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Like a Kid Again

13 Feb

Last weekend, my brother came down to stay with us. He was in town for a conference and we were lucky enough to have him visit for a few days. Although Shane had to attend his conference on Friday and Saturday, we were able to spend a good amount of time visiting, chatting, and just relaxing.

On Thursday, we whipped up some of my becoming-famous Mexi-burgers (recipe to come). The boys gave them two thumbs up, which is a wild success considering they are lean turkey burgers.

I also won them over with my Sweet Chocolate Secret Cupcakes (SCSCs). Another recipe for another day…and yes, these were healthy too! Shaner even ate one as part of his breakfast on Saturday.

shane

It was so awesome to have him come and hang out. I adore my siblings and love every minute I get to spend with them.

Shane got on the road Sunday afternoon to head back home to his wifey (they just celebrated their one month anniversary. Yay!).

Phil didn’t have any homework so we were trying to decide what to do with our day when I got a wicked-good idea; office makeover time! We’ve been planning away and last week I selected the paint color and furniture. So, we decided to tackle the project.

office2 office1

Hot mess…..

I went and picked up the paint while Phil cleaned and emptied out the room. He started painting and I headed out to run errands. Two hours later, I finally was home with a big haul. groceries

And the room was done! I’m in love.

office3

Since I was feeling nostalgic, I made some homemade chicken fingers and roasted asparagus for dinner that we enjoyed during the Grammys.veggies chicken fingers

It was a great weekend with lots of fun, relaxing and exciting projects!

Busy as a Bee

9 Feb

Happy Saturday!

I hope you aren’t buried under heaps of snow! We had a good amount of accumulation Thursday night and continued through the day Friday. Winter is showing it’s head, finally.

Yesterday was quite busy. In fact, the entire week has been busy. For someone who just removed 60 hours of work from her life, you certainly wouldn’t know it.

Monday – drive back home from up-north trip, unload car at 9pm. Say hi to my boys. Crash and burn.

Tuesday – unpack, laundry, dig myself out of email jail, chats with friends and dinner and drinks with the girls.

Wednesday – more laundry (how is this possible), dug through stack of mail, grocery store, Target run (aka time suck), lots of organizing throughout the house, gym, long walk with Henry Winston, dinner date with the boy.

Thursday – gymin’ x2, blog design call, meet with the financial planner followed by a long meeting at Starbucks with the boy, work meeting, and then visitors!

Friday – Lots of blog work (good things are coming in the next few weeks!), gym, meeting, lunch date and then hanging with the visitor. My brother has a coaching conference in the area, so he is staying with us through the weekend. We have spent lots of time chatting and hanging out – he is one of my favs so I am soaking in all that I can.

I have been all over God’s green earth this week and I am spent. But, I feel as though there is so much to do. Between house projects, some personal projects, house upkeep, daily gym dates, and Henry, my head is swirling. Bah. Time for a game plan.

I may be overwhelmed, but thankfully some other people have their acts together when it comes to workout plans, which has helped me keep my exercise on point. I integrated a few new routines into my workouts.

First, I finally tried out Physique 57. The company just launched online workouts that you can watch on your computer – awesome! I’ve debated investing in their dvd, but wasn’t sure where it would fall on my love scale, so this was a great option!

I went for the 30 min cardio session and it did not disappoint! My heart rate was up, I toned, tightened and strengthened in no time.

p57

 

I have also been following Gina’s Winter Shape Up program. I adore her blog and was really motivated to give her program a whirl. And I must say – I am loving it! On Thursday, I did some toning moves and her stairmaster routine. It was a killer in a good way. I would totally recommend her Shape Up program to anyone. She focuses on short, intense bursts of energy to get the most bang for your buck in the shortest amount of time. Love it.

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Hope you are having a great Saturday. Stay warm!

XO-

BB

 

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What I’m Loving Wednesday

6 Feb

Humps day equals focusing on the good to get us through the next few days. Here we go!

1) Changing up the nails. Yes, I’m crazy and rocked some red and gold.

2). AM workouts – back at it again, which has increased my attendance ten-fold.

Spinning

3). Girl friends. I spent last weekend with some amazing gals and then hit up drinks with some other girlies last night. I am so grateful for the laughs, love and support.

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4). Sunshine. Although the temps are still in the chilly zone, the sun seems to make the winter more bearable. I’ve been taking Henry on daily walks – love the vitamin D!

5). Juicing. I’ve been loving on some fresh pressed juice, homemade and out and about. Bring on the vitamins and nutrients!!

Juice1

6). Sasha Fierce and her ladies. Hello, can we talk about the amazing Beyonce and the Destiny’s Child reunion that took place during the Super Bowl half-time show? Girlfriend’s neck must be sore from all of that hair flipping, but it was amazing. Loved every second.

beyonce

What did you do for the Superbowl? Did you watch the game or just the commercials? 

What is getting you through the week?

XO-

BB

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New Year Resolution Check-ins

1 Feb

Can you believe we are a month into 2013?

While I am not a believer in New Years resolutions, I do believe in check-ins and creating healthy, positive habits. Often the new year is a time for people to find the latest fad diet, a quick solution. But, what happens after that time? What does your life style look like in July? November? Are you still living on cabbage soup? I highly doubt it.

Have your resolutions already gone out the window? Setting large goals that are lofty is a great way to crash and burn in no-time flat. It is best to set a very specific goal, for example being healthy enough to run around with your kids and family rather than something lofty, “I want to be skinny.”.

So, what does it take to get there? Identify the steps you are going to take and that it will take to reach your goal. Here are some examples of ways to change your actions into goal-affirming behaviors:

Start cooking. So many of today’s popular diets seem to demonize certain foods and give you a long list of items to avoid. I’d much rather switch the emphasis and celebrate all the wondrous foods you get to embrace – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, healthy fats, lean proteins, low-fat dairy – and find new ways to prepare them at home. Cooking more often is one of the best new habits you can adopt in the New Year.
Be positive. Believing that you can make a change is a powerful force. It’s what behavioral scientists call “self-efficacy.” You’re much more likely to reach a goal if you have the confidence that you can do it. Failing to stick to a restrictive diet plan – or jumping from one approach to the next – may damage your self-confidence, which will just work against you. Have faith in your ability to succeed.
Celebrate little victories. Breakdown your resolution into attainable, bite-size nuggets. For instance, think about one specific change you’ll make every day, such as adding a fruit or vegetable to every meal or getting up 15 minutes earlier in the morning so you can go for a walk before work. Give yourself some credit for making these positive changes – no matter how small. When you begin to succeed you gain self-confidence, which leads to greater success.
Find your “keystone” habit. For many people, making one change often leads to other positive changes. A keystone habit is a behavior that can kick-start this cascading of other new habits. You may find that exercising is your keystone habit. If you schedule time to walk in the morning, sign up for yoga class or begin training for a 5K, perhaps that will trigger other changes. Sometimes just getting started is the hardest part, but one healthy habit can lead to the next.

Finding time to touch base with your intentions, goals and really a life-check is a good way to stay on track all year-long. So many times we make general statements about losing weight, finding a partner, facing our fears that we aren’t setting ourselves up for success.  Instead, we should identify our goal or what we want to achieve and set steps to get there – making a habit of positive and healthy life style changes. Create a calendar and reward yourself when you accomplish a step or make a change for the better.

We still have 11 months to go – so hop to it!

XO-

BB

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Bon Jovi Sang to me this Morning

30 Jan

Seriously. I got myself out of bed at the butt-crack (4:45A) for a 75 min spin class. Booyah!

And low and behold all of the January joiners were there leaving me with the very last bike. Thank the lord because girlfriend would have been pissssed if I would have got up for nothing. Mmm-k?!

Once I was on and locked in in the front row I was off. The tunes were jammin and I was getting a minor ego boost string at my bad a** self kicking it.

Just when I thought life couldn’t get any better, my main man started in. 80s were on the turn style today and I was on cloud nine.

Life is a bitch sometimes, but when we feel down and out we need to pick ourselves up and do something about it. Only we can control our lives.

Whoa, we’re halfway there.
Whoa, oh! Living on a prayer.

Happy hump day. What are you doing to make it through the week?

XO-
BB

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The Power of the Podcast

25 Jan

Happy Friday!

I am s-t-o-k-e-d that we reached the end of the week. Sure, sure, it was a short week, but I still love my Fridays.

Today started at the gym- per usual followed by an awesome breakfast, the protein pancake with fresh berries. Mmmm. 20130122-123241.jpgfsdfd

Since it’s Friday and many of you share your favs I thought I’d share one of my latest addictions- the podcast.

Recently, I’ve become slightly obsessed with podcasts. On my way into work, I load up the latest and by time I’m I to the office I’ve taken in a great conversation, learned a thing or two and felt as though I’ve expanded my mind. Podcasts are a great alternative to newspapers for people who have long commutes like me. It’s impossible to read while driving 45 min one way to work, but a podcast gives me that same ‘in-the-know’ feeling.

There are a ton of great shows out there, but my hands-down favorite is Jillian Michaels. Her shows are highly entertaining and educational. Topics range from food and fitness (dugh), to hit topics in government, stress, happiness and overall health. Listening to her show has completely opened my eyes to the false perception we have of being healthy in this world.

The show is 50 min and starts with a topic of J’s choice followed by a call or two from people with health and fitness questions.

Jillian Michaels

 

jm
I now only eat organic soft-skinned fruits and veggies an USDA meats. I’m saying good-bye to hormones being pumped into my body.

I have also found her shows to be completely motivational. She encourages people to live a healthy and happy life. Jillian believes that everyone can get to that point if we are simply honest with ourselves.

In December, I traveled out to the west coast three times giving me lots of un-plugged hours to fill. I found myself tearing through her podcasts faster than I do through a sale at Neimans. I can’t get enough.

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Panera’s Hidden and Healthy Menu

21 Jan

We all have our dirty little secrets, and Panera just spilled theirs. The chain restaurant has launched a few awesome menu items that are not listed on the boards in the store. You have to be part of the cool club to know about these goodies – consider this your invitation in.

P added dishes that are packed full of clean, nutrient dense dishes from sun up to sun down. Here are a few of my favs.

Breakfast

breakfast-1

Power Breakfast Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey

Roasted all-natural, Antibiotic-free turkey, egg whites, warm baby spinach, roasted peppers, and basil Pesto.

Lunch

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Power Chicken Hummus Bowl

All-natural, Antibiotic-free chicken, with cilantro jalapeno hummus, baby spinach, cucumbers, diced tomatoes & red onions finished with fresh squeezed lemon & fresh chopped cilantro.

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Power Steak Lettuce Wraps

Seared top-sirloin, leaf lettuce, cucumbers, diced tomatoes & red onions, basil pesto and finished with fresh lemon juice.

While the menu is small, the dishes look spot on. I can’t wait to give these hidden dishes a whirl. When ordering, just tell them you are ordering from the “Hidden Menu” and they’ll take it from there. Sa-weeeet.

Now, if someone could just explain to me why we are hiding the good stuff? Well, that’s a topic for another day.

What item are you looking to try?

What other “hidden” menus do you know of?  I know Starbucks has a hidden menu, but always default to my grande Pike.

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Back on the Motivation Train

19 Jan

Morning friends and happy Saturday!

I’m not sure why ants got in my pants, but I am back on the workout train. This week has been filled with gym time, videos and even walks at lunch and I’m loving it. I will say that I truly believe that our motivation is impacted and affected by so many facets in our life, it is not always a simple question of going to the gym.

While there are some things going on behinds the scenes, I am really happy to say that it is having a positive impact on my daily life. I feel less stressed and have seen an increase in my energy. Whoo-hoo!

To be honest, it has been challenging dealing with the loss of motivation. I use the gym as my stress release and as a piece of the puzzle to leaving a healthy life style. So when I reduce my workouts, or even stop, it really impacts my overall health and happiness.

This weeks workouts:

S: 90 min Yoga for Runners and Cyclists Workshop

M: 30 min walk at lunch, 60 min vigorous Vinyasa Flow yoga class

T: 40 min round-Robin cardio, 10 min abs

W: 30 min HIIT

Th: Rest

F: 30 Day Shred (AM), 30 min cardio (PM)

Sa: 60 min spin

Consistency people. Make it a part of your life; schedule workout appointments, find new classes, set a goal.

While it is difficult to get started, I feel like my workouts are back as a standard in my day, which makes the workouts easier to bare. Also, I really try to focus on workouts that make me feel good and that I enjoy. I love cardio and yoga, so I incorporate a good deal into my week, but also know weights are part of the equasion. So, I found a few workout videos (Jillian, Bob and the Tone It Up gals) that I add into the week. You will never find me in a 60 min class at the gym, but I am all about the sweaty weight-fest at home.

I also love blogs for motivation. Some of my favs; PBFingers, Carrots N Cake, My Food and Fitness Diaries and Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.

What is your trick to stay motivated? What are your favorite blogs?

XO-

BB

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Kick-Start Your Morning: Oatmeal Breakfast Trifle

17 Jan

I don’t know about you guys, but I am not a fan of early mornings without a reason to get up and moving. While I am an AM gymer (yes, that is word), it is motivating to know that my workout is on the books come 7am. And more so, I find breakfast and coffee to be that much better. Maybe because I start dreaming of what I want to eat while I’m knocking out some miles, but I love my breakfast.

Earlier this week I decided to get a little creative. I had a craving for creamy, crunchy and sweet. After an hour at the gym, I couldn’t decide on one, so I resolved to put them all into my breakfast.

This Oatmeal Breakfast Trifle is super filling and delicious because it includes all of the tastes and textures your taste buds could want. And the best part is that you can totally customize to your preference.20130117-073223.jpg

Oatmeal Breakfast Trifle

  • 1/3C oatmeal (I used steel-cut)
  • 1/3C water or milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1/3C Greek yogurt
  • 1/2C fruit of your choice
  • toppings (granola, shredded coconut, nuts, dried fruit or even chocolate chips)

Directions: combine oatmeal, cinnamon and water/milk and make to your liking. I recommend making the oatmeal a bit dry. Stir in Greek yogurt (the oatmeal will absorb some creating a very creamy consistency). And feel free to get crazy with your yogurt flavor!

Chop fruit and set to the site.

Find a glass that is oh-so-pretty and get ready to assemble.

Layer oatmeal/yogurt mixture (half) on the bottom of your glass. Next, top with half of your fruit. At this point, you can layer in your favorite toppings, I went for some crunchy granola. Repeat from the beginning layering oatmeal/yogurt, fruit and toppings and enjoy!

This breakfast is the perfect start to the day clocking in at a reasonable 300 calories (depends on your fixins) and keeps your full until lunch without a problem. And feel free to make a smaller version for days you aren’t a hungry beast or double the recipe for your favorites or store in the fridge for up to two days.

Yum!

XO-

BB

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What Are You Grateful For?

25 Dec

As much as life has sucked so hard lately, I have to say I’m grateful that its around the holidays. Seriously, if this rediculousness was going down in January, I’d be in therapy every day.

But the holidays give us a chance to take a breath and enjoy the people we love and beauty around us. It’s a time to reflect on the year and get excited for a new leaf when the clock strikes 12.

I have to say, I am very blessed in so many ways. I’m married to my best friend and my pup brings me so much joy. I <;3 my boys.

I have a house. A house! I feel like such a grown up. But honestly, I finally understand the intense connection one has to a home; projects, taco nights in the kitchen, dancing in the back yard under the stars, planting and decorating. I'm slightly attached and certainly in love.

My health. Priceless. I'm so blessed to have a healthy, strong body. Recently, I have realized the importance of honoring your body through self respect, clean food and daily sweat sessions. I have every intention of doing what I can to stay healthy.

Family. In one week there will be a new addition to my family. My brother is getting married on the 29th and we are so excited for Nichole to be an official member if the Dilloway clan.

So many wonderful things to be thankful for.

XO-
BB