11.30.2015

Post Thanksgiving Calorie Scorching Workout

Well, if you read yesterday's post you know when I say that I can't button my pants I really mean, I can't button my pants. If you also read yesterday's post you would know that here in a few short days I'll be bathing suit clad and yikes. Seriously, yikes.

In order to feel a teeny tiny bit better about myself I decided to put together a quick [yet killer] workout that will make the potatoes and pie sweat right out of those pores. Because I like workouts that I can do virtually anywhere and that require virtually nothing I put together this no equipment needed cardio calorie blasting workout. The great thing is it's up to you how little or much you want to do depending on how many rounds you repeat it. If you're anything like me, the first few times a one and done is satisfactory enough.

Without further ado, I present to you the post Thanksgiving Calorie Scorching workout.....

While most of the items listed above are pretty self explanatory, I assume that not everybody may know what all are. Lets start with the mountain climbers -
To do these suckers [truly, they suck] - get into the high plank position [think push-up] and either run or step each leg in like you see above. Count one for every set of two that you do.
Bicycle crunches are another that may not be as familiar to some of you - these sometimes make me want to vomit so that's fun, but they are definitely worth it. Or something. Lay flat on your back, hands behind your head, legs out and bring one elbow to the opposite knee. Cross over [pedal almost as if on a bike] and count one for each set of two that you do.

Burpees are the last that you may wonder about and while I did record a video of me doing them, the heart pounding breathing that was taking place I decided was slightly embarrassing so instead, I'll leave you with this link on how to do them.

As you can see, a lot of the moves require jumping because plyometrics and the like are insanely awesome ways to blast calories. What aren't so great about these moves however is what they may make some of us ladies do pee a little. Yes I just said that because yes it's true. I know only because it happens to me and also because I just heard a hilarious story about a friend of mine's daughter telling people that her mommy needs to go through potty training again. ish happens, it's okay.

For those of you who have the same jumpy/sneezing/coughing/laughing/exercising issues like myself and blessed friends, you are in luck. Recently Poise Impressa Bladder Supports were released and BAM, just like that freedom is back.

I found mine at Walmart and while you may remember me mentioning them here I can share a little bit about how they work again. These babies look just like a tampon, however act a little different. All you have to do is choose your size [totally not based on your actual "down there" size but rather on how much support you need - start with level 1 and if that doesn't do the trick try moving up to 2 or 3], insert it just like you would other feminine products and then allow it work its magic which means it will stop the flow of leakage coming from your urethra and allow you to do a happy dance or jump with no squirts! Rejoice! Because you may suffer from this problem yourself [we unite!] and have a few questions [I did] about how these work you can read all of the FAQs here.  
It's time to get up and get down - over and over and over again until the sweat drips and worry of leakage disappears thanks to Poise Impressa. What's one workout move that you always turn to in times of desperation? I need everything I can get.
Thank you to Poise Impressa for sponsoring this post - while I was compensated for the writing of this, all facts about my peeing problems are 100% accurate and embarrassing.


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11.29.2015

I THINK I JUST ATE 7 POUNDS OF POTATOES.

 
So I get that you think my title is an exaggeration because who would really eat 7 pounds of potatoes but friends, I'm here to declare my gluttony for carbs. I haven't stopped since last Sunday and it just keeps on going. Every day I wake up and I tell myself "Erin, you will not eat mashed potatoes for breakfast today.." and then what do I do? I go to the fridge, open it up to scan my options and I think "OH MY GOSH! MASHED POTATOES!" and like an American who was just given a fortune cookie for free [totally happened to me this week and it was amazing] I shovel it all into my face and then I delight in laughter followed by a nap. It's a beautiful thing this whole not being able to button my pants cycle I'm on #foreverinleggings. Fortunately my next post is going to consist of a calorie scorching workout because balance people, but holy balls - I'm full. I can't figure out why.
 

Well I guess I may have a slight idea.

The good news is that I will be in a bikini in just a few short days and the horrible news is that I will be in a bikini in a few short days. I'm totally declaring the tunic the new tankini, it's going to be a thing just wait.

Anyways, back to our Thanksgiving. We were fortunate enough to spend the past week with all of the ones we love the most - liquor, beer and wine.

And family. I must not forget about them either. Between hosting my side at our house [and catching the stove on fire, another story for another day], hitting up Cracker Barrel on Thanksgiving Day [because we are 83 you must not forget] and traveling to my brother-in-law and sister-in-laws today for yet another amazing meal, we were able to laugh, sing, dance, play games and look for lost chewed up gum in all of our living room rugs and couches. Fortunately it was found - on my butt, on my pleather leggings. Phew. This whole clan we've got here, I wouldn't trade em' for the world. Gum butts and all.


One highlight I would especially like to remember from this year's Thanksgiving was when we were playing Ellen's Heads Up game and my five year old niece was the one guessing the clues. The word wine appeared on her forehead and within seconds of the crowd yelling "GRANDPA DRINKS THIS! IT'S FOR ADULTS ONLY!" she proudly proclaimed "WINE!".

Atta girl.

She then proceeded to nail the word Plum so basically my related down line are freaking geniuses [thanks to me obviously].


Despite the extra weight I'm now carrying around, it has been a great week and one that has me absolutely not wanting to return back to reality anytime soon. I'll leave you with an unfocused photo of Shawn and I because well, because it's all I got. Pass the potatoes please.

 

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11.26.2015

The First Snow [And Other Need To Know Info]


Well, it's official - winter finally made its grand debut in Indiana last weekend by dumping over 6 inches of snow on us in one day. As much as I always say I would love to live in Southern California, this whole snow business has a special place in my heart that almost makes me more giddy than a sunny 75 degree day spent on a boat. It's like us Midwesterner's are given a six month excuse to do nothing but wear slippers, drink coffee and lay on the couch. Southern California peeps are expected to do really awesome things twelve months out of every year. Talk about exhausting those poor things, my condolences are with you.

When I woke up last Saturday morning I knew it was going to be one of those winter days I was going to get real dramatic about as I looked out the windows and saw nothing but white....


I did exactly what I knew I needed to do in this moment. 



And there I stayed, forever and ever amen. 


I take that back. Somewhere in between the busyness of doing nothing I decided to peel 5 pounds of potatoes because I wasn't feeling quite old or wife-ish enough. This certainly did the domestic trick.


I get that oceans are pretty and all, but this -- well, it's sometimes breathtaking. Mad props Indiana.


In other, non-bragging winter news, Friday happens to be a day that people shop or so I'm told. In the midst of my decorating for Christmas spree, I also got my hands on these original Language Art pieces [made by my very first boyfriend's mother..awwwwww]. I've had several of their pieces in my house before but some of their new collections are my absolute favorite. In the spirit of sharing good deals, I thought I'd let you know that Language Art is offering free shipping from now until the end of the day Monday. These make for awesome gifts, I know this because my mom walked in my house and said "hey, I want that clock" and then proceeded to take my clock.


The cool thing about this bad boy is that the background is a photograph of the side of an old fishing boat in Alaska, while all of the numbers are photographs [of numbers] taken from places all over the place. 

Below I'm representin' my great state with the HOME sign [this can be hung on the wall or sit in a stand] - the state photo is a photograph of a vintage puzzle piece so that's neat [available in most states].


Last but not least, the cuties of the group - these colorful tiles sitting pretty in their little stand. You can form virtually any word that you want and make for great pieces for desks, tables, or anywhere else you need a word [so everywhere]. 


Get your gift on at Language Art now and scratch those "need to buy for" people off your list. It's a freeing feeling, the singing Elsa doll sitting on my counter tells me so. God bless parents of children who only want singing dolls for Christmas. the end.

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11.25.2015

Make: Mini Apple Cheesecakes With Salted Caramel Streusel Topping


It all happened a few weeks ago when we were invited over to my parents for dinner. I was instructed that I was in charge of bringing a salad so I did what any normal human would do - I made a taco dip for chips and dessert. Basically the same thing as a salad so whatever. After scouring Pinterest I found the dessert that I knew I had to make. I'm not sure if it was the word apple, or caramel, or perhaps streusel that made me excited [heck after reading those words it could have ended with "pile of bricks" and I'd be sold] but whatever it was, I knew I had to make it. Baking and sweets usually aren't my thing, I prefer wine and beer and things of that nature, but this dessert was a success and one I'm excited to make again. While the list of ingredients looks long and daunting, I promise it's not as hard as it looks. If I can do it, your two year old can do it. This is a perfect fall [or psssst - Thanksgiving treat for all of you last minute planners!] that all age ranges will enjoy. Lets get down to the real reason we're here today - the recipe. 

Mini Apple Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Streusel Topping

Ingredients: 

Crust:
 10 graham cracker sheets, finely crushed
1 2/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Streusel: 
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

Filling: 
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb granny smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice

Topping: 
Salted Caramel Sauce (store bought)

Directions: 

Crust: 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the crushed graham crackers, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and using a fork, stir until evenly moistened. Divide the mixture between 18 cupcake liners. Press into an even layer and then bake in oven for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool while making the streusel. 

Streusel: 
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add in the diced cold butter and using your fingertips rub the butter into the mixture until it starts to crumble and the butter is no longer visible. Place in the refrigerator while preparing the filling. 

Filling: 
In a bowl, toss the chopped apples with lemon juice and set aside. Just a quick note on the apples - I used about 3 granny smith apples and you want to make sure to have the apples in very small pieces to ensure they cook thoroughly. I used a chopper to get mine small and even. 

In a mixing bowl use an electric mixer on medium-low speed to cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time then blend in the sour cream and vanilla. 

Assembly time! 

Divide the cheesecake batter evenly among the 18 cups and pour over the crust. Divide the apples evenly over the cheesecake layer then finish by sprinkling the streusel over the tops. Bake in over for around 25 minutes and cool at room temp for around 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 3 hours. 
Before serving, drizzle all cheesecakes with salted caramel topping. Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor! 

Recipe Inspired By: Cooking Classy

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving stuffing your face with all sorts of goodness while having awkward conversations with those you love the most :)

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11.24.2015

5 Quick [And Chemical Free] Ways To A Cleaner Home!




If you know me at all personally and have been to my house, you may say that I am a little anal when it comes to the cleanliness of my home. This was proven just last week as I had a house full of women over along with a few small children - the kids were doing what they do best [eating cookies on the couch] and as I saw crumbs falling everywhere, I quickly got out the vacuum and started sweeping while everybody else was trying to enjoy one another's company. I think they laughed at the fact [and maybe thought I was an idiot] that I was vacuuming while they were there trying to chat however, ain't nobody got time for a couch full of crumbs. Unfortunately this cleaning incident has happened smack dab in the middle of one too many hosting occasions. #sorrynotsorry.

I'm pretty sure my husband doesn't know if he should love this character trait about me or despise it terribly. He often tries to remind me that "it's okay, we can live in the house.." to which I quickly remind him "well that's fine, just live cleanly in this house so please, use this paper towel immediately to wipe up that coffee ring you just left on the counter.." Really, I am a peach to live with.

While I am very particular about having a clean home, I am also very particular on not spending a massive amount of time or chemicals to get my house this way. In fact, the only place that chemicals are used in our house are in the bathroom where toilets and showers are involved because yikes, I know what happens on toilets and in showers and kill that shaz immediately. Besides that however, no dust sprays, no window cleaners, no wood floor cleaner, no nothin'. Today I thought it'd be fun to show you how I clean up the most frustrating areas of my house in no time at all.

1. Lets start with the most time consuming area of the house, the floors. While I love our hardwood floors, the dark wood loves to show every.single.thing all.of.the.time. Because of this, I find myself sweeping constantly [because Lord knows we can't have one piece of dust floating around in a corner ;)]. Just recently I was introduced to the Hoover Cordless Vacuum and OH.MY.WORD. this thing is life changing and yes, I know I am seriously adulting right now over it. I wish I could appropriately confess my love for this piece of cleaning technology in this one blog post but I just don't think my words will ever do it justice. You guys, it's cordless. You know what this means right? No plugging in anything. No dragging anything behind you. No getting that freaking cord stuck under the bar stool tipping it over denting your lovely hardwood floors. The better part to this story? It is made for both hard surface floors and carpet, meaning I can cover every square inch of my house without having to change what I am using. It's the most genius invention I've ever experienced.


I am using the Hoover Air Cordless Lift Upright Vacuum in our house and well, I haven't even told you one of the coolest parts about it yet [building the suspense, you know]. The Lift part of the name you ask? Let me tell you -- you can lift the canister right out of the base of this thing and then carry it all around your house (or shoot to your car or to your boat or to wherever you may need to) and suck some things up. Being the couch sweeper that I am, this is perfect for being able to easily do just that. 



A few other things to note about this bad boy - the Hoover Cordless Vacuums are powered by LithiumLife batteries which have double the capacity of a standard lithium Ion battery which means it will run much longer [I have cleaned my entire house several times before needing a charge] and at a much higher power.


The Hoover cordless line currently has 4 different cordless cleaners - 3 are vacuums and one is a hard floor wet cleaner, all of which use the same battery meaning you can interchange between products. 



So you're asking - does it really clean up floors well? Why yes, yes it does. The windtunnel 3 technology uses three channels of suction to lift and remove dirt quickly and easily. There is a button you push depending on what type of floors you are on which will change the roll of the brush. My favorite part? It is so flexible, it clearly was in gymnastics as a child. I can get this baby under nearly everything and it turns on a dime. 


Clean up is a breeze and oh friends, you need to ask for the Hoover Air Cordless Lift Upright Vacuum for Christmas like yesterday. End of story.
 

2. Next up, the most commonly ignored thing to clean [or at least in my house] - windows. My mom is a window nazi, she cleans hers several times a week, both inside and out. I prefer to stick to the twice a year routine. Because I am trying to do better about this, I have found a way to do it quickly and easily. All I use is water [no smelly vinegar or funky other items] and a microfiber cloth. I get that microfiber cloth wet, swirl in circles and then dry it off with a polishing cloth - toss em' both in the washing machine when I'm done and wa-la, clean windows! I can now wash windows in a matter of minutes and the fact that it's just with water, perfection!



3. The problem area, microwave. This is a tip I learned from a friend and it's this - to clean the inside of your microwave, simply microwave a cup full of water for a minute or two to steam the inside. Once you have done this, simply take a rag and wipe. All of that hard crusty stuck on pizza sauce will come off in one swipe making your job easy as can be. And bonus! You didn't have to spray any chemicals that would later get cooked in with your food!
before 
after

4. The nitty gritty, grout. Just recently I learned what a difference a little lemon oil can make on this problem area. All you need is a few drops [feel free to dilute with some water] and start scrubbing. Our grout has never looked more white after we get some lemon oil on it. As an added plus, your floors will have never smelled better either! The good news is you can go ahead and lick em' - it's all natural! Go ahead, I won't tell anybody.


5. Dust here, dust there, dust everywhere. Again, I turn to microfiber to make all of my easy cleaning dreams come true. No sprays are necessary as the fibers trap and capture the dust particles leaving them non-existent in your home. Simply wipe the microfiber [can either be a cloth or wand like pictured below] over all areas and dust be gone! No more sticky residue left all over your side tables and cute vases.


And there we have 5 cleaning hacks that are worth your time [or lack thereof]! What's one cleaning tip/trick you have? I'd love to hear it below! 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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