Monthly Archives: November 2014

Eggnog Oatmeal & Ice Skating

Good morning!

It was an early one for me this morning, I really think I have what I like to call “reverse insomnia”.  Once my brain starts going in the morning I can’t make it stop. But trust me I’ll be useless by 8pm tonight.

About a week ago I made an impulse buy at the grocery store when I saw this festive eggnog calling out to me. So I woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to put it to good use, but I also want to use ingredients I already have.  That’s when I came up with this simple and easy Eggnog Oatmeal using the ingredients below, and it really hit the spot:

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I always have oatmeal and frozen berries on hand because they are super healthy and won’t go bad (Dark Sweet Cherries are my favorite)

Eggnog Dark Cherry Oatmeal

-1/2 cup old fashioned oats

– 1 tsp chia seeds

– Dark sweet cherries (as desired)

– Cinnamon (as desired)

– 1/4 c. Eggnog

– 1/2 c. milk (I used almond-coconut milk)

Place oats and chia seeds in a bowl and cover with water (just barely cover). Microwave for 2 minutes on high. Add cherries, cinnamon, and eggnog – if cherries are frozen, stir and microwave for another minute. Add milk and another sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired.  The finished product isn’t exactly beautiful, but I promise it’s delicious.

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I enjoyed mine with a small glass of orange juice and a ton of coffee.

I’m sure this would be good with any fruit combination, and if it’s still not sweet enough for your taste a sprinkle of sugar or honey wouldn’t hurt 🙂

Last night we went ice skating to get into the holiday spirit.  If you are in Pittsburgh and have never visited the outdoor ice arena at market square, I would highly recommend it.  A word of caution – the line was pretty long (we stood in line for about an hour), so it’s best for a night that you don’t have anything else going on.  (But it was also almost 50 degrees yesterday, so maybe that had to do with the high volume of people wanting to get their skate on.) We actually didn’t mind the wait though, there is a concession stand where you could get a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy listening to the Christmas music and absorb the festive atmosphere.

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They were also offering free horse drawn carriage rides and a number of other displays that are open to the public.

I’m hoping today will consist of Christmas decorating and meal planning for the week!

What do you do to get into the holiday spirit?

A Few Indulgences, and Getting Back on Track

Hello, hello!

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast and perhaps even kicked off your holiday shopping.  I know I ended up with a huge plate of delicious food as well as some Black Friday deals.

It was hard to choose a favorite side this year, but I think the stuffing was what really hit the spot.

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This doesn’t even include the delicious slice of pumpkin pie that I devoured.  And I’m not the only one who may have overindulged…

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I’m not usually one to go wild on Black Friday, but for some reason this year I kind of got into the madness. With all the online deals it’s much easier to fall into the shopping vortex.  Some of the awesome online Black Friday deals I found (that are still going on!):

Fabletics – 2 tops for $19.95 and 2 leggings for $49.95.  I signed up for Fabletics about 2 months ago and everything I have ordered I have really loved the fit and the quality. These are great outfits for any workout, but I love the leggings for yoga.  And since I wear leggings as pants pretty much every chance I get, I love that they are a great everyday casual look. The only downfall I have found is that certain colors/patterns seem to be sold out often.

North Face Triclimate Jacket – I ordered this jacket in greystone / dapple grey / purple sage.  I love that it can be used as a light jacket or a snow jacket for skiing. The last winter coat I got was a Columbia jacket in high school…. and it’s still in great shape, but after 10 plus years I think it’s finally time for a change.

Express – yesterday everything at Express was 50% off, so naturally I had to order something.  I shop at Express for most of my work attire, and it holds up pretty well.  I’m not going to say I haven’t shrunk a shirt or two, but for my purposes Express gets me through the work week affordably and fashionably.  So naturally, I rationalized the need to buy a new pair of work pants at half price.  The Barely Boot Columnist pant is my favorite and I would highly recommend it. Although the 50% off everything has passed, there are still some great deals going on.

Columbia Boots – Ok, I can’t say this is the best price I’ve ever seen on a pair of boots.. but for someone who is in the market for a warm and functional pair of boots.. any deal is a good deal.  I love the Women’s Minx Mid II in winter white / silver sage, but I am a little nervous about the color, so I might be leaning toward the shale. (And if they last anywhere near the amount of time my last winter coat has lasted, the price isn’t too bad – $9 a year??). I still haven’t made the purchase yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

So I think it’s safe to say that I have officially over-indulged… and we have a long way to go until New Years. My goal now is to survive the turkey/stuffing withdrawal, get a workout in, and implement a ‘no shopping’ policy until after Christmas.

Sometimes after a binge (whether it’s food or money) it makes me feel a whole lot better just to develop a game plan going forward.  Take a look at upcoming events, expenses, indulgent meals, etc. and map out a way to be prepared. This technique usually works for me, whether it’s money or calories. But whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up.  Everything is good in moderation!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving side?

What awesome Black Friday deals did you find this year?

How do you get back on track after a food or shopping binge?

The Biggest Fitness Day of the Year?

First thing is first, Happy Thanksgiving!! If you are reading this I hope you are prepping for a day filled with delicious food and quality time with loved ones.

As I was watching the news this morning and drinking my coffee (I love mornings, I know it’s not normal), there was a segment claiming that Thanksgiving is now the biggest fitness day of the year. All this time I’ve been hearing and repeating the age-old “the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest drinking night of the year”, so this came as a surprise to me.

So now I wonder… has the world really become a place where we value health and fitness over binge drinking?  Am I just getting old? or is someone lying to us? …this is the same place where stores are now opening at 5pm on Thanksgiving day…

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Let’s hope for the first option.  It seems like many gyms this year have special Thanksgiving morning classes, which is awesome.  I was planning to go to hot yoga, but I had to re-arrange a few things so I’m going to try to squeeze in a circuit workout. Something like the 4th workout on this website!

I also thought I would share this awesome Thanksgiving Survival Guide from Spark People, if you’re looking for some additional tips to survive all of the glorious food.

Regardless of whether you work out today or not, let’s all just stay calm and wear our stretchy pants. 🙂

A Pleasant Surprise (and Tomorrow’s “Friday”!)

Hello there!

I was in for a pleasant surprise when I opened my mail last night (ok, I guess it wasn’t too much of a surprise).  I had forgotten that a couple weeks ago I ordered a ‘Pens & Paws’ 2015 calendar to support the Animal Rescue League in Pittsburgh. (And also because what is better than hockey players and cute fuzzy animals??)

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So my day was off to a good start! 2015 Here I come!!

For breakfast I have been craving the same thing over and over and over again… a whole grain English muffin with Justin’s vanilla almond butter and a small glass of orange juice (which I forgot to include in my picture, whoops!):

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For lunch I used some leftover turkey from friendsgiving to make a salad with potato fries I made ahead of time and mustard as dressing with a sliced Granny Smith apple on the side:

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I also enjoyed a banana with a few handfuls of almonds and macadamia nuts and my favorite green tea for an afternoon snack:

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Dinner consisted of leftover Spicy Thai Pumpkin Butternut Ramen. (I even pureed my own pumpkin! But alas, I could not find a chili pepper.. so I had to substitute jalapeños)

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And now I’m headed out the door to a spinning class! I could not wake up in time for the 45 minute class this morning, so I am paying the price by having to take the hour long class this evening.

I hope your having a great day! Just think… tomorrow is Friday already, whoop whoop!

Motivation Monday

Happy Monday!

And it’s a short work week, yay!  But with the short week and all of the fun holiday plans it’s hard to stay motivated, so I needed a little motivation myself.  I usually try to plan my weekly workouts and a few dinner meals on Monday morning (a little late today, but better late than never).

This is what my week is shaping up to look like:

Monday – circuit workout (Body Works Plus Abs class at LA Fitness)

Tuesday – 45 minute AM spinning class

Wednesday – circuit workout (Pinterest is a great source to find workouts to take to the gym with you)

Thursday – hot yoga class

Friday – turkey trot

Saturday – run 5 miles

Sunday – rest

You may be wondering why the turkey trot falls on black Friday… My family is celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday this year to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules, so I have created my own turkey trot (and I may also be the only one running in it) 🙂

I usually try to plan my running days around the weather and alternate cardio and strength days.

Now to stick to the plan…

I hope your week is off to a good start!

The Beginning of a Very Beautiful Relationship

Welcome to Finance & Fitness!

A blog sharing my love of fitness, food, and fun… with a spin.  I’m sure you are all aware of the increasing obsession with health and wellness, and I’m sure you are also well aware of the increasing impact on your wallet.  I am a CPA by trade, so I suppose you could call me a little frugal (although I’m not sure my boyfriend would agree with that assessment – but everything is relative, right??). My vision for Finance & Fitness is a place where I can provide tips and options to be healthy and fit without breaking the bank, while sharing my life and fun experiences along the way.  What’s not to love, right?

But first, let’s clarify something – while I am a strong advocate that fitness and finance are integral parts of everyday life, – I am also a strong believer that everything should be done and enjoyed in moderation. So this blog will inevitably include chocolate, the occasional cheesecake, way more pizza than any human should probably ever consume, as well as a few a decent amount of cheat days (hey! rest days are important too).

While I am constantly reading about exercise, food, and wellness I am NOT a registered dietitian, doctor, or fitness expert.  All opinions are my own, and they are just that – opinions (even though we all know everything found on the internet is fact). Any changes to your diet or exercise regimen should be discussed with a professional.

So let’s do this thang! I’m so glad you are here and I hope you will stick around!