I Don’t Know the Last Time…

I spent time in my kitchen cooking, baking, and then cooking some more.

IMG_20170106_155614784

Bet you thought I was going to say blogging…

I guess you were right too!

IMG_20161231_083244513_HDR

So, where have I been? Well…it’s a pretty long list!

 

Champaign for Christmas

IMG_20161225_192735685_HDR

Yoga Six

Working

Mariano’s

Wisconsin for New Years

IMG_20161231_175921288

Attempting Barre

Reading

Drinking Bubbles

Doing yoga on the Sky Deck

IMG_20170107_080109554_HDR

Meeting Friends at Begyle Brewery

Baking Banana Bread

Teaching Kids Yoga

Taking Pics with the World Series Trophy

Rockclimbing

IMG_20170104_201841893

Cuddling with Cooper

Meal Planning

Traveling to DC

IMG_20161210_190801

 

Told you it was a long list : )  Did I mention that it was also a fun one!

So here I am back at the blogging with Cooper on my lap and I’ve got some recipes for you. 

IMG_20161120_153943497

Last Friday, after a busy morning, I decided to spend a bit of time in my kitchen.  Isn’t the whole point of having this awesome kitchen actually using it?

IMG_20170106_101500519_HDR

The more challenging problem has been coming up with some down time to sit, type, and share all the amazing recipes with you.  With some help from impromptu house guests (my mom and dad), I made meatballs, jalapeno mac n cheese, Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip, and the most incredible Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars.

IMG_20170106_160800830_HDR

I was a bit worried about the looks of these bars, but looks can be deceiving!

IMG_20170106_163354805

These bars are absolutely delicious!

IMG_20170106_170756861

And were met with rave reviews from everyone who tried them!

IMG_20170106_170804158

Of course, I went dessert first, but I should also share with you the recipe I found in the Whole Foods Market Cookbook for Jalapeno Mac N Cheese.  And I will…just not tonight because I have to run.  We’ve got Saturday night dinner plans with friends (and I am bringing these oldie but goodie salad…Mmm!)

IMG_20161230_150146039

What are you cooking and baking this winter???

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

From Mom Endeavors

Ingredients

  • ½ C butter
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • ⅓ C peanut butter
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 C oatmeal
  • ¼ tsp salt

Frosting

  • 1 C chocolate chips
  • ½ C powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk
  • ½ C peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix sugars, egg, and butters.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and oatmeal.
  4. Spread mixture into a 9×13 pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. While that bakes, prepare the frosting (mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and peanut butter).
  6. Remove pan from oven and while hot, sprinkle with chocolate chips. When melted, swirl with the frosting.
  7. Enjoy!
Advertisements

Exploration…

It’s been a little while since I decided I wanted to teach kids yoga…and since then I’ve had the 200 hour teacher training on my bucket list.  It seems surreal that the weekend it all begins is here!

IMG_20160305_110713

I have been thinking about this a lot as the date approaches and not just because I am obsessing over my Anatomy PowerPoints.  My main reason for wanting to take the class was to enhance my understanding and skill to make me a better kids yoga teacher.  But, I also realize that this is such  a unique gift that I can give myself as I explore my own yoga practice.  On top of that….teaching adult yoga may be a fun way to make a few extra dollars when we move to the city.  So those three reasons led me to Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) this morning at 8am!

IMG_20160529_073513446

I was super excited (and also totally nervous)!  I knew that this journey would change my yoga practice and perhaps even change me!  I just had to figure out what to wear on my first day : ) We started with some get to know you stuff and it’s fun to see everyone’s background and what led them to this moment.

IMG_20160529_090043543_HDR

Then we did our first yoga practice together.  Afterwards, we practiced talking through poses and then continued to get to know each other over lunch, which a few of us enjoyed outside.  After lunch, we dug deep with a timeline of our lives and the option to share some defining moments.  I was comfortable sharing, especially since one of my most recent defining moments was marrying my best friend last fall.  This moment shaped my new identity as a wife as I shed my independent self and became part of a new family.  After discussions about intention setting and affirmations, we ended a bit early, which meant I was home by 4pm.

IMG_20160529_165537443

With the sun blazing, I decided to take a spin on my bike!  It was an absolutely gorgeous day!  And it wasn’t until I was half way through my 10 mile ride that I realized my drive to ride most likely came from the fact that this is my first Memorial Day Sunday in, I dunno, 6 years not doing Bike the Drive.  Not surprisingly, I was all signed up for the ride but passed my entry along to my brother when I decided to do yoga teacher training.

IMG_20160529_164154016

When I got back home from my ride, the BOY was home after spending the day with his dad.  I showered and made myself a wine spritzer and we sat out back listening to music.

IMG_20160529_191157829_HDR

The BOY made us a delicious seared tuna with broccoli while he chatted baseball with the neighborhood boys.

IMG_20160529_191221532 IMG_20160529_192111304

We came inside early (based on the neighborhood standards) because I actually have a few patients tomorrow morning and then day 2 of YTT tomorrow night.  The day was a great Memorial Day kick off to summer but also an exciting start to this next chapter in my yoga journey!

DSCN2353

Namaste!

Not As Much to Say

Haven’t had too much important to share or say lately.  Bloggers, you know how it goes.  Some days you can’t stop your fingers from typing along the keyboard and other days you are just too busy or too tired to come up with something worthwhile to share.  Between Passover, late night Hawks games, busy work nights, and life in general, my photo count and blog posts have been down.  Just temporarily, I think : )

IMG_20160422_081923558

After an on-the-go weekend, including a trip to the city for brunch (Latinicity does a 25$ all you can eat + 2 drinks!), I was more than happy to collapse on my couch Sunday night with some DVR.  Shortly after, my living room was overrun with 5 neighborhood children torturing playing with Cooper.  He got in a few right hooks and some good hisses but the children were undeterred.  He did, however, devour, every single one of the treats they offered him in return.  Eventually, their parents came to collect them and I was back alone folding laundry.  I crashed HARD last night and loved it!

IMG_20160425_184505524

When I finally woke up, I got right at it.  And honestly, I don’t think I’ve stopped moving until now.  Since it’s Passover, it takes a little extra time to meal plan and make sure we have bread-free meals for lunch and dinner.  Luckily, we did our grocery store run last night, so we were all set with food.

IMG_20160425_084946055

I threw Tuesday night’s dinner in the crockpot, a load in the laundry, and then drove off to the mall to be there the moment it opened.  I had two quick errands to run followed by a trip to Costco and then I was back home switching laundry and a new meal into the crockpot for tonight’s dinner.

IMG_20160425_132501249

It was a quick turn around and then I was off to a noon yoga class.  Afterwards, I was meeting with the teacher to talk about the summer yoga teacher’s training.  I know that I mentioned that I was all signed up, but not sure if I told you that I was teaching the anatomy portion?!

IMG_20160425_141819991

I returned home to order a bunch of books of Amazon, super excited for this journey to begin in 1 month.  I had some other ‘adult’ things to do which I attacked quickly and unenthusiastically while Cooper napped next to me.

IMG_20160425_162913622

We had a gorgeous sunny and HOT day, so I decided to head out for a late afternoon bike ride.  I am series about getting in A TON of rides this year!

IMG_20160425_170154411

I chatted with my mom a bit and when I turned around, I discovered a sky full of thick, dark clouds.

IMG_20160425_171641314

I arrived home, just as big rain drops began to fall from the sky.  My mom called to make sure I was safe since big storms with wind and hail, were headed our way.  Cooper started begging as dinner finished in the crockpot and the BOY walked in the door exhausted after a long day of work.  We all dug into dinner and then happily found comfortable places to stay for the Hawks game.

 

How was your weekend?  What do you have to say today?

 

{Passover Friendly} Meal Planning 4/25/16

Monday: Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

Tuesday: Asian Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday: Matzah Pizza or Leftovers

Thursday: Grill Night

Lovely Weekend

I just couldn’t resist the pun : )

IMG_20160124_110340380

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I spent the weekend with the hubs.  We had a purposefully non eventful weekend and it was wonderful!  Saturday morning, we were up early for a workout.  Afterwards, we headed over to Geneva to stock up on spices from The Spice House and stopped for a sweet snack at All Chocolate Kitchen.

IMG_20160213_111827

I thought we were just going to swing by and grab a warm drink, but when the BOY suggested we sit and enjoy a treat, I happily agreed!

IMG_20160213_112201

I got an Affogato (dark chocolate sea salt gelato + espresso) and the BOY enjoyed a rich hot chocolate.  We split the most delicious cookie and pecan bar.

IMG_20160213_111916225_HDR

After that, we swung by a fun (and fancy) grocery store out in that direction to pick up dinner.  We spent the rest of Saturday hanging out at home before cracking open some Napa wine and playing games.

IMG_20160213_201723264_HDR

For dinner, we had crab cakes and scallops on the salt block with roasted broccoli.  We had leftovers from ACK for dessert and then played a few more rounds of yahtzee.  Cooper made himself at home on the table checking out dinner.

IMG_20160213_201632359_HDR

IMG_20160213_201814411

Sunday morning, I woke up and decided to have a lazy day!  The BOY and Cooper were only too happy to join me.  I read on the couch and then took a nap.  The BOY made chili in the crockpot for dinner.  We went out once to pick up Mediterranean for lunch and then came back to watch the disappointing Indiana game just as the snow started to fall.  I spent the afternoon cleaning up around the house and then laid back down to finish my book.  Ever since we got back from vacation, I have been a reading machine!

IMG_20160213_171954322

I attempted to make a dairy free chocolate mousse but accidently put the low fat coconut milk into the fridge last night so although the taste was yummy, my texture was off : (  Luckily, the BOY made some cookies and cream ice cream so we were not without sweets on Valentine’s Day!  And I plan to pick up the right coconut milk and will hopefully have a recipes to share with ya’ll soon.

IMG_20160214_135008004

Sunday night involves chili and a movie…we are thinking The Martian.  It has been so fun to hang out with my loves on Valentine’s day.  Hope you had a sweet weekend!

Happy FryDay!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!

PBG_2779

How did you welcome in 2016?!

Me?  Why, thank you for asking…I had the happiest of new years celebrations! 

I started December 31st with a run around the indoor track.  I finally began Serial Season 2, which kept me engaged as I ran what felt like a million circles around the tiniest of tracks.

IMG_20151231_062629086 IMG_20151231_062631202 

When I got home, I made a Nespresso that made me smile…

IMG_20151231_075341908

What a happy accident!  Then it was off to work for a crazy, busy day!

IMG_20151231_173204387

After my shortish work day, I came back home and showered.  Then the BOY and I got ready to host NYE with my brother, SIL, and their 4 month old puppy, Roscoe.

IMG_20151231_180822936

We were so excited to have them come out and celebrate with us and kick off our weekend ‘staycation’.  I can’t say that it was love at first sight for Cooper though : )

IMG_20151231_185030874

We hung out and talked while noshing on aps (and of course decorated glasses for midnight).  Roscoe made himself right at home with Cooper’s toys and the BOY’s chair.

IMG_20151231_200745015

We had the most unbelievable dinner and I have to admit that I didn’t do much of anything to help…except pick out a great wine from our Napa trip. 

IMG_20151231_201914495_HDR

The BOY made braised short ribs in our new pot, while my sister in law made champagne risotto.

IMG_20151231_204044792 IMG_20151231_204020374

And…then the BOY made seared scallops on our new salt block.  YUMMY!

IMG_20151231_204732298_HDR

It was seriously a five star meal!!!

IMG_20151231_210005992

After that, the new years shenanigans began.  We played cards against humanities, Wii tennis, and attempted to get our selfie stick to work with all of us and a puppy as we started the countdown to 2016!

IMG_20160101_242610696

We stayed up WAY too late and New Year’s Day began with a lot of laying around and rehydration.  We made a fantastic breakfast casserole for brunch with bacon and fruit.

IMG_20160101_103154706_HDR

Around noon, things got serious…

IMG_20160101_125755050

The fryer came out…

IMG_20160101_134333884

Friends came over, mimosas were poured, an apron was donned…and FRYday began!

IMG_20160101_140747215

You name it…we fried it…and dipped it in anything and everything!  And that proceeded for hours and hours accompanied by beer and mimosas and plenty of other snacks.

IMG_20160101_134711839

My favorite was the BOY’s homemade chicken strips.  They were AMAZING!

IMG_20160101_155859745

IMG_20160101_160407067

And for dessert…more card and Wii games and of course, fried Oreos.

IMG_20160101_200515901 

We stayed up too late for the second night in a row and woke Saturday morning with new memories and wonderful stories to share.  And I had a bit of a stomach ache : )  The best part…there were still a few days left before it was time to go back to work!

IMG_20151231_222633261

I certainly didn’t start off my year healthy, but I did start it off happy!!!  I am still smiling about all of the fun we had hosting this 2 day celebration!  I am looking forward to another exciting year ahead!

IMG_20160102_130233529

Long Holiday Weekend {In Review}

It’s Monday…And another short week!

  IMG_20151226_132414006_HDR

Can I get a woot woot?!

How was your holiday?  Mine was FANTASTIC!

IMG_20151225_082349660_HDR

I started Christmas day with a calm and peaceful outdoor 5 mile run.  I know that I’m supposed to be sad, but I love being able to run outside without looking like an Eskimo in December.  I will be sad when it gets much colder this week!

IMG_20151225_084546949

The cool part of my morning was seeing two deer snacking next to the path.  #GoodMorningDeers

IMG_20151225_102818909

I showered and packed up my presents and at 10am, my parents came to pick us up for our annual Christmas trip to Champaign, IL.  We had so much stuff, there was barely any space left in the car.

IMG_20151225_145008437

When we arrived, everyone caught up quickly and then gathered around the table for a gorgeous Christmas dinner!

IMG_20151225_150407947_HDR

IMG_20151225_150308124

The rest of the weekend was festive and fun!

IMG_20151225_173911284

We got stuck in a HUGE thunderstorm while trying to walk for coffee…

IMG_20151226_091249192

Opened presents, cuddled with pups, and enjoyed winey Mary’s and TONS of food!

IMG_20151226_131432560_HDR

IMG_20151226_132355787_HDR IMG_20151226_161215483

IMG_20151226_180104714

Sunday we decided that it was another successful Christmas weekend and after one last meal, we drove back home.  Cooper was waiting for us and ready to cuddle!

IMG_20151227_214023678

We had Sunday night birthday plans for Hibachi with my close girl friends and their hubbies.

IMG_1857

We had a great time catching up and chowing down.  After an exciting weekend, I crashed early last night.  This morning, it was back to the usual Monday routine…gym, grocery, laundry, etc.

IMG_20151228_100715193

However, the weather was a disaster!  It was sleeting in all directions and the roads were slippery.  I prioritized my stops, including a trip to Costco, as I got ready for the next big holiday ahead…New Years!

IMG_20151228_140549863_HDR

It took a TON of trips through the slush to get my car unpacked, each more miserable than the one before.  I was more than happy to settle back in to watch the Yule Log and bake up a loaf of banana bread this afternoon.

IMG_20151228_172033701

And make Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps in the crockpot for tonight’s dinner. 

I’m thinking I’ll call it another early one…Cooper’s already upstairs waiting : )

 

How was your Christmas Weekend? Share the Highlights!