Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nothing is "quick" anymore

Today’s workout was a doosy. Wednesdays are named “Tabata Wednesday” over here. After our tabata workout we decided it would be “fun” to do a Plank Challenge by seeing who could hold a plank the longest on the Power Plate. The Longest was 3 minutes. My whole body was on fire and I crumbled to the floor.

I finally got all the unpacking and laundry done from our trip to Miami. I have to say, our first overnight trip with Sophia was quite pleasant and we didn’t get any crying baby complaints in the hotel.
On our way! Sophia slept most of the way, only had to stop once to get her out of her car seat for 15-20 minutes. 

Strolling around South Beach

Traveling with a baby is obviously a whole new thing to us. The actual “traveling” was a piece of cake. It’s the packing and lugging everything around that takes a toll on your emotions. Our biggest car is a 4-door sedan. You’d think that would be big enough for a family of 3, but the poor car was bursting at its seams.
While packing, I have to think of EVERYTHING we would possibly need during the 4 days/3 nights. How are we going to bath her without her little tub? How many clothes do we think she’ll go through each day? How many diapers do we need? There are just some things you don’t know and can’t predict. Over packing for a baby is the best way to go.  We packed enough diapers, wipes, clothes, etc that would of probably lasted a week. I also packed some infant Tylenol, saline nose drops, and bulb syringe since Sophia’s been a little stuffy the past couple of days. Toys are also a necessity since they kept Sophia occupied during the car ride, laying out by the pool, or eating lunch/dinner. 
Since we over packed for Sophia, we had to pack just enough clothes/shoes/toiletries for us to fit into 1 medium sized suitcase. Ah, the joys of parenting and how life had completely changed.
Hotel Livin'

During one of our Starbuck runs for breakfast, Angelo made the comment, “whoa, it’s not just an easy trip to get a quick cup of coffee anymore when you have to pack and unpack a stroller and baby”.

Hope you have had a great first half of the week! Only a few more days until the weekend! 
Happy Leap day! Extra day to do something cool this year! I did a Plank Challenge, what did you do? ;)


Note: it took me about 3 hours to write this post because “My Strange Addiction” was on TLC. Has anyone watched this crazy show?! These people are addicted to sniffing gasoline, pulling hair out of shower drains, carrying around teddy bears & treating them like real infants, & EATING drywall. It’s a train wreck that I can’t take my eyes off of. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Techie Break at the Beach

Hey! Sorry it’s been 4 days since I've posted but I was in Miami taking a break from LIFE. Sometimes you just need that little break to re-energize your mind & body. It was a BLAST and I wish I could hit Repeat.
Thursday we packed up the car and hit the road. Four hours and one “stretch stop” for Sophia later, we were in Miami. We went to Bayside for dinner which is at the Port of Miami and right nect to the American Airlines Arena. After dinner we went to cheer on the Miami Heat as they played LINsanity & the rest of the NY Knicks. Sophia has done extremely well in all sporting events she’s been to.

Friday was probably the best birthday I’ve ever had. We rented out a cabana by the pool at the Fontainebleau hotel. Angelo & I sipped champagne (fancy, huh?) while Sophia fell in love with floating around in the pool. The Fontainebleau is my favorite hotel of all time and we try to make a trip there at least once a year. Friday night we were completely worn out and ordered dinner to go and ate in the hotel room. Happy birthday to me!

Saturday was an adventure. We ventured out to South Beach which was PACKED because of the South Beach Food & Wine Festival going on. We got out there pretty early so were able to rent a couple chairs with an umbrella close to the water. If you’ve never been to the beach with a baby, let me tell you it’s no easy task. It was hot, sand was everywhere, and Sophia hated the ocean. I think the waves scared her. We’ll stick to the pool from now on. We strolled around South Beach the rest of the day and ate lunch at Big Pink, a south beach staple. Saturday night we met up with Angelo’s sister and husband in Coral Gables for some Thai food at Siam Oishi.

Sunday was the day of travel back home after we met back up with Angelo’s sister for brunch at a Jewish Deli with some good home cookin’! Freshest bagels ever!
Last night we stopped at my parents for a birthday dinner for my older brother & I (our birthdays are 1 day part) and also picked up the puppies who were staying at grandma & grandpas. We missed them!

What a wonderful weekend! It was full of Firsts for Sophia and us. For exercise, we spent a lot of the weekend walking, which is one of the things I like about Miami beach! We saw a lot of Power Plate studios around Miami which was pretty cool! Do you always get exercise in while on a vacation? I always plan to, but most of the time never actually hit the hotel gym. Carrying a baby and all the heavy bags filled with all the necessities was enough for us this weekend. ;)

Next post is about Traveling with a baby! Eye yi yi, travel will never be the same. 
Hope everyone has a great Monday.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday's Table

Tuesday's are usually pretty chill over here. No Powerplate or gymboree, so just a bunch of random happenings. Sophia was being super fussy in the morning so I HAD to get out of the house before I went crazy. A nice stroll through the mall always seems to calm her down. Why do I always feel like I need to buy something just because I'm at the mall? Bad habits are hard to break, so I bought a pair of yellow shorts & 2 headbands for our mini-vacation coming up.Notice how every store front in the mall is filled with neon? I'm trying to keep up with the trends, to be a "cool mom" so I now own a pair of pink & yellow shorts. They were on sale at Express.  I REALLY need to look for a new bathing suit. I didn't buy a new one last year because I was pregnant and didn't buy want to buy anything that didn't cover my belly.

When we got home we made some baby food for Sophia and dinner for Angelo & I. 

The making of baby food. Green beans thinned out with some breastmilk. Yum ;)

Sophia eating her green beans. She liked them!

Bacon wrapped, stuffed chicken. Stuffed with goat cheese & sundried tomatoes. Served with a baked potato

Salad: Romaine lettuce, shredded carrot, craisins, walnuts, Annie's Goddess dressing

And dessert...this was DELISH! We've been breaking a couple squares off for the past week and we finished it last night. 

Today is packed with Powerplate workout & Gymboree. I'm really sad that we only have Gymboree once a week now. It feels like forever! 
Hope you guys are having a great week so far...half way through!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fit Pregnancy

HEY! How was everyone's weekend? Ours was a laid-back, uneventful kind of weekend. Sometimes those are the best, right? We hung out at the house a lot and went to a BBQ honoring my best friend's pregnancy announcement! I'm so excited that Sophia will have a friend to play with in our group of friends. Since our weekend was full of pregnancy and baby talk, I wanted to talk about having a "fit pregnancy". My pregnancy was pretty smooth & easy. I only got sick a handful of times and didn't have any complications during delivery. 

When I first found out I was pregnant I read a lot of books and studies about numerous subjects concerning pregnancy and babies. This is how I maintained a “Fit” Pregnancy

Walk every day. There are so many benefits of walking during pregnancy. I believe walking is one of the best exercises if you’re pregnant. Along with many other benefits, it helps with regularity since your bowel system is slowed down, gets you out in fresh air, and towards the end of your pregnancy it lets gravity do its job.    I had a 3 mile walking trail out and around my neighborhood that I took every day. I would always try to speed walk the first mile, jog the second mile, and walk the third mile.    If you’re a beginner, try walking at least 20-30 minutes, 3-4x a week and go from there. Walking is an exercise you can keep doing up until the day you go into labor, unless told otherwise by your doctor.
Me, pregnant, after a walk

Apples. A study suggested that if you eat an apple a day you will be 50% less likely to have a child with asthma. There are SO many vitamins & minerals in apples it’s insane. 

Juice Plus. I’ve already talked about JuicePlus+ on this blog, but I truly believe it was a major part in my relatively easy and healthy pregnancy.

Cocoa butter or Bio-Oil. I used cocoa butter after I got out of the shower. Not only does it try to prevent stretch marks, it gives your skin an incredible healthy glow. I think stretch marks might be genetic, but if you can try and help a little bit then why not?

Relatively CLEAN  & HEALTHY eats. First of all, pregnancy is NOT the time to worry about your weight or try to think about ways NOT to gain weight. If you stick to mostly healthy, nutritious eats then your body will do what it needs to do to develop a healthy child. You’re going to gain weight; as you should. Now I wasn’t perfect by any means when it came to eating healthy when pregnant. My worst craving was for Airheads candy, which I ate like crazy for a week or so. I also craved a lot of fruit and warmed-up turkey sandwiches. The first trimester was the worst. Vegetables didn’t sound appetizing what-so-ever. Once the second trimester came, my eating habits got better and salads and vegetables made an appearance back in my diet.
This is what my lunches usually looked like. 

Water. I drank a gallon a day throughout the pregnancy. I’ve always been a huge water drinker but I became more aware of how much I was drinking to make sure I was consuming enough. I would fill up my 32oz water bottle 4x throughout the day. When I felt a little swollen, I would squeeze some lemon juice in the water.

SLEEP. Lots & lots of sleep. Since going out was obviously no longer fun for me, I got to be in bed at a reasonable hour almost every night. With the occasional birthday celebration or what not, our nights consisted of dinner and maybe a movie. One of my favorite parts of pregnancy J  Trust me, once the baby makes their grand arrival, sleep will be a long lost friend for a few months. 

This week is flying past me as I can't believe it's already Tuesday! Yesterday was a day full of working out, shopping, and taking a long walk with my pregnant friend. Today we're going back to the mall to return a few things and MIGHT get to stop and get a pedicure if Sophia goes to sleep in her stroller :) Hope you have a wonderful day and I'll see you back here soon!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Make running more FUN

After yesterday’s horrible night’s sleep, last night was a 180. Last night before we went to bed I took a hot shower with Sophia sitting in the shower with me in her baby-tub. The steam really helped break up all that congestion. Then I cranked up the humidifier in the room and dropped some Vick’s VapoSteam in the water. 
Sophia slept through the night = I slept through the night. Glorious! On mornings like these I actually feel like a human!
Morning fail = forgot to pick up another bag of dog food yesterday since my mind wasn’t working from lack of sleep. So I cooked up some brown rice and chicken for them to eat this morning. I’m sure they didn’t mind. ;)

This morning I want to talk about RUNNING!!! More specifically I want to talk about stuff that makes running easier.Some love it, others hate it. I happen to love it. The hotter the weather the better (which isn’t hard to come by here in FL) because I like to sweat!
Cue music --> Sweat baby sweat!
This was me finishing the Florida 1/2 Marathon in Clermont, FL

SHOES: There is nothing like a good pair of running shoes. I went to FIT2RUN in our mall and was measured and videoed on the treadmill to get fitted with the best shoe for me. One of the best things I could have done. It taught me that my ankles weren’t very stable in my old shoes and I land on the outside of my feet. I have ran in all types of shoes, starting out with a pair of Nike Shox. Turns out those aren’t so good for running. I’ve had Asics, Brooks, Nikes, Pumas, and Reeboks. My favorite pair was my Brooks, which I’ll go back to when I wear out these Reeboks.

CLOTHES: I could probably run in just about any type of athletic wear. It’s really about what YOU’RE most comfortable in. I like my running clothes to be form-fitting, not too loose that my shirt is bouncing up and down when I run. Shorts or pants isn’t an issue for me, just depends on the weather. Here is a few of my favorite running clothes.

I love these Nike Dri-fit shirts. Purchased from Sports Authority, but can be found at any sports store.
New Balance running capris and Nike Pro-Combat running shorts

ACCESSORIES: I used to always have to wear an iPod, but now I don’t use any form of noise except the great outdoors! I run with Sophia in her stroller so I need to hear if she starts crying or what not. I used to wear a Nike+ watch with the chip on my shoe but my dog thought it was chew toy. I haven't worn anything as a way to track my running in a long time because its more of a fun hobby just to get out of the house these days. There are some great options out there though. 

Nike+ Sports watch with chip. They sell chip holders for us non-Nike wearing runners.

PARTNERS: I rarely run alone anymore. I’m always with Sophia in the jogging stroller or the dogs. Sometimes I have a running buddy that I can actually have a conversation with. It’s fun to have a running buddy of any source because it becomes less of a “chore”.  The dogs are ALWAYS excited to take a run, which makes me more excited about it!

Well guys, It’s FRIDAY! Weekend is finally here or will be here at 5pm for some of you! Hey, it’s 5:00 somewhere, right?


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winner Winner...

Avocado dinner!

Sophia had her 6-month doctor's appointment yesterday. 
The good news: we can start introducing solid foods other than rice cereal! 
The bad news: she had to get some vaccines. The shots always make nighttime dreadful. She slept fine until about 4am, then I was up with her on and off until 7am when I finally called it quits and got out of bed. She gets really fussy and runs a slight fever the day/night of getting her shots. A little dose of Infant Acetaminophen makes her all better. 

We went to the grocery store and bought some avocados and carrots to try for her first solid foods. I mashed up half an avocado which made about 2.5 oz. I only fed her 0.5oz this time and froze the rest. We will wait to see if she has any bowel/stomach trouble and try again tomorrow. We were told to only try one new food a week, so we will start steamed/mashed carrots next week. 

Excited to see what that green stuff is

She likes it!!

Tomorrow is Friday!!! 
Love, Alex

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Food...the way to my heart

This Valentine's day was full of foooood! We cooked breakfast, lunch, & dinner which meant an entire day spent in the kitchen. I even got some use out of my polka-dotted apron that I've used a total of 3 times since I received it as a wedding present. I'm not a messy cook so what's the point? 
Breakfast: Heart shaped whole wheat pancakes, all-natural organic bacon, and scrambled eggs.

Lunch: Ropa Vieja Empanadas with plantains

Dinner: New York Strips, bacon wrapped scallops, & baked potatoes. Chocolate covered strawberries for dessert (it's a tradition).  Angelo is one of those husbands you see standing in line at Godiva on V-day. 

It was a nice, quiet, romantic night at the house, and I wouldn't of wanted it any other way. Perfecto. 
Every day I get to spend with all these goobers is Valentine's Day! 

Today we have a packed day of PowerPlate workout, Gymboree Level 2!, and Sophia's 6month doc check up. Hope everyone has a happy hump day!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's day!! I have 4 Valentines this year!
Husband & Daughter

Rome & Bella

This will be my husband & I's 9th V-day together!  I'll never forget our 1st V-day together. In high school I was a major fan of Olive Garden's Chicken Alfredo (wow how things change). He asked my friends what my favorite meal was, picked it up to-go, and we went out to Clearwater and had a dinner picnic on the beach. So romantic <3. The past 5 of so years, we would just pick a nice place to have dinner, exchange a small gift and be done with it. This year, since I'm home, I'm cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'll give the deets on what we ate in tomorrow's post. 

Hope you all have a terrific Tuesday! 


Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Recap

Monday...we meet again! To me, this week kind of seems like a short week because Valentine's day is tomorrow! It's nice when there is a "holiday" in the middle of the week because it breaks up the normal routine. Just a reason to totally disregard "healthy" eating and have a box of chocolates for dinner, right? o_O Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We sure did, full of Valentine's activities! I've come to find out that special occasions are magnified when you have little children. 

Here are some pictures from our weekend.
Friday: Gymboree Valentine's Day party! We sang songs, had a parade, arts-n-crafts, and played games such as Lover's leap and Tunnel of Love on all the equipment at Gymboree. It was a rager! ;) 

Saturday: Hung out at the house most the day, went on a 4 mile run, and went out for some BBQ at Smokey Bones. Sophia did so good in her high chair. She doesn't totally fit in the high chairs yet but we put this chair cover on it to give it some cushion and she really seems to like it. She lounged in it and starred at all the lit up signs around the restaurant. 
The weather was beautiful on Saturday so we opened the windows to let the coolness in!

My new favorite protein drink: 1 scoop JuicePlus+ complete, half cup Almond milk, fill the rest of glass with water, stir with a spoon full of Almond Butter. Yum-o

Sunday: Busy day full of Church, Gymboree class, my brother's house for a family BBQ. We had cheeseburgers, brats, pasta salad, strawberry fields salad, and homemade ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Sophia's grammy brought Sophia her first Valentine's day present! Sophia totally loved it, I could tell. ;) Sophia turned 6 months old yesterday! Can't believe how fast that 1/2 year went by. Of course, we had to do the monthly photo shoot.

We also watched the Grammy's last night. I fell asleep around 9:30 so missed the last part of them and probably the best part. Heard Jennifer Hudson nailed it singing "I Will Always Love You" honoring Whitney Houston (RIP). Who else watched? 

Hope you make the most out of this marvelous Monday! We are off to PowerPlate workout and Sophia's last day in Level 1 at Gymboree!

Love, Alex

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How NOT to get perfectly round tortillas

Tex-mex is always a quick dinner idea whether it is tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, etc. Just brown some meat, chop up some lettuce, shred some cheese, and a dollop of sour cream and salsa will do ya.

We don’t really have a lot of taco nights over here so when I buy a package of tortillas they usually go bad before we get another use out of them. And I think the store bought tortillas always taste like the plastic bag they come in. So in an adventurous mood, I set out to make my own tortillas. They turned out really good! I couldn’t get them perfectly round, but that’s what being home-made is all about, right?!

Whole Wheat Tortillas  (adapted from here)
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons olive oil
2⁄3 cup water

Combine flours, baking powder, and salt. Combine olive oil into the 2/3 cup water and toss with the flour mixture quickly using a fork or mixer.
When dough is soft and formed, put onto floured surface and knead with hands a few times.
Form 8 smaller balls of dough and sprinkle with flour. (If you aren’t using them right away, store in plastic bag)
When ready, flatten first ball of dough into a disk with a rolling pin.
Place tortilla in ungreased, frying pan that has been preheated to medium-high heat. Cook 30-40 seconds on one side or until dough forms some bubbles, then turn over with spatula and cook other side the same. 
Repeat for each ball of dough. Stack tortillas on a plate as they are cooked and cover them with a dish towel, which will keep them soft.

I filled the tortillas with shredded chicken I had cooked the night before, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and guacamole.

For the guacamole I used this simple recipe.
4 Haas avocados
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic

Salt to taste



Friday, February 10, 2012


Job Title: Chief Home Officer.
I work for a company called Sophia. She is my job.

I quit my full-time job working at a doctor’s weight loss clinic a month before giving birth to Sophia. We were moving into a new home and I didn’t want to be over-stressed and somehow put myself into labor. If your home buying experience was like ours, you know how stressful it can be. I quit at the end of June thinking we were moving at the beginning of July. We didn’t end up closing until August 1st…11 days before Sophia was born. Talk about rushing around trying to clean, furnish, decorate, and organize an entire house, right?!

I used to work Monday – Friday waking up at 6am, working 7am-4pm.
Nowadays I work Monday – Sunday waking up at 6am and working until bedtime, sometimes even waking up for the “night shift”.
I also work at home for another company part-time developing e-learning courses, which is amazing. I can work from the comfort of my couch while Sophia sleeps and earn a little bit of extra spending money. Not to shabby. 

But, Instead of dealing with patients and paperwork, I deal with playtime, naptime, and all the in between.  It’s definitely not for everyone, I know most moms have to go back to work at some point and eventually I think I will too. But I hope it’s not until ALL my kids are in school. Yes, that means we want more! 

After all is said and done, I wouldn't change my job now for anything in the world.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What about me?

Taking “me” time while being a Stay-at-home mom is sometimes difficult. A lot of my “me” time is actually still spent with Sophia close by.  Sophia will be 6 months old next week and I haven’t been away from her for more than 2 hours since she was born. Those long 2 hours happened when she was about a month old and I was a bridesmaid in a wedding. The husband said she was happy for the first hour and then cried for a good hour. You see, Sophia isn’t a bottle feeder. She’s hated it from the moment we introduced them. She’s taken pumped breast milk from a bottle a total of 3 times; once from my mom and twice from me. That’s it. I’ve left Angelo with Sophia and a bottle a hand full of times and always come back to a full bottle and a crying baby. She just won’t do it. We totally gave up on the bottle thing around Christmas time. She is officially an “Exclusively Breast fed” baby. We’ve fed her Organic rice cereal a couple of times, which she’s been more interested in chewing on the spoon than the actual cereal. We will start feeding her other solids after her 6-month doctor’s appointment coming up.

Even though Sophia is with me during almost all waking hours of the day, I do not neglect myself what-so-ever. I get laundry done, keep the house semi-clean, and still have some attention left to give our two dogs, Bella & Rome. This activity jumper and mat have been a lifesaver in the fact that they keep Sophia occupied for hours. 

For my body –Running with the Jogging stroller, At home Workout DVDs, Having a friend personal train me in a small PowerPlate studio while Sophia watches/sleeps close by in her car seat. Booking a 60min massage while my mom or Angelo have Sophia, Getting a pedicure with some friends.

For my mind– Writing this blog,  Driving in the car listening to music while Sophia sleeps in her car seat, Reading a book while I’m breastfeeding, Watching a movie with the husband while Sophia sleeps, Running with the jogging stroller

For Sophia – Gymboree Learn & Play has multiple benefits since she’s not in Daycare, Running with the jogging stroller gets her out in some fresh air, Putting her on the carpet with a blanket and some toys by herself (I’m always close by) helps her discover and soothe herself. 

Happy Hump day to everyone! The weekend is in sight!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Scoop of powder

Do any of you use protein powder or any supplements in the form of powder? 
I have received a product from the wonderful JuicePlus+ family called JuicePlus+ Complete. It's in a form of a powder and can be used in variety of ways. It can be a healthful "on-the-go" breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, pre-workout energy drink, or post-workout recovery drink.  

So far I've used it as a snack, mixing a scoop with a cup of almond milk or plain water, and most recently a post-workout recovery shake. 

Post-workout Shake 
1 frozen banana
1scoop of JP Complete Vanilla
½ cup of oatmeal (cooked with water in the microwave)
1/3 cup almond milk
A spoon of Almond butter
1/3 cup greek yogurt 

I blended all the listed ingredients in one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, the MagicBullet.

This shake was full of protein and definitely filled me up! I drank this shake around 12pm and wasn't hungry again until dinner time. It was pretty tasty too!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Superbowl Sunday

Happy Monday! Did you watch the Superbowl? Hope you're team for all you NY Giants fan, congrats! I didn't have a team in the Superbowl. Neither did Sophia.
She wanted to know where the TB Bucs were! ;)

Before the Superbowl, we spent the day cleaning the house, pool, and making food for some friends & family. For the starters we had: Chips & homemade guacamole, buffalo chicken dip, buffalo turkey meatballs, tray of celery & carrots, pizza rolls, and spinach dip. The main course included turkey burgers, beef hot dogs, and venison brats. I had half a turkey burger and was stuffed from munching on everything before, plus I wanted to save room for dessert. We had a make-your-own Strawberry shortcake buffet and some chocolate chip cookies fresh out the oven! YUM! 

The only part of the Superbowl I watched was the halftime show and the last 4 minutes of the game when the Patriots were trying to save themselves. My thoughts on the halftime show? Madonna needs to stick to her classics...her new songs are too cheesy and don't fit her.  I didn't get to see too many commercials but I heard the best one was by M&Ms? What did you think?

Today includes a visit to the gym to work off all those snacks from yesterday, playtime at Gymboree,  followed by Girls Night tonight! Hope you all have a marvelous Monday!