Slowing Down {Not By Choice}

Life has been busy, hence my lack of recent blog posts.  I have been committing to my yoga practice, trying to enjoy some outside bike rides and fires, working hard on a few different projects, and enjoying time with my new roommates.

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I have been drinking wine, teaching kids yoga, attending donut club, playing on the 606, reading like crazy, drinking a ton of espresso, and this past weekend we did a family trip up to Green Lake, Wisconsin.

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What I haven’t been doing much off…cooking, baking, and blogging.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some help in the kitchen and of course my BBQ master.  Plus, with new roommates, there are more of us to help out with all of the meal planning.  Last weekend was so super busy, I never even made it to the grocery store!  So that being said, it was very clear when about 2 weeks ago I was playing tennis with my dad, went to shag down a run away ball, and fell in a hole, rolling my left ankle to the sounds of cracking and popping that perhaps the universe was encouraging me to slow down.

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I iced and taped my ankle and focused on rest throughout the weekend.  I took a night off from yoga teacher training and an easy bike ride throughout town (see picture above).  At a time when my yoga practice was escalating and getting more intense, I too a step back.  It wasn’t easy but I listened to my body.  Luckily, the 5k I was supposed to run the next weekend got cancelled and by this weekend, I was feeling 85% better with only mild amounts of pain with lateral movements and Warrior II.  Last Friday, I even went out for a pain free run and Saturday morning did a fun yoga session on the dock with my mom in Wisconsin.

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However, Saturday took a sad turn when my right big toe got sliced by a sliding doggie gate.  It didn’t look good for my nail but didn’t look bad enough for a trip to the rural Wisconsin ER.  We bandaged up my toe and the weekend proceeded on with boat rides, food, crazy doggies, sunsets, and wine!

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It was a wonderful weekend get away and we all appreciated the sunshine and stories.

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Yesterday, I decided to have my toe checked out by the podiatrist.  All the funny walking had my left ankle acting up again and I wasn’t sure what to do with the wound.  The good news…no signs of infection.  The bad news…my big toe nail was coming off.  Somehow I made it through 2 marathons with all 10 toe nails and here after a casual weekend in Wisconsin, I was losing my first one.

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I was instructed to rest and so rest I did.  I spent last night off my feet, but didn’t sleep so well last night.  I took today off of work, figuring my right toe and now sore left ankle weren’t ready for the ball pit at work.  After a mid morning nap and a bandage change, my toe was feeling much better.  So much so that I got a bit antsy.  Since yoga, running, and biking were on the ‘No’ list, I took advantage of a yoga glo meditation.  And then whipped up 2 new raw recipes for snacks for the week.

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Which means after a quiet few months, I actually have some recipes to share.  The first one, I modified a bit using a little almond milk instead of extra honey to help the dough come together.  Both recipes below are as written without my modifications.

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These protein bites are super delicious and won’t last long in your house!  I was so successful that I decided to try one more with dates and peanut butter since we had both in the house.

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For this recipe, I added a little extra chia and because I didn’t have peanuts, I used a mix of nuts from a trail mix.

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I had to try a tiny bite before putting the bars into the fridge…

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And they are also super delish!  After all of the activity, I was ready to retreat back to my chair with a little more rest and some ice.

Because clearly, someone, somewhere is telling me to rest and slow down.  My plan for the week is to let pain be my guide and build up my activity level slowly as able each day.  I know that I will be back in my gym shoes and on my mat soon enough.  And within the next year, I’ll even have a brand new toe nail!

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Until then, I’ll be hanging with my new nurse!

How do you know when you need to slow down?

Have you ever lost a toe nail?

 

No Bake Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bites

From Cotter Crunch

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (around 65-75grams) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey ·
  • ½ cup almond meal or peanut flour (you can also just finely grind raw almonds) ·
  • ¼ cup nut butter (creamy no stir works best)
  • ¾ cup of gluten free quick oats or gluten free cereal of choice
  • Vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Grind up your oats or cereal in a food processor and transfer into a mixing bowl. This is optional. You can keep them whole as well and adjust the addition of honey.
  2. Add your almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, and nut butter. Stir ingredients all together.  Add in your honey and vanilla then mix again well with hands.
  3. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls and place on cookie tray or plastic ware with parchment paper underneath.
  4. Dust with additional cinnamon and vanilla protein if desired.
  5. Keep in fridge or freezer for up to 6 weeks (if they last that long).

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Bars

From My Sequined Life

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted, whole dates
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (or 2x as much)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to food processor and process until the ingredients break down and become a mostly cohesive mixture. You will still have little pieces of peanuts remaining, and the consistency of the mixture should hold together when you press it together.
  2. Line a rimmed dish with parchment paper and press mixture into it, leaving your desired thickness.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing. Store bars in the refrigerator.
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A Taste of Door County

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Whenever we travel to Door County, we return home with a car full of tasty goodies.  There are annual favorites (we bring my dad a pie from Bea’s and I love Koepsel’s Pumpkin Butter and Jellies) and there are recent additions (spaghetti sauce from Sammy Rae’s) and this year’s newest find…Island Orchard Cider and farm fresh apples.

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One thing I always pick up is a big bag of dried cherries.  I like to say that I will put them in salads like my local favorite at Wild Tomato, full of goat cheese and cherries, but ultimately I just love to bake with them.  When I was searching for recipes to make this past weekend, it was the cherries that caught my eye.  Add in the chocolate and oatmeal and the page was bookmarked!

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Although the point of this book is to make BIG cookies, I decided to keep these ‘normal’ sized.

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These cookies are a soft oatmeal cookie with the addition of chocolate.

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And in case that is not enough…more chocolate chips and tart dried cherries make these cookies unbelievably addictive!

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Once baked, these cookies needed to hide out in the laundry room…so silly…I know, but it’s the only way to keep Cooper’s nosy nose out of them.  Then, they will be packaged up and sent off to New York for Thanksgiving.  I did bring a few to work, where they were a HUGE hit, and the BOY and I have been snacking on them all week.

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We have been enjoying all of our DC goodies.  Can’t wait to go back and stock up on more!

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Do you bring home food when you travel?

Some of my best finds were tea and spices from Israel and chocolate (and of course wine) from Napa!

 

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

From Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans

 

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract (I just did 1 teaspoons of vanilla)

2 1/2 cups oatmeal (not quick cooking or a mixture of quick and not quick)

1 cup dried cherries

2 cups milk chocolate chips (I think semi-sweet worked really well too)

Directions

Position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or Silpats).

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute scrapping the sides as needed.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until blended, about 1 minute.  The mixture may look curdled.  On low speed, add the flour mixture and oatmeal, mixing just until the flour is incorporated and the dough looks smooth again.  Mix in the dried cherries and chocolate chips.

Using a regular sized scoop or 1/4 cup measure, scoop the dough onto the prepared making sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart (if making big cookies).  Bake the cookies one sheet at a time (I did not do this) until the tops feel firm and look dull rather than shiny, about 22 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack.

Store in airtight container for 4 days or freeze.

MiniMooners

After the absolute excitement and craziness of a wedding, there was only one place we wanted to be…

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Door County, Wisconsin!

We drove up Friday afternoon and after a quick stop at a winery for a tasting, checked into our adorable room complete with a kitchen and fireplace.  We didn’t stay long before heading further up north for Friday night fish fry.  Not surprisingly, there was a wait, so we found a comfortable spot on a bench at the bar across the street, Wisconsin beer in hand.  There is no place more relaxing than DC!

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Even though the weather was raining on and off, we had the most wonderful 4 days.  We caught some gorgeous fall colors and ate ourselves silly with all the delicious food.  We hiked through Peninsula State Park and walked through Cave Point and Newport State Park.

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The waves on the Lake Michigan coast were intense!  And we built our first rock structure along the shore.

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We sampled cheese, bread, wine, and Island Orchard Hard Cider

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We drank coffee, hot chocolate, and tea and ate pie, cookies, donuts, and fudge.  We visited our favorite pizza place (twice)!

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We visited old favorites and discovered some amazing new places (ie farm fresh meats and fresh picked apples).  And when the rain came pouring down, we gathered around the fireplace to play games and drink champagne.

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I shopped the markets and stores and had two peaceful morning runs through the state park.

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It was the perfect long weekend of rest and play…

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For my new husband and I!

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Back

Heelllooo! 

We are BACK from our weekend in Wisconsin (aka #WisonsinWeekend Part 2).  This time, we had friends and family to share the time with, and it was the most wonderful getaway.

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I had plans to post and share a whole bunch late last week, but instead…well, I went out to dinner last Thursday night to celebrate.  What?  I’m sure you will ask!  Well, remember that BIG test that took over my life this past winter?  I passed it!  I was beyond thrilled to find out Thursday at lunch, and the BOY and I decided that a celebration was in order. 

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Friday, I made it through the work day and then my dad, the BOY and I drove up to Green Lake.  Everyone arrived around 10pm Friday night and bubbles were popped and discussions begun.  The rest of the weekend proceeded with the perfect mix of rest, laughter, real conversations, naps, water fun, and snacks.

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I had planned to bake a few things to take to the lake, like these peanut butter cookies, then my oven broke. I did blend up a double batch of my favorite travel treat…Cookie Dough Balls.

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Sunday, we got home late and Monday was one of those GO GO GO days.  I had a haircut, eye doctor appointment, wedding stuff, grocery shopping, and of course a trip to the gym to accomplish….you know that kind of day.  I did have time to stop for lunch at one of my favorite places…Mmm!

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The good news is that we did get our oven fixed that day, so baking will be BACK.  I do need to get BACK to reading blogs and catch up on what’s going on in your lives too!  And speaking of BACK…we got our engagement pics BACK this weekend!

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And I almost forgot to mention!  Kids yoga is BACK in action this Friday.  Woo Hoo!!!

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On a totally different note…remember back when I said I was in the city doing something secret?

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Well Alex and Brittany, from Dig Primal and Sparkle Kitchen respectively, invited me to speak on their Podcast.  I am big fans of their honesty and ideas and was thrilled to preach about discuss natural movement in babies and of course my kids yoga classes!  I haven’t listened to it yet, but had such a fun time meeting Alex and chatting about kids and nerdy stuff.  I hope you’ll take a listen and let me know what you think?!

 

What are you getting back to this week?

#WisconsinWeekend

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If you’ve read my blog for a bit (or if you live nearby), then you fully understand the draw of Wisconsin on the weekends.  I know I’ve said it before but all my weekday stress melts away, the moment I cross the state line.  Some summers, the BOY and I have had more time to explore the state than others.  This year, we started early with a quick overnight up in Green Lake.  Saturday morning, we woke up early and then went back to sleep for an hour, hitting the road way later than expected.

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Our first stop was Madison to check out their world famous farmer’s market.  Without planning, we arrived at the spicy cheese bread corner.  YUM!  It was amazing and made the perfect mid morning snack. 

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We walked all along the market loop (in the wrong direction) admiring the plants and produce and eying the cheese and cookies.

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We decided that we would definitely make a trip back up to Madison and spend more time at the market and check out the shops and restaurants.  But for now, we continued on our journey up north to the lake.

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We are lucky that we have amazing friends who let us stay at their place this weekend.  We arrived in time for lunch (sausages on the grill), and then we dove right into the ‘lake life’ with beer and fishing on the pier!

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After our unsuccessful fishing mission, the BOY took a nap while I read my book.  Then, we went back down to the pier to watch the sunset.

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We had a late dinner and played games until we crashed in bed!

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Sunday morning, it was back on the pier for breakfast and fishing.  This time, we actually caught a fish!

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I took a nice long walk and then the BOY and I spent the day laughing, talking, and playing games until it 4pm, when it was time to drive back home.  It was sad to leave, but exciting because the BOY and I had a wonderful weekend together unplugging and bonding.  And, we are heading back up to Wisconsin with my family and our friends in a month.  I feel super recharged!  Woo hoo!

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Where do you like to go for weekend Getaways?

Five for Friday XXXIII

1.  Yesterday morning, the BOY and I went for a walk before work.  It all began after the BOY talked to a friend of his who basically told him if he wants to eat and drink like he does, he has to get up and run before work every morning.  Which got the BOY wondering if a morning walk could help ‘boost’ his metabolism.  After being sick and on the couch for over a week, I was eager to get back to exercise but knew a run wouldn’t be in the cards.  I am still pretty run down.  So I volunteered to keep the BOY company on his first walk, which was a fun way to start our day together.

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2.  We talked about going for our second walk this morning, but we slept in instead.  I am EXHAUSTED!

 

3.  I have been doing a lot of online looking/shopping for dresses for all of the upcoming wedding fun.  Don’t you think I’d look adorable in this one from Anthro?

 

4.  OMG!  I am running a 10 miler in 1 week and so not prepared.  I did make it to work a few days this week, but I have been wiped out!

 

5. We are off to Wisconsin this weekend for a quiet overnight get away.  I am hoping that we can swing by Madison on our way up to check out their incredible farmer’s market.  Hooray for Wisconsin beer!!!

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What are your weekend plans?

DC Part 3: Why I Heart Door County

The final portion of this 3 part series is meant to allow me to share with ya’ll why the BOY and I continue to return to Door County each summer!  It’s not meant to make you want to plan a DC vacation, but warning…it just might!

 

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Why I Heart Door County…

 

Everyone is friendly. 

It is easy to make a new friend while running along a trail or sitting by the docks.  In Door County, Bears and Packers fans can even share a bar and bartender.  Does it get any friendlier than that?!

 

There is a nice mixture of city life and state parks.

I love to explore the shops, but my favorite places are the views from the parks.

 

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There’s always something new to discover.

This year, there was a new bakery (that we went to twice) and a hard cider distillery that was closed but that we will definitely visit next year.  And we found new (to us) hiking trails up north along the bluffs.

 

Yet some things stay the same.

The burritos at Good Eggs were as big and satisfying as the first time I had them ~10 years ago.

 

You can picnic with local fare.

The BOY and I bought bread from the local bakery, cheese from the artisan shop, cherries from the market, and DC wine for an afternoon picnic.  Due to rain, we ended up on the floor of our hotel room, but it was still a memorable meal!

 

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I always feel balanced.

I seem to be able to find the perfect mix of activity, rest, reading, eating, shopping, and drinking.  This is why I try to extend our trip every year.  Who wouldn’t love that feeling?

 

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Sunsets.

No explanation needed!

 

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Don’t miss…

Part 1

Part 2

 

 

What is your favorite repeat vacation destination?

Why?