Favorites

Friday Favorites #1

Here are some things that had me smiling this week…

Sunshine!  Ahhhhhhhh, oh how I’ve missed the blue skies and temps above 40.  This past week has been beautiful and Spring Fever is hitting me hard!  Jacob is loving the new neighborhood!

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Workouts  I’m back in the groove.  I suppose I should say thank you to Run Club for giving me a swift kick in the butt (don’t get cocky Running…I still hate you).  But this week I’ve welcomed BodyPump, BodyCombat & long walks back into my life.  And I’m cleaning up my diet (bikini tankini season is right around the corner!)…feels good to be out of the winter funk.

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New Hair Products

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The new line up of products:

Moroccan Oil Strong Flexible Hold hair spray – This gives perfect amount of hold without weighing my hair down.  Plus I love the smell.

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo & Conditioner – I’m taking a break from my favorite Pantene Repair and Protect duo and giving this stuff a shot.  So far, so good.

Suave Keratin dry shampoo – I’ve tried a bunch of dry shampoos and this has been my favorite.  It gives my hair some body on day 2 and doesn’t leave that horrible white powder all over my head.Alterna Caviar Seasilk Oil Gel – completely eliminates the frizz and leaves my hair silky smooth

I also adore this Kenra Platinum Blow Dry Spray (not shown), which has pretty much changed my life.  It cuts my drying time in HALF and also offers protection from all the heat I use.

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Speaking of heat, my beloved Super Solano dryer bit the dust after 6-7 years.  Whaaaaaa!  I loved that dryer.  I bought this BaBliss Pro TT as a replacement and must say that I’m loving it so far.

30 Rock 

I watched the first few seasons years ago and absolutely loved it!  I’m not sure why I stopped watching but I’m picking up in Season 4 and it’s better than I remembered.  I laugh so hard, I cry and find myself identifying with Liz Lemon more times than I should admit.

Howard Stern

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It’s all Howard. All the time.  And he knocked it out of the park on Wednesday with two amazing interviews.  Danny Trejo and Rob Lowe…they are the coolest.  But not as cool as Howard.

Dining

Casa Reyna

Jerry and I take our Mexican food very, VERY seriously.  Personally, I could eat Mexican 3, 4, 7 times a week.  It’s probably the combo of cheese, spice and soft tortillas that get me.  But oh, guacamole…you have my heart.

We regularly hit up many of the Mexican restaurants the city has to offer…Emiliano’s, Gran Agave, Steel Cactus, Mad Mex, Yo Rita, Las Palapas, Round Corner Cantina, El Campesino, Patron…goodness, that’s a lot!  And not to mention my all time favorite…Cozumel in Greensburg.

So you can imagine how excited we were to try a new (to us) Mexican restaurant in the Strip District…Casa Reyna.

Reyna Foods is a well established Latin American grocer located on Penn Avenue. They have their own chip, tortilla and tamale factory!  And if you’re shopping in the Strip at any point in time, most likely you’ve passed their food stand in front of the store…the amazingly delicious smells almost knock you over!  And about 9 months ago, they opened Casa Reyna.

We started off with a salsa sampler with housemade corn chips.  The Casera salsa and the Tomatillo Verde were both terrific.  Nice kick but not too hot and as fresh as could be.  And the chips…the best I’ve ever had.  Seriously.

We didn’t want to eat a ton b/c we were going to have an early (ish) dinner.  So Jerry got 2 fish tacos and I got a chicken quesadilla & we split our meals.  I know.  Boooooring.  But stick with what you know, right?

Both were delicious.  The chicken was perfectly seasoned and so flavorful.  The fish was mild and flaky (just how we like it).  And Jerry has decided that they are the smartest people on the planet.  The fish was nestled inside a hard blue corn tortilla which was wrapped in a flour tortilla.   Brilliant!!  He gets so annoyed when he’s eating a crunchy taco and it falls apart everywhere.  This way, you get the crunchy fun of the hard taco shell and you don’t make a huge mess!!

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Our waiter pointed out that the tortillas were being made about 10 feet away from us.  I peered through a little window and there they were!  Tortillas being churned out while we dined.  No wonder everything was so amazingly fresh.

Casa Reyna…we love you.  And we’ll be back soon!

Cooking

Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice

I don’t love Chinese food.  There, I said it.  When Jerry and I are going out to eat and we’re trying to decide a location, he always throws out a Chinese restaurant first.  And I immediately shoot it down.

Jerry: “You hate Chinese food!”
Jenny:  “No I don’t, I just don’t love it.”
Jerry:  “No you hate it…just admit it”
Jenny: “I don’t hate it.  There are simply WAY more things I’d rather eat other than Chinese food.  Like pizza.  Or Mexican.  Or sandwiches.  Or pasta.  Or salad.  Or chicken wings. Or pizza”

Maybe I just don’t like the way I feel after I eat it.  It’s always super salty (and I LOVE salt) and I’m hungry again 15 minutes after I eat it.

Then Jerry declared on Friday “I’m getting Chinese food this weekend and you can either come with me or you stay home and find something to eat by yourself”.

Hmmmm, ok.  “Well how about I make us a nice stir-fry at home?  And I’ll make some healthier fried rice”.  (Jerry only ever gets fried rice when we get Chinese food.  Or Thai.  ONLY fried rice.  So he really doesn’t love Chinese food either…he just loves fried rice).  He reluctantly agreed…although he looked very defeated.

So I went on my favorite healthy foods blog, Skinnytaste, and there it was…Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice. And I had all of the ingredients on hand.  Done and done.

Note:  I find it is really helpful to stock up on a bunch of Asian ingredients to keep on hand.  You drop $30 in one shopping trip, but then you always have them to whip up a quick dinner and don’t have to run to the store for one thing.  My staples are soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, asian fish sauce, thai garlic chili paste, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce and oyster sauce.

I roasted up a big batch of veggies (season with toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, salt & pepper, 425 for 15 minutes) to go with it.

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All I can say is WOW…it blew us both away.  I cooked up some brown rice earlier in the day so the whole thing came together in 20 minutes or so.  I followed the recipe pretty closely, but my sesame oil was just plain and it turned out just fine.

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I may actually like Chinese food after all.

 

Jenny

The first rule of Run Club…

Is nobody talks about Run Club.

Well, I’m mainly not talking about Run Club because I have, once again, determined that I HATE RUNNING!  I want to like it. I really, really do.  I see those girls, jogging along, high on endorphins, happy as can be…

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Yeah, no.  This is not me…

I’m miserable the entire time.  My feet hurt, my face is beet red, my lungs burn and I curse the entire time.  But I want to run a 5k.  Cross it off my bucket list.  I’ve signed up with Mojo’s Couch to 5k program which will wrap up on May 24th with the Band on the Run 5k.

I’m also doing this plank-a-day challenge from The Fitnessista.  I hate planks almost more than running but my abs are the weakest part of my body.

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So there you have it.  I’m getting back in gear and getting this old body back in shape.  Swimsuit season is right around the corner!