Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What a fun holiday! I've never really been one to go crazy celebrating this day; even in college, when folks were all about green beer, I generally kept it pretty mellow. But I love the enthusiasm around the day, and I am all for creating some new traditions for St. Patrick's Day.

Last night, I really did go to sleep at 10:00, and I slept until nine this morning! I'll tell you what: If you're sick, 11 hours really does the trick. I was thrilled to wake up feeling refreshed, almost no symptoms showing. I convinced Terry to join me for my Boot Camp workout, and we dashed through the rain to our apartment's little gym. It was tough coming back from four days of no exercise, but it felt great to sweat and use my muscles again. Since our cruise is in one week, I felt extra motivated. We had to do split squats on a stability ball, and I challenged myself to use 10-lb. dumbbells - killer! But this exercise is fantastic for working your core, and I'll be doing my best to continue doing it after the boot camp is over.

Breakfast turned into brunch, because we didn't get back from working out until 11. I cooked leftover whole wheat waffles from Thursday night, along with an egg (two for Terry), and a pear for each of us.

Delicious Saturday breakfast

We headed over to our friends' new apartment for a little St. Patty's Day/housewarming party. The rain made me even more glad that they live so much closer to us now, because we don't have to sit in traffic to get to them! We wore our most festive gear.

Terry's amazing shirt - anyone know the TV show?
I added some accessories once we arrived

I wasn't sure what would be served at the party, so I kept my contribution really simple: Irish Celtic Cheddar with whole wheat crackers. It might sound boring, but I really love cheese, and sometimes a simple cheese-and-cracker plate can complement the rest of the goodies at a big party. If you're contributing to a potluck, you shouldn't always feel pressured to cook up some gourmet dish. People appreciate variety, so fresh fruit or veggies or a simple two-ingredient plate is a great way to contribute.

Turns out, Jocelyn, the hostess, had quite an assortment of St. Patty's Day-themed goodies for us, including shepherd's pie in potato skins! Very creative idea, one that we're definitely going to try out someday. Joc and her husband, Nick, whom I've known for 20+ years, also had plenty of adult beverages on hand, so we started off with a round of Irish Car Bombs (<--apparently this name is now controversial?).

Festive green cups
Nick making our drinks

Then we moved on to Pictionary. I'm not sure I've mentioned it on BLWB, but I am a fantastic artist. I teach ELD, so I draw for my students all the time. Here are some examples:

My students asked what a pirate is. This was my response.

Any guesses?

Obviously, everyone was fighting about who could be on my team. Shockingly, every one of my drawings was guessed correctly, including "anatomy"!

Who knew we'd all be so into the game?
One challenge was drawing with your "bad" hand.

Another challenge: drawing with your eyes closed. 

Believe it or not, I didn't draw this one. (The answer was "snapdragon.")

Terry and I had a jolly good time and made it home in time for a nice cardio workout. That's right, I pulled a double day to really get myself back in the swing of things. It felt awesome to sweat, but I didn't go crazy on intensity.

I felt wonderful after this one. I highly recommend it if you're not feeling too crazy but want a good, prolonged cardio session. Usually I keep my intervals shorter, but 5 minutes at a time worked really well this time. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.

Dinner was so, so easy, thanks to leftovers and a quick side dish.
Last night's pizza and sauteed asparagus.

Then, after a few more shows on our DVR, we whipped up a more natural version of a Shamrock Shake. Did you know that food coloring and dyes (dyes are used in more foods than you think, to give foods the colors that we've come to expect) are very often made of petroleum? For more on that topic, you can check out Lisa's post, "7 Reasons Why I Hate Artificial Food Dyes". But I stumbled upon Lauren's Shamrock[ish] Shake, where she used spinach to get the green color. I didn't have her other ingredients, so I blended up the following:

St. Patty's Day Milkshake
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream (TJ's has a minimal-ingredients vanilla ice cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 big handful spinach leaves
  • About 1/4 cup milk (add more or less to get the consistency you like)
  • 1 handful dark chocolate chunks (optional)
Blend. Pour. Sip. Yum!

Green, delicious, and I promise there is NO spinach flavor!

A Thin Mint on the side (apparently we ate the rest of the box, so I couldn't add them to the shake like Lauren's blog suggested)

Hope you had a very happy and festive holiday. We're continuing the celebration tomorrow with corned beef and cabbage!


Post a Comment