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What really tickles your fancy?

3 Sep

 

 

 

 

ImageToday I saw the worst shirt.  I am not a big fan of those slogan bearing T-shirts anyway.  But especially when the message is completely depressing.  The shirt simply stated, “Meh.”  Why?  Why would you be so apathetic that you don’t care enough to choose something to care about.  

What are you “meh” about in your life?  Are you stuck in a job that bores you to death?  An unfulfilled relationship?  A dead end yo-yo diet?  

Don’t settle for anything meh.  Don’t settle for anything less than heart-pounding, exhilarating, head over heels, bursting full of life.  

Find your passion, find whatever it is that makes you forget the word “meh” even exists.  For me spending time outside hiking with my girlfriends thrills me.  Dressing up for date night with my boyfriend still gives me butterflies.  Relaxing at home with a glass of wine and a good book is like heaven to me.  And recently I’ve found out what direction my passion will take my career.  I am passionate about leading a healthy and happy lifestyle, and I am learning how to share that passion with others.  I am attending school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I am being taught by experts how to coach and support people that are feeling stuck in the “meh” phase of life.

I’ve found my passion and I can’t wait to spread it like wildfire.  Now I leave you with this question, what’s yours?  Share below!

 

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I’m back!!

27 Mar

After a long hiatus, I can say that I am back in action in the blogging world!

I needed some time to decompress, reevaluate, reset, recharge…whatever you want to call it.  I also had to take a look into myself and set my intentions straight.  I was on a path that was leading in a million different directions, yet at the same time going nowhere.  With my busy always-on-the-go schedule, I found that I was spending a lot of time and energy on things that don’t make me happy and aren’t leading me down the right path to where I’d like to be in life.

I believe that this is being called the “Quarter Life Crisis” these days.  That’s definitely how I’ve been feeling: in crisis mode.  I know that I am blessed, but, the main feeling I’ve had lately is “blah,” uninspired, apathetic, listless, and sad.  This isn’t depression exactly, just a a yearning for more out of life.

At this point (well, maybe after a couple of weeks of wallowing) I really thought about my passions and what makes me happy. I set some intentions to move forward and started to get my positive thinking back on track.  As we all know, if you’re unhappy with something you have two choices: you can either learn to live with it or you can work on changing it.  I choose to be happy and pursue endeavors that fuel my soul and give me an invigorating feeling as I embrace life.

happiness

I am excited to be back and focus more energy on this blog.  I am also excited to share with you my next path and goals that I am working towards.  Stay tuned for that update!

Looking forward to 2013

3 Jan

Without further adieu, here are some of my 2013 goals:

Let go of all dead weight in my life that’s not serving me (anything from negative people to time wasters).

Think positive and loving thoughts.  Not to sound too much like The Secret right now, but I want to focus only on the positive affirmations and thoughts in my life.

Listen to my body.  This ideally means eating clean, nourishing my body with whole foods, and moving my body.

Love my body.  Extension of previous resolution, get rid of negative and critical thoughts about myself.

Embrace financial responsibility.  This is boring and very grown-up of me to say, but I am tired of being stressed about money and wasting it on stupid things.

Laugh at life.  Lately, I have been getting worked up over the silliest things, so I just need to take each day as it comes and not too seriously 🙂

2012 snapshots

31 Dec

Farewell, 2012.  You were good to me.  Here’s a walk down memory lane for the past year.

January

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Cheers to 2012! NYE

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Dianna and Michelle visit to ring in the new year!

February

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babes on the beach

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happy hour in Puerto Vallarta

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Ed and I celebrating our 1st Valentine’s Day together Stir cooking school

March

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trip to AZ for Taryn’s wedding…sorority reunion!

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Congrats to the beautiful bride!

April

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Chicago with Ed’s family. My 1st time, loved this city!

ImageMay

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trip to San Diego with my mom and cousin Bobby

June

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Father’s day with my family

July

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Celebrating Ashley’s birthday on 4th of July

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getaway to Vail

August

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Wedding season continues…

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Our 1st 14er!

September

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Telluride for Krissi’s wedding

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adopting Hudson!

October

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25th birthday party, complete with hick theme

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pumpkin patch with my pup!

December

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celebrating the holidays

Cheers to the New Year!  How will you be ringing in 2013?

 

inhale. exhale.

19 Dec

What a week it’s been.  I, as well as most of the world, am still trying to process the horrible tragedy that occurred last Friday in Newtown, CT.  There is nothing more that I can say that hasn’t been said by someone else yet, but my heart is just broken.  This school shooting really hits close to my heart for me because the place that I call home is Littleton, CO, the place of the infamous Columbine High School.  It’s amazing how many repressed emotions were brought back to the surface as this news from Newtown unfolded.  We can move through our day-to-day lives sometimes without dealing with our feelings or thinking about how to handle them.  Is this because we’ve taught ourselves to become numb to working through complicated thoughts and emotions?  How does one even begin to work through them, and how do you deal with the fact that they will probably never go away?  I am sure that in 50 years a place in my soul will still be scarred by the CHS tragedy.

All I know is that what I can do now for Newtown is offer prayer, love, and support.  I love the movement that was started by Ann Curry, 20 Acts of Kindness, which has turned into 26 Acts of Kindness, one for each victim of the Sandy Hooks shooting.

This is a great idea, especially during this season, let’s spread our love in as many ways as possible however you can.  One small act can start a ripple effect.  What random acts of kindness can you contribute to the world?

In dealing with the tragic news, I decided to hit my mat.  It’s been far too long since I’ve really dedicated my energy to practicing yoga.  I forget how much my body loves it.  Two of my girlfriends just finished yoga teacher training, so I will be using their free classes the entire month of January to get back into Namaste mindset :).

inhale

Be Present.

6 Dec

I’m sure you haven’t heard yet, so I’ll be the one to say it again…It’s December already??!  Where the heck did the year go?  That’s how I am feeling anyway.  December is always a month full of mixed emotions.  There is a ton of pressure to be a great hostess, find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, decorate your house to look like it belongs on the pages of Better Homes, attend every Santa themed cocktail party you’re invited to, and on top of all that fit in normal day-to-day life.  PHEW!  I get exhausted just thinking about it.  In addition, this time of year is one of the busiest and most stressful at my job.  Can you tell that I’m about to rip my hair out right about now?  Lately, I’ve found myself wishing this month away and looking forward to a completely new year.

But, why, really?  December is supposed to be a great month full of cheer, family and friends, traditions, yummy food, and thankfulness.  And since I want to fully experience all of those things I need to remind myself to slow down.  I just need to take a deep breath and be present.  I struggle with this, but I am going to make an extreme effort during this holiday season to appreciate the small moments.  This past weekend I was trying to rush through putting my Christmas tree up and snapped at Ed.  I caught myself and realized that this was supposed to be a bonding and memorable experience for us, so I apologized, but it was too late.  I don’t want my anxiety to ruin any more moments like this.

be present

Some of my favorite moments I am going to savor:

  • Baking Christmas goodies while listening to the holiday station
  • People watching at the big malls with my mom while we sip on Starbucks Peppermint Mochas
  • Sitting in front of the Christmas tree lights with a good book and glass of wine
  • The excitement of actually finding that perfect gift and watching your recipient open it
  • Holiday parties with friends that I don’t always get to see
  • Sneaking into stockings with my brother early on Christmas morning
  • Christmas Eve fondue and church tradition with Ed’s family
  • Mayyyybe that first snowfall here in Colorado and a day on the slopes?!

Keep Calm and Merry

Do you struggle with anxiety during the busy holiday season?  What are your favorite traditions you’re looking forward to?

Holiday Side Dish

21 Nov

I don’t know about you, but I am itching for this holiday season to begin!  Tomorrow will be filled with tons of turkey, stuffing, new and old recipes, pumpkin pies galore, and maybe even some spiked cider or mulled wine!  I can’t wait to spend time with my family and take it easy for a day.  Ed and I are heading down to the suburbs to celebrate with my family.  Last night I decided to test some side dish options and came up with a beautiful seasonal squash dish.

I remember trying a sample of wheat berry salad at Whole Foods a few years back.  Although I wasn’t really sure what exactly a wheat berry was, I always found myself craving that salad.  It’s just a small kernel of wheat and it reminds me of quinoa or couscous, only much crunchier (and in my mind more substantial).  I recently realized that wheat berries are sold by bulk at many natural grocers, so I picked up a large bag not really knowing what I was going to make.  As usual, I just grabbed a few ingredients here and there and threw together what looked yummy.  And I must say it turned out pretty great!

Wheat berry Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Wheat Berry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash (cut in half, and seeds removed)

2 cups (or more) whole cooked wheat berries (just boil with enough water to cover for about 60 minutes or until tender)

1/2 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup toasted walnuts (dry toast over medium heat for about 3 minutes)

1/2 cup chopped green onion (green and white parts)

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

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mis en place

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These beauties are ready to be roasted

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I could eat a whole bowl of this wheat berry salad by itself

Directions:

Cook wheat berries as directed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, cut acorn squash in half and drizzle with syrup/cinnamon combo (this really brings out the autumnal flavors).  Roast for about 40 minutes or until the meat of the squash is tender.  Mix all wheat berry salad ingredients together (and throw in any additional fruits or veggies you have!) and toss with olive oil and lemon juice.  Once you pull the squash out of the oven spoon the mixture into you “pre-made bowls” and serve hot!  So easy!

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Voila! Healthier than a stuffed turkey 🙂

This dish is a great side dish at Thanksgiving or a holiday dinner party.  Also, if you aren’t sure what to serve your vegetarian guests, this is a a great main dish as well because the protein from the wheat berries make it so filling.  Alternatively, you can use this recipe as a guide for stuffing butternut squash, pumpkin, or peppers as well.  The possibilities are endless… Since I am in charge of some sides for tomorrow I will share what I decide on!  Any ideas?  What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

Sugar Detox Challenge

7 Nov

Happy Hump day!  Half way done with this work week which makes me pretty happy.  Time has been flying by lately, what do you think.  I always feel like that during this time of the year.  My goal is to slow down a bit during this holiday season to appreciate the time spent with my friends and family.

But, for now, my focus is still on getting back into shape!  I follow a ton of awesome health and fitness blogs to keep me motivated and today A Doctor in the House talks about some scary sugar facts.  It is no surprise that sugar is addicting (just ask me when I am craving some chocolate!) but there are some really shocking (and disturbing) statistics here:

via The Daily Infographic

This is enough to make me reconsider my sugar consumption.  Lately, it has been pretty pathetic.  I have some left over Halloween candy still and think that it is my “free pass” to indulge in M&Ms and Reese’s all night!  I have already been feeling pretty crummy about it and realizing that sugar not only contributes to obesity, but I personally know it leaves me tired, depressed/anxious without it, and of course the scare of type 2 diabetes!  Anyway, I like to give myself little goals and milestones to work towards, so for the next two weeks (until Thanksgiving) I am going to cut out processed sugar.

I will eat fruit and some naturally sweetened foods, but cut out all overly processed cookies, candies, ice cream, cereals, etc.  I have done this before (in college when I was doing a kick-start for weight loss) and I know that I will feel better and more clear after these two weeks.  Then I can indulge in a piece of pumpkin pie :).

In honor of WIAW here are a few recipes I’ve tried this past week:

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Orzo (via Cooking Light)- this was a quick and easy weeknight meal that I threw together with a simple salad.  I loved it, it was almost like an indulgent shrimp scampi.  Ed didn’t dig the orzo pasta, but I would make again and sub in whole wheat penne or a different pasta.

Banana Pancakes (via Iowa Girl Eats)- a new Sunday morning favorite!  These were just as easy to whip up as my regular cakes, but the chunky bananas and fluffy batter were a hit.  I also added chia seeds.

Apple Bran Muffins (via Cooking Light)- pretty good, I like to sub apple sauce in recipes like this.  Added a lot of extra cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to enhance the fall flavors!

I am heading to Austin, TX tomorrow for a short trip so I need to get prepared (I am going to pack some healthy snacks for travel again, and found a yoga class for Friday morning!).  Any recommendations for where to go/what to see in Austin?

 

Trick or Treat, Spooky or Sweet?

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!

In honor of this spooky holiday, my post is costume themed!  Gorilla costume, that is.  This past weekend Ed and I participated in a fun 5K that I have been looking forward to, the Gorilla Run.  Our company is actually a sponsor of the event and this was the 8th year that we had the “largest gorilla group”.  Imagine hundreds of gorillas wearing costumes on top of their already festive (and bulky) outfits running around Denver…it was a pretty hilarious sight.

“hipster” gorillas

Since we had such a large group participating I was not necessarily expecting to run (and with these “fun runs” is that ever really the point?) so we walked/danced the whole time while rocking out to a boombox someone graciously brought.  So fun.  After the race and a celebratory rendition of “Shout!” at the finish line we grabbed some free food from the Denver vendors who hosted the event, including Ghost Bar, Lodo’s, Gaetano’s, and Ale House.  Yum, nothing like chowing down on mac and cheese with pulled pork after doing something active.

Ginny’s “baby gorilla” cutest. thing. ever.

Do you participate in any of the popular “fun runs” and which ones have you done?  Do you think that these kinds of races promote health and activity in the community?  I personally love them because I can drag friends who aren’t normally “runners” along with me.

Saturday night we celebrated Halloween with some friends at their haunted themed housewarming party.  I am at a point in my life that I really appreciate a good house party rather than spending a ton of money to go downtown and fighting the crowds for a drink (not that I don’t get that itch every now and then)!  I dressed up as a vampire, which was a costume I had from my previous obsession with True Blood.  Our hostess Monica made a ton of cute Pinterest inspired Halloween snacks and drinks, but these were my favorite: Vodka Infused Gummy Bears…AKA Monster Bears.  Definitely a fun party idea!

gothic skeleton, 2 kitties, and a creepy vampire

What are your Halloween plans?  I think tonight I will pop some popcorn, throw on a scary movie, and pass out candy for the Trick-or-Treaters.  Have a ghoulish day, everyone!

See ya soon, Sin City!

16 Oct

After a crazy whirlwind of a week I am glad to say that I am back in the Mile High City.  I always say that it’s nice to get away but even better coming back to the place you call home.  Why have I been MIA, you ask?  My client had a conference this past week in Las Vegas and I was invited to attend!

While I will happily jump on a plane to an all expenses paid trip, there is something about traveling that gives me anxiety.  When I am in a routine I love to stick to it, so it was a bit nerve wracking to figure out how to eat healthy meals and get some workouts in, not to mention making sure Hudson would have everything taken care of.

To prepare for my plane ride and any possible breaks during the day that might entice me to indulge in something less than healthy, I packed my carry on bag with almonds and a few Chocolate Caramel Luna bars to snack on.  I also brought my running shoes, but that was about the extent of me being able to plan ahead.  When all was said in done, the results of the trip weren’t horrible and I don’t feel guilty about bingeing or anything.  I probably could have cut out a few cocktails along the way, but hey…when in Vegas, right?

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View from my hotel at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, not too shabby!

Tuesday afternoon was spent flying and checking in, then we went down to mingle at a customer dinner held in one of the Cosmopolitan’s restaurants, China Poblano.  The restaurant is an innovative take on the chef’s personal Chinese and Mexican experiences.  Sounds like a bizarre combination of styles and flavors, but the shared plates we had blended together so seamlessly that I barely even realized I was eating 2 different cuisines.  We dined on a pre fixe menu of 8 small tapa plates to share.  We had everything from barbequed pork tacos to Dan Dan Mian handcut noodles.  My favorite part was the dessert (of course), we sampled their unique version of many sticky rice pudding (which was actually made with Rice Krispies!) and Cajeta (goat’s milk) flan.  I am not typically a fan of flan, but this was creamy and light enough for my palate.  If you’re ever here, order a “Salt Air Margarita” with a salty foam on top (think of the consistency of latte foam).  After this filling meal I spent a couple of hours at the Black Jack table, which is always a good time, but bad news for the ole’ bank account.

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Dinner with my awesome co-workers. When in Vegas we eat good!

Wednesday was packed with meetings and speakers, so unfortunately there was not a lot of time to explore or get any exercise in.  I have forgotten what it’s like to have to function while so hungover.  Oy, that’s why I’ve eased off the cocktails, huh?  The main part of the day that was keeping me moving forward was our dinner plans at Sushi Roku.  Nothing better than some delicious nigiri and sashimi while in Sin City.  I was with 2 other people so we decided to order a bunch of rolls and appetizers to share.  This is my favorite way to dine because I love to have a little taste of everything.  And everything was great.  The bartender offered a raspberry cocktail made with Voli light vodka and fresh fruit juices, so I opted for that rather than a regular sugary concoction.  In order to dance some of the calories away, we headed over to Lavo nightclub for bottle service and fun.

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yumm, sushi in my tummy

By Thursday I was already feeling the effects of over indulgence.  My body was sluggish, my face was dull, and I was plain exhausted.  It is amazing how fast our bodies let us know that they are craving better fitness and nutrition choices.  Again, another long day of meetings which only compounded the effects of late nights, salty foods, and a plethora  of boozy spirits.  I decided to sweat some of these demons out with a quick run on the treadmill.  I started at my normal pace and was feeling good, so knowing that I don’t have the high Colorado altitude working against me, I upped my pace the entire time and finished 3.5 miles far faster than I normally do.  Yay, I can be fast…if only I lived at sea level, haha.  That little sweat sesh really made me feel like a new person, just in time for our going away dinner/party.  Our client rented out the Marquee for the night and we had a delicious buffet and I stuck with drinking vodka/sodas (and I passed on the amazing tray of desserts!).  Also, like I said, dancing never hurts either!  Vegas is a great vacation spot, just not one that I can stay in for too long so I was happy to head home on Friday morning.  After all that it was definitely time to detox and get back into my healthy routine.

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Last night to “live it up” in Vegas, cheers!

What challenges do you face when you’re traveling & what are some tips that you have for combating these struggles? 

Do you have any great cocktail recipes using Voli Light vodka?  Please share!