Tuesday, August 30, 2016

To Detox or Not To Detox

Happy Tuesday!

I hope everyone is having a great day.  I'm loving the humidity break we've had the past two days.  It certainly is still crazy hot in NJ, but the humidity isn't where it has been which is luverly.

Today's post is kind of an all over post.

When I was on the cruise, I attended a healthy living seminar on metabolism and how to speed it up.  The trainer giving the talk was talking about detoxing to expel excessive gunk in your intestines.  Obviously, he was trying to sell a product and a body analysis service to us, but it got me thinking.  I didn't buy the "Magic Pills" he was selling because I'm not named Jack and I don't have a cow to sell, but I started thinking, okay, maybe I can do a version of a detox and make it work for me.

I've never been one to buy into the gimmicky magic pill, magic juice, magic diet trend.  I believe that while they do make you lose weight, you eventually put it all on plus some.  Plus, these are not healthy and very often contain some really scare ingredients.  I decided to do some of my own research and I enlisted my trainer to help me.  Together we found that the best detoxes are ones that involve turning around your eating habits and focusing on whole foods.  The body is a very impressive machine and can usually fix itself in terms of digestion and detoxing/cleansing.

Here's my plan:

Week 1:  Give up alcohol

Week 2:  Give up dairy

Week 3:  Give up processed/refined sugar

Week 4:  Give up wheat/breads

Every week I give up one thing that is not a whole food.  When I try to give up "all junk" it's hard for me because A) It's not specific B) It's too drastic.  I have to wean myself off or I'll binge, feel guilty, and get discouraged.

This week I gave up alcohol and it hasn't been bad at all.  After last week's cruise, I can fully say that I feel better with less sugar and processed junk clogging up my body.

I decided to start this now because I have 4 races as of now in the next few months and need to get race ready.  I think cleaning up my eats will be the perfect way to help me PR.

Have you ever detoxed before?  What do you like to do?

Today is going to be another busy one.  I'm going into my classroom to *hopefully* make more headway in organizing and setting up for the year.  Yesterday I did 4.5 hours and pretty much have nothing to show for it.  I have a bunch of half completed projects and border up.  That's all.  Returning to work is kind of like returning to college.  The whole first day you pretty much do nothing but catch up with colleagues and chat.  I love talking to everyone so I'm never too sad when someone comes in while I'm working because I welcome the distraction.  Productivity level=Michael Scott.

Tonight after the gym, I'm taking my friend Aly to try my beloved Maple Shade Custard Stand!  She's never been and I keep raving about it.  Hopefully she'll love it!  Have you ever hyped something so much that when the person has it, they are like, 'well, it's good, but...it's not as good as you make it seem.'  Womp.  Womp.  **But I think she'll LOVE it like me!**

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday!  I'm working on the cruise recap and hopefully it will be up tomorrow!


Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekend Recap

HHappy Last Week of August!

Can you believe how fast the summer went?? I know *technically* we have one more month of summer, but I consider the first day of school to be the first day of fall. 

Well, this weekend was a full one!  It always takes a little bit of recoup time after a vacation, but I bounced right back into the usual routine. 

Friday am I had an early morning run followed by a tutoring session. I hit up the gym for an upper body training session. After eating gross cruise food and not really working out for 5 days it felt AMAZING to get sweaty and really workout. 

Friday night Cait and I went to see Keith Urban rock out at the BB&T Pavillion. He was amazing per usual. Cait had never seen him before and I couldn't wait for her to experience one of his live shows. He really is an incredible and rare talent. You never realize what a great guitar player he is until he starts ripping it up. Maren Morris was his opener opener and she was outstanding. She's so new to the main stream concert circuit, but so comfortable performing. Brett Eldridge was the opener and he was beautiful I mean insanely talented. He sang a lot do his new stuff. Is it bad that we were disappointed he didn't wear his white jeans from last year?  I think he's the only guy to be able to pull of white jeans. 

We're country concert ready!! 

At the end of Keith's show 

Cait and I had one of those you know you're old when moments at the end of the concert when we decided to forego the encor to avoid missing the early train. We know that the 11:04 train is the best one because it doesn't get stuck behind the departing concert traffic. We were both exhausted and had early mornings ahead of us. #oldladystatus

Saturday started super early like usual, but this time I was teaching Zumba! I love teaching Zumba because the people bring so much energy and you need that at 8 am on Saturday morning. 

I also taught a super sweaty Total Body Blast class. I only have one more class left to sub, then I have to relinquish the class. I'll keep subbing through the year on a need be basis.  After class, I took a Pilates class and boy did I feel it. Pilates always centers me and makes me feel whole and strong like no other workout. After being out for a week it felt beautiful to be back. 

After the gym I headed to Wegman's to make my usual sample rounds. Kind of a disappointing sample display I have to say. I guess the place really dos fall down without me ;) 

What Wegman's failed to have in samples, they more than made up for with the arrival of HONEYCRISP apples!  My beloved pounder of an apple quickly got attacked by cinnamon! 

Saturday night Deb and I went shopping for Kate's wedding. The beauty of being a bridesmaid is that you don't have to think about what to wear or which accessories to buy!  So so in love with that!  While I wont reveal Deb's outfit I will tell you we got it all (including dress, shoes, and jewelry) for $143!! That's insane! Does anyone remember the show The Look For Less from the Style Network circa early 2000s I felt like we were on that and we beasted the challenge!  Even Deb, the always reluctant shopper enjoyed herself!  

After a long day of shopping, Cait and I met up for a frotrip to Menchie's!  I had my first Menchie's moment in Pitt at PNC Park in June and have had a hankering for it ever since. They have one a few towns away from me and Cait and I decided it was time to sojourn there. 

Can you guess which one is mine?  If you picked the ginormous one...you are correct!  It was a delicious $8.50 sundae. 

Menchie's is cool because they don't have the traditional flavors (I mean they do, but you have options.). They had sorbets, too! I got cake batter, peanut butter, and chocolate. I then topped it with cookie dough, brownies, Oreos, Nutella, peanut butter, hot fudge, marshmallow, and m&ms.  

Sunday was a Funday!  I'm still nursing an Achilles injury so I skipped my long run and slept in so id be fresh for our big trip to New York for the Mets Phils game. The Mets had been dominating the series and we were not optimistic. Buuuuuuuuttttt third times the charm!  We won!! 

This is stadium #6 for us on our MLB tour. We were so surprised by how beautiful Citi Park is. All of the people were so nice to us despite our Phillies gear. Shocked!  We were expecting heckling and booing. But no. Nothing. I was severely uncomfortable with all of the niceness. We also had great food. Zero complaints!  

View form our seats. 

Our seats!  They were right in front of Jerry Seinfeld's box. He wasn't at the game, but it was cool to see his seats. 

Baked goods?!

Epic Brownie Situation. It was a salted caramel pretzel brownie. I'm gonna leave you with that and let it sink in. 

All of the retired numbers including Jackie Robinson's 42. 

Shea Bridge

Shea Bridge Selfie!

Home Run Apple

As we were leaving we passed this sign. 

Pretty cool, huh?

Well I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! What did you all do?  Anything fun planned for the upcoming week?

 This is my last week of summer vacation so I'm going to be setting up my classroom and prepping for the first week. I have no real plans for Labor Day Weekend so I foresee a lot of sun bathing and reading in my future. 



Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Happy FriYAY!

How has everyone's week been going?  Mine has been a crazy one, with the end of vacation and trying to get everything ready for back to school, plus some fun end of summer activities.  More on those things later :)  Also, happy Women's Equality Day!  Shout out to all of the women who have made this world a more equal and wonderful place for all of us!  Another shout out to all the women who continue to fight the good fight everyday to ensure equality, safety, and health for each and every one of us.

To keep with tradition, let's discuss some Friday Favorites!

1.)  The return of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making The Team 11 

Who else is pumped about the return of this show??  It is one of my favorite shows and I fully cop to binge watching old episodes all zee time!  (I may or may not have the DVR set to record ANY & ALL episodes)  Since Amanda lives 3 states away, we have virtual wine dates with each other and will FaceTime or text through the episode.  Since I'm trying to detox from vacation, I had a scrumptious green juice and Amanda had some Barefoot.  The show was awesome!  I'm cheering for Kyndell, Jenna, Amy, and Tasha.

2.)  First Women by Kate Andersen Brower


This book is fabulous!  Where was it when I was writing my thesis 3 years ago?  **Oh God, did I really graduate from college THREE YEARS AGO?**  I have a not so secret fascination with the first ladies and I can't put this book down.  It's non-fiction, but it reads like a novel.  Brower spoke with lots of past and current White House workers, East Wing staffers, friends, and family members of past and current first ladies.  I'm hooked!  I read it on the cruise and it was an amazing read.  I'm about 1/3 done and I can't wait to finish it!

3.) Strawberry Daiquiris!

Ok, confession time.  I haven't had a daiquiri in years.  Usually when I go out for a drink I order something low-cal like a tequila and seltzer with lime, but on the cruise I basically said screw it!  I got a daiquiri for the last 3 nights of the cruise and it reminded me of all of the good times in college.  They taste like you are 22 and have zero cares in the world!


On the cruise I decided to treat myself to a massage.  I got a scalp, foot, and full body massage.  It was heaven.  My masseuse deserves a special place heaven for working the knots out of my calves and back.  I think I left my body and went to heaven in those 75 minutes.

5.)  Horseshoe Bay!

This beach is all that it's cracked up to be.  The pink sand feels like snow it's so soft.  The crystal clear aquamarine water is perfect and you can stand up to your neck and still see the bottom.  There are rocks and caverns in the water that you can explore and play on and in.  I loved this beach and could have stayed there forever.

How gorgeous is this view?

6.)  Nutty Monkey Smoothies

Cruises are not known for their healthy food options, so when we were in Hamilton Bermuda, I found a bakery that made protein smoothies.  I will be recreating this meal this week!  Here's the recipe if ya wanna give it a whirl!

1 banana
1 cup vanilla (Unsweetened) almond mlik
1/2 cup oats
2 T peanut butter
1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
handful of ice

*sprinkle with cinnamon and vanilla if you're feeling it*

7.)  New Orleans!  My trip is booked!  I can't wait to see Zach again!  Hello November in NOLA!  I'm looking forward to not sweating my butt off this time.  I also can't wait to take a ghost tour of the Garden District!

Happy FriYAY!  I wish everyone a great weekend full of fun!  I have a concert and a baseball game coming up this weekend.  I'm teaching Zumba in addition to my usual Total Body Blast class.  What are you all up to this weekend?



Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's the freaking weekend baby, let's go have some fun!

As expected today is looney bin day over in our house. We're running final errands and getting everything ready for vacation. Deb and I have nail appointments today in a futile attempt to relax and recharge before the hectic day of vacation departure is upon us. I'm thinking a hot pink or coral color in honor of Bermuda's pink sand beaches. 

In today's Typical Friday Fashion, I have found some new things that I'm loving. If there's anything you're loving please feel free to play along in the comments. 

1) Reader's Requests!  I love hearing from y'all and answering your questions or writing posts that you want to hear about. This week I got a lot of questions about what I eat and food/diet secrets while I don't believe in diets, I do believe in healthy swaps and healthy secrets. 

2) Dan + Shay's CD Obsessed. Last Saturday night Cait and I went to the Darius Rucker concert and they were one of his openers. I've seen them before and they were just meh. Very vanilla. This new CD, while a little pastel and predictable for them, has some cute new songs on it. I'm loving How Not To and Around The Clock. The first song has an amazing music video. It reminds me of Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud in a sense because it has a beautifully choreographed lyrical routine, but with the complete opposite message. Think of this as the breakup sister song to Thinking Out Loud. Around The Clock, on the other hand is a fun summery song about those first few weeks of dating where everything is fun and new. When you still find their quirks...endearing instead of OMG FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP TAPPING YOUR PEN!  

3) Chris Lane's For Her. Such a sweet song. I think we all have the dream of being in the kind of relationship described in this song. I have to say these new country singers are KILLING IT!  I can't wait to hear what else he has in store. 

4)  Caulirice Sushi!  Low carb fans raise your hands! I love my sushi! It's light, but filling, but has a ton of rice in it. I try to get my carbs from fruits and veggies only, so the rice was always kind of a bummer. Now I can eat my sushi sans rice! Wegman's has created some caulirice sushi! Instead of the traditional brown or white rice, they are using riced cauliflower. The sushi still tastes the same, but has a surprising crunch to it. It's also saves you about 150 calories for a 10 piece portion. It saves you carbs and gives you valuable nutrients from mega food cauliflower. I get the kale-lujiah roll which features marinated kale, cauliflower, and a seaweed wrap. It clocks in at only 120 calories!  I add a plumcot and I'm good to go with sustained energy for a few hours. Also I've been munching this as part of my Meatless Monday routine!  

5) STARBUCKS IS GETTING ALMOND MILK! I repeat STARBUCKS IS GETTING ALMOND MILK!  This is not a drill!  I'm not a huge coffee girl, but I've never met a frozen hot cocoa I didn't like!  Game changer! 

I'm off to get my nails done and start this vacation party right!  While I'm away I'm going to work on a healthy living while cruising post. Even typing that I'm smiling because it sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it?  I'll have to show you all pictures of the gym aboard the Anthem of the Seas!  Swoonworthy for sure. 

Have a happy weekend! 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

The One With Kate's Bachelorette Party

Happy Thursday!

It's almost the weekend everyone!  Insert happy dance here!

Things are getting a little crazy around here as we approach our vacation, but I wanted to check in with you all before I set sail for Bermuda. 

So let's talk about Kate's Bachelorette Party!

Last Monday into Tuesday we celebrated Kate's impending nuptials by feting her in my favorite city. Since her sister and other bridesmaid were both in town for th shower we decided to piggy back the bachelorette party to keep the festivities going. 

We started the day at Spruce Street Park. Spruce Street is a cool hang out spot with food and booze trucks. The girls had drinks and we sat and relaxed while looking out over the Delaware. I was super hungry so I went in search of some food. Knowing that we'd be indulging all day, I went in search of something healthy. I couldn't find anything healthy so I settle for vegan chocolate ice cream. 

Riddle me this...no salad truck, but a full on vegan ice cream truck!? I mean I'm not complaining, but still. 

After lunch we checked into our hotel and started getting ready for the night. 

We stayed at the Liberty Hotel on Locust. It's a swanky little boutique hotel. The room was ginormous. 

Kate and I made a wine run while the there started getting ready. 

L'occitaine goodies=we're gonna steal them like Ross!

At 6:30 the hotel had a wine party for us...just kidding...but they did put out a nice spread of dried fruit, nuts, and red and white wines. We put ours in a coffee cup (to avoid spills) and headed on our merry way. 

We walked 3 blocks to El Vez (my favorite Mexican spot) for dinner.  I had a Paloma, all the chips and guac, and a naked vegan burrito. 

The Bride to Be! 


My Paloma. This was my splurge drinks usually if I make this on my own I'll mix a shot of tequila with a freshly squeezed grapefruit. 

The Bride Tribe

After dinner we headed to some local bars. 

Bridal Party on Broad

I had to leave early Monday night because I had to tutor Tuesday morning. The party was so fun and it was the beginning of the omg the wedding is coming excitement. 

Congrats to Kate and I can't wait to stand by your side on your Big Day!

Again, in terms of healthy living, I had fun and rolled with the day. I started the day with a weights session and then got my cardio from walking around the city. I also didn't get a drink when we first got there because I knew we'd be living it up all day. Guac isn't the worst thing for you but it is high in fat. But you know what, it's a bachelorette party and they don't happen that often so live it up! 



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The One With Kate and Bill's Shower

Happy Tuesday!

Is everyone loving Bachelor In Paradise?  I heart Sarah. I just want her to find love. And I'm sorry, even though Andi Dorfman is my spirit animal, Josh Murray is hot. A jerk? Yes, but a hot jerk. 

Last night was our Zumba Fiesta!  Mui fun!  Everyone brought over apps/desserts/and something to drink. 

Tonight I'm off to the welcome dinner for the new teachers. It's crazy to think that was me 3 years ago.  Time flies. 

So last week we celebrated Kate's shower and bachelorette party. Kate knew the shower date, but not the theme or venue. The theme was...

How cool is that theme?  Especially for someone as obsessed with the show as Kate. 

Kate and I met my sophomore year at TCNJ. She had a Friends coffee mug and I said that I liked it. She said its my favorite show and I concurred and it's been a reality show/Royal wedding/Kennedy obsessed friendship ever since. 

The shower was held at the Meecer Oaks Country Coub in Princeton. Everything was beautiful. The bridesmaids got their early to set up, and as we were putting the finishing touches on everything we kept marveling at how beautiful the venue was. The workers were so helpful and set up was a breeze.  

Every little detail was thought of and related to the theme. As Kate's sister, Dev, said, "No stone was left unthought of...maybe in turned, but not unthought of."  

We had a mimosa bar (a shower must) and you could mix the champs with a peach bellini mix, cranberry juice, or orange juice. There were also strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries to add some pizzazz to your mimosa. 

As guests were gathering, we had a bagel bar with fresh fruit to nosh on. 

After Kate and Bill made their welcome rounds we started eating brunch. We had Caesar salad, penne vodka, chicken Marsala, eggs, and bacon. All was delicious. 

Kate started to open her presents and while we were all oohing and ahhing over the household goodies, the staff started passing out the cake and dessert trays. The only downside to the whole bridesmaid thing is that you can't run like the ravenous boar that you are to the mouth watering cake awaiting/calling your name from your place. No easy task my friends. We played Bamboozled, basically the newlywed game, the don't say wedding game (I collected 15 rings!), and a bridal scramble. The winners received a mini cheesecake in reference to the episode where Rachel and Chandler eat their neighbors cheesecake. 

As for healthy living, when it comes to showers and parties I like to indulge. I give myself a pass to have a slice of cake and cookies and dessert tray musings. I also had a mimosa...or 2. I figure these things are not a weekly or monthly event so you can enjoy a little more freely than you usually would. I also started my day with a 12 mile run so I ate without guilt. 

Ready for some pictures? 

The Wishing Well!  Everyone was asked to bring a small household object to put in. I gave Kate a salad chopper. 

The favors were coffee mugs with coffee fixings and Milano cookies. 

The room complete with purple and yellow accessories. 

Even an orange couch! In the background we played all of the Friends wedding episodes. 

The tables were set with little frames that possessed notable Friends quotes about love. Everyone also received a Bridal Shower Bingo Board where they were asked to write gifts they thought Kate would get. 

Bill's mom made cookies for the table and labeled them after Phoebe's Grandma's "famous cookie recipe". 

Even the pencils say The One Where Kate Marries Bill. 

Lobster lights on the cake table. 

Photo Booth Fun!  Good work Dev!

Close ups of the props!

Central Perk, anyone? 

Bill's mom made Italian Wedding Cookies!! 

The cake!

Cheers to Kate & Bill!

Kate and Dev! 

The maids and our girl!

The happy couple!

The cake that was calling me the whole time I was helping with gifts. 

Dessert tray. I had the Oreo cake and it was a great choice 

The Bridal Party and Bill 

Kate and I working the orange couch. 

Madre and me

He's Her Lobster

The future siblings! Kate, Dev, Bill, and his sister. 

Blonde Besties

Disney Crew '14

The shower was amazing and so Pinterest worthy. We all know that's all that matters, right? 😋

Everyone left saying that the shower was the best themed shower they had ever attended.