Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Weekend to Remember

This weekend was one of the best weekends I can remember. Our niece stayed with us from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. We joke about our house being a resort. We posted a list of activities available. Then did our best to work our way through the list.
Chopped Challenge -  Almost two years ago we hosted a Chopped Challenge for my niece and ever since she has been begging for a rematch. (Sorry, it was so long - I can't believe how fast time flies).  The premise is based on the Food Network show. The contestants get a basket with 4-5 mystery ingredients and they have a set amount of time to make their dish. They have some pretty crazy ingredients - like octopus eyeballs. Obviously, we don't go that crazy, but since she is a growing chef we knew she would want to be challenged her. In her case she is the only chef and we don't limit her time. Plus she gets me as a sous chef. I helped her with techniques but she didn't the work and did all the creating.

Contemplating her ingredients - ground pork, broccoli slaw, ramen noodles, pineapple preserves and pizza dough.
This is what happens when your sous chef forgets to prick the pizza dough before putting into the oven to pre-bake.
The finished product - pork and broccoli meatballs (seasoned with the ramen noodle seasoning packet and lime zest) and pineapple/lime spaghetti (ramen noodles) pizza. The ramen noodles reminded me of caramelized onions.
I really enjoyed the pizza. It was sweet and salty, crispy and soft, the lime gave it a fresh taste. Her dish was creative and fun. Even though we didn''t have a competitor in the actual challenge we staged a competitor to film the "winning" moment.

video

Disney Movie Night - Can you believe that someone who writes this blog had NEVER seen Frozen?? I have now seen most of it.  I am the absolute worst about falling asleep during movies.
Farmer's Market -  Saturday morning we took the pups and wandered around the market. We bought a flat of peaches - they were seconds, but delicious. We enjoyed checking out the various crafts. And the pups enjoyed all the attention from people at the market.
This giraffe is made from coke cans. How genius is that? I wonder how many times the artist cut himself though.
The stuffed animals at this booth are the most adorable things. The cat on the right was my husband's favorite.

Yard Sales - On the way back from the farmer's market we hit a few yard sales. I think we were a little late in the day and didn't find much. I have a few items I am looking for - good upcyclable furniture (dresser/chest), used legos and a bigger crate for Zommie.  I just noticed that strainer has pineapples on it- how cute.
Puzzling - We finished an entire 1000 piece puzzle!  My husband isn't usually all about the jigsaws, but since he didn't have a lego set to build we sucked him in :)

Advanced Star Wars viewing and discussion group - Our topic was Empire Strikes Back. It was fun to hear my husband's commentary and ask him questions. He also likes to tease my niece that it is now a Disney movie and even includes a princess. We weren't buying it!
Banana Bread Making - We made it, tasted it and sent most of it home with my niece.
I am a little embarrassed that Millie's birthday celebration didn't make the advance list. The date kind of snuck up on us. We spent quite a bit of time celebrating on Sunday with dress up, cookies, and frisbee (see yesterday's post). I am not sure our intention was really to do everything on the list, but we did make it through most of it.
We didn't get to any of the sewing because we added some other things... (FYI the tickhunting was added because the frisbee golf course has some brush that might have ticks - have to make sure sure no one brings them home).

Cheer lessons - My niece loves her cheerleading and teaching her uncle the routines. I am not allowed to post video, but trust me there was plenty of laughing :)
Sunday Morning Breakfast - One of our favorite things is going to breakfast on Sunday mornings. I think we enjoy it more than dinner out. We are usually the early birds and it is nice to connect and start the day off together.
We ordered two breakfasts and split them between the three of us. There was more than enough food for us and we saved a little money :)
We are also fans of weekend breakfasts at home. Saturday morning we made waffles with my cinnamon banana syrup. The banana syrup was a random invention years ago that has become one of my niece's favorites.

Finally. tomorrow's post will focus on another adventure we added to the list - Yoga!

Before the weekend started I had every intention of balancing tracking and treats. I knew we would be eating out and making treats at home so I wanted to be sure not to undo the work I have been doing last week. The tracking didn't happen, but I did keep myself very conscious of what I was eating and although I had treats I definitely limited the amounts I ate. Since we had so much going on  there wasn't a lot of time for snacking. And two sessions of yoga had to help, right?

My balancing act paid off. Monday morning I was down .2 from what I weighed on Friday morning. I will take that ANY Monday of the year, but especially on a fun weekend like this. Can't wait to see my weekly weigh in tomorrow morning. I believe it is going to be the best in a LONG while.

I could not have asked for a better weekend :)




13 comments:

  1. That's great to post a loss after a fun weekend! It shows that you can have fun and not go overboard. Looks like it was a blast overall :) And that pizza looks so weird, but oddly satisfying :p

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    1. Tiina that is a good description - oddly satisfying :)

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  2. Ok, what is banana syrup? Do share!

    Sounds like a fabulous weekend. I think you should be in charge of activities for the Lovely Ladies Losing It Retreat!

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    1. I made the syrup with one cup water, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and boil it until it is the consistency I like (usually on the thinner side). Then off the heat I add some cinnamon, vanilla and chopped up bananas. The heat of the syrup breaks the banana down a little and flavors the syrup in addition to the piece of banana floating in it. It was a random invention that stuck.

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  3. Okay, you guys have to be the best aunt and uncle ever! I love that every activity was so carefully planned and thought out--they weren't just random, general activities.

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    1. Aww thanks - we have awesome nieces and nephews. I do like to plan some things and fly by the seat of our pants on others :)

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  4. What an awesome fun weekend and a loss too!! :) Loved the pictures!!

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    1. Thanks - I would have been happy to not have gained, but that tiny loss was icing on the great weekend cake :)

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  5. That sounds like such a great weekend! I particularly like the idea of "advanced Star Wars viewing with discussion group." I'm also now contemplating a "chopped" style event at my house. Maybe me one night and Darrell the other with Oliver as the deciding judge. :)

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    1. Chopped is a really fun. It is a bit of a challenge to pick ingredients though - I don't want to lead the chef or make it too ridiculous that I wouldn't eat the creation :) The Star Wars activity might have been my husband's favorite too.

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  6. You are seriously the best aunt ever! So many fun activities!!

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    1. Aww thanks! It is definitely fun to have the time and energy to plan activities to share.

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  7. I love that you are so close to your nieces and nephews!

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