Archive for March, 2011

March 31, 2011

A long time coming!

This post has been a long time coming.  After a rehearsal dinner, a wedding celebration, a trip to Atlanta, and a lot of work…I’m back!

Last Saturday, I had the great privilege of being a part of my dear friend Carrie’s wedding.  As you can see, she was a glowing bride!  You just can’t beat an outdoor Florida wedding in March.  It was gorgeous!

Plus, you gotta’ love when the bride picks out bridesmaid dresses you’d wear again!

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The bride and groom were beaming, dancing and so in love.  After the big celebration, J and I hit the road so I could get back home to leave for a work conference in Atlanta.

One of the most difficult things to do on a trip, let alone a work trip, is exercise.  I promised myself I’d get in at least one good workout.

I hopped on a treadmill and used one of Peanut Butter Fingers (kick my butt) treadmill workouts.  Check it out here:  25 minute hardcore treadmill workout. It felt so good to burn some calories and give my legs a stretch after a long car ride.

Now, it’s back to reality!  I’m excited to be back, dear bloggers!

It’s time to catch me up on what’s been going on with you!

How are you?  Do you find it hard to exercise on a vacation or work trip?  Have you ever been a bridesmaid in a wedding?  If so, did you ever re-wear the dress?


 

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March 24, 2011

Grocery shopping tips!

Yesterday, I hit up the grocery store with a list in hand, a couple coupons and the determination to get in and out of the store in at most, 30 minutes.  To my surprise, it was one of the best shopping experiences ever!  So, I thought I’d share with you all the tips that made it so pleasant.

  • Shop at a grocery store that you’re familiar with their layout.
  • Make a list!  You could even organize the list to the sections of the store.
  • If you use coupons, check out the weekly ad for promotions and match your coupons accordingly.  This provides ultimate savings!  It also helps with your weekly meal plans.
  • Don’t shop after work…this seems to be the busiest time of the day.
  • Read your fruit labels!  The numbers on the annoying sticker you always have to peel off before eating actually has meaning!  (This helpful tip comes from Jillian Michaels.)

Four numbers=The fruit was conventionally grown.

Five numbers, beginning with 9=The fruit was organically grown.

Five numbers, beginning with 8=The fruit was genetically engineered.

Jillian Michaels Master Your Metabolism © 2009

  • Be friendly with the store employees.  There are so many wonderful people who serve thankless customers all day long.  Make their day by being polite. 🙂

Here are the goods!

A successful trip indeed!

Now tell me, what was for dinner at your house?  Do you have any shopping tips to share?

March 21, 2011

A sad farewell.

This weekend J and I said a bittersweet farewell to our faithful old car.  This car has carried J to dozens of early morning college classes, through the northern winter, on our first date to The Old Spaghetti Factory, trips back home, our long drive to Florida, the place we now call home, and our first two years as a married couple.  Saying good bye to our car was like saying good bye to an old friend.  Although no tears were shed, our hearts seemed to ache a little bit more than we expected as we said farewell.

Good bye dear friend.

Have you ever experienced an emotional tug as you said good bye to an old car?

Good thing we had some comfort food in our bellies to carry us through.  Homemade Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders, courtesy of Everyday Italian© with Giada De Laurentiis.

For the chicken tenders, you need:

  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1.5 lbs chicken tenders (I used chicken breasts and cut them in strips.)
  • 3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 1/4 C freshly grated parmesan
  • Olive oil to brush on your baking sheet and drizzle over your chicken

For the dipping sauce, you need: (optional)

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Let’s start by placing your chicken tenders into your buttermilk and letting it stand for 15-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with tin foil and brush with olive oil.

To start the dipping sauce, finely chop the garlic and add in your salt.  Whisk in the vinegar and add 1/2 C olive oil.  Season with pepper and stir once more to ensure all the ingredients are properly mixed.

Next, mix your bread crumbs and parmesan together.  Take your chicken and generously coat in the bread crumbs and parmesan.

Drizzle a little olive oil over each chicken tender before baking at 500 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Add these crunchy chicken tenders to a side salad and voila, you have a meal in minutes!

And just like that, a little comfort food helped with our achy breaky hearts. 🙂

 

March 17, 2011

Guest post from “The Granola Chronicles”

Hello to Little Miss Fitness readers! I’m Courtney, and I blog over at The Granola Chronicles. I focus on healthy recipes (mostly, but not all, vegetarian meals), indulgent treats, Community Supported Agriculture & organic produce, as well as everyday life in northern California.


Soo contacted me a few weeks ago with some questions regarding Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and asked if I’d be interested in sharing information about CSA programs on her blog. I adore my CSA program, and I’m a huge advocate of local & organic produce, so of course I said yes!

First of all, if you’re not familiar with Local Harvest, you should check out their website. Local Harvest is a great resource for farmers’ markets, CSA programs, organic farms and sustainably grown foods. It offers great information, and you’ll be able to search for sustainable food in your area.


CSA programs allow consumers to purchase local and seasonal food directly from farmers. It is seriously the best program in the world! By purchasing fruits and vegetables directly from the farmers and growers, the middle-man is gone, and thus a strong local economy grows. It feels good knowing the produce I consume is grown my area and didn’t have to travel far.

Many CSA programs require a yearly contract. One can sign up for produce at the beginning of the growing season and receive it until harvest is over. The CSA that my husband and I belong to is done on a week-by-week basis. We do not sign any contracts, and we are under no obligation to purchase produce every week. We just pay when we choose to receive the organic fruits and vegetables.


Many CSAs deliver the produce boxes to households and some offer drop-off locations. You’ll want to make sure you know how you will be receiving your box before you sign up for a program. Make sure it works with your schedule!

I have a lot of recipes on my blog that feature CSA produce – be sure to check it out!

If you have any questions about CSAs or local & organic produce, please reach out to me. All my contact information is on my blog. Enjoy your day and remember to eat locally!

March 16, 2011

What gives you joy?

There are so many blessings in life that put a spring in my step.  Fresh flowers, a funny joke, a cool painting, a new baby, spending time with my husband, meeting new friends or hanging with old ones.  But one of my favorite blessings in life is the ability to run.  I am beyond grateful for the ability to use my arms and legs to exercise my body and my mind.

Yesterday, J ran for the first time since his nose surgery.  Before surgery, he couldn’t breathe out of his nose.  The simpliest exercises were 10x harder for him without the use of two airways.  As I write this, I’m smiling from ear to ear out of the joy and excitement that comes from the success of his surgery and his desire to lace up his shoes and start running again.

We ran together for about 20 minutes (2 miles) and then J grabbed his bike while I continued to run 25 more minutes. A total of 45:42.

As I was training for my half-marathon this past December, I rarely went by how many miles I ran, but rather how many minutes I ran.  I often say, “It’s not the miles, it’s the minutes.”  I’m not sure if this is the right way to train, but it sure worked for me. 🙂

I’m excited to hit the road again after work!  Running is such a feel-good drug.  Are you addicted?

Question of the day:  What gives you joy?

March 15, 2011

The benefits of meal planning.

Am I the only one who has a difficult time limiting one trip to the grocery store per week?  It has been a crazy busy month at our house and I feel like my meal planning and grocery shopping has quite frankly, been nonexistent.  When this happens, I know I spend way more money than usual and buy way less food.  How does that happen?!

So, finally after struggling to find a decent meal in my fridge, I decided it was time to make a list, shop for the week and enjoy some good ‘ol homecookin.

Here are the main entrees:

  • Home-made pesto pizza
  • Chicken fried rice
  • Chicken salad and garlic bread
  • Giada’s chicken fingers

My grocery listed included:

Meats

  • all natural chicken (with coupon)
  • deli meat
  • pepperoni

Veggies

  • organic lettuce (on sale)
  • broccoli (on sale)
  • organic carrots
  • vine ripe tomatoes
  • scallions

Fruit

  • nectarines
  • apples
  • peaches

Dairy

  • organic yogurt
  • mozzarella and parmesan (on sale and with coupon)
  • all natural sharp cheddar (on sale)
  • all natural buttermilk (for chicken fingers)

Extras

  • Wheat thins (on sale and with coupon)
  • all natural granola
  • all natural pesto
  • whole grain bread (buy one get one)
  • all natural ranch dressing (buy one get one and coupon)
  • Krusteaz Cinnamon Crumb Cake

*As you can tell, I don’t buy everything organic or all natural.  J and I are trying to keep on track with our monthly grocery expenses, so I do have to go without buying organic/all natural products sometimes.

Tonight, we had some personal pizzas.  J had pepperoni, pesto, and cheese.  I had pesto, pepperoni, cheese, peppers, red onion and fresh tomatoes on top after it’s baked. (That’s a trick J’s mom taught me.  Thanks, Pam!)

One of the best benefits of meal planning is having extra time in the morning and evening to relax.  One way we do this is by making muffins on Sunday to grab on the go for breakfast throughout the week.  Our favorite lately has been Krusteaz Cinnamon Crumb Cake Muffins.

I love these!  Takes less than 30 minutes to make.

It feel so good to be back on a meal planning schedule.  I have no intention on fighting the grocery store crowds anytime soon. 🙂

Now tell me, how often do you grocery shop?  Do you make lists?  Do you meal plan?  What’s your go-to dinner?

March 14, 2011

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

“Welcome muggles.”  That is the first thing I heard once stepping into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  If you’re familar with the books or have matched a movie or two, you will know that a muggle is a person of non-wizard blood.  I know, I’m really cool. 🙂

J and I had gotten some free passes to check out Islands of Adventure and decided to see what all the fuss was about regarding their newest attraction:  Harry Potter.

The entrance to Hogsmeade.

Hogwart’s

The first thing we did once entering…stood in line for Butterbeer.  It seriously was incredible.  There are no words to describe its creamy, smooth, cream soda type taste.  Well, I guess those words. 🙂

A quick stop at Honeyduke’s.  For $10 you could buy yourself your very own chocolate frog!  Hmmm…maybe next time…or maybe never.

As we left the park, J asked if we should get another Butterbeer.  Maybe next time my sweet muggle; yes, probably next time.

Question of the day:  Harry Potter or Twilight?  or Neither?


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March 13, 2011

Our first cocktail party.

Yesterday, J and I went to our very first cocktail party.  Granted, we definitely were the youngest couple there, we had a great time.  🙂  We were supporting the school J works at by eating our way through the hot spinach and artichoke dip, antipasto platters, shredded beef sandwiches, carrot cake mini-cupcakes and fresh fruit.  Yum. Yum. Yum.  It was actually at a very neat venue, the dinosaur exhibit at our local science center.

We even met a live statue!  It seriously would be the toughest job in the world!  No way could Miss Antsy over here stand still (in the same pose) for minutes at a time. Uh..yeah right!

We had a great time checking out all the silent auction pieces up for bid.  J donated some of his own artwork for the event. Here’s a quick look!

By the end of the night, I was pleasantly full with a $35 bid on a salon package worth $150.  My feet were sore and I was ready to put on my pj’s….and yes…it wasn’t even 10 p.m.  We may have been the youngest ones at the party, but we are definitely old souls at heart.  🙂

 

March 11, 2011

The Friday Five

I love to read!  When I was a little girl, my Mom and I began reading through The American Girl books.  Have you ever heard of them?  You could follow your favorite girl through adventures of her time period.  Though we’re miles away now, we’re still reading together.  Although this time, it’s  Jillian Michaels Master Your Metabolism.

For this Friday Five, I wanted to share with you five fantastic reads.  So, here goes…in no particular order….

1) Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent (Get a box of Kleenex for this one! A story of an unlikely friendship brought upon by only God’s divine plan.)

2) Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (A great fictional read.  You won’t want to put it down!)

3) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (I’ve actually only read books 1 &2, but so far, I love them!)

4) The Host by Stephenie Meyers (If you liked the Twilight series, check out another book by the same author!)

5) Intimate Allies by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman (Are you married?  Do you want to discover God’s design for marriage?  Check Intimate Allies out!  I read this book in a Relationships class in college…and loved it.  I hope you will, too! )

Now, dear bloggers…tell me…what’s your favorite read?  Do you like to read?  Do you have a Nook?  What one book can I not go without reading??

March 10, 2011

the tenth of March

March 10th is a good day.  On this day I am celebrating my dear husband’s birthday. His 25th birthday to be exact. 😉

Cinnamon birthday muffins!

I love to celebrate my husband’s birthday because without him here, I would have missed some of the best things in my life that I am so blessed with.

I wouldn’t be writing this blog today. (He’s the © of the name.) 🙂

I wouldn’t have ran one half marathon, let alone two.

I wouldn’t be traveling the world.

I wouldn’t have moved and had an adventure of a lifetime…meeting new friends and finding a job I absolutely love!

I wouldn’t understand the meaning of half of the world’s greatest pieces of artwork.

I wouldn’t be blessed with an amazing husband who loves Jesus and loves me more than he did yesterday. 🙂

 

Happy Birthday, my dear husband!  Life is so much better with you!!

JJP, let’s party!