Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekend in Review | Easter 2017


After an unexpected break last week, I wanted to get back to blogging this week! So a later Monday post it is!



Friday:

Nothing really crazy happened on Friday. I took Mya to the dog park since it was pretty nice outside and happened to come across this little guy.

He is a 4 month old German Shepherd puppy. He was really well behaved and was pretty wiped out by the time we left! After that I got home and made some lemon poppyseed scones. I got the recipe from Budget Bytes. They were really easy and quite good! My husband's favorite flavor is lemon and he gave two thumbs up! Next time I think I am going to make it with almond extract with almond slivers instead of lemon. I didn't get any pictures of them so here is a picture from the blog post!

These cute little lemon poppy seed two-bite scones are soft and sweet with a deliciously tart lemon glaze. You won't be able to have just one! BudgetBytes.com
credit: Budget Bytes
After eating some dinner, we decided to have a margarita while watching both the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Wild loose :( At least the margarita was good?


                                          
Saturday:


Since it was nice out, I decided to run to the Anytime Fitness right by our house instead of drive. It is about .8 of a mile each way. Let's just say it was super humid out and I was as red as a tomato when I got home. Since running the half marathon and 10 mile run last year, I haven't run really at all. And I have to say...I don't miss it AT ALL. That .8 of a mile felt like forever. But I was good and warmed up by the time I got to the gym. 


After we got home from the gym, I did some snuggles with Ms. Mya. She was in the smallest ball possible here. Full cuddle mode fo sho!


After some cuddle time, I made this Hello Fresh meal that we received last week. I have a review coming up so I won't go into too much but it was good!


Then later in the afternoon we headed down to Bill's sister's house to celebrate Easter with his family. The food was good and it was nice to get everyone together!

Sunday:

This was project day. I got a bug up my wazoo and wanted to get stuff done. I did some laundry, cleaned the main bathroom top to bottom, swiffered and steam cleaned the hardwood floors and put some tiles under the sink. 



I've mentioned it before but Bill's mom gave the suggestion of getting some cheap sticky tiles from Menards and putting them in drawers/cabinets. I have done it to some in our kitchen but not under the sink. I just really tired at looking at the nastiness under the sink. It looks so much better now! 



Mya and Bruce were able to soak up some sun as well. After completing all this stuff, Bill's parents invited us over for dinner. We decided, why not?! We packed up Mya and headed over to their house.

After that we headed home and I was in bed shortly after that!


Questions for you?

How was your weekend? 

Do you celebrate Easter? 


Linking up with TriciaBiana, and the Tumbleweed Contessa!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekend in Review | Meat Raffle and Sunshine

Hellooo! Welcome back to Monday everyone! How is it April already?!

How was your weekend? Ours was a mix between low key and activities!


Friday:

I started off the day by eating some delicious breakfast and then hitting the gym. Afterwards, I went home for lunch and watched some episodes of Rizzoli and Isles. Before too long, Mya and I headed to the dog park. Now that the weather is getting nicer, dog park trips happen more often. Its hard to believe that when we got her she HATED other dogs. Now she LOVES each and every one!


After the dog park, it was still nice outside so we propped up in the driveway to enjoy some more of the sun and a Big Wave. If you have not tried this beer, I highly recommend it! It is a little sweeter than most but is really good on a warm sunny day. 

                                                 



Friday evening was low key as Bill and I wanted to get some stuff done around the house on Saturday.

Saturday:

After going to the gym and nomming on these amazing pulled pork tacos, activities around the house commenced!


I just used some left over pulled pork, some bbq sauce, coleslaw on taco tortillas. For just making it up, they were really good!


I request a clean up bag through Thredup (referral link) a couple of week ago and got it in the mail. So I figured I might as well break it out! I have done this before and it worked pretty smoothly!

After getting some project done, we decided to head to our local VFW for a meat raffle. Neither one of us had played before so we thought it might be fun! Essentially, there is a table of different types of meat and you buy tickets each round. At the end of each round they pick a winner. If you win, you go up to the table and pick what you want. We didn't get there right away so we don't know what the "really good meat" was. We learned you want to get there early if you want the good looking steaks and roasts!

We were there for 3 rounds and ended up winning two of them! We got some stuffed pork chops and 1/2 of a smoked ham. 




After winning at the meat raffle, we decided to head to a local bar and grill, Wild Bill's for a couple of drinks and an app. I purchased a Groupon for $25 for $15 towards a purchase at Wild Bill's so we thought we would put it to good use. We had some friends coming over so we knew we could stay long.


Even though I am not a wine drinker, I decided to try a bottle that our friends brought over. I have no idea what kind it was but I do know that it had a subtle apple taste to it. It wasn't too bad!


After dinner and a game of pool, we decided to head outside for a fire. It was the perfect night for a fire!

Also this day marked one year since we adopted this goon! Can't believe it has been a year already!



Sunday:

I may have not gotten out of my robe all day :) It was a lazy day for sure. While we did freeze the ham that we won on Saturday, we decided to try the pork chops. 


I served them with mac and cheese (from Kraft of course) and green beans. The stuffing wasn't as crisp as I'd like it but over all it was good! Now to get ready for another week of work!


Questions for you:

Favorite weekend event?

Have you ever played and/or won a meat raffle?

*please note referral links are enclosed in this post, thank you for supporting Whiskers & Weights!

Linking up with KatieTricia, Biana, and the Tumbleweed Contessa!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Motivation Favorites

When I first started this blog, I would do Motivational Mondays. I found (and still do some days) that finding motivation on Monday is one of hardest things to do. I almost always feel more exhausted on a Monday than I do on the weekend or after a long week.

Even though today is not Monday, I am lacking on the motivation. I know that I just need to pull my big girl pants up and get on with it. I will, just not at this moment. Today I thought I would share some of my favorites from back in the day.

see entire post here


This one hits home.  It is really up to each one of us to accept ourselves. Including
all those wrinkles, cellulite and stretch marks and sweet/salty personalities!


With today's society and social media craze, it is easy for any one of us to get caught in the comparison game..and get stuck. Remember, it is your body your rules!


see entire post here

This post goes along the lines of what I said above about social media. I sometimes find myself glued to my phone and HATE it. I will purposfully go and put my phone in a different room just so that I am off of it for awhile. I'm sure the hubby and the animals enjoy that disconnected time just as much as I do.
see entire post here

Lastly, this one is way easier said than done. It is so easy to start worrying about things that really shouldn't have the weight that they do. Unfortunately sometimes I work best with a little worry/pressure behind me. That being said, I could also benefit with turning that worry switch off and cranking up the live more switch! :)


Questions for you:

Where do you find your motivation?

What are your best motivation tips?


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Feel Like a Badass in the Gym | Favorite Exercises

Do you ever get into a workout slump where you are kinda in-between programs and don't really know what to do when you get to the gym? I definitely have! I usually get this way after finishing a program or if a program starts getting a little too complicated. What I mean by complicated is that moves/exercised for the program require more equipment than my gym has, not that it means lifting heavier.


When these days pop up, there are a few exercises that always make me feel like I crushed a workout. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about How to Feel Like a Badass in the Gym so I thought I would add onto the series and share these exercises today!




1. Squat

I never used to be a fan of these/never did them. I really think this was a mixture between fear and uncertainty. I also used to think a lot about what people thought of me in the gym. Now I am lucky enough to not really care that much BUT what really helped me was starting with low weight and working my way up.

Wide-Stance Barbell Squat
source
Wide-Stance Barbell Squat
source
         
What has also helped me with my confidence with squats is stretching. I used to feel like I could never get low enough or that I was always just a little too tight in my hamstrings and hip flexors to do the squat properly. Now before every workout, I warm up for 3-5 minutes. After warming up, I stretch out especially in my arms and lets. I find that stretching during the workout/in between sets really helps with soreness as well. I have found that this has immensely improved my form and i have been able to lift more as well! Squats are compound movements so while you are working your legs, you are also stimulating other muscles as well.

2. Tricep Kick Back

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
source
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
source
This is a move that I have also come to love. I don't do it 100% like this photo shows but it is pretty close. While I do like some other tricep moves, this one is the one where I feel it the most. It allows me to really connect my mind to the muscle. I have seen some notable growth with my triceps and I believe adding this move to upper body days have helped. I usually super set this exercise with the next one.

3. Cable Bicep Curl

I have been working on my biceps for I don't know how long. I have always had a weaker upper body (what woman doesn't?!) so I have focused on it for about the last year or so. One of the exercises that I love to do for biceps in the cable bicep curl.

source
I started out doing both arms at a time but I found that it was hard to really focus on the mind-muscle connection. I started doing one arm only and have found that I can make the connection a lot easier than if I do both. The importance of this exercise is to really focus on the bicep and to take the shoulder/back out of the workout.

4. Single leg deadlift

Now this exercise is a doozy! I normally end my workout with this move as it really helps to stretch out the hamstrings and really focus on stabilization. I usually use this as a burnout exercise as well. I will pick a little lighter of a weight and go until I really feel the burn...and then a little more :)
Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift
SOURCE
Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift
SOURCE
           

I don't always use a kettlebell for this exercise but I have used it plenty of times. This exercise gets a little harder the heavier you go, I think anyway. Since you are only using one leg, you also have to work on stabalization to make sure that you don't fall over. IF you do, don't worry! I have done this so many times it's unbelievable. Some days you are all balanced out and some days you are not. That is just the way it goes!

So there you have it! The top 4 exercises that help me crush a workout that I don't have plans for!


Question for you:

What are your go-to moves when stuck in a workout rut?

Linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday and Thinking out Loud.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekend in Review | Pup Play Date and St. Patrick's Day

Helllooo! Happy 1st day of Spring! How was your weekend? Ours was good! Hung out with some friends on Friday and stayed around the house for the rest of the weekend.



Friday:

I didn't really do a whole lot actually. I went to the gym, met up with Bill for lunch and headed to Ulta to check out some new products. I ended up not buying anything. Nothing really jumped out at me. Then I headed home to get ready to head to our friend's house in South Minneapolis. We headed down there around 5 for some light dinner (sandwiches) and drinks. Also, a puppy play date. Their golden and our pup get along really well. 



We were also watching some March Madness basketball. We have a little bracket that I got 2nd place in last year. I thought why not try again this year?! There have been some upsets already but it's still not looking too bad though! e headed out to downtown St. Paul. It was super packed down there. There was even some tents behind the bars. 




We ended up stopping at a bar called New Bohemia. It is sort of a brat and beer place. They also serve huge pretzels. Bill and I ended up getting the mac and cheese stuffed brat. It was pretty good!


the marks of the night


Uber on the way home

Saturday:

We didn't do a whole lot. It was more of a lazy Saturday for us. 


We were all pretty exhausted, including Mya! Rizzoli and Isles was my entertainment for the day. We also hit up Texas Roadhose for dinner. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it! They have some of my favorite ribs!

Sunday: 

Went to they gym and hit up Aldi for some more groceries.



I also did some organizing and cleaned the floors with our Shark steam cleaner. With our hardwood floors, a swiffer doesn't always clean it the best. We try about once a month to steam clean it. 

So not too busy of a weekend, but enough for us and the pup!


Linking up with KatieTricia, and the Tumbleweed Contessa!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday

Is Daylight Savings kicking your butt as much as it is kicking mine?!



I am a person who loves my sleep. 10 hours is like perfection in my book. Now I don't get that much too often but it is amazing on the nights that I can get that much sleep!

Since I haven't posted since last week, I thought I would get a little random today. Thanks Amanda! 

1. I got my hair done last Friday after a long 5 months. I went back to the same person I went to back in September (which I normally don't do) and was really pleased with the results. Here is a fashionable picture...


in progess

after

It's hard to tell but I got my blonde lightened up and added some more darkness. We do a mixture of brown, red and violet for the darker areas. Some places are more violet than others but I love it. 

I also decided to try out another recipe. I will be sharing my thoughts and where I got it from tomorrow! Since I try to do new/more in depth recipes on Friday's I might start doing that...thoughts?!

HINT

2. This past weekend we headed about 30 minutes into WI to visit one of my best friends. She recently moved out there so we thought we would go and check it out! We starting with some pool and drinks, transferred to dinner (which included pulled pork sandwiches, home made mac and cheese and home made potato salad - delish) and then out for some drinks. We ended up staying pretty late and our "cab" driver getting "lost". It was definitely an interesting but fun night!









3. Sunday we headed to Bill's parents house to celebrate his mom's birthday a day early. We had some awesome dinner and then headed home for an early bedtime (thanks daylight savings time!).

4. I also made another batch of home made mac and cheese. On Saturday I made it with gluten free noodles (my friend has Celiac disease) but this time I made it with regular noodles and a little more spices. It is such an easy and delicious recipe! Find it here!





You start with cooking the noodles IN THE MILK. Who wouldv'e thunk?! Then add some freshly grated cheese. I used 1/2 mild cheddar and 1/2 mozzarella. Oh and some spices. I did a combo of garlic, onion, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Next time a little dash of cayenne will be good!

5. This weekend we are getting together with some other friends as our friend Toby has birthday his this weekend. Also, St. Patty's happens to be on Friday. Not quite sure what we are doing yet, but I'm sure it will be a good time!

6. I have been on a "wanting to organize" kick lately...I just haven't gotten around to the actual organizing yet ha! We had some spring like weather here in Minnesota so I have a feeling that has something to do with it. It snowed this last Sunday so that was a good jolt back to reality. This weekend is supposed to get up into the 50s....so fingers crossed the white stuff disappears! :)

That's about it for now! Hope you have a fantastic weekend! Remember to check back tomorrow for a recipe review!