Archive | December 2013

Ugly sweaters and family time fun

Well hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! The last few weeks have definitely been pretty busy around here, hence the lack of blogging. Where to begin?

For starters I finally took my CSCS exam (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist), so that was a super fun 3 hours! I then rewarded myself with some auntie Anne’s, because we don’t have one in town their cinnamon sugar pretzels are the bomb! Plus i figured I deserved it after 3 hours of staring at a screen and answering questions that required me to use my brain. That’s asking a lot of me people!

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Last week I also got to go to my favorite sushi place ever, Ko Fusion! It’s in champaign, which is The town about an hour away from us where my hubby works. I decided to go there and we met up for dinner after he got done working. This place seriously has the best sushi ever.

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This week we had an ugly sweater day at work, and I’m pretty sure I nailed it.

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We also dressed up as “elves” on Christmas Eve because we are cool like that….

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And of course our members felt sorry for us having to work Christmas Eve so they brought us all sorts of goodies…

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I also did a really fun 12 days of Christmas WOD with my favorite training partner Paige and her sister on Christmas Eve.

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Looks super fun right?? In case you wanted to try it yourself, you start with the 12 burpees, then do 11 box jumps + 12 burpees, then 10 sit ups + 11 box jumps + 12 burpees and so on until you’ve done it all!! It actually felt really good to do a longer WOD like this since I haven’t done anything like that in a while, and it definitely helped having these two awesome ladies to do it with!

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I am definitely really glad to be cross fitting again, I didn’t realize how much I missed it! I’m very happy to report I am feeling great, and it turns out I didn’t even lose much of my strength or speed over the last two months off, so there’s still a chance I can do decent at the open, not to mention I’ll just be less frustrated trying to get back to where I was.

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Oh how I missed this!

As far as Christmas goes, we spent both Christmas Eve and day with Chris’s side of the family up in Chicago, so we headed up there as soon as I got off work on Christmas Eve. We did his dad’s side of the family on Christmas Eve and his mom’s side Christmas Day. There were lots of presents, laughs, food and good times.

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The Christmas dinner was amazing, although it confirmed a very sad fact for me. For a little while now I’ve been getting really really sick after eating, but it only seemed to occur when I ate beef or pork. So I started paying attention to how my body was reacting after eating those meats and confirmed my body now also hates pork and beef. So that’s fantastic. Looks like it’s just chicken, fish and ground turkey for this girl!

For Christmas presents I got a lot of beautiful jewelry from my MIL, some great gift cards from my BILs and their girlfriends and a new iPad air from Chris (you know, since I shattered my old one…) Chris also got me a fun, sweet gift that I’ve been wanting for a long time now but totally forgot about, which is an air popcorn popper! I was so excited he remembered I wanted one! So it will be popcorn galore around our house for the next few weeks…

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We aren’t celebrating Christmas with my family until New Year’s Day, and my awesome sister and brother in law are visiting from Las Vegas, so I still have that to look forward to as well!

I’ve also been working on my crochet skills, and made this beret style hat that I’m pretty proud of! I’ve actually been super crafty lately, and busted out my jewelry making skills to make these bracelets for my MIL and brother in law’s girlfriends.

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And because I know your super worried about if I’m still running…fear not my friends! I was still able to get in a couple good runs this week, one being an awesome 4 miler that consisted of 400 meter sprint repeats with Paige and then a nice easy 6 miler today. It was such a beautiful day and I just couldn’t turn down the chance to get out and run!

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I’m hoping to get in 3 good runs next week and get back on track a bit, since I did slack off a little this week. Overall though, I’m pretty pleased with my training and where everything is headed!

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Questions for you:

What was your favorite gift you got for Christmas?
I would have to say so far my iPad, but my air popcorn maker is pretty cool too!

Do you travel to see family for Christmas or stay in town?
Since we got married we’ve pretty much always traveled somewhere

How did you do on your health and fitness this week?
I did pretty good, didn’t eat too much junk and was able to still WOD or run almost every day!

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Our 5 year wedding anniversary weekend celebration!

Well our 5 year wedding anniversary was a HUGE success!! We had the best time and amazingly all our plans worked out as intended and we didn’t get too lost (just a little lost one time…but it all worked out). So all in all, it was an absolutely perfect weekend 🙂

We ended up staying in downtown chicago at hotel indigo, because I found a really good deal online (of course).

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It ended up being a really nice, cute room and a great location!

So friday night we went to see Elf: The Broadway Musical at the cadillac theater and it was really good! The performers did an excellent job and it was a really cute show.

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Overall we had a really nice time. We were supposed to go to dinner before the show,but ended up getting a little** lost in downtown. But it’s okay because we ended up wandering into a big german festival that apparently happens every year around this time. They had tons of booths with homemade gifts and of course FOOD! So we ended up eating some homemade pretzels, nutella puffs and hot chocolate for our dinner. So you know, the usual.Image

That nutella puff was the bomb. So good. So that was our friday night! Then Saturday morning we walked from our hotel to a really fun breakfast restaurant called Hash Hash A Go Go!

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Yeah, their food is awesome and their portions are crazy! That is ONE giant snickers pancake, and I had an eggs benedict with mashed potatoes and biscuits and yes, that is fried chicken on chris’s plate…say what?! 

After we stuffed ourselves with all that deliciousness, we headed back to our hotel to chill, then went to the navy peir to see The Hobbit: Desolation of Smog in IMax 3D!

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Yeah we think we are so cool in our 3D glasses….I won’t spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but can definitely say it was a good one!

After our movie we headed to oak brook plaza to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Wildfire. We have been here before for an anniversary dinner so we felt it would be upholding tradition to go there, plus Chris LOVES a good steak, so it was the perfect choice.

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They do have good steak, but I’m not a red meat person. Those mashed potatoes though…oh. my. goodness. So good!

Oh and in case you were thinking, “geese you sure ate a lot this weekend…” my response is well duh. Because everyone knows calories don’t count on your anniversary weekend 🙂

After dinner my amazing, wonderful, patient husband took me to one of my favorite places in the whole world. Lululemon. If you don’t know what that is, well we can’t be friends. I am just *slightly obsessed with their clothes. I am pretty sure I own more lululemon workout clothes than normal clothes…and I’m not even embarrassed about that. 

So what’s even more amazing is I somehow convinced the hubs to try on some of the men’s lululemon stuff and guess what?!

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He found something he liked!! My man with his first ever lulu purchase! Doesn’t he look thrilled? But really, he LOVES his new pants and wears them all the time, and has already asked me about getting more. 

And as if the weekend wasn’t already amazing, we ended our anniversary by Chris taking me to Tiffany’s where we picked out a beautiful heart necklace for our 5 year wedding anniversary 🙂 

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My first tiffany’s jewelry!! I am one VERY lucky girl! So that was our unbelievably perfect anniversary weekend! May there be many, many more wonderful years ahead for us 🙂

On the running front, I have to admit I haven’t done any for a few days. I decided to take a few days off to enjoy our anniversary and I don’t regret it one bit. Time with my husband is definitely more important than running. Hands down. And I won’t be running tomorrow because…..drum roll….I have my first day back at crossfit tomorrow!!! That’s right friends, I get to start back at it! Granted I am going to have to take it slow and have no idea what I’ll even be able to do, but at least I get to try! 

So my plan moving forward is doing 2-3 days of cross fitting and then still do my runs 3-4 days a week. I actually think this will be a really good balance and am excited for what’s to come! I’ll definitely keep you all updated! 🙂

 

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to a broadway musical? If so, which one?

This was my very first one, but definitely won’t be my last!

Do you prefer your movies in 3D or old school?

While I think the 3D is pretty cool, it usually gives me a headache so we often opt out of it

Have you ever given or received something from tiffany’s??

 

Everybody’s working for the weekend

Oh weekends. We are always waiting(working), praying and hoping for them. Then it finally arrives, and always goes by way. too. fast. And before you know it it’s back to the boring week days. So lame. My weekends are a little different since I work Sundays, so really it’s saturdays that are my absolute favorite. This Saturday was especially awesome! My mom, husband and I continued our yearly Christmas tradition of going to see White Christmas at an old movie theater in town.

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Thanks for taking our picture mom 🙂 Sorry my iPhone doesn’t do well in the dark….

I LOVE going to see this movie, it’s such a fun experience and really makes it feel like Christmas.

Before the movie Mom and I went to dinner at a nearby restaurant (the hubs was still working so he couldn’t come) I ended up getting some Tilapia with vegetable risotto and my oh my was it good!!

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We also had to have popcorn and some candy at the movie because at the theater we go to everything is $1! What a great deal!! Speaking of candy….I’ve decided it really is the best post-long run fuel…

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Twizzlers are probably my favorite candy ever…that or sour patch kids, not sure I could pick between those two. Luckily I don’t have to!!

Unfortunately I can’t just eat candy all day, which is a bummer, but it’s not really a healthy idea, plus I think I would get sick of it and then it wouldn’t be special. So instead I try to counteract the candy with lots of veggies. And now that I have my handy-dandy super snazzy vitamix, this is happening ALL.THE.TIME.

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I’m tellin ya folks, it’s magic!!! And look at all that green healthiness being liquified for my drinking pleasure!! It’s especially important I get lots of healthy greens right now for the vitamins because I am STILL fighting this dumb cold. It’s so frustrating! I’ve decided until it’s completely gone I’m going to be running inside, because I don’t want to keep making it worse 😦  I’ve also been trying to drink TONS of water

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I’m obsessed with this glass water bottle from lululemon right now!!

You guys will also be proud of me, I’m STILL keeping up with cooking healthy dinners every night! Last night I used the rest of my homemade pizza dough to make a chicken and veggie pizza, and tonight I made a delicious healthy version of chicken alfredo that used non-fat cottage cheese and greek yogurt to make the alfredo sauce, as opposed to cream. It turned out awesome! AND, you’ll never guess what I used to make the sauce. That’s right my friends, I used my trusty vitamix! That thing didn’t just blend up all my ingredients, it actually HEATED the sauce up as well! So, so cool!

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AND the hubby even liked this one. That’s a win win people. It will probably be my lunch tomorrow! And once again, I’m anxiously anticipating this weekend, as it is the hubs and my 5 year wedding anniversary! And we have some pretty fun plans!!!!! 🙂

 

Questions for you:

What’s your favorite day of the week? Least favorite?

Saturday is definitely my favorite, and lately wednesdays have been my least favorite because they tend to be my longest day, plus it’s just that awkward half-way through the week day that you don’t know what to do with.

What’s your favorite candy, IF you had to pick just one?

Based on my current mood, I’m going to go with sour patch kids. But that could change in another hour…

Christmas trees, broken iPad screens and a vitamix

So I’ve decided grading is the absolute worst. I had to submit all the final grades for my undergrad students last night. It took me hours and gave me a massive headache. So I can DEFINITELY cross teacher off my career list (not that it was on the list to begin with…)

Anyway, while I was busy grading my life away, my awesome Mom and sister put up my Christmas tree for me!

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Pretty, isn’t is?! They did a fantastic job and I’m very grateful for their help, because I doubt it would’ve gotten done otherwise!

I also got a really awesome surprise in the mail yesterday….

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Yep….it as a vitamix blender! Dreams DO come true! I am so excited, I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time.

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So expect to see lots of this happening:

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Tada! It’s like magic! Let the green smoothie mayhem begin!

So after all the grading stress last night, i woke up this morning not feeling so hot, but I had 12 miles on the schedule so I sucked it up and dragged my butt out of bed to get ready. Then I looked at the weather report and saw this:

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That’s when I decided to do an indoor run on the dread mill…yuck. So that decision led to this disaster:

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Yep…thats a big spider web crack in my iPad screen 😦 While I was running I had one of my normal clutz moments and my iPad slipped off the book holder, took a ride down the treadmill belt and then flew off the end, landing on the concrete floor screen side down. So sad. That’s what I get for running inside….sigh. So now I need to decide if I’m going to try to replace the screen or just get a mini instead. Definitely a first world problem.

On the upside I am sooooo excited for tonight! We are heading to an old theater in town to attend our annual viewing of white Christmas (the movie). And the theater always has dollar popcorn and drinks, plus they do a raffle, so it’s lots of fun!

Questions for you:

Do you own a vitamix? Any good recipes?

Have you ever broken a phone or tablet screen? What did you do?

Do you have any fun Christmas traditions?

I’m a wimp and eating soup out of a coffee mug

6 miles of sweaty sprint intervals @ 7:45 pace on the treadmill yesterday. Man I tell ya it’s so much harder to run fast when you are A) Still sick and B) Coming back from being off a week. Oh well, at least I got through it!
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Last night’s crockpot chicken tortilla soup turned into creamy chicken enchilada soup because, well, it just sounded good! And, that was pretty much the best decision ever. It was De-li-cious!!

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We have this weird thing at our house where we put soup in our giant coffee mugs, because, well, why not? Plus it’s much easier to hold and eat while watching Big Bang Theory (we bought the 5th and 6th seasons for super cheap at target on black friday!)

Today I was all set to run 4 miles outside, in fact I even convinced my husband to meet me after I was done teaching so we could run on the trail together. We made it about 1 mile before we (I) wimped out. Granted it was pretty cold today- about 20 degrees, but I think it was bothering me more because I STILL have a stupid cold and just wasn’t feelin it. So we drove our cold butts to the gym and I finished the rest of my run on the treadmill. Then I got to play trainer to my hubby and run him through an upper body and ab workout. I get far too much joy out of torturing people via exercise….

After our workout we came back home and I made us some Baked Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese.

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Another yummy yet healthy recipe in the books. I really liked this one. It was cheesy and gooey with a little kick. The picky hubby wasnt in love, but he’s very hard to please. Oh well that just means more for me!! He did, however, RAVE about the creamy chicken enchilada soup yesterday, so that’s something. 

Now it’s off to finish up some more CSCS chapters. I have to turn in the rest of them by tomorrow, and I still have 7 left, so I better get busy! My actual exam certification is December 20th so I still have some time to take a few practice tests before then. But after that I’m pretty much DONE for the semester!!! Woohoo!!! Then I’ll have a month off and way too much time on my hands, so who knows what I’ll do!! 

 

Questions for you:

How do you motivate yourself to get back into running after being sick?

I just remind myself it will be even worse the longer I put it off so I just suck it up and get it done!

Do you have any weird objects you eat food in? 

Mostly just the coffee cup thing, sometimes I”ll even eat my cereal out of it!

What’s the coldest temperature you will run in?

I’m thinking my cut off is going to be like 10 degrees, I just think I”m too much of a wimp to make it!!

 

Candy corn and rainbows and goose feathers, oh my!

Hello! I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving, but now it’s back to reality…so I decided Monday I would run, no matter what, because it had been a full week of sick and I was just over it. So of course my Monday ended up being hectic and by the time I was ready to run it was dark, cold and rainy. So that was awesome. I still managed to get my 5 miles in, but I won’t say it was easy. Oddly my legs felt good and I thought “huh that week off must’ve done me some good, I’m flying!” Oh contraire… I wasn’t flying…I was moving like a sloth. I hate those days.

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I will say I was VERY happy to have my awesome lululemon pull over made with down goose feathers, it kept me nice and warm the whole run without being too heavy.

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Plus, big bonus, it matches my beautiful new BLUE brooks glycerins! Yes…I did in fact get a second pair. Because these shoes are like running on baby goose feathers plucked from the softest goose ever who was fed only candy corn and rainbows. Or something like that.

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Aren’t they pretty??

So I am super proud of myself this week because I have done something amazing. I have cooked a REAL dinner every night. On top of that it’s been a healthy and TASTY dinner. Now in all actuality it’s absolutely ordinary and unremarkable that I’ve done this. Just not for me. For me it’s a big deal because I’ve been tired and busy and lazy lately and therefore have had no motivation to cook. But this week I have been a cooking maniac! So Monday night I made this awesome homemade chicken potpie using shredded chicken, greek yogurt for the “gravy” and phyllo dough for the crust, to keep it light and healthy! Man….was it good!!!

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Yes, I know you want to jump through the screen and eat it, but settle down now, you are welcome to come by and have some leftovers…o0h wait…it’s gone already 🙂

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Get. In. My. Belly.

So then last night I got really ambitious and made HOMEMADE whole wheat pizza crust from scratch.

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And then I used this pizza dough as a base for my Chicken Alfredo Pizza. What?! Yeah that’s right.

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Holy heaven in my mouth. This things was ridonculous. So so good. And get this, super healthy!!!

How you may ask? Well because, the alfredo sauce, it’s not REALLY alfredo. GASP. I know, crazy.

20131204-071220.jpgSo what IS this sauce made of then you ask? Well I thought about not telling you. And having you guess. But I’m too impatient to wait for your response, so I’ll just tell you. It’s made from CAULIFLOWER!

I know, I know. Your thinking, ew I don’t like cauliflower. It’s the red headed step child of broccoli. (Yes I did just go there). Anyway, you just need to trust me on this one people, it is SO good, and you can’t even tell it’s cauliflower. Mostly it just tastes like garlicy creamy goodness. Seriously, this sauce is awesome. If you want the recipe, you should visit this blog. She’s pretty awesome too, and that’s where I got the recipe for this pizza. It was definitely a hit.

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I’m already thinking about the left overs I will have for lunch today.

Tonight we will be having a chicken tortilla soup that is going to be cooking in the crockpot all day, meaning minimal work required for me. So that’s win, obviously! Also on the agenda today is a 6 mile tempo run. Fun times! I’m also starting to plan out what races I want to do next year, so once I have those solidified I’ll let you guys know the plan. In case you want to come along or something. That would be sweet. We could get matching outfits and bond and all that jazz.

Questions for you:

What do you all do when your legs are feeling like lead and not cooperating, do you push through and stick with your plan or slow down and do what you can?

I am stubborn so I try to push through and maintain the pace I originally planned on, even if it almost kills me!

What’s on your menu this week? Any fun healthy recipes?

Tomorrow is Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, then Friday is crockpot sweet and sour chicken!!

What’s your stance on cauliflower? Love it, hate it, refuse to even speak it’s name?

I used to not like it but i’m officially on the cauliflower bandwagon!!

Sicks giving week

Sorry I haven’t posted guys, I’ve been super sick all week. Great timing eh?

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This is pretty much all I did Monday-Wednesday, except for when I had to wake up at 3:30 am to go open the gym because I still had to work 😦 But anyway, since I’ve been so sick I’ve done Zero physical activity, so no running to report. I’ve also only been in the mood for soup and smoothies…

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oh and of course peppermint ice cream…which is one of my favorite things about winter!!

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So even though all I wanted to do was lay around feeling like death, it was thanksgiving week which means the hubby and I had some traveling to do and family to see! So Thursday we headed up to Chicago to see Chris’s family and enjoyed a nice thanksgiving dinner, then Thursday night we drove to Indiana to see my side of the family and plan out our black Friday shopping, because even though I was super sick you better believe I still black Friday shopped! Although we decided to boycott the idea of shopping ON thanksgiving and waited until Friday morning to go, which ended up being a really good idea. It wasn’t very busy at all and we still got the things we were looking for! My main purchase was one of these starbucks tumblers that gives you free grande espresso drinks every day for the whole month of January…say what?!

We spent the rest of our Friday hanging with the family and playing cards (which gets pretty intense in my family). Overall even though I was sick it was still a great sicksgiving thanksgiving!

Questions for you:

What’s your favorite part of thanksgiving?

Stuffing!! And copious amounts of pies and such…

Do you do the whole black Friday shopping thing?

Any unusual Thanksgiving family traditions?