A National Bacon Day? YES!

Last week I told you about National French Fry day and how much I love it.

baconWell, now I have to tell you all about my other favorite food, BACON!

Today is National Flitch Day… aka National Slab of Bacon Day. And who doesn’t love a slab of bacon?!? I could eat bacon every day and there have been days where I have eaten bacon at every meal. Yup, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’d say I have a problem but I don’t really consider loving eating bacon to be a problem.

But Jenna… why is it called National Flitch Day? I am glad you asked so my curious googling did not go to waste! A flitch is actually an ancient English measurement, now known as a slab. From Any Day Guide, I learned that a married couple received a flitch of bacon if they make it through the first year and decide this will work. Um, can we continue that tradition? I’d get married if I got free bacon at the end of year one! Could I get remarried every year and get a flitch every year??

Can we also go back to flitch? It’s way more fun than slab!

With a flitch you could add some to french frys. And then throw some cheese on it and you have all of my favorite foods in one dish! You could go traditional and pair some with eggs. For lunch, throw some on a burger. And for dinner? Spaghetti carbonara! I am making myself hungry.

Does anyone have any good recipes to make for National Flitch Day?

Tell me in the comments what you make with this magical, yummy treat!

I celebrated today with some bacon with my breakfast. I mean, that’s pretty much a normal Wednesday for me but we can pretend it was in celebration. Tell me in the comments how you plan to celebrate National Flitch Day!

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Fourth of July

fourth of july

The Fourth of July is almost here.

fourth of july

I am a little sad that I won’t be in Wisconsin this year and running the Firecracker Four Mile. I’ve run it the last two years with my dad. And Phoenix will never have such a thing because it is just too damn hot. So, what am I doing instead? Most likely sitting around my house in the patriotic tank top I bought to mark the occasion.

J will be working so unless my BFF can hang out, it will be me and the dogs. I will celebrate with a workout, followed by some Justified or Twin Peaks binging (Yes, I just started watching the original Twin Peaks. I am a bit behind). I want to make something on the grill for dinner and a fancy cocktail. I am really into fancy cocktails and want to try my hand at making different ones. So I am thinking watermelon mimosas for breakfast and slushies to keep cool during the day. Oh, and I found these. Yes, please!

What are your plans for the Fourth of July?

I spent the weekend at the gluten free expo in Glendale.

I love having a place to go where I don’t have to think about what I’m eating. Everything was gluten free. I was talking with a few other bloggers before the expo and we all agreed it was great to be amongst people that have the same issues and able to eat EVERYTHING. And I discovered I’m not the only one that hates when the gluten free menu is a salad or vegan dish.

The expo was sponsored by Glutino and Udi’s so of course, they were there. I won a $1 off coupon from them. Last year they had more full-sized products they gave away. I liked that better. LOL Enjoy Life had a huge set up as well. They had a little trail you followed and collected samples at.

Aleia’s Gluten Free Food was a small sponsor who was not there last year. They gave us bloggers a ton of full-sized samples. Their cookies have grat flavor but they are more crunchy cookies. I prefer my cookies to be soft and chewy. Now, their macaroons? To die for. They were so moist and chewy I was all, are these really gluten free?? They gave us a shake n bake type product so I can’t wait to try that. They also asked what we want in products. We all said croissants. I laughed because I had just told someone a few days earlier that I had yet to find a gluten-free croissant.

ProYo was back with their ice cream this time. I sampled the mint chocolate chip and it was amazing! I had previously bought the chocolate so I really wanted to try a new flavor. I have a thing for ProYo.

There were a lot of booths I skipped. I don’t go for home improvements, essential oils, or dairy free cheese. Last year I went to every booth and then got a lot of paper, emails, and phone calls I really didn’t want. I made myself promise to only go to booths I wanted to and was interested in this year.

On the way out they said the expo would be the same time next year. I am not 100% sure if I will attend. I love the expo but it was more enjoyable in November than June. I had to venture out in the heat, good thing I can start my car from an app! I bet when it gets closer to time to apply I will do it again because I know me. I can’t resist free food and new products.

If you aren’t following me on Instagram, you missed out on all the fun stuff at the expo! I posted tons of stuff on my stories. Don’t miss out and go follow me now!

What are your plans for Fourth of July?

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Reading in the Book Corner

I have a problem. I keep buying books.

readingThis is nothing new. I have loved books and reading since I was little. I have fond memories of reading Nancy Drew with my dad at bedtime. I spent hours at the public library during the summers. I can still spend hours wandering, exploring, and searching Barnes and Noble.

I can’t read reviews because it makes me want to read every book. But still, when someone recommends a book I run to Amazon, read the description, the reviews and add it to one of my wishlists. Yes, you read that right, I have multiple wishlists. I have so many books I had to organize several lists.

So, yes, I have a problem.

I currently own 262 books I haven’t read. They are a mix of Kindle books and physical books. I will buy whichever version is cheaper for most books. There are a few I like to have physical copies of. I am currently reading four books, a self-help book, a photography book, a fiction book, and a history book. I’ve only been able to finish 16 books so far in 2017. My goal is 45. I am three books behind schedule, only 36% completed. I hope to catch up on a few trips we have this summer/fall and I usually take some time over Christmas and spend a little time reading.

I wish I had more time to read.

I try to read at least 15-20 minutes a day. Sometimes I luck out and can get more, other days I don’t even have time or energy to crack a book I sneak reading in when I can. Usually on my bus commute, at lunch, and before bed.

What do I read? Basically everything.

I read a lot of photography and business books because I am trying to learn all I can and keep on top of my craft. I read some self-help books, nothing to woo. I love books about interesting people, especially musicians. I love true crime, mystery and thriller books. I love what some people call chick lit. I will read classics. I will pretty much give any book a chance. I read the awful Twilight books but I refuse to read 50 Shades of Gray. That seems to be my limit. I’ve read passages from 50 Shades and it was just awful. The writing was unreadable.

What are you reading this summer?

Follow me on Instagram to keep up with my daily adventures in fitness, food, and fun!

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Book Corner: Harry Potter

Harry Potter has always been popular.

And I was a Potter virgin.

Somehow I avoided it all these years. Not because I wasn’t interested but when the first movie came out I was 21 and in college. I hadn’t read the books and during college didn’t have much time to read for fun. I refused to watch the movie. I wanted to read the books first.

I am weird like that… I always want to read the book first. More often than not it never happens. I would never watch movies if I waited to read all the books.

harry potterBut I refused to watch the first Harry Potter movie, which meant I couldn’t watch any subsequent movie. I would look at the book box set at least once a year, but never bought them. Then it seemed *most* of the hype died down. I’d still check the price on Amazon but never ordered them (although, the box set ended up in my cart a few times but never purchased).

I bought the movies for Justin one year, as a present. He wanted the DVDs for the collection. He loved the movie. I still refused to watch. I wanted to read the books. When Potterland opened at Universal in California, he said we had to go.

Recently Harry Potter was everywhere again. A new book was out and so were some Hogwarts books. The Coyotes schedule came out and there was a game in Anaheim in January Justin wanted to go to, which meant going to Universal. To Potterland.

I was on Amazon one day and saw the box set. I hemmed. I hawed. I gave in. The books were in my cart. I just had to press the button. I had to read the books before going to Potterland. It didn’t make any sense to go and have no clue what any of it meant. Thank god for Amazon Prime. I had those books in just a two days.

I started reading immediately. I was hooked.

Why didn’t I read these sooner?

Then the other debate happened. Do I watch the movie as I finish each book or read all the books then watch all the movies?

It was a conundrum. I debated with myself for days and weighted pros and cons on Facebook with others.

After I finished The Sorcerer’s Stone I watched the movie. I had to.

I am still working my way through. I just started The Half-Blood Prince on Friday. But I will have all the books and movies done when we go to Anaheim. I have already checked…. Butterbeer is gluten-free (as are many items at Universal so YAY!). I haven’t even finished the series yet and I am looking forward to this trip and Potterland so much!

I don’t know if I would say I wish I read these sooner. I kind of like that I waited and avoided spoilers. I mean, how often does that happen?!? And it’s been fun to work through them and discuss them with people who read them previously.

I cannot wait to finish the series!

Do you follow me on Instagram? I post my workouts, current books, and yummy food so you don’t miss out!

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Working for the Weekend

Music is a huge part of my life.

playlists

I listen to music at work, on my drive and while I workout. I also love rocking out when I cook. I sing and dance around the kitchen. There is just something about the tile floor and open space.

I start jamming in my car Friday on the way home and don’t stop singing and dancing all weekend. Music just makes me happy. It takes me away when I am having a bad day. Running is made easier with music, especially punk or classic rock.

Many of these songs are throwbacks to my college days. I remember going out and dancing with my friends, or just driving around having a blast. It brings back memories of some of some great times. I love how music can take you back to a time and place.

I didn’t make this playlist but as soon as I saw the songs I knew I had to listen to it. I had to share it with you.

This is the playlist I will be rocking out to this weekend! What is your favorite weekend playlist?

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Maui 2016

We went to Maui for a week in February. It was amazing, as usual.

Here is the trip in photos. These are most of my cell phone shots. There are some things missing because I didn’t take out my phone and used my DSLR instead. This was a vacation and a business trip. Won’t you come along with me?

PS All the restaurants have plenty of gluten free options. All the staff was knowledgeable and helpful when they learned I needed to eat gf because of celiac.

PPS Many of the photos are links to the places that open in a new window.

Leaving, on a jet plane. The flight took longer than it should because of head winds. It felt like 7 hours.
Leaving, on a jet plane. The flight took longer than it should because of head winds. It felt like 7 hours.
The view from our hotel room... not too shabby
The view from our hotel room… not too shabby
Another view from our room at Makena Beach and Golf Resort
Another view from our room at Makena Beach and Golf Resort
2-22-16 pizza
Polynesan Pizza from Maui Brick Oven
Chicken stuffed with mango and goat cheese
Chicken stuffed with mango and goat cheese
Cheesecake with a macadamia nut crust
Cheesecake with a macadamia nut crust
We said good morning from 10,000 feet up
We said good morning from 10,000 feet up
Iao Valley Needle
Iao Valley Needle
Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Blowhole
Blowhole
My first attempt of a panorama on my newish phone
My first attempt of a panorama on my newish phone
Pomegranate Mojito
Pomegranate Mojito
Ahi
Ahi
Bacon and Egg
Bacon and Egg
We had to stock up on coffee
We had to stock up on coffee
Shave Ice
Shave Ice
On our shopping trip
On our shopping trip
Hotel Bar at sunset
Hotel Bar at sunset
Good morning!
Good morning Maui!
Hand roll
Hand roll
Sushi
Sushi
Drink
Drink
Whale Watch
Whale Watch
Harbor area
Harbor area
Drinks
Drinks
Sunset at dinner
Sunset at dinner
Last hotel breakfast
Last hotel breakfast
Lunch in Hana
Lunch in Hana
Sunset on the walk to dinner
Sunset on the walk to dinner
Plantation Punch
Plantation Punch
Ahi
Ahi
Landing in Phoenix
Landing in Phoenix

What is your favorite vacation spot?

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Read Across America

March 2nd is Read Across America Day.

Read

Read Across America falls on the beloved Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss? I can still remember reading stories such as Red Fish Blue Fish and The Cat in the Hat. Read Across America is a way to get people, especially kids, excited to read.

Although aimed at children, I believe reading is a great activity for all ages. Reading is a great escape from daily life and can help spur your creativity. It can also show you a new point of view or learn about something you may not normally learn about.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know how much I love to read. Currently, I am reading two books. One is a book for my photography business. I am learning about copyright, which is extremely valuable. I am also reading Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. I loved Shutter Island and wanted to read more of his work. I love books that I can’t predict. They keep me on my toes.

I love just about every genre and have several favorite authors. My top five authors are:

  1. Dean Koontz
  2. Jodi Picoult
  3. Jennifer Weiner
  4. F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Chuck Palahniuk

See? All over the place!

What are your favorite books? Who are your top authors?

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Top Five Travel Prep Tips

I will be in Hawai’i very soon.

TopTraveling is one of my favorite things. I love exploring different cities, trying new foods and having new experiences. I take two to three trips a year and hope to start taking more when my photography business takes off.

 

Here are my top five travel prep tips:

  1. Create a packing list.
    Have you ever went on a trip only to find out you forgot toothpaste? Or underwear? Or something else you actually need? I have and it sucks. I forgot pajamas on a trip where I was sharing a room/bed with several people. I kind of needed something to sleep in and was forced to buy some cheap shorts. That wasn’t how I wanted to spend my cash! Since then I write out a list. Every time. I make categories (clothes, toiletries, carry-on, electronics). I cross everything off only when it goes in my suitcase.
  2. Start packing as early as possible.
    Don’t start the night before at 11:57 pm or the morning of. Create your list a week or so ahead of time and start thinking about what to pack. I will start pulling things together about 2 days before such as underwear, shirts/pants etc and stack them near the suitcase. I use the spare bedroom and stack everything on the bed. The night before I put all the toiletries on the bathroom counter. I still need to use it but if everything is out I can use it and throw it in the bag when I’m done with it.
  3. Take snacks.
    This is especially important for me because I have celiac disease and need gluten-free snacks on hand in case I end up somewhere without gluten-free foods, like a peanut free flight. I also like having snacks because you never know when you are going to have lunch or dinner. It could be a long time between meals if you are running around being a tourist.
  4. Plan a few must see sites.
    I don’t plan out each and every meal or day of a trip but I do pick a few things I want to do and plan them. If I want to see a specific tourist attraction I will plan a day for it and sometimes I buy tickets ahead of time if needed (we tried to do this with Alcatraz, followed their recommended time period but it was already sold out! Sometimes you have to be prepared).
  5. Eat like a local or as close to one as you can.
    We rarely eat at chain restaurants when we travel, unless it’s a local chain (like Duke’s in Hawaii). We will look for restaurants that are popular with locals before we go to have an idea of where we want to eat. Now this is even more important since I need places that serve gluten-free. If you have never done this before, Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives is a good starting point. We also use google, yelp, Find Me Gluten Free.

My top five tips are what I do to prepare for a trip. I don’t like forgetting things and I love to have at least a general idea of what I am going to do while I am there.

What is your top travel tip? Be sure to leave it in the comments!

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National Pizza Day

I love pizza.

And good thing because you can almost always find gluten-free pizza places while traveling.

Brooklyn gluten-free pizza
Brooklyn gluten-free pizza

Today, February 9th, is National Pizza Day. This is definitely a day we need to celebrate!

Learn all about pizza on Wikipedia.

I am lucky to live in Phoenix. We have two of the best pizza places in the nation. No lie. Neither of them serves gluten-free pizzas but I was able to eat them before my diagnosis. If you ever find yourself in Phoenix, check out La Piazza Al Forno (locations in downtown Phoenix and Glendale) and Pizzeria Bianco (North Phoenix and downtown Phoenix).

If you are in downtown Phoenix and need gluten-free, check out Cibo. Their pizzas are similar to La Piazza and Bianco. They also have gluten-free bread and crepes for dessert. YUM.

Not in Phoenix? Thrillist has put together the 33 best pizzas (Bianco’s is on this list so I’m not kidding when I say it’s the best). Maybe one is near you!

USA Today lists the best 15, and yes… Bianco’s is on this list as well. I am pretty sure Bianco’s is on every best pizza list.

If you are wondering about my choice of La Piazza Al Forno.. it was on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives so it’s got street cred too.

I also love making pizza at home.
I also love making pizza at home.

What is your favorite pizza topping? What was the best pizza you’ve ever had?

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Bucket List: M-Z

Now for part two of my bucket list. This half was a little bit more difficult because it contains the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z. I had to really think about those letters. The answer wasn’t immediately apparent.

M: Marathon – For the last few years I have been thinking about running a marathon, 26.2 miles. I signed up to complete on last month but didn’t get my training in. I have signed up again for January 2017. This will be the year I complete it!

N: Norway – My ancestry is mostly Norwegian and last summer I was able to meet some of my Norwegian relatives when the traveled to the states. Once I learn the language, I can travel to Norway to see my relatives in their homeland. I also look forward to seeing and photographing the fjords and northern lights.

O: Out of Africa is a park in Arizona. I have wanted to go pretty much since I moved here. Now I’ve found out you can feed a white tiger? I’m in!

P: Photograph an NHL game like a pro. I want to be where the photographers are and use my dream camera and lens for the entire game.

Q: Queenstown, New Zealand. New Zealand looks like a place I need to photograph. Queenstown offers the Southern Alps, wine, and beautiful lakes. From what I’ve seen in pictures, it is gorgeous.

R: Road trip across America in which I follow all of Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway. I would love to see all of America and what better way than by car? I think it would be awesome to not have any plans and just god. Tired? We can find a great place to stay for a day or two. We could find the best places to eat in each city/state. Oh, and it would be an epic photography project.

S: Safari – I really want to go on an African Safari. Like most things on my list, it is because I want to photograph safari animals in their natural habitat.

T: Tahiti – Basically, I want to stay in a bungalow over water. Pretty water, pretty beaches and drinks with umbrellas. That’s all I need.

U: Undertake the task of writing a novel. I told you, U was one of those hard letters. I do want to write a book, specifically fiction. I can’t decide between chick lit or suspense. Maybe I will have to do both.

V: Vancouver, Canada. Our neighbor to the north has a lot to offer but Vancouver is my pick. The city, the food and the photographic opportunities intrigue me.

W: Wildlife World Zoo – Another local zoo, with tigers. I may really like tigers. They also now have an aquarium and I love those too. I am a sucker for cute animals.

X: X-Files tour. We can go check out Roswell and Area 51. Dress like Mulder and Scully maybe? I won’t go to a UFO convention, though. I do have lines.

Y: Yard – I want to finally landscape my backyard. I have lived in this house since 2009 and my backyard is still just dirt. I have ideas. I just need to do it.

Z: Zebras at Hearst Castle. Z was another hard letter but then I remembered there were zebras in California. I love the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast and they did an episode on Hearst Castle and threw in the info about the zebras. And Hearst Castle itself would be interesting to see.

Did you find anything on this list to add to your own? Which one? What else do you have on your bucket list?

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