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Good From Start To Finish

by Courtney on September 1, 2011

Any evening spent with family that starts with this,


and ends with this,


is a perfect evening to me! As soon as Jay and I arrived at my parents’ house last night, we pulled up a couple rockers on the front porch, grabbed a couple frosty mugs, and spent some time relaxing and chatting.


I cozied up in my rocker with a Sam Adams Summer Ale, which totally hit the spot. Can you guys spot my little dribble down the front of my shirt?


I swear, it was just condensation from the mug this time, but I’m not denying the fact that I am quite often guilty of dribbling. Winking smile



After about an hour of hanging out on the porch, dinner was served; and thank goodness it was, because I was a starvin’ Marvin!


I loaded my plate up with some garlic bread,


lots ‘o salad (with fresh tomatoes, YUM),


and the star of the evening: Mom’s homemade lasagna.


Everything, from start to finish, was so so so so good.

Dinner was followed up with a couple raspberry brownie bites, which were enjoyed by all except for my brother because he’s crazy and, for some reason, doesn’t always want sweets at every opportunity they’re presented to him…sometimes I wonder if we’re really related.

But then I realize, oh yes, we definitely are. Smile



Thursday mornings call for BodyPump, so I headed out for class this morning, luckily with no blocked roads in my way. Unfortunately, our instructor did the same release as last week which was sort of lame, but she did tell us that she’s planning on starting a new release next week, so I’m pretty pumped about that (<—pun intended).

I skipped my usual cardio in favor of coming home for some yoga, in the form of my 10lb. Slimdown Yoga video. It felt good to stretch it out.


This morning was definitely a protein pancakes kinda morning.

(recycled photo because I was lazy this morning)

And boy were they delicious!

Now, I’ve got some things to do. I know I left you guys hanging last night…I’m sorry! But I promise, I’ll be filling you in soon. Smile

Questions for the Morning:


  • Eat a full Italian dinner -OR- a full Mexican dinner?
  • Drink a beer on a front porch -OR- a glass of wine at a fancy wine bar?

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Khushboo September 1, 2011 at 8:44 am

Your mom’s dinner looks excellent! Tough choice between Italian and Mexican but after seeing your dinner, I’m going with the latter…I could eat marinara sauce till the cows come home (yes I realise that last bit makes me sound like I’m 80)
Khushboo recently posted..Brown paper bag: week 3


2 Mallory @ It's Only Life September 1, 2011 at 8:44 am

Both of my grandparents are from Italy and my mom grew up in a veryyy traditional Italian household. My grandma is the best cook in the world, my mom a close second. I always love Italian food more than anything! Mexican hits the spot every once in a while. Your mom’s lasagna looks really delicious!

I’d rather have wine…i want to be more open to trying beers/drinking them too tho!


3 Chad @ thebreakupnote September 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

*droooools* aaaaaaaaalllllllllllleeee…. lasaagagnnnnaaaaa….. *droools*
Chad @ thebreakupnote recently posted..Inside My Fridge


4 Cait @ Cait hates Cake September 1, 2011 at 8:52 am

Full Italian meal! With lots of bread and olive oil!! Love my carbs, haha.
Beer on the front porch for sure. But really, wine on the front porch would be best ;)


5 Lindsay @ biking before bed September 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

You read my mind with the wine on the front porch! Maybe some sangria? I would pick an Italian feast… With dessert! Maybe tireamisu?

I love the picture of you and your brother Courtney! I remember when my room got painted when I was little and I had to sleep in bed with my brother for a week. Lots of shenanigans at bedtime:)
Lindsay @ biking before bed recently posted..Sweeeeet shrimp


6 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance September 1, 2011 at 8:53 am

I do love myself some good Italian, but Mexican will always hold the key to my heart <3

Haha that picture of you & your brother is adorable! Oh how I miss the childhood days of making my face look crazy weird…
Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance recently posted..My Lab Coat Brings All the Boys to the Yard


7 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

These are tough questions!! I’d have to say Mexican dinner…I LOVE my Mexican food. As for beer vs. wine… I am more of a wine kinda girl, but would rather be on the front porch with a glass of wine rather than a fancy wine bar. Can I combine the answers? ;)
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Eating Healthy On A Budget


8 Kelly September 1, 2011 at 8:57 am

Definitely Mexican Food…Fajitas!!


9 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 1, 2011 at 8:58 am

Your dinner looks amazing! I love both Italian and Mexican food, so that’s a tough choice. I’d have to go with Mexican though… I love me some Mexican food!!


10 Darcy September 1, 2011 at 9:01 am

I would rather do exactly what you did…………beer on the porch chatting with great company and a nice homemade Italian dinner! Sounds like the perfect way to round out the summer……..
And by the way, now I”m going to have to read your blog everyday in order to find out this new information…………….way to keep us reading! :-)
I”m looking forward to teaching with Jill, but I’ll miss our great conversations!


11 Courtney September 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

Hahaha :)
That’s cool that you’re teaching with Jill this year! Did she move up to 5th with you?


12 Jodi September 1, 2011 at 9:07 am

The lasagna dinner is making me hungry. I would definitely go Italian all the way. And I’d also have to take the beer option most of the time, since it’s more laid back.


13 Liz @ Tip Top Shape September 1, 2011 at 9:15 am

Italian food all the way!!! And I don’t know if I’d choose the beer or wine. Maybe beer on a weekday and wine/bar on weekend? Am I even allowed to do that?? lol
Liz @ Tip Top Shape recently posted..Bacon Wrapped Asparagus


14 Courtney September 1, 2011 at 9:18 am

I suppose I’ll allow it ;)


15 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 1, 2011 at 9:19 am

Mom’s lasagna looks delish. Glad you had a fun night with the fam!
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Sundried tomato pesto & pantry pasta


16 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

As much as I love both Italian AND Mexican food, I think I’d have to go with Mexican! Chips, salsa, enchiladas, margaritas… :)


17 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

Haha… now there’s like three of my comments on here. Stupid spam folder, that’s so weird. Sorry ’bout that!


18 Lindsey September 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

Mexican but I will say I did have the most amazing Chicago deep dish pizza last night!
And wine, but only because I don’t drink beer :)
Lindsey recently posted..Guest Post: All you need is love


19 Sara @ The Foodie Diaries September 1, 2011 at 9:35 am

Even though I just ate breakfast, all I can think about is eating lasagna and garlic bread… YUM!! :) Ahhhh I’m dying to hear your news! I hope you post it soon, I’m dying over here at work today! ;)


20 Shayla @ The Good Life September 1, 2011 at 9:38 am

Can’t wait to hear what the news is!

And your mama’s food looks insanely delish, nothing ever compares to my mama’s food either ;)

And I love the way she’s smiling at you in that pic, too cute :)
Shayla @ The Good Life recently posted..Soaking Up The End of Summer


21 katie Carso September 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

Yum on your pancakes girl! It is a pancake day I suppose ; )

Ahhhhh homemade lasagna , makes me miss my grams, she made the best, that and eggplant parmesan, so good!

Your mom and dad are too cute! I can’t wait to move and get to do family dinners with my parents again!

Have a great day! Can’t wait to hear your news!



22 Marijke September 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

Oh gosh that lasagna looks delicious!!!
I’d take Italian food & a glass of wine any day! That’s my pick :)
Marijke recently posted..Bank Holiday Weekend recap


23 Ruthie Hart September 1, 2011 at 9:54 am

your moms lasagna looks delish!! I normally dont like lasagna unless it is homemade!! I would love to find a good recipe!
Ruthie Hart recently posted..Good to know


24 Shanna, Like Banana September 1, 2011 at 9:59 am

Oh this WYR is EASY!

Mexi all the way! Italian is a close second, but Mexi wins my heart.
And I’m a VINO girl…heck to the no on beer. Yick. And I love wine bars…swwwoooon.


25 Courtney September 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

Haha, I definitely could have answered those two WYR’s for you, too! I love it :)


26 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles September 1, 2011 at 10:05 am

Darn, I was hoping you’d fill us in. Oh well, your Itailin meal look like it will hold me over, SOOOOO great looking!
Your parents seem like they are two of the sweetest people! Awww!


27 Jordan @ food, sweat, and beers September 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

Oooh girl, you’re dribbling more than a point guard! (well, not really, but it felt sassy to say that.)

I’m sure it’s obvious that I’d choose beer on a front porch. I’d also choose it on a house, I’d even drink it with a mouse. I’ll drink it with a wocket from my pocket, I love it so much, I’ll give it a locket. It’s true that Horton heard a who, but I’ve only got ears for the crack-opening of a brew!

And Mexican. Without question. Taco night is my favorite night.
Jordan @ food, sweat, and beers recently posted..Delirium Tremens Review: Great Expectations


28 Katie @ Plates and Paste September 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

Hmm I love both Italian and Mexican, but I’ll have to say Mexican. I could eat it every day! And definitely wine because I’m a wino and hate beer. But I’d like to enjoy it on a porch…that just seems lovely :)
Katie @ Plates and Paste recently posted..Down to the Kor


29 nicole @ simply-nicole September 1, 2011 at 10:29 am

I’d be mexican over italian. Not really a huge pasta fan. I know! I know! I’m crazy.
nicole @ simply-nicole recently posted..Accent tag


30 Lyndsie @ September 1, 2011 at 10:51 am

It doesn’t get much better than that…sounds like a awesome evening! Sam Adams Summer Ale is my favorite and that lasagna – oh my! :)

I would much rather have a beer on the front porch. I will take the relaxed atmosphere over a fancy wine place any day. :)
Lyndsie @ recently posted..Purple Magic Aqua Mist


31 Sweet and Savvy September 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

Italian vs. Mexican is too tough of a choice ! I live in an area with a strong Italian influence, so Im picky about my italian food. I now what is good! :)

And porch any time!
Sweet and Savvy recently posted..WIAW + Spiced Vanilla Chai Oat Recipe


32 Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) September 1, 2011 at 11:17 am

The shutters on your parent’s house look stunning :) and you look super pretty in that picture too!

Eat a full Italian dinner -OR- a full Mexican dinner? Definitely the full italian meal
Drink a beer on a front porch -OR- a glass of wine at a fancy wine bar? I don’t drink beer or wine (don’t judge) but I’d love a cooler or a belini on a front porch :)
Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) recently posted..Pinch, Punch!


33 Ari @ Skinnified September 1, 2011 at 11:24 am

Mexican with a beer on the porch! That sounds like the perfect night, but I agree–that lasagna and especially the garlic bread looked pretty delicious!
Ari @ Skinnified recently posted..I love my life!


34 Bianca @A Healthy Gourmet Lifestyle September 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

Even though I’m Mexican, I would go with Italian because I am obsessed with their cuisine. I could have pasta every day and never get tired of it, and I can make it a bit healthier with modifications.
Bianca @A Healthy Gourmet Lifestyle recently posted..Easy and Healthy Sweet and Sour Sauce


35 Emmarie @ Bananas and Beer September 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

That dinner looks delicious. I think some italian might be in order for tonight.
Emmarie @ Bananas and Beer recently posted..It didn’t work.


36 Brooke @ BittersweetBrooke September 1, 2011 at 11:45 am

Mexican vs. Italian?! Ahh I just don’t know. I love both. I think I might have to choose Mexican. I do love me a good burrito and guacamole…nothing compares!

I’m waiting in anticipation about your new changes!


37 Kait @ One Love Run September 1, 2011 at 11:51 am

I love that you can visit your parents so easily! There are many times I am craving a home-cooked parents meal and then I realize I need to fly all the way across the country to get that!

In California … definitely a full Mexican dinner … back on the east coast … a full Italian dinner for sure!

The next question is a toughie! Both sound great to me. But I’m a wine girl so I have to go with that one!
Kait @ One Love Run recently posted..Paddling Away


38 Sarah Cook September 1, 2011 at 11:59 am

Hey Courtney, I have been reading your blog for a little while now and really enjoy it. I just haven’t commented until now because I don’t have my own blog as of yet.
But, I wanted to ask you if you dye your hair? I think your color is very pretty and am thinking of going darker. If you do, do you know what color it is?


39 Courtney September 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Thank you, Sarah!
Yes, I do dye my hair, but I actually haven’t done it in a few months. I was just talking about it with my mom last night (she’s a hairdresser and does mine!) and I think I’m going to do it again next week.
We usually mix a couple Redken EQ Shades colors together…I’m not positive on what colors we used the last time we did it, but I know that I’ve used Caramel and Sun Tea.
Here’s a link to their color chart! :)


40 Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled September 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

That lasagna looks so good! And yummy garlic bread! Perfect dinner.

I love Italian food so much, but I think I’d marginally prefer the Mexican dinner. There’s just something about chips and guacamole followed by enchiladas and tacos.
Rosa – Fitness, Food, Fulfilled recently posted..Gettin’ My Hair Done


41 Tracy @ Tracy's Treats September 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm

That lasagna made me drool. Now I’m hungry!
I would 100% eat a huge Italian dinner. I’m a little torn between the beer and wine b/c I love laid-back days, but I also like to get dressed up to go out! :-)
Tracy @ Tracy’s Treats recently posted..Confession: I Inhale My Food


42 Courtney's friend Joey September 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

While it is a tough choice between Mexican and Italian, I think in this case I would prefer BBQ pulled Chicken…. Come to think of it, I think you should do BBQ pulled chicken this upcoming Tuesday night!!
Yes, I think that would be a great idea!!


43 Courtney September 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm

LOL! Joeyyyyy!!!
You know what? I think BBQ Pulled Chicken sounds like a GREAT idea for next Tuesday! Wanna come over? ;)


44 Courtney's friend Joey September 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I will be there! wooooooooooooooooooooo BBQ Pulled Chicken!!


45 Corey @ Family Fresh Meals September 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Such a difficult question!!!! hehe I am going to have to say Mexican & wine!
And I love your protein pancake idea! I have put PB2 on waffles, but I will have to try it on pancakes! Yum!
Corey @ Family Fresh Meals recently posted..Bento Love: Back to School


46 Samantha @ Running and Cupcakes September 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Question #1 is NOT FAIR COURTNEY! ;)

But I suppose I’d choose italian, because my mommy is a fabulous italian cook.

And definitely drink a beer on a front porch – I’ll take relaxed over fancy schmancy any day!
Samantha @ Running and Cupcakes recently posted..A HUGE Month (Day 17)


47 Clare @ Fitting It All In September 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I think I’d have to go mexican. But beer 100%


48 Angela @ MyPinkyToes September 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I’d rather eat a HUGE plate of mexican for sure (my italian mom would disown me for that), and I’d rather drink a mug of beer on the front porch (or back deck in my case!) That really does seem like to perfect day!!!
Angela @ MyPinkyToes recently posted..What To Do Now? September Goals


49 Emily September 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Mexican for sure! Love love love all Mexican food.
But I have to cheat and say a glass of wine on the porch. =)

I can’t wait to hear your news….
Emily recently posted..First dough failed but the pizza prevailed.


50 sarah@spinach and spice September 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Awh, I love family nights like your evening!
A good Italian meal trumps Mexican in my book :)
And I’m neither a beer nor wine person, but a mojito on the beach doesn’t sound so bad ;)
sarah@spinach and spice recently posted..Parmesan Grilled Tomatoes


51 Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life September 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I’d go with wine at a fancy bar….and I don’t think I can chose between a Mexican meal or Italian meal. They both rock my world!


52 Chelsea @ Chelsea's Health September 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

In a non creepy (ok, maybe slightly creepy) way, I am excited to find out your news! Its weird how you get to know people through reading about them online and it feel like you are friends… but then you close your browser and go back to real life.

1. Mexican!
2. Wine!
Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Health recently posted..Awkward & Awesome Thursday


53 Diana September 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

1. Mexican por favor!
2. Beer on a porch, hands down! No fancy pantsy for this gal.

So excited to hear your news! I already have a few guesses…
Diana recently posted..Puppy Love


54 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Oh dinner looks fantastic!!! Seriously, I would kill for someone to make me lasagna.

I did a modified version of your 5-4-3-2-1 workout today because I only had 30 minutes to run. I did a 4-3-2-1 combo 3 times. It was awesome!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..august reflections, september goals


55 Brittany @ Life of a Bama Girl September 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I love Mexican! And would have to say beer on a porch but it would be something like a Wood Chuck or Wild Blue.
Brittany @ Life of a Bama Girl recently posted..I have missed you!


56 Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats September 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I would much rather eat a full Italian meal! :) Yum! Wine would be my other choice. I just have never been a huge fan of beer. The acquired taste just hasn’t ever made its way into my world. lol.
Abby @ Abz ‘n’ Oats recently posted..August Goal Check In


57 Lizzie September 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Looks like such a good time! and all the food looks delish!


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