Archive for February, 2013
February 27, 2013
Holy moly… has there been a lot going on since I have last checked in with you! All in a weekend’s (and beginning of the week’s) work in entertainment, I guess.
Scott had a handful of buddies in town to celebrate the Detroit Piston’s Mascot HOOPER‘s Birthday on Saturday, and we had the lovely task of entertaining them all for a few days.
When I say task, I really do mean it. Picture a group of guys full of constant energy all together in the same place to perform and cause havoc among unsuspecting Pistons fans.
That is the best way I can describe it!
The madness continued on Monday with another home game, which was fun, but then I woke up yesterday with extreme stomach pain. I felt better as the day went on, but did not have much of an appetite for anything besides chocolate. Perfect.
Perhaps my stomach spasms are resurfacing?
To be honest, I did not really feel like doing much of anything, but forced myself to go out and get groceries and supplies for the upcoming week. There was talk of a blizzard coming in on the radio, and I wanted to be prepared.
First stop = Starbucks.
I tried the new Vanilla Spice Latte with skim milk and no whip, which came to exactly 200 calories. It was the perfect pick me up to get me goin’ and about my day.
Five Below Fitness
Second stop = Five Below.
I had never heard about this store until we moved up north, mainly because they do not exist in Florida (boo!). There are currently eighteen locations throughout the United States, with more stores opening very soon.
If you happen to live near one, I encourage you check it out! I have already stumbled upon a TON of great finds there on my two trips into the store.
My first time in, I noticed they have a pretty impressive fitness equipment corner, and made a mental note to revisit it soon. Thinking I might be stuck indoors for a few days because of the weather, I figured yesterday was a great time to invest in a few fitness staples and ended up leaving with a cart full of goodies!
Everything you see above cost less than $40! That includes a fitness ball (that I usually see going for about $25) for $4 and a yoga mat (usually $25+) for $5! Also in my cart was a massage ball (which Roadie will tell you is actually his new toy), resistance bands, a stretching band, a set of 5 pound dumbbell weights, and a weighted jump rope.
When the lady checking me out gave me my total of $39.98 you would have thought I won the lottery, and I might have actually squealed. I was so excited!
Italian Chicken Sausage Tortellini Soup
Third stop = Target.
With talks of a blizzard, I wanted to stock up with paper products, canned foods, drinks, bread, and other items that could get us through a few days without power. Growing up in Florida, I know a thing or two about preparing for a storm, so I felt pretty confident in what I walked out with.
I also picked up enough ingredients to make a few different soups for the week. First up was an Italian Chicken Sausage Tortellini Soup.
I had been eyeing this Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup recipe for a while, and finally decided to go for it. I got all of the ingredients (after a fourth stop to Meijer), and substituted the Italian turkey sausage for Italian chicken sausage. Right when I was putting everything away at home, my stomach started acting up again. Not being able to eat much during the day did not help with my weak knees, so I decided to rest for a little while until Scott got home.
Eventually, I got up and moving again and together we made dinner together. When I say “together,” I really mean he made it while I cleaned up and kept him company.
We sided the soup with a quick cucumber, tomato and onion salad.
It was very refreshing and includes the ingredients I just listed (diced), a little bit of lettuce, and fresh dill seasoning all tossed together in a little bit of balsamic vinegar and a few drops of grape seed oil.
It was very light and delicious, and I enjoyed the leftovers of both for lunch today.
As for the blizzard, I can not really say we have experienced one this time. I woke up to a beautiful white blanket of snow, which just a few inches covering the ground.
Even a few inches seems like a lot to this southerner, but I have to admit that I am loving it. (On days when I get to stay inside and enjoy it!)
I plan to spend the rest of the evening catching up on some work, then lounging with the husband. We have a few more soups on deck cook for the week, and might even venture out to another new recipe tonight.
I am hoping that by tomorrow my stomach starts liking me again, and I can get back into a normal fitness routine. Talk to you guys then, and have a great night!
February 25, 2013
Barbequing is very popular to do outside during the warmer months, but can be just as easy to cook inside on your stove top during the colder ones.
Now that we are living up north and have experienced a true winter season, I am having to come up with alternate ways of cooking some of our favorite dinners I usually hand off to my husband to cook on the grill.
I have always enjoyed pulled chicken barbeque, and this is an extremely simple recipe you can start and serve in just over a half hour’s time.
Served with the traditional baked bean side, I also like to enjoy my barbeque with a lean side of sauteed or steamed vegetables. Served on a whole wheat bun, half of one, or bun-less, this recipe could be considered part of the “healthier” side of the barbeque category.
Let’s get to it!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper (to taste)
14 Tbsp. (a little less than 1 cup) KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce
6 hamburger buns (I used whole wheat)
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Add chicken breasts, salt and pepper to boiling water and let cook for about 30 minutes.
(Time will vary depending on chicken size, so make sure it is thoroughly cooked all the way through.)
2. Once chicken is cooked, use a fork to pull meat apart and shred.
(Try to shred into thick pieces to avoid it from turning mushy.)
3. Place pulled chicken in a large bowl. Add just under 1 cup or about 14 Tbsp. of BBQ sauce. Toss until chicken is coated.
4. Serve alone, or on top of buns. You may choose to toast buns and adorn with pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion, and/or other sandwich sides.
Cook chicken breasts by dropping them into boiling water and let cook for about 30 minutes.
While waiting for chicken, start preparing your sides.
(I like to enjoy barbeque with a side of baked beans and sauteed vegetables.)
Once chicken is cooked, use a fork to pull meat apart and shred.
(Try to shred into thick pieces to avoid it from turning mushy.)
Place pulled chicken in a large bowl.
Add just under 1 cup or about 14 Tbsp. of BBQ sauce.
Toss until chicken is coated.
Toast hamburger buns, if desired.
Serve alone, or on top of buns.
You may choose to adorn with pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion, and/or other sandwich sides.
Enjoy accompanied by your sides of choice!
February 22, 2013
This morning produced all of the standards: a few hours at the computer, a little bit of tidying around the house, a big cup of coffee, and a warm breakfast.
It is snowing outside today, and when I open the blinds to see it my body instantly goes into bundle mode. This includes wrapping myself up in a blanket, and holding a warm cup of coffee.
Today, I impressed myself when I did those things while making breakfast. Similar to Wednesday’s breakfast, I scrambled a few egg whites with diced ham, red and green peppers, and shredded cheese with two slices of Jennie-O turkey bacon on the side.
For the next few hours, I am trying to knock out as much as I can so I do not need to get back on the computer this weekend. I said trying. Some
people animals around here make staying productive while sitting a little challenging!
Every morning – like clockwork – Aspen will be downstairs and on my lap within five minutes of me heading that way. I love her, but having her on my lap for the majority of my day gets a little excessive. Anyone who has met my cats knows how involved they are in our lives, and how they do not have the typical “I’m better than you sitting in this corner away from you” attitude. Lap cats to the extreme!
This situation reminds me of a funny cartoon I stumbled upon yesterday about a dog who constantly needs to be loved on and touching his owners.
*Cough, cough… Roadie!*
There is no exaggeration in me saying this happens to us on a daily basis.
The little guy thinks he is human, I swear.
Actually… Scott and I often joke that we are not sure if he thinks he is one of us, or a cat, since that is what he is surrounded by. People wonder why we have not started having children yet, and my answer is always the same… because we already have three furry, needy ones!
Sometimes I wonder how our lives would be different without our animals.
Our responsibilities would be greatly cut down at home, but I think I would feel so lost without them! Whenever I am having a rough day or need some snuggles, there they are. Whenever I am cooking something in the kitchen, there they are. Whenever Scott and I are turning in for the night, there they are. Ha, they definitely make spending time at home a little more comical and fun.
I know we are way to lenient with them when it comes to letting them lay and sit wherever they please. I just cannot say no to those precious puppy dog and Puss in Boots eyes…
I am actually a little sad writing about Roadie today, because got picked up last night to stay with a friend for the weekend. Scott has a handful of friends flying into to town today for an event at work tomorrow, and she has been wanting to dog-sit for a while, so it worked out for the both of us.
I will get him back Sunday night, but it always feels weird when he is not around. Things are a little to quiet around here.
Well, I need to get moving. I still have some things to knock out before a trip to the airport…. and that is a trip to the airport in the snowwwww. (Yikes.)
Have a great weekend!
February 21, 2013
After yesterday’s breakfast photo on Instagram got more responses and shares than expected, I decided to share the details with you here.
Raise your hand if you like Greek yogurt. (Me!) Raise your hand if you like waffles. (Me!) Raise your hand if you want a healthier way to eat them without missing the maple syrup. (Pick Meeee!)
There are so many different things you can do with Greek yogurt, and you will always find at least a few flavors stocked in our refrigerator. I still have small stack of the new low-fat Banana flavored Chobani Greek Yogurts in the refrigerator, and decided yesterday was the day to try something new.
I give you the Greek Yogurt Peach Parfait Waffle:
Two gluten-free waffles smeared with a serving of Banana Chobani Greek yogurt, then topped with a diced peach.
I was about two seconds away from sprinkling everything with chia seeds or granola, but enjoyed the simplicity of this look instead. If you are craving something a little sweeter, you could always drizzle everything with honey or agave nectar. With the sweet juiciness of the peach, I did not miss the syrup, honey, or anything else for that matter. New favorite right here!
Some of you have asked me how I like Van’s Gluten-Free waffles. When at the store, I bought the most original flavored version, which I think is a true test to the brand.
I have not tried them on their own, or dressed in butter or syrup, but I will say that they were quite enjoyable as the base of a fruit parfait. Most of you already know I do not need to eat gluten-free, but like to throw a few GF products into my diet every now and then.
Next time I will have to try another flavor and give you a better answer!
New Elliptical Machine
After my hour long Fitness Pilates class yesterday, my legs were pretty tired. I knew I wanted to do something for a little bit of extra cardio, so I gave a new elliptical machine a shot.
Lifetime Fitness has about a gagillion cardio machines to choose from, but for some reason I tend to stick to the same row of treadmills and ellipticals every time. Trying something new, I hopped on the Precor Elliptical Adaptive Motion Trainer.
When it comes to these types of machines, I am absolutely clueless on the differences and which ones work best for me. I need to research it a little more, or simply ask the personal trainers that walk around every day.
The main difference I noticed right away was the pedals. They had a pocket to slip my sneakers into on each one, which was new and reminded me of a spinning machine.
I got on, pressed the green quickstart button, and tried to get my legs going. I am still not sure if my technique was correct, because the guy next to me was flying and working up a sweat while I was just going through the motions.
After about five minutes, I was still trying to get my legs moving in different ways, but just felt like the machine was doing all of the work for me. I really don’t like that.
I have not completely given up on the machine yet, but will definitely need help figuring it out the next time I attempt it! I shared the above photo (again) on Instgram yesterday, and got some mixed reviews. Some of you loathe the thought it, while others said it was their favorite cardio machine. Show me your ways!
For the remainder of the day, I am locking myself inside the house, with the exception of a trip to the grocery store. I have a house to clean and lot of assignments to catch up on before some of Scott’s friends fly in for the weekend. Ohhhhh boy are we all in for a treat. Hope to share some stories and photos with you soon!
Questions of the Day
• Are you a fan of Van’s waffles? Thoughts on regular and/or gluten-free?
• Do you like this version of the elliptical machine? If so, do you have any tips on how to use it and like it?