Archives for February 2014

Finding Balance

Balance.

balance

It’s something that we all struggle with.

Between full-time careers, social events, blogging, relationships, staying active and eating well, balance can be difficult to find! Last week, I wrote a post for Katie discussing how I define balance. I’d love for you to check it out :)

Ending on a very balanced note… Happy Friday Eve!

Aruba, Jamaica, ooooh I wanna take you…

I started writing a post about the resort that Kyle and I stayed at in Jamaica but was feeling incredibly unmotivated. The resort was INCREDIBLE and it deserves a proper and super excited post so instead of writing about Jamaica today…

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I’m announcing…

I'm Attending Blend

I’M ATTENDING BLEND RETREAT IN JUNE!!

I’m PUMPED to be attending for my second year in a row and am even more excited to be sharing a room with Lindsay and Kim!

And I promise, more details of Jamaica are to come… once I find my post-vacation blogging motivation ;)

#24 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!!

Besides this post, I haven’t given you any details about my trip to Jamaica yet! Today I’m going to share bits and pieces of how I treated myself while on the gorgeous island last week :)

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a firm supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

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Drinks. Oh the drinks! Fruity cocktails full of rum galore! Pineapple drinks, martinis, Miami Vices and Pina Coladas – alllll were enjoyed each day while in Jamaica.

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Relaxing. The most difficult activity I had each day was walking to my beach chair and then to the pool chair and then to the beach bar and then to the restaurant. Oh and lifting the above mentioned fruity cocktails to my lips ;)

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Eating. Eating and eating and eating some more. French toast and bagels with lox and fish, LOTS of fish. The resort was loaded with delicious eats and I definitely treated myself to tasty meals.

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Quality time with Kyle. Between work and our other obligations at home in Chicago, we don’t have a ton of time to spend together during the weeks. It was nice to have 9 full days to just relax, hangout and enjoy each others’ company.

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Reading. I finished one book (P.S. Read Middlesex – it’s an interesting read!) and am almost done with a second book. This must be some kind of record for me :)

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Finding exercise in everyday activities. Overall, I was pretty lazy during our vacation, I did fit in some moves each day – waterfall climbing, stand-up paddle boarding and swimming!

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Make sure to stay tuned, I have more details on specific eats, drinks and the Jamaican resort to come!

How did you treat yourself this past week?

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Avocado-Egg Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Whew – what a recipe name!

Recipe titles have never been my expertise. Thankfully, the recipes themselves typically make up for my lack of naming creativity ;)

Today, I have an amazing pizza to share with you but first, I need to share the background story.

Pizza 1

While we were in Jamaica, we were inundated with food. TONS of food. Tons of GOOD GREAT food. The type of food that keeps you coming back for seconds and thirds and yes, even fourths. Typically buffets don’t offer up such fabulous offerings so Kyle and I were delighted. Although our clothes are no longer fitting as they should so maybe those fourth servings weren’t as delightful as we originally thought ;)

Anyways, Kyle’s favorite item on the breakfast buffet was the pizza. Yes, everyday our resort created a new breakfast pizza topped with amazing ingredients like roasted peppers and fresh pineapple and grilled corn and eggs. There were always eggs on the pizza and Kyle fell in love.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the guy eat so much pizza and we like our pizza here in Chicago!

On our last day in Jamaica – to Kyle’s dismay – there was no egg on the pizza. He was devastated so I promised to recreate – albeit a healthier version – his most-loved vacation food once we arrived home.

Well, my friends, I’ve done it. I made a “healthier” (it’s all relative… #amiright?) pizza topped with our favorite ingredients of cheese and avocado and eggs. Oh, and did I mention there’s sweet potato involved too?

Pizza 3

My lovely friend Melanie created a gluten-free sweet potato pizza crust that I knew I needed to incorporate into my egg pizza. And I’m so glad that I did. A crispy, sweet potato crust topped with gooey mozzarella, creamy avocados and drippy egg yolks.

What’s not to love? Well, besides being back from vacation and having to make the pizza for yourself, that is ;)

Avocado-Egg Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Serves 3-4 (or one pizza-lovin’ husband)

Ingredients:

Crust:

Toppings:

  • 1 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3 eggs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 and follow Melanie’s pizza crust recipe, baking 10 minutes less than recommended. Remove crust from oven and top with tomato paste followed by the cheese and avocado chunks. Carefully break each egg over pizza and place back into oven for 10-15 minutes, until eggs whites have turned solid but yolks are still runny. Remove from oven, cut into slices and enjoy!

Pizza 2

Y’all, this pizza is one of the best I’ve ever made and Kyle LOVED it! The crust is fabulous. I did omit the flax seed, water and Parmesan cheese from the recipe and it turned out perfectly. It’s a must try and will most definitely be happening in the ONW household again this week!

What is your favorite pizza topping? Black olives!

Have you ever had egg on a pizza? Obviously… ;)

{Healthy} Chocolate Nutella Smoothie

Whoooo – Multiple posts per day for the past few days?!

Smoothie 4

Is it apparent I missed y’all while I was on vacation? I hope so :)

Well, this post is just to let you know that I did a little guest post for Jessie last week.

{Healthy} Chocolate Nutella Smoothie.

It involves chocolate. And Nutella. And it’s all wrapped up into a smoothie. Basically you need to check it out ASAP.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, pretties!

Post-Vacation Weekend – Topolobampo, Sunshine & Mitchell

Before I get into my post, I want to congratulate my friend Laura (Pies and Plots blogger extraordinaire!) on making it into the finalist group for The Kitchn’s The Homies Awards. Make sure you head on over and vote for her before Wednesday! 

Happy Sunday evening! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.

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On Friday, Kyle and I said goodbye to the gorgeous country of Jamaica (recaps will be coming later this week!) and landed in Chicago around 7pm. We headed straight to our local bar to drown our post-vacay depression in burgers, fries and beer. #typical

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Saturday brought errands, a sweat sesh at the gym, TONS of laundry that turned the bathroom into an African safari (per Kyle’s commenting…) and picking up my favorite furman – Mitchell!

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On Saturday evening, Kyle and I headed to Topolobampo for dinner. I was hesitant to go out to eat again after just getting back from vacation but reservations are required at least 10 weeks in advance and Kyle was really looking forward to the experience so I went with it. And, let me say, I’m so glad that I did!

Topolobampo Collage

Topolobampo is owned by Rick Bayless and offers absolutely fantastic south of the border cuisine. We went with the 5-course tasting menu and splurged with the accompanying wine pairings. We had ceviche and yellowtail and carne asada and crab and mesquite chocolate cake paired with coconut ice cream <– oh yes!

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The entire experience – from our greeting to being seated at our table to the presentation to the food and drinks – was incredible and I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone. It costs a pretty penny but it is so worth it!

This morning we both woke up with headaches (thanks wine pairings, haha!) but pushed through and headed to the gym for a run on the indoor track. I was able to bust out a 3-miler without any pain. #celebrationdance! I give credit to my completely lazy week while on vacation as well as to starting to take Joint ProMotion. My shoulders and knees and every other joint in my body have stopped popping in Body Pump (I used to sound like an 80-year old…) and the pain is gone :)

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After the run, I came home and made this delicious concoction. Holy moly. I can’t wait to share the recipe with y’all tomorrow!

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The rest of the afternoon involved a nap, taking advantage of the sunny (and relatively warm day) in Chicago by going on a family walk and reading. I’m on my second book of the year – yay to keeping resolutions!

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And now that the evening is coming to a close, Kyle and I are back to wallowing in our post-vacation depression. Why do beach days go by so quickly?!

What did you do this weekend? What is your favorite restaurant in your city?

National Pancake Month + Pancake Muffins

Did y’all know that February is National Pancake Month?

FlapJacked

The lovely people over at FlapJacked sent me three flavors of their protein pancakes to celebrate the month – Buttermilk, Apple Cinnamon and Banana Hazelnut. Kyle and I broke into the Buttermilk flavor this morning for brunch and I made a delicious recipe with the Apple Cinnamon flavor!

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Apple Cinnamon Raisin Pancake Muffins

Makes 6 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 package FlapJacked Apple Cinnamon mix, prepared as directed
  • 1 small box raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 6 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray. You can also use muffins liners, or both! Divide the FlapJacked mix between the 6 muffin cups and then sprinkle each with raisins. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the tops are slightly browned. Enjoy!

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These muffins are quick, easy and are full of protein – a perfect breakfast!

I know how much all of us bloggers LOVE our pancakes and to celebrate this glorious month, FlapJacked is giving away FREE pancakes – woohoo! See the details below on how to enter :)

Enter to Win! For the month of February, FlapJacked is celebrating National Pancake Month by giving away FREE PANCAKES! You will simply share a photo of your favorite way to enjoy pancakes for the chance to win. 3 Prizes awarded weekly! For full details, click here!

Disclaimer: FlapJacked sent me pancake samples but I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Weekly Meal and Fitness Plan – 2.22.14

I can’t remember how long it has been since I posted a plan for my weekly eats and exercise.

Yikes.

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Lately, I’ve been lacking some serious motivation to make healthy dinners and fit in workouts during the week but now that I’m back from Jamaica, I’m ready to start fresh!

I don’t really like mixing these plans in with my typical weekend recap posts so I think I’m going to do this weekly post on Saturdays. Plus, if I do it on Saturday, I’ll have my meal planning ready to go before my Sunday morning grocery runs :)

This week, I have a lot of events planned which means a lot of dinners out but I’m okay with that… It makes it much easier to get back into the real world post vacation!

Weekly Eats:

  • Saturday: Dinner out with Kyle
  • Sunday: Mung bean noodle salad (I hope this turns out well – I can’t wait to share mung bean noodles with you!)
  • Monday: Egg pizza atop Mel’s Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pizza Crust
  • Tuesday: Turkey-Zucchini Burgers
  • Wednesday: Dinner out with Molly
  • Thursday: LUNAFEST with Katie
  • Friday: Taco night!

Weekly Exercise:

  • Saturday: Body Pump + 1-mile run
  • Sunday: Spinning
  • Monday: Cardio Kickboxing
  • Tuesday: Treadmill Run
  • Wednesday: Basic Training
  • Thursday: Treadmill Run
  • Friday: Pilates Mat Workout

AdvoCare “Mini” Challenge!

Happy Saturday!

Kyle and I made it safely back to Chicago yesterday. Our flight was originally delayed over 2 hours but we ended up arriving on time (shocking!) and were very happy about it :)

Since I’m moping around in my post-vacation state of depression, I will start my Jamaica recaps tomorrow. I just can’t bear to look at the photos yet and then gaze outside and realize I’m not surrounded by a gorgeous blue ocean any longer.

Today, however, I do want to announce a “mini” challenge that I will be hosting. After a vacation, I always feel puffy and ready to get back to clean eating and a regular fitness routine – can anyone else relate?

No? Just me… cool… Good to know I’m the only one who drinks too many sugary drinks and eats platefuls of French toast each morning and my body weight in nachos for a midnight snack ;)

Advocare Challenge

Anyways, I digress… After a week-long vacation I’m ready to get back into the swing of things and would love for you to join me! Starting next Monday, I will be hosting (and participating in!) an AdvoCare “Mini” Challenge!

Since I did a full 24DC in January (you can read about it here) and it is a requirement that you have to wait at least 90 days between challenges, I have decided to do my own mini version. For 14 days, I will be taking MNS3 supplements along with Spark and Catalyst. I will also be eating clean and avoiding alcohol as much as possible – I do plan on having the occasional coffee and glass of vino (this isn’t a full-blown challenge!) but I won’t be indulging in any sugar or processed foods.

Catalyst™

For the mini challenge, you’ll need MNS3 (or C or E – we can chat about what’s best for you!), Spark (because it’s freakin’ delicious) and Catalyst.

AdvoCare Spark® Energy Drink Mix

So, if you’re in for the fun (and yes, it is fun plus you will feel AH-MAZ-ING!!), shoot me an email (becky@olivesnwine.com) and we’ll get you all set up for a fantastic 14 days!

How many sugary cocktails do you think I drank while in Jamaica? Your guess is as good as mine – I most definitely did not keep track ;)

What is your favorite flavor of Fresh toast? The breakfast table at our resort had a banana-layered concoction that I – of course – smothered in peanut butter and it was INCREDIBLE!

That time Kyle ate my chewed gum…

Hello from Jamaica!

Kyle and I are packing up and getting ready to leave this beautiful island but before we go, I have to share a funny (or at least what I think is funny!) story with y’all :) And don’t worry, I’ll have plenty of Jamaica recaps coming your way next week!

On Wednesday evening, our dinner reservations weren’t until 8:45 – super late for us! Thankfully, the resort hosted a cocktail hour on the roof of one of the buildings with amazing drinks and appetizers to keep us happy until dinner.

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Kyle and I grabbed a small plate of nuts, cheeses, crackers and sweet potato chips along with some cocktails and enjoyed the view of the stars while noshing. A few minutes after we finished our snack, Kyle looked at me and asked what was minty on the plate. At first I had no idea – nothing on the appetizer spread had been minty – and then I realized I put my chewed gum (because girlfrand is always chewing gum…) onto the plate while we were eating. And Kyle ATE my gum – HAHAHAHAH!!

He didn’t find it so amusing but got over the fact quite quickly. Maybe it was all of the flirtinis we had consumed by that point ;)

I’m sure this is only funny to me but I had to leave you with a Jamaica teaser until I get the rest of my posts up.

Happy Friday, y’all! I hope you have a fantastic weekend :)

Have you ever eaten something disgusting? What are you up to this Friday night?

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