Wednesday, February 4, 2015

NOM NOM

So as you know from my last post, I'm trying to eat health (minus the donuts and diet soda I had for breakfast today). I guess that's the weird trade off when your are too busy working-out to buy groceries so then you have a bad breakfast. Anywho... just wanted to share a few healthy recipes that have really helped Spencer and I with our eating. I can't even tell you how great Pinterest and Instagram are for finding healthy recipes. You can find my Whole30/Paleo Pinterst folder here. A few weeks back Spencer and I made chicken tacos. Yes, lettuce wraps are great, but we decided to try the tortillas recipe from Stephanie of Simply Stupid Paleo website. All the ingredients are Whole30 approved but they are also considered "SWIPO," which means in Whole30-speak that it's compliant, but it looks too much like something you shouldn't be having so you should just avoid it (which I don't agree with). The tortilla recipe shown on the blog was made thin for crepes, but Spencer made ours thick so we could use them for tacos. We thought they would get soggy and fall apart but they seriously held up great and we loved them. The best part about this is each tortilla contains about one whole egg and I don't like eggs, so I finally found a way to eat them and not even notice I'm eating them! Protein points for me! Now each batch only makes about 3 so you probably want to double or even triple the recipe. And even though you use a lot of eggs, the coconut flour and arrowroot powder go a long way. I also used this to make a sandwich wrap the next day and it was super tasty. I forgot to take a picture of our tacos (because we inhaled them) but here is the picture from Stephanie's website (crepe version). Don't they look divine!

  
A while back I made my first quinoa recipe with this Creamy Caprese Quinoa Bake. It is a great way to get a lasagna-type dish without the noodles. Yes, it has cheese and cream, but since I'm only doing 80% Whole30, I can do that. :) However I have had left over quinoa ever since and needed to use the rest. I found this salad recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers over at Damn Delicious! And it was really good. Don't be scared of quinoa! I know I was at first but now I hope to incorporate it into more dishes. 

    
All this health food is great, but tomorrow is my birthday which means I'm going to stuff my face with cupcakes and greasy carbs! Woot woot. Don't forget to TREAT ya self right. Emphasis on the treat. Also, I take all forms of gifts and cash and you can direct message me on where to send it! #26isold

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 WILL GO DOWN AS THE YEAR I FELL IN LOVE WITH WORKING OUT


I wanted to get this posted on Tuesday but work has been so crazy. Yes, I've had to actually do work at work, instead of blogging. Hard life. Today I wanted to talk a little about 2015. Ooooh 2015. How I've waited my whole life for you! Like I mentioned last post, I have some goals/resolutions that I have set out to accomplish this year, as well as thing that will be happening in 2015 that I'm excited about. Today I'm only going to talk about the main one: FITNESS. Everyone and their mom says they are going to get in better shape and eat better at the beginning of every year. Heck, I said that last year. And although people roll their eyes when you say it, there is nothing wrong with striving for something even after you fail. This year however is different. It's one thing to say you want to get in better shape, but it's so hard to actually implement a plan to do it. The reason why I know this year is different is because I've actually started on this journey back in November. In September I finally got a new gym membership since we moved away from the Provo Rec Center. Even though I had the pass, I still didn't have the tools or the drive to be consistent. I really just had to find the thing that was going to get me to the gym and by gum I found it! The big thing for me was accountability. One of my best friends also happened to have a membership to the same gym and also felt like she had gotten out of shape and, like me, really wanted to get her dream body. Finding a gym partner was key in getting me to the gym!  Without her I didn't have anyone saying "k gym today?"

The other issue I would run into, is after working an 8 hour day, I'd come home and once my sweats were on and I was on the couch, the last thing I wanted to do was get in my gym clothes and go out into the cold. That's when I overcame my 2nd hurdle. I was no longer allowed to go home between the gym and work. I had to go straight there after or I knew I wouldn't want to leave the house.

The last hurdle for me was having a plan, and knowing how to work out properly for the body type I wanted. At my old gym, I generally would go to their Insanity class twice a week. Which was a great workout, but I needed more than just cardio, and I needed to go more often to get the results I wanted. Weight lifting was never something I did, except for back in high school when I was on the volleyball team. This is mostly because the machines at the gym always seem so overwhelming to me and I hate wandering around and looking at the pictures and instruction to figure out which machine does what, and then embarrassingly trying to adjust them for my small stature.

Now Aubrey and I have a set schedule where we do a lower body workout on Tuesday, upper body on Wednesday, a spin class on Mondays and Thursdays (our new favorite thing), and then Saturdays we do our own thing (I'll probably do cardio and more ab work). That's right people! Add it up! 5 days a week this lady is going to be/has been working out. Never in my life do I remember working out that much, and let me tell you it has changed my life. Maybe it's just the combination of all the things above, but man have I fallen in love with working out. I have finally found the one thing that was missing; passion and drive. Before working out was such a chore. Now of course if I could just have an insanely hot body without lifting a finger, you would find me on the couch with Netflix all-day-ur-day, but now when I go I'm excited. I'm excited about the body I'm going to have, about the habits I'm going to form, and about the self-esteem and confidence I'm going to get back. I think a lot of you can agree that at the end of the day all we dream of is looking in the mirror naked at ourselves and being able to say,"Dayuuum girl! You lookin goooooood!"  

One thing I've said many times is that I work out so that I can eat what I want. This still holds true but I'm also trying to develop better eating habits. As most of you know Spencer and I did Whole30 last year and even though it was hard, it was really rewarding and I felt so much better. Now, Whole30 isn't a realistic lifestyle for most people, and it's definitely not meant to be a lifestyle either. More of a jumping off point and a way to evaluate your eating habits and make you more aware of what you're putting in your body. Last week Spencer and I started a pseudo Whole30. We are trying to be about 80% Whole30 throughout the week. Even though sometimes I want to pull a Regina George and say "Screw it, I'm getting cheese fries," it really has helped me expand my recipe base to find new healthy alternatives. 

Another thing that has helped me is following amazing fitness and clean eating accounts on Instagram. There is no better way to be reminded why I need to go to the gym, since Instagram is something I look at multiple times a day. Here are a few of my favorite ladies that help me stay motivated to get the body I want: 

@alexandrabring


@iza_goulart


@carolineroxy 


@kayla_itsines


There is nothing more inspiring then seeing these ladies faces everyday when I open my Instagram account! For the first time ever I'm so excited for the results I'm going to achieve through hard work, and not just the results that I'm wishing for from the couch. Another thing this eating right/exercising thing is doing for me, is helping me curve my Diet DP addiction... I mean love not addiction. Addiction implies I have a problem! ;) But now I'm only drinking one about 2-3 times a week. Which is a huge improvement from 1-2 times a day! 
Anyway I can't tell you how excited I am about this journey I'm on and getting excited about it is half the battle! Lastly I'll share the link to the recipe that so many of you were asking me about from my Instagram. I don't like red meat so this was my first time incorporating it in a meal so that Spencer could have some. My friend Laci pinned this forever ago but the link didn't go to any recipe so I scoured the internet until I finally found it here. I took this picture from the website because it's much prettier than my version! Enjoy! 




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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

VEGAS VACATION (WITH WHAT MIGHT AS WELL BE THE GRISWOLD FAMILY)

Well it's been a hot minute since I was on here. Well first let's start with Christmas I guess. Christmas Eve has always been spent at my Grandparents house, eating and exchanging gifts. Since my Grandma passed away last month (and my grandpa about 3 years ago) we had one last hooray at their house. It was bittersweet not having them there, but nice to get to see the house one last time. Christmas day was spent with my family and Spencer gave me some great presents including some Kate Spade earrings, a bluetooth speaker, and some Sorel boots. We were planning on going to Vegas right after Christmas but because of the storm, decided to wait until after New Years Day. 

Vegas was so nice. Even though it was still a little chilly on the first few days, it felt like spring break compared to Utah's 8 degree weather! Our 5 day stay in Vegas included lots of card games, movies, food, and dog walks. Friday night I took the Hansen family on a little adventure. Last time I came down I was really bummed because I wanted to try a Sprinkles Cupcake and Spencer didn't want to take me to the strip and promised we would do it over Christmas. At the same time, Shake Shack has finally opened a location in Vegas on the strip, and on top of that my sister-in-law Holly and I had gift cards to H&M (also on the strip). So I took the family who never goes to the strip, to the strip! The hard thing about it was that H&M, Sprinkles, and Shake Shack were all in different casinos, meaning we had to park in 3 different parking garages and brave Las Vegas Blvd to get to each one of them. Luckily for me my in-laws are the bomb and didn't mind me dragging them on this casino hopping adventure. And surprisingly Spencer got even more clothes than I did at H&M, and my father-in-law "loved the music" that H&M was playing and had a good time there. Wtf? Anyway, I'm not a sweets girl but I'm a sucker for a good cupcake and Sprinkles did not disappoint! Someone put one of those right next to me house please!! Shake Shack was also fabulous and most of my party thought it was better than In-N-Out. I don't eat beef so I can't really weigh in on the burger debate but the fries are better and plus they have hot dogs for people with a child's palate like me! Woop woop!

^^The line was out the door for Shake Shack but it moved fast and was totally worth it! 


My brother-in-law found this (2nd hand) topless swimsuit thing (or at least that's what we think it is). The real question is who wore it better? Spencer seems to be enjoying it more, but zero looks much cuter! 


^^And Zero enjoyed her favorite spot right outside the back door, basking in the sun. I think she had forgotten what warm weather felt like. You and me both girlfriend. 

It was so hard to leave Vegas the last day because it was 65 degrees, but it really made Spencer and I realize how much we want to move down there after graduation. On the drive home Spencer and I talked about our new years resolutions which I hope to post about later this week. I've been looking forward to this year for so long and all the changes that are coming. I can't wait to finally move out of Utah County after 7 long years here!  


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Friday, December 19, 2014

TITLING POSTS TAKES HALF THE EFFORT

Man, I have all these pictures that I need to upload and post but I'm so lazy! Womp womp. In the mean time I'll tell you that I've become a crazy lady and hopped on the dog Instagram train. Yes, Zero has her own Instagram: @zerothebulldog. And if you don't follow her she will poop on your bed and chew your favorite shoes. Her words, not mine. I just have soooo many picture of her that are clogging up my phone but need to be released into the world because they are so dang cute, and if you haven't noticed, my Instagram account has kinda been taken over by her face. The only problem is I never take pictures except for of her, so now I'm going to have to go out of my way to take more pictures for my account. Yikes! 

Yesterday was a rollercoaster of a day. First my work had a contest where you had to decorate one of those paper gown things that patients have to wear sometimes, with the supplies at your desk. Sadly even though mine was epic, I did not win (a really didn't care if I did) but still... I'm very competitive and who doesn't like winning. Then I was soooooo stokes to get my hair colored after work. Getting "yo hur did" always seems absurdly expensive to me and so I never go, but since it's Christmas (and that means you can spend money that you don't have on things that you don't need) I decided there was no better time to take this dull blonde up to fabulous blonde! Here is my muse: 


BUT my dreams were shattered when the receptionist told me the wrong time. Even when I called back to confirm my appointment! What the what? I'll now be going in on Saturday instead but the good thing that came of all of this is that I got to go to a spin class with my lady friend and current accountability-workout buddy Aubrey. Guys, if your spin class isn't taught by a black (or possible Indian? man. It was dark and I his race looked a little ambiguous) who is a DJ on the side and makes his own mix tapes and brings his own strobe light/disco ball thing... then you are going to the wrong class! I was literally up in da club; a club where you have to bring your own stationary bike no less, but you are still sweating to some sick beats. Today however I think I'm bruised in places I didn't know I could be bruised in but now I know to take my padded spandex! I found this video on youtube so just go ahead and imagine something like this, except for the lights are off and there is a light-show going on: 



I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping, and anyone who says they finished theirs weeks ago is a crazy person! I pride myself as an exceptional gift giver. Not only that but I've been told numerous times that that is one of my best talents. I'm one of those people where you casually say something about something and 10 months later I remember and make all your dreams come true. The only problem with that is that when I don't have an idea, I panic and usually give a gift card and feel like a failure! It's a lot of pressure being an awesome and thoughtful gift giver. At the beginning of this month I had zero ideas about what to get Spencer, but now I'm really excited about everything I've come up with and I can't help but give myself an imaginary high five, and then a slap on the butt (because ya know... I can do that to myself). I like to do a lot of online shopping but there comes a time when suddenly you are sweatin' on whether the package will be here in time. Yesterday I signed up for the free Amazon Prime trial and ordered some of my few remaining gifts from there just so I could get the guaranteed 2-day shipping! Bless you Amazon! I feel like such a gifting boss! This year we will be spending Christmas with my family, and then head to Vegas the day after to see the Hansen's. Usually this is a time to get away from the cold but oddly enough it' has been unseasonably warm here. As luck would have it the forecast says it's suppose to snow on Christmas day so I am crossing my fingers for a white Christmas, followed by 65 degrees the next day in the LV.  

Now to finish off the post. Here are some picture of my dog that you may have missed if you don't follow her instagram account here


^^ We always find her in the most hilarious sitting positions. 

 ^^ Feeding the pig, pig. 

^^Dressed to impress... except she isn't impressed. 

And lastly a video that I also posted on my own account too but here it is again because I love it so much. This is the extended version (by only 6 second): 
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS DR PEPPER


Soda. My lover, my friend, my enemy. 

I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably more of an emotional/social drinker. It's not really that I crave Dr. Pepper so much as I just feel like the day isn't complete without one. This year has also marked a huge mile stone because I have officially made the switch to Diet Dr. Pepper. You know how people say you can train your taste buds in like a few weeks? Well it literally took about 8 months to get use to it. Now regular Dr. Pepper almost tastes too sweet and syrup-y. Have you ever read the book Gregory the Terrible Eater? It's about a goat that only likes to eat junk. Not like donuts and pizza junk; like tires, and shoes, and other goat stuff. To get him to eat better, his parents start disguising his food and start doing things like putting spaghetti sauce on shoe laces, and then eventually he is eating only real food and doesn't even realize it. It's all about masking. This is exactly what I had to do with diet soda. I started by always having coconut syrup and limes in it. Now I don't do limes. Who knows, maybe one day I won't need the syrup. 
During my daily-ish soda runs, I always think of the culmination of things that it takes to curate the perfect soda. A lot factors into making that sweet nectar perfect. I've listed some of these things below, and if you can relate to any of this, then you probably know what it means to be a true soda snob. 

1. Plastic or styrofoam cups always! Any gas station that has those paper Pepsi cups is a no-go. Any addict knows this. Once the soda has been in the cup for more than about 30 min, the drink starts taking on the taste of the paper. Styrofoam keeps them colder longer, but there is something about plastic cups, that allow me to see the brown bubbly goodness, that gets me all hot and bothered.


2. Fat straws! Some places have those little thin straws which aren't the best vehicle for getting the maximum amount of drink in your mouth the fastest. The best though are the places that give you the choice of fat or skinny straws in both the tall and short sizes. Sometimes with the 32oz cups the short straws seem to short and the tall ones seem to tall. #firstworldproblems

3. Some places just taste better. Soda is a combination of syrup, water, and carbon dioxide. The proportions of these can often times differ from place to place. You can even taste the difference in water. Some places use purified, some places chill their water, etc. So many factors! BUT even the days can differ on how it tastes at a certain place so sometimes it's a guessing game!


4. The best gas stations are always the ones with lime and lemon slices. And extra bonus points for the ones that have flavor shots. I'm talking about the Torani syrup (I'm looking at you Chevron) and not the gross flavor goop that come out of the soda dispenser (Maverick *cough cough*).

5. Why are you only talking about going places to get soda? you say. Any true soda connoisseur knows that you only drink soda from a can (or plastic bottle) in desperate (or extremely handy) circumstances. It's always always better from a soda fountain. There is no comparison!  

6. And finally, many people would say ice is another turn off/or on. I for one don't like ice in my drink at all because I don't like my drink watered down (especially when I don't drink it fast enough). Many people are all about the pebble ice (Sonic, Sodalicious), which if I was getting ice, that would be my pick. But some people prefer their ice in other shapes and sizes.


Well there you have it! Guys... the struggle to find the best drink is real! I know many of my fellow brothers and sisters have faced this, but once you've been doing this as long as I have you always know the right places to go. Isn't it the worst when you are in an unfamiliar city or state, and you have to get a soda fix stat! I hope you all can relate (or laugh) about the struggle, and I hope all of you are blessed and rewarded today with some carbonation goodness! Amen! 



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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ZERO TAKES VEGAS




Well my favorite holiday is over, as well as my favorite month. For work I dressed up as a pineapple, which was super easy and fun. I had these awesome fake eyelashes too but for some reason me and fake lashes don't see eye to eye (is that a pun?), and they were off by the time I made it to work. Also, in regards to this picture I'm starting a new hashtag to go along with the oh so famous #hotdogsorlegs, called #hotdogortongue. 

This weekend we went to Vegas for our niece's baptism and it was Zero's first road trip. She was a peach and did so well. We took a couch cushion off the couch to use as a bed/booster so that Zero could see out the window while we drove. Disclaimer: most of these pictures are of Zero but I don't know what you all expected coming here.  
Towards the end of the ride we hit some construction and were moving pretty slow, so Zero was excited that she got to have the window rolled down. We also really didn't want to stop for gas, and I can usually make it in one tank, but we ended up running out of gas literally on the freeway exit to Spencer's house. We were one block away from the gas station! And had we not hit construction, we would have made it. Oh well. Now I can't say I've never run out of gas, although technically Spencer was driving. After Spencer walked to the gas stations, we met up with his brother and parents and went trick-or-treating with the nieces. The one thing I'm looking forward to the most when I have kids is getting to take them trick-or-treating because then I have an excuse to dress up.   

Saturday morning we went to the baptism and then went to BJ's for lunch afterwards with the family. Why is there not a BJ's in Utah people!? 


That night we went to Fury and it was really good. There were lots of F words, and a dinner scene that seemed to go on foooooorever and have little point, but other than that it was good. It also made me realize I would NOT want to be assigned to a tank if I was in a war... unless Brad Pitt was in said tank... because I could be in a tight space with him for weeks on end if I needed to (for God and country of course). 

Although it was a little windy in Vegas, it was still so nice to be in warmer weather. Even Zero enjoyed basking in the sun every morning. 

Sunday afternoon we went to the dog park and she finally is wearing her sweatshirt without complaint. I tried to get the strip in the background because it was really cool looking, but I guess you'll just have to enjoy the cuteness of the foreground instead. 

Here Zero is demonstrating how important it is to work out while on vacation doing her Doggy Yoga. Seriously these balls are her form of crack! She will not stop until it's in her mouth, which will never happen because it's far too big, and she tires herself out quickly. Although to no ones surprise, this ball is now deceased.  


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And here she is sound asleep in Grandma and Grandpa's bed.

And that was right after Grandma and Grandpa did some planks for us. Still workin' on that fitness in their old age! 

On the way home Zero must have remembered what the way to Vegas was like and decided she absolutely did not want to be in the backseat again. After having all 40lb of her on my lap for the first few hours, I banished her to the back. She seriously pouted like this in the back for 30min and would not look at us. So naturally my mom guilt kicked in and I let her sleep on my lap the rest of the way. 


And to end it all, I will leave you with this picture that Spencer sent me at work yesterday. The Walrus just sat like a creep and was watching Spencer do work like this. What a weirdo. But that side-sit though kills me!! 


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Friday, October 24, 2014

BATTLE OF THE BEDROOM

I know many of you have been following my bedroom saga. If not here is a recap from social media: 



Then I took a 4 day break from my room so it could sit and think about what it had done to me, and then I posted a selfie:


The hard thing about cleaning your room these days is that there are so many distractions! Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Netflix, napping, etc. I get so distracted and then I'm like "maybe if I do this then it will help," or "let me get this done first and then I'll get to the bedroom." I was watching BoJack Horseman on Netflix (instead of cleaning my room) and found this clip that perfectly described what my thought process is. In this clip, BoJack is suppose to be writing his memoir which is due soon, but he's having trouble staying on task: 

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My problem is that I've never been a clean person. And every time I clean the house I tell Spencer "this time it's going to be different!" And then it stays clean for a while and then all the sudden I turn around and it's as if a bomb went off. There is no in between. Some how I feel that I can blame my childhood on this but I'm not sure how. Pray for me that I can overcome throwing my clothes on the floor and learn to put them on a hanger. 
Let's hope this weekend I come out the other side with a clean room and better lucky then last weekend (which consisted of me not getting dressed until 6pm, and then going straight to get a Diet DP and spilling it all over my clothes). That right there is God telling you that you shouldn't have left the house and just stayed in your sweats.    

-Ash