Archive | August, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Quick and Dirty

31 Aug

For this week’s Workout Wednesday I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to fit a workout in when you are short on time. Like I mentioned yesterday, my life is super crazy these days and it is making it hard for me to spend a lot of time working out.

So what to do when you are short on time? Do one of the following workouts, they are fast and effective and sure to get you sweating.

  • 5K Treadmill workout: An easy way to get a good speed workout in is to do a quick 5k on the treadmill. Start off at your easy pace and increase every few minutes until you get down to your 5k goal pace, or just a little faster. I guarentee by the end of the 3.1 miles you will be just as out of breath as an easy 5 miler, if not more.
  • Weight Circuit: Pick 8-10 exercises and do them for a minute each. Set the exercises up so they are easy to transition to. Body weight exercises work best for this. Example: Squats, lunges, pushups, sit ups, jumping jacks, tricep dips, mountain climbers, burpees.
  • Cardio Blast: Incorporate a few different types of cardio into one workout. Example: Run 1 mile, do 5 minutes of intervals on the elliptical, 5 minutes of Jump Rope, then end with 1 more mile.
What is your workout this Wednesday?
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Life Is Crazy

30 Aug

Creative title no? I feel like I have been such a bad blogger lately and it is all because of this man!

This past weekend we took Charlie to his first “boat day.” Sean’s family has an awesome boat in one of the big harbours on Lake Michigan so it was so fun and relaxing to hang out there on Saturday.

The rest of the weekend consisted of going out with friends, eating delicious food, and napping. We did go on a long bike ride on Friday night so at least we were semi active.

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The past few weeks my life feels like it has been turned upside down. I have totally new priorities (puppy) so I don’t have the freedom to go running or biking like I used to. Last week I did 4 legit workouts and ran a total of 6.5 miles. Not terrible considering everything but nowhere near what my activity level was while I was training for the half.

I have a ton of things I want to do with the blog and a bunch of updates to make, I just can never seem to find time to sit down with my computer and do it. So thank you readers for sticking with me during this crazy time..I am sure everything will calm down soon!

I mean Charlie seems to be able to chill out pretty easily..maybe I should take  a note from him!

In other good news I had my first pumpkin spice latte yesterday from Dunkin Donuts. Pumpkin in August? Why not.

Just wanted to end with a big shout out to family friend and blog reader Shannon for finishing the Chicago triathlon this weekend! She kicked bootayy and got 3rd in her division!

How do you manage to fit blogging in when life is crazy? 

Friday Vote!

26 Aug

Hi Friends,

HAPPY FRIDAY! Sadly I don’t have any fun content for you today just a request.

I am nominated for Chicago’s Most Valuable blogger and would really love if you could take a second and vote for me. You can vote every day from now until September 9th!

Just click here. 

Thank you! Charlie and I appreciate your votes 🙂

Puppy Training 101

25 Aug

For the past few months my blog reading has been slacking. It has been competing with another subject that has become my obsession. Puppies.

Before I brought Charlie home I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I’ve probably googled “puppy training” and “house training” more than anything else and read just about every website on the topic.

Unfortunately none of the blogs I read on a daily basis have ever really done a post on training their dogs. Yet a TON of bloggers have dogs that they love dearly and share pictures of all the time. So I thought I would start a little series of posts on how its going training Charlie pup. So if you hate dogs or just don’t care about them..come back tomorrow!

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I am by no means an expert and probably have no idea what I am talking about but I thought it might be fun to share my journey with you.

Housetraining: Right now we are trying to crate train Charlie. Sort of. He sleeps in his crate at night and then when we are going to be gone for a few hours. If he is going to be home for longer then 3 hours then we normally leave him baby gated in the kitchen because that is just too long for a pup his age to hold it (he’s 8 weeks and 3 days today). He’s still having tons of accidents right now but as long as we are watching him like a hawk he won’t go inside.

Sleeping: Charlie is such a baby so he sleeps a LOT. The first few nights he would wake up every few hours but for the past week he has been sleeping through the night no problem. He tends to fall asleep anywhere and everywhere.

Commands: Right now we are working on “sit” and he is doing pretty well. Golden doodles are supposed to be really smart dogs so hopefully he will pick up on things quickly!

Socialization: Charlie is too young to play with other dogs right now so I usually just pick him up when another one walks by. The vet did say he can be around dogs we know so I let him play with Sean’s dog and he was really scared of him.

Everything Else: Charlie is a super happy pup right now. He misses us dearly when we go to work but due to my sister and my roommates different schedules he’s not usually home for too long by himself. Sometimes he goes in to crazy puppy mode and won’t stop running and jumping but usually he is content to just hang out or play with his toys. He LOVES ice cubes too.

Are you interested in more Charlie updates as the weeks go on?

I would love for other bloggers to do their own puppy posts 🙂

Return to Running

23 Aug

After a week-long hiatus from running post half-marathon I made my glorious return! On Monday night I decided it was time to do a run again so I did a little speed work on the treadmill

  • 10 min warm up
  • 10 minutes of HIIT
  • 10 min cool down
For the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) I did a 30 s sprint at 8.0 and then jumped on the side and rested for 15 s and repeated for 10 min. I have been wanting to do workouts like this forever but it didn’t seem like speed work that would be beneficial for my long distances. Now that I don’t have any certain amount I need to run I love the freedom to do any type of workout I want!
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So far today I have yet to do any exercise besides take Charlie on a walk. Baby steps right?
Speaking of Charlie, I gave him a bath on Sunday night and it was the cutest thing ever. He so did not like it! He was super freaked out afterwards and just crawled into a ball on my lap and went to sleep.
Poor baby.
How do you get back into working out after a race or event?

Monster Cookies

22 Aug

As I mentioned earlier today, I made Jessica some pretty fab cookies for the blogger bake swap.

My mom’s monster cookies are pretty famous in my hometown. Everyone who knows our family knows about monster cookies and they are always in very high demand. A fun story: One of my friends made these cookies for her family. Her sister took some cookies to work, at NBC, and Katie Couric declared them her new favorite cookies!

So without further adieu here is the recipe!

Jacki’s Monster Cookie Recipe 

  • 1 cup real butter
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 TBSP baking soda
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 8 Cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 cups M&M’s
The key to this recipe is to mix well after every few ingredients. You also will bake them at 350 for only 10-12 minutes. Do NOT over cook them.
This recipe makes a ton of cookies..6 1/2 dozen! I cut it in half, and still have been eating cookies for days. I hope Jessica  enjoys them! Speaking of which I got her cookies in the mail yesterday..yum! Check out her blog for the recipe.

Bananas for Baking

22 Aug

I’m not sure how this full work week thing is going to go after only working 3 days last week, I think it may feel like a long one! A quick shout out for reader Joanne, she asked that you all check out her fundraising website for the Chicago Marathon. 

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The weekend was a blur of puppy play time, going out with friends and eating. Sean and I went out to dinner on Friday, breakfast on Saturday and lunch on Sunday. I think we covered all of our bases.

Oh and baking. I have done a LOT of baking since moving into this new apartment.

I made this delicious beer bread from Rachel’s recipe

I made these awesome cookies for Jessica in the blogger bake swap.

And because we keep having bananas go bad before we eat them, banana bread and banana muffins!

I used the same recipe for both of these and I must say they are pretty delicious. I make these banana muffins for pretty much every occasion since high school. I’ve made a healthier version of them but typically I use my normal recipe, they might be a little calorie dense but they are so worth it.

Banana Muffin Recipe

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes for muffins or 45-50 min for a loaf of bread. It makes about 18 regular sized muffins or one large loaf of bread.
Trust me you will not regret making these. I’ll be back later today with my cookie recipe!
What is your favorite recipe for ripe bananas?
*I am nominated for Chicago’s Most Valuable Blogger. Go here to vote for me! You can vote everyday for until Sept. 9th*