Thursday, October 31, 2013

Being Honest with the Blog

I've been mulling some things in my head for the last few days, a lot of it ideas for blog posts. But I'm always doubting myself about what to write. Even now I'm having a hard time staying focused on writing this post.
I've found that when it comes to blogging, I feel like half the stuff that goes through my mind for blog posts are just downright boring. I worry no one really cares what I think so I never really put anything personal out there. Sure I have pictures of Michael and I and my cat like crazy, but most of you never really know who I am.

I feel like my favorite blogs are ones where I feel like I'm best buddies with the writer. I actually remember things that go on in their lives like I know them in reality. That, to me at least, makes for a great blogger. Here and there I've written a post or two about really personal stuff in my life, but I don't go very much into how I feel about things going on in the world and I think a lot of that has to do with I'm terrified to open myself up for criticism. As it is this blog isn't very popular, I don't get a lot of readers (like barely any) and practically no comments. I worry that by throwing out my opinion on things, people will like my blog even less (is that possible??)

But I've come to the conclusion that this is my blog and I'm not always writing for other people. Plus hey, if people don't like what I say, that means they at least read my post right? ;)

Anywho, this post was mainly putting it out there that I know I'm really only ever writing about what workouts I did this week or what I ate and I just wanna say, thanks for sticking around. I promise I'll try putting myself out there a little more so you'll actually know who I am rather than some weird blogger who workouts out and eats all the time (not like that isn't me anyway).

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Green Smoothie

I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't always a fan of green smoothies, but slowly I started incorporating them into my life. And my awesome teacher, Laurie, showed us how to make a natural green smoothie and I've been hooked.
Michael and I drink these all day and especially after we workout as a recovery drink. I try to eat foods that I can actually pronounce the ingredients list and protein powder....not one of those. So I was excited to be eating a "protein smoothie" that you can actually pronounce.

Now for the recipe, and remember you can always tweak to how you like it.

Green Smoothie 
Makes one individual smoothie

1 cup baby spinach
1 cup baby kale
2 tablespoons cashews
1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/2 tablespoon wheat germ
1 date, roughly chopped
1/4 cup frozen berries
1/2 banana
1/2 a medium orange, peeled
1/2 cup water

1. Blend the greens, cashews, chia seeds, and date with the water.

2. Add the flax seed, wheat germ, berries, banana, and orange. Blend until smooth.

3. Enjoy :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weekend Highlights

Happy Monday everyone!
How was everyone's weekend?
Michael and I spent our weekend checking out some new things around town and relaxing.

Saturday morning we went to check out our local farmer's market and it was just awesome.
We got a pretty good haul from it as well
The good thing about living where we do is that we have a bunch of local farms that grow amazing produce and most of it organic! We got a pound of pink lady's apples for $2! Now I have some excellent ideas for dinners this week and I'll be sharing the recipes soon!

There's this beautiful tea house in our town that I've been dying to go to and Michael finally took me to it on Saturday. It was adorable, charming, beautiful, and everything was just delicious. I felt like I was having tea in a charming old English woman's living room.
The first course: creamy pumpkin soup
I was in love that they used tea cups for soup bowls
None of the china matched which I felt made it feel homier
And then we got this and I'm not ashamed to say I ate all but 3 things in one sitting
There were 4 different sandwiches (pesto cream cheese, egg salad, olive tapenade, and cucumber. A delicious English scone with clotted cream, lemon curd, and strawberry jam. I'm officially in love with scones and want to eat them 24/7 with clotted cream and lemon curd. A mini spanikopta and warm artichoke dip bite. Then the desserts, ginger maple square, magic bar, chocolate whoopie pie with pumpkin creme, chocolate cupcake, and chocolate dipped strawberry. And a gigantic pot of Scottish breakfast tea.
Needless to say I was stuffed and already planning when I'd be back. I just loved it in there and I'm still raving about how amazing the place is.

Sunday we spent lying about on the couch with my cat and dog cuddled up with me watching the Niners game. Later on in the day we noticed this rolling in
This cloud bank almost surrounded our entire looked like a gigantic wall of death haha. I love fall!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have a great week!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

WIAW: Neverending School Day

Happy Wednesday everyone! 
It's been a jam packed week around here with workouts, school, and homework. But I also have had some time to make some yummy and healthy food! So let's join Jenn at Peas and Crayons for a food party yes?

Plain low-fat Greek yogurt with a little bit of berry jam and Ezekial almond cereal. 
My teacher, Laurie, showed me this cereal and it's freaking yummy! Packed full of nutrients and good belly-filling fiber and while it doesn't have a smidge of sugar in it, it's sweet enough on it's own. Go find it, it's delicious.

Morning drinks:
Green smoothie (I promise that recipe post will be up soon!) and a hot almond milk matcha

An unpictured Amy's frozen bean, cheese, and rice burrito
I was so excited that I found it in my freezer that I forgot to take a picture, whoops!

Afternoon snack:
Organic 365 Wheat Crackers aka much yummier and less sketchy Wheat Thins
My English teacher always brings processed cookies (think Oreos) and I've given in a time or two when my tummy starts rumbling since her class is smack dab in the middle of the afternoon/early evening. I'm coming to class prepared now.

A random compliation of taco flavored quinoa, these yummy fresh Mexican flavored beans from Whole Foods, veggies, and sour cream.
My chemistry class starts at 6 and goes until 9 usually so I have to bring something that can be eaten at my desk and at room temp. I've been making lots of rice and bean bowls lol.

After class I went home to flop in my bed with my pajamas and a cuddly cat. 

Hope you all have a great second half to your week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Exploring the City

Happy Monday everyone!
How was your weekend?
It's been pretty chilly around here and I am absolutely loving it!

This weekend Michael and I decided to try out some local restaurants and walk around downtown a bit.
If you're ever in Santa Cruz you have got to try these places. I, being the bad blogger I am, didn't take any pictures so I had to steal some from their websites. Whoops!

For breakfast we went to Walnut Avenue Cafe and it was the most homey and absolutely charming breakfast place I've ever been to. It was very Santa Cruzian and Michael and I both fell in love with the place. 
It's adorable right?
I had the best chai I've ever had in my life (not joking, it was amazing!) and 9 grain pancakes with boysenberry sauce. They were so delicious and filling. It was definitely an awesome way to start our morning.

We walked off breakfast by walking up and down downtown and poking our heads into different shops. Of course we stopped at the local bookstore and got lost in the stacks, thank goodness I found a fellow bookworm! I found this awesome book on sale and we'll be trying out some of the recipes this week.

For lunch we hit these charming, and I mean charming, little cafe called Gabriella's.
It has to have been someone's old home it was so tiny and I felt like I was sitting in someone's living room. They serve all locally grown produce and mostly organic (just the other day I was complaining that we're "hippie central" around here and there's like zero organic places). Michael got a grassfed burger with caramelized onions and I got a vegetable panini on super yummy foccacia. It was quiet and beautiful inside, full of local art. Definitely a new place for us!

I've lived here for 10+ years now and I'm still discovering new places around here. I just love it here.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fit Friday #17

Happy Friday everyone!!
It's been a busy week with lots of workouts...and maybe a few naps here and there...
So onward to Fit Friday


Finally made it to Zumba class after missing weeks thanks to my foot. Thankfully this time my foot didn't hurt and I had a blast!


In my kinesiology class we had to teach other groups new games or a skill and today two groups were teaching the rest of us some new games. Both games involved a lot of running around so I got some good cardio in.

I had originally put the hill setting up to level 4, but apparently it thought I could do more and maxed out the levels. I was just about to keel over 35 minutes later.

Class #1:
-5 rounds of 30 second step-ups & 30 second wall sits
-We did some core resistance lying on the floor
-5 rounds of 30 second planks & pushups

Class #2: (21 of each, 15 of each, 9 of each)
1: 21-15-9
2: 21-15-9
      -shoulder press w/ 5#
      -TRX body row

Michael and I were just not feeling it this morning and my legs were killing me so we both agreed that a rest day was more important so I wouldn't injury myself

I did the same hill setting as Tuesday, but lowered it down to 30 minutes since Michael and I were on a time crunch

Class 1:
5 rounds
- 1 bear crawl back and forth across the room
- 10 lunges (5 each leg) w/ 5# dumbbell overhead
- 15 squats to overhead press w/ 8# medicine ball
- 7 pushups

Class 2:
12 minutes AMRAP (4 rounds)
-10 lunges (5 each leg) w/ 8# dumbbell
- 5 burpees
-Step ups on a box while my friend did a run (still limited because of my feet)

I sent her this picture later that day for all the burpees we did this week


Check out Muffin Topless' website and join in on the Fall Challenge!

How have you kept active this week?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

WIAW: Drinking Green

Happy Wednesday everyone!
I'm still way off, I feel like it's Friday rather than Wednesday. Taking Tuesday and Wednesday off last week really threw me off. A few more days until the weekend though, but today is a party with Jenn!

Matcha made with vanilla almond milk & a little stevia
Green smoothie
Plain Greek yogurt with a bit of berry jam and almond coconut granola

After my morning class of running up and down the football field I was about ready to bite someone's head off, am I the only one who gets uber cranky when you're hungry?

Morning snack:
D'Anjou pear

Unfortunately I got so caught up in chores and homework that I forgot to each lunch, whoopsie! So it was no surprise that I was hungry during my creative writing class in the afternoon. My teacher always brings in some cookies for everyone and I always fall victim to the 3:00 hungry monster and devour more cookies than you should eat. So this time around I was smart enough to pack a snack.

Afternoon snack:
Baby carrots

On Mondays I go straight from creative writing to my chemistry class so I end up eating dinner halfway through my chemistry class.

Brown rice, refried black beans (I'll talk about those later in a post, they're amazing), and a bit of sour cream for creaminess

After class I went over to Michael's and inhaled a little mini pumpkin pie from Whole Foods...I ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture haha! I love me some pumpkin pie.

Hope everyone has an amazing Wednesday!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oh What a Year

Michael and I celebrated our first anniversary on October 1st and it was pretty damn awesome. I apologize in advance for the plethora of pictures and mushy things, skip this if you'd like, I won't judge.

Michael gave me my anniversary present right away
Besides being absolutely stunning, Michael always says, "I love you more than the moon and all the stars," so this necklace was absolutely perfect.

We started out having breakfast at a yummy little cafe down the street from my house and got some gigantic waffles.  After that we headed to our couples massage and oh good lord, if you have the money to splurge on one, do it. It was amazing to just get an hour to be pampered and relax. The spa I love around here is called Caress Day Spa and it is just fantastic; so calming, it smells amazing, there's always beautiful harp and flute music. And they have a gorgeous little garden in the back you can relax in. It was definitely a great way for us to spend our morning.

After that we went to lunch at a seaside restaurant and split an order of calamari and fries and watched the ocean. Once we got some yummy chocolate to go with a wine we bought months ago for our anniversary we checked into our hotel and seriously, if you're ever in Santa Cruz you need to stay at the Babbling Brook. It's stunning
The main entrance
It has a pretty brook that winds through the property and a water wheel
That bed was the softest bed I've ever slept in, I actually sank a good bit into it
We had a cute little fireplace
The view from our room
The beautiful garden down the stairs from our room.
It was just stunning and you'd have no idea it was on a busy street. It was homey and the staff was incredibly nice.

After we got ready we headed to the restaurant that Michael was going to surprise me with, but for some unknown reason they were closed so we quickly changed plans and headed to a fancy shmancy restaurant I knew had great food.

Just look at those views! You can't see because the colors match so well, but the ocean is actually visible over the top of the trees.
And we even had a little visitor
Super grainy picture I know, I did my best to not scare the doe away so I zoomed as close as I could.
It was just wonderful to sit outside and watch the sunset and the stars come out, we're both so lucky to live where we do.

It's been the best year of my life dating my best friend who I can be completely me around. 
Here's to year one and many more!

Fit Friday #16

Happy Friday everyone!!
It's been a doozy of a week and while I had a vacation mid-week I always feel so off afterwards that I need another day to relax from my vacation. Anyone else have the same problem?
Anywho, this post isn't about relaxing, it's about moving and fitness!

I was still too worried about my plantar fasciitis to attempt running and didn't go to Zumba either because it aggravates it as well. I'm going crazy here having gone through instructor training and I can't even go to a class. Sad face!

No exercise today! It was Michael's and my anniversary so I took the day off. (That post will be up soon-ish lol)

Vacation day #2!

I did the elliptical machine while Michael ran on the treadmill and I was able to actually get a picture!
Pretty good for an injury if I do say so myself

Class #1:
3 rounds of:
-50 jump rope
-10 shoulder rolls with a dowel
-5 air squats
-3 pushups
-25 bicycles

And 4 rounds of:
-10 lunges (5 each leg)
-5 burpees
-1 run around the quad by the classroom


Now I have to admit that I don't always make up my own workouts, I take some ideas from Savannah at Muffin Topless. If you haven't seen her, go check her out, she's amazing. This month she started a fall workout challenge and I'm joining in.
So every Friday I'll take a progress picture to see how well all my hard work is doing.
Join the awesome party and check her page out for some awesome workouts!

How are you keeping fit with the temperature dropping?