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Monthly Archives: April 2012

I’m obsessed with … Grandpa Pete

Sticking with the theme of people I’m thankful for, meet Grandpa Pete:

[Grandpa Pete’s 85th Birthday — Grandpa + Grandkids]

My Dad’s Dad, Grandpa Pete has been a positive influence my entire life. Since my Grandma Pete passed away in 2008, Grandpa has been living in Rock Island and I absolutely love visiting him when I make it back to Iowa. Some of my earliest memories with Grandpa and Grandma Pete include playing in the basement at their house (including learning to play ping-pong!), sleepovers complete with Grandma’s Swedish pancakes in the morning, playing wiffle ball in their backyard, and picking tomatoes and raspberries from Grandpa’s garden.

[Grandma & Grandpa Petersen, March 2010]

My Grandpa is so remarkable. He’s always been a man of few words, showing his love through affection and action. I will never forget how he and Grandma made it to almost every single dance performance growing up. And he is always so eager to hear about life in the big city … over some Whitey’s Ice Cream, of course!

[Visiting Grandpa, November 2012]

Over the years, he’s taught me the importance of family, time spent together, appreciation and faith. Anything that has rubbed off from Grandpa Pete in my life, you can guarantee is a good thing. He is truly the best and I am one lucky granddaughter!

[Grandpa Pete’s 85th Birthday — Father + Kids]

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Recipe: Chicken with Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

I wanted to make something different. I also didn’t want to fail. I love chicken. I love goat cheese. And I love sun-dried tomatoes. So I gave this recipe a go … I mean, how can you really go wrong with chicken, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes??!

CHICKEN WITH GOAT CHEESE & SUN-DRIED TOMATO SAUCE

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (and drained, if packed in oil)
  • 2 oz herbed goat cheese
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: 

  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts. Cook through, about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. In the same skillet, add the wine. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, being sure to scrape up the browned bits from the chicken.
  4. Add the chicken broth and reduce that by about half too.
  5. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and heat through.
  6. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the goat cheese.
  7. Top the chicken breasts with sauce and serve.

Source: Annie’s Eats

#thankful

I’m a pretty happy person. I love life and feel as though I often take a step back and am thankful for what I have. You can either do it on your own. Or you can be put in a situation that forces you to take a step back, take a deep breath, re-evaluate, re-act and then … be thankful.

The last part [the being thankful] is the most difficult. It’s easy to complain. It’s easy to be frustrated or upset. What’s hard is to take things in stride and appreciate it’s purpose in your life.

This is exactly what happened to me recently. A forced situation. An unwelcome situation. A curveball in the game of life. The worst part? It involved people who I considered to be really good friends. What I’ve learned over the last 26 years? You cannot always control the situation you’re put in. You can only control your reaction. Sometimes you lose friends or things change and that can be hard, but the tough stuff molds who you are and I have faith that it has purpose.

Does it suck on a certain level? Yes. But I can honestly say I’ve never been more thankful in my life. PERIOD.

  • I’m thankful for the friends I have that are true, honest and loyal.
  • I’m thankful that I have a supportive, loving family.
  • I’m thankful for my full-time job and the opportunity to launch Groupon Now & Rewards in South Florida.
  • I’m thankful that I paid off my LASIK!
  • I’m thankful for the chance to follow my dreams.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just the TIP of the iceberg…

Drake Relays

It’s been a while since the Alpha Phi Class of 2008 has graced Drake’s campus.

[Alpha Phi, Class of 2008]

What’s bringing us back?

DRAKE RELAYS!

That’s right. Known to most as one of the largest and most important track meets on a high school, collegiate and professional level. Known to Drake students and Drake alum as the world’s best excuse to head back to Des Moines and have one big reunion.

[Drake Relays 2005]

Relays rock. While the meet itself is quite impressive the best memories ran from Street Painting, continuing all week long with events for Drinking Olympics then the actual Relays weekend.

[Keg Race, Drake Relays 2007]

I cannot believe that I’m headed back for my first Relays since 2009. This time I’m a true alum as I literally know no current students at Drake. In true Relays form, the weekend forecast is 50 and raining — clearly this means I’ll be sporting my ever-sexy Drake Alumni sweatshirt all weekend.

[Drinking Olympics, Drake Relays 2008]

While a recap will be necessary post-reunion with my favorite Drake Girls, I can guarantee that some fun times are on the horizon be it Peggy’s, the Library, Greek Reunion or the Alpha Phi Alumni Brunch.

[Drake Relays 2009]

Here’s to reliving the college life!!

SHREDmill

After slacking in the workout/eating healthy department for a while, I’m trying to jump back on that train. I’m actually considering another half marathon (gasp!) even though I said I’d never to that again. Here’s the workout I did last night courtesy of Karena and Katrina, founders of Tone It Up:

Lean Legs + SHREDmill

Starter:

  • 20 squats
  • 30 lunges
  • 40 toe touches (head forward, legs straight, bend down & touch your toes)
  • 50 second wall sit (sit up against a wall, legs at 90 degrees & hold it!)
  • 90 second jumping jacks
  • 50 second wall sit
  • 40 toe touches
  • 30 lunges
  • 20 squats
SHREDmill…
  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’- as fast as you can
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run – this speed can vary

Chill for 20-30 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water (take as much time as you think you need to calm your breathing.)

20 Pushups

  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’- as fast as you can
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run – this speed can vary

Chill for 20-30 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water (take as much time as you think you need to calm your breathing.)

20 Squat Jumps

  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’- as fast as you can
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run – this speed can vary

Chill for 60-90 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water

20 Situps

  • 3 Minute Brisk Walk
  • 3 Minutes Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’- as fast as you can
  • 60 Second Jog
  • 60 Second ‘Sprint’ ~ just as fast as you can run – this speed can vary

Chill for 60-90 seconds, breathe, take a couple sips of water

30 second Plank

  • 5 Minute Cool-down Walk
I’m already a little sore, but knowing myself I usually get sore mid-afternoon the day after a tough workout. Needless today, come 2pm I won’t be able to walk … YAY!
Source: Tone It Up! Blog

Travel Addict: Scottsdale, Arizona

Coming off my most recent vacation, I could not be more obsessed with Arizona — specifically Scottsdale!

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

Weather:

Scottsdale weather is truly unbeatable. An arid climate with mild winters and hot summers, the average lows range from 40-76 degrees and highs range from 68-105 degrees.

When to Go: 

Because the summers can be SO hot, I would recommend vacationing to Scottsdale in the spring or fall. Spring draws extra tourists since 15 MLB teams are based in and around Scottsdale for their Spring Training season.

What to Do:

Between Scottsdale and the surrounding cities (i.e. Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix) there is a ton to do. Hiking, golf, cultural events, sporting events and top-notch spas are the tip of the iceberg. Scottsdale is known for it’s happening nightlife and is also a hop-skip-and-a-jump from destination weekends like Sedona, Vegas, Tucson and the Grand Canyon. Phoenix is also home to ASU.

Where to Eat: 

Stingray Sushi, Blanco, Postino, Yogurtland and Daily Dose. I have yet to be let down by a food establishment in Scottsdale. I love the amount of outdoor seating at restaurants in Scottsdale. And as I mentioned in my last post, I am obsessed with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. You cannot go wrong in this department.

Transportation: 

While you can cab to and from the airport, you really do need a car to get around (luckily we had Jenny, Lexi and Amanda)

Get Started with these Links:

Scottsdale CVB

Trip Advisor – Scottsdale

Arizona Guide

10Best Scottsdale

YouTube Tuesday: ChangeUP!

I love a good laugh break and that’s how YouTube Tuesday originally started. YouTube is full of hilarious videos.

This week I’m changing up the source: Buzzfeed.

Specifically 50 People You Wish You Knew In Real Life, sent to me by one of my fave co-workers Brett. Here’s just the tip of the iceberg:

I am still laughing. Click here to read the full article. Let me know your faves!