Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 7/17 - 8/23)

Brace yourselves, I did other exercise that is NOT teaching my Zumba classes.  As a matter of fact, I took a class that wasn't Zumba.  Can you believe it??  It's amazing what I can do with a schedule and only one kid.  I have multiple classes that fit into my schedule now and I plan to go to all of them.  And I am SO excited to do it!!

The class I made it to this week is called PiYo.  It's a Beachbody class that is a combination of pilates and yoga.  But it's not just stretching and strengthening, it's also cardio.  They move from one pose to the next very quickly.  I really enjoyed it and definitely felt it this weekend.  The class I went to focused on legs and my legs were SORE Fri night and all day Sat!!  I plan to go back most weeks as I think it's a good compliment to the Zumba class I teach right after it.

In addition to going to another class, I also spent Sunday afternoon at Dance Mania at the Y dancing with all of the other super talented Zumba instructors who teach there.  We danced for over two hours.  It was a really fun party!  We had about 50 people come to dance with us.  I led two songs, my new favorite cumbia and the old class favorite "Country Girl."  I had a great time!!

Here's what I did this week:
Wednesday - Taught a one hour Zumba class and walked back & forth from school for pick up
Thursday - Taught a one hour Zumba class, a one hour Zumba Gold class and a one hour Zumba Toning class, plus I walked back & forth from school for pick up
Friday - Did 30 minutes of PiYo class, taught a one hour Zumba class, went to Zoombeezi Bay with Zak for 2 hours (we walked the lazy river 5-6 times!!)
Saturday - Taught 2 one hour Zumba classes and went fruit picking with the family
Sunday - Danced for two hours at Dance Mania
Monday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class and a 45 minute Zumba class
Tuesday - I planned to go to Muscle Conditioning but it was Zak's last day before school started and he wanted to stay home so I let him.  I walked around my kitchen/living room for 10 minutes to keep my streak alive.  I probably needed the rest day anyway.

All in all it was a great week.  I'm really proud that I did two things that weren't teaching.  I'm excited to do more in the next few weeks.  I'm also excited to report that after a disappointing week last week, I saw a huge loss this week on the scale - 5 pounds!!  That brings me back to my pre-vacation weight.  My goal was to maintain all summer and I'm going to call that a success!  Now on to losing a bit before I try to maintain thru the holidays.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 7/29 - 8/4 - Part 2)

If you missed part one of our TN vacation, you can read it here.  The post got too long so I decided to split it up into two parts.  I also knew this one would have a lot of pictures.

Wednesday (8/3) all of us headed to Ober Gatlinburg.  We started by taking the aerial tramway up the mountain.  It was really crowded on the ride up so I didn't really get to see much.  I did enjoy hearing about some of the houses on the mountain, including the Barbie house which is the same layout as the Barbie Dream House.  Once we got to the top of the mountain, we bought wrist bands and we off to enjoy!

The boys, Adrian and I enjoyed the maze (3 times), the water slides (too many times to count), the mini golf, the swings and the play area.  It was nice to just have the wrist bands on and not have to worry about anything.  We also rode the ski lift about half way up the mountain (Zak didn't do this) and then did the alpine slide down.  It was super fun!  Daniel was nervous to go by himself but he did great.  My brother Jon and niece Luci also joined us.

It was a great day up on the mountain, but it was hot!!  So after some funnel cake and a pretzel we headed back down in the aerial tramway.  But not before Zak pitched a fit of epic proportions.  It wasn't pretty.  Somehow I got him on the tram and right up to a window.  He and I enjoyed the trip down looking at everything.  The other side of the tram got to see some black bears but we didn't see them.

After the mountain we were all pretty wiped out so we just had dinner together and then played some board games.  We also enjoyed sno cones!  Real ones for the kids, sangria ones for the adults - yummy.  It was a really fun day!!  Here is a photo dump of some of the highlights.











Thursday (8/4) we headed into Gatlinburg with my parents and Uncle Tom.  We decided to take the trolley in because Zak was really interested in riding on it.  We walked around the main street, went into a bunch of shops, tasted a bunch of things including wine and moonshine.  The moonshine tasting was really fun!!  Then the five of us split off from the others so we could go play some mini golf and check out the Hollywood Cars museum.  It was another really fun day that is probably better shown in pictures, so once again a photo dump.










That about wraps up this weekly wrap.  I was thinking about adding Friday on to this one, but I think this is long enough.  I'll do the next weekly wrap soon.  I'm a little behind but am working on catching up, hopefully this weekend.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 8/22 - 8/28)

I did pretty well following my meal plan from last week.  I had to switch a few things around and I forgot to buy sauerkraut so today is leftovers instead of rubens (which will be on this week's menu instead).  We got three days of school under our belts with minimal problems.  We were also helped by some rainy nights so baseball & golf were cancelled.  It was nice to have some extra time to breath.

I got an awesome bag of veggies from my CSA on Thursday so that is what most of my meals this week will center around.  We got a ton of tomatoes which I'll be using throughout the week and also making into sauce to freeze and use in the future.  I also got more basil so I'll be making more pesto.  And I got a bunch of squash which I know will keep so I'm not worrying about them too much this week.  I'm excited to use them all though!

We also spent yesterday picking peaches and apples from a local orchard so those will be my primary snacks for the next few weeks.  It's nice to have a stockpile of them since some of the summer fruits will be disappearing (or getting too expensive) soon.  We will pick apples again next month when more varieties are ready to pick.  And I may cook with the peaches in a few weeks as they start to ripen and then rot.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - BLT Eggs with English Muffins & Fruit
Tuesday - Turnip & Potato Soup with Caesar Salads
Wednesday - Turkey Rubens and Corn on the Cob
Thursday - Baked Pesto Rigatoni with Salads
Friday - Hummus Crusted Chicken with String Beans
Saturday - BBQ Chuck Roast with Veggies
Sunday - Baked Pork Chops with Carrots & Cranberries

Water Flavor - Apple & Orange - I found 2 sorry looking apples & 1 orange so I'm going to put them out of their misery in my water this week

Food Prep - Not doing much this weekend.  I'm going to be out most of the day Sunday so I'll just be winging it most of the week.  I will be making the homemade pesto & some homemade red sauce either Monday or Tuesday this week.  I will freeze most of it to use in the next few weeks.  We have two melons to cut up as well, one of us will do that later today.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 8/12 - 8/18)

Friday (8/12) started out very rough.  We were late leaving the house, forgot multiple things (including AJ's crocs) and no one wanted to do anything.  Compounding this rough start was the heat, it felt like over 100 degrees and was very humid!  We had planned to go to the pool with friends but decided to spend most of the day inside playing and catching up on some stuff.  In the evening we had another baseball practice which was hot!!  But the boys were troopers and they did great.  Their coach is really working with both of them on improving their hitting this season.  We're all excited to get back into baseball!
Saturday (8/13) & Sunday (8/14) were what I call a "work weekend."  We had a bunch of stuff to do to catch up on stuff from vacation, get ready for school and fall sports and just our normal weekly and monthly upkeep.  Adrian & I pretty much worked all weekend while the kids entertained themselves by watching the Olympics, playing with cars & playing video games.  We did have a family movie night on Saturday to watch "Back to the Future" together.  And Daniel also got to go to a birthday party for a friend.  Not the most fun weekend but definitely needed!

Monday (8/15) was our unofficial last day of summer vacation.  I had planned to do Zoombeezi Bay with the boys but the weather was not good.  We decided to run some fun errands instead.  We headed to Easton to get our free books from Barnes & Noble for their summer reading program.  Then we went to Sbarro for lunch (coupon from the library summer reading program) and Cheryl's cookies for dessert (another coupon).  Then we headed over to Half Price books to get more books from their summer reading program.  It wasn't the super fun day I had planned but we made the most of a rainy dreary day!

Tuesday (8/16) was the official last day of summer vacation for us and it was spent getting to appointments.  AJ had a GI doctor and a chiropractor appointment in the morning.  Then in the afternoon we headed to school to meet AJ's and Daniel's teachers for this school year.  I also volunteered for the PTO during the event.  And that evening AJ had another appointment at Brain Balance.  In between all of that, we got ready for our first day of school, enjoyed extra screen time and had tacos for dinner!

Wednesday (8/17) was the first day of school for AJ & Daniel!!  They were so excited to get up and out this morning.  They both have great teachers this year and I know it will be an awesome year.  They had a great first day including pizza for lunch, art for Daniel, gym for AJ and both have friends they know in their class.  Zak and I spent the day hanging around the house playing, watching TV and trying to get caught up and get a handle on things.  He also had a play date with a friend this morning so I could go into school to help out.

Thursday (8/18) Zak had another play date at his friend's house in the morning so I could help in the school again.  It was so cute to see the kindergarteners coming to school for their first day.  I only saw a few in tears, not too bad.  I'm so thankful I am able to help out and that I have friends who will help with Zak!  After that Zak and I were going to do something fun, but it was raining so we decided to just come home and try to get control of the crazy that is our house currently.  It didn't go great, but we're getting there!  Hopefully in the next 2 weeks we will find our routine and I will catch up and stay caught up...until the next disaster!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 7/27 - 8/16)

It's been a while since I did a workout recap between vacation and school starting.  Things are kind of crazy over here but I wanted to get back in the habit of doing these recaps.  I also felt like I needed to do a post today because I hit 100 days of exercising!!  I'm very excited to hit this milestone (again)!  I'm very close to hitting my first goal of beating my last streak of 112 days and I think it's very much in my reach.  We are back to school now so I have the possibility of walking each day.  I am teaching almost every day and I have lots of flexibility on the days I'm not teaching to get to classes.  So hopefully in two weeks I'll be celebrating another milestone!

The past few weeks have been crazy personally so exercise has been do what I can when I can.  I've taught all of my classes, swam a lot with the boys and practiced Zumba on days I couldn't do anything else.  I'm proud to have kept up the streak over this most recent vacation.  We are done traveling now for a while, probably until next summer.  We may do a short camping trip this fall, but that is easy to keep this streak going during.

Anyway, this is kind of a data dump post to get all the info out and keep myself accountable.  So without further ado, here is what I've done the past 3 weeks:
Wednesday 7/27 - Taught 2 Zumba Toning classes
Thursday 7/28 - - Taught 1 Zumba class
Friday 7/29 - Went for a walk with AJ, also packed up everything for vacation
Saturday 7/30 - Taught 1 Zumba Toning class
Sunday 7/31 - Went swimming for about 90 minutes with the family
Monday 8/1 - Went swimming for about 90 minutes with the family
Tuesday 8/2 - Walked around Gatlinburg for about 20 minutes, also played mini golf
Wednesday 8/3 - Walked around Ober Gatlinburg for about 3 hours (it was very hilly!)
Thursday 8/4 - Walked around Gatlinburg for about 3 hours, also played mini golf
Friday 8/5 - Walked around Gatlinburg for about 3 hours
Saturday 8/6 - Packed up the chalet & did a few 5 minute walks at each stop we made while driving home
Sunday 8/7 - Practiced Zumba for about 15 minutes & unpacked everything
Monday 8/8 - Taught 2 Zumba Toning classes
Tuesday 8/9  - Took the boys to Zoombeezi Bay for about 3 hours
Wednesday 8/10 - Taught 1 Zumba class
Thursday 8/11 - Taught 1 Zumba and 1 Zumba Gold class
Friday 8/12 - Taught 1 Zumba class and played at the playground with Zak for about 30 minutes
Saturday 8/13 - Taught 1 Zumba Toning class
Sunday 8/14 - Rest Day, practiced a new Zumba song for about 15 minutes
Monday 8/15 - Taught 1 Zumba Toning and 1 Zumba Gold class
Tuesday 8/16 - Rest Day, practiced a new Zumba song for about 15 minutes

All in all I'm OK with what I've done over the past few weeks.  I walked a lot in TN.  I also ate and drank a lot!  I weighed in last week and I had gained 6 pounds since my last weigh in.  I was OK with that, pretty much what I expected.  I weighed in again today after an awesome week, including sticking to my calorie goal over the weekend (which never happens!) and I only lost 1 pound.  I'd be lying to say I wasn't disappointed.  I really expected to see 2-3 pounds gone.  But I kept right on trucking today with good eating choices and exercise.  I'm really hoping to see a big loss the last quarter of this year as I am determined to add in more strength training.  Stay tuned for my progress!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 8/15 - 8/21)

After a brief hiatus from menu planning, I am back!  We had a great vacation and now we are getting back into the groove.  I actually did plan out our meals last week, I just didn't have a minute to write up a blog post.  I started back to eating healthy on Monday and am feeling so much better!  I love eating the fatty, carb loaded junk food and drinking (lots) of alcohol but after almost 2 weeks I was starting to feel sluggish and just overall bad.

This week marks the return to school for the two older boys.  I have mixed feelings about them going back to school.  I've enjoyed every minute of this summer with them!  But we are starting to get on each other nerves, run out of things to do and bicker a lot more.  I think we are all ready for a set schedule.  I'm keeping things easy for most of this week since it's a busy one!

We will also get a CSA bag on Thursday this week so I'm not sure what kind of veggies we'll have from that.  I'm planning on buying what I need for these meals and then using whatever I get for next week's meals.  I also have some turnips that I still need to use so I'll either use them this week or next for sure.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pork Chops Italiano and Tomatoes and Beans
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!!
Wednesday - Chicken Taquitos and Roasted Zucchini
Thursday - Zoodles and Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce
Friday - Baked Mushroom Thighs and Corn on the Cob
Saturday - Shrimp and Asparagus Pasta
Sunday - Turkey Ruebens and Salad or Leftovers (I will be gone all day and I'm sure I'll be hungry as soon as I get home!)

Water Flavor - Mango - my favorite!!

Meal Prep - I have the water set up and shopping done for meals thru Thursday.  I have fruit cut up for snacks.  I will make the filling for Weds on Tues.  I made the tomato sauce already this week so I just have to pull it out of the freezer for Thursday.  I will also be making this salad and adding roasted eggplant to it tomorrow and will be using it for lunches later this week.  And finally I have pasta & sauce on hand just in case things don't go as planned (and they usually do!)

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 7/29 - 8/4 - Part 1)

Friday (7/29) was a crazy busy day!  AJ had two different appointments (chiropractor and GI Clinic) and Adrian also had a doctor's appointment.  We ran around like crazy all morning to get everyone where they needed to be and get a few last minute errands ran as well.  Then the rest of the day was spent packing so we're ready to leave in the morning.

Saturday (7/30) we finished up what we needed to do and hit the road to Tennessee.  We hit the road shortly after lunch and made great time getting down to Gatlinburg.  The boys were rock stars again in the car.  We made two very quick stops and got down to our chalet in about seven hours.  Zak talked the last 90 minutes because he didn't want to fall asleep which was both annoying and adorable.  We got there in time for dinner with everyone and just relaxed and spent some good quality family time.  We have 4 families here (my parents, my 2 brothers & their families and us) for the whole week to celebrate my parents' 40th anniversary.
Our view from the deck

Sunday (7/31) we got settled in a little more in the chalet and went and did some food shopping to start our week.  Then we went and spent some time at one of the 3 pools we have access to this week.  It was fun to swim with the boys and my nieces and fun to see them all playing together.

And then our big surprise for the week showed up.  My grandfather, uncle & 2 nieces flew in to surprise my parents.  They were delayed because of the weather in NJ (and getting a little lost here in TN) but they finally got here around 7:00 just in time for a huge Italian dinner.  My parents were shocked!!  They had no idea they were coming!  I'm shocked that we all kept it a secret, including my 3 boys.  We spent the night eating and talking and just being together.  It was fabulous!

Monday (8/1) we spent the morning hanging around the chalet and getting a few things done.  My mom made crumb cake with the kids, we cut up some fruit and veggies and we did some laundry.  Adrian, my father & my brothers went to play a round of golf.  When we were all done we headed to the pool for some fun and to cool off a little.  After that we went back home for dinner and more family time and to figure out what we would do the next day.  It was a relaxing and fun day.
Tuesday (8/2) morning we headed out to one of the most recommended places in Gatlinburg, Crockett's Breakfast Camp.  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast of pancakes, cinnamon rolls and waffles.  Delicious!  Thanks to all of our friends who recommended it!

Then we headed to play some "Hillbilly Mini Golf" with my brothers, sisters in law and nieces.  It was a pretty cool concept.  You rode up the hill in a little tram like car, played the course down about halfway and then rode the tram down the rest of the way.  The course was fun and we all enjoyed it.  I didn't win, but I got the most holes in one - three!!  I was wildly inconsistent though so I mostly got ones or fives.


After golfing most of the crew headed back to the chalet to cool off in the pool.  The five of us headed to Pigeon Forge to hit up an arcade.  The boys had seen them as we were driving around and really wanted to go to one.  We had a fun time playing a bunch of different games together and walked out with a few cars, some candy and an inflatable bat.  After that we headed to Kroger to stock up on some essentials (like Graeter's ice cream!) and headed back to the chalet for dinner and some board games.  Another fantastic day with family!

I think I will end this here and continue with the next two days of the week in part 2.  We did quite a bit those days and this is already a pretty long post.  Come back to hear what we did the rest of the week!