Holiday! Celebrate! Wisdom Wednesday

This giant jug of happiness has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my life. For the past 2 years, I have been putting in my daily joy into my jug and every February 17th, I take time to review all the amazingly wonderful things that have happened over the past year. I don't always put happy but I always write something encouraging growth, change, challenge and just pure happy. This year, it was more jam packed than the year before. I am going to go out on a limb and say this has nourished my soul and my being more than I have ever imagined. I end each day with a positive thought, who knew what an impact it would have on me. I sleep better, I feel better, I have more energy and most importantly, I am proud of and happy with my life. A reminder like this, is beyond priceless.  Time to start filling your jug.

Weekly Conversation

 My conversation today is with Chef Andrew Kintigh

As registered dietitians, we love food and know exactly how food functions in our bodies and many of us incorporate cooking and recipes into our profession. Enter, Chef Andrew. As a registered dietitian, I value the expertise the professionals who work with food daily, which is knowing the science behind cooking. Chef Andrew is someone I have gotten to know over the past couple years and I value him and his education because he knows more about cooking than I do.  Chef Andrew shares his journey and a few tips and tricks for the dietitian who loves to cook.

Birthday Weekend in Review

I took off on a jet plane and headed to sunny Florida for a little birthday weekend o' fun and to do a little podcasting along the way with someone I am very excited to share with you in a couple weeks!  I was wisked away from the airport by some great friends with a goodie bag of all things I love in pretty gold and hearts and pink and chocolate and popcorn and vodka and lemon and ahhh, so sweet. We hopped on A1A Beachfront Avenue and drove down the coast. It was gorgeous. It was rejuvenating. It was inspiring. It was exactly where I wanted to be.

We ended up at Cocoa Beach for a day and felt the sand between our toes, with the cool ocean breezes running through our hair and had cocktails at sunset. Cocoa Beach is a great beach town to walk around, clean and the beach is full of open space. I would highly recommend as a great place to visit.  

After a day of exploring and since I have been on an oyster adventure this year, I had to add Florida to my list. We took a little stroll from our hotel and went to a low-key open air bar called The Thirsty Oyster looking for shrimp cocktail, oysters and beer. Of course I needed a few french fries too!  We tried both the cooked and the raw and the raw were much better and my favorite. We ordered 3 different times because we couldn't get enough. The bar was nothing fancy but the atmosphere was cool and laid-back. 

The next day we continued our travels by Vero Beach, Jupiter, West Palm Beach and Delray Beach to Boca Raton. We stopped in West Palm Beach to cruise around the city, see the shops and sit and listen to the ocean at nightfall. There is nothing like the ocean at night. It is my favorite lullaby. 

As we made our way back from our little beach getaway, my last couple days were spent in Orlando. No, not Disney. Been there done that, will probably not do it again. Instead, we spent an evening downtown Orlando which I have never been. 

I entered downtown through Church Street where there is an historic train station and a stunning development in the heart of the city. There is cool vibe and a variety of dining and drinking options, including movies, theater and living spaces which is close to the Amway Center. We ventured further into the downtown area and walked around the infamous park in the middle of downtown, Lake Eola

I adored our walk around this park and the lake. At night, there are people everywhere with a playground for kids, amphitheater and swans.  There were paddle boats, but that is not my jam thanks to my cousin Lindsey and a stint in Boise. I am sure I will revisit that story someday. Anyway, you must escape from the high-rises and inner city feel by heading for a walk at Lake Eola. 

After we stopped at a few local watering holes of which I do not remember the names of because I was indulging in a few libations, one of my friends told me from the start of the evening we would end up going to Gringos Locos for the some of the best tacos called the Double D's.  Yep, these bad boys were pretty delicious. I think it is the kick ass queso in between the shells. I ordered 3 and I ate 2 1/2. And I had chips and quest too. And I may have had a very large beer in a brown bag. 

The next day was full of hydration, a day out on the lake in the boat, mimosas and a lovely quite dinner at home of filets, caramelized onion mashed potatoes, a dreamy kale salad, with wine, great company and conversation. And if this wasn't enough, 2 of us ladies were celebrating being badass Februarians and were treated to our favorite desserts of cheesecake and key lime pie. I think I should celebrate birthdays with other more often because a variety of dessert is involved. We ended the night in the hot tub and 5 hours later, I was headed back to Iowa. What a great birthday. 

Workout Playlist of the Week

In honor of the year I was born, here is a playlist of songs created 41 years ago to get your sweat on!

What I Love Right Now

I love this hilariously awesome gift. Now I can brush my teeth to the sweet sounds of the Biebs and snuggle up with him by the fireplace every night thanks to Jason.