30 Before 30 - Two Month Update

It’s been exactly two months since I started my big “30 Before 30” challenge, so I thought it was time for an update on my progress! 

I like to be proactive with my projects because procrastination stresses me the heck out, but I haven’t been able to cross too many things off of my list just yet. It was giving me a little bit of anxiety for a little bit…30 things in 12 months is at least 2.5 items per month!! That means I should be up to 5 by now!! 

Some of the things on the list I’ve decided to wait and do during the winter. I inevitably get bored during the slow winter months (which just so happen to be when my work is a lot slower too!) and am always looking for things to do, but the list is full of things I can do in the wintertime!

Here’s a little recap of what I’ve done so far:

#13  Eat a soft-shell crab

One evening after an outdoor concert here in town where you can bring your own bottles of wine, we decided to head to one of our favorite seafood restaurants to check this one off the list. I went for the soft-shell crab sandwich since it was my first time.


Honestly, I think these are maybe an acquired taste. I didn’t hate it….and I normally love anything having to do with crabs (steamed blue crabs are one of my top five favorite foods!) but maybe it was the fact that you can literally see the whole body of the animal AND everything I have been taught about crabs in the past is that you DON’T eat the shell was so ingrained in my brain, but I just felt like it was a meh experience. Will I have one again? Probably. Did I love it? Not really.

#19 Keg Stand

HA. So, there are no photos of this (although there is go-pro footage somewhere, courtesy of my loving husband…) and that’s probably for good reason. This entire item on the list is a really good example of how I live my life….when I want to do something, I believe in just going after it with gusto, even if it may happen in a somewhat random or unconventional way. I wanted to do a keg stand (for what stupid reason, I can’t even remember!) and I did it! 

I say it happened kind of randomly or unconventionally because, normally people do keg stands at parties, right? Labor day weekend was my last weekend off until November 12, so I felt like if we were going to do it, it should happen before the weather gets too awful. It turns out when you plan a last minute labor day weekend party, most of your friends already have plans. I didn’t let that stop me though, and went ahead with getting a 1/6 keg of Landshark (all that was left) from Total Wine. I was all pumped to do my keg stand in our backyard…that is, until we found out about the hurricane! 

So, that’s pretty much how I came to do a keg stand in my living room with just my husband and a friend of ours. It wasn’t pretty, so I will spare you all of the foamy details. Afterward we went to a new local brewery, which was amazing, and salvaged what otherwise might have been a really weird evening. I’m excited that although the keg stand was not all that great of an experience in itself, it’s going to be a really fun story to have!

In progress:

#7 Send 30 handwritten letters

I’ve written about 7 letters and have sent 5. I’m trying to write and mail 5 at a time, so I’ve got a few more to write to get to 10! The hardest part seems to be finding people to write to, since 30 is a bigger number than I thought. If you’d like a letter, email me at katielovestoeatblog@gmail.com!

#27 Try 30 different donut places
So far I’ve been to six! Here’s a list of where I’ve been. 

  1. Carpe Donut
  2. Duck Donuts
  3. Glazed Donuts
  4. O's donuts 
  5. Dough Joe's 
  6. Sandy pony donuts 

I plan to write a post with a mini review of each of these donut stops, so stay tuned for that!

#18 Start allergy immunization shots.
I start this Monday! The doctor says these shots will also help with my dog allergy, which excites John, because he really wants a corgi and right now, I am sadly allergic. 

#26 Get my DNA tested
I sent out for my kit from 23andme the other day and it should come next week! It will take about 6-8 weeks from the time I send it out, so hopefully a little before Hawaii I’ll be able to cross that one of the list! 

#3 Spartan/mud/warrior/rugged race
I’m running a Spartan Sprint on September 25th! Wish me luck! I have run a marathon and a half marathon before, but I'm really nervous about the Spartan because I don't have a ton of upper body strength. I'm excited though! It should be a fun challenge!

That’s about it for this update! Hopefully next time I’ll have a few more things to show for myself :)







Donuts, Trump, and Ryan Adams & the Shining

A couple of months ago I bought tickets to see Ryan Adams in Charlottesville. I got the tickets in the mail (I always get the physical tickets so I can save the stubs!!), stuck them in my desk drawer, and promptly forgot about them for many weeks. I was digging through my drawer looking for stamps or pens and found them! It was such a great surprise!

John and I went to Charlottesville early and stopped at Trump Winery for lunch. I was kind of conflicted about this because I do NOT support Donald Trump or what he stands for one little bit….but I do support sandwiches. And food kind of rules my life. Is there any way we can get a sandwich for president?? The sandwiches at Trump Winery would probably get my vote because they are wildly delicious. John and I each ordered a different one and shared. I had the ham, which has apple butter and arugula and he had the BLTC which comes with a garlic aioli and swiss cheese! 

What’s not to love about wine and a sandwich?

After the show we met our Charlottesville friends for a drink at Commonwealth & Skybar. I’ve been to the restaurant before but never the Skybar. There’s almost nothing I don’t love about a rooftop bar! Unless of course it’s raining. That kind of takes the fun out of a roof bar, if you know what I mean. 

After drinks with our buddies and a little bit of Pokemon hunting (I consider myself a “casual” hunter…John’s new name might as well be Ash Ketchum…ha) we went to the show. If you’ve ever seen Ryan Adams live, you know what a treat this concert was! He sounded so great and played all but one of my favorite songs of his! (Ryan, if you read this, next time play Sweet Illusions for your girl, Katie Nesbitt, please). 

When the show ended, we headed out expecting to leave, but a row of food trucks caught my eye…in particular, a donut truck! Carpe Donut is pretty popular around Charlottesville and I’ve photographed enough Cville weddings to have had a Carpe Donut or three, but not at all since starting my 30 Before 30. One of the tasks on my list is to have a donut from 30 different donut shops…so Carpe Donut ended up being #1 of 30!! 

I went with the Frodo, which is a donut ice cream sandwich. It was rock hard at first, but as it softened up, it became more and more delicious. The cinnamon sugar on the donut complemented the vanilla ice cream so well! 

All in all, we had such a fun day in Charlottesville! It's nice to escape regular life during the week every once in a while! 



Cake and Ice Cream Protein Pancakes

I LOVE pancakes. Carbs of any kind are my favorite, but hot, fluffy pancakes have a special place in my heart. My favorite kind growing up were my grandma's corn pancakes, which were basically regular pancakes with a can of sweet corn mixed into the batter. Topped with sweet, sticky syrup, they were the BEST treat and something I looked forward to when we got to stay overnight at her house. Even just eating regular pancakes with syrup brings back so many memories! The thing is, regular syrup (even organic, 100 percent maple syrup) has a ton of empty calories and carbs. Usually, those are my favorite kind of carbs, but sometimes you just have to prioritize! 

I bought a box of Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes mix at Target a while back on a total whim. Isn't that how most Target purchases start? Or is it just me? If you haven't tried this pancake mix and you care about eating a lot of protein and/or fitting your macros, you should go grab a box! They've got 14 grams of protein with just mix and water, OR you can add milk and/or eggs for even more protein. I choose to add milk to mine! 

Anyway, I have used the mix for regular (and blueberry) pancakes in the past and decided I wanted something sweeter this time. By themselves, the Kodiak Cakes are somewhat plain tasting, but with fruit or other toppings, they are perfect! I decided to add sprinkles to the mix on Sunday morning AND, I added a small scoop (about 56g worth) of Birthday Cake flavored Halo Top ice cream too! If you're not familiar with Halo Top, it's this delicious, high protein ice cream. It really DOES taste like ice cream but it has 6 g of protein a serving and is also low calorie and doesn't have freaky ingredients! Adding this ice cream to the pancakes in lieu of basically nutritionally devoid syrup means you're sweetening your cakes with something that's better for you.

Here's how I made them (it was REALLY simple...and quick!)

  • Make pancakes as directed on box (I added milk instead of water, a couple twists of my cinnamon sugar grinder from Trader Joe's, and a splash of vanilla)
  • Add sprinkles to your pancake batter (I used just a teaspoon)
  • Top with a scoop of your choice of Halo Top protein ice cream
Protein ice cream pancakes_0022.jpg

355 Calories
Protein: 24g // Carbs: 47g // Fat: 9g 

These pancakes totally seem like they would be super decadent and heavy in calories, but they've got less sugar and calories than regular pancakes with syrup do! Plus, they're so filling!! I had mine with a side of two scrambled eggs after the gym on Sunday. Too good ;)