Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dog Park

Yesterday after my morning session, we loaded everyone up in the car (well, everyone except Riley and Sammy) and headed off to the Round Rock Dog Park. Mikko was in absolute heaven! 
 We stayed out there for at least an hour and she ran and played with the 8 or so other dogs that were out there. The last thing we thought would happen yesterday was her getting muddy and filthy...well, they had been watering a section of the park and there was mud everywhere! Mikko thought the mud was great - us? Not so much ;)

Will's favorite parts of the dog park experience were seeing the "choo choo" that ran right by the dog park and playing on the dog agility ramp. He wanted walk up and down that thing over and over - it was pretty adorable! He also loved yelling at Mikko and telling her to "come here!" (even though she wasn't listening to anyone at that point, hah!)

Watching the train go by - he was pretty impressed!!  

Mikko hardly moved for the rest of the was definitely worth an hour of our time to bring home an exhausted doggie! We'll definitely be going back!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Meal Planning and Prepping

Today has been a busy, but fantastic day. I started it out bright and early with a Sweet Session (ice cream sessions, if you're not in the loop! ;)), then we took Mikko to the dog park - more on that in another post later. When we came home, I spent an hour meal planning and making a grocery list and then headed to HEB. I hate fighting the crowd on Saturday, but it's the best time for me to shop. I like having Sunday to myself with my family - the way it should be! I came home and we got the groceries put away and I started prepping my meals for the week.

I've had a couple people ask me about meal prepping - what it is and why I do it. Basically, I set aside one afternoon a week (usually on Sunday) and I prep all of my cooked meals, portion into Tupperware containers, and stick them in the fridge. Since I eat the same thing every day for a week, it's not difficult to do and just takes some time. Why do I prep? I mean, I'm a work at home mom - it's not like I need to have food cooked to take to an office or something. I prep because it makes it easy for me to stick to what I've planned. There are many days a week where I get lunch ready for Will and I just want to grab something quick and easy. If I don't have a healthy meal already cooked, 9 times out of 10 I'm eating his leftover macaroni and cheese, grabbing a bowl of cereal, or snacking on Will's crackers...none of which have a regular place in my diet!

I actually really enjoy this time in the kitchen (unless, like today, I burn myself TWICE!). And I love the result after...neat little stacks of Tupperware lined up in the fridge, ready for me to eat them this week! And this is what's in them for this week:

M1 (preworkout): Eat-Clean Breakfast Burrito
M2 (post workout): Protein Shake, Banana
M3: Power Oatmeal Pancakes (2), 1 c. strawberries
M4: 4 oz. ground turkey breast seasoned with homemade taco seasoning and mixed with 1 sauteed red bell  pepper; apple
M5: 4 oz. chicken breast, 2 c. steamed/roasted veggies (I'm doing broccoli, squash, & onions), 1/2 small avocado
M6: 4 egg whites, 2 c. spinach, 1 T. balsamic vinaigrette, peach
M7: Greek Yogurt (my "dessert!")

The Eat-Clean Burritos and Power Oatmeal Pancakes both come from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet Cookbook...I *love* that cookbook (and all of her books, to be honest) and haven't made anything out of it that I don't like!

Eat-Clean Breakfast Burritos
Nutritonal Info: Makes 4 burritos; 198 calories; 4g fat; 20g carbs; 19g protein
2 c. egg whites
1/2 c. nonfat cottage cheese
1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped red or green sweet pepper
1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
1/2 c. black beans, rinsed & well drained then mashed coarsely with a fork
4 small Ezekiel grain or other whole-grain tortillas/wraps
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 250*F. Place tortillas in oven to warm while preparing remaining ingredients.
2. In a small bowl whisk egg whites, cottage cheese, salt & pepper.
3. In a medium skillet coated with cooking spray, saute vegetables and beans until soft. Pour the egg/cottage cheese mixture over vegetables and cook until mixture sets. Once firm, divide egg mixture among the warmed tortillas. Roll each into a burrito. Garnish with salsa.
4. Roll left-overs in foil and refrigerate. Great cold!

Power Oatmeal Pancakes
Nutritional Information: Makes 6 pancakes - 2 pancakes/serving; 283 calories; 10.5g fat; 24g carbs; 21g protein6 egg whites, beaten until fluffy
1/2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 c. oatmeal, uncooked
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. flax seed
1 tsp. baking powder
1 T. canola oil
1/2 t. cinnamon

1. Place all ingredients except beaten egg whites in a food processor and pulse or blend until mixture is uniform.
2. Pour blended ingredients into a bowl and add the egg whites. Fold until just blended.
3. Prepare a griddle with cooking spray. Ladle pancake mixture onto griddle and cook until both sides are browned.
4. Skip the syrup and top with fresh fruit, a dollop of unsweetened apple sauce, or fruit syrup (1/2 c. berries + 1 T. water - mash berries & bring to a boil. When fruit is uniformly hot and begins to get syrupy, remove from heat)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bad Blogger

I really want to be a good blogger. I want to look back and have a record of our day to day life because I enjoy reading over those things. But goodness gracious is it ever hard for me to find the time to sit down for 15 minutes on the computer to blog!! Don't get me wrong - I'm on the computer all.the.time. Way too much, if you ask me. But the majority of that time is working time. Answering client emails. Editing. Working on new promotions or updating my website. So why can't I find a few minutes to blog?? I have no idea, but I'm really going to try hard at updating this thing consistently! Tonight I'm going back through and backdating a few blogs, so keep on reading after this one! 

Will slept until 10:00 this morning and I hardly knew what to do with myself! I caught up on a few favorite shows (Burn Notice and Combat Hospital) and then started cleaning - got the bathrooms, a load of laundry, and the kitchen done before he woke up and then picked up and dusted while he ate breakfast and watched Thomas the Train. He also slept for four hours this afternoon, so I'm hoping that he's not getting sick! It's been a relatively slow day - we read about 110 books, played with his "choo choos" and cars. 

This past weekend we went to Houston to visit Greg's family. While we were there, we went to the Aquarium. Will did really well and seemed to enjoy it, despite being up until 11:00pm the night before! Here's a few favorite pictures from the Aquarium.

It was rainy when we got there! Love this one of the two of them...isn't Will's new haircut adorable?
He didn't want to leave this exhibit...he kept pointing out "Dory" and "Nemo" :)

Will was of this eel. It was kind of freaky, I have to admit!!
He totally wouldn't look at the camera, but I love this one anyway :)
Another "Nemo" he found! He really wanted to reach his hand in and touch it, haha!
My adorable little deep sea diver!

Later that day, Greg and I met up with Jen and Travis to go see Harry Potter 7.2 and eat dinner for Jen's birthday. It was a blast and I'm so glad we were able to spend that time with them! I know Jen and I didn't get to hang out a ton before they moved to Galveston, but Belton was a whole lot more manageable than Galveston!

So other than that, it's been a whole lot of the normal around here! Working out super early for me (and crashing equally as early!), lots of walks with the dogs, playing outside, and just enjoying the summer! I've had the past few weekends off from shooting and I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things this weekend...especially since I'm shooting an ice cream session (*love* those!!) Hope your weekend is awesome!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meal Plans

I attempted to keep it super clean this week so I could hit a major goal of mine. Since it's Thursday evening and I'm backdating this post to Monday, most of the week has now gone by. I can safely say that I'm not going to hit that major goal. I'm okay with it, I'll move forward and go after it next week. I have definitely I learned a few things this week...

#1 - In order to function like a normal human being, I need to have two servings of starchy carbs a day. Otherwise I feel tired constantly and brain-foggy.
#2 - I desperately need to get more sleep every night. Caffeine is not an adequate substitute for sleep.
#3 - My protein/recovery shake really does work. I could tell a huge difference this week cutting it out - I was much more sore and definitely didn't feel like I was recovering as fast. That could be due to #2 as well, though.

M1 (4:30am - PreWO) - Apple, 11 almonds
M2 (7:30am - PWO) - Breakfast Quinoa, 1 c. strawberries, 3 egg whites, 1 egg
M3 (10:30am) - 4 oz. turkey breast, 1 bell pepper, 2 T. homemade hummus
M4 (1:30pm) - 4 oz. chicken breast, 2 c. steamed veggies (broccoli, yellow squash, onions)
M5 (4:30pm) - Banana, 1 T. almond butter, 4 oz. tuna
M6 (7:30pm) - 4 oz. salmon, 2 c. spinach w/ salad veggies, 1 T. balsamic vinaigrette, peach

Ashley and I did a crazy workout yesterday (Wednesday) called a tabata. The basic principle of tabata is doing a period of intense workout followed by a short period of rest and then right back into the intense workout. Ours yesterday was 50 seconds of exercise followed by 20 seconds of rest. We did deadlifts with 70 lbs, pushups, single leg lunges (one round per leg), upright rows, and woodchops (25 sec. per arm) with a 15 lb. dumbbell. We did 7 rounds of this and took a short, 1-2 minute break after doing 4 rounds. It took roughly 40 minutes and both of us were hurting by the end!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Remember that job I told you guys about last time I posted? Well, Greg had his interview on Wednesday and he thought it went really well. There were a couple places where he thought he could have done better, but overall he had a really good feeling about it. He left and was told to expect to hear something by the weekend...

...well, he got a call today and was offered the position! I'm so proud of him - it's been a long, exhausting haul for him trying to find a new job. He's incredibly excited about the new opportunity - the company he'll be working for is exactly the kind of environment he wants to be in. It's full of young professionals (he was told that the average age of their employees is 30) who are all incredibly talented and smart. I think he'll fit right in! :) He starts on August 1st and gave his two weeks notice at work today. We went out to Chili's and had a celebratory dinner was fun!

It's so interesting to look back on the past four years and see what God has had in store for us during that time. Times where we were incredibly down and frustrated had their purpose. I truly believe that God was building us up for something in the future. And as much as I got frustrated with Him, I know that His plan is always better than mine!

Congrats, babe! I'm so proud of all your hard work and faithfulness!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

30 Day Sugar Fast

I've decided to take on a 30 day sugar fast. It was suggested on one of the blogs I read and I've decided to accept the challenge. I don't generally eat a lot of sugar - it's been cut out of my day to day diet nearly 100%. But I do like to have an ice cream treat on the weekends (or if we're looking at last week, the week nights too!) and in general feel too addicted to all forms of sugar right now. So from tomorrow (July 10th) through August 10th, I'm going to be sugar free!

I'm not cutting out fruit (those sugars are good for you!), but I am going to be cutting out honey on my morning oatmeal, sodas (even the diet ones!) and any other "sweet treats" that I usually enjoy. Why? Well, why not? I like to do things just to prove to myself that I can. It's kind of like the marathon (though no where near as intense). It's something my mind likes to tell me I can't do. So I decide to do it just to prove that I can. Putting it out there on the blog helps me be accountable and you can feel free to smack me if you see me eating anything with sugar in it! Anyone else care to take up the challenge?

Farmer's Market

This morning we all loaded up and headed to the Farmer's Market - Mikko included. I wanted to get some fresh summer veggies and I really wanted to take Mikko out in a crowd. She did relatively well  - she forgot what "heel" meant completely and was way more into trying to play with the other dogs there than listening to us, but for a puppy who has been with us for less than a week, I was happy with how she did! We got some zucchini, yellow squash, new potatoes, cucumbers, a huge cantaloupe, a seedless watermelon, Fredericksburg peaches, and the most delicious sprouted grain bread ever...seriously, I could've eaten the entire loaf this afternoon!!

After Will's nap this afternoon, we took all the dogs for a walk. Will got to walk Riley, which he thinks is the coolest thing ever. Mikko is doing pretty well with the dogs. Things have calmed down since Thursday (by far the worst day with her wanting to play constantly with the little dogs), though she still has to go to her crate to chill out a few times a day. I think in time they'll learn to love each other...or at least I'm hoping! :) Will and I headed to the grocery store this evening to stock up on food for the week while Greg took Mikko for her big walk. Apparently she pooped out halfway through (can you blame the girl? It's at least 100° out there!). Will had the time of his life at the grocery store - he sang songs (at the top of his lungs), told me all about the bones we were getting for Mikko, and picked out his "treat" for going with me and being a good boy - chocolate chip cookie dough. When we got home we grilled chicken, our potatoes and veggies, and made the cookies for yummy!

Tomorrow I need to do my food prep for the week - I slacked majorly this last week and need to get back on track this week! I'm lifting with Ashley early MWF and I'm going to force myself to get up and get to the gym early for cardio on TTH - if I don't go early, I end up not having the energy to go after Greg gets home from work. I can't make that a habit! This is what I'm planning for my meals this week:

Meal 1 (4:45 - PreWO) - Apple, handful of almonds
Meal 2 (7:00 - PWO) - Recovery Shake, Banana
Meal 3 (8:30) - 1/4 c. oatmeal with 1/2 c. sliced strawberries & 1 T. ground flax seed; 4 scrambled egg whites
Meal 4 (12:00) - 4 oz. grilled chicken sliced onto 2 c. baby spinach with 4 T. pico de gallo, 1/2 c. black beans & a squeeze of lemon juice
Meal 5 (3:00) - 4 oz. turkey breast, 1 bell pepper, 2 T. homemade hummus
Meal 6 (6:00) - 1 slice of turkey meatloaf, 2 c. steamed broccoli, & a peach OR 4 oz. baked sockeye salmon, 2 c. baby spinach w/ salad veggies, 1 T. balsamic vinaigrette & 1 c. melon

One last bit of news - Greg has a job interview with a company he really wants to work for on Wednesday. Please, please, please be praying that this goes really well and that he gets offered the job. He's been looking for a new job for nearly 4 years and not only is this a good job, it's something that he is interested in doing and a company he could grow with. We're asking for all the prayers we can that God would bless him with this opportunity.