A Trip To The Salon!

Hey everyone! This is going to be a short post but I’m excited to show you my new haircut! I’ve had this appointment for a month and it finally came where I had 2 hours to spoil and pamper myself. I started off with color then finally cut my ridiculous hair. I looked like a new person when I got out of there!

Can you believe this is AFTER I cut off 5 inches of hair! It is still so long that it gets cut off in the photo! I love the color, it is so rich and has a touch of warm red underneath and she got rid of 5 inches of dead ends and cleaned up some layers. I’m very happy with how it came out :) Can’t wait to see what the beachy sea salt spray looks like with this cut!
Dinner party eats tomorrow! Have a great Friday everyone! I’m at my brother’s house for the weekend so I’ll try to keep up with your blogs while I’m here! Happy Friday!

Dinner Party Grocery Haul!

Hey everyone! Happy Thursday! So excited that I am going to have my first day off in two weeks soon  :) I’m extra excited that I get to spend time with my friends and cook a nice meal on that day. I have a wedding on Sunday but at least I’ll have a chance to relax and do something fun on Saturday. I’m also finally getting my hair cut and colored tomorrow. It has literally been at least a year since I’ve cut my hair. I need a trim pretty desperately.

Before I get into the post, I got home from work last night and found out that my college (Undergraduate) was going to be featured on the SyFy show School Spirits! I went to SUNY Geneseo in upstate NY. I went way after the guy featured in the show and I actually had never even heard of that haunting even though I guess it is famous. We had a bunch of supposed hauntings in the school, and I would venture to say that the building that houses our radio station is haunted. I was really involved with the radio station and I hated being there alone at night. I experienced a few things that creep me out just thinking about it! Anyway, you can check out a short video here. If it doesn’t link directly to it, the episode is called Dorm Room Nightmare. So creepy!

I’m sorry I haven’t been around much. I feel like I work all the time and when I’m not working I’m at the gym or at a Dr. or something. I’m pretty exhausted and while I have Saturday off, next week is going to be really intense. Monday and Friday are short days but on Tuesday I am working 9-5 in the studio then I have a freelance party to shoot until 11 pm. Wednesday and Thursday I have weddings. It’s going to be a long week but I think I have the weekend off next week? Fingers crossed!

Anyway, I decided to go to the grocery store this morning instead of after the gym so I could avoid traffic and keep the trip down to an hour instead of 2. I got a pretty sweet haul, most of which being for my dinner on Saturday :) I bet you can figure out what I’m making!

Zucchini, broccoli, raw agave, baby spinach, Daiya Mozzarella, avocados, Tofutti Better than Ricotta “Cheese,” cherries and walnuts. Pretty sweet haul!

I grabbed my lunch from the prepared section since I was running late and didn’t have time to make lunch before work so I grabbed some golden sesame tofu and black quinoa Asian slaw. So good!
I got clearance from my physical therapist for Bikram yoga (he’s actually a big fan of yoga and thinks it’ll be great for me) so I have taken off the next month from training at the gym and I’m switching to no impact cardio and Bikram yoga. I will probably start yoga on Monday :) I’m a big fan of Bikram yoga but I’m not a big fan of that first class after taking a really long break. It’s pretty much torture but I’ll survive!
OK I promise I will get some more food on soon. The next week will be a little light on food pics because I’m working so many weddings but I will post when I can. I will definitely show off my awesome dinner party eats either Saturday night or Sunday ;) Stay tuned for that!
Have a great night!

Quick Meals

Hey everyone! Hope all is well with you. Nothing exciting happening here today, just the usual work until 9. I slept a lot last night but still feel really tired. I’m going to focus on hydration today because I tend to get dehydrated at work and I know I didn’t drink enough water yesterday. Hopefully that will help :)

I just have two boring meals to show you today. I haven’t had time to make anything fun but that will change this weekend! I took Saturday off to have my dinner party with my friend and her fiance. I have a yummy meal planned but need to figure out dessert. Suggestions always welcome!

I woke up craving peanut butter so I decided to have some peanut butter, banana and cinnamon on some broken rice cakes. That’s how I roll :) Served up with some delicious blackberries!

I made a big salad for dinner. This one has some spring mix, carrot, cucumber, raw corn and tomato from the vine. Dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.
Sadly that’s all for now. I have some cleaning to do and some more relaxing to do :) Have a great day friends!

Mellow Monday

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I’m completely exhausted today. Yesterday was a really long day at work and I ended up getting home at 1. I didn’t fall asleep until 2 and I woke up at 7 for work this morning. I luckily had a short day today because I am so exhausted I can barely focus. I’m hoping to take a nap before I have my training session tonight.
I’ve been to lazy to take photos of my food today so I figured I’d show you some of my favorite shots from yesterday. As an assistant I have the freedom to play and experiment because I guess technically my photos are a bonus for the bride and groom. If something doesn’t come out it’s not make or break for the job. Yesterday my focus was on lighting because they had amazing lighting in the sanctuary and the reception room. Flash can often wash out uplighting so you need to really understand your settings in order to capture the ambiance of the room. My goal was to get some great natural light ceremony shots (achieved with a high ISO and video light) and to maintain the ambiance of the room with flash during the reception.
The sanctuary was really beautiful with gorgeous carvings and wood. It was elaborately decorated with flowers and trees (the chupah) and pretty lighting. This was shot with natural light with the help of a video light.
I went up to the balcony to get this shot looking down. You can see the chupah better in this shot. Huge bridal party!
This shot is my favorite of the night! They had someone playing percussion along with the DJ. I got this silhouette of him and I love it :)
You can really see the uplighting of the reception room in this one. Lots of purple!
The sanctuary and downstairs looked like a traditional, beautiful temple. The reception area upstairs had a lounge feel too it with a red hallway and some beautiful murals. The cocktail room looked like a club/lounge with big couches and chairs and the reception space was nicer that some of the catering halls I’ve been to! By far the coolest temple I’ve ever been to!
We were in Coney Island to start the day and that was rough. It was hot and we were running around and everything was late and parking was a nightmare. Traffic was crazy too. I’m glad the weekend is over and I’m ready for my well deserved nap ;)
I hope you all had a great weekend!

Quick Catch Up!

Hey everyone! I’m sorry in advance for the lameness of this post. I have only photographed a few things I’ve eaten over the past day or two because of just how damn busy I’ve been. Yesterday turned out to be a nightmare partially because I only slept for about 3.5 hours (I was woken up by incredibly loud thunder and incredibly bright lightning and once I’m up, I’m up. No getting back to sleep for me!) and partially because the wedding was difficult. I left my house at 6 am and got home at 7 pm thanks to some ridiculous traffic. On the bright side, I passed out at 10 pm (which is SUPER early for me) and woke up at 8 am (which is late for me, ha!)! I feel refreshed today but we are anticipating another really difficult wedding. Hopefully I’ll get through better than yesterday. I’m sure the all the vitamin D will help though!

OK here’s a few things I’ve eaten!

This is a sliced banana topped with my Raw Buckwheat Cereal. I still have a lot left and I love this stuff. This is the perfect breakfast!

Yesterday’s breakfast was a Good Morning, Sunshine Smoothie and an unpictured Gluten Free Carrot Spice Muffin.

I’m bringing this Two Mom’s in the Raw Blueberry Nut Bar to work today. The reception is in a Temple which is phenomenal for me because it takes the guess work out of whether or not there is dairy in anything! Obviously I still have to be careful of eggs and butter and the meat is typically obvious but it is one less thing to worry about :)

I’ve been eating peaches over the past few days! They are so sweet and juicy, a perfect summer snack! Yum! Oh and check out the nails. I tried the white polish with glitter over it. I’m not a huge fan of it but haven’t had time to re-do them but over the next few days I probably will.
And, since I’ve been working so damn hard I bought myself a present today!
Look how cute this skirt is! It is actually a lot nicer in person too! I went to Old Navy this morning to pick up some more dark gray and black V-Neck t-shirts (I wear black dress pants and a black or dark gray shirt to work) and saw this super cute skirt. It was inexpensive and I figured I deserved it so I got it :) I plan on wearing it with a turquoise tank top (some of the stitching at the bottom is turquoise) and a white V-Neck over it with some cute wedges. Very excited!
Ok I’ve gotta run so I can eat and then I have to leave at noon. I anticipate being home by 1pm tonight hopefully! I hope you all have a great day :) I’ll be back tomorrow with a real post, ha!

Fun Friday!

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great week. Mine was fine but not over. I have to be up at 5 am for a day wedding tomorrow then I have another wedding on Sunday. Fun times!

So for today’s Fun Friday post I figured I’d do a workout post :) Some of you asked me to talk about workouts so I figured I’d start broad and narrow a bit as the weeks go on. I think it is important to include variety in your workouts so you don’t get bored. I have tried tons of different workouts in my life and some have stuck and some haven’t.

Check out the workouts that I’m loving the most right now!

You all know I’m a big fan of the Tone It Up girls. This is one of my favorite workout videos that they’ve put on Youtube. I love how they all have a beachy theme too :)
You all knew kickboxing would show up sooner rather than later. This is Gina Carano training with an amazing view. That normally doesn’t happen though. I recommend it because it is a great stress relief, teaches you a lot of skills you can use in self defense (which you would hopefully never need!) and it really just feels good to kick ass! I’m going to miss it during this break but hopefully when I get back to it I’ll be back to normal!
I have practiced Bikram yoga for two periods of about 4 months each. The first session is absolutely miserable but after that it feels amazing. It is cleansing, your flexibility improves exponentially, you learn how to deal with the heat and it is such a feeling of accomplishment every class. This is what I have been thinking about doing for the next month while I have to eliminate impact training. I think it will help my neck a lot. If I remember correctly, it helped the last time I picked up the practice… about a year and a half ago. I’m going to run it by the physical therapist before I start.
I have mentioned it a million times on here but don’t know if I explained it well. This is the arc trainer. I love this cardio machine and it is one of the only things that doesn’t aggravate my shoulder/arm. I usually describe it as a cross between a stair climber and an elliptical. Love it.
This is actually something that I’ve always wanted to try! Have any of you ever been mountain biking before? It sounds like a great challenge and like so much fun! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!
Sorry if this post is boring but these are some of the general workouts that I either love or am interested in trying. I will be getting more specific in future Fun Friday posts :) I’d love suggestions for specific things you’d like to see and also workouts that you love that you think I should try! I’d love to try some new things :)
This isn’t a workout but it is something that my mom emailed me and had to share because it is so cute!
Haha I love it! So perfect for the heat wave we just had. Today we had a monsoon like storm that naturally started while I was driving and ended just after I got soaked getting out of the car ;) Gotta love that! At least it won’t be a million degrees over the weekend when I have to work.
Hope you all had a great week! Do something fun over the weekend for me! :) I’ll have to live vicariously through all of you!

Another Milestone, Some Updates and a Grocery Haul

Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my last posts! All of you (commenters and lurkers ;]) are such a huge part of the reason I blog and I appreciate all of you so much! I’m happy to say that I hit another milestone today when I saw that I gained my 100th follower :)  I’m so happy and honored that you all decided to follow my blog. Thank you all so much!

So I mentioned the other day that I had an appointment with a physical therapist yesterday. After an hour and a half of evaluations, we have pinpointed that there is no shoulder injury at all and my pain, numbness and tingling are in fact caused by a bulging disc in my neck (C6 if you follow that kind of thing ;]). I’m really happy to have figured this out finally because over the last 6 months it has really gotten bad. I probably downplay it a bit but the truth is that my shoulder hurts most of the time, and when I do something to aggravate it I get numbness and pain down my left arm and into my thumb and pinky fingers. One major reason why I hate running is that 9 times out of 10 I will get off of the treadmill with horrible pain, numbness and tingling. The impact must aggravate it because it is terrible. I’m probably really lucky that the disc isn’t herniated given the amount of impact that I put my body through between the running, jumping and fight training that I do.

I’m clearly a stubborn girl because none of this has stopped me in the past. I was advised to put the activities that involve impact on hold for a few weeks and I definitely need to listen. I’m tired of being in pain and struggling through it. I’ve been training probably at 60-75% for the past 6-12 months and it is really sad because I remember all of the things I used to do and want to be able to do them again. So I’m going to have to take it easy for the next month at least. I’m working on figuring out a new workout plan that will help me get back to 100%. I’ll definitely keep you posted on that. I have an idea but I’m going to run it by the physical therapist first. For now I’m replacing running with the elliptical (did 30 minutes of intervals this morning) and doing all strength training with my trainer (45 minutes this evening… omitting overheard presses for a few weeks).

Anyway, I know this seems negative but I’m really happy that after 3 years of searching for answers I finally have one. I’m disappointed that I have to stop my Tough Mudder training for a little while but I know that it is the smartest decision to avoid more serious injury. I’ll have to play it by ear in terms of Tough Mudder. It’s pretty clear to me now that I’m going to avoid all obstacles that may aggravate or worsen the problem. Side note – I told my physical therapist that I was training for it and he said he was doing it to! How funny!

Anyway, sorry for the long update but you’ve all been so supportive throughout the whole thing so I figured I’d keep you in the loop. I may be on the sidelines for a bit but I can definitely still kick ass ;)

So I can’t do a post with no food to show you so I am going to show you my mini grocery haul! I’m working weddings on Saturday and Sunday this week so I didn’t get too much because I won’t be home all that much. Check out the haul!

2 Two Mom’s in the Raw bars (to bring to work as a substantial snack), Goji berries (finally!), organic salsa, stuffed grape leaves (shocking) and some golden sesame tofu.

For produce I got organic blackberries, spring mix, some corn, carrots and some tomatoes on the vine. Yum!
Thank you all for sticking with this long post :) And thank you all for reading, following, supporting me, and inspiring me. You are the best!
I hope all of my Northeast Friends are doing ok in this heat wave. My air condition isn’t doing anything because my room is above ground level and therefore like 120 degrees. I just cleaned out the filter so hopefully that’ll help a little. Wouldn’t you know I locked my keys (and phone) in the car AGAIN today. On the hottest day so far. I’m just good like that ;)
Have a great night friends!

400th Post (For Real!)

Hey everyone! Today is my real 400th post! Sorry for the confusion last time :X This is for real this time, I promise! It seems like the post was published before but it was just a draft. Very weird. This is the real post, a little early. This is your Wednesday post this week… onAnyway, I wanted to make this post fun so I have a recipe to share with you! It was supposed to be a dehydrator recipe but I wasn’t 100% happy with that aspect of it so it has transformed into something different. It is still delicious though!

Curious? This experiment was inspired by this post by Gabby. Check out those delicious looking flavored almonds she has! I went to the company website and saw that they had a Mexican Chocolate flavored almond and knew I had to try and make my own!

Check out this yummy, decadent treat! They are rich and chocolatey, but still not too terrible for you! Definitely a great way to cure a chocolate craving :) These are mostly raw because I used cocoa powder but you can always use raw cacao powder if you want to make them completely raw.

I tried to make them in the dehydrator because I thought they would crystalize kind of like the raw buckwheat cereal. It didn’t really crystalize or even harden like I thought they would.
Basically what I did was make the syrup (recipe to follow) and used it to coat 1 1/4 cup of soaked almonds. Then I dehydrated the almonds at 104 degrees for 16 hours. They were still a little sticky after 16 hours so I turned the dehydrator off and waited to see what happened. They hardened up a bit and then I popped them in the fridge to store. 
These things are amazing! Like I said, they have a rich chocolate flavor with a kick of cinnamon. You can’t taste the cayenne at all but you can feel the heat just a little in the back of your throat. It is so good! 
I figured that since the syrup is so versatile, I’d give you the recipe for that! I bet you can all dream up some yummy ways to use it :)
Mexican Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients:
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp raw agave (it is a bit sweet, you can use 1 tbsp if you like it less sweet)
2 tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
3/4 – 1 tsp cinnamon
pinch cayenne (optional)
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together into a thick syrup. 
Suggested Uses:
1. Drizzle over banana soft serve for a sweet and spicy treat!
2. Mix with your favorite plant milk for Mexican Chocolate Milk.
3. Use instead of melted chocolate in your Mess Free Banana Splits!
4. Coat your favorite raw nuts with it ;) Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until it sets!
I plan on experimenting with different flavors of those nuts as well :) If they come out good I’ll definitely share with all of you.
Hope you all have a great day! I’m looking forward to the next 400 posts :)

Quickie Post!

Hey everyone! Today’s post is going to be a quick one since I’m rushing around getting ready for work! I just have two yummy meals to show you :)

I decided to work out at home this morning because I woke up late. I used the Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD and did the HIIT workout, the arms workout, the ab workout and the stretching routing. It felt good. These ladies are amazing, these workouts are really tough. The arm workout is especially tough for me because of my jacked up shoulder. Hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of it in physical therapy tomorrow!

OK here are two of my meals from today. They’ll sound familiar because it is pretty much what I ate yesterday.

Lunch was this pretty hummus plate :) Hummus, stuffed grape leaves, baby carrots and a ton of grapes. Easy, quick and delicious.
A big ol’ yummy chopped salad. Tip. Save your good plastic take out containers for salads and dressing! It makes it much easier to carry them around! This is going to be yummy :)
That’s all for me today! Stay tuned for a recipe and my 400th post tomorrow! Hope you all have a great day!

Monday Madness!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a really lovely Father’s Day! We had a great day yesterday :) We went to my brother’s house and had a family BBQ (well they BBQ’d and I had a big ol’ salad) and had a really fun time. Delilah is a little chatter box. She LOVES dogs and freaks out and screams “puppy!” every time she sees one! She loves animals in general :) The two of us spent some quality time together too which was so nice. Definitely a great day!

Today I started a new workout routine as well! I woke up at 6:30 am and got ready for my first 2 a day workout! My morning workout was 2 miles of intervals on the treadmill. Then I went back to the gym in the evening for my second workout: Intervals on the arc trainer and a 45 minute training session. I’ll be doing 2 a days on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and one workout on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.  My running will be done on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and I will be doing non-impact cardio on Saturdays and Sundays. I don’t like doing impact workouts on days that I have weddings. It sounds like a solid plan and I’ll be paying attention to my how my body reacts over the next week or two and adjust accordingly. Nutrition is going to play a major factor in this!

Before I get to today’s food I have a mini grocery haul to share with you! A new Fairway opened up close to my house and I’ve been told I HAVE to go there because it is amazing so I headed over there. I was so overwhelmed! They had so much stuff, a huge gluten free section, tons of organic food and lots of health and wellness items. It was crazy! I was going to do my grocery shopping there this week but the produce was even more expensive than Whole Foods! I picked up a few things but I’ll get my produce at Whole Foods later this week. Check out the mini haul!

Kale, brown rice cakes (banana walnut butter anyone?!), 3 avocados (on sale 3/$5), 2 packages of sesame seaweed snacks and some medjool dates.
More groceries later in the week!
Now on to today’s food!
Post workout recovery smoothie. Banana, blueberries, pineapple, almond milk and Vega vanilla powder. So good!
Late morning snack was a Gluten Free Carrot Spice Muffin. These are really amazing. If you want a healthy muffin to snack on or enjoy for breakfast I really recommend trying these.
Lunch was a hummus plate with tons of veggies and some stuffed grape leaves. I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo!
Vita Coco coconut water after my workout.
I haven’t eaten dinner yet. I’m still cooling off after my workout. Even after I shower I’m still warm. It takes me a while to get my body temperature down sometimes. Does that happen to anyone else? I have a feeling I’ll be making a big salad for dinner then maybe I’ll have a rice cake with some walnut butter.
Now that I’m doing workouts twice a day a few days during the week I really need to be on point with my nutrition so I’ll have the energy to keep up my exercise routine while working the 6-7 days a week that I’m working now! I have two weddings this weekend so I’ll be working twelve hour days Saturday and Sunday. If anyone has any tips on how to fuel my body correctly after that much activity I’d greatly appreciate it!
Oh and as a little teaser, I did another dehydrator test and it came out so good! I’ll post it on Wednesday or Thursday most likely :)
Have a great evening! I’ll photograph more of my meals tomorrow I promise! Just adjusting to the new schedule :)