Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Outdoor HIIT Workout

Hello friends, I have a fun workout to share with you today, If you are a fan of HIIT workouts, this is one for you!

To begin, what is HIIT? 

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is defined as an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods.

I started learning more about HIIT when my workout time became limited (usually they take place at 5:15 am in the morning) and I got tired when it seemed an 8-mile run was the only way of fitting a good workout into my daily routine. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE long runs, but time does not always allow for that. Given winters in Seattle, it is hard to keep up with running long distances as well.

Now that Seattle is beautiful, sunny and hitting temperatures in the 80's, I look forward to working out OUTSIDE when work is over.

I decided to go on a 3-mile run but incorporated fast bursts of cardio after each mile and dedicated myself to sprint up each hill I came to. 

Here is what it ended up looking like:

Run mile one
Perform 20 jumping squats
Run mile two
Perform 20 jumping lunges
Run mile three
Perform 20 skaters

My legs were shaking afterwards and my face was dripping sweat. GOAL! All under 30 minutes.

What HIIT workouts do you love?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! This weekend was a mix of good things and bad things, let's start with the good first. Dustin finally saw our venue! Dad graciously flew up to join Dustin and me as we toured our venue with the caterer, figured out layout, our decor, etc. Our wonderful friends Georgia, Teresa and Dustin's parents joined as well. Dustin's and his dad spent their time figuring out the best way to string the string lights which made me a happy camper. I fell in love with out venue again, it was a beautiful day and I just get the biggest smile on my face when I think about our wedding day! Dustin, Dad and I had beers at BJ's Brewery afterwards and filtered through wedding details and we left feeling good about where we are at!

Friday and Saturday were a little chaotic after mom's procedure. Mom had a Pleurix Drainage Tube inserted in her left side on Thursday, due to mom's weak and tiny body, each procedure is tough on her physically and mentally. She has fought through each recovery thus far and I am hopeful that she will regain a bit of strength.

Becky and I played Nurse and Nurse Aide over the weekend assembling bandages, draining fluids and making sure mom was comfortable overall. This weekend I am looking forward to happier things like celebrating Becky's retirement at Emerald Downs and Mom's Birthday!

On Sunday, Dustin and I hit up our never ending "to-do" list again. We went to pick out a suit for him and I found the most perfect black matte skinny tie that I was envisioning. Dustin and I decided on a suit that is a "gun metal gray", different from my original idea but we both really loved it. Thanks to the Men's Wearhouse "deal" we were able to purchase a suit for Nick (his brother) for only $100.00. Afterwards, we went to get Dustin's ring finger sized (Dustin double checked with me beforehand to make sure it was "his left finger?") hooray for checking things off of our list!

As my Granddad would say, "Isn't he sharp?"

Next on our list was to work on our marriage covenant before our next meeting with Chris. Dustin suggested we work on this over beers and pretzels at a German bar in West Seattle, who could say no to that? As we were about to leave, Dustin noticed the Mariner game was in the 8th inning so we decided to stay a bit longer, good thing we did since the bartender treated us to a a free beer :).

After Prost! and our weekly grocery shopping, it was time to relax and enjoy our Sunday night! I hope you all had a great weekend :).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Meal Prep!

It's that time again to get thinking about dinners and meals for this week.

Here is what is on my agenda:

Tilapia or chicken served with this Creamy Avacado Pasta

I also plan to make a new green smoothie (using my green ice cubes) in the morning using green apples and carrots from this Runner's World Recipe

Lot's of green, eh??

Dustin also has been talking about his grandmothers chicken and rice casserole, so perhaps this might make an appearance as well :).

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Favorite Protein (Milk) Shake

As some of you may know, I spent my high school years and college summers working at Emerald City Smoothie. My experience there drives me to put together the best tasting smoothies that are actually healthy. The past couple of years I have drank my fair share of green smoothies, so I thought it might be time to focus on another drink I could blend together after a work out.

I really liked the style of shakes that Dashing Dish puts together, but her use of stevia didn't enthuse me. However, I did learn about the use of cottage cheese (weird, right?) and peanut butter flour. So, here is a recipe I put together making use of similar ingredients from Dashing Dish.

- 1/2 cup cottage cheese (this gives it a milk shake consistency)
- 8 ice cubes
- 1 scoop Designer Whey Chocolate Protein
- 2 tsp. Raw Organic Honey (this was what I used versus the stevia she uses)
- 1 tbsp. PB2 Peanut Flour
- 1 tsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (1 tsp. less that Dashing Dish version)

Satisfying, yummy, healthy protein! Would you try cottage cheese in your smoothie?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Home Accents

When decorating, what does your eye draw attention to? Lately, I am loving anything that is brass and gold. I think these accent pieces are timeless and classic. They really help play up neutral pieces and help make the simple things (like our gray headboard) pop! What do you think? Here are a few things I love that are brass and gold.

Will You Encourage Someone Today?

Ever since out meetings with Chris, so many verses are finding me in the craziest of ways! How perfect is this verse above? Encouraging words can be overlooked in our daily lives but it is amazing what an unexpected word of encouragement can do for someone. 

Monday, April 21, 2014


One of my favorite things about my sister and I's relationship is how we lean on one another for support and encouragement. I love when she sends me uplifting verses, healthy recipes, work out ideas and just something funny that will make me bust out laughing in the middle of my work day.

How beautiful is this verse that she sent to me today? So often I dwell on my weaknesses, I believe my biggest weaknesses are jealousy, patience and comparing myself to those around me. Being with friends, family and doing something that makes ME happy is usually the best way for me to shake those feelings. I also just love spending time in prayer as well before heading to bed.

What are some of your weaknesses, if you care to share?

England, Germany and Ireland

I am so happy because I just booked our flights to London, England! We have been talking about this trip for a while now and I am one happy girl knowing that our plans are actually coming along.

We are still looking for a good fare back from Dublin, Ireland but wanted to book London since I was confident in the deal that I found for us. Also, over the weekend we booked our room in Munich using We will be meeting our friends Jim and Molly over there for Oktoberfest.
So far here is what are thinking as far as travel:

Arrive in London on Thursday, September 25th
Arrive in Munich on Monday, September 29th
Arrive in Ireland on Thursday, October 2nd
Arrive back in Seattle on Saturday, October 4th

Can you tell I am a bit excited?! Expect more travel posts soon :).

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Meal Preppin'

Last week's meal prep was pretty successful! We only made the strawberry, goat cheese and chicken salad since Becky sent leftovers home with us on Wednesday night. So I still have the Tilapia and brown rice ready to go for lunches or a dinner next week, score!

The veggie fritata muffins were not my favorite, luckily Dustin still ate them up. He also helped eat up the turkey, black bean and corn wraps for lunches. I think I am simply a scrambled egg girl in the mornings.

The green ice cube trick is by far my favorite and they made morning smoothies a cinch to whip together. Since I had cottage cheese leftover from the fritata muffins, I tried one of these smoothies (using PB2 peanut flour) and it was SO good.

This week I will be using ingredients I bought last week, so here are my ideas for dinners:

Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce

I have all of these ingredients on hand, all I need to do is pick up fresh veggies!

Tilapia and Brown Rice

As I mentioned before, we still have everything ready to go for this meal! Maybe I'll add a Parmesan crust?

I am still looking for some crock pot meals, so if you have any that you love please send some over!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wedding Invitations

Last night, I stuffed, sealed, stamped and addressed our wedding invitations! I used to personally customize and design them and am so happy with how they turned out! A big thank you to Morgan for proof reading about 100 times.

Since our Save The Dates were stolen (we had to pay to send two rounds), our budget was a little tighter and we decided to forego RSVP and Accommodation cards. We are making the best use of our website as a place for guests to find anything they might need.

Here are our invitations, what do you think?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What's On Your Bucket List?

What is on your Bucket List? Here are a few things on mine:

1) Go on a Safari

2) Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

3) Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge + Bungee Jump

4) See the Pyramids + Ride a Camel

5) Go to the Kentucky Derby + Wear a Big Hat

6) Visit London, Paris and Ireland

Here are some things I have checked off so far!

1) Go skydiving!

2) Run a Half-Marathon + Compete in a Triathlon

3) Go parasailing in Mexico

4) Study abroad in Italy

5) Drink Beer in Munich + Bike through the English Gardens

6) Hike (you must) the 5 fire cities (Cinque Terre)

7) See the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Vatican (+saw the Pope!) and Trevi Fountain

8) Swim in the Blue Grotto in Capri!

9) Go on a cross-country road trip!

Tell me what is on your list!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Best Lazy Morning Workout

I have a work out I want to share with you and I am calling it my lazy morning workout.

Last night, I didn't sleep very well but still managed to get up and hit the gym when my alarm blared loudly at 5:15 am. My brain was not fully functioning and I was relying on the gym to help wake me up. 

I hopped on the elliptical machine and set it for 20 minutes, just enough time to get a little sweat action. When I start out on a cardio machine, I set it to the "interval" program. I like this program best because I get fast, frequent bursts of high intense cardio with one minute "rest periods" in between at a lower speed and resistance. Easy enough, right?   

Okay, onto my go-to "lazy" work out. 

I love to do the Scientific 7-minute Workout and follow the sequence routine two times through! I have the 7-minute app on my phone so it literally requires no thinking or brain effort. I simply push "start work out" and the nice friendly lady on the phone guides me through the workout telling me when to start, stop and rest.  I love it! 

Performing this routine two times through is the just the right amount of "challenge" you'll want early in the morning and you'll still feel like you targeted all of the right "problem" areas.

Here is what the New York Times says about the 7-Minute Workout, "The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done."

What is your "go-to" workout?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Songs

I saw found this printable on my favorite flash sale site this morning.  I just love these lyrics and thought it would make for an appropriate Sunday post, enjoy! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Meal Preppin' + New Goals

Last week I struggled a bit in the category of meal prep.  I have always been great when it comes to making breakfast and lunches daily. As of late, by the time I get off of work all I want to do is to grab a happy hour or take-out. So I want to combat this and set new goals for myself. That is what blogging is all about, right?

I mentioned in this post that I struggle to keep fresh ingredients in the fridge for dinner. I hate wasting food, however with all of the time I spend down at my mom's, I find it difficult to keep food on-hand that are ready to eat.

So my goal is to plan out our meals more strategically and have two planned dinners ready for the week.  I would like to use this blog as a way to lay everything out in the beginning of each week.

So I introduce to you week one!

Green Smoothies

I want to start up my morning green smoothies again.  I read about this trick on my friends blog, brilliant!  What a perfect to eliminate my terrible habit of throwing away wilted spinach leaves at the end of the week. Will plan to add strawberries, blueberries and pineapple as well.


- These veggie fritata muffins are a simple way to whip together easy breakfasts for the week.  I plan to use this recipe and add any ingredients that need to be used up!


I have used this recipe before for dinner but also think it would be great for work lunches. I love that the author even states that this recipe is great frozen and thawed. I have some frozen ground turkey that would be great in this as well, a dollop of greek yogurt would also add some creaminess as well.


Tilapia + Brown Rice

My aunt made some yummy tilapia this weekend and it reinforced my decision to add this to our dinner menu this week. Brown rice is also easy to prep with my rice cooker, maybe topped with this homemade dressing?

Romaine, Strawberry, Chicken + Goat Cheese Salad

I made this salad last week and it was heavenly. I still have extra goat cheese and frozen chicken breasts, so making this should be relatively easy to pull together.  Dustin loves this as well, bonus!


Currently loving pita chips + hummus. I also always keep sharp cheddar cheese, apricots, marcona almonds and bananas on hand at work.

Wish me luck as I go into week one! What are your favorite ways to meal prep? What are your favorite crock pot recipes? I would love to hear!

Friday, April 11, 2014


Hello friends! Please forgive me as I have been a terrible blogger this week. Time seemed to slip away from me, especially at work.  Here are a few highlights from the week -

- Dustin and I took advantage of the Seattle sun and went on a run together (this never happens) on Monday

- I had happy hour with some girlfriends from high school on Tuesday night

- Spent time with my mom!

- Dustin and I went to the Mariner's Game and we had snacks here before, so so so good.

- We looked at a house in Fairwood (Renton area) last night, but decided it was too far away for our liking

Have a happy weekend!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Flowers, Thank You's, Desserts and Invitations!

Good Morning! A few things that happened over the weekend worth mentioning -

1) Flower Samples

My dear friend, Georgia and I spent our Saturday afternoon together working on flower arrangements.  Pulling inspiration from several photos that I like, here is a sample of what we are working towards -

2) Thank You Notes

I have been working away trying to get all of these finished and stamped by the end of the week, feeling blessed that is for sure!

3) Desserts

I met with our good friend and neighbor, Teresa who is a wizard with desserts!  She has an incredible amount of baking talent and an eye for style. See her Facebook "T's Sweet Designs".  She is currently working on her own business that consists of crafting beautiful dessert tables for events. Here are some photos of where we are pulling inspiration from, her daughter's beautiful table!  My mom was also able to sit with us while we chatting and came up with ideas, so fun! This is also where I plan to use the botanical letters, but with a different saying not sure what that will be yet.


4) Invitations

These are ALMOST done.  With several "eyes" this weekend and multiple reviews of design proofs, I am SO happy with how these are looking. Pictures to come once they are completed and mailed!

Other events that filled my weekend included Dustin grilling pork steaks for us girls Friday night, watching the UK game with teriyaki take-out on Saturday with mom and Becky and 2 runs with Mya!