Weekend Story [Better Late Than Never!]

I know you were all waiting (with bated breath!) for a weekend re-cap post yesterday (sarcasm!), and I’m sorry that I didn’t deliver. The truth is- I had to sub a class last minute, had a ton of studying to catch up on, and life happened. Sometimes blogging just isn’t a priority- and that’s what I love about it! I post on here when I want to and feel like I have something to share (or just get out in writing), which is usually (almost) every day.

So, anyway YES- there’s lots of great stuff that I want to share with you from the weekend!

First up: Saturday. The day began gloriously with sleeping in, a little yoga and a visit to the farmers market. I got tomatoes,cucumbers, squash, bell peppers and some delicious Asian pears (there were more, but Greg and I each ate one on the car ride home).

We also did some really fun errands, like going to the dump, recycling center and Goodwill. Not really the most fun times, but it’s always good to get rid of stuff!

A little later in the day we headed up north a bit to a get-together celebrating our friend Will’s birthday. I posted about his party the other day, and was really stoked about it! I ended up making a whole wheat Israeli couscous (the last of it from my Blend swag bag!) salad with cherry tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and goat cheese. Super simple and tasty!

I didn’t really get any pretty food pictures because we were all too busy digging into it- but here’s my plate of (blurry) deliciousness:

It included some local pulled pork BBQ (so good!), several different salads (eggplant, caprese, lentil), guac and chips, hummus and some seedy Great Harvest bread. These people know GOOD food- and many of them made dishes based on what was in their CSA- love that! And yes, I had seconds of almost everything.

There were a lot of cute kids and dogs (we didn’t bring ours) in attendance. Of course, I took a million photos of the furry kids…

Ozzy! (a dachshund and basset hound mix!) Such a funny looking guy- in a good way! You laugh just looking at him.

Sweet Remy boy (Sara and Will’s dog)

And SOLEIL! I bet you can guess why I loved her so much…

Sara and Will’s new puppy Maxx was there too- but I couldn’t get a photo of just him to save my life! He will appear in one later though… don’t you worry.

Some more photos…

Will and Nora relaxing on the hammock

Emily telling Greg that her juice box contains fruits AND veggies

Beth, me and Sara

Brad getting parenting advice, perhaps? ;)

There was also a lot of beer consumed throughout the day. Not so much by me, but man- look at what good taste my friends have!

The “empties” shot reminds me of something that I would have taken a picture of in college, to show how cool my friends and I were. Except this beer is a lot better. And I’m pretty sure that a compost pale wouldn’t have been on the counter.

Sarah made Chocolate-Covered Katie’s cookie pie (both carob chip and chocolate chip versions] for the birthday boy.

Soleil waited patiently in case Sara dropped on of the cookie pies… but no dice.

And then we roasted marshmallows, which was awesome. I haven’t done that in years! (Why the heck not, I wonder?)

See- there’s Max!

SO good.

The kids loved the marshmallows for sure!

Emily made sure that I also got a photo of her “posing” after this one was taken.

There ya go, kid. :)

She was SO proud of that photo. :)

At the end of the night, some of us gals enjoyed a little champagne with strawberries.

Classin’ it up in Solo cups!


Sunday began with some Tababta, teaching Spinning, followed by a quick trip to Giant Eagle to grab a few items that I wasn’t going to get at Whole Foods or Trader Joes (where I was doing my grocery shopping later that morning). While walking through the store, I spotted a few things:

New Chobani Flips yogurt. I guess it’s similar to the concept that Fage has- a separate container for fruit and yogurt? The banana one tempted me a little bit… but I held back. 9 times out of 10 I don’t like flavored yogurt- and just have a hard time with the crazy high amount of sugar it has (I’d rather have ice cream…). I settled on good ol’ plain Chobani as per usual- to which I will add my own fruit. :)

I also saw this:

I didn’t buy it. But I am curious to try it! I’ve had every other variety of Better ‘n PB and am a fan (although it doesn’t compare to regular real peanut butter…).

Next to the Hot Pepper PB was this weird alien substance. I posted the nutrition next to it, which I later looked up on the web (I was curious as to what ingredients made it “calorie free”)

I’ll be honest- back in say, 2007 or so I would have been all over this. I would have just seen the “Calorie free” claim and not even looked at what was in it. And I’m sure it tastes just wonderful (again, sarcasm). But “natural roasted peanut flavor?” What does that even mean? And all dyes? And Splenda? Ick! I’d rather lick the floor.

After coming home, re-fueling and getting all gussied up (in running capris and a t-shirt…) Greg and I headed down to Gaithersburg to hit Trader Joes and Whole Foods. We went to Trader Joes first- and amazingly, I have no photos to share. We bought food. Guess it wasn’t that interesting.

By the time we got to Whole Foods we were ready for lunch, and you can probably predict what that meant…

Ahh, WF salad bar and Kevita with a rainy view. Happiness.

After lunch and finishing out the grocery shopping, we made one more stop over to Fleet Feet (a running specialty store) to check out some shoes. Greg and I both wanted new shoes (running for him, and just some basic gym shoes for me) and they have an awesome selection and knowledgeable staff. I wanted to get a pair of shoes that are not white (like all of my running shoes). I’m definitely not one to spend more than 5 seconds of effort putting together an outfit for the gym, but always feel like I look a little bit special when I wear a black shirt and shorts with WHITE shoes. I was interested in the minimalist/barefoot New Balance shoes and any from the “Pure” collection by Brooks (which is like a hybrid minimalist/regular shoe), so I tried on a few different pairs.

While I absolutely adore the way the New Balance ones look, they weren’t as comfortable as the other two. I could have gotten them and broken them in I guess, but all bets were off once I tried on the purple ones (Brooks PureFlow). I loved the Brooks PureFlow shoes! And that’s not really a surprise because I have the PureGrit ones for trail running, and pretty much wear them everywhere (even when hiking 14ers!) They only had them in purple- which I wasn’t quite ready to commit to (I had my mind set on black so that they would kind of “match” everything). So, I ordered a pair of black ones with a blue sole- and hopefully they’ll arrive soon!

Greg ended up getting a pair of New Balance 1080s which he loved. Funny enough- he also tried on the Brooks Pure Flow shoes and didn’t like them. He thought they were too “squishy.”

We eventually found our way back home and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging with the pups and retired to bed early. What a great weekend. :)

One final thought: If I hadn’t quit my job, I would be returning to work today! I don’t have a shred of regret and am still 100% confident in my choice. And it feels GOOD.

Where do you grocery shop? Do you usually go to more than one store like me? Are you scared of “franken-foods?”



  1. Caitlin C. says:

    Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Fleet Feet–my three favorites in the area! If you’re looking for another great running store, you have to check out RNJ Sports in Rockville. It’s off the beaten path a little, behind Rockville Pike, but they have an AMAZING clearance room with tons of great deals (I’ve gotten shoes in there for 50-70% off. They also have the best regular prices on running and cross training shoes that I’ve found. :)

  2. I’m a fan of Better N’ PB, but not sure I could do a hot pepper & PB. Interesting combo! Looks like a FUN weekend!!! The little girls are adorable!

    • I was thinking that it might be good in a savory (Asian) kind of dish. Pad thai style… or with baked tofu.

  3. I have Brooks Pure sneaks. Mine are black with a blue sole, so maybe the same as yours. I love them, they make me feel light on my feet (which I never feel). Hope you enjoy them!

  4. Have you read Fast Food Nation? Its not really about the horrors of fast food, but more about the social/political/economic history of HOW we became a fast food nation. Anyway, there is this chapter on “flavor companies” that I found absolutely fascinating. Evidently, there are about 3 companies in NJ that make all the flavors and scents found in everything from Doritos or Pop Chips (and even LOTS of organic foods) to dish soap. Basically, anything that has the word “flavor” in the ingredients (whether its “natural” or “artificial”, and they explain the differentiation) was made by a chemist in NJ. And they create new “chemical” recipes to add to food. (I guess I feel the need to put chemical in quotes since the word has been hijacked…didnt everyone at one point have to memorize the periodic table and learn that absolutely everything is made up of chemical compounds? Irritated tangent…) Hence, the Walden Farms PB “natural peanut flavor”…Then, I found out that my best friend at school’s boyfriend is a Flavorist at one of the NJ companies! Its such crazy stuff going on behind the scenes….but the whole book is super interesting.
    ALSO (hmmm, can you tell that this is a topic that really interests me??) in my food policy class we talked alot about “frakenfoods”, and how we are creating our own dependency on them. For example, genetically engineered “high-yield” wheat and corn. The Earth’s population is so large that in order to feed everyone, we would either have to chop down more forests/wild areas (naughty) to plant regular crops…or use this new, high yield stuff on smaller plots of land. Honestly, I think wilderness preservation is the greater good, but why are we backing ourselves into this corner to begin with?? So much to think about…

    • I read Fast Food Nation back when I was student teaching! I remember that because I got it from the school’s library. So that was like… 9 years ago? I should probably read it again.
      I would have loved to take a food policy class!

  5. dogs dogs dogs! good weekend!

  6. omg doggies. Ozzy is super cute. Him and barney would have a weiner get together. ha.

    That faux-pb is scary! Yikes. I’m feeling a little bit better and am off my high horse today, so it’s not as scary as it was yesterday. :) Looks like you had a fun weekend!

    • I was thinking of you when I met Ozzy- you’d love him!
      You weren’t scary- I know exactly how you feel! When you learn all of this new information and are have an “a-ha” moment, it’s a big deal!

  7. Definitely my definition of a great weekend!! I love the Brooks pure line and the NB ones look great too, its just all about finding the right minimalist shoe! I have a friend who LIVES on those calorie free things!!! what is the point?!?!

  8. Ahhhh Trader Joes!! Love that place.

    I totally am the opposite–I get WAY bright & colorful shoes to teach in, and I have a bunch of ‘em. Hah. I dislike black or white shoes, so boring to me ;)

    Looks like a fun weekend!!

    • I have some brightly colored tops, but in general I am a very neutral-color kind of gal. I would have loved the purple shoes if I could buy more than one pair. Unfortunately I can only afford one pair right now, so it’s got to match everything!

  9. I love all the dog pictures!! So freaking cute!!

    I grocery shop at Sprouts Farmer’s Market and a local grocery store. Sometimes I head to Costco, for chicken, veggies and fruits.

    Franken-foods never scared me until recently. In fact, when I was calorie counting for Fitmixer, I relied on them. They never fueled me and I wondered why I was so hungry all the time. Now, I am only eating veggies, protein, fruit, and some whole grains. I look at ingredients a lot closer now.

  10. A friend of mine only uses that walden farms shit. So freaking disgusting.

    • They certainly are a booming business. It’s amazing how many people think that kind of stuff it “healthy!”

  11. I ususally shop at Stop & Shop every week (Sundays). If I want something specific in the produce section then I go to a local place near me. I also have my CSA during the summer so I don’t have to do too much fresh veggie shopping.

    I love when people say they went to the dump. I have an image of what the dump would look like but really no idea. I’ve never been and really want to go. How creepy is that?!

    • Woohoo – gotta love Boston! It’s either Stop & Shop or Shaws!
      The dump is not fun. Basically, it’s just a ton of big dumpsters! For some reason I remember it looking more like a landfill, but it’s a pretty organized system. And it smells. You don’t want to go.

  12. I love that you go to as many grocery stores as I do! Haha. I recently saw that zero calorie PB too. I had to pick it up to see what the hell was IN it. I kind of want to try it out of morbid curiosity… but I’m not spending money on it.

  13. I shop at Wegmans biweekly, BJs/Costco at least twice a month, trader joes is about every six weeks ( I was going weekly but I ended up buying a lot that went to waste that way). We also have a garden during the summer. With two growing boys and crappy economy my grocery bills are going up and there is nothing I can do about it :-) Good to be healthy.

  14. hmmm interesting yogurts chobani has come up with. i actually like those fage yogurts mostly bc i can control how much of the sweet stuff i use. i try to only buy plain though bc i really dont need the extra stuff.

    that zero cal pb is kinda weird..how is that possible? i stick to regular pb. ive tried the diety kinds of things or fad types and i usually eat 2 bites then it sits there forever hah.

  15. That’s some good old fashioned family fun there if I’ve ever seen it! Hot Pepper Better n’ PB??? WTF. I’ve tried that Walden Farms “PB” and almost vomited. True story.

  16. I can’t tell what is cuter: the dogs or the kids…

  17. I LOVE ALL THE DOGS!! And I want marshmallows. I agree about sugar content in flavored yogurt. Annoying!! Lol. I hadn’t bought any in a month or so but we did this week.

  18. I got some DELICIOUS Asian pears from my farmer’s market last weekend too! They were so cute and tiny…but with the sweetness, it was just enough! I really hope they have more when I in the morning!

    Looks like you had such a GREAT time with your friends! Love all the salad mixes and the beers….ugh, I’d want to try a sip from each bottle! And then I’d probably be drunk since I haven’t had a drink in like forever! Actually, the last time I drank, I had a glass of wine (like a normal 4 ouncer) and was totally tipsy by the time I finished the glass! Lol Such a light weight!

    Mmmm, s’mores! I’m surprised nobody made homemade marshmallows! I’ve always wanted to try that!

    I would have been tempted by that Chobani too…even though I STILL have the flavored containers they sent me weeks ago! I really need to figure out how I’m going to eat them. They are just SO SWEET! And the new chocolate one? Have you tried it? It’s enough to put me in a coma! Love Chobani and I know they have to cater to the GENERAL public, but I really wish they’d make some low-sugar varieties or something. :(

    And you know, I see that Walden Farms stuff ALL over Instagram! I never even knew it existed until I spotted it at a grocery store when I was on vacation in Florida a few years ago. Even if it does taste good (which I’m sure the scientists behind it made sure of), what are those people thinking?! Go with the real thing or go without! No frankenfood for me!

    I do most of my grocery shopping at Kroger or Publix… (Big Lots and TJ Maxx get figured in the mix occasionally for my “special” foods), but I REALLY wish I lived closer to a TJ’s or WF’s! It takes an hour to get to Nashville where they are and sometimes (which is most of the time here lately) I just can’t find the energy to make the trip! Totally envious of you and your salad bar lunch! *pout*

  19. I love that couscous from the swag bag! I just finished mine the other day, definitely adding it to future grocery lists!

  20. Frankenfoods scare the crap out of me. So gross and chemical, although like you said I didn’t mind 5 years ago. How times have changed.
    Your couscous salad looks delicious. Yum.

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!