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend (provided you, like me, got today off!) and are doing up Independence Day in style. 🙂 So far the weekend has been a blast! You are already up to date on the cupcake and pizza extravaganza from Friday night, so here’s the lowdown on more of my weekend shenanigans!

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Saturday morning kicked off bright & early with a trip to the Falls Church Farmer’s Market with Jenn!

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We met at Fitbloggin’, and she just moved to the area (yay!) so it was really fun to get to show her a slice of my little city.

Veg.

Since I am really lame, I forgot to bring cash with me to the market! So Jenn, kind person that she is, was kind enough to buy me a crepe for breakfast.

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Nutella, banana, and coconut – oh my!

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‘Twas obviously delicious. On our way back from the market (haha, I love saying that!) we made a pit stop so that I could pick up some cash to pay her back… and a little something else.

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Teehee.

After such a great morning, the afternoon had some big shoes to fill. Luckily, Panda and I had some superawesomefunness on the docket: a picnic on the lawn and Mamma Mia on the stage. I love Wolf Trap!

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We had lawn seats, spread ourselves out and had quite the feast! Unfortunately it was unbearably hot sitting out there under the sun. No shade in sight! I definitely got sunburnt on my back despite my best sunscreening efforts, too. Ah well, totally worth the dehydration headache for the company, fun music (hello, ABBA!), and gogo boots. 😀

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After baking in the sun for, ummm, many hours, it was time to refuel:

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I downed an entire Robek’s Pina Koolada smoothie in record time. I needed my energy back to last me the trip up to Columbia I made right after! Daxter and I were paying a visit to his new li’l cousin (and subsequently would be dragging both him and my sister back down to FC with us the following morning.)

Vino

Vino was consumed. Sleeping occurred. And the next morning (Sunday!), bright and early, Jenny dragged me out on the 20+ minute run I was desperately trying to avoid (well, more accurately it was a run, then walk, then run, then walk, then sprint, then die.) We covered slightly less than 2 miles before heading back down to Falls Church where I had plans to meet up with fellow blogger Stephanie for brunch!

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I dragged her out to Natalia’s where I feasted on a portobello mushroom and goat cheese crepe, with a yumtastic salad on the side.

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And an iced coffee, natch. Y’know, since Daxter decided to wake me up at 7:00 AM. For this being a holiday weekend, I haven’t exactly been catching up on my sleep. Worth it for the company (we talked blogging, weight loss, and life for almost 2 hours!) and the deliciousness. I don’t think my family would disagree either, based on what I came home with…

Patisserie

A cherry almond tart, a raspberry almond meringue bar, and a gluten-free chocolate pistachio bar, shared amongst many. Yum! Afterward we let the dogs work off our treats for us at the dog park, but since this has already been quite the lengthy holiday post, I think I’ll save those pics for later. After all, you already know my proclivity for photo overloads when it comes to the D-O-G-P-A-R-K, hehe.

Happy Fourth, Friends! Weigh-in will have to wait ’til tomorrow, seeing as it’s a holiday ‘n’ all. 😉 Enjoy the day!

PS: Don’t forget that my EatSmart Scale giveaway is still open! Get your comment(s) in for your chance to win!

Cupcakes and Pizza and Panda, Oh My!

Almond Cupcakes with Vanilla Coconut Buttercream.

Prep
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Cake = Love

So, maybe my makeshift piping needs work, haha. But these were the most delicious thing I’ve ever baked.

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Baked.

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Bitten.

Delicious & Done

Bye-bye.

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Viva la Pizza!
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Pizza time!

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Pizza made with Panda!

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TJ’s whole wheat dought, mini heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, chicken sausage, fresh basil. Nom.

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Panda enjoyed.

PANDA EAT.

‘Twas a good Friday evening, if I do say so myself! Just came back from the farmer’s market with Jenn, and Panda and I are off to see Mamma Mia @ Wolftrap this afternoon! Updates tomorrow. Don’t forget to enter my scale giveaway! Happy Weekend!

Beach Countdown: 1 Week (Giveaway!)

Oh yes. Yes, my friends. In one tortuously long (but really, due to the holiday weekend it will actually be short) week, I will be lounging on the sunny sands of Ocean City. I can’t wait. I’ve been looking forward to a beach trip for what feels like FOREVER, and I’m hoping that my new found kinda-sorta bikini confidence won’t fail me now!

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In an attempt to look more kick-ass and less lazy-assed, I’m switching into HIGH GEAR MODE for the next 7 days (barring a few celebratory and patriotic food indulgences this weekend. I mean, come on. It’s 4th of July weekend!) I know there isn’t really that much I can expect to have happen in a week (guess it kinda snuck up on me, eh?) but I’m going to do what I can. I’ve actually developed an ab workout plan (what?!) based on what I learned at the running clinic I attended at the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference in Boulder last weekend – namely, that you should be able to do as many reps as your age in years. I did it last night. It hurt.

Attention must be paid:

23 bicycle crunches
23-second plank (or in my case, modified plank. Heh.)
23 lower leg lifts (aka death.)
23 oblique crunches (on both sides).

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I intend on doing this every day (as long as I, you know, uh, can.) and working in my other daily activity as follows:

Friday: Run for 20+ minutes after work
Saturday: Walking to/in/from Farmer’s Market with Jenn (hey, better than nothing, right?)
Sunday: Run for 25+ minutes with my sister (I should probably tell her we’re doing that, eh?)
Monday: Family walk with, um, my family. (I should probably tell them we’re doing that, huh?)
Tuesday: Run for 30+ minutes after work
Wednesday: Bob Harper’s Yoga for the Warrior DVD
Thursday: Strength/stretch/panic

And then Friday I head to the beeeeeeeeach!

UGH. I already regret having written up this plan. I think I’m going to need your help to come up with some serious motivation here. And to reward you guys for doing that, I have a sweet giveaway for you! Hooray!

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Back in May when I attended the Fitbloggin’ conference in Baltimore, one of the sponsors at the event was EatSmart Scales, and I even came home with their new Precision Plus bathroom scale (much to my brother’s delight, as I was actually using the scale I had purloined from him before!)

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I honestly really dig this scale. Obviously, you know that this is a weight loss blog. And in order to determine that I am actually, you know, losing weight (or to determine that I’m failing miserably, haha) I weigh myself every Monday. It’s nice that not only is this a really sharp-looking bathroom accessory (super thin!), but you can literally just step on it and it begins. No tapping on and waiting for the number to zero out like most scales I’m used to. It’s a small thing, but if you’re like me and you just want to get your weigh-in over and done with it does make a difference!

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So I think you guys know where this is going. The awesome people at EatSmart have agreed to give one lucky winner a Precision Plus scale of her (or his! Don’t want to be presumptuous, haha) very own!

Ways to Enter:

1. Like EatSmart on Facebook and/or follow EatSmart on Twitter.

2. Sign up for the Monthly EatSmart Newsletter on their website.

3. Tweet/Post about this giveaway! Just make sure to reference @shrinkinggretch, @eatsmartscales, and a link to this post in your message (here’s a sample shortlink: http://tinyurl.com/3w5npxp).

4. Leave a comment weighing in with your opinion on, well, weighing in! Do you weigh yourself to stay on track? Why or why not? Are you a daily weigh-er? Weekly? Monthly?

So there you have it: multiple ways to enter, and feel free to just do one or do ’em all! Just leave separate comments for each, and a winner will be randomly selected on Wednesday, July 6th.

Also, for those of you who may be too impatient to wait for the giveaway to end, or are interested in buying a scale for someone else, you can purchase it through EatSmart’s affiliate link on Amazon. They also produce food and luggage scales, and EatSmart donates 100% of the profit they get from utilizing that link to charity!

Happy Fourth of July weekend, folks! See you on the flipside. 🙂