Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Snickerdoodles

Hi! Well, Im am almost ready for Christmas!  I've got most of Ty's presents and have sent out cards to my family in Australia (our international gift exchange has fizzled after 7 years way from home...but it saves on shipping and I will get a good skype session in with them all which is really what it is all about- family time!)

Miss Ellie isnt sure what to think of her new hat

Ty has a paramedic shift on Christmas eve but at least I get to spend Christmas day with him! I'm going to miss him though.

My handsome man

 I decided to bake him some holiday cookies to take to the station, and snickerdoodles are his favorite!

all wrapped up and ready to go

 I made them festive with red and green sugar from Walmart.

                                                                All-Butter  Christmas Snickerdoodles
Recipe from

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, unsalted and slightly softened (or Earthbalance, if vegan)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs (or egg replacer if vegan)
3 Tablespoons sugar, for rolling
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, for rolling

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone liner. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, beating until mixture is smooth and well-combined. Add the dry ingredients incrementally and stir until just combined.

Mix the additional sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl or on a steep-sided plate. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat completely. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. (Tip: To make the rolling process easier and less messy, return dough, tightly covered with plastic wrap, to the refrigerator between batches.)

Bake until the edges of the cookies just begin to set, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool briefly on the baking sheet before transferring to a clean counter top or wire rack to cool.

He took them to the fire station and they VANISHED, they were really popular!
The special little box I made for his boss

 Its 80 degrees and sunny today so here is a little Florida greeting card I made for you, my lovely readers:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Weekly Workout Recap Dec 11th-17th (aka- fighting off the xmas bulge)

Monday Dec 12th

Sunday was a day spent on our friend property in the countryside riding ATVs and having birthday fun! Nooo workout..however Monday I had the day off work for exams and squeezed in a 30 minute session at the gym! Woohoo- 318 calories burned on the arc

I had highly ambitious goals of reaching 120 (possibly) this December but Im thinking that may turn into more of a New Years resolution. With people bringing goodies into the office DAILY its been more about maintaining than anything else! People have been making things like this:

And while I've been saying no to most things, I've definitely consumed more sugar this month than any other month of the year!

I've been staying at 125 pounds (my goal weight for the year) with 124 seen on the scale when I have days of healthy eating and the dreaded 126 spotted after a few too many cinnamon rolls, hot chocolates) and office parities..but thankfully I can bring myself back to 125 by eating healthy and working out and 126 hasn't stayed around for more than a day or two :)

Friday Dec 15th

I wanted to work out Thursday night but had an office party to go to.

So I got a 45 minute work out in on Friday then went to a friends party afterwards. All weekend I could hardly move my legs. I think it was because I did a lot of squats with dumbbells. My thighs were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sore, I couldnt even walk up steps!

I wanted to go to the gym on Saturday to get three in, but honestly I was in too much pain!! So I had a rest day instead :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weekly Workout Recap

Sunday Dec. 4th

Cycled at the gym for 30 minutes as I felt that I should have been stronger when cycling the trails the day before!

Here are some more pics of Saturday's bike ride I found on Ty's phone:

The Giant Alligator he took photos of- way to close for comfort!

me reluctantly posing for a pic

us pausing our ride to take in the beauty around us
 I think its some upper thigh muscles that need developing! Sadly it only burned 180 calories, I guess that is because its easier than the standing up style machines?

Monday I had evening college classes after work and Tuesday I had to go shopping for the Secret Santa at work and my friend's baby shower (which meant I got to ooh and ahh at tiny baby clothes and converse shoes - so adorable!)

Wednesday Dec. 7th

I did Jillian's 30 Day Shred on Level 2. Ty did it with me too, he used 10 pound weights in each hand it it wiped him out too, we were sweaty exhausted messes by the end of it but it felt great :) My back had been sore from the work week but that melted away, and I fell asleep REALLY fast later on!

Friday Dec. 9th

You know, there are 1001 other things I would rather have done with my evening...but  I got a good 45 minute session in at the gym :D Woohoo! Three workouts DONE! Wish I could get Saturday in too but Im going to be busy in the morning then have a baby shower all afternoon and the gym closes in the evening on weekends :(

I also watched a great documentary you cant watch on hulu - Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

Its about an Australian who goes on a juice fast for 60 days, loses weight and comes off all his medication. He inspires those he meets on his travels (while doing the fast) and a truck drive does the same thing with astonishing results.

 I was quite moved seeing him jogging and a normal weight at the end of the film - a BIG improvement from suicidal and 500 pounds!

I don't think I could or would do a juice fast for more than a day or two, but what I took away from the documentary is that our bodies have an amazing system in place already to heal themselves from almost anything if we just provide them with the proper micro nutrients. I would love to supplement my diet with more fresh veggie juices, I'm sure it would be good for me and considering how much I detest eating big piles of veggies it would probably be an easier way to get nutrition!

I do smoothies at the moment due to a lack of a juicer though...

I also realized how stupid we are as a species- for the first time in history we know what vitamins are, we know about nutrients and optimizing our diet for health and longevity and yet we still choose to eat garbage daily! WTF...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weekly Workout Recap

I didn't meet my weekly workout minimum of 3 a week :( - but at least I did something! Am aiming for a much better score next week with all the holiday parties around the corner!

I might follow my own advise from my "how to get motivated to go to the gym" post and buy some cute new winter work out gear (I'm still in my summer shorts!) and spice up my music playlist!
Sunday Nov 27th

Did a good hour of cardio and weights, felt great

The week passed, finals time was spent with friends using up expiring groupons at lovely restaurants....

Saturday Dec. 3rd.

Wow, I finally did another workout! After a Friday night episode with waaaay too much delicious bread, soup and melty pepper coated goat cheese and wine Ty and I decided to get out into the beautiful day that was Saturday and soak up some sunshine in nature.

We threw our bikes into his Toyota four runner and drove out to Hawthorne trail. This trail is paved and winds through the forest that leads out onto prarie land.  We cycled and also went on a nature walk on this boardwalk we hadn't ever seen before. We  saw all sorts of wildlife, from armadillos to huge alligators basking in the sun on the prairie! Ty got up close to a huge gator and took a pic with his phone!

Avocado Sushi Rolls

Look at these cool vegetarian avacado 'sushi' rolls I found at Publix for lunch!

They stuffed with salad and came with a packet of sweet chilli sauce..mmm! Any way to get more avocado in my food is a win in my opinion, my dream house would have an avocado and mango orchard :D

My finals are coming up, can't believe this semester is almost over! Funny thought- considering I'm a non traditional student and am only doing a few classes per semester as I work full time you will probably see me write that a lot more than other students- college- the best eight years of my life LOL

On another side note, while rearching still life photos as inspiration for my last photography course assignment (sad!! :(  ) I found these cool pics, I dont own the rights to them but wanted to share (contact me if its yours and you want it removed)

Cesarean LOL
I will show you guys  my finished still lifes when I'm done :D

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet potato casserole

Hi! Very busy this week! Still trying to get all the workokuts in though, will post a new week workout recap on Sunday!

Black Friday goodies!
Our tree!

Cider I drank while putting up the tree - delicious

Sweet Potato Casserole

Did you know that sweet potatoes are good for your skin? We need antioxidants to fight free radical damage that ages us, and Vitamin A is an antioxidant. . A single sweet potato contains over 200% of your daily Vitamin A needs. I threw together this sweet potato casserole in a few minutes with whatever I had laying around, it turned out AMAZING! 
Sweet Potato Casserole
2 medium sweet potatoes sliced thinly
A cup of feta (or less)
A small sliced onion
Three to four slices of bread (I used millet bread) crumbled
Half a cup of sharp cheddar
Three quarters of a block of tofu, already pressed, dried and marinated overnight in a McCormick mix. Slice into cubes.
Spices- onion and garlic powder, a few chili flakes, salt and pepper, a touch of cinnamon, a little hot sauce

Butter a 9 inch square cake pan, mix all the ingredients together (except for the cheddar – which you sprinkle on top)
Cover with aluminum foil, bake for 45 minutes at 350.
Uncover and make for 15 more minutes into the cheese is golden and bubbly.
This keeps well and gets even better the next day

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekly Workout Recap

I'm going to start a new feature of this blog to help keep me more accountable- a weekly workout recap. I will share what I accomplished from Sunday-Saturday workout wise with honesty! :D

I actually typed a draft of this last Sunday and entered in an awesome Sunday workout......then did NOTHING for the rest of the week! I was SO busy with work and school and a job interview!

This week is better so far :D

Sunday 20th:

Jillian's 30 Day Shred level 2- wow, every time I take a break from Jillian and then do her DVD again it is a killer! I don't work my abs as hard on the machines at the gym as Jillian does with mat work!

Monday 21st:

Yoga: A college in the evening after work kind of day so I did yoga - about 30 minutes. It felt great- wearing heels makes my legs so stiff so I need it! I was surprised to realize I cant get as deep into moves as I could when I did yoga consistently in my youth....time to get flexible again!!

Tuesday 22nd:

Gym time! I did 30 minutes on the arc at level 30, 30 incline, and burned 300 calories, and did 5 minutes of weights.Felt pretty tired from the work day and proud of myself for going!

Friday the 25th

Does running around the mall shopping count? :D

I went to the gym and did 45 minutes of cardio on the arc and burned 430 calories. I also did some leg presses and stretching. I found it kind of hard to last all the way through to 45 minutes but music sure helped!

 Saturday the 26th

Didnt 'officially' work out but walked at least a mile or two all morning at flea markets taking photos for my still life assignment like this:

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This is my third Thanksgiving ever (I moved to the USA three years ago) I  have so much to be grateful for today, not least of all the fact that I live near a GIANT VEGETARIAN POTLUCK! Ty and I went for the first time last year and it was amazing- 300 vegetarian's, tons of food, sunshine, beautiful forested grounds- and it was the same again! If anyone ever asks what vegetarians eat for Thanksgiving I will show them  these photos:

(Ps-what did you get on Black Friday shopping?)

vegetarian 'turkey'

ready to eat!

everyone holding hands to give thanks

My savory plate- the sweet plate was even better!