Weekend Highlights: The Daily Kitchen and Bar

When given the choice, Andrew and I generally choose to eat dinner on the early side–6:30ish. ¬†I think Andrew would eat the moment he walked in the door at 5:30 if he could. ūüėČ ¬†Friday night he had a basketball game (he plays in a church league) at 6:30, so we planned on having a late date night.

After the game–they won, and Andrew was on fire!–we headed to a restaurant in the city called¬†The Daily Kitchen & Bar. ¬†We’d been once before for lunch and determined that it was definitely worth a second trip for dinner. ¬†As it turns out, we were right; after Friday this restaurant has moved to the top of our favorites list, but I’ll get into that more in a moment. ¬†When we arrived at 8:30, we were told the wait would be an hour–crazy-late for us old folks–so we gave them my phone number (they text when the table is ready so you can explore the area) and walked up the street to our favorite Thai restaurant… for appetizers ūüėÄ

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Wonton soup for me (with all the scallions given to Andrew), and tofu vegetable soup for A.

Just as we were finishing our soup, I received the text that our table was ready, so we headed back down the street to The Daily.  According to their website (and printed on the first page of the menus) :

“We strive to serve foods that are not only delicious but also health conscious, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible. ¬†We use organic, all natural, local, and sustainable ingredients as much as possible while still keeping our prices fair. ¬†In addition, we also offer an extensive selection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items.”

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In other words, this is the restaurant of our dreams.

We started with drinks:

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Pomegranate mojito for me, cucumber martini for Andrew. ¬†They were both delicious; ¬†mine tasted like straight juice, which is exactly how I want a mixed drink to taste. ūüôā ¬†Just as we were about to order our entrees, Andrew spotted something great on the appetizer menu: gluten-free calamari. ¬†We¬†love calamari, but it’s most always breaded with wheat flour, so Andrew can never have it. ¬†Despite the fact that we’d already had soup as an appetizer, we knew we needed to try this.

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Oh. My. Gosh.  The calamari was amazing.  It came with two sauces: a chipotle lemon vinaigrette and a garlic toum.  Both were fantastic.

For the entrees, Andrew ordered the blackened tuna sandwich (GF bread) with sweet potato fries and crispy Brussels sprouts.  I had the organic roasted chicken with whipped potatoes, asparagus, and a lemon herb pan sauce.

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Everything was swoon-worthy. ¬†I don’t know how else to put it. ¬†Every time we took a bite of something we felt so much joy that we’d found such a great restaurant! ¬†Let’s talk about the Brussels sprouts for a minute. ¬†The next time we go, I will be very tempted to order a few bowls of them and nothing else. ¬†The waiter told us that the sauce is a lemon-something gastrique, and somehow, the sprouts were perfectly soft on the inside yet delightfully crispy on the outside. ¬†How do they do that? ¬†And somehow, they tasted like egg rolls–and I mean that in a very good way! ¬†Who wouldn’t want to eat vegetables that taste like egg rolls? ¬†Oh, man.

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Andrew, give me your best “Most Interesting Man in the World.”

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Monster-hand spoofs ūüėČ

As you might imagine, after two appetizers and drinks neither of us had much room left in our stomachs, so we brought home a lot of leftovers, which were just as tasty the next day.  If you are in Richmond and looking for a restaurant with a. amazing food b. vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free options c.organic, socially responsible food, or d. all of the above, you must try The Daily Kitchen & Bar in Carytown!

The rest of the weekend was a nice mix of fun and relaxation. ¬†Saturday morning we went to the gym together–after Friday’s dog bite incident I just took a relatively slow walk on the treadmill. ¬†The bite mark is still pretty gross, but it doesn’t hurt as much to move today. ¬†Progress ūüėČ

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Saturday night we had a hilarious game night with some friends. ¬†Have you ever played¬†The Game of Things? ¬†It’s my favorite…and not just because it’s the only game I can almost always win. ¬†ūüôā ¬†We had church and youth group on Sunday, with a lot of lounging in between, plus a phone call to my dad for his birthday! ¬†All in all it was a great weekend.

I’m off now to attempt a run! ¬†I hope to encounter exactly zero animals, wild or otherwise.

-What did you do this weekend?
-Are you an early or late dinner-eater?

-Have you ever played Things?

Spinach, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Lasagna (Gluten-Free)

Sometimes you decide to cook a certain meal for dinner because you are craving a specific flavor. ¬†You can’t get your mind off that one meal, and any other meal will not bring you the same satisfaction. ¬†It’s decided: you¬†will¬†have that for dinner. ¬†You know what I’m talking about, right?

And sometimes you decide to cook a certain meal because your husband opened the wrong can for a recipe earlier in the week, and now you have to use its contents before it goes bad. ¬†We fell into this category this week. ūüėČ

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Doh!

On Saturday Andrew opened a can of tomato sauce rather than diced tomatoes when we were making our Brunswick stew, so we decided to use it with some kind of pasta dish this week. ¬†I didn’t feel like making plain ol’ spaghetti, and I recently found gluten-free brown rice lasagna noodles on manager’s special at Kroger, so I thought I’d give it a try!

We only used ingredients we had on hand, so you can tweak it depending on what’s in your refrigerator. ¬†It’s not technically dairy-free, but if you are like Andrew and can tolerate goat cheese but not cow cheese, this may be a great recipe for you!

Spinach, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Lasagna

1 lb ground bison (or beef)
2 15-oz can tomato sauce
8 oz sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c fresh spinach
5-6 large basil leaves, chopped
Salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper, onion powder to taste
Olive oil
6 oz goat cheese
Almond milk (splash)
9 GF lasagna noodles

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. ¬†Add mushrooms and brown. ¬†Remove mushrooms from pot. ¬†2. ¬†Add more olive oil if needed, then add ground bison to the pot, and cook until brown. ¬†3. Make room in center of pot, and add garlic. ¬†Cook until fragrant. ¬†4. ¬†Stir and add tomato sauce, mushrooms, basil, and spices. ¬†5. ¬†Reduce heat, and let simmer. ¬†6. ¬†Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. ¬†Preheat oven to 350. ¬†Add a splash of almond milk to goat cheese and mix well to give goat cheese a creamier consistency. ¬†7. Add spinach to sauce and stir. ¬†8. ¬†In a glass baking dish (9×13) layer sauce, noodles, cheese. ¬†Repeat for 3 layers and finish with sauce on top. 9. ¬†Cover and bake for 20 minutes. ¬†Remove cover and bake for 10 more minutes.

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Oh man. ¬†This tasted so good. ¬†I am not ashamed to say that we ate half the pan that night! ¬†I’m a huge fan of brown rice noodles too–I like that they are whole grain but taste exponentially better than whole wheat noodles. ¬†The texture is way better than regular pasta too. ¬†So good.

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Mmm ūüôā

While I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of having pasta when Andrew opened that can Saturday, it did push me to try a new recipe–and the end result was fantastic! ¬†We will be making this dish more often!

Have a great Thursday!

-What are you cooking tonight?
-Have you ever been forced to cook something because you accidentally opened a can/package? ¬†ūüėÄ
-Do you prefer brown rice, whole wheat, or regular noodles?

Warm Days in February + Homemade Baked Beans

Looking out my window now at the cold, gray rain, it’s hard to believe that yesterday was uncharacteristically warm and sunny for February. ¬†Andrew and I took advantage of the beautiful day by heading to a park for a walk.

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The lake, which had clearly been frozen solid, was beginning to thaw, and it was beautiful. ¬†I loved watching the ducks waddle from the ice into the water. ūüôā ¬†We spent about 45 minutes walking around the trails and the lake, and it was a much-welcomed change of scenery from the gym workouts we’ve been doing lately due to the cold weather!

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Crazy Eyes: we got ’em

 As we were heading back to the car, we ran into one of the girls in the youth group that I work with.  Naturally, Andrew decided to throw a snowball at her and her friend.

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Sorry, Brooke; ¬†it’s never a fair fight with that guy. ūüėČ

Later in the evening, we went to our friends Evan and Kristina’s house to watch the Super Bowl with friends. ¬†I had decided to make baked beans (from scratch) in the Crock Pot to bring as our contribution. ¬†Despite the fact that I’d started cooking them at 8:30 AM, they were still not quite done nine hours later, so we brought the whole Crock Pot to the party to allow them more cooking time. ¬†ūüėÄ

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Navy beans (soaked over night and rinsed) + bacon + brown sugar + molasses + Dijon mustard + salt + pepper + onion powder + water

The flavor was really good, but they never got quite soft enough. ¬†Any advice from more experienced Crock Pot users? ¬†Is that just the texture of beans that don’t come from a can? ¬†I’d love to give them another shot… once we finish the half-gallon of this batch still left in our fridge. ūüėČ

Have a great Monday!

-What was your favorite Super Bowl snack/dish from last night?
-If you had a warm day yesterday like us, how did you spend it?
-What’s the best thing you did this weekend?

Andrew at the Gym and Other Gym Things

Happy Friday, everyone!

Last night Andrew and I hit the gym right after work. ¬†I don’t typically work out in the evening–the gym is the most crowded, and my flexible schedule allows me to go other times–but Andrew does, and he asked me that morning if we could go.

As soon as we walked in, Andrew realized he’d left his lock at home (which is kind of amazing considering there have been at least three incidents in the last month in which Andrew has been on his way out the door to the gym and said, “I can’t find my lock… I think I left it on the locker the last time I was at the gym.” ¬†He’s been right every time. ¬†He just locks it back up like it’s high school :-D). ¬†Without a lock, Andrew decided to give me his stuff to put in my locker. ¬†He disrobed in the hallway and gave me his sweatpants, sweatshirt and big winter coat–I looked like I was carrying a full load of laundry into the locker room, friends. ¬† ūüėČ

Anyway, I met him back out in the main exercise room and hopped on an Elliptical beside him (he was biking at this point.) ¬†I wanted to do a little cardio warm up before lifting weights, and Andrew was just killing time until a treadmill opened. ¬†After about 5 or 10 minutes, a treadmill in the row in front of us opened. ¬†Andrew got off his bike, went to wipe it down while the treadmill user did the same for his equipment, and just as Andrew was walking toward it, a girl swooped in and took that treadmill! ¬†The nerve! (I’m kidding, she had no idea; ¬†she saw an open treadmill in a very crowded gym.) ¬†After a few more minutes, he was on another treadmill, and I hit up the weight area.

At this point, I saw an opportunity. ¬†I always feel a little bit funny taking pictures, especially selfies, in the gym, and Andrew would NEVER agree to me taking a photo of him at the gym. ¬†While I was doing the leg press, however, I realized I could take a sneaky shot of both of us. ¬†My feet + Andrew huffing away on the right. ¬†Heh heh heh. ¬†(Yes, it’s the little things. :-D)

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After I’d lifted all the weights I cared to lift for the night, I hopped on the treadmill next to Andrew to do a cool down walk. ¬†I glanced over at his dashboard to see how fast he was running, as I am in the bad habit of doing (earlier in January when I was recovering from being really sick, I went to the gym with the firm plan of running 3 miles at a 6.0 (10 min/mile pace) just to help myself ease back into exercise. ¬†The girl next to me was someone I knew from high school, and I saw that she was running at an 8.0-9.0 and had been for a few miles already. ¬†Competition kicked in, and “The Club Can’t Handle Me” came on my iphone, and I thought, “Yeah, the club¬†can’t even handle me right now,” as I foolishly upped my pace to an 8.0. ¬†I maintained this for about a mile, then had to walk because… I was still getting over the flu. ¬†It wore me out for the rest of the day. ¬†Lesson learned: listening to and honoring your body trumps competition and pride.) ¬†Anyway, I looked at Andrew’s stats and saw that he, my I-hate-running-but-sometimes-do-it-because-it’s-good-for-me husband, was running a 7:30 mile pace and had been doing it for quite a few miles! ¬†I know he has the advantage of long legs and male body composition, but I just didn’t know he could run that fast for that long! ¬†There was no time to get competitive at that point, but I think I’m going to have to up my running game and challenge him to a duel race in a couple of months. ¬†I don’t see any other option.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. ūüôā ¬†Have a great weekend!

-Do you look at how fast other people are running/pedaling/ellipticaling next to you at the gym?  Does it ever cause you to alter your own speed?
Do you take pictures at the gym?  How do you do it without feeling awkward?
-Are you and your significant other competitive when it comes to fitness things?

Snow Day Cookin’

Greetings on this beautiful, snowy morning!  Is anyone snowed-in, legitimately or otherwise?  Richmond is notorious for shutting down at the first suggestion of flurries.  I was thrilled this morning to see that my office is closed today; sure, we only have about two inches of snow, but I gladly rolled over and fell back asleep!

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Yesterday was my day off, and I don’t know if it was the cold temperatures, anticipation of the snow, or procrastination of the cleaning projects I’d planned to do, but all I wanted to do was cook delicious food! ¬†And cook delicious food, I did. ūüôā

First up was a batch of Raspberry Orange Muffins:

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I started with this basic muffin recipe from 100 Days of Real Food, but used gluten-free flour rather than whole wheat. ¬†I used a cup of chopped, previously-frozen raspberries and mango-orange juice in place of the regular OJ. ¬†Delicious. ¬†They aren’t super sweet, but they are healthier than your average muffin. ¬†Each one of these guys contains roughly:

-150 calories
-5g fat
-3g protein
-2g fiber
-5.5g sugar

Not bad!

Next up was dinner, and I was feeling ambitious. ¬†For the first time in my life, I cooked a whole chicken. ¬†You culinary pros are probably thinking,¬†Yeah, so?,¬†and my vegetarian friends probably just closed out this window (sorry, guys :)), but this was a big deal! ¬†As someone who regularly reevaluates her stance on eating meat (you can expect a post about that in the near future), this was huge. ¬†Aaand it was delicious. ¬†I mean, seriously… how beautiful is this? :

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I basically used this recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  Inside the chicken I put a lemon (quartered) and about four cloves of garlic (crushed).  After looking at a few other recipes I decided to cook it at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400 degrees.  I took the chicken out of the oven after it had been on 400 for an hour just to check it, thinking it would need more time, and the internal temperature was slightly above where it was supposed to be, so I just let it rest!

With the chicken we had roasted beets, carrots, and red potatoes with rosemary

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When Andrew came home from work, the chicken was in the oven, and I was prepping the veggies.  He peeked in the oven, and was clearly surprised/impressed.  Because we still had about an hour to go until everything would be ready, Andrew decided to go to the gym for a quick workout.  When he walked back in the door, he was holding these:

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Me:  Flowers?? And wine??  What are these for?

Andrew: You made such a fancy dinner, and I wanted you to know that I appreciate it.

Me: I don’t know if it’s that fancy; I just felt like cooking!

Andrew:YOU COOKED A WHOLE CHICKEN! ¬†That’s FANCY!

Love that guy. ūüôā

So we ate our fancy chicken and roasted vegetables, and we drank our fancy wine, and we watched our fancy show,¬†The Biggest Loser. ¬†(Okay, I may be overreaching with my use of “fancy” ;-)).

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Andrew’s taste-test of the chicken went something like this: ¬†“That’s good. ¬†Whoa. ¬†That’s like¬†really good.” ¬†I must say, I was not at all disappointed by how it turned out either!

Now that we have enough food to last us a few days, I’m afraid I actually have to use this snow day to do some house-cleaning…after I go to the gym, perhaps. ūüôā

-Any snow outside your window today?
Have you ever cooked a whole chicken?

2014 Goals + New Year’s Day Cuisine

Happy 2014 (a few days late)!

I know some people are vehemently against New Year’s resolutions, and I don’t totally understand that. ¬†The first of January provides a great, if only symbolic chance to start fresh and dream about what life might look like in the coming year. ¬†It’s as good a time as any to make a change, so why not? ¬†Why wait for the sake of rebelling against the tradition?

At the beginning of January I like to set goals rather than make standard resolutions–they might be functionally the same, but goals seem more attainable and specific than resolutions, which I tend to think of as more vague concepts (“Put 20% of my paycheck into savings” rather than, “Save money.”)

Here are some of my goals for 2014:

1. Run 750 miles. I’ve never tallied my mileage over the course of an entire year, but at roughly two miles per day, this seems attainable.

2. Run a marathon. ¬†This was on my list of 2013 goals, and it just didn’t happen (I did, however, run three races last year, which was another goal :)). ¬†If I succeed at this, running 750 miles during the year should be no problem!

3. Perform one random act of kindness every week.  Preferably anonymously.

4. Write three highlights of every day.  I purchased a small planner that has room to write something for each day, and I plan to journal at least three high points daily.  I am already really looking forward to having the completed journal at the end of the year and being able to reflect on all the good times.

5. Cook dinner for other people once a month. ¬†I love cooking. ¬†I love sharing food with others. ¬†Friends–come over for dinner, and let us love you by cooking you (hopefully) delicious food. ¬†ūüėÄ

So far I am off to a good start: ¬†On New Year’s Day Andrew and I ran 3.5 miles (this was a big deal as Andrew does not enjoy running; half a mile in he said, “Are you ready for me to start complaining yet?” ;-)), I’ve written in my journal/planner each day, and Wednesday night our friends Amanda and Diron came over for a New Year’s Day dinner! ¬†We made a rosemary-garlic pork tenderloin, baked apples, black-eyed peas, and collard greens & kale. ¬†(I don’t think of myself as a typical Southern girl, but my family definitely has some Southern traditions when it comes to food. ¬†We also eat oyster stew on Christmas morning. ¬†Anyone else?¬†:)) ¬†I forgot to take any pictures on NYD, but thankfully we had most of the leftovers for dinner last night, minus the pork which Andrew finished for lunch. ¬†Here’s the modified leftovers meal:

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Collard greens & kale, baked apples with butter and brown sugar, black-eyed peas with tomatoes, and lemon-thyme chicken

Not a bad start to the year. ūüôā

-What are your goals or resolutions for 2014?
-Does your family have any interesting food traditions around the holidays?

Spousal Miscommunication and The Resilient Fish Tacos

Have you ever had a meal in which the individual components tasted just okay, but the combined result tasted rather fantastic? ¬†Food synergy. ¬†We had such a meal last night–one that was almost disastrous thanks to a spousal miscommunication (spoiler alert: it was Andrew’s fault).

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Fish tacos. ¬†Simple. ¬†Small pieces of fish, seasoned and baked + coleslaw + mango salsa. ¬†I put Andrew in charge of the fish because he’s good at seasoning food, and I hate working with raw meat; I started the mango salsa, which we typically make with mango, red bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and a little salt–just something to sweeten the tacos. ¬†We have a lot of tomatillos from our garden in bags in the freezer, which I thought would make a great addition to this salsa.

I mixed all the ingredients, ate a spoonful, and…

“This just does not taste great.”

“Really?

(Andrew takes a bite of the salsa and makes a funny face.)

“Yeah, that’s not good.”

“Right? ¬†I thought the tomatillos would taste so good in this.”

“That’s just not how tomatillos usually taste… Oh. ¬†Uh oh.”

“Uh oh, what?”

“Umm, I think you may have used unripe tomatoes.”

“Why are there unripe tomatoes in our freezer?”

“I didn’t want to waste them!”

That’s right–when we said goodbye to our tomato plants in September, Andrew couldn’t bear the thought of wasting the green tomatoes still on the branches, so he picked and froze them. ¬†Why? ¬†How would we use them? ¬†Friends, I have no idea. ¬†Unripe tomatoes and perfectly ripe tomatillos look dangerously similar, but taste very, very different.

Because¬†I¬†couldn’t bear the thought of wasting the mangos and red peppers we’d already put in the salsa (and because I have just a touch of OCD…) I picked out all of the little green tomato pieces, rinsed what was left in a colander, and added actual tomatillos.

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<Sigh.>

The fish was a little bit dry, the salsa tasted okay, but I couldn’t get the memory of the original batch out of my head, and the coleslaw tasted like mayonnaise. ¬†But together? ¬†Together they tasted awesome. ¬†Beautiful food synergy, in which the end result was greater than the sum of the individual components. ¬†They even managed to survive a serious spousal miscommunication.

You go, fish tacos.

-Please tell me any hilarious miscommunications you’ve had with your significant other.
-Now that I know we have unripe tomatoes in my freezer, does anyone know how we can use them (if at all)?

Late Wedding Photos + This Week Randomness

This week has been a bit hectic, so I haven’t had much time to blog. ¬† ¬†Here’s a quick recap of our week, as told mostly by the photos on my phone:

1.

Jenny1Andrew’s sister, Jenny, is in town from Denver this week, and it’s been so great to spend time with her!! ¬†In the photo above, Andrew is giving her the extensive tour of our garden. ¬†We’ve also been able to do dinner a few nights, and we convinced her to come to yoga with us last night. ūüėÄ ¬†We love you, Jenny!

2.

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For date night dinner Saturday we opted for (mostly) convenienceРApplegate Farms chicken tenders (GF nuggets for Andrew), Alexia spicy sweet potato fries, and roasted beets.  Mmm.  I love to cook, but sometimes you just need to pull a box out of the freezer.

3.

heart monitor

I’ve been having weird heart palpitations the last few weeks, so I went to the doctor on Tuesday to get it checked out. ¬†It’s probably nothing serious, but they hooked me up to this lovely heart monitor (there are five more electrodes stuck to me in places you can’t see…all I can say is, “TGISS”–thank God it’s scarf season. ;-)) I had to wear it for 24 hours and record when the palpitations occurred and very specifically what I was doing. ¬†How did my dear, loving Andrew respond to this? ¬†He tried to do as many weird things as possible so that if a palpitation occurred I’d have to record, “Having my face licked,” or “Watching my husband dance with a shirt tied around his head.” ¬†(He did not succeed, so I did not have to write anything weird :-D). ¬†Anyway, I should get the results within a week, but, again, I’m not super worried, so you shouldn’t be either (I’m talking to you, Daddy ;-)).

4.

 bobcat goat1

If you read this blog regularly, you probably know that I love goats and that there is this beautiful park in Richmond (Maymont) that has goats and other animals. ¬†My friend Kate and I walked there yesterday for exercise and to enjoy the fantastic fall weather. ¬†In addition to the goats, we were able to see the bobcat, which I had never seen there before! ¬†It usually stays in the indoor part of its habitat. ¬†Very cool. ūüôā

Kate took our late bridal/wedding photos a few weeks ago, and she gave me the disc with all the photos yesterday when we got together.  They. Look. Awesome.  Here are some of my favorites (sorry in advance for the photo overload) :

Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey  Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey

Catherine & Andrew Storey

Catherine & Andrew Storey Catherine & Andrew Storey   Catherine & Andrew Storey  Catherine & Andrew Storey

A huge thanks to our friend Katie for giving us this photo shoot as our wedding gift, and thanks to Kate for being so talented and working with us! ¬†After doing this, I think everyone should take after-the-fact wedding photos–no wedding day stress, no rush to get to the reception so guests aren’t waiting, a chance to put that dress back on… ūüôā ¬†Yeah, we waited a while to actually take them, but we don’t look that different from our wedding day, and I know ten years from now we won’t be able to notice the 1.5 year age difference.

You can check out more of Kate’s work here.

That’s been our week (so far) in a nutshell. ¬†Have a great Thursday!

-Has anyone else taken late bridal portraits/wedding photos?
-Heart palpitations: have you ever experienced them?  Were they anything serious?

Goat-Feeding, Photo Shoots, and Pumpkins

Andrew and I had a relaxing day off Monday.  It was a beautiful day, so we decided to spend most of the afternoon at Maymont.

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We fed the goats:

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In case you don’t know, I really love goats and regularly ask Andrew if we can have one as a pet (“They’re just like funny little dogs!“) ¬†I think he takes me to Maymont somewhat often to satisfy that desire without actually getting a goat. ¬†(“Yeah, funny little dogs that have horns and eat everything.“) ¬†ūüėČ

After feeding the goats, we looked at the other animals, walked around the park, and just enjoyed our time together.

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Monday evening we did something that was¬†long overdue and also a lot of fun. ¬†When we got married a year and a half ago, a good friend of ours, Katie, paid for me to have bridal portraits done with another good friend, Kate,¬†as her wedding gift to us. ¬†It was an incredibly generous gift! ¬†Kate and I were relieved that, as good friends, we could schedule the photo shoot on our own time and not worry about being super professional. ¬†Well, to make a long story short, we finally took my bridal portraits Monday! ¬†To make it more fun though, I convinced Andrew to dress up so we could do some couple’s shots in addition to just bridal.

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I put my wedding dress back on (it’s a little snugger than it was a year and a half ago, but it still fits! :-D) with my cowboy boots, Andrew put on a light blue shirt and khakis, and Kate drove us out to a random field in the country where we had the most beautiful photo shoot!

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Kate is insanely talented (obviously); I have no idea how to pose for pictures like this (and neither does Andrew), but Kate was awesome and told us exactly what to do!¬† I can’t wait to see the rest of the photos!

The week since Monday has been consumed by…. PUMPKINS! ¬†As a fundraiser for mission trips, my youth group has a pumpkin patch on the front lawn of our church during the month of October. ¬†The semi-truck full of pumpkins arrived early Tuesday morning:

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In case you can’t tell by the photo, that’s a whole lot of pumpkins. ¬†It took a large group of us about three hours to unload them all; ¬†I did more directing than lifting, but I am still really sore! ¬†If you live in the Richmond area, consider buying your pumpkins from Trinity UMC… the money goes to a great cause!

Other than hauling pumpkins, I have been pretty lazy about working out in the last week. ¬†Andrew and I walked for an hour last night after dinner, and I’m going to ¬†do some lifting today (now that I’ve typed it I can’t back out :)).

Have a great Thursday!

-Goats: love them or fear them?
-Has anyone else taken bridal/wedding photos long after the wedding??
-When are you stopping by my church to buy your pumpkins? ūüėČ

Sleep Deprivation and Why My Husband is the Best

Good morning! ¬†The last week has been slightly hectic, and I apologize for my subsequent blogging hiatus. ¬†Every time I started a new post I thought, I got nothing. ¬†Don’t worry… I have returned :).

On Friday night our youth group had a lock-in at church–50+ people, all night, no sleep. ¬†The night was full of: manhunt (similar to hide-and-seek), dodge ball, movies, a ghost tour, duct tape games, and lots of food.

lockin1 lockin2

 

The object of the duct tape game was to tape someone so that they hang on the wall for the longest once the chair is pulled away.  The winner (the girl on the right in the above photo) said her winning strategy was simple: wear pants.  Great life advice as well.

lockin

Part of the “ghost tour”… it’s not everyday you get to wear a gorilla costume ūüėÄ

¬†I had a blast, and I think all the youth did as well, but I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from the lack of sleep! ¬†Spoiler alert: when I don’t get enough sleep, I become helpless, and Andrew is a saint. ¬†I crawled into my bed around 8:45 AM and slept until 12:30 PM Saturday. ¬†When I finally shuffled myself downstairs to the kitchen, my sweet, sweet husband handed me a bowl of overnight oats. ¬†Before he’d gone to bed Friday night, Andrew prepared my breakfast knowing I’d be too exhausted to function Saturday morning. ¬†How sweet is that?

After very slowly eating breakfast, I was ready for a nap. ¬†(Yes, one hour and the process of eating oatmeal zapped all my energy.) ¬†I hobbled back upstairs, crawled back into bed, but could not seem to fall asleep. ¬†I started thinking about soup. ¬†It was a little chilly, and I was so tired, and soup sounded like just about the greatest thing in the world. ¬†But how can I get this soup? ¬†I’m upstairs in bed. ¬†Do we even have soup in the house? ¬†I decided my only option was to call Andrew’s cell phone (he was still all the way downstairs at this point). ¬†I called and sadly heard his phone vibrating on his bedside table. ¬†Dang.

I hobbled back downstairs and stood in the kitchen, where Andrew had pulled out the rubber gloves and was deep cleaning the sink and counters.  After a minute he turned and looked at me.

“Hi honey. ¬†How are you doing?”

“I’m tired. ¬†Let’s make soup.”

“We can make soup, but I don’t think we have everything we need. ¬†Do you want me to go out and get you some soup?”

“I don’t know. ¬†I think I need a shower.”

Andrew went back to cleaning because he’s an awesome husband, and I made the trip upstairs to take a shower… where I fell asleep. ¬†When I finally got myself ready to leave the house (it took longer than you might think), Andrew walked upstairs to change clothes. ¬†He picked up his cell phone.

“Did you call me at 1:30?”

“Yeah.”

“Where were you?”

(I patted my side of the bed.)

“You called me from the bed?”

“Yeah. ¬†About the soup.”

“What about the soup?”

“That I wanted some.”

“I didn’t have my phone with me.”

“…I know.”

Sleep deprivation at its finest. ¬†God bless that man for being patient with me. ūüėÄ

We ran a few errands, acquired all the ingredients for this soup, and made my sleepy dreams come true:

lockin4

Mmm. ¬†Soup. ¬†ūüôā

Sleep was the theme of the rest of the weekend: ¬†fell asleep on the couch Saturday night, slept in Sunday morning, fell asleep on the couch again Sunday afternoon…

Andrew and I both took off work today because my lack of sleep stole our weekend, and we have some good things planned for the day (that’s not entirely true… we are¬†planning to plan some good things for the day, but so far we haven’t made it past, “Sleep in and eat breakfast.” ūüėÄ

Have a great Monday!

Sleep deprivation:  do you become as helpless as I do?
What did you do this weekend?
Have you ever worn a gorilla costume?