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mother’s day

We just arrived back home from our Mother’s Day vacay about an hour ago.  It was a fun overnight trip, but I am exhausted!  Too much driving methinks.

Anyway, last night my mom made enchiladas for dinner.  She custom made each of our enchiladas just the way we like it.  Sweet mom:)  Mine was stuffed full of sauteed spinach, onions, mashed black beans and diced green chilis all rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla and drowned in green enchilada sauce.  Delish!

This morning we spent time hanging out at the house, then headed out to take my mom out to lunch.  Mexican food was the meal of choice (again!) – no complaints about that!  I went with my favorite way to healthify Mexican food by ordering the taco dinner.  I subbed in steamed pinto beans for the meat and added lots of lettuce, tomato and salsa.  I also ate a bit of rice on the side and of course tortilla chips and guacamole.  Might have went a bit overboard on the chips.  Oops!  Unfortunately I failed to get a pic, so you’ll just have to take my word  – it was tasty!

After lunch we headed over to visit my Grandma and Grandpa.  Luckily, my aunt, uncle and cousins had the same idea, so we all ended up there at the same time.  Fun!

I am so very thankful for the moms in my life.  I am so blessed.

My mom is there for me anytime I need her. I always think of the zillions of times I’ve called her to ask for advice or even just to vent about something.  She never fails to listen for as long as I need her to, and she always gives the best advice.  She knows me better than almost anyone.  I don’t know what I’d do without her in my life.  She’s the best mom I could ask for and a heck of a grandma too:)  Right, Olive?

I’m also so very thankful for my mother-in-law.  She is the sweetest, most wonderful MIL I could ask for.  She loves me like I’m her own daughter and is always so supportive of Jon and I.  She’s selfless, sweet and darn funny:)  Don’t know what we’d do without her.  She’s off galavanting (love that word:) around Greece right now, so we didn’t get to spend time together today.  We were together in spirit, though;)

I hope that I’m able to be even half the mother that these two are.

Well, I’m off to get some grading done.  I’m still buried in essays, but I can see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  Just gotta keep chipping away!

Hope you all have a great end to the weekend and a great start to your week!

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cruisin’ in style

I’m bloggin’ from the road today as Jon and I head to my hometown to spend some time with my mom.  We slept in this morning, and I woke up with a smile on my face!  I love love love waking up to sunlight coming in through the window, and it happens far too seldom.

Our Mini Cooper is getting serviced right now, and it just so happens that the dealership was fresh out of “service car” minis, so…..they gave us a BMW for the weekend.  We don’t mind a bit.  I could get used to this;)

As soon as we got up and got around we headed to the lake to get in a quick three miles.  It was super windy, but the temperature was perfect!  We followed it up with the first two circuits of Jillian’s level two shred workout.  We totally stuck with our two workouts every day this week – Jillian in the morning and 3 miles in the evening.  We did take a rest day on Friday.

Before our run I ate half an Ezekiel English muffin with a bit of almond butter.  Considering our entire workout didn’t end until almost noon, it was not enough fuel!  By the end of Jillian, I was famished!

it almost missed the camera…oops!

I quickly threw some tempeh in a pan with a couple squirts of Bragg’s.  After heating it through, I added it to a whole wheat pita along with some Sabra pine nut hummus, spinach, onions and pickles.  Also, some grapes on the side.

After lunch we spent some time cleaning up the house and then I settled in to do some blog surfing grading.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get near as much done as I needed to before we had to get packed up and head out!

Oh, I also snacked on some soy yogurt with frozen cherries, sliced almonds and granola…and we grabbed a soy latte on our way out of town.

I just want to say thanks for all the sweet comments and encouragement from you guys regarding my personal trainer certification.  It made me feel so affirmed about my decision.  You all are the best!  I can’t wait to share with you as I go through the process.  It’s so exciting to me to master something new.  I’m also realizing that I am a much better student now that I’ve been a teacher.  Totally didn’t’ expect that, but I feel like I just understand the learning process better now.  Good thing ‘cause I’ll need all the help I can get!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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weekend highlights

Hi!  Tonight is going to have to be a quickie.  I’m going to try to work out before I go to work in the morning, which means getting up at 4:30am…eek!  It’s just not working for me – this “working out when I get home from work” thing.  I’ve tried and tried, but it is just brutal, and I miss morning workouts so much!  We’ll see how it goes:)

I did want to wrap up events from this past weekend.  We had such a great time with our friends who were in town, and we did end up going to see my cousin finish his marathon.  A couple things about it: A. I have been kicking myself for not running at least the half marathon this year.  B.  It was so fun just to be a part of it and see all the runners finish their races.  It totally made my day!

Here he is finishing the race.  His race time was approx 3 hours and 44 minutes.  And it was his first time!  I thought he did awesome.

Proud finisher:)

The marathoners in our family:)

After the race, Jonathan and I met my grandma and my aunt for lunch.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic (shoot!), but I had a “vegetable plate,” which consisted of a house salad with honey mustard dressing on the side, corn, steamed broccoli, steamed carrots and a plain baked potato with a side of salsa.  It was delish!

We finished off our time in the city with a trip to Target and Marshall’s.  I got some new workout capris, which I’ve been wearing pretty much constantly since yesterday afternoon.  They are so comfy!

Anyway, I got all excited there for a minute and jumped ahead a bit.  Let me back up and show some weekend fun in pictures

Baby Kate – Our friend’s Jason and Emily stayed with us Saturday night.  This is their adorable little one

After dinner at our Thai Restaurant in town.  Also, the same restaurant where Jon took me to tell me he wanted to be “more than friends.” :)

Cashews and Veggies with a Chili ginger sauce.  Seriously to die for.  Literally and figuratively if you consider the amount of sodium in it.  o’well.  Can’t win ‘em all, can we?

served with brown rice.  mmm.

Well, that’s it from the weekend, and I’m off to hit the sack!  Only 4 weeks and 3 days until I have much more time for exercising, blogging, cooking and eating!

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make it happen

Happy Thursday:)  I honestly can’t believe we’re only a night’s sleep away from Friday.  I am SO glad.  I’m just counting down the days until school is out – only 6 weeks and 1 day to go.

I received my Women’s Health magazine in the mail today, and it has some great stuff.  Women’s Health and Oxygen are my favorite magazines – I feel they are the most down-to-earth and real of all the fitness magazines.  This issue has Jillian Michaels on the cover and a great interview with her inside. It’s funny how when you need a certain kind of affirmation about something, it just keeps popping up everywhere. In her interview, Jillian gives some great tips on how to achieve success, so I thought I’d share them with you!

  • Define your goal and be specific:  you have to know exactly what you’re going after before you can go after it.
  • Believe in your ability:  A lot of times people don’t really believe they can accomplish their goals.  If you don’t believe in you, then who will?  This is the one I have the most trouble with.  At times I’ll feel so confident and self assured, like I could become the next Oprah if I wanted…other times I have trouble believing that I can make it through my next workout.  This is something I am really working on in my life right now.
  • Stay positive:  the minute you turn around to bash yourself, reverse it and give yourself a compliment.
  • Imagine your goal:  Visualization allows you to get comfortable with the idea of change.  I was just thinking about this today.  I took a few minutes to visualize my goals.  I pictured myself as I would be a year from now if I actually stepped out and tackled my goals.  I even envisioned what the blog post would look like when I recap everything I will have accomplished (obvs. I think of everything in terms of blog posts:)  This was really motivating for me.  I desperately want to live that story!
  • Get educated:  Studying up before pursuing your goal helps you make powerful choices that effect change.  Knowledge is power.
  • Don’t fear failure:  It is an integral part of success.  I fear failure all the time!  I think the big point here could even be – it’s okay to fear failure, as long as you don’t let that fear hold you back.  Conquer it!
  • Get feedback:  look for someone who’s educated in the goal you’re trying to achieve and seek out constructive criticism from him/her.

I think I’m going to type these up and post them where I can see them on a daily basis.  Keeping things like this in front of me helps me stay motivated and inspired!

Today was honestly pretty stressful.  Work was more stressful than usual (I won’t even go into that), and I got a call from my mom this morning, letting me know my grandpa had an accident.  He had climbed up on the roof of our lake cabin to clear off some limbs, and when he went to climb back down, one leg of the ladder sunk into the ground, causing him to fall from the roof level. Unfortunately, he cracked three ribs.  Fortunately, he didn’t have any other injuries.  I am so thankful to still have my two grandparents, and all the time I think about the possibility of something happening to them.  I don’t know how I would handle it.  Even this got me all worked up, and I just wanted to go visit him, not be at work!  I got to talk to him on the phone for awhile after work, though, and he seemed to be in pretty high spirits, considering.

For lunch, the parents at our school put together a luncheon for the teachers.  I knew right away (from past experience) that there would be nothing there for me, so I packed this

Overnight oats! 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup plain soy yogurt, 1/3 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1/2 chopped banana.  Let sit overnight.  Add toppings!  Almond butter to be specific.  Delish!  My coworkers give me the strangest looks sometimes;)

Here’s the rest of the day’s eats

Yes, that would be cheeseless pizza again.  Yes, I just had it last Saturday.  What can I say? I was having a serious hankering for it, and I was exhausted from the day.  What’s a girl to do?

I also am proud to say I worked out today, even though it was all I could do to keep my eyes open during the commute home.  I threw on my gym clothes and headed to the gym.  I cranked out a quick 2.5 miles on the treadmill, and followed it up with some ab work using the Bosu ball.  Yay!

  • What is your favorite fitness magazine?  Or would you rather read online articles/blogs instead?
  • What strategies do you have to help you stay motivated and inspired?
  • Chia Seeds Direct is having a sale on white chia seeds.  Get 10% off by using the code WCS.  Also, U.S. residents get free shipping.  What are ya waiting for??

Well, that’s it for today, folks!  Hope you all have a great Friday! G’night.

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a family Easter

Hey friends!  Happy Easter!  I think I’ve said that already in at least one post, but I think it’s fun to just celebrate all weekend!

Saturday Jon and I headed to my hometown.  We met up with my mom and step dad and then headed over to my Grandma’s for Easter dinner.  Before we left our house though, I tried to shove a little too much into the morning, which made us run pretty late.  I did get a lot accomplished, though!  Went for a three mile run, made a couscous salad and protein bars, packed, went shopping for a birthday present for my Grandpa and drove an hour home!  No wonder we were late!

We had such an awesome day with family, though.  I got to meet my little cousin, Caroline for the first time ever, and she is just a doll!  It totally made my day (and gave me a little bit of baby fever:) to see her.

I just have to say – my Grandma and Grandpa are awesome.  I love them so much, and I’m so proud of them.  They have both made healthy changes over the past year, and jointly have lost about 60 pounds so far.  They both have so much more energy!

It thrills me to no end, too, because my Grandma has moved to fixing healthy dishes at family gatherings, as opposed to all the traditional unhealthy staples.  She does still mix some of those in, but I never have to worry about having something healthy, even vegan, to eat when I go home!  Check out my plate from yesterday.

I ended up with fresh strawberries and pineapple, a black bean and rice dip, red bell pepper strips, cucumbers, the couscous salad that I made, and one perfect little chocolate covered strawberry:)

It was delicious!  She had a ton more options of veggies, as well as some ribs, chicken and baked beans (which I passed up of course:).  I was just too full to eat it all!

After dinner, we had great family time.  I love just sitting around hanging out together.  We did have a little dessert as well.  It was my Grandpa’s birthday, so my aunt brought birthday cake.

I brought vegan peanut butter chocolate chip protein bars, and everybody loved them!  Well, most everybody at least.  It totally made my day because the last time I took a vegan cake, it was NOT a hit:(  Can’t win ‘em all I guess!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the recipes for the couscous salad as well as the protein bars that I made.  Make sure you stop by because the couscous salad was to die for!  It was the first time I’d made it, and I seriously loved it. Here’s a little teaser:)

Today we went to my mom and Clark’s church, and then met my grandparent’s for lunch at Mazzio’s (an italian restaurant here in OK) afterward.  I was a little concerened because I hadn’t been to Mazzio’s since I became vegan, and my old favorites included their famous ranch dressing and deep dish pizza (eek!).  It totally worked out, though!  I’ll also be sharing that with you tomorrow:)

Well, I’m off to get stuff ready to start another week of school.  I hope you all had a lovely weekend, whatever you did, and have a great start to the week!  See you tomorrow!

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