#geekout

This weekend we went out on a date with the theme pulled from the good ole Jar O’ Dates. I admit I was a bit nervous when I read a popsicle stick that said #geekout. I had no idea what to expect. Ryan is really good at planning dates for us. Just sayin. Even with a geeky theme we had a crazy fun date.

We geared up and drove downtown, me having no idea where we were going or what to expect.

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When we made it downtown and were driving around to park, I kept noticing all these people dressed up in costumes and totally decked out in a ridiculous variety of themes. It then dawned on me that all of these people were headed to the same place we were headed to, and I asked Ryan if he’s taking me to a nerd-fest. His answer: “Hahahaha, pretty much.”

Comicpalooza. That is what it was called. If you are interested in joining in on this craziness, they are there til tomorrow (Monday). It is really great people watching and we had a lot of fun (that I definitely was not expecting).

But I want to share with you the highlight of my day/week/month/possibly year. Like I said, I had no idea what we were doing at Comicpalooza, let alone if I would enjoy any part of it other than the people watching (we really like people watching). BUT God in His sovereignty, and Ryan in his keen planning saw it fit to guide me over to a booth that held Cary Elwes. Now if you don’t know who this is, shame. But I will be kind to you and tell you that he played Westley in The Princess Bride. If you don’t know what The Princess Bride is, I can’t help you. All I can say is don’t tell anyone you’ve never heard of it and go watch it right now. And then buy the book and read it. Because it’s just as fabulous.

So some celebs were sitting behind a booth with a line feeding straight out. Well, they put Cary behind a curtain and let 2 (groups) in at a time – one meeting and talking to Cary and the other paying and getting their stuff ready to meet him. While Ryan and I were in the paying portion, Cary gave me the Westley look. Oh, you know what I’m talking about.

This one:

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Yep. I am not making this up. Ryan stood there and witnessed the whole thing. He couldn’t even be mad at him because the guy is so dang nice (he was just jealous Cary didn’t look at him like that). ;) Cary called us a lovely couple and chatted with us about Batman and how we think Ben Affleck is going to do in the new role. He joked about our matching shirts and told us if we keep it up we’re going to be wearing matching sweatsuits pretty soon. That 5 min conversation was pretty much the best it could have been, and we both might still be a little starstruck. But who cares. Freaking Westley, y’all. DSC_1101

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It wasn’t until after we walked away that I had this realization: “I am one of them.” All of these nerdy people walking around and geeking out… I quickly became one of them, and I didn’t even care. I am nerdier than I think I am.

Here are more pics for your pleasure and enjoyment. You can view even more of our fun on Facebook.

DSC_1089my real question here, other than “why?” is, “what mom volunteers to dress their daughters up as mermaids and then push them around on a pallet jack all day long?”

DSC_0014Ryan’s caption: “I bet he hasn’t done a Beast

DSC_0042stormtroopers in kilts

IMG_8720catching Ryan in all his nerdy-ness, taking a picture of swords

After we left the nerd-fest, we headed to Frank’s Pizza to stuff our faces with greasy goodness before our next destination.

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We then headed to Sundance Cinemas to see the new X-Men movie! Guys, this movie was so great! Best one since the very first. And if you’ve never been to Sundance, we highly recommend it. The atmosphere is awesome, you get to reserve your seats online (so no racing to the theater!), and they have a bar there, as well as the regular popcorn, soda, and candy. The best part? They serve Cloud 10 ice cream. Yep. And you can take it all in the theater. The seats are paired in twos with a bigger space between your seat and the next pair. So nobody is all up in your bizniz, AND you get to have ice cream. Win.

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We had a lot of fun on this date embracing our inner nerd and sharing fun experiences that will make the best memories.

What’s your secret nerdy love? Hobby, celebrity, place/destination, interest, book, etc. Embrace it for a day and #geekout!

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spartans, samoas, & saying goodbye

As they saying goes, when it rains, it really does pour. This week has been straight up crazy, y’all. We have so much packed into our lives right now that I feel like I’m fighting to keep up!

Friday morning I helped some of my friends load up a Uhaul for their out of state move. We sent them off the right way on Tuesday evening with a Pedal Party. This crazy cart of fun is one of the most ridiculous and hilarious things I’ve ever done with some of the most ridiculous and hilarious people. We had a super great time to say the least. So sad to see them go!

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Friday afternoon I whipped up these bad boys: homemade samoas.

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For real, these taste just as delicious as they look. But before you pull up that link, I have to warn you that these are some of the fattiest, sugariest heaven-in-your-mouth cookies I’ve ever made. They are not healthy one bit. I have to give a shout out to the huz who helped me ice these things so I wouldn’t be late to our gathering. These cookies did not disappoint.

I made those cookies for a NYC team trip reunion we had Friday night. It was really fun to get back together with these awesome people. This really has nothing to do with this post, but here is a picture of my friend Evan taking a picture of the food. He made some delicious Italian dish I’d never heard of that he was super proud of (he had the right to be proud… it was fabulous).

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That night, I had to leave our gathering a bit early to meet my friend, Mary Beth for a mini road trip! She conquered the Spartan Super on Saturday, and I spur-of-the-moment decided to go with her to be her chauffeur, because you are like super dead after one of these races. The Super is 8+ miles (this one ended up being 9) with obstacles. She did an incredible job, and I am so proud of her! Totally killed it.

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Meanwhile…

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I sat in my camping chair and stuffed my face with a chicken wrap and talked to people around me. Haha. It was actually really fun to be on this side of the race. I’ve done 2 of these races now, and it was a lot of fun for me to sit back and experience the hype of people both starting and finishing, and watching them accomplish hard trained goals. I just love these races!

Here are some of my favs I snapped during Mary Beth’s last few obstacles!

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She did such a great job, and I am so proud of how hard she trained for this thing. Way to accomplish your goals, Mary Beth! Being at this race got me itching for another. There might be some of this in my near future…

That’s all I’ve got for now! I hope that you have had some fun and maybe something crazy or spontaneous in your week. Go find some adventure in your life today. Oh, and let me know if you try those cookies! :)

lighter than air cake | gluten free

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Yesterday we celebrated Mother’s Day. I must say, I did not realize (or appreciate) the impact my mom had on my life until well into my adult years. I think we all go through the phase in adolescence where we try to downplay the influence of our parents, and magnify areas we feel they should have done better in parenthood. It not only took me moving out of their house to appreciate their intentional pursuit of Christ in raising their kids, but several more years after that until I realized how unique my upbringing was. I’m so thankful for my mom and how even as a young child she taught me truths about who God is and who I am. I learned so many fundamentals as a kid that many of my friends are trying to learn now in adulthood. It’s a culture shift, and my mom built that into my worldview from as far back as I can remember. I have a hard head and did my share of “soul searching” and rebelling in ridiculous pride, but her steadfastness in her surrender to the Lord in her life and mine is what paved the road for my own pursuit of Christ’s heart. I am forever thankful for her long suffering and relentless trust in God’s goodness.

This is my all-time fav pic of my mom (on her wedding day).

Linda-Wedding pix_0001I mean, talk about hot mama!

Since my family lives in Missouri, I don’t get to celebrate many holidays with them except for the big ones (Thanksgiving or Christmas). That kind of sucks since my fam is the best ever, but it’s not as bad since Ryan’s family all live in Houston, so we do get to celebrate with them.

Ryan’s grandma and one of his cousins are celiac, so they’re not able to eat gluten. For most gatherings someone usually picks up a gluten free dessert for the 2 of them from the store. But for occasions that recognize either of them personally, like Mother’s Day or their birthdays, I like to do a little something special for them. Most of the rest of the family are health nuts anyway, so I decided to bake a gluten free cake for our Mother’s Day celebrations.

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As you can see, it was a big hit. I got the recipe from this blog, if you want to try it! It’s so moist, and I was asked several times if it was ACTUALLY gluten free, because you can’t taste a difference!

The only things I changed were that 1) I made it 3 layers vs. 4, simply because I only had 3 cake pans. Same batch portions, the layers were just a little thicker so I baked them for just a little bit longer. Because I did only 3 layers it left more icing, so 2) I iced the entire outside of the cake. 3) I also added a little bit (probably 1/4 cup) of mini chocolate chips into the icing and mixed it up before icing the cake. We also had some strawberry ice cream to eat with it, which complimented the cake really well!

This week has been kind of crazy, and I’ve been all over the place, but I’m just reminding myself that summer is not very far away, which means vacation is not very far away. We’ve got some exciting things planned for the summer and I can hardly wait! Hang on, friends, we are so close!

I will leave you with an image (or 2) that reminded me of how strange our world is this weekend. I took lots of pictures at the Houston Art Car Parade on Saturday, but these 2 really stuck out to me.

DSC_0530zebra stilts lady

DSC_0474 - Version 2and Jesus on a scooter

Enjoy your week, and have a happy Monday (it is what you make it)! ;)

banana oat protein cookies | paleo, gluten free

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On Monday, our Fitness Center had a Member Appreciation Day with lots of fun activities (including a rock wall), free food, and tons of giveaways. We had a great time, and even gave our regular Bootcamp class the gift of watching us (the instructors) workout – while they take a break – through the agility course we put them through. I’m kind of amazed at how much they got into it, and we just died laughing at the phrases our class yelled at us that they apparently get to hear from our mouths every day. A taste of our own medicine?

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At the end of the evening I helped clean up, and there was a whole box of apples and bananas left over, which our director begged us to take home. I try not to eat a whole lot of bananas just because they’re so high calorie (did you know one banana contains well over 100 calories??? What??). So those bananas have been sitting for a while, waiting to be turned into something amazing.

What do you do with a bundle of bananas when you are trying to eat healthy (banana bread and other banana desserts out of the picture)? Well, you make these amazing banana protein cookies! These are completely accredited to my fabulous friend, Caroline. They are SO easy, and delicious! Great pre or post-workout snack.

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Ingredients:
2 Bananas
2 Scoops of Gluten Free Vanilla Protein
1.5 Cups Gluten Free Oats

Mix ingredients together and bake on 350 for 15-18 mins. That’s. It.

I doubled the recipe and made 2 batches because as I told you, I had (and still have) a lot of bananas. My doubled batch came out to 14 cookies. 1 cookie equates to about half a (lean) protein bar.

Here’s the breakdown:
Calories: 125.7
Protein: 5.5 grams

The Larabar – ALT protein bar is about 210-240 calories (depending on the flavor) with 10g of protein. And Larabar is about as natural as you’re gonna get in a protein bar. So this cookie is very comparable!

If you give it a try, let me know what you think! I also think you could add some honey drizzled over the top, or even some cinnamon. I kept it pretty simple because it doesn’t really NEED any extra sugar, and the Lord knows I sure don’t either. :)

Have a great weekend!