Thursday, February 25, 2016

Some random tidbits. . .

The winter weather, or lack of, has been a bummer this season.  I love snow.  I love it with a passion.  Yesterday we got snow.  Big huge wet flakes of snow.  The forecast was anywhere from rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow (1-6 inches depending on where you lived and what weather person you listened to). . . We also were predicted to get high winds.  Our weather was warm last weekend and early  this week so the actual weather was dependent on what the temperature did and how low it dropped.

Yesterday morning we woke to howling winds. . .  and discovered the electric pole just outside our house was leaning. . . if it fell the wires would fall on our house for sure.  Nice.   It was not snowing at my house but the TV was showing rapid snowfall in the StL area.  I made a quick decision that I'd take the leap and drive to work and I needed to leave sooner than later.   I drove right into the slushy snow.  Turns out we got nothing more than a dusting at home.  But at work I got to enjoy great big flakes of snow.  I sit in a basement and I can't see outside from my desk, but I got up often to go check out the snow.  Unfortunately by the time I left work it was basically gone.  And when I got home later in the evening there was no evidence at home that we had a single flake.

This photos shows the view from my office at 7 am and 3 pm.

I was really disappointed when I left work.  We will be up around 70 degrees again this weekend.  I know spring is coming, but we haven't had much of a winter.  Last weekend I was getting bit my mosquitoes.  The bugs needs to DIE.  We need freezing temps and below for quite some time for that to happen.  There's a reason for the seasons and things are off balance when we don't have the correct weather.  This winter has been all wrong and such a disappointment.

I realized I never shared this photo of Eli modeling his new cooler.  I have a green cooler for him that I love.  It's from Schneider's and is fantastic.  Their fleece is such great quality.  But I was bored.  I wanted something fun.  Weatherbeeta has a line of coolers that are kind of fun and they are lighter weight.  Going into spring that will be beneficial.  I find sometimes I wasn't using my cooler cause I felt it was too heavy.  I didn't think about having varying weights of coolers.  Anyways, it took me a while to pick one out and I went back and forth on this one cause I usually don't put anything red on Eli.  But since a cooler isn't on for days on end like a blanket I made the leap and I bought this one. 

I haven't really got a chance to use it because when he's gotten sweaty enough, it's been really warm.  Like this past weekend when it was 70 and I hosed his sweaty self off after our ride. I've been practicing my horse selfie skills. . . . I can't wait to get a new phone with a wide angle front camera.  That will make this much easier!

The last photo I leave with you is a collage of Doughnut.  The barn kitty that was found at Krispy Kreme. I think I shared her photo before.  She's freaking gorgeous but a total female. . . she doesn't really like you.  She wants to be around people.  Her purr motor is crazy loud but her bite is very quick.  You think she wants you to pet her but 5 seconds later you get bit.  It's a bummer cause I find her totally beautiful and I want to love on her and snuggle with her. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A family tradition. . .

This weekend was butchering weekend for my family.   We've done this every year (that we get deer I suppose) for as long as I can remember.   It's been carried down through the generations.  It's more of a guy thing though and I don't often help.   I help with food though!

The deer were shot, skinned, cut up and frozen in Nov.  Starting on Friday the guys start cutting up the pork.  That usually doesn't get totally done on Friday, but flows over to Saturday morning.  They continue to cut up and then start mixing, grinding and stuffing.  This weekend my Dad, my husband and my brother were making sausage.  My brother was only making summer sausage since he didn't have deer.  My Dad made both.  We also made bulk pork sausage, bulk deer sausage (it's mixed with pork) along with our deer sausage.  I guess I'm not sure if we made only summer sauage, we may have only deer sausage that's stuffed. I can't keep up!   We also made little smokies (smaller bite size sticks) along with full size sticks.  It's been a while since we've made smokies.

Here are some images from the weekend. . . .

This is the set up.  A *long* table in my Dad's shop.   Shaving underneath to catch any drainage.   My dad has a walk-in cooler which is convenient and helps in keeping everything cool.  Especially with the warmer days we had this weekend.

I told you this was a long table. . .   That's my nephew Mason sitting way at the other end. . . waiting for the action to start!

This is a bit blurry but this is my brother, his son in the orange, and my other nephew in the boots.  They are grinding the meat.

All ground up

Stuffed and tied. . . 

This is a panoramic shot I took with my phone.  The sausage comes to the smokehouse at our house to hang.  This image is deceiving because you can't really see how much there is.  There are many rows of meat behind the first.  I think my mom said about 100 full size sticks and 80 smokies.   They are hung in sections by owner and type of meat.   This is not a cheap endeavor and everyone has their own recipe so you gotta stay organized!

Yesterday my husband started the smoke.  The meat is smoked for three days.  I hate those three days.  My husband checks the smoke regularly and he smells like smoke for those three days.  He doesn't get showered or cleaned up in the evening until right before we go to bed.  He makes one last check and build up the smoke so that it lasts over night.  He comes in smelling so bad.  The clothes get tossed in the laundry room and he hits the shower.  I can't wait till the smoke days are over!  The smokies will hang for about 2 weeks and the large sticks for about 6.  All depending on the weather and they dry.  

It's an exhausting weekend as it's a lot of work and long days.  Friday night my mom and I fried fish the guys.  Yesterday they fried up some of the deer meat to try at lunch and my mom also made a big pot of spaghetti.   Sometimes they don't finish till Sunday.  It just depends.  This weekend they got everything stuffed and hung Saturday night and only had to finish clean up on Sunday.   

I love that my little nephews take part in this.  These kind of traditions fall by the wayside over the years.  It's very old fashioned and a reminder of times gone by.   I love it and I hope that the next generation learns how to do it and carries on the family tradition. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Step, step, step. . . .

This past week has been full of fitbit challenges.  I let my competitive side get the best of me.  First today is day 27 of my streak of making my fitbit goal of 10K steps per day. . . . So far I've made goal 26 days.  I have never *ever* looked at this streak before and I'm not sure why I am now.  But I'm am now.  The bummer is that the last day I didn't reach goal I missed it by 389 steps.  Like I said I never looked at this streak before and I generally have had one day per week that is an "off" day and I don't reach goal.  My streak would have been longer if I had got those 389 steps!  I'm trying for a total of 30 days at goal.  Then I can take a break.

I got invited to workweek hustle challenges last week.  They are hard for me due to my desk job.  But I was off Monday for President's Day.   I jumped in and I was determined to beat the one girl in my first challenge cause she has beat me a few times.  The second challenge was new people to me and they were pretty active.   I actually didn't think I win that one.  But I won both.  Fitbit didn't tell me this was a personal record for my workweek hustle, but it had to be (based on the previous record)

Friday rolled around and I had a massage and I was determined to get my 10K steps.  That was priority number 1.  I knew if I didn't reach that goal I wouldn't win either challenge.  I went for a short run at lunch.  I walked with a coworker at recess and my boss gave us a bit more time at recess to walk his dogs.   I also tried to be more active around the office.  My fitbit Charge has an altimeter and it counts floors.   The town I work in is hilly.  So with a run, recess and a few trips up the stairs in my office I was racking up the floors.  Previously I got a badge at 25 floors.  I didn't know when the next badge would be but I assumed 50.  At the end of the day I went up and down the steps at work about 7 times to reach that goal.  I was right. . . there was a badge. . .

This weekend was super nice (unseasonable) weather.  We broke records on both Friday and Sat I believe. I hated how hot it was Saturday.  I saw 75 as the highest when I was in my car.  I don't know where we topped out, but I believe it was higher in order to break the record.  It was so hot - Eli got so sweaty during his ride.  I had the AC on in my car.  I hated it!  No joke.   I want the bugs to die and this winter has been mild. Back on topic. . . since it was so nice I started a weekend warrior challenge and I was also invited to one.  So 2 challenges to motivate me to step, step, step. . .  which I did.  Winner winner chicken dinner!

I won them all!

Fitbit has a friends leader board in the app.  It's a revolving 7 day step total.  I'm usually near the top of my list.  I'm rarely at the top because that spot is held by my cousin who runs non-stop.  She can run a half marathon at a moments notice.  Drives me nuts!   But I am always envious of her having a total of 100K plus.  I did that once (that I remember) and I did it again this weekend.  Here is a screenshot from last night once I was done stepping for the day.

I'm not going to lie. . . I'm tired.  Can I nap now?  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Run for the Chocolate 5K

I'm not going lie.  I thought about skipping this run.  The alarm went off at 6:15 am.  I shut it off and the second went off at 6:30.  It was going to be *really* cold outside and my bed was really warm.  My kitty, Mr Blue, was snuggled up with me giving me purry kitty love.  Why do I pay to run?  Why do I pay to run a race 30+ mins from my house in February?

Yesterday my husband went to pick up the packets.  I suggested that he go get them in case the race was canceled and we couldn't get them Saturday morning.  Yes I was kind of hoping the powers that be would decide for me and simply cancel the race.  Then I wouldn't have any guilt.

I guess because this race is near Valentine's day, they categorize the runners when you sign up.  You have the option of this such as happy couple, bachelor, bachelorette, it's complicated. . . . the shirts reflect your status and each one is a different color.  This year you had the option of a shirt or a beanie.  I chose the shirt, hubby chose the beanie.

This morning we arrived an hour early and sat in the car.   Everyone was sitting in the car.  I'm was dreading the pre-race trip to the porta-potty.  That was going to be frigid and it was exactly as cold as I thought it was going to be!

The race started promptly at 9 am and it was a chilly 14 degrees without the wind chill.  This race takes place pretty much right along the Mississippi River in downtown St Louis.  There's wind.  The first mile I ran with my right hand inside my left fearing frost bite.  Yes I had gloves on.  My right index finger was just so cold I really wondered if I'd get frost bite.  However, I usually have hot hands when running and they warmed up and I had damp gloves at the end.  But. . . I was busting a move my first mile and I got this new record: 

Last year we ran this race and it was short of a 5K.  Significantly short if I remember right. This year it was still short.  They changed the route slightly but I knew it wasn't going to make a solid 3.1 miles.  When I looked at my watch crossing the finish it was 3.0 miles.  My hubby's Garmin said 3.02.  I kept running after the finish to get a solid 5K.  I thought maybe I'd beat my 5k record in my Garmin, but that didn't happen.  Another lady asked me if my watch showed 3 as she me continue to run.  Hers showed 3 too.  That's so frustrating.  This would be my fastest 5K in a race, but the official results are skewed in my opinion (the avg pace is off) because it wasn't 3.1 miles.  I hate that. 

This photo shows us at the start line as well as the goodies at the end.  They gave us chocolate fondue this year!  The race is held at Bissinger's Chocolate in downtown St Louis.  They have amazing chocolate.   The chocolate dipping sauce was so yummy.  They make their own hot chocolate and I wish they would sell it.  It's so creamy and smooth.  They put chocolate covered marshmallows that are topped with peppermint in the hot chocolate.  SOOOO good!  It hit the spot. The melty marshmallows were the best!!!

At the finish like you get these chocolate heart suckers.  A the one water stop on course they gave out the little chocolate hearts.  I just grabbed some and put them in my jacket pocket.  I was running to fast to mess around with eating :) 

Here are our official results  But again it was a 3 mile run.  Here's my Garmin results. 

I'm glad I got my warm and lazy butt out of bed to do this run. We took a pic before leaving and the quote kind of sums this day up for me. . .  I have a love-hate relationship with running sometimes, but I don't quit. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

TGIF - 3 day weekend ahead. . .

It's Friday!  It's a 3 day weekend.  It doesn't get much better than this :)  

It's been a long week.  Days have moved slowly.  Stress has been involved.  I wrote a blog and took it down cause I felt it was too personal.  So that brings me today and I'm feeling the urge to write. 

Last weekend was drop dead gorgeous.  Especially Saturday.  When you see this you know it's a wonderfully nice day.  (none of those are Eli)

I had a good ride on Saturday and took Eli for a walk in a grassy lot afterwards.  It was just too beautiful - we had to go out and soak up the sunshine. 

I went for a run Saturday morning and finally had a pretty good pace.  The kitty selfie is Mr Puddin'.  We call him Puddin' Pops, Pudding McPoppers, Puddy.  .  . he's an amazing kitty.  He lives outside in the shop with his brother. 

My pace was purposefully fast because I want to keep up with my husband during the 5K we are running tomorrow.    The thing about tomorrow is. .  

It's going to be REALLY cold!  Look at the "feel like" temp.  I'm not sure we should actually run this race, but I'm sure we will.  It's paid for.  My husband is going to pick up the packets today. 

So while last weekend was gorgeous, come Monday the temps were 30 degrees lower and we had a couple days of light snow this week. 

I love snow!!!!  I want more than we ever get unfortunately. 

Today is February 12 and it's the release date of Vince Gill's new CD. 

I was really excited about this, but I'm kind of pissed right now.  I pre-ordered this CD.   The website said it would ship a few days ahead of the release date.  The tracking appeared in my USPS dashboard this morning.  There is a tracking number but it doesn't appear that the package has actually been accepted by the post office.  I assumed I would receive this *on* release day.  I could have pre-ordered from Amazon and I know I would have received it.  I could go to the store and buy it.  Yes my pre-order included a t-shirt, but I don't need that shirt.  I just ordered it in advance so that it would show up in my mailbox on release day.  When will it arrive now? Monday is a holiday and so I'm guessing I don't see it till Tues or Wed.  I'm really bummed about this. 

This morning was rather interesting.  We got light snow overnight. .  . *maybe* a 1/2 inch.  As I was driving out of my drive and onto my road I saw tire tracks with some snow over them. . . and some foot prints with some snow over them.  I thought to myself "who was walking on the road".  My road is a dead end.  You are either coming to my house or my neighbors house.  Once I got to the end (which is a very short drive) I see this. 

Oops!  Someone had some problems.  I called my husband.  He walked down from the house (again this is really not far) and looked at the truck and the plates.  I headed to work.  My husband called me. . .the foot prints didn't go anywhere.  They never came onto our property.  They walked past our drive and then walked in a circle.  We assume the person was calling for help.  My neighbor said no one knocked on his door.  My husband called this into the police.  They took 1 hour to arrive.  They talked to my husband, called a wrecker and another truck showed up (presumably the owner or someone connected to the owner) and that's about the last I heard.  The roads weren't slick.  Based on the snow in the tracks/prints this had to happen sometime after midnight but likely before 4 am.  There was a small window of snow last night.  Maybe the drive slid.  Maybe he was drinking.  Maybe he fell asleep.  My husband did say it appeared the driver broke the window of the passenger side with a hammer to get out.  The driver's side of the truck is facing the photo and that's pretty flat as you can see.   What an interesting morning!

So three day weekend coming up!  Valentine's day (I'm having cake!) and a 5K.  Hopefully some sleeping in will be included during the weekend.   Have a great one!

Friday, February 5, 2016

The complexities of facebook friends. . .

Facebook and social media in general is rather interesting to me. It's also rather emotional.  I'm an emotional person.  I can cry at the drop of a hat.  It's embarrassing sometimes but that's the way it is. 

I don't remember what year I joined facebook. What I do remember is that I had a MySpace. . . I signed up for facebook and didn't "get it".  So I deactivated my account.  It took me some time to come back and see what all the fuss was about.  

There are many good things about social media.  Personally for me I enjoy keeping up with friends that live far away.  I enjoy seeing pics of their kids growing up.  I feel like it's easier to keep in touch with the facebook interface.  I like the groups I'm in. . . jewelry, purses, yard sales, horse sales. . . I love meeting people in those groups with the same interest as me.  I like following companies on social media.  I've even won a few things here and there.  I like following new stations.  In some ways I feel like I'm more informed as I generally don't take the time to watch the news on TV.  I like following TV shows/ channels and artists.  I need to know when that Hallmark series is going to return so I don't miss it!  There are many many good things. 

There are also negative things.  Facebook specifically is a "highlight reel" of life.  My life looks damn good on facebook. I look like I have a happy marriage and a good life.  In reality the marriage is not happy and is very shaky.  But I posted things that reflected that . . . well lets just say that's not good facebook etiquette is it? (Edited to add: often times I feel like people compare their lives and their relationships to what they see on facebook.  When in reality you are just seeing the highlights.  That's a good thing to remember every so often) Then there is drama. . . people reacting to things you said on facebook that came across wrong because it's typed and not spoken verbally.  There are the people that use facebook to say "woe is me" and get attention.  

About those misunderstandings. . . I once posted something in regards to "I hate to see a good person get taken advantage of".  That was rather vague wasn't it?  My sister in law freaked out and called my mother in law saying that I was talking about her on facebook!  Was I?  Who knows.  But I guess the saying "if the shoe fits. . . " applies here.  Clearly she had a guilty conscious.  Maybe she was taking advantage of someone.   I unfriended her.  I unfriended most all of my husband's family.  I don't need that drama.  They all live close.  If they want to know what's going on in our lives, just ask.  To this day my sister in law is completely blocked on my facebook.  I'm not playing that game.   

But the unfriending goes both ways. . . 

I have "met" some great people on facebook.  Many that I have not met in real life.  It's almost hard for me to believe that I haven't met them in person.  I feel like I know them that well.  There are a couple that I talk to almost daily via facebook messenger.  I love facebook messenger.  I'm addicted to it.  

There were a few people though that unfriended me. . . 

And I didn't take it so well.  I often wonder if I'm super naive and too emotional.  But I feel like I had genuine friendships with these people. .  

One person I met via our love of jewelry and she got me into some purses groups and was the reason I bought my very first Coach bag.   We chatted about *everything*.  I had got some diamonds set into earrings and was debating about the end result and what to do about them cause I wasn't 100% happy.  I talked to her about this and when I made a decision I went to messenger to tell her.  And I noticed we weren't friends.  What?!?!  We'd been friends for a few years.  I was super upset. I cried.  No joke. Is that naive?  I don't know.  I asked mutual friends about it.  No one understood it.  She wouldn't answer my questions regarding what happened.  Time passed. . . When American Pharoah won the Triple Crown I got an email from her. What?  Did I want to reply?  Did I want to open myself up to that?  Ultimately I did and we are now "friends" (on facebook) again. . . but yikes.  It's tentative and I don't talk to her in the capacity that I used to. 

My wedding rings came from a company called Brian Gavin Diamonds in Houston TX.  The sales person that I worked with was super nice.  We had so much in common.  We became friends on facebook. We'd chat about life and a million things not related to jewelry.  Then one day we weren't friends anymore.  She told me that the company instructed them to unfriend BGD clients.  Ok I guess I get that.  Maybe.  That's a fine line to walk.  I do understand that.  But I don't get that she didn't tell me or explain it to me.  To this day I miss talking to her.  And I'm not sure it was the best business decision on the part of BGD.  Why?  Well because I considered her my "friend".  And as such I was more apt to continue to purchase my jewelry from her.  I was buying from a friend after all.  Now I don't feel such a connection to that company and I've looked elsewhere for my jewelry needs.  They do great and amazing work, but maybe I'm kind of cranky.  Maybe I shouldn't take this so personally but I believe you form friendships even if they are over the internet waves.  Just recently I came across her facebook. She's married now (she was engaged when we were last chatting) and she has a baby. I'd love to tell her congratulations but . . . it's a moot point.  And I'm not a facebook stalker.  Ha!  At least I try not to be because in many cases that's unhealthy. 

I don't really know why I'm talking about all of this.  I think just to get it off my chest.  I kind of treat this blog as a journal.  I don't know who reads it but I do know not *many* people read it.  

The amusing part about social media to me is when someone unfriends you on one platform and follows you on another.  I've had that happen many times and in fact just this week. 

Normally twitter sends notifications to my phone.  Though maybe not for a new follow.  I am rarely on twitter. I use it mostly to interact directly with companies.  In which case it's mostly to complain!  A couple days ago I opened twitter on my phone and saw a notification alert.  I had a new follow.  From someone that unfriended me last year on facebook.  This person I know in real life. I photographed her kids.  We talked camera stuff together.  I know why she unfriended me.  Her husband told me.  He's still facebook friends with me.  I miss her and I miss her kids.  She never gave me a chance to explain what happened.  So again, maybe our friendship wasn't what I thought it was.  But why is she following me on twitter?  I find that funny and amusing.  Part of me wants to block her.  If you can't be my friend on facebook or in real life since we live close and actually know each other, then you don't need to follow me on twitter.  But then if she wants to stalk me and see what I'm up to, let her do it.  I don't use twitter that much anyways.   The most often I'm on it is when The Bachelor is on.  Then I search the hashtags and see what people are gossiping about.  It's kind of an addiction and one of the reasons I keep my account.  There you go - I confessed.  :) 

All of this being said I have some flat out awesome and amazing friends on facebook that I've still yet to meet in real life.  And I am so thankful for them.  They enrich my life in ways I never expected.  It's amazing how far the internet has come.  I grew up during the evolution of the internet I suppose you could say.  In grade school we had "computer class" and learned to type in that class.  . . but only every other seat had a computer. The other seats had this little keyboard type device.  Now the high school I went to is giving out chromebooks to students.  It's simply amazing!  My parents don't have internet at their house.  The kids these days will know nothing other than the net and social media.  They won't know what life was life before social media. 

I often think I'd like to get a job in social media.  I actually manage the facebook page of a glove company from England.  I met the owner years ago at a horse event in KY.  He is more my parents' age and is learning social media. I helped him set up the page and I post for him and teach him how it all works. He's learned a ton and is actually doing some of it on his own these days.  I could totally work for a company and manage their social media.  Maybe I should look into it.  

In the meantime I continue to ponder the complexities of social media. . . friendships. . . and continue to try to stay amused by the whole thing. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Advocare 24 Day Challenge - RESULTS! :)

Well here we are. . . Day 25. I know it's a 24 day challenge, but day 25 is the hardest.  There are no "rules" to follow.  Do you continue with this lifestyle or do you stuff your face and blow up all your hard work?  I continue!  I continued last year with great success.  I was stronger last year.  There were no cravings. .  . no desire to stuff my face.  That's not so true this year.  But I'm focused and trying really hard to find that strength I had last year.  I can't deny I have cravings and I'm not sure why cause I kicked that during the challenge last year.  But here I am. . .  as such, for my cravings I made Advocare protein balls, using their meal replacement shake.   I've never ever made these in all this time doing Advocare.  They turned out a bit dry and I might tweak the recipe next time, but it sure did make me feel like I had a sweet snack last night.

I realized yesterday that I took (and posted to FB) a photo of breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Geesh.  I don't know what got into me.  But this is what I ate - minus the snacks (and yes I snack - often)

A shake for breakfast, tuna "salad" (tuna, pickle relish and eggs) on top a bed of quinoa for lunch and a new recipe - Autumn Minestrone Soup for dinner.  All of these were YUM!!  When I really eat clean I crave that lunch combo all the time.  I don't question it.  I just eat it. My snacks were carrots and hummus, strawberries and cashews . . the protein ball after dinner.  And handfuls of grapes every now and again. I snack often and a lot.  If I get hungry I blow it.  Big time.

So the results. . .

I'm down 9.6 pounds.  

I don't have a before of the fat %, but it was 32.8.  So I'm down only 0.6% in fat.  I thought that was a bit on the low side. 

As for the inches, I lost a total of 6.5 inches broken down like this:

Chest: -2
Waist: -2
Hips: -2
Thigh: -0.5

Overall I'm pleased with the results.  I had hoped for more.  And I had hoped to reach 183.  Why that number?  I was lower last year (in the 170's) when I got sick.  I bounced to 181-183 and held there for some time.  My body likes that range and I wanted to get back there during the challenge and proceed to get myself over that hump.  But I will get there. . . I am motivated. 

One thing that motivates me is before and after pics because you can "see" the difference.  I'm very suspicious of many before and after photos.  I think many are rigged in some way: clothing, camera angle. . . I wear the same clothes, take the photo in the same place in my house and do the same poses.   

You probably have to make that bigger to see, but the differences are there.   And that's motivating to me for sure!!!!
My husband did the challenge with me.  He lost 8.2 lbs and 5.5 inches.  I can visibly see him shrinking.  I guess cause you can always see progress in others before yourself.  We are always so critical of ourselves.  

I really want to see the 170's and reach a certain hole (that I punched last year) on my belt.  So those are my next goals.  I felt like I did so much better on the challenge last year but I need to stop downplaying this year's results.  I think I struggled more this year regardless of the numbers that resulted.  Mentally is was harder and I was discouraged by that.  I love the challenge though and I love the Advocare product line.  So the goals are within reach!  I just gotta get there. 

I made this fun collage of some of the food I've eaten over the past 24 days. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

66 Bananas

On Saturday we made the trek to Trader Joe's.  It's about 45-60 mins depending on traffic.  We hit the store often enough but this weekend I wanted to go for one reason.

I wanted that frozen riced cauliflower.  Yes I'm lazy.  Yes I've made cauliflower rice before but I imagined how much easier this would be.  And how often I'd use it since it was it was less work.  BUST!  My TJ's didn't have it.  I learned a few things though: 

                     1.  It comes from Italy.  Why can't we source this from the US?
                     2.  They were expecting some any day but they only get 2 cases at a time. 
                     3.  They put the shipment out at 8am and it's sold out by noon. 
                     4.  The guy said "you'd think this stuff was gold". 

Nice huh?  I live too far away to ever get some of it given the above information.  Unless it loses it's popularity and people no longer think it's gold. 

What I did discover is that I must be living under a rock because I thought carrots were only orange. 

I had no clue they came in different colors.  I just had to get a bag for Eli!  I'm hearing that the white ones are sweet.  Maybe I should try them.  

Eli approved of all three flavors. Ha!

I noticed the inside of the purple one was white once he bit into it. 

One other thing I bought at TJ's was some bananas.  I know bananas or often priced by the pound, but TJ's (and Target that I know of ) charge per banana.  I bought 6 bananas.  I got home and was uploading my receipts into Receipt Hog (a new app I'm trying out to get money back for submitting receipts)  and I suddenly noticed that I bought 80 items at TJ's.  Huh?  What?  No way. . . 

Yes. . . I did. . . because apparently I bought 66 bananas. . .  

Isn't that fabulous?!  I called the store.  I gave them info from the receipt.  They are suppose to send me a gift card, but I thought that the guy was also going to call me back once he confirmed that I wasn't lying.  He didn't call back.  So now I'm not sure what to do.  Obviously driving an hour to get my money back isn't going to happen any time soon.  Thankfully I find this amusing and I am not going to go broke without the $11.40 (+ tax) that they owe me.  But I would like that gift card. .  

Saturday evening the barn where I board Eli hosted a customer appreciation party. It was at the Elk's lodge and was catered like a wedding: fried chicken, pasta, green beans, corn,  mashed potatoes, salad, rolls. . . and cake. 

And yes we ate it.  First time I've ever cheated while doing the Advocare 24 day challenge or the 10 Day Cleanse.  I feel guilty big time.  Thankfully the pieces of cake were small because they almost didn't have enough cake!   My hubby put on 2 lbs the next morning but it was off this morning.  I didn't gain Sunday morning, but I did today. My body always does the delayed reaction gain, especially when the food is consumed later in the evening.  I expected the gain. I'm moving on.  I was back on track on Sunday.  However, the last day of the challenge is Wednesday and I am a bit bummed that my results won't be where I want them. And the weight loss might be skewed thanks to this cheat meal and the fact that it'll be that time of the month tomorrow.  Hello bloat.  But I'm planning on chugging the water and hoping to overcome all of that. 

We played horse trivia at the party.  My table had 5 people.  The three you see above, my husband and one other husband.  The husbands didn't really help in the trivia - they aren't horse people.   We had to name our team.  Our name was "Chestnut Trio".  All three of us have chestnut horses (that's the color for you non-horse people.  Our horses are red heads!).  There were about 5 rounds of trivia and at the end we won with a score of 49 out of 54.  One round was fact about the barn including the barn owner's middle name.  I got it right but one of the other ladies talked me out of it and changed it.  Thankfully we didn't lose by 1 point!   :)   We also got a chocolate candy bar for winning. I was hoping for a month of free board.  A girl can dream right? 

I had my barn owner take a photo of us, cause I was pretty confident in how I looked.  Unfortunately I hate the photo and I think I look like I've gained weight. 

Maybe it's how we are standing. . . I can never figure out how to take a pic with hubby so we look as good together as we do apart.  I think our very similar heights don't help.  Hubby looks skinnier in real life too,but the lighting doesn't define him well here, so maybe that's why. *shrug*  Just give me motivation to keep on going.  Reach for my goals!

I was in 2 more fitbit challenges this past week.  The same ones as before: The Workweek Hustle and The Weekend Warrior.  I almost declined them.  These things are wearing me out! I actually didn't even "try" to win the workweek hustle like I did the previous week.  But there were a few different people in this and guess what? 

Somehow I won!  And I even beat my step count from the previous challenge (59,204).  I have no idea how I managed that!  As for the Weekend Warrior. . . I think I won that too.  I'm waiting for everyone to sync this Monday morning.  The funny thing is my cousin was in the Weekend Warrior. She *runs*.  Like at any given time she can run a half marathon.  In the friends leader board on fitbit she is always *always* at the top of my list.  When I saw she was in it I told my husband I didn't stand a chance.  But . . . I ran 5 miles on Sunday morning and was busy the rest of the day. . . it looks like I might win it!  Whoop!