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Beginnings of a Birthday Week

{Rainie} While Virginia, Kathleen, and the clinnuts went to the river for the weekend, J.T. and I spent the weekend around Jasper and Birmingham. We kicked it off with a fun dinner with our friends Lauren and Max at El Barrio. They currently have the watermelon margarita available so if you make it by this summer, you should get it!

Cheers to friends!


I got the veggie quesadilla this time. The side salad is so delicious!


But really, we go for the cheese dip. It is a Cotija and goat cheese blend with whatever else makes it amazing!


Saturday, JT went to work in Jasper so I decided to ride with him. I dropped him off and went to run around my old stomping grounds with my favorite four-legged running partner.


There had been some neighborhood drama involving the police and neighbors looking for a robber so I stopped by this town meeting:

After the excitement, I joined Anna and Jan for some coffee at their house before going on a walk/jog with Anna. Finally, it was time to relax so we cooled off with some refreshing watermelon slushies. Remember when I mixed watermelon, ice, and protein powder? Well, this time it was watermelon, ice, and vodka. Not a bad idea.


Ahhh...summer. 


For lunch, Jan had turkey, cheese, garden tomato, lettuce, and pop chips for us to enjoy! We made our sandwiches and enjoyed a break from the heat.


Saturday night, back in Birmingham, JT gave me an early birthday present!


And I had a very domesticated Saturday night where I made yogurt in my new yogurt maker and JT and I baked muffins together.



I am so enjoying all of our wonderful wedding gifts!


Sunday, was church, then lunch of chicken salad, the mall, and the farmer's market. That afternoon, I spent 3 hours meal planning and 2 hours grocery shopping. Dinner was a chicken pizza I picked up on sale at Fresh Market. We took watermelon to Lauren and Max because we had a ton. A few minutes later Lauren knocked on our door with fresh cookies. I could get used to this neighbor business. So, I ate some while I checked out the YMCA workout class schedule.


Then, all of a sudden, it was Monday. I actually love Monday- it's the chance for a brand new week! But I feel obligated to make it seem like I dread Monday...that's what all the cool kids are doing so to make my Monday brighter I had peaches for breakfast on top of cottage cheese. 


I always pack lunch... There's my homemade yogurt with chopped strawberries added. 



Lunch time salad was goat cheese, watermelon, cucumber, and spring mix lettuce with balsamic vinegar. I got to eat with the clinnuts because I was training one of our awesome new employees! We got coffee at Starbucks after and saw a fellow July birthday girl. You know those people who don't mention their birthday until it's over? We are not those people. Leigh said something about her birthday week and I responded with "you mean birthday month?"... It's a Cancer thing. 



Snack was at 3:30, my usual time, which allowed a perfect amount of time before our afternoon run. Homemade yogurt was so simple! I boiled about 5 cups of milk, added a starter, and put individual portions into the yogurt maker for 9 hours. This was my first time making it so my starter was a container of Coconut Greek Chobani yogurt. I may add more flavor next time, it was a little bitter, but  it was plain yogurt and the strawberries helped.


Virginia, one of the summer students, joined Kathleen, Virginia (the original) and me for our afternoon run. We knew it was going to be hot, like 100 degrees with a heat advisory, so we carried water. We took a before picture since we look all fresh and ready to run. 


Then, we took an after picture and almost didn't get up.


At home, JT and I cooked dinner together. We make a good team! I used my new Skinnytaste cookbook and made Mongolian Beef and Broccoli with a side of brown rice. It was so good! I am super excited to try more recipes! 


Finally, I worked on thank you cards--they have to be finished  by this week! I am so behind. JT has done a few;) but stamping our return address seems to be his strong point. 

What Skinnytaste recipes are your fave?

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