Category Archives: vactions

The Best Things to See & Do In Amsterdam

Prior to visiting I’d seen pictures of Amsterdam, but had no idea really what to expect. I feel like it is a very hip and active city. We would have loved to see the tulips there, but it was still pretty chilly when we went. Everyone in Amsterdam told us that closer toward the middle of April they start to really bloom.
Amsterdam was another city that I feel like you can see a great deal of on foot or on bikes. We also used Uber there a lot, and it was a really easy way to get around. If you are going to be there for a few days, you can buy the I AMSTERDAM pass which includes public transit, and entrance to a lot of the museums. Just an option to look into if you are going to be spending some time there.
Things to see:
The IAMSTERDAM sign – While this is super touristy, it’s still really cool. It’s located right in the city center, & is a great spot for pictures. It’s pretty tough to find a time without 50 people climbing all over it, so I’d suggest you to go the backside, take a pic there, and then flip it! Works like a dream. 
The Ann Frank Museum – If you know you are going to Amsterdam, buy your ticket to the Ann Frank house ahead of time. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s so worth it. It sells out way ahead of time, and the line to try and wait and get in is ridiculous.
Van Gogh Museum – I actually am not a big museum goer, but I loved this museam. It was really neat to learn about his life, and see his works in person.
The Rijksmuseum – This is right by the IAMSTERDAM sign. We didn’t go inside, but we rode our bikes through it. It’s a really cool building to see from the outside!
Don Quixote Square – We had a streak of warm sunshine, so we sat outside in the garden here. It’s a little garden square right next to the Rijksmuseum that we happened upon on accident. There is a greenhouse, and some beautiful landscaping. Find a bench and take a minute there!
VondelPark – This is a long park that we rode our bikes through. It is so beautiful! It’s right next to the city center as well. There are so many places to rent bikes, and I’d totally recommend doing so!
The Canals – You can and will see these everywhere, but I loved walking down the canal streets. It’s so picturesque! We actually did a boat tour down the canals, but it was’t all that great. I wouldn’t recommend doing one through the big tourist companies. But, I bet if you could find one that was a little more commercial it would be awesome!
The Hidden Church in the Attic – this is kind of a random thing, but it was super interesting to see.
It was fun to walk through! 
Things to eat:
The Pancake Bakery – we ate here both mornings we were in Amsterdam. There might be a little bit of a wait, but it’s WORTH it! They have all sorts of pancakes. I tried the butter & sugar poffertjes (these are traditional dutch pancakes) and they were UNREAL, get these to try for sure! I also had a regular pancake with nutella & bananas. This was basically a really big crepe. It was delicious! Whitney loved their hot chocolate and fresh squeezed orange juice as well. Go here. You will not regret it.
Stroopwaffle – You need to try these at least once while you’re in Amsterdam! They have them all over, but make sure you get them from someone who is making them fresh. We got ours from a food stand that was right by the IAMSTERDAM sigh. It was tasty!
Foodhallen – You have to go here at least once while you are there. It is basically like a big hall full of food trucks. There are so many different options of things to try there. i wanted to try everything! I ended up getting a salad from a place called Fento, and Whitney got tacos from the Mexican place next to it, as well as some Sushi. It was all divine!
The Avocado Show – I’m still bummed about this because it looked SO good. Every dish somehow incorporates fresh avocado. We got here an hour and a half before it closed, waited for an hour, we we were next on the list, and then found out that they close the kitchen a half hour before the restaurant closes. So, we didn’t get to eat there. I was way bummed. Try and go there, but go for lunch to be sure you get in!
Ice Bakery – This place was bomb. There are a few of them throughout Amsterdam. it’s a dessert place where everything somehow incorporates nutella. SO GOOD. We walked by one place that had frozen yogurt , and then we ended up eating at a place that had gelato. The gelato was so good! I got a stroopwaffle flavor, and it was WAY good. Other flavor favorites were the nutella, the homemade oreo, & the american cookie.

The Best Things to Do In Prague

Prague was absolutely incredible. I have seen pictures of this dreamy little place for so long, and I’ve always wanted to go there. However, I really had no idea what to expect when we got there. It was absolutely beautiful. I thought it was so quaint, and the most amazing mix of old and new…and by old I mean REALLY old.
The first thing we did in Prague was the Rick Steve’s walking tour. As cheesy as this may seem, it was actually an awesome way to see the city. I think I wouldn’t have known exactly where to start otherwise. It’s free to download his app, and tours. He does a great job of guiding you through the city. You end up hitting a lot of the things that were on my list to see. I would totally recommend downloading this if you are ever in Prague. It was super interesting, and very easy to follow. Almost everything in Prague is within walking distance, which makes it really easy to see. Plan on walking a lot.
Things to see:
Wenceslas Square – This is what they consider “new town,” in Prague. You can stand at the top of the square and look down all the busy street. This square leads down to some other streets filled with awesome shopping, restaurants, & the rest of the newer part of Prague.
Old Town Square – This was one of my favorite spots. Here you have buildings from centuries ago, colored housing that makes a beautiful backdrop. There are street vendors, performers, places to eat, and lots of historical things to see.
Anatomical Clock – This clock is located in the middle of old town square. It was made in the 1400’s, and is pretty darling. Wait around to see it strike on the hour. Go up in the clock tower! It’s super cheap to do so, and the view is absolutely amazing. So worth it!
Church of our Lady before Tin – We didn’t go in here, but you can see it from the Old Town Square. It’s a really pretty church. 
Powder Tower – You can actually go up in this tower as well, but we didn’t do so. This building sticks right out, an extremely old building among the new.
The Franciscan Garden – This quaint little garden would be an amazing little spot to sit, and enjoy some gelato or a drink. It was raining when we were there, so we didn’t spend much time there. But, i can imagine on a pleasant day it would be a great place to hang out!
Municipal House – You can walk in here, and look around. It’s a really pretty building. They also have concerts, ballets, operas, etc. here at night if you are looking for something to do!
Karlova Street – This street is full of street venders, and lots of food. It’s fun to see all of the people wandering though. This will also lead you to the Charles bridge if you follow it!
Charles Bridge – This bridge is amazing. We ended up walking over it a few times, and I loved it every time. One of the statues has a dog at the bottom, and they say if you rub it, it is good luck. 
Petrin Tower & Petrin Hill – The hike up to the Petrin tower is a steep one. They have a tram that goes up there as well, but we walked it. Once you get up to the tower, climbing the spiral steps to the top gives you an insane view of all of Prague. It’s gorgeous. Worthy every step. There is another funny little building at the top of Petrin Hill with a mirror maze in it. It’s only a couple dollars to go in, and it’s pretty funny.
Prague Castle/St Vitus Cathedral – It’s a hike to get to the top of the castle, but it’s amazing. The cathedral inside the castle is a gothic building with surrounding stained glass windows that are breath taking. Parts of the castle that are still there date back to midevil times, which blows my mind. Starbucks at the Prague Castle – While you are up at the Prague castle, best sure to stop by the lookout from the Starbucks on the cliff. It’s another uninterrupted, breathtaking view that I couldn’t get enough of.
Mala Strana & the Lennon Wall – Mala Strana is the neighborhood on the same side of the Charles Bridge as the Prague Castle, & the Petrin Tower. The Lennon was is a fun picture spot!
Things to eat:
Trdelniks – These are absolutely everywhere. It’s basically cinnamon sugar swirled bread made into a hollowed out roll. You can get them lined with nutella, filled with whipped cream, custard, or ice cream. I’d just be sure that wherever you are buying them from is making them fresh! We tried one just hot with nutella, and it was delicious. My VERY favorite was the one I had lined with nutella, & filled with chocolate soft serve ice cream. If you don’t try these while you are in Prague, you’re CRAZY.
Neb.o – We actually ate here twice. It’s a Thai restaurant that was right by where we were staying, and Whit LOVED it. We tried the pho, pad thai, spring rolls, & fresh rolls. All were delicious, and super fresh!
Paul’s – This was a chain they had in Paris, and after we just come from there we were still looking for chocolate croissants that might be worth our time. We ended up eating breakfast here, and it was good!
Captain Candy – I have a weird obsession with candy shops. So, when we saw these everywhere we had to stop in. They have all sorts of Haribo goodies that were delicious.
Some other suggestions that people gave me that we never made it to were Pekarna Kabat for kolaces, Cafe Louvre, Pernickuv (a bakery for kolace & gingerbread), Mama Coffee, & Pizzeria Manna.
Prague was such an awesome city. I think the best thing to do there is to just planning on walking all over, and try to take as much of it in as  you can!

The Best Things to See and Eat in Paris … or At Least Just All The Things I Loved :)

We started out our European adventure in Paris, which was beyond all expectations I had for it. After flying for about 15 plus hours, through the night, and feeling a little ragged…the jet lag was real. BUT, everyone I talked to told me it was best to just stay up and soldier through until it was night there, so that is just what we did. I for sure think that it helped us to get adjusted.
We ended up staying in an AirBNB in Le Marais, which we learned later is considered one of the quarters where the fashion/art students live. It has such a cool vibe, and it felt really safe. It just so happened that this tiny bakery was right next to where we were staying. I’d had a lot of people tell me to try the almond croissants while we were there, and to try and find the chocolate ones if possible. We decided to wander into this little bakery, unaware at that point that there are bakeries on every single corner. I saw that they had the almond croissants, but had already sold out of the chocolate ones. We decided to split one, just to see if it was good. It is probably in the list of top 10 best things I’ve ever had. We devoured it, and ended up going to back to this bakery every single day we had in paris. The next morning i tried the chocolate croissant for breakfast, and it blew my mind. The name of the bakery is Willy’s Boulangerie. The croissants are called “ Pains chocolate amandes.” Get them.
Let me just say that we made it a point to try a lot of different pastries while we were there, and nothing could beat the croissants from Willy’s.
That night, despite our jet lag, we had planned to do a night bike tour of Paris. This is another thing I’d %100 recommend. It was so helpful doing it the first day because we got to see a lot of the major landmarks up close, we were able to experience some of the city, the night tour made a stop at Berthillion’s Ice Cream (amazing), and you end on a boat cruise down the Seine. It’s pretty dreamy.
On the bike tour we saw the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, the love lock bridge (although there are no longer locks on it), we rode past Saint Chappelle, past the ferris wheel, and by a lot of other museums and buildings I can’t remember now…My family told me this was a MUST, and I was so glad we listened. Do it. We did it through Fat Tire Tours, & I’d highly recommend them. We met some others who had done their daytime bike tours, and they said they were awesome as well, so I’d highly recommend them!
The next day we took the train to Versailles. This was probably one of my favorite things we did in Paris. Versailles is HUGE. If you are planning on going there, plan on spending at least half a day there. It is amazing. Explore the palace, because it’s gorgeous. The hall of mirrors is unreal. Whatever you do, do NOT skip the gardens. Marie Antoinette’s gardens were the best part of the grounds.
They have a Lauderee’s on the grounds of Versaille, as well as an Angelina’s. We got some macaroons at Lauderee’s, which were delicious! The shop itself is so darling. We were planning on going to Angelina’s for dinner, but it closes early there, so be aware of that if you have the same plan. We didn’t ever make it to Angelina’s, but if you do, I hear the hot chocolate is out of this world.
Also, if you are interested in seeing the Paris Temple, know that it is right by Versailles. So, see it while you’re there!
Just another note, if you want some delicious macaroons, but don’t want to pay the price they are at Lauderee’s, they have some amazing macaroons at all of the McDonalds in Paris. I know that sounds weird, but they are pretty bomb.
Some other places we hit while we were in Paris…
Sainte Chapelle – This was probably  one of my favorite buildings we saw the entire trip. This is a quick stop, and is worth every minute. The stained glass windows are out of this world. It’s beautiful.
The Louvre – We actually just saw this from the outside, & didn’t end up going in. We rode our bikes around it at night, and it was delightful. Even if you aren’t going to go in and see the artwork, go walk around outside. It’s stunning.
Arc De Triomphe – Climb up into it. Worth it. The view from the top of the Arc is so amazing. You have a 360 view of all of Paris. It’s pretty legit. 
Notre Dame – We didn’t actually end up going in to Notre Dame because the line was insanely long, but walking around the grounds was amazing. It’s such a beautiful building! Something you for sure have to see.
Shakespeare & Company Bookstore – This book store is absolutely the cutest thing ever. If you purchase a book, they will stamp it saying you bought it there. It’s right next to Notre Dame, so stop in if you are close!
Sacre Coeur – Getting here is about a 25-30 min ride on the metro because it is on the edge of the city, but it was the most incredible view of paris. The basillica itself is incredible to look at, but you are at the top of the hill in Paris, and can see over everything. It’s breath taking. It’s an awesome place to sit, and chill on the steps and take it all in. SO worth going here. I’d totally recommend it.
The Catacombs – I didn’t really know what to expect with the catacombs, but it was really cool. You get to walk the tunnels of Paris underground, which is lined with the bones of over 6 million bodies that died during the time of the plague, & the french revolution. It’s pretty cool!
Disneyland Paris – We actually didn’t plan on going here initially, but because we had a change in our plans we decided to do so. It was super fun. It is definitely different from Disneyland in America. It’s smaller. BUT, it’s still fun! It’s cheaper to get into, and they have two parks you can go to. They have some rides that are different than the ones in America. If you have spare time in Paris, it is a really fun place to see. However, if you are trying to hit as much as you can in a little bit of time, I wouldn’t put this at the top of your priority list. Also, one thing I LOVE about Disneyland/Disneyworld is the food experience. I think that is part of what makes it so fun & magical. The ice cream, the special mickey treats, etc. This is not a big thing at Disneyland in Paris. The food options are actually pretty slim, and not that great. You may want to bring some of your own food, or buy some baguettes & crepes before you go to take in with you.
Food…
Crepe a Ding – There are a million places to get crepes in Paris, and I’m sure a lot of them are the same. We had a lot that were so-so. However, this place was BOMB. The owner is super fun. If you can beat him in connect 4, you get your food for free. If you don’t, you get your picture taken for the, “wall of losers.” There are all sorts of different combos. I had the banana nutella crepe, because it’s my favorite. Whit got one that had white chocolate, pears, raspberries, and speculous. It’s a super fun, hip place. They serve the crepes HOT and fresh. So good.
Ober Mama – This was an AMAZING italian restaurant. When we ate there we actually saw that there are 4 connecting restaurants all over Paris, so you may want to look that up as well. It took us two tries to get in here because it fills up QUICK. We got there right when it opened, and got in. I think they may have taken reservations. The pizza there was awesome, the salad I had was delicious, & the desserts all looked unreal.
Au Petit Grec – This would be the other crepe place that I’d ABSOLUTELY tell you to go to. We stood in line for an hour here. It’s a tiny little place that you order and take away, or eat at their little bar stools. If you go here, I’d recommend getting both a savory, & a sweet crepe. The savory crepes have meat/cheese/egg/veggies. The sweet ones were pretty normal as far as what goes in them, but they were so good. I think if you go here a bit earlier the line isn’t quite so long.
Willy’s Boulangerie – I already mentioned this place, but go here. Just do it for me. 
Gaston’s – This was Whitney’s favorite place we ate. She ordered the Croque Monsier, which is a typical french meal. It’s like a ham & cheese panini. She had hers with an egg on top, and she also loved their hot chocolate. I had french onion soup there, which was good. This place is right by Notre Dame as well.
La Brioche Doree – I actually saw these around Paris, but didn’t eat here until we were leaving the Paris airport. They have a selection of baguettes stuffed with different things, and then they pop them into the oven to make it into warm/melty goodness when you order it. I had a sandwich with ciabatta, tomato, mozzarella, & basil. It was out of this world. I don’t know why I thought it was so good…but it was SO GOOD. So, If you are looking for a quick bite in paris that isn’t as expensive, stop at one of these spots. Whitney also had an eclair from here that she loved.
Paul’s – I had a lot of people tell me to try stuff from Paul’s. It’s a bakery chain that they have everywhere. I wasn’t a huge fan of everything I tried. I think my chocolate croissant from Willy’s was just hard to beat. 😉
Berthillions – I mentioned this was on our bike tour. The ice cream here is amazing!! I had the chocolate and the salted caramel, and I loved both of them! The people with us said that this place claims to have the, “best ice cream in the world.” I don’t know if I’d go there…but, it was good!
I’m sure I am leaving out some details, but the truth is you really just can’t go wrong. Paris really is just so incredible. I can’t wait to go back!!

The “You Don’t Need a Gym” Workout

I always love when people’s excuse for not working out is because they couldn’t make it to a gym. I can promise you, you don’t need a gym. You actually don’t need anything. munchercruncherworkout This workout can be done just about anywhere…inside, outside, in a gym, on the beach, in your family room, in your hotel room…you get it. No more excuses.

The “You don’t need a gym” Workout 🙂 

  • 3-5 min warm up (walking/jogging/jump roping)
  • 25 squats in place
  • 25 pushups
  • 25 squat jacks
  • 25 jumping jacks
  • 25 plyometric lunges (R+L=1)
  • 25 burpees
  • 25 tricep dips (on ground/bench/chair)
  • 25 tuck jumps
  • REPEAT 4-6 times through
  • Cool down 3-5 mins

Make Your San Francisco Trip an Active & Healthy One!

When we ventured to San Francisco last weekend, I had NO idea how much I would fall in Love with this city. It is so incredible. We started out with a “to do” list, and I didn’t really know what we would actually get to see. However, we crushed our list..and then some. I have had several people ask me for the details of my trip, so I wanted to share what we did for those who are interested!

I really, really, really wanted to go to Alcatraz, and unfortunately, because we were going to be in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend, the tour tickets that were just to Alcatraz were sold out. HOWEVER, upon doing some research we figured out how to get tickets to Alcatraz when it’s sold out. There are quite a few 2nd party tours that will offer a tour of San Francisco, including Alcatraz in their entire package. We were hesitant to do one of these tours because…let’s get real…tours of any kind are usually a little bit cheesy. Let me just tell you I’ve completely changed my tune here. If you are looking to see a lot of the “touristy” San Francisco sites, DO THE TOUR, and do it the first day…and I’ll tell you why.

Parking in SF is nearly impossible, and it’s expensive. Our tour hit SO many awesome places that we wanted to see, and we didn’t have to find parking EVER. It was simply a matter of being dropped off and picked up. It was awesome. The tour we did is THIS ONE if you are interested in our exact plan, but there are quite a few. Here is how our itinerary went down for the weekend…

DAY 1:

  • San Francisco Day tour – We got to walk down Lombard Street, Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetvisit the cable car museum, FullSizeRenderwalk through China Town,
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    visit the Fortune Cookie Factory, Visit the Painted Ladies (Full House home), FullSizeRender 6Drive past the Mrs. Doubtfire house, Stop at the Grace Cathedral,FullSizeRender 2 drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, Stop on the other side for a picturesque view of the bridge, FullSizeRender 3stopped in Sausalito for lunch (We ate at a Mexican place called Copita that I would HIGHLY recommend.)  I ordered the Chicken Tinga. I’d eat it all over again right now if I could.FullSizeRender 2 copy

  • At this point our tour took a ferry ride back across the bay, which was so fun.FullSizeRender 5
  • We stopped at a frozen yogurt place in the Ferry Building called Humphry Slocombe which was BOMB.IMG_2906
  • We then walked to another Ferry to head to Alcatraz. GO TO ALCATRAZ. It was so fascinating. I absolutely loved it. We were there for a few hours. FullSizeRender 4You have the option of doing the audio tour that is included. Do it. It is so cool to hear all of the facts. We then took a ferry back.
  • We walked down to Fisherman’s wharf & saw the sea lions, which was super fun. We walked all around the shops, & had dinner at Boudin. We then walked back to catch our BART back to where we were staying. All in all we walked about 10 miles day 1.

DAY 2:

  • I woke up and ran along Ocean Beach. There is an AMAZING trail that runs right along the ocean.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIf you are a runner, or if you have any interest in an awesome view while you’re running, this is an AWESOME place to go. It’s a straight trail w/very few lights.
  • We then went and rented bikes to ride around the Bay.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetTHIS IS A MUST. We got off our BART at Embarcadero, right by the ferry building and there was a bike rental place right there. Their info is HERE. They were super nice & easy to work with.
  • We biked from right by the ferry building all the way to Chrissy Field,Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetwhere we stopped and bought some waters & took some pictures. It is an AWESOME view of the bridge. We then continued across the bridge. At this point you can actually go down into Sausalito, & then take the ferry back if you’d like. However, since we’d already done that, we decided to turn around and bike back & have lunch in San Francisco. I’ll be honest there are some HILLS along this little adventure. It was a pretty good workout. We ended up biking around 16 miles. I loved it! 🙂
  • We ate lunch at a little cafe right by Ghirardelli Square called The Black Point Cafe. I really liked it!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetI got their “seasonal” salad w/chicken. We then biked back to the Embarcadero station, & returned our bikes.
  • Next we headed to Oakland to go to an A’s game which was so fun!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe weather was perfect, and they had a fireworks show after the game, so everyone was able to go down on the field to watch it. Worth it.

DAY 3:

  • We trekked out to Muir Woods to start the day off. It was awesome. The parking here is a little crazy, but it’s worth it!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIt is a great stop because you could go for 20/30 minutes and walk around and be done if you’d like, or you can take your time, enjoy some of the hikes, and make a day of it. We were there for a few hours because we chose to go on some of the hiking trails. There are trails for those who want a flat, less strenuous adventure, as well as the hiking trails that are more hilly.
  • We headed back toward San Fran after our adventure in the Muir Woods & Stopped in Sausalito at Cafe Tutti’s for lunch. I’ll be honest, this place wasn’t my favorite. Their ice cream actually looked decent, but  I would have rather gone back to Copita’s, or across the street to Lapperts, and just had some ice cream for lunch. 🙂
  • I knew what was coming next though, so I just waited until we got to the Bi-Rite Creamery. YES PLEASE. We waited about 30 minutes in line here for our ice cream, and it was SO worth it. It was seriously delicious. IMG_3207I went with a scoop of mint chocolate chip, and a scoop of cookies & cream. The cookies & cream was by far my favorite. I LOVED it! Everyone was really happy with this stop.
  • Next we went to another hot spot we had been told was a must stop, Bob’s Donuts. I am not much of a donut lover, but everyone that got some said they were delicious. They are open 24 hours, so this is an easy one to fit into your itinerary at any time. 🙂
  • I had a friend send me a post on the Seward Street Slides, and I was bound and determined to find them. These long cement slides are so much fun!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

    We found out after that people bring card board to slide down on to make them go faster, which is brilliant. These slides have weird hours, and close at sunset. I think they are also closed on Sunday & Monday if I remember correctly, but well worth a quick stop!

  • We went to find an incredible view of the bridge above Baker Beach next. This is another spot that is worth the stop if you are looking for a great view. There is a parking lot you can pull right into & go explore. IMG_3249It was gorgeous. Totally worth it.
  • We ended our last night watching the sun set on Baker Beach. IMG_3274It was the perfect end to a perfect trip. I LOVE San Francisco. I can’t wait to go back!

The Best Peach Dessert in the History of Ever

So, let me start by saying my mom has been making this dessert for quite some time. My family members (and a lot of friends now) COVET it. She will ONLY make it with perfectly ripe in season (mostly only Utah) peaches, which means there is only a short window of time that “Peach Dessert,” as we affectionally call it, can be made.

Now, let me also mention that it wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually tried this dessert. I love fruit, but I don’t like fruit in dessert form. No apple pie, no strawberry shake, no peach cobbler…you get it. I don’t know what it is, but I am not a fan. This being the case, I happily avoided peach dessert with no problem at all for quite some time because I just assumed I didn’t like it. I was very, very wrong. Turns out I love peach dessert. It comes from heaven.

The good news is that it is actually a lighter dessert. My mom has always made it with the fat free & sugar free ingredients due to sugar content and such. Yes, there are still calories, and I absolutely consider it a treat, but on the scale of desserts…it’s not too bad!

The Best Peach Dessert in the History of EverProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Peel & slice 8-10 ripe peaches

 

Mix together in a small sauce pan:

1 small box peach jello (fat free/sugar free if you can find it)

1 tbs corn starch

1 cup stevia (you can use regular sugar if you want)

Add 2 cups of water

Bring that to a boil

Stir it and watch it – once it comes to a boil it should be clear, all the sugar dissolved & you can see through it.

Set it aside & let it cool/thicken

 

In a separate container, mix together:

1 container of fat free/sugar free cool whip

1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

 

Crush up one package of sandies shortbread  cookies in a plastic bag (not the pecan ones, just shortbread)

Spread 1/2 of the cookies on the bottom of a 9X13 dish

Next, add the cool whip/sweeten condensed milk mixture

Next, layer all the peaches

Pour the jello mixture over it

Sprinkle the other 1/2 of cookie crumbs over the top

 

Cover it & Let it set for at least 2-3 hours. It is even better if done the night before.

 

Try not to devour the whole thing in one sitting…although I always find myself trying to “even the edges,” to make the cuts clean. And by that I mean I just keep sneaking bites. Enjoy!

 

 

8 Ways to Make Vacation Workouts Possible

I LOVE to travel. It is one of my favorite things to do. I love a weekend road trip. I love a tropical vacation. Heck, I love a day trip. It’s always so fun to explore new places with the people that I love! For a lot of people, “vacation mode” of life instantly comes with going on any sort of vacation. I’m all for relaxing every now and again, but I tend to feel better when I move…even on vacation. Actually, especially on vacation. My eating tends to be far from my, “norm” when I travel, so I always feel better if I can get some sort of a workout in. Processed with VSCOcam with m3 presetBeing active has become a way of life for me, no matter where I am. The following are some ways to get some exercise in while you are on vacation, no matter where you are!

  1. Explore on foot or on bike. If possible, rent bikes to ride around your new territory, or choose to walk from one place to the next instead of driving or taking public transportation. Even if you can’t fit in the time for an actual workout, you can get a LOT of exercise by simply walking! Sight seeing or traveling on foot can allow you to really take things in.
  2. Get up early & get it done. If you really want to get your workout in before you get your vacation on, make time for it. It’s as simple as that. Chances are as the day goes on, you will get busy & it won’t be as likely to happen.
  3. Find new trails or hikes. With the amazing technology we have in our day, it’s SO easy to google awesome trails, hikes, parks, and other sights where you can get a great workout. Find a set of stairs you can run up and down, or a city hill you can run up and down, and what could be better than walking or running beachside? It’s as easy as that.
  4. Get your body weight exercise on. If you aren’t wanting to brave the unknown, you can easily get your workout on in your room. A workout of pushups, burpees, high knees, lunges, squat jumps, sit-ups, & planks takes very little room & can be very effective.
  5. Bring some DVD’s. There are a lot of at home workout programs that you can bring with you that are perfect to do right in the comfort of your tiny hotel room.
  6. Explore hotel or local gyms. I always think it’s fun and adventurous to seek out new workout spots. Try out the hotel gym, or look up local gyms that have great reviews!
  7. Find a stair well. I have done this on several occasions in a hotel. Plug in your headphones and run up and down the stairwell, pausing at the top or bottom to do some jump squats, pushups, lunges, planks, or tricep dips. Stairs are an awesome workout!
  8.  Go shopping. You might laugh, but doing laps around a mall or shopping center can get a lot of steps in!

Don’t let a change in your location or your schedule throw off your workout routine! You can be active & get a GREAT workout in, no matter where you go! 🙂

How to Travel & Keep Up Your Healthy Habits

I love to travel. I love weekend getaways. I love day trips. I love adventures just about anywhere, near or far. Most people think of vacations, and they tend to think of vacationing from all responsibility, including any healthy habits they may have. While I do think that there is a time and a place for indulgence, I also think that making good health a part of your lifestyle wherever you are will make you happier (and healthier) in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, vacations are meant to be enjoyed. You should try wonderful food, and indulge every now and then, but if you can keep to some healthy habits along the way you may find that you enjoy those wonderful foods and indulgences far more!

1. BYOB. Bring your own breakfast. Breakfast is usually the hardest meal on vacation because going out to breakfast more than likely means pastries, pancakes, heavy syrup, cheesy eggs, and donuts. It is easy to bring along some protein bars, fresh fruit, oatmeal packets, almonds, nut butter, jerky, and other packable items that you can eat for breakfast that will start your day on a better note than an excessive blood sugar high.

2. Find something active to do everyday. It is amazing what you can do with your surroundings. Go out for a morning walk and explore wherever you may be. Utilize the hotel gym. Do a simple and quick circuit in your hotel room. Go for a run. Plan some activities in your day that require some walking so you are sure to get some exercise in. vacationThere are a lot of cities that offer awesome bike tours, or that have fun parks and gardens to explore. Walking around town is great exercise!

3. Don’t be afraid to make use of your surroundings. alexandersbeachThere are park benches, hills, playgrounds, and all sorts of sidewalks everywhere you go that you can make use of. It is a matter of going and doing!

4. Choose healthy eats. I am one hundred percent convinced that you can eat healthy just about anywhere. It is jus a matter of being willing to look for healthy options. Bring snacks with you if you are worried that there aren’t going to be options that you will eat. It is better to be prepared than to find yourself starving, leaving you likely to eat whatever you  can get your hands on. It is also a good idea to bring your own healthy snacks to have on hand for in-between times! Protein bars, nuts, popcorn, jerky, string cheese, dried fruit, fresh fruit, baby carrots, fresh veggies…etc. Even if you may not be able to exercise like you would normally, you can still make good eating decisions.

5. Make your healthy lifestyle the norm. If you do your best to stick to your normal healthy habits while you are away from home, it won’t be a big effort to get back into your routine when you get home. Remember that everyday you choose to eat what you eat, to exercise or not, to make healthy decisions vs. unhealthy ones…so decide to be healthy. Make it who you are. I promise you will benefit from it.

6. Enjoy some R&R. As much as exercise and being active is healthy, relaxation is healthy too. It may be good for you to rest a bit if need be. Take advantage of getting some good sleep, resting up, and relaxing on your vacations too. It’s all about a healthy balance!

Ten Things That will Keep Your Summer Healthy

Summer is the best. I love the weather. I love the fun family times. I love the holidays. I love the fresh produce. I love the fun vacations. I love the outdoor activities. I love it ALL!! However, With all of this goodness that I love comes a busy schedule that often lends itself to missed workouts, increased summer treats, and excuses for not living the healthy way you are wanting to be living. Make this summer different! The following are some tips that can help you to have a fun, happy, and HEALTHY summer.

1. Pre plan your meals. With summer being so busy, having an idea of what you want to eat for the week can help you to keep yourself on track with healthy meals.

2. Plan meals that are quick & easy. Planning your meals is important, but I find myself wanting to be in a hot kitchen as little as possible. Are you the same way? With that being said, I would make your meals easy and simple. Make healthy salads. Use your crock pot. Capitalize on all the fresh produce that is around. It is so good!aug14132

3. Stock up on healthy snacks you can grab. Having healthy snacks on hand (veggies & hummus, fruit, popcorn, Larabars, Questbars, nuts, etc) allows you to have healthy stuff to take with you on the go on all of your summer adventures. Instead of getting cheese fries and nachos at the pool, bring your own goods and you will be well prepared! 

4. Get your workouts done in the morning. Summer is hot. When you get your workouts done early in the morning, you will not have to worry about sweating during the heat of the day. Summer mornings are magical. The sun rises early and it is beautiful outside! Getting your workout out of the way will allow you to enjoy your busy summer activities without having the need to workout hanging over your head.

5. Get Grilling. Oh, how I love grilling in the summertime. It is the best. You can whip up some amazing healthy options on the grill. Experiment grilling your chicken, fish, and lean cuts of beef with different marinades and rubs. Make shish kabobs. Grill your veggies. The possibilities are endless. The cleanup is minimal, and the taste is off the charts. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

6. Hydrate. The heat of summer means an increase in sweat. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. It will help to keep you cool and hydrated!

7. Make your summer ACTivities ACTive. Find things to do outside to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Go on hikes. Explore your surroundings. Ride bikes. Go for walks. Go paddle boarding. Just go! You will burn calories and make awesome memories. IMG_7499

8. Choose your “cool treats” wisely. One of the hardest things for me during the summer is to not want to dive into a giant waffle cone of ice cream or shave ice every single day. It is just what sounds good to me with the hot weather. I’m not saying you can’t dig into these delights every now and again, but I’d do so sparingly. These cool treats tend to be backed with sugar, which isn’t going to help you reach your goals. Go for frozen yogurt instead, make your own fruit smoothies, make your own banana ice cream, etc.

9. Change your transportation. Instead of driving everywhere ride your bike or walk! You will up your calorie burn, and you will see your surroundings in a whole new way!

10. Don’t use vacations as an excuse. Summer vacations are the best. I get that. However, going from one vacation to the next with a “vacation mentality” is going to kill your goals. Decide to stay healthy and active while you are on vacation. Keep moving. Make healthy eating choices. You can do it. You just have to decide to do so!

Healthy Disneyland Food: It’s Possible.

Disneyland is the best. It just is. The wonderful rides, the nostalgia, the scent of churros, the magic of it all, and every other amazing detail that makes Disneyland fantastic. I love it. It’s hard not to feel like a kid again when you are walking right down the middle of main street USA. munchercruncherdisney3I write all the time about moderation. I think that eating healthy the majority of the time and indulging in something you love every now and again is absolutely fine. However, most people live with the opposite mindset; eating whatever they want the majority of the time…occasionally dipping into the healthy stuff every now and again. I can promise you, if you want to see any type of progress in your health and weight loss you HAVE to consistently eat well. It is just the way it is.

With that being said, I thought I’d give you some tips on how to be healthy at the happiest place on earth.

1. Pack your own goods. If you are worried about finding healthy options that you will like in the park, or if you just want to save some cash on food…bring your own food! We brought a small cooler pack with our own lunch. I had turkey, hummus, and veggies. It was delicious. I also brought a Questbar, fruit, nuts, popcorn, and water to snack on throughout the day. munchercruncherdisneylandIf you don’t want to carry your cooler, put it in a locker outside the park. It’s like $7, and you won’t have to worry about lugging it around. I would also suggest Larabars, apples, bananas, nuts, dried fruit, turkey jerky, and cut up fresh veggies if you don’t want a cooler because they are easy to carry around.

2. Seek out the healthy restaurants. Believe it or not, there are actually some good finds in the park as far as eating is concerned. munchercruncherdisney2I had grilled chicken and veggie kebabs that were at the restaurant right across from the Indiana Jones ride. These were delicious, and moderately priced as well. Amanda found a similar option with Mediterranean skewers in California Adventure at the Paradise Garden Grill, located on Paradise Pier. Hers came with a cilantro sauce that looked divine.

3. Look for the healthy snack stands. There are kiosks all over Disneyland and California Adventure that offer snack sized fruit bowls, packs of nuts, pineapple spears, apples, bananas, hummus, cut up vegetables,  and vitamin waters. The key here is looking for these options. It is very easy to find yourself starving and reaching for the quickest, (and most heavenly smelling) option that is close by. Plan ahead. Set yourself up for success, not failure.

4. Choose your indulgences wisely. If there is something that you can’t live without at Disneyland, the dole whip, the churro, the chocolate dipped banana…whatever it may be…choose to make the majority of your day as healthy as you can and then enjoy every bite of that waffle cone. Instead of feeling sick after your day of fun, you’ll be proud of yourself for walking like a fool and practicing some self control. It will make your indulgences taste that much better!

Oh…and FYI: On average…Park Hoppers who spend the whole day at Disneyland walk between 15-20 miles, burning 180-350 calories per hour, depending on how much you are walking. THAT is awesome.