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!

Do You Need A New Outfit For Each Holiday? + How Many Shoes Would You Pack?

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Kevin requested that I pose this question to my discerning readers.

I’m not trying to be materialistic or anything, I’m just girly like that. I like to have something new & cute to wear. It’s a way of celebrating! It’s at times like this that I miss my girlfriends! :) A dress in every color to borrow. And my best roommate ever, the My Size Roommate!! It totally stunk to have our wardrobes cut in half when I moved back to the States! Good thing I have some new work clothes I can use this year when our budget’s a little tight. They’re a little conservative for the holidays in my opinion (no glitter, sequins, or ruffles), but I’ll survive!

And just for fun….

What’s better than free pizza?

Free turkey!! Our gym was having like a social mixer gathering tonight for its members. So after a nice 4-miler and an hour of Zumba, I had a smidge. I had to share with Kevin. I don’t know why he can sneak 5 pieces of pizzas from the Halloween party but is so sparse when it comes to my turkey!! C’mon! Be the food hoarder I know & love! I’ll be honest. Zumba isn’t exactly a challenging workout for me (besides some of the choreography) but I was just in the mood for it tonight.

By the way, there’s a guy who’s ALWAYS in the Zumba classes who looks just like Corbin Bleu (not to be confused with cordon bleu – that took me some Googling!)

 

Do you think it IS him? Mom: Corbin Bleu is some guy who was in Disney channel movies about jump rope. Fun fact: Corbin Bleu won award for Best Hair While Bowling. I should probably keep talking about him. It’s probably a good way to get hits to my blog by 8-year-old girls! :)

I was feeling super festive tonight so I picked this up from the store while we were out. I’m not exactly a soy lover, but it’s a better alternative than 180 calories for 1/4 cup! I feel like tomorrow is like the half-day of school before the holiday. So exciting. I bet the people in my office will not be as hyper as kids are before break. That’s always such a nightmare, but of course now I miss it!! :)

Do you like egg nog? Love it. My parents taught me this tradition. I will always remember the year my dad got a really good deal, and we ate it like kind of frozen. SO DELICIOUS.

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? Yep. Although we are looking forward to NY when we will finally have a day off at our HOME!! Kevin didn’t even have his suitcase unpacked from being gone this week, and that just seems like how life has been.

Gotta bounce because I’ve convinced Kevin to workout at 5AM tomorrow since otherwise we won’t have time because we’ll be in the airport.

 

 

Tortellin with Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomatoes + One Sweet Saturday

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Oh man! it’s totally been one of those weekends where I’ve been having way too much fun and way too little time to blog about it! :)

My Saturday started out with a little of THIS:

We are so hard core! We went to a Group Power class at our new gym. Similar to Body Pump. I called i the generic version of Body Pump. I’m only assuming that Body Pump is the original because that’s what all my favorite bloggers love. It was super fun! We really enjoyed it. All the equipment was definitely intimidating for me. I’m sooo not a weights person. In fact, I did end up changing my weights during the entire workout. You were supposed to add/take away for different songs working different body parts, but I just stuck with my 10′s! We’re excited because it’s a class that we can both enjoy and really grow into. I can’t wait to be the tough girl over by the left mirror!!!!! :)

Immediately after our class, the Zumba people started invading. It was like this colorful flock descending upon us! We couldn’t get our weights out of the way fast enough for them to start their cha-cha-chas! I couldn’t resist joining in for a song or two. It was super easy for me to pick up on beause it’s honestly so similar to the Dominican aerobicos! It’s just white people who can’t shake it quite as well! :)

Simplest recipe ever! My runny buddy, Brooke came over and we hit the streets covering 4.0 miles together. It was so fun because we talked our little heads of. Brooke has this theory that if you talk a lot during training, you’ll do really well during a race because you won’t be talking and using up your lung power that way. It’s GENIUS. I love it. Plus we didn’t even notice the first 2.5 miles!! Amazing!

After we cleaned up, we headed to the kitchen to make dinner for our men who were both hitting the books all day (Kevin for his MBA, while her husband is in med school).

Tortellini with Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

2 packages (9 ounces each) BUITONI Refrigerated Three Cheese Tortellini
1/2 cup BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Pesto with Basil
1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) BUITONI Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 bunch basil, chopped

Directions

PREPARE pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta. Toss with pesto, cheese, tomatoes and basil. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Told you it was easy! Almost ridiculously so! I usually never buy tortellini because it seems so expensive, but when Brooke mentioned it, I was all for it! Now I’m curious if I could make it homemade! Of course I am! :)

Our cute little table. We served broccoli & super buttery/garlicky/delicious bread on the side!

For dessert, I was dying to try this recipe for mini chocolate cakes baked in ramekins & stacked in towers. ours didn’t turn out as gorgeous as they were on Pinterest, but they sure tasted good.

We had such a sweet time with our friends. We both told our “how we met” stories, and I grilled her husband about his marathons. I can’t resist. He recently ran a 3:16. Of course, I’m impressed! Brooke & I have plans to run a half together in the spring, and then maybeeeeee…. just maybeeee….. we’ll seeeee! :)

I had such a long week with Kevin gone & a sick Boyd that I (totally accidentally) did this allllll afternoon:

Totally missed my gym time, but I squeezed in 3.60 miles in 32 minutes after our Marriage + class. My body was so sore from all the upper body work in Group Power that it hurt to like pump my arms. Such a weird feeling!

Ready to dive into the big 2-day work week??? Wooohoo!!! I’m off to go Google more Thanksgiving recipes for both sides. I’m sooo excited! For the food AND the family! :)

 

True Confession: I’m a Gamer

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I don’t know what happened. I despise video games more than your average American mother of teenage boys does. I always think,”Why aren’t you reading a book?” I actually sort of secretly disapproved that Kevin owned a Wii. And we never pulled it out in the entire time I’ve known him. And then we had the Just Dance 2 night Kelly & Lisa. It was just too fun. And I was sweating my little freckles off! I spent the next morning perusing Wii dance and fitness games on Amazon.com. I resisted the temptation. But the other night we were at Target at about 9:50PM, and this little gem caught my eye:

And it was on sale! And Kevin had a lot of homework to do that night. TOTAL IMPULSE BUY!?!?!!!!!!!!!! Yes. And yes, I know. Just another phase. I’m sure I’ll get tired of it super fast, but I’ll get my $19 of entertainment out of it. I’ve already tried the majority of the songs/workouts. Here’s proof:

Yesterday morning I burned off Macaroni & Cheese!! The Gold’s Gym Dance Workout definitely gives a LOT more instruction than the Just Dance 2 games, and is a lot less complicated. But it really does teach you the basic merengue, and it has been TRYING to teach me salsa, but I am just TOO WHITE!!! The boxing workouts are decent. I just have one thing to say, I am absolutely SHOCKED that my upper body is SORE. My back, shoulders, and arms are ROCKING. Yeah, I played for an hour and forty minutes. And only burned 491 calories. I burned over 700 today just running 44 minutes! Sick. So really, I only suggest this for people with extra time on their hands. ;) I totally have my eye on the Zumba game when I want to upgrade.

In other dance news, I’m dying to learn the Watermelon Crawl. I’ve been inspired by the bright life blog. Who wants to come over and try to learn it from YouTube videos? I wonder if it’s on the Country Line Dancing Wii game. What IS my problem!?!?

Do you like any video/Wii games? Okay, I feel a little better about myself now that I remembered that I just finished reading 2 books that were almost 2,000 pages between them.

Super Jueves

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Here is my face before I had ever been to a Zumba class.

It’s actually really hard to take a self-portrait with a SmartWater in your armpit. And yes, that’s what I wore to my first Zumba class. Underwhelming, I know! :) I ended up having to jog the .7 miles there because of a last-minute panic attack when I couldn’t locate my gym shoes! Can you believe I texted Kevin James @ work and he knew right where they were? Impressive!!!

I made it just in time for the 10:15 Zumba class at Z Studio. The first class is complimentary so I encourage you to check it out! The class was kind of duo-taught by two instructors, and I really liked them both. They were fun, upbeat and super encouraging. I really enjoyed my class – it was good to just hear some Latin music. There were only about seven ladies in the class so that was actually really nice. It was different not to have an instructor not SCREAMING at me in Spanish. Oh, Rosa. I haven’t decided if I’m going to go back or not. I have to commit to a $40 punch card that is good for ten classes. I liked it, but I still can’t quite get myself to count it as a real workout. Insanity, Jill, and running are really the only things that make that cut for me. But it would be fun to do once or twice a week? And I did meet a new friend… Haha. I found it hilarious that I’m in a point in life that I can go to workout classes during the day. I always thought it was funny that they schedule so many fitness classes during normal work hours. For losers like me!! I made a self-deprecating joke along these lines to one of the instructors. She didn’t take it well. I’m not sure why.

For lunch I whipped a version of the Creamy Avocado Pasta from this morning’s post. I had to substitute pesto for basil which was really disappointing because it kind of commandeered the favor of the entire dish. It was still really delicious, and I’m definitely going to throw it in the rotation.

And THAT is why I don’t take step-by-step pictures of my recipes. I’m a very, very, very messy cook.  I like to try to have everything back in some semblance of order before more cute neat freak husband gets home, but this is the reality! :)

After tutoring, I hopped, skipped, & jumped over to the library. Kevin James was getting off work in 20 minutes so we could carpool home together. I got a good stack of books to devour while I’m overseeing the proceedings at the BIG GARAGE SALE TOMORROW. Here’s Kevin modeling the selection I chose for him: Paddle North. I thought it was true love. He thought I was mocking him by choosing a book that was mainly pictures. It’s about canoeing in the boundary waters!!!

We forgot about Kevin’s meeting tonight so he got abruptly pulled away from dinner preparations and left me alone to wrestle with the food processor. I absolutely hate that thing. I managed to muscle it into submission this morning, but I’m having no such luck right now. I actually started sweating trying to screw on the lid.  I just gave up before I totally lost my temper with it. Not worth it, right?

Do you know that last night Kevin told me I was the best wife ever? And I quote: “Better than Carrots ‘n’ Cake, and that ‘cowboy woman’ and even Peanut Butter Fingers.” He meant Pioneer Woman. I just thought that it was funny that he would list them in a compliment to me. I guess he knows his wife. If you’re curious, tonight’s dinner is going to EVENTUALLY be Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream. I’m thinking it’s going to be pushing 9.

P.S. One of my old Dominican aerobics instructors always called Thursday “Super Jueves” and it was always a super tough workout. I loved those!!!

What’s Next?

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If you can tell me what tv show I’m referencing in this post’s title, you get all the Cookie Friday leftovers I make for Kevin James. Rumor has it that they’re going to be chocolate chip!

Reading!

I can’t wait to get back to my nerdy-nerdy ways!

You know that I already got a library card here in Winona, and now I’m determined to use it! I am currently #51 on the waiting list for The Help. Approximately how long do you think that waiting list will last? I think they should give preference to people who promise to read the book within 24 hours. I could definitely do that. Or let me borrow it during working hours while people who have jobs are winning the bread. :)

I really want American Wife to be my garage sale proctoring read. Can I really call it proctoring? I’d really prefer “curating” but that might be a stretch. I see WPL has a copy available, and I’m going to try to bribe Kevin into picking it up for me. It’s literally right across the street from his office

Also on my reading list?

  • Spousonomics
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • The Pillars of the Earth (a historical novel about the building of a cathedral – fascinating!)

What else should I read? Know that this little blog will suffer once I pick up a book. And so will my fleeting tan. But maybe I’ll start integrating more creative language than “super”, “like”, and “omg.” Just maybe.

Zumba?

Notice that one is with a question mark. I found a place where I can try a class for free (thanks to Deidre stopping by Mugby) so I’m going this morning. I’m a little nervous that I don’t have the right clothes…

Are they going to turn me away at the door? Of course, I’m super skeptical that Zumba is a “real workout”, but that’s how I feel about everything except for running… Which, by the way, still feeling the afterglow of last night’s glorious run. I think I’m good to go again tonight! Woohoo!
Avocados. Did you know an avocado is actually a berry?  I’m obsessed. Although continuously disappointed by its limited availability and diminutive size here in Winona, MN.

Here’s why:


15-minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

Avocado Fries with Cilantron-Lemon Dipping Sauce

Creamy Avocado Chicken Salad

Chicken Avocado BLT Salad

And that’s not to mention I totally want some GUACAMOLE! And Hummamole (Guacamole + Hummus!)! Which should I cook first? I have to head out so I can clean the my tornado kitchen. That tends to happen when I’m trying to invent something out of the random ingredients we have in the house… we really need to hit the grocery store! But I still managed to pull something awesome out of my sleeve. :)