Five On Friday: Kitties, Skiing, Bread Making and More

Hey guys! Happy Friday!

Today’s post is a list of 5 totally random Things I Like/Things That Happened.

Not sure how that goes into my regular blogging schedule 🙂 I guess it doesn’t – just gonna be babbling here today 🙂 Ready?Continue Reading

Random Friday Thoughts and Likes

Hey guys! Happy Friday 🙂

It’s been a while since I just posted about 5 random Friday thoughts and things so that’s what I’m doing today – totally random post with totally random things that I like, dislike, hate, love, etc..

polymer clay jewelry Continue Reading

Polar Ambassador and 4 Random Things – Five on Friday

Hey-hey, guys! It’s Friday finally!

So it’s been a while since I shared anything about the things I like, what’s going on with my life these days, and all that – you know, fun stuff 🙂

Looking at my blog’s front page lately I realized that all I’ve been posting about was Tasty Tuesdays and Cycling Class Profiles.

Time to share something else with you, like good ol’ days 🙂 What do you say?

So, here are 5 absolutely random things I’ve been loving lately (random = not related to each other at all).

{ONE} Polar

You probably noticed by now that I have a new badge in the right sidebar. I announced it on Facebook, but I didn’t share it here.

I am extremely excited, proud and honored to be selected as a brand Ambassador for Polar.

polarusa Continue Reading

5 Things You Can Do to Help New Students in Indoor Cycling Class

Hey guys! The latest post I wrote with tips for new indoor cycling / Spinning® instructors totally exploded my blog stats. Thank you so much to everyone who came over to read it, comment on it, share it and I hope you found it helpful.

I thought I’d talk about indoor cycling / Spinning® tricks again today since it is something that I really care about, and this blog is a way to share the information I have hoping that it can help somebody one day. Hmm…I sense a new blog series starting 🙂

So you’re an indoor cycling / Spinning® instructor. I bet you were once a newbie student in somebody’s class. Remember that?

Most likely that instructor who taught the very first class you attended was pretty good since you decided to make teaching indoor cycling your job! Either way, I’m sure you remember the experience of taking the very first class, feeling weird and out of place with all those guys in cycling jerseys and funny shoes around you. Oh and that soreness in the saddle area the day after (ouch!) – but I digress.

We all once were very new to indoor cycling. Whether or not we came back to that class or indoor cycling in general depended a lot on the instructor of that very first class we took.

Now the roles are reversed and you’re on the other side of the room hoping you’re doing a good job and your students like your class enough to come back for more.

Here’s some more insider information for you from someone who was a newbie not so long ago and is now teaching indoor cycling. 🙂

new students in indoor cycling

{ONE} Have Your Radar On

Before your class begins, as people start entering the room… Keep your “radar” on. It is a great skill to be able to remember people’s faces and names, and to remember exactly if they’ve been to your class before. Not all of us have mastered it just yet – especially if the studio you teach at has 50 bikes in the room.

Do your best and try to remember new people as you meet them.

Back to that radar – it’ll help you spot the new people you haven’t seen before.

Asking if anybody’s new to cycling when you’re already on the bike and ready to start doesn’t work. Everybody knows it’s time to start. If you were new, would you say “Yes, I’m new. Can you please help me?” in the room full of people eager to start pedaling away?

Exactly.

Do your radar screening and walking around before the class. Spot them. Come up to them and introduce yourself. Ask if they need any help. Be proactive.

Keep an eye on them during the class and get off the bike to help if you see them struggling with form, etc..

That radar is called “I CARE” and it’s a shame that many instructors have it off most of the time. If yours is on – the new riders will come back. You know, because you care.

{TWO} Warn them in advance and keep it simple

We teach every day/week. Many things we do and say in the class seem natural and obvious to us, but they are not so obvious to new students in indoor cycling.

“What in the world is RPM and how do I find it on this little computer? How do I even turn it on?”

When you spot them and come up to talk to them before class, after the bike set up (see, I don’t even mention that as one of the 5 things – it’s a MUST) – go over the bike computer (if applicable) and basic terminology you use in the class (RPM, resistance, climb, flat road, etc..). You won’t have time for a lecture, but try to explain the basics briefly.

Consider changing up your cueing to “less jargon” if you have new students in that class.

Example:

Instead of:

“Gimme more of that hill!”

Say:

“Add resistance”

Remember, this terminology is new to them. Keep it simple.

{THREE} Magic Box

Let’s face it: they won’t remember the bike set up numbers next time they come to your/other instructor’s class.

They will feel embarrassed to ask for help again and will set it up themselves “by the feel”. They will end up doing it wrong and hurting themselves.

Don’t let it happen – all it takes for you to help them is one trip to Wal-Mart and about $10.

Buy an index card box, couple packs of index cards and a pack of alphabetic dividers:

new students in indoor cycling

After you’re done setting up the bike for them, write the settings and their name down on an index card and file under the letter their name starts with.

Now, I know they don’t show up with enough time for you to do all that before class. If you’re running out of time, mention this option to them and come back with that index card after class.

If they run out before you can get to them with that card, go over to their bike, write the numbers down and file. Mention it to them next time they come to your class.

{FOUR} Now about that saddle…

I mentioned being sore from the saddle earlier in this post.

Do you remember how miserable you were after the first ever indoor cycling class? I still do and it hurts to even think about it.

Talk to your manager and see if you can purchase a couple gel seat covers for newbies. Experienced riders come prepared (padded shorts, gel seat covers, tough rears 🙂 ) – new riders will not know about this “drawback” of the first class. I know a woman who never returned to cycling for that very reason.

Offer them a gel seat cover. It won’t take care of the issue 100% and they will still be sore the day after, but it will help. A LOT.

{FIVE} New Student Handout

Put together and print a handout for new students – anything they might need to know about indoor cycling for beginners. Here are some suggestions on what to include into the handout:

  • the importance of proper riding form,
  • a column with basic terminology,
  • contraindicated moves,
  • “dress code” guidelines and what to bring to class,
  • hand positions and moves,
  • cycling class types offered at your facility (junior, senior, introduction to cycling, express, 1 hour long, etc..),
  • schedule on the back for just the cycling classes your facility offers – for easier reference,
  • quick introduction of the cycling instructors on the back (add photos and let instructors write up the introductions themselves),
  • and any other information that might be specific to your facility.

What you include in that handout is entirely up to you and your Physical Director, but make sure it is a fun and engaging introduction to your club’s indoor cycling / Spinning® program. You want them to come back for more!

And that’s it, my dear indoor / outdoor cyclists 🙂

I hope you found this post helpful. If you did – please, SHARE to help more instructors make their newbies feel welcome in their classes and come back for more benefits that cycling has to offer.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Ride on!

Lean Lena

5 Things I Don’t Teach Indoor Cycling or Spinning® Class Without

Hey guys! It’s Friday finally!!!

I hope you had a great week and are ready for even better weekend.

I thought I’d share some more tips for new indoor cycling instructors today. Being fairly new to it myself, I still remember very well what it is like to struggle with every class you have to teach – especially the first one. If you can relate and you’re lost in the world of information, check out my posts on how to get ready for teaching your first class and the recap of my own first class I taught.

It’s been a few months now that I’ve been teaching at the YMCA and yes – it does get easier. You get in the groove and don’t get so nervous before every class.

I now have my little “tricks” that will hopefully help you be more prepared to teach indoor cycling, whether you’re a new instructor or not.

Are you ready to receive some secret insider information? 🙂 Here we go!

teach indoor cycling

{ONE}  JOBY Gorillapod  

It is a flexible tripod for point & shoot digital cameras + smart phone adapter with 1/4×20 standard tripod thread For iPhone and all smart phones.

To be honest with you, I have no idea what I’d do without this handy thing.

Most of the indoor bikes don’t have anything on the handlebars for your music projecting device to attach to or rest on.

Throw in some cords from the stereo system hanging around and it just gets a little unsafe to ride your bike with all that around.

I initially bought this flexible tripod for what it is intended to – photography. But having started to teach indoor cycling I thought of this handy use for it – just attach the tripod with the cell phone adapter onto the handlebars (mine usually sits right by the “Pilot”), tuck the cords behind the tripod “legs” and you’re all set!

If you use something other than your phone to play music in the class, I’m pretty sure they have adaptors for that, too 🙂
Buy this super tripod on amazon. I bought mine for $23.

{TWO} Class Builder™ App by Cycling Fusion

It is not free, it costs $19.99 and it is worth every penny!

This app allows you to put together ride playlists from your iTunes playlists or by adding songs to class profile one by one, integrate timed cues to show up on the screen at a certain time during a song, intervals, play pre- and post-class music, it keeps all your profiles right there handy at your fingertips.

teach indoor cycling

You can copy an old class profile if you just want to adjust it a little for your next class.

You can copy a profile segment (that killer climb your class loved a few months ago) and paste it in your new profile.

You can e-mail a .pdf of your class profile, playlist and cue sheet to yourself and print it.

You can see the class elapsed time and each song elapsed time on the screen all the time.

You can teach with video or photo.

You can see your profile intensity chart based on the data you enter for each segment.

You can view your class play list, cue sheet or “now playing” song at any time during the class.

You see your latest AND the next cue (with the countdown to it!) on one screen at any time.

I’m sure you can do another 1000 things with this app that I have yet to learn.

I LOVE getting ready for my classes with this app. I think it is very helpful to have it – especially when you’re new and are just starting to build your confidence teaching.

Cycling Fusion has videos up on their website that will make it super easy for you to use their app.

Buy Class Builder™ by Cycling Fusion on iTunes, I promise it will be the best $19.99 you ever spent!

{THREE} Belkin F8Z492ttP Bluetooth Music Receiver

We al know that a good instructor is not there to get their own workout, and that getting off the bike and walking around the room is extremely important – it gives you a chance to keep an eye on your students, correct their form if needed, keep an eye on their cadence and even heart rate.

A lot of new instructors absolutely dread this part of their job. One of the reasons why they are afraid to get off the bike is because (being a new instructor), they don’t feel comfortable leaving their music streaming device “tied” to the stereo. If you ask me – I need to have my phone in my hand when I walk around – all my cues are in the Class Builder app, I need to see the time, effort and the next drill. If I had to walk away from that in my first few classes it would have given me such anxiety I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else.

What if I told you that you can walk around the room with your phone in your hand, see your music, cues, intensity zones, playlist AND be able to control the volume from your phone?

teach indoor cycling

Belkin F8Z492ttP Bluetooth Music Receiver will help you do just that. It is super easy to set up – plug it into a power source and the cord that normally goes into your phone will go into this little device instead.

Then turn on Bluetooth  on your phone, pair your phone with this little device and walk free while streaming your music in class.

$27 on Amazon.

You’re welcome 🙂

{FOUR}  Backup CD and Cue Sheet

teach indoor cycling

How many times have you been struggling with that stereo?  Someone who taught before you did something and you can’t get that thing to play music from your phone.

Or (God forbid) the cord you need has mysteriously disappeared from the room and you simply can’t connect your device to the stereo system.

Burn a CD with the “go to” profile in case of emergency, and print out the cue sheet to quickly look over before you start the class if you need to use it.

You might never need it, but it just might save your reputation one day 🙂

{FIVE} Regular Athletic Shoes

Keep them in your locker at the gym or in your car, or just wear them when you go to class.

I’m assuming you have learnt the benefits of clipping in by now and do have a nice pair of cycling shoes. If not, this article here has great information on how to choose the right pair of cycling shoes.

Now why would you need to bring a pair of regular shoes with you, you may ask?

Because things happen. If one of the cleats on your shoes breaks, falls out, gets lost, etc.. – are you ready to teach an entire class off the bike because all you have on is your flip-flops? 🙂

If yes, no problem at all – other that your riders thinking you’re a weirdo teaching in flip-flops. 🙂

If you’re not ready for that – the spare pair of shoes might be just what you need so you can get on the bike and into those cages if something goes wrong with your cycling shoes.

And that’s it, my dears! Just 5 things to remember – easy, right?

Good luck to you if you’re just starting this exciting journey of teaching Indoor Cycling or Spinning®. I’m rooting for you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lean Lena

They Didn’t Make the Cut or Daily Struggles of a Selfie Taker

Hey guys! Happy Friday!

Thought I’d share something funny with you today for a change. Now this takes a lot of guts, ok? 🙂 I’m sharing 5 pics from the past that didn’t make the cut. Why? Because I look ugly in them, that’s why 🙂 But such are the struggles of a selfie taker – it takes a lot of tries to get that perfect (or near perfect, or acceptable) selfie.

Here we go!

{ONE}  Cookie Monster

Cookies don’t cross the threshold of my house very often, but when they do, they don’t stay long. On such a rare and wonderful occasion one just has to take selfies, right?

didsn't make the cut

Yeah…it’s hard to stay focused when you have two difficult tasks at the same time – taking a selfie and eating a cookie.

{TWO} That plank…

You know how there’s a ton of plank streaks on the Internet and everybody is posting screenshots of their iPhones with the timer and that’s awful BOOOOH-RIIIIIING? Well, some of us take it to the next level – we take pics of ourselves while planking. Now, that’s a difficult thing to do. But we try:

IMG_3908

After a bazillion attempts that leave you with the disaster shots like above, you finally say “what the heck” and ask your husband (daughter, son, mom, dog) to take a more presentable picture of your effort to share with the #fitfam.

didn't make the cut

{THREE} Yoga Pics

I’m sharing a lot of my workouts on social media. That being said, I also do a lot of yoga and I always struggle with ideas when it comes to sharing my practice after having it. What? Take pics of your yoga mat with your feet on it every time? Booooooohriiiiing… So. This time I decided to be a little more creative and take a selfie with my yoga mat bag which has the OM sign on it.

But while I was trying to do that in from of my back door, a UFO with aliens in it came around with very bright lights:

IMG_6395

When they were gone, I finally managed to take that selfie with my mat bag. Yeah!

didnt make the cut

I look like I have no lips, but that’s ok 🙂

{FOUR} Don’t even ask….

I have no idea, how I turned this:

didnt make the cut

Into that:

didnt make the cut

All I know it required an early Sunday morning, strawberries and 5689 attempts. 🙂

{FIVE} That one time…

…when I was alone at the YMCA locker room after my workout and decided to get creative with my selfie again.

So before I produced this:

IMG_3825-1

a lot of things happened…(WARNING: graphic content, may be disturbing):

didn't make the cut

And that’s that about the tough life of a blogger and how hard it is to take that perfect selfie.

Have a wonderful weekend, guys!

Lean Lena

Five on Friday: Running and Fitness Edition

Hello, hello, my friends!

It’s Friday!

I’m tired this week! I’m tired OF this week and I want it to be over already. Things are not so bad, no. I’m just tired.

But anyway, guys, it’s Five on Friday time – talking about 5 things I’m loving/hating lately – this time it’s Running and Fitness Edition. Here we go!

{ONE} Lifestyle Accountability Show.

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you probably saw this news already. If not – I’m super excited to share the link to my interview with Adam and Devon Bate for this show.

I met Adam at FitBloggin’ in Savannah this year – he’s a super nice guy and it was great to put a face to a name and chat with Adam in real life.

Anyway, click here to hear what your blogger sounds like 🙂

lena-leanlena-badge

Thank you, Adam and Devon, for having me on your awesome show!

{TWO} Women’s Tek Gear Active Clothing + Soybu

Love the Tek Gear brand! Relatively inexpensive and SO comfortable!

Got me this outfit before going to FitBloggin’ 14 and I’ve been enjoying working out in it ever since (erm…yeah, I washed it quite a few times).

Tek Gear Performance Capris - $20.99 at Kohl's

Tek Gear Performance Capris – $20.99 at Kohl’s

Tek Gear® Striped Racerback Yoga Tank - $17.99 at Kohl's

Tek Gear® Striped Racerback Yoga Tank – $17.99 at Kohl’s

Top that with the Soybu headband that Kia gave us at her yoga class at Fitbloggin’ and I got me a perfect outfit!

Sweaty post-run selfie

Sweaty post-run selfie

{THREE} Garmin Forerunner 210

Yeah, I know…I’m just trying to get back into running and I already want an expensive dedicated running device. Well, that’s just the way I am – gadget-head 🙂

Doesn’t mean I’m gonna go buy this $200 watch, but we’re talking things I’m liking, tight? So I like me this watch 🙂

garmin forerunner

{FOUR} Compression Socks

Yey or Ney?

I need to do some research on that one – as to whether there are actual benefits of wearing them while running or not – there seems to be a lot of different opinions out there. At this point I just love that there are so many fun designs out there! Check it out:

I’d run in those! I’d even walk around in those 🙂

{FIVE} Google “Running”

Google “Running”. It’s amazing what you find!

Here’s a cool visual on how NOT to run:

Cool T’s like this one that I need desperately:

You’ll find inspirational quotes:

And inspirational people:

Yeah...I don't know what she's doing :)

Yeah…I don’t know what she’s doing 🙂

That’s one of my favorite things this week – google “running”. Then get inspired and go run.

Have a great weekend, guys!

And move – all the time.

Lean Lena

Five on Friday: Random Likes and Dislikes

Hey-hey, guys! Happy Friday and the 4th of July!

What fun things are you doing today? Grilling? Family visiting?

It is Five on Friday time and I have five things to tell you about that I’m loving/disliking lately. This week these are totally random likes and dislikes without any theme.

{ONE} FitBit Flex – Wireless Activity Tracker

fitbit flex

Isn’t it a pretty blue I picked out?

I’ve been eyeing activity trackers of all sorts for a while… It is very easy to get lost in the variety offered by Nike, FitBit, Polar….Besides, I am not the kind of person who reads instruction manuals for more than 2 minutes, and that’s usually when it is trouble shooting time 🙂

Anyway, I got lost – in the variety.

I am a Polar girl…but their Loop seemed a little too big to me.

Then two of my co-workers showed up at work with 2 different activity trackers! One had Nike and the other had Fitbit. That was just what I needed!

I asked both if I could try their activity trackers on and the decision was easy to make. Fitbit felt much lighter, much more flexible and compact. Fitbit it was!

I ordered mine on their official website and got it in the mail a few days later.

Fun Fact: you can connect it to your My Fitness Pal account – Fitbit will get the calories consumed data from My Fitness Pal and sync the activity calories back to it. FUN!

It also supports a whole bunch of other apps. Told ya – FUN! 🙂

If you read The New Yorker – there was a fun article about Fitbit in one of the latest issues – “Stepping Out” by David Sedaris. Click here to read online.

{TWO} Gardening

I just realized the other day that I haven’t shared my gardening pictures with you yet this year! Here we go.

gardening

Left to right, top to bottom: peppers, tomatoes and more peppers, sage, basil and cilantro, tomatoes, purple basil, egg plants, more peppers

Never thought I’d be so excited about gardening! But hey, those tomatoes taste a whole lot different from store bought ones. They just TASTE.

five on friday

Salads with home grown tomatoes are to die for!

Besides, it is super Zen to tend to a garden 🙂 Try it! Best meditation practice ever 🙂

{THREE} Worst Smoothie Recipe – EVER!

So last Friday I made myself a smoothie. I did it before work and I was kind of in a rush…So I threw in everything I had that I could classify as a smoothie ingredient into my blender. That included:

  • fresh strawberries (not bad)
  • frozen banana (done that before)
  • almond milk (well, that turned out to be bad, so I dumped it and added some regular milk)
  • vanilla extract (ok, I guess)
  • watermelon (oooooops….baaaaaad idea)

So anyway, it looked beautiful! I snapped a picture and rushed to work.

smoothie

Imagine my surprise when I got to work and decided to sip on my smoothie. It. Was. Disgusting! I have no idea why, but the combination above tastes horrible – must be the watermelon and milk 🙂

{FOUR} Roasted Vegetables

roasted vegetables

Roasted carrots and potatoes

It seems like any roasted vegetable becomes a great hit in my family this summer. They are so good for you and super easy to make: just mix with spices and olive oil and roast in the oven at 400° F for 40 minutes, turning at 20. Done! Comes together while you’re grilling and makes a great side for pretty much anything.

{FIVE} Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Five on Friday

You guys probably read this book in high school 🙂 I’m from a different country so I’ve just discovered it for myself before going on my trip to Savannah last week.

The action actually takes place in Savannah and that’s the reason why I wanted to read it. LOVE this book. Still working on but I don’t think it’s going to get worse 🙂

And that’s my Five on Friday! Have a wonderful weekend, guys, and I’ll see you next week!

Lean Lena

DISCLAIMER: I have not been compensated in any way by any of the brands mentioned in this post for writing about their product/service. All the opinions above are my own and provided voluntarily and independently from any brand mentioned herein.

POPSUGAR Must Have June Box Review

Hey guys! How are you doing today? It is finally Friday!

I look forward to a nice relaxing weekend at home with hubby – some cycling, some swimming, some gardening – a little bit of everything.

Meanwhile, I am combining the two again – my Five on Friday and a review of a super box I received from POPSUGAR Must Have.

I love working with POPSUGAR – great people, very responsible, and you can be sure they won’t send you a bunch of crap when you get a box subscription from them – every experience I had with them (see the Must Have Snacks review) was extremely positive and pleasant.

Speaking of subscription – POPSUGAR Must Have was so kind to send me a $10 discount code to share with you guys, which applies to 3-month subscription:

  • Code: JUNESELECT10
  • Type: Save $10 on a 3-month subscription
  • Start Date: Today
  • End Date: 6/30/14

Click here to subscribe and get your $10 off today!

So here is the box I received in June and the review of some items in it.

popsugar must have box

{ONE} You Smell Wet Wipes

I am not a big fan of wet wipes in general. I hate the way they make your hands sticky and the way they smell.

I have to say, these wipes surprised me by being absolutely none of what you expect a regular wet wipe to be – they smell fresh and don’t make your skin feel like you just wiped it with honey.

We put this product to a good test when we went camping a couple weeks ago. They really helped out – especially for me as I was the “Fire Master” 🙂

popsugar must have box

Two thumbs up for these wipes!

{TWO} Turkish-T Beach Towel

If you’re like me, you like to be wrapped into something thin and light at the beach or by the pool when you get out of the water and had a little bit too much sun already.

This beach towel is just that – light and soft. That has been tested this past weekend by the pool by yours truly 🙂

popsugar must have box

{THREE} One Potato…Two Potato…Hawaiian BBQ Chips

popsugar must have box

I normally don’t buy/eat potato chips. VERY occasionally my husband would buy some and they would be gone before I get my hands on them thanks to the two baby alligators in the house chomping on anything edible 🙂

I had to hide these chips when I got them. Aha – you get the idea 🙂

Now look at the Nutrition Facts label for these:

These are not your regular potato chips, no sir. I actually felt OK about eating them as opposed to the usual guilt and “it’s not good for me” thoughts.

Still not a big fan of potato chips. But if you are – these are definitely a healthier version to go for.

{FOUR} The One and Only by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin is the New York Times best selling author and The One and Only is her newest novel. I have just started it, and so far it looks like a perfect book to read at the swim club!

{FIVE} SACHAJUAN Body Lotion – Shiny Citrus

I’m in love with this lotion! When it comes to moisturizers, I am VERY picky. Hate the stuff that leaves my skin greasy and shiny. This is just perfect! Gets absorbed fast and leaves you with nice and silky skin.

I also got a pack of three Lollies Hair Ties.

popsugar must have box

Well, I am a little limited in the hair department as far as the use of hair ties goes 🙂

yeah, here's a picture of me NOT in workout clothes for once :)

yeah, here’s a picture of me NOT in workout clothes for once 🙂

I tried giving them to Carmen, but that girl has such thick hair those ties were not big enough for her 🙂 I ended up giving them to my co-worker’s daughter and she absolutely loved them!

So. Here’s the math for a POPSUGAR Must Have Box for you, guys:

Subscription cost: $39.95/month (use the discount code above to get a 3-month subscription and it comes out at $33.29/box!)

Retail value of the items in the June box:

  • You Smell wet wipes – $5
  • Turkish-T Beach Towel – $45
  • The One and Only by Emily Giffin – $16.52 on Amazon
  • One Potato, Two Potato chips – about $.99/bag
  • Hair ties – $8/pack of 3
  • Body lotion – at least $24

Total retail value: $99.51

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

And that’s that, friends! Have a great weekend!

Lean Lena

DISCLOSURE: POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

This post has been shared on: Mar on the Run, Northeast Bloggers Network, Let’s Get Real Linkup

Friday Favorites: Random Selection of Things I Like

TGIF, friends!!! Finally this busy week is over – time to relax and get ready for the weekend!

As always, I am sharing my five Friday favorites with you today. This time it’s just really random – from all categories and possible kinds of things 🙂 Are you ready? Here we go.

{ONE} The Beverly Hillbillies

We’ve been loving this show! It’s SO funny! They made 9 seasons that originally broadcasted from 1962 to 1971. We found some DVD’s at Wal-Mart and then I ordered more online.

We watch a couple episodes every night. When we ran out of DVD’s to watch – my family folk was going through some serious withdrawal, so I had to order more seasons from Amazon. 🙂

I personally think that Granny (Irene Ryan) is the best personality that ever existed on American Television.

Irene Ryan

Image Source

If you ever come across this show – watch it. It is super funny and is one of my favorites for sure!

{TWO} Mermaid Bicycle Dress by CWG Clothing

I ordered me that dress for $30 at the CWG Clothing Etsy store! Love the design and the fabric. Definitely check them out! They have beautiful designs there.

{THREE} 4MyCycle Mini Bike Pump

If you are riding outdoors – this is a “must have”. Unfortunately, we learnt that the hard way during our Race Ride Run Ramble event this spring when my husband had to pump the rear tire on his bike every 10 minutes, and we didn’t have a mini pump with us. Fortunately, a volunteer riding by let us borrow his pump, otherwise we’d have to walk to the finish line.

So. This one is definitely going on my “to buy” list!

{FOUR} Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Classic Red and Navy Reversible Watch

Love Tommy. Love the combination of red and navy blue. Reversible? How awesome is that?

I know I have more watches than there are days in a week, but a girl can wish, right? 🙂

{FIVE} High Polished Stainless Steel Triple Multi Color Band Ring

I have a weakness for multi-color rings 🙂 Ok, just rings in general, too 🙂 This one is just so gorgeous! and guess what? It’s only $2.99 on Amazon 🙂

And those are my Friday favorites, guys!

Do share: what are the things you’re loving lately?

Have a great weekend, and stay fit, my friends!

Lean Lena
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A Week in Food – Award Ceremony

Good morning, World! How is it turning today? 🙂 I bet it feels like it’s turning faster, because it’s Friday 🙂

Have you had breakfast yet? No? Well, I’m just about to make you hungry!

I’m talking food here today (again) – highlights of the past week and awards in 5 Categories! Ready?

SoBreakfast/Snack” category winner is…..

Granola

Granola and Yogurt

I usually make my own granola. This time I couldn’t resist this yummy looking all organic granola I found at TJ Maxx, so I bought it and enjoyed it ever since.

“From Hubs With Loves” Category winner is….

sandwich

Steak Sandwich

Just that – steak, provolone and lettuce on whole wheat bread – the sandwich hubby made me last Friday and left in the fridge with a note for me. Isn’t he the sweetest? 🙂

“Eating Out” category winner is…

chicken pho

Chicken Pho Soup from Issei Noodle

This is one of our most favorite places to eat in town – always quick, fresh, cheap and super delicious! And that place just got even better – they now serve Thai tea with bubbles!!!!

Thai tea

Mmmmm…I love me some bubble tea!

“Lazy Wife” category winner is…

pasta

Store-bought chicken tortellini with mushrooms

Our go-to meal when the wife is feeling to lazy to cook anything more complicated 🙂 What? I added veggies! 🙂

Do share: what’s cooking today?

Have a great weekend, guys!

Lean Lena

Food Favorites Lately

Hey guys! TGIF!

Who’s got plans for this weekend? I am planning to blob by the pool for most of it with errands and workouts in between. Exciting!

Anyway. Today’s Five on Friday is all about food – my five latest likes! Here we go!

{ONE} Foodie Pen Pals

I got yet another box in the mail as part of this awesome program. This time I got paired with MyThy. She sent me a super wonderful Asian themed box and a letter on 3 pages!!!

Foodie Pen Pals

I absolutely LOVED everything in my box: Cream Wafers, Mixed Fruit Chips, Cracker Nuts, Chocolate Milk Candy, Fruit Chews and assorted teas.

The letter was so wonderful, too! It was great to read about my Foodie Pen Pal and the treats she sent me.

These are all long gone – except for the teas – I’m still working on them.

Thank you so much, MyThy!

{TWO} Chicken and Veggie Skewers

grilled chicken

We buy them at Giant – ready to go on the grill. They are pretty cheap and can make a quick and easy summer night dinner. I usually don’t need a side for these because they’re pretty big.

Giant sells them both “raw” and marinated. I have to say, I really like the way Giant marinates them, so I usually buy those.

{THREE} Chicken Lasagna

lasagna

I’ve never tried chicken lasagna before – until one night we had a lot of leftover crockpot chicken. It’s a great way to use it up! So delicious and better for you.

{FOUR} Jumbo Salads

salad

Just take whatever salad goodness you have in the fridge and throw it into a jumbo salad bowl 🙂 I had lettuce, broccoli, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes, pepitas and feta in this case.

{FIVE} Breakfast Sandwiches

breakfast sandwich

No secret to my regular readers – I love breakfast sandwiches and don’t take sweet breakfasts very well. Oh yeah, and I don’t eat cereal – just don’t like it.

So! I’ve been addicted to Walmart’s Ciabatta Rolls.

ciabatta sandwich rolls

I toast it, add cream cheese, ham and egg – and that is how you make a super power breakfast in my books 🙂

Do share: what is your favorite food of the week?

Have a great weekend, guys, and stay fit!

Lean Lena

 

Random Likes – Five on Friday

Hey guys! TGIF!!!

I can’t wait for this weekend! So much going on lately – I have to tell you about it in my Five on Friday post today 🙂 Here we go!

{ONE} Cumberland Valley Rails-to-Trails

This is an awesome trail close by where we live and we went there last weekend for a bike ride. It was my very first time there and I LOVED it!

IMG_5603

It is a beautiful trail, and the day was just perfect for a ride – nice breeze, not to warm, no bugs yet. Pure AWESOMENESS! And I got a pretty good workout out of a recreational ride.

bike ride

We went out 4 miles, but then Carmen got tired and we had to go back. Was still a fun ride and we got to style at the finish line. Well, I personally was mostly styling my helmet hair 🙂

bike ride

This Sunday hubby and I are going back there again for the 8th annual Race, Run, Ride & Ramble Trail Festival – we’re doing the 30K bike ride part of it. SO excited! Stay tuned for recap next week, friends 🙂

{TWO} Lucky Brand

I’ve been a huge fan of their purses for a long-long time – well made, stylish, super convenient and spacious (crazy bag lady here) and just beautiful. I am a proud owner of this one:

lucky brand purse

I love their jewelry, too – like this Green Stone Woven Bracelet:

lucky brand

Or these gorgeous Two Tone Oval Orbital Earrings

lucky brand earrings

{THREE} DIY Easter Baskets

We had a wonderful Easter this year! We had the kids and since they are all grown up now, we decided to go with the DIY Easter baskets rather than the egg hunt. So, on Good Friday when everybody was taking their nap in the afternoon, I put together these baskets:

Easter baskets

DIY Easter baskets

Don’t mind my washer and dryer – I was hiding in laundry room while putting these baskets together 🙂

{FOUR} Homemade Quesadillas

Oh I have been addicted to those! Carmen loves enchiladas, so we always have tortillas in the fridge. What better way to use them than make a breakfast quesadilla?

breakfast quesadilla

Takes no time to make, too – just whisk an egg, fry it as a pancake, put on a tortilla, add whatever else you want on it (I have cheese and ham), fold, brown on both sides, cut and devour! 🙂

{FIVE} Indoor Cycling Instructor News

Well, you guys know that this Monday I taught my very first indoor cycling class at the local YMCA as my audition for the job there.

I passed and got a job offer, which I happily accepted!!!

I have yet to pass all the checks, orientations and such, but this goes to show how determination and hard work always pay off! Once you get on the right track, once you really want something and are determined to get it – the whole world helps you reach your goals.

You suddenly find just the right people to help and support you.

You suddenly find energy in yourself to do a cycling class, a yoga class and then come back to cycling room to practice teaching for another hour – all that on a Saturday morning.

It is an amazing feeling when you see your riders’ eyes and smiles at the end of the class. I want to do it again and again 🙂

I am super excited about this job opportunity and the community of people I will be working with.

And that was my Five on Friday, folks 🙂

Do share: what have you been liking lately?

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Five on Friday: Kitchen Gadgets Hoarding Edition

Hey guys!

TGIF

Finally everything is right in my world – husband is back from his endless trip to China, kids coming back today, and so is the weekend!

Are you ready for the traditional Five on Friday?

Today we will talk kitchen gadgets. I am a complete hoarder when it comes to kitchen gadgets (anything really – appliances, tools, cookware, cutlery – ANYTHING). You name it, I’ll hoard it 🙂

Anyway. Surprisingly there are still gadgets out there that I don’t own and that is what I am talking about here today – kitchen gadgets I want but don’t have (yet) 🙂

{ONE} Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Can you imagine?

The only thing that’s stopping me from getting one right now is the limited counter space in my kitchen. And I mean really limited.

{TWO} Transparent Toaster – Magimix Vision

Never ever burn a piece of toast again! I am totally getting this one when our old toaster dies 🙂 Maybe by the time it happens this one won’t cost the ridiculous amount of money 🙂

{THREE} Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker

yogurt maker

Oh my god! Need I say more? This thing makes yogurt! Yogurt that you actually know what’s going into…. DREAM! And it’s only $25!

{FOUR} Hamilton Beach 25475 Breakfast Sandwich Maker

I LOVE breakfast sandwiches. The problem is I rarely have time to make myself one in the morning, and I don’t really like the idea of making them in advance, and freezing them to reheat later.

This little thing would be perfect for me! (if only I had counter space for it, too 🙂 )

{FIVE} Traditional Electric Crepe Maker Tristar

I am pretty good at making crepes.

homemade crepes

See?

What I like about this crepe maker though is the lower edges than the regular pan I usually use – nothing gets in the way when you need to flip the crepe.

And that makes 5 kitchen gadgets I’d gladly own 🙂

Do share: What is your dream kitchen gadget?

Have a wonderful weekend, guys!

Lena

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Friday Favorites

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Five on Friday: Cycling, Photography, Reads and More

Hey-hey! Happy Friday!

I think that rhymes 🙂 Nope, I didn’t do it on purpose this time!

Anyway, are you guys happy it’s Friday? I am! It’s been a long-long week. Even though hubby has been traveling and kids are gone, too I feel like every day I was hopping from one thing to another with the last thing being hopping into bed. So glad the weekend is coming!

But it is still Friday morning and on Friday I share my 5 recent favorites with you. Here we go 🙂

{ONE} Reads

I’ve ordered a couple more books from Amazon in the past week and just got them in the mail yesterday.

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Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling: Everything You Need to Know, From Buying Your First Bike to Winning Your First Race

I’m especially interested in the “buying your first bike” of this one as you know from this post.

untitled
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cycling – I have no idea why I bought this one… Probably because you’re supposed to own an idiot’s guide to everything you like 🙂 You know, just in case.

And also to get ready for this:

file2431291017257

I can’t wait to start reading all this goodness 🙂 I’ve recently realized that I don’t read enough. Not nearly as much as I used to. Read as in books, where you actually turn the pages 🙂 We’re so overwhelmed by the internet, social media and the constant flow of information that we forgot how to sit down, tune out and just read a book. So, my goal from now on is to read at least one book a month! And you guys get to hold be accountable 🙂

Here’s what my promise to myself looks like for the next 10 months (at most):

books reading

{TWO} Indoor Cycling Association Summit

I found this event through…oh gosh, let me restore the chain of events in my memory here 🙂 I was first introduced to the Indoor Cycling Association by my Spinning® MI Meg McNeely who shared this article by Jennifer Sage  (the Association founder) on her FB page.

After I read the article, which I think is great and a must-read for all the cycling instructors out there, I subscribed to the ICA newsletter and that was how I learnt about the summit.

Karma works wonders 🙂

Anyway, this is an online summit and it runs April 3 through 16 with 2 sessions a day, and it is FREE!

24 sessions led by the top professional instructors, cyclists and scientists. FREE. OF. CHARGE.

Even if I don’t get ECE’s for that – uuuhm, yes, please!

I am just loving the sessions so much! Despite the lack of time and the fact that the sessions are only available for 12 hours each day, I work hard to find time to listen to them, because staying current with your education is key for being an awesome instructor. And I really want to be one!

If you are interested, you can still join this wonderful event for FREE right here.

You can also get an all access pass and have all the sessions + bonuses + handouts available for you anytime for 6 months after the summit.

{THREE} Shutter Starz Tabletop Complete Photo Studio Kit w/2 Light Tents & 8 Backgrounds

71Hz0sWRAXL__SL1500_

Well, I am just about to take my food photography to the next level, friends 🙂 I think this is a good investment, which just so happens to be a lot of fun to play with, too 🙂

Here’s what’s in the kit:

  • 2 professional photo tents 32″ and 13″
  • (8) Colored Internal Sheets for background modeling (White, Red, Blue, and Black)
  • (2) High output 30 Watt 5500K lights
  • Includes a tripod adjustable from 13.5″ with extension up to 40″
  • 100% pure white nylon velour fabric and stainless steel spring frame.

It is a food blogger’s dream – hands down!

{FOUR} Magnetic Purse Hooks

I don’t know if you ever heard of such a thing or not, but I got one as a Christmas present from one of my friends in Russia and I am loving it! I have pretty much no room for my purse at work. I tried gluing a purse hook onto the side of my desk but it doesn’t take long for those to break (yep, I am a crazy heavy bag lady alright). Getting the glued part off takes quite a while though.

So. Anyway. I gave up on those hooks and shortly after that I got my magnetic hook for Christmas. Here’s what mine looks like:

Check out these other awesome creations! So neat!

This one is my favorite :):

I think they should have had the text facing the other direction though – for the bar tender to see 🙂

{FIVE} #FFAprilAbs Challenge by FitFluential

I am loving this challenge! Even though it is not easy to remember and find time to plank (I know, I know), I am doing it and haven’t missed a day so far.

I’m up to 1:45 as of today 🙂 Working my way back to my previous record of over 5 minute plank 🙂

plank yoga plankaday

Your turn: what are the things you’re loving lately?

Have a great weekend, guys, and stay fit!

Lena