Not-So-Lazy Sunday

After a busy few months, I was happy to fill my Sunday with things I love. I started the day with a free barre3 class taught by Courtney at Athleta with several of my close lady friends. It was really sweaty, but really fun! Easton Town Center is quiet on Sunday mornings and it was nice to avoid the chaos usually surrounding the area.

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Getting our upright core workout on.

After class it was time to hit the ground running. Later that day, I was hosting a Wildtree freezer meal workshop. Backing up a bit: my friend, Annie, is a rep for the company. I’m always weary of direct sales parties but the company’s founder is someone I can relate to and their products are free of preservatives, additives and fillers.

I decided to a host a party where each guest purchases a $79 Wildtree spice and oil kit, then buys and preps their meats and a few veggies in advance of the get together. You come to the workshop and finish preparing your meals (ranging from 10-20 depending on your family size) with the help of Annie and a few glasses of wine.

Three of us decided to head to Costco together to make a bulk meat purchase, which I absolutely recommend. It’s a LOT of meat. We were excited we made it out of there.

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$400 in meat later…

We went back to my house to prep before the party. Between the three of us it took 1.5 hours, which included separating the meat, chopping it and putting it into the correct meal bag.

Everyone came over around 6:30 p.m. with their cooler of freezer bags and chopped meats. We caught up for a bit and ate some snacks Annie brought over, as well as a few I prepared, then we got down to business. Since none of us have kids we decided to split the meals in half and prepared 20 of them. During the party we worked to add the additional ingredients to our prepped bags, including the oil and spices. After that, everyone packed their coolers and rushed home to get their creations in their own freezer!

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Spices and oil. Picture courtesy of Organize 365.

Overall, the workshop was really helpful. Annie did a great job of answering questions and walking us through the steps. I have 20 “fresh frozen” meals in my freezer and can’t wait to try them out. I’m making a Cajun Shrimp Pasta tonight.

I would love to do this once every few months. It’s nice knowing I just need to cook a side of rice or steam some veggies to go alongside my meal after a long day at work or a weekend away from home. I think most of us even feel comfortable enough to do it on our own without a Wildtree rep.

Also, while it might seem expensive purchasing everything for 20 meals at once, the cost breaks down to approximately $2.50/serving. It’s way less than I would spend at the grocery store on a normal basis, and the time-saving element makes it even more affordable.

Now onto taste-testing!

2013 Fantasy Football Champion

Last night, at approximately 11:30 p.m., my team, Big Thuglies, was crowned Fantasy Football champions.

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Don’t let my husband’s Facebook status fool you. I was an avid follower and supporter of my team the entire season. During the past three years of fantasy football play, my team was awful. It all changed this season.

Because of this, I decided it was only right to pen an open letter to the ladies of league Show Me Your TDs and thank those who got me where I am today.

Dear ladies,

I dedicate this season to myself.. for overcoming years of oppression and horrible players, climbing through the trenches of NFL games from the bottom of the barrel, and growing into who I am today: the 2013 champion.  

First, I’ll start off by saying that if I ever find the person who gave Wes Welker two concussions, causing him to miss my playoff games, I will be sure they are also concussed for at least five weeks. #findweswelkersconcusser #hithiminthehead

Second, I owe each and every one of your teams (except for Screaming Scorgasms, the only team who managed to beat me every time we played, which was once) a special thank you. Somehow, all of the players on your team WANTED me to win, as they all played well below par during our match-ups. You can’t be mad at them. #curseofthebigthuglies

Next, thank you to Rob for telling me to pick running backs and wide receivers first. This helped tremendously, as I found out in past seasons it’s not very helpful to have the #1 defense or #1 kicker.

But mostly, thank you to Rob for not explaining that you (1) shouldn’t pick two main wide receivers on the same team and (2) shouldn’t pick players with the same bye week. By not giving me this advice, I drafted Demaryius Thomas AND Wes Welker, in addition to the other 8 players who had a bye week 9. #gowithyourgut

Fourth, as a former flutist, I’d like to give a special shoutout to the arts. My team had considerable musical talents this year. Naya Rivera’s brother, Mychal, a rookie TE, stepped it up to score at least 3 points per game. I bet he has a good singing voice. Also, Keenan Allen told the press this week he almost quit earlier this season to start a musical career because he wasn’t getting enough playing time. #wellrounded #encourageschoolstokeepmusicprograms

Fifth, while some of you may think I’m mad at Frank Gore for only scoring 1 point this week, I truly commend him not for his ability as a running back, but for his high standards. When I saw him demanding a winter coat be placed around him in a team huddle, while the others froze their asses off, I thought, “Now that is a guy I can get behind.” #princessfrank

Sixth, while Matt Stafford provided my team a lot of support in the beginning, he has fallen into a horrible, horrible place and my kicker scored more points than him this week to help secure the win. He was no help and I would like to NOT thank him. His girlfriend will probably be mad at me. #twitterwars

Seventh, it is with great sadness I know at least one of my players will be getting in trouble with the law in 2014, following the likes of Titus Young and Aaron Hernandez. Whoever it is, may they have had a good enough season to afford a good attorney. #goodhelpaintcheap #sorryaaron

Finally, it was a pleasure playing with all of you ladies and I’m looking forward to next year already. May the Fantasy Football lords grant you the same luck next year that I had this year. Just kidding.. I hope they grant it to me again.

TD blessings,
Katie

President
Big Thuglies team franchise

Celebrating a Very Special “Birthday”

A few weeks ago I received an email from Chobani’s community coordinator asking if she could send me some samples. Free yogurt? Yes please!

The yogurt’s arrival coincided with the five-year anniversary, or birthday, week of barre3. For those unfamiliar, I’m an instructor at the barre3 Columbus location. The company is all about being tuned into your whole self, and finding balance in your mind, body and life. Why not share my plethora of healthy yogurt with some of my favorite people?

The studio owners, Courtney and Whitney, welcomed the idea with open arms. I thought the 6 a.m. crew would be the perfect bunch to try out my barre3 Birthday Smoothie. I reasoned that they deserved the extra boost for waking up when most folks are still snuggled in bed. I was also happy to finally use my cupcake carrier. I have to document this day in case Rob ever forgets why we definitely needed to register for it. 

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100 percent necessary cupcake carrier.

Here’s the recipe I created:

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Note: Although it says Chobani Low-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt, it was actually non-fat.

It was fun and rewarding to see clients grabbing smoothies and chatting before running off to get their day started. We received lots of compliments and I’ll definitely be adding this smoothie to my list of regulars.

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I’m obsessed with the little straws.

In case you’re wondering, to create the perfect smoothie sample I poured about 3 oz of smoothie into a 5 oz Dixie cup. I took flexible straws and cut about one inch from the top and two inches from the bottom so they fit nicely into the cups.

I definitely recommend trying the recipe, and then getting creative in coming up with your own smoothie concoction. Feel free to share your favorite recipe in the comments!

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Courtney and I enjoying some morning smoothies!

Back to Reality

VacationGroupLast week I was preparing to leave for what turned out to be an amazing vacation with even more amazing friends. There were 21 of us that planned and executed a trip to Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

The house we stayed at was perfect. We had a pool and private beach access, and it was spacious enough that no one felt cramped. Not to mention Laura, the owner, was beyond responsive and made sure we had everything we needed. The weather consisted of sun the entire week, with the exception of our last day which was spent playing cards, packing and cleaning.

I wanted to capture the only picture we were able to squeeze everyone in for, which happened to be the night we deemed “tank and taco night.”

Speaking of tacos, if anyone is going on a large group trip and needs help meal planning, I’ve got the list for you! We cooked many of the meals in our kitchen, which saved us a lot on expenses. While the initial grocery trip was exhausting for the four of us that went, it was well worth it. It ended up being pretty comical, with each of our carts overflowing with food and drinks. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t asked twice if were extreme couponers.

I appreciate the time I was able to spend with my friends and am so grateful for the memories and laughs.

Happy Birthday, Rob!

Today is my husband’s 28th birthday. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on how lucky I feel to have such a supportive, loving and funny guy in my life. I love this picture from our wedding day because it captures the excitement and joy I was feeling then, and still feel now.
HappyBirthdayRobI got up extra early to write a Pinterest-inspired “Happy Birthday” message on the mirror in dry erase marker (although I’m almost positive it ended up looking more like a ransom note). We left the house extra early to enjoy breakfast before work at Tasi, one of our favorite breakfast spots in the Short North. Tonight we’re heading to the Columbus Clippers game with a group of friends, and will continue the celebration with family this weekend in Youngstown.

I won’t get too sappy, but I do want to wish my perfect person the best birthday yet! I’m looking forward to celebrating many more.

Chili Season Kick-Off

It’s officially my favorite time of year: fall! That means hot apple cider, pumpkin patches, blueberry donuts (from my beloved White House Fruit Farm) and CHILI!

Chili is one of my go-to meals when I don’t have a ton of time. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and most of that time is letting it sit on the stove and heat. The chili recipe I’m sharing also includes Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles. I’m not a big fan of ground meat and actually tend to steer toward vegetarian options when I can. You can’t taste the difference with this stuff. It looks (and tastes) like ground beef. My husband even loves it! See?

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Anyway- here’s the recipe and everything you need. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

What you need:

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Ingredients (serves 3-4 people)

  • McCormick Original Chili seasoning (or whatever seasoning you prefer!)
  • Kidney Beans
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles (found in the freezer section – Vegetarian Options)
  • Cooking spray (or olive oil)

Instructions:

  • Spray your pan with cooking spray or mist with olive oil to prevent the crumbles from sticking. Heat for 1 minute on medium.
  • While your pan is heating, stick the Boca bag in the microwave for 45 seconds on high. This will thaw the crumbles just enough to separate them.
  • Open your Boca bag and slowly dump the crumbles into the pan. Be sure to l heat thoroughly (usually 5-7 minutes) and stir often.
  • After your crumbles are thawed and warm, add in chili seasoning, kidney beans (undrained), and diced tomatoes (undrained). Bring mixture to a boil, then let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve and enjoy!

I love trying new recipes- so if you have a chili recipe you love feel free to send it my way. Happy fall!