Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry I kind of fell off the blog for a week or so ... I was juggling a few things and the blog ball got dropped. Last week I had two Human Anatomy tests and a work presentation and then I left for a long weekend in San Fransisco with my 2 best friends! 
More on the trip soon (pictures!!!) - but I wanted to pop in today for FOODIE PEN PAL REVEAL DAY!

I have posted about Foodie Pen Pal before, but in case you missed it .... 
Foodie Pen Pal program that Lindsay from the blog The Lean Green Bean started back in 2011.

The general concept is that once you sign up on Lindsay's site - you get connected with a "pen pal" from anywhere across the United States and you communicate a bit over email to get to know each other and then you send each other a package that can include homemade baked goodies, local delicious food items, and/or just some of your favorite products! It is such a fun way to meet someone new and try new products from across the US! You do not have to be a blogger to participate (I did when I was not a blogger), but it also a cool way for fellow foodie bloggers to connect.

There are more logistically details over on Lindsay site - so go to www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals

This month I got paired with Karen from New York City and from the blog RUN WRIGHT!
She is a fellow runner and she sent me an AWESOME box! 

Karen was so creative and sent me a whole bunch of different nuts and berries all wrapped up in cheesecloth and tied with a cute ribbon AND - because we all need chocolate, she sent me a huge dark chocolate bar that I took to work and eat for little afternoon pick me up! 

Included in the nuts were:
- Goji Berries - I have never tried them before, but I actually loved them - and they are a super food!
- Pistachios - Yumm! Enough said ... so good!
- Salted Almonds - Great healthy snack! 
- Sunflower seeds - These were not roasted, so a little different than I am use to ...
- Filberts - Unsalted, but still good!
- Pumpkin seeds 

I really really loved this box! I think I am going to copy off of her for my next box, because sometimes when I get a lot of bigger things to send to my pen pal, the shipping can get really costly  ... but all of her delicious things fit into a small box! 
Such a fun and healthy box!

 If you want to try something new and fun ... sign up for FOODIE PEN PAL!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five Things Friday 9.19.14

It is Friday Friday! I have had a lot of work dinners this week (including tonight), so I am excited for the weekend to relax a little and catch up with B!

I wanted to participate in Clare's Five Things Friday post because they are just so much fun to write up! Love reflecting on the week and also I forget sometimes how much fun Pinterest can be, so here is ....

Five Things I Ate:
  • Lemon cake for my birthday! 
    • My mom made one of my favorite lemon cakes and I snacked on it throughout the week. It is ridiculously easy to make and low in calories (but not really good for you because very processed ... but hey, it is dessert!). All you do is take a box of lemon cake mix, and take 12 ounces of Diet 7up and mix them together and bake them for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. Don't forget to top it with lots and lots of cool whip!
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries! 
    • Another birthday treat from B! I LOVE dark chocolate and Michigan is the cherry capital... so dark chocolate covered cherries are a Michigan treat! Also, I am very proud to say this bag lasted over a week - I savored them!
  •   Homemade Stir-Fry
    • It is our last week of our CSA (sad), but we had a lot of great veggies, so I decided to throw everything together and make chicken stir fry over brown rice for dinner
  •  Pork Roast 
    • I like to use the slow cooker on evenings when I have class because then B will have dinner ready for him when he gets home. This week I got a pork roast from Trader Joe's and made a simple sauce and cooked it in the slow cooker ... tasty! 
  •   Boring pre-plated reception dinners
    • I had two big dinners for work this week ... which means rubbery chicken ...

Five Workouts:
Workouts are always a little boring currently because it centers around running ... it was a high mileage week.
  • Monday - 9 miles  - legs were tight from my race on Saturday
  • Tuesday - 6 miles 
  • Wednesday - WORKOUT  - 6 X 800 meters  - legs were still a little tight, so not my fastest, and SO glad I had company (thanks Laura!)
  • Thursday - Off day ... love sleeping in on Thursdays!!
  • Friday - 10 miles 
Hoping for a good 20 mile long run tomorrow!! Fingers crossed.

Five Things I Pinned:

1) Such a cool idea!

2) I love salty sweet  - so these look amazing!!
3) I know Christmas is still far away ... but never too soon to be thinking about traditions!

 4) I have to have a cute puppy picture!! This is actually practical because they get in to so much as a puppy! haha

 5) In honor of seeing my best friends next week in Cali!

Five Things Making me Happy:
  • I am going to admit it ... Taylor Swift's new song called Shake it Off ... makes me happy! Love dancing to it with Yosey in the mornings! If you have not seen the video, you should watch it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlot6h_JM
  • My sister in law got engaged recently and I love getting a peak at a little bit of the wedding talk. I am also going to be a part of planning an engagement party. My event planning side is pumped. 
  •  Weekend plans involve B getting to fly an airplane and me in the backseat! For our anniversary I got B a discovery flight lesson and we are finally going to use it this Saturday
  • Weekend plans also involve going to an apple orchard!! Fall is here! 
Weekend plans also involve studying because I have my first written exam on Monday and a big lab quiz on Tuesday ... that is not part of my Five Things ....

What is something you ate this week? Or something that makes you happy??

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Who is sharing small victories!

Good Morning Blogging world!

Cheers to Wednesday and to the middle of the week!

I am popping in today to discuss celebrating small victories. We are all very "busy" people (busy is in quotes because I think our society glorifies being busy - but that is a subject for another post!)  - but we are so busy getting through our "to do" lists, and setting new goals - that sometimes we forget to stop and celebrate the small victories.

I know we need to work hard and stay focused, but I think stopping to acknowledge and give ourselves a pat on the back for all of the amazing things we are doing everyday helps keep us motivated to keep working towards the big goal!

Therefore - what are some of your small victories??

I want to give you a high five for all of the awesome things you are doing!

Here are some small victories I want to celebrate:
  • Doing speed workouts once a week! 
    • In my past marathon training, I normally just focus on getting in daily runs and the long run, but I have been doing some speed workouts and I am really enjoying the challenge!
  • Getting a 100% on my first lab quiz in my Human Anatomy lab
    • Only 20 points, but it was a big confidence booster!
  • Meal planning for Monday and Tuesdays and having food for me and Brandon!
    • I have to rush to my Human Anatomy class on Monday and Tuesday evenings - but I have tried to think ahead and make a bigger meal on Sundays or Mondays - so that Brandon and I have leftovers to eat. 
    • I was nervous that once my classes started, I was going to become a "bad wife" and never make dinner or do laundry or clean ... but I feel like I have been able to multi-task and still stay relatively on top of house things. 
  •  Getting through my birthday week without binge eating any desserts!
    • Don't you worry - I had my fair share of desserts ... but I never went completely overboard.
  •  Starting to clean out my closet
    • I have been putting this task off forever - but I sent in a big bag of clothes to this online resale shop called ThredUp, I will let you know if I get any money back! I have more sorting and clean to do ... but I started!
  •  Not signing up for StitchFix (yet ...)
    • I have seen so many good reviews of StitchFix on other blogs, and I am sure the clothes service is amazing -- but I currently do not need a lot of new clothes, so I have not signed up even though I have been VERY tempted!
  • Writing thank you notes for some amazing birthday gifts
    • (If you have not received one yet ... it is coming =) 
I may still have 6+ years left of classes before I become an official Registered Dietitian, and I may never run under a 3:25 marathon .... but I am trying to work hard towards those big goals and more ... but I am glad I stop to enjoy the small everyday victories along the way!

Share your victories!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mute Monday 9.15.14

What did I do this weekend you ask?? 

I hope these pictures help tell the story! (but I still need to get better at taking pictures ... anyone have any tips at remembering to take pictures?)

Birthday Flowers
15K Race for the birthday - we all got PRs and it was a perfect racing day!

Parents came to visit and we had to take them to the BIG HOUSE!

Michigan half time shows are always entertaining! 200 year celebration of the Star Spangled Banner

I forgot to take pictures at dinner ... but if you are from Ann Arbor and see this bag of leftovers, you know it was tasty! Zingerman's is an amazing local brand of businesses and we went to Zingerman's Roadhouse

Momma made me a cake, so I made my birthday wish and blew out the candles ... can't tell my wish!

Amazing Saturday ... but back to reality Sunday afternoon ... studying ...
Sunday night is prep night ... making homemade tomato sauce for the week!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Who is sharing a circuit workout ...

 It is here - Friday Friday Friday!  And not only is it Friday ... it is .... FITNESS FRIDAY!!! 
First I want to say that I had an AMAZING birthday! I felt very loved and lucky all day and then I got to share an incredible meal with my hubby at Real Seafood Company in Ann Arbor. 
Shoutout to Ann Arbor readers - I want to make sure you all know about the birthday deal at all Mainstreet Venture restaurants .... any restaurant owned by MainStreet Ventures (Real Seafood, Chop House, Gratzi), lets you have 50% off your meal if you are dining with 1-2 people ... amazing!!
The birthday continues this weekend because my parents are coming to visit and we are going to the Michigan football game and more eating =)

Back to the workout!!! It has been awhile since I have shared a bodyweight workout on the blog, so I am here to share a doozie!

The temperatures are starting to drop (starting to feel like FALL!!), which means it is the PERFECT time to take your workout outside. This workout involves a tiny bit of prep - but then once you write out the exercises, you can do the workout again in the future without prep. It is a great workout to do with a group or a partner.

Equipment Needed:
- Yourself (bodyweight)
- 11 Flashcards or pieces of paper

1) Before you start the workout, take time to write out the following 11 exercises out on flashcards or pieces of paper. You can click on the exercise to see a demonstration to make sure you know what you will be doing and you do each move with good form (maybe soon I can link to myself doing a demonstration?!?). Hopefully I introduce you to some new exercises that you can do anywhere!!
2) Go outside and form a large circle with the 11 pieces of paper (large enough that running around all of the paper would take you 10 or more seconds) - and keep them in the order listed above because I tried to alternate between cardio and strength.

3) Once you probably warmup (by running or doing something to get your heart rate up and muscles warm) ... you are ready to begin the workout! The workout is made up of 3 rounds.

1st Round: 
- You set the timer for 16 minutes. For the whole 16 minutes you will continuously complete the exercise at a certain station and then run (or sprint) around the circle and then complete the exercise at the next station and then run again and so on.

Give your self a 2 minute break after the 1st round to grab a drink and catch your breath

2nd Round
- Set the timer for 8 minutes. This round you run after every other exercise or station, therefore you will complete an exercise, complete an exercise and then run and repeat for 8 minutes.

Give yourself another 2 minute break

Last Round:
- Set the timer for 4 minute. There is no running this round, you will simply complete each exercise and move onto the next exercise.

And you are done!! If you are pushing yourself - this is an intense workout! Make sure you take the time to stretch out your muscles!

Also, if this workout seems too intense - you can make modifications by decreasing the repetitions you do for each station, or decreasing the time of each round.

Good Luck!!!

Have you done any good workouts this week?? Or what weekend plans do you have??

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Who is celebrating her birthday!!

(This accidentally posted for a bit on September 8th .... the 10th is my birthday!

I am going to give myself my own little Whooo! It is my birthday!

Birthdays are a really big deal in my family ... my family's language of love is gift giving and celebrating - therefore, we loved to celebrate each others' birthdays! I remember some epic birthday parties  ... tea parties, rock climbing, Halloween parties ... and more! I feel soo lucky to have those memories and the loving support system that always celebrated with me.

As we get older, birthdays  become way less about the presents and more about the loving people in our lives that take the time to wish us happy birthday and celebrate with us.
For this birthday, I am celebrating with my loving husband this evening with dinner out on the town =) and then getting drinks with some girlfriends on Friday, my parents are coming into town, and doing a race on Saturday!

Also, I want to celebrate my birthday MONTH by taking part in a little challenge I saw online. It is called the Birthday Project. The Birthday Project was created when an average lady decided to celebrate her 38th birthday by doing 38 random acts of kindness. Since she posted about her birthday idea in 2010 - Robyn Bomar has become famous for her idea and she even created a website and company around the idea! It's called The Birthday Project (click to learn more).

They are trying to change how people celebrate their birthday - and instead of "getting" - people can "give" a little bit ... and as corny as it sounds ... make the world a little better (or at least brighten someone else's day!).

I do not want to rush all of my 27 acts of kindness into one day ... so I am going to spread 27 Random Acts of Kindness over the whole month of September - and then I am going to share them all with you at the end of the month! I am really excited!

I feel very lucky to be able to celebrate 27 amazing years and all of the opportunities and adventures that lie ahead!
Lucky to celebrate with these 2 =)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Who is breaking away from the schedule ...

Good Morning Everyone!

How was everyone's Labor Day weekend?

Mine was fantastic ... I got to relax and have fun on Saturday and Sunday and then I was super productive on Monday and got everything checked off the "To Do" list (which included studying a lot ... that is going to take some time to get used to!)

How about we take a vote - who thinks we should change up the work calendar and we always get a 3 day weekend?? I agree ... I think we should.
But seriously, people with desk jobs (not people in healthcare, or teachers, or others ...) - I think the work week could totally be changed. Who really sits at their desk and is productive for 8 hours EVERY day??? I think we should change work culture to "get your work done and then leave" - then people would be motivated to stay focused and get their work done!!

WOW - Soapbox moment right there!

This is going to be a random blog post ... and there are no good pictures to share with you, so I am just going to share some random oldies but goodies =)

 First, welcome to September ... one of the best months!
- Perfect weather
- Football starts!
- AND Birthday month =)

Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family, so I have to admit, even as an adult - I love birthdays (including my own!).

Secondly, I wanted to pop in and give an update about the blog. Blogging is still really new for me and I am trying to figure out the avenue I want to take for this blog. I want it to be personal and share snippets of my life, but I also want it to focus on fitness and health! I am trying to figure out the balance, if you have any topics you want me to cover or any questions - please email me or comment below!!

Most importantly, I want to blog because I enjoy it and to share useful information to others and get new information from others too! If my blog encourages someone to go an extra mile in a run or try a new workout ... I would be elated.
I am not blogging for money, or for fame ... so I need to remind myself that this blog does not need to be perfect and if I miss a post now and then - it will be ok!

Since I have started my classes and I am still working full time, I have been forced to focus and certain things priorities and also drop some things. I do not want to drop this blog at all, because I do enjoy talking with all of you =) I just don't want to put together half hearted posts because I feel forced to have something to post on a "Monday, Wednesday, or Friday"
I want to put time into my posts, and get some more workouts and recipes up on the blog too!
Therefore, I hope to still blog 3 times a week ... I might just skip a day every once in a while.

Thanks for reading this rambling post! And thanks for supporting the idea of this blog in general! I appreciate you!

~Enjoy the week~
I do not know this dog ... but I saw this at a restaurant in Charleston... so funny!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mute Monday

Hopefully everyone is enjoying their Labor Day!

I am hoping for a productive day of studying and getting ready for the week ... so I am taking the "day off" from blogging and leaving you with a few pictures from the weekend!


I am not a registered dietitian (yet). My blog is simply a snapshot of my everyday life. The views I express are mine alone, based on my own experiences, and should not be taken as medical advice. Though I am a certified fitness instructor, the workouts I post may not be right for you. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.