Who Would Join Me?

You guys are so fun! I loved reading all of your ideas for holidays this morning. Some favorites…

  • “I think my holiday would be “National Everything is Free Day!” Now that would be my perfect holiday” – Hayley C @ Running Down the Runway
  • “I don’t know how crazy it is…but I would declare June 4th National Calories Don’t Count Day because it’s my birthday!” – Khushboo (not crazy at ALL, girl!)
  • “National running day where I could wear running clothes all day and run to and from work without anyone caring that I looked like a mess!” – Katie @ Peace Love & Oats
  • “How about national fro-yo holiday? We get the day off work and free fro-yo? haha. I think in August sometime.” – Lindsey (I’m SO in!)
  • “National Take A Nap At Your Desk Day! Hahaha. Just kidding. That’s just how I feel today.” – Yellow Haired Girl
  • “I’d declare my own Cookie Dough Day” – Alysha @Shesontherun
  • “I declare a day National Wear Slippers To Work Day or National Gym Clothes Day or National Almond Butter on Everything Day…” – Annette@FitnessPerks

*****

Workout

I didn’t end up getting to BodyPump today, but I did come home and put together my own workout:

  • 20 minutes of HIIT (20 seconds @ 9.5mph / 40 seconds @ 4.5mph)
  • 10lb. Slimdown Xtreme Yoga DVD (~40 mins)

I felt like my body needed yoga more than anything else today, and my goodness did it feel good. Real good. In fact, I actually have an idea for a potential yoga challenge…what do you guys think? If I were to have a June Yoga Challenge, who would join me?

Post-workout, it was snack time. I gave another Simply Bar a try today. I wasn’t a huge fan of the last flavor I tried, but I could most definitely get in board with this lemon coconut flavor.

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It was awesome.

Fast-forward a few hours later, after some necessary gchatting with Tina and a bunch of other work, I realized it was almost 1:30 and time for some lunch.

Are you getting sick of seeing yogurt bowls yet?

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Well, I hope not…’cuz I’m not. Winking smile

Plain Chobani mixed with crushed pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, chia seeds, and honey nut O’s.

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On the side: some baby carrots and roasted red pepper hummus.

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Time to get back to work!

Question for the Afternoon:

A Yoga Challenge for June – Yes or No? Who’s with me?!?

Full of Tangents, Take 7

You know what? I have so many different, random things to share with you guys about my day today, that there’s really no way that I’ll be able to make it all flow together and make any sort of sense.

So you know what that means…it’s tangent time! It’s been a while, but we are on to:

Full of Tangents, Take 7!

(You can read Tangents Take 1, Take 2,Take 3, Take 4, Take 5 and Take 6, if you’re bored and feel like it).

Okay, so here we go!

  • Cody sat on the couch for the entire morning, right up until the morning sunlight that comes through our front window went away. I think it’s so funny how he can go from looking adorable and playful…

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to old, wise, and mad, within seconds.

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  • After taking yesterday off from exercise, I jumped right back into it today and got myself a great workout. 30 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill (20 seconds @ 9.0mph / 40 seconds @ 6.0mph), some nice upper body work, courtesy of the Tone It Up Lean Arms workout below, all followed up with some planks, bridges, and prone cobras. Gotta work that core!

  • Whenever I don’t think I’m going to be photographing a meal, I put extremely little effort into making it look good. I didn’t think I’d end up taking a picture of today’s salad, which really just looks like one big ‘ol party. Mixed veggie salad + tuna fish = awesome.

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  • I can’t get enough protein this week. I love it. I want it all day long. And because of this, I ended up making myself a protein shake right after this morning’s workout that tasted exactly like a vanilla milkshake. I’m not kidding. And I was so excited about it that I had to text Jay and tell him…

protein shake milkshake

The secret? I added in 4 drops of vanilla stevia. WHY have I not thought of this sooner? 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (creaminess) + 1 scoop vanilla SunWarrior + vanilla stevia. It was amazing.

  • I had to make a pit stop at the grocery store this morning, resulting in a couple fun purchases. Ever since a quick discussion with Talia in the comments section of yesterday’s post, I’ve been thinking about Cara Cara oranges, so I was super excited to have found a bag. I’m sure I’ll be trying one tomorrow, if not later tonight.

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  • I also had another rare sighting while walking down the baking aisle today…Cinnamon Chips were stocked on the shelves! My mom has been looking for these for months, so I made sure to pick her up a couple bags.

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Of course, I picked up a bag for myself, too…I’m thinking a batch of Cinnamon Chip Scones may be in order soon???

  • I have a short evening shift at work tonight, but I’m hoping it goes by FAST because I’ve got a very special dinner waiting for me in the crockpot this evening…

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Finally. I’m going to get my stuffed peppers (yes, from a crockpot, no less! You can find my recipe inspiration HERE on Corey’s blog).

  • And last, but not least, the winner of my Four-Course Valentine’s Day Dinner has been chosen! To see if you’re the winner, head on over to the original post to find out. And also, don’t forget that you can still print out your coupon for some complimentary champagne or dessert by clicking HERE.

Alright, I think that’s all I’ve got for tonight. Now it’s YOUR turn…

What tangents do you have on this Thursday evening? Smile

He Had Been Listening

Well I don’t know about you, but my Sunday has gotten off to a great start!

I woke up at a pretty decent hour and decided to just get my workout in for the day. I took yesterday as a rest day, so I was ready to get back in action this morning. Plus, if I dilly dally around in the mornings, it tends to be more difficult for me to get motivated to move.

But, since I was on my game, I got right to work with today’s workout:

Strength training + cardio = Awesome.

*****

Post-workout, I came back upstairs where I greeted by my lovely hubby who was just getting ready to make me breakfast. Since today is the last day of Birthday Week before the big day tomorrow, I was really hoping to get in my favorite birthday week breakfast. Turns out, he had been listening to me and was already getting prepared to fulfill my request…

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Blueberry Pancakes!

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Jay even told me that he added a “secret ingredient” which he was rather excited about, which turned out to be a sprinkle of cinnamon. Ooo baby, were they delicious, with the perfect amount of fresh blueberries in each one.

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I topped ‘em off with some sugar-free maple syrup and ate them all along with my cup of coffee.

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I really love pancakes. And I really, really love when Jay makes them for me.

*****

Later today, I may end up heading off to the movies and/or running a few errands, but it’s still up in the air. However, one thing I definitely DO know will be happening later is getting a special birthday dessert. I’m already drooling over it.

Any guesses? Winking smile

Quick Abs Circuit

Good morning! How’s everyone doing this morning?

Well, you didn’t miss much last night around here. I ended up spending my evening enjoying a combination of studying, magazine reading, TV watching, and just some straight-up chillin’. It was fantastic.

Dinner was on the easy side, thanks to some leftover Turkey & Veggie Soup that needed to get finished up.

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I’m sad that this soup is gone. I think I may need to cook another turkey. Then again, maybe I’ll just keep it easy this time and use some chicken.

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Jay, on the other hand, has been asking for chili-topped potatoes ever since we had them last week. I honestly think he’s a bigger fan than I am! So I cooked him up a baked potato and topped it with boatloads of chili and cheese.

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I’m not gonna lie…I sorta wanted to trade with him. Winking smile

*****

Workout

Last night before heading to bed, I checked to see whether or not my Exercise on Demand channel was still available. To my surprise, it’s actually still here for the time being, so I decided to put it to use while I still can.

Of course, when I went to turn it on this morning, my favorite upper body video was now gone (GRR!) so I picked my other favorite and ended up completing a little mish-mash of things:

Originally, I was going to go back to the TV to find an abs workout, but I decided to just do my own instead, which looked a little something like this…

quick abs circuit

Nothing crazy, but it got the job done. I performed one set of each move, working from the top of the list to the bottom, with about 30 seconds of rest time in between each move. I then went back and repeated the circuit once more, working quickly with minimal rest time (had I had more time, I would have done a third set as well).

*****

Breakfast

I brought back an old favorite today, my friends…

The triple cereal combo bowl.

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I used about 1/2 cup each of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Kashi Island Vanilla, and Mom’s Best Mallow Oats (which I bought yesterday and did not realize they had marshmallows in them – talk about a fun surprise!)

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In addition to almond milk and banana slices, my cereal also got a little jazzed up with some shots…

CHIA shots, that is. Winking smile

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I was sent some of these Chia Shots to try out a while back and I really think that they are such a great idea. They come in little, portable packages, making it super easy to bring on the go. I love having them already portioned out, too.

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I used about half of a package in my morning cereal and plan on using the rest today at lunch. I love my chia seeds!

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As a side note…has anyone else noticed the abundance of Chia Pet commercials lately? I’ll tell ya, you can always tell it’s Christmas time when the Chia Pets come back front and center. I say, skip the pet…just gimme my seeds. Winking smile

Time to do the work thang – catch ya later with a new cookie recipe!

Questions for the Morning:

  • Ab workouts – love ‘em or hate ‘em?
  • Chia seeds – love ‘em or hate ‘em?
  • More than one cereal at a time – love it or hate it?

One Step Closer

Soooo, do you want to know what the “exciting” thing was that I had going on this morning? Alright, well, the actual thing itself may not be that exciting, but the reason behind it is…

I am now CPR/AED certified and I can officially save your life. WOOOP!

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I’d been searching around for the past couple of weeks to find a local course that I could take that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Granted, the course I took through the American Red Cross was still $70.00 (which is way more than I was expecting??) but still better than the $100.00 that I initially thought it was going to cost.

Anyways, the reason this is so exciting is because it also means that I am one step closer to taking to getting my personal training certification! I am definitely well on my way to taking my exam before the end of the year, and I may or may not have gone ahead and scheduled my exam today. Winking smile

*****

After my class was over, I quickly stopped to grab some lunch at Subway before heading to work. I picked up a 6-inch turkey on honey oat (my favorite bread ever from there) and loaded up with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, pickles and sweet onion sauce.

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Ummm, okay…since when did Subway get so expensive??

To get a 6-inch sub, a bag of chips (sour cream & onion Baked Lays, btw – YUM) and a soda, it was almost $8.00! If I had known that, I would have just gone down the road to Panera. Yikes?!

*****

After my quick shift at work, I came home, got to work on a small cupcake order I have for tomorrow, and even found time to squeeze in a mini workout. I’m tellin’ you guys…I was on a roll today!

Workout:

  • 6 Pack Ab Burn Video (14 mins)
  • 20 mins HIIT (<—I have an awesome new workout for you guys! I’ll share soon because oh man, was it a doozy!)

Post-workout and shower, it was time to get into some cozies, grab a glass of wine (what? You don’t follow up a workout with booze?),

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and make some dinner. We had homemade pizza on the menu for tonight!

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We used a TJ’s whole wheat crust and topped it with some garlic, marinara sauce, 2% mozzarella, Romano cheese, tomato-basil marinated chicken (sliced and sautéed in a skillet), red & green bell peppers, red onion, and some leftover roasted broccoli, which only got added to my half.

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I also sprinkled on some dried basil and oregano which, actually, adds some fantastic flavor and makes me think of my mom’s and my grandma’s homemade pizzas growing up. Now they both made some amazing homemade pizza!

I started out with two slices but quickly went back for a third. I was hungry tonight!

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Unfortunately, something was up with the crust tonight and it didn’t rise very much; but besides that, the flavor was fantastic and I am fully satisfied.

Jay and I now plan to spend the rest of our Friday evening doing what we do best: catching up on our DVR, enjoying a beverage, and just relaxing. Nothing sounds better!

Questions for the Evening:

Are you (or have you ever been) certified in CPR?

Are there any recipes you try to recreate but someone else always makes it better?

Italian-Style Spinach & Tomato Quinoa

I am absolutely loving today’s eats. Not because I tried one new food…but two new foods!

The first one came at breakfast:

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Seeds!

Many of you have probably already tried and are already loving chia seeds, but I’m just finally jumping on the bandwagon. I love how they’re such a great source of Omega-3’s, since I really don’t get enough of those day-to-day.

Well, this morning, they earned a coveted spot in my yogurt bowl.

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A mixed a vanilla flavored Chobani with half of a sliced banana, and the rest of the strawberries I had on hand from making my low-fat chocolate strawberry trifle, along with about a teaspoon of chia seeds.

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They actually added a really nice texture to the yogurt, but once I added my other mix-ins (1/4 cup Kashi Go Lean Crisp) I couldn’t really tell they were in there.

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With some caramel macchiato coffee, of course. Winking smile

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Lunch

Today’s lunch was easy-peasy to put together, thanks to having the rest of my spaghetti squash leftovers.

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I simply topped my leftover SS with some marinara sauce, low-fat ricotta, and some broccoli that I steamed up last night…which obviously, if you look at it, was cooked a little too long. Hello, weird brown spots.

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Hey, it still tasted good! Smile

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Around 3:00, I munched on that amazing golden delicious apple you see above, along with a couple Livin’ Spoonful Crackers. (Or as Jay calls them, my “bird seed” crackers.)

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I had never tried the pizza flavor before, but I really like it!

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These snacks kept me fueled for my post-work workout.

I completed 20 minutes of HIIT, before heading to a BodyPump class. The instructor actually did the first half of the class with Release 61…goin’ wayyyy back! It wasn’t my favorite, but I will say that I was lovin’ me some Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” for the triceps track. Winking smile

Dinner

As soon as I got home, I immediately got to work on tonight’s dinner, which included new food #2:

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Quinoa!

Thank you so much to everyone who linked up their favorite quinoa recipes. There were so many that sounded amazing, it was so hard to choose! I definitely have them all bookmarked, but I ended up deciding to play off of Kelly’s Bacon, Spinach & Tomato recipe.

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I made a few changes to her original recipe, one of which was omitting the bacon. To be honest, I’m sure the taste of the bacon would have been amazing…I just didn’t feel like cooking it and getting all greasy. Winking smile

In place of the bacon, I decided to add some toasted pine nuts, along with a few other ingredients that made this dish a winner!

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It’s official…I’m hooked on quinoa! Open-mouthed smile

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I’m already excited about leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Open-mouthed smile

Gotta run…almost time for some Modern Family!!

Question for the Evening:

What’s the last new food that you tried? What did you think?