High Five for 4.17

4/17/15

Happy Friday!

Guys. I am 30 years. Can you believe that!? Last Friday was way more fun since I was celebrating the new decade and prepping for a weekend filled of surprise festivities. This Friday is just, well, boring.

Once the weather gets nice, I feel like everyone is super motivated to do everything they said they were going to all winter. Whether it's house projects or self projects, it's a time for productivity. And let me tell you, that's exactly how my week was.

We fenced in the yard last Friday and it's been amazing to let the dogs run free around the yard. The exercise plus the fresh air leaves them exhausted at night, which is really a win for us fur parents. BUT, the fence along the back that the neighbors put in doesn't quite hit the ground.

Because our bushes in the back are so over grown, I didn't realize there was a pretty large hole in one section of their fence, and Elphie got out. For about 30 minutes. And B and I ran around the neighborhood like maniacs trying to find her.

I said, "the bushes come down," and B said, "the bushes stay because I like foliage and privacy." And in true B vs M fashion I won.


I came home to this beautiful pile of crap and B in the backyard saying, "You were right. They needed to come down."

Boom!

When he is on a productive kick I just let him go. So all week he took breaks from his work day to trim a few more, cut a few more, and make this pile bigger. And let me tell you. It makes our large yard look even bigger!


In addition to that, I started working out again with the Tone It Up girls. Their workouts are quick but SO difficult, and I've already seen the scale dip a bit. I strayed a bit towards the end of this week, but am looking forward to grocery shopping and Week 2!

Looking for a little motivation? Try the Mermaid workout. Don't let this pic fool ya, that thing was SO hard!


In addition to the insane workouts, the Facebook group has been amazing. I've "met" so many people in the short time I've been in the group, and was thankful enough to meet one of them in person this week! Hi Liz :)


And when you meet for 3 glasses of white, head home to your respective houses and have 2 glass of red without realizing the other person did the same, you know you've found a friend for life. You also know you're screwed because you wake up late for work when you're running an early morning meeting and your whole day is thrown off. But it was so worth it. 

This weekend and next weekend B and I have zero plans. ZERO! Do you hear that?! The calendar is completely open and free. And in true old person fashion, I am happy to announce that I'm excited for yard work, cleaning my house, grocery shopping, and spending some alone time with my man. 

Ya know, because I'm 30 now. And that's what 30-year-olds do. They do housework.

What are your plans for the weekend? 



Happiness

4/14/15

Such a simple word with such weight behind it.

Pleasure. Joy. Exhilaration. Bliss. Contentment. Good fortune. Enjoyment.

My heart is just bursting thinking about all of the synonyms for happiness.

Is there anything better than feeling overcome with excitement, delight, and pure happiness? You know the feeling, smiling so hard your face hurts. Or that flutter in your heart that you just can’t contain. To the point where you may tinkle in your pants?

Ok, maybe that’s a bit too far. But, I may or may not have been there once or twice before.

I was thankful enough to have an overwhelming feeling of happiness all weekend while B, my family, and my friends celebrated me and my birthday, turning the big 3-0.

Friday night dinner across from NYC.


Saturday surprise party at my Mom’s, followed by dinner with B and a surprise appearance from some girlfriends, and then dancing and drinks next door with even more surprise guests.


Every time I turned the number of people to celebrate with grew. It was pure amazingness.

Some other things that make me happy?

The fact that my niece was the first one to run up to hug me when I turned the corner for my surprise party. Every hug, smooch, and I love you makes me heart flutter. She genuinely sees the good in every person and works so hard to make people smile.

When Elphie wakes up in the morning and licks my face to wake me up. She’s a selective snuggler, so in the evenings when she hops up on the couch next to me to snuggle is even better.

Even better, when both dogs get so excited they almost pee when I walk in the door after a long day at work. Also, the legit smile they both have when they run freely around the back yard.

The motivation I’m feeling to get back to a healthier me from the Tone It Up Facebook group I’m a part of.

I love helping others, making them feel appreciated and loved.

Some other things that make me feel happiness:
  • Chocolate + peanut butter
  • Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand
  • Reds from Argentina
  • The feeling of the sun hitting my skin after sitting in the air conditioning all day
  • Buying a pair of boots that zip up without force
  • The first snow fall
  • Sleepy morning kisses from B
  • Fresh flowers (especially if they are “just because”)
  • Text messages in the middle of the day with something sweet (like when the relationship was super new)
This blog post is in partnership with a new online blogging group I've joined, where bloggers can share advice, get feedback, and support one another. Once a month we'll all post on the same topic. Below you'll find some of the links from other ladies in this group, so be sure to check out their blog and read about what makes THEM happy!

How about you guys? What makes YOU happy?


Meal prep: Week of 4.12-4.18

4/12/15

What a weekend! I have THE BEST family and friends who welcomed me to the 3-0 Club with open arms and open bars. I had SO much fun dancing, laughing, and hanging out with the people I love.

I woke up Sunday overly parched thanks to my super hangover, headed to the diner with B for some good 'ol Jersey breakfast, and then got to work cleaning and meal prepping for the week.

This week I'm starting the 8-week Tone It Up Bikini Challenge and am so excited. I joined a Facbeook group for support from other women in New Jersey and even have an accountability partner. B will be restarting his P90x3 again tomorrow. We're going on vacation at the end of July and we're both determined to be in tip-top shape (or at least be able to walk up 2 flights of stairs without feeling winded).

So without further ado, here is what we're eating this week.


Sunday: Early bird dinner out with B


Tuesday: Black bean turkey burgers w/ zucchini fries

Wednesday: Feta & pesto stuffed chicken w/ asparagus

Thursday: Balsamic glazed pork chops w/ broccoli

Friday: Megan out w/ a gal pal to celebrate a major career milestone

Saturday: Teriyaki mahi mahi w/ brown rice

Have any new recipes you're itchin' to try this week? Send them my way! I'd love to try something new. 

A breakup with winter

4/9/15

Dear Winter-

I look forward to you every year. I’m being very serious.

When I’m walking from my car on level 6 of the parking garage at work carrying my lunch box, a coffee, my purse, and my cardigan (since the AC at work is always cranked), I loathe the heat and humidity, anxiously waiting for those brisk days and first snow fall.

It’s not uncommon for me to listen to Christmas music on Spotify in August, picturing that year’s Christmas tree in our bay window, wrapping presents with a glass of wine, and smooching my man under the mistletoe.

But alas, you are like that enormous cheat meal you wait all week for, only to thoroughly enjoy it and ride home from the restaurant with a stomach ache because you can’t breathe. 



Why can’t you maintain a cool 35-40 degree chill throughout the season, dipping lower just for a fresh inch of snow? Why instead must you compete with last year’s records of freezing temperatures and so much snow we can’t safely get out of our driveway?

I admit, rescuing a puppy and starting potty training while you were at your high (also known as your lowest temperatures) was not the best idea on my part. So, I can’t blame you for that one. But throw a dog a bone here (pun intended).

It just wasn’t cool.

Now that the weather is steadily warm, I’m thankful I don’t need to see you for a few more months. I want the heat on my skin, the sand at my feet, and the sweat running down my body as I bake myself in the sun for hours on hours on hours on hours…

I’m thankful that I can stand on the deck with the dogs as I grill up dinner instead of skating to the grill on a sheet of ice as I shiver and shake.

I’m thankful that Zeke no longer cries when he goes outside because he can barely pee in the freezing temperatures.

I’m thankful that I can leave the bedroom window open at night, listening to the frogs croak at night and the birds chirp in the morning.



Mostly, I’m thankful we are taking a break in our relationship to see new seasons.


Goodbye my dear friend. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.


30th Birthday Wish List!

4/7/15

Friday is my 30th birthday.

Oh my lanta.

I can't believe I'm leaving my 20's and entering a new decade. Part of me feels like I'm still my old high school self, and then I try to hang with the youngins and I'm craving my bed after 2 glasses of wine.

It was hard for me to put together a wish list for my birthday since I either bought myself everything I want, OR B has. Ha! But, here are a few lingering items on my wish list that I just can't seem to pull the trigger on myself.


1. So, I'm in total "finish the home" mentality lately since the weather is getting warmer and I'm more motivated to get some done. I'm itching to paint the dining room, but can't decide on a color. We're going to be remodeling the kitchen soon (Read: Better be sooner than later) so I need to settle on a color that can easily transition into the kitchen since the wall between the kitchen and dining room will be knocked down. 

Are you with me still? 

So, in the mean time, I want a new dining room table. Once the wall comes down, we'll have some more room length-wise. And, I saw on Pinterest that you can make this one for a fraction of the price it is to BUY it! Now I just need to convince someone to make it for me. 

2. B and I made a little work out area in the basement to try to get ourselves back to our fighting weight again. We severely strayed over the last few months. I know all the crazy things you can do with this bad boy, but with the price tag I still don't know if I can do it. 

3. I had a minor major thing for watches a few years ago and haven't purchased a new one for myself in the last few years. Michelle watches are gorgeous but just way out of my price range. But when I saw this beauty from Fossil I fell in love. Rose gold + reasonable price tag = up my alley. 

4. It was REALLY hard not to put home goods all over my wish list, so I managed to narrow it down to 2 items. That's not bad, right? In the summer time, I like to be outside as much as possible. And since we're fencing in the yard this week I think we'll be spending even more time outdoors so the pups can get all the exercise they need. Imagine sitting under the stars in a lawn chair, pups snoozing next to you, chilled glass of wine in your hand, and a roaring fire in front of you? Count me in. 

5. Lastly, I can't help it. If the price tag wasn't so crazy I'd be a regular. I SO want to be an instructor for Barre3 but the only way to is by going to classes regularly. And since I can't afford it, it's a dream that'll never happen. Just ONE YEAR! One year membership and I'll be a happy camper. 

But in all seriousness, gifts are fine and good. What I really want is a good meal, good friends, B, and a night of dancing. That sounds like the perfect way to ring in the new decade. 



Meal Prep: Week of 4.5-4.11

4/5/15

If you're celebrating this weekend, Happy Easter and Happy Passover! I can't believe we're already into this holiday season.

Even though this week is a big celebration week (ya know, Easter is today and MY BIRTHDAY is Friday!) I still managed to meal plan and make sure that B and I stay on track this week with our eating and exercising (even though we'll probably stray a bit come Friday).

This is going to be a weekly post moving forward, sharing my meal plan.

I love meal planning because it helps me to be less stressed on my way home trying to figure out what to cook, but it also allows me to figure out what I need from the grocery store - instead of buying random things and food going bad!

So, here's what we're eating this week!


Sunday: Easter dinner of Turkey, Ham, and lots of veggies!

Monday: Cilantro chili chicken w/ grilled zucchini

Tuesday: Pan-seared Mahi Mahi w/ lemon, garlic,  & thyme - asparagus mixed w/ brown rice on side

Wednesday: Sausage, peppers, and onions

Thursday: Chipotle honey lime pork tenderloin w/ roasted broccoli

Friday: Birthday dinner celebration with my parents and B at Liberty House

Saturday: Out to dinner, but B isn't telling me where. 

What's on your menu this week? 




High Five for 4.3

4/3/15

Am I the only one who cannot believe it's April!? I mean seriously, I feel like we were JUST celebrating New Year's Eve. I am thankful that the first few months of this year have flown by though because that means warmer weather is almost here to stay.

And let me tell you. My toes are basically transparent. Mama needs the sun!

I haven't been feeling well this week, but thankfully with some meds (and $45 at CVS) I'm feeling like I may be on the mend. Here's some highlights form my week!


1. Wednesday I stayed home to work from home because I haven't been feeling well. After a full day of resting on the couch with my laptop I was feeling MUCH better. So, I hit the play button on my DVD and worked out. Zeke was SO helpful during planks. 


2. The weather is FINALLY getting nice and staying nice throughout dinner. Cooking on the grill is so much nicer with warm weather and the pups sunbathing than ice rain in freezing temps. 

3. I'm finally caught up on Little Women: NY. Is anyone else obsessed with this how? I watched the LA season and was so intrigued. These women have the craziest lives!


4. I was inspired by a girlfriend of mine, who was inspired by Pinterest, to make a spring-time wreath. This was a great first project and I'm so glad with how it came out. 

5. This weekend is another weekend where we don't have much planned. I'm hoping I can get some house projects done, and finally declutter and clean the office. 

Speaking of house projects, I'm seriously considering doing some reno on our deck. Has anyone built a deck themselves? Seriously, how hard is it?

What do you guys have planned this weekend?