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Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover

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Good Morning!

Ok,  I have to admit that my breakfast in no way shape or form looks appetizing, but I promise that this smoothie bowl tasted so good that I was practically licking the bowl clean.  I used a similar recipe to my breakfast milkshake that I made not too long ago and added some raw oats for texture.  Just sayin’…don’t judge a book by it’s cover 😉

 

A little banana, spinach, almond butter, sun warrior protein powder, almond milk, cacao powder, vanilla extract, stevia…what is there NOT to like?

Yesterday

Yesterday at work I felt like a special delivery woman!  I started out the day delivering some chocolates to a client…

And then I ended the evening delivering the office keys that I accidentally left in my purse…

Not really the best way to end a long day, but it had to be done.

I am very excited for my after-work-plans for the night…I have some crafting to get done, some packing to get done, and hopefully and early bed time!

QUESTIONS OF THE MORNING:

Have you ever left the office keys in your bag and had to return them back to work that same night???  

What is your favorite breakfast lately?

For me, it is parfaits and smoothie bowls!!!

 

 

I Get A Desk and I Need to Downsize My Number of Bags

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Today has been a long but good day.

I started off teaching Yoga Sculpt.  I had a great group this morning, and thoroughly enjoyed starting my morning with that class.  Then, it was time to shower and get ready at the gym for my first day of work.  That was interesting, considering the fact that Brian and I are currently packing and getting ready to move, and I packed all of my large duffle bags!  I had to use three smaller bags…let’s just say I can’t wait until I can use a slightly larger bag 😉

I was able to shower and get ready in just over 30 minutes.  I think that part of my time was taken up by trying to organize my absurd number of bags.  No worries though, tomorrow I get to try it all over again!

I then headed into the office, and arrived there in plenty of time!  I don’t have an office to myself because I think that a lot of my time will not be spent in the office, but I do have a desk!

And a nametag!

I am going to have to find some “pinspiration” and get crafty decorating my office.  My boss kept telling me that my desk is my space and I need to decorate it and make it my own…I think I can handle that 😉

Sorry, no lunch pictures! I didn’t really get a break today, I just ate quickly between meetings.  Today’s menu included, a leftover veggie burger from dinner at Brian’s parent’s house on Monday on top of a bed of tomato, lettuce, and celery topped with salsa.  I also had half an apple with some cheese and peanuts.  Tasty!

After Work

After work, I have to admit that I was pretty tired (who am I kidding I am tired still!!)  But I knew that I needed to run.  Since I ran 1 mile before Yoga Sculpt this morning, I decided that 3 miles was ok.  So, even though I was more than ready for dinner, very tired, and not quite in the mood to run, I still did 3 miles wit a pace of 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Not too shabby.

Then, it was time for dinner.  Thanks to my mom’s delicious idea it came together very quickly.  Roasted broccoli and lemon pepper salmon.

Simple, yet so tasty.  Thanks for the idea, Mom!

Now, I am off to practice Body Pump, since I record my first time teaching an entire class on Saturday and get ready for an early bed…good night!

Still Sitting Here and the Food List Challenge

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Good Evening!

Today was pretty uneventful on my front.  Sometimes that can be a good thing, but today, I wish I had a little more action.

 

Ever since I have come home from the cruise I have been applying for jobs, subbing as a group fitness instructor at various gyms in Indianapolis, and random odd jobs here and there.  More or less, applying for jobs has been my full-time job.  So, today, I got up, showered, got dressed and ready, and then I sat at the table at my computer virtually all day.  And I am still in the same spot.  I did take a lunch break, a workout break, and a dinner break, but I realized that on days like today I need to get out of the house and go somewhere.  Otherwise it is like there is no break and separation between “work” and “home.”

Does anyone work from home?  How do you separate your work and home and avoid working around the clock?

 

During my first break of the day, I had lunch.  A delicious salad with tuna and egg whites, broccoli, red onion, celery, topped with salsa mixed with cauliflower hummus.

I make salad many days out of the week whether it be for lunch or dinner, but there are some times when they just taste way better than usual…today was one of those days.

 

After my break for my bodypump workout, I made a quick dinner of steamed broccoli and asparagus with leftover baked tofu (from Friday).  It was great and simple!

Have any of you heard of The Food List Challenge?  I read about it this evening as I was eating my dinner. It is a list of 100 foods and you simply check the foods that you have tried and compare the results with other people.  I love experimenting with new cuisines, so I thought I would share the foods I have tried.

 

To be honest, I had to google some of these foods to see what they even were!

1. Abalone

2. Absinthe

3. Alligator

4. Baba Ghanoush

5. Bagel and Lox

6. Baklava

7. Barbecue Ribs

8. Bellini

9. Bird’s Nest Soup

10. Biscuits and Gravy

11. Black Pudding

12. Black Truffle

13. Borscht

14. Calamari

15. Carp

16. Caviar

17. Cheese Fondue

18. Chicken and Waffles

19. Chicken Tikka Masala

20. Chile Relleno

21. Chitlins

22. Churros

23. Clam Chowder

24. Cognac

25. Crab Cakes

26. Crickets

27. Currywurst

28. Dandelion Wine

29. Dulce De Leche

30. Durian

31. Eel

32. Eggs Benedict

33. Fish Tacos

34. Foie Gras

35. Fresh Spring Rolls

36. Fried Catfish

37. Fried Green Tomatoes

38. Fried Plantain

39. Frito Pie

40. Frogs’ Legs

41. Fugu

42. Funnel Cake

43. Gazpacho

44. Goat

45. Goat’s Milk

46. Goulash

47. Gumbo

48. Haggis

49. Head Cheese

50. Heirloom Tomatoes

51. Honeycomb

52. Hostess Fruit Pie

53. Huevos Rancheros

54. Jerk Chicken

55. Kangaroo

56. Key Lime Pie

57. Kobe Beef

58. Lassi

59. Lobster

60. Mimosa

61. MoonPie

62. Morel Mushrooms

63. Nettle Tea

64. Octopus

65. Oxtail Soup

66. Paella

67. Paneer

68. Pastrami on Rye

69. Pavlova

70. Phaal

71. Philly Cheese Steak

72. Pho

73. Pineapple and Cottage Cheese

74. Pistachio Ice Cream

75. Po’ Boy

76. Pocky

77. Polenta

78. Prickly Pear

79. Rabbit Stew

80. Raw Oysters

81. Root Beer Float

82. S’mores

83. Sauerkraut

84. Sea Urchin

85. Shark

86. Snail

87. Snake

88. Soft Shell Crab

89. Som Tam

90. Spaetzle

91. Spam

92. Squirrel

93. Steak Tartare

94. Sweet Potato Fries

95. Sweetbreads

96. Tom Yum

97. Umeboshi

98. Venison

99. Wasabi Peas

100. Zucchini Flowers

I have tried 53 out of the 100 foods listed.  How many have you tried??

Now, I am off to do something non-work related for the rest of the night and get out of my chair 😉

 

Happy Holidays and Travel Updates

The internet on the boat is iffy and expensive…but I am still here!!

25 Questions: Holiday Style

  • Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Eggnog.  I love a good, rich hot chocolate as well, but to me, nothing speaks Christmas like eggnog.  I usually only have it once or twice during the season, but I can’t imagine a Christmas without it.  Yesterday morning (my Christmas morning) I woke up and got ready to eat breakfast at the buffet as usual.  Sad that I couldn’t have my usual cinnamon rolls with my family, I was a)so excited to see eggnog at the buffet for breakfast, and b) really shocked because that is typically NOT a breakfast item…but I had to have it! J

  • Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Santa still wraps our presents.  There are no gifts under the main tree until Christmas morning, and we are not allowed to peak on Christmas morning until my parents are ready…yes me and my siblings still do this…and we will be doing it next year when I am home for Christmas!

  • Colored lights on tree/house or white?

We have colored on the tree in the house and blue icicle lights outside.

  • Do you hang mistletoe?

Nope

  • When do you hang your decorations up?

I think it really depends on the year.  It is all up to my mom since she is the one at home, but I honestly don’t mind putting up the festive décor right after Thanksgiving!  The sooner the better J

  • What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Every year we have lasagna for dinner at Christmas.  Sometimes we switch up our appetizers, our Christmas Eve meal or whatnot, but without a doubt we always have lasagna Christmas night, and because it is so special we like never have it throughout the year so that we really are craving it when Christmas comes around.  It is seriously the best lasagna that I have ever tasted…stuff in the restaurants doesn’t even come close.

  • Favorite holiday memory as a child?

When we were younger we used to do a holiday celebration at my Great Grandma’s apartment in Michigan and I just remember always driving through the snow and having the whole trip seem like an adventure to get to Grandma’s house.  We would have a fancy little dinner with her and get all dressed up in our holiday attire.  Just spending time with family by playing cards and watching a Miracle on 34th Street. It was perfect J

I also remember one year that me and my siblings really wanted Giga Pets (remember those) for Christmas.  My parents continuously said no way and that we were definitely not getting them for us.  When we were opening our gifts we each got our own Giga Pet!  At that moment I “knew” santa was real J

  • What is on your Christmas wish list?

This year I didn’t even make one!  I am such a list person that I just enjoy making my list every year and sending ideas to my mom constantly, but I really didn’t expect to get anything…so when I got two boxes of gifts to open on Christmas I was sooo happy!!! J

  • Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?

No way!!!! Brian’s family opens on Christmas Eve…but for my family there is no way that we open anything before the actual day!

  • How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

We use all of our collected random and homemade gifts each year.  One year, I think I tried to string popcorn and cranberries to add that kind of a touch to the tree, most years we add those stringy silver icicle things.  We also have a smaller tree that we call our “international tree.”  Whenever my grandparents travel they always bring us back little ornaments to add to the tree, so I am collecting some ornaments along my travels to add to the collection!

  • Snow? Love it or dread it?

I would love snow from the week of Thanksgiving until New Years and then after that spring, green, and warm weather can come J

  • Real tree or fake tree?

REAL! We always argue about finding the “perfect” tree. When I was younger we would actually go to a Christmas tree farm!

  • Do you remember your favorite gift?

Favorite gift…that is a hard one!  I think that this year my gifts were my favorite because I wasn’t expecting anything…my mom could have sent an empty box and it would have been my favorite I think haha.  Just to have a little taste of home was perfect!

  • What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?

Family and traditions.  Being away from everyone and everything that I love this holiday season has really made me realize how much I really do love my family and spending time with them.  I don’t have a big family, so the traditions we hold on to are what make the day special for everyone.  I can’t wait to come back next year and do every tradition to the max!!!

  • What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Our house literally becomes a bakery during the holiday season.  We don’t eat cake or pies for Christmas, it is all about the cookies…although some of them are not cookies technically.  My absolute favorite holiday treat to eat are buckeyes…and I have had a craving for them this entire week!  My favorite holiday treat to make are cherry coconut bars and of course decorated sugar cookies

  • What is your favorite tradition?

This is a tough one because my family has so many goofy little traditions.  I think that my favorite tradition is the homemade gift that my siblings and I make for each other.  Now that we are getting older, the gifts are actually pretty good!  It is always so hard to come up with an idea, but then once you come up with it the whole process is top secret from everyone (except mom who usually helps out!) until Christmas morning.

  • What tops your tree?

We top the tree with a “tree topper.”  It is not an angel and it is not a star.  It is a red and gold decoration thing that just goes on top…It’s hard to describe.

  • Do you prefer giving or receiving?

I love giving gifts on Christmas, my favorite thing is to find the perfect gift and then keep it a secret until Christmas and watch the receiver open it J  Watching them open the gift is probably my favorite part!

  • What is your favorite Christmas song?

I can’t pick just one so here are the songs at the top of the list

  1. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  2. Joy to the World
  3. Carol of the Bells
  4. Oh Holy Night
  5. Silver Bells
  • Candy canes, yuck or yum?

They are cute decorations during the holiday season.  My mom gets a giant candy cane (like the kind that you would put in the yard) and puts it on the antenna of her car…my sister does that too.  I also think that they are tasty as stir sticks in your hot chocolate or eggnog.

  • Favorite Christmas movie?

Again, I can’t choose so here is the top of the list

  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  2. Elf
  3. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
  4. A Christmas Story
  • What do you leave for Santa?

This is one of the goofy traditions that my family still does…we leave cookies, milk (or eggnog), a carrot for Rudolph, and a letter J (yes we still do it!)

  • Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?

YES!  Usually, my siblings and I all sleep in one room together for a big Christmas night sleepover.  I then wake up at the earliest hour possible (I am a morning person) and then wake up Kenny, my brother.  I have Kenny go peak downstairs to see how things look.  In the mean time I try to convince Brenna that she needs to wake up 5 hours before her usual time because it is Christmas!  Kenny and I then go and try to wake our parents up, we then wait for mom to shower and Dad to set up the video camera (this really turns into a production).  When Mom is finally ready we all head downstairs to the family room and open the gifts in our stockings first.  We then move to the homemade and family gifts under the International Tree.  I then make cinnamon rolls and we have cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  We then move into the living room and open all of the Santa presents under the tree.

**I told you we had a lot of traditions

  • Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

The mall.  I love the smell of Christmas time and being surrounded by so many people and seeing the decorations!

  • Christmas letter or Christmas card?

This year I did Christmas letters simply because I am so far away and can’t talk to everyone in the family that often.

  • Favorite thing about Christmas this year? (I added this one in)

The crew on board formed a crew Christmas carol choir.  As soon as I heard that this was going on I couldn’t NOT join!! I quickly was given the title of music director and loved every second of it.  Most (probably everyone) had no musical training and were just doing the choir for fun, which was great to see.  I had a couple of solos too, which was fun.  We performed on Christmas Eve night just before each seating for dinner, and because it made me so happy to see everyone else so happy it made me extremely emotional!

Christmas day I then had to work in the morning teaching our stretching class and our abs class.  Since it was Christmas, the gym was pretty slow so I was hanging out at the front desk when a man came into the spa said that he was looking for a girl from the spa last night dressed like me that sang the Christmas carols.  My manager quickly told him that it was me!  He then went on to tell me how happy the carols made him and how my singing was the highlight of his entire cruise.  That made me so happy!  I then had a little bit of a rough day just because every time I would even think about Christmas anything I would just get emotional.  Later that evening, my roommate came into our room where I was hanging out and told me that the man who enjoyed my singing so much was talking to my manager who explained that it was my first Christmas away from home and that I was having a hard time.  He said that he understood the feeling of being away from family and because I made him and his wife smile, they wanted to make me smile so they bought me a little stuffed animal holding a Christmas carol booklet that plays Christmas songs!!! That totally made my day!

Benefits of Working in the Spa on a Cruise

The gym is a part of the spa on all cruise ships, and because of that we are able to receive free treatments.  In fact, it is encouraged so that we can cross promote those treatments to our clients!  I am clearly trying to take as much advantage of this amazing opportunity as I can.  So far, I have had a lime and ginger salt scrub which seriously made my skin the smoothest that it has ever been and included a full body massage, and the second treatment I had was a Thai poultice massage which again was amazing and included warm herbal bags massaged onto the skin.  I have also had a treatment called ionithermie done which detoxifies the body from the outside and stimulates the muscles while circulating algae through the skin.  I loved the treatment, but some people find the electrical stimulation of the muscles weird.

Where I Have Traveled

  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Nagasaki, Japan
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Phu My, Vietnam
  • Laem Chabang, Thailand
  • Ko Samui, Thailand
  • Darwin, Australia
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Hobart, Australia
  • Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand
  • Wellington, New Zealand (Where Lord of the Rings was filmed)

Things that I have learned while traveling.

  • Thailand has beautiful beaches and resorts and very cheap clothes.  I literally bought dresses for $2.

  • Hong Kong’s skyline makes NYC look little.

  • They actually where the little pointed hats in Vietnam.

  • Australia is very clean.
  • Southern Australia and New Zealand are not hot.

  • I think this was the biggest shocker.  The weather is like below 70 degrees and it is their summer right now.  I just automatically thought that all of Australia and New Zealand were scorching all the time, but I was wrong.

I miss everyone dearly, and although I am enjoying this experience, being away for the holidays has truly allowed me to see how important my friends and family are to me and I can’t wait to come back home to everyone!  I hope that everyone had a merry Christmas and has a happy new year!

Not The Triangle

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Good Hump Day Morning!

Breakfast

I started off the day with the usual…

Workout

On my final week of training schedule for the half marathon, today was either a 3 mile run or cross training.  Since I work at 9am today and don’t like running in the dark I opted for the cross training.  I followed this workout from Toneitup.com.

  • 20 jumping Jacks
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 lunges
  • 5 minute jog
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 dips
  • 20 lunges
  • 5 minute jog
  • 20 second plank on hands
  • 20 tummy tucks
  • 5 minute jog
  • 20 bicycle crunches
Followed by 8 minute abs…this video is so 90’s but I love it!
It’s that time…Yoga Pose of the Day:  Today’s pose, The Extended Side Angle

Slightly Modified

The benefits of triangle are improved digestion and circulation, help with menopausal discomfort, relief from sciatica symptoms, stretches the arches, calves, hamstrings, and groin, lengthens the spine, increases muscular endurance.
Work Fashion
Here is yesterday’s work look:
And today’s work look:
And speaking of work…gotta run!!!

Sorry I’ve Been Gone

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Hello!  This is my first official week without nannying or teaching group fitness and only working at my retail job,  My goal is still to post 2-3 times a day, and I have been slacking lately!  Not by choice though.  I am still adjusting to my schedule and figuring out when and where I can post.  I just realized today that the mall has free internet, but it is a bit slow and unreliable so I may be heading to Panera during my lunch breaks.

By the time I got everything up and running during lunch today, I realized I forgot my camera in my locker at the store…so lunch went undocumented.  For breakfast though, I sucked down a coffee smoothie as I made my undocumented lunch because I was just too tired to make it last night.  Hopefully I will get a little more used to things throughout the week and be able to get more things accomplished.  I was able to workout this morning though (my favorite time to workout!).  I did a pilates video on Pilatesanytime.com.

There is a weird shadow behind my head...don't know why

Lunch was basically the same as yesterday, so you didn’t miss out on much.  However, I did get a diet coke today because I was sooo tired today at work.  I did go to bed early last night, but not early enough.

I usually do not drink pop (do you say pop or soda??) on a regular basis, but there are times when I have the occasional carbonated diet beverage.  I know that pop isn’t good for you, but I am a strong believer in “everything in moderation.”  Heck!  You can even overdose on water.

Work Fashion

Decided to dress it up a bit for work today

 

While at work today, the Jimmy John’s people came to visit us and gave us a ton of mini sandwich samples.  They even had veggie!  After work, I was starving.  Brian picked me up since it was raining and he was starving too, so luckily I had stashed two of the samples in my bag for a little snack to tide us over until dinner.

Once home, I immediately changed into comfy clothes.  The rain just made me feel chilly, and being on my feet all day made me want my slippers 🙂  It felt good to be cozy!

Dinner

Last week, when Sarah and Jeremy took me to Qdoba, I was inspired to recreate one of their queso burritos in a healthier way.  For the queso sauce I adapted a recipe from Hungry-Girl, used brown rice, black beans, roasted summer squash, and whole wheat tortillas.  The result…a delicious and filling burrito!

Queso Burrito–Healthy Style

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 tsp dry taco seasoning mix
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened original Almond Breeze
  • 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp reduced fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
  • 2 La Tortilla Factory low carb high fiber tortillas
  • jalepenos
  • 1/2 cup black beans, heated
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 small yellow summer squash
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (1/4 cup uncooked)
Preparation:
First, cook the brown rice either boiled or in a rice cooker.  Then, preheat the oven to 400º.  When the oven is heated put sliced lightly coated in olive oil summer squash on a pan.  Sprinkle with cumin and garlic salt.  Roast for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
While rice and squash are cooking prepare the sauce:
  • Add almond milk, all three cheese, chili powder, taco powder, and cumin to a pot.  Add 1/4 cup water and bring to medium low heat.
  • Stirring frequently, continue to stir until smooth and sauce-like consistency.
After the queso, rice, and squash are done briefly steam the tortillas.  I put them in the top of my rice cooker!  Seriously, the thing worked like magic.

Steam 'em til their soft!

Then, it is finally time to load up your burrito.  The ingredients were added in this order:  rice, black beans, queso, squash, jalepenos, spinach, and salsa (I took the picture without salsa so you could see everything else).

That's one healthy burrito!

This recipe makes exactly 2 servings with a little extra queso for later.
I do have to say that I am so proud of Brian.  I told him what the menu for dinner was and he said
“can I make some guac??”
“Well of course you can make some guac!”
Because he had learned exactly what to do in order to make guac, he didn’t even ask me a single question.  He simply got to work in the kitchen and the next thing I knew there was tasty guacamole sitting at the table ready to eat.  It was so good I forgot to take a picture…oops.
At least I know that Brian will be able to eat baked chicken and guacamole for the next year without needing my assistance.
Now, I am headed to Fort Wayne because, as the queen of odd jobs, I work there tomorrow.  I am excited to see my mom, and after work we are going to see The Help!  I haven’t read the book, unfortunately, but I am still super pumped 🙂
Tomorrow, I promise to post more often 😉