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.

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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 : )

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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?!

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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.

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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.

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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

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Welcome Spring!!!

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I finally got around to making these protein balls last week, but never got around to sharing the awesome recipe. 

Note: You will want to make a double batch of this recipe because it is awesome but the servings are NOT plentiful enough!

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Saturday morning, I was up again early and at the gym.  I had another kick butt workout, making it my 5th of the week (way to go on that March goal!).  Then it was a quick change and off to my last yoga class of the session.  The kids were really energetic and fun and dove right into all of the partner work and poses.

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I stayed a little after to fill in our life size bracket hanging on the wall in the gym.  From there, it was back home where the BOY scooped me up for lunch and shopping.  Believe me when I say that I was MORE surprised when the BOY wanted to go to the mall for updated work clothes than I was last weekend when he wanted to clean : )

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We had a successful trip to Nordstrom and arrived back home minutes after the Indiana/Kentucky game started.  We watched on the edge of our seats as Indiana pulled away to make it to the Sweet Sixteen.  Saturday night, we had dinner with my bestie, her hubs, and two amazing kids!  I dove right into the play dough while the BOY initiated a pre-bed time sword fight.

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Sunday morning was a unique treat!  We set no alarm and I didn’t have anything on my schedule until 2:30pm!!  I woke up around 8:30am feeling refreshed.  I ate a bite of breakfast (with my espresso) and drove off in the sunshine to the yoga studio for a hot flow class. 

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On the way, I realized I forgot my water bottle.  Luckily, there is a Walgreens in the parking lot of the studio, so I was able to quickly grab a Smartwater.  When I arrived, the room was PACKED!  I was able to find a small piece of real estate in the front row (not my favorite).  It occurred to me as I transitioned to my mat that this was a PERFECT example of finding peace in the present moment.  The front row is tough because it is up against the wall. I find it harder to balance that close to the wall, and I am more self conscious about my movement with other bodies close by.

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But the benefit of being that close to the wall is easily transitioning from standing splits to handstand with the support and confidence boost of the wall, which is exactly what I did a few times this morning.  Slowly working off the wall as I practiced my strength and balance on two hands.  Our teacher continued to remind us to embrace the awakening of spring as we moved through tough transitions in the hot room.  The morning class was a sweaty one and no one (including me) moved quickly out of savasana, like we usually do, taking the time to cool down before arising from our mats and refilling our water bottles.

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I changed out of my wet clothes for a lunch time trip to Whole Foods.  The BOY requested a sandwich and I ended up with a Whole Foods Hodge Podge (basically what happens at the whole foods salad bar when you are starving after hot yoga!).  I had big plans to glue my side view mirror on, but realized that it was going to take an hour, which I didn’t have.  Instead, I drove my car into the city, carefully merging at all times, to hang out with a friend/old coworker of mine.  We walked throughout the city, making a special stop at the Family Matters house, which she just discovered was in her neighborhood (and I just learned was in Chicago).

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We had coffee and walked some more, swinging by Athleta to scope our the scale items.  On our walk, we caught up on life while appreciating the sunshine on this first day of spring!  I left the city a little before 6pm with plans to swing by the grocery store to pick up my dinner (which I forgot that morning at WF) since the BOY had dinner plans with a friend.  I was also hoping to be home before dark since along with a busted mirror, I also seem to have a head light out on my car.  Ugh!  I will definitely be doing some car maintenance tomorrow!

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I made salmon and brussel sprouts for dinner with a glass of crisp white wine, while watching tonight’s March Madness games.  I was feeling torn between cheering on the Big Ten (out of support for the conference) and Xavier, out of support for my ailing bracket and loved all the close games and over times!

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And that’s a wrap for my weekend (and start to spring), which means that I really should tell you more about these protein balls.  The original recipe calls for cranberries, so feel free to go that route.  I actually had cherries in the house, so decided to use those along with a scoop of protein powder for some added flavor and muscle building goodness.

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Like I mentioned way back at the start of this post, these energy balls are fantastic and well worth doubling the recipe.  They make the perfect afternoon pick me up and even the BOY has enjoyed taking these energy balls as a snack to the office.

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How did you start spring?

Any famous TV landmarks in your town?

 

Cherry Vanilla Protein Bites

Adapted From Recipe Runner (makes 9 large energy balls***)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped medjool dates, about 6-7 dates
  • 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

***I would recommend doubling if you have the room in your food processor!

Directions

  1. In a high speed blender or food processor add the cashews and almonds and pulse until they are finely ground, careful not to turn them into nut butter.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend or pulse until everything starts to come together.
  3. Scrape down the sides several times and add up to 2 tablespoons of water.
  4. Form into balls, rolling between your hands.
  5. Store the energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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!

The List

For as long as I can remember, I’ve used lists to keep track of my life.

Currently, I am working through a never ending to do list of work, wedding, and home stuff.  Including that darn oil change I keep putting off!  Sometimes it feels like my Monday is a chaotic mix of doing the stuff I didn’t do all weekend and prepping for the week ahead.

Yesterday was supposed to be a ‘To Do List’ kind of day but instead it was a spend a fun day shopping with your mom kind of day.  As we were trying on outfits in the Loft dressing room, we decided that shopping was a much better way to spend the afternoon than wedding planning.

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Shopping with post yoga hair : )

Sunday morning, my mom came by to grab me and play with Cooper before heading out for an amazing and sweaty yoga class.  After yoga, she had a quick return at Crate and Barrel which is right next door to Whole Foods.  We chatted, sampled, and shopped before sitting down with a hodge podge picnic style lunch of WF goodies.

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We came back to my house for a quick shower and a little more Cooper love.  Plus, we brought lunch to the BOY.  Then we headed back out for more shopping.  I found some adorable dresses at the Loft and some hot new shoes to go with them.  By the time we arrived back at my house, we were both tired.  But had enough energy for me to give a little fashion show of newly purchased dresses (and the above modeled romper).  We decided that making a list of things that need to get done for the wedding was good enough planning for this weekend.  The BOY ordered pizza for dinner, and I made a colorful salad with smoked salmon.

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I slept 10 hours through the first set of huge storms that rolled in and then met my trainer for a super tough and sweaty workout Monday morning.  On my way home, I stopped by Target and struggled to lift my arms to reach the top shelves : )  I also went to the grocery store to fill our fridge.  When I got back home, I ate lunch and got going with dinner in the crockpot.

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First step…homemade peanut butter!  I couldn’t remember if I shared this recipe with you guys, so this may be a repeat, but I have learned that any Thai peanut dinners are better with the homemade stuff!

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Once my crockpot was up and running, I was back out the door for more errands (yes, I finally got my oil changed) and a bit more shopping.  Time flew by so quickly that at 5pm, I realized my stomach was growling and grabbed a snack from one of my fave places!

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I arrived back home, preheated the oven and started to pull together lunch for the week before the Hawks game. I also wanted to make some cookies with my leftover peanut butter.  My oven didn’t heat up real quick, and I tried to make the cookies anyways. 

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Needless to say, it took forever and I’m now convinced that my oven is broken…bummer!  Just another thing to add to my list.  Luckily, this week’s meal plan involves a lot of grilling.  I stuck with the cookies and they eventually got baked enough to eat…soft and tasty…the perfect kind of cookie!

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Dinner also turned out amazing and was a huge success!  And I realized that I did share the recipe with ya’ll…it’s HERE

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Last night ended with excitement watching the Blackhawks bring home the Stanley Cup in Chicago!  Note: add find awesome Stanley Cup shirt to To Do list!

 

Meal Planning 6/15/15

Monday: Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken

Tuesday: Sausages with Pasta/Zoodles

Wednesday: Ribs and Veggies

Thursday: Pork and Veggies

 

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

From Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy), preferable homemade
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (and cross your fingers that it actually heats up). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

Using an electric mixer, mix together the peanut butter, white sugar and egg until smooth.

Form dough into round tablespoons. Then roll in an extra bowl of sugar, if desired, to coat the outside of the dough ball. Place on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart, and then use a fork to flatten and form a cross pattern.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cookies are just slightly browned on the bottom, being careful not to over-bake. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat immediately or freeze!

OMG…It’s June 1st!

So…I had a LOT of returns to make today!  I mentioned yesterday that after ordering every adorable shirt, tank, and dress that I could get my hands on online, I ended up wearing jeans, an old white shirt, and an even older jacket (that I’ve had since before I met the BOY) for our engagement photos.

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I didn’t sleep well last night, which is most likely due to late night pizza and beer.  I got a bunch done this morning before meeting my trainer at 10am.  I haven’t seen him in 3-4 weeks because I was sick and then it was Memorial day.  I was feeling a little bit soft and was psyched to get my muscles pumping.

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Afterwards, I picked up the most delicious lunch at Protein Bar and then began making multiple returns.  I arrived back home with groceries for the week ahead…lots of greens to support my clean eating goal.

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I threw tomorrow’s dinner into the crockpot and then got a spring cleaning bug and attacked the pantry.  And then the office and a few other drawers and shelves.  My tuperware cabinet looks AWESOME!

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Check out Cooper trying to help with the cleaning…

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Either that or he’s looking for treats : )  I spent the afternoon working through my to do list while the BOY grilled up a mouth watering slab or ribs.

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After dinner, I made bags of pre cut veggies and fruit cups and a big pot of quinoa.  And then, per usual, I crashed on the couch to watch a few Castle reruns. I have a feeling it will be an early night for me!  It’s crazy that it’s already June…I am looking forward to all of the fun to come this summer and feel so much better now that I got a bunch of cleaning and chores done.

 

How was your June 1st?  Do you spring clean?

 

Meal Planning 6/01/15

Monday: BBQ Ribs and Mushrooms

Tuesday: Crockpot Green Curry

Wednesday: Turkey Meatballs

Thursday: Leftovers

I Got Sick

It was bound to happen. I work with kids and the majority of them were itching, coughing, and sneezing the last two weeks and Thursday night, my throat started to hurt real bad.  By Saturday, it was clear that what I got came on quick and strong. I was able to medicate with Musinex to get through the day on Saturday and Sunday, but Monday morning, I decided an antibiotic might be needed.

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Saturday evening, I crashed on the couch with Orange is the New Black after an amazing bowl of Thai soup (medication in a bowl, I swear!). 

And of course…this guy napping next to me : )

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Sunday morning was gorgeous.  It’s about 3 weeks until my 10 mile race and I knew I needed to get in some mileage.  So sickness and all, I laced up my sneaks.  I figured that even if I couldn’t run, I could walk.  My run went unexpectedly well.  My bigger problem was these new shoes that I bought that make my feet numb.

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Since I ran almost 6 miles, I made sure to rest up with some afternoon couch reading.

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Monday morning, I had a prescheduled blood draw for my upcoming yearly physical.  Then headed over to the walk in clinic to see the doctor.  On the way, I swung by Starbucks for breakfast (I was starving since I had to fast for the blood draw).  You can always tell when I’m sick by my eyes…especially since I was coughing too much to sleep well the last two nights.

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The doctor agreed that I looked and sounded like a sinus infection and prescribed an antibiotic.  From there, I darted over to Whole Foods for probiotics (amongst other things) and then to the grocery to pick up my Px (along with our weekly groceries).  I went home to start my drugs immediately.  Sucked down with yogurt and probiotics to try to save my stomach, of course! 

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Thanks Coop for the photo bomb!

Then I rushed back out the door to meet a good friend for lunch and a few returns at the mall.  I was also able to return the numb inducing shoes which thrilled me since I’ve already worn them!  I arrived back home, just as my energy levels crashed.  I did have enough energy to troll the internet for new running shoes (and quick shipping) and finish up some paper work before tomorrow’s work day.  This week’s meal plan is all about whole foods (because it is my May goal) but also lots of energy inducing, immune system boosting foods to get me back to myself.  Plus lots of liquids!  I did keep our meals easy though because I know I will be pretty exhausted after this upcoming crazy busy work week.  Man, I hate being sick!  I better turn in early tonight!

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Meal Planning 5/04/15

Monday: Crockpot Orange Chicken

Tuesday: Shrimp Something

Wednesday: Potato Bar Night

Thursday: Leftovers

Fun! Fun! Fun!

We had the most amazing weekend with 3 full days of FUN!

Saturday morning, I taught 3 kids yoga classes at work.  All of the kids came in with tons of energy (I blame the fresh spring air).  For the youngsters, we did a circus and they loved it!  We tamed lions, walked the tightrope, created silly clown faces, and danced to circus music.

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The other two classes (of older and then older kids) were full of balance, flexibility, and laughter!  With an extended final relaxation to calm that hyped up energy, which they really enjoyed.

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Saturday afternoon was gorgeous.  The BOY and I got ready to host Friendsgiving in April.  And then spent the night with some of our closest friends!

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Sunday, we had a wonderful meeting with the rabbi who is going to marry us.  We just past the 6 month point…OMG!  Afterwards, I swung by the library to pick up a few CDs for yoga music.  It’s been fun creating new playlists to go with each week’s class.  The BOY and I then took a well deserved nap with Cooper between my legs under the blanket the entire time.  When I woke up, I thought about going for a walk but the sky looked gray and instead spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing.

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Monday morning was GO time at the gym!  My trainer too me through some tough strength and tabata moves that left me extra sweaty (and sore).

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I scooped up the BOY for lunch (at Naf Naf) and THEN…

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We finally did the thing that I have been dreaming about since I was a little girl (no not a fairy tale wedding or a big poofy white dress)…holding the registration gun!!!

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I waited so long and patiently to one day have this amazing device in my hand the day was finally here.  Two stores later, the BOY and I are well on our way to a full fledged registry (but don’t look yet because we have not decided on a few pieces).

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We got home as the sun was setting and the BOY walked in the front door and out the back door to fix up dinner on the grill.  We were both exhausted!  Who knew scanning could be so tiring : )  At the end of the day, the BOY looks at me seriously and states, “I’m surprised that I had so many opinions today.”  To which I replied, “I’m surprised that you’re surprised!”  He’s had opinions about everything since the day we met.  He asked how I felt about it and I explained how much more fun the day was knowing that we were picking out the realistic and silly stuff that would be in our home together!

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Any thoughts or tips on registering? 

Did you have a fun weekend?