10 Tunes to get you moving!

I’m one of those people who cannot exercise without music.  I am always looking for new motivational melodies and I thought in the meantime, to help get you motivated this Monday, I would give you a little list to get started with.

Here are 10 songs from my workout playlist that help get me through my running and strength training sessions!

  1. Pon de Replay – Rihanna
  2. Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
  3. Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO
  4. Scream and Shout – Will.i.am, Britney Spears
  5. Get Right – Jennifer Lopez
  6. Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis
  7. Salute Your Salution – The Raconteurs
  8. Ain’t No Other Man – Christina Aguilera
  9. I’m Shakin’ – Jack White
  10. Animal – Neon Trees

Here’s a link to this weeks playlist on Spotify:

♫ 10 Tunes to get you moving  http://spoti.fi/JrrWbG 

I’ll give you more next week.  In the meantime… send me your favorite workout tunes!

My taste in music

BEST. EYELINER. EVER!

No, seriously!

This stuff is great and the stuff I speak of is Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liner in Metallic Marble!

smashbox waterproof shadow liner in metallic marble

It’s $22 and it’s worth every dollar!  It looks brown in the picture, but this eyeliner is actually a very pretty glimmery gold looking eyeliner that looks great on everyone!

Trust me!!  You need to run out to Ulta right now and get what will quickly become your favorite eyeliner ever!

You will thank me later, but you will thank me even sooner if you get to Ulta before December 24th because you will also receive a free .25 fl oz Photo Finish foundation primer and .17 oz Photo Op Eye Brightening mascara with your purchase.

In case you are wondering, I have not been asked by anyone to promote Smashbox or Ulta.  I just happen to be a big fan of both and wanted to share one of my favorite things with the rest of you!

PRE- New Years Resolutions!!

I don’t know about you but 2013 has really flown by so fast for me!  I’m trying to remember some of the events of the year and it’s all a huge blur!

With that being said, there are only 21 days left until 2014!

I get very excited about fresh starts and it’s one reason that I’m not a hater of Mondays (NEW WEEK!) and what a better time to make some new starts than a brand new year!

This year I would like to get a jump-start on some of those goals.  If I start thinking NOW about some of the goals I would like to achieve in the new year, I have 21 days to really plan and work things out before the big day comes!

One big goal I would like to address today is WRITING!  I would love to give blogging more attention.  I’ve been blogging on and off since 2005 (Oh, if only I had stuck with it and not deleted my old blogs!) and it’s one thing I keep coming back to.  I love the idea of having my own little piece of the web to talk about all the things I love!

Now I’ll admit, my goal for blogging in 2014 is pretty ambitious, especially considering how crazy busy my schedule is and that I have hardly blogged at all in the last couple of years but here it is:

My blogging goal for 2014 is to BLOG EVERY DAY!!!

I know! Crazy!

But it’s a challenge that excites me, so why not?

I acknowledge that at the beginning, not every post will be interesting (if any of them are) but the hope is that by writing everyday, I will get better!!

Genius is not the realm of genetics.  Genius is the realm of practice. - Robin Sharma

I have other general resolutions like everyone else regarding things such as fitness and getting organized, but I will address those goals and plans in future posts.

HEY!  I need to leave something to write about if I’m going to be writing every day!

So who’s with me??? How about getting a jump start on your New Years Resolutions 21 days early!

Let me know what your 2014 goals are in the comments below!  I could use some added inspiration myself!

Are you using these apps yet?

Do you recognize these two logos???

Evernoteloseit.com

Well, they just so happen to represent two  apps I downloaded this week and I’m really excited about them!

Evernote

The first is Evernote.  I have heard about them for a while but this weekend I was reading one of my favorite organizing blogs and I decided to take her advice and check out Evernote. Now I’m wondering, “Why didn’t I get this app sooner?”

I love technology and helpful apps but in a lot of ways, I still prefer writing things such as to do lists and shopping lists on paper!  One big problem with paper lists for me is that I have a darling little girl who likes to steal my notebooks to draw in and once she get’s her hands on them, I usually lose my lists and start again in a new notebook, only to have the process start over again, and again and… well you get the point.

I have only been using Evernote for two days but so far I have 4 notebooks:

  • Check it out:  Things I want to look up when I have more time.
  • To Do
  • Shopping list
  • Writing Ideas

I always have my phone with me so I always have my lists with me to either refer to or to add to.

I also downloaded Evernote to my desktop computer and have it set up to automatically sync.

Evernote really seems like it will truly be a useful productivity tool for me! There are no distractions on it such as on Pinterest or Instagram.  Don’t get me wrong! I love those apps but I love them a little too much and the goal here is for me to make better use of my time!!

Evernote has other tools and one I’m looking forward to trying is Evernote Food which I can use to download recipes or keep a list of restaurants or recipes I want to try.

Loseit.com

The other app I want to tell you about is called LOSEIT.com.  I found it when I was looking around on Pinterest for weight loss ideas.

Again I just started using LoseIt this morning but so far it seems pretty easy and straight forward and I am hopeful it is a tool that will really help me reach my fitness goals.

I signed up and answered a couple of questions about my weight and height and age and how much I wanted to lose and it gave me a goal date and told me how many calories I need to stay within. I also found a two week wellness challenge on it that starts today and I joined!  So far today I burned 700 calories at the gym and have logged about 400 calories for breakfast and pre-workout snack.

I’m not good at counting calories at all and have always resisted it but I have also read how helpful it is to keep track of what you eat.  I can already see how this will make me more conscientious about decisions I make!   Writing down what I’m eating is a  good reminder that it’s not true that what I eat on the weekends doesn’t count!! The program tells me I should reach my goal by March 10th!  That’s less than 5 months away!!! I’m very motivated and hopeful!

Again, since I always have my phone with me, keeping track of my food and excercise should be a lot more convenient!

So there you have it! Two free apps that I really believe will help me reach my productivity and fitness goals!

apps

Have you tried these apps? Do you have any tips or tricks about them you would like to share?  If you haven’t, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Quinoa! Where to get it cheap!

Quinoa!

You’ve most likely heard of it by now.  It’s been gaining popularity in the United States in the last couple of years for a lot of reasons.

Among the reasons, this grain-like seed is gluten-free, it’s full of protein, it’s extremely versatile, and most importantly, it’s delicious!

I find myself encouraging my friends who want to eat healthier to add quinoa to thier diet!  

One of my favorite quinoa recipes is BREAKFAST QUINOA!

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It’s so simple to make and takes just about 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan add:

1 c water

1 c almond milk

1 c rinsed plain quinoa (white, red, or tri-color)

Put all three ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until it starts boiling.  Reduce to a simmer and cover for about 10 minutes.  The water should be absorbed. (If not, simmer it a little longer.)

This makes about 2 portions.  You can add anything to it, cranberries, apples and cinnamon, but as you see in the picture above, my favorite way to eat breakfast quinoa is with a sliced up banana and pecans.

It’s so much better than oatmeal.  I think it’s perfectly sweet and tasty just like that, but you can add a dash of pure maple syrup if you really need it to be sweeter.

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So as I’ve been telling my friends about how awesome quinoa is and how they really need to try it, I keep hearing the same complaint!

“Why is it so expensive???? ” 

So I decided to do a little research!

At Walmart, a 12 oz box of quinoa ranges from $5.54 to $6.48:IMAG0001

I also found it at my favorite local grocery store (Heinens) for $6.99 for a 12 oz box.

I didn’t even bother to look at Giant Eagle… they always put a heavy up-charge on anything healthy!

Discount grocery stores like Aldi’s (or Marc’s if you live in the Cleveland area) don’t carry it, well, at least not recently at the stores near me.

I guess I was surprised to hear how expensive quinoa was at these stores because I always buy quinoa from Trader Joes!  

20131017_102814

Traders Joes has the BEST price on quinoa yet!

16 ounces of organic red, white or tri-color quinoa for only $3.99!

I also looked on Amazon and Ebay and I could not find anything that came even close!  In fact, on Ebay, most people are trying to sell Trader Joes quinoa for around $12 a pound!  That’s crazy! Don’t do it!!

So there you have it!  The winner is Trader Joes for the best price, and in my opinion, the tastiest quinoa of all the brands that I have tried.

I hope you have a Trader Joes close to you.  Mine is a 45 minute drive but it’s so worth it for things like this!

Want another awesome recipe???? TRUST ME! You do!

It’s Black bean, sweet potato and red quinoa soup from Oh She Glows!!

black-bean-and-sweet-potato-soup-8161

Picture and recipe by Oh She Glows ohsheglows.com

It’s vegan and gluten free and it’s amazing! I’m serious!  I could literally eat this soup morning, noon and night for the rest of my life, it’s THAT good!  It’s extra delicious if you top it with homemade salsa and diced avocado!

I also have some other recipes that I want to try on my Pinterest page.

If you have time to google other questions about quinoa, such as where it comes from or why we are only just hearing about it more here in the states, it’s a very interesting read, well, at least for food nerds like me!

Here’s a good article from the Washing post on why quinoa isn’t yet taking over the world!  (hint: it has a lot to do with the same problem my friends have complained about!)

Do you have any other tips on saving money on quinoa or do you have any tried and true quinoa recipes?  Please share them in the comments below!

PS: I was not asked by anyone to promote quinoa or any brands of quinoa.  I just love it and wanted to share my findings and opinions with you! Hope it helps!

Drinking my coffee black!

Drinking coffee without cream or sugar… this may not seem like a big deal to you but let me tell you… It is a HUGE deal for me!

Coffee has never been something that I have looked to for staying awake.

Instead, there’s just something about a morning cup of coffee that is incredibly comforting.

The problem is that my preferred cuppa-joe, has about a quarter cup of flavored non-dairy creamer in it!  NO! I have never actually measured it.  I can tell when my husband exlaims, “WOW!!!”  that I am pouring an excessive amount of the liquid chemical calories into my mug!  Why? Because while I love the smell of my morning comfort call, I’m not usually so crazy about the taste alone.  I’ve been asked by friends if I drink a little coffee in my cream!

I’ve realized for quite some time that I really need to curb this morning ritual.  I’ve tried hot tea, but if I try to drink any kind of tea first thing in the morning, I literally get sick to my stomach.  (I must note, however that a friend told me to try real tea leaves sometime to see if it has the same effect.  She explained that tea bags use the … in her words “garbage leftovers”. I’ll try it one of these days, but I digress…)

I’ve tried to drink coffee black. I only can do this in nicer restaurants that have some kind of secret delicious coffee!  I have never been able to make coffee at home that I could drink without changing the flavor first.  I have tried many times to just quit coffee… the old “all or nothing” decision strikes again!

I was currently on another attempted “coffee strike” when I received an invitation from BzzAgent.  I was sent  an invitation to try Green Mountain Fair Trade Certified coffee.  Well, who am I to turn down a Bzz Campaign?  I quickly accepted and here is what I received: IMAG0006

BzzAgent sent me 6 free K-cups of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Three Continent Blend.

The description on the box is this: “Three different continents come together in this harmonious, Extra Bold blend.  Sumatran beans lay down the bass notes with lush, hearty body; South American occupies the mid-range with sweet smoothness and balanced fruity notes; the delicate floral finish is unmistakably Ethiopian.”

I decided to try it yesterday. The only reason I was on a coffee-strike anyway was because I’m really trying to ban sugar and chemicals from my diet.  Besides…  it was a perfect day to have coffee! It was a little chilly outside and I had been up since 2:30 am, gone to the gym for an intense workout at 5 am, and had a long day ahead of me.   If I was really going to taste this coffee, I had to try it black!

I was so happily surprised! The flavor was so good!  The description on the box was very accurate!  I couldn’t put it better.  There was no bitterness at all, which I think is the reason I typically cannot drink coffee without adding anything to it.  I happily finished the mug and I had another enjoyable cup today!

To me, this is the answer to all my coffee problems! I will definitely purchase this coffee again and I also highly recommend that you try it yourself!  Please let me know in the comments if you would like a code to receive $2 off your online purchase.  As you see in the picture, BzzAgent also sent me several coupon codes to receive a Keurig coffee maker for 50% off.  Let me know if you would like that code as well!

This does not only solve my coffee “problems”.  Buying Fair Trade coffee helps others as well!  Buying Fair Trade coffee helps ensure that coffee farmers receive a fair price for their beans which means a better cup of coffee for me, and a better life for the coffee farmers!

Find out how and even more about Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee, by visiting ChooseFairTrade.com .

To learn more about BzzAgent, visit BzzAgent.com.

*Please note that BzzAgent did send me free samples of the Green Mountain Fair Trade Three Continent Blend.  BzzAgent requires me to only give my honest opinion on products they send to sample.  All opinions in this post are 100% sincerely my own!