Big Cedar Birthday Celebration!

Mom was celebrating her birthday at Big Cedar, but then we decided to make it a joint birthday dinner extravaganza :) So I went there with her on Saturday and did the Paint & Pour class and spent the night.

The weather was perfect.  This photo was accused of being The Shire–lol!

Anything you oder at Devil’s Pool will be delicious.

Here is my BBQ chicken sandwich with sweet tater chips:

And my bloody mary:  

The Shire again, haha!  

At Paint & Pour, we did a mod-podge with paper pattern swatches on the deer antlers!  It was actually really hard! Trying to measure and cut all the swatches into the shapes I wanted in a timely manner was completely impossible. (Try doing that in 20 minutes! lol!) We did a lot of tearing and guessing and going “meh…. good enough!”

I had never done one of those group painting classes before. It was super fun and i would definitely do it again!

Dinner that night was a white sangria with a bacon-wrapped pork chop.  

  

And a lovely sunset.

The next day Dad and Brad joined us for lunch and a super fun golf cart cave tour.

      

Yes! We went into a cave!!! And there was a bar and we got “Bat’s Blood” which was a blackberry jalapeño bloody mary that I could drink every single day–SO good!!!    

Up next: We are going to Dallas to hang out with Marlea and Trip and watch the South CrossFit Regional competition! Woohoo!!!

Accepting the muscle!

This post in totally inspired by THIS post by Jennifer @ Wine To Weightlifting. Especially the part about seeing change in your body. I recently made this photo comparison pic-stitch of a picture from 2011 on the left and a recent photo on the right.
IMG_1960It’s hard to fit either body type into clothes, but the body on the right is much harder to dress! I enjoy being strong, and I am much happier than I was in the photo on the left. But even now, seeing them side by side makes me wonder if i’d trade all of those PR’s to be smaller.

I was sad during that time, though. I was single. I wasn’t getting a lot of happiness from my job. I felt super lonely. And I was eating stupid crap like lean cuisines. Gross.

I was teaching group fitness, but it was wearing me down. I would get up and teach a 5:15AM body pump class, then I’d work all day and then teach an hour-long spin class at 7:00. Then I’d train long-run marathon training runs on the weekend. Never picked up anything over about 60lbs ever.

Running was the main focus of my training. I wanted to be an endurance athlete. I wanted to force my large, strong frame to be light and fast.

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It’s not like I wasn’t successful. I ran a marathon in under 4 hours and ran several half marathons around 1:50.

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Running at 8-9 minute mile pace was comfortable to me.

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Then I found crossfit!

179931_411005548956676_468727094_nand muscle.581542_584760961581133_2086615412_n

And more muscle.10577203_763660320357862_6794942679422256789_n

and MORE muscle.10377634_812954045428489_2788008836895878930_n

It just kept building on as I kept doing the workouts. I focused on competing and trying to be stronger. That was the fun part to me, so that was my focus. The changes in my body were just something that came along as a side effect.

I recently decided that maybe I have accidentally been “bulking” for the past couple of years, so I have been attempting to “cut”. Attempting. For about 6 months now. And all I’ve managed to do is lose about 5 lbs. And lose that same 5 lbs about 4 times.

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I’m not even competing right now, so what is the point? I have skills now. I can finally do all of the basic crossfit movements because I got my muscle up this year. What I really want to do now is get comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve been following Juli Bauer’s blog at PaleOMG for a long time and I’ve watched her transform from a competitive regional crossfit athlete into a lean thigh-gap sporting fashionista who goes a lot lighter on the weights during her workouts.  At first I was so angry that she would let her injuries take her away from her talents. Maybe I’ve had too much of the crossfit kool aid. But now I am finally starting to see that you can step away and look at the bigger picture. People won’t like you any less if you’re bad at muscle ups and have a weak motor (me). It doesn’t matter if everyone else beats me at workouts. I just want to be strong and happy and healthy. And not feel all self-conscous in a swimsuit.

What am I talking about? I want to be one of the best athletes! And I want to make it to regionals on a team one day.

I’m so torn!!! Can I care about both??? I want to be competitive AND look good.

And how is it that I can put this much focus on diet and exercise and still feel like I look like shit?!?

Uh. I feel like this whole post lost it’s purpose.

My birthday was Tuesday. I should blog about that instead. lol

I guess my conclusion is that I need to lose that 5 lbs again and then keep going! I need to figure out how to navigate my way through social events and special occasions without completely derailing. I have the tools to do it… just trying to find the discipline.11188368_10152845937481417_4712798849742653991_n

 

Macro-tastic Birthday Cake Cookies

Flexible dieting is cool. But it’s still dieting! So you’re still in a calorie deficit if you’re trying to lose weight. Cutting, cutting, cutting. cutting. I’m always cutting. I really wonder if a day will ever come that I’m like “Naw, I’m good. I’ll switch to maintenance macros now.”

Because I certainly doubt it. I think I’m actually eating for maintenance now because I cut all week and then basically binge all weekend. It’s not helping in my quest to feel confident in a bikini this summer. Gosh that is so shallow when I actually type it out. But seriously last year I just ate whatever I felt like was healthy and ended up spending all of my lake time covering m myself up with t-shirts and lifejackets as much as possible. And that’s no fun :(

Enough about my pity party. Check out this recipe! So the kid who write this website is only 16. Blows my mind! He’s a genius. And so is whoever takes all of his photography.

So naturally I got curious about chickpeas and sprinkles together in one recipe and decided to make these macro-friendly things STAT!

  
  

I had to make them closer to 12 minutes because they were super wet still when I took them out of the oven.

 

I don’t usually bake with stevia so that was a first for me. I thought it was kinda weird. They ended up tasting pretty artificial. But it didn’t help that I used the Cellucor Cor-Fetti whey protein powder that I am not a very big fan of. I think it tastes like plastic sugar. If that’s a thing.

So yeah these are wet sticky plastic sugar cookies. I tried to store them in the fridge but it seemed to make them even wetter. The bottoms of the cookies were cake textured though.

OH! And i did al the processing with my vitamix blender because my food processor died. So maybe that had something to do with the super gooey/goopy texture.

Speaking of flexible dieting.. this:  

It’s twice the calories of the regular arctic zero but its WORTH it. Trust me.

Oh rainbow sprinkles. What do you do to me??? 

New car!!!!

I’m officially a grown up, I guess. Because I bought a CAR!!!

I wanted something fuel efficient that could get me to work (60 miles round trip per day) without costing me an arm and a leg. The way it is now, I’ll probably be really good at making the payment with the money I save on gas! lol

I am a happy camper. I never really saw myself in a small car like this, but man it’s so incredible to have a new car I can’t even believe it!

It’s a 2013 Ford Fiesta!

Brad and I rented a Ford Focus by random chance when we needed a car to drive to Omaha last year. We both really really loved the car, so coming across this Fiesta for such a great deal was easy to jump on.

AND my sister’s husband Lane was our salesman! How completely amazing is that?! I am beyond elated with this car right now. It has everything that I never thought I would be able to get:

  • leather seats
  •  a sun roof!!!
  • heated seats
  • 40 MPG highway
  • plays CDs, Mp3s, and syncs to phone!
  • Is only 2 years old
  • still smells like a new car
  • doesn’t look like a highwaisted grandma pants car

The only thing that makes a little sad is that I can’t haul my bike with it. but i never ride any more anyways. And I live RIGHT on the community trail system and have access to the best mountain bike trail in Fayetteville.

I’m also a teensy bit sad that I can’t pull a boat with it, but there are always trucks I can borrow this summer for that ;)

Sluggo invited himself to sit in the back seat. He approves.

 

 

And since no post  is complete without some food or some crossfit… here is Sunday’s epic breakfast:

Slightly less epic that usual, perhaps. But summer is coming! Swimsuits and shirtless workouts might be in my near future.  We’ve been pretty good at following flexible dieting since Memphis.  The weekend was a little difficult, and a dozen donuts were purchased in celebration. But they were somewhat carefully eaten throughout a 3-4 day span, so it’s all good.

Stuffed peppers on a Friday night!

  There was a chance of hail on Sunday night, so I got to stuff my new car in my parents’ garage for a while. I just ended up raining super hard instead, but I was still happy to protect my new wheels.

I took this really crazy photo in the back yard during a short burst of sunshine that appeared after the heaviest rain was over.

I want to write in more detail about flexible dieting soon and it’s impact on my workouts.

Soon! HAVE an amazing week :)

I roasted a chicken!

Brad keeps having to travel for work, study for listening exams, teach classes, and be a career badass, so I have been finding myself alone in the kitchen a lot lately.

Well at work this week (I still don’t officially work here, but I’m about to, hopefully) they had a bunch of chickens for doing some photoshoot about “weeping” chickens! How funny is that? When chickens are preserved properly they can “weep” a TON of moisture and it makes them shrink down and lose their juicy awesomeness.

So anyways, everyone got a chicken! You get a chicken, you get a chicken, and I get a chicken too! They were killed on Monday and we had them on Tuesday. How freshly awesome is that?!?!  So I was like “what the heck do I do with this thing?” Something easy, please—roast it!

So on Wednesday night while Brad was teaching  I sprinkled the thing with kerrygold butter, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic, and rosemary, shoved some celery in it and baked itin the oven at about 375 degrees for an hour and 20 minutes or so.

 Do you like my makeshift roasting pan?

  

It came out soon good! it was incredibly juicy and tender and perfectly seasoned. I feel like I got lucky. Roasting a chicken can’t be THIS easy! The only problem was that I didn’t eat it until about 10:00 at night. I was so famished that I hate half a bag of raw celery while I was waiting. I HATE celery. So that’s how hungry I was.

Now let’s go back to the weekend! We went to Memphis!!!

We went there to meet Brad’s dad and his girlfriend. We arrived there on Friday afternoon and after we settled into the hotel we decided to go tour Sun Studios. Which was really cool! I recommend doing that if you ever find yourself tourisming in Memphis but don’t have a whole lot of time.

And if you need to kill time waiting for your tour to start, walk down the street to the Trolley Stop and get a slice or two of pizza! Nomnomnom!

After that we went to Beer street. Wait! Beale street, isn’t it? It smells like beer all over the place. Close enough.

We found this place called wet willies that I was pretty excited about. A place that serves about 30 different kinds of frozen daiquiris from those little spinning machines that are like little washing machines full of slushy goodness. Some of them were super potent. I got a mixture called the hurricane or something.

Obviously I wasn’t counting calories or anything. After that we ate at BB King’s and watched some live blues. They have pretty dang good ribs.

Then we visited the ever-wonderful never disappointing Cheesecake Corner  

Chocolate peanut butter was an excellent choice. It’s actually really hard to choose a flavor when you’re in there. They have so many and none of them look like they’d be less than amazing.

Also–the google says they close at 9:00. It’s a huge lie! We arrived at about 9:30 and they were still open and not closing any time soon. But at least we probably beat the crowd :)

We visited DeSoto CrossFit the next morning hoping to burn off a little bit of the bad ideas we’d had the night before. Pizza, beer, ribs, daiquiris, and cheesecake. It did NOT disappoint. we did a 30-minute partner WOD with running, wallballs, pull-ups and burpees. Blegh.

Then after a healthy breakfast of dunkin donuts, we hit Graceland! It was actually pretty cool. We learned a lot about Elvis. I feel like I could score pretty high on an elvis trivia quiz. We were there for about 6 hours and then we went to a place called Gus’s (World Famous) Fried Chicken.

I obviously stunk at taking photos that day. We ended the day with an accidental encounter with a crawfish festival, and some mexican ice cream. Then to bed early! We were pooped!

That was it for Memphis, but I think we did pretty good with just one weekend.

Since Tuesday we’ve both been rockstar flexible dieters. Summer is coming!!! Ahhh!!

I’m off to find an Elvis trivia quiz…. lol

Treat Yo’self.

So flexible dieting is hard. I told myself after the Open (is that a proper noun?) that I would be a little more aggressive with my diet because swimsuit season is coming!!! How many times have I hit my macros since the open ended two weeks ago? Like twice, maybe. I don’t know why I can’t get motivated! I have this “treat yo’self” mentality right now because I am about to finally get a JOB OFFER! I’ll spill more about that later once it actually happens.

Plus I’m still super happy that the open is over. PLUS I sold my land rover (YESTERDAY) and am now shopping for a new car. Only I’m driving my dad’s gigantic dodge ram pickup in the mean time. It has the agility of an elephant and the turn radius of a commercial aircraft.

I went to natural grocers this weekend! here’s my haul:

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I am not sure about the B-vitmain I bought. B-vitamins are the grosses things in the world. It’s the grosses texture–it’s like slime and coagulated blood mixed together flavored with rotten fruit and earwax. BONUS: If you accidentally touch it, it stains your finger for the entire day. Vitamin C and D are pretty good though.

This is my favorite purchase: (only bc i haven’t made the bacon yet)

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I have tried the Arctic zero ice creams before and they were awful. This new flavor is the most tolerable one I’ve ever eaten. I think it will do a good job of helping cure an ice cream fix. But if I ever have this craving and have lots of protein macros left (almost always) then I’ll just mix up some protein fluff or something.

Have I mentioned protein fluff yet? You should google it! It’s one of those “flexible dieting” tricks. Along with egg whites, portion controlled snack packs, heavy barbells, greek yogurt, and oreo cookies.

Have a fabulous week!

15.5 and that’s a wrap!

I am soooo happy that the open is over! It has completely consumed my brain over the past five weeks, so I’m ready to have it behind me and be able to focus on other goals.

The workout of the weekend:

27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
Row (calories)
Thrusters 95/65

Great. No skills in this one, it’s just all motor. Which is something I definitely feel weak on. But this isn’t something that will take more than about ten minutes, and I can do anything for ten minutes. I think…

I did it on Friday and finished in 9:07. I felt okay about it, but I wondered if I could change my rowing damper  and do a little better. Or get mentally tougher for the thrusters. I never set the bar down, but I put it on my back a few times between reps.

I fretted about it all day yesterday. Should I change my rower damper? Will I be able to do this workout with my legs and triceps still hurting from my first attempt? The time finally came to do it again and I sat down on  a rower beside Dan Crotts. Then a light bulb lit up. Dan has a rowing cert! So I asked him what he thought about the damper. He said I should just have it set to what I usually row everything else at. I usually either like 6 or go for between 6 and 7. So I ended up bumping it DOWN from 6.5 to 6. I’m pretty sure it didn’t make any difference though.

The hardest part of the workout was making yourself grab the rower handle again after completing thrusters. And the other hardest part was making yourself pick up the barbell after stumbling off the rower. I was facing a set of muscle up rings while I was thrustering, and I just dug as deep as I could while staring hard at the rings. My eyes were practically about to lazer through those poor rings.

My mental game still wasn’t super strong. Through both the 27’s and 21’s I kept contemplating calling it quits and taking my previous score. But while contemplating, I somehow kept powering through. I actually was able to take shorter breaks during the thrusters this time. But I wasn’t sure how the row was going, I still wasn’t quite getting a calorie per pull. I cranked through the final 9 thrusters and looked at the clock for the firs time. It was 8:54 as I collapsed onto the ground. I was SO happy to have improved my time!!! 8:54, and it actually ended up being one of my best finishes of the entire 2015 open. The only workout I finished higher in was the max lift.

I managed to avoid any photos this week as well, and there is very little photo evidence of me rowing, but I found a few!

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My performance in the open was good enough to put me 10th in the state of Arkansas and 135th in the region–my best finish in the open EVER. I am nowhere near going to regionals, but I am ecstatic to have shown improvement this year. My gym’s team ended up finishing 34th in the region.

And look at how sweet this post is:

I’m the luckiest lady ever. I’ll end this post with some of my favorite crossfit photos over the years :)

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I’m looking forward to falling back in love with the fun part of crossfit again!

15.4

Hanstand Pushups and cleans.

8-minute AMRAP:
3 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
6 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
9 handstand push-ups
3 cleans
12 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
15 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
18 handstand push-ups
6 cleans
21 handstand push-ups
9 cleans
Etc., following same pattern

M 185 lb.  F 125 lb.

Holy gymnastics, Dave Castro! Every workout so far in this open has been based on a gymnastics movement.

WOD1: mostly about toes to bar

WOD2: mostly about pull-ups

WOD3: mostly about ring muscle ups

WOD4: mostly about hand stand push-ups

Some of us have bodies that unfortnuately weigh a lot, and it sure would be nice to have the chance to excel with some heavy barbells. Like the deadlift workout from last year. Please?!

I somehow managed to avoid having my picture taken this week. Which is impressive because I did the workout twice. but it’s a good thing. Let’s just say i’m not so photogenic when I’m upside down.

Exhibit A:

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We can go ahead and pretend these are my photos from this week even though they are super old. Here’s my makeshift clean picture:

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Slightly newer, but still pretty old :)

Anyways…

my experience with this workout

The first time I did this workout, I was told going into it that most of the competitive athletes in our box were having to break their hand stand pushups into sets of three the whole way through. Since I know that movement is something that when I gas out on I’m done, I decided to borrow the strategy.

My goal was 75 reps.

By the time I made it to the round of 9 I was already getting my first no-rep. Shoot! This workout standard was weird. Who does hand stand pushups with their feet flexed and holding at the top? I think that discouraged me, because I took a LOT of pretty long breaks after that. I was actually floored to find out that I had still managed to get a score of 76, beating my goal by one rep!

I knew I could do better, so I decided to recover for a few days and make a final attempt on Monday before the score submissions closed.

I ended up suffering a 4-hour long coughing attack and some serious allergy issues. I had made up my mind by Monday morning that I wouldn’t do it, but that I would still go to the gym on the rest day to cheer on my teammate. Then I went back and forth all afternoon that maybe I was feeling up for it after all. I was still torn, though.

When I got to the box that evening, there were a TON of people there doing the same thing! I watched a few heats of people making their final attempts and getting more reps, so of COURSE I had to do it again. And our box owner volunteered to judge for me.

The whole way through, he kept reminding me to be sharp instead of powerful and to kick away form the wall, which is my favorite tip to give people. It makes you use your hips to their full potential all the way up the, wall and is an especially useful cue when attempting deficit hand stand push ups. Which is what this workout felt like by the second round.

I ended up with TWELVE more reps and a final score of 88 reps! I remember when I passed the point i had made it to before with almost a whole minute left. My final handstand pushups were ugly and forced and included at least one no-rep, but I made it back to the bar and just started cleaning like crazy. I got four reps in before I watched the clock roll over to 8:00.

What a glorious feeling. This is the first time this open I have been able to completely smash a previous score. I was floored! I was able to gain (lose?) over 100 points to my leaderboard position for the week and I think I even moved up a few spots from last week. I don’t remember where I was, but if the open ended right now then I would be sitting 65 spots higher than I was last year. Although I dropped about 50 spots from the previous year, but whatever. The pool of athletes is definitely growing!

15.5 Is going to be announced in 3 hours!

I am thinking it will be a chipper since we haven’t really had one yet. With rowing, thrusters, and who knows what else. Please just make something heavy and leave off the gymnastics. What else is left? I guess a kettle bell swing and a rope climb? And a bar muscle up. And the ever-lovable burpees and box jumps. And burpee box jumps. More bodyweight stuff, basically. No thank you. Box life magazine says burpee bar muscle ups! Why not, we’ve done every other gymnastics movement under the sun.

Oh, I almost forgot pistols! I’d actually really like to see those. And I wouldn’t mind bar muscle ups that much either because it’s the gymnastic movement that I’ve shown the most improvement on this year. Aside from ring muscle ups, which I couldn’t even do before…

 

IM SO READY FOR THE OPEN TO BE OVER!!!! YAYYYYY!

Protein Angel Food Cake!

I haven’t posted a recipe in AGES! I’m pumped!!!

This is a recipe I have been dying to make for a while now! Since I’ve started paying attention to macros, I’ve found that the biggest challenges are hitting your protein goal and staying under your fat goal. So if a low hat YUMMY protein recipe exists, sign me up! Especially if it’s easy! And this one IS! As long you as have an electric mixer ;)

Ever since I’ve started paying attention to my protein intake, it’s been easier to gain muscle, lose fat, have more energy, and PR pretty much all of my lifts. I definitely want to always prioritize a high-protein diet. If I don’t pay attention to what I eat, I end up with a macro-pie chart where over half of it is fat!  Whoops.

You can learn more about the benefits of protein here!

Angel Food Protein Cake

The macros for the whole recipe are:

Calories: 244 | Fat: 1.2g | Carbs: 4.3 g | Protein: 47.5g | Sugars: 3.6g | Fiber: 0.8g

Ingredients:

  • 8 whole eggs at room temp
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 c protein powder of choice (I used cellucor cor-fetti cake batter)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • liquid stevia to taste (you may need about 10-20 drops)

Instructions:

  1. Either take your eggs out an hour before you being, to do what i did and put them in a warm water bath for about 5-10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Carefully separate your egg whites from the yolks and add them to the bowl of your electric mixer.
  3.  Add the cream of tartar, stevia, and vanilla extract to the bowl and start mixing with the whisk. I slowly picked up speed until I had the thing on full blast! Wooo!
  4. After a minute or so you will notice it getting pretty frothy. You will want to wait until the egg whites are so white and creamy that they start to form stiff peaks.
  5. Take bowl off of mixing stand and fold in the protein powder. You can also fold in some extra sprinkles at this point! I wish I had some, but I was out. Now you’re ready to bake!
  6. Hopefully you have some good nonstick pans that work for angel food cake. You’ll want the pan to have flat sides and not be too wide or deep. I don’t have an angel food cake pan so I used a small 6″ pan and a loaf pan. I sprayed the bottoms of them both with cooking spray just in case.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top pushes back when you poke at it.

IMG_2238Ingredients ready :)
IMG_2239Bringing eggs to room temp quickly with warm tap water.
IMG_2242Those stiff peaks are starting to form! IMG_2244

The cakes poofed up a lot in the oven!IMG_2246 IMG_2247

And then they kidna deflated while the cooled.IMG_2248Yum! You can see the little flecks of sprinkles from my protein powder!

In the future, I will definitely add regular sprinkles as well. Because why not!?

15.3 + Romaleos!

15.3

This week was the ever-dreaded muscle-up week.

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
7 muscle-ups
50 wall-ball shots
100 double-unders

Considering this time last year I had four minutes to do a muscle up in the chipper and couldn’t, I’m happy to be doing this workout as prescribed at ALL!

I got my first muscle up around 9 months ago. And since then have gone through many phases of hating them and loving them. Like every new skill, I had plenty of inconsistencies. I’m still not proficient at them by any means, but I can do them, so that’s a pretty big win.

Strangely I was extremely calm throughout the entire process of completing this workout. And it was my worst finish the open so far! I did it on Friday night and was able to complete two rounds with a minute left over, which I spent trying to calm myself down and attempt a final rep–which I failed.

If you had told me when this was announced that I would be able to complete two rounds, I would have thanked you for having so much faith in me! Then I DID it!!!

And then I re-did it, just in case!

and got the exact same dang score! I even failed the last rep. Again. And screamed an obscenity… lol

My strategy was to do all the muscle ups one a time with plenty of rest in between so that I wouldn’t waste a rep. Then I sprinted through the wall balls and dubs. No seriously, I only broke once during the first set of 50 wall balls. Then I proceeded to make pain faces and whip out as many double unders as possible in the shortest amount of time. (luckily I was being reminded at that time that I needed a good split time!) I think it ended up being like 5 or 6 sets though.

The second round of wall balls was a little harder, but I managed to break into 20-10-10-10. I did this rep scheme BOTH times I completed this wod. Which is probably how I ended up with the exact same score, but whatever. I’m still kinda glad I did it twice. Ia lot better about attempting workouts with muscle ups now :)

Last night I came home to this!!!!

From Brad for no reason! What the what!?! I am the luckiest girl in the universe. Look how awesome these are! I had to text my family and explain that this is my equivalent of receiving a luxury brand name handbag as a gift :)

My flexible diet has been WAYYY to flexible lately.

I’ll leave you with super happy weekend breakfast: