It’s Friday (#TGIF) and this week seemed really long!  Maybe it’s because it was the first full week of everyone being back at school and work or maybe I was counting the days until my running injury (knee) felt 100% so that I could go back to running! The good news is I ran 4 miles this morning came home and stretched out and I feel pretty good! I am not sure when I will incorporate a long run back in the mix but with the LA Marathon 2 months away I am hoping I will be completely back into training by next week.

Last week The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel made my Friday favorites and it went on to win a Golden Globe as best comedy . . . yeah!!  It’s an awesome show on Amazon Prime, make sure to put it on your watch list.

So let’s jump into this week’s favorites:

The PosT

Go see this movie!!  I love movies and come this time of year my husband and I try and see everything film nominated for an Academy Award. Yes, it’s a lot of movie watching but it makes the actual award show so much fun and between now and the Oscars we have lots of date nights! 🙂

We watched this last night and it was so good. I mean really what’s not to like – Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg! We saw this with friends and what we all came away with is our country will be okay, we survived other turbulent times and we will get through this period as well.

I also watched “Lady Bird” last weekend and loved the coming of age story of an 18-year-old girl navigating through Catholic high school and her family.

Camo Leggings

I ordered these leggings off Amazon on the recommendation of another blogger and they did not disappoint!  They are super soft and comfortable with the perfect high waist.  They are by 90 Degree By Reflex and I have yet to work out in them yet but I love them for hanging out! 

Skinny cow Treats

Have you tried these? 100 calories of goodness and no guilt!  They taste as good as they sound and they are “heavenly”!

My favorite outfit of the week

We don’t get a lot of weather out here in Southern California so when it gets to be a little chilly and there is rain  . . . well, I couldn’t pull out my new boots that I bought for our ski trip at the end of the month quick enough. They are so cozy and comfy I couldn’t wait to wear them! And this weekend it’s supposed to get up into the high 70’s so the boots are back in the closet.  

Winter boots from Target
Pasta Fagioli Soup

I love making homemade soup and serving it with crusty french bread and a mixed green salad. And the best part is there is usually leftovers and I end up with a few days of soup for lunch. This recipe from Giada De Laurentiis is pretty simple and everyone in my family loved it so it’s a keeper.

Wrap the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and secure closed with kitchen twine. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender about 3 minutes. Add the broth, beans, and sachet of herbs. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender about 10 minutes. Discard the sachet. Puree 1 cup of the bean mixture in a blender until smooth*. Before putting the puree back into the soup, add the macaroni and boil with the lid on until it is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Return the puree to the remaining soup in the saucepan and stir well. Season the soup with ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with some Parmesan just before serving. Enjoy!

That’s a wrap for the week! Tonight is wine with some girlfriends and we’ve got soccer tomorrow, date night and a family dinner on Sunday! Whatever you do this weekend enjoy it and make sure you take a little time for you!

 

New Year’s Resolutions? Yes or No

I stopped making them a few years ago.  When I would look back on my resolutions each year they were almost always the same thing . . . getting in shape, eat healthily, exercising, getting organized and finding balance in my life.  I realized finding balance as a woman/mother is a constant quest as is trying to be organized and exercising and healthy eating are part of my daily life. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have goals!  I believe strongly in the importance of setting goals . . . yearly, monthly, weekly and even daily sometimes! 🙂

But let’s talk fitness because it is that time of year when everyone seems to have some fitness or weight loss goal. I think that’s all good but the goal this year should be more about making a lifestyle change incorporating exercise into your daily life so it part of your day.  The goal should be to never have  “getting in shape” back on your New Years resolution or goals because exercise is already part of your daily life.

I know it’s hard but the most important thing is starting! Don’t even think about it or you will start making excuses on why you can’t get started . . . literally JUST DO IT!

Here are my 5 top tips to kickstart your fitness goals:

  1. Schedule at least five 30 minute workouts for the week on your calendar.  They can be a 30-minute walk, an in-home workout, a yoga class – anything that gets you moving!  All movement is good!! If you schedule your workout in your calendar like any other appointment you will be less likely to skip.
  2. Drink more water!!  I struggle with this one especially in the cooler weather but drinking more water will help you flush out the toxins in your body and helps keep you feeling fuller throughout the day. A fun water bottle might help.
    Motivational Water Bottle
  3. Grab a friend to join you!  You are less likely to skip if you know you are meeting a friend to workout.  Or workout virtually with a friend.  My running partner and I meet once a week to run but every day after our run or workouts we text each other what we did, how we feel . . . that daily check-in keeps me accountable.

    Join an online fitness accountability group. I lead a Facebook fitness group where everyone checks in daily with their workout. It’s so motivating to see what others are doing and it’s  a place to ask questions, stay inspired and motivated.  You are welcome to join our group – just comment in the comments section.

  4. Find your ‘why’ and write it down! We all need to have a reason or goal to get us started and to keep us going. Your why is unique to you whether it’s weight loss, getting stronger, healthier or being able to do 10 push-ups.  Remember this your journey don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  Writing it down will give you that visual, it allows you to see your end goal. And realize your ‘why’ will change through the year as you change and that is a good thing.
  5. Treat yourself to a new piece of workout gear. A new pair of workout leggings, a cute new top or new running shoes will give you a boost of confidence to keep going! I always find a run further, jump higher and feel stronger when I am wearing something new.  🙂

My fitness goal for 2018 is to complete 2 marathons, one being the NYC Marathon. It’s been 23 years since I ran a marathon so this will be a challenge but challenges are a good thing. Challenges make us uncomfortable which brings about change!

Check out some reasonable priced stylish, cute and fun activewear! You don’t have to spend alot to look and feel great while you workout!

Time to get moving and feeling amazing . . . no excuses! Feel free to comment with any questions or if you want workout suggestions or want accountability! 🙂
 

With the chaos and rush of the holiday season behind us, it’s time to start back up with my Friday Favorites! 🙂

My running partner is out with an injury so I was solo on a 10-mile run this morning.  Thankfully I had some great new music and the ocean to run along and while 90% of the US seems to be in a freeze out I am not complaining. I grew up on the east coast and I remember those cold snowy days and as much as the snow is beautiful, living in it is a whole other story.  Stay warm everyone!

Time to just jump into my favorites of the week and yes, a few of them are some Christmas gifts that are turning out to be favorites. 🙂

MY FAVORITE hair dryer

Yes, a good hair dryer can be a game changer and this particular hair dryer by Harry Josh is just that! This was on my Christmas wish list and thankfully my husband came through. 🙂 The funny thing the week before Christmas our hair dryer started making a terrible noise so this was so meant to be!

It’s not cheap but it’s the closest thing to making my hair look like I got it professionally blown out! I figure I’ll save money by not paying to have my hair done as often and anything that makes it easier to blow dry my hair is worth it to me.  🙂

This dryer is super lightweight, my hair is smoother and no frizz and the best part it has reduced my dry time . . . WIN! It all makes sense that it won the Best of Beauty Award in 2014 and 2015!

MY FAVORITE Running Tights

Seriously the workout leggings from Old Navy are amazing and the price even better.! They are currently on sale for 40% or more off so now is the time to stock up.

I’ve been running in Old Navy leggings the last couple of weeks and they are awesome. A nice high waistband that never moves, they fit so well I never have to adjust or pull them up and trust me I have more expensive workout leggings that feel like they are falling down or I am tugging at the legs – it’s the worst! Old Navy has so many cute prints and colors and the fabric is super soft.

Here’s the thing I run/workout 5-6 days a week I don’t want to constantly be washing my workout clothes. For the price of a pair of Lululemon workout leggings, I can buy 4-5 Old Navy ones especially when they are on sale – no guilt shopping and quality workout pant.

All activewear is on sale at Old Navy and if you order online you get an additional 20% off and if you order 4 or more activewear pieces you get an additional 10% off!

My recent purchases:

Black & White Floral
Blue and White Stripe   
Blue Foral    
Black Mesh

 

MY FAVORITE Planner

I am a paper and pen gal so I love my yearly planner.  Erin Condren is my all time favorite planner and at this time of year, one of my favorite things to do is to plan out my year or at least the next few months. I love using different color markers and setting some work, fitness and personal goals. It feels good to write things down, for me writing things down is what makes it stick!

For me, the Erin Condren Lifeplanner works great but I also just found a less expensive one called Create a Life Panner – it has similar features and is super cute.

my favorite Hair Mask

Another hair favorite . . . I am sensing a theme! 🙂 The MoroccanOil hair mask is a great hydrating treat for your hair. You want to do this on a weekend when you have some extra time because you massage it into your hair after washing and then it sits on your hair for 10-15 minutes then you rinse. My hair thanked me as it came out super soft and so manageable.

My new favorite tv show on amazon prime

OMG, the best new show from Amazon Prime!!! I kept seeing ads for this show but had no idea what it was about and then I saw it is nominated for a couple of Golden Globe awards so I was curious. The quick synopsis is it’s about a NYC housewife who decides for a variety of reasons to become a stand-up comic in 1958! That’s the one sentence description that doesn’t do it justice – just watch it!!

I binged it this past week and I can’t say enough great things about it.  There are so many shows out there and a lot of them are not so good so when you find a good one you need to share it with your friends!  Enjoy!

So that’s a wrap for the week. We are off to a Laker game tonight with family and friends, soccer tournament tomorrow and off to the movies.  Stay warm and cozy wherever you are this weekend and as always I would love to hear any favorites you have! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

The decorations are down, the house is put back together, I have one more return to make, the college girl is back at school and I have 2 teens still on holiday break! We made it through the holidays and I would say I am easing myself back into the routine of life. It’s still nice to not have to hustle kids to and from practice or worry about homework or making school lunches at the crack of dawn.  Next week will be here soon enough and the craziness we call life will be back in full swing.

I was going to blog today about my fitness goals for 2018  – I am sort of excited about this year and looking forward to sharing and hopefully inspiring! I decided to do that later on in the week as I have one sick kid at home and it seems like everyone around me seems to have someone sick in their house and with the majority of the country living in bitter cold, I thought I would share an amazing soup recipe I made last night because nothing says comfort better than soup and crusty warm french bread. 🙂

I adapted this recipe from the NY Times, adding my own spin on it by adding in turkey meatballs and pasta.  It made it more hearty and served with some crusty french bread – a complete meal!

I love soup and finding a recipe that my entire family will eat makes it even better.  Plus, it was lunch today! 🙂

Minestrone Soup with Meatballs & Pasta
For the soup base:
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 celery rib, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
For the vegetables:
  • 1 bag of baby spinach (6-8 ounces)
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into small dice
  • 2 carrots, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into large dice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cranberry, cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 48 ounces of chicken broth 
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or oregano
For the turkey meatballs:
  • 1 package of ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Make the meatballs first – mix all the ingredients in bowl and form into small size meatballs. Place meatballs on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Make the soup base: In a medium-size heavy soup pot, combine the oil and pancetta over medium-low heat to slowly render the fat and cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the onion, celery, and carrot. Pulse until finely chopped. Add to pot with cooked pancetta and adjust heat so the vegetables soften and cook without browning, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the other vegetables: Stirring after each addition, add spinach, celery, carrots, zucchini, beans, and tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the chicken broth. Add the herb sprigs. Cover, raise the heat and bring to a full boil. Uncover, add the meatballs and lower the heat to a bubbly simmer, and cook 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the herb sprigs.
  6. Cook 1 cup of small size pasta according to package directions and set aside.

To serve:
Place some of the pasta in the bottom of each bowl and spoon soup over the pasta and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese over each serving. Enjoy!