Friday, January 30, 2015

Scandal had me like...and some Friday Faves

TGIF! It's been a fast/fun week! There has been a lot of running and eating this week, and yesterday I took a rest day from all workouts and I guess the blog too. Not intentional, but one thing lead to another and the blog post and half my work didn't get finished. 

I picked Sophia up from school yesterday, her teacher told me she didn't sleep well at nap time, and in the car she started crying. I finally figured out (still a guess, but a good one) that her stomach was hurting and she had gas. She was back to her normal self in no-time but kept asking me to cuddle with her. When you're little girl asks you to cuddle, you go cuddle! So that ended my work day early but spending time doing absolutely nothing but giggling with my girls is what's important in life right now. Work can wait...I know (from experience) that it just sits there and waits for you, piling up and not going anywhere.
Our 3:00 pm cuddle session

Here we are on Friday and how so so glad I am that it's Friday. You know what makes me so happy to see Friday? The meer fact that I don't have to wake Sophia up for school for two days! She was not a happy camper waking up this morning and all I kept thinking was "Thank goodness it's Friday and I don't have to wake her up tomorrow". Sometimes she can be a real's true. :) Plus I went to sleep late last night because Scandal had my heart beating out of my chest and it took me a while to calm down. Did you watch Scandal?! O.M.G. Almost had to make an appointment to put in a pacemaker. Dramazzz

Here's what I've been LOVIN' this week!

Meet Elena of Avalor
Disney's first Latina Princess, being introduced on an episode of Disney Junior's Sofia The First in 2016! She will then get a spin-off show called Elena of Avalor. Some are saying she's not actually Latina...but she's not even REAL, so who's to say what she is, except those who created her at Disney? You can read the full Disney press release in the link above. I'm not Latina or anything but any new Disney Princess is worth a shout out!
I subscribed to TheSkimm emails a couple months ago and it's been, by far, the best email subscription I've ever received. If you don't really like watching or reading the news, but want to know what's going on in the world (in terms you can understand), please do yourself a favor and go get "Skimmed"! They do the reading for you and trim all the fat off, so you're left with the nitty gritty juiciness that's important. 

Finding Money or Gift Certificates you totally forgot you had
Most days while I work, Nelpe does some sort of destruction to my office. Whether it's finding my stash of pens and highlighters and writing all over herself and any paper she can find, or emptying out an entire filing cabinet making it rain with important documents. Well this morning she actually did some good and found a Spa Day gift certificate that expires in 12 days!! WHAT?! I'm calling to make my appointment a.s.a.p. Mani/Pedi/Facial/Massage here I come! Valentine's Day came early this year.

BLT Sandwiches
I've been craving this sandwich for dayzzz! Don't you hate it when you want to make something for dinner, but have a bunch of other stuff in your fridge that needs to be cooked asap so it doesn't go bad?! That's how Tuesday and Wednesday were (thawed chicken and vegetables that needed to be cooked pronto), so yesterday I FINALLY got to make some delicious BLTs. 

Quest Bar S'mores
I've been a fan of Quest Bars for about a year now. I always get the Cookies n Cream flavor but on my last order I knew I needed to try the newest S'mores flavor. So I did, and I love them! These bars have quality ingredients and none of that crap you find in other protein bars. I can actually pronounce the ingredient list! I'm still needing/wanting to try their chips! 

I hope you all had a fantastic week! Tomorrow is The Gasparilla Invasion and pretty much everyone in Tampa will be dressed as pirate, and probably drunk like a pirate too! Not us, we did our thing at the Kid's Parade last weekend. Plus we have a 14 mile run tomorrow, and a Super Bowl party at the house on Sunday. That's enough for one weekend ;)

What are you lovin' this week? Is it a food, TV show, or a new product?! Spill the beans in the comments! 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Planning Our Superbowl Menu

This Sunday is kind of a big deal. If you don't know, whats wrong with you?! I kid...but really?!

Super Bowl XLIX (49) is happening in Arizona this Sunday. The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are going to battle it out on the field, and only one will come out a Champion. Who will it be is the big question! OR Is the big question, how will Katy Perry's halftime performance be?! Whether you're watching the big game for the football, commercials, or musical performances, there is something for everyone who is tuning in. 

While the football players are warming up all week with media and whatever else they get paid millions to do, the rest of us regular people (I say that in a loving way) are warming up our kitchens getting ready for some party food!

The Super Bowl is in four days and two days ago my husband decided he wanted to have a party. Guys don't know that their women put a lot of work into parties (big or small) or they just choose to ignore it. I'm a "I'm here for the food and commercials" type of gal when it comes to the game, so I know how important the game day menu is. In writing this post, it is forcing me to plan out my menu for the game. (It's a perk of blogging, I guess)

Our Superbowl Menu 
Buffalo Chicken Dip - {From EatLiveRun}

Sausage Dip {Sister-in-law's Recipe}
Salsa & Guacamole

Cheese & Crackers
Popcorn {Only because we have a huge popcorn machine for parties}
Vegetable & Fruit Tray

Cuban Sandwich Crostini {From CasaDeCrews}
Chicken Wings - ordering take out 
Shredded BBQ Chicken {to use for sandwiches or nachos}
Football Cake Pops {From CakePopsByLu}

Beer {duh}
Flashback: Nelpe with a football cake pop last Superbowl!

Well that's the plan, but I'm sure there will be many other things added/deleted between here and Sunday morning. Have to start somewhere. Friday morning will be my Costco run to load it up! 

What are you plans for football?
Do you watch the game for the football, commercials, or musical performances?


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Addicted to Make Up

No not me, I'm talking about my three year old little girl!! My three year old is addicted to make up. Lawd help me! Sit me me off...and explain to me why this is already starting!

I know it's our own fault. (I'm not taking all the blame, half goes to Angelo) We have stuck her in the jogging stroller with an iPad watching YouTube videos, so it was only a matter of time before she found MAKE UP TUTORIALS. They are literally all over YouTube. Sophia gets glued to the little girl who does the My Little Pony tutorials and she absolutely HAS to have a "cutie mark" (My Little Pony's word for beauty mark) 
Yes this is real life...This is from the KittiesMama YouTube channel (the one Sophia has been caught watching)

Sophia's been interested in my make up bag for as long as she could walk and reach for things. She has ruined numerous eye shadows, given a couple makeup brushes to the dogs, and dug her little fingernails into countless Eos lip balms. BUT it's now come to the point where she asks for it every time we're at the store, and rummages through the makeup drawer every chance she gets. 

Lip gloss and eye shadow are her specialty. She's asked for "face gloss" because I won't let her rub lip gloss all over her face. 

Yesterday while I was getting ready for the Tampa Bay Bloggers dinner at Ulele, Sophia stood in the mirror next to me and started talking while putting on her make up, kind of creating her very own Make Up Tutorial. I was telling Angelo about it and he laughed "you have to record that!" 
Today, like clockwork, we get home from school and she goes into the bathroom asking me where her make up is. I give her the pad of eye shadow (she has her own so it can be ruined) and her Minnie Mouse lip gloss. She starts talking while putting on her eye shadow and I click record. 
I have to admit, it may be the cutest thing I've ever seen! Obviously she's not allowed to go out in public looking like this...people will think she has a black eye or something. It's all for fun and we ruin all mommy's towels taking it off. 

She only puts the makeup on one half of her face. ;) 

P.S. Since we're talking about Make Up Tutorials, I have to give a shout out to my high school friend's YouTube Channel, Nat-Fab


Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Recap: Pirates, Showers, and Strawberries

Just another manic Monday!
Sorry for the late post today, I switched out my "blogging time" for a five mile run this afternoon (because Nike Coach said so...). I usually run in the evenings, but I have my first dining/blogging event tonight as a Tampa Bay Blogger! I'll be live tweeting and instagramming from the amazing Ulele Restaurant on Tampa's River walk. I'm really excited about it! 

Our weekend was an exciting event after event! Saturday was the Gasparilla Children's Parade. 

If you live in Tampa, you know the HUGENESS that is Gasparilla around here. If you're outside of Tampa and haven't heard about it, it's when pirates "invade" Tampa and there are numerous parades and events celebrating José Gaspar (Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate captain who supposedly operated in Southwest Florida. It seems to be growing each year with a half marathon/race series, film festival, and music festival. All these events are spread out between January and March. The Children's parade is one of the first so kicks off the Gasparilla season and gives everyone an excuse to dress like pirates and hang pirate themed flags and wreaths on our doors. 

Sunday was a great friend's bridal shower at Chart House. This was the fanciest bridal showers I've ever attended (with assigned seating and all), but I wasn't expecting anything less from Jenny. She's our little fancy Spanish princess in the group. Love her! Every detail was planned and the food was amazing! I had the Cesar salad and Chicken Romano. Delicious! The restaurant is beautiful and right on the water. I would definitely go back for a brunch or date night! 
Isn't she lovely?! :) 

Sunday night we made homemade strawberry shortcakes! Sophia loves helping me in the kitchen and we formed a little assembly line for her to make everyone's shortcake. That wrapped up our weekend of fun!

Did you go to the Children's Parade on Saturday?
What fun kid-friendly items do you like to create in the kitchen?


Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Faves

Today started off very productive. Got up, ate breakfast, got the girls up and dressed, and out the door by 7:30 to drop Sophia off at school. Nailed it! Then we came home and went out for a 12 mile run. Once that brutal torture was over, the day took a nose dive into wasteland. My legs ached and all I wanted to go was lay in bed in my pajamas. Since Nelpe agreed, we literally laid in bed for an hour before picking Sophia up from school. Who lays in bed at 1:00 in the afternoon for no other reason than you feel like it?! This girl. No shame.

So, why did we do a 12 mile run today? Because the NikePLUS coach told us to! Actually the run was scheduled for Saturday but this weekend is filled with work, kid's Gasparilla parade, and a bridal shower. Thus, the run got done this morning. Training success!

While laying in bed with legs oh so achy, I went on Amazon and invested in some energy gels. I don't know why I venture out on these runs without them. After this morning, I decided I can do no more long runs without some Gu! My energy tank starts flashing empty around mile 8, so for next weekend's 14 miler {ekk} I will have the gu to get me through! 

Things I'm lovin' on this Friday

Late Night Talk Shows
I am a fan of Jimmy Fallon, Andy Cohen, and Conan. I'm on all their teams when it comes to late night TV wars. I used to watch/DVR Jay Leno and still think he was one of the greatest, but Jimmy is coming in HOT and making a name for himself amongst the greats. 
This clip of Jimmy & Nicole Kidman put the biggest smile on my face.

Last night was one of those nights I could not get to sleep. I kept thinking about the 12 miles we were running in the morning and Sophia started coughing out of nowhere, so the tossing and turning started at 11:00 p.m. and the last time I looked at the clock it was already 1:40 a.m. YIKES! But, in the sleepless/hating myself stage, I watched some late night TV (which I'm lovin'..see above). J LO was on WWHL and can I just say that she is flawless? She's getting better with age and I could stare at her beauty for hours. 
All Hail J.Lo!
Friday Link Love:

And one last thing that I'm lovin' on this Friday: 

The word "Deflatriots". I think it's a hilarious name and when I first saw the hashtag I LOLed. Have you been keeping up with "Deflate Gate"? A brief summary for you: The New England Patriots allegedly slightly deflated their footballs during the second half of last Sunday's Championship game. Since it was raining, these deflated footballs were easier to grip for Mr. Tom Brady. Since they won the game, people are saying this was cheating. Which it is...if it's true. I don't really know or care, I just like the name Deflatriots. Catchy. 
If you're a New England Fan, click here.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!! It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so if you're heading to the Kid's parade, stay dry!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Songs guaranteed to get you PUMPED UP!

Hey you guys!! It's Thursday, and it's been a pretty good week so far! I've been getting a fair share of work accomplished, house has had multiple showings, and may I add that the weather has been incredible for running!? Good vibrations!

For the past two months, I've been running to Taylor Swift's voice. You'd think I'd be sick of her 1989 album by now, and I officially am. With an amped up running schedule and races in my future, I set time aside to dedicate to my Running Playlist. Usually once I create a new playlist it will last me months. I’ll just add a couple newer songs here and there and be satisfied. 
I like to have a mix of new and old songs on my playlists. There are a ton of songs out there that literally never get old, and then some that get old REAL fast, so it's always good to have a variety. Here is a list of songs that may have been around for awhile, but still give you the same amount of energy that you would find in your can of Red Bull. 

"You shook me all night long" - AC/DC
Almost impossible to stay still during this one. Even if it's just to break out the air guitar. 

"Pour Some Sugar on me" - Deff Leppard
Engage fantasy music video mode, but don't embarrass yourself at the gym or on the streets.

"Good Vibrations" - Marky Mark
get injured trying to dance while running. Safety First.  

"This Is How We Do It" – Montell Jordan
This is how we run that extra mile. 

Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”- C+C Music Factory
Sweating is the overall goal here. Reminds me of the dance sequence in Old School

Push It” - Salt-N-Pepa
Perfect for when your workout feels endless. Just push it baby!(Note to self: learn all these dance moves)

"I Need Your Love" ft. Ellie Goulding - Calvin Harris
This duo is a good thing for workouts everywhere.

"Danza Kurduro" - Don Omar
Have to add some Spanish in the mix. That's advice for everything in life. ;)

"Call on me" - Eric Prydz
Well, have you seen this music video?!

"Lose Control" - Missy Elliott 
Anything by Missy Elliott takes me back to my cheerleading days. Pure energy.

“Little Lion Man” -  Mumford & Sons
This song got me through one of the last miles of a Rock n Roll Half Marathon. Two words: Dueling Banjos

Lose Yourself” -  Eminem
For when you Lose yourself, as in, when you no longer feel your arms or legs. Just keep going!

We Found Love” - Rihanna
Every time I hear this song I want to spread my arms out wide and twirl.

The Edge of Glory” - Lady Gaga
Used for the NBA Playoffs last year, this track in your ears will help you whatever!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

10 Reasons why Children are Strange

10 Reasons why Children are Strange Creatures

Sometimes kids do strange things, and by strange I mean things that absolutely make no sense in any subject matter, except the subject of children. This subject has many manuals and “what to expect” books, support groups, and community forums, all which moms from all corners of earth frequent to make sense of their child’s behavior. I’m here to tell you that no book or chat room will explain some things that you experience when you have kids running around. Sometimes, kids just don’t make any sense.

1. They won't eat a home cooked meal you just busted your ass cooking for the past 2 hours trying to hide as many veggies as possible into, but they'll eat you clear out of chalk and glue. 

2. To them, there is such a thing as the wrong kind of sippy cup; and it all depends on the hour of the day, the day of the week, and what their sibling is momentarily sipping out of. Oh you want the red sippy cup with the orange lid? Oh you mean the only single sippy cup, out of an entire cabinet, that happens to be your dad’s truck on the other side of town right now? Sorry, here's the one you wanted an hour ago. 

3. They will feel freezing cold but want nothing to do with a blanket. I'm talking goosebumps on legs and shivering cold. You gently try to cover them with a blanket, and based on the reaction you get, you'd think the blanket was actually hot lava.

4. They will scream and cry about being cold but karate kick your fingers when trying to put pants or jackets on. "Well I WAS going to help you..."

5. They remember the tiniest of details, but can't tell you what they did with your keys they were just playing with.

6. They cry because they're tired and get mad when you tell them to go take a nap. 

7. When were out of the house they want nothing to do with you, kicking and screaming to let them run around. When you get home and they have free range of the entire house and yard, they want you to hold them.

8. Sleep. They fall asleep sitting in a highchair with spaghetti all over their face, or in the umbrella stroller you paid five bucks for. Sometimes it seems like they'll sleep absolutely anywhere on absolutely anything. Until you put them in their own comfortable bed equipped with an organic mattress and $200 cotton sheets from Pottery Barn kids. 

9. They have a bazillion toys at their feet but want to play with your phone, remote, or a pack of markers. It's the same thing with the whole liking the box that the toy came in better than the toy. Wtf?

10. You cut their food into small pieces for their own safety and they act like you just soaked it in the spiciest habanero sauce you could find. They claim the food totally inedible at that point, all because you're trying to prevent them from choking. 

Sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh. Kids are literally nuts, but we love them and all their nutty ways. Life would actually be a little dull without the craziness that is our kids. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Training for some Races

I have a few running goals this year. To help me accomplish these goals I have the help and encouragement of my wonderful husband.

Last week, on Wednesday; the husband informed me that we started a training program for running. “Great…” I thought. You see, I've never done a training program. Every time we ran half marathons in the past, we would mostly stick to our usual running (4-6 mile runs, 4-5 times a week) and stick in a couple long runs (10-12 miles) the weeks leading up to the race.

So far, we are signed up for two half marathons this year and to not totally hate ourselves half way through the races, we've decided for once and for all to follow a training plan. It will obviously help us with our race times and help us get to the 2015 miles we want to accomplish in 2015.

We are using the “Coach” in the NikePlus Running app. 

This is what we did last week: (remember, we didn't start the training until Wednesday)
Monday: It was raining, so a little indoor workout
Tuesday: Ran 4 miles
Wednesday: Ran 6 miles
Thursday: Cross-Training (Biking)
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 11 miles
Sunday: Rest

And this is the plan for this week:
Monday: Run 5 miles
Tuesday: Run 3.8 miles
Wednesday: Run 6 miles
Thursday: Run 3 miles
Friday: Run 5 miles
Saturday:  Run 12 miles
Sunday: Rest

This week’s Saturday run is going to be tricky. I need to figure out when and how we will get it done. The Gasparilla Kid's parade is Saturday and I have a bridal shower on Sunday. I’m only a week into this training and I already understand why people who run marathons have told me about the training taking over their life. My kids already take over my life, so when will I find time to run, sleep, and take care of kids?! #struggles

Have you ever used a Training Plan for a race?
When do you find time to run, morning or evening?


Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend: Running & The Best Strawberry Shortcake you will ever find

Happy Monday folks! 
It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Sophia is out of school, and we've been lounging around in our jammies for the past couple hours. I'm getting some work done early this morning, then going to actually get dressed into a publicly acceptable outfit, I promise. But first, a weekend recap!

Friday after work we went on a 5 mile run, because we're listening to a "coach" for a run training plan and "coach" said we had to do 5 miles on Friday night. When we strolled up the house Angelo ran in to get water and I transferred the kids from the stroller to the car. We had to go to the grocery store for milk and eggs (breakfast items) and then go pick up a pizza for dinner. We needed  to "carb up" for our planned 14 mile run on Saturday. 

Angelo went to the office for a couple hours on Saturday morning, so I loaded up the girls and went to Costco. Costco is one of my favorite places to go. For one thing, they have double kid seats in their carts. That is a lifesaver, Costco, and I thank you! Plus, they always have new and exciting things to buy! Things you never knew you needed until you see them at Costco. For example, this huge teddy bear they had around Christmas time. There is no need for a teddy bear this big, but Costco somehow makes you feel that your child NEEDS one...or 3.

I needed to get the girl's energy out, so they'd happily sleep in the stroller on our long run. So we played on the playground and ran around the backyard for an hour or two. 
Angelo got home and we immediately left for our long run. We planned to do 14 miles...I mapped it out and everything. Around the 5 mile mark we ran into a huge hill. This hill looked gigantic. Angelo & I looked at each other with faces like "no way..." and turned into the nearest neighborhood. By the time we made it back home it was 11 miles and we called it good enough. I honestly look at Angelo in a whole new fitness light after he pushed that double stroller for that long. I took it from him for 0.6 miles and about died. It's basically pushing a 75 lb sled. Incredible.

The girls jumped out of the stroller (they napped the entire run) and played with some neighborhood friends while Angelo & I sat in our driveway with aching legs.We took it easy for what was left of the day.

Sunday, with nothing on the agenda, we made a drive to Brandon Farms, a local strawberry farm that opened a couple weeks ago. This is my favorite time of year in the area. Strawberry season! The whole reason I wanted to go to was to buy a Strawberry Pizza for dessert for our Sunday family dinner at my brother's house. When we go the the farm, it was cash only, so I rummaged in my purse and found $6. With that, I bought a strawberry milkshake, and half a shortcake. The best milkshake and shortcake you will ever find! Seriously, if you're around the Brandon/Plant City area (suburbs of Tampa, FL) you need to hit up a Strawberry farm during the months of January - March. 

For the Seattle/GreenBay football game, we went to my brother's house and grilled chicken sausages, steak, sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts. My parents brought a salad from their TowerGarden (theirs are  much more impressive than mine) and we all went crazy at the Seattle win. Did you watch? Crazy game!
FYI: Mustard goes with everything. 

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

What activities did you do this weekend?


Friday, January 16, 2015

Whole Wheat, No Sugar Banana Bread

TGIF! I've just been popping out recipe after recipe this week. :) 

The weather has been extra gloomy here in Tampa this whole week. Like where's the sunshine?!  I'll tell you where it is...

It's in this banana bread!

I made this for the family I cooked the baby meal for on Wednesday. I doubled the recipe and made two, so I could have some of the deliciousness to myself. I shouldn't have done that.

Sophia & I almost ate the entire loaf on Wednesday night when it came out of the oven.
That's how good this banana bread was! I sweetened it with honey and those tiny smiles (aka chocolate chips), so it's not really sweet, but it's perfect in it's own healthy way. It's probably not so healthy if you eat the entire loaf in one sitting, so please refrain yo'self!

What you’ll need:
3 overripe bananas
1 large egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup applesauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Handful of chocolate chips

What you do:
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, mash bananas.
Add rest of ingredients and mix until well combined.
Pour batter into lightly greased loaf pan.
Add slices of bananas to top of batter and sprinkle with oats and chocolate chips.
Bake for 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
Let cool.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Happy Thursday to you!
I love days like today, when I have absolutely nothing on my calendar so I can sit at my computer and get a bunch of work done. Nelpe woke up around 6 am this morning so she's already snoozing away on her first nap of the day = momma gets work done! 

We started a meal train for a mom at school who just had a baby boy. Yesterday was my day to provide a delicious meal and I was kind of excited because I've never been a part of a meal train before this! I cook for my family and friends all the time, but cooking for someone else's family who you aren't real close with is kinda nerve wrecking. You just hope they like your cooking as much as you like it. :) 

Her husband is vegetarian, so I decided to make them my favorite massaged kale salad (with craisins and Gorgonzola cheese crumbles) and this Vegetarian Enchilada casserole. "Mexican" food is a universal favorite. Who doesn't love food covered in cheese!?

Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
What you’ll need:
1 bag of baby spinach (6oz), chopped or torn into smaller pieces
1 can mild enchilada sauce
1 can chopped green chiles, drained
1 can southwest corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 flour or whole wheat tortillas (or more, depending on size)
3 cups shredded cheese blend (Mexican, cheddar, ect.)
Avocado & sour cream for topping

What you do:
Preheat oven to 375.
Sauté spinach in EVOO over medium heat for 2 minutes, until wilted.
In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, spinach, green chiles, and 2 cups of cheese.
Lightly coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and pour in a small amount of enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the pan.
Lay down two tortillas to cover sauce. (If your tortillas are smaller, you may need more)
Cover tortillas with half of spinach mix.
Lay down more tortillas and cover with rest of spinach mix.
Add more two more tortillas on top and pour rest of enchilada sauce over them.
Top with remaining cup of cheese.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.
Cut into squares (like you would lasagna) and top with sour cream and/or avocado slices.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Beef Roast with Vegetables

Sorry guys, I totally forgot to post this recipe yesterday. Did you even notice?! ;) If you follow me on Instagram (@al2getherFIT) I posted a picture of this beautiful roast and commented that I would post the recipe Tuesday Morning....obviously I lied. I won't do that again, scouts honor!

I was running around town all morning yesterday. When I got home, I sat at my computer and got some serious work done! Felt pretty accomplished yesterday until about 3pm rolled around. Then the kids were going absolutely bananas! I found Nelpe drawing all over her leg with a permanent marker in the living room, and Sophia somehow managed to get yogurt, cheese, and pretzels all over the couch. I found it odd that the dogs were licking the couch to death, until I walked over and noticed cheese crumbles all over the place. THEN I noticed the fridge door wide long was that open for? Your guess is as good as mine. You see, this is what happens when you try to work and watch 2 kids at the same time. They obviously do whatever they want when no one is looking for 0.2 seconds. Kids can destroy an entire house in record time. I just don't understand how things happen some times. 

Anyways, we ate this Beef Roast Monday night and last night for dinner (love me some left overs). It was my first roast I've ever done and it was delicious!! I loved the juiciness of the beef and the sweetness of the carrots and potatoes made me feel like I was eating something unhealthy, but it wasn't!! That's that goodness I like!

Beef Roast with Vegetables

What you’ll need:
2 – 3 lb. organic beef chuck roast
Salt & Pepper
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp. Tomato paste
Red wine
Beef broth

What you do:
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large sauté pan on the stove, heat 2 tbsp of EVOO over medium heat.
Sauté the onions, carrots, and potatoes for 3-5 minutes.
Place vegetables into bottom of a roasting pan.
Season chuck roast with salt.
In the sauté pan, with EVOO, sear the top and bottom of the chuck roast for 2 minutes, each side.
Transfer chuck roast on top of vegetables in roasting pan.
Deglaze the sauté pan with red wine. Add tomato pasta, and beef broth. Stir to combine.
Pour liquid over chuck roast in roasting pan.
Season with pepper, rosemary, and garlic powder.
Cover and bake for 4 hours.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

REVIEW: Malio's Prime Steakhouse

Review: Malios Prime Steakhouse
400 North Ashley Drive #310
Tampa, FL 33602

Malio’s Prime Steakhouse has been in Tampa since before I can remember. Doing some research, I found out it actually first opened in 1969! Back then it was in a different location (off Dale Mabry) and I couldn't even begin to tell you what was on the menu. I'm sure there are similarities to today's menu. But, I’ll start off in 2007, when it relocated to where it is today, downtown Tampa, right on the Hillsborough River.

It’s kind of shocking that it’s been around for so long and many people who asked where we went to dinner on New Year’s Eve, followed up with a “where’s that?” I've driven by the restaurant weekly for years and always thought “We have to go there someday”. I’m going to blame it on the location, downtown Tampa, and it not being a real happenin’ place at night yet.

The parking can be a bit confusing, as Angelo didn't have a clue on where to even park. Once we did some U-turns, we drove up the driveway and spotted the valet stand, which is not complimentary.

We had reservations at 6:30 pm (party of 4) and we were kind of looking forward to getting some items off their Happy Hour Menu. It turns out they weren't offering that menu since it was New Year’s Eve, so that was a bummer.

To get to the restaurant, you walk through the lobby floor of the sky rise. The restaurant has a very “hotel/business meeting” feeling.

What we ate:

Fried Calamari: Sweet Pepper Drizzle, Parmesan, Crispy Salami & Pepperoni. Marinara to dip.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes: This appetizer came with 2 crab cakes.

Malio’s Salad:  I got this salad as a side/starter with my steak. It wasn't anything special.

Steaks: I ordered the 6 oz filet, while Angelo ordered the 8 oz filet. They were both slightly under cooked, but good flavor.

Sides: We ordered 4 sides to split between the four of us. Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Button Mushrooms, and French Fries. I don’t think any of those needs a description. They were your traditional steakhouse a la carte sides. I do want to say that the French Fries were deliciously crispy.

Cheesecake and Crème Brulee

Champagne: Champagne Overload over here!
Moscow Mules: Angelo didn't think they had enough vodka in them.

The complaint box:
The happy hour menu wasn't available on New Years Eve.
We all think the waitress politely kicked us out, but it was about midnight and we just needed to leave at that point anyways. She was nice.

Score Card
On a scale from 1-5 stars (in the high end Steakhouse category) Malio’s Prime gets a 3!
While our food was excellent and I would probably go back again someday, I don’t think there was anything special about any of the menu items we ordered.  It’s your cookie cutter steakhouse with the same sides and appetizers as their competition (Flemings, Charley’s). I do like the location; it’s the only steakhouse in the downtown area, so it would definitely be a great place to go if you have tickets to a show at the Straz or Tampa Theatre. 

Have you been to Malio's before? Did you have a good experience?
What is your favorite Steakhouse in the Tampa area?


Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend Recap (including PB replenishment)

Monday!! Can I have a confession moment right now? I like Mondays. I like weekends, but I think the weekends wouldn't be enjoyable without Mondays, so why hate on Monday? It brings us back to life, work, school, and home! 

This weekend was kind of low-key, which was great since I was battling a head-sinus issue all weekend. I felt like I was under water, with my ears popped and everything. Awful.

But you know what else is awful? 
THIS! The end of the peanut butter jar! But, do not fear, peanut butter has been replenished! :)

Saturday, still feeling a little crumby, we went on a run (6 miles) and it made me feel better! I could breathe normal the entire time. 
Are those matching workout pants not the cutest?! They are from Target! (What DOESN'T Target have?! Geesh!)
When we got back, Sophia wanted to show us her running skills, so we did some sprint work up and down the neighborhood. 
Go girl go!

Play time continued outside until we had to get ready for the Fish Fry at a friend's house. We ate lots of shrimp and fish! I could barely hear people the entire party, with my ears feeling like they needed to be popped, so we didn't stay too long. 

Sunday morning I made the Fitnessista's 2 minute Double Chocolate Protein Muffin. These are always a win in my book. Quick, easy, and so delicious! If you haven't tried one, it's a must do!

The rest of our Sunday was spent running errands, siging up for the Gasparilla 8K and Half-marathon!, and having friends over to watch football and eat chicken wings.

I hope your weekend was wonderful & restful! Back to the grind!

What did you do this weekend?
What are you favorite quick breakfast options?


Friday, January 9, 2015

The Poop Emoji Shirt & Other Friday Faves

We made it! It's Friday and its cold and's Friday so who cares if it's cold?!

Here is a list of a few things I'm diggin' this week:

I made a marinara sauce for my zucchini noodles and pasta the other day. Something about a pot of homemade pasta sauce simmering on the stove makes me smile. 
Those giant basil leaves make me smile too!

This mad cool carrot, yo.

Pita Pockets! 
I've been obsessed this week with these things. The possibilities are endless! Stuff em' & eat em'!

This shirt using the poop emoji in the pattern. (

This meme I made from pictures of Sophia looking at herself on my phone camera. 

Babies in winter gear! Nothing is cuter! 
Yesterday my mom got out all her scarves and mittens to put on before we went to play in the backyard. Yes, it is 60 degrees outside and Floridians are bundling up hard!

Nut Exactly Snack Bites.These have been my snack all week. 

Starbucks rolled out with a new creation called "Flat White". I'm intrigued.

Have you been obsessing over a particular thing this week? Let me know!
Are you going to try the new Flat White at Starbucks?