A Farmer’s Walk (In Real Life)

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Because you’ve been deprived of Boyd’s balancing skills for too long:

boykin donut

Boyd Bear got a little taste of one of the leftover Valentine’s donuts from my piano studio class. The rest of them ended up going to The College Kid and his roommates.

I gave up a few wods this week to spend more time with my sister. Haha. If you’re in a committed relationship with CrossFit like I am, you know that can be excruciating!! What if I miss out!?!??! But we made it tonight for this fun one:

15 minutes AMRAP

  • 5 renegade man makers (push-ups, row, row, squat clean, push press, lunge, lunge = 1 REP!!!!)
  • 10 box jumps
  • 15 Toes to Bar

About halfway through, my coach told me he wanted me to try to finish 5 rounds. Ha ha ha. My t2b started to really crumple after round 2, and I ended up with 3 + 24 reps.

Using your muscles in real life sounds fun but is typically overrated!! Take today for example:

farmers carry

Hbear and I were out running this morning and decided to pick up some goods from the grocery store for Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls. Some things that included milk and sugar… HEAVY!!! Okay, so we carried some Starbucks too. A real life farmer’s walk!

I once read that schlepping is the ultimate urban workout and burns about 236 calories per hour!!

My sister was actually complaining about how HOT it was. She’s going back to Minnesota tomorrow… that’ll teach her. They’re actually supposed to have blizzard conditions there tomorrow!!!!!! Which is not fun for my fam since they don’t really live near the airport.

salad liberte

A little random combo I got to pass off as lunch since Kevin wasn’t home. I’ve been eating a lot of Annie’s mac ‘n’ cheese, Puffins, and other “kids’ healthy junk food” over the last two weeks with my sister. It’s been fun, but I’m ready to get back to my regular menu. She was pretty good about eating our normal meat + salad in the evenings, but it’s definitely different cooking for 3. And 2 of us are extremely picky, but I won’t name any names!!!

cuties chocolate and salt

We also spent one morning chocolate dipping everything! Bacon! Pretzels! Cuties!!!! We loved this combo of melted Enjoy Life choc chips, cuties, and sea salt!

I stayed up tonight to finish Notes from a Blue Bikeand apparently now I’m wide awake! Usually books help me fall asleep, but I got a little excited and finished this one. I love reading about other expats’ experiences, and  of course, it made me really miss the DR. Dying to go back and visit sometime soon especially after I got to FaceTime with Morys this week (so proud of him)!!!! I’d book a plane ticket right now, but Kevin hid my passport (haha, “safekeeping”).

I’m up to 14 books in 2014 (goal is 100+), and you can check them all out on the 100 books tab.

When do your muscles come in handy (or not)? I’m always telling Kevin “you’re lucky I CrossFit” when I have to (reluctantly) move heavy things. He’s gotten pretty good about talking up things like they are going to be a fun workout… They also intimidate strangers on the street. I was out walking Pippa the other day, and a stranger was like whoaaaa, don’t beat me up!!!  Haha. That really made me laugh!! Unfortunately, they’re not intimidating the overly friendly middle school boys in my neighborhood, heyyyyy, how was your day? Uhh.. fine? By the way, I’m 29, so go play some video games?? 

What’s your favorite donut? I usually choose by the frosting color and sprinkles, but Kevin looooooves Bloedow’s in Winona. I’d rather have cupcake frosting…

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Almost There!! + Pippa’s Chance!

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I know I’ve only taught about a quarter of this school year, but it has been a MARATHON — not a sprint. I think I need to do an hour-by-hour of my day post to remind me to never do this again. I’m not questioning my decision, but maybe my sanity! Most weekdays I leave my house at 4:55AM to go to CrossFit (so thankful we live close!), then off to school from 7:30-4 (teaching 7 classes a day). I walk home between 4-4:15, let out the dogs as fast as possible, and get to the piano where I stay most nights until 7:30PM. And you know it’s the end of the school year so nobody is taking it easy on me!! Plus it’s like I’m ON all day. No sitting at a computer. No people leaving me alone. No time to even yawn without someone catching me.  P.S. I’m not doing this again next year, but I am thankful because it’s helping me take a serious chunk out of my (thankfully small) student loan. :)

I woke up this morning feeling tight and anxious with two student music performances plus my studio’s first piano recital next week. It’s just a lot to juggle right now. Four ways I’m dealing with it? Prayer, chocolate (seriously), more CrossFit (it’s growing on me), and less screen time after dinner. Honestly, we eat dinner at 8PM or later so it’s almost bedtime for us!! If you know me, you know how much I love the internet (and I still sneak it on my phone a little) but we’re trying to step back and use that time more wisely – talking, reading our Bibles, etc.

theo dark chocolate coconut

This dark chocolate coconut might be my new fave — maybe even better than Chocolove!

Ask many how many days of school are left?

7.

And I’m so thankful for Memorial Day weekend! Woohoo!

boyd in bed

Don’t worry — the dogs are still being spoiled by our dog walker. And guess what? Boyd is her favorite. So weird. We always tell him when we leave that his girlfriend is coming. Haha.

pippa

My puppies are too cute, right? I can hardly stand it.

I’m sorry if you love cats — but this is too funny. The cats TORMENT my dogs by sitting on our front porch. ALL THE TIME. Our neighbors have cats. And our alley has cats. And they’ve decided they like our furniture the best. I think my piano students think I’m lying that I don’t own any of them!

This is a 4 second video. You’ll probably need to watch it 5-6x at least. I know I just watched it again.

Haha. What you don’t see is me panicking that Pippa is going to get out of our yard after that video. Our recall isn’t great…. I think it would be better now, but all bets are off when a cat is involved!!

Thanks to those of you who have checked in with me to make sure I’m okay — totally am. I have so so so many things to share, but it’s mostly going to have to wait till June! June is a super exciting month — my favorite day, Kevin’s birthday, our anniversary, and I’m planning a trip to Minnesota to see my family & friends! Hooray!!!

Have a wonderful Thursday — of course, we haven’t given up on Date Night! So that’s what I’ll be doing after my two jobs! Haha.

Do you have a summer break coming up? I’ll still be teaching piano, but I definitely consider it a break. I’ll also be taking some time off from that when I travel in June.

What are you cooking for Memorial Day weekend?!  These taco-rubbed burgers with avocado & crushed tortilla chips look amazing!!!!

What refreshments should I have for my students’ piano recital? I’m not going all Paleo on them, but I just don’t see myself serving your typical punch. Haha. I looked at ordering cupcakes — but that’s crazy expensive. So I’m considering Menchie’s?? Maybe we should just take a field trip there. Haha.

Chocolate-Covered Chocolate Animal Cookies

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I surprised Kevin with a Christmas-themed activity! Okay, maybe it’s a little bit of a stretch, but I put it in his stocking.

animal cookies in stockings

I had to stop at the bank today, and my bank is conveniently located in SPROUTS! Love that. So I picked up some animal cookies and Enjoy Life chocolate chips to make a little treat for Kevin tonight. You should have seen him lurking around in the pantry last night looking for something sweet!!!

My tip for shopping at Sprouts or Whole Foods when I don’t really need anything? Do NOT take a basket. I could only carry three things so that’s how much I bought. Otherwise we might have had chocolate-covered gummy bears as well!

IMG_6392

So I couldn’t get the chocolate quite the right consistency so they’re a little bit ugly. But we still love them. You can see the pretty ones that inspired me here.

What’s up with my sprinkle collection? I had Easter pastels, fall earth tones, Valentine’s Day, St.Patrick’s Day, but nothing specific to Christmas. I didn’t even have green! I need to take care of that. Maybe after Christmas when it’s on sale.

Today’s WOD:

Hooray! I roped Kevin into doing this one with me. Kevin prefers lower reps & more diversity in a workout so I picked this one:

wod genius workout diy wod

(via WOD Genius)

You can tell this wasn’t my pick, right? Not a burpee or box jump in sight!!!! The only change we made is that we did two arm kb swings. I can’t keep track of counting otherwise. I used 20lb kbs for the presses, 10lb medicine ball, and 35 & 25 for the swings.

I finished in 14:36. And Kevin finished about 30 seconds ahead of me!!!!! If it was a race, he beat me. Everything is not a race though. Haha.

Speaking of races, have you seen this:

runners world christmas trees

I actually put our medals on the tree after the race on Saturday. I thought I was so clever until I saw all of these.

the dogs want chocolate

The dogs REALLY LIKE THE SMELL OF CHOCOLATE. Poor babies!! They were so sure I was going to cave and give them some. Boyd has definitely had chocolate a few times with no noticeable reaction (snitch!), but I think Pippa would get really sick. She has a more delicate constitution!

How many types of sprinkles are in your cabinet right now? We have at least 12, I think. Maybe more. Including two plain reds, but no super Christmas-y ones.

What’s the best Christmas theme tree you’ve ever seen? I like the medals and running shoes, but I like to go with family ornaments instead of anything super organized. I’m surprised we don’t have any dog ornaments. It’s Pippa’s first Christmas!! How did I just realize that?! Lol. With us anyways.

Tea Bar

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Our Breckenridge trip apparently encouraged us to be a little more adventurous — we made it farther than Starbucks for our Saturday AM date.

The Tea Bar is one of the first places I remember seeing in the Highland neighborhood when we were first house hunting so it’s always been on my radar.

Cute, right? It shares the space with the Green Garage (an eco-friendly car place of some sort). It was a little intimidating for us to walk in since we’re not exactly tea drinkers, but I checked out the menu online, and it seemed safe!

I selected the Matcha Latte with almond milk.

Drinking the tea!

My handsome husband isn’t overly crazy about coffee OR tea… what kind of life is that???? So he chose Nutty Idea, a coconut-flavored hot chocolate with skim milk. Of course, I had a sip of that too, and it was really good!

Was I supposed to drink out of the high side or the low side of that cup? Both felt kind of awkward!

It was cute & cozy inside, and we enjoyed sitting at a table for two in the sunshine. The good news is that it’s basically right up the hill from my gym!!! :)

Back at home…

Kevin James had some serious yard work to do.

Meanwhile, I exercised Princess Pippa.

A 5k in just under 30. There were Halloween activities blocking our path. And we were lazy.

Saturday’s WOD: (via WOD Genius)

15 minutes AMRAP:

I had to use the super high plyo box (24in +) so Kevin could use the normal height one so that made it quite the workout. I made it through 9 rounds + 3 step-ups. I love it when Kevin does WODs with me! It took a little coaxing because he likes to “do his own thing” and we’re out of our M-W-F WOD habit.

Afterwards, I did some stairs, and read some VERY GOOD NEWS:

I ate a lot of chocolate and bread this weekend. We went grocery shopping tonight, and I’m ready for the new week. It’s going to be a busy one for my teaching business. Guess what? My piano studio got its very own bank account! I’m so legit now. Haha.

Have you ever been to a tea bar/place? Just the once. I’ve seen one other tea place in the area, but I can’t remember exactly where. I know it’s near a B-cycle station…

P.S. Two very good ideas: Vegan Candy Corn + Pumpkin Angel Food Cake.

4 Paws, 1 Piano + Chocolate & Coffee

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I know I shouldn’t let them do this, but I did… Don’t tell any of my piano students!

I saw a YouTube video of a cat playing the piano the other day, and I got jealous! I can’t believe we got this one on the first try!

Never try this at home. My piano is quite robust!

I tried my first siggi’s this morning. In the car. Running late to church. Blame the blur on Kevin.

He was just thinking about this:

I think Kevin was secretly happy I didn’t wake up in time to make breakfast this morning — that meant church donuts for him!!!

For some reason I got it into my head that I should do a long run today though I haven’t run much over a 5k in a few months! I’m all of a sudden DYING to run a half marathon. Just when all the good one passed for the fall. Figures.

I didn’t know it was going to turn off after an hour! Boo! I forgot you had to set it at the beginning to make it go longer. Oops! I ran another quarter after this because I realized my pace was right above 8 minute miles. So in the end I did 8.5 miles @ 8:00 pace + 2.5 miles of cool down and jogging home from the gym .I was going to walk home, but it was taking too long! Yeah, I think I could definitely jump in and run a half marathon! Good job, Fitmixer, GPP, and my own DIY WODs! :)

I watched Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and some Kardashians while I ran. I’ll reluctantly admit that it didn’t compare to the view from yesterday. But I was safer!! Haha.

37 miles this week! I’ll take it.

I drank a Fitmixer protein shake when I got home. Boot camp has definitely been teaching me to be a little wiser about refueling. I sometimes go for hours without eating… even after a long workout! Just because I get caught up in wanting to do the dishes or get something else done and don’t take the time to eat something. I know real food is better, but the shakes definitely come in handy and are better than nothing!

Dinner #1: Turkey wrap with wholly guacamole!

Dinner #2: Sweet potato fries are back in the house!

My prissy Pippa watching me eat.

A row of this chocolate bar for dessert!

Not pictured: Pirate’s Booty!!

Looking forward to trying my BIRTHDAY COFFEE from Kelly & Lisa in the morning!!!

Buenas noches!!

What’s your favorite chocolate bar? I love ones with espresso/coffee flavors. I also love the endangered species one with the monkey!

How often do you eat chocolate? Not very often, but I’m attempting to reform that with a row a day of this bar!

What kind of coffeemaker do you have? Does anyone have the Verismo? Just curious! Also trying to convince Kevin that I need something like that for my piano students’ parents! :)

What kind of coffee do you drink at home? A variety! I buy weird discount flavors at Target. I liked the Godiva Chocolate Truffle coffee. And I’m wanting a pumpkin flavor! Plus whatever people give me. And Dominican coffee for a few months whenever I come back from a trip.

Healthified Strawberries & Cream Pie + Mexican 1000’s

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I think that healthified may be a strong word for this pie, but it’s definitely reduced in sugar and fat content. And it’s pretty amazing.

We were having a little shindig at the office today, and since my Cookie Friday skills are legendary – I was obviously volunteered to bring the dessert.

I’m really pleased with my chocolate drizzle. My drizzling abilities are generally pretty sub-par, but check that middle section. Never mind the chunks on the strawberries. I knew those would just tasteunbelievably good so I didn’t worry about it.

Healthified Strawberries & Cream Pie
(via Eat Better America)
Crust:
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
Filling and Topping:
  • 1 package (8 oz) fat-free cream cheese or 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar  I skipped the sugar totally due to my lack of reading skills,  and just realized it as I was writing this blog. But now I know that it’s definitely unnecessary!
  • 1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free French vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup frozen (thawed) fat-free whipped topping
  • 4 cups fresh whole strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
 Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl, mix flour, salt and 1/4 cup oil with fork until mixture is consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all water is absorbed and dough sticks together.
  2. Gather dough into a ball; flatten to 4-inch round. Place between sheets of waxed paper. With rolling pin, roll dough into 12-inch round. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Carefully transfer dough round to 9-inch glass pie plate; remove waxed paper. Gently press in bottom and up side of plate, being careful not to stretch dough.
  3. Fold and roll edge under, even with plate; flute edge. Prick bottom and side of dough thoroughly with fork. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  4. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on high speed 30 to 60 seconds or until fluffy. Beat in sugar until blended. Add yogurt, vanilla and almond extract; beat on low speed 30 to 60 seconds until well blended and smooth. Fold in whipped topping just until blended. Spoon into cooled crust; spread gently to edge. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until chilled.
  5.  Top each serving with strawberries, pointed ends up (or flat). In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon oil on High 30 to 45 seconds or until chips can be stirred smooth. Drizzle chocolate over strawberries. Store pie in refrigerator.

I love making crusts with oil instead of shortening. So much easier. And the wax paper trick really saves on clean up!!! Seriously.

Kevin sent me no fewer than three emails reminding me to bring the leftover pie home. He’s lucky there’s only 4 other people in my department — and one is on vacation! I had to feed him a few bites at the stoplights on the way home!!!

Hey, I had to get out of bed at least 11 minutes early to prepare breakfast this morning, but we started the week off right!! Eggs, a little pesto, and a little mozz on a whole wheat English muffin. A little energy for a loooong day!

I ended up having PB&J at our work pot luck because I’m NOT a fan of egg salad (mayo, Miracle Whip — they’re all the yuck!!) along with veggies, dip, and kettle chips. I didn’t really partake of the pie other than licking the knife a lot (on the way home!!!!!).

Mexican 1000’s!! It’s a fun running workout!! I know you’re pumped!
It’s from the Runner’s World article We All Need Speed. I did the Double Tempo workout a while back, and loved that one too!

As the name indicates, this workout consists of 1000-meter repeats done at tempo-run pace with 60 seconds of recovery between them. I often call them Mexican 1000s as Mexican marathoning legend German Silva and his training buddies ran these repeats once a week leading up to his back-to-back victories in the New York City Marathon. Silva and his crew would run up to 15 repeats on a dirt track at 9,000 feet in Toluca, Mexico.

Start with six 1000-meter repeats and add one per week until you can run eight to 10 comfortably. Don’t exceed 12 repeats unless you plan on winning the New York City Marathon. And don’t be put off by the fact that this workout is done on the track. It’s still more of a controlled tempo run than a speedy interval session because of the pace.

Well, I meant to run it on the track. And then we got this ridiculous wind yesterday that brought in this awful cold air. Yuck!! Go away, cold weather!!! So I treadmilled it! I ran 7 repeats — I can’t bring myself to do the minimum of anything in a workout — and completed 5.22 miles in 45 minutes. That’s about an 8:37 pace which isn’t bad since I took 60 seconds walking breaks in between them!! Yay!!

And I talked Kevin into doing a kettlebell circuit with me. I’m not sure he likes me barking form tips at him, but at least I can’t breathe that well while I’m doing swings.

We did three rounds of 1 minute each of the following:

  • Alternating clean & press
  • Double kettlebell squats
  • Seesaw presses
  • One leg deadlift left
  • One leg deadlif right
  • 2-handed kettlebell swings

Kettlebells are really killer, but they definitely carve your core!! I’m just sayin’!!

P.S. Freevertisements!!!

Cookie Friday: Chocolate Mint Oreo Cookies + My After

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Well, I made an attempt to make the cookies festive this week for St.Patrick’s Day! Kind of a feeble attempt… And then I couldn’t find the green chips anywhere. Or at least in the one place I looked (Target). I ended up subbing Andes chips so it worked out. But they’re considerably less green.

Chocolate Mint Oreo Cookies (via Two Peas & Their Pod)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mint green chips
1 cup chopped Cool Mint Oreo cookies

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

3. With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract. Mix until blended.

4. Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix until flour disappears. Stir in chocolate chips, mint green chips, and chopped Cool Mint Oreos. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

5. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges, but still soft in the center. Don’t over bake. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

I’ll be honest. I like just plain Mint Oreos better, but Kevin loves these cookies. They’re full of goods – oreos chunks, chocolate chips, and Andes mints. However, I am excited that Maria @ Two Peas & Their Pod is coming out with an e-cookbook that’s all cookies Cookie Cravings. Her cookie recipes are my fave, and they’re usually pretty simple to whip up. Love that!

I made something else awesome the other day:

Kevin emailed me at the last second that he needed something for a work breakfast get together. I immediately thought of the fantastic flax muffins I made the other day, but someone else was already bringing muffins. So I went to granola! This was a recipe for Mocha Granola from How Sweet It Is. I made a mistake and baked the chocolate chips — I was supposed to sprinkle them after baking. But it still turned out great.

Can you spot little Boyd paws in the granola picture?

As long as we’re on a chocolatey theme…

I tried to be part of the Team Refuel today! :) Blog advertising works really well on me!!

Check out this info from an article titled “Kitchen Chemistry” on Runner‘sWorld:

CHOCOLATE MILK
Protects Your Muscles
THE NEWS: Researchers at the University of Connecticut had men run for 45 minutes and then drink 16 ounces of either fat-free chocolate milk or a carb recovery beverage with the same number of calories. Three hours later, the dairy drinkers had lower markers of muscle protein breakdown, suggesting the protein in milk provides a recovery advantage over carb-only beverages.
CONSUME IT: To speed recovery, have a glass of low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk after runs longer than 45 minutes.

I’ve definitely been guilty of the extremely procrastinated refuel, and this was definitely the case today as once again I was multi-tasking running & grocery shopping. Carrying a bag of flour home counted as my weight training for the day! I love  inthe chocolate milk a little box, but I think the sugar content is, well, pretty high.

The athletes are convincing me. I have to say that I’ve always been skeptical of workout specific drinks. I never drink Gatorade and whatnot. Consuming chocolate milk is drinking your calories, but if you’re on a tight schedule and you’re not going to have a chance to eat for a few hours — it might be a good option. Here’s a somewhat skeptical article on the topic from USA Today: Chocolate milk makers now target grown-up athletes. I hadn’t realized there was pressure to pull chocolate milk from schools. I’d just add more P.E.! :)

Baking anything special for St.Patrick’s? I don’t know what else yet…

If you’re a runner/athlete/or just interested in nutrition, what’s your take on chocolate milk as a refuel option? Curious!