Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fitness + Health

I am currently listening to Shakira's new cd and she is making me want to get up and dance. It is a perfect fit for writing this blog post. All about fitness and health. Those two things have slowly and naturally become two of our passions.

It all started when gearing up for our wedding. As a woman, all I wanted to do was get in shape for the biggest day of my life. This turned into a time to hang out as a couple. I see my co-workers during the week more than my husband, so we needed a time during the day to focus on each other. This time turned into working out together and our passion has grown from there. I was so against lifting weights at the beginning because I definitely thought I would bulk up. For all my ladies out there, this WILL not happen. Weight training if anything, is one of the quickest ways to shred fat and slim down. I am so thankful that Mike helped me get into weight training because I have never been happier with my body. There are still things I want to tone up, but all in all, my confidence has increase leaps and bounds.




Mike is a great motivator and having him there to hold me accountable is such a blessing. I do not think I could do it on my own. Because of our work schedules being slightly different, we choose to work out in the morning to get time together. This was hard at first, but your body really does get used to it. Plus it helps get your metabolism started! We top off every work out with a protein shake and water, water, and more water.

We pull a lot of our work outs from Muscle & Fitness Magazine. I just found out they have a women's version, so I will be checking that out asap! They do a great job laying out workouts with how many sets, reps, and suggested weight for each. Mike and I are currently doing a circuit training workout from their March issue and are loving it. Very crossfit-y.

One thing I am also going to incorporate is a Bikini Bootcamp from one of my favorite pages on Instagram. The Super Sisters are holding a 6-week boot camp and my friend and I decided to try it out! If you're interested, check out there website and we can all do it together! It starts on April 1st, so let me know if you're doing it too!

On the nutrition side of things, they say 80% of getting toned is what you eat and I am going to have to agree. It is nearly impossible to work out extremely hard and then still eat whatever you want. Cleaning eating is huge as well as eating a good amount of protein.

Depending on how active you are, you're supposed to eat one gram of protein to one pound of your body weight. So if you're 130 lbs, your daily protein in take should be 130 grams. Doing this while strength training helps maintain the muscles you're building. This is my struggle. I don't think I eat enough protein throughout the day. I have always struggled with eating chicken, so I eat a lot of tuna. This can get a little old at times, so I try to get more protein in hard boiled eggs, 0% fat greek yogurt, protein bars, and salmon. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but it really does make a huge difference.

We have a staple grocery list that we always get and then add things in accordingly. We always get:

  1. apples
  2. bananas
  3. lettuce
  4. bell peppers
  5. zucchini
  6. sweet potatoes
  7. salmon
  8. chicken breast
  9. ground turkey
  10. jugs of water
  11. steel cut oats/old-fashioned oats
  12. tuna
  13. brown rice (Minute Rice)
  14. Unsweetend Almond Milk
  15. Fage 0% fat Greek Yogurt
  16. Ezekiel bread
  17. frozen fruit for smoothies

These ingredients help build a solid foundation for any meals we are going to have.

Mike and I have little notebooks where we try to write out everything to act as a guideline. We write out our workouts with sets, reps, and weight, and we write out our food consumption. One thing I have noticed is that when I write down how I feel after working out (strong, confident, motivated), I am less likely to indulge in things that slow down my process. Also, when I come across a workout or tips on Instagram or the web, I write it down so I can incorporate that in to my routine. Writing things down really helps!


Lastly, drink lots of water and stretch!! A friend of mine suggested I start off by drinking half my body weight in ounces. You will have to go to the bathroom a lot, but it really makes your body so happy! And make sure to stretch. We have stared to foam roll after each workout as well; it's painful, but makes such a difference.

It just takes a couple of days to get into the routine of things! My biggest struggle was not having someone hold me accountable, so it was so great when Mike and I started working out together. If there are fitness goals you have, start small and work your way up! Don't focus on the pounds as much as the inches. Or hell, don't focus on anything except feeling great!



Monday, March 24, 2014

A Look Back On The Weekend

So Thursday night, Mike got sick with what he likes to call an asthma induced upper respiratory infection with a side of fever. Or what I like to call, the FLU. It has been really hard finding a safe refuge in a one-bed, one-bath apartment. I feel bad, but every time he moves I follow him with my can of Lysol.

Because of this, our weekend consisted of watching Perks Of A Wallflower, Something's Gotta Give, As Good As It Gets, Easy A, way TOO much March Madness, topped off with last week's Scandal episode. Did anyone else out there cry??

I did, however, leave the house to go to Barnes & Noble. I have been wanting a healthy cookbook for a while now, but I was being picky in my selection. I wanted a cookbook that had pictures, nutrition info, and meals that didn't require 15-20 ingredients. I landed on The Abs Diet Cookbook. It provides great tips and information on the foods you cook with.



Sunday started off strong with French-toast, Italian-Style from the new cookbook!

The ingredients consist of:
2 TBLS part-skim ricotta cheese
2 slices whole grain bread (I used Ezekiel bread)
1 TSP honey
1 TBLS sliced almonds (I didn't have these)
1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 TBLS 1% milk (I used Unsweetend Almond Milk)
Handful of berries


Start by spreading the ricotta cheese on one slice of bread.



Then drizzle the honey.



Next, add a little cinnamon and then top with the other slice of bread.



In a pan, add non-stick spray, or I used a little coconut oil. Turn to medium heat.




In a shallow bowl (wide enough to lay the bread down in it... I learned the hard way), a the egg, milk, and cinnamon and whisk.



Take the sandwich and dip both sides in the wash, coating it evenly with the egg batter. My bowl wasn't big enough, so I improvised.


Place in the pan and cook both sides until lightly brown.


Top with berries and enjoy!


Here's to a healthy Monday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Budgeting

Why didn't they offer a course in college on "Budgeting In the Real World/Investing"? Or even "Managing Your 401k"? Or did they and I didn't know about it?? Looking back, I don't think my college self would have actually taken this class (unless required), but hindsight is 20/20. When Mike and I got our first jobs and were handed our 401k packages; they could have been written in Chinese for all we knew. We were SO lost.

Since then, budgeting, investing, and managing our 401ks have become a hobby of ours. We are by no means accountants, but we manage.

Dave Ramsey, Mike's step-dad, and Quicken (thanks Mom!) have been great guides on how to build up our savings account and help with budgeting ideas. Mike and I go off of a zero-based budget. We have a certain $ amount for our checking that we will never go under. We act like that number = $0.  For example, treat $3,000 like it is $0. The night before we get paid, I look at our bank account and transfer any money "left over" to get us to "$0". I get paid every 15th of the month, so I base it off of that, but you can base it off whatever day suits you best.

When Mike and I got married, we knew we were going to have a large school loan payment and other bills to follow. Our goal from the beginning was to pay the loan off as quick as possible. The way the loan was laid out was very interesting, and actually made it easier to pay off. The big $ amount was divided into 6 smaller loans each at a different interest rate. The way we decided to tackle that was by taking out the highest interest ones first and going from there. We see each "little" loan as a goal. Lately, we have been really strict, only because we have the loan down to two payments left. We are ready to get rid of these! Because this is only temporary, we are transferring my whole paycheck to savings to help build it up quicker. It is challenging, but it will be over soon:)

But just because you are on a budget, it doesn't mean you can't go out and have fun. We look at it like every dollar amount we earn goes towards something. Whether that be loans, groceries, or FUN, our money has a a place to go. Like this month for example, we are booking a trip for our one year anniversary. We know where that money is going and we have planned for it.

Set goals for when and what you want to pay off and it will be so much easier. Mike and I have turned it into a game. We try to reach a certain amount by a certain time and if we do we treat ourselves.

The purpose of this post is to help others out there who are in the same place. Debt and bills are a drag, but planning goals and saving for them is such a good feeling! I know there are limits as to how much you can save at a time, but even transferring payments of $20-$50 to savings a month starts to add up!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This Week's Tunes

TV off. Music on.
These songs are great as well as their whole albums.

{CD=Ashlyn's work Jam}

{powerful}

{Mike's favorite}


Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Rewind

A look back on our weekend...

At the beginning of the year, San Antonio Magazine put together a "Best Of" list of restaurants, bars and places everyone should try out. There were only a few we had ventured to, so we decided we were going to go to all of them.

One of them on that list is The Clean Plate. We made our way here Friday night and were not disappointed. All of the ingredients used are local and their recipes change with the seasons. We left their stuffed and ready to schedule our next trip back! AND they have Main Root Sodas. Cream Soda, please!


One of Mike's best friends was in town this weekend from Syracuse and invited us down to Corpus Christi for the day. We made our way down to the coast as well as the rest of Texas. It was packed! 

The morning was a little overcast and windy, but thank goodness the sun came out. It was nice to get out of the city even if it was only for a few hours. 


{about to freeze..}


 {beautiful Texas sunset}

Sunday consisted of grocery shopping, Sonic Sweet Tea, my brother's soccer game, and BBQing. I ended the night reading The Fault In Our Stars. I can already feel the tears coming..

{Lilly Kate was hard core coloring}

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Welcome To This Little Drum!


Welcome to our blog! We are so excited to share our adventures, life, and loves with you. Head over to About Me for a quick background on the the two of us and feel free to take a look around!

Thanks for marching with us and..

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

This Week's Tunes

We both love music. All kinds. When we find tunes we love, we like to share.


These have been gracing our speakers lately.

{Ashlyn's go-to}

{Mike's work jam}

{On replay everywhere}

Now I want to go dance on the beach..

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekend Rewind

A look back on our weekend..

Friday night consisted of dinner with our good friends, Chris and Natalie. Chris' birthday was last week, so to celebrate we drove to Gruene and ate at Gruene River Grill. If Mike and I were to own a cabin, we would pull elements from this place. If you are ever in Gruene and don't want to go to the oh-so-popular Gristmill, I highly recommend this place! 



Saturday morning started off with a No Limits Circut class at the gym. This was our third week to do this class and she kills us every time. We walk out of there completely drenched, but it's addicting. The whole time I was looking forward to the Quest Bar I was going to eat afterwards. Is that sad? I have been hooked on these things for the past month and crave their flavors, esp Cinnamon Roll. I have been researching a lot on nutrition and have found that I do not eat enough protein for how active we are. These help get my day started with 20 grams of protein and they are delicious. Win win. 



After class, we met up with my family and went downtown. We ate at Guillermo's, which I love, and went to Market Square. My dad's good friend from high school had his Italian Ice stand out there for a festival that was going on. The weather was nasty, but we still had a great time. And before I ate it I made sure to ask what was in it. It is just the fruit you choose blended with ice. Lent approved!





family

Mango=favorite

Kristen + Parker + Me

We capped Saturday off with church and dinner at Mike's moms. It was a great day packed full of family time. Our favorite. 

Sunday consisted of relaxing. Woke up to the time change, and was glad the alarm only said 9am. I really don't like sleeping in anymore because I feel like I waste so much of my day. I made us breakfast and food for the week and headed to a coffee shop to read. Our weekend ended with the Sunday tradition of BBQ at my Dad's and 12 Years a Slave. 

Have a great week!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

First 40 Days With God

Lent has arrived (I am a few days late on this post)! Every year we give up something and I feel this is the first year I am diving into the full meaning. In years past, I have given up things for 40 days, but didn't take the chance to fully connect with God throughout the process. That is my main goal this year. Spend more time with God. Whether it is one-on-one or praying with Mike; I want to be close to Him.

Mike and I are giving up alcohol and sweets for 40 days and replacing it with growth. It makes us better people and grows our marriage in ways that we cannot do alone. Mike has a bible study he goes to and one day he came home with a great topic. He was saying how one of the leaders was asking if we talked to God as much as we talk to our significant other. What an eye-opening question. My answer is no. I don't talk to God like I do Mike, and that is something that I have been working on since he came home that day. I crave the love of God and I crave his love for our family and being in constant connection is needed. I am taking these first 40 days to really focus on growing with God.



I love this Lent blog post from one of my favorites, Jen Loves Kev.