Date Night Fun

I did so much shopping last week, which is so unlike me. I had a mall excursion that was unplanned because I needed to kill a couple hours. This is where I landed the spiralizer I mentioned previously. Then there was the one-store trip to find an outfit for a social event. Even though I don’t really enjoy shopping, I had some shopping planned for date night Saturday. We were going to 2 stores we had never been to before and I looked at it as a kind of adventure.

REIFirst up was REI. A few weeks ago I had never heard of this store. REI stands for Recreational Equipment, Inc. and it turns out there are over 100 stores all over the US. There are only 2 in my state, the closest one is 30 miles. So, why go there? Lisa Macy posted a link to some great core exercises on where I learned what a slackline is. This looked like a fun way to work on my balance and core. When I found out they aren’t too expensive, I thought I’d order one. Once I selected one, it turned out I could get it cheaper through REI than the manufacturer and even better there would be no shipping charge if I picked up in the store.

I love the outdoors. Even though I’ve become a couch potato and have never been athletic, my early childhood was in a rural area with lots lakes and lots of time spent in nature. I’ve always loved hiking and camping and water. I grew up a Girl Scout. Yep, the whole way. My mother was the leader of my troop most of the time. Our family vacations were always camping. Nature gives me a sense of peace and tranquility. There’s something mesmerizing to me about staring into a campfire.

REI is an awesome store for the outdoor lover. We browsed kayaks and camping and those hiking hats I saw people wearing out west on my hikes up the peaks and backpacks and hammocks and granola/protein bars and winter jackets on clearance and shoes and bikes and more. Oh, it was so much fun!  At the checkout I learned the store is a co-op. I joined for a one-time fee of $20 that goes towards good stuff and members get benefits too.

I don’t have the slackline up yet, it’s been raining every day. I hope it doesn’t get shoved in a corner and gather dust…

Next stop was a running store a few miles away from REI. A real running store! All the running stores are in the city, so I haven’t made it to one yet. I got fitted for a new pair of shoes. Well, that was fun. It only took at least ten different tries (different one on each foot) plus walking on the treadmill and video taping. And the salesman wanted to know what I was going to do with the shoes, maybe just walking? I didn’t punch him, but I did only say I’m “trying” to run. I may not look like your typical runner (or my Darling either at all) but was I really in a running store buying running shoes to just walk? Cheeky young man! I ended up with the pair that had the most awesome new technology (salesman speaking), the Adidas Supernova Boost Sequence 7. I have to say, the salesman knew his stuff, I’m pretty happy with the shoes so far. I also got a couple headbands to control the hair and sweat, a new roller that has the pvc center and nubby foam (my old one is the white solid foam) and a ‘The Stick’ which my husband loves, me not so much. It seems a bit pinchy.


What date night is complete without dinner? We checked out a new restaurant to round out the adventure. I ordered blackened ahi tuna with asian slaw. It was delicious and I thought a pretty healthy choice. Oops, I thought I had snapped a pic of the ahi, but all I could find was this one:


Key Lime Pie

Not Everyone Is Beautiful

Excellent post, please read. Thanks for sharing Abbi.

Mindless Productivity

Every two or three days, I see an article or blog post or forwarded inspirational quote about beauty. It’s usually something affirming like

“You are beautiful, whether you know it or not.”

“We are all beautiful.”

“Everyone is beautiful to somebody.”

It’s cheerful stuff. It builds the self-esteem, makes people feel valued, and spreads joy and happiness across the internet.

It’s also bullshit.

angry face enraged

And you know it’s bullshit, because you really wanted to laugh at that picture.

Everyone is not beautiful. Some people have tumors the size of a second head growing out of their ears. Some people have skin like the Michelin man. Some people lose fingers, legs, or eyes in horrific assembly-line machine accidents. People have warts and blemishes and hair loss and dead teeth and lazy eyes and cleft palates and third nipples and unibrows.

There are plenty of people that are not physically appealing to look at, the…

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New Recipe #10 – Pork Roast with Apples and Sweet Potatoes

When I saw this recipe, I had to give it a try. I love pork. I love apples. I love sweet potatoes. I don’t know what possessed me to try rubbing the pork with the crushed fennel seeds (something I had never tried). I had seen several recipes using them and I guess I thought it might be a good addition with the apples and sweet potatoes. And it was delicious. But the real stars were the roasted apples and sweet potatoes. I think from now on I will mostly opt to roast my sweet potatoes. Yum. I made this recipe a second time already, without the fennel and adding sauerkaut under the roast in the pan and skipping the sauce. This was also delicious.

Pork Roast with Apples and Sweet Potatoes


4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 pork roast (2 1/2 pounds), tied at 1-inch intervals
Salt and pepper
(crushed, toasted fennel seeds)
3 Gala apples, quartered
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Coat a heavy-bottomed metal roasting pan with 2 teaspoons oil. Place pork in center and season with salt and pepper (and coat with crushed fennel seeds). Roast until top is golden, about 15 minutes.

  2. Toss apples and sweet potatoes with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and add to pan, arranging around pork. Return to oven and roast until apples and sweet potatoes are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of pork reads 140 degrees, about 20 minutes.

3. Remove pork, apples, and sweet potatoes from pan. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before slicing. To make the sauce, whisk flour into pan drippings over medium heat, then slowly whisk in chicken broth and cook until thickened.