Competition at the Gym

Mom and I were ready for a workout yesterday so we headed to the gym to take the 8:30 spinning class followed by the 9:30 ab class.  My legs were still feeling my workout from Sunday and the spinning class did nothing to ease the pain! It was really fun though and I enjoyed the music a lot more this time compared to the last class we took. Even though I picked a bike near the fan, I was still drenched by the end of the hour.

ready for our workouts!

ready for our workouts!

I only have one complaint about that class: I felt like my bike neighbor kept watching me spin. I could just be paranoid, but I reaally don’t enjoy it when I feel that a fellow gym member is comparing my performance to theirs. I usually try to ignore it, but with all the mirrors in the spinning room there was pretty much no where to look without realizing she was watching me. Staring back seemed to nip it in the bud though 😛

How do you handle uncomfortable situations at the gym?

The class ended just before 9:30 and we quickly cleaned off our bikes before heading to our next class.  When we walked in, the instructor was telling everyone to “go get steps” and mom and I realized this miiight not be an ab class.  Turns out, it was like a step aerobic/full body workout class.  It was a lot of fun, but we did squats on the steps and lots of glute exercises and my tush and legs were screaming by the end. The instructor was really fun, though, and we had a lot of helpful classmates who assisted us when we got confused 🙂

We came home and pretty much took it easy, although I did crank out a batch of peanut butter oatmeal cookies! I didn’t realize how many it made (6 dozen!) so we have cookies for days.  The fam gives them a 6 so they aren’t amazing, but they’re pretty good.

Yumm :)

Yumm 🙂

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Southern Living Wednesday?

Yesterday was very busy between running errands and getting ready for a dinner party our family hosted last night.  Our neighbors are moving in a few days, and since the packers arrived yesterday to start loading everything up, we invited them over to our house for a meal (yay for more Southern Living recipes!).  It was a lot of prep work, but also a lot of fun!! I’m sorry I just met them this summer, they’re very cool people! Our menu consisted of

It was a really fun meal and I was ecstatic the pie turned out well.  My mom helped me with the filling, but I was still worried I would somehow manage to ruin it.

Looks pretty good, huh?

Looks pretty good, huh?

I discovered lemon meringue pie is really my thang, but I think we executed it well.

I went to the gym this morning and was looking forward to that Fit Boxe class I chickened out on Tuesday.  I gave myself a little pep talk and as I was doing my 30 minutes on the bike I was pumped to try the new class.  But it was not to be.  For some unknown reason, the class was cancelled today, which really put me in a funk.  I was excited to participate in a group ex class again and working out by myself suddenly seemed lonely.  I did some exercise I saw in the special summer issue of Self magazine that involved a Swiss ball, and that got a little goofy.  I think I managed to cheer up one guy’s day as he saw me struggling hopelessly with my ball, trying to keep it under me as I was laying on top of it on my back.

If only it were this relaxing…

Not an invigorating workout, but I’m glad I still managed to do something.  Next Thursday that class is mine!

Partyin’ on a Sunday

Yesterday dawned sunny and clear and set the mood for the rest of the day! We spent most of the morning relaxing and planning our trip to Normandy (I’m pumped!!) and then went to visit a friend in the hospital.  It’s nothing serious, but we thought bringing a few pastries might brighten spirits a little bit.  We stopped at a local pasticceria to pick up some treats and I was in heaven. I wish I had brought my camera in; there was a giant L-shaped glass case that held beautiful little pastries of all different kinds.  We bought a small plate for our invalid and one for ourselves as well 😉

*drooool*

*drooool*

We brought our treats out to the garden and had lunch al fresco. It was a quick but yummy lunch of a quesadilla and watermelon!

Can't beat the view, huh?

Can’t beat the view, huh?

I got a quick workout in on the stationary bike.  I warmed up for 5 minutes then alternated between 30 second ‘sprints’ and 60 second recovery, then cooled down for 5 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. The bike is in our basement and I was sweating a disgusting amount.  But it’s good for you, right?

I cleaned up and finished a few chores before it was time to go to a friend of the family’s birthday party.  It was being held at my favorite Ukrainians’ house- Luda and Vladimiro! They are so funny and warm, plus they really know how to throw a party. There were around 20 guests and we all just sat around talking (I played with an adorable little baby). When the cake came out (homemade carrot cake yumm)  Vladimiro pulled out his nice vodkas and Drysack sherry and poured eeevveryyone shots or little glasses. This is the second time I’ve taken shots with my parents, and it’s all thanks to Vladimiro. It was a lot of fun and Dad made sure to leave before my brother and I got in too much trouble 😉 Besides my parents, Luda and Vladimiro may be my favorite couple in the world, I hope we get together again soon!

Happy Birthday, Mama!!

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday and we spent a lovely evening out in town to celebrate.  Quin and I took advantage of her absence in the afternoon to clean the house as her birthday gift (sorry we’re broke ma!!) and then when Dad got home from work we headed down to Lungomare. There was a restaurant  there called Acqua & Farina that our neighbors raved about, and there’s no better night to go to a nice restaurant than a birthday night!!

Birthday girl and her charming husband!

Birthday girl and her charming husband!

My German skills are faaaaabetter than my Italian skills and I accidentally ended up ordering a 24 Euro fish special for dinner.  After originally asking for peaches.  (Pesce, pesche, they’re really close!!) I enjoyed my dinner, though, as did everyone else.  Mom got a delicious calzone, Dad ordered pasta with clams, and Quin ordered what he thought was sword fish, but then there was a whole debacle with him choosing between two fish that came out on plates, neither of which was a sword fish, so we don’t actually know what he ate either.  But he loved it! Plus we started with a yummy antipasti of assorted meats and cheeses, which isn’t a bad way to start a meal.

Dad's ready to dig in.

Dad’s ready to dig in.

Dad sneakily told our waiter it was my mom’s birthday, so when she ordered her pineapple tiramisu, it came out with an adorable pink candle!

Happy birthday, Ma!

Happy birthday, Ma!

So adorable.  Dad and I shared a chocolate soufflé, which was fantastic. Quin ordered a limoncello tart of sorts and thought it was great! All in all, a wonderful birthday celebration 🙂

 

Germany Day 4

I guess my family likes routine because day 4 started off at the hotel breakfast as well.  No complaints here! No complaints here, the fresh squeezed orange juice is a great way to start the day.  We had been debating on whether to go to a history museum or the zoo (our friends told us the zoo was one of the best in Europe) but since Sunday dawned cold and rainy we decided the museum was a little more appealing.  We hopped on the U-Bahn and rode into Württemberg to check out the Landesmuseum.

When we climbed up out of the train station we came upon this charming view:

The band played hits like "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". Loooved it!

The band played hits like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Loooved it!

We wandered around the square for a bit, half searching for the museum and half enjoying the architecture and little Sunday market that was set up in the square.  Once the wind and rain picked up we quickly stopped lollygagging and headed straight inside.  Unfortunately, we were told no pictures were allowed so I didn’t get any snaps of the museum, although we saw some families inside taking pictures so apparently the rule isn’t too heavily enforced. The museum started in the Neanderthal era and worked up to about the 1900’s.  It was a very extensive museum and I have to say I wasn’t too captured by it, although they had a few neat hands-on sections (intended for kids but I say you’re never too old) that kept me interested.  Audioguides were offered but we didn’t take any, I think I might have gotten more out of the museum if we had though.  The museum is quite large but we hit a hunger wall and left some of the exhibits unexplored in search of some food.

We only had to walk a little ways before we found a semi-fast food place that was open; a lot of stores are closed on Sundays.  I got käsespätzle and a drink that I’m still not sure of, but enjoyed them both.

Mystery drink!

Mystery drink!

In the restaurant we saw a girl (when I say girl I mean she’s probably around 23) who was extremely dressed up for such a low key spot and we were wondering what her Sunday plans were. Shortly after we discussed the options (opera? theater? wedding?) she was posing at a table with a phone while a bunch of photographers snapped away.  Who knew we’d see a model in a fast food restaurant!

After that bit of fun I asked my parents if we could go get something sweet, so we walked back to a little cafe we had passed earlier inside the Königsbau-Passagen. We ordered our individual slices of treats and then sat down to order something warm to drink.  It was lovely 🙂

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Cappuccino and a cookie

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The spread

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Dad was super impressed by his action shot, photo creds to Dad!

 mmmm 🙂 Now we’re home safe in Naples, back to knockin’ out errands left and right.

A question for you: Do you have a vacation spot that leaves you a little sad when you get back home?

              I’m definitely feelin’ that with this trip.  I loved how neat and clean Germany was. Such a contrast to Naples!