Playing Catch-Up + a Giveaway!

Oh heyyy!! I’ve been on somewhat of an internet diet lately. Very little laptop time and clearly very little blog time. So I’m sorry I neglected you these past few weeks.

Here’s some stuff:

What is it about a tripod that just seems… inappropriate? I came home from work the other day and found this little set-up in the living room. Adrien’s been wanting me to get one for months now so I have somewhere to put the camera when I do yoga videos, plus it makes a HUGE difference for night-time shots when it’s dark. So yes, very sweet gesture, but it does look odd in the middle of the living room affixed to a video cam. Just sayin’!

In other news, my city flooded! Not the best pic since it came from my iPhone, but you get the idea. The canoe is floating down a major road in downtown Tampa. Can you imagine how much worse this could have been if it were a real hurricane? Seriously, we were SO relieved when this storm finally moved out.

Finally, I have something amazing recipes I want to share with you and since I haven’t made any of them (still haven’t pulled the trigger on my slow cooker purchase!), you’ll have to do it and tell me which is your fave 🙂

1. Crockpot Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers by No. 2 Pencil (funny name, as I’m not sure how you fit a Mexican in  bell pepper, but whatevs! 😉 Bad joke – sorry!)

2. Crockpot Chicken w/black Beans and Cream Cheese from Food.com. It looks like it would just fall apart, right?!
 3. Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili by Redsie.  I want to eat a bathtub full of this.
 4. And lastly, anything apple pie-ish like this Apple Pie Breakfast recipe from Cooking with Jax!  I mean, who needs an excuse to eat apple pie oats for breakfast?

 You kind of stopped by at the very best time because, since we’re such a fabulous group of people here, SlimKicker wants to giveaway a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker to one of you guys! I’m kinda jealous, I can’t lie… Actually, it’s this one right here:

 So now that you have a sweet little list of recipes to use in your brand new toy, you can enter to win and immediately cross every part of your body for good luck! 😉

For a little background, SlimKicker is a site that encourages its members to create healthy living challenges to help with reaching your fitness goals. On their site you can track your calories, challenges, successes and even get recipes. So, for example, maybe your challenge is to give up soda for a week, or get at least 30 minutes of cardio in every day, take the dogs running  3x a week, etc.

Whatever your challenge idea is, post it in the comments for entry to the giveaway. SlimKicker will pick a winner and bam! New Slow Cooker!

So get on it – last time you can enter will be Saturday July 7th at midnight and I’ll let you guys know who won it.

Chocolate for Breakfast

I want to take a minute to apologize to my mother. She would be thoroughly ashamed to know that I ate chocolate for breakfast. In this case, because I’m a responsible adult, I didn’t just eat a handfull of chocolate… I made whole wheat chocolate chip scones. You know, for nutrients and fiber and stuff 😉
They were yummy right out of the oven, all warm and melty, but once they cooled the wheat flour gave them a kind of chewy texture. I’m not sure about that…
I adapted the recipe from Skinny Taste and here’s how I did it:

What you need:
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c sugar
scrape out 1 vanilla bean (or 2 t vanilla extract)
1 egg
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose flour
1T baking powder
small pinch of salt
3 T chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375* and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. 

In a medium sized bowl, mix buttermilk, cream, sugar, vanilla and egg in bowl and whisk until combined. In a separate bowl, combine both flours, salt, baking powder and salt. Then cut in butter and mix it around until it looks course and mealy. Mix in chocolate chips. Finally, pour creamy mixture in to flour mixture and fold until moist. 

Turn out dough onto a well floured surface and fold until combined. Flatten slightly until it’s in a round disk about 9-inches across. Slice however you like. Bake for 20 minutes. 

Hope you enjoy it! I wanted to try some of them with white chocolate for something different, but I’m thinking you could use dried berries, fresh fruit, or even granola folded in.

In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying as much sunshine as the day gives us! After about 5 days of gloomy, constant rain, I’m ready for some Vitamin D.

 

 

I found a DSW coupon in my purse, so you know what that means! 😉 What are you doing today?!

Dream Me A Doughy Dream

Last night I slept a solid 8 hours and soundly and when I woke up I felt like I’d been sleeping for days. It felt great! For any one who can interpret dreams, I’d be curious to get your view on this one: 

We came across this adoption agency that looked like a cafeteria. They were cracking eggs (like chicken eggs!) in a bowl then letting them become fertilized by regular human essence. There were hundreds of people in line waiting to get babies and the couple in front of us got twins. We were next and – surprise! Twins again! We adopted these baby twins on a whim and as soon as we left the agency I started freaking out. My mind started reeling and I quickly realized how unprepared we were for this. I kept saying that we would have to “return” them because we didn’t even have a car seat to bring them home and what about a babysitter or daycare because I had to go to work the next day!… and in his true style, Adrien was totally calm and was like, “No, don’t worry about it, I know what you mean, but it’ll be ok.” Then when we got home he brought home a PUPPY! And I was like OMG NOW YOU WANT A DOG?! 

It was pretty funny when I woke up but I’ve never been more relieved, lol! We have NO plans to have kids in the near future, at least not for a few more years. What is up with this dream?! How crazy! Plus, in my dream I felt so guilty for wanting to take the babies back. I wanted to want them but just couldn’t get into the idea, as bad as that sounds.

After all that Dream Drama, today seemed like a good day to make some bread. The rain this morning was coming down in horizontal sheets! Love when that happens – the greens will be happy 🙂
But yes, back to that bread, which I wrongfully stole from this talented gal. I’ve made it before but since I was totally in the mood for it this morning, it tasted even better: Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread.
We became real good friends and when it told me to smother it in Cinnamon Raison Swirl Peanut Butter, I couldn’t really say no. This bread is very persuasive like that.
 I think I’ll top it off with a shot of my favorite espresso, too…
I get the one all the way at the bottom of that page and it’s delicious. I’ve been drinking it for about a year and it’s the only kind I buy!

What’s the most ridiculous dream you can remember? I feel like when I dream, which is often, I do so vividly! 

Yoga for the SI joint and happy hips!

This is more just a series of poses/stretches that you can use to relieve tension in your lower back and hips, not as much of a full-on Flow.

There were plenty of outtakes for this little photoshoot:
Screaming in A’s face while he tries to take my picture…
Why does this hair always look like it needs to be brushed? It’s the law of Erin. And again with the yelling!

But enough with that child’s play, right?! 🙂 The pics here are just kind of… ehh. So when I do the MindBodyGreen version, there will be some better illustrations. In the meantime, let’s do this! Keep in the mind that for each stretch you’ll want to try to hold for about a minute. Here we go!

Pigeon. Keep in mind you’ll want to repeat on both sides, but start in Down Dog and…

– Bring your right knee through to meet your hands. So your front knee is slightly bent and the foot is flexed.
– Ideally your hips are square, facing in front of you.
 Bound Angle. Well, this one ended up being a semi-outtake, but the focus here is my legs!
– Soles of feet together, knees dropping towards the floor, and pelvis tilting forward. You should feel a deep stretch through the hip flexors and hamstrings. If you’re extra tight, you’ll even feel a gentle pull down the lower back into the glutes.
– Be sure to sit up tall so the shoulders stack over the hips.Half Happy Baby. Usually this is NOT a good thing, but in for our purposes, it’s glorious! 😉– Reach for the sole of one foot and bend the knee so it comes up right beneath your armpit, and it should settle right next to the ribs. The opposite leg does NOT have to be straight – you can keep the knee bent with the foot on the floor to take off some of the intensity.

Cat. Normally you’d do this as a cat/cow sequence and you absolutely still can. But, since the “cow” version flexes the back muscles and the “cat” part stretches, I figured to only show you this one.

– Line hips over knees and shoulders over wrists
– Squeeze naval to spine and press palms firmly to the ground
– Round out upper back to you arch like a sassy kitty 😉 (Yes, I just said that!)

*This one also takes the strain out of the lumbar spine by drawing the tailbone down longer, so you’ll feel a great release there, too
Forward Fold. Simple enough, but really puts space between the vertebrae to strrrretch ’em out and lengthen all the muscles of the trunk.

– Bend the knees enough so you can rest the chest on the thighs
– Let the arms hang heavy but keep drawing the shoulders away from the ears (this is important because it keeps the neck long, so the spine runs straight and lax from the tail to the base of the neck. Otherwise you’ll end up letting the shoulders slump forward which compresses the neck.)

 Enjoy!!!

Livin’ in a dream

Can you blame us for spending half our morning outside? We’re trying to squeeze every last ounce out of these nice days before it gets so blistering hot, all we’ll want to do is draw the blindes shut and stay holed up inside!

But for now, it’s a whole lotta this!
And it’s been the perfect day for one of these, which reminds me of Italy. Of course that makes no sense because I never actually drank one of these in Italy, but nonetheless, I’ll take it! For now 😉

Keep an eye out – as promised I have a Yoga for Back & Hips post later today!!

And how about everyone else? What’s the plan for this Sunday afternoon? Anything good on your plate? We’re about to have some leftover homemade seafood pizza from last night which now that I think of it really reminds me of the pizzas we ate in Nice! It’s a European kinda weekend…

Ciao!