LOVING: The soreness I’m feeling in my back, arms, and legs today. B & I started the 21-Day Fix yesterday and are both on a mission to lose the 20+ lbs of winter weight that is still hanging on tight.

READING: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I started this during a recent fly to and from Chicago but haven’t picked it up much since (because of the next category). It’s been really good so far though, so I highly recommend it.

WATCHING:  B and I are binge-watching Game of Thrones. Can I just tell you how difficult it is to see so many people talking about it on Facebook without clicking the links? Like, it’s insane. But oh man is it good.

ANTICIPATING: A long weekend! We have been waiting for my Dad for a few weeks now to help us dig up the space in the back yard for our patio, but due to the weather and construction on our street the project has been at a halt. I think this weekend may finally work in our favor and we may be in business!

LISTENING TO: The Cardio playlist on Spotify. I’ve been on the hunt for some new songs to add to my playlists for the drive home, so I love listening to the pre-made playlists for some tunes that make me want to start dancing.

PLANNING: Major home renos – read: back yard, kitchen, downstairs bathroom, and addition of an upstairs bathroom. I’m nervous excited and can’t wait to see how it all transforms the house.

WORKING ON: My CEO’s blog. Seriously one of my favorite parts of my job!

WISHING: Summer would slow down just a tad. I feel like all the snow JUST melted and we’re already approaching the month of June. How is it that the warm months go so quick and the cold months seem to last forever?

What are your plans for this long weekend?

A very adult MDW

Happy Monday Tuesday everyone!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's week will be spent thinking today is yesterday, right? Tuesdays seem to go by pretty fast for me, as most of my day is filled with meetings.

How was everyone's MDW? Mine was totally adult. But, I'm happy to report that the enormous dirt pile in our driveway that had previously been filled with around 1,200 paver stones, millions of tiny rocks, about 200 misc stones, and a whole mess of garbage has officially been completely cleared out.

A HUGE thanks to my Mom for spending all of her Monday with B and I as we nearly died from beat through the heat until we hit pavement. The next few days we are expecting to get rain in our neck of the woods so I'm hoping that the huge brown spot where said rock pile once resided will go back to green.

Fingers crossed.

Here are some highlights from my weekend.

Riding dirty in the car with my main girl. Seriously, home girl needs a bath.

Finally set up the wine fridge B's brother bought us for Christmas. We went to visit some friends and my Mom proceeded to let me know about a friend of hers who's neighbor had one that caught on fire, but "thankfully they were home and it didn't burn the whole house down." I really enjoyed the rest of my evening (says a very paranoid fur mom). 

These babies. Is there anything better than babies who you get to snuggle and smooch all over but hand back to their parents to bathe and put to sleep? It also helps that these two are ridiculously gorgeous. 

Morning snuggles with our girl. Elphie is a super snuggler on weekend mornings and tends to take over my pillow. Not seen: Zeke sprawled out between B & I. 

This guy has no idea that next week he's getting fixed. If there is anything more fun than spending a 3-day weekend chasing his sister around a huge fenced in yard, he doesn't care. This boy LOVES life.

And this? Just looking at this picture is making me itchy. Our favorite tree in our yard is COVERED in poison ivy. COVERED! It reaches the tippy top of this poor tree. Thankfully my mom is super human and clipped the root (that was thicker than the tree in our front yard) so we could spray the heck out of it. In a few days it'll be raining poison ivy in our backyard when this thing starts to fall. 

Oy vey.

We are so close to being done with yard work. One patio left to build and then we are officially on "pretty it up and enjoy" mode. I'm so looking forward to when that day finally arrives. 

Our meals for the week are kind of all over the place, as we have a first birthday party (that little beauty in the picture up top), a friend coming to stay with us for a day or two, and I have dinner plans with B's mom. So, I'll spare ya the one or two days of meals that I actually have scheduled. 

What did you guys do this weekend?

Revenge of the poison ivy

Guys, would you believe it if I told you that I had poison ivy AGAIN!?

If you follow my Instagram, you'd see that B and I spent the entire weekend finishing up the front walkway. I'm SO proud of how well it came out. Here are some photos of the process.

And here are some closer pics of the finished product.

The blue stuff is grass seed. The construction that we were doing sure did a number on the grass on our front lawn so we have a lot of replanting to do. And then here it is at dusk with the lights!

B says we may have overdone it on the lights, but I like the way it looks. What about you guys?

What you don't see to the right of the house is a final flower bed that is now the home to two bushes and an azalea bush. We have  had ivy on the side of the house that I always loved. It ran along the base of the house and made it look so green there.

Well, I tried to trim the ivy back because it was killing my azalea bushes. Every time I'd pull a vine it would go in a completely different direction, which made it apparent that the ivy was taking over the side flower bed and making it's way INTO the house!

Yes, into the house. It was running underneath the siding and climbing into the basement window. So, it had to go. 

I went to town ripping all of the ivy out. It took me close to an hour easily. And with one big bunch of vines and leaves picked up and thrown to the pile of plants we need to bring to the dump, I turned to see a single, shiny, red leaf


But that ONE leaf sure did a number on my tank top, capri pants, sandal-wearing self who hadn't thought to change after Barre3 because "the flower beds are safe and don't have poison ivy."

HA! I pity the fool.

I'm back on a 10-day dose of prednisone, covered in anti-itch cream, and enjoy my sleepless nights filled with itching and tears. 

I have a meal plan for the week (which I'll share below), but lord knows this girl does NOT want to cook dinner in the heat to itch like crazy. 

How was YOUR weekend? 

Monday: B had kickball, so I made myself pesto shrimp with brown rice

Tuesday: Thai spiced turkey burgers (didn't make them this weekend, as we were SLAMMED with work and ended up going out)

Wednesday: Jerk pork chops (again with Tuesday's recipe) and asparagus

Thursday: Lemon & Rosemary chicken w/ brussels sprouts

Friday: Mahi Mahi w/ basil butter over quinoa

Saturday: Having a gal party, so probably will just have apps. Menu still TBD

Sunday: Mango salsa chicken tacos

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to be back to regular soon.

High Five for 5.15

Friday, we meet again. How thankful I am that this week has come to an end. It was a challenging work week and an exhausting personal week.

This weekend we have some big plans to plant the flowers and bushes along our new walkway so the yard can finally look like it’s put back together. If you know me, you know that I’m a perfectionist. The front of a home is what everyone sees – a representation on how you live on the inside. And right now, our home front is giving off the vibe that we kill flowers and live in dirt.

We have a few other fun things planned this weekend – Dinner/drinks at our house tonight with a new gal pal and her hubs, Saturday is a fundraising event for my job followed by flower/bush/tree shopping at my favorite local nursery, and Sunday I’m hosting a #BikiniSeries Tone It Up NJ meet up at Barre3 followed by a Food Truck Festival in town.

Once again, a completely over-booked weekend. But, I love it anyway (and will be tooting a different tune on Monday morning because I’m overly exhausted – like right now).

Here are a few moments from my week!

I came home from work on Monday to dinner waiting for me on the table. Normally B is the only one who enjoys that luxury, but this week I got a little spoiled. This recipe is honey salmon in tin foil over quinoa and it was heavenly. Even the dogs got to enjoy a little bit!

I tried getting a little crafty this year and bought some vegetables, fruits, and herbs to grow in the back yard. My strawberry plant had one small strawberry when I bought it and now I have a few! Look how red those babies are. Looking forward to trying these when they get a little bigger. 

Snuggle time with my puppies is always my favorite time. Zeke is such a love bug, whereas Elphie is selective when she likes to show affection (hence why she is up on the couch cushion while Zeke is trying to eat my face).

I woke up like this. Seriously. My hair was in a sock bun the day before and I had taken it down before bed. My hair was still damp, but after sleeping on it I had the most magnificent waves! I used my BeachWaver to make the curls a little more defined but I'd definitely rock this slept-in wave look on the weekends.

The blog got a slight make-over this weekend. I love how clean and feminine it looks now.

We had our Employee Recognition Dinner at work last night, and since I'm a member of HR I'm responsible for helping to plan and run the event. One of the perks was taking home the extra flowers from the honorees who didn't come. Two dozen roses are now taking up shop on my dining room table. They are GORGEOUS and smell oh so lovely. 

How was your week? Anything fun planned this weekend?

May & June goals

I’m a bit behind on sharing whether I completed my April goals or not, as well as sharing my goals for May and June!

This is something I hope to continue throughout the year. Kind of a virtual check list of things I’ve been meaning to get done in hopes of holding myself accountable.

Last month:
  • Transfer from Blogger to Wordpress. Guys, for some reason this still terrifies me. Every time I hope on to get the big move started I clam up and stop. It’s a key transition that I just don’t feel ready for quite yet. I know one day I’ll look back and think how silly I was to put it off for so long, but with everything else on my plate I’m just not going to yet.
  • Complete my editorial calendar until July. Done! Looking forward to a lot of fun posts coming up over the next few months.

This month:
  • Post each of my scheduled posts without skipping. With so many projects going on around the house and jam-packed weekends I'm hoping that I can stick with this. I have a lot of fun things planned for you guys, so I'd hate to get behind!

Last month:
  • Painting. I can’t check this off MY list since technically B was the one who did the painting, but we did finally cover a few spots of spackle that were waiting for some fresh paint. The only thing left to do is paint the white trim and the window sills (since the pups have made quite a mess of them).
  • Organize our closets and dressers. This is definitely a work in progress. I went through my dressers recently, and did one pass through my closet to get rid of some things that just weren’t working for me and retire the winter clothes for the season. B moved 3 sweaters (wahoo!), but we’ve been so focused on the outside of our house that the inside is a bit neglected at the moment.

This month:
  • We are just about done with our front walk way (and I'm obsessed), but we need to plan some small bushes and add the mulch. Our next big project is to complete the back patio and paint the deck. I can't wait for both to be done so we can host a BBQ this summer!

Last month:
  • Focus on food and get my butt moving. Well, thanks to poison ivy I had a major setback with this one. Next week I’m completing an herbal cleanse and hope to debloat. But thanks to a planner I recently purchased from Target I’m planning my workouts and meals a lot better.

This month:
  • B and I had an interesting conversation recently about our future, so I've got a few things to start thinking about. Without trying to be super vague/secretive, I'm starting to look into some freelance work - either in editorial or in some sort of communications. Just something to establish some credibility and relationships for down the road. Who knows what will happen when kids enter the picture, so it makes sense for me to start building myself now to prepare for what the future holds for us. So although this is a "goal" for the next month or two, it's actually a goal that I'll continue to work on for a solid period of time. But no time like the present to get things started, right?

Meal Prep: Week of 5.10-5.16

I hope you're all having a lovely Mother's Day. Whether you're spending the day together or apart, I hope you were all able to show the mother figures in your lives how special they are.

My mom and I spent the day apart, although we celebrated over dinner last week.

I'm back from my slump in the fitness and food department and ready to get back on track. We've been eating really bad lately because of the poison ivy that took over the house, plus sweat and heat make the itch worse so my workouts have been nonexistent.

But alas, this weekend I was able to make major strides in the health department and we are back in business for getting summer ready.

I'm starting an herbal cleanse on Wednesday of this week to help me debloat from the medication, so I'm going to be super limited on a lot of the foods that I've been indulging in lately - no cheese, yogurt, creamer, bread, potatoes, etc.

Here's what we're having for dinner this week!

Sunday: Dinner in CT w/ B's Family for Mother's Day and his cousin's college graduation

Monday: Honey salmon in tin foil (this is one of the easiest, most tastiest recipes ever) over brown rice

Tuesday: Sausage, peppers, & onions (one of B's favorites - throw it all on the grill with some seasoning)

Wednesday: Brian is out, so I'll have leftovers from Monday's and Tuesday's dinners

Thursday: Teriyaki Mahi Mahi over sauteed veggies

Friday: Honey lime chicken skewers with veggies and a side salad

Saturday: Thai spiced turkey burgers **NEW RECIPE!!!**

Interested in some of my other favorite recipes? I have everything on my Pinterest account categorized by the type of meat for each recipe. 

An ode to mi madre

Do you see this pretty face right here? That's my mom. Her name is Bea. She's made a few guest appearances on the blog before, like that time she came running into my bedroom because she thought she was having a heart attack.

That pretty face right there puts up with a lot. She hides a lot of hurt, anger, and stress behind a smile. She puts up with a lot more than she should for the people who deserve it the least.

As I've grown older, she's become my best friend. I talk to her every day, see her at least once a week, and is normally the first person I call when I have a question or need to share something.

Aside from B, she's my rock.

I mean, last year when I sprained my ankle and this year when poison ivy took over my face, she was there to rush me to the Emergency Room and wait two hours for the meds to kick in, listening to the guy next to us discuss the soccer game he just lost.

I can't say we didn't always have a close relationship, because we pretty much did. Growing up, my girlfriends wouldn't tell me all of their secrets because I would always tell my mom. I think that's because with only a 20-year age difference, she's just another gal pal.

We have an interesting relationship. We can't really get mad at each other anymore. I mean, we can get annoyed but we end up laughing within minutes. We can spend an entire day at the grocery store together, only to meet up again for dinner.

We don't really get sick of each other.

One thing I love about my mom is how much she cares about her kids, and her granddaughter. It wasn't as apparent to me until I reached my late 20's just how much my mom sacrificed for us growing up, and how much she still worries about my sisters and I to this day.

I remember in high school asking her to recreate my Kindergarten Tinker Bell Halloween costume. She worked on the outfit for days, molding a wire hanger to make the points of the top of the dress and gluing felt all over the place. It didn't look exactly like it did in my head so I threw a fit and wouldn't wear it.

Mom, I'm sorry.

Today and every day I hope you know how much I appreciate you. How much I treasure the good and the bad memories growing up, and how much I look forward to creating better memories in the future.

You're the best fur grandma to my fur babies, and I know one day you'll be an even better human grandma to my human babies.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. Now let's go to Costco!