April 30, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Hump Day y'all.
Not going to lie - struggling a bit with what I'm loving this week (insert yawn). But with a quick brainstorm I think I have a few :)

I am loving that it is going to hit 80 degrees on Friday! The rest of the week is supposed to be beautiful and I can't wait to soak up some sun!
I am loving that my coworkers have turned me on to, and support my addiction to Sonic Happy Hour and Diet Cherry Limeades. We've already gone once this week and with warm days in the forecast it won't be the only trip.
I am loving that starting next Monday, James and I are starting a "challenge" month and are going to stick to clean healthy diets for all of May. I RRREEEALLY need to get back on the wagon as far as eating healthy, and having him on board for support and accountability will be great.
(side note, the fact that I have to plan, cook and package all our meals is the part that will suck).
Lastly - though not completely loving because he also uses it to irritate me, I am entertained by James' new laser pointer. Bought for the cat, but now used as the primary toy for both Ted and Gunner, it makes our nights a little more entertaining. My favorite is using it to spin the dog in circles until he's so dizzy he can't walk. I know it makes me a bad dog-mom but it's pretty comical.
You can sort of see the laser dot in my hair to the left of my face...
What are you loving this last day of April? Can you believe it's May already?!
post signature

April 28, 2014

Weekend with Whitney!

I had an absolutely wonderful weekend, and I hope you did too.

Mine was full of entirely too much food, too many episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, a little too much alcohol and NOT enough time with my best friend who came to visit, Whitney.
This was Whitney and my first weekend together, in Seattle where we became fast friends.
Whitney got into town late Thursday and we just sat and talked for hours. I got to bed late, but that was fine because I took Friday off work to hang with her.
We kicked the weekend off right with Bloody Maries and breakfast and this local cafe called Bacon. Yes BACON. They have bacon Bloody Maries and yes, they are as good as they sound. We also tried several strips of different bacon varieties they had, along with our breakfasts. I'd say it was bacon overload, but really I don't think that exists.
We followed breakfast with a trip to the Idaho Vandal Store so Whitney could stock up on gear from our Alma Mater, and then hit Trader Joe's (my first time!) for some goodies to make homemade pizza with.
That's Whitney and my thing - making pizzas. The more unusual the better. I wish I had taken pictures of our strawberry balsamic chicken and bacon pizza and our pesto ham and veggie pizza, but I was too busy eating them... 
And even though I didn't think my Friday could get any better, we capped the night off with the Broadway show Wicked that is playing here in Boise. I have been waiting YEARS to see this musical and I finally got to! It was every bit as amazing as I expected. 
Saturday I made quiche for breakfast with some of the pizza topping leftovers we had. We did a little shopping and then headed to friend's house party where we learned how to play "mega-rut" a multi table style beer pong game of sorts. It was fast pace and fun, and resulted in a few too many beers. We finished the night up going to the Ram for dinner and drinks and I can't remember a night in a long time with so much laughter. 
Sunday was a rainy, lazy day, other than grabbing drinks with my parents and soaking up a little of last nights indulgence with some much needed pasta at Olive Garden. As if I hadn't consumed enough calories already this weekend... But hey, I was on staycation ok?
Then we said our good byes and Whitney headed back to Tri Cities. I wish she could come every weekend--but then weekends like this wouldn't be as special, and I might gain 100 lbs.

Every minute, bite and drink is so much sweeter with your best friend!

post signature

April 25, 2014

Fitness Friday - Leg Day Workout

Happy Friday Friends! I am enjoying the day off so I can spend it with my friend Whitney who came to visit from Kennewick, Washington. So excited to have her here!

That being said - I still can't miss my second Fitness Friday!

Today I want to share with you one of my go-to "Leg Day" routines**

Before I do so I need to fill you in a little on my gym habits, so you have an understanding of the mindset I have to have when I go to the gym.

I go to the gym on my lunch hour. That's ONE hour, AND I have to factor in drive time to and from the gym, changing my clothes, a quick shower, and changing back into my work wear. Yeah - that is a lot. What it leaves is about 30-35 minutes of actual gym time.

That means EVERY SECOND COUNTS.  Here are a few of my rules to make a short work out time like mine count:
  1. Do not waste too much time on cardio. A 5-7 minute warm up is all you need. (I don't like doing cardio at the gym - but a post on that to come)
  2. Instead of taking breaks between sets, alternate with another exercise.
  3. Do not take more than 30 seconds rest at any time (keep that heart pumping!) 
**Disclaimer: I am not a professional trainer nor do I have background in exercise science. The workout below is something I created with my personal knowledge of workout plans from years as an athlete and some sessions with trainers. This type of fast pace, targeted work out gets results for me but may not be best for everyone.

LEG (and core) DAY!**

Warm up: 7 minute tread mill interval warm up at level 1 incline. Adjust settings per your own stride and ability.

1 min walk – 3.5 speed
1 min run – 8.5 speed
1 min walk – 3.5 speed
1 min run – 8.5 speed
1 min walk – 3.5 speed
1 min run – 8.5 speed
1 walk – 3.5 speed

First Set(s) -  Alternating between  walking lunges with bicep curl and Swiss Ball V-up transfers. THREE SETS of each.

 - 20 per set Lunges - I prefer walking lunges. I do 10 forward, and then 10 backward (which hits different muscles) both with 8 lb dumbbells. Tutorial (because I'm not a pro) HERE.
 - 10 per set Swiss Ball V-up transfers - Tutorial HERE.





Second Set(s) -  Alternating between Weighted Squats and Wood Chops. THREE SETS of each. 

 - 10 per set Weighted Squats (I do around 115 lbs, but adjust to your strength) -  Tutorial HERE.
 - 10 each side per set Wood Chops (I used 10 lbs weight) - Tutorial HERE.




Final "Burn Out" set - Fire Hydrants, as many as you can do - I did about 30 each side.

Tutorial HERE.

It doesn't seem like a lot written out like that - but 48 hours after this work out, you'll be feeling it!

Here's my week in review:
MONDAY: Gym at lunch hour – Leg (and core) Day!
TUESDAY: Gym at lunch hour – Arms and Back
WEDNESDAY: Walked the dog
THURSDAY: Gym at lunch hour – Legs and Core
FRIDAY: Rest and play with Whitney!
WEEKEND GOALS: Hike Tablerock with Whitney. Drink plenty of water.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

post signature

April 24, 2014

So, just because...

I wasn’t going to do a post today, because I’m working on an awesome Fitness Friday post to hit you tomorrow. However, both Holly and Allie posted this little survey gem and it got my boredom’s attention as something to write about/fill time today.

Thinking: How glad I am I don’t have to be at work tomorrow. I am taking the day off to spend time a with a friend who is coming to visit. Work is so slow these days – I dread the idea of being here all Friday with not a lot to do…

Wearing:  American Eagle skinny jeans, leopard print flats, maroon and pink striped ¾ sleeve shirt from LOFT and a gold statement necklace.

Watching: My computer screen? I guess watching as things slowly get checked off the list here at work. Ahhhh that feels good.

Wanting: To not go to the gym today at lunch. But I must!

Liking: The banana bread I made last week for James per his request. Then because it got deformed due to some batter spillage, he will not eat it. Thus the loaf is all mine, and oh so good! Recipe here via Pinterest

Loving: The homemade pesto I made last night! It was such a Pinterest success! Recipe here from you know where...
Actual shot of my pesto - in an old pickle jar, don't judge it's all I had.

(wow both those were about food, it must be getting close to lunch)

Testing: The new shorter hair. Guess it isn’t testing, I chopped it a few weeks ago and I am still adjusting. The new “go-to” style is half up. It looks so much more clean cut with the shorter hair, though the new style undoubtedly looks best curled (which is too much work come on!)

Laughing: TBD, lots of laughs to come this weekend with my friend Whitney. I CANNOT WAIT for her to get here!

Want to join in? I’d love to hear your responses!
post signature

April 23, 2014

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Whew, we made it to Wednesday people. Happy Hump Day to all!
Here's what I am loving this week:
1) The two Reese's eggs I allowed myself to enjoy post Easter. Happy Easter to me! 
2) That my lilac is blooming.  This isn't just any lilac plant, this "start" came off my aunt's beautiful lilac bush, and hers started from my grandmother's lilac that separated her yard from the ally behind her house when she was still alive. It is very special to me to have a piece of my grandmother growing in the yard of my first home. What is even more special is that it is blooming the first year it was planted. I was told it could take up to three years to see blooms. So now the baby plant (which I honestly thought I had killed) is growing strong and has a few beautiful clumps of blooms!
3) This Griddler I got for Christmas. It took me a while to bust it out - I think I had made one grilled cheese up till last week. Then I tried something new on it - cooking meat. Turkey burgers to be exact. And now I am hooked! I did chicken breasts last night and they came out so tender and juicy. Next up will be bacon - yes I'm going there. The best thing about this little appliance is that you can pop the grill plates in the dishwasher, no need to scrub! So if you are interested, they are fairly reasonable and you can find it here or probably at your local department store.
4) That my bestie is coming to visit this weekend! I can't wait to spend some quality time with this girl, have a bloody mary or two, and enjoy a weekend catching up!
What are you loving this week?
post signature

April 21, 2014

Tye-dye Egg Tutorial and Easter Weekend

Hi y'all. Hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!
Easter is my FAVORITE holiday. I know, weird. Something about the combination of spring time, egg hunting, quality family time and a lot of chocolate - it just resonates with me.
This year was the first time in 26 years I have not hunted eggs on Easter (devastating). My little sister is now away at college so there is no one to hunt eggs with, and I have finally graduated from the extended family hunt with all my little cousins. However, I did get to enjoy the hunt as a spectator! 
Aren't my little cousins cute!?
 Ok back to business.
Saturday I took a little "me" time and dyed Easter eggs. I was dying to try this tutorial I found on Pinterest!
What you will need:
Hard boiled eggs
1 can shaving cream
Multiple shallow dishes
Food coloring
Lots of paper towels
Something to protect your table (I used wax paper)
Set up your dying space and fill shallow containers with a layer of shaving cream. I did 3 different colors/containers.
Drip drops of 2-4 colors of food coloring in each dish. Use a tooth pick to swirl colors together. Then take each egg and "roll" it through the shaving cream till covered.
Leave shaving cream on egg and set aside to dry.

Wait 5-10 mitues (I recommend at least 10!) and then wipe shaving cream off eggs with a paper towel or clean cloth.
Viola! Tie-dyed eggs! The did not come out as bright as I would have liked so here are some tips that might help if you try this: 1) Yellow/bright green do not show up very well, either avoid, or use extra food coloring of these colors. 2) The more color the better  - don't skimp on how many drops you use!
Next year i might go back to the good ol' kit and vinegar method. What is your favorite way to color your Easter eggs??!
Hope you had a blessed and sunny Easter!
post signature

April 18, 2014

Fitness Friday

Welcome to my inaugural Fitness Friday post!
Today I actually come to you with a fitness fail - I got to the gym today on my lunch hour, began to change into my workout clothes, and realized I was short a towel. Thus making my work out a no-go. Sorry, but if I can't shower or at least rinse off after a lunch hour work out, there is no way I can go back to work. It would be one hot sweaty mess. And no towel makes it hard to shower, unless I want to stroll around in my birthday suit in the locker room, which is out of the question.
However - there were some great successes in this trip although the lack of work out. 1) I was able to fill up on gas on the way to the gym and 2) I thought up this weekly Fitness Friday idea for my blog on the way!
So here's how it is going to work. Each Friday I am going to do a post focused on my fitness goals and accomplishments. I will review what I have (and haven't) done for working out in the week, and a long with it share one of my favorite work outs of the week or fitness wisdom I may have learned.
(examples: leg day, what to eat before & after your work out, gym clothes favs)
The win-win of this? I hold my self accountable, and you can learn some great fitness tips - heck if I stay with it I may even host a fitness challenge to get everyone participating!
Plus I would LOVE to get some feedback and hear about your fitness journey!

Here's the week in review:
MONDAY: Gym at lunch hour - arms/upper body
TUESDAY: 2 mile walk - with the dog
WEDNESDAY: Gym at lunch hour - legs AND volleyball game that evening
THURSDAY: Rest day
FRIDAY: I will go on a run tonight for lack of gym time at lunch.
WEEKEND GOALS: At least one run. One session core at home. Drink more water!

Check in next week and I will have some oh-so-awesome fitness knowlege to share with you!

Have a wonderful Easter Weekend! TTFN!
 post signature