Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fitness Flash

As much as I'm looking forward to this rest week, I already feel incredibly lazy for having three rest days in a row.

This week we have time trials in swimming and running. We'll use those to see how well our training is working in another month or so. We're not in these triathlons to win them by any means, but it would be nice to not finish dead last.

I suppose it's all about crossing the line though, right?

Here's how last week shaped up:

I feel like I need more music for my workout play list. Do you have any suggestions? What get's you pumped.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 Recipe Chase | Pot Roast Sandwiches with French Onion Soup

You know that quote about train wrecks?

The one about how they're so terrible but you just can't look away? That is exactly like the whole first season of Married at First Sight. I just watched every single episode. You watched it too right? Do you feel as bad as I did/do for Vaughn and Doug? Vaughn was attacked like the whole experience (although some of his comments were in really poor taste) and Doug? Poor Doug. First no sex. Then Jamie's got babies on the brain like a mofo. But we've all been there, done that, right?

No? Just me again? Huh. Anyway...

You want to know what's not a train wreck? This sandwich. It's fantastic. The only thing terrible about it is how at the end of the day you have absolutely no good light to take delicious looking pictures.

Oh, the best part of that show? Watching it with Ryan. His peanut gallery commentary? Hilarious. His perfectly timed snorts and chuckles? Made me laugh even harder.

Although for some of them, I think he's recalling some strange memories of other baby-obsessed people...

Not like his wife though. Because, me? I'd never be that crazy.

At least not run to the pharmacy and pick up his and hers fertility tests. Although it doesn't hurt to know, right? Just to make sure everything's working?

Just kidding! I feel like that just crosses a line. A very fine line between concerned and crazy. This recipe? Goes leaps and bounds over the delicious line. I want to make it every night. 

And the soup? It works double duty as an au jus and onion soup. Loaded up with onions it's pretty much like perfection in a bowl.

Now I'm pretty sure these are going to have to be on the menu for this week. Like 100% sure. Unlike how some of these marriages start off in this ridiculous show.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the meat and cheese and onion-y goodness, right there? We don't have to talk about my insane photo editing skills right now. It can wait.

Like forever.

Pot Roast Sandwiches and French Onion Soup

Makes: 4 Servings

Prep Time: 15 min          Crockpot Time: 8 hours          Broil Time: 2 min


1 lb beef chuck roast
2¼ cups beef broth
1 10½ oz can of condensed french onion soup
1 large yellow onion
½ cup dry red wine (like merlot)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic

1 cup (4 oz) of swiss cheese (or provolone)
8 slices of bread or 4 small sub rolls


1. Thinly slice the onion and place in the bottom of a medium-sized slow cooker.
2. Add the beef broth, wine, and condensed onion soup to the slow cooker. Mix in the granulated garlic.
3. On a cutting board, sprinkle salt and pepper over the chuck roast, letting it rest for 5 minutes.
4. Place roast in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. It may be done sooner, but will pick up flavor and moisture as it cooks.
5. Once done, remove the roast in tact to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, spoon out equal portions of soup into bowls.
6. Using a fork, shred the roast into large chunks and layer onto rolls and cheese.
7. They're fully ready to enjoy but if desired place in broil for 2 minutes to melt cheese and toast bread.

Calories: 637

This recipe was inspired by Baking Bites.

Doesn't that just make you want to drool? Go on. I won't judge.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 Recipe Chase | Strawberry Yogurt

Can I just tell you about my favorite breakfast food ever?

I mean, I've liked yogurt for a long time but it's recently become my favorite. A month of free personal coaching with a coach obsessed with protein intake will do that. Hello 21 grams of protein!

And I like this so much better than the prepackaged flavors. As much as I trust Chobani, I trust myself and what I buy a heck of a lot more. And I can totally customize the flavors. I haven't been too too adventurous, just Apple Cinnamon and Strawberry Vanilla.

Fruity yogurt is ridiculously easy to throw together and you can prep it Sunday night for a week full of healthy breakfasts. There's no measuring or thinking in the morning, you know, when brain power is at a premium.

Strawberry Yogurt

Makes: 5 Breakfasts

Prep Time: 15 min


38oz plain greek yogurt (like Chobani)
2½ cups frozen strawberries
5 tbsp sugar
5 tsp vanilla


1. Lay out five separate tupperware containers.
2. In each tupperware container, measure out a half cup (or 70 grams) of frozen strawberries.
3. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over the strawberries of each container.
4. Spoon a teaspoon of vanilla extract over the fruit.
5. Measure out 217 grams (yes, really) of yogurt into each container on top of the fruit and sugar. If you don't have a scale, it's a little less than one full cup. This makes an even number of portions from the yogurt container.
6. Refrigerate in layers to let fruit break down and create flavors.
7. When ready to eat, stir all ingredients together and enjoy!

Calories: 203

The recipe is a little tart from the yogurt but there's still a good balance of sweet from the strawberries and added sugar. And as a warning, it sounds super funny when you mix this up. So make sure you're in good company. Then make them jealous with how delicious it looks.

Playing with more flavor combinations is definitely going on the weekend to do list.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fitness Flash

Vacations do not help with triathlon training.


In this phase of our training, we're building up our base fitness and "rest" week isn't until next week. With the schedule this busy, I can't wait until the real training kicks in. I have a feeling it's going to kick my butt.

Here's how last week shaped up:

But if you can imagine a feeling from this picture, it's hard to imagine it wasn't worth the time off.

Let's go back.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The End of Three Day Weekends

Why do vacations have to end?

Life is so much fun without responsibilities. Driving off into the sunset (quite literally) to places unknown? It's pretty neat. It's also pretty awesome to spend life looking at this face.

Saturday, Ryan and I walked around downtown Burlington, going in and out of all the little shops on their main arcade. He was such a good sport about it. I even dragged him through a four story store. I do think it helped I buttered him up first with an oil and vinegar tasting at Saratoga Olive Oil Company. Midway through our stroll, he was even convinced we needed a pizza stone.

But after the most fantastic lunch at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill and a quick stop at Ben & Jerry's, we headed back to the car empty handed. I was definitely okay with that.

The rest of Saturday was very low key. We headed back to the hotel and binged on television. By the time we had dinner we had watched enough food shows to make us hangry and enough crazy people shows to wish we were in a coma. I mean, who gets married at first sight?!

Incidentally, I found a new show I'll be watching. Tell me you watch it too?

Waking up today was much too hard. Back to Troy. Back to real life. Back to diets and lots more exercise. Ugh.

As much as I'm looking forward to spring and the wonderful things that it brings, the last dregs of winter do hold some appeal.

With a long detour keeping off the main highway, I think we even found where we belong.

How was your weekend?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Break and Three Day Weekends

As a graduate student, Ryan's got the life. Seriously.

I mean, summers? He's off. The holidays? No school! Mid March? Spring break. And life isn't like that for the rest of us, why?

I guess that's what we have vacation days for. And they're even better when you have an awesome boss who let's you take them with a day's notice. Like literally, I asked for today off, yesterday. She's the BEST. Before I came home and delivered the good news, I tried to find a good argument for going someplace warm. Unfortunately, it's spring break time, so flights are outrageous. And driving south would take twelve plus hours to get north of 50° F. So naturally, we went north, to Burlington, Vermont. 

Home by 5:00p and out the door by 7:00p. That's my kind of spontaneity.

And waking up in Vermont? It was so so nice. There's just something about vacations to quiet places that's very refreshing. It could've been the king sized bed too, though. But let's go with the fresh mountain air, yes?

We were all over the map today. Like it was a let's-get-everything-in-today kind of day. I think we're more tired today than after the three hour drive last night. I mean, we ran today (because tri-training waits for no one!), we searched for Heady Topper, ate ice cream, and bought pie. 

We had samples, ate lunch, then sampled some more.

There were teddy bears, magic hats, and then fries galore.

After all that we couldn't stomach any more. But we sure look forward for what tomorrow has in store.

I hope you got that those last few lines rhymed. You did right? 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fitness Flash

My Nana once told me, "There's no rest for the wicked." Thinking back on my life, it makes a lot of sense. 

Triathlon training has officially started and physical therapy is officially over. My procrastination at posting these is right on par.

But it's not like I actually procrastinate posting these, it's just that other things take priorities. Like long phone calls with friends, going through all my cookbooks one recipe at a time, and baking a boozy cake for St. Patrick's Day. It's a rough life.

Here's how last week shaped up:

Now that physical therapy is over, we're following one of Garmin's beginner sprint triathlon training plans. Although, Ryan's not too happy with the hour and a half long bike planned for Thursday, so we'll be switching it out for some high intensity interval bike training. Can't wait to feel that burn...

Now some of you may be eating corn beef and cabbage. Maybe drinking a Guinness in honor of today's Irish history. Ryan and I? We're eating chinese takeout. Sláinte!

From our family to yours, Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Doggone Tired

As an adult, you ask yourself certain questions.

Like what am I doing with my life? Who is this bearded guy next to me in the morning? And, wouldn't it be awesome to have a puppy to cuddle with?

Well, thankfully I know two out of the three answers. That last question took some first hand experience to figure out the answer but you live and learn right? 

That adorable puppy up there? Meet Neeko. He belongs to this great family who had to go to Boston this weekend. Being a self-proclaimed puppy lover, I unwittingly offered to watch him. Granted, it did take some convincing to get Ryan on board. But this morning, this little nugget arrived complete with food, toys, and playful energy.

For whatever intelligent reason, I stayed up until 1:00a last night. Then I woke up at 7:30a to scrub the kitchen floor. By the time Neeko came, I was ready for some cuddles and a nap. The little turd had other ideas. 

While Ryan ran out to the farmer's market to pick up some essentials, Neeko and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. During said walk, we stopped no less than 50 times, he sat in three puddles, and peed once. We also ran into some crazy lady with a pug who told me it was good for us to socialize...

Once we finally got back to the house, I dried him off and settled in for some play time. Five minutes later, we were back outside for another walk. One short block later, he peed again, we went back inside, and I dried him off. Did I mentioned it was raining today? What a joy.

Twenty minutes later, he's whining and crying while staring at the door. Thinking he's homesick and missing his family, I'm doing everything possible to distract him. Well, it turns out, he had to pee. AGAIN. Only, I don't speak dog. So he peed on my kitchen floor. Sigh.

The afternoon was filled with more walks, puppy poop, wiping off paws, him biting my hands, and a well deserved nap (for the both of us). After finally putting him to bed tonight, I think I've come to the realization that I'm into OPPs. Other peoples' puppies. 

It's much like OPBs. Other peoples' babies? You know. You're thinking about having babies and if you're ready. So you offer to babysit, give your friends a much needed night out, and then practice that whole parenting thing. By the end of the night, you're either absolutely in love with the idea of a your own adorable baby or you've had your fill of dirty diapers and the fake crying (which you can't really tell is fake). 

I'm very much on the latter end. At the end of the night, I'm really glad to go home. Back to my childless den of selfishness. Much like I'm ready to get back to my lazy weekends filled with sleep, exercise, and terrible food decisions. 

Is it Sunday afternoon yet? I'm ready for that cute ball of fur to go back.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

In Sickness and Health

I haven't slept next to Ryan for the past two nights.

I haven't even touched him, really, in the past two days. And it's been killing me. I'm having husband withdrawl. Seriously, I need some cuddles.

The other night Ryan came down with the norovirus. Which is pretty much a winter time stomach bug that wrecks your body for two days. It also spreads pretty easily, apparently only needing four to twenty particles to infect its next victim.

Which is why Ryan instituted an isolation zone around him.

The first night he resigned himself to the couch. The next day, while I was at work, he took over our bed and kicked me to the couch. After I lysoled the crap out of it first though, of course.

The most contact we've had is when I kiss him on the forehead goodbye in the morning and when I come home from work. The self imposed isolation I suppose is working, since I don't have any symptoms yet. And I know he's really hoping I don't catch it. I've resigned myself to the inevitable.

I mean isn't life all about sharing? And marriage, in sickness and health?

I feel like two days of being out of comission is worth it to hug my husband again. Right?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fitness Flash

Well, it's official, Ryan and I are in triathlon training.

But that wasn't before we took nearly an entire week off and ate like shit for two days straight. Terrible? Yep. Glorious? Just a smidge. Regretted it later? Absolutely.

Last week wasn't all that bad though. Here's what how it shaped up:

This week is also my last week of physical therapy. I'm kind of sad to see it go but I'm going to incorporate the strength training I've been doing into the rest days of our tri plan.

Here's hoping I'm in a bikini by summer!

Just kidding. But really? Here's to eating an entire pizza without gaining a pound.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fitness Flash

I'm the worst at posting this fitness schedule thing. Maybe this week I'll be better?

This week was our last swim lesson and I'm a little sad that they're over. Is it weird that I'm going to miss my hard ass teacher? She was pretty cool. Although, I know Ryan's not really going to miss it, something about he wasn't the "star pupil." Whatever that meant.

Ryan is pushing for this upcoming week to be lax since it's our last week before our actual triathlon training starts. I think the snow and the cold are helping his case, as much as I don't want it to. But when it's like negative bazillion degrees outside, I do not want to go outside any more than I have to.

Here's how I did last week:

I'm dying to take a few of the group classes at our local YMCA. I can't decide between my trusted zumba or doing something crazy like yoga. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2015 Decorations | St. Patty's Day

I have the worst early childhood memory ever. All the things I did before I was eight? Like no memories whatsoever. Forget about it. 'Cause I really did.

One I can recall is from a St. Patrick's Day when my mom made green oatmeal. I don't know what it was but I was such a brat and refused to eat it. I don't know how my mom put up with me. I was the WORST picky eater.

I'm sure right now, my husband's thinking, "Was?"

Anyway. Since St. Patty's Day is fourteen short days away I whipped up a few printables to throw on my mantel. I really like the way they came out.

That candle right there? Yankee Candle's Meadow Showers. Smells a little flowery and a lot like heaven. If heaven were in the form of rain. I mean, can you really beat the smell of an open field after it rains? It's like perfection.

The printables are all formatted for 8½"x11" paper. I framed the two clover ones in 5"x7" frames. Each of the smaller printables have outlines as a guide for cutting to size. You can see each one by clicking on the pictures below.

Fonts: Keep Calm, Clover Things, and Sweet Pea. Blessings from Island Ireland.

Next up? Figuring out how to convince Ryan to have a party...Any ideas?