Archive for July, 2013
July 31, 2013
Happy Hump Day ya’ll! Today’s post is coming in a bit later than normal and that’s because the morning and afternoon has absolutely flown!
I woke up early in hopes of knocking out a few assignments for another website I blog for. For those of you who haven’t seen me mention it before, I blog for a wedding photographer in the Orlando area named Victoria Angela. Each day, I go through her weddings and engagement sessions and highlight a photo. Once a week, I spend a few hours highlighting a full wedding or engagement shoot for what I like to call Wedding Wednesdays.
Do you remember when I had Wedding Wednesdays here on the blog? Oh, the memories. Anyways, I mention this for two reasons:
1) To let you in on what I am doing when I say “work” on the computer.
2) To recommend her to anyone looking for a photographer for their upcoming nuptials. She’s wonderful, and yes she travels!
After spending the morning looking at wedding photos (it’s kind of fun to get back in that mode every once in a while!), I got out the door with just enough time to make it to my favorite group fitness class at the gym over lunch.
Except, it wasn’t my favorite. It was a new class called “Strictly Strength” and it was the second time I got surprised with it instead of my normal Fitness Pilates programming.
More of that story coming tomorrow!
Today marks my nineteenth What I Ate Wednesday. I wasn’t sure how the series was going to do here, but since you all seem to like it I am going to keep on rolling with it… as long as Jenn keeps hosting!
What I Ate
My morning started out with a few old faithfuls.
Breakfast obviously included a big ‘ol cup of coffee, but this time it was filled with freshly grounded Creme Brulee and Hazelnut beans from BIGGBY Coffee. Ummm… delicious.
Craving a breakfast sandwich, the one I used to make almost every single morning for a while made it’s return: 1 whole wheat English muffin topped with organic blackberry jelly, scrambled egg whites, and two slices of Jennie-O turkey bacon. It may sound weird, but the sweet jelly adds so much sweetness and flavor.
Considerably full, I spent the rest of my morning downstairs on the computer and only popped back upstairs for a snack around lunch time.
Fresh fruit has been calling to me lately! I really can’t seem to get enough of it. I was extra excited to see these chile kiwis on sale at 5 for $3 at the grocery store this week!
Lunch wasn’t made until almost dinner time, which has been turning into a habit lately. I swear, my stomach is starting to have a mind of it’s own. I went from clearing out snacks all together to gorging in them enough to not want to eat full meals.
Craving yet another monster salad, this one started with a mix of romaine and spring mix lettuce. I made enough to have a few extra platefuls left over and topped the lettuce with carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes (both red and yellow), red peppers, black olives, cracked pepper deli turkey, a little bit of shredded cheese, a little bit of grapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing, and ground pepper.
Scott seems to think all of my salads have included the same vegetables lately, and I don’t disagree with him. For now, this is the salad that makes me happy so I will continue to make it!
Directly after I cleaned up my salad mess, I dove my spoon into Original NuttZo Nut & Seed Butter and enjoyed
one, two, three, four spoonfuls. Whoops!
In case you missed my review yesterday, this stuff is ridiculously good. And addicting. Clearly.
Another snack not pictured is a few handfuls (yes, handfuls) of Reduced-fat Triscuit crackers dipped into Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. I’m pretty sure I would marry that stuff if it was an option.
I wrapped up my day by trying out a new workout I put together made for traveling. I am going out of town this weekend and again next week, so I will be sure to share what it is and the video to go along with it very soon!
I wasn’t too sure about it, but the Apple Mango Strawberry combination was SO good. It wasn’t as “gel-y” as I was expecting, and actually had more of an applesauce consistency. I really liked it!
After a shower, I couldn’t get back in the kitchen fast enough to make a smoothie. Like I said, fruit has been calling to me this summer!
This one included: frozen strawberries, fresh blueberries, unsweetened almond milk, low-fat cottage cheese, and 1 scoop of White Chocolate Designer Whey Protein Powder.
The combination of the white chocolate, the cottage cheese and the berries made it taste like cheesecake. I can’t wait to recreate it and give you real measurements!
No dessert last night, either, considering I pretty much snacked my face off the entire day.
Well, friends… I guess that just about wraps it up. Hope you all have a great rest of your Wednesday. See you tomorrow!
• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!
• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.
July 30, 2013
I have been going a bit nuts lately. Figuratively and “Really?” moments aside, today I am talking about the literal ones found in nut butter!
I love all forms of peanut butter. Lets just go ahead and throw that out there. I only buy organic butters, and love to spice my pantry up by switching out regular peanut for almond, hazelnut, and chocolate peanut butter every now and then.
I have seen a lot of nut, seed, and sun butters floating around lately, so when I got the opportunity to receive a jar of NuttZo nut & seed butter to review, I quickly raised my hand (high!) for the opportunity.
Behind the Brand
NuttZo is founded and run by philanthropist, mom, wife, foodie, and fitness enthusiast Danielle. After adopting two boys from the Ukraine who were vitamin deficient, she became focused on preparing creative, super-nutritious food, and NuttZo has been her favorite creation yet.
NuttZo comes in three different flavors, both in creamy and crunchy versions: Original, Chocolate, and Peanut Free. I was excited to receive the original flavor, but still have my eye out for the others!
I noticed the packaging right away. At first I thought, “uh oh, mine’s backwards!” No… they are all like that, Heather. (Nuttz, right?) They are packed this way to create a “no mess stir,” which makes complete sense.
NuttZo only uses organic ingredients including peanuts, almonds, hazelnut, cashews, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and Peruvian dark chocolate.
Although I am not one that needs convincing, here is why you should incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet:
• Peanuts provide over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients and are a good source of niacin, folate, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese and phosphorus. They also are naturally free of trans-fats and sodium, and contain about 25% protein.
• Almonds are a boost of protein and a helpful dose of the antioxidant Vitamin E!
• Hazelnut, also known as Vitamin B9, has been studied for its positive effect on the cardiovascular system and it is especially important for pregnant women in helping to reduce the incidence of neural tube birth defects.
• Cashews are high in magnesium and manganese, and are a good source of selenium and zinc. The magnesium in cashews works to strengthen the digestion and improve flexibility, while manganese and selenium work together to rid the body of harmful oxidized cholesterol.
And that’s just four of them. Read more about the benefits of eating all of the nuts and seeds found in NuttZo!
Nuts and seeds. Who knew? I love ‘em, and appreciate products that combine the best of the best for optimal nutrition. “Each nut and seed ingredient carries a nutritional profile that when combined together creates a knock out punch of superfood of nutrition in every spoonful.”
The day I received my jar, I did what the majority of you would do and ate a big ‘ol spoonful. While stirring it (after), I noticed the consistency was thick enough to spread, but creamy enough to drizzle.
When breakfast came around the next morning, I smeared a serving of it on top of two Kashi waffles and sprinkled them with chia seeds… not like I needed any more of those, but hey, they looked pretty.
I made protein + oat pancakes the following morning and smeared the nut butter all over it.
It tasted good, but I went back and drizzled a little agave nectar on it for extra sweetness!
Over the past few weeks, I have completely replaced my need for peanut butter with nut butter. I couldn’t feel better about it, and finally believe I am eating a “healthy fat”.
In case the pictures didn’t do it for you, here are some good to know facts about NuttZo.
Nutritional Facts + Benefits
• 2 Tbsp. of NuttZo contains 50% or 75% of your daily value of ALA Omega-3s.
• All 3 SKUs are 100% organic certified.
• Featured on the Dr. Oz Show twice. “NuttZo Original is ‘the #1 thing he can’t live without.’”
• 1% of gross sales are donated to Project Left Behind, supporting orphans around the world.
• New glass jar design, which is better for you and the environment!
For being something I can replace peanut butter with, I am very happy with the taste and the nutrition on the label. Not only is every single ingredient organic, but there is only 1-2 grams of sugar and 6-7 grams of protein (depending on the flavor) in every serving.
NuttZo can be purchased online or at Whole Foods Markets across the US, as well as a few other gourmet food retailers. Prices range from $12.99 – $19.99 a jar, which seems expensive, but is actually comparable to all the other organic nut butters out there!
Although there are plenty of recipes to use NuttZo in, my favorite way to enjoy this butter has been straight out of the jar. Oops! Hey… with approval from Dr. Oz I’m sticking to it.
Have you ever tried a nut or seed butter before?
What is your favorite kind?
*Disclaimer: I was provided with this product by NuttZo, free of charge, through my ambassadorship with FitFluential. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!
July 29, 2013
Let’s talk the weekend. Was yours marvelous?
Mine was busy, busy, then cozy and comfortable. I feel like that is the perfect combination: packed with some work (but mostly fun!) events, then nice and slow with some family R&R time. After the crazy long week both Scott and I had, I’ll take it!
Another few days of go, go, go and we might have lost our minds.
(If we didn’t already.)
About a month ago, I stumbled upon a weekend recap series Katie hosts called Marvelous in My Monday. It makes Monday a little easier to transition into, and gives me an excuse to highlight my weekend with you, so I plan to jump on the MIMM train every now and then when I have something interesting to talk about. Andddd, here we go!
MIMM – Weekend Happenings
Where did we last leave off? Oh yeah… Friday night shenanigans with the party bus situation. Annoying, but that still didn’t ruin our fun! I enjoyed the rest of the night hanging with friends, and got home a few hours past my bedtime.
Saturday morning started extra early with a 6:30 a.m. airport pick-up time for Scott. We got home about an hour later and spent the next few unwinding before having to get ready for a Pistons event, followed by celebrating another set of friend birthdays. Starting with a night out Thursday, I guess you could say I made up for “not doing much socially” the last few weeks all in one weekend!
Running on a total of six hours of sleep in two nights (yikes!), both Scott and I set out early for a Sunday morning appearance at the Detroit Riverfront.
(Post extra-large cup of coffee!)
We arrived downtown a few minutes before 8 a.m. to help kick off the 2nd Annual Hike From the Heart 5K Walk-a-thon.
While waiting for walkers to arrive, we had a few extra minutes to explore the riverfront. Carousel ride, anyone?
The kick off to the walk started a few minutes later, and we gathered back stage to wait for our turn on it. In the mean time, we became highly entertained by the antics of our crazy mascot, HOOPER. Here he is doing “yoga” as part of the group warm-up.
Directly after the yoga stretch, we hopped on stage and helped lead the Zumba dance warm-up, which turned out to be a blast!
I always love Zumba. I never think to take classes at the gym, but the handful of times I have done it, I always leave with the biggest smile of my face. It’s so much fun!
We ended up leaving a bit early, and as soon as I changed and offered to make lunch for us, I found Scott already passed out and snoozing upstairs. Listening to my body, I snuggled on in as well and woke up a few hours later ready to eat!
I couldn’t seem to get enough water, either. Whenever I take naps, I always wake up feeling dehydrated. Coconut water usually makes me feel better, and we have both been loving this O.N.E. brand lately.
Scott has been quite the travel bee this month, and it hasn’t seemed to slow down. Enjoying some much needed afternoon “vegging” and rest seemed perfect for the remainder of our afternoon plans.
(Umm… why does Cali look ginormous in this picture? Hello, Godzilla kitty!)
After a few episodes of Big Brother (yes,
Scott has we have a minor obsession with reality television), we both felt the need to do something productive and get our bodies moving. Scott got invited to play basketball with some friends, so I spent the rest of the night cleaning up the house and running outside.
I don’t know where summer is hiding, but it certainly isn’t here anymore! The last few days have been cloudy, rainy, and chilly up here in Michigan.
I initially planned to make a trip to the gym, but that thought turned into wanting to do a run around a nearby neighborhood instead.
With a few sprinkles of rain here and there, I was grateful to have my new ATV19 all-terrain running shoes on. No slips!
Five miles later, I came inside, grabbed Roadie, and took him with me on a long cool-down walk.
While heading upstairs to shower, I casually mentioned to Scott how nice it would be to come back downstairs to a smoothie for dinner. Sometimes, just sometimes he gets the hint!
While it isn’t what I would normally choose to put in a post-run smoothie, it was delicious and I give him credit for making one for each of us!
His creation: fat-free raspberry sherbert, fresh blueberries, frozen mangoes, frozen cherries, and coconut water.
I was still a little hungry, so finished the night off with one of my favorite chocolate protein bars.
We spent the next two hours catching up on more of our recorded shows. For a good twenty minutes, I also spent some quality time with my foam roller, followed by another twenty minutes of stretching.
Sometimes, something that sounds as lame as “doing nothing” can turn my weekend into a marvelous one.
Rest + family snuggle time + catching up on some sleep + running outside + foam rolling + stretching = the best Sunday I have had in a while.
Hope you are having a great start to your week! Anything fun or marvelous about your weekend? Do share!
July 27, 2013
Happy Saturday! Ours is a rainy and lazy one as of right now.
After a long night out with friends, and a 6:30 a.m. airport pick-up time for Scott (an hour away from home), I am enjoying every minute of it before a work event, birthday party, then early morning appearance tomorrow!
Sometimes you just need a few hours to kick your feet up and do nothing on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Today’s post is kind of different, but hopefully entertaining. There have been a few things that have happened in my life recently that are in no way dramatic, or big deals, but just make me take a step back and say… “Really?”
Scott gets really irritated when I say the phrase, and don’t even get him started on when I say “Seriously?”. He gets an annoyed look on his face and cringes every time. Sometimes I just can’t help it.
I feel like the most random stuff happens to me!
Most of the time, I am simply amused by it, and there have been a handful of “Really?” moments in my life lately that I need to share with you.
This week was the first time I have actually been out socially in quite some time. While getting ready for a friend’s birthday last night, I was putting my makeup and hair stuff away and getting ready to walk out the door. I only realized I didn’t zip the section that holds my eyeshadow in my makeup case when my entire palate of MAC eyeshadow fell on the floor and shattered everywhere.
All of the missing shades are still happily resting on the carpet. Remember how we just got our carpets cleaned this week? Gooood timing.
I figured I would give it a shot today, and that I might be able to salvage some of my colors.
Well, I could have tried it… if my animals didn’t see the broken eye shadow clumps as play toys and didn’t smear them all over the wood and carpet in our bedroom and closet.
When I got home last night, I walked into our bedroom and thought someone had actually wiped their butt all over the carpet. Nope, just eyeshadow. Everywhere. Pretty epic.
Speaking of my night out, it was a fun one! It was great to hang out and celebrate with friends, but we for sure had a few “Really?” moments as the night progressed.
The best one was the party bus we scheduled to pick us up and take us to her birthday venue broke down on the way over. After being a half an hour late, the company showed up with a sketchy van and a car instead. Like a regular car. I was one of those who rode in the car, and as soon as we got in the driver told us the blinkers didn’t work, he was missing the light that lights up the license plate, and that he hoped that we didn’t get pulled over on the way there. Then, he asked us where we were going and if we knew how to get there.
I mean… did we or did we not hire you to know this information? And, did we not pay a pretty penny to rent this so called party bus to take us (as a group) to and from our fun night out? “Really?”
It really wasn’t that big of a deal… but how unprofessional is that? Things like that really irritate me.
Let’s back up a little bit. I don’t ever do this, but I actually posted a small rant on Facebook yesterday about e-mail hacking.
In a nutshell, someone or a few someones have been trying to hack me for years. Read above for details (the free porn was the best one yet), but the latest kicker happened on Snap Chat.
I actually avoided Snap Chat for a long time. I saw it as a pointless app, when I could just text someone if I wanted to send them a message. One day, my friends finally talked me into downloading it, and I have to admit that I was on it quite a bit. I am a complete goof ball, and this was a great way to send funny photos, videos, and even “Really?” moments to friends.
Checking on me with concern, I got a message from my friend the other day asking about my recent activity on Snap Chat. To make a long story short, someone hacked into my account, snapped almost my entire contact list a picture of “cleavage” that obviously wasn’t mine, and tried to take screen shots of people’s responses.
Everyone I asked about it thought it was really odd, then had a laugh about it, but for the most part were wondering what was going on with me. Well, it wasn’t me. It was probably the perv who tried to send out adult links from my old email, or even the guy who tried to sell “iPadd 2′s” (<- still kills me) on my Facebook page a few years back.
It is a little re-assuring to hear some of my friends saying they are also having problems with Yahoo lately. I guess it’s not just me. The number of “reset your password” emails I have gotten not only from Yahoo, but from Snap Chat and Photobucket, however, is ridiculous.
But that’s enough ranting.
I mainly wanted to share these things with you because I am past the point of being irritated, and more onto being amused.
To any Saturday Night Live Fans out there, you might remember a segment of Weekend Update called “Really?” With Seth and Amy. This might have been where the whole “Really?” phrase came from.
Every now and then, the duo sat down to chat about something that just doesn’t seem right in the world, and mostly called out political figures or companies that were doing something controversial in the news. I thought the segment was hilarious, and Scott and I still laugh at them when we catch a re-run on from time to time. Here’s a great one about the Swine Flu.
To close, I will share one of my best “Really?” moments yet. I debated back and forth on this one, and against my better judgement am going to share it with you.
Do you remember how I mentioned I sewed a bra into my dancer audition top?
I needed something more in the top to feel more secure as I danced, and the cups I chose had some padding in it, and some of it was gel. Apparently when I sewed each cup in my bathing suit top, I wasn’t very careful with the placement of my stitches. Right before going to bed the night before, I realized the cups were leaking. Not very bad, but they both were popped.
Instead of freaking out, I simply sewed in a layer of tape to hold everything in place. No harm no foul… or so I thought.
The morning of the audition, I showed up with my yellow tank top over my dance top. Within a few minutes of talking with friends, one of them asked what was all over my top. It was the gel leaking through! It literally looked like I was nursing, and leaking milk. Wonderful.
I spent the rest of the audition trying not to think about it. Every so often, I used my sweatshirt to wipe the gel that had run down to my stomach, and went on my way. But…. “Really?”
After wearing the outfit for two days, I un-stiched the cups, saturated the top in stain remover (for both the gel and spray tan removal), and washed it inside out on the delicate cycle. It ended up coming out sparkly clean, but I just couldn’t believe my luck with it.
It totally reminded me of the Will & Grace episode when Grace wears a water bra to look more endowed. When she went to hug someone, they popped and it cuts to what you see below.
I hope this post provided you with a few smiles and at least some degree of entertainment. It’s times like these where I am glad I have a blog to share stories to people, because they are just too good not to.
Hope you have a wonderful rest of your Saturday!
Question of the Day
• What is your best “Really?” moment? I’m dying to know!