Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Birthday Recap!

Hello! I have so much to share - a race recap, recipe and a birthday recap. Let's start with the birthday recap!

Jay's birthday is just days before mine so it always makes celebrating a fun, extended event but can also create a little chaos (totally worth it!) trying to do something for both. This year, we went camping for Jay's birthday on one weekend and had a birthday dinner for me the following weekend.

Chaca's New "I <3 Camping" Shirt
Joining us on our camping trip was Chaca (of course), my brother, his friend and my parents. My mom has a very strict "if I cannot plug in my blow dryer, I'm not going" rule when it comes to traveling, so we were a little nervous that she wouldn't enjoy it. Thankfully, she did!! We all had a great time playing games, grilling and enjoying the peace of the forest. I also managed to squeeze in a 1 mile hill repeat run- the change in elevation was so tough but excellent training. Though it was his birthday, Jay did 100% of the cooking all over the fire. And it was THE BEST.

 
 
We also enjoyed some tasty adult beverages in the form of my spiked agua fresca. It was perfectly sweet and fresh. Yum.
 
 
With this being Jay's first birthday in El Paso, it only felt appropriate to give him an El Paso birthday staple...a pinata!! My mom and I filled it with Jays' favorite candies and confetti. The confetti leaked all over the trunks of our cars, houses, etc. keeping it a surprise was a trick.
TMNT!
It was a bit chilly so we made sure to keep warm with a fire each night. After spending the day running around, little Miss Chaca was so happy to curl up and get warm.
 
Sweetest Girl
 
On our last evening, we brought out a very fancy and elaborate birthday cake.
 
 
Okay, not so fancy or elaborate but it was easy to transport and exactly what the birthday boy wanted.
 
Fruit Makes It Totally Healthy, Right?!
The following weekend we held a taco and sangria dinner at out house. I followed this sangria recipe and it was amazing. The men seemed to enjoy it and none of them are very fond of sweet wines. Score! Jay was sweet enough to run out and pick up our order of tacos from a local restaurant while I got everyone mason jars of sangria and beer. It was a dinner with Jay, my cousin, my parents, brother, sister and her boyfriend - small and simple and it was perfectly what I wanted. I wasn't feeling the big to do this year and was glad we could make it happen. After our dinner of tacos, beans and my mom's homemade rice and salsa, we hung out around the fire pit in our backyard.
 
And I cannot forget to talk about my amazing birthday cake. Everyone thought it was a little odd for me to make my own cake, but I love baking so it was a gift in itself.
 
Cake & Birthday Flowers
 
 Following Brown Eyed Baker's recipe, I was able to recreate one of my favorite treats - Cheesecake Factory's Red Velvet Cheesecake. One slight change I made was in purchasing a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake at Costco instead of baking one (I've only had 1 very failed attempt and wasn't ready to try it again). It was indulgent and spot on!
 
I miss it already....

 
I felt so special all week as Jay and Chaca gave me little treats - a couple of books, some Cadbury eggs, tea and flowers - and in being able to spend time with family for both birthdays. Over all, we had fantastic birthdays. 




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chia Colada

I hope everyone got through April Fool’s with as few pranks pulled on them as possible! Thankfully, I didn’t get pranked once…whew! As a kid, I had this plastic ice cube with a fly in it, every year I’d sneak it in someone’s glass at the dinner table and they’d always act surprised. I thought it was such a good prank!

Monday’s workout was a long swim – I am not certain about my distance but I do know that I swam for almost 30 minutes. Yesterday’s workout was a 9 mile bike ride followed immediately by a 1 mile run. I’m looking forward to a rest day today and getting back to the workouts tomorrow. I am really enjoying this tri training!!

With the warmer weather and my crazy hunger in the mornings, all I’ve been wanting are smoothies for breakfast. Here’s this morning’s Chia Colada recipe:

·         1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

·         1 Tbsp Dried, Shredded Coconut

·         1 Cup Frozen Fruit

·         1 Cup Coconut Milk

 Blend, sip and pretend you are on a tropical island.

For tonight’s dinner, I threw some ingredients in a crockpot and am hoping it turns out well enough to share here.

Every so often I decide I want to use self-tanner lotion. I apply it as best I can and the next day I have those horrible streaks and I promise that I’ll never use it again. I put the bottle in a different cabinet and weeks later when I find it, I decide to give it another (unsuccessful) try. Currently, I’m rocking some amazing tan streaks on my feet and arm. Will I ever learn? Probably not.

What beauty trend do you keep trying despite awful results? Any recommendations for my inability to self-tan?

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Broccoli for Breakfast

Happy Tuesday!

Last night's work out was a 1000m swim. I was having one of those days where I was doubting my ability to do well in my upcoming tri and was thinking about pulling out of the race. Thankfully, I completed this workout and it completely knocked out all of my negativity. I'll be competing and that is that!

This morning I woke up so hungry and knew that a shake would be the fastest path to eating. Here is today's shake:

* 1 Cup Frozen Berries (still using and loving the antioxidant blend)
* 1 Cup of Broccoli (maybe a little strange but I love it in my a.m. shake!!)
* 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
* 1 Cup of Almond/Coconut Milk

Blend and enjoy :)

I'm looking forward to another tri workout this afternoon followed by a little grilling tonight.

Hope your week is shaping up nicely!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oat & Dairy Free B.Fast

Now that I know I have dairy and oat intolerances, I’m amazed at how many products, particularly breakfast related, have those items in their ingredient list. After being sick of hard boiled eggs and the same cereals, I’ve been forced to get creative. Here are a few of my recent favorites:

v  Toast with almond butter and raspberry preserves

v  Scrambled eggs with broccoli, salsa and any other veggies that are about to expire

v  Brown rice flour pancakes – I need to work on this recipe a bit more before I post it

v  Shakes – I had written these off because I didn’t want to buy the expensive lactose free protein powder but I’ve been making them without and they’re my favorite quick breakfast. I love that they’re filling and give me energy to make it through the day. Thanks to Maddie for the suggestion!!

Here’s today’s shake recipe:

1 Cup Spinach*
1 Cup Frozen Fruit (I love the Antioxidant blends that include berries and cherries)
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
1-1   ½ Cups of Almond/Coconut Milk  (my favvvvv)

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend away! Serve in an awesome glass.


*I bought a bundle of spinach, blended it with a little water and froze in an ice cube tray. I like having spinach on hand for these shakes and other recipes as well as not having to let leftover spinach go to waste. I do not recommend doing as I did and pouring it in the same ice cube tray as your frozen cilantro…the two look awfully similar but cilantro breakfasts shakes are not nearly as delicious.

Happy Thursday!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Workouts & Water

Monday’s workout was a 2 mile run. Tuesday’s swim workout was nonexistent thanks to an event going on at the pool. I did use that time to browse Costco, that counts right?

Today’s work out will most definitely be held indoors, it is so windy and dusty today. Super nasty.

In other news, I’ve decided to ease up on my caffeine reduction.  For as long as I can remember I’ve been a heavy coffee drinker, I’ve been known to drink an entire large pot on my own. I love it. A few months ago I decided to take my daily 5-6 cups down to 1 cup and am now excited to welcome back 2-3 cups a day. I’m sure the rest of the world will be happy to know this change is coming, I’m certain I’ve been unpleasant without my coffee.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I struggle to drink enough water every day. My sister recently shared with me a great idea for drinking water.

 

Simply cut up fruit, add to a jar and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The jar keeps the fruit fresh and easy to transport. I typically add lemon, lime or cucumber to water but the idea of trying other fruits such as orange and pineapple is great!! I like to keep a couple of these jarred waters in my fridge at all times so I can grab it before I head out for a day of errands or while I’m watching TV. Easy, inexpensive and tasty.