Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Enough

Do you ever stop to think about what you want your relationship to be like when you are retired?   I saw the cutest couple the other morning walking together; in the middle of the early morning chaos of downtown Minneapolis.  There were people all around them racing past then on their way into work or racing to get to a meeting or maybe even just on their way to get coffee.  While I stood there watching them; they seemed oblivious to it all.  There they were in their own little world slowly walking hand-in-hand together.  They were adorable.  

All of my grandparents passed away when I was younger; the last not long after I met my husband.  She didn't live long enough to see me get married.  But, my husband is fortunate enough to have 3 of his grandparents still living.  His mom's parents are in their mid-80's; they spend most of the year living in Florida and they are very active and young at heart.  They still golf together a few times a week, they have a weekly coffee date, they go out or meet friends for dinners, and they ALWAYS have 5pm cocktail hour (one of my favorites!!!).  They have the type of relationship I aspire to have in retirement with my husband.

We were recently with them for a family weekend event.  My sister-in-law and I were talking with their grandpa.  I told him that I really admired his marriage and relationship; and that he and his wife are my role models for a successful marriage.  My sister-in-law told him the exact same thing.  She has recently just broken up with her boyfriend of 2+ years, because she compared her relationship to her grandparent's marriage/relationship and realized she didn't think she had the same thing with him.  She said she thought about it and decided that she could be "just happy enough" with her boyfriend - or keep looking for someone who made her completely happy all of the time.

I'm not sure that their is any relationship where you are non-stop happy; I mean relationships take effort and work.  But, I agree with not settling for just "happy enough".  I know that my relationship with my hubby is so much more than "happy enough" and we work hard at our marriage.  I absolutely know that I will spend the rest of my life with him.  I see us growing old together and having the type of relationship that his grandparent's have - and to be just like that older couple was I saw walking hand-in-hand together just enjoying spending time with each other; being so more more than "happy enough".


Grandparents with my kiddos

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Day Late

I wanted to post this yesterday, but I ran out of time......so here it is today, a day late.  Sorry!

I was super motivated today....it is Monday after all, the new beginning of each work week, when I typically start over fresh.  I got all of my stuff ready for the gym last night and set my alarm for the dreaded 4:35am and went to bed.  I jumped up (ok, not really) but I did get UP when my alarm went off instead of hitting snooze and going back to bed.  I grabbed my gym bag, work bag, water bottles and my hard boiled egg and headed out the door.  I got into my car, drove to the gym, walked in and went to the locker room......started to put my things away and realized - CRAP!!!!  I forgot my dress for work.  Seriously, how did I do that?  It was on my stair railing, right next to my gym bag.  Dang!  I had a decision.  Do I stay to workout and then go back home and get ready for work OR do I go back home and workout there.  Since I had a meeting at 8am, I figured it would be better to go back home and workout/get ready there.  I got back into my car, drove home.  Then I did interval running in the heat (80 degrees at 5am) and the dark in my cul-de-sac street for about 15 minutes (it was a little freaky to be out there in the super quiet dark by myself) and then I went in and did Ripped in 30-Week 2.   

I, like most of us, have a Love/Hate relationship with Jillian.  I do hate her while I'm doing the workout....but I always feel better when I'm done.


So, the plus side of this story, is that I managed to workout this morning, regardless of forgetting my clothes at home......and I'm planning to hit the gym every morning the rest of this week and then trying to add in some Ripped in 30 sessions at home in the evenings.  

Here's to Happy Motivation Monday Link-up with Wendy, at Daily Dose of Del Signore!!



Daily Dose of Del Signore

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cauliflower Biscuits

When I decided to go low/slow carb, that meant cutting out bread, bisquits and just about all things of that nature.....and I won't lie, I've missed them.  I have a new appreciation for my future sister-in-law who has Celiac Disease and cannot eat wheat.  Needless to say, I've been on a quest to find a replacement.  Enter these yummy little "biscuits" made with cauliflower.

These were so delicious and I don't really even miss regular ones (ok, maybe with some extra butter slathered on them I would miss flour biscuits) but these are really good!  I stumbled upon this recipe, found here and then modified it slightly.  Enjoy!


Cauliflower Biscuits
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, rinsed
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup bacon (minced or real bits)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 12-count muffin tin.
  • Cut up cauliflower and onion and then use a food processor to chop/shred
  • Spray a saute pan with a little olive oil and saute your cauliflower and onion for about 5 minutes until the moisture is removed.
  • Use your food processor or other small blender to grind the almonds
  • In a bowl mix together the eggs and cheese, then add almonds, bacon and the cauliflower/onion mixture.
  • Spoon into a muffin tin (I used an ice cream scoop to make sure they were all the same size)
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, let cool before removing from the muffin tin.  Run a knife along the edge to easily remove from the tin.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday, Friday, Friday

Happy Friday!!!!!  I'm beyond excited that it is HOT here again (I know, I know it's a little crazy) but I love the heat----I'm not sure why I live in Minnesota.  Oh yeah, because I also love all 4 seasons, watching the seasons change and while I'm not a HUGE fan of COLD (I mean, really cold like negative-below zero cold) I absolutely love it after it snows here and everything is covered in white lovely snowflakes.  AND, for the record, I'm not ready for snow yet - it can stay nice and hot and then pleasantly warm for a good long while, say like until December!

Anyway - I also love the Minnesota State Fair!  So this week's edition of 5 of Friday brings me to my love of people watching and eating (hello, cheat day!) many, many deep fried foods (and some foods on a stick).  


ONE:
Cheese Curds.  This is ALWAYS our first stop at the fair! 

TWO:
French Fries

THREE:
Sweet Martha's Cookies


FOUR:
Mini Donuts - I MUST have these.  This is my favorite food at the fair.  I'm a simple girl.  Deep fried donuts in sugar.  Yes, please!


FIVE:
New food ---- this is always an interesting one for the fair - and besides people watching another reason to go to the fair.  Try out some new foods!  This year, I haven't really decided which new food to try --- there are too many good options.  So here are a couple I'm leaning toward:   Bacon Wrapped Shrimp on a stick notice above, most of our top food choices aren't really 'on a stick' weird.  But, this would only be for me since my hubby & kids don't like shrimp.  


OR:  Candied Bacon Cannoli.  Um, what?  Do you see a bacon theme?  


So, now that I'm super hungry from all of these amazing photos.....it's time to get some work done, so I can leave early and head to the Great Minnesota Get Together!  

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

So What Wednesday

I love this link-up with Shannon at Life After I Dew, because it gives me the chance to just say So What to anything and really not feel bad about it!  

So What Wednesday
So What
  • If I planned on running when I got home yesterday, but instead sat down on the couch to read.  Which leads me to the next one......
  • I'm completely obsessed with finishing the 2nd book in the Divergent series --- Insurgent.  I got up this morning and while my Keurig was brewing my cup of coffee I decided to read another chapter.


  • If I didn't drink nearly enough water yesterday.....I still weighed less on the scale this morning- YAY!
  • If I let my girls have a movie night last night with their little friends until 9:15pm; which may have led to a MUCH more difficult time for my hubby to get them up this morning.  
  • I'm very excited that it is back to being 90+ degrees outside (not that the 70's weren't nice, but it is SUMMER for crying out loud we need SUN & HEAT to really enjoy the water park season passes we paid for-bring on the heat this weekend!!!)
  • If I am obsessed with Suits and I cannot wait for Scandal to start again!  I love my DVR!



Happy Wednesday!!!



Monday, August 19, 2013

It's Monday

It is less than 20 days until my hubby and I leave for a long-weekend in Las Vegas, so it is time for that extra PUSH!  I did NOT meet my weekly goal plan last week.  I'm feeling a bit guilty about that....but it is a new week - no time to dwell, but to look forward to what I can accomplish this week!!!!

Link up time with the Motivation Monday Women!!

Daily Dose of Del Signore

Since I'm less than 30-days from Vegas......I'm thinking about doing a 9-day cleanse.  Although I do sometimes struggle with the 2 back-to-back cleanse days, but I ALWAYS feel amazing when that 9-days is over.....so, I'm thinking I may jump-start again.  I had some really great success last year when I've finished my 9-day cleanse - and it is ONLY 9 days, I can do ANYTHING for 9-days, right?  If you are interested....here is some additional informatino on the 9-day cleanse I use:  Isagenix 9-Day.  

And, just to finish off with some bonfire fun photos (from Friday since I was down for the count with a migraine on Saturday-sad!).


Here's to a great week!!!




Friday, August 16, 2013

The Weekend is Here ~ Five on Friday

Happy Friday!!!!  Today I'm off work because my family is headed "up north" about 3 hours to spend the weekend with my hubby's family.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful so I cannot wait for some fun, relaxing and bonfire Smores!  Here is my Friday Link-up with The Good Life Blog.




ONE:
I'm trying to figure out how to get my hair cut --- hopefully next week.  Here are my latest choices:


TWO:
I didn't lose any weight this week, but I did maintain --- and was a workout fail.  I only managed to workout on Mon, Tues and Wed.  Nothing yesterday and probably not today since we are trying to leave this morning.  This is the interval running workout I'm going to TRY to do this weekend.



THREE:
I still have to run to the store this morning before we leave for some "healthy" car ride snacks for me - and some candy, etc. for my kiddos.  I'm not sure what it is about long car rides, but I must have snacks!!!!  This Cucumber Salsa would be messy for the car, but may need to be made for the weekend:



FOUR:
And, there may be some Reese Peanut Butter cups to be purchased for some amazing PB Smores to be made at this weekend's bonfire.


FIVE
I did not turn off my alarm last night, so it was blaring at 4:30am, which is probably a good thing, really since I didn't clean my house last night....and I HATE leaving for a few days only to return to a MESSY house!  Let the cleaning marathon begin! 

Happy Friday & Weekend!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

So What Wednesday - Link Up

So What Wednesday
Today is another link up for me this week.....I'm on a roll, this is my 2nd one in a week.  I'm linking up with Shannon over at Life After I "Dew" for So What Wednesday.  
So What If......
  • I am getting blisters from my new shoes..........they are WAY too cute not to keep wearing and suffer in pain silently.  I love my NEW Sassy SHOES!!



  • I slept in this morning, instead of getting up and working out........it really just means I have to do it later instead.  
  • And then, I decided to watch part of Suits this morning before my shower, so my hair is in a ponytail for work.  It is seriously my fave show right now - and I was too tired to watch it last night.



  • I'm so not ready for summer to be over - and I'm REALLY hoping for some 90-degree days.....we haven't had one forever, and while it has been nice, I want a few more HOT days!!!!!
  • I just added more chicken, salsa and black beans to my pre-made salad; I brought the rest from home and was too lazy (and my blisters do really hurt) to walk over to our big cafe with a salad bar to make a simple salad.
Happy Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Skinny Cupcakes

Slow Carb - Cheat Day.  HMMMMM, what to eat on my cheat day.  I can eat pretty much anything on that day - but since I don't eat dessert (aside from sugar-free jell-o) any of the other 6 days --- I wanted to make a dessert.  I'm still trying to eat pretty well; even on my cheat days.....so I began a search on pinterest to find some skinny versions of treats and desserts.

Enter Skinny Cupcakes.  I stumbled across this recipe for Skinny Cookies n' Cream Cupcakes and decided to use it as my starting point.  My recipe was modified slightly.


Skinny Cupcakes:
(makes 12 regular and 24 mini-cupcakes 
OR 24 regular cupcakes )

Ingredients:
1 pkg. Triple Chocolate fudge cake mix (or any kind of chocolate cake mix
1 (12 ounce) can Diet Coke
1 (8 ounce) container Lite Cool Whip
1 Small pkg. Instant Pudding and Pie Filling (like Jell-O, any flavor you want)
1/4 cup of milk (I used skim)

Cupcake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake tins with paper liners.  (I used a 12-count cupcake tin and a 24-count mini cupcake tin).  In a large bowl whisk out the lumps of the cake mix (ONLY).  Slowly pour in the Diet Coke and mix together while adding the Diet Coke to the mix.  Continue to mix until the batter is smooth without any lumps.  

Using a small ice cream scoop (I use a small pampered chef small scoop) and fill the cupcake wrapper up about 1/4 of the way.  I used 2-3 scoops for the 12-count tin and just 1 scoop for the 24 mini cups.

Bake at 350 degrees for 19-20 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting. 
 
Frosting Directions:
Add pudding to a mixing bowl and add in 1/4 cup of milk.  Stir together until well mixed.  Add in about 1/2 of the container of Cool Whip and mix together until combined well.  Spread over cooled cupcakes.  

I added a few mini-chocolate chips and some other sprinkles to the tops of the cupcakes for my girls.

Notes:
  • 96 calories per large cupcake/48 calories per mini-cupcake
  • I used room-temperature diet coke 
  • I stored these in the refrigerator once frosted - since I used milk & Cool Whip for the frosting 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Motivation & Weekly Goals ~ It's Monday

Time to jump back on that train - MOTIVATION & GOALS!!!  Today it is a 2-for-1; double duty link-up.  First, I'm linking up with Wendy from Daily Does of Del Signore & Tiffany from The Fit Train and then my double up is to set some goals for the week...so I'm linking up with Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans.

Daily Dose of Del Signore

I'll start by saying that I had EVERY intention of getting up and working out this morning.....but (insert terrible excuse here) I stayed up until 11pm last night.  I am typically in bed by about 10pm....so when my alarm went off at 5:15am I was having NONE of it.  I went back to sleep until 6:15 instead.  I WILL workout after work though (with or without my sister-accountability partner).

Last night the girls and I were playing some driveway chalk hopscotch when I may challenged them to a race around the house.  My 7-year old was totally in for the race!!!  I decided that I should let her have a little head start and then we were off.  I went around our swing set but, she cut in front of it instead, so that little stinker REALLY beat me.  I may have yelled "Cheater!" because I couldn't believe it.  I mean, I was going to let her win; but with her headstart and shortcut she actually beat me anyway.  I won't live that one down from my hubby for awhile.  I guess that means it's time to start kicking up my interval training a bit faster on the treadmill.  Yikes!  I can't really let my 7-year old beat me?? Right?!?!?!


Operation Skinny Jeans

1.  WORKOUT-5 times this week.  I likely will NOT work out on Saturday or Sunday since we will be up north for a family reunion - so that means Mon-Fri workout time!

2.  WATER.  I did not come anywhere close to drinking enough water over the weekend.  So, I will try to drink at least 64 ounces each day this week - and to have at least 32oz before lunch each day (Monday- check, 32oz down by 10am!). 

3.  RUN.  Run at least 2 times this week (in the 5-day workout plan).  My 5k is coming up in about 6 weeks; so I need to get my act together if I'm really going to run the entire thing.

Have a great week!!!!!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Five on Friday

Today is a link-up post for me.  This is only the 2nd time I've done a link up, but I like the idea about the 5 on Friday - just to blog about any 5 things.  Ready, set, GO!


ONE:
My team at work had an amazing breakfast out meeting today.  Now, typically our monthly Friday breakfast consists of our team meeting and going to our cafe.  But, today, we changed it up and actually went out to a great breakfast place by our offices.  YUM.  I love breakfast out, although that did mean that I didn't stop for my Friday Starbucks Latte.  I'll have to go get it tomorrow instead.  Breakfast was delicious, but I missed my latte treat!!


TWO:
I lost 2 pounds this week.  That brings my total now to 6lbs since starting my "slow carb" diet changes on July 21st.  I'm just wrapping up week #3.  I'm hoping to drop at least 10 more pounds by my Vegas trip in Sept.  It hasn't been as difficult as I thought it might be......the hardest part for me is at night after my kids go to bed, when my hubby usually busts out the ice cream.  It has been tough not having a treat with him; but I've still managed to do pretty well.

THREE:
I finally worked out again yesterday.  I went to the gym on Monday so I thought I was going to be motivated to go all week.........but then life, work and a migraine got in the way.  I should have worked out this morning before work/giant breakfast.....but I didn't set my alarm (or get my gym bag ready last night).  My hubby was supposed to have softball bating practice tonight - but that was canceled, so I will either run or go to the gym tonight.  Yesterday I did Day #22 of the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge it was a good strength training circuit.  I'll be repeating that tomorrow (and Sunday).

FOUR:
Next weekend we are headed "up north" to Park Rapids, MN for a family reunion with my hubby's family.  I'm hoping that the weather is sunny and warm enough that the girls can play around outside and actually go swimming in the lake (although, I'm sure the lake is still cold).  We are staying at one of the hotels in Park Rapids, and my girls are really excited to sleep on the "magic" couch.  It is a hide-a-bed couch; which they thought was the coolest thing ever last year.  It should be a pretty fun weekend; I'm not looking forward to the 3-hour car ride.....but at least my hubby will drive instead of me.  I'll be sitting back reading something on my Kindle.  These are the latest books I've read (am finishing Revenge Wears Prada).  I may end up getting the next book in the Divergent series......


















Any suggestions for the next good book to read????

FIVE:
I have no real "weekend" plans.  I'm actually pretty excited about that.  My hubby is in a softball tournament and plays in 2 games on Saturday.  I will likely bring my girls to the first game at 10am.....but after that I'm hoping that the weather cooperates and we can spend some time outside playing and enjoying the wonderful weather!!!!


Have a great weekend!!!



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blog Slacking

I haven't been a good blogger in over the past week.  Do you ever feel like you are in a slump?  Or just too busy to sit down and write?  I'm not sure what is going on with me ---- but I've been pretty busy at home, at work and in life so while I've been keeping up reading my favorite blogs, I haven't been writing.

I'm pretty sure that part of it is that I'm in denial that it is already August ----- and in just a few short weeks the summer is going to be over.   :-( 

I think I need to come up with a game plan for the rest of the month to make sure that I don't give up on my blogging.  We have a lot going on the rest of this month, so I will likely be doing a few link-ups this month to keep things going too.  These are the ones I've been reading and hoping around to other blogs --- I'm planning to link up for at least these 2 next week:

Monday ---- Motivation Monday Team (I'm hoping this one will set me up for the week)
Wednesday ---- Skinny Meg's WOW - Workout Wednesday

I'll also be on the lookout for some additional link-ups next week.  I wanted to find a weigh-in link up but so far the only one I can find is on Wednesday, and while I weigh myself every day - I typically like to post my weigh in results on Friday's - so I have most of the week under my belt, before the weekend (and my cheat day - which is typically Saturday or Sunday).

And, just for fun - since I've been told you should always have a picture on your blog.....here is a picture from last week before going out on date night with my hubby.  It's been awhile since I've felt comfortable wearing the shirt here.  Finally, I didn't feel like all of my stomach was being exposed.  I've lost 5lbs on my slow-carb diet.  I know most of that so far is the water weight --- but I think part of it is also helping me not look or feel so bloated.


Happy Thursday!