I hope your weekend was wonderful! Pittsburgh was blessed with unusually perfect weather and I did my best to enjoy as much of it as possible. On Sunday, we went hiking in a nearby park.
Despite the gorgeous temps, we had the trails mostly to ourselves.
I feel so fortunate to live in a city with such a developed parks system. I love being able to walk to the grocery store...but also being able to get lost on miles of well-maintained trails. It's a wonderful dichotomy of proximity and solitude.
While walking, we also saw a tree trunk that was covered with little jewels of sap. I wondered why that happens.
- Sap transports vital nutrients, minerals and water to various parts of the tree.
- It repels insects and contains chemicals that eliminate harmful fungi and bark beetles.
- However, many pests attack healthy pine trees by tunneling through the outer layer of bark. Sap tends to ooze out of cracks, wounds and other injuries on the tree (source).
We also went to see a Shakespeare in the Park group perform The Tempest. I've seen this group perform for a few years and they're always hilarious and delightful.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, but I recently received a case of Larabars from Michelle's giveaway!
Finally, my progress from last week:
GMAT I have specific blocks of time allocated to studying...but somehow I missed them. Not entirely sure what happened. I'll have to be more conscious of how I spend my time this week.
Read Did you know that some birds will swallow rocks to help them grind their food? The rocks are held in a part of their stomach called the gizzard. Because birds have no teeth, they have to swallow each bite whole and the rocks grind against each other to break the food down, essentially chewing with their stomach. Bird book!
Strength Does it count as a goal if I love doing it? Instead of traditional deadlifts, I tried single leg deadlifts, thanks to the suggestions of Allie and Ellie. No lower back pain, but lotsa hamstring soreness. Success!
Counting calories I pretty much ignored this all week and I know that I ate way more sweets because of it. I will work on developing some sort of balance between tracking obsessively and tracking responsibly.
Crochet FAIL. 3 weeks in a row! My only excuse is that the craft store is in a trafficked part of town that I'm never in.
New recipe Sweet potato cinnamon rolls from Vegetarian Times.
I lightened the filling significantly, using less sugar, half of the butter, and omitting the pecans. I also subbed simple powdered sugar glaze for their cream cheese maple glaze.
These were wonderful. Soft and sweet, but crispy on the edges after a few minutes in the toaster oven. I'll definitely be playing with this recipe more - perhaps subbing pumpkin for the sweet potato.
I also made Jenica's White Bean-Edamame Burgers. I probably should've taken a photo before I smothered it in condiments, alas -
These were super easy, super healthy, and really tasty. I got impatient and didn't let it cook long enough, so I'll probably just stir everything in the skillet like a hash next time.
Lastly, I tried a batch of Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes. They were darling but, to be honest, they tasted a little too healthy for me (and I eat beans for dessert). If I were to make them again, I'd follow Claire's lead and make them more like cookies.
Happy Monday! I hope this will be a good week for all of oyu.
Does your city have Shakespeare in the Park?
I've seen Shakespeare in the Park in Pittsburgh, Santa Fe, Toronto, and Montreal!
Do you think that I could substitute Larabars for dates in a recipe?