Bigger, Better + Pet Peek

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Boyd managed to trade up from the pb jars. Did you know there was something bigger & better than an empty pb jar?

An empty Peach Fro-Yo container!!!! Man, his face and ears are all gross & crusty now.

I wonder why…

Boyd had no shame about putting his entire face into the container. I’d have to say that’s a family trait of ours… :)

MUCH earlier…

We did it!! We got up and worked out before 8AM today!! It wasn’t that bad. Really, the worst part is getting out of bed. Once those feet are on the floor… We got up at 6AM because we knew we were going to have a late night out house hunting.

The only problem is that I run much more slowly in the morning! But it feels just as fast. When I was running at 6.0, I could have sworn it was at least 7.5!! Nonetheless, I cranked out 4.5 miles in about 40 minutes. I’ll take it.

Lunch today was quinoa & black beans over greens with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar. Totally hit the spot. I was kind of ravenous after my run this morning!I actually briefly considered having the quinoa for breakfast.

Let me just hit dinner real quick, and then move along…

Yeah… that was a carb-y dinner to have at 9PM!! I actually admitted to Kevin that I was looking forward to spaghetti all day. Haha. I was ashamed to admit it since I count it as one of The Boring 3. I added in a whole bunch of greens again by just pureeing it with the spaghetti sauce. In fact, it turned green like my green mac ‘n’cheese so I ended up adding an extra can of fire roasted tomatoes to coax the sauce back to the normal range of color.

So when we were looking at houses today with our realtor, we noticed a cute feature:

There would be a little “window” covered with chicken wire in the fences between houses for the dogs to peek at each other!!! BOYD NEEDS THAT!!! Unfortunately, we weren’t wild about that house. But I think we could DIY that. ;)

Speaking of DIY:

My friend Ashlee recently started blogging again, and I know you guys will want to check it out @ The Crafty Dough Puncher. She DIYs things that don’t include spinach or sweat, has a beautiful blue-eyed baby boy, and makes stunning cakes. Check it out!

Do you DIY? If so, what was your last project? Just the WODs. And I can puree spinach or kale into most anything.

Runners, do you run more slowly in the morning? Yes. And that’s why morning races are painful for me.

Have you ever played the Bigger, Better game? Me, no. Way too shy. But Kyle MacDonald did and traded one red paper clip all the way up to a two-story farmhouse!!! And wrote a book about it! Maybe we’re taking the wrong approach to house hunting….

Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans & Rice + Day 1 Gymless

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We brought the grill back in a big way tonight. I’m all about find meatless options for grilling. Plus a lot of grill meat is the stuff I don’t like anyways — hot dogs, brats, steak, etc. I was inspired by this recipe from Eating Well to incorporate some grilled corn-on-the-cob.

I think there’s a way to do it without foil as well so you can get those cute grill marks, but I didn’t have time to get into that tonight.

Ta-da!

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Leftover stir fry rice
  •  Black beans
  • Grilled corn, red pepper, onion, & jalapeño
  • A few tortilla chips

The only thing I was missing was an avocado. *sigh*

Since my life is super rough, I am officially without a gym today (minus our apartment gym). Poor me.

Isn’t my neighborhood just terrible to run in?

Kevin stayed home today. I actually talked him into it. In his current class, every other week is a super heavy homework week. And this week’s the bad one. :( Boo. It was so nice having him free last Saturday!

I tried a random path and found this little crik – well, that’s what we’d call it back in Minnesota. Haha. It’d be a fun place to throw Boyd in!!

I turn around when I saw the coyote sign.

Oh my berry. That run was an eye-opener that I’ve lost some of my outdoor running prowess. Haha. I was slow. I was so slow that while I was running, I thought to myself I am not posting THIS time on my blog. But of course I’m going to. I’ll even bold it. I ran 4.15 miles in 37:23. Almost exactly a lousy 9 minute pace. In my defense, I walk/jogged/warmed-up the first mile. Mile 2 was about 8:45, Mile 3 was about 8:30, and Mile 4 was under 8. So at least we were doing negative splits here, people! :)  Don’t ask me why we’ve been running at the gym so much when the weather’s been decent even by my standards. It’s just convenient, especially if we’re not in the same “running mood.” Plus we have the WODs to think of. Haha.

So I’m going to get back on my game. I’ve been waffling on a 15k for Saturday morning. I’d like to do it, but it doesn’t work great with our schedule.  However….

So Kevin and I are thinking about running the HALF! A few months ago, I was considering doing the full, but I obviously haven’t been training for it. Actually, the longest race I’ve EVER done was the Frosty’s Frozen 10 so it wouldn’t hurt me to do a half first. The WODs have been taking away from my long runs a little bit lately, but hopefully they will make up for it by making me stronger! :) Now’s the perfect time to do a little distance running since I’m mourning the loss of our gym! :) Has anyone ever run this one? They have like every distance at the same time. It’s crazy!

One last little thing:

Is it okay that I was inspired by a 6-year-old? Cakies is one of my must-reads, and this is where one of her daughters requested to spend her birthday with her family. How cool is that? Her daughter got the idea to say in a hotel from the children’s book character, Eloise, who lives in the Plaza Hotel. You’ll have to read the whole post because it’s so adorable!

The hotel in the picture is the Saguaro in Palm Springs. I love it so much. It reminds me of my favorite children’s book – like the chic, sleek, grown-up version. I think I need to go for my birthday!

What’s your favorite hotel you’ve ever been to? I’m not really sure. I do kinda love staying at hotels though, and it was definitely a treat as a child.

Any favorite grill recipes? Especially vegetables/fruit, etc.

 

Grilling Time Is Here + Step It Up Friday

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Hooray. We broke out our new grill tonight!

Inaugurated it with some burgers - Men’s Health Power Burger recipe. I hope they don’t turn me into a boy. Haha.

Earlier…

We slept in extra late today. So late that we ended up trading our typical Saturday morning Sbux for Panera!

Roasted Turkey Fuji Apple Salad + Pesto Vegetable Soup. I kinda hated the soup. It was yucky dirt garden tasting. But the salad was pretty incredible. The little apple chips were a fun topper!

Last night!

The other night, when Kevin was desperately wishing I’d just close the Macbook and get to bed, I discovered a great new YouTube channel: Move Fitness & Training. They’re little 30-90 second clips of exercises, and I just couldn’t stop watching! I know that most people don’t stay up late watching exercise demos, but they were some fun mix-ups!

Exhibit A:

When box jumps just aren’t enough…

Add weights!

Here’s the video on progressions… I haven’t worked up the nerve to do the one with the kettlebell clean yet, but I’m sure that will come. I was going to try these on the lower box, but it was just too easy! I can’t believe it. The first time I did a box jump I was so chicken and made Kevin hold my hand! Haha.

I also have a dream to be able to handstand pushups. That’s not happening anytime soon, but I want to try out this progression. Notice I busted out the Bodybugg again? It’s been neglected lately, but I decided to bring it back after noticing some not-so-positive changes in my stomach this week. I feel like my fitness and nutrition have taken a little hit from travel and a little bit of stress in my life lately so I want to crank it back up and focus a little.

Today’s WOD: 5 exercises, 1 minute each, 3 rounds

We had to use kettlebells, mats, plyo boxes, dumbbells, and medicine balls for this workout. We’re not playing when it comes to using every last piece of equipment during our last week at the gym!

A little post-workout child’s pose!

For the last day of Salad Week, I through together this little mix-up:

  • cucumbers
  • mini tomatoes
  • chickpeas
  • basil
  • mozz cheese (the soft round kind)
  • light balsamic dressing

Served with a side of hummus and mini pitas. It was perfect for a Friday night.

Hope you’re having a great weekend! :)

Apples & Snaps + DR Trip Wrap-Up

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Oh my. Back to work this morning already. It wasn’t so bad. Especially knowing that it was already Wednesday!!

Plus it was good to see all my co-workers again. But I always have a hard time describing trips to them. This one in particular. Yes, I had a wonderful time, but it also reminded me of how much I miss everyone in the DR. How a little piece of my heart will always be there. But then again, I missed Kevin dreadfully while I was away!! The apple and the Snaps helped. ;) I wish I could say that’s all the Snaps I ate. But they were right by the printer, and I had a lot of printing to do!

How sweet is this? Kevin bought two avocados a few days ago so they’d be ripe when I got home. And we thought it didn’t get any better than frying pans and flowers…  Since my body has been sugared and up and deprived of nutrients for the past week, I was all over the veggies tonight. Romaine + argula topped with black beans, avo, salsa, and some sharp cheddar.

Yay WOD day! I was nervous I was going to be totally awful after my break from strength training. And I was basically right.

12 Minutes AMRAP

I managed to injure myself on round 1 of wall balls. They really are not my strong point. I’m thinking it’s because of my supreme lack of sports ability. And my vision!! I smashed my poor right hand when I tried to catch about #3. And then on my first round of kettlebell swings, I lost control of the kettlebell and it actually flipped over my head. That really freaked me out so I lowered the weight and slowed down. I usually don’t overestimate the weights I can handle but I guess I got a little carried away today in my eagerness to get cracking again!

I finished 7 rounds + 10 Wall Balls and 5 KB Swings. So basically I was 5 KB Swings away from 7 rounds. If I hadn’t made mistakes, I would’ve certainly made it. Kevin finished a solid 8 rounds. He’s way better at both the exercises, but he says his arms are tired after using a heavier 40lb kb.

I had a few more pictures I wanted to share from my big DR trip if you’ll indulge me. :)

Sunday night…

We had a big shindig at my old apartment, inviting a bunch of guys from church over for lasagna, garlic bread, salad, Funfetti cake, and, of course, dominoes.

The three of us are pros at host/hostessing together. Does my dress look familiar? It was Megan’s bridesmaid dress for our wedding last year. I also wore Amy’s dress on my 27th birthday. Aimee… I’ml looking for your dress next! I’ve taken reuseable bridesmaids dresses to a whole new level. :)

Predictably, when the food was eaten up, the dominoes were busted out.

I’m not really allowed to play since I’m truly awful. That’s fine by me. My adopted son Morys and I both get extremely nervous when people get crazy competitive. We’d rather make jokes and be wallflowers!

And eat leftover rainbow chip frosting.

Our old roommate, Christine (two years back) came over with her husband. It was so good catching up with her. She’s still teaching the kindergarteners and her husband got a visa to go visit the States. Yay!

Monday…

I failed to take many pictures because I was at my old school most of the day. I read to Megan’s class, visited Lindsay’s (a new who teacher who I named as my replacement before leaving), and had the opportunity to share some of my testimony with Jake’s Bible classes.

Megan teaches a basketball class for the kids after school, and I offered to take it over for the day while she got caught up on some grading.

Yeah. I know that doesn’t look like basketball. It was their last day so we played some four square for fun. I was home schooled so I’m not really that good at it, but the kids showed me the ropes.

I think this photo explains exactly why I’m a failure at wall balls!! :)

Cheesing it with an old student of mine. If you look directly behind me, that building is where my old classroom was! I seriously didn’t have the heart to look in there, and I hated to bother the new teacher since I hadn’t really met him. So I just let it go for now. I mean, you never know what he’s done with all my Boomwhackers!! Haha.

One last outing with the chi chi bon bon before leaving the country. I couldn’t leave without a little Yogen Früz! I always choosecherry y fresa. One of my favorite treats ever!

Ever played dominoes? I mean like the real ones.Or four square? I hear it’s good to be the king.

Can you eat frosting from a can? For sure. Weird, huh? Since I’m not even a sweets person most of the time. But I love frosting!

Ever reworn a bridesmaid dress? Megan’s and Amy’s from my wedding! :)

The Red Hot Blues Salad Masterpiece

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Well, we had planned some sort of curry deal for tonight. But I was reading some blogs between the gym and the grocery store and saw this idea for Simple Cheesy Salsa on PB Fingers. Typically, I would make nachos, and call it day. But since we’re working on our clean eating, we had to do some justifying to make it happen.

Enter Red Hot Blues Salad Masterpiece:

It was amazing. And it knocked that awesome Mediterranean salad down to #2. Maybe that’s because there were chips involved. But still!!!

The delicious salsa dip was made with these 2 easy ingredients:

4 little wedges of Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle Cheese + 1 cup salsa. Obviously we chose HOT, but you could use any. It was so amazing.

The rest of our salad toppers: black beans (with taco seasoning), cilantro galore, and red onion.

The only picture I have of new Lulu pants that came in the mail today is in the chip aisle. I swear I went to the gym first!! I bought them with a gift certificate I had leftover from Christmas. I hope I love them… they do have some pretty nice ruching action going on!! But I’m not sure how I feel about the high-ish rise. Also: check out my squirrel hair. I decided it was time to wash it tonight.

Today’s workout: 4ish mile run + kettlebell circuit similar to the one I did two days ago. I can’t stop with the kettlebells because I can see little muscles in my abs!! It’s super motivational! Plus they really are fun to play with. I hope I never let one fly and hit someone…

Lunch was a bowl red potatoes, vegetables, and a 100-calorie English muffin with a little cheese!

So breakfast really deserved a post of its own, but dinner stole its thunder. This was my second time trying Chai Oatmeal. And it’s awesome!!! I like oatmeal, but I find it b-l-a-n-d. Even with peanut butter. It’s never enough peanut butter… until it turns into no-bakes! Haha. So I love that this recipe is flavorful without being sugarful.

Chai Oatmeal (adapted from Health)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 packet of Truvia
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 3/4 cup regular (not quick-cooking) oats
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed

Preparation

Combine the milk, salt, and spices in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly; add the Truvia, vanilla (if desired), oats, and flaxseed (if desired), and stir until combined. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the oatmeal is thick and creamy.

It’s my “almost weekend” again!! Hooray!! And Date Night tomorrow!!

What’s your favorite tortilla chip? Kevin made me love the Red Hot Blues. But we also love the whole wheat tortilla scoops. And I do like some of the flavored ones like Lime.

What’s your favorite summer date idea? I saw this list on Fit Sugar that I loved! But then again, Kevin and I always love eating best! :)

What type of exercise gives you the most NOTICEABLE results? Mental benefits —> running. Noticeable physical changes —> kettlebells or consistent yoga practice.

 

 

Make Mine Iced!

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Last night, our gym threw a Zumba party for Fat Tuesday. The ladies in blue camo pants and beads were actually a little overwhelming!! I tried with my hot pink shirt and capris, but I just did not really make the cut!

I was planning to attend with my running/donut baking buddy, Brooke, but our gym is really hard for a visitor to find. So that didn’t work out. I ended up slipping in for a song or two, but it was really hard to see and too many people just shaking it at random for me to really know what was going on!

The free food, however, I no problem with! I don’t even have to tell you who that brownie belongs to, right? I’m ashamed that my gym was offering brownies. I bet they weren’t the sketchy kind made with black beans either (just kidding – I’d probably like those). I was actually craving the pineapple after my workout. (I showed up before the Zumba party to do 1.53 miles of stairs + 3.58 miles normal).

For dinner, I whipped up some loaded naked taco salads. The key to my salad making is to use as little lettuce as possible. I’m just not a fan of lettuce.  At least I had my avocado! It still wasn’t very ripe so I mashed it like crazy and added salt + cilantro. It was good, but I don’t really like eating salads for supper. Especially in the winter. I feel like I need pasta or bread or something hearty to keep me warm at night! I can’t help it. It’s how I feel. But whenever I’m thinking this, I try to remember that Bob Harper says to keep it “lean & green” in the evening.

I also couldn’t help the fact that I needed  fro-yo last night. I really did! We were both in pajama pants and it was cold out, but we still went! Kevin could tell that I was at the point where I wouldn’t stop talking about it for two hours if I didn’t get any. And we DO have at least three fro-yo spots within a 1-block radius! That I know of.

My flavors: cheesecake, angel food cake *topped with a little cherry*, and cake batter. The cheesecake was awesome. The angel food cake I wanted to love, but sadly, it had kind of a weird texture.

We cheated on Yogurtini again and went to Nella’s around the corner. I’m just not a fan of Yogurtini’s current seasonal flavors: Maple Bacon Donut & Snickerdoodle.

Kevin was skeptical about the topping selection, but I think he was won over by the HUGE chunks of Reese’s PB Cups!

Best Facebook status of the week?

Hooray! I’ve been thinking about it ever since I saw it. So yesterday, in honor of it, I decided to get my Starbucks iced!

I probably haven’t had an iced latte since October! It was nice!!!

 What would your ideal temperature be? 80. Seriously. Maybe even 85.

Do you drink iced coffee/drinks in the winter? Not really. I did not sacrifice my fro-yo, but the frequency is definitely down. 

Any Fat Tuesday festivities? Nice ones, like Zumba. That’s really the only reason I knew it was Fat Tuesday. Haha. Last year at this time we were celebrating carnaval in the Dominican Republic… going downtown during one of those nights probably rates as one of the top five dumbest things I did while living overseas. It way too wild and definitely dangerous. But the daytime cultural things are cool to see!

Mad Greens & Lululemon

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We got enough of The Great Outdoors during our gold mining expedition on Saturday so today we took it inside and took advantage of some Labor Day sales. I think Kevin was just trying to sneakily get birthday ideas that were not fluffy & friendly (poor Baylee!!!).

This was my stab at Practical Winter Shoes. How do you think I did? :)

Somehow we managed to avoid this shop. Although I saw them trying to lure me in with that running display!

Coolest orange bike ever. I asked Kevin to steal it for my birthday, but he wouldn’t. Boo!

Lululemon was definitely my favorite store that we visited! It was my first experience, and it was so cool! They have yoga pants stacked like Gap has jeans stacked. I’m such a small town girl, but I was in heaven. *Sigh.* Yes, their prices seem quite high, but I have read amazing things about the quality of their products/their outstanding customer service. This jacket would keep me toasty in the winter!


I probably loved even more this running jacket with thumbholes! I loved how low down it went. Probably as long as my running shorts! I ended up leaving with just two headbands for today. I was also excited to learn about two community events they have: Monday night running group & Friday night Vino & Vinyasa! I can’t wait to check them out!

Mad Greens has been on our list to try so when we spotted a location right down the street we ducked in for a salad.

They have loads of build your own options, but I decided to try one of their signatures first. The MAD Molly Brown!

The salads were served in giant stainless steel mixing bowls! I love it! Literally a salad bowl full of salad. I loved every bite of mine. It’s not often I want to lick a salad bowl clean, but it was delicious. I especially loved the flavor of the grilled sweet onions! Yum!

Manly man Kevin needed something more than just rabbit food so he had some sort of “Pick 2″ deal. He had a turkey-avocado panini with a BLT salad. Mine was better.

We spent a little extra time in the restaurant resting our feet. The downtown Cherry Creek shopping district is super fun, but definitely requires some walking around! I wished I had a pedometer because that’s the sort of fitness supernerd I am!

The pink Coach purse might help me ignore the Vizsla-shaped hole in my heart. But it wouldn’t give me kisses when I get home from the gym work everyday!

It was my first time in Crate & Barrel too! We’re such newbs! This orange chair was comfy. And it would match my orange bike!

After a long day of shopping, Kevin and I probably hemmed and hawed longer than it would take to run a 5k if we were going to workout tonight. In the end, of course, we did! I hogged the treadmill like always. And if someone else is in the gym and I get demoted to the elliptical, do you know where poor Kevin James goes? That’s right. The stationary bike. Hehe. I ran over 4 miles with some decent speedwork mixed in. Enough that I wanted to take the elevator back upstairs. I always want to do that after a workout. Isn’t that ridiculous. Run 45-60 minutes and then take the elevator? :)

I have so much more from this weekend to share, but I have to go enjoy every last tidbit with my doting husband. And I hope that last tidbit includes fro-yo!

Tell me all about your Labor Days!! I missed you!! xoxooxoxoxo