Playlist Thursday: Hip Hop, Won’t Stop

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

Playlist thursday teal

Today’s theme is: Hip Hop. I LOVE Hip Hop. Just ask my husband, this girl can throw down. It’s awesomely embarrassing (to him), just plain awesome to me.

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy & Mase
Title: Mo Money Mo Problems
Side Note: Best hip hop video ever. Those awesome yellow jump suits. Favorite.
Quotable: B.I.G., P-O, P-P-A. No info, for the, DEA. Federal agents mad cause I’m flagrant. Tap my cell, and the phone in the basement. My team supreme, stay clean. Triple beam lyrical dream, I be that. Cat you see at all events bent. Gats in holsters girls on shoulders. Playboy, I told ya, bein mice to me. Bruise too much, I lose, too much. Step on stage the girls boo too much.

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: Ryan Lewis and Macklemore
Title: Thrift Shop
Side Note: I didn’t like this song at first, in fact I preferred their slower stuff. But it is definitely grown on me, and its pretty funny.
Quotable: They be like “Oh that Gucci, that’s hella tight”
I’m like “Yo, that’s fifty dollars for a t-shirt”. Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition. Fifty dollars for a t-shirt, that’s just some ignorant bitch shit. I call that getting swindled and pimped, shit. I call that getting tricked by business. That shirt’s hella dope. And having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don’t. Peep game, come take a look through my telescope. Trying to get girls from a brand? Then you hella won’t.

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: Jay-Z
Title: 99 Problems
Side Note: I love and listen to a TON of Jay Z, but this song holds a special place in my heart, and I can pretty much rap it on demand.
Quotable: I tried to ignore him and talk to the Lord. Pray for him, cause some fools just love to perform. You know the type loud as a motor bike. But wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight.

Year of Baking: Joy the Baker’s Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread

I hope you got the opportunity to read my first week of baking in 2013!

For week two I have switched gears, another cookbook that I love is Joy the Baker. Blogger turned cookbook author, perfect.

So I decided to bake her Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread, I am not going to post the recipe, but in addition to the book she has many banana bread variations on her blog.

I picked this recipe because Nick loves Bourbon and I love chocolate

My first issue, I think, was that it was a tad undercooked and the bread ended up fallen in once it cooled. Sad.

The other issue, for me, was that I don’t really like bourbon, and the bourbon flavor in this bread is strong. Not you are going to get drunk strong, more like the flavors will come out strong, so make sure you use a good bourbon, oh and make sure you like bourbon.

I obviously only had Nick taste-test this bread, sorry B, and while he liked it, it wasn’t a stand out dish. I think I will try it again, but without the bourbon, maybe I will try a different liquor, an irish cream perhaps?

Have you ever baked a boozy bread? Did you like it?

Make sure you check out other daily eats and recipes with Jenn’s WIAW Link-up


belVita breakfast biscuits: my favorite pairings

Whether you’re a mom or not I think you can all relate to the mornings where you are rushing to get everything you need to leave the house for the day. For me it is usually, dress B and get all his food, snacks and drinks packed. Make sure I am reasonably put together, get out of the house…ON TIME. The one thing for me that is usually a casualty to time management? Breakfast. I know, you don’t have to tell me, the worse thing to do, especially when trying to lose weight, is miss breakfast. So how do I remedy this?

Introducing belVita breakfast biscuits:

I have been keeping packages of belVita in my car and purse. Each package contains 4 biscuits, and each package has 18-20 grams of whole grains, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. The biscuits are baked to release energy continuously and that gives the consumer nutritiously sustained energy all morning. So how’d they stand up for me?

The first morning I had already prepared my oatmeal, so I shared a packet with my main man. We shared the Cinnamon Brown Sugar flavor, two biscuits for him and two for me.

I took mine and broke them into pieces and let them sit in my oatmeal while the peanut butter melted. While this is not one of the suggested pairings of the belVita biscuits, I can see myself eating this often (and if you love oatmeal you should try it). Since, I let my oatmeal cool/the peanut butter melt into the oatmeal, what ended up happening was that the biscuits sort of also melted into the oatmeal and the flavors mixed with the oatmeal was amazing. B also chowed down on his biscuits, paired with half a banana, he was very happy with his breakfast. I have to say this flavor, hands down, was my favorite.

The next flavor I tried was the Apple Cinnamon, I was in a rush and I needed something quick and easy. I paired the biscuits with an Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt.

I loved this pairing, I ended up using the biscuits almost as a spoon, and the yogurt as a dip. For someone who is in a real rush, this is a great way to get in a healthy breakfast, and one that will keep you full and satisfied all morning. Plus if you use the biscuits as a spoon you don’t have to dirty any dishes. That’s what I call a win!

Next I tried the Blueberry flavor paired with blueberries and raspberries, and while this wasn’t bad, I preferred my biscuits with yogurt. Next up, the golden oat flavor with banana and a small amount of peanut butter. Here is the only snag I hit. The first package I opened had a piece of gravel in it. Not something I want to bite down on. The representative at belVita felt awful and sent me a replacement box immediately. They even included a sweet note about their quality control and making sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. Things that make me love companies, excellent customer service. BelVita is exactly that, they were apologetic and gracious, and 100% ensures that I will buy the product from my local store.

The last flavor I had was Chocolate. I try to have my sweet snacks at night, it’s my little treat. I paired this flavor with a greek yogurt and honey. For me this was a wonderful sweet treat at the end of the night. I wouldn’t necessarily eat this for breakfast, but could envision it as a snack or dessert again.

I also paired it with a banana and peanut butter, unpictured but delicious.

Since I was adding the biscuits to another part of a meal, I never ate the whole packet, 2 was usually enough, I think if only had the biscuits to eat, I would eat the entire packet, but for the instances I listed I always had another component.

So where can you find belVita breakfast biscuits? They are in your Cracker & Cookie aisle in your local grocery store. They are available in 23 countries, so even if you live outside the United States, you might still be able to try them.

To read more about how you can check out RacingTale’s Pear Tart recipe or Tina’s Protein Chocolate Cookie Crumble Ice Cream.

Have you ever had belVita breakfast biscuits, what was your favorite flavor?

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

Playlist Thursday: I wanna rock!

It’s that time of the week again. Time to link up with Pavement Runner. This is an awesome link up I always try to partake in because I get to see songs that I might not have otherwise heard of and I always end up adding at least one song to my running playlist. Make sure you head over to Pavement Runner to check out everyone else who contributed this week.

Today’s theme is: Rock. I am hoping to throw in a few different types of rock for you today.

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Aerosmith
Title: Love In An Elevator
Side Note: Bean Town represent. I love a lot of classic rock. This particular category was hard as I had about 5 different songs I wanted to choose. My sister and I used to love this song and sing it at the top of our lungs.
Quotable: Jacki’s in the elevator. Lingerie second floor. She said ‘Can I see you later. And love you just a little more?. I kinda hope we get stuck. nobody gets out alive. She said ‘I’ll show ya how to fax in the mailroom honey. and have you home by five’

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: Anberlin
Title: Self Starter
Side Note: This is from there newest album, there is no real video, but I love this song.
Quotable: Last night rolled over beside my bed. That sort of madness, could leave one dead. Our eyes deceive, we were on fire. Mistook you for love and love desire. I still can’t feel nothing just want to hold something. Tell me again what’s real, tell me again what to feel

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: Queen
Title: Killer Queen
Side Note: I could of gone with the typical Queen song for this, but I decided to pick one that is more well known but not your go-to Queen song. The song has enough lulls and pick ups that my pace increases, but not too much that I burn myself out. And FYI Freddie Mercury RIP what a talent, I wish, I had been older when he was alive, there has been no other musician with his vocal range.
Quotable: She’s a Killer Queen. Gunpowder, gelatine. Dynamite with a laser beam. Guaranteed to blow your mind. Anytime

Year of Baking: Flour’s Corn Muffins

Without fail every Christmas I ask for a cookbook/baking book for Christmas, and now that they are taking up more than one shelf on my bookcase (and it’s a large bookcase) I decided I needed to start sharing my baking experiments with all of you. I have decided to call this the year of baking 2013. I am not going to copy and paste the recipes for this purpose but review the recipe and let you know of any changes that I made.

The first recipe that I tried was the Corn Muffins with Raspberry Jam from Joanne Chang’s book Flour.

The Flour bakeries are in Boston and I actually went to one during a mini-mingle at the Healthy Living Summit this summer.

(This is an affiliate link.)

I love corn bread and corn muffins, but I prefer mine without jam, so I decided to omit that part of the recipe.

I have to say this, I love the fact that the recipe was true to the stated outcome, it really made 12 muffins.

pre-oven

So how did the match up to my extremely high cornbread standards? Personally, I thought they were a but dry, but I did omit the jam. Out of the 3 items I made that day, these were my least favorite, however they were B, Nick and my brother-in-law’s favorites.

They were nice and crumbly and the top was nice and chewy while the bottom was softer. The corn flavor wasn’t too strong and the muffins were nice and light they didn’t have that heavy, brick in your stomach feeling after you ate it.

I’d say they were a huge hit with B. After a weekend of guests, we only have 4 muffins left, I would say they were a hit and I would definitely make them again!

I am sure some of you are asking how this fits into my goals, I am not eating tons of food, I take a bite to test the item and then I let my family and friends go to town and give me reviews. I love to bake, but I especially love to bake for others, it is therapeutic for me. It helps that I have two awesome taste-testers in house.



See other great eats on Jenn’s blog for WIAW

2013 Goals & Accountability

I know this is about a month late, but when I make a goal, I need to come up with a game plan. Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out exactly what I need to do in order to make my goals happen.

So what are my goals? I didn’t really post them on here, because I don’t think of them as resolutions, but just goals, I have long-term and short-term. Long-term, I would like to lose 50 pounds and maintain that weight loss. Short-term, I would like to lose 15 pounds by Memorial Day, I feel like that is a realistic goal, maybe I am wrong, time will tell.

I would also like to cut 20 minutes off my PR time, I honestly think that these two items really tie into each other. The more I run and workout the better it will be for my weightless. The more weight I lose, the less weight I have to run with, which really takes a load off of me.

So how am I going to do this? With no gym, I really have to motivate myself and make my home gym work. I will be honest, some days I have an extremely hard time with motivation. If B was up all night/sleeping in our bed, then I do not feel well rested and not motivated to just pop out of bed to go run or work out. That is a mental hurdle I really need to get over.

I have a few plans in place, I am now in a routine with my trainer. I am very lucky to have a trainer that is willing to come to my house and train me & entertain my toddler if he is awake. We have worked together, on and off, since 2007. He helped me lose 30 pounds and keep it off, and now I am working on the last 50. I can see & feel a difference in my muscles from when I started many years ago. I have a good amount of workout equipment in my house that I have slowly bought. A few more weights & kettlebells and I will have a sweet home gym. I also run 3-4x a week. 2 short runs, 1 long run and 1 tempo run. I am training for that half PR so I need to put in the miles.

The second piece is Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp, I did the first round (this is now the 4th) and I loved it, especially post-baby. It kept me accountable and gave me a plan to follow, it also helped me get back into the swing of things. After the moving and holiday stress, I needed something to keep me accountable for the days I wasn’t with my trainer. One of the parts I love about Tina’s program is it just isn’t about working out, she has us set two goals every week. I rotate my goals, because there are things that I constantly need to address, at least the past 3 weeks. The ones that I am really focusing on are; trying to drink 100 oz of water a day, the second is to track my calories. After having B, when I was trying to lose the baby weight, I was using Lose It to track my calories and I found it extremely helpful, just like workout gear, everyone has a preference for a calorie counter, Lose It is mine. If I was a working gal, I probably wouldn’t feel as if this was an absolute necessity, but since I stay home it is way easier to bored eat, it is easy to swipe a piece of B’s unfinished snack. I need to hold my self accountable for every bite that goes in my mouth.

The Third Piece is working with Amanda on my nutrition. While I eat under or at my calorie intake designated to me, and I feel like I eat healthy foods, sometimes it is nice to have a second set of eyes, especially certified eyes. We are meeting soon to go over all the information, and I am looking forward to this.

This plan has me accountable to multiple people, I feel like I do my best when I can let multiple people down, because frankly, that would be embarrassing. How do you hold yourself accountable?

What’s a post without my biggest inspiration to lose weight and be healthy & fit?

Playlist Thursday: Just Dance!

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. I LOVE his music posts, mostly because I am always looking for new running songs to add to my playlist, but because of the format of his posts.

Playlist thursday teal

Today’s theme is: Dance Songs, you know for those of you are coordinated enough to run/dance. I am not, although I like to pretend when I am in the basement on my treadmill.

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch
Title: Good Vibrations
Side Note: I am always shocked by how many people don’t know that Mark Wahlberg was the Marky Mark. This was before those sexy Calvin Kelin ads.
Quotable: Yo, it’s about that time. To bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme. I’m a get mine so get yours. I wanna see sweat comin’ out your pores. On the house tip is how I’m swingin’ this.

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
Title: Sweet Nothing
Side Note: The two of them together, offing brilliant. That is all.
Quotable: So I put my faith in something unknown. I’m living on such sweet nothing. But I’m trying to hope with nothing to hold. I’m living on such sweet nothing. And it’s hard to learn. And it’s hard to love

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: Selena Gomez and The Scene
Title: Love You Like a Love Song
Side Note: I usually dislike these tv to music pop princesses, but I love Selena’s more mature voice and the song is wicked catchy.
Quotable: There’s no way to describe what you do to me. You just do to me, what you do. And it feels like I’ve been rescued. I’ve been set free. I am hypnotized by your destiny. You are magical, lyrical, beautiful. You are… And I want you to know baby.

Decorating Help

As soon as the boxes get unpacked the next thing on my mind is decorating. I never really got around to decorating the condo, I am not really sure why, probably because we had no storage for any seasonal items, and because we never expected to be there for more than 5 or 6 years. Now, I really want to decorate our home, and give it some Kelly flair. I am usually very classic in terms of my taste, with some modern accents.

My first area of attack is what I like to call B’s “book nook”

This is the master bedroom, but we have the same window indent in B’s room. My original plan is to (in the spring) pain the indented walls as an accent wall, something calming, maybe a warm blue or cream. I also used pinterest and found this awesome idea to use Ikea Spice Racks as book shelves.

Similiar to this blog post.

I also would use them in our bathroom, similiar to this post.

But I am not sure what else to do. I was contemplating putting a husband chair

We have this in navy blue.

However, that is as far as I’ve gotten. What would you suggest? Anything you love or hate?

All Grown Up

This weekend was spent celebrating a very special lady. It was my Grandmother’s 85th 39th birthday.

But first, we decided B needed a haircut. He had a minor one right before his first birthday, Nick’s hairdresser tried cutting it but he freaked and it ended up uneven. So we took him to our local Snip-Its and they did a fabulous job. I mean look at this “during” shot.

My aunt got a private room at Cobblestones in Lowell. Between chasing around a toddler and catching up with family I don’t see nearly enough I didn’t get the opportunity to take a lot of photos.

Nick and I both started with a drink, we had spent all weekend trying to finish unpacking and organizing and start decorating the house. So we definitely deserved one. I had a glass of red wine, it was the house special, very similar to a pinot noir with sone fruit hints with a smooth finish, it was delicious. Nick ordered the vanilla bean manhattan, it had muddled vanilla beans and orange bitters, something right up Cait’s alley.

The table ordered a few appetizers of onion straws, buffalo wings and spinach & artichoke dip. I tried an onion straw and they tasted bland, I don’t think they seasoned the coating. I also had one of the wings, which were okay. B had about a half basket of bread and some fruit & veggie pouches.

For dinner, Nick and I ordered almost the exact same thing. We started with the garden salad our entree was the petite filet with crab cake, you could choose one sauce and one side. We both chose horseradish as a sauce and they served it on the side so you could use as much or as little as possible. For sides I chose the sea salt baked potato which came on a separate plate with chives, chopped bacon and sour cream in separate dishes. I really loved the fact that you could decide how much of each condiment you could use. Nick ordered the truffle fries, which B ate a good amount of.

After we all ate, my aunt brought out the cake she brought and we all tried it. It was a bit heavy for me but still very tasty!

After dinner & gifts we took a photo with my Grandma and all the grandkids and great grandkid (B)!

Its crazy how “grown up” we have become.

This is Caty and I with 3 of our cousins, before the two youngest were even born. We’ve come a long way…especially in the wardrobe department.

I am glad we were all able to celebrate such a special day and I hope we get to see each other more often!

What did you do this weekend?

Playlist Thursday: Top 10

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. I LOVE his music posts, mostly because I am always looking for new running songs to add to my playlist, but because of the format of his posts.

Playlist thursday teal

Today’s theme is: Tope 10 Songs. Instead of doing my Top 10 overall (I really couldn’t too many favorites). I looked at the number of plays in my iTunes and picked the top in each category.

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Anberlin
Title: Time & Confusion
Side Note: Anberlin is definitely not a know band, but I have loved them for at least 7 years, this song has a great beat and also reminds me of best friend — my sister, we rock out to this like crazy. They actually don’t have a music video so I found the next best thing.
Quotable: It’s not about the money we make. Its about the passions that we ache for. What makes your heart beat faster. Tell me now what does your body long after. I don’t care now where we live. It’s not where, or what, or who we were with. I just need you in my life. So promise me again.

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: The Script featuring Will.I.Am
Title: Hall of Fame
Side Note: I know I featured this last week, but I love this song, I have it on my running playlist at least 10 times. It helps a lot with my mental game, and the video is so dang good. Seriously, if you didn’t watch it last week, watch it now.
Quotable: Do it for your people. Do it for your pride. Never gonna know if you never even try. Do it for your country. Do it for you name. Cause there’s gonna be a day

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: Dustin Lynch
Title: Cowboys & Angels
Side Note: If you haven’t noticed I love a good country song, honestly, they help me zone. The problem with loud fast songs, is I want to run really really fast. The problem with that is it ends up leaving me exhausted far before I am finished. I try to only do that when I am running a tempo run. This song I love and helps me keep an even pace. Be warned this video is a tearjerker.
Quotable: I’ve got boots and she’s got wings. I’m hell on wheels and she’s heavenly. I’d die for her and she lives for me. Cowboys and angels.