Monthly Archives: October 2015

Currently Crushing On: Halloween Edition

Happy almost Halloween!

Anyone doing anything fun for it? Unfortunately I won’t be dressing up because we don’t have any Halloween obsessed friends that are throwing parties this year, but I love celebrating the holiday anyways. To me, Halloween kicks off the holiday season, which I always love (I know, too soon! Although Home Depot is already decked out for Christmas…).

I love seeing all of the cute kid costumes from our trick-or-treaters. But since I don’t have any kiddos to dress up, I’ll be making Harley wear her headless horsemen rider outfit probably all day today and tomorrow…

Headless Horseman costume

She hates it and it’s hilarious. When she runs, the headless horseman starts falling to the side, and then she turns around and tries to bite it off. It’s pretty entertaining (though it may be considered mildly torturous to her)!

Getting into the Halloween spirit, here are some other Halloween-ish things I’m diggin’ at the moment:

IG Halloween WOD-2

THIS spooky workout, which I first posted last Halloween. I love quick, butt-kicking workouts that get your heart pumping immediately!

Pumpkin carving, which A and I will be doing tonight! We have an annual contest each year.

pumpkin beer pretzels

Pumpkin Beer Soft Pretzels via Baking A Moment. Um, I think I need to try making these ASAP.

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Apple Cherry Walnut Pancakes (& Fit Body Bakery Giveaway!)

Pancakes are forever and always my favorite kind of breakfast.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to pancake ideas. In the summer I’m all about incorporating berries into my pancakes, and now that it’s autumn, I’m into seasonal pancakes that focus on foods like pumpkin and apple. autumn pancakes-1

Recently Fit Body Bakery sent me a few of their gluten-free, protein rich baking mixes to get creative with, including their Power Up Pancake mix. The Fit Body Bakery line was created to support strong, healthy, active bodies, so naturally, I was excited to experiment with their mixes. Designed to help customers to bake fresh AND healthy, their mixes contain:

  •  6g+ protein per serving
  • About half the sugar as conventional baking mixes and recipes
  • Unrefined coconut sugar and stevia for sweeteners
  • 100% gluten free whole grains
  • No preservatives or artificial ingredients

autumn pancakes-2

With baked apple, dried cherries, chopped walnuts, cinnamon & maple syrup, today’s pancake recipe is all about those delicious autumn flavor favorites.

Fit Body Bakery Pancakes

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My First USC Football Game + Girls’ Wine Day in Temecula {Weekend Recap!}

Hi friends!

USC game-3

My view for last weekend’s USC vs. Utah football game

Hope that you all had a great weekend. Mine was a really awesome one! My friend Danielle was in town for a few days, and we had a blast catching up. After picking her up from the airport on Friday night, the weekend kicked off with me showing her my house for the first time and catching up over a glass of wine and freshly baked pumpkin banana bread.

pumpkin banana bread

Saturday morning I gave my friend a taste of my life. First up, we got up nice and early for my favorite yoga class: a rock ‘n roll flow class at Black Sheep Yoga.

yoga sign

After 90 minutes of sweating, stretching, balancing, vinyasa flowing, and finishing in Savasana, we left feeling amazing. Afterwards we grabbed acai bowls in Carlsbad, and then we walked around town and on the beach for a bit before heading back to get ready for the next part of our day.

acai bowls

side plank on the beach

Next up was a fun evening full of football! Danielle, my hubby, and I headed up to the LA area for our very first USC football game. We met up with my cousin Michelle, and the four of us had a blast cheering on USC – who upset a #3 ranked Utah team. It was awesome!

USC game

Sometimes I wish I had gone to a big football college since I’m such a big football fan… but then again, college is where I met my hubby, so no complaints here about my alma mater! Everything works out the way it does for a reason right?

USC game-2

When I asked Danielle what she really wanted to do while in town, her immediate response was, “Wine country please!” So on Sunday, we journeyed over to Temecula for a girls’ wine tasting day.

Leoness Winery-4

First up was a tour and tasting at Leoness Cellars – a winery I had never been to before but had heard great things about.

Leoness Winery-2

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Single Serving S’mores Cake [Vegan]

Happy Friday friends!

Any fun plans for the weekend? An East coast girlfriend of mine will be in town staying at my house, and we have a lot of fun things planned. I’m excited!

smores mug cake-3

Isn’t it crazy that Halloween is rapidly approaching? I feel like this month is just flying by. Since Halloween obviously reminds me of sweets and the weekends seem to get me in the mood for baking something to satisfy my sweet tooth (or in this case microwaving something deeeelicious), today I have a very yummy single serving dessert recipe to share.

smores mug cake

(PS – Did you notice my reflection in the spoon? Ha.)

I hadn’t eaten marshmallows in years since finding out all about gelatin and the foods that it’s hidden in… that is until I discovered that vegan marshmallows existed and bought a package of Dandies vanilla marshmallows. Obviously they aren’t a health food – they’re marshmallows people! – but they don’t have collagen from animal by-products like regular marshmallows, so I’m a happy camper. No boiling of skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones from cows and pigs for me to have dessert, thanks! smores mug cake-1

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Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Muffins {+ Mighty Nut Powdered PB Giveaway!}

Nut butter, oh how I love you so. 

At any given time, there are probably 10 jars of nut butter in my pantry. I most often spread it on fruit or throw it in my smoothies for some extra creaminess and flavor. I also am a fan of incorporating peanut/cashew/almond butter into my baked goods, like today’s muffin recipe.

banana pb muffins-6

One brand of nut butter that you’ll always find in my kitchen is Peanut Butter & Co. I especially love their Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter! While I love smooth nut butter, powdered peanut butter is also a staple in my kitchen. So, you could imagine my excitement when I got involved in a Fit Approach collaboration with Peanut Butter & Co. to experiment in the kitchen with their new powdered peanut butter line, Mighty Nut.

banana pb muffins-5Created from quality USA grown peanuts, Mighty Nut is a non-GMO powdered peanut butter line made by roasting and pressing the peanuts. What remains is the protein, fiber and delicious peanut buttery taste – but much less fat and calories. Mighty Nut is now available in 4 varieties:

  • Original
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Flax & Chia

I decided to come up with a muffin recipe that gives you lots of chocolatey and peanut buttery goodness, while also being low in fat and calories. These wholesome, gluten free babies were the result:

choc pb banana yogurt muffins

Let’s discuss…

For the base of the muffins we’ve got some oats and Mighty Nut chocolate powdered peanut butter.

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My Favorite Fall Things + Weekend Recap

Hi friends!

Hope that you had a nice weekend. Last weekend was the first time in I think 5 weeks that my hubby and I were both home for all of it, so getting to spend a few days together was nice! Before I recap it, two things to share…

1.) Don’t forget to enter my Aurorae yoga mat towel giveaway! It ends Wednesday.

2.) I’ll be sending out a new health coaching newsletter soon, so sign up below if you’d like to receive it!



 

Anywho, we kicked off our Friday night with an inaugural trip to a local wine bar called Relm. We had a few glasses of wine, noshed on some hummus, and listened to the live blues band that was playing. It was a fun and relaxing way to start the weekend!

Vino Game Strong

Another weekend highlight was going for a Saturday morning hike with our pup at Elfin Forest. I hadn’t hiked there since the beginning of the summer since it’s been hot and Harley doesn’t appreciate 90 degree hikes.

Elfin forest hiking-Oct 15-2

Since it was around 80 degrees, we took advantage of the more moderate temp and journeyed over there for some outdoor exercise together. It was cloudy out too, so our little maniac had no problem keeping up her energy and running around like a crazy dingo.

Harley at Elfin-Oct 15

While Southern California doesn’t have a drastic temperature change through the seasons, it does typically change from 75-90 degrees in the summer to 60-75 in the fall and winter during the day. We’ll see what happens with this El Nino year – since it has been uncharacteristically hot and supposedly we’re going to get a lot of rain in the wintertime (also not usual) – but this weekend started to finally feel like autumn a bit! I got to thinking about my favorite things this time of the year, and here’s what I came up with:

1.) More hiking adventures. This is the time of the year when I start to explore more around hiking spots in the area. Mild weather is great for hiking, and there’s usually less people around hiking than in the summertime.

Elfin forest lake

2.) Pumpkin picking & carving. Last weekend we visited a nearby pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins for our annual carving contest. It’s become a fun tradition with my hubby!

3.) Pumpkin eating. Okay, I finally bit the pumpkin bullet at TJ’s last week. They have just many pumpkin products….and I think I bought about half of them:

TJs pumpkin buys

4.) Apples. This is a fruit favorite in my house, and we eat through apples like it’s our job pretty much all year round… but I love apple season! Even though we couldn’t go apple picking around here this year because of the drought (How sad right? None of the family farms could produce enough fruit for U-Pick), expect some apple recipes to come within the next few months!

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10 Great Quotes about Moving Forward

Happy Friday! attack the day with enthusiasm

It’s been awhile since I did a post dedicated to quotes…and I definitely am still a big quote lover! I felt like keeping it light and easy breezy on this lovely Friday, so here are 10 quotes I’m loving – all of which are in the spirit of moving forward with good energy, no matter what’s challenging you in life. Here we go!

{#1}

build the life you love

{#2}

be-fearless

{#3}

Be a pioneer of the future

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Aurorae Yoga Mat Towel Review & Giveaway!

Hi there!

Today I’ve got a fun giveaway for you guys! Recently the folks at Aurorae sent me a yoga product of theirs, called the Synergy Mat Towel, to try out. I was intrigued by the mat because of its built-in non-slip microfiber towel.

Aurorae mat-5

I had never seen a yoga mat with a built-in towel before, and it sounded like a brilliant idea to me. I had owned a few yoga mats already, but wasn’t in love with them because of how I seemed to find myself slipping around on the mat once I started sweating and getting into my workout. I was interested to see if Aurorae’s mat would eliminate this annoyance.  Aurorae Mat Giveaway

Aurorae is a yoga, fitness & aromatherapy e-retailer that has recently expanded into a number of new divisions, including apparel and outdoor accessories such as beach towels. They’re a small family business who keeps customer service and satisfaction as their main priority as they operate in the spirit of yoga.

Aurorae mat-3

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Banana Date Caramel Smoothie + Weekend Recap

Hi friends!

Hope you all had a great weekend. I’m off from my PR job today for Columbus Day, so YAY for 3-day weekends! I’ll be spending my extra day off doing blogging and health coaching work instead, running some errands, cleaning, going for a hike at our nearby favorite park, and taking my Batpuppy to the vet (just for an annual thing)…

We got into the holiday spirit with some autumn decor yesterday!

We got into the holiday spirit with some autumn decor yesterday!

Backing it up to the beginning of the weekend, I kicked off my post-work Friday with a trip to the Del Mar dog beach on another 90 degree day:

Del Mar Dog Beach-Oct '15

I love it at the dog beach, it’s so beautiful and such a happy place!

Dog Beach view

We hadn’t been to the dog beach since the beginning of the summer because during peak beach months, dogs are only allowed on one section of the beach on their leashes. My dog is a maniac and doesn’t like to be constrained by a leash on the beach, so we don’t even bother going during the summer (which kind of stinks), but I’m happy to have the option to take her there from now until June! dogs playing at dog beach

As you can see, there were some happy swimming pups there on Friday!

That night, A and I went out for a glass of wine and some eats before he had Marine Corps work all weekend. I had this salad with goat cheese croquettes that was so yummy…goat cheese salad

Note to self: Make goat cheese croquettes soon! 

Saturday morning I went to my 90-minute rock ‘n roll yoga class for the first time in awhile, and it was awesome! I left very sweaty with a happy heart.
side crow-left side

Saturday night I went out for drinks to celebrate my friend Leanne’s birthday. I enjoyed a few Moscow Mules, which I have developed a newfound love for this year. Anyone else love those copper mugs?!

moscow mule

As any good friend would, I brought the birthday girl a sweet treat from a local pie place: a Magic Bar.

Magic Bar

I couldn’t help nabbing myself an apple bar to try as well, and mmm, it was delicious! It was like apple pie in brownie form.

Apple Pie Bar

Other good food finds of the weekend included basil infused olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar, which I nabbed after discovering a local place called North County Olive Oils next to the pie shop. I absolutely love flavored oils to dress up salads and dishes!

North County Olive Oil copy

I also found a tub of everything bagel mix at a nearby bagel store, which I got excited about. Have you guys ever seen it before?!

everything bagel mix

I think I might start putting it on meals on a daily basis, but I started off by trying it with Ashley’s Everything Spinach Chickpea Dip. So good!

Everything Chickpea Spinach Dip

In other random weekend news, check out my pepper plant! I’ve watched this pepper grow from a tiny little guy, and now I have several other little peppers budding. Having an herb & veggie garden is so much fun for a foodie!  pepper plant

Other weekend eats included these strawberry & Nutella banana protein pancakes (chocolate hazelnut craving satisfied!)…  nutella strawberry pancakes

…and this smoothie deliciousness:
banana date smoothie

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A Trip to Lundberg Family Farms During their Rice Harvest

“LEAVE THE LAND BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT.” – ALBERT LUNDBERG

Supporting companies that make it their main priority to create their products in a way that is responsible and with their customers’ best interest at heart is important to me. I love getting to know more about companies, whose running them, and what’s going on behind the scenes. This is one of the big reasons why I love buying food at local farmers’ markets, nabbing produce from the farm stand down the street from me, and attending events where I get to learn firsthand about how food is made with love.

Lundberg Farms Collage

That’s why when Lundberg Family Farms recently contacted me inviting me to visit their farm in Northern California during their rice harvest, I jumped at the chance. Lundberg is an organic, non-GMO certified maker of all kinds of rice products, and I was excited to know more about what they do.

Last Thursday I flew from Los Angeles to Sacramento, then traveled to an area known as Chico for the blogger event that Lundberg was hosting. That night, the event was kicked of with a dinner at the Red Tavern. Five other food bloggers were in attendance, and we were joined by Bryce and Jill Lundberg, one of their sons and his fiancee, and Lundberg’s PR and marketing team for some yummy eats and wine.

rice croquettes

My favorite dish of the night was the above pictured stuffed mozzarella arancini with sweet pepper tomato sauce. I’m a sucker for a flavorful, crispy rice ball!

Red Tavern dessert

A dessert custom made for the occasion by Red Tavern incorporating Lundberg’s rice cakes

Bryce Lundberg is one of about 35 owners of the family run farm, and quite a character might I add. It was so nice getting to chat with him and his wife, who you could immediately tell were such sweet, down to earth people. Bryce seemed so passionate about the company, and was excited to answer questions and share some of the history behind Lundberg Farms. I found his infectious spirit to be a trend throughout the Lundberg family members that we met with.

Lundberg Farms sign

The next morning, we headed off to Lundberg Farms itself for a full day of farm fun. First up, the company’s CEO, Grant Lundberg, took us on a walking tour of the tiny town where the farm is located, called Richvale.

Rice Avenue

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