Weekending: A Valentine’s Day Blizzard

Good morning, friends! I am so happy that I have today off, and I hope all of you¬†do, too! My plan today is a workout and then going up to Kittery to meet my parents for lunch since I won’t be around this weekend when they come to help my sister move. I wanted to go spend a few nights up there, but with the snow and parking, I just couldn’t make it work ūüė¶

I’m sure you’re probably so sick of me (and a lot of other Boston bloggers) venting/complaining about the snow- I get it. It’s totally annoying, but somehow talking about it makes me feel a little better. Misery loves company, right? Anyway, with the way this winter has been over the past 3 weeks, it’s really no surprise that another blizzard would hit the city over Valentine’s Day weekend. I honestly felt so bad for all the restaurants because it’s no doubt they all suffered from people cancelling their reservations. I’d love to say we were different, but once we heard about the storm, we opted to stay local and just bar hop by foot (in boots!) rather than get dolled up for a fancy dinner. It ended up being perfect.

Friday night, I had plans on heading to the gym after work, but I did something I rarely do: skipped it. My bag was packed and it was in my plans, but as the day wore on, I realized I was really sore from Thursday and just wasn’t feeling it. I’m so happy I skipped it because traffic was insane and it took me over an hour to get home from work as it was. I was picturing a hungry, tired, post workout Monique in that situation and it just wasn’t pretty ūüėČ

Roberto picked me up and we ended up throwing together a really great, simple dinner: gluten free panko coated fish, sautéed veggies and millet . Everything about it, especially paired with a few glasses of wine and some good catch-up convos with RM, was perfect!

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And, just when we thought it couldn’t get better, it did! I came across this post from Athena’s Friday Favorites¬†and knew I needed to make it for RM. As you know, we try to eat *mostly* paleo, so this seemed like a great addition to our Valentine’s Day weekend. While they were good on their own, I decided they needed (yes, needed) frosting, so I made a simple one of unsweetened bakers chocolate, water, peanut butter, vanilla and confectionary sugar that made the dessert!

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Ground Turkey & Veggie Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Well hello there! It has literally been AGES since I’ve posted a recipe for you, huh? I think it’s partly because RM and I do a lot of cooking at his house (read: he does a lot of cooking and I do a lot of eating) and I’ve been pretty boring with my weekly meals that I cook for lunches and dinners to eat when I’m home. This past weekend, though, my sister and I walked to the grocery store before the snow started and then stayed hunkered down inside for the rest of the night, which left lots of time for cooking! I made a Mexican-style chicken, veggie & bean soup and an incredibly healthy and delicious Turkey & Veggie Spaghetti Squash casserole.

A long time ago, I posted this Spaghetti Squash Casserole recipe, which was a big hit, so I figured a slight variation on it would turn out as good. Luckily for us, it did! I think I actually liked it better, but the jury is still out on that one.

What I love about meals like this is that they don’t take much time to put together, they’re pretty easy to make and they don’t really require measuring. All of my measurements below are approximations, but at then end of the day, it’s up to you to decide how much you want to make. If you end up making too much veggie & meat “stuffing”, just save it for later in the week to put in a quesadilla or on a salad. Easy enough, right? I ended up having about 1/4 of the package of ground turkey leftover so I put it in a container and will plan to use it soon.

ground turkey & veggie spaghetti squash casserole

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Wednesday Workout {Valentine’s Day Edition}: The Love Your Body Workout

Good morning and happy hump day! I hope you’ve all gotten yourself shoveled out and prepared for another storm tomorrow ūüė¶ I’m REALLY hoping it passes and doesn’t really amount to anything.

Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and since I love themed workouts, I’ve dedicated today’s workout to the theme of this month: Love. My first year of blogging I posted this core workout and last year I posted this full body workout¬†(which, looking back on looks tough… and one I want to try again!). This year, I’m focusing on exercises I’m loving these days. They are exercises that make me love and appreciate my body for all it does for me and these moves make me feel strong, yet challenge me and show me areas open for improvement.

Loving your body for all it does for you is SO important. I’ve spent too many years looking at myself in the mirror and pointing out all my flaws and giving myself everything BUT love. Over the years, and as I’ve started strength training, I’ve realized¬†how my body is so much more than just how I look in the mirror; this¬†has been one of the best mental shifts/changes I could have ever¬†made. I may not have “perfect” legs or arms or a butt without dimples, but you know what? I have a strong body and am so proud of the work I’ve put into making myself healthier and fitter and stronger and that is worth more than an image in the mirror.
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Burpees to Bubbly is 2!

I know I¬†said this on Facebook earlier this week, but I CANNOT believe this little ol’ blog is TWO. Seriously. Whenever starting a new hobby or endeavor, it’s always questionable whether or not it will last or grow, and I can’t said I didn’t have doubts about this journey when first getting into it.

What if I don’t like doing it? What if no one follows me or reads my posts? What if it becomes too stressful?

I’m happy to say that even at 2 years in, I don’t only like doing it- I LOVE it. I genuinely like writing posts and sharing my thoughts, workouts, recipes, happy times and rough times with all of you. I was feeling a little burnt out at the end of the year, but after taking some time off and figuring out some changes I wanted to make, I started this year out with so much motivation and excitement towards my blogging “hobby”. I’ve got so many blog post topics written down, so stay tuned for a fun year ūüôā

As far as being worried about followers or people reading my posts, thanks to all of you lovely people, I have nothing to worry about! Without you, this blog would be nothing; it’s thanks to your support, comments, encouragement and readership that helps keep this blog going. I’m always thinking of new things I can share with you, whether it be workouts, recipes or some type of life thoughts, I just love sharing things with you!

And lastly, although I’ve gotten stressed over not¬†posting new material for you guys as often as I’d like to,¬† I’ve been able to work through it. I’ve also gotten better at prioritizing and giving myself a freaking break if I don’t post five times¬†in a week or I don’t post a “Wednesday Workout” post for you. I’ve learned to accept that life gets in the way or blogging and that’s AWESOME, and shouldn’t be something to stress about!

So, with that said, here are a few things I’ve learned over the past two years:

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7 Ways To Increase Your FitBit Steps {and general daily movement}

Good morning! Can you believe we are getting pounded with MORE SNOW today? While up in Vermont over the weekend, RM and I were talking about how much better the snow is when you don’t live in the city. I love winter and love snow but living in the city and having to deal with parking and snow removal has literally made me want to move away! With that said, please make sure to stay warm and dry this week- and be careful shoveling! If you need workouts to do, but can’t get to a gym, I’ve got lots on my “At Home/ No Equipment Necessary” page, as well as the Kitchen Chair Workout I posted last week.

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post talking about tracking devices¬†and asked you guys what you thought of them. Do they make us crazy? Are they good for motivation? Is there a time and place to use these devices? I really loved reading all of your comments regarding this topic, and since it seems as though there are a number of you who thought they are helpful and a good way to hold you accountable, I thought I’d share some tips for how I try to get my daily steps in.

I’ve always thought of myself as an active person; I’m always thinking about ways I can move more and never get really find myself sitting for hours on end. I just enjoy moving, but I have to admit that there are days where it’s hard for me to meet my 10K steps goal… especially if I don’t work out. Even though I’ve been pretty good about not obsessing over my Fitbit and my steps, it’s still fun for me to try and think of ways I can get more steps, ultimately leading me to be more active. And, the beauty of these¬†tips/ideas is that even if you don’t wear a Fitbit, they can still help you get more movement in, which is never a bad thing ūüėČ I know some of these are common sense things, but sometimes life, shortcuts and laziness¬†get in the way and we forget about little things that can add up and make a big difference.

Park far from the door

This tip has been around for ages, but that’s because it’s a good one! I’ve realized that if I park at the back of the parking lot, I easily get in at least 500¬†more steps than if I parked in the first spot.

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