I Don’t Remember the Last Time I Slept In

The problem with being a go getter is that I’m always going and getting : )  And this was definitely a month year of on the go!

IMG_20151221_100307067

This morning was no exception.  Since the BOY declared last night that his car was stuck in the drive way and that we would both be working from home today, I set my alarm extra early.  Note: I don’t have the type of job where one can ‘work from home’.   I awoke not knowing what to expect and when I peaked out the window, I saw my neighbors car stuck half in the road and the other half in the driveway.  I really wanted to get in a run this morning because A) I have not been doing much running and B) We honeymoon next month.

IMG_20151229_071107446

Sure enough…I got the BOY’s car stuck in the slush when it was WAY darker than the picture above and thankfully our neighbor came by to assist in getting me unstuck.  We then got my car out in 1 1/2 tries and I was free to zoom off to the gym.  I did a 35 minute interval workout on the treadmill followed by abs.

IMG_20151229_070435048

It was totally worth the extra work (see sweaty tomato faced smile above for proof!).  With just a few days left in 2015, there will definitely be time dedicated to wrapping up the year, but for now, let’s focus on the month behind and the month ahead…

IMG_20151125_123438755_thumb1

December Goals

Keep running (and sign up for a spring race)- I didn’t run as much as I wanted this month due to a sinus infection and colder, darker weather.  I did have a beautiful Christmas morning run though.  I am all signed up for a 10k in April and a possible half marathon in early May.

Stay healthy– Major Fail!  I came home from Thanksgiving with a cough and spent about 2 weeks with a sinus infection. Boo!

Get bikini ready…honeymoon here we come!- Strength and yoga have been on pointe, but my nutrition was on more of a holiday schedule.

Slow down, stay grounded, and appreciate the last month of 2015- Ahh! Although work was crazy busy, I can say that I made sure to have me time and family time…and Ahhh time!

IMG_20151221_215247380

January Goals – Honeymoon Here We Come…

Exercise Often

Keep my Eating On Pointe

Get Organized (for our trip and 2016)

Create and Appreciate Expected and Unexpected Adventures

 

How are you wrapping up the year?

Long Holiday Weekend {In Review}

It’s Monday…And another short week!

  IMG_20151226_132414006_HDR

Can I get a woot woot?!

How was your holiday?  Mine was FANTASTIC!

IMG_20151225_082349660_HDR

I started Christmas day with a calm and peaceful outdoor 5 mile run.  I know that I’m supposed to be sad, but I love being able to run outside without looking like an Eskimo in December.  I will be sad when it gets much colder this week!

IMG_20151225_084546949

The cool part of my morning was seeing two deer snacking next to the path.  #GoodMorningDeers

IMG_20151225_102818909

I showered and packed up my presents and at 10am, my parents came to pick us up for our annual Christmas trip to Champaign, IL.  We had so much stuff, there was barely any space left in the car.

IMG_20151225_145008437

When we arrived, everyone caught up quickly and then gathered around the table for a gorgeous Christmas dinner!

IMG_20151225_150407947_HDR

IMG_20151225_150308124

The rest of the weekend was festive and fun!

IMG_20151225_173911284

We got stuck in a HUGE thunderstorm while trying to walk for coffee…

IMG_20151226_091249192

Opened presents, cuddled with pups, and enjoyed winey Mary’s and TONS of food!

IMG_20151226_131432560_HDR

IMG_20151226_132355787_HDR IMG_20151226_161215483

IMG_20151226_180104714

Sunday we decided that it was another successful Christmas weekend and after one last meal, we drove back home.  Cooper was waiting for us and ready to cuddle!

IMG_20151227_214023678

We had Sunday night birthday plans for Hibachi with my close girl friends and their hubbies.

IMG_1857

We had a great time catching up and chowing down.  After an exciting weekend, I crashed early last night.  This morning, it was back to the usual Monday routine…gym, grocery, laundry, etc.

IMG_20151228_100715193

However, the weather was a disaster!  It was sleeting in all directions and the roads were slippery.  I prioritized my stops, including a trip to Costco, as I got ready for the next big holiday ahead…New Years!

IMG_20151228_140549863_HDR

It took a TON of trips through the slush to get my car unpacked, each more miserable than the one before.  I was more than happy to settle back in to watch the Yule Log and bake up a loaf of banana bread this afternoon.

IMG_20151228_172033701

And make Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps in the crockpot for tonight’s dinner. 

I’m thinking I’ll call it another early one…Cooper’s already upstairs waiting : )

 

How was your Christmas Weekend? Share the Highlights!

Pre-Holiday Happenings

Hello!  Happy Short Week!

We have much to catch up on…

IMG_20151219_185454568_HDR

Starting with the Weekend

I taught a kids yoga class.

  IMG_20151219_110523862 

Then ran a few errands before driving down into the city with the BOY.  We had drinks and delicious, fancy dinner with my brother and SIL.

IMG_20151219_211600960

IMG_20151219_211632979

We slept in Sunday before going for a long walk on the unseasonably warm December day.

IMG_20151220_103422582

Our first stop was Lululemon followed by donuts, gingerbread chai lattes, and empanadas.

IMG_20151220_111929545

It was totally worth the walk. We lost track of time and showed up late to our yearly Hanukkah party.  Oops!  We tried to blame it on this guy…

IMG_20151220_093911577_HDR

There was still plenty of time for us to hang out and catch up with our friends throughout Sunday afternoon.

Monday Morning

I slept in and then met my trainer for a sweat session…I’m still sore!

IMG_20151221_100234767

Then ran a bunch more errands and finished up some holiday shopping.  When I came home, I made a million (or at least it felt like it) pretzel candies.

IMG_20151221_151008809

And Oreo balls.  Including a tasty Gingerbread Oreo version with white chocolate and nutmeg…Mmm!

IMG_20151221_162109372_HDR

Monday Afternoon

I really wanted to bake a bunch of cookies for the holidays, but had to settle for an afternoon of no-baking.

IMG_20151221_170403337

IMG_20151221_170547327

And a quick shower before the BOY and I rushed out to the movies.

IMG_20151221_184339999 

Just one guess on what we saw…yea, we’ve had tickets for months : )

IMG_20151221_215247380 

Monday night, I finished laundry and packed up all my goodies for my coworkers before finally crashing in bed.

Tuesday Morning

I didn’t sleep well and hit snooze instead of going for a run.  I think it was too much sugar from eating all those chocolate treats!  I taught a 90 minute kids yoga workshop with the most amazing group of kiddos. 

IMG_20151222_112527734

It was a super fun way to start the work week, which then proceeded on as a (short) typical work week. 

Wednesday Night

Thankfully, tomorrow is only a half day and the BOY and I are laughing our asses off to the latest Big Bang Theory right now.

Birthday sex: Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler finally got intimate on Thursday's Star Wars-themed episode of The Big Bang Theory

Ok…I think we’re all caught up!

What have you been doing this pre-holiday week???

Training for Tahiti

IMG_1751

I’m almost afraid to share our exciting news because it doesn’t seem real, but the BOY and I booked our honeymoon in January to Tahiti!

I know…exciting, right?!  Ever since we met, we’ve talked about going to Tahiti, but I never thought it would actually happen.  But here we are 5 weeks away from a 10 day trip to paradise!

IMG_0674

After talking to a bunch of people and enlisting the help of a travel expert, we booked our honeymoon to 3 islands including Bora Bora.  Like I said…it still sounds surreal!  In prep for the big trip, we have been hitting the gym with enthusiasm.

IMG_20151031_073144661 IMG_2016

Sometimes together and sometimes alone!  My routine has included A TON of yoga and strength training.

IMG_20151204_071405089_HDR

With plenty of early morning post work out selfies!  I’m usually a huge cardio queen, so it was funny when my trainer mentioned that I needed to up my cardio/running this winter.

IMG_2026

I love to run!  But winter weather and later sun rises make it more difficulty this time of year.  Plus, this most recent sinus infection has made walking and light weights my only possible exercise.

IMG_1630

Overall, my goal is to exercise 5x each week with a mix of cardio and strength in order to make me strong and confident sporting my bathing suit on the beaches of Tahiti!

IMG_4518

A little throw back to our 2008 cruise

And I signed up for a spring 10k (and have my eye on a half marathon too) to keep me in good shape even after our trip.  The most fun part about this has been exercising with my husband.

IMG_20151107_084040273

Every Saturday morning, we have been at the gym at 7am sacrificing our usual Friday night fun for a good sweat session.  And we’ve been going to the park district gym one other morning together before work.  Tahiti should be pretty memorable, but I have to say so is the training!

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

This week’s meal plan was tough because I just wasn’t craving much of anything…with the exception of dark chocolate.  But I knew that I needed to have some food in the house (besides chocolate) while I binge watched TV on my sick day and powered through the rest of my work week. 

IMG_20151215_173231521

I didn’t have a lot of energy, so I kept it simple.  Monday, we had premade chicken burgers and Tuesday, I went to my crockpot.  This is the kind of meal that you can throw in the crockpot and then sit around and watch trashy TV all day.  My kind of meal…right?!

IMG_20151215_173150386

The BOY was very pleased with Tuesday night’s dinner and I’m sure it will make it’s way into our crockpot rotation!

IMG_20151215_181947877_HDR

I was back at work today, so we kept it even easier with turkey tacos.  I’m off to bed early again tonight due to the rhino sitting on my face!  G’night!

IMG_20151216_204522182

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

From emeals

Ingredients

  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 organic red or green bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can BPA-free fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp dried basil (or use 2 Tbsp chopped fresh)

Directions

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place in a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Top with onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, broth and basil. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours.

NOTE: My chicken cooked quickly so it took way less time.

Sickness Needs Soup

It’s no secret that I love soups and chilis and this blog is full of recipes for them.  I eat soup year round but like to make it almost every week in the winter time.  This December has been odd (50 degrees and rain), and my soup/chili make has been a little less frequent.  However, when I came down with a full on sinus infection this weekend, I knew I needed some soup.

IMG_20151215_112515752

And I knew I wanted to make it in my brand new Dutch oven!!!

IMG_20151215_112509819_HDR

It had to be a flavorful one since my taste is a bit off from congestion.  I found a recipe chock full of veggies and nutrients on the Goop website, so I had to give it a try.

IMG_20151215_112852249

I knew right away that the BOY was not going to eat it, which gave me freedom to add in whatever I wanted!

IMG_20151215_113230029_HDR

My big substitute was taking out the farro and throwing in some chicken sausage that I had in the fridge.

IMG_20151215_145544181

I had soup made before lunch time with more than enough for the week ahead.

IMG_20151215_114840577

The BOY made plans to come home a little earlier, so I had dinner (and dessert) made and picked up the new Mission Impossible movie at the Redbox for us.  We ate an early dinner and then settled in for a quiet night with plans to get back into our normal routine tomorrow.

IMG_20151215_173235997

 

What do you make when you are sick?

 

Winter Minestrone Soup

Slightly Adapted from GOOP

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely-diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 precooked chicken sausages, diced

2 teaspoons rosemary, finely-chopped (I used dried)

1 teaspoon thyme, finely-chopped (I used dried)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

2 cups packed chopped kale

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 large zucchini, diced

salt and pepper

 

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a pot of dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and a large pinch of salt and sauté 5 minutes.

2. Add sausage, rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, and another generous pinch of salt and cook 2 more minutes.

3. Add chicken stock and water, bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add kale, beans, and another pinch of salt and return to a boil.

5. Reduce heat and simmer another 10 minutes.

6. Add diced zucchini, turn off the heat, and let zucchini cook in the warm broth for 1 minute.

7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

8. Serve hot garnished with crushed red chili flakes and pesto, if desired.