Family Secrets

Hey Hey! 

Having a wonderful day out there?  I sure hope so! 

This afternoon, my run started out a little on the rough side, but by mile 2, my endorphins kicked in and I cruised right through it.  I have to remember this every time I don’t feel like running!  Really, the first 2 miles are never all that great for me—I think I’m just warming up and never really hit my stride until they’re over.  Either way, the positive definitely outweighs the negative! 

Usually, I drive to a trail nearby my apartment for my runs.  Wooded and well-kept, the trail winds through a residential area and golf course, with lots of squirrels and kids playing along the path.  Today, a group of kids were playing alongside and one of the kids started clapping and cheering me on!  Before I knew it, he was running by my side and encouraging me to keep running!  He had the biggest grin on his face!  It was the sweetest thing!  I invited him to finish my 5 miles with me and cheered for him as he ran ahead.  Just a kid being a kid.  Cute as can be.  Open-mouthed smile

On the way home, I made a quick stop by Walmart for a few dinner essentials.  As I was standing in line, this happened:


I’m just going to let that speak for itself . . . Winking smile

So, with the whole half marathon training-thing going on, I knew I needed to do some strength training after my run tonight.  Thing is, I’m just not that into weights.  I used to take Body Pump and really liked it, but somewhere along the way I lost my taste for it.  Getting myself to strength train now is like pulling teeth.

I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that I know I have to do it.  Tell me I have to do anything, and I’ll kick and scream my face off.  Tell me I can’t do something, and I will own it.  And yes, I am a Capricorn if you were wondering.  We’re a stubborn breed! 

Still, knowing I had to get my weights in, I decided to break it up so I could stand it!  First, I did the Upper Body portion of Jackie Warner’s Power Circuit Training—chest, back, and arms (bi’s, tri’s, & shoulders).  About 15 minutes total, it wasn’t too bad.


Then, I cleaned my bathroom. 

<—Insert thorough hand-washing here.

And made some muffins. 


{Recipe to come!}

While the muffins baked, I did the abs portion of the video—another 15 minutes. 

lower abs kickout 2-thumb-251x132-48162

This is totally acceptable, right?  I mean, I did it, didn’t I?  I’ve been trying to think of a reason this might not be ok, but I can’t come up with anything.  Let me know if I’m missing something, will you?

Since I’ve been feeling a little homesick lately, I decided to bring home to me tonight!

In the summer, we always have dinner on the deck at my parents’ house.  It’s one of my favorite things to do in the whole wide world, and we soak up those summer evenings on the deck as often as we can. 

Summer in Michigan screams many things to me, but in my family, nothing says summer like barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, and a simple salad with our family secret salad dressing.  What better way to feel at home than to put it all together into a delish meal for one!

Michigan Summer Salad

Serves 1

1 chicken breast, barbecued

1/2 avocado, sliced

1/2 green onion, sliced

4 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 ear of corn, boiled, cooled, and sliced off the cob

handful of romaine lettuce

your favorite salad dressing

Simply toss all of your veggies and lettuce together with your favorite dressing, top with the chicken, and serve!


A couple of notes about this:  The salad has to be mixed because that’s the way we do it at home.  No dressing on the side, no pretty staged photos, no avocado on the top (it always slides down to the bottom of the bowl!).  This is the way it has to be!  And you should fight over the avocado if you have someone to fight with.


It’s important to brush your barbecued chicken with your very favorite BBQ sauce.  My family has always used Open Pit.  It’s the best.  But use what you love because it’s *key* to making this salad nostalgic!


If at all possible, use fresh corn on the cob.  Canned or frozen would do in a pinch, but the sweetness of fresh corn can’t be beat!  When you take it out of the boiling water, just drain it and douse it with cold water for a few seconds.  It will cool the corn off quickly so you can slice it right off the cob. 


Don’t forget to use your favorite dressing—you know, the one you grew up with that was always in the fridge or whatever your go-to dressing now happens to be.  If you’re still in doubt, go for a simple vinaigrette.  I’d share my family’s recipe, but my grandmother would have my head.  For real.  Don’t mess with the family salad dressing recipe!  Winking smile

I still miss my family, but this definitely brought some comfort to me!

Summer 2009 009

Well, right about now my dad would be lighting the tiki torches and pouring us all a second glass of wine so we could continue to enjoy our evening on the deck!  I don’t have torches, but I do have wine and a nice little spot on my balcony.  I’m off to sip and enjoy.

See ya in the morning! 

Does your family have any secret recipes?

We’ve got the salad dressing and a few others . . . spaetzle (like a German dumpling/noodle), and Christmas cookies!  I’m sure there are more, but those stand out for sure! Open-mouthed smile


8 thoughts on “Family Secrets

  1. ohh I do love making family recipes when I miss my loved ones! I think that is a fantastic idea 🙂 plus I love anything with BBQ sauce.

    I am looking forward to hearing what you think of Jackie Warner’s videos. I have done a bunch of different DVDs (P90X, insanity, chalene extreme, shred) and liked most of them but am now just enjoying doing my own circuits 🙂

  2. mylegs says:

    Summer in Michigan is one of the (admittedly few) things I still love about being here. I’ve been here my whole life, but last summer was pretty much my first time at one of the Great Lakes! (I know, what’s wrong with me?) I can’t wait for summer to officially arrive this year. 🙂

      • mylegs says:

        My trip last summer was to Grand Haven. I loved it! I have never been to Traverse City but I really want to take a trip there this year. I’ve heard it’s so nice.

        I grew up in West Michigan, but my parents had too many kids and not enough time, money, or sanity to take us very far. 🙂

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