I’ve Missed You Blog World!

Well   Hello   There   Everyone!!!

I am back and settled(ish)!  Cooper…is another story, but we will get to that! 

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Let’s see…since last we chatted, life has been BUSY…

We packed up our entire house.  And by we, I mean myself and my parents.  The BOY did pack one full box but before you think he did nothing, he was in charge or organizing our last minute move on a holiday weekend. Not an easy job!

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July 1st was a gorgeous day and our movers were amazing and efficient. Before we knew it, were standing in an empty home.  Full of emotion, of course, as the excitement of our next adventure begins with the nostalgia of having 10 years of memories in this house (including our first kiss!).

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I was super grateful for the assistance of my P’s but even more thankful that they took us in to their home when we had none without question.  The three of us traded in our 3 bedroom home for a bedroom.  The first few nights were rough as we couldn’t find a thing and had Cooper crammed in with us.

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But Saturday night we had a BBQ with my bestie and her family and it really did feel so good to be home!

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The rest of the weekend was catching up on life, unpacking, getting organized, laundry, and grocery shopping.  The 4 us had a meeting to meal plan out the week, which has been very successful.  My dad found a white board to keep track of everything and has also added a countdown until our move out date : )

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Which brings me to the excitement of the week. We signed a lease for a Chicago apartment (and there was much rejoicing!) but it’s not available until September 2nd…

So we are living it up with my parents, appreciating the home cooked family meals (including my dad’s famous stir fry) and laundry service and hoping that Cooper can adjust to living with 4 adults as opposed to his usual 2. There has been a bit more hissing lately!

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#trainselfie

The BOY and I are also commuting together which might be an even bigger challenge than moving in or planning a wedding : )

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On the yoga front, I am LOVING my training.  We had some time off but are probably about half way done and I am already feeling sad for when it will be over.  I am reading a ton and learning a lot.

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I am doing way more yoga than running and feeling really good about it.  Comfortable with myself as I am growing each day of this journey that I know (hope) is just beginning.  This past weekend we taught each other which was exciting and nerve wrecking!

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And if that’s not enough excitement…the Tour de France started this week (more rejoicing!!).  I’ve got the entire family watching and cheering on my favorite riders.  Between that and the Olympic trials, our blooming social life, and trying to capture a few minutes of down time, life has been plugging along!

But I’ve miss you guys!  Tell me what’s going on with you…

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Exploration…

It’s been a little while since I decided I wanted to teach kids yoga…and since then I’ve had the 200 hour teacher training on my bucket list.  It seems surreal that the weekend it all begins is here!

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I have been thinking about this a lot as the date approaches and not just because I am obsessing over my Anatomy PowerPoints.  My main reason for wanting to take the class was to enhance my understanding and skill to make me a better kids yoga teacher.  But, I also realize that this is such  a unique gift that I can give myself as I explore my own yoga practice.  On top of that….teaching adult yoga may be a fun way to make a few extra dollars when we move to the city.  So those three reasons led me to Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) this morning at 8am!

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I was super excited (and also totally nervous)!  I knew that this journey would change my yoga practice and perhaps even change me!  I just had to figure out what to wear on my first day : ) We started with some get to know you stuff and it’s fun to see everyone’s background and what led them to this moment.

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Then we did our first yoga practice together.  Afterwards, we practiced talking through poses and then continued to get to know each other over lunch, which a few of us enjoyed outside.  After lunch, we dug deep with a timeline of our lives and the option to share some defining moments.  I was comfortable sharing, especially since one of my most recent defining moments was marrying my best friend last fall.  This moment shaped my new identity as a wife as I shed my independent self and became part of a new family.  After discussions about intention setting and affirmations, we ended a bit early, which meant I was home by 4pm.

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With the sun blazing, I decided to take a spin on my bike!  It was an absolutely gorgeous day!  And it wasn’t until I was half way through my 10 mile ride that I realized my drive to ride most likely came from the fact that this is my first Memorial Day Sunday in, I dunno, 6 years not doing Bike the Drive.  Not surprisingly, I was all signed up for the ride but passed my entry along to my brother when I decided to do yoga teacher training.

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When I got back home from my ride, the BOY was home after spending the day with his dad.  I showered and made myself a wine spritzer and we sat out back listening to music.

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The BOY made us a delicious seared tuna with broccoli while he chatted baseball with the neighborhood boys.

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We came inside early (based on the neighborhood standards) because I actually have a few patients tomorrow morning and then day 2 of YTT tomorrow night.  The day was a great Memorial Day kick off to summer but also an exciting start to this next chapter in my yoga journey!

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Namaste!

Bu Bye BBQ

My office has been rocking the Taco Tuesdays lately!

***Thought I had a picture to attach here with our awesome potluck spread, but apparently I do not : )

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Work is way more fun when you like your coworkers, so I am sad to say that this was our last week together.  My bosses offered to throw a potluck in my honor for my last week, and they let me pick the theme, so I went with a summer BBQ.  Yesterday, everyone brought something delicious to share, and I signed up for a Corn Spoonbread.

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It was super easy to make and went perfectly with the BBQ chicken sandwiches!

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I was a little nervous about serving a new recipe, but how can you go wrong with Jiffy mix and creamed corn?!

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Luckily, it turned out great (and everyone agreed)!  We had more than enough fantastic food to eat, including these incredible desserts made by one of my coworkers!

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My second to last day went well, and I had mixed emotions about my last day today.  All day, my patients (and even some of my coworkers patients) have been so sweet and wonderful!  My coworkers are awesome and I know come Tuesday, I will miss them even more!

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After a long last day of work with tough goodbyes, I swung by Target for some wine, and the BOY and I decided B Wubs would be an easy dinner.  I sipped a beer while I waited for our take out order to be ready.

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One of my coworkers’ patient’s brought in the most sweet and beautiful cake today, so I attempted to bring home the leftovers for dessert.  Sadly, its current state is a reflection on my driving : )

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Cooper found the frosting before I even noticed and was happily tasting away.  After wings, the BOY and I dug right in too!

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We then cuddled up for the night with some wine and a movie.  Not gonna like…we are watching one of my old school favorites Adventures in Babysitting!  It’s a fun way to kick off the holiday weekend, which for me is not only the start of summer, but also a whole new adventure ahead!!!

 

How are you celebrating Memorial Day weekend?

I highly recommend that you include this cornbread!!!

 

Sweet Corn Spoonbread

From Southern Bite

Ingredients

  • 1 (8.5-ounce) package JIFFY Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1 (14.75-ounce) can cream style corn
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the spoonbread is set.

Sunday Seven {May Day}

1. I’m BACK!!!

Been a crazy week but happy to say that I am back to blogging.  Can’t wait to tell ya what I’ve been up to ; ) 

 

2. My computer…

Did a mandatory update rendering itself completely useless this week!

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3. Space Pants

I couldn’t even tell you the last time I watched Saturday night live, but watching Peter Dinklage’s Space Pants dance last night had be cracking up!

 

4. Date Night

Prior to watching SNL, the BOY and I had game night, which involved me kicking his booty in Yahtzee!  And I got my FIRST EVER Yahtzee!

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5. Reading!

Check out all my new reading materials…yoga training her I come : )

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6. Sunday Not As Funday

I have to work tomorrow.  I started my day with an intense hot yoga class (love!) but crashed by the afternoon.  I didn’t want to go to the grocery store tonight but made myself go.  I did a quick run for essentials and this week’s meal plans will be simple…I’m thinking lots of grilling!

 

7. Speaking of the Grill…

We have to decide what BBQ sauce to use on our ribs tonight!

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I’ve got big plans to get myself back to blogging this week with some fun stuff coming your way!

 

Tell me some of your Sunday Stuff…

Return of the Grill {And the Bike}

Spring has sprung!!!

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We have an entire week of warmth and sunshine which concluded with an absolutely spectacular 70 degree weekend!  It definitely feels like June, and I am loving it!

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Started Saturday morning with a strength sesh followed by a protein smoothie.  Then headed into Chicago for my sister in law’s bachelorette party, which was a ton of fun!

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I arrived back home around noon today, after dropping off my SIL and of course taking some time to play with her tiny little kitties.  The BOY had plans to get his grill cleaned off.  I told him stories of the evening while laying in the sun as he drank a beer and scrubbed off his grill.  When all was done, I took a quick nap on the couch while the BOY grilled the first meal of the year for lunch.  After lunch, we did our grocery store run (along with everyone else) and watched the sad end to the Hawks game.

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I am working tomorrow, so it was a productive Sunday.  Dinner went into the crockpot, laundry was washed and folded, and bags of veggies were prepped for the week ahead.  In an attempt to bribe the BOY to take his lunch to work, I also portioned out fruit and snacks for him for the entire week so all he has to do is make his sandwich.  With most of my ‘chores’ complete, I decided it was time to get out a bit and exercise.

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I dusted off my bike and filled the tires and then literally rode into the sunset.  Our path is a bit flooded, but I was able to ride about 12 miles out and back.

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My bike was a bit neglected last summer, and I am planning to do a lot more riding this year!  I’m even hoping to do some bike commuting around town if I can.

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My first time out was fantastic!  When I got back home, the BOY was already working on the meat for tonight’s dinner.  I love grill season!  And bike season!

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For desert we are attempting to make S’mores ice cream.  I’ll keep you posted how it goes : )  An hour of riding wore me out (or it was last night’s 5 hours of sleep…ha ha)!  Either way, I’m calling it an early one!

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How are you celebrating the start of spring?

Meal Planning 4/17/16

Monday: Serf and Turf

Tuesday: Crockpot 2 Ingredient Pulled Pork

Wednesday: Shrimp Surprise (I forgot to buy the Stirfry veggies so not sure what I will do with my shrimp)

Thursday: TBD

Friday: Happy Passover!

Grateful for 4 Days of Fun!

Friday morning, I drove myself to the gym thinking…the sun is shining, I have a 4 day weekend, and damn, I feel HAPPY!

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And the happiness only continued throughout the weekend!!!

Friday, I drove straight from the gym to my parents for a quick shower.  I bumped into my old next door neighbor which was a pleasure.  Then, my mom, aunt, and I went to my very first dress fitting.  I brought like 8 pairs of shoes to try, no joke!  Afterwards, we had lunch and then went to the mall to shop (and buy more shoes!).

Friday night, the BOY and I had dinner in and I crashed EARLY.   I’m reading Big Little Lies and was happy to have time to dive in to it!  Saturday morning, we were up super early (for the second weekend in a row) for a gym workout.

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The BOY has been joining me for my Saturday morning strength sessions and I love it.  He looks GREAT with his boxing gloves!

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After the gym, we both enjoyed protein shakes before my mom, her BFF of 30+ years, and my aunt picked me up for a nail appointments.  Blue seemed to be the theme of the day.  Then we went into downtown Geneva for a day of shopping.

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It was the perfect day to explore, lunch, and shop!

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That night, the BOY and I hosted a super fun dinner!  He grilled up an amazing meal and we all had a fantastic evening, complete with homemade cookies and cream ice cream.  Yum!

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Sunday morning, I woke up for the 8am yoga class.  The teacher is one of my faves and as she encouraged us to think about what we were grateful for, my mom, aunt, and favorite aunt (LOL!) came to mind. I felt so grateful for the fun and laughter of Saturday but I was also extremely grateful for the friends hosting my shower and celebrating this special day with me!

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Sunday’s shower was special for so many reasons.  It was hosted by my (and my mom’s) friends of 30 years who have supported me and watched me grow.  It was unique and personal and full of selfies…ha ha!

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And it was a wonderful reason to bring two families together to share in the excitement of our upcoming wedding (#61days to go)!

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And I haven’t even mentioned the incredible food and desert.  For long time listeners readers, here’s your first peak at the BOY’s name : )

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After all the weekend excitement, I decided I needed a quiet and easy Monday morning.  I cancelled my training session and slept in without an alarm.  I only made it until 8:30, but it was still nice.  Cooper joined me for some sweet cuddles before I climbed out of bed for breakfast and tea.  I fit in a quick 30 minute jog and then loaded up my bike for it’s appointment at the shop.  Then, I met my mom and favorite aunts for more shopping at the Home Goods.

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Followed by lunch…

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After that, it was back to my real life duties as I needed to hit up Costco and the grocery store for the week ahead.  Even getting stuck in the rain couldn’t ruin my good mood.  When I got back home, I had some cleaning, cooking, and thank you’s to do.  As I was sitting on the couch, I started to feel overheated.  When the BOY walked in, I had him confirm that the house did feel hot…REALLY HOT!  Turns out our air conditioner was broken.  Ugh!

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Instead of cooking dinner, we decided to order Thai (the best!) and try to stay cool while watching the season finale of Orange is the New Black.  We got great news late when the fix it guy was able to easily get our air conditioner working again…at least for now.  I had the most wonderful few days full of excitement, love, and laughter!  Cheers to making more great memories in the weeks to come!

Almost Summer Saturday

Hey There!  Happy Saturday! 

It is feeling more and more like summer, which always puts me in a GREAT mood!  And although I haven’t blogged about it, I’ve been busy!

Exercise Updates:

I had a highly successful week of exercise, including a Tuesday morning walk with the BOY and Thursday morning ab work after my run.  You’ll notice I had some competition for my yoga mat.

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This morning, I was psyched to go to (instead of teach) yoga!  It was a super humid class and we worked our way into birds of paradise.  Note: using a block is helpful but you will not master this pose with wicked tight hips.  Also note…you can still have a lot of fun with it.

 

Almost Summer Stuff

With the warm (almost) summer temps, brings crisp and delicious white wines.  I indulged twice this week (two more times than my typical work week).  Once during Wednesday night’s Hawks game with an awesome Cooper’s Hawk blend.  And then again Thursday during sushi night!

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Summer is also accompanied by No Bake summer recipes and So You Think You Can Dance!  Woo hoo!  After  yoga, I brought in Mediterranean for lunch and began watching the new season of SYTYCD as I worked my way through my never ending to do list. 

 

Recipes

We are having friends over for a BBQ tonight and keeping our fingers crossed that the weather stays nice.  The BOY is grilling up shrimp and calamari…Mmm!  I decided I wanted to make a tasty no bake dessert.

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I settled on a Twix Caramel Apple Salad (from Pinterest)!

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I adjusted the recipe a bit because I had almond milk instead of dairy milk, but I think it is just as tasty. 

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Cooper kept watch from his perch in the cabinet!

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Once dessert was settled in the fridge, I decided to make a banana bread with my brown bananas.  As always, I went searching for a new recipe to try.

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I made a slight mistake…adding in lemon extract thinking it was almond.  Oops! I was able to scoop the majority of it out.  But although the plan was to freeze this bread for next weekend, I wanted to sneak a taste to make sure it wasn’t too lemony.

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The lemon flavor was non existent and this bread was absolutely amazing!!!  It took a whole bunch of will power not to dig into the entire loaf : )

 

Saturday Night

Our BBQ was really fun! Our friends brought their almost 2 year old daughter and we were able to blow bubbles and draw with chalk outside before sitting down for some fantastic grilled seafood, roasted potatoes and savory salad.  Dessert was a big hit too!

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And now it’s time to settle in and watch the Blackhawk’s game.  The neighborhood is alive with energy, but unfortunately, I have a splitting headache, so I am missing out on the rest of the festivities.

 

What do you like about summer Saturdays?

 

Twix Caramel Apple Salad

Adapted Slightly From iSave AtoZ

Ingredients

  • 1 small package of instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 small tub of whipping cream (I used TruWhip)
  • 1 package of TWIX Bites
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • Optional: Caramel or Chocolate sauce

Directions

  1. Whisk together milk and pudding and then immediately add the tub of whipping cream in it before it sets. Don’t use the full amount of milk as the box says.
  2. Dice the TWIX Bites into halves.  Dice the Granny Smith apples.  Stir them into the pudding mixture, and mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Optional: Drizzle with Caramel or Chocolate sauce before serving it.

 

Best Banana Bread

From An Edible Mosaic

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • ⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract (NOT lemon!)
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  3. Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana, yogurt, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, and almond extract; beat until blended. Add the flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
  4. Spoon batter into an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.