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To Florida and Back

by agirlandhermutt on April 16, 2015

Hello there! I spent the better part of March complaining to anyone who would listen about how I needed some sunshine and a break from Boston (or really just winter). My parents heard my cry (or multiple cries), took pity on me and allowed me to go down to Florida for a little visit this past weekend.

It was the definition of short, but sweet.

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I have a close relationship with my parents. I am an only child and my parents are my BFFs. Creepy? Maybe. But it wasn’t like that when I was a kid. My mom was hardcore. As an adult, it is a totally different story. While you were all posting pictures of your sibling love a few days ago, I was enjoying a day of attention all by myself.

While I was really craving some sunshine, Florida had a different idea in mind. I think I saw the sun once in 4 days. ONE TIME!

No trip back to visit my hometown is complete without a few crucial things.

First, a trip to the beach. We made it just before it started to rain. And then continue to rain for the next 3 days.

Oh, and those are my parents sunglasses. They have those kind that fit over your glasses and kind of look like Stevie Wonder sunglasses.

There were quite a few people at the beach despite the nasty looking clouds. You can always tell who are locals and who are not. The folks sitting on the beach when it looks like hurricane weather are visitors and they are determined to get their money’s worth out of the trip. I totally understand!

Even a short trip to the beach leaves me feeling like a new person. A person with crazy hair, but refreshed.

Another old almost truism! An old Navy man once told me that the ocean's salt water cured everything. I guess it depends on what hurts.

Another hometown favorite and can’t miss spot in Pensacola is Joe Patti’s Seafood.

Should I ever be required to choose a last meal it would be boiled shrimp, crab legs, my Dad’s mashed potatoes and Cock of the Walk coleslaw.

I say this with only the slightest bit of sarcasm, but I could eat my weight in boiled shrimp.

But this isn’t just any ol’ shrimp and potatoes. I like the way my Dad makes make mashed potatoes. We call them “coat your throat potatoes”. I don’t just like any ol’ coleslaw. I like coleslaw from a restaurant down the street called Cock of the Walk. I can’t remember if any of their other food is good because I haven’t eaten there in decades. But that coleslaw? It should be illegal it is so good.

This year we busted out some of the wine I had at my wedding to pair with dinner. Just a tip…Moscato and seafood are magic together.

In recent years, Joe Patti’s has added a little food truck outside of the store that serves beignets. I happen to be a huge fan of beignets, but leery of food cart beignets.

Dumb. I was so wrong! These babies were just heavenly little friend dough puffs!

I ate one before we even got home. Then I proceeded to shove 2 more down. For those of you following along, I’m on Weight Watchers. I don’t think there are even enough points for me to have documented this little beignet escapade.

The most important thing for me to do when I visit my parents is RELAX. Legend says that their house has tryptophan pumped through the air conditioning. Well, at least it feels that way. The minute I sit down on the couch I go into a coma. You know the kind where you drool a little?

Fortunately, the boys keep me company. Butch and Spike are snugglers of the highest level. If I can’t have Kork around to keep me company, these two nuts will do.

And last, but certainly not least, I just like hanging out with my Mom and Dad. I went to swimming class with my Dad. I shopped with my Mom. I laughed a ton with the two of them.

When I got sick a few months ago, my parents dropped everything to come be by my side. I always knew that they would do something like that if I ever needed it, but to see it in action is completely different. My Mom didn’t leave my hospital bedside once at night and my Dad drove through every weather storm possible to get everyone where they needed to be and visit the pharmacy 50+ times.

So a few days later, I’m back in Boston. The sun is shining and the world seems a little brighter. I feel refreshed and ready to go!


One last thing! The Tone It Up Bikini Series is now in full spring! I’ve been updating on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so be sure to stop by and say hello. If you are doing the series too, please let me know! I’ve had a few questions on how the schedule works and honestly, I know it can be a bit confusing. Monday morning I will have a little run-down of what they posted as the schedule and how I will be adapting it into my schedule. Hopefully that will help some of you figure out how you want to fit the workouts into your day!

See ya soon!


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A little Christmas Cheer to Finish the Year!

by agirlandhermutt on December 31, 2014

Hi there and Happy New Year! Just last week I was visiting my parents in Florida. I know I was just down there for the wedding, but this was a much needed break from work and life in Boston right before the new year. The Husband had to do quite a bit of traveling after our wedding so we decided it would be best for him to stay at home for Christmas and keep Korky company. Now we are all back in the same spot and happy as clams!

Before we finish out 2014, I wanted to share some of the highlights from this Christmas and share a little bit of the family I’m thankful for. And truthfully, they are thankful for me too. 😉

My parents have 3 trees. 1 main tree and then 2 smaller trees. One that holds my collection of Winnie-the-Pooh and FSU ornaments (I get a new one each year!) and then the other is filled with Hershey and Cambell’s ornaments that we inherited from my grandparent’s tree.

New ornaments for my tree back in Boston!

My Dad, the best bartender, mixed up some yummy cocktails.

There were some great meals, including our traditional Christmas Eve shrimp, crab leg and mashed potato meal and our Christmas Day chinese take-out.

There was tons of puppy time. This is Butch and Spike. My parents call them my brothers and it drives me nuts.

I did some sweating at the gym and at home. My Mom always picks up a week pass for me to use at the gym down the street from them. They also are now the owners of something called a BodyBlade. That sucker is harder than it looks.

I stayed busy holding down the couch for a good chunk of the trip too. Apparently, opening Christmas presents was really tiring for me.

And the most important part of the trip of all, I got to spend time with these nuts.

Another fantastic Christmas is in the books. I’m ready to close out 2014 and move on to another great year!


Raw Food Challenge: Week 1 Recap

by agirlandhermutt on December 8, 2014

I’m writing this while my chia seeds and steel cut oats soak in almond milk. Seriously. I’ve become that girl. Both of these items are near the bottom of my “Things I Love” list. I don’t dislike either one of them, but they were never my go-to items for breakfast. I prefer items like eggs. And bacon. 😉

BUT! I’ve committed to a 21 Day Raw Challenge. I know, I know. I do challenges of some sorts all of the time. I like some guidance in what I am doing and I also really love the community that comes with a challenge. So sue me.


Lets chat about this challenge because I think there is probably some confusion and honestly, some serious eye rolling happening when the words “raw food” are thrown around.

A few weeks ago a Facebook friend of mine was posting about some results she had from a raw food challenge that she and her husband were participating in. He had some health issues and needed to make some big changes so they did. In a big way!

Secretly, I’m obsessed with the raw food YouTube community. I love watching videos from Easy To Be Raw, FullyRaw Kristina and High Carb Hannah and on occasion, Freelee the Banana Girl. My fascination is in some way out of interest in eating raw, but also because I think all of these folks have a touch of the crazy. But who doesn’t, right?! They are all really entertaining.

So when my friend mentioned this challenge I decided to take a look at the Sneak Peek guide that she posted. The biggest thing that stood out to me was what the Motiv8 America Raw Food Challenge was about and more intrestingly, NOT about:

This challenge is designed to help you:
• Develop healthier eating habits
• Reset your system
• Become more conscious and mindful about what you eat
• Help you kick the diet mentality
• Change the way you think about food.
• Teach you how to create your own weekly meal plan
• Set you up for Success!

This challenge is NOT designed to:
• Try to turn you into a Raw Vegan or Vegetarian
• Give you strict food guidelines to abide by
• Make you feel deprived or hungry

As I read more, I realized that this was an introduction into the raw food lifestyle that I was looking for. Some of the meals are what they call “50/50” meals that include cooked quinoa and cooked veggies. Perfect!

I’m not interested in eating 100% raw. I’m not interested in becoming a vegan full-time. BUT! I am interested in learning how my body reacts to no dairy, higher carbs, more veggies than normal and how to make raw meals. Will they taste good? What will my grocery bill look like? Will all that fiber make me bloat up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float (spoiler alert: Yes, the answer is yes.)

If you remember, I had a vegetarian diet for MANY years. Probably a little over 10 years? If I had to give myself a label it would have been better to call me a “Carbatarian”. I ate pasta. And potatoes. I thought I didn’t know how to eat healthy, but a more accurate description would be to say that I was too lazy to eat healthy. The result? I gained a crap ton of weight. Obviously, I don’t want to go back down that road.


This challenge gives an outline of what to eat for the first 2 weeks and then a guide on how to make your own plan for the last week. Again, Perfect! I had no intentions on eating a bunch of oranges and bananas and calling it a day. I need guidance!

At the end of November I signed up and the challenge started on Monday, December 1st.

Monday- Great!
Tuesday- Great! Then I went out with my friends and had wine and food. But! I stuck to vegan and gluten free items. I consider it a win!
Wednesday- Sunday- Great!

I managed to stay vegan and gluten free for an entire week. I AM SHOCKED! I have had on my list of things To Do in life “Go Vegan for a Week” for YEARS. I always assumed it would be nearly impossible for me to give up dairy (specifically cheese!). But I was totally wrong! Maybe it was a bit easier because The Husband wasn’t around, but in general, I didn’t feel too tempted. Well, except for the wine. 😉


But how do I feel? I’m definitely feeling lighter. I lost about 4lbs over the week. I know at least 3 lbs was water weight though. I feel fuller and satisfied throughout the day. I don’t find myself craving something specific come 3p like I normally would. I don’t have any more energy than I normally do. Actually I felt a bit more tired. Honestly, I’m not sure if that is because of the food OR that I’m feeling a little lonely at home? I I haven’t had some of the regular stomach issues that I do normally. I have an iffy digestive system. So far, so good on that front! However, I have felt bloated on several of the days right before bed. Oh, and my grocery bill was ridiculous. I have a ton of leftovers for week2! Right now I’m about 50/50 on both positive and less than positive results.


Monday starts Week 2 of the challenge. All the shopping lists and meals are spelled out really well. I’ve already learned a few things in week 1 that I will be taking with me into the new week.

-Peanut butter has no place in my home. I just can’t control myself. I don’t even really like peanut butter that much! But for some reason, I can’t keep my spoon out of the jar.

-I still prefer a less sweet breakfast. I’ve actually started to enjoy the whole soaked oats breakfast and have been subbing that out for the more fruit dominated smoothies.

-I miss chicken sausage and shrimp.

-Frozen strawberries in a smoothie are not my friend. They taste bitter and fizzy to me.

-Avocado is just as great as I thought it was before this challenge.

-A crap ton of veggies can make you really gassy. Truth.

-It is totally possible to eat out as a vegan without having to go to the weird vegetarian restaurant in town. I mean I knew this, but I appreciate that I proved it to myself.

-My knowledge about food was a little more extensive than I thought. I was surprised to find that I already ate/hand on hand many of the items that were listed in the shopping list for week 1.

-I don’t like carrots. I don’t like them cooked (shudder) and I don’t like them raw. Parents! Take note…don’t read this and then try to prove that I do like them by cooking those weird honey glazed carrots. Not cool. I’m onto you!

-I still don’t approve of fruit with savory foods. Apples in a salad? Nope. I tried it and I still don’t like it. Don’t even think about sticking mandarin slices on my salad. Get of here with that mess!

-I’m really glad that I live in an area where fresh produce and other “health food” items are readily available. Many of the folks in the Facebook challenge group had to order things like chia seeds and hemp seeds off of Amazon. I bought mine at the regular ol’ grocery store.

-My love for candy is intense. Sigh.


You can follow along with some of my meals over on Instagram. Check out one of my fave meals, Raw Chipotle-like dinner!

Parsnips, nuts & seeds, and guac!

See ya soon!