Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adonia Frozen Greek Yogurt (Giveaway)

When I was offered the opportunity to sample Ciao Bella's newest product, Adonia Frozen Greek Yogurt, I was all over it. I love greek yogurt and eat it at least once a day. Having a frozen version sounded awesome.

Little did I know they were going to be so generous and send me a HUGE package with every variety they offer.

There wasn't a flavor I didn't like, but the Key Lime pie flavor was my absolute favorite. It took my tastebuds right back to the celebratory Frozen Key Lime Pie on a Stick we had at the end of Ragnar.

The nutrition stats are solid. With 9 grams of protein per serving, it puts regular ice cream's 3-4 grams to shame.

Each yogurt pop clocks in at 75 calories and 5 grams of protein. I had no issue with giving one to Emily as a bedtime snack.

It has a dense texture which makes a half cup serving satisfying. Try that with regular ice cream. Even with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, I still felt virtuous with my bowl of vanilla.

My local Atlantans can find Adonia at Publix, but it's rolling out nationwide so look for it at stores such as Whole Foods, Albertsons, and Target.

Would you like a chance to try Adonia for free? Ciao Bella had offered to send a package to one of my readers. Just leave a comment below telling me your favorite frozen yogurt/ice cream flavor.

For additional entries, follow Adonia on Twitter or "Like" Adonia on Facebook, and leave me a separate comment telling me you've done so for each.

Comments will be open until 10 pm on Sunday, June 3rd. I'll post the winner Monday morning.

Sorry this contest is only open to residents of the US.

Disclaimer: Adonia provided me with the samples for free, but all opinions stated above are my own.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ideas into Motion

I don’t generally write about aviation, the airlines, or what it’s like to be a pilot. That’s Mr. Blondie’s thing, not really my area of expertise. The one thing I do know about the airline industry is it’s a volatile one. Airline mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, 9/11, etc…..the rug can be ripped out from underneath you at any time. You may sense it coming. Often you’ll have no warning at all. Either way there’s not much you can do to stop it.

That’s one reason I’m determined to make the international race happen this year. Aside from all the personal changes that might take place, who knows what Mr. Blondie’s job status and benefits will look like a year from now. We have no reason to think anything is amiss at his company, but history shows it's only matter of time til it's our turn.

Better use ‘em while we got ‘em.

The conversation in our house went something like this:

Me: So, the Brussels Marathon is on October 7th. That’s a good time of year to travel. It's easier to get to than the Lisbon RnR.

Mr.Blondie: Nods and mumbles acknowledgment while immersed in Words with Friends on his iPhone

Me: I found a really good hotel deal for the weekend too.

Mr.Blondie: Well…pauses and looks up for a minute... I really don’t want you running two marathons so close together.

Me: They have a half marathon option. Sooooo, can I do it?!

Mr. Blondie: Sure, fine with me. Attention back to iphone…..What’s a four letter word that contains a “Z” and “P”?

And there you have it. I’m officially registered.

Has a "big conversation" ever gone easier for you than expected?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

North for the Weekend

It was another jam-packed weekend for us, but filled with lots of fun and family time. We got the weekend started early on Friday. While everyone else slept in, I headed out for a long run. Then I roused the troops, and we piled into the car for a drive up to the North Georgia mountains.

Two of our friends were finally getting married after dating for 12 years. There were plenty of jokes about that. It was an intimate affair, so we felt kind of special to be included (Mr. Blondie has known the groom since flight school).

This was our first time visiting any of the wineries in the area, and we were really impressed. Of course was the bride gorgeous, and the scenery was quite beautiful as well. The catering and wine were also terrific.

We spent the night nearby, then met up with some other friends of ours to go hiking the next day. Normally we go to Amicalola or Tallulah Falls, so we decided to try something different. Desoto Falls isn’t quite as impressive in scale, but it was pretty and the walk to the falls was an easy one that Emily could handle.

When we stumbled upon this place just down the road, we had to go in.

For $9.95 per person, you get a pan of river silt to “pan” with. You also get a 5 gallon pail of sand that you sift through with a metal screen to find the raw gemstones mixed in. Not a bad deal for a couple hours of entertainment.

Our other newlywed friends

I wanted to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. This was going to be a tough one for her since this would be the first without my grandmom. So Mr. Blondie dropped me and Emily off at the airport on the way home from hiking (he had to work the next day), and we caught the last flight of the night to New Jersey.

Emily did remarkably well. I thought she was going to be overtired and really cranky, but she was great. I guess telling her “If you don’t behave, we’ll get right back on the next plane and go home” gave her something to think about :) It’s not a completely idle threat.

My brother and sister-in-law helped facilitate everything by picking us up at the airport. We stayed at their place for the night and then met up with my parents in the morning for brunch. Yep, it was a mushy, tearful scene when we walked in. She was completely surprised, and I was happy I was able to do it.

We spent about 3 hours lingering over brunch, then it was right back to the airport so we could make it home early enough to prepare for the week. Fortunately by the time we made it to the airport we didn't have to wait long for our flight. Emily's new found treasures from the day before provided plenty of entertainment while we waited at the gate and also once on board.

I still need a few days to recover from it, but it was a great weekend. I hope all you had a special Mother's Day as well!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Final Dublin Outakes and Int'l Marathoning?

Dublin was our top choice from the beginning, but in the days leading up to the trip, I started seeing news about the London Marathon which would be taking place that weekend. Of course that sparked my interest, and got me researching what other races might be taking place in Europe.

Alas, we were a day late and a dollar short. If we'd been able to leave one day earlier, we could have gotten to Madrid in time for the Rock n Roll Marathon, or Switzerland for the Zurich Marathon. I'm still kind of bummed over that. (Ok, on my 30 miles a week, it have been sloooow but I'm sure I could have finished. It would have been quite the experience.)

Needless to say, since then I've been mildly totally obsessed with the idea of squeezing in an international race sometime this year. The Lisbon, Portugal RnR on September 30th would work perfectly as a tune up a race before the NYCM. Going back to Brussels for the ING Brussels Marathon on October 10th is also a strong possibility.

Mr. Blondie initially vetoed the idea, as he didn't think it was a good idea for me to run two marathons that close together. However, both those races offer the half option. He's cool with the idea of me running a half. Getting his a-ok is the toughest part:)

In our world, September is still a long way off to be planning a trip, so we'll see how things go in next few months. However when I set my sights on doing a race, I'm not easily deterred.....

If you've traveled internationally for a race, how'd it work out?

And to wrap up the Dublin talk, here are a few more highlight pics (and a few from the bloopers real too).

Sampling a full Irish breakfast

Couldn't suppress my gag reflex enough to take more than one tiny bite of the black and white puddings (those hockey puck type things near the eggs) but couldn't get enough of those scones.

Then a bus tour through the city and along the coast to Powerscourt House Botanical Garden.

Probably breaking some rules, but it was a cool tree...

Pet Cemetery. Not sure what to say about that.


Some more wandering about. We walked a lot.

The best Bailey's coffee ever and Smarties cookies to end the day. Who says no to that?

So long Dublin, it was fun!