Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to Make Zucchini Noodles



For next year I am making one of my New Year's resolutions to cook more. I started a little late this year, but I've found some really good blogs that have shared some great recipes. I'm looking forward to more recipes to try and to share on the blog for 2015. One of the things I'll be incorporating in my menu are zucchini noodles. They are super easy to make and a great alternative to regular noodles. You can eat them raw in salads or prepare them like regular pasta. Personally I prefer to sauté them in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and season with just a little bit of salt and pepper.



I used a vegetable spiralizer I purchased from Amazon to make the zucchini come out like noodles. No joke I literally ordered it and the next day it was on my door step. I just love Amazon! Anyways there are many kinds of spiralizers you can use.  If you just have a regular slicer lying around your house, you can use that one too. I purchased the SpiraLife Vegetable Spiralizer and Recipe eBook . It comes with two blades, a cleaning brush, and a recipe eBook.




All you do is twist your zucchini in the spiralizer and voila! You have yourself some zucchini noodles. Now at this point you can eat them raw but like I said I wanted mine sautéed.


I placed my zucchini noodles in a wok with some extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. I stirred everything together for a few minutes until zucchini got tender and then they were done. Plain and simple! I ended up using three average sized zucchinis, enough for my husband and I.




Have you ever tried zucchini noodles?


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I am linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I'm Coming Home!

I worked my ass off during the holidays having to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...the life of a hospital worker. I'm used to this but I still get sad knowing I can't spend it with my family. Today I am beyond excited to head back home. Home for me is San Diego. Today of all days I just want to be surrounded by the people that matter the most, my family.
A year ago today our family lost my grandfather, my abuelito. He was the backbone to our gigantic family. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him but today I am having a particular harder time. The best memories I have of him are when we would go on our long walks together. It didn't matter where we went, I just wanted to spend time with him. And as New Year's is just around the corner I can't help but shed a few tears in memory of him. He loved New Year's Eve; would dance the night away. He looked forward to the dance party every year. So this year I plan on dancing in memory of him. 
My grandmother has Alzheimers so she doesn't always remember me but lately I've been able to talk to her over the phone. It melts my heart whenever she remembers me. I know she knows my abuelito is no longer with us, but she still continues to ask about him. I know she misses him. Together they shared so many memories. Together they raised 13 children, see grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren be born. 
So now we're on our way to my hometown, dogs in tow. They love going to San Diego as much as we do. They're pretty smart dogs. They realize how much better it is than Fresno. Hah!

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! This past weekend my husband and I hosted our first Christmas party. I wasn't able to go home for the holidays since I worked, so I was really looking forward to this. To me holidays are about spending quality time with loved ones and not about what gift you got. We had about 40-50 people come to our house throughout the entire weekend. When my husband offered our house for the dinner...not going to lie I got a bit anxious. Hosting duties can be daunting if it is not something that is done often. We are used to just going to other people's houses. Luckily and surprisingly the boys took over assigning people what to bring and organized the menu. It was one less thing to worry about. Along with the dinner we also decided to do a white elephant gift exchange.

I guess you can say the festivities started on Friday night. Two of our friends that were visiting from New Jersey came by. We gathered a large group and went out to dinner. Of course the boys wanted to hit up the bar first thing. Shots all around!

 
I am more of a tequila girl. They were taking Hennessy shots right from the get-go. 
 

Yes, we like to bring the kids to the bar too. Haha! All of our friends have kids so we have to choose kid friendly restaurants. It's great to see how each year our family gets bigger and bigger!

 
Jeff and Bri live in New Jersey and last time I saw them was a little over a year ago at their wedding. I was so excited to see them! Unfortunately they weren't able to make it to our dinner on Saturday but at least we got to spend some quality time with them. Now we need to go visit them in the East Coast. I'll find any excuse to travel! 






My hubby and I managed to take one photo together the entire weekend. We aren't really good about taking pictures. He's been a bit stressed out from work so I was glad to see him happy!


Afterwards we had people come over to our house for a few more drinks. The boys all had a great time. I had a packed day planned for Saturday  so I let them have their fun while I snoozed.


On Saturday, I was a bit stressed out with getting everything prepped so I went out for a run with my running partner. Everyone was still asleep when left. When I got back I got straight to baking. I made chocolate chip cookies, red velvet cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, and a salad. 

If I remember correctly shots were being done by 10am. So the party never really finished from Friday night. Other people started arriving around noon for lunch. The day was packed with food throughout the entire day. We had tri-tip, grilled zucchini, rice, and pool for lunch. Wish I had taken pictures during lunch but I really was enjoying my time with friends.


My house was still pretty festive from my Christmas decorations.  All I added were fresh flowers. Some people had never seen my house while others hadn't seen it since my house flooded. So it was also kind of like a re-house warming party
.
It was great to see all the kids having a great time together. We even got every kid a gift bag so they wouldn't feel left out while the adults played their white elephant gift exchange.
 



 
 
 

All the girls! It was great to catch up with them.
 

Can we spend a moment and discuss on what a great assortment of food we had! Two fried turkeys, ham, salmon, spring rolls, ribs, rice, salad, grilled veggies, potatoes au gratin, and desserts for days! We even had hot dogs for the kids. Everything was absolutely delicious.


 
 
 
Of course speeches were made! Oh the things that are said when alcohol is around...priceless!
 
 
 
  
I hop everyone had a great weekend! Mine was amazing...now I just have one more shift and I am off for 7 glorious day! I'll be heading to San Diego tomorrow to spend New Years with my family. I can't wait to see my goddaughter and grandmother. I'll be there for a few days so I get some quality time with everyone.
 
How was your weekend?
 
 
 
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I am linking up with Healthy Diva Eats and Her Heartland Soul

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Carlsbad Half Marathon Training Recap: Week 7





I can't believe how fast time is flying by now. I have three weeks until my race!  This week was pretty much awesome when it came to my training. This week was all about increasing mileage and doing an 11 mile run. It's like everything lined up perfectly! Not only did my 11 mile run go perfectly but it was pain free. Like I said earlier, my goal is not to PR but to run pain free. It's really weeks like this that make all of this training worthwhile. I know in the future there may be set backs but this week is what mentally prepares you for race day.


SUNDAY: I needed to do some sprints so I went to the gym after work and did a quick treadmill workout. It was great because I actually was able to increase my speed. I'm hoping I'll be able keep increasing speed as the time passes by. Sprints and hills are my weakness, but they are what has helped me in the past year to drop my average pace. You have to do the work in order to get the results.
 
 

 
MONDAY: My husband and I went for a quick 2 mile run after my work shift with our dogs. Kona got to wear her new night running vest. She is just too adorable! Proud of my husband for doing two miles. Doesn't sound like a lot but it was for him. He's been running 4-5 times a week with our pups.
 
  

TUESDAY: Went out to Woodward park and ran 6 miles in the fog. I wanted to get some rolling hills in order to get me prepared for those little hills in the Carlsbad course. No Garmin...just me. I really love running in the fog. It just looks like I am running into the abyss, the unknown. My running partner was unable to meet me for this run.
 
  

WEDNESDAY: Christmas Eve...I slept in and didn't make it to the gym before work. Womp...womp.

THURSDAY: Christmas Day...rest day

FRIDAY: Woke up late but was super mentally prepared for my long run...11 miles.  I did so well! Average pace was 8:43...I was so ecstatic about my pace. Now I know that for many runners out there this is nothing, but I have come such a long way to get to where I am. The first two miles I ran about a 9-9:10 pace, but after that I caught on to my running groove. Best part was that I had no pain during the entire run!
 
  
SATURDAY: I met my running partner at our favorite park for a fun 6 mile run. Oh man it was soooo cold in the morning. Glad we followed through and finished, but my running partner was sure cursing my name at the beginning of the run. There was frost on the grass and on the trail. I know it's colder in other parts of the world so I shouldn't complain. Props to all of you east coast runners!
 

 
 This upcoming week I want to do one more long run before I start to taper for the race. I will also do some hills and sprints again.  Not sure if I'll do these at the gym or outside. These have become a staple in my training. This past week I was unable to make it to a spin class, so I am hoping to get some form of cross training to ease up on my feet and legs. Has anyone ever tried running in the pool? I'll be in San Diego in a few days so I am looking forward to a change of scenery.
 
Did you have a great training week?
How many miles did you log in this week?
 
 

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I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Five: 5 Workout Moves to Get Back on Track



The day after Christmas is always a tough day to get back to your normal workout routine, especially if it is cold outside.  I pretty much did nothing the last two days but eat all the food that was provided during our work potlucks. I snacked on sweets and salty treats all day. Why? Well...why not? It is the holidays after all and I wanted to enjoy them with my work family. But then days like today I look back and think maybe I shouldn't have eaten those s'mores cupcakes, or multiple tamales, or donuts, or other random calorie consuming food. So I started thinking what are some 5 easy workout moves that can get me back on track today. Here's what I came up with:

Squats:
Stand with the feet parallel or turned out 15 degrees—whatever is most comfortable. Slowly start to crouch by bending the hips and knees until the thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor. Press through the heels to return to a standing position. 



Pushups:
There’s a reason this one’s a classic. With hands shoulder-width apart, keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Bend the elbows until the chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body). That’s one!




Burpees:
One of the most effective full-body exercises around, this one starts out in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Next, kick the feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up portion of the show.




Mountain Climbers:
Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping the hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward.




Tricep Dips:
Get seated near a step or bench. Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent, and grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor. For some extra fire, reach the right arm out while lifting the left leg.





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I am linking up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DCMar On The Run, 




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Counting My Blessings


Yesterday marked two years since my family lost our warrior princess to cancer. Her death took such a toll on our entire family. Time has helped but not a day goes by when I don't think of her. She inspired me to go back to church. She motivated me to train for my first triathlon. She is my hero. At just 14 years of age Marlene had so much love for life, so much passion to live, and the biggest heart. All she wanted to do was help others. She loved to tell her story to all who would listen. Just because she got cancer, she never played the victim or got mad at God. She embraced her disease and fought until the bitter end..in the end she still didn't lose. She gained her wings and is now my guardian angel.


She passed away at the hospital I work at. I was devastated...an emotional wreck. I hated coming to work because it was just a constant reminder of her passing. The anxiety and tears would build up almost immediately. I completely avoided the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) for this reason.  I couldn't come to work without crying multiple times.  My coworkers and husband can vouch for how unstable I was.  For months I felt like this! I felt so lost and alone. I felt guilty that I couldn't do more for her. That I couldn't help her fight longer. My reasoning was crazy, but I couldn't help but feel this way. 


I still get moments of sadness. It's only natural especially during this time of year. I can't help but be a little more emotional. I miss her, plain and simple. Cancer is a horrible disease that unfortunately took our Marlene and my grandfather a year ago next week. Recently my father was also diagnosed with cancer. I haven't shared this with many people but a few months ago I did mention I was going through a pretty tough time. His recent diagnosis hit us like a ton of bricks. I just can't imagine my life without my father. This Christmas all I want is to spend time with my family. I want to treasure every moment I have left to spend with them. I am truly fortunate and thankful for all that I have. But this holiday season, I ask for prayers for all those that are having a difficult time this time of year. A prayer goes a long way...




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I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quick Treadmill Workout to Start Your Monday!


Tired of running on the treadmill? Looking for a quick workout to get your Monday going? I have just what you need. This week I needed to incorporate sprints for my half marathon training so after work yesterday I managed to whip a quick treadmill workout.  It is no secret how much I loathe the treadmill. It's boring and so redundant. There are people that love it but for me...I just prefer running outside.

Anyways if you are limited on time but want to get a good cardio workout then try this sprint interval workout. Perfect way to start your Monday and get back on track from the weekend. It took me less than 30 minutes to complete this workout. You'll burn a few calories, release endorphins, and automatically feel better!





Have a great Monday!



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I am linking up with Healthy Diva Eats

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Year of Running 2014

As this year almost comes to an end, I can't help but reflect on what a great running year it was for me. I ran the most races I have ever ran (6) and survived to tell it all! I had a PR but overall I had a great time running either by myself or friends. I even got the opportunity to travel across the U.S. for a half marathon...yes most of my friends thought I was crazy for doing this. But honestly, I wouldn't trade any of my memories for the world. I am linking up with Miss Zippy as I reflect on my year of running.


BEST RACE EXPERIENCE? 

Like I said this year I had the opportunity to run a brand new race across the country in Nashville. I ran the Rock N Roll Half Marathon and by far the best race experience I have ever had. I went with friends and my husband and we had such a fabulous time there. The spectators were amazing! Even though I happened to get my slowest time ever, I enjoyed every second of this course. There is a reason they call Nashville, NashVegas. This city is so amazing.



BEST RUN?

I had a PR this past year on a brand new race, The Heavenly Half Marathon. It was a beautiful flat downhill course in the mountains. The views were amazing! I literally was lost in the moment while I was running. I am super excited to run it again next year and who knows I may PR again. The best part was that I was a Top 100 Female Runner and was given a gift as I crossed the finish line. 


BEST NEW PIECE OF GEAR? 

I really didn't get any new tech gear I but I did get a vest that I can't stop wearing. I love running in vests during the winter. They keep me warm and are waterproof. I have quite a collection now. I also invested in a new shoe - Mizuno Wave Enigma. It has more support for my feet and has also helped with my plantar fasciitis.



BEST PIECE OF RUNNING ADVICE I RECEIVED?

"Listen to your body." I have really taken this seriously this year. When I am tired, I rest. If I start having pain, I rest. I am hoping to keep running for the long haul so I am happy that I finally took this advice seriously.


MOST INSPIRATIONAL RUNNER?

This one goes out to my running partner. She has been my number one motivator this entire year. She pushes me with every run...even our fun runs.  She has been through a lot during the last few years but she still continues to smile. She is such a great person.


IF YOU COULD SUM UP YOUR YEAR IN A COUPLE OF WORDS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Challenging and Amazing





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