Monday, July 25, 2011

This Week in Fitness/Moving Time!

Monday 7/18: None (traveling all day)

Tuesday 7/19: None (recovering all day...who knew a 3 hour time difference could cause jet lag?!)

Wednesday 7/20: Jillian's Best Moves from Exercise OnDemand...I didn't do all of it. It's a KILLER workout and would take about 2 hours. I did about 1 hour worth of it.

Thursday 7/21: 2-mile jog + 1-mile walk

Friday 7/22: 1-mile jog + 2-mile walk

Saturday 7/23: Xtreme Timesaver Training (Jackie Warner) DVD

Sunday 7/24: None (although I was organizing for packers/movers to come all day so I still got in some movement!)

The move has officially begun!! The packers arrived this morning to start putting our life into boxes. Today and tomorrow are packing days, then on Wednesday they pick everything up. Friday we leave Arizona for good and start making the long trek towards Tennessee!

Time for a new chapter in our Army life!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Week in Fitness/Boston Trip

Sorry I'm late this week! I don't know if anyone actually cares about these fitness posts, but I feel accountable for sharing my workouts (or lack there of, as the case may be this week)! The reason for my late post this week is because I was traveling back from a fabulous trip to Boston on Monday!

And things are only going to get crazier from here....the big move officially starts next week! Ahhhh! Bear with me through my potential lack of posting over the next few weeks. I'll try to pop in from time to time!

Monday 7/11:
45 minutes walking on the treadmill at alternating inclines between 5.0-10.0

Tuesday 7/12: 30 Day Shred Level 3 + 15 minutes walking on the treadmill (10 min. @ 8.0, 5 min. @ 2.0)

Wednesday 7/13: 25 minutes of intervals (1 min. run & 1 min. walk) plus a 5 minute warm-up and a 10 minute cool-down (40 minutes total)

Thursday-Monday: Rest Days....On vacation in Boston with my friends! We walked (and danced) a TON though so I still got some good movement in. :)

Just for kicks, here are some of my favorite pics from Boston...
Me at the ocean!

The whole group at Cheers....where everybody knows your name!

Connie, Lori & Me dancing the night away!

We're Army wives....but we support all branches of the miltary!! :)

This random guy photo-bombed this picture of Lindsey and it makes me laugh.

Ice cream!! My vacations always revolve around food! (That's me, Lindsey & Lori)

More dancing/singing. (Lindsey, Kate & Emma)

Walking the streets of Beantown. (Me, Emma & Connie)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Perfection

Just popping in to share my idea of a perfect summer lunch.

A panini made with fresh mozzarella slices, tomato, baby spinach and a schmear of pesto. Plus a side of extra ripe, juicy peaches on the side.

(I use my George Foreman to make paninis and it works like a charm.)

Peaches are so good right now! Yum.

I love summer!

What's your favorite summer lunch?

Monday, July 11, 2011

This Week in Fitness

Another week in fitness, another week of just-okay workouts. I have obviously been less than motivated lately and my workouts have suffered.

I think my lackluster workout regime is a result of:

A) The ridiculous heat. It's like pulling teeth to get me to go run outside these days. Most of my runs are done on the treadmill, or more appropriately the "dreadmill". I hate running on a treadmill BUT at least it can be done in an air conditioned room with a fan blasting. Ah well...I'll get back on my running routine when the Fall arrives. :)

B) The house purchase/the impending move. My mind has obviously been elsewhere lately and I'm okay with that! It's an exciting time for us and there is a lot to get done before and after the move. We're less than 3 weeks away from moving so there are a lot of appointments to set up, calls to make, moving prep to do, etc.

Anyway, after making excuses, now I'll let you look at my workouts for the week. I'm still proud of the fact that I fit in what I did!

Monday 7/4: 2-mile jog

Tuesday 7/5: Jackie Warner's X-treme Timesaver Training DVD

Wednesday 7/6: Rest

Thursday 7/7: Jogged 3 miles + some tricep dips & pushups

Friday 7/8: Sexy & Strong (from Exercise OnDemand) + Butt Bible Lower 1** (from Exercise OnDemand) + 10-minute jog

**Yes, I do realize that "Butt Bible" is quite possibly the most annoying name for a workout video ever. And the host is also extremely annoying. However, I felt the burn in my I guess there's that.

Saturday 7/9: 2-mile jog

Sunday 7/10: Jackie's Power Circuit Training DVD

How was your week in fitness? Do you notice your workout motivation slipping during certain times of the year or around big events?

We need to all keep this in mind sometimes:
So true!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Scream, You Scream

We all scream for ice cream!

I have a long and loving history with cheesecake ice cream. I first fell in love with the flavor combo at a Marble Slab Creamery. If you haven't been to a Marble Slab, go to the website, find the store closest to you, and go there now. Seriously, trust me on this....I think it's the best store-bought ice cream out there!

When I got my driver's license I would often go to Marble Slab at least 2 times a week and get a pint of the cheesecake ice cream to take home. Wow...gotta love young metabolisms!

Unfortunately, there is no Marble Slab within 3 hours of where I live now so I had to get creative to satisfy my beloved ice cream craving. (However, I definitely just checked and there are two Marble Slabs in Nashville, less than an hour from our next duty station! Woohoo!!)

I searched the web for cheesecake ice cream recipes and ultimately decided on the one that looked the easiest and didn't involve any stovetop cooking. I mixed up the ice cream base in the food processor and then popped it in the fridge for about 8 hours to chill.

Then I used my Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment to freeze the mixture. And the result was.....

Rich, creamy, tangy, perfectly cheesecakey (yes, it's a word).

My husband was mmm-ing the whole way through his bowl. It was almost obnoxious.

He's already requested that I make it again. Given that it's not exactly a health food, he might have to wait a little more than 2 days before I make it again.

Cheesecake Ice Cream
Source: adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop

8 ounces (1 box) cream cheese (I used reduced-fat)
1 cup sour cream (I used 0% greek yogurt)
1/2 cup light cream (I used half and half)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon (I omitted)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour into container, seal tightly, and refrigerate until well chilled.

When ice cream base is chilled, process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Place finished ice cream in a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze immediately. Let ripen in freezer for at least 3 hours before serving, for best results.

Note: Next time I would probably double the recipe because it didn't make that much. Just enough for two me-size servings and two Husband-size servings.

Also, this ice cream is VERY rich so next time I might try using more half and half or milk to take down the richness a bit.

EDITED TO ADD: I made this a second time and I made some changes to make it a little less rich...
-Increased half and half to 3/4 cup
-Added 1/2 cup of skim milk (it was all I had...I would have preferred 1% or 2%)

These changes resulted in a not-so-rich but still totally delicious ice cream. It does freeze a little harder (because of the lower fat content) so just be sure to let it sit out of the freezer for 10 minutes or so before serving.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mil Spouse Friday Fill-In #48

Howdy friends! If you're looking for more information on the Fill-in go to Wife of a Sailor's blog.

1. Does you significant other read your blog? Is this a good or a bad thing?
Yes!! He is probably my number one blog supporter. He scolds me if I haven't blogged in a while, gives me ideas, and tells me if I make a mistake. He has even considered writing a couple "guest posts" but never got around to it. I'm still working on it though. :)

2. What is one item in your house that holds the most sentimental value and why?
We have a large frame that holds a photo from our wedding, a copy of our wedding invitation, and a painted likeness of the church where we got married (painted by a friend who is an amazing artist). I would be devastated if I ever lost it because it is so special and personal to us. (I would put up a photo of it but it has our last names on it so for privacy reasons I'm not going to.) I feel the same way about a pearl necklace that I have because it was given to me by my mother but once belonged to my great I also wore it on my wedding day. :)

3. When it comes to water fun in the summer do you prefer the beach, pool, lake or sprinkler? I tend to really like pools because there is no sand going up my crack (haha) and there are no creepy animals lurking in the water underneath me. Plus there tends to be more shade around a pool, and I need a lot of shade to avoid getting a horrible sunburn. However, I LOVE beach vacations so there is definitely a time and a place for that.

4. What is the one special thing that you do for yourself to get you through the first week of a deployment/separation? The night after Alex deployed I went to get drinks and dinner with some of my fellow Army wives. This was such a huge help because I went there straight from work and didn't get home until late so I hardly had time to think about things. Plus, my girl friends made me laugh and I had a great time. I also rented a bunch of girlie movies that Alex would never watch to help get me through the first weekend.

5. What is your biggest guilty pleasure website? I know he's a loser but I just can't stop reading his celebrity updates!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Product Review: Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips

Question: Zebra forward or fashion faux pas?

Hopefully not a faux pas, because I was rocking 'em for about a week.

I tried out Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips for the first time a couple weeks ago and thought I would write up my review of them.
If you haven't heard of them, they are pretty self-explanatory: stick-on nail polish. These are different from stick-on fake nails because they are super thin and don't add thickness or length to your nails.

What I Liked:

-The fun designs that they come in. You can't exactly paint zebra print on your nails (well, at least I can't) so it's a fun change to be able to have a print or design on the nails. I got a couple of compliments on the fun nails so that's always a good sign.

-The fact that they're supposed to last longer than regular polish (up to 10 days). However, mine only lasted about a week but I think that could be more my fault for not applying them correctly.

-No dry time. I hate hate hate waiting for nails to dry so that was a nice change.

What I Didn't Like:

-The price tag. At $8.50 per box, which is only enough for one application, they are definitely more pricey than buying nail polish for the same price and reusing it over and over. That being said, they still cost less than a manicure, so I guess it's worth it for a once in a blue moon treat.

-Application was trickier than I expected. I've never been good with tasks that require a steady hand and these definitely need that in order to make sure you're sticking it on in the correct place and/or lining it up with your cuticles. They looked far from perfect if you looked closely, but the zebra print kind of helped hide that fact. Also, it took me just about as long as it does to do my nails the old fashioned way (base coat, 2 coats polish, top coat) but that's probably just because I sucked at it.

So basically, I liked 'em but I didn't love 'em. I might buy them again but not anytime soon. It would be a good stocking stuffer for someone like me though (hint, hint!). :)

Have you tried the Salon Effects Nail Strips? What did you think?

Monday, July 4, 2011

This Week in Fitness

Monday 6/27: Rest

Tuesday 6/28: Jackie's Power Circuit Training DVD

Wednesday 6/29: The 100 Workout (more details below)

Thursday 6/30: 45 minute power walk on the treamill with alternating incline (between 4.0-6.0)

Friday 7/1: Jillian Michaels' No More Trouble Zones DVD

Saturday 7/2: Rest

Sunday 7/3: Rest

On Wednesday I tried a new workout that I found...
I totally underestimated this workout! I wasn't all that intimidated by it, but it definitely had me sweating and burning like a beast!

My thoughts on it...

-I added a 1-minute warm-up by lightly jogging in place before I began.

-The jumping jacks were easy for me. I was breathing heavier by the end but nothing impossible.

- The crunches were HARD...especially the first set of 90. I had to take mini-breaks after every 20-25 or so because my abs suck. For the second set of crunches I changed it to Bicycle Crunches because I wanted to work a different part of my ab muscles.

-The squats were tough and my legs were feeling the burn. I took a couple min-breaks in this round too.

-I wasn't sure what it meant by "Leg Lifts" since there are many different variations, so I just took it to mean lying side leg lifts. (Where you lay on one side, resting on your elbow, and raise the top leg straight up and down) I did 35 on each side for the first round of leg lifts and then 15 on each side for the second round. They weren't too bad but I did feel the burn in my outer thighs for sure!

-The 10 minute run at the end might have been the hardest part because I was already sweaty and my legs were fatigued. I felt like I was having to drag my legs along just to get them to move! But by the end it wasn't so bad.

-I added a 5 minute cooldown walk at the end.

-I wish this workout incorporated some arm exercises. I think that's the one are it's lacking, but I could always add some in next time.

Overall though, a great workout that I would definitely do again! Let me know if you try it!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Meatless Meal: Spicy Bean Enchiladas

It's been a while since there's been a food-related post on this blog, so I figured it was time to remedy that! Here's a great recipe that's healthy, cheap, and meatless!

With just under a month until we move out, Operation Pantry Clean Out is in full effect. Somehow, even in just 7 months of living here, we have accumulated a pretty full pantry and fridge/freezer. Typical! We have no desire to move a ton of food with us across the country, so we are seriously trying to use up what we have.

When I spotted this recipe for Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas, I immediately knew I wanted to make it. Not only did it look delicious, but it would also be a good use for a couple of the cans of beans and green chiles that were hanging out in our pantry. Perfect!

I made a few adjustments to the recipe, which I noted below, but mostly kept it the same. And oh man were these tasty!! They were super filling, even despite being meatless, and I loved the creaminess that the sour cream added to the filling.

They were super easy to make too, especially with a little help from the husband. We tag teamed the filling and rolling of the tortillas, which made it go a lot faster. I love working together in the kitchen! Great husband-wife bonding time. :)
Spicy Bean Enchiladas

Source: Adapted from Keep it Simple Foods

Makes 4-6 servings


1 package small corn tortillas (with 10-12 in a package)

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (I used 1 can of black beans and 1 can of red kidney beans since that's what I had on hand)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 handful cilantro, chopped (plus some for garnish if desired)

1/2 cup onion, chopped (divided)

1 small can green chilis or a spoonful of jarred/fresh sliced jalapenos

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (The Husband said he would omit the cinnamon next time, as he doesn't like cinnamon in savory foods. I couldn't even taste it though, so it didn't bother me!)

1/2 cup (light) sour cream (You could also sub plain greek yogurt for this but I didn't have any...gasp!)

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (or whatever kind you like) (divided)

1/2 lime (juice and zest)

1 can green enchilada sauce (I used a jar of tomatillo green salsa that I had on hand instead of enchilada sauce....but I also think these would be yummy with RED enchilada sauce. Just use whatever you have!)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine beans, garlic, about a third of the chopped onions, cilantro, green chiles, all the spices, sour cream, lime juice & zest and about 1/3 cup of cheese. Combine well.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling into each of the corn tortillas and roll them by hand. Try to get them as tight as you can and then place them in a baking dish seam side down.

Pour the green sauce on top so that it coats each tortilla.

Top with the remaining cheese, onions, and chopped pickled jalapenos (if desired).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and tortilla edges look crispy and brown. Let sit for about 2 minutes before serving. Top with more sour cream, cilantro, jalepenos, or whatever you like!

NOTE: You could easily add some chopped, cooked chicken to the enchiladas if you need more substance. I'm sure it would be tasty, but they don't need it! They are very flavorful and yummy as written!

Friday, July 1, 2011

House Update: Inspection

Yesterday was our inspection day!

I was so anxious all day waiting to hear how it went, since we are still in Arizona right now. I really wish we could have been there for it in person, but it just wasn't gonna happen.

After trying to wait patiently all day long, I finally broke down and called the inspector in the afternoon to see what he had to say. Apparently he had finished the inspection hours ago but didn't think to call me. Really?! I was waiting around all day and little did I know he had finished a long time ago!

His response was that the house was "in great shape" and that it's the kind of house he loves to inspect because it's so well-maintained. Sweet! He did mention a few minor items but said it wasn't anything major. I was really worried about the maintenance of the home since it was built in 1999 (which is older for the area), but it looks like all my worries were for naught.

Later that night he sent us the full inspection report, which was very thorough and complete. It included photos of any "problem areas" with arrows pointing to the objects in question. That was very helpful considering how we were on the other side of the country!

The only items of concern were:
1. Some fungi spores in the crawl space. He recommended having them checked out and treated.

2. Weather stripping was worn on two of the exterior doors. Super easy to fix!

3. Fireplace needed cleaning because it had a lot of "creosote" in it.

4. Some sort of missing clamp on the garbage disposal. We had no idea what this really meant, but it seems like an easy fix.

5. One of the kitchen windows had a broken sash so it wouldn't stay up.

We have asked the sellers to fix all of these items before closing, which hopefully won't be a huge deal since they're all easy fixes.

Yesterday we also found out that the sellers had their termite inspection, which they were required to do as part of our VA loan contract. Apparently the inspector found evidence of termites in the crawl space, but the sellers are going to treat the house before closing. I've heard that Tennessee is a thriving area for termites so I'm not too concerned since it seems pretty normal to have some evidence of them. We plan on treating for them every year so hopefully we can keep them at bay.

It was a huge relief to put all the inspection stuff behind us! It looks like this house is really as great as we thought it was and all signs are pointing to closing in about a month. Woohoo!

The only major step left before closing is the VA appraisal. If the house appraises for less than what we agreed to pay, the sellers will either have to lower the purchase price to that amount or we will have to walk away. This is a contingency of a VA loan, since they won't approve a loan for a house that appraises for less than the purchase price. In contrast, if the house appraises for more than what we agreed to pay, we still get it for the lower agreed upon purchase price. It's actually really nice for us (the buyers) because it puts my mind at ease about whether or not we overpaid for the house.

I still can't believe we're actually going to be homeowners! This is such an exciting time!

Have you ever dealt with a home inspection? How did it go? Please share your stories...I'm a total newb at all this so I love hearing other people's experiences!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #47

Check out Wife of a Sailor's blog for more info on the fill-in.

1. Have you (spouse) ever considered joining the military and what do you think of dual military couples?
No, I never considered joining the military. To be honest, I'm just not cut out for it and I'm perfectly okay with that! I totally respect dual military couples for making that double sacrifice, but it's not for us.

2. What is your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon? It really depends on what kind of mood I'm in. Some days I would like to just be lazy and watch movies, some days I would like to bake all afternoon, and some days I would like going for a hike or doing something fun.

3. What do you usually do for the 4th of July holiday? Usually we travel to my family's ranch for the 4th. It usually involves lots of relaxation, swimming, eating good food, campfires and fireworks. This is the first year that we're living outside of Texas so it will be an adjustment to not be able to travel to the ranch this year. Luckily, we've made some great friends here in Arizona so we're having them over for a cookout on Sunday!

4. If they could make an Olympic event JUST for you that you know you’d medal in, what would it be? Oh gosh I have no idea! Maybe professional Facebook stalker? HAHA. That was my husband's suggestion....and I am pretty good at it.

5. What have you been doing to get yourself bathing suit ready for the summer? I've been on a mission to lose weight and tone up ever since January when we moved to Arizona. I figured since I didn't have a job anymore, I really didn't have any excuse not to work out. So far I've lost about 17 pounds and I feel GREAT! Check out any of my "This Week in Fitness" posts to see what I've been doing to work out. To sum things up though, I've been trying to workout 5-6 days a week and I also watch what I eat. I don't count calories or anything but I do pay attention to try not to overdo it. Eat whole grains, lots of fruit & veggies, etc.