Bora Bora Blues

I have the most serious case of the Bora Bora blues…

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Sure, I miss the crystal clear water and the sunny skies but I truly miss the ability to unplug, unwind, and do whatever I want, spending almost 100% of my time with my best friend and love.  No, I don’t expect you feel sorry for me…I wouldn’t, but thought I should at least be honest about my current state of mind.

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Saturday morning, our alarm went off and I actually turned it off (on accident).  We arrived at the gym 10 minutes late, but the BOY’s trainer had a flat tire so we were all on the same page.  I was especially empathetic after my recent flat and dead battery last Monday after my car sat on the driveway for 2 weeks untouched.  My trainer worked us both out and totally took it easy on us.  Although our trip was extremely active, I haven’t worked out all week (sleep was a priority to get back into my routine and not fall asleep at work this week).  The goal for Saturday was to just get back into our routine and then maybe burn a few calories.

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Mission accomplished!  We had enough time to chillax back home before driving into the city for a fun catch up brunch with my fam.  We chose not to spend Saturday night in the city for a few reasons, mainly because I was too lazy to pack a bag and wanted to wake up at home and didn’t want to leave Cooper alone for the night.

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Oddly, almost all of my post vacation pictures on my phone are of this guy…do you think we missed him?!  Saturday night, the BOY and I stayed in to watch the Indiana basketball game, play with kitten, and drink some wine.

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Sadly, I didn’t make it up that late and went to bed around 9:15pm to read.  The BOY followed shortly behind and we both slept for a glorious 10 hours.  Sunday morning, the BOY wanted to make breakfast and we enjoyed a delish mix of biscuits, eggs, and bacon.  After a quick weather check, I decided to skip yoga and head out for a run.  It was cold (because it’s not 75), but for February in Chicago, quite mild!  And my phone said it would be much colder (and possibly snowing) on Monday.  I ran just short of 5 miles enjoying the fresh air.  The BOY and I decided to spend Superbowl Sunday being lazy at home just the two of us. 

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Which means that I did some laundry, gave Cooper tons of love, and we watched the Entourage movie before the game even started.  We ordered Thai food for dinner.

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And I tried to channel my vacation vibe by enjoying my midday drink of choice…white wine.  Although I didn’t have a pool, I did threaten to change into my bathing suit : )  Day time wine always makes life better…right?!

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We watched the Superbowl with no real opinion on the winner but totally enjoying the half time show …

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And some Cooper love (while donning my brand new Snuggie)…

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Monday, I slept in and was moving slowly, arriving for Hot Yoga just as the class was starting.  I snuck in with an ‘I’m Sorry’ wave to the teacher and grabbed the largest open space which happened to be the front of the room.  We warmed up in supine and about 10 minutes later after my intention was set, I found my way into my first downward dog…discovering that the class was full of 3 rows of guys behind me.  I had to laugh to myself…after feeling a bit sad about doing yoga without my vacation views, a soccer team really isn’t a bad runner up.  Ha ha!

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Yoga definitely helped shake those Bora Bora blues as I worked through the asanas and breathing.  It didn’t give me enough patience to wait 4 hours at the social security office to change my name, but it did remind me of all that I love (and appreciate) in my non Bora Bora life : ) 

 

How do you shake the post vacation blues?

What did you do for Superbowl Sunday?

Mauruuru French Polynesia!!!

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I seriously think I have enough pictures and stories to share that I could spend the rest of the year blogging ONLY about our honeymoon to the French Polynesian Islands!!!  It was magical for soo many reasons.  Number 1 is obvious…spending almost 2 straight weeks with your newish husband who also happens to be your best friend is unreal!  And then together being able to be completely selfish with your time, doing only what makes the two of you happy…priceless!  Now throw in…beautiful beaches, friendly people, amazing weather, exciting culture, and mouth watering food…and you’ve got one happy couple!

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Here’s a quick overview of our trip.  We visited three islands…Moorea, Tahaa, and Bora Bora (in that order).  I know, your next question is which was our favorite?  We thought about this too and honestly can’t pick just one.  Each island had it’s own personality and charm and I would have hated to miss any one of them.

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What to do…

So, if like me you thought that the islands were all about relaxation and laying about, you were only half right.  The relaxation is guaranteed!  The staff is so incredible that our entire trip was effortless!  And you can lay around if you want to (trust me…I read 3 1/2 books!), but you can also kayak, SUP, snorkel, swim, paddleboat, and explore.

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We spent a huge amount of time in the water, by the water, and on the water!  There are also plenty of excursions to choose from (jet skiing, hiking, boating, ATVs, etc.) that you can do on your own or in groups.  We did a super cool jet ski tour along the north coast of Moorea, exploring the bays before stopping for a dip with the sting rays and sharks and then lemonade at the Motu.

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Eats and Drinks…

To rehydrate and refuel, there were plenty of options.  The French influence on cuisine was apparent from the start of the day with crepes, croissants, and jams.  Not to mention fresh eggs cooked how you like them and plenty of other options.  And always served with fresh juice…the pineapple was incredible!  Even the restaurant views were amazing!

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Lunch was a mix of options, usually delicious sandwiches and a glass of wine : )

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And sometimes a second…or a festive, local bevvie!

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For dinner, there was plenty of freshly caught fish and French specialties.

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It was some of the best food I’ve EVER had!!!

And to Relax…

We read, did yoga, swam in our plunge pool and the big pools, hit up happy hour (sometimes in the pool), napped in the sun, took boat rides, fed the fish, laid in the hammock, played cards, took a million selfies, met new friends, got a couples massage, and enjoyed all the Polynesian culture.  I told you there was a lot of relaxation options!

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And the views…

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…Were breathtaking!!!

Fingers crossed, we get to visit these incredible islands again one day!  We were lucky to have friends who helped us plan our trip, so if you are thinking of visiting the area or want to know any details from our trip, reach out and let me know!

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Our tans may be fading, but our memories are not…

Mauruuru! (Thank you!)

Ia Orana!!!

Ia Orana (pronounced yo-rah-nah)

Which must be said in an adorable sing songy voice!

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This post was supposed to be done and ready to go while we were gone, but I just wasn’t that pulled together and organized.  Now that we are back and working through some serious jet lag (3 flights in a 24 hours…or something like that), I have a few minutes to update the pictures and finish the post.  And tell you that our trip was absolutely incredible.  It exceeded all our expectations and we loved EVERY minute!

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Leaving our last island, Bora Bora…

January Goals

Exercise Often– Goal Met!  Prior to vacation, I hit the weights and got my runs in.  Best part was having the hubs by my side!

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And we had tons of opportunities to exercise in the Ocean!  I finally got to try stand up paddle boarding!

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Keep my Eating On Pointe– Once we got past the fry party on the first day of the year, I did a good job of keeping my meals clean!

Get Organized (for our trip and 2016)- So I was totes organized for our trip, or at least as organized as one can be when heading half way around the world to a place they’ve never been.  As for 2016…well, that’s another story.  2016 bucket list to come…

Create and Appreciate Expected and Unexpected Adventures- We made every day memorable and amazing on our trip!  We enjoyed the views and relaxation, the food, and all the cultural experiences.  Believe it or not, our trip went slowly, which was fantastic!

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February Goals

Change my name…Ugh!  I just have to change 2 letters and I know it will be a HUGE headache!

Cook some new recipes…we loved the Polynesian cuisine and can’t wait to try to replicate some recipes at home.

Create a budget and bucket list!

Maintain my vacation Zen!

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Honeymoon updates coming…if you want them (or haven’t seen my Insta pics). 

How was your first month of 2016?  What are you goals for this month?

Random Wordy Wednesday and a Recipe

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1. THE BLOG

So although I have blogged a bit less this year, I am still blogging.  Why does this matter?  It came time to renew my domain and despite the fact that blogging does not play as big of a role in my day to day life, I seem to like it enough to sign back up without thinking twice about it.  Speaking of blogging…I do need to update a few pages.  Perhaps that will be part of my 2016 goals.

 

2. RECIPES

Speaking of the year ahead…I took the easy way out last week with 2 Ingredient Chicken, but between the BOY and I and all our new kitchen toys, I think we will have more new and unique recipes on LWYD this year.  I am already loving this Cleansing Carrot Ginger Soup (topped with raisins…Mmm!).  This week, I also made turkey meatballs.  Believe it or not I didn’t use my crockpot (it was busy), so I used my other favorite kitchen tool.

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I should admit that there are people who were made to make meatballs and then there is me.  Have you ever seen meatballs so not round?!  Thankfully, they tasted amazing (even though I left out the bread crumbs).

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3. WORKOUTS

Tuesday morning, I was running circles around the track again watching the cold, miserable snow through the windows.  Thank goodness for Serial to keep me company!  I am all caught up and already downloaded a bunch of podcasts for our trip.

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4. WEATHER

Brrr!  Baby…it’s cold outside!

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5. TRAVEL

Thankfully, it’s getting REALLY close to honeymoon time…

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Sunshine, here we come!!!  I’ve ordered us TONS of sunscreen, water shoes, snorkels, and more in prep for the big trip which is less than a week away.

 

6. COOPER

He is just so darn cute!  Except when he lays on your face in the middle of the night : )

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What’s on your mind today?

Crockpot Turkey Meatballs

From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound 97-98% lean ground turkey1
  • 1 pound 92-93% lean ground turkey1
  • 2/3 cup (40g) Panko (I omitted this)
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (22g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion sweet onion, sliced
  • two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes

Directions

  1. Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. Add the ground turkey, Panko, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, parmesan, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix everything up just so the ingredients are combined – avoid overmixing. Roll into desired size balls – mine were slightly larger than a golfball. Place all rolled meatballs on a large baking sheet.
  2. Place onion slices in the bottom of the crockpot, topped with 1 can of crushed tomatoes.
  3. Coat a large skillet with remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Lightly brown the meatballs (only 6-8 meatballs at a time) for about 1 minute on each side. Do not skip this step – read above for why. Layer the meatballs into the crockpot as you’re browning each batch. Once all browned meatballs have been added to the crockpot, pour remaining can of tomatoes on top.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-6.5 hours. Serve with pasta, as meatball subs, plain, etc. No matter how I serve them, I always top with a little chopped fresh basil. Store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Sally has a ton of notes, including how to make this without the crockpot like I did, so check them out!

I Don’t Remember the Last Time I Slept In

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

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

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

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

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December Goals

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

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

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

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

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January Goals – Honeymoon Here We Come…

Exercise Often

Keep my Eating On Pointe

Get Organized (for our trip and 2016)

Create and Appreciate Expected and Unexpected Adventures

 

How are you wrapping up the year?

Training for Tahiti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A little throw back to our 2008 cruise

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

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