Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Five - January 29

Happy Friday!  After two straight days of rain and general miserableness over here, it is finally a little bit sunny and dry.  And it looks like the weekend should be pretty nice as well.  No huge plans – I have a 5K tomorrow and then we have lunch plans on Sunday, those are our only definitive plans. 

Here’s the Friday Five!

WWE Royal Rumble
Hubs and I had a fun outing on Sunday night.  We had tickets to one of the WWE’s biggest events: the Royal Rumble.  Live WWE events are so much fun.  I know that sounds silly, but they are.  There’s music, pyrotechnics, crazy fans, and then of course the ridiculously muscular athletes in spandex. Our seats were wicked close, so we had primo views of the athletes walking out, and we were literally a stone’s throw from the pyrotechnics, which made me just a little nervous. 

It was just so much fun, I can’t really explain it, so I won’t try. 

New iPod
For Christmas, Hubs got me a new 64GB iPod Touch.  Well, no, he gave me his old, unused, still fresh in the box 64 GB iPod Touch, while he got an even larger one.  Either way, it’s new to me and much appreciated, because mine is on its last leg.  

Over the weekend I turned it on and attempted to get all of my music from my old iPod onto my new iPod.  I’m pretty sure it worked because I’ve been jamming out to iPod tunes all week.  It’s been a while since I listened to my iPod on shuffle and man, do I have some gems on there!  I’ve had many moments this week where a song would come on and I’d either squeal in delight or be like “awwww yeah!”  Example, Jessica Simpson’s “A Public Affair.”  C’mon, don’t tell me you don’t secretly enjoy this song.  Remember the video with her and Christina Applegate and Eva Longoria roller skating?  Do you think they’re really friends?  Anyway, I love my new iPod.  Or my new hand me down iPod. 

PS - I just watched that video (couldn't get it to load here, but it's on YouTube).  It just makes me happy.

Just Jillian
No not my Jillian, Jillian Michaels.  And namely her new show on E!, Just Jillian.  It chronicles her life as a trainer, business owner, partner and mom.  It’s funny and intriguing to get a peek of her life.  I just love her.  I would never want to train with her or work for her (yikes), but watching her on TV again is fun.  So fun I actually checked out her podcast (The Jillian Michaels Show) and I’m enjoying it!  Yay Jillian Michaels.

American Idol
Is anyone watching American Idol anymore?  American Idol has been a huge part of our lives.  Hubs and I actually met during the first season of Idol, and the show was actually a large source of our conversations in the beginning.  Aww.  And then of course Jordyn (my step-daughter) auditioned for Idol in 2011, and made it to Hollywood.  Oh, that was probably one of the greatest experiences ever. 

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?  Jordyn auditioned in 2011 in Houston and made it past the first couple rounds of auditions and I’ll never forget when she called us and said “I’m auditioning in front of the judges!”  We had said that if she made it to the judges (back then it was J-Lo, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson) we’d make the trip out to be there.  So we got the call on Saturday night and by Sunday we had rented a van and were driving with my in-laws and Jordyn’s mom’s parents (yeah we’re one big happy family) on a road trip to Galveston, TX.  Seriously, I still to this day look at that trip as such a fun, fond memory.  We had such a blast.  And then standing there with Ryan Seacrest while Jordyn auditioned, waiting to hear if she got the golden ticket, OMG, it still brings tears to my eyes (I’m a real sap).  When she came out with her ticket to Hollywood we went nuts and I cried (thank God they didn’t put that on TV).  Such fun!  She didn't make it past Hollywood, or on TV for that matter, but who cares, the experience itself was enough.  Awesome.

Anyway… sorry for that little memory trip.  We didn’t watch Idol at all last season, but we decided that we had to watch it this year, since it’s the last season.  And damn, it’s good this season!  We’re only at the audition part, but wow, there is some great talent and I immensely enjoy Harry Connick Jr.  He is so fun and adorable.  But yeah, American Idol is awesome. 

I’ve only mentioned it like 30 times this week, but I’m running in another 5K this weekend.  That’s two weekends in a row if you’re keeping track.  Ask me how many times I have ran/walked since last week’s race.  Zero!  I am really having a hard time getting up and getting motivated and I’m really starting to get pissed at myself.  Next week things change.  This week I fixed my eating habits, next week I fix my exercise habits.  I will get back on track. 

And with that, I’m outta here.  Have a fab Friday and an equally fab weekend! 

How about you … American Idol – yay or nay?  Anyone watching Just Jillian?  Did anyone catch the Royal Rumble? (hehe)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Truths and Confessions

So I have had some thoughts floating around my head lately and thought I'd craft them into a post I call Truths and Confessions. Intriguing huh? (Note: It's really not that exciting or intriguing)

Truth: Eating healthy(ier) is not that bad
This week I haven't been eating all the food. Lately I've been eating anything and everything (mostly of the unhealthy variety) and I just didn't really care. Fruit? What's that? Water? No, I prefer Diet Coke. Chips? Yes please! Over the weekend I put on a pair of jeans, ones that are never tight or uncomfortable, and they were, yep, tight and uncomfortable. No bueno! So I decided to adopt healthier habits - lots of water, fruit in place of salty snacks and mindless eating, and home cooked meals. Yes I have cooked every day this week. And ya know what? It's not hard and I feel so much better! I haven't tried my jeans on but I'd be willing to bet that they fit better today than they did three days ago. Not eating shit really works!! 

Confession: I signed up for the Lady Track Shack 5K this weekend for the cute shirt and medal 
I did! When I picked up my race packet last week for the Park Ave. 5.2K they had the Lady Track Shack shirt and medal on display and it was cuuuute. So much that there were several women admiring it saying that they wanted to run the race just to get the shirt. So now I don't feel so bad about my confession. Don't get me wrong I'm looking forward to the race too, and the fact that it benefits breast cancer awareness, but I'm a sucker for a pink v-neck race tee. 

Truth: I'm not fast 
Duh, I think we all know that I'm not a fast runner by any means. I jokingly posted this on Instagram after the race on Saturday. 

(sorry, had to cut off Baymax's head to get it all in)

I absolutely love that Track Shack commented saying I had a 5.2K PR (personal record). I had to laugh because me and PR do not belong in the same sentence. But they are right, this was a 5.2K PR, probably because it was my first and only 5.2K. Go me! 

Confession: I only take the stairs at work when going downstairs
OK this is only partly true. I sit on the 4th floor and my computer bag, no lie, is 30 lbs (I have a giant 17 inch monitor laptop that I cart back and forth to the office), so hoofing up four flights with that leaves me gasping for breath. It's sort of embarrassing. So my rule is to take the elevator up when I am taking my bag upstairs, but use the stairs every other time. I'm not sure why I told you that. 

And that's all.  

How about you ... Wanna share a confession or truth?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Recipe Tuesday

Hey hey!  Another Tuesday recipe for you.  Isn’t this recipe stuff exciting? 

So, it’s been super cold here lately (well, for Florida) and even though today was warmer (high of 70!) I was in the mood for a meal that was warm and cozy – chili.  I usually only make chili when it’s cold out, because it just seems like a warm, cozy comfort food.

Up until a couple of years ago, I wasn’t a chili fan at all.  My mom-in-law made a chili mac recipe that I just fell in love with, and it’s so incredibly easy.  It only has 4 ingredients, I mean, hello! 

And full disclosure, this isn't a new-to-me recipe, I actually have two new-to-me recipes on the schedule for this week (so stay tuned!) but I had to use this turkey meat tonight, or else. So... 

Chili-O Mac!

Take some ground beef or turkey or chicken (I used turkey because I’m trying to eat a little healthier this week) and brown it up in a larger pot that you can add to (you’re going to make all of your chili in this pot). 

Once that’s all cooked up and drained, add a can of kidney beans and the magic ingredient: 

A packet of French's Chili-O seasoning. Why mess with separate herbs and spices, it's all in here! (I'm a simple girl)

Stir it all up and then add enough tomato juice to make it all juicy (I usually use ¾ of a bottle of tomato juice).  If you like real soupy chili, use the whole bottle.  I don’t, so I don’t use as much. 

Stir it all up, put a lid on it and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. 

While that’s simmering up, cook some mac.  You can do spaghetti, bow ties, penne, whatever you like.  Since it’s Chili-O MAC, I do elbow macaroni.  And since, again, I’m trying to be a little bit good, I did Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Veggie Bows. (I hope they're good)

And then dump half the bag on the counter because you've got butter fingers. 

Clean up while it cooks. No wine for me this week. 

When it's all done and ready to go you put some pasta in a bowl, ladle on lots and lots of chili and top with cheese. 

And let that cheese melt and form a fortress of cheesy goodness over the top. I can't eat it unless it's all melty. 

And that's it! So easy and so delish!  

How about you ... What are you cooking this week?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Park Avenue 5K

Hello! Happy Monday! 

Despite running a 5K on Saturday morning, this weekend was a super duper lazy one. It was so cold outside, we opted to stay warm indoors and just hang at home for a majority of the weekend. It was nice! 

Saturday morning I got up uber early and ran the Seasons 52 Park Avenue 5.2K.  See how they did that? It was frigid outside, 40s and so very windy -  which gave it that whole "wind chill factor" thing, that I'm not super familiar with. 

I layered up, found my Mickey Mouse beanie hat and drove out to Winter Park. 

After standing around only a short while, the race began and I was off. Since I haven't done anything (and I mean anything) since the 10K, I decided to just stick to what I was comfortable with - 2/2 intervals and no expectations whatsoever. 

It went great! Like the 10K, I stuck to all of my intervals, so when my app told me to run, I ran. And when it told me to walk, I walked. And I stuck to it the whole race. Small victories, that's all I'm going for in races. 

All in all great race, albeit cold. So great, in fact, that I promptly signed up for another race next weekend - the Lady Track Shack 5K, a race that isn't part of the fanatic running series. So that's kind of exciting. Gotta keep up some kind of momentum, and if it's by doing a bunch of races, so be it. 

The rest of the day we did a bunch of cleaning and organizing - junk drawers, underneath my sink. Seriously, I have an inordinate amount of products under my sink ... half used shampoos, lotions, face products, you name it. I've vowed to not buy anything new for a while and just "shop under my sink." Craziness. 

And that's about it! I'll get into our Sunday shenanigans (namely Royal Rumble, hee) later this week. Have a great Monday! 

How about you ... How cold was your weekend? 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Five - January 22

Hello!  It’s Friday again.  I can’t believe that.  Time is flying by way too quickly.  We have some fun stuff on tap for this weekend, so that is exciting. 

OK, enough awkward chatter, here’ the Friday Five.

1.  I have a 5K tomorrow
Yeah, I haven’t put one foot in front of the other in a running motion since the 10K (er, like three weeks ago – I suck), so this should be fun.  This 5K is part of the Track Shack Fanatic running series I signed up for last summer, so it sort of snuck up on me.  There weren’t any runs in November and December, so now I’m back at it.  I have this 5K, a 4-miler in February and a 10K in March.  Guess I’d better get on the shtick, huh?  All that said, I am actually looking forward to this run.  It’s in downtown Winter Park, an area I really like running in and it’s going to be uber cold.  Not entirely looking forward to freezing my buns off, but at least I know what I am going to wear – my outfit from last year’s Princess 10K.  Bam.

2.  Royal Rumble
It’s no secret that Hubs and I enjoy a little sports entertainment in the form of WWE wrestling.  It’s fine.  This weekend we have tickets to one of the WWEs biggest events, the Royal Rumble (their biggest, their “Super Bowl” is Wrestlemania in April, which we went to a few years ago when it was in Orlando.)

Throwback to 2008.  Wrestlemania 24 in Orlando at the Citrus Bowl.  Kim Kardashian was there.  That was before she was a thing.  And Hubs had brown hair.  Wow.  Hehe.

Anywho, WWE events are super fun.  They’re loud, there’s pyrotechnics and music and scantily clad men, it’s just fun all around.  I am really looking forward to it.  Yep.

3.  Total Divas is back!
On the same wavelength, the new season of Total Divas is back on E! 

I love this show.  It’s so dumb, but it’s so fun to see WWE Divas’ lives outside of the ring.  Not sure how much is real or scripted (I mean, Nikki and John’s relationship, I hope to God it’s better than what is portrayed on the show.  He seems like such a douche on the show), but it’s all kinds of entertaining.  And they all make me want to get up and work out and get a spray tan.  Love this show.

4.  It’s cold!
I know people in other areas of the country do not want to hear me complain about Florida’s cold snap, but we’ve had highs in the 50s this week and lows in the 30s and 40s and I am already tired of it.  It’s cold!!!  All year long we have hot weather and we dream of cooler weather, but then when it gets cold, we just want the warmth back.  Such is life. But I had to wear a coat and a scarf yesterday morning.  Ugh.

5.  Spotify
You know my love for Spotify is real because I talk about it all the time.  Today during work I was listening to my library on shuffle and some fun Disney tunes came up that just made me happy. 

The Haunted Mansion music, the music played in the ride Pirates of the Caribbean, it just made me want to skip out on work and go to Magic Kingdom.  Love Spotify.

And, just because I forgot to include it in my birthday party post, here is a fun picture that I snapped of some more d├ęcor from the party.  Hehe.  Fun with a party hat.

And that’s it!  I hope you’re off to a great start on this Friday.  Enjoy your weekend!

How about you … Any WWE fans?  Any Total Divas watchers? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jillian’s "Under the Big Top” 3rd Birthday Party

Last Wednesday we celebrated Jillian’s 3rd birthday, and on Sunday we partied it up and celebrated her birthday with friends and family.  

Every December, while everyone is stressing about holiday shopping and everything Christmas, I am stressing about all of that AND what the heck I’m going to do for Jillian’s birthday, which is dangerously close to the holidays.

This year (or, I guess last year) as of December 18th, I had no clue what I was going to do - house party or go somewhere, what will the theme be, what will the kids do, etc etc.  I knew I needed to get the invites out soon after Christmas, so I needed to get on the ball and at least start looking at invitations on my favorite go-to place for invitations, holiday cards, etc: Vistaprint.  

I love Vistaprint because they have a million different options for invites, cards, etc.  And they are cheap and there’s usually a coupon or a Groupon where you can get an obscene amount of stuff for a little amount of money.  And no, I’m not being compensated to say this, I just really like Vistaprint.  

Anywho...  I went to Vistaprint and went to birthday invitations and started looking.  I quickly found one that sparked my interest and literally started the wheels in my head turning.  

A circus theme!  How fun would that be?  Oh the ideas, the food choices, the decor!  I quickly went over to Pinterest and typed in “circus themed kids birthday” and now I wish I hadn’t because OMG, there was so much amazingness and I wanted to do it all.  And I did.

My inspiration (just a small piece of the inspiration that I found on Pinterest, but this got the wheels turning):

So over the next few weeks I planned out menu, decor, games, favor bags, etc. was my best friend as was the dollar store to make my visions come alive.  

Menu:  Since it was a circus theme I wanted to do circus/carnival food, so we had corn dogs, boxes of popcorn, soft pretzels, chips, popcorn chicken (for those who aren’t hot dog fans) and some fruit for balance.

For sweets I had little boxes of animal crackers, marshmallow “dumbbells” and cupcakes.  Super bummed I didn't take any pics of the sweets presentation. I'm trying to see if someone else did. If yes, I will share later 

Yum yum yum.  The food was a hit.

Decor:  Circuses and carnivals are synonymous with red and white stripes, so this was my color palette.  I knew I had to have a big top in our dining room, so that was an undertaking that I wasn’t sure how we were going to make a reality, but thankfully my in-laws did.  We made it work with 12 dollar store plastic tablecloths in red and white, a hula hoop and some fishing wire.  I’m still astounded by how awesome it turned out.

The big top is staying up in our dining room as long as possible.  I’m shooting for Valentine’s Day.

And then balloons.  Oh, the balloons.  I found the cutest red and white polka dot balloons on Amazon and bought a helium tank so that we could have them floating.  It was balloon heaven.

Games:  I wanted to do something with the kids because we had a wide range of ages and I didn’t want anyone to be bored.  Jillian was one of the youngest, so she really wasn’t into the games, but the others loved them.  We did old fashioned party/carnival games like the ball toss, ring toss and pin the nose on the clown.  They were all a hit!  

Favor bags:  The kids favor bags were probably my favorite thing to do.  I got plain white gift bags at the dollar store (2 for $1) and found a cute circus graphic online (yay Pinterest for free printables!) and glued it onto the bags.  Then I stuffed them with fun carnival fare like cotton candy, a box of Barnum Animal Crackers, Cracker Jack, bubbles, a crazy straw, circus stickers, a clown nose and a cute note from Jillian.  And then I tied one of the helium balloons to their bag as they left (because we had a zillion).  So cute and fun to do!  

All in all the party was a hit.  Everyone had fun and oohed and aahed over the decor and theme.  Despite getting most of the party stuff inexpensively through Amazon and at the dollar store I still ended up spending an obscene amount of money on this party.  But it was all worth it.  I never thought I’d have it in my to put on a full blown, fully detailed “Pinterest” party, but I did and it was great!  Although, I will probably never go that full out again.  Party plannin’ ain’t easy!  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Recipe Tuesday!

The last couple of weeks I’ve been sharing new-to-me recipes that I found on Pinterest or around the interwebs.  I think I’m officially making “new recipe Tuesday” a “thing” on the blog.  Look at me!  

This week’s recipe is another “Tasty” tutorial that Hubs found on Facebook.  FYI, Hubs is the one who introduced me to these “Tasty” videos.  Every time he sees one he’s like “we should try this!”  Which is code for “you should actually cook and make this.”  Hehe.  

So this week’s recipe is another not-so-healthy one, but with the amount of leftover party food we have from Jillian’s birthday party, this isn’t the week to start with our clean, healthy eating plan.  Once we get rid of all the party food then we can start being clean.  Until then, let’s chow down!  (that’s an awful mentality, but that’s where I’m at right now)

And now without further ado - Meatball Sub Bake (you know that sounds, and looks, good)

Take some refrigerated biscuits, I used a tube of Pillsbury Flaky Layers and cut each one into 8 small pieces and placed in a baking dish sprayed with Pam (recipe calls for a 9x13, but I used an 8x8 because it’s just the two of us).  

I think this picture is sideways?

Coat with sauce of your choice - I used Newman’s Own Marinara - and don’t be stingy.  You want it saucy!  Stir it up so all that sauce gets all over those biscuit pieces.

Take some frozen meatballs - they could be homemade or store bought, I used Celentano - and line them up on top of the biscuits.  

And then cover it all up with mozzarella.  And a little bit of parmesan if you have it.

Pop in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes and enjoy an adult beverage while you clean up.  I ran out of wine, so I opted for an Angry Orchard.  (truth be told, the only time I drink is when I’m cooking up these recipes)

And the result

How was it?  How do you think it was just by the looks?  It was delicious!  You know how I mentioned the saucier the better?  Lots of sauce is key and this was perfection!  Yum!  The flaky biscuits were flavorful and fell apart with the sauce and cheese (so good).  The meatballs were alright, I think it would be better with homemade meatballs versus frozen ones.  But it tasted like a giant meatball sub in a casserole form.  So YUM!  I’ll definitely make this one again.

How about you ... Any new recipes in your repertoire?  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Great Day

Today we are recovering from having 30 people (10 of those kids under 8) at our house yesterday for Jillian's circus themed 3rd birthday. It was a huge hit and so, so much fun. More details later, but here's some fun pics to tide you over.