Apple Picking

Picking fruit on the farm

Picking fruit on the farm

I love so many things about the fall and living out in the country. One of my very favorite things is picking apples. I remember, as a little girl, getting loaded up in to the car and going apple picking out at this farm that isn’t actually a farm anymore but it does still exist as a store and winery. Since I can’t go there for apple picking anymore I have found other places to take Sydney. This year we headed out to Macintosh Fruit Farm to pick some apples and enjoy a nice day on the farm.

apple picking

apple picking

Sydney was so excited about this. I knew she wouldn’t be too much help, but she did pick a few before she just picked up an apple and started eating it. She loved running through the apple trees while I filled our bags full of apples. After we picked our fair share of apples we headed towards the back of the orchard and found some Asian Pears so we filled up a nice bag of those as well.

pulling an empty wagon...riding in a full one

pulling an empty wagon…riding in a full one

It was nice to fill up a couple bags of fruit, straight off the tree for us to take home. After we filled up our wagon we headed back towards the farm for some shopping in the store, some play time, and some lunch.

play time on the farm

play time on the farm

Sydney is currently obsessed with farm animals so it was awesome that they had a couple houses and a donkey for us to check out. She played on the playground and even played in the little sand pit they had. She was so happy playing that she didn’t even want to go eat lunch even though I knew she needed to eat. I eventually was able to pull her away and we enjoyed a yummy lunch and then picked up a few things in the store before we headed out. Overall it was a really great day and I think we’ll actually try to go back before the season is over. Now… what to do with about a bushel of fruit? Lots of cooking and baking for sure.

 

Tasty Tuesday: Tortellini Soup

It’s fall and around these parts fall means open windows, cozy clothes, and comfort food in my crockpot. It is no secret that I love my crockpot and I can assure you that my crockpot will be getting a lot of use in the coming months. This recipe is super easy to throw together and it is really yummy!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen tortellini
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 box chicken broth
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes

Directions

This is the tricky part… throw everything in the crockpot and cook it on low for 5-6 hours. You could easily throw this all together in the morning before you head to work and you’ll have a delicious, hot meal to come home to.

Tortellini soup

Tortellini soup

If you give this a try be sure to let me know how you liked it!

Weekending

Farmer's market flowers.

Farmer’s market flowers.

I love weekends when we have plenty to do but also enough time to wind down before we head off to the next adventure. This weekend was just one of those weekends. Friday night we headed out to Target but we stopped at McDonalds for some ice cream first because why not, right?

Agricultural Fair.

Agricultural Fair.

Saturday we headed downtown to check out the farmer’s market and there was also an Agricultural Festival downtown. Sydney is OBSESSED with Old McDonald Had A Farm and every.single.morning she wants me to sing it on the way to school AND we pass cows and horses that makes her morning (and afternoon). She was SO EXCITED to see all these farm animals set up at the mall downtown. We go down there pretty often so for her to see these guys down there her day was made.

Moooo!!

Moooo!!

One of the table gave her this cow face. She loves it. She spent quite a bit of time this weekend holding it up to her face going “moo” in the cutest, cutest voice possible. It is the best. She has such an awesome personality that I can’t get enough of her.

Apple Harvest Festival

Apple Harvest Festival

Sunday we headed over to the fair grounds for the Apple Harvest Festival. We live in apple country so there are a lot of apple related festivals around these parts (hello, Appleblossom.) This is a cute little craft festival with a children’s zone and an apple booth that shows all the different types of apples that can be grown (plus they give away a free bottle of juice and an apple – which was speaking Sydney’s language so we definitely go in there). The craft vendors are nice, but we didn’t buy much other than food (apple butter = yum!).

Play time

Play time

Sydney spent quite a bit of time in the kids zone jumping around on the blow up things. She loved this slide… until she got up there one time and did not want to come down it at all. So that was when we decided to find something else to do. She really did enjoy herself and it is so crazy to me that she is this little big kid. Where did my baby go? Before we headed out we got our face painted… even me. Because when your daughter says “you too mommy” you say yes and you get a pink heart on your cheek to match.

Twins.

Twins.

She is my favorite person in the whole world and I love spending time with her. She makes my weekends full of fun but we still make time for naps and relaxing which is how we rounded out our Sunday evening. And there you have it, another awesome weekend in the books.

Fit Friday: CIZE! Full Out

I really (really!) love this program. It is a lot of fun and I am having a blast every evening dancing away in my living room. I feel much more confident in my abilities each week and even though I still have two left feet I care less and less about that the more I do this program. CIZE is challenging me and changing me and I love every second of it.

CIZE it up!

CIZE it up!

Program Highlights: Full Out.

This program consists of 8 moves but each move has 2 parts which is different than You Got This and Crazy 8s. It is harder which makes sense because it is the “next level” but it had me feeling a bit discouraged in the beginning because it was a little confusing for my feet. I had been feeling so confident that I wasn’t expecting to struggle so much or feel so uncoordinated after having 2 weeks of CIZE under my belt. It actually took me 4 days before I felt like I had the footwork down for this routine. The transitions seemed to have me tripped up the most but I did finally manage to get them down pretty well. I guess it really is true that if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you. I may not see it every day that I’m changing, but by the end of the week I definitely know I am changing.
Interested in learning more about Beachbody or taking the plunge and trying CIZE yourself and working through the program with me? Check out my Coach’s page and I’ll be more than happy to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.

Tasty Tuesday: Zucchini Lasagna

I try pretty consistently eat healthy meals but it is hard to give up some of my favorite dishes like pasta dishes because those are amazing and delicious and who wants to give up delicious and amazing? No one. That’s who. Which is how I came up with this recipe for zucchini lasagna. That and I had a ton of zucchini and needed something to do with it and happened to have all the ingredients for lasagna and viola! zucchini lasagna.

Ingredients

Ingredients.

Ingredients.

  • Zucchini
  • Pasta sauce
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Spices – oregano, parsley, and basil
  • Shredded cheese for topping

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Thinly slice the zucchini
  • Mix ricotta cheese and spices in a bowl
  • Layer ingredients in a baking dish – zucchini, ricotta mixture, pasta sauce
  • Top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes
Zucchini lasagna

Zucchini lasagna

So…it doesn’t photograph well but it tastes delicious! It was a super simple meal to make and it was a big hit around the house. If you give this a try be sure to let me know because I would love to know how you liked it!

 

 

 

Wilsons Wild Animal Park

Petting Zoo Fun

A couple weeks ago Sydney and I had a whole Saturday ahead of us with no plans and nothing to do. Since she had such a great time at the Zoo when we went this summer I thought maybe she would also enjoy a petting zoo so we headed to Wilsons Wild Animal Park.

Feeding animals

Feeding animals

Sydney was not particularly interested in feeding the animals with her hands like I did but she was plenty happy to give them access to the bag of food so it was probably a good thing we got two bags of food.

animals!

animals!

There are so many animals at this park from zebras, to alpacas, to deer, and emu, and sheep and goats and birds and chickens and so many different animals to see and feed. The animals were really friendly and so excited for all the food. We got there pretty early which made it a really nice trip since we weren’t fighting a lot of people to get access to the animals. Not that it ended up being super crowded before we left, but there did end up being quite a bit of people by the time we left.

Camel selfies

Camel selfies

I couldn’t resist this guy. He was so friendly that I couldn’t resist taking a selfie with him. It took a few tries but we finally got it and I’m pretty glad he didn’t try to like eat my hair or anything.

Me and my girl

Me and my girl

She really had a blast and I loved every second of her excitement over all the animals. We had such a great day and Sydney is at such a fun age that these little adventures of ours are definitely something I greatly look forward to.

Tasty Tuesday: Zesty Greek Couscous Salad

If you’re looking for a refreshing side dish that is quick and easy to throw together this is your dish. Couscous is really easy to make and you can pretty much prep this entire thing in like 15 minutes. In my opinion, it goes really well with a light chicken dish.

ingredients.

ingredients.

Ingredients.

  • Couscous, original plain
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions.

  • Prepare couscous according to package, except omit butter/olive oil and add black pepper with water.
  • In large bowl, combined prepared couscous, lemon juice, and olive oil.
  • Add tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and green onions.
  • Chill for 4 hours (or overnight).
  • Stir in cheese just before serving. Serve over lettuce if desired.
Eat and enjoy!

Eat and enjoy!

Fit Friday: CIZE! You Got This

I’m feeling a lot more confident in my abilities after “mastering” Crazy 8s which is good because even slow progress is still progress. I have a serious case of two left feet for sure, but I am getting better and that makes me happy. This week even Sydney got in on the CIZE action and she thought it was “so fun mommy.” She is the cutest CIZE dancer, ever. Obviously.

Working out with my favorite girl

Working out with my favorite girl

Program Highlights: You Got This.

This is the program that was on sneak peak on BOD and it gave me a pretty hard time. For some reason when it comes to fancy footwork my brain doesn’t seem to comprehend the moves. I wasn’t sure I’d actually enjoy this routine because it had given me such a hard time and sometimes I have a hard time getting past my first impressions. However, since I had done Crazy 8s last week and actually figured out some of the footwork for this week I was feeling a LOT better about this routine after doing it once. I did usually have a hard time about half way with the footwork and eventually I became more and more comfortable with it moves. I ended this week feeling more confident – confident enough that I posted a VIDEO of me doing the routine. Yeah, a video. If I knew how to add a video here I would. I look ridiculous (in real life, in my head I look amazing) but I was confident enough in my ability to actually video myself and that says a lot.
Interested in learning more about Beachbody or taking the plunge and trying CIZE yourself and working through the program with me? Check out my Coach’s page and I’ll be more than happy to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.

Tasty Tuesday: Spaghetti with Peppers and Arugula

This is a quick and easy meal that’s actually relatively healthy which makes it a win-win for me. I try to make mostly healthy meals, but I also don’t have a lot of time in the evening to make elaborate dinners. This definitely makes for a good weeknight meal, especially if you’ve recently had spaghetti and already have some noodles made. That is exactly what I did because I made way too many noodles one night for dinner and not enough sauce so I needed something to do with those extra noodles so they wouldn’t go to waste.

Ingredients.

Ingredients.

Ingredients. 

  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Directions.

  • Boil spaghetti noodles according to the directions (or use your leftovers)
  • In a skillet, heat olive oil and salute onions
  • Add peppers and season with salt and pepper
  • Cook until tender for about 4-5 minutes
  • (since I used leftover noodles I added them to the skillet at this point to heat them up)
  • Add arugula to skillet and let wilt
  • Top with cheese
Serve and enjoy!

Serve and enjoy!

 

Fit Friday: CIZE! Crazy 8s

CIZE!

CIZE!

Before CIZE came out Beachbody had a sneak peak available on Beachbody on Demand and it was definitely a struggle for me so while I was really excited about this program… I was actually a little nervous because I didn’t want to fail. I enjoy working out, but I knew that if I was constantly frustrated with the program that I probably wouldn’t be very successful at sticking with it and I’d move on to something else.

Thankfully, when CIZE was finally released and I finally got it in my hands I realized the BOD sneak peak was not the first program and I had a chance to ease in to these dance moves! PHEW! Because I needed some remedial dance moves to begin with for sure.

Since I’m taking this program one routine at a time using the beginner calendar I’m going to be talking about a new routine each week.

Ready to be challenged.

Ready to be challenged.

Program Highlight: Crazy 8s.

Since I had some struggles with the BOD preview workout I was a little worried this would be pretty difficult for me to get the steps down. This is a great routine for beginners because it is only 8 dance steps to make up the whole routine. I felt like it was slow enough that I was able to really grasp the dance steps and transitioning from one move to the next in the overall routine but it wasn’t too slow in that it was boring. I felt really good about myself at the end of the week. I was more confident in my ability to learn. I am definitely not ready for my music video, but I feel like I have a little bit more rhythm (& confidence) than when I started.
Interested in learning more about Beachbody or taking the plunge and trying CIZE yourself and working through the program with me? Check out my Coach’s page and I’ll be more than happy to give you advice and answer any questions you may have.