October 30, 2013

What I’m loving Wednesday

My sorority sister and blogger friend Samantha over at Everyday with S & J always does a “What I’m loving Wednesday,” and they are always my favorite posts of hers! Thought I would give it a try. Make sure to stop by and check out her blog – always fun, adorable and a good read!

So here’s what I am loving this week:


 1. My new burgundy skinnies.

With booths of course. Fall. Fashion. Fabulous.

2. Our movie kick. 

James and I have watched movies several nights this week – I have to admit that there’s not a lot that tops a night cuddling with him and Gunner and watching a good movie. We watched the following.

Saving Silverman – a classic favorite. If you enjoy funny, stupid comedy, this one is for you!

Oblivion – MIND BLOWN. That is all I will say.

Monsters University – SOOOO cute! I love how Disney Pixar movies always have a positive message and enough humor to not make me feel too old to be watching.


3. Healthy food that actually tastes good. 

Doing this 28 Day Challenge has limited a lot of what I normally eat. However, the GREAT thing is that I have found new and delicious ways to eat the healthy stuff! Like:

  •  Protein No Bake Cookies (earlier post with recipe)
  •  Cauliflower Poppers
    Taste kind of like tater tots. I season with chili and garlic powder!
  •  Kale Chips (they’re better than they look I promise! Light, crunchy and salty!)
    They look gross, I know, but really they are worth a try!
  •  Chili Rubbed Tilapia
    I don't like fish - but if you rub it in yummy spices like cumin and chili powder you can change my mind.
  •  Cinnamon-Chipotle Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato (sorry no photo)


4. Kick Boxing. 

My 28 Day Challenge includes unlimited work out classes, some of which are Kick Boxing. Punching and Kicking things for exercise? YES PLEASE. Such an amazing release and fun work out! Plus I got to buy cute boxing gloves :)

5. Halloween. 

Duh – it’s Halloween week! Although I can’t partake in a lot of the goodies, I love Halloween. It is the kick off of the holiday season! Not to mention all the kids in their costumes, the gorgeous fall colors, and pumpkins galore! I can’t wait to carve my pumpkin(s) tonight! 

And one of Gunner, just in case you missed him

What are you loving this Halloween week??

TTFN Friends!

October 22, 2013

28 Day Warrior Fit Challenge

Here is what I am currently “challenging” myself with – Warrior Fit Day 12

They have this poster at the Warrior Fit studio. I sure "cry" a lot during the workouts.
I am constantly struggling with my body image. I want to be fit and lose weight, but I LOVE FOOD.

Sadly, as I have been told, and was re-iterated in this new program I am trying, 80% of weight loss is based on diet, and only 20% on your workouts. So this means my attempts to go to the gym even 4 -5 times a week were not going to cut it if I wanted real results.

So I needed something to give me a kick start, a little push, to make that change. It just so happened to come to me through a Groupon. Crazy I know. But honestly I think it was a really well spent $20.

The Groupon was for a locally ran fitness place literally BLOCKS away from my house. How convenient is that? It was one contributing factor of the purchase. The package also included UNLIMITED workout classes for the 28 days, before and after weigh ins, measurement and pictures, AND all your meal plans laid out for you.

So far it has been just that (although I will say I didn’t get before photos done, and the measuring was just weighing… might be my fault for not asking about it…).

The toughest part is the meal plan. It started with a 3 day detox of nothing but fruits and veggies. And lots and lots of water. From there it got easier, but is still a dramatic change.  Here are some examples of meals from the plan.
Green smoothie - spinach, banana and strawberry

Salad with veggies and lemon as dressing - detox day

Apples and almond butter snack

Chili rubbed tilapia, roasted broccoli and brown rice

Veggie lettuce wraps - also detox meal

Chicken breast and steamed veggies.
The biggest differences are that I am eating CLEAN and CORRECT PORTIONS. I have had to cut some of my favorite things (cheese, bread, chocolate), but you get a “cheat day” once a week to eat all the things you missed. The funny part about that is that on my cheat days I don’t even eat that bad because I don’t have as much of an appetite, and the fatty things now make me sick. Sounds bad, but that is a good thing! It makes me crave the bad stuff so much less. That’s half the battle!

I still get to eat some yummy things – my favorites have been egg salads, veggie omelets and believe it or not I do really like the green smoothies. I would love to post some of the meal plans, but they are property of Warrior Fit. So you may just need to join and check it out!

The fun part of the challenge is the workouts. Maybe I am crazy for saying that – but I love them. I have done two styles of classes thus far, Boot Camp and Kick Boxing. Both are circuit/interval training. Intervals range from 20-45 seconds and then you rotate, so work outs seem to go really fast. Plus in Kick Boxing I get to punch things! You can see example workouts on the Warrior Fit website. I attend 4-5 classes a week and they are only 30 min long.

I am currently on day 12 of the challenge. Almost half way there! I cannot say I am seeing extreme results, but I do feel a lot better. Not drinking and not putting junk in your system make a huge difference. Today just happens to be my cheat day and I feel more lethargic than on a meal plan day (and I didn’t even have anything that unhealthy!). Just goes to show how much your diet can affect you!

Here’s to hoping 16 days from now I am looking leaner and meaner!

TTFN Friends! Feel free to ask questions if you are curious  :)

October 21, 2013

Weekend Recap - Cookies, Football and Bulbs, oh my!

Hello lovelies,

I had a really good weekend. It was over too fast though! I also was not a good blogger and did not capture enough moments via pictures - but I have a few :)

So as I have mentioned a couple times in previous posts, I am doing a special 28 day challenge, which includes very strict meal plans and lots of work outs. I keep saying I'm going to do a post about it...I'll get there eventually.

However, with that special diet, I have been craving sweets! And trying to find a way to make something that met the diet requirements was tough. Here is what I came up with on Friday night during my sugar craving, based loosely on this recipe I found via Pinterest on Popsugar Fitness.

Healthy Protein Packed No-Bake Cookies! 

Sorry they're a little blurry. Here are most of the ingredients

Here's what you will need:

  • 3 cups oats
  •  1 ripe banana, mashed well
  • 1/4 cup chocolate whey protein powder (not shown)
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbs stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Here's my banana good and mashed. I used the potato masher I have (circle thing on the right).

 Mix all ingredients except the oats and vanilla in a sauce pan over medium heat. Heat until boiling, stirring often (otherwise the almond butter won't unclump). You will know when it starts boiling because it will thicken up.
 Then add mixture along with vanilla to the oats and mix well.
Drop cookie size amounts on wax paper and let set at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container.

I have to say - they aren't the sweet chocolaty, gooey no-bakes I was craving, but they are good, and GOOD FOR YOU!!!

After cookies James and I went down town to meet up with a couple friends. We went to Cafe Ole, which is one of my favorite places to have a drink (hello 2 for 1 happy hour after 9!). However, as I am doing my 28 day challenge, I couldn't drink. I put on my smiley face and went though, and even though the boys dumped the most talkative/annoying girl I've ever met on me, I still had a good time. Sober and all. I called it a night pretty early though. Went home and snuck another cookie :)

Saturday morning I went to Sing 4 with my mom at the Morrison Center. It was a an A Capella competition! It wasn't what I was expecting - it was more "barber shop quartet" style (all men). However, it was still incredible. Such talented groups!

After the competition I headed to my friend Caitlin's house where everyone was having a pre-game party for the BSU game. Once again I was a little out of my element (sober while everyone else is drinking). But I got to play with her little kitten Aura, which made it worth it!
Isn't she adorable?! I want one!
Plus it was a good time with great people, not to mention a GORGEOUS day. All and all I am really glad I went. 
Roomie pic!

Me and my man <3
I even got convinced to go down to the bars by the stadium. That didn't last long though. And that portion of the day probably was NOT worth it, as I got a parking ticket. UGH!

So I went home and had a lazy Saturday night. This included watching my recording the finale of What Not To Wear. So sad to see Stacey and Clinton go! I will miss this show so much! Can't believe I have been watching it since I was 15!

Sunday I made myself be productive. So many weekends I have a long list and nothing gets accomplished because I would way rather go out and have fun or be plain lazy. I am proud to report I managed to do all of the following on Sunday:
  • Clean the master bathroom
  • Organize the walk in closet
  • 2 loads of laundry
  • Deep cleaned the kitchen
  • Took Gunner to the dog park
  • Weeded my front yard flower beds
  • Planted bulbs for spring-time (only about 1/4 of what I needed to but it was a start)
  • Went to the mall
  • Bought groceries
  • Painted my nails and toe nails
  • And watched some football with my fav furry friend
Gunner on the couch with me watching overtime of the Jets-Patriots game

Hopefully due to my hard work this weekend I will have some of these little beauties come spring!

TTFN Friends!

October 15, 2013

Fall Patio at the Pink Palace

Hi friends!

So excited to share my fall/Halloween patio decor with you!

In yesterday's post, I talked about going to Edwards Green House where I bought a couple Mums. I also shared our trip to the Linder Farms pumpkin patch. Well here is where that all ended up-- on my little patio, of my first home.

I just love having my own place/space to decorate how I like!

Here is the overall shot. Notice our pumpkins. Bet you can't guess which ones mine...
Yeah the huge one weighs 52 lbs! James was carrying it with one hand and had the dog in the other, no big deal (he really must be Hercules!)

Can you believe that big beautiful yellow Mum?! 6" plants are only $4.95 at Edwards which I think is a steal, because the plants are WAY better quality than you get at Walmart or Fred Meyer and they are cheaper! You can also see the red one peaking out from the back. And I am so excited that my other potted plants out front are still alive and kickin, even though they were planted back in April! WOOT!

I was really excited to find this little guy at Good Will on Sunday. Only $4. He really takes the patio decor up a notch with his big smile! And the Mum fit perfectly!
I also hung up my Halloween sign I bought at Gordmans. Pretty simple, but I thought it was cute.
Last but not least is my favorite thrift shop find of the season, this GORGEOUS fall wreath! $4 at Youth Ranch, and I added some ribbon to complete it.

What do you think of my little patio? Are you having fun decorating for fall? Share some of your decor ideas in the comments!

TTFN Friends!

October 14, 2013

Fall Weekend Re-Cap!

Hello everyone!

I know I have been a MAJOR stranger lately. Sorry, I’ve been super busy. AND my laptop is still technically “James’” laptop since it has his hard drive in it…

I have been up to a new thing that has been keeping me busy, involving detox, boot camp and lots of healthy food. But a post to come later on that…

Today I want to do a recap of me AWESOME FALL WEEKEND!!!

Tiny preview - Gunner at  Linder Farms

Friday night we went over to my friend Jena’s house for fall game night. I was a little worried about going because I was doing my detox (more to come on that later) so I couldn’t eat all the yummy treats, which would be tough. However, I had James try everything for me… and he seemed to like that :)

I steered clear of the food otherwise and we got down to gaming! It was fun to hang out with some people we don’t always get to see – both couples and singles alike, which is a nice dynamic. We played my FAVORITE game Cards Against Humanity. If you don’t have it, get it. It is like Apples to Apples but X rated. It is even more fun if you add a pumpkin beer or two!

Cards Against Humanity was a little tough with so many people (I think we had around 15), so we switched it up to Taboo. Another good one! I do have to say, I’m kind of the champion guesser. And I have trouble not guessing when it’s the other team’s turn… oops!

Saturday I got up early and hit the Saturday Market with my Mom. It was a beeeaaautiful fall morning and I really enjoyed seeing all the fall veggies and bundled up families down there. We got a few gifts, some Gladiolas and a few pumpkins while we were there, and then went on to the main task of the morning—fall bulbs for my yard!

I was excited to have my mom’s help for this because she is a top notch gardener. Her yard always looks spectacular and I hope one day I can do the same. So we ran around to a couple places getting bulbs and checking out the fall florals. I couldn’t resist a few Mums while we were out too. I just love fall color!

One of our stops was Edwards Green House out in the NW end of Boise. If you like flowers, you will LOVE Edwards and need to go ASAP!

While we were there my mom showed me around a bit. One of my favorite parts (besides the gorg flowers and bulbs we got) was the Poinsettia green house. The have THOUSANDS of Poinsettia plants off all sizes sitting warm and cozy in there green house just waiting for Christmas. It gave me the warm fuzzies to see them and imagine when they turn their pretty reds and pinks!
All the baby Poinsettias!
After all my errands with Mom, I headed home only to have company almost right away. Our friends Waco and Alyssa were dog sitting this weekend and brought over Cru to play with Gunner, and for us all to head to the PUMPKIN PATCH!

We let the dogs get acquainted and play a little and then we headed out to Linder Farms.
Now, I had NO IDEA it was as big a deal as it is. I haven’t seen that many people in one place since the Fair! Rides and food and screaming children galore… But this was the only pumpkin patch that allowed dogs, so we decided to go for it.

The pups did so good on the hayride over.
Gunner on the hayride. He made friends with that little boy on the way too :)

Then was pumpkin picking time!!!!!

look at this majestic shot I got of Waco and Cru!

Gunner and Cru

Waco and Alyssa like the green ones

Gunner was absolutely exhausted after this little excursion.
snoozin in the back seat on the way home

Then we went home and the dogs played all night while we had dinner, watched football and enjoyed a little more Cards Against Humanity with Waco and Alyssa.

Oh man – I feel like that is enough for now. I’ll have to share my little tidbits of Sunday tomorrow :)

TTFN Friends!

October 1, 2013

Baked Turkey-Zucchini Meatballs

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Yesterday I had myself a little meatball Monday!

I decided to make turkey meatballs a while back, but was just now getting around to it. I based my recipe/cooking time roughly on this great little tutorial found on Pinterest.

Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees.

Here's what you will need for my version:

  •  1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
  •  1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
  •  2-3 tablespoons of garlic (per your liking)
  •  1 package Italian dressing mix
  •  1/2 cup of grated zucchini, pressed to remove some of the liquid
  • (note on the zucchini, the other recipe called for onions and spinach, but I didn't have either on hand so I made this little substitution. Chopped onions, spinach or other veggie would work too!)
  •  1 package lean ground turkey (1 - 1.5 lbs)
  •  1 egg (not pictured)
Start by putting all the ingredients except the meat and egg in a mixing bowl.
Add in ground turkey and mix well - I like to use my hands for this, but a spoon or spatula should do the trick. Then drop your egg in and mix in as well.
Once the mixture is consistent, you are ready to get ballin'! Prep a cookie sheet by covering with aluminum foil (you can skip the foil, but it's way easier clean up that way!). Spray the tray with a little cooking spray so your meatballs don't stick. I also spray my hands for rolling the balls!

Roll meat into inch and half to two inch diameter balls. You can really do them any size, but that was what mine were. you can see them here.
Then pop them in your pre-heated oven.
I baked mine for 15 minutes per the instructions on the other recipe. I ended up adding 5 minutes to that time - so aim for 20 minutes total! Then they come out all browned and smelling delicious!
Cut one open to make sure they are cooked all the way through. With ground turkey you cannot have ANY PINK.
From here you could do a lot with your meat balls! You could load up some subs with meatballs and marinara, make some gravy and have them over noodles or rice, or you can be like me and go with the classic - over pasta with marinara. I just used the jar stuff, but if you're real ambitious I am sure Pinterest can lend you a good homemade sauce recipe too!

So I boiled myself some whole-wheat spirals, and then added the meatballs to some marinara.

I let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for a little while. Then I dished up and topped with a little shredded cheese. YUM!!! Even James liked them - said they were really good! Although once I told him what was in them he was a little skeptical. That's the trick girls - have them eat a few first before you drop the bomb that they are healthy!

Last night I also got my new license plates in the mail! Wahoo! So excited for my University of Idaho flair!
Most random plate number ever.
Then I lounged around with these fools while trying to blog from my phone for my weekend re-cap. Who can resist these silly boys?!

That's all for now.

TTFN Friends!