Catch Up

I have been MIA for a very very long time. I don’t have much of an excuse really. It’s just sometimes I’m a bit bored with North Pole and then I get antsy, and then I try to run around doing as many things as possible… and one of those things was not the blog. Lame right?

Well since its been a heck of a hiatus let me catch you up as quickly as humanly possible!

I’ve taught a Halloween and Thanksgiving themed spin classes. The playlists included songs like “Ghostbusters” and “Fat Bottomed Girls”. I also wore ladybug wings. But only for Halloween… In retrospect I should have made an Indian headband or a Pilgrim hat… but that just leaves room for improvement next year!

We have officially moved into the darkest month of the year. Currently the sun rises at 10:11am and sets at 3:04pm. Sooo a snippet of sun is kinda all ya get. If you think daylight savings is tough, well I wouldn’t recommend living here!This picture is as 4:07pm last week. Pretty? Yes. Bizarre that is been dark for an hour already? YES.

This cute, curly, love bug went back to his parents. Our friends returned safely from their deployment and so Beemer went back to his real home. I spent that evening fully dressed, winter coat still on, crying in bed. I love dogs. And I really love Beemer. But since they live the closest to us in this Alaskan adventure, I have a visitation rights, and will definitely use them.

We hosted Thanksgiving for the second year in a row. Last year we had 12 adults and two babies. This year we had 17 adults and 3 kids under 3. Whew.

I made two turkeys. Yup. One was 20lbs and the other was about 14lbs. Because apparently a 34lb turkey would not be able to stand up right. I didn’t really think about that until I called the butchers at three different grocery stores and they all but laughed at my gigantor turkey idea. ooops 🙂

Recommendations: I have used Pioneer Woman’s Turkey Brine on three different birds now. It is simple and easy and pretty much guarantees you’ll have a juicy feast. I grab a 3-5 gallon buckets, put a brining bag in it, load in my turkey and poor that beautiful brine in the bag. I like my bucket method because it really submerges the bird. Mine soaked for right around 24 hrs, then I rinse/let my turkey sit in cool water for about 15mins. Patted it dry and then went with Alton Brown’s method for roasting and Real Simple’s recipe.

The Boswell Black Friday excitement went to a new Dyson. My loving husband was helping vacuum on Turkey day and the vacuum broke. So with the glory of $170 off we ordered the Animal Dyson and got free shipping via Amazon. Why did we get the Animal you ask? Well it will be good for sucking up pet hair….

After the Thanksgiving madness, I made my cookies to send out for the Great Blogger Cook Exchange. I sent them out last week and I believe they have now made their merry little way to my matches. I’m anxiously awaiting my cookies!

And finally we arrive right back to the present. Trevor and I constructed our gingerbread house (fruit roll-up roof tiles) and our house has some Christmas cheer 🙂 Tonight I’m going to watch my favorite holiday movie…And hopefully make a bunch of Christmas cookies!

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Fireburning Spin

I’m really cranking it up a notch in anticipation of my Hawaiian holiday that is only a short distance away. That means that I’ve dug into my Nike Training App, downloaded a Jillian Michael’s DVD, and am seriously stacking my spin and boot camp classes.
Between Tony Horton and Jillian Michael’s… I now have their “catch phrases” on repeat in my mind.

GET SOME. BRING IT. This is EXTREME… I want to bounce a QUARTER off your BUTT.
Do I need to go to a class on how to yell weird things at my class?

I definitely like a motivational boost, but some of the phrases just make me laugh in the middle of an exercise, which apparently isn’t “extreme”. 🙂

I hope you have fun with this spin list though. My goal for the class is for everyone to keep their recovery/rest to a minimum. Do what is safe for your fitness level and health. I want people to get out of their comfort zones and get less recovery but work just as hard.

So here ya go!

Warm Up:
Dynamite (3:24)
Fireburning (4:03)

Work out
I Like the Way You Move – Outkast (3:56) Jumps/Climb: 4 counts jumps, climb from :47-1:17, 1:48-2:18, and 2:49-3:35
Only Girl in the World (3:55) Sprints and Hovers
Hover: :45-1:15 Sprint: 1:16-1:30 Hover: 2:02-2:17 Sprint: 2:17-2:32 JOG Sprint: 3:04-3:48
Walk this Way (5:18) Circuit: Climb, adding resistance every other position. Seated, Standing, Position 3 Climb, Hover
Gonna Make You Sweat (4:07) Intervals: 10s on-10s off 20s on-10s off 30s on-10s off 40s on-10s off (then back down the latter til the end)
Pump Up the Jam (5:18) Rolling Hills, build a hill for 45s, then take a quarter turn off for 15s, build again for 45s, take half turn off for 15, etc
Mr. Saxobeat (3:12) Cadence. Active recovery, and then pick a fast pace to hold for 2mins. Adding a small amount at 1min in.
Big Fat Bass (4:43) Circuit climb. Seated, Standing, Position 3 for 20s each and add tension after each full circuit
Rumour Has It (3:43) Seated/Standing Climb. Add tension, stand and push your pace on the chorus.
Hey Baby – Pit Bull (3:56) Jumps, 4 counts on versus, 2 count on chorus
My Life Would Suck Without You (3:31) Sprints 30/30/50
:40-1:08, 1:35-2:02, 2:32-3:22
Blow – Ke$ha (3:40) Sprints and Hovers
Hover: :44-1:00 Sprint: 1:00-1:16
Hover: 1:48-2:04 Sprint: 2:04-2:20
JOG
Hover: 2:44-3:00 Sprint: 3:00-3:30

Cool Down
You Make My Dreams Come True (3:07)
Virtual Insanity (3:45)

Are you kicking it up a gear getting ready for the holidays? Do you have a holiday vacation that is motivating you?

I don’t think I could ask for better motivation than Hawaii. A blissful escape from Alaska’s darkest month, and beach time? Yup, I’m ready!

Highs and Lows

If anyone is looking for an easy profession that you have little accountability, I suggest you become a weatherman (weather person) for the Interior of Alaska.

Job Description: Ballpark guess what the weather could be for the day. Odds are in your favor if you use the words “cold”, “freezing”, or the lovely phenomenon that is “ice fog”.

Once you have given the masses a broad idea of what the day will bring you can really narrow things down by giving a wide range of temperature options.

For example:
Today will be freezing cold, cloudy with a chance of sucking your soul out. Expect highs to be between -10-12 degrees (yes -10 can be a high) and lows of -40- -20.

See how that narrows things down?? Twenty degree differences and these guys are sitting pretty! I think anyone that is looking for a career move should capitalize on this amazing opportunity!

So if you guys can’t tell by my subtle sarcasm; chilly weather arrived over a month ago, winter arrived weeks ago, and their good friend Bitter Cold moved in this week.

This picture was taken at 10:20am, just to be clear.

Heading into daylight savings, we are currently clocking in with these hours of “sun”…. sort of 🙂

It’s mandatory to set an alarm in the morning to get up. Without even a hint of the sun coming up, I need an auditory signal to get my butt moving.

Plus this little guy needs to get out…

Beemer is rocking the booties and very stylish green coat now. The booties were busted out when we got snow awhile ago, because otherwise it mats to his curly Q’s and it’s just easier to put on his shoes. The coat is more mandatory when it’s below zero or so.

My outfits have also been ramped up… From earlier this week…

This little ditty was when it was about 5 degrees.

And then this morning, when it was a snowball to the face -18.
Here’s another way to gauge things: Eye Lash Icicles:

Still above zero vs. well below….

I also discovered that if you have mascara on and have to walk the dog, it won’t freeze in an awesome make-up artist kind of way. Instead it will look like you were a crying mess on your morning promenade….

Thankfully Beemer can’t judge me though, because at the end of his walk he has snow barnacles 🙂

But tomorrow is Friday and who knows… maybe tomorrow it will be warm (all above zero temps!).

I’ll be back with a spin playlist for you tomorrow! Sleep Well!

30 Seconds to Mars

Last week I gave you guys a Minute to Win It Workout… well this week I thought I’d downsize the time but kick some serious butt, minimal rest, and quick transitions.

Usually when I teach boot camps we switch between the aerobics room and the field house. Today was a mandatory field house day. We needed the space and room to run. If you’re knocking this baby out at home then you can substitute with some plyo or evening just running in place. Focus on getting your heart rate up during the cardio bursts!

Formula is 3 minutes of weights, 2mins of cardio. I had a heavier set of weghts: 10lbs, and then a lighter set (for shoulder stuff): 6lbs. Higher weight is great for these since they are short bursts but focus on your form. Drop your weight if your form is compromised.

Let’s get to it!

30s for each:
Bicep Curls

Bent Rows
Squat with Figure 8 weight pass
Plank Rows
Burpees with Overhead Press (light weights)
Lunge Jumps

Cardio, 1min each:
Back Pedaling
Squat Jumps

30s each:

Chest Flys
Tricep Press
Concentric Curls (30s each side)

Squat with Arm Swings
Pelvic Thrusts with weights
Shoulder Raises

Cardio, 1min each:

High Skips
Nordic Skier

30s each:
Wide Bicep Curls
Lunges with Overhead Press
Jumping Jack with Front Punch (light weights)

Deadlifts
Push-ups
Sumo Squat with Lateral Pull

Cardio, 1min each:
High Knee Run
Sprint (we did a suicide run, down and back from each goal line)

For my hour class we repeated the first two sets of weights and cardio. Then, its was time to really finish the workout, time for abs!

Abs, 30s each:
In & Outs
Bicycles (legs only)
Scissor kicks with 3s hold before switches
Side Plank with Hip Raises (each side)
Plank (hold one leg up for 15s each)

My heart definitely got pumping on the cardio bursts and by using a heavier weight for the strength circuits I knew I was challenging myself. This would be a perfect workout if you’re on your own, or grab a friend and push each other.

We’re headed into Food Heaven Holidays, I love my cinnamon rolls and gravy, so I just keep myself on track as best as possible with high intensity workouts that get great bang for the buck.

Mentality check is just maintain, don’t gain.

Have a great Wednesday!

Move Over November

Once November hits it seems as if there is a lot of pressure to get the holidays moving. Halloween wasn’t even over and we had Christmas stuff out. I mean, I live in North Pole, so there are kinda always some Christmas stuff around, but this was full up welcome to the holidays. Source

I kind of already have anxiety about getting my Halloween decorations put away to get on the Thanksgiving bandwagon. Who knew that Thanksgiving had to have its own decorations. Where is my decorative turkey?? Ahhhhh what am I doing with my time?!?!?

So while I have minor panic attacks about being behind on decorative poultry, here are the pesky pumpkins I promised. Yes they are a day late. Deal with it.

My didn’t look that great unlit. It kind of looked like I carved everything I could out of the poor thing… but lit, I think it looks pretty cool 🙂So now as we move into the whirlwind of November to January, I’m putting one thing on my calendar that I know will be fun

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next years’ cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.

I also have Thanksgiving to gear up for. We’ll be hosting our second feast, and I definitely want a fantastic turkey like last year.

Here we go, Holiday Season 2011!

Halloween Treat Goodness

I’m a sugar fiend, so Halloween ranks high on my list of favorite holidays. While I love a good candy bar and may have eaten a few (dozen) Butterfingers in my day, I also really enjoy some homemade, classic Halloween treats like these popcorn balls from the blog Spoon Fork Bacon:

Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
Makes 16-20

Ingredients:
5½-6 cups popped popcorn, lightly salted
1 ½ cups dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips**
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Place the popcorn,, peanuts, and peanut butter chips into a large bowl and set aside.
2. Place the sugar and corn syrup into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Once the mixture has reached 240°F (soft-ball stage) add the honey, peanut butter and vanilla.
4. Stir together until fully combined.
5. Pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn mixture and begin folding together until all of the popcorn mixture has been evenly coated and distributed.
6. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
7. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, lightly grease your hands and form golf ball sized popcorn balls.
8. Place the formed balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment and allow to cool completely.
9. Once the popcorn balls have set, 2-4 hours, wrap them in plastic wrap or wax paper before serving.

** I subbed in chocolate chips for the peanut butter chips,cause peanut butter and chocolate belong together. However, I wish I’d added them after the caramel had cooled more, because they melted instead of holding their chip form.

Minute to Win It

Sometimes you have an hour to work out and sometimes you have about 20 minutes. An arsenal of versatile workouts, especially ones that are total body, are pretty much the best thing you can do for yourself.

I’m a 5 day a week workout kind of girl. I try and knock them out during the week so that weekends are prime time for hanging out with Trevor and friends. Its just a bonus if I get an extra one in 🙂 But just because I have 5 days to work out doesn’t mean every work out is created equal time wise. Some days are an hour, some are that 20min high intensity to get the job done.

So today in honor of being time conscious, here’s a workout that’s all about the MINUTE. 60 seconds of work, each exercise, and then you move on to the next. Keep it going, keep it moving, and keep your form!

*Be conscious of your fitness, what you’re safe to do, and don’t do anything that is painful.

Cardio 5 Minute Surge:
1 min Jog in place
1min Jumpe Rope
1min Quick Feet (think football!)
1min Straight Leg Kicks
1min Mountain Climbers

Weight Circuit:

1min Single Leg Lift Full Extension (switch sides at 30s)
1min Plank Walks
1min Hip/Leg Extensions (switch at 30s)
1min Leg only Superman Hold (add kicks 30s in)
1min Squat Hold with Weights
1min Walking Lunges with Weights
Source
1min Chest flys on Fit Ball
1min Tricep Press-Tricep Kicks Backs (stand at 30s and finish with tricep Kickbaks)
1min Sumo Squats with Lateral Raise
1min Front Raises
Source
1min Arm/Shoulder Circles
1min Sumo Squats with Lateral Raise
1min Side Plank (1min EACH SIDE!)

We started by going through the 5min cardio circuit, and then stretched out for a few minutes. Aim to complete both cardio and weight circuits twice! This is heavy on the shoulders, so lighter weights work great. Or if you want to challenge yourself go to lighter weights only when your form can’t be maintained.

Hope you’re having a good start to your week! Get some good workouts in before the sugar coma comes this weekend!!