Why This Weather is Really Kind of Great

So … it’s cold out. Like, really cold. Did you know that?

Source: someecards.com
Source: someecards.com

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen almost every one of my Facebook, twitter and Instagram friends say something about these temps. It’s been a topic of conversation at every meeting and party. It’s breaking news every morning—I’m sure Al Roker is loving it. And all the while, I’ve stayed silent. Until now.

I’m bucking the trend and putting together a list of reasons why this weather rocks. Partly because I’m sick of hearing about it and partly because I’m listening to The Power audiobook (more on that later) and want to stay positive. Let me preface this list with saying that I’m aware this extreme weather is extremely inconvenient, has created dangerous situations and put many people out. I’m not trying to be insensitive to that, but rather poke fun at the majority of us who, even though we were born and raised in Cleveland, can’t seem to handle the subzero situation at hand.

Without further ado, here are some positives about our zero-degree city:

  • We don’t have to worry about our groceries going bad in our cars. In fact, the outside temperature is colder than our freezers. So buy all the yogurt, eggs and produce you want, and go run some errands/go to the gym!
  • These frigid winds are a very good reason to cuddle up to someone (two-legged or four-legged). Valentine’s Day is right around the corner—show some love!
  • It’s a great excuse to sit on your couch wrapped in a blanket (maybe a cookie in hand) and read or catch up on your DVR. Recently, I’ve finished two books and watched The Real Housewives about 25 times. Don’t judge.
  • The cold weather is a great excuse in general—it can get you out of after-work commitments and other annoying obligations. The best part? No one really questions you.
  • It’s a reason to get to house chores. In the past two weeks, I’ve cleaned and organized my apartment more than I have in the past six months. My car’s a hot mess, but my clothes? Color coordinated!
  • The weather saves money. Cancel a few plans and watch your bank account prosper…
  • …Unless you turn to online shopping like me. Then, I don’t know what to say.
  • And finally, it’s going to make this coming spring and summer that much sweeter. 🙂

Alright everyone, stay warm!

Have you found any benefits to this weather?!


Winter Favorites

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope your weekend was wonderful and you’re ready to kick this week’s butt (after a cup of coffee … or two). 🙂 Mondays are always hard for me, so I try to pack them with some fun stuff to ease the pain of my alarm blaring at 6:30. It’s been a while since I posted my “favorites,” so here goes—feel free to share some of yours!

My Josie Maran Makeup

My goodies!

I have a hard time justifying spending a lot on makeup, but when I find a brand I like, I stick to it. I have recently fallen in love with Josie Maran’s line, specifically with her blush (in Spice) and illuminizer. I even use her signature Argan oil on the ends of my hair before bed—not something I thought I’d ever say, with my fine/oily hair type. Her products feel luxurious, give me dewy skin and are natural and eco-friendly to boot. What more could you want?!

My Kindle (Fire)
This was a Christmas present from Nick, and I’m officially a convert—no more paper books for me! It took me a while to want one, but I’m truly loving it. There’s something satisfying about having any book at your fingertips with just the touch of a button. I’m almost done with my first book, and I have seen a number of others I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more, and I think it’s going to be possible with this new toy!

This Exercise Move

Source: community.toneitup.com
Source: community.toneitup.com

I’ve shared my obsession with the Tone It Up ladies, and this move has quickly become a staple in my workouts. Start off on all fours in a bridge pose and then raise your leg/do a tricep dip. It works the whole body, and I can already see more definition in my arms. All their moves rock, but this one is my fave.

Homemade Art

My rendition of the original "A Winter in West Park" painting
My rendition of the original “A Winter in West Park” painting

I’m not an artist (that’s my sister’s thing), but I recently went to an Art & Wine Night with my ladies, and here’s is my masterpiece. I must say that although I’m no Picasso, I was impressed with myself that I could create a somewhat complex painting. Sometimes when you leave your comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t normally do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Now I have a piece to have in my home that’s all my own.

A nice addition to my shelf
A nice addition to my shelf

Have a great week, and thanks for visiting! XO

What are some of your recent faves?

Good Mood Food: Mushroom & Onion Bake w/Steamed Bok Choy

Source: aliveinthefire.blogspot.com
Source: aliveinthefire.blogspot.com

The other day, I heard on the radio that the most miserable day of the year is January 6. I beg to differ. I think as the holidays get farther away and the long stretch of months weeks separate us from Spring, my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) really sets in. If you are unaffected by the weather, props to you—send me your tips for getting through. But if you’re like me, you’ll do anything to bring a little sunshine into your day.

For me, frequent exercise, getting outside when I can and keeping busy helps, but my sister, the soon-to-be dietitian, is a firm believer that one of the best places to fight the winter blues is in your kitchen. During these long, cold winter months, your Vitamin D intake is at an all-time low. This important vitamin can help you fight off seasonal depression as well as promote healthy bone and muscle mass, potentially fight off cancer, and improve your immune function (which we all need right now).

The tricky part about getting enough Vitamin D, however, is that it can’t be absorbed without calcium, and vice versa. Sound confusing?  My sis says the answer is as simple as pairing the right foods together. So, I asked her to make a recipe that is high in both these vitamins/minerals, and here is what she came up with—a delicious mushroom (high in Vitamin D) and onion bake with bok choy (calcium powerhouse). It’s easy to make and sure to be yummy. If you haven’t tried bok choy, please do. It’s a green that often gets overlooked.

Here it is—I can feel myself getting happier just thinking about making this (or maybe it’s the glass of wine I’m drinking)…

Camille’s Zesty Mushroom & Onion Bake with Steamed Bok Choy

Mushrooms, onions & bok choy
Mushrooms, onions & bok choy
  • 1 cup mushrooms (I used portabella, but you can use any kind you’d like)
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbsp. Olive Oil

Mix all ingredients together in an oven-safe dish. Bake uncovered at 375 for 20 minutes, or until onions are translucent and mushrooms begin to shrivel. 

In the meantime, cut and wash your bok choy (I suggest 2-3 stalks per person) and place in a microwave-safe crock with a lid. Fill without about ½ inch of water, cover, and steam in the microwave (I steamed mine for 2 ½ minutes and I had 3 stalks). Drain and add sea salt and pepper to taste.

This is a versatile dish that can be served with grilled chicken for added protein and/or on top of brown rice or quinoa. Beyond the Vitamin D and calcium, it is packed with potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Happy cooking and eating! 🙂

O & C

January Fitness Round-Up

So we made it through our first full week back in the office after the holidays, and now we’re on to week 2. Hope you’re surviving and didn’t cry too hard when the weekend ended! I just stopped my wailing. As the holidays ended and the New Year progresses, I’ve slowly retired my pajama pants as a wardrobe staple, thrown away the leftover Christmas cookies and other sugar-laden candies, and gotten back on the bandwagon.

Something that is motivating me this month is my girls’ vacation in Vegas in about 3 ½ weeks. Although it’s not going to be bathing-suit weather, I want to look my best with my ladies. So I’ve been mustering up all my energy and inspiration to get my butt to the gym. Here is a round-up of some workouts, articles and resources that have helped start my New Year off on the right foot.

Tone It Up

Source: www.toneitup.com
Source: http://www.toneitup.com

These girls are amazing. After watching the first episode of Toned Up on Bravo, I was hooked. Not only are they super cute and inspiring, they feed their fans with daily doses of workout moves and nutrition content to get and stay healthyI’ve never seen some of their strength moves before but have been doing them all week and I’m beyond sore. Here’s a workout I love. It’s short, sweet and effective. Kudos to these two women for being a source of motivation and happiness to girls all over.

My Mizunos

My new kicks, pretty in pink
My new kicks, pretty in pink

My Asics  were worn out and looking sad, so I spent some of my Christmas money on these Mizunos. I’m three workouts into these new shoes, and I love them. For the first time ever, I’ve had no pain or blisters breaking them in. And, they’re just pretty. They make me smile and I want to put them on—which makes we want to go to the gym.

Reading (or Surfing)

My January Self Magazine
My January Self Magazine

Sometimes to get going, I need to hit my Pinterest page or read some new articles for a new workout idea. This article on Shape.com has great information about how to have a successful workout no matter what type of exercise you do (Crossfit, barre, running, yoga—you name it!). And here’s some tips for getting up early to workout. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now—get my butt out of bed to get exercising out of the way before the day hits. Let’s see if it works. My goal is just once a week to have an early-morning workout. Wish me luck!

Hope these resources help get you excited about looking good this year! Gotta go—I’m off to the gym!

What’s your motivation for working out?


A Toast to 2014

Happy 2014, everyone!

It’s hard to believe the holidays are over and January is already in full swing. But as I said in my last post, the New Year means renewed hope and excitement for the next 12 months—a fresh start for all!

At the end of last week, I was asked to give a toast to the New Year to our company. My first thought? Yikes! I don’t think I’ve ever done a formal toast before. Does clinking glasses with girlfriends and cheers-ing to a Saturday night on the town count?! Doubtful. I was freaked out.

But by the time this post goes live, I will have already made my toast. And I’m hopeful I will have held it together, maybe gotten a laugh or two and not stammered over my words. This request from my boss inspired me to make a toast to 2014 on this blog. Because this year is going to be full of change—I can feel it. New homes, new friends, new babies, and I’m hoping some great new experiences. Raise your cup (most likely of coffee) and join me in a happy, hopeful wish for the next 365 days.

My morning drink for toasting
My morning drink for toasting

Here goes nothing…

This is a toast to everyone who reads this blog.

May 2014 bring (good) change.

The kind of change that shakes you to your core and makes you grow. The kind of change that gives you butterflies in your stomach and although you’re sort of terrified to take the leap, you do. And may you do it with strength, confidence and certainty that no matter what, you’re going to be better off for making that change.

May 2014 bring happiness.

It’s impossible to be happy all day every day. And there will be days/weeks we’re going to be moody, upset, sad, depressed or exhausted. But let’s work hard to find happiness in every day. Whether it’s an hour of curling up with a good book, a snowed-in night with a loved one or a walk in the rain—let’s live in the moment and be grateful to be alive.

May 2014 be healthful.

May we start or continue down a path of health in this New Year. Let’s cook healthy meals, have fulfilling workouts, run a 5K and hit the gym with a buddy. Let’s take a few minutes to meditate, put our smartphones down and be carefree. Because being stress-free is an excellent way to be healthy.

May 2014 be fun.

A happy life is a life well-lived. And happiness can’t be achieved without a little bit of fun. Let’s book fun weekend getaways, try new foods, drink wine with our girlfriends and sing in the shower. Because at the end of the day, God has granted us another year on this earth, and we need to make the most out of it.

Cheers, everyone! Have a great week.

Later this week, I’ll be posting some motivating fitness content to get us through this chilly week. It’s so hard to find motivation to hit the gym when it’s sub-zero, but I’ve found some solutions that are working for me so far … stay tuned!

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

What’s your wish for the new year?