Workouts, Vegan Eats, & Christmas (and Blendtec)!

Yes, I’m jamming it all into one post. To keep the wordiness down, the Christmas recap will be mostly pictures. But, first, a couple announcements and my training recap.

A Blendtec Kind of Holiday

So much exciting stuff going on. First off, if you remember my what I want for Christmas post, I mentioned at the top of my list needing/wanting a new blender. Well, Santa skipped that one, but Fitfluential did not! I actually won a Blendtec Designer 725! Yes, I did! I haven’t received it yet, but here’s the proof:

WinnerYep, that’s me!

Small town, BIG RACE

As you know, Alan and I are training for the SLO Marathon on April 26. Our training program officially starts with the new year, so it’s time to get race plans in place. We’d love to have you join us, so remember that the prices will be going up December 31. You can still save $10 with the code WOODAMB, so hurry up and sign up!

SLO Marathon

As for my own training, I think the term “holiday training” pretty much sums it up. Yes, I ran, a little. Yes, I did practice yoga, twice, once at home, once at the studio. But, all things considered, I’m okay with that. Here are my workouts from last week:

Monday: Since it was looking to be a busy day, I did an at-home yoga class with Yoga 30 (taught by my friend April of Yoga Central) early in the morning, followed by a three mile run (because that’s all I had left).

Yoga 30
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Alan and I planned to run in Huntington Beach while visiting the family, but I ended up with a migraine, so that didn’t happen. Put a damper on the whole day.
Thursday: Christmas day Alan and I took a little three mile trail run. After being sick the day before it felt good just to be out and running.

Christmas Run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: In keeping with the holiday run thing, we ran about 5.5 miles on the trails.

Trail Run
Sunday: Run with the dogs day. Okay, that didn’t happen. Here’s why:

Weather

The poor dogs didn’t even get a walk. I did make it to a 90 minute yoga class though.

So, not a whole lot accomplished, but with holidays, shopping, family, travel, not to mention migraines, I’m okay with my training. Back on track in the coming week, though. I’m not quite where I wanted to be by the end of December since official training starts next week, but it is what it is. I’m also thinking about joining the January yoga challenge that Yoga Central is doing this month. That should help me stay on yoga-track (there are prizes!).

Vegan Eats

Of course all of my eats are vegan, but we did get a couple chances to get out to eat. For our second visit to the Tap In Room at Whole Foods, we tried the Artisanal Vegan Cheese plate, and, Oh My God! It was good. It was actually served by the “Cheese Man,” who explained each cheese. We also had the Jackfruit Crab Cakes again, and they were good too. We couldn’t finish it all, so we took home the leftover cheese and I had it for lunch the next day. It was even better, probably because I didn’t have the gustatory distraction of the spicy sauce on the jackfruit cakes. I was happy to find out that they sell it in the store (I’d never even visited the cheese section), and I can’t wait to pick some up.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods 2We also had a chance to introduce some friends to Native Food. I tried a new menu item, the Crispy Chicken and Avocado Club, forgoing my favorites, either the Bistro Steak Sandwich or the Greek Gyro Bowl. It was okay, but I’ll return to my faves on my next visit. Our friends enjoyed their meal too, which always makes me happy. I love when non-vegans learn how delicious cruelty-free can be!

Native FoodsAnd Finally…Christmas

Alan and I actually had three Christmas celebrations, one with each side of the family, then our own on Christmas morning. But, as promised, I won’t get too wordy. Just a lot of pictures (and maybe a little explanation here and there).

MinervaWe took the same friends for their first visit to Minerva Street, the desert’s version of Candy Cane Lane. Even though the youngest “child” was 18, they all loved it! So did I!

DebbieOur very nice neighbors brought us a huge gift basket. Obviously they don’t know us very well (yet), but it was a great bring-along to our family Christmas.

Gift BasketOur first Christmas, in Huntington Beach with Alan’s son and his family. The grandsons scored!

Watkins

Watkins 2

ElvisWe traveled home on Christmas Eve. My migraine finally cleared enough so that I could at least decorate the tree. We didn’t actually put any presents under it though, what with our little terror, er, terrier, Johnny B. Goode, being such a chewer. At least he didn’t eat the tree. Maybe because it was blessed by Elvis.

Alan_LilyJust because Santa didn’t bring a blender doesn’t mean I didn’t get exactly what I wanted. Now I’ll have to have some fancy adventures on the run that are GoPro-worthy.

Go Pro

NathanMy son Nathan and my beautiful daughter-in-law Sarah. I’d even say she was glowing…

ChristmasMy youngest son David and his girlfriend Melissa. Awake and smiling here but both were recovering a bit from a Christmas Eve celebration the night before.

DavidMy niece Brynne, who was there with her boyfriend Eric and his son Zach.

Brynne

SarahThere was some fancy underwear.

SamuelI guess Samuel doesn’t quite know what to do with his yet.

Samuel 2I distinctly heard Samuel, son of Paleo parents, say “yum” after he took a bite of the vegan turkey roast. He looks pretty handsome in his new robe, doesn’t he?

So that was my week. Got it done in less than 1,000 words. How was your holiday?

Favorites: Yoga, Candles, Vegan Wellington & Turkey Trotting!

Wow! It’s Friday again! The weeks are flying by, the holidays are looming, and I haven’t prepared my Holiday Wishlist Gift List. Remember when you were a kid and the last weeks before Christmas seemed to last forever? Not anymore!  While I never have been one of those people who have their shopping done in November, I’m hoping to at least get my list done soon. I don’t want to be always be running around at the last minute.  In the meantime, I compiled a list of some of my favorites that I want to share with you.

Old Town La Quinta Turkey Trot

Delray_turkey_trot_logo 2There is no better way to start off Thanksgiving Day than with a Turkey Trot 5k. My husband is the director of our local race, the Old Town La Quinta Turkey Trot, which is celebrating its 16th anniversary. If you’re visiting or live nearby, we’d love to see you out there. If you can’t make it to our race, I’m sure you can find one closer to your home.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Wellington

WellingtonSpeaking of Thanksgiving, there is still time to order your Thanksgiving Wellington from Native Foods! I always choose to give turkeys something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, and this delicious, plant-based puff pastry filled with seasoned seitan, yams, stuffing, and kale will make everyone happy.

 

 

 

 

Yoga Central is going Global!

Yoga CentralEven though I’m not the most consistent yogi, one thing has never changed: my love for my favorite yoga studio, Yoga Central in La Quinta. It is owned by my friend April, and she, along with her staff, are the most amazing instructors! Now, the classes at Yoga Central are available 24 hours a day in the comfort of your own home through Yoga30!  Here’s how you can get access to my favorite studio and teacher: Got to Yoga30 and select either Yoga Central as your referring studio or April Jones as your referring teacher. By doing this you are affiliating yourself with Yoga Central, but you are free to choose any class or teacher on the site.

Prices:
$5 Day Pass
$14 Monthly Unlimited (costs less than one drop-in fee at any studio!)
$71 Six Month Unlimited Pass
$134 Annual Unlimited Pass
There is a 7-day free trial offer available on the Yoga30 site. Because this is so new, there are currently three classes available from Yoga Central, but more are coming soon, including an all-level Vinyasa, Gentle Flow, and a Hips/Hamstrings mini class.

 

Old Factory Candles

Old Factory CandlesI recently received a gift set of Old Factory Candles to try out and review. These candles are sold exclusively on Amazon.com. They are all hand-poured in the US with natural soy wax, hand trimmed cotton wicks, and premium fragrance oils. Each gift set comes with three themed scented candles that burn 20 hours. I chose to try Spa Day because I love the scents of lemongrass, cucumber, and green tea.

I love these candles. They smell so good and last forever. I can close my eyes and feel like I’m really in a spa (aside from my dogs barking at every movement). There are a lot of scents to choose from including Fall Harvest, with Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry and Autumn Leaves, Vacation which comes with Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei, and Awapuhi, and many others. A gift pack of three 20-hour candles costs $25 and they are eligible for Amazon Prime.

 

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Will you run a turkey trot? What is your favorite candle scent?

Random Monday: Catching Up

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Random Monday Reflections

Well, another week has just flown by. You’d think that since I am not working I would have all kinds of time on my hands, but it just hasn’t turned out that way so far. Between some online job searching, starting my new blog and social media accounts, studying and researching to become a social media manager, keeping up with this blog and social media, not to mention coaching my cross country team, every day has been busy and full.

Looking Forward

In fact, I already need to get a little better at my time management. I tend to try to do too much multi-tasking, which is not really beneficial in the long run. I decided my first step was to write down my goals for the coming week. That should help me focus and prioritize. My weekly goals include:

  1. Write a new Media Fitness Coach blog post. I want to post once a week on the blog, probably on Wednesday.
  2. Work on getting more followers on both new Twitter and Facebook pages.
  3. Be more consistent with my posting on all my social media accounts. Scheduling some posts, but also spending more time engaging.
  4. Study one or two hours a day.
  5. Develop my presentation package.
  6. Write a couple proposals. I have an idea that I hope will give me a little experience. I’ll share if it works out. Oh heck, I’ll share it now. I have a couple friends who run small businesses that I think could use a little help with their social media marketing. I plan to offer them a great deal and offer to create and run a social media account for them. I believe it will be good for all of us.

Well, that should keep me going for a bit, anyway!

Looking Back

Well, if it was a whirlwind week, the weather seemed to reflect that feeling too. A little over a week ago I posted this:

August 2_17Most notably, that screenshot was taken at 6:00 pm! The humidity was only 5%, which made it (as one of my Facebook friends pointed out) feel like only 109. I cancelled afternoon practice that week, and the next, when it stayed really hot. Of course, even morning practices can be challenging when it’s already in the 90s by 6:00 am.

August 2_2

The above was a non-practice day, so Penny and I had the option of taking a walk rather than running. Even that was pretty miserable.

August 2_15Seen on the walk that day. Alan thinks they’re roadrunners (look at the size of their feet!). I didn’t touch them, I was just hopeful that mom was nearby. They posed really well, didn’t move a muscle.

Then to top off the weather weirdness, on Saturday as we were driving out of town, we suddenly drove through an intense rainstorm. I actually saw it ahead of us as we drove. It was dry, then withing a quarter mile, it was pouring. Scary pouring. It rained off and on like that for about 20 minutes, then eased off as we headed west on the freeway. Thank goodness. I’m a Californian. Rain makes me nervous.

August 2_7Ironically, we were headed to Huntington Beach for the weekend to get out of the heat (and see the family, of course), but with the rain in the desert it turned out to be a very cool, if humid, weekend. When we came back on Sunday afternoon, we ran into yet another rainstorm, but it was actually in the low 70s, something I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced in August in over 30 years in the desert.

We spent the weekend in Huntington Beach, where it was even crazier than usual because the US Open of Surfing was going on. It brings huge numbers of young people, so the traffic was terrible, the restaurants were packed, and the streets were full of young people wearing almost nothing. Yes, that makes me sound old, but seriously, don’t women wear coverups anymore?

August 2Anyway, we are fortunate that Alan’s son lives close enough to the beach that we can just park our car and walk everywhere we want to go. When we arrived, the boys were out doing various things, so we walked downtown to lunch at Coach’s.August 2_4

If it looks familiar that’s because we were there just a month ago. I love their Falafel Pitas! The beer was pretty good too. When we got back to the house, these guys were there:

August 2_16They were getting ready to go to camp for their first time. Their mom was busily checking lists and packing, and we were under strict instructions not to let them get up early with us the next morning. Though it’s not like we wake them up on purpose, we just get up early. But, we tried really hard. We slept in a little later than normal ourselves, then tiptoed out, first to get coffee, then to head down to the beach. So much different at 6:00 am.

August 2_3Quite a sight from Starbucks. To the east, a beautiful, bursting sunrise. To the west, a double rainbow (it’s a little hard to see the second rainbow, to the left).

August 2_12

August 2_11

August 2_13

August 2_5

August 2_10We walked down to the pier and checked out what was going on at the surf competition. It was early, but they were out there. The waves weren’t the greatest, but that doesn’t stop the competition. In fact, according to an announcement we heard while we were there, the only thing that would stop or postpone the competition was a thunderstorm, which was a possibility. I think they were able to finish though before the rain came.

August 2_6Collecting: the good and the bad. I found quite a few whole, pretty shells as we walked, but I also found a lot of glass. The glass above was picked up in just a tiny area, so I can only imagine how much is really out there. Too bad to have to worry about cutting up your feet (and your children’s feet) because some people are too irresponsible to pick up their trash.

We did NOT go for a run, which was nice. I’ve been running more with the team lately, so I was ready for a day off. Instead we walked the beach.  Then Alan took they boys back to the ocean for a swim. Perfect morning.

On the way home to the desert, we were hungry but not yet ready for lunch so we stopped and had our first Acai bowls! They were pretty good, but they were so huge and tasted so good, it’s hard to believe they were all that good for us. Research is needed! Not that we don’t occasionally eat things that aren’t good for us (see those french fries in the above picture), but I just like to know.

August 2_9

After driving through the rainstorm, we finally arrived home too late for lunch and too early for dinner, so we decided to combine the two by eating an early dinner at Chipotle.

August 2_8

I love getting out of the desert heat, but it sure feels good to be home. We have a dog sitter who stays with the dogs, but they still miss us (and we miss them!). There really isn’t anything better than sleeping in your own bed, even when you share it with five (or is it six?) dogs.

How was your weekend? Any races, family happenings, or other events? Do you make a work plan for the week? Do you know how many calories are in an Acai bowl?

Cross Country, Vegan Eats and Samuel Time!

The highlight of my week:

Samuel2Of course, seeing Samuel is always the highlight of the week, but there were a few other things going on.

Cross Country Begins

Cross country practice started on Tuesday. I’m coaching the girls team only this year, so it is a different experience than in previous years. We’re losing a couple of our best runners (they’re transferring to another school, long story), but we’re also expecting a new student, moving from Washington state, a sophomore with a cross country PR of around 18:30. Last year we had a strong, young team, so I’m excited about the coming season.

Live from La Quinta - Girls Cross Country Team - Running

Our 2012 girls team.

Cross country is very time consuming though. We meet five days a week, and that includes my usual running days (except Sunday, which I keep for my own). I do get to run with the girls a lot at this time of the season, when we’re building endurance. Because of my work schedule we have two afternoon practices a week, so they’re getting their heat training early. Those practices are at 6 pm but, using this evening as an example, it is still 110 degrees at 6:30 pm, so it’s pretty tough. They need it, but we keep it short and pretty easy, especially at first. Last week we did a circuit strength workout that included a lap on the track between each set. Challenging but doable (and we stayed in the shade for the strength portion).

Samuel Time

As I mentioned, this was the highlight of my weekend. My son and daughter in law are building a house in Murrieta, and they invited us to see the progress. Well, not exactly progress because the actual home building hasn’t really begun, but they wanted us to see the location and the model. And we wanted to see Samuel them.

We met them at a little airport near their soon-to-be new home because Samuel loves to watch the planes taking off. One of his first words, “Wow!” gets used a lot while he’s there.

Samuel3We hadn’t seen him for a couple months and at that age, what a difference a couple months makes! He seems so grown up (at 19 months), he walks (and runs) so well, he’s starting to say a few words (still can’t get him to say Grandma yet though), and is generally fun and playful. Alan had a great time playing with him.

Grandpa2

GrandpaWe all piled in their car and went to lunch. Our go-to restaurant in that area is the Earth Bistro, which serves meat but has plenty of vegan options.

Samuel

After lunch we piled back in the car and drove out to their new home site. Sitting in the back seat, squeezed in between Samuel in his car seat and Alan, I really felt I needed to take some grandma selfies. Samuel helped.

Samuel4

Samuel5The house is being built in a new development, so there are only a few homes built so far. They are just opening up the sports complex/playground in a few days. So far, the lot has been leveled, the wall is being built, and I believe they’ll being laying the foundation in the next week or so. So right now, we got to see a pile of dirt. But, it’s Nathan and Sarah’s pile of dirt.

HomeI think their house is going to be beautiful! We got to see the model and I loved the layout. It has a huge open concept kitchen/living/dining area, several bedrooms, an office for my son, and an office/work room for my daughter in law. And it will be solar powered! It should be ready to move in by mid-October. I’m so excited for them. It’s their first home, and I love that they are moving closer to us. It’s only about an hour and a half drive. Close enough to babysit!

Vegan Eats

After lunch at Native Foods in Costa Mesa last week,  I was in the mood for more, so I picked up lunch to bring back to work on Wednesday. So good. (Not pictured, the fries that are included with the daily special. They didn’t survive the 15 minute ride back to work.)

Native FoodsAfter our first evening cross country practice, I’d planned to stop at Z Pizza and pick up a vegan pizza. I didn’t know, until I parked in front of the restaurant, that they are closed temporarily. It was a little late to start from scratch (and I was in the mood for pizza), so instead I picked up a cheese-less veggie pizza from Pizza Hut, added a little Daiya to it and popped it under the broiler when I got home. For some reason I didn’t take a picture, but I’m sure you can visualize it.

I did take a picture of our food at the Earth Bistro. Alan had a veggie burger and I had a grilled veggie sandwich. I also took a picture of the stuffed grape leaves, which were Samuel’s, but they were vegan so I had to try one. They were good!

LunchThe other day I received the cookbook “Paleo By Season: A Chef’s Approach to Paleo Cooking” in the mail. I’m not sure exactly why. I didn’t order it or offer to review it. I don’t do Paleo, so that wouldn’t be something I would be interested in. Sarah and Nathan, however, do follow a Paleo diet, so I gave them the book. If you’re interested, you can look for a review soon on their blog, Rock like Grok.

Cookbook

On Saturday evening, a day that started with 6 am cross country practice, traveled to Murrieta to see the family, we ended the day with a party at our friend Liz’s house. It’s totally family oriented, they even showed a movie in the back yard on a big screen when it got dark. But there are grown ups there (and wine!). And she’s an amazing cook and always creates something deliciously vegan for us. This time is was enchiladas. One of the things I love the most is seeing how the vegan food she cooks (in addition to regular food for her other guests), gets gobbled up by everyone, who for the most part don’t even realize they’re eating plant based food.

Dinner

Johnny Be Goode

For those of you have been wondering. Johnny has settled in nicely. He is still a puppy and he has a lot of bad habits after growing up on the streets, but he’s a sweet, loving dog and he gets along with the pack just fine for the most part (except when he jumps on them in his exuberance). And we do have to watch out for our noses.

Johnny3

And finally, because nothing makes me smile more than watching my grandson play, I’m sharing this video so that you can smile too.

How was your weekend? Any events, great restaurants, or family time?

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Big Bear: Cooler Weather, Triathlon, Running, and New Friends

If you follow me in Instagram (and if not, why not?), you know I spent the weekend up at Big Bear Lake. Alan was announcing the Big Bear Triathlon, and I was along for the ride (and the run, a little challenging at 6,700 feet elevation and above). That was Saturday. After the event, we moved bases over to a friends house, where we spent the night and, amidst a few glasses of wine, chatted while Alan reacquainted himself with a high school friend (that’s about 45 years ago!).

It was a great weekend, but also a long one, so I hope you don’t mind if I share most of our time in pictures, with just a little bit of explanation. And, we’re off…

Bear3

We arrived on Friday afternoon. We checked into our hotel, the Robin Hood Inn, which was right across the street from the event. Nice hotel, with only two drawbacks. One, in addition to hosting the triathlon (including the post-race party), they were also hosting a Corvettes West event, so the hotel was full of partying Corvette owners. Again, all fine and good, but it meant that, to avoid the noise of their evening event, we were put in a room that faced the street, and was very noisy and hot.

BearHot, you say? You guys are from the desert, where it was 105 degrees when you left on Friday morning. Well, the temperature in Big Bear hovered in the high 80s over the weekend, pretty hot for a place that doesn’t have a whole of of air conditioning. And for a hotel room with a lot of windows that seemed to face the sun both rising and setting.

Bear4After checking in, we ambled over to the event transition area, where Alan met the race director and discussed last minute details.

Bear2While Alan was busy, I wandered around the marina, and was enchanted by the above sign. It was easy to see why it was necessary.

bla bla blaThen we headed over to meet up with Alan’s friend Cheryl. He went to high school with her, lost touch, then reconnected a few years ago through Facebook. They hadn’t seen each other in about 45 years! That didn’t seem to matter, as we all got along so well, and Cheryl and I had a great time getting to know each other.

Bear6I found a Mexican Restaurant called Azteca that had a few vegan options on the menu. Alan and I both ordered the veggie burrito. It was okay, but had too many bell peppers for either of our tastes. It did fill us up though.

Just a few words here about eating this weekend. I was not proud of my efforts. Although I had brought fruit, bars, and a few snacks, I seemed to do an inadequate job of fueling myself (and Alan too). We were either really hungry, or eating bars or snacks. I need to work on that for travel of more than one night.

In addition to that, my stomach was really upset all weekend long. Without going into too great of detail, I will say my dinner did not appear to agree with me. It got so bad during my run on Saturday morning that I had to turn around early to go back to the hotel (because I didn’t know any other bathroom options). It continued all the way into Sunday, so that ended up being one down side of our weekend away.

Bear7While Alan was busy announcing the race, I took the opportunity to take a short run. I ran along the race course (I was out there well before the athletes took to the run). As I said, I had to stop back at the hotel, but I went back out to get in my three miles.

Bear8Bear9It was so pretty up there. And while it was pretty warm by the afternoon, the mornings were lovely and fresh. Though all the layers of undershirts, gloves, arm warmers, and jackets that I had brought with me went unused (the forecast said 45, pretty darn chilly for this desert rat!).

Bear11After my run I went back to the hotel to shower and check out. Then I returned to the venue while Alan finished up.

Bear10Our friend Amanda, who owns the best triathlon store in the desert, Brickhouse Multisport, was there, with last minute gear, wet suit rentals, and, well, pretty clothes to buy. That’s her on the far right of the picture. In some of those pretty clothes.

After the race, Alan also had to MC the post race party and give out the raffle prizes to those that attended. We ourselves finally got to eat some real food (of which I didn’t take a picture). They had a garden burger wrap on the menu which was good (and we were starving). Then, he was done with his obligation. So we headed back to Cheryl’s house, where we were going to spend Saturday night.

We had another nice evening of chatting. Alan and Cheryl had a lot to catch up on, but I didn’t feel left out. We all seemed to have a lot in common, and it was fun getting to know her. I ended up cooking dinner, because we didn’t want to chance another restaurant. Using what Cheryl had on hand, I made a nice pasta with sauce.

bear12The picture of the pasta box is pretty bad, but I think it was gluten free. I liked it a lot, and will try it again at home.

Bear17Alan and I took a run on Sunday morning. We started slow because Alan’s asthma can really cause some problems in the altitude. We ran about three miles, which was plenty. From Cheryl’s house, we ran to the lake…

Bear15

Bear14

Bear16Alan had to test the water. It was chilly.

Then we ran back, past Cheryl’s house, to Snow Summit, the main ski resort in Big Bear. Obviously they don’t do any ski business this time of year (plus winter was so warm they didn’t do much then either), but it is huge with mountain bikers. The parking lot fills up early every morning, and cyclists can do their own thing, or take the ski lift to the top and ride down. There are also hiking trails. We didn’t do any of that (maybe next time), but we did stop for some pictures.

Bear18The hill we didn’t climb.

Bear21

Bear20

Bear19Afterward, it was just a short walk back to Cheryl’s, where chatted some more, then showered, packed up, and got ready to go back down the mountain. We had to take at least one more selfie though.

Bear22Then, it was goodbye to Cheryl and to Big Bear. Back to the desert, where it was 105 when we got home. At least we are back to familiar food and regular meals, so my stomach will hopefully be back to normal. All that aside, though, we can’t wait to go back.

Bear23Bye bye, Big Bear!

How did you spend your weekend? Any travel, races, events or fun family times? Share!

Family Fun, Vegan Eats, Johnny, and the Bondi Band Winners

Bondi Band Winners

First off, since I know you’ve been waiting anxiously for the announcement, the Bondi Band winners!

Bondi Band

Congratulations to Tessie B., Birdiebee, and Deborah N. Your Bondi Bands are already on their way! Thanks for entering.

Family Fun

Last weekend we drove to San Clemente to see our twin grandsons play in a soccer tournament. They’re playing club soccer now, which is apparently much more serious business that it was when my boys were playing AYSO (of course that was about 25 years ago).

It was a two and a half hour drive to Orange County, made more fun as always by heavy traffic. There was also an accident that stopped traffic completely for a while. When we passed the scene, it looked like everyone was okay. I hope that was the case.

Soccer

We thought their game (match?) was at 11:30, but when we arrived at 11, they were already playing. We found out though, that they actually had two games that day. We enjoyed the second half of their first match (they won!), then we went to a long lunch because their second game wasn’t until 3:20.

Cash

Cash had to tough out a bad sunburn. He even had a blister break toward the end of the second game. That’s not his soda by the way. Or telephone :-)

John

My stepson. His soda. And phone.

The second game was more evenly matched and exciting than the first. Both the boys (and the whole team) played very well. At nine years old, their ball handling skills are quite good, so it’s fun to watch them play. Unfortunately, they lost by one goal, but they did well enough to go back the next day.

Alan and I did not go back the next day. We took our long drive home, thinking that, yes, five hours of driving is fine to watch your grandsons play in a soccer tournament, but doing that two days in a row, um, not so much. We usually would stay overnight with the family in Huntington Beach, but our dog sitter wasn’t available, so we had to make adjustments.

Speaking of dogs…

Johnny

Johnny 5Johnny is settling in quite nicely. He is a puppy, so he tends to drive the older dogs a little crazy with his enthusiasm sometimes, but he obviously is a sweet dog. He is a “mouther” though, which not only has left Alan and me with a few “love bites,” it also causes the other dogs to yelp every now and then when they’re playing with him.

He obviously spent some time on the street and is mildly aggressive about food. He gobbles his own down, then we have to watch that he doesn’t steal from the others. He has already put on a little weight, which is good. He was so skinny when we got him.

Johnny

He wears himself out. And he wears out the older dogs too.

There are still many reminders of Sassy in his look and his behavior. He is a high energy dog, always on the go, until he runs out of gas and falls deeply asleep in seconds. On the walk he travels back and forth just like Sassy used to do, anxious to see everything there is to see. If he ever stands on his front legs to pee (something that Sassy always did that I unfortunately never photographed), I will truly believe she has been reincarnated.

Vegan Eats

I had hoped while we were in Orange County to stop at the Veggie Grill, a fun vegan fast food chain that has several locations nearby. Not only do I enjoy the food, I had a Father’s Day weekend coupon that was good for a free entree when you purchased one entree. We didn’t make it though. With the second soccer game lasting until after 4:00, we just wanted to get home, so we shared a hummus wrap and quinoa salad from Trader Joes.

That being said, we did eat well during our lunch break between games. We ate at Pizza Port, which didn’t have a whole lot of vegan choices, so we ordered the veggie pizza without cheese. It was pretty tasty!

Pizza

Last week one of my Facebook friends shared that she’d tried the new Fishless Filets that Gardein was making now. I had mixed feelings, because I’m really not into a fishy taste in food (definitely something I don’t miss as a vegan), but I still thought it would be fun to try. She said they had it at Clark’s Nutrition Center, so I stopped by and picked some up (along with some vegan tartar sauce).

fishThe Fishless Filets are baked, not fried, but they were still very crispy on the outside. Now it’s been a long time since I had a real fish filet, but I thought these were very tasty. The inside somehow managed to be flaky, and taste like fish, but it wasn’t fishy. It had a light, fresh taste. They also provide Omega 3s from a plant based source! Alan liked them too. I think they are great for an occasional change of pace. I will buy them again, probably soon because I now have a jar of vegan tartar sauce to use up!

You can usually tell how busy I am by how many of my home cooked meals include a faux meat. I’ve been really busy lately, so in addition to the Fishless Filets above, I also bought a package of Gardein Chick’n Scallopini. I made two easy and delicious cruelty-free versions of Chicken Piccata and Chicken Marsala.  I kept the recipes simple and served them with rice (leftover rice on the second day), so both meals were done in a flash.

Marsala

By the way, for my gluten free friends, Gardein has added a few gluten free options to their line up!

Other Stuff (like Running)

So, all is pretty quiet on the running front. I definitely took my recovery to heart, probably more than I needed to. What with one thing and another (like traveling to the OC), I only ran about three miles on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday I did take all the dogs out running (in separate groups). Even Johnny got to run a little, his first time running with the pack. No pictures though, I would have needed a couple extra hands for that!

I’m planning to up the intensity a little bit this week, as well as the mileage, three weeks out from the marathon. Now I just need to pick another event and start training!

Run

Alan and I also spent way too much time fixing our kitchen faucet. It’s pretty old and we had a heck of a time finding parts. We thought we were going to have to replace the whole thing. But finally one Sunday and five hardware store trips later, we got it done and we have running water in the kitchen again!

Have you ever tried to repair your own plumbing before? Do you play (or understand) soccer? If so, will you explain “Off Sides” to me? I just don’t get it.