Monthly Archives: January 2015

Some Days You Just Gotta Sleep In

Happy Friday!

I’m so pumped that we finally made it to the weekend.  I don’t think I’m alone when I say that Friday is basically the weekend.  What’s 8 hours of work when you don’t have a bedtime!

Yesterday morning I was exhausted when my alarm went off and I opted to stay in bed and get an extra half hour of sleep, and it was glorious.  I was feeling so mentally, physically, emotionally, everything exhausted.  Sometimes you just need a day off (or at least a morning off).  I did hit the gym to log 4 miles after work, but it was a crap shoot.  I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t work out, but I was completely OK with it.

Last night I came home after the gym and cooked up some delicious cheeseburger casserole.  I found the recipe on the Skinny Taste blog, and it is so delicious.

While the casserole was baking, I chopped up a whole jar of pickles for sprinkling on top:





After dinner I was craving brownies in the worst way but I was feeling way too lazy to bake some, so I settled for a spoonful of Nutella.  What a great way to end a Thursday night.

And speaking of Thursday night, TGIT is back on ABC which means Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder are back on!  If you’ve never seen them I would highly recommend you get to watching.  The first few seasons of Scandal are available on Netflix.

This morning I rolled out of bed nice and early to hit an EFX class, shovel some snow, and made some hot lemon water and this delicious protein shake:



For lunch I packed a delicious kale, chicken, rice salad:


And for a snack I have this delicious leftover from Wednesday


Why didn’t I eat my snack on Wednesday?  (you may be asking yourself), well let me tell you.  I brought in these super yummy Pita Bites.  You’ll notice on the top left it says “Sensible Portions”, and I think the real question here is… if you eat the whole bag, is it still a sensible portion??? (Because that’s what I did in a matter of 2 days).



Well time to hit the showers and get to the grind.  Have a great day!


How Skipping Candy Helped me Hit the Gym

Happy hump day! We’re over half way there! I have been developing a bad habit lately.  Someone brought in a bunch of delicious, sweet, sugary candy to work and I have been indulging in a few pieces every afternoon.  Yesterday afternoon I decided to break the cycle.  Not that some candy here and there is bad, but I was making a habit out of it.  It’s so easy to hit the sugar hard when you’re feeling stressed out.

But yesterday afternoon, I decided to break the cycle.  I walked right past that delicious candy and did not grab one piece.  And just like that, I felt empowered!  Like I was on top of the world, completely in control of my life! (for that one small moment).  After work I was struggling with going to the gym vs. going home and hitting the couch in my sweats (we all know which one sounds more appealing), but since I was feeling empowered and all, I decided to suck it up and hit the treadmill at the local gym for 3 miles.  So that’s how skipping one piece of candy helped me hit the gym.  Never underestimate the power of small everyday choices.

Last night for dinner I even made a nice salad with some Boca burgers (or cardboard, according to Kris):


Quick and healthy.  This morning I started my day with an a$$ kicking at an early morning EFX class.  Then came home and made some breakfast:


I had an awesome lunch date today with my dad at Ditka’s.  We started by splitting a tuna roll, and each got the Ditka’s salad with a bowl of wedding soup.  The food was delicious and it was so nice to take a break from the day and spend some quality time with my dad.


After work, I stopped at the store to pick up a few supplies for cheeseburger casserole, and I made 2 great finds.  I bought this Quinn popcorn that is Cheddar & Chipotle flavor.  The flavor is subtle at first, but then it really packs a punch.  And I also bought a case of this carbonated water; it is the perfect snack that feels like a cheat snack, but in reality it’s not!  What a simple and delicious brain trick.


Now to do some meal prep for chicken kale salad bowls for lunches the rest of the week.  Have a great evening!

Adult Snow Days + Mangos

Good morning! I set my alarm early today to make it to a morning spinning class, but I didn’t make it very far.  While I was successful pushing myself to get out of bed, I couldn’t bring myself to make it past my overflowing laundry basket.  Do you ever find yourself wishing you had adult snow days… just so you could clean?  Maybe it’s just me.

Maybe I could have done something useful last night while I was watching Shameless.. and Girls.. and Revenge… and The Bachelor.  But once I hit the couch for the evening I am done for.  So, to make a long story short… I skipped the am spin class, got over the fact that I don’t get snow days (kind of), and decided to do laundry, dishes, and meal prep at 5:30am.  Hopefully I can squeeze in a short run later today.

On the bright side, I picked an awesome mango at the store the other day.  Mangos are one of those ominous fruits that many people don’t know what to do with (I was one of them).  They have an awkward seed right in the middle and you have to whittle it down to get all the good stuff.  So if you’re unsure of how to cut a mango, follow along with my pictures below:






Look at how much space that seed takes up!

While I was feeling ambitious (and had the peeler out), I also prepped a kiwi.  I’m going to have one awesome afternoon snack today!



I always have to be extra careful not to squish the kiwi in my hand when I’m peeling it.  I’m not sure if that’s a normal problem to have or if I just need a new peeler?  But the struggle is real.

The meal lineup for today is:

Breakfast – whole wheat English muffin with almond+chia seed butter and raspberry jam


Lunch – Grilled chicken kale salad with roasted potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, Frank’s Red Hot + balsamic vinegar


Snack – Green tea with that beautiful fruit and some cottage cheese

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Have a good Tuesday!

How do you fit cleaning into your weekly routine?

Motivation Monday + Weekly Workout Recap

Happy Monday!

I hope you’re ready to start another week back to the grind.  This morning I woke up and went to an EFX class at FASTER.  I can definitely tell that these classes are helping me maintain if not improve my running endurance.  When we went for our outdoor run on Saturday I felt really great, which is pretty amazing considering I haven’t maintained a running regimen since the 10 miler in November.

When I got back I had some snow shoveling to do!


It’s my favorite kind too!  The beautiful kind of snow that lays on the tree branches (and weighs a billion pounds and takes down power lines).

Then I had my warm lemon water while I prepped some food for the day.  Breakfast is a grapefruit and a whole grain English muffin with almond butter+chia seed and raspberry jam.


For lunch I packed a chicken salad with kale, mushroom, grilled chicken, tomato, roasted baby redskins, buffalo sauce & balsamic vinegar:



On Friday I decided to eat candy instead of my afternoon snack, so today – take 2 Chobani with steel cut oats:



Now for the weekly workout recap from last week:


Sunday – rest

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 3.5 mile run

Wednesday – EFX class

Thursday – PiYo

Friday – EFX class

Saturday – 3ish mile run

Gotta run, but I will leave you with 2 of my favorite quotes just incase you’re looking for some motivation to get you going this week!

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A Buffalo Weekend + A Successful Shopping Trip

Is it really Sunday evening already? This weekend flew by way too fast, like usual.  It was a great one though!

Friday after work I hit the road for a 3.5 hr road trip to Buffalo.  Friday night we munched on some pizza and hung out with Kris’ parents for a little before I passed out.  Getting up at 5am to pack and workout will do that to a girl.

Saturday morning we woke up, had some a healthy dose of coffeeand made the most delicious egg sandwiches.  I didn’t get a picture, but we put 1 fried egg, 1 sausage patty, and 1 slice of swiss cheese (the secret ingredient) on an English muffin.  So yummy.  The swiss was a delicious change for us, and I totally bought some when I stopped at the store today.

After the egg sandwiches we laced up our running shoes and went for a nice little run – off the grid style:



It was only about 20 degrees but it didn’t feel too bad out!  It was so peaceful running off the beaten path, plus there is that nice little sign telling you when you’ve reached “The End”.  What’s not to love?

After the run we got ready and headed out to the Hamburg Brewing Company for a few beers and appetizers.  Wow, the beer and the food was excellent and the atmosphere is so cozy.  We will definitely be going back.


Today we lounged around and worked on a crossword puzzle (I forgot how fun those are), then I hit the road a little early to beat this massive snow storm that is supposedly on the way.  Before I came home though I stopped at the grocery store for some food for the week.  I was a little worried because I walked into the  store sans list (usually a recipe for disaster).  But I only spent $50 on food for the week!  And I was super excited to find some fruits that I didn’t expect for a few more months..

Kiwis! The cute name and kiwi guy on the front had nothing a lot to do with the purchase of way too many kiwis….


Can you really put a price on that much potassium though?? They also had mangos! I love mangos, I hope this one is a little better than the ones I got at the end of the summer season


Other great finds included some peppermint herbal tea – my mom has made herbal mint tea after dinner the past couple times I’ve seen her and it’s so relaxing and warm and delicious.


The best chopped kale EVER – this stuff is chopped so fine and it’s my favorite for salads and smoothies:


About Time protein sample packs – (birthday cake & vanilla) lots of people seem to have great things to say about this brand.  I don’t get too into protein supplements, but I figured a one serving packet is good to have on hand for post-run smoothies or recipes that call for protein powder. (This is also a great way to see if you like it before you buy the big boy).


So I’d say it was a successful trip!  Also, I came home to both of my orchids in bloom, and Ollie’s bubble nest is growing rapidly!



Now to do some weekly food prep and prepare for try to stay awake for my favorite Sunday night shows… Girls and Shameless!

Pittsburgh Style Chicken Salad Minus the Salad

Happy Friday, the best day of the week!

Last night I came home with the intention to cook up a delicious Pittsburgh-style chicken salad.  (If you’re not familiar with a ‘Pittsburgh salad’ it usually includes any type of salad with greens and the secret ingredient…. french fries/potato wedges!)  Grilled chicken, potato wedges, mushroom, tomato. However, when I opened the lettuce I discovered it was getting a little slimy and gross, so I opted to skip the “salad” part of the salad.

I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, olive oil, and smoked paprika


And roasted some potatoes in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Montreal Steak seasoning:



Normally I would put this all on top of a salad and top it with a light drizzle of ranch and some balsamic vinegar.  But since I had improvise, I just put all of the toppings on a small plate and used a little ranch for dipping with a glass of iced cranberry juice:


This morning I got up and started my packing for a weekend in the great white north (Buffalo), hit an EFX class, and made some breakfast:

A whole grain English muffin with AB&J, a fried egg, and some warm lemon water.


For lunch I packed some leftover Pittsburgh chicken salad without the salad and a drizzle of hot sauce on top:


And for an afternoon snack I’m excited to try this Chobani greek yogurt with oats


It’s gonna be a busy one!  Have a great weekend!

3 Ingredient Pancakes – Take 2

Good morning!  Today started out with my second PiYo class, and I think I liked it a little better this time.  I know it was probably a different class routine, but most of the moves were similar to last week so I felt more comfortable with the line-up.  Then I came home and got to work on my second attempt at 3 ingredient pancakes.  Today was much more of a success!


If you have 2 eggs and a banana lying around that looks like it may be on the verge of being labeled a bio-hazard, then this is the breakfast for you!

Step 1 – Melt some coconut oil over medium heat

Step 2- In a bowl – mash up bio-hazard banana, mix in eggs and cinnamon (there are still going to be some lumps from the banana, but that’s ok)


Step 3 – Put “batter” into hot skillet, flip, add a sprinkle of cinnamon, devour!



Yesterday I completely abandoned my lunch and had a heaping bowl of mac n’ cheese instead.  And it was glorious.  For dinner I met a few of my college friends at Bella Frutteto.  I had never even heard of this restaurant located in Wexford, but I won’t be forgetting it soon.  I got a beet and goat cheese salad with a few slices of their delicious bread dipped in oil.  It’s always so great to catch up with everyone, we can talk for hours and still feel like there’s so much more to say.

So today’s lunch is my 2nd attempt at this salad from yesterday (lots of Take 2’s today):


On a completely unrelated note, I was watching the news this morning and saw that Hope Solo (USA Women’s Soccer goalkeeper) is suspended for 30 days.  She seems to have a track record for making questionable decisions off the field, but for some reason she is one of those people that draws you in and makes you want to know more about her (or maybe it’s just me?).  But all I could think about during the news report was this internet meme:

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Maybe it’s the former goalie in me, or my cheesy sense of humor, but it cracks me up every single time. Happy Thursday!

Sneaky Ways to Wear Yoga Pants + 3 Ingredient Pancakes

Happy hump day friends!  I hope you’re surviving another week back to the grind.  This morning I began my day with a morning EFX class.  When I got back I decided to try a recipe I pinned on Pinterest a long time ago and never got around to trying – 3 Ingredient Pancakes!


… and I think I’ve just become the poster child for ‘Pinterest Fails’.  I may have gotten impatient and tried to flip a little too soon, but it still tasted good.  You can see the recipe and how they are supposed to turn out here.  I love how simple the recipe is and I’m not giving up just yet.  I have one more super ripe banana so maybe tomorrow I’ll have better luck!

On another note, I love yoga pants.  Real pants are the bane of my existence.  I know this is a topic of much debate, but let’s just say I’m pro yoga pants/tights.  If you ever see me out, 90% of the time I’m wearing yoga pants.  The one place I can’t justify wearing them is to work.  So this year I have made it my mission to find ways to wear yoga pants to work (in an appropriate fashion).  My latest obsession is wearing them as tights or leggings with boots under skirts or dresses.  Panty-hose are the other bane of my existence, so it’s really a win-win situation.  No worrying about dragging pant legs through snow and salt, or not being able to breath because your pants or hose are too restricting. (Not the best picture, but you get the idea.)

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Lunch today is a mixed greens salad with craisins, walnuts, goat cheese, olive oil/balsalmic vinegar, and a side of cottage cheese.  With a Key Lime Chobani yogurt for a snack.


Happy Wednesday!

Goji Berries

Happy Tuesday! If you’re anything like me you’re always on the lookout for new healthy food options.  Am I right?  OK – I know Goji berries aren’t new, but until today I had never actually tried one.  I have had goji berry tea, and passed them by at the store many times, but I finally decided to give them a try.  I imagined them to be something like a freeze-dried raspberry.  And while I love raspberries, I never wanted to pay the outrageous cost that is associated with being labeled a “super food” (marketing brilliance at it’s finest).

So this morning I incorporated them into my breakfast.  I had my hot lemon water and made some instant Chex oatmeal with a spoonful of chia seed almond butter, a sliced up banana, and some 1% milk then sprinkled some goji berries on top:


This breakfast is very filling and it always holds me over all morning.  The goji berries were a nice addition.  The texture and sweetness reminded me a lot of pitted dates.

There are numerous claims of health benefits related to goji berries including anti-inflammatory properties, kidney and liver health, immune system aid, and a super high amount of iron (to name a few).

Today’s workout was a run in the snow with the B-dog.  The temperature wasn’t too bad, but somehow I managed to get snow flakes in my eyes every 5 seconds and my phone died so I couldn’t track my run.  From prior experience the run was about 3.5 – 4 miles, and although music usually gets me through, I wasn’t too upset because something about snow falling is so peaceful.

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Lunch was a heaping serving of this avocado and crab salad from the Skinnytaste website:


I had planned to put it on a salad, hence the lettuce, but then I opted for blue corn tortilla chips instead


I also had a Chobani grape yogurt to top it off.  I really want to make a PB&J smoothie with this stuff


Painting with a Twist

Yesterday afternoon we decided to partake in the painting and drinking craze.  A few months ago I decided to  run the Pittsburgh marathon for the Animal Rescue League and one of the fundraisers was a painting class at Painting with a Twist.  For $45 per person we had 3 hours of painting/drinking/entertainment and $33 of that went to the Animal Rescue League.  Altogether the event raised $3,500 for the ARL.  Not too shabby.


The picture that we painted was a picture of Pittsburgh, and it was not exactly a beginner level painting so we were a little nervous.  Luckily our instructor talked us through it and they turned out pretty well!

We started out with a blank canvas with an outline penciled in so that we could all begin our painting with the right proportions:


Then we painted the sky, the water, and the darker land area.  After this we listened to music and drank a beer while the paint dried.


After the background was mostly dried we painted the buildings:


Then added the highways and the Point Park fountain:


After we let that dry a little, we added all of the dots. (there were a lot).  It looks much more impressive the farther back you are standing.  But I was pretty proud of our masterpieces!


This morning started out with a hot mug of lemon water, a lemon raspberry muffin, and a fried egg.


Kris is off today for the holiday so I took a vacation day. 🙂  It’s going to be a good Monday!