Tag Archives: july

Feeling Independent ~ A Festive & Fit Fourth

This year we’re attempting a more healthified Fourth of July. Lately I’ve been feeling a little {off} and am hoping that dedicating July to establishing a healthier lifestyle will alleviate some feelings and anxiety I’ve been having about my well being lately.

I have decided to bow out of a Cupcake Wars that I was invited to attend…for now, I need to step away from some cooking and baking things that I love and start focusing on lighter, less sugar meals and snacks. I’m making little tweaks with the daily eating habits, but not being unrealistic and saying that I will {never} eat ice cream again. Or cutting carbs out once and for all. Forever. No, just making better choices…fresh choices…and taking the time to prepare them and the time to sit down and ENJOY them. Eat to live, not live it eat, I guess you could say.

Yes, I will still bake indulgent goodies, but certainly not as often as I was. But I know that I also need to learn that just because I make or bake something, I do not need to eat it, but I think we all know that it’s easier said than done! For now, I am just better off not making these sweet treats at all until I can get some good focus and momentum with this new lifestyle change.

I am proud to say that I hit just over 40 miles in June and am shooting for over 45 in July. Join me on Instagram {@aaspiras} or just start your own daily log ~ it’s equals out to a little less than 1.5 miles a day. Last night alone I started the month off with 4.75 miles and wasn’t even feeling 100% so I know I got this 45 mile thing wrapped up. YOU do, too. I prefer getting out there at night when it cools off rather than an early morning outing. C’mon, let’s go!

All that said…..

Tomorrow we’re planning on hooking up the bike trailer and going for early morning Starbucks {for Jay and me} and donuts {for the kids} to kick off our Fourth.

A couple breakfast options are:

Red, White & Blue steel cut oats ~ Oats topped with raspberries, blueberries & coconut

R, W & B smoothie ~ Ice, 1/2 cup almond coconut milk, 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt, raspberries, banana & blueberries {with a festive straw, of course!}

The Fourth isn’t complete without some burgers and fresh sweet corn…

R, W & B Turkey Burgers {protein style} ~ Fresh summer tomatoes, sweet vidalia onion and blue cheese wrapped in big lettuce leaves

Fun Grilled Corn Disks


To wash it all down a little drink that was inspired by an IG post from {@baxtronlife}:

Pseudo Mojito

Add some fresh muddled mint, raspberries, a splash of sparkling water and some rocks and hopefully you won’t miss the rum!

For dessert I thought some individual angel food trifles with fresh berries would finish off the day before fireworks…


And I can’t wait to wear my new chevron skirt from Old Navy that I picked up for about $10!


Just pairing it with a simple navy tank and red rosette!


I’m actually looking forward to not overindulging this year. It’s definitely time for a change.

How are you celebrating Independence Day?


Fantastic Four

We had a fantastic 4-day holiday weekend.

On Friday Jay and I took the kiddos to see Toy Story 3.

A small fortune…

3 tickets to TS3 3D: $40 (apparently 3 year olds are FREE…thank goodness!)

1 Large Popcorn and 2 Large Diet Cokes: $18.50

Cute movie, but don’t waste your money on the extra 3D charge….

{Super cute grainy cell phone pic}

Later that evening 3/4 of the Sullivan gang joined us for dinner ~ Teriyaki Burgers, dogs for the kids, BBQ Potato Salad (which I added chopped jalapeños to!) & grilled sweet white corn.

For the burgers I just added some Montreal Steak seasoning and teriyaki sauce to the meat before making the patties. Jay basted the burgers with the same sauce while on the grill. We also grilled some pineapple slices to go on top! King’s Hawaiian buns ~ YUM!

Grilled peaches (with brown sugar & cinnamon) and vanilla bean ice cream for dessert!


On Saturday we headed to Venice Beach and Santa Monica for the day.

I was immediately reminded 2 minutes after arriving why I haven’t been to Venice in over 15 years….

But at least we visited and can check that off the list now.

Being entertained by the plethora of hilarious t-shirts for sale:

Waiting for Holdy to zip up his sweatshirt “by myself!”:

I think this is my “let’s get out of here” face:

By the time we got to Santa Monica the sun was out and it was gorgeous.

Jay was craving wings, so where did we go for lunch?

Think orange shorts. Super short orange shorts!

It was actually nice…we sat out in the patio along the street and people watched, sipped ice cold beer, dipped fried pickles into spicy horseradish sauce and shared HOT (as in 9-1-1 hot) boneless chicken wings dunked in Blue Cheese and Ranch.

{The fried pickles here are the best!}

The street entertainers were out in full force so we strolled up and down, listened, watched and dropped dollars in their buckets.

My fave for the day was a twentysomething girl who sang Andrea Bocelli’s “Time To Say Goodbye” half in English, half in Italian and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic. Cheesy, I know, but I just enjoyed listening to her and we even followed her after she shifted her spot to the other end of the promenade.

Jay ducked into Sur La Table to pick up this, and I took the kids next door to Yummy Cupcakes for a couple minis. I finally sampled the Coconut one….new fave!

Saturday night Jay did another beer can chicken and we made soft tacos based on this recipe.

Drizzled with chipotle-lime crema:



The 4th of July was greeted with some Krispy Kremes:

Later that afternoon we joined Emma and her family for some pool time, chips & salsa, margaritas, and a BBQ before heading out to catch the fireworks with The Sullivans.

As American as apple pie:

We parked our chairs across the street from the mall and waited for the show to start.

Spotting one:

It was a great show once it got started!

Enjoying some ‘mallows:


Yesterday it was a small dose of reality.

Jay and the kids dropped U-Rod at the airport. I stayed home and straightened up. We lounged around and kept it classy watching episodes of “Operation Repo” on True TV!

To close the weekend, we made Pink Lemonade Ice Cream and visited with some old friends from Gilroy…Gina, William & Matthew visiting family here in Valencia.

{Emilie, Elliott, William, Dominic, Matthew & Holden}

They played out in front for a bit after the street lights came on.

Summer at it’s finest!


Back to the old grind today.

Counting points.

Doing loads of laundry.

Heading to the gym this evening to start working off the the yumminess of the last 4 days.

Hope your entering the week with wonderful memories of another 4th!