The Long Weekend

Long weekends just never seem long enough. My weekend started on Friday. I spent most of the day buying plants and doing yard work. Our front yard is finally coming along. When we first moved in, we tore out three huge, but dying bushes and the space has been empty for almost two summers. I just couldn’t decided on what I wanted to put there. So this weekend I planted three knock out rose bushes and some forget me knots. That took up a majority of my day.

On Saturday, My mom, Madelyn and I started our day off with a fun run at Performance Running Outfitters. When we were there for the Run Like a Mother Event, I saw they hosted flap jack fun runs on Saturday. I asked the owner if jogging strollers were okay and she said yes. I found a new summer Saturday activity for Madelyn and me. I enjoyed a nice easy 3 mile run and she enjoyed pancakes and sprints on the track afterward.

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Sunday was a lazy day filled with blueberry pancakes and staying in our jammies until noon. The weather was less than desirable for outside activities. Truth be told, I’ve been waiting for a day like that. Our weekends have been so packed, I just wanted a day to do nothing and that’s exactly what we did and it was wonderful.

On Memorial Day, we took Madelyn to her first Brewer’s game. It was quite the experience. My husband had nominated me for Hero of the Game awhile back and I was lucky enough to the throw out the first pitch during Madelyn’s first baseball game. I wasn’t too thrilled to hear that he had done this (I couldn’t remember the last time I really threw a ball!!!) but I surprised myself and I had a lot of fun. Our seats also got upgraded. We ended up sitting in the third row behind home plate. Not too shabby for Madelyn’s first game.

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We kept Madelyn occupied with popcorn and lots of cheering and lasted until about the 5th inning which is a lot longer than I thought she would last.

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Popcorn always does the trick.

I love long weekends but not when they’re followed by an extra long work week. I’d rather have it the other way around.

Parents out there, how do you keep your little one entertained for long periods of time? This little one is constantly on the go, but I wouldn’t have her any other way!

Highs and Lows from the Weekend

I know. It’s Wednesday night. But the weekend technically ended for me yesterday since I had some extended time off.

-Morning impromptu breakfast dates are kind of the best. Collectivo has the best baked oatmeal in the world.

collectivo-I finally finished painting Madelyn’s room. I painted her trim white and the part where the wall and the closet door meet. I’m happy with the way it turned out. Because I needed a break in between coats to run to Target and to run for my sanity, I didn’t finish until 10pm Friday night. Best night of sleep in a very long time.

sneakpeekbedroom-Madelyn slept until 8am on Saturday. It was amazing.  I should’ve known..

morningtime-Monday she pointed to her throat and said “it hurts.” We spent Tuesday at the doctor’s office and on the couch.

couch-In between the illness and couch time, Madelyn managed to make her daddy a birthday cake. She was such a great help, she even cracked an egg into the batter before I could stop her. Guess who got the crunchy piece of cake? I can just hear her laughing at me…

birthdaycake-My BFF’s husband threw her a surprise 30th birthday. It was fun to see all of my friends. A girlfriend of ours helped out with the decorations and made a collage for her which included some lovely photos of us circa 1990s. Ones I’ve been trying to hide from hubs. We all agreed we have gotten finer with age.

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-Stroller running is getting easier. When Larry and I first set out on our first stroller run of the year with Madelyn, I started out pushing her. I got about a quarter mile in and I told him that he had to take over until we turned around and that I would take her on the turn around. I couldn’t catch my breath. Now we’re running 3 miles at a time and I can run up some decent hills with her at a slow pace.

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What are some of the highlights from your weekend? I discovered some fun new podcasts that I want to write about in another post! Always a win!

A Fun Little Weekend + An Easy Weeknight Meal

Happy Monday friends! Mondays aren’t too bad for us here, because our week doesn’t start until Tuesday :-) Today we have a {rainy} fun day filled with chores, grocery shopping and parent/tot tumbling classes! But first sweaty workouts followed by meeting up with friends.

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This past weekend was a very eventful and fun one for us. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we started our Saturday off with a nice 3 mile run. I woke up at 6:30am on Saturday morning and the first thing I did was check the weather…Currently 57. First thought, “We need to get out and run!” Then I heard a little person next door to me clapping and singing BINGO. I could’ve laid there and listened for a little while longer, but I got us up, ready and out the door in about a half hour. Madelyn still in her pajamas and me in my running clothes :-)

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When we got back, little miss kept herself occupied with a back dated issue of Runner’s World Magazine, while I got us ready to meet up with a friend and her daughter at the zoo. It was a wonderful afternoon, followed by an effortless nap time. We will be spending as much time as we can outside this summer because fresh air followed by youtube kids lullaby station = hours of afternoon napping. Everyone wins.

Later that day, my mom came over to babysit Madelyn for us while hubs and I went out to enjoy some quality adult time. It was our first date night out since I’ve been back from my trip…the first date night since Valentine’s Day! We were long overdue. We decided to mix things up and try out a new to us restaurant called La Reve. It’s a french restaurant located in the village of Tosa and their food was amazing. A few people raved to me about how good their food was so we decided to check it out. It did not disappoint. After eating dinner at La Reve, we got a little creative and ventured over to Arte for some drinks and canvas painting. I have been to wine/painting bars a few times now, but hubs was a first timer. He was a little hesitant, but after a few beers, he was feeling artistic. We both had so much fun and agreed it was a nice way to switch up our typical date night.

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Weeknights tend to be a little more chaotic and on the go around here. I try to keep our meals as quick, easy and healthy as possible and avoid eating out as much as possible during the week. Varieties of slow cooker chicken tacos are amongst a household favorite. A few nights ago I was craving sweet potatoes. I bought a whole bag of them from Trader Joe’s and needed to use them up before they went bad, so I came up with a great concoction, I had to share it with you guys. I used this recipe for rice (subbed olive oil for canola oil). It was quick, easy and delicious. Much better than any boxed “Spanish” rice I had thought of getting. Hubs peeled and cut up some sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and chicken thighs. I cooked the chicken in olive oil and seasoned it with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Once that was almost done cooking, I added the sweet potatoes and lastly the bell peppers. When I had everything combined in the skillet, I added this fajita seasoning. Once everything was done cooking, I some rice in a bowl, topped it with the chicken mix and added avocado, cheese and a little bit of sour cream. It was delicious! So quick, healthy and easy. You can really add anything to the skillet mix. I think next time I would add onions, but we were all out.

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I’m off to finish up {er, start}  the rest of my to-do list and work on a photo project for tomorrow’s photography class. Have a great day!

Question of the Day: What’s one of the funnest date nights you’ve ever had? What’s your go-to meal for busy weeks? 

SPIRE Ride at SPIRE Fitness

spirespinstudioOn Saturday, I decided to try out a new fitness studio in Milwaukee. Since all Saturday classes at The Barre Code were booked solid when I went to sign up for class on Wednesday, I took advantage of the free first class at Spire Fitness.

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I first heard about Spire Fitness through a Facebook post. I was really excited to see a spinning studio coming to the Milwaukee area and was very eager to try it out. Spinning was always my go-to heart pumping, cardio workout before I discovered cardio classes at the barre. I was a little nervous because the last time I took a spin class I was pregnant with Madelyn, so it has been awhile.

I signed up for the 8:30 a.m. ride with Hubie. When I got there, I checked in and they gave me a fresh towel. I put my stuff in the lockers that they had in the lobby and walked into the cycling studio. It was set up with like your typical spin studio: the bikes were all lined up stadium style with the instructor bike being in the front of class. There were mirrors in the front of the class. In the mirror I read this quote: “The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come.” The words were written backwards on the wall, only to be read the right way in the mirror.  Loved this design element and motivation.

The bikes had dual platform pedals with the option to clip in if you had bike shoes. I don’t have bike shoes, so I chose the bike that also had the shoe straps. I got my bike set up and the instructor looked it over before we began class. There were 5 of us in class and we had one latecomer to the class. For the most part, most of us were new to this studio and needed help adjusting to the bikes. Because of this, class started 6 minutes late. I didn’t care so much because I didn’t have anywhere in particular to be, but I could see how this could be a little annoying if you’re working out before work or something else.

We finally began our workout and it was amazing! From the music and the light changing to the awesome instructor, I had a great workout. We started out with a warm up and the lights were a warm orange. I felt like I was under a heat lamp, warming up my body. Once we started getting into our workout, the lights changed to a cool blue, which helped me focus on working hard. We did 1 minute sprints at the end the lights went out! It was pretty cool to ride in the dark.  Hubie was a wonderful instructor too. He kept reminding us to engage our core and to make smooth circles on the bike, using those push/pull (quads/hamstrings) muscles. He was really motivating, riding with us the entire time. I’ve taken spin classes where the instructor hops off the bike and walks around the room “motivating” (more like shouting at people) to work hard. Not a fan of that. I knew the entire time what I should be doing and how hard I should be working.

Pros:
-Great Instructor
-Free first class
-Easy parking 3rd ward parking @8am
-Fresh towels incase you forget one
-Great retail area
-Option to take other classes: they offer yoga & rowing
-One of a kind cycling experience

spireretail

Cons:
-The price. For a monthly unlimited it is $160, it can be kind of costly.
-Late class start.
-The lockers don’t have locks. They’re just lockers to store your stuff, so I wouldn’t advise bringing anything of value in with you.

Overall, this spin class was really good and I’m looking forward to trying it out again. They offer a new client special of 8 days unlimited classes for $20. I might try it out in December or the first of the year because I’d really love to try out their yoga and rowing classes. This is a great addition to the Milwaukee fitness scene and I’ll definitely be back!

Pumpkin Season!

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! I just finished up week 14 of marathon training for Chicago and I’m well into week 15-PEAK WEEK! After this week is over, the mileage starts to decrease before the big day is here. I’m very excited and only a little bit nervous ;-)
Here’s how week 14 went down:
Monday: Barre Class
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 9:10 + core work
Wednesday: 9 miles @ 9:50. Had some Garmin issues along with rainy & windy weather, but I powered through and figured out what went wrong at the end.
Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:10 + core & stretching
Friday: Barre class/stretch
Saturday: 18 miles @ 10:05. Played around with my pace for the marathon. Ended the last mile going uphill. Muy mal planning on my part. Weather was slightly cooler than what is normal for this time of year, but I refused to put away the shorts just yet.
photoSunday: Brunch with the family/rest day/took lots of naps and it was glorious.
On Sunday, I was feeling domestic. With last week’s cooler temps, I thought it would be the perfect time to whip up some baked goods. I had a counter full of zucchini and a cupboard full of canned pumpkin. Put the two together and I present to you, Paleo Pumpkin Zucchini Bread. It turned out so good (and made our house smell like Fall), that the whole loaf pan was gone with in two days. Oopsy whoopsy. I will be making another batch, experimenting with another type of almond flour. Maybe it will be done in time for a special house guest next weekend? ;-)  I’d like to find an almond flour that works well in baked goods and doesn’t make my bread/muffins too “soggy”. It was good, but a little bit more “soggy” (as I hate the word moist!) than I would’ve liked. The pumpkin could’ve been the culprit too.
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Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup shredded & zucchini
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients (first 4) in a small bowl. Set aside
3. Shred unpeeled zucchini and blot with a paper towel to squeeze out excess moisture
4. Beat 3 eggs in a larger bowl. Place the remaining ingredients (except zucchini) in the bowl, then mix on medium for about 2 minutes until all ingredients are combined. Add the zucchini and beat again just enough to incorporate.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer running, until all of the flour mixture has been mixed in.
6. Spoon the batter into a loaf pan. You can also make muffins.
7. Bake for about 50-60 minutes until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
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Question of the day: What is your favorite pumpkin flavored thing to eat/drink/make? I also love pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting :-) My fave!