Working Out and Baking Out

It has been an entire day of baking over in my neck of the woods! Well, baking and workouts, it seems.

After I posted this morning, I was on my way out the door to a power yoga class when the husband called me and let me know his “gaming chair” (don’t ask…) would be arriving by 9:30 via FedEx and it needed a signature.

So instead, I turned around and turned the office into a yoga studio by cranking up the heat and setting out my mat.



While the room heated, I got in a 30 minute interval workout on the elliptical in the workout room. After I was hot and sweaty from the cardio sesh, the room was too, and it was time to bend, twist and jump – Dave Farmar style! I did a 70 minute pod cast which left me giving everything I had. There were several times I uttered a curse word at Mr. Farmar when he had us holding one side a little (a LOT) longer than the other. I hate that!

It also left me STARVING. I had a mini breakfast (the usual pre-workout breakfast as of late) a few hours before, but I needed MOAR! Look what happened upon my bowl of oats this morning:


         IMG_0430 IMG_0431    

PB Overload 2010 is over! Bring on the peanut buttah 😉



And a little Greek yogurt aside it.



If you haven’t tried Fage Total, do it, and it’ll change your life. I’m telling you, it’s worth the extra calories, and it’s extremely filling and satisfying.

My mid morning client cancelled, which I was OK with, because I had hours to spend in the kitchen. Here’s a glimpse into the next, oh, five hours:







I stopped a few hours in because I had the urge to do some strength training – at home, with no equipment. Have you ever visited before? Zuzana kinda makes me uncomfortable and like I’m watching something dirty with her barely there workout clothes and very primal grunts, but she does have some good workouts. I just did the Try This at Home workout. Felt good to really use my muscles:)

I also had a small lunch, really just to get in a second meal. The snacking and tasting while baking throws my meal times off!

Tasty Bite to the rescue!


Over whole wheat cous cous with a side of snap peas:



Now it’s after 5:00, and I’m no where near hungry because of all the tasting and quality control I’ve been doing all day. That, and I need to step awaaay from the caramel popcorn 😉



It’s addictive!!

Are you able to stay away from snacking while baking and cooking all day? I just can’t help it! I even caught myself snacking on a piece of raw pie dough that was leftover. Raw pie dough doesn’t even taste good!! lol


I think I’m going to retire for the night. All my baking and cooking is almost done to bring over to my aunt’s tomorrow. Then it all starts again tomorrow night for hosting at my house on Friday. And for this one, I have to serve turkey! I’m scared – Anyone have an easy no-fail way to cook a turkey??

Happy Thanksgiving Even, everyone!!! Be SAFE if you go out for Black Wednesday!! It’s sleeting here and I’m tired, so the only partying I’m going to do is watching this week’s Glee. Oh yeaaa 😉


Mini Pumpkin Seizure

G’morning! Today is the first week day of DLS time. I thought I woke up late this morning because the sunlight was already peering through the window at 6:00 a.m!

Glad you all enjoyed the pictures from the breast cancer benefit for my friend’s mom! It was such a good time:)


Although yesterday started out slow moving, once back home, I was struck by an overwhelming urge to cook and bake in the kitchen!

Usually I do some weekly meal prep on Mondays – but today my day is FILLED – so I took advantage of the free hours yesterday, and made some dinners for the week.

First up was Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan’s Polenta Casserole!


A mixture of beans and tomatoes:



topped with polenta and cheese!



I can’t wait to try this out – it’s going to be tonight’s dinner 🙂 I have to spend a lot of time working at the gym today, and then have a late volleyball game across town, so popping this in the oven for a few minutes to warm up will be uber convenient.

Next up – Easiest lentil veggie burgers!




I love making my own veggie burgers, but really dislike all the pre-cooking. That’s where these burgers come into play.

There were seriously like 4 steps:

– Boil half a bag of lentils and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

– pour in food processor, along with 2 garlic cloves, 1 chopped green bell pepper, salt, pepper, 1/4 c. tomato paste, and a little EVOO.

– While processing, add in a little more EVOO, and then pour in 1/2 . ww bread crumbs

– Form patties with wet hands, place patties on a greased baking sheet, and cook for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.

Voila! Simple as pie. A store bought pie, not a homemade apple pie. Which actually isn’t too bad to make either 😉

Only then did I look in the fridge and saw that I had a tupperware container of some pumpkin that probably needed to be used. I wouldn’t want it to go to waste….;)

All of the sudden, I think I had a mini pumpkin seizure, and I was pouring ingredients in the stand mixer and making Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Bars.



So I went with it, and continued on.



Guys. These bars are the moistest (ew, dirty word!) and densest bars ever! Absolutely delicious.

And the frosting. Ohhh the frosting.



Oh. the. frosting.

And although I did perform a minor rookie mistake of turning on a mixer full of powdered sugar without the guard on…






They were worth it.




I die! And go to pumpkin bar heaven.


I’m off to do a little strength training and take a spin class! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Fridays class! 🙂 haha I do have an upcoming 5k to run this Sunday, so perhaps tomorrow will be a running day.

Hope you have an incredible Monday!!

Did anyone else freak out and think you overslept this morning when you saw it was already light outside?

Bumming Around

Happy Halloweeeeeen 🙂

When I was a little girl, every once in a while on weekends where not much was going on, my dad and I would spend the day together. It’d start out with a breakfast at the local diner, and where we’d go from there was up to the wind. We’d take off in the car and meander around town until we’d come up with somewhere to go. Popular ventures included garage sales, neighborhoods with grand or interesting houses, local antique shops, and other places weren’t on a to-do list or included in a list of errands. We’d just go to go.

We called it “just bumming around."

Yesterday reminded me of those days.

Nothing was on my to do list. Well, there’s always something on my to do list, but it wasn’t urgent yesterday.

It started out with breakfast at a [very] local kitchen table:





And from there, I bummed around to the Farmer’s Market. It’s the last one of the year [tear] and I wanted to fill up on some local organic produce:




IMG_0752Sweet potatoes??

I left with an abundance of greens and some heirloom tomatoes I bought purely for the sake of clinging the end of summer with a death grip.

IMG_0753 IMG_0754

And from there, I bummed on over to Von Maur to meet my friend Heidi – just to say hello…

But we all know that isn’t possible for me to do at Von Maur. I picked the darker one, by the way. Thanks for your opinions I solicited on Twitter yesterday 😉


It just called out to me!

And from there, the bumming around went to Fresh Market, where I picked up even more fresh produce and some coffee.

I meandered home to pick up the husband to join in on the bumming around, and needed a snack. After stocking up on all that delicious and nutritious produce, I decided on a twix, naturally.


Shane and I had no place in mind to go, but found ourselves at Friar Tuck for a wine tasting, where we were persuaded to pick up a couple bottles, and then to a certain dealership looking at a certain car that I may have in my future come January (!!) 🙂

To a Starbuck’s where we both ordered a salted caramel hot chocolate:


BAD idea. I drink, therefore I am addicted now.

When we ran out places to bum around, I found myself back at home, with my dirty floors looking at me a little too hard.

So I baked.


An apple pie!

Using this recipe, I baked up the first apple pie of the season, and according to the husband, the best homemade apple pie ever!



How perfect of a Saturday. It was the first one where I didn’t wake up with a plan or have things to get done. In fact, I can’t remember the last time Shane and I had the “What do you want to do today?”-“I don’t know what do you want to do?”-“What is there to do?” conversation. I didn’t think about working out today. I didn’t think about work today. Heck, I didn’t think about taking a shower today until it was after 2:00 p.m. and even then I waited two more hours.

I just bummed around!


And now I’m off to RUN around:) Got a 9 miler ahead of me today – so long as the plantar faschia agrees with me. Then maybe a lunch date?

Happy Sunday!!! And Happy Halloweeeeeen!

Where do you go when you bum around?

It’s a Cheese Quake!!

Hi guys! Happppy Friday 😀 I just got back from training a supah early morning client, and am ready to tackle a full day of errands and work!

Starting with getting this lil’ lady to the groomers.


Furry monkey! On a (very random) side note, my dad and husband think she looks like Jeff Bridges (Big Lebowski) when she’s in need of a hair cut.

image No? Dude 😉


I’m thankful to say that yesterday around noon my left wrist/arm finally felt normal again. My cousin Scott’s a doctor, and my aunt called him to see what was up for me (Thanks Aunt Bobbie 🙂 Turns out the cold + my run + not wearing sleeves + Raynauds disease is a horrible combination for me. Plus, my Garmin was hitting nerves that weren’t getting much blood – and that didn’t help.


Now that that’s settled, I’ll know what not to do next time:)

The rest of the day went by fairly smoothly. The only two clients I had yesterday both had to cancel due to a trip and a cold – so that meant I had the whole night to play!

How did I play? I played in the kitchen!



After taking Niko and the husband (heh) for a long walk, I got busy in the kitch. More specifically, I got busy cookin’ dinner and dessert!

Dinner, while nothing fancy, was nothing short of fantastic:



Almond butter encrusted sweet potato fries, cheesy roasted broccoli, + veggie baked beans.



The fries turned out beautifully crispy and delicious.


As did the brock 🙂 A little cheese tasted fabulous on it. Plus it made it OK for the husband to eat 😉

But it didn’t stop there…


I mean, I already had the oven on…


Every once in a while, I’ll look back on the blog at a post from exactly one year ago. I did that yesterday, and of course, October 14th, 2009 just had to be  the day I ate pumpkin cheesecake at Olive Garden.



Throughout the work day yesterday, the pumpkin cheesecake was on my mind. In my meetings, I was adding up ingredients instead of dollars. And at that point I knew I just had to make it on my own. Since I’ve never made cheesecake on my own before, I figured I’d better start with someone else’s version



And yes, it required one “stick a buttah.” But that’s not bad for a whole cake, is it?

I’m thinking I’d like to try veganizing this pie, but that’s for another place and time. Or at least another time. It’ll probably still take place right here in my kitchen 😉

The pie turned out wonderfully, albeit a bit lopsided!


And although after baking, it was supposed to chill for a good four hours, after two, I just couldn’t help myself 😉







It’s a cheese quake! Run for your forks!



The money shot:


ohhh yeaaah 🙂


And she’s off!

Got any weekend plans? I have to work quite a bit at the gym, but I’m also planning on running with a friend, and seeing my BFF Jessica, who I haven’t seen since her wedding! 😀

Have a fantastic Friday, everyone!!

Turning Point Twelve

Hey all! Happy Saturday! Figured I’d stop in for a quickie Saturday post.

It’s been a great weekend so far! After work last night, Shane and I headed to the dog park with Niko, and then to grab some groceries. Sticking to my Running Around (on) a Budget challenge, I succeeded in spending less than $50 per week.



Worth it when you think of it as getting an extra $100-$150 income each week.

When we got home, it was grillin’ time!

IMG_6464Veggie burger w/ avocado + ketchup, texas toast, steamed brussels sprouts, spinach and shroom salad.




Mmm…salty and peppery.

After we finished eating, we had a few friends over for a beer and some company. Niko also had one of her BFF’s over:



Aww, Niko and Arizona. Zoni ate all of Niko’s food 🙂 hehe


Niko didn’t mind!

I ended up going to bed fairly early, because I had a BIG morning ahead of me – a 12 mile run!

Pre-run breakfast:



I’m happy to report it was a WONDERFUL run!! The past two long runs have been very, very difficult, and I’ve had to stop and walk several times. Well, today, I took my own advice about getting through a tough run, and I didn’t have to take one walking break! My average pace was 9:41, and I finished in 1:55:51.

Some pretty pictures along the way:



I think this long run is a turning point in my training. I’m gonna dominate that half marathon (in two weeks!!)

I immediately showered and refueled:


And then was off to train a couple clients. By then end of that, I was BEAT.

A Kombucha was in order, obviously.


(and a Fat Tire was in order for the hubski, apparently ;))

Spent some time in the backyard just chattin’ it up:



Then got to baking some birthday goodies!


Pecan, cranberry, coconut, chocolate clusters from Vive le Vegan.

I checked, and they weren’t poisonous.


IMG_6477   *phew* that was close ;)’

And finally just got done rolling around on the ground and watching Big Band Theory:


I swoon for you, oh foam roller. Shane makes fun of the sounds & faces I make while using this contraption LOL

Well I gotta get off of the computer. We have two birthday parties to go to tonight, and I gotta go get ready! Should be a great time 😀

How did you spend your Saturday?

Blame it on the Theraflu

What up home slices? 😀

Happy Friday! Woo hoo! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this day for-ev-er! Or maybe just since Monday 😉

I woke up today feeling not much better than I did yesterday, but I made it to work since today was only a halfie. And actually, when I got to work, I downed some Theraflu, which made my mind a big haze, but also made me feel a lot better.

A nice, hot, bowl of oats wasn’t too shabby either.




Lip-smacking bowl of 1/2 c. oats, 1 c. water, 1 T flax, 1 T hemp powder, 1 T brown rice syrup, smashed ripe banana, handful of blueberries, peanut butter. Phew! That was a mouthful (pun intended ;)) And it was microwaved since I was in a pinch. Actually..I microwave my oats most of the time when their eaten on a work day. I think I’m the only one who can’t really tell much of a difference between stove-top and microwave oats.

Feeling better and better as the day went on, I decided to give the gym a go after leaving work. I hadn’t worked out since Monday, and was really craving a good sweat-inducing cardio sesh.

Hopped on the treadmill, and to my pleasant surprise, I felt pretty good! So good that I was able to run (with walk breaks here and there) four miles. Any time I felt like it was too much for the bod, I took a quick walkie break. Next was the stair master for a bit to round out the workout, and I was sweaty and feeling much better 😀


After gymin’ it, I ran some errands and popped over to a couple grocery stores. To help that be more pleasant, I gabbed away with several girlfriends while a-shoppin’. Then I was back at the casa and ready to chow down!

While grocery shopping, I had bought my all time favorite goat cheese at the Fresh Market, and knew just what I wanted to do with it. Can ya guess? 😉




Slather it on an Ezekiel Pizza!! This had goat cheese, tomato sauce, sauteed spinach, garlic, and onion. So good I wished I’da made two!



Mmmmelty melty gruyere.

On the side I had some Kale chips I made with kale, sea salt, and nutritional yeast, but my appetite was way too quick for the cam. You’ve seen it before.

Oh, and funny story – I also made the husband’s lunch, which was a grilled cheese. Yummy, melty, toasty, cheddar goodnesss…with a side of paper. This space cadet forgot to take the paper out between the cheese slices! bahah I blame it on the theraflu 😉 It clogs my mind.

Since the oven was already on full blast from the pizza and kale chips, and I still had a decent amount of energy, all the sudden lunch turned into a bake-fest!



I made Carob-Coconut-Pecan cookies, aka the best cookies evvvvah (recipe from Vive le Vegan.)




Not only do these cookies almost knock your head off, but they smell absolutely heavenly! I’ve never smelled a cookie so good.

I’m driving into my hometown tomorrow because I’m (finally) getting together with Jess to try on my bridesmaid dress (eep!!) and then getting together with some of my BFF’s for dinner and drinks 😀 So I thought I’d be kind and bake them up some yummy vegan treats.

The rest of the day included Niko walks, Jersey Shore Reunion drama, gabbin’ on the phone, and juices:



beet, celery, carrot, grapefruit, deliciousness….tie dyed style.

As far as the rest of the night goes, it looks like I’ll be staying in and relaxing. The husband just put in Valkyrie, and it looks like one of those movies where ya have to pay attention, so I’m going to have to bid you all farewell 😉

Busy day planned for tomorrow!

  • Full body weights at gym
  • Coffee w/ Heidi friend
  • Ring store for a check up
  • Head into town!

Have a fabulous Friday night, all!


Do you typically workout when sick? I usually give myself a day or two to rest (more if I’m feeling horrid) but I’ll give it a go after couple days, so long as I’m not hacking and sneezing all over the equipment. Then I just listen to the bod!

Running Around Crazy?

Hi all! Sorry for the random posting times today. I’ve been running around like a crazy woman every since I hopped out of bed an hour late this morning.

After I got off of work at 11:00, I came straight home, and got Niko ready to go to the groomers. She always goes to the groomers on Bunco night; that’s how I keep track:D haha. While home, I made a quick half a tuna salad pita sandwich and ate it before I left.

It had tuna, mustard, onion, and chick peas. I toasted the pita before topping it with the tuna salad and it was very delish. This was followed by a super-charge me cookie.

Poor Niko knew she was going to the groomers. Once we got close, she started shaking a little. However, she was a very pretty lady when she was all done.

Isn’t she purty? They forgot to put a bandana on her this time though 😦

While Niko was getting prettified, I was running around like a crazy woman. Hmm…Running Around Crazy?

First, I went to the gym and did some abs work. I did planks, side planks, inverted crunches, bicycle crunches. After abs, I ran four miles on the treadmill. It felt so nice!


Total time: 37:30, which averaged out to be about a 9:37 pace I think?
Max HR: 180 (I played with some hill work)
Avg HR: 164
Cals burned: 445

Woo! Felt great. I’m making myself wakeup early enough on Sunday to run outside, though. I like outdoor running so much better than on the dreadmill. After the gym, I hit up a couple grocery stores and my favorite Pet store in town. While driving, I snacked on some Sahale PBJ flavored almonds.

They were OK. A little artificial tasting to be honest.

But look at my grocery haul!!

And for the animals:

Nom nom nom! 😀

Then I had to put them all away. Boo.

When I finally arrived home, I had to act quick to make snacks for Bunco. I made three dishes.

Dish #1 was dark chocolate chip banana bread:

It turned out SO good and SO yummy. It was a huge hit! 😀 I saved half for home because I liked it that much!
Dish #2 was a recipe from Yoga is Yummy. They’re little coconut balls made with almonds, dates, coconut, cocoa powder, and agave.

So simple, yet SO delicious.
Dish #3 was guacamole, which is one of my staple people pleasers if you haven’t noticed:

I forgot to take a pic of the finished product, but you guys have seen it before 😉 yum, yum!

Alas, my baked goods didn’t bring me much luck tonight. I didn’t win any money again! Of course, everyone wins because we all get to hang out and enjoy each others company 😀

Shane and I are headed over to a Cubs game tomorrow, so that should an great time! I’m sure I’ll be packing up some of these leftovers for game snacks! Those hot dogs and nachos are killer. Let’s hope the Cubs kick some Pirate butt!! (Sorry Pittsburgh peeps)

Question: What’s your current work schedule? And what’s your ideal work schedule?
Mine is M-Th: 7-4:30, and Fri: 7-11:00. I’d say that’s pretty close to ideal for me, but I could always work less;)