My Weekend +Meal Ideas!

After an AMAZING weekend, I am back to this blog of mine.

One of my very best friends, Emily, got hitched this weekend to her prince charming!! It was such a blast, I am having a serious case of the Monday’s today.  I just love being with my girlfriends from college, there is nothing quite like it! It was such a beautiful wedding, and so amazing to see how happy my friend is! Again, congratulations to Emily and Mo!!!!!

Jessica emilys wedding

us at wedding

dancing

photo booth fun

 

Now, onto some meal ideas for this week! I have been trying lots of new recipes lately…trying to switch things up a bit! I have been slightly bored with my meal choices lately. Here is whats on the menu this week from alllllllll around the web!! I’ll let you all know what I find!

Quino enchilada casserole

 

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole….I think this sounds soooooo good! I will make some slight changes though!

paleo-potato-and-sausage-bake-640x427How good does this dish look from A Healthy Slice of Life!

Buffalo Chicken lettuce wraps…my own recipe!

I am also thinking an easy Chicken stir fry! As far as our lunches go…left overs/salads! So hopefully I will love these new recipes.  P.S….I am SOOOOO ready for SPRING!!!!! My FAVORITE season!!!!!!! :)

Do you like to try new recipes?! Ever feel like you eat the same stuff over and over?!?! 

 

 

How to Create a Playlist for Group Fitness

When I workout, music is everything.  I need it to be loud and inspiring with an amazing beat.  So when I teach, I need it to be all of those things.  Not only does it have to be inspiring and uplifting for me, but it has to be that way for other people too.  It has to motivate us all to get through the class and to push a little harder!

how to create a playlist

So naturally, the music I pick for my group fitness classes depends on the type of class that I am teaching. I always take into account the BPM, activity, and the audience! My classes always tell me what kind of music they like.  So I try to switch it up a bit!

One thing that I can’t stand, is music that is recreated by other artists that sound like chipmunks, I won’t mention the companies that offer this kind of music! It is the worst!!!!!! I do think there is a a type of class or place that you can use music like that, but I simply don’t find it motivating. It instantly turns me off to the class, but that’s just me! I like my aerobic music for my classes to be the original artists but changed into certain BPM and fun remixes!! It adds such a fun element to the classes!

I often use this site for all my music, its called Instructor Music, I personally think they have the best choices! I will also look on Spotify, itunes, and iheartradio for new remixes of music!

Once Its time to create a new routine for certain classes, let’s use step aerobics for example. I start to brainstorm what kind of music I want! i normally keep it at 136 BPM or 140 BPM. Sometimes I stick with a theme…80’s, Madonna vs. Michael, All Rihanna….Or a total mix! Then, I pick the music or playlist. Once, I have my music picked out….I let the creative juices flow and create my routine.

The opinions of this post are 100% my thoughts, and just want to share the love of where I find my music for my classes!

Does music inspire you? Who is your favorite artist to workout to? If your an instructor, where do you find your music? 

Weekend Review!

This weekend…how shall I describe it…perfect, awesome, and cold.  Yep, that about sums it up.  And Happy belated Valentine’s Day! We kicked off the weekend with a trip to Grit and Grace.  Such an awesome restaurant that we would highly recommend.  The food was delicious and the service was great! We had a fabulous time.  Nick and I are so bad at taking pictures…I need to make that a priority!

Saturday morning was cold and snowy.  My Step class was cancelled because the roads weren’t too great.  So therefore…a lot of this happened…coffee and snuggles with the animals! I am totally one of those crazy pet lovers, and okay with it! Can you spot Louie! Henry is so desperate for attention.  He saw me laying with the cat and naturally came up and laid on top of Louie to get the proper attention!  puppy snugglesAfter a few errands, we were stuck in the house all night! It was cold, snowy, and did I mention cold?! I thought it would be fun to do a Fondue night for Valentines Day! I followed this Fondue recipe, it was soooooo good! I think we will def make it again. I surprised Nick with all kinds of goodies.  What better way to a boys heart than a cheese and meat plate?! He loved it! I added all sorts of touches…nuts, jams, a bunch of different cheeses, french bread, olives, and a few other goodies!meat and cheese tray

I opted for some homemade gifts this year! I created a Date night jar! We always are saying we should do this or that but never do….So I saw a bunch of ideas on Pinterest and got creative! I had such a fun time creating the jar! I made the first date, Fondue night! Nick really liked it too! I am excited for some upcoming date ideas!!!

We woke up on Sunday craving French toast!!! Although, I ran out of butter, syrup, and vanilla.  But I managed, the french toast turned out yummy!!! I used lots of coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, and pecans! This happened…French toast

After lots of coffee,french toast and an episode of Mad Men, we got ready to venture out into the cold.  We headed to the Car Show at the Pittsburgh Convention Center, grocery shopping, and a target run.  I ended the day just relaxing and catching up on cleaning/laundry/and other chores!

It was a great weekend that ended too soon! Now onto a busy and fun week!!

What did you do for Valentines Day?! What was your best meal this weekend?! 

 

 

Day in the Life!

I thought it would be fun to do a Day in the Life post! I always enjoy reading these kinda posts on other blogs…so here goes! A look into my crazy day yesterday…Wednesday! Buckle up, its a long one!

6:30 AM–Alarm starts going off

6:30 AM–7:15 AM–Snooooooozed my way through my alarm.  Whoops.  ( I am so not a morning person)

7:30 AM–Showered and got ready for my day.

8:30 AM–Breakfast (high fiber cereal and a banana), coffee, and put dinner in the crockpot.  Slow cooker balsamic pork roast from SkinnyTaste.  oh and hung out with Henry, Louie, and Nick for a bit!

High fiber cereal with a banana

9:00 AM–Left for work!

9:30 AM–I taught my first class of the day, Cardio Strength.  It’s a class for seniors.  Its only a half an hour and focuses on strength, endurance, and balance.

10:00 AM–Checked and answered emails/phone calls, blogs, and did some paperwork and other items on my to do list.  Oh and ate an blood orange.

10:45 AM–More coffee.  Headed to our other campus at work.   I saw this cute sign and below and it made me smile! Coffee Shop Sign

11:00 AM–More work.  Created some programs for National Nutrition month.  Worked on creating some new workouts!

12:00 PM–Next class! 30 Minute strength class.  Did I mention that I coordinate all staff wellness, ya that’s my job. Keeping the staff healthy and fit!

12:30 PM–Finally, lunch.  I was hungry.  I sat with my co-workers and we chatted! I had some turkey breast and  laughing cow cheese in a corn tortilla with a side of bell peppers! Oh, and a huge jug of water!

1:15 PM–More work and a quick meeting! Catching up on emails, reviewing paperwork, once again…going through that to do list until my next class!

2:00 PM–Balance class.  Thirty minutes focused all on balance.  Strengthening, flexibility, and basic walking drills that challenge the balance.

2:30 PM–5:30 PM– A Meeting. Computer work.  Worked on some workouts and wellness plan for a client. Oh, and I sat in on our Weight Watcher at work program.

5:45 PM–Left work.  On my way to the gym while snacking on another blood orange.

6:00 PM–Cardio MIX time!  An hour long sweat session that I teach Wednesday nights! It was a great class that I will be feeling today, I was exhausted!

7:15 PM– Arrived home to a crazy beagle, grumpy cat, and a hungry boyfriend! Sounds about right!

7:30 PM–Dinner time! YUM!!!!! I put the pork on top of a salad, and had some refried beans on the side. This was so good, and the whole house smelled amazing.

balsamic pork dinner

8:00 PM–10:30 PM–Hung out with Nick, drank some tea and had some Trader Joe’s Ginger Snaps while Henry snuggled up beside me! Watched some tv, posted this post, some blog work/social media, oh and ordered some new doTerra products!

11:00 PM– Got ready for bed…my head hit the pillow, then I CRASHED!

Have a fantastic Thursday everyone, just think…we are soooooo close to Friday!!! 

Weekly Goals

Good Morning! I’d like to start off by saying…how amazing is John Legend.  I was blown away by his performance on The Grammy’s last night. I mean, his voice…amazing. I loved most of the performances…Madonna…Always my girl.  Beyonce and Rihanna, yep love them too!  And yes, I have to admit…Taylor Swift has really grown on me.

So my weekend consisted of loads of Kleenex, tea, and alternative cold medications.  Yep, I was sick! UGH! Although, I did’t let it hold me down to much.  Friday night was a sushi and ice cream date, if you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should) you’d see that amazing sundae I had! YUM! Saturday, nick was out of town, and I took advantage  of that. After my step class, I laid around and tried to kick whatever it was I had! Starting to feel a little better.  It was BEAUTIFUL here in Pittsburgh yesterday, so I did take Henry for a long walk, had to soak up all the sunshine.

As I mentioned last week…I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed by a lot.  So today, I thought I’d share some of my weekly goals to help keep me in check!

  1. Keep up with all my workouts.  Lots going on over here and to be honest, I feel most productive and at my best when I keep up with my workouts! A little step, HIIT, spinning…they are all on the list!
  2. Head to the grocery store tonight (didn’t make it there last night) with my list…stick to it.  Lots of new recipes this week! Isn’t it sad that this is a goal.  I know, I know…but if I don’t go, that’s when I fall off the wagon with my “diet”.
  3. Keep organizing this little piece of the internet called my blog…I have lots of things I want to do, but feeling overwhelmed.  So I am just crossing one thing at a time off the list! I finally organized my editorial calendar, and pretty pumped about it.  It should make my life a little easier!
  4. Keep my house in check.  Clothes, dishes, animals…ya life happens.  I didn’t get too much done around the house this week because I was a little under the weather. So tonight, I will be organizing.  Life happens.

That’s it folks…pretty simple goals for the week. Nothing crazy. All attainable.  Oh and by the way….I am PUMPED for The Bachelor!

What are your goals this week? Which Grammy performance did you like the best?! 

 

20 Minute Workout +My Favorite Things!

Friday, we meet again.  Lately, I feel like Friday has been coming around rather quickly.  AMEN to that! Plans this weekend?! Not much going on over here.  Which I am totally okay with! I thought I would share some things that I am currently loving….my favorites for the week! Here goes!

Picture1

1. This 20 minute workout I created, Ten 2 One. I have been doing it with my clients, with some of my HIIT classes, and in my own workouts.  I was FINALLY able to work out yesterday with my back (ICING did the trick)…and this is what I did, slightly modified.  Remember, this can be modified to your fitness level and also to the amount of time you have available.

20 minute workout2.  Celestial Seasonings Sweet Coconut Thai Chai Tea (say that 5X fast).  Its so tasty with a little bit of honey! Mmmmm!

3. Mad Men. I can’t stop watching!! I love it. I especially love the time period and the fashion in the 60’s. Netflix, your evil.  I just say, “oh, one more episode”.  Ya, that doesn’t happen!

4. Spinning.  My love for this class came back.  As long as the instructors playlist is awesome, then I LOVE it! I love the amount of calories you burn and cranking up the tension on the bike, you can really push yourself. If you’ve never tried spinning, try it. Don’t let it intimidate you, its great for all levels.

5. Jessica Smith TV.  My friend mentioned her to me! This girl has so many awesome workouts, great for at home when you just want to follow a tape! Perfect.

6.  This lovely makeup that I mentioned last week.  I really like it.

I think that’s it. Not a crazy list, but just a few of my favorites.  Have a great weekend my friends!

What did you love this week?! Any favorites? 

Mexican Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

OUCH! My back still hurts!  I am writing this with a bag of peas on my lower back. I haven’t been able to work out all week, only stretching, lots of stretching and some yoga sequences. Okay, enough rambling…

I have been searching high and low for some creative healthy meal ideas. I get bored easily with the same kinda stuff.    I am trying to stick with lighter fulfilling meals because I am currently doing Weight Watchers (works very well for me, we do an at work program!!).  As I mentioned before, I have been trying to plan for the whole week.  If I don’t do that, my “diet” gets out of control.  Its all about control people!!

So I had an extra spaghetti squash from last weeks meal planning.  And I was searching for  some inspiration. Ladies and gents….this was my inspiration.  Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash by The Comfort of Cooking.

SouthwesternStuffedSpaghettiSquash-31 (1)

 

I didn’t follow the recipe at all except for how to cook the actually squash prior to stuffing.  I love seeing fabulous recipes and creating them into your own. Which is exactly what I did, you should never feel that you have to follow every step/ingredient.  I sauteed ground turkey breast, onion, and  black beans  with some cumin and taco seasoning.  Then I cut the squash in half and shredded it.  I added the turkey mixture.  Top with a little cheddar cheese, light sour cream, scallions, and cilantro! And O.M.G.  So incredibly delicious.  I am playing around with a recipe for Mediterranean stuff squash! I will share that shortly!

I was too hungry and impatient to take pictures of my meal….plus I am working on my horrible food photography skills…they are horrendous!

Where do you find inspiration for meals/recipes? Do you meal plan, if not, do you “get out of control”?!?

{DIY} Bath Salt Soak

How was everyone’s weekend and Monday?! My weekend was fabulous (why do they go SO damn fast?!?!) and my Monday was not too great (more on that later).  The weekend was full of loads of things from friends, food, workouts, and to do lists! I was proud of myself that I managed in squeeze in two tough workouts (Step and Spinning) before eating alllll the snacks at the Super Bowl party.  Can I just say, I really enjoyed Katy Perry’s half time show.  There are so many haters out there….people, what more would you want from a half time show?! Just sayin! 
Yesterday, and lately, and I been feeling overwhelmed.  Right now, I have a lot on my plate. The weeks are just flying by, simply because there is just too much going on.  I just feel like I am being pulled in about 328 directions…ever feel that way? Well, yesterday, I had it.  I was a total grouch, didn’t quite feel like myself, left work a bit early, came home…and just tried to unwind a bit, hoping to feel better today.  THANK GOD I already had dinner in the crock pot.  I bought a bag of Canterbury Naturals soup mix from Target, Rustic Fireside Tortilla, ladies and gents…it was Delicious! I will definitely be buying more of this.  Perfect for a freezing cold day.  
To top it all off, I somehow managed to hurt my lower back, I mean OUCH! Its super sore and hurts to move. What’s my go to…a hot bath. I love taking baths.  Always have.  Probably always will.  Even as a little girl, I would ask my mom if she would light candles, make me a cup of tea, and turn on some music.  I was eight.  My mom created a  princess an awesome young lady! :) 
I still do this, now I sometimes have wine instead of tea, I’ve grown up a bit! I find baths so relaxing and soothing, am I the only one?!  As an added health benefit, I have created a {DIY} bath soak.  It’s so simple yet so wonderful for our bodies.  I add this all the time if I am aching after a workout, sick, tired, or even just need a boost! It is exactly what I needed after my Monday and a sore back.
Follow  the instructions below for your very own tub soak, this would make a great gift for someone! 
 
DIY bath salt soak
 
What will you need:
1 Cup Epsom Salt (I bought a large bath at Target)
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
20 Drops Essential Oil (This is optional, I used DoTerra Lavender) 
Glass Jar to store it in
~Mix all ingredients in jar.  When your ready for your bath, mix in about 1/4 C–1/2 C of mixture. Then, you relax! Enjoy!! 
What is your favorite way to relax after a long day? Did you watch The Bachelor?!?! OMG, the DRAMA!!!! What did you think?  
 

Killer Tabata Workout

This week is flying by. Honest to pete, I feel like it was just Monday and crazy snowmagadon (SPELLING?) HA!  So did you guys sign up for The Skimm?! Are you loving it and feel like you ready to battle your friends in a debate with all your current event knowledge!? Okay, on to the real fun!

What is your favorite workout to do?! What do you find fun? As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I get to teach to a variety of different populations and classes .  I LOVE to take group fit classes, always have.  My all time favorite is step aerobics.  I can’t be alone on this?!? I just love when the music is super loud and all you can think about is not falling flat on your face, on top of your step. Yea, that’s never happened to me! ;) And before you know it,  the whole hour is up.   So when I get to workout on my “own” time, I simply forget what I enjoy because it’s not in front of a group.  Strange right?! However, I do know that I like workouts that are straight to the point.

I am loving the Tabata style workouts right now.  I love them because they instantly increase your heart rate, get  blood pumping and sweat pouring.  I love incorporating them into my classes like step, spin, and basic aerobics.  When working one on one with clients, this is always a great go to workout to get them working hard and the time flying by.

Killer Tabata

 

It mixes in easy and basic exercises with some challenging go to’s.  Want a real challenge, repeat whole series TWICE! I hope everyone has a fantastic Thursday! and YES, tomorrow is FRIDAY! WOO!

What is your favorite exercise? Do you like Tabata?

What about Step aerobics?!