The Return of the Gym Selfie

Oh yes, you read that correctly. It’s the return of the gym selfie! Isn’t it funny how popular gym selfies have become? We’re out there photographing our sweaty, no-makeup selves in the wee hours of the morning or tired hours after work like our own private paparazzi.

Hey, I’m not bashing it. Guilty as charged!

gym selfieEthan is over a year old. I should be able to leave him with someone other than his father or his grandparents, and that person should be able to handle it. Right? I figured it was time to give gym child care another shot.

*I had a falling out of sorts with my gym’s child care about 5-6 months ago, or something like that, so I’ve really really really missed my gym workouts.

I was so happy to see new staff in the kids area. The two ladies were sweet, and they actually seemed to care about my son. Amazing! When I picked him up, they told me how cuddly and well behaved he was. Ethan was also the only kid there. Yaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy!

I don’t want to get too excited about a full return to the gym just yet, but needless to say, we’ll be back. I don’t think I’d ever been so happy to use an elliptical.

gymIn other news, Ethan has been a handful lately. Literally. He’s upped his screaming and his tantrums, but, when he’s not pitching a fit, he’s perfectly content to snuggle in my arms. I’m not one to ever turn down snuggles, but lemme’ tell ya – this kid gets heavy!

After the gym yesterday, I was carrying Ethan upstairs, and he just passed out in my arms. Hmmm… okay. That was odd. I sat down in the glider in his nursery and let him have a little mini nap. Growth spurt? Teething? Still achy from his vaccinations last week?

strollerOh well, at least he’s cute.

  • What are some of your favorite quickie gym workouts? I just did 20 min + cool down on elliptical, then leg press, leg extension machine, and stability ball bridge lift with roll-in. I’ll stay a little longer once I feel more comfortable.
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Shepherd’s Pie

Hiya! I’m back today with a new recipe. This one isn’t on this week’s meal plan, but I made it last week. I love one-pot meals, such as skillet meals and casseroles, but I try and shy away from can-of-whatever soup.

So this was my attempt at a comforting casserole that’s all-natural but still budget-friendly. Oh, and while the potatoes would have been better with half a cup of butter, and the sauce would have been undoubtedly tastier if started with bacon grease, I kept it simple and healthy. Your welcome. (<– my response to your waistline thanking me)

shepherd's pieLittle-known fact: the first time I visited Kevin’s family back in our college years, his mom made shepherd’s pie. I hadn’t ever had it before, and though it isn’t something Kevin requests (he doesn’t request much of anything except mac n’ cheese), it is stuck in my head as one of his from-home comforts.

shepherd's pie

No one can make it like mom. Truth. Perhaps Ethan will one day say, “I used to love my mom’s shepherd’s pie.” (or butternut squash mac, or lasagna, or meatloaf, or whatever he’s into) shepherd's pie

Shepherd's Pie
  • 2 medium baking potatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup broth and ½ cup skim milk (or all broth or all milk)
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 TBS whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 cup broth (**see note)
  • 16-oz bag mixed frozen vegetables
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried ground mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Wash, peel, and quarter potatoes. Boil potatoes in a large pot of water until starting to soften, then add the frozen vegetables. Boil until potatoes have finished cooking.
  3. Drain Pot, and pull out potato pieces. Mash potatoes with a potato masher, hand mixer, or fork. Stir in salt, cheese, ¼ cup broth, ¼ cup milk, and a dash of nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Once browned, remove beef from pan, and reserve 2 TBS of the liquid. If you used very lean beef and do not quite have 2 TBS liquid, you can make up the difference with butter or vegetable oil.
  5. Spread the 2 TBS of grease over pan heated to medium and whisk in 2 TBS flour. Continue whisking while you slowly pour in 1 cup of broth. Keep whisking and cooking a few minutes until sauce thickens just a bit. Whisk in sage and mustard. Once cooked a few minutes, stir in the defrosted vegetables and the cooked ground beef.
  6. Pour beef and vegetable sauce mixture into casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes. Since the ingredients are already hot, this only needs to bake about 20-25 minutes.

*Note: I highly recommend Trader Joe’s organic low-sodium vegetable broth. It’s fantastic! If you can’t get your hands on it, I think low-sodium beef broth is probably better than your average veg broth.

I don’t think anyone makes better meatloaf or lasagna than my mom, even restaurants. So hopefully I’ll at least make one thing the kid grows to cherish.

shepherd's pieThough we’re so far, so good with this recipe. It turns out that Ethan loves shepherd’s pie already. Of course, with beef, potatoes, peas, and carrots (some of his favorite things), what’s not to love?

  • What does your mom make better than anyone else in the world?
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Meal Plan Monday #1

Oh Monday, it’s you again, isn’t it? Weren’t you like, just here? Well we can’t fight it; we may as well enjoy it. Happy Monday Lovelies!

I’m back today with a little sneak peek into the week’s eats. I’m sprinkling the meal plan with photos from the weekend. Yep, I just said sprinkles. I should work more of those into the meal plan next week…

fall for greenvilleKevin and I had a relaxed night at home Friday, but on Saturday we drove to visit his parents in SC. The whole gang headed out to Fall for Greenville, a huge event with food, beverages, and even a little craft beer area.

fall for greenvilleEnjoying a local Greenville brew by Brewery 85

I love festivals! But back to the eats…

greenville scThough I’ll mix up breakfast, lunch, and various snacks here and there, every day should look somewhat like this (plus extra handfuls of whatever Ethan doesn’t eat or whatever chocolate I can find):

  • Banana-flax oatmeal
  • Chicken sausage, sweet potato, side salad
  • Apple and almond butter or a snack bar of some sort

birthdayOpening the last of E’s birthday gifts on Sunday

Dinners for the week include:

  • Sunday: homemade chicken tortilla soup (sans tortillas) in a bread bowl
  • Monday: feta and spinach stuffed & baked chicken breasts over spinach and pasta
  • Tuesday: spiced chicken thighs in crock pot with apple and butternut squash over rice pilaf
  • Wednesday: Ethan and I have a sushi date with my mom. Woohoo! (No, he won’t be having sushi.)
  • Thursday: cabbage, kale, and quinoa casserole
  • Friday: pizza or tortellini

bread bowlLast night’s bread bowl o’ soup

Of course, there’s always sweet stuff thrown into the mix as well.

  • What’s on your meal plan this week?
  • A series of “Meal Plan Mondays” – yay or nay?
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Love, Sweat, & Beers on Facebook!

Like me? Let’s be friends?

I’ve finally caught up with the times. Love, Sweat, & Beers has its own little Facebook page!!!

I generally don’t post on Saturday’s, but ummm… I have no likes.  Haha! Go find me. Like me.

There’s even a new little button on the right-hand banner of the blog to make it super easy for you. Mmmmkay thanks!

No Facebook? That’s okay. We can still be friends. Follow via Twitter, Bloglovin, Pinterest, or email. Or what the heck, just come back Monday for regularly scheduled L, S, & B!


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Whatever Works

Happy Friday! While I’d like to talk about the romantic plans Kevin and I have for our anniversary weekend, I can’t. Per usual, we don’t have any. Hmmm… maybe next year?!?

In the meantime, I want to talk a wee bit about some stuff that didn’t work, that kinda worked, and that definitely worked. (I know, could I be more vague?)

Didn’t Work: non-dairy ice cream. I tried coconut milk ice cream in the past and wasn’t happy, which is to be expected since I don’t like coconut. This time I thought I’d take a chance on soy. Ughck! “So Delicious” my arse!!

so deliciousWhat Kinda Worked: new shoes. I bought the pink Saucony shoes, but I only got to the end of my street before major foot pain set in. I think my arches fell during training for my first half, so too much support or cushion doesn’t work for my anymore. I switched up and got Mizunos instead. My last three running shoes have been Mizunos, so no, I didn’t just buy these because they’re Clemson colors. (#GoTigers)

shoes     mizuno

What Did Work: while making the turkey zucchini meatballs the other night, I thought of a new way to use the extra grated zucchini. Zucchini Cakes! Or whatever you want to call them. To be honest, I haven’t tried them yet, but Ethan seemed to dig it.

zucchiniThey cook at the same temp as the turkey zucchini meatballs, and he gobbled it up.

zucchini cakesOh, and they have green things. Yaaaaay!

Baked Zucchini Cakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup freshly grated zucchini
  • ½ tsp ground flax
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBS Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Continue to stir until thoroughly moistened.
  2. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet (parchment may work too). Mine made 4 little cakes.
  3. Bake approximately 12-15 minutes.

  • What are you up to this weekend?
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