I Survived My Crazy Challenge

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And that, my friends, is how I celebrated the end of a crazy 14-Day Challenge. It’s still healthy. But if you look closely… carbs, baby. Whole grain wheat pasta. But still… carbs. And it never tasted sooooo good. 😉 Yup. That’s my “cheat” meal. If you must know, it’s whole wheat rotini pasta with diced tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, green chile, and chicken. Seasoned with herbs and spices. Mmmmm.

I also celebrated by taking the day off from working out. My body is exhausted and sore. Will I do this 14-Day Challenge again? Yes. But not any time soon. It was definitely worth it though. My body needed that “detox”. I’m back down to my normal weight. All the bloat is finally gone. All 5 lbs worth. I have progress pics from Day 1 and Day 14, however, I’m not comfortable sharing them on the internet for 2 reasons. 1) I’m still very insecure about the way I look. And 2) I’m wearing just underwear that do not match. So yeah… not this time. 😛

I will say this… my muscles have toned up quite nicely. And slimmed some in the waist and lower body (yay!). And guess what… there’s also some major booty liftage goin’ on. Yup! Those dang squats did a body good!!! 😉

So yes, I’m so glad I did this challenge. I pushed myself harder in the gym than I’ve ever pushed myself. I’m lifting heavier weight. I love that I’m getting stronger. And I absolutely love the results.

You bettah believe I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow workin’ up a sweat. 😉

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Anyway, if you did the 14-Day Challenge with me… how’d it work out for you? Like it? Dislike it? 

Feel free to share your thoughts!

Let The Madness Begin!

Monday is the first day of the 14-Day Challenge! Made my weekly trip to the grocery store to pick up some goods so that tomorrow (after the whole Easter celebration) I can prep my meals for the week. If you’re wondering what’s on my menu, I will kinda break it down for you. Most of my meals get repetitive especially when I’m doin’ challenges like these, only because it saves me time and money. Especially since the hubs is on a high calorie diet (meaning the dude can and will eat whatever he wants). So I’m basically cooking for one.

I apologize in advance if you think this blog post is a bit wordy and long. But I just wanna give you an idea of what I’m doin’ on my end for this 2 week challenge. Let me start with my workouts. I have planned my workouts in advance and will be posting them up the day before I actually do them. If you want to do the same workouts I do, that’s totally cool. Just make sure you workout at your own pace and make sure you listen to your body. It’s always good to challenge yourself, but safety first! Don’t do too much or lift too heavy if your body can’t handle it. My goal is to build muscle and tone up. So I’ll be incorporating a lot of weights into my workouts. If you’re trying to slim down, try to lessen the amount of rest in between sets to keep your heart rate up. You burn more calories this way. Some of you may be a bit more advanced than I am (I’m still an amateur) and if you want to lift heavier, go for it! If you are just starting out, don’t over do it. OR, if you want to do your own workout(s), that’s totally fine, too!

Okay, so here’s an idea of what I’ll be doing Monday night in the gym:

On the treadmill:

  • 5 min warm up
  • Stretch
  • HIIT cardio : 1 min sprint  @ 9.0-10.0  2 min brisk walk @ 4.0. Repeat 8 times. Total of 24 min.
  • 5 min cooldown

On the machines:

  • squats 140#-160# – 10 reps 4x 
  • split squats (or static lunges) 50#-60# – 10 reps each leg 4x
  • leg extensions 80#-95# – 10 reps 4x
  • hip abductor (outer thighs) 175#-#190# – 10 reps 4x  (start 1st rep at 175# and increase 5# each set after) – do this while sitting up at the edge of the seat and not leaning back on the back rest. It allows you to hit heavier weights.
  • hip abductor (inner thights) 130#-145# – 10 reps 4x (this one you can sit back, increasing weight by 5# each set)
  • hamstring curls 50# 10 reps 4x
  • leg press 2-45# plates + 1-25# plate on each side – 10 reps 4x

Finish workout with 100 decline sit-ups and 100 push-ups (4 sets of 25)

If you don’t have a gym membership or workout equipment at home, you can do this…

30 min walk/jog – very easy to do. walk/jog 15 min away from your house and then walk/jog back to your house 15 min.

Then do these workout routines by Tone It Up:


Option 1:




Option 2:




And end with abs!!!





If you feel like you can do more or if you want to do more, then do all 3 workouts. Again, it’s totally up to you. If you’d like, you can even do the cardio portion earlier in the day and then the strength training part later on in the day. And just so you know, I will be doing abs at the end of my workouts every day.

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Example Menu of my meals

  • Meal 1: double fiber whole wheat English muffin (toasted) with natural peanut butter and banana slices
  • Meal 2: Clif Bar and H20
  • Meal 3: homemade turkey chili with spinach (and maybe a cup of coffee)
  • Meal 4: 4 hard boiled eggs (2 w/the yolk, 2 without) doused with tobasco sauce
  • Meal 5: (post workout) protein shake
  • Meal 6: grilled chicken and lots of lots of green veggies

There ya go. This is just an example of the kind of stuff I eat on the daily. I’ll probably be changing up Meals 4 & 6 during this week, but will stay like this for the most part. Meal 4 may sound weird to you, but I’ve actually been craving it lately. Sometimes I’ll have raw almonds or maybe I’ll have some celery sticks with natural peanut butter. But hard-boiled eggs works fine, too. 😛

Anyway, guys… just have fun with it. I hope I’ve inspired you enough to want to do this with me… it is a lot of hard work. But it’s also soooo very rewarding at the end of the day. Trust me.

🙂

The Cutest Surprise

Meet Ladybugs (London) and Pear Bear (Paris).

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On Sunday morning, these 2 surprised us with a birthday cake.

Made for Auntie (me), Uncle, and Daddy.

Lady has been singing “Happy Birthday” to us for about a week now and could not wait to make birthday cake.

When the hubs and I came out of our room and walked into the kitchen, Lady serenaded us with her own rendition of the famous song while Pear Bear smiled and waited impatiently for us to cut the cake.

I actually have the performance on video on my phone but had issues uploading it so it didn’t make the cut.

Anyway, here is the cake…

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Made with love.

2 blue candles and 1 pink candle.

Lady sure knows how to pay attention to details!

And it was pretty yummy. I think I ate about half that cake by myself.

And I’m not joking either.

😛

 After that, it was time for presents.

Lady chose a mask for the hubs.

darth vader

And for me, it was all about Hello Kitty.

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And this…

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Yup. She knows her auntie well.

Let me explain… I work with my hands. And I’m always getting cuts and bruises at work.

So I will most definitely be putting these babies to use.

😛

I just thought I’d share with you one of the cutest birthday celebrations this month.

Oh! And before I end this post…

twins

Wanna wish these 2 cutie pies a Happy Birthday!

(If you don’t know by now, those are the twins. Hubs is on the right)

😉

 

First Of Many

It’s my birthday month! Wooohooo! Not gonna think about the fact that I’m getting older. Instead, I’m gonna think about how much fun it is to spend time with family and friends.

Today was the first of many celebrations to come this month. Sushi and bowling to celebrate 6 birthdays. Yup. February and March babies in the house! Fist pump. Ok, I’m joking. No fist pump. But really, 6 birthdays were celebrated today.

March Babies:

Mine

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the hubs’ and his twin’s

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Daniel and Darrell
March 11




their best friend Lloyd

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March 21




February Babies:

the best friend’s wife Heidi, and my sister-in-law (bro-in-law’s wifey) Viviana…

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Heidi February 18
Vivi February 26




Sushi is one of my favorites to indulge in. I will never say no to sushi. Ever.

Okay so where did we go? We originally planned to go to the one by our house called Oishii Sushi. At 1pm. Pulled up to the joint only to find they don’t open till 4pm on Sundays. Didn’t have a Plan B, so we looked up a place on Yelp. Found one in Riverside called Sushi Asahi. 


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We got there and waited an hour to be seated. Apparently it’s the best all you can eat sushi around. And guess what… that’s exactly what I did. I ate all I could eat. 

I am an Island girl at heart. Love me some raw fish. This is what I ordered:


Rainbow Roll

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not the best I’ve had, but it was still good




Asahi Roll

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soooo good




Tiger Roll

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2 orders… one was mine, the other belonged to Vivi




This is what the hubs and my bro-in-law ordered.



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Chicken Teriyaki and white rice





Not sure if you remember… but I think I’ve mentioned before that he is not a fan of seafood. And he could have easily said he wanted to go somewhere else since it’s his birthday, too. But he knows how much I love the stuff…so he insisted we do sushi. Awww…my Bubbies is such a sweetheart. 🙂


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After sushi, it was off to the bowling alley. I haven’t bowled in awhile. But the guys were excited to go…so then it was my turn to “suck it up” and just enjoy the activity.


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the scoreboard at the end of game 2, beginning of game 3. If you’re wondering where the ladies’ names are, we deleted them at the end of game 1 and we weren’t able to change the names.





We played 3 games. The first we played for individual scores. I totally sucked at it. I think I came in last. Don’t even ask what that lousy score was. I will just stick to styling mannequins and arts & craft stuff thank you very much. But the hubs won (wooohooo!). Then for the second and third game, we teamed up. Couple against couple. It would go like this: 1st frame, ladies bowled the first shot, and then the fellas bowled the second shot. Next frame, we switched. So on and so forth. Hubs and I won the 2nd game. Our final score was 90. Heidi & Lloyd 88. Darrell and Vivi 84. Last game we came in 2nd…or last. I can’t remember. 😛


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It was definitely a good time. Enjoyed every minute of it. Looking forward to the rest of the month. 🙂

What’s Been Cookin’ In My Kitchen

Yesterday I mentioned that I made some vegetable soup with turkey meatballs. In the crockpot. Ohhhh yeah. It was yummy. My guinea pig of a hubster has given his seal of approval on it. So yeah…it’s good. 

Some friends find it surprising (I have no idea why) to find I am quite the domesticated housewife. Yes I can cook. I’m not a gourmet chef by any means. But I can definitely hold my own in the kitchen. I guess you can say that I follow directions pretty well… that’s all there is to it, right? I mean, find a recipe…buy the ingredients…throw it all together…maybe tweak it a little…and bada bing bada boom! You got yourself somethin’ yummy. At least that’s what we hope for.

So back to the veggie soup with turkey meatballs. I got the original recipe from a blog site called Sweet Tooth Sweet LifeAbsolutely LOVE this blog. Blogger Courtney Horan writes about food, fashion, and fitness. She’s got lots of healthy yummy recipes on there as well as workout routines.



This is the original recipe:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I used 93%)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 medium red potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (11.5 oz) low-sodium V8 juice
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions:

In a nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in salt and pepper. Transfer to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 9-11 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf before serving. Enjoy!


Here’s my tweaked version of the soup:

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Looks almost the same, huh?

Instead of using lean ground beef, I used ground turkey instead. Made homemade turkey meatballs. And yes, I also got that recipe from someone I follow on Instagram.

 

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(she’s a fitness competitor I went to high school with)


Anyway, what’s in it?

 

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I couldn’t tell ya the exact measurements of each ingredient, but they’re all healthy stuff, so I just guess-timated. And they turned out to be YUMMY.

I cooked the meatballs first and then threw everything into the crockpot for about 5 hours. It was enough to feed the hubs and I for lunch for 2 days. Not bad. Of course, he eats more than I do…so if he hadn’t had any, I’m sure that batch would have lasted me all week.   And that’s too long for me to be eating the same stuff day after day. Thank goodness for husbands (my own human garbage disposal ;-))

So go try it. And tell me how ya like it! 🙂

Wednesday Workout

So…. no time for chit chat. I just wanted to post up the workout I did today. Had a pretty busy day at work… nothing exciting happened to me today (shocker!) but it was a pretty packed day. After work, did a HIIT cardio workout on the treadmill at the gym. Came home and did 2 Tone It Up Workouts from their Love Your Body Challenge. Had a pretty colorful salad for dinner. And now I’m ready for bed. Did I mention it’s only 8:45pm? Seriously… can you say ‘old lady status’?

Anyway…I’m falling asleep as I’m typing this… but here are the workouts…


HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Cardio

1 min sprint (as fast as you can)
2 min walk (at about 4.0)

*repeated 8 times*

(FYI I warmed up for 10 minutes prior to this and then ended with a 6 minute cooldown)


Toning Workout #1
*did circuit 3x*


Toning Workout #2
*did circuit 3x*


And Dinner Tonight: Chicken Salad

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What’s in it? Spinach, romaine lettuce, green bell pepper, cilantro, avocado, tomato,
pepperoncini, chicken, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, feta cheese


Last week I made black bean soup on the crock pot…this week I made  turkey meatball vegetable soup. Will be posting up pics and recipes soon, I promise!!! 😉

Gotta go… another busy work day tomorrow. Have a good night!

Because I’m Crafty Like That

It has been a CRAZY past few weeks… so much to share with you… but it looks like I may have to break it all into parts. I could do the whole ‘chronological order’ thing but I’m kinda too tired to really sit here and think about everything that I want to share with you. So I’m going to share with you the most recent event/thing (whatever you want to call it) that has happened.

Saturday August 25th, was my little sis-in-law’s baby shower. And I volunteered to do decorations and the dessert/candy station. The creative Martha Stewart wannabe in me wanted to do ALL KINDS of fabulous things. I’m pretty good with making desserts, so I had the bright idea to do everything myself instead of having them made professionally. I figure…it can’t be that hard, right? Anyway, before I go on to tell you the projects that “failed”, I will show you the final product.

Tada!!!

Looks pretty doesn’t it? And I made most of it myself.

🙂

Marshmallow Pops. So easy to make. My niece loved ’em.

Candy covered pretzel sticks.

YUM.

And for decoration… a diaper cake. It was a cupcake themed baby shower, so I couldn’t help but go overboard with “cupcake” decor. The cupcake topper is actually a ceramic piggy bank. Baby Arianna’s first piggy bank.

🙂

So the “projects” that failed and didn’t quite make it were 2 things.

1. Cake Pops

2. Homemade Tissue Pom Poms

My sister made cake pops for her wedding favors. She told me exactly what to do and what not to do. She told me not to use the entire container of frosting if I decided to use the super moist cake mix. Did I listen? Nope. Totally didn’t take her advice. Didn’t realize I had bought the super moist mix. And guess what… my cake pop balls were too dang moist and literally fell off the stick. So those stayed hidden away in the fridge, but fret not… they did not go to waste. We munched on them throughout the day. And both guests of honor and parents-to-be loved ’em, too.

I also wanted to make tissue pom poms to place on the table for a lil decoration. And I bought the materials to make them. However, I went for the cheap tissue paper and you really pay for what you get…even with tissue paper. There wasn’t enough tissue paper in the bag that I bought to make a nice full tissue pom pom. Oh well. Next time.

All in all, I’d say that the baby shower was a success. The parents-to-be loved the details and enjoyed themselves very much. And that’s all that matters.

Other party details:

Cupcakes, Belly Cast, and Baby Shower Keepsakes…

1st time parents-to-be

Love you guys! Can’t wait to meet (and spoil) baby Ari!!!