03/25/2013

Reality Check

I may have been dreaming of a white Christmas, but snow at the end of March? 

Not so much. 

Saturday was a gorgeous spring day with temperatures in the 50’s, the sun shining warm and bright, and the sky a bright, crisp blue.  Needless to say, Tebow was in love…

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…and so was I.

DSCN3181Swoon.  Love my boys!

Sunday morning though was a completely different story.  I made a large pot of coffee and then pulled back the curtains in the dining room, looked outside and lo and behold…

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My spring dreaming ended abruptly when I was pulled right back into a winter reality.  Dear warm weather, please hurry back soon.

It’s no wonder I have been battling a bug the last few days.  With temperature swings like these, it’s enough to make anyone feel under the weather.  You can bet I have been taking vitamins, shots of amazing grass, and drinking green smoothies like it’s my job.  Hopefully all of these extra immune boosting aids will keep me from succumbing to the sickness that has been hanging over my head.  I was finally starting to feel a little better Saturday, even going to Pure Barre in the morning and taking Tebow on a nice long walk in the afternoon, but by Sunday morning I was once again feeling less than stellar, so I rested, read, and simply caught up on emails throughout the day. Looking on the bright side though, there is nothing like spending a whole day at home, snuggling up with a warm blanket while the snow is freshly falling outside.  It makes the house that much more cozy and comfortable!

I also found time for a little Pinterest in the afternoon, and have enjoyed three new-to-me recipes in our house during this past week. (Make sure you follow me on Pinterest for some yummy recipes and other fun)!  Those three meals I made this week were some of the best I have tried from Pinterest, and will be making it onto my meal plan again soon!  They were just so good that I wanted to share them with all of you, so make sure you check out the below links for the recipes.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

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The chicken in this meal turned out awesome.  It was extremely moist and literally fell right off the bone.  I used a package of chicken legs and a package of split chicken breasts, which were only $0.97 a pound at the grocery.  (Amazing deal for the grocery budget)!  Before I left for work, I added all of the ingredients into the slow cooker as instructed and then wrapped foil around the top and under the lid.  I think this trick helped to keep the chicken that much more moist.  The only changes I made to the recipe was using kalamata olives instead of green olives, and I omitted the prunes since I wasn’t sure if Tim would go for that sweet addition.  After I got home in the evening, I made a batch of quinoa and topped it with feta and added a few veggies to the side.

Three Cheese Lasagna

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I followed this easy recipe, but also made a few changes.  I doubled the amount of ricotta since 6 oz just didn’t seem like enough to make a whole pan of lasagna.  I also added a can of diced Italian tomatoes to the bottom of the baking dish before cooking, and used all dried herbs since that was all I had on hand.  I served a slice of lasagna along with a couple grilled chicken tenderloins for a little protein to round out the meal.

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Quinoa Black Bean Bowls

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This meal was the most unique of the three, but may have also been my favorite.  Even my meat-loving husband loved it, (although, he did admit that it would have been even better with diced up grilled chicken added to the bowl…Note taken)!  This recipe is a great option for all of you Chipotle lovers out there.  It was quick to make, the beans would have been amazing served up even on their own as a dip, and the cilantro-lime quinoa was seriously incredible.  If you are looking for a meatless entree, this meal would be the perfect weeknight dinner. 

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Talk to Me!

  • Have you made any Pinterest meals lately that you loved?  Feel free to add a link!
  • When feeling sick, what do you do to feel better?
  • What is your favorite meatless dinner to make?
  • What is the weather like where you are?  Are you battling the snow, or soaking up the sun?!
03/21/2013

Spring Fashion Wish List

Even though yesterday was the official first day of spring, it certainly did not feel like it in my neck of the woods.  However, knowing we are going to be in Hilton Head next month has me dreaming of the warm weather to come and the spring fashion that goes along with it.  I have been receiving a ton of emails lately with all sorts of shopping coupons and sales from my favorite stores, and let’s just say it’s been quite hard to resist!  I plan on doing some shopping while on vacation, but I hope to get a few new things to wear while I am down there as well.  The hard part is just deciding what to buy and what to leave behind.  Here are some of the spring fashion finds that have caught my eye lately while surfing the web:

Pinterest spring 2013 fashion

J. Crew Factory

Factory printed blouson tankdress

Factory printed blouson tankdress

(I can absolutely see myself going to dinner in Hilton Head wearing this simple dress.  It is lightweight and I love the stripes.  Pair with wedges, a clutch, bracelets, and you’re good to go!)

Factory washed silk tee

Factory washed silk tee

(This shirt’s unique golden yellow color stood out to me, and I can only imagine how comfortable the silk would be.  This is a piece that can be dressed up with a skirt or a pair of dress pants, or dressed down with the white shorts shown below and a pair of sandals.)

Factory stone and crystal flower bib necklace

Factory stone and crystal flower bib necklace

(This necklace was just too fun to pass up and it is actually really versatile with all the colors of the stones.  I would love it paired with the yellow top shown above!)

Factory 3'' chino short

Factory 3” chino short

(I need a new pair of white shorts and these look like the perfect length and I love the material.  I already have a similar pair in navy that I wear all the time in the summer.  Now that I am getting older, I find there is a fine line between short-shorts and just short enough shorts, and these ones are a good length for me.)

Factory stripe knit pocket blazer

Factory stripe knit pocket blazer

(I really want a casual blazer that I can throw on over any shirt to dress up the whole look a bit.  This blazer looks cute, comfortable, and versatile, plus I love stripes and this blazer has the perfect nautical feel for the warmer months.)

Factory Vero clutch

Factory Vero clutch

(I love this handbag for a pop of color to freshen up any outfit.  I am in the market for a cute clutch and this one would be perfect!)

Factory stone and dotted crystal link bracelet

Factory stone and dotted crystal link bracelet

(I think this bracelet would look great with a turquoise necklace I already own and that I wear all the time.  Since turquoise can be such a versatile color, I think I would get a lot of wear out of this bracelet as well.)

Factory Maryanne straw wedges

Factory Maryanne straw wedges

(Wedges are my favorite warm weather shoe since I can get both height and comfort all in one package.  I love a good nude pair that I can wear with everything and this is another example of a piece that I can dress down by wearing with shorts, or I could easily dress up with a skirt.)

Banana Republic

Non-Iron Chambray Sleeveless Shirt

Non-Iron Chambray Sleeveless Shirt

(I am obsessed with my long sleeve chambray shirt I purchased in the fall and I think this piece could be really versatile as well.  I have a polka dot pencil skirt from J. Crew that I think would look great with it, especially considering how cute the polka dot pants look paired with the shirt in the photo above.)

Silk tie-front blouse

Silk tie-front blouse

(How cute is the tie-front on this blouse?  Again, it’s another piece I can dress up or down.)

Tile Stretch Bracelet

Tile Stretch Bracelet

(I am in love with all of the oranges and corals for the spring and summer and would really like to see it paired with the blouse above with the sleeves rolled-up to show off the bracelet.)

Carlie pointed toe flat

Carlie pointed toe flat

(I have never owned a pointed toe flat, but I think this one in yellow could be really fun for both the office and play.)

Francesca’s Collection

St. Augustine Dress

St. Augustine Dress

(The back of this dress is what sold me!  I am also loving the lavender color and the light material.  The whole look just just screams spring!)

Belle Haven Eyelet Tank

Belle Haven Eyelet Tank

(I saw eyelet tanks at almost every store I looked at, but I really like this one because of the zipper up the back.

I really appreciated the white shirt paired with the mint green necklace as well; love that color combo.)

Sunglass Hut

Ray-Ban RB3026 AVIATOR

(I am in desperate need for a new pair of sunglasses, and I love these…

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…and these!  Which pair do you like better?)

Talk to Me!

  • What clothes and/or accessories are on your wish list for this spring?
  • What are your favorite stores?
  • What spring trend are you looking forward to trying the most?
  • Help me pick a pair of sunglasses!
03/19/2013

Exercise Teachings

When I first began my new fitness regime, I was a little nervous about whether I would be able to keep up with my ‘lofty’ goals. To some, my exercise plan probably looked like more of a rest week than a fresh initiative to work out. However, after nothing except walking for many months, I was more than ready to get moving again.  This time though it would be to an extent that was best for me and my health, not by what is deemed expected in the health and fitness world.

If you are a regular reader, than you know I have been loosely following Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Program for almost eight weeks now; hard to believe it’s been that long! I have to say that I was a little doubtful about whether I would be able to stick to a strength training program, but I have to say that in the last couple months I have learned a lot about myself, what type of exercises I enjoy, and how to keep my body healthy and strong.

  1. I really do enjoy weight training! I am not going to lie, I was always afraid of going into the weight area of the gym, but now I always seem to look forward to that part of my work out the most. I had read for years how important weight lifting is, but it took for me to actually try it myself instead of just reading about it to understand. I can tell I am getting stronger by the weight I am lifting now compared to eight weeks ago, and I also realized yesterday morning just how much more confident I have become around weights. I know the machines better, I know how to adjust them to fit my height, and I no longer feel as clumsy or as confused when following the Live Fit work out of the day.
  2. I love running! Seems funny that I have learned this from lifting, right? The truth is though I now run more just for the fun of it as opposed to simply completing a work out. I find myself craving runs so much more when it is not forced, and I absolutely can’t wait for the weather to keep warming up so I can take Tebow on more outdoor runs this spring.  I have been running twice a week on the treadmill for twenty minutes at a time, and have been incorporating one or two runs on the weekends and a bunch of walks throughout the week.  I am still watching my mileage as I transition back into more exercise, but so far I have been happy with 2-3 mile runs at a time.
  3. I don’t feel as tired as I usual. When running was my main form of exercise, I felt exhausted almost constantly. The running was taking a toll on my body and while one person may be able to handle 25+ miles a week, the 7+ miles I was doing a week before I took a break from exercise was just too much for my body to handle, especially without any strength training and without enough food.  Now I feel a lot more energized than I used to and I don’t feel as groggy on a regular basis.  I was a bit nervous in the beginning that I would get tired and sick easily with the increase in exercise.  I had mono in college and since then I have battled immune deficiency and too much exercise can make me exhausted and susceptible to sickness.  However, the constant cardio seemed to have been what truly exhausted me and fatigued my body, not so much with strength training.
  4. My blood sugar is more level.  When I was running as my main form of exercise, I constantly felt hungry and my blood sugar would drop rapidly.  By 2:30 pm my headaches would begin, I would need a nap, and I would rely on snacking to get me through the afternoon without falling over.  Now I feel as if I can control my appetite a lot easier and my snacks are more for fuel than to keep me awake.  I do realize I am eating quite a bit more now than I was before to keep up with my exercise burn and to make sure my body stays happy and healthy, but I definitely don’t seem to have those rapid blood sugar level changes like I used to, which is a definitely a positive effect.
  5. I feel happier and more accomplished!  Exercise truly does get your endorphins going and I love the fulfillment I have after a hard work out.  I started my work out plan hoping for three days a week of exercise, but lately I have been getting in exercise almost every day whether it’s through strength training, running, or simply taking a nice long walk.  One way or another, I have been finding a way to move each and every day not because I have to, but because I sincerely want to.  Exercise provides me with an extra boost of confidence I need, an increased appreciation for myself and my body, and a sense of accomplishment at the end of a long day.

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Talk to me!

  • Have you ever experienced any of my findings that I listed above?  Tell me about them!
  • Now that spring is almost here, what type of outdoor exercise are you looking forward to most?
  • What is your work out schedule like right now?  Do you find your exercise plan changes season by season?
  • If you had to pick one type of exercise to do for the rest of your life, what would it be: Strength Training, Running, Yoga, Biking, Pilates, Barre Method, Zumba, Etc.?