Wednesday, September 28, 2016

LOL Cats

Because laughing is good.  

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week Five: Peak 10 Challenge #6

A month has already flown by in this Challenge.  Wow!

With the next four weeks, a new challenge is added into the mix: an additional Cardio Strength workout each week.  This will be tough for me, as these are hard to do at my schedule will need some tweaking....

Monday:  Cardio Strength 1 on Glo

And I decided to just jump right in with the additional CS this week.  I wasn't 100% today so this one left me a bit more winded than usual.  Thankfully, I remembered this workout, having done it a few weeks ago.  I tend to get the two CS Glo workouts mixed up.  But this one is the easier one, thank goodness!  In the end, I was just glad to have it done for the week!

Tuesday:  McLean's HIIT - Bodyweight Circuits + Ilyse's Heart-Pumping Groove

I had some extra time today so I got in two workouts, instead of walking at the rec center.  This is my "off" week with the PeakFit workouts so I did McLean's HIIT instead of AA.  Neither one is fun and I'm always glad when they're over.  I did 20 minutes of Ilyse's fun dance workout.....which I love!   I sweated bit didn't work too hard.

Wednesday: Amy's Kickin' Cardio and Conditioning + weights

This week, I also took a break from Michelle's weighted Glo workouts, choosing to do one of Amy's instead.  I kept the cardio low-impact and still sweated like crazy.  Sigh.  Maybe it's my thyroid.  Anyway, it was a good workout.  At lunch, after doing my arm weights, I learned some new leg machines with our trainer at the rec.  They were good!  I'm sure my legs - and arms - will hurt tomorrow.

Thursday: Amy's Intervals + Cardio Intervals

Today it was time for Pure Cardio - but it's my alternate week which meant Amy's interval workouts.  They're good because they're very different than Pure Cardio.  I think it helps to alternate these to change it up.  Your body should respond better if you work out in different ways.  These were tough this morning but I got through it.  Yay!

Friday: Michelle's Barre Fusion + McLean's Ab Lab

I love Fridays!  And I love this Barre workout from Michelle.  It's like BodyFit 360 but you don't go to the floor quite as much, which is appreciated on a light day.  I felt great after this workout!  After it ended, I did McLean's ab workout, which consisted mostly of planks.  Ugh.  Then, more stretching.  Nice!

Saturday:  Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn - Fat Blaster + Amy's Body Weight Training

Lots of Peak 10 this weekend!  I was excited to do the Fat Blaster duo - they're so much fun because they're more dance-y than the other ones.  And it's always good to have fun when you work out!  After that 55 minutes, I tuned into Amy's workout in order to do some more….without jumping too much.  My stamina waned after 15 minutes so I then stretched and did sit-ups.  A good morning!

Sunday: Peak 10 Cardio Strength - Fat Blaster + McLean's Cardio Hip Hop

Working out did not sound fun this morning - but doing the Fat Blaster CS seemed different at least.  And it is fun - outside of the floor work!  Ha!  I sweated my way through this 50-minute workout and then tacked on 15 minutes of Alex's dance workout, which is one of my favorites on Glo.  I kept it high impact to work harder.  Fun!  Then, 5 minutes with the 12lb weights followed my a stretch and ab work.  Whew!

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1406
Tuesday - 1161
Wednesday - 1161
Thursday - 1161
Friday - 1350
Saturday - BAD
Sunday - 1255

So when I had my crazy stomach spell a few weeks ago, I dropped two pounds.  I wasn't too excited since I knew why it happened.  But now, after eating good two weeks in a row - mostly - I'm still down a solid two pounds.  Yes!!!  Awesome!  My weight will budge!  I can't tell you how happy that makes me!  Yes, it's only two pounds but when you've only got about 7 to lose, 2 is a lot!

Happy dance time!  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

More Baby Socks!

This picture is horrible.  These socks are actually a nice soft green.  I had a hard time thinking of colors for a baby boy and finally settled on green, since I'd already knitted little James some blue ones. This pattern continues to delight every time I knit it.  It's quick, easy, and simple!

Pattern: Baby Socks by Joelle Hoverson

Yarn: Queensland Collection Bamboo Cotton
Needles: US 3 dpns
Made for: Baby James
Time to completion: 25 days

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week Four: Peak 10 Challenge #6

This Challenge is flying by.  That's a good thing since it may stagnate next week when I have to add an additional Cardio Strength workout into the mix.  

But as it is, I'm having fun!

Monday: PeakFit Pure Cardio

I had a rough night of sleep....but was still motivated to work hard this morning.  After the warm-up and first circuit of PC, I fast forwarded to the last circuit and those lunge jumps I loathe.  It felt good to get through that circuit and then go back to the easier ones.  Yay!  It's the little victories.  Like lunge jumps.

Tuesday: Dozois' Total Body Cardio and Strength + weights

My workout schedule will be a bit different this week so I went ahead and did weights today.  Michelle's workout is so good.  As usual, I kept it low-impact to give my  knees - and body - a break. But I was still sweating like crazy.   And speaking of sweating.....  I did weights at the rec at lunch.....and they apparently don't turn the A/C up very high in that building.  It's usually bad but today it was terrible.  Ugh!  Too much sweat!

Wednesday: PeakFit Anytime Anywhere + walk

Oy.  Wednesday mornings are not my friend.  The best thing about this workout: it didn't kill me!  Yay!  I can never believe how much it makes me work.  Wow.  At lunch, I went to the rec center to walk the track.  I was feeling a bit gross - like a cold was coming on, again - but I went anyway.  When I got back to my office, I felt really shaky.  WTH?!  I didn't run a marathon!  Thankfully, food helped and I felt better.

Thursday: Ilyse's Groovy Dance Party + Amy's Sports Sculpt + walk

I needed some fun this morning and Ilyse's Dance Party provided it!  This workout always makes me happy - I move and jump and punch and party.  Ha!  After that, I tuned into Amy's workout, which I didn't remember very well....and it was fun, too!  When it all ended, I felt good!  At lunch, I was good - yay! - and walked at the rec again.  No shakiness today.  I got a good walk in along with sit-ups and ab work.

Friday: PeakFit Cardio Strength 2

There will be no Sunday workout this week so that means a CS today.  It wasn't as difficult doing this at 5:30am as I remembered……but I couldn't get through it all.  It was a great workout, though - and very challenging.  This CS is really good and I look forward to it during every Peak 10 Challenge.  

Saturday: Peak 10 More Cardio Interval Burn + Scott's Sports-Inspried Drills + Amy's Kickbox Power

Today is my marathon workout day…..since I won't work out tomorrow, I wanted to hit it super hard today.  I started right after waking up with this CIB - always a great one to do.  And not easy!  But I got through it and, thankfully, had some energy left.  So, I did Scott's Drills - not exactly my favorite of Scott's but tolerable.  Next up, Amy's level 3 kickboxing workout.  This one is definitely tougher than her level 2 workouts so it was nice this morning.  That equaled 100 minutes of cardio!  Whew!  After a stretch and sit-ups, I was done.

Sunday: REST

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1522
Tuesday - 1159
Wednesday - 1159
Thursday - 1159
Friday - BAD
Saturday - BAD
Sunday - 1544

I actually felt skinnier and my measurements had gone down a bit on Thursday night…..  And then I blew it.  Mr. Higgins is to blame.  But I'm realizing, slowly and surely, that my thyroid - or lack thereof - means my metabolism is no more.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Beer Pork + Cornbread Waffles

Oh, boy.  I wanted to make pork tacos.  I was craving tacos.  Carnitas.  When searching for recipes, I settled up on this one, which I call Beer Pork.  Ha!

We're not beer drinkers so buying a can of beer at the 7-Eleven was a bit traumatic.  Especially since the guy in front of me was buying a six pack and cigarettes.  Oy.  But I bought it and went home to happily pour it over pork.  

Mr. Higgins likes tacos.....but he likes cornbread more.  When I showed him a recipe for Cornbread Waffles, he requested them with the pork.  Because he actually requests very few things, I decided to make them for him.

I followed both recipes exactly and they were tasty.  I probably won't "crisp" the pork again - this seemed unnecessary and dried out the meat.  But it went well with tortillas and cornbread waffles.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Week Three: Peak 10 Challenge #6

Already a quarter of the way through this Challenge.  Wow!

Monday: REST

For Labor Day, we went to see my parents, which meant a forced rest day. And that means no yoga/light day - again - this week.

Tuesday: Amy's Intervals + Cardio Intervals + weights

Time to get back to it today!  I was so sleepy this morning but that didn't last long once Amy got me going...and going.  This is my Pure Cardio substitute for the week and it's definitely a challenge, too!  After this first interval workout, I finished off my workout with the second one, which has longer intervals.  What a sweat-fest!  At lunch, I went to the rec center for weights.  It was a frustrating trip but at least that's done for the week!

Wednesday: Ilyse's Dance Intervals 101 + Groovy Dance Party + Sweaty and Sassy Dance Fit

I decided to split up my harder workouts because my plantar fasciitis is really bothering me.  That today!  I love these two workouts that Ilyse put together.  Dance Intervals is definitely more of a challenge, especially with all the jumping in the beginning.  But I did all of this workout before tuning into the lower-impact Dance Party.  All in all, a fun morning!  I left work early to go to the dentist.  Once that trauma was over, I manged to do 20 minutes of Ilyse's Sweaty workout....and then a nice stretch and ab work.  I needed to do something since I couldn't walk at the rec this week.

Thursday: McLean's HIIT - Bodyweight Circuits

Ugh.  I have not missed this workout. This one is my alternate to Anytime Anywhere and, just like AA, it really works me hard.   McLean loves going to the floor.  He loves it more than he should.  Ha!  At lunch, I walked to a cafe (about 15 minutes) to meet a friend for lunch.  Not a great workout but at least I moved - rather quickly!

Friday: Michelle's Tip Top Shape

I wasn't 100% this morning, with a sore throat and sniffles.  Ack!  I cannot get a cold!  I kept this workout low-impact...but I still worked hard.  No one does weights like Michelle Dozois.  She's so innovative and non-repetitive....  I love it!  I was dripping sweat by the end of this one - but it felt like I'd accomplished something!

Saturday: Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn + Amy's All-Around Energy

Yesterday, I started having some new and different foot pain.  This morning, the pain was still there, making me a bit apprehensive about my ability to work out this morning.  But I made it through Michelle's original CIB.  And it was mostly fun!  I really enjoy that one!  Then, in order to not go too crazy on my foot, I did Amy's lighter workout, which combines body strength exercises with low-impact cardio segments.  It's really good!  After that 20 minutes, I did 15 minutes of stretching and ab work.  

Sunday:  Michelle's Cardio Strength 1 on Glo + BodyFit 360 Vol 3 - Athletic Conditioning (cardio only)

My foot was better today - yay!  I couldn't quite remember this CS so I just got into it - and it came back.  It's a good one!  And it's tough!  After it finished, I did 20 minutes of the cardio from Athletic Conditioning.  Dang!  I always forget just how crazy tough this is, especially after already working out for 55 minutes.  Whew!  My stretch after all that was much appreciated!

Calorie Counts:

Monday - a bit bad (Labor Day)
Tuesday - 1169
Wednesday - 1169
Thursday - 1433
Friday - 1315
Saturday - BAD
Sunday - 1189

I really wish I could have a good 5 days in a row.  Sigh.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

Along with Zucchini Bread, I've recently tried another new dessert.  This one, again, for the neighbors.  

I love chocolate....and peanut butter.  Put them together and I'm a happy camper.  When I saw this recipe for cookies that contained both PLUS peanut butter cups....oh, boy.

The neighbors were the perfect excuse to try this new cookie.  I made no substitutions to the recipe - for once.  Ha!

And they turned out great!  They didn't knock my socks off....but then, few things do.  Everyone else raved about them, which is a good sign.  My one complaint was that they fall apart a bit too easily.  Oh, well....they taste mightily good!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Zucchini Bread

We've had two new neighbors move in - actually on the same day last month.  It was really weird to have two huge moving trucks on our tiny street at once!

Anyway, Mr. Higgins thought we should welcome the neighbors with goodies so I decided to try something new - much to his annoyance.  Obviously, I would not give away something bad....but I wanted to try something new!  

I've been looking for a good Zucchini Bread recipe for years and I've finally found one!  This one caught my eye because it was a bit lower in sugar than others - and it contains Greek yogurt.  So it must be super moist!

My modifications...  I used all white all-purpose flour and brown sugar.  And I opted out of the chocolate, unsure of how that would taste.  I made sure to squeeze the moisture from the zucchini really well.  I made three smaller loaves with the recipe - which are a great size!

Mr. Higgins really liked this bread, as did I.  And my co-workers loved it!  I haven't heard from the neighbors yet but then I'm rarely outside and sociable.  I'm keeping this recipe, though, for future use.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week Two: Peak 10 Challenge #6

Another week of summer here in Texas...and my second week of Peak 10!  

I'm totally excited about this Challenge.  I want to get into great shape for our October vacation - for my 35th birthday!!  

Monday: PeakFit Pure Cardio

I was definitely tired this morning but Michelle got me going with Pure Cardio.  This one is so much fun.  I debated doing the last circuit since I never make it that far along in the video due to morning time constraints....but then decided to do it next time.  Lunge jumps did not sound fun after a weekend of Peak workouts.  Whew!

Tuesday:  McLean's Unleash Your Inner Strength + Amy's Skills and Drills + weights

Today was cardio - but a bit lighter cardio, thank goodness!  I started with McLean's workout....but I opted out of the floorwork, jumping rope or jogging instead.  After that, I tuned into Amy's kickboxing workout.  This is a fun one!   At lunch, I got to the rec for weights!  Yay!  They were not easy but I was so glad to get them done!

Wednesday: REST

So I was up, literally, all night long with severe stomach issues.  Somehow, I got out of bed and went to work....but there was no working out.   It makes me sad - that means no "light" day for yoga or something.  Sigh.  Stupid stomach.

Thursday:  PeakFit Anytime Anywhere + walk

Since I missed Wednesday, I had to get up and do my hard workout today.  My stomach was still a little apprehensive about being sloshed around, but I got through it!  And my stomach was much better today!  (I changed one "peak" move because it was too jumpy.)  At lunch, I had to escape the office so I walked the track at the rec center.  

Friday:  Amy's Complete Strength and Conditioning + walk

Time for weights today!  I'm mixing up Michelle's weighted mid-week workouts with a few of Amy's, just so I don't get bored.  And I really like this one!  Michelle's are definitely more challenging….but Amy made me do 50 push-ups.  Whew!  At lunch, I walked at the rec center.  And I was proud of myself for getting over there!

Saturday:  Peak 10 More Cardio Interval Burn + Ilyse's Heart-Pumping Groove

This was my first ever Peak 10 CIB so it holds a special place in my heart.  And I still love it!  It's super tough but also a lot of fun!  I got through it all today - with a lot of sweat.  Yay!  Then, 10 minutes of Ilyse's cardio to cool down.  Wanting a good stretch, I did five minutes of abs and then about 10 minutes of good stretching.  It was lovely!

Sunday:  Peak 10 Cardio Strength - Fat Blaster + Scott's Intense Athletic Drills

So I started this CS and was having fun.  The choreography is cool and the weighted sequences flow nicely.  Then the last two circuits happened and I almost died - from all the floor work.  Whew!  Somehow I managed to do 25 minutes of Scott's video - after having already done 50 minutes with the CS.  Then, five minutes with the 12lbs weights followed by a stretch and ab work.  

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1213
Tuesday - 1256
Wednesday - BAD
Thursday - 1229
Friday - 1229
Saturday - BAD
Sunday - a bit bad

The holiday weekend was not kind to me.  I was good four of the five weekdays but I made a special end-of-the-summer dessert for Mr. Higgins.  That meant my calorie counts stayed above 1200.  Ugh.  Must do better!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Individual Cobblers

When I made a certain White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake, I had raspberry filling left over.  And so I searched Pinterest - love it! - for a way to use it up.

When I saw this recipe for Single Serve Cobblers, I knew I'd found the thing.  It looked easy, simple, and the best part....I'd finally get to use my ramekins....that I've never touched.  Yay!  
As advertised, these were easy and I was able to go a bit lighter on the butter, cutting it down to 1Tbsp per serving.  I was even able to fit them in my toaster oven instead of the big oven - which is great if you live in Texas and it's August.  

These turned out great!  I can't wait to try them with fresh berries instead of pie filling. That'll really cut the calories down!

Mr. Higgins approved!