Thursday, June 28, 2012

On the Road Again

Last time we talked I was sore. VERY sore. Guess what. It was worse on the third day. That seems to be the pattern with soreness: third day is the worst then it starts to get better.

It felt like my legs were bruised. It was advanced soreness. But now they are feeling a little better. I can stand and walk without crying now! Progress. Just in time for my next work out. I haven't been this sore since the first time I did the Shred.

New recipe to try! Pineapple Crockpot Ribs (Paleo friendly and low carb friendly if you don't nom on too many pineapples). 

These turned out pretty darn tasty and the ribs were literally falling off the bone. Now mine did not look anything like the ones pictured below but I wanted to post a pretty picture so here ya go:
Breakfast has been things like scrambled eggs, a little cheese and bacon on low carb tortillas.
Am I low carb? Am I paleo? NO! I'm Kelly! And that's why I went out with friends to The Flying Saucer for Brewery Night where I scored a great new beer glass and joined their club where I get my own plate put on the wall after I drink 200 beers. And I got a tee shirt. Score! I was the only girl at the table but I had a great time and didn't feel out of place at all.

And Rachel keeps making great desserts which is pretty tough on the waitline. I had to try her coconut pie. Just put all ingredients in a blender, pour into pie pan and bake. It makes its own crust. Devil pie.
Coconut Pie
4 eggs
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients, in order, in a blender. Mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased 10" pie pan. Bake for 45 minutes at 350* or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

It has been ridiculously hot. It hurts to breathe! Got in the car and this is what it said. After driving around it cooled off a whole 4 degrees.
I'd like to introduce you to my rescue collie Shannon. She's starting to get some gray on her muzzle. We're not sure how old she is but she's a sweetie. She's trying to take a nap in her kennel if someone would stop taking pictures. Paparazzi problems.
Charlie is wanting to get into shooting. My little boy is growing up way too fast.
Friday morning is workout two of Beginner module 1 to get us ready for the "real" crossfit workouts.
After working my legs into a gelatinous state again, I'll shower then Chuck and I hit the road to go to Greenville, TX (north of Dallas I think) where he'll be competing in the state IDPA shooting match. I'm looking forward to a road trip and watching him compete. I'm not looking forward to the heat. I think the match lasts 6 hours? Yikes. Maybe I can sweat off some pounds. ;)

See ya back here Monday. Have a super duper wonderful weekend.
Update: Did my EPFitLife workout (it's not crossfit as I originally thought but a damn good workout and I'm LOVING it!). This time it was a family event: Rachel, Chuck and I did it together. Both Rachel and I have been dealing with advanced soreness this week which just went away in time for this workout.

I'm still having a terrible time trying to keep my back upright. I tend to lean forward or else I'll fall over backwards. I'm going to submit a video to Jason, the co-founder, who will critique my move and give me suggestions.

It was fun doing the workout as a group. I put on Pandora's Cardio Workout station and we had a good time.

5 minute walk
10 deep squats
10 pushups (on the stairs..still not strong enough for the floor)
10 sit ups
5 minute walk
Correction: I have been calling EPLifeFit a crossfit workout. It's not. It's not affiliated with crossfit. I didn't know this. I was also informed that Crossfit not longer promotes Paleo but instead promotes The Zone. Just an FYI.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Queen Paleo

Yesterday I was all excited about starting my new Crossfit adventure through Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness. I got up early and did my silly little beginner workout. Psh. Please. All I had to do was walk 5 minutes, do 10 deep squats, 10 push ups, and 10 situps twice then walk again for 5 minutes then stretch. Easy peasy.

Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I can hardly move today. I told Rachel that I wanted her to do these exercises too. After all, it's my responsibility to teach her good habits now. She says, "That's all I have to do?" after seeing the workout. She completes them and has trouble walking down the stairs. We're both sore.

How sore? It hurts to brush my teeth. My teeth. It hurts to turn on a light switch. To put on pants. It hurts to sleep. And this is just my arms! Walking? Forget about it. I waddle. TMI: it hurts to sit down on the potty. Getting up is also a struggle. I use the walls to help me. My legs are screaming. My butt is on fire. (Ewww. That sounds terrible)

This whole Paleo thing is supposed to mimic how we have evolved to eat. It's preagriculture, pre-Diet Coke, pre-wheat, pre-sitonourassandwatchBiggestLoserwhileeatingpizza.

Crossfit is the exercise that goes along with the eating portion of Paleo. I guess it's supposed to mimic the stuff our Paleo grandmas and grandpas had to do in order to survive. Walk, sprint, climb, lift heavy stuff, etc. Together (the eating method and exercise regime) they're supposed to make for some good looking bods. Oh yeah, and healthy too if you're concerned about that sort of thing and not just worried about how you look in some cute skinny jeans and that tee shirt that hugs the curves in all the right places. So obviously I'm only concerned about health. (*snicker* Yeah right)

I've seen enough before and after pictures to say that these folks do look fantastic. Nice muscles. The guys are ripped. They can do pull ups, for god's sake! I've never even come close to doing one. I'd strut around like a peacock if I could pull my head up above a bar.

All of the paleo mimicry made me wonder how these exercises parallel the lives of my ancestors.

Walking: obviously the hunter/gatherer folks had to walk for miles and miles tracking down food. That makes sense.

Squats: Bending down is pretty natural. Lift with your legs not your back, Captain Caveman. Makes sense.

Pushups: Hmmmm. Well, I guess if you were lying down and need to get up? Or having some hot caveman sex? No idea what the parallel to "real life" is there. But they suck! And so do those squats.

Situps: We all have to sit up! I'm just taking a nap and HARK! What's that? A saber tooth squirrel is eating my stash! Quick sit up and chase him away. Sitting up repeatedly, however, does not make sense.

Stretching: It just feels good. Even animals stretch. Birds, dogs, cats, horses. Stretching is natural.  I get that.

I am one sore cavegirl today. The soreness made me realize that I would be a dead hunter/gatherer girl OR I'd be the Queen Cave Bee. I would't have to squat, push up or sit up. The other Crossfit paleo boys would have to bring me stuff in this condition. I'd be like the queen bee that the other bees wait on hand and foot. I'm ashamed that that tiny little workout could do so much to me!

Onward and stronger! I think this is going to be great for my body and for my family as well. I'm looking forward to becoming strong and fit. The workouts aren't long but they are intense. No endless hours of cardio (though I do admit I love Zumba and kickboxing and spinning).

One problem I am having right now is leaning forward with my squats instead of keeping my back in a more upright position. The good thing about Everyday Paleo and Lifestyle Fitness is that they encourage you to send in video clips so they can help you with your form. I like having the individual coaching. And they answer questions immediately. A new workout is posted every two days. All for $20. I'm pretty pumped.

Ok. Enough whining about being sore. (Plus typing this hurts so no more rambling.)

Lunch was some leftover not-paleo or low carb Indian food. I don't want it to go to waste and I'm on a budget so I ate it. And it was soooo good!
 I love the spices. I need to make some chicken tikka masala to keep around for lunches.
I had a recipe to test for America's Test Kitchen. Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Toast Topping. Please. Do I even need to tell you that this is not healthy? Brown sugar toast topping.

I paired it with spinach and BBQ pork loin. Everything was great but those potatoes were incredible. Mmmm. Can't wait for the recipe to be published so I can share it with you.
Actual conversation.....

Rachel: It hurts to bend over. Are you hurting?

Me: Yes! It hurt to brush my teeth. I can't turn on a light switch without grimmacing. I'm very sore.

Rachel: And it's only going to get worse!

Me: No, honey. This is when the magic happens. We tear those muscles down and while we rest they are building back up but they're stronger this time. This is when it happens.

Rachel: I don't like magic. Magic hurts!

Tomorrow I'll report in. Day three is always the most sore. Yikes! Time to go get friendly with Mr. Ibuprofen.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Adventure: Crossfit

Happy Monday to you all. I'm usually a bit grumpy on Mondays because I hate seeing the weekend come to an end. Not this Monday though. I had something new to look forward to: working out!

I've wanted to try crossfit for a while but didn't want to hand over the monthly fees. I recently found Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness. It's only $20 per month and gives you plenty of support and some tough workouts.

There are three beginner modules that they ask you to progress through before attempting their regular workouts. Each module lasts two weeks and is followed by a test to make sure you're ready to progress.

I thought today's workout would be easy. I was wrong. Oh, so very wrong.

Alarm went off at the ridiculous hour of 5am (how do you early birds do it?!). If Chuck would have suggested we wait to exercise until later and just hit snooze I would have been very happy. He told me it was time to get up and I didn't want to sound like a whiny baby (in my head I was throwing a tantrum) so I immediately jumped rolled out of bed and got dressed. Sort of. I got on pants and shoes and I already had a tee shirt on. It's early. Who cares if I wear a bra, right?

Off we go out the door for a 5 minute warm-up walk. Picture a two-person zombie apocalypse walking stiff legged down the street in the dark. Yep, that was us.

Back inside we start the work out: 10 deep squats (*&@%!& YOU, squats!), 10 pushups, and 10 situps with a 1 minute rest between each. Rinse and repeat.

Let's talk about squats. They suck. They suck so bad. I don't mind regular squats but doing them deep where the hip crease is below the knee is some tough stuff. And I found out I have a tendency to want to lean forward instead of keeping my back straight.

Pushups: I get to a certain point then collapse. This is going to take a little while to master. I started the first 10 on the stairs. The next set of 10 I did on the wall.

After exercises we were back outside for another 5 minute walk. Finally it was time for a series of stretches. I liked that part.

My legs are like jelly. Kelly jelly. I can only imagine what it will feel like in the next couple of days. Luckily for me I only have to do the beginner module 1 twice a week! Walking is encouraged but not sustained cardio where heartrate is 65% or greater.

We'll see how this goes. It's only day 1 and I realize I have a long way to go before I'm doing pull ups.

Now that I've told you what a good girl I was this morning, let me tell you a little about my weekend where I wasn't so great.

Friday night was date night with another couple at our favorite Indian food restaurant. Yum!!! My tummy was not happy about it for some reason.

And look what I found that our local donut/burger joint sells: donut breakfast sandwiches. Oh, dear sweet mother of Jesus. This should be illegal it's so good.
 That will have to be a very rare special treat.

One thing I love about summer is watermelon. Mmmm. I do have to watch my sugars and carbs, etc. but sometimes a girl just needs some watermelon. My lunch:
Rachel baked a cake for her friend's 16th birthday. So cute!! It's a homemade carrot cake made in the shape of the girl's truck with some red Solo cups in the back. It was a big hit at the party. Proud of my talented "little" girl.

Chuck had a shooting match on Saturday and placed second in his division and second in accuracy. He wasn't pleased with the results but I thought he did pretty darn good! Next weekend is the state match. Road trip!

Another great weekend that went by way too fast. This week is adventures in cooking low carb. Pictures to follow.
Happy Monday to you!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Posh Nosh

Wednesday night Chuck and I had a date night at an upscale French restaurant in the town of Humble, Texas. I've heard about Chez Nous for years and have wanted to try it but it's a bit pricey. A while back a deal was being run where two could dine for a special chef's five course sampler menu. Perfect!

This was the perfect dinner to celebrate Chuck's birthday. We didn't know what to expect. I wore a skirt and blouse.
 Chuck even wore a tie. Love a sharp dressed man.
 It took us close to an hour to reach our destination which turned out to be in a neighborhood. The restaurant was located in a house!

It was dimly lit inside and very romantic. Definitely a place to go if you want to impress someone.
 I apologize for the quality of the pictures. It was very dark in there and I only brought my cell phone to take pictures.

We ordered a pomegranate martini to start with. Yum!
 Since it was a chef's sampler menu we didn't have to order. We just were brought dish after dish. We also got the wine pairings with each. Wow, I had no idea it would be so much wine! A full glass with each course. It was a bit much for me.

We started with an heirloom tomato gazpacho. Very good.
 We were then served a diver scallop on greens and sauteed squash. This was my first time to have a diver scallop. It was the best! So sweet and perfect.
 Then came a duck and venison terrine. I'm not a huge fan of duck but this really was incredible.
 Ahhh. A little palate cleanser. It was some sort of citrus sorbet with a fresh sprig of mint.
 I think Chuck is enjoying it. :) You can see in the background that it's very homey yet upscale. I've been to some finer restaurants that make you feel uncomfortable. They're too stiff. But this place felt elegant yet relaxed. The waiters and waitresses worse tuxedo style attire.
 Now the main course: beef tenderloin topped with foie gras and truffled mash potatoes. This was my first time to try foie gras and truffles. What a decadent treat! It was delicious. Everything cooked to perfection too.
 By the time dessert came along we were both stuffed. But I had to sample the Grand Marnier souffle they brought out. Holy tastebuds. It was so darn good!! Everything was really perfect.

We had a great time and I think Chuck enjoyed his birthday dinner. It's definitely someplace I'd like to visit again. It's not cheap but it is a wonderful place to dine. I highly recommend it.

Now back to low carb goodies. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Workout Edition

Monday: the usual strength stuff. 50 kettlebell swings (30#), 20 two legged glute raises, 15 flying dogs, bosu ball crunches, transverse abs crunches, front and side planks, squats, wall pushups, and chest pulls.

I really gave it my all and paid attention to form and I sure felt the difference. It's pretty simple, I guess: you get out of a workout what you put in to it.

Tuesday: Time to start my half marathon training!! I have a goal race picked out: End of the World Half Marathon and/or After the End of the World Half Marathon. There are so many great races that it's hard to pick but this one seems fun and different. Just like me! LOL

I was sleepy. I'm afraid I've been staying up way past my bedtime. But I decided to just get out there and do it. I got on my Newtons and Garmin and was heading out the door when it started thundering and lightning. Not cool!
Fine. I'll just got have some breakfast and wait for it to stop.
Mmm....egg, cheese, chicken and salsa on a low carb tortilla
 Well, rain and thundering kept up off and on all day. I thought about doing one of my exercise DVDs but I got some rather upsetting news and my day was kind of thrown into a tailspin so I just skipped everything. Actually, that was probably the best time to exercise now that I think about it. It's a great way to relieve tensions and frustrations. Oh well.

Speaking of exercise DVDs, let me show you my little collection. And the answer is no, I have not tried them all. I just love collecting them. LOL This doesn't include old VHS ones like my original Tae Bo and (*snicker*) Richard Simmons. Oh and Susan Powter! Remember Stop the Insanity chick? She was intense.
Let's Jillian. She's a bad ass. Not too fond of Biggest Loser ones. The guy on the right is Dustin Maher. He's ok. Haven't done any of the Jackie Warner. LOVE Turbo Jam!!!! Walk Away the Pounds lady is ok but a little too perky for my taste. Chalean Extreme in the very back right is a great one. It's no dance moves and no nonsense. Love the Wii Zumba for some sweaty fun.

I'm getting a little tired with my routine. One of my little flaws is I get bored easily. I want to do and try new things. So I've decided to try something new: Crossfit.

The bad part about crossfit is that it's pretty expensive. There is a place that has it in my tiny little town but I'm just not ready to hand over $100 or more per month. So I'm trying an online version that I can do here at home with the equipment I have (though I really do need to get some more and some I'll improvise with what I have including the neighborhood playground) or you could do it at the gym if you have a membership. This is only $20/month and I don't have to drive anywhere.

I just signed up today so I can't give you a review of it just yet. I'll start with some beginner modules that will get me ready for the workouts which they post every other day.

It's called Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness. There is a lot of information and videos and a forum. You can even submit your own videos so they can critique your form. So far I'm pleased. I'm still wading through all of the info and learning but it looks good. And it'll give me something new to try.

Tonight Chuck and I have reservations for some posh nosh at Chez Nous. It's a five course chef's meal and I can't wait. This will be his birthday dinner/date. Expect some drool worthy pics tomorrow.
Happy Hump Day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Decadent Foodie Weekend

I love to celebrate. I really don't need much of an excuse to celebrate. For example, did you know that today is National Cherry Tart Day and Macadamia Nut Cookie day and Splurge Day?! So you can splurge with a cherry tart and a cookie. No, it's not lame. I like to celebrate. :)

This weekend was Father's Day weekend but it was also very close to Chuck's birthday so we celebrated all weekend. My job was to spoil Chuck. Since we don't have a lot of money for spoiling (darn money tree died in the drought!) I cooked all weekend and gave foot, knee and back massages and waited on him hand and foot.

Here's a "taste" of the weekend.

It started with fish tacos from a place called Fish City Grill. They were great! Chuck got a crab cake sandwich and red beans and rice.
 We splurged a little and got a 70th anniversary limited edition tequila by Don Julio. It's all the flavor of an anejo but crystal clear. It almost looks like melted silver in a glass. It has a nice viscosity and full taste with a very clean finish. I'm very impressed with it. I'd like to have a bottle to put away for special occasion toasts.
 Saturday I came across a recipe I knew I had to try. I'm always bookmarking recipes but rarely make them. Not this time. I got the ingredients that day! Allow me to introduce you to Beer and Bacon Cupcakes!

First, I candied some bacon by sprinkling brown sugar on it and baking in a 400* oven for about 20 minutes.

Remember the "diet" cakes that were such a thing a while back? You take a box of cake mix and add a can of diet soda to reduce calories and fat? This cupcake recipe took that idea but went a different direction. As in, "Screw you, diet! We're breaking up." That direction.  It uses a bottle of beer instead of the diet soda. It works! (It's actually a 12 oz bottle minus 1/4 cup) I went with St Arnold's Elissa IPA.
 The icing is a basic butter cream icing that uses 1/4 cup of beer for the liquid. Top the cupcakes with icing and add a piece of candied bacon.
 Chuck said the bacon was one of the best things he'd ever put in his mouth. It was off the scale. We have a 5 star system of rating recipes. He said this was way beyond that.
 Sunday morning I got up and made some freshly ground coffee and these scrambled eggs in puff pastry. The smell was pretty intoxicating. What a great way to wake up Chuck on Father's Day.
They are filled with herbed scrambled eggs, ham and cheddar cheese. It turned out very tasty but my puff pastry didn't rise as much as it should have. Not sure what happened there. I'll try to troubleshoot it. I may have to make my own puff pastry. I've done it before. It's a real pain in the arse but makes the best.
 Breakfast was a hit with everybody. It's easy to make and makes an elegant presentation. Definitely something to make in the future.

Chuck has a chicken salad that is is his favorite. I used to make it for him all the time but haven't in years and he's always asking for it. I made it for him this weekend as a special Father's Day/Birthday treat. It's called Lemon Chicken Salad. I got it off a recipe card from Kraft about 20 years ago. (20 years ago? Geez. Doesn't seem that long!)
 I put some on club crackers and topped it with slices of candied jalapeno that I got at Kroger. The jalapenos put it over the top. It was a mouthgasm.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to give it a try. It really is tasty. Of course there are substitutions you can make to suit different dietary needs.

Lemon Chicken Salad

1/2 cup Miracle Whip
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil OR 2 tsp dried basil
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 cups chopped cooked chicken OR turkey
1 cup halved red OR green grapes
1/2 cup halved snow pea pods
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Mix dressing, basil, juice and peel in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix lightly and refrigerate. Serve with crackers or on a lettuce lined plate. Serves 4.

I continued to wait on Chuck hand and foot. He received shoulder and neck rubs. He was loving it.

That evening I prepared a big ass ham that I got for only $10, homemade cream biscuits, spinach with garlic and lemon, and homemade mac n cheese. He was in heaven. Everyone enjoyed dinner.
 After a visit at the in laws', we came home, played a board game and had a piece of tiramisu that Rachel made. Her first time to make it and it turned out perfect. Certainly one of the best I've had. It's a recipe from America's Test Kitchen so you know it's good.
Yes, it was a tasty Father's Day weekend. Certainly not low carb.

And today is Chuck's birthday. Happy birthday, Chuck!!! The celebration continues.

All of these fancy treats remind me that it's time to work out. Ha!  It was worth it though.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Slackadaisical Summer


Lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy.

Summer has always been a dangerous time for me. I tend to slack up and just enjoy life. Enjoying life has meant being lazy, no exercise, eat what I want and not care.

Last summer I was able to maintain and even lost a little weight because I was running my butt off. Literally! I joined a running club and I kept to my schedule. This year it doesn't look like my running club will be meeting so I'm on my own. But I can do it! It's just the accountability factor I'll miss.

This week I have not exercised even once. I've been very tired. I'm getting plenty of sleep so why so tired? I think I know why. I've let me low carb eating start to slip. Not only does it make me feel more tired but my heart starts skipping and racing.

The main reason that low carb has been slipping lately is because it's a bit more expensive and things are a little tighter than usual around here. I don't like that. It's easy to stretch the grocery dollar with things like rice, potatoes, pasta and bread. But it's just not as healthy.

So here I am. I need some strategies for this summer!

*make a menu for each week. This helps me stay on track at the grocery store so I'm not buying things I don't need.

*shop the sale flyers at the grocery store. Get the most for my buck. I also look at the reduced for quick sale items and save a lot there.

*shop the farmer's market. You really can't beat the freshness nor the great prices. There is a place near me called Froberg's that's a must if you're in the area. Any head of lettuce is only .99 cents.

*start half marathon training. My running club may not be meeting but at least I have the schedule from last year. I can train and use the same goal races as last year and keep in shape. I'll probably scale it back to running 3 days a week instead of 4. I don't want another overuse injury!

*keep up with weights. This has been an easy one for me. It's almost a habit now. Well, not this one week but all other weeks I've been at it.

Do you have any dollar stretcher tips? Or lackadaisical summer busting strategies?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Adventures in Dallas

Friday we left home (Houston) for a little road trip to Dallas/Ft Worth area. Good bye, Houston. See ya soon.
 I LOVE road trips. Love them. What I'm trying to say is that I kinda like them a little.

We finally arrive at the beautiful Rosen House Inn in Fort Worth. Wow!! This place is just amazing. It only had 4 guest rooms but there is an attention to detail that can't be matched at a hotel. And the owners are so friendly and laid back.
 The dining room was always set and ready. Very elegant.
 The music room had so many details.
 I guess this was a living room? The fireplace mantle was incredible. I wanted to bring it home but the owner didn't seem to care for that idea.
 We were shown to our room upstairs where a welcome sign was hanging for us. I, being a grammar Nazi, erased the apostrophe. Sorry.
 This bedroom was larger than our first apartment!

 The bathroom was ginormous! With a clawfoot tub and a shower big enough for 3 people.

 Attention to details everywhere. Even in the bathroom. And even though the place was filled with antiques and decorated impeccably we still felt right at home.
 I'm loving the fixtures on the sinks.
 Chuck gave his seal of approval. Smile!
 Wine and chocolate covered strawberries were waiting for us in the room. Perfect!
 The view from our room.
 After hours on the road it's time to settle down with a little glass of scotch and relax.
 Pretty soon we were hungry so we went to a busy neighborhood restaurant called Yucatan Taco Stand and Tequila Bar where I had fish tacos. Yum!!! So very good.
 Always looking to try something new, Chuck and I ordered the Horizontal Mambo Bowl. Since it was $20 we knew it was meant for more than one person. I think it was really meant for 4 people! We drank half and gave the rest to some eager young men sitting next to us.
 Then off to bed to get some sleep. We have a busy day on Saturday!

Saturday we got up and were treated to a 3 course breakfast then we headed off to Beaumont Ranch to ride four wheelers!

We check in and I ask to use the restroom. It was located in the weight room. This is the tub in the bathroom by the weight room. I want this!!
 We headed to a barn where our guide waited. It was just Chuck and I and the guide. Suited up and ready to go.
 Must have a goofy picture in there somewhere.
 Off we go! We went down some pretty steep hills and up! I messed up a few times and had it in the wrong gear. Oops. But you learn how to do it after a while.
 OK. I was pretty nervous at first. But it was so much fun the nerves disappear quickly. The last time I had been on a 4 wheeler was when I was pregnant with Charlie. I didn't know the brakes were out and hit a barbed wire fence and flipped over the front of the 4 wheeler. I wasn't hurt and when Chuck caught up to me I was laughing pretty hard.
 We stopped for a break and looked at the longhorns walking around.
 Then we're off again riding all over the place!
 The best is when the guide trusted us and let us go full blast on the dirt roads. Awesome!
 That was the most fun we've had in a long time. We were both sweaty and stinky afterwards. I'd do that again in a heartbeat!

Got back to the inn where I relaxed in the tub with bathsalts, handmade lavender soap and a little tequila on ice. Ahhhhh.
 After resting for a while we went to a place called Texas and Pacific Tavern at the base of the T&P Lofts. Apparently this was a train depot at one time.
 You didn't expect me to eat healthy food, did you? Chicken pesto panini. Delicious.
 Then we nibbled on some brownie, cookie, ice cream concoction that was very good.
 We ordered a beer then sat in the 5000 sq foot outdoor area. Was just a great night.
 The city was so pretty with lights as we made our way back home to the inn.
 There's a full length mirror at the base of the stairs.
 We were pretty tired from the busy day and were asleep before 10pm.

The next morning we could smell breakfast cooking downstairs. Time to eat!
 We were greeted with muffins, a yogurt parfait, eggs benedict and hashbrown casserole and french press coffee. I'm in heaven!
 Sadly, it was time to get on the road and leave this beautiful home. We took another stroll around downstairs where the owner pointed out details and told us the history of the home. Check out the music on the piano.
 On the way home we stopped by my family cemetery.
 I visited my PawPaw...
 And my great grandparents.
 And a cousin. I remember always going to his grave as a kid when we'd visit. It always seemed strange that he died when he was only 5. Plus his name was a little different. I don't know what his real name was. His daddy was in the Civil War.
We made it home safely. It's always hard to leave a great weekend like that behind but so nice to sleep in your own bed and hug the kids.

Of course this week there are no decadent treats! It's back to the wagon with me. ;)

Hope you had a fantastic weekend too!