Wine Wednesday Date Night

Yesterday was certainly a Wine Wednesday!

The boyfriend and I visited Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room at their new location in Royal Oak last night to do a wine tasting. I’ve been to their original location in Shelby Township but the new location is much closer to home!

The tasting room is something pretty unique to the area, and they only serve Michigan wines, snacks, and products. The atmosphere is clean and calming, and the staff members were very friendly and knowledgeable on the wines. We decided to each do a Full Flight, which included 5 (generous) wine samples, along with a small plate of cheese and chocolate.

We were provided with a long list of wines to choose from, and circles our selections. I tend to drink red wines, so I tried to choose a variety of wines for my flight. There was not one that I didn’t like!

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We love snacks!

After our wine samples and snacks, we headed a few miles down the road to one of our favorite little restaurants for dinner- Vinsetta Garage. They are famous for their burgers, but my favorite dish is the baby kale salad with salmon. The dressing, the seasoning on the salmon, and the crunchy onions are just amazing!

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Nothing like a fun weeknight date night to spice up the week!

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2nd Weekend of 2015 in Pictures

This weekend we took a little road trip to Indianapolis to visit some friends and do a little bit of skiing and a whole lot of eating! Here’s a recap in pictures:

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Skiing on Saturday- taking our fitness outside!

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Sarah and I shopping for hats while the boys skied

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Sunday brunch! The most amazing sausage, avocado and goat cheese omelette

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With mimosas, coffee and Bloody Mary’s on the side!

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I didn’t take as many pictures as I’d liked, but Indianapolis (Broad ripple area) was a lot of fun! We can’t wait to visit again!

Things I’m Loving Thursday 3

Good evening!

This weeks “Things I’m Loving Thursday” post coming at ya a little late, but it’s still Thursday so it’s okay! Right? Let’s get started!

1. Paleokrunch Apple Pie Grainless Granola

I do not eat a strictly paleo diet by any means, but I like to incorporate paleo recipes and food where I can. Steve’s PaleoGoods makes amazing grain free granola and other snacks, and a portion of proceeds benefits kids in need. I’ve been eating this like crazy with some almond milk, sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt, and maybe a little straight out of the bag!

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2. Jimmy Fallon Blew his Chance with Nicole Kidman

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is one of my favorite shows to catch up on with Hulu! I think he is hilarious and love how he has a way with getting celebrities to do crazy things. This clip of Nicole Kidman talking about the first time they met is SO funny! Worth a watch!!

3. Weightlifting Belt from Harbinger

I finally broke down and bought a weightlifting belt recently and had a few chances to break it out this week. I held off for a long time because I felt the weights I was lifting weren’t heavy enough to really warrant a belt. Lately I’ve found myself borrowing belts from other girls at my Crossfit gym for things like heavy squats, so I figured I better just order my own! And I love it! I love how it provides support for heavy lifts and is easily adjustable. And at under $20 it was a great deal too!

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4. Chamomile Tea

I’m an avid coffee drinker, but find myself sipping hot tea in the office when I need something to warm me up, but don’t necessarily want the caffeine content of my beloved coffee. I had never tried chamomile or any nighttime tea until the night before our cruise, when our hotel room in Miami had a variety of teas available. My boyfriend picked out the chamomile tea and brewed it up, and I’m pretty sure he only got a couple of sips before I snagged it and pretty much drank the rest!

I was happy to find a nighttime tea option for my Keurig so I had to try it! It’s perfect for enjoying in the evening of a single digit temperature day like we’ve been having this week in Michigan (the weather is certainly not one of my favorite things this week)!

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What are you loving this week?

Happy New Year & 2015 Goals

Good morning and Happy New Year!

I had a wonderful and low-key New Year’s Eve! Lots of time with family and friends, lots of snacks, and a little champagne!

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New Year’s Day was a relaxing one; We took my nephew to the Henry Ford Mueseum in Dearborn, Michigan and everyone had a blast! It is so much fun to see him excited about the planes, trains, and old fashioned cars! We finished the day with a really nice dinner at my parents house with some extended family.

This morning I woke up early and headed for the gym for my first workout of 2015! I started with a mile jog on the treadmill and then some stretching, before completing this lower body/core workout:

Lower Body Workout

I used 2 20 lb. Kettlebells for the deadlifts, and used just one of them for the goblet squats.

Links to demonstrations of the exercises:

Single Leg Deadlift with Kettlebell 

Kettlebell Goblet Squat 

And lastly, I took a few minutes last night to create a new note in my phone with my fitness goals for 2015. For me, making very specific short and longer term goals really help me to push myself and also to help me see how far I’ve come! Here are some of mine:

  • 185# Back Squat (20 pound increase over my current max)
  • 105# Snatch (15 pound increase over my current max)
  • String together 5 Butterfly pull ups
  • Complete a race that is heavily biking
  • Perform a bar muscle up without a band
  • 235# Deadlift

What are your fitness goals for 2015?

Things I’m Loving Thursday 2

It’s Thursday, so that means it’s time for another list of things I’ve been lovin’ this week!

1. Watching baby Lucy grow! 

Okay it is just crazy how fast this little puppy is growing! She is only four months old, so she has a lot of growing left to do!

This is little Lucy just about two months ago, right after we brought her home:

Just a baby....
Just a baby….

And here’s the same “little” puppy last night!

She looks so comfortable....
She looks so comfortable….

(Sorry for the low quality photo- we were rushing out the door for dinner plans!)

I have said since we brought her home that Lucy was going to be big and that she would grow fast, but it’s still hard to believe!

2. Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room- Royal Oak Location

Last week while we were on vacation, one of my favorite small businesses opened a second location right down the road from me!

Source: facebook.com/mbtbonwoodward
Source: facebook.com/mbtbonwoodward

Michigan By The Bottle is a tasting room that features Michigan made wines. You can pop in anytime during their business hours to purchase bottles of wine or do a wine tasting. They also have really fun and unique events, like yoga sessions immediately followed by wine tastings, live music nights, and dinner and wine paring events. I was driving about 45 minutes northeast to their original location in Shelby Township, so I am SO excited to have a location in my own neighborhood!

3. Last minute Holiday preparations

I can’t believe Christmas is in 1 week! Christmas eve is easily one of my top 3 favorite nights of the year. Last year I was cursed with food poisoning on the morning of Christmas eve leaving me unable to enjoy the evening, so I am extra excited to celebrate this year! My nephew from Florida will be coming into town this weekend, and we have plans to bake cookies and decorate gingerbread houses with him. Add in some last minute gift shopping, a whole lot of gift wrapping (I haven’t even started that- oops), a work Christmas party for myself and one with my boyfriend, and the next week is going to be a whole lot of holiday fun! I really can not wait! (PS- if you’re still looking for some last minute gift ideas, check out my Fit Girl’s Christmas List.

4. New Michael Kors Hamilton Tote

I was so lucky to receive my Christmas gift from Mike a few weeks early so I could take it on vacation!

Happy girl! With puppies fighting behind me.... always
Happy girl! With puppies fighting behind me…. always

I was in need of a new airplane carry on/ computer bag/ large purse since my old one (from Target several years ago) was dying a slow death. I am so in love with this bag! It fit perfectly under the airplane seat and the structure makes it easy to access everything inside. For the trip I packed in my iPad, wallet, snacks for the plane ride, a swimsuit in case my suitcase didn’t make it, along with more odds and ends and I still had so much room! Plus it’s just beautiful!

5. Emergen-C

Source- dollargeneral.com
Source: dollargeneral.com

Every time I feel the first signs of a cold coming on, or if I’ve been traveling a lot (or if my boyfriend says he has a sore throat…. reminder to him that he should be drinking one right now), I start drinking these little packets right away. Since they first debuted a few years ago, they’ve expanded their flavors beyond just orange; I’m actually sippin’ on Cranberry-Pomegranate right now! Any little bit helps this time of year!

6. The 2014 Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog

I had to add this in as a next-day addition. I recently came across this article and it had me just cracking up! As a total amateur Martha Stewart wanna-be, this was just so spot on and hilarious! If you’re like me and try really hard in the kitchen, but don’t actually know the difference between a fry pan and a saute pan, you have to take a moment to read this article!

 

What are the things you’re loving during this week before Christmas?

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and I am not compensated in any way for the things I feature in this post. 

Back from Vacation!

Did you miss me?!

Sunday the boyfriend and I (reluctantly) flew home from Miami, Florida where we stayed the night after disembarking from our amazing Celebrity cruise. I want to share some pictures and some highlights, but I’m not planning to do a detailed review. If you have questions about our trip, Celebrity cruises, or cruising in general, feel free to ask!

This was my second and Mike’s first cruise. I absolutely love cruising. I love being on the beautiful ship, waking up in a new place each day, the amazing service you receive on board… I could go on and on! We left from Miami on Saturday the 6th, and stayed on the Celebrity Reflection for 7 wonderful nights.

The Grand Foyer, the center of the ship, decorated for Christmas
The Grand Foyer, the center of the ship, decorated for Christmas

We spent the day Sunday at sea, enjoying the sunshine, moving from our balcony to the pool area, and around the ship. I took a yoga class on board which proved to be an interesting experience. Although it was a slow-flow, relaxation class, the ship was moving quite a bit that day, creating a little extra core work for everyone! The view during the class was amazing though! So serene.

View from yoga... notice the antibacterial wipes- staying clean and germ-free!
View from yoga… notice the antibacterial wipes- staying clean and germ-free!

In the evening we went to the Sunset Bar, at the back of the ship to enjoy drinks on the lit up bar stools!

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Monday afternoon at 3:30 PM the ship arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We spent a few hours walking through the shops in town, and found a beautiful, small beach area.

Could have stayed right here all day!
Could have stayed right here all day!

Tuesday morning the ship arrived in St. Thomas, and we had a snorkeling excursion booked! We are still awaiting snorkeling pictures from Mike’s submerged camera, so we will see how those turn out! Side note- “Waterproof” and “Underwater Safe” are not the same thing…

View of our ship from the snorkeling catamaran
View of our ship from the snorkeling catamaran

Sailing away from beautiful St. Thomas
Sailing away from beautiful St. Thomas

On Wednesday we were set to arrive in St. Maarten first thing in the morning. I had planned on making no plans for this stop, and I figured we would have a good time wandering the island and relaxing on the beach. My boyfriend tends to have a tough time simply relaxing and decided we needed to see more of the island than was in walking distance, so we booked a Jeep tour excursion, which took us all over the island. It ended up being a great experience!

Jeepin!
Jeepin!

Cruising around St. Maarten
Cruising around St. Maarten

One of the stops was at Sunset Beach Bar, on the beach near the airport on the island. The beach area is famous for being right next to the airport runway. As you stand on the beach, planes come and go throughout the day and they seem to be just out of reach! It’s a really interesting place! During our hour at the beach, we were able to see three smaller planes landing at the airport. We hear the really exciting part is seeing the planes take off, but our timing didn’t work out on this day. I guess we will have to make a trip back!

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Thursday was another day at sea, and we relaxed around the ship before getting ready for the second formal night on the cruise. The ship was decorated for the holidays- had it not been for the Christmas trees we would have forgotten it was December- being from Michigan we are certainly not used to 80 degrees and sunny this time of year!

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Lobster night!
Lobster night!

2nd dinner of the night- beef wellington! After the lobster, of course
2nd dinner of the night- beef wellington! After the lobster, of course

It’s the third day back home and I am just now feeling back into the swing of things! It was such a wonderful trip with a perfect combination of staying busy and active and taking time to relax. Now it’s time to get serious about the holidays!

JUS by Julie Juice Cleanse

Good morning! Happy Friday!

Wednesday I completed the JUS by Julie Juice Cleanse. I’ve been considering doing a one day juice cleanse for a while now, so when I saw this one pop up on RueLaLa with a good deal and awesome reviews, I went for it!

There are options for a 1, 3, or 7 day cleanse. Since I was a first timer, I thought starting out with the one day would be best. After I received my offer code from RueLaLa, I went to the JUS by Julie website and picked the day I’d like my juice to arrive. It is suggested that you have the juice delivered the day before you plan to start the cleanse. There was a lot of useful information on the website for newbie cleansers as well!

The juices arrived in a lightweight insulated cooler. The juices are sent frozen, so by the time they got to me, they were still about halfway frozen. The pamphlet inside said to leave the juices at room temperature for 2-3 hours until defrosted, then refrigerate.

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A couple of hours on the counter did the trick, so before I went to bed Tuesday night I put all 6 juices in the refrigerator and went to sleep, a little nervous for Wednesday!

The bottles are numbered in the order they’re meant to be drank in, and are also labeled with complete ingredients (very minimal!) and nutrition information. It made it very easy to follow.

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I drank the first one within an hour of waking, and planned to drink them 2-3 hours apart, as suggested. It is a juice cleanse, but the instructions said that if needed, you could eat a moderate amount of raw or steamed vegetables, and/ or egg whites. I planned to try doing just the juice and see how it goes!

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I did have 2 cups of black coffee, also ok’d by the cleanse. It just made it a little more bearable for me!

I got ready and went to work like normal, where I drank juices #2-4 spread out throughout the day. During the first part of the day, I felt pretty good. I had to make a conscious effort NOT to eat since I tend to be a (usually healthy) snacker, but it wasn’t too bad at all.

Towards the end of the workday, however, I noticed that I started to feel hungry and extra irritable. I made sure to drink plenty of water during the day which helped some, but by the time I got home from work I knew I needed a little something. I ended up making a couple of egg whites scrambled with spinach when I got home, and although it was a very light meal I felt a lot better! Right after I ate, I drank juice #5 which ended up being my favorite! Banana + peanut butter + water…. Yum!

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Much better!

I did not go to the gym on this day. The website says that if you feel up to it, you can work out, but that it is really suggested that you take this day to relax. I rolled out my yoga mat on my living room floor and did some stretching and light core exercises before making it a date with Netflix night!

I drank the last juice around 8:30 PM, relaxed a little longer, and went to bed early. I slept well that night, and even made it to the gym Thursday morning for a pre-work workout!

Thursday morning I did wake up with a slight hangover type of headache, but after drinking lots of water (okay, and a bit of caffeine) it went away. I felt like I had slightly less than normal energy during my Thursday morning workout, but I was okay with that. I did notice on Thursday that my stomach looked and felt slimmer and more toned than normal, I’m assuming a bit of normal bloat went away which is what I was hoping for! I am leaving for vacation today, so the cleanse perfect to do before a week of indulging!

I think that I would do a one day cleanse again, probably in January after the holidays to jump start getting back to healthy eating! JUS by Julie definitely made the whole process easy, even for a first timer!

Things I’m Loving Thursday #1

Inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Carrots n’ Cake, I’ve decided to introduce “Things I’m Loving Thursday”, where each week I’ll post a list of random things I’m loving that week! Here we go!

1. Online Holiday Shopping

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday last week this one was a no-brainer! This is the third year in a row I have barely stepped foot inside an actual store to do any holiday shopping. I LOVE shopping online! I love that I can do it from anywhere, avoid the crowds and craziness, and I think it’s easier to do a little research to make sure you’re getting the best deals. My Christmas shopping is almost done!

2. JUS by Julie Cleanse 

I mentioned yesterday that I was completing the JUS by Julie Cleanse, and I made it! There were a few rough patches yesterday, not going to lie, but today I feel excellent! Full review coming soon!

3. Overnight Oatmeal 

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Before the cleanse, I was eating this stuff up like crazy! I love that you can make it ahead of time and have breakfast ready to go for a few days at a time! And with the addition of chia seeds and greek yogurt, I have found it to be more filling than traditional oatmeal. Find my recipe here: Easy Overnight Oatmeal

4. Christmas Decorations

We’re into December now, and Christmas decorations are really popping up everywhere (including in my own home)!

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5. This “Dog Jumper” on Hautelook today

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I mean, just look at it! I’m not sure my boyfriend would approve of my little pup wearing one of these around, but I can still enjoy this picture!

6. Catching Kayla Video

If you love running, or even if you just need a little motivation to get you through the rest of the week, you need to watch this video, Catching Kayla, about a high school track runner who has MS. It will certainly make you not want to complain about your workouts!

That’s it for this week… What random things are you loving this week?!

Not So Wine Wednesday

Happy hump day!

I was planning on making today another “Wine Wednesday” and was hoping to share a yummy wine find, but things have taken a healthier turn around here!

Drink up!
Drink up!

In preparation for an upcoming vacation + the holidays, I’m doing a one day juice cleanse today! This is the first cleanse I’ve ever done, so I’ve decided to ease into it by trying just a one day cleanse first.

The cleanse I’m doing is from Jus by Julie and I purchased it through RueLaLa (My invite link) a few weeks back. Stay tuned in the next few days for a review once it’s completed!

Have a great day!

Easy Ways to Have a Healthy Holiday Season

Happy December!

Since Thanksgiving is over and the holidays are in full swing, I wanted to pop in and share a list of small things you can do this holiday season to make sure you get through it feeling happy and healthy!

I will be the first one to say that I definitely have a sweet tooth and I can’t resist some Christmas cookies or pie, but I try to make sure I enjoy everything in moderation, and balance treats with healthy snacks and exercise. Here are a few tips that I try to keep in mind:

  • Be “That Person” at a party

Whenever I attend a holiday party, either with my family or through my work, everyone usually expects that whatever I bring will be the “healthy” dish- even if it looks like a dessert. I’m known for bringing cookies sweetened only with honey, fruit and vegetables, or high protein snacks. When I’m short on time, I will usually stop and pick up a raw fruit or vegetable tray, and when I have more time I usually turn to Pinterest to find a healthy snack to make. This way, I know there will be at least one healthy treat there!

This year, I am planning on making these “Grinch Kabobs” to my work party! How cute are they??

Grinch-Kabobs

http://faithfullynourished.com/healthy-christmas-treat-grinch-kabob/

  • Don’t go to a party hungry! 

This one can make such a difference! It seems backwards to eat normally on the day of a holiday party where you know you’ll want to enjoy the food there. I personally know a few people who are guilty of trying to “save up” their calories for the day if they know they have plans that night. However, if you arrive at a party full of drinks, appetizers, and desserts absolutely starving, you certainly won’t be in the right mind set to make healthy choices, and will almost always over-indulge. Take the time to eat a small, protein rich meal or snack before the party, then decide which items are worth the indulgence. Do you really need one of each cookie? Or are there just a few that look extra-good? This helps so much!

  • Get enough sleep

Okay- stay with me on this one! I know this is not always easy to do during the busy rush of the season, but studies have shown that getting adequate amounts of sleep can help you to make healthy eating choices and reduce cravings for not so healthy foods. I truly do notice that this happens to me! When I am tired at work, I just want to grab a quick salty snack, and I feel less motivated to make sure I have something healthy. I sometimes notice that I am also hungry more often when I am very tired. Getting the right amount of sleep has so many benefits, this is just an added bonus!

  • Get movin’! 

Like sleep, regular exercise has so many benefits. If you have a holiday party in the evening, make it a point to do at least a short workout or something active in the morning. Even if you over-indulge that night, you will feel so much better than if you didn’t do anything active that day! Another great idea is to encourage your family members to get active with you! Celebrate the holidays with a walk or hike, move your holiday celebration to somewhere with ice skating, or give yoga or zumba class certificates as gifts!

My “Good Morning Sunshine” workout is a great one to do at home if you don’t have time to hit the gym before a holiday gathering!

Up and at 'em!

 

Those are the 4 things that work well for me- What do you do to make sure you’re feeling your best throughout the holidays?

Adventures in working out, Crossfitting, drinking wine, and raising Goldendoodles