Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review - Gwyneth Paltrow's Cleanse

As anyone who knows me knows... I am a Tracy Anderson Method diehard fan. I've been doing the method for years and absolutely swear by it. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when I saw the January 2013 issue of Redbook magazine with Tracy and Gwyneth (her business partner) on the cover... I bought it immediately.
In the issue, Gwyneth gives her plan for a detox diet that she likes to start the year off with... stating that it is her "favorite thing." Basically, she forgoes processed foods, dairy, gluten, refined sugar, caffeine, and alcohol for 5 days. Along with this, she gave a 5 day menu, along with recipes, for what she actually ate. The recipes can be found here.
Well, since Joe was going to the Super Bowl in New Orleans for 12 days (for work), I decided that it would be a perfect time for me to give it a try! I decided to do the detox for a full 10 days, by making each meal a dinner for two and eating the 2nd portion for lunch the following day.
The verdict is... I loved it! I enjoyed almost every single dish... except for the Avocado-Mango Shake (for some reason I just cannot stomach green shakes) and the Salmon Quesadilla (but I admit that I may not really understand how to cook with miso). Other than those two items... I would highly recommend! My absolute favs were the hummus chicken, poached fish, and ginger salmon stir-fry.

I also loved the morning shakes (I made mine with Vega One protein powder)... and have decided to now include one of these shakes (just the powder, nut butter, and almond milk) as my afternoon snack at work from now on (previously I have used Activia, but this protein powder has the probiotics, added nutrients, and tastes much better!).

Again, my girls never cease to fail me.  Loved the detox (especially since it actually included real FOOD and not just juices) and even plan on including some of these recipes in our meal rotations!

Have any of you ever tried a detox diet?
The hubs enjoying himself at the Super Bowl and on Bourbon Street... definitely jealous that I couldn't be there with him, but so glad he got to experience this!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Love Day


While there are many out there that claim that "Valentine's Day" is just a Hallmark Holiday ploy to get consumers to purchase gobs of chocolate... I love any excuse to celebrate the love that I have for all of those important in my life... my family, friends, Cupcakes... but this year I loved the excuse to celebrate my love for my new husband.
First thing I did was to hide little love notes in places that I new Joe would look at throughout the day.  I found these cute printable on Pinterest that were perfect for this.

I then had a nice steak dinner (with rice and roasted veggies) and Rocky's famous holiday sugar cookies waiting for him after he got home from work.
I also gave him two "Man Cans" (seen lit in the wine shot below), which are candles in scents that men would like... I got Joe coffee and campfire.  The company also uses the cans from canned goods that they donated the homeless shelters.

And lucky for me... Joe loves celebrating as well!  He surprised me the night before Valentine's with the flowers and card... then the Friday after (since he knew I was doing something the day of) he again surprised me by cooking dinner, a nice bottle of wine, and Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy.  Yumm yumm... boy am I a lucky girl.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

fall in the winter


We were lucky enough to have a few fall-like hours this past Saturday... so we immediately ran to our favorite winery (Barrel Oak).

Barrel Oak is great because the tasting room and grounds are expansive, the wine is great, and (best of all) they allow dogs in the tasting room!  But on this trip we stayed outside to enjoy the weather and get some SUN!  Especially for Cupcakes... she gets a walk early in the morning and late at night, so in the winter she rarely gets to see the sun. Poor Cuppy needed her vitamin D!

We were also lucky enough to be joined by our friends, Doug and Eileen (also newlyweds).  Since we hadn’t seen each other since the weddings… we had plenty to catch up on.

A great Saturday, enjoying the open air, yummy munchies, and great wine.

Friday, January 11, 2013

snow days


As a property manager, I typically hate "snow days." That's because it usually means long hours, working with snow crews to push snow at our property. Joe also dislikes snow days (at least in the DC area), as it's usually a big news story... and Joe also has to work long hours.

So, it is no surprise, we were excited when we went to Freeland, Pennsylvania, last weekend to celebrate a belated Christmas with Joe’s family… and there was snow!  Cupcakes absolutely loved it too… running around and playing with Cali... until she pooped out on the couch!

It was a great relaxing weekend, filled with holiday spirit, good wine, great food, love and laughter.

merry (belated) christmas!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 - The Year in Pictures

2012 was definitely the best year yet for us.

It was filled with Blush 'n Brush painting, a birthday party with girlfriends, wedding workshops, a Parisian boudoir inspired bridal shower, a one-year adoption anniversary, day trips to wineries, fishing on the Potomac, a wedding in paradise, a bachelorette party in NYC, a derecho storm, a weekend full of engagement pictures, Pops on the Potomac, a wedding in Indiana, weekends in Freeland, a drive across West Virginia, applying for a marriage license, a 1950's bridal shower, Cirque du Soliel, snuggling with Cupcakes, a "bachelorette" in Freeland, a couples shower, lanterns lit, Bengals v Ravens, a Jason Aldean concert, a Lucy Stomp!, a winery bachelorette party, Bengals beat the Redskins, wedding sweatshop, a week with Carrie and Star, a Country Western Hoedown rehearsal dinner, WE GOT MARRIED!, Gangham Style, a honeymoon in Mexico, Vote YES for Question 7, morning walks on the Potomac, Holidays with the two I'm most thankful for, and much, much more.

Thank you to everyone that helped to make 2012 such an amazing year for us!  We loved every minute of it and can only hope that 2013 will be half as great!
The Martins
Leslie, Joe & Cupcakes

Photo credits
Images 6, 18, 23 & 33 by Daisy Saulls Photography
Images 14, 15, & 16 by Julie Newbrough Photography
Images 39, 40, 41 & 42 by Daniel McGarrity Photography

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas with the Martins

It's our first Christmas as Newlyweds!
Since Joe used all of his vacation this year on weddings (ours and our friends), he was stuck working on Christmas Day... but we sure did make the most of it!  I cooked this sausage casserole over night so that we could have a special breakfast before he had to head out... and it was soooo good!  We enjoyed this meal together and opened our presents to each other.
I then spent the day snuggling with Cupcakes, doing a little Zumba, and then was joined by my mother and her friend to watch a few holiday movies.  Joe surprised us by getting out of work early and joined us back home at 4!  We then prepared mashed sweet potatoes and creamy brussel sprouts to enjoy with our Honey Baked Ham.  It was perfect.  We then closed out the night with an amazing Sweet Potato pie from our sweet friends, AJ & Daisy, that we enjoyed while watching my favorite Christmas movie, Home Alone.  Perfect end to a perfect day!
Hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas!