Happy Halloween! Adios, October!

Happy Halloween!  Are you dressed up today?  Do calories not count?  I just started my day out with a kick ass indoor cycling class, complete with Halloween playlist, which was a must.  I got festive, and yes, I even played Thriller!  I don’t know if it’s been the same for you, but October has been the most stressful, emotional, and exhausting months I have experienced this year.  And saying that this month has been all of these things is something, considering I lost my full time job in July!

I have mentioned (once or twice) I am getting married 4 weeks from today.  Eek.  Like, good EEK, though.  I’m only a slight Bridezilla — I promise! :)

On with November!

November is going to be a spectacular month, for sure, not just because I am getting married, but because it’s the beginning of the giving season.  And speaking of giving …I will be giving some goodies out to you lucky readers this coming month, but more on this in the  weeks ahead!  I will also be revealing a new fitness and weight loss plan for those of you trying to keep yourself in check while facing the holiday season.  I am  also going to try my best to blog several times a week, but it’s going to be a cah-razy month, so I will do my best!  It’s all we really can do, right?

Speaking of being cah-razy busy, which I was in case my spastic dialogue isn’t making sense, I’ve got SO much to do today.  So on that note …I hope everybody has a fun, safe and sweet Halloween!

Catch ya on the flipside! ;)




Healthy (and Easy) Chocolate and Peanut Butter Protein Bites

Isn’t that the cutest?  I’m not really a fan of Halloween.  Sorry, I’m not.  I’ve really never been into Halloween, to be honest, which is pretty interesting considering how much I used to love to pretend I was someone else.   I don’t know which life events made me dislike Halloween the most.  It could easily have been the three years I spent working in a costume store dealing with the aftermath of drunk people from TGI Friday’s trying on everything and putting NONE of it away.  It could also be that it’s a holiday centered around terrifying things, and I don’t like to be afraid.  Or, I could just be a giant Halloween Scrooge in general …boo humbug?  Wow, sorry – that was bad!  One thing I know for sure is, I love candy, so I know damn well that isn’t factoring into the decision.

So I’m, like, T-minus 29 days from getting married, and it’s been a rough month nutritionally for yours truly.  I started out wonderfully this month; kicking a sugar habit, trying to get back into my resistance training regimen, but somehow I’m still not feeling as fantastic as I’d like to.  I did make a pact with myself this week that I was going to get back on track with my diet no matter what, because well, I just need to, that’s why!  Mainly because I indulged in one too many pumpkin spice coffees and Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins the past couple of weeks.

it’s speaking to me.

…Oh, but I do love Reese’s; they are pretty much the best.  Reese’s are the one candy I can say (and probably the only American candy) I will miss once I move over to Glasgow.  Don’t feel bad for me though, I get to eat all sorts of wonderful candy there.  But, you could send me some Reese’s, you know, if you’re in a giving mood.   So, I love chocolate and peanut butter – and again, who doesn’t?  I mean except people with a peanut allergy, and even then it probably doesn’t mean they don’t love it, they just can’t have it.  #forbiddenlove

SO… What can you do when you want your PB & Chocolate fix?

That’s a mighty good question!  When I want to get my peanut butter and chocolate fix I like to make a quick, delicious, and healthy treat.  When I was a kid, I used to love my Nana’s “no bake” cookies so this ‘lil snack calls on that concept quite, well, sweetly.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pr’oat’ein Bites

This snack is really simple.  It does require a bit of fridge time though, so it’s nice to make these ahead of time, if possible.   All you need to make these treats is powdered peanut butter (I used PB2), unsweetened cacao powder, semi-sweet chocolate chunks, and rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill).


Combine 3 tablespoons of powdered peanut butter along with 1 tablespoon of cacao powder and 1 tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chunks into your mini food processor, blender, or magic bullet.  Add in 2 tablespoons of water and blend away.  Once your peanut butter and chocolate are mixed to a peanut butter consistency, combine with 1/3 cup of rolled oats.  Mix the oats in thoroughly.   Scoop up mixture into tablespoon sized dollops and form into a (generous) bite-sized shape on parchment paper.  Refrigerate for one hour and enjoy!  This recipe makes about 4 bites, so to make a larger batch, double up on your ingredients!



Wanna know the best part?  They are loaded with fiber and protein and are only 60 calories each!  So, go ahead and eat your chocolate and peanut butter too!

What’s your favorite healthy holiday treat?



Losses and Gains: Mood Boost Monday

the best dad ever.

the best dad ever.

Happy Monday!  I can’t believe that October is almost over.  I can’t believe that 2014 is almost over.  I can’t believe that I’m getting married in exactly ONE MONTH.  I also cannot believe that today is the third year since I lost my father to colon cancer.  This has been a profoundly emotional month; more so than any other October since his passing.   Maybe it’s because I am getting married and know his absence will be felt by my entire family.  Maybe it’s because I know that I will be moving to a new country and I’m feeling anxiety about this big change.  And maybe, it’s just a whole lot of everything rolled into one.    So this Monday, perhaps more than all the others so far this year, I need to renew my motivation!

In January of  2011, I was in Scotland traveling and enjoying life, when I got a phone call that would change my family’s future forever.  My father called to tell me he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and would be having surgery at the end of the month.  By the end of February, I had returned back to New Hampshire, a place I had never wanted to be again, to learn that my father’s prognosis was not good, and within 10 months, my father was gone.  Seemingly, without the amount of time needed to blink an eye, I had returned home to a dying parent, lost that parent, and needed to sift through a sh**load of personal, emotional baggage.  I felt like a lost teenager again; only worse, because this time I didn’t have my mentor in my life any longer to help me through.

Naturally, in the aftermath of my father’s death, I found myself overweight, drinking heavily, and angry at the world.  I would fight with my own shadow if it let me.  I allowed myself to stay in this stupor  — for about two months — until January 1, 2012.  That fateful day I woke up determined to make my life better.  I was sick and tired of feeling directionless and unhealthy, and I knew nothing would have made my father more proud of me than to see me get my sh** together.

I had been an athlete and runner for most of my life , but my relationship with food had always been rocky.  I had spent most of my twenties in terrible relationships, drinking excessively, and my idea of cardio, was dancing to The Scissor Sisters at dive bars in New York until 3 am;  at which point, I would retire to my apartment, eat french fries, and then proceed to pass out.  I had also suffered with bulimia for half of my life, and needless to say,  had a lot of unresolved issues with myself.  I guess you could say I was at my “rock bottom”.  I knew what I had to do to turn myself around, but for so long I just got too discouraged and defeatist about it.   Taking the first steps was so tough, I’m not going to lie.  Soon, I began to have more energy, focus, and felt better than ever.

Now, nearly three years later,  I am a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor, and working towards my Health Coach certification.  I have started a blog focusing on health and fitness, because I want to help others who have struggled  like me and continue to do so.  I have lost over 25 pounds and am currently in the best shape of my life.   As well, after a course of ups and downs, I am about to marry the most wonderful man I could ever have asked for.


Don’t get me wrong, it would be easy to slip into a depression and focus on the negative, which believe me, the majority of this past month I have  most certainly done.  However, instead, I simply channel the same Erin who woke up on New Year’s Day 2012 and said, “enough’s enough” and get on with my life.

I know life is not easy and it’s certainly not fair, but regardless,  it’s all we have.  Each and every day we have the opportunity to make the most of it or see the worst;  this is a choice we all make whether we do it consciously or subconciously.  Your circumstances may change; be it your health, your family, or even your job, but at the end of the day, you are what makes everything in your life possible, for better or worse.    You owe it to yourself to make goals, believe in yourself, and start living the life you deserve right now.  You may have set-backs and it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows, but you are the force leading your journey and you have an opportunity each day to make it great.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s  Eat, Pray, Love:  One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia:

“I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”

What life changing events have you experienced?


Favorite Things Friday 10/24/14

It’s almost the freakin’ weekend!  Sorry, I was totally channeling R. Kelly there, which I should probably not admit to?  Oh well whatevs, I love the remix to Ignition, because it’s hot and fresh out the kitchen, that’s why,  Okay, okay …sorry!  So it’s Friday again and I’ve acquired some new “favorite things” this week that I’d like to share with ya’ll, because maybe you’ll love them too!

Favorite Things Friday 10/24/14

1.  Jessie Ware’s new album Tough Love.  O.M.G this album is IN-CRED-I-BLE.  Stream it on Spotify, buy it, go on YouTube, or whatever you gotta do to listen to this album.  I loved her first album Devotion and thought she couldn’t top it, but this new album is the bomb diggity.  I love you Jessie Ware.  My aim is true.

2.  Sam Smith’s single I’m Not The Only One.  I absolutely love Sam Smith.  His entire album In The Lonely Hour is SO amazing.  I played this song as a cool down song in my class this morning.; it’s so relaxing and soulful.  Love, love LOVE him.

3.  PiYo!  So I just completed my 30 Day Yoga Challenge through DoYouYoga.com and I decided two days this week to try out the PiYo craze.  Wow!  Shiz be no joke.  What is PiYo?  PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga.  And, cranks up the speed to deliver a true fat-burning, low-impact workout that leaves your body looking long, lean, and incredibly defined.  Not a bad deal, huh?  Nope.  I was sore the next day, but in a “hurts so good” sort of way ;)  If you want to strengthen, shape, and nurture your body, give it a try.   I started this week with Melissa McAllister’s demo on YouTube and it was really great.  I suggest giving it a try – once you’re bit by the PiYo bug, you’ll be hooked too.

Who wants to get me some PiYo with Chalene Johnson for Christmas?   Thanks! :)

4.  Arnicare Gel.  This stuff is so amazing.  Arnica has been used for a long time to treat swelling and bruising, and guess what?  It’s great for post-workout soreness too!



I sadly think it’s time for me to say “goodbye” to running, as I have been experiencing knee issues, for the past 9 months associated with the high impact effects of running.

so sad.

I went for a jog the other day and ended up hobbling back home in tears the last mile.  However, after methodical icing and applying Arnicare Gel to my knee and shin I’m feeling much better.   I’m going to see a doctor about the pain, but I know my body and feel like the time has come for me to part ways with running.  Sniffles.  LUCKILY, there are so so so many other fabulous low impact types of  exercises out there to enjoy, so it’s all good! ;)

I hope you’re having a good week and have an awesome weekend ahead.  Have a glass of vino, run a bath, and listen to some Jessie Ware.  You can thank me on Monday.  Seriously, you will. ;)

What has brought you some joy this week?


Awesome Arms Thursday: Jump Rope Tabata Workout

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It’s “Awesome Arms Thursday” again!  Today’s arm workout is going to be a tabata based jump rope workout I’m loving.  So, last Friday in my favorite things list I talked about my new jump ropes my pal Joe made me AND the Gymboss 2 App for interval training.  Well I’m going to show you how pairing a timer and a jump rope for just MINUTES can work your arms, shoulders, and everything down to your toes!

Awesome Arms Thursday

How does jumping rope tone my arms?

Jumping rope  requires you to grasp a handle in each hand and rotate your wrists and shoulders to swing the rope from the front to the back of your body. Your arms control the speed of the rope, which sets the timing for your jumps.  This also forces you (with proper form) to keep your forearms in an isometric contraction which helps to strengthen your entire arm.  Also, when you keep your arms bent at an angle to swing the rope, the biceps contract to maintain your arm position, and this static contraction strengthens your muscles in that position, which in turn helps to build strength in the entire arm as well as your shoulders.  In fact, in a study conducted by The Journal of Sport Rehabilitation suggests jump rope training has been shown to improve the overhead strength in athletes such as volleyball players!

Tabata for Beginners

If you’re not familiar with Tabata here’s a little background.  Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.  Tabata protocol calls for 20 seconds of active exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Tabata  conducted research on two groups of athletes: one group trained at a moderate intensity level while the other group trained at a high intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

The results:  Group one had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group two showed much more increase in their aerobic system than group one, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.

High intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

On to the workout!

I found this workout on skinnyms.com and it’s quite a sweatfest!  There are three versions of this workout:  Beginner’s, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Start out with the Beginner’s level and progress as you see fit.

Beginner’s Level: complete 2 sets per day
Intermediate Level: complete 3 sets per day
Advanced Level: complete 4 sets per day

Here’s the breakdown of the 4 minute workout**:

20 seconds for exercise + 10 seconds rest = 30 seconds, 30 x 8 = 240 seconds (4 Minutes) 

Broken down:  Your going to perform 20 second intervals of fast paced jump rope work, take your 10 second break and repeat 8 times total (for beginner’s).

**I used my Gymboss 2 Interval Timer App for the 4 minute workout – it’s free, awesome, and highly worth it, but you could set up your own timer on your smart phone or just an old fashion eye on the clock!

Here’s a couple of videos to help you get started!

As with any workout I promote on this blog PLEASE listen to your body, push yourself just enough, and get clearance from your physician before doing this or any exercise.

Do you enjoy Tabata workouts?  Do you like working out with a jump rope?


Pasta with Butternut Squash and Italian Chicken Sausage

Happy Hump Day – and another WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) post! I think it’s no shock that I am a fan of butternut squash, as it has been mentioned many a time up on this blog.  It just so happens that bnuts (hehe) were on sale for about 48 cents per pound the other day, so I totally stocked up.  I’ll be eating butternut squash until the cows come home, quite literally, because I won’t be buying anything else to eat.

I also love chicken sausage and I love pasta; this is the truth. There is something wonderful, as well, about the combination of sweet sausage and butternut squash – they pair so nicely, and both offer equal elements of sweet and savory to any dish.

For my choice of pasta, and these days it seems like you can get anything made into a noodle, I went with ditalini.  As a confession, I really love the ditalini pasta shape because it reminds me of the junk canned spaghetti my Nana would let me eat.  I can’t believe I loved Chef Boyardee.


Why do I feel like after making that statement a Real Housewife of New Jersey is judging me right now?

Ouch, I felt that.  Anyhoo, here’s what I made and despite it being “as Italian as the Olive Garden” it was really delicious!



  • 1/2 box of pasta shapes (I used ditalini, but any would work)
  • 1 package of sweet Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 whole (medium sized) butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes, whole
  • 1/4 cup of soft goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta water (to create a “sauce”)


Preheat your oven to 425 F as you clean, peel, and chop your butternut squash.   Roast squash for about 40 minutes (turning over at the  half way point).   In a large skillet on medium/high heat add 2 tbsp of olive oil and allow it to “get hot”.  Cut your sausage into slices or chunks and add into the pan and cook thoroughly.   Cook you pasta separately for about 8-10 minutes and keep the texture “al dente”.  Add your chopped onion and tomatoes to the skillet, cover, and reduce to low/medium heat.  Drain your pasta  (reserving 1.5 cups of the water) and place aside.  Once butternut squash is cooked, add into the skillet along with your cooked pasta.  Cover again, and continue to cook 3-5 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.   Remove from heat and stir in the 1/4 cup of goat cheese and reserved pasta water (the cheese is optional, of course) and serve!  Makes 6 one cup servings!

Hope you’re having a great week so far!

What did you eat this Wednesday?




The Fine Line between Opinion and Judgment (Semi-Rant)

“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”

J.K. Rowling

Warning:  Rant!  How about this blog post title?  Who’s got their claws out?  Haha, nah, it’s not like that.  Well, really, it sort of is.

This morning I was out running some errands for my upcoming wedding, and I stopped in a little pub to have some lunch.  While sitting there, minding my own business,  I couldn’ t help but overhear two women sat in the booth directly behind me.  The waitress we had was a little on the heavy side.  Now sure, I notice other women’s bodies, because have my own insecurities, and hey, it’s human nature.  However, what I was listening to on the other side of that booth was atrocious.

“They shouldn’t let fat people serve food in this place – it’s supposed to be a health conscious establishment – it makes me not even want to eat.”

This is what one of the women seated behind me said to her friend about our waitress and what’s worse was the poor girl heard her!  I don’t want to be a hypocrite, because there was a point in my life where I might have had that same thought.  However, I was wrong to have ever thought so negatively, so a grown woman should know better than to think it, let alone  say it, within earshot of another living, breathing human being.

I wanted so badly, and imagined in my mind (à la Ally McBeal) that this girl would come over with the check and ask “seriously, did anyone ask your opinion about whether or not I should work here?”   Or say something like, “they shouldn’t let judgmental and ignorant people eat in public, but hey, the World’s an imperfect place.”  It would have made my day.

I don’t know about you, but judgment is getting WAY out of control these days.  I don’t blame the Internet, because obviously intolerance and judgment are as old as dirt, but I do feel that it has made us all feel much more free with our opinions.  For instance, today one of the biggest Twitter discussions is about Renee Zellweger’s face.  People have judged her for everything from her weight to the shape of her eyes over the last decade.  Leave the woman alone, again, did she ask for an opinion? Also, there’s NOTHING else going on today more pressing or worthy of an “opinion” than the flaws found in complete strangers?

Seriously, unless somebody asks, why feel the need to leave a nasty, critical comment?  Why should another person even care what is thought about them?  I’m taking a risk even sharing what I think right now.  Like, who the hell am I to have an opinion about having an opinion?!  Wow!  I’m dizzy now.

The only thing I can say is the next time it seems like two cents are desired, ask, “is this person asking for an opinion?”  If they want an opinion, give it.  Believe me, I am full of opinions, and not all of them are sunshine and rainbows.

The point I am trying (and possibly failing) to make here is this:  There’s a time and a place for thoughts and judgments,.  However, unless someone actually wants an opinion, 99% of the time, that time and place is just plain ol’ kept to oneself.

Okay, I’m done.

Do you ever catch yourself being judgmental?


Emotional Eating: How to Fight Back!


When you take that first bite out of a piece of cake, your body releases the “feel good” chemical, dopamine, which stimulates the area of your brain that tells you that you feel pleasure.

We’ve all been there, right?  You get some crappy news, you get a parking ticket, or you have a fight with a friend or family member, and what’s the first thing you want to do?  If you’re like me some days,  hit the snack aisle.


What is emotional eating?

Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” food or junk foods — in response to feelings in place of actual hunger.  Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions formulated to make us believe the food can bring us comfort, well, at least in the short-term.


What triggers emotional eating?

In short, anything that makes you feel out of control.  A rude customer, a fight with a friend, or a high heating bill could be the cause.  Not every person is affected in this way, however, but  people with control issues linked to anxiety, depression, or addiction can be at higher risk for this behavior to kick in.


Why do I always eat the worst stuff when I have an emotional eating episode?

Simply stated, your body craves highly refined carbohydrates, sugar, salt, and fat, because they are pleasing to us.  We crave french fries, chocolate cupcakes, and pizza because the minute we bite into these foods, they go straight to our heads, literally.  When you take that first bite out of a piece of cake, your body releases the “feel good” chemical, dopamine, which stimulates the area of your brain that tells you that you feel pleasure and even euphoria!  You want to feel better so if that piece of candy or cake makes you feel better, what’s the big deal?  The big deal is that it rarely ever stops at one piece, and once you’ve finished swallowing that food your remorse kicks in and you feel more powerless than you did to begin with.  #Drag.

Do I suffer from emotional eating?

The first step to stopping your emotional eating habit is to admit that you have it.  How can you assess whether or not you emotionally eat?

  • You eat when you’re not actually hungry
  • You have a negative relationship with your body image
  • You fabricate the truth when it comes to how much you eat
  • You feel guilt after eating certain foods or amounts
  • You’re known on a first name basis at drive-through windows within a 20 mile radius of your home.

…Okay, maybe not the last one, but if that is true, you’re either really friendly or you order habitually.

Psychology Today actually offers a free online assessment which takes about 20 minutes, but it is pretty insightful and could help you be more aware of your actual relationship with food.


I am an emotional eater, okay, now what?

I wish I could say it’s easy – or that there’s a magic herb or book or something to help you stop, but I can’t.   The only way to actively stop your emotional eating is to be aware of it and to find other ways to feel good.  Obviously it’s easier to buy a milkshake when you’re feeling stressed or depressed than it is to jump on a treadmill or contort your body like a pretzel doing yoga, but there are other ways to manage this.  Confide in someone you trust who can help you when you’re feeling stressed, take a walk, or go on BuzzFeed and look at pictures of cute otters (seriously, this is one of the ways I deal with my EE).  The bottom line is:  Emotional eating  is just as controllable as it is controlling, meaning when you’re aware of it you can seek out a plan of action to stop yourself from feeling helpless.  Just ask this guy.


 Do you suffer from emotional eating?  If so, how do you manage it?


Blog Well Summit

mood boost mondays

Happy Monday!  I hope your weekend was great!  I spent the weekend painting and also attending the Blog Well Summit.  How did I paint and attend a blogging summit, you may ask?  Well, The Blog Well Summit was a VIRTUAL event – that’s right 100% online, and it was really fantastic!  As I have only been blogging for about 13 months, it was really wonderful to get some (much needed) insight from a group of seasoned professionals.  Every single guest speaker was amazing and had incredible advice and knowledge to share with those of us tuning in.  There is so much to more to blogging, and really just Internet consumerism in general, that we are not aware of.  Like, how the average reader thinks and operates, and how to really direct and reach out to your audience, or just how to create an audience in general!  So many facts I don’t know where I should start.

If you’re thinking, “I wish I knew about this event – I would have loved to attend!” – fear not!  I am a registered Blog Well Summit affiliate and can hook you up with the purchase of this amazing event.  It is a small price to pay to get the information you receive.  Seriously, it’s like spending hours and hours with blogging specialists one-on-one – I highly recommend it!

I have so much respect for every single person who gave their time and insight to those of us  wanting to improve, expand, or even start up a blog.  Some of my favorite speakers from the summit were Carla Birnberg (LOVE this lady, she’s super bright and brave), Meghan Telpner (absolutely brilliant and the founder of Academy of Culinary Nutrition), and Josie at YumYucky.com (hilarious and totally no-nonesense lady).  I especially enjoyed Brooke Birmingham’s talk about what to expect when you’ve gone viral — which was a recap of the events following her response to SHAPE Magazine’s attitude while covering her personal weight loss story.

The very best thing about this summit is the fact that no matter what you’re creating, building, or managing the message is the same:  You are a brand and you’re selling yourself, so do yourself a favor, KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOUR BRAND IS!   That message is very true of life as we know it.  We are all selling ourselves each day; whether it’s at work, on Facebook or Twitter, or just to get our friends and family to listen to us, we are selling who we are.  If that’s the one clear message I got hammered into me this past weekend, I think I’ll be alright.

If you’re interested in purchasing the Blog Well Summit archives you can do so here.  Um, you really should.  Really.

Which people inspire you?



Favorite Things Friday!

Woot woot!  Countdown to the weekend!  I have such a strange schedule these days, but everything I’m working on these days doesn’t feel like actual work to me, so Friday feels a little less important …but no less awesome.  However, if you’re about to have two days off, you should totally be doing this inside.

I love Friday mornings, because I lead an indoor cycling class that always gets me super pumped and full of energy for the day.  This morning in particular, I had an awesome playlist; it got some great feedback as well (who doesn’t want to sprint to ‘Sheena Is A Punkrocker’?)  Music is so important during a class like indoor cycling; it’s important period.

Favorite Things Friday 10/17/14

I’m really into the whole “Factual Friday” posts from some of the bloggers I follow, so, I think I’m going to jump on the bandwagon!

  • Pumpkin Spice Thomas English Muffins; these have been a godsend while I’ve been trying to avoid sugary sweets.  Pumpkin seems to be everywhere and anywhere you go, which is amazing, but I have had to seriously restrain myself from buying muffins, doughnuts, and cakes left, right, and center!  Anyhoo, these pumpkin muffins are not too bad, nutritionally speaking, and with a serving of cream cheese and a teaspoon of Allspice, they easily have satisfied my pumpkin craving.
sweet & savory

sweet & savory

  • My new jump ropes!  My friend Joe makes awesome stuff out of Paracord:  Bracelets, keychains, ziptips (hehe), belts, and recently he made me a couple of awesome jump ropes.  He says these jump ropes are just a prototype, as he is working on a way to make them more sturdy, but I’ve certainly been putting them to the test and I love them!  I keep telling him he should start his own blog or Etsy shop for his rad stuff!  These jump ropes are lightweight, colorful, and lots of fun!
so fun!

so fun!

  • Gymboss  2 Interval Timer App.  I love, love LOVE HIIT and Tabata style workouts – they are just so invigorating and awesome.  I have been searching for a decent interval app for a while now, and a couple of weeks ago a friend recommended the Gymboss app to me, and I have never looked back.  It has intervals for tabata, regular circuits, boxing, and even rest intervals.  It’s super handy, accurate, and great for those short (but intense) exercise sessions.


  • The food blog Bean A Foodie.  I love so many of the recipes on this blog.  The author, Maria Tadic, proclaims she and her husband are ‘98% vegetarians’, which I feel is, an accurate description of myself at the moment. Simply put, she’s got some tasty recipes and I hope to make a few of them this weekend  Perhaps the Lemon Ricotta Pasta.   I have to admit, I’ve been on foodie blog overload these past couple of days since I joined the Healthy Living Blog community.
  • The Amazon series Transparent.  I really, really like this show.  I don’t think that I’ve liked something this much since Six Feet Under, my all time favorite show.  It has such a great cast and the family is so pleasingly dysfunctional.  Also, it stars Jeffery Tambor the eccentric and hilarious dad from Arrested Development as a man in his 60’s coming to terms (and coming out to his family) with his transgendered identity.  It’s really a great show, my friends; watch it!


So there you have it, a handful of some of my favorite things from this week!  I hope you have an awesome, spectacular, and healthy weekend.  I will be attending the Blog Well Summit which I am SO excited about.  At the Twitter pre-party last night I met some awesome fellow bloggers and hope to connect with many more.

What are some of your favorite things these days?