Archive | January, 2015

Trade It Up Tuesday: Snow Day

27 Jan

Happy Snow Day everyone! I’m currently snowed in here and I am obviously loving it. It has been so nice to just relax and watch Netflix and do absolutely nothing which I know sounds completely lazy but I swear I have been at least minimally productive with cleaning and working out and such.

Yes. So much yes.

Yes. So much yes.

The view outside of my apartment this morning

The view outside of my apartment this morning

I would not trade… the TWO snow days in the past few days. I was supposed to work on Saturday (my last day in my previous position) and lucky for me, work was closed due to the snow. I started my new job yesterday and I think it is going to be the perfect fit for me. I am SO excited. Since we had just started and there wasn’t much for us to do, our new boss sent myself and my fellow trainee home at noon to beat the storm. We are also closed today due to Blizzard Juno/Colbie which is great because it gives me bonus time to study for the exam that I have to take for the new job.

I would not trade… how I spent each of the snow days/nights. I will be honest in that I spent most of Saturday morning/afternoon catching up on sleep. Jenna came over to hang out for the evening while Dan and Robbie went to plow and we ate Chinese food and watched a movie and drank ALL the wine (oh 90+ Cellars, how I love you). After the movie, we both had a serious craving for dessert so obviously we braved the storm to walk to Plan B (in our sweatpants, don’t judge) for some fabulous drinks and dessert.

I will admit that this wasn't the best choice to go along with a sweet dessert

I will admit that this wasn’t the best choice to go along with a sweet dessert

"The B Cup".. basically a chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse.. it was superb

“The B Cup”.. basically a chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse.. it was superb

Jenna's apple bourbon cheesecake which was heaven in a mason jar

Jenna’s apple bourbon cheesecake which was heaven in a mason jar

Last night's view of Priam wine and Netflix... perfection

Last night’s view of Priam wine and Netflix… perfection

I would trade… the lack of exercise this weekend given the copious amounts of free time that I had. I feel like I spent an absurd amount of time stuffing my face (Chinese food, pizza, dessert) and drinking wine which made me feel very guilty about the fact that I didn’t work out at all. I did have a lot of fun and I got right back on the workout train last night with a tough Jillian Michaels video so I’m trying not to let the guilt get to me.

This pizza from Harry's and the 90+ Cellars wine was an amazing start to the weekend but was not guilt-free by any means

This pizza from Harry’s and the 90+ Cellars wine was an amazing start to the weekend but was not guilt-free by any means

I would not trade… a spontaneous Sunday night spent at Kate and Jason’s apartment. They texted us that evening to invite us over and since we had dinner cooking in the crockpot and our Sunday chores were done, we headed right over there. Jason made us delicious cocktails and we watched the SAG awards while enjoying some snacks. We ended up bringing over the Crockpot Lasagna soup that we had made to share with everyone which was a great idea since we would have ended up with an absurd amount of leftovers that would never have been eaten. The soup was amazing and perfect for a cozy night in between snow storms with friends.

I have no idea what was in that drink but man was it tasty :)

I have no idea what was in that drink but man was it tasty 🙂

As you can see, life is pretty wonderful right now and there aren’t many things that I would trade. I wish it was always like that but I’m going to enjoy all of the great things that are happening and hope that life continues to work in my favor 🙂

Is there anything that you would/wouldn’t trade right now?

How do you like to spend your snow days?

Advertisements

What I’ve Been Eating Lately

23 Jan

Happy Friday! I know I have seriously been lacking in the posting department lately, particularly regarding the meals I have been eating. I especially realized this today when I was going through some pictures on my phone trying to find things to delete to free up some space (ugh) and I found all of these wonderful meals that I have enjoyed lately and I figured I would just share them with you in a big photo (and word) dump.

Who else feels me on this?

Who else feels me on this?

Monday’s dinner:

We did a quick Whole Foods run and picked up some Brussels and some of their buffalo chicken salad (thank you Cait for helping me to discover this gem!) and we tossed that together with some of our favorite new buffalo sauce and some fabulous slab bacon from Bogners. The result was nothing short of amazing and I see this as a frequent dinner for us.

It doesn't look pretty but the taste was out of this world

It doesn’t look pretty but the taste was out of this world

Tuesday’s breakfast & snack:

Since it was my last Tuesday off, I decided to make a big yummy breakfast. I scrambled three farm fresh eggs that Dan’s sister gave to us with some spinach, cheese, and then topped off with avocado and salsa. It definitely hit the spot after a tough workout. Obviously I was hungry about an hour later so I toasted an Eggo’s blueberry waffle and topped it with some peanut butter, raspberry spread, and banana slices. I could eat the peanut butter/banana combo every single day, I swear.

Seriously the best eggs I have ever had

Seriously the best eggs I have ever had

Peanut butter on EVERYTHING (sorry Brian and Robbie ;) )

Peanut butter on EVERYTHING (sorry Brian and Robbie 😉 )

Tuesday’s dinner:

We were supposed to eat dinner at home but after some indoor rock-climbing (my first time and I loved it!), I was too tired to cook and was eager to take advantage of CT Restaurant Week’s Taste of Hartford. So myself, Dan, Robbie, Jenna, Kevin and Andrew all decided to go to the Chowder Pot in Hartford and basically had a fabulous four course meal for $20.15. It was wonderful and I left satisfied but not too full.

I hadn't had lobster bisque in forever, so worth it!

I hadn’t had lobster bisque in forever, so worth it!

That garlic dressing was amazing. I dipped my fork in before each bite as not to overpower the veggies with the garlic.

That garlic dressing was amazing. I dipped my fork in before each bite as not to overpower the veggies with the garlic.

This was perfection. I only ate about half and let Dan take the leftovers for lunch. I also took the baked potato for lunch.

This was perfection. I only ate about half and let Dan take the leftovers for lunch. I also took the baked potato for lunch.

I didn't eat all of my entrée because I knew that this beauty would be coming my way.

I didn’t eat all of my entrée because I knew that this beauty would be coming my way.

Wednesday’s dinner:

Since we didn’t eat dinner at home on Tuesday, that planned dinner was pushed to Wednesday. We had Trader Joe’s turkey burgers topped with cheese, a fried egg, and avocado. I had been craving this meal for such a long time and it definitely hit the spot.

I promise the egg is there hiding under that cheese ;)

I promise the egg is there hiding under that cheese 😉

Thursday’s dinner:

We usually grab a quick dinner out on Thursdays since we use that night to run a lot of errands so we decided on Hot Table for dinner. It’s a panini restaurant kind of like Subway where you can make your own or choose from the options they have on the menu. It was Dan’s first time there and he loved it. We both had the Southwest Chicken panini and it was amazing.

I want another one of these right nowww

I want another one of these right nowww

Whew, that was quite a lot of food and now I’m starving! Today is my last day with my whole team (I’m working tomorrow) in my current job and although I’m sad to leave such great people (and the BEST manager), I am very excited to learn something new! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Have you had any great meals lately?

Are there any nights of the week where you usually plan on going out to eat/getting take out?

Workout Wednesday: My Favorite Workout Videos

21 Jan

Happy Wednesday! These past few days have been crazy since I am starting my new job on Monday (a week early!) and the wedding planning has been very hectic. For a while now, I have been wanting to share some of my favorite workout videos. I know a while ago I shared a post about my five favorite workouts overall but lately due to time constraints, I have found myself relying quite a bit on workout videos at home. Also, the recent frigid weather has made it nearly impossible to get up in the morning and drive to the gym. Surprisingly enough, I have been able to find at least a small amount of time each day to get in a workout but I justify it by including it as part of the “wedding planning” (LOL).

1. Jillian Michael’s Kickboxing Fastfix

jillian michaels kickbox

I absolutely loveee this video and it honestly is probably my favorite ever. It combines a good variation of cardio kickboxing with strength training. It is divided into three 20 minute workouts, with each one focusing on a different area of the body (upper body, lower body, abs) and you can either do just one, two, or all three. To be completely honest I usually do the upper body segment (my favorite one) followed by ten minutes of my own ab work since I usually don’t have a full forty minutes set aside for exercise each day.

2. Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 for Xbox Kinect

This “game” is filled with so many different types of workouts that there is literally something for everyone. It has cardio aerobics, dancing, kickboxing, yoga, etc. The only reason that I don’t use this for my workouts as much as before is because the sensor on my Xbox Kinect seems to interfere with the sensor on my Polar Fitness watch. You obviously need to own a Kinect to use this as a workout tool but if you do, I definitely recommend it, if only just for the variety it provides.

3. Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred

30 day shred

As you can tell, I am a big supporter of Jillian Michael’s videos. The main reason being the fact that she gives a full body workout in a matter of twenty minutes. This video is no exception and I love how exhausted and sweaty I am by the end of this video. There are three different levels and although I have only done level one, I plan on starting level two this week and if level one is any indication, it will probably leave me dead-tired. This video uses three different circuits which have 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. I absolutely love this set up and I wish all of her videos were like this.

4. Insanity Pure Cardio

I will fully admit that I have to be feeling reallllly good to pop this DVD in because it is very difficult. It is my favorite Insanity video because there is no repetition but it also means that there are no breaks. This makes it another video which can be completed in just under 30 minutes which is perfect for when I have very little time. The rest of the Insanity videos take at least 45-60 minutes to complete and I don’t usually have time for that. There isn’t really much to explain about this one except for the fact that it really is pure cardio, including things like burpees, jump squats, high knees, etc.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and I recommend any of these videos for a great at-home workout.

What are your favorite workout videos?

Do you prefer working out at home or at a gym?

Marvelous Monday: Wedding Planning

12 Jan

Is it really Monday already? Again? I can’t say I’m happy about that but this weekend was very productive overall so I’m grateful for that. The entirety of the weekend certainly revolved around a lot of wedding stuff and it is crazy to think that the wedding is in less than nine months! Alrighty, lets get on to ALL of the marvelous.

Link it up!

Link it up!

Marvelous is… having our wedding food tasting on Saturday and starting our wedding registry yesterday. I didn’t take any pictures at the tasting (I was a tad bit overwhelmed) but the food was AMAZING and it just cements the fact that I believe we chose the perfect venue for us. We had a great afternoon with Dan’s parents and my parents and a lot of the little details are starting to come together. We started our registry on Sunday at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it was SO much fun to be able to walk around with the scanner and pick out all kinds of awesome things that we will definitely need.

AMEN to that

AMEN to that

Marvelous is… spending Saturday evening at a surprise 50th birthday party for Alex’s mom. We were so happy to be able to celebrate as I feel like Alex’s mom Heidi is like a second mom to me. She is so much fun and I know she had a great time at her party.

Cheeeeese.

Cheeeeese.

Heidi had a little cameo appearance with the band :)

Heidi had a little cameo appearance with the band 🙂

Marvelous is… a fabulously relaxing Sunday evening at home enjoying homemade pizza and watching the Golden Globes. Last Tuesday, we made a trip over to Trader Joe’s and I purchased some of their garlic and herb pizza dough as well as their pizza sauce. We topped the pizza with oodles of cheese and some turkey pepperoni. The dough had so much flavor and it was such an easy and tasty meal, perfect for a Sunday dinner. We both love to watch award shows so this time of year makes an easy excuse to do absolutely nothing on Sunday nights. I thought the Golden Globes were excellent this year and there were certainly a lot of laughs.

A life without pizza isn't real life.

A life without pizza isn’t real life.

I am completely obsessed with these two. John and Common's speech was my favorite of the night.

I am completely obsessed with these two. John and Common’s speech was my favorite of the night.

This post was short but those were the main highlights of the weekend. I’m hoping this week flies by and I hope you guys have a great week!

Lucky

7 Jan

Happy 2015! So instead of doing a post on my resolutions for this year, I decided to reflect on the things that I feel especially lucky for having, particularly since I have been feeling very blessed lately. I don’t usually make resolutions because I like to try to focus on bettering myself as a whole, not just certain aspects of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I have so much respect for those who are able to make a resolution (losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.) and stick to it, but I would rather just work on being better overall.

Sounds good to me!

Sounds good to me!

I am lucky… that I am marrying the most wonderful man in the world this year. I can’t say enough how great Dan is and although it’s easy to take him for granted sometimes, I have been reflecting quite a bit lately on just how wonderful he is. This past Sunday, I went out to run a wedding errand with Alex and Carlee, and I came home to a surprise party congratulating me on my new job (more on that later). A ton of our friends were over and everyone contributed food and drinks and it was wonderful. It was so special to be able to celebrate this accomplishment with the people I love and it was even more wonderful that Dan was able to put the whole thing together.

Seriously the cutest ever

Seriously the cutest ever

No words for this.

No words for this.

I am lucky… to have the best friends and family that a person could ever ask for. I have been able to spend a lot of time with my friends lately and it has been so great. There is nothing more important in life than surrounding yourself with good people and I am incredibly blessed to have been able to do that.

Some New Year's Eve fun

Some New Year’s Eve fun

Love these ladies :)

Love these ladies 🙂

A fabulous drink enjoyed at Kate and Jason's apartment on Sunday night.. love spending time with them!

A fabulous drink enjoyed at Kate and Jason’s apartment on Sunday night.. love spending time with them!

I am lucky… to have a body which is healthy and forgives me when I indulge during the holidays. Prior to this holiday season, I had been doing a pretty good job of exercising at least four times a week and watching what I ate but the holidays came and led to very little time for exercise and some unhealthy food choices. I feel blessed that I am able to hop right back on the exercise train with no issues and I am already seeing positive changes.

Today's healthy breakfast: egg sandwich on a sandwich thin with avocado and salsa

Today’s healthy breakfast: egg sandwich on a sandwich thin with avocado and salsa

I am lucky… to be able to enjoy such fabulous meals at great local restaurants as often as I can. I have definitely appreciated local businesses much more in 2014 than I have in the past and for that I am thankful. I love supporting local restaurants and trying all different kinds of food. In fact, Dan and I had a date night last night at Barcelona in West Hartford (one of my faves) and we enjoyed so many amazing tapas such as crispy pigs head and some of the best Brussels sprouts ever.

Every restaurant should have wine flights!

Every restaurant should have wine flights!

YUMMMMM

YUMMMMM

Crispy pigs head, such perfection

Crispy pigs head, such perfection

My first time having crepes, not sure how I lived without them. SO DELICIOUS

My first time having crepes, not sure how I lived without them. SO DELICIOUS

I am lucky… that I will be starting a new job in February. I will be with the same company but will be taking on a different role in a different department. I am looking forward to the challenge and to be able to learn something new. One of the biggest upsides of this new job is that I will have much better hours and no more Saturdays!

I hope you guys have enjoyed my reflections and I hope you can reflect on some things that make you feel lucky.