Fitness Friday: Working Out on Vacation

Vionic Tide Sequins

Hello from beautiful California! We are up in Sonoma for a few days on our Girls Weekend trip and are enjoying every second of wine tasting, delicious food, amazing scenery. While I am normally all about my workouts when I go on vacation I usually opt to skip workouts and focus on staying active. I’ll be sure to get my 10,000 steps!

 

I made sure to pack cute, but comfortable walking shoes. I have a pair of my Vionic sneakers and these adorable sandals they just sent. Flip flops with support. Pretty much the best thing ever! And silver goes with everything.

 

Vionic Tide Sequins

 

Before we left on Wednesday I made sure to get a few good sweat sessions in:

Sunday: Cardio, weights and a walk with the dogs

Monday: Tone It Up HIIT workout and Sunkissed Abs

Tuesday:  Yoga Sculpt

Wednesday: Cardio and weights

 

I still got 4 workouts in for the week and a few days without “formal” workouts won’t hurt. I won’t loose all my muscle or cardiovascular health. In fact, my body could probably use a few days off. When I get back next week I will be sure to get back to my normal workouts and do what my body wants. In the meantime I will enjoy a few days of active rest.

 

Food and wine are getting the same treatment, I will eat what I want and when I want it. I will not feel one ounce of guilt and I know I will choose healthy choices with splurges. But if I don’t happen to have any veggies for a day or two I will survive. Everything in moderation! There is no need to be so strict about things that I don’t enjoy life. What’s the point? After seeing so many people obsess about it I don’t need that negativity.

 

 

Wine Wednesday Schram Marquette

Schram Marquette (1 of 2)

A few weeks ago we Scott and I went on a wine bus trip with a big group to check out some of the wineries on the western side of the Twin Cities. We all meet a central location and with coolers of wine and snacks in tow we set out on journey. The first few wineries were fantastic but because of some issues with time management we didn’t have very much time at the last two. Basically we ran off the bus, did our tasting and left. Sigh. Not a very good way to experience the wineries.

 

Thankfully one of our earlier stops was Schram. We had time to get a private tasting in their lower level and hear from the team all about each wine and how it was made. That’s a much better tasting experience. And with most of their wines being made from Minnesota grapes it’s a great place to support. And they had beer. Scott does like wine but can’t drink too much of it so he was happy to enjoy one of their Minnesota made beers.

 

One of our favorites at Schram was the marquette. A grape developed by the University of Minnesota to survive the harsh winters here. It’s a full bodied red that is aged in American oak and has hints of spice and deep dark red fruits. At $27 a bottle this is a splurge but I am happy to pay a bit more to support people living their passions.

 

Schram Marquette (2 of 2) Schram Marquette (1 of 2)

 

 

 

Captain Morgan Sparkling Pineapple Punch

Captain Morgan Sparkling Pineapple Punch (4 of 7)

Summer where are you? It’s a balmy  freezing 54 degrees here today. Spring/early Summer in Minnesota can be fantastic. It can also be like today and horrible. So I making a delicious cocktail to raise my spirits (literally). To celebrate Memorial Day on May 25th, Captain Morgan is hosting a fun competition to create a Memorial Day punch recipe. It’s hard to believe the unofficial kick off to Summer is next Monday. Seriously! This year is flying by.

 

I am a big fan of Captain Morgan’s new flavored white rums; Pineapple, Coconut and Grapefruit. Since I LOVE pineapple I created this Sparkling Pineapple Punch to enjoy while sitting out by our pool. Granted our pool isn’t even open yet and still has the cover on, but it was nice enough this past weekend to sit outside and at least enjoy the 75 degree temps.

 

This really does feel like Summer in a glass. Float a little frozen pineapple and sit back, put your feet up and dream about warmer temperatures and sitting on a beach. Since this has both coconut water and sparkling water it’s a bit lighter in calories than a traditional pineapple cocktail; I am looking at you pina colada! And it’s hydrating. What’s not to love about hydrating while drinking a delicious cocktail.

 

Captain Morgan Sparkling Pineapple Punch
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups Captain Morgan Pineapple Rum
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ½ liter sparkling water
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple pieces
  • Ice for serving
Instructions
  1. Mix together rum, coconut water1 and pineapple juice.
  2. Add in frozen pineapple pieces.
  3. Pour mixture into cocktail glasses filled with ice.
  4. Top with sparkling water and serve.

 

 

 

Captain Morgan Sparkling Pineapple Punch (2 of 7) Captain Morgan Sparkling Pineapple Punch (3 of 7) Captain Morgan Sparkling Pineapple Punch (4 of 7) Captain Morgan Sparkling Pineapple Punch (6 of 7) Captain Morgan Sparkling Pineapple Punch (7 of 7)

Sausage, Bean and Mushroom Ragu

Sausage Ragu (2 of 4)

It was the perfect mid-May weekend of warmer temperatures (a few thunderstorm in there too, but out garden needs the rain) and we are in for shock the rest of the week. Hello temperatures back in the 50’s! Brr. That’s about 20 degrees below normal. Could we ever just have a week of nice normal temps, it hasn’t happened in a while.

 

With those colder temperatures I was craving something warm and hearty. This sausage, bean and mushroom ragu really hit the spot. Serve this in a big with a hunk of crusty bread and you might feel like it’s a chilly February or March day again.  Let’s hope these temperatures get back to normal quickly!

 

Don’t skip the hot Italian sausage, it really does add fantastic flavor. It’s not too spicy but just adds a nice kick. I added a pinch of red pepper flakes too to make my spicy food loving Husband happy. This is great served with a glass of the wine you opened to make the dish… you wouldn’t want any wine to go to waste.

Sausage Ragu (3 of 4)Sausage Ragu (2 of 4)

Sausage, Bean and Mushroom Ragu
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 links hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup red wine (I used a Cab)
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • Salt/Pepper
  • ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add hot Italian sausage and brown. Remove from pan.
  2. Add olive oil and cook onion for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and garlic too coat onion and mushrooms.
  4. Pour in wine, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add in chicken stock, salt/pepper, diced tomatoes, beans and stir to combine.
  6. Add turkey sausage back in and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until reduced.
  7. Stir in oregano and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: At Home Workouts

Good Morning! I hope your week was fantastic. We had a rainy, cold, dreary week in the Twin Cities but it’s supposed to be 70 and sunny later today and possibly 80 tomorrow. That rain was needed and everything is look so green and lush. That is one of the best things about the seasons in the Midwest. Even though it was cold and rainy all week Scott was working crazy hours. At least 16 a day and I barely saw the guy. When that happens I have to make sure I am not gone more than 9 hours so the dogs aren’t cooped up to long and Henry gets hungry! With those weeks I opt to workout at home to make sure I’m not gone too long.

 

To keep the variety interesting this week I did some searching on YouTube for Tone It Up workouts, new Fitness Blender and any other fun videos I could find.

 

Sunday: I did manage to get to the gym, a good cardio and weights session.  I also tried a Hula Hoop DVD, my core was sore on Monday!

Monday: Tone It Up HIIT, weights

Tuesday: Cardio, walk with the dogs and a full body weights session

Wednesday: HIIT, kettlebell workout from Tone It Up, walk with the dogs

Thursday: Off

Friday: Quick cardio session this morning

 

There are a lot of things I like about Tone It Up:

  • Focus on real food
  • Having a positive body image
  • Variety in workouts

 

On the flip side there a few things that really bother me:

  • The word “tone”, that’s not even a real thing. You are trying to build muscle and you really won’t get bulky. I hate that frame of reference. Muscle is a GOOD thing.
  • Their meal plan feels really restrictive. I am a firm believer in everything in moderation and healthy foods are key but if you want to eat lean beef more than once a week or have a carb after 3 it’s ok. I promise. Crazy restrictions can lead to binges.
  • Sexy images. I am all for looking good and feeling good but I feel like they go over the top with their sexy beach images. Why not be in a cute workout outfit instead of a bikini? This arms workout was really good but the image really annoyed me.

 

Bikini Arms Feature 3

 

 

I was just sent a Hula Hoop fitness kit and can’t wait to do more workouts with it. I tried one session on Sunday and my entire core was pretty sore on Monday. I think I will give it another go this weekend. And it’s amazing how these small moves really make a difference.

 

 

 

 

Travel Thursday: San Francisco

I leave in less than a week for a trip to San Francisco with 2 of my best girlfriends. I.Cannot.Wait. It’s a much needed 6 days away! My cousin is getting married over Memorial Day weekend and I wouldn’t miss it. Unfortunately it happens to be one of Scott’s busiest times of the year and he just can’t get away for that long. And he also had 2 snowmobile trips this year so I think it’s only fair for me to go on a girls trip!

 

We fly out Wednesday night and are staying out by the airport this first night and then heading up to Sonoma to stay in a lovely cottage and will be enjoying wine. Lots and lots of wine. Part 2 of the trip will be heading back to San Francisco to enjoy the city. Eating delicious food, more wine, walking and checking out some of the lesser known sights.

 

I’ve already been a handful of times and have done the normal things and now it’s time to really see the neighborhoods and enjoy even more of the delicious food. Hello dim sum, sushi, wine. I may even try to convince the girls to head to a baseball game if its nice out.

 

And for the first time I am going without an agenda. While we do know what days we will be in Sonoma and San Francisco we don’t have specific things planned (except for me heading to the wedding). This will be an exercise in patience and letting go of my Type A self. The crazy thing is that a few years ago this would have royally stressed me out but I am so relaxed about this. Maybe it’s me letting go or just letting wanderlust fully take me over. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

If you have any off the beaten path recommendations I am all ears!

 

 

Wine Wednesday: The Wine Fridge

When you have a decent stock of wine you start thinking about getting a wine fridge to have a few bottles store for safe keeping or easy drinking. Scott got me one last Christmas and it’s been getting a ton of use! I love it.

 

With dual temperature zones for whites and red it’s perfect for keeping whites chilled for summer and a few of my nicer reds in at the correct temperature. A thing about wine, is that it really tastes the best at the correct temperature.  I know, I know that seems like so much work but with a wine  fridge it’s perfect.

 

Many people tend to drink their whites to cold and their reds to warm. You want a chill on whites but not so cold that it prevents you from tasting the flavors. Same for reds, a very slight chill to actually taste it versus it being at room temperature. Reds at 62 to 68F for drinking and 50 to 55F for storing and whites in the 45 to 55 range. Of course I do still put bottles in the fridge for entertaining but take them out a few minutes before to get them to a good temperature.

 

Koldfront 18 Bottle Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler - Silver/Black

 

You can actually pick up a decent fridge for a few hundred dollars. I love mine!

Best Flank Steak Marinade

Best Flank Steak Marinade (2 of 3)

Flank steak. It’s the under appreciated cut of beef. It tends to be cheaper per pound than a lot of other cuts of steak and  it soaks up delicious marinade so well. Best grilled and cut into thin strips and served on salad or right off the cutting board as your dogs attempt to get some of whatever delicious smelling food you have. Tanner and Clifford would not leave me alone. I moved to the right, they moved to the right. Even the tiniest motion got a response from them. They knew it was beef and that it smelled so good.

 

The key to deep, delicious flavor is to let the flank steak soak up the marinade all day. Grab a gallon sized bag, pour all the ingredients in and let it sit. I set it on a plate in the fridge and turn it a few times. That’s it. Take it out a few minutes before grilling and let it warm up just a tad. And the great think about flank steak is you only need a few minutes a side for medium rare. So easy and so good.

 

Trader Joe’s has fresh ginger that has been frozen into little cubes. I LOVE this. So easy to pop two right into the bag and let it give all its delicious flavor. And the Bragg’s Aminos might seem like something to skip but it’s so flavorful and I found a big bottle for $10. We’ve already made this marinade twice and I see it many times more in our future.

 

Best Flank Steak Marinade (2 of 3)

Best Flank Steak Marinade
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2lbs flank steak
  • ¼ cup Bragg's Aminos
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Fish oil
  • 2-3 green onions, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt/Pepper
Instructions
  1. Place flank steak in bag and top with ingredients. Let sit in the fridge for at least 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Bring the steak out a few minutes before you grill.
  3. Grill 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Slice thinly, against the grain.

 

 

 

Best Flank Steak Marinade (3 of 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makeup Monday All About Eyes

I’ve been on a big cleaning and organizing kick at the house. I’ve gone through closets, bins, drawers and have donated so many things. I decided it was time to go through makeup again. If I hadn’t used it in a year, it got tossed. No need to have it sit in a drawer and not get used. I went through all the skin care samples I had accumulated from Birchbox and Ipsy too. If it’s not my kind of product I gave it away or tossed it. My drawer looks so nice and organized!

 

With the recent Ulta and Sephora sales I did a little restocking of some basics and decided it was time to try a bright colored eye shadow palette. I picked up the Anastasia Artist palette, and it really does look like a paint palette. Bright, fun colors! And it was only $30. I’ve only had it a few days and I already used most of the colors. The orange and blue shades are beautiful together and today I have on the coal and beigely.

 

I finally bought the Kat Von D tattoo liner in brown. I’ve needed a long lasting basic brown liner for months and I purchased this one. It lasted all day with no smudging. So happy about that!

 

 

To fill in my barely there blonde brows I’ve been using the Elf Brow Kit for year. $3 at Target and I’ve barely used any. Just a tiny bit of powder and my brows pop.

 

 

And for the holy grail of under eye concealers, IT cosmetics mixed with Maybelline. Great coverage and you don’t see my super dark circles from chronic insomnia.

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: One Active Week

Yeah for Friday! Although I will say this week flew by and I had a great week of workouts. Feeling good, sleep has improved slightly and we had warmer weather (with the exception of today, it’s only 55 and cloudy right now).

 

Sunday: Golfing. Our first 18 of the season. We did have a cart but I got lots of steps in chasing after my ball. Let’s just say I will not be going pro anytime soon.

Monday: Cardio, weights and a walk with the dogs

Tuesday: Yoga Sculpt and walk

Wednesday: I went to a great event at MN Power Yoga. 25 minutes of yoga and about 20 minutes of accupuncture. It was amazing. I left feeling so relaxed and ended up sleeping really well that night too. They are doing a workshop June 12th and I am thinking about going.

Thursday: Yoga Sculpt

Friday: I started waking up at 3am and finally just got out of bed around 5 and went downstairs to workout. A Fitness Blender HIIT and legs workout, followed by a Tone It Up weights workout. Took about an hour and I felt so much better after. Since I was heading to our corporate office (about 2 miles from the house) it was so nice to workout at home and shower there. Normally I head to the gym/yoga to workout and get ready there since my office is about 30 minutes from where we live. I am a little sore today now but feeling so good. My mood is a million times better with a morning workout. Note to self: get your booty out of bed and just do it. You will feel better!

 

For my 5am session this morning I was trying out my new kaleidoscope leggings from Reebok. So comfy and these stay up! No sliding waist band. (Thanks for sending Reebok! I love them)

 

Reebok - Reebok ONE Series Kaleidoscope Tight Coral B83521

 

I got a new iPad mini recently and just downloaded the new Tone It Up book, I am about 30% done with it and really like a lot of the points and find it motivating. A few major points of contention are their lower fat approach. While they do advocate healthy fats I don’t think it’s enough of them. Suggesting to cut out egg yolks… not really on point with 2015 nutrition guidelines. Eat the whole darn egg. It’s good for you! And the two times a day to workout. Again lets be realistic. I try to get my hour or so session in and get my 10,000+ steps done too but I don’t have time to be doing a morning and night activity. I know they suggest a shorter one for the 2nd session but still.

 

There’s always room to improve my diet and change up my routines and I will  be trying out some of their recipes and workouts. I will report back on what I liked/didn’t like in mid June.