Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thank you!! ....uh....I think?

Walking out of church this past Sunday a woman came up and put her hand on my shoulder.

V. "Anne, your spin class Wednesday was torture."

me "ha ha! Did you have fun?"

V. "I wanted to get off my bike and hit you, but I don't think I would have been able to walk."

me *awkward giggle*

V. "It was a fantastic workout! I needed it...but I wanted to kill you. I wanted to get off my bike and kill you."

me "Ok...well...see you Wednesday?"

V. "ha ha! Yes! I need workouts like that! You'll see me Wednesday!"


Healthy Recipes to Try (plus a healthier snack option)

The first two recipes are ones I like to do the night before and have on hand in the fridge...ready to be eaten when the need arises. LOL...the second two are ones we have on the weekend as a family. Try these!!! They will not disappoint you :)

Deliciously Healthy Shrimp Ceviche!
*warming!* this dish will make your breath wicked fired-up..but it's worth it

2 -3 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, diced
1 serrano peppers or 1 jalapeno, diced
8 limes, squeezed
8 lemons, squeezed
2 oranges, squeezed (preferably sour oranges)
2 large avocados, diced
2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced
*I also added one garlic clove, pressed.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 4 1/2 hrs
1 Blanche shrimp in boiling water for about 5 minutes, then shock in ice cold water. Strain when cooled.
2 Cut shrimp into 1-inch pieces and add to bowl.
3 Add citrus juice and marinate for 2 hours.
4 Add red onion, tomatoes, chilies and cilantro, marinate for 2 more hours.
5 Add avocados and cucumber before serving.

Yummy Fruity Curry Chicken Salad

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 Golden Delicious apple - peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 cup light mayonnaise (or fat free greek yogurt *lotsa protein!!!*)

In a large bowl combine the chicken, celery, onion, apple, raisins, grapes, pecans, pepper, curry powder and mayonnaise. Mix all together. Serve!

Grilled chicken with Watermelon Feta Salad Salsa

Watermelon feta salad
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
no-stick spray
Watermelon-Feta Salad

1. Whisk first 7 ingredients in a shallow dish; remove and reserve 2 tablespoons marinade for Watermelon-Feta Salad. Add chicken to dish; cover and chill 30 minutes.
2. Spray cold grill cooking grate with grilling spray; place on grill over medium heat (300° to 350°). Place chicken on grate.
3. Grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with Watermelon-Feta Salad

Rosemary Chicken Kabobs!!!!

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pound skinned and boned chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pt. cherry tomatoes
1 (8-oz.) package fresh mushrooms
16 (6-inch) metal skewers

1. Preheat grill to 350º to 400º (medium-high) heat. Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Pour half of olive oil mixture into a shallow bowl or zip-top plastic freezer bag; add chicken, turning to coat. Cover or seal, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour remaining olive oil mixture into another bowl or freezer bag; add bell pepper, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and toss to coat; cover or seal, and let stand 10 minutes.
2. Remove chicken and vegetables from marinade, discarding marinade. Thread chicken onto 8 skewers. Thread vegetables alternately onto remaining 8 skewers.
3. Grill kabobs, covered with grill lid, 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender, turning occasionally. Remove kabobs from grill. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Super Snack (doubles as a house air freshener as well)
Homemade Healthier Roasted Pecans!!

1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 1/4 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup white sugar (I use splenda instead)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon clove

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (105 degrees C). Lightly grease a rimmed baking pan.
Combine the egg white and water in a mixing bowl; beat until fluffy. Fold in the pecans to coat evenly. Combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a bowl or cup with a lid. Dust the pecans evenly with the sugar mixture. Spread the nuts over the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven until toasted and fragrant, stirring every 15 minutes, about 1 hour. Cool on pan, and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dino Dreams

In the minivan...

Gabe: Mom, I already know what I want to be for a job when I grow up.

me: Cool! What is it?

Gabe: (in a gravelly voice) A DINOSAUR TRAINER!!!!

me: Very exciting! But, you think you'd really enjoy that? You get very frightened by houseflies Gabe.

Gabe: Ugh, MOM! Flies might be hiding stingers and they could STING you?!

me: Hmm, but dinosaurs are gigantic meat eaters. They could kill you.

Gabe: Not if they are trained.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Plateau Poison

So you start up an exercise program, lose the first XX lbs and then you just sit there, close to your goal but not making any strides. This is what is called a plateau. You are staying the same...working hard, but not seeing any results. There is a cure for that. It's called an early morning interval session. Take one every morning with water (5 or six days a week) for 12 weeks and the plateau will be gone.

*You have to finish the can't take it a few mornings and stop!! Give the prescription the time it needs to work for you. It will work...assuming you are human.*

This will kill your fitness plateau faster than you can say "is Anne absolutely insane???!!"

Doing the same old, same old exercise routine will not actually yield the same old results. Your body gets very efficient and adapts. A workout that takes so much effort that it burns 300 calories for you, after doing that same thing--same time, same intensity--over and over, your body will get so good at it you can perform the same task but expend less energy, making it burn less calories for you. That is why I NEVER encourage people to put much weight in the calorie count of cardio machines. They are too generous, in my opinion. Look at the people on the same cardio machines, day after day...they aren't usually the most fit in the gym. is an easy (by easy I mean it is possible to do, although it may make you want to vomit and hit me--in reverse order) early first-thing-in-the-morning interval routine you can add to your already existing exercise routine to give your plateau an eviction notice.

Wake up, throw on the exercise clothes you laid out the night before (or sleep in them, whatevs) and start your interval session:

jump rope for one minute (if jumping rope for one minute is too much for your coordination, just pretend you are holding a rope and jump)
no rest, two minutes of lunges
back to one minute jumping rope
now two minutes of squats
back to one minute jumping rope
back to two minutes lunges
finish it strong with one minute of jumping rope

That is all. Try it five or six days a week and see what you notice!! I find it increases my metabolism all throughout the day...boosts my early morning energy level and mood...and best of all, my exercise regime seems to get an extra ooomph! I overcome the slum of not getting stronger, faster, fitter!! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Leading little feet with faith

Some days, as a parent, I can feel a little lost and confused. Being completely responsible for another person (x3!) is not something I take lightly. It can totally stress me out and make me second guess myself like CRAZY! This morning I was doing just that as I got Eliza's lunch ready in the wee hours of the morning. Then a song came up on my playlist. It's written and sung by my cousin, Ryan. As the song came on I just sat down with my coffee and enjoyed the sun that was creeping through the crack in the curtains. I opened the curtains, relaxed in the sun and felt totally at peace. Here are some of the lyrics to his song, "Pray"

"...Pray to the spring that will teach you how to sing when your words have all run dry. Then give your soul, empty and used, to the light that knows what the tree needs to grow, the breath that breathes when the gentle breeze blows, the faith that teaches every mind what it knows. He's going to lead these wandering feet. He's going to lead these wandering feet..."

Friday, April 22, 2011


I worked legs oh man...fatigue has already set in!

Squats: I used the bar and two 45lbs plates. I did 10 sets of 10 reps.
If you are partial to just using your body weight, I recommend doing explosive jumping squats (called jumpies) 10 sets of 15-20 jumps

*difference between using weights and using body weight* bigger weight = bigger muscle. If you are like me and you have no hips, a more then modest backside, and thighs that never fill a pair of skinny jeans you probably want to try to go as heavy as you can.

If you are pear shaped, have a curvy backside, or just want to shave off AND tone your butt/thigh area then jumping is the way to go. Your body is a very smart machine. The bigger your body is the harder it is to jump. You keep jumping and your body will respond by getting smaller--because being smaller will make jumping easier.

One-legged squats: no weight, just your body weight. This is best done with a partner. Stand on top of a box (or a chair at home) stand with right leg on box/chair and your left leg dangling, squat and go back up to start position. Try to get your left foot as close to the ground as possible. Hold onto your partner's hand and have them assist you as needed. Ten repetitions, three sets.

*one-legged squats are great for coordination, balance, and while you're only using your body weight, it's one leg doing all the work. It won't add shape/bulk, but it will strengthen your legs significantly. This is an athletic training exercise.

Lunge-walk with medicine ball toss: hold onto medicine ball handle with right hand. Lunge forward with left leg, as you drive up with your left leg (specifically glute) use that momentum to toss the medicine ball slightly in front of you. Catch the ball with your left hand as you step forward with your right leg and repeat. I do this the length of our track (1/6 of a mile). It's will add shape, tone, and definition to your leg. You can't be sheepish and do draws attention to you and you will drop the ball at least once. No biggie :)

Step-ups super-setted with frog tuck jumps: need a good bra for this exercise. What? Just a friendly heads-up! Ok...step-ups: I used a set of 15lb dumb bells. Stop judging me, I was fatigued!! You can go heavier (if you have something to prove) if you really need some added volume to you badonkadonk...or you can go lighter/no weight if you would just like tone and slimming effects. Put right foot on bench (or chair). Make sure you heel is on the bench/chair...put all your weight in your heel and drive up...push so you are standing up on top. Lower yourself back down s...ll....ooooo....wwww...llll....yyy. No, slower! Make it TOUGH! Do ten on each leg (alternating). Then no time for rest, grab a medicine ball (10 lbs max) or nothing and squat as low as you can (think softball catcher position) and jump up as high as possible and drive those knees UP and into your chest. Try for ten. I got eight in. Rest and repeat for a total of three sets. I had a guy who thinks he is so funny keep saying "Ribbit" as I was doing this. Rage-o-meter = seven

Calf-raises: to really get your calves good you have to mix it up. I did one set of 100 as fast as possible with no weight. Then I put 135 lbs (in the form of a bar and two plates) on my shoulders and did ten calf raises. Then I reduced the weight to 65 lbs and did one legged calf raises (10 reps on one leg, 10 reps two legs, ten reps other one leg). Then I finished it up with seated calf raises: four sets of 15 reps...70lbs.

That, my friends, was all the juice I had in me..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3 kids for sale...

I love my kids. I did not love them slinking silently into my bedroom at 4:30am, crouched at the side of my bed stiffling giggles. Eliza motioned "1, 2, 3" and they all screamed


Monday, April 18, 2011

Here we go again...

This sweet, handsome man does many, many things that piss me off. He can make me irate, get me fuming with anger, but ultimately I forgive. And it is the same way for him...he loves me in spite of me being human.

One of our favorite songs to dance to is sung by Norah Jones and Ray Charles: "Here We Go Again" It makes us think of those times where we steal each other's heart like we did thirteen years ago as kids when we first met working a summer job off the same pier. Only now we know better...but we fall in love again anyway.

This past week he had to work through the weekend. So, the kids and I met him at his hotel for a mini-vacation. When he met us at the hotel he was dressed in his business suit....woah, holy-handsomeness! Here we go again! ha ha

Then we went out to dinner. He ordered me my favorite glass of wine, gave me a smile and a wink...that smile! Here we go again!

When we took the kids to the pool that night, the water was absolutely FREEZING!!! Without hesitation he got me a towel, "Go sit down and relax. I'll stay in the water with the kids." His thoughtfulness, his eagerness to play with our we go again...

Here We Go Again
Ray Charles and Norah Jones

Here we go again
He's back in town again
I'll take him back again
One more time

[Ray Charles]
Here we go again
The phone will ring again
I'll be her fool again, I will
One more time

[Norah Jones]
I've been there before
And I will try it again
Any fool, any fool knows
That there's no, no way to win
Here we go again
She'll break my heart again, yeah
I'll play the part again
One more time

I've been there before, you know what?
I will try it again

[Norah Jones]
But any fool, any fool knows
That there's no, no way to win

Here we go again
She'll break my heart again, yeah
I'll play the part again
One more time
I'll take her back again
One more time

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. ~Ruth Bell Graham

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goldie-shorts suggestions...

Ok, I went back to the polyvore drawing board and I tried to put together a fun, casual outfit with the gold shorts. I also reworked my black and gold (GO ARMY lol) dinner date outfit with the gold shorts. Let me know what you think! I will try these on, and post pics soon as I can.

not sure about the red headband/nail polish...what do you think?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unwritten rules of the gym..

There are some unwritten rules of fitness clubs. Here are just a few examples of how they are broken and can ruin someone's workout and maybe even her day:

Here is my morning workout plan:
warm up with 10 minutes of cardio, do a total HIIT circuit (15 box jumps, 15 sumo deadlifts with upright row, 15 burpees, 15 BOSU squat hops, and 15 wall shots) after that I would hit chest and triceps hard, then finish it off with a relaxing 45minute cardio session--either run or stair mill.

Here is what happened:
So, I warmed up for ten minutes (jogged) got my equipment set up for my circuit...and then we had an unwritten rule offender...

RULE #1. If someone is wearing BOTH earphones and not making eye contact he/she does NOT want to be engaged in conversation.

"Hey! You're a trainer here, right? Can I ask you a couple questions?"

me: "I don't want to be rude but I only have a short period of time to get this workout in so.."

"Oh no this will take a second! When I walk up the stairs, after I have been using the elliptical machine, it sort of feels like a weird twingey-spazz thing by my knee. Could you show me some stretches for that?"

This is also in direct violation of:

Rule #2. Trainers are people too. When they are off the clock, they are OFF THE CLOCK. Treat them as you would any other member, afterall I am paying for childcare for the ten minutes you just wasted.

So ten full minutes later, I have successfully lost all warmth from my warm up and need to start over. "No biggie...don't let it stress you out" I tell myself. I'll get it done, keep it positive!!

After warm up number 2 I get into my circuit, get a GREAT burn and forget all about that rule breaker!!

On to chest and triceps:
I started with chest fly, 5 sets of 12, ten seconds of rest between each set
On to decline bench press (10 reps) supersetted with plyo push ups (25).
unwritten rule offender once again:

Rule #3. Never, EVER, interrupt someone who is in the middle of a set. Ever. Even if the place is on fire. Wait until his/her rest period to tell them the place is being evacuated.

"Hey Anne, are you teaching abs tonight?"

me: [grunting, and puffing as I struggle to finish some plyo push ups] "yup!"

"Oh I can't make it! So bummed! I love your class. You know when we do the plank series, I get some..."

*violation of rule # 1 and #2!!! I am wearing headphones, I am not on the clock! I was able to continue with my workout, it is just not as effective when you have someone trying to chat with you...I was very distracted. Distracted enough to lose some form on my bench press and hurt my left shoulder a bit. Awesome.

Joint pain is never OK and if a joint is complaining you need to back off. So that was the end of that superset. Uh...SuperSUCKS!

Triceps need a good tri-kicking. They have an excellent blood supply so they recover fast and can take a good beating. They actually need a good beating if you really want to tighten up your "Hello Hellen's!!!" (picture an older lady waving "hello" to Hellen...yeah...tighten that up) I like to do a tricep circuit that would probably be against the Geneva convention as cruel and unusual punishment for prisoners of war...but hey, we'll look great in sleeveless tops! Yay!!

Ok, ready? Good. Tricep dips (20 of em) no rest go right into tricep rope push downs (15), no rest go right into tricep supine extensions 15, and then finish it off with 15 tricep push REAL tricep push ups. Now you get to rest...for 15 seconds and then go through it two more times!!

But that's not how I did it. I crushed my dips, killed my push downs, and began my supine extensions when I was rudely interrupted by the worst kind of unwritten rule breaker:

Rule #4. If a woman is not wearing make up, does not have her hair done, and is pushing her workouts so hard that she is sounding like a woman who is in labor then she is NOT at the gym looking for a date. She is there to workout...leave her alone. *FREE TIP* you can also look at a woman's left hand--if she has a wedding band then she is also not looking for a date.

So after politely getting rid of the unwritten rule breaker I finish that fifteen seconds and start my second circuit--dips are tough but I am tougher!! On the rope push downs I feel so good, getting a great burn and..what--is someone tapping my shoulder? Ok, this is not only in direct violation of Rule #1 and #3 this woman actually broke a rule that I think is written somewhere.

"How much do you weigh?"
me: "what?" headphones come off (and maybe a record skips somewhere...and the earth stops rotating for a moment)

"how much do you weigh?"

me: "130"

"yeah, that's exactly what I would have guessed. You're a little bit shorter than I am, and you weigh fifteen pounds more than I do...but that's because muscle is so heavy and you're all muscle. I knew you were heavier than me."


So on to cardio. I need a long relaxing run to drown out all the my "relaxing run" playlist and hit the track. Only to have a man who takes my spinning class run next to me and violate Rule #1

"Hey Anne, how did your stress fracture heal?"

This seemingly benign question led to him lecturing me(for two miles of my run) on how I can improve my running form and performance. That brings us to:
Rule #5: Do not give unsolicited advice.

I was told I need to take 180 strides per minute. I was told I need to drop a few pounds to decrease the stress on my joints. I was told to back off the stretching because my flexibility was making my stride way too long.

And all of this brings me back to a lesson I try to teach my own kids: You can't control other people, you can only control your actions and reactions to them. So I need to maneuver the gym and all it's rule breakers in an assertive, but polite way so that I don't give these people room to stomp all over my workout!!


So I found these sequin shorts (don't laugh) and that little girl in me who LOVES spark-ally things fell in love. It helps that I actually AM ridiculous enough to wear gold sequins anything, so I got them. Now how do I style them? Here are two of my (failed?) attempts. Let me know how you would style these puppies!! They are kind of big on me, but I think that adds to their charm, no?

Please use your imagination to clean off my bathroom mirror--and you can pick up some of that laundry while you're at it!

What was that? Where would I wear these? No, not the gym. To do errands, of course! That way everyone would move out of my way because I'd obviously be on my way to somewhere really dance class--tap or jazz, I dunno...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunny Days :)

What an absolutely gorgeous weekend we were spoiled with out here in Chicago!!! I don't care if we get nasty tornadoes tonight...I really, really needed the sunshine therapy I soaked in all weekend.

We didn't really take many pictures...but we did fill up our water table, played with bubbles, went under the sprinkler, grilled up some chicken, cooked some corn on the cob, and ate fresh watermelon. I'm looking forward to many more weekends like this now that the weather is friendly again!!

There is Gabe using his paint brush to "paint" my nails..ha ha!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What? It's warm in my dreams...

I can pretend it's warm and wear my summer clothes...but I don't recommend you do it.
Although spring is certainly dragging her feet, it is getting warmer and I'm always a bit too eager to wear my warm weather clothes. I might believe that my bare arms will force the sun to shine brighter, I dunno. In any is my jumping-the-gun spring-y outfit that I froze in.

I love, love, love my zebra-ish print wedges. I missed anthropologie's sale on them...but that turned out lucky for me as they found ME in marshall's for 29.99 last summer!! Waaahhoooo! can't see my shoes in that pic?
 this better????? LOL

Wicked Supah-Mom

This is what I wore to volunteer in Eliza's class yesterday. In the hallway I saw her art teacher, Mr. O. He said "wow, you look so pretty!" Very sweet, and slightly awkward...just like me. LOL

I did reading groups with the second grade kiddos...they call it "supermom." SO. MUCH. FUN. Seriously, think I missed my calling as a teacher. When I started working with the kids I was using my phone voice (don't act like you don't have one). About a half hour into it, I relaxed and unleashed my Boston accent which never fails to make them laugh. They got kind of giddy and I reeled them back in by saying "hey, guys...staht listenin' when I'm talkin to ya or else I'll tell ya teachah!!" Ha ha!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's All Right to Cry

One of the possible side effects of Ava's anti-seizure medicine is depression. Usually she is regular silly-billy Ava, but there are times she sucks her thumb and lays on the couch with tears streaming down her face. She will say "Mom I don't know why I feel sad, but I feel like I need to cry. Why am I sad?" and it's heart-wrenching. I'm not sure if it's an acceptable necessary evil...I'll bring it up to the neurologist at our April appointment.

After we went on a treasure hunt walk today (we found some cool rocks, leaves, feathers--yes I know they're gross--and a piece of a key ring) I started to get dinner ready. Ava came in, thumb in mouth, in tears. "I don't know why I'm sad" she sobbed into my legs. I picked her up and brought her to the couch. "Just let yourself cry and I'll hold you." Trying not to cry myself I focused on Eliza who was sorting out the treasures from our hunt. She asked me why Ava was crying. "Well, the medicine she takes for seizures can make her feel like she needs to cry sometimes." Eliza sat next to me and rubbed Ava's back. "Hey Ava, want me to sing for you?" Ava didn't look up "No fanks." Eliza thought for a minute and then perked up "Wait!! I know...hey Ava, want me to read to you? A poem?" Ava sat up and nodded. When Eliza returned with her "Free to Be You and Me" book I knew which poem she was going to read. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness that I stopped trying to hold back tears...afterall...its' all right to cry..

"It's All Right To Cry"
by Carol Hall

It's all right to cry
Crying gets the sad out of you.
It's all right to cry
It might make you feel better.

Raindrops from your eyes
washing all the mad out of you.
Raindrops from your eyes
It might make you feel better.

It's all right to feel things
though the feeling may be strange.
Feelings are such real things
and they change and change
and change...
sad and grumpy,
down in the dumpy
snuggly, huggly,
mean and ugly
sloppy slappy,
hoppy happy
change and change and change...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm a big kid now!!

This past fall I had one of "those" days. You know...the kind we all have. My husband was out of town (where else) and the kids were on every last nerve and into everything. While I was putting out one fire they started, they managed to find a box of "magic wands" under the bathroom sink. They also discovered that if you took the magic wands out of their wrapper and plastic applicator and put them in the toilet they started to look like Jellyfish!!! How cool!! Except, later that night...after the kids had gone to bed, my friend came to visit me and I had NO magic wands. Did I wake up the kids and run out to CVS? Nope. Did I run out to CVS and leave the kids alone? Nope. Did I grab a Diego pull up from my son's bedroom? Yup.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Planning Session

To reach your goals you HAVE to get a plan...plan, plan, PLAN!!!!

I don't really have a fitness goal right now. Maybe it is to not get injured?? Lame. But I teach so many classes and I love being at the gym so that is a very real stay as active as I am, without sustaining an injury. That being said, I am still trying to stick to the hormone training (HIIT training, or anaerobic, etc). As an athlete it is right up my alley--I absolutely LOVE it...but I do fear I'll end up on the injured reserve list. Then I can really kiss the Olympics good-bye. Totally joking/making fun of myself BTW. is my workout plan and menu for the week!!

I teach way too many classes on Monday to be able to get my own workout in. I call it my non-Anne workout day...but the other trainers at the gym call it "Anne-tastic Marathon Monday--You can catch a class by Anne morning, noon, and night!" LOL

morning workout: SPRINTS! As I'm running suicide sprints on the basketball court
a few weeks ago someone asked, "Hey Anne, what are you training for?"
me: "uh, I dunno...nothing." DERRRRRR
afternoon workout: Back and Biceps

morning workout: legs and abs
afternoon workout: spin

morning workout: run 5miles (try to do a sub 8minute mile pace)
afternoon workout: shoulders

morning workout: chest and triceps
afternoon workout: do the stair mill machine (interval training level 16 for 45min)

Saturday: spin, abs, and long relaxing jog

Sunday: yoga

<---DORK, DORK, DORK! hey, that's me! LOL Our menu: Breakfast: (kids drink milk, Erik and I drink black coffee) oatmeal and berries (we have raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries) OR scrambled eggs with spinache, feta, and tomato (I eat all of the above, thankUveryMuch!) Morning snack options: cottage cheese, or a piece of fruit, or trail mix, or string cheese, or yogurt with wheat germ, or peanut butter on a graham cracker Lunch: (we all drink water) cabbage soup (made a big batch Sunday night for the week and put in tupperware in fridge and freezer), half of a tuna sandwich (Since Eliza has to have a bagged lunch I will be packing her a peanut butter sandwich, a piece of fruit, some trail mix, water, and a whole grain apple muffin) afternoon snack: same options as morning snack Dinners: Monday: my Mom's vegetarian chili recipe (made in crockpot) with corn muffins Tuesday: baked tilapia with steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots Wednesday: chicken and salsa in the crockpot over brown rice, red and green peppers, onions,cheddar cheese, and lettuce Thursday: home made pesto over whole grain spaghetti with a side of caprese salad Friday: baked salmon, garlic mashed cauliflower, and peas. Saturday and Sunday we play it by ear!
Phew! I am as tired and cranky as Gabe at the end of my days...where the hell is my sippy??? ha ha

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Do not attempt this leg routine if you have to walk at all the next day...or if you have three exercise classes to teach the following day..(ahem, what kind of freak would do that?)

LEGS!!!! Here's what I foolishly did Wednesday morning--for some reason I was thinking I had an open Thursday??? Well I thunked wrong. My Thursday was quite closed.

Squats (using 45lbs bar with plates on rack)
first set 30 lbs plates 25 reps
second set 50 lbs plates 20 reps
third, fourth, and fifth set 60 lbs plates 12 reps

Lunges: using a 35 lbs barbell 4 sets of 20 back lunges (right leg 20 lunges, no rest, left leg 20 lunges, repeat total of 3 times on each leg)

Dumbbell step ups on bench: holding a 20 lbs dumbbell in each hand 3 sets of 15 step ups

One legged squats on the plyo box: 3 sets of 10


Cowboy Dreams

Gabe: "Hey Mom, I have a great idea."

me: "Awesome! What's your idea?"

Gabe: "Well, I was just thinking that you could change something."

me: "Hmm, what should I change."

Gabe: "Know how you gave up desserts for Lent?"

me: "Yes.."

Gabe: "I think you should change it. You should give up cooking vegetables for Lent. You cook vegetables way too much."

me: "In your dreams, Cowboy!"

ha ha

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Dog Named Cookie

Flipping through a magazine, Eliza came across a German Shephard puppy.

me: "I used to have a dog like that!"

Eliza: "You did? What was her name?"

me: "Cookie."

Eliza: "Is she still alive?"

me: "No, she died a long time ago."

Eliza: "Of what, embarrassment for being named Cookie?"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Party Time!

I made this cake at 4am on Ava's birthday. When she woke up and saw it she gasped and said "Mom, this is so beautiful, but I actually think I want a fairy cake instead."

Don't ask any questions...

Just cook this and you won't be disappointed. Trust me.

Wanna-be PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Ingredients for pouring sauce:

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot water
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
Ingredients for stir-fry sauce:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Ingredients for chicken stir-fry:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 1/2″
1 – 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, minced to the size of corn kernals
1/2 cup mushrooms, minced to the size of corn kernals
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce or nappa cabbage
To make the pouring sauce:

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, then add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and throw in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Just before serving, combine 1 teaspoons hot water with dijon mustard and garlic and mix in small bowl. Add to the pouring sauce, 1/2 a teaspoon at time to taste.
To make the stir-fry sauce:

Prep the stir fry sauce by mixing soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
To make the chicken stir-fry:

Combine oils and add to wok or large frying pan. Heat oil over high heat until it glistens, about one minute. Add chicken and saute until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat under the wok down to medium-high. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, wait one minute, and then add garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and the stir-fry sauce you prepared earlier. Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms have cooked through, about 4 minutes, and remove to a serving dish.
Serve stir-fry with iceberg lettuce or nappa cabbage leaf wraps and top with pouring sauce.
Variation: you can do the same thing with ground beef, if you like.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bailey Boy

This backyard is getting smaller every day. I could use a spring break vacation from it. I'd like to hop in the minivan and head out east again like we did last year. Mom got me a new hairdo at the groomers. I felt really handsome. I like to make a good impression on the extended family. I think I was a hit. Well, except with Uncle Tim. I pooped in his room but you would have too. That house is a MAZE and I couldn't find the door. Anyway...trying to convince Mom that it's time for another road trip by digging some muddy holes in the back yard. Hopefully it works. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Old Cape Cod

If you read "Stuff Jewish Girls Like" then you may have already read this.

I was the twelfth (and last) baby born to my Irish Catholic parents in Cape Cod, MA thirty-two years ago. This is why I am always referred to as "the baby" and I wouldn't wish it any other way. Below is a sestina I originally wrote in college, and revisited this past week for JG's guest blog post. Our writing assignment in college was to write a poem from another's perspective. I chose to pretend to be me, at the end days of my own life. There were many tears shed while I revised this poem--my Dad is still alive, but I only get to see him once or twice a year as I am landlocked in the midwest (for now). Without further is my sestina :)

Through the Eyes of a Sunset
a sestina poem by ACF

The ice cream dripped down my arm and onto the porch
as I sat beside my Dad on the old wooden swing.
We breathed the saltwater air and my Dad
told me stories about where the sun
goes after it sinks behind the deep ocean.
His eyes looked sad when he said it's never truly gone.

Sometimes, when July's ripe sun is setting, I'm reminded of what is gone
and of what remains. Memories of summer days with Dad linger on the porch
but the echo of what's truly eternal exudes from the crashing ocean.
And I'm left yearning for an afternoon talk about nothing with him on the swing.
His eyes looked a warmer shade of blue when the setting sun
would shine into them. I have the same pale blue eyes as my Dad.

I can remember looking up at my Dad
with excited child-like pride for him; and that pride isn't truly gone,
but it is different. Similar to the way the gentle warmth of the sun
comforts you differently through a window than it does when you're on the old porch,
lazily rising and falling with the creaking swing,
echoing the tides of the ocean.

I used to be so afraid of that ocean
unless I was held tightly by my Dad.
And even then, I preferred to be dry on the swing.
I would play until the sunshine was gone;
in the comforting embrace of my porch,
my small shoulders kissed by July's fiery sun.

Sometimes Dad and I would sing songs about the sun.
How sun-crystals dance like glistening lace on the face of the ocean...
I think he made the song up when he was little and would look out at the same horizon from the same porch
but not with me; with his brothers and his Dad.
His Dad was gone before I was born, but my Dad told and retold me all about their summers together on the same swing.

And my summer afternoons are retold to my children on the same swing.
It's all nurtured with the ebb and flow of life, the rising and falling of the sun,
because love, relationships, and memories--like the sun--will never truly be gone.
The salty, sandy nostalgia wafts warm memories to us with each crash of the ocean.
At least, that's what I was told by my Dad
when we were younger and would swing, talk, and sing on the porch.

And sometimes the sun brings me a smile as the breaking waves retell me childhood memories on the porch
But when my pale blue eyes rest on the empty porch swing,
My heart aches in knowing that when the sinking sun returns tomorrow, it won't bring me back my Dad.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shoulders and Shades!!!

Oh yeah...those are sunglasses on my head. It was not only sunny was WARM! Well, relatively speaking. Sure I did have some frost to scrape off the minivan at 7am, but by noon it was in the 50's!!!! Today I worked my a great burn and I am such a fan of this hormone training. I'm hoping I can truly commit to it for a couple more months. Ava's hospital stay threw a wrench in my workout routine but things seem back to normal. Sorta. Here's what I did at the gym today!!

dumbbell overhead press: 5 sets of 14, ten seconds of rest between each set
lateral raise (hammer strength): 6 sets of 10, ten seconds rest between each set
standing dumbbell frontal raise: 6 sets of 12, ten second rest between each set
rear delt fly (hammer strength): 6 sets of 14, ten seconds rest between each set
cable rotator cuff internal rotation (for joint health, injury provention, not really for strength): 3 sets of 12
then external rotation on cable: 3 sets of 12

Then I rowed 2k meters on the rowing machine. I hate that thing, but you gotta change it up!!

I wanted to do abs and cardio tonight, but we were invited to a birthday party and I got plenty of cardio racing the kiddos through the inflatable obstacle course for an hour and a half. Ha ha!! Why were the kids lining up to race me? Obviously it's because I'm the kindergarten room Mom. Duh. It can't possibly because I am an immature, odd-ball Mom who likes to race 5 year olds or anything. LOL

Feeling Good ;)

Lisa at "Respect The Shoes" had her readers send in an outfit that makes them feel good...she also encouraged you to explain why it makes you feel good and say what you wore it to, or anything else you have to add. It took me about 15 minutes for me to decide, but it wasn't because I didn't know what I love. It's because I knew what I love is pretty silly..ha ha. So here it is. My St. Patrick's day outfit where I find an excuse to wear my 13 year old deckhand uniform from my Cape Cod Canal Cruise days.

"Welcome Aboard the Motor Vessel Viking! We are required by the US Coast Guard to familiarize you with the location of our life saving equipment aboard the vessel." Ha ha!! This was my uniform shirt from way back in the day when I was a deckhand on a Cape Cod Canal Cruise boat. It's the shirt I wore when I met the handsome Harbor Patrol Boy who is now my husband of 9 years. I wear this silly shirt every St. Patrick's Day, and it never fails to make me feel comfortable, nostalgic, pretty, and if I have some Irish beverages, I may even feel like rambling off the commentary! So please sit back, relax, and let the beautiful waters of Cape Cod Bay wash away your stress!
Old Hy-line Cruise polo shirt
citizens jeans
forever 21 belt
anthropologie spectator shoes

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I do believe that's not butter...

One morning when I was in high school I sprayed some "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" onto my toast. My Dad exaggerated his confused face at me.

"What in the world are you spraying on your bread!?"
I walked over to him, "it's really good, Dad. You should use it. It tastes like butter, but it's good for you."
I handed him the bottle. He tilted his head back so he could read the bottle with his bifocals, "Calories: zero!? Hmmm. Fat: zero!? Jeesh! What the??! This can't be right...sodium: ZERO!? You have got to be kidding me!! Well, ok. I do believe that's not butter...but what the devil IS IT?"

Friday, March 11, 2011

I need a 20!!

I'm not asking for a full time-out...just a quick 20seconds. But the kids (and universe) are all hard at work against me. Diarrhea, vomitting, seizures, bed wetting, putting dirty laundry in a basket of clean laundry by accident, garage door breaking--not having a house key on my key ring (!) so I had to break in house myself, running out of anti-seizure meds, laundry detergent, carpet cleaner, and patience. PRAY FOR ME!!

PS--how many mattresses can three children ruin in one night? (the answer is four)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My outfit of the day and workout of the day!!

This is what I wore in between my stress release sessions at the gym:
modcloth Acorn-ucopia dress (on second slash sale for 37!),
JCrew cardigan (thrifted),
forever 21 belt (Eliza asked me to give the belt up for lent because she hates it and I wear it a lot),
Steve Madden shoes (clearance at Famous Footwear!)

I crushed it at the gym today. Felt A-MAY-ZING!!!!!! I almost went back to sleep when my alarm rudely beeped me awake at 4:30am. I knew I wouldn't regret a workout at the butt-crack of dawn and I assure you as I type this 15 hours later, I was right.

Morning workout: ran ten minutes to warm up and then lifted back and biceps.

bent over dumbbell rows (8 sets of 16reps, maximun 10second rest between sets)
lat pulldown (8 sets of 20 reps, max rest 10 seconds)
seated row (8sets of 15 reps, max rest 10 seconds)
straight arm pushdown (5 sets of 10 reps, rest as long as needed)
back extensions on back hyperextension machine (5 sets of 10, hold last rep 10seconds)

bicep curl (3 sets of 14)
hammer curl (3 sets of 12)
open curl (3 sets of 12)
cable curl (4 sets of 12, last set to failure)

Then I ran four miles in 32 minutes and 15 seconds. It felt AWESOME!

This afternoon, before training my tennis kiddos, I added another workout to burn some stress.

Ran slow for an hour to my "relaxing run" playlist...what? Don't look at me like don't have a "relaxing run" playlist? Anyway...then I did abs. Here's what I did for abs today:

lateral planks with mermaids (20 each side)
hanging straight leg lifts (10 sets of 10)
incline sit ups with 2 lb. medicine ball (10 sets of 10)
side bends on back hyper-extension machine (100 on each side)
plank 1 minute with hands on BOSU and feet on stability ball
roll ups with feet on stability ball (2 sets of 25)
reverse crunches to failure
plank again with hands on BOSU and feet on stability ball to failure.

So now I am completely spent...and there is no question how I will sleep tonight. The only question is, will I be able to get out of bed tomorrow? ha ha!

Fat Tuesday: Bon Ton Roulet!!!

Eliza and cousin Todd at a family crawfish broil in New Orleans!! Currently contemplating what to give up for lent...while I'm eating peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies...hmmm..

...things are changing...

"Mom, I lost my first tooth!!" Ava beamed, showing a little space where her baby tooth used to be. I usually consider myself a very level headed Mom but this knocked the wind out of me and sent me to tears. She is supposed to stay a baby!! Ava, my people-pleaser, quickly said, "It's ok Mom. I still suck my thumb!" ha ha! Now we are done with the invitations for her birthday party. SIX YEARS???? I need a drink.

"...My dreams are a little bit bigger than me
But who knows how much longer things will be like that
Cause things are changin'
And I've been changin'
I get a little bigger every day

Ho-dee-oh, over the rainbow
Hi-dee-hi, to the top of the sky
Look at me, ma, I'm riding with no hands
And tippin' back my chair
I didn't brush my hair
But I do the best I can..."
-Ralph's World