Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend Wine Warrior

ahhh, it's Tuesday!! and i took off yesterday and this coming up friday. doesn't get any better than a 3 day work week!

Thank you all for helping me on the dress situation! I ended up finding a maxi and simple sweetheart strapless dress for Saturday night. Both under 18 dollars. Score!

The maxi dress was definitely the way to go for Saturday's Wine in the Woods. I was not alone in my thinking and thankfully saw no one else wearing the same one... don't you hate when you spend hours trying to find a dress and you go to the event and see 39209 girls wearing the same one?!

Saturday afternoon we headed over to Wine in the Woods, found a perfect spot to set up our blanket and picnic basket, met up with friends and tasted a good amount of wines and vendors.

I love sweet wines. Peach, berry, strawberry, jazz berry... If it has "berry" in the name, chances are I will buy it. Our favorite Maryland vineyards are Linganore and Boordy. If you live in Maryland, you need to get your butt to the Linganore Reggae Fest in July. Such great music, tours of the bottling process and lots of free half ounce pours! 

Afterward, me and CL went home, did a quick change in outfits and headed to Bridges in Kent Island. The view was just as amazing as the food! I ordered blackened mahi with sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes.

It was just the right amount of food!

Haven't I said it enough? Someone please buy me a house on the water!

Next up was Warrior Dash! A 5k obstacle course that begins with you running through the woods in mud, crawling through muddy tunnels, jumping over hurdles and wading through muddy water. It ends with you climbing over a rope challenge, running through tires, jumping over fire... you get the point.

8 of our friends got together to compete and honestly I think the best part of our group is we all helped each other out and waited for others to catch up and we still finished in 43 minutes. Not too bad for having to get through mud, climb over obstacles and climb hill after hill!

This weekend our college group is getting together to head to the beach for memorial day weekend! Spring break 2011 anyone?

I'm definitely lucky to have this group!

Have you linked up to todays How Does Your Garden Grow Tuesdays yet?

How Does Your Garden Grow Tuesdays - wk 3

It's Tuesday!! Which can only mean it's time for me to update you on my garden and hear all about yours!

My spinach is growing and growing and growing. I'm not too sure what it is supposed to look like at this stage of it's life cycle, but at week 3 it looks like grass.  Check out how small they were last week!

Everyone I spoke to told me cilantro would be the hardest thing to grow... Well, that doesn't seem to be the case. It is getting tall and gorgeous! Which is good because I use it in so many of my recipes! {cilantro lime rice} {chicken chili} {fish tacos} {guacamole} {corn salsa} {garlic cilantro aioli}

My pepper plant is becoming tall and strong too! Last year I grew two green bell pepper plants, but really wanted a yellow or red plant this year since they are sweeter! Hopefully this bad boy grows some good ones!

I have bad news though! 

My strawberry plants are being invaded by bugs. I have had to pick and throw away a good amount of my strawberries because they are eating the actual berries and they are rotting!

Does anyone have any good solutions? 

Ideally I would love to try something I can make myself without any chemicals, but if worse comes to worse I will make my way to Home Depot and pick something up! 4 strawberry plants, and I only got to enjoy 2 berries!

What can you plant in June?
Plant heat and sun-loving herbs like basil, oregano, thyme and sage.

What bugs are eating my strawberries and what prevents it?
I have seen slater or pill bugs! You know the ones that roll up into little balls! But I read they do not eat live matter. I am going to mix a little liquid dish soap with water in a spray bottle and spray the plants, including the underside of the leaves. If this doesn't work I am going to grab straw to put in the pot beneath the leaves and fruit!

What do you want to know? What works for you?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Picnic Menu

hello lovers!

In all honesty, this week has not been going very fast at all, but i can't believe tomorrow is friday! I have been waiting for this weekend for months! why??

It is one of the busiest weekends of the spring/summer season for me - packed with fun and exciting things!

My little sister graduates from University of Maryland tomorrow! I can't explain how amazing she is ... she is graduating with honors from UMD in three years and is on to Ohio State Vet School later this summer.

When you are little you wish and hope and pray to the moon and back that you were born an only child.

I couldn't imagine my life without her though. Living an hour away we only see each other once or twice a month, but her moving away is going to be hard!

She was the first person I called crying to when Princeton passed away. We are so different, but I couldn't ask for a better sissy ... even when she is grumpy!

Us on my graduation day from college last year!

okay, okay... enough sappiness. you want picnic menu ideas!

This Saturday we are heading over to Wine in the Woods, a huge wine festival that I have been wanting to go to for years - but college and working stopped me. {Not this year!}

For five hours I will be picnicking with friends, sipping on 385374 different types of wines, laying out on a blanket soaking up the sun {it's been raining all week} and listening to live music.

perfect day. but what should i bring?

I have been searching and thinking of healthy things I could pack for lunch. We are headed out to Kent Island Saturday night for dinner and dancing and have an "adventure" 5k on Sunday so I don't want to be uncomfortable at all. I want something light, filling and delicious!

Here is what I am thinking along with the links to the recipes:

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Spinach and Feta
Pulled Pork Sandwiches {not so light, but a summer staple}
Cranberry, Almond Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt instead of Mayo
Fruit Salad
Mint Lemonade
Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake {low fat}

What I love to wear to outdoor picnics:

I love maxi dresses for spring outdoor events. It takes less time putting together an outfit that might look cute, but isn't designed for sitting in the grass all day. Maxi dresses are flattering on everyone and thankfully they are still in style this Spring!

Of course a spring floral dress with a brown belt would work perfectly fine too!

have any good picnic menu ideas? send them my way!!

today at 10 is the last time you can enter my giveaway! if you are a runner/athlete this is a great thing to use! it works wonders on my sore muscles after running! enter here!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eat Local - WIAW

Good Morning Wednesday!

If you haven't noticed a trend... Wednesdays = WIAW {What I ate Wednesday} started by Jen at Peas and Crayons. Here is what I have been eating lately!

a big mug full of strawberries and blueberries for todays breakfast. which came from Whole Foods via a huge 4 pound bin of strawberries... i told you they were like my chocolate! 

i also made oatmeal with blueberries and chia seeds for breakfast on Monday and a big batch of protein waffles to freeze for quick breakfasts on the go!

Sunday me and CL slept in {which I rarely get to do} then headed over to Downtown Annapolis because it was finally sunny out!! 

We love Pussers... maybe a little bit too much. These nachos are always how we start off a meal. Followed by sharing some fish tacos ... because I never lie and I really always order them everywhere we go. Make your own with my recipe here {mine are better}!

We also discussed our game plan of buying a house on the water. I would work 39452 jobs to wake up to this every morning.

Next, we headed over to Whole Foods where I finally picked up some Kombucha, chia seeds and another $100 dollars worth of groceries.

Which leads me to my next point.

buy local!!!!

No, really. I used to never think twice about where my food came. Where the meat I was putting into my body used to live. Were they happy and healthy and not crowded or fed chemicals and steroids?

The great thing about stores like Whole Foods is they really support local farmers. Buy the local ground beef and roast from the butcher. Pay the extra 2 dollars for the local milk ... you get the deposit back when you return the glass container. Stop at your local farmer's market to pick up some fresh veggies and go pick your own strawberries if you have time on the weekend.

It all adds up.

Doesn't it make you feel better about what you are putting in your belly? To know you are helping a farmer and his family keep his job by giving you healthy and fresh food for your family.

Fresh really does taste better!

Did you know? {source}
  • Hawaii imports 90% of its food.
  • In 1866, 1,186 varieties of fruits and vegetables were produced in California. Today, California's farms produce only 350 commercial crops.
  • Communities reap more economic benefits from the presence of small farms than they do from large ones. Studies have shown that small farms re-invest more money into local economies by purchasing feed, seed and other materials from local businesses, whereas large farms often order in bulk from distant companies. 
  • Large factory livestock farms also degrade local property values because of the intense odors they emit and other environmental problems they cause.
  • A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table.
  • In the U.S., a wheat farmer can expect to receive about six cents of each dollar spent on a loaf of bread—approximately the cost of the wrapping.
  • Farmers' markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
  • About 1/3 of all U.S. farms are located within metropolitan areas, comprising 18% of total U.S. farmland.

Freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter. mmmmm :-)

After our Whole Foods stop, I accidentally shook my Kombucha a little too hard and it spilt all over my crotch. Right before we were going to get Menchies Frozen Yogurt. REALLY?!

Thankfully my prince charming had a huge jacket in the car that I threw on and looked like i was wearing no shorts. Just so I could get some of this.

Heaven in a cup.

BTW, have you entered my TheraPearl giveaway yet?

You have until Thursday night so leave a comment for every entry and you could win!

Monday, May 16, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow Tuesdays

This could quite possibly be my favorite day of the week! Last week I started my weekly "How Does Your Garden Grow Tuesdays". If you have a garden or are growing your own veggies/fruits/herbs be sure to link up a new or old post to share!

I've said it before, but growing your own doesn't mean you need lots of land. You could live in an apartment and still grow healthy food as long as you have a window or patio! Every week I will try to give my advice on things I have wondered myself about growing plants! You'll see what's in my garden from start to in my belly!

Look who made their first appearance in my garden! My spinach! 
I was sooo excited, especially since it has only been a week and this is the first plant I have actually grown starting from a seed!

 hello, you are going to be so delicious with some strawberries and pecans one day. it is meant to be <3

 thank you rainy weekend for making sure they popped up! all three rows!

I also ran to Home Depot last weekend and bought two more strawberry plants and another cantaloupe plant. I couldn't resist! I have had 3 strawberries so far from my first pot!

How do I pick my strawberries? Where should I break the stem? Should I wash them before I store them in the fridge?
  • I read you should grasp the stem just above the berry between the forefinger and the thumbnail and pull with a slight twisting motion.
  • Don't wash your strawberries until right before eating, or they are more likely to spoil.
  • Strawberries do not continue to ripen after picking, so make sure they are really ready before you pick!
After how many days will I be able to harvest my spinach?
  • After 40-50 days you can pick your spinach!
  • Make sure to start picking leaves on the outside of the plant. Leaving the inner leaves to continue to grow and produce new spinach!
  •  It is best to eat the spinach the same day after picking. Soak in cold water. If you want to store, only keep it in there for 3-4 days. The longer you leave it, the more nutrients are lost.
Want to grow spinach but live in an apartment? You're in luck!
  • One of the best things about spinach is that it doesn’t have to grow fruit so it doesn’t need a large container to live in. It loves the cool weather and will appreciate not being out in the hot summer days!
It's your turn! Show everyone what is growing in your garden and link up! I'd love to see what you planted this season! 

BTW, have you entered my TheraPearl giveaway yet? You have until Thursday night so leave a comment for every entry and you could win!

Calling all athletes: TheraPearl GIVEAWAY!

Whether you are a runner, lifter, mom or just need something to help you relax I have the perfect giveaway for you!

TheraPearl ice packs come in 11 different shapes and sizes and have many benefits including:
  • The packs can be either hot or cold
  • They conform to your body, unlike other frozen packs that keep their odd frozen shape
  • They don't drip in use
  • They are re-useable (major points here!)
  • Upscale, unclinical packaging
  • Gel bead technology 
  • Pack can be disinfected and cleaned after each use
  • They are non-toxic
  • AND they hold their healing temp for 20-30 minutes!

Terri at TheraPearl (who just got married to her High School sweetheart - who doesn't love a good love story) was amazing enough to send me products to review and to share with you!

So....What's in it for you?? A spa/relaxing kit!!

Pearl the TheraPearl Pal
She reduces fevers, helps cool/soothe minor scrapes and burns, gives bee sting relief, reduces swelling and helps your bruises! Super cute, and a perfect thing to pack in your kid's first-aid kit!

TheraPearl Neck Wrap
The neck wrap is great for using post surgery, post workout, in the bath tub or laying down in bed relaxing! It is thin enough that it doesn't push your neck forward and just like the rest - it can be frozen or warm! Wrap it around your sore leg after running or turn into the U position for a soothing back relief while sitting at work or after a hard workout!

 TheraPearl Eye Mask
Put this in the freezer overnight and when you wake up in the morning with puffy or tired eyes, you have your cure! Hello morning workouts! The gel beads and liquid inside remains at the perfect "just-below freezing temp" – so it won't poke you in the eyes or lay on your face awkwardly. It also stays cool for 20-30 minutes! Mini vacay! The eye mask molds to whatever shape, so you could also use it on the back of your neck, forehead, ankles, wrists or shoulders.

Want to win this giveaway? It's simple and I'll give you SIX ways to win! Make sure you post a separate comment for every entry so you have more chances to win! Contest ends Thursday (5/19) night at 10 p.m.
  1. MANDATORY: Go to the TheraPearl website and tell me which product you are most interested in trying!
  2. Follow TheraPearl on twitter {http://twitter.com/#!/TheraPearl}
  3. Follow TheraPearl on facebook {Follow on Facebook}
  4. Tweet about this giveaway: sore muscles? need to de-stress? @caramundy is having a @TheraPearl giveaway! Enter here {http://tinyurl.com/4yubvn2}
  5. Blog about this giveaway
  6. Follow Chic Meets Healthy on Facebook {https://www.facebook.com/ChicMeetsHealthy}
*Only US residents are eligible to enter the giveaway. If the winner doesn't contact me within 3 business days a new winner will be drawn