Thursday, July 30, 2015

Snowshoe Summer Trip

After Rob's mountain weekend, Jack was ready to go back to the mountains the next weekend. Spur of the moment we invited two of our friends, Ben and Christina, up to Snowshoe Mountain for a weekend getaway. We arrived in the wee hours of the morning {1:30 am!} on Saturday due to getting a late start & then me losing the keys to our place, whoops! On our way up the mountain we saw lots of wildlife. At one point we saw a black bear cub cross the road right in front of us, which was truly amazing to see a bear in the wild.

While “planning” the trip, I knew that there was a mountain bike event going on during the weekend and Snowshoe would be packed, which it was. There were people, tents, bikes, and mud everywhere, which only meant that there was going to be plenty for the 4 of us to do and watch.

Saturday morning we woke from our slumber and started off the day with morning coffee & breakfast. I enjoyed feeling the crisp mountain air and the glorious sun on my skin. Since it was so pretty, we started off our adventuring with a trip on the ski lift to the bottom of the mountain to see what activities Shaver’s Lake had to offer. Although we could have gone swimming, the water was pretty chilly so we opted to do stand-up paddle boarding. We also were horrible played some disc golf.

Planning ahead, we had packed our lunch + some wine, we decided to take a hike up a freshly cut trail that a Yoga instructor told us about. The Eight Rivers Yoga trail went through the woods, up and down the mountain and we ended up at a spot with a beautiful view of the Greenbrier river area.  On our hike we saw a deer just sitting in the brush under a tree cooling off, and it was likely the closest I have ever been to a deer in the wild. The boys climbed in the trees and we simply enjoyed the serene and views. On our hike back I found a really cool rock that looked like NC and I brought it back to use as décor somewhere in my place.

It was about 3pm and we were tired from the hike and wanted to see some of the mountain biking events. We rode the lift for Western Territory three times {even though everyone but me wanted to get off after the second trip} and enjoyed seeing and cheering on the bikers as we past. Next it was pool time followed by dinner at Sunset Cantina. While waiting in line we took some pictures and were entertained with Magic Card tricks. We can all honestly say that these were some of the best magic card tricks we have ever seen. My mind is still blown away with the tricks Mr. Ellis showed us and I hope to see him again the next time we go up to snowshoe.

Sunday morning we repeated our coffee + breakfast routine followed by the pool. After packing it was time to head down the mountain. Our weekend was perfect. Pure Bliss and I cannot wait to repeat it again soon.

ps. sorry for  the lack of pictures, I only took 1 photo the entire time we where there, so these are from Jack's iPhone


Friday, July 24, 2015

Rounding out my week

I have wanted to try Nan and Byron’s for quite some time, but somehow it always slips my mind when trying to figure out where to eat. They happen to be on the Queen’s Feast list so why not a perfect time to go and try a few things. Their menu had some many great choices it was hard to decide what to order. I ended up getting: wine- Row Eleven, Pinot Nior, app- wings, entrée- grilled salmon, dessert- hazelnut chiffon cake. Everything was delicious & did not disappoint. I cannot wait to go back soon!!

We had so much fun in the mountains last weekend that Jack+ me + some friends are heading up this weekend to the mountains of West Virginia. We will be staying in Whistlepunk at Snowshoe Mountain. Snowshoe offers so many fun summer activities including off road tours, hiking, geo cashing, sporting clays and so much more. Jack and I enjoyed the off road tours back when we went in September 2009. We had a great time & got covered in mud during the tour. It was a fantastic experience and I am excited to relax and spend time with friends in the great outdoors.

Flashback to our trip

Hope y’all had a great week!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Garlic Roasted Vegetables

Before I went out of town last weekend I wanted to make sure to use up as much of the fresh foods in my refrigerator. It was a Thursday and I needed something quick and easy so I could use my time to pack for the mountains. I had cherry tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms left in the fridge that was not going to travel well on my trip. Using my roommates new Inspiralizer I was able to come up with a quick an easy meal that was so delicious!

Garlic Roasted Vegetables
Adapted from Carolina Charm

1 (16 oz) container of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 container of sliced mushrooms (or you can slice baby bella mushrooms yourself)
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer everything to the covered baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.

While the tomatoes and mushrooms are baking get out your zucchini and Inspiralizer. Chop off both ends of the zucchini and get to spiralizing. I used blade “D” which makes spaghetti noodles. Once you have made all of your noodles toss the noodles into boiling water, cook until al dente, then strain to get rid of the water. You can also eat the noodles raw. If you prefer raw, put a warm sauce on the noodles and they will slightly heat and soften.

Last step is putting the noodles in the bowl and topping them with the Garlic Roasted Vegetables.

Any suggestions for quick and easy dinners are welcomed!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Rob’s Dirty 30 Mtn Weekend

What I loved about my weekend…

Spending time with some of the ones that I love the most

The feeling of success when you reach the top of the super-duper steep driveway to the cabin

Celebrating 30 years of Rob Roach

No cell phone or internet access for 2 days—pure bliss

Making wayyy to much guacamole with Jillian-- Note 10 avocados + 4 limes is way too much

Campfires + music + racing up and down the hill

Red Wine

Canoe trip down the New River

Fresh mountain air & getting to put on a sweatshirt & enjoy the crisp air

Making s’mores—even if I did burn my nose



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Weekend || My iPhone CAN’T swim

This weekend I stayed in Charlotte for a girls weekend, which was super fun. Here’s a peak into my weekend:

Friday- a relaxing evening full of Netflix: Scandal season 4 & chipotle with Sara.

Saturday- Coffee with the girls, we went uptown to 7th Street Market to grab a coffee at Not Just Coffee, a place I had never been. I must admit that I am not a coffee connoisseur and normally order a simple brewed coffee. This morning at this fancy coffee shop, I decided to get a macchiato, figuring it would be just a step up from the normal. I was pretty disappointed  when after waiting 10 mins for my coffee that when it came out it was a “fancy” version of espresso in a tiny cup that looked like it would be served at a 5 year olds tea party. Needless to say, maybe I should do my research next time.

I also stopped at the Viva Raw Juice Bar and picked up the Turmeric Almond Milk and I could not put it down.  Although juices are expensive, they are a meal within themselves and my milk filled me up!

For the afternoon I headed out to the pool to catch some rays before getting ready for TIM MCGRAW!!! The concert was soooooo good, although it was HOTT until the sun went down. Per the usual Tim put on a great concert, played many of his old & new hits, and the crowd was on their feet the entire time.

Sunday- Started off really early. I have been eating clean and changing my life style through Tone It Up, but last night I had a few drinks & also ate a hot-dog, definitely NOT on the TIU Nutrition Program. At 4:30 am I woke with the worst stomach ache and I could not fall back to sleep, hello Netflix…again. I ended up watching almost 3 episodes of Scandal and then was back to bed around 6:15 am.

At 11am I attended a free Xtend Barre: Charlotte class held in Athleta at South Park mall. The class was tough and my body was feeling the burn after the first 15 mins. After class I did a little shopping & then it was time to head home & get back out to the pool.

I made iced coffee, blew up a float, and started re-reading the book Lean In. It was a glorious day outside, not too hot & not to cold. I had my phone & my towel on the edge of the pool & read for about an hour until I decided to respond to my texts and then it happened. I put my phone down, it slipped off my towel right into the water. MY “new to me” iPhone5 that I had only had for a few months was in the pool. I grabbed it out & ran inside dripping wet to put it in rice with fingers crossed that it would eventually work again.

Since life is life and accidents happen, I didn’t let the phone issue bother me too much that night. I went to Trader Joe’s to gather ingredients for a Sunday meal-prep evening. I made berry bliss bars, protein snack balls, and quinoa pasta salad. I also used Sara’s new spiralizer to make zucchini noodles for a “spaghetti dinner”.

The night was filled with watching… you guessed it- SCANDAL--- and I still have a few more episodes left!

Overall the weekend was a great one--despite the phone accident-- phones can't swim. Here's to getting a LifeProof case for my next one!

What show are you watching on Netflix? Ever dropped your phone in the pool? Did it still work? 

P.S. my phone is still working—the screen has horizontal lines ever so faint across it—we will see how long that lasts.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Weekend || 4th of July

What I loved about my weekend:

 Its JULY!!!

Hello holiday—which meant a 3 day weekend!!! {I will forgive the weather for raining on my extra day off—Charlotte really needed it}

Birthday celebrations for my friend Stacy @ The Workman’s Friend

Mimosas and hanging out at the pool with friends + beautiful skyline

4th of JULY!!  Sparklers & watermelon 

Brunching on Friday with friends—a nice healthy TIU approved brunch I might add {minus the one piece of bacon}

Grilling out—burgers, chicken, barbeque— everything was delicious

Binya Binya Lollipop Polliwog & laughing & lots of dancing

Meal prep/ grocery trip on Sunday to prepare for the week

USA beating Japan to WIN the Women's World Cup 5-2!!!

I hope that everyone had a safe and fabulous 4th!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fitness || Tone It Up

Never heard of Tone It Up (TIU)? Today is your lucky day. Tone It Up is a nutrition and fitness program that inspires millions of women to live the life of their dreams every day. Your trainers and founders, Karena & Katrina, are there with you every step of the way bringing a fresh approach to fitness with their fun methods of getting fit. Both were in the fitness industry and TIU began when they met at a gym in Southern California.

In just a few start days I will be starting the Bikini Series with Tone It Up. The plan comes with different options: regular, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, gluten free vegetarian, and pescetarian. I am following the regular plan since I do not have any dietary or personal interests in the other plans. Although the plan does cost a pretty penny ($200) I have had some friends who have joined the TIU Community and have seen fantastic results. My favorite part is TIU is not a diet plan, it’s a lifestyle. Included in the package, you become a Lifetime Member and only have to pay the one-time fee.  If you are not ready to purchase a plan, you can always check out their YouTube workouts and tons of free information on the website.

The 8 week Bikini program comes with a day by day plan for what 5 meals to eat {including grocery list} and what workouts that you need to accomplish for the day. There is also a journal to keep track of your progress and measurements and also printables of the workouts. I really like the printables so far because they break down each move step by step.

Nutrition Program: The main program has 191 pages and 250+ recipes that include anything and everything you could crave. The sections are as follows:

Party Foods
Beverages—what you should drink + includes adult beverages
Smoothies and Juices

Another neat aspect is that the program is emailed to you so I do not have an excuse for not having the program at my fingertips. I printed out the Nutrition plan and put it into a binder all neat to have at home.

In addition to the plan you will receive exclusive information, the Weekly Members Email. Every Thursday they send out an email and each week it includes tips to motivate you. There is also exciting news on what is coming up. I am looking forward to the emails!!

This week I have made a few of the meals in the Nutrition Plan and Bikini Series specific plan. I am looking forward to enjoying the 4th of July, but super stoked to start TIU on Monday. I plan to write a progress updated each week to let you know how everything is going.

Day two eating nutritious meals and workouts


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fitness || My Life

Truth be told, I was blessed with a good metabolism and pretty fit build my entire life. I was active & never really had to work out to get that flat tummy or needed to lose a few pounds. In high school I remember being overwhelmingly hungry all the time. Literally I would buy a meal out for lunch & eat my entire packed lunch too…. fatty & owning it. I pushed it off that I was an active teenager, playing soccer, swimming, running, and that my body needed the extra energy. I never saw that my body was gaining any weight and since I never had to pay attention to my weight before, I went along with my life as usual.

Early Years. 2007-2008 (why did I cut my hair so short ?!?)
In college, especially freshmen year, I gained a few pounds, but nothing major. Life continued, I grew out of clothes {just like normal} and then grew back into those same old clothes. In between my junior and senior year, Jack and I were interning & we decided to have a pool party/cook out with some friends. I needed a suit and ran to Target to grab a new one. I will never forget the feeling when the medium bottom was too tight on me and I had to get a size Large. LARGE, are you kidding me, I had never dealt with in all my years! I was really upset and embarrassed and Jack convinced me to buy it and not to worry saying “they size their stuff wrong anyways.” Side note: There is NOTHING wrong with a size large- it was for me something that I was not used to and when I noticed a change within myself.

During the fall of 2010 something happened one morning that I will not forget. Some weekends we would wake up early Monday mornings and drive from Jack’s parents’ home town we were visiting back to Boone for our 9:30am classes. On this particular morning I was exhausted, like had to take a nap in the car on the way back to school exhausted. When we arrived, I was still tried & decided to sleep instead of going to class. I was tired like this for a good 2 or 3 days, when finally I decided to go to the infirmary. After multiple tests, trips back home to my actual doctor, they determined that I had Hypothyroidism, which thankfully was not something worse.

Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) is a condition in which you thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain important hormones.  My body was not producing the hormones that run my body’s metabolism and simply put, my body was hungry, but could not process the foods fast enough I was feeding it {why I was eating 2 lunches at a time}. The cure: I would need to take a pill every day to regulate my thyroid.

Fast forward a few years, I have lost some weight, and started regularly going to the gym. I realized that yes my thyroid needed help, but that I also needed to actually pay attention to my health/body.  Part one of this journey: I joined Life Time Fitness and have been going regularly for the past year and a half in addition to an occasional bar class.  I have been really happy with the way I look and feel, have gained muscle along the way and know that I am stronger that I ever have been, but I have not changed the way that I eat… which is Part 2!

Starting Monday, July 6th, I am starting Tone It Up (TIU) with the Bikini Series program, and I am super excited. Not only will TIU be a good workout and nutrition program, but ultimately it is a life style change. Work out, Eat Right, and learn some more on how/what to cook.  Between today and Monday I am trying out a few of the recipes and preparing myself for the journey ahead.
 Stop by tomorrow for more on Tone It Up!

First TIU day trying out new recipes and workouts!!