Books and Pavement

Hello All! It’s the middle of April and there is snow on the ground here in the lovely Bluegrass. This past weekend I got a ton of sun, today, I am in a turtleneck. BLECH! Make up your mind Mother Nature…Woman…….GET IT TOGETHER!

Great book!

Great book!

 

I have been reading a lot lately. I so love to read but it goes in phases. At times I go nowhere without a book in my hand, other times it never crosses my mind. I have to actually read a BOOK, not a Kindle, nook or any other electronic reader (I have a friend that reads books on her iphone. WHAT? Seriously, my head would fall off!). I love a book in my hand. Remember Carrie in the first SATC movie (uh the best one, the second one…not good, not good at all) talking about the smell of library books. I feel ya Carrie..I really do. For the last couple of nights I have stayed up late reading Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. Anyone read it? Anne read it first and said she loved it and for me to read it. I picked it up and was hooked from the beginning. A girlfriend of mine read it the same time Anne did. She chatted me last week and said “Leigh, do books make you cry? Do you get emotional over books?” I said “YES!” She said “Well GET READY THEN!” So I knew this one was not going to be this big fairy tale happy ending type book where everything works out and everyone is a happy camper. I was right and I think that is why I loved it. This book is about a quadriplegic and his caretaker and it is real, heartbreaking and funny all rolled in to one. I give it four out of five horseshoes. So basically…..I loved it and I recommend it. :)

Relaxing after a run this weekend!

Relaxing after a run this weekend!

Lets see, what else? Anne and I have been running a lot. I have hit a new wave with my running. I am actually really enjoying it. I have always liked running but I feel like I am better at it right now for some reason.  I got some good advice the other day. It was really simple too. “Leigh, just go run, don’t worry about distance and time, just run.” I guess it never occurred to me to do that. I am such a goal setter, I need a goal people! I need to know that I accomplished it, to mark it off the list, then to set another one. However, not setting a goal and just hitting the pavement, yapping with Anne and enjoying the scenery…it is really working for me. Who knew, right?

Ok, that is enough for now! I will check in again soon!

Leigh

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My Motivation

Morning! How goes it? Here we are at the beginning of another week! March Madness is finally over…I know some are so sad..I am not one of those people. :) Don’t get me wrong, I like sports, I love seeing anyone/team push themselves to the limits. I love seeing people passionate about the game, the team, and the state.  However, basketball doesn’t motivate me, captivate me, or change my life whatsoever……so I will gladly move on from March Madness in to April in the Bluegrass..AKA Horse racing at Keeneland. Horses, now horses……they motivate me. :) They always have and they always will. Horses have always been a main focus in my life. They are the one constant that has never changed. From a child that couldn’t breath unless I was at the barn, to an adult who built a career and a life around them, they will always be what motivates me.  I had someone say to me last week when I told them I wasn’t a UK fan (don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike UK, I just don’t obsess about them)…..”UK basketball was bred in to me.” Well, Horses were bred in to me.

horsecollage2

I will be forever thankful for being raised with horses, being taught to love them unconditionally, respect them always and cherish every memory they allow me to make with them. They are truly majestic creatures in every sense of the word and I will value every lesson they have taught me, every moment we have shared, and every breath they have taken from me. Horses show no judgement but remember everything. Horses will remember how you made them feel long after you have forgotten. A horse is the epitome of wild and soft. A creature so powerful and fast but yet can soothe your deepest fears, problems and sadness. A horse will warm your soul when everything else has abandoned it. I am so thankful that horses were bred in to me.  My love will never falter when it comes to them and that the passion for them lives so deep in me that it can never be removed. Passion is what keeps us moving, what motivates us to go that extra step and find greatness when we believe it is lost. Horses do that for me. I don’t feel that passion for a basketball game like so many fans do but I can certainly appreciate it. Never lose passion in your life, never let it die. It is the passion in our souls that keep us alive in our hearts. 

Happy Spring!

Leigh

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Spring Has Sprung

TSTWheels1

Spring actually appears to be here! I hate to say that too loudly because I don’t want to scare it off. I hope Old Man Winter is gone for good. I will be more than happy to see him head off in to the sunset. The grass is getting green, the horses are shedding their winter coats and the birds are singing, singing, singing. I love this time of year! There is nothing more motivating than warmer weather and longer days! Before long it will be hours and hours of mowing and I may or may not complain about it but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. I am thankful to have a place to mow, so I will probably just keep my trap shut. ;)

I find when the weather gets warmer, I change what I eat a bit. When the weather is cold I have no interest in drinking a cold smoothie or eating a lot of cold food. When the weather warms up I find it easier to make food and I am actually not that focused on it. A smoothie is quick and easy and something I can drink while tacking up horses or driving to work. I am more focused on being outdoors riding horses, running and working so food is not a big thought. Now, in the winter when I am not doing those things I find that my brain is much more focused on food. I start thinking about dinner before I have even had lunch. Anyone else do that? Winter makes me want comfort food. Summer makes me want healthy quick food. I love having a spring roll for lunch or a salad when the weather is hot. One thing that doesn’t change with the seasons is…..my crockpot. Anne and I couldn’t live without it. There is nothing better than coming in from the barn at 9:00 at night and TAAA DAAA….BAM! Dinner! Me loves! I love to make pork carnitas in the crockpot. So easy and so good!

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It is so easy:

Paleo Carnitas

2-3 Pound Boneless Pork Shoulder
1 bottle of Salsa Verde
1/2 diced white onion
teaspoon of garlic powder or 2-3 clove of minced garlic
a bit of cilantro

Cook on low 8-10 hours

I serve mine on Julians Bakery Paleo Wraps or butter lettuce leaves. However, you can serve them on corn tortillas. I serve mine with a dollop of guacamole and salsa. So easy and so yummy!

Happy Tuesday :)

Leigh

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Favorite Snack….Roasted Cauliflower

Hello Everybody! We have now officially entered “Spring” and the forecast is calling for snow tomorrow. Huh, not sure what the deal is with that!? We have had some nice days here and there but for the most part, it has still been cold in the Bluegrass. Anne and I were able to get out last weekend and get a run in which is always nice. I like going to the gym and working out but I really enjoy running outside. This cold weather makes me want to read. I have always been a big reader but lately not being able to get out on a consistent basis is really upping the book time in our house hold.

CleavingBook1

I am currently reading “Cleaving” by Julie Powell. Anyone read it? I don’t recommend it, certainly not the best book I have read but I am over half way done so I feel that I need to finish it. It hasn’t held my attention that well but maybe here in the last part of  it, it will make a drastic turn and be fabulous. I have my doubts but we will see! This past weekend I made some Roasted Cauliflower. It is my new favorite snack and SO EASY! Basically this is how ya do it:

You will need:
A head of Cauliflower
Olive Oil
Pepper

Cut up and ready for the oven

Cut up and ready for the oven

Set over to 400 degrees. Cut up your cauliflower and place on a baking sheet. Take olive oil and drizzle some over the cauliflower and then mix it all around. Some people put it in a bowl and mix it but my thought is why mess up a bowl? This works just as good, I then put a few shakes of pepper on it. You can do lemon juice, parmesan, whatever you like. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it is browned and TAA DAA! It is so good, I can eat this like popcorn. It is just a great healthy snack and so easy to prepare!

I hope you all have a great week!

Leigh

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Paleo Banana Bread and a Stranger in My House

TGIF!! So glad it is the WEEKEND!!!!!!  I am sure I am not the only one that loves it when Friday rolls around. I do love my job, but there is nothing like the freedom of a weekend! The weather is gorgeous today and gonna be super nice tomorrow as well. Then of course Sunday, back to possibly snow. Mother Nature …..how moody can you be? I am ready for ripped jeans and flip flops and tank tops! I am ready to go running at the Horse Park every weekend! BRING IT!

Out for a run at the Horse Park

Out for a run at the Horse Park

The days of riding around with the windows down and the radio blasting. I am tired of driving home from work with the heat on, freezing. Speaking of radio and driving home. Earlier this week I was on my way home and I had my radio on an old country music station. I grew up listening to old country so from time to time, I like to turn it on and reminisce. A song came on that was really popular when I was a little kid. It is so funny that music can immediately take you back to a place in time. It is also funny that when you are a kid, you take everything literally. The song that came on was  “There’s A Stranger in My House” By Ronnie Milsap, when I was a kid this song scared the bejesus out of me. I thought that there was a stranger in Ronnie Milsaps house,  and they were  going to hurt him. To this day when I hear that song, I think of that. Oh and another one that was popular, Reba McEntire’s song “Little Rock.” The song is about her “slipping off her little rock” meaning leaving her wealthy man. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why Reba was moving from Little Rock, Arkansas or rather, why she ever moved there. Wasn’t she supposed to be in Nashville? It made no sense to me at all and don’t even get me started on “All My Exes live in Texas.” Why was all of George Strait’s “X’s” in Texas? Where was the rest of his letters? HAHA! Isn’t it funny how kids take things? I always think of those memories when I hear those songs and giggle. :)

 BananaBreadloaf1

I am going to make some Paleo Banana Bread this weekend! I use the same recipe from my muffins and just make it in to bread. It is so good, so easy and something great to have in the house. Click here for the recipe!

Have a great weekend!

Leigh

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Paleo Brats

Happy Sunday! Today we spring forward which means spring and summer are on the way! It won’t be long and we will be mowing the grass, having cookouts and enjoy company on the deck. Can’t wait!! Until then here is a Paleo Brat recipe that is easy, easy and Anne and I make all the time. We usually make up 8-10 at a time and then we can munch on them all week. Have fun!

PaleoBrats1

Paleo Brats

1 Package of Chicken and Apple Aidelle Sausage
1 white Onion
1 green pepper
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil
1 Package of Julians Bakery Paleo Wraps
Mustard

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a skillet. Toss in brats, sliced onions and sliced green pepper. Cook 15-20 minutes or until onions are caramelized and brats are cooked through. Place brat and some peppers and onions on a Julian’s Bakery Paleo Wrap, slap on your mustard, roll up and TAAA DAAA. Heaven! We love the Paleo Wraps and eat them a lot. They are made of coconut meal, so they are sweet but I find that they go great with about anything. We make a lot of paleo burritos with these as well.

Have a great day!

Leigh

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The Southern Lady Cooks Mashed Potato Casserole

This is The Southern Lady Cooks (my sweet Momma) recipe for amazing Mashed Potato Casserole. We are still having technical difficulties on her site, so we are bringing her recipe over to The Southern Twins. Enjoy!

We love potatoes “fixed” this way and you can do so many different variations. Great for holidays or just anytime.

7 or 8 large potatoes, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 to 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded or cheese of your choice
1 teaspoon paprika

 

Boil the peeled potatoes, drain and mash with the salt, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, pepper, onion flakes and garlic.  Spread mashed potatoes into a sprayed casserole dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese and paprika.  Bake in preheated 375 degree oven, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes.  (Note:  You can add chopped bacon or ham, regular onion or green onion)  Makes 6 to 8 servings. Enjoy!

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Meal Prep, Easy Breakfast and the Weekend

Happy Monday! Hope everyone is ready for the work week. The Bluegrass was awaken this morning to a winter wonderland. We have snow and ice. I certainly hope this is the last of Ole Man Winter. I am ready for Mother Nature to give us a break and start warming things up. This weekend it was rather nice, I was able to go get a load of hay for the horses and look I only had on a sweatshirt.

Hay Girl!

Hay Girl!

Now it looks like this.

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Yesterday Anne and I did some meal prep for the week. We like to go ahead and cook some stuff that is easy to grab. I boiled some eggs and she made some Paleo Banana Bread Muffins. It makes breakfast so easy for the week. It doesn’t matter if I am working from my home office or heading in to town to go to work, I can grab my breakfast on the go and it is still healthy. In order for me to maintain a super balanced healthy life…I have to be prepared! Here is what I have made for breakfast for the past couple of mornings.

Paleo Banana Bread Muffins, hard boiled egg, orange and coffee

Paleo Banana Bread Muffins, hard boiled egg, orange and coffee

 

Strawberries, hardboil egg, cashews and coffee

Strawberries, hardboil egg, cashews and coffee

I loved it and it took 30 seconds…my kind of breakfast. :) Hope everyone has a FABULOUS week!

 

Leigh W

 

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The Day George Strait got Thrown out of the Window

GeorgeStraitBoxSetIt was Christmas time and Anne and I were coming home for the holidays and enjoying our time off from College. We were both broke college kids that had no money but we scrimped and saved to buy our Dad the George Strait Box Set. It had just came out and Anne and I grew up listening to George Strait with our Dad. As itty bitty kiddies we would sing the old classics at the top of our lungs. I remember one day Anne and I just singing and singing  in the truck when the cassette tape ended and it needed to be ejected and flipped to listen to Side A. Remember those days?  Before the first song on SIDE A came back on, Anne and I started belting out the song. Dad looked at us and said “Ok, I think you two have had enough of George Strait.” Clearly, since we had memorized the entire tape.  So this year we were showing up with the George Strait Box Set to put under the tree. Dad opened it and just loved it. We immediately went out to put it in his new truck. His new truck had a CD Player so this was all “new” and high tech! Fancy! Fancy! My father had not one ounce of electrical/mechanical handiness and I did inherit that from him. The VCR was quite the puzzler for him at times. So we threw in one of the CD’s, fired up that diesel truck and went out to check cattle all the while enjoying “Cowboy Rides Away and The Fireman” It was a great day! Fast forward to the following Spring. Anne and I come home for the for a visit and Dad meets us coming down the driveway. I thought that was so nice, looky… he is so happy to have us home. We park and there is Dad standing at my door, which then I thought that he was really excited or we were getting ready to go do something and he needed us to “hurry up!” I get out of the car and said “Hey Dad, we made it!”  he said “Good deal, listen, crawl up in this truck and get the CD out of the CD Player”  I just kind of looked at him and said “ok, what is it stuck or what?” he said “Hell, I don’t know how to get the damn thing out, but once you do, you throw that George Strait CD out the $%&@ window, I don’t care if I ever hear another song of his for the rest of my life” I just stared at him and said “what do you mean? You have been listening to the same  CD since CHRISTMAS?” he said “YOU NEVER SHOWED ME HOW TO TAKE IT OUT!!!” I laughed my ass off..heehee! If you knew my Dad, he could be aggravated easily so I can imagine that riding around every day listening to the same CD was enough to make him lose his every loving mind. Ole George Strait hit the skids that day and I gotta feeling he never made a reappearance in that Dodge truck….ever!

Good times!

Leigh W

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“I Am Fine with just Calling Somebody”

Growing up on a farm, always outside tinkering with stuff some would think that I am kind of mechanical and handy. I am not. I have no “handiness” to me at all. If something breaks or doesn’t work right, I am the first to speak up with my famous words “Let’s just call somebody and have them fix this” That is my “go to” when I can’t figure something out. I learned this from my Father. I remember him having the project of putting up mini blinds once. That lasted all of 5 minutes when he threw everything on the floor and said “call somebody and get them in here to do this! I don’t have time for this kind of stuff!” I have countless examples of this. My twin is the exact opposite. She will work on something till she makes it happen or she reaches a point of completely and utter madness. Anne will be working on something long after I have already went to the house, grabbed a beer and moved on to something else. For example: Anne and I were getting ready to haul the horses to go ride one morning and for some reason the tail gate on the truck was stuck. At this point in our lives, this truck was old and the fact that it still had its tailgate was astonishing…winning! ha! We had to get the tailgate down in order to hook up the trailer and it just wouldn’t budge. It went a little something like this:

The Old Ford Truck

The Old Ford Truck

Me pulling on the tailgate “Hmm, ANNNE!!!!!!!!!! (screaming for her) I can’t get the tailgate down.”

Anne coming around the corner “what do you mean you can’t get it down?”

Me: “What part of it has you lost? The fact that I can’t do something or the fact that the tailgate is in fact stuck?”

Anne: “You are such a smartass at times, get out of the way.”

Anne promptly walks over to the back of the truck and tugs on the latch to pull the tailgate down. Astonishing.. and it was a big shocker for both of us that uh……..nothing happened. IMAGINE THAT! So I try again and yet….NOTHING. Still stuck. Now at this point, I have already come to the conclusion that we aren’t hauling these horses anywhere and that in fact, we will have to get someone to take the tailgate OFF and fix it. This is the point where I say “Ok, well we just need to call somebody or take it in and have them take the damn thing off.” It takes Anne a bit longer. Actually, she never gets to that point. In my mind, I am already planning the rest of my day….ride the horses here at our farm and then maybe drink a couple of beers. While I am planning, planning, planning Anne has left and comes back with a hammer. “GET OUT OF THE WAY” she says as she goes to wailing on this tailgate. She is screaming obscenities, I am laughing, she is damn near crying and finally after she has completely wore herself out she gets the damn tailgate off. Of course, at this point, I felt that we both deserved a beer and she needed to relax. I guess this is why we balance each other out so well. Don’t get me wrong, we are both very hard workers and love to work but there are just somethings I don’t mind to let someone else do…even if that person is my sister. ;)

Happy Monday!

Leigh W

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