Tag Archives: #fitblog

Beating the Winter Blahs

24 Jan

Well, January is half-way through, which is great news. But January can look like a big, white abyss with no holidays and lots of cold weather on the horizon.

Welcome to the winter blahs.

Everyday Health reports that a British psychologist has termed the third Monday in January “Blue Monday,” the saddest day of the year. You’ve got all of the depressing reasons above, but the dark, cold days of winter also mean higher instances of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Other days to watch your mood are Valentines Day (for unhappy singles) and Tax Day (for obvious reasons). Now that you’re sufficiently bummed, here are some random reasons to feel happy today.

  • Deliciousness! Doritos is bringing back two of its throwback flavors, Sour Cream and Onion, and Taco. Thank you, Shane for the heads-up text and review.
  • Find the light. Sun does wonders on your mood…soak it up.
  • Fight your every urge to sit on the couch and do the exact opposite – move! Get your workout on. I promise, you will feel better.
  • Get creative with your cuisine. Don’t fall victim to the ‘cozy’ eats. Mix in seasonal veggies like squash and sweet potatoes that thrive this time of year. Citrus is also hitting it’s peak – that will bring a sense of summery-goodness.
  • Make plans to be social. Visit friends, call loved ones. Even planning some summer fun will help you look past the dark days of winter.
  • Pick up a hobby. We’ve been staying super busy around la casa – feeling oh-so productive gives me a great sense of accomplishment and something to focus my time and energy on.

How do you brighten your mood?

Red Coats, Ice and Blue

22 Jan

Well, it finally happened, Mother Nature hit the Mitten Friday night in a serious way. I wrapped up work, hit up Trader Joes and headed home for a quiet evening hibernating. We finally watched Country Strong. Have you seen the movie? I thought it was good, but a few parts didn’t add up. One, why was Gweneth the lead (actress and sings through the whole movie) and her husband was Tim McGraw (singer but never sang). Sooo, why have the dude in the movie at all? And, as much as I like Gwenie, she just didn’t quite fill out the character – I never 100% believed her.

On Saturday, I got up a little early because I knew I was going to face a white abyse.

Ugh. But I stayed focused and made it to spin class. Somehow, the ENTIRE gym parking lot was full at 8am. Who are these crazies? No one was on the road driving there, but pull into the gym and there you will find all the loonies who go out in the bad weather – we really are a different breed. I arrived in the studio to find it packed. (You’ve got to be kidding me?! Dang January Joiners.) The instructor saw me and said there was ONE lone bike left. Score!

When I returned home, Phil was hard at work on the house projects and, despite my fear, I grabbed a paint brush and joined in. We spent all day working away and I somehow ended up adding in another room to the work load. Oops. Ambitious girl. 😉

We were beyond tired (toughest spin class in weeks + hours of labor = spent) but had plans to go out. With thoughts of yummy food dancing in my head, I pulled myself together and faced the bitter cold. Once we arrived at the restaurant, we were informed there was an hour and 45 min wait. Gigga-what? Hells to the no.

Plan B- go for bust. Enter, Red Coat Tavern.

This is a staple in the Detroit area boasting of their delicious burgers made of high-quality ingredients, people drive from miles around to get a bite of this beef. We had yet to experience.

Now, I am not a vegetarian, but I keep my meat intake low, especially red meat. And hamburgers? Fah-get-aboud-it. I know, poor Phil. Usually once or twice a year I get a craving, and Saturday was the night.

On the way over I called ahead and got our name on the list (fool me once…), so we had a big head start once we arrived. Luckily, not so much so that we didn’t have time to belly up to the bar for some drinks and Red Wings.

And then, the magic.

Our bellies were happy.

This morning I rolled out of bed and got a game plan – time to trick the hubs. I am a sucker for downtown events and activities. Phil does ok with them. But this weekend is the annual Plymouth Ice Festival. We love the area and have been frequenting it quiet often thanks to some awesome restaurants and Yogurt Palooza 🙂

So, with the sweetest voice possible…

Me: “Good morning, sweetie! Do you want to get a coffee?”

Phil: “Yea, that sounds great.”

Me: “I think so, too. Do you want to go get some and walk through the ice festival real quick? There won’t be crowds this early?”

Phil: groan

We threw on a few layers and packed in the car.

Since we were being all ‘support the local economy’ we hit up a coffee shop that we’ve been eying for a while.

This place was fantastic! Great coffee and great flavor combos. I can’t wait to go back and try something crazy. Since it was before 9am, the festival was quiet and we were able to actually see the ice sculptures. Usually, this festival is packed. The COC does a great job pulling together events, carving contests, food, etc. But, we’ve seen all of that in years past.

Like magic, we arrived home early enough for me to still hit up my favorite yoga class. It was a beautiful thing. When I got home at noon we sat down to a big old breakfast.

The rest of the day was spent finishing up our projects, relaxing and cooking a tender loin. I know, who am I?

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

The big house project reveals to be posted soon.

XO-

BB

What I’m Loving Wednesday – Balance

18 Jan

Chobani, you’ve done it again. I found the newest members of the Cho-crew at the grocery store and tried the Blood Orange. Lord, that is some good stuff. One of my favorites, no doubt.

Sleep. I am not a great sleeper, my body is set for early-morning alarms and most weekends I stay right on the early schedule. But this past weekend, I was clocking in 10 -11 hr nights of sleep. Glorious. I am reprioritizing immediately.

Obviously this is not me, I mean, who really looks like this when they sleep? Who even looks like this when they are awake? Maybe I have really underestimated this sleep thing.

MSU basketball. Last night the Spartans took on our rivals, University of Michigan. I’m not a sports nut, but I bleed green.

Chunky sweaters and brown boots. A combo that cannot be beat. I wear some variation of this every day once I can change into my play clothes.

Lulu gear. But, what’s new? We all know that everything is better when you have a cute outfit to rock. Now, if sparkles were involved, we would be unstopable.

I am, however, loving my new water bottle from Lulu that is the essance of BB

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The best.

What are you loving? How are you finding balance?

XO-

BB

What You Don’t Know Could Be Best

10 Jan

While was away in Las Vegas my husband had a few ambitious goals including some demolition.

Every month Phil and I tackle another project around the new house (keeps me feeling productive and not overwhelming my crew). 🙂 this month I wanted to take on our entrance way (off of the garage) and laundry room.

A few weeks go we picked out some new tile and paint – and then a light bulb went off. My house was about to be turned upside down (washer and dryer in the kitchen), so we decided to postpone the chaos until I was away- out of sight, out of mind.

Somehow, in the midst of picking out tile, we found some other tile that I thought would look great in the kitchen – ask and you shall receive.

I took off for Sin City on Saturday and one hour later the ‘crew’ arrived. They worked all weekend and I would occasionally receive picture texts showing me the latest stage. it was sweet how excited Phil was of their progress, but the control freak in me had a difficult time being across the US.

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When I returned home Thursday night, I was more than anxious to see the projects with my own eyes. And I have to say, I love them!

I’m so glad we went with the dark tile in the laundry room. It gives the space a little personality.

The kitchen is a bit out dated, but the tile totally makes the space pop. We are planning to get some paint in here and new appliances.

Taking a Break During the Work Day

13 Sep

Goodness, welcome back to the blog, Brynn!

Not to make excuses, but my mind has been somewhere else this week and I am not feelin like spreading that all over the blog, so you will just have to accept my apology.

Back to the topic at hand. Being crazy.

I’m not sure about you, but my workdays are crazy. There are many, many days that lunch is caught on the fly or eaten while working. Not ideal, but at least I get to eat! 🙂

This week my friend (who conveniently works in the same building as me) made a lunch date. The Detroit Farmer’s Market has moved from just Saturdays to a smaller market on Tuesdays. Very cool. From 11am-7pm, the DFM is open with a smaller offering then Saturday, which hosts three sheds full of produce, goods and eats. On Tuesday’s it is held down to one shed.

Katie and I headed out at noon to check out the market. Within minutes we had arrived and began scoping-out the goods.

I scored a pepper, corn, tomatoes, kale, zucchini and my monster head of broccoli ($1, no holla!!).

All of this for under $5.

It was a great change to leave work during the day, get out for some fresh air, spend time with a friend and grab some fresh produce at the DFM. I love the option to hit it up on Tuesdays. I always have the best intentions on Saturday, but between long runs, plans and to-dos, it never seems to work out. I’m hoping to make this a somewhat regular occurence.

Heaven on Earth

26 Aug

After a crazy busy day at work on Thursday, our plans to hit the road ended when the clock struck 9pm. A four hour trip up north was not happening. So, we made the best of the situation and headed up Friday morning for a long weekend on the Lake.

My original plan to attend Healthy Living Summit changed after the purchase of a new home, car and a trip to Europe all within six months. Extra travel is not happening so much. And, I received the coveted invite from my friend Kate to spend a long weekend at her parent’s house on the water in Leland, MI. It was tough to miss HLS, but I have to say, I did not miss it AT ALL.

We arrived at Kate’s around 2pm on Friday.

It was a gorgeous day. We spent all afternoon chilaxing on the beach. Later we headed up to the house to start Fiesta Night! Everyone brought something to contribute and we had a feast complete with two home-made sangrias.

The night wrapped up around a bonfire, in true up-north fashion.

Saturday morning started with a nice easy six-miler with the bestie. She is still recovering from her stint in the hospital, so we kept it at an easy pace and distance. But I’ll tell you, those miles FLEW by. Love running buddies!

We got ready and the whole group headed into downtown Leland fro some lunch and shopping.

Around one pm, the sun broke from behind the clouds and we raced home to throw on our suites. The afternoon was once again spent on the beach.

Saturday’s dinner included roasted corn, chicken and ribs. We were not short on good eats. And again, we ended by the bon-fire, but this time with the sweetness of s’mores.

On Sunday morning I awoke with the determination to get in my last long run before my 10 Mile race next weekend. the run was okay. A little rough with the warm sun, no running buddies and the six miles the day before. I have never run that far back to back and I felt it. However, thanks to the crazy hills, I got a good ‘preview’ for my race. Oy.

When I returned home it was time to clean up and head out. Phil and I got a move on so I could refuel quickly.

That afternoon, I decided to take Phil to a part of Michigan he has never seen; Glen Arbor. Now, you might not be super familiar with that name, but what if I said Cherry Republic or the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, or The Homestead. Yup. There are some great things to see and do, so we made the 20 min trek and rolled into town.

We sat down at Boonedocks….

And of course, the obligatory trip to Cherry Republic.

More site seeing….

Finally, I took Phil to see the Sand Dunes. Recently, Good Morning America hosted a contest for the most beautiful place in America and the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes won! That’s quite the title. And, kind of odd for someone who grew up visiting the Dunes and the surrounding area…it was just what we knew.

Phil and I spent a few hours at the Dunes exploring and taking in the views.

Once I informed Phil that as kids we would come to the Dunes and run down the hill as fast as we could until your legs flung out and you fell….he decided he needed that experience as well.

We had such an awesome weekend, it was sad to see it end. However, being that this is an annual event, I guess we are just on count down now! 🙂

So often I take for granted what I grew up with. I saw the Bay every day, took school trips to the Dunes and ate at some great restaurants. It is fun taking Phil with me, it is almost like seeing everything for the first time again.

And yes, up north is like a slice of heaven.

Garden in a Bowl

25 Aug

Phil and I both work full-time jobs (and then some), and with us arriving home at different times, we like to pre-plan our week night dinners. Most nights I come home to find Phil chopping away, stirring and prepping. Or even putting dinner on the table when I walk in (yes, he is amazing. But sorry, he’s taken.)

I love to cook, but arriving home second of the two of us, I usually play sus chef. But tonight, I called dibbs. I planned to do my run first thing this am (and I did) so I could come home after work and work on dinner.

Usually we do the same basic meals with a few change ups. But tonight, oh boy, I had a few treats in store. I have been excited to make a few of these recipes for a week and was happy to kick off my heals and throw on an apron!

First up: Rustic Tomato Soup. My aunt had some veggies from her garden that I graciously took off her hands and they were exactly what I needed for my home-made soup.

Last night I did some prep work to make tonight move a little quicker.

Let the onions, carrots and garlic brown for about five minutes. Then add in the thyme, tomato and zucchini. Once those start to soften, it’s time for a little chicken broth bath.

Once that has come to a rolling boil, add in the polenta.

Allow everything to cook together for about ten minutes.

While the soup was simmering, I got to work on some salads and a grilled cheese for Phil. This wasn’t just any grilled cheese. Nope. It was the mack-daddy of all grilled cheese. I am a big fan of cooking organic, healthy and easy dishes. But I also want them to be friendly to my waist line.

Thanks to my DVR, I caught an episode of Hungry Girl on the Food Network. I have been a fan for a long, long time subscribing to her emails for six years now (wow!). I have few of her cookbooks, but love that she has come to life in my boob-tube. On one of her episodes, I saw her make a five-ingredient grilled cheese. SOLD!

Here you go: bread, laughing cow cheese, slice of cheese, roasted red pepper and butter. Done. Give a little shake of garlic powder and put on the griddle. Easy peasy, just how I like it. And the best part? Phil loved it. Boo-ya. Can’t beat that.

We gave the dinner two thumbs up! You can’t beat fresh ingredients and simple recipes that let the flavors come through.

I also whipped up a loaf of Banana Strawberry Sundae Bread.

Yummm. Recipe to come later. For now, I am headed to the couch for some quality time with The Help. And maybe a little treat later too…

In other news, one more day until my longest race….10 Miler on Sat. In a  nutshell, I’m freaking out. Wish me luck.

In other, other news….happy four-year anniversary to my sister and brother-in-law!! Yay! Love you guys!

Hope you’re having a great night!

XO-

BB

Cheers to Good Health, Friends and Oberon.

8 Aug

After my run on Saturday am, I was tired. Phil and I headed home for some lunch, showers and naps. But, of course, as soon as I went to lay down, I was wide awake. Figures. I rested for a few hours before getting up and ready for our friend’s wedding.  Actually, it was the second reception as they were married in London last weekend (that is where she is from) and they had a reception back in the states for the people who could not attend.

Joe (the groom) went to college with Phil and was in the same fraternity. I was really excited to see the happy couple, but was equally excited that the reception was at my alma mater, Michigan State! Also, I knew that I was in for a good time when I heard that lots of guys from the frat would be at the reception.

The reception was held at the Horticultural Gardens. The setting was beautiful with flowers everywhere you turned.

I was so hungry and ready for some eats when we stepped outside to the dinning area to find Mongolian Barbeque! Yes! I am a super picky/strange eater and was ready to eat, so when I found out I got to make my own dinner I about jumped for joy.

We spent most of the night chatting away with Phil’s college buddies drinking like we were still that age. It was really fun to spend time with the people Phil went to school with as we didn’t know eachother until after school.

And then the dancing started. And the crowd serfing with the groom.

Singing of frat chants.

And more good times.

Two years and four days later and still in love.

We had a great evening. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was so relaxed. Lots of Oberon, laughs and memories.

Sunday we finally slept. Thank goodness. Gosh it feels good to sleep in. I believe that Sundays are made for sleeping in, big breakfasts, yoga and barbeques. Well, at least that is what my day consisted of and it was pretty darn fantastic.

Following some whole wheat waffles and watermelon, I took off to yoga. I was excited for the class as I haven’t been in over a week and yoga feels so, so good. And the class did not disappoint. My favorite instructor was teaching and in combination with her tough moves, she cranked the heat to 95 degrees. I certainly got my sweat on!

I ran home after class to clean up because we had visitors! My bestie is doing much better (thank you everyone for the kind words and prayers). Following five days in the hospital, she has been home resting and yesterday she came over with her boyfriend to visit.

We headed to downtown Northville for the first Buy Michigan festival. Local vendors came from all over the state and I was excited to check out the goods.

Henry made friends.

We did some sampling.

Chad and Henry checking out chips from my home town, Traverse City, MI!

After an a few hours we took all of our goods back to the house and hung out with some cocktails outside. Not too long after we turned on the grill and enjoyed a great dinner.

I had such an awesome weekend. I’m glad that I followed my instincts to run the race and was able to just kick back and relax with my friends on Friday, Saturday at the wedding and Sunday with my bestie. I feel rested and ready for the week ahead.

Seven Links

27 Jul

Yay! I have seen the Seven Links Post floating around the blog world as of late. And thanks to the beautiful Amy, it’s my turn. So, here it goes, my Seven Links.

Most Beautiful Post

How to Throw a Party (or Two)

I may be taking some liberties with the way ‘Beautiful Post’ is defined. But, I love this post for all of the fun, cute, bright decorations and food. And, I think it is the most beautiful because it was a day when all of our friends and family came together to celebrate my sister and her bump. She looked stunning and I was so happy to focus the day on her.

Most Popular Post

Running Buddy Motivation

Last week my bestie and I decided to meet up to knock out a run. Having a running buddy is such great motivation! Now we run together every Monday night – not a bad way to start the week!

Most Controversial Post

Online Manners?

I am not a shy girl, anyone that knows me can tell you that. And, I have found my blog a great place to talk about my life, interests and passions. My first controversial post focused on Online Manners that talked about online bullying that seems to be taking place far too often.It was something that I wanted to talk about, to make people aware of the negativity that is in this world and the sometimes sad results that come from situations. I hope we can all learn to love and get along, or if nothing else, respect one another.

Most Helpful Post

How to Make Iced Coffee

I know, this surprised me too. I guess it just goes to show that we can’t take our everyday routine for granted. One of the most helpful posts I have ever read was how to make Over Night Oats in a Jar (OIAJ). Believe it or not, I was not sure how the process actually worked, but thanks to some bloggers who shared their ingredients and techniques, I now enjoy OIAJ!!

Surprise Success

Sorbet Skies

This post surprised me as I was just writing what I was thinking at 5:30am…not usually a great time for thinking 🙂 And let’s be honest, posting a picture of yourself at that time following a run is not super smart, but you guys liked it. Then again, maybe it was just my shorts? 🙂

Not Enough Attention

Sometimes

Thanks to some really fabulous ladies who blog about listening to what their bodies are telling them; work out, rest, veggies, protein I was learning to do the same. This concept is new to me and it is not an easy one to adjust to. Reading about strong bloggers and having a great support system in my husband has been a world of help.

Most Proud

Blades of Glory

State News

I love this post because skating has always been my life and I was able to be a part of the Michigan State University Skating team again by joining as a coach. It was a really tough time in my life (practice at all hours of the day, not seeing my boys for days), but I loved working with the girls. It was a huge accomplishment and I was really proud to post about it.

Now, I get to tag the following bloggers to participate in their own Seven Links!

Tag, you’re next!

Liz @lbbakes

Heather @hriacobacci

Amy @hlthyhngryhppy

Elle @ellehattan

Kate @nutritiouskate

What I’m Loving

15 Jul

This week I am loving:

My new ride. 🙂

My new kitchen island! (I know this happened last week, but I am still in love.)

Summer weather with a perfect weekend forecast.

Beautiful peonies.

Iced coffeeeeee.

Inspiration.

A daily laugh. (I seriously don’t want this book to end!)

My motivation.

For some reason I have been up and at ’em every day this week hitting the pavement or gym. That’s right, I am sticking to my workout plan like a champ. Go me!

What got you through your week? Or what are you looking forward to this weekend?

It’s officially quittin’ time on Friday….WEEEKEND! I’m starting out with date night with the hubby. Should be fun. I am planning this one so it is a big surprise. Also hoping for some time by the pool. There has simply not been enough quality lounging time yet this summer. I plan to change that soon. 😉 TGIF!

XO-

BB