The Shred

Welp.  I did it.  

I joined the Jillian Michael's bandwagon.  It wasn't a premeditated purchase, it just sort of happened.  Similar to many of the purchases I make at Target.
I lurveeee Targe
Like, oh wow, how did those cute wedges just happen to fall into my cart?  Why in the world am I trying on this amazingly cute dress?  Did I just buy another (insert random item here)?

Word in the blogosphere is that Jillian Michael's  workouts are awesome and kick your butt.  So I'm actually quite excited about this purchase!

I took my measurements, took some pictures and I'm putting the 30 Day Shred to the test.  Starting tomorrow I will begin the program.  Each day I'll post about my workout and also post my eats for the day.  I think this will help keep me accountable and on track!

Wish me luck, I don't think I know what I'm in for!!!


Quarter Century

I'm officially 25 years old.

It's strange how when your in your teens 25 seems so distant.  And you think by 25 you'll surely have life figured out. 


Not that I don't love where I am in life.  I just moved to Southern California.  I have a great  job, and I have room to grow in my profession.  I'm blessed with wonderful family and friends.  I love my sweet, handsome, amazing, boyfriend and we have a cute little place with our 2 little cats.  

Life is pretty sweet.
But I don't have it all figured out and maybe I never will. 
Maybe I need to chill out, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Don't worry so much.
Be thankful for what I have.
Be present in each moment and don't take things for granted.
just be happy.

I want to continue to try and be the best me.  I want to nourish my body with healthy, delicious food.  I want to stay active and push my body physically.  I want to take care of myself so that I can be happy and healthy during my next quarter century and beyond.



Happy Friday!  TGI(my birthday weekend)F =)

Wednesday night I got a box of funfetti mix and a jar of frosting for the kiddos, since that's what they usually have I figured I couldn't go wrong.  I then baked up some vegan funfetti cupcakes for the grownups.  

I'm not a vegan, but for some reason I've had the urge to try and bake vegan goodies, like these cinnamon rolls.  Maybe I'm going through a rebellious baking stage?

Shane and I had a vegan vs. box taste test.  He said they tasted the same!
I noticed the vegan version was more dense and moist.  Also, it didn't rise as much as the box version.  Many of the recipes I found online were adaptations from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  Lucky for me, Angela over at Oh She Glows posted her adaptation recipe and I felt confident using it.

Last night I attempted to make some homemade frosting.  My first batch was just weird.  I don't know if it was the Earth Balance or something else but it tasted off.  I was going for a traditional vanilla butter cream but it was funky tasting.

I don't think frosting and I get along.  I love to eat it, but I can't quite seem to make my own. 

After that debacle I frosted the 48 mini boxed funfetti cupcakes with store bought frosting but was having a dilemma about my vegan cupcakes.  During my cupcake research fest I had stumbled upon an avacado "buttercream" frosting.

Did I dare?  ...It's my birthday and I do what I want!  And the cupcake liners were blue and green so avacado green frosting would look cute.

I did a lot of baking/frosting last night.  Hence, this is what my sink looked like as I got into bed.

It's okay though, I love baking cupcakes!

 I hope everyone enjoys the vegan cupcakes.  I only frosted a handful with the avacado butter cream and did the rest with store bought frosting.

Do you bake co-workers and friends treats?  Do you "healthify" or "veganize" recipes that you share with others?   


On My Mind

Saturday is my birthday!

I'm going to be 25.

I'm using this as an excuse to bake lots of cupcakes for my class and co-workers.  

I spent the night on the couch looking up cupcake/frosting recipes I want to try.

Shane asked my why I wasn't being needy and seeking attention...

true story.

I've got cupcakes on my mind.


An Indecisive Cookie

Peanut Butter.



Chocolate Chips.

Oh yeaaa.

Let's get right to it.  I had an urge to make cookies tonight.  The only problem was I could NOT decide what kind of cookie I wanted and Shane was of no help.

Me: "Shaneeeee.  I want to make cookies.  What kind do you want?"
Shane: "Yea make cookies!"
Me: "Of course you want cookies.  I asked what KIND of cookies."
Shane: "Surprise me."

See?  No help.  I had to take matters into my own hands.  

::Opens up pantry::  Peanut butter! Pumpkin!  Bananas!  Oh my! And some chocolate chips,  why not ;)

Seriously?  I questioned whether I could pull it off, but after some searching online I found an adaptable recipe and got down to business. 

Pumpkin PB Nanner Chip Cookies
adapted from Angela at Oh She Glows

1 cup oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
handful semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup pumpkin 
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
small banana chopped up
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal + 2 tbsp warm water)

- Preheat oven to 375
- Make flax egg and put aside
- Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients in small bowl.  Add flax egg.
- Add wet ingredients into dry and mix well.
- Use tbsp to scoop dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. 

These cookies have a lot goin' on, but they were just what my indecisive taste buds needed.


Not Your Ordinary Day

I should have known there would be nothing ordinary about today.

This morning all I wanted in the world was PB&J.  But we were out of bread, so I had to improvise.  I used half a flour tortilla and made some PB sushi rolls with blueberry jelly on the side. 
Not your ordinary breakfast.

It's January 21st and I look outside to see sunshine and palm trees.  Weather.com says it's 71 degrees and sunny, perfection in my book.  Do I really live here?  This is what I'm wearing as i write this post from Starbucks.
 Not your ordinary January.

This sunny Saturday wouldn't be complete without a run.  It started out innocently enough. 
 Throw on some sneaks and a tank.  Add some sunscreen, grab my ipod and I'm out the door.

My apartment complex is situated on a hill.  So I almost always start by running up hill to get it out of the way and have a downhill to look forward to at the end.  

As I'm running up the hill I see a little girl, maybe about 5 or 6 on a bike riding towards me, her mom at a slow jog behind her.  However the gap between mom and daughter continues to become greater and although I'm in the running zone, I notice something is not right.  The mom starts to pick up her pace and I start to wave my arms in a "Should I stop her?" motion.  I get in front of the bike barreling towards me to slow her down.  

It was so scary, since the little girl had on no helmet, but the Mom was panicking trying to catch up with her and I'm guessing the little girl didn't know how to use the brakes downhill.  Freaked me out!!!!  But thankfully the Mom got to the little girl and stopped her.  The little girl started to cry and you could tell she had been scared by going to fast down the hill.  

My heart rate was up, to say the least.  But I continued on my way, thinking my run couldn't get any crazier.  I'm running, running, running; la di da di da.  Up ahead I see a hill which I despise, yet am determined to run straight through without taking a walking break.  It's going, going, going, until I hear barking.  Then see a little white blur run out from the bushes towards me.

Oh my goodness, I'm getting attacked by a dog!!!!!  Luckily it was just a bichon or similar breed who looked a little like this.  

He may have been small but was barking up a storm, circling me, and nipping at my toes.  I had to stop since I didn't want him to continue to chase me.  His owner ran over and apologetically picked up the little furball so I could continue on.  Apparently he likes to chase things that run...

I snapped this picture so you could see the monster hill I'm talking about.  
 Yea, it's so steep it drops and you can't even see it.  I'll run it straight through next time!

When I got home I was thankful to have made it.  

It was not your ordinary run.

I was famished when I walked in the door, so food was top priority.  I'm  on a purple smoothie kick.
Almond milk, flax meal, spinach, chopped pear, frozen blackberries & frozen bluberries

Plus a kinda kooky salad.  
 Spinach, chick peas, nooch, baked sweet potato and ketchup!! Not your ordinary salad.

Today was just not your ordinary day.


Dinner Dilemma

Happy Thursday everyone =)

Let's get right to it.  Today, I need your help.  I've been having a dinner dilemma.  You see, I work 9-6 and get home between 6:30 and 6:45.  Since Shane and I share a car, if I am getting into town around 6:45, I don't even bother stopping home, instead I go straight to pick Shane up at work at 7. 

You might think, okay, prepare your meals on the weekend and just reheat.  But that's not really my dillemma, since we already do that.  The problem is that I don't know what to eat.  I am in bed by 9:30 most nights, since I wake up at 4:45 am to get to the gym.

Sometimes I'll  snack in the car on the way home, but then I just sit at the dinner table watching Shane eat.  It's too weird. 

Sometimes I'll  eat a normal dinner, but then it's good and I eat more than I should.  It's too filling.

Today's eats, which are pretty typical:
Coffee + oats
1/3 cup oats
unsweetened cocoa powder
flax meal
1/2 banana mashed
frozen bluberries
Lunch: salad, orange, pear, handful roasted almonds, 2 clementines

Red leaf romaine, kale, chick peas, baby carrots, sunflower seeds, red bell pepper, nooch
11 am snackage
3 pm snackage

What can I do to solve my dinner dilemma?

Should I make a nightly smoothie?  Eat in the car?  Soup?  Light salad?  I need some inspiration!


Magazines and Beans

Wow.  I LOVE having Monday off.  It makes the rest of the week so much better.  

It is Wednesday already people!  Right now I'm on my break sipping a tall iced coffee with soy in Starbucks so I can get this post up in a timely manner.  Who wants to read about a Wednesday on a Thursday? *Edit: it is now 9 pm since my break is not long enough!*

So last night Shane went out to see some friends play in a show.  He would be getting home wayyy past my bedtime, so I opted to stay cozy in my PJs with some magazines to keep me company. 

 Magazine overload!

I absolutely love reading magazines but sometimes feel overwhelmed with the style, fitness, and nutrition ideas I want to use.  In college I started ripping out articles and pictures and putting them in a  notebook.  It has now evolved into 3 notebooks: fashion, food, fitness.

Ohhhh, college.  I guess I didn't take a lot of notes.  These bad boys have plenty of pages left.
 I love having the articles I find relevant at my fingertips.  And I don't feel bad about recycling my old magazines since I've taken what I want from them!

Daisy and Princess agree!

I'm sort of sad, since I just received my last issues of Glamour and Lucky.  But one of my resolutions is to budget so I picked one magazine to renew.  Runner's World!  And I got a free subscription of Women's Health with it.  Two for one, heck yea!

And although this has absolutely nothing to do with magazines, it needs to be mentioned.  Shane makes the best black bean burgers!  We had them for dinner and omgeeeee, so good!  I will get the recipe from him and post it because you need to make them.  And he is a carnivore and loves them so yeah, they're winners.

Do you read magazines?  Which do you subscribe to?  Are you cutting back magazine consumption in 2011?


OB, Oh Yea

 Yesterday started out like any other Sunday morning.  We whipped up some bfast and contemplated what to do for the day.  Shane was working on a guitar, but I needed something to do!

As I was finishing up my coffee I got a call.  Sara, who I randomly met at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and now one of my SD bff's, asked if I wanted to go to OB.  Ocean Beach, known as OB to the locals, is a cute, hippie, beach town with lots to offer.  Of course I said yes!
See all the volleyball nets in the distance?
Tall palm trees
Perfect beach weather!

Exploring the tide pools
There is so much life in the shallow pools of water.
We walked down the main street and checked out some local shops.

All that walking made us hungry and thirsty!
 Pizza Port, a Cali pizza place known for its "tasty grub and grog", sounded like the perfect choice.  Pizza Port has 4 locations in SoCal beach towns and each brews their own beer as well as carrying dozens of craft beers from breweries around San Diego.

I went with the Honey Blonde Ale.  I don't know much about beer, but it was refreshingly light with a hint of sweetness.  Perfection in my book.

Instead of going for single slices, Sara and I decided to split a small pizza.  It was just enough and I took a slice home for lunch today.  We went with the Carlsbad Pizza: pesto, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and feta.  

As a born and raised Jersey girl, I've had some good pizza.  With that being said, Pizza Port was delicious!  And with its cool, relaxed, vibe I definitely recommend it if your ever in OB.

So long OB. Until next time =)


Better Than Cinnabon

I sure do love cinnamon. 

I love it on my oats.
And in my coffee.
And in my bread.

Okay, so you get the point.  I love me some cinnamon!  And you wanna know something super sweet about cinnamon?  There are a number of health benefits associated with eating it, score!

In this article from Women's Health, I learned that cinnamon contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants.  They contribute to healthier arteries and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  And it has an energizing smell that increases alertness.  Need this in my breakfast ASAP.  

Cinnamon, say hello to sugar and ooey gooey goodness.  I'm sure the sugar helps boost the health benefits, right?  

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from VeganBaking.net  and Janae at The Hungry Runner Girl

I love good old fashioned cinnamon rolls, but thought I'd attempt to veganize this classic treat. After Shane ate one, I told him it was vegan and he didn't believe me!  Same goes for my co-workers, they loved them!

For the dough you'll need:

6 tbsp + 1 tsp flax meal
6 tbsp warm water

1 packet (or 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 1/4 c. warm water
1 tsp sugar 

4 c. flour
1 tsp salt 
1/3 c. Earth Balance, softened
                                                       1/2 c.+ 1 tbsp sugar

- Make flax egg by mixing flax meal with  warm water.  Set aside.
- Proof yeast by mixing yeast, warm water and sugar.  Let stand 10 minutes.  You'll know yeast is active if the mixture doubles.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  
- Add butter, flax mixture, and yeast mixture to bowl.  Mix until dough pulls away from the outer bowl and sticks to the beater.  I used my Kitchen Aid beater mixer.
- Take out your sticky dough and knead on a floured surface until smooth.  Shape like a ball.
-Put it back in your bowl, be sure to flour the surface so it doesn't stick, and cover.  Let stand for 15 minutes.
-While dough is resting, prepare the filling.
You'll need:
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. Earth Balance, softened
2 tbsp maple syrup (use the real stuff, it tastes better!)
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

*I doubled this, however my buns were oozing and it was quite messy.  If that's not your thang, I suggest sticking with the original filling quantities.*

-Set aside the filling mixture and roll out your dough.  Be sure to flour the surface, because it is sticky!
- Roll out the dough to form a flat 16x20 rectangle.  
- Spread the filling evenly.  The back of a spoon works really well for this.
- Roll your dough lengthwise so it's 16 inches long and cut into 1 1/2 inch sections with a sharp knife.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Put those babies in a lightly greased 9x13 glass or ceramic baking dish and let rise for 10 more minutes.  
-Put in oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.  I turned them halfway through cooking.
When you take them out, pour the vanilla frosting on top. 
Here's what you need:
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp almond milk, or more to reach desired consistency
1 tsp vanilla extract

- Mix ingredients in a bowl.
- When buns come out, drizzle on top.



Feels Like June

I hope everyone is having a lovely 3 day weekend so far. 

I had a great Saturday!  With weather like this, what's not to be happy about?
Picture from 10News.com

 The weather was so amazing that I headed out for a nice run around Lake Murray.
Oh yes, I am rockin' the all black ninja look.
I think I was over dressed though.  I was so hot, I needed some shorts and a some lighter colors!  I swear, I had to keep reminding myself that it was January, not June.  The lake was busy with walkers, runners, and bikers, and everywhere I turned I saw shorts and tank tops.  CRAZY!

I haven't ran outside in about a month and it felt so wonderful.  Since I squeeze my work outs in before the sun comes up, I've been relying on the treadmill.  The treadmill is okay, but running outside is where it's at!  After I returned from a glorious 5 1/2 mile run, I was ready for some lunch!

Enter humongo salad topped with leftover goodies, sunflower seeds, honey mustard, and baby carrots with a side of baked sweet potatoes and tofu smothered in ketchup. 

Does anyone else ever crave salads?  I LOVE salad, but not wimpy salads.  I'm talking loaded up on veggies, nuts, and seeds so they really fill you up.  What's your favorite salad? My salads tend to be made of romaine and/or spinach topped with leftovers, whatever veggies I have in the house, seeds, and dressing.  EVOO is my go to dressing but I splurged and bought Cardini's Honey Mustard dressing which is pretty good.  But I think it would be fun to plan a yummy salad.

After some cleaning I took a long nap.  All of my students are coughing and I'm starting to feel congestion in my lungs.  BTdubbs, my students are 3-6 years old, so you KNOW they are not properly blowing noses, covering coughs, washing hands, no matter the amount of demonstrations you give!!  

I'm trying to eat an orange a day to ward off this cold, but I ran out today!  Looks like I'll be heading to the store tomorrow :)

Anyone have any big plans for tonight?  My big plans  are to eat din,  Netflix a movie, and cuddle on the couch.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Am I right?