Thursday, March 1, 2012

Exercise and Diet - Check!

Since October I've been on a health/exercise journey. I started off with a nutrition coach, then decided that wasn't for me, or she wasn't for me. So since then I've been concentrating on my eating habits and how it coincides with my exercise regime. I think I have finally found my sweet spot. 

My boss Brenda is as motivated as I am with working out, and she has been a great asset in working out. Since December I started taking exercise classes. I've never been an exercise class kind of gal. A spin class here and there but far in between. Alex and I started with a 2 hour spin class on Saturday mornings and it has naturally increased since then. The hours just fly by and I get such a good cardio sweat in. 

In January I added a Wednesday night Kick Boxing class with Brenda, a couple weeks later we added Pilates on Tuesday nights (which is now a Step class), I added Thursdays which are my weight/boot camp days, Fridays sometimes are just cardio or I just take the night off, then Saturdays are Kick Boxing mornings. 

I love food, there is no question about that. I think that's why the nutritionist didn't really work out. At first I was working out just to eat. I was starting to get toned and not loosing weight, which I understood because I hadn't changed eating habits, which is 80% of loosing weight. 

A couple of weeks ago something else clicked. I realized I am okay with eating bland breakfasts, like 4 egg whites and one whole egg along with 1/2 cup of rolled oats oatmeal with a teaspoon of honey; and bland lunches, like a 6 oz piece of baked chicken breast with a 3/4 cup of brown rice with dried figs mixed in. Of course an apple or orange for snacks in between. When it comes to dinner though, I can't play with that. It has to be flavorful. No salads, no plain chicken breast, and no brown rice. So I just keep it lower calorie and spice it up with I always have a couple high calorie meals throughout the week, for self pleasure and to spike my metabolism. My metabolism does well with low calorie meals and then spike it with a high one a few days later. 

I haven't lost a ton of weight, but I've started to tone up nice. For me it's not about a weight goal, it's about looks and feel. I would be very happy with a firm and solid 145, which is only 7 lbs. away, but I'll have to loose the fat and build with muscle. It just feels good to finally understand how this machine works and what's best for my mental health as well. I am finally happy with my eating habits and exercise regime! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

There's snow in CO

Even though my beloved friends in ID are lacking snow, we in CO are definitely not. We had one heck of a snow fall, just over a little week ago. We got about 12" of a very wet snow. My job specifically relates to snowfall, since we plow the city streets, but since it was Friday, I only had to handle the calls for one day then got to enjoy the snow on a wonderful afternoon with our boys.

{Action Shot} 

{Wilson loves his snowballs}


{Alex configured the hat, eyes, and nose out of snow}

{The boys destroying Mr. Snowman}

New Year Resolutions in Progress

I am all about new year resolutions. I love self improvement and then having 12 months to work on specific things. Of course there's the two standard resolutions - stay in shape and getting out of debt. So I added three new ones for this year. 

1. Learn a new word each month. 
2. Get presents/cards out to loved ones on time. 
3. Read a book a month. 

The first one has been going pretty good since I make a calendar at work and I just started to just add the word to the calendar and have used the following words so far: December-crumudgeon, January-headlong, February-obiquitous. A few people at my work like the idea too, which is nice because we will use the words in the office allowing for long-term memory. 

Getting presents/cards out on time has still been provided to be difficult. It's all about the planning ahead. I don't want it to get there too early, but then I dislike the fact when I get it there late, so that one is still a work in progress. 

Reading is not a hobby of mind, but I find that, obviously, it helps my mind grow. At first I was going to keep it to American classics, like the Catcher in the Rye. In accordance with other future goals of mine I decided to change it to just books in general. So right now I'm reading on how to pick the right mutual funds. That one will be difficult as well, because in my spare time I like to practice my caligraphy. I know this will help other aspects in my life, so I'll keep at it. 

What are your new year resolutions? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grand Junction Trip

Alex and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Grand Junction, CO for New Years. We decided to go on Wednesday and left for Grand Junction Friday night. It took us about four hours and we couldn't have asked for better weather through the pass. We stayed at Ashlee's, our good friends house, with her two puppies, Sunny D and Faye. Well Faye is Teig's dog, but we wanted to take both puppies home to add to the family. We actually left our dogs in Loveland because we found a great dog sitter who stays the night for such a minimal fee - $12 a night! Morgan and Ryan also live down in Grand Junction so we were able to hang out with them as well!

We got to Ashlee's on Friday around 11 pm. Saturday we tried to go to a hot yoga class, but it was moved to Sunday, so we chatted it up in car instead, which was some needed catching up. Then we met Morgan and Ryan out in Fruita, which is about 20 minutes away from Grand Junction, to go shooting. Morgan had just gotten a new shotgun and was taking it out for a spin. Ashlee brought her rifle and .38 handgun as well. I'm not a "gun" person by any means, but I wanted to give it a go, and I knew everyone would enjoy it! Everyone else shot guns and I shot with the camera, ha-ha.

{Morgan with her shotgun, while Ashlee was pulling the clays}

{The whole gang standing around while Ashlee gets her rifle ready}

{Ashlee posting up with her rifle}

{The gang checking out the damage}

{Me and my shooting}

{Alex with the shotgun, and me pulling clays}

{Okay, okay, I very much wasn't going to shoot a gun and never have in my life, but Morgan being the inspiration she is and reassuring me that it isn't that bad, I decided to give it a go and learn about it. The kick wasn't the bad, and glad I did it.}

{Morgan and Ryan!!}

{Ashlee busted out her .38 handgun, so since I shot the shotgun, I definitely was going to shoot the handgun, and it was AWESOME, okay awesome might be exaggerated, but I did enjoy myself.}

{Morgan and Ashlee!!}

{The whole gang}

{The whole gang being a G thang, ha-ha!}

After we did some shooting, we headed to downtown Fruita for a bite to eat and great conversation. Then talked about our new years eve plans. So after all went home and got ready, we headed to Sushi, which involved my favorite - sake bombs! After dinner we went to Morgan's office new years party, which was a hoot! After an eventful day, we headed back to Ashlee's around 10 pm and vegged on couch until midnight, then went to bed! 

Sunday was a veg-out kind of day, with breakfast and then headed to a distillery 10 minutes outside of Grand Junction, which was awesome! I had pear gin for the first time with limeade and grape soda. It was so delicious that I bought a bottle to take home. 

{Gin, vodka, Gin}

We ended the evening with some frisbee golf and a wonderful home made dinner by Ashlee. 

Monday we left early to make it to Loveland by the afternoon, only to run into some ski traffic, but overall a GREAT trip to G town. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas, is that you?

I would have to say that this has been the best Christmas yet. Alex and I are usually pretty bad about getting Christmas cards and presents out on time. I am impressed with us (okay, mainly me) with actually getting them out to our friends and family on time. We've done well with staying within our budget for family members and each other.

Stocking stuffers always seemed to be an issue for me, because what do I buy besides candy? I borrowed another blogger and friends tradition, from her blog at Our Homegrown Spud. They have seven categories from which the other person buys within. I like it because you actually get the person stuff they can use, and it's not candy, well I love the candy, but six bags of candy gets a little tummy achey. Now I can say that Alex's stocking is stuffed with stuff he will enjoy!

Oooh, but the presents! I'm definitely a present gal. I love to open presents, they don't need to be expensive ones, they just need to be wrapped. Alex and I have ours sitting so neatly underneath the tree and I truly enjoy the feeling just looking at our tree and seeing the presents underneath. Alex won't let me touch them, but only if he knew... okay, not really, as much as I say I would want to know, I really wouldn't because I love surprises!

I'm getting even more excited with Christmas at the end of the week!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

O Tannenbaum

[The final product]

I had a blast putting up our Christmas tree last weekend, and Alex was a big help! Over the last four weeks I have been making trips to Hobby Lobby to gather supplies. Like I mentioned before, I watched a YouTube video that showed me how to decorate a Christmas tree, and make it look great, which it didn't turn out to shabby looking, and Alex was thoroughly impressed. 

We started off by touching every single limb on that fake tree. 

Then we unraveled a grapevine wreath, like the one above, around the tree.

I started the initial unraveling outside because it was flaking even transporting around the house. We started at the top of the tree and just wrapped it around and then really pulled it apart. We haphazardly placed it in and around the branches. 

I bought some silver metallic ribbon that is fairly flexible with wire edging, and I was conscious to place it up and down branches as we spiraled down the tree. I didn't want the ribbon to look as if it was just set on the outside of the tree. 

I couldn't find exactly what the decorator used in the YouTube video, but I did find silver floral spray, and used the through out the tree, and it did the same thing. Alex is sporting some behind his ear - he's so bad ass! 

After getting the vine, ribbon, and spray all settled, I started by putting the large ornaments on the bottom branches and work my way up with smaller ones. I tried to get the ornament to hang from the branches, instead of sitting on them. Then I worked in some smaller ornaments into the middle of the tree. There was a lot of maneuvering in between the vine and ribbon to find space and the right look.  

The Final Product

I had so much fun decorating the tree, and definitely will look forward to doing it again next year. It will be sad to take it down; I just won't think about that part. 

[When it came time to put the ornaments on, Alex had enough creativity, so I put him on camera duty.]

 [I love how the vine and ribbon play together.]

When we started decorating, I definitely thought there wasn't a theme to this tree. I was wrong, we like the feel for dark colors, like green, red, silver, gold, and a little of purple. 

I hope everyone enjoys putting up there tree as much as we did! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good Cookin'

I had found this pork loin recipe at (of course) and was feeling a bit adventurous. I had planned to cook it on a Sunday night to have ample time. I knew that it was at the limits of my cooking ability and wanted to surprise Alex with my skills. As I started to review the recipe again and pull out the items, I think Alex could see the uncertain look in my eyes and kindly took over. It took about two hours to prep and cook, but well worth it and could be used for any occasion or holiday.

Look at how well Alex tied the pork; this is the part that would have frustrated me the most! We improvised with our own broiler pan. 

Yum, yum, with the perfect taste combination. 

While the pork loin recipe was in the oven for the hour, we decided to whip up a batch of Texas Trash. It was hard to find the almond bark, but after going to three stores, we found it at Albertsons. 

We've got our two batches all mixed together.

Alex slowing melting the almond bark, since it can burn so quickly! 

 The parchment paper is all set-up for quick cooling. 

The batch mixture coated in the almond bark, giving us ample Texas Trash to give to co-workers and devour three bags ourselves... This is why we make it once a year. 

It was nice to enjoy some good cooking and Texas Trash!