A Whole Lot of Nothing

I feel very, very busy lately and the days seem to pass by in the blink of an eye but I don’t really know what I’ve been doing.

There’s definitely been a lot of this:

Pool

And trust me I’m not complaining but I am triste about how quickly summer vacay seems to go. Most of you probably want to kill me since I essentially have three months off but trust me, it goes by faster than I can sing ‘Summer Lovin’. So what have a I been up to? I have found myself asking this exact question.

After the Baby Miyou adventure I took it pretty easy on Saturday night. I was supposed to go to a BBQ hosted by my new friend Cheryl but it was not to be. Markus got called into work, which seems to be an annoying trend these days any time he is on call. Since he doesn’t actually fix the machines anymore I don’t know what good he is during one of these ’emergencies’. I just envision him standing around the factory floor yelling at everyone, but this is not his style, so I honestly don’t know what he does.

Sunday ended up being gorgeous, even though the weatherman predicted otherwise. We decided to have our friends Rob and Julie over for a swim and a family dinner a la Snookie and pals. Mark’s friend Chase popped also over randomly and I felt it was a little reminiscent of Steve Urkell popping in on the Winslows. Although he did not cause any property damage or hit on our teenage daughter.

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We had a delicious BBQ. Rob and Julie (or Khak and Kenny…long story) brought some meat and we had a salad…FRESH OUT OF OUR GARDEN!!!!! Yeahhhhh. So proud of our urban farming success.

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Julie also insisted that we add a decoration from our tiki hut to the table to make it more authentically tropical.

Tiki Hut

While we set the table, Mark and the boys were the grill masters.

Grilling BBQ

I really, really wish Mark had been wearing his grill apron. Which I think you will agree would have been more appropriate for this occasion than his Larry Bird shirt:

BBQ apron

Here our friend Khalil models the apron, as well as an inner tube and someone’s training bra.  I think you can agree it is quite fetching. I also see a Troy Junior photobomb in the background.

After dinner we lounged around and Khaki and Ken’s pup Hal romped in the backyard with Bolt and Miyou. Meaning we tried to keep Miyou calm and not rip a stitch, while Bolt mostly ignored both of them when possible.

HallieJulie said Hallie is terrible at posing for pictures but I seem to have the dog photog touch. Isn’t she a sweet pea?

Monday was another one of these with this gal:

Melissa and Dawn

I apologize I recycled the pic but it pretty much was exactly the same. It rained for a wee bit and we headed out to Ardene to get our shop on. Seriously….that store is my dream. It it the cheapest thing ever. Their clothes literally cost 5-20 dollars and will last you a couple of seasons. I feel like I completely freshened up my wardrobe for my upcoming trip to Calgary and it was less than $100.

Monday turned into Tuesday and besides reading a mind-numbing ‘female friendly’ book called Unsuitable Men, I didn’t do much until the afternoon when I decided it was time get off my ass and clean the house. Which is what I did for a solid few hours. Mark was working a shut down so I headed over to my friend Sherrie’s house with Emilio and we immersed ourselves in a delightful BBQ. While it mostly looked like this outside:

Source: http://www.funnyphotos.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/funny-pictures-raining.jpg

….it didn’t matter. We were all smiles as Sherrie regaled us with her antics from her recent trip to Thailand:

Girls

I was enthralled as Sherrie told us about ‘Thai showers’, lady boys, ping pong shows and all of the international friends that she made. I was also a little jealous and definitely wish that I could have gone with her. I was seriously, seriously considering going with her but her timing coincided with Focus on Learning and that was one professional obligation that I definitely had to keep. The pictures were beautiful and I can tell she had the time of her life. She is a very brave soul. There is no way I could backpack by myself through the US, let alone somewhere like Thailand but good on her!

After this little love-in I headed to the movies with Marks (remember…Tuesday’s cheap night) and met up with my sis and her boytoy Kyle.

Boy Toy

As you can see, I was definitely a creeper with this pic.

We went and saw World War Z, which Mark and I had both been dying to see since we saw previews for it a couple of months ago. I totally enjoyed every minute of it. I’m pretty easy when it comes to movies but this was definitely a winner for me. I liked Star Trek a lot but this movie was in a different category all togetha.  I love zombie movies and apocalypse movies, so this was a beautiful combination, particular since good old Brad Pitt makes a delicious appearance. While he has certainly aged and is not physically the divine specimen we knew and loved in Troy, he is an amazing actor and I think this is what made the difference for me between this and any other zombie movie I’ve seen in a while. All in all, I clearly recommend it if this kind of movie is your jam.

Today is another beauty. However, instead of lounging on my chair like a lady or leisure, I have decided to get acquainted with my good ol’ laptop and not just for blogging purposes….although I am acutely aware I’m currently blogging instead of doing my work…BUT I think this outside office thing is a step in the right direction.

Laptop

I even added our little tiki hut friend for that fun office vibe.

On that note, I’m going to get back to writing up my Pearson Publishing chapters and see where the afternoon takes me but I must say a big thank you for the distraction!

Just wondering: do you ever get to work from home? Do you have a job with flexibility? If so, do you often waste you time like me? (Shame on us.)

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Melon’s Tantalizing 23rd

Yes, there are a lot of birthdays going down these days. As I mentioned yesterday, it was my sister’s b-day and obviously that needed to be celebrated.

To get a little healthy eating up in this blog, I started my morning off with this little gem:

Egg Omelette

I didn’t want to eat a lot because I knew the food consumption that evening was going to be spectacular.

Melon came over and we hung out a bit in the sunshiney weather for a while before my parents arrived around 5:30. As predicted, the food was dericious. That is not a typo. This is what we envision our dog Miyou thinking while she chows down her dinner in 9.7 seconds.

Thai Food

If you look to the left you can see that little pig. I know she was sniffing the air thinking, ‘dericious’.

It really was very, very good. We got it from Thai Hotspot, where I went with Mubeen and Alex last week. In fact, I think it is better than Azian, which is our usual standby. Sorry to rain on your parade Azian but it was cheaper, fresher and we had more leftovers when we were done.

We then got down to present opening because we wanted to delay the birthday cake serenading until Melon’s man arrived at our house.

Mel got some real gems, including a bacon card from my mother:

Bacon Card

Because she knows that Melon loves bacon:

Melon Bacon

My mom and dad also gave her some moolah and a gift certificate to her favourite boutique in Port Perry. I gave Melon the stupid part of her gift on the weekend, so tonight she received a very serious Kitchen Aid hand mixer, a book on the psyche of dogs (because she’s as much of a dog lover as me) and a BBQ lighter. She was the most excited about the lighter. Haha. She is afraid to use the mini lighters to light her candles so she was pretty excited about this easy to use version. I told her it was from the Dollar Store and I’m pretty sure I can afford to give her another one in the future.

GiftsAt this point Kyle arrived and gave Melon two gifts, one thoughtful and one hilarious. He gave her tickets to Medieval Times because she has never been; thoughtful. He also gave her this little beauty:

Ship for the Pool

Hilarious. It is an inflatable pirate ship for the pool. It has a gun on the front that collects water from the pool and shoots it out at all unsuspecting bathers. Kyle topped off the gift with a couple of swords. This was basically Melons dream.

Once we got finished singing Happy Birthday and Melissa did an attractive job of blowing out the candles on her Dairy Queen ice cream cake:

Birthday Candles

…..Mel decided it was time to test out her new water vehicle:

Melon in her ship

She is the most beautiful pirate I’ve ever seem.

Now on a final note and perhaps my favourite picture of the evening, we also celebrated Father’s Day with Melon’s b-day, as we have often done in the past. My parents were in Guelph this weekend and it just seemed like a good idea to do a combo. My dad removed his hat to be a gent during dinner and he revealed the most gorgeous tan pattern I’ve ever seen on a semi-bald head:

Bald Head

It looks like an arrow! We were all dying. The picture really did it justice too. I want to convince him to keep it up and perhaps make it even more prominent. What do you think? Is there another pattern you would prefer to see on my father? I’m sure he could do something in a diamond or a flower.

I love my little Melon and she loves moustaches, so this makes her a girl after my own heart. I’m glad I got to celebrate her b-day twice this week!

Melon

Do you have any siblings? Are you super close? I’d love to hear some sibling stories if you’re willing to share with the world.

Exquisite Emilio and Her Dirty Thirty

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this guy right here:

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I love me some Emilio. She is just an absolutely amazing, supportive and wonderful friend. She has always had my back, as long as I can remember and we have had some HILARIOUS timones together. Case in point:

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I feel like we have almost the exact same sense of humour and I can really talk to her about anything and everything and she will always, always support me. Her generosity with her friends really knows no bounds. This is why I was so excited to celebrate her thirtieth birthday this weekend!!!

Emily is known for being the Party Mama of the group. I love to host and entertain but I do not put nearly as much effort into the festivities.  When she told me she had left her 30th planning to her man Corey…I was a little concerned. Sorry Cork, but you do no scream Domestic Diva.

However, when arrived at 5:30, everything was looking pretty much the norm in the Party Mama’s abode.

Party tableCorey, smart fella that he is, enlisted the help of Emily’s mom and sister and therefore, the Party Mama legacy lived on. Corey was of course on hand to festively hand out beverages and this is all we can ask for in our men.

Birthday Shots

Dinner and the unreal amount of salads and other appetizers went unpictured but imagine the best BBQ you’ve ever been to and you would kind of get the point. If I had of taken a picture it probably would have looked like this:

Source: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4035/4480602128_819d9dcce2_z.jpg

You can see Corey wore his new black sandals for the occasion.

Anyway, after an unreal dinner, Emily cut the cake, which was lovingly prepared by Costco.

Birthday Cake

Unfortunately, the sparkler candles missed the memo that it was Em’s birthday and burnt her finger pretty badly. For some reason Emily decided to not rinse the burn under cold water as suggested and instead showed her very red and puffy finger to everyone for the next couple of hours with a sad face. However, we were able to turn the night around with some present opening.

Emilio and Gift #1

Emily really enjoyed her new hat and the rest of the presents contained within the creepiest gift bag ever. Ever. I found these bags at a dollar store near my old house and have been using them ever since.  To truly appreciate them I have provided a close up:

Creep Bag

Emily also got right into reading one the new books that I gave her:

Book Present

I gave Emilio some ‘serious’ presents but I also gave her an assortment of smaller items that I thought might come in hand as one begins the aging process the inevitably speeds up after the age of 30:

Old Person Gifts

Emily was actually really excited to get a shower cap (wrong) but her sister Sara was visibly saddened when she found out that I gave Emily a knee-board as an ‘old person gift’ because she loves her knee board for use in the garden. This really made me laugh hard but I do apologize Sara….I guess I just come from a genetic lot with really hearty knees.

After presents, the hi-jinx commenced with a little bit of cape wearing from my friend Julie’s dad, Kenny. Kenny is a bit of a legend around these parts and I think the following picture will demonstrate why:

Kenny and the Girls

And if him wrapping himself in the plastic table-cloth doesn’t convince you, Kenny happily accepted the challenge of ‘the boot’:

The boot

For those of you who are not aware of the boot from Beerfest, click here. It never ceases to amaze me when our parents become the life of the party.  I’m not really sure when this shift happened but there was a lot of this going on at my wedding in Jamaica last January.  One day I shall write a post on this and I believe it will be magical.

For now, let take a look at all of the fun times to be had at Emily’s b-day.

Glasses time in the basement:

Dawn and Mark

Glasses

The classic glasses switch with Corey’s Uncle Keith:

Uncle Keith

We also had some good old fashioned rough housing with the birthday girl and our high school buddy, Joella:

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Overall, it was a really fun night with my amazing friends and family (yup even my parents were there in full force until about 1am). There were quite a few shenanigans that went unpictured but I’ll tell what I couldn’t let go without being immortalized on this blog, the hideously creepy, birthday drop cloth that Emily and Corey used to keep their basement floor clean of spills. If this doesn’t give you nightmares, I don’t know what will!

Creepy Clown

You’re welcome.

Fortunately for us, Mark and I were feeling fine today and were able to accomplish a lot of work that needed doing in the backyard. I spent most of the afternoon cutting grass and edging everything out, while Mark created a beautiful little gate so that we have easier access to walk the dogs in the field behind our house.

I just thought I would share the sunshiney results of my efforts and hopefully brighten your day on what is supposed to be a very rainy Monday.

Pool

I  hope everyone’s weekend was as eventful and friend-filled as mine. What did you do to enjoy the sunshine?

Who Wears Short Shorts?

I started my weekend off with a little fun in the sun. The weather was GORGEOUS.  The first part of the day I cleaned the rim of the pool and the liner. I also cleaned up some of the random pool accessories that were left behind by the previous owners. For example:

Pool chair

I also got out our new lawn chairs and set them up. They are my absolute favourite colour and they were a super steal from IKEA. I can’t say I’ve had a chance to actually lie in them yet but I’ll keep you posted on their functionality.

IKEA chairs

Around 2PM my Momma Bear, Brennie, and my sis, Melon showed up and we had a lovely girl’s day in the sunshine.

Melissa and DawnMy mom even set herself up in my tiki hut and had her own little spa day.

Brennie the Babe

Melon brought over my fur nephew Rocky and he had a lovely little play with Miyou. They’re so awkward with each other because Rocky weighs three times as much as Miyou but they try and I admire their spirit.

Rocky and Miyou

Mark arrived home and tested out the durability of the the waterfall:

Waterfall

Fortunately he wasn’t completely silly and decided to jump in off of the side and not the waterfall.

Jumping in the pool

My fam went home around 5PM and Markus and I had some dinner. We had one of my favourite recipes that I haven’t made in ages; quinoa with feta, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I will reveal the recipe breakdown on Friday.

Quinoa Dinner

After dinner I went out for a swim and we both did our own thing for a bit and then came together to watch a movie. Mark’s X Box had a free movie rental on it this weekend for some zombie apocalypse movie and Mark and I love, love this genre. So we definitely had on our happy pants but unfortunately, whatever it was called (it was that memorable) will not be receiving any accolades anytime soon. It was a nice rest for my brain though.

Saturday, the daytime was filled with laundry and cleaning and I fit in some laps in the pool before it started pouring. After a  little BBQ with my main man we headed to my sister’s house. She and her beau Kyle were having some people over and kindly invited myself and all of my friends over as well. They just moved into a new condo and it was the first time I’ve seen it all decorated and clean and it looked just beautiful. We watched the hockey game, hung out and had some pops. Melon was looking very festive, although I’m not sure she realizes it is now June, not March.

Brooklin Fair Melon

We headed over the Brooklin Fair around 9:40. We got there a little before 10PM, which is a good thing because this is when they close the gates. Unfortunately, not our whole party was there on time; we still had to wait for Julie’s boyfriend Rob and Kyle and a couple of his friends were also missing in action. It took a lot of sweet talking and Melon basically standing in the way of the man closing the gates but they did, by some miracle, let Rob in at 10:10PM. Last year we showed up at 10:05 and were denied entrance and then ended up a much less desirable location than the fair. But this year, not to worry. We paid our $10 to get in and walked around and visited with some goats and other barnyard creatures and then headed over to meet everyone at the ‘New Beer Garden’. Now, I take umbrage with this title….yes, there was beer but there were no gardens. As someone who now appreciates a good garden, I thought this was an inappropriate moniker. It was beer being served in a tent. Hence why the name Beer Tent is always the way to go. No need to class it up. It is what it is.

When we arrived at the entrance of this magical Beer Garden, the line was easily 100 people long. Mark and Corey were already inside and our friend Lisa was half way up the line by herself, so really not an ideal situation. They were only letting in a few people at a time and by the time we were half-way up the line, Emily had to go home with Corey. So we lost them. Melissa, Kyle and friends also didn’t want to wait in line and apparently Melon was also sleeping on benches and they questioned whether she would be granted access. Considering the dozen or more cops patrolling the tent area, my guess is no.  So FINALLY, Julie, Robin (aka Khaki) and myself got in. It was another $2 to gain entrance into the Beer ‘Garden’. They then gave us wrist bands with four little tags on them. Once someone consumed their four beverages they were effectively cut off. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I mean, it’s a good attempt to cut down on drunk driving and fighting but honestly, it would be pretty easy to work your way around this system and I think they lost out on some revenue.

Once we got inside we caught up with Lisa for a bit.

Julie, Lisa and Dawn

However, she left pretty soon after this since we spent so much time in line.

Since there wasn’t a lot to do, the night then progressed into taking pictures of all of the interesting characters in the vicinity. We also discovered a disturbing new trend for guys in their early 20’s; bright, short, shorts. Not really sure what was going on there. We kept snapping pics ‘without people knowing’ but I tried to take a picture of the photobomber in the next photo because he was wearing lime green, short shorts but he and his friends (including creepy Harry Styles) caught me. They seemed to be OK with it though because they wanted to be in a picture with Mark.

Harry Styles

Then we spotted this beautiful creature and he was MORE than happy to let us pose with him.

Short Shorts

His face makes me die. Just a winner. He was so excited to pose for this picture too.

After this short short hunt, we decided to all just catch up and have a chat. We haven’t hung out with just Julie and Khaki in a while, so that was really nice. We left around 12:30 and headed home. Overall, I would give the Brooklin Fair experience a 5/10. Having to be there before 10PM and then waiting in line for half an hour was not fun. Then having to pay to get into the fair and then paying again to get into the Beer ‘Garden’, was a little much. They were also overkill on the police presence. I knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong but it didn’t matter, I just felt nervous. I will not be returning, as I think the Brooklin Fair is getting too big for its britches. You’re not running a night club. You’re running a mud pit in Brooklin and you need to get back on board and get back to your roots.

Overall, I definitely don’t regret going. I got to see a lot of my friends and I also got to see some really ridiculous shorts….I don’t need a lot more in this world.

I’m off to Kingston for three days of professional development, so I may or may not be blogging. If not, you have yourselves a fabulous week and we’ll all catch up soon 🙂

The Good Old Hockey Game

No, I was not fortunate enough to attend a playoff game, but yesterday evening I was one lucky gal and got to go watch Mark show off his goalie moves in his D league hockey game. More on that in a bit.

Let’s discuss some food. For breakie I had a grilled cheese on multigrain sour dough bread (amazing). I even added a little extra lean turkey in there to amp up the protein. Really delicious and filling and definitely on Bolt‘s radar.

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He’s a gentleman and a scholar though and he left it alone. Lunch was also a winner and definitely something I’ve thought about making for a while. I concocted a smoothie with some of the over-ripe strawberries crying in my fridge, a banana, flax-seed, greek yogurt and fresh spinach. I’ve put spinach in my smoothies forever. Since about the time this gal inspired me to do so: http://happyorhungry.com/2011/03/22/1656/. I commented that I was a huge spinach fan but had never considered putting it in a smoothie. I love it. Such an easy way to get in one of the best veggies going and you don’t even taste it. The biggest news of this little smoothie delight is that I used Stevia to sweeten it. A little info on the supplement here:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-682-stevia.aspx?activeIngredientId=682&activeIngredientName=stevia

I have never used Stevia but keep hearing about it from lots of people who are on low-carb or clean eating diets. It’s a natural, low-calorie sweetener that you can use to replace big, bad, aspartame based sweeteners. Obviously we’re getting to the point where we know that aspartame is bad for us and I’d be a hypocrite to all the smokers that I’ve berated if I did not to try to eliminate it from my diet. While I still love a Coke Zero once in a while, I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. It was actually REALLY sweet. I would probably only use half a packet next time…which is probably a good thing because it’s a little pricey. Overall though, I was a satisfied customer.

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Then, to supplement my day long grout work out, I fit in this little routine to do some toning. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/videos-detail.asp?video=99

I have resistance bands, so super easy. I highly recommend this exercise tool if you haven’t jumped on that band wagon yet. You don’t think they’re doing much and then you are a little sore the next day.

Dinner was rushed. Mark had an early hockey game so we threw a chicken breast on the BBQ and I shredded up some lettuce, spinach, threw in some cheddar cheese and we put it all on a multigrain wrap with Caesar dressing. A 10 minute combined effort and it was actually really good. I’ve really missed making meals like this. I actually feel physically better after eating them.

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After this speedy meal, we literally raced to hockey because God forbid Mark isn’t at least half an hour early. He really cherishes his pre-game stretch or whatever he’s doing in that change room…. This is the first time that I’ve gone to one of his games this season. As soon as I sat down, I saw this lovely creature through the glass:

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This picture doesn’t quite do justice to the age of this gentleman but I would say he was pushing 70. I immediately nicknamed him Old Man River in my head, because this seems to be the theme song for the week. I knew right then and there that it was going to be a good game and it did just keep getting better. Five minutes later my friend Lynsey came in as her beau is on Mark’s team. We proceeded to catch up and watch allll the action in this D league game.

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My Carey Price in Action

Really..not a lot happened. Mark looked like this most of the game:

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However, we did have a little excitement when Mark slid all the way out to the blue line and one of his defense men had to stop a shot.

But then…one minute left in a 5-0 game for Mark’s team; Old Man River winds up, takes aim through the sweat dripping into his wise old eyes and makes the shot heard round the stadium. I’m not kidding; Lynsey, myself and Mark’s entire team (and I swear a couple members of the other bench) erupted in cheers and claps. It really was an inspirational way to end the game and the evening. Markus got a shut out with a final score of 6-0. Interestingly enough, they haven’t won a game all season, so I’m pretty sure we are the lucky charms of the evening. Which takes us to this picture of Lynsey and I (and other gems) on some holiday I can’t quite remember 🙂

I’m now off to say a final goodbye to my old high school which is very sadly closing its doors at the end of this year. My Happy or Hungry bud Lindsey will be reporting on this bittersweet occasion and I will be linking to is, so keep an eye out.

Have a wonderful, happy and healthy weekend!

Some Eats

My life is busy this week but not all that exciting. I’m currently dealing with scheduling issues, trying to balance a full time college course load with a part-time university class..it’s not going well. However, I have to remain optimistic. I know I was meant to do this, so when it’s meant to be it works out. I have also been doing the old spring cleaning. Right now my task is windows and grout. Here I am cleaning my grout:

It’s such hard work I had to put on my tank top to ensure success.

If anyone wants to learn how to clean grout while staring at some cleavage, this little vid might also be useful for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS30FQCk8sk

I thought because I’m so enthralling these days, I would actually blog about my food. It’s been pretty good lately, so I wanted to show you a couple of my fave meals from this week. I again had this little beauty, so I apologize but it’s a repeat pic. But I switched it up and put in green peppers instead of onion.

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I ate this pretty late in the morning, so I also added a banana with peanut butter as my snack. I find that combo fills me up for a solid two hours. Then Marko came home and we had a sausage fest. Hehe. No but seriously, we literally had one…these are his disgusting deer sausages. They remind me of rotting intestines:

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Despite their repulsive exterior, Mark really, really likes them.

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I instead had a pork version because I’m not so down with the deer and as a side we had a plethora of veggies. I did these up in my favourite way to get my greens.

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You throw in veggies that are good for the heat of a BBQ, I had lots of green, yellow and orange peppers, and some onion and broccoli. You then spray them with non-stick cooking spray and throw them into a BBQ basket. You then give them to your partner and they put them on the BBQ for you and stir them around once and a while. They do shrink down but in the end the whole meal looks like this:

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Delicious. If I was really good I would remove the bun but I like a good bun. Who doesn’t?

Yesterday’s workout was this little beauty. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/videos-detail.asp?video=32

If you are not a member of SparkPeople – become one! It is the greatest free fitness/healthy living site going. You can track your food, get free fitness videos, articles, etc. It’s all free and it’s a teen dream. Check ‘er out. http://www.sparkpeople.com/.

That’s all for today friends. Back to cleaning grout in my tank top and slicked back pony.