Friday, October 30, 2009

Workout Review - Physique 57 and The Bar Method

I would love arms like Kelly Ripa's.

I read recently that Ripa is a regular at Physique 57, in NYC.
I, obviously, can't make a class on 57th street in NYC.
But, they have a workout video and who do you think owns it.
Yep, I do.

The set comes with 3 DVD's: The 57 minute workout, a 30 minute workout and a 30 minute arms and abs workout.

The only equipment needed is a sturdy dining chair, light hand weights and a playground ball.

I haven't owned this workout very long, so my muscles are still in shock every time I do it. It is a tough workout. You will feel it the next day.

I find the cuing and instructions a little hard to follow. But, it could be that I haven't done it enough times to really know what I am doing yet. I am going to keep at it and will report back when I have Ripa's arms! :)

Another DVD that is along the same line is the Bar Method. I have The Bar Method: Change Your Body.

This is a great workout to learn the basics of the bar-type workouts. Burr Leonard's cuing and instructions are very good. The workout is good, but I don't feel the burn the next day, like I do with Physique.

Again, with this workout all you need is a sturdy chair and light hand weights.

The goal of these two workouts is to really get in the muscles and work them with small isometric moves. The way the muscles are worked and then stretched is supposed to give you long lean muscles, like that of a ballerina. If you dislike cardio as much as I do then you will probably enjoy the pace of these workouts.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Try-It Tuesday

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

I saw these on the Little Birdie Secrets blog and thought that they would be fun to make this week with my little helper.

I used our own sugar cookie recipe instead of the store bought stuff. (See recipe below.)

My little helper loves to bake!

Sifting is a great job for a preschooler...

And, he loves to sample...

Ta da...finished product.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1. Mix shortening, eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
2. Sift flour with baking powder and salt.
3. Mix in flour
4. Bake 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees.

This was fun to make. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Meal Planning Monday

Spooky Shephard's Pie (from Pillsbury website)

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups Progresso® diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained (from 28-oz can)
1 (12-oz.) jar home-style beef gravy
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 cups instant mashed potatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add ground beef and onion; cook until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.
2. Set aside 12 peas for garnish. Add remaining frozen vegetables, tomatoes and gravy; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, bring water, margarine and garlic powder to a boil. Remove from heat; add milk. Stir in potato flakes and cheese. Add egg; blend well.
4. Spoon ground beef mixture into ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) or oval (2 1/2-quart) glass baking dish. With large spoon, make 6 mounds of potato mixture on top of beef mixture to resemble ghosts. Place 2 reserved peas on each mound to resemble eyes.
5. Bake at 375°F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are set and mixture is thoroughly heated.

Garlic Shrimp with Black Beans (Clean Eating magazine)

15-oz can black beans, rinsed
12-oz can Rotel
1/4 cup onion
2 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup diced garlic
1 lb shrimp, raw (remove shells and tails)

1. In a sauce pan on medium-high heat, pour in beans, Rotel and 1/4 cup onion. Heat 2-3 minutes, turn down heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. In a skillet, add oil and garlic and let heat for 1 minute. Add shrimp and 1/2 tsp pepper. Saute for 10 to 15 minutes until shrimp is pink.

Superspeedway Taco Pie (from Pillsbury website)

1 to 1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef (I will probably substitue ground turkey)
1 (1-oz.) pkg. Old El Paso® Taco Seasoning Mix
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sliced stuffed green olives or pitted ripe olives (I will probably omit)
1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 1/2 to 2 cups crushed corn chips
1 (8-oz.) container (1 cup) sour cream
6 slices American cheese or 4 oz. (1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce, if desired
Avocado slices, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cook ground beef in 10-inch skillet until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix, water and olives. Simmer 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place triangles in ungreased 9 or 10-inch pie pan, pressing to form crust. Sprinkle 1 cup of the corn chips over bottom of crust.
3. Spoon beef mixture into corn chips in crust. Spread sour cream over beef mixture. Cover with cheese. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 to 1 cup corn chips.
4. Bake at 375°F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cut in wedges. Serve immediately with lettuce and avocado. Store in refrigerator.

Sloppy Joes
Sorry, I don't have a recipe for this one. My husband throws in bbq sauce, mustard, brown sugar, green peppers...not sure what else. But, they are delish!

Out to eat!


There are so many ideas that I push aside because of fear of failing.

This verse reminds me that if you work hard, He will give you the strength and the knowledge for you to accomplish it. I have to remind myself of this often.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Work-Out Review - Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred

I love to workout.

Making it a priority is hard when you have a family
...and facebook...and a blog...

My attention span to any one workout is only about 2 weeks.

I have a lot of videos.

So, if you are like me and have a hard time making it to the gym, I thought I would give you my opinion of some of the more popular at-home workouts out there.

If you have ever watched The Biggest Loser, then you know that Jillian is a no-nonsense trainer. She does not cut any corners on this workout either. It is a very effective workout.

I like that it is only 30 minutes long. In this thirty minutes, you are completing sets of cardio, weight training and ab work. Again, she doesn't mess around.

It is called The 30 Day Shred, but you do need to take a least a day of rest between workouts. I think it would be even more effective if you were to add a cardio session between workouts. Once you complete 10 days of Level One then you can move on to Level Two and so on.

I enjoyed this workout and occassionally mix it back into my routine. If you want a kick-butt workout at home, you should try it!

Are there any workouts that you recommend trying? I always love trying new things.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Urban Beauty

I think urban areas are beautiful.
I love to find beauty in places that are unexpected.
I love all things vintage, funky, retro, and cool...

I had to do some research on the building with the revolver for a sign. Turns out it is called "The Pistol" and is a concert venue, housed in an old warehouse in the West Bottoms. I think that sounds pretty fun.

I had to include this one. No one ever says that my son looks like me and for once I think he does in this picture, crazy expression and all. :)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fun Halloween Recipes!

I will be making these soon...

Fun Halloween Recipes!

Oh, and this too...
Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls

I love her blog. Makes me hungry!

Who Says Kansas Isn't Beautiful...

especially in the fall...

These photos were taken in my in-law's neighborhood.

Isn't it beautiful?!

We will live there one day.

It is the type of neighborhood where people move in and they don't leave, so unfortunately we have to wait for them to die off...terrible, huh?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Try-It Tuesday

Family Photos (on a budget)...

I love photography...but I have no idea what I am doing. I don't have the patience to read books and when I try to get "technical" it doesn't work out so well. I know what I want the outcome of my shots to be, now I just have to figure out how to make it happen.

This year, I decided to try to take our family photos myself - by use of tri-pod and timer on my camera. I definitely got my workout running back and forth to set up the shot...then running back to be in the shot....then running back to see if it turned out. It actually was crazy and lots of fun!

On a side-note...if you bribe your 2 1/2 year old to pose nicely for the photos, make sure you get your information correct. We told him that if he was a good boy an cooperated, that we would take him to see Wow-Wow Wubzy, who was making an appearance at a local store. Well, I kind of just assumed that the commercial said Saturday...well, it was Friday and there was no Wubzy to be seen. I still feel like a bad Mommy! Has this ever happened to you?

Here are some of my faves...what do you think?

My husband told me to pick a hobby and stick with it. For a while I was trying too many things and was frustrated because I wasn't good at any of them. I really enjoy photography, so this is one thing I will stick with...then we will see what is next.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Meal Planning Monday

Shrimp with Creamy Tomato-Basil Sauce (the meal my husband made me when he proposed!)

2 Cups (8 oz) Penne Pasta
1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion (for 1 cup chopped)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1 tsp bottled minced garlic
1 1/2 cups smooth marinara-style pasta sauce (I use Gorrozzos diablo sauce)
1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 lb peeled raw shrimp, fresh or frozen

Place the penne in 2 1/2 quarts of boiling water and cook until tender.

While the onions cook, rinse the basil, pat it dry with paper towels and remove the leaves from the stem. Coarsely chop. Set aside.

When the onions are soft, reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, pasta sauce adn cream to a skillet. Reduce the heat to low and stir well. If the shrimp are frozen, put them in a colander and run warm (not hot) water over them to defrost slightly, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp to the skillet. Simmer, stirring frequently to turn the shrimp, until the shrimp are pink, about 5 minutes.

When the shrimp are done, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil. Drain the penne and place a portion on each serving plate. Top each serving with shirmp and serve at once. Delish!

Mom's Tuna Casserole

Wide Egg Noodles (use about 3/4 of the smallest bag - sorry not sure what size it is)
1 can of tuna (9oz)
1 can cream of mushroom
1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk (the more milk the creamier)
1 can of peas
1 cup of celery, chopped fine
1/2 onion, chopped fine

Cook noodles. When noodles are done, drain, then add the tuna, cream of mushroom, milk, peas, celery and onion to the pan and stir. Add a dash of garlic powder and salt and pepper. Pour into baking dish.

To make topping, melt 1 cup of butter in pan that you just used. Add 1 TBSP of garlic powder to the butter. Tear up 5 pieces of bread into small pieces and add to the butter mixture. Stir until coated. Pour topping on top of the casserole.

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. If topping is not crispy enough, broil for a few minutes.

BBQ Chicken w/ Mashed Potatoes

1 lb chicken breasts or chicken tenders
Favorite BBQ sauce (I like to use Gates original)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
Country Crock Mashed Potatoes (I use for simplicity. If that offends you, by all means make the real stuff.)

Thaw chicken and place in a round or 9x9 baking dish.
Pour BBQ over chicken (enough to coat chicken and be pooled around it). Spoon garlic and onions over the top of the chicken.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 min to 1 hour.
Make mashed potatoes according to package directions.
Serve chicken and bbq sauce over mashed potatoes.

Crockpot French Dip - My Mother-in-law's Recipe

1 chuck roast (3 lbs)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garlic
3 or 4 peppercorns
2 cups water

Place roast in crock pot. Add water, soy sauce and seasonings.
Cook on high 5-6 hours.
Serve on crusty rolls with juice from roast.

Homemade Pizza

Find the recipe here:

Seven Years Together

Today is my anniversary!
I am so lucky to be married to this man!
Looking forward to many, many more!
I love you!