Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's Been A Long Time

Wow, it's been awhile hasn't it??

Yup, almost a month since I've been chatting with you guys on here. Sorry to go all MIA on you guys but life has been busy.

Unfortunately not in a good way. My grandfather passed away suddenly a month ago. This year has been very difficult in many ways along with my uncle's death in May.

So since life has been crazy busy that has left me little time for blogging. And I started a new job this week so that has been taking up alot of time.

So I'm taking a blogging break. I love blogging, it was a great fun way to capture everyday life experiences. I hope I can come back to it eventually!

It's been fun!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blogger Safety

Have you all downloaded the new ios7 software update yet? When it first finished downloading I was completely lost. The new software is so much more like an android phone. I thought that's what made them different in the first place?....

Anyway did you know when you use your camera and then post a photo online, people can track where you are? Kind of scary isn't it. I made sure to turn that location setting off right away. Here's how: Go to utilities----->settings----->privacy----->location services----->camera off.

Technology is a great thing, but comes along with a loss of privacy.

But back to blogging, I think blogger safety isn't talked about too much when someone is researching how to start a blog. The main topics are how to increase readership, self hosting, or working with brands.

Here are some things I don't blog about to maintain my privacy.
  • I never mention what town I live in. Long Island is pretty big.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Lifting Frustrations

Hey! Happy Friday. The weekend kind of snuck up on me this week. For some reason everyday was dragging on this week and felt like Monday!

Once I'm done typing this post up, I'm heading to the gym for a chest and back workout.

It's my fourth day of weight training (back to my usual 4 day split) this week after my injury. I have to say this week has been a bit disappointing. I think everyone feels some frustration when they come back to something after 4 months away, whether it's by choice or by injury.

It's just frustrating to have to use such small weights compared to what I was doing. I feel like I'm just going through the motions of my workouts.

But then I realized every workout you do is not going to the most amazing intense workout ever. Not every workout will you hit a new personal record. Not every workout needs to be your personal best.

Every workout I've done I've waited four long months to complete. Even if they're not crazy PR's, at least I know I did my best that day. That's all you can do, put your best efforts into your workouts.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Trail Time

For my workout yesterday I headed to the trails for a run.

I go through phases with running where I love it and then I hate it. Right now I'm in a love it stage so I'm just going to go with it.

Don't let the changing leaves fool you, it was 85 degrees yesterday. I went in the afternoon so it was at least a bit cooler. One of the reasons I chose those specific trails it's mostly shaded the whole way through.

About halfway into my run I passed two ladies jogging. One of them stopped and said" hi, no gym today?" This took me by surprise because I had no idea who they were haha! Apparently they've seen me working out. The funny part is I've only been there twice since my knee has heeled.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Chemex Coffee

This isn't a typical What I Ate Wednesday in which I usually share a full day of eats with you all. Instead today's version will be What I Drank Wednesday....

And no, it doesn't involve alcohol.

Last Friday before Troy and I headed over to see the new puppy, we stopped at a local coffee shop. Troy heard about this Chemex coffee they have and wanted to try it out. For someone who has never heard of or seen it before, it kind of looks like they're making drugs out of that coffee shop.

By using the Chemex filter the coffee is brewed and held at a temperature of 180-200°F to avoid chemically altering the taste and making the coffee bitter. The filters remove undesirable oils and particles that usually pass through a normal filter. In turn the infusion gives the coffee a richer flavor.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Craving Yoga

A good part of yesterday was solely dedicated to cleaning. I fully believe you either love cleaning or you hate it, there is no in between. I fall into the latter category so my house was long overdue for a good clean.

I even managed to put all my summer clothes away. Goodbye shorts! Even when I try to look nice in the summer, I feel like summer clothes never look cute. Give me cozy sweaters, boots & scarves, and lots of layers.

If you're never used those vacuum seal storage bags before, you should try them! They are a lifesaver for anyone that doesn't have a ton of closet space. My closet is decent sized but my winter clothes tend to be 1,000 times larger than my summer outfits. So I vacuum seal them and slide them right under my bed.

Whenever I clean I love throwing things away. I tend to keep items I no longer wear for a long time. Sometimes they still have their tags on them from 3 years ago haha! Lots of clothes went to goodwill!

Monday, September 30, 2013

We Didn't Start The Fire

Good morning Monday! How was everyone's weekend? My weekend absolutely flew by so fast, but filled with lots of fun stuff! It was a marvelous one for sure.
Friday night both of us headed over to see a family friend's new puppy.

 Seriously, how cute is this little girl? Look at that face!

To me she looks like a boxer/hound mix. She's only 3 months old, but thinks she is a lot bigger. The sticks she was carrying around with were bigger than her haha. We were tempted to steal her ;)

Saturday morning started off early with a hot 30 minute walk with Wish. Then it was off to do lots of work outside for my grandparents. Moving the huge (and buggy) wood pile for two hours is hard work. So I got some cardio and lifting in that day.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Chocolate For Breakfast, Swagbucks, & Emails

How's that for a title? Can you tell this post is going to be ALL over the place today? I've been meaning to tell you guys a bunch of things for the past couple weeks. Then I sit down to write a post and my brain goes in a completely different direction.

Did you know your breakfast can start with chocolate? Yeah neither did I, until I found this bad boy.

I threw one of these randomly into my cart last week.Yessssss, it is a winner. I don't remember the nutritional stats too close, but I remember glancing at them and they weren't too bad at all.

Now it is a bit on the sweet side for breakfast, but as a healthy dessert at night I love these. The yogurt is so creamy and the chocolate tastes like fudge mixed all together. Good job Stonyfield!

Does anyone else use Swagbucks? I discovered it 6 years ago and love it!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

First Workout Post Injury

On Tuesday I received the clear from the doctor for exercise again!!!!!! Wooooohoooo.

Can you tell how excited I was?!?!? No more leg brace.

So right after that appointment I went straight to the park for my first post injury exercise.
I ended up covering around 3 miles in 45 minutes. During the first mile I jogged for a minute or two just to see how it would feel. Well, it probably wasn't the best idea because my knee hurt when I was running. So I guess I will have to ease back into my running intervals on my walks.

But those 3 miles felt so good. It felt wonderful just to get my heart rate up again and actually really sweat!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Give Me All The Apples

It's been awhile since I've shared a full day of eats and well, yesterday there was so much good food. Let's get right into it shall we? It is What I Ate Wednesday and everything.

Breakfast started off with a big bowl of oats. You're shocked right?! ;)

Lunch was breakfast style again. I've been loving the corn tortillas I bought last week and have been making little wraps everyday with them.

Yesterday was two eggs over easy with turkey bacon. I love when the eggs are super drippy, so good that way.

On the side an apple the size of my head!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hidden Menus

One thing I've never understood about restaurants is having a hidden menu. The only thing it does do is create hype that there is another, even sometimes healthier menu. But there is a ton of customers that don't even know it exists.

I've learned about Panera's hidden menu about a year ago and have never ordered off of it. I didn't think the employees would even know what I was talking about or be able to know the full ingredients in those items.

Hidden menus just seem like poor advertising to me. The items are on the hidden menu aren't that popular apparently or else they would be added to the regular menu if they were so popular with consumers.

The other night I ran into Panera to pick up a salad and spotted a sign now advertising the four items on the hidden menu. I don't get it, I'm confused? Isn't it a hidden menu for a reason...

Anyway I decided to try the Mediterranean chicken salad. The strange part was it was the same price as the regular salads but came with no chips :(

It was really good though. There was a ton of chicken, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, bacon, fresh lemon, and olive oil for the dressing.

So I'm curious how you all feel about hidden menus? Do you ever order off them?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mattituck Getaway

The weekend in NY was a gorgeous one. It was perfect weather for a little getaway to Mattituck Troy and I had planned.

Both us stayed over at a family friend's house with my mom and her boyfriend. Isn't the backyard beautiful? The house is in the middle of nowhere in the woods. It even took us awhile to find it because road is a tiny dirt street leading way back to the house.

We sat for awhile Friday night enjoying the sunset in the gazebo. In the summer everyone goes kayaking on the sound right there.

They were saying hardly anyone ever uses it or sits there but it was the perfect spot to watch the boats going by.

Fun Fact: My mom's boyfriend built it.

The house is an old farmhouse style where everything is wood. Doesn't it look like it should be a bed and breakfast?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Fall

Happy first day of fall!

Since I'm out and about partaking in many fall festivities, here's a look into some of my favorite things about the fall season.

1. Obviously the first one is pumpkin EVERYTHING. From baked goods, breads, coffees, and candles, you can find pumpkin in pretty much anything!

2. Cozy sweaters are back in my life again! My least favorite season is summer and I hate wearing shorts. I love layers and winter clothes much better.

3. Pumpkin picking is one of my favorite things to do in October. Troy and I love carving them into all crazy designs instead of the usual jack o lantern faces.

A look back at last year's pumpkins. I decided to try mine free hand.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Physical Therapy Win

My second physical therapy appointment was a success!

The first was? Not so much, it felt more like a waste of time and money. All they did was poke and probe my knee asking if it hurt. Then for 15 minutes they put on those electric shock things. Let me tell you, it does not in any way/shape/form feel like a massage. Nope.

So you can see I was a little weary about going back. But this time was SO much better. We only did those shock things for 10 minutes. Then all single leg strength exercises.

Woof. I was feelin' it by the end. After having no leg workouts since June, holy crap, my right quad was burning.

And to finish we did 5 whole minutes on the exercise bike with absolutely no pain.

No pain = a big success! It's slow progress, but still progress.

And since we talk about food usually around these parts, my breakfast smoothie yesterday was a good one. Since I'm a huge fan of yogurt in my smoothies, when I saw Melissa's peanut butter yogurt smoothie, I knew I had to try it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Double Duty Products

I love when products do double duty. Where you can use it one way, then another, and then another. It seems then you're getting more bang for your buck.

All of you know I love my greek yogurt. My chobani goes into smoothies, made into tye-dye dessert bowls, and a healthy sour cream dip.

This dip literally takes 1 minute to make and a great addition for taco night!

Corn tortillas were on sale so I picked them up for a change. Along with shredded cheddar cheese, home-grown garden tomatoes, and chicken was such a yummy dinner. I love tacos because

1) They take five minutes to make
2) You can change them up with all different ingredients
3) No clean up haha

 Yay for tacos!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gluten Free Banana Bread

One of my favorite things about cooler weather is baking. In the summer it is just way too hot to turn the oven on. Once fall is here I love filling the house with the smell of baked goods.

When I first was diagnosed with Celiac's I didn't attempt baking anything from scratch. Either it was from a package or a box, but we all know nothing beats homemade.

As the years went on I felt more comfortable venturing into baking quality tasting gluten free goodies. Last week's banana bread was no exception. It isn't dry or crumbly or falls apart like many baked gf goods.

I'll be linking up with the What I Ate Wednesday party to share the recipe.

Gluten Free Banana Bread
  • 2 cups gluten free flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (about 4-5)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 t vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In one bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt together.
3. In a separate bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. You can soften the bananas in the microwave to mash them.
4. Stir dry ingredients into the bowl with the bananas.
5. Spray a bread pan with non-stick baking spray. Bake for 45-55 minutes.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ice Pops Needed

It's been a rough couple of days. And by rough I mean the kind where you don't want to get off the couch.

Over the weekend I felt so tired and blah with a headache, but couldn't figure out what was wrong. Well yesterday I woke up with throbbing ear pain that continued to get worse throughout the day. Even chewing aggravated it. So I finally went to the doctor's.

Ear infections are no fun!

There was a new doctor there training under the supervising doctor who told me I had doll like ears. First time I've ever heard that one haha!

I think the only time I left the couch was for food! I fixed myself an open face tuna sandwich on toasted bread.

This time I used extra lemon along with the hummus. So satisfying for a quick lunch.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Heather's Baby Shower

On Saturday Mom and I headed over to celebrate Heather's (Troy's sister) baby shower with over 100 guests!

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture with the Mom-to-be since she was busy mingling with the large number of guests. She wore this gorgeous tight red dress. She is going to be a HOT momma! Everyone kept raving how pretty she looked.

Since Heather is a bag fan of Italian food there was a huge spread of eggplant/chicken parmasean, different types of pastas, and heroes. Troy's mom brought a whole gluten free dish. It was a new recipe with cheese, chicken, broccoli, rice, and mustard. The mustard really gave the dish a tangy flavor. Alot of the guests even ate it without realizing it was gluten free! Hehe :)

I'm going to ask her for the recipe and will share it with you guys!

The decorations for the shower were simple yet classic. Mason jars seem to be the latest trend for everything if they are popping up at baby showers. I loved the mix of colorful roses that really brightened up the tables.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friday Night Date

My wild & crazy Friday night date was with the gym. Ohhh yess, the gym. We haven't spent much close time together lately so it felt good just going.

Last night's workout included triceps, chest, and back.

Four sets of the following:

Incline Barbell Chest Press
Cable Row
Tricep Dip Machine
Narrow Grip Lat Pulldown
Shoulder Press Machine
Side Raises

My back is feelin' it today!

Back when I was working full time and going to college, I used to go to the gym every Friday night after work. It was the only time I could get there on Fridays and the gym was empty. I actually used to love going at that time. Sometimes I would even meet my mom for a trampoline class.

Cardio + weights + trampoline = insane fun!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fun Facts Friday

1. I think NY is confused. Fall is supposed to be, not 90 degree hot & humid weather.

2. Even though it was swelting I did have hot chili for dinner last night. In the past I've raved about the boyfriend's mom's chili and it is that good. I am ALL about the toppings and there are so many to choose from!

3. On Wednesday night I came home to a huge surprise box of goodies from Taste For Life magazine. I filled out one of those reader survey things back in July and completely forgot about it. I guess people really do win those surveys? I can't wait to try out all these goodies!

4. When I bought this new Chobani flavor I had really high hopes for it. Since it was orange and vanilla, I was expecting an orange creamsicle flavor. But sadly it doesn't taste like a popsicle. It wasn't one of my favorites.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Berry Banana Mini Muffins

These muffins, oh my. They are deeeeeelicious my friends.

When I first saw this recipe on Fit Cupcaker, I knew I had to give it a try. I changed up a few things in the recipe, which you can see below. I had everything all set to make her bread. Then I realized I had no bread pan. Womp womp. :(

Out of that fail came these tasty mini muffins!

Berry Banana Mini Muffins
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 3 scoops protein powder
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • half of a banana (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup berries

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bethenny Show

When my 4:30 alarm went off this morning at first I thought it was a car alarm. After quickly getting ready and hopping on a train, I was headed into the city my mom.

We arrived nice and early on the line for a taping of the Bethenny show! I only received confirmation for the tickets the night before so this was a very last minute trip. My mom was able to take off work to come with me. I bet the boyfriend was glad he didn't have to go with me since it was ALL women ;)
It took us both awhile to wake up. Luckily the weather stopped raining when we were waiting online outside! Lots of girls were celebrating their birthdays there.
Around 8 my hunger started to kick in. I brought along a chocolate peanut butter clif bar for breakfast.
The set was very personal and small compared to other tv show tapings I've been to. Bethenny really encourages and seems to want the audience's input.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bark For Life 2013

Hooray, or should I say Bark, for the American Cancer Society having a great fundraiser yesterday! Troy and I represented NORML at the first annual Bark For Life fundraiser, which was a fantastic time.
We didn't know quite what to expect since this was the first one, but there was a ton of people that registered. Much more than we originally thought. Along with music and food, there were about 10 vendors selling dog items.
Of course we had to buy pumpkin flavored dog treats! I love that these treats only have four ingredients instead of all fillers. A nine year old created the company with his Mom and was recently on the tv show Shark Tank. How cool!
As for our one mile walk I only did a quarter of since the sun was blazing down and it was 85 degrees. Since I still have my leg brace on I didn't want to push it and just went super slow around the field.

Scenes From My Saturday

Hey there! Happy Marvelous Monday friends! This weekend was packed with so many fun activities, I have to split them up. Here's a look at some scenes from my Saturday!
After having eggs + berries for breakfast, Troy and I headed out to some garage sales. Nothing too great to report besides some video games for him. Since it was hot and sunny by midday we took Coop to a new dog park.
If you don't have one of those fancy dog reusable water bottles just use a empty Cool Whip container. It works just as well as a portable dog bowl.
 While we were out I found this nut bar to snack on. It was good, but very very nutty.
As you can see Troy really liked the giant rocks at this dog park haha.
The playground right next door was practically begging Cooper to go on. Since nobody was around we figured it would be okay to break the rules. Cooper went down his first slide haha! The video won't upload on here, but it is on my Instagram if you want to check it out.