Morning Workouts and Green Monster Smoothies

One of the hardest things about working out for me (besides the ACTUAL workout) has to be finding the TIME to workout.

I envy those people that can wake up at the crack of dawn and start a sweat session immediately after. See, I wish I could be a lot like them.  Waking up, putting on my running shoes and fleeing out the door.  I usually (well not recently. shame on me) go to the gym after work.  And BOY, is this a battle.  The people at work must think I am absolutely out of my mind.  I walk down the halls talking to myself.

Some of the things I tell myself:

“Hey fatty!  Your guts sticking out!  Time to get to the gym.”

“Skinny aint gonna come knocking on your door”

“Come on Desirre! Stop talking to yourself and just go.”

“Maybe I can just go tomorrow and double up on my workouts”

“Do it for those that can’t”

And even though these are all things I say to myself, I am pretty sure that I am making some ridiculous facial expressions to make me look insane!! I truly am driving myself crazy with these thoughts.  Working a 9 hour day (not including travel time) does not make things any easier.  Also knowing that I have to go home afterward to cook, clean, do homework with a 5 year old (hardest task I’ve done to date) and also get him ready for bed makes going to the gym ten times harder.

With all this said a morning workout would be IDEAL for me.  Sean will be asleep while I work out, so no interruptions.  My workout will be done making the thoughts in my head subside.  I will probably even have some amazing energy to jump start my day and my metabolism would be revved up making burning calories a bit easier.

So you’re reading this saying “If she knows all this why the heck won’t she shut up and just workout in the friggin’ morning!”

Here’s the problem:


I want this clock!

I find it so hard and challenging to hop out of bed and get my day started.  It is usually so dark out at 5am.  The cold morning air comes through my window and all I want at that very moment is to hug my comforter tighter and have some sweet dream! On top of all that, I feel like the rest of the EARTH is sleeping at this time and I am being cheated of some sleep. ::sigh::

As the ladies of Sleep, Eat, Gym, Repeat mentioned this morning, I need to HTFU (Harden the F$%^ up).  Tomorrow morning is the morning where I will defeat the snooze button!

Stay tuned!

*I apologize if you were looking for some morning workout inspiration.  Sorry guys! Not here.  But the girls over at Sleep, Eat, Gym, Repeat have some amazing pictures and can really inspire you guys with their morning workouts post.* 


I am always pressed for time, as many of you are as well, especially in the mornings when I am trying to get everything ready for work and Sean ready for school.  I always manage to make his waffles and/or eggs but once it’s my turn to eat, the clock magically says its 7:30am and I need to run out the door.

During these days, I make myself what they call a Green Monster smoothie.  It is a smoothie with a Spinach or Kale base.  I also have these when I am feeling a little guilty about my eating decisions the day prior.

Green Monster Smoothie

Below you can find my recipe for it but you can also Google it and find different variations.


1-2 handfuls of Spinach or Kale

¾ cup of Vanilla flavored Almond milk

1 medium sized ripe banana

½ cup of Vanilla or plain Greek yogurt (Chobani is my favorite)

1 scoop protein (usually which ever protein Carlos has laying around)

Take all ingredients along with some ice cubes.  Blend together in blender or food processor and VOILA! You have yourself a Green Monster smoothie.

Nope. I don't have a high tech blender. Would love one. 😦

We also refer to it as the Hulk juice to persuade Sean to drink it.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked.  I think the green color freaks him out!


What are your go to quick meals?  How do you find time in your day to workout and stay active?


EOS: Evolution of Soft

EOS Lip Balm Sphere

I am almost positive that everyone has seen the above sphere one way or another.  Before actually owning my own, I would see people on the train, bus and at work using this “thing”.  I later found out that it was a lip balm. (REALLY!? a lip balm!?) I witnessed my friends using them as well and thought it just looked ridiculous.  Something so big for my lips!?  Not my kind of thing.

While at my sister’s this past weekend, I noticed an EOS lip balm sphere on her dresser.  I immediately laughed out loud and thought “not her too!!”.  I thought what the heck and tried it out.

OH EM GEE!  (as my friend Yanisa spells out through texts) BEST THING EVER!

I am now completely obsessed and on a mission to own every flavor!!! (Yes I am screaming because I am so excited!)

The actual lip balm is extremely moisturizing and the packaging is oh so soft.  I literally cannot keep my hands off of mine.  The bright colors and flavors are amazing.  I keep one at work, on my desk, and another at home.  They definitely add some character and pop to my desks.

I went to their website (EOS) and found that they have other beauty products such as shaving creams, body lotions and hand lotions.  (Packaging is also incredibly adorable on all of these)  I would love to try them but have not found any in my local drugstore.  I might have to order them online.

If you do not own one, I suggest you go out RIGHT NOW and buy one!  You will not be able to contain yourself from reapplying every five seconds!!


Uneventful, Yet Very Gratifying Weekend

::Phone rings::


“Hey Julie! It’s me Karen.”

“Hey Karen! What’s going on?”

“Nothing much, its Friday.  Time to go out and get some drinks!!”

“Place and time?”


That’s what my weekends used to sound like.  This is what weekends still sound like to many of my friends that are single and don’t have children.

Friday night Carlos, Sean and I went over to Panera in Bay Plaza to get some dinner.  I had the chicken tortilla soup with half a tuna fish wrap.  Carlos had their tomato basil soup with half a smoked turkey sandwich.  (Sean is a picky eater so he had eaten at home before leaving and just had something to drink at Panera.)

Someone wasn't too happy about taking this picture.

Saturday I was home all day with Sean.  Playing Avengers on his Nintendo DS.  Making pancakes and turkey bacon.  (his favorites)  Picking up around the house and waiting for Carlos to get out of work.  We had plans of going into Manhattan and visiting my mother and niece.  Once in the city we were starved so we decided on Chipotle.  We always hear everyone raving about their burritos but never had one.  So yesterday was the day to try it and boy did we love them.

As they say their guac rocks!! However, I don't think its worth an extra $2.50 for a teaspoon of guac on your burrito. =/

Carlos wasn't too excited about Chipotle prices. YIKES!

Today looked a lot like yesterday without the Chipotle.  My mom cooked dinner and invited us over.  We LOVE mom’s cooking so we didn’t turn the invite down.  I absolutely love spending time with my mom.  She truly is my number one fan and makes me feel good about all the decisions I have made.  She’s also probably the funniest person I know.

While at home today, watching Million Dollar Listing New York I jokingly sent Carlos a text telling him I wanted to sell a million dollar home in New York and cash in one of those sweet commission checks.  He replied with a “LETS DO IT!!” and that instead of Property Brothers we could have a show called Property Lovers. Haha Can you guys see that!!?!?

"PROPERTY LOVERS" no? okay okay!

Hope you guys had a great weekend.  I’m capping mine off with a good movie and a cold Blue Moon…. Yeah I don’t go out as much as I used to but to see this face….


And this guy ….

in the Dominican Republic

And to be apart of this family….

Sounds just as good to me!!!

Celebrating Life at City Island

City Island

City Island brings back memories of my childhood.  I remember going there occasionally as a kid in the spring/summer months with family and friends.  Any excuse to go to this island in the north Bronx was good enough for us.

It is a very small island with a population of only 4,520.  Most of its businesses are on the main street named City Island Avenue.  There is only one way in and one way out of the island.  So you can imagine how crowded it can get on a nice summer’s night when everyone wants some seafood. (and banana daiquiris)

Sean Sightseeing

... Sean loves City island to watch the seagulls and feed them some of his fries. ❤

On Tuesday, we went up to City Island for a very special reason.  No, not their awesome shrimp and fries, but because we were celebrating Carlos’ (my boyfriend) late grandmother’s birthday.  She passed away January 2012 and while many anniversary the death of their loved ones, we decided that we would celebrate life, her life, on her birthday by going to her favorite place, City Island.

We had some amazing weather in New York on Tuesday.

Dinner included some deep fried shrimp and fries.  We also agreed to each have a little neck clam in her name, since those were her favorite.  I had never had clams before and was terrified to try them but to my surprise (and others) they were actually pretty good and I cannot wait to go back and have some more.

City Island is definitely one of the Bronx’s gems.  Since I am not from the Bronx and have only been here for a year, I am still finding local spots that I really like.  Although the city will always have my heart, the Bronx is not doing a bad job at trying to gain it.   (But it will never happen! :-P)


As much as I tease Carlos about being from the Bronx aka the BX, I did find him here and his family has become mine.

Word of advice:  if and when you visit City island always bring some kind of sweater.  It gets very chilly by the water.  (had to improvise and wrap Sean up with my scarf lol)

Mini, lighter version of Kanye West?? haha

Occasionally, I will post about a new find that I will call a “Bronx gem”.  Hope that the Bronx can gain some of your interest as well.

How do you celebrate life?  Have you been to City Island?  What are your favorite places there?

Hello world!

Hi and welcome to Unpolished Gem!

I have finally decided to start a blog.

Unpolished Gem isn’t about anything in particular such as food, fitness, cooking, parenting, etc.  It’s about everything life entails and finding balance for it all.  I went from a college student to a full-time employee.  From living in Manhattan to living in the Bronx.  From being single to having the love of my life.  Oh and how could I forget the biggest challenge of them all, becoming a mom overnight.  In my blog you will read my day-to-day struggles balancing life and trying to find the “gem” in it all. 

Unpolished Gem didn’t come easy.  (both, the name and actually starting the blog) If anyone knows me they know I over analyze everything and I definitely over analyzed starting a blog.  The name was changed a couple of times but I finally decided on this one.  For me, Unpolished Gem means finding the good and positive in everyday life.

Welcome to my beautiful chaos!