Happy FryDay!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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How did you welcome in 2016?!

Me?  Why, thank you for asking…I had the happiest of new years celebrations! 

I started December 31st with a run around the indoor track.  I finally began Serial Season 2, which kept me engaged as I ran what felt like a million circles around the tiniest of tracks.

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When I got home, I made a Nespresso that made me smile…

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What a happy accident!  Then it was off to work for a crazy, busy day!

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After my shortish work day, I came back home and showered.  Then the BOY and I got ready to host NYE with my brother, SIL, and their 4 month old puppy, Roscoe.

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We were so excited to have them come out and celebrate with us and kick off our weekend ‘staycation’.  I can’t say that it was love at first sight for Cooper though : )

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We hung out and talked while noshing on aps (and of course decorated glasses for midnight).  Roscoe made himself right at home with Cooper’s toys and the BOY’s chair.

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We had the most unbelievable dinner and I have to admit that I didn’t do much of anything to help…except pick out a great wine from our Napa trip. 

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The BOY made braised short ribs in our new pot, while my sister in law made champagne risotto.

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And…then the BOY made seared scallops on our new salt block.  YUMMY!

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It was seriously a five star meal!!!

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After that, the new years shenanigans began.  We played cards against humanities, Wii tennis, and attempted to get our selfie stick to work with all of us and a puppy as we started the countdown to 2016!

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We stayed up WAY too late and New Year’s Day began with a lot of laying around and rehydration.  We made a fantastic breakfast casserole for brunch with bacon and fruit.

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Around noon, things got serious…

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The fryer came out…

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Friends came over, mimosas were poured, an apron was donned…and FRYday began!

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You name it…we fried it…and dipped it in anything and everything!  And that proceeded for hours and hours accompanied by beer and mimosas and plenty of other snacks.

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My favorite was the BOY’s homemade chicken strips.  They were AMAZING!

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And for dessert…more card and Wii games and of course, fried Oreos.

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We stayed up too late for the second night in a row and woke Saturday morning with new memories and wonderful stories to share.  And I had a bit of a stomach ache : )  The best part…there were still a few days left before it was time to go back to work!

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I certainly didn’t start off my year healthy, but I did start it off happy!!!  I am still smiling about all of the fun we had hosting this 2 day celebration!  I am looking forward to another exciting year ahead!

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Halloween! HallowClean!

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We had some non traditional Halloween plans today…cleaning!!!

Over the past few weeks, life has been moving quickly and we’ve been accumulating stuff and creating piles to be addressed ‘later’.  After the last few weekends of fun and travel, this was our first quiet weekend at home. So when everyone asked what my exiting weekend plans were this week, my only answer was it’s official house cleaning weekend.  Woo hoo!

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Before the cleaning, we were up early this morning for another joint workout.

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It was brutal but awesome, and the BOY discovered that he hates the ropes : )

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After our workout, the BOY requested some down time.  We found ourselves drooling over the delicious meals cooked on the Food Network (a old-new favorite we recently rediscovered) and making lists of all the things we were going to cook this weekend.

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I made a post workout snack for the BOY of apples and peanut butter and was inspired by my Everyday Detox cookbook and the gorgeous apples we bought in Door County to make a smoothie (recipe below!) for me.

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Then we got down to work…

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After a few more cuddles.  We started upstairs with bedrooms and bathrooms.  Then took a quick lunch break before tackling the kitchen (and setting up our amazing new wine fridge).

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For hydration (and motivation), we sipped on Door County Cider.

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At 3pm, we were ready for trick or treaters despite getting no more than 10 in the past 5 years that I’ve lived here.  We got Cooper all set in his costume…just in case we got anyone : )

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As I said on Instagram, there is nothing funnier than a really mad cat in a shark costume…except the one who rides around on a Roomba!

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Seriously, we never have any trick or treators so I only got two bags of candy (with plans to turn the rest into ice cream toppings).  Despite the rain, we were out before the first hour, but I found some other fun stuff in our pantry to give out.  When our Thai food arrived, I thought he was a trick or treator and tried to hand him a granola bar instead of my credit card…LOL!  No Joke!  We stopped cleaning and shut down during dinner to dig into Chicken Curry and Basil Fried Rice (YUM!) while finally sitting down for some football.

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We sipped on beer and LaMarca and decided to be done with the cleaning for the day.  There is much more to do tomorrow, but luckily, we have an entire extra hour to do it!

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What did you do this Halloween?

What will you do with our extra hour?

 

Fresh Apple Pie Smoothie

Ingredients

1 large handful spinach

1 cup coconut/almond milk

1-1.5 small apples, diced

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Generous toss of apple pie spice (or cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)

Ice

Directions

Combine the milk, spinach, and apples and use ‘food chop’ or low setting to combine.

Then add the rest of the ingredients, expect ice, and blend on high.   Taste to determine need for more/less spice.

Add ice and blend on high until smooth.

Enjoy immediately!

MiniMooners

After the absolute excitement and craziness of a wedding, there was only one place we wanted to be…

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Door County, Wisconsin!

We drove up Friday afternoon and after a quick stop at a winery for a tasting, checked into our adorable room complete with a kitchen and fireplace.  We didn’t stay long before heading further up north for Friday night fish fry.  Not surprisingly, there was a wait, so we found a comfortable spot on a bench at the bar across the street, Wisconsin beer in hand.  There is no place more relaxing than DC!

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Even though the weather was raining on and off, we had the most wonderful 4 days.  We caught some gorgeous fall colors and ate ourselves silly with all the delicious food.  We hiked through Peninsula State Park and walked through Cave Point and Newport State Park.

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The waves on the Lake Michigan coast were intense!  And we built our first rock structure along the shore.

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We sampled cheese, bread, wine, and Island Orchard Hard Cider

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We drank coffee, hot chocolate, and tea and ate pie, cookies, donuts, and fudge.  We visited our favorite pizza place (twice)!

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We visited old favorites and discovered some amazing new places (ie farm fresh meats and fresh picked apples).  And when the rain came pouring down, we gathered around the fireplace to play games and drink champagne.

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I shopped the markets and stores and had two peaceful morning runs through the state park.

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It was the perfect long weekend of rest and play…

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For my new husband and I!

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Keep Calm and Wedding On

What is one to do two weeks before 15 months of planning finally comes together?

Or should I say…How do you spend your second to last weekend before your wedding?

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Truth be told, I am close to losing my mind!  I am way less organized than typical me and I spend a lot more time getting my nails done.  It’s quite odd : )  My weekend started Friday night meeting my mom for a manicure.  Still trying to finalize my color…

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Then we went home for a late dinner and an early-ish bed time.  Saturday morning started bright and early with a workout.  More kick boxing which should be on every bride’s list of things to do and of course a bunch of pre wedding push ups and sled pulls.

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Then I was off to teach my kids yoga class.  We had a special guest, my friend who just took the Rainbow Kids Yoga class in Chicago and her adorable daughter, who joined us for yoga showing the kids that every body and every age can yoga!

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From there, I was back home to meet my mom for lunch at our favorite local sandwich place, followed by some wedding related shopping.  We lured my sister in law out to the suburbs with the promise of wine and of course a morning espresso from our new machine. I should mention that the BOY, my brother, and a crew of guys were down in Louisville sampling the bourbon and BBQ for the BOY’s bachelor party this weekend.

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The night began with a cheese plate and pink bubbles (aka rose) and proceeded as expected.  We abandoned dinner and sat out back for hours eating cheese and snacks, sharing stories of the past, and making many plans for the future.  Eventually, I put everyone to work prepping flip flops for the dance floor bins.

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As always, we stayed up WAY too late and drank WAY too much wine.  So everyone was more than pleased to start their Sunday with a frothy espresso!

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After breakfast, we attacked Home Goods with enthusiasm filling our cart with fall décor and household goodies.  We had a few other shopping stops before settling onto a bench in the afternoon with well deserved full bowls of fro yo.  By afternoon, everyone parted ways and I got myself to work around the house while listening to the Bears game.  I took a huge zucchini from a coworker’s garden last week and promised to return with bread.  Sadly, he wasn’t looking so good.  Since I was still in the mood to bake, I switched over to pumpkin bread.  I mean, it is officially fall!

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This bread baked up perfectly, turning out moist and delicious!  It was a nice end to my busy weekend cleaning up the house with the windows open and the smells of fall flowing throughout.

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Monday was just as busy as the rest of the weekend. I packed in a workout, my last dress fitting, a meeting with the hotel, a phone conference with my florist, a trip to the grocery store, amongst everything else and was done just after the BOY returned from his weekend away.  With just 11 days to go, life has been a bit chaotic, so I’ve been keeping calm with tons of yoga…as noted by all my post yoga selfies…

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And surrounding myself with the support of my friends and family!

Just trying to Keep Calm and Wedding On : )

 

Pumpkin Bread

From Simply Recipes

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée
  • 4 ounces (1 stick, 112 g) butter, melted (can sub 1/2 cup light olive oil)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Directions

1 Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

2 In a separate bowl mix together the pumpkin purée, the melted butter, beaten eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and molasses. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined and there is no more dry flour in the batter. Do not overmix! If adding chopped pecans or walnuts, stir them in.

3 Butter the insides of an 8 x 4 x 3 -inch loaf pan. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Put in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a tester poked in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then run a blunt dinner knife around the edges of the pumpkin bread to gently separate it from the pan. Invert it to loosen it from the pan and put the loaf on a rack to cool completely.

Unplanned Unplug

I’m back again…

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I swear I didn’t plan to be gone from the blogging world for that long, it just sort of happened.  No I haven’t been reading blogs either so there is much to catch up on!  I’ve just been slammed on so many fronts and at the end of the day just didn’t have the time or energy to talk about it.  Enter in a scheduled ‘down’ weekend.  Well if you can call cramming errands into your Friday night and a workout, teaching a kids yoga class, and a facial into your Saturday all before 2pm ‘down’ time?!

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Anyways, in case you’ve missed me, here’s what I’ve been up to…

Nashville was wonderful, catching up with my girls, eating amazing food, and listening to fresh, live music!

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Bonuts from Biscuit Love…Mmm!

 

Devouring chocolate fondue with my amazing coworkers at All Chocolate Kitchen!

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Like, I really DOVE right in : )

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Celebrating our last wedding shower!

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My Bridesmaids

 

Followed by family fun and a birthday dinner at Cooper’s Hawk!

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And then my sister in laws 30th birthday party!

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Drinking PSL’s (Pumpkin Spice Lattes)

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And doing office coffee runs

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Trying out wedding nails

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Baking!

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Doing tons and tons of yoga!  And prepping for this morning’s classes…

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Freaking out that my wedding is only 4 weeks away…

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I’m hoping to be back up and running now as a blogger, so more updates, recipes, and pictures to come! 

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I hope!

Jetsetter

I’m Baaack!

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But I’m leaving again…

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Off to Nashville on Friday for a girl’s weekend!  Can’t wait!

In between – It’s super busy! 

Let’s see…there’s unpacking, Cooper loving, laundry, a 5 mile run (yesterday), paperwork, tea drinking, wine drinking, free latte drinking, cleaning, repacking, hot yoga (this morning), and OH YEA, celebrating my #34thBirthday TODAY!

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I can’t believe it’s been one year since I wrote my 33 Things to do While I’m 33 post.  Rereading it now, it does seem rather ambitious, but it warms my heart to see all that I’ve done this year that’s on the list.  What an incredible 365 days!  I’m looking forward to another exciting and special year ahead!

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Until then…enjoy an early #tbt pic from my quick cruise to CocoCay this past weekend!

See you next week!

August is my Favorite Month!

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Hey!  Let’s talk weekend!  Because mine was fun and quick (yup…working again on Monday this week, but for a good reason!)

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Friday was the last kids yoga class of summer. I have another great group of kiddos and it was a BLAST! 

Friday night, the BOY and I took it easy because he was accompanying me to the gym early Saturday morning.  Yes, folks…you heard that correctly.  The BOY was interested in trying some boxing, so he got his first lesson while I worked every one of my muscles from head to toe with the trainer.

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I recouped with a protein smoothie while working out some wedding stuff.  And then, we had a quick stop at the mall before going to my parents for more wedding work.  And then swung by the BOY’s sister’s house for a BBQ.  We arrived back home to a gorgeous Saturday evening that just begged to be enjoyed with backyard dinner and wine.

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And some cuddles from kitten!

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Sunday morning, I planned to do an outdoor yoga class that just happens to be at the same park where we play tennis.  The game plan was to yoga and then meet the BOY for a game of tennis.  The yoga class got moved indoors, but I was still able to fit both in before our lunch plans with friends.  Sadly, I don’t have any pictures (except for this colorful one their adorable daughter drew me) because I left my phone at home.

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Sunday night was the usual laundry, dinner, paperwork, crash!

Just like that…my weekend was over!

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Just like July…you blink and then it’s over!

Okay…so now let’s talk goals because somehow it is August.  August?!

 

July Goals

Strength Train 2x Each Week– Believe it or not, I have actually enjoyed adding the extra day of strength.  My muscles look better, and I am getting stronger.  I can’t wait to keep it up through the fall!

Keep it Clean, Add in Green– I have been pretty good about cleaning up my diet.  My stomach is feeling better, which has been awesome and I bought a new bathing suit : )

Stay the Course with Wedding Planning (and Stay Calm!)– Invites are out and on we go!

Have the Best Bachelorette Weekend!- It was AMAZING!!!

 

So August is one of those months that is so busy, you may not hear from me. I have a wedding shower, two vacations, the busiest work schedule I’ve ever seen amongst everything else, and let’ s not forget my birthday : )  Historically speaking, busy months lead to me stressing like crazy which often leads to illness.  So this months goals are geared towards keeping me from losing my mind and staying healthy!

August Goals

Sleep More (get back up to 8 hours)

Slow Down (and breathe)

Keep it Clean (especially on vacation)

Find Wedding Shoes

Balance Work/Life

 

What are your August goals?

Weekend Highs and Weekday Lows

I had the MOST AMAZING WEEKEND!

High: Bachelorette Party in Michigan

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Including…best friends, tasty wine, funny stories, yoga, delicious treats, lazy beach days, cheese plates, continuous laughter, (too much) tequila, meaningful conversations, and more! 

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I seriously could not have asked for a better group of women to share this memorable weekend with!  I returned home on the highest HIGH!  I mean, there is love, which is amazing, but true friendship is priceless.  My heart was so full of gratitude and appreciation when I returned home!  I mean, they went to a yoga class with me on Saturday morning…love this crew!

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My HIGH lasted throughout my Monday off…which included a strength session, trip to the dentist, shopping, rehydrating, and living in the moment.

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And then my work week began…

LOW: World’s Busiest Work Week

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(recycled picture…but I look official)

Consisting of…multiple evaluations, exhaustive paperwork, emails, and more.

The week continued with a mix of HIGHs and LOWs.

High: Awesome Dinner (and leftovers)

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Low: Running in Humidity

High: Hump Day Packages (wedding shoes!)

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Low: Missing the Last Day of the Tour de France (darn DVR)

High: Wedding Invites were Mailed Today!

All of these ups and downs and it’s only hump day : )  My last low is that I am exhausted and going to crash…or maybe try on all of those shoes, so let’s count this as a HIGH!

What are you HIGHs and LOWs this week?

Almost Famous

When was the last time you saw the movie Almost Famous? If you haven’t heard of it, don’t tell me because it will only make me feel old : )

The BOY had never seen the movie, but I convinced him that it was the best free movie on Amazon for us to watch Saturday night.  I tried to convince him that we should watch Anastasia (one of my all time favorites but that didn’t go so well).  I’ll admit that Almost Famous was an awesome Saturday night #datenight movie!

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The weekend arrived on cue and I was ready for it!  Both the BOY and I had long and busy work weeks and Friday night was a welcome arrival!  I was up early Friday morning for a hot yoga class and gladly rode the high of yoga through my work day, inspiring my kids yoga classes.

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My ‘Almost Famous’ glasses : )

Before the BOY got home, I quickly soaked up the day’s Tour de France stage.  He claims to not like it, yet he knows a lot about the peloton.  Anyways, we ate dinner and I was so exhausted that I went up to bed early.  I was up early Saturday morning (Thanks Coop!) and met with my trainer for an awesome AM workout of boxing and strength.  I just tried the boxing stuff for the first time, and I honestly feel all brides should do it!  Then, I met my Dad for an hour of tennis in the heat before meeting back up at my parents house with my bestie for lunch and envelope stuffing. 

We were quickly able to figure out an assembly line and within a few hours all of my wedding invitations were sealed and ready to mail!  Sorry friends…no spoilers!  OMG!  We are having a wedding!!!

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After a glass of wine with my parents. I drove home, picked up the BOY, and date night began at Mariano’s.  We bought cheese and dinner and opened up a bottle of wine from one of my favorite wineries from our California trip.  And then started the movie…

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The BOY grilled up a fantastic dinner!  Sunday flew by way to quickly.  The BOY and I played tennis in the morning and then ran a few errands.  We ran into his aunt at Nordstrom, and had an super fun impromptu lunch.  Then, we were off to the grocery store and back home.  It was a busy day since the BOY and  both had to work today.

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I got started way too late yesterday on Monday night’s dinner, which was crockpot pulled pork.  The best thing about this recipe is that I had all the ingredients (except the pork) already in my house.  By the time I was ready for bed, my pork was looking and smelling good, but still not ready to shred.  We ended up moving the crockpot to the fridge and going to bed.  We both had busy Mondays, but the non shredded pork was super yummy for tonight’s dinner!

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Have an amazing week!

Meal Planning 7/20/15

Monday: Crockpot Pork Roast from Mismashed Mom

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Tuesday

Wednesday: I don’t remember : )

Thursday: Out of Town!!!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!