Monday, February 28, 2011

February Fav's

Good evening!

How was your Monday? Mine was not too bad. Again, glad to get back to a routine!

I started my day with a faboosh chiro appt! It's a wonderful little massage and crack to start my week off right;) I worked through my lunch hour because of my crazy schedule last week, so I brought a little lunch with me.

A whole wheat flat bun with 1 tablespoon of natural PB and sugar free jelly, along side some veggie soup and a cup of grapes for dessert. Light but delicious!

Speaking of that veggie soup-that's the FAMOUS Weight Watchers 0 Points soup! Super easy and filling!

0 Point Veggie Soup
Serves 4
4 cups of fat free chicken broth (1 big box)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp each of dried basil and oregano
1 cup of chopped zucchini
1 cup of green beans
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 T. tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Put it all in a crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours. I made this last night and will have it with my lunches throughout the week! Easy peasy! Of course you can add or subtract any type of veggies you want. Same goes with spices! You can really make this your own!

In the afternoon I tried a new snack: Special K Cracker Chips in sour cream and onion.

They are made with potatoes AND rice for kind of a light, crispy cracker or a thick chip, hence cracker chip! Couldn't they come with a catchier name like Chicker or Crap....oh, now I see.....
You get a hardy serving of these (pictured above) for 3 PointsPlus. They are OK, but not fantastic. The rice gives it kind of a funny after taste. But they are good if you need a crunchy, salty fix!

After work, I got in a Bodyrock workout! Short and sweet but harder than hell! Love it!

Since this is the last day of the month, I thought I would share a few of my fav's from the month.

Because February has been such a crazy and short month, I've been LIVING on these protein bars! I LOVE them and really couldn't live without them! If I'm traveling for work, running from a workout to a meeting, or sitting in a basketball game at the high school, these things save me! Pair with an apple or banana and you have a filling meal! Some of the bars I've been noshing on recently are:

Slim Fast Chewy Chocolate Crisp, Clif Crunch White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Clif Crunchy Peanut Butter, Apple Pie Larabar and Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar.

My next love of the month are my new slip on moccasins by Airwalk!

I'm not even 100% sure how to wear these? With socks or without? Are they meant for the house or can I wear them outside? Are they dressy enough for work? Who knows these questions? If you do, leave me the answers in the comment section below! But I adore them! Do yourself a favor and go out and get some of these bad boys (I got mine at Payless). They have a comfy fur lining that just makes me so happy when I slip into them! I would live in these if I could!

And last but certainly not least, I LOVE my Grandma Hansen!

Me sitting on her lap (of course with a beer in my hand) at my wedding, May 30, 2009.

She's been having health ailments now for a few years, but after the scare and lingering bad news from last week, I appreciate and LOVE her even more! We were the only grandkids that lived outside of Iowa, yet they always made us feel special and came to visit us as often as they could. When I made it to honor band or my brother made it state wrestling, they were there cheering us on! It's so sad to see her withering away in a hospital bed, but I will ALWAYS remember those good times and how awesome they always made us feel!

What are your favorite finds/items/people from the past month? Have you tried any new snacks lately that you've liked or disliked? What are you looking forward to in March?

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to clean a bathroom or two;)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back to My Life

Hiya Peeps!

Phew, that weekend went fast!!! I hope you are all enjoying the Oscars right now, or whatever wind down event you like to do Sunday nights! I love to relax with some hot tea and watch Brothers & Sisters and Desperate Housewives, but since the Oscars are on, I think I'll be watching that!

After our relaxing date night Friday night, we got up early to cheer on my dad's three wrestlers that made it to State wrestling.

We ended up watching three matches, winning one of them. No State placers this year, but it was still fun to watch and support my dad!

Because we were done early, my family decided to play some Just Dance 2 on Wii, which only B and I had done before!

B dancing to Rasputin-so funny I about pee'd my pants:)

My brother and B dancing to Wake me Up (before you Go Go) by Wham! This is when they were doing the "Carlton" dance from the Fresh Prince! Does anyone remember that dance? I still break it out at appropriate times;)

Total fun! I think they all enjoyed it! My parents had their usual after State party, but my mom and I were so drained from the week, we ended up going to bed before midnight! But sleeping felt sooooo good:)

This morning I tried the new McDonald's fruit and maple oatmeal for breakfast.

I was pretty impressed with this and will definitely be trying it again! It clocks in at around 290 calories and around 7 PointsPlus. You can get it without brown sugar and it's 270 calories and probably 6 PointsPlus. It really wasn't very sweet at all though, so I wonder if it will be very good without the brown sugar? The fruit in it is chopped apples, dried cranberries, golden raisins and raisins. I really would have preferred apples and walnuts. Dried fruit in my oatmeal is weird I think. But whatever floats your boat! But a very hearty breakfast if you are on the road! I paired mine with a medium nonfat sugar free vanilla latte-perfect breakfast:)

When we got home, I got my first Zumba sess in in over a week! That is way too long to go without Zumba!!! I just went up to the Wellness Center to practice. I'm practicing facing TO the participants instead of having my back to them. I have mirrors in front of me so it's really not a big deal, but I'm starting to teach at facilities that DON'T have mirrors, and the Zumba philosophy is to face the class to create more of a "party" atmosphere. I guess people don't like to look at your butts at parties?!?! HA! Anyway, it's hard to get myself out of the habit of starting on my opposite foot/arm, but I'm trying!

Sweaty, red beast!

After my workout, I had a simple snack of a light Flatout wrap, light Laughing Cow cheese, Romaine lettuce and dried pesto mix sprinkled on top.

Perfect after workout snack!

My life is finally feeling a bit more normal now. Going to a full day of work tomorrow will bring back a routine in my life that I desperately need! It's been a crazy month, but March is going to be even worse I think!

Tomorrow I'll be recapping my fav February things!

What's your favorite after workout snack? Do you crave a routine or do you like the freedom of not having a schedule?

Desserted Tip of the Day: Are you stuck behind a desk all day at work? Try to take a short walk around the block followed by a few stretches in the morning and afternoon of your work day. Notice how this makes you feel and how your day goes by taking a few minutes to clear your mind and get some fresh air every day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Week from Hell!

Hi There Everyone!

Thanks so much to all of the well-wishes for my grandma and the great guest post from my BFF Sarah! She did a great job and I can't wait to try her recipe! Yum!

So to say this week has been crazy is an understatement! Tuesday morning I got the call from my mom that my grandma was on her death bed. I called my bro (my husband has no time to take off EXCEPT for a funeral-the joy of being a teacher!) and we headed to Iowa. Thankfully both of our jobs are supportive and gave us the time off no problem! It turns out the oxygen tank my grandma was using was faulty somehow, and once they got that fixed, she perked up a little! So we were able to talk with her and she could eat and it was a nice visit. Her time is still short unforunately and I'm afraid I'll get the call soon that I'll be seeing her the last time, however, this week was not it-thank God!

We did get some family bonding time in!

Me with my Aunt Sue (my mom's sister)

My grandpa and my Uncle Todd (my mom's dad and her brother)

My mom with her brother Randy

My Uncle Lance (my mom's brother), my cute cousin Jack (Todd's son) and Uncle Todd

My mom, my brother Adam and my cousin Nick

So, in more exciting week news, we headed back on Thursday. We had planned to get back Thursday afternoon and I would get to head into work for a few hours and I had a workshop in another town on Friday and then I was going to a Zumbathon for heart disease with Sarah Friday night-fun, right? Well, Mother Nature put a hault to that fun! We hit a BLIZZARD in Nebraska around 1 pm. I was following my mom and bro in my mom's car and my bro was driving and as we turned into a gas station, he slowly ran into a semi truck parked to turn on the highway-YIKES! It was luckily still driveable but what a scare! We sat in Hebron, Nebraska for awhile wondering if we should get a hotel room and stick it out for the night. My brother REALLY wanted to keep truckin' along-so that's what we did! We made it another 45 miles to Belleville, Kansas (right across the border and weirdly enough, Sarah's birthplace-ha!) and we were DONE traveling for the day! We ultimately decided to get a hotel room around 3:30 that afternoon and hibernated until Friday morning. We then slowly drove back to Beloit and I made it to work around 10 this morning! What a week! I'm ready to crash for awhile!

My mom coming out of the hotel in the blizzard. Where's your coat?!?!

Blizzard view from the hotel room.

Bonding in the hotel room: Mom and Adam

Me playing Sims 2 on PSP and Adam watching

Needless to say, my eats have been not so good! My grandpa LOVES to buy pizza for everyone when the family gathers. And for a girl who LOVES pizza but never has it because of how bad it is, this is usually when I pig out! And that I did;) We then had pizza again Thursday night because they would deliver to our hotel room-we DIDN'T want to get out again;)

I did get one good sweat session in at the hospital because they have a small fitness room. So while grandma slept, I lifted weights for an hour and my mom walked. That felt great!

I haven't seen my husband since Tuesday, so we'll be doing a little date night tonight to catch up on life. Tomorrow we go to state wrestling to cheer on my dad's team and then head to the parents house for a wrestling party! That's usually fun and I'm looking forward to it, but would love to stay at home also;)

I hope you all have a great weekend, and maybe this blog will get back to normal sometime soon;) I appreciate you all hangin' in there with me!

Do you eat bad when you are stressed? What is your favorite stress reducing food? Does a workout help when you are stressed?

Desserted Tip of the Day: Weightlifting will consistently burn more calories throughout the day then cardio alone. I'll say it again, add a little resistance training (body weight alone will be perfect if you don't have the equipment!) and you'll be a calorie burning machine:)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Guest Post: Recipe Review!!

Hello Beauties!

My life long friend and fellow blogger has agreed to do a special guest post today for me! Unfortunately, my grandma on my mom's side isn't doing well. Her health has slowly declined for a few years now and God has decided the time has come for her to soon go. I decided to go to Iowa for a few days to spend some time with her while she's still with us. So in my abscence, here is the terribly witty and funny Sarah!

Whoa! That was a heck of an introduction. I was sad when Mandy said she was heading out of town to be with her grandma- I've been lucky enough to know her grandmother and she's a wonderful person. It really made me think about how important family truly is in this life- and of course you can't think about grandma's without thinking about comfort food. Everyone has a family favorite, handed down through generations, usually something tied to their families ethnic roots.
Here in middle-of-nowhere Kansas, there are a lot of Germans. Germans are seriously good cooks! A favorite of both Mandy & I around these parts is green bean & dumpling soup! The original recipe involves  potatoes, green beans, bacon, butter, and heavy whipping cream. Delicioius? Without a doubt! But good for you? Not in the least bit! Even a small bowl is more calories that I care to spend on a meal! So after switching to the new Points Plus system, I set my mind on making this delicious soup more health conscious. Here's what I've done, and I'd love to have some reviews:

Sarah's Modified GBD soup:
1 box of chicken broth plus equal amount of water
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound fresh green beens, cut into 1 inch pieces (yes, FRESH!)
1 bag frozen cauliflower (or a fresh head if you're ambitious!)
2 cups (1 pint) fat free half & half
2 T. Flour

1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg (or egg sub)
1/2 cup milk
(this makes SEVERAL small dumplings, so feel free to half the dumpling recipe)
In a large soup pot, heat the onion, garlic and green beans over medium heat with 1 cup of the broth to begin steaming them. Season with salt/pepper as desired. Chop cauliflower into small bites and add to veggie mixture. Cover and reduce heat to simmer.
In a small sauce pan, mix the 2 Tbsp flour with 2 Tbsp of the fat free half and half until smooth (creating a roux-like paste). Slowly add the remaining half and half and stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken and lightly boil (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat and add to simmering veggies.
Bring the remaining chicken broth and water to a boil. Mix the dumpling ingredients until just blended. (over working the dumplings can make them tough.)  Working with the dumplings, pinch a marble sized amount off and drop into boiling broth. Dumplings will swell as they cook. Work continuously dropping dumplings in and skimming the cooked dumplings out and placing them in the pot with the veggies and cream mixture. When all the dumplings are cooked, add the broth & water to the veggies. The flour residual in the broth helps to thicken the soup further. Gently mix the veggies, dumplings and broth/cream and simmer on low until you're ready to serve. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper at this stage to your liking.

The above recipe CAN include bacon if you so desire- just cook a couple pieces and chop it up to add to the veggie mixture in the first part. Of course this increases the fat of the recipe but if you've got the calories to eat, then it's worth it. Otherwise, skip the bacon completely and you won't miss it!
I omitted the potatoes in the original recipe but felt that the cauliflower added that extra bit of texture and feel of a potato without adding the unnecessary starches. The heavy whipping cream was traded for fat free half and half so the creamy feel comes through with a significant reduction in calories and fat.
This recipe is something I make on cold days, and I don't have extreme guilt or gut-aches after I eat it!

What is YOUR favorite comfort food? Have you re-made the recipe to suit your healthier lifestyle or do you just "budget" for the splurge when the time is right? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

YOU are a Leader!

Hello Friends!

Another Monday bites the dust! Yeessss......

Today, I decided to do a Bodyrock workout, which I haven't done in FOREVER! I only had 1 hour between work and a meeting so it was perfect timing! It was the "Give Me A Reason" workout and I did almost 200 jump lunges! Yikes! I need to start doing more of these workouts-sooo good!

Today I'm veering off of my normal topics to talk about something that has become important to me in the past year-Leadership! When I moved to Beloit, I knew no one but my boyfriend (now husband) and a couple of his friends. I LOVE getting involved in things and knowing I have a "voice" in the community. After a year of getting warmed up to the community (and finally finding a job in the community) my boss's wife invited me to become a part of Cassiopeia, an all-women's philanthropic organization. I loved it! This was really the stepping stone to where I am now.

I am now:
A board member of the Chamber of Commerce
President of Cassiopeia
A local Zumba and exercise instructor
On the worship committee at my church
Member of Leadership Mitchell County Alumni
Leadership Mitchell County Alum newsletter editor
Started a bunco group

I'm a busy little beaver in Beloit now! I was part of Leadership Mitchell County Class X and it was an invaluable experience that helped me make life-long friends, but also integrated me into the community, and made me learn more about the community, and surrounding communities, I was living in.

Rye, me and Phil at an "evening" adventure after a Leadership Mitchell County class.

After my leadership experience within the county, I was invited, along with other past Leadership Mitchell County members, to the Kansas Leadership Center summit in Wichita for three days. This summit, and actually the organization itself, is the first of its kind in the Nation! WOW-Kansas is actually FIRST at something;) To say this event was life changing is an understatement! I learned more about myself and what I can do as a community member for change than I ever thought I could know! I feel passionate about leadership now, and I think EVERYONE has the capabilities to be a leader! Here are some tid bits I learned from the summit that I think are good to know:

1. Leadership is an activity, not a position or authority.
2. Making progress requires us to do what is needed in the situation rather than what is wanted or is comfortable for others or ourselves.
3. Exercising leadership involves managing losses and risking casualities.
4. Our own defaults, how we would usually or unconsciously react or intervene in a situation, can be significant barriers to making progress on the issues we care about.
5. Not making any progress during a "heated" discussion? Take a step back and get on the "balcony" so you can look at the "dance floor." (Step back and look at the situation as a third party so you have fresh eyes on the situation). It really does work!

Pepper, me and Carol (all co-workers!) at the leadership summit in Wichita

I also learned that you should cut away the "busy work." Groups, organizations, ANYTHING that you are just a warm body at, get it out of your life! You really aren't giving this group your all because you aren't passionate about it. I have a problem with this! I love being busy (it usually bites me in the butt though!), and let's face it, I like feeling important. I'm still warming up to some of the things I've joined (see list above), but I will need to come to a decision someday on what I will cut out for my sanity! I know it won't be ZUMBA:)

Mark, me and Mary Jane at the leadership summit in Wichita (we were having fun that night! Apparently I like sitting on everyone's laps!)

I want to encourage everyone that YOU can be a leader! Don't leave it up to the 80-year-old town gossiper to make your decisions! Join a local organization that you think can make a difference to something you are passionate about! Have a VOICE in the things you care about! I truly believe these things and if you have comments or questions, I'd love to hear them! Or even just suggestions on how you can get your foot in the door!

What organizations are you involved in? Are you making a difference or are you just a warm body? What would you like to be a part of that you are scared or intimidated to join?

Back to your regularly scheduled program tomorrow;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Bodybugg

Hola Chickas!!

Well, the weekend has come to an end:( But I'm trying to be optimistic about my week of work ahead me. I want to thank you all for the kind words on my Stress! post. I feel the stress at a comfortable high still, but it hasn't jumped into breakdown-mode yet. Hopefully I fend that off!!!

Friday after my Stress! post, I headed to Bunco with the ladies! Such a fun night, as always!

Kelly, me and Pepper

Leanne, me and Brianne

Relaxing, food, fun, drinks and girlfriends! A perfect end to a stressful week!

And the winners: not me this time:( Vanessa, Lisa, Leanne and Amy. Good job, girls!

Saturday I got up early to lift weights and then headed to regional wrestling to watch my dad's team. He got three to state wrestling in the hardest regionals in the state (HE says that, not me Kansas folks!). Congrats, pa! B and I will be heading to State next weekend (1 hour away) to watch his team. Then they always have all the wrestling folk over for a great party after State! Can't wait!

And today has been a good mix of lazy with production. Got up to go to church and stayed for a soup lunch and then took a glorious nap (which I don't need because I get PLENTY of sleep, but it was still marvelous anyways!). Then I cleaned the kitchen and floors, practiced some Zumba, and here I am! So it HAS been a pretty perfect Sunday;)

After Zumba (just practicing some new choreo so not so sweaty today), had to show off my new Bondi Band! I love it! But I kinda feel like Captain Jack Sparrow a little....


Ever since I got my Bodybugg, I've been getting some unusual comments. My mom rolls her eyes and says "you're weird!" My BFF says to watch out, you might get obsessed with calorie counting! Many others have just said "Isn't that super expensive? Is it really worth it?" So here are my thoughts on the Bodybugg and why I bought it!

Don't mind the dirty mirror;)

The first time I heard about Bodybugg was about a year ago when Hungry Girl mentioned it on her site. She said it would accurately count your calories all day, but it was a tad expensive. She highly recommended it though. At that point in my life, having a Bodybugg wasn't even on my radar, nor in my budget!

Since then, I've jumped head-first into fitness and maybe have gotten a bit obsessed! I workout almost every day, have bought supplements (mostly a waste of money), would rather buy new workout clothes than anything else, have become a group exercise instructor and Zumba instructor and am always on the hunt for new workout gear and healthy recipes! Keeping these things in mind, I'm always trying to improve myself, push myself, LEARN about myself, and this is where Bodybugg comes in!

As I mentioned in another post, two fitness ladies in my town recently purchased a Bodybugg and they really helped me in my decision. Both just loved it and said they haven't regretted the decision to purchase it once! After my own product review search on the Internet, I couldn't find one bad thing about the Bodybugg! With some money from Christmas still floating around in my bank account, I was ready to purchase!

So what exactly IS a Bodybugg and what can it DO for you? According to their Web site, the Bodybugg:
-Uses specialized sensors to track calories burned throughout the day
-Measures calories consumed via a Web based program
-Tracks your steps with a built in pedometer
Basically, you wear a small sensor to your arm most of the day (you don't have to wear it sleeping, or showering) and it reads exactly how many calories you burn. This can help in a few different ways: How many calories to consume and burn to lose, gain or maintain weight. If you are an athlete, it can also help to achieve these goals as well, but I didn't go down that path since I wasn't under this heading.

I've worn my armband for 3 days now, and it really hasn't bothered me at all. It's lightweight and sleek-you'd really have to grab my arm to figure out I was wearing it! I also purchased the display watch so I can see in real time my calories being burned and pedometer. This is where the "calorie counting obsessed" thing comes in. I can see how someone might come obsessed with the "numbers," but I really don't see myself doing that. I plan to wear my display only when I'm working out, so I can get an idea of how many calories I burn doing different activities. I really don't care how many I burn sitting at my desk for 7 hours out of my day-boring! But I will try to keep myself in check so I DON'T become obsessed!

My purchase also comes with a coaching session from a professional trainer over the phone. I'm pretty excited about this! The coach will go over my goals with me and fully help me to understand everything my Bodybugg can do, including the Web site portion-which is intricate, full of information, and a little confusing right now! I'm sure I'll understand it more and get the most out of my Bodybugg after my coaching session!

As for the cost? Mine was $220 which includes the Bodybugg, display watch, 10 months of their free online program (essential!) and free shipping. Overall, I don't mind paying that much for such a neat piece of equipment! This will tell me more about myself than any other fitness equipment on the market! Invaluable!

If you have any specific questions (or concerns) about the Bodybugg, I'd be happy to try to answer them! After my coaching session, I'm hoping to know a lot more! Thanks for your concerns and questions thus far, and I hope to reach my fitness goals soon with the help of my 'bugg!

Are you interested in the Bodybugg? Would you get one if you had the chance? Why or why not?
What's the best fitness equipment you've ever bought and why?

Desserted Tip of the Day: Do you get enough sleep? Sleep deprivation can result in weight gain, stress, memory lapses, headaches, depression and much more! Please try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Hi Friends!

Ok, are you ready for a little "whine" party....... UGH, this week has been insane for me, and I'm really not for sure why?!?!?! And that's why there has only been a couple posts this week-which I profusely apologize for!! I had a lot of good ideas too, but they will wait a few more days. Here is what my week has looked like so far....(all days include my 8 hours of work)

Monday: Valentine's Day (of course), spent the night traveling from restaurant to restaurant (two were closed, welcome to the middle of Kansas, folks!) and the rest of the night "trying" to spend quality time with my husband while KU lost to K-State in basketball (not fun at all.....V-Day was a wash this year!)

Tuesday: My Intervals class after work and then directly after a meeting that lasted until post:(

Wednesday: Zumba after work. Directly after we had a contractor over to give us a quote on our windows (yes, we are getting new windows! Exciting, huh?!) Followed by making dinner, doing laundry and dishes-normal Wednesday night stuff:) Got a quick post in though!!

Thursday (yesterday): I had a great post planned, got everything ready for it....and then realized my Bodybugg came in the mail!! YEAH!! So after my Zumba class I travelled around town getting Tastefully Simple orders out after my party a few weeks ago. I came home and made dinner and set my Bodybugg up! Huh, well that took about 2 hours that I wasn't expecting! No post.......

Friday (finally!): I have Bunco tonight with the ladies, which I'm so excited for! I love girl time! But I'm trying to make some caramel chocolate cake balls for my dad's birthday also (which was 2 weeks ago but I'm finally seeing him tomorrow to give him all his gifts!) Gotta hurry....

And the weekend will be full of wrestling as I watch my dad's team compete at regional wrestling in Kansas. So, I'm soooo ready for Sunday (nothing planned!) to come!

I know everyone has busy lives so I don't want it to seem like I'm sooooo much busier than everyone else! My family knows though that I LOVE to stay busy and often volunteer for things and take on projects that will keep me busy. However, my family also know that about once every few months I have a stress breakdown. Nothing horrible, but the stress of keeping such a busy schedule overwhelms me and I crash for about a day, I'm grumpy, lazy, feel the world is coming to an end and I need to be pampered! I feel the stress rising to this level, which is not good! So I'm sooo happy it's Friday and I have a fun unwind night tonight (but I'm still thinking of my workout tomorrow, what will I eat to stay healthy at the wrestling tournament, what time I have to wake up, how will the bathrooms/floors/sheets get cleaned-STOP BRAIN!)

Anyway, I'm done with my rant! Sorry-I'm usually pretty positive on here, but as I said, my stress is risING!

In other news, I found a fabulous give-away at a fellow blogger's site that you should check out!
Friends for Weightloss is giving away Green Lite Bites cookbook

And good news for me: I won a blogger's giveaway also and received it in the mail TODAY!

A Bondi Band! Yeah! I love new workout gear!

This is from the lovely Shannon at Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy. I LOVE her blog! I read it everyday! She's cute, fun and always has interesting things to say! Please go check her out and show her some lurrrvee!

And next week, I promise I'll get some new and exciting posts on here! Just bare with me until then;)

What do you do when your stress level is high? How do you cope with stress?
Have you been giving out compliments? How does it make you feel?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Recipe Catch Up

Hello Pretty Peeps!

Phew! It's been a busy week and it's only Wednesday! Last night I had an exercise class and then directly after I had a meeting that lasted late, so no post for me! And actually, my last two posts have been the "fun" part of my blog, with no food or fitness! Well today I'm going to play catch-up on some fabulous, easy and healthy eats I've had recently that I can't pass up telling you about!

I had two new and AMAZING breakfasts this week that you must try!

Pumpkin Breakfast Yogurt
 -1/2 cup of fat free plain yogurt (I used Weight Watchers)
-1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
-2 squirts of sugar free syrup (one to mix in and the other to drizze on top;)
-1 sliced banana
-sprinkle of brown sugar, splenda, cinnamon and ginger
-sprinkle of granola

Stir together yogurt, pumpkin, 1 squirt of syrup, sugars and spices. Top with banana, 1 more squirt of syrup and granola. Delicious indeed-and easy to boot! You won't regret this recipe! And hey, this is my recipe, but feel free to mix it up with whatever you have in the pantry/fridge! 5-6 Pointsplus (depending on amount of granola and brown sugar you use)


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Scramble three favorite things mixed up and acceptable to eat for breakfast? I'm sooo in!! BEST BREAKFAST EVEEARRRR.....SERIOUSLY! I unfortunately can't take any credit for this genius idea, it's all Ashley's at The Edible Perspective. Please travel to her blog to make this insanely delish dish!

 Mashed bananas, big clump of peanut butter, gooey melty chocolate throughout-HEAVEN! (The pictures don't do it justice!)

I also had a super easy, light and healthy lunch this week.

This isn't a recipe, just more of an idea to pull out of your back pocket when you are bored with lunches.
I started with a rice cake. I happened to pick up some Lundberg Koku Seaweed organic rice cakes with wasabi at The Merc while I was in Lawrence this past weekend so I used that. 

Then I spread on fat free sundried tomato and basil Laughing Cow wedge (any flava would work though), 1 T of hummus and topped with fresh spinach leaves. A slice of tomato or cucumbers would be refreshing also, but I didn't have any:(

A bowl of soup rounded out the meal, which happened to be Amy's vegetable barley soup. Overall this was a 6 pointer meal. It was actually filling and had lots of flavors so I was satisfied and didn't feel deprived, although it took me negative 2 minutes to scarf down!

Those were my most creative and yumm-o meals this week! What are some easy, go-to meals you us like my rice cake meal above? What is your favorite meal of the day? If you can't tell, mine is breakfast! I never have the same thing twice in one week! I'm definitely more creative for breakfast-I wonder why?

BTW: I gotta super nice comment tonight from a Zumba class participant. Someone came up to me after class and said "I feel like I'm in an exercise DVD where the instructor is just so happy to be there and having so much fun. It makes me want to be like you! It looks effortless!" (Or something to that effect!) I love comments like that! It keeps my drive alive, my motivation high and my adrenaline pumping for the next time that class meets! Instructors are just like you, we're tired and working our hearts and muscles hard-but we have to think about cueing and making sure everyone is doing ok! So compliments are so helpful and appreciated! Thank you!

Desserted Tip of the Day: Let's everyone try to give at least one compliment to someone every day for a week. See how that changes your own perspective on life and makes YOU a better person!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ode to my Luvah!

Happy Luvah's Day!

Instead of my usual foodie/fitness post, I'd like to give a shout out to my main squeeze, B! We've been married 1 1/2 years now and together for 3 1/2. My life is mucho better with this guy in my life and I'd like to make a list of why we are who we are (and the life cycle of my many hair-dos!):

We both love to be the life of the party, which makes us both over-the-top fun (does that sound big-headed?)

 We're both up for trying new things! Jamaica with a parrot!

Camping at a "rendevouz" 1800's style (it was ffreeeezzzing!)

 His intense, deep blue eyes.

He totally loves me the way I am: healthy eating, workout and cleaning obsessed, my annoying giggle and how he can never touch my nose-EVER!

He's totally willing to act a fool with me! Isn't he a perfect Drew Carey, pre-weightloss;)

He luurves my family (and I love his!)-so important to us! Here with my dad and bro.

Any man of mine has to like to dance! I'm not even that picky-he doesn't have to be good at dancing, he just has to unabashedly give it his all and go with the flow! I LOVE that about him! We definitely can dance together;)

But the #1 reason I love this guy is his heart! He IS a 3rd grade teacher after all:) He makes me a better person every day with his forgiving attitude and laid-back persona-definitely a lesson I need to learn! He's just a GREAT person and I'm so lucky to have him in my life! You make my world complete, B!

Tonight we're keeping it low key and just spending the evening together. I'm not gonna work out and he's not gonna play video games-it's just us and I can't wait!

How are you spending Valentine's Day? What is your favorite thing about your Valentine's?

Have a great Valentine's Day everyone;)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A weekend in Lawrence: Picture Blog

Hey There!

Good evening! I'm back from Lawrence and what a magnificent time we had! B and I have both lived in cities and love visiting them, but after living in a small town, we both agreed that all the people and traffic were really annoying us! As much as we say we'd love to live in a city some day, our small town has crept into our habits and it would be hard to adjust again to all the commotion of a city (wow, I sound really old;)

Because we had such an EPIC time in Lawrence, I took TONS of pictures! I thought it would just be fun to do a picture blog today so you can see what we were up to the last 2 days!

The Hotel:

The view from our hotel, looking onto the the Kaw River.

Buffalo chicken salad and tomato basil soup.
Very good and filling, except the soup was kinda of greasy-weird!

The game:
Kansas vs. Iowa State

 On the floor of Allen "Phog" Fieldhouse

 We just got into our seats and were EXCITED!

 KU's pep band in front of us (but waaayyy lower;)

 Introducing the players at the beginning of the game.

 It was weird to see the player actually shooting the shot, and also zoomed in on the TV above.

 Final score: KU 89, Iowa State 66-WE WON!

KU made the entrance into the fieldhouse a huge, awesome sports museum! Did you know KU is the home of basketball? A KU coach back in the day actually invented it! There is a rich history there!


 My first beer of the day: Crimson Phog (an Irish red)-so good!

 All the brewed beer on tap

This is a horrible photo but it was sooo dark in this place! I could barely read the menu! But this was one of the best meals I've had in a long time!
Tilapia Florentine: Grilled tilapia with sauteed spinach, almonds, artichokes with feta cheese. SOOO GOOD!

The Bar:

This was B's favorite place to go when he went to school here, and I could totally see why!

 The outside of the building-FUN!

 My husband is obsessed with sharks-so of course he would love this place!

 Huge fish when you walk in!

 Shark attack! Their famous drink! That shark is hollow and comes with a shot of "blood"-or some kinda of alcohol that is blood red! You pour it in the drink so it looks like a "shark attack!"

 All of the "fun" drinks come with toys-seriously! How did someone not think of this before-giving adults toys at a bar? Perfect! Here is Megan (B's friend from high school who lives near Lawrence) modeling her "Kanye" glasses!

 I got a "Dinomite" which comes with these weird glasses, a little Dinosaur who we name "Gary" and beads! I was in heaven!

 A mustache for B! But the shark and Gary didn't like it and they were trying to eat it off his face:)

 The Sandbar is home of the "Indoor Hurricane!" Basically some fans come on, napkins are thrown around to simulate chaos in a hurricane, and some ladies with mermaid aprons hop on the bar! There is also a special song and dance everyone does!

 Megan and I hopped onto our benches and followed the TV's where the dance was being shown and gave it our best shot!

B joined us!
It was such a fun bar! I highly recommend it if you are in Lawrence!

The next day

This is a chain restaurant, but we've never been here before so we thought we would try it. I got a small order of Pasta Fresca-Penne sauteed in olive oil, balsamic and white wine with roasted garlic, red onion, tomato and spinach with a dusting of parmesan. Very delish!

After lunch, we went to my all-time favorite food cheat places: Cold Stone Creamery! Oohhhh, I love me some Cold Stone;) I tried to be a little good (it didn't work out!) I got an Oreo Overload with Sinless Sweet Cream ice cream. But unforunately I could really tell the ice cream was low fat-it just didn't taste good. And I figure if I'm gonna get all the choco-stuff in it, I might as well get what I want and have it taste good! Lesson learned-go full fat on cheats;)

Then B took me to The Merc, a health food store in Lawrence. I LUURVVEED it! I'm so jealous of Lawrence peeps! I got a bunch of my favorite Amy's soups (always a lunch favorite!) and found some Guiltless Gourmet black bean chips that I've heard about but have never found! I even got this gem:

A vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookie! Yes, I had ice cream and a cookie today-don't judge! I'm not vegan but I just wanted to try it, and the verdict was-I couldn't tell a difference! This was a big cookie that was crisp on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside with no hint that it had no flour or eggs! I'm impressed! I announced to B that I could sooo be vegan, but I do like the occassional cheese and crackers, plus some chicken! So I won't be heaading that direction anytime soon!

Well, that was my weekend in a nut shell! I felt B and I connected as he showed me his old stomping ground of Lawrence and it's always fun to visit new places;)

What's a weekend getaway that you have taken recently that was total fun? Do you have a mini-vaca coming up that you are looking forward to?