Photo a Day {March}

March 1st- Mom and Dad Birthday Celebration



March 2nd- Cooper recovering from above mentioned celebration



March 3rd- Afternoon at B Wubs!



March 4th- Dinner!



March 5th-Quiet Night at Home



March 6th-Did Cooper Throw a Party Last Night?



March 7th-TGIF with an Early Bed Time



March 8th– Breakfast at the Bakery



March 9th-I Took a Walk!  Outside!



March 10th-New Workout Pants



March 11th-The Snow is Melting…



March 12th-The Snow is Back!



March 13th- Breakfast at the Gym



March 14th-A Rough Week Ends with a Fantastic Friday Night Dinner



March 15th-St. Patty’s Day in the City



March 16th-I Heart Fro Yo!



March 17th-Happy St. Patrick’s Day!



March 18th-Post AM Workout Reward



March 19th-Office Starbucks Run on a Rainy Day



March 20th-Happy First Day of Spring!



March 21st-Playing with Cooper



March 22nd-Meridian Yoga Workshop



March 23rd- Wiener Circle at 12:30am



March 24th-Morning Workout



March 25th-Tuesday Tradition (after spin class of course)



March 26th-Sunrise through the Frost



March 27th-Rocking the 80’s Curls



March 28th-Friday Night Tennis Date



March 29th-Finally Watched Frozen (with my girl Scarlett)!



March 30th-Run in the Sun



March 31st-Girls Dinner Sushi Date!


Heeello Spring!

We have missed you!  The arrival of above freezing temperatures happens to coincide perfectly with my newly refreshed and enthusiastic approach towards a healthy lifestyle!  I finally have a workout schedule figured out, went running outside, and have accepted the fact that I will be participating in a modified race schedule this year.  Meal planning is working well and I am adding in more protein and greens which has me craving way less junk.  Things are looking BRIGHT!




Since I was so late on my February/March goals, I figured I could get started on the April goals a wee bit early!


March was a great month!

It started with snow and birthday celebrations




And ended with rain (read melted snow) and an awesome weekend catching up with friends (and finally watching frozen)!




I made some awesome meals!  Mostly in the crockpot, but still, there were some non crockpot highlights…

Chicken Tamale Pie

Marbled Banana Bread

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

Parmesan Brussel Sprouts


And let’s not forget that we can’t have a March without Irish Soda Bread and St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans!




Of course, Cooper was adorable and he continues to grow as he nears his 1st birthday.  He also continues to love the dishwasher, bath tub, and sink, where I caught him hiding one night this past week.  He thinks if he ducks down low, I won’t find him : )




I have finally gotten my workout schedule organized and made time for a spin class, yoga seminar, and tennis.  Needless to say, I am counting down the days until warm enough weather to bust out my bike.




I am ending the month feel strong, energized, and focused on what lies ahead!



February/March Goals

1. Decrease Sugar Intake

-This had been up and down, but the past 2 weeks I have definitely gotten my sugar consumption in check and am feeling really good and energized.


2. Build Strength

My muscle mass has increased (according to my trainer), so I am definitely on my way!


3. Play Tennis

-The BOY and I have been playing at least once a week.  I think we are getting better and are at least at a place where we can play a match and have fun with it.  Although my serve has a long way to go…


4. Sign up for Races

So after much thought and research, I have decided to wait until the fall for races.  The main reason is that this spring is very busy and I will not have the time to train that I need.



April Goals

1. Strength Train 2xweek

2. Do Yoga 1xweek (and do a workshop)

3. Unplug and Unwind

4. Drink More Water and Eat More Greens

5. Cook from your Cookbooks!



What are you most looking forward to this spring?

What are you April goals?

To Race or Not to Race?!

So you may have noticed that my 2014 Race Page is non existent!


This is by no means a reflection on my desire to train for and participate in a spring triathlon or half marathon.  It is just the reality of spring 2014 being packed to the brim.  For the past 2 years, I have run the Great Western Half Marathon in early May.  In some ways, it’s good that I am not running it this year.  Because of weather situations, I got out for a run in the sun for the first time TODAY!  And, it was too chilly this morning to go out for a run.  But by afternoon, the 55 degree weather was calling to me.  I have to say that being out running in the sun left me nothing less than happy and energized!




I left the boys working on dinner and hit the path for my first outdoor run in a long time (and I was wearing short sleeves!).  I chose an easy and comfortable pace and was shocked to clock in my first mile at 8:30.  It’s been a few weeks since I’ve run, and I was overjoyed to be back in my running shoes.




I completed 4 miles keeping all of my miles under 9:00 minutes, which was hard work.  But totally worth it! 

So back to the race calendar…I won’t be running the Great Western Half because my brother’s fiancé has a wedding shower that day.  I do have a loaded Memorial Day weekend with the Soldier Field 10 Miler followed by Bike the Drive.  Beyond that…my race calendar is empty!  Sad news…I didn’t win the New York Marathon lottery : (




May is full with 2 wedding showers, family in town, and the BOY’s law school graduation.

In June, I am heading out of town 2 weekends in a row and July is my brother’s wedding, plus the BOY takes the bar.

Fingers crossed, the BOY and I will be taking a week long trip in August.  Plus August really isn’t my favorite month to race.  Which brings us to September…which is when I am hoping to do 1 or 2 running races.




For me, training for races is half the fun!  But it is time consuming to get up early and plan around 1-2 hours workouts.  I’ve done a handful of triathlons over the past 3 years and I am extremely sad that I won’t be doing one this year.  With my weekends packed, I just don’t have enough time to train for a healthy and safe race.  I am still planning to bike a bunch this summer and may even consider doing my first Century bike ride!




The benefit of a mostly race free spring, is that it will make it easy to keep up with my strength training and yoga. 

The bad thing is that I just really like weekend races!  But I know that I can pack a few in this fall (which is much quieter) and that there is always next spring!


What races are you doing this year?

How do you decide which races to do?

Five for Friday XX

1.  Thank you guys for all of your awesome brussel sprout suggestions!  The BOY and I will definitely be eating more sprouts this spring!



2. The BOY and I had our second Friday night tennis date tonight.  We played from 8-9pm and instead of practicing strokes with the ball machine, we warmed up, practiced serving, and then played a few games.  Although I’m still not as good as the BOY, I did beat him in 2 games and was in the process of beating him in a third when we ran out of time.





3.  I have a new Starbucks obsession.  It’s Chai tea with steamed soy milk.  It is creamy, filling, and takes care of one of my servings of dairy every day.  Ok, so I don’t have one every day, but I wish I did : )





4.  Cooper created a new game this morning.  I call it Ice Cube in a Box, and I totally went along with it because it meant that I could eat my breakfast in peace without him stealing my eggs.


IMG_20140328_064908609 IMG_20140328_065209251




5.  I have watched basically none of March Madness this year.  Usually, I am way more into it, but with Indiana not making the tournament and my weeks being really busy, I just haven’t turned on any games.  I’m hoping to catch up on some basketball this weekend…starting right now.


Does your pet steal your breakfast?

Are you watching the tournament?

Brussel Sprouts {Love Them or Hate Them?}

The brussel sprout and I are rather newly acquainted.  Like with other foods…salsa, avocado, and chili (I never ate it until college), I am a late bloomer.




Of course, I knew of the sprouts reputation.  Who doesn’t???  So the first time I tried them, I wasn’t expecting much.  Well, I don’t remember the first time, but I do remember when I fell for them.  It was Thanksgiving 2011 and my cousin’s wife made the most incredible roasted brussel sprouts with walnuts and cranberries.




So embarrassing that I actually have a picture of that meal : )  After that, I tried to make my own brussel sprouts with no success.  Last summer, the BOY even attempted to roast some on the grill.  And, they were okay, but slightly bitter.  I’d basically written off the veggie until we were in Vegas last month and I had THE MOST AMAZING brussel sprouts ever.  My mouth still waters thinking of them.


IMG_20140207_204732264 IMG_20140207_204737282


Double embarrassing…I have photos of this meal too.  I’ve been thinking about brussel sprouts ever since Vegas, so I picked some up about 2 weeks ago.  The BOY took care of dinner and made an awesome side of sprouts.  The trainer and I have been talking about adding more green veggies to my diet.  While I was at Costco this past Monday, I picked up their bag of brussel sports.  The guy behind me in line started talking about them and gave me an entirely different way to make them.  He’s a fan and was excited to meet another person buying this veggie with the bad reputation.




Monday night, I prepped the brussel sprouts according to the BOY’s instructions (apparently he’s an expert after last week).  I placed them in the oven and retreated to the couch to catch up on some E! News while the BOY finished dinner.




The brussel sprouts came out of the oven perfectly seasoned and so delicious, I picked a few off the baking sheet.  We eat a lot of veggies here, and I don’t always remember to share the recipes.  For this reason, I can’t say that I actually measured the ingredients below, so use you’re best judgment and give brussel sprouts another chance!





Brussel Sprouts…Love them or Hate them?



Parmesan Brussel Sprouts


Ingredients (see note above regarding measurements)

3-4 cups brussel sprouts

1/4 cup olive oil

2-3 tbsp graded parmesan cheese

Sea salt to taste

Shaved parmesan



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Wash and dry brussel sprouts.  Slice them in half and place them in a bowl.

Cover sprouts with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and sea salt.  Toss with your hands until well coated and lay sprouts out on baking sheet.

Roast sprouts for 35-40 minutes, mixing at least once.   Note that baking time may be different depending on the size of sprouts, so roast until edges turn brown and become crispy.  Sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese and return to the oven for a few minutes until cheese just begins to melt.

Eat warm or enjoy as leftovers.

Monday Reflections and Spinach Turkey Burgers

This morning, my trainer and I sat down and talked goals.  I’ve been working out with her for about 2 months and it was time to reassess where we’re at.  Last week, we started talking and it became obvious that I’m not totally dialed in.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am exercising a few days a week and making some healthy meals, but my weekends are pretty boozy and french fry filled.  For example, this midnight trip to Wiener Circle on Saturday!




It was with that in mind that I reluctantly agreed to let her retake my measurements this morning.  We did circumferential measurements and body fat.  And although my weight is the exact same, I have lost an inch in my middle and almost 3% body fat.  Which was pretty good news.  I was feeling a little lost and misdirected before the appointment and left feeling motivated with a game plan.  And some serious goals to work towards, including strength training at least 2x week and being strong enough to do a pull up.  I wouldn’t typically share these details on the blog, because I know most of you don’t care.  But, I thought the lesson of measuring your success by more than one number was enlightening and an excellent reminder to all of us who put in so much effort each week in the gym and the kitchen that we sometimes forget to celebrate our small victories.




Afterwards, I had some errands to run, most of which included grocery store shopping and of course Costco, where I stocked up on healthy foods and snacks.  I came home for leftover Thai for lunch and then the BOY and I were back at the tennis courts.  We played on Saturday as a make up for last week and I was feeling rusty.  It felt good to be back on the courts today.  We are both doing a little better, I do think I would benefit from another refresher lesson, and I am counting down the days until we can get outside and play in the sunshine.




The BOY and I went to the grocery store on the way home to get food for dinner.  While the BOY worked on his homework this evening, I prepped our turkey burgers.




While we were at Mariano’s, the BOY asked why I wasn’t buying the premade turkey burgers that we like so much.  Great question…right?!  I guess I had planned on trying this recipe and was looking forward to having a few burgers for lunch during the week.  Plus, it takes no time at all to mush together some burgers.




This recipe is really easy and even though it was originally meant to be sliders, it worked perfectly in big burger form.




I should probably tell you that after I made the burgers and prepped the brussel sprouts, I retreated to the couch and let the BOY finish out dinner.  He made the burgers on the grill pan on the stove (I am counting down the days until we can grill outside) and sautéed some mushrooms and onions to add to his burger.




Our entire dinner was easy and satisfying!  It was a real team effort in the kitchen!





How do you celebrate the little victories?

Have you grilled outside yet?


Meal Planning 3/24/14

Monday: Spinach Turkey Burgers with Brussel Sprouts


Tuesday: Crockpot Tikka Masala from The Wanderlust Kitchen


Wednesday: Salmon and Veggies


Thursday: Leftovers



Spinach Turkey Burgers

Adapted from Bon Appetit



Flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed, leaves chopped (about 1 cup)

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon ground cumin



Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix with your hands until well combined.

Form meat into 4 patties.  Place on a paper plate and cover with press and seal.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Grill burgers on outdoor grill or on indoor griddle for about 8 minutes each side.

Serve with your favorite toppings.

Crockpot Beer Fajitas

Happy last day of winter!

How happy are you?!



Cooper is awaiting spring’s arrival!



It’s only fitting to mark the end of this horrid winter with a crockpot recipe.  Not that I put my crockpot away now ever, but it just seems like the right thing to do.  Confession: I made this recipe for lunch this week, but it smelled a little boozy (hence the beer in the title), so instead of taking it to work, I ate it for dinner.  Which reminds me that I’m not even sure if I posted our meal plan for the week.  Oh well!  I blame the holiday weekend!














Just a warning, use a beer that you like the taste of because while the booze may be gone, the flavor will remain!




Fajitas are always the best and although I like them when the BOY makes them on the grill the best, this is a great rainy day substitution.


What was your favorite crockpot recipe this winter?

Share your links! I crockpot all year long!




Crockpot Beer Fajitas



1 onion, sliced

2 peppers sliced (I used green and yellow)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tasty and flavorful beer* (I used a random ale from our fridge, but I bet a Mexican beer would be great)

2 tbsp taco seasoning

Salt, Pepper, and Garlic (to taste)



Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until veggies are soft and chicken falls apart easily.  Shred the chicken using 2 forks and return to the crockpot to cook another 30 minutes.

Serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings (for me that’s salsa and avocado!).

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.


*Note: Feel free to substitute chicken broth, salsa, or water for beer!

St. Patty’s Soda Bread

I have been planning to make Soda Bread all week long (I even bought buttermilk) and pinned a whole bunch of recipes.  But I had just one of those weeks, you know the type, where the stress levels are high and exhaustion runs rampant.  Instead of baking up loaves of bread Friday night as planned, I postponed it to Saturday morning.  I spent Friday night with a glass of red wine and Cooper’s Hawk dinner.




Saturday morning, we slept in as long as Cooper would let us.  We got invited to celebrate St. Patty’s Day down in the city with my brother and his friends.  They began their morning at 7am, but we slept in and when I finally woke up, I took advantage of the sunshine by going for a run.  My path was frozen so I just ran some laps around the neighborhood.  When I came back, I had big plans to finally make soda bread to bring into the city.  My brother called and said that parking was tough and that he would be okay with store bought soda bread.




So instead of making soda bread, we drove down to the city for a day of fun and green shenanigans.




Needless to say, Sunday morning started like this…




Followed by a trip to Whole Foods for breakfast ingredients.




We had a wonderful breakfast/brunch and then came back to the burbs to have lunch with my best friend.




I had plans (in my head) to make soda bread Sunday night, but instead the BOY and I curled up with Cooper to watch the second Hunger Games Movie.  After a workout in in my neon green tshirt with my trainer in the morning, I came home to celebrate St. Pattys Day with homemade soda bread.




I found a great recipe complete with cinnamon and raisins on Pinterst.  Yum! 




I sprinkled some extra cinnamon and sugar over the top, which made the house smell unbelievable!




It only took 40 minutes for both breads to bake perfectly!  We had a small situation on Saturday that involved Cooper breaking into the store bought soda bread bag for a taste test.




So I had to hide away my cooling bread in the laundry room for safety.




After my own taste test of course!




I am so excited to have soda bread in the house!  I’m thinking about soda bread french toast for breakfast tomorrow (or maybe even dinner tonight)!


This recipe is absolutely incredible!

Here are a few other St. Patty’s Day favorites…

Brown Irish Soda Bread

Dark Irish Soda Bread

Soda Bread Scones

Lucky Charm Treats





How did you celebrate St. Patty’s Day?




Cinnamon Raisin Irish Soda Bread

From Bakers Royale



5 cups flour

1 cup sugar

4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins

3 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*extra cinnamon/sugar to sprinkle over the top



Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet or use Silpat.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix to combine. Stir in raisins. Set aside. Beat eggs in a bowl.  Stir in buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a ball. Place on prepared baking sheet. Make a deep X on top of each loaf with a knife. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool.

Five for Friday XIX {Why Winter Needs to be Over Edition}

1. My poor hands…




They have aged at least 15 years this winter.  They are dry, wrinkled, and covered in bandaids from all of the cracks and cuts.  And my face….ugghh! As soon as I have my tax return, I will be scheduling a facial!



2. Speaking of Aging…

My poor car!  Yesterday the back door froze shut and I couldn’t open it, but then I couldn’t close it.  I got myself up super early and out the door on a cold, dark morning for a strength class at the new gym and almost couldn’t get there.  It’s sad to admit but I also lost my Chevy decal off the front of my car this winter.  It’s pathetic!



3.Grill Season

The BOY is a master griller (if I do say so myself) and I am ready for some tasty grilled meats and veggies.  Not only does this mean that he shares/takes over dinner, but we always leftovers.  My crockpot is ready for a well deserved vacation.




Plus, the grill brings everyone in the neighborhood outside.  We live in a townhouse and I haven’t seen my neighbors since October.



4. Running, Biking, and Races (Oh My!)

Of course we can’t forget about tennis.  I guess any outdoor workout will do. I am craving some sunshine and vitamin D!  And I really miss my bike!  And I really, really need a race to train for.





5. Longer Days!

See #4 for explanation on sunshine and vitamin D.  Really, I am just sick of waking up to dark skies and driving home after sunset.  I love long days with early morning outdoor workouts and evening’s spent outback at the grill.  Think of how lovely my (bandaid free) hands will look holding a fresh, cold beer : )



Why are you ready for winter to be over?

What Do You Do?

In all seriousness, what will I blog about when there are beautiful blue skies and no weather to complain about?!

Luckily my ticket to Florida to celebrate the birthday of #Grandpa Al in April just got booked, so we will find out : )




Onto another serious matter…Dinner!

Food Bloggers-What do you do when you make a great recipe but don’t get a good picture of it?!  Last night’s meal was Crockpot Chicken Pesto from my 150 Healthiest Crockpot Recipes Book (seriously everything I make from here is golden!).  Tuesday morning, I chopped the shallots.  Tuesday afternoon, the BOY did the rest.  Note: this was an easy recipe that I might have done ahead of time but we didn’t have room in our fridge for the full crockpot and I didn’t want chicken sitting out all day.  End Note: I really didn’t think it was necessary to take a picture of the shallots.


Tuesday was a longer day than expected and I came back, just drained!  I walked in at 9pm not even sure if I was going to eat dinner, but the sweet smell of pesto did me in.  I took a small bowl of the chicken and mushroom mix and ate it standing while I unpacked my bag, debated doing some work, and changed into my PJ’s.  I then proceeded to clean up the kitchen putting dinner in a tuperware in the fridge.  It didn’t even occur to me to take a photo and I certainly didn’t have the energy to stage it as a real meal (like with veggies and some rice).


But, this dinner was fantastic, so I’d hate for ya’ll to miss out, but a blog post without pictures?  That is so not me!



Insert random picture of car covered in snow this morning…


And so I have decided to share the link because this recipe is worth checking out and then post about this recipe in full the next time the BOY cooks with the crockpot : )  No, I will make it way before then!




As a consolation, I do have an updated photo from yesterday’s chili to show you, and I can tell you that it is filling and fantastic!  And totally worth making for one last pre spring crockpot recipe!



Ok, so what do you do when blog posts don’t go according to plan?