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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!!

 

 

Florida Recap: My Brother’s Film College Graduation

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Good Morning!

Yesterday was my first day back at work after being in Florida for a week.  Is it just me, or does anyone else ever feel like they need a vacation from vacation to mentally rest and prepare for getting back into the grind?

My first day back at work wasn’t too bad, except for one thing.  I had a headache lingering all day.  I had some medicine with me, and I did take it, but I am always a bit leary about popping a ton of pills in order to feel better.  Unfortunately, the meds didn’t really help and by bedtime the headache was in full swing.  I have a prescription for these headaches that I don’t like to take outside of emergency situations, and last night was one of those instances.

Lately, though, the prescription hasn’t even been working.  So, while I was able to fall asleep, I woke at about midnight with a full blown, horrible headache.  Thankfully, I was able to take another round of medicine to really kick it in the tush.  I was able to fall back asleep, and wake with no head pain.  Whenever I have one of these headaches, even if I get rid of it, I never quite feel 100% the next day.  They really take a lot of out me, and I crave one thing…carbs.  I awoke starving, and rice cakes and peanut butter sounded comforting…so before heading out to teach spin, rice cakes and PB it was.

Now, I am not sure what causes my headaches, but does anyone out there know of any remedies or preventative actions that maybe don’t involve popping a ton of pills??  If so, I would love to hear what you have to recommend or what you have tried in the past!

Now, to the fun stuff…

Florida Recap

While my family was stoked to go to Disney at the beginning of our trip, the real reason that we all traveled down to Florida was to celebrate my younger brother’s graduation from Full Sail University’s film directing program.

On Thursday evening, we were very excited for the entertainment of the night because we were attending a screening of my brother and all of the other Full Sail Film students’ films that they had made throughout their classes.

Before we could enjoy any sort of entertainment, we had some shopping to do…at Sam’s Club and Publix.  Two of my favorite stores!  My brother and his house mate were hosting a cookout after the graduation on Friday, and we needed supplies.

I love Sam’s Club, because there is bound to be a good sample that I want to try, and I am a girl that LOVES samples (and anything else free for that matter!)

Cheese please? Don’t mind if I do!

Mojito in a bag?? It was pretty tasty as well 😉

As if I didn’t already love Publix, as I was walking down the cereal aisle, I saw this little gem.

Weetabix…I ate those every single day in London, and I haven’t had them since!  If you ever get a chance to try them, I highly recommend!

Full Sail Backlot Tour

After our errands were completed and we had supplies for the cookout, Kenny gave us a tour of Full Sail which has an awesome backlot that looks just like a real little city for all of their movie making!

This is all fake

He showed us around the sets that they used while filming various projects.  One of Kenny’s projects was a cooking show in this little set kitchen!  I guess the whole food-loving thing runs in the family 🙂

He learned how to operate very high-tech and expensive equipment.  Not only did he learn how to use it, but he used this equipment to complete his projects.

Full Sail Grad Fest

After the tour it was time for the Grad Fest, where we had the opportunity to view all of the hard work that Kenny and his classmates had been putting into various films for the past two years.

Of course, they had popcorn for a little snack.

They rolled out the red carpet for these young directors and film-makers and even had a camera crew interviewing them about their experience at Full Sail.  The interviews were projected live on large TVs in the auditorium.  Pretty neat if you ask me!

The Family

The movies were amazing.  Some made me laugh, some made me cry, but all in all they were each pretty awesome in it’s own way.

Smokey Bones Dinner

We then headed to Smokey Bones for dinner with all of Kenny’s friends and their families.  The atmosphere was casual, fun, and welcoming.  Perfect for our large and loud group 🙂

I thought it was cute when they brought  out “bone bags” for my brother and grandpa when they both ordered the ribs.

At restaurants like these I always get so overwhelmed because of all of the options on the menu.  I ended up ordering the Nutty Chicken Salad, with shrimp instead of chicken.  I absolutely love salads with the sweet and savory flair going on.  This salad had dark leafy lettuce, candied pecans (such a treat!), goat cheese, strawberries, red onion, and shrimp….yum!

I thought I took a picture, but can’t seem to find it, but someone ordered a GIANT piece of chocolate cake for each of the grads.  Luckily Kenny was a little full and had to pass the plate around to the rest of the family.  Thank goodness he ordered a huge meal before his cake!

Graduation Ceremony

Friday was Kenny’s actual graduation.  It was held in the same location as the Grad Fest on the campus of Full Sail in one of their new buildings.

Because the classes were so small, each student was called to the stage with their name projected behind them like they won a game show!  I thought it was a pretty awesome effect.

We are all so proud of Kenny and his friends for graduating from Full Sail.

I think that one of the great things about Full Sail is that it allows these students to study something abstract like film making, internet marketing, music business, video game design, etc and still obtain a Bachelor’s degree.  It’s a great opportunity for someone who is completely capable of furthering their education, but can’t find the program that they fit into at a “traditional” school.

Graduation Cookout

After the graduation, we all headed back to Kenny’s house to hang out and grill out with Kenny’s friends and some of their families.

My dad, and my cousin Chuck (the one who works at Disney!)

My mom picked up burgers for everyone to eat from the grill.  I have never been a person to enjoy red meat, and was about to pick up a fillet of fish at Publix to grill, when I saw a lemon dill salmon burger.  I decided that was a better option for grilling, and I am so glad that I tried it.

Seriously, this burger was so tasty.  I purposely saved half of it for dinner so that I could savor the flavor even longer and eat it twice 🙂

The graduation celebration was a perfect way to end our family vacation before heading up to Ocala and then back to Indiana.

A beer with the same name as the school!

I am so proud of my brother, and I can’t wait to see where the future takes him!

Florida Recap: Never Too Old For Disney

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Day 1:  Disney

We didn’t waste any time on this vacation.  Ever since my sister and I knew that we were going with my parents to Florida to celebrate my brothers graduation, we were asking that a trip to Disney be put into the plans.

As children, we went to the theme parks several times and have never truly out grown them.  My cousin works for Disney, and he wanted to meet up with us to spend the day in the park, Monday worked for his schedule and we made sure that it worked for ours.

We had an amazing day riding several of the rides with VIP fast passes thanks to our little family connection.

It was a long day starting with Hollywood Studios, Epcot in the middle, and ending with the Magic Kingdom.  We were dog tired at the end…but it was sooo worth it!

Pool Time

While we never actually made it to the beach on this trip, we did make it to the pool…several times.  And in the spirit of the Olypmics, we practiced some synchronized diving!

After spending the beginning portion of our day on Wednesday at the pool, we headed to Publix, which is a Southeastern United States grocery store chain…but I totally wish we had it in Indiana.

We stopped by their bakery section to pick up some fresh rolls to go with our Grandma’s planned meal of pulled pork or caprese sandwiches for those not to fond of pork (that would be me!).

Just walking through the Publix bakery made me want to buy just about every item they had out.  I love this grocery store so much because they have so many fresh items, it doesn’t seem too unreasonable priced, and it just has a nice clean look and feel.  What can I say…there is just something about the store that I like.

My grandparents were camping in their little mini motor coach (they call it the “Trek”) that they literally drive all over the country in the the Disney campground, Fort Wilderness.  This is where my family used to stay during our Florida vacations we would take as children, so my sister and I had big plans of hanging out at the pool…unfortunately, the afternoon got a bit rainy.

So, we put on the ponchos (ok…I put on the poncho), and we just walked around and explored the campground.  Soon enough, we were ready to head back for a couple of card games, and dinner.

Like I mentioned, my grandma made pulled pork for the family with a barbeque sauce that was low in sugar and absolutely tasty (I must get the recipe for that!), and caprese sandwiches for her and I to enjoy (neither of us really have ever enjoyed pork).

The sandwiches were served alongside some of her homemade secret ingredient potato salad…betchya can’t guess what’s in it.

Cauliflower! Another recipe that I need to make sure I ask for 😉  We then enjoyed some of my grandma’s favorite breakfast bread grilled with a little butter and apricot jam for dessert.  My grandma loves this breakfast bread, but she can only get it at Publix.  So, whenever she is in the Florida area she picks up some extra bread and freezes it for a special occasion.

After trying this bread, I completely understand why she carries this stuff back to her Arizona home.  It is a hearty bread with raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, and nuts all mixed in.  Seriously…it’s good stuff.

While I love going out to eat and trying new local places, when I am with my family, I really enjoy the home cooking provided by my mom or grandma.  We can all relax in our comfy clothes, play cards, and just hang out…I love that!

Time for You to Share:

  • When you go on vacation, do you prefer to eat out at a lot of different restaurants and try new things, or do you like to hang around in the evenings in your cozy clothes and just relax with some home cooking?? Or, do you like a bit of both?

Baby, I’m Back!

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After an amazing week long vacation in Florida with my family, I am back home in Indiana.  I took so many pictures attempting to capture each moment, and plan to recap the vacay within the next few days, but I thought that I would start off today by recapping today and the end of our journey.

Leaving Florida

After packing up our bags and making sure that we had everything out of the condo, my family headed up to Ocala, FL.  Ocala is a small town a couple of hours North of Orlando, and it just happens to be where my Aunt and Uncle call home.  It has always been a tradition to stop at their house on our way home to fill our tummies with a delicious meal before hitting the long road home, and yesterday was no exception.

My grandparents were there too, and my grandma picked up some special treats to serve as appetizers to our lunch.

Fried Alligator

and Crab Legs

 

Now, I have tried crab legs before…and I love them!  So when it came to that dish I (and the rest of the fam) dug right in!…literally

 

My dad and grandpa stayed out of the mess.  To them, crab legs are a lot of work, for not a lot of food…but I think that the work is all the fun!

Now, as far as the alligator goes…I would be lying if I didn’t say I was apprehensive.  It took a little coaxing to get me to agree to trying a piece:

I would also be lying if I told you I didn’t go back for seconds ;)…I liked it!

After chatting and catching up for a bit, my aunt then laid out some delicious salads and toppings for us to “build-our-own” lunch salads.  Just the kind of meal I love! Create-your-own…and veggies!

Grandma and Brenna

Uncle Chris, Mom, and Grandpa

Aunt Doreen, Dad, and Me

It was a great afternoon and a great way to end our vacation.  Thanks Aunt Doreen and Uncle Chris!  And thanks Grandma for the gator and crabs 🙂

Surprise Breakfast

We then drove through the night, switching drivers every couple of hours so that we could all stretch our legs and by around 8:30am we were pulling into the Rochford’s driveway…and they had a surprise breakfast made up for us!

 

 

 

There was delicious fruit and yogurt, bagels, hashbrowns, and Greg (Brian’s dad) was making eggs however we liked…it was delicious and much needed.  My parent’s were especially thankful considering they were dropping my sister and I off in Indianapolis with another two hours to go until they reached their destination of Fort Wayne.

Thankfully, we all made it back safe and in one piece!

Sunday Prep

Rather than heading straight to bed or scheduling a nap in during the day, I decided to be productive and work on getting things done in order to prepare for the work week so that I can go to bed early and not worry about anything I didn’t have time to get done.

I made some hummus:

I baked some peanut butter cookies…seriously delish!

Greg shared the harvest from my tomato plant with me…

Two baby baby tomatoes, with a third one still green on the vine!

I really owe a big thank you to Brian’s dad…he watered that tomato plant, while I barely even looked at it!  And thanks to his water pot…we have three baby tomatoes, and they were tasty!

Getting Back in the Groove

Now, that I am back and laundry is done, I have grocery shopped, and prepared food for the week I am sooo ready to get back on track.  I absolutely love vacation and spending time with my family, but I am the kind of person that needs to function on a schedule, I thrive on it!  So, I am completely ready to dive in head first to get back into the routine of my half marathon training, Body Pump practicing, group fitness teaching, and healthy eating regular schedule 😉

Shout Out

And one last shout out (to the longest post ever…).  Thanks so much to Sam at Fit for my Fork, Courtney at Sweet Tooth Sweet Life, Clare at Fitting It All In, and Andrea at A Doctor in the House for guest posting while I was spending a wonderful week in Florida with my family.

Nowhere Near Perfect

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This weekend at home was honestly much needed and pretty awesome.  Call me crazy, but I love hanging out with my mom 🙂

She made me yummy food like fish tacos.  Seriously, these are so so so good…don’t worry, I asked her for the recipe.

We ate baby tomatoes from her garden.

 

We went running on Sunday morning.

 

I prepped my food for the week.  The tofu is covered with the same stuff used for the tilapia fish tacos.  It tastes good on the tofu, but better on the tilapia.

 

More food prepping…

 

Mom made another delicious dinner.  This time, it was grilled shrimp served on top of a giant salad.

 

Perfection

 

I had a pretty big revelation this weekend.  Mom and I had a big talk after dinner about my life, and the perfection I was striving for.

Recently, I have been trying too hard to be perfect…at everything…and I was literally driving myself crazy because it is impossible to be perfect.

I joined the Savage girls thinking that would make my eating habits perfect and my body perfect, when all it really did for me was add this unbearable stress all the time because I am not perfect…in fact I am no where near it.

I tried to keep up this perfect image on the blog, only showcasing the great workouts I did and the healthy meals I ate, not truly talking about my feelings or the days when all I wanted was a giant bowl of ice cream.   I wasn’t being real, and I wasn’t being me.

Working on the cruise taught me a lot of things in regards to healthy eating, healthy living, the environment, and how the chemicals in our world are affecting our bodies.  While working on the cruise, one of the things that I would do was educate others on this “clean living, detoxification, no impurities” lifestyle.  Because I was educating them on this perfect way to live, I wanted to be exemplary and not hypocritical so I tried to lead this “perfect” lifestyle, when really it was probably the farthest thing from perfect that I have ever experienced.  When I came home and tried to control things and be even more perfect, I feel like things spiraled out of control.

When I think about the people that I truly look up to, whether they are fitness instructors, bloggers, or whatever…the reason that I look up to them is because they do what they do well, but they are authentic.  They let people inside to see the real them and all of the flaws included, and although I aspire to be like these people…showcasing my flaws was the last thing that I ever wanted to do.

When I was in Body Pump training, we had to write down what we loved about our favorite instructors.  Without a hitch, without a second thought, the first thing that I wrote down was that I like to see them make mistakes.  Now, that doesn’t mean I want my instructors to flub the whole class, but to hear them accidentally cue “squat for 2/2….actually I mean super slow!” is refreshing to me….because I know that person is real and human…just like me.

I have been working so hard to do everything 100%, do everything perfect, and it was turning me into a robot.  What kind of a life is that?  I wasn’t enjoying time with friends, I wasn’t just sitting back and relaxing, I wasn’t ever taking a night off, I wasn’t living my life…and that takes a lot of work.

So, from here on out I want to be true to you, true to my group fitness classes, true to my family, true to Brian, true to my friends and be the real ME!  The real me is someone who loves to eat healthy, try new recipes and workouts, who loves ice cream and chocolate, who loves to bake for EVERYONE whenever there is an opportunity, who hopes to inspire others to try a new vegetable or workout for an extra 30 minutes.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I am going to go and eat a big old McDonald’s hamburger with all the toppings, a large fry, soda, and a chocolate milkshake on the side…because that is not me either.  But, if a friend calls me up and asks to meet up for ice cream or a drink, I am not going to stress because it wasn’t in the “plan.”  I am going to be so happy to see that friend and truly enjoy my time with him or her.

It is crazy how it suddenly hit me last night, but I am so HAPPY that I finally realized what was wrong in my life.  A saying that I heard once that will always stick with me is “Everything in moderation, including moderation”  Hello!  How brilliant is that?!  Thank you to whoever came up with that, because I need  a little moderation on my “moderation.”

So, here is to Monday and starting off the week on a new foot.  Boy, does that feel good!

Rough Ride Home

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I am home for the weekend in Fort Wayne, but I did not have an easy road getting there last night.

 

 

That would be my car, with a giant flat tire on the highway.  Luckily, it didn’t cause any accidents and I was safely able to pull of the road.  Shortly after I pulled to the side, a kind police officer stopped to help me out, call the tow truck, and wait with me until everything was finished.  He even stopped traffic on the highway to get everything moved over into the far lane.  What  great help he was!! I couldn’t thank him enough.

After my adventure on the highway, I finally ended up at home about an hour later than planned.  Thankfully, my mom had a delicious meal of salmon, sweet potatoes, and veggies all plated up for me and ready to go.  I was hungry and the food tasted good!

My mom made a new rub for the sweet potatoes and salmon that is to die for!  Don’t worry, I got the recipe and will share later 😉

 

My mom and I then spent a good portion of the evening trying to photograph our dogs…we finally gave up and deemed them both cute in person, but horribly un-photogenic!!

 

This Morning

Today, Mom and I got up nice and early to head to a diner owned by one of her friends.  Literally, they just reopened the doors on Tuesday!!  I’ll go into more detail on Minnie’s diner in a later post 😉

We both had veggie omelettes, mom’s with a side of potatoes

 

and mine with a side on plain oats.  I seriously think that was on of the biggest bowls of oats I have ever seen!  Tasty, but I couldn’t finish it.

 

We then ran a couple of errands including mailing a package to a special giveaway winner (yes, I know the giveaway was a while ago, but we have been in contact and she understands!)  It should be there by Monday!

 

Next on the agenda was Body Pump.  I had to have a sub teach my class for today in Indianapolis, but I made up for it by attending class as a participant this morning.  I upped my weights today…and all I can say is OUCH!!! (in a good way of course!)

 

Then, it was time to head home, shower, and eat some lunch.  For me, lunch included tuna with some low fat cottage cheese, cucumbers and carrots, some leftover sweet potatoes from last night, and grapes and berries.  So summery and tasty!

 

 

Now, I am off to get a new tire for my car, meet up with a friend, and mom is at a baby shower.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Grand Haven Part II

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My mom and I had an amazing mother-daughter weekend visiting her hometown of Grand Haven, MI.  You can view part one of the trip here!

The weather got a little wet in the late afternoon, but my mom and I didn’t let that stop us.  After walking up and down the pier, we decided to head into town to check out all the little shops.

One of my favorite shops was a little general store called Fortino’s.  They had so many different specialty foods, homemade candy, and home-roasted nuts.  Delish!

We didn’t buy much, but we made sure to get some nuts for snacking and some locally made blueberry coffee (blueberries are pretty big in Michigan).

The store we bought the coffee from had a sample, and the blueberry hint was subtle enough that you could taste it but the blueberry flavor wasn’t overpowering.  I am excited to make a mug of this warm drink!

Eventually, all the walking around and shopping got us hungry for dinner.  We stopped at another local place called Snug Harbor.

The restaurant had outdoor seating right on the water with a perfect view!

For dinner, we shared two appetizers.  One of salmon bruschetta (I am for sure trying to make this again!!) and a hummus platter.  Yum!

Then, it was time for dessert and the musical fountain.  So, we headed to Temptations for some homemade ice cream, and then found a spot on the lawn to watch the musical fountain do it’s dance.

The musical fountain, happens at night.  It is a fountain that plays music, talks and lights up!  It is a cute summer tradition for locals.

After a long day of hanging out in Grand Haven and doing all of the “tourist” type things we were ready to hit the hay and drove to a nearby hotel.

We slept like logs, then woke up early to head back to Fort Wayne.  Luckily, the hotel had a hot breakfast, waffle maker included!

Mom and I shared the waffle, and it was tasty 🙂  So worth it!

After our tummies were satisfied, we loaded up the car and headed back to Fort Wayne.

All in all it was a perfect weekend, and I can’t wait to go back and visit with Mom again 🙂