Monday, November 29, 2010

Family, Fun & Glitter

After our computer continuously tried to undermine my blogging efforts last night by shutting down in the middle of my picture uploads, I cursed it and decided to sleep instead. I now cautiously sit down in front of our other crazy comp to try once again. I WILL share my weekend with you, damnit.


After an amazing Turbo kick class at the gym in the am, Lucas and I hurriedly got ready for Thanksgiving with his fam in Olympia. Although traffic was annoying to say the least, a warm house and cold beer made me feel much better and ready for a great evening.


Bella loves it there and has so much fun running around a real backyard. For some reason, running up and down condo stairs isn't the same to her.


As many know, she is OBSESSED with balls and will try her very best to make anything into something she can play fetch with. We had a good laugh as we watched her try to play fetch with the siding that was in their yard. For the life of her, she could not figure out why it wasn't working. Pretty sure she is nuts.


My brother in law Keith.


I made the family "HOLD!" right before prayer so I could capture the dinner table. They probably loved it.

My first try at Gluten free baking - Pecan Pie It actually ended up being less of a Fail than originally thought.. although there will be many more attempts in my future, as my Mother in law and new brother are both Gluten Free now.








Bella actually fell asleep like this... and we wonder why acts so entitled all the time.. hmm








Wonderful ending to a wonderful dinner.. custard with pumpkin butter! I may or may not have eaten the whole thing..




Since Lucas had to work the next day, we drove back that night and I left to go see the Farrow fam in Bellingham Friday morning. My mom and I spent time hanging out downtown and doing some lazy Black Friday shopping, then came home to watch a movie...


Bella loves her Grandma.



Saturday brought more shopping.. weird, then dinner at my Dad's with the broham. Brian just loves it when I go camera happy.


I mean, this smile is not sarcastic at all...


He let me take one more though... please ignore the girl needing a shower in this one and just pay attention to how much Brian loves his sister.
Sunday brought me back to Kirkland for a Runday/Funday with Jif that was a little more Fun than Run.. actually no run - all fun. We swear that this coming Sunday will be different though!
What we did do was walk around Kirkland before meeting Janae for a beer and and the movie Burlesque. Ahhh loved the movie.. so cheesy and dancey, my perfect chick flick.

And I promised glitter.....





While "window shopping" Seduce Boutique in Kirkland, Jif and I decided that we probably needed to buy a couple new polishes. While she kept it chic with a great red, I couldn't help to grab the pink glitter. And I am oh so happy I did.
This is THE greatest nail polish I've seen in a long time and I am officially obsessed. "Rosie Lee" is my new bff and I love her very much. The picture really doesn't do it justice and I honestly can't stop looking at my super cute finger tips.

I feel like a mix between Katy Perry and Niki Minaj minus the weird outfits. Also it's pretty great how glitter polish stays on the nails - no chipping at all in the past three days... although I'll probably be cursing it when I try to take it off. For now though it's definitely staying on and I vow to go back to get the red glitter for the holidays. So fun!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baked Breakfast for Dinner

What does a snow day, bald tires and leftovers bring??? Well breakfast for dinner of course!

Since I had the house to myself and time to research, I spent more time than I'd like to admit searching for a good, healthful egg dish. I kept running into issues because I wanted it to be healthy, but also very 'comfort food'esque. Thanks to my fave blog right now, peanutbutterrunner, I kind of mixed and matched to come up with my own. I completely believe that hers would've been tastier but I was a little too lazy. Here's hers: http://bakinandeggs.com/2010/11/15/english-muffin-egg-casserole/

And here my - a little less fattening, but mostly just lazier version.

3 whole eggs
5 egg whites (or you can just use 6 whole eggs)
3 whole wheat english muffins
1 1/2 cup skim milk
1 Cup shredded swiss cheese
1 bag of spinach
1/4 cup mustard *
1 lb turkey sausage
salt & pepper

Set oven to 350

While sausage is browning, beat eggs, add milk, mustard salt & pepper, then beat again. Tear english muffins into little pieces, and add along with spinach, turkey and half of the cheese. Dump it all into your casserole dish and top with the rest of the cheese. Then smile and proudly place into oven. **

Then let cool a bit and serve. YUM I am a huge fan of things that taste way worse for you than they actually are. I may put less sausage in next time though because I got a little sausaged out, but Lucas loved it.

* - One recipe I saw said to use dry mustard but I had none and I thought hmm I do like mustard, it couldn't hurt right? and it didn't.

** - Just about all of the casserole dishes I came across suggested keeping it in the fridge for a few hours to overnight before baking. I am not patient enough nor do I have the forethought to actually plan dinner that far ahead of time, but it was still just fine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day

So I never quite made it to my last workout class of the week on Friday. To my surprise, Lucas chose Pilates on Thursday which was a good change of pace from my usual cardio/strength classes, but I just got a bit too busy on Friday. I did however go for a good hill run with Jif on Saturday morning, so I still feel good about getting my 5 workouts in.
Saturday brought with it a trip to Yakima to see our bestie Mandi and her kids, then Sunday was a long drive back. It was definitely worth it though to be able to spend such quality time with loved ones.

Mandi's little bugs, Ashlyn and Kailer
















Skipping forward to this morning -

Lucas informed me that it was not worth it for me to try driving to work today and what can I say, it didn't take much convincing. So instead I got up to make my husband breakfast. We really wanted french toast but only had English muffins so I improvised.
It was actually very good and pretty darn healthy after our alterations to the recipe.



Here's what I used:
4 English Muffins
1 Egg + 2 Egg whites
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons Splenda
1 tablespoon Cinnimon (could've used more I think)

Wisk eggs until frothy, then add milk, splenda and cinn. Wisk well and transfer to a shallow bowl for dipping.
Place muffins cut side down in egg mixture for about 3 minutes, then turn and leave for 1 more minute.
Place on greased pan (heated on medium) for about 3 minutes on cut side, then another minute on the flip.




















We used sunflower seed butter, nuts and sugar free syrup as toppings.
I should mention that I'm not a low-carb follower by any means, and I usually don't suggest using sugar free things instead of natural sugars, but splenda (both for baking and coffee) and syrup are two things that I will continue to buy SF. What can I say, it's worth it to me to save the calories.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank Goodness for Wine..

WTF was that, that just happened to me last night??? I don’t want to be rude, but that Zumba class I took yesterday could only be properly classified as a joke. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating. It was even the first time I’d ever wished for one of those Bodybug things that display the amount of calories you’ve burned, just because I was sure that it would be under 100, which wouldn’t even cover the glass of wine I was going to have.
There was one point especially, where we were in a semi-squat position and trying to act like we were “drumming a metal drum” to the drum sounds of the music. This would have been almost acceptable if there was any way of knowing at all when the drum sounds were going to play on the song. I don’t know if I can explain this in a way that any of you would know what on earth I’m talking about, but just imagine a room of about 15 women in various levels of squatting, with their arms out like “a calypso drummer” (her words, not mine) trying to guess when the drum sounds were going to come and for how long.. it was a mess. And I swear to you, Ms Zumba Teacher herself wasn’t even on the beat.
Thankfully, Black Shirt Girl drumming next to me started laughing at my obviously annoyed expression and told me that she had never once been to a Zumba class like this one and that I should not let this wack job deter me from it all together. I laughed and agreed to trying the other instructor on Monday. So, to be continued on that one..
After an annoying workout though, I came home to a loving husband and my favorite Purple Chop Salad… YUM!


Oh, and I obviously still had my glass of wine.

So for today I have two choices; Pilates or Muscle Blast. My decision will be based on two variables: 1. When I get out of work today, since Pilates is at 4:30 and Muscle Blast at 5:30, and two, whether or not the Husband would like to join me (he’s not necessarily a fan of Pilates).

Most likely, I’ll be going to the Muscle Blast which is a strength based class, using the barbell and free weights. There’s basically no cardio involved which is a hard pill for me to swallow in classes, but then it also lends itself to being able to concentrate on, and perfect form, which I’m obsessed with. And let’s face it, any class that gets me to use weights for a full hour will pay off in my running later.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday = ???

I am sore today. Very sore; especially in the shoulders. All the upward facing dogs, to downward to high plank then chaturangas made damn well sure I would be. I was definitely not ready for what 75 minutes of hot power vinyasa was going to give me, and Gaga made only a very small dent in the ouch factor.
I don't know whether it was the two months since my last class or my recent habit of one or two glasses of wine a night, but every time I came into downward dog it felt as if a bag of rocks was rolling down to the top of my head. It hurt. Thankfully this didn't start until the middle of class, so I improvised by just kneeling while others were in the usually relaxing posture.

There's a weird thing that happens with yoga though; while normally, with other forms of exercise, this type of pain would deter me from coming back, the pain or nausea felt in yoga just makes me want to do it again the next day... it's strange, but I know the yogis out there understand.

I say that, but I won't actually go again today... instead I will continue with my week-long group exercise adventure and choose a completely different class for tonight.
I'm having a difficult time choosing though and because I can't get a friend to go with me tonight, I'm feeling pretty unmotivated.. I will continue though! I just have to choose between two classes offered at my gym.
Here are the two being pondered:

1. Turbo Kick - a choreographed cardio class. Pro: really good ab workout Con: not very challenging.


2. Zumba - also choreographed cardio. Pro: I've never actually done it before and I love dancing. Con: people get REALLY into it at my gym and I don't know how I feel about that.



What do you think? Which should I do?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Going Gaga for Yoga

I realized last night that I picked a great week for my workout class extravaganza (everything sounds better when you call it an extravaganza). Not only does Tuesday bring one of my all time, life-altering, favorite classes, but the one I'm going to this week is 100% more exciting because of one little eccentric blond named Lady Gaga.
You see, a couple of weeks ago my best gal pal Jif e-mailed me about a hot vinyasa class that was going to be done entirely to the songs of this musical genius. I guess the Urban Yoga Spa had offered the unusual class once before and it received rave reviews. I mean, honestly, how could it not?? It combines two of life's greatest inventions!
I could go on and on (what's new) about the benefits of hot yoga and why I personally enjoy Vinyasa more than Bikram, but I don't necessarily want to bore you. Let's just say that this is a great group class for the Winter; it combines strength training, cardio and flexibility while cleansing your body of toxins and challenging your mind. Not to mention that when it's as cold and rainy as it's been in Seattle, it feels darn good to warm those muscles up.
So imagine my excitement upon remembering our plans to attend this group class together. First of all, going to any class is way better when you can drag a friend along with you and when both of you are as excited about something as silly as this, it doesn't even seem like a challenge anymore to get up and go.
The only wrench that may slow our roll today is that neither of us have been to Bikram or hot Vinyasa in quite some time... but as my good friend Kylee says.. "well you've got to start somewhere." And I believe that Gaga Yoga is indeed the perfect place to start again.





Equipment Needed:


Yoga Mat

Skidless Towel (shown in picture)

Minimal Clothing

Water!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Motivation

It's pretty well known that I've always enjoyed group fitness classes. Though my actual attendance to them can rise and fall depending on my state of mind, I know that they're there for me when I need a little more motivation to get my body moving.

Since it is clear to me that this week is going to be one of those low points in motivation, I thought I'd figure out a way to get my ass in gear.

My solution is to hereby, promise you, my four readers, that I will attend a different workout class each day this week. I'll be going to my favorites; some I've been a longtime follower of, as well as couple newbies.



The first is Step Aerobics - an oldie but goodie and my personal Monday favorite. Don't let the image of the late 80's/early 90's women in wrist bands fool you; these days Step is usually highly choreographed to a fun top 40 mix that challenges both your mind and body. A good instructor comes equipped with new moves and the latest tunes each week. And though it's mostly a cardio/stamina workout, by adding or subtracting risers, you'll definitely be changing up the muscle groups a bit.

Tonight's class is taught by Tim of 24hr Fitness. He is so freaking fun and it is obvious by his cult following that I'm not the only one who thinks so. I have to get to the gym by 6pm tonight just to get on the list and line up. Though it can be a turn off for some, it's still worth it and once he gets the music going, my energy rises and I smile because I know I'm in for a fun hour.

Equipment Needed:
Water Bottle
Cross Training Shoes (NO running shoes! you can easily twist an ankle)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Green Been Casserole - Lazy Style

I'm starting to realize that I've been in a bit of a slump lately with my veggie consumption. This happens every once in a while, mostly because I get pretty lazy with greens. I absolutely love salads from restaurants, but whenever I make salads of my own, they never measure up. For me, it's just one of those meals that automatically tastes better when someone else makes it for me. The solution, I've found, is to cook vegetables differently, instead of going for my usual spinach salad.
So, while at Trader Joes tonight, their samples gave me my answer- green bean casserole. Their sample of it was delicious but obviously packed with butter so I decided to just grab the ingredients and improvise when I returned home.
I looked on the web for a bit to see if there was a good healthy recipe that I had all the ingredients for, but there wasn't - I never seem to have all the ingredients for anything due to my poor grocery shopping skills. So I had two choices.. jump back in the car or just try to make it anyway...obviously I chose the latter, grabbing from a few different ones to come up with my own. It actually turned out pretty well... at least satisfying my hunger and helping my green quota.



Here's what I used (so easy breezy)

2 cans of green beans

1 carton of TJ's cream of mushroom soup

1 Cup water

Crumbled goat cheese

Crunchy TJ onion pieces (the splurge)

Preheat oven to 350 - I always forget to do this first and it drives me nuts!

I mixed the beans, soup and water together, put it in the dish then added the cheese.. I used goat cheese 1. because I had it, and 2. because I knew it would add a lot of flavor. Oh, and I have no clue how much I used.. just enough.

I sprinkled the crunchy onion stuff on the top, then baked it for about 25 minutes.

This was the result

It doesn't look very pretty but it is honestly delish. I love love the crunchy onion things though.. and next time will not snack so much on them while waiting for dinner to cook.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lunchtime

Yep, still obsessed with greek yogurt!

I finally remembered to bring lunch today:
Quinoa, mahi mahi and greek yogurt.. overall yummy but very bland looking and I could've really used a veggie... oh well, next time.

The Trias Wedding

This past weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending one of my very good friend's wedding. Danica and i have known each other since our Nordstorm days and have since kept in contact and stayed close. She was SUCH a beautiful bride and just to give you an idea of how special their wedding was, there was a picture of the couple as toddlers together, a picture as teenagers, and a picture from their engagement session all on the guestbook table. They have known each other all their lives and dated on and off since Jr. High School. They have a hilarious son, Max, and I still remember the day Danica told me about her pregnancy; in the back room of the shoe floor at Nordstrom. I am so thankful that they invited us to witness such love - thank you guys and I already know that your life will be filled with happiness and laughter. Max was wondering what his dad was looking for under there...






















Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You Run and You Learn..

This last week I signed myself up for the Seattle Rock n' Roll half marathon. I've run one before, about a year ago now, but I am just as nervous this time around. The race isn't until June but I had to sign up early because last year it sold out before I knew it. Registering for a run like this so early has it's pros and cons. Pro being that I have a whole 7 months to train.. the con being that I have 7 months to train! Sometimes when a goal is so far out there, I become less motivated, thinking something along the lines of "oh, I'll just start next week."

Well, I've decided that this won't be the case this time around. A couple girlfriends and I are already lining up other long runs, the 12K's of Christmas for example, so that we will be ahead on our training and in tip-top running shape by June. I'm convinced that this is a good idea for me especially, because taking training so slowly will hopefully lead to less possibility for injury, which I'm definitely prone to.
Now, by far the best part about training is the clothing and gadgets... quite possibly one of the major reasons for the start to my running hobby in the first place.
I am, like most women my age, a big fan of Lululemon. But pants and cute jackets aside, it's my opinion that one of the things they do best is accessories. In fact I become a little bit OCD about them before runs. As in, I feel that I probably won't be able to run even 10 feet without the propper running socks. Weird?? Maybe, but I've found that most runners have a similar complex. These are definitely great ones. They have just a little extra cushion around pressure points, but are mostly thin and support my feet well.
The other thing Lulu does well are gloves. I've tried a few different brands of cold weather running gloves, but these are by far my favorite. The aren't bulky, they have a little gel bad on the thumbs for grip -which comes in handy with ipods or grabbing cash out of your pocket - and they have pockets.. something the brand is known for putting in as many products as possible, which I love. Last year during our November 1/2 marathon, Jillian and I were able to keep our Gu in there, something that came in handy for sure. I could honestly go on and on about all my favorite running gear, but I'll try to end it here. One thing I do find helpful to ensure I don't overspend at lulu is to set specific shopping goals. Once we are up to 5 mile runs, I'm allowed to get a new pair of gloves, 7 miles, a new hat perhaps, and 10 miles a new jacket or pair of pants.. it works well for me and really controls what could otherwise become a very expensive habbit.
The other thing I LOVE???
http://http//www.runnersworld.com/cda/whattowear/0,7152,s6-240-325-330-0-0-0-0-0,00.html
I don't always follow it, but it's a fun gadget, and while reading one of my favorite blogs http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/ this morning, I was reminded of it! So fun.



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two Things...

1. There are times that my solo, at-home meals are created out of sheer desperation and laziness. Either I don't feel like grocery shopping, or I am intent on using the random leftovers in order to be more budget friendly.
I'm realizing that I'm in a definite phase right now with eating... squash and Greek yogurt. I've already shared the healthy dessert with pumpkin puree, splenda and nuts, now this is the savory dish I had the other day.
I roasted a butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper, then while still oven-warm, shredded fontina cheese over it and added a generous dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
The little specs on top are from baked kale chips that I had made the other day; I figured sprinkling the rest over my dinner dish would add some more flavor and vitamins.
It was so good and very filling!

2. Every once in a while I get e-mails from Sephora telling me about new 'must-have' products. After becoming completely convinced that the Stila One Step Complexion Brush could possibly change my life, I obviously had to have it.
I had never used a foundation brush before, but I absolutely loved this! It was easy-breezy to use and my make-up looked great. I have very combination skin and sometimes using my fingers to apply foundation causes me to flake, but using the brush was much easier and although I have yet to perfect the concealer side of the brush, I am optimistic that it will work just as well. Thanks for the great suggestion Sephora!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Numero Dos

Over the years, I've collected many little obsessions. And when I say a "little", it's more like a lot. I mean, maybe one a week if I'm going to be honest with you. It's like something catches my eye, crawls around the edge, jumps into my brain and builds a nest. Denim, shoes, snacks.. doesn't matter. There is no person, place, thing or ideal that escapes the possibility of becoming my new obsession.
A good party, which falls into the 'ideal' category, doesn't evade this pattern. Although it's more than just the booze. It's about friends, family, themes, and fun.

I think it started with Lucas's 30th birthday party. I went borderline insane trying to keep it a surprise, while simultaneously doing my all to ensure his very best friends and family were in attendance. And though there may have been a minor breakdown around 4 o'clock that afternoon, the party itself went off without a hitch.. even better than I could have hoped actually. His parents came up from Olympia, his best friend drove from Portland and our close buddies all made their way to the same bar. Best part by far was that he completely believed my fib.. which was that I was insisting on celebrating our extremely important, highly traditional, One Year Getting-engaged-anniversary. Needless to say, it was a fun night and ever since, I've been enthralled with the idea of throwing great parties.

And now back to the point... Jiff and I threw a Halloween party this year. It was small but we were still super proud of all the work we did and even more proud of our friends' costumes.

Some of the treats we served.. Butternut Squash tarts and Black Vodka/Champagne Cocktail
A couple of sailors Who knew Chriss Angel & Rachel Zoe were such good friends.
"Tan" of GTL
Dexter & his victim

The girls were tired after a long night. Gotta love the cuddle shot!