Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stop! Drop! and Roll in Mud!!

     Who likes mud? We do! We do! The new trend is to not only complete a run but add in some obstacles and MUD!! My sister and I ran the Dirty Girl Mud run on Nov 17 in Phoenix! I must say, we've both done a marathon, a few halves but this will go down as my favorite! We actually had to stop and laugh during the event.
     I flew to Phoenix that morning, landed at 8:30am and Wendy was waiting for me at the airport - hopped in her car, changed while she drove us to the park, added our pink sparkle and started the race at 9:45.  We got to laughing at how excited everyone was, the dance music blaring so early in the day and women all around us cheering and singing.
     The run is a 5K & has 11 obstacles - scaling (ok, maybe not that extreme) over a wall, jumping through mud puddles, climbing a net (this one got both of us with our fear of heights), and the best was crawling on our hands and knees under a tarp IN MUD!!! It was awesome! Like I said earlier, we laughed a lot!!! We both said we're doing it again next year but going to get more women to join us and def needed my brother in law there to take pictures of us.
Wendy & I all ready for the mud! We are way too clean right now!
Dirty Girl Mud Run.

We love mud! We kept the feather boas on the entire run. 
Look what they brought in from Colorado for everyone! Oh so yummy!
This was the end - right before you run through this you run through a pool of mud! Wendy and I said next year we are going to dive into that pool.
Check out Wendy! She had me laughing so hard - we got a kick out of the women who didn't want to get muddy and walked around the obstacles! Not my sister - she was head to toe MUD!
This was the climb that had both of us a little nervous - neither of us likes heights but we did it!
The pool of mud I was talking about! And to think people pay money for this at a spa!
Need More Cowbell!!
This was the 2nd obstacle - a big bouncy slide - climb up one side and slide the other!
Had to capture the feather boa - made us run like rock stars!
Picture of my Asics I posted to Instagram - kristin303
This was our day! Mud, sister time and a lot of laughing!!! 
My brother in law had shoulder surgery the day before and couldn't be there to watch us so we kept our muddy clothes on and shared the fun with him! Our final pic in their backyard - pink sequin cowboy hats and all!

Keep your eyes open for a mud run near you! You can walk, run or crawl this event - just sign up for it next year and laugh your way through it!  xo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 3...ALL Roads Lead to Chicken!

     Well,  I'm here to admit...I caved this afternoon. I had to run out to a Dr appt and was snappy like a turtle to people - - - I wanted to eat and have a coffee!  It didn't help that I needed to run to, I will tell you that I didn't have a sample, not a one, but getting through Costco without trying a bite of anything deserves an award!  So, maybe that made me feel ok that I had some chicken and almonds when I got home.  Plain and grilled, but it was the best chicken I've, what did I learn:

My Costco purchases! Frozen fruit, wild rice, Tilapia, Perrier, Salad, Cottage Cheese and MorningStar patties! YUM!

  • I have NO will power!
  • I'm best when I have a cup of coffee in the morning (today I was up at 4:30am and started working by 5....I like my routine of coffee and emails)
  • I will continue to take the Epsom Salt/Lavender baths - I was asleep by 7:30pm last night (why I was up at 4:30am)
  • I went 3 days without dairy and sugar
  • No cravings for a soda
  • No desire to have junk food or fast food
  • Excited to have removed some of the bloat feeling
  • It was a great experience and if anything I know that I love my Vitamix even more than I thought I could
  • Overall, I'd give it a B. I'd like to try it again - yes, I just said that...I'd try it again. 
  • If you don't like to eat clean foods you will in trouble but give it a shot, challenge yourself...even to get through a few days without sugar, dairy or junk food!
  • I was down 3.5 lbs this morning!
My morning smoothie and cup of detox tea! You were fun to try but tomorrow it's back to coffee for me!

Maybe I should submit my notes to Dr Oz and tell him I've created my own 2.5 day cleanse.
Enjoy your evening! xo

Right after I finished my blog a guy from high school emailed me a juice cleanse he & his wife do every year...that's all it took and now I need to look into this...possibly for my next stint of being home for a few days?? Not sure about 7 or 8 but I'm intrigued.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 2....I see light...

     Well, if you are thinking I'm going to tell you this is a breeze and the smoothies are SO delicious...go visit another blog! Oh, sorry! I didn't mean to snap at you but this is harder than it looks - not sure if it's my hormones (see previous post for that story) or the fact that something solid to eat would be lovely right about now!  Oh well, I'm almost there... and heck, after having my mouth wired shut for 8 weeks while in high school - I CAN DO THIS!!!
     So I don't have pictures of the smoothies today (since the drinks are the same each day) I'm just going to share some points I've discovered:

  • I slept like a baby last night - not sure if it's the dreamy lavender bath - but I got in 8.5 hours
  • The 3rd smoothie calls for cayenne pepper - today I added a tad extra - I'd drink this one often
  • I was starving when I woke from my beauty sleep today
  • Not sure if I'm missing the coffee or the routine of making and having coffee in the morning
  • Yes! I had a headache
  • The morning smoothie would be better if it was much colder!
  • Did I mention that I'm ready for something 'real' to eat?
  • I'm excited to see if I lose some weight with this...even if all goes back on after breakfast on Thursday (don't worry Kim, I'll weigh myself before first thing)
  • My dad's comment "You just need to have will power!"
  • You definitely want to eat within an hour of waking
  • Working from home makes this easier (preparing the smoothies) but I also keep the TV on and realized every commercial is about food
  • I'm excited to have gone a few days without soda
  • Felt lightheaded earlier in the afternoon
  • Didn't feel like working out...wait? that may not be related to the cleanse
  • Proud of myself that during a week I'd typically be craving a Pepsi and Chocolate - I'm trying this
OK, Back to the evening - this was short and sweet but I'm going to finish the dinner smoothie and take my bath...heck, at this rate I'll be in bed by 7! 

Here's one of my 'picnics' in my's what I'll be doing on Thursday to celebrate 3 days of removing the toxins!!! xo

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 1 of Cleanse...check.

     A couple of weeks ago I happened to catch the Dr Oz show on his 3 day cleanse.  As I listened to the ingredients, recipes and how easy it looked I knew I needed to find 3 days of no travel, no social plans and kick this into gear!  Post Thanksgiving seemed like the perfect time to yesterday I took his grocery list (yes, he makes it THAT easy - print it off his site and bring a pen to check the items off) to the store and stocked up on 3 days worth of food.  Now, if you read my post from yesterday you can see why I was SO excited to get my Christmas present a little early!!
     The cleanse is 4 smoothies a day, vitamins, a little green tea in the morning and a hot Epsom Salt bath with Lavender at night.
     I must say that it helps I loved the foods on the list - kale, cucumbers, berries, celery and almond milk.  Dr Oz does a great job of laying out the day - showing you exactly what to eat and the recipes for each of the drinks. The printable sheet helps too - I kept it near the blender and referenced it throughout the day.
BREAKFAST:  1/4 cup Spinach, 1 Banana, 2 t lemon juice, 1 cup water, 1 T almond butter, 1T ground flaxseed & 1 cup raspberries
It should have been more pink but I added more spinach - good, makes 2 drinks per meal 
4 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, 1 cup kale, 1/2 green apple, 1 T coconut oil, 1/2 cup almond milk, and 1 cup pineapple - this was my favorite! VERY fresh and clean tasting.
Doesn't it scream green and clean!?!? 
1/2 cup mango, 1 cup blueberries, 1 1/2 c coconut water, 1 cup kale, 1T lemon juice, 1/4 avocado, 1/4 t cayenne pepper and 1 T flax seeds
Yummy! had a very berry flavor. 
End of the night - Epsom salt and lavender! Here's to a great night of sleep!

  •     I liked the lunchtime smoothie the best
  •     Need to drink more water tomorrow
  •     Distract myself at night as that is when I want to snack the most
  •     It's only 3 days!!!
I had a funny story happen today - I was on the Dr Oz Cleanse site and reading all the comments and a lady was asking questions, where to find things and which smoothie was the best so I answered her and shared why I was doing this cleanse (Post Thanksgiving, getting my period this week and have been sick so it's a great way to remove the toxins) and yes, I said it just like that but shared how much I love kale and I eat it often...anyway, I hit send and a little while later had a guy friend got in touch and asked me "what is kale?" and a few minutes later I asked him where was this coming from and he said he saw some comment I wrote on FB... ok, so now he knows more about me then he wanted to and I removed he post off FB and the Dr Oz site (just beware that if you comment on his site, uncheck the box unless you want your comments posted for 685 of your friends to see!!) xo

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Santa visited a tad early this year!

     Who wants a smoothie? Hummus? Hot Soup?? Stop by! I've been wanting a really nice blender for awhile and have been researching the heck out of them! My friend Kim has a Vitamix - having just spent a few days with her I was asking her a thousand questions about her mixer - the pros and cons.  I tend to stop by Target and pick out whatever happens to be on sale but this year I decided I wanted to splurge and get one that will last.  After all my research (Blendtec? Vitamix? Breville?)  and numerous trips to the mall and scouring the internet, I knew I was going to get a Vitamix...but holy cow! they have so many options... when I got back from my Thanksgiving holiday I had a Williams-Sonoma catalog in the mail and I just happen to open to the blender page - I'll take that as a today I ran to the mall and continued to research and ask every employee what they thought was the best! Thanks Mom and Dad...or should I say Santa! I'll make sure to wrap up the box to I can unwrap it on Christmas! Check out the soup I made... I made up the recipe and it was delicious and really easy!
I went with the Vitamix Professional Series 750
The pictures on the side of the box are everything it can make! Hot soup, hummus, smoothies and dressings....
This is more for my parents so they feel as though they are opening it with me on Christmas! 
I had to capture this - just liked the packaging - lift here for Welcome kit and lift here to be creative (cookbook)
Ta-Da! Not sure what I expected as I'd touched the store model and played with the buttons and knobs. I like how clean it looks, simple to use!
A few ingredients to make French Onion soup with mushrooms. Onions, Swiss Cheese, Beef Broth, Fireside Nut Brown Ale, French Bread and butter!!!
Recipe: 4 cups broth (I used Beef but it would be Veggie too), 2 sweet onions, 1 package of sliced mushrooms, 1 small loaf of French Bread, package of sliced Swiss Cheese, 1 bottle of beer (Ale or even a Stout would work) and butter for sauteeing.  I sauteed the veggies in butter and added beer - threw all of it into the blender and added the broth and salt/pepper to taste. 
Bread: I sliced the bread and broiled with a slice of cheese on can get grated cheese and sprinkle that on top of soup and broil too.  
It comes with a terrific cookbook - I can see what I 'll be doing over the next few weeks during down time.
Sauteed the onions in butter and beer. You can cut the onions in chunks as you will throw this all into the blender.
Did the same withe mushrooms - purchases sliced and cooked until tender.
Threw the onions and mushrooms + 4 cups of low sodium beef broth into the blender.  Since I'm new to this blender I did turn to #4 and blended the ingredients... then turned it to the soup icon and hit starts. It's all programmed so once it's done cooking it will shut itself off!! Amazing and HOT!  
I broiled Swiss cheese on slices of french bread but you could make it the way my mom does and broil after the soup is poured into bowl. 
Next time I will add more cheese and broil like my mom does - this was HOT and delicious! The flavor was so tasty and the onions mixed with mushroom gave it the perfect texture. 
This is quite the feature - fill half way with water and drop in 2 drops of liquid soap...turn to clean icon and hit start... once the cycle is done (3 minutes) you remove the jar and rinse with hot water! It's clean and ready to use!!

After all my research I'm beyond happy with the decision to spend a little more and buy the Vitamix 750!! I'm going to be doing Dr Oz's 3 day cleanse starting tomorrow so I stocked up with supplies, food and vitamins and ready for my smoothie adventure! Stay tuned as I'll be writing all 3 days to share the day and progress!

Thanks Santa! I love you both. xo

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kick This Cold...

     I've been traveling a lot for work and fun lately and that means planes and germs...yuck!  Well, my first cold for the season kicked into high gear this past weekend - no voice for a few days now and the red noise may have me mistaken for one of Santa's reindeer!  I've been drinking so much tea and water but wanted to try this drink my friend Katie had a couple weeks ago while at lunch - it was warm, filled with a sweet-ginger aroma and looked delightful!
     I was in touch with Katie earlier today to find out what exactly was in it - luckily I had everything in my house - ginger, sparkling water, agave...this is going to be the perfect treat for my sore throat!
Agave, ginger, water, sparkling water...and I added lemon. I  squeezed about 2T of fresh lemon juice, 1 T agave, 2 cups of water and a few pieces of ginger.
This makes it look like goldfish swimming around but it's the fresh ginger slices I put in the water as it boiled. I put all ingredients into the pan (except the sparkling water) and boiled.  I used a strainer as I poured into my mug and topped with a splash of sparkling water. 
Lemony-ginger goodness! It's delicious!

I'm sure this is to be the cure to bring my voice back and heal this sore throat! Try it at home and let me know what you think. Thank you True Foods for the idea - their drink is called The Natural and doesn't have the lemon - with or without it's quite tasty!

Cold season is here but now we know how to kick this cold to the curb! xo 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Honky Tonk Time!

     What do you get when you bring 9 ladies together for a long weekend in Nashville; add in a Bears/Titan game (I didn't cheer for the Bears!!) live music, beer, and grits?? An incredible Honky-Tonk Time!!!! When Sabri first talked to me about getting together I was sold - on the city itself (and you too Sabri!) spend a weekend with some of my Chicago friends - Melissa, Sabri (even though she's in Florida - she's still a Chicago friend), Katie & Natalie...sign me up! Then I found out 4 more women were coming and the weekend was sounding even more fabulous!  The more the merrier!
    As excited as I was to see my friends, I was equally as excited for my arrival outfit and I knew exactly what I would wear - blue strapless tiered dress from Anthropologie, Brown chunky belt, Sundance Brown leather jacket and my cowboy boots.  We got to Nashville around 5 and all 9 of us kicked off the weekend with a champagne cocktail at the hotel and away we went...first to grab dinner then off to Broadway to take in the tunes and kick up our heels.  If you haven't been to Nashville - GO! It's one of my favorite cities - lots to do and plenty of music to be heard.  If you can get yourself to Broadway and 2nd St - you are set!
My favorite boots - Siren by Mark Nason, yes a little Nordstrom purchase 2 years ago.  They are beautiful, supple with a rose embroidered on the back!
Hello Nashville! I was trying to get this pic from the cab and bless his heart, the driver slowed down so I could get it.
When in Nashville or at least at the Marriott Vanderbilt - have yourself a little champagne cocktail! Cheers!
Broadway St! Tootsies, Roberts, Paradise Park, The Stage, The Wheel and the Whiskey music all around.
Why get a glass of beer when you can drink a pitcher?? And we wonder why Nashville ran out of beer on Sunday! Annick was one of the girls I met this weekend - she's invited to Denver anytime - hilarious and had us non-stop laughing.
Another new friend, Paige with Sabri! Love these women! We had so much fun at the Paradise Park...little white trash like but the bands were terrific and there was dancing!
Kristin & Melissa! I miss her so much! We were on the same team when I lived in Chicago -  I so miss chatting with her daily!
Kristin - Melissa - Sabri....a break between laughs! At this point the others had just the 3 of us and we covered some ground.
Now the funniest thing about this picture - the next day at breakfast we were laughing as we passed this photo around - all the girls asked who the guy in the red was...the guy? Who the heck is the girl in the grey sweater?? It still cracks me up. 
It's Bullwinkle! I swear every bar we went to had some big animal stuffed on a I in Nashville or Wyoming?
It's White Castle time....felt like we were back in Chicago. Do you all notice the cheese sticks on this receipt? I'm still trying to find them...
It's a good thing Wendy's was still open - spicy chicken sandwich and fries!! They weren't please I walked in with my White Castle cup but I kept trying to convince them I dont' like White Castle and therefore I am here...oh! Don't try and walk through the drive thru when the restaurant is open. 
Breakfast on Saturday was at Noshville... yummy! 
This reminded me of New York and their delis.... Noshville was fun! Delicious! and a great way to catch up after a fun night out. My abs hurt so much after this breakfast from all the laughing.
I know I like bacon but really!! I love that Bev and Annick pointed this out to me on our walk back from breakfast.
No, I didn't buy them but had to get a pic...the rhinestones.
and look at Wrangler trying to bling up their've come along way from my college days. 
Dinner time! Dress: Anthropologie Jacket: Sundance Boots: Nordstrom Jewelry: Stella and Dot
Katie picked this place...we had dinner in a cabana - Alabama game on (Paige and Nat went there), fun pitchers of drinks and entertainment at the table next to us made for a memorable night. 
Annick - Katie - Bev....I used my iPhone for these pics - next time, taking my good camera. 
Melissa - Sabri - Kristin
Shrimp and Grits! Beyond delicious....just wanted to add more grips and soak up all the Tabasco Butter at the bottom of the bowl. 
Bears/Titans game! The day was fun. I will admit it was hard being at a Bears game when they aren't playing my team.   
We tried to hail some cabs...walked and walked and Melissa said we should hail a pick up, so Katie sprang into action and look at us now - 9 women in the back of a pickup! Felt like we should be throwing candy at a parade. 
Hello from the back of a truck!
Beef brisket on nachos! I've gone to Heaven.
Stopped by this store - my brother in law Darin likes Johnny Cash so I stopped in to find him a koozi...nothing but still a great store. 
The group waiting to get into The Stage...did I tell you that Nashville ran out of beer! They blamed it on the Bear fans. 
Sabri borrowed a hat and the dancing started! How great is she!?!?
This photo had to be added - Sabri and Melissa were trying to figure out who he was, Kris Kristopherson? Who in country music is this guy and once I stopped laughing I said "the Dos Equis guy".... guess you had to be there!

There you have it - 9 ladies; Nashville, TN; dancing; music, beer (or lack of) food and a whole lot of laughing. New friends - old friends. All in all one of my most favorite weekends and memories I won't, where are those cheese sticks?? xo