Weekend Highlights – Viva Las Vegas + blog news

Hey friends! How are you today? I am back after a bit of a whirlwind trip. The hubs birthday is later this week, and this year I wanted to surprise him with a little Vegas trip. When we went to a friend’s wedding in Vegas last year, he was so disappointed that the Golden Nugget’s famous shark tank was closed. I knew I wanted to take him back to experience it.

So Friday when he got home from work, I finally spilled on the surprise.  I just love when a good surprise works out.  He had no idea, and was so excited.  We soaked up a little time snuggling our babies before it was time to drop them off with grandma.  Then we were off to the airport to catch a later flight.

We didn’t get to our hotel until a little after 9 pm and arriving into Vegas in full swing is always a little overwhelming.  There were SO MANY people out and about.

Saturday morning, in true Emily form, I was up bright and early. I was really hoping to sleep in, since I so rarely have the opportunity.  But sadly, it was just not in the cards. Instead, I let the hubs sleep in and got a quick arm and cardio workout in. The rest of Saturday was spent largely at the pool, relaxing and being enthralled by the sharks. The hotel we stayed at has a huge tank that the pool wraps around. The sharks and fish going by were so mesmerizing. We also each went down the water slide a few times. It had been years since I had been on a water slide, and I forgot how much fun they could be!  The water slide actually cuts through the tank, which is pretty cool even though you are moving so fast, you can’t really see much.

Saturday evening we went to dinner and did lots of Vegas exploring, including checking out some of the old casinos. The decor in some of them was so cool. All the old school, fancy decor of yesteryear. Check out this ceiling, it was my favorite of the old casinos.

Sunday we headed to the airport pretty early, eager to reunite with our little loves.

Now for some blog related news. As my schedule and life obligations have changed over the last year, the time I have to devote to the blog has been limited. I still love connecting with you all, but may be posting less or taking some time away from the blog as I figure things out.

Love – Em

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Friday Favorites – 6/8/18

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Hi friends! How are you? I have been looking forward to this weekend, so of course the week seemed to drag a bit. Glad to finally see you Friday, lol.

While the time moved slowly, it was actually a pretty fun week. We got in lots of after school/work swimming and play time, which was the perfect way to beat the very hot weather we have been having.

Another summer related favorite? Bruegger’s Bagels coconut iced coffee. I  love this coffee flavor. Knowing that it was back, I just had to treat myself to one, along with a breakfast sandwich. Eggs, bacon, muenster, and arugula on an everything bagel. It was delicious!

In other, good eats related favorites, I made these healthy peanut butter blondies at Maureen’s suggestion. They were so tasty, I will definitely be making them again.

I also had the real pleasure of getting a massage one evening this week. The hubs gave me a gift card for it for Mother’s Day and they finally had an opening that worked with my schedule. It was perfect timing, as after a couple of days of running around and swimming with the kids each evening, I was feeling a little ache-y.

Speaking of swimming with the kids, I am considering it an impromptu arm workout for the week. They love being lifted in and out and my arms were sore after a couple of days of it. Otherwise, it was a pretty tame workout week. I got a few gym workouts in, a really lovely yin yoga session, and am hitting up an early morning spin class today.

Speaking of workouts, Barre3 has a four-week challenge starting on June 17, which features free 10 minute workouts.  If you are interested, you can sign up here.  I plan on loosely following the challenge and making the most out of the free workouts.

Looking for a little fitness motivation?  Check out this list of the 100 most influential health and fitness people (as listed by Greatist), so many amazing people/stories!

As temperatures have stayed at over 100 degree highs over here, I have been all about salads and cooler meals.  This Crunchy Asian chopped salad from Eating Bird Food sounds delicious.

I am also thinking I need to make a batch of these falafel from Cookie and Kate to use in wraps and salads.

Now your turn, what have you been loving this week?  Any big weekend plans?  I have a few things planned, some of which are surprises to the hubs, so shhh 😉 .  Hope you have a great weekend!

 

Workout Round Up – Quick workouts for busy days

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Hey guys, happy hump day!  How is your week going?  With the busy summer season in full swing, I know I have been trying to squeeze in workouts where I can.  I figured I am not the only one in need of quick workouts, so I thought I would share a round up of some recent favorite workouts.  All are fairly quick (think around 30 minutes or less) and are perfect for fitting into a busy summer routine.

Do anywhere (no equipment)- perfect for outside or a quick vacation workout (if you are into that sort of thing):

Do anywhere body weight workout

Quickie lower body workout

12 days of Christmas workout (don’t let the name fool you, it’s a great workout anytime

Running in a skirt’s heart racing no equipment workout

Do anywhere running workout

Minimal equipment:

Jump rope tabata workout

3 x 3 workout

Tap it Out workout

Cardio Workouts:

Peanut Butter Finger’s cardio workout

AMRAP workout

Running workout

 

Yoga & Barre:

Bad Yogi’s no mat yoga

Fitnessista’s classic at home barre workout

25 minute vinyasa for shoulders and hips

So friends, where do you prefer to workout? Do you workout when traveling?  I will often try to start the day with a workout while traveling, but make exploring more of a priority.  I find that I am typically walking a lot while traveling anyhow.

Hope you have a great day!

Weekend highlights – Good times with good friends

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Hey guys! How was your weekend? I for one, can’t believe it is Monday already, the weekend flew by.  I suppose that’s what happens when you’re having fun though.

Friday kicked off with the usual friends and swimming time after school/work. Followed by the hubs and I finally getting around to hanging up some art after the kids went to bed. Outside of some stuff in the kid’s rooms, this was the first round of wall stuff to go up, and I was quite pleased with it. We are slowly getting settled into the new place. The middle picture mainly looks like a reflection of me in the photo, but it’s actually a close up of a geode.

Saturday am, I hit up an Orangetheory Class. Not going to lie, it was a bit rough (in a good way though), endurance days always get me.

Midday, we were treated to a long-awaited visit from an old friend who lives in Phoenix. Because of both of our crazy schedules, we had not actually gotten together since January.  It had been way to long, it was SO nice to see her.   I laid out some snacks so we could lunch and visit at the house.

Then we went shopping and for pedicures as the babies while the hubs stayed with the babies. It was a glorious little girl’s afternoon and so nice to catch up.

Later in the day, I got to take my dude to a birthday party at a jumping castle place. I always feel like the biggest kid there, as I have so much fun going through the obstacles with him.

Sunday, we all slept in a little (thank you babies), before tucking into a delicious, although maybe not the most attractive breakfast ever. I tend to cycle through favorite meals and avocado toast has been my jam recently.

Afterwards, I hit up a yoga class with a friend. I definitely need to up my yoga time, my hamstrings were so tight. I am definitely going to try to focus on stretching more throughout the week.

In the afternoon, we had a friends stop by to see the new place and catch up a bit. Then headed to a pool party to celebrate a kiddo birthday.   Summer time parties by the pool are always such a blast. We all had a great time and headed home tired, and ready to chill and get ready for the week.

How was your weekend? Any adventures to share? What are you looking forward to this week?

Friday Favorites

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Happy, happy Friday friends! How was your week? It was a bit of a struggle getting into the groove after the long weekend over here, but by Thursday morning, I think we found it.

I feel like Memorial weekend is always the start of summer.  I have definitely been in the mood for summer fun ever since. When I think summer fun, I typically think travel, pools, beaches, BBQ and movies. The hubs and I had a little movie date on Monday, so it seems only right that our movie date start out Friday Favorites this week.

We went to see Deadpool 2 at our local dine in theater for a little lunch time date. The movie was funny, my date was cute, and I ate a ridiculous amount of popcorn. All wins! I love the popcorn there. They have a variety of flavors you can mix and match. I went with white cheddar and caramel, which was a delicious combo.

I have also been loving these hair ties, they do not leave a big crease in my hair and stay put through more intense workouts. They are quickly becoming my go to hair tie for workouts.

I am also loving as much pool time as we can get.  Some friends graciously had us over to swim after school Wednesday, and we have been hitting up a pool near us as often as possible.  I also love these puddle jumpers for the kiddos, they are awesome.

Workout wise, it’s been an okay week. A couple of Orangetheory classes, a couple of solo strength/cardio workouts. The usual teaching schedule. I have not managed any yoga this week and am missing it! Hopefully I can squeeze in a class this weekend.

Speaking of workouts, this classic barre workout looks right up my alley. I love a good workout I can do at home.

A colleague brought in this Eggplant bacon for a potluck and it was amazing. I can’t wait to give it a try at home.

I definitely agree that a little boredom can boost creativity, and try to give the kids plenty of time to just play and be.

What are you loving this week? Any plans for the weekend? We have a couple kiddo birthday parties and a friend visiting, so should be a pretty good one.

Hope you have a great first weekend of June!

Summer Reading – Recently read and on the bookshelf

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Recently, a friend of mine shared this Tucson themed summer reading list with me and I thought it was just about the coolest thing ever.  I LOVED the reading challenges the library would do while I was growing up.  Each week, I would be at the library to check out a new stack of books, and I was so excited to hit each reading goal.  I also really love that it is a Tucson themed reading challenge.  It is such a fun way to become more familiar with the region.

While I am in two book clubs, I don’t feel like I read like I used to.  I used to go through 1-2 books a week.  But since becoming a parent, it takes some real effort to get through 1-2 books a month.  One of my goals for 2018 was to get back in the habit of reading most days.  So far, I have definitely been reading a little more.  As a personal goal for the summer, I am also going to try to read a book from each section of the above mentioned reading challenge.  One of my book clubs is on hiatus for June, so it seems like the perfect time to try to get some bonus books in.

I always learn about books I want to check out from reading other people’s suggestions, so I also thought I would share what I have read so far this year.

So far I have read:

  1. 40 Days to Personal Revolution by Baron Baptiste.  This book was the guide for the meditation program I did at the beginning of the year.  It was an interesting read and has been a continuous resource for me in regards to my personal yoga and meditation practice.

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.  This was a fun read, but not as thought-provoking as I thought it would be.  It was funny though.  I read You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life last year and felt that one resonated with me a little more.

  2. The Silent Sister: A Novel by Diane Chamberlain.  A book club read that was not what I expected.  I would vote it a good beach read.  The plot doesn’t hold up to a lot of scrutiny, but it was engaging and easy to read.

  3. Running: A Novel by Cara Hoffman.  I received this book in one of my book clubs holiday book exchanges and it was one of those gems that made me love being in book clubs.  I would never have picked this book for myself, but I really enjoyed it.  It is set in Greece around a group of friends struggling to get by and finding themselves.

  4. The Power by Naomi Alderman.  Not going to lie, this was a harder read than anticipated.  This was a book club selection that is about women developing a power that allows them to pass an electrical current through their hands.  While it was much darker than I expected, it was interesting and unlike anything I had read recently.

  1. Palisades Park: A Novel by Alan Brennert.  This book is pretty much nostalgia in written form.  While I have never been to the New Jersey boardwalk or amusement park, this book speaks so fondly of it and is just a fun read.

  2. Shrill by Lindy West.  I borrowed this book from a friend and had some reservations going in.  While I am definitely interested in the topic.  I was familiar with the author’s writing and appreciate the topics she covers but am not the biggest fan of her style.  Overall I found this book interesting and humorous, while tackling difficult social issues.

  3. My Abandonment by Peter Rock. I had mixed feelings about this book. It is an interesting story, but I had a hard time trying to figure out some of the characters and am still not sure what I thought about the ending.

Currently reading: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Not really far enough into this one to give an opinion.   But it has a dystopian young adult feel to it, which is a genre I typically enjoy.

So friends, what are you reading these days? Have you read any of the This is Tucson list? Want to read any of them with me this summer?

Weekend Highlights – Fun in the sun

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Hey friends! How are you today? For those in the US, happy Memorial Day! Hope you are up to something fun!

The hubs and I are both off today and have some plans with the kiddos, as well as a little movie date planned.  I wanted to pop in to saw hi before we start our day, and share a few weekend highlights!

Saturday morning started way too early for a weekend (like 4:15!) because that is when the little miss decided it was time to get up. The positive to the early morning wake up was that I got some one on one time with my little miss reading a new library find.  It is a pretty cute little story.  The negative was that in my half awake stupor, I accidentally sprinkled paprika instead of cinnamon in my coffee.  Fortunately I noticed before taking a swig.

At a more reasonable early of 7:15, I headed to a spin class. Which was just what I needed to get woken up and ready for the day. I love when they have all the different club lights going, I find it to be such a mood booster.

The rest of Saturday was all usual hanging out and errand time. I was not feeling great (felt fine Sunday, so I think just allergies/tiredness), so I made popcorn and pulled out some blankets to have a little movie party with the kids in the afternoon. The hubs was out Saturday evening, so after the kids went to bed, I decided to have a little relax, Emily time. I took a bath, sipped some Reishi elixir and used a face and lip mask. The lip mask looked hilarious on, like giant pink cartoon lips.

Sunday morning we all got a little more sleep, then dug into pancakes and bacon for breakfast.

Sunday quickly shaped up to be a true Sunday fun-day. After a leisurely breakfast, I met up with a friend for a yoga and a pint workout class at a local restuarant. They have an open air courtyard, which made for a lovely yoga session. It was also a treat, and felt kinda vacation like to enjoy a beer and catch up time with a friend afterwards.

After yoga, I swooped up the fam to go swimming for a bit, then it was home for baby nap time and a little at home lunch date with the hubs. He picked us up sandwiches from Beyond Bread, I had a brie and turkey number on baguette.  Which is an all time favorite of mine.  I accessorized with carrots and hummus, grapes and a kombucha on the side.

After nap time, we quickly got ready and were off to a Memorial Weekend BBQ/house-warming party. It was with some old friends we had not seen in ages. We had a blast letting the kids play and catching up. So much so, that I forgot to snap any pictures. Oops!

How was your weekend? Are you off today? If so, any big plans?

Hope you have a great one!

Friday Favorites – Peonies and Puppy Toys

Happy Friday friends! Hope you are having a great day and looking forward to an even better weekend!

It is a three-day weekend for us and I am very much looking forward to some extra friend and family time. Before we get to the weekend though, let’s recap the highlights of the week.

I popped into Trader Joe’s Tuesday night and was so excited to see all the lovely peonies out on display. I love peonies and could not resist taking home a little bouquet. They have been brightening up my day all week.

I recently snagged some class passes for my favorite cycling studio during a semi-annual sale they were having. I managed to sneak in a class this week, and it was exactly the music bumping awesome time I remembered it being! This class, in addition to my usual Orangetheory, quick cardio workouts and some yoga have made for a great week of workouts

This week I also received some goodies from my friends over at Influenster. They occasionally send me items to try out, and these items were sent to me complimentary for the purpose of review. The dog toy from Barkbox is already a huge hit, little Moglei is loving it!

I have been meaning to start making more of my own snacks each week. I used to make bars all the time, but had gotten out of the habit. These Berry lemon breakfast bars and Chocolate sweet potato bars will both need to happen soon I think.

I had never even heard of a solar oven, but it looks like such a cool activity and I am wondering if my little dude would be old enough for it (with lots of help and supervision of course).

What are you loving this week? Are you heading into a long weekend? Any fun travel plans or adventures? We are not traveling, but have some fun little get togethers and activities planned for this weekend.

Hope you have a great one!

Cranberry and Honey Goat Cheese Truffles

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Hey friends! How’s your week going? I mentioned in Monday’s post that I made some goat cheese truffles for my book club, and was really happy with how they turned out.  I loved them so much, I just had to share the recipe with you guys!

These are a four ingredient, no cooking required appetizer that can be made in advance, so perfect for summer entertaining!  They are great on their own, or served with crackers or sliced baguette.  I did not have any apples lying around to try it out, but I also think they would be great with apple slices.

Cranberry & Honey Goat Cheese Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 10 oz container plain goat cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 bunch chives (or green onions), finely diced
  • 2/3 cup dried dried cranberries, finely diced

Directions: Mix goat cheese and honey in a bowl until well combined. Roll into nickel sized balls (this should make about 15-20 depending on size). Mix together diced chives and cranberries on a plate or shallow dish. Roll each ball, one at a time, in chive/cranberry mixture until well coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Hope you enjoy this appetizer as much as I have! While we are talking no cook appetizers, what are some of your favorites? My go to is a cheese board, but I always love discovering new favorites.

Weekend Highlights – Books & Barre

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Hey friends! How was your weekend? Is it feeling like summer where you’re at? It definitely is here. This weekend was full of little adventures, just like I like it. It also involved lots of cleaning, shout out to the hubs who is a master kitchen cleaner!

Saturday morning started bright and early with some family grocery shopping, before I was off for a workout. Our local Barre 3 was celebrating their fourth birthday with free classes, so a friend and I hit up an early class. I had not taken an in person barre class in a while, and it was a blissfully hard class. The also had a DJ and lots of fun festivities going on before and after class.

After class, the family and I headed to our little dude’s end of season basketball performance. He was feeling a bit shy, and ended up sitting with me for most of the performance.  But it was still nice to see what skills they learned this year. He also enjoyed everyone cheering when he got his trophy.

In the afternoon, we went to check out the snakes at a nearby pet store (kids love it, but they always freak me out a bit).

Dinner was Sauce takeout, including my favorite potato pizza and roasted veggie salad. The hubs selected a sausage and caramelized onion pizza, which was also delicious.

Sunday, we were all up early and I was craving pancakes, so we went to breakfast at a nearby restaurant known for their pancakes. We all shared a pecan roll pancake, which was sweet, fluffy decadence.  I had some eggs and bacon on the side for a little savory balance.

We spent the rest of the morning swimming, before heading home to get ready for my book club. It’s my month to host, so lots of cleaning and what not to do. This book club is a potluck style, so everyone brings something to share. I made a cinnamon cake with cinnamon glaze, adapted from this recipe. As well as some honey goat cheese balls with green onion and cranberry. I was so please with how the goat cheese balls turned out, I will put together the recipe and share later this week.

The book we read was My Abandonment, which follows a 13 year old girl who at the start of the book is living in the forest outside of Portland, OR with her father.  To be honest, I am still not sure what I think about this book, it is interesting and kind of dark.  I just still have so many questions about the main characters.  They are coming out with a movie adaptation.  Which I kind of want to see, to see how they present the characters.

Sunday wrapped up with a nice, sweaty power yoga class and a cup of reishi mushroom elixir. I have really been enjoying the mushroom elixirs, this one is supposed to help support healthy sleep.  I was feeling pretty relaxed after yoga already, but a little additional relaxation help never hurts.

So tell me about your weekend. Was it a relaxing one? Busy? Combo of both? Did you watch the royal wedding? I did not, but from the pictures I have seen floating around Facebook, it looked lovely.

Looking for a workout to start off your week? How about this circuit workout or a quick cardio workout.

Hope you have a great day!