Love & Marriage…Love & Marriage…

8 Jun

With our wedding day quickly approaching (50 days!), all the little details seem to be overflowing my brain.  Chairs, decorations, transportation, hotels…there’s a lot of stuff to do for a wedding! 

When I find myself thinking too much about what flowers to use, how in the world we’ll blow up our balloons when there’s a helium shortage (for reals, there’s such a thing going on, people!!), or how many cute little raffia fans to buy for the hot weather, I take a few moments and pause.  I start to think about how many people keep telling us how excited they are for our big day.  The people who are making the effort to go a VERY long way up to our wedding location, take time off of work, and really really want to be a part of our wedding.  I get teary-eyed even thinking of how much love will be flowing in the days leading up to, and at the day of our wedding.  My bridal shower last weekend was evidence of the beautiful emotions people shared with one another, and with my wonderful fiance.  Tears will flow during our wedding weekend as they did at the shower, and they will be tears of pure joy and complete happiness.  Happiness for finding the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.  Happiness for sharing our wedding with the people we love.  Happiness for our loved ones showing how much THEY love us together.  Happiness for all the fun we will have celebrating our marriage.  We are SO looking forward to our families and friends all joining together to form a great big super family!   

I also take a step back from the planning, and think about the wonderful man I am going to marry.  He makes me smile, makes me laugh (while teasing me about my silly sounding giggle),  dances with me, cooks with me, takes care of me,  holds me when I need to be held.  When babysitting recently, I was with the baby upstairs in his room.  The door was closed, and I thought we were just two kids hangin’ out playing with our Playskool Barn.  Me telling him what a great job he was doing stacking his blocks, and then eventually humming and singing to put him in the sleepy time zone.  I came downstairs an hour after heading up, to find my fiance in the living room.  He gave me a hug and said, “I could hear you on the monitor the whole time you were up there…you’re going to make a great mom some day.”  **insert warm fuzzy feelings** That man of mine is a real keeper.

This is some of what love and marriage is made of

Mmmmm! Pizza! Pizza!

24 Feb

Do you order from the same pizza place every weekend?   Maybe you’re lazy or bored or just can’t figure out what to have for dinner.  Do you order that giant pizza for just you and another person, and find yourself eating too much of it…just because it’s there?  Maybe you wonder how that one item you ordered costs so much, for so little ingredients.  Or you might wonder why you bought that bland frozen pizza that seemed to have all those fake ingredients on it. 

My fiance and I have found the solution to this…

We MAKE our own pizza!  YUMMMMM!

It’s super easy to  make your own pizza at home.  Pick out your favorite ingredients and pizza dough, and you’re good to go!  The fun part (well, there are many fun parts, but I’ll get to that) about making your own pizza at home, are the seemingly unlimited choices about what to make your pizza with! 

  1. You can make your own dough from scratch, pick up pre-made dough (Trader Joe’s has a yummy one), or even buy a Boboli pie crust.  An additional option, is gluten-free pizza dough.  There are so many great gluten-free foods available now, and pizza dough is one of them!
  2. Depending on your mood, you can use pizza sauce, pesto sauce, olive oil, or even a white sauce for your base. 
  3. Now the toppings…that’s where this stuff gets good!  Soooooo many options!  Peppers, onions, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, garlic, pepperoni, sausage, pineapple, chicken…and tons more!   We love using the lighter versions sometimes, like turkey pepperoni and turkey/chicken sausage.
  4. It’s so great to be able to choose fresh mozzarella, provolone, parmesan.  Maybe you wanna get fancy with it and go with asiago, fontina, gorgonzola, ricotta! One more option is a dairy-free cheese like Daiya.  Pizza may not be an option for many lactose intolerant people ordering out, but with dairy-free cheese, you can make your own at home!

There are so many perks of making your own pizza at home.  One of our favorite things about pizza night at our house, is the assembly of the pizza itself.  We get to work together step by step on creating the pizza, deciding which toppings to use and how much to put on.  We have fun creating new ideas for pizzas all the time.  One of our favorites so far, is to buy a rotisserie chicken, shred the chicken and cover the dough, add Frank’s Red Hot sauce all over the pizza, and top with fresh mozarella.  MMMM!  MMMM!  Delish!  Another tasty fave is our chicken fajita pizza.  We prepare chicken and peppers like we would for a regular chicken fajita dinner, but then put all the ingredients on top of our pizza dough, and cover in cheese.  Oh my gosh!  That one is super good!  Pizza time at home is a super easy meal, and is a wonderful way to get the kids involved in cooking too!

We’ve decided, our favorite thing of all, is the quality time we spend making our pizzas together, and then enjoying the delicious meal we made.  I might say it a lot, but I really do believe, that the food you make at home with love and care while with your loved ones will ALWAYS taste better than the food you order in a restaurant.  It means so much more.  It’s almost like you can taste that LOVE in the pizza!

pureMUSCLE aka “jello arms”

1 Feb

Back to the gym this morning for one of my favorite classes, pureMUSCLE.  Love it! It’s taught by the same instructor who does ABSolute Strength.  She’s so positive and helpful, great fast music.  Gotta love the positivity at 6am, considering I hauled my butt outta bed before 5am, to get to the gym in the suburbs by my office on time.  Ohhhh, the discipline, right?? ha!

pureMUSCLE

Enjoy this muscular workout that will tighten and tone for a lean body. This resistance class uses barbells and hand weights and is a great counterbalance to all other muscle conditioning classes and is perfect for all levels

 But HOLY cow!  That’s some intense arm work!! Today, we only used hand weights, but we’ve used the body bar in previous classes.  I think we did at least 8 sets each of shoulders, biceps, triceps, laterals, and then got right into lunges, then finished up with ab work.  By the way, doing squats with your legs far out to the sides, toes pointed out, while raising off your heels=purePAIN.  Maybe that’s what the class should be called instead of pureMUSCLE??  But then again, I probably wouldn’t have taken it if that was the case.  Good call on that one smarties.

Since this is the year of Halle Berry thighs, I’m thinking it should also be the year of Michelle Obama arms??  What do you think? Yes? Do you have other suggestions for a better arm role model?

 

 All I have to say, is that as long as you keep those dang pictures of scary Madonna arms away from my line of vision, I think I’ll live a much happier life.  Ugh!  Seriously?? What is her deal?!? And who told her that was a good look to go for?

So, I’m loving my classes and can defiitely feel myself getting stronger and stronger every day. Just pretty please…do not ask me to reach for something on the top shelf of the cupboard for you today? Mmmmkay?? Thanks! ;)

2012…time to get going!

19 Jan

January is for the start of a fresh healthy new year, but it took a bit to get back into the swing of things…

I was out of the gym for about a month, from mid-December to mid-January.  Not cool.  I injured myself at the gym in the middle of December by straining muscles around my ribs…while stretching!!!  What!?! Who does that??  Ugh.   Such a dork.  It hurt to move for days. No bueno.  I was really starting to get into my new workout routine and fun classes, and then WAM!  No gym for me.  Soooooo, time for healing my injury lead into my vacation for Christmas and New Years, and then a week in Portland for work.  All adding up to a month off from the gym.  I realized I really missed how I had started to feel back in December from taking my new classes.  I was feeling stronger and healthier, and then it was gone.  Poof!  I  topped it off with eating sweets and decadent food at the holidays and a few (many maybe??) celebratory cocktails, hey it was the holidays. 

Cut to last week, my first week back at the office in almost three weeks.  Finally got my booty back into the gym, and it felt DAMN good!  Ooooh boy!  Loved to be back at the gym! I missed that adrenaline!   After a week back at the gym, I decided I was ready to get back into my class routine and headed to 6am ABSolute Strength class this Monday. 

ABSolute Strength

High repetition, high-intensity endurance oriented strength training designed to train the core, legs & upper body. Highly effective abdominal training exercises and compound muscle movements for a lean look, incredible posture and a great sense of physical and mental strength.

The class works biceps, triceps, abs, core, quads, glutes, and I was squatting and lunging my little booty away with weights on my shoulders.  It was a great way to start off my week.  I was feeling strong, getting thru all the reps, feeling the burn. The teacher plays great upbeat music and is super helpful to everyone during the class.   She even called me out in class to say I had beautiful form!  BONUS!  :)  I got a good stretch after class and then went to make my way down the stairs to the locker room.  Now, let me tell you something…whoever decided the womens locker room should be THREE flights down from the main workout area, must have been some type of crazy torturer.  I mean, THREE??  Come on!!  I took my first step down and nearly collapsed in the stairwell.  My legs were jello from all those lunges and squats!  I had to hold onto the railing for dear life as I very slowly creeped down the three flights of stairs, hoping nobody had to rush past me and laugh at my weak little legs. I even laughed at loud at myself!  But I kept thinking…if this is what it takes to be just thiiiiiiis much closer to getting sexy thighs like Halle Berry and rock some cutoffs, I’ll take the pain.

Let’s DO this 2012!!!

Group fitness classes? I’m in!

13 Dec

Wow, I’ve waited WAY too long to post anything for a while!  I’ve got some catching up to do! 

So, I’ve gotten a bit more adventurous in my time at the gym this past month.  I’ve moved away from just using the treadmill and a few free weights (BORING!)…into the land of group fitness classes! OOooOoohhhh! :) 

I’ve always been super intimidated by group classes.  I feared:

  • I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the rest of the class
  • I would make a fool of myself, because I had no idea what I was doing
  • I would get too tired to participate for the duration of the class
  • I don’t have the right workout gear (cycling shoes, padded bike shorts, etc)
  • I wouldn’t be strong enough to lift the weights for the whole class
  • My face would turn BRIGHT red from my workout “glow”
  • And the worst fear I ever had, would be that I would just straight up pass out! Eeeeek!

Luckily, my first real group fitness class was taught by the nicest, sweetest woman named Ginger and she played bumpin’ music to boot!  It was a 30 minute spin class.  Now, spin classes are usually 60 minutes long, but this 30 minute class was quite enough for me as a first-timer, lemme tell ya.  Woooooh doggy! It started off with such a great beginning, when Ginger first saw me walk in, she noticed right away that I had never been to one of her classes before.  She made a point of introducing herself, asking my name, and welcoming me.  Major bonus points for calming my nerves a bit on first meet.  She then went on to help me get all set up on my bike, adjusting the seat, the handlebars, and even giving me a padded seat cover.  The seat covers are for all the newbies who don’t wear the dorky padded bike shorts.  And I am SO glad she gave me that seat cover.  Yowsa!  When class started she introduced me to the whole class and even checked on me throughout the class to see how I was doing.  She was encouraging, made funny small talk during class, played some super upbeat dance music like David Guetta (which I immediately added to my running playlist when I got home), and made the time go by super quick.  I made it back for another visit to the same class a few weeks later…and she remembered my name!  Love it!  Now, that is what I call, first-class teaching!

What makes a wedding?

8 Nov

Since starting to plan our wedding a few months ago, I’ve experienced lots of feelings, ideas and emotions on the subject.  Thinking about weddings, talking to people about weddings, and researching weddings brings many interesting things to light. 

When you think about weddings, do you think of…

  • A big white dress
  • a church
  • a banquet hall
  • a fancy reception
  • a huge cake

Or maybe you think of…

  • who will share your day with you
  • what you will say in your vows
  • the music you will play
  • the food you will serve

Do you…

  • elope
  • have a big wedding with everyone you know and all your relatives
  • have a small intimate wedding with close family and friends

Will your wedding be about…

  • the ceremony
  • the party
  • combination of the two with equal importance

Weddings can have themes, color schemes, cultural influences, religious influences, and family influences.  Do you do something that is expected of you by your family and tradition?  Maybe you do something that is popular and of the moment for weddings in your town.  Do you play it safe and have a simple and classic wedding to remember for years to come? 

What makes a wedding?

I’m curious if anyone who reads this would want to talk about their own weddings…

Not necessarily what I should do, but what you did.   How you felt leading up to your wedding day…on your wedding day…the day after your wedding.  Or how you feel looking back at your wedding.

Things to think about :)

Gotta work it out

12 Oct

I joined a new gym!  Woohoo!  The biggest thing that got me to join at this particular gym, was all the super awesome classes included in the monthly gym membership.  It’s also helpful that it’s right down the street from where I work.  Classes like TRX, Whipped, Pilates, Yoga, Cycling and ABSolute Strength.  I just got in for my first visit last night and stuck to the treadmill.  It’s been wayyyy too long since I’ve gone running and it felt great!  I forgot how much I love that exercise high after I’m all done.  Love it!!  Keep that bumpin’ music going!! 

After my run on the treadmill, I decided to watch a bit of the Whipped class in one of the studios.  To be completely honest, it looks REALLY tough.  Really.  These people looked like some serious athletes in that room.  And the instructor…let’s just say she looked like she could kick my booty, even though she was about a foot shorter than me! Thighs of steel!  Whipped is a class specific to my gym and is described as:

Whipped! is all about “old school” rope training combined with intervals such as jumpbacks, planks, squats, running, and more. The rope training includes literally whipping heavy ropes up and down using your entire body with your arms and shoulders especially getting a major workout.  Sending ripples down a thick rope seems like a simple motion — until you do it as fast as you can repeatedly. To keep it up, you need to squat, tighten your core and muster whatever power you can find in your arms and back.Other equipment used during the class includes stability balls, kettlebells, and steps.  The class is designed to “elicit high anaerobic intensity in quick bursts (30 seconds of exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest) using endurance-sparking moves.”

kinda weird pic, but it shows the ropes!

I’m thinking this class is EXACTLY what I need to get into wedding shape for next summer :)  I might leave crying from exhaustion…or from the feeling of pure wimpiness in the presence of super athletes.  We’ll just have to see.  I’m hoping I just make it thru!  It isn’t offered again during my workout schedule until next week, but I think I’m gonna jump right in.

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