Monday Mishmash.

HELLO MONDAY!!  And Happy February – how did that happen?  Let’s do the damn thing.  Right?  Monday is one of my working days where in theory I get lots of work done, but what actually happens is I get lost in my email and suddenly I have 40 minutes left before my babysitter needs to leave.  So let’s do the damn thing quickly.

So I feel a little sad admitting this, but I’ve officially quit Trader Joe’s.  I feel a bit like a traitor, but there were a number of factors leading up to this decision.  And I don’t know if it was really a “decision” as much as it just sort of happened.  And the biggest reason for it?

I discovered Costco.

I know the rest of the world has been shopping at Coscto for an eternity, and this is nothing new, but it is totally new and exciting for me!  I’ve had friends and family members harassing me to join for YEARS, and I don’t know why I resisted for so long.  LIFE CHANGING.  And hello, Costco is a Seattle company!

I always went to TJ’s for our staple items – things like canned goods, baking supplies, bananas, and my beloved soy coffee creamer.  The coffee creamer remains the ONE and only thing I have not found at Coscto, so the hunt continues for a suitable replacement.  But wow – Coscto is a million times cheaper, and has an incredible selection. 

I was really over TJ’s bad produce, but I’ve also been balking at the prices at Whole Foods.  And since it’s winter and the farmer’s markets aren’t as plentiful right now, I needed a better alternative.  Here are a few favorite things I’ve discovered so far…

These giant bags of salad mixes!  Oh my heavens!

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I’ve been making this one and adding a glazed tempeh to bulk up as a dinner salad.  Casey and I can almost perfectly split the bag as a meal.  We’ve also been splitting this one, with sautéed tofu mixed in – YUM. 

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And these little guacamole cups are perfect for the kids!  We never buy (or even make, for that matter) guacamole because it turns brown in like 30 seconds, but these portions are perfect.  They also have mini hummus cups that I’ve been packing in school lunches. 

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Other favorites include massive blocks of Beecher’s cheese, multi-packs of Field Roast, double packs of Dave’s Killer Bread, and enormous boxes of my kids’ favorite Fig Bars.  Costco, what took me so long!?

On that note, I promised you guys more food content here, and a better look into what we’ve been eating these days.  I’ve been snapping pics, but not actually sharing.  So here are a few meals I captured over the last few weeks…

The same Asian slaw mentioned above, served with coconut quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes.  Delish!

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I made this lunch on a particularly rainy day when I was dreaming of summer and our backyard cookouts.  It’s sauerkraut from Britt’s Pickles and a veggie frankfurter from Field Roast – two amazing Seattle companies!  My kids are seriously obsessed with sauerkraut – Cullen dips his hot dogs in the leftover juice – so bizarre!

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This was another leftover lunch – roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes mixed with some of the pre-cooked Love Beets <—another Costco find!  Washed down with Green Tea kombucha (my favorite flavor) and an extra cup of coffee because Graham likes to wake up at 5:30am. 

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And this was not homemade, but it’s my current favorite takeout for Friday or Saturday nights – veggie tofu pho from Lucky’s in Fremont.  There is nothing in the world better than piping hot broth and noodles mixed with simple veggies and tofu on a rainy day.  And it’s really cheap, which is a big plus. 

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Attempted to eat in front of the Making A Murderer Dateline special, but our cable recording was messed up (DAMN YOU, COMCAST!).  So instead we watched Sicario and it was terrifying and suspenseful and awesome. 

Our weekend was pretty low key – on Saturday morning I went for a 4.5 mile run with my friend, Lacey, and it was so hard and sluggish and felt more like 14 miles.  It was also freezing and windy!  The next time I decide to lay off the mileage over the winter, please remind me how much I hate myself for it every January. 

On Sunday morning, I went to yoga sculpt at CorePower, and I swear I was directly under the heater.  I have never been so hot in a class in my life!  It was so hard and so sweaty, and it was the first time I ever truly considered whipping my shirt off during class.  Luckily for those around me, I didn’t.

Speaking of running and workouts – I’m super excited to share that this is my second year as a Run Happy Ambassador for Brooks!  I felt so honored to join this group last year, and I know that being part of an awesome running community really boosted my running and races last year.  I’m hoping to live up to the opportunity again this year! 

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In case you didn’t know, Brooks is also a Seattle-based company, so I feel extra lucky to have all their awesome resources (an amazing flagship store, local group runs, local race sponsorship, etc.) right in my backyard.  As part of the Ambassador program, we get to try out certain gear throughout the season, and they just recently launched their incredible spring line.

I wanted to show you a few of the items I’ve been wearing non-stop.  Back in September, I showed you guys the amazing Joyride jogger pants.  Well the Brooks team did it again – and they created the Run-Thru Pant – a mesh jogger pant that is pretty much the only thing I wear. 

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The outside is made completely of mesh – which makes it looks super 80’s but in the best kind of way.  The inside is totally lined for comfort and privacy.  It has a wide-banded waist for maximum comfort, and thick bands at the ankles too.  And giant pockets for keys or phones or whatever.  I’m honestly sort of embarrassed at how often I wear these.  If they release them in black I’m snatching up another pair immediately.   

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And yes, my booty is beyond large and in charge.  I’ve given up hating it and am trying really hard to embrace my curves while continuing to focus on fitness.  If only I had some boobs to balance it out!

I’ve also been loving the Run-Thru Jacket – the meshy couterpart to my beloved pants (although I don’t actually wear them together – hello tracksuit!). 

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Unlike the pants, the jacket is unlined – so it is actual, breathable super light mesh.  It is perfect for mild runs where you need more than a tank, but still need to breathe and not suffocate.  And I know this will be my go-to jacket as the temperatures warm up in Seattle.  I forced myself out of my comfort zone and went with bright pink – loving it!

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And finally, I showed you guys my black and grey Brooks Vanguards last season, and told you I was coveting the gold and tan color.  Well clearly I couldn’t resist them. 

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They are hands down my favorite casual shoes – the perfect mix of comfort and style.  I LOVE the metallic gold – it dresses them up a bit!

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Last but not least, this has nothing to do with Costco or Brooks or anything else I’ve been rambling about, but I had my camera out for once and thought I’d share one more favorite thing.  I got a Lululemon gift card that’s been burning a hole in my wallet since Xmas, and I finally splurged on something fun and new! 

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I picked up the That’s A Wrap top, and it is so perfect for wearing to and from workouts.  I never normally buy any of their jackets or wraps because they are so pricey, but I figured a gift card was the perfect time to treat myself to something out of the ordinary.  I love the giant pockets and the fact that it comes up high on my neck, and that it is long enough to cover my butt.  I plan to live in this until summer. 

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And now I’m out of time and need to go relieve the babysitter!  So my random ramblings are over.  We have Casey’s parents coming into town next weekend, and his dad will be helping with a laundry room renovation, so I am seriously excited about all of that. 

Back in a bit – hope your week is off to a good start!!