5-Ingredient Creamy Honey Fruit Dip

Happy weekend everyone!

I’m looking forward to a few days being home with my hubby. Last week he was away training for the Marine Corps Reserves, and then I left for Vegas for my work trip before he got back last weekend, so this weekend we’re excited to get some time together. On our agenda is finishing up our bathroom revamp, repainting part of the exterior of our house, and also having some fun outdoors and relaxing. Any fun plans for your weekend?

honey fruit dip-2

Speaking of weekends, last Friday night I got together with my friend Tiffany for a wine night. We see each other pretty often, but usually we make workout dates, so it was nice to chill, talk, drink wine, and munch on snacks together (and not be sweating while I was with her for once!). For our wine night I whipped up a few healthy dessert-like snacks. I made almond butter date truffles and came up with this 5-ingredient honey fruit dip, which I served with fresh pineapple and strawberries.

fruit dip-3

Continue reading

7 Healthy Snacks I’m Loving Lately

While some people feel best eating three square meals a day, I’m much more of a small-meals-and-snacks kinda girl. Typically eating something every three or four hours means that I usually have healthy on-the-go munchies in my purse and car, as well a number of favorite healthy quick snacks in mind. Here are some of my current top snack picks:

apple slices

[apple with nut butter & cinnamon] 

I’ve declared my love for apples before, and lately one of snacks I’m loving the most is an apple sliced with some peanut/almond/cashew butter and sprinkled with cinnamon. It’s a nice mix of healthy carbs, fat and protein, and nut butter has a way of keeping me from being starving a few hours later.

Blue Diamond Honey Cinnamon Almonds

Honey cinnamon almonds to the rescue during my work trip this week!

[Blue Diamond honey roasted cinnamon & honey dijon almonds]

While I’ve been a fan of Blue Diamond almonds for awhile, recently the company sent me a few flavors of their nuts to try that I hadn’t gotten my hands on yet. Almonds are perfect for an on-the-go snack, and they came especially in handy this week while I’ve been in Las Vegas for work. One night I came back to my hotel room starving, and a few handfuls of Blue Diamond almonds came to the rescue until I had dinner in front of me.

Honey dijon almond eating in the airport

Honey dijon almond eating in the airport

Almonds are one of my favorite nuts, and since I have an obsession with both cinnamon and honey, their honey roasted cinnamon flavor is my favorite. I also like the honey dijon almonds for a bit of salty satisfaction.

Continue reading

20 Minute Cardio Blast Workout

Hi friends, and greetings from Las Vegas!

I traveled to Vegas over the weekend for a work trip and will be here for most of the week. Before the “work” of my work trip really started, yesterday my co-workers and I had some fun outside of the Vegas strip, but more on that later, because today I’ve got a quickie workout to share!

Lake Mead

My view of Lake Mead earlier today

Even when traveling I still like to get some exercise in. If I’m on vacation, I usually find a place for that exercise outdoors in the form of hiking or biking, or just even just walking a ton being a tourist, but with work trips like this, I find myself mostly indoors in a convention center. I do walk an awful lot within the convention center – my poor feet always die wearing heels and other uncomfortable fancy shoes, and I think I was made to be barefoot, or even to just wear sneakers and sandals! – but I still like to fit in some actual sweat time.

The hotel I’m staying at has a pretty nice gym, so this week I’ll be popping in there probably once or twice for quick workouts, and will also do a few online workouts in my hotel room when I can squeeze them in. Here’s a 20 minute cardio blast that’s exactly my type of style for a travel workout: quick and cardio efficient!

*All you need is a set of 3, 5 or 8 pound dumbbells depending on your strength level. You can also forgo the weights if you don’t have them handy. Run through all of the exercises in 30-second intervals, do the whole set 3x, get a quick stretch and cool down in, and you’re done!*

20 Minute Cardio Blast

Tell me… are you more of a quick workout person, or do you take your time and more enjoy longer exercise sessions?

 

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Banana Bread Cookies

Earlier this week I deemed my hubby and me to be Mr. and Mrs. “Cookie Monster” Crane after we ate an entire batch of these cinnamon brown sugar chocolate chip banana bread cookies in just a couple of days.

banana bread cookies-2

We both dig banana bread, which is why I make it at least once every few months. But last Saturday, when I was in full kitchen experimentation mode, I decided to get a little creative and make banana bread cookies instead of a regular old banana bread loaf.

banana bread cookies-3

I decided to play around with using brown sugar as the primary sweetener, and then I went heavy duty on the cinnamon (which is partly the reason for the cookies’ dark color) because yummmm, it’s my favorite thing to sprinkle on top of nearly everything I eat. I thought about excluding chocolate chips, but then I thought, ‘Who am I kidding? Everything is better with dark chocolate chips!’ 

banana bread cookies-1 Continue reading

Getting My Zen On at La Jolla’s Trilogy Sanctuary [Yoga Studio Review]

One of the many reasons that I dig living in San Diego is all of its awesome local businesses geared towards healthy living. There’s no shortage of juice bars, veg eateries, fitness studios, spas, yoga centers and lots more around to explore. Being the wellness lover that I am, I experience these places as much as I can.

Trilogy Sanctuary-7

I’ve teamed up with ClassPass again for a blogger project (more on that to come soon!), so lately I’ve been a fitness class maniac, booking classes at studios all over San Diego County in my never-ending attempt to find the best workouts in the area.

Trilogy Sanctuary-4

Last week I journeyed over to the beautiful beach town of La Jolla to meet up with a girlfriend of mine for a yoga class at Trilogy Sanctuary. Immediately when I walked in, I was like all, Ooooh! So cute, I love this place! 

Trilogy Sanctuary-6

Situated on the rooftop of a building in the middle of La Jolla’s main shopping and restaurant area, Trilogy Sanctuary gives off laid back SoCal vibes. Not only is it a yoga studio that specializes in aerial yoga, they also have a vegan cafe and juice bar. Diners can lounge on cozy couches and tables and watch the yoga classes, which take place directly next to the cafe.

Continue reading

Spring Veggie & Fontina Quiche

Hey there! Hope you had a great weekend and Easter celebration.

How cute is this mini carrot cake cupcake?!

How cute is this mini carrot cake cupcake?!

I had plans to attend a vegetarian festival in town but the event wound up getting postponed a few weeks, so my Easter Sunday turned into a productive weekend day instead! My hubby and I are in the process of revamping our bathrooms and a few other things in the house, so we spent a lot of time picking out mirrors, faucets, paint, and toilets (so glamorous, I know!), and working around the house doing things like calking all of the holes in the master bathroom from the previous tenants (they loved to drill holes all over the place and hang up things excessively – lucky us!) and trying out paint samples on the front exterior of our home. We currently have a bunch of different colors randomly painted in the front, but we actually found a color that we like (YEA!). Harley was a huge help, as always:

Harley with sunglasses

I love that now that she’s a middle aged puppy, she lets me do things like put Halloween costumes and sunglasses on her. In her first couple of years of life, that kind of stuff did not fly! I was laughing so hard when I took the above photo that I was practically crying.

Besides being productive in home improvements, I had the quite the productive day in the kitchen – making three recipes that I’ll be sharing with you guys, one of which is today’s main topic: a spring veggie quiche!

spring quiche-2

Continue reading

My Favorite Low Calorie Post-Workout Fuel: Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

Happy Friday friends!

If you’re off from work for Good Friday, I hope that you enjoy your long weekend, and Happy Easter to those that celebrate it! I am technically off from my PR job, but will be doing a bit of work, food shopping, heading to barre class, and going for a hike later with my little family… but it may be a short one, because I am super sore from strength training yesterday. Yikes, I’m sore! was the first thing that came to mind when I woke up this morning… Anyone else feeling achy from their workouts this week?!

chocolate pb smoothie-7

Anywho, today I’m sharing a smoothie recipe with you that I make all the time. This smoothie was actually one of the first recipes I ever shared on the blog, and I’ve been making it probably a couple times a week ever since then…and that was THREE years ago! But, I’m sharing it again today because the first time I only had a teeny little picture (post here – don’t laugh! I think it was a week into blogging for me). I’ve since altered the recipe a bit and felt that an all-time favorite deserved better photos and an easy way for you guys to print out the recipe.
chocolate pb smoothie-3

This smoothie is high in protein and low in calories, so I make it as a quick, post-workout meal. Sometimes I just make it if I’m feeling like something chocolatey and dessert-ish but healthy.
chocolate PB smoothie-4

Continue reading

Wherever You Are, Be All There | 7 Powerful Mindfulness Quotes

If there’s one thing that I think each and every one of us can do to enrich our lives, it’s to practice mindfulness. Any regular blog readers may recognize this to be a constant life practice that I bring up, because I really believe that living in the moment and appreciating the now are surefire ways to feel happier and lower stress levels.

definition-of-mindfulness

(via)

Today I had the chance to practice at a yoga studio I hadn’t visited before – a rooftop yoga studio and vegan restaurant in La Jolla called Trilogy Sanctuary. I’ll be sharing a full review of the studio soon, but as I participated in a lunchtime vinyasa flow class – feeling the ocean breeze, looking up at the bright blue sky, stretching out in some yoga poses – I couldn’t help but feel appreciative of the moment that I was experiencing.

Trilogy Sanctuary

In the spirit of the gratitude that swept over me today in a moment of mindfulness, I wanted to share some powerful mindfulness quotes that I’m loving. Here we go!

at any choice-quote

Continue reading

Hiking to Potato Chip Rock [2015 Edition]

Hi friends!

Hope that you had a great weekend. I’ve been back to the work grind on this Monday and have been busy, busy, busy! But I’m popping in to recap the highlight of my weekend with you guys: hiking to Potato Chip Rock!

Potato Chip Rock-3.28.15

My cousin Michelle and I have been talking about getting together for a hike excursion for awhile, and set a date for last Saturday. She drove down from where she lives in Long Beach to stay the night at my place on Friday, and Saturday morning we set out to the Lake Poway Recreational Reserve.

Lake Poway

I hiked to Potato Chip Rock once before with my hubby 2+ years ago (recap here <– throwback post!), so I was able to reference my blog post beforehand to jog my memory about the hike and see how long it took me the first time, as well as how I described the hike being difficulty-wise. Bloggers, do any of you reference your blog to remember details of things you’ve done before too? I seem to do it pretty often! It’s particularly helpful if I can’t remember the name of a restaurant or something, but know I mentioned it on the blog when I traveled to a certain place, or something along those lines.

Mount Woodson-3

We began the hike a little before 10 AM. The Mount Woodson trail was pretty crowded with hikers, with everyone from older people with walking sticks to trail runners, dogs and younger kids alike. It was a gorgeous day, with the temperature hitting around 80 degrees. The sun felt really strong and hot, but luckily there was a nice breeze going most of the time.

Mount Woodson-2

Continue reading

Ditching My Fitbit, Keeping My Active Lifestyle

Around a month ago, I kept noticing something missing from my wrist that’s usually there….

FitBit-2

My Fitbit Flex!

Unlike in the past when I’ve unintentionally lost my activity trackers, this time it was on purpose. I had been feeling the urge to stop wearing my activity tracker, but I had worn one pretty consistently for so long, that it almost felt weird to consider not using one anymore. It was almost this little fear inside of me that thought that if I didn’t track my movement, I somehow wouldn’t move as much – that not wearing a Fitbit would make me a less active person.

But then I realized that that notion was total crap. Who am I kidding? I lead a super active lifestyle. I don’t need a Fitbit to tell me that. I usually workout 6 days a week, and most of the time I do both a longer nighttime workout, along with a short yoga session or HIIT workout first thing in the morning to wake me up and get me feeling strong and energized for the day. Plus, I take my dog for daily long walks that usually are around 30 minutes long during the week, with a longer hike mixed in about once a week. A lot of the time when I meet up with girlfriends, we go for walks along the coast or meet up to do a fitness class together. Being active and moving my body a lot is a big part of my life – whether or not I have an activity tracker reinforcing the idea that I move enough or not.

My lunchtime Power Hour yesterday: a booty working Bar Method class!

My lunchtime Power Hour yesterday: a booty working Bar Method class!

Continue reading