Monthly Archives: October 2012

Life lately

I usually don’t post on Saturday nights, but we are just relaxing at home and I was in the mood to blog. We’ve been enjoying our weekend so far and I hope you have too!

Earlier this week, I shot this photo while walking to the bus stop. I had just finished an interview on the radio (taped, not live, luckily) and I was so relieved to be done and heading into work. The leaves under my fantastic and comfortable Tsubo boots were just too pretty not to capture.

fall leaves and boots

I go through phases where I become obsessed with cottage cheese. This week, I put it on everything and also ate it plain. I really enjoyed it on toast as an after work snack and in my lentil soup.

cottage cheese on bread

Last night, we walked around the mall after enjoying a dinner out. I almost always take stairs vs. the escalator when I can, so I loved how Aurora Healthcare encouraged people to be well and take the mere 30 steps to the top with their “30 steps to a healthier you” slogan.

IMG_2660

This morning, we woke up and packed our gym bags for a trip out to Mukwonago. We met my parents at the beautiful new YMCA and enjoyed working out by doing cardio and weights and then hitting the pool. I am not much of a swimmer, but I did love their walking pool, the water slide, chilling in the whirlpool and swimming with the kick board. We had a lot of fun with my parents and I hope it’s something we can do more often.

Mukwonago YMCA

Once we got home, I wanted to chill on the couch and read My Berlin Kitchen. I am only 55 pages in so far, but I like Luisa’s story and recipes. There is a recipe that really sounds delicious and uses quark–it’s called quarkauflauf. I had actually just read about it in Alysha’s article on quark that was featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Entree section on Sunday. I hadn’t read Luisa’s blog, The Wednesday Chef, before picking up this book, but I am following her site now because I like the way she writes and I love Berlin.

My Berlin Kitchen

I think reading about Germany made me crave pretzels. Luckily, I had picked up this Deutsche Kuche pretzel dough at Aldi a couple of weeks ago.

Deutsche Kuche Pretzel

This is the pretzel I was most proud of, although I realized after that the ends didn’t need to extend down so far.

Pretzel in dough shape

The verdict? They turned out pretty good. They didn’t taste like the “bretzeln” we adored in Germany and reminded us more of bread.

Pretzel

Well, I am off to listen to Spotify, drink some wine and keep doing laundry. Night!

Advertisements

Rainy weather = an impromptu at-home workout

It was pouring here tonight, so once I got home, I wasn’t too keen on going back out in the rain to drive to the gym. I am not normally that wimpy about rain, but I just wasn’t feeling like getting rained on anymore (blame it on waiting at the bus stop outside).

I came home to find a surprise package in my door, which contained a workout video called Fit in 5: Ultimate Body Blitz! I received it from Self magazine. Basically, I was a “loser” in another one of their giveaways, but they gave me this video anyway. So cool, thanks Self! It was as if the mail gods were telling me to stay home and try the video out, so that’s what I did!

Fit in 5 video

Mid-workout break for a self-portrait…

me, mid-workout

…and the last of my Fitmixer aminos! I don’t think I am going to buy them again. After doing research, I am not so sure I need aminos.

Aminos and weights

Overall, I loved the 20 minute strength exercise I did tonight. It definitely got my heart rate up in a short period of time. I really liked how the teacher, Violet Zaki, combined cardio and strength in exercises that were completely new to me. I worked my glutes and abs hard and those are the areas I need to strengthen most.

The only negative was that the teacher moved through the lunges really quickly and that is a move I have to take my time on, so I did exactly that!

I am looking forward to trying the yoga, pilates, dance and cardio workouts. I’ll report back on those soon! I think this video will be great to pull out when I can’t make it to the gym!

Dinner tonight included this quick and easy Seeds of Change quinoa and brown rice mixture I picked up at Costco.

Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice

I enjoyed the flavor, but Craig thought it tasted like plastic.

quinoa and brown rice Seeds of Change

Do you enjoy working out at home? I like bringing out workout videos or the Wii Fit when the weather isn’t great outside, like today. That especially applies to when snowy evenings in the winter.

Wordless Weekend

IMG_2615

Krispy Kreme

Sharazad

Sharazad Milwauke interior

Gille's custard stand sign

Gille's

charity of the month

gille's custard

Karma

Tanzi and cbs sunday morning

party

owl cookie

IMG_2635

IMG_2632

Le Reve Patisserie and Cafe in Wauwatosa

If there is one restaurant in my hometown that I have been talking about getting to for ages, it’s Le Reve. I finally accomplished that goal on Saturday. My friend Danielle and I get together at least once a month and we planned ahead on a shopping and Le Reve date. Both of our husbands don’t like French food (or so they think) and so I had the perfect dinner companion to go with.

Oh and please excuse my iPhone photos. I wish I could have brought my DSLR, but that just wasn’t possible because we went shopping at Mayfair before and after dinner!

We got there around 5:15 and found the restaurant busy, but nowhere near as packed as when we left. I would definitely recommend going early!

IMG_2590

IMG_2606

Isn’t the interior adorable?

IMG_2605

IMG_2604

We were seated upstairs and it was cozy, yet not cramped at all.

IMG_2601

IMG_2602

Danielle was shocked by how small her diet coke was, but I told her it must have been the kind they sell outside the US that isn’t sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

IMG_2603

We started with Crostini de Brie and literally said oooh and aaah as we ate it. Total comfort food!

IMG_2600

I ordered a crepe with vegetables (legumes printaniers) for my entree. It was tres bien!

IMG_2598

We both still had room to share a dessert, so we ran downstairs to check out them out and decide on what to get. They were all so beautiful!

IMG_2594

IMG_2595

IMG_2596

We finally settled on a Gateau de Noisettes–a Hazelnut Cake. The sweet older couple next to us teased about which of us would get the sole raspberry. Danielle got it. I preferred to have the toasted hazelnuts. I am a huge hazelnut fan. Have been ever since I lived in Europe.

I only wish I could have snapped a better photo. This was an amazing cake!

IMG_2593

I also ordered some macarons to bring home with me. Can you believe that I had never had macarons before? I have always admired how pretty and petite they are, but never had the opportunity to try one. Not even in Paris.

I had to dig out my DSLR on Sunday and shoot some photos of these gorgeous and delicious cookies.

Le Reve macarons

pink macaron

green macaron

While I thought the pink was pretty, I actually preferred the green and cream colored cookies.

pink macaron

I hope to get back to Le Reve very soon! I’d love to try breakfast or lunch there next. Or maybe just go for dessert and coffee sometime.

Le Rêve Patisserie & Café
7610 Harwood Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
(414) 778-3333

7 things I learned over the weekend

Reflecting back on the weekend, I realized that I “learned” a lot and wanted to share those things with readers, as quirky as some of them are.

1) My current khaki colored pants should not be worn anymore. I wore them shopping on Saturday and the view of my backside was not pleasant. The pants I was wearing just aren’t flattering anymore, if they ever were. I’m on the hunt for a new pair. Also: I must do more squats and butt toning workouts! I am sharing something I don’t like about myself because I want to change it.

2) Cleaning out my closet is kind of therapeutic. I switched my summer clothes out and brought out the fall and winter items. I also simplified my shoe selection for the new seasons. I am happy to also report that I have a pretty big Goodwill pile and I will also attempt to sell some items at a consignment shop soon. I need to go through this process more often.

IMG_2610

Karma decided to sleep in the middle of my laundry/sorting pile.

IMG_2613

3) My husband is amazing. I knew this already, but that guy spent most of his weekend digging out old, moldy caulk and redoing the entire tub and window. We also spent a fair chunk of time at ACE hardware in the caulk aisle and had to make two separate trips there. Fun! Glad that project is done. Can we buy a new house now?

IMG_2612

4) Buying a new pillow helps me sleep better. It has already forced me to be more of a back sleeper, which is great. I tend to sleep on my side or stomach and then I get these huge lines on my face in the morning. I know those can’t be good to keep getting long term. And hooray for the pillow I picked out being only $10 on sale at Target.

5) Showering at the gym isn’t really that bad. Since the caulk had to dry for 24 hours, I had to shower at the gym after my workout on Sunday and while I have always dreaded it, freshening up there wasn’t that bad. It just takes being organized with my supplies.

6) It took a visit to a French restaurant over the weekend to realize that my French comprehension and pronunciation is better than I thought. While I have never taken a formal French class, spending time in Switzerland with French Swiss classmates, traveling in Paris, and my natural language skills helped me feel more confident with the language. I even managed to pronounce the dessert my friend and I ordered correctly!

7) And finally, don’t use a priority mail box for certain situations. Due to this, I spent about 45 minutes in the post office on Saturday. I have to credit the two ladies I worked with at the post office though–they were kind and patient. I am happy to have found a decent post office near our house.

It wasn’t the most relaxing weekend, but I felt like I accomplished a lot and at least I got out of the house to enjoy shopping and dinner out with a friend. More on that in my next post.

What have you learned about yourself or life lately?

My week at a glance

Wow, this week flew by! I can’t believe it’s Friday tomorrow, hooray!

Here is what I have been up to.

Thanks to Partners Hub, I got to try all sorts of various chocolate milk with my work lunches all week.

The Horizon was my favorite.

Horizon Chocolate milk

Lala chocolate milk

I have been enjoying looking at the beautiful mum plants planted along Wisconsin Avenue on my bus ride to and from work. I need to buy some mums of my own next year. They are just so pretty. I love fall!

Mums in Milwaukee

I found a cool new book at the library this week. I have been enjoying looking through it so far. I always like to check out magazines I don’t subscribe to, like Cooking Light.

Fitness for Geeks and Cooking LIght

I have been eating Sassy Cow ice cream for dessert all week. I love this salted caramel flavor!

Sassy Cow Creamery Salted Caramel ice cream

I got to get away from the office for most of my Thursday and spend it at a conference held at the Harley Davidson Museum. I didn’t get to go in the museum yet, but the buildings and grounds themselves were cool to walk around!

Harley Davidson Museum

IMG_2577

IMG_2572

It seemed like all of my shoes were falling apart this fall, so I have been buying a lot of new ones, including these lovely $12 black patent flats from Target (they were on sale last week). I am not usually that keen on patent, but they look nice and dressy for work. I wore them today and they were very comfortable. Much better than heels!

IMG_2585

No photo to show, but Craig and I went to yoga tonight and it was great. We hadn’t gone together in a while and it was fun to practice with him. While my usual favorite teacher wasn’t there, I enjoyed the new poses our substitute teacher came up with, especially the ab ones.

I hope your week flew by like mine did! It’s almost the weekend!

Brunch at Blue’s Egg

I finally got to Blue’s Egg in Milwaukee today and it was with a bunch of lovely Milwaukee area bloggers!

Blue's Egg blogger photo

From left to right: Inger, Alysha, Erica, me and Molly.

Karis is not pictured here, but she was with us too! She was nice enough to take this photo and share it with everyone.

IMG_2562

I had tried going to Blue’s before (twice in fact) and the wait was always so long! In fact, Karis and I met there at 9 a.m. today to get our names down on the waiting list for a 10 a.m. brunch time. I think it probably is best to get there right when they open, around 7 a.m.!

I had a Red Stag Cinnamon Cider cocktail and it was tasty! 4 out of the 6 of us had this drink!

IMG_0006

I ordered one of the daily specials, which was a raspberry crepe with a side and I chose fresh fruit.

IMG_0008

IMG_0009

Next time I go to Blue’s Egg, I want to get there early, try something savory instead of sweet and have a latte. I am already looking forward to my next brunch there!

Oh and it might have been packed today because it was recently voted Best Breakfast in Milwaukee according to OnMilwaukee.com.

Blue’s Egg
317 N. 76th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53213
(414) 299-3182
http://www.bluesegg.com

Milk Unleashed App and Giveaway!

I’ve got a giveaway for you today!

Milk Unleashed wants to give you a variety pack consisting of four shelf safe milks (white and chocolate) from: Hershey’s, LaLa, Horizon and Organic Valley.*

Check Out the Milk Unleashed Blog App Here.

Milk Unleashed app

The app has On-The-Go Games and Tips! Even cruising down the freeway can be an adventure! With these fun games and tips you can have some family time even when you are out on the road!

On-The-Go Snacks! Have you ever wanted to try the world’s best smoothie? Well Milk Unleashed is here to make all your dreams come true! Find out the best snacks to grab that will make your next outing even more thrilling!

*Milk will be chosen by random from the previously mentioned brands.

To enter (who doesn’t love free milk!?):

1) MANDATORY: Go to the app page and check it out! Come back here to report on your favorite On-The-Go Games from the app.

2) OPTIONAL: Take the Family On-The-Go Quiztacular and post your results in the comments section!

Good luck! I’ll pick one winner on Thursday, October 4 at 8PM CST and e-mail them directly, so please include your e-mail address when you comment.

The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Alysha!

Gutsy Book Club

I know most of my readers probably don’t struggle with Irritable Bowel Disease like I do, but if you have ever suffered from any digestion issues at all, you may be interested in the Gutsy Virtual Book Club I’ve joined through Sarah’s blog. One of my recent goals has been to learn more about colitis and digestion in general. This book club came into my life at the perfect time.

This month, we are reading No Guts, No Glory by Steven Lamm, M.D. and Sidney Stevens.

No Guts, No Glory

I started reading the book during my lunch break and learned so much thus far. I enjoy reading medical books and learning more about our amazing bodies.

Loved this quote from the first page of the book!

Love this quote from No Guts, No Glory

I also liked this passage:

“Unfortunately, most of us, like our doctors, don’t spend enough time thinking about our guts. Patients come to me every day asking ‘How can I keep my heart healthy?’ or ‘What’s the best kind of exercise for losing weight?’ They’re worried about Alzheimer’s, cancer, high blood pressure, and other big-name maladies. Sure, plenty walk in with abdominal complaints, but what they want is relief from the distress and a cure for what ails them. Rarely are they concerned about preserving and enhancing the health of their gut. Nor do most fathom their responsibility for keeping it in shape.”

I rarely thought about my digestive system until at the age of 24, I couldn’t keep food in my stomach. I was in graduate school and needed food to fuel my brain, yet I couldn’t keep it down. Believe me, after 8 years of seeing many gastroenterologists, going through numerous colonoscopies, missing social events, experiencing bad days, abdominal pain and being on many expensive meds–you pay a lot of attention to your gut when you feel like I have all of these years. I look forward to reading this book and learning all I can to help me heal my gut. I also think this is going to help me ask the right questions when I visit my gastroenterologist next week.

I hope you can join Sarah’s book club and get in on the discussion via twitter or her blog!