My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

The Friday Five – Facebook Memories Edition

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So a while ago Facebook started showing you “memories” from previous years on whatever day it is.  I’ve been getting a kick out of those as it’s a nice trip down memory lane, and it’s been reminding me of not only good times I’ve had with friends and family, but also good eats that I’ve made in the past and forgotten about.  Here are some of my recent “foodie” memories.  Most of these recipes are listed on my “recipes you have to try page”, but I’ve also provided links to the recipes below.

  1. Lean Green Bean Frozen Peanut Butter Cups.  

    These little beauties are quick and easy to make, and since I made them in a mini muffin tin, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about enjoying then as an afternoon treat at work or at night while watching tv.  I currently have some in my freezer at home and at the office! Find the recipe here.

  2. Clean Eating Mediterranean Veg & White Bean Pasta.
    CE med veg and white bean pasta.jpgThis is a delicious and quick pasta dinner.  It’s loaded with veggies and the feta cheese is a nice tangy topping.  Find the recipe here.  I like this one since it usually gives me 2 leftover meals for lunches at work.
  3. Clean Eating Mongolian-Style Beef Crepes
    mongolian style beef crepes.jpgThe bundle of deliciousness popped up in my memory feed this week and I am definitely adding it to next weeks menu when I do my meal planning this weekend.  I had totally forgotten about these, but do remember how tasty they were and I’m looking forward to making them again.  Find the recipe here.
  4. Clean Eating Spaghetti Carbonara with Chicken Sausage
    spaghetti carbonara.jpg
    I had totally forgotten about this recipe too.  I went through quite a phase of cooking from Clean Eating magazine when I first started trying to eat better and exercise more.   I made this last Sunday and it was even better than I remember it.  So good and it will definitely not be another 3 years before I make this again.
  5. This last memory is not food related, but friend related.  For the last 5 years, in early April, I have gone to Brockville to play hockey with my best girls.  This year, we were initially planning to go to Nashville for a tourney instead, but that fell through as it became a bit too expensive and people figured the hockey would get in the way of our drinking.  So, we changed to a tourney the same weekend in Niagara Falls.  All was good, except 2 weeks before the tourney, it got cancelled 😦  It seems lots of teams said they were coming and then never sent their cheques in, so the organizer cancelled.  We couldn’t do Brockville this year because many of the girls had other commitments that weekend and we didn’t have enough to ice a team.  So, we didn’t get our tourney weekend in this year.  That made us all a bit sad, because the Corona Crushers really know how to have a good time at a tourney.  Here’s the memory that came up this week from last year’s tourney.  Love you crazy chicks.  xo
    post game crushers.jpg

I’m sure I will be making more memories this weekend as it’s the Third Annual Jelly Bean Ball – a fundraiser my friend has for Community Living.  If history repeats itself, and I’m sure it will, we will eat, drink, dance and be merry until the wee hours of the morning.  Can’t wait!

Happy weekend!  The weather in the Toronto area is finally looking like spring.  As soon as I hit publish I’m heading to the back deck to enjoy a nice, cold Corona!  Cheers!

Are you enjoying the Facebook memory feature?

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The Friday Five – 5 Recipes I Want To Try

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Happy Friday!  I thought I would do a Friday Five, since I haven’t done one in forever!

This Friday Five is going to be 5 recipes I want to try.  I follow many food blogs and Facebook pages and constantly find awesome recipes that I save to my Pocket account so I can easily find them when I’m ready to cook.  Here are 5 recipes that I’ve recently saved, but haven’t tried yet.  (NOTE:  all photos come from the websites of the recipe creators)

1.  Slow Cooker Cheesy Mexican Quinoa from Chelsy’s Messy Apron
cheesy quinoa casserole

2.  Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Chickenfrom the Lean Green Bean
Crockpot-Apple-Cranberry-Chicken-4

3.  Spiralized Mexican Sweet Potato and Chicken Casseroleby Skinnytaste
Mexican spiralized sweet potato casserole-3

4.  Butternut Squash and Chick Pea Coconut Curryby Tasty Yummies
butternut squash chick pea curry

5.  Crock Pot Coconut Peanut Curry Chickenby Cara’s Cravings
crockpot coconut chicken curry

Looking at this list I realize two things…I seem to be getting ready for crock pot season, and I have a strange attraction to casseroles!

I’m thinking I need to add at least one of these to this week’s menu plan.  I just need to decide which one…they all look so good!

If you were making one of these recipes, which one would it be?
Do you have any great recipes you think I need to try?

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The Friday Five – Saturday Edition

Wohoo!  Made it to another weekend 🙂  I started this post on Friday, but didn’t quite finish.  I got to #2 and picked up at #3 Saturday night.  Here goes…

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1.  I have hit my reading goal for 2014!  After staying up way too late reading every day this week, I hit my 24 book goal.  I’m hoping I can keep on rolling through December and add a couple more titles to the list. Check out what I’ve read here https://mypursuitofhappinessandskinnyjeans.wordpress.com/books-read-in-2014/ and feel free to suggest some books I should add to my reading list.
read2.  I’m loving my new CrossFit kicks!  Both the nano4s and my lifters ares awesome…and I seem to have started a new trend…the #footsie.  Check out Reebok Canada’s instagram post:
reebok canada instagram
3.  The AirDyne is the devil! 
Friday’s WOD was snatch balance work and then squat snack or hang power snatch, depending on what your ability.  I did the HPS since the snatch is not my best lift, so rather than push it with a squat snatch, I just worked on getting a solid lift from the hang.  It felt good and I’m happy with my progress.  After the snatch work, it was time for the MetCon…10 minutes on the AirDyne, 12 seconds max watts, 48 seconds recovery.  Oh.  My.  God!  It was hell.  By the end of the 10 minutes I could barely pedal that bad boy for 12 seconds.  My ass was killing me and I’m very afraid of how I’m going to feel walking tomorrow!   I guess that’s why they call the AirDyne Satan’s Tricycle.
airdyne

4.  I need to get my golf stuff organized.  I’m off to Arizona on Thursday!  I can’t believe it’s only 5 days.  I have not swung a club since September.  I’m not even sure where all of my golf stuff is!  Guess I better spend some time tomorrow getting my stuff together, figuring what I’m taking with me, and I should probably hit Golf Town and buy some golf balls!  I’m nervous and excited to head south, out of this cold weather that has hit, and play a few rounds of golf.
ewga cup
5.  I made the most delicious pasta dish for dinner tonight. French onion soup pasta from Katie at The Rose Record.  Oh my god….so delicious.  It seemed to take forever to caramelize the onions, but totally worth it.  So awesome. Make this dish soon!
french onion soup pastafrench onion soup pasta 2

Okay…now it’s late and I’m off to bed.  I have a date with the design team at Home Depot tomorrow morning at 10am to talk kitchens.

How’s your weekend going?  Let’s hope tomorrow goes by nice and slow…Smile

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You Have To Try This Recipe

I am always on the hunt for new clean, healthy recipes.  As I scour the various blogs I read or websites I visit, when I find a good recipe, I add it to my Pocket.  I know lots of people use Pinterest for this, but I like Pocket…it just seems easier to me.  I will post to Pinterest, but when I search for recipes I’ve saved, Pocket is where I head.

Anyways, I had saved a recipe a couple of weeks ago and finally tried it this past Saturday.  The recipe in question was PaleOMG’s Pizza Spaghetti Pie.  OH. MY. GOD!  This was delicious! 
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The recipe said it would make an 8×8 dish, but I had a huge spaghetti squash, and I added in some extra veggies (green and red peppers), so I filled a bigger 10×12 dish.  I was very excited because I was going to have a ton of leftovers for lunch.  Instead, my sister and her family ended up staying for dinner and we ate all but a tiny piece!  I’m sure that piece would have disappeared had I let anyone have seconds!

I had that piece for lunch yesterday at work, and I think it might have even been better on day 2 after the flavours have even more time to blend together. I used the trick of putting it on a small plate to make it seem like there was more of it! 
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My picture does not do this dish any justice so be sure to head over to PaleOMG for much better images of this dish and to grab the recipe.

This probably won’t be a weeknight meal for me anytime soon, since it’s almost an hour to roast the squash, and then another hour to bake the final dish, but I will be making this again very soon. I bought all the stuff I needed when I did my shop for this week, so at some point this weekend, I will be eating this again.  I can’t wait! 

I will also be making these Oatmeal muffins from SugarFreeMom.com again. 
photo (2)They are to die for!  They are so moist and tasty and hit the spot for my afternoon snack at work.  It is scary how much I was looking forward to my snack today!
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And if truth be told, I’m actually enjoying one right now as I finish off this post.  I had a pretty light dinner (half a cup of spiced spinach and chickpeas and some raspberries and pineapple) so I don’t feel too bad about having an evening snack. 

Today was a day off from CrossFit. Instead I went for a massage.  It was awesome!  I’m back to the Box tomorrow.  WOD jan 28

Seems like it’s double under week as every day so far there has been a 2 minute double under practice to start the WOD.  It was on the board for Monday’s class, but for some reason my class didn’t do them.  I’m not sure I will get that lucky two classes in a row, so I am quite prepared to slash my arms and legs all up and see how many double unders I can do in 2 minutes.  Hopefully I can get 50 in a row at some point during that 2 minutes.

The rest of the WOD should be fun!  I’ll will see how I am feeling, but I would like to try to do the thrusters Rx, and hopefully I can do the burpee pull-ups Rx too. Fingers crossed!

Now, I need to be heading off to bed so I can get my 7 hours of sleep for this week’s lifestyle component of the Whole Life Challenge. 

Happy Tuesday.

Be sure to try the Pizza Spaghetti Pie recipe!

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A Day Off From CrossFit….and I HATE It!

Today is a rest day for me.  And all I keep thinking about is that I’m missing a WOD that looks killer.  I’m not going, but this is what the WOD is today:
wod nov 12

We did this same Back Squat strength WOD on Oct 23rd.  I got to 115# for the back squat and did 75# for the 20 reps.  All I can think of is how I would do against those numbers if I did the WOD tonight.

Lately I’m determined to improve at CrossFit.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been trying to improve, but lately I’m really conscious of it.  I think seeing improvement in my Whole Life Challenge workout score showed me it really is possible. (Not to mention the big improvement in my Filthy Fifty time last night…) And now, I’m becoming obsessed with it. I want to keep getting stronger and beating my max loads and times.  And I want to be at CrossFit when I’m not.

success

Tonight is killing me.  It’s my rest day and I wish I was at the Box.  This is really making me consider increasing the number of WODs I do in a week.  Currently my membership let’s me go 3 times a week.  I’d love to go to unlimited, but realistically I don’t think I can go every day.  My body could likely take it, I just don’t think I have the time to go every day.  So, I’m seriously considering upping from my current Silver 3 times a week membership to the Gold 4 times a week membership.  I will have to talk to the coaches and see what they say about the benefits of adding one more WOD a week to my schedule.  Will it help results?  I sure hope so!

Thankfully I am back to CrossFit tomorrow.   Here’s what I have to look forward to.  I can’t wait!

wod nov 13

Since I didn’t have CrossFit tonight, I had a bit more time to prepare dinner.  I tried out a new recipe from Eat Drink Paleo – Finger Lickin’ Chipotle Meatballs.  I served it over Lime Cauli-Rice (shredded cauliflower sautéed in a bit of olive oil, with the juice of one lime squeezed over it).  This was delicious!  Nice flavour, but not too spicy, and thumbs up from everyone at the table. 

photo (29)And, I’ve got 3 leftover meals in the fridge.  Wohoo!

After dinner I made myself a little Paleo treat.  I’d had the recipe saved in my Pocket account for a while now, and finally picked up some gelatin so I could make it.  This one is from Stupid Easy PaleoDairy Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding.  Four ingredients, 5 minutes prep time…and 2 hours waiting for it to chill.  It’s actually been longer than 2 hours, but it hasn’t quite set yet.  I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow to do the taste test. 
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Today, I had a surprise email from Zinio.  Clean Eating is back and my new digital issue was ready for download.  I can’t wait to get reading and find some more new, healthy, delicious recipes. 
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So, I will sign off and go look for my next new recipe!

Hope your Tuesday was a good one.

Do you miss CrossFit on your days off? 

Have you tried any new and delicious recipes?   Feel free to share!

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Back At it

Once again, I apologize for being MIA this past week, but there has been some family stuff going on that took priority over blogging.  Anyways, I’m back and hope to get back on track with my blogging, cooking, eating and CrossFit.

I’m also in countdown mode for March Break.  Wohoo!!!!  I can’t wait to have a week off, away from work, and on the slopes!  Come on FRIDAY!!!

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This week, I’ve got 3 CrossFit sessions booked:  Monday at 8:30pm, Wednesday at 7:30pm and Friday morning at 7am.  I’m cramming my 3 workouts into the weekdays so I can get them all in before I hit the slopes. 

Tonight I planned my menu for the week, but I didn’t get to the grocery store, so I will have to stop and pick up a few things on the way home from work tomorrow.  Here’s how the menu looks for the upcoming week:

Monday:  Sesame Pork Tenderloin with Baby Bok Choy
Tuesday:  Cauliflower, Goat Cheese & Chicken Casserole
Wednesday:  Dad’s Taco Salad (it’s hubby’s night to cook – Yay!)
Thursday:  Leftover Chicken Casserole
Friday:   Trying to squeeze in 2 different Birthday celebrations…likely to eat and drink too much tonight!

I’m hoping this week flies by.  I’ve got lots to do at work, so that should make the days pass by quickly and I’ve got something going on every night except Tuesday (and I have something I should go to, but will likely skip it), so that should help ensure the nights fly by too!

Now, I’m catching up on TV we missed last week, and trying to get myself psyched up for tomorrow’s WOD…”The Chief”
the chief

…and as usual, I’m off to YouTube to see what the hell I’m in store for tomorrow!

Here’s to a good week ahead.  What’s on your workout schedule for the week…and what’s on your menu? 

Feel free to share any tasty recipes!

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I Know I’m Going To Regret This

This weekend I was in Oshawa for a hockey tournament with my older son’s team.  Although they didn’t win, they played well all weekend…especially their last game, where they came so close.  Being away for the weekend meant I didn’t cook, so my eating wasn’t a clean if I was cooking for myself.  We ate out for 3 meals (lunch and dinner Saturday and then breakfast today). 

Lunch was Swiss Chalet.  I had a Quarter Chicken White with fries.  That’s right…I had fries, and they were awesome! Swiss Chalet has great fries, and I enjoyed every one of them.  Dinner was at the restaurant in the hotel.  They had a buffet that wasn’t the best in terms of being “clean”, but it sure was tasty!  I had butternut squash soup, a leafy green salad with balsamic vinaigrette, some roasted potatoes, some pasta, a couple perogies, a slice of roast beef and a chicken finger.  I also enjoyed a very small brownie and 2 awesome chocolate/coconut brownie bites (they were so good!).  Breakfast today was a toasted whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese and a white hot chocolate from Timmie’s. 

Overall, I probably ate too much, and I didn’t get any exercise these last 2 days – unless you count cheering at the top of my lungs from the stands of an arena exercise!  But, I don’t care.  I enjoyed myself and don’t feel bad about that. 

regrets

The part I know I’m going to regret is what happened when we got home from the tourney.  I sat on my butt on the couch, read blogs and twitter, and read a book.  That’s all fine, but I should have also gone through my Clean Eating magazines and planned out my dinners for the week and gone grocery shopping.

Now, I’m going into the week not know what I’m cooking or eating and that’s not so good.  Part of the reason I didn’t do my planning is I am out 3 nights this week, so cooking on those nights likely won’t happen.  Monday I’ve got a parent council meeting at my son’s school from 7:15-8:45, so will likely grab something after work before I go to the school.  Tuesday I’m going to CrossFit at 6:30 and won’t eat before I go (no sense puking it up!), Thursday I have a parent-teacher interview at 6:30, so won’t get home from work until after that..and then I need to head right out to hockey.  This all means meals this week will all be last minute throw-togethers.  This will be a good test to see how I can stay “clean” when not cooking full meals.  Wish me luck! 

While I didn’t menu plan or grocery shop, I did make another batch of the no-bake chocolate coconut cookies.  These things are so good, and so easy…and now they are in the freezer ready as a quick, clean, delicious treat when I am craving something sweet!
no bake coconut

Tonight’s dinner was this week’s first test of cooking without a meal plan.  I didn’t really feel like a big meal, and my son wanted edamame, so I threw together a light edamame and dumpling meal.  This was a hit with the kids and adults too.  So quick and so tasty! 
pot sticker edamame dinner

I tried a new recipe for the edamame that I found on veggiebelly.com:  Her recipe was for a 1 serving snack.  I don’t know my exact measurements, but I used more of every ingredient to make enough for a full bag of edamame.  I quickly sautéed some garlic and ginger in sesame oil, then added a sauce of soy sauce, brown sugar and pepper flakes.  This sauce simmered for a few minutes. I think next time I might add some corn starch to make it a bit thicker so it clings a bit more to the edamame.  Once the sauce had a few minutes to cook, I tossed the cooked edamame in and let them simmer for a few minutes and absorb some sauce.  These were even better than last week’s XO sauce edamame that I made!  There was lots of edamame sauce left in the wok after I scooped out the beans, so I poured it into a bowl and we used it as one of the dip options for the dumplings.  TASTY!!!

Now I’m sitting here typing and watching the Grammy’s, trying to figure out what I will eat tomorrow.  I’ve got a leftover meal from Friday night’s pork with apple butter sauce and kabocha.  I already can’t wait for lunch!  As I mentioned earlier, tomorrow’s dinner will be something I grab between work and the parent council meeting.  Maybe I will try to find some sushi and get a rare fish meal into me.  I really don’t like cooked fish (unless it’s done like “fish and chips” which is not so healthy!), but I do like it raw as sushi.  A bit odd, I know, but oh well.  There is a good sushi place close to my son’s school, so hopefully I will have time to stop in and enjoy a healthy meal.
sushi

While I don’t have my meals completely planned out for the week, I do know my workout schedule, mostly driven by my CrossFit workouts and hockey. 

  1. Tuesday CrossFit 6:30pm
  2. Thursday Hockey 8:30pm
  3. Friday CrossFit 5:30 pm
  4. Saturday CrossFit 11:30am

At some point I will need to start including running into my workout schedule.  The GoodLIfe Half is getting closer everyday (only 83 days away) and I still have yet to start training.  Not good!  I will have to seriously consider some “runches” (lunchtime runs) or I will have trouble fitting it all in. 
runch

Now, another weekend is over Sad smile  but if I can make it through this week, there are lots of great things ahead for next weekend:  it’s a long weekend (Family Day next Monday) and I’m going to see Bon Jovi with my girlfriends on Sunday night!  Only 6 more sleeps!  Wohoo!!!!
jbj countdown

Here’s looking forward to a great, quick week ahead.

How’s your week looking?
Do you have any quick, go to meals that keep you on track when life gets hectic?

Anyone else going to see Bon Jovi in Toronto?

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The Friday Five

Is it Friday already? This week seriously just flew by! Love it when that happens! Here is this week’s Friday Five.

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1. Last night for dinner I created my first Clean Eating meal from scratch without a recipe! My son had made a request earlier in the week for chicken, broccoli, and corn & peas. I guess all of my Clean Eating magazine recipes were just a little too creative for him (although he loved and ate them all) and he was craving some basic, comfort food. I didn’t want to just bake a plain old chicken breast, so I took a look in the fridge to see what I had on hand and just started cooking! In the end I made chicken stuffed with spinach and ricotta. I know this is not a brand new creation, but it’s the first time I’ve ever made it and I didn’t use a recipe. I just eyeballed everything and threw in whatever I thought would taste good – which in the end turned out to be green onions, garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and S&P. I think I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself!

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I didn’t have enough broccoli to feed all four of us, so I added some cauliflower too and roasted them in the oven. Man, roasted veggies are soooooo good! In the end, the dinner was a success and got a thumbs up from Jacko!

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2. Club soda with lots of ice has become my new favourite cold drink (aside from Corona, of course!) A nice tall glass of club soda with ice and sometimes a little shot of Mio water enhancer has become my new 3pm treat at work. I don’t even miss Diet Coke anymore!

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3. I did some scrapbooking today! I know this may not seem very exciting, or Friday Five worthy, but the fact that I actually scrapped a page today is a big deal. I am so far behind in my scrapping, it’s not even funny. Scrapping more was one of my big goals for last year and I failed miserably. It just seems that life is so busy, there just isn’t time to scrap…or if there is time, something always seems to come along and bump my scrap time. Today I left work early so I could take my son out for lunch after he wrote an exam. After lunch we came home and aside from writing this post and maybe squeezing in a workout (which isn’t going to happen today), I didn’t have anything to do. So, I poured myself an nice tall glass of club soda with ice and headed up to my office/scrap room. After spending a bit of time putting all the crap that seemed to collect on my desk away, I flipped through a few of my scrapbooks and found the pages that needed titles or finishing touches and planned out what I would do. In the end, I made the title page to one of our family albums. I hate making title pages, so most of the time skip them. There’s just too much pressure when making the title page and I’m really not all that creative so it takes me a long time to come up with ideas of what to do. Today I cheated a bit and hit Pinterest in search of title page ideas. I found one that I could scrap-lift and in the end I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. Simple, but nice. You can see the original that I copied from on my iPad in the background.

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4. I need to start running again soon. The GoodLife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon is 99 days away! Aside from a few runs to get my legs ready for the Resolution Run on New Year’s Eve, I haven’t really run at all since the Niagara Half back in October. I’m going to try to run twice a week, just short runs, until the middle of February when I’ll start an actual training schedule. I’d really like to do a 10 week training schedule, but will probably end up with a 12 week schedule, since those are what I have on hand. I just find by the time the race gets here I’m getting a bit tired if running. Hopefully I will get to train with my sister again for a lot if the runs, because running by myself SUCKS. I think that is a big part if why I don’t really love running. I’m not very good at it and if I’m out there alone for lots of miles it’s really tough. When I run with my sister, it seems easier – which I’m guessing is due to the fact that we chat the whole time we are running. It makes the time go by faster…and that’s definitely a good thing when the mileage starts to creep up!

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5. I am very curious about CrossFit. I’m reading more and more blog posts, and seeing more and more WOD pics on Pinterest that talk about CrossFit. It just sounds like such an amazing workout. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do many of the exercise they do there, but it sounds like the encouragement you get from the coaches and other members is so helpful you can’t help but improve. This post from Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean makes it sound like the best place to workout and get stronger. There is a CrossFit in my town, and if I can squeeze it in, I might go check it out this weekend.

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Happy Friday, everyone!
Do you do CrossFit? Is it really as great as they say it is?

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My First Mug Cake

Before the Elf for Health Challenge, I had never even heard of a mug cake.  So, I hit Google and did a search.  Trust me…there are a LOT of mug cake recipes out there! 

I finally settled on that I found on Babble.  A Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mug Cake.  I will admit…it was pretty easy to make.  Crack an egg in a mug, add 3 tbsp of brown sugar (I used 1.5 tbsp of brown sugar Splenda since I was out of regular brown sugar), 1/3 cup flour, 1 tbsp softened butter, and 3-4 tbsp of chocolate chips.  Stir and bake in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes. 

mug cake

I wasn’t too sure how this was going to turn out, but I mixed it up, stuck it in the microwave for 2 minutes and waited.  I was a bit nervous when the cake started to rise out of the mug while it was cooking, but when the timer went off, it sank back down into the mug. 

It wasn’t the moistest cake I have ever had, but it was pretty good.  if I do it again, I will take it out closer to the minute and a half time, rather than leave it in for the full 2 minutes. 

In the end it was a quick and tasty treat.  According to My Fitness Pal, when I punched in all of the ingredients, it is about 500 calories or so.   I will not be eating too many of these bad boys…and I definitely need to got for a run and do a workout tomorrow to burn off some of these extra calories.

Have you ever made a mug cake? 
How was it?

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I Survived Christmas!

Sorry to have gone MIA for a few days, but Christmas sort of took over my life for a few days!

Here’s what’s been going on in my crazy life.

Sunday:  Neighborhood Potluck.  27 of us gathered to celebrate the season.  We were assigned appetizers as our contribution.  I debated over what to bring.  I wanted something healthy, but tasty.  I had tossed around a few ideas  – roasted veggies or a healthy dip – but in the end I decided on Raspberry Asparagus Endive with Candied Pecans.  I found the recipe at YummyMummyKitchen.com …and it was fantastic!  It looked amazing, was easy to prepare, and was absolutely DELICIOUS!

rasp asp endive
Hubs also made 2 different varieties of baked brie.  One was wrapped in puff pasty and the other was in crescent roll dough with raspberry jam. Both of these were VERY good.  Our apps were a hit at the party and both of these recipes will likely be made again for our New Year’s Eve party.

Monday:  Last minute groceries.  I was hosting Christmas dinner, so had to grab a few last minute items for dinner.  We always get a fresh turkey from Vince’s, so we needed to go pick it up, plus we needed fresh berries for our Christmas Crepe Breakfast.  I also picked up a few needed ingredients for a Cheesy Mexican Quinoa casserole that I was making and taking over to my sister’s for our Christmas Eve dinner.
cheesy mexican quinoa

This was another fantastic recipe find courtesy of The Lean Green Bean.  I have tried a number of her recipes and they are all delicious.  I doubled the recipe since we had a crowd to feed.  I may have gone a bit too heavy on the spices though…it had a bit of a kick that was a bit too much for the little ones, but I loved it.  There was a bit leftover as well, so I’ve got a couple of lunches in the fridge to help give some variety when I need a break from turkey sandwiches!

Tuesday:  CHRISTMAS!!!  We were all quite spoiled again this year, and everyone got some terrific gifts.  Nick’s big present was a very cool Parrot A.R. Drone, and Jacko got a new snowboard and bindings.
presents

Hubby and I tend to not exchange, but this year we got each other something from the kids.  We got him a Sony alarm clock dock for his new iPhone – which I had put through the laundry Monday morning…so it was in a bag of rice drying out and he couldn’t even use his new dock!  OOPS!  He and the boys got me a fantastic gift…

kettlebells
…a full set of kettlebells:  4, 8, 10, 15 and 20lbs.  I LOVE them!

Christmas day was filled with good eats as well. Breakfast was our traditional crepes made by hubs.  I enjoyed mine with Nutella, fresh berries and whipped cream.  Freaking amazing!
crepes

After breakfast and gift opening, we did some prep for dinner and I made the pumpkin pie…I love, and I mean seriously LOVE, pumpkin pie.  I have a recipe from my mom and it is quite honestly the best pumpkin pie EVER.
pumpkin pie

While the pie was cooking my mom and I prepped the bird, got the stuffing ready and once the pie came out…the bird went it.  It was a bit too big for my roasting pan, so we had to cover it with tinfoil.
the bird

After the bird went in, we had some down time, so we read, played with Christmas gifts, and I got in my Elf for Health Challenge when my mom and I took her dogs for a walk around the neighborhood.  We had a good 30 minute walk and Henry (on the left) and Angel (on the right) loved it!
henry and angel

My sister, her hubs, and their kids came over later in the afternoon and the kids opened their presents from us.  It was so fun to see the excitement on my niece’s face.  She is almost 3 and totally “gets” presents.  We had a great afternoon visiting…and then it was time for the main event.  Dinner!  My mom helped me with dinner, and we pulled off a feast:  turkey, mashed potatoes, squash, sautéed asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, and stuffing.  There was a ton of food, and there are lots of leftovers!

christmas dinnerAfter all that food, we were all too full to eat dessert…so the pie had to wait until the next day, when we had some for breakfast!

Wednesday:  Boxing Day.  Boxing day we headed down to London to visit with hubby’s parents.  The kids really roughed it on the drive down…watching a movie for most of the trip.
movie boys

We had a nice visit with Nana and Gramps, and after dinner, piled back in the car for the drive back home.  Normally it is about a 2 hour drive, but there was quite a snow storm last night, and the drive took about 4 hours.  it was exhausting and we were quite happy to finally get home and crawl into bed for a good night’s sleep and a sleep in this morning.

Thursday:  RELAX!  Today we had nothing to do, and that’s exactly what we did.  Well, that’s not exactly true…hubs shoveled the drive way after the crazy snowstorm yesterday, and I took my kettlebells for their first workout ride.  I spent a bit of time searching online for different kettlebell workouts.  Women’s Health has a good one that I will try soon, but for my first workout with my new toys, I did this beginner kettlebell workout from FitnessBlender.com.  I really liked the workout.  It was challenging, but doable, and it made me work.  I was dripping by the end of it, and I’m pretty sure I will be feeling the effects of it tomorrow….at least I better be!

Tonight, hubs and I went out on a date.  We went out for dinner and then went to the movies to see This is 40.  They are saying it is the “sort of sequel” to Knocked Up.  The movie was pretty funny, and there were lots of scenes that we could totally relate to.  If you go and see it, be sure to stay for the credits.  We laughed the hardest at the blooper rant that Melissa McCarthy has…it is hilarious!

Not sure what will be in store for tomorrow.  I should probably try to squeeze in a 5k run – which will likely happen on the treadmill, since the sidewalks are a bit of a mess with the snow.  The Resolution Run is just around the corner and I need to get a few more training runs in so I will be ready.

How was your Christmas?  Did you get any great gifts?

Do you have any great kettlebell workouts you can point me to?

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