Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I wish I could spend a day in an enchanted setting like this doing nothing but getting lost in a book. I wouldn't want this to be my room all the time, but for a little while, it would be comfortable escape.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


MMM... how good does that look?!? I love pita bread and I really love yogurt dressing. This recipe makes about four pitas and sounds delicious. Enjoy!

Marinade -
  • 2 organic, free range chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Cucumber Yogurt Dressing -
  • 1 cup organic plain low-fat yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped organic cucumber
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tbsp fresh or dried dill
Other -
  • Organic romaine lettuce
  • Chopped organic tomatoes
  • Whole wheat pita bread

1. Add chicken breasts, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to a large plastic ziplock bag and shake well. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Add yogurt, dill, chopped cucumber, chopped red onion, lemon juice and pepper to a bowl and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
3. Heat up the pitas in an oven (350 degrees F for 5 minutes).
5. Grill the chicken breasts (indoor or outdoor) and slice into strips or small pieces.
6. Add pre-washed romaine lettuce to a bowl and toss with yogurt dressing.
7. Stuff pitas with the salad and add chopped tomatoes and chicken on top (or mix in with the dressing and salad first before stuffing the pitas if you prefer).
Recipe is courtesy of

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012


Love this motivation!

After injuring my knee in March, it's been a long road to recovery. I spent three months in physical therapy, had to give up teaching for a while as well as my regular workouts. During that time, I gained a few pounds and really lost my workout mojo.

I'm back to working out now, but now that I have to wear a knee brace, I favor my good leg and I just don't get the same out of my workouts.  So, I decided I needed to take charge of my health and fitness and get help. I hired a personal trainer and started my first training session today.

Holy moly, I am SORE! I haven't felt this way in months and it's an incredible feeling. I learned new exercises today and received tips on how to correct my form and technique with exercises I was doing on my own but no longer seeing results from.

I am so excited to have weekly scheduled appointments now so I can get back on track and feel my best. I am determined to acheive my goals and find joy in working out again. I'm going to be a boss!

Thursday, October 11, 2012



I can hardly believe it's been five months since my last post. Where did the time go?!?!

Autumn has arrived and I love the changes this season brings. Crisp cool air, beautiful colored leaves, rainfall, cuddly nights and scents of apple, cinnamon and pumpkin. It's absolutely perfect!

This year, Autumn has brought wonderful changes into my life and I am feeling extremely grateful and very blessed. I am welcoming this beautiful season with open arms and can hardly wait to see what this new chapter in my life has in store for me.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Tell me... I'm curious!

Now, what if I tell you that you need to go and attempt this "thing" you have been holding back? Would you be scared? Would you tell me I'm crazy?

Good. Go do it. And fail along the way. It will make you stronger.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012


This hairstyle is soooo pretty! Long beautiful waves - I am in love!

Friday, May 18, 2012


There is no other solution besides hard work! I'll give you one more tip - calories in vs. calories out. Make the calories out more than the calories in and you'll see results!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


You've gotta dream, you've gotta make wishes, but you've also gotta work your butt off to see those things come true. Keep going and don't stop for anything. Make your wishes and then go get them!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I love Gemelli pasta. I don't know if it's the shape or what, but I think it's one of my favorites. This recipe for Gemelli Salad is complements of the May 2011 issue of Cooking Light. Enjoy! :)

Ingredients -
  • 8 ounces uncooked gemelli (short twisted tube pasta)
  • 1 cup (1 1/2-inch) cut haricots verts (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup)

Directions -
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add haricots verts during the final 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse pasta mixture under cold water; drain well.

2. Place the pasta mixture, pistachios, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1 tablespoon lemon rind in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.

3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon rind, shallots, Champagne or white wine vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add salt and black pepper; stir with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture, and toss gently to coat. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful mother.

You've been there for me every single moment of every single day and you've given me nothing but unconditional love. I feel so blessed to not only have you as my mother, but also as a true friend who I can turn to anytime and tell anything to. I truly cherish our relationship and feel so blessed.

I love you more than you can ever imagine and I hope your day is filled with everything you deserve!


Saturday, May 12, 2012


One word: Stunning.

Kate Middleton is absolutely stunning. She's so classy and elegant and I just love her. What a gorgeous color, a gorgeous gown, and a gorgeous woman.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I started my next round of Physical Therapy for my  knee this past week and I am loving my new therapist!

I worked out on the Pilates Reformer (which is one of my favorite things!) and today I also rode the recumbent bike. I am already starting to feel my leg regaining strength and the pain is really subsiding.

I will be enjoying a few sweat sessions this weekend now that I've been given the OK by my Ortho doc and my Physical Therapist and I can't even tell you how excited that makes me! I've missed my 6-days a week training sessions and am anxious to get back to where I was before my injury.

What are you doing to get your sweat on this weekend?

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I'm not sure whether to say "Thank you" or "I hate you" to Trader Joe's for my newest addiction. Maybe both?! :)

O-M-G this is just to-die-for! I'm sure it would taste amazing on anything, seriously, but I just love it on a spoon straight outta the jar with a glass of milk.

Soooo delish!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


If only Apple really did have an app or an idevice for this... iBacon perhaps?!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I love anything with the word "taco" in it. Cheese...olives...that was all I needed to see in this picture to be tempted to try it. Let's give it a go:

Ingredients -
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 8 oz reduced fat sour cream
  • 16 oz jar mild salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2.25 oz black olives
Directions -

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa and taco seasoning and mix well with an electric mixer. Spread on the bottom of a large shallow glass dish. Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese and black olives. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

For more skinny recipes, check out

Monday, May 7, 2012


I love Shel Silverstein's books. I have the whole collection.

This is a great reminder for us to be ourselves and follow our hearts. When you do right by you, that's what matters. If people judge your actions and decisions, let 'em. Just don't let them stop you from being you and doing what you do.

You, and only you, know what is right for you and when you listen to the voice inside of you, that's when you are being true.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I stumbled upon this outfit on Pinterest which I think is absolutely adorable. But what's better than this outfit? The site where you can put together your own style collage - Have fun! :)

Friday, May 4, 2012


This probably isn't something you haven't heard before. We all know there are so many positive benefits of eating right, exercising daily and getting our beauty sleep. So why don't we all do these three simple things? Because we let "life" take control and we allow ourselves to make excuses and poor decisions that affect our health in negative ways.

I'm just as guilty as anyone and know that I need to make changes.

When I eat right, I feel SOOO good. Fresh, healthy, organic food tastes so much better than the salty, fatty crap that is so easy to grab. And when you get in the habit of going to the grocery store every week and sticking to the outer perimeter of the store, you will make good decisions and buy what your body needs. Before long, you won't even crave the crap...the good food is what you'll crave.

Exercising is one of the easiest things to put off and it's also one of the easiest things to do. No one says you have to train daily like a body builder. Take your dog for a walk. Do a few sit ups and push ups during the commercial break of the TV show that you just can't miss. It's the little things that matter. The point is to just get up and do SOMETHING. Just MOVE and burn some calories! Now, if you want dramatic results, then you've gotta do more than the little things listed above but my point is, there is really NO reason you can't fit in some form of exercise on a daily basis.

Go to bed. My friends all make fun of me because by 10 pm, I'm done! I don't like going out very often because honestly, after 10pm I just turn into a pumpkin. I don't like being up til 2am and then wasting the whole next day sleeping to try to make up for it. I know my body and I don't do well without sleep. I need more than a couple hours to function. Not only do I feel fatigued if I don't go to bed at a decent hour, but then I'm more likely to want to eat crap and skip my exercise and then guess what...I usually end up getting sick! Not worth it to me...

So if these three little things can give us so many positive things in return, then why don't we do them every single day? I'm willing to make the change - are you with me?!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Words are just words. It's the actions that we do that speak louder than those words. Believe in what you say and do what you believe.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and I think it sounds so great and really fun to make!

Ingredients -
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 zucchini, quartered
  • 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange), bite size
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup  (3.8 oz.) black (or green) olives, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 Cucumber
Directions -

Following the directions, cook the quinoa accordingly. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large glass bowl.
Add cut, sliced and diced ingredients to the quinoa. Add olive oil, garlic powder, and salt + pepper. Mix together and set aside, allowing all the ingredients to soak up the flavor.

For the taste test – if it’s too dry, add more olive oil. If you’re like me & like salty things, you’ll want to add more salt.

Slice the cucumber in 1 inch slices. With a melon baller, carefully scoop out the insides. It will look like a cucumber bowl. Fill each cucumber with approx. 1-2 tablespoons of the quinoa salad.


Sunday, April 29, 2012


Today is my baby brother's 15th birthday and I can't even believe it!!!! Where did those 15 years go?!

I remember the day he came into my life and blessed it in a way he'll never know. He is truly one of the most precious gifts I've ever received and I feel so lucky to be his big sister.

I never thought we'd be close given that we are 12 years apart but age didn't stop us. We can talk to each other about anything and we tell each other everything. We've laughed and cried together and have made so many fun memories over the years. He is such a treasure to me!

Happy Birthday, Connor!!! I hope your day is a great one and I hope all your birthday wishes come true! You make your sister VERY proud...

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Love these neon outlined nails! I'm going to have to buy a nail polish pen and give this a whirl. How cute are they?!

Friday, April 27, 2012


How adorable is this outfit?

I don't know about you, but I have to LOVE what I'm wearing when I workout. It helps motivate me...

I'm not one who can throw on a baggy shirt and go. I need clothing that keeps me dry and cool and hides sweat as much as possible. And if you know me at all, I like to be coordinated. So the top matches the bottoms all the way down to my shoes. There's just something about loving the outfit you're in. I push harder and aim for achieving better results so that I can look good in what I wear.

I also believe in rewarding oneself with new workout attire. When you lose inches or pounds, you want to show that off, right?! Someday I will have abs like hers above and quite possibly gain enough confidence to wear something like that. I'm inspired now!!

A few of my personal favorite workout brands are:
Turbo Wear
And now I'm interested in checking out the clothing from rogiani (as seen in photo above)

Who says just because you sweat that you shouldn't do it in style?!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Got some great news this week - I don't have to have surgery on my knee after all! I'm so excited...and I just can't hide it!

I have to wear my knee brace every day and go to Physical Therapy three times a week for the next few weeks, but my doctor seems to believe that I will be recovered and better than ever in just a few weeks. I can't WAIT to get back to teaching my fitness classes and get back to my workout routine.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


If you don't know me personally, you probably aren't aware that I am an American Idol voter. And when I say voter, I don't mean that lightly.

I mean, I log on to the voting site through my Facebook account and I vote for my favorite singer 50 times. Yes, you read that correctly: F-I-F-T-Y times! It would probably be more, but, there is a limit to the number of times one person may vote.

So who is it who has been getting all my votes this season? Phillip Phillips! I just LOVE his voice and his charm is working wonders for him as well.

 Let's hope my 50 votes keep sending him on his way to superstardom!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Now that Spring is officially here, artichokes are making more visible appearances in our markets and I just picked up two HUGE ones because they happen to be one of my favorite vegetables. While you can pretty much buy them year-round, I always look forward to eating them in Spring and Summer when they taste the best and make great complements to barbecue dishes.

What's more fun that eating the actual artichoke? Trying new dipping sauces... this one comes from Cooking Light so I don't feel too guilty eating it.

Ingredients -
  • 2 whole garlic heads
  • 4 medium artichokes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional) 
Directions -
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.

3. Cut off stems of artichokes, and remove bottom leaves. Trim about 1/2 inch from tops of artichokes. Place artichokes, stem ends down, in a large Dutch oven filled two-thirds with water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until a leaf near the center of each artichoke pulls out easily. Remove artichokes from pan.

4. Combine half of garlic pulp and wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Add broth; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in butter and salt. Pour mixture into a blender; add remaining half of garlic pulp. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Sprinkle dip with parsley, if desired. Serve dip with warm artichokes.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. - Harriet Tubman

Is there something BIG that you long for? I hope so! I can't imagine life would be much fun without having big goals and dreams to strive for.

What is it that you want? Have you written it down somewhere so you can see it every day and let it be a constant reminder to you? Have you determined the little goals that you must also achieve in order for the BIG goal to be accomplished?

Don't discount the baby steps. It's the little things that you do every single day that will help you get to the end result.

And speaking of end result - focus on it. Don't dwell on obstacles that may arise because I promise if you do, they will trip you up along your journey. Put your attention and all your energy on that end result and you just may turn your dream into reality sooner than you thought possible.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Do you need a tune-up for your body? We tune-up our cars, but why not our bodies?

With all the toxins we are subjected to on a daily basis, imagine just what your insides look and feel like after years of accumulating bad things. With Beachbody Ultimate Reset, in 21 days you can give your body the reset it needs to help you look better, make your organs function at their optimum levels and you may just benefit by living longer as a result.

Check out this video for more information:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012



MMM I love spaghetti and I love anything that involves that type of pasta. I am also a big fan of arugula, so naturally I was drawn to this recipe, which is one of Martha's and it sounds delicious!

Ingredients -
  • 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
  • Sea salt or coarse salt
  • 1 small shallot, cut into eighths
  • 1 Meyer lemon (about 5 ounces), cut into eighths and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons lemon or regular extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2 cups packed baby arugula
  • Freshly ground pepper
Directions -

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool completely.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, pulse pistachios and shallot in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Without cleaning processor bowl, finely chop lemon. Add to pistachios and shallot; stir to combine. Stir in 2 tablespoons oil.

3. Add pasta to boiling water; cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Toss pasta with pistachio mixture until coated. Add reserved cooking water; stir until sauce coats pasta. Stir in arugula, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining tablespoon oil; season with pepper. Divide among 4 serving plates.

Friday, April 13, 2012


OMG this is just too flippin' funny for words...

Have a fabulously fit Friday my friends!!! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Empty tissue boxes can provide easy and handy storage for plastic grocery bags.

Thanks GMAIL for the Recycle Tip! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Well, this is the exact pose I was doing three-weeks ago when I injured my knee and let me tell you, I can't wait for the day when I can do Warrior 1 again!

I haven't worked out since my injury and my body is going crazy. I feel so tight and wish I could just wake up tomorrow completely healed so I could get back to my workout routine!!!

Life sure has a funny way of slowing us down that's for sure...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012



How refreshing does this look? With Spring here and Summer around the corner, this drink just sounds oh, so good and such a fun treat for these warm, sunny days we are having.
  • 2 oz. strawberry infused Svedka vodka
  • 2 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Top with sparkling wine
  • Garnish with strawberries and mint

Friday, April 6, 2012


Find a "soul-mate" workout so you won't want to give up. When you do something you enjoy and you start seeing results, you'll keep at it and won't have to start over.

Leave your excuses at the door and get up and MOVE!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


While it's not quite a 3-day weekend, it's close enough. Tomorrow is a 1/2-day at work for me, which makes it more like a 2-1/2 day weekend!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I have been hunting for vegetarian recipes for a while since I had planned to go vegetarian for the month of April...however while cleaning out my fridge over the weekend I realized I have too much meat that I can't waste, so I'll take on the challenge in May. At least now I will have time to gather more recipes and make sure to consume all meat products in my house!

I love asparagus...and Spring greens...and Gorgonzola. So, I can only imagine I will LOVE this refreshing salad!

Ingredients -
  • 1 pound green and white asparagus, trimmed and cut into (2-inch) pieces
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, divided
  • 1 (5-ounce) package mixed salad greens
Directions -
1. Cook asparagus and 2 teaspoons salt in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse asparagus under cold water; drain.

2. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, shallots, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese.

3. Combine asparagus and greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Thanks once again to my favorite healthy recipe source Cooking Light for this delicious recipe.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I love this list.

#4 is my favorite. It's so true. So many times we sit and HOPE things will go our way and think our dreams will just all magically come true. Don't get me wrong, that would be really great if that's how things worked. But let's get real and face the truth. In order for things to happen and for us to reach goals and become successful, we must DO.

It starts with baby steps. Small actions that work us towards our big goals are the most important steps in our journey. You can't skip them. It's the small, mundane tasks that we must push ourselves through in order to reap the exciting benefits.

Don't give up. Remember, you are in control and you must be persistent and continue to grow and evolve. Be the best you that you can possibly be.

Have a great week my friends!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


21 Jump Street is HI-LARIOUS!

I HIGHLY recommend spending your Sunday Funday seeing this hilarious comedy. I laughed so hard.

And hello...two words...Channing Tatum! He's such a dream boat :)

While you're at the theater, you might as well stay and see Casa de Mi Padre. This is another HI-LARIOUS flick!

Happy laughing my friends :)

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Well, it's been a whole year since this picture was taken and it's already time for the 2012 Warrior Dash!

Something tells me though that I am just not meant to run this race. Last year I sprained my ankle after the third obstacle and this year...well...I sprained my knee a week before the big event! Can you believe it?!

It continues to be a goal of mine to actually cross the finish line of the 3.11 Hellish mile course with no injuries, but this year is not my year. I am actually somewhat afraid of even registering for next year's race. But Warriors do not give up. I WILL conquer the course...some day...

Hey, at least I went into the hospital in style last year. I mean, how cool is that viking hat?! And this year I have a sweet wrap around my knee... :)

Good luck to my fellow JGA Vikings - may you take on the course with all your might and may you return home injury-free!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


It's the little things, right?!

I can't stand it when people just walk right through as if it's someone else's job to hold a door for them. When did our world become filled with people who have this false notion that they are entitled to better treatment than others?

Gratitude goes a long way. And so do manners...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


LOL! This is so funny! I totally believe in all those things when it comes to making wishes...