Sunday, November 27, 2011

I loooove long weekends.

On Thursday we traveled to New Jersey for the holiday.  I love Thanksgiving!  I stuffed my face all day and that's just the way I like it.  We spent most of the day with my mom's side of the family and got to meet this little guy.

Elmer is my cousin's new puppy, he's so cute.  Afterwards, we headed over to visit with my dad's side of the family to stuff my face with another helping of delicious food.  Overall it was a great day... until we got home to find doggy poop everywhere.  I will spare you the details.

Friday Michelle, mom, and I went out with the crazies!  We never get up super early for Black Friday, instead we start our shopping after a good night of sleep around 8:30 am.  I got some great deals and mom treated us to some Chipotle, my fave.  Saturday was a bridal shower for one of my high school friends to add on to my wedding fever!  Today Dave and I got up and went to church and then spent the afternoon busting our butts outside doing lots of yard work.  I'm definitely counting that as my workout for the day.

And now we're watching some football.  And do you know what goes perfect with football?!

Jalapeno Popper Dip
(adapted from this recipe)

- 2 packages of cream cheese (softened)
- 2 tablespoons of mayo
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
- 2 jalapeno peppers, cleaned out and chopped
- A few chopped jalapeno peppers from a jar (pickled)
- 1/2 lb of bacon
- A sprinkle of breadcrumbs

1.  Cook up some bacon in the oven.  I used Trader Joe's Ends and Pieces, it was cheaper than regular bacon but just as tasty.

2.  In the meantime, slice open your jalapenos.  Cut them in half and clean them out by scraping them with a spoon.  If you want it to be extra spicy, then you can leave some of the seeds and insides in, but I'm a wuss so I do a good job cleaning them out.  I also used gloves, I didn't want to risk burning my hands.

3.  Chop up your jalapenos (both fresh and from the jar) as small as you like, I chopped mine pretty fine.
4.  Combine cream cheese, mayo, pepper jack cheese, parmesan, jalapenos, and crumbled bacon in a bowl.  I mixed mine together and then added a few more jalapenos until I was satisfied with how spicy it was.
5.  Place in a baking dish.

6.  Top with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.

7.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
8.  Enjoy with chips in a game time appetizer feast!

Make this dip!  And unless you're vegetarian, do not skip the bacon.  I'm making this again next weekend for Turducken Day, our friends Thanksgiving.  It's not really a traditional Turkey Day dish, but for some reason I don't think it will stop my friends from devouring it.

Well I'm going to go enjoy the rest of my weekend, I hope you had a good one!

How did you spend your Thanksgiving?  Did you endure the crowds on Friday for some deals?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bed & Breakfast Wedding

This weekend Dave and I went to Lancaster for his friend Carolyn's wedding.  The ceremony and reception were both held at the Cameron Estate Inn, a cute bed and breakfast which is also where we stayed.

We checked in before the ceremony and got settled into our room.  I'd never stayed at a B&B before!

The ceremony was held outside.  Thank goodness it was in the high 50s and sunny!

The ceremony was fairly short and sweet (just the way I like them haha).  The ceremony was sorta different, they had some nonreligious readings about love that I really liked.  And an acoustic Ingrid Michaelson song, loved it!

And look how adorable they are...

I love weddings!  The reception was held inside the restaurant part of the B&B.  I loved the fall theme!

Love that picture, but I can't help but think that the bartender looks kinda like a zombie in the background!  Anyway, it was a lovely wedding and we had a great time.  I don't think we're really bed and breakfast people (the bfast portion was so small I think I could've easily finished 3 or 4!) but we met some new friends and I took some mental notes for the big day in my (far, far away) future.  Congrats Carolyn and Steve :)

Have you even been to a B&B?  Did you like it?  Was the breakfast good?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Strong Start

Failing to meet my underachieving goal of going to the gym twice a week, on the first week I tried, was awful.  I know I can do better than that.  So this week started strong.

Keeping up with the push-up challenge!  On Monday I did them all on my feet, no modified.  I did 25, 10, 12, 12, 15.  So halfway through the month and I'm halfway to my goal!  I think I could've probably done 30 if I was really trying to max out.  I feel like I'm starting to notice a difference in how my arms look too.  I also threw around some of my cheerleaders at their end of the year fun practice.

Gym date with the boyfriend!
- 10 minutes walking on the treadmill
- Adductor and abductor machines (3 sets of 12 each)
- Squat machine (2 sets of 20), point toes at top to work calfs
- Hanging leg raises for abs, alternating bent knees with pike position (3 sets of 15)
- Some jumping switch lunges (2 sets of 15)
- 20 minutes on the treadmill, 2 miles.  I originally wanted to run a 5K but I was really bored and decided I was just going to do 2 miles.  Since I was planning on running 3 miles I was running at speeds between 5.6 and 6.0, but when I decided to cut my run short I really wanted to finish in 20 minutes.  So I hauled it and kept ramping up my speeds over the last 4 minutes.  I ran the last 2 minutes at 8... which was intense!

I felt great when I finished.

How's your week going?  Did you fit in any workouts?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Please enjoy my random rambling...

Oh Monday, I hate you.

I vowed to go to the gym twice last week and I only got there once.  Fail!  On Tuesday night Dave and I were getting into the car to head to the gym (which would've been my second trip for the week) when a can of bright blue spray paint exploded as he grabbed it out of his jeep.  Worst.  Ever.  It was all over our clothes, his jeep, my purse, we looked like smurfs!  Needless to say, we didn't end up going to the gym.  I was also trying to go on Saturday, but we took the dog for an hour long hike up the mountain since it was so nice out.  Oh well, need to do better this week.

But, I have been keeping up with my push-ups!  I've been trying to do them every other day, but I took Friday as a rest day and did some on Saturday instead.  I can't remember the exact amount I did on Wednesday, but on Saturday I did 21, 12, two sets of 10 on my knees, and then finished with 15 real.  I'm getting there.  They are still feeling pretty hard though, my arms feel like jello when I finish.

My cheerleaders had their last competition this weekend.  They did great but I feel like we were kinda screwed over by some politics within the organization.  It makes me sad that that's even a part of a youth organization that is staffed by volunteers, but some people really just get drunk with power.  And that's what I get for falling in love with a sport that is subjective and based on the judges opinions.

That being said, my schedule just opened up!  Hopefully I can translate at least 2 of the 3 nights that I had cheer practice on to gym nights.  And I can write in my blog more than once a week!  And try new recipes, yay.  But, I did receive an informal job offer at a local cheer gym where I would actually get paid for coaching (I have been a volunteer coach for the past 11 years!), so I need to contemplate how much time I'd like to dedicate to that.  We'll see.

Can anyone else believe Thanksgiving is next week?  And Christmas is lurking too.  I really need to start Christmas shopping!  Holy crap.


Ok well, not my most exciting post, but better than nothing :)

Are you ready for the holidays?  Did you start Christmas shopping yet?

Monday, November 7, 2011

How To Make a Green Monster!

Unsure of how sore my mouth was going to be after my surgery, we stopped at the grocery store on the way home and rounded up all the ingredients for a green monster smoothie.  Despite my mouth feeling fine, I opted for one on Sunday afternoon for post gym fueling.  That's right, I hit the gym on Sunday morning to do a 5K on the treadmill, which involved quite a bit of walking, but I wanted to take it easy and felt accomplished just getting to the gym (that's 1 down, 1 more to go for my weekly goal).

The Pretend You're On Vacation Green Monster

- 1 whopping handful of spinach
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 peach
- 2-3 spoonfuls of crushed pineapple with the juice
- A splash of OJ
- 4 ice cubes


1.  Put the spinach in first since it's the lightest ingredient.

2.  Layer the fruit.

 The crushed pineapple looks kinda gross, but yum!

3.  Pour the juice.
4.  Add the ice.
5.  Blend until smooth.

6.  Taste and add things to adjust if necessary.  (Mine was perfect though :D)

This was delicious!  It tasted like a drink I would've gotten by the pool in Jamaica, hence the name.  As always, despite the bright green color, the spinach was completely disguised, I couldn't taste it at all.

I love these smoothies because I feel like you can throw in whatever you want without really measuring anything and it always comes out so yummy and good for you.  Some recipes I've come across on different blogs include extras like protein powder, flax, wheatgrass, chia seeds, milk... some include peanut butter, or use kale instead of spinach.  I actually bought some Chobani to add some protein, but I totally forgot to use it.  Sometimes they come out looking a little iffy (my mom can't get over the green color at all) but they are always so delicious!

Side note: did my push-ups today!  I did 12, 10, 8, 7, 15 and none on my knees, all real push-ups!  Aw yeah.

What's your favorite fruit combo?  Have you made a green monster yet?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thai Date, Dental Fate

Friday night was a dinner double date with Heather and Ben!

None of us really knew much about Thai food, but we decided to be adventurous and headed to Thai Place in Phoenixville.  My sister told me she loves green curry so much that she can never bring herself to order anything else, so I decided to try it out.  I was hesitant because it was marked with 2 peppers as "medium hot" but I decided to go for it.

Oh. My. God.  It was SO spicy!  It was very tasty but I'm a bit of a wuss and I think I'll be ordering something on the 1 pepper scale next time.

We spent the rest of the evening chilling at Dave's.  Puddin' was being her usual slutty self.

My Saturday kicked off with a huge burrito for breakfast!  Doesn't everyone like Chipotle in the morning????

Yesterday morning I had dental implant surgery.  Once upon a time, Amber was born without the two adult teeth that are just outside of your two front teeth on the top.  Years ago, I was supposed to get both implants at one time but while the dentist was putting in the metal screw that was supposed to be permanently in my mouth for the first implant, it broke.  So a failed surgery that resulted in a bone graft, a successful implant on the other side, and an additional bone graft on the original site later... it was finally time to finish the job.  (I would never wish my dental woes on anybody!)  The surgery was a success!  I was in a little bit of pain yesterday, but nothing some standard painkillers couldn't handle.  I'm not allowed to bite into anything for the next 6 weeks (at least), hence the burrito breakfast!

I literally slept all day, it was glorious.  I love being busy, but I'm really enjoying this weekend of relaxation and recovery.  I have absolutely no plans for today and it feels good.

On a different note, before my Chipotle bfast feast, I managed to sneak in some push-ups!  I started the challenge on Thursday and it made me SO sore!  Yesterday morning I was still feeling some soreness so I tried to get in as many as I could without killing myself.  I've been doing 5 sets, the first 2 as 10 real push ups, the next 2 on my knees doing 7 or 8, and then finishing with a real set of at least 10.  Anybody doing any push-ups with me?

Do you like spicy food?  What's your fave spicy dish?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I fell off the wagon.

...way off.  I haven’t been working out, at all.  I haven’t been eating many veggies or fruit either.  It always starts like this… it’s the weekend I want to eat something that feels like a treat, hello giant burrito with extra sour cream and cheese.  And then I’m going to a bunch of parties… why would I eat from the veggie tray when I could pick from the boneless wings in three different flavors?  And I definitely can’t work out, I’m too busy or I’d rather lay in my bed and relax or it’s snowing.  Worst!

So many B.S. excuses and as always, once I get out of a healthy mindset, it’s so hard to get back into it.  But admitting my problem is the first step, right?  Right.  So it’s a new month and I need to get my butt in gear (especially before the holidays)!  So how am I going to do it?

I’m totally paying for a gym membership at Globo Gym (aka Planet Fitness).  I need to get there and get my money’s worth!  I’m making a vow to go twice a week (at least), which doesn’t really sound like much, but it’s way more than I’m going now.

I’m also inspired by Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point, she’s doing a November push-up challenge!  When I read about it, I was like yes, this is perfect.  I’m going to aim to do 50 consecutive pushups by the end of the month.  Right now I believe I can do between 15 and 20.   I’m going to follow the plan on and see what I can do.  I think my goal is realistic, but I will definitely have to push myself.  I’m looking forward to some nice guns :)  I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress, anybody want to join me?

I need to plan ahead!  Bad food choices come from ordering and eating out all the time.  Italian hoagies, giant cheeseburgers, lots of pizza… these things should be special treats, not in the regular line up.  I am vowing to pack my lunch before I go to bed, so I can put together well thought out lunches, as opposed to grabbing whatever is convenient.

I’m also going to take some time to skim through and reread some parts of In Defense of Food.  When I read it for the first time, I felt so inspired to eat more plants and whole foods and less processed junk.  I think revisiting the messages in the book will help.

Tomorrow is Friday.  Thank goodness!  Have a fabulous weekend.

Do you go back and forth with your healthy habits?  How do you make them stick?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Highlights

I can’t believe it’s November!  Between cheerleading, my new job, and weekends filled to the brim with plans, fall is flying by!  I can’t say I’m excited for the winter, especially with the sneak preview of snow that we got this past weekend but I am looking forward to the holidays.

Speaking of which, I love Halloween!  Saturday afternoon I spent some time carving the free pumpkin I got from work for a pumpkin carving contest.  When the time came to carve it, I really wasn’t into it.  But I found an idea online and it actually came out really awesome!  It’s Boogie Oogie from Nightmare Before Christmas!

I didn’t win but I was impressed with my carving skills!  Michelle helped me clean it out and then roasted the seeds.  She tossed them with some olive oil and salt and stuck them in the oven and watched them closely until they were crispy.  I hadn’t really ever eaten them before, but they were tasty and lightweight addicting.

Then Saturday we went to a Halloween party, which started out in the dark because my friends lost power from the snowstorm.  About an hour into the party it came back on, but it was kinda fun to have a candlelit Halloween party.  I always hate thinking of costume ideas, but I do love putting them together.  I’m a costume thrifting machine!  Last year Dave and I were the Mad Hatter and Alice, which came out SO good.

This year we were struggling to come up with something, but finally decided on decided on Tyler Durden and Marla from Fight Club.  And if you haven’t seen that movie, get on it.

My friends go all out on Halloween, I love it!

She made that firetruck! 

 Seriously scary!

Michelle made those antlers, how crafty! 

 Harry & Granny!

Bustin' a move!

What’s your favorite holiday?
I can never pick because I love a bunch of them, but there’s something magical about Christmas.  And then there’s Thanksgiving, who doesn’t like a holiday that revolves around stuffing your face, watching football, and taking a nap?!
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