Tag Archives: trips

Happy New Year!

This has been a great year so far. But really, it’s only been 2011 for a day. So we’ll see.

Yesterday, Corey took me to the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation in Augusta, Georgia.

It was one of the nicest hotels that I’ve ever stayed in.

When we got there, I had an appointment to get a massage at their spa! My loving husband actually set that up for me. Maybe that’s because I keep asking him to rub my shoulders because I’m so tense.

 

the guest lounge of the spa

 

The spa was phenomenal. It was so beautiful and relaxing. The guest lounge was so beautiful.

The massage was extremely relaxing and after it was over, I was ready for some more fun!

After the massage, Corey took me to our room so I could check it out. It really was beautiful.

 

Corey by the lake

 

Then we walked around the hotel grounds a bit. The hotel was right off the lake and it was so nice. The best thing was the weather. It was 60 degrees so the weather was perfect for walking around and taking pictures like crazy. Corey called me a tourist. Ha. I’m just your average blogger. :)

 

lying around on the hammock

 

The weather was so nice that we ate outside. The restaurant was Gaby’s by the Lake and we sat outside to enjoy our meal while the sun set over the lake.

The food was amazing! Corey and I started the meal by sharing some flatbread. The flatbread had tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Yum.

Believe it or not, Corey actually tried a tomato on the flatbread. Usually, he just picks them off because he is such a picky eater. Even he enjoyed them on the flatbread. :)

For dinner, I actually thought the appetizers sounded better than the entrees. So I made a meal out of those!

I had Brunswick stew that came with a jalapeno corn muffin. This dish was phenomenal. Loved the moistness of the muffin. And it had the perfect amount of jalapeno.

Check out the cute little pot that the stew came in. I want one!

I had some fried calamari with cajun tartar sauce.

Can I be honest? The cajun tartar sauce was why I ordered this dish. I just discovered that I liked tartar sauce, so I figured the cajun spices could just add to the yummy deliciousness. It did. If I could have gotten away with it, I would have eaten the tartar sauce with my fingers. ;) But the calamari was also pretty tasty.

Lastly, I ordered the Roasted Garlic hummus with sundried tomatoes and feta cheese.

This dish was actually a little disappointing. Maybe it was a little garlicky or maybe I don’t like sundried tomatoes (I’ve never really tried them before). I may or may not have dipped some of the pita bread in the cajun tartar sauce. :)

Corey ordered a steak and mashed potatoes. I didn’t try the steak, but he said it was pretty darn good. I did try the mashed potatoes though. They were the best potatoes I have tried in a long time.

I skipped out on dessert at the restaurant because something on the room service menu had caught my eye: Vanilla Creme Brulee. Mmm . . . yummy. I had never tried that before, so I had to. And let’s face it, there were still four hours until midnight at that point. So we had to kill some time.

The creme brulee was good, but I don’t think I would order it again. It tasted like vanilla pudding with sugar on top. I did manage to stop myself from eating all of it though.

As if I hadn’t had enough sugar, the hotel was doing a campfire where you could make your own s’mores . . . for free!

I just couldn’t turn that down. I think the last time I had a s’more was when I was a teenager and I was camping. It made me feel a bit nostalgic.

Yes, I do know how ironic it is that I had a goal of cutting back on sugar and yet, I had enough sugar to last me until February tonight.

But at least it was all in moderation. I knew when to stop, so that was a small victory for me.

After eating loads of sugar, Corey and I walked the grounds a bit more and we ordered a movie from the hotel to kill some time until midnight . . . and maybe, to help keep us awake until the new year. I may or may not have had a couple of the chocolates that the nice staff placed on our bed.

I guess I didn’t need to worry about being able to stay up all night. All the sugar I had eaten ensured that I wasn’t going to bed anytime soon. ;) Every New Year, I feel my age more and more. It gets harder and harder to stay up until midnight.

After the movie (which was Knight and Day, by the way), we headed back to the restaurant. They had a beautiful pool that overlooked the lake.

The hotel had a fireworks show set up for midnight. This was an awesome fireworks show. The only complaint was that the fireworks didn’t actually start until several minutes after midnight, but they were well worth the wait.

Corey and I did stay up a while after midnight before we collapsed into a deep sleep. The beds were so incredibly soft and I wanted to stay there forever. Since we didn’t have to take care of Callie, we slept until the very late hour of 9 am. Yes, Callie is like our baby. It’s impossible to sleep past 6:30 or 7:00 with a dog.

We decided to lounge around and eat breakfast in bed. We ordered room service! I ordered an egg white omelet with spinach, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. This omelet came with wheat toast, freshly squeezed orange juice, and coffee (decaf!).

I did have some unpictured salsa on top of the omelet.

The meal also came with a yogurt and granola parfait. This was full of fresh strawberries!

This was the perfect breakfast to have as my last meal at the hotel. It was light and nutritious and also very filling. Corey did let me have a few bites of his buttermilk pancakes that he ordered. They were yummy!

After breakfast, it was time to pack up. Am I the only one who takes the little bottles of condiments and toiletries that the hotel provides?

Corey was very kind and took some other bottles off of our neighbor’s room service tray. Don’t worry, they had already eaten and weren’t going to be using them anyway. :) So I have several little bottles of preserves, maple syrup, etc. I also took a few complimentary packets of decaf coffee and tea.

After that, we packed up and headed home . . . back to reality.

Yesterday was a good day and today was a great one. I hope the year continues like this.

And on that note, I will wish everyone a happy New Year.

What did you do to celebrate New Years’ Eve?

Goals for 2011

I don’t like the word “resolution” when it comes to the new year. Let’s face it, you resolve to do something and the resolution gets thrown out the window by the second week of January. There are several things I would like to accomplish in the next year. This year has been a pretty good year (I did start my blog this year, after all). But I have a feeling that next year will be even better. :)

1) Control sugar cravings. I am all for having things in moderation. But lately, my sweet tooth has gotten a bit out of control. I am trying to lose weight and I need to eat foods that are more nutritious. Plus, when I start to eat something sweet I have a hard time stopping. Maybe it would be nice to work on that as well. :)

2) Eat more veggies (and try new things). I have a hard time fitting veggies into my diet. Fruits are easier (maybe because they are sweet). I also didn’t grow up eating fresh veggies (or many veggies at all), so it can be hard to step out of my comfort zone. This year, I did try some new veggies for the first time: I tried fresh green beans, roasted asparagus, and even a rutabega! Now I just have to keep that momentum going.

roasted green beans

3) Push myself in my workouts (try new ones). I get bored easily with my workouts. That happens when you do the same workout over and over again. I need to try new workouts and more importantly than that, I need to try workouts that will challenge me. I haven’t done level 2 of 30 day shred since the first time I tried it. I think it’s because part of me doesn’t want to fail at a tougher workout. I want to push myself and really see what my body can do.

4) Travel more. My husband and I did hardly any travelling this year. There was a trip that we took to Los Angeles for my birthday in May. As fun as that was, I have been to Los Angeles about five times. I would like to go somewhere new, maybe Italy. That may be a bit optimistic, but we will see. My husband and I are determined not to use credit cards EVER, so the only way we will go on a trip is to save enough money for it. We do have a plan. I want to go to Italy very badly, but if we don’t save up enough money for that, I’m sure we will go somewhere else that is exciting. And to be honest, this may be the last year we are able to take a nice trip without having to worry about a baby. :)

5) Run (or walk) Peachtree Road Race (10K). Corey and I did this race in July of this year. It was our first time and I had a great time. Even though we finished, I really dragged through the race and had an awful time. I am not the fastest runner at ALL, but the reason I dragged was due to lack of training and improper nutrition. I haven’t been running much lately, but I intend to change that. I have had some issues with my knees this year, so this goal is contingent upon how my body reacts to running. I plan on downloading the Couch to 10K app to ease back into it.

at the starting line for my first (and only) 10K!

6) Do 20 real push-ups. I can’t do even one real push-up. I can barely do 20 “fake” push-ups. But I intend to build up my arm strength and change this. I want to feel empowered next year!

7) Cut back on T.V. Caitlin had an awesome post yesterday about how much TV she watches and why she wants to cut back on it. My husband and I DVR so many things and sometimes it seems that catching up on the DVR is more important than spending time with each other. There are some nights in which we need to cut off the TV and just talk to each other . . . or maybe read. I haven’t decided which. ;) But seriously, I want to improve my relationship with my husband in the upcoming year and I think this is a great place to start.

8) Improve my photography on my blog. Believe it or not, my pictures have improved dramatically since I started the blog in August. But I want to improve upon them even further. Maybe a new camera for my birthday in May would help. ;)

9) Take cooking classes. I am not a great cook. I like it fast and I like it easy. I also lack creativity, as well as technical skill. I would love to discover new recipes and new ways to cook. Plus, it would be a great way to spend time with Corey that doesn’t involve the television.

10) Learn to like myself. Okay, maybe this one should have been first. But I guess I’m saving the best for last. :) I don’t like myself. There, I said it. I realized today while my husband and I were shopping, that I don’t even like looking at myself in the mirror. I actually avoid it. I had gotten better at it, but I find that lately I use the “f” word more and more. I also negate every single compliment that my husband gives me, whether it’s about my appearance or not. Yes, I am trying to lose weight. But I have realized that if I don’t start to accept myself for who I am, then the weight will just creep back on. It happened before and it can happen again. But if I start to like myself again, then maybe once I lose weight I will actually be satisfied. Last time I reached my goal weight, I kept wanting to lose more and more. Looking back, I know that I was dependent on the number on the scale to make me happy. Once I realize that my happiness isn’t contingent on the number on the scale, then I will probably be a lot happier.

I suppose those goals will do for now. What are your goals for 2011?

Home Sweet Home

I’m back from Alabama!

While I had a great time, I am glad to be home.

There is just something about resting in my own bed and getting back to a routine. Over the past several days, I have eaten too many sweets.

I spent time with my family.

 

me, my dad, and my grandmother

My niece playing with Callie

 

We played games.

 

Playing Scrabble Slam with my husband and my sister. Awesome game!

 

I also ate small portions of all the fabulous food.

I ate veggies when they were an option.

 

Subway sandwich with lots of veggies

salad with broccoli, cauliflower, sunflower seeds, and raisins

 

I even took walks with my husband and my dog and admired some beautiful scenery.

Over the last few days, I have experienced very little food guilt. But now it is time for Operation: Get Back on Track. The holidays are over and the real world beckons. My waistline will be very happy.

Merry Christmas!

Yes, I know Christmas was yesterday but I still wanted to get that out of the way.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! I am in Alabama with my husband, celebrating the holiday with his family. I will be back to my normal blogging schedule on Tuesday, when we get back.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today has been a good day.

My husband offered to make me breakfast this morning. I didn’t take a picture, but he made me a tasty breakfast sandwich. The sandwich consisted of multigrain bread from Whole Foods, one “fried” egg, bacon, and some cheese. Oh, and hot sauce of course. ;)

Corey and I decided to exchange presents this morning since we were going to be with family for the rest of the weekend.

We didn’t want to get each other anything big because the iPhones we bought ourselves recently were our Christmas gifts to each other. But since my husband just has to get me something for Christmas. we decided to get each other something small.

My wonderful husband got me 2 gift cards.

Itunes and Starbucks, here I come!

I am so excited to use the Starbucks one. I see a Gingerbread Latte in my future. :)

He also got me candy that I can actually eat!

He said it was unbelievably hard to find me candy that I can eat. Since I can’t eat chocolate (due to migraines), that cuts out most of the Christmas candy that is available. But these white chocolate covered pretzels look delicious . . .  and very festive! :)

Best of all, he got me a new lunch tote for work! I carry my lunch to work every single day and my old lunch bag was feeling the wear and tear.

I love my new bag!

Corey loved his gifts. I also gave him an Itunes gift card. I gave him some Reese’s peanut butter cups in the shape of Christmas trees (he loves those things). I also gave him a funny T-shirt.

He hates pickles . . . really, he despises them. So when I found this shirt, I knew I had to get it for him. And he loved it!

We also gave Callie one of her presents too. I think she was feeling a little left out of the Christmas fun.

Callie's new toy!

After the joys of opening some gifts, we decided to watch Elf. Neither one of us had seen it. We both thought it was really funny.

The rest of the day was spent in a mad scramble to pack for our trip. We are spending the night with my family tonight. Tomorrow afternoon, we will be leaving for Alabama to see his family and we won’t be back until Tuesday.

Yes, I know this is a lot of stuff . . . and this is just for me and Callie! I have my suitcase for my clothes and the blue duffel bag has food and toys for Callie. I also have a bag with the candy Corey gave me, along with a couple if books for the road. Also, I packed a bag with some water bottles (because our filtered water really is the best) and some healthy snacks to take to Alabama. Last time we went to Alabama, I was not happy with the fact that I ate junk food the entire weekend. This time, I am being proactive and taking along some grapes and pears. I need some fruit to balance out all that junk food! :)

And what day would be complete without a stop at Whole Foods? That place was packed! Yesterday, I tried their pecan pie cookies for the first time and I had a major craving for them. Since I had a sneaking suspicion they would be gone after the holidays, I wanted to get my fill now!

These cookies are so freaking tasty. Believe it or not, I took a picture of the ingredients.

Sneaky, I know. I’ve never created a cookie recipe before but I think I will have to recreate this as best I can when I get a chance. They are so good!

My husband and I now have to leave for my family’s place. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time with them (and eating the steak that is on the menu). But first . . . I have to try out my new gift card for a Gingerbread Latte at Starbucks. ;) I hope everyone else is having a great Christmas Eve!