Leap Day

Leap year would make day light savings look weak if only it were an extra Sunday : )

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#whenyouworkSaturdaymornings

It’s only fitting that I started this year’s extra day with a little ME time (and some leaping into handstand).  I had a fantastic weekend…Saturday, I taught a kids yoga class and then went for a 4 mile run.  The weather was AMAZING and it felt like spring.  The BOY and I had lunch together and then I drove into the city to spend some time with my SIL (and Roscoe).

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We caught up on life over some bubbles and then headed out for the night!  It was a well deserved night out that ended with a little dancing before we headed to bed around 2am.  Sunday morning was even more beautiful than Saturday and so we spent most of the day out and about. We walked to get coffee and breakfast, then took Roscoe for a muddy run in the park, followed by a hose off.  We walked to the grocery store for provisions and then it was couch/nap/Lifetime movie time!  We made dinner in and watched a bit of the Oscars before settling in to watch ROOM.  Have you seen it?  By 11pm, I was exhausted and ready for bed.

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This morning, I was up to say goodbye to my SIL before she went off to work.  Then went back to bed for about a half hour.  I enjoyed my morning tea while meal planning for the week on Pinterest before making my way outside.  It was a bit chilly but seriously another incredible day for February.  I loved every minute of my 30 minute walk through the city…so different than my usual commute. I arrived at Zen Yoga Garage (never been before) with enough time to look around, take a selfie, and get to know the girl up front.

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I chose to take a Vinyasa II class because I was craving some introspection and piece of mind.  I had no idea what to expect, but the class surpassed my expectations.  There were only 4 of us and the teacher was incredible.  The class featured some challenging but exciting transitions and handstand play at the wall.  Totally my cup of tea!

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One of the things that resonated with me the most was when the teacher said that we should let go of what we don’t need…okay, we all know that.  But, then she said as we moved into cobra/up dog…open to what you want to receive, to what you need.  All of the heart openers left me feeling happy and the handstands made me feel strong. I ended up walking out with the teacher and as ex gymnasts we hit it off and chatted a bit about yoga and life.

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I stopped by bucks for a latte to appreciate on my walk home (also awesome!).  I changed quickly and met a few friends for lunch in the city before heading back to the burbs.  The weather began to get colder (we have a snow warning…boo!).  I swung by the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for this week’s meal plan.  I ran around the house for about an hour (getting food put away and laundry going).  Then settled into the couch where I soaked up some Cooper love.

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This week’s meal plan is sponsored by Pinterest!  Tonight’s dinner actually comes from Wildtree.  Since I own not one Wildtree product, I had to improvise a bit so this is an adapted version.   And since the BOY doesn’t eat sweet potatoes, I changed up the veggies.

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I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out but it is incredible!  Even the BOY raved about his dinner when he got home late from work around 9pm!

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I am exhausted after my weekend but feeling really good!  The fresh air, family time, and yoga were exactly what I needed this weekend.

How was your leap day?

Do you use Wildtree products?

Meal Plan 2/29/16

Monday: Zesty Mustard Chicken with Roasted Veggies

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Wednesday: Fish and Broccoli

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Zesty Mustard Chicken with Roasted Veggies

Adapted from Wildtree

Ingredients

5 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1/3 cup Honey Dijon Mustard + a drizzle of olive oil

1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence Blend (or some random herbs in your cabinet)

3 small yellow potatoes, chopped into 3/4-inch cubes

1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved

2 shallots, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F and line a sheet pan with foil. In a gallon freezer bag, add chicken, mustard and herb blend and toss to coat chicken well. Set aside for 10 minutes while preparing vegetables. Toss potato, Brussels sprouts, and shallots, with olive oil and spread into an even layer on prepared sheet pan. Season with salt (and pepper if desired). Place chicken thighs, and any remaining sauce in the bag, on top of vegetables. Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through: 165°F.

Don’t Wanna Taco Bout It…

A slightly different Friday post for ya’ll…

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One of my coworkers organized a Taco Tuesday, where we all brought in the fun stuff to make an amazing lunch.  I was in charge of tortillas and decided to make my favorite Corn Dip too.  Tuesday afternoon, we all dug right in.  The food was fantastic and of course brought us all together for mid day stories and laughter.  Taco Tuesday turned into Taco Wednesday and there were even leftovers by Thursday.  We all decided that Taco Thursday got us through the week and posts from The Fat Jewish helped us survive Friday!

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Randomly, the BOY and I ended up having homemade Taco’s for dinner Friday night too.  With some Fritos’ and leftover corn dip…Mmm!  I decided to cancel our Saturday morning training sessions.  It has been a busy and exhausting work week and I am teaching a kids yoga class tomorrow morning. I decided I needed a night of tacos and red wine AND sleep!

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The BOY and I devoured our tacos and watched Big Bang (Spoiler: the karaoke is hilarious!) and then settled on Zoolander (in case we can’t to see the second one any time soon).  Cooper kept himself busy laying around and waiting for his feather to make its way to him.

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And then hiding his feather under the BOY’s chair.  This week the stress and tacos have gotten the best of me.  My workouts have been pretty non existent.  My nights have been full of paperwork and my mornings full of sleep and espresso.  But I am confident after a rejuvenating weekend, I will be back on track next week.  Don’t worry…it’s Nacho problem!

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Who celebrates Taco Tuesday?

Energy Bites for Energy

Saturday morning, the BOY and I started our day with a workout.  I was feeling back in my groove, but he faded a bit.  The most likely cause…nutrition!

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Although the BOY has made a lot of changes to his diet, he still isn’t a good breakfast eater and needs some more protein.  After our workout, my trainer gave us some dinner and snack ideas, including these awesome Energy Balls from Wildtree.  I happened to have all the ingredients in our house except walnuts, which we picked up at Target.  Also at Target…

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Tell me…have you tried them yet?  I resisted the urge to buy them and came home to make a green protein shake and begin mixing up our snack balls.

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I was a little nervous that the ‘dough’ was dry (most likely because I used natural almond butter), so I added a bit more honey.  I also added in chia seeds because I had about 2 tbsp in a bag that I needed to kill.

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Saturday was a sunny and gorgeous day!  Perfect to crack open the windows and enjoy some energy balls and a latte : )

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And then stash the rest in the fridge where the BOY and I have been snacking on them all week.

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I spent the afternoon teaching the most wonderful group of swimmers at a yoga workshop!  It was so nice to open the door and spend 90 minutes doing yoga in the fresh air again!

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What is your favorite snack or energy food?

Energy Bites

Adapted form Wildtree

Ingredients

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup flaxseed, ground

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons shredded coconut

1/2 cup almond butter

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 tablespoon Coconut Oil

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini dark chocolate morsels

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a food processor, grind walnuts to medium/fine grind. Add flaxseed (and chia if you want) and process for 30 seconds. Add cinnamon, coconut, almond butter, oats, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Process for 20 seconds. Place mixture into a covered storage container and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When ready to roll, remove refrigerated mix and add mini dark chocolate morsels and salt; mix gently to incorporate all ingredients. Hand roll into 1-inch balls and store in air tight container.

Don’t Forget Your Book {When Going to the Social Security Office}

Good Evening Friends!  How was your Monday?

I slept over at my parents last night (just for some hang time with the P’s).  I got the most amazing night of sleep and this morning grabbed a quick bite of food before driving to Starbucks and arriving at the social security office 20 minutes before it opened, latte in hand, to be the 45th-ish person in line!  Yikes!  When they opened, we slowly filed in and right before I checked in on the computer, I was informed that my latte had to wait outside.  Ugh!  At least the sun was shining so after getting my number, I was happy to head back outside to hide my latte and water bottle in my car.

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Sadly, I forgot my book at home which meant that I spent the next two hours playing on my phone and using up all my data. I played one million word games and moved twice (the first time because the only child in the office was sitting next to me and kicking me and the second because I walked around outside while talking to the BOY).

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After 2 hours of waiting, it only took about 3 minutes to apply for my new social security card.  I headed back home in the sunshine deciding that a run was definitely in order.

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I bundled up and hit the path for fresh air.  After a morning of sitting, it felt amazing to be out.  And 6 miles is a lot of time to think and de-stress.

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My plan was 6 miles but I hit a road block just after mile 2.  Like in life, sometimes the path is not clear, so I turned around and remapped out my 6 miles in my head. 

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This was my longest run of the year and my head was tired, but my legs kept pumping!

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When I came home, I showered quickly and decided to try to hit up the DMV for a new driver’s license.  This time I remembered my book.  However, my wait was not nearly as long.  We did have a bit of a snafu because my new and old name are so similar so I ended up with a new picture on my ID card and the old one (from when I turned 30) on my license with my new name.

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Either way, I am officially a Mrs.  I stopped by the grocery store on my way home and ate lunch when I walked in the door around 4pm.  I must confess that I went super simple with dinners this week.  The main reason is that I haven’t been that hungry so wasn’t craving anything.  The other reason was that I decided to come home and proceed with my name changing venture online.

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I know you’re bummed that I don’t have an awesome new dinner recipe for you this week!  I’m bummed too!  But I do have a good snack ball recipe that I’ll get working on this week…in between practicing my new signature, of course : )

What do you do while waiting at an office?

The List

As we enter move through February and I re-acclimate to my ‘real life’, it’s only fitting that I begin to think about the year ahead.  In the weeks I’ve been home, there have been a lot of decisions to be made about this upcoming year.  Should I sign up for the NYC marathon lottery?  What continuing ed should I take? Where do we want to travel?  Tons of awesome options in 2016, but sadly I can’t do them all.  Randomly, my coworker and I started talking about vision boards this week.  Although I don’t have the time and energy to actually make a vision board, it’s a great way to to prioritize my goals for the year ahead and then create a bucket list.  I love to use my ‘nothing book’ to do this by paper which then allows me to share the final (and edited) version on the blog as my 2016 bucket list.  For some reason, this list has taken a bit longer to come together than usual.  I finally just hit post this morning with the understanding that it’s a ‘work in progress’…kinda like me!

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2016 Bucket List

Adult Living

Create and Follow a Budget – Our big goal after wedding and honeymooning…replenish savings!

Be a Better Friend

Floss More Frequently (and Wear my Retainer) – Ugh!

Change my Name

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Right Mind

Continue to Teach Kids Yoga – Grow as a teacher

Let Things Go…

Participate in 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training

Unplug for More ‘Me’ and ‘Us’ Time

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Strong Body

Race!!!  Run and tri, maybe PR…

Build More Strength – Since I won’t be working out with my trainer as consistently (see item 1 RE: budget), it will be up to me to strength train on my own

Bike More!  Drive Less!

Eat Less Packaged and More Real Food

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What are you goals for 2016?

Have you ever made a vision board?

Five for Friday XXVIII

1. Let me tell you about my Tuesday morning commute…I was running late and ran out the door with enough time to get to work until I got stopped at the world’s slowest train.  When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the train actually stopped.  15 minutes later, I had pictures and a video and was on my way to work.  Thankfully,  I only arrived 3 minutes late, but Ugh…it was a rough way to start the week.

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2. Yesterday morning, I finally got over my snooze addiction.  I realized what was holding me back from early morning workouts was motivation.  I love to run, but the treadmill is just not fun or inviting.  With warm-ish weather here in Chicago, I felt motivated to climb out of bed, bundle up, and go for a snowy run along the path.

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3. Tomorrow I am teaching a kids yoga workshop.  It is for a wonderful group and I have some great new ideas, but man, every time I teach, I really get so nervous. I wonder if this will ever change…speaking of yoga workshops…I have a playlist to work on…

 

4. This morning was a bit easier to get out of bed (although I did stay up way too late last night having a glass of wine with some friends) because I was going to  yoga!  #postyogaglow!

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5. Tomorrow we are up early for a workout so it’s a calm night in our household.  A little dinner, a movie, and we are all off to bed!

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Tuesdays Tangents on Meal Planning

How do you pick your food for the week?

Since we meal plan, this is usually done Sunday or Monday and goes a little something like this…

How much time do I have to meal plan?  Tons…let’s look through books and pinterest and find some fun new things to try.  None…and it’s back to the the usual turkey tacos and crockpot chicken.

After that, it’s on to…What do we have in the house?  What have we not eaten in awhile?

And then most importantly…What can I do Monday for the week ahead?  What meat will last until later in the week?  And, how much time do we have each night to make dinner?  On my late nights, I get home close to 8 (tonight it was 8:45!) so the answer is no time.  Other nights, I’m home closer to 7, so there is time to throw something together.  Question is…do I want to?!

I’m lucky because the BOY is into cooking and super helpful in the kitchen (unless you include putting his dishes in the dishwasher).  Ha ha!

It’s easy to make Tuesday’s dinner on Monday in the crockpot because the flavors are usually even better the next day and I typically have leftovers for lunch on Wednesday.  Which is exactly what I did this week…

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This recipe is an exciting version of 2 Ingredient Chicken. Super easy and VERY flavorful!  I almost didn’t get this post out to you tonight and certainly didn’t get to take any pictures due to the late arrival home.

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So you’ll just have to trust me that this makes a great and versatile make ahead dinner and give it a try yourself!

 

Meal Planning 2/15/16

Monday: Island Pork Tenderloin

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

Wednesday: Sausage and Veggies

Thursday: Take Out Something

Friday: Fish and Veggies

What are you eating this week?

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

From Carls Bad Cravings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mild salsa (medium if you like spicy)
  • 1 4 oz. can mild green chilies
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • hot sauce to taste

Directions

  1. Rub chicken breasts with oil and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the hot sauce. Cook on high for 2-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is tender enough to shred.
  2. Remove chicken to a cutting board, and let rest 5 minutes before shredding (there will be liquid remaining). Return shredded chicken and let cook on low for an additional 20 minutes to absorb some of the liquid/juices. Drain all excess liquid. Taste and add hot sauce to taste if desired.

See Website for Notes!