Long Time…

Yeah, it has been!

I’ve got like a million excuses to share with you but the truth is that I have pink eye and haven’t been to work in the past 5 days!  Although pink eye is no joke (and no fun), it forced me to take a mini staycation.  Let me tell you…I woke up Wednesday morning with a swollen eye lid.  I’ll spare you the picture but let’s just say it was Quasimodo like : )  Thankfully, I got into the eye doctor quickly who confirmed my suspicion…pink eye, but he was undecided on viral vs bacterial (due to my recent cold).

‘What do you do?’ the eye doctor asks me after examining my eyes.

‘I’m a pediatric physical therapist’ I respond.

‘That’s a problem’ he says.  You’re telling me!

‘Oh and I teach yoga’ I add.

To which he asks me ‘Don’t you just do it all?’

‘Sometimes I feel like I can’ I say and he laughs!

So pink eye is highly contagious and it is frowned upon to pass along your contagious diseases to kids, so he tells me no work until Monday.  Ugh…he says he’ll write me a note.  Well, at that point, there’s not much you can do.  I get on my phone and begin canceling work, private yoga sessions, workshops, kids yoga classes, and a trip to the burbs to visit my niece.  Which basically gave me a 5 day staycation. 

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The good news is that I do own a pair of public-appropriate glasses and pink eye can only spread if I touch people.  So after throwing all our towels, pillow cases, and blankets into a hot washing machine, 24 hours later I headed into the world for a workout. I met my SIL at barre.  Afterwards, we grabbed coffee to enjoy during our pedicures.  Then we shared a huge tub of popcorn at Beauty &  The Beast before making a stop at the brand new and beautiful Whole Foods that just opened this week.

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So many (cheese) possibilities…

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Since my hubby was working a ton, I even had time to squeeze in a bubble bath!

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I mean, if you have to take vacation time, you might as well enjoy it!!!  Friday and Saturday were a mix of catching up on my DVR, working out, March madness, yoga planning and coffee drinking!

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So I really have no excuse for not blogging…But here I am now! 

Other Updates…

-I am teaching 1-2 adult yoga classes a week and loving it. I’m not smooth with my wording but am working hard to create fun and unique classes that challenge my students.  Since my family is about 1/2 of the class, afterwards, they typically come over for midweek dinner, drinks, and laughter!

-I am also teaching kids yoga and have a few different age groups including the most adorable group of 2 year olds who every time they say Namaste, my heart smiles!

-Cooper is still Cooper, into everything, waking us up each day begging for breakfast, and napping in my arms. I actually think it is quite possible that he is involved in the pink eye situation as I fell asleep on his belly (even drooling on him) the night before I woke up with a swollen eye.

-I joined a volleyball team and play almost every Thursday night.  I’m also doing a lot of yoga and barre and actually went for an outdoor run last week which was fabulous!

-Last weekend, we went down to the St. Louis area for a visit with friends which was a BLAST!

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-The BOY is getting sick…and you all know how men are when they are sick…Just keeping my fingers crossed he doesn’t get pink eye!!

-We are still meal planning!  Check out this week…

Meal Planning 3/16/17

Sunday Funday: Ramen

Monday: Crockpot Green Chicken Curry

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Meatloaf

Wednesday: Mediterranean (most likely delivery)

Thursday: TBD

 

Long time…what’s new with you???

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Lately I’ve Been xxxii…

Taking sick days for a nasty cold

Reconnecting with (aka binging on) Scandal

Teaching Yoga!!!

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Hosting dinners

Problem solving how to type when the x key is broken on my computer

Appreciating the sunshine

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Baking Breads

Taking yoga and barre classes

Meeting my niece

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Drinking a ton of espresso

Reading Books

Spending Saturday nights in

Watching Indiana basketball

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Sitting by our fireplace

Cuddling with Cooper

Celebrating my parent’s Birthdays

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What have you been doing lately?

Like Coming Home…

This past weekend, I was back in the suburbs and back on my mat at my favorite yoga studio.  It’s crazy because I really love living in the city and the BOY and I are extremely happy, but I miss my yoga studio a ton.  I have been going to the same yoga studio for 5+ years with varying frequencies and had the amazing opportunity to live in the studio this past summer during teacher training (when I really did live back in my childhood home).

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On Saturday, I returned to the burbs to begin teaching the 5 part anatomy series for the new class of yoga teachers.  Afterwards, I had the most amazing facial and spent the night with my mom and our friend drinking wine, talking women’s marches, and appreciating the comforts of home.

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On Sunday, I was back on my mat for a 10am hot yoga class.  As I reclined onto my back in the hot and packed studio, I felt an overwhelming sense of comfort. It’s like coming back home…and yes, I had spent the night in my parents house where I also lived for 2 months this summer, and my mom made me eggs and tea for breakfast because she rocks, but the sounds and smells of the studio where I found myself on my mat lying next to my mom and our friend (two powerful women) filled my heart with joy.  The class was tough and sweaty and I loved every minute!!!

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Despite loving everything about city life, I haven’t found a yoga class that invigorates me like this one.  I even went so far to tell the owner on Sunday that when she’s ready to expand to the city I’d love to run her studio : )

After class, I toweled off and prepared to teach the 11:30 class. I have not gotten as much teaching experience as I’d like and was feeling super nervous. I felt like I talked too fast and didn’t link my class purpose but found my groove about half way through.  The feedback I got after class stunned me as students (that I didn’t know…not my mom and her friends) stated how much they enjoyed my class and complemented me on being a natural teacher.

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Wow!  Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how wonderful that felt! After class I had a short time to change and transition back to teaching anatomy.  It wrapped up a fantastic weekend. When I drove back to the city, I found my husband hanging at my brother’s house, so I joined them and my sister in law for some bubbles and dinner.

I decided to skip the grocery store and wing it this week.  Although our meals have been a little less than healthy (and I don’t have any new recipes to share), I have made it to yoga both yesterday and today so I am feeling pretty incredible.  Everyone needs a weekend home every now and again…right?!

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Ps I didn’t take a ton of pics this weekend so please excuse all the recycled pics!  Luckily after years of yoga I had many sweaty ones to choose from : )

 

What feels ‘like coming home’ to you?

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese {and Life Updates}

You have to know that I made this recipe super simple and totally skimped on the cheese (I went generic), and it still turned out extremely flavorful and fulfilling!

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I feel like that is definitely saying something!!!

Last week, I got back to the cookbooks and back into the kitchen and it was glorious!

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Let me tell you that life has been packed full and fun, but the BOY and I have also enjoyed our down time sitting in front of the fire.  Friday night, we watched an episode of Sherlock without doing anything else…no computers, no wine or popcorn, just lights off snuggled up with Cooper enjoying the quirky show’s start of the season.

Speaking of starts, how are you adjusting to the start of the new year???

We had the most incredible New Years Eve weekend in Wisconsin with a couple of couples, two dogs, and a baby.  We cooked meals, played games, went for walks, and rang in 2017 with tons of enthusiasm and joy. 

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I can’t say that I could ask for a better way to start the year.  I have a bunch of goals/plans/ideas for 2017 but I feel like I am still wrapping my head around the quick finish to 2016 and all of the changes that came our way.

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For the most part, we are settled.  We love our new place (that we are renting) and our neighborhood.  Like I said, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a wine bar, yoga studio, and coffee shop directly across the street. I am working two newish jobs and both are going well along with treating some private clients and teaching private yoga sessions.  All in all, work is time consuming and fulfilling.

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Since the weather got COLD COLD COLD, I have been taking the workouts indoors.  The BOY and I were doing some personal training at the end of last year, but taking a (hopefully quick) break from it right now.  I am exploring and growing on my yoga mat and meeting friends at the barre for a totally different workout.  With an evolving schedule, finding time for workouts and self care has been tough, but I think I found my stride.

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I am teaching a bunch of kids yoga and working HARD to find some consistent adult classes in the city.  We are meeting new friends and reconnecting with old friends.  For the most part, Cooper is settling in to his new home. I think he misses the stairs (we’ve caught him trying to sneak out our door for the stairs a few times), but loves finding new places to hide (ie his new Amazon box) and continues to try to eat everything.

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The BOY won the commute lottery and living this close to work has been great for him. He also loves that any kind of food he wants can be delivered to our front door by Eat24, Amazon, or anyone else delivering Thai, Mediterranean, or Chicago style pizza.  A day doesn’t go by where he hasn’t found a new restaurant in the neighborhood that we HAVE to try.

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Which brings us back to the food.  In attempt to be fiscally and waist line responsible, we have been cooking in a bunch this month and eating out less.  In an attempt to make this process less painful, I decided to make a feast last week.  This Mac N Cheese recipe seemed like the perfect hearty food for a cold Friday night and for protein, we whipped up a batch of Clean Meatballs.

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This mac n cheese recipe was easy and low fuss but the flavor was fantastic!  And I promise it wasn’t too spicy!  The meatballs were random but pretty amazing!  Even the BOY was talking about how much he liked them. 

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Friday night, I ate mine with a side of Mac N Cheese, but Saturday leftovers were all about the spaghetti squash.

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This week, we made Clean Sloppy Joe’s and Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork!  Our meal plan is looking even better with a bottle of Cooper’s Hawk wine : )

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What are your 2017 goals???  Any life updates???

Spicy Mac and Cheese

From The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
  • 1 lb penne pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (I used crusty bread in the food processor)
  • Vegetable oil or Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and add onion, garlic, cumin, and coriander.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, or until onion is soft.  Mix in the flour, and cook mixture over moderate heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Using a wire whisk, slowly incorporate the milk into the onion mixture until the flour and milk are blended.  Bring this to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and stir in the jalapeno pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and tomatoes with their juice.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mozzarella, cheddar, and Swiss cheese, blending until well mixed.  Combine the sauce and cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl.  Place the sauced pasta in a 9 inch greased baking dish.  In a small bowl, mix the parmesan cheese with the bread crumbs.  Sprinkle the cheese and bread crumb topping over the pasta. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

 

Turkey Meatballs
The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey or chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, place egg and breadcrumbs or oat bran.  Add spices and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Using an ice cream scoop make meatballs and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Place in hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

It’s Not Selfish…

Tonight, I went running out of work with barely a goodbye to my coworkers and friends telling my boss I was in need of some ‘Self Care’ in hopes of getting home in time for a 7pm yoga class.  My work schedule has been fairly inconsistent which has made planning in workouts and classes more difficult.  On top of that, the Cubs have me partying like it’s 1999 (the college not the high school portion, mom and dad!).

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So I ran out of work, sped home, changed quickly and felt grateful that the yoga studio was right across the street.  When I walked in, the yoga teacher said to me…I was just thinking about you (we are collaborating on a course) and was just looking at your resume today.  It was like she knew I was coming.  I said how happy I was to be there and found a place for my mat.

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We got started with breath work and stretching and it was clear from the start what a cohesive class we formed. When it came time to set an intention, the teacher suggested that we set one for Self-Care…I mean seriously universe, could your message be more clear???  I set my intention, worked through my practice and VERY happily left the studio 80 minutes later.  And then entered the doorway straight across which happens to belong to this absolutely spectacular wine bar called Ampersand.

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I picked up a kale salad to go (because it is the most amazing thing ever) and paired it with some leftovers and red wine for dinner.  Life has been pretty non-stop lately in only the BEST way!  On top of my regular work and yoga teaching schedules, the Chicago Cubs madness has taken over our lives a bit.  I come from a mixed household when it comes to baseball and am your stereotypical fair weather fan, but this excitement 108 years in the making is hard to escape when you’re living just a few miles away…not that we would want to.

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Last Saturday, the BOY and I met friends for a local brew tour followed by lunch with all our new best friends.  We ended up enjoying some fun local beer and walking all over the neighborhood.

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We had just enough time when we got home to shower and change into our blue and red for the (sad) Saturday night World Series game.  By Sunday night, a bit of the chaos had calmed down and I decided to accompany my mom and our friends for a walk around Wrigley.  It was unlike anything I have ever seen and really incredible.  The energy of the city was electric!

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It even had me staying up way past my bed time for a baseball game.  Rare!!!  By Monday everyone was exhausted, but we kept trucking on making it out for Tuesday nights game and staying up until the wee hours to watch the Cubs win the World Series on Wednesday night.  The win was followed by cheering, singing, and horn honking, even in our quiet neighborhood.  Which of course had Cooper running for cover.  It’s not at all surprising that I was craving a yoga class tonight.  I am working hard to find balance in this new city with a much more active social life and so many fun opportunities.

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And with that in mind, I decided to skip the free continuing ed class I was supposed to go to tomorrow in favor of some sleep and exercise…and perhaps a bath!

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I just keep reminding myself…it’s not selfish, it’s SELF CARE!  And much needed!

 

How do you fit in ‘self care’? 

OMG! Worst Blogger Ever Award!

Friends…old and new! How are you???  Where has the time gone???

I swear it was like yesterday that I was blogging up a storm and then I took a quick break to move in with my P’s, start a new job, get my yoga certificate, enjoy summer, then move again (this time to Chicago), start another new job, unpack…and…Yeah…I’m still not unpacked…and yeah, I seem to still be on a break.  But anyways, the point is it is mid September and I haven’t blogged in a month.  Which earns me the Worst Blogger Ever Award!

So just a quick update…the BOY, Cooper, and I moved into the city Labor Day Weekend and we haven’t slowed down since.

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With help, we have been unpacking a million boxes (with many more to go)…

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I started another new job, cut off all of my hair again, and haven’t cooked a thing.

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Which might be why you haven’t heard from me.  I am working two part time jobs, learning the ropes, teaching a ton of yoga classes (last week, I taught 4 kids classes), exploring the city by bike, drinking wine, buying new furniture, and eating all of the Thai food my tummy can handle,

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Check me out…I’m a bike commuter!

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I bought a bubbie cart so I can walk to the HUGE Mariano’s down the block.

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Which is what I did this afternoon.  Have I mentioned that I live across the street from a yoga studio?!  It is right in between a coffee shop and wine bar and it makes me happy every time I look out the window.

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So this morning, I went to the most amazing yoga class, then came home to organize our bathroom.  Cooper had an afternoon vet appointment, which was very traumatic for both of us.  He wouldn’t go into his crate so we were super late.  When we got home, he ran and hid under the bed, so I took my bubbie cart to the grocery store.

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I’m sure you guys missed me but I am guessing that you missed Cooper more so I threw in a few of his pics.  After a busy week, I was happy to make dinner and decided on this Island Pork Tenderloin.  I came back from the grocery store and got started on dessert first.  As I was pulling out all of the ingredients, I realized that I didn’t have sugar.  Luckily, the BOY passes the store on his walk home from the train so he swung by and picked up sugar.

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Just some Friday night baking essentials.  My dessert came together easily except I couldn’t find sprinkles anywhere in our house. I tried all of my many kitchen cabinets and drawers (my new kitchen also makes me happy!) but there were no sprinkles.  I gave up and subbed in white chocolate chips for the sprinkles and threw some in the middle and on top.

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Apparently I am also the worst baker ever…ha ha!  Although I thought I had everything timed out, it appears our oven is not so strong so everything took WAY TOO LONG!  That being said, the bars still turned out phenomenal and were devoured by the BOY and I after dinner. 

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I just couldn’t decide if I like the crunchy sugary ends or the ooey gooey middle better!

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I kept the recipe as written below but know that this is a very forgiving dessert so you can probably whip it together with whatever you have in your pantry!  Even if you haven’t even unpacked all your pantry boxes : )

I have no idea what my blogging future holds but hoping to check in with ya’ll more often!

What’d I miss with you guys???

 

Cake Batter Sugar Cookie Bars

From Today’s Creative Life

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup of gluten free flour or regular flour
  • ¼ cup of Nonpareil or sprinkles to mix in
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Nonpareil or sprinkles for the top of the batter before baking

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease an 8" x 8" baking pan and set aside.
  3. Carefully melt white chocolate chips at 50% power in microwave, stirring often to make sure they don’t burn. Once they are just about melted, stir in softened butter and remaining ingredients (except sprinkles) which you will want to fold in gently at the very end. Spread dough into pan and cover the top of the dough with the remaining sprinkles.
  4. Bake for about 22 minutes or until the bars begin to turn golden around the edges of the pan.
  5. The bars will be a bit gooey when you remove them from the oven, they will continue to set as they cool for 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. Enjoy!!!

Lately I’ve Been XXX…

Terrible about blogging (as if you haven’t noticed)!!!

Making birthday plans

Drinking a ton of espresso

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Watching non stop Olympics

Living out of my car

And on my yoga mat!

Reuniting with my running shoes

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Scheduling my yearly doctor and dentist appointments

Eating chocolate

Doing Zumba and Bolly.X with my yoga squad

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Drinking wine with my mom

Eating sushi with my brother and SIL

Hanging with my ex coworkers

Keeping my cat out of my dad’s chair (unsuccessfully)

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Catching up with friends

Getting my Teacher Training Certificate (and teaching my first individual class today)

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Battling a summer cold

Getting excited about football season

Planning for our move to Chicago in 2 weeks

Celebrating 10 years of dating with my hubbie!

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And getting photo bombed by my dad…

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What have you been up to lately???

What Olympic events are you loving???