We’re Back (with pics from the weekend)!

Hello! Vanessa and I are excited to be blogging again! For a couple weeks, we’ve been planning our comeback and we have a great line-up of posts coming soon for you to enjoy 🙂 Our focus will still be exercise, nutrition, and healthy living, with occasional product reviews and DIYs. There’s a lot to look forward to!

I am now a Certified Personal Trainer with AAAI/ISMA, so many of my posts will be exercise related. Here’s what my workouts looked like last week–every few weeks I change the splits for weight lifting to keep my body guessing, and I try to incorporate yoga/pilates/stretching 2-3 times a week (on top of daily stretching at home).

Mon: AMRAP 12 + Lower body weight lifting
Tues: Plyometrics + HIIT (body weight)
Wed: Upper body weight lifting + pool cardio class
Thurs: OFF
Fri: Full body HIIT (weight lifting)
Sat: Running (intervals)
Sun: OFF

loved my workout structure last week! The intensity level was high, but I got plenty of rest in between workouts because they were so varied. This week’s plan is similar, with 2 yoga classes and no pool.

This weekend was a nice break from the routine…Saturday morning after work my boyfriend (I’ll use his initials, GH, from now on) and I went to Clearwater to pick up his new car (!!!), and went back to his house for dinner (and test drives) with friends.

Sunday, while GH was at work, I was sleeping in! Once I got up, I had a lovely detox foot soak (with Epsom salts, and doTERRA essential oils of Melaleuca, Lemon, and Frankincense) and spent some time reading and journaling.

GH and I did our weekly meal planning and went grocery shopping when he got home (Sunday Prepday!). Proper planning really does prevent poor performance…we only have good meals throughout the week if we plan ahead of time! This prevents us from getting bored with eating the same things all the time, and saves time and money because we only buy what we need on grocery day (in theory…). Here’s what we got this week:

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The orange container on the right is rice milk. At my house we drink almond milk, but when I’m at GH’s I love having rice milk to change it up a little bit. It’s great in coffee!

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This goat cheese is my favorite right now! It’s creamy, easy to spread, and perfectly salted. And it’s on sale at Whole Foods!

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I had a little time to kill between groceries and a friend’s birthday dinner in the evening, so I planned workouts for the week, painted my nails, and read a little more of Pagan Christianity…I highly recommend this to anyone who wonders how and why church traditions strayed so far from the guidelines given in the New Testament. It’s kind of a hot topic with me so I won’t say too much about it here, but this book has been eye opening for me!

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Here’s what I ended up with for this week, plus cardio intervals not pictured on the next page.

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I love Rimmel London nail polish…it doesn’t take more than 2-3 coats, it dries super fast, and it’s very affordable.

We went to Macaroni Grill for the surprise birthday dinner, and tried a couple new appetizers…Mac N Cheese Bites with Truffle Sauce and Prosciutto and Mozzarella. Mmmm!

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For dinner I had the mushroom and goat cheese flatbread (I can’t say no to goat cheese!) but it was WAY bigger than I expected. Leftovers today for lunch were not bad at all 😉

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My weekend lasted a bit longer than usual, since I don’t go to work until 4pm today (yay!!). This morning I did some long overdue cleaning inside and out of my car. See the orange paint on the bottom? That’s been there since last year. Someone dropped a paint can while driving and it splattered all over the turning lane moments before I got there. I was mad!! I used doTERRA’s OnGuard Concentrated Cleaner (mixed with water in a spray bottle); a soft scrub I made with baking soda, castile soap, and doTERRA’s lemon essential oil; and a TON of elbow grease to get the majority of the paint off. My wrist and fingers were cramping after about 1 1/2 hours of scrubbing so I decided to finish it later. I am SO happy that it is this clean!

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Here’s a look at the freshly vacuumed and cleaned inside. GH will be happy–he recently had to drive my car for the first time in months, and let’s say our standards of clean are VERY different where cars are concerned!

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My little brother Clayton sat outside with me while I cleaned, and he found a super small lizard. I’ll leave you with this adorable picture until next time 🙂

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The space in between us…

…has been far too much lately! (The Space In Between Us is a song title, by the way.)
I’m back at college for summer classes, so posting has realllllyyyy slooooowwwwed doooowwwwwn =( I’m sorry for not posting for so long!! I have a lotta blog guilt. I’m really going to make an effort to keep posting, it just won’t be as regularly as before. However, I won’t continue my lengthy apology/intro. I know those get old.

Right now I’m studying for my chemistry class (taking that and Anatomy & Physiology right now) so my mind is buzzing with names of polyatomic ions o_O I never really memorized them in high school, so I have to work HARD to learn them like the back of my hand now.
The chocolate covered raisins I just made are helping a lot =D

Lately I’ve been frustrated with my workouts. Since our race on Saturday (which went really, really well!), I haven’t run. My calves hurt SO bad the next two days (Sun. and Mon.) that I rested them intentionally…but with my new school schedule I would have to run in the dark (5:30am) and I don’t really prefer that plus any time after 7:00am is way too hot to run, so I haven’t run at all, which makes me sad =( Not to mention I feel extremely out of shape (not just because of the running…there are a lot of reasons). I’ve been hit-and-miss lifting weights and biking in the evenings…I really haven’t enjoyed that. Normally, I love biking, but this week it was really hard for me, and I’m not sure why. I’m just feeling kind of so-so about my workouts, like I’m not giving them my all or enjoying them as much as I have in the past.

My plan to kick start my motivation is to do one of Jillian Michael’s DVDs tomorrow morning (which I love/hate because of they make me feel great but they’re HARD), and run on Saturday morning at my favorite time (6:30am)!!

And as for food, I’m also really looking forward to trying a salmon fritatta tomorrow morning! I think I’ll be okay (back to exercise motivation)…I just have to plan better and get used to my new class schedule.

Here are some pics of our meals since the last post. Enjoy!

Good night!

[[John 17:23]]

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Ducks, oatmeal, and cupcakes

I must be in a blogging mood to be writing today’s 3rd post at 1:30 in the afternoon! There’s just so much going on today that another post is already necessary.

Right after this morning’s post, I did take a walk to feed my favorite ducks. Our neighborhood has a couple of ponds close together, and over 30 ducks live in the ponds! I fed them about once a week during spring semester, but I’ve been every day since school is out. My sister thinks I’m crazy for liking ducks so much, but they’re so cute and friendly, too–they come right up to us when we bring food =D




Awwww! They’re so cute!! *clears throat* Okay, let’s talk about food.

Because I missed my between breakfast and lunch snack, I was really hungry at lunch time. So I put off the new macaroni and cheese dish I wanted to make until tonight and made Caitlin’s Warm Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal for lunch.

Doesn’t that look yummy? It was 😉 I loved the way the pancake mix held it all together, but I think I’d try chocolate protein powder next time for more sweetness.
This meal totally cured my apple pie craving!

Vanessa had a quesadilla with white beans, cheese, spinach, and salsa:

And now she’s working on Carrot Cake Cupcakes!! I cannot wait to try those! I think I’ll head to the kitchen to see how they’re coming along…

Have a good afternoon! I’ll see you tonight with my own Mac and Cheese recipe and pictures of CUPCAKES!

[[1 John 4:19]]

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How I plan meals, and how you can, too!

Planning meals is much easier than it sounds, and as a result, you get to try new recipes, eat favorite meals often, have a variety of delicious meals, and eat much, much healthier food.
Planning is a process, but it is simple and efficient, and the more often you do it, the quicker it becomes! Don’t think because I’ve listed a bunch of steps that your meal planning is going to take all day. It’s really fast, trust me. And you only have to do it once a week.
I’ve posted a screenshot of my meal schedule from Google calendar at the bottom for an example.

Let’s get started meal planning!

1. Inventory your cupboard and refrigerator.
Decide if there are any foods that NEED to be eaten this week (fresh veggies, about-to-expire dry/canned goods, raw meat, etc.) and write those down.

2. Bring your notes from step 1 to your computer, and open an Excel spreadsheet. Type in categories for your shopping list. Here’s what mine looks like:

3. Search your cookbooks/online/recipe print-outs (I find a lot of my recipes online/on blogs, so I print them and keep them in a folder) for the foods you already have (from Step 1). Once you finish with those foods, pick out a couple new recipes that you’ve been dying to try.

4. As you flip through your cookbooks/search online, write down in your Excel spreadsheet the other ingredients (and amounts of them!) that you need for each recipe. This way, your shopping list and your list of meals will be finished at the same time.

5. Put your meals on a calendar. I use Google’s online calendar, but you can write it down on paper, too. Here’s mine:

Now you’re all set to go grocery shopping!

Some extra thoughts:
On my calendar, I put the name of cookbook and page number in the “description” spot so I can find the recipe easily when it’s time to cook.
I usually eat leftovers for lunch, or make sandwiches/salads/eggs.

Have fun planning! If you have questions, comment and let me know.

[[1 Corinthians 14:40]]

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Awesome new dinner!

Let’s back up to last night, because dinner was SO delicious it must be shared! We used a recipe from May’s issue of Fitness magazine called Cheesy Turkey Meatballs.

It was really easy to make (Vanessa and I worked together, which cut down on the work) and was done in about half an hour. The recipe calls for mozzarella cheese inside the meatballs to which I said, “Yeah right! Goat is my mozzarella!

Here’s the final product:

After I took the first bite I actually said, “Wow, this is really good!” out loud! lol I’m just sad I couldn’t finish it…this meal was SO filling!

A close-up of the meatballs:

I had a piece of chocolate for dessert afterward, and a small bowl of cereal before bed (a couple hours after eating the huge dinner I was hungry again). In fact, I ate the cereal at the same time I read the Fitnessista’s post on breakfast before bed!

My brother and I ran about 3.8 miles before dinner (it was actually not too muggy outside! But I still sweat like a beast) and I was so glad we did. I almost decided not to, but I asked myself, “Why don’t you want to run?” and I could think of no good reason, whereas when I think about reasons to run there are SO many (I feel amazing after running, I get stronger, I need to train for Miles for Moffitt, etc.).
The only problem was that when I got back from running, my entire body ached…I know I wasn’t using my arms to help me run faster or anything (which is known to make your arms sore) because I ran just like I normally do and normally I’m not sore at all. And I didn’t lift weights the day before, either.

I’m guessing the soreness is because I haven’t been getting enough sleep the last few days (I go to bed late and have a hard time sleeping in. Once I wake up, I stay up because I just don’t fall asleep) and just feel sluggish all over. Number one on my to-do list today is getting to bed by 9pm!

For breakfast today I had a smoothie (typical for summer!! It tastes so good on warm mornings) and a crunchy granola bar on the side! I put almond butter on top ❤

And my sister had her granola bar over a pineapple Choboni with egg whites on the side:

Now I’m headed out for a walk to feed the duckies (I’ll take some pictures for you!) and later today, I’ll put up a post on how I plan meals for the week and grocery shop (two of my favorite “chores”).

I leave you with a picture of our cat looking very smug:

[[John 11:25-26]]

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Recap and a recipe review

So, I had a bunch of words here, but WordPress deleted them >:-/ Anyway, this is gonna be a long post with lots of pictures!!

Like I mentioned in the last post, we visited some out-of-town friends last night and played whiffle ball with their church. It was SO much fun! Even for someone who previously thought she didn’t like whiffle ball…I think I changed my mind! First, our classic “driving picture”:

Whiffle ball!

Me and a soda (not mine…we were taking turns listening to the fizz)

After getting home late-ish (10 is late for me…I love to get up early but that requires getting to sleep on time!), it was hard to get out of bed this morning! But I had a super-important appointment with my little sister (not Vanessa) for an early AM photo shoot. We got some beautiful pictures!

I felt so accomplished after getting her pictures taken and washing my car this morning (it really, really needed it. REALLY bad). Then I started cooking…!
My first recipe was from Shawna over at BalancingMe. I love trying new granola recipes! This one was relatively easy, and it tastes SO good!
On to the pictures:

^^ I didn’t have dried apricots or cherries, so I used cranberries and goji berries instead.

^^ Dry ingredients + fruit (I loved the addition of chia seeds here!)

^^ The “glue” boiling! That was fun to watch =D

While that was baking…I started working on a frittata recipe I found on Shawna’s blog, as well.

Whenever a recipe starts with vegetables sautéed in a skillet, it’s gonna be good =D

I loved the idea of putting quinoa on top! We had the granola bars and frittata for lunch.

The bars turned out SO well! They have a great crunchy texture, but they aren’t hard to chew, and they’re sweet without being TOO sweet. I will definitely make these again, and probably add more coconut (I had a little less than 1 c. to put in) and more dried fruit (and will buy apricots and cherries because they would be so good in this. I wish I’d had them this time!). I actually went back for more granola while I was writing this post…LOL

Up next, I’m gonna write for Story a Day, then read for a while. I’m reading Seasons in Basilicata by David Yeadon, who lived in a obscure little village in Italy for a year and wrote about the people there. I would LOVE to visit Italy one day (hoping to do a bike tour).

We’re planning to run later today when it gets cool outside (yay!)…as training for Miles for Moffitt next Saturday! I can’t wait for this race, partly since when I ran it last year, I had been over training and couldn’t run my best. I’m hoping to do a lot better now since I’m rested. We’re doing the 5 mile race =D How exciting is that? Posting my first race recap for the blog will be so fun!

Talk to ya later!

[[Isaiah 41:10]]

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Paaaaarrrrr-tay!

Good morning! It was easy to get up this morning because it’s the last day of Spring semester! That’s right, it’s final final day (because my last final exam is today…yeah). That means back-to-back psychology and microeconomics exams. Whoohoo. Can’t wait. lol

I had a fruity smoothie and half a WW bagel with butter-stuff on it (I say “stuff” because it’s Country Crock spread…)

In the smoothie:

1 banana
1/3 c. frozen blueberries
5 frozen strawberries
1 1/2 c. skim milk (I use soy or almond sometimes, too)
1/2 T. plain brown rice protein powder
1 t. cocoa powder
packet of truvia
vanilla extract

The cocoa powder tastes really good, but not over chocolate-y.

Today is going to be great!

  1. Get two exams out of the way
  2. Sell back textbooks ($$$$$!)
  3. PICK UP MY MATT BROUWER CD THAT FINALLY CAME IN!!! (He’s a great musician…check him out now!)
  4. Visit friends whom we haven’t seen in weeks!

Have a great day, everyone =D

[[John 10:10-11]]

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