A trip to gorgeous Sedona, AZ

Last weekend Ben’s mom came to visit us! And of course, when someone visits you in Arizona, you take them to Sedona. Not that she has never been there before, she has been many – many times, it is just a place where you must go for a couple hours or maybe even for a weekend when you are around!

It is such a lovely – little place and there is so much to do. The entire town is surrounded with red rock buttes and gorgeous canyons. There are many hiking trails and a cute little creek where you can cool yourself down during the hot summer days.

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Echo looks pissed

The town is filled with the art of local painters, sculpture makers, jewelry makers, musicians and you name it. Everyone is friendly, happy, and hangs out on the streets, enjoying the warmth of the sun.

All the local stores have a little sit down area in front of them and they have plenty of benches too in the town where you can sit down for a couple minutes with a cup of coffee or a delicious ice cream and enjoy the wonderful view to the red rocks.

We left early enough in the morning so we can have brunch in Sedona. When we got there most stores were still closed and there weren’t many people on the streets. We found a cute little breakfast place called The Secret Garden Cafe. They had a patio and also were very dog friendly. They got Echo a bowl of water so he can cool himself down a little bit.

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I got an egg white omelette with spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese and had some fresh fruit on the side! Ben and his mom both went with the breakfast burrito and Ben got roasted potatoes on the side.

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While we were waiting for the check to come, Echo was getting pretty impatient so I left a little early to walk him around the area. By this time there were more people walking from art gallery to art gallery. Of course it took about 2 minutes before someone had to stop and pet Echo 😀 He loves getting all the attention and loves being spoiled by everyone.

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After breakfast we walked back to the car and headed for a hike. It took us a while to find the trail but it was worth the search. We hiked the Slim Shady Trail, which is also a mountain bike trail.

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I have to admit I was amazed by all those bikers cruising through the trail without planting on their faces. I was just explaining to Ben and her mom how I would possibly injure myself at such reckless activity when I tripped and almost fell. They got a pretty good laugh out of it and also realized that I was not joking when I said I would risk my life there.

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We did not hike for too long, but got to go high enough to see the wonderful view of the canyon around us. It feels like time stops when you stand there and stare at such wonderful view. I just can’t get enough of it. It makes me feel so tiny and insignificant standing there in the middle of the vista. It felt like we were tiny little ants.

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On the way home Echo and I passed out in the back seat, we both took a pretty amazing 40 minute nap

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I can only recommend Sedona to everyone who is ever in the area! You will probably hear more about it from me in the future too! 😉

have a great Friday afternoon!

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Weekends are for recharging, we made sure we got the most out of it

Saturday Echo woke up at 8:30 in the morning…I looked at the clock and couldn’t believe my eyes. I had a quick little talk with him and we agreed that everyone stays in bed until 9. He was luckily on board with that.

At 9 I put some work out clothes on and we I went for a mile long morning walk. It was gorgeous outside, we both loved it. Echo was sniffing around, picking up rocks, and enjoying the warmth.

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His leash is falling apart. He got ahold of it during a road trip and we didn’t notice that he chewed half of it up on the back seat. It is my fault, I did not hide it well enough and even though he is not supposed to chew stuff just because he is bored, I should have been more careful.

After the walk I dropped off Echo at home, fed him and I went down to the gym. My new favorite gym equipment is the stationary bike.  I always make sure to do 15 minutes on it, either before work out or after. I never tried it before because I always thought I would just sit down and be very slow and lazy but I realized how hard it can be if you push yourself to the max for a couple minutes. It gave my legs a really good work out and I am still sore, even a couple days after.

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After work out I went home and found Ben awake in the living room. Echo was kind enough to wake him up too, he was ready to start the weekend and didn’t understand why would we want to sleep in.

We were all starving and have been craving some good old breakfast, so I showered quick and we started cooking. On Wednesday we got turkey bacon, whole wheat waffles and a dozen eggs…we have been waiting for this breakfast for a very long time. I made scrambled eggs, waffles and crispy bacon, while Ben made some hash browns. His project was a little bit more time consuming and complicated….breakfast turned out pretty nice. sat2

After breakfast we laid down and hang out for a while. Ben had to go teach tennis and he took Echo with him. I don’t know if other puppy owners feel the same way, but it felt so nice to be in the house and be able to clean without Echo running miles around me. Of course, I missed him 10 minutes right after but at the same time, it was so much easier to clean the house, do laundry and do all the dishes…By the time Ben and Echo got home, everything was nice and clean!

Saturday night we went for a walk, relaxed and played a couple rounds of cribbage. I lost to Ben again, even though I was in the lead for a long time…almost until the very last turn. So disappointing but I am starting to accept my fate. We made a pasta, pork and asparagus dinner :)

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Sunday was Echo’s 9 month birthday! We woke up and Ben made breakfast while I did some more laundry and folding. Folding is my least favorite part of doing laundry… But it had to be done so I tried to make it fun. Whenever I am folding laundry and all of a sudden it is too calm and quiet around me, I know Echo took off with a sock or underwear. I was right, this time too, so I chased him around for a while, until he got tired…

Ben had to go to work for an hour and while he was working, Echo and I went to buy a new leash, which was way over due, then we walked and enjoyed the sun until Ben came back. Then we went to PetSmart and got Echo a birthday present, a new crate! He outgrew his old one unfortunately. I wish he stayed as small as when I first met him, but time flies. We came home and put his crate together. He really enjoyed getting to know his new little safe spot…and of course, he helped a lot.

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As soon as we were done with the crate, our friend Jordan picked us up and we went for a hike…well, we thought we were just gonna go for a walk in the meadow but the roads going up to the meadow were still closed because of the winter months so our little trip turned out to be a 6 mile hike! It was lots of fun and it was absolutely worth it!

This was our view on the way up! At least we had a good excuse to stop sometimes and rest…such a beautiful view 😀

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Hope everyone had a great weekend!

 

To Create a better me. Chapter 2/12 -How I fought back against my coffee addiction

Some says coffee is good for you, some says it is terrible for you. I am definitely one who says coffee is great for me…for my soul at least. I am  addicted to the taste and definitely I am addicted to the process of making coffee.

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I tried to be artsy with this picture, it did not work out.

 

I love the smell that spreads around the house when I make coffee at home. I love to grab my little mug and sit down on the couch, while reading, working on the blog, watching TV…whatever…but slowly sipping on a warm cup of coffee. It is soooo great.

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Especially when I am back home in Hungary, my dad usually makes coffee for my mom, sister, and I in the morning and comes upstairs to wake us up with a mug of freshly made coffee. Then we just sit in bed and talk …. sometimes for hours, sometimes for just couple minutes, but those times are always very valuable family times. It is the best ever. I drink my coffee with honey and a hint of creamer or if creamer is not available I use almond milk.

When I buy coffee in coffee shops though, I like the sugary, sweet, delicious – delicious lattes and mochas … which is a problem. So much added sugar, very little actual coffee. I know it is bad, I need to stop doing that or at least minimize those times…and this is how we arrive to my February challenge.

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I tried to be artsy here too, this one worked out pretty well

Like I mentioned in my previous blog, How I fought back against my chocolate addiction, this year I am doing something new each month. Something that is good for my mind, for my body, and for my soul. In January, I did not eat chocolate at all, which helped me lose weight, and helped me decrease my chocolate cravings. I guess this means it was good for my body, but was it good for my mind? Sometimes I felt like I was going to lose it, so it is questionable… But back to the point:

In February, I did not drink coffee.

I started drinking a lot more green tea, instead of all the lattes and it not only helped my weight loss, but it was easy on my wallet too. But damn it was hard… I missed the process of making coffee, I missed the taste and I missed my little coffee mug…ha…I can’t use that mug for tea or orange juice or milk…nono…that little mug is designated for only coffee drinking.

What changed?

  1. I lost weight! – 3 pounds which I believe is the result of drinking less sugary coffees. I also worked out, but not more than usually and did not change my eating habits either. So I would like to think that is the reason…
  2. Saved money!  – Every time I said…if it wasn’t for the challenge, now I would get a coffee, I wrote down $4 in my phone…turnes out in a month that saved me $56…eeek

What I learned…

  1. When ordering coffee at coffee shops, ask for sugar free options
  2. Do not go to coffee shops too often. I set my monthly coffee shop budget for $15…must stay under that price. No exceptions.
  3. I really do enjoy coffee and I am definitely going back to my home made morning ritual
  4. I love green tea and white tea

So this is the conclusion I got out of my February challenge. These challenges are nice because they make me realize things I haven’t realized before and make me change towards a better and smarter ($56??? What the heck was I thinking) me.

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Questions from me to you:

  1. What is your relationship with coffee?
  2. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
  3. How do you drink your coffee?

 

Finding Echo’s sister…what a small world

I found Echo’s sister 😀

What were the chances?? The other day someone liked Echo’s photo on Instagram and since I saw she had a puppy on her profile picture too, I looked at the photo. The puppy on the picture looked just like Echo, I was even confused for a split second thinking how did my dog get on her account?

So I messaged her and said that I know there is a very slim chance for this, but could those two dogs be related? I have seen lots of dogs from the same breed but none of them looked exactly like Echo. Her dog looked kind of young too, so who knows…things happen. She messaged me back asking where I got Echo from and it turned out that we both got our dogs from the same place in California. Then she told me her birthday and that is the exact same day when Echo was born. 😀 So it turns out they are from the same litter.

Next time we are in California, we will meet and let the puppies hang out for a while. I wonder if they will recognize each other based on smell maybe? Or can they remember? The last time they saw each other they were younger than 4 months so I really don’t know how this works, but I hope they will have a great play date and will enjoy each other’s company when they meet.

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Echo is on the left 🙂

ADD post: not sure if I am addicted to coffee or…

if I am just addicted to the process of making it, sitting down and sipping on it in the morning while enjoying a piece of peanut butter and jelly toast/rice cake or just food in general. Actually…any food…hmm…this brings up a whole new topic…am I addicted to food? Food… I miss you…oh a banana!

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Oh look, I took this picture this morning. I am very proud of it. It looks healthy and happy…happy that it can be eaten by me. (It can be eaten by me is probably the weirdest sounding not correct and passive something english sentence ever…I remember something from english class) I have been trying to get very creative with those rice cakes…maybe not eating carbs is driving me a little cra….oh hey I just thought about this other picture, look:

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Those are with peanut butter and bananas…yummm…I am making myself hungry.  Yes, I am Hungarian and I am hungry… here is a tip that can follow you through your entire life:

If you wanna keep your dignity, don’t ever make this joke to a Hungarian: Are you a hungry Hungarian? (You can thank me later)

Anyway, I might have had a little bit too much coffee today because I am having a hard time not moving around or stop shaking my legs or finishing one senten…

Have a great afternoon everyone!

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This mug is almost as big as my head!! How great is that?:D

A perfect weekend

Friday night Ben and I went to play tennis again. Even though we still feel sick a little bit, it was a must. We played for about 50 minutes but it felt like 2 hours….we were both out of breath and pretty exhausted after.

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After tennis we came home and I decided to make some dessert. I wanted to make pancakes but I used oat flour and for some reason it wasn’t sticking together so I put the mix into a casserole dish and put it in the oven…Echo and I were sitting on the ground, eagerly watching the cake mix, hoping that it will turn out semi-good…well it didn’t. I had to throw away the whole thing. At least we had fun on the floor playing and taking selfies…

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Saturday morning started a little earlier than I wanted to. Echo woke me up at 7:30, he was clearly in a big rush to get outside and go to the bathroom, so I put on some slippers and we rushed down-stairs. We walked around the block and enjoyed the morning breeze. It was pretty cold but it felt nice.

Coming back up-stairs I fed Echo and then decided to go back to bed…but I couldn’t fall asleep. Our little morning walk woke me up. So I went to the kitchen and made myself a big cup of coffee. I found this cute cup the other day and I fell in love with it. Now I have my own little coffee mug. I tried to add cinnamon to the coffee but it just kind of stayed on the top, awkwardly swimming around the rim…oh well, the coffee was still pretty good. This month my resolution is that I am not eating carbs. It is hard…very hard. I love  carbs, fresh warm bread in the morning, delicious pasta for lunch or dinner…oh man. But it is a month, this month I am sticking to this and if it goes well, I might do it longer. I do have some symptoms sometimes that I looked up online and they all point to the fact that I might be gluten intolerant. I have been having pretty bad stomach aches for many many years now, bloating, skin irritation on the back of my arms etc. All fun stuff. Well…we will see how I feel after a month of no carbs. szombat reggeli

I made breakfast with rice cakes. I used to hate them, I thought they could not be any more boring, but then I realized they can actually be fun…I put hummus and salami on one, cottage cheese, lettuce and olives on the other one and of course a peanut butter banana one was a must! 🙂

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After breakfast Ben, Stephanie (our new friend who we met a couple months ago but just recently started hanging out with. She has an adorable little son, Colter…and they love Echo!) and I went for a mid day walk and a dog park visit. Ben and Stephanie wanted to check out the disc golf course in the park, so we checked that out during our walk. Then we took Echo to a dog park for the first time ever. We have been very nervous about taking him there because he can be a little overwhelming, but it turned out that he was the smallest little dude in the park! He made new friends but he was very safe and stayed around people the whole time. Ran into the middle of other dog groups and then sprinted away immediately but all in all we think he had a good time…and of course he was exhausted afterwards…a tired dog is a happy dog so we did well 🙂

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When we got home we sat down for a little bit and I made a veggie plate with some ranch and summus (hummus+salsa that I learned from the head tennis coach at the school in Milwaukee). We watched an episode of the Worst Cooks in America and then I went down to the gym. I didn’t feel like running so I hopped on the treadmill and tried to do my best. I ended up doing 3.5 miles in 34 minutes which I have no idea if that is good or not. I did some weights and squats after and stretching at the end. When I got home, Ben was waiting for me with a big plate of turkey meat balls, steamed cheese-broccoli and salad on the side. WOW! I was so impressed, it tasted amazing! What a man! 🙂

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Sunday morning we woke up around 9:30 and we were starving. We made some banana pancakes (only two ingredients: banana+eggs. I ended up adding chia seeds and blueberries to the mix), turkey and eggs, and avocado rice cakes. We made a matcha green tea smoothie too, to start to morning off right 🙂 The shake ingredients: banana+matcha green tea, unsweetened almond milk, granola, and honey.

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After breakfast I put on my work out clothes because I felt very motivated…haha did three sets of 60 squats and a little ab workout, made a coffee and then we were heading out the door.

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Downtown had a crafting event, create and sip some wine in the mean time kind of thing … we ended up creating without wine, but it was just as fun. I did not feel like wine at all today. There were two options. Either paint a mason jar or a piece of wood…we went with the wood. Ben picked a nice red color and then we picked out the words together. “Don’t ever grow up”- this is what it says…kind of hard to read unfortunately but pretty cool I think. It was a fun place for sure and it made us feel very artsy.

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We told Echo he was coming with us to downtown and that made him very happy. He likes to give hugs and kisses, he is such a kind and loving soul. He was loving his downtown walk and met lots of new people who could not pass by him without stopping and petting him. He brightens everyone’s day 🙂

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After downtown we made some hot tea and a fruit bowl to snack on. Watched another episode of the Worst Cooks in America. That show is hilarious. It is a pretty good confidence booster haha but also we have been learning a lot from watching the pros.

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This was the first time I bought Good Earth matcha green tea. It is soooo goood, has a hint of orange in it and the tea bags have quotes on them which I thought was pretty cool and fun. My quote for the night was: “What you are is where you have been. What you will be is what you do now.” – Buddha

We tried a new type of work out with Echo hahaha If you have a German Shepherd or a Great Dane this might not work for you but we had a good time 😀

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At night we went for a walk with Stephanie and her friend. It felt nice to keep moving but at the same time it was way too windy. It was kind of annoying to deal with the wind, I hope the weather will get nicer soon.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend! 🙂

Weekend recap before the weekend

Hiii,

Oh my…it has already been a week again. Time flies. During the week usually we are pretty busy therefor we don’t have much time to go on hikes or make a big amount of breakfast and sit down to eat it but on the weekends we like to start the morning slow and then be active throughout the day.

Last Saturday did end up being pretty active.

Saturday morning I woke up with an urge to go to the gym. I took Echo out to take care of his business, we walked around the area and enjoyed the beautiful weather, then I changed and went over for a quick run and some weight workout. The weight room was empty, I love when that happens, so I jumped on the treadmill real quick…I turned on the TV and Gilmore Girls was on!! Oh how much I love that show! Luckily, I have seen it enough so it didn’t distract me from my workout too much! After the treadmill I jumped over to the elliptical and then did some weights. I was loving that I was the only one in there.

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After I finished my workout, I went to the pool and just sat in quiet for a little while. I stretched on the sun and then went home. Ben was still asleep, so I decided to make some breakfast. I was craving ham and eggs and something sweet so I added a little peanut butter-banana toast on the side. Meanwhile, Ben woke up and he made a banana-bluberry smoothie to go with breakfast. Echo loves helping out in the kitchen, he is always under our feet (which I kind of love) but he functions great as a vacuum. Whenever I drop something, I barely have time to pick it up. That dog is fast!

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After breakfast we cleaned the apartment a little bit, it was much needed and then decided to go for a hike. Echo loves hikes because he has a tremendous amount of extra energy. He for sure keeps us very active too, which is a great thing!

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Oh I forgot to mention that Echo got a haircut a week before! He looked so hilariously funny. We couldn’t help but laugh at him. They left his body hair long but trimmed his face so there was a giant contrast between his entire body and his little face. His hair on his head was properly combed to the side too…I felt so bad for him…but now he is looking much better…he grew some of that crazy facial hair back that we love so much!

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After getting home from our hike, we were a little exhausted. We took a shower and sat down to rest for a little bit. For afternoon snack I made some no flour banana protein pancakes…it sounds kind of yikes but I promise it was great. We topped them with cinnamon, yoghurt and blueberries and they tasted delicious!

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I wish we could be more active throughout the week too, it feels great to move around and be outside in the great weather!