Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Randomness

Hello! It's FRIDAY! Yay!

Time for some randomness. 

- Feel good story of the day: Hubs' cousin passed away unexpectedly last weekend (she was our age!) and her kids, who are 20 and 21, set up a Go Fund Me site to help pay for funeral costs. Their goal was $4,300. On Wednesday night they put the site on Facebook. Hubs forwarded it around, as did some other family members, and on Wednesday night they had raised about $500. Not bad. By morning they had $4400!!! Some anonymous donor donated $3700. Isn't that amazing? Even more amazing - today they are over $12,000!!!!  That is the power of social media at work!!  Wow wow wow!  It makes me cry a little bit.

- Lets talk about my bum! Haha! As you know I have been doing a workout series called The Perfect Bum, which is a Pilates based workout for the core and bum (and legs, really), and I absolutely love it. It's a 10 week series that consists of six episodes. I've been on episode 2 for the last two weeks and just started episode 3 this week. Egads! It went from a "this is nice" workout to an "omigod make it stop" workout. And all it is is minimal Pilates based movements for your bum. So slight, but so effective. I really think it's working. 

- I have deemed this weekend “Clean Out Stuff Weekend.”  There is so much stuff I need to clean out in our house, it’s not even funny.   Things like bathroom drawers, junk drawers, cabinets, Jillian’s closet, etc – it’s time to purge and organize.  I always open cabinets and drawers and I’m like “argh, I need to clean this out!”  but yet it always gets pushed to the bottom of the To Do list.  This weekend it’s getting done!  And I’m oddly excited about it.

- This weekend I am also planning on reading my book.  I am reading a really good book right now, “The Borrower” by Rebecca Makkai and I am loving it, but I haven’t actually read since my trip to Connecticut earlier this month (that trip seems like 3 months ago – is it still January?).  That is no bueno!  So me and my Nook will be spending some quality time together as well (after all of the cleaning and organizing). 

- I, like many, am beyond obsessed with Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” song.  Ya know how when a song blows up and it’s on every 4 minutes on the radio you get kind of sick of that song and eventually begin to hate it?  That’s not happening with this song.  I LOVE THIS SONG.  I literally listen to it on repeat on my iPod because I like to belt it out in the car.  It’s just so good.  And hey, did you know that Taylor Swift trademarked some lyrics from her 1989 album?  She did!  Here’s the article that lists out the ones she trademarked.  Why, oh why, did she not trademark “Cause darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”  That’s the best line ever. 

- I ate Skittles yesterday for the first time in years. So yummy! 

And that's it for me!  Have a fabulous Friday and a super Super Bowl weekend!  You know I'll be making multiple dips!

How about you ... Do you like "Blank Space"?  What are you reading right now?  What goodies are you making for Super Bowl? 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Constitutes a "Workout"?

Hello there!  Sorry I was absent yesterday, it was a crazy busy day and by the end of the day I really had nothing exciting to talk about.  Although, do I ever really have that much exciting stuff to talk about?   #blogproblems

So, today I thought I would talk about working out.  Because, why not?

(I've never actually seen the Hunger Games, but this was funny to me)

I’ve been going strong for about 10 days now, only missing one day – a needed rest day – on Sunday.  Every day I have done some form of exercise, either cardio (T25), Perfect Bum, weights, all of the above, or a combination of the above.  There are some days where I am just not feeling the crazy cardio of T25 or have time constraints in the morning, so I try to make sure I do at least one of the workouts each day, which led me to think about something...

On days that I don’t do the crazy cardio, I always feel like I haven’t worked out enough.  That’s crazy, right?  Just doing a 25 minute Pilates (Perfect Bum) routine doesn’t seem enough to constitute a “workout.”  Why?  Why do I feel that way?  

Any workout constitutes a “workout”!!  I could have just as easily sat on the couch and did nothing, but instead I worked ( = workout ).  I may not have broken a crazy sweat or pumped my heart rate up to the max, but I did something ( = workout ).

What prompted this overthinking was, yesterday I had an early morning meeting, so I had to forfeit my morning T25/Arms/Perfect Bum trifecta and just get up and go.  I knew I would do something later in the day, but as the day dragged on the probability of me doing any sort of cardio flew out the window.  At that point I figured I would just kiss the day goodbye because I wasn't going to get a "real workout" in.  

But then I thought, ya know what, I can still salvage a little something.  While I was cooking dinner I pep talked (yes it’s a verb) myself into doing my Perfect Bum workout (25 minutes = the same amount of time our dinner was in the oven, perfect!).  And I am so glad I did.  While Perfect Bum is not the most strenuous workout (it is strenuous, but in a non-strenuous way, if that makes any sense), it still got my blood flowing and I feel like I did my body some good (because Pilates is good, just breathing is a workout!).  This is where I started thinking about the whole “what constitutes a workout” question.  I think too much.  I'm weird.


How about you … Do you have a certain thing you do that “makes” a workout for you?  What constitutes a workout for you?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Disney Dining Review: Ohana Character Breakfast at the Polynesian Village Resort

For Jillian's second birthday we wanted to celebrate at a character breakfast before we went over to Magic Kingdom.  We were lucky to get a reservation at the character breakfast at Ohana featuring Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto.

You know I love a good breakfast buffet, but this one wasn't a buffet, it was a family style all you can eat breakfast.  Even better - I don't even have to leave the table!  Ha.  The meal started with their famous Hawaiian welcome bread, which was pineapple coconut bread and iced cinnamon bread.  Nom nom nom.  I could have just stopped there.  But I didn't.

The food was served via a giant skillet in the middle of the table and featured scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, delicious breakfast potatoes and biscuits.  A server came around later with the Disney breakfast staple, Mickey shaped waffles.  Everything, as you would imagine was so fantastically delish.

The characters were out and about throughout the meal, and we had no problems getting them to come over and take pictures with us (obviously).

Jillian was so excited every time she spotted a character.  It was super cute.  And even more fun, every 30 minutes or so they do a "parade" around the restaurant where kids can march around the restaurant with the characters and maracas.  You know we did that.  It was her birthday!  

All in all, the Ohana character breakfast was fantastic.  Great food, great atmosphere, all kinds of fun.  We will definitely be back!  

I'll be back later this week to talk about our dinner at Tony's Town Square at Magic Kingdom this past Saturday!  

How about you ... Ever been to Ohana?  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Randomness

It’s Friday.  Already.  This week just flew by!

And since it’s Friday, that means I have randomness up in here.

- I’m still on the workout train and give it approximately 5 more days before I fall off again. No, I kid.  I’m on it and I’m going to stay on it.  Yesterday I was actually almost off it.  After a night of very little sleep (because Jillian wanted to party until 3am), I didn’t get up and work out.  But I did do an afternoon workout around 3 o’clock.  T25 Ab Intervals, thankyouverymuch.

- I have been cooking all week and it’s been just lovely.  On Monday I made Pioneer Woman’s Skillet Chicken Lasagna, which was ridiculous good.  On Tuesday, I made something from one of my Disney cookbooks – Cheeseburger Calzones.  Again, super good.  On Wednesday we had leftover chicken lasagna and on Thursday I made pulled buffalo chicken sandwiches.  Hey, I said I was going to be cooking more, not cooking healthy.  Baby steps.

- I have been immersed in great music lately.   I am still in love with Spotify and listen to it daily.  But I also downloaded Meghan Trainor’s new album.  So good.  I really like her style of music.  I don’t really know what it is though.  Some songs sound like total throwbacks to the 50s and then other songs she's rapping.  It’s really weird, but really fun.  And Fall Out Boy’s new CD came out this week too.  I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I have listened to a few songs through Spotify and I am digging it.  New music rules.

- Speaking of music, (I may regret admitting this) for some reason we have been on a NKOTB kick lately.  We regularly watch Wahlburgers and just recently started watching Donnie Loves Jenny (OMG, I love them) - both on A&E.  That’s a lot of Donnie Wahlberg.  Not a bad thing.  Well, then on Pop TV (formerly TVGN) they have a new show called New Kids on the Block Rock This Boat, which is about the NKOTB annual cruise and all of their crazy fans.  It’s awful, but it’s like a train wreck that I can’t take my eyes off of.  So it’s kind of awesome in that respect.  And then, to promote the new NKOTB show, they have been showing all of these documentaries about NKOTB, so naturally we watched all of those too.  It’s been a NKOTB kind of week.  Nothin wrong with that!  

Oh, hello there!  Did anyone know that Jonathan will be competing on the next season of The Amazing Race?  Yes!  Awesome!  

OK, I've incriminated myself enough today.  Have a fabulous Friday!

How about you ... Do you watch any of my stupid shows?  Haha.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Latest Stitch Fix

So I took a brief hiatus from Stitch Fix after receiving just a so-so one from them back at the beginning of November.

When my box showed up on Friday, I was super excited to dive in and see what I got.  

The first thing I tried on was this leopard print top.  It was just okay.  I like leopard, but it was a really plain top with an equally plain neckline.  Eh.  Pass.

Next was a promising looking sleeveless striped top.  It fit really well, but it wasn't sleeveless, it was cap sleeves.  

Ugh!  I despise cap sleeves.  So very much.  They hit you at a strange place that makes your arms look heavy.  Ick no.  Pass.

Please ignore my scary old lady looking hand holding my giant phone

Next was a really cute looking dress.  But when I put it on I felt like I was part of the Mod Squad.  It was just a plain, straight, boring and reminiscent of the 70s.  No no no.

Then I put on these jeans, and the angels sang.  

I am always worry about trying on pants that Stitch Fix sends because pants are hard to fit.  But these were perfect and more of a straight leg style (all my jeans are boot cut).  They are Kut From the Kloth brand, and I am convinced that this brand is made for my body.  I have another pair of boyfriend jeans from them from a previous fix that I love.  So I had to get these.  They were a little on the expensive side for jeans - $78 - but take off the $20 styling fee and then they're a little more doable.  And they fit!  And they're a lighter denim color than I have in my closet, which is nice.  Score!

The last thing in my fix was a necklace that wasn't worth taking a picture of.  Pass. 

All in all, I wasn't crazy about this fix, but I got a good pair of jeans out of it, so I can't deem it a complete loss.  I left a bunch of comments for my stylist (NO CAP SLEEVES!  INTERESTING NECKLINES!) so hopefully my next one will be better.

How about you ... Do you Stitch Fix?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On a Roll

Hey there!

So far so good.  My restart on the New Year has been going excellent.  I haven’t had any problems getting up and getting in a workout in the mornings, I’ve been entering in all my stuff in My Fitness Pal and we’ve eaten at home every night this week … granted, it’s only Wednesday.  So I would call that a success of sorts.  Yes?

I’ve been focusing on three things in my workouts. 

1)  Cardio.  In the form of T25.  T25 is a no brainer.  It’s 25 minutes of running, kicking, jumping that gets my heart rate up way high, integrates strength exercises into the mix and did I mention it’s only 25 minutes.  That’s the best part. 

2)  My bum.  In the form of “The Perfect Bum” series that I found on Amazon Prime for free.  I am so very glad that I found this workout on Amazon Prime.  It is awesome.  It’s Pilates based, so I feel like I am getting a really good core/bum workout and can already notice some changes happening in my posture and my bum.  Yes! 

3)  Arms.  I have been neglecting my arms.  So in between my cardio and my “Bum” workout I do three sets of 4 arm exercises, 10 reps each.  I have been switching the types and sequences every day to keep it from getting old and moldy.  I refer to my umpteen Pinterest arm exercise pins for inspiration.

All three of those things equals a full hour of exercise, and it feels mighty good.

Obviously omitted from the equation is running.  I’m going to get to that.  I swear I am.  I have to.  I have to do a 10K in 5 weeks.  I’ll get there.

How about you … Are you staying motivated to work out?  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Disney Dining Review: Captain's Grille at Disney's Yacht Club Resort

A couple of weeks ago Hubs, Jillian and I had another fun filled Disney dining reservation at a place that we'd walked by many times, but had never actually been to - Captain's Grille at Disney's Yacht Club Resort.

We actually sat at that table right there in the right hand corner

I'm not going to lie, I wasn't too excited about going there.  I figured it was just going to be another Disney steak at another resort restaurant.  I was wrong. 

The menu at Captain's Grille was excellent.  It had a little bit of everything from steaks to seafood to chicken to pork to pasta dishes.  I opted for the pasta special of the evening - Beef Stroganoff, and man oh man, am I glad I did.  It was DELICIOUS.  Probably one of my favorite meals since we started this whole Disney Dining experiment.  The stroganoff was made with short ribs and was so flavorful.  The noodles were wide pasta noodles (pappardelle?) that held the flavor of the beef and gravy and were so good.  Everything was so so good.  

Hubs had the Rosemary brined pork tenderloin, which was also awesome.  And Jillian discovered that she loves ketchup at Captain's Grille when she had the very famous kids chicken nuggets.  Oh yes, she's fancy.

Great dinner all around!

Afterwards, we walked off all of our delicious food with a lap around Epcot's World Showcase.  It was a great night!  

I still have to talk about the character breakfast at Ohana, so I'll check in later this week with with that review.  And coming up next weekend: reservations at Tony's Town Square at Magic Kingdom! 

How about you ... Ever been to Captain's Grill, Ohana or Tony's Town Square?

Monday, January 19, 2015

My New Year Start

Hi there!  Happy Monday!  

Today is my official start to the New Year.  Huh, you say?  You know how on January 1st everyone "starts over" and starts being good and all that?  Yeah, I missed that boat.  

Between traveling to Connecticut the first week of January and then all of Jillian's festivities last week, I feel like I haven't yet been able to get myself in order the way I want to in 2015.  So today I'm starting.

I've gotten off track a bit in a few places:  

Exercise hasn't been happening a whole lot outside of my Perfect Bum workouts each morning (yes, still doing that, and I really like it!).  I have a 10K coming up and I have run exactly zero times in the last month or so.  So I need to kind of get on that.  So cardio has started back up in my life today, in the form of T25.  I'm going to create some sort of hybrid T25 and running schedule for myself.  Yes I am.

I gave up Diet Coke (again) back in November cold turkey and did great with it.  And then the holidays rolled around and I would allow myself one here and there.  I wasn't happy about it, and today I'm still only doing one here and there, but I don't want to, so today, no more.

I need to get back to entering my food/water/workouts into the My Fitness Pal app.  I was doing really well when I was being held accountable for what I put in my body.  So today, that starts up again.  Also, cooking is making a comeback in my house.  We have been eating out or eating crap for too long now.  I'm ready to cook some good meals again.  

So yeah, today is a new day and I'm ready for it!  Here we go.  Happy New Year to me!  

How about you ... How do you stay on track with food and fitness?  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jillian's 2nd Birthday

Well, hey!  It's been a while, hasn't it?  I fully meant to write more last week, but with me being off work for a couple of days, the rest of my week was chaos, so I never got a chance to check in.  Argh.  

Last week was Jillian's 2nd birthday (OMG!!) and we celebrated pretty much all week long, despite the fact that the birthday girl had a bit of a cold.  Poor baby.  She didn't let it spoil the fun though!  

On Sunday we had her "it's a small world" themed birthday party at the house.

All of the decor I found on Etsy.  There aren't many options for an "it's the small world" party out there, but I fell in love with all of this stuff from the Chesilou shop.  Such cute things!!  

Vintage wood "it's a small world" poster from another shop on Etsy and the small world boat we got at Magic Kingdom a couple of weeks ago.

We had a house full - about 25 people - and I vowed never to do another party at the house again.  Ha, I kid.  Sort of.  I felt like I was more wrapped up in making the food, making sure the food was set up and stocked at all times, and making sure everyone was happy versus enjoying the people and Jillian.  So that was kind of a bummer, but what are you gonna do? I did make time to snap a pic with my girls.

Since it was an "it's a small world" theme we had food and favors representing different countries.  For appetizers we had chips and salsa (representing Mexico), bruschetta (Italy) and pretzels (Germany).  And then for entrees we had a full on taco bar (Mexico was the main theme, apparently) with all of the fixings, chicken tenders and potato salad representing the USA and Bagel Bites which was a very weak representation of Italy - but hey, everyone loves Bagel Bites at a party, right?

For the kids' favor bags I got all Pinterest-y and created bags with different things from around the world.  Well, things that represented things from different countries...

In them: a flower lei representing Hawaii, a tiny globe ball (a "small world" - ha, get it?), a tiny sombrero, Swedish fish (yes) and M&Ms repping the US of A.  I was so proud of my creativity here.  

Enough about the decor and the food...  Jillian had a blast playing with her friends and tearing up the playroom.  

All in all it was a fabulous party.  Jillian thoroughly enjoyed being sang to and eating her cupcake.

So serious about her frosting filled face
Awesome, awesome party.  

On Jillian's actual birthday (the 13th), we had fun plans to go to the character breakfast at Ohana at the Polynesian Village resort.

We met Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch.  I'll do a full write up on the character breakfast at Ohana later this week.  But I'll just say that we left super full and happy.  Great time!  

After that we continued the tradition and went to Magic Kingdom to celebrate some more.

Yep, we even sprung for the $10 Mickey balloon.  Why not? 

All in all, it was a fabulous birthday celebration.  I still can't believe my baby is 2!!  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

She's 2!!

Happy Birthday to the greatest little girl in the world! 

We have been celebrating Jillian's birthday now for a few days and the party continues today, her actual birthday.  Today we are off to the Ohana Character Breakfast and Magic Kingdom to celebrate. More to come later!