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Happy Birthday Mom!

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Today is my Mom’s birthday!


I wish I could take the day off work to just hang out with her all day!  My mom and I have a great relationship, and I love talking with  her spending time with her, joking with her, cooking with her, walking with her, working out with her, and just about doing anything with her!


We love you so much, Mom!  Have a happy Birthday!!



I Passed and Had the Best Weekend Ever

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For those who don’t know, Body Pump is the original barbell class that works eight major muscle groups (quads, glutes/hamstrings, chest, back, triceps, biceps, abdominals, and shoulders) to fatigue in one hour, all set to awesome, popular, motivating music.  This weekend, I attended my initial training module to become a Body Pump instructor.

Going into this past weekend, I honestly had no idea what to expect.  After going through such difficult training to work on the cruise ship, I thought that I could make it through just about anything.  But after talking with a couple of people who are way more experienced than me in the fitness industry and actually have Body Pump certifications, they made it sound like the weekend was going to be the toughest thing that I had ever done in my life, the trainers would eat me alive, and I would be lucky if I scraped by with a “Pass Withheld” meaning I would have to do a little extra training before I could send in my video.

With all of this going on in my head, I was pretty nervous.  I started Saturday with a little Starbucks (I used my free birthday coupon 😉 ) and some overnight oats to give me plenty of fuel for this physically active weekend.

Upon arrival, I immediately noticed that it was all girls…except for two boys.  I was honestly pretty surprised by this at first, but then I realized that most participants are girls in the group fitness setting so it made since.  Also, it wasn’t hard to realize that everyone was nervous.  None of us had a clue as to what we should expect…even the people who had done previous Les Mills certifications.

The very first thing we did was take the master class.  This was taught by our training facilitator, and two facilitators in training.  This was seriously the best group fitness class that I have ever taken.  Everyone was responding to the instructors’ cues and questions.  We were all cheering and singing along with the songs, it was awesome.  It basically felt like a live workout concert.

All in all, this weekend was amazing.  It was inspiring, it was motivational.  We worked on technique, cueing, how to motivate our classes, how to make our classes feel special, and our own fitness level.  I thought I loved Body Pump before this weekend, but now I am obsessed!


And good news…

I PASSED the training module.  I didn’t receive a pass withheld, I passed all the way.  That means that I only have to team teach four times (which I will probably do more) and then I can submit my video to receive FULL certification, and my first team teaching session is tomorrow morning.  I couldn’t be more excited.

I am so happy that I completed this training, and I cannot wait to begin my Body Pump and Les Mills career.

After I found out I passed, I immediately came back home.  Brian and I then headed out straight to his parent’s house to celebrate my birthday.

Everyone had burgers, but Brian’s dad specifically made me cod with roasted peppers and onions.  It was delicious and much needed nourishment after such a physically active weekend 🙂

Brian’s mom also made delicious strawberry cupcakes with homemade strawberry icing.  I felt like I could have eaten about three of them, but somehow contained myself to one.


Waking up at 6am today was like a treat after waking up at 4am and 5am this weekend for training.  I honestly expected not to be able to move this morning because this weekend we completed 4 Body Pump classes, a technique Boot Camp, and the Body Pump challenge (in which I probably lifted more weight than I ever have before!).  Yet, my body is not any more sore than usual!  I still plan on taking the day off from weight lifting and cardio, and I plan on attending a yoga class this evening.  I am expecting it to be very relaxing.

I started my day with some overnight oats in a jar.  They were delicious as usual.  One of my favorite things about eating the oats from a jar is scraping the last bits of peanut butter off of the bottom of the jar and having be like a little surprise underneath the oatmeal on my spoon.  What can I say?  I love peanut butter.

Because I had such a full weekend, I have to do some errand-type things today, like grocery shopping.  Brian and I are about out of food!  I am also volunteering everyday this week except for Friday at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to help them prepare for the Maestro Open event this coming Monday.

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend, and is ready to start this week off right!

How I Spent My Birthday

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Yesterday started out just fine…until I went to dog-sit and couldn’t remember the alarm code to their house!

Before I entered their house, I searched through my planner looking for the number and couldn’t find it, but I thought that I would just let my instincts guide me.  Well, my instincts were wrong and next thing I knew the alarm was going off, and the police were there.

Everything worked out fine, and at least now I know that their alarm system works 😉  Needless to say, it was an interesting way to start my birthday morning.

I then spent the rest of the day studying for Body Pump, and playing with these guys.

Unfortunately, another series of events occurred as I slightly cut my finger while cutting up veggies for lunch.  It wasn’t too bad, but I still thought that having a bandaid would be a good idea since I will be using my hands a lot in Body Pump training, and Brian and I didn’t have any bandaids at the apartment.

When I got to the drugstore, I was overwhelmed by the selection of bandaids…who knew that there were so many options!?

I opted for the cheapest and cutest…Disney princesses of course!  And some gum as a little birthday present to myself.

I then came home and got ready for my night out with Brian.  We were headed to dinner at a little restaurant called 3 Sisters that features mostly vegan and vegetarian dishes and has a great homey feel to it. The restaurant was even on the Food Network!

Until we walked up and realized that they were closed!  We still have no idea, but we had to come up with an alternate plan.

I picked another restaurant, and while we were driving there I called to see if they had any availability for the evening…and they didn’t.  So, options number three it was! (third time is the charm).  1001 Food and Drink.

This restaurant is fairly new, and I had actually been wanting to try it for a while, so it was perfect that we ended up there.  The restaurant has a very sleek feel to it, and has an amazing deck for sitting outside, however, it was pretty chilly yesterday so we opted for the indoor seating.

We started our meal with the appetizer recommended to us by our waiter.  Jalapeno cornbread with baked brie and cranberry on the side.  It was the perfect blend of sweet and savory.  Yum!

Since I was a bit chilly, I ordered the cup of Tomato Bisque which, to me, tasted like yummy pasta sauce.  It was a thick soup, and very tasty.

I also ordered their house salad which had tomato, lettuce, cucumber, cheese, and almonds.

Brian ordered a burger with blue cheese, but I think that his side dish was the highlight of everyone’s meal….sweet potato fries.  Brian and I both love sweet potatoes, but these fries had a slightly sweet cinnamon topping on them.  Thankfully, Brian shared a few with me 😉  They were pretty addicting.

We then headed out for dessert at a self-serve fro yo place…Huddles.  Now, I love fro yo and I think that the self-serve is fun…but it’s almost too overwhelming for me.

I always ending up wanting to try one little bite of everything and then end up with a bowl of random flavors that don’t meld well together (chocolate, original tart, cake batter, and cookies and cream??)  Oh well…I will figure it out one of these days!  For now, I just have to try to keep the flavors as separate as possible.


We then headed out to Butler University to watch their women’s a cappella group perform.  When I was at Butler, I was in this group and absolutely LOVED it!  It was great to actually sit in the audience for once and hear things from the other side.  They were amazing!

Although I loved all of their songs, I think that my favorite song was Marry the Night (originally by Lady Gaga).  I just love that song, and with all of their harmonies and the layering…it was powerful 🙂

The girls even pulled me on stage and sang me happy birthday!!  What a treat.

All in all it was an amazing birthday and I couldn’t have asked for more!  Thank you for all of the birthday wishes, may this 23rd year of life be a great one!

What to do with Chocolate Goo?

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Good Friday Morning!

Today is my workout “OFF” day this week because I have my BodyPump training all weekend and I hear it is pretty intense, so I want to be all rested and ready to show them who is boss 😉

Yesterday, I filled in as an instructor for a class called Total Burn.  I taught the class last week and had a great time, but this week I wanted to switch up the routine.  I took one of the boot camp style classes that we taught on the cruise and pumped it up a bit by adding some running in between rounds and about 20 minutes of ab work at the end.  By the time the class was finished, everyone was sweating and struggling to finish the last rep…just the way I like it!

 Here are some pictures for reference of each of the exercises:

Cross Body Single Arm Snatch


Sumo Squat




Walking Lunges


Crunches with Weight


Clam Crunch


Bicycle Crunches


Straight Leg Full Sit Ups (starting and ending position)


Chocolate Goo

After coming home from class and getting dinner ready, I decided to check on some fudge that I had made earlier in the day to see if it had hardened up nicely.  Well, it hadn’t.

Cooking is a science, and that is one of the things that I love about it!  Recipes are all little experiments.  Well, when I set out to make fudge yesterday, I used a recipe of my mom’s that never fails…except when you don’t have several of the ingredients needed.  Did I have marshmallow fluff?  Nope…but I had marshmallows and thought that melting them down would be the same thing.  Did I have chocolate chips?  Nope…but I thought that mixing sugar, cocoa powder, and butter would be the same.  Did I have evaporated milk?  Nope…but I thought that using unsweetened original almond milk would be the same.  None of it worked the same as the ingredients called for, and when I went to cut the fudge into slices, I realized that I had a ton of chocolate goo…great tasting chocolate goo I might add 😉

I thought…hmmm, what can I do with this? I know!  I’ll roll it into balls and coat it with unsweetened cocoa and it will be like little truffles…The balls turned into little piles of flat goo.

I hate to put it all to waste, so I simply put the goo in some jars so that I can think about what I should actually do with it…I have no idea!!!  It just goes to show that you never know what to expect when you experiment in the kitchen.

This Morning

This morning, I was woken up by the lovely voice of my mom on the telephone singing me “Happy Birthday…”  Brian, being the scrooge that he can be sometimes ;), heard this and immediately said “Go do happy birthday in the living room!”  haha!  Granted, it was 5am…what can I say, my mom and I are morning people.

After getting ready and waiting for scrooge Brian to wake up, it was time to open the last present from my mom.

That box had been sitting in my room all week just staring at me, waiting for me to rip it open…what can I say, I have serious will power.

 When I opened it, I saw the first glimpse of the blanket and knew exactly what it was!  A t-shirt blanket made of shirts from the sorority I was in at Butler.  Before I left for the cruise, I gave my mom a giant bag of t-shirts and asked if she would make one for me.  I had no idea when it was coming, and I am so happy that she made this for me!  It is absolutely perfect.

 I am glad that I waited until my birthday to open it.


Then, it was time for breakfast…the most important meal of the day, and probably my favorite meal of the day.  Today, I had spinach and cheese egg whites with a little peach, strawberry, and banana fruit salad and some coffee.  What a great way to start the day!

Now, I am off to do some last minute BodyPump studying before going out for a birthday dinner with Brian and the Freshly Brewed concert (that is the women’s a cappella group that I was in during college).  Should be a great day!

Questions of the Morning:

What kitchen disasters have you run into?  

What ideas do you have for me to make with my chocolate goo?

Links of Possible Interest: