Things I’m Loving Lately: April/May 2013 Edition

I’ve seen a lot of new subscribes to the blog in the last month or so.  If you are a new reader, welcome to my little community.  I hope you will stay for a while, as I love sharing my life and love of food and fitness with all of you!  For you newbies, every month or two I post about some things I’m loving lately, and today seems like a good day to share with you what I haven’t been able to get enough of so far this spring.

Favorite ThingsBarley on salads
It’s kind of hidden beneath all the fruit in this picture, but I seriously am loving the combination of barley on greens lately.  Does anyone else like this combo?  It gives my salads that little extra to keep them from being too boring, and it fills me up.

Barley fruit salad

My new flats
I rarely wear heels anymore (not worth it to my poor bunion), so anytime I can find a pair of comfortable AND cute flats, I’m all for it.  Marshall’s FTW (for the win).  Plus, they are blue.  I’m really branching out.

Flats from Marshalls

Larabar ALT bars
This week I got an unexpected delivery to my doorstep:  the new alternative protein bars by Larabar!
  Larabars are one of my go to choices when it comes to a bar, and they just came out with their first ever bar with added protein.  A lot of other bars use soy or whey protein, but Larabar chose to use an alternative protein source instead, peas!  These are also vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, and non-GMO.  Thank you, Larabar, for my yummy new treats!

Larabar ALT

Jumping rope
You’ve probably seen me mention this in some of my workout posts lately, but I am seriously loving jumping rope (with an actual rope) for cardio workouts.  It’s tough and a calorie torcher!  I’m so glad we have the new ropes at the Y to use in classes.

15 minute jump rope & ab circuit

Thera-Roll textured foam roller
And finally, my latest favorite foam roller.  There are so many different types of foam rollers out there, but this baby is my latest find.  The Thera-Roll is small enough to pack into a bag and carry around, and I’ve used it at work under my desk to roll under the arches of my feet.  Hurts so good!

Thera Roll

What have you guys been loving lately?  Please share!

Things I’m Loving Lately: March 2013 Edition

Happy Friday, all!  Thought it would be fun to wrap up the week with my March “Things I’m Loving Lately” post.

Favorite Things

Pomegranate White Tea
This tea from Trader Joe’s is my new favorite.  It’s made with organic white tea leaves, hibiscus flowers, and lemongrass and it’s so yummy
.  I’ve been drinking it around 3pm at work for a little afternoon treat.

Trader Joe's Pomegranate White Tea

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
Can’t take credit for these, but these burgers have been part of our Sunday food prep for a few weeks now.  You can find the recipe here over at The Lean Green Bean!  Great vegetarian option, and awesome flavor.  There’s feta in them, obviously.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Single Leg Mountain Climbers
New favorite plyo type move, thanks to Liz’s sweet find in a magazine last week!  Start in a straight-arm plank and pull your right knee in toward your chest, keeping the left leg extended.  Keeping the right knee tucked in, jump your left leg forward then jump it back to full plank position.  Basically you keep hopping in and out with the same leg instead of switching.  You could also do this move like we did in class on Tuesday night, pulling the knee in and back while doing mini hops with the other foot that’s on the ground.  Either way!

Single Leg Mountain Climbers

Food Network Magazine
It’s still thrilling to get snail mail, people.  Especially when fun recipes are involved!  Was psyched when this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine arrived at the front door.

Food Network Magazine

New Bistro Set
Even though the Boston weather has prevented us from enjoying our new table and chairs for the back porch, I’m still loving it every time I walk by it just hanging out in the dining room.  I can’t wait to eat dinner OUTSIDE once it warms up a bit!  C’mon, snow – melt please!  For anyone looking for an outdoor bistro set, Christmas Tree Shops has some cute ones for around $60 each (thanks Shannon for the heads up on this).  Can’t beat that!

Christmas Tree Shops Bistro Set

Note:  Not my porch and not our set, but the only picture I could find online.  [Source]

What are some things you’ve been loving in March?

Have a great weekend everybody, and make sure to stay tuned for details about my April Arms Challenge early next week!

Things I’m Loving Lately: February 2013 Edition

How’s everyone’s Thursday going?  I had another busy day at work today, but I started the day off right by teaching my 6am class.  I probably sound like a broken record with this, but I just love that class and everyone in it.  The dedication is just contagious!  I taught another Best Body Bootcamp workout, and this one had a lower body focus that left me sweaty and shaky.

Speaking of Best Body Bootcamp, Tina (the mastermind behind BBB) started a new series on her blog called “Bootcamper of the Week.”  And guess who was featured as this week’s bootcamper?!  That’s right!  Make sure to click on over and check it out.  I had a lot of fun sharing my story there.  Thanks for featuring me, Tina!

I wanted to wrap up my February blog posts by sharing some things I’ve been loving this month.  Here goes!

Favorite Things

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds
I would say I shop at Trader Joe’s about once a month.  I absolutely love it there, but I can’t shop there weekly because there are just too many random “cool looking foods” that I would walk out of the store with and end up spending more money than really necessary.  The main things I buy at Trader Joe’s are almond butter, quinoa, Luna/Clif bars, and a few other staples.  One of my favorite treats to get there; however, are these dark chocolate almond bites.  Tim stopped by Trader Joe’s recently to pick up some quinoa for us, and he brought these home.  Way to my heart, boyfriend, way to my heart.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almond Bits

My New Soda Stream
More props for Tim!  For Valentine’s Day, he bought me a Soda Stream.  First of all, I am just so psyched to have seltzer at my disposal at any moment I want it.  Second of all, have you guys ever used one of these before?  It makes the most hilarious duck-like quacking sound to let you know the water has carbonated.  I giggle like a little kid every single time it quacks.  I love this thing!

Soda Stream

Sunday Food Prep
I’ve always been pretty good about prepping food ahead of time, but this month I have totally been rocking my Sunday food preparation.  And I must say, it’s really helping with my time management.  It does take an hour or two on Sunday nights, but it’s so worth it to have those extra hours of downtime during the week.

Sunday Food Preparation

This Workout Playlist
These jams have proooooobably been overplayed for a few too many weeks in my classes now, but I really just love this playlist.  I did a home workout the other week, and my warmup was literally dancing around my house to the New Kids song.  For all 3 minutes and 17 seconds.  Tim barely even had a reaction.  Whatever.  Y class members, I promise to switch up my music next week.  I swear.  Maybe.

February Playlist

New Contacts
A little random, but at the beginning of the year my eye doctor (my Uncle Chris!) switched up my contacts.  I used to have a prescription that required me to wear my contacts for 2-3 weeks at a time, and I found that my eyes were always dry, irritated, or I’d have some random awkward eye ailment happen to me.  Now I’m wearing these dailies (1-Day Acuvue Moist), and my eyes can definitely feel the difference.  Or maybe I should say not feel?  No more irritation and eye rubbing, and I get to just throw them away every night!  Amazing.

Acuvue Moist

What things have you been loving lately? 

We’re almost at Friday, friends – hang in there!