Tag Archives: jillian michaels

Five Things Friday: The Week in Review

4 Dec

Happy Friday, once again! I found that some parts of this week went by super slow, while other days were over before I knew it. I’m trying to enjoy every single moment of this holiday season as it is my favorite time of year, and I think everyone can agree it always goes by way too fast. I figured I would use my five things today to provide a little recap of my week.


Due to a lot of cleaning, meal-prepping, and just prepping for the week in general, I started off the week feeling very on top of everything and totally ready. I came home from work, completed a new-to-me video, Jillian Michael’s Killer Arms and Back, and had a delicious dinner with the hubby. On a side note, I will say that I absolutely loved this new video from Jillian and I highly recommend it, not just to work out the arms and back because it definitely provided a full body work out (aka I was sore as heck the next day). Our dinner consisted of a power bowl including apple chicken sausage, brussels, and brown rice, all drizzled with some Frank’s sweet chili sauce. SO good!

Power bowl


Still feeling quite on top of things for the week, I came home from work and completed Jillian’s Killer Abs video which I also love (weird, I know). Dan had a fire department meeting so he prepared these delicious eggplant pizzas from Kalyn’s Kitchen. It was our first time cooking with eggplant and we definitely enjoyed it! I have already pinned a bunch more eggplant related recipes. I also enjoyed a green smoothie made with spinach, frozen peaches, raspberries, and blackberries which was delicious. I spent the rest of the evening in front of our Christmas tree watching Real Housewives and catching up on some blog reading.

eggplant pizzas

green smoothie


Randomly on Wednesday morning, I decided it was time to beef up my Spotify Christmas playlist that I had made last year. I added about forty more songs that I love and spent the entire day at work listening. Can you say Christmas obsessed? I think so. For dinner we had a good ol’ standby of chicken & avocado quesadillas made with our favorite quesadilla maker (thanks Mom and Dad!) after I completed level two of Jillian’s 30 Day Shred. I will say that I was not feeling so hot as I had a major headache but I somehow powered through that workout and felt better because of it.



I had all intentions of coming home from work, having a salad from Subway and getting some things done around the apartment. I did have that salad from Subway and it was so delicious! However, earlier that afternoon I had received a text from Natasha to attend Wethersfield’s tree lighting/holiday kickoff so I ended up meeting up with her, Alex, Alexandra and her sisters and did a little shopping and walking around there. We ended the evening with dinner for them/a bowl of chili and glass of wine for me at Birch Hill Tavern. I’m so glad I ended up going out!

subway salad

birch hill chili


I’m working from home today and I woke up early to tackle a chilly two mile walk around town, ending with a skinny peppermint mocha from Starbucks. After work, I am hoping to grab some grinders from Nardelli’s for dinner and relax in front of the tree with a Christmas movie before we head out with our friends.

morning walk

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend doing all kinds of festive things!



Things I’m Loving Lately # 3

22 Apr

Happy Wednesday guys! I have been feeling under the weather lately with a pretty nasty cough so I wasn’t up for much more than laying on the couch. I’m feeling a little bit better today and wanted to share a few things that I have been really loving as of late.

  • Time spent with delightful friends (paired with some wine and the shining sun)

This past Saturday we had plans with Brian and Natasha to visit Cassidy Hill Vineyard. We all did a wine tasting and then bought a couple of bottles to enjoy outside in the most beautiful weather that we have had yet this year. We also brought a large assortment of appetizers ranging from several different types of cheeses to Natasha’s caprese salad and melon wrapped in prosciutto (freaking amazing). It was a relaxing and fun day that was much needed.

We made a pretty good dent in it too!

We made a pretty good dent in it too! Photo credit: Natasha 🙂

Selfies while wine tasting are a must

Selfies while wine tasting are a must Photo Credit: Natasha

They have SO many good wines

They have SO many good wines

I bought these on a complete whim while grocery shopping this past Sunday. I finally had one for dessert last night and it was surprisingly delicious. I didn’t expect that a candy bar which was only 130 calories would be so tasty but it was very yummy. It also did not give me that heavy feeling that eating a regular candy bar usually does, as the truffle filling was very light, almost like a mousse.

Because what is life without chocolate?

Because what is life without chocolate?

This video is another winner! I bought a couple more of her videos on Amazon last week and this was the first one that I tried. It was similar to the 30 Day Shred in that it involved the 3-2-1 system (3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs) and it didn’t take up a lot of my time. It was a great workout and will definitely come in handy now that softball season is starting and I won’t have as much time to devote to exercise.



  • Spring and summer clothes

I have been going crazy lately buying all kinds of new clothes for spring and summer. Looking ahead, I know that I’m going to need a ton of cute tops and dresses for the fun activities I have planned for the summer (particularly all of the wedding-related things). I picked up this dress from Old Navy in three different colors/prints since it was on sale for $12 on Saturday (and I had a gift card), as well as this cute jean jacket, this top, and also this top.  I have also been getting a lot of very inexpensive tops from Consignment Originals, which is where my girl Jenna works 🙂

Natasha and I modeling our matching jean jackets and ice cream (duh)

Natasha and I modeling our matching jean jackets and ice cream (duh)

Well that was a nice little mix of food, fitness, and fashion which doesn’t happen too often with my posts! Have a great day!

Trade It Up Tuesday: Stressed

24 Mar

Happy Tuesday guys! I can’t believe it has been over a week since I last posted but things have been nuts and I never had time to just sit down and write. But I’m back today and hoping to post at least twice this week. Here are a few things I would/wouldn’t trade about life lately:

I would not trade… fitting in as much relaxation time this past weekend as possible. We have been absurdly busy and I have been stressing quite a bit. I carved out a little chunk of time on Saturday to get a much needed pedicure with Alex and boy was it wonderful. We chatted and I got to just sit back and relax for what felt like the first time in forever. I continued that relaxation on Sunday when myself and Dan took a trip to Arrigoni winery with our wonderful friends Cheyne, Miko, and Robbie. We did a wine tasting and then enjoyed some wine and snacks at the winery before heading off to Priam vineyard to do another tasting. We finished up the day by visiting Jenna at work (I definitely partook in some retail therapy) and then having a delicious dinner at Krust. I felt MUCH better ending the weekend than I did at the beginning since I was quite overwhelmed to start.

It was literally a perfect Sunday

It was literally a perfect Sunday

This pizza was called "Keelin" and had corned beef, brussels, kale, mozz, dijon aioli, and of course we added an egg

This pizza was called “Keelin” and had corned beef, brussels, kale, mozz, dijon aioli, and of course we added an egg

I would trade… the quality of my workouts lately. I have been quite frustrated with this because since we have been so busy, there hasn’t been as much time as I would have liked to be able to get a good workout in. Most of my workouts have been 25 minute Jillian Michael’s sessions which are definitely effective but I feel like I need a more full body workout which gives me that great soreness the next day. This week is a little bit more open as far as our schedule goes so I’m hoping to fit in some more productive workouts.

I would not trade… the delicious meals that we have been enjoying lately! A lot of our plans have involved dinner out with friends so we have had the pleasure of having some great meals. We dined at Bonefish Grill on Saturday evening with Brian and Natasha and it was amazing. I have honestly never had a bad meal there. Also, last Thursday, we attended a fundraiser for March of Dimes at TGI Friday’s and I had the best club sandwich ever. It totally surprised me and I am looking forward to the next time I get to enjoy that sandwich.

Bonefish's dirty martini is the best I have ever had

Bonefish’s dirty martini is the best I have ever had

I had the moonfish "dynamite" style.. it was much like swordfish and very delish

I had the moonfish “dynamite” style.. it was much like swordfish and very delish

I love me a good club sandwich!

I love me a good club sandwich!

I would not trade… how wonderful Dan has been lately. Excuse my mushiness but I have been in super stress mode and he has been right there by my side, helping with whatever I need. Whether it’s wedding planning related or just helping keep the apartment tidy, he has been a total rock for me and I couldn’t be more grateful! I can’t believe our wedding is just over 6 months away. I can’t wait!!!

I love this picture and these two people :)

I love this picture and these two people 🙂

I want to end this post on that happy note since I’m trying my best to keep that positivity and not let the craziness of life get to me. I hope you all are doing the same and have a wonderful week 🙂

Five Things Friday: Crazed

27 Feb

Happy FriYAY guys! I was pretty crazed this week due to the fact that it was my first full week out of training at my new job and although it went VERY well, I was pretty stressed so when I got home most evenings, I just really didn’t feel like writing. I spent most evenings working out and then vegging out on the couch with my DVR and a glass of wine. That being said, I have a few random things to share with you guys.

1. We have enjoyed some fabulous meals this past week. I have to say that my new hours really make it a lot easier to make dinner together and eat at a normal time. Sunday night, we made a quick trip to Whole Foods and picked up some yummy shrimp cocktail and cheese and crackers to enjoy while watching the Oscars. Tuesday evening I was way too tired to even think about dinner so we enjoyed an impromptu date night at Aroy Aroy which is a new-to-us Japanese/Thai restaurant in South Glastonbury. The food was a little pricey but it definitely hit the spot. Last night we had one of my favorites, BLTs with added avocado and an absurd amount of sweet potato fries on the side. I swear I could eat that meal every single night, it was so yummy!

I swear I will never give up wine and cheese

I swear I will never give up wine and cheese

Crab Rangoons, amaaaazing

Crab Rangoons, amaaaazing

Salmon avocado roll

Salmon avocado roll

I can't remember the name of this roll but it was crazy and I loved it

I can’t remember the name of this roll but it was crazy and I loved it

Bad lighting but great sandwich

Bad lighting but great sandwich

We didn't even finish all of these!

We didn’t even finish all of these!

2. I have finally decided to try out Stitchfix and I am very excited. I have been reading so many other blogs and have seen so many success stories with it that I decided that I had to try it for myself. Plus, I’m in need of some new spring clothes and haven’t really been in the mood to shop lately so this seems like the perfect solution! For those who are wondering exactly what Stitchfix is; it’s a styling service in which you fill out a style profile on their website, pay a $20 styling fee and then your styling profile is assigned to a personal stylist who creates a fashion “fix” of five items that are sent to you in the mail based on what you have indicated in your profile. Mine is scheduled to arrive on March 5th so I will definitely be posting about my first experience!

3. We are starting (and hopefully finishing) our save-the-dates this weekend. Finding all of the addresses has been my biggest source of anxiety in the wedding planning process thus far and I will be breathing a huge sigh of relief once we get these things out in the mail. We are also hopefully going to add more items to our registry this weekend too which would be another check off the list. Shout out to my maid of honor Alex and bridesmaid Natasha for picking their gorgeous dresses this past weekend so that is another important thing that is all done which is great.



4. Jillian Michaels is becoming my new best friend. Although I don’t necessarily agree with her methods on The Biggest Loser, I am absolutely without a doubt loving her workout videos. There are so many to choose from which makes it impossible for me to be bored and I feel like I’m working so many different muscles each day. My favorites right now are the 30 Day Shred, Kickboxing Fastfix, and the newer-to-me Trouble Zones. Basically this means that I love all of the ones which incorporate weights into the workout because I feel that those are what is changing my body the fastest. I am honestly loving the strength I have been feeling within my core and just throughout my body as a whole. I still feel like I have a lot of work to do but these videos are definitely helping me to get where I want to be.

5. My goal of trying out one new recipe each week has been quite successful. This past Sunday I had Pinch of Yum’s Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili cooking all day long and let me tell you, it was amazing. The leftovers the next night were perfect to scoop up with some wheat thins and tortilla chips would have been even better. I’m not sure I’m making anything new this coming week but every single evening is pretty busy so I don’t think I will have much time to cook.

The crockpot is an amazing invention you guys

The crockpot is an amazing invention you guys

I definitely had seconds (or thirds) of this stuff

I definitely had seconds (or thirds) of this stuff

That’s all I have for you guys today but I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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?

Five Favorite Workouts

29 Oct

Although some people enjoy Wednesdays, I think that they are kind of annoying. They are a tease that you are still pretty close to Monday and far enough away from Friday that you can’t really get excited about it yet. My favorite day is Thursday because the end is actually in sight, unless of course I have to work that Saturday and then the end of the week feels like it is never in sight. Well that’s enough ranting for today so let’s get on to the meat of this post. My current five favorite workouts all involve some form of cardio but I like to incorporate strength training into my workout too which is pretty new for me.

True story bro

True story bro

  • My current favorite workout is the elliptical for 45+/- minutes followed by weights at the gym. I enjoy this especially in the morning because all it involves is driving my sleepy self to the gym and getting on that machine. By the time I’m done with that I’m usually awake enough to put together some type of repertoire of weight training, my favorite being bicep curls.
Those are some elliptical and weights calories right there

Those are some elliptical and weights calories right there

  • If I’m not making it to the gym in the morning or if I’m working out late at night, my go-to workout has been Jillian Michael’s Kickboxing Fastfix. I have mentioned it in previous posts but it is a serious full body workout and I love it. There are three 20 minute circuits and I usually do two of those on any given night. It definitely leaves me sweating and its easy enough to complete in an apartment’s living room.
  • When I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I like to pull out Dan’s set of Insanity DVDs and do the Pure Cardio workout. It’s different from the rest of the Insanity workouts in that it doesn’t involve too much repetition which is boring to me and it is also very quick and definitely gets the job done.
That is NOT a joke

That is NOT a joke

  • If I’m at the gym but I have more time than to just do the elliptical, I like to do a mixture of running and the Stairmaster. I try to complete a mile or so on the treadmill which helps to warm me up and then I move on to the Stairmaster which is my nemesis but I find that it makes me sweat like nothing else. My legs are literally shaking by the end and I have only recently been able to get up to 30 minutes on it but it is one of the most effective workouts I have done.
This was such a proud moment for me

This was such a proud moment for me

  • Lastly, if I’m feeling tired but I still want to get my heart rate up I LOVE to go on a walk around town. I usually try to complete around three miles and I will go alone or with Dan but there is nothing like taking in the scenery and getting some fresh air. I follow my walks up with some abs and arms work at home.
There is nothing more peaceful to me than this view :)

There is nothing more peaceful to me than this view 🙂

That is all for today guys and I hope you all have a great hump day!

Five Things Friday: Free Things

10 Oct

Happy Friday! I have the next five Saturdays off in a row so I will be fully enjoying every single one of those Fridays. Today’s post is full of random thoughts so let’s get to it!

1. Free pizza is the best pizza. On Wednesday night, Dan and I made a trip out to Frank Pepe’s pizzeria in West Hartford to get our free pizza to celebrate their one year anniversary. I had found out about the promotion on twitter and I love their pizza so it couldn’t have been more perfect. We split a medium mushroom and broccoli pizza and there were enough leftovers for Thursday’s lunch for both of us. It was an inexpensive and unexpected evening out that we both really enjoyed.

For the record, I love carbs

For the record, I love carbs

2. I am absolutely loving my fall TV shows! We watch a lot of shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Bones, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Revenge and a new show, How to Get Away with Murder. It has been very hard to keep up with the shows since we are so busy but it gives us an excuse to relax and spend some quality time together at home. Out of all of the shows I would have to say that Scandal is my favorite since we binge-watched it on Netflix leading up to this season and I’m kind of obsessed with the characters.

The struggle is real #toomanyshows

The struggle is real #toomanyshows

3. Today officially marks one year until our wedding! I am very excited and nervous about all of the planning that we have to do but we have the best support team of friends and family to help us out so I know that I have nothing to worry about. Our engagement photos are this coming Tuesday and we are venturing out this weekend to pick out what we will wear.

4. In celebration of one year until our wedding, we are going to Barcelona Wine Bar again tonight for dinner. Let’s be honest, I will look for any reason to celebrate and Barcelona posted on their Instagram that their Brussels sprouts are back on their menu so it makes for a perfect excuse to head over there again. I’m hoping that our friends Erica and Jon will be able to meet us there for an after dinner drink once Erica gets out of work so we can catch up with them too!

I will probably order five servings of these

I will probably order five servings of these

5. I have a love-hate relationship with Jillian Michaels. It has been impossible for me to get up to go to the gym in the morning any day this week so I have resorted to a few at-home workouts with her Kickboxing Fast-Fix video. I really love kickboxing and her videos really make me work. There are three 20 minute circuits (upper body, lower body, and abs) and I usually do two of the three on any given day.  The workouts were extremely difficult when I started but they have become easier and I find that I am really pushing myself harder and harder each time I do them. That being said, I have been waking up SO sore from them too which is the “hate” part of the love-hate relationship. I hate being sore but I love the feeling of knowing the soreness is a result of a great workout. Does anyone else ever feel this way?

ecards really describe life very well

ecards really describe life very well

I hope everyone is able to get out this weekend and enjoy the fall weather!