So Much Sunday to Share!

Hey ya’ll! How ya been?

Coming to you from the comfort of my couch after a gorgeous (and windy) bike ride, followed by an indulgently warm shower.

IMG_20160515_154655228_HDR

I know it’s been awhile…we had a super busy week!  I started off a little slow recovering from our weekend away.  But still sporting my party nails : )

IMG_20160510_162833664_HDR

But by Thursday, I was up early for a run and Friday, I made it to a 6am yoga class.

IMG_20160513_054846399

We made it through the week and celebrated Friday night with wine!  Saturday morning, I was at the gym alone since the BOY had a bachelor party.  My trainer worked me HARD using heavy weights and lots of reps.  I ran a few errands after the gym and then headed back home.

IMG_20160514_101955944

Although I would have much rather been playing with my friends, I had a long list of things that needed to get done on Saturday. I spent the day doing laundry, decluttering our house, finishing some computer based learning, and making progress on my anatomy power points.  At 4pm, the BOY returned home and we took an hour long nap before heading back out.  He was off to finish up the bachelor party (of his sister’s fiancé) and I was going to hang out with my sister in law while the guys were out being guys.

IMG_20160514_231208664

We ended up at a bar watching a Boy Band cover band which was pretty hilarious and brought back a lot of college memories!  Then went back to her house to have some more wine and cuddle with the kitties!  They are seriously so much fun!

IMG_20160515_132256738

The BOY returned back around 2am and back home we went where we immediately crashed!  We didn’t sleep as late as we wanted this morning and I woke up with a sore throat, fearing that I had caught the BOY’s cold from last week.  Since we were up, we did our weekly grocery store run.  As you saw on Instagram, there are many benefits of Sunday morning shopping including TONS of cheese samples.

IMG_20160515_095457408

I sipped a green smoothie as we shopped hoping to take in some immunity boosting nutrients.  After the store, we came home and made bacon and eggs for brekkie.  Since I wasn’t feeling well, we didn’t make any plans for the day. I took a Musinex and finished up my last computer learning module.  I know that I haven’t been sharing recipes recently, but it’s not because we haven’t been cooking and baking.  We’ve just been sticking with some basics and old favorites.  I made brownies and knew that they needed some home made ice cream to go with them.  Typically, the BOY makes the ice cream so I don’t get many pictures.

IMG_20160515_110013319

But this time, I did the work, including chopping up all the birthday cake Oreos.

IMG_20160515_110020851_HDR

Which, FYI are amazing!!!  I stirred them into the ice cream which was soft and smooth and tasted like a fresh made blizzard.

IMG_20160515_110712586

It took a lot of restraint not to dive head first into the bowl of ice cream, so I settled with a few bites before hiding it in the freezer.  During this time, Cooper was no where to be found.  Weird right?! Considering he is usually ALL over the ice cream maker!  I searched everywhere high and low but couldn’t lure him out of hiding.  We had to run out, so we left and I was thinking that he was probably napping after our late night out.  I grabbed some Whole Foods deliciousness for lunch and the BOY came home and heard a noise in the garage.  Turns out…Cooper was stuck with his paw caught under a bucket in our garage all morning.  The BOY said that he ran upstairs immediately to the litter box and that his paw seemed just fine.  I was relieved to hear it, but we still can’t figure out how and when he made his way into the garage?!

IMG_20160515_153924741

After lunch, the BOY  (and Cooper) took a nap…it had been an emotional day for him…and I decided to break a sweat outside with a bike ride.

IMG_20160515_153930836

It was way windier than I realized and sadly our path was flooded so I did more of a back and forth ride than my typical loop.  It felt wonderful to be out in the sunshine, even though it was not nearly as warm as I thought it would be.

IMG_20160515_154710168

You’ll note my amazing new sunglasses.  They say ‘I heart Boy Bands’ on the side and were a freebie from last night’s concert.  We are spending Sunday night in BBQing for dinner and watching a movie (while I continue to pack and work on slides).  I definitely need an early bed time if I want to turn this cold around!  So much to share this Sunday!!!

 

What are you sharing this Sunday?

 

Meal Planning 5/15/16

Monday: Crockpot Chili

Tuesday: Hotdogs and Chicken Burgers

Wednesday: Steak + Salmon

Thursday: Pasta Night

Advertisements

Not As Much to Say

Haven’t had too much important to share or say lately.  Bloggers, you know how it goes.  Some days you can’t stop your fingers from typing along the keyboard and other days you are just too busy or too tired to come up with something worthwhile to share.  Between Passover, late night Hawks games, busy work nights, and life in general, my photo count and blog posts have been down.  Just temporarily, I think : )

IMG_20160422_081923558

After an on-the-go weekend, including a trip to the city for brunch (Latinicity does a 25$ all you can eat + 2 drinks!), I was more than happy to collapse on my couch Sunday night with some DVR.  Shortly after, my living room was overrun with 5 neighborhood children torturing playing with Cooper.  He got in a few right hooks and some good hisses but the children were undeterred.  He did, however, devour, every single one of the treats they offered him in return.  Eventually, their parents came to collect them and I was back alone folding laundry.  I crashed HARD last night and loved it!

IMG_20160425_184505524

When I finally woke up, I got right at it.  And honestly, I don’t think I’ve stopped moving until now.  Since it’s Passover, it takes a little extra time to meal plan and make sure we have bread-free meals for lunch and dinner.  Luckily, we did our grocery store run last night, so we were all set with food.

IMG_20160425_084946055

I threw Tuesday night’s dinner in the crockpot, a load in the laundry, and then drove off to the mall to be there the moment it opened.  I had two quick errands to run followed by a trip to Costco and then I was back home switching laundry and a new meal into the crockpot for tonight’s dinner.

IMG_20160425_132501249

It was a quick turn around and then I was off to a noon yoga class.  Afterwards, I was meeting with the teacher to talk about the summer yoga teacher’s training.  I know that I mentioned that I was all signed up, but not sure if I told you that I was teaching the anatomy portion?!

IMG_20160425_141819991

I returned home to order a bunch of books of Amazon, super excited for this journey to begin in 1 month.  I had some other ‘adult’ things to do which I attacked quickly and unenthusiastically while Cooper napped next to me.

IMG_20160425_162913622

We had a gorgeous sunny and HOT day, so I decided to head out for a late afternoon bike ride.  I am series about getting in A TON of rides this year!

IMG_20160425_170154411

I chatted with my mom a bit and when I turned around, I discovered a sky full of thick, dark clouds.

IMG_20160425_171641314

I arrived home, just as big rain drops began to fall from the sky.  My mom called to make sure I was safe since big storms with wind and hail, were headed our way.  Cooper started begging as dinner finished in the crockpot and the BOY walked in the door exhausted after a long day of work.  We all dug into dinner and then happily found comfortable places to stay for the Hawks game.

 

How was your weekend?  What do you have to say today?

 

{Passover Friendly} Meal Planning 4/25/16

Monday: Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

Tuesday: Asian Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday: Matzah Pizza or Leftovers

Thursday: Grill Night

Return of the Grill {And the Bike}

Spring has sprung!!!

IMG_20160415_185742920_HDR

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!

IMG_20160416_090408422_HDR

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!

IMG_1330

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.

IMG_20160417_163510200

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.

IMG_20160417_173355085

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.

IMG_20160417_181418011

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.

IMG_20160417_182254220

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!

IMG_20160417_202550844

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!

IMG_20160417_184209224

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!

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?