Friday, January 29, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #4

It has been a LONG week but much longer for the Mr. due to his audit.  We've had some seriously late workout and dinner times this week and neither of us are a fan.  But thankfully that clusterfudge is over with and we can focus on other things like...

15 Things in Your Kitchen to Get Rid of Right Now  (Literally upon finishing this article, I went into the kitchen and purged 5 cookbooks, a stack of "just in case" cups, wine glasses we never use and a garlic press.)

The 10 Most Toxic Items At Dollar Stores  (Yikes)

The Best Stretches to Avoid "Text Neck" and Neck Pain  (Get in the habit of doing these.  I've been doing some neck stretches this week and have staved off that craned, stiff neck from being at the computer all day)

The Real Reason You Get Sick After A Stressful Period Has Ended  (Knowledge is half the battle)

This Is the Fastest Way to Lose Weight Safely (Great info if you're just starting your journey or need a refresher course)

Could There be Bed Bugs in my Rental Car?  (Great, now the Mr will have to check roaches AND bed bugs on our Hawaii rentals)

This Insane Fact About Store-Bought Eggs Is Going Viral  (How to decode that code on the carton)

Watch Out For Sore Muscles: Here Are 5 Signs It Could Actually Be an Injury  (This has some really great information!)

Why Do Some People Sweat Way More Than Others?  (We can vouch for the Clinical Dry.  Just watch back hair when using the roller.  I hear it rips like a beetch!)

9 Surprising Things Your Eyes Can Reveal About Your Health  (So crazy the things your eye doctor can tell just by the exam!)

25 Ways to Cut 250 Calories  (I'm sorry but if I'm splurging on a burger, 1) it ain't gonna be at a fast food place and 2) if I'm thinking of "balance", it's gonna be balancing a burger with some damn fries, not a burger and a clementine.  Sorry, as you were)

The Best Foods to Eat When You're Constipated  (Duly noted)

When She Couldn't Attend the Wedding, This Groom Surprised His Grandma In the Hospital  (Oh my heart!  These pics are adorable)

9 Dos and Don'ts of Funeral Etiquette  (I swear on all that is holy if you attempt to Instagram or use social media at my funeral, I would come back from the dead, beat the hell out of you, Instagram THAT and hop back in the casket.)

The Best Video I've Seen All Week  (Seriously, they are our dork twins.  The Mr and I have done this but not on as awesome of a scale.  New goal for the Hawaii trip)

I don't normally get into "causes" but this one is worthwhile to all of us.  The FDA wants your comments on how the term "natural" should be defined.  This means if you see the word "natural" on a food item, what do you think it should mean?  Do you think it should be organic?  Not contain GMO's?  Not contain artificial or synthetic ingredients?  This is your chance to let your voice be heard.  I'm seeing far too many products labeled as natural these days and a flip of the package reveals some scary very unnatural ingredients.  To make a quick comment to the FDA on the subject, click here and let your very important voice be heard.  You can be anonymous should you not want your name attached.  Upon completion, make sure you select "individual consumer" as the category.  Power to the people, yo!

What are you doing this weekend?

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Things I'm Lovin' This Week

It has been a week of small indulgences and things that make me weirdly but insanely happy or satisfied.  I finally got to using some of my Christmas gifts and small steps toward organization. When I say small steps, I'm talking gnome sized but gotta start somewhere!

Let's get to it!

Under Shelf Basket

I cannot even convey the amount of happy this makes me.  I saw these at a store and wondered if they would work on our wire shelving units in the basement that had some vertical space that wasn't being utilized.  It fit perfectly!  We went back and got three more of them!  Now I have a place to put my paper loaf pans, Christmas treat boxes and treat bags all in one spot instead of chucked on a shelf hoping they don't fall between the cracks or get damaged by other stuff getting put on top of them.  Seriously, it was like someone gave me $100 and if they did, I'd go out and buy more and see where I could put them.  Oooh...the closet!  Be right back...

Thera-Band Portable Roller Massager (affiliate link) 

Since we've started the brutal Fitness Blender workouts, the legs have been taking a beating.  Our collection of rollers grew by one this Christmas when my mom got this off my wish list.  I use this one to roll that super tender area on either side of my shin bone.  The regular stick is too hard for it, the uber foam roller is too awkward but this is just right.  Hard enough but a bit of a soft bounce back to not dig in and bruise things up.  This model is a travel model since the handles are spring loaded and can retract for easier packing.

Andalou Naturals 1000 roses Cleansing Foam  (affiliate link) 

Another Christmas gift and I'm so happy with it!  You've heard me rave about Andalou Naturals before and this is no exception.  It's such a great, gentle cleaner with a light rose scent.  It leaves my skin super soft and never dry.  It's become a nice, relaxing ritual before bed.  It's a bonus it's vegan and cruelty free!

Fairlife Milk

We've been splurging a bit on this milk the past few weeks.  We need to get more protein in naturally where we can and this milk has 5g more protein than our usual milk and less sugar.  I don't notice any major change in taste (some people say they can tell there's less sugar, I can't) but there is a trade off. I'm paying almost $1 more for about 12 oz less.  We try to get it on sale when we can but the other down side is they don't carry it at every grocery store, even ones the website lists as a carrier.  So I'll have to try to catch this on sale as much as possible.  (Our Target's regular price is $3.77 but it was on sale there at one point for $3.07 which is about what we paid for our old milk)  So while there are a few trade offs, I love the extra protein, no lactose and more calcium over our old brand.

Organic Lavender Body Butter Cream

This stuff is amazing.  Every time I'm on Maui, I grab a jar or two and then when I run out...I cry.  Then order more online.  Yes, there are other lavender creams and I've tried them all but there is nothing like this.  The consistency is perfect but more important, the scent is amazing but not overpowering and so therapeutic.  If I'm not tired when I go to bed, I rub some on my arms and the smell lulls me to sleep and I swear I sleep better when I wear it.  If they shipped it by the pool full, I'd be all in.  Just back up a cement truck full and fill the office.  I'll install a pump on the door.

Victorinox Cutlery 6-Piece Steak Knife Set  (affiliate link) 

I had my old steak knives since we got married.  We don't use them every day so replacing them wasn't a big priority.  But after getting a chef's knife (affiliate link)  from Victorinox, I was all over it!  I immediately ordered their paring knife (affiliate link)  and left the steak knives up to the family wish list.  My grandma got these and we put them to use this week.  Holy CRAP BALLS!  I made pork chops and while my chops are tender, they're still one of the tougher cuts of meat.  Not for these babies!  Like a hot knife through buttah baby...but-tah  I tell you!!!!  I want to cut all the meats.  I even used them for chicken parm the other night and I swear I barely needed the fork to steady the chicken.  Highly, highly recommended!

What are you lovin' this week?

(This post contains a few affiliate links.  Any purchases made through them will help keep the blog lights on)

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Straight up isn't an option

I hate yogurt.  I mean for real.  Most of it is actual distaste for the product and some of it is psychological.  When my mom was hardcore dieting in the 80's, she would eat yogurt for breakfast and the smell of it made me dry heave.  So when I smell yogurt or sour cream, which I obviously also hate, I smell deprivation and self loathing.

The Mr, however, is a yogurt fiend.  He'll eat it straight up but mostly in a smoothie some mornings. 

**TMI Alert**

He has the poo pipes of a champ...almost every day like clockwork.  Me?  I can go 3 days especially after the weekend with no success.  If they'd let me do that whole poop transplant thing, I'd be down.  Purify it, pill form it and hand me a glass of water.  So I figured that maybe the reason he has good pipes is because he eats yogurt a few times a week.  In a moment of desperation, I picked some up.

I went with the Greek because that's what the Mr gets (but strawberry) and I thought honey would be a mild taste.  Well, I ripped the lid off and that tangy, pungent smell smacked my sniffer.  I almost tossed it in the trash.  I gave myself a pep talk and said to just eat half of it, it'd still be 7 grams of protein, just force it down.  So I readied my half of the tub and grabbed my water bottle.(affiliate link) 

The smell was so bad, I added some pumpkin pie spice to try to flavor it more.  It didn't help much.  Each small bite was accompanied by a huge swig and swish of water to get the taste out of my mouth.

I got about this far before the retching started.

It took me 10 full minutes, one moment bent over the sink praying for the strength to just nad up and do it but I finally did it.

I will never do it again.

At least not like that because straight up isn't an option for me.  I will try a smoothie later this week after the trauma wears off and see how that goes.

What food makes you retch?  Is there a food you eat that you don't like but it's good for you so you choke it down anyway?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The purge and relieving the stresses of the day

It was a slow moving day in da house yesterday.  We did a butt kicking, leg pounding Fitness Blender workout Sunday night and my hamstrings and glutes were screaming.  Damn dead lifts.  I wanted to get more done than I did but still got little things done.

We had a bunch of boxes that needed to be broken down to get back our living room space.  I read an article that I'll post Friday about things you need to purge from your kitchen and it kicked me into gear to get some stuff to donate.  I have some cookbooks that I've never used and I know I never will so it was time to say goodbye.  One of them was personalized by Rocco DiSpirito so I took that page out but if I haven't ever made one of his recipes, I'm probably not going to start now.  I also needed to purge our wine glasses from the top shelf of the cabinet because we don't drink and no one comes to visit so entertaining with them is out.  No need to keep taking up space.  The only ones I'm keeping are our wedding glasses and 2 flutes.  I ran them all through the dishwasher gentle cycle because they got that top shelf "I never get used" film on them and looked grody.  Now they're sparkling clean.  I need to wipe down the shelf before I start loading in the lesser used stuff up there.  I'm also looking at getting a rolling shelf thingy because it was really hard to get the never before used saucers from the back without putting myself in danger so that would really help with what needs to go back there.  Installing it should be a pain in the ass.  Hmm, maybe we'll just put a regular basket back there and move it ourselves.

The Mr got home pretty late and did not have a good day at work.  I asked him about his day so he could vent about the gnomes he has to deal with this week so he wasn't carrying it into his workout.  We did our workout for the night and I made dinner while I gave him his Star Wars coloring book to relieve some more stress.

Salmon over rice medley with mixed veggies and chili jam mixed in which gave it quite the kick and belly burn.

We tried some new to us Trader Joe's Rice Medley of brown and red rice with barley.

It was nice and easy in the microwave from frozen.  I won't get too used to it but it was good!  As we ate dinner, we watched the Kids Baking Championship or something like that with Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli.  It took everything in me not to leap through the TV and bitch slap them for the most incorrect usage of macaron ever.  Worse, they were teaching the kids to say it wrong which was maddening.  Instead I'll just have to hope they read this article to know the difference and stop trying to dumb down a confection that deserves the respect to be called by the right name.  Sorry, I'm a total pastry snob and that just irritates me.

Movin' on.

Then we settled in and watched the premiere of the X Files.  We never watched the original so hopefully that won't matter in the scheme of things.  I'll watch anything to see Duchovny...even this.  HA!

Were you an X Filer?  Is the truth really out there?

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Monday, January 25, 2016

My weekend of not slapping people who deserved it

Happy Monday all!  Can you believe it's the last week of January!?  Unreal.

I think for the first time the weekend didn't necessarily go fast but it wasn't filled with spills and chills either.  We'll chalk it up in the "eh" column.  Friday was nice though because we went to the first showing of Dirty Grandpa and the audience was full of dirty grandparents so it was appropriate.  I must say I like going with the mature crowd as I could freely laugh without shame at all of the completely inappropriate, un-PC things strewn throughout.  If you like Ted, this is the same thing but with DeNiro.  VERY much not a prude movie.  Even I, who drops F bombs like I'm being paid, was like "wow, they wrote him a little over the top."  I wasn't offended, it just seemed a bit much with the language.  Well you couple that with just having seen him two nights before in The Intern where he was adorable and it was like a shock fo' sho!  More importantly, it was great to see the scenes we were there for on vacation and the Mr swears he saw us on a long shot so you know we'll have to own it and pause.  Thursday night I ordered these pillow covers at Pottery Barn I've been drooling over forever.  Friday after the movie, I wanted to go get the inserts since they weren't part of free shipping.  She tried to bring me out feather inserts and I wanted the synthetic because their feather pillows poke the crap out of me.  She said hers didn't and I said that was good but nope, not getting those.  She said she'd have to order them and I just wanted to go home and order them myself but she was pretty insistent so I just caved since I've dealt with her before and she's nice enough.  Then we went to another store where they asked upon checkout if I was in their rewards program and I said no.  She asked if I wanted to enroll, I politely declined.  Then she grabbed a pamphlet and said, "here take this home and you can sign up online."  I laughed and said "no!"  She said "wow, you really don't want to be a member do you?"  I said "nope!"  I wanted to say "look witch, do you know how many effin' data breaches I've been through with stores!?  I'm over it and I'm not carrying one more damn card!  How about you just give customers the perks WITHOUT me having to hand over a blood sample and first born!?"  But I refrained.

Saturday, we went to this Italian restaurant we used to go to all the time when we were dating and early marriage.  It's on the other side of town so it doesn't get frequented much.  Damn email marketing suckered me in.  It was pretty good and tasted the same so it was a nice trip down culinary memory lane.  I had a coupon at a spice shop for some free booty with a nominal purchase so I picked up some pepper I needed and got my freebies.

Then I remembered some antique show was going on so we went there to walk a bit as the Mr was putting his new fitness band to the test all weekend and this place is rather large so the step count would be nice to know.  He ended up finding more that he liked than I did...

Old toy booths are always a big hit my with big kid so I peruse the shabby chic booths or look for some project to get into.  I found it of course after I got $5 knocked off for asking.  It'll be coming soon so stay tuned!

We decided since it was grocery weekend we'd try to get our Trader Joe's (I always type Hoe's, wth?) trip over with.  Every irritating person in the world shops there.  (Yes I know, we shop there too but we're the exception...I swear!)  You've got the entitled [inappropriate phrase here] that thinks she's entitled to shove her cart in front of you and then look at you like "WTF are you looking at?"  Me?  Oh, I'm just looking at how I'm going to physically cut you off with my body and pretend I don't notice for you cutting my husband off you [inappropriate insult here].  Then was the idiot with the toddler eating something in the cart and she has stopped in the middle of the aisle to talk to her cherub.  After 6 people sighing and skirting around her, she said "oh, sorry" and instead of moving she stays there.  How I wanted to put a Warner Brothers rocket on the back of the cart, light a long fuse and watch her leave body outlines through walls of stores as she tore through them at the speed of light.  Then the main food aisle always has a traffic jam and people just stand there like they have no idea how to navigate life.  MOVE PEOPLE!!!  I will figuratively cut a b!tch!  Then the parking lot, don't even get me started.  I literally removed my seat belt in a rage after 4 solid minutes of us sitting there in an eight car pile up of people stuck in various stages of reverse and land sharking.  The Mr had to talk me down.

Then let's just skip to Sunday where we got some house stuff done, went to our last grocery store and came back and did our first workout of the week.  I made up some new curse words and then it was time for dinner...

BBQ pork chop and under all those veggies are some black beans too.

Then we settled in for the night, I flipped on the fireplace and the Mr was head bobbing within minutes.  I put on the jazz channel and enjoyed ending the weekend on a cozy note.  The Mr has a long, crappy audit ahead of him this week so no teleworking and no leaving early for workouts (though I beg him to try to leave early Thursday because that's the day of the 90 minute workout and I want to start as early as possible.)  I've got my meals planned for the week and am ready to work, yo!

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, January 22, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #3

Today the Mr has taken a hooky day so we can go to the first showing of Dirty Grandpa.  This is the movie that we got to watch Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron film on Tybee Island on our anniversary in May.  We made a promise to do this date on opening day.  We were on the pier for a while and could be in some long shots so we're going to go sneak in some Trader Joe's light kettle corn and see if we can spot ourselves.  I know, nerds.  But you know how we are, we love movie location vacations so it was kind of cool that we were already on vacation when one was being made.

But enough of our movie location shenanigans...let's get to...

Vegan Protein Sources - Some Will Surprise You  (I'm always looking for good, clean resources)

The Oceans Will Contain More Plastic Than Fish by 2050  (I'm officially horrified.  People, for the love of God and our planet....RECYCLE!!!!!)

Here's What a Full Week of Fruits and Veggies Looks Like  (Kind of nice to see it laid out day by day.  Not as impossible as some may think)

12 Great Stretches for Tight Hip Flexors  (Mama has been TIGHT this week!)

20 Reasons It's Harder Than Ever to Lose Weight  (Yep, that's kind of depressing)

Myths About Salt Debunked  (Good stuff to know)

40 Weight Loss Tips for Over 40  (YAY...we're on the right path!  A sidenote...when the eff did this apply to me?!)

How to Foam Roll to Prevent Knee Pain   (Looking forward to some permanent relief)

Parents: You’re not doing your job. Sincerely, expert and author Leonard Sax  (Gotta say, he makes some points)

This mother drank while pregnant. Here’s what her daughter’s like at 43.  (If you share nothing else, share this.  It is completely eye opening to see the effects on an adult)

Wild Otter Swims Into Aquarium's Tide Pool, Gives Birth To Adorable Pup  (My heart!  Exploding with furry squee!!!)

Watch This Little Lamb's Adorable Reaction Whenever He Hears His Name  (Awwww!!!)

It’s a Time Warp! Tim Curry Will Star in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show  (So incredibly happy!  I'm so grateful Tim has recovered enough to do the part he's cast in!)

We don't really have anything on tap for the weekend that I know of.  I'm sure the Mr's plans will involve drooling all over his new fitness toy since he's ignored me when it's on his wrist.

What are you guys into this weekend?

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Is it Friday yet?

I swear these short weeks mess with you every time.  I thought it was Friday but nay.  It feels like the longest week ever.

The Mr was kind enough to take the tree down for me yesterday.  We got it all boxed up and hibernating for the next 10 months.  It snowed but it was light so no base for snowshoeing or anything.  They're talking about temps in 40's and 50's soon so at this rate, it's not looking good on shoeing and skiing this year.  We may have to go on a road trip if we want any chance of it.  I'm pushing for one this weekend but I need to check on driving conditions especially with that huge storm coming tomorrow.

Our exercise for the night was HIIT and lower body because my legs weren't screwed up enough.  I did a nice rolling session afterward.  Then it was time for dinner...

Jalapeno salmon burger quesadilla and asparagus with caramelized onions.  Oh and I got in three bottles of water...much weeing ensued all...night...long.  (All night)  (You know you just sang that Lionel Richie style.)

Then it was time to catch up on the DVR with Fixer Upper, Limitless and then catching The Goldbergs halfway through.  Loved Double Dare and love that the real Ben and Amy had cameos in the show!

I felt bad as the poor Mr looked at the USPS website 20x hoping that the status of his new fitness gadget would change but it didn't.  Hopefully it arrives today so he can give it a go for his next workout.  (The last "real" workout of the week before our Friday stretching session...YAY!)

Are you getting much snow in your area?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Christmas tear down and movie night

Well I bit the bullet and took down the Christmas stuff yesterday.  (I know)  I put on some Christmas music and put all the stuff in their bins and was winding the lights around my arms when the Mr got home.  Well, the tree is still up but naked so we'll get that down today.  For those wondering, this isn't the latest we've taken it down.  Two or three years ago I believe...January 22nd.  It was time especially since the weather has been so un-snowy this year.  I'm still leaving up our skis on the wall and maybe my crunchy wreath over the mantle but everything else is down.  Oh yeah, speaking of that, Command is on my chit list.  I've usually been very happy with their products but when I went to pull down the tab (as I've done a zillion times before), this happened...

That rat bastard hook yanked off 6 coats of paint, the paper layer of the drywall and got down to the white sheet rock!  It looks like a vampire bat ran into the wall.  SOOOO ticked on that one.

We went down and did abs and kickboxing and I did a good rolling session on the right gam to try to get my medial knee pain to subside.  When that was done, it was time for dinner.

Non Jack Daniels salmon over quinoa duo.  (Knock off Friday's Jack Daniels sauce with no Jack in it)

Then it was movie night.  We rented Sleeping With Other People and The Intern.  (affiliate links) Sleeping starred Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie and while it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be, it had some good life lessons about people coming into your life and making a difference.  The Intern starred Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway and we'd been looking forward to that one.  I love the message of older adults are a wealth of experience and knowledge and we could all learn a thing or two if we got our faces out of the phone or computer.  Good twist in there too.  Definitely recommend that one if you haven't seen it.

Rented any good movies lately?

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Errands and legs...done

Yesterday was a productive day.  I started by making us a nice protein filled breakfast and added in the little bit of garlic potatoes in the omelet which made the Mr a happy boy.

We went to the mammogram center and got done there relatively quick.  I'll admit I'm a little concerned that the technician asked after the first scan if I was wearing deodorant and when I told her no she said okay.  I'm hoping it was just because she always asks that and forgot to ask before the scan and not that she saw calcification.  My mom had that a few years ago and had to do a biopsy that was rather unpleasant.  They said I'll have results within the week.  I sprung for the 3D version and am going to cross my fingers that insurance will pick up the extra $75 because if Medicare can cover that, then ours shouldn't have a problem.  So send out good vibes y'all!  I won't be able to exhale until I get an all clear.

Since when did *everyone* have MLK day off??  Good Lord man, it was worse than a weekend!  Then we had some errands to run, we even put off a Trader Joe's stop from the weekend to Monday and it was chaos.  It was like every person who chooses not to parent their cherubs was out in full force.  I shot the Mr a look when I was surrounded by this horrific family that let him know bail money would be needed in about 10 seconds if they didn't vacate the personal space they were invading.  Pretty much everywhere we went was like that other than the sporting goods store where we picked up some extra weights.  Since the Mr injured his shoulder months ago, we've kind of been fighting over the 15 and 20 lb weights and we needed to get duplicates of those two since our Fitness Blender workouts are very strength training oriented.  Last night was no exception.  It was upper body strength, one that we have done many times, but then it was followed by a 24 minute cardio routine after that for a total of 75 minutes working out.  I was so spent and needed to up my calories after seeing my burn so I checked with the Mr to see if he had room to finagle and he did.

Finally finished the last of the meatloaf, some mashed sweet potatoes and green beans.  I forced down 3 bottles of water so I'm happy about that.  Sodium was higher than I'd like but that's why I forced down the extra bottle and it's in check the rest of the meals this week so it should all even out.

If I can walk today, I'd like to start working on the living room.  If I can't, I'll be in traction.

Did you get MLK day off?  If so, what did you do?

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday, Monday

We're heading into week two of our Fitness Blender program.  We're glad to not have to think about our workouts anymore and not repeat a single one in two months.  That should keep the Mr happy where the variety thing is concerned.  It will force me to learn to love weights.  While we already did two strengths per week, these basically have weight training of some kind almost every day.  It kind of terrified me because you know that whole "you must lose the fat with cardio to find the muscle" thing is drilled into me but I'm more than willing to give this the full two month commitment to see if I was wrong.  (Obviously what I was doing wasn't doing anything more than maintaining so...)   He said he feels like he's found his motivation and for that, I'm grateful.

Oh yeah and I lost 5 lbs and he lost 3 so there's that.  Of course it's also the first week of a new plan so I'm hoping for continued success.  We did the leg day last night and I swear I feel like a newborn giraffe.

The Mr and I had a good talk Friday night about just general frustrations in the contradicting information out there regarding diet and exercise.  For every study you get saying one thing is healthy, the next study says it's not.  I think they're all just in cahoots with the diet/fitness industry to keep the billions of bucks flowing every year.  It all is so personal and so what works for you and your lifestyle.  I want to constantly improve and I want to start making some stuff ahead of time and utilizing my FoodSaver more than I already do.  I need to do make ahead side dishes for when I want to get some brown rice or quinoa in.  Lots of people do food prep days and I need to work on that.

I hit my water goal of two bottles a day every day including the weekend.  That is huge for me because I'm so bad about water on the weekend.

Sunday morning was a nice brunch with jazz and starting to get Christmas stuff tackled.  We didn't tackle very far though so yeah, the Christmas tree is still up.  Don't judge me.  I finally went through a Sur La Table box I got last week to revel in my post holiday deals:

I got that platter for $10, that adorable garland for $8.99 and another snowflake platter for $8.99.  Woo hoo!  

After doing our workout...a hellacious leg day routine for an hour, we were dying for food.

A slice of meatloaf, garlic potatoes and green beans.  After dinner, I sat down and planned our meals for the week to match up with our workouts for that day.  I'm glad to be done with that and have everything all ready to go.

Oh yeah and I'm getting the mammies grammied today too.  So just a reminder, if you haven't and you need to...SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT!!!

On a side note...Christine, I don't know if you got my email response.  It keeps coming back undeliverable.  In case you didn't, the answers you seek are in the blog archives on the right sidebar in the October 2014 timeframe.  ;-)

What did you get into this weekend?

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Friday, January 15, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #2

Happy Friday all!

I don't mind telling you all I'm a little tired of watching movies of people who have recently passed away.  Monday we watched Labyrinth (affiliate link)  in honor of David Bowie and we watched Dogma (affiliate link)  last night in honor of Alan Rickman.  He did such a wonderful job as Metatron.  Sigh.

But enough about the jerk that is cancer taking more amazing people, let's get to...

New Study Finds Scented Candles and Air Fresheners Pose Dangerous Health Risks  (I try to get soy if I can but still...)

Diet to lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease also ranked No. 1 easiest to follow in 2016  (I'm on board except for the wine thing)

How I Made Peace With My Aging Body  (I get the point but it'd be nice if the pic they used wasn't of a woman 20 years older than the woman in the article)

How to Exercise Outside—Even When It’s Freezing Cold  (Bundle up!)

20 Healthy, Amazing Freezer Meals  (Yum!)

The 6 Stretches Everyone Who Sits at a Desk Should Be Doing  (Strrretch!)

11 Pinterest Cleaning Hacks That Simply Don't Work  (Save your lemons)

The Only 7 Things You Can Control in Life  (Excellent reminders)

How Eating Too Little Is Wrecking Your Progress  (Good information to consider)

Tips for People Who Have Big Weight-Loss Goals  (Great things to remember!)

The Sweet Treat That Can Keep You Cold-Free  (Reminds me I need to get some more)

8 Things You Should Resolve to Finally Get Rid of This Year  (We need to recycle our old laptops.  Takin' up space we don't have.)

‘David Bowie Changed My Life’: Nile Rodgers Remembers His ‘Let’s Dance’ Collaborator  (Absolutely wonderful article by Nile Rodgers)

Adele Carpool Karaoke  (I'm sure you've seen it but in case you haven't.  You don't even need to be a fan to love this)

Okay, for real this weekend we're tackling Christmas stuff.  I need to get stuff organized in the basement before anything can be put away so my plan is to start that today.  Today is day 5 of our program and it's thankfully stretching day.  I'm so looking forward to that as well.

What are y'all getting into this weekend?

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tears on my pillow...err...mat

We've been doing well this week.  Today is day 4 of our Fitness Blender program and I've never been so damn sore!  Well, I probably have but it's been a while so that's a good thing, right?  Actually, last night it was not such a good thing.  It was two days since leg day and I did a nice long rolling session afterward trying to ward off any leg demons, thought I did well but those bastards hid out and decided to rear their ugly heads during some back bows.

See, I'm a big modifier on some exercises because if I feel like it's something that the instructors can do five reps in the time it would take me to do one, I just do something else.  It's not because I don't want to do the exercise but I want to keep my calorie burn up so I do something I can count on to be similar but keep the heart rate hummin'.  When we started this program, I told myself I wanted to keep modifying to a minimum and really try to do the exercises that might be awkward.  During the cardio portion, I was doing well.  I think I only slightly modified one time because it was something that would've hurt me based on painful past experiences.  I was hopeful.

Then we went into the ab workout and not really a single exercise didn't include the legs.  My hips were already screaming and I was trying to remain faithful to my no modify mental declaration but I finally had to relent with tears streaming down my cheeks onto the mat.  When the time came to roll onto the belly to do back bows, after about 2 raises up, both of my legs seized up into hellacious charlie horses.  Seriously!?  I can't even do an effing back bow without my legs going into searing pain.  I mean I know there are leg day memes for a reason.

But holy mother of God to have both of them going off at the same time?!  I did the last three exercises with tears streaming down my face into my ears and occasional sobs that I couldn't control.  The Mr suggested I reverse the back bow to a crunch with my legs and arms extended.  It thankfully took the pressure off but I knew I wouldn't be able to walk.  I tried rolling and it wasn't doing anything.   He offered to help me by massaging my calves in the problem spots.  I felt bad because by that time I was in full blown frustrating ugly cry.  He pressed on the spots and massaged the bulging knots as I screamed in pain and sobbed like someone was stabbing me.  I just laid there in a pool of tears and probably snot if I was being honest while he cringed having to inflict such pain to relieve another kind of pain.

Thankfully dinner was 2nd day chili so he heated it and the bread while I sat with ice packs behind my knees.

I was very grateful for the help on both fronts.  Thanks hon!

All I can do is continue to roll and massage until the beasts release for good...or until the next leg day.  Today is a little cardio and all over strength and I am dreaming of tomorrow which is their yoga/stretch day.

Do you curse leg day or get out of it unscathed?

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

DIY Granola

I have never been a big granola person.  

I mean don't get me wrong, I love it when I do have it like in certain cereals that have "clusters" as part of their ingredients.  Of course those "clusters" are usually laden in artificial ingredients and are way sweeter than they probably should be.  I also was kind of afraid of granola to be honest.  I know it's one of those things that can be very addicting and is never low calorie.  I didn't really want the temptation around in some big bag.  But I bought some whole oatmeal by accident over quick cook and didn't like the texture for my morning oatmeal.  So I had 3 cups of it just sitting in a mason jar and I had no plans for it...until now.

After we purchased Fitness Blender's Fat Burning Round 2 Program, I was perusing the site and saw some of Kelli's recipes and decided to adapt her granola recipe to our personal preference.

DIY Granola
(adapted from Fitness Blender)

Here's what you'll need:

3 cups oatmeal (I used whole, not quick cook)
1/4 cup coconut oil (organic)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 tsp Watkins double vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, add all ingredients except coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.

Measure the coconut oil and melt it to liquid form.

Add the real maple syrup and vanilla extract to the oil.

Add the oil mixture to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to coat.

Spread mixture onto ungreased cookie sheet.

You will cook for a total of 12-14 minutes, but take it out every four minutes or so to turn the mixture over and spread it back out to bake evenly.

When it's done and let cool.

In order to keep this manageable, it makes twelve just over 1/4 cup servings.  If you have self control, grab your measuring cup and munch after a workout, add to yogurt or whatever you like.

If you're like me and don't trust yourself, measure each serving into a snack bag and when it's done, it's done.

I put ours into the old oats jar and now they're ready to grab when we want them without the fear of overindulging!

This won't be an every day thing for us but will be a nice alternative to add in from time to time.  It was perfect after our workout for day 2 of the program in which my legs were jello and I knew I'd need sustenance in order to stand to make dinner.  Just sweet enough but not too sweet and exactly what I needed at that time!  So thumbs up from us!

Obviously you can mix and match to your tastes too so have fun with it!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Post holiday plan of attack

Okay, now that we're both well again and the shock of a cruddy holiday has worn off a bit, let's get to the nitty weight gain.  We bit the bullet and finally weighed in last Saturday.  I was a pound over my guesstimate which is 7 lbs higher than I was before the madness set in.  I wasn't super happy but we all know our bodies and the way they hang.  I have a divot to the right of my belly button that is pretty pronounced when I stand up under normal circumstances and it's only been slightly visible in the past week.  So yeah, I knew I was still up.  The Mr is also up and he got pretty depressed about it.

I knew things were bad when he started looking at fitness products on a road we've already traveled and I wanted him to know we're on the same page even if I'm not shouting it from the rooftops.  I saw Fitness Blender came out with their new 8 week Fat Loss Round 2 program.   For $15, they will tell us what workouts to do as well as throw some new ones in there and we don't have to keep doing the same things and I don't have to hear the Mr sigh in discontent when I grab a WATP or Turbo Fire he feels like we've just done.  (Even if we haven't.)  He said he was glad I did that as a show of support and I was thinking about it anyway but his mood kind of pushed me in the right direction.

I'll be honest, we both said eff it over the holidays.  We ate anything and everything all in the name of "it's that time of year."  I want to say it'll be different this year but we say that every year.  Actually since we'll be out of town over Christmas, maybe it will be different who knows.  But I know my biggest failure over the holidays came from a few things that all came together to set up the perfect weight gain storm.

1)  I ate like crap.  I ate cookies for meals 3 days in a row and not because I necessarily wanted them (okay, I did) but more because I just didn't have time to stop.  Or I'd notice I hadn't eaten and knew I only had an hour or two until the Mr came home so there was no sense in stopping to do a full meal.  Stupid?  Yep.  But in that moment, I didn't care even though I knew I'd pay for it.  Same with a stocking full of candy.  You get that mentality of "get it out of the house" and that should mean give it away to the dingoes at work, not eat it all and consider it out of the house.

2)  I didn't drink water.  When I say I didn't drink water, I mean I was lucky to get even half a water bottle in compared to the three I shoot for.  Do you know what no water in your system does well, to your system?  It ain't pretty.

3)  I stopped taking my probiotics.  There was no good reason for this.  I don't care how busy I was, there was just no reason to stop doing that as I saw them every day other than I was just rebelling against everything in my normal routine.  System problems compounded.

4)  I got sick.  I'd say I couldn't have helped that but I didn't manage my stress so that's what I get coupled with no probiotics to help the immune system and water to flush out the crud, so yeah, taking full responsibility for the cold.

The only thing I did right?  We only skipped one workout because one night I was so friggin' exhausted it was physically impossible for me to do so.  But yes, even when I was sick, I worked out even if it was at a lower intensity most times.  I shutter to think how much worse it'd be if I hadn't.

The only problem was when I felt better, I didn't have that rah rah kind of motivation to get back to business.  Not like I wasn't going to but it just felt like "ugh, back to the grind."  But seeing the way it affected the Mr made me want to do what I could to get us back in the right mindset.  So buying that program and giving him the variety he needs workout wise, was the first step in doing that.

Plan of attack:

I suggested we try upping our water not to pre-holiday levels but at least 2 bottles for me and at least one more for him.

Workout earlier.  He gets off early 3 days a week so he can come home to workout but we usually lazy around, he decompresses by reading crap online and we usually start our workouts around 6-6:30pm when we could be starting at 4:30pm.  So if we shower right after and then I make dinner, we're talking eating between 7:15-8pm depending on the day.  I know there will be some adjustments because we're going to start to get hungry toward bed time but we'll just have to deal with it or make sure we're eating enough so it carries us over.

Tracking.  We stopped tracking the week of Christmas because we had like 3 different holiday gatherings and figured why bother.  The rest of the tracking, we just didn't want to see how shitty we were doing so we didn't.  (He's not a great tracker to begin with but we're going to change that this year.)  I've got my meals planned for this week and I feel in control again

For now those are the changes we're making and it feels good to have "day 1" (even though it's not but you know what I mean) under our belts.  I ate some yummy schtuff...

Lunch was open faced tuna fish with spinach and a pickle slice and my freggies and light string cheese.

Dinner was mahi with an jalapeno tomatillo orange glaze over Trader Joe's quinoa duo.

I got in two full water bottles and my bladder let me hear it but it needs to adjust because I plan to keep it up for 2 weeks and increase it back to pre-holiday levels.

Looking forward to another successful day!

How did you fare in the holiday weight gain department?

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Monday, January 11, 2016

The weather outside is...perfect

Okay, so remember how I said we were taking the Christmas stuff down this weekend?  Yeah, that ain't happenin'...especially not with this going on for the first time since the tree has been up...

It rained but the temps dropped and Sunday morning we woke up to snow!  There was no way in heck I was taking down the tree the first time there was any snow that stuck!  So instead we went out and played in it!  Well, not played but we walked the trails twice and stopped to enjoy the beautiful scenery and loved being able to see each individual snowflake on rails and signs.  Thankfully we put on thermals and were able to be out for about 2 hours while we walked 2 1/2 miles.  Then it was time to go to the grocery store.  This was the first real haul since the holidays since we have basically just been grabbing what we needed here and there.  It feels good to have the house fully stocked.

Since getting my sense of taste back, I've been dying for a turkey sandwich.  I broke out the bacon date jam I froze and the oakwood cheddar Trader Joe hooked me with and made a panini and cinnamon honey sweet potato half.

We spent the rest of the evening with the tree lit, the lights off and watched the snow fall.  I'm glad my laziness overtook me so we could enjoy the decorations in their proper atmosphere.

**If you're a Facebook follower, please make sure you occasionally like and comment on posts.  Reach to your news feeds is down to 3% of my subscribers there!  Their algorithm will eventually wipe any notifications of posts out of your feed if you don't "engage" from time to time. Grrr!   I don't like asking but 4 people saw my workout post last night out of 500+ subscribers.  Just wanted to let you know!  As you were**

What did you guys do this weekend?

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