Bombshell Brownies & Apple Pie Bites

IMG_20150913_153241056

Besides sitting around and drinking espresso in my kitchen (thanks to my amazing new Nespresso machine and milk frother that I am totes obsessed with), I’ve also been baking.  I know…it’s about time…right?!  At least that’s what my coworkers said!

IMG_20150913_100713944_HDR

If these don’t get your mouth watering, I don’t know what  will : )

IMG_20150913_095710935

Now on to the baking…when in need of recipes, there are countess options on my Pinterest board but one of my go to blogs for incredible desserts is Cookies&Cups.

IMG_20150913_100816472

Enter…Bombshell Oreo Brownies!

IMG_20150913_101804884

If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw I had a bit of a cocoa mishap.  Well, honestly a HUGE, my kitchen is covered in chocolate, situation.

IMG_20150913_101118242_HDR

But I will tell you, it was totally worth it for these mouth watering brownies.

IMG_20150914_153723012_HDR

My coworkers were thrilled to see that I had leftovers and agreed that this new recipe is a keeper!  After my brownies were baked, I went out for a quick bike ride before returning to the kitchen for another round of baking. 

IMG_20150913_112834739

This one was a little more simple but just as tasty.  Because we just started the new year, apples and honey are customary, so an apple recipe was a MUST.

IMG_20150913_154353557

This is a Pinterest favorite and something I knew that I needed to try!

IMG_20150913_155440730_HDR

The ease of using crescent rolls saves time with this recipe without sacrificing any taste!  While the apple pie bites baked, Cooper found a hiding place in the kitchen where he could observe the action and seek out free tastes.

IMG_20150913_155449897 IMG_20150913_155429425

My pie bites were a bit bigger than they should have been (they were harder to wrap than I thought they would be), but with a little extra butter, they browned perfectly and were sweet and delicious!

IMG_20150913_160910805_HDR

Note: I recommend serving them warm with homemade ice cream, but cold for breakfast the next morning works too!

IMG_20150913_160920445

And by the way, Homemade ice cream is also perfect for your brownies!

IMG_20150913_095641492

Happy Almost Fall Ya’ll!!!

Bombshell Oreo Brownies

From Cookies&Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 25 Oreo cookies coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C
  2. Line 9×13 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Add in salt and the cocoa powder and mix on medium until combined, 30 seconds to a minute.
  5. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour until incorporated.
  6. Stir in the white chips.
  7. Spread half of the batter into pan. Top with the Oreos and spread the remaining batter on top.
  8. Bake 35-40 minutes until center is almost set.

 

Apple Pie Bites

From The Blond Cook

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, and additional apple pie spice for sprinkling on top of crescent rolls
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into 8 (1/2-inch) slices
  • 1 (8-ounce) can Pillsbury Original crescent rolls

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and apple pie spice. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter and toss apple slices in butter, set aside.
  4. Arrange crescent roll triangles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Evenly distribute brown sugar mixture onto each triangle.
  5. Sprinkle each triangle evenly with the chopped pecans.
  6. Place an apple slice on the wide end of each triangle. Wrap crescent roll dough around each apple.
  7. Brush each crescent roll with remaining butter. Sprinkle lightly with additional apple pie spice.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

New Month…New Goals!

The BOY and I had an ‘Us’ weekend!  We spent Saturday morning hiking, picnicing, and napping (in that order) and then relaxed a bit as I soaked in the start of the Tour de France time trials.  The BOY grilled dinner and we sat out back enjoying the gorgeous summer evening with one of our favorite wines.

IMG_20150704_184546002_HDR

And then we crashed the neighbors party for a couple more cocktails.  We did the responsible ‘go to bed around midnight’ thing, and I was happy because I had biking plans with a friend Sunday morning.

IMG_20150704_203305107

I woke up feeling a little more tired than I would have wanted (perhaps I had too many drinks with our neighbors).  I packed up my car and pulled my bike stuff together.  It’s been too long since I’ve gone for a bike, ride and I am way out of practice.  I had to turn around twice because I forgot my helmet and bike lock.

IMG_20150705_112236038

I met my friend at a forest preserve to do a BRICK. She is doing a triathlon and has an interesting training program that involves intervals of biking and running.  Which is what we did for about an hour and then continued to bike for another 45 minutes.  It was a gorgeous day for a bike ride and my head cleared up quickly.  Afterwards, we went for coffee and supplements at the Starbucks/Whole Foods.

IMG_20150705_112246686

I returned home feeling super tired, but dove into my never ending house and wedding to do list.  I also noticed that my bike chain is rusted and needed to make an appointment to bring it in.  It felt amazing to start crossing things off, and I was reminded about why it was so important to have some down time this weekend.  I also used my time to watch more of the tour, loving the views of the Netherlands and the thrill of the sprint.

I did a big Bucket List post yesterday, but then remember that I had more short term goals to think about…so here we go!

 

June Goals

Eat Clean, Train Dirty– I cleaned up my diet this month and have been exercising often and hard.  The benefits…my clothes fit better, I have more energy, and my stomach has calmed down.

Cook and Bake– I got myself back into the kitchen after a bit of a ‘lack of time’ induced hiatus.  This month, I shared some new dinner recipes and of course some incredible ice cream recipes!

Drink More Water– My water bottle has been with me all day every day.

Slow Down and Enjoy Every Moment!- I had a great talk about this with my friend during our morning bike ride.  It’s always a challenge, but well worth the effort.  There were some great moments to enjoy this month!

IMG_20150704_194822840

 

July Goals

Strength Train 2x Each Week

Keep it Clean, Add in Green

Stay the Course with Wedding Planning (and Stay Calm!)

Have the Best Bachelorette Weekend!

Car-Free and Carefree

WARNING: this is a LONG post for a LONG weekend!

The BOY and I have had two fantastic weekends!

Last weekend, we did our weekend getaway to Wisconsin and this weekend, we went down to Chicago.  But first, we decided to sleep in and play Saturday morning by ear.  Since I wasn’t running the race, we had tons of possibilities.  I didn’t set an alarm and took my time drinking my morning tea and enjoying a breakfast stirfry.

IMG_20150523_091949519

Then, the BOY and I went out to play tennis in the sunshine.  Our usual outdoor court was full, but we were able to find another available court near by.

IMG_20150523_104215250

It took us a little bit of time to get into our groove, but once we did, it was really fun.  That might be because I won almost half the games!

IMG_20150523_104249137_HDR

After tennis, we picked up a light lunch at Panera and then swung by DSW for new shoes to support my foot during tennis.  We went back home to pack up our stuff for the city and then hit the road.  We got downtown around 4pm and decided to walk up and down Southport doing a bit of shopping.  Then we ordered Thai food for dinner, planning to bring it in to watch the Hawks game (just like last year).

IMG_20150523_182944

While we waited for dinner, we grabbed a beer at The Green Lady, which has tons of local Chicago and Illinois beers on tap.  We both tried something new that we really liked!

IMG_20150523_182744542

We picked up our dinner and walked back to my brother’s where we were staying.  One of my favorite things about staying in Lakeview is all of the walking that we do.  And what little time I spend in my car!  We cracked open a bottle of Napa wine and sucked down our amazing Thai dinner during the exciting game.

IMG_20150523_191205016

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay awake for the two over times, but was happy to see that the Hawks pulled off the win.  My alarm went off at 6am Sunday morning and it took me some time to get organized.  By 6:30, I had some (but not enough) air in my tires and was heading east to Lake Shore Drive.

IMG_20150524_065034647

My goal was to get down to Grant Park where I knew there were a few different bike shops offering free support to the riders.  The weather was a bit unpredictable and a few miles in, it was clear that I would need my jacket to keep me warm and dry.

IMG_20150524_065842996

I made it down to the park, and was lucky to find some friendly guys to put air in my tires.  Then, I was back on the drive heading south towards the museum.  There were bouts of rain throughout, but the roads were still packed with riders.

IMG_20150524_075026478

At the south end, I stopped for a quick snack, chatting with some other riders before hopping back on the drive north towards Soldier Field.

IMG_20150524_075636818

I rode 15 miles up north to the Bryn Mar turnaround, stopping to take a few photos along the way. 

IMG_20150524_083017475

At the north end, I stopped again to stretch my legs.  It seemed that maybe the rain was going to stop, but as I headed back to where I began, it picked back up.  It was clear that after a chilly (but totally awesome) 30+ mile morning on my bike, a latte was needed : )

IMG_20150524_092905017_HDR IMG_20150524_093940911

When I arrived back home, the BOY was awake and ready for breakfast.  We walked over to Wishbone, where I had the most delicious breakfast sandwich and potatoes!  I didn’t realize how hungry I was until the food came out and I scarfed it down.

IMG_20150524_104933268

We walked back and packed up our car to head back to the suburbs.  It continued to rain on and off, which was perfect to crash on the couch and watch a Lifetime movie.  Around 2pm, it looked like the sun was starting to creep out, so the BOY suggested tennis.  I was excited to try out my new shoes, so I agreed.  I was also excited that after my longest bike ride of the year, my legs felt good enough to play tennis.

IMG_20150524_142632987

40 minutes in, the rain returned and sent us back to our car.  We had a fun birthday party for the BOY’s aunt Sunday night.  We decided to have a little more fun when we got home, so we opened up a bottle of wine and played Yahtzee (a new game we picked up in Wisconsin). 

IMG_20150524_222956066_HDR

It was funny to watch Cooper chase after the dice!  We slept in again this morning and then I ran off to the store to pick up mimosas and fruit for Memorial Day brunch with my friends and their kids.

IMG_20150525_092934501_HDR

We had so much fun and then the rest of Monday just flew by…next thing I knew it was dinner time and the BOY was marinating ribs.  YUM!

IMG_20150525_162247

It was definitely a carefree weekend, and I was happy to pack so much in.  But now I am exhausted and ready to crash on my couch.  I wish I had just one more day of weekend…then I would be able to stay up late enough to watch tonight’s Hawks game!

 

What did you do this weekend?

#bikelove

I was super excited to leave work early today.  After a record breaking number of patients yesterday and a lingering (although improving) sinus infection, I welcomed the break.  Until I got home and realized that I had a ton of work to do.  The BOY was out and so I also welcomed a quiet night at home…perhaps some Castle reruns?!  BUT, the sun was shining and I haven’t been active in the mornings, soaking up the sleep instead.

IMG_20150506_180142216

So, I decided before attacking emails, yoga plans, and paperwork that I would unhook my bike and fill the tires with air.  My bike ride was almost a really short one since it didn’t seem like my front tire would keep air. I decided to give it a try…a little fresh air is better than none. 

IMG_20150506_180646

I stopped a few times to check the tire and it seemed to be holding up.  I took an easy pace thinking I would do a short ride and turn around.  But as I got going, I decided to keep going…all the way around the 9 mile loop.

IMG_20150506_181242627

IMG_20150506_182457544

About 3/4 into the loop, I caught a glimpse of a few deer grazing in the woods.  I never have my camera with me when I see the deer.  But this time I did!

IMG_20150506_184118936_HDR

#nofilter

When I got back home, I got started on dinner sides and waited for the BOY to come home and grill shrimp.  I have never been a cauliflower fan, but after the most amazing dinner we had a Sunda, I have been interested in the pale veggie.  I thought it’d be fun to do an Asian cauliflower.  The last time I tried, I burned more seasoning than I tasted.  This time, I decided to mix it all in a bowl first.

IMG_20150506_192600571

Ingredients included…equal parts olive oil and teriyaki garlic seasoning plus a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

IMG_20150506_192826335_HDR

How about that…an original recipe on a week day.  It’s amazing to be home from work before 6pm.  What a treat!

IMG_20150506_202416324

It was a bland colored but super tasty dinner!  Followed by some much needed down time and TV : )

IMG_20150506_193957295

Roasted Teriyaki Garlic Cauliflower

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower

2 tbsp teriyaki garlic seasoning

2 tbsp olive oil

Red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash and slice cauliflower.  Place in bowl and top with garlic/olive oil mixture.  Spread out on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Then sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Bake for 40 minutes, checking once to stir around.

 

What do you do when you get home from work early?

My Top 5 Health and Fitness Decisions

IMG_5732

I saw this post on Renee’s blog (forever ago) and loved that it was fun and introspective.  She has made a lot of healthy changes and is a huge inspiration!  It was tough to pick just 5 meaningful healthy moments in my 30+ years, but here it goes…

1. Joining Junior High Cross Country

Okay, so in all fairness, this was not really my decision.  It was my mothers.  She sent me to school on the first day of 6th grade with a bag and proclaimed ‘You’re on the cross country team’.

Jen Cross Country 001

I was lucky to find that some of my friends’ moms did the same thing (along with some of my soon to be friends).  Together we tackled 6th grade cross country, chatting through most of our runs and learning how to push ourselves and compete.  Although few of them showed up for cross country on the first day of 7th grade, I was hooked.   And as they say…the rest is history!  (I really did do a post on my running history and lifelong love of running from here to now that’s a fun recap of the years since 6th grade)

2. Listening to my Stomach

In high school, I started really struggling with my stomach.  Sure, there had been signs before then that dairy was not my friend but in high school, it was at it’s absolute worst.  I even remember one day declaring that I was ‘allergic to all food’ because everything I ate disrupted my stomach.  It was here that I learned what I could and could not eat (yes, peanut butter I’m talking to you) before exercise and cross country meets.  Although I can’t tell you the exact day that I became fed up and ready to listen to my body, eventually I did.  I learned what worked for me and what didn’t and changed my diet accordingly.  I was able to go off the meds I’d been taking daily and no longer had to leave a restaurant mid meal to curl up in the car because my stomach hurt so bad.  It was empowering!  Although there have been bumps along the road (I was less conscious in college and had a huge flare up in grad school), overall I am much happier and healthy since listening and respecting my tummy!

3. Buying a Bike

When I lived in Tennessee, I talked about wanting a bike but really didn’t have anywhere to ride one.  Fast forward to my move back home and life in Evanston.  With great access to the lake shore path and plenty of places to ride, I bought my first bike since elementary school and rode it everywhere.  I did Bike the Drive with my family and my first triathlon.  I rode some of RAGBRAI with my mom and then purchased a second (faster) bike.

IMG_5681

There is much fun and fitness Ode to My Bike…and many more bike adventures to come!

4. Committing to 8 Hours of Sleep

Yes, you heard it…I get 8 hours of sleep a night (most nights) and make a point to get myself into bed with enough time to read and unwind before falling asleep.  Although I can’t always get the full 8, I rarely get less than 7 during the week and try to stock up as needed during the weekends, napping when necessary.  Adequate sleep is important for me to function at my best.  When I am well rested, I make better food and health decisions, stay healthy, and manage my stress….all good things!

5. Taking Rainbow Kids Teacher Training

It was on my mat one day at a studio in the city with my mom and friends that I decided that I wanted to teach kids yoga.  Not just incorporate it into my treatments, but really learn how to teach kids yoga. I announced as much to my mom and set out to make it happen.  June last year, I took my training in New York. 

14393925296_358bb2bae8_o

I loved every moment of it…spending three straight days with like minded yogi’s (some of which who also work in health care) was unbelievable!  I learned so many techniques, games, and ideas that have guided my teaching throughout the past year.  It also encouraged me to push myself to be more creative, energetic, and fun with every session.  I have much more to learn but this definitely sent me down the path of becoming a kids yoga instructor, expanding my therapist role, and reaching my goal.

What are some of your best health decisions?

Honorary Mentions

Adopting Cooper

Flossing my teeth daily

Giving up fast food

Drinking more water

Taking my first yoga class

Cleaning up my diet

Wearing daily SPF

Committing to strength training

Giving up Crystal Lite and (almost) giving up diet soda

Running a marathon (then two)

I Did Not Retire in California…

IMAG0263

Although the thought crossed my mind : )

I didn’t forget about you guys either!  We had the most amazing trip to  Northern California, and it’s taken me a week to adjust to being back in the real world (but we’ll get to that). 

DSCN1971

The BOY and I began our trip in San Francisco…

IMG_20140803_140913774

Eating Dim Sum in China town…

IMG_20140804_123753748

IMG_20140804_125319783_HDR

Biking across the Golden Gait Bridge…

DSCN2068

Hugging trees in Muir woods…

IMG_20140804_195720770 IMG_20140804_195726171_HDR

And eating and drinking our hearts out! Then, we headed out to visit the BOY’s aunt in the suburbs where we continued to eat, drink, and enjoy the unbelievably perfect California weather.

DSCN2097

Even tacking on a bit of hiking…

IMG_20140807_090214120_HDR

Before driving further north to wine country.  It has been a dream of mine to visit Napa and Sonoma for years.

IMG_20140807_143107944 IMG_20140807_144624316_HDR

Our first stop was Castello Di Amorosa and the trip only got better from there.  Between the wine tastings, picnics, and homemade antipasto plates, Napa did not disappoint.

IMG_20140808_194035

We toured fancy wineries, tasting delicious wines, and discovered some hidden gems.

IMG_20140808_161947221_HDR

IMG_20140808_161933231

But, it was the laid back vibe of Sonoma that won our hearts!

IMG_20140809_122759451

We spent a day in the Alexander Valley, sipping red wine and picnicing next to the vineyards.

IMG_20140809_130545167_HDR

IMG_20140809_135139647

It was everything I imagined and more!  We bought so many bottles of wine, we’ll have enough for a year!  And we are already talking about our next trip back.

IMG_20140809_133951887

We packed a ton into our 8 day trip, but the highlight…I would have to say…

IMAG0197

We got engaged in Muir Woods!!!

IMG_20140806_114632753_HDR

And we couldn’t be happier!!!

Let the wedding planning begin (oh wait…it already has)…hence my lack of blogging!

IMG_20140807_142757863

I’m Still Addicted to the Tour!

After not getting to watch much of the tour this week, I arrived home from work last night with Chipotle for dinner declaring that I would be watching hours of the tour to catch up before today’s time trials.  The BOY was too exhausted to fight and knew that not only was he outnumbered (Cooper is now a fan) that he really should be studying!

My triathlon friend had a last minute change of plans and invited me to join her on her longest BRICK this morning.  I confessed that I was nowhere near 100% and with my company may come a few snot rockets.  She didn’t seemed phased and we agreed to meet at the River path near my house.

IMG_20140726_105659845

As I fell asleep last night, it occurred to me that I didn’t have anything to eat for breakfast and was lacking the usual fuel I would bring along for a training ride.  When I woke up, I decided to go to one of my favorite training breakfasts, the Dough Boy Smoothie.  Typically, I would set everything up the night before, but instead, I threw the ingredients (using a peach and some blueberries instead of banana) into the blender first thing this morning.  Then, got about feeding Cooper breakfast and pulling together my gear for the BRICK, before blending it all together.

IMG_20140726_081943549

Breakfast was lacking some protein, but super delicious and exactly what I knew my stomach would need on a day like today.  And, I found a few Kind Bars in the pantry to nosh on during the ride.

IMG_20140726_092045922

I met my friend at the Dairy Queen and we took a quick pre ride selfie before riding north.  This is the same path I rode a few weeks ago at the start of the tour.  I made it farther north today than last time, but still didn’t find the mountains : )  We had a time goal instead of a mileage goal, but after 3 hours, we had almost 33 miles behind us.  We rode a pretty slow pace, which was perfect for my body, but I had more energy than I expected.  Finally, some benefit of sitting on the couch for a few days!

IMG_20140726_104100860

It was quick switch out of helmets before making our way back to the trail for a 30 minute run jog during which we talked books.  I raved about Reconstructing Amelia and she told me how funny Bossy Pants was.  I need to pick that up before our trip to California!  I was definitely tired when we strode back into the Dairy Queen parking lot, but not nearly as wrecked as I expected.

IMG_20140726_130008201

Post Brick Selfie

I stopped at my favorite sandwich shop (Which Wich?) on the way home to grab a warm chicken pesto on wheat that I devoured during the start to today’s tour on the DVR.

IMG_20140726_135012978

After lunch and a shower, I wanted nothing more than to sit back and watch time trials.  But I had a first birthday party to attend!  I was able to watch Tony Martin and saved the rest for tonight, which I knew might take some convincing when the BOY returned from the library.

IMG_20140726_153042525

The First Birthday Fiesta was super fun!  It is always wonderful to catch up with my high school friends and clown around a bit. 

IMG_20140726_173034414 IMG_20140726_180056898_HDR

On a fun note, the uncle of the birthday boy is a chef in Napa Valley.  He and his girlfriend cooked up the most incredible fiesta meal complete with homemade churros.  Of course, I introduced myself and they had a few suggestions for our mostly unplanned upcoming trip.  The BOY returned from the library with food on his mind.  I’m sure you guessed it, but he called in an order for Thai food, which I happily scooped up on my way home.  Even though I ate at the party, I always have room for a few bites of Thai.

IMG_20140726_190026

We ate dinner in while watching the nail biting finale of today’s time trial, and I’m sure I won’t make it up late tonight after this morning’s LONG workout.  I am looking forward to a revitalizing morning yoga class.  On a totally different note, thanks to everyone for the pep talk after my running woes. I have no expectations for this upcoming half marathon, but appreciate you letting me vent about my lack of training and cheering me right along!

 

Have you been following the tour?

What was your workout today?

I am Not the King of the Mountains

I was so inspired by the first half of the Tour de France Stage II this morning, that I had to get out on my bike!  After our Saturday night festivities, nobody was jumping out of bed this morning.  Slowly but surely, my brother and his fiancé emerged and joined me watching the start of stage II.  My brother is just as into it as I am and his fiancé thinks he’s just as crazy as the BOY thinks I am!

 

As everyone made their way out the door, it was just me and Cooper watching the TV.  Feeling encouraged by the extreme athletic accomplishments of this hilly course, I pulled myself together with thoughts of a longish bike ride.  I paused the tour about half way through and decided to drive out to the Fox River Trail.

 

IMG_20140706_110054126

 

I think it’s been about 2 years since I’ve been riding or running out in this area.  I kind of remembered how to get there and find the trail.  What surprised me was how close the trail actually is to my house (only about a 12 minute drive).

 

IMG_20140706_112046829

 

I began riding north planning to go about an hour and then turn around and head back.  My bike computer is still out of commission, so I wasn’t sure how fast (or slow) I was going or what my exact distance would be.  As I rode into McHenry county, it appeared that they’ve redone their trail.

 

IMG_20140706_115239932

 

The pavement was smooth and the views beautiful as I weaved away from the river and up north towards the big open fields.  The clouds were dark and thick, threatening rain, so I was tempted to turn around at about 30 minutes when I saw a trail detour.  Instead, I pressed on knowing that there were big hills ahead.  I have vivid memories of walking my bike up these hills as they may be the biggest I’ve seen in this area.

 

IMG_20140706_121123934

 

Before I got to the big hills where I was planning to ride for the polka dot jersey, the skies got darker and the wind stronger.  At about 50 minutes, I decided it was smarter to turn around leaving the hills for another day.  With the wind at my back, I sailed back south towards my car.

 

IMG_20140706_112104436

 

I cruised back appreciating the views on this rustic trail.

 

IMG_20140706_123135808_HDR IMG_20140706_130930

IMG_20140706_123938629_HDR

 

When I arrived back at my car after about 95 minutes of biking, the sun was shining and I forgot that I was ever worried about the weather.  Despite having 3 strength training days prior to today’s ride, my legs felt surprisingly strong.  My next stop was the bike shop.  I have an appointment this week for typical maintenance.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had my hybrid fixed up and after much thought, I decided that I would take it in this summer instead of my road bike.  Mostly because I am not doing a triathlon this summer and also because the people I have been and will be riding with don’t have road bikes, it makes the most sense to spend this season on my hybrid.

 

IMG_20140706_112049470

 

Then, it was back to the grocery store before returning home for lunch, a shower, and of course the second half of this morning’s Tour de France.  I can’t wait to see who really is the king of the mountains!

 

 

Is anyone else watching the Tour de France?

What did you see on your bike/run today?

Summer Saturdays

Ahh…one week into summer and I am loving me some Saturdays!

This morning, I woke up, got in a good cuddle with Cooper, and then made breakfast.

 

IMG_20140627_181830465

 

Instead of my usual eggs, I went with a Quinoa Cake.  Yum!  Although I didn’t have any bananas, so I smothered it with almond butter, agave, and coconut.  It was fantastic!

 

IMG_20140628_071506423

 

And gave me more than enough energy to power through an awesome and inspiring hot yoga class.  Let me tell you…my dancer pose has never looked felt so good!  After yoga, I spent some down time on the couch watching trashy TV.  Then, packed up my car to meet a friend for a bike ride and a run.

 

IMG_20140628_111757422

 

She is training for her first triathlon, so I offered to tag along to keep her company and live vicariously through her since this is the first year in a few that I am not training for a triathlon.  This is the same friend that I ran the 10 Mile Coffee Date with, so there is always plenty to talk about.

 

IMG_20140628_122340837

 

We rode along the Des Plaines River Trail, which was beautiful.  It was really fun to ride a different trail and get a new perspective and of course, workout with a friend.  There was a little flooding, so we got slightly sidetracked on our way north, but easily made our way back.  We were talking so much and enjoying the sights (we saw a deer) that I barely took any pictures.  After our 130 minute bike ride (a little over 20 miles), we locked up our bikes and set out on the next portion of our workout, a 20 minute run.  This was my first BRICK since last summer and my legs felt heavy and slow, just like they were supposed to.  And I felt happy and strong, just like I expected!

 

IMG_20140628_152824266 IMG_20140628_154038589

 

After our 2 plus hour workout, we knew we deserved smoothies and fro yo samples, and there was a place just across the street to serve up both.  Then we said our goodbyes and I drove back home.  The BOY and I brought in dinner from one of our favorite restaurants and the rest of my evening is looking like this…

 

IMG_20140628_195529306

 

Now that’s one happy day!

 

 

How do you like to spend your summer Saturdays?

Wow! I’ve Been Productive this Weekend…

Goals for the Weekend…

 

Make large deposit into sleep bank-CHECK

Get house organized-CHECK

Run and Bike-CHECK and CHECK

Go to farmer’s market-CHECK

Catch up on emails, DVR, bills, and work-CHECK

Cook-CHECK

 

Are you exhausted already? I also had time for a dentist appointment, yoga workshop, lunch with my parents, shopping with my mom (I bought 3 new dresses which will be perfect for wine tasting in California), and laundry.  There is still plenty to do tomorrow, starting with getting my bridesmaid dress fit for my brother’s wedding which is 3 weeks away, but after working through my to do list, I feel better already!

 

IMG_20140622_095221251_HDR

 

I slept until 9am this morning, which felt incredible!  I ate breakfast and headed out into the humidity for a bike ride.  I haven’t ridden in a few weeks, so I was excited to take my bike out.  My legs, however, were not so excited! 

 

IMG_20140622_095612504_HDR

 

After Thursday’s leg workout complete with lots of lunges and squats and yesterday’s run, my legs were done.  I felt like I was pedaling against the wind 100% of the time, which considering I was biking in a loop couldn’t really be possible, right?!

 

IMG_20140622_095615492 IMG_20140622_100548235 IMG_20140622_103104749

 

My bike is also making some strange noises, so when I got back home, I tried to schedule an appointment at the bike shop.  Not surprisingly, they are booking about 2 weeks out, so I will have to wait.

 

After a shower, the BOY and I ate lunch together before he went off to the library, and I hung out with my parents.  I was really eager to go to the farmer’s market since it just opened and they had limes for 7 cents each!  The market is dangerously located in the middle of a mall, so my mom and I also found ourselves at Sur La Table, The Loft, and a few other stores.  My parents went on about their way and I hit up my last stop, the grocery store before making my way home for the day.  Since we had a quiet night in last night, I used that time to plan out this week’s meals.

 

IMG_20140622_182859808

 

The BOY was home from the library when I walked in, and I found him napping upstairs.  I have been pretty spoiled with the BOY grilling dinners and making many of our meals, but as each week goes by, he is studying longer and getting home later.  So, I went back to some of our favorites (with the help of my crockpot) for this week’s meal plan.

 

IMG_20140622_192717612

 

To go along with tonight’s meatloaf, I picked up some beautiful looking potatoes at the market.  Rosemary potatoes is one of our favorite sides, especially during grill season.  They are so easy to make in the oven and are usually a crowd favorite.  I love to make extra too to enjoy with my eggs as leftovers the next morning.  Yummy!

 

 

Meal Planning 6/22/14

Sunday: Chipotle Turkey Meatloaf with Rosemary Potatoes

 

Monday: Girls Dinner

 

Tuesday: Kung Pao Chicken

 

Wednesday: Seafood and Veggies

 

Thursday: Pork Tenderloin

 

Lunch: Crockpot Green Chicken Curry

 

 

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

 

Ingredients

About 6 small yellow or red potatoes, sliced (per one large baking sheet)

2 tbsp olive oil

Sea Salt

Rosemary

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place foil over a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.  Place a single layer of potatoes, overlapping a little as needed, across the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and use a brush to spread evenly over the potatoes.

Sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary.  Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Then remove potatoes and flip them over adding more sea salt and rosemary.  Return to oven for 15 to 20 minutes until crispy along the edges.  I like mine well done!

 

Were you productive this weekend?