Orange Coconut Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette, Salad Dressing Recipes, Hotel Costs, Last Arizona Post: Realizations & Lessons Learned


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Hi Friends!  Whoa.  What an insane day I have had already.   Woke up at 6am, cardio outside in the 105F heat plus it’s super humid here today.  Fun.  Light yoga stretching and then lifted like an animal since I know it will be a half a week or more til I am back in a gym.  Then, I lifted boxes.  I was packing everything from lampshades in bubble wrap to packing pack-n-plays to shower caddies to orchestrating all the clothes and snacks the family will need for the next 72 hours.  Oh the joy of being the Domestic Engineer.  Then it was off the post office to change our address, the cable company to return the cable boxes, gassed up the car, returned some random clothing at a local store here, went on a try-to-find-a-few-more-boxes wild goose chase in the heat.  Talked to movers on both ends of the move, and it goes on and on.  I won’t exhaust you just by reading about all that I’ve been doing before noon…haha!   So that was my morning, what’s shaking on your end?

I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you who commented with the most supportive, warm, kind-hearted well-wishes and congratulations on my Fitness Competition placings and awards post from yesterday.  150 of you took the time to comment plus I got other emails and Facebook messages, and I cherished every word!  Thank you!!!

Fitness Competition Awards

Woman in bathing suit holding awards

I knew I had great readers and friends out there, but I was beyond moved when every few minutes, I’d have a dozen, new, amazing, congratulatory emails and comments in my inbox, all day Sunday.  Wow.  You guys blew me over.  Thank you so much.  I am beyond grateful!

The ironic thing is that I almost didn’t post the pictures.  I was really apprehensive because I didn’t know how they would be received, but I figured, what the hell, I’ve come this far.  May as well post them.  And I’m so glad I did, because I could feel the support and happy vibes from everyone!

Woman in blue bathing suit giving thumbs up

Yesterday’s post reminded me of my How to Get Abs & Tough Love post that I did.  I almost didn’t publish that one because I was worried about reactions, but my Abs Post Post been one of my most popular posts ever.  Right along with yesterday’s Fitness Show Awards post.  So, moral of the story, if hitting the Publish Post button makes you sweat profusely, then it’s probably a good post, people will be moved and like it, and should definitely be published!

Moving on…
This is likely my last blog post from Arizona.  The next post you see from me will probably be from San Diego.  I am not sure when my internet is going to be up and running and how the logistics of the week will play out with unpacking and getting my internet up and running.  I may post one more time Tuesday before we roll out, and then again, maybe not. 

Thanks to ever one who chimed in about Guest Posts and if you like them.  The overall consensus seems to be what I feel as well: that they’re “fine” but most readers visit and read a particular blog to read about the blog author’s life, stories, happenings, and going’s on, and a Guest Poster isn’t what they came to see and they don’t read the post anywayAnd many of you noticed what I have also noticed in the ‘sphere that Guest Posts don’t even “fit” with the overall content and scope of the original blog….that’s the worst and I admit, I don’t read those at all or comment.  

So rather than go to the work of organizing guests posts for the week, I decided to not bother.  I know (well, I hope!) you guys will be around by at the end of the week ready to read a fresh post from me.

My weekend involved packing the final touches for our Move.   Which is Tomorrow! 

I packed up my Lover who’s riding Shotgun

Vita-mix being packaged up

Check out this Masterful Staging Area in our garage

Lots of stacked moving boxes

Pull that truck in, load-n-goI’ve done this once or twice ten times in ten years.

More stacked moving boxes
Stacked moving boxes against wall

Ever since the Fitness Show, Skylar has been showing me how the Guys Posed and Flexed on Stage

Young girl flexing


Young girl standing in kitchen flexing
She tells me that she liked watching the girls more than the boys.  Smart kid as there is frankly nothing too appealing for me watching a bunch of guys in banana-hammock swimsuits, all greased up with Pam Cooking Spray, stinking like spray-tan, and not showering for 3+ days, and pumping up incessantly and sweating like pigs before they go on stage.   Sekkksi.  Not.
Young girl in yellow shirt flexing
 Skylar giving me her Best Pose-Down Move

And in project Condiment CleanoutDown from the 40+ I have to 37 now.  Kidding, I’m maybe at 20 or so now.  I decided to create a new Salad Dressing using my random bottles of this and that which I will loosely call condiments:

Averie’s Orange Coconut Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette
1/3 to 1/2 c of Orange Juice (Juice of 1/2 orange)
1-2 Tbsp Agave
1-2 Tbsp ACV
1-2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 Tsp Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning or to Taste (or use another lemon pepper seasoning blend.  I like Mrs. Dash because it’s salt free and although garlic and onion make the list, they are way down on the list and not offensive to me)
Note all ingredients are to taste.  A dash here, a dash there, rather than careful measuring.
Whisk to Combine or Blend in a Blender which will yield a creamier, more emulsified dressing, but not necessary to get your blender dirty.
Optional: Ground Ginger, Pinch of Cinnamon, Salt and Pepper

Ingredients to make Orange Coconut Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette

 Result is sweet, tangy, light, summeryPerfect on my Edamame Salad

Edamame Salad with Orange Coconut Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette
Close up of dressed salad
If you like sweeter and lighter dressings, this one is for you!
Salad showing dressing pooling down

This dressing reminds me of my Holiday Orange Spice Viniagrette

 Salad with Holiday Orange Spice Viniagrette


Other Dressings You May Like to Try include:

Raw Vegan Creamy Tahini Cesar-Inspired Dressing

Salad with Raw Vegan Creamy Tahini Cesar-Inspired Dressing

Vegan Slaw Dressing

 Vegan Slaw Dressing next to ingredients
Lidded Jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing

 Raw Herbalicious Goddess Dressing

Raw Herbalicious Goddess Dressing in bowl
 Salad topped with Raw Herbalicious Goddess Dressing

And if you don’t want to make your own, Scott has been raving about the Foods Alive Mike’s Special Dressing

Two Foods Alive Dressings


Food's Alive Mike's Special Dressing

Not my scene because of the Garlic, but I will say, it doesn’t smell too strongly.  The paprika makes the dressing red and Scott says it reminds him of a Catalina.

I much prefer the Sweet & SassyAgave and vinegar.   Right up this Sweet and Sassy girl’s alley!

Food's Alive Sweet & Sassy Dressing

And here’s a dessert reminder to make my Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

 Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls in container
Two Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Or make the no food processor or Vita required, bowl and spoon only, No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (with a High Protein Option)

Stacked No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
Close up of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Gym & Weights Workout Today From This Tab: Day 1 – Legs.   And just anything I could squeeze in in my 45 golden minutes at the gym.

As I mentioned, I am in need of adding some lean mass to my legs and butt!


Tip of the Day: Did you Check to See Which Two People Won My Vega Smoothie to Go Give Away for 2 Winners?

Click Here to See Who the Lucky Two Are!

1. Best Thing You Ate or Did Over the Weekend?
Me = Placing in my Fitness Show in all 3 Categories I entered!

2In this post, I mentioned Skylar loved “helping” me prepare for my show.  She practiced her walk in her high heels right along by my side.  She asks me to watch her wave and is she doing it right.  It’s pretty cute.   

Young girl standing in front of stairs holding pink bag
Young girl wearing small heel pink sandals

As a child did you do dance, pageants, acting, sports, or any extra-curriculars?   Were your parents pushy with it or did they let you do your own thing? 

I was a jock.  Basketball, volleyball, track, tennis, skiing, skating, you name it, I did it.  But I also took dance, piano, saxophone, Girl Scouts.  Over-program much…that’s another story. 

My parents weren’t “stage parents” as much as I was just very involved.  Probably over-involved.  I can’t wait until Skylar asks me to do something, then I will enroll her.  Only after she expresses a desire, though.  Do you remember taking classes as a kid or doing activities?  What are your favorite memories?   Any memories from activities that you wish you could re-write?  My parents sent me to a few overnight and weeklong summer camps that were pretty bare bones and not too fun..haha!

3. Most money you’ve ever paid for 1 night in a hotel?
We have to spend one night in a hotel in San Diego (no, I don’t want to stay with friends on their couch with my 3 year old) because after loading our house into the truck, driving across the dessert, there will not be time, daylight hours, or energy to unload our truck on the other side.  Thus, we will need a hotel for a night.  Hotels are sure pricey! 
When it was just Scott and I, we stayed many times at the Bellagio in Vegas, the Hyatt Grand Cayman, and the Hyatt Aruba.  Those are some pricey beds to sleep in!  Gosh, what would I do if I could have all that money back?  Nothing!  Because the memories are worth it!  And I wish I could go do it again.  You only live once, so go live is the way I view it!

4. I mentioned it’s my last post from Arizona.  The time here has made me realize a ton about myself and life.  In that sense, it hasn’t been a total loss.  A few of the things I have realized are:

I would rather rent in a city I love than own in a city I don’t.

California is “home” and even though I didn’t grow up there, it is home after living there 6 years and I plan to make it my forever-home.  The Grass Was Not Greener.

Real life friends are very important and I didn’t realize how much I would miss them until I moved away.

It’s harder starting over in a new state or place the older you get.

I love lifting and bodybuilding and can’t wait to see where it takes me.

It’s harder finding playmates for your child than you think and small children need friends, too.  It’s time for Skylar to get re-united with her friends, too.

Familiarity is a welcome aspect of life.  Not to be confused with stagnation, boredom, or a “rut”, though.    However, knowing where things are like the post office to the ethnic market to where to find a great dentist seems trivial until you need those things.   As much as I embrace change, I savor familiarity.

I like hot weather, but anything over 105F is too hot.

I can persevere and make the best of any situation and am strong and will get through difficult times no matter what.

Where there’s a will there’s a way...from becoming a 500 Hour Yoga Teacher to Doing my First Fitness Show to Moving Back to San Diego, if there is the will and determination and fortitude, there’s a way to make it happen!

What have you realized or learned lately?  Is there anything you’ve “made happen” against all odds?

Stay Tuned For A Crazy Week and Random Posts Here and There…

Edited to Add: Not sure why there is a white line running down the middle/mid-left side of the screen OR why my links aren’t working.  Blogger Glitch, indeed.   All my other/older posts besides this one are fine.  If you need to see an older post, use the sidebar 7 Most Recent Posts widget.  Re-publishing, maybe that will help.  Was told by another blogger user her blogger was down all day and they are doing internal things on their end.  Lovely.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.