Thursday, May 31, 2012

#FoodiePenPals: The Last Corral

It always makes me sad to see another month go by, but that sadness is sweetened by the fact that I finally get to reveal my Foodie Pen Pal goods 'o the month. But before I get to that, let me just say this: I freakin' forgot to announce the winner of the OXO food scale. Gah! So without further adieu:

Sending a note your way, momma!

Now, let's get to this month's FPP goods, sent to me from Emily of The Last Corral. She went straight to my heart with some goods from Joe the Trader. I love him. And all of this:

Sadly, there were two other items in the box that took a turn for the worse in between Emily's place and mine:

No, really. The salsa exploded all over everything:


But everything else was delicious:

If you want some deliciousness on your front porch, you should consider becoming a Foodie Pen Pal. Who knows, we might get paired up! Here's the deets:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Health Benefits of Yoga (#Infographic)

Now that my mornings are running a bit more efficiently (because someone is eating more efficiently), I find myself increasingly capable of getting to the gym by 8:30AM. While I always reserve this time for clients, I'm finding that Tuesday and Thursday mornings are usually left open—which is great for me, because then I can take two of my favorite fitness classes. Spin/Core on Thursdays and Yoga on Tuesdays.

So I took the Yoga class yesterday. It was the second time I've taking a Yoga class since my daughter was born in January. (Gosh, I love it.) And oddly enough, I stumbled upon the following infographic last week. I took it as a sign that I really, truly needed to get my booty back in the Yoga studio. May it inspire you as well.

Oh, and...insert hands in front of heart center here...namaste.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Letter To My Future Self


As I sit here right now, I think only of you and I wonder what has become of you. Are you in good health? Did you have more children? How many pairs of shoes do you own, and did you ever master that pull-up? Since I am you (as it turns out), I will know these things in due time. Life, after all, always finds a way to evolve—and I'll have you know that I have done everything in my power to make sure that yours does so swimmingly.

Well, maybe not "swimmingly" because (let's face it) we hate to swim.

But we do like to exercise. At least I hope you still do. I don't know how old you are, but I hope you are one of those ladies of age that younger girls look at and think, "dang...she's that old? inspiring..." Most specifically, I hope that Hannah looks at you and thinks it, too.

People are telling me (the younger you) that I am a great mom, so I hope you realize that you were a great mom and that you did everything you could to raise your daughter to be her happiest, healthiest best. She might hate you and proclaim as much, but I'm writing this to remind you that at one point she snuggled you with a heart so big that yours broke into a million-zillion pieces of love. And that she used to smile bigger than big when you'd wake her up in the morning, triggering almost-tears of joy from your own eyes.

And then there's your husband. Never forget that you were a great wife. And you were as much because you have a great husband. He might hate exercise, but opposites have truly attracted. I hope you still meet once a week for a picnic lunch downtown. I hope you still spend summer Sundays walking about the same 'ol antique booths on the bluff. And I hope you still laugh about the dumbest things. (And, seriously, don't ever stop trying to convince him to love exercise. He's such a brat about it, but do me a solid and keep bugging him.)

As I (you) write this, 31 years have passed by. And in those 31 years, you have studied much and partied (not necessarily the boozy type) often. You danced, you dreamed and you made life yours. And as I write this, I can't help but overflow with excitement for what the next 31 (hopefully more) years will bring you (us).

Never forget that you are capable of making your dreams come true.
Never forget that good health and happiness is yours for the taking
Never forget that mirrors tell lies if you look into them without truth and honesty.
Never forget that you are strong and beautiful in your own way.
Never forget that you have a family, a perfect family despite any and all imperfections.

And never, ever forget that you are loved. Especially by me.


PS: And please don't ever forget how much you love chocolate and Target. Thanks.

Friday, May 25, 2012


I read somewhere that today is National Wine Day. I'm celebrating with a glass of rosé, and the fact that I don't like said glass is really just icing on the cake of my Friday. I thought it would be a fairly decent one, since I actually had time to put on some makeup before work.

I know, makeup. Silly that it puts me in such a good mood. But I'm a total girly girl when it comes to mascara and eyeliner and tinted moisturizer. I love playing with the stuff—but it's obviously not a priority as I go without it on most days. I do, after all, work at a gym.

So the makeup had me going, but I actually went downhill from there. Little Miss is cutting two teeth and wanted nothing to do with her daily nap so we played "stop the tears" for a good portion of the afternoon which meant that I didn't get much done. Rewind a bit to lunch. We headed downtown to meet my husband for what promised to be a pleasant little picnic on the bluff—in what town is it a good idea to have a Memorial Day parade at noon on Friday? In this town, apparently. We ended up eating our picnic on a bench on the corner of hustle and bustle streets because we couldn't get to the bluff. Not peaceful, but still nice to hang with daddy for a bit.

Rewind to 6:00AM. Before the makeup. The day is purely good, thanks to a great Circuit Sculpt class.

My workouts have been really spot-on all week. I finally feel like I'm getting my groove back. Someone at the gym said to me, and I quote, "you're just...just...(holding pointer finger and thumb up just a smidge apart)...this far away from your pre-baby body...just a little bit further to go."

I think that's a compliment.
It's a compliment, right?

Yeah, I know. I've still got some baby fat around the belly, but it probably won't go away completely until I stop breastfeeding—and I'm totes OK with that. For real.

Anyway. Here's a rundown of my workouts this week:

Not mentioned: This weekend's run. I would like to squeeze in at least five...maybe six miles. Next week should look pretty similar, although I'm contemplating a Tuesday morning yoga class. We'll see. I'm not  interested in overdoing it.

Speaking of this weekend, we're headed north to spend some time with family. It's supposed to be a beautiful few days, so I hope you get out and enjoy it. No, seriously. Turn off the computer and get out there!

Before I go:

Best of luck to my mom, sistah, auntie and friend who are all running the Soldier Field 10-miler in Chicago. Bust arse, ladies! Bust. Arse. Thanks to my own pops for comin' up tonight and helping us set up a sweet outdoor speaker system...definitely a great way to end the night. Also—don't forget to enter my giveaway. You know you want a food scale! And also, my favorite black flip flops from J.Crew busted tonight. Yet another winning moment from the day.

Negative Nancy is over and out.

Question: Anything happen in your day that might have driven you absolutely bonkers?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fitness Resources

When you need information, you can't help but love the Internet. Instant Gratification is the name of its game, providing thousands upon millions of resources after just one Google search of a term or question.

Some of these resources are expert and reputable, others are questionable and exist only to take advantage of your mindset in some way, shape or form. You must be weary of these sources, but they're not always obvious. And you must especially be weary of these resources when it comes to your health and fitness. Not everyone is a doctor, personal trainer or nutritionist—but they can certainly masquerade as one with the right know-how.

I'm telling you all of this, of course, hoping you'll understand that I'm not a liar—rest assured, I am a certified personal trainer. And as a healthy living blogger, I promise to deliver content that doesn't lie, cheat or steal. Everything I write is based on my experience, my professional training and my research.

Speaking of research, while I do use the Internet, I prefer to get information the traditional way—in a book, magazine or newspaper at the library or in a bookstore. If you know me, you are completely aware of my addiction to reading (and chips, salsa and guacamole). Most recently, I've had the following resources on my coffee table. (Is it still a coffee table if you don't drink coffee at it?)

Oh, wait...I guess that last one belongs to Hannah. She is a member of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which means she gets a free book every month until she turns five. If you have kids, you should see if there's a "library" in your area. Back to my reading material, which I hope will interest Hannah someday (and you, too).

OnFitness is a great magazine—with little to no advertisements. It's pure content, which is all relevant to living the fit life. For example, I've learned the following:

"Millions of children go to bed hungry every night. In America, millions of children go to bed full every night, and that's the problem."

"You are born with as many fat cells as you'll ever have. They increase in size, not quantity."

"For those who'd rather not work the whole body in a single session, they have a smart option: a split program as long as it's not over-run with isolation exercises."

"Compound exercises recruit abdominal muscle, but this is not why compound exercises will contribute to getting a six-pack. It's because compound exercises (when done right!) produce a powerful fat burning effect that will strip fat off your belly like a hot knife slashing through butter!"

"If you can do textbook body weight dips more than 10 times, it's time to place a weight plate on your lap."

Speaking of plates, let's talk about Real Food. I've been chipping away at this book for a few weeks now and am absolutely loving it. It's not one of those books you have to read from start to finish to understand. Every chapter helps you grasp a different aspect of "what to eat and why." For example, the first chapter introduces you to the concept of real food—what it is, why the author eats it and why you should, too. And I quote:

"Industrial food is the opposite of real food. Real food is old and traditional, while industrial food is recent and synthetic. The impersonation of real food by industrial food, by the way, is neither accident nor hidden."

"Real food is fundamentally conservative; it doesn't change, while industrial food, by contrast, is under great pressure to be novel."

Chapter two discusses "real milk, butter and cheese" and leads to other chapters about things like "the truth about fish farming" and "the abominable egg white omelet." Every page is quite eye-opening. And entertaining. Nina Planck writes in a way that grabs you, unlike a lot of diet and food-based authors (in my opinion).

So check out the above if you haven't already. And once more, be cautious of the information you find online. Always make sure you're relying on reputable, honest sources. Especially when it comes to your health.

(Oh, hey...did you enter my giveaway yet?)

Question: What are your go-to fitness resources?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Measuring Ingredients and Portions

I failed this weekend. Twice. And I failed at something I'm not too shy to admit that I'm good at: Granola bar bites. I had such a craving for them, so I picked up some dried fruit at the grocery store this weekend. And sinfully so, I also had some chocolate and peanut butter chips on hand. So I made one batch, but divided the batter before adding the fruit and chips.

It went wrong.
I ended up with granola:

And granola bar bites that sort of took shape...

...but fell apart as soon as I picked them up. "Damn," I said.

At least everything still tasted good, so it wasn't a total loss, but when you want granola bar bites and you're stuck with granola, defeats the purpose.

I don't know what happened. Maybe I should have measured out my ingredients a little more closely, like...with this OXO food scale:

Food scales are great for two very important reasons. You can accurately measure out ingredients (which I apparently did not do), and you can measure out perfect portions if need be. Needless to say, I was all too excited when OXO offered to send me one for free. Let's be honest, who doesn't love a good kitchen gadget?

I digress.

The scale. It's totally useful. And user-friendly:

I've been sitting on a few bags of hazelnuts with the intent of making my own Nutella, but I had been hard pressed to find a recipe that I liked. So when I finally did, I pulled my hair out over the fact that it called for 150 grams of hazelnuts. As if that's easy to determine when all of your measuring spoons are in cup increments. So I whipped out the scale, put the bowl on top of it, then poured in hazelnuts until 150 grams had been added to the bowl's weight. I measured out the required chocolate, too:

I love that the scale is quite compact, and the display screen pulls out in the event that your bowl is bigger than life itself. This particular model, if you're interested, measures out up to five pounds of goodness. (I wish I could measure out five pounds of chocolate for something, just sayin'.)

Let's get back to the Nutella. Not pictured: cocoa powder, vanilla extract and a touch of vegetable oil. I decide to leave out the powdered sugar that the original recipe called for. I didn't have any, and didn't really want any in it. Perhaps that would have made the end result a bit creamier. Mine was slightly thicker than normal Nutella.

But it was still quite good. Like, eat-right-off-the-spoon good. Or eat-on-a-rice-cake good, as in the photo above. You wanna know what's really good, though? The fact that OXO sent me two scales for free. One for me, one for you. Well...if you win.

Leave a comment below for a chance to make my extra scale the newest addition to your kitchen. Tell me why you need a food scale, and I'll pick one winner at random. Be sure to leave a valid email address, too. If you don't, I won't be able to find out your mailing address and you'll forfeit the win!

Details: Contest closes at midnight EST on Tuesday, May 29, 2012. Winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. Open to US residents only. All opinions of the food scale are my own an in no way influenced by the free-ness of it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaching Group Fitness

I teach four classes every week—two Circuit Sculpt, two TRX—sometimes more if I'm stepping in for another instructor. I teach them alone, standing in front of what can vary from three to twelve people. I'm a personal trainer by certification, so group fitness did not come naturally. And it was not really an interest of mine. In fact, I avoided it like the plague for the first few months of my tenure at the gym. The very thought of standing in front of a class made me want to throw up.

There's a reason I studied Mass Communication instead of Speech Communication in college—I hate being front and center, which makes absolutely no sense given my history of leading a cheerleading squad in front of many for almost 12 years.

It was a total confidence thing, my avoidance of the group fitness thing. I had none, that is, until I bit the bullet and taught my first class. I found out quickly that it wasn't so bad. It's actually quite fun, and an incredible way to squeeze in your own workout (while getting paid).  But group fitness is still slightly different than personal training. You know, since you're dealing with more than one person. If you've been contemplating teaching a class or two, know that there are certain things you'll need to consider. Here's what I've learned so far:

1) Act confident, even when you aren't. There is a reason you are standing in front of the room, most likely it's because you have the know-how to lead the class. And remember, leaders are followed—they will follow you.

2) Plan ahead. Don't go into your class blind unless you've been teaching it forever and can nail the format every single time. Have a distinct plan and have it written out in front of you. For example, my notes from yesterday's Circuit Sculpt:

3) Progress your students. Teaching the same class with the same challenges over and over and over again promotes boredom of the brain and of the muscles. Never let your students get bored. Or hurt...

4) Scan the room from start to finish. Keep an eye out for improper form, weights that are too heavy and physical signs of exhaustion, dehydration and other forms of distress.

5) Pick awesome music and change it up frequently. But listen up for profane lyrics before you put a song on your playlist. People love to jam when they're working out, but not everyone appreciates harsh language.

6) Encourage water breaks. In fact, call them out. If you tell them to drink it, they will.

7) Get to know your students. If they like you, they'll keep coming back for more...and they may even follow you to your other classes.

8) Make time in each class for stretching. People often forget to stretch and if you assume they'll stretch on their own...well, they probably won't. On the flip, don't forget to warm everyone up, either.

9) Speak to the class as a whole, rather than signaling out someone who is doing something wrong. Even if there is only one person doing that something wrong, it never hurts to reinforce correct form. Or offer modifications. You are, after all, teaching. And taking group fitness isn't just about leading people through a series of movements. It's still a classroom, even if there aren't any desks.

10) Have fun. Bottom line, just have fun. If you screw something up, get lost, forget the way, have a bad playlist. Smile and keep your energy up. Remember, leaders are followed. You set a good mood, your students will be in a good mood.

Question: Do you teach group fitness classes? If so, which formats? If not, what is your favorite group fitness class to take?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Flowers For/From Mom

Monday. Decidedly not Saturday or Sunday, and when you have a great Saturday and Sunday, that makes today rather blah. Especially when the skies are grey and the threat of rain is ever-present. So I won't talk much about today, rather, I'd prefer to explain my absence this weekend. Think 80-degree weather, think not of the computer. Or writing. Not when you can be out playing.

I started off my Saturday with a 5-miler, deciding right off the bat to ditch the path I had chosen. Thankfully, I had iMapMyRun with me. I opted for an out-and-back route and turned around at 2.25 miles which, if you double that up, does not equal 5 miles. (I was never good at math, thus the writing.) So I had to reroute myself down a side street. I had no idea if I'd hit the five-mile mark, but I did. And I had the sweat to show for it. (Proof at right. Yuck.) In the end, I went 4.75 miles in 47 minutes and 14 seconds. That's just under a 10-minute mile, which was fine by me in the heat. Stupid me decided to wear a cotton t-shirt instead of a dry-wick shirt of sorts. Hello, dumb girl.

Anyway, the rest of Saturday was spent putzin' about at home. Doing laundry, enjoying the sunshine, grocery shopping, kissing Hannah's sweet little face a thousand times a minute...that sort of thing.

But on Sunday, this happened:

We bought our house last summer, and when we moved in, we did so with the mindset that we'd just maintain the existing greens in the yard. We had boxes to unpack and a baby's room to decorate. And honestly, it wasn't really the right time to do any significant planting. So we didn't. Fast forward to this year. Baby Hannah is here, all the boxes are unpacked and it's finally nice out—so we've been focusing on the yard more than ever before. And for Mother's Day, my mother offered to help me out in the flower department because I clearly know nothing about planting flowers. I just know they're pretty. So after a not-so-quick trip to the garden center (I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to flowers)...

...we successfully surrounded our house with flowers. Well, I should say that she did with some help from the husband.

I was on baby duty, and then dinner duty.

So excited about my herb pots:

Rosemary, pineapple sage and chives. (I have no idea what i'll do with the pineapple sage, but it smelled so good that I just had to have it. Any suggestions?)

Parsley, basil and oregano. Classics that I hate buying because I hate buying them...they inevitably just go bad. Now I don't have to worry about it!

But that's enough about that. Now here I sit, reminding myself to go out and water said plants...but it looks like rain, so maybe I'll tackle some other things on the to-do list first. Back tomorrow with a how-to post on group strength classes.

Until then, I wish you the happiest of Mondays! (Is that possible? A happy Monday? I think so...)

Question: Do you have an herb garden? If so, did you plant any that aren't so traditional (like the pineapple sage)? What do you use them for?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Strawberry and Basil Ice Water

I am THE WORST when it comes to drinking a suitable amount of water. When I'm problem. I chug the stuff like it's my job. But take me out of my workout and I can't seem to remember to drink the stuff. This is bad, I know. I just get so...bored of it. And so I inevitably forget to consume whatever glass of the stuff I've just poured. In fact, I typically forget about the glass, too. The hubs is always yelling at me for dirtying yet another glass when I've got five scattered about the house.

I've got problems.
Don't be like me.
Drink your water.

Or, be like me and drink your water with chopped up strawberries and basil.

I'm serious.
Don't knock it 'till you try it.

Strawberry and basil ice water is delicious and I can't stop drinking it. It's crisp, cool and refreshing...with just a hint of natural flavor. And when I say "natural," I really mean it. Straight up strawberries and basil, all crammed into an herb infuser from The Pampered Chef.

I got it from the Easter Bunny (my mom), and why I haven't pulled it out sooner, I'll never understand. It's so crazy easy to use:

If you don't have one, I imagine you can get the same effect by using a loose-leaf tea infuser and a glass, or by putting the strawberries and basil right into your pitcher of water. Although, you might get some chunky chunks in your glass once the water is poured. (Perhaps that's not necessarily a bad thing, though.) With this thing, you get crisp, cool water with a hint...just a hint of flavor.

Trust me, such a combo keeps me drinking water morning, noon and night.

Question: What do you like to add to your water?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grin and Bare It: Dove Clear Tone Deodorant

You've heard this before, right? I don't know who said it first, but it's a motivating statement (even if sweat isn't really, truly fat leaving the body)—particularly as it relates to living the fit life. And let's face it, when you live the fit life, you do a lot of sweating (like it or not). It's an accepted byproduct of hard work. And, unfortunately, hot weather. For some of us, that hot weather is becoming a true factor in our daily fitness regimes. We're getting outside more than ever because the sun itself is out, too. So maybe we're even sweating now more than ever.

We're also shedding all those cold-weather clothes in favor of sleeveless shirts and short shorts. Why? Because we dare to be bare when the weather permits. But along with this exposure comes our need as humans to look and feel our best. So how do you do that when you're sweating your arse off and feeling less than clean and fresh? Let's count the ways.

1) Keep your hair pulled back. 
It isn't always the cleanest, especially when sweat is involved. And if your head is sweaty, your hair is certainly absorbing that sweat, so if it's hanging in your face—it's probably transferring all of that sweat to your face, too. Which, consequently, can clog pores and promote breakouts. But quite simply, pulling your hair back lets all that fresh air travel around your face and neck. I don't know about you, but that always feels good to me.

2) Wear sunscreen if you exercise outdoors.
Seriously. Do it. Skin cancer rates are constantly rising. Don't be a statistic. Cover yourself like it's your job. Get a sweat-proof bottle, one with a noteworthy amount of SPF in it. You can run, but you can't hide from the sun. And then when you're not running anymore, you won't feel like a parched lobster. No one feels good when they look like a parched lobster, am I right? And don't even get me started on working out with a sunburn. Ouch.

3) Drink water. Lots of it.
Water hydrates the body like no other liquid can. To hydrate the body is to promote good skin and functioning organs. Think of a plant and what happens to it if you don't water it. That's how the human body works, too.

4) Buy the right kind of clothing. And make sure it fits.
Active people need clothing that promotes active movement. If the shoe doesn't fit...if the clothes don't fit...think chafing and blisters, burns and bumps. Otherwise known as "not fun" to the average human. And don't be afraid to buy clothing that shows off a little skin. Dare to be bare, right? I'd much rather work out in a tank top than a tee. I feel free to move as I please, not bogged down by a bulky tee that's soaked in sweat.

5) Develop a successful beauty routine.
Stock your gym back with essentials, even if you don't plan on showering at the gym. You never know when you'll need to refresh. You don't want to walk around like a stink bomb, do you? Pack some baby wipes for a faux shower. Maybe some body splash or your favorite perfume. At the very least, pack a stick of deodorant. It never hurts to refresh your deodorant. Ever. Speaking of deodorant:

Might I suggest you try the new Clear Tone deodorant from Dove? I was recently given the opportunity to test out a few sticks, and since I've been purchasing the same stick of deodorant for years, I thought—be adventurous, Tara. Give it a go! So I did. And I liked both versions.

As a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, it's safe to say that anti-perspirant and deodorant are both part of my daily routine. I wouldn't "dare" show my "bare" armpits without them. Not only would I feel gross, I'd probably be significantly smelly and sticky, too. Which is also why I've been so hesitant to switch deodorants. My current favorite works just fine, thank you.

It's nice to know I can turn to this stuff, too. Added bonus? The Clear Tone aspect fights that dark shadow and those silly bumps you get from frequent shaving. It's true, I noticed a small difference...but I have to say, I like the sheer touch more than the clinical protection.

I prefer solids to twist-ups. But that's just me.

FYI: If you want to try the above, visit the Dove website to snag a coupon!

Question: How do you dare to be bare?

Note: As part of the DailyBuzz Healthy Living Program, I received free Clear Tone Deodorant and a stipend from Dove. However, my opinions are entirely my own.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

#HIIT and PlantFusion Protein Powder

Guys, I've got two major things to tell you about today: High intensity interval training and PlantFusion protein powder. Let's start with high intensity interval training because that's how I started my day. Are you familiar with it, otherwise known as HIIT? You can visit the FitFluential blog for a detailed description of this type of workout, but it basically involves a series of exercises that are both timed and repeated with little rest in between. All in an effort to get the heart rate up.

Sounds normal, like an everyday workout, but HIIT ups the ante with exercises that require maximum effort to increase calorie burn while subsequently firing up your metabolism—during and after your workout, which is why high intensity interval training can be so effective. My 6AM isn't really a HIIT workout, and I love HIIT workouts, so I've decided to leave Wednesday mornings open for the occasional bout of it. Today, I did this 45-minute workout:

Group #3 killed me...4-squat jumps (flips) are so awesome. And if you're wondering about those pendulum swings in Group #1, here's a short clip I found on YouTube:

Needless to say, I was zonked after this workout despite having eaten a big fat banana beforehand. I really wanted some oatmeal afterward but A) I didn't have time to make any, and B) I wanted protein...but I didn't have time to make eggs so I opted to give some PlantFusion protein powder a try. The company so graciously sent me a few samples:

I obviously zeroed in on the Chocolate Raspberry because this combination so very rarely is a bad thing.

Once shaken with a glass of water, it turned into a frothy beverage akin to a glass of chocolate milk.

With a hint of raspberry, of course. Now, I don't use protein powders on a regular basis—only when I'm in a pinch for time—but this bad boy had me wanting more. What I liked about it, aside from the flavor, was the fact that PlantFusion powders don't contain anything more than plant proteins (and obviously some natural chocolate and raspberry flavors). And yet, you get about 21 grams of protein per serving which is about half of the required amount (according to a 2,000 calorie diet). And all you have to do is combine it with water and shake-shake-shake. It's not like chicken, which has to be made and it's certainly not like conventional whey proteins that may (or may not) contain unnecessary additives (translation: chemicals).

Again, I'm not the biggest advocate of protein powders, but I like to have some on-hand. I can't get this stuff by me, but you can rest assured I'll pick up a packet or two every time I hit the natural foods store in South Bend. I know they carry it. And if they carry it by you, you might as well try some if you're into protein powders.

Speaking of getting protein. My lunch today was quite fantastic. Turkey on wheat with a tomato slice and some Laughing Cow Queso Fresco & Chipotle cheese. So simple, yet so yum:

I think tomorrow I'll add some avocado. Mmm, you bet I will!

Question: What did you have for lunch today?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How to Get Back on Track

Holy guacamole, guys. Can I just tell you that it's been a whirlwind, busy-as-heck couple of days? Obviously I've neglected you and for that I apologize. If only I had two of me: One for living life, the other for writing about it. I mean, they clone cows and plants, right? Dear sweet Lord, could you imagine if we started cloning humans? Gah! Anyway. It's Tuesday. I'm slowly getting myself back on track. But for a second today, I thought it was still Monday.

Clearly I've lost my mind in all the hullabaloo, so I decided to get some chocolate because chocolate is my make-better treat:

Dark chocolate almonds and peanuts with a few malted milk balls thrown in for the fun of it. Don't judge me. I ran three miles this morning. And went for a walk downtown with my sister-in-law. And just so you know, I put most of the above in the cupboard for later. Keyword: Most. Sigh.

It was perfect walking weather today. High 70's, cool breeze and tons of sunshine. Check it:

And the weatherman promises more of this in the days to come, which gets me super excited about summer. When you live in a beach town, you live for summer weather.

But I can't really think about the weather right now because if I do, I'll never get anything done. And I have so much to get done after this weekend. As you know, my sister got married. And it was Mother's Day...and we got home late on Sunday night after brunching it at my parents' house. This is what "brunching it" looks like:

Steak and blue cheese sandwiches + fresh fruit = two of my favorite choices from the spread.
And here are two of my favorite blog readers:


So I've been spending these past few days trying to get caught up. There is a lot to get caught up on when you leave town for a fun-filled weekend! For example:

1) Laundry. Piles of it.
2) Dishes. Dirty and clean.
3) Receipts need to be added to checkbook.
4) Piles of things need to be put away and/or organized.
5) Groceries need to be purchased for the week.
6) Workouts need to occur because they didn't all weekend.
7) The diet needs to be re-checked because it flew out the window all weekend.
8) Foodie PenPal items need to be boxed and shipped.
9) Dress clothes need to be taken to the dry cleaners.
10) A baby needs to be fed, diapered, rocked to sleep, etc...etc.
11) Blog posts need to be written.
12) An in-box needs some purging.

And here's where that list stands today:

1) Laundry. Piles of it. <— IN PROGRESS
2) Dishes. Dirty and clean. <— IN PROGRESS
3) Receipts need to be added to checkbook.
4) Piles of things need to be put away and/or organized.
5) Groceries need to be purchased for the week. 
6) Workouts need to occur because they didn't all weekend.
7) The diet needs to be re-checked because it flew out the window all weekend.  <— IN PROGRESS
8) Foodie PenPal items need to be boxed and shipped.
9) Dress clothes need to be taken to the dry cleaners.
10) A baby needs to be fed, diapered, rocked to sleep, etc...etc.  <— IN PROGRESS, ALWAYS
11) Blog posts need to be written.  <— IN PROGRESS, ALWAYS
12) An in-box needs some purging.

I'm getting there.

And here's how you can get there, too.
Behold my tips for how to get back on track:

1) Make fitness a priority, no questions asked. First and foremost, decide when/where/how you'll get your first workout in, then focus on everything else.

2) Forget about all the "junk" you ate all weekend. Don't look back; just make your next meal or snack a healthy one and move forward doing the same.

3) Make a prioritized to do list. Start with the things you can work on progressively, like laundry and dishes, then move on to things you can get done quickly, like entering in receipts or buying groceries.

4) Accept that you won't get through everything in one day, and that it's okay to choose something fun over something on your to-do list. For example, I'm glad I went for that walk today instead of staying inside to fold laundry.

I know, right? Short list. But really, it's not that hard to get and stay on track. It just takes some focus. Speaking of, I should hit "publish" so I can get back to that baby of mine...and that pile of laundry that needs to be folded.

Question: How do you get back on track after a crazy couple of days?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Congrats, you two.

Congratulations and the best of wishes go out to my little sister Aly and her man Cory. It's been a joy to watch these two come together, and I am quite grateful for my new brother-in-law and all the smiles he puts on my sister's face. And of course, I am grateful for my sister, for all the times she spit on me when we were little and for all the times she was there for me when I simply needed to laugh. I can't wait to watch them grow in their marriage. Such a great couple, these two.

It's a special day, that's for sure.


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