One of my favorite things ever is guacamole. But not just any guacamole. I will rarely order guacamole at a restaurant and I never buy it already prepared. My favorite guacamole in the whole world? Well, my mom makes it. And just the other day, I actually made it myself. It’s so easy, I’m not sure why I never tried it before although I’m sure I thought it just wouldn’t taste the same if I made it.
- 2 ripe Hass avocados
- 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. sour cream
- 1 pack Concord Foods mild guacamole mix (found in the produce section)
- Lemon juice
Peel avocados in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, and guacamole mix. Mash with a fork and mix well to desired consistency. I like my guacamole really creamy so I try not to have any chunks at all.
I calculated this recipe on WeightWatchers.com and based on approximately 12 servings, it would be about 2 points per serving, guesstimating the serving size to be about 2 tablespoons. You could probably save a little bit by using reduced fat or fat free mayonnaise and sour cream.
As for the lemon juice, which was not used to make the guacamole, you will add a few drops to the top of the guacamole and cover with saran wrap when you refrigerate it. This will keep it from turning brown so quickly. Mind you, in my house, it rarely lasts long enough to turn brown.
What is your favorite way to have guacamole? Chips? On tacos or salad? Share!
I have to start this post by saying that running a half marathon after *not* running for three weeks is not the smartest thing to do. I do not recommend it. But, I was registered for it and despite my lack of running prior, I was very excited about it.
Iron Girl is in Clearwater, very close to my home, and the course follows just about the same route I run on Sundays. It starts in Coachman Park, up over the Memorial Bridge and causeway to the beach, over the Sand Key Bridge, into Sand Key Park, then south on Gulf Blvd. for a bit before turning around and heading back again. Of course, this means that we have to run back over those same bridges to get to the finish line. It’s a bit of a challenge.
We lined up at the back of the start line and waited. I saw my friend Jessica fromTampa Mom Runs and we chatted for a minute. She was running with her adorable mom – how awesome is that?
Corinna and I started the race together before I took off over the first bridge. I knew that my run to walk ratio on this one would be very different, so I just went with it. I ran when I could and walked when I had to. I heard a women behind me at one point talking about how she met her time goal earlier this year and since then she’s been having fun. I realized that is exactly how I need to look at this race, my 10th half marathon. I had already PR’d twice this year with times I had never imagined, so I was going to have fun with this one and not worry about my time. Best decision ever.
I took a photo of Clearwater Beach as I ran by. It was a gorgeous day out, although a little warm. This is one of many reasons this is such a great course…
I made it over the Sand Key Bridge, also running it all the way over. Once I got into Sand Key Park, I knew I was going to have to make a pit stop at the bathroom. Rarely does this happen to me but my tummy was not happy and I was thankful there was a real bathroom in the park. When I came out of the bathroom, I just happened to see Corinna run by – perfect timing! I had been watching for her since I left her on Memorial Bridge but never spotted her. We would stick together the rest of the race and finish together.
From this point on, we did run / walk intervals. Corinna’s knee was bothering her and my foot was not happy with me. But we talked up a storm and that’s always fun too. When we finally headed back over the Memorial Bridge and made our way to the finish line, I think we were both ready to be done. I had fun but my foot was ready for me to stop.
I also wanted to mention that the Best Damn Race cheering squad was on the Memorial Bridge. Hubby joined them! It was nice to be cheered on in both directions on the bridge by the Best Damn cheering squad. Thanks to Jackie for letting me use this great photo she took…
As we approached the finish line, I saw Jessica again, as well as my friend Jackie who attends the same WW meeting that I do. She had run the 5K, so congrats to you Jackie! I was thankful for her because she took photos of us afterwards and it was fun to see her outside of our meeting. She’s been running and wants to build up to a half marathon. I know she can do it.
I ended up finishing a minute slower than last year and I am a-ok with that. There was a lot of walking, it was hot, and I was not prepared for this one. But, I had fun. I love this event and the course and can’t wait to do it again next year! The medal this year is so pretty and colorful. I love adding medals to my collection. And this one has my favorite bridge on it. Can’t beat that!
Rarely do I like the professional race photos. I’ve only bought a few when I first started racing. I tend to look like I am in pain or not happy when I’m running and that is far from the case. But this time, there are two that I absolutely love. The one of me waving at the finish line (to either Jessica or Jackie) is probably my most favorite finish line photo ever. This photo represent exactly how much I love to run. It just makes me happy!
It’s hard to believe I’ve completed 10 half marathons now. It seems so long ago that I did my very first one, but it was just in March of 2012. I’ve changed so much in these two years of racing. I decided to do a side-by-side photo of my first half and tenth half, and that change is evident. Besides the obvious difference in my weight, running all these half marathons (and other races) has brought about a self-confidence that I didn’t have before. Completing a half marathon is a big deal. Completing ten of them is an even bigger deal. I am so proud of myself.
So what is next? I am done with races for the spring and summer now. But I will continue to run and in July, I’ll start training for the Space Coast Marathon. The idea of running a full marathon is still very surreal to me, but I know the girl on the right in that photo can do it. Ten half marathons has proven this to me.
**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to Iron Girl Clearwater – all opinions shared are my own.
How many half marathons have you run?
Somehow, I have not posted my weekly WW weigh-in since March 9! It’s been crazy around here… Work always keeps me busy, I ran the Sarasota Half Marathon and ElectroDash in March, squeezed in a few T25 workouts, my aunt was in town, we went to Las Vegas, I went to Orlando for my first Super Saturday event, and Iron Girl last weekend – my 10th half marathon. Whew!
Since my last WW post on March 9, I have been to 4 meetings, including yesterday. Yesterday was my first week back after missing 2 meetings. I always love the meetings, but when I return from missing a couple in a row, it’s a reminder of how much I miss them when I don’t make it. And how much I need them not for my accountability.
So catching back up, here’s where I’ve been…..
Ironically, my last check-in here was the exact same weight as yesterday. Clearly, there has been a lot of fluctuation in my weight this last few weeks. I also may have eaten my way through Las Vegas, but I enjoyed every minute of it. And at the end of the day, I am still WAY below my highest of 178.
It’s been a bit of a challenge getting back into the swing of things since getting home. I may still be in vacation mode. But I am determined to get my mind back in the game and get to my goal.
Where I need the most work is getting back to tracking. I need to make that a habit again. We went grocery shopping on Friday and being prepared will help with that as well. It really all boils down to a healthy mindset.
In addition to the eating part, I need to get back to running regularly. Hubby and I went out to the causeway this morning and ran 3 miles. It felt great. I have missed going out there weekly and I hope we can make it a routine. I am also setting a goal to run 2-3 times during the week. I need to build my base back up for when marathon training starts in July.
I will say, though, despite the ups and downs on the scale, I am still having fun with buying new clothes. I have probably bought more new clothes in the last 6 months than I have in the last 3 years. I used to hate it. HATE it. There is nothing worse than shopping for clothes when nothing fits right. And now I am stepping out of my comfort zone and buying clothes in colors and patterns I would not normally buy. But I certainly don’t want to wear the same thing I’ve always worn. What fun is there in that?
Yesterday, I scored 8 cute new tops from JC Penney, all for $67. I saved a whopping $120. One thing I don’t’ want to do when clothes shopping is break the bank, so I have to get the most for my money.
As soon as I have more rewards built up and a more coupons, my next purchase will be more shorts! This girl is absolutely wearing shorts this summer.
How do you handle setbacks in your weight loss?
Recently, I read a YA book for my sister-in-law’s book review blog, Jenna Does Books, which is always a treat. I am certainly not the reviewer that she is, but it’s fun to give my opinions on a book when she asks. Here is the review that I shared with her for her blog…
One of the many perks of being Jenna’s sister-in-law is that she shares books with me. She knows me well enough to know when I will like a book. So, when she asked me last month if I wanted to read a book about a runner and review it, the answer was a quick YES.
I am a runner. I love to run. I have not always loved it; in fact there was a time that I would joke about only running if I was being chased. But running became a way of dealing with stress and heartbreak and taught me how strong I really am. And that is exactly what takes place for Alice Davis, the main character.
Alice is a senior in high school, the class valedictorian, and an over-achiever. She is the daughter of a dermatologist and a lawyer, has a best friend named Jenni, and a pet rat named Walter. Despite having everything she could ever want, all she wants is to go to Yale. When she is rejected, she feels like a failure and has to find something to do. And that is how she starts to run.
It’s not pretty at first, but running teaches her new lessons and leads her to meet new people. It shows her how to push through pain and limits and to be strong when she feels she can’t. She befriends the owner of a local running store, a patient of her mother’s, and takes on a part time job. She also meets a boy, cleverly named Miles. Being rejected by the one and only college she ever wanted to go to sends her down a different path that ultimately leads her to bigger decisions, better relationships, and helps her through heartache.
I really enjoyed this book. I love the running aspect because I can sympathize with running for the first time and feeling like I can’t possibly do it again. And how getting lost in a run, good or bad, can give you the clarity you need for just about any situation. Even though it is fiction, the development of Alice’s running is pretty spot on… It is well written, easy to read, and the characters all work well together. I especially love the use of SAT words throughout with the definitions, such as this…
As the sole offspring of two conspicuously consuming professionals riddled (“filled or permeated with something unpleasant”) with guilt about working too much and not paying enough attention to their precious child, I am often the beneficiary of bouts of excessive spending.
The author, Rachel Toor, is also a senior writer for Running Times magazine and has written Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running, a book that I have already added to my to-read list.
You can also read my review on Jenna Does Books here.
Read more about Rachel Toor here.
This was our first “vacation” in 3 years and boy, was it nice. I am so glad hubby convinced me to take the time off and go to Las Vegas with him while he was there for work, which is why I call it a “vacation”, but I’ll take it. It was exactly what I needed. The only thing that would have made it better is if he did not have to work while he was there. But I am very thankful I was there with him.
It’s hard for me to travel. Being self-employed makes it hard. I can’t just up and leave. But the timing of this trip worked out perfectly. I am guilty of making a few calls and responding to emails while there because I couldn’t totally let it go, but that’s fine. I still had a great time.
We arrived Friday night, an hour and a half late due to mechanical issues with the plane. Have I mentioned how much I do not like to fly? As in it scares the heck out of me. This time around I took Dramamine to help with the recent car-sickness I’ve been experiencing. I was a nervous wreck waiting to take off, especially after the captain told us they had to figure out why there was hydraulic fluid where there should not be hydraulic fluid. I just don’t fly enough for that sentence to ever be okay, so my nerves got the best of me. Finally, we took off and the flight wasn’t bad at all. We watched The Wolf of Wall Street during out flight so that took up 3 hours of our time. Finally, we landed in Sin City, in all it’s neon glory. We had not been to Las Vegas in 15 years so it was sure to be different and I couldn’t wait to check it out. I managed to capture this great picture as we were about to land.
After checking in at our hotel – we stayed at Harrah’s – we walked around for a bit. In all honesty, I was determined to walk to In-N-Out Burger, just 2 1/2 miles away. We were able to walk within about a 1/2 mile of it and couldn’t go any further because there was no sidewalk. I’m all for adventure, but walking an overpass without a sidewalk is just nuts. We decided to save it for another day and headed back to the hotel since hubby had to be up at 6am for a day of meetings. But we did see the fountains at The Bellagio…
I had visions of sleeping in every day that we were there and catching up on sleep that I never get enough of at home. But, when hubby was up and left Saturday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was sleep. There was a fun city out there, with a view of mountains, and amazing weather in the 60’s with humidity in the teens. I had to get out there and enjoy it. And that I did.
I walked along the strip going into The Mirage, Caesar’s Palace, The Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan, and more. The Conservatory in The Bellagio was so beautiful, with all the fresh flowers and butterflies.
I stopped at one of a millions Starbucks and enjoyed a drink outside and people-watched. I also walked around The LINQ and saw the new High Roller ferris wheel, and also found out we could possibly see Keith Urban in concert that night. The town was full of country music stars for the Academy of County Music Awards that would be live at the MGM Grand that Sunday, and they had concerts Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get ahold of hubby in time and we missed out. I also managed to find a boutique at The Venetian that sell Alex + Ani bracelets that I love, and bought a couple.
By the time I got back to the hotel from my day of exploring, hubby soon arrived and I was so excited to have his company that evening. We decided to take the monorail as far south as we could and we could see the concert behind our hotel as we waited at the monorail station. Taking the monorail to where the old Sahara used to be, we then walked to Fremont Street. Along the way, we passed several wedding chapels and also walked past the pawn shop where they film Pawn Stars.
It was just getting dark when we arrived at Fremont Street Experience. The lights are pretty amazing. Being in the sign industry, third generation (my father and grandfather), I love old school neon and signage. There was so much to see. This is also the place to see some pretty strange people. We didn’t know what to expect from one block to the next.
We took a cab back to the monorail station and then back to the hotel where we could hear the live concert playing near out hotel. We decided to have a late dinner at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Harrah’s. They had a live country band playing. Great food, great music, and a fun time.
On Sunday, we had a filling breakfast buffet at our hotel before heading to the pool at the Rio. I had found out the day before that since the pool at Harrah’s was closed for renovations, we could take the hotel shuttle to the Rio which was about 1 1/2 mile away off the strip. The shuttle runs all day long and leaves each hotel every half hour. We found out the first shuttle of the day did not leave until 10:30, so we decided to walk there earlier. It wasn’t a bad walk at all and we got there just as the pool opened at 9am. Their pool area is called VooDoo Beach and they have 4 pools, 3 hot tubs, and a sand beach area. It was beautiful. I crave the sun and never have the time or the ability to shut my brain off long enough at home to enjoy a lunge chair and pool, so this was a real treat for me. Hubby is not one to lay by the pool – he likes to always be doing something, so I love him for enjoying the down time with me for about 3 hours. I could have laid there all day long….
We decided to skip the shuttle and walk back towards the hotel and stopped at a cute little place called the Haute Doggery for lunch, located at The LINQ. How could we not eat there? it hit the spot and held us over to our first of three company dinners we would attend while there. This may have been the more fun part for me… I love going out to dinner and being able to dress up was fun and something we just never do at home. I had splurged on several new dresses for the trip, dresses that I would normally never wear.
Dinner that night was at Sergio’s Italian Gardens of Las Vegas. We had quite a large group so there was an open bar and dinner was served family style. Bruschetta, calamari, salad, chicken marsala, penne pasta with a vodka sauce, and so much more… Including a delicious piece of tiramisu, my favorite dessert ever.
Monday morning, hubby headed off to the convention and I met up with hubby’s boss’ wife and we took the shuttle to the Rio so I could enjoy the pool again. She had not yet been, so we had a great day by the pool. We both brought magazines with us but we never once looked at them, we were busy talking the whole time! Must be an Italian thing….
Monday evening meant another fun dress and dinner that The Capital Grille. The view from this restaurant was amazing. It was on the third floor of the Fashion Show Mall, facing the Strip, directly across the street from the Wynn. Just beautiful. And the food…. We had amazing appetizers – raw oysters, lump crab meat, prawns, and bread. We were treated with a delicious red wine. I ordered the filet mignon, my absolute favorite. I ate enough for the whole week, I’m sure but it was worth every single point and calorie.
On Tuesday, our last day there, hubby went back to the convention, while Bobbie and I met up again to go shopping at the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. This was probably my favorite hotel and the shops were amazing. I bought sinful desserts at Carlo’s Bakery (The Cake Boss!) and may have bought another Alex + Ani bracelet or two.
Hubby was done early that day, so we had time to finally – FINALLY – go to In-N-Out Burger. Until you have been, you just don’t get it. Scrumptious burgers (seriously, it’s the spread and the toasted bun), French fries and a chocolate shake. It was worth the wait. I just wish I could have gone twice while I was there!
We walked through Paris on the way back to our hotel from lunch. These pictures do not do it justice – it’s pretty amazing!! We also saw the fountains at The Bellagio during the day.
Tuesday night was our last, amazing dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse called Fogo de Chao. There was so much food and it was all delicious. I enjoyed more filet mignon, but I have to say that the artichokes and fresh mozzarella at the salad bar may have been my favorite. We had chocolate mousse cake for dessert and it was heavenly. I also wore what was probably my favorite dress of all for this trip.
We ended the night with a quick cab ride back to our hotel and then walked back to The LINQ and watched the ferris wheel one last time. I still refused to go on it, but I sure loved looking at it.
We were up very early the next morning to check out and get to the airport for our flight home. I was thankful for an early – and nonstop – flight home. I was sad to leave but I was also ready to get home to my own bed and back to our boys who were probably done with being boarded after 5 days. I was finally able to catch a few last fun shots , including a sunrise. And I managed to get a few good shots from the plane as we took off over the mountains (thank you, Dramamine) and also as we flew over Clearwater Beach on our approach to Tampa. It’s amazing how different two sides of the country are – both beautiful.
I learned several things on this trip….
- We really shouldn’t go 3 years before going on another get-away. It does wonders for the mind and soul.
- I am becoming a dress girl. After years of only wearing dresses if I had to, I think I might do it more often now.
- It’s important to get away with your significant other whenever you can. It’s too easy to get in a routine at home with all the day-to-day stuff.
- I love Las Vegas – the weather, the atmosphere, and the enormity of it all.
- I am not afraid to go out exploring on my own. Sure, it’s more fun with someone else, but I’m glad I didn’t just sit around in the room and miss out on the excitement of a different city. I can hopefully sleep in one day here, but Las Vegas certainly wasn’t the place to do it.
- Quality time with hubby, away from it all, is the best!
Have you been to Las Vegas? What is your favorite thing about it?