Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

This week has been a whirlwind! I am battling an awful head cold while trying to stay on top of an already huge workload at school. It's not slowing down this weekend either as I am gearing up to help my alum chapter help with recruitment.
This week has made me yearn for cooler weather and relaxing nights (maybe even by the fire). Nothing seems more relaxing to me than crafting simple decorations to adorn our home. I can't wait to have a girl's night while tackling some of these cute and simple crafts. We may have to blast the air in order to fake fall in this NC heat! Here is my favorite fall craft ideas for Five on Friday. 

Pumpkin Centerpiece Decor

Fall Snack Mix

 Silver Pumpkins

Upgraded Magnetic Letters

Burlap Picture Frames

What is your favorite way to relax after a busy week?


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Food & Fitness: August 25- 31

These past four weeks have been interesting to say the least. The 21 day detox was a huge challenge to keep recipes interesting while eating clean. Most dinners I made were just for myself as Joe does not eat fish. What I tried to do was to choose meals that could be easily altered to suit both of our preferences. For example, many meals included sauteed vegetables or potatoes which I could add chicken or fish to. This took a bit of planning and a little bit extra time in the kitchen each night.
Going forward I hope to incorporate a lot of things I learned about how my body reacts to different foods and several healthy eating habits from the cleanse. I am planning to do a post on my reflections and all this soon.
Here my meal plan for the week. Since it is the end of the month it's time to work with what we have and do some cleaning out of the freezer!

Monday:  Grilled Burgers and Fish w. Corn on the Cob
This has been our go to recipe this summer. I love grilled corn and could eat it everyday.

Tuesday: Chicken Broccoli Lemon Stir-fry

Wednesday: Lemon Crockpot Chicken

Thursday: Baked Ziti w. Summer Vegetables

Friday: Dinner Out

Are y'all getting tired of hearing about Insanity yet? Well, I sure hope not because I am going strong and still have four weeks to go. This week marks the second part of the series which features more intense longer workouts. Now the workouts are 45-60 minutes on average. I am hoping to continue to workout in the mornings before heading to work. I am unsure how it will work in practice with my commute and school schedule. 
Sunday:  Max Interval Circuit
Monday: Max Interval Plyo
Tuesday: Max Cardio Conditioning 
Wednesday: Max Recovery
Thursday: Max Interval Circuit
Friday: Max Interval Plyo
Saturday: Rest 

When do you enjoy working out? Are you a morning or afternoon person?


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weekend Wants: Scent Favorites

I have been itching to expand my perfume collection. 
Looking back over the years I have noticed my fragrance preferences have evolved and changed drastically. I remember my first "real" perfume being A&F by Abercrombie. Then I graduated to Ralph by Ralph Lauren which I thought was so trendy and beach inspired. On one of our first cruises I found Chance by Channel  which I loved and used throughout college. I currently am wearing Amazing Grace by
Philosophy. As you know by this post I am obsessed with all things Philosophy. I enjoy the smell of the perfume but I am not in love with it anymore. Below are some new fragrances I have been loving the smell of. I have noticed I tend to gravitate toward scents that are clean with floral notes.

What is your favorite scent?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five on Friday

This week marks the first work week for the school year. I will be glad to check it off in the books come this afternoon! Here is a little recap of my favorite things this week for my Five on Friday.

1. Our little boy is a graduate! This Monday Charlie graduated from puppy training class. We took the 6 week class at Petsmart which was such a great choice. Thanks to the class he has grown to be very behaved. He also learned several tricks which are adorable! 

 2. In celebration of the first week of school, I placed my first Stichfix order. I was rather skeptical about the concept at first due to the fact that I always trouble with sizing. After a complete strike out shopping this past weekend at all of my favorite stores this box was a welcome sight! I loved being able to try it on in my own home and the return shipping is included! Try Stitchfix yourself here!!

3. I stumbled upon these Homemade Cereal Bars on Pinterest. In high school and college I loved Nutrigrain bars. I actually thought I was being healthy while enjoying the gooey jelly like filling. Once I started to learn more about nutrition and reading the ingredients I realized they were filled with processed ingredients pretending to be fruit. since then I have been on the hunt for an easy homemade alternative if I am ever in the mood. These bars are spot on in the nutrition category and I can't wait to see what they taste like.  

4. Let me be honest I am way too excited about the new iPhone. I may have started searching information about the release date sometime last month. I have never been on the cutting edge of technology. I always seem to get on the bandwagon way too late in the game to be considered cool. I have had my iPhone 4 for over two years now. This phone has been a trooper. It has been dropped way too many times to count and recently took a swim in the ocean. Somehow it is still holding on and I am determined to make it last. Why? Because I am excited to see the 5s... rumor is that it will feature bio-metric sensors which will be a fingerprint scanner and might be champagne/gold colored.   How neat! Alright, I promise I am not a technology nerd.. really! 

5. I can't say it enough. I am glad it is Friday. The first week back after summer break is always rough. This year I was faced with added challenges of navigating new schools and new staff. After I make it through the ridiculous amount of meetings I have today I will be celebrating with a weekend in the sun. (Weather please cooperate!)

Any exciting plans to celebrate Friday today? 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Breakfast Eats: Green Smoothie

     This summer my go to meal had been a green smoothie. Also, it is the perfect way to cool down and get protein to you muscles after workouts.  The key ingredient to this smoothie is of course what makes it green which is spinach!  Green smoothies can be intimidating due to the color and knowing you are drinking vegetables. However, I beg everyone to give it a try at least once. I promise if you combine it with the right ingredients you can't even taste the spinach.
     The secret to my smoothies is that I blend the spinach and whatever liquid I am using together for about 30 seconds to puree the spinach before I add the fruit and ice. That way it ensures the spinach has been completely blended up and you are not left with giant leaves in your smoothie!
     Here are some of my favorite smoothie mixes that find myself making again and again. You could do these with or without protein powder on your presences. I recommend adding protein to help with the staying power to ward off hunger if your eating the smoothie as a meal. I use a plant based protein powder.

Strawberry Crunch Green Smoothie
2 handfuls spinach (about 2 cups lightly packed)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- Top with 1/8 cup almonds for an extra protein and crunch

Orangesicle Green Smoothie
2 handfuls spinach (about 2 cups lightly packed)
1 cup orange juice
1 frozen banana
1 scoop protein powder
1 drop liquid stevia

Pina Colada Green Smoothie
2 handfuls spinach (about 2 cups lightly packed)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 tsp coconut extract
1 drop liuid stevia
- Top with shredded coconut and enjoy!

Please give them a try! I promise your taste buds will not be disappointed.

What's your go to breakfast?
Have you tried green smoothies? Do you love them or hate them?


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Food & Fitness: August 18- 24

Last week of the 21 day detox challenge. Thank the Lord!! (You can read more about the challenge and reason I decided to do it here.) Avoiding sugar has been the hardest for me this week. I may have begged hubby to get ice cream tonight in a moment of weakness but he kindly refused.  What I would have done for a waffle cone of Ben and Jerry's tonight. Overall, I am loving how I feel and will incorporate parts of this cleanse into my regular diet. This will not be a 100% thing for me though. I feel limiting myself for long periods of time leads to feeling deprived and binge eating. This week I am headed back to work so week night dinners are going to be simple and easy while I get back into the swing of things. Here are two recipes I look forward to trying.

This weeks marks my fifth week of Insanity. The training this week calls for a rest week focusing on core strength and stretching. I completed the first workout today and it was a nice break from the hard core sweat sessions I had been completing for the past 4 weeks. My goal is to drop extra fat as well as build strength. So I am going to supplement this weeks training with running intervals and light weight training. 

Sunday:  Core Cardio & Balance w. Interval Training
Monday: Core Cardio & Balance w. Light Weights
Tuesday: Core Cardio & Balance 
Wednesday: Core Cardio & Balance w. Interval Training
Thursday: Core Cardio & Balance w. Light Weights
Friday: Core Cardio & Balance
Saturday: Rest 

Hope you all had a great weekend! Can't believe Monday is almost here.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Five on Friday

What a week! This was the last week of my summer break and I took advantage of every minute with a wonderful mix of relaxation and adventure. Here is a little recap for my Five on Friday.

1. Monday I was finally able to mark one item off my summer bucket list. Thanks to my friend Sarah we spent a beautiful summer afternoon on a paddle board exploring up the intercoastal.

Stand-up Paddleboard Pros

2. On Tuesday, I had a long overdue hair appointment. I have been contemplating changing my hair for quite awhile and am so excited with the results. 
Back to my roots

 3. Wednesday I spent the afternoon with a good friend. We got our nails done and went out for sushi at Yosake. After dinner we went shopping and explored downtown. The weather was crisp and cool. So perfect for a night out. I had not had a girls night out in forever and am thankful that we took the time to catch up!

4. I have been spending the week soaking up lots of time with my second favorite man Charlie. He has grown so much these past few months and it has been amazing to see his personality unfold.

Charlie helping me with stretching

5. I spent today exploring the local consignment shops with my mom. We did not luck out on any good deals. However, it was still fun to spend the day looking at old antiques and searching for hidden gems.

What has been the highlight of your Friday?


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday: Detox Eats

     Each day I am trying to get better about my food choices and my relationship with food. The detox has helped me focus on fueling my body with whole foods. I am also trying to up my protein intake to  30% of my daily calorie intake to fuel my muscles during insanity training. 
     I thought it would be fun to share a snapshot of what a day's eats looks like for me currently. Please keep in mind that I am not a nutritionist. This is just for fun to share examples of my current eats with What I Ate Wednesday.  Lets have a look at I ate yesterday!
Post workout green smoothie. This is one of my favorite ways to get in veggies in the morning. This green smoothie consisted of 3 handfuls of spinach, a frozen banana, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 scoop protein powder and 1 handful ice cubes. After blending away for 2 minutes in the blender the spinach taste is completely gone. 

 Ahi Tuna Salad. After I took the picture I added a few tablespoons of homemade salsa. 

Lunch Part-2
Apple and a handful of almonds with a 1/2 bottle of Kombucha

Afternoon Snack
A few handfuls of grapes while headed home from the store.

 Baked eggplant with homemade mariana sauce, grilled vegetables and a side salad.

Post-dinner Dessert 
Not quite sure if this classifies as dessert. I was still a bit hungry after dinner so I reached for two protein cake balls and a handful more grapes for dessert. Recipe for the cake balls here.

What do you think of What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW)? Would you like to see more?
What is your favorite go to breakfast? 


Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend Review: Beach Weekend

    This past weekend we had some friends from college in from out of town. All three of the guys were in the same program at school and lived together through out college. It was great to hear the guys retell stories of their younger days and the shenanigans they got into.
    Living in the town we went to college in always has its ups and downs. Sometimes we forget how nice it is to have the beach at our doorsteps because we have been here so long. On the flip side when friends come into town we can visit all the old college haunts that we never go to anymore!
   On Friday night we went out to dinner at the guy's favorite restaurant Bodobos. It is a Mongolian Grill where you can create your own bowl of stir fry with limitless combinations of sauces. They went here so much in college that the wait staff always their drink and soup orders. The owner still recognizes Joe when he comes in.  This is also the restaurant that Joe and I first met at after helping with UNCW move-in my Sophomore year. Something he is not proud of now but it makes for a good story!

    On Saturday, we spent time out on the boat and at the beach. The island was not crowded at all. It was almost like having our own private sanctuary. 

That night we headed to another one of the college haunts, Big Daddy's. To make a long story short, the guys stumbled upon this restaurant when they were out at Kure Beach one day and decided to keep coming back. This was my first time joining them for dinner. To be honest, the memories and company was much better than the food. However, it was made up for by hearing many more stories and catching up with friends.

     Unfortunately, everyone had to head home early Sunday morning. So Sunday was spent hanging out with Charlie and catching up on housework while watching Breaking Bad. I can't believe it's in the final episodes! It is so crazy to watch the characters change over the seasons.  I am also really enjoying the flash forwards at the beginning of the show. Anyone else watch last nights episode? I already am looking forward to next week.

Sami's Shenanigans

What was the highlight of your weekend? 
Mine was spending time on the beach with my family and friends Saturday. Not ready for summer to go away!!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Food & Fitness: August 11-17

I am officially going strong on the second week  of the 21 day detox challenge. You can read more about the challenge and reason I decided to do it here. The hardest part so far is giving up coffee and alcohol. Especially on the weekends! This past week I noticed that instead of reaching for fruits and vegetables I was always snacking on "safe" pre-packaged such as rice cakes, spouted bread and almond butter. They are great every once in awhile however, I felt that I was eating them at every meal. This week I am focusing on getting in natural whole grains such as beans and quinoa. Here are two side recipes I have found that will be on this week's dinner rotation. 

This week marks the fourth training week on Insanity. Unfortunately  I am one day behind on the plan due to company coming into town this weekend. I am slowly starting to see changes in my body especially in my stomach, waist and arms. I know that there are abs somewhere under there (or maybe just a flat stomach)! What I am reminding myself daily is that my diet is a major part of the transformation process. 

You can't out train a bad diet. 

Sunday:  Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
Monday: Cardio Power & Resistance
Tuesday: Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Wednesday: Cardio Recovery
Thursday: Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
Friday: Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Saturday: Rest 

What is your struggle with trying to get fit?