All Work With Tons Of Play & Setting New Records

by Taylor Ryan & Dan Boyle

How was your weekend!? I have to say that mine was one of the most work filled weekends I have had in a while. And considering that I work most weekends, that says a lot.

I know to most people the idea of working all weekend is worst than going to the dentist (or right beside it) but for me this weekend actually turned out to be a blast! When you do what you love, it doesn’t always feel like work.

Plus I set a lot of new records.

Friday started with my normal boot camps and then Dan and I helped a friend load up her U-Haul for a move up to DC. Well to be honest by the time I got there after teaching, they were all loaded up… oops.

We’ll miss you Sarah (Sarah was my running partner)!

Because of our Dan’s help she treated us to lunch. We ended up at our favorite Thai restaurant where I got this mammoth of a salad:

Filled with mung bean noodles, basil, cilantro, lettuce, tofu, cucumbers, sprouts, and carrots with a ginger-curry dressing. Holy yum!

No, don’t worry, I might be able to eat a lot but even I have my limits. I ate about 1/2 of this salad and packed the rest up for later (there was so much left that Dan had some with dinner and I still had enough for lunch the next day!).

I came home and needed to make a few food items for photos which will be posted on an upcoming guest blog post I am working on.

Friday night concluded with me asking Dan what he would like for dinner. Since he has been so amazing with the vegan lifestyle I couldn’t say no to his request for steamed muscles.

Plus, this is a recipe I’ve been wanting to share with the Art of Weight Lifting for quite some time, so it was fine by me. So I took a cheat night from being vegan and indulged in this…

Muscles in homemade wine sauce, roasted portabella, roasted eggplant and homemade dipping bread sticks. Yum! And a glass of pinot grigio (duh).

After dinner it was movie time and then I hit the hay! I had an early day planned…

Record Breaking Kind Of Saturday

Saturday morning 6:15am… alarm goes off. My first instinct is to throw my phone across the room. But I stay calm and slide out of bed leaving my oh too cozy husband snoring.

I was pumped and motivated to get a long run in. Even though the 1/2 isn’t until October I’ve been training already… this morning I wanted to get to 7 miles. Except that I got lost and it turned into a 7.7 miler!  Thanks to my misdirection, I ran the farthest I have ever run… IN MY LIFE!

See, even my GPS was happy and let me know:

Once home I showered quickly so we hit up the market for our groceries! We loaded up as usual.

I love this picture that Dan took (remember you can click on the “Lytro” ones on the screen to refocus):

Then it was back home so that I could spend what would be the longest time in my kitchen ever.

I just realized there are a lot of “longest” going on this weekend! 

I have been having an itch to experiment with a few new recipe ideas and I decided that after running 7.7 miles, this would be the best day to stay inside and get my stove-time in.

That’s an understatement… at 7:30 pm I plated my last meal which was our dinner and sat down. Nothing like being in a kitchen from 12:30 – 7:30 with no breaks.

But you know what?
I had a blast. I tested a tone of new ideas and surprisingly everything came out great!

Here’s a preview:

Roasted Coconut Dill Corn On The Cob

Tex Mex Barley Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing

From Scratch Cali Breakfast Wrap (even the wrap was homemade!)

Homemade Coconut Granola

Where can you find these recipes?

All of these recipes will be posted up at The Art of Weight Lifting. I can’t wait to share them!

And no, this wasn’t everything. Also on the “plate” included: 

  • Mexican Bean Salad
  • Earl Grey Cupcakes (see below)

I would make a dish then hand it off to Dan who was in charge of photographing each thing for me. I wanted to cook during the day because that’s when the lighting if by far the best.

Plus with all this food, we have a few meals frozen for the week and lunch was super easy today too!

Project: Light Box

But our work didn’t stop with food, my wonderful husband gave himself (and Nike) the project of designing me a light box for inside photos. The light box isn’t the best compared to natural light but when I am cooking dinner and the lighting outside sucks then this is going to come in handy big time!

Nike & Dan carefully cut out windows on a box

Nike grew tired of being hands on and decided to supervise instead- which she’s really good at.

The outside of the box was then covered with white fabric, a piece of white poster board was set up inside the box as the stage for my plates. Then a light (to the right) was set up to shine though.

He followed directions that he found online at: And with the help of Nike, it took him less than 2 hours to get it on the table and start shooting away at my cupcake.

Here’s what the cupcake looked outside:

To me that icing doesn’t look near as yummy as it looks in person. 

Here’s what the cupcake looked inside the light box:

I love the color that the plate came out, it’s a  bit “flashy” but I love this look.

Any questions?

We decided we need to get two more lamps to help decrease shadowing. So hopefully that will make it really kick ass.

Today was just as active as we are counting down the days until our beach vacation! 6 days to go! We can make it!

We will be spending almost an entire week in Siesta Keys, Florida.

  • Have you ever been there? 
  • And if so what do you recommend we do?

Click to continue reading this fitness post: Lifting Revolution for Women - Change Your Life With Taylor


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