Friday, July 31, 2015

Hyde Park Village & other Friday Faves!

Happy Friday Friends! 

Something funny, well kind of funny. I went onto this morning to look at the weekend's weather. It said SUNNY with 0% chance of rain and I was like YASSSSS! 

Then after a few minutes I noticed I accidentally clicked on Tampa, KS and not Tampa, FL. Who the heck lives in Tampa, KS?! Well, approximately 108 people do.  You learn something new every day. 

Our weather here in Tampa, FL looks a lot less exciting and a lot more rainy. When will it stop?! 

Friday Faves

Hyde Park Village, Tampa
I did a stroll around Hyde Park Village Tuesday night with some other Tampa Bay Bloggers and it was the first time I went into many of the stores. I'm so glad I had this opportunity, because now I know HPV has so much to offer!  There are events going on every week at the individual shops and the place is really hoppin'! The village is currently going through redevelopments, and I can't wait to see the final design. All I know is that these images make me SO excited for Hyde Park Village's future! HPV is definitely a place to take friends and family if you're ever in the area. I'm still getting everything together for my recap post, so sit tight, it's coming!
Hyde Park Village in the moon light. 
is having a HUGE sale right now! I have bought many dresses from this site in the past and here's some SALE items I'm loving this week! Many sale items are going fast, so sizes may be sold out soon.

If the shoe fits....

Around the web:
Toddler gets dream birthday

New workout method based on science! 

When there's murder, war, and famine going on, some people think this is something to be outraged about.  {Jack-hole of the week...Hi Andy Cohen!}

How are your weekend plans looking? Is weather causing any cancellations? I hope not!
Have a great weekend everyone!!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recipe: Chicken Enchilada Bake & Cilantro Quinoa

Last night I cooked the Chicken Enchilada Bake using the recipe from  PaleOMG (Found Here)  and served it with cilantro quinoa. 

For the enchilada bake I purchased a rotisserie chicken for the shredded chicken. I took off and saved the two drumsticks for the girls and figured they would eat the quinoa with the drumsticks. Well, they did eat the drumsticks, but also devoured the enchilada bake! It was really enjoyable, especially when you add the goat cheese on top! 

Cilantro Quinoa

What you need:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp EVOO
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 small onion, diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
What you do:
In a medium pot, heat EVOO, garlic, and onion over medium high heat until golden. 
Add in vegetable broth and quinoa to pot and bring to boil.
Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook till water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.  About 20-25 mins.
Add 2 tbsp chopped cilantro and stir.
Serve immediately.


Goal Check-In: Fitness in 2015

Hey yall! 
Today is a good day to check in with some goals...right?!
Below are the 2015 fitness goals I set out do achieve on January 1st. 

• Run 2015 miles in 2015! This is being split by Angelo & I, so it equals 1007.5 miles each.
• Try some fitness "trends“.  I would really like to try an Orange Theory or Crossfit class, just to see what the rage is about. I will not to sucked in. 
• Join a running group. I am apart of 3 running groups on Facebook but don't ever go to the scheduled weekly runs. I think joining will help me accomplish my running goals and make new friends! Always fun.
• Run at least 1 race a month.
• Run 4 half marathons (one every quarter). 
• Ride our bikes more often, I'm going to say once a month. 
• Try new sports. I want to try paddle boarding (is that a sport?) and golf this year. 

Let's see where I'm at with those...

Run 2015 miles in 2015:
This is still going, just at a slower pace right now. It started out really good. We were training for some races and we had our running courses all mapped out around the house and getting in some nice runs! By March, when we moved, the routine got hit by a bus. We don't have a good running path where we are now because there isn't much sidewalk around us and the running would have to be done alongside busy roads. Not exactly what I want to do with a double stroller. 75% of our running is done on the treadmill right now. Anything over 4 miles on the treadmill is hard for me. Maybe I can push through that mindset and go longer soon since it's one of my only options right now. 

Try some fitness "trends"
I've doing some different fitness things other than running! YAY! I've started spin classes, training for triathlons (our scheduled triathlon got cancelled), and TRX. All these are some of my favorite things at the moment. I still would like to do an OrangeTheory class sometime, and currently looking for another triathlon to register for AFTER summer to avoid it getting cancelled again by these torturous rains. 

Join a running group..
This hasn't happened and I haven't even looked further into it. I know there is a local Wednesday night running group. I think I need to bite the bullet, so maybe August will be the month!

Run at least 1 race a month.
I haven't been the greatest at this. I honestly just forget to sign up for races and by the time I remember it's either way too expensive or it's just too late and we've already made plans for that weekend. I even signed up for a race in May, totally forgot about it and didn't go. Where's my mind?!  I'm determined to stop that trend and signed up for some races TODAY! I We will be doing the 5K Zoo Run on August 22nd and the the HSCO Ranch Run 15K on Sept 19th. That leaves me with my half marathons during the last three months of the year. It's all about planning! 

Run 4 half marathons
1/4 have been accomplished. Can I run 3 halfs in the next 5 months? The only problem with this is that half marathons aren't abundant until Oct-Dec, so it's looking like I'll have to run 3 in the last 3 months of the year. I can do that. Anyone wanna join?!

Ones on my radar:
Oct 25th - FrankenFooter Half Marathon
Nov 1st - XTerra Wildhorse Trail Run
Nov 15th - X-Country Half Marathon
Nov 29th - Space Coast 
Dec 6th - Brandon Half Marathon

Ride our bikes more often, I'm going to say once a month. 
Since training for a triathlon, we've used our bikes more this month than we have all year! We bought Sophia a tandem bike attachment since she's grown too big for the other one and Penelope loves biking on her seat! It's become a favorite family activity. 

Try new sports.
Again, the triathlons have helped us get into some other sports like cycling and swimming.
Check that off the list! :)
Don't worry, I'm not drowning... :)

So there you have it. I think I'm doing really well with my goals this year, at least the fitness one. I've become so active in achieving them and it feels oh so good! There will be more posts about the other ones coming soon.

How are your 2015 goals coming along?
Have any of them changed?


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

First Influenster & Finding Good Lighting

Happy hump day!
How is your week going so far? GREAT?! Good!

Last night I had a blast strolling through Hyde Park Village in Tampa checking out all the shops and restaurants! It was a blogger stroll that I did along with some other awesome bloggers in Tampa. The stroll was a scheduled 5-8pm event. There was no way we could of experienced everything Hyde Park Village has to offer in that short time frame. The time flew by, and before you know it, it was 8:30pm and I still had half my list unchecked. But it was time to head home and show the girls all the swag I got them. That just means I must go back to "stroll" around some more!

Look for my post tomorrow all about the shops and restaurants I visited around Hyde Park Village! :)

Along with that excitement, I received my 1st Influenster box in the mail! Check out this stuff! 

I can't wait to try these products out and share my opinion with you. 

Also, yesterday I had a sudden realization about lighting. The girls, Angelo, and I were goofing off in the kitchen and one of the light enclosures on the ceiling broke. (Oppies) All of a sudden, there was all this light! FYI:Our current living quarters has terrible lighting. The kitchen, living room, bathroom,'s a mystery as to how I even put make up on these days! It's become a task to get good pictures with good lightning in the house. I did find some good lighting though...outside on the porch.  

With this new house build, its my new mission to make sure the lighting is incredible! It's forced me to google and research lighting. Isn't it funny a tiny incident like breaking a light enclosure can bring a new light (pun intended) to a subject such as lighting. (Too much use of the word lighting...READ THIS so I can stop)
I told my dad he needs to replace all those light fixtures the name of my Instagram photos! LOL :)

All this lighting talk reminds me of that Seinfeld episode
Major cool points if you know what I'm talking about! **These points can not be redeemed for anything.**

The rest of this week is looking good with regular mom and work duties, workouts, and eating good food. The last two nights I haven't cooked, so tonight, it's on! 

It's all easy going from here..Friday is in sight. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fitness Fashion On a Budget

Last Friday an inexpensive pair of workout pants was a "friday fave". It got me thinking about all the great workout gear there is out there that doesn't have to burn a hole in your wallet. After all, killer new workout clothes can help one kill a workout at the gym, or atleast make us LOOK like we're killing it. ;)

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good pair of Lululemon Wunder Under Pants, but I don't want to drop $100 every time I'm looking to buy a new pair of workout pants. That's what the husband is for at Christmas time...right?!

Check out my top picks for Fitness Fashion On A Budget

1. Old Navy


Old Navy Cropped Pants $28.00
Old Navy High Rise Compression Capris $26.00

Old Navy Go-Dry Cool Active Tank $12.00
Old Navy Pique-Mesh Shorts $15.00

2. Kohls

Kohls Tek-Gear Workout Tank $7.99
Kohls Sports Bra $19.99

3. Forever 21


F21 2-in-1 Athletic Tank $17.90
F21 Colorblock Mesh Panal Capri Leggings $19.90
F21 Cardio Graphic Sweater $14.90
F21 Mesh Paneled Running Shorts $15.90

4. Target

Target Shorts $16.99
Target C9 Knit Layered Shorts $18.99
Target Crew Neck stripe Tee $14.99
Target C9 Mesh Run Tank $16.99

5. H&M

H&M Sports Top $14.99
H&M Sports Tights $24.99
H&M Seamless Yoga Top $19.99
H&M Running Top $24.99

Along with the places mentioned above, I always browse through the sale racks at LuLuLemon, Nike, Nordstrom, and/or Dicks to get some good deals!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekend Recap: Cancelled plans

Happy Monday to you!
Hope you all woke up on the right side of the bed today to start the week! ;)

Friday night was pizza night and the calm before the triathlon storm. We got all our gear together and chilled out. We tried to call it an early night, but ended up going to bed around 10pm, after setting our alarm clocks for 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning
The girls testing out the gear.

Saturday, with an early wake up call, we headed to Fort De Soto to do our first triathlon! When we arrived and headed to the registration tent with our bikes, the nerves kicked in! I was so excited to check this off my bucket list but also still very nervous about the whole swimming in the ocean thing. 
Being our first one, we literally had no idea what to do or expect.

Where do we put all our stuff?
Where do we just our bikes?
Were do all these stickers go!?
Will I have to fight off a shark?! 

All part of the mental preparation...

My brother was with us and had participated in a Triathlon a couple years ago, so we followed him and tried not to look like total rookies. Tried...

We got our numbers, stickers, and running bibs, and headed to the transition area to set up. I looked around and just copied what everyone else was doing.
THEN Angelo says, "Alex you're supposed to put your bike in the rack with your number on it."
"Oooooh ok..." 

Once that was done and we had nothing else but our swimming caps and goggles left, we headed to the beach to hang out at the starting point. It was about 5 minutes till start time and the wind was picking up. The weather wasn't horrible, but it wasn't looking good. Then lightning stuck in the distance, and all paddle boarders and kayaks left the water. We stood around and chatted with a veteran Triathlete for a good 30 minutes before they officially canceled the race.

I was super bummed! I kept thinking "the weathers getting better!", when everyone around me was saying it was getting worse. I didn't want to believe it was going to get canceled. I wanted to do this triathlon so bad!!!
I didn't receive a medal or cross any finish line, but  I completed my own little version of a  Duathlon at the gym later in the afternoon and that would have to be good enough.
The rest of our Saturday was spent watching movies, cooking dinner, eating, and going out for ice cream!

Sunday, all refreshed from a half day of relaxation, we headed to church and then to the mall to meet Alisha, Josh, Harper, and baby Brix.

Brix slept peacefully, only waking up to eat, and the girls played and got lots of energy out in the play area.
Sophia explaining how to use her new slap band watch.

We made a stop at the Disney store were the girls were set free to pick out one toy each.
Harper picked a Cinderella Barbie doll, Sophia picked a tiara and sticker set, and Penelope picked an Aladdin doll.

Bar Louie was the choice restaurant for lunch.

Although I was majorly bummed out on Saturday after the race was canceled, it ended up being an enjoyable weekend! The sun actually shined a bit yesterday morning, but the rains eventually came back.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!

It looks like we're in store for another week of monsoons. Stay dry everyone!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Chicken is an animal & Friday Faves


We've made it to the end of the week and it's glorious! Fri-Yay! 

Last night Sophia was full of questions! What's new? But day after day her questions become more and more interesting. It's incredible to watch her become aware of herself and surroundings as she grows. 

Last night we ate White Wine Herd roasted chicken, but I didn't take a picture so did it really happen? :) It did...

I give the girls the drumsticks because they like to eat them like cavemen. Who doesn't? In between bites Sophia blurted out "Is this chicken?! Like the ANIMAL chicken? Like I'm eating an animals that has fingers?!?!" She kept breaking off pieces of the chicken and asking which part of the chicken was it...."is this it's finger?" holding up a random piece of chicken meat.

It took me by surprise because I thought "oh she won't be eating chicken." But she actually finished her plate, was done with that conversation, and on to creating her nightly show for us. The girls dress up every night after dinner and put on a "show" of singing and dancing. Add that to my favorite things ever. 

Friday Faves

Family photo shoots

With the building of our custom house, we took part 1 of a 3 series photo shoot yesterday evening. We will do another shoot when the house is half way done, then the last shoot will be when the house is completed. I love the chaos that is a family photo shoot, or any photo shoot that involves kids. Sophia (almost 4 years old) was a little ham in front of the camera, showing off her poses and dance moves. Saying "take a picture of this!" while spinning around.  Penelope (20 months) was NOT liking the camera at the beginning and wouldn't let go of Angelo. She loosened up towards the end, so I'm hoping Christina, our photog, got some good shots of her without the "I just woke up" grump face. 

Matcha Tea
I jumped on the matcha tea train! Toot Toot! I've been putting a 1/2 - 1 tsp of matcha tea powder into my lattes. I've also looked up some intriguing recipes to make with matcha. It seems I have these weird addictions to gross tasting drinks. It all started with Kombucha. I wouldn't say kombucha is gross but I also wouldn't tell someone "It's soooo good!" either. Samsies with matcha. I bought a Matcha Latte drink from Fresh Market yesterday to compare it to what I've been making at home. Verdict: Mine is better.

F21 Workout Pants

I always ask for workout clothes for Christmas from the husband because that's when I'll get the expensive stuff. I don't know if you know, but a pair of Nike workout pants can put you in the hole $60-$80. Insane! So when I see cute, inexpensive workout clothes I jack. 

Flex Friday!
I adore Nelpe's "flex" face!

Around the web:

Limited Too is coming back!!! Bring on the fluffy pens and blow up furniture! I can only hope my kids will be equally excited about this store as I was growing up. 

Yesterday was National Hot Dog day! Did you celebrate? Sadly, I didn't...BUT I sure want to enjoy some of these places soon!

Tomorrow we adventure over to Fort De Soto for our first triathlon! Is it funny that I'm only nervous for the swimming part? And the only thing that I'm nervous about is having to swim in the ocean. I think I should be nervous about the transitioning parts (swim to bike - bike to run) or that half the running portion is in the sand...but I'm not. I HATE swimming in the ocean. Sooo..this should be fun! 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you Monday or follow me on Instagram to get a first look at our triathlon! 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cooking Vegan: Creamy Tarragon Sauce

If you read the blog (Hi readers!) or follow on Instagram (Check me out!), you know about al2getherFIT celebrating Meatless Monday. 

In preparation for this new weekly celebration, I purchased a vegan cookbook for some inspiration. Not just any cookbook, a cookbook filled with  "amazingly, easy, wildly delicious vegan recipes for every day of the week!" 

Side Note: I LOVE cookbooks so much more than finding a recipe on Pinterest. It's nice to have the actual book in front of you and not needing to unlock your phone every 2 minutes, with doughy fingers, when the screen goes black. Am.I.Right?

When the book first arrived, I was so excited flipping though the gorgeous pages of food. 

Then I wondered how many things would actually get cooked from this cookbook. The sad truth...

I've cooked vegan before, but simple things. Think salads, soups, stirfrys, and some pastries. I consider myself "intermediate" on the vegan cooking scale.

That little piece of intermediate confidence slowly died on Monday.

I picked a recipe, and started cooking it around 2 p.m. 

Side note #2:
When I'm cooking dinner, I usually try and prep everything possible before heading to the gym when Angelo gets home. Some days I'll have the meal fully prepared so we just need to heat it up, OR on other days we use that glorious tool called the crock pot and dinner is served almost immediately upon entering the house. Do what works!

The Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi
I picked this recipe because I'm a gnocchi fan, and I've never made homemade gnocchi before so I sought out the challenge.

Everything was going smoothly until I tried handling the dough. I must of used too many sweet potatoes, and not enough corn starch or something because no matter how much flour I added to the dough, it NEVER got manageable. It never got to the point where it would roll into balls of any sort. It just clumped and stuck to my hands like a thick glue. Isn't that weird? I'm still so confused about it. 

My "gnocchi" ended up having WAY too much flour, shapeless, and more like dumplings. I was totally discouraged at this point and actually thought about throwing everything away. I thought "If I can't get this part of the recipe right, I'm probably not going to get the 2nd half right either."

I put my gnocchi/dumplings in the fridge and headed to the gym. 

Back from the gym, with all ingredients already bought to do the second half of the recipe, I sucked it up and started cooking the Brussel sprouts and sauce for the dumplings....and I'm SO glad I did. Although I adapted this part to what I knew would work for me (since the 1st part went horribly wrong), it still turned out amazing, with the whole table raving about it! 

This sauce is absolutely delicious! It's a creamy tarragon sauce, and I have to admit I was also hesitate because I've never cooked with tarragon before. Would I even like it? (Such negative vibes spewing out of my during this process!) Verdict: I loved it and I want to cook all the things with tarragon (until my supply runs out).

Next time I will use more brussel sprouts and serve the brussel sprouts with the sauce as a side dish. I think any veggie would be fabulous in this sauce; broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or zucchini! Maybe I'm just giving my gnocchi/dumplings the stank face, but I probably won't be making any more attempts at them. 

On to the good good....

Vegan Creamy Tarragon Sauce

What you’ll need:
½  cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, then drained
1 ½  cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. EVOO, divided
1 lb. bag of Brussel sprouts, washed, and halved
1 medium yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup dry white cooking wine
½  tsp salt
¼  cup tarragon leaves, loosely packed

What you do:
Place cashews and vegetable broth in blender. Blend until smooth, this will take about 2-5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium high heat.
Put in Brussel sprouts and season lightly with salt. Let cook, stirring frequently until caramelized, 5-8 minutes.
Add ¼ cup water and cover to steam, about 2 minutes.
Transfer Brussel sprouts to large bowl and let sit.
In same skillet, add 1 tbsp. EVOO and sauté the onion and sliced garlic until both golden brown.
Add the wine and salt. Stir to combine.Let simmer at a lower heat for 5 minutes to reduce wine by about half.
Pour in cashew mixture and tarragon leaves. Cook and let thicken for 3-5 minutes.
Add in Brussel sprouts and toss to coat.


**This recipe was adapted from the vegan cookbook, Isa Does It. I purchased Isa Does It on HERE