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First day of my vacation!! We’re not heading anywhere exotic (although this east coast heat wave is fairly exotic in itself) so I’m spending the next two days cleaning, baking, shopping, cooking, and just relaxing with my fam & friends. So far I’m enjoying every single second of it! I thought I’d be bored at first but it’s amazing how the day flies by. While I was at the gym (smack dab in the middle of the day), I started thinking: “I could totally do this stay-at-home Mom thing a few years from now.”

The morning started off with an amazing bowl of cereal that I normally would not get to enjoy since I’m rushing off to work:

all brands on display here

Started off with some Special K cereal + Low Fat granola, topped with Target’s Sunny cranberry trail mix, and some frozen strawberries I found in the back of my freezer. Yum!

My day off from work revolved mostly around Christmas prep and just giving the apartment a good scrubbing, but I could totally imagine how this could be a full time job. Housewives of NJ, watch out!

Trip to Trader Joes to replenish my supply of these:

greatest chocolate covered food ever invented

A trip to the liquor store to grab a bottle of wine for tonight’s dinner in Hoboken with the “Boken crew, a stop at the gas station, and a few random stops here and there and suddenly it was 1 pm!

Since I’ve been sidelined from running due to a rather frustrating injury of hip bursitis, I’ve been either biking or just lifting weights at the gym. It’s not the ideal situation in my mind and not the greatest workouts, but I really want to run again so I’m trying hard to not overdo it.

Here’s a great arm workout if you want to switch it up with the free weights. I used dumbbells ranging from 8 to 12 lbs and did 15 reps of each exercise, 3 times. Then I foam rolled the crap knots out of my hip muscles.

Reverse Fly

Bend forward at the hips, Raise both arms out to the sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Biceps Curl

Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the weights toward your shoulders.

Dumbbell Cross Jab

Extend your left arm across your body until the weight is in line with your right shoulder. Repeat with right arm.

Lying Triceps Extension

Lie face-up on a bench, dumbbells above your head, arms straight and palms facing each other. Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells until they are at ears.

Overhead Dumbbell Press

 Underhand grip, palms facing you, lower down to shoulders and extend

Overhead Dumbbell Extension

One heavy weight in both hands, extend up and slightly over head, lower down and repeat

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Bend slighly at hips, weights in hands, raise at sides at 90º angle

Followed by some cleaning of the apartment and some yummy lunch, leisurely enjoyed while reading my Kindle. Don’t you hate it when you clean the entire bathroom and then realize you really need to pee?!? A 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom apartment does not allow me to just go to the other bathroom.  Life’s rough, isn’t it? 🙂

Before I forget, leftover chili is by far the greatest and easiest dinner ever. I try to spice it up a little, this girl is WILD, with new cheese so I added some shredded Havarti cheese to this bowl. Man does that Havarti have a kick to it!

leftover chili with shredded Havarti cheese

Enjoyed with some side salads, topped with feta, carrots, tomatoes, and sea salt & pepper croutons

And of course a nice big glass of wine to celebrate the start of my vacation!! Don’t worry – the glass is actually a champagne flute so it wasn’t THAT full!

at least the water is there too!

What’s your favorite way to spice up leftover chili, stew, or soups? 

Christmas in 3 days!!