Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Together as a Team

Do you have a typical "routine" for your weekly days? I have a general routine, and when I stray from it, I just feel off. Needless to say, I try to stick with my routine. Well, today was one of those days that just didn't go as planned.

First and foremost, I was crazy hungry and tired all freakin' day. I am thinking it's because I have been working out so much?

I had clinical this morning, so I got up super early (4:45 is for the birds) and made my morning protein shake (vanilla whey + a banana, grapes, ice, & water). I then packed a small bag (portion size) of unsalted pretzels to take to eat half way through clinical so I wouldn't be starving by lunch (epic fail). I ate that, and after post conference I had a subway 6 inch roasted chicken breast on wheat with spinach, pickles, olives, banana peppers, and mustard. I also had some grapes that I packed in my bag. I then got home from lab around 4 and had a small portion of left over chicken pieces with peppers and onions.

All throughout the day I was so sleepy, even though I got great rest the night before, that I needed a nap. It is a rare day when I nap, but today it just needed to happen. Normally, I get home from lab on Wednesdays around 4 and then automatically get dressed and head to the gym to get my work out on. Since I napped today, I bummed around and then finally MADE myself get off my butt and get to the gym. I was totally not in the mood to work out, but I looked at my vision board and made myself. I ran a hard 2 miles and was satisfied with that.... my legs are really sore from the long runs I've been doing.

I got home from working out at 8pm and my hubby had cooked cornflake chicken and asparagus for dinner since he knew I wouldn't feel like cooking so late. It's the little things that remind me of how much I value & love my partnership with my husband. Marriage, or any relationship really, is a team initiative. In order to succeed to the best of your ability, working together will achieve that. So, I would just like to say thank you to my handsome husband for doing things that he doesn't even realize that de stress and help me out.

I have been trying not to eat after 8pm, but I didn't get home until 8 and I was starving (go figure) and figured I needed a good meal after running. So Ryan & I split a chicken breast and had some asparagus.

I dipped mine in some fat free ranch and hot sauce... Yum! It was delicious.

He also marinated some chicken breasts for tomorrow with the new jerk marinade that my parents brought home for him from their vacation Jamaica. The weather has been so nice, so I think he's going to grill them outside!

There are a number of cornflake chicken recipes, but I have adapted ours and this is the way we've made it for years.

-Boneless chicken breasts (thin and prepped) I usually have about 4 pieces
-1 cup of cornflake crumbs (I put mine in a zip lock bag and crush)
-1/2 cup of skim milk
-Seasoning of your choice if you'd prefer (I don't add any, but most of the recipes call for salt/pepper)

Put the crumbs (& seasoning if you choose) in a small bowl. In a separate bowl pour your milk. Dip your chicken breasts in the milk, and then in the crumbs. Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray; place prepared chicken on the sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Birthday/Easter Door Wreath

The other day I saw a DIY door wreath for a birthday. My birthday is Saturday (March 3rd) and Ryan's is April 1st, so I decided to go with a gender neutral birthday wreath. I picked up three things:
1. A styrofoam circle wreath (ideally I would have liked a thinner one, but that's all they had at Hobby Lobby and I didn't feel like going anywhere else)
2. 7(ish) 3 packs of curled ribbon (it depends on the size of your wreath- since mine was bigger, I will add a few more on later)
3. Ribbon to hang the wreath from

Here's the supplies:

I stapled the ribbons on the wreath and it worked just fine, but you could use a hot glue gun instead if you'd like.
Continue all the way around the wreath. Yes, it's that simple.

Here's the final product!
It turned out super cute. Like I said earlier in the post, because it's staying on our door for both my birthday and Ryan's, I decided to go with a gender neutral color. This ribbon was the only multi-colored ribbon and I am happy with the product. If it were just my birthday, I would have totally done PINK and if it were Ryan's birthday I would have done a BLUE, but this works fine. It also reminds me a lot of Easter, so I'll add a few plastic eggs and voila, it'll be an Easter wreath!

Bella was wondering what the heck mommy was doing:

Speaking of my birthday--- here's my present that Ryan is taunting me with:


I ran 3.2 (a 5K) tonight before having dinner with my friend Laura. My legs were sore from yesterday, but it felt good to get a run in!

What are some of your favorite DIY projects to do?

Monday, February 27, 2012

6.5 MILES!!

That's right, folks! I just got done running 6.5 miles!!!!! I am feeling GREAT :)
I don't have much time to blog tonight...... I've got skills testing tomorrow, so I'll be buried in my books tonight, but I'll check back tomorrow!

YAY 6.5!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


YAYYY!! I can finally talk about one of my best friends engagements!!
I have been having to swallow this huge (that's what she said) secret since the summer bash in winter party at Laura's house. At their party, Joel pulled me aside and told me about his plans to propose on their vacation to Key West, FL next month. Of course I was super excited and I seriously couldn't be happier for them.
Laura is one of my best friends from high school. We had many fun memories from high school and even traveled to France with one of our other best friends, Hilary, the summer after high school graduation. She went to college at the University of Illinois and earned her masters in accounting, which is where I attended graduate school as well, so we enjoyed a few fun times in Champaign as well :) Laura was also one of my lovely bridesmaids who stood besides me as I vowed to honor & love my husband for life. :)
Want to know something super cute?
They're both accountants at the same company. How stinkin' cute is that?
They met at work when they began working there a couple years ago and became good friends. The cool thing is, they really were just friends at first. I love when people fall in love after they have a solid foundation of friendship, that's just so romantic to me. Anyways- they somehow began dating and after an awkward teeth smashing kiss, became official. They are so cute together & again, Ryan and I are truly happy for them! Congratulations you little lovebirds!!!

Before Laura & Joel left to go to Key West, I got ahold of Joel and asked for his key to Laura's house. I told him that I wanted to surprise her by decorating her house after he proposed. He got really excited when I told him about it, it was really sweet. You can just tell by the way he talks/acts/and looks at Laura how much he loves her. Anyways, I decorated her house! Here's a few pictures I snapped:

Me before exiting the scene:
"I do.. Me Too!"

I was super excited to do the streamers on the fan. My hope was to have her turn the fan on and have her and Joel get covered in streamers, but her being the smart person that she is, didn't turn the fan on to avoid a mess. Oh well, I guess it's the thought that counts. ;)
Bling Bling, she got the ring!!!
"Mint" to Be.
Rubber love duckies.
And of course, balloons. What kind of celebration would it be without balloons?
This was so much fun! I LOVE doing stuff like this--- surprising people and making people happy & it doesn't help that I love her, right? :)

Anyways, congratulations to a beautiful couple!!!!

Sizzlin Sunday

Earlier this week I posted a recipe of sweet tater black bean burgers that I prepared and was going to cook later in the week. Well today was the perfect day for us to eat them. We defrosted them from the freezer earlier in the day and then Ryan fired up the grill around dinner time, slapped them on there for 7 minutes, flipped, and finished off for 5 minutes. Next time I'll actually listen to the ladies recipe by baking them in the oven at 375 degrees 15 minutes on each side. They were still DELICIOUS, just a little crispy! Seriously though, you should try them out! My husband loves his meat, but he was pretty impressed with these, too.

I also put some asparagus (favorite food ever) and green beans in some tin foil and he cooked them on the grill to. So-darn-yummy.
Looking at my past posts, I have been making it a Sizzlin Sunday tradition to post my new years resolution every week. So last Sunday I was at 284, and this Sunday I'm at ..... 270!!!! That is determination, folks. And How can you not be motivated when "I'm sexy & I know it" comes on Pandora when you're running? I almost caught myself singing for everyone at the club to hear! ha!

Check back next Sunday and hopefully I'll be down even more!

What are some of your new year goals that you made for yourself?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mid Weekend


I've been slacking on blogging this week due to being crazy busy at school. Spring break begins next week (March 6th) so we have a lot of things to complete before that.

Like I said, I've had a great, but busy week. Throughout all of the chaos, I managed to make time for myself and run... every- single- day. I even ran 5 miles yesterday! I also tried some intervals (30 sec on 8.0, 30 sec off). During swimming work outs we would always do intervals, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I liked it! Not an everyday work out for me, but it's nice to switch it up a bit.

Ryan and I went to our friend Delaney and Ryan's house for dinner last night with another couple. They make steak, PURPLE carrots (what???), broccoli, and twice baked potatoes. Yum! Have you ever heard of purple carrots?? Yeah, I hadn't either, but they.. were.. yummy! We were in charge of bringing the dessert (and I didn't plan ahead), so we just picked up a chocolate pie from the store on our way there. Needless to say, while everyone had their pie, I had a second serving of broccoli and I was completely fine with that. :) Delaney also does Weight Watchers, so she cooks weight watcher friendly, which is always a plus! It's great that we have several such great friends.

Speaking of great friends, one of my very best friends got engaged last week! I had to respect their privacy (lame, I know ;) ) and keep it a secret until they made it public. They were on vacation and wanted to enjoy their first week of engagement in private and relaxation, which is really smart if you think about it because from here on out it's planning time! Woo hoo! I'll make a separate post about this later.

Ryan and I went to WW this morning. We missed the meeting, but still went and weighed in. Still loosing! Slow, but steady... and I'm ok with that. He, of course, is having the lbs just fall right off of him.... why is it so much easier for men to loose weight?

My birthday is March 3rd (next Saturday), so that should be fun. It's a tradition that we all celebrate birthdays together with my family and it's always a great time. I decided that I want to go bowling! STRIKKKE! So we'll head to dinner (I said I didn't mind where we go), and then off to get those strikes!

I have a test Monday and skills testing on Tuesday, but after that, look forward to more posts. Until then, have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pretzel Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Nuggets

Tonight I made Pretzel Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Nuggets. They are 7 WW+/serving and they are delicious & super easy to make! I love this ladies blog.... I made her pizza stuffed chicken breasts which were good and I have a lot of other recipes that I'm eager to try out. Check her out!

Basically all you need it:
- 1lb of chicken, cut into bite size pieces
- 3 tbs honey
- 2 tbs mustard
- 1 cup of finely crushed pretzels
(she called for salt, pepper, and garlic which I held and it was still super tasty)

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut your chicken.
3. Combine the honey & mustard in a small bowl.
4. In a separate bowl combine your pretzels (and seasoning if you choose).
5. Lightly spray your baking sheet.
6. Dip chicken into honey-mustard mix and then into pretzel mixture.
7. Lightly spray the top of the chicken nuggets with PAM (or a cooking spray).
8. Bake 10 minutes, flip and bake 5 more minutes.

They are really good!!!

After clinical today, I met my mom, sister, & dad at Panera for lunch. I had their Cobb salad without the bacon and the Balsamic dressing on the side. I wasn't too impressed, but what can you do?
Anyways.. my momma and I went and tried bikinis on after lunch and boy was I discouraged! I felt great until I started trying on the bikinis. I have a ways to go before I'll wear that in public!
What can I do to have a body like this?
Pitty party, I know. :)
What are some things that you do or tell yourself when you're feeling discouraged even though you've come so far?

Monday, February 20, 2012


What a Monday!!! Busy Busy.....
My husband had the day off of work for Presidents Day even though he worked on a project whose deadline is this week... thank gosh because I don't know if I could handle another week of a grumpy, frustrated, and sleep deprived husband! He is fortunate that he usually doesn't bring a lot of work stress home (at least that I can tell), but every couple of months he has a deadline on a hard project and things get a bit tense around our household. Thank goodness I am a completely rationale and understanding wife, right? ;) Ha!

I ran 3.2 miles at the club tonight..... felt great!

I had to do a presentation on musculoskeletal disorders today. Here's a picture before I left. This gal loves her cheetah print!

Remember the Fix it & forget it slow cooker chicken fajitas that I prepared yesterday? I made them today and BOY ARE THEY DELICIOUS! I definitely recommend trying them.

This is something that I struggle with every .... single .... night .....

Thinking that I'm hungry before bed..


So here's some food for thought that keeps me from snacking before bed:

Like it? Yeah, me too.

What are some tricks that you do to keep yourself from snacking before bed?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sweet Tater Black Bean Burger

I prepared a new recipe I found off of my Pinterest.
Here's a few pictures of my cooking. If you scroll down, you'll see the recipe.

1.5LBS of cubed sweet potatoes:

Black beans (1/2 mashed into paste like and 1/2 semi- mashed):

Quinoa before cooking:
The remainder of the quinoa that I'll use in another recipe later this week:

Hubby and I not too sure about the quinoa (I've never heard of it before this recipe):
Again, not too sure:
Final product- looks delicious:
Packaged them and put them in the freezer for later in the week (don't mind the Christmas container, ha!):

Dessert I brought over to my parents for after dinner tonight- Chocolate covered strawberries and pretzels:
Here's the recipe (great blog):
  • 15oz black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 3c cubed sweet tater, cooked with the skin on [~1.5lbs]
  • 1/2 of medium onion finely chopped onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2c cooked quinoa
  • 6T rolled oats, partially ground
  • 2T sunflower seeds
  • black pepper
  • 1t cumin
  • 1t oregano
  • 1/4t coriander
  • 1t chili powder
  • 1T olive oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 once you finish cooking the quinoa and the potatoes.
  2. Mash half of the beans in a bowl until paste-like.
  3. Add in the rest of the beans and give a very light stir/mash to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, mash the sweet tater. Each cube should be mashed, but you don’t want it creamy.
  5. Stir in the salt, pepper, oregano, coriander, chili powder, and olive oil, until combined.
  6. Mix in the onion, garlic, corn, black beans, quinoa, sunflower seeds, and ground oats, until just combined.
  7. Form into balls, between your hands and flatten into 1/2”-3/4” thick patties. This should make 8 patties.
  8. Place on a pan lined with parchment paper [or lightly greased pan] and bake on each side for 15min, flipping once, half-way through.
  9. Remove from oven and serve!
Makes 8 patties. They are 4 WW+ (without the bun).

Skinny Chicken Nuggets

I made skinny chicken nuggets to have for our lunches tomorrow. You can never go wrong with this recipe. It'!
And this is a picture of the hubby and I before I conked out during our movie last night.

Fix it & Forget it Chicken Fajitas

I prepared crock pot chicken fajitas that I will be making later in the week. I found the recipe here.

First you prepare your yummy peppers and onions. I used two yellow, one red, and one onion. Really,you can use whatever and however much you want!
Then you line the bottom of a greased (I sprayed PAM) crock pot with your vegetables.
Then trim 1.5lbs of chicken breast and place on top of the vegetables.
Pour 1/2 cup of chicken broth on chicken. Top with spices (recipe calls for chili powder, cumin, and salt.) I only used chili powder, I never put salt in my recipes and I'm not a fan of cumin. Then top with a couple of splashs of lime juice.
If you were cooking it then, you would cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. When cooked through, shred chicken with two forks and serve with whole wheat tortillas and some fat free fixin's of your liking!
I just put the instructions and date on the crock pot lid and placed it in the fridge for later in the week- it makes those busy week nights a lot easier!

What are your favorite healthy crock pot recipes?

Sizzlin Sunday

Well Well Well- What a "sizzlin" Sunday it's been. Ryan and I woke up early due to me falling asleep not once, but twice, during our movie night at home last night. I swear- movies (at home) and car rides (passenger style, of course) make me fall asleep... every- single- time!

So last time I posted my goal board, I was at 294. That was last Monday- just 6 short days ago. I am down 10 miles! Pretty exciting. I am totally going to achieve this NY goal!

Sometimes, I get upset with myself for running "slower." I run anywhere between 5.0-5.5 the entire run and then I will increase it to 6.0 near the end for 30 sec- 60 sec. intervals. Not too many because it's REALLY hard for me and I get discouraged and I find my legs miraculously wanting to hop right off onto the side of the treadmill. Wonder why that happens? ;) Well, on my vision board that I made for myself, I have a quote that I absolutely love; "dead last finish is greater than did not finish, which trumps, DID NOT START." I love that and it puts into perspective that every single person is at a different level regarding their physical activity and at least I'm doing something.... and really pushing myself at that. Maybe some day I will get to a faster pace, actually, I KNOW someday I will. But, I have to cut myself some slack and remember that I'm doing a great job and I have come a long way from just sitting on the couch!

My sister's boyfriend fixed the dent in my car (SUPER NICE- thank you so much), so I made him a "movie at home" care package. I put some $ in an envelope so he can go rent a couple of movies at the movie store. I hope he likes it!
And after I ran today, I came home and prepared our meals for the week, and of course I made my roasted chickpeas for a healthy snack throughout the week. This time instead of adding the olive oil to the chickpeas, I just rinsed and drained them and baked them for 30 min at 400 degrees. They were even better! I sprinkled a little seasoning on them and they were delicious. They were even more crispy!

I forgot to mention earlier- I went to Target before I went to the gym to run strictly to try on a bikini for motivation. Wow, did that work! Are their bikinis just for teens? My boobs were POPPING out!!!! Sick! Anyways- I ran into this sheet of cheetah duck tape. It was on clearance for $1, so I said why not? Since I broke off my mirror, we duck taped it to secure the wires, but it's boring, grey, duck tape. So what's better than putting some fun cheetah duck tape on it? Hey- I might as well have a little fun with this, right? :)

I'll post the recipes that I prepared today in a separate post.

What do you do to organize your meals for the week?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Week Recap

It's almost Friday? Heck yeah!
What a week it's been. Busy with school, work, and lots of love.
I've been running a lot this week. I posted the 5 miles and then every other day I've ran 2 miles. 2 miles doesn't sound too long, but if I were just talking about this 2 months ago, I would be thinking 2 miles was a lot! It's crazy how far I've come in such a short time. Needless to say, I'm very proud of myself!

I made a WW+ recipe the other night; pepperoni stuffed chicken breasts. It calls for four chicken breasts, but I filleted(sp?) them and made it into 8 smaller chicken breasts. It's a lot of points for your buck, but it's worth a splurge. They were mediocre, I'll probably make them in the future. Here's the link- enjoy and let me know if you like them! This lady has a lot of great recipes on her blog.

We had a good Valentines Day. I got some beautiful flowers that were resting in a my new PINK camelback water bottle! He's so thoughtful :) And then I had my breakfast sitting out for me to take to work- nothing crazy, just simple-normal-acts of love. That is what I appreciate :) We made dinner together and just enjoyed a night without computers/phones/tv.... It was very special.

By the way, thank you for all of your comments on my posts. It makes me feel so good to get them! :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

5 MILES!!!!!

I finally got to 5!!! I was having a not-so-good-pitty-party kind of day and I KNEW I needed to make myself hit the gym hard not only because I skipped running yesterday, but just to make myself feel better. It's amazing what the endorphins do to you- it's free lexapro! ;)
Here's my 5 mile mark.......... (the 3 minute was my cool down)

And this is where I'm at on my goal as of tonight.... 294 miles to go. I can do this!
This is a picture before I began the day today...
And this is a picture before Ryan and I went out Saturday night to listen to an awesome local band; Leaving Ashland.
And this folks, is why I was having a not-so-good-pitty-party kind of day.... Yesterday I decided to back out of my garage and hit the HECK out of my mirror! It's a tight squeeze on my side of the garage and Ryan always reminds me to watch out while I back out of the garage and finally after two years of living here..... I DID IT. I've never gotten into an accident (knock on wood) or anything of that sort, so this was hard to swallow. UGH- What a pain! At least I learned my lesson to watch what I'm doing, right? :)
I made delicious Skinny Enchiladas last night for a few of our friends. Only 150 calories per enchilada and 4 WW+ points! Try them... they're yummy!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Now & Then

I've contemplated posting "now & then" pictures for awhile now, and I finally decided to do it. I was apprehensive because it seriously makes me sick to my stomach to look at pictures and talk about the way I was just a short time ago. However, I do know how beneficial it is to talk about what I was once was in order to keep myself in line and continue on a healthier life style. I must say, I have come a long way. When I was at my biggest weight, I knew I was bigger, but looking at the pictures now- I did NOT think I looked the way I did....

Here's a picture from July 2011 taken on our vacation in Florida. I started my journey to a healthier lifestyle the DAY we got back... So this is a real "before" picture. (I am cringing)

This was a picture of Ryan and I in Cancun Mexico May 2010. Large and in charge.
Still in Mexico... I remember looking at this picture & thinking I kind of looked fit? Sick!

And this is a picture taken Jan 28, 2012 celebrating my sister's birthday.
Same night...

It's amazing how far I've come... I mean really. I am seriously proud of myself! This is HARD, *but* attainable! That is the key! And it all happened because I was determined. It's amazing what the human body can do.

I made Chicken Rollatini. It's 5 WW+ and it was delicious! My picture isn't as pretty as skinnygirls, but it still tastes good. ;)

Have a great weekend!