Saturday, January 23, 2016

Winter Farm Basket

I decided to try a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm basket this winter.  I found a farm that was really close to my house.  Unfortunately, they had to change their farm stand location because the one close to me didn't have any heat and the bathroom didn't work (and the landlord wasn't willing to fix either).  So now I go to Sandy to get my bucket of stuff.  I just wish that they included a list of items in the bucket.  I am not always sure what everything is.

I really like it so far.  It is a bit challenging for me because there are a lot of greens that I don't know or know what to do with. A few weeks ago I made fried rice with bok choy and it was yummy.  Today I made potato pancakes almost entirely from my bucket.  I used red potatoes, half a giant onion, and green onions from my basket.  The only other ingredients were spices, oil, and corn meal.  I thought that was pretty exciting.  I was even more ecstatic when my husband came in, said it smelled delicious, and then ate one and called it phenomenal.  My daughter even ate one!

The farm is called Urban Farm & Feed and this is their website: They are incredibly nice and I love going to their farm stand.  This week they have some citrus that was grown in Arizona and it is incredible!  I got tangelos, grapefruit, and lemons.  They are delicious and juicy.

My recipe for the potato pancakes comes from America's Test Kitchen:

2 lb (~4 med potatoes) ~I peeled mine
1 onion
1 egg
2 Tablespoons maza (I just used corn meal)
4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (I used about 2 teaspoons dried)
4 Shallots, chopped (I used 4 small green onions from my basket, including the green tops)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
oil for frying

Grate the potatoes and onion. Put in a fine mesh strainer and let all the liquid seep out.  I didn't get any liquid, so I ran it under the faucet for a few seconds (not very long, you don't need too much).  Let the liquid sit for at least 2 minutes.  You will get a thick starch that separates and that is what you want to keep.  Discard the liquid, but keep the starch.

Whisk the other ingredients (except frying oil) into the reserved potato starch.  Then fold in the potatoes and onions until well blended. Then make patties.  The recipe called for squeezing out the liquid and forming patties.  I was lazy and just scooped it out and smooshed it flat in the frying pan, they were not restaurant style, but I prefer the homemade look of the rough edges.  Fry them until they are golden brown on each side.  They seemed to work a little better when I only flipped them once, but I am not the most skilled frying cook.

They say you can freeze them and then reheat them in a 375 degree oven.  I am not sure if I will freeze the leftovers or not.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Favorite Shampoo & Conditioner

I have tried making my own shampoo and it was fun.  But I don't think it is quite my thing.  I might try it again someday.  But I have always loved Suave brand.  I usually get the Daily Clarifying shampoo, and recently, I found it in the conditioner too.

I have to say I love it!  I think I used it a looong time ago but haven't found it in any stores for awhile.  So I would just get the fragrance that I liked, which always change.  I am not a big fan of fragrance for anything. I would rather they made them "free and clear" for everything.  But I guess most consumers like the different scents.  I wish Suave would make their lotions and deodorants and other skin care products without fragrance too, I would love that!

I was surprised to find that the Daily Clarifying conditioner was actually different on my hair than any of the ones with fragrance.  I don't really like to wash my hair everyday.  The natural oils seem to really help it grow and stay healthy.  With my crazy life as a mom, I don't always get to take a shower when I want to, and when the new one comes I am sure it will get even worse.  So being able to have non-greasy hair for a few days is really awesome!  I typically go 2-3 days between hair washing and on bad weeks it can be 4.  This conditioner was a great find!

The other great thing about it is that it doesn't cost a fortune.  I do remember the days when I could find Suave on sale for 69 cents a bottle, but that was at least 10 years ago.  I miss those days.  Typically I can find the big family sized bottles for about $1.79 or something like that.  Compare the price to any other shampoo/conditioner (except maybe cheapo White Rain, which I don't really like) and you still have an incredible deal.

I know that I haven't written anything for a long time, and a post about shampoo and conditioner is pretty odd for me.  But I have been thinking about it for a few weeks and finally took the time to type it up.  Maybe this will be a start to get me back into writing a bit.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

7 Week Break

So I wasn't planning to take a break from swimming, but I did.  I finally got back in today.  I swan 4,000 yards.  I did 2,000 then a 1,500 with paddles, and 500 cool down.  It felt really nice, until I went to the store and my tailbone freaked out on me...But that is my fault for not exercising like I should be.

During my time off from swimming, I did a fitness challenge.  It was a month of daily exercises.  I did all but two days.  I missed the last one because I hurt my back.  But I completed the rest.  I think that I will try a different month-long challenge soon.

Monday, March 2, 2015

30 Day Challenge

I decided to start a 30 day fitness challenge.  It is only 2 little exercises a day.  I have been doing it for 15 days now.  Unfortunately I missed yesterday.  I promised myself that if I skipped a day I would have to make it up double.  Well, yesterday I was supposed to do 50 squat jumps.  So I had to do 100 squat jumps!  They kicked my butt the first time I had to do them and I was pretty worried about completing that many, but I was able to do it.  I just broke it down into groups of 25 and rotated it with the other one I missed from yesterday and today's exercises. 

When they say "50" of some exercises that are side specific I always double it.  I like to do extra, and that way I make sure I am not missing any. 

Here is the website that I got it from:

I like it so much that I am already looking for my next monthly challenge.  This is the one that I am considering:  Does anyone want to join me next month?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lower Body & Abs

Let’s see how far I can get with this workout before my baby wakes up:
ü  Plie Squats with arm raises (to horizontal) 3x15 (3 lb weights)
ü  Romanian Deadlift 3x15
ü  Walking Lunge with Bicep Curl 3x15 (each side) (3 lb weights)
ü  supermans hold for 10 seconds  over 1 minute (5 times)
ü  Squat with side leg lift 3x15 (each side)
ü  lying Hamstring curls with swiss ball 3x15 (I completely died on the last round!)
ü  Donkey Kicks 3x15 (each side)
ü  Single Leg Bridge Kicks 3x15 (each side) (these ones kick my butt!)
ü  Ball Plank with leg lifts 3x10 (each side) No leg lifts!  Just 3x1 minutes ball plank
Step-Up with a Knee-Up 20 times each leg
5-10 minutes stretching
I have also been working on my posture.  I am trying to stand and sit with my back straight and my shoulders back.  I don’t have very good posture, so when I catch myself sitting or standing wrong, I fix it.  Hopefully this small change will help.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

First Run In Years

Today I started my walk/running.  I decided to start very slowly because my left knee usually hurts when I run.  I thought this way I could slowly build up the muscles.  I started with walking and alternated with running.  I went nine rounds for a total of about 25-30 minutes.  I used my iPod to measure; I alternated by songs.  That is probably not the most exacting way, but I liked it better than trying to keep track of minutes and watching my watch.
I ran around the neighborhood and up to Valley Street; then I cam back home through the park.  It was about 2 1/3 miles total.
Afterwards, I stretched for about 5 to 7 minutes.
I am pretty fit when it comes to swimming. So I am trying to work on my cross-training.  That is why I started lifting weights the other day.  Unfortunately, I am incredibly sore. I am pretty awkward when I move around.  It is pretty comical.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Land Lover--Fitness Out of the Water

I decided to integrate weights into my fitness routine.  I really need to do some tightening and toning.  And that is what weight training is good for. Today was the first day.  I went to Millcreek Rec Center.  I love how they have incorporated the old gym floors into the new center.  The workout room was kind of small, but it is equipped with the latest and greatest machines.  The indoor track is the best!  It is not a boring oval.  It is a fun wavy track.

Here is what my workout consisted of:
20 minutes on the elliptical (~1.5 miles)
Lower Body Lifting (15 reps for each—two times through):
Squat with 12lb medicine ball (at the top I did a press with the ball in my hands)
Dead lift with 2x12lb weights
Curtsy Squats with 2x12lb weights
Side Squats with 2x12lb weights
5 minutes on upright stationary bike (~1 mile)—Cool Down
~10-15 minutes of stretching

I am planning to go again tomorrow in hopes that I will not become too sore.  I will focus on aerobics and abs.  I am usually extremely sore whenever I start doing weight training or running.  I think in the long run, my plan is to swim on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and either Saturdays or Sundays.  Then do my weights/land fitness on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.  That sounds like a lot of working out, but I think I need it.  I have been doing some research and I should really be exercising for at least 30 minutes every day.  So these land exercise days could be shorter when I get into the full routine.