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Snow Day!

Hi There!

Yesterday Richmond got about 3 inches of snow, and while that might not seem like a lot up North, it is for us! Even at a prediction of snow, the city seems to shut down, schools are closed, and businesses have delayed openings. I conveniently had the day off anyway, so I spent it doing the quintessential “snow day” activities.

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I began my day with a wonderful cup of coffee (or 1 1/2). I saved the last little bit of my Silk Hazlenut creamer, as I knew I would want to enjoy it on my morning off. I’ll definitely be buying more when I go to the grocery store on Sunday πŸ™‚

I lounged around for a couple of hours, then decided I should get up and be “productive”. I checked on the batter I had whipped up the night before for Peanut Butter Power Balls. I’m bringing these as dessert to a potluck dinner I’m going to on Friday. It turns out that I left them in the fridge for too long!

When I tried to form the “dough” into balls, it just wasn’t happening. So in an attempt to save them, I added about 1/3 cup of brown rice flour, an egg, and about 1/3 cup of applesauce. Unfortunately, with these added ingredients, the power balls are no longer “raw”, but more like a cookie. I baked them at 400 for about 15 minutes, and viola!

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I hope they are well received πŸ™‚

After baking, I did some light cleaning; dusted, vacuumed, and swiffered. I’ll clean the bathroom and scrub down the kitchen this weekend. Although I live in a small space, I still have to clean in stages.

Once done cleaning, I bundled up and went out for a walk in the snow! I wore two pairs of leggings, a heat sealed long-sleeve shirt, my double lined coat, heavy socks, Uggs, a knit hat, and two pairs of gloves!! I was definitely warm enough, but you can never be too careful. I don’t think the temperatures rose above 15 degrees yesterday, and it was windy too!

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I covered about 2.5 miles, and even broke a sweat! The monuments looked angelic with snow around them.

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I am embarrased to admit that I have discovered that I can watch past TV episodes without having DVR! I watched a marathon of New Girl and a “live” episode of Modern Family last night before conking out to bed. ‘Twas a great day!

What do you like to do on a Snow Day?

Ellen

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Reflections on Last Week

Happy Monday!

I am taking the morning off from exercise as I am still recovering from the weekend! I am hydrating with some delicious lemon-water, waking up with good coffee, and boiling a pot of rice for the week.

I had Saturday off, so despite the rainy weather, I ventured out to the mall to Athleta. My parents gave me a gift card there for Christmas. I have been in need for a new pair of capri pants, or running knickers, as Athleta calls them. The gift card helped me with buying two pairs of knickers and two racer-back tank tops, that were both on sale! I’m not usually a tank top wearing girl at the gym, but these two have extra support in them, so I’ll be able to wear them with confidence πŸ™‚

I also had a great workout at the gym Saturday morning; 23 minutes on the stair master at one level higher than I’ve been stepping. I also jogged about 1.3 miles on the treadmill with a 1.0 incline and power-walked. That and the stair master totalled 53 minutes of exercise and A LOT of sweating.

It wasn’t too long after I came back from shopping, that I had to get ready for The Legwarmers concert! I can proudly say that I actually own a complete 80’s outfit including leggings, a tight muscle dress with gold studs, and a bright coral top with lace.

I pretty much wore the same outfit when I went to The Legwarmers show in 2013, except then I wore these awesome seafoam green tights.

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We danced to the best of 80’s rock for 3+ hours – so hard that I woke up sore Sunday morning!!

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It was a late, late night that ended with a delicious turkey pesto deli sandwich from Uptown Market. I’ve actually only been to Uptown “late night”, but it would be delicious any time of day. Although I was consuming a whole sandwich at 2AM, this was a smart decision, because without it, I think I would have felt a lot worse the next morning.

Sunday I woke up earlier than I wanted to, but what made me get out of bed was the thought of French Toast!! This is the first time I have made French Toast on my own and it turned out to be very easy and delicious! I just soaked my locally made GF cinnamon raisin bread in two eggs and 1/4 cup of almond milk and cooked each piece of bread separately on the skillet.

I scrambled the leftover egg wash with shredded cheddar cheese. This.was.yummy.

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It was a much anticipated sunny Sunday in town, so I drove over to my parent’s neighborhood for a 45 minute power-walk or “hike” as I call it sometimes, as their neighborhood as tons of hills.

Enough about the weekend. Here are five things I am proud of from last week

1. Planning my workouts for the week

2. Not feeling guilty when I don’t follow exactly what I’ve planned for the week

3. Limiting my carb intake to 1 1/2 servings per day

4. Making good use of all my food in the fridge and making most meals at home

5. Following the 52 Week Savings Challenge for the second week

I am particularly excited about going to a Sunrise Yoga class this week. Here’s to a productive and restful week!

Ellen

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Oats Return & Scramble Success

Good morning!

I am taking a rest day from exercise and enjoying my second cup of coffee and the Today Show before heading into work. While I am LOVING my new job, sometimes it can be very physical and tiring. For example, yesterday, we switched out both window displays and moved out a sofa and two chairs to our Studio space. That all left us with a lot of rearranging!!

At the end of the day, I am physically tired and also feel that I need to re-hydrate with water. I felt like this during the holiday season as well. Being on your feet for eight hours a day and moving/lifting items can take a toll. Fortunately, I have been listening to my body and not over doing it.

On the food front, I have really been enjoying scrambled eggs lately. I’ve had them several times for breakfast in the last week or so, and I even whipped up a couple for dinner last night!

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I subbed orange juice for wine πŸ™‚

I don’t have a photo, but I have also enjoyed adding vegetables like mushrooms and bell peppers to the scramble.

Eggs are a great source of protein, but I don’t have them every single day, in an effort to prevent a rise in cholesterol.

Although, eggs are a wonderful addition to the weekly breakfast rotation, I do LOVE old-fashioned oats! The possibilities for fruit and toppings are endless. Here, I added a large banana and sprinkled coconut and agave for sweetness.

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Have a great day!

Ellen

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Weekend Update

Good morning!

I woke up super early to go to my first Body Pump class in 2014. I was proud of myself for getting out from under my covers on this 10 degree morning!!

There was a sub instructor who needed to make the class an “Express” body pump class. I was a little dissappointed to not fit in ALL muscle groups and abs, but nevertheless, it was a great start to the day and it felt good to get back into weight training.

I am going to get in the habit of either putting a check mark next to where I have written in a workout I’ve completed, and recording the duration of workouts in my planner.

As for this past weekend, it was a perfect balance of work + fun. On Friday after work, I went to my first VCU baskbetball game in years! Yes, I admit, I have not been to a VCU baskbetball game since before I was in college there. Yikes! I am not a sports fan at all, but I do like to watch basketball live. I think because I played basketball in middle school and high school, I am able to follow along more attentively.

It was a GREAT game! VCU won by 17 points! It was exciting to say the least and the student band and dance team were almost as entertaining to watch as the athletes themselves! One of my oldest friends since 1st grade, who was in town from Michigan, invited me to go to the game with her and her parents. They had an extra ticket, so I was very lucky to get to go.

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I had to work on Saturday, but afterwards, my friend Sarah met me at my house and we drove over to my sister’s house for drinks and dinner with my nieces. The kids had their own drinks of course :). I was in bed by 10:30PM that night = win.

Sunday was a FULL day. After waking up on my own (without an alarm), I had a quick breakfast, enjoyed some coffee, and headed out to the gym. I had a great interval cardio workout; 20 min. on the stair master + 25 min. on the elliptical. I like changing it up like this because it breaks up the monotiny of using gym equipment when the weather isn’t great for being active outdoors.

After the gym, I went to the grocery store for my weekly shopping, followed by lunch. After lunch I power-cleaned by apartment. Dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and scrubbing were all involved. It did feel good to kind of “clean” Christmas aftermath.

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Once done cleaning, I showered up for Mass, followed by a hearty dinner and laundry session at my parent’s. Whoo…I’m exhausted just thinking about all of that!

I hope you all had a good weekend – cheers to a great week!

Ellen

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14 For 2014

Happy New Year!! I like to treat today, the second day in January, as my “fresh start” to the new year as opposed to January 1, because let’s be honest here, on January 1, some of us are still recovering from New Year’s Eve festivities πŸ™‚Β 

I have already started my day off on the right foot by power-walking for about 50 minutes first thing this morning. I decided to head out without my iPod and reflect on this list of 14 events and/or goals I am looking forward to in 2014.Β 

1. Becoming an aunt for the fourth time!Β 

2. Training myself for the Monument Ave. 10K

3. Spending my birthday on the Potomac River with friends and family

4. My family’s beach vacation at Emerald Isle

5. Girls’ Weekend in Charlottesville and touring new wineries

6. Practicing yoga twice a week

7. Taking up painting again; I took art lessons in high school

8. Buying a new rug and/or sofa

9. Completing one novel a month

10. Paying more attention to the news

11. A long weekend this summer at The Rivah

12. Diligently schedule workouts for the week

13. Eating and Drinking mindfully

14. Give thanks and pray often

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Have a great January 2nd!Β 

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Ellen

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