Work Day Time Savers

Over the weekend, I had a friend come up to me and ask me how she could start eating better. She finds herself running through fast food lines at lunch, where a wholesome meal is hard to find.

For this I recommend implementing some time-savers into her meal planning!

There some days during the week, where it’s 7:00 a.m., and I should have left the house 5 minutes ago. Instead, I’m in the middle of desperately trying to find something edible and somewhat tasty to put in between two slices of bread to call it lunch, so I don’t find myself from looking to other options, such as paying for a meal from somewhere come lunch hour.

Fortunately, these days are far and few between because of some time-savers I implement into my meal planning for the week!

Each weekend when I have a few free hours, I’ll pre-make a few dishes that can be refrigerated and reheated up again.

A few dishes that are always good make-ahead candidates:

  • a big batch of brown rice for the following week’s dinners
  • a dozen or so veggie burgers that I can stick in salads or make a quick sandwich with
  • A huge pot of lentils to stick in salads or pasta for extra protein throughout the week

IMG_8630 - Copy

  • Steel cut oats – I’ve found this variety of oats do the best job as leftovers
  • Cooking several chicken breasts for the husband
  • Washing chopping any veggies I plan to use the next few days to cut down on prep work


  • Casseroles or lasagnas


Like I mentioned in this morning’s post, this past weekend, I spent some time in the kitchen making a big polenta casserole and well as a gigantic batch of quick and easy veggie burgers, and some lentils.

Today since I’m working at the gym all day long, I had to pack a lunch and snacks. I only had an hour after my morning spin class to get ready and be at the gym, so I needed to make my food in a snap.


*snap* – done! I pulled out a veggie burger from the fridge, spread some hummus on an Arnold Sandwich thin along with some arugula, and put it together in less than a minute.


I ate the veggie burger cold – it’s just as good this way!

Add an apple and the rest of my TJ’s pb pretzels – and voila! A super quick and simple lunch.





Hope you guys are having a good Monday! I gotta get back to work for a few more hours…and then later tonight I’m playing in a volleyball game! It’s gonna be a late night for this kid 😉

What are some time-savers you do when you have a couple free hours to spare yourself frustration during the work week? I’d love to know!! I hate feeling rushed.


Don’t Let Cancer Steal Second Base

Wowsers, where did the time go?! I knew I was going to be a little late in posting today, but it’s nearly 5:00 pm!!

Yesterday, the husband and I took off to go visit the lovely little river town of Henry, Illinois. Henry is one of those stereotypical Midwest towns that resides on the river and is the epitome of small town USA.

The reason we ventured into Henry was for an incredible cause. My friend’s mom has breast cancer and she grew up in Henry. So her family threw her an amazing benefit!



The turn out was incredible. There were TONS of people there to support Ruth. Everyone was donning one of these cute and funny sweatshirts, too:




They had raffles, food, bakesales, music, and drinks. Lots and lots of drinks. Another reason this night was so special was because all of “the girls” from high school were there. I’m still friends with almost all of my friends from high school and last night was the first time EVERYONE from our group of girls has been together for at least a couple years.



It called for some celebrating, yo.



Some significant others + the husband

I kind of threw healthy living out the window and let loose for the night – although I did take a couple breaks of cranberry and club soda (no one can tell your not drinking alcohol!) but they did little to appease.

It’s a rule that when a group of girlfriends get together that they have to take outrageously goofy pictures, right?


The infamous “prune” face:


OK. Just checking 🙂

The grub at the benefit was meat, meat, and more meat, so I was glad I got a veggie sub from Subway beforehand. Once we got back to our hotel, I dug into a bakesale goodie of chocolate covered peanut butter ritz! Whaaat!

Well, actually, after the benefit we didn’t go straight to the hotel. We stopped at this lovely local bar


It was crazy. The Henry locals are so friendly and small town. The whole time I was there, it made me feel like Normal was a huge city!! haha Pretty fun for something different.

And this is where we stayed – the Henry Harbour Inn!


Cute and cozy.




This morning, needless to say, I didn’t feel fantabulous.


But it was such a FUN night and the support and generosity was absolutely FLOODING the atmosphere. It was just awesome.

My hangover didn’t last too long – after a stabilizing breakfast I’ve been baking and cooking away in the kitchen!!!





Hope everyone had a great weekend!!


What was the most fun thing you did this weekend?

Are you still friends with your friends from high school?

Also – Happy World Run Day!!! I celebrated a day early – there was no running for this chica today 🙂

I Surrender and a Makeup Brush Washing Tutorial

Afternoon! Thank you guys for all your understanding and supportive comments about backing out of tomorrow’s race. I hate hate hate backing out of things, so your kind words helped to reduce some of the guilt 😉

This morning’s spin class was off the [bike] chain!!! I hadn’t been to a spin class since June, and everyone in the class was super friendly about getting my seat and handle bars adjusted to my height. Also, it was intense!!! 45 minutes of sweaty bliss later…


I can run for miles. Tempo runs, interval runs, long runs, let’s do it. A 45 minute kick-butt spin class?! *waves towel over head, surrendering* Isn’t it crazy how you can be SO fit in one realm of cardio, but another form can be completely booty-kicking?! Word to the wise – cross train it up.

Before the class, I did a tricep/back/chest workout as well. The class time works out perfectly too. I had a client 30 minutes later, so after class I just drove on over to my gym to train.

The busy-ness continued with a trip to the vet for Niko (she did SO good) and some grocery shopping.

In between the vet appointment and my client, I made a quick snack – one that I haven’t had in FOREVER.

It only has two ingredients:



Just a basic protein shake!



I used to drink these ALL the time a while back. I should have owned stock in BSN Lean Dessert protein powder. Though now I’ve switched to Jay Robb and Sun Warrior, it’s still a great snack when you’re in a pinch and need to feed your muscles:)

Lunch was courtesy of Fresh Market



tomato, onion, and goat cheese on focaccia.


There’s focaccia under there, see!!




I made a little kale and arugula side salad with some seasoning and evoo to go along with it. This lunch was filling to the max!


OK. I know I have some male readers, but I am addressing the rest of this post to all the female readers. Because we’re talking makeup brushes.

How to Quickly, Cheaply, and Effectively Wash Your Make Up Brushes



Unless I have some tranny readers, in which case, read on guys! 😉

Namely, we’re talking about keeping your makeup brushes clean – the easy and cheap way! All you need is one dirty makeup brush (above) two paper towels, and one bottle of baby shampoo.


Yep BABY shampoo! No fancy brush cleaners from makeup counters – gentle baby shampoo. Make sure you get the good stuff though.


Kroger’s brand represent!!!

Run some water at a luke warm temp



Now wet your brush under the running water, bristles pointed downward. About 30 seconds.


Pour on just a little of the cleanser and work into the bristles with your fingers




Run under the running water until the water that washes out is clear again.

IMG_0081 Lay flat to dry.




That’s it! When I’m washing multiple brushes at once, I like to do it assembly style. Wet one brush, move to the next through the last. Massage in the cleanser, and let sit while massaging in the next to the last. Then rinse. Yadda yadda. Voila!!

This honestly takes only about 5 minutes for me to wash my whole set of brushes (about 7) but somehow, it’s always SO hard for me to remember to do it! Usually a little bump on my face has to remind me 😉


OK so it’s already 3:00 pm and I just now showered! I should probably get a move on!

Have a great Friday night, guys!! 🙂

What’s one form of cardio that can be guaranteed to be a booty kicker? Spin is that for me. But I’m thinking maybe if I start taking it regularly, it’ll get easier 😉


Two-Cup Tuesday

Hi there 🙂

Having a good Tuesday so far? As you can see, I have not been blown away by the wind yet, thankfully. When I got to the BIC, I found out I was in the majority of those who didn’t get much sleep. Sounds like the howling wind kept most up all night, too. Craziness I tell ya.

Though I’m not windblown, I did need a little help this morning. It was definitely a Two-Cup Tuesday:



Sucked ‘er dry. IMG_1376

Much betta.       

OK. So let’s talk pumpkin rice pudding. I made the recipe a la Ellie Kreiger in my latest cookbook, So Easy. And this lived up to the name of the book!



It called for aborio rice, and I immediately got scared. I’ve been reading some blogposts lately who claim making risotto out of Aborio rice is "easy" BUT involves standing at the stove stirring for more than 20 minutes. I was happy to find out this require NO stirring. Hooray!

As a dessert, you can whip up some fresh whipped cream to top it off.



Or for a tasty afternoon treat, such as I am making it today, you can add a little Greek yogurt!

But can you guess what the best topping for Pumpkin Rice Pudding is??



Oh yeahhhh 🙂

The recipe is didn’t involve heavy creams like many rice pudding recipes do.

It’s delicious! Not too sweet.

Back to work I gooooo! Continue to have a fab day, guys, kk?


Have you ever eaten rice pudding before? I hadn’t made it before this – let alone eaten it!! 🙂

Is That SO Wrong?

One of the reasons I like training for races so much is because it’s a no fail way I’ll get my cardio in. I love racing, and I love running, and it’s nice to camouflage “exercise” with these feelings.


Is that so wrong?

Whenever eating a dish that I really like, eloquent adjectives like “divine, lovely, or exquisitenever come to mind. Freaking delicious are my most common descriptor words.


Is that so wrong?

Although I’m only 25 and a half, I much prefer a movie and wine night in than a wild night out at the bar.


Is that so wrong?

I become an extremely judgmental person once I step foot in Wal-Mart. It’s like I’m a different person.



Is that so wrong? heh

I rarely post about dessert, but I have it almost every single night.

If the Food Pyramid tried making peanut butter filled pretzels a food group, I wouldn’t stand in its way…

Or chocolate covered banana chips, for that matter.

image Is that so wrong?

Over the past month and a half, I’ve noticed my clothes have gotten a little snugger…and I blame the beginners wine class the husband and I attended:


I am a personal trainer, but I have a strong distaste for shows like Biggest Loser and Thintervention (I know, I know)

I sometimes pretend like my husband is a vegetarian, too, and show it by feeding him meat-free meals the entire week.

And lastly, I love my body, and I wouldn’t change one thing about it! It’s done so many great things for me and I love that it’s tall, strong, slim, and curvy and the same time!

Is that so wrong?

Happy National Love Your Body Day! 😀

What do you do that makes you you that “is so wrong?”

Why do you love your body? Check out last year’s post on National Love Your Body Day, when I talked about how my view has changed about my body – what I used to hate, now I love!

In a Perfect [Dinner] World…


Whadda Tuesday! I ended up working all day at the Big Insurance Company and then went to the gym to train a couple clients.

I had planned on making something out of a new little cookbook I picked up over the weekend (which I’ll tell you about soon!) for dinner, but those plans were foiled because of timing issues.

You see, in a perfect world, I’d train some clients during the hours of 9-4, meet the husband at home, and have dinner on the table by 6:30.

The thing about personal training is you need to be somewhat accommodating to others’ schedules. Although I make it a rule that I won’t take on any clients past 8:00, I still have several clients who work first shift jobs like the majority of the US, and don’t get home until later some nights.

This isn’t ideal for dinners at home.

Sometimes, your husband gets home from a busy day at the BIC, not having any time for lunch, and is hungry RIGHT away. So you throw him a sausage to keep him quiet while you go train a couple clients:


Husband snacks.

Quesadillas are still on the menu. Then, however, you get home a little later than anticipated – you know – talking to people at the gym – past the dinner hour. The husband (or whatever living partner may you have) simply could not wait.

Enter, Tuesday night leftovers for one.




Leftovers are great for those not living in a perfect world. I love to cook big meals – big enough so that there’s more than just Shane and I can eat. Then I just stick the rest in a container in the freezer! When two or three weeks pass by and your at a loss for dinner, just open up the freezer, and in this case, become stoked because you realize there’s a slice of leftover butternut squash lasagna just waiting to be eaten. Score!


And a little veggie on the side:


In a perfect world, I’d be showing you vegetarian quesadillas out of a new cookbook I bought over the weekend. But a perfect world would be utterly boring, don’tcha think? Besides, I’m sure I could find something to complain about anyhow 😉

Well I’m off! Agenda: train an early morning client–>work at the BIC –> train a [new] evening client —> get in an interval run

What would your dinner time frame look like in a perfect world? At the table with a guest at 6? On the couch in your pj’s watching your shows at 9? Dinner with the girls at 7? I’d like to be able to spend an hour or less on dinner every night and be eating at the dinner table by 6:30 with the husband!

Second Runner Up Race

Hiiii there! What? Two afternoon posts in a row! Who knew I had it in me 😉 Let’s see if I can keep this up.

When I made my pumpkin dip, I wasn’t too sure how I would use it. Usually I have some sort of graham or cinnamon crackers to dip it in. So for lunch I had to get creative 😉IMG_9736

Between a whole wheat pita, I stuffed some dip, along with a wee bit o pb + a sliced banana!


Along with an apple and a red bell pepper, tis lunch tiiiime!

As some of you know, my third to last race is this Sunday. My second runner up race, if you will.  

The Frank Lloyd Wright 10K:


I ran this race last year, and it remains to be the most beautiful race I’ve ever done to date. What made it even more special was my husband and my BFF Destiny watched me run it.


But this year, it’s even MORE special – because not only is BFF Destiny going to be watching again, but BFF Kim is going to be running it with me!


Honestly, my plan for this race is to enjoy it. I’m planning to run alongside BFF Kim for the whole race (unless she prefers to run solo) and just take in the sights of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses, beautiful Oak Park in the fall, and my bestie at my side.


Should Kim prefer to run it alone, I’m still going to take it easy. I’ve been training for a 15k for some time now, and I think I’ve gone a little overboard on the training – for me. Running 5 days in a row is just not something my legs like to do. From now on, three is my max, and honestly, I think I’m going to strive for just running every other day. It will help to ease me into the off season anyway.

With that said, my plan is to do one speed work session this week (tomorrow) and one long run – on Friday- since the race is on Sunday. Friday’s long run will be around 9 miles before I take off to Chicago. And if my hip gives me any pain at all, I stop and just walk. Scouts honor 😉 Better to take it easy than not take it at all!!


When it comes to races, do you prefer to run alongside someone? Or run it on your own? I’m a run it on my own person. I’ve only run one other race completely with someone. It’s fun, but I’m usually striving for a PR. My mom always told me about how she’d always pair up with someone during the race, and they’d run and chat the entire time!

PS – Wanna talk flashback’s? One year ago today I posted a virtual RAN house tour!