OMG! A New Blog Post!

Edited to apologize for the hugeness of the images initially!  I posted from my phone and didn’t realize.  Sorry guys!

Oh hai guys remember me?!? The girl who used to blog here with some semblance of frequency and regularity? Oh yeah, I remember that too. I’ve been feeling motivated to start blogging more regularly again – possibly taking more of a Tumbler, micro-blog approach. So what have I been up to since my last post in April? Well… if you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen clips.

I ran a half marathon pretty under trained and still did well. Full recap coming eventually, maybe. (I wrote about 60% of it back in May and just never got around to adding picture and posting.)
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I ran a 3.5 mile race with co-workers at the Chase Corporate Challenge. I placed top 3 women for my office with a 10-minute mile.
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I’ve continued right along with wedding planning. I sent Save the Dates. I’m heading into planning round 2 now. This mostly involves a lot of crafting. I finished my invites and have those 90% ready to send.
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I attended the American Beer Classic again this year. This time with a few guy friends.
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I turned 30! Holy crap, I turned 30 and didn’t even post about it! My mom made me a Care Bear cake because that’s totally normal for a 30th birthday right? The boyfriend threw me a surprise dinner at a local hibachi place with 30 of my nearest and dearest friends! It was wonderful!
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I went on a Caribbean cruise with the fiance and some of his family. We visited the Bacardi distillery and drank rum at 9 in the morning.
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I got my nose pierced.

I quit biting my nails (for now at least) in anticipation of trying out Jamberry Nails thanks to my blog bestie Laura becoming a consultant.
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I visited both Chicago zoos with friends and their kiddos and took a selfie with a giraffe.
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We biked 21 miles on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trails, and stopped to visit the Taste and Brew of Kalamazoo.

We had a BBQ for Nik’s birthday, and i made a ridiculous homemade ice cream cake.
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I drank a lot of beer.

That about sums up the last 4 months! I promise I won’t wait another 4 months to post again!

I’m a Kitchen Ninja

I started this post two weeks ago, but then some very stressful life stuff came up.  The kind I’m not going to share with the entire interwebs.  Things are all better now though.

Disclaimer: I received a Ninja Ultima free in exchange for a review.  As always, all thoughts and options are my own.

Way back in September, at the Healthy Living Summit in Minneapolis, I got the opportunity to hook up with the people over at Ninja Kitchen and try out their Ninja Ultima blender to review for all of you.  Then I promptly became an epic blog slacker….it happens.  But I freaking love this blender so better late than never, right?

ninja

To be totally honest, left to my own decision making skills, I would have lived a sad Ninja-less existence.  I had a perfectly functional Kitchen-Aid blender, and the Ninja Ultima is not the cheapest blender on the block (though it’s certainly not the most expensive either!) Having used the blender, I would certainly purchase one on my own, and I would definitely recommend the Ninja brand to others.

So what are some of the things I’ve made with my Ninja so far?  Well, in no particular order (and not an all inclusive list…)

  •  Creamy Cauliflower Sauce from A Pinch of Yum
  • Waffle batter
  • Tomato Soup from Eat Live Run (I did make grilled cheese too, but not in the blender)
  • The creamiest cheese sauce for mac and cheese I’ve ever made in my life…
  • Pumpkin pie filling
  • So.Many.Smoothies.  The single serving cups that come with the blender are absolutely perfect for smoothie making.  So much more effective than the Magic Bullet and so much less clean up than using a normal blender.
  • This potato soup from Weight Watchers.
  • Green juice though this was probably my least favorite since I’m not a fan of pulpy juice, but if you don’t mind pulpy juice (or straining the juice) the Ninja is a great way to avoid the unitasker that is a juicer.

ninja blending

I only have one real complaint* about then blender, and that is it is crazy loud.  Like, my pets are more scared of this blender than they are of the vacuum loud.  It sounds roughly like a jet-engine tearing through the kitchen.

*My other complaint is that the blades are seriously sharp, but I guess if they weren’t crazy sharp, it wouldn’t be such a badass blender. So ultimately it’s my own fault that I’m stupid clumsy and have cut myself on about four different occasions while cleaning this bad boy.

So if you’re in the market for a new blender, you should definitely check out the Ninja Ultima.

Disclaimer: I received a Ninja Ultima free in exchange for a review.  As always, all thoughts and options are my own.

Twosday IV: on Wednesday

TV Shows I Waited WAY TOO LONG to Start Watching

  1. @midnight. – I don’t know why it took me so long to start watching this since I love all things Nerdist. (I had an epic crush on Chris Hardwick back before he was king of the nerds and hosting Singled Out.) This show is beyond hilarious.  I’ve laughed out loud through every episode I’ve watched.
  2. House of Cards. - Political dramas aren’t really my thing so while this show has been on my to watch list for a while now, it hasn’t been a priority.  We’re three episodes in now though, and I’m hooked.  Kevin Spacey is amazing.

Podcasts I Waited WAY TOO LONG to Start Listening

  1. NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour – I actually tried to listen to this one in that past because I know many people who love it, but I struggled to get in to it.  I now realized my problem was I was listening to old episodes.  Pop culture is decidedly less interesting when it’s not timely.
  2. NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me – This is actually part of an effort I’m making to keep up with the news.  I’m now completely hooked, and really want to go see this live.  (I work 2 blocks from the theather and regularly go to the building to get India food for lunch.)

TV Shows I’m Super Excited About a New Season

  1. Orphan Black – I started watching this show completely on a whim.  It airs on Saturday night after Doctor Who so we’d seen commercials for it, but never actually watched. I couldn’t find it on any streaming platforms so I ended up actually getting the DVDs through Netflix.  We were hooked on the first episode.  The new season starts April 19th (10 days!!).  Oh and if you’re interested (and you should be!) Season 1 is now available through Amazon Prime Instant Video.
  2. Doctor Who – I love Doctor Who, and I’m excited to start the adventure with a new Doctor.

Weekend Events Un-Related to TV (and Unintentionally Related) to the Wedding that I’m Super Excited About

  1. The engagement party his family is throwing for us.  Despite my feelings that it’s probably not necessary to have an engagement party 4 months into an 11 month engagement, it will be really nice to have all of our family together in one place.
  2. Going dress shopping with my brideslaves, er, bridesmaids.  Since my sister-in-law (and co-Matron of honor) will be in town for the engagement party, I decided to round up the rest of my local girls to go dress shopping.  I’m mostly just excited to hang out with everyone.  The dress shopping is kind of secondary to that.

Signs Spring Might Actually be Arriving in Chicago…Maybe.

  1. gladiolas
    These gladiolas starting to pop through in my sad, sad flower bed.
  2. I went for a run after work yesterday in just capris and a t-shirt!

Weekly Wrap Up: 3/29 – 4/4

Weekly Wrap-up In an effort to keep myself engaged and accountable via social media, I’m going to start a weekly wrap up with my workouts, weigh-in, etc.

Eats: MyFitnessPal Food Diary

 

Workouts:
I was sick over the weekend and at beginning of the week so my planned workouts for the weekend and Monday were replaced with the couch, tv, and sleeping.  I also had two unplanned happy hours for work which led to missed workouts.

Sunday sick day
Monday sick day
Tuesday Plank a Day and 30 minute HardCORE Yoga
Wednesday Plank a Day, 20 minute Yoga for Weight Loss and 30 minutes of walking and jogging with Maxwell dog
Thursday rest day
Friday unplanned rest day
Saturday Trainer appointment and Plank a Day

Weight: 162.8 down .2lbs from last week.

Goals for next week: Get at least two morning workouts in.

21-Day Yoga Challenge

When I posted my April goals last week, I completely forgot to include the fact that I’m participating in the YogaDownload 21-Day Bootcamp Challenge.  (I’m skipping the cleanse part, but I am planning to add some juice and/ or smoothies to my daily routine. ) Last January I did a 21-day challenge through the site, and I loved it. I loved the feeling of practicing daily, but as it happens, things got busier (and I wasn’t getting a pre-selected class and email reminder,) and I slowly fell away from daily practice into weekly practice into maybe a couple time a month into I don’t remember the last time I practiced.

yoga (Source)

So when I saw the challenge posted on Facebook, I decided to jump on it.  (It also helped that they were offering their Elite Membership for $10.)  Yesterday was the first class, and it was their HardCORE Yoga.  Tuesdays are my busy days so I did the 30 minute class, and that was more than enough for my body.  I’m really looking forward to rebuilding my strength, stamina and flexibity with this challenge.

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