Thursday, December 12, 2013

Riding Beau and Cash.

I completely forgot to post this yesterday – OOPS! Sorry about that!

On Tuesday I went out to the barn to ride for the first time since my lesson. My trainer hurt her back so before I went out there I asked her if there was anything I could do to help her out. She told me that I could go ahead and ride her horse, Cash, for her. I feel bad her back is out but… I was really excited to get some extra riding time in!
First thing I did was setup the jumps to the correct height (2’6”) and grabbed Beau from his stall. I tacked up and then we were ready to work. Beau was an angel! After my lesson last week I told myself that I was going to go into this ride with a clear mind and completely forget about the bad ride we had a few days prior. Doing this completely relaxed me and we were so much more in sync. Me relaxing, relaxed Beau and it was smooth sailing from there. I didn’t do full courses but I did jump two lines in a row (4 jumps) several times and we did great!

Beau was really lengthening and finding his spots so I settled in and let him point us in the right direction. It worked most of the time and we got some really nice fences in. I was so pleased with our ride, I ended it on a good note and we headed back to the barn. Next I was going to ride Cash.
I had never ridden Cash before so Mandi (my trainer) gave me a few pointers and sent me on my way. I hopped on him and immediately realized how much closer I was to the ground; he is a lot smaller than Beau! I trotted Cash around and got him to frame up nicely and then asked him to canter. While I was cantering him Mandi came out and gave me a few suggestions to get him to settle and lengthen his stride and then asked me to do flying lead changes (this is where you are cantering in one direction and then switch them to the opposite direction). We did flying lead changes both ways and he was really good! I have to say that I really enjoyed riding Cash and I would love to get the opportunity to ride him more in the future!

All in all, I had two great rides on Tuesday! I am so happy that Beau and I were on the same page again and recovered from last week’s lesson failure. As always, I’m looking forward to going out there Sunday and riding him again!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Weekend Update.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Nick and I worked hard this weekend painting the house...
And putting up out Christmas decorations!
I can't wait to show you before and after pictures of the house when we're all done painting! I'm hoping to have the whole house done after this weekend.

I hope you are all having a great start to your week! I'm headed to the barn this afternoon and will be getting to ride Beau and another horse, Cash! I'm excited to ride Cash...he's a really good boy! I'll update you on my rides tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I feel like I have drifted a little bit from the reason I started this blog. Since today is my One Year Blogging Anniversary, I’ve been thinking a lot about this little blog of mine and why I began writing. I think I had a few reasons for it but the main one was that I wanted to document our move from Florida to Michigan. This time last year we still did not have a clear idea of when we wanted to move or how we were actually going to approach it; we just knew it would happen sometime. Nick made a new year’s resolution to begin college classes at some capacity. He has known for a while that he wanted to get back into coaching football but we weren’t sure what would be the best way to approach it.

As some of you may know, Nick quit his job this past April and began working on getting his AA. Next week he will be done with his second semester and have 21 credits under his belt! I could not be more proud of how hard he is working to follow our dreams and moving to Michigan. He is on track to graduate with his AA next December, so, in the meantime we have been painting the inside of the house (everything was white) to give it a little bit more market value when we list it for sale next December/January.

Our plan when I started this blog was roughly this: try to get some college credits, move to a suburb of Detroit (Belleville was where we were seriously considering), Nick finish getting his Bachelor’s Degree and then get a teaching/coaching job somewhere outside of Detroit. Well, this plan has changed a lot in the past year and we are 100% confirmed with what we are going to do now. Here is our plan now: Nick graduates with his AA in December 2014, I find a job (and we buy a house) somewhere between Mt. Pleasant and Alma, list our current house for sale, Nick starts online classes for his Bachelor’s for the spring semester, we move and Nick starts coaching!

I get so excited thinking and talking about this because it has been something we wanted to do for years and now we are only one year away from it becoming a reality! So, as we approach this huge time in our lives, I hope my lovely readers are looking forward to following along with us and this adventure we are about to embark on.

Now, even though this is the reason I started this blog, it has turned into so much more than that. It is a virtual diary where I can write posts about fun things we do, or yummy recipes I’ve made, and it has really become a place where our family can come and see what we’ve been up to. I have rekindled a love for photography that I knew burned deep down in me and want to save up for a nice camera to start taking some awesome pictures with! This blog has also become my historical library of throwback posts and riding stories and I know I will be so grateful to always have this to look back on.

Thank you all for following along with Motor City on my Mind this past year! I hope you are just as excited about this next year as I am!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lesson Number Thirteen.

Disappointed-this is how I felt after my lesson yesterday evening. Beau and I were out of sync, I was off balance, we we’re both tired and...I fell off! We were pretty much a train wreck. I’m feeling a little better about it today but every time I go back and watch the videos, I cringe.
We are starting to do course work (6 to 8 jumps in a row); which we need to perfect because this is what we will be doing at competitions. The beginning of my lesson was great. Our flat work was good, jumping single fences and single lines (2 jumps) were great but as soon as we threw in two more lines, everything seemed to fall apart. I think most of it was from being so tired and not having the stamina to do multiple courses in a row but I don’t need to have excuses. My show is in less than two months and if I want to be any competition to my opponents, I need to push myself now!
When I think about it, I remember having off days with Susie and feeling so defeated and like we were never going to get it (this was in many different aspects with her-from when we were in walk/trot to when we were jumping 3 foot) but I believe that just comes with the territory. I think it is so difficult for me to have a bad day because I expect perfection, not out of Beau but from myself and this is in all aspects of my life. Whenever I do something I expect the results to be excellent and if they aren’t, I get pretty down on myself. I guess I may be what they call a “perfectionist”.
I need to remember that for every bad day, we have three or more great days! I need to keep in mind that we were trying something new and I should prepare myself for the fact that it may not be perfect every time. I know that the next time I go out to the barn to ride; I will be positive and ready to take on the challenge of jumping courses. Even though I feel crushed right now, I will push through and try even harder than I did on Wednesday. For me, that is the only way that I will be able to conquer the feeling of defeat.
I must say though, that I am lucky to have such an amazing trainer willing to work with me and teach me what I need to know before I move to Michigan and possibly start my own career in training/barn ownership/competing. She is the most patient teacher I’ve known and she really puts a lot of time into me and Beau and our growth as a team of two. I am so thankful for her and what she is allowing me to do and I find great motivation in that to work hard, not only for me but for Mandi and Beau.

Even though I am not pleased with the way I rode yesterday, I still uploaded the video to YouTube.

I got a few replies that the video wasn't playing. I took out the music and re-uploaded it and it should now work for you. Please let me know if it isn't working.
I don't ride again until next Wednesday, but pictures or not, I will update you on how it went!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mandi and Nova.

Yesterday I went out to the barn and got to watch Mandi (my trainer) ride Nova before I headed out to the pasture to get Beau.
Mandi is going to be showing Nova at the same time I'll be showing Beau at the end of next month. They are really coming along well and I can't wait to get back to competing with them!

After watching Mandi ride (and lowering the jumps), I grabbed Beau from the pasture, tacked up and headed out to ride. Beau was such a good boy today! He was really lengthening his stride and rounding over the fences. Mandi watched me ride and threw me some reminders about my position (mostly my hands and keeping them down) when I needed them. I wish I had gotten some pictures of us today but unfortunately didn't get the chance to ask before I was already riding.
I hope to get some pictures and videos soon!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and/or families! I got off work early Wednesday and headed out of the office excited for my four day weekend ahead. I packed my new bag from my mom and Nick and I were on our way to my Dad's house!
We spent the evening by the fireplace, just enjoying each other's company.
Thanksgiving day started out slow. Nick built a fire and I sipped on hot apple cider while looking through old family pictures. We watched the Lions WIN while my Dad and I began cooking. My Dad and Step-Mom, Tami, are on the same low carb diet as me, so we tried to keep our Thanksgiving meal as healthy as possible. Here is what we had.
Turkey. Gravy. Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Mashed Cauliflower. Green Bean Casserole. Low Carb Stuffing. Cabbage and Sausage.
Everything was really good and we were all happy we weren't cheating too bad on our diets; a difficult feat for Thanksgiving! The rest of the weekend was spent at home, continuing to paint the house. Nick and I are so surprised with how much painting we've gotten done! Just this week we've done the loft, living room and dining room (basically all of the downstairs). All we have left are the tall walls buy the front door (into the loft) and two accent walls.
Today I went to the barn, watched my trainer ride and then rode Beau...I'll fill you in on that tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Vegetable Tian.

Hi guys! As I mentioned yesterday, Nick'as Aunt and Uncle gave us a big box full of vegetables when we visited them and I naturally got started right away looking for recipes and experimenting with my new low carb diet.
I decided on a Vegetable Tian; not only is it delicious but it is really easy and is super low in carbs and in calories. I think that's called a win-win-win?! I hope you all enjoy this recipe. I don't know if all of you will have these "summer" vegetables available to you where you live but in Florida you can still pretty much get anything since it still feels like summer here.
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium tomato
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
seasoned salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees ferenheit. Finely dice onion. Saute onion and garlic in a skillet with olive oil until soft (5 minutes).
While the onion and garlic are sautéing, thinly slice the vegetables. Slice the tomato and then cute into fours.
Spray the inside of a baking dish with non-stick spray, spread the onion and garlic in the bottom and then place the sliced vegetable in the baking dish vertically in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with seasoned salt, pepper and thyme.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I'm Alive.

I can't believe that it has been five weeks since I last posted on here! Do you want to hear all of the excuses I have for slacking on my blog? No? Ok, I won't waste your time but I will tell you it was all my fault and I was being lazy. That stops now though. I'm coming back in full force and am even making my first new years resolution to post more often (a few times a week?!) for 2014 starting now!
Let's talk about how fast time is going by! Geez, I can't believe we are two days away from Thanksgiving! I would be happy if it slowed down a little bit during the holidays.
So, here is what I've been up to since I've been away from the blog (hint: not much!)...I've continued to ride and take lessons. My Dad came out to the barn about a month ago to watch me ride and take some video for me. Here are some stills and a link to the video.
Beau and I are really improving... even a lot more since this video was taken. I plan on trying to get my trainer to take some video and pictures of me on Sunday and I'll update you guys more on where we're at then.
Two weeks ago Nick and I went to his cousin's baby shower in Bonita Springs, Florida and had a wonderful time. We can't wait to meet Bryson next year!
His Aunt and Uncle were kind enough to let us stay with them and sent us home with some delicious fresh vegetables.
The first thing I made with these delicious veggies was a Vegetable Tian which I will share with you tomorrow.
These vegetables couldn't have come at a better time because about three weeks ago I started a low carb diet. I'm currently trying to stay between 20 and 30 grams of carbs and under 800 calories a day. Let me tell you, it works! I've lost ten pounds and continue to lose. Running and horseback riding is definitely helping to contribute to the weight loss but this is the first time I have seen immediate results from a diet. It is definitely something I am going to stick with. I hope you are all ready for more low carb recipes(i.e. the Vegetable Tian) as I experiment with this new lifestyle!
And with that I want to apologize for not keeping up with this little blog of mine and neglecting all of my beloved readers. I promise that I will be more engaged and update more often. Thank you for hanging in there during my absence! Please look for new posts coming to you a few times a week!
Don't forget I'll be bringing you a delicious recipe tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lesson Number Ten.

I haven't given you guys a lesson update in a while! Things are going great and I have had some very productive lessons since my last recap. This Wednesday I had my tenth lesson since I've been back riding. We jumped a lot more and really worked hard!
My trainer, Mandi took some pictures and videos for me so I can see my progress, what I'm doing right and wrong and compare to my first lesson with her in March.
I feel like we are coming along strong and Beau and I are really getting in tune with each other. I still have a lot of things to fix, like my elbows being out and releasing more with my hands in my two point (the position I'm in while going over a fence). I am however, very pleased with my leg position on the flat and over fences. I feel like my legs are really getting strong and back to where I was when I was riding all the time.
In addition to my lessons, I also ride four more times a month on my lease days. Those days I usually do a lot of flat work and then some jumping. As our flat work gets better, I'll start working on our jumping more during my lease days.
Our first competition is going to be at the end of January. It's just a small local show to get me back into the swing of competing and see where I am at. I am so excited to get back in the show ring!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

While I was at work today, Nick called and wanted me to make a few finger foods for the Tigers game tonight. I opted for a couple of easy things... these cucumber bagels and some sweet and sour meatballs. These meatballs are yet another recipe I got from my wonderful mother-in-law and they are so delicious I just had to share them with you!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
2 lb frozen meatballs
20 oz. can crushed pineapple
6 tbs brown sugar
10 tbs teriyaki sauce
2 tbs cider vinegar
4 tbs ketchup
Put brown sugar, teriyaki, vinegar, ketchup and juice from he crushed pineapple in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Place the meatballs and crushed pineapple in the crock pot and set to medium heat. Once the sauce is ready, pour over meatballs and let them cook for about an hour or until warmed through; stir occasionally.

The great thing about these meatballs is that once they're ready, you can leave them in the crock pot (on warm) and munch on them all night. I hope you enjoy them!

Now it's time for me to get ready to cheer on our boys in game 5 against the A's!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Easy Salsa.

I got this salsa recipe from my Mother in Law a few years ago and just love it! It is definitely a staple in our house when we have company or just want something to munch on while watching a football game.
What I love most about this salsa (besides how delicious it is) is that it's very simple and inexpensive to make. We usually eat it with multi-grain scoops.
Easy Salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rol-Tel tomatoes
1 can fiesta corn
1 small bottle of Italian dressing
Tortilla chips
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and you're done! You can chill or serve it at room temperature. It's good either way!
I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

TBT - Lions at Tampa

You guys may not have noticed but Nick and I are huge Detroit/Michigan sports fans! ;) I never watched a ton of sports when I was younger, except for the Dallas Cowboys (my Mom's favorite team). So I knew the basics of football, nothing about basketball and thought baseball and hockey were boring.

When I met Nick, he introduced me to all of these sports. First he threw in a movie about the 1989 and 1990 Pistons Championships with the Bad Boys and then we watched another one about the 2004 Championship team! Needless to say, I immediately fell in love with the Pistons and the way they played ball. 

The Pistons were my first introduction into what Detroit sports are about; the city and the pride of the people that live there. Detroit sports teams really bring the city together in a way that I had never experienced before! From that night, after learning about the Pistons, I was hooked and wanted to learn so much more about baseball, hockey and football.

Fast forward to today, I've watched and attended more sporting events than I can count and actually understand the rules and what is going on in the games. I am so happy that it was so natural for me to have a love of sports because it has become our "thing". Going to games and cheering on our teams is definitely a favorite pastime and I can't wait until we live in Michigan and finally get to go to Ford Field and The Joe! 

So, with all that said, I'd like to share my first Lions game with you! Nick and I were lucky enough to get tickets from a friend of my Mom, so we had great seats and access at the club level!
The game was in December 2010 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was chilly out but I had to wear my new Calvin Johnson jersey! Seeing an NFL game live was a lot of fun and I never thought I would have the opportunity to do it!
We enjoyed the game and the food/drinks inside the warm club level and the best part was that the Lions won by three points in overtime! I would definitely recommend going to an NFL game if you ever get the chance, it truly is a fun experience!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One Year Anniversary.

Nick and I celebrated our one year anniversary a week early by going down to Miami for a long weekend. Once I got out of work on Thursday, we got the rental car, packed our bags and were on our way! The drive was about 3.5 hours; we listened to music and took in the sites.
We made reservations at the Aloft Miami-Brickell that is located in downtown Miami.
From our balcony we had views of Marlins Park, city buildings and a little piece of the ocean.
Our first night was spent simply enjoying each others company, sipping on yummy drinks and talking into the wee hours of the morning. It was quite special to hang out and talk about the past and our hopeful future. We got up bright and early the next morning and drove to Ocean Drive for breakfast. As we walked by one place, we were offered free mimosa' we ate delicious omelets there(the Cardozo Hotel).
We walked over to the beach afterwards but did not have on proper attire (plus it was steaming hot and muggy!) so we lasted about 30 seconds and this is the only picture I got...
We've seen the ocean before so it really wasn't a big deal to spend time there. ;)
That night was game one of the Detroit Tigers last regular season series and of course we had tickets! We watched the Tiger's during batting practice and also were lucky enough to get Torii Hunter and Anibal Sanchez's signatures!
Saturday was pretty much spent a lot like Friday, except with maybe a little more lounging around in the morning! During Saturday nights game we got Matt Tuiasosopo's signature and he was so kind to take a picture with me! It was pretty cool! At this point we have gotten 23 different Tigers players signatures on baseballs and pictures with Prince Fielder, Tom Brookens (Coach) and Matt Tuiasosopo!
We headed home on Sunday morning to relax and recoup from a weekend of late nights and early mornings.
It was so great for Nick and I to get to spend quality time together celebrating our first year of marriage. This Sunday is our official anniversary and we plan on taking it easy, watching the Lions and digging into our wedding cake(hoping it's still just as delicious as it was on our wedding day!)
 Here's to a wonderful year of marriage and many more to come!