Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sectionals, Training Update, & a Dinner Date

Life has been busy this week, but not busy in a crazy, want to pull my hair out way. It's been busy in an exhilerated, fun way. With cheer season officially over, I get to go home with Ella every night after school. I'm catching up on my DVR & starting to cook dinner for my husband again. Life is good.

Sectionals

In New York, Sectionals is the big show for cheerleading. Our varsity squad was five time defending champs going into it & the pressure was on. They practiced hard all through their February break. I cannot tell you how proud I was to watch these girls on the mat. I coached many of them when they were younger and it just makes me happy to see them out there performing! They nailed their routine & walked away as SIX TIME DEFENDING CHAMPIONS! This is a huge accomplishment & I am so honored to coach for our organizaiton. Go Rangers!

Ella & KC
KC is the daughter of our JV coach & is like a sister to me!

with Kylie afterthe big win - one of the most talented girls I've ever coached

Ella & our Athletic Director
He gets so excited when she is wearing her blue & gold!
Training Update

Sunday - Rolling Hills for 4 miles
Monday -  Progression Run for 3 miles
Tuesday - Rest Day
Wednesday - Easy Run for 3.5 miles @ 9:50/mile pace

don't I look gorgeous after a workout?

I really took it easy last night because my legs were just dead. I have no idea why they were, but I couldn't seem to get them moving in their normal rhythm. I got my miles in though, and I'm starting to get pumped about my 8 mile run on Saturday!

Dinner Date

Eric texted me Tuesday afternoon to ask if we could go out to eat. I didn't feel like cooking & I was debating whether Tuesday or Wednesday would be my rest day - so I said YES! He wanted to go to Longhorn Steakhouse & I never turn down steak. I had a 6 oz. sirloin with mashed potatoes & a tossed salad. Longhorn makes their own ranch dressing & I could've ate four salads as my dinner. It was delicious. Miss Ella was incredibly well behaved too, which made it an enjoyable date night.


Eric & Ella... who was very distracted by the balloon behind me
 
Sorry this post was so random, just wanted to keep you updated on a few of the little things! What have you been up to lately?


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I'm Wearing Wednesday - Neon with Black

Happy Hump Day! It is disgusting here in Rochester! We have wet, heavy snow all over the place & slush is running rampant. I felt so bad for my babysitter when I pulled in & saw her shoveling her driveway - my arms hurt just from heaving the snow off of my car!

Since it's so gross outside, I wanted to brighten up the day with a little pop of color. I have a bunch of parent meetings though, so I couldn't take it too far. I decided to strike a balance by pairing a basic black ensemble with a pop of neon green.


I love belting dresses at my waist. It accentuates some of my best features and keeps the look from being boxy!

cardigan from Gap
dress from Ann Taylor Loft
boots from Steve Madden Girl
belt came with another dress from Kohl's 

And just because I don't want her to feel left out, here is what Ella is wearing today!

 
chambray tunic & socks from Baby Gap
pink leggings from Carter's
bow from Buy Buy Baby
 
 
 
Today I'm linking up with....
 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pregnancy Style

At this time last year I was desperately trying to figure out how to dress my growing baby bump. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, but I didn't want to wear a mumu either. Apparently, I did a decent job dressing myself because this morning I had a co-worker stop me in the hall and ask if I could help her out. She is 5 months pregnant and totally sick of everything in her closet that still fits. Because she's adorable & an amazing teacher, I offered to let her borrow a bunch of my stuff. But, I can't do that for everyone... so here are a few of my tips for looking amazing while knocked up. (I know some people find that phrase offensive, but it's what Eric & I referred to my pregnancy as, so deal with it.)

Tip 1: Avoid Baggy Clothes
Keep repeating this to yourself ~ I'm pregnant, not fat. This was my mantra. I still stayed true to my style & still wore clothes that flattered my shape. I made sure that I was covered up at all times, but I also showed off my belly with pride.

36 weeks pregnant ~ I had Ella 4 days later!

Tip 2: Stay True to Your Style
I've already said this once, but stay true to your style. You may be pregnant but you're still you! For me, that meant finding colored shorts and embelished tops that still fit my belly. It meant maxi dresses & strappy sandals. I never left the house feeling "ugly" or "frumpy," I always felt pulled together, just larger than normal.


with my second husband, Drew, at the Diaper Party he threw us ~ 33 weeks

Tip 3: Avoid Cutting Off Your Circulation
About 3 months into my pregnancy, I started having stabbing pains in my abdomen while at work. Panicked, I ran down the hall to my BFF's office and freaked out. Since she was also pregnant and we had already made plans for our kids to marry, she insisted I go to the doctor immediately. When I did, the nurse practioner gently informed me that everything was completely fine with the baby, but that I might want to rethink my skinny jean habit for awhile. Apparently, they were basically cutting off my circulation! While this was mortifying, I learned a lesson that day - you're pregnant, it's ok to buy stretchy pants. Which leads me to...

Tip 4: Maxi Dresses Are Your BFF
I was pregnant all through the summer. It was HOT. I was miserable at times. I was still teaching too, which meant I had to pull my shit together on a daily basis. Becasue of this, I collected a large assortment of maxi dresses. The bonus with these is that they will transition into motherhood. I plan to still wear many of them this summer because they were designed to be flowy!

wearing my favorite maxi dress for my maternity photos ~ done at 35 weeks by Photokisses

Tip 5: Don't Overspend
You're only going to wear these clothes for 9 months tops. You don't need to go over the top. I would've loved to have gone on a spending spree at Pea in the Pod, but since we were bringing another mouth to feed into the world, that wasn't possible. Instead, I shopped at consignment shops & sales. A huge chunk of my wardrobe was from Gap Maternity ~ since I'm a Gap Silver member, I get great coupons and free shipping. Even if you aren't a Gap Silver member, it's still cheaper than traditional maternity stores. Another gold mine is Target. They carry a decent selection of maternity clothes at extremely affordable prices.

And in case you need a little inspiration, here are some of my favorite pregnancy looks from Pinterest!

love how she belted her maxi dress ~ I did the same thing in my maternity photos
 
all of these looks are from Forever 21 ~ aka inexpensive!
 
and this is my absolute favorite ~ so stylish!
 






Gym Class Hero




found this on my Pinterest
 
I think we all knew this person growing up... they took PE way too seriously & made you fear the day the dodgeballs came out. I had one ~ his name was Matt. Everyone wanted to be on his team, not beacuse he was the best athlete, but because nobody wanted to go up against him. I used to roll my eyes at this person but last night on the treadmill, I discovered that this is who I've become.
 
When I arrived at the gym last night, it was packed. As in, had to wait for a treadmill packed. This has never happened to me before, so I asked one of the nearby trainers what the hell was going on! She informed me that it is officially "spring break season" in Rochester. We have four weeks to get beach body ready, as the entire city (well, not me) migrates to the south for a week. Apparently, I need to get used to this.
 
Once I finally got on a treadmill, I selected my normal 5K program and got to work. The person beside me got off about 2 minutes into my run and a woman who is definitely a serious runner (I'm talking SkinnyRunner style) got on next to me. So what do I do... I decide that I'm going to race her.
 
{source}
 
 
Now did she know that we were racing, I'm not sure. But if she pushed harder, then I did too. If she pumped up her incline, so did I. And I sure as hell wasn't getting off until she did. (Thank god she only did 4 miles!) I have to tell you, it was the best damn work out I've had in a long time. I PUSHED MYSELF. So thank you to that woman next to me, you kicked my ass and I am now the crazy gym class hero that is taking a treadmill race far too seriously.
 
Were you the gym class hero? Do you treadmill race?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Things I'm Into... February Edition

It's starting to feel a little bit more like spring here  in New York, especially because it was daylight when I left for work this morning! The temperatures will start to climb gradually & the streets will become crowded with runners. I can't wait! Until then... here are a few things that are getting me through winter & into the spring spirit.

Ugg Slippers



I have owned a pair of these for two years now. They are amazing. I have owned many pairs of moccassins from Target, but they don't even come close to these. They are insanely warm & are meant to be worn both as slippers and as moccassins outside. I always have them on my feet at home, and can usually be seen with them on my feet en route to the gym, so long as there aren't snow drifts. Both my mom & my sister own them and love them as well. Definitely worth the splurge if you live in a colder climate!

Colored Skinnies



I absolutely love colored skinnies this season! I rocked colored cords all through the fall & winter - now I'm transitioning to skinny crops for spring. Today, I'm rocking green skinnies  (the exact ones shown in the picture above) but I also own a pink pair from Target and I plan to purchase a print as well. I don't know why, but I tend to stick to neutral tops & mix it up with my bottoms. I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of most people, but it's how I roll.

Peeps



Did you know that you can eat 5 peeps for only 140 calories? I am usually satisfied with 1 peep, so this was big news for me! I bought a package and have them on hand for my sweet tooth attacks. They're my mom's favorite treat (she loves anything marshmallow), so she had them in her cupboard while I was there. I was so surprised by the calorie count that I had to get them for myself!

What are you into right now?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Pasta

Eric has a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. He hates the amount of time that I spend sucked into it, but he loves it when I make him things that I've found on there. The other night when I was pinning away, he said "hey, why don't you stop pinning those recipes & start making them?" - he's totally right. I know how to cook, I enjoy doing it, I just don't. So I picked out a recipe that looked good & showed it to him. He, of course, had some suggestions... that's how we ended up with Cheesy Chicken Pasta (adapted from this recipe). 

we served ours with Texas Toast because we had it left over... but real garlic bread would've been better


Ingredients: 
  • 1 lb. chicken cutlets
  • 1/2 pkg. fajita seasoning
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 c. macaroni (we used penne because that's what we had)
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 3/4 c. milk (I used skim) 
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar 
Here's how you do it: 
  1. In a medium skillet, cook the chicken. Once it is cooked all the way through, cut it into bite size chunks. 
  2. Place these chunks into a medium sauce pan, then add the fajita seasoning, broth, and macaroni. Heat this mixture to a boil, and then simmer for 12 to 14 minutes. (Just make sure the macaroni is tender!)
  3. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Once it is melted, whisk in the flour & cook for 5 minutes. When the mixture is light brown, add in the milk & bring to a boil - continue whisking to avoid flour lumps. 
  4. Remove the butter mixture from the heat & stir in the cheese until it is melted and smooth. 
  5. Combine the two mixtures together. You may need to leave out a little bit of the broth mixture, but you can play it by ear! 
After eating it, Eric & I decided that it could definitely use some veggies. We're going to add in cauliflower and broccoli next time we make it, so I'll keep you posted on that. 

And last of all.... my sous chef. 


Saturday, February 23, 2013

7 Miles

Yesterday morning I conned one of our friends into watching Ella while I went to do my long run. Let me tell you, I really had to twist her arm ;) They had a lot of fun. I on the other hand was fighting a mental battle on the treadmill.

Ella & Brandy chillin'
I've never done 7 miles - so I was nervous. I also ran hard on Thursday night, so I had tired legs. ROUGH COMBO. I thought about stopping at 3, because I had to pee, but then I realized I was just making excuses & pushed on.

inspiration from Pinterest
I finished the first 5 miles with an average 9:48 pace & did the last 2 at 9:56. It was not my best run but it did have some redeeming qualities.

  • I needed to prove to myself that I'd keep going, even if it got hard.
  • I wore my new Pro Compression socks & had zero calf issues. It's normally my tightest area - so I was pleased.
  • I rocked my new Ruffles with Love tank. I saw Kristin Cavilarri wear a tank with this saying on Pinterest & pinned it. Then I saw Mama Laughlin rockin' it & knew that I need it as well.
  • E! was airing a special on Selena Gomez - love her!

long run outfit ~ loved every piece of it

Are long runs a mental battle for you?
Have you picked up any new gear lately?





Friday, February 22, 2013

What's Working for Me

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was pleased to see that I was right at my happy weight of 130. I was a little surprised because I always feel like a whale upon returning from my parents' house. Their pantry is fully stocked with my childhood vices - Doritos, fun size candy bars, ice cream sandwiches - they have it all. They also love to eat out. It can be a recipe for disaster.

I realize now though, that I exercised a lot of good habits without even consciously depriving myself. Here are a few tips about what works for me when I'm traveling and/or in a tempting place...

1. Don't Drink Your Calories
It was cold in Albany & I could've sipped on Starbucks Hot Chocolate all day. But that would've added a lot of calories to my day. I also would've loved to have a frozen margarita with my mom at dinner, but I sipped on calorie free unsweetened iced tea instead. I didn't feel deprived because I was splurging on other things. Which leads me to...

2. Prioritize Splurges
I love a frozen margarita, but I can have them any time I want at The Distillery. I cannot have famous cupcakes every day though, so I chose that. I wanted to eat breadsticks at OG, so I didn't add fries to my sandwich at lunch. With a little planning, you can save yourself a lot of calories (and regret).


my mom's margarita 

3. Split Meals
Restaurant portions are out of control - so I share with my mom. We split Chicken Alfredo & we were still stuffed from our dinner. I had what I wanted to eat, I just didn't eat as much of it. If you don't have somebody to share it with, ask the waiter for a box & immediately put half it away. (I do this all the time at Moe's because I know I don't need a whole quesadilla, but I'd gladly eat it.)

4. Plan Ahead
I knew that my parents were working during the day, so I was able to be completely in charge of my breakfasts. I have completely cut out bagels, a decision my family cannot comprehend, so I packed something for myself. I love Clif Bars & they're a healthy 240 calories with plenty of fiber. I ate one for breakfast daily & had no problem getting to lunch. I also knew when we'd be eating out & when we would be staying in. This helped me plan out my calories for the day.



5. Move!
I ran on my parents treadmill on Tuesday & went to the gym when I got home last night - both solid workouts. I took Wednesday as a rest day, but that doesn't mean that I stopped moving! Ella & I spent the day on the go - shopping and walking all day. Even though we didn't buy much, we had fun & were better off than if we'd stayed at home on the couch all day!


after my run last night in my new ProCompression Socks


How do you stay on track while traveling?








Thursday, February 21, 2013

An Afternoon with Aunt Brittany

I am extremely close with my baby sister, Brittany. She is in fact my only sister, and we spent the first 18 years of our lives hating one another. Now that we're older more mature, we are best friends. She lived with us for a year when she first moved to Rochester, and she might have stayed if it wasn't for the fact that we kicked her out to make room for Ella. (If only Ella paid rent!

Ella & I road tripped back from Albany at the crack of dawn. She slept the whole way, so it was an easy drive. We made good time & were back in Rochester in time to pick up Britt from the auto shop. She's having the brakes on her NEW car done for the THIRD time! If it was me, I'd be ripping someone's head off. However, she works in the customer service industry, so she tends to be nicer to people behind the counter. She's always telling me not to shoot the messenger... I can be bitchy sometimes. 


Once we picked up Britt, we headed to Chili's for lunch. Ella & her aunt had a lot of catching up to do. Most specifically, Ella had to tell her all about her sneakers. I tell you, my daughter is obsessed with her kicks. She loves them so much that she cries when you take them off. (This fact makes changing her diaper in public quite interesting.)



Lunch was ok - certainly not fabulous. I ordered the Baked Potato Soup with salad & the soup tasted like a bowl of queso. I didn't even eat half of it... oh well, that's what I get for betraying my beloved Buffalo Chicken Salad. 


oh how I wish I'd ordered this instead... 

After lunch, we headed to Target & the mall. I had to return a shirt & pick up my contacts. Brittany had to do a ton of impulse shopping. I swear, she is my mother. The two of them are the same person. They cannot control themselves when they see sale racks and/or baby stores. The most reasonable purchase she made was for her niece, and trust me, Ella didn't need it - although I will admit that she loves it. 

Ella is holding the little birdie that her aunt got her... 

Luckily, I was able to talk her out of buying this... 


Once Eric gets home, I'm headed out for 4 miles. I'm hoping that he missed his daughter because she is FULL of it right now! 

Are you an impulse shopper? 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Kicks & An Unexpected Surprise

When my parents arrived at home last night, they pulled out a pile of surprises for Miss Ella. The word spoiled does not even come close to describing the level that my daughter is on. Everywhere we go, people buy and/or give her things. I don't even own my own house yet, but I'm already on my way towards needing a second one to fit all of her crap stuff in.


She does look awful cute in her sneakers though! So I won't be too mad at her...

My parents both had to work today, so Ella & I set out to do some shopping on our own. Now, Ella & I do an errand or two together all of the time, but this was our first full on shopping spree together. I normally have at least one other person with me to entertain her. Let me tell you, lugging her & her stroller all over the place was a totally unexpected workout! We had a lot of fun though!

She rode in the cart for the first time...


She took a nap at Kohl's...



She made friends with Thumper...


And most importantly, she helped me pick out the perfect cupcakes!


We found ourselves at Coccadotts Cake Shop in the Clifton Park Plaza. We were actually in search of a store that has apparently closed, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a cupcakery in its place. And not just ANY cupcakery, a kind of/sort of famous cupcakery! Coccadots has been featured on Cupcake Wars & Good Morning America! They had at least 50 flavors to choose from and it was tough business deciding. After much deliberation, we settled on a lemon cupcake for my dad, an Andes Mint cupcake for my mom, and I decided to branch out & try a cannoli cupcake. They were all DELICIOUS! I loved that they aren't too big, but had plenty of frosting - frosting to cupcake ratio is serious business.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our First Solo Road Trip

Ella & I made our first solo road trip this morning. She travels with us all of the time, but I've always had a co-pilot to help out with her. I started to get really anxious about it last night, but we ended up doing just fine on our own.

We left the house at 8 & got on the thru-way. It takes about 3 1/2 hours to get to my parents' house in Albany, so I'd planned to make at least 1 stop for Ella.

our thru-way ticket ~ basically highway robbery
It turns out Ella wasn't even the reason that I had to stop though! I needed gas and more iced tea. I also needed to test out my bathroom with baby strategy because I had really talked it through thoroughly with Eric last night. I know you're wondering - it worked. I just found a handicapped stall & kept her in her seat while I did my business. The girl played with Tigger just as happily as if we were in a 5 star restaurant. I swear she is the easiest baby ever.



We spent a lot of time jamming out. Ella loves to sing in the car & hearing her little voice makes me really happy. The song above & the song below are her favorites. (FYI - we're total gleeks in our house. I swear half the music on my iPod is from Glee.)



By the time we got to my parents' house, I had ants in my pants. I needed to move! Luckily my parents have a sweet treadmill set up & I was able to get in a solid 3.5 miles. Ella has never seen me run before and she was pretty interested in the whole thing. She

Then we moved into my dad's man cave to play! My parents' have the most awesome finished basement. I absolutely love it down there. There's a huge television, a big rug for Ella to play on, & the world's comfiest furniture. I think it's obvious that Ella loves it too!

Now we're just waiting for my parents to get home & join our little party. Lots more fun to come!





Productivity Overload

President's Day is the beginning of a week off for me. Normally that would mean that I'm on the couch with Ella, but her daycare is actually open Monday & Tuesday - so I decided to take her in so I could run a bunch non-baby friendly errands. These errands included an oil change, an eye exam, getting my turning signal fixed, & an appointment with the cable man. All things that would've bored Ella to tears.

I'm not going to bore you with my monotonous errands... but I did make a fabulous discovery while out & about. Target has a rack full of skinny belts in all sorts of patterns! They're all priced at $12.99 & I want to purchase as many of them as possible!



We're off on a road trip to my parent's house! 
Lots of fun to come! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Baby Shower, Grocery Shopping, & A Rub Down

We spent the weekend at my in-laws' house. (To be clear, I have two sets of in-laws - we were visiting Eric's dad this weekend.) My sister-in-law flew in from Oregon for her baby shower! She is due in May & we are so excited for Ella to have a baby cousin. The shower was delightful & actually had extremely healthy food! I had prepared myself to pig out on - but was pleasantly surprised. She got tons of adorable stuff & Baby Ophelia (yes, they're naming the baby Ophelia) is going to be very spoiled. 

Ella playing with her Great-Grandma Connie

Saying hello to her new friend Glorianna


When we got home yesterday, I immediately left for the gym. I knew that if I sat down, I'd stay down. My training plan called for 6 miles & I rocked that shit. I finished in 57:50 with an average pace of 9:38. My goal was to finish it in under an hour but I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep a pace under ten for that long. I did it though - just goes to show how much stronger my body is from even a month ago. 

I went to Wegmans from the gym to do our weekly grocery shopping. Normally Eric does it, but he was in couch potato mode with Ella, so I took on the task. I hate to brag, but I'm a lot better at it than he is. He is an impulse shopper and spends far more than I do. Part of it is that I always do it after leaving the gym (they're right across the street from one another) - you have no desire to buy cookies after you just killed 6 miles. So, I walk away with much healthier, cleaner food. 

By the time that I got home, I could already feel my muscles were tightening up. I knew that I had two choices: a) ice bath or b) rub down. I could not bring myself to get in an ice bath because I had been freezing all weekend. That meant that I had to beg my husband to rub my legs out. He used to run cross country & is actually very good at this. He spent a lot of time on my quads & calves while I played with Ella. It was quite the family affair. 


How far did you run this weekend? How do you loosen up after a long run? 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Happy Hour & the Best Omelet Ever

Yesterday was the last day of school before our winter break. The kids were surprisingly well behaved & the staff was allowed to leave as soon as the halls cleared. That meant that I was able to get 3 miles in before I headed to happy hour! My run went quickly & it made me feel better about going out to dinner with the hubs. 

We had happy hour at Jeremiah's - which is right down the street from our house. Ella is a total regular at our happy hours & everyone loves to pass her around. They always organize them at restaurants so that we can bring our kids if we have to. 

Eric had an interview at 4 & then he came over to meet us. Ella got so excited to see him she nearly jumped out of my friend Erin's arms! We had a few drinks with everyone & then got a table to eat. They brought Ella a highchair & Eric started to protest - but I decided to roll with it & see what happened. She LOVED it! 


As far as dinner went, I had a Buffalo Chicken Salad (I know, you're all in shock) and Eric had a Turkey Rueben. We always have great food & great service at Jeremiah's - if you are in Rochester, you should definitely check it out! 

Since we ended up with left over boneless wings, we decided to create the best omelet ever this morning! 

THE BUFFALO CHICKEN OMELET

You Need: 

  • Left over boneless wings 
  • Hot sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese (You could also blue cheese.) 
  • 3 Eggs (We used two egg whites & one whole egg.) 
  • Milk - but just a tsp or so to add into the eggs 


Directions: 
This is just like making a regular omelet, but a few tips. 

  • Mix your eggs & let them start cooking first. I am not a fan of omelets that just mix everything together.
  • Only put your pan on medium heat, otherwise the inside will be runny & the outside will be burnt. 
  • Use the biggest pan you own. I didn't do this & was kicking myself from the get go. 
  • Stick your omelet in the microwave for about 30 seconds when you're done - this ensures that the cheese on top melts & the inside is fully cooked. 

Have a Great Saturday! We're headed off to a baby shower! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

How I Celebrated Valentine's Day...

I woke up to a very special card from a very special girl...

Isn't her hat adorable?
I wore a super festive outfit to work...

with one of my favorite cheerleaders!

pants - Gap
top - Kiki La Rue
flats - J.Crew
I listened to festive music...


I dressed Ella up in a super festive outfit too...

hat - Janie & Jack
dress - Old Navy
My hubs brought home a cupcake for me...

My cupcake is from Wegmans - I did a post about their cupcakery here...
I ran 3.5 miles... 
It was supposed to be 4... but my stomach was off & I had to call it quits. Stupid chocolate!

We watched Peter Pan...

Eric got the DVD as a Valentine for Miss Ella - she was absolutely riveted!


HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE VALENTINE'S DAY?

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