Thursday, August 23, 2012

In case you’ve been wondering...

   This last week has been a race to the finish

  My Personal Training Certification test is TOMORROW!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Product Review: Jenkins Jellies

   A couple months ago, the generous folks over at Jenkins Jellies sent me their collection of pepper jellies to review.
    - Passion Fire, Hell Fire, Fiery Figs, and Guava Brava. Each full sized jar came with its own little spoon to stir… Along with it came a handwritten note (Seriously could they be any cuter?), a recipe idea card (which was super helpful because I had no idea what to do with the stuff) and a little back story about how they got started.   
    Hillary Danner and Maria Newman are the masterminds behind these amazing jellies, and when I say they are AMAZING I’m not exaggerating.. keep in mind I don’t even like jelly.. I’m serious- I was the kid who ate PB+ Fluff or PB+ Butter to avoid the stuff. But a girl has to grow up sometime right? :) 
These Jellies are made
-With their "blend of 7 fresh peppers to create a complex but balanced sweet and spicy taste sensation"
-Without Artificial ingredients or preservatives 
-Gluten Free and Vegan
-AND come in recyclable packaging

    All awesome right? RIGHT! 

     So lets get down to business, EATING! I went with some of the recommendations on this one..  First, I glazed tofu, chicken-less cutlets, and on chicken for James and friends. Pan cooked or grilled, the Jellies coated extremely well, giving a sticky caramelized glaze without being too sweet. I just spoon a dollop on top near the end of cooking, spread it around and cook a few more minutes.. and enjoy! I especially LOVED how much flavor it gave the tofu without any prep at all. Most of the time tofu needs a good couple of hours for a marinade to give it any flavor, so this was a huge time saver, especially on nights I teach and or making dinner post workout. 

    Secondly, mixed with cream cheese. I made it for the first time at James’ party and it was a HUGE hit.. Both James and I were sneaking scoops when I made it the night before.. and pretty much licking the food processor bowl clean. And it was seriously the first thing to go the night of the party. I didn’t measure anything, just used two packages of cream cheese and put spoonfuls of the jelly in, mixing as I went until I thought it was spicy enough. I think I used more than half the jar, I told you I like spicy!

I served it with all kinds of crackers, tortilla chips, and with veggies. Delicious! For weeks after the party, our friends requested it BTW- Epic I tell ya :)
    I also used it in our stir fried veggies and again, it was delicious. 

We had it on grilled cheese, burgers, sandwiches, and even as it is on potato chips. The options are endless! I would have never thought that something that was so foreign to me would have been so useful and versatile, but it is!
   I always found the balance between the spicy and sweet to be right on point. The jellies do have a little bit of a kick, but it was never over powering or too much to handle, and seemed to mellow a bit (for those who are sensitive to heat) with cooking or when mixing it with cream cheese or other cheeses. More importantly, they have just the right amount of sweetness.
    What I’m trying to say is that this stuff lives up to the hype.. every single person that tried the stuff I made with the jellies, really loved it. More importantly, I the jelly hater, am converted!

   Go check them out at!

A big THANK YOU to Hillary and Maria! 

***Please note that these opinions are my own, and are 100% honest and truthful. I was not compensated for this review, but did receive the product at no cost to me. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bachelorette+ Real men+ a First

         My friend’s, Laura and Scott are getting married on August 25th, so this past Saturday us girls took Laura out- while the men did their thing. We started the night out with a little cocktail hour over at Becky’s house and took that time to get Laura decked out
   Nothing says bride like a plastic vail, hunk of plastic shaped like a diamond and a pink sash. Soon after we shipped out to Meritage; a cute little place with an extensive martini list.
Laura got a sangria the size of her face and I stuck with a cosmo
We were picked up my a limo and continued the night..
 Lets just say Laura had a great time, but the rest of us were dealing with a little bit of drama.. Too many chiefs, not enough indians if you know what I mean.. But what can you do.. sometimes there are just too many ideas and not enough decisions..

     We have a little sun over here

     The perfect backdrop for dinner making
   Real men grill veggies ;) The husband takes pride in his grilling ability.. like most men..
Eggplant, summer squash, mushrooms… Served with a  nice tomato, mushroom and mozzarella salad- An amazing dinner to say the least.

       After dinner, James and I went on a motorcycle ride! Thats right, I went for a motorcycle ride- my FIRST ever!
   James has had his motorcycle for months now
   But I’ve always been scared of them.. Well I finally put my big girl pants on and hopped on the back.  Let me tell you, I am glad I did! I can’t believe how much fun I had… MANY more rides to come :) Speaking of rides, We took the mutts for a ride of their own..
Sammy seems excited, but really all he does is whine and hide under the seats.. Hydro is actually having a great time- he love car rides.. but I guess he was just posing for his mug shot today..

What are your bachelorette party stories?
Do you ride motorcycles?

Friday, August 10, 2012

WSC+WO+shopping in the kids section

 I’ve started this post about 5 times, and each time I barely type a sentence or two and I have to do something else.. With friends staying with us Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights- it has been a whirlwind and our schedules have been a bit different than usual. Now that we have the house back to ourselves, I’ve caught up on things and I can finally sit down and get this post out!   

Let’s start with the WOs for this week:  
 When I saw this Cross fit challenge over at petiteathleat I knew I had to do it

    I caught wind of it a bit early, but started to incorporate it into my workouts Monday morning.

Here’s the week in WOs:

Plank 2x2m
Bridge Lifts 2x20
Side Plank 4x30s
Circuit-2 rounds, 15 reps per exercise
-Single-leg DB curl
-Lunge back w/OH press
-Step-up to balance 
Arc trainer- 30m
CF- 7 rounds AMRAP
-7 Squats (I used 60lbs)
-7 Burpees
Completed in 7:40
Thursday WSC- 240@12lbs
Plank 5m
Medicine Ball Circuit- 3 rounds
-Big Circles- 10 clockwise & 10 counterclockwise
-Wood Chopper- 20
-Standing Russian Twist- 20
-Squat to OH press-20
-Rest 60s
Gina’s Tabata Thursday

    Today’s workout was a KILLER.. it took me about 45 minutes to complete everything and I needed a towel nearby the entire time.. My shoulders hurt already.. Who knew that a medicine ball could be so much fun? :)
  I’ve had the medicine ball for 2 days and I already have a funny story for ya.. I posted this picture on my Facebook- of which I have students as “friends” and about 5 minutes after posting it I received multiple messages begging me please DO NOT to bring it to class (mind you I teach a yoga class on Thursday, ha) In case you didn’t know, my students think I’m really mean for pushing them so much- Hey, isn’t that what you come here for? :) 

WARNING! TMI coming your way.. About the WSC (weighted sit-up challenge)- I basically have road rash at the very top of my butt crack.. Seriously-  I’m going to go on a limb here and say that the sit-ups aren’t the real challenge.. it’s trying not to wince every time you sit-up! 
   A+D has been a lifesaver.. lol
   I don’t know if anyone else out there has this problem.. But I am not so blessed in the boob area.. Personally I’m cool with it. I can’t imagine getting a black eye every time I do a jumping jack or having to strap them down to go for a run. However, even when your president of the IBTC, you need to have a sports bra- if only to keep things family friendly. So while on a run to Target, I went to the “Active wear” section to pick up a couple. But then, inspiration struck.. and the next thing I knew, I was buying bras from the little girls section..    
       I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner.. Not only do they fit me better and they were $7! I had to stop myself from buying one in every color..  Sometimes being smaller has its advantages :)

     Food has been pretty low maintenance these days 
 Except for this Pina Colada post-workout smoothie from last months Oxygen
It was TOTALLY worth the work.. 
   Speaking of work.. I’ve been hard at it
 That’s over 300 terms on flashcards.. I scheduled my test date this week.. Aug 24th- just two weeks from today.. I’ve been working really hard and I’m hoping it will pay off :)
    I leave you with a fond farewell from my boys

We are out of here! 
Happy Weekend! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekend Edition- Back half

    Just like that, POOF! The weekend is over. It has definitely been a full one.
    Getting up this morning was tough, knowing I would have to work all day, but coffee got me through! The day went by pretty quickly, as most weekend shifts tend to do. Your waiting on so many customers everything is pretty much a blur and before you know it, you get to go home an hour earlier than expected, SCORE!
   Straight from work I hunkered down with my text book and lots more post its
 It may be getting a bit out of control. With less than 3 weeks left, I’m starting to really freak out.. I’m not gonna lie.. I’m just working hard and hoping I pull through.. I got in a good 2 hour session, which I considered a success.. Especially after working all day.
   Afterwards I was so mentally exhausted I knew I needed to blow off some steam. I decided to get a bit sweaty with a little workout..
   I completed a 5 minute plank hold and ZWOW 28 for a total of 15 minutes I was out of breath and sweating my ass off.. It felt great and was just what I needed to decompress.
   I jumped in the shower only to get sweaty a few minutes later cleaning our spare room or what we call the yoga room. A few friends are staying for a couple days so I wanted to make sure it was spic and span before making them sleep on the floor. Ok, they actually will have a thai massage mat (which is similar to a futon mattress to sleep on,  but it will be on the floor either way) Man cleaning is hard work and I was starved by the time I finished.
    Our friends came by for dinner and it was the perfect way to end the weekend..

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Weekend edition- the front half

   Hey guys! Hope your enjoying your Saturday :) So far we have been relaxing and I’ve been catching up on some homework. Not exactly what I want to be doing on a Saturday, but it’s crunch time and I’m doing my best to stay on task!
   Before study time, there was coffee and Sopranos- I was hoping to catch some Olympic action- but it hadn’t started yet, boo! I made some pancakes for James

   And ate my usual- Greek yogurt, ground flax seeds, banana and PB2- of which I used the last of the 3 jars I bought and hoarded from my visit to NC. My house is officially nut butter free as of this breakfast.. I might go into shock if I don’t restock soon..
   Once fed we let everything digest before moving our living room furniture out of the way and tackling Julie’s Sunrise Circuit. This workout was awesome, I loved doing the core workout in between each circuit. I did change the amount of rest between each exercise within each circuit to 5 seconds instead of 15 because I really wanted to keep our heart rates HIGH. I’m pretty sure James had no idea what was coming to him, but he was a good sport anyway :)
    I showered, got ready and hung around for a bit before I realized that it was already lunch time and if I was going to study today, I was going to have to get it done soon. I made a quick lunch with a salad the size of my head and some Lupini Beans..
   WHAT?!? You don’t know what Lupini Beans are?! If there are any Italian kids out there, you might know what I’m talking about.. But for the rest of you guys
     These little yellow beans are prepared and sit in a salty brine.. The stats aren’t too shabby
  (Incase you can’t see it- 1/4 cup has only 30 calories and 3g of protein and fiber!) Obviously they do contain a bit of salt, but they are so yummy and addicting that I don’t worry about it.
   They are similar to a soybean pod in a way (But you don’t have to cook them).. See they have an inedible skin on them
     So to eat them, you just put the little "belly button” side in your mouth and pinch the opposite side, making the bean pop out- You should totally give them a try, they are usually in the “Italian” section at the grocery store :)
   Yeah I totally killed the rest of the jar- at least it was less than half full.
   I did the studying thang for over 2 hours and I’m feeling pretty good about the pace I’ve been at.. Looks like I’m going to finish in time after all :)

Now lets back track a bit to last night.. 

   My friend and neighbor was hosting an adult toy party.. You know the ones..
   It was good fun.. But the highlight for me were the jello shots..
     They were made in orange peels! My yoga boss and I were really loving them
 Between her, Carla and myself.. the aftermath..
   They were just too good :)

Ever been to one of these parties?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Things I love +WOs

   -Watermelon- one of my favorite fruits.. so much that I literally attempted to live off it a couple summers ago during my raw food phase- I can’t even express or comprehend how many pounds of the stuff I ate.. 
   As it turns out raw food diet and Coco- not so much.. BUT I still love watermelon and can house it like a champ.
     -Studying.. I don’t love that.. however I do love whoever invented a Post-it…
   Organized chaos I tell ya :)

   -The boys.. How can you not love them? Oh yeah.. except when you have to vacuum up a fur ball the size of a small child every other day..

   -WOs.. I almost always love em. Maybe not while I’m huffing and puffing or drowning in a pool of my own sweat.. I’m still on the kick of “QDs” or Quick and Dirties..

Monday:  “Sharon”= 21-15-9 reps of Clean (50lbs) sit-ups and Dips (Completed in 7:04), 1/2 hr of treadmill sprints and teaching my class..

Tuesday: Squats @50 lbs/push ups… 100/15; 75/15; 50/15; 25/15 (Completed in 12:54), Taught yoga

Wednesday: Circuit Bi’s, Tri’s and belly 12 reps repeated 3x through (unless otherwise noted):
Bicep curl
OH tricep extension
Lateral Raise
From raise
v up crunches 20
reverse crunch 20
1 minute plank

Thursday: 2 minute plank + teaching yoga.. My legs KILLED which made me skip the gym and stretch..

Friday: At home Cross Fit

What where your workouts this week?
Any big plans for the weekend ahead?