Tuesday, January 31, 2012

tuesday tune: i work out

As I alluded to last week, I gave Zumba a shot for the first time.  The days leading up to my Zumba class, I was ridiculously nervous about... everyone kept telling me that it was so.much.fun but I was super worried I was going to look like a fool.  I have rhythm and all, after all I was a musician for many years of my life, but quite often my body just doesn't quite move the way I tell it to.  AKA: I'm quite clumsy.  It's really rather unfortunate.

But of course, it was ridiculously fun.  I sweat and shook my booty off for a full 2 hours and I can't wait until I have the opportunity to do it again.

After going to the class, I had to do my research (read: watching YouTube videos for hours on end) to see what different Zumba classes were like and to get more of a feel for the workout.  Eventually I found a gem of a video... a Zumba routine to the song "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO.  I know it may be a little bit "risque" but I have to admit, I do have a little bit of a soft spot guilty pleasure for the song.  Come on, I know you do too.  I mean really, is there any better way to wake up every morning than with the affirmation, "I'm sexy and I know it!"?  Yeah, I thought not.

So when I came across this video, I was immediately drawn to it because of the song, but as I continued to watch it, I was drawn to it for another reason... an adorable, white haired, 75-year-old-grandma-who-can-get-funky kind of reason.

Zumba:  You come for the music, you stay for the grannies.  Awesome.

Have you tried a new workout lately?


Saturday, January 28, 2012

seven for saturday

Seven lessons I've learned today...

1. The best friendships are the ones where you can pick up right where you left off

2. Doing the dishes is highly overrated

3. Poaching eggs is really, really hard

4. Fried drippy eggs taste just as good as poached ones... and are really really easy

5. Afternoon naps are perfectly acceptable on Saturdays

6. Free stuff is the best stuff

7. Zumba is the most fun workout in the entire world... and makes me sweat like whoa


Friday, January 27, 2012

a perfect evening

Is there anything better than a Friday night?  I mean really, unless you're working, there's just something wonderful and exciting about Friday nights.  Hubz and I are kind of an old couple though, so we don't really go out much on Friday nights.  Instead, we enjoy hanging out at home and just relaxing, not having to worry about waking up early the next morning (although I do have to work tomorrow morning, I'm just pretending I don't).

Tonight was no exception.  We started the night off with a workout,

made homemade margherita pizza that was out of this world delicious,

indulged in a few bites of sea salt caramel heaven,

and now Hubz is sleeping on my shoulder while we watch a hilarious stupid Austin Powers movie... And I couldn't be happier.

An entire evening of relaxation with my best friend?  Gee willikers, I love being married.

What's your typical Friday night?


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

back on the wagon, baby

Hey y'all!  I'm so excited to be back with another What I Ate Wednesday post!  I'm hoping to do these every week starting NOW because it's fun and helps me stay on track with healthy eating :)

I've been a little on-again, off-again with following Weight Watchers the past couple weeks, but I decided this week that it's time to really buckle down and commit fully, cause otherwise I'm just wasting my money and will regret not starting earlier, ya know?  Also, I'm just not happy with how I look and feel so the most logical thing would be to change something, right?  Yeah, so there's that.

So I had a great day to day and I'm pretty proud of my eats and workouts!  I started the day off with a quick 30 minute exercise band video that.  It was my first day doing this video and I didn't love it.  I'll probably try it again though, we'll see.
(2 AP)

Hubz and I are completely stocked with Chobani right now.  We've been trying to work through our stash of it, but when I went to the grocery store yesterday they had the new Chobani flavors!  So today I got to try the Blood Orange flavor.  Unsurprisingly, it was totally delicious.

Normally I would eat more than this for breakfast, but I was running around for most of the morning and it was all I had time for. 
(3 P+)

I normally don't really have a snack between my breakfast and lunch because I normally eat breakfast around 8:30 or 9 and have lunch around noon.  It really depends on my work schedule though.  Today I did have a snack, though, and it was like, the best snack ever.  Seriously.  

I know it's hard to see what it is in the photo, but it was 1/4 cup of dried apples (Trader Joe's) and 10 raw almonds.  SO yummy and pretty filling!  I will definitely be doing this snack again!
(3 P+)

Lunch was super simple today.  Basic mixed greens salad with some matchstick carrots and grape tomatoes.  Dressing was 2 tbsp of ranch, which I realized today is A LOT.  From now on I will definitely stick to just 1 tbsp, which is better anyways cause ranch is really empty calories (but it's delicious!).  For some protein I had two over-easy eggs which really never disappoint.

(8 P+)

I grabbed coffee with a friend this afternoon and grabbed a small skim almond latte.  Seriously, if you haven't tried an almond flavored latte, they are DELICIOUS.  Almond breves ridiculously delicious (the froth tastes like whipped cream I tell you!), but guess what?  Eight to ten ounces of half and half is not exactly weight loss friendly.  Surprised?  I was too.

After coffee I also enjoyed a grapefruit.  I've always loved grapefruits, but I especially love them right now cause they're so CHEAP!  Love it.

(0 P+)

Today Hubz and I also started doing 30 Day Shred.  I've done it a few times before, but I really want to actually do it for 30 days straight.  I can do it and I know I'm gonna feel great after I do.  We also took before pictures and our measurements today, so I plan on posting those after we finish the 30 days!
(5 AP)

Once again, super simple but filling dinner!  I was ravenous after doing 30 Day Shred and kind of forgot to take a picture before I started to scarf down my food.  Sorry!

This WAS some grilled chicken breast (made on the George Foreman which was ridiculously easy) with a little olive oil and seasoning, a serving of sweet potato fries from Trader Joe's with 1 tbsp of ketchup and some more of the same salad from lunch with fat free italian dressing and 1 tsp of olive oil.  Plus, a few unpictured pringles for dessert :)  It happens, y'all, it happens.
(13 P+)

So not the most interesting What I Ate Wednesday, but sometimes simple and basic is the best...  plus it makes life a lot easier!

Total P+ Used: 31 (hit my daily target right on the nose!)
AP earned: 7 (super proud of this!)

Hope your Wednesday was stellar! ;)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Curry Comfort

I don't know about you, but winter puts me in the mood for comfort food.  Warm, delicious, hearty dishes that not only warm up the belly, but warm up your soul.  Sometimes I swear I should have grown up in the south because I am all about the soul food, baby.

Besides the obvious macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and apple pie, my comfort foods tend to be a little odd...

Bad day at work?  Bring on the buffalo wings.
Angry with the hubz?  Brie, crackers and fig jam will do the trick.
Need to just feel warm and cozy?  Curry, baby, curry.

It's just been in the past year that I've fallen in love with Thai curry... in LOVE, I tell you.  There's just something about the spiciness from the curry paste and the sweetness from the coconut milk that can turn an awful day into an I-have-the-day-off-and-am-lying-on-the-couch-watching-chickflicks-and-eating-salted-caramel-chocolates-in-my-yoga-pants-and-oversized-sweatshirt-just-because-I-can type of awesome day.  It really is that good.  Seriously, it's so.freaking.good. GAH!!

This recipe would be awesome with chicken as well, if shrimp isn't your thing.  Or you could even leave out the rice noodles and serve the curry over rice.  It's so versatile, and super delicious no matter which way you prepare it!  You could also use light coconut milk, but I always think the light stuff leaves a bit to be desired, though it does make the recipe lower in fat.

Thai Curry Soup with Shrimp
Adapted from Weight Watchers

1 pound uncooked shrimp
12 oz low-fat evaporated milk
12 oz canned coconut milk
1 cup water
3 Tbsp thai curry paste, red or green
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
3 oz packaged rice noodles
Cilantro, for garnish

1.  Pat shrimp dry with paper towels.  Spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil spray and heat over medium heat.  Season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste, then cook in skillet until just opaque.  Set aside.
2. Combine the evaporated milk, coconut milk, water, curry paste and red pepper flakes (I like my curry REALLY spicy so I add a lot of pepper flakes, but it's totally up to you) in a large pot set over high heat; bring just to a simmer.  Add the bell pepper, mushrooms and rice noodles; bring back to a simmer.  Adjust the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just tender, 8-10 minutes.
3. Stir in the shrimp and continue cooking until heated through, about 3 minutes more.  Ladle into bowls and top each portion with cilantro, to taste.

Yields 6 (1 cup) servings.  WW P+: 8 per serving (P+ calculated using the weightwatchers.com recipe builder)


P.S. Go make this... NOW!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Goals

Here we go again, another year has come and gone.  Ridiculous.  By now, you've probably realized that the list didn't get completed by the end of 2011.  Disappointed?  Yeah, I am a little bit too.  But, all in all I'm ok with it.  2011 took me down a road that I wasn't expecting and I think all things considered, I crossed off a good amount of my list.  I realize now that my list was a little lofty, and considering that a lot of the items cost a decent amount of money, a bit out of reach.  That's ok though.  It gave me something to work towards and caused me to get out of my comfort zone.  It also forced me to start this blog which, though it doesn't seem it due to my lack of posting recently, has been one of the best things I've done for myself in a long time.

So what's happening with the list now, you ask?  Well, as of now my plan is to make that list a "101 in 1001" list.  Therefore, my new goal is to complete everything on my list by September 28, 2013.  I think this is a lot more feasible and I'm excited to see how it turns out!

Now a little housekeeping business, my december goals?  Major fail on almost all fronts.  Once again, I failed to realize how CRAZY December was going to be for me.  Besides all the Christmas craziness and family gatherings, I also started a new work schedule that I've been trying to adjust to.  Regardless though, I hate setting goals for myself and failing to complete them.  One of my major goals for 2012 is to change that.

Tomorrow I hope to share with you my goals for January, but here are my 12 goals for the year 2012:

  1. Spend more time in prayer and reading the Bible.  Pretty self-explanatory.  I've been slacking at this and it hasn't done anything good for my life.
  2. Lose 50 pounds.  I'd love to say that 50 pounds would put me at my goal weight, but truth be told, even after 50 pounds I'll have a ways to go.  I believe that 50 pounds is attainable and reasonable, however.  I know I can do it... I just have to do it (go figure, eh?).
  3. Find a job that I'm ok with.  Yeah, that sounds as bad in writing as it did in my head.  I love my barista job, but the cold hard truth is that I want to make more money.  I want to be able to pay off debt quicker, I want to be able to give more to others and honestly, I want to do more things that cost money!  Sorry I'm not sorry.  However, I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to find a job that I'm really passionate about at this time in my life.  A lot of this is because my passions are other places right now.  I'm passionate about being a wife and serving my husband, I'm passionate about trying to find a healthy lifestyle and I'm just not sure what I will be passionate about as a career.  I'm ok with that though.  I'm only 22.  I have time to figure it out.  Plus, my ultimate dream-job?  Stay at home mom.  Yep, I said it.
  4. Go on a real vacation.  When I say "real" I mean something like a cruise or going to California... Not going to Chicago for the weekend.  A real vacation that's like 7 days.  It's completely selfish but I think it's good for the mind and soul.  We all need a vacation.
  5. Pay off debt.  Hubz and I met at a small, private Christian college.  People who meet at small, private Christian colleges tend to accrue a decent amount of debt.  It sucks but we both agree it was worth it.  My goal for 2012 is to pay off a few small debts (equalling less than $1000), all our credit card debt and my car loan.  Yes, it's lofty, but I think that if we really buckle down and I start bringing in more money, it's definitely something we can accomplish.
  6. De-clutter.  We have a lot of stuff.  How we got all this stuff, I'm still not sure, but there is a lot of it.  I really want to start living more simply and de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff is the best way to do it.  AT the end of the day, that's all it is: STUFF.  We don't need a lot of stuff, especially considering we life in a 700 sq. ft. apartment.
  7. Begin saving more.  I would like to have at least $3000 saved by the end of the year.  Having that cushion would relieve a lot of stress and even allow us to do things like take vacations, begin saving for a house, etc.
  8. Read 12 books.  After college I kind of stopped reading for a while.  Recently I've started reading more and realized how much I missed it!  I think that one book a month is pretty reasonable, and actually think there's a good chance I'll read more.
  9. Join a nice gym.  Hubz and I belonged to a cheap-o gym that neither of us liked for half of 2011.  We ended up canceling our membership because we never used it.  Although I really like working out at home, it would be really nice to be able to take classes at a gym, swim in the pool and even step on a treadmill every now and then!
  10. Move!  Hubz and I are feeling a little trapped at our apartment right now for multiple reasons.  We're wanting to move somewhere bigger and nicer (who knew cabinet space was such a commodity?), but that obviously costs more money.  And honey, moving ain't cheap.  I'm hoping that we will be living somewhere else by this summer.
  11. Gain revenue from the blog.  This obviously forces me to become a better blogger, as well as a more consistent blogger.  I really want to spend time on my blog in 2012 and really invest in it.  When I'm writing often and expressing myself through writing, I feel at my best.  I'm ready to take Keeping Up With Kayla to the next step, I'm just not sure how to get there yet.
  12. Watch less TV.  Hubz and I don't have cable or anything, but we do have Netflix, and I make sure we get our money's worth on it.  When I'm home alone in the afternoons, I like to have some sort of noise, and usually that ends up being the TV.  I don't think I realize how much time and energy gets sucked into that stinking digital box every week.  I need to unplug more.  I know it well help my productivity and will help Hubz and I spend more quality time together.
So that's that.  Hope you're feeling as motivated as I am to make 2012 awesome!