Hey gang!! How was your weekend? Friday my hubby and I went on an impromptu date in downtown Tampa. We are at a place called Oak and Ola and it was amazing. I wrote about it on Yelp (Michelle D. in Tampa), but may start writing more restaurant reviews here on the blog again this year.
Saturday we did some errands and went and saw “Jumanji” and we thought it was really cute and entertaining. We also hit up my favorite consignment shop as I still had money left over on my Christmas gift card.
Sunday I slept in which I always allow myself to do when I’m not training for anything, because I have to get up early enough every day for work. I also decided to meal prep for the week, as this is where my diet/exercise regime have gone to crap over the last six months. I made some egg muffins for the week, as well as a big pot of Chicken Soup. (Click the link for the basic recipes but feel free to change up whatever protein/veggies sound good to you!!!)
Tonight after dinner I went for a nice walk with my neighbor, and did my plank. I’ve been planking since October 1st, and haven’t missed a day yet. I did this back in 2016 when my husband was deployed, and managed to plank for an entire year straight.
How was your weekend? Does cooking ahead of time help you? Any tips for burning belly fat?
I started out my 2019 with a nasty cold that has left me down for the count the last two days. Thankfully we were able to ring in the new year with some new friends that are also from the Chicagoland area, and are now Florida transplants as well.
I wanted to start my new year out with a run and list of goals for the year, neither of which have happened yet. So here’s my first draft, or more so a rough draft of some goals I have this year.
Run at least 2-3 per week, and do core daily, even if that’s just a plank daily. I still have the #sixpackbysummer goal, and summer in Florida starts in just a couple of months. I am almost at my weight loss goal from last year, so I will continue to maintain and maybe lose an extra lb. or two.
Sign up for more races, because to be honest its hard to keep my running motivation if I don’t have a race coming up. Our next half is the end of February in St. Pete, Florida. No goal time for that race, just want to finish strong. I missed last week’s long run, but hopefully this cough will be gone by the weekend so I can make up for it.
Love myself more, and put myself first more. It’s always been about my family, my job, etc. etc. I need to make it more about me, cuz hey, my 46th birthday is right around the corner and I don’t have all the time in the world anymore.
Write more, really write…I always wanted to write a book/cook book but here another year has passed and I haven’t pursued either. Again, time isn’t something I can waste anymore.
And lastly, figure out how to make a living doing something I love. Not that my job isn’t important or that I dislike it. But I am ready to either move up in my career, or move on. But of course there are those bills to pay, so we shall see. I am not giving up hope.
What are you goals for 2019? Do you do resolutions?
Man, I’ve got lots of empty notebooks. Every time I buy a new notebook I get so excited that I’ll find the inspiration to start writing and another week, month, year passes without a single sentence written down. I’m praying I can get past that block in the upcoming year. I’m hoping these daily posts will help a little as well.
Here’s my favorite pic from today.
How do you break writers block? Are you reading any good books lately?
Winter months have always been tough on me, and with the days getting even shorter this weekend I am soaking up every ray of sunshine I can get. Today it’s 75 degrees out and It’s November 1st, so I will be outside planting some lilies a coworker gave me, and hope to get a couple miles in with my mini before dark.
Because winter months have been hard for me, I thought I’d make a list of some “winter goals,” so here they are in no particular order:
Take one day at a time. The holidays are going to be hard without my husband, but we WILL get through it.
Drink all things peppermint. Because isn’t that one of the best things about winter?
Wear all the boots. I love boots, leggings/tights with cute tops or dresses.
Continue to run at least 2 days per week on the treadmill and TRY to get outside weather permitting for 1 day.
Yoga, at least once per week…I suck at sticking to this goal so I’ll keep putting it out there to keep me accountable.
Continue to strength train, and ramp up the weight workouts. I love muscles LOL.
Watch my diet and caloric intake. We are having a “Biggest loser” challenge at work for the next six weeks and I’d LOVE to lose a few more lbs before my hubby gets home next year.
Track my food on MyFitnesspal. EVERY day…not just when it’s convenient. Follow my progress if you use MFP, I am chelled73.
Cook more food…I’ve been taking the easy way out for a while, so last week I made this yummy beef stew in my crock pot. 2 cups of red wine, 4 cups of water, 2 lbs. of cubed sirloin steak, 2 sweet potatoes cubed, one onion sliced, 2 carrots cut into ¼ inch disks, 3 cloves of garlic minced, dash of Worcestershire sauce, 1 packet of onion soup mix, salt, pepper and a bay leave—throw it in your crock pot on high for 4 hours. I DID season the steak with salt and pepper generously and set aside while I was chopping the vegetables.
Call/text my parents more. At least twice a week…I miss them very much and we only see each other 2-3 times per year so I need to be better about communicating with them.
Celebrate the good things, every, darn day…be it a good conversation with my teen, or a load of laundry I actually PUT AWAY right away after folding…#celebratethegood
Continue to work towards my goals of moving back south (we moved to the Chicagoland area after I retired from the Air Force in 2011, we previously lived in Texas), and with that, LOOKIE LOOKIE what came in the mail last night?
And ultimately, keep movin’ forward…because isn’t that what life is all about?!
How do you keep busy during winter months? What’s your favorite thing about winter minus the holidays themselves? Tell me something good!
This weekend was a blur to be honest. But it was a wonderful weekend I have to admit. I am having a hard time forming my thoughts, so please bear with me.
My husband had reserve duty this weekend, which means the household is my responsibility. It is one that I have taken on, and have been doing for over 15 years of being a single mom/Army wife. I’ve done my fair share of bitching, whining, and complaining. Yes. I suck sometimes. But this weekend was different, and let me tell you why…
First, I spent the weekend with my girls, shopping, eating, and getting pampered as we got our hair done. Our awesome friends/neighbors came over last night for a pre-celebratory drink, and my sister and her family came to my hubby’s ceremony today. Stack on the feelings of happy and bliss because my cup truly is over flowing.
I have always preached to do what you love, and do it with passion. I have not always lived this statement, but this last year has been different. I’ve cooked more, ran a lot, and chased dreams that still have yet to be caught. But mostly, I have smiled more this last year than I have in the last 5 years. Because I realized something…
I AM enough. I HAVE more than enough…
And this is greatly due in part to the fact that I have the most amazing family and friends, well…EVER. I’ve got a job I enjoy, a roof over my head and food on my table. And did I mention the best family and friends ever? Oh yeah, I said that already…lol
Secondly, this weekend was my husband’s weekend to shine. And shine he did. He took command of his first unit. I always joke and say he loves the Army more than me, (totally kidding) but this afternoon as he spoke to his soldiers, his face was all lit up and shining…you could FEEL the energy, and my heart sang a little song just for him…HE is doing it. He is chasing his dreams, and achieving SO much in his career and I simply couldn’t be more proud.
To wrap it all up, I finished the week with a total of almost 8 miles of running, my ab challenge, and a smile on my face.
What brings you the most joy in life? Are you living and pursuing these passions?
With not having much of a break last week, well, no break at all in fact-I realized I’ve been slacking on the blog the last few days. Ack…my bad!
Having had worked New Year’s day, I decided to make the very most of this weekend with my family. I work next weekend, so we decided to do all the fun family stuffs. Friday I came home from work to a wonderfully cooked meal of BBQ chicken and veggies by my hubby, as well as to find all of the Christmas decorations had been taken down and put away. Score. I was ready to move past the holidays. Friday night we relaxed and watched the movie, “Big Night” starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub. It is an older film, from 1996, but the story was based on the relationship of two brothers who had moved to the United States from Italy to open their own restaurant. At first, you think the movie is going to be about food but in reality it’s about their passion FOR Italian food, and the relationship the two brothers share. Great flick, and I highly recommend it to any food enthusiast, or movie lover alike.
Saturday we decided to take the family to see MockingJay part 1 at the theater (GREAT movie), and have dinner at a place we haven’t tried yet that is located in Geneva, IL. Local readers, I HIGHLY recommend The Patton house, which is on 2nd street in downtown Geneva. We had bacon wrapped figs to start, and my entrée was a spicy salmon fillet over a sweet potato puree with a maple demi glaze. To. Die. For.
Today was my day to go shopping at my favorite consignment shop, Clothes Mentor, with the gift cards I received for Christmas. This store makes me happy. What can I say…I showed up with a small bag of clothes (they buy back too!) for which I received 15 dollars, as well as had a 5 dollar coupon. At the end of my spree, I bought a cute purse, Franco Sarto shoes, and several sweaters, shirts, 2 pairs of pants and a sweater dress all for $225.00. 18 items, at an average of $12.50 cents each, and keep in mind these are all high end brand names…Ann Taylor, BCBG max, White house Black market, Nike (yes, I had to get workout clothes too!) and Banana Republic just to name a few…yup…this girl came out HAPPY as a clam. I used to love fashion, but found that over the last several years I forgot to pamper myself too…so although I can’t afford these clothes brand new, I sure can bargain shop!
I still can’t run as my thumb is still on the mend, but am praying one more week and I’ll be cleared to run. Starting now, since my marathon training starts in about 6 weeks I will be eating A LOT healthier, and cutting back on my wine intake…scary, I know…but it’s needed. I am going back to my high protein diet, as it truly made me feel healthier and stronger. I’ve fallen off the wagon and have been eating far too much rice/rice pasta. I’ll still have these yummy things once or twice a week…just not daily. I was however able to cook Sunday supper tonight, which tasted great, but didn’t look very pretty…my meal prep looks much nicer…LOL!
My friend posted this on my time line today…LOL
With no true resolutions this year, I can say I have lofty goals of branching out, somehow…in my career, and in my life. What that means? I’m not 100% sure yet…
What are your goals for the year?? Do you make resolutions? Do you shop consignment?
First off, as a caveat to my last post, I had it on my heart to post about something near and dear to me.
I don’t mean in just tough times, because I’ve found that for many it is almost easier to be there for someone when the times are tough and the dark lined cloud of gloom is looming over your head for what seems like eternity…You know those times…Right?
Yup…we all do.
But what I’ve found is how hard it can be to support others in CELEBRATING their triumphs when you yourself have the impeding cloud of doom following you. Jealousy can set in, and being able to be happy for other’s success is well…hard to do sometimes.
I caught myself recently fighting the demon of jealousy to the death as I was SO tired of feeling that way. Someone else will always have more money, be taller, be smarter, have a more glamourous car/home, be able to take vacations, you name it!
SO. freaking’. WHAT I say to you, dark demon of jealousy that causes the impeding cloud of doom to follow me. BE GONE I say. BE GONE.
I have a pretty darn good life. Despite debt and student loans I’ll be paying until I die, the rest of my life is pretty amazing.
So in the future, my goal with movin’ forward is to celebrate my friends and family member’s joy, and let that nasty cloud rain on someone else’s parade!
Secondly, I’ll be doing my AB challenge again to start the new year off and build a strong core/support for my body as full blown marathon training starts mid February!
Today as I laid on the couch watching football, and soaking my thumb in warm water to get the blood clotting bandage to dissolve, I found myself feeling…sad.
It’s Sunday…as most of you know, we have a Sunday supper tradition we started earlier in the year where I prepare a “fancier” dish to celebrate my awesome family each week and all that we accomplished in the past week.
But I still can’t cook.
And I can’t run.
Two of my favorite things to do to release stress…Someone I thought was a running friend said, “You don’t need your thumb to run.” And I had to re-read that comment several times while choking back the tears. If they knew the severity of my cut I hope they’d never say such a mean thing…I mean, really? What happens when you run? YOUR BLOOD STARTS PUMPING! Right? I have a freakin’ open wound on my thumb that could burst at any time. Sorry…I DO need my thumb healthy in order to run. So to this person, I say…thanks Capt. D-Bag.
Our supper included take out from one of our favorite local Thai places. This made me feel slightly better. Spicy seafood over noodles. Yes please…
And now, with my bandage changed, and still slightly handicapped I am found a bit lost in my thoughts. Thankful for the amazing support from my family and friends, slight put off by people who didn’t bother to even ask how I am, and ultimately blessed at the end of the day.
This injury may set me back…but it won’t stop me. And I will forever remember those who helped me during my dark times, vs. those who celebrate my sorrows.
Here’s to a new week. I plan on walking this week despite working the next 5 days. I have some steam to burn off. What are your plans this week?
*Pardon any typos…I am fat fingering while typing.
I have been reading several posts on “unplugging” more in the upcoming new year. This has something that I have been thinking about for quite some time. I started paying attention to how much time I WASTE ensuring I see everyone’s posts on Facebook, twitter, etc. HOURS sometimes each night are spent pouring myself over newsfeeds and tweets, tumblrs and IGs. Ugh…really?
And for what?
Sure it’s fun to keep up with my friends and family who live all over the world. It’s great to be able to see baby pictures and accomplishments. I really enjoy seeing race photos and family updates.
But wouldn’t it be better if I got a phone call or a text, telling all this very same information PERSONALLY to me? If they really wanted me to know what’s going on in their life, wouldn’t they reach out to me vs. having to blast it on social media? And vice versa as well…Couldn’t I just shoot a text out, or make a phone call to my loved ones vs. posting on FB?
But life gets busy, I understand that all too well. It’s hard to keep in touch, it’s hard to fit in a phone/text conversation when our lives are…so busy? Are we really that busy? If we have enough time to sit on social media for a length of time, couldn’t we use that time differently to communication with one friend, family member or loved once twice each week? It’s a catch 22 of sorts, for sure…
So my goal, moving forward is to do two things…this is a two things Tuesday post, right?
1. Unplug more from social media. I will do this by not checking fb AT ALL during the day on my breaks/lunch etc. I will keep my IG account, because I love photography, but the same thing goes. I will only check it after my youngest daughter goes to bed. Both my kids deserve more attention. I will also make an effort to make at least one phone call each week, to catch up with a loved one. I do realize text conversations would better for some, so that works too. Dust off your ear pieces and thumbs my friends. 🙂
2. Continue putting more efforts into my blog/writing of my cookbook venture. I really am proud that I actually stuck with it for the better part of 2014, so I truly hope 2015 rolls in with continued successful efforts.
I hope with my proposed plan of unplugging somewhat will form a habit that lasts a lifetime. Realizing we all have choices, I do know that social media CAN be a blessing so I won’t unplug completely. I will however start living more of MY life, vs. scrolling newsfeeds about OTHER’S lives. No offense, gang. ❤
I’ll admit I needed a couple extra days off after the last few weeks of work. But…I have a job, and for that I am thankful. The much needed break called for me to take the day after Thanksgiving off, which I am SOOO glad I did. I don’t have a lot of time saved up, but this added day left me extra time to decorate for Christmas, clean, and scrub areas of my house that were completely neglected lately.
Yet this can bring stress too…you know, the kind of stress where you feel there just isn’t enough time in the day. I spent Thanksgiving with my family which was just wonderful, but the chores were calling my name. Saturday I got up and cleaned like a crazy women…I shopped for groceries for the week, and found myself TIRED. But I got a text from a friend inviting me out for drinks Saturday night and I JUMPED at the chance. It was a simple two hours of laughter and fun, but just what I needed to add extra charge to my batteries. And I saw THIS as I was getting ready…God had his paintbrush out, for sure…
I was so recharged last night, I put myself out there in my running group on Facebook, requesting a partner in crime for a run this morning. My goal was 4-6 miles, with no pace in mind. Karen, from Tradinginmyheels.com raised her hand, and I felt so very blessed she wanted to run with me. So this morning we met up, and despite tummy issues I was able to get 5 miles in! My farthest distance since the half marathon the beginning of this month. It always amazes me the bond runners have. I don’t know her well outside of running, but there she was to support my slow run.
I came home, showered, and promptly sat down on the couch to watch Football. Who won? Not sure…I was just happy to relax. I even let myself take a cat nap on my recliner for an hour. Sheer. And utter…BLISS.
But, it IS Sunday, so Sunday Supper needed to be prepared. This has become so important to me as a busy working Mom, to make time at least ONE day per week to have a NICE sit down meal. So tonight we had pork roast that was seasoned with my own homemade rub of rosemary, thyme, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. I grinded all of the spices in my mill, and rubbed generously on the pork. I seared the pork on all sides, then transferred to the oven to roast at 375 degrees for just over an hour.
To accompany the roast, I made my cranberry/red wine reduction sauce. The recipe is simple. One bag of fresh cranberries, poured into a sauce pot. Add half a bottle of GOOD red wine, (I used a good Cab), brown sugar, one shallot, salt, pepper, and a couple sprigs of thyme. Cook down by half, and puree with an emulsion blender. Strain, and add a pat of butter (the real stuff) and let simmer.
Our sides included Brussels spouts and shitake mushroom risotto.
For the Brussels sprouts I first cubed a 1/4 cup of pork belly and browned. They are also known as lardons, and this was my first time making them. My best tip is to make sure you brown them, and drain off all the grease. Set aside, and add in 1/4 cup of shallots, one clove of garlic both finely chopped and sauté for just a few minutes. Add in your Brussels sprouts, and cook for about 20 minutes. Add in your drained lardons for the last couple minutes. DELISH.
For the risotto, I wanted to highlight the mushrooms. I chopped 1/2 a cup of shitake mushrooms, one shallot, and 2 cloves of garlic. In a separate sauce pan I had 4 cups of veggie stock with 2 bay leaves on low heat. Take a wide sauce pan and drizzle with evoo and one pat of butter. Add in your veggies, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in one cup of good Arborio rice and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly add in your chicken stock, one ladle at a time, cooking slowly. Continue to add in the chicken stock until your rice is cooked al dente. Garnish with parsley and Grana padono cheese.
And so we plate….here is this week’s Sunday Supper.
With that, I leave you with a smile, a ready palate, and passion that is unending. Keep Movin!