Saturday, August 30, 2014

Finally took the Plunge!!

I have wanted my own domain for a while now especially as I blog more and more. I am still figuring out the designing and everything, but I figured the only way I would learn it, would be to have my own website/blog. So right now the design remains simple for me, but I am sure it will go through many changes over time. I copied over all the 2014 posts from here and will blog on my new site now which is

Please go check out my new site!! Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thinking Out Loud #4

 It's Thursday, that means just 2 more days till the weekend and time for some Thinking out loud with Amanda, who just celebrated her 2nd year of Spoons yesterday, where she gave some super helpful blogger tips as well.

    Now let's get to some random thoughts!


1. Brian surprised me last week when he came to visit with a new diamond heart necklace. Since I never see him, the necklace pretty much means the world to me. I was so surprised I was speechless but definitely love having something around my neck again.

2. I went to the gym at 5am on Monday and did some barbell squats for the first time in a couple weeks and after taking nearly a week off from the gym...well my legs are still recovering. I also think I need to add more protein to my diet, especially my breakfast when I work out at 5am.

3. I went to Whole Foods yesterday and during one of the points between walking between either my apartment and my car or the store and my car, I got bit...really....

4. I am getting tired of eating cashews so I decided to pick up pistachios from Whole Foods while I was there. The only thing is when opening the shells of them and packing the buts for my lunch, I eat a nut for every nut I put into my lunch leaving me with fewer Pistachios...also why do they have to be so expensive?!?

5. Yesterday's yoga pose for one of my Instagram challenges was shoulder stand with a chair...ummm I have brought up my lack of furniture before and well I just bought some cheap chairs a couple weeks ago from Walmart only because I got a table and my dad and sister were visiting and we needed some chairs. Cheap plastic chairs are definitely not sturdy so I didn't get very far with the pose and then I tried with a ball, because those are more reliable than chairs for me, because I sit on one at my desk. So here is my #yogafail yesterday.

6. Have you ever tried Blogilates? I am having this love/hate relationship with the youtube channel right now. The first few workouts I did were killer ab ones and I loved it, but when trying the leg, thigh or butt videos, etc...well my body needs some work. I am not following the calendar for the month like I should, but instead choosing random videos. Maybe I can try following the calendar next month. I can tell you that you definitely feel the soreness the next day.

7. How is August over already?!? Like really, I feel like it just started. The cooler weather we have had, has definitely thrown me off, but I'm excited the warm 80-90 degree weather returned this week and I am looking forward to some Fall things, as long as the cold doesn't come too quickly (not ready for that)

8. I'm looking forward to the 3 day weekend!! Hoping to find some good Labor Day sales and get in lots of yoga and blogilates!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Treats upon Treats Weekend: WIAW #7

      This past weekend I got to spend some time with my boyfriend, Brian, traveling around between New York state and Pennsylvania. As I recap my weekend, I thought I would share some of my food on the road, which I will add was not the healthiest and my stomach did not always enjoy it, but hey I was traveling and enjoying myself.
       I left work at 1 on Friday and we were on the road to Albany by 2:15pm. What was supposed to be a 4 hour drive turned into a 6 hour drive and I was not a fan of the stop and go traffic. Eventually we passed the red spots on the map and stopped at a rest stop. Being that it was past 6pm and we still had about 2 hours left of our drive, I decided to get a Starbucks iced tea and cran bran muffin. At that moment it seriously tasted like the best muffin ever and settled my stomach.

        We finally arrived in Albany at Brian's friend's house at 8pm. It was a BBQ party and there was some food leftover from 2 hours prior to when the party started. I didn't think I would eat anything with it being so late, but enjoyed a BBQ chicken breast and too many chips to count. No picture as I ate it too fast and did not even think of taking a picture.

         Saturday morning, we went out to a cute little restaurant in Ballston Spa, NY called Iron Roost. We met up with another one of our college friends, Marc, who lives in the area and enjoyed catching up on each other's lives and work and such. My breakfast was so delicious!! I enjoyed a waffle with chocolate chips (and hardly had to use the syrup because the chocolate was so good) and some sausage.

After breakfast we walked around the cute little town and farmers market they were having. We picked up some treats for later from a bakery. 

Marc and me
    Around 9:30 we were on the road again, headed to Penn Yan for my roommate from freshman and junior year of college. It was about a 4 hour drive (with stops) and I enjoyed a treat from the bakery we stopped at this morning while riding in the car.

peanut butter chocolate chip cookie
        We arrived at the bridal shower just a half hour late, but it worked out perfectly as we enjoyed the appetizers and then played a game and chatted. It was a couples bridal shower and it just so happened Brian had off from work to attend. He wasn't looking forward to it, really, thinking he was going to be the only guy, but I was also the only girl at the party Friday night so I think it evened out. Plus he ended up not being the only guy and enjoyed chatting with the bride and groom to be.
         Now I must get to all the delicious food we ate there. Appetizers included cheese, crackers and pretzels. For a drink, I enjoyed iced tea in the cute mason jars!! I think I may have drank my weight in iced tea while I was there as I kept getting more.

     A little later we enjoyed some lunch/dinner. Somehow my friend knew exactly what I have been craving, BBQ, corn on the cob and baked beans! It was perfect! Also some unpictured corn bread (clearly I was a little hungry).

         After eating, we played another quick game and then it was time to bring out the cakes! We got a preview of the wedding cake flavor, strawberry filling with vanilla cake. It was really good! I split a piece with Brian since I was so full though.

         Then it was time for the bride and groom to be to open gifts and we were instructed to help ourselves to cookies to take home or eat then. I ate one and took 2 home. Let's just say after all that food and sweets and iced tea, my belly was not too happy with me and I guzzled down water only for the rest of the evening.

Me and the Bride to Be

      The shower ended around 5pm and it was time to drive to Brian's brother's apartment. Another 3 hour drive! Luckily the drive went pretty smooth and quick. I even got a yoga break at a rest stop.

        We reached our destination at 8pm and I chatted with Brian's mom, who was also visiting, for a couple hours before heading to bed. Well I was super full with a sugar overloaded belly and then sleep time came and I was rolling and my tummy started to growl, but I made it through the night somehow, even though our air mattress completely deflated to the floor even after refilling it at 2am.
         Once the morning hit, I was so hungry and had to wait to go out to breakfast. We drove around the area for a bit first though and let's just say that involved driving on hills and curvy roads which I am not too fond on. So not only was I feeling a bit motion sick, but I was already feeling sick from not eating. I had reached that point where I was beyond just hungry and just feeling sick and not even wanting to eat, but knowing I need to eat. Anyone else ever get that? I hate it, because then I have to force myself to eat.
       We finally got to the restaurant and honestly by the time we arrived I didn't even want food. I had realized I had gone 17 hours without food. I had tried to drink tons of water though which helped some during that period and yes I was sleeping for 9 hours of that or so, but it was still off and on sleep and rough. I don't know how people do 24 hour fasts. I could never do them when I was younger for the reasons of feeling so sick I described above.
     Anyway I decided to order French toast with a side of sausage. French toast was a treat for me since I don't buy bread for myself. I can never eat a whole loaf and I also don't have a toaster so freezing it would not work either.

     The french toast was a little too eggy and buttery for me, but I got myself to eat it while also guzzling down 3-4 glasses of water with my breakfast. I guess I was more dehydrated than I thought... I was just happy they left the pitcher of water at our table. I hate it when you finish your glass and have to wave down the waiter for more water.
      For the afternoon, we drove around more at the state parks near by and then took a trip to the Piper Aviation Museum. For lunch I got a salad while the others enjoyed 14 inch subs that only cost like $4! My salad was like $9...(and again no picture, but it was just a grilled chicken salad).
     We ate our lunch after the museum and then Brian and I drove back to our apartment. On our way back we made a stop at Wegmans for my groceries for the week and stir fry ingredients. I was able to make us a wonderful dinner at home once we got back and was so happy to sit at my new table and eat with him.

      Home cooked meal full of veggies was a great way to end the weekend, considering all the sweets we had on the road!! Just remember life is about balance!!

Thank you Jenn for hosting!!

Peas and Crayons

Monday, August 18, 2014

Productive Weekend: MIMM #11

    It's Monday again. Ummm how are we half way through August?!? Suddenly we have had highs of 70 degrees and I was expecting August to be hot, but the mornings feel like Fall and I am not ready for that. Hopefully it warms up this week.
      Anyway this weekend was super productive, between shopping, food prepping, cleaning and working out. I know those probably don't sound that much fun, but they were for me.
      My weekend started Friday with about a 2 mile swim. It was so nice to be in the pool when it wasn't crowded. I love Fridays at the gym! My workout fuel included a cupcake, banana and homemade protein bar in the afternoon and I made sure to drink lots of water.

     Yes I realize cupcakes are probably not the best fuel for workouts, but for a long swim, it kept me satisfied to make it through and not be starving mid way. I then went home and finished off my pulled pork for dinner.
      Saturday morning I headed to the farmer's market where I picked up some blueberries and it will probably be the last week for them. I freeze the blueberries right away so that they stay fresh and I don't have to use them everyday. I like to top the frozen blueberries on my hot oatmeal in the morning.
       I then headed to a zumba class which was fun! After dancing away and being all sweaty, I went straight to Wegmans for my weekly shopping trip.
       The rest of the afternoon was pretty relaxed catching up on some tv shows and doing my daily yoga. I was also playing around with editing photos for a while, some fun mirror images.

    Sunday morning I slept in until nearly 8am. I got up and wasn't even that hungry so I prepared the pork for the slow cooker first before making my breakfast. I decided to make myself some chocolate chip protein pancakes with sausage. So delicious!!

      It was a bit of a rainy morning as I headed to Target and shopped around some other stores just for fun since I wasn't in any hurry to be anywhere. I was super excited when I found Lisa Frank stickers at Five Below!! I thought they didn't make Lisa Frank products anymore. Oh childhood memories... since they were only $1, I bought them.

      Then I came back home and ate lunch while meal prepping for the week.

    Pulled pork does not photograph well, so that's what that blurry photo in the middle is. Saturday I had also made some mint watermelonade, inspired by The Healthy Maven. I was planning to follow her recipe, but then I just had some lemonade, so I didn't do the honey and water and lemon part. I took some cut up watermelon and mint and blended it then made it 50/50 watermelon mint mixture with lemonade. It was better once cold and nice for a change of a drink.
    I also baked some cookies since it had been a while and made my typical roasted sweet potato and brussel sprouts and homemade guacamole. I was constantly cleaning up the kitchen as I went along and yet it still needs some cleaning.
     Once my meal prepping was pretty much done, I decided to go out for a short bike ride. The rain had passed and my dad brought my bike to me last weekend. It was so nice to ride to the park and it took a short 7 minutes as most of it was downhill, I hardly pedaled and then I came to the stony part of the path AND it was uphill...that did not go as well and I ended up hopping off the bike and walking it a bit lol.

      I then stopped at the park for a short yoga break. Have to enjoy this beautiful weather while I can!

  I think my favorite is the bottom left photo with my foot coming at the camera in flying side crow. I love how my leg is slowly beginning to get straighter in that pose.
   Then it was time to ride around the trail once more, before I headed home. Since most of the way to the park was downhill, that meant an uphill ride home. I am from the flat lands of Illinois and not used to even slight hills, so it was quite the workout and I am glad I got my gears switched while riding the path to make the pedaling slightly easier, but I was definitely sweating on the short 1 mile trip back home. I think this means I should take my bike out more and work on this whole riding uphill thing.
    Once I returned to my apartment, I did a couple ab workouts from blogilates. She does some killer ab workouts and I think I need to add one of her 15 min videos into my routines daily. This was actually my first time trying her workouts and I am sure I will feel it later today.
    That wraps up my weekend, now it's time for the work week to begin. Happy Monday!! Thanks Katie for hosting!!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thinking Out Loud #3

        It's Thursday which means it's time for some thinking out loud with Amanda!!
1. These crackers are seriously addicting!! They make the perfect mid morning snack with some nuts while at work and they make the perfect night time snack as well.

2. Tuesday night I worked a little later because I had tons to do and it was a rainy day anyway so I skipped the gym and decided to take the night to clean and relax and make some granola bars. Thanks to Katie for the awesome quick and tasty recipe.

3. Last week I mentioned that I was taking my car in for a tire inspection. Well turned out my tire pressure gauge that makes the tire light come on went bad in that one tire causing it to leak. I don't know the mechanics of that but over $100 later it was fixed. Can't believe it costs just as much for a new tire...

4. speaking of my car, it has needed a new battery since January. I am still amazed it survived the sub zero temps through the rest of winter, but it did. I finally bought a new battery over the weekend (which wasn't cheap either) and my dad installed it while he was here. So hopefully my car is ready for a road trip again.

5. I had a wonderful weekend with my dad and sister (which I wrote about here). They delivered my things and I have a lot of boxes and stuff to sort through but half of them are hidden in a closet for now. I will get to them eventually...

6. the first night my dad was here, he was searching for condos for me and the next day we walked over to a realtor place and I met with the realtor yesterday. I still don't really know what I can afford and a condo or house is so permanent and I am not sure of a place I want to live for years. There is a lot to think about with a house and such.

7. Yesterday I enjoyed a sandwich (a treat from work) and ate by my usual spot at the fountain in Love Park. The fountain was dyed a pretty blue!!

8.  After work and my realtor appointment yesterday, I successfully ran a mile in 11 minutes and 8 seconds on the treadmill at the gym. So proud of myself!! It was also nice to be back at the gym since I hadn't been there in nearly a week.

9. I am kind of obsessed with how awesome this photo turned out on Tuesday evening. I took it for the #confidentyogis Instagram yoga challenge hosted by the lovely Kim and Paige.

   10. I have these two random bruises on my left arm. I have been wondering what they came from. Yoga possibly? But then today I was noticing that my purse hits those spots sometimes...yes it's possible my purse bruised me. Have I mentioned I bruise easily?

      Be sure to check out the other links on Amanda's page for Thinking Outloud Thursday. Hope you enjoyed my randomness today!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Weekend Recap and Some Eats

   Happy Wednesday!! I'm doing my weekend recap today because I didn't have time to write it for Monday and also sharing some of my eats from the weekend.
    This past weekend my dad and sister took a road trip to visit me (but really it was to get all of my things out of the house). They arrived late on Thursday night. I still worked until 3pm on Friday as I had quite a few meetings, but managed to get everything that needed to be done finished before the weekend. Then it was time to hang out with my dad and sis all weekend. Friday we just walked around in the city for a bit and had a nice photoshoot at Love Park. My sister is such a model! I finally got some yoga photos by the fountain!! I even had some people clapping for me as I did the poses :)

       Friday night we went out to dinner at a Thai Restaurant near my apartment. I think I have mentioned before my lack of furniture. I only own a mattress and a desk (both thanks to my wonderful boyfriend for purchasing). Well this arrangement is fine since it's mostly just me and I sit (on an exercise ball) at my desk while eating, typing, watching netflix, etc. However, when I have guests, they don't have a chair or anywhere to sit but the floor. This is why I always eat out when guests come. Of course after our meal, we always come back to my furnitureless apartment with no where but the floor to sit.
      My dad and sis didn't really like how there weren't any chairs and such. After dinner, we were walking back to my apartment and saw a sign for a huge moving sale just over a mile away from my apartment. Saturday morning we drove over to the sale before heading out for our other plans. I got a pretty decent wooden table for only $5!! It fit perfectly in the dining room area of my apartment. We later shopped at Walmart to buy 4 chairs to fit around it. I know those chairs were cheap but considering they were 12 times the cost of what I spent on the table, it seemed expensive. However they fit so perfectly and now I can really entertain people. Now I just need some friends out here to invite over. The place mats also added a nice touch.

        Alright back to the weekend. Saturday after getting the table, we drove into the city. We got tickets for Independence Hall and walked around until it was time for our tour.

              After the tour it was nearly lunch time and we decided to get on the road and drive to Atlantic City, NJ. Without traffic the shore would only be about an hour and a half drive, which isn't too bad. Our drive there took nearly 3 hours though between traffic and people pulled over from accidents, etc, it was a LONG drive. We also stopped at Panera for lunch along the way. I enjoyed their sesame chicken salad and my sister and I split a flip flop cookie for dessert.
        Finally we arrived at the shore, decided where to park and I was able to get my beach fix. My sister forgot to pack her swimsuit for the vacation as we didn't know we would be going to a beach, so we just laid on our towels and walked into the water a bit.

         It was quite hot outside though, even though I was in a t-shirt and shorts. I had fun though and it was nice to feel the sand between my toes again. I definitely miss Lake Michigan and only being 3 miles away from the beach. Now I have to drive to another state just to go to the beach!! Oh well, besides that, Philadelphia is treating me pretty well.
         After a few hours there, we were pretty much spent and it was time to start our drive back. We were traveling over 60mph for most of the way and then decided to stop at a diner in NJ for some dinner (I believe it was called Peter's Diner, in case anyone lives near by). I think this place was the best value for our money over the weekend. I ordered a salad and when I told them I didn't want mushrooms in it (because I don't like mushrooms) and asked for other vegetables, they wouldn't do that but instead said they could do extra spinach which was fine by me.
        All of our meals started with a small bowl of soup (which I forgot to get a picture of) and that was delicious! Then our plates came. My sister's meal was probably the closest to what a restaurant meal portion usually is since she got a hamburger. However if you ask my sister to review the diner, she would not give a high review because they didn't have any pickles for her hamburger, but they did give her some hot peppers which made it slightly better. My salad came out and it was HUGE. Actually I don't think even the word huge can describe it. Let's just look at the picture...

   I don't even know if the picture does it justice, but really the plate was like my hands stacked on top of one another in size. It was one of those plates were you ate and then you felt stuffed, but it hardly looked like you ate anything once you felt stuffed. I took my leftovers home and it lasted for 2 more salads!! All I had to do was add a bit more meat.
     We were all stuffed after eating at this diner, but when we had walked in, we immediately saw the dessert case and had to try some. I got a piece of chocolate mousse cake to go and my sister got the oreo cheesecake. We enjoyed these for dessert at home on Sunday night. This was my cake.

         It was late when we got home on Saturday night as we had to take a detour and being that we are not from the area, it was a LONG detour and a few trips in circles. I don't know what was up on Saturday, but people kept getting into car accidents along the highway we were on. There was a pretty massive one with a mini van that multiple people (on both sides of the highway) pulled over to see if the family was ok. It looked like everyone had gotten out of the car and was safe and the police were just arriving as we passed that scene. Then there was a sign alerting everyone that the Benjamin Franklin Bridge was closed due to an accident. That must have been a major accident to close the entire bridge! So we had to find another way to cross the river. We eventually detoured to the Betsy Ross bridge, but it took a while to navigate the roads to get there and finally we made it back.
         Sunday morning we headed out to the suburbs, around the Valley Forge and King of Prussia area. My dad has always wanted to see the covered bridges I guess and while he was here, we could actually go see some of them. I did not know about them until he told me. He told me he read online there used to be over 1,000 covered bridges in the US, but only about 900 are left. Of those 900, 197 of them or something are in Pennsylvania. I had no idea! There is definitely so much history around Philadelphia and even though I always hated history class in school, I do enjoy museums and traveling and learning the history sometimes.
         Our first stop to a covered bridge was Rapp's bridge. Unfortunately we discovered this one was closed for repairs, but we were still able to walk around it and see the structure. An older couple that lived near by drove down to the bridge and was walking around and my dad started talking to the woman about the bridge. We thought maybe a storm had damaged it, but learned that a semi truck went over it. We learned they had just spent 3 years restoring the bridge before this semi truck went over it. Luckily the bridge didn't collapse, but the semi truck was clearly too tall for the clearance and the driver was not paying attention.

         Now the funny/scary thing that happened is my sister and I were walking along the creek and a path when we found....

    ...yep, there was a furby left in the woods to watch us. My sister is a bit afraid of furbies. They were certainly weird toys. I finally got rid of mine in my closet recently.

          We then went on to another covered bridge. This one wasn't closed and quite a few cars kept passing over it, so it was hard to get pictures inside before we had to run to the side of the road again as the car drove by. I am sure we looked like weird tourists taking a picture of this bridge.

             Our final bridge stop was right in Valley Forge National Park which I had not been to yet. I definitely need to drive out that way more, seeing as it is not too far. We saw a covered bridge there and enjoyed a dip in the creek.

            That concludes the covered bridges we saw. The afternoon was spent shopping at Wegmans and going to the King of Prussia mall since my sister brought me some Victoria Secret and Bath and Body Works coupons.
            We then had some time at my apartment to clean up a bit. My dad took my big cardboard boxes to drop off at the recycling center and we made dinner at the apartment because we could finally all sit around a table to eat. It was a perfect way to end the weekend, eating together at the table!!


                Since there are some eats shared in this post, I am also linking up with Jenn.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thinking Out Loud #2

    Thinking out loud was so much fun last week I decided to join in again. Thank you Amanda for hosting!!

1. I was so tired yesterday morning when I got into work and I don't drink coffee so I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through the day, but someone at work brought donuts, so that kind of made my day and was the most delicious donut I have had in a long time. At my last job we brought Dunkin Donuts once a week for a while. I enjoyed them when I was hungry, but they are still so full of so much junk like any fast food. This donut must have been from a REAL bakery as it was cake like and oh so delicious!!

2. I got home from work and the gym yesterday really wanting to watch Ella Enchanted. I don't know why, it just popped into my head that I wanted to watch it. I own the DVD but wasn't sure which stack it was in, so I opened up Netflix on my computer instead in search for a movie and what was in my suggestions? Ella Enchanted!! Netflix totally read my mind and I immediately put it on!

3. Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted to eat everything in sight. I ate and ate and ate yesterday throughout the day at work and after the gym and my dinner. I am so glad I never counted my calories. I really don't want to even think about how many I consumed yesterday.

4. I lost my diamond heart necklace (which my bf gave me 2 years ago for one of our anniversaries) last Friday sometime between the gym and swimming. I can't remember if I took it off before swimming which I usually do but so far no luck with the gym lost and found. My neck feels so naked without it and I miss it so much!! Going to check the lost and found again today if I head to the gym after work.
Picture from when Brian first gave me the necklace!! I have worn it everyday since...

5. As you read this, my dad and sister are driving to come visit me and deliver the remainder of my things. We had many Skype sessions Sunday and Monday sorting through stuff and I still have no idea where I am going to put it all considering my lack of furniture...

6. When I talk about the remainder of my things, this consists of misc stuff I had in drawers and my closets. This includes some toys/collectibles...mainly American Girl Doll. I want to save some of it for my future children, but I know some of it has to go. Time to work on my ebay business.

7.   Friday I am getting my tires inspected. After my flat in June I thought I could have a break from the tire light going on, but only 3 weeks later, a different tire started leaking. Luckily my dad is bringing one of my spare tires, so I plan to get my new spare tire put on so maybe I can feel safe driving my car long distances again...I am cursed when it comes to tires...should not need to replace 6 tires in 5 years...

8. I prefer even numbers over odd, so therefore I am ending with 8 random thoughts today.

Hopefully I will be more awake today at work. One more day till Friday!! Yay!!