Tag Archives: relaxing

Miss Antsy Pants

Yesterday morning I had visions of relaxing, reading, and watching movies all day.  However, I just couldn’t do it!  I’ve come to the realization that I am Miss Antsy Pants.

I can not sit still and do nothing.  Well, not unless I am on a beach or sitting by the pool.  But any of you living on the east coast know that it was way too hot to be outside yesterday. 

So, although I did watch a movie and read a bit yesterday, it was not until after I thoroughly cleaned and dusted the upstairs, did two loads of laundry, baked a loaf of low-fat banana bread, and made a batch of homemade hummus. 

See???  Antsy Pants!! 

After cleaning the upstairs, I came downstairs and noticed three very ripe (AKA black) bananas in the fruit basket.  I couldn’t let these go to waste, so of course the perfect solution was banana bread!

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**Note** This is not a picture of the banana bread I made.  My camera has been acting funny, so this is a photo from the Betty Crocker website. 😦

I followed this recipe from Betty Crocker, but made a few healthier substitutions.  Here are the ingredients I used instead:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (in hind sight I should have used apple sauce)
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
    • 1/2 cup skim milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup blueberries

The loaf turned out a little dry, so next time I will definitely add 1/2 or 1 cup of apple sauce for some extra moisture.

While the warm aroma of banana bread filled the house I decided to make a batch of homemade hummus

As usual, it soothed my soul and rocked my taste buds!  I heart hummus!!!!  I foresee hummus sandwiches in my near future.

I also made a little time for strength training.  The plan was to run 3 miles and do strength training, but I just couldn’t make myself go outside.  The air was so hot it took my breath away!

Recently, I stumbled across Women’s Health Magazine printable workout plans.  This is an entire page of different workouts you can download and print to take to the gym.  I fell in love. 

I downloaded three workouts yesterday, and decided to do the Ultimate Fitness Plan 2010 circuit A in the comfort of my perfectly air conditioned living room. 

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I did the circuit 3 times in about 35 minutes.  This workout was definitely easier than the workouts I’ve gotten out of Shape Magazine, so it would be perfect for workout newbies and anyone who needs a quick effective workout for those days when you are in a rush. 

Today’s plan is to go to the gym for cardio, hang out with the hubby who has Thursdays off, work on some writing curriculum for the county, and RELAX (maybe). 🙂

My brother lent me the second Stieg Larsson book, The  Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.  If it is anything like the first book, I’ll be done by the end of the weekend 😉

Enjoy the cooler (95 degree) weather today, do a little rain dance, and remember to take some time to relax! 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Check Out My Melons

This morning was all about breakfast.  Today is the first day since last Sunday (I think) that I haven’t had something penciled in on the calendar to do.  Consequently, I took my time getting up this morning, watched a little of the Today Show, and then decided to tackle breakfast. 

First, I chopped up a melon.

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It was a perfectly round melon with green ridges around its rind.  The inside was a bright peach-ish, orange-ish color with juicy “meat” and a compact seed core.  A wonderfully delicious start to the day.

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However, I wasn’t finished with breakfast just yet.  I knew that if I didn’t eat something else, I would finish this entire melon by myself in just a few short hours. 

The past few weeks I have been craving a bowl of cold cereal like you wouldn’t believe.  I haven’t had a bowl of cereal in quite some time, but with the triple digit weather recently, it seems like the perfect cold breakfast way to start the day.

Yesterday, while at the grocery store, I picked up a box of Kashi Island Vanilla cold cereal.

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At first glance the nutritional facts didn’t seem too bad.

So, I poured myself a bowl.

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But, wait a minute!  What is the serving size? 

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27 biscuits?!?!?! 

I have to count out 27 biscuits?? 

Hmmm…  interesting.

So, I counted how many biscuits I had poured in my bowl. 

43 biscuits.

16 biscuits too many.

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This is a bowl of 27 biscuits.  Apparently my idea of a bowl of cereal is a little different from the cereal industry’s. 

I added a little almond milk and a handful of blueberries to complete the meal.
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It is a very sweet cereal as it is sweetened with both evaporated cane juice and evaporated cane juice syrup.  However, it does claim to contain a full day’s serving of whole grains.  Not too shabby.

What is your favorite “healthy” cereal?  Have you found that what you pour in a bowl is right-on or way too much???

Today’s agenda includes lots of relaxing.  I’m going to stay in my jammies for a little while longer while I watch the movie Dear John that just came in the mail through Netflix.  Then I am going to head to the gym for a quick 3 mile run and weights.  After that who knows???  😉

Have a wonderful day!!!! 

Here’s a Portion Control Quiz that you might find interesting.  Just click here!  Let me know how you did!!!  I missed quite a few!!!!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Dirty Little Vegan

Let me just say that this Memorial Day weekend has started off strong!

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(Doesn’t this picture just take your breath away?)

No, we didn’t pack up the dogs and head to the beach or river.  We didn’t even go out of town. 

But that is the beauty of it. 

We stayed in town and are enjoying a nice, relaxing weekend at home together.  I can’t even tell you the last time we did that… or the next time we’ll get to do it again!

Yesterday, after blogging and catching up on some reading, I spent some down time on the couch.  I watched the movie Precious, which I must say I did not enjoy.  A little too sad and slow.  I then watched a good 2 hours of the Food Network!  I learned how to make Braised Red Cabbage (which I will be making after my next trip to the Farmer’s Market), Apricot Oat Bars, and Stone-Ground Grits with Gruyere.  I decided I’d had enough of the boob tube when I saw Duff Goldman and Geoffrey Manthorne from Ace Of Cakes eat Rocky Mountain oysters.

I then went for a treacherous 6.6 mile run in the blistering sun.  It was the toughest run I’ve had in a long while.  It really didn’t feel that hot when I left the house, but the heat was intensified by my black pavement running path.  It took me 1 hour and 1 minute to run including two walking breaks, and a stop at the Cultural Arts center for water.  That’s an average of 9:24 minute miles, which isn’t too bad considering I thought I could literally to burst into flames during 5 out of the 6 miles! 

Boy was I glad I ran those miles when Larry and I feasted on these babies as an appetizer at dinner!

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After lounging by the pool for a couple of hours, we headed to Sticky Rice for dinner. 

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And yes.  We ate half a bucket of tater tots dipped in a spicy ranch type dressing.  They were melt in your mouth good, and I do not regret one single bite 😉

For dinner, Larry had sushi, and I ordered the Dirty Vegan Noodle bowl.  I was ecstatic to find so many vegan meals on the menu!  That is just not something you ever find in the suburbs. 

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This description simply does not do this dish justice.  It was chock full of tofu, veggies, edamame, cilantro, and sprouts served over udon noodles.  A little spicy, a little nutty, and a tad bit sweet.  Perfection in a bowl.

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It was seriously the best dinner I’ve had while dinning out in a LONG time.  I could only finish about a quarter of the bowl (the tots may have had something to do with this!), and I can NOT wait to have the leftovers for lunch this afternoon.  🙂

Today Larry and I are planning on heading to the pool until it is time to come home and get ready for our friends’ little girl’s first birthday party.  I plan on swimming laps for cardio and then doing some serious poolside reading 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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A Lazy Sunday

Remember those old college Sundays, when after a weekend full of parties and fun, you lounged around in your PJs all day watching chick flicks, eating Pizza Hut single pan pizzas, and guzzling any non-alcoholic beverages you could get your hands on for hydration???

Well, those lazy Sundays have long been a thing of the past for me.  That is until today minus the personal pan pizza 🙂

Today I have lounged around watching Time Traveler’s Wife, working out, and reading.  It has been so wonderful.  I really needed a day to just rest and relax without any outings or long to-do lists.  It’s been way too long

Here’s a great post about the importance of giving yourself one day of rest

Larry and I woke up pretty early considering we had a late night last night.  And by late, I mean just a little past midnight.  We’re getting old 😉

I don’t have many pictures from last night, because I forgot to take some!!!!  I got the camera out and then laid it down and never picked it back up :(  I did get some pics of the food table and some cheesy Dollar Tree decorations.

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Did you spot the Gone in 60 Seconds Punch in the background????

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I did not even manage to get a picture of the bride and groom :(  Guess I’ll just have to throw them another party, so I can take some pictures!

Today I skipped breakfast (oops!) and ate an early lunch…  party leftovers.

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Reheated vegetarian baked beans, a MorningStar Spicy Black Bean Burger topped with tomato and avocado slices, and some pasta salad. 

I then did 3 circuits of the Yvonne Strahovski workout from Shape Magazine.  It took me exactly an hour to do the strength moves with five minutes of cardio between.  For cardio, I did 1 minute of running in place, 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute of high knees, 1 minute of jab, cross, hook, uppercuts, and 1 minute of front and side kicks.  I really love this workout.  It works your whole body and you work up a sweat without having to run in place on a treadmill.  Oh, and you can watch TV while you do it, so time really flies!!!  🙂

Tonight for dinner, Larry and I are making a Martin’s run to the salad bar.  We both feel that we may have overindulged a little too much last night 🙂

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you feel rested and rejuvenated for the week ahead. 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Sunday in the Shade

This weekend was truly wonderful.  The weather was beautiful, and we were able to spend time with amazing friends.

Yesterday, Larry and I went with a couple of friends to a local winery for Sunday in the Shade.

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There was a tasting and a one man band.

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The sun was shining,

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and plans were made for a camping trip next weekend (what!?! Disappointed)!

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We were very sad when we had to go.

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But after we left the vineyard, Larry and I became official members of a local community pool! 

I have lived here for almost five years, and anytime I have wanted to read by a pool, or swim laps, I’ve had to drive an hour and a half to my parents’ house.  This year we decided to use a portion of our tax refund to become pool members, and I can not wait for summer fun in the sun (with loads of sunscreen, of course!) 😉

Did I mention that we are going camping next weekend???  I have not been camping since I was a freshman in high school back in da 90s!  Needless to say, this city girl is a bit nervous!  The hiking and s’more making sounds wonderful, but what about the creatures that go bump in the night?!?!?!  How do we keep them away????

 A black bear scans the water while hunting for fish.

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Do you go camping?  Any advice for a camping neophyte??? 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Hiking for a Happy Heart and Mind

I just had the most glorious day with a great friend, beautiful weather, and the most perfect scenery.

Gen and I headed out to Belle Isle and James River Park for a hike through nature.  We couldn’t have picked a better day.  The sky was clear blue, there was a light breeze, and the temperature was just right for a little tramping through the woods.   

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We started off at Tredegar Iron Works where they were celebrating Civil War and Emancipation Day.  We were only scared entirely out of our wits when they shot off a canon about 200 yards away from my car! 

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We then walked across the suspension bridge to Belle Isle and walked almost completely around the island until we found a ladder that took us to a dry pass on rocks across the river.  This time we actually found a path across!  Our feet got only slightly damp as we got a great core workout jumping and balancing our way across the James.

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The trails were beautiful!  They were luscious and green and filled with newly awakened spring wildlife. 

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We walked for a couple of hours as we talked about work, weddings, and just about everything!!!  Walking in such beautiful weather with such good company makes you forget that you are actually getting in a great workout!

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It is also good for the soul. 😉

After almost 3 hours of hiking, we decided to honor the rumbly in our tumblies and get a little lunch.  We decided to eat at the Boathouse at Rocketts Landing.  If you live in the Richmond area and you have not tried this restaurant yet, you must! 

Not only was our view phenomenal, (Yes!  This was our actual view.  Check out the glass ledge that was our table!) 

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but the food was fantastic!!!

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I got the Vegan Pizza and it was absolutely face rocking! 

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I almost ate an entire half of this baby by myself!!! 

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I can not wait to do this again!!!  Hiking and being with a friend is truly great for the heart and soul.  It was wonderful to take a timeout from our hectic daily schedule to spend the day with Mother Nature.  My mind was calm, my heart was happy, and I couldn’t stop smiling! 

The good news is that anyone can hike!  Just strap on some sneakers and hit the trails!  Here is a great site to find hiking trails in your area!  Click here

Now, Larry is on his way home from work and we are planning on relaxing together for the rest of the evening.  We are going to grill some chicken and veggies for dinner, eat on the back patio, and watch movies on our newly discovered Netflix Instant Streaming through Wii for the rest of the night!!!  Tomorrow we are signing up at a community pool for the summer, and then going to a local winery to do a tasting and listen to live music.

Life is Good, my friends, life is good! 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Simply Spa-Tacular

Hello!!!  Long time no see!  I just got back from a glorious weekend away with the girls. 

The ride to the resort was BEAUTIFUL.  I am always so amazed by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  They are quite appropriately named, don’t you think? ;) 

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The weather was warm and the birds were singing, so I opened the sun roof, cranked up the tunes and sang all the way to the resort 😉

Once we checked in and unloaded the cars, the fun began! 

We started with a little tasting on the back patio to help pick the wine that will be served at the reception.

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Fed some baby deer who saw how much fun we were having and  decided to try and crash our little shindig. 

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Look how close they came to us! 

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And got all dolled up for a dinner out.  We did have some difficulty finding a restaurant that was worthy of our dolled-up-ness!  Restaurants attached to ski rental areas/locker rooms were not exactly what we had in mind 😉

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After much searching, we finally found a restaurant that sufficed.  The food actually turned out rather tasty though the ambiance was not entirely classy (in  case the fire extinguisher in the background didn’t give it away! ;)). 

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When we returned to the villa we had a surprise party waiting for the Bride to Be! 

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She received many gifts that will be helpful to her in her future marriage 😉

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The next day we woke up and went to the spa, which for me, was the highlight of the weekend.

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(The Bride to Be)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spa was simply spa-tacular! ;)  (I know, I know…  sometimes I just can’t help myself.)

They gave us our very own room to use between services, and set up a table of goodies for us.

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The chocolate covered strawberries were simply divine!

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By the end of the day, we were refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated.  There is simply no better way to be!

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Although I was sad to have to leave, I was eager to get home and do a bit of spring cleaning.

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Indulgence was the word of the weekend, but every single moment was well worth it.  I couldn’t have asked for a better time with a more fun group of girls!

What is your favorite way to indulge and relax with friends?   

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