Good morning! What a long week it’s been. Luckily for me it’s a long weekend and we have very few plans! I’m looking forward to tidying up at home, getting a few errands done, and finishing the book I’m reading. But first, a few Friday Favorites!
1. American Stationary
Picking up where we left off last week, our loved ones really spoiled us this Christmas! Les's sister, and my bridesmaid, Emily, gifted us this beautiful notepad set from American Stationary. Seeing our married names together when we opened this was so, so exciting. It makes our wedding seem so real! I love this set and the variety of memo pads that Emily included: our individual names, our names together, our first names, our full names... such a special gift (and great idea for newlyweds or soon-to-be-weds) that we'll get to use and enjoy for a long time.
2. Nestlie's new bed from Paw.com
Over Christmas when Les and I were at his parent's house, we were admiring the bed they had in their living room for their two dogs, Pink and Racer. It turns out that Les's cousin, who was also there, does PR for the company that makes it, Paw.com! She offered to send us one, and we (more importantly Nestlie) are in LOVE. First of all, it looks more like an area rug than a dog bed, so it's the opposite of an eyesore in our living room. It's also an orthopedic bed, and the cover is an incredibly soft faux fur. Nestlie's love language is ~soft~ so she's in Heaven. Plus, the cover zips off for easy cleaning. We were planning to give this to Nestlie for her sixth birthday next month, but we couldn't wait. :) P.S. You can learn more about Nestlie here if you're not yet aquatinted!
3. Blue Light Glasses
Recently I had been having trouble falling asleep, and this also coincided with my getting back into the habit of reading before bed. Les was convinced it was the blue light from my Kindle keeping me up long after I put my book away to try to sleep, so I ordered some blue light blocking glasses from Amazon! A friend of mine at work has been using them and she said that she definitely notices a difference after a long day on her computer, so I thought I would give them a shot! Holy cow. I could see the difference right away on my Kindle Screen so I knew they were actually blocking the light, and truthfully I have actually been falling asleep quicker than I had been after reading my Kindle. So, if you've been wondering if these glasses actually work, I'm going to go ahead and say that yes, I think they do! Plus, at $10-$15 on Amazon, you're not taking a huge risk if they end up not doing it for you!
4. Peloton Digital App
This next Friday Favorite was directly inspired by Grace from Boston... just kidding. I was actually inspired by Les trying this out first (I didn’t see Grace’s guy on that bike himself!!) This past summer, I shared that in our quest to be more active and get back into working out, Les and I joined a Crossfit Gym. Well, that didn't last. After doing it all summer we both realized that we really struggled to get to bed early enough so that we wouldn't feel like zombies for the 5:30 AM class (the only one that worked in our schedules). In addition, I, for one, realized that my real fitness goal was weight loss, and Cross Fit didn't seem like it was going to give me that. As much as we LOVED our gym and the people there, it just wasn't something we genuinely looked forward to going to, and it also cost us a decent amount.
So after a hiatus this fall, Les and I knew we wanted to work fitness back into our New Years resolutions and our goals for 2020. Les downloaded the Peloton Digital app and tried a "rock and roll run" over the holidays and he loved it. Which says a lot, because he hates running. I gave it a try too.... and I was hooked. Since January 1 (when I did my first run), I've done 14 more. It may not seem like a lot, but it feels huge to me because it means that I've run 14 out of the 16 days in 2020 so far (I'm writing this on Thursday the 16th and I plan to run tomorrow!). How many days do they say it takes to form a habit? Either way, I feel like I'm well on my way. I honestly feel excited to run every day with it, and feel guilty on the days I don't, which I think means I'm finally motivated by something!
There are so many reasons to love it. It's $12.99 a month for both Les and I, and we have access to their live and digital classes right on our phones or iPads. While I've only been doing their running classes on the treadmill, they also have outdoor runs, strength, cycling, yoga, mediation, stretching, bootcamp, walking, and cardio, as well as specialized programs for things like 5K or marathon training. I use the treadmill in the gym in my apartment building, literally 15 feet from my door, so I have no excuse not to go. I take a different class every time, whether it be an interval class, HIIT, fun run, or tempo run. I've tried three instructors and found one who I love... her name is Becs Gentry and I feel like I've really hit my stride running with her! She's super motivating, and she's actually taught me a lot about my form and, as silly as this sounds, how to run.
While I thought I would start getting up around 6:30 and doing a class before work, I've actually been doing the opposite and getting on the treadmill at night after dinner, usually between 8 and 9 PM. I kind of love it as an ending to my day, and then getting into bed all showered and feeling like I accomplished a lot. Just in the 14 runs I've done, my speed has increased (meaning that what started as my run speed is now my jog speed), my pace has increased (shaving four minutes so far off of the mile time I started with), I'm running with a 1% incline as my "flat road," and I've started to do longer classes. Anyways, not to be one of "those people" but I could literally go on and on about this app, which I didn't even know you could have without a Peloton machine! Maybe this should have been it's own blog post? I'll just end by saying I highly recommend it for all sorts of their workouts, but in particular if you have always wanted to get more into running-- which can be incredibly boring on a treadmill. The music is fun, the instructors are great, and for as many times as I set "getting in shape" as a goal, I think I'm finally doing it.
5. Firecracker Meatballs with Sesame Jasmine Rice
Last one for the week... it's been a while since I shared a recipe, but this is one that Les and I have been loving recently. It was actually one of our Hello Fresh meals, but I've made it two additional times on our own. It's easy to make, and there are so many flavor components to it! Give it a go next time you're stuck on dinner ideas!
2-4 scallions, chopped
2 tsp chopped ginger (I've been using a small refrigerated pack of dried ginger)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 lb ground beef (could also use ground turkey)
1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 package instant Jasmine Rice
Adjust rack to the top position and preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, 2 tsp of your soy sauce (you'll use the rest later) and sriracha to taste. Set aside.
Trim and chop scallions, separating whites from greens. In another bowl, mix together ground beef, breadcrumbs, scallion whites, ginger, remaining soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Form into 1/2 inch meatballs. Place on one-half of a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Toss your green beans in olive oil, salt, and paper, and place on the other half of your baking sheet. Bake until meatballs are cooked through and green beans are roasted, about 14-16 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add 1/2 tbsp of sesame seeds, stirring until golden brown. Microwave your rice according to package instructions, and then stir the rice into your roasted sesame seeds.
Plate your rice, topped with meatballs, followed by sauce. Garnish with scallion greens, remaining sesame seeds, and chili flakes to taste. Serve with green beans on the side. Voila!
Thanks for checking in this week, and happy long weekend to those of you who have Monday off!! Talk to you soon. :)